As is evident from the word itself, empowerment has to do with power. Which sounds like something that’s nice to have, right?
And so it is. Power over others is an illusion, but power over yourself, your circumstances, your life and your life experience – that’s a definite plus.
Contents of This Article (Clickable Table of Contents)
- 1 The Truth
- 2 Empowerment and the Truth
- 3 The Truth about What, Exactly?
- 4 Definition of Empowerment
- 5 A Strange Take on Empowerment?
- 6 Knowing – and Living – the Truth about You
- 7 Okay, So What IS the Truth about Us and Life?
- 8 But … Most of Us Feel Disempowered
The thing is, though, that you already have that power.
Odds are, however, that you’re not aware of it, because most people aren’t.
Which is why …
The single most important thing in personal empowerment is the truth.
Realizing the truth of how things really are, making this truth YOUR truth, and living your life accordingly – that’s empowerment!
Empowerment and the Truth
This makes things incredibly simple:
• If you know and live the truth you’re empowered.
• If you do not know and live the truth you’re disempowered.
Which also means:
• If you’re feeling disempowered, it’s because you do not know and/or live the truth.
It does NOT mean, however, that everybody who is feeling empowered knows and lives the truth. It’s quite possible to feel and/or believe that you’re empowered without actually being empowered (the obvious example being power mongers).
Just like it’s possible – and extremely common – to feel disempowered without actually being disempowered.
Are you still with me?
Obviously, the next question must be …
The Truth about What, Exactly?
So. Which truth are we talking about here? Well …
Personal empowerment stems from knowing – and living – the truth about you … and the truth about other people, the world, life, the universe and everything.
(Yeah, just that. That’s all we’re talking about).
Or, to put that differently:
The truth of how things really are.
Or, to put that in a further, different way:
The truth about reality. The truth that IS reality.
(We’ll get back to what, exactly, that truth is in just a moment; for now I’d just like to make clear how simple things are).
If you know and live this truth, you’re empowered, and if you don’t, you’re not.
In fact, it’s not an either-or proposition, it’s more like a scale or a stairway: the more you realize and live the truth of that-which-is, the more empowered you’re going to be.
It doesn’t get much simpler than that … All it takes is for you to establish what the truth about you and life actually is. (Which you can totally do!). And then live that truth (which is a challenge, but also absolutely doable). And you don’t have to do it all at once; baby steps are fine, too.
Power Over Others Is an Illusion
Remember how, in the second paragraph of this article, I said that power over others is an illusion?
Since there is such a thing as power mongers, and worse since these power mongers typically use fear, intimidation and even physical and psychological violence to gain more power, perhaps we should address that here, while we’re talking about the truth.
Well, the somewhat challenging truth is that power mongers are weak and scared and trying to make up for that by chasing a red herring (power), and they have no power over you. Unless you play along.
No, really, this is the truth. Nobody can ever put you down, order you around or intimidate you without your permission and cooperation. They NEED you to play along. If you do not, power mongers have no power over you.
Why? Because we all have free will. No-one can make you be or do anything, ever. Unless you consent.
Ultimately, in a worst case scenario, a power monger may torture and kill you and everyone you know, but they cannot make you do as they want unless you agree to do so. And you most emphatically do not have to agree.
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
~ Anna Eleanor Roosevelt ~ (1884-1962), American human rights activist, political figure, First Lady (the longest serving, ever, as the wife of US President Franklin D. Roosevelt), diplomat and United States Delegate to the United Nations General Assembly from 1945 to 1952.
Definition of Empowerment
So, here’s my definition of personal empowerment:
Personal empowerment = knowing and living the truth – about you and about life.
A Strange Take on Empowerment?
Now, I realize this is a somewhat unusual take on the subject of empowerment.
(But if you’ve been reading other articles on this website, such as this one (part one), or this one (part two) or this one (part three), by now you should be used to me having an unusual perspective and telling you weird and mind-blowing things, as well as showing you how even the biggest and seemingly most complicated of pictures is actually fairly simple and straightforward. Wrapping our heads around these new ways of looking at things is another matter).
Usually when discussing empowerment, both on a personal and a collective level, there’s a lot of talk about:
– knowing one’s rights, and claiming one’s rights
– gaining control, including taking control of one’s circumstances and controlling one’s life
– gaining and having an equal share of resources
– gaining power and exercising that power
– setting goals and taking action to achieve those goals
– moving away from a deficit-oriented towards a more strength-oriented perception
– help oneself and others to maximize the quality of their lives
… and many other such expressions. Big, fat books have been (and are still being) written on the subject. Which is all well and good, but (to repeat) my take is a lot simpler:
Personal empowerment = knowing and living the truth – about you and about life.
All of the nice and interesting things from the list above – like for example autonomy, responsibility, control, power, strength and quality of life are actually INCLUDED in my definition … Because those are the things that you experience when you know and live the truth about yourself and life.
