Human Science

It is said that we are creatures of habit -- i.e. we like to persist in doing that which is routine and familiar, rather than what is different, fresh, and new. Sri Aurobindo tells us that this is due to our material, body consciousness, which tends to remain the same, rather than progress: to repeat the same things, rather than take fresh, new initiative.

And yet we can learn to be more open to change in our moment-to-moment lives. In any given circumstance, we can become aware of our fixidity, our reluctance, our unchanging habit, and instead take a fresh, new tact. And when we break that routine and pattern, not only do we experience the joy of a fresh moment, but we open the portals of possibility, enabling sudden good fortune to come our way. Let me illustrate with a recent experience.

For several years, I have been self-publishing my books through Lulu Press, a wonderful online system that is an alternative to traditional book production. An author goes to their website, supplies the manuscript file, selects a look for the covers, and Lulu produces a book template available to the public. The consumer can then purchase a volume to order, 1 or 100, and have it shipped within a few days. It is a major revolution in the book-publishing field.

For several years, I have had little problems using the service. I would simply follow the steps and voila! new iterations of my books would be made available to the public. Recently, however, I have been trying to publish a new book, ‘Higher Consciousness, Infinite Success’, a compendium of the dozen or so major articles I have written at the Growth Online site, and have run into several problems. The main one is that when I send my Microsoft Word file to the site, the Lulu wizard would not accept it. I figured that it might be an error in their system, or that there is too much traffic at their site, or some other factor. For a month, I struggled to get a version of the file uploaded to Lulu so I could complete the book publishing cycle. Recently I simply resigned myself to the plight, hoping it would self-correct down the line.

Then I recalled that several associates of mine were using the Mozilla Firefox web browser instead of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. It was something I had never tried before, nor did I see a reason to. I sometimes even wondered why my friends were using it. I heard it was a little faster, but that did not seem enough to take me away from Internet Explorer. In any case, one morning, frustrated with my lack of success in uploading my latest book, and not having gotten a credible response from Lulu, I decided to download the Firefox browser.

When I loaded it up, it did indeed seem to be somewhat faster, though that still seemed only a relatively minor benefit for continuing with its use. Then I went to the Lulu site and tried uploading my manuscript through Firefox instead of the normal Internet Explorer. A moment later, I was shocked to see that not only did my manuscript file take the first time around, but I was able to get through all the publishing steps in record time! Later in the week, I made further changes to the manuscript, and was very quickly able to create a revision at Lulu. For me, it was a marvel to behold, as weeks if not months of frustration had now suddenly ended.

Even as I was having the experience, I saw the great life response benefit of embracing change in the details of life: of taking a different path, rather than following old habits and routines. When we perform an act in a fresh, new way, rather than in the tired old way, life immediately opens before us. When we get off the dime, and move away from our physical consciousness that is fixed and wants to repeat, we open the portals of possibility. It was another wonderful reminder that every moment we are offered the opportunity to break old habits and quickly attract the infinite to our doorstep.

--Roy Posner 14:20, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

See also other Case Studies on Life Response