James Arthur Ray
Aligning Three for Three
By Donna Strong
The Secret has captivated the collective imagination, serving as a
considerable catalyst on the ancient principle of like attracting like. Through
the explosion of media fanfare surrounding this work, James Arthur Ray has
emerged as one of the leading lights on living abundantly. He is forging ahead
to present his own work on Harmonic Wealth around the globe. James is a potent
facilitator, showing that we all have vulnerabilities that are actually keys to
developing our true strength and living well. His first book, The Science of
Success was published in 1998. In January 2008, Hyperion will publish his second
book, Harmonic Wealth: The Secret of Attracting the Life You Want. We are
fortunate to share our dialogue with James on the popular subject of abundance.
Awareness: Having read your book, I was most taken by the story of a special package you received at a painful turning point.
James Arthur Ray: Well I was really having some very difficult times financially, and I was going to leave San Diego and go someplace less expensive to live. So at the lowest of lows, I received a really big envelope in the mail from a dear friend of mine in St. Louis. He had heard through the grapevine of the challenges I was going through. All kinds of things were in the envelope, his daughter drew me a picture and colored it, and he wrote me a long letter. At the end of the letter he said, “Just remember that you’re blessed and God’s delays are not God’s denials.” When I read that, it just hit home and I knew he was right. I had really allowed myself to get sucked into self-pity, limiting beliefs and self-doubt — all those things that just perpetuate themselves. That’s when I started turning things around.
So it was a wake-up call and I started contacting people and genuinely asking them, “How can I help you? How can I provide value? What’s going on in your life? How can I assist you in achieving what you choose to achieve for yourself?” That’s how I built my business, by truly focusing on providing as much value as possible in service to everyone I interact with. At the end of that year I looked back across the most phenomenal year of my life to see how much I had grown and expanded.
Awareness: Fabulous. So you really know this from the inside out!
James: You know I’m fond of telling my personal experiences, because I’ve screwed up so many times. Sharing these lessons with people provides hope and inspiration to say, “Hey, here’s a guy who never had a silver spoon in his mouth.” I had a very insecure childhood and some really tough lessons in life, but I wouldn’t change an ounce of it.
Part of what I teach now is that most of us are really good at looking back on life situations to say, “Oh, I learned so much. I grew so much. I catapulted forward.” Rather than looking back, mastery is about learning to face life situations in the moment and asking, “What can I learn from this? How can I grow from this? What gift is this giving me?”
Awareness: It reminds me of a striking example; pun intended, from your book about the baseball player, Babe Ruth. He had a record not only for home runs but strikeouts.
James: I know this about top achievers, and Babe Ruth is a great example. I have been very blessed in my business and in my life, and I have also “screwed up” a lot. I put “screwed up” in quotation marks because in the ancient traditions of esoteric thought, it is also called a Philosopher’s Stone or a metaphor for enlightenment. The Philosopher’s Stone is always, always, found in a pile of dung. So the message is that the devil in your life is actually God in disguise. Mastery is about recognizing it in the moment. It’s through challenges in life that we grow and expand.
Awareness: It is so true; we realize our greatest strengths when we commit to a course of action to meet life’s challenges.
James: Yes, so here’s my philosophy, take big bold action, screw it up and fix it faster than you can try to figure out how to do it perfectly. Because no matter how perfectly you try to figure it out and get all your ducks in a row, I mean, ducks don’t get in a row. They don’t. It will never work out exactly as you planned, no matter how perfect the plan. So again, I want to screw up fast. I know, Donna, that fate favors the bold and it’s not about being imprudent. I’m going to make the best decision that I know with the information I have right now, get moving, and then adjust it along the way.
Awareness: Sounds brilliant to me. Let me ask about the principles of the universe as you see it.
James: There are fundamental principles and laws that operate in our universe. With the success of The Secret nowadays, the unfortunate situation is that a lot of people, including the press and media, are attempting to force fit the entire universe into the law of attraction. You can’t do that.
When I wrote my Science of Success book back in 1998, I listed the seven laws that govern the universe, and the law of attraction, quite frankly, isn’t even a law. It’s a subset of the law of vibration, but there are six other laws that govern the universe. When you understand and align with the laws, you succeed and build a harmonic and wealthy life. However, when you are out of alignment with them, then you create the opposite.
