Version 3.0 of The Formula for Creating Heaven on Earth is now available!
Version 3.0 of The Formula (pdf) includes a major overhaul of both the chart and worksheet. In addition, eight new sub categories have been added to The Formula’s 12 main sections. The wording on several existing sub categories has also been improved. Earlier versions of The Formula can be found here: version 1.0 (pdf) and version 2.1 (pdf).
Download a copy of “The Formula for Creating Heaven on Earth” (v3.0, pdf)
Download a copy of The Formula Worksheet (v3.0, pdf)
Download a copy of How To Love Ourselves by David Sunfellow (pdf)
“Unlike spiritual paths that arose from the ideas and inner experiences of lone, isolated human beings, the path presented by near-death experiences is emerging as a direct, grassroots revelation that millions of people from all over the world are receiving and sharing. If we explore this newly emerging path deeply enough, we discover that all religions, philosophies, and cultures are honored; that science and spirituality are celebrated; that both the human and spiritual side of our natures are cherished and embraced. In short, near-death experiences present us with a universal, all-inclusive, perfectly integrated spiritual path that revolves around three core truths: 1. We are all one; 2. Love is the essence of life; 3. We are here, in this world, to become perfect embodiments of the Divine.”
“Loving others allows us to become embodiments of the Divine in this world and wake up from the dream of life in a balanced, healthy, integrated way.”
“The more deeply we realize the world is a dream, three things happen: 1. We become less fearful; 2. We begin to master the laws of this world; 3. The more joyful and expansive our lives become.”
The Formula for Creating Heaven on Earth
By David Sunfellow
Many of you have heard about “The Formula for Creating Heaven on Earth” or “The Formula.” I introduced the idea in my two-part YouTube presentation called “How Near-Death Experiences Are Changing The World.”
Essentially, I’ve been trying to identify the universal truths presented by near-death experiences and wrestle them into “a formula” that we can use to transform our lives. After a year of teaching classes in Sedona that have focused on applying NDE truths in our personal lives, I’ve finally created a chart that illustrates the key aspects of The Formula. Here it is! All twelve sections on the chart, along with the corresponding sub categories, are nuanced and complicated. So, too, is the way these twelve sections interact with one another. That’s actually where most of the power is: while all the parts listed in this chart can be life changing when practiced by themselves, the real magic begins as we incorporate more and more of these areas into our lives and they begin to interact with one another. Obviously, I can’t explain everything here, but I wanted to let all of you know that “The Formula” you’ve been hearing about has finally been born:
The Formula for Creating Heaven on Earth (v3.0, pdf)
The Formula Worksheet (v3.0, pdf)
To learn more about all of this, I encourage you to watch the two-part video mentioned above. Then check out the extensive notes from our Sedona classes.
You may also want to download “The Light & The Life Review,” which is one of the foundational papers I created for our local classes:
The Light & The Life Review (v4.4, pdf)
And here are a few other related materials:
NDE Take-Aways (v1.1, pdf)
Dream Basics (pdf)
The Healthy Relationship Preamble (v2.0, pdf)
The Hopping Stone Vision (pdf)
How can we apply “The Formula” to our daily lives? A special worksheet has been created to help out…
The Formula Worksheet (v3.0, pdf) corresponds to the twelve core circles of “The Formula,” which, in turn, correspond to twelve major areas of our earthly lives. Most of us are strong in some areas and weak in others. The end result is that our lives limp along, never really catching fire. Or, said another way, we don’t feel centered, connected, purposeful, peaceful, joyful, happy, healthy, and alive all the time. Even when we accomplish important goals, we still feel unhappy and unfulfilled. A part of us knows that something is missing.
The remedy begins by understanding that life has been designed so we can only be truly happy when we are in conscious, loving relationship with God, ourselves, and one another. Life, in other words, is about relationship and the more connected we are with everyone and everything, the happier, healthier, and more fulfilled we are. To use an airplane as an analogy, its main systems must be present, functioning and connected to one another before the plane can get off the ground. And the more present, functioning and connected these primary systems are, the more graceful, stable, and efficient the plane will fly.
