The road to illumination, and our ability to lead a rich and fulfilling life, is a journey beset with challenge, much of which is birthed by the poorly programmed software of our minds—our conscious and not so conscious thoughts.
In The Four R’s—Unlocking Your Divine Potential, T. Guy Chittenden uses the backdrop of his own riveting story to illustrate The Four R’s—a simple and effective solution to the aforementioned dilemma. It represents an extremely powerful process of self-transformation—a process that engages the infinite power of Divine Consciousness to transform the limiting ideas, beliefs, and agreements that have been internalized over the course of a lifetime.
The Four R’s can be easily incorporated into one’s spiritual practice, and when applied diligently, will:
• transform the thought processes that limit you;
• free your intrinsic ability to love unconditionally;
• enable you to realize your ever-present connection to Source;
• assist you to live a healthy, balanced, abundant, and fulfilling life;
• empower you to embrace your Divine Potential.
“It is my heartfelt hope that The Four R’s will assist you in your transformation and awakening—that it will elicit a profound realization in you of the indelible state of perfection and love that permeates every cell of your being.” —T. Guy Chittenden
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Read an Excerpt
My Early Life
I was raised in the town of Hastings on the Sussex coast of England, the location of the famous Battle of Hastings in the year 1066.
My school was in the town of Battle itself, further inland, where the Norman invaders had killed our King Harold.
Living in this well-known region gave residents a kind of pride-ofplace, and we were all able to recite the history if one of the tourists should happen to ask. (Indeed, several more eccentric residents were eager to do so even when not asked.)
Within a few weeks of adopting me, my parents realized they had a baby with a spirit of adventure. This was exemplified when, at the tender age of thirteen months, I set off from home alone to explore the world.
After thirty minutes of panicked searching, my parents found me in a neighbor's yard on the far side of the busy High Street. Somehow, even though a baby, I had managed to crawl down the full length of our winding driveway and navigate my way across the public road without being flattened by a passing car!
Both my parents came from the city of Canterbury in county Kent. My father worked in banking and my mother was a stay-at-home Mum.
My one sibling, a sister two years younger than me, still lives a few minutes from my parents' home, whereas I have continued to follow my instinct to explore farther afield. This is not for lack of love for my parents; I could not have wished for better. They were loving, supportive, and attentive.
In many ways, my early childhood was the British equivalent of a Walt Disney movie. We lived in a country house surrounded by handsome oaks, lush green meadows, and bellowing Jersey cows. On spring mornings, I would awaken to the heavy perfume of lilac blossoms wafting through my bedroom window. Add some busy little bluebirds twittering on my windowsill and a family of adorable squirrels racing up and down the trees in our garden, and the Disneyesque image of my childhood is complete.
My mother was formed by the British upper middle class of the 1950s, so the majority of my childhood memories find her in the kitchen. She's wearing a full-length apron, sifting white flour into a bowl. She pours in some milk and cuts in chunks of chilled yellow butter from the fridge. Then, with a light touch, she flattens the dough into a piecrust using her wooden rolling pin. I hear the kettle whistle and see her wipe her hands with a dishtowel before she pours the steaming water onto the loose Earl Grey tea leaves that she's scooped into one of her fine bone china teapots. The lovely perfume of bergamot is released into the air and fills me with a sense of happy expectation.
She smiles at me.
I'm sitting at the table, waiting for my cake.
Mum was five feet five, with nicely cut brown hair that fell to the middle of her neck in a classic '50s style. Although she wore casual slacks at home and in the garden, she would always put on a skirt, jacket and silk blouse with a cameo brooch to go out, even just to do the shopping in the village. There were stricter dress codes in those days and well-brought-up women of the middle class were careful about how they presented themselves.
In addition, I suspect she aspired to climb socially, although not in an obnoxious way. Her father, who was not born into privilege, had pulled himself up through the ranks of the British army by hard work. I think that drive was something my mother inherited, as well as absorbing the idea so common in England that one should always try to better one's social standing.
But far more important than looking and dressing well, she was loving and attentive. For example, she always walked me to my primary school and was waiting for me outside when school was over. She never missed a day.
