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Excerpted from The Way of Harmony  by Jim Dreaver. Copyright 1999 by Jim Dreaver. Excerpted by permission of Avon Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.  HTML and web pages copyright by SpiritSite.com.

"The core insight involves a subtle shift in the way you see yourself and your life. It is a stepping back, so to speak, and beginning to see that you are not the person you thought you were."

Jim Dreaver, The Way of Harmony, Part 3

The way to successfully integrate the spiritual and material is through seeing that they are in fact not different from each other, but are reflections of the one reality, the one divine consciousness, or energy, that underlies all creation. The more clearly you see this, the easier it is to walk in the world with balance.

This is where the core insight comes in. The core insight, which has its roots in a number of enlightenment teachings, of both the East and the West, is the fundamental perspective behind the inner path. It is the knowledge that heals personal conflict, liberates you from fear and limitation, and allows you to fulfill your unique potential--to bloom as the beautiful, conscious, and creative person you really are.

Every person I have ever met who has found genuine inner peace and freedom (and more and more of us are coming into this), has arrived at this understanding, this jewel of wisdom that I call the core insight. This is true whether they discovered it through a formal spiritual practice, contact with an awakened teacher or person, or through their own inquiry and investigation.

The beauty of the core insight is that there is just this one thing, this one idea, that you have to grasp and make real. Not twelve principles, not ten laws, not seven keys, and definitely not a long and arduous journey toward some hoped-for goal of fulfillment, peace, and happiness.

The core insight opens you up to the realization that the happiness you've sought all your life is available right here, right now. You don't have to drop out and go to a monastery or ashram to find it. You can experience it whether you're driving on the freeway, riding the subway, raising a family, working for a corporation, starting a new business, balancing your checkbook, acting on behalf of the environment or social justice, or doing anything else that we humans do. It's your true nature, in fact, and once you awaken to it, it's always there--regardless of what may be happening in your outer circumstances.

So, what is it?

The core insight involves a subtle shift in the way you see yourself and your life. It is a stepping back, so to speak, and beginning to see that you are not the person you thought you were. Specifically, you are not your "story." The reality you've created inside your head about who you are--your beliefs, personal history, attitudes, identity, and self-image--is not who you are. This internal reality is actually nothing more than a tale you've been telling yourself, probably for most of your life. It's a fiction, a myth, created out of memory and belief, reinforced through the opinions and judgments of others, and clung to mainly through ignorance and habit.

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