The world can become a peaceful place one person at a time. If people can find their inner peace, they can always choose kindness and compassion. And then this peace spreads like wild fire. When Founder and CEO of Project PeaceOnEarth.Org, Steve Robertson turned 28, he knew he can make an impact by taking that first step to care for others. He started seeking his life’s purpose and didn’t get an answer. After being a racer and graduating in college, Steve got his answer through music and eventually became the executive producer of the 2 Unite All Benefit Album. This brought him a step closer to completing the peace mission that has been his life’s work. Steve shares his stories of faith and hope for humanity believing that when you see kindness and compassion from someone, that is the reflection of your soul.
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The Peace Mission And Your Life Purpose with Steve Robertson
You’re going to absolutely love this podcast. I’m going to introduce you to a gentleman that I’ll get to share space with and to be in his grace. He is just a gentle soul, peaceful man, loving man, somebody that all of you are going to enjoy spending some time with, learning some things from and listening to. Before we do that, I want to just once again begin by sharing this space with all of you. What a precious moment this is, what a sacred moment this is. As we collectively take our breath, what’s so really, really cool about that is where you’re listening now, wherever it might be, whatever country, whatever state, whatever internal state you’re in at the moment, we are all breathing. This is a connection point right now between myself and all of you, and between all of you and everything that is. We are all connected. One of the ways that we can feel truly connected is through the breath. As I’m taking this deep breath of even more awakened breath, in this moment that I’m taking that breath, I realize there are people everywhere that are taking their very last breath. We can all appreciate just how sacred it is that we get to be taking this breath now knowing that there are people who are taking their last. It makes this moment holy. It makes it sacred. It makes it special and we get to share it.
With that, I want to just open by saying how grateful I am to be here, to be here with all of you and to share this blessing time together. Speaking of a blessing, the gentleman that I get to share time with now and that you get to share time with is a gentleman by the name of Steve Robertson. He is the Founder and the CEO of ProjectPeaceOnEarth.org. He’s an Executive Producer of the 2 Unite All benefit album, which features Peter Gabriel and Roger Waters. I’m a big Pink Floyd fan. Philip Lawrence of Bruno Mars, Stewart Copeland of The Police and many, many others. Thirty major musicians in this project were also endorsed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Noam Chomsky, Oliver Stone and others. I would say that this gentleman was a Grammy award winner as well and somebody that is doing some really beautiful work for many, many years in furtherance of peace.
Peace is not an easy thing to wrap your arms around from a global perspective. He and I had a wonderful conversation a few months back. We’re going to pick up where we left off there. I remember in that conversation that I was just sharing that our company has been committed to contributing to world peace for some time now. The way that we’ve seen fit to contribute has been in helping individuals find their inner peace. Our theory is that as each of us is working on our own peace, that becomes our offering to the world. It becomes how we influence everybody around us through our peace. While it’s quite important to get our politics right and to be looking at our global leaders and the systems including the economic systems very carefully for better leadership, a leadership that’s interested in peace, our philosophy is that if enough people are simply selfishly working on creating their own inner peace that at a certain point there’s a bit of a tipping point, then our world becomes more peaceful as a result of just everybody taking more personal and individual responsibility for creating peace within themselves.
[Tweet “Each of us is working on our own peace and that becomes our offering to the world.”]
With that, Steve, thank you so much for joining us in this edition of Pivot Radio. I’m looking forward to our conversation. I know that I’ve got a two-page introduction for you and I wanted to leave it really more in your hands to say what it is that you’re passionate about? You’ve been working in this area for a very long time. You’ve worked with many, many celebrities. You’ve done a lot of projects primarily in the music space. If you could fill in the blanks, fill in the gaps where my introduction was wholly inadequate or just didn’t give us a flavor for what you’re currently doing and why you do that work that would be really wonderful. Welcome to the show, Steve.
Thank you very kindly. I appreciate it, Adam. I’ve had the privilege of working with a lot of Grammy-winning musicians on several different album projects. I’m not a Grammy winner myself, though I would wish one day I would be.
I made you a Grammy Winner. Now it’s happening, universally speaking.
