Why Do You Do What You Do?

“Fear not the path of truth for the lack of people walking on it.”

~ Arabic Proverb

Last week we introduced the concept of Innate Ability Development™ (IAD), and I promised that we would begin exploring the details of how this concept is differentiated (at least in my mind) from the traditional spiritual and personal development approaches.

Now, if you’ve been reading me for any amount of time, it probably comes as no surprise to you that we’ll need to start with principles before we get into practices. While both are important… I submit that practices without the foundation of principles is a large part of the overarching problem.

Let me give you an example…

Let’s just talk business and finance for a moment just because it’s so measurable and tangible. If you were to go to Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Donald Trump, Mark Cuban, Oprah, Martha Stewart and Richard Branson… and ask them how to be “successful” you would most definitely get six different answers on practice and process. Gates would talk about inventing and innovation, Buffett on investing, Oprah would talk about entertaining, Trump about “doing deals.”

Very different answers, right?  So why is it that so many personal and spiritual development approaches propagate the theory that you must only do “this thing” and then you’ll get “that result?” That philosophy really doesn’t even hold water when you stop and think about it… does it?

Now you might think I’m generalizing… and possibly to some degree I am. But if you’re honest, you’ll have to admit there are a lot of processes that at minimum infer that “this is the way.” Here is where we must draw a sharp differentiation between principles, processes and practices.

Now, let’s go back to the same people and ask them a different question, “Why do you do what you do?” And you’ll most likely get similar if not identical answers. I know for a fact that you will from some of them… because I’ve personally met and spoken with them.

I was blessed to share a stage with both Trump and Branson several years ago in Toronto, Canada. Branson stated, “I’ve never done anything thinking about making money… I’ve just always asked, ‘am I going to have fun?’” Likewise in his book “Art of the Deal” Trump stated, I never did what I’ve done to make money… I just love doing deals. Finally I heard Branson in a more recent interview state, “The greatest entrepreneurs don’t set out to make a lot of money… they set out to do something, or to make something, better in life.” Need I say more?

Life is not about making money… it’s about meaning.

Do you want to know more about how meaning and purpose are everything? Read it here.

But I’m ahead of myself.

My point is that all top achievers with very few (if any) exceptions think and feel in a certain way prior to any action. There’s an underlying philosophy that determines all practices, processes and actions. So here’s IAD principle number one:

  • Principles and philosophy must precede practice.

As a result, there are a few philosophical tenants that I’d like to explore… let’s lay a foundation from which to build; and I suggest that you try them on for yourself and see if they fit.

To do this, I’m going to invite you to take a journey with me back into the history of our species; and the prevailing mindset that existed during certain Era’s.

I think you may find this as enlightening as I do as to why/how we are where we are today. Many thanks and homage to the pioneers who have explored this path before me… including two of my personal heroes and mentors Ken Wilber, and Joseph Campbell (although we’ve never met except through the written word).

We are on the edge of one of the five or six 

major transformations of the human species 

~ Ken Wilber

Are you ready?

After the last Ice Age (approximately 10,996 BCE to 8830 BCE) Homo sapiens began replacing the Neanderthals as late hunters and gatherers from the Eastern Mediterranean; and later into Germany and Denmark. In astrology (which pre-dates astrology by the way), this was known as the Age of Leo in contrast to the much heralded Age of Aquarius in which we now reside.

As this age advanced, the hunters of Europe were fashioning statuettes of a fertility “goddess,” but the worship of animals and the hunt appear to have been the dominant form of spiritual expression. Nature was God because it provided sustenance.

Now you may be thinking, “James, what the hell does this have to do with me today? How can this help my personal and spiritual fulfillment? How can these facts help me grow my business? And my answer is, “Way more than you can ever imagine my friend. And I mean way more!” Stick with me.

Historical findings show us that the tribal “hero-king,” who was often killed in the hunt by ferocious animals, was venerated as a god (and often eaten) along with the slain animal. Studies of indigenous cultures throughout history prove that it was believed that anything you consumed became part of your constitution. In many shamanic traditions when you eat a certain animal, you digest and integrate its power. The same principle would be true of the almighty hero-king.

Actually they were intuitively correct about ingesting energies. With our current understanding of energy… we know that everything is fundamentally the same, the only differentiation being frequency and vibration. Something to ponder.

In today’s world I’m sure you’ve heard it said, “You are what you eat.” I could talk about this one for days—and possibly will in one of our conversations—but that’s not our purpose right now.

More importantly, the hero whose life is sacrificed for the survival and salvation of his people is, without any doubt whatsoever, one of the earliest gods of the prehistoric pantheon.

Please read that short paragraph again, ponder deeply, and let it sink in. It’s only two and a half lines long… but miles deep when properly comprehended.

Now I’m curious… does this prehistoric concept sound at all familiar? Maybe even just a little bit limbic brain? Hmmm, I wonder?

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; eat; this is my body.”                                                          

~ Mark 14:22

Well now… isn’t that just coincidental! And… some tens of thousands of years later into our current Era! Or, maybe not.

Go into most any Catholic mass, or traditional Christian ritual, and you’ll realize that pre-historic cannibalism and mythology, at least metaphorically, is alive and well.

Actually, I think that just might be enough to rock your world for this time. Assuming that is… that you’re open-minded; and really thinking. And it just might give you something to ponder for a lifetime.

And please oh please, as always… don’t take my word for it. Do your own research on the above. That is if you care and dare.

In our next edition we’ll continue our historical journey; and I promise… if you’ll stick with me and keep your mind open… you just might learn why we are where we are in our collective consciousness on the globe today.

Why is this important? Why should you care? Let me give you another example…

Think about this… when you go into a large mall and you need to find a certain store. Let’s say it’s Nordstrom’s. You must first find the map with the big red X that states “you are here.” Then, and only then, are you able to effectively move forward and fulfill the purpose for which you came.

