Friday, July 20, 2018

Is it time to listen to the wise ones?

We live in a culture which is radically subjective and relativistic. It has given up any belief in an objective morality. It believes that anything goes in certain situations, for certain people, at certain times.

In the postmodern world, every thought, every belief, every value, every preference is a social construction. Conscience, justice, goodness, truth, beauty have become things of the past that exist in the realm of nostalgia and sentimentality.

Where are the smart people? Where are the wise ones? Does nobody stand for anything anymore? Is there nothing that I can use as my compass, my navigational north star?

Into this moral morass, this moral swamp, comes Jesus, Buddha, Lao Tzu. However, these enlightened people shared an understanding of reality that the common human, who is asleep in social conditioning, cannot apprehend let along understand and apply in their lives.

What then is to be done to improve the human condition? Psychotherapy is needed at a societal level. The purpose of this societal psychotherapy is to remove the blocks and obstacles to truth. This removal of the blocks and obstacles to truth is the removal of fear. As Franklin Delano Roosevelt said which he is believed to have gotten from Henry David Thoreau, the biggest fear is fearing fear itself.

The biggest problem humans experience at a personal and societal level is fear. Fear prevents them from loving which is the path to peace, joy, and comfort.

The tool to eradicate fear is forgiveness. Until we can rise above the dramas on the path of the ego we will continue to experience turmoil and distress. Forgiveness requires a shift in perception and belief from the path of the ego onto the path of the spirit. The means of this shifting is what Jesus, Buddha, and Lao Tzu attempted to teach their fellow human beings. However, because of their fear and willfulness most people do no have the ears to hear, nor the eyes to see, nor the minds to comprehend the suggestions that the great ones offered humanity.

We are coming to a time of listening and awakening. It is here, now, and requires each of us to pay attention, reflect, understand, and apply the wisdom offered to us. Rising above the drama, sensationalism, and entertainment of the ego to embark on a new path of love, compassion, generosity, and charity is the means to the path forward in our human evolution.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Do you know any saints?

Some people say that the function of the church is to produce saints. The function of the church is to help people to become holy. Are there saints among us? Have there been in recent times?

Dorothy Day has been proclaimed a "servant of God" which is a step toward canonization in the Roman Catholic church. Pope Francis has mentioned Dorothy Day along with Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Thomas Merton as "exemplary Americans."

Do you have your own names of holy people in your life? I think of Father Edward Lintz, the pastor of Nativity of Blessed Virgin Mary in Brockport, NY as a very holy man. He was a quiet saint, a servant of the people.

There are people in the world committed to goodness. They aspire to goodness as the best way to live their lives and be in the world.

The indicator of goodness, of holiness, of sainthood, is being awake. Recognizing one's existence as part of the Oneness, of the All. It is written in A Course In Miracles that "the sole responsibility of the miracle worker is to accept the Atonement for himself." T-2.V.5:1

If a person accepts the Atonement for oneself, (s)he cannot help but to be loving and Jesus tells us that the way to the Kingdom, the way to holiness, is to "love as I have loved."

Has your church produced any saints? If yes, how? If no, why not?

Sunday, July 15, 2018

What are two things of beauty you have become aware of today?

Beauty is what moves us. The path of the ego pushes the ugly in front of our awareness constantly to capture our attention and encourage our emotional arousal and response. The path of the ego is littered with fear, contempt, disdain, criticism, rejection, and abandonment. These tactics are woven into our lives causing angry attacks, depression, anxiety, and to their extreme: homicide and suicide. The path of the ego is the path to hell.

Exhausted, totally demoralized, on the verge of a nervous break down we cry out to the Universe, "There must be a better way!" And the Universe gently and lovingly responds with signs that there is. And we become aware of what A Course In Miracles calls the Atonement or At-onement.

We come to understand that the path of the ego is hell on earth and its main motivating force is fear. We realize that the path of the spirit is heaven on earth and its main motivating force is love. We come to the fork in the road and realize that we can continue on the path of the ego which is filled with rear and ugliness or the path of the spirit which is filled with love and beauty. Which will I choose: the high road or the low road?

The low road is easy because we can sleep walk it. It takes no effort. The high road is difficult because we have to be awake and awareness while it may not take more effort, it does take discipline.

