Bring It Forth by Alan Cohen

September 15th, 2011

Do you have any doubt that you can be everything you want to be?  Do you believe you are limited by your history, genetics, karma, or any other factor?  If so, take heart. Your destiny far outshines your history.

Scientists tell us that dogs evolved from the wolf. About ten thousand years ago people began to breed dogs to draw forth traits they valued. Wolves were selected for hunting skills, herding, and loyalty. Over time breeding became more and more specialized, until today we have over 150 registered dog breeds and a total of 500 breeds created by specifically mixing the registered breeds.

This theory does not explain why my dog looks and acts nothing like a wolf. Our little Maltese weighs eight pounds, with long white fluffy hair, and a pushed-in nose. She is the cutest creature you have ever seen (I know, except for your dog or cat), with infinite affection for everyone she meets. Yet scientists swear she descends from a wild, scary-looking predator virtually impossible to tame.

If that’s true (unless my secret belief that visitors from another planet created genetic variations is borne out), then we have a monumental lesson:  You can make anything out of anything. Everything has the potential to become anything you want it to be. If, through focus, intention, and perseverance, you can pull an adorable, tame, loving, loyal, playful creature out of a vicious killer, you can draw forth the noblest qualities from the worst of people or situations.

I saw a news story about a murderer who escaped from prison, found his way to a neighborhood, and took a single female homeowner as a hostage. The woman happened to be a psychologist who was more sympathetic to her captor than afraid of him. As a legion of police and SWAT team surrounded the house, the psychologist persuaded them to give her some time with the convict. Over a day or two the woman encouraged her uninvited guest to talk about what was going on within him and what he wanted for his life. She served as a compassionate listener and supported his well-being. After a day, he surrendered himself. Later she became his advocate and worked to get him out of prison and get back on his feet in society.

This woman’s courage and skill drew a good man out of an apparently bad one. You and I, too, have the power to reinforce the traits we prefer from those around us. (Dale Carnegie: “Give that person a fine reputation to live up to!”)  Actually, we are already creating the people around us by our expectations of them and their traits we focus on. Every time you complain about your husband leaving crumbs on the kitchen counter, or you compliment him for taking out the garbage, you reinforce the characteristic you are focusing on. Complaint and praise accomplish the same results — manifesting more of whatever you are giving your attention to.

Belief and vision are crucial factors in bringing forth positive attributes. A story from education annals tells of a teacher who opened her roster on the first day of the semester and was delighted to find high I.Q. scores next to the students’ names: 125, 136, 131. Thank goodness, Miss Matthews thought to herself, finally a smart group. The teacher gave her students challenging lessons, stimulating projects, and creative freedom. At the end of the semester all the students got A’s and B’s. The next day the principal called the teacher into his office and asked her, “Miss Matthews, how did you take a group of low-functioning students and turn them into geniuses?” Puzzled, the teacher showed the principal her roll book with their listed I.Q.’s. “Those are not their I.Q.’s,” the principle laughed. “Those are their locker numbers!”

The universe, quantum physics explains, is made of energy more than matter, and energy is highly amenable to the power of thought and intention.  You can pluck anything from the universe by focusing your attention on an object. Spiritual masters and yogis have demonstrated this over millennia. Jesus turned water into wine, and in more current times Satya Sai Baba has manifested many objects out of thin air. My mentor Hilda Charlton was traveling with Sai Baba when their car ran out of gas. Baba called for a bucket of water, poked his finger in it, and ordered the liquid to be poured into the gas tank. The auto ran fine on the new fuel. (At today’s gas prices, wouldn’t you like to do that?)

As we enter a new season of school and business, it might be worth our while to think clearly about what we want to create. What is your most valued goal for this coming school or business year?  How much attention are you giving your highest priority, and how much attention are you giving to lower priorities, or things you do not wish to experience? Each day take a few sacred moments to remember what’s important. Be not deceived by the appearance of the wolf. There is a marvelously friendly dog hiding inside.

  1. Karri says:

    Easier said than done, but I do know from experience if you put your energy toward something, you can do it!

  2. Lori-Lyn says:

    I love this. Thank you.

  3. Moon says:

    Very inspiring!  It’s amazing that most people (myself included sometimes) have no trouble believing in “heaven,” but scoff at anything supernatural on Earth that they haven’t seen with their own eyes and won’t even try to think beyond the limits of what already is or strive to learn the mind techniques that the sages knew.  Even if we all can’t end up doing things as amazing as the most advanced sages did, every step towards that level is a step towards a larger, more empowered life.  Great article!

  4. Thank you, very inspiring.

  5. NLC_55 says:

    I really enjoyed and believe what you say is quite true, i am always telling my son no matter what you want in like if you want it bad enough you will find away, it does not matter where you come from, what your told, or what you have, believe in your self and dreams can come true, we can but try.

  6. Carol Shimp says:

    This is a great quote. It brings to mind nasty people and with a simple guessture you might get them to smile. I bet they would hide or cover up a smile. I would know it happened. Be not deceived by the appearance of the wolf. There is a marvelously friendly dog hiding inside.

  7. Love is very powerful and you cannot put  a price on acceptance, a listening ear and an encouraging voice.  Turning water into fuel may not be within somes bag of tricks but certainly turning our attention to creating positive relationships and seeing the good in others definitely is.  Creating a difference in the world is so possible, even if we only do it one person at a time.

  8. Lovely post & lovely photo, it’s a good reminder for me at a time when I really to have to have faith that I can create my own reality.

  9. E says:

    Interesting and inspiring. I will try to remember to focus more expectations on good health, life,having food,having strength, and a home. I know, it’s a lot, but, why think small???

  10. […] Blog Archive » Bring It Forth by Alan Cohen Posted by MagMan on 26/01/2012 in Papers | ∞ posted by friends:  (2) @Soulseedzforall: Belief and vision are crucial factors […]

  11. mike says:

    why ruin some good homilies with miracle nonsense.
    Real life is more than wonderful enough without stupid repeating of mystic claims
    ?You really believe these things happened / could happen?
    Sure – be positive and believe ” Anything is possible” but that anything has got to be ” within reason” – without that caveat all knowledge is bullshit – like the above

  12. Kate says:

    And this, Mike, is why you fail. 😉
    How can anyone look around at the miracles happening every day in nature and not believe that anything is possible. Unfortunately, the media likes to only publish bad news and bury happy / miraculous news in order to keep us small thinking and compliant. This conditioning brings about negative attitudes.
    We are all just made of energy, life in itself is a miracle. We are living in space on a big spherical ball with all manner of wonderful things. How the heck is THAT possible???

  13. Louise G says:

    I appreciate the stories, and the wonder each one reveals in a world of miracles. Everyday, miracles happen.
    Everyday, I miss seeing them when my focus isn’t on witnessing miracles, but rather, looking for reasons to not create, do or be my greatness.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Very inspiring read! Thank you!

  15. Faith Morgan says:

    That was really well written.  I am not sure that this truth excludes kharma and destiny;  can I situate all of those truths together?  Hmmm, I think, yes.

  16. Kenneth Vogt says:

    We often get caught up in our own history as if it is the truth. It is just a story and I promise you other people close to you know a different version than you do. These versions all have one thing in common: none of them are the truth. So you are unfettered. What will you do now? Consider this:

  17. Jamie says:


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