Ready, Fire – AIM!

I’ve come across this term – Ready, Fire, Aim.

Of course, it’s a play on Ready Aim Fire, which is what one should do.

One shouldn’t fire before one has aimed.

You waste bullets, or arrows, or insults, that way. And you might hit someone you didn’t intend to hit. Which would be unfortunate for all parties concerned.

Ready, Fire, Aim is a term often used in marketing, or entrepreneurship – in a critical way. You shouldn’t launch a product or a concept until it’s ready, until you know your market and have taken aim, and then you fire – you release it onto that targeted demographic.

But we’re in a changing world. Things are moving so fast. What we knew yesterday isn’t necessarily relevant to what we need to know today. The targets are shifting. They’re changing shape. They’re hard to take a bead on.

Let’s look at this concept of Read, Fire, Aim in a different way. Let’s not see it as a negative, but as something to embrace.

For us to thrive in this constantly changing world, we need to be constantly changing too. Stasis is paralysis. Stasis is death. If we always waited to take aim before we fired, we would often miss the target – whether that be a reward, an opportunity, or an awareness.

If we always waited to take aim before we fired, well, where’s the fun in that? Where’s the excitement? Where’s the growth?

Sure you might hit the target, but maybe it’s not a target that’s worth hitting anymore. Maybe the really interesting, the really productive targets, have shifted and taken flight. And the only way you can bag those beauties is to shift and take flight too.

If you stick with Ready, Aim, Fire, you’re sticking with what’s known, what’s predictable, what’s rational and logical and safe.

Whereas if you run with Ready, Fire, Aim, you open yourself up to the Universe. To the joys of happenstance, of coincidence, of synchronicity – those things that can take you down paths you never would have explored, had you stuck in the predictable buttoned-down IBM world of Ready Aim Fire. 

To play Ready, Fire, Aim, you need trust.
You need to know that the Universe has your back.
You need to know that adventure, real adventure, is just around the corner.

Ready, Fire, Aim leads you to the kind of opportunities you never would have thought possible, had you waited for that target to settle within your sights.

Close your eyes, fire, and trust that your aim will be true –
Because it will be.

I now know why I came here ~

Sometimes you don’t know why you do something until you’ve done it.

I came to Japan to research the practices of Ninja.

I now realise I came to Japan to discover Shinto.

Shinto is a uniquely Japanese religion that many say is not a religion at all, because at its essence there is no founder -no Buddha or Jesus or Mohammed – there’s no Bible or Koran or Vedas or Bhagavad Gita.

It’s an ancient religion that’s the closest thing I’ve found to the New Age movement,

it’s not monotheist but pantheistic, and nature based.

It doesn’t believe in sin.

It doesn’t believe you have to suffer to achieve salvation.

It believes in the inherent perfection of each individual soul.

It believes that Kami – the universal god force – is not only all that is, but is also within each of us and we can achieve union with that god force through right thought and action and purification.

Shinto speaks of the horizontal nature of life and death, whereas Christianity and many other religions speak of the vertical nature of life and death.

The vertical view is that there is a heaven above us and a hell below us, metaphorically, and we have to rise to reach God. And if we don’t we fall into the fiery pits of hell.

The horizontal view is that heaven is all around us, in different realms, and God is within us.

What does all this have to do with Ninja?

At their core, all Japanese martial arts are spiritually based. That’s what I came to Japan to research. The underlying spirituality of Ninja. Because in my writing, that’s the wellspring of character.

Many of you who follow this blog might think there is a disconnect between my work on intuition, expressed in my movie PGS, and my work on modern day witchcraft, expressed in my Palace of Fires thriller trilogy, the first book of which is to be published by Penguin Random House in January.

They are different aspects of the same themes I’m exploring.

One informs the other.

And they will appeal to different people, different age groups, different sensibilities.

But at their essence, they’re exploring the same stuff.