I’ve been very passionate about the mission of peace. I’m in deep agreement with you. The reality is until each of us have inner peace, we won’t have outer peace. It’s really that simple. The Buddhist poet, Thích Nhất Hạnh, says it very beautifully, “The healing of the self is the healing of the nation.” A Course in Miracles reminds us that the salvation of the world depends on me. It depends on all of us. It’s a very tender subject from my end. I know this will be a very challenging way to begin the show, but I really would like for people to contemplate this particular thought, which is what I’ve boiled this down to over a 30-year period of time of thinking about this. I really do believe if you can hear me within context, every horrible, monstrous thing on the planet is really occurring because people are literally doing what Jesus said in his quote, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” That’s the whole problem. We are loving our neighbors exactly how we love ourselves, which is horribly. Until I have kindness and care and compassion for myself, I’m only going to project my craziness onto you and onto other people and onto the animals and onto Mother Earth. This all begins with themselves, a true authentic healing of the self. Not a narcissistic love of the self, but a true appreciation for the authentic and beautiful gift that each of us have brought here to the planet. Each of us have a specific purpose and reason why we’re here. I have written a book. I was honored to be endorsed by a lot of famed authors, and the book is entitled The Power of Choice: Success and Your Life Purpose.
My journey began as I was about age eight. My dad was a nuclear physicist. We moved from California to a little city called Friendswood, Texas right outside of Clear Lake City where NASA is. I was absolutely obsessed with playing football. One day at recess when I was about eight, we were playing tackle football. We weren’t supposed to be doing that. I wasn’t big as I am now and I ran the ball, no one could tackle me in this particular play, and I made it across our goal line. It was a mystical moment of sorts. I can only describe it as such. I saw everything stopped like the Matrix stop. I saw everything 360, above, below simultaneously and I had an inward sense that I was to play some role in facilitating peace on the planet. The next thing I knew, I appeared to be multiple miles in the sky free falling like a parachute just into to what I now know as Manger Square, Bethlehem. I didn’t know where that place was from. That experience went away. I never told a soul about it. I didn’t want to end up in a rubber room, quite frankly.
I’ll flash forward to that as we discuss a little bit more. A lot of my work has focused in this Palestinian, Israeli, Middle East region. This is because this is the birthplace, in my opinion, of the greatest psychopathic paradigm there is on the planet which is, “I have the right God, so therefore you don’t. I’m good and you’re bad. If I’m good and you’re bad, I must be righteous and you’re evil. Once I have you at evil, I can go into your religion, murder men, rape women, kill babies, burn the village down and go home and sleep like a baby.” This is total insanity. I figured if we could bring peace to this Palestinian-Israeli conflict, we could bring peace anywhere to the planet.
My background, I raced motocross professionally for three years of my life before an injury sidelined me and I went to college as promised to my father. I got a degree in business. I became a sales engineer. I was told by Johnson Controls, a company I worked with, I was the youngest sales executive in that company’s $4 billion-plus history. I sold large-scale industrial process control computers at automated petrochemical plants, refineries, municipal wastewater treatment plants, etc. In a 24-hour period of time, my entire life shifted. My job dumped me and my fiancée dumped me. To say the least, I was lost. I had a friend named Marissa that recommended a book called The Game of Life and How to Play It by Florence Shinn. It’s a classic metaphysical book written in 1924. It’s my first metaphysical book. I’ve always been listening very carefully, as the Quakers might say, to this small still voice within and paying close attention to that as I could. I got about halfway through that book and Florence asked this question that would not unring from my mind and I would encourage the audience to begin to ask yourself this question if you have not done so, so far. That question is, “If you could do anything in the world and there were no limitations, what would you do? What would you love to do the most?” I said to myself when I got to that point in the book, “This is the most important question any human being will ever ask themselves in the course of their life process.” Since I was a little kid I was always asking, “Why am I here? What is my purpose? What’s this whole thing about?”
Adults didn’t seem to give me very good answers about that. I determined that this was obviously something that I had to discover. I spent time meditating as best I could through the depression that I was experiencing, etc. I kept asking this question. I believe very clearly in that Biblical quote, “Knock and the door will open. Seek and you shall find.” I said, “I’m going to knock on the door of heaven until my knuckles are bloody. I’m going to know the answer to this question.” I did. One day, very loudly like a booming voice in the room said, “Music.” I said, “Music? I have no clue what to do with that.” I remember the second part of the question, “If music is the answer, then what would I love to do most relative to music?” That answer was quite frankly very obvious to me because in college and during my racing career, we had spent hours in the van listening to rock and roll.
