How To Create ANYTHING You Want: Alchemy 9

Transmute base metal into gold. Suffering into transformation; pain into power; and crisis into compassion. Become a true alchemist.

This blog is long. If you’re serious you’ll take the time. If that’s not now, then you’ll set it aside and make the time later. If you want a quick little read, then with all due respect, it’s probably not for you. True transformation and growth doesn’t come in neat quick packages (as we shall soon see).

We ended last week with a discussion of the archetypal demon (model) of fear. This week we take on one of the greatest demons of all; the one we abhor and do the best to avoid… the demon of suffering.

Some purveyors of personal and spiritual development just LOVE to quote the Buddha and his “Four Nobel Truths” when the topic of suffering arises. Buddha was an alchemist in the truest sense of the word, as was Jesus… although neither one of them ever used that term to our knowledge. Terms and labels do not the substance make.

In case you’re not familiar with the Four Nobel Truths of Buddha they state:

  1. Dukkha (pronounced doo-ka) exists
  2. Dukkha arises
  3. Dukkha ceases
  4. There is a way beyond dukkha

The Sanskrit word “dukkha” is most often translated as “suffering,” although in the most literal terms dukkha is a state of a wagon axel (hence also the wheel) being out of alignment; and therefore providing a rough ride.

My experience is that those who love to quote the Buddha have done slim to no real study of his teachings… and certainly not had the honor of studying closely with a high ranking Zen master (actually the highest ranking outside of Japan) as I’ve been extremely blessed to do.

“The cause of all suffering is from not seeing life clearly, exactly as it is.”

–       Gautama Buddha (emphasis mine)

By the way, if you look up the definition of suffering you’ll find it defined as: “the state of undergoing pain, distress or hardship.” A bumpy wagon ride, particularly on a pothole filled road, can definitely provide some degree of discomfort and pain. Do you follow the metaphor?

The fact, is that if we’re going to address the rough ride of a warped axel (or a warped life expectation for that matter), we’re inevitably going to have to drive the wagon far enough to get it fixed. Are you with me?

Obviously during the ride, which may be short or extremely long, it will be uncomfortable. No amount of affirmation, visualization, smiley faces, or vision boards will make the bumpy ride smooth. The only way beyond it is to go through it.

In this way, (and this way only) there’s a way beyond dukkha (fourth Nobel Truth); and that’s either to:

1. Not drive at all. Hence not live, if the wagon and movement represent Life itself. Or…

2. Find a way to deal with and accept the rough ride until it ends which it will eventually.

Everything temporal (time bound),

whether we deem it good or bad, is temporary.


Please ponder that one.

The Buddha never said nor implied that you would not suffer. He only said there was a way to get beyond it. Neither did Jesus by the way; and truth be told they both suffered greatly.

If you reflect back upon the statement made by Jesus from the Book of Thomas (Alchemy 7) he actually stated that you will only find what you’re seeking when you are troubled. Not by the way when you’re sniffing roses and incense.

The fact is, that when you truly get on a path of continuous development, growth and expansion either personal or business, versus a path of fantasy (reference Life or Fantasy series), you’ll most probably suffer more! Yes you read that right. Trailblazing is a bumpy ride.

The greatest souls have always experienced the greatest suffering. Think me wrong? Read Mother Teresa’s memoire for starters if you don’t believe me. Study history. Study the Judeo-Christian tradition and the lives of ALL the prophets. There are no exceptions.

The greatest souls always experience the greatest suffering.

Furthermore, if you fancy yourself a business achiever and entrepreneur the same is true in this arena as well. Please remember, the principles we’re exploring are not just regarding your spiritual awakening, but also your physical and business achievement.

I worked on my last company for the better part of 20 years, 10 of those while taking absolutely no salary! Ten! I worked 7 days a week 10-14 hours per day. But in 2009 my team and I were blessed to be awarded the coveted Inc. 500 as one of the most successful and fastest growing privately held companies in the world.

By the way, I’m not the only one to suffer for my business and purpose. The billionaire Mark Cuban recently stated he went 10 years without a salary as he scrapped his way to the top. Gary Vaynerchuk frequently talks about sleeping 4 hours per night. Bill Gates went 6 years without a single day vacation while building Microsoft. Think about it. You want to talk about a bumpy ride? Let’s talk.

This wishy-washy God will prosper (reference Alchemy 5) you continuously while making life cushy is the biggest fallacy of all! To be a true champion you must learn to be comfortable with the uncomfortable. To be at peace while in in the middle of complete chaos! To embrace the bumpy ride; and be grateful for the adventure of life!

Do you think my life is easy now? Try rebuilding all over again from scratch after taking 20 years of hard work and 7 day weeks to get where you were; and then losing it all. Life is not meant to be easy… it’s meant to be meaningful.