The twelve areas listed on this worksheet are the main areas in our lives that need to be working and in right relationship with one another for us to be truly happy, healthy, and fulfilled.
Download a copy of The Formula Worksheet (v3.0, pdf)
The Formula Worksheet can be used on a daily, weekly, and/or monthly basis. Here’s how:
• Read “The Formula” and identify the areas of our life that are the weakest and require the most attention.
• Choose activities that will build and strengthen our underdeveloped areas.
• Write the activities we decide to practice in the corresponding box.
• Spend time practicing the activities we have chosen when we have “juice” for them.
• Once we feel our interest begin to wane, we can either turn our attention to other weak areas, or renew ourselves by focusing on areas where we are already strong and comfortable.
• The important thing is to go wherever “the juice” is for us: to circle round and round, from one core area to the next, and then back again. In the beginning, we can feel overwhelmed, especially if we discover that many core areas require attention. Don’t get discouraged! Step-by-step, little-by-little, keep going. If we stick with it, small successes will lead to big successes, and big successes will lead to life changing breakthroughs.
• Forcing ourselves to tackle undeveloped areas when our heart is not in it, usually causes us to waste energy and loose enthusiasm. Most of the time, the best way to build and maintain competency in any area of our life is to only tackle it when we feel a genuine desire to do so. In the beginning, we may feel a deep resistance to tackling some areas. That’s fine. Until our knowledge, understanding, and enthusiasm grows in these areas, we can start by nibbling. We nibble, and then move on once resistance begins to rise. Once resistance fades, we return and nibble again. And then leave. And then return again. Like water, we eventually will wear down all resistance. If we persist, we will discover unexpected treasures in areas that we previously dismissed and avoided.
• Because everything is symbiotically connected, breakthroughs in one area often lead to breakthroughs in others. Strengthening one area also tends to strengthen others and the system as a whole.
• Each boxed area includes numbered measure bars. These bars correspond to the topics listed in each section of The Formula. They are used to track our success. As we reach higher and higher levels of competency and consistency in particular areas, we fill in the appropriate bars. This helps us see, at a glance, which areas we are strong in, and which require more attention.
• Seeing how far we’ve come and what work remains to be done will increase our determination and sharpen our focus. Every step we take boosts our sense of accomplishment and increases our abilities. It is also helpful to save our worksheets so we can track our progress over time.
• As we progress in specific areas, it is very important to hold new ground and not let it slip away. We do this by revisiting, tending to, and nourishing new areas. If, however, we gain new ground and then loose it, it is important to stay positive about ourselves and our efforts. One way we can do this is by remembering that we are absolutely and unconditionally loved by God. We can also remember that everything — including our imperfections and backsliding — is perfectly fine when viewed from the perspective of our souls. Read “The Light & The Life Review” to learn more about the wonderful, life-changing, “big picture” perspectives offered by near-death experiences.
• In the beginning, the weak areas of our lives will require the lion’s share of attention. But in time, as we become increasingly proficient in more and more core areas, we will spend less time on specific areas, and more time polishing and tweaking the whole system. And that’s when the magic begins to happen. Now that all the main systems of our plane have been identified, activated, and are running when needed, our plane will begin to lift off the ground, fly more smoothly, and stay airborne for longer and longer periods of time. In addition, the pace of change accelerates. Breakthroughs made in one area quickly spread to others, sparking new insights and connections which, in turn, lead to more breakthroughs. Eventually, magic becomes a regular occurrence and all aspects of our world begin to buzz with love, connection, peace, and joy.
• The Formula Worksheet can also be used to develop and measure the health, or lack thereof, of our interpersonal relationships. The more areas we have activated, the healthier our interpersonal relationships are, and visa versa.
The History of “The Formula”
By David Sunfellow
May 7, 2013
Note: This information was first presented to Sedona’s NDE Class on May 7, 2013. Go here to read the original post, along with the related materials that accompanied it.
