Monday, July 31, 2017

What kind of life do you want?

Do you think that our fear of scarcity leads to most human problems? The dynamic created is the win/lose dichotomy. If I win that means you must lose and vice versa. This is the basis for all competition and war. This is the opposite of peace. If we are to ever achieve peace we must operate on an abundance/completion dynamic. Sharing and generosity is the path to peace and joy.

God is a sharer who desires and creates for completion. This is the basis of the spiritual life. Scarcity, competition, and war is the basis of a egotistical life. Which would you have?

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Fears and conditional love

Why am I so unhappy in my love life? My wife and I have been married 14 years and we have two kids. I don't think I love her any more but if I leave her she will be devastated and I'm worried about how all this would affect the kids. I have grown increasingly depressed. I find myself drinking more and looking at other women in a lustful way which I know is wrong. What should I do?

This is a very common situation and we live in a society which tends to psychologize these situations instead of seeing them as opportunities for spiritual growth.

Most people don't know what love is. They describe it as a feeling of euphoria which often is transient because the infatuation, the honeymoon, can't last forever. The failure to understand love at a deeper level leaves them confused and depressed.

As has been described earlier, at a broad level, there is two kinds of love:conditional and unconditional. On the ego plane, we believe in conditional love, "I'll love you if...." People think they need to earn love, or merit it. This kind of conditional love is not really love because what we deeply crave is unconditional love which is , "The worst about me is known and I am loved any way."

Our society believes in a God who loves His creatures conditionally. The bible is full of such stories of a judgmental God who exercises His wrath at sinful humans and yet Jesus, in the New Testament, presents us with a different God like the story of the prodigal son and the adulterous woman who loves us unconditionally.

Two definitions of love that are best are : to know the worst about someone and love them anyway. It's rare but sometimes we run across it most often between a parent and a child. The second definition is to care as much about a partner's growth and development as you do about your own, and to expend the effort to nurture, encourage, facilitate that growth and development.

Most problems in our human relationships are based on fear. We are terrified of being hurt, disappointed, betrayed, rejected, abandoned, attacked and so we think and behave in ways to defend ourselves and attack what we believe are the signs of that of which we are afraid. If we are aware enough, we recognize that the very things we think we see in the other that engender our fears is present in ourselves. This self recrimination and self loathing then gets projected onto the other with a vengeance.

It is not only important, but essential, for a person to be loving for the person to know that he/she is loved unconditionally by his/her maker, the universe, life. As Jesus tells us repeatedly, God not only loves us but loves us abundantly. When we know this, we can share that love generously with others. If we don't know that, then, yes, we can feel out of love because we have put ourselves there.

If we feel "out of love" it is important to find ways to take better care of ourselves so that we can feel more satisfied and fulfilled in our lives. With that satisfaction and fulfillment comes a generosity that engenders the ability to create unconditional love in our relationships.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Two types of love: conditional and unconditional. Which do you aspire to?

I thought my wife would make me happy, but after five years, I find myself seeking other women. I have been taught in my religious upbringing that this is wrong, but I can't help myself. My psychotherapist tells me this normal, all men do this, it is not unusual to become bored or disenchanted with a relationship when the honeymoon, inevitably, comes to an end. So what can I do? My wife is a good person and I don't want to hurt her, but I don't think I love her anymore.

It is written in A Course In Miracles, "To believe that special relationships, with special love, can offer you salvation is the belief that separation is salvation." T-15.V.3:3 It is not the job or purpose of a relationship with another person that that person make you happy. That person is having a hard enough time making herself happy, let alone taking on the burden of making you happy. Each person must ultimately take the responsibility for his/her own happiness not put the responsibility for that on somebody else. This idea that someone else will make you happy, is suppose to make you happy, is the path to hell.

The spiritual answer to the dilemma is that we are suppose to love everybody unconditionally.  The definition of the At-one-ment is when everybody loves everybody all the time. That is heaven. Anything less is hell. Unfortunately, most of us operate on the level of conditional love. I'll love you if.......

It is a challenging thing to love someone unconditionally and yet it happens, it can happen, when we ask the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Live, our Higher Power for help. In that holy instant when unconditional love occurs we have created heaven on earth and experience bliss.

Focus on your own growth and happiness and forget this idea that someone else will make everything okay for you. This is looking for love in all the wrong places and true love is not to be found in special relationships. Special relationships are part of the curriculum of life to help us learn about love, what it really is, and your disenchantment with the relationship with your wife is a golden opportunity for you to look inward and rise above your own desires for ego gratifications. The spiritual rewards of this path will far outweigh the temporary high of a new infatuation.