On the walk home, she would ask me to check in one of the public post boxes. I'd reach my hand in and she would say, "Can you feel a ledge?" Stretching my arm as far as I could and wriggling my fingers around, I would find the ledge, and on it, a piece of chocolate she had hidden.
Mum made up this ritual purely to enchant me. It sent a wonderful message: Delightful things are found in unexpected places! To find a piece of chocolate in a chocolate tin is predictable, but to find it in a public letterbox, that's pure magic!
Once back at the house, Mum would often sit me down in the kitchen for a piece of homemade cake. She was a terrific baker and I loved every ingredient of her desserts: clotted cream, raspberry jam, strawberries, buttery icing, dark chocolate, and of course, sugar galore! (Those were the days when we could eat sweets with delight, free of the burdensome awareness that we were consuming a substance now proven to have health dangers.)
Mum was not only a wonderful baker, she was also industrious. During my teen years, she rented out a room in our house as a bed and breakfast. When my sister and I got old enough that she didn't have to watch us so closely, she opened a little antique shop (antiques were her passion) while simultaneously taking a job teaching English to foreign students.
In spite of these forays into the workforce, however, she was not a career woman. My father was the breadwinner and my mother concentrated on maintaining a stable and enjoyable home life for us. As in so many families, she was the emotional glue that connected and sustained us all.
My father was a bit of a Renaissance man. He was raised during World War II and survived many years of extreme rationing, so he did not believe in paying for goods or services that you could provide for yourself. The whole concept of consumerism, and especially the need to buy something new just because it's new, was utterly alien to him. He was recycling before it was talked about in mainstream culture simply because it's common sense to do so. He was practical, sensible, and self-reliant and he disliked waste. If something needed to be mended, you mended it yourself.
I find it admirable not to consume more than one needs, particularly in our times. The whole human species is currently suffering from the negative effects of over-population, the squandering and exploitation of natural resources, and the tragic effects of climate change — so it seems especially immoral to be greedy now.
My father was ahead of the times in this sense, but he wasn't Spartan. He didn't believe we should sleep on a board without a mattress and eat off one tin plate. Not at all! We lived comfortably, but we were encouraged to be practical and discouraged from being greedy.
Since self-reliance was high on his list of values, Dad taught me many useful skills from the time I was a small boy. By the age of ten or eleven, I could rebuild car engines, construct garden sheds, or hop up a ladder to replace damaged shingles on the roof of our house.
A Very British Childhood
When I was not helping my father, I was out building tree houses or running around our garden dressed up as Richard the Lionheart, the beloved English "Crusader King" from the Middle Ages.
The only thing I lacked, to my great distress, was a horse. My parents were sympathetic and attempted to appease me with a wooden pole that had a stuffed cloth effigy of a horse's head attached to the end.
This was in the 1960s, not the 1860s, by the way, in case you're wondering how old I am. Playing with a pole certainly wouldn't go over well with most kids nowadays, at least not kids in the United States, where I live. I was content with modest toys because I wasn't living in a culture that conditioned me to believe I needed a series of expensive toys and technical gadgets. My identity wasn't projected into objects at all. I feel grateful for this. Plus I had a vibrant imagination, so a stick with a cloth horse's head, fresh country air, and a lovely garden to gallop around in were all I needed to be completely content playing by myself.
But the bucolic qualities of my childhood came at a price. As loving as my parents were, they were also very much bound by the repressive English sensibility that characterized the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth; they had been raised by Edwardians.
My mother's father was an officer in the British army at the end of the Colonial Era and was perhaps the man most respected in our family, a perfect embodiment of the values my family culture espoused.
Both my parents were brought up in England during the '30s and '40s, decades characterized by extreme conservatism. Anyone familiar with the TV series Downton Abbey will know what I'm talking about. As late as the 1960s, many of the social codes depicted on that show were still the underlying lynchpins of the society I grew up in.
My parents' archconservative notions of social etiquette dominated my childhood: Be polite! Be appropriate! Be quiet! Children should be seen but not heard.
There were no indulgences made to protect the creativity or honor the individuality of a child and there was certainly no tolerance for dissent. Children were expected to follow a strict set of rules without question, rules designed to prepare us for an honorable adulthood free of scandal, an adulthood where we understood the many subtle codes of behavior and could fit seamlessly into our class.