I’ve been on the spiritual path all my adult life. While I have never believed mainstream religions had the answers to life’s big questions, I did think their founders might. I also thought humankind’s most celebrated saints, sages, and mystics might have some reliable answers.
But over time, I realized that all human beings — including the most genuinely inspired among us — were exceedingly fallible. Revelations of all stripes are inescapably filtered through the mind, emotions, life experience, cultural conditioning, psychology, biology, shadow issues, woundings, and overall development (or lack thereof) of the person who receives them. Simply put: while human beings possess the ability to access the deepest truths of existence, we usually do not possess the ability to understand and embody those truths in all their glory. Instead, we see some aspects of the Divine, and are blind to others. We can’t help ourselves. Regardless of the depth of our revelations, we are hamstrung by our personal limitations and imperfections.
In 1994, I thought I had a solution. Instead of relying on individual revelations, along with the interpretations that individuals gave those revelations, what about seeking truth as a group? What if groups of people — or, better yet, humankind as a whole — worked together to discover the truth of our existence? Together we could hold up our personal and collective revelations and see if they held water. Do they work? Do they have holes? Are pieces missing? Can they be improved, filled out, deepened?
Remember the parable of the blind men and the elephant? Five blind men were all gathered round an elephant, each touching a different part of the elephant’s body. The blind man who touched a leg, thought the elephant was like a tree; the one who touched an ear, thought the elephant was like a giant leaf; the one who touched the trunk, thought the elephant was like a snake, and so on. None of them perceived the elephant as it actually was, because they were only touching parts of the elephant, not the elephant as a whole. Perhaps all human revelations work the same. They are pieces to a cosmic puzzle that require a collective effort to be fully understood.
With these ideas motivating me, I started a non-profit organization called “NewHeavenNewEarth” or “NHNE.” Whereas other organizations were built around promoting specific teachers, masters, gurus, religious traditions or philosophical perspectives, NHNE was primarily interested in “The Truth,” whatever that might be. Using the power of the internet, we spent years examining, and often debunking, all kinds of ideas, practices, people, claims, movements, philosophies. As the founder and president of NHNE, my own beliefs were often put to the test, too. Not surprisingly, many of them didn’t survive. You can go here and here and here and here to read a few blow-by-blow accounts.
After 11 years of trying to answer life’s big questions, I concluded that it wasn’t possible: First, because we, as a species, were simply too young and undeveloped to fully comprehend the depth, breadth, and ultimate purpose of life; and second, because evolution was moving at such breakneck speeds, in such unexpectedly dramatic directions, that no one, including our brightest scientists and most inspired mystics, could accurately predict where it was taking us.
You can read all about this epiphany (one of three) here.
About the same time I concluded that life’s big questions couldn’t be answered, I starting paying close attention to a man named Ken Wilber. Wilber, who was an intellectual savant (someone who read, and remembered, thousands of books, and could see how everything he read connected to everything else), had another idea. Beginning with The Big Bang, he began assembling all of human knowledge into a comprehensive system of thought referred to as “integral theory.”
Here’s how “integral theory” is described on Wilber’s flagship Integral Life website:
“Integral theory weaves together the significant insights from all the major human disciplines of knowledge, including the natural and social sciences as well as the arts and humanities. As a result of its comprehensive nature, integral theory is being used in over 35 distinct academic and professional fields such as art, healthcare, organizational management, ecology, congregational ministry, economics, psychotherapy, law, and feminism. In addition, integral theory has been used to develop an approach to personal transformation and integration called Integral Life Practice (ILP). The ILP framework allows individuals to systematically explore and develop multiple aspects of themselves such as their physical body, emotional intelligence, cognitive awareness, interpersonal relationships, and spiritual wisdom. Because integral theory systematically includes more of reality and interrelates it more thoroughly than any other current approach to assessment and solution building, it has the potential to be more successful in dealing with the complex problems we face in the 21st century.”
To make a long story short, I was so taken with what Wilber was doing, that I spent four years exploring the integral world. This included building integral websites, starting and facilitating three online communities, participating in various integral social networks, and leading a very active integral group in Sedona for one year.