Now I’m curious… is there a metaphor here? Oh yes… I think there is.

Stay awake and Love Life,

james arthur ray


16 Responses

  1. James-

    I just love how you lend context to our current understanding and your grasp on historical references. I found this post really juicy-like a slab of prime rib. Are you a vegetarian? 🙂

    I’ve read this post several times over now to, ah-hem, “digest” it, and I know it still warrants a great deal of contemplation. What strikes me is the parallel between modern day ritual and prehistoric worship, as well as the concept of self-sacrifice in the name of the whole. In today’s rugged individual, what’s in it for me-laden society, I find this point particularly poignant. You’ve definitely shifted my paradigm a bit this morning. Thank you for that.

    We are what we eat. Glad I bit into this today.

    1. Alissia! LOL LOVE how you continue the metaphor you sassy young lass! Thanks so much for having breakfast with me. Digest away young lady. And no… I”m not a vegatarian but I do my best to stay away from red meat. If you’ve seen anything about the energy state our cattle leave this world in I just don’t want to put that vibration in my body. Right or wrong I don’t think that fish have as much fear. Much love ~ JAR

  2. Clear thoughts about getting to where you want. You do have to be very clear on where you are starting from. Thanks for the reminder.

    1. Yes Bill, I agree. The problem as I see it with many in personal and spiritual development is that they’re sitting in front of Taco Bell and recanting that they’re at Nordstrom (to continue with the same metaphor). Only when you know where you are can you know what needs to be done to get where you’re going. This is called Creative Tension. Much love ~ JAR

  3. Hey James thanks for the lesson!

    Loved the map example, I think that is so fundamental and can be applied to several things in our life that we shouldn’t go without ponder on that twice at least.

    Even if you ask all those people you mention where in the map are they, each one will point a totally place in the map as well. So that is why I think that´s the first thing we need to define before going any further.

    On the other side, definitely we are what we eat, and if we were more conscious of what we eat our health would be much better at all levels, physically, mentally and spiritually speaking.

    Thank you for this lesson and I am looking forward for the next.

    Please keep sharing with us your thoughts and have a wonderful week, dear James.


  4. When I was learning how to operate a nuclear power plant aboard my first submarine, I was required to know ‘why’ centrifugal pumps versus a direct displacement pump and dozens of other math problems. The path of hundreds of design ‘whys’ expected me to achieve some kind of understanding. Many of the ‘whys’ were subterfuge. Why Westinghouse did it differently than General Electric was not useful. Human today think those folks from five hundred plus years ago who believed the sun revolved around a flat earth were somehow ignorant or stuck in myth. However, just ask anyone if the sun rises in the east and sets in the west to discover how powerful that myth is.

    We are at the edge of the next transformation. The coming chrysalis will significantly alter everyone who makes the trip. The most recent neuroscience and cognitive science research says we caterpillars believe:

    In a myth our attitude or state of mind influences or causes the way we act…
    In a myth our feelings or emotions influence or cause the way we act …
    In a myth our body sensations influence or cause the way we act…
    In a myth our decisions influence or cause the way we act…

    I hope people haven’t spent too much money on subliminal and similar guru offerings…. Yup, the sun rises in the east and sets in the west… [NOT]

    What does influence the way we act? What is it that makes any difference??? … I am sure you are going share with us what you know works.

    Breakdown precedes breakthrough. Always and all ways!!!! What is coming is HUGE! What’s coming will be astrological!!! That we will all participate, one way or some other is quite a privilege. The eye of the needle forces each of us to unload everything to enter.

    It takes seven years for every cell to have new programming…. I am up for a shorter version.

    1. Yes Michael… as Wilber states we are on the precipice of something outrageous and beautiful. Do you feel it? Interesting I was just writing this morning… “The eye of the new needle is a passage way that causes us all to completely unload to enter.” We are one ~ JAR

  5. James, from what I got after reading this blog a couple of times, you make 3 points. The one that really resonates with me is the last point made. WE must know where we are at, before take a journey to where WE want to go.

    I am truly excited for where the global consciousness is headed. There will be bumps along the way, but that’s part of the Grand Adventure!!
    Again, great stuff, Brother! We look forward to your next entry……


  6. Thank you for the historical journey leading me right up to Sunday’s mass (not that I attend mass)…but I’m sure the rituals are still there. =) Excellent blog and the philosophy is something I can really sink my teeth into. Philosophy and principle are a HUGE part of achieving a meaningful and successful life…I think I’m picking up on your riff here. I am in LOVE with this blog series…a great appetizer for next week… ~Maria

  7. This is interesting. However, I’m not sure where the connection between ‘ingesting’ and “why we do what we do” is. I like the part about the great entrepreneurs doing what they do simply because they are compelled to, rather than being money grubbers. I personally don’t think anyone could get anywhere or stay anywhere of significance or value without having a love and a passion for what they do, in and of itself. Having said that, I will go back a reread this blog, but I have many others to get to in order to catch up with you. So, I will leave it at that. By the way James, have you read The Science of Getting Rich? I’m sure you must have. In it he speaks of “thinking in a certain way…and then acting on it;” Very interesting for all of us to ponder, I’d say. 🙂 Thanks for the posts (all of you – very interesting) 🙂 LADR

    1. Lori, I’ve read Wattles more times than I can count. Used to do a 3 day event of SGR in the past; and have a copy of it sitting on my desk right now. Much love ~ JAR

  8. Ah… I figured as much. You’ve probably got James Allen near bye too. As a Man Thinketh

    1. Lori, James Allen is one of my favorite authors and I’ve read every single book he ever wrote. Good reads! ~ JAR

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