Do you feel my conviction here? You should! With the best of intentions so many of the teachers are chasing their own fantasy and subsequently propagating it upon the masses.

To be a true teacher, entrepreneur, and life champion

 you have to live! Really live!

Like Mother Teresa, Cuban, Gates and all the greats… you must suffer greatly and still be standing with the battle scars to prove it.

Just like that good muscle burn in the gym… you must come to learn to love the burn. To find joy in the pain—for you know what it’s giving you; where it’s taking you; and you’re committed to being your best and fulfilling your purpose and your capability. Please tell me you’re listening. Oh, please tell me you’re thinking.

Let me ask you, when has your life ever been cushy and perfect per your own personal definition of what it “should” be? When has it ever been all roses and no thorns—rainbows with no storms?

Not a popular sales tool I realize… but true transformation is extremely difficult. I’m not here to sell you popular. I’m not here to sell you anything actually—just to show you a door. The choice is yours. You have to walk through it.

Isn’t it true that in retrospect (if you’re really honest) that you’ve truly prospered (Alchemy 5) in your most difficult hours? In your darkest of nights? When there was much “suffering?” It’s not really about the rise… it’s about The Fall (reference The Fall).

Please don’t tell me that I can just release a few “limiting beliefs” with some newfangled mind technique and become an instant millionaire; or that I can do some energetic release work and life will be all roses; or that all you did was a vision board to get where you are; or that I can talk to some disembodied channeled entity that can give me the magic pill or secret sauce. Please!

Do I believe in some of these practices? Yes, there’s a time and a place; every piece of the puzzle contributes to the whole. But there’s no secret sauce or magic pill. None. Ever. Anywhere. Sorry to burst your bubble if you were living in one. But if you’re willing to graduate from stage one and move forward then let’s go.

If romantic illusions are what you want, then I can’t help you.

You’re still at stage one;

And let me just sincerely congratulate you for being at stage one, we all have to start there. All of us.

But if you’re ready for the truth. If you want to really live. If you want to talk to someone who won’t soft peddle some fantasy to you. If you want someone who has been there and done that; and has the scars to prove it; and who will always shoot you straight. Then I just might be your guy.

If you want someone who knows how to build a business as well as a life. Someone who will tell you straight up that you’re going to work your ass off; and love it; and sometimes hate it; and sometimes you’ll doubt yourself and your own sanity; sometimes curse the day you ever started walking your particular path; wish and pray and long for the day you were ignorant and romantic; and yet still learn to love every single minute of it; and you’ll savor the tough times because you know they’re making you a better human being…then maybe, just maybe I can help.

I’d love to. It’s my purpose.

Call me delusional, but I believe my purpose in this lifetime is to help take what’s been labeled the personal, business, and spiritual development arenas to the next level of awakening and awareness. I think the world is ready. I think you might be ready. I think it’s time. Actually past time.

I’ve had to pay a high price to stand in my current place. I’ve had to wrestle with my own ignorance, my own arrogance, my own fantasy and romanticism, as well as various other demons to be able to talk from a position of experience. Ultimately these demons have served me; and no one can tell me otherwise.

I’ve had to descend into the pit of my own personal hell; lose everything I held near and dear. There’s been a tremendous amount of suffering; and ultimately through this I found something buried within me that would have never been found otherwise. This is true alchemy and utilization my friend.

There’s potential salvation through suffering.

Again, no one can tell me otherwise. And until you’ve been there it will probably make no sense to you. When you have, then you know.

Let me ask you, are you willing to suffer for your own awakening, growth and advancement? To pay the price for your prize?

There’s always a price for the prize. The question is are you willing to pay it? Read more about it here.

If yes, then welcome to being awake. I promise there’s beauty, joy, and true accomplishment in the awakening. Beyond description.

If you wish for a cushy life where there are no problems; and you can just visualize your fantasy into reality I do not judge you. I really don’t. If you want to “release limiting beliefs” and “negative energy,” learn the latest brain secret and technique, or move furniture around and burn incense until all things are perfect and easy street, I understand. If you want someone else to do the work for you or give you the magic pill. I get it. That’s stage one.

I was once there too; and I’m absolutely certain that Life will ultimately be your teacher. Life after all is the greatest teacher of all.

However… if you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and do the work, to potentially march into hell if that’s what it takes to find heaven, to be committed to a life full of meaning and purpose no matter what the cost, for you know the cost of mediocrity is higher still… then you just might be in the right place at the right time. Let’s get busy. More to come…

Stay awake and Love Life,



James Arthur Ray Signature


75 Responses

  1. OMG OMG OMG. Thank you for that totally amazing article. Everything you covered has been buzzing around my head for the past couple of years. I kept wondering why all the old ‘tricks of the trade’ (metaphorically speaking) don’t work any more. I had arrived at the same conclusions and I want to say a big thank you for validating what I know to be true! It’s just so great to know that someone else out there gets it.
    Keep on dispelling the myths, I’m not sure you’re going to be popular with some of the big guns out there, it all rather undermines their brand of spirituality/self development. Blaze that trail!!!!

