David Laroche : Hello, today I am with a new amazing guy. You will love this interview because I am with Michael Bernard Beckwith, he's the founder of Agape International Center, and you will love this interview because we will talk about peace, gratitude, love and he has a lot of answers to give me and give us. So follow this interview we love that. Hello Michael,
Michael Beckwith : Hi David, how are you?
David Laroche : It's an awesome day. You're my last interview, and I'm grateful for that.
Michael Beckwith : My joy to be with you.
David Laroche : And can you introduce yourself?
Michael Beckwith : Well, as you indicated, I am Michael Bernard Beckwith and the founder of the Agape International Spiritual Center. We're entering our 28th year of being a spiritual center here in Los Angeles, California. Out of the center, we have birthed the revelation conferences that happen every year. Many people know me from the book “The Secret.” They know me from my book “Spiritual Liberation.” They know me from my book “Life Visioning” or “The Answer Is You.”
David Laroche : And I have two books. The first one is “Life Visioning”. So we can find it in Amazon maybe?
Michael Beckwith : Sure, absolutely.
David Laroche : And “The Answer Is You”. So, order it.
Michael Beckwith : Right, that's from my PBS special that I did, and so it comes from that.
David Laroche : I have a lot of questions to ask you. So let's begin with happiness. First of all according to you, what is happiness?
Michael Beckwith : Happiness is a dimension of our own nature. Happiness from a spiritual point of view, it's not based on conditions or circumstances. Innately we're happy beings. We're spiritual beings, so that means that happiness and joy are already built within. And ever growing spiritually, we are removing filters from seeing or feeling the happiness that's already there. When we're somewhat blocked, happiness is conditioned. We say, “Well, I got a new car, therefore I'm happy,” or “this person didn't call me back. Therefore I'm unhappy.” and so it's conditioned based but as we mature spiritually, and we begin to touch into our real nature in being, we notice that we're happy regardless of what's going on. Something bad happens, we don't like it, but the happiness is still there. Someone doesn't call us back. Some plan doesn't work out. We don't like it, but the happiness is still there. So, that's a sign of spiritual maturity, and there's also something called bliss. Bliss is the function of the activation of our potential, and we start to really tap into potential or activate our gifts or talents or capacities, and express them. Bring them into maturation, express them. We end up feeling a tremendous amount of bliss and ecstasy because we're here to give our gifts. We just share ourselves, and when that happens bliss and happiness come into manifestation.
David Laroche : Great, I was wondering do you think it's possible to have you know, bad emotion like anger, anxious. Do you think it's possible to have that or happiness include this kind of emotion?
Michael Beckwith : Happiness includes everything. Our emotions are what I call a subset of our perceptions. Meaning, we see life a certain way, and how we see life determines our emotions. For instance, someone sees a rat, and they get scared, “Oh my god there's a rat.” Well, someone else grew up with rats, they see the same rat, and they say, “Oh there's a rat, it's beautiful.”So the emotions are determined by how we perceive something. So, as our perception keeps widening and we keep on seeing that we're surrounded by a friendly universe surrounded by the presence of love and of beauty. Then our emotions or our feelings are very high. Our emotions give us a clue to what we believe, and what our perceptions are. So it is possible to live in this world to be happy most of the time. It's possible to live in this world, and to be in joy most of the time, and even when sadness or anger come up. We can be aware of them, but they don't have to run us. You know anger, is often a masking emotion for fear. A person gets angry because somewhere underneath that they're actually afraid, and then they go behind the fear they can discover what lie they're telling themselves. And as they discover that lie, they can change it around, and eliminate the fear. People are afraid of being abandon they're afraid of loss, death, lack, scarcity, afraid of lot of things. But when you look underneath that, you see ultimately there's nothing to be afraid of because as spiritual being, you're not going to die. As a spiritual being, everything you want is already within you. You just have to discover a way to set it free. As a spiritual being, you're never abandoned because this presence of love and beauty and intelligence is always surrounding you, but these have to be more than just beliefs. We have to go in and have insight, and revelation and do inner work so that we can discover that. So yes, it's possible to walk in this world with all of the negative stuff going on and be happy.