In future posts I’ll write more about Shinto, which I find fascinating, and which I’ve just briefly touched on here. And I’ll also write more about the inter-connectedness of PGS and Palace of Fires.

If you’re interested in learning more about Shinto, a good starter is The Essence of Shinto, by Motohisa Yamakage.

I leave Japan later today to resume normal duties getting PGS out to the world.

And now I know why I came here.

How intuition saved the world ~

A wonderful lady that I met at one of the screenings – Sally Block – sent me this story below about how intuition saved the world.

That’s perhaps a bit of an overstatement, but it was a “gut feeling” that prevented an all out nuclear war between Russia and the US in 1983.

Here’s the story, and thanks Sally for sending it to me!


Stanislav Petrov was a lieutenant colonel in the Soviet Union’s Air Defense Forces, and his job was to monitor his country’s satellite system, which was looking for any possible nuclear weapons launches by the United States.

He was on the overnight shift in the early morning hours of Sept. 26, 1983, when the computers sounded an alarm, indicating that the U.S. had launched five nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missiles.

“The siren howled, but I just sat there for a few seconds, staring at the big, back-lit, red screen with the word ‘launch’ on it,” Petrov told the BBC in 2013.

It was already a moment of extreme tension in the Cold War. On Sept. 1 of that year, the Soviet Union shot down a Korean Air Lines plane that had drifted into Soviet airspace, killing all 269 people on board, including a U.S. congressman. The episode led the U.S. and the Soviets to exchange warnings and threats.

Petrov had to act quickly. U.S. missiles could reach the Soviet Union in just over 20 minutes.

“There was no rule about how long we were allowed to think before we reported a strike,” Petrov told the BBC. “But we knew that every second of procrastination took away valuable time, that the Soviet Union’s military and political leadership needed to be informed without delay. All I had to do was to reach for the phone; to raise the direct line to our top commanders — but I couldn’t move. I felt like I was sitting on a hot frying pan.”

Arms control expert Jeffrey Lewis recalled the episode in an interview last December on NPR:

“Petrov just had this feeling in his gut that it wasn’t right. It was five missiles. It didn’t seem like enough. So even though by all of the protocols he had been trained to follow, he should absolutely have reported that up the chain of command and, you know, we should be talking about the great nuclear war of 1983 if any of us survived.”

After several nerve-jangling minutes, Petrov didn’t send the computer warning to his superiors. He checked to see if there had been a computer malfunction.

He had guessed correctly.

“Twenty-three minutes later I realized that nothing had happened,” he said in 2013. “If there had been a real strike, then I would already know about it. It was such a relief.”

That episode and the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis are considered to be the closest the U.S. and the Soviets came to a nuclear exchange. And while the Cuban Missile Crisis has been widely examined, Petrov’s actions have received much less attention.

Petrov died on May 19, at age 77, in a suburb outside Moscow, according to news reports Monday. He had long since retired and was living alone. News of his death apparently went unrecognized at the time.


The myth of ego ~

There is a strong line of thought in many esoteric teachings that the ego is a bad thing.

That ego, personality, the “small self,” keeps us in duality –

Duality being a belief that there is separation between us and the divine.

And I get that –
I accept that –

There’s the small self, and the higher self –

And ego, personality, intellect, are bound in the small self, whereas the true self, being your particular aspect of the divine, resides in the higher self. It’s a little more complicated than that – read Alice Bailey! – but that’s the gist of it.

Intuition lies outside of ego and personality and intellect, and lies in loftier realms.

Okay, here’s the thing –

We need our ego, our personality, to define our time on earth.

Yes on an intellectual level and on a quantum level and on a spiritual level I accept that there is a connectedness between all of us, and all that is.

But there is also a separateness.
And that’s what defines us –
And that’s what makes our service special and unique.

Far be it for me – who knows nothing – to go against common spiritual doctrines, however I believe that it’s essential for our higher selves to work in league with our smaller selves.