These laws are the overarching guidance of the third dimensional universe, and principles are how we operate on a daily basis. I think one of the most important principles is that of intention or vision. It’s ironic, but very few people really achieve a fraction of what they’re capable of because they really don’t know what they want to get out of life. Most people tell me what they don’t want. “Well I don’t want to be broke, I don’t want to lose my job, and I don’t want to be fat.” Well, that’s what they don’t want.
There’s a principle in this universe, and quantum physics now proves this to be true, that energy flows where attention goes. So if you’re constantly focusing your attention or worrying about what you don’t want, you’re going to create and attract more of it! So a very powerful principle that I teach individuals is to get absolutely clear around what I called “vision” in my Science of Success book. Now I use the term “intention,” but it’s the same. We’ve got to be really specific and most people have attention-deficit disorder when it comes to creating what they desire and deserve, and they have attention surplus when it comes to putting their attention upon what they don’t want, and consequently they attract more of that.
Awareness: Yes, it is an ample resistance to our good! And behind that, I think, is a sense of not feeling worthy.
James: Yeah. That’s probably one of the most common epidemics that I run into as I teach around the world. A lack of self-worth manifests in many different ways. Some people demonstrate lack of self-worth by being really meek and intimidated and they won’t ever take the action. They continually sell themselves short of their potential because of low self-worth. Others demonstrate lack of self-worth by being very brash and domineering, so you think, “That person has a huge ego.” Typically the person is very insecure inside.
So this lack of self-worth is an epidemic and it drives all kinds of results in life. Even some business magistrates, for instance, are able to make tons of money, but then they lose it, teetering on the edge of bankruptcy time and time again. I’ll put myself in this group.
Twice on the edge of bankruptcy, I lived on vision sandwiches and faith cookies for acouple of different times in my life. For a large portion of my existence I struggled with low self-esteem and self-worth. In retrospect, I would both bully and discipline myself into some grand achievement. Yet I was rooted in low self-worth then, so once I got it, I felt guilty and I would do something to self-sabotage. It’s really an interesting phenomenon.
Awareness: What would you say then about the ‘three for three,’ a term you have coined for becoming aligned in a way that addresses the issues of low self worth and sabotage behavior.
James: I talk about three for three probably in almost every appearance that I make because so many people erroneously believe that all we have to do is think about something or visualize it and maybe feel real good, and it’ll drop in our lap. Well that’s just not true.
I don’t know if you saw the second Larry King Live show, but he was asking these same questions. “Well, James, you just have to think about it. The Secret said you just have to think about and it’s going to happen, right?”
And I said, “No, that’s not true, Larry.” In the metaphysical arena we’ve heard all the little clichés. “What you think about comes about.” “What you think about you become.” And if that were true then when I was in high school I would have become a busty varsity cheerleader because that’s all that I ever thought about. But I didn’t feel like one and I didn’t act like one. So guess what? It didn’t happen, thank goodness.
You look at anyone who’s not creating what they desire and deserve, and I guarantee you that they’re missing one of those components. They might be thinking and visualizing really clearly and feeling oh-so-good, but they’re sitting on their duff. And it’s not going to happen. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin taught us centuries ago you’re not a physical being having a spiritual experience; you’re a spiritual being having a physical experience. Please let me emphasize, you are having a physical experience. It’s like the Quakers used to say, “Pray and then move your feet.” I mean, as long as you are in a physical body, you’ve got to take physical action.
When you go three for three, your thoughts, your feelings, and your actions are all congruent, all firing simultaneously in alignment, you can create anything you want, anything you desire and deserve.
Awareness: Okay. So with The Secret as catalyst, what has been happening in our consciousness?
James: I know that the collective consciousness of the planet is higher now than it ever has been in our world history. We’re evolving and growing and it’s one of the major reasons that we’re going through some growing pains. The birthing process is difficult, as any mother will attest. So now we’re in this mode where we’re birthing into a new level of awareness and people are beginning to recognize their divine capability and say, “I can make an impact on my life and it’s not because of the government or society at large or the war or the gas prices. Those aren’t the things that are driving my behavior. It’s me. And I have the ability to take control.” And that’s a powerful place to be.
Many people have awakened with The Secret to say, “I can create the house and the car through the law of attraction.” Now, I’m not anti things, but awareness is really what we all want. I know this by working with thousands of people throughout my career. The term I’ve coined for what we all want is “Harmonic Wealth.” If you look at the root of the word “wealth,” it means “well-being.” Many think wealth is money. You can go after money and get rich, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you will have well being.