At the end of it all, I learned a very important lesson: You can identify all the parts that an airplane needs to fly, but unless you can put those parts together correctly, and turn them all on, the plane still won’t fly.
In other words, as astonishingly deep, comprehensive, and powerful as integral theory and practice was, the formula that Wilber and his people came up with hadn’t gone far enough. While they had created an impressive system that included the most important elements of human life, as far as I could see, they overemphasized some critical parts and under emphasized others. Many critical parts were also overlooked when it came to practicing them in daily life.
Here are some of the holes I saw:
• Wilber’s model was excessively intellectual. Because of this, it tended to attract intellectually inclined people who smugly dismissed less intellectually inclined people. It also had a hard time translating it’s powerful ideas into forms that average people could put to work in ordinary lives.
• While the need to cultivate a personal relationship with God was acknowledged, it was not, as far as I could tell, practiced by the leaders of the movement, or the movement at large. In practical application, this meant that turning to a personal God for help, support, and answers was a largely alien concept. Instead, people were encouraged to lean on one’s own abilities — primarily one’s intellectual abilities — to solve problems, make decisions, and chart one’s course through life. The idea that we are each born with specific purposes, and have various kinds of spiritual forces assisting us in our journey through life, was also regarded as quaint (the kind of things that children, and adults at lower, mythical levels of development, believed).
• While the importance of interpersonal relationships was acknowledged, the lion’s share of attention was on inner work, personal growth, and contemplative approaches to life. Relationships, in other words, were not placed front and center in the integral model. They were important, but not central. While various aspects of individual work appeared in “core modules,” relationships were assigned to “auxiliary modules.”
• While the need to identify and work on shadow issues was given a prominent place in the integral model, the critical insight that shadows emerge primarily in relationships with other human beings — and must also be worked with in that area — was largely overlooked. Shadow work tended to be framed as inner work, rather than work that was done inwardly AND outwardly with help from others who could see the shadowy aspects of our natures better than we could — and visa versa.
• Finally, many of the people who were drawn to the integral movement regarded Wilber and his ideas as infallible. While Wilber did not see himself, or his ideas, in this way, many of his followers found it very difficult to practice the kind of genuine inclusiveness that integral theory and practice called for. I found this particularly distasteful, since new impulses cannot emerge in an environment that thinks it has all the answers.
These are the holes I personally experienced in the integral model when I was involved with it. I’ve written about some of these issues here and here. You can also see them illustrated in The Integral Life Practice Chart that was used when I was involved (click the chart below to see a full-sized view):
I, of course, was not the only one that saw significant weaknesses in Wilber’s integral model. Other integral pioneers, in particular those associated with Esalen, challenged Wilber’s model and created other systems that attempted to address the weaknesses they saw. Here’s one example: Integral: Esalen, Ken Wilber & Integral Life Practice. Other alternative, integrally-informed voices can be found on the Integral World website.
After wrestling with the holes I mentioned above, and trying unsuccessfully to offer some course corrections, I left the local integral group I helped start, shut down the integral networks I created, and stopping following and interacting with the integral world as closely as I once had. I didn’t leave everything behind though. Instead, I took what gifts I could from Wilber’s system (which were many), and went back to the drawing board.
That’s when I realized that near-death experiences had become a global phenomena. And, more to the point, that near-death experiences not only included all the core elements that Wilber had identified, but they put the pieces together in a way that addressed all my concerns. Going back to the airplane analogy, all the parts of the plane were present, they were put together in the proper way, they were turned on, and, as a result, the plane actually flew!
What do I mean?
I mean miracles happened. People were raised from the dead — literally. Lives were completely transformed. Answers were not only flowing directly from the Divine into millions of ordinary people all over the world, but, thanks to the internet, they could also be collected, analyzed, and shared. It was, in other words, no longer necessary to build world views on the revelations of individual trailblazers, ancient or modern. Instead, for the first time in human history, we had a tidal wave of inspiration flowing in from all over the world — men and women, children and adults, believers and non-believers, atheists, academics, scientists, doctors, plumbers, and soldiers all served as messengers of the Divine.