David Laroche : So can we define happiness as the way to transform every emotion and to include…the way you perceive what you are living and transform it to feel something right.
Michael Beckwith : Yes, you can. Basically, you discover your happiness when you're able to see that in every circumstance, there is possibility, there is potential, and there is an energy behind it pushing you to a greater expression of who and what you really are. People become frustrated, unhappy if they feel there's no way out. If they feel that every road is blocked but in reality, with a capital R, there is no such world no world like that exists. We're surrounded by infinite possibilities. And so with the shift of perception and attitude you begin to see those possibilities and those possibilities invite us to activate potential within us. The gifts and talents within us that are latent, the possibilities invite us to discover and activate those possibilities. So, again in happiness would be us becoming more ourselves that would be very blissful state, you see. So it doesn't deny that bad things happen in the world. Doesn't deny that people die. People die on us. You know, people leave. Jobs change. It doesn't deny that but when we come to understanding that even with all the changes that are going on in the phenomenal world there's still something about us that's permanent. There's something about us that's forever, and that part of us that's forever is spiritual which means it never began, and it will never end. And as we become more and more identified with that. Identified not just in with a belief system but identified that with some kind of spiritual practice. Some kind of focus some kind of intention. Then our life takes on a whole different vibration.
David Laroche : Yeah I think so, I would love just you know, do you sometimes have a bad mood or you've sometimes have like that?
Michael Beckwith : Yeah, sure. Every now and then. A mood will rise and when I have it…
David Laroche : I would like to thank you very much for being authentic. I think it will help people to believe exactly can do it also to manage that. So, how do you do, to change your perception and come back in happiness?
Michael Beckwith : Well, I have a very strong meditation practice, and I have a very powerful visioning practice. Now, in meditation… And that carries over into my everyday life.
David Laroche : It's not the same thing for a visionary.
Michael Beckwith : No, visioning is an extension of meditation. It's another practice, but it as a meditation base.
David Laroche : Do you do every day?
Michael Beckwith : I do meditation every day. I do visioning not every day but I do it every week, but I do meditation every day.
David Laroche : So what is meditation for you?
Michael Beckwith : Meditation, I define it as paying undistractable attention to reality. That which is changeless, causeless, love, beauty, intelligence these are real qualities, and meditation is paying attention to these qualities until they become integrated into you. So, if I wake up…I don't wake up in a bad mood, but if something happens I don't like or there's a bad mood, I have the capacity to observe it. I look at the mood, and as soon as I look at the mood, it begins to change because I'm looking at it, and as I keep looking at it, with my intention to be free then the mood begins to break down, and underneath I can see the thought that's generating that mood. And if I look closely I can see is that thought valid or invalid?
David Laroche : Do you have an example for people?
Michael Beckwith : Okay, I just got a phone call. It interrupted our interview, and I'm trying to transfer some money to help my grandson, and the lady hasn't called me back. She hasn't been doing her duty well. So, I wasn't happy about that. So, I looked at it. I looked at that. I was talking to my sister earlier, and I said, “I've called her twice. She hasn't called me back. She's delaying, she's not fulfilling her responsibility.” you know, but it's going to work out. You know, I looked at it. I could get angry. Call up, make a big mess. I didn't do that. I just said, “She'll call back, she'll get it together.” you know, and when she called back, I explained to her what I felt that she didn't call me back, but I didn't get upset about it. I just said, “Listen if you want my business. You know, I'm going need you to respond to me.” but there was a moment where i could have gotten angry about it but instead I went to a wider picture and said, “You know what? This is going to work out by the end of the day. It just happened to work out with us talking at an interview and so instead of just stomping around to be mad about it. There's nothing I could do about it at the time. I just looked at the mood, and then went on about my business.
David Laroche : I would love to know…
Michael Beckwith : I give you something closer, something else. My mother passed over last year. We were very close, as she was passing over there was a sense of powerlessness about it. I couldn't do anything about it and then, of course, the sadness. And so when I would wake up, my mother wasn't there anymore. So, there was sadness.