In addition to maintaining the values of that class (seemingly without question), my parents were also over-protective of me and this played out nowhere more importantly than in the arena of sexuality.
For example, once in a while they would allow me to stay up past my bedtime to watch a movie with them. Well, some of the movie anyway. Whenever there was a scene with a man and woman about to enter a bedroom I would be scurried away from the TV into an adjoining room and not invited back until the scene was over.
Their attitude of sexual restraint even extended to public displays of affection. A couple in a loving embrace on a park bench would result in a hand suddenly appearing over my eyes, while my body was turned about face, away from the offending couple.
My Childhood Sweetheart
My real troubles began at age nine when I met a beautiful little girl at school: Gwyneth. She had a soft voice, skin like fine china, brunette curls and startling blue eyes with long black lashes that sometimes cast tiny shadows on her cheek, depending on the light.
I decided I was going to marry Gwyneth. It was the firmest decision of my life to date. The first time I had ever made an important, individual choice, free of other peoples' influences. Gwyneth was the girl for me. I knew it deep in my heart. She was my best friend in the entire world.
My deep romantic feelings stirred me to fashion her a plastic diamond engagement ring out of a cut-up orange juice carton and awkward bits of Sellotape.
I had it all planned.
It was School Sports Day and I was sitting on the athletic field with Gwyneth, ostensibly to watch my classmates compete in track and field.
My parents were seated on the opposite side of the track.
This was my moment of semi-privacy. The moment I had to grab. The moment I would propose marriage to the most important person in my young life.
I offered Gwyneth the ring I had created, along with a quick peck on the cheek.
She smiled and giggled, and in the uncomfortable silence that followed we quickly turned our attention to the boys hurtling past us on the running track.
When the event came to a close, I hesitatingly left Gwyneth and ambled over to my parents.
They were upset.
"We saw you kiss Gwyneth!" hissed my father. "That's not acceptable!" We drove home in a thick silence that made me afraid.
The minute we arrived at the house my parents spoke to me crossly: I was to go straight upstairs to bed without dinner and was forbidden from ever spending time with Gwyneth again.
I was devastated. A hideous blanket of shame enveloped my body. It was so intense that it even muffled the intense sorrow I felt over losing my dearest friend.
Soon after that, I started having a recurring nightmare about getting married.
I was the groom, standing in front of a vicar in a typical English church, and he would inevitably say, "Now it's time to kiss your bride."
That's when I would suddenly feel my pulse pounding in my throat. My whole body flushed burning hot. A loud clanging started in my ears and my head would spin in a sickening dizzy spell.
When I turned to glance down the aisle at my parents, their faces had transformed into gruesome masks of horror and disapproval.
I scared myself awake from this nightmare several times a week, kicking the sweaty sheets off my bed.
Much later, I understood that the overwhelming panic I felt when I was punished for kissing Gwyneth was because the experience triggered the initial feelings of abandonment I felt around the time of my birth. I feared I would be abandoned again, this time by my adoptive parents.
The event had a pivotal impact on my young psyche, which quickly concluded: I am innately shameful (though I don't know why).
Kissing a girl is very, very wrong.
I am unworthy of love.
From that day forward I became even more wary of doing anything that might earn my parents' disapproval.
There were other events along these lines throughout my childhood and teen years that piled up and up until I became so afraid of doing or saying the wrong thing that I was virtually paralyzed.
I started to over-think everything, especially when I was in the company of other people. What do I say to them? What do I do? My choice was to say and do nothing. That was safest. Just sit on the sidelines and say nothing. This is how I became a social incompetent, a non-person — a wallflower.
But the more I sat on the sidelines, the more anxiety and ill-feeling about myself took hold. By trying too hard to be correct and acceptable, I actually felt more and more inadequate.
What could I do to please my parents and be a good son?
How could I get people to like and accept me?
I was in a constant state of emotional agitation, fearing I would give myself away with those uncontrollable, embarrassing hot flushes that never seemed to drain from my reddened cheeks.
After the Gwyneth incident, I was determined to squash every bit of individuality that might risk further rejection.