I went to college and then I was turned on to the musician, Mike Oldfield, the Tubular Bells. I went to school in North Central Louisiana, which I promise is hardly the cultural Mecca of the world, but had a very progressive radio station. They dropped the needle on Mike’s album called QE2. I had no idea that this guy had been the first artist signed by Virgin Records. I had no idea what that meant. All I knew was his music was fundamentally unique from anything I had ever heard before. I became a DJ at the radio station. I played a lot of that music and new wave music. I began to notice the nuances between various types of music. I became basically an audiophile on everything, as you might call it, new-age type music. When the mission was presented to me, music, and the second part of the equation was to share this music around the world, it seemed obvious to me. I promised at that moment, rain, sleet, hail, snow, whatever I’m guided to do, I’m going to do it.
I’ll give you a quick recap of that and then I can go into a little bit of the details of why this music and why music is so important. I began to conceptualize a large-scale concert much like Live Aid that would broadcast sacred music from various sacred sites on the planet. I pulled off three of these events from Bethlehem on Christmas Day out to 80 million homes worldwide. In 2010, I brought a surgical team from here in Woodland Hills, Dr. Paul Dougherty, a super wonderful, amazing soul. We delivered in Palestine, in Hebron, over a two-day period of time, 43 cataract surgeries, almost $500,000 in cataract surgeries, to elderly blind people and restore their sight. That was called Visions of Peace.
The next piece we did, we brought 1,000 Palestinian refugee children to the base of the Mount of Temptation in Jericho, had them form the image of the Picasso Peace Dove, spell the words love all, spell the word love in Arabic. The image was filmed aerially. It went around the world. The UN, a year later, selected this image as one of the 49 most iconic images in the history of the UN, out of 800,000 some odd photos. I followed that up with a large-scale concert in Bethlehem on Christmas Day out to 80 million homes worldwide with the lead singer Fox Lima from the group Enigma, Gary Nicholson, Grammy-winning, Texas Hall of Fame, singer-songwriter, Joanne Shenandoah and Hani Naser. Peter Joseph from Zeitgeist did a video spot for us where we showed out Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Muhammad, all saying the same thing which is just basically, “Be loving.” One single person in the Palestinian government or any organization attempted to censor anything that we said, and I promise you, I threw the metaphysical kitchen sink at them.
The following year, we did an event called Free All. My partner, John Quiqley, and I, brought several hundred Palestinian boy scouts and girl scouts to the dividing wall in Bethlehem that marks the original road into Bethlehem under Israeli control. We had them put their paint-covered hands on the dividing wall to create a visual plea to the world to bring the wall down. The rest of the kids spelled the word Free All and we filmed that image aerially. The following year, we did a large-stage concert called Forgive All with Serj Tankian from System of a Down and Stewart Copeland from The Police and a lot of other well-known musicians. The last event I did was a benefit album called 2 Unite All. As you may get it, Visions of Peace, Love All, Free All, Forgive All, 2 Unite All.
[Tweet “Music is fundamental to who we are.”]
Music is fundamental to who we are. The great Sufi master, Hazrat Inayat Khan, and his book really in my opinion, a seminal book on music called The Mysticism of Sound and Music. He states that people say that the soul on hearing the song of creation entered the body but in reality, the soul itself is the song. It goes on to say there’s no greater way to attain spiritual enlightenment and/or awareness than through music if only the music is rightly understood. I spent 30 years of my life looking for this rightly understood music. I had a beautiful moment when I got to see Kitarō in concert. I had met Kitarō 30 years ago and his manager Eiichi in Dallas in their first North American tour. I was backstage with them. This was a full circle moment as I’ll describe with that image of free falling into Bethlehem. I realized something was radically different about this particular type of music. I was really interested in Kitarō, Vangelis, Enya, musicians of this sort. I spent roughly eleven years writing a thesis paper on the effects of music and consciousness so that I could articulate to people who were operating from a holistic medicine perspective, from the environmental perspective, from the self-esteem perspective, all basically saying the same thing. John Robbins, in his book, Diet for a New America, said basically to love the self and you won’t harm Mother Earth. Jack Canfield in his book, love the self, this is the first place to begin.
I worked closely with Senator John Vasconcellos, who started the self-esteem movement, launched it nationally. John was my roommate. I was his shadow. He was my bestman in my wedding. I’ve been so honored to have so many beautiful connections with people and just to try find the best thinkers on the planet of how do we create a loving and kind place. I’m reminded that when Einstein would come home from the school, his mom never said, “Did you make good grades?” She said, “Did you ask good questions?” In large part, we fail to ask these good questions. How are we the same? How can we create love and peace and kindness? When you do that and you knock with a ferocious knock on the door of heaven with that, you will get the answer. The next step is to take action.