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Projection of shame creates hell on earth

What is the basis of my fears that I am defective and inadequate in some way and it is only a matter of time before  people figure this out about me? At our roots we, unconsciously, experience shame, not of who are are, but of who we think we have become.

We have separated ourselves from the source of our being as we have developed our egos. We have separated ourselves to insure our physical survival and as we have developed we have realized that we not a body containing a soul, but a soul with a body which sometimes is not worth protecting and saving. The identification with the body is a road to hell. Not that our bodies are not important because they are the vehicles through which our soul awareness is realized, but undue attachment causes anxiety. As Bruce Cockburn sings in his great song, Last Night Of The World, "I learned not to trust in my body"

When bodies herd together to protect themselves from groups of other bodies we create hell on earth because at at spiritual level we are all one and to appeal to the herd for salvation is insanity.

Barry told me he believed in white supremacy and the problem in America is the "niggers". President Trump has told Americans that their problems are due to Mexicans and Muslims and if elected he will build a wall to keep Mexicans out and he will create bans and extreme vetting to keep Muslims out which will make America great again and keep Americans safe. Americans, out of their fears of "the other" elected him their leader.

Trump's  proposals promise to protect people's bodies while they destroy people's souls. It is written in A Course In Miracles, "For separation is the source of guilt, and to appeal to it for salvation is to believe you are alone. To be alone is to be guilty. For to experience yourself as alone is to deny the Oneness of the Father and His Son, and thus to attack reality." T-15.V.2:5-7

The At-one-ment is the cosmic consciousness that we are all in this thing called Life together. To project our shame on each other is the basis of sin and the cause of hell on earth.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Tao that can be spoken is not the true and eternal Tao.

Over the next several months, there will be articles on the Tao Te Ching among others. The book below is very good. When you buy books using the embedded Amazon widgets, a small commission, at no cost to the buyer, is paid to support this blog. Thank you for your support.

Tao that can be spoken is not the true and eternal Tao.
Names that can be named are not the true and eternal names.
Nonbeing is the origin of Heaven and Earth.
Being is the mother of ten thousand things.

My paraphrase of this part of the first section of the Tao Te Ching.

God is too big for any one religion and if you think you know who God is you are full of baloney.
You do not know what anything really means because these things you have made up.
The Force of the Universe we humans call Life which is the beginning of our awareness of heaven and earth.
Our dichotomous minds just make stuff up that we naively think is real.

Let your magnificence shine forth

Monday, July 3, 2017

Without the ego would there be chaos or love?

It is written in A Course In Miracles that we hold on to the past to be able to judge for "judgement becomes impossible without the past, for without it you do not understand anything." T-15.V.1:1

A little further it is written: "You are afraid of this because you believe that without the ego, all would be chaos. Yet I assure you that without the ego, all would be love." T-15.V.1:6-7

Does this mean I should forget the past?

Not exactly for as human beings that would be impossible and we would not learn anything and grow. What is suggested is that we forgive the past, we rise above it, and we do not let the past imprison us in the present.

As a psychotherapist sometimes I am asked, "Do you really believe people can change?"

I answer, "I would be a hypocrite and a fraud if I didn't believe people could change. Of course they can. I have been honored and privileged to witness miraculous change."

Anna and Mike came to see me after Mike had an affair. Anna, then our of revenge, went and had an affair too. They both decided to get back together. Mike told me, "We are so much better now."

Anna chimed in and said, "We went out for coffee and forgave each other and decided to start over again. It was wonderful."

They both are in their late 40s and had met in high school at age 15. They have been together 27 years.

"Start over?" I asked.

"Yes," Anna said. "We agreed to pretend that we just met."

Without history there is no judgment and with no judgement, there is a space for love to exist.

I love the bumper sticker "Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement." The best judgement is forgiveness which makes a place for love.

10 things to enhance your spiritual life

Sunday, July 2, 2017

What's your interior spiritual life like?

Secrets imprison our spirit and block the flow of energy in our relationships

Robert said, "I am tired of the secrets. I have kept them my whole life. I am scared of what will happen if they find out. I'd rather die than deal with the consequences. What should I do?"

Secret keeping blocks our communication with existence. Our spirit is made to hide in the corners and under the rocks. Our secrets diminish us and who we really are. Secret keeping is a sign of disrespect for others and most of all for our real self.

A sign of spiritual development is the release of secrets and a growing transparency. We become purer with nothing to hide.

I said to Robert. