Mike Dooley is a former PriceWaterhouseCoopers international tax consultant, turned entrepreneur, who’s founded a philosophical Adventurers Club on the Internet that’s now home to over 700,000 members from over 185 countries. His inspirational books emphasizing spiritual accountability have been published in 25 languages and he was one of the featured teachers in the international phenomenon, The Secret. Today Mike is perhaps best known for his free Notes from the Universe emailings and his New York Times bestsellers Infinite Possibilities: The Art of Living Your Dreams and Leveraging the Universe: 7 Steps to Engaging Life’s Magic. Mike lives what he teaches, traveling internationally speaking on life, dreams, and happiness.
I used to think everyone knew something that I didn't. They, like I, weren't aware of what it was, and they didn't seem to notice that I was without it, but to me the difference was painful. Life's "little things" seemed second nature to others, whereas I felt I had to fake that I knew what was going on. I felt awkwardly different, which led to an overwhelming desire to question the things that most people seem to take for granted. A burning desire to know what this life is about, which I have now largely satisfied, making the price of my sensed alienation very small in comparison.
For me, in the beginning, my search for answers generally centered around the issues of life, death, and the powers of the mind, but within these there were many other topics like time, space, heaven, hell, hypnosis, UFO's, ghost stories, ESP, the dream state, reincarnation, etc. I had arrived at several basic conclusions for each, but they were just hunches. Without knowing how I knew, for example, at the age of 12 or 13 I remember telling my mother that space and time couldn't really exist, and that neither could hell, or a God that wasn't One with all things, living and inanimate. I reasoned that He was not just inside Us all, but that no part of our experience could ever be anything less than 100% God.
I didn't realize it at the time but my desire to "know" had put me on an inner path of understanding, or better my thinking was beginning to attract like thinking. As if my questions were slowly answering themselves, opening my eyes to the insights that are latent in us all. As I walked this path the questions I dwelled upon were somehow answered. I was never sure just when the answers had arrived. I only sensed, sometime after "illumination", that an intuitive knowing had been imparted when I wasn't paying close attention.
The first time I remember physically pursuing my fascinations with life's mysteries was at the age of 14. Hypnosis was an exciting and bizarre affair I thought, so I checked some books out from my high school's library, and bought a few short "how to" ones of my own. In very little time I was successfully hypnotizing some of the younger neighborhood kids who looked to me with some authority, but it all became very boring when I ran out of ideas of what to say or do once my subjects had gone under. My favorite tricks like having their fingers go numb so that their big brothers could prick them with pins, telling them that they could no longer open their eyes, or having them blurt out nonsense when given post-hypnotic triggers, lost their appeal. No one had bad habits to break, and I had no success with anyone my age or older.
Exploring hypnosis I gleaned several breakthroughs. First that the process worked, I saw the mind's influence over the body and its thoughts, and second, while rummaging in the school library I discovered The Search for Bridey Murphy, by Morey Bernstein. It blew my 9th grade mind. I couldn't understand why everyone didn't have a copy, or why the teachers and adults I knew hadn't heard of it. Surely, I thought, this was revolutionary material that should be studied and queried by the greatest minds of the world. But as far as I knew that hadn't happened since Bridey's publication in 1956. Nevertheless, the paranormal events and conditions described in Bridey made perfect sense to me, paralleling many of my own inner suspicions, and opening doors in my thinking that enabled me to ponder even greater questions.
Although raised a church-going Catholic I found many of their teachings, rules and rituals contradictory, and more importantly, inconsistent with the answers I had intuitively arrived at. I've always believed, for example, that each of us is really doing our best given our own understandings, therefore if judgment were to be passed on a life, and I don't believe it is, sin would only ever be regarded as an honest "mistake" due to deep misunderstandings. Not a demerit system that leads to eternal damnation. Wouldn't a loving Father, I reasoned, have more compassion than to seek revenge on his comparatively feeble children who are temporarily blinded by the illusions they've created? Even human parents are far more understanding of their own flesh and blood than the "Father" as portrayed in most religions. Sin, and its past and present connotations, must have been a term derived by man I concluded, not an understanding, all-knowing God.
I've always needed explanations that made sense, and just as importantly, I believed they were attainable. I came to deduce, and still believe, that Jesus was here to tell us, as others have, that we are all "children of God", that the things he did, we all can do, and that there are no sins, no evil, no hell, other than what exists in our own minds. He came to Earth to be a living example of these teachings, to show a better way to his fellow travelers at a dark time in history when limiting beliefs were so ingrained into the population they no longer sought, nor could they conceive of, greater thinking.