Do you believe in sowing and reaping?
Cause and effect?
Of course. This is just basic laws of karma.
When it comes to questions and answers, what do you see as the relationship there between question and answer? I have a thought but I’m curious what your thoughts are.
If I can preface this a little bit, one of the very key distinctions in this book, The Power of Choice: Success and Your Life Purpose that I brought up is the importance of words. I’m going to preface that in creating a distinction between hearing and listening. Hearing, everybody does passively. Listening means there is a participatory state of paying attention to words, inward guidance, because we’re always getting information nanosecond after nanosecond. The key is how to distinguish words which are serving the higher self or those which are coming from the ego mind and keeping us in a place of suffering and sabotage. It’s a super simple equation. In the Bible it says, “In the beginning was the word and the word was with God.” God said, ”Let there be light.” The word ‘the word’ in the Bible literally translates into primary harmony. That’s what it actually means. The Bhagavad Gita means song celestial and in the Upanishads, it means the last song. This all has to do with harmonics.
If you look at this in a really common sense state, every word is made of letters. Every letter has its own specific phonetic sound based on whether it’s a consonant or a vowel sound. In essence, every time you say any word whatsoever, it’s really analogous to hitting several keys on a piano simultaneously. You’re sending out a chord of causation. As an example in that regard, metaphorically if I gave you a tomato seed and asked you to plant it in fertile soil, you know out of the tomato seed there’s no way whatsoever you can get a pine tree. Out of a tomato seed, you only get a tomato seed, and thus is it so with your words. If you look at the great parable, Aladdin’s Lamp, Aladdin was sent to retrieve a lamp in a special cave. There was a cave door, he had to say three words to open that cave door. The words were open sesame. Say that slower, “Open says me.” Your words are spells. Your words are incantations. Your words are prayers. Your words are mantras. If you listen to the way most people articulate their life day in and day out, most of the time they’re using words like ‘I need.’ “I need to do that.”
Words of scarcity, need as a word.
Ask yourself, “Is the word need closer to a state of abundance or a lack?” It’s obviously close to a state of lack. If something is closer to the state of lack, is lack closer to a state of love or fear? Obviously, fear. If something is closer to fear, is it closer to a state of responding or reacting? Of course, reacting. It means that anytime you think that word need, that is a certain frequency of causation. When you speak the words, you’re amplifying the field of causation. In other words, you’re accelerating mass, matter, people’s situations, circumstances into form. When you write it down as an attorney, as you once were, you know as well as I do, this is concretizing your intent. This is bringing thought into form. I encourage everyone, look around you in the room you’re sitting on, the chair, the screen you’re looking at, all of this was just a thought in someone’s imagination. Buddha said, “All that we are is a result of what we have thought.” King Solomon says, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” The word man is a Sanskrit word. It means consciousness, not male flesh and bones. It means consciousness. This changes the dynamic very strategically in regards to understanding the Bible when it says, “Man was created in the image of God.” We are co-creating the world nanosecond after nanosecond.
I want to go back to Einstein’s mom’s point asking him, “Did you ask good questions today?” What a powerful statement of awareness and that there’s a cause and effect relationship between questions and answers. You had pointed out that the world in many ways is a reflection and the challenges in the world have a lot to do with the fact that we’re not asking these types of questions, that we’re not asking better questions. Therefore, we’re not getting a certain type of answer. We’re not getting better answers. My question to you is, why do you think it is? I have a theory but I’m more curious about yours. Why do you think it is that people are not asking these deeper, more profound questions? Forget profound, profound is just a word. Let’s say questions that you do not readily have an answer for because it would seem that the common denominator in the great number of people that are not asking certain questions is that those questions don’t have easy answers.
When I began to ask these questions at age 28 very seriously when I was in this particular point in time of my life, I was lost. I have pulled off, as some people may say, some fairly significant things. I promise the universe did not throw rose petals at my feet. I’ve got everything in the kitchen sink. This is classic dark night of the soul. To answer your question, I think the big stumbling stone in most people’s path is fear that they won’t know what’s the right answer. Do they have to have some mystical moment like I did? I didn’t even intend to have that moment when I was a kid. When I committed at age 28 to really step onto that path and committed my heart and soul and my actions and my money and everything, I said, “Father, mother, God, you show me what to do. I’m going to do it rain, sleet, hail, snow.” I did and I saw miracles. Miracles are always there. They’re always present. It’s just when we strip away the veil of illusion and can go head on directly into that which we fear the most, then you see the illusion. That which you feel that you’re most afraid of, it vaporizes because it’s illusion.