Generally speaking, I think spiritual paths are more or less powerful depending on how close they come to modeling the core truths of life — truths that exist independent of human belief systems, religious traditions, and philosophies.
Or, said another way, spiritual paths are more or less powerful depending on how connected they are to the Divine, and how able they are to embody It.
The more a particular system includes and embodies universal truths, the more powerful it is. The integral world has a lot of power, because it has collected many of life’s core truths and put them together into one of humankind’s most comprehensive world views.
But it’s system is not based on direct revelation; it does not give modern near-death experiences (and their metaphysical brethren, such as shared death experiences, after-death communications and channeling) a central role at the table; and, when it comes to Wilber’s version of integral, it is exceedingly dependent on Ken Wilber. Without his savant-like abilities to gather information, synthesize it, and then explain it, the integral world would not be as well established as it is today.
Not so for near-death experiences. While these experiences honor and include everyone, including Wilber’s massive contributions, it goes much further, and deeper. It’s alive, unfolding, and directly connected to the Source of life Itself. And It is expressing Itself, all over the world, through MILLIONS of people, not just one gifted individual or group of individuals.
The path presented by near-death experiences also passes one of life’s greatest tests. If a major crisis erupts in our life — our spouse or child dies, or we contract a deadly illness, or we loose all of our earthly possessions — does our path provide us with all the tools we need to deal with this crisis calmly, decisively, and effectively? The path championed by NDEs passes this extreme test in flying colors! All aspects of our nature — human and Divine, developed and undeveloped, past, present, and future, along with all the other beings we share the universe with — are seen and included.
Once I realized that I was looking at a new phenomenon in human history, I began trying to identify the core truths presented by near-death experiences and wrestle them into a comprehensive path that everyone — intellectuals and non-intellectuals, alike — could use to transform our lives. I read books. Visited websites. Watched hundreds of first-person video testimonials. Built networks to track and study NDEs that also allowed me (and many others) to meet and support people who had NDEs here and here and here and here and here. Created websites to showcase the best-of-the-best NDEs here and here and here and here and here. Got to know who’s who in the NDE movement. Organized gatherings with some of the world’s most prominent NDErs.
I also put what I was learning to practice in my daily life.
With the help of my partner, Alexandra, and some extremely insightful dreams that identified the heart and soul of NDEs and how they could be used in our personal lives, I began adding NDE puzzle pieces into a world view I had been developing and fine-tuning for decades.
One of the most profound discoveries I made pertained to how near-death experiences champion two different, yet complimentary forces. The life review process reveals our weaknesses and shortcomings, while encounters with The Light (and Its representatives) makes it crystal clear that every single human being, regardless of our actions and stations in life, are absolutely, wholeheartedly and unconditionally, loved. You can read more about this life-changing dynamic here (pdf).
My relationship with Alexandra was especially helpful because for the first time in my life I was with someone who was able to mimic this powerful process. Alexandra could see, articulate, and help me work on developmental and shadow issues while also seeing, affirming, and connecting with the more divine aspects of myself. And I did the same for her.
During our class time, Alexandra shared how a spiritual experience had changed her life when she was 21 years old. But afterwards, she had great difficulty integrating it in her life. Many, many people who have spiritually transformative experiences struggle with the same thing. In the years and decades that followed, there were aspects of Alexandra’s life that evolved, deepened, and flowered. At the same time, there were other areas that stagnated, or got progressively worse. It wasn’t until we got together and she was able to combine the tools she had collected in her own life with the tools championed by The Formula that everything started coming together. The breakthroughs she experienced were so dramatic that Alexandra told the class she felt our relationship had “saved her life.”
While all of this was happening, I was taking notes, waiting for the right time to put everything together into some kind of article, essay, or book that I planned to call “The Formula for Creating Heaven on Earth,” or “The Formula.”
That’s when Alexandra suggested that it might be a good idea to create a chart to illustrate The Formula. The moment she said that, the lights went on, and I jumped to work. A couple days later, version 1.0 was born (March – 2013, pdf). Version 2.1 is located here (October – 2013, pdf). Version 3.0 is available at the top of this page.