Despite my early quest for hypnosis books, I've never been a "reader". Since attending college I've probably averaged only 1-2 new books a year. So it's ironic that over my life, several books, or authors, have helped define my own thoughts, and therefore my life, in the most profound ways.
With few exceptions, these books were introduced to me by my mother, who has always been an avid "reader" and who I've always been very close to. I was 15 when, as a budding tennis hopeful on the state juniors' circuit, she gave me The Inner Game of Tennis, W. Timothy Gallwey and Psycho-Cybernetics, Maxwell Maltz. Both of which improved my game immeasurably, and further piqued my interest in the powers of the mind over our lives. I haven't read either since the year I carried them everywhere, but I recall that their gist was to unleash the power of imagination so as to influence the course you'd like your game, or life, to take.
During my freshman year at the University of Florida the pitch in my desire for "understanding" was its greatest, overshadowing everything else I did or thought. For the entire year I dwelled daily on the meaning of life, and the mystery of death, but to no visible avail. Then, out of nowhere, Mom sent another book, The Silva Mind-Control Method, by Jose Silva. Once again I was pondering the untapped abilities of my mind, and felt a renewed excitement for the mysteries it contained. But before I had time to finish it another book arrived, the first in a series, that illuminated the darkest corners of my mind. Written with a clarity and depth unlike anything I'd ever read, it confirmed, without exception, my deepest feelings and intuitions about life. It put my abstract thoughts into words and filled the gaps inbetween. As I finished each I felt that my almost desperate searching was coming to an end. My questions were either answered, or by then seemed at least, very answerable. These books contained the "Seth Material" as dictated by the late Jane Roberts, 1929-1984, in Elmira, New York.
With my own inner search no longer lost in space I began to use and apply the understandings that were solidified by the Seth Material without any looking back. With the answers to my fundamental questions revealed, the focus of my life has become the application, or the living, of the truths I've found - a mighty tall, but rewarding, order. Today it's through the pursuit of my goals and dreams that I learn my lessons and even greater secrets about life and myself.
As far as fun and meaning go in my life today, by most standards I've been doing pretty well. After graduating with a degree in accounting I joined the most prestigious of the then "Big Eight" accounting firms. Before long I was "selectively transferred" into their exclusive tax department (that's a doozy of a story you can hear about in my audio recordings!), which led to my acceptance of a "tour of duty" in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. From Riyadh, I traveled extensively around the world, fulfilling a goal with uncanny accuracy, that I had written down less than 2 years earlier; in my travels I visited 17 countries, most in Africa, Asia and the Far East, and I remember being blown away by my surroundings one morning during breakfast at the Regent Hotel in Kowloon, overlooking the island of Hong Kong - realizing how I had visualized the exact same "picture", hardly 24 months earlier, based on a glossy advertisement in a magazine like Architectural Digest.
When the tour in Riyadh was complete I chose to repatriate in Boston where I continued excelling in the firm's international tax department. I stayed there for almost 2 years before deciding it was time to try some new challenges. To be closer to family I moved to Orlando, Florida, and from there I decided to pursue another dream, starting my own company. Only problem was... I had no idea what kind of company I wanted to own, or where to begin.
Within a few months I joined talents with my artistic brother and managerial mother, and we launched from scratch, TUT, Totally Unique T-shirts. One million T-shirts later we decided it was time to reach in new directions. At that point, I recorded my first audio program, "Infinite Possibilities: The Art of Living Your Dreams," which has been a perennial best-seller since its release in 2001. To date, a quarter million CD sets have been sold and in 2009 Atria/Beyond Words teamed up to release the book edition, which debuted on the New York Times bestseller list. I've now spoken to audiences in 20 countries, on 6 continents, before tens of thousands of people; created "Notes from the Universe," which is sent out 5 days a week to over 700,000 people in 185 countries; been featured in the bestselling book and DVD The Secret; published a total of 7 books, some of which have been published into 21 languages, as well as 4 audio programs, and several DVD's. The number of new "sticks" that are now in the proverbial fire sometimes keep me awake at night, tossing and turning with excitement.
My understandings have helped as much in other areas of my life from relationships to material possessions, and they continue to grow with their own momentum. I'm still a student, but also my own teacher, and in this journey I've begun to realize that as much as I enjoy thinking and living my thoughts, I enjoy sharing them too... and learning from others... which I expect, is at least part of the reason, that our paths have crossed here and now, you and I.
Thanks for coming by, keep in touch, and tallyho...
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