In part answer to your question, Martin Luther King said, “You don’t have to see the entire staircase. Just take the next step.” Most people want to see the entire staircase. I promise I did not have a clue I was going to end up backstage with Kitarō. I did not have a clue I would ever produce an album with Peter Gabriel or Roger Waters. I didn’t have a clue but I just knew I was guided by this vision to bring the most inspired and loving music I could to the world.
What questions were you asking, if you can remember? Were there questions that you were asking at the time that you did not have answers for but you were asking those questions nonetheless? By the time when you were 28 and when you were setting out on this path that was an unknown path and a path that didn’t guarantee you any success or any support even, what were the questions that you were asking at that time?
“Why am I here? What is my purpose?” I kept asking emphatically, “Tell me. I demand to know.” When you do this, I suspect you may be given insights, you may recall an experience as I did when I was that little kid of age eight. That wasn’t something that I kept perpetually with me. It was like, “I remember that.” I think most people are given these sorts of insights. In Aldous Huxley’s book, Island, it’s about an island of enlightened people. They had left the mainland because there were too many distractions. They go to the island, less distraction, so they figure. They get there, lots of distractions still on the island. They gather and they go, “How do we stay in the enlightened state?” Someone observed there were thousands upon thousands of parrots. They said, “We’re going to teach the parrots two words. We know the parrots will repeat the words 24 hours a day, seven days a week. By listening to these words, we’ll stay in the enlightened state.” The two words were ‘pay attention.’ The universe is always giving you clues.
It’s like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The Germans have stolen the map. They beat Indy and the rest of the team. Indy and the team are watching one German soldier by commander’s order, go through the cave, come back decapitated. They discover Indy, they bring them down. They tell Indy, “You’re going,” and he says, “You’re out of your mind,” and the German commander takes his Luger and shoots his dad, Sean Connery, in the stomach. He says, “Your choice.” Get the grail, he drinks out of it and lives. He doesn’t, he dies. Indy is forced on the hero’s journey. He has the map back in hand. He makes it through the blades that try to cut his head off. He makes it through the floor that spells god in a particular way, so he’s not impaled by spears. He gets to the end of the cave and he figures, “Last test.” Then he sees a crevice hundreds of feet across, thousands of feet down, no bridge, no rope, no way to get across. Clearly on the other side he can see the knight of the roundtable guarding the chalice, the Holy Grail. They yell at the end of the tunnel, “Indy, you have to hurry. Your father is dying.” He has the map in his hand, which clearly shows a person walking in midair to the other side. He’s standing on the precipice of this crevice. He has no choice and yet in his mind and in his face you can see, “I’m about to die,” and there is no other choice. I emphasize this word, chooses, to take this leap of faith. He takes this leap of faith and he steps onto an illusionary bridge which you could never have seen or discovered if he had not first had the courage to take that leap of faith.
The universe always operates this way, I believe. When you have that courage to take the first step, not see the entire staircase but take the first step, whatever it is, towards your vision of what it is you’re here for and how you could be of loving, kind, caring service to the planet, the universe will give you clues. Your job is to pay attention to the clues and take action. That’s why my book is broken into three steps. Discernment, the first step, differentiating between information coming from the ego mind versus that, which is coming from the higher self. These word patterns are critical to that. When you hear words like, “You need to do that. You should do that. You ought to do that. You must do that,” let this be like a big flag and a big bell, “Information coming from ego mind, do the exact opposite.” When you hear words like, “This will serve you. I would love to do this. I desire to do this. I want to do this,” or the spirit could even say, “This is required.” The spirit will never say, “You need to do this.” The spirit will instruct you through, “These steps are required.” This way, you’re empowered in the present moment. It’s never usurping your power as a human being. It’s only empowering you and these words are clues.
In a card game, these would be a tell. In a poker game, someone might get a good card and they go, “Hmm.” Everybody knows he’s got a good card. He does this and he goes, “Ah.” He got a bad card. When you hear these words and begin to pay attention to these words, this gives you clarity about where the information is being directed from. When you pay attention to that and then take the next step, which I call the next D in this equation, is discipline. That’s trusting in the word. The first is listening. Not hearing the word, but listening to the word. The next D is trusting in the word, discipline. The third D is discipleship, and that’s acting on the word. When you do that, you will witness miracles. I promise. I have.