Personality is important.
Ego is what drives us.
Intellect is what we use to put into practice what we’re given through intuition.

If our intellect, our ego, our personality, want to deny a divine connection to higher realms, if they want to keep us in the lower frequencies of fear and anger and mistrust, then yes they oughta be put in a box and told to behave.

But if I can now bring this back to personal experience; my film PGS – Intuition is your Personal Guidance System was created through following intuitive guidance. However it was my ego, my personality, and my intellect that gave it shape, gave it form, made it different from every other such film.

Steve Jobs used his intuitive powers to create breakthroughs in technology that we all benefit from today – yet it was through his fierce intellect, and the force of his ego and personality, that he materialised those intuitive hits into unique and special products.

I don’t see ego as a dirty word.
It can be, but it doesn’t have to be.

I know I need my ego, my personality, and my rational thinking to put into service what comes to me intuitively. That’s what makes what I do different to what you might do.

Yes we are all connected,
But we are all special and unique, too.


Stories just like mine ~

Earlier this week I was in this boardroom.

There were eight people sitting either side of me – and we were connected via tele-conferencing to a further half dozen people, or more, in various parts of the country.

They all wanted to hear me talk about intuition.

So I talked about  intuition – which is my favourite subject.
It used to be Donald Trump but I’m over that now.

After my impassioned monologue for I don’t know how long, someone played the trailer to my movie. It’s a good trailer. If you haven’t seen it, here it is:

PGS Official Trailer

Anyway, once the trailer finished, everyone was supposed to ask me questions. However the first question wasn’t a question at all – a gentleman on one of the monitors wanted to tell me his particular story about how intuition had saved his life.

When he finished, I told him that what was remarkable about his story wasn’t so much the story itself, but that he’d told it to us all.

He felt safe enough to tell us.

Because most often, people don’t talk about this stuff. They’re afraid of being ridiculed. Afraid of being laughed at, or scoffed at, or have what happened to them trivialised.

I’m starting to realise that what happened to me – hearing a voice telling me to slow down while I was driving, and ultimately saving me from a certain fatality – that kind of thing isn’t just a weird one-off. These sorts of intuitive interventions happen way more frequently than most of us are aware. It’s just that most people don’t speak about it.

I made a film about it.
And it’s making people feel more comfortable about speaking about it.

It’s fascinating.

I’m having these screenings of my film now all over the country, and when I chat with audience members after the show, invariably I find myself listening to a story of how intuition impacted significantly on that person’s life.

I was doing a media interview the other day. And the reporter – (reporters by design are a notoriously skeptical bunch) – stopped me mid interview and proceeded to tell me her particular story.

She was pregnant, traveling in a car without her seatbelt on because her tummy was so large – but her husband, who was driving, suddenly turned to her and told her to put her seat belt on.

She questioned him: why?
He told her again, firmly, to just put her seat belt on – which she immediately did.

A short time later their front tyre blew and her husband lost control of the car. If he hadn’t told her to put her seat belt on, she – and her unborn child – would have been killed.

Later she asked him about it.
What made him tell her to put her seat belt on?

He said he foresaw the whole thing – what was going to happen. The tyre blowing out, him losing control.

The reporter made pains to tell me her husband was in no way spiritual. He didn’t believe in any woo woo stuff, but this flash of an impending disaster came to him so strongly, he felt compelled to tell her.

Now – this reporter is telling me this amazing story in the middle of the interview she’s conducting, right? And she was a skeptic. But that incident was so startling, so profound, that it’s made her think that there could be more to this life than what science can currently validate…

Back to the boardroom.

I was being auditioned as a public speaker for Saxton, a prestigious agency. And I got the gig – they’re now representing me. Which is cool. It means I will have the opportunity to speak more widely about my favourite subject.

And no doubt I will hear other stories too –
Stories just like mine. 

Feeling decisions ~

We are now having screenings of PGS all around the country, and I am doing Q&As afterwards. And one of the regular questions I get asked is:

How have I changed during the making of the film?

