By Ailene Radcliffe
The participants of the 24th annual Wildacres Retreat are now enlightened. That is, they learned they have always been enlightened but have used various tricks on themselves to keep them from realizing that. According to our speaker, Bob Trowbridge, M.Div., we keep ourselves confined into a box we ourselves have created by our thoughts. Cayce said “Thoughts are things”, and Bob says “Things are thoughts”!
Bob says we were born enlightened. It is our gift and our birth right. We lost that “knowing” along our life path through influences, experiences, and our thought processes. Buddha, Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta, said: “Believe nothing just because a so-called wise person said it. Believe nothing just because a belief is generally held. Believe nothing just because it is said in ancient books. Believe nothing just because it is said to be of divine origin. Believe nothing just because someone else believes it. Believe only what you yourself test and judge to be true.
In this workshop, we learned about our “Universal Feedback System” and how everything we experience gives us hints about what we are creating and how we can become empowered. By having awareness in the world within us and the world around us we pick up messages and guidance. We might get some moments of clarity from a book, a sign, a movie, or radio show. Maybe from a conversation we overhear, or from people we interact with. It is up to us to pay attention and become who we really are.
We need to learn to open ourselves to all the possibilities of what we can be: Our true Self, Part of God. Bob says that since we are a part of God, God is not perfect. That made me really think. I never heard that before. If we are growing, learning, and become all we can be, then that must mean that God is growing as we grow. That means there is no “perfect” because everything evolves and changes.
We did some wonderful meditations and visualizations to help us see ourselves as God would see us. Many had profound experiences. Bob shared this famous quote from Marianne Williamson: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”