David Laroche : You feel kind of lack of something.
Michael Beckwith : Yeah she would call all the time, “Hey, how you doing? What's going on?” you know, we're talking and the same thing with my kids, and talking to them. And so, I became aware of that but behind that, I'm also aware that my mother still alive. She just doesn't have a body. So, I'm embracing the larger picture, she doesn't have a body, and though I'm sad that she's not here, I'm overjoyed at the relationship I had with her.
David Laroche : So you celebrate.
Michael Beckwith : I celebrate her existence. I celebrate the time we had together. I celebrate that she was a great mother. A lot of people don't have the kind of mother that I had. She's a great mother, and that makes me very happy, and I still feel that connection when she visits me in dreams, and we have conversation in dreams. So the connection is still there, but the body is not there. So I can place my attention on, “Oh my God my mother is gone. I don't see her.” Or I could place my attention on I had a great mom, and we're still in communion. So I choose to put my attention on I had a great mom, and we still have a connection. I don't deny she's gone, but I just shift my attention.
David Laroche : You focus.
Michael Beckwith : I focus where I want to focus. I've been doing this for over 30 years. And a public person speaking, teaching, counseling, author, books and I try to stay true to myself, and my responsibility first is to me. Which means I have a spiritual practice that I do every day as we talked. Meditation and other things that I do that keeps me in harmony with the flow of life. Now as I'm in harmony with the flow of life, then there's happiness. There's peace of mind. There's a sense of well-being, there's a joy. All that is just a part of my life, even when it's intense. It's very intense I have deadlines. There're things going on in the community in one of the 30 ministries that are here. There're all kinds of things going on but with my practice, I'm able to stay balanced. Now, in terms of vulnerability what I had to learn was, I had to learn to be vulnerable to receive the love that people wanted to give me. My vulnerability in terms of giving. It's easy for me to give, and to share and to share with people and things that particular nature. I had to learn to receive. I had to develop that kind of vulnerability because I was, “Why are these people gathering around me? Why are they admiring me? I'm teaching principles. I'm teaching spiritual principles that are known for thousands of years.” And so I had to learn how to be vulnerable enough to receive that. If I am upset about something, which I don't get upset a lot. I don't hide that. I say that bothers me. But I know there's an answer. I know there's a solution. So, I don't paint a false face. I don't paint a false face like I'm happy when I'm not.
David Laroche : Yeah, I don't want to do that also.
Michael Beckwith : No, but I don't make a federal case. In America we say make a federal case out of something which means make a big deal out of something. I don't make a big deal out of a lot of things either because I've been on the planet long enough to know that eventually things work out. If you have intention and a vision, and you are ready to walk in a positive direction, things work out. So shame and blame. Playing the shame game or the blame game, it's not fruitful. Blaming other people for things or blaming yourself or shaming other people or shaming yourself. I teach that we have to ask powerful questions. And if there's an issue going on, you have to ask a question that's big enough for the universe to answer it.
David Laroche : So can you give us some of the questions you are used to use?
Michael Beckwith : Sure. I'll tell you what I teach, and then I'll break it down. One of the things that I teach is that behind every problem there's a question trying to ask itself. And behind every question, there's an answer trying to reveal itself, and behind every answer, there's an action trying to express itself. And behind every action, there's a way of life trying to be born. So if a person is struggling with finances let's say chronic, and they're asking, “Why me? Why is this always happening to me? I never have enough money.” That's a disempowering question. It's not going to help you.