  2. Ok James, saddle up! I’m with you, buddy!

    Having been on the “Highway to Hell” more times than I can count, it’s pretty clear to me that suffering is part of the package deal. Purgatory sucks pretty bad, too-just waiting around, hoping that your life will begin-that’s not LIVING!

    Living is breathing in the stench of suffering and appreciating it just as much as the scent of roses. Talk about alchemy! Suffering is RIPE with opportunity. Love that you’re not preaching fluffy unicorns and pretty rainbows-there’s real grit in the “work,” and it’s worthwhile. Can we learn to appreciate the challenge? Perhaps even embrace/enjoy it?

    Good stuff, James. Glad I spent the time. Play on.

    1. Alissia,

      Living is breathing in the stench of suffering and appreciating it just as much as the scent of roses. Talk about alchemy! Suffering is RIPE with opportunity. Love that you’re not preaching fluffy unicorns and pretty rainbows-there’s real grit in the “work,” and it’s worthwhile. Can we learn to appreciate the challenge? Perhaps even embrace/enjoy it?

      Masterful! I have nothing to add as this says it perfectly. Thanks for being here; and keep appreciating. ~ JAR

  3. Powerful post James. I agree that all those things you talk about (vision boards etc.) are useful tools to take on the journey. Like taking a tyre iron, a spare wheel, some engine oil etc. if you’re going on a long car trip. It makes sense to bring along all that might help. But a tyre iron won’t get you there, right? As for suffering, I’m not so sure it’s a prerequisite to growing, but be ing able to deal with it is however. Being prepared TO suffer on occasion is part of that growth. So many turn back at the first hurdle because they are not willing to suffer.
    If we all look back on our lives we’ll see that the peaks led to troughs which led back to peaks again. Trouble is, from the perspective of the trough, it’s hard to see the next peak that’s coming. Keep up the insight James, I’m enjoying your thought process. 🙂

  4. James, I am ready!

    I’ve been waiting for you.

    Let’s do this,

  5. Its 12.15am in Australia. I just devoured your blog like a thirsty soul before I lay my head down and sleep in peace. With sincere gratitude I thank you for your honesty in sharing this truth that many seek but few find. It is a privilege to suffer for it is our opportunity to expand and reveal our true potential. After three months of testing, right now at the appropriate time your thoughts revealed ignites my enthusiasm for expansion, compliments my desire and realizes my destiny. Truly inspired mostly blessed.

  6. I must say, James, I found this really refreshing! I’m really fed up of the idea that any kind of discomfort means that you’re doing it wrong and that the whole path should be a non-stop skip through daisies. What if we used that approach with our toddlers? “Oh poor little honey, you just fell over. You’re obviously doing it all wrong! never mind, Momma will just carry you.”
    They’d NEVER learn to walk!
    It’s also refreshing to come across someone who’s prepared to say that true personal and spiritual growth takes a long time – a whole lifetime, in fact. You cannot get enlightened in a weekend seminar, no matter who’s taking it. Look at the apostles – they spent 3 YEARS with Jesus and come Good Friday, they still all lost it.
    I love the quote (supposedly) by Warren Buffett – “No matter how great the talent or the effort, some things take time; You can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.”

  7. James… Another great blog post! I surely get what you are saying here. A few years ago, I went through my 2nd divorce due to my inexcusable behavior. During the process of the divorce and the environment that surrounded it, I was suffering for several months. Definitely the worst of times for me up to this point. However, even during those times of pain, I saw the light at the end of that tunnel. I “knew” I was going to be a better person from the lesson it taught me. My point is, I now embrace the “rough ride.” It may be tough, but, I welcome it as it’s just part of the process and I will not resist. At least I will give it my best shot! Thank you, James for your work.

    1. Rock on Jim, I honor you. Time for a new age of honesty in my book. It’s time to take things up a notch. Much love ~ JAR

  8. thank you! awesome inspiring and logical as always.

  9. I am hearing you! I have said similar things to others about my life situation. After being on heavy psych drugs for over 14 years and now off of them (and doing very well, thank you!) I would not trade all those years of “suffering” for how I feel now. I HAD TO go through that to appreciate the now. I know I am not through with the bumpy ride but knowing I have done it once, it makes me look forward to what is in store for me. I feel I am learning to enjoy the burn much more than in times past. I have healer friends that tell me they can help me with my limiting beliefs and they have in the past, the thing is now I embrace the limiting belief and wrench every drop of experience/lesson out of it to use for later. I’m not saying I indulge in high risk behaviour but I do really look at what I am doing much more than before. As an added bonus I have a believable story to share.

