Article by Phillip Hawkins
It’s said in some spiritual teachings that ‘if we had the faith the size of a mustard seed we would be able to command mountains to move, and they would move’. I know from personal experience that when coming to Reiki some people spend a great deal of time and effort trying to move mountains of one description or another. Not all mountains look the same and often come in all shapes and sizes, how big they appear is usually in relation to how close we are to them, distance like time brings definition and perspective to many things. Our mountain may be an illness we have to come to terms with, a difficult relationship that has to be resolved, or personal beliefs that have to be re-evaluated, either way we are faced with a series of choices to be made. We can choose not to choose, to do nothing and leave the situation alone, we can decide to take a detour and go around the problem and save ourselves a lot of time and hard work, or we can climb this personal mountain and overcome this challenge that’s looming up in front of us. The choice is always ours; to choose to do nothing is a choice in itself.
Part of the process is to understand the value of the choices we make and the consequences of the actions we take, for the hard path is not necessarily the right path, hardships don’t automatically lead to enlightenment and suffering does not presuppose understanding. Surely the avoidance of unnecessary pain and suffering through choice rather than fear is the beginning of true enlightenment. As a great teacher once said ‘If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it’. But let us consider for a moment; what if we had the faith or the ability to literally move mountains, what would it prove and more importantly what would be the consequences of our actions. Without doubt it would be a most powerful demonstration of our new found ability, but we would be wrong to assume that our actions even the most righteous are taken in isolation and in some way detached from those around us, and it’s no big deal to rearrange the landscape by moving a mountain or two.
On a mission to prove our ability we sometimes forget that even faith and good intention are governed by the laws of cause and effect, whenever we talk about I, me or my, we are without realising it trying to separate our ourselves from the the source from which we all come, and the cause from the effect. In demonstrating our new found ability it’s not enough to assume that God or the universe is taking care of the minor details while we are busying ourselves moving everything in sight. Nothing happens in isolation, the idea of separation is an illusion, for every cause good or bad has an effect, and every action no matter how small brings forth a reaction. The chaos theory states that when a butterfly flaps its wings on one continent it creates a storm in another part of the world due to the laws of cause and effect, if a butterfly can create this effect what price is paid through the movement of a mountain as a demonstration of our ability. If we accept that our thoughts and actions no matter how small create effects we must realise that as ability increases so does the consequences of our actions, and with it the responsibility to think before we act, for with great power comes great responsibility, and we must learn to carry that responsibility lightly.
Even if we discount the chaos theory, let’s consider for a moment the ‘practical’ implications of having the ability and desire to move mountains through faith and intent. The disruption caused by the relocation of the mountain; people forced to move, livelihoods destroyed and families broken up in the process, the impact on the environment as a mountain is brought into being in someone else’s life. Moving a mountain weighing millions of tons would instantly impact on the earth itself and its finely balanced ecological system, a release in pressure would set up shock waves, trigger tremors and earth quakes. Weather systems would be disrupted leading to the destruction of animal and plant life due to the sudden climate change, all because we developed the ability to move mountains and had the need to prove we could do it.
Obviously this article isn’t just about having the ability to move a mountain or deal with issues in our lives; it’s about understanding the consequences of our actions, even those carried out with the most spiritual and loving intentions. Since we share time and space with all of creation our thoughts and actions impact on everything around us. Developing ability be it practical, or spiritual; becoming a Reiki practitioner or even a Reiki teacher is not enough; ability isn’t a bench mark for enlightenment, it’s not necessarily a case of the more we can do the better we are, if we think this way we may struggle to keep pace with our ego. Like a little knowledge, ability on its own can be a dangerous thing; we must ensure that we also develop a greater understanding and an even greater sense of responsibility to go with the ability that we possess. It’s not enough to assume that everything will be ok, we have to grasp the reality that change no matter how small is never isolated, its effects like shock waves radiate out indefinitely from its point of impact. A chain reaction is set in motion; a chain reaction of cause and effect, where every action becomes the creator of even more effects.
If we are the creators of our own universe and the world we live in is a projection of our minds then it would be irresponsible of us to use our ability without due consideration of our actions and the effect they will have on others. As our ability grows we should always try to work within the limits of our own experience while progressively pushing back the boundaries of our development, ability should never be acquired at the expense of knowledge and understanding. Working for the higher good does not negate our personal responsibility for our actions even if they are carried out with the best of intentions, spirit will not pick up the pieces nor carry out damage limitation on our behalf. We each have a responsibility to understand that we are a player in the game called ‘life’ and like any game; it’s up to us to learn the rules in order that we can progress to another level.
Ability on its own is never enough; the greater the ability the greater the need for self-control and self-discipline in its use. You may be able to develop the ability to move mountains; real, spiritual or otherwise, but before you do ask yourself why you wish to do so, and is it absolutely necessary, if it isn’t broken why are you trying to fix it, if it’s not hurting anyone leave it alone, remember that choosing to avoid unnecessary pain and discomfort is the beginning of enlightenment. No one should suffer needlessly nor should we cause suffering to others or ourselves just because we have the ability to do so. Having just dropped a mountain onto someone’s doorstep, saying ‘Ooop’s sorry’ just doesn’t quite cut it or make it right.
A Reiki practitioner since 1999, Phillip started teaching Reiki in 2000 and using those skills and abilities he has spent the majority of the last seventeen years working with a wide range of social and educational needs including Autism and ADHD. Working with addicts dependent on alcohol and drugs, people whose lives were extremely violent and abusive, and others who had to deal with severe mental health issues. This has enabled him to work extensively in the private sector, schools, colleges, education and care in the community, the prison service and psychiatric units.
In 2016, Phillip decided to semi-retire from full-time employment to concentrate on developing his career as a published author and the setting up of his Reiki personal development programme at the Chilton Community College.