A few weeks later, while an epic storm was blowing through our relationship, I had a dream in which Alexandra came to me with another chart. This one was a worksheet that had been designed to help us use with The Formula. While I didn’t see what was on the worksheet in the dream, when I awoke, I quickly created one, with Alexandra’s help. We introduced that new worksheet in the class. Version 2.0 is located here (pdf). Version 3.0 is available at the top of this page.
So that’s a brief introduction into how The Formula came to be, how it has been working in our lives, and how it is evolving.
The current version of The Formula is not a space shuttle. Rather, it is something akin to a Wright Brothers’ “flying machine” — an early, awkward, tinker-toy-like prototype. It can fly well enough to get off the ground, but isn’t steady and can’t yet stay airborne for long periods of time. It needs to be polished. Developed. Improved upon.
Which brings up one last critical point: Because The Formula is not the product of one individual mind; because it requires interactions, testing, and feedback from other human beings, it has not emerged in the world as a full blown spiritual path. Instead, it is alive and evolving. Even as I write these words, important aspects of The Formula are expanding and clarifying themselves. New insights are also emerging from near-death experiences themselves, which are continuing to grow in numbers and become deeper, more illuminating, and more powerful.
While imperfect, what we have in The Formula is a living blueprint; a magical place where life’s core truths have coalesced into a form that can be used, right now, to transform lives.
In future classes we’ll be going through The Formula step-by-step, explaining what each circle, and it’s corresponding points mean and how they all work together.
To learn more about Ken Wilber, integral theory and practice, and related topics, go here:
• Ken Wilber Describes His Savant-Like Abilities
• What Is Integral? (pdf)
• An Overview of Integral Theory
• The History of Integral Transformative Practice
• Integral: Esalen, Ken Wilber & Integral Life Practice
• Wikipedia on Integral Theory
• Wikipedia on Integral Thinkers & Supporters
• Integral Rising
• Pulse on Integral
NHNE’s Primary NDE Websites, Social Networks, and NDE Resources
• NDE Articles on Pulse
• What Near-Death Experiences Teach Us
• How Near-Death Experiences Are Changing The World
• Jesus, Near-Death Experiences, Religion
• The Formula for Creating Heaven on Earth (v3.0)
• The Light & The Life Review (v4.4, pdf)
• The Essence of Near-Death Experiences In 8.5 Minutes
• NDEs & The Purpose of Life
• The Power of Prayer
• Heavenly Humor
• Shared Death Experiences
• When Loved Ones & Friends Pass From This World To The Next
• NDEs Absolutely, Positively NOT Caused By Malfunctioning Brains
• NDEs & Hell
• Historical & Cross-Cultural Near-Death Experiences
• NDE Stories
• All About Emanuel Swedenborg
• Celebrity Near-Death Experiences
• NHNE’s YouTube Collection of NDE Testimonials
• NHNE’s Ning Collection of NDE Testimonials
• NDEs Featured on NHNE’s Main NDE Network
• Index of Personal NDEs Featured on NHNE’s NDE Network
• Encounters with Jesus
• Best-of-the-Best Information on NHNE’s Main NDE Network
• Powerful, Life-Changing Near-Death Experience Quotes
• NDE Take-Aways (v1.0, pdf)
• The Mustard Seed Venture – NewHeaveNewEarth Community Center
• NHNE’s Main NDE Social Network
• NHNE NDE on Facebook
• NHNE NDE on Google+
• NHNE NDE on Twitter
• NHNE NDE Bookstore
Other Relevant NHNE Resources
Other Especially Important NDE Resources
• Book Summary: ‘Evidence Of The Afterlife’
• Jeffrey Mishlove Interviews Kenneth Ring
• Dr. Bruce Greyson: Science & Postmortem Survival
• Dr. Jan Holden: 30 Years of NDE Research
• Key Facts About Near-Death Experiences
• Common Challenges Following A Spiritually Transformative Experience