    1. Cathy, written as one who knows. I honor your journey sweetheart. In Hermetics it states separate the spirituous earth from the earth with a gentle heat (burn?) and much attention. Keep the burn going Cathy, it purifies. ~ JAR

  10. Amazing how our insight has been magnified 1000 fold over the last four years. I am with you. Your journey is my journey. Traveling the path, we fall many times, the path is bumpy and full of pitfalls. I am learning that what I have gone through, loosing it all, like you, has been a magnificent learning experience. I found that my suffering is necessary to climb even higher. What I held as important, is not. What I looked at as my way, is not. Looking inside myself for the real truth of who I am is what is truly important. I am now more tuned into feeling the hurt and trouble of those I am surrounded by and this is giving me new insight into my path. Thank you James, for this series as it vocalize where I have been and it clarifies my path.

    1. My dear friend… when you know you know and the only way to know is to live. I honor you Wayne and love you dearly. Hope to see you soon ~ JAR

    1. I have struggled these past four years with depression, unemployment, and my past, culminating in a mental breakdown. It was the closet thing to suffering I have experienced. Never have I felt so scared and helpless in my life. However, as I look back, I am a better person, leader, father and husband having endured. I realized obtaining the elusive CEO or COO position is not what I want; this was only to show others (think father) I was successful. My desires are now discovering God and Jesus in a far different way than the church, appreciating my beautiful wife and children and plotting a course for the next chapter of my life in the service of others. All this through suffering. Over the past months reading your book and blogs, you are helping me through my journey…thank you James.


  11. Having participated in some of your programming BF, (Before the Fall) and knowing well some of the players, I’m still having trouble resolving my feeelings BUT…. there’s no denying that what you just said is true:

    “ultimately through this I found something buried within me that would have never been found otherwise. ”

    When I was in my twenties one of my mentors (Baba Ram Das) used to tell us that, “suffering is grace”. That was back in the ’70’s. It’s only taken 44 years for me to learn what he meant. The depth of one’s suffering will fuel the depth of one’s seeking within. It seems to me that this should be taught in schools as one of the Universal laws that rule reality.

    Namaste James,

    Jaroslav Waznee

  12. James, great insight as intended. I can honestly say I have grown more emotionally and spiritually the last 4 years of business and personal challenges than ever before. I have created my own relationship with our Creator and Jesus, realized the professional track I was on was not what I wanted and value my family more so than ever before. I know in my heart I am becoming the person I want to be versus expected to be. You have helped me greatly in my journey.


  13. “But there’s no secret sauce or magic pill. None. Ever. Anywhere.” …

    “Let’s get busy.”

    “The cause of all suffering is from not seeing life clearly, exactly as it is.” – Gautama Buddha

    In my experience, the only place to see clearly from is only and always and all ways in the present moment. Suffering is a good clue I am not being present. The conversation runs like, ‘this shouldn’t be this way’…. or ‘this isn’t fair’… and typically suffering is attached to some past memory that triggered the current situation where the subconscious runs the alarm system.

    Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. – Helen Keller

    The adventures are in the moment and as you say only when you are busy! The word that comes to mind that appears a little like suffering in the moment is…


    Will you or will you not? Not is suffering. We could call it a suffering knot.

    Thomas Aquinas wrote in a matter-of-fact way, “happiness is the end of life.” He did not say AT the end of life.

    Lack of happiness seems tied to suffering somehow. Perhaps, where we go in search of ‘happiness’ rewards us with much of the suffering we heap upon ourselves.

    Happiness is not something to be searched for; still less is it something you can make; it is only something you can receive, and become. – Gerald Vann

    I have spent a lot of time attempting to ‘make happiness’ without success. The ‘end’, the ‘happiness gift’ appears to be exactly where I do not want to go!

    Success stories are mostly myths and fables. The success I am interested in appears in those who are notoriously happy. Reading Mother Teresa’s memoirs suggests the requirement is,

    Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain. – Mark Twain

    I am an expert at covering up my fears with ‘looking good’, my own personal brand of peanut butter. It is called “I do not want to do that”, followed by expert excuses, opinions and plausible reasons.

    Where do I not want to go? What do I not want to do? I have avoided being a leader nearly always.

    To get to ‘notoriously happy’ I will have to be a leader, enjoy it and allow others to have fun also. Damn, it sure looks like suffering on this side however.

    Thank you James for this series. It has provided more insights than I can say. Have a great week!

    1. Michael, consider this. What if it’s only through suffering that we peel off the layers of BS and illusion. The constructs we create in our own minds; and at some point when we’ve suffered enough we just let go and really live? Something to ponder ~ JAR

  14. Hey James,

    First, LOVE your new look! You LOOK relaxed and happy and at peace with what IS.