David Laroche : So you've got to ask a bigger question. So perhaps the question is, what is the nature of prosperity? Just ask, “What's the nature of prosperity?” and if you're sincere, perhaps you write it down. You go to bed at night, and you think about it. You go to sleep on it. The universe will start to talk to you. It's already talking to you. The broadcast is already going on. It just needs your permission to come in. It's like the radio. You have to…
Michael Beckwith : Tune in. So, when you ask a question, you're tuning into the answer. So the answer comes and starts to tell you, “prosperity is everywhere, prosperity is energy, energy is never created or destroyed, it's invisible. Harmonizing prosperity and abundance XXX it's everywhere. Look at the leaves on a tree. Look at the grains of sand. Look at the stars in the heavens. It's everywhere. There's no lack anywhere. So you start to get that, so that gives you an answer. Then it gives you an action. Start to give, start to share, and your surface mind will say, “Wait a minute, I'm asking this question because I don't have anything. My issue was prosperity.” And it will back and it will tell you, “I said I'm invisible. I'm infinite. I'm not a thing, give what you have, give a smile, help somebody. Put yourself in a position to serve.”And then that action then becomes a way of life. So, if you wake up thinking, “How am I going to serve? How am I going to give? How am I going to circulate? Then the universe will support you in that, and prosperity starts to flow into your life because you've asked the right question rather than why me? Why don't I have anything? You're asking what is prosperity? And then you learn to give to share and then that consciousness coagulates. It condenses itself as opportunities, money, ideal employment. It shows up. Your desire to give and to share your talents shows up in ways that couldn't show up if you asked the wrong question.
David Laroche : I love that. It's great. There's a certain thing that I would love to know about, how do you do that because you are managing 60 people, right?.
Michael Beckwith : We have a large staff. Plus we have 30,40 different kind of ministries and programs.
David Laroche : It's huge.
Michael Beckwith : It's pretty sizable, yes.
David Laroche : I love to know, how do you balance your life because for example if I take my example, I can work a lot and a wrong time and a lot of days and a lot of movements. And it's hard for me to balance my time between my girlfriend, the project, and time with my family, and sometimes I'm wondering, “do I have to got to do and leave my mission and be ready to do nothing less?” and to know between filling a void and fulfill my mission.
Michael Beckwith : So let's talk about this a bit, you can ask me some more questions if it's unclear. Everyone has a purpose. Everyone has the same purpose.
David Laroche : When you saying mission, I was saying purpose.
Michael Beckwith : Yeah, everyone has a purpose, and everyone is unique. Everyone is a unique expression of the infinite. So, but everyone's purpose is to reveal what I say the cosmos in a way that have never happened before, that's our purpose, to let your light shine. Now, how you reveal your purpose is unique to you. And when you start to find your way of revealing your purpose, it fires you up. It gives you good feedback, you feel good, there is bliss, there's ecstasy, there's happiness that flows through you. And when you surrender to that, when you realize that your purpose on earth, the reason why you took a human incarnation is to perfectly reflect the cosmos in a way that has never happened before, and you to do it this way or this way. You surrender to it, you've given a lot of energy. When you surrender to your purpose, the universe gives you have a lot of energy because you walking in the right direction. Now, in terms of balancing that with your friends, your family and you are associates what happens is your life starts to whittle down and the friends that you have in your social, they're a part of your mission. You know, they support your mission and everybody else, if they're not in the flow of your mission your life kind of changes. Like the people that I knew 30 years ago. Many of them that weren't going in the direction I was going, and they're not in my life right now. I still know them. I still occasionally will say hello, and their acquaintanceship but the people that I'm surrounded by are people that are part of my mission. And fortunately for me my mother, my dad, my brothers they were all part of this. So, they are you know, they all flowed with me. Many people didn't. So, when you make a mighty stand for your life, sometimes the energies that don't fit you cannot take with you, and it doesn't mean you cut anybody out of your heart, but they're definitely if you really surrender to your mission. You definitely will move forward, and everybody may not go with you. So the way I define balance is falling forward. It's like if you're walking you actually when you were a baby you crawled you didn't know how to walk and sometimes babies when they start to walk they kind of walk really fast, so they don't fall. So actually balancing by walking forward. So balancing is really having progress. Balance isn't like this. We're trying to stay balance like the scales on the astrological chart libra. Balance is falling forward and so if your life is moving forward. That is progressing, evolving, unfolding. You're in balance. And you learn how to rest and while you're moving forward, you learn how to take time out as you're moving forward. You learn how to take vacations if you need to, you learn how to stop and be with your family if you need to, but it's all the part of falling forward. You see, and so what happens is, you don't have two lives. Well, here's the life of my mission in my purpose, in my zeal and my bliss and here is this other life. No, that doesn't work. You have a life, this is your purpose, and everything revolves around this. And you learn how to slow down when you need to slow down. How to rest. How to visit your folks. How to take time with your girlfriend, and then you never know. Sometimes your girlfriend comes along with you, sometimes they may not. You know it's a part of unfoldment.