Beauty is comprised of the true and the good and it illuminates our consciousness. We are moved by it and surrender to it and it fills us with grace. A thing of beauty is a wonder to behold. To make heaven on earth we need to recognize and acknowledge at least two things of beauty we have become aware of every day.

While the path of the ego is littered with ugliness, the path of the spirit entails abundant beauty.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

What do you find most true, most beautiful, most good?

Psychotherapists focus on the three aspects of the human personality: thoughts, feelings, and behavior. In the world of values we name truth, beauty, and goodness as the pivotal touchstones of our consciousnesses. These values correspond to the aspects of the personality: our thoughts desire truth, our feelings desire beauty, and our behavior desires goodness.

When we apply this trinity to the spiritual life we can wonder: what is truth, what is beauty, and what is goodness? What are the circumstances and factors that contribute to experiencing these three qualities?

It is the pursuit of the truth, beauty, and goodness that comprises the spiritual life and the life worth living. Wherein do these three qualities lie?

In my life, my truth is found in _____________________________.

In my life, beauty is most intensely experienced in ____________________________.

In my life, goodness is found in ________________________________.

In other words, what is the most important truth for you? What is the most beautiful for you? What is the most good that you appreciate most?

Friday, July 13, 2018

Have you become aware of the light?

When we have seen the light, we want to share it. It is not something to kept to oneself. It is like a joke, it is meant to be shared if we are to truly enjoy it.

We live in a society though that doesn't recognize the light because it is so mesmerized by darkness. Mammon and the ego rule the world providing many idols for worship. Those idols are easily shared and envied. Advertising bombards us 24/7/365, constantly. As a society, we have become the people of the lie. We have become so adapted to the con, the scam, the sell that we think nothing of it. This marketing seems normal and even entertaining.

When gears get shifted and the path of the ego is not doing it for us any more, it dawns on us that there must be a better way to live. We give up Mammon and Mammon's idols for something more precious, the real deal, the authentic, the genuine, the Oneness with the Divine, the Source of our Source.

Remember the old gospel hymn, "This little light of mine?" I'm gonna let it shine. This is not ego talking and strutting, this is something within and beyond my ego self. The song title might be better stated as "This little light within" I'm gonna let it shine and illuminate you too."


Monday, July 9, 2018

What are your plans?

One of the seeming paradoxes in life is that we learn what we teach, we receive what we give, we become more aware of what we share.

So, what are you teaching these days? Your actions are the indicator of what you believe. Are you acting in Love or in fear? Are you understanding or judgmental? Do you forgive or condemn?

It's simple, really. We must choose which path we walk: the path of the ego or the path of the spirit. We come to the fork in the road hundreds of times a day.

Most of us walk asleep. We are not aware of our power of choice. We just react without thinking.

Now you know that you have a choice. It is being pointed out to you. Choose. What are your plans?

Sunday, July 8, 2018

What is the path to peace?

The third step of the twelve step program for people in recovery is to make a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand God.

This decision to "turn it over" comes after the dawning that there must be a better way. This turning initiates the search. What is that better way? What does it look like? How can I stay on the right track and not get lost again? Are there trail markers I should look for or am I to blaze the trail all on my own only following an intuitive compass that points at God's will for me?

What are the differences I should be alert to to discern the differences between the path of the ego and the path of the spirit?

The two biggest trail markers on the path of the spirit are: What is the loving thing? and Will this bring us peace? Notice the word "us". What will bring "us" peace includes "me" but not "me" alone. My relationships with others must be brought into consideration as well.

The body is the not the temple of the Holy Spirit as so many of us have been incorrectly taught. The temple of the Holy Spirit is in relationships. Remember the Jesus said, "Where two or more are gathered in my name, there I will be." Jesus was referring to the Divine when He said "I" not his personification.

Giving up our ego is a scary thing. We feel like we are giving up control, and indeed, we are intentionally giving up control, and turning it over to the Divine. We come to not only learn that we are not in control of the universe but we gladly give up the fantasy and illusion.

Let it go. There are far greater things going on than we could ever understand. Give up our attempts to control every thing. As they say in AA, "Let go and let God."

A genuine surrender is the path to peace.