    I like the reference to all the ‘magic pills’ on the market now too and it’s good to know that although it probably serves a purpose for some…. for myself, I’m way over it. I had a gut feeling way back when the Secret came out that there was an underlying movement like an MLM starting where for instance, Joe Vitale was offering all the guru advice techniques for quite a large amount of money and at the same time offering classes on ‘spreading his word’ on the internet?? Well, now it’s everywhere. Those same techniques in bits and pieces.

    Ultimately, it took GOING THRU IT for me to get past it. I guess those techniques may help one get thru it but they tend to promise that one can go AROUND the pain.

    Oh except of course if you paid $5,000 to ride in a Rolles Royce with a handful of gurus…..I think that would have guaranteed you a place to go around the pain… in a nice ride… HA ! KIDDING! but it was offered as a choice you know.

    Anyway, being happy in the mist of chaos ( find the humor) or not chaos is where it’s at.

    MAYBE THAT’S WHAT ‘GET SMART’ WAS TALKING ABOUT ALL ALONG! KAOS! HA! early lessons in life.. heck he even had a cell phone in his shoe! WAY ahead of his time!

    I personally believe heaven and hell are all relative to how one perceives what’s happening in their life in the moment…. and no I didn’t figure that out over night BY ANY means…. but I can say I’ve reached a place in my life where I have peace.

    Guess I finally GOT SMART and respectively the face of KAOS has forever changed from where I stand today.



    1. Stephanie, science tells us that we learn the most when we’re on the border of chaos and order. You may be on to something. Stay awake and Love Life ~ JAR

      1. always awake and yes we are always on to SOMETHING!

        Beauty of and reason for life.

        THANKS! for your diligence!

  15. I took the time to revisit and re-read your series on Alchemy…..and it’s causing little earthquakes of epiphanies throughout my core. I’ve been blessed, have suffered, and overcome many times, but still hold on to old beliefs causing similar reaction to similar situations. Your series is reminding me to let go and embrace rather than resist…to respond rather than react…and most importantly to flow over the bumps. I’m old enough to know the rewards of allowing and embracing, and older yet to know there is more to come. Loving your insight. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Sheila, as always I’m already working on next weeks post. Just a little preview that you’ll appreciate. The greater the resistance the greater the sleepwalker. Stay awake and Love Life ~ JAR

  16. Thank you, James. This resonates with me today. I’m not sure, though, if it answers my questions of late or if it brings up more. Probably both. Probably I should stop asking myself the questions.

    I keep typing and deleting entire paragraphs here which tells me I have some work to do around what’s causing me some angst at the moment. Thinking about it is bringing up anxiety even as I’m aware that thinking about it isn’t going to give me answers.

    “The only way beyond it is to go through it.”

    Right you are. And I know this so why can I not just “arrive”?

    1. Terry, because our purpose is not “too arrive.” I suggest you read Alchemy 3 again and reference the sole purpose of Universal Intelligence an Life itself. Much love ~ JAR

      1. And re-read it I did. Thank you, James. I can appreciate the reference to experience and expansion and if I look at my life in this moment that makes so much sense.

        Apparently I needed that because now I no longer wonder if I’m just being lazy or if I really am stretching myself too thin. It will work out for the greater good.

        So glad you knew to send me there. Thank you.

  17. There is always a fine line that is hard to define when you say “to roll up your sleeves and do the work,”. If you are having a hard time getting any kind of job or an income after years of a comfortable life.. Should you calm down and go with the flow.. that eventually could take you “into the pit of your own personal hell” or you get your butt over there and start scrubbing floors….
    You are really back!!! Thanks James.

  18. This article resonates with me. I have been surrounded by spiritual people in a state of denial. Everything is roses and something is wrong with you if you do not believe the same. I recently came to the conclusion to separate myself from the people of my spiritual center, as I realized I was dealing with toxic faith. I feel your passion in your writing. Welcome back, James!

  19. I love this. I believe it’s true that the “The greatest souls have always experienced the greatest suffering” I believe that universe has us to suffer, because the universe is evolving regardless if we chose to or not. In order to evolve with it, I think life puts us in circumstances to suffer so we can be closer to our true selves depending how much darkness is within us. I think by facing our suffering and allowing ourselves to go past it the reward is simply a sense of purification within as we deepen ourselves to who we truly are, so we can go forth and create what is truly desired for the good of everyone. What I just said reminds me of my favorite quote from the book “The Alchemist” is “The alchemists spent years in their laboratories, observing the fire that purified the metals. They spent so much time close to the fire that gradually they gave up the vanities of the world. They discovered that the purification of the metals had led to a purification of themselves.” I think following our “personal legends” as said in the The Alchemist, means following our purpose as we set on a journey with ourselves, facing our demons which may involve loss and letting go of many things(even what we believed). But I think this is only for a purification of ourselves causing us to become greater souls so we become more aligned with the universe.

