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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Take responsibility for your own happiness

The purpose of life is to re-member the At-one-ment or the Atonement as it is called in A Course In Miracles.

We separated ourselves from the At-one-ment in our birth and have felt guilty ever since. We cope with our guilt by blaming others for our lack of happiness which only unconsciously compounds our guilt. Blaming is not the path to redemption upon which so many of us tread. Rather forgiveness is the path to redemption, first forgiving ourselves for our separating ourselves from God and secondly for blaming others for our unhappiness.

To blame and accuse others is not to understand the cause of our underlying unhappiness. "The inheritance of the Kingdom is the right of God's Son, given in his creation. Do not try to steal it from him, or you will ask for guilt and will experience it." T-14.V.4:1-2

For today, take responsibility for your own unhappiness and not only do not blame them but forgive them for your mistaken blaming.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

It is not spiritually healthy to play the victim

Sometimes we all love to play the victim. Some of us more of the time that others. For some it is their default position in life. When people habitually play the victim the ego has conquered their lives and made their lives a hell.

As a children of God none of us are victims except in our own minds. Our victimhood is a figment of our ego's imagination. Victimhood is not are true state. It is written in A Course In Miracles, "Teach no one he has hurt you, for if you do, you teach yourself that what is not of God has power over you. The causeless cannot be." T-14.III.8:2-3

Rather than victimhood, we can call upon the Holy Spirit for guidance in helping us achieve an awareness of our true invulnerability as spiritual creatures inhabiting, temporarily, bodies that get caught up in drama of attack and suffering on the ego plane but which is not real in the spiritual realm.

For today rise above the baloney and hurt, and return evil with love knowing that the evil is not real and its only power to hurt you spiritually and psychologically is the power you give to it.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

How to grow your soul


A Course In Miracles is a difficult text for most people to read for a number of reasons. However, the main ideas in the course are simple. The first idea is that the opposite of love is fear and fear blocks are awareness of Love's presence.

Neuroscience has found that the default position in the brain of homo sapiens which has survival value and so this default position has been favored in our evolution is fear, the flight or fight response of the amygdala. The rustling in the bushes we hear may be a tiger or a person with a gun getting ready to mug or rape us.

It takes a conscious effort sometimes for us to use our prefrontal cortex, the reasoning part of our brain to override the fight or fight response of the amygdala. The synaptic connections in our brains are plastic. They can be changed with consistent practice. Mother Teresa said that we should be kind to every one and start with the person next to us. Jesus said to love our enemies. This change in behavior takes conscious effort and does not come to us automatically.

Virtues are acquired habits of mind, intention, and behavior. They usually do not come to us "naturally" but must be developed as habits of character. Ask yourself, "Can I be deliberately kind today to people I don't like, who scare me, and I disagree with."

Yes, we can if we decide to. It takes effort, it takes awareness, it takes intention, it takes action.

Today, start being kind to people you don't like and you disagree with and/or feel threatened by. Watch your soul grow.

Friday, August 5, 2016

The Tao, the Link is with us always

"Caught in our prejudices,
we act as puppets,
moving in lockstep
to the beat of commerce.

All emerges from the Tao,
all returns to the Tao in time.
Meanwhile darkness deepens,
bringing fear and despair.
Darkness faced, however,
opens into daylight."

William Martin, The Activist's Tao Te Ching, p.11

A Course in Miracles teaches that here on earth we have a dichotomous mind which loves contrast, comparison, the ying and yang, but this is not so in heaven where all is one with God. It is written in A Course In Miracles, "Contrast and differences are necessary teaching aids, for by them you learn what to avoid and what to seek. When you have learned this, you will find the answer that makes the need for differences disappear. When you have learned that you belong to truth, it will flow lightly over you without a difference of any kind." T-13.XI,6:3-6

Awareness is the quality of mind which brings peace. Higher awareness, sometimes called higher consciousness, is the goal of life culminating in what some call enlightenment. ACIM assures us that the link between ourselves and God cannot be broken even if we wish it broken. "The Communication Link that God Himself placed within you, joining your mind with His, cannot be broken. You may believe you want It broken, and this belief does interfere with the deep peace in which the sweet and constant communication God would share with you is known." T-13.XI.8:1-2

For today, pay attention to the divine spark within you, the Link. It is there, it always will be there, and like a spark it can be fanned into flame, holy fire of illumination and energy which lights up the world.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

What makes human beings love war so?

"Ideas, concepts, and words
have separated us from life.
Masquerading as friends,
they have made us enemies
of each other."