It’s a miracle to ask a question in some ways that you don’t have an answer to. When you ask those questions when you were just getting 28 and is still a baby, I feel like, at an age where I’m at now.
I just turned 60. I never thought I would be here, but you’re right.
What’s interesting to me about that is the idea that there’s this cause and effect relationship. One exists in collaboration with the other that one is a prerequisite to the other, that they’re tied to each other. To ask a question, you must receive an answer. That’s what it seems to be, that you must receive an answer. It’s also part of the reason why people don’t ask questions, some big questions or questions that they might consider beyond their ability to understand or their ability to comprehend or beyond the ability of those around them or even of the internet. If you Google, “What is my purpose?” on the internet, you’re going to get a lot of things referencing how other people can help you to find your purpose with books and things. It’s not going to answer your question, “What is my purpose?”
The universe is giving you clues, if I can say. The clues are basically these. What gives you the most joy? What gives you the most happiness? What makes you feel like a little kid on Christmas Day running on your tiptoes to open up a present? What gives you that level of passion? These are clues. Pay attention. You may not see the entire staircase, but take that first step in that direction. Then you will see another piece of the puzzle and that will go, “That connects with that and this connects with that.” Then you’ll begin to see this mosaic begin to form and this picture in your mind’s heart.
Just full circle here, I told you about the kid freefalling into Bethlehem when I was a little boy. The last event that we did in 2012 there, everything in the world went south on this. We were trying to bring Palestinians and Israelis to both sides of the dividing wall, have them form half the peace sign and everything went south. Two days before, a militant had detonated a bomb up against the wall. There was a shoot-to-kill order from the Israeli military. I was working with the governor, the mayor, everybody and we couldn’t pull that thing off. I was pulled down to Manger Square at midnight at Christmas Eve and they said, “We can’t do this. You have to do it someplace else.” I had already worked with the boy scouts and girl scouts for a week. Everyone was in agreement. We were going to bus them off to this location and do this image. At the end the mayor says, “We can’t do it there.” In the morning, she called me. She says, “We have to do it in Manger Square.” I said, “Manger Square? I’ve been there. There are 7,000 plus people there where there should be only 3,000. How are we going to do this?” This is church of the patriarch, everybody you can imagine.
We get down there. I figured, “Good thing we don’t have to bus the kids all the way over to the other side of the city.” They’re right there, church of the patriarch comes in, all of a sudden the boy scouts, they’re out. They’re not going to participate. I said, “Screw that.” We decided to put together a big peace symbol in Manger Square and then spell the words ‘love all’ with the kids. I started pulling the bicycle gates in place and map the area out, cleared everybody out. We had to draw a big peace symbol, a big circle. You start with a string and you have people walk a big chalk around the outside perimeter of the circle. I’m at the center of the string, just happens to be. At that moment, I’m at the center of the string, I look up, I promise that is the exact place I saw when I was freefalling as a little kid at age eight in the Manger Square. All of a sudden, the boy scouts were back in and we form the image. You can see it on the web. It’s a really beautiful place.
[Tweet “Your job is to pay attention to the clues and take action.”]
What’s really important, Steve, is that people have a way to move forward. When the staircase is dark and when you don’t have faith or you question your faith that the stair will appear as you continue to move forward in the darkness. Just like that great example you shared from that Indiana Jones movie, to step out toward what you want even without being able to see.
Even without the money, even without the connections, even without whatever you could list, because I didn’t have this stuff. I just said, “Father, mother, God, show me the way.” I just committed to doing everything, making every phone call, “I’m super afraid of making that phone call. I don’t want to make that phone call.” I made the phone call. I’m right in. No secretary, nothing. I get the person right on the phone. It happened over and over again. The Sufis call this place that we’re describing here at its dark night of the soul, they call this The Place of the I Don’t Know. This is where addicts will sometimes find themselves where they’ve tried everything externally they possibly could, they’ve bottomed out, and they’re at the place ‘I don’t know’. That means they’ve exhausted every external parameter they possibly can and the only place they can go is within. At that place in the ‘I don’t know,’ the Sufi mystics say we’re this close to enlightenment. Not knowing what your life purpose is, is only something to be excited about.