    1. Someguy, “Separate the spirituous earth from the earth by means of a gentle fire, with much attention.” ~ Hermes in the Emerald Table. Something to ponder ~ JAR

  20. Hah. I told you to keep the hair and now people are complimenting you on it (like my suggestion really mattered). I love this post. I feel you are growing along with us. Yes, suffering….a natural part of life. I am in nursing school after 22 years as a financial planner. I hated being a financial planner, but it was easy, I made good money, I had a 5 bedroom, 6 bathroom house on 2 acres directly across from the country club. I cried every night and didn’t know why, but deep down, if I searched, I did. I love nursing and my other passion is art, so I am going to be doing something I love (nursing) in order to do something I love (paint). I have no bank account, I have no income, I now live in a garage apartment with basically 2 rooms (3 if you count the bathroom). I suppose I’m suffering, no cushy life any more, no trips to Vegas or overseas, but in December I’ll graduate and start again and that’s what I think life is all about. Starting over, then starting over, then starting over. We change, we continue to grow, so what we wanted then is not what we want now and so once again we start over. Isn’t life just the best ever!!!

    1. Ali, brilliantly stated… brilliantly! I think you’ll learn (as I have) that I’d much rather make meager money doing something meaningful (to me) then mega money doing something miserable. Nice job! ~ JAR

  21. Hi JAR,

    Nice article to keep move to pursue dreams, also liked your excerpts from Buddha’s teachings of Dukkha, I heard it as “Aseiye Dukkakhe Mula” i.e Wish is the source of sorrow.
    BTW, if wish itself is the source of sorrow as per Buddha then should one not wish?

    Best Regards,
    Lingesh S

    1. Lingesh, Here’s my take on it. We CANT help but wish. Buddha also said that the cause of all suffering is ungratified desire and YET even wanting to not desire is a desire. Right? So if we can stop being human (which we can’t) we would end our suffering (which we won’t) So we have to get wise enough to consciously choose our suffering. More to come ~ JAR

      1. Yeah true, being consciously on wishing is a continuous process, look forward for your further article.

  22. Sheesh! Talk about blind.. That’s me. I’ve been trying to avoid fear and suffering for at least 2 yrs. Need to face woehis. Character building. My tuning fork is on the wrong pitch. The universe has been trying to get my attention! Reading and digesting your blog has helped to calm my overactive “woe is me” mindset. I am blessed richly. This is just another step on the journey. Didn’t want to proceed any further. Existing not really living. I’m inspired. Thanks James. Cordially, James

    1. Jim, “woe is me” syndrome… been there done that have the scars to prove it. It’s human my friend be kind to yourself. This too shall pass. I”m here to serve and support ~ JAR

  23. I use the quote often and it probably was learned from you that “Experience is what you get when you aren’t getting what you want”. I too over the years have gained a great deal of experience and it is always refreshing to learn from those who have more as perhaps that is suffering I get to avoid as there is plenty to go around. I appreciate what you have been through and believe you are spot on regarding suffering as being part of the good not the bad of life as without it how can we truly appreciate anything?

    Just as you have stated in the past that the micro chasm is the reflection of the macro chasm and vice versus this same thing is going on in the earth as well as your life and our country etc… every level if you watch closely. I hope and pray that our focus moves more toward the awakening as through this level of suffering we are far better off than to live in the delusion of roses and wake up to find it is too late to heal.

    I appreciate what you are doing and let’s ride..


    1. David, I’m with you my friend. A friend of mine said to me at the outset of my crisis… “James you’ve always been a trailblazer. You’re going to go through what the rest of us in this country and world are going to go through but you’re going to do it first so you can guide us.” I didn’t want to heat that at the time… but now as I reflect I think she just might be right. Hang on my friend. I’m here to serve ~ JAR

  24. Hi James,
    I had to laugh out loud as I read this with incense burning in my Feng Shui’d office! Stage One you say? Apparently it is a long stage. Maybe it is like the mountain climbing analogy- if we spiral upwards we see the same view repeatedly but just from a higher vantage point?
    I am glad you are through your trial by fire and are purified. I never once doubted your intentions.
    Thank you for all you do.

    1. hey Steve, thanks for your support and belief in me. Yes, the fire is the greatest purifyer and that being said I hope and pray I don’t have to go through it again. Wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy–seriously. My experience is that stage one could take lifetimes and it could be quick, it really depends on us and what we’re willing to step up to. I appreciate you being here. Much love ~ JAR

  25. Just what I needed to read! Thanks James!
    I’m looking forward to whats next!

  26. Great blog, James, I am so there and am ready to BS O’meter is pegged from so much fluff ‘n stuff and I am ready to roll up the sleeves and dig in. Time to get real. Thanks, James! This is obviously resonating with so many of us who know the grit of the journey. Your blog hits the all the notes and i am so ready to do the work along side my fellow travelers! This is really good stuff.