At first I found it a tough question to answer, for two reasons: firstly, it’s very personal, and I felt uncomfortable talking to a roomful of strangers about intimate things in my life. But secondly, the changes have been so profound, and far reaching, that it’s very difficult to articulate.

Perhaps there’s a third reason too – and I feel even more uncomfortable talking about this, because it’s about my spiritual growth. Even the term spiritual growth seems cheesy and facile – but I guess that’s what I’ve undergone in the making of the film.

And I allude to that in the film.
Well, I don’t allude to it, I state it categorically.

But it’s one thing to state it in a film, one thing to write about it in a blog such as this, another thing altogether to discuss it with a bunch of strangers in a big cinema with the lights on, holding a microphone, holding court.

For me, that’s tough.

But if I want this film to instigate change, then I have to toughen up and become more open about talking matters spiritual, and divine.

Getting back to that question: How have I changed?
One big change is this:

I don’t make decisions anymore, I feel them.

What does that mean?

It means that I trust my intuitive processes so much now that I no longer make decisions rationally, I make them by feeling what’s right or wrong. And I trust those feelings implicitly.

I never question them.

I talked in a previous blog about First thought, Best thought. This process of feeling a decision even goes beyond thought. The feeling could be in the gut for some people, it’s not for me. It’s an all-encompassing feeling of what I should do, irrespective of the consequences, irrespective of the logic that says I shouldn’t go that way, irrespective of what common sense would have me do, or what society would have me do, or what my rational self would have me do.

If it feels right, I do it.
If it feels wrong, I don’t.

For some people on the other side of these decisions, it can be confusing. I am expected to jump a certain way, because everyone else jumps that way – but my PGS tells me to jump the other way, so I jump the other way. To an outsider, it might seem crazy, even irresponsible. To me it’s the only right and proper thing to do – to trust my guidance.

An example?

I’m still raising money for the film to cover marketing and publicity costs. Someone saw the film at a screening and approached me to talk about investing. Right from the get-go it didn’t feel right. He was offering a lot of money, but he was the wrong energetic fit for my film. He was looking at investment from a P+L perspective. You can’t do that with this film. A decision to be involved has to be intuitive, not empirical.

So I said thanks, but no.

In doing so I knocked back a solid chuck of funding, but it didn’t feel right. And I have absolutely no regrets. Because someone else down the track will step forward, for the right reasons, and they’ll be the right energetic fit.

I know that’ll happen, because it’s happened before.
And because I trust that it will happen. So it will.

So I now don’t make decisions anymore, I feel them. And that’s caused a fundamental change in the way I live every moment of my life.

Because it’s taken the fear out of decision making, and that’s made me feel light, unencumbered, and free…


First thought, Best thought ~

I’ve learnt a huge amount during the making of my film on intuition.

But one of the most important things I’ve learnt is this –


Our first thought is our intuitive thought. That’s what comes through suddenly, unexpectedly, it somehow manages to sidestep the filters of rationality and logic, and it shows up via your intuitive system – tah da! – before our rational mind swats it to the ground.

We dismiss the first thought.
We don’t trust it.
Oh that’s crazy, we think.
But that’s our intuition trying to guide us.


We take refuge in our rational mind.
Our intellect.
Our intellect is what keeps us alive.
We use our intellect to survive.


Our intellect limits us.
It keeps us small.
It keeps us shrivelled up,
Limited to what we know,
What we’ve done before,
What’s expected of us.


Our intuitive mind seeks to expand us –
Wants to show us what’s possible –
Wants to break us out of what we know,
So that we can grow and discover, 
And find out who we truly are.

Don’t hide behind the second thought.
The rational thought.
The safe thought.
Learn to trust the first thought.
Run with it –
See where it takes you.
Because where it will take you –
Is to the full expression of who you really are.


Think about it.

Bill Bennett on location in Istanbul for PGS the Movie