Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God's will for us and the power to carry that out.
There are seven trillion possible humans in the gene pool. At the moment there are about six billion of us on the planet. Assuming that a generation is 25 years and assuming that the population remained stable at six billion, that means that we could expect exact copies of ourselves to reappear on the planet roughly every 29,000 years. And then that duplicate would arrive in an entirely different world. That is how unique each of us is.
I think the part about attunement and conscious contact with a higher power is about figuring out what our particular uniqueness is about and what to do with that uniqueness.
I recently heard Wayne Dyer talking about his book, "10 Secrets for Successful Living and Inner Peace". He closed his talk with a lovely and delightful thought that goes exactly to the point of understanding and expressing uniqueness. He talked about the metaphor embedded in the words to the children's song, "Row Your Boat." The verse goes, "row, row, row, your boat". Row - move, attempt, make voyages, do your life. And it is your boat you row. Not someone else's boat, not the boat someone tells you to row. But your own one in seven trillion, one in six billion boat. Knowing what your boat is comes to us through conscious contact with the greater whole. Call that what is meaningful to you - God, the universe, nature, the Mind Spring. Whatever. The wisdom source is doubtless the same and wearing many names.
And row down the stream. Do not row up the stream. There is little progress to be made rowing down the stream. You will get tired and stay in the same place. Make progress. Go with the flow. Go down stream. Go gently.
And do this merrily. All the time - Merrily, merrily, merrily. Row, row, row, merrily, merrily, merrily. The Buddhists tell us to go joyfully into the sorrows of the world. Find joy. Not the empty, carnal pleasures of our addictions, but the joy of a full, multidimensional, self-determined life of rowing your own boat. Go into you life in joy.
And last in the verse, "Life is but a dream." What is this telling us? It suggests that there is a depth to experience that may not be immediately apparent. And that life is an easy thing when you merrily row your boat down stream. Life is not a struggle or a trial or and ordeal or a triumph. Life is a dream. Be then a dreamer.
This is how Dyer sees the secret of successful living and inner peace. I add a bit to his interpretation of the metaphor by thinking of where the stream ends up. In time it merges with another stream and then another and another still until it becomes a river. And the river runs on, merging with other rivers until it becomes a great river. At last it merges with the sea - the source - the place of joining. And from there, the sea is recycled to rain and snow to begin the cycle again. So the ancient rhyme also positions us at a moment of moving time in the great cycle.
On a rainy night a few years ago a client came into a session with me, grousing about the rain. Now this was a deeply pessimistic man. He did not row merrily. This was also a deeply Christian man. It occurred to me to tell him this. I told him that I did not know how many molecules of water had fallen on him as he walked from his car into the office, but I knew there were very many. I also told him that it was virtually certain that among those molecules was at least one that had been among the molecules of water with which Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. And molecules that filled the lungs of those who drown with the Titanic. And molecules that soothed the parched throats of the hardy folk who walked across Death Valley in 1849, and on and on.
The point is this. There is opportunity in every moment to make conscious spiritual contact with the greater. It takes us out of ourselves and into contact with other people and the greater whatever beyond. That sense of self-knowledge and connection can be achieved in deliberate prayer and meditation. It can be achieved through awareness of nature and others. I don't think the particular method matters a bit, so long as the product is a knowledge of our uniqueness and purpose here and the will and energy to row on in that purpose.