David Laroche : So we have to learn…we get feedback, and we can adjust a little bit.
Michael Beckwith : Adjustment, yes adjustment is a good word. Is like if you're flying from here to France, the pilot doesn't go in a straight line. You know, it's zigzag. Adjusting for the weather, the temperature, everything.
David Laroche : Like a boat in the…
Michael Beckwith : Right. So you know, in life it's the same thing. You're constantly adjusting. You have a vision.
David Laroche : Where you're going.
Michael Beckwith : You have a vision, and you know your purpose, and you have intention, and then you're adjusting.
David Laroche : That's great. I love that. How we can overcome the fear of rejection?
Michael Beckwith : Rejection is paying too much attention. The fear of rejection is paying too much attention to what other people are thinking about you, and what other people are thinking about what you're thinking about. And people live in that kind of a bubble, “I wonder if that person likes me? I wonder if this person appreciates me.”And that's the wrong mode of being in the world. You have to think about what the universe thinks about you, and the universe thinks you're important. Whatever name you want to use. You can say the universe. You can see the cosmos. You can say, God, whatever. What is the universe think of you? And because you were created, you have meaning you are important. You're worthy. You're worth while because you weren't made accidentally you weren't just accidentally made. Nature didn't just come together and accidentally make you. You know there was a perfect idea behind you with complete potential and possibility to be activated. So, you have to begin to think about, we all have to begin to think about, “How does the universe think about me?.” Not how does that person over there think about me, not how those group of people over there think about me. It's a waste of my time. Then I start to people, please. I start to do things to make them like me. And which may take away from my mission. May take away from my authenticity. It may take away from my powers because I'm thinking about what they're thinking about. And they're thinking about what I'm thinking about. Everybody's thinking about what other people are thinking about what they're thinking about.
David Laroche : And what difference do you see between pay attention to others and learn from the feedback of others?
Michael Beckwith : Yeah, you can learn from feedback from others.
David Laroche : How we see the difference?
Michael Beckwith : I'm not overly concerned what others are thinking about me. I'm living my passion and my purpose and my intention, and then life gives me feedback. If I'm being stubborn in some area, then they'll be some feedback from either life itself or from people. If I'm being arrogant, you get the feedback. If you're being wishy-washy, you get the feedback. So, you learn how to pay attention to what others are saying, but you're primarily paying attention, you primarily getting your feedback from this great broadcast of the presence of beauty of love and of joy, whatever name you want to call it it's constantly speaking to you. It's called spiritual discernment. You're able to tell the difference between a something that's valid and something that's invalid. So, if a friend pulls you to the side and says, “I have been watching you and, you really haven't been paying attention that much.” you know, you're able to with compassion on yourself and then listen and check in to see that's real, is what he's saying really true.
David Laroche : You can take a recent example, just before to see you. I was doing a webinar. This webinar was with a new agent. I mean that, a lot of people who have delt with me before. And when I have a new agent people who are not ready or maybe awaken. Sometimes it's hard for them to listen to that. What advice can you give me when I see that in life this feedback and it was hard for me to stay central with that.
Michael Beckwith : Right. As you as you mature, and become more comfortable with yourself you're able to take criticism, and what happens is, you start seeing, they are called the two imposters, criticism and praise. There are people that praise you, and people that criticize you. But after a while, you don't really care about either one of them. They're called impostures, and so if somebody is criticizing you and says, “You don't know what you're talking about. Shut up.” whatever, you don't care. It's like, “Thank you for your feedback.” you know and if somebody says, “You are the greatest. You're the best.” you say, “thank you for your feedback.” you start treating both the same because you're not trying to get something from the people. You're giving a gift to the people. You're getting your information and your energy directly from the life force, you see. You're getting fed by life. Life is giving you information, and you're sharing it, and if people don't want it and they say, “It's a bunch of baloney.” “Thank you. I will give it to you.” And if somebody says, “I want it.” “Thank you. Here it is.” But after a while. Praise and criticism, you don't really care because you're becoming so in tune inside of yourself. It's like if you are a mathematician, and You know that 10 plus 10 is 20 and it's not an opinion. And you stand in front of a group and you start to do your math, and someone says, “I don't believe that.” what are you going to do? You're going to say, “Okay, thank you.” you know 10 plus 10 is 20, you say,”Okay, thank you very much.”