My work is about harmony and well-being in the five key areas; what I call the five pillars of your life, financial being one of them, then relational, mental, physical, and spiritual. This is very different from balance and it is more than just semantics.
A scale in perfect balance is doing nothing, right? Yet there’s no dynamism. There’s no vitality. People say they want to be perfectly balanced, but they don’t. The only people who are perfectly balanced are six feet under. Seriously. Harmony, on the other hand, is dynamic. It’s vibrant. It’s like a lively jazz quartet. They’re in harmony. Sometimes they’re leading with the saxophone, or it’s the trumpet. At others it’s the bass guitar or the drums, but they all come together to form these diverse perspectives and unique approaches to create this magical tapestry that’s called music.
Life is like a jazz quartet, it’s not a dead scale. Sometimes you’re going to be leading with your finances; sometimes you’re leading with your spiritual life, sometimes your health and fitness, sometimes your relationships. But they all come together in this dynamic dance. When you give energy to all five of those consistently, then they all synergistically improve. That’s what I’m doing to take The Secret to the next level because that’s what the media is now asking. “Okay, the law of attraction. What’s next?” Well there are six other laws be-sides the law of attraction. And guess what? What people really want are not just the new house, car, and more money. They want harmony and well-being in all the key areas of their life.
Awareness: I loved the comment you made while I was listening to clips from the Larry King interview: “We are made in the image and likeness of the creative source and have potential and power to create our world.” So my question to you is, given the global issues we have and more than six billion people on the planet, what is it that needs to emerge?
James: Well I think the emergence is a more world-centric viewpoint. Studies in the evolution of human consciousness prove that we go from egocentric to ethnocentric to more world-centric if we continue to evolve. And a major portion of the population right now is either very egocentric which says, “Just me;” or ethnocentric which says, “Me and mine;” whereas world-centric says, “All of us are on the same planet.” And I really believe that’s where we need to go.
In my latter interviews going into the press with a lot of skepticism and naysayers, the question was, does this law of attraction really work? Finally I just got to the point where I said, “Of course the law of attraction works, but we are asking the wrong question.” We shouldn’t be asking, “Does the law of attraction work?” It does. It’s like saying, “Does going to the gym work?” Of course it works. But the question we should be asking is how do we use it to create a better world? So that’s really my advocacy.
I meet people as I teach that have financial wealth. Their relationships are really hitting the mark. Mentally they’re strong and powerful, and physically, they are healthy and fit. Yet they don’t have that spiritual component, and they feel unfulfilled and they don’t know why.
Many times what we do be-cause of our conditioning is tell ourselves that if we can acquire more, then we’ll feel fulfilled, but we still feel empty. It’s like drinking seawater trying to quench our thirst. What we are really looking for is that spiritual component. Your spiritual connection is your one-on-one relationship with your creative source, however you define that. It’s that transcendental self where you feel like you are part of something bigger. You are contributing. You feel connected to the universe at large and you know you’re part of something more grandiose than just the mundane 8-to-5 world.
Awareness: I really appreciate what you said about spiritually being hard-wired. Ultimately we have this drive to give and to know that we’re part of something more intelligent and expansive.
James: Right. And it comes full circle to one of our original questions around purpose. That spiritual aspect of who we are is the purposeful piece of our lives where we feel like we’re leaving a legacy through making a contribution. It can be like me writing books and talking to people, or it could be the mother who really teaches her children.
Awareness: Tell us about knowing that you have a worthy purpose.
James: Well, I think each and every one of us has a unique gift to give to the world. Whether you look at the Mayans, the Native Americans, the Gnostics, the Hindus, so many of the ancient traditions have told us that this window between 2000-2012 is the time of a radical shift in the consciousness of mankind. What the traditions also maintain is that each and every one of us has this unique gift to bring into the world.
The great mythologist
Joseph Campbell once said, “The only question in life is whether or not
you’re willing to say a hearty ‘yes’ to your adventure.” When you are clear on
what you’re here to do, then there’s really no choice. I mean, there is
technically, but there isn’t because if you’re going to align with it, then
there’s really no choice. So it makes life really elegant once you get clear on
why you’re here.
For additional information on James Arthur Ray’s schedule see: www.jamesray.com and for information on his forthcoming book: www.hyperionbooks.com
Donna Strong’s first book, Coming Home to Calm, will be published in fall 2007. See her website for details: www.donna-strong.com
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