In fact, those are the things that ARE ALREADY SO, right now, for all of us. Only we don’t know that, and so we don’t believe it, live it or experience it. And so those nice things – or some of them – aren’t manifest in our lives; perhaps they do not even seem real to us.
Isn’t it time to change that?
Knowing – and Living – the Truth about You
Realizing and living the truth about yourself plus life, the universe and everything probably seems like a tall order, right? Well, my suggestion would be to just start with what’s at hand: yourself.
The interesting thing is, that once you realize the truth about who you really are, you’ve simultaneously realized the truth about life, the universe and everything. Why? Because ultimately there is no difference – you and everything else is one and the same.
You can call that one all-encompassing thing whatever you like. I like to call it consciousness. Everything, including you, me and the universe, is consciousness.
The way I see it, you can realize the truth of this in one of (at least) two ways:
A) The hard (and confusing) way … which is studying theoretical physics, particularly quantum field theory and quantum mechanics in general. And then relating all of that to yourself, life and everything.
B) The easy and simple way … which is going on inner journeys in consciousness with the explicit purpose of realizing the truth about yourself and life. Provided you’ve gotten reasonably clear of old traumas and don’t hold too many limiting beliefs, you will surely find all the answers you’re looking for on inner journeys.
Alternatively (or additionally) you can also realize the truth by doing wholesale letting go – meaning that in a single session you (temporarily) let go of absolutely everything you possibly can – your thoughts, your feelings, your needs, your beliefs, even your physical body and everything else, too – and then see what happens. What happens is, of course, that once you’ve let go of absolutely everything that can be let go, what’s left is the truth. Reality. That-which-is. Who you really are. Which is consciousness.
Okay, So What IS the Truth about Us and Life?
Again, simple, and you’ve already read it here several times:
Both you, I and life, the universe and everything = consciousness.
Another couple of words for consciousness are beingness and awareness.
And yet another few words for consciousness, beingness and awareness are reality, truth, wholeness, life and that-which-is.
Ergo, just so we’re clear, here:
Consciousness = beingness = awareness = (absolute) reality = truth = wholeness = oneness = life = that-which-is = the whole shebang.
(And all of that probably = the quantum field).
This is big, I know. It’s as big as it gets.
Which is okay, because we’re going to break it down into smaller bits in just a moment.
Who Is Powerful? All of Us!
The fact that we are all consciousness means, of course, that we are all one, but it also means that you are the universe, you are life. (That’s a pretty powerful thing to be, in fact, it’s as powerful as it gets).
This does not mean that you get to lord it over everyone else, because everyone else is the same as you – equally powerful.
The Fail-safe (Very Clever)
Neither you, nor I, nor anyone else gets to manifest much of all that power, though, at least not until we realize on every level of ourselves (and not just, say, intellectually) the truth of how things really are.
Which is a built-in fail-safe, because nobody who has fully realized the truth (so-called spiritually enlightened people) has the slightest interest in abusing their power. (If they do, they’re not actually spiritually enlightened, but rather still more or less driven by their ego, and so they don’t actually have all of that power).
To put all of that differently, you don’t get all the power of the universe until your consciousness is mature enough to wield it. As fail-safes go this is pretty brilliant.
This is not an all-or-nothing proposition, though, it’s more like a gradual process:
The more you realize and live the truth, the simpler, easier and more joyful everything gets for you.
Which is nice, considering the fact that if you’re reading this then you’re already on the way. It’s also, of course, motivational – spurring you on to realizing and living ever more of the truth.
The Big Picture, in Smaller Parts
Remember how I promised we’d break the big picture where consciousness = beingness = awareness = (absolute) reality = truth = wholeness = oneness = life = that-which-is = the whole shebang down into smaller bits? Well, this is how it is:
Consciousness/beingness/awareness/reality/truth/wholeness/oneness/life/that-which-is/he whole shebang = one big consciousness unit which contains many smaller consciousness units, each of which in turn contain many smaller consciousness units, etc., etc., etc.
Okay? Are you still with me? This is a lot like nested Chinese boxes or Russian matryoshka stacking dolls, only much bigger, more integrated-ly whole (based on the holographic principle) and on steroids.
Because each consciousness unit doesn’t just contain one smaller consciousness unit, it contains countless smaller consciousness units, each of which contains countless smaller consciousness units, each of which again contains countless smaller consciousness units, and so on ad infinitum (to infinity).
You are one such smaller consciousness unit, as am I and everyone else.
Life and the Universe Is Like a Hologram
To put it in plain English:
Life, the universe and everything is like one big hologram of consciousness. The fun and interesting thing about holograms is that every part of the hologram contains ALL of the information in the hologram.
Meaning that if you cut a hologram with, say, a photo of a bird in a tree, into two pieces, both of those two pieces contain the whole picture of the bird and the tree.