David Laroche : Good example.
Michael Beckwith : You're not going to feel bad about it. That, “Oh my god, he doesn't believe me.”well you're sure. So as you go deeper and deeper into your own thinking and your own prejudice.
David Laroche : It is only usually me…
Michael Beckwith : They're tapping into your insecurities. They're giving you feedback where you need to go, because when you get out here as a public figure. People talk about you. If you do really good, they talk about you more. You do really, really, good they talk about you really, really, more.
David Laroche : Both side.
Michael Beckwith : It goes with scale, and then you learn this mediocrity attacks excellence all the time. And so if you're seeking to live an excellent life, those who have agreement with mediocrity, they attack you because you're making them uncomfortable. They want to stay small, so they attack people who are trying to do big things.
David Laroche : Like every inspirational leader, Gandhi, Mandela.
Michael Beckwith : They always have their critics.
David Laroche : Let's talk about the law of attraction. According to you, how we can use the law of attraction.
Michael Beckwith : Well, the basic. First start with the basics. The basic law is, what you chronically think about, is what you bring about in your experience. A thought is a unit of mental energy. Energy can never be created or destroyed. Energy just keeps changing itself into higher or lower expressions. So if you're constantly thinking negative, life is hard, and then you die. There're not enough good jobs around. There's no…everything is working. Then you're body temple gets that message, the cells of your body begin to hear that, it starts to produce toxic chemicals. The immune system starts to become unhinged. Starts to be impaired, your thinking starts to go down because of the toxic chemicals. And you start to bring about what you're thinking about. You become sick not as much energy, so therefore your opportunities are depleted. Your energy is down. Critical thinking goes down, and then you start to bring about that negativity that you're describing. When you change it around, and you begin to say you know I'm surrounded by opportunities, life is good. Everything is working together for my good. I am surrounded by infinite opportunities, prosperity is right here. And then what happens when you start to say that, your mood is lifted, tonic chemicals and endorphins start to go through the body, starts to amplify your immune system. Your thinking becomes more clearer. You start to see life differently. You start to see opportunities that you couldn't see before. Possibilities open up that you didn't even know about because your attitude has changed. And what looks like the law of attraction is simply you lifting your vibration, so that you can see the potential that's here. And then we call it the law of attraction but what it really is, I call it the law of radiation. The law of emergence. Because what you're doing is allowing that which is within you to come out and to radiate and to emerge and to express and in the physical form good things happen and it looks like it's…you're attracting it. What's really happening is you're radiating it and what you're radiating is becoming visible.
David Laroche : Yeah, it's great. What's your opinion why law of attraction doesn't work for some people?
Michael Beckwith : The law of attraction is always working. But some people it doesn't seem to work because they're more focused on the bad thing that could possibly happen. They're more focused on what they're afraid of, “I'm afraid. That I'm not going to make any money this year.” I'm afraid that something bad is going to happen.” so they end up placing more attention on what they don't want to happen than holding the space for what they do want to happen, and the law doesn't discriminate between that. So there are people that are in chronic fear and worry and doubt. And those particular attitudes block the flow of faith, inspiration, trust you see. And so some people they only try for a little time. They shift the attitude for a couple of days or a week. Then they go back to their old cynical and cynical way of thinking and sometimes that cynical fearful way of thinking is deep in them. They've been thinking that way all their life. So a couple of weeks of practicing the law of attraction is not going to overcome all of that. They have to ultimately develop a way of life whether affirmative. Whether doing some kind of inner work to stay connected and thenlittle by little by little their life begins to change.