- Title: The Big Lie: Discovering Joy, Happiness, and Freedom Beyond Material Success
- Author: Stan Sanderson
- Released: 2008-07-07
- Pages: 170
- ISBN: 0757306624
- ISBN13: 978-0757306624
- ASIN: 0757306624
Stan Sanderson is the founder of The Spiritual Coach and creator of the Spiritual Coach Program (www.thespiritualcoach.net). He has helped many people discover the joy, happiness, and freedom they seek.
He studied the technique of Transcendental Meditation in the early 1970s, as taught by His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi through the International Meditation Society. His personal spiritual experiences were confirmed in A Course in Miracles, which has informed his spiritual principles in life.
Before retiring from active business in 2001, Stan Sanderson enjoyed successful careers in both the medical supply business and the financial services industry. He served as president and chairman of the board of directors for the Canadian Association of Financial Planners and the president of the Canadian Surgical Trade Association. He was appointed to chair the board of trustees to the Ontario Public Service Employees Union Pension Plan. He is married with four children and eight grandchildren.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Coach's Spiritual AwakeningI recall sitting in a restaurant one night with a very good friend, discussing the meaning of life and whether it was really worth a candle. He asked me, 'What is the one thing you want in life, more than anything else?' After much thought I told him that what I really wanted more than anything else in the world was to be happy. He then asked, 'Would it matter what you had if you were truly happy?' Obviously the answer was no. If you're happy, you're happy! How could it matter what you have?
Through this rather simple exchange, I finally realized that what I was really searching for was happiness, not career accomplishment or a bigger pile of 'stuff,' hoping that acquiring it would somehow make me happy. It had not done so in the past, and I had no reason to believe that it would do so in the future. What was required was that I seek happiness at its Source, and not through the acquisition of things.
As I reflected on both my business and personal life, it became clear to me that I had completely bought into the notion that the extent of my future happiness would be in direct proportion to that which I was able to achieve or acquire. And I wasn't alone. Almost all of my friends and associates seemed to be operating with a similar agenda, accompanied by comparable results. It's as though our families, mentors, and life coaches all subscribed to this absolute truth, 'Be successful, and you'll be happy!' It's what I now call 'The Big Lie.'
Shortly after this insight it was suggested to me that in order to find the true source of happiness, I would need to look to God as I understood him and turn my will and my life over to his care. However, the problem with that was I didn't know what either my will or my life were really all about, nor did I have any workable understanding of God. And it was not at all clear to me just exactly how developing a closer relationship with him would provide the happiness I sought. Obviously, some very specific inquiries needed to be made.
This was made all the more difficult because, although I was brought up in a Christian environment, and therefore my early exposure was toward Jesus and the principles attributed to him, I tended to stay clear of anything that 'smacked' of religion. I didn't see myself going to Africa to save natives, or handing out pamphlets on street corners. I saw myself more as a gentleman of leisure, driving to Florida in a convertible with the top down, a pretty woman by my side, and my golf clubs in the trunk. I believed that God took care of Heaven, and I took care of everything down here!
It wasn't long before my search for an understanding of God led me to a life-changing discovery: that there was a Power greater than myself at work in the universe, and that experiencing the joy, happiness, and freedom with which I had been endowed from the very beginning was contingent only upon awakening to my spiritual reality.
This, in turn, led me to study the techniques of Transcendental Meditation, as taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, through the International Meditation Society. Soon after beginning the practice of meditation, I experienced a wonderful calming effect in both my demeanor and in my physical well-being. I seemed to intuitively know what to do in situations that used to baffle me, and my whole attitude and outlook on life changed for the better. It was truly remarkable!
I was also blessed to have discovered a book entitled A Course in Miracles, published by the Foundation for Inner Peace, which confirmed my personal experience and helped to inform my universal spiritual principles. It teaches that we are all interconnected as one, yet we see ourselves as separated individuals, living life through our own perception, rather than in the reality given to us directly from God. Its principal thesis is that we are all the sons of God, our mission is happiness, our function is forgiveness, and our inheritance is joy and peace. It's a message that speaks to my heart, and I've fully embraced these principles in my daily living.