I want you to confirm this or say it’s not true in your experience. The reason you’re this close is because when you ask the question, it guarantees the receipt of an answer; the cause and effect relationship. I think it was Jonathan Livingston Seagull, an old book where Chiang says something to the effect that the moment you decide, you’ve already arrived. He’s speaking about this movement of flying from East to West. He says, “The moment you decide that you’re going, you’ve already arrived.” The moment that you ask the question, you have already received the answer. The answer may not be apparent to you at the moment, but you will receive an answer at some point. If you’d never asked the question, that’s the tragedy. The fear to ask the question, to ask, “What is my purpose?” Maybe you asked that question when you were 28 and when you were 38 or 48 or whatever, at some other point in your life, the fear might be to ask the question again because you’re no longer feeling passionate or on purpose about what you’re doing. When you’re not 100% confident that the path that you’ve taken is the path that you ought to be on now or could be on right now.
It’s curious, Adam, that you mentioned this book because there’s a quote out of that book, one of my favorites and I do live my life as best I possibly can by this. It’s, “You’re never given a dream without also being given the power to make it come true.” It’s like from the Bible, “Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven and all else is given unto you.” The Jesus figure in the Bible says, “Greater things I have done and even the least among you can do greater than I.” How can you interpret this other than, “I did it and you can do it and you can go further than I?” However, you must first find the kingdom of heaven which dwelleth within. The Jesus figure says, “You cannot enter the kingdom of heaven until you become as a child.” In other words, only in that metaphorical state of innocence can you, as it says in Psalms, “Be still and know that I am God.” Only then can you know. God said, “Let there be light and that the word was made flesh and full of grace and dwelt among us,” which is again why Einstein states energy and mass are just different forms of the same thing. This all begins with our thought. King Solomon said, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Buddha said, “All that we are is a result of what we had thought.” Emerson says, “The ancestor of every action is thought.” This is so common sense and yet you sit and look around your room, you see the computer, you see the phone, you see pictures, and you keep forgetting these were only thoughts in someone’s imagination. These were goals in someone’s imagination. They were just ideas.
The album I just produced with Peter Gabriel and Roger Waters and Philip Lawrence of Bruno Mars and Stewart Copeland from The Police and Sasha Cooke, Grammy-winning opera singer, and many other beautiful, caring musicians, it was an idea and made manifest through prayer and persistence. You know as well as I do, as a businessman, as a salesperson, engineer as I was, persistence, persistence, persistence, tenacity, tenacity, tenacity. I couldn’t tell you, Adam, how many times I was about to throw the towel and say, “Thank you very much. I’m so glad you gave me this mission. Next.” It’s too tough.
We use in the lexicon of pivot work, we call that resilience. One of the things that you and I started to talk about was how important resilience is. My last question for you, Steve, is to share with us what is it that helps you to cultivate resilience? Is it a ritual? Is it some other master habit or is it some other practice that you’ve got? I call all consciously created habits, so master habits, I call them rituals. What is it that you do to cultivate resilience?
I’d say two things. Paying very close attention to the inner still voice within and listening for words, which are kind and caring and compassionate and prodding me towards being the most courageous expression of God’s loving truth that I can be and listening very carefully for that, then acting tenaciously, single-mindedly, laser-focused. From the Apollo film, “Failure is not an option.” I don’t even use that, “Failure isn’t an option.” Success is the only option. When you frame things in this particular way, the brain goes, “We agree with you.” The universe is always agreeing with you. You say, “I’m going to be a failure. This is going to be difficult. I can’t make enough money.” The universe is going to put its arm around you and it goes, “We agree.” If you say, “I’m going to be a super success. I’m going to make this. I’m going to accomplish this,” the universe goes, “We agree.” It’s agreeing with you to whatever degree you choose to co-create. Choice is an imperative part of this equation. Knowing, being aware that you are choosing nanosecond after nanosecond at the most granular level what you can choose.
I wake up every morning, the first thing I do, I listen or read the A Course in Miracles lesson. For me, that’s a book I like. I meditate. I have a particular practice I do for five, ten minutes. This is all available on my book. You can go to our site. You can download my book for free if you wish. It’s ProjectPeaceOnEarth.org, go under Take Action, and then go under Steve’s Book and you can download the book for free. It’s just my offering. It’s my way to just show you the path that I have taken. I’m only praying to pay attention, listen as carefully as I can for the small, loving, kind, still voice within, which is always 100% of the time guiding me towards creating a world with greater love and peace and good and care and compassion, and first with myself. This was a very difficult thing. I’m Scorpio by nature and I have a lot of planets in Scorpio and I’m very critical of myself. I had to find compassion for me and forgiveness for me and care for me.