William Martin, The Activist's Tao Te Ching, p.11

We fight with each other and hate each other and injure and even kill each other and we do not even know why. Emotions of the moment drive us to evil for which we can only grieve and lament. And after all the carnage, things seem to right themselves and we go back to living as if it never happened. What makes humans beings fight war? If not with guns, then with words.

Will human beings ever become more aware and in control of their emotions and reason? Most human beings are not very spiritually developed.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Will you play the role of the enlightened witness and save the soul of America?

We usually think of the soul as an individual thing but then we recognize such a thing as team spirit and the soul of a nation. There is such a thing as group consciousness, and we recognize the concept of a "culture" as being a helpful idea.

The soul of a nation can be thought of as made up of the predominant norms and attitudes, values, beliefs, and practices. These norms and attitudes, values, beliefs, and practices can be further thought of as dysfunctional or functional, functional meaning that they enhance the physical, psychological, social, and spiritual functioning of the individuals who participate in that culture.

Once looked at from this perspective, the question can be asked, "does racism enhance the functioning of the members of a culture? The answer based on research is no. Racism has a negative impact on the person with the racist belief as much as it has a negative impact on the target.

The problem is that people with racist attitudes are not aware of how the racism negatively impacts them and others. If they were more aware they would no longer allow racism to influence their thoughts, attitudes, values, and behavior.

The problem of racism evidenced by the building of walls and the demonizing of groups of people is that it corrupts the functional soul of America. It brings suffering on us all and by extension to the whole world.

What is to be done about racism?

It must be identified, acknowledged, and treated to diminish, if not eliminate, its influence on our culture. There are many ways to treat racism once it has been diagnosed. The best way is by the introduction of alternative stories which are positive about the people in the groups being oppressed and subjugated. Empathic understanding comes from getting to know "the other" better which dissolves racist ideas at their core. The understanding that we are all God's children, unconditionally loved is key. This empathic understanding may need to come first from changing people's behavior. Martin Luther King, Jr. said that he had no illusions about changing the attitudes of a racist. He was not intending to simply change their attitudes, but he wanted to change their behavior. The civil rights act made many racist practices of segregation illegal. Walling people off is more a symbolic than a practical solution to creating security and safety when people have been influenced to fear "the other."

The spiritually aware can make a huge difference in a culture by being what is called "enlightened witnesses." They are the soothers, the reassures, the ones who manifest compassion and loving kindness.

With whom can you share your witness today?

For more on the role of enlightened witness in society click here.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

The soul of America

The sexism, bigotry, racism, greed, hatred and xenophobia that emanated from the United States Republican Convention this past week from July 18 - 21, 2016 calls into question the soul of America.

The observation that these ideas are supported by a group of Americans might lead one to question the spiritual well being of part of the nation.

It is too easy to say "let us pray for them". It also is condescending and patronizing because these misguided people are part of us and deserve out love, compassion, and acceptance, but we also have an obligation to set appropriate limits and hold accountable those who advocate for hate and would hurt groups of people.

How does one set appropriate limits and work to decrease and maybe even eliminate the racism, sexism, bigotry, xenophobia, and vanity that was spewed encouraging followers to lock up and even kill people who oppose these evil ideas?

The first and most important step is identifying and naming the evil. Demonization and exclusion promise safety, security, and increased well being, but they do not deliver what they promise. Usually demonization and exclusion beget more of the same and a tit for a tat dynamic is generated which is destructive for all participants no matter which side is taken.

Second, Jesus tells us, counter-intuitively, that we should love our enemies. Demonization and exclusion protest that this makes no sense and will only increase the risk of harm and yet, at a spiritual level, if one has achieved the higher levels of spirituality, one is aware of paradox, and recognizes that the fear injected into us is an illusion because as a spiritual being we realize that harm and death to our spirits are not real. We have just unthinkingly believed it.

Third, given the awareness of the tricks that demonization and exclusion are playing on us, we laugh at the silliness of the situation. The risk that demonization and exclusion claim to protect us from never existed. It is a figment of our imaginations being triggered by fear mongering so that we will give up our power to those who would dominate and control us, and profit from us.

Fourth, we make another choice. We choose love, compassion, brotherhood, and inclusion because we know that we are all in this thing called Life together and our fulfillment comes from helping each other achieve the Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. Moving in this direction our spiritual health as a nation will be nurtured.

Fifth, we act in ways to include, to nurture, to support, to lift up and build up all people, everywhere. In short, loving kindness will restore the soul of America and we can do things every day to manifest this in our daily lives enhancing the lives of others as well as ourselves. This is how God will bless America working through the loving kindness manifested in our mutual lives together.