To accomplish this, I denied my own feelings as a matter of course, and put my reactions on a kind of autopilot designed to keep them well within the behavioral parameters my parents found acceptable.
This meant that I was meeting the world with no self-love, no self-esteem, no spontaneity and no authenticity.
I developed a hyper-vigilant false self, ever watchful of peoples' reactions to me. To say I was a self-conscious boy would be understating it! With what I know today about the mind-body relationship, it's a miracle I didn't create a serious illness for myself or at the very least, a bad case of acne!
Like many people, I tried to use other peoples' affections to fill a painful void in myself. This got played out not just with my parents, but with virtually every friend I made as well.
Everyone knows what it feels like to have someone fawning over us like a dog at our door. We are often quite sickened by the person's neediness because it imposes such a heavy responsibility on us, and we don't want it. Human beings (especially people who do not love themselves either) tend not to want someone around who is too eager to be there. As Woody Allen put it, "I don't want to go to a party where I'm invited."
I lived the first twenty years of my life in a continual state of social paralysis. I couldn't take much pleasure in exploring anything in the outside world. Not scholastics or sports, aviation, travel, history, Rock 'n' Roll — nothing — because I was fixated on my own inner turmoil and the critical challenge of trying to be acceptable.
I gave that goal all my energy in an effort to demonstrate that I was what others wanted: A perfect son. Polite. Well-mannered. Soft-spoken. Agreeable. Studious. Someone who did not rock the boat.
At fifteen, I befriended a dark-haired boy of Scottish descent called Harris, one of the few people I could talk to without nervousness. There was something about him that put me at ease. Among other qualities, he was a wonderful mimic who made me laugh. Few of our teachers escaped his hilarious gift for satire.
The fact that he looked like one of the statues of the Greek gods in our schoolbooks on ancient civilizations did not go unnoticed, either. He had perfect skin, an aquiline nose, white teeth (not usual in England) and a beautiful, hairless body.
It worried me that I noticed his appearance but I promptly squashed my concern and went on acting normal.
My First Sexual Encounter
My first sexual experience with a male was with Harris. We were both sixteen.
One weekend we were invited to stay at the home of our English Literature teacher in the beautiful village of Ditchling, East Sussex.
She was the older sister of a famous actor, which gave her an air of glamour, even though she dressed in plain skirts and blouses in sad shades of brown that were frayed from years of wear. Her build was a little on the plump side and her grey hair was always pulled back into a bun. She had never married and lived alone with her calico tabby cat. Most people considered her the stereotypical English spinster. But she was extremely kind to me and I have fond memories of her encouraging my essay writing.
Excerpted from "The Four R'S"
Copyright © 2017 T. Guy Chittenden.
Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Part One: My Life,
The Primary Wound, 1,
My Early Life, 3,
My Mother, 4,
My Father, 6,
A Very British Childhood, 7,
My Childhood Sweetheart, 9,
My First Sexual Encounter, 14,
A Wonderful Coming Out, 16,
A Terrible Christmas, 25,
What's In The Cards?, 30,
After Paul, 33,
Life In The Capital, 34,
Money Money Money Money, 35,
The Life Of An Escort, 39,
The Spiritual Seeker, 43,
A Message From "The Other Side", 44,
Spiritual Exploration, 55,
Sedona, Arizona, 58,
Los Angeles, 61,
A Short Trip Home, 67,
A Sudden Change, 69,
Time To Make A Choice, 71,
Austin, Texas, 73,
A Hard Choice, 75,
Life In Austin, 76,
The Phone Call, 79,
Holy Hell, 80,
A Life Without Meaning, 85,
The Fall Of The "Guru", 89,
The Law Of Attraction, 94,
Body Electronics, 100,
Time To "Clean House", 109,
Discovering The Four R's, 110,
Life Changes, 111,
The Power Of The Process, 115,
An Invitation, 116,
Part Two: The Four R's,
Making Peace With The Mystery, 123,
The Four R's, 127,
1. Recognition, 130,
2. Responsibility, 136,
3. Release, 139,
4. Refocus, 147,
Daily Spiritual Practice, 157,
Daily Intention And Request For Assistance, 159,
Part Three: Q & A,
World Issues, 181,
Part Four: Final Words,
My Gift To You, 217,