  27. I read this at just the right time. Something happened at work today that left me feeling the victim. I needed this reminder. I am trying to get my own business up and going and have had no bites. I will keep on the road! By the way, I had dreamed of being mentored by you. I have the limiting belief i can’t afford it. Thanks for your blog.

    1. Larry, so happy to hear that. We all need a little reminder and inspiration from time to time. We ALL tend to overestimate what we can do in a year and underestimate what we can do in a decade. Stay the course my friend. if you’re doing what you love then you’re already a success! ~ JAR

  28. Thanks James once more.
    I know it sounds too cliche but that is exactly what I needed to hear (read), you just answered all the questions I had in my mind this morning! Amazing.

    I hope I have left Stage One behind, I Lost everything (everything literally) been through fire and I am actually am working like crazy now going through hell, and I hope too not having to go through it again, is it possible? Can we avoid going through hell once more?

    I feel more alive now that I have to work as never before and I enjoy this new experience, I only hope I am not falling in love with Hell (lol).

    Thank you James I am going to read this blog a couple of times more.

    1. Hector, actually falling in love with Hell is not such a bad idea. When we realize that in the midst of it is when (and only when) we truly find heaven then we embrace it all full-on. Not to say it doesn’t hurt, that we aren’t scared, that we don’t have fear… but we realize that those are ALL indicators that we are ALIVE truly alive! Keep going and keep the faith my friend ~ JAR

  29. As I was reading this post, I’ve got this feeling you’re telling us, NOW It’s time to decide: Do you wanna grow or not?!
    You said, it’s difficult and stated suffering is a choice!! So.. If I roll up my sleeves and wanna step forward, it means, I accept and choose to get more suffer, right?!
    And if I give the Universal Intelligence what it wants, which means further expression, experience and expansion, growth and trying to be in peace with it, then I get what I need (get the life I desire etc.), isn’t it?!
    During the week I tried to figure it out, if I didn’t try to change my feelings or deny them until now… Since I read you blog I know for sure, fighting is not the solution and I have to let the things go and let them be as they are… but I’m not sure if I’m ready or even graduated stage one but that’s for sure it’s better this way.
    So Let’s get busy
    Thanks for being with us

    1. Rosa… sometimes I fall into stage one as well. Fantasy dies hard. I think you’re on the right track from my experience. Stay the course ~ JAR

  30. It was about a year ago that I decided to really go after life. I had spent ten years being a stepdad and husband to come home from work to an empty house! Everything that made it a home had walked out the door. What had I been living for ? I had taken a job in the automotive industry in order to raise my families standard of living, only to be miserable at my job. I am proud to say that with the help of some amazing mentors, coaches, and friends I am on the path to bringing real purpose to my life. Although I’m not the full time parent I once was I am working my ass off to be grow my businesses and really elevate my state of consciousness. And like you touched on here, it took that crash in order for me to wake up and look at what I was doing with my life both professionally and personally. With all of that being said it would be an honor having you on my show Kick Ass Dad…passionate parenting In a volatile world. Or at least check it out on iTunes and leave a review! Awesome post, thank you for sharing!

  31. Excellent blog James. Wow, you have really been giving those that follow you a reality check. As a former “love and light” vizualization, affirmation, EFT, and whatever else I thought might work junkie, I really appreciate your hard hitting information. I’m finding that true transformation is messy, sometimes out of control, scary, occasionally miserable, and a whole plate of other “less than desirable experiences along the way. My girlfriend told me about “spiritual bypassers”, but I just didn’t get it for a long time, and thought she was being negative. I now recognize she was right. True transformation can get pretty rough. Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

  32. Thank you James for coming back and for your guidance. I appreciate what you have been through and I am grateful to you for showing me the right path and the power and love to stand up again.
    There are still so many moments in my life when I cannot simply embrace the bumpy ride. Sometimes I would just step down for a while… And then I read your book, your blog or your thoughts on FB. Thank you…Darja

    1. Darja, I know the feeling sweetheart. There have been many times (too many to count) that I felt that I just couldn’t take any more. But surprisingly I always did. Be kind to yourself sweetie–you’re human. And the human spirit is way stronger than we’ll ever realize. Keep the faith ~ JAR

  33. Hi James, I have lost my beloved cousin and I am going through hell for the last 3 months..Life became very is this suffering helpful?? what am I missing here? I have seen you in ‘The Secret’ and were looking for ‘something positive’. This post surprised can I learn from this pain? Many thanks