More recently, I had the opportunity to read Deepak Chopra's book How to Know God. It's a remarkable presentation of how we can actually experience the reality of God, rather than simply know about him. There is no question in my mind that Deepak's mission is to remind us that the spiritual truths of earlier times are equally true today, and that they will always be true. He does this through blending our spiritual reality with contemporary scientific understanding, in a way that confirms the omnipresence, omnipotence, and omniscience of God in our everyday life.
Perhaps the single most important function that the God of my understanding is charged with is allowing me to experience the joy, happiness, and freedom that he endowed me with in the beginning. Our 'arrangement' in every situation is that I'm in charge of inputs and he's in charge of outcomes. I know that he goes before me and prepares the way, and that he can open 'doors' I don't even know are there. It only remains for me to follow in faith and to do the best that I can with what I have, with whatever he puts in front of me. And as long as I continue to enjoy the fullness of my endowment, he controls the game!
Today, I am blessed with the 'knowing-feeling' of joy, happiness, and freedom in all that I do, regardless of the situation in which I find myself. I know who I am, where I came from, and where I'm going. I now enjoy the inner peace and sense of personal fulfillment that before had been so elusive. I feel as though I'm standing on a rock, comfortable in the presence of all others, and confident in the knowledge that I belong. I have the love of my wife and family and the respect of my friends and colleagues. I enjoy perfect health, and when I put my head down at night, I sleep soundly.
There is absolutely no question in my mind that what I've experienced through my search for happiness is what is called a 'spiritual awakening.' I have awakened from what I think is best described as a 'sleep,' in which my life was being lived through my ego-self, directed by my conditioned mind, responding to everything that I perceived as happening in my world. It's not a complete awakening, as I believe when that happens I will be moving on from my human existence.
However, what I have feels great! It fills my life with joy, happiness, and freedom. And since I've always been a pleasure seeker, and my awakening brings me so much pleasure every day, I'll continue to do the best I can with whatever God puts in front of me and accept the resulting outcome. He has never let me down, and his remarkable capabilities never cease to amaze me!
It is my sincerest wish that you too enjoy these blessings. If you already do, you know just how incredible they are, and you should continue doing whatever it is that you're doing. If you don't, then change something. And if you're not sure what to change, I encourage you to define the God of your personal understanding, and to let him help you discover who you really are. For just as soon as you find out who you really are, you'll find what you've been looking for! The Spiritual Coach Program was created specifically to help you with that discovery.
The program consists of seven concepts and seven strategies that together provide a road map for an incredible spiritual journey. The journey begins with the recognition of the Big Lie (that career and material success will bring the happiness we seek) and then leads us toward the joy of living 'The 200 Percent Life' (combining 100 percent of our material world with 100 percent of our spiritual awareness).
The Spiritual Coach Program has been in development for over thirty-five years and was devised from the experience gained through personal encounters, and from the contributions of both thoughts and experiences of others who have traveled the same path. The sole criteria for the ideas shared in this book are what works and what is transferable to, and repeatable by, others in similar circumstances.
While not a religious program, I do thank the God of my understanding for making provision in his master plan for me to come to know who I really am and allowing me to discover the joy, happiness, and freedom that lie beyond material success.
God, Religion, and Gender
God is not religion! And religion isn't necessary for spiritual awareness. Ironically, it is often the very thing that impedes personal spiritual experience. As God does not follow any one religion, he welcomes all religions, or none.
When the word 'God' is used throughout the Spiritual Coach Program, the reference is to the Prime Source, First Cause, or Whatever/
Whoever is deemed to be the Creator of all things (see the glossary of terms at the end of the book). It is not meant to be associated with any particular form of organized religion. As a matter of fact, the second concept of the program requires that each participant define and choose the God of his or her own understanding.
The program tends to emphasize universal spiritual themes rather than religious doctrine or theory. However, since I was born into a Christian environment, it follows that many of the expressions I use are taken from Christian teachings. Such expressions are thought to be universal in concept and resonate with any and all religious teachings that espouse a similar experience. It is my belief that the substance of the stories ascribed to Horus, Jesus, Moses, Mohammed, Krishna, and Buddha (to mention only a few of the great icons and teachers) was informed by the same reality. It would add nothing to this program to try to rationalize the differences, definitions, or religious interpretations of competing beliefs; we must simply accept the universality of the spiritual ideas being expressed. They all lead to God in the end!
Most historical spiritual and religious writings refer to God in the male gender (he, him, his, and son). While it is clear to me that...