And if you cut those two pieces of the hologram into 10, 20 or 30 smaller pieces, it’s still the same – ALL of the information of the entire hologram will be contained in each of the smaller pieces – you can see the bird and the tree in every single piece.
How a Holographic Universe Relates to You
YOU are a part of life, a part of the universe, right? As am I. As is everyone else. Well, since life and the universe is like one big hologram of consciousness, ALL of us humans contain ALL of the information in life, the universe and everything. And you can verify this any time you want, simply by going on the previously mentioned inner journeys.
Why, how is this possible? Because YOUR consciousness is part of the big (huge) consciousness that is life and so can access ALL of consciousness, any time you choose. As can mine. (Again, please remember that everything is consciousness).
So, granted, we may not actually understand all the information that we can access, but the main point is that we CAN access any information we want and need, including for example the meaning of life, or the necessity and power of
a playful attitude, or the non-necessity of playing drama games, or whatever else takes your fancy.
Truthfully, this is how I get the information that I am presenting here on www.sorenlauritzen.com – I simply access the bigger consciousness through my own, smaller consciousness.
But … Most of Us Feel Disempowered
Now you know the truth of how things really are – at least intellectually (you’ll probably need to realize it experientially, too, though). Most people, however, do not know the truth. They’re disempowered, or rather, they feel disempowered and experience being disempowered. Why?
Because they’ve been brought up to believe a boatload of misunderstandings and live their lives accordingly. They’re living a lie (or more precisely, a ton of lies).
Is this intentional or not? Is there an “evil” (egocentric, power-mongering and ruthless) elite somewhere, intent on keeping the vast majority of people ignorant, scared, disempowered and easy to control? I have no idea, I don’t care, and it doesn’t matter.
Why? Firstly, because as mentioned, people who behave like that (power mongers) are actually some of the most deluded and disempowered of all (that’s why they behave like that); and secondly, because as far as YOU and your empowerment are concerned all that matters is that you realize and live the truth. This has nothing to do with anybody else, just you.
The fact is that pretty much all cultures on Earth promote beliefs and habits that disempower people because those beliefs and habits don’t correspond with the truth of how things really are.
Examples of Cultural Misunderstandings (and Lies)
We’re told, for example, that what’s important is that others love us – not true (once we’re adults). In fact, the important thing is that we love ourselves and others.
We’re told that physical matter (including our physical bodies) is primary and consciousness is a byproduct – not true. In fact, just the opposite is true.
We’re told by popular culture that “the truth is out there” – not true. The truth is inside of ourselves.
We’re told that, say …
– “good looks”
– material possessions
… are terribly important – not true. Those things are red herrings.
What is actually important is our life experience, which again points to our consciousness.
We’re told that our needs are endless and insatiable – not true. We just need to realize exactly what “enough” is (and it’s always a lot less than we thought) and stick to that.
Yep. The list goes on and on … and on.
All of these misunderstandings (and lies) are terribly disempowering, so getting rid of them will be empowering.
How to Fix Misunderstandings
We’ve been fed a lot of lies, and it’s a sad state of affairs, yes, but it could be easily remedied. Starting with me and you.
What we’ll want to do is replace the misunderstandings with the truth. Starting with the most important and biggest areas (where the truth will empower us the most), and then moving on down as necessary.
This truth-finding process is as simple as deciding to question and let go of what you thought you knew – your cultural programming and beliefs. Particularly what you believe and think you know in these areas: who you are, what life is, what reality is and what consciousness is.
After that, you might want to move on with areas such as love, inner peace, happiness, trust, awareness, playfulness, creativity, relationships, work, ego, fear and death.
For each area where we let completely go of a misunderstanding we get more empowered.
Once you’ve let completely go of a cultural misunderstanding or belief you don’t even have to replace it, because whatever is left in the area where you let go completely will be the truth. You may also try to let go of the truth (and please by all means do so!), but all you will get by doing so is more truth.
This makes things fairly easy and straight forward. Just three steps.
1. Questioning, making conscious and evaluating your automatic choice-making (a.k.a. your old, subconscious programming). To evaluate, just ask yourself if the programming is helping you get the life experience you want and prefer.
2. Consciously letting go of most of that programming to realize the truth (that-which-is), which will be apparent in each area of life once you’ve let (completely) go of the old programming in that area. Obviously, if there’s some of the programming that’s actually more or less giving you the experience you want, you might choose to keep it as is, or alter it to make it even better.
3. Actually living the truth in practice. This is what I call life alchemy, but which may also be called lifestyle design, conscious life design, or just life design. If you’ve been on an inner journey, particularly if it’s a big one with implications for many areas in your life (e.g. one facilitated by a large dose of consciousness-opening medicines / entheogens / psychedelics), this is the stage of your process that’s called integration. Either way, just take one step at a time and you’ll do and be fine.
Good luck with your own process of personal empowerment!