    1. Marika, first of all I’m terribly sorry for your pain and the loss of a loved one is NEVER easy. I will never attempt to minimize the amount of suffering you are going through… I understand as I have lost loved ones too and it hurts. It leaves a void. As I think you’ll agree no amount of “traditional positive thinking” or cliches will ever take away or change the pain. The first thing I suggest you do is allow yourself to feel the pain. I know the tendency is to run from it by “reading something positive” or attempting to suppress it or deny it in some way. The only way beyond it Marika is to go through it; and that’s the harsh and often hard to accept truth. There will be a time when we can discuss how you might benefit from this… but now is not the time. Now is the time to grieve and I encourage you to do so. I will just tell you though that through my own pain and suffering I’ve realized that when all things seem to be falling apart, they actually are also coming together on a greater scale. Much love sweetie, nothing I or anyone can say or do to make it easier, but I do know that you’ll get through this. Be kind to yourself and keep the faith. I hope this helps in some small way ~ JAR

  34. Thank you James. Everybody around me is supportive but wants me to be happy and back to my ‘old self’ and appreciate people I have in my life. It makes me feel guilty that my pain cause them pain..but it is just how I feel. Heartbroken. I would love to take a magic pill and don’t feel the pain anymore, not overthink the life and be scared (that I may lose more). I will allow myself more time ..thank you.

    1. Marika, we ALL feel this way. I too have wished for the magic pill and choked on it many times. The only way beyond it sweetie is to go through it. Keep the faith ~ JAR

  35. What!! I’ve been at Stage One for so long, trying to beleive it but never really feeling it was true! I wanted so badly to beleive that my vision board, clearing limiting beliefs, positive thinking and daily visualizations were all I needed that I’ve spent the better part of seven years really frustrated with little or no results, at least no meaningful ones. All the time though, I always felt there was something missing, it didn’t feel real. It’s comforting to feel understood, to feel it wasn’t just me being “negative”…Thank you James, this is just what I needed, a straight to your face wake up call,

    1. Leon! Get excited… you’re awake and realizing that there’s more; and believe me there is. Please note that all of the thing you mentioned have a time and a place, but in and of themselves are incomplete. The problem arises when we think the tool is a savior in and of itself and we think it will keep us from any pain, challenge or difficulty. These things are a part of Life. Please remember that the ONLY thing that is truly negative in my book is that thing which is resistant to development, advancement and growth. Hang in there my friend. You’ve taken the next step. I appreciate and honor you. ~ JAR

  36. As I sobbed in my kitchen only yesterday and wondered about how much easier it would have been if I had chosen a different path, I knew that through the darkness comes the light. Thank you for being a huge inspiration to me at the moment. I am re-reading Harmonic Wealth and it’s GOLD . I will ride out the latest storm and know that the rainbows will be worth the wait. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

    1. Melissa, I’ve sobbed with you many times. I’ve cursed my path and felt forsaken. I know those feelings sweetheart and my love and prayers go out to you. Keep the faith. Much love ~ JAR

  37. The beauty of it all is to be with it all and just keep walking with an open heart in presence to the best of your ability…even when it feels like you can’t do it. It becomes easier to be comfortable with the discomfort and you will get to a point where you can even chuckle and lighten what feels like darkness. Being aware that you know very little about what you think you know and having faith that all is in divine order somehow. The limits of my sanity were tested for sure and at times still are. Above all I know spirit, universe, God, life, love are one with me and all is well.

  38. This post has me BUZZING! I am so grateful to have become a part of this community (with of course your insights and knowledge, JAR, and the very valuable comments from all: Ali Britt, and Stuart, and Wayne Parker, and Michael Eisbrener, and the others). I feel as though I’m back in school, and look forward to the late quiet of the evenings when I can take a break from my own work to be inspired and further awakened by yours, JAR. I’m getting into the habit of keeping my notebook and pen nearby, and the dictionary too, so that I can delve deeper into these important words you speak.

    I can’t say what level I am at, or on, or where I am headed, only that it is not the one I was on before. Things are truly different now for me now, as if things are coming into focus, as if I was living a dream, and have woken up. I’m still digesting the last blog on the Demon of Fear, whom I have known well and long, and even called by name. And now we move forward. Ever forward. I have always loved the quote: “That which does not kill us makes us stronger”- Friedrich Nietzsche But I am only now beginning to know its true implications. I love many of the quotes contained herein, as well, but I won’t waste your time or mine repeating them now. Another day for quotes, perhaps.

    All I can say is that I feel as though I am filling a grande pool. I am beginning to get wet, but I’m not submerged yet. I will continue to move through this series (though I came in later than most of you), and then go back and start on the “Fantasy Series” – it seems I might need some help in that area… ;} And follow the current stuff as well. And …I am looking forward to reading Harmonic Wealth (when I can get a hold of a copy) (I wonder if the rest of you here have read it; I know some have). …And your other work James, as I am certain it all has value and deep meaning…. likewise the books you refer to, which I will also read if I haven’t already, so that I may be more informed, more clear, better able to give feedback ,and more able to be a valuable member of this very special community. Thanks James…and the rest of you too! With much love always ~ Lori

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