You said a quote, “The healing of the self is the healing of the nation.” Who said that?
Thích Nhất Hạnh, the Buddhist poet.
I wrote that down and was thinking of actually a particular section of Course in Miracles. This is a great place for us to conclude, which is I reference to Chapter 30 of Course in Miracles, The New Beginning, which is a wonderful section. The part I’m referring to is called Rules for Decision. This is in essence the way that we create the day that we want. We create the day that we want so that by having the day we want, we are able to then give it to the world. It’s our offering to the world. The peace that we can have ourselves, that we give to ourselves, that we gift to ourselves is the piece that we give to the world. The love that we give to ourselves is the love that we give to the world. It works both ways, the converse being the judgment that we give ourselves is the judgment that we give to the world. The resentment or the anger that we give to ourselves, the brand of conditional love that we give to ourselves is also that which we share with the world. That’s where you said at the beginning of our session that loving thy neighbors as we love ourselves is the heart of the problem in some levels, in some way because we’re not practicing what it means to give ourselves unconditional love and unconditional acceptance.
One of the core principles of spiritual teachings I’ve learned is if you see something negative in something or somebody else, it’s in you. If you see something beautiful and kind and caring in someone else, it’s in you. If we see these things which we find painful and uncaring and unloving, and we begin to work on and ask, “Father, mother, God, beloved friend, help me forgive that. Help me forgive this thing that I judge now.” We do that and we use the Hawaiian practice, Hoʻoponopono, “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.” By the way, at the dividing wall, before we brought the little kids there to put their paint-covered hands, those children had never ever touched that wall before, never. The guards that were in the conning tower above, I was told for the first time the bulletproof glass, they had never ever opened that glass and they did. They watched the entire thing. The first thing I did is I smudged the wall with an eagle feather and I said the Hoʻoponopono, “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you. I’m sorry. Please forgive me.” If you feel yourself in judgment about somebody or yourself and you say this, this dissolves your attachment to the judgment to yourself or those people that you’re judging, so now you’re free. The ego’s mind to be clear, it’s to stick your hand on the flag paper of delusion and suffering. That’s its sole function. Once you can lift your hand from that trajectory and see how everything is divinely and lovingly interconnected because it is we do see, as John Lennon said, “All will live as one.”
What a perfect place for us to conclude as we began thinking about how it is that we are connected and how we share so much including this very sacred moment, the sacred breath, this heart space. I want to thank you, Steve Robertson, for your preciousness, who you are in the world, how you have shown up and how you have followed that voice, how you’ve followed, you sought the answers to those important questions when you were 28. Thank God that you did. Thank you for being a part of this community and for sharing your light and your love with us.
Thank you for having the vision to hold the space of a program, a space of sacredness where this dialogue can occur, where people can feel a space where it’s like, “I’m not lost. At least, I can go to Adam’s show and I can pick up a tidbit.” I hope on some level I’ve shared something with you that may give you a spark of hope or give you an insight and really encourage you. I sincerely say, if I have done what I have done, I promise you can do it. You can definitely do it.
Everybody have a wonderful, wonderful rest of your day or evening, wherever we’re meeting you right now. Remember, tomorrow, wake up. The most important thing is the incredible opportunity that we have tomorrow to wake up, to wake up both physically and metaphorically. Step one, you wake up, wake up your consciousness. In that waking moment, in that first conscious awakening, in that breath that you take, realize how sacred, special and even holy that moment is because there will be people then taking their very last breath in that moment. Regardless of what challenges you may be having in your life, what things may be going right or may be going sideways or may be pushing you up against your growth edge, take a deep breath and be grateful for that moment and for that breath. There are so many other things you can be grateful for. Sit in that gratitude for just as long as you’d like. Then declare, state out loud, put your feet on the floor, throw your arms up in the air, put your hands on your heart and declare, “I love my life. I love my life. I love my life.” We will see you again very, very soon on the next episode of Pivot Radio. Ciao for now. Much love.
- Steve Robertson
- Project Peace On Earth
- 2 Unite All
- A Course in Miracles
- The Power of Choice: Success and Your Life Purpose
- The Game of Life and How to Play It
- Visions of Peace
- Picasso Peace Dove
- Concert in Bethlehem on Christmas Day
- Free All
- Forgive All
- 2 Unite All Album
- The Mysticism of Sound and Music
- Diet for a New America
- Jack Canfield
- Jonathan Livingston Seagull
- Steve’s Book
- The New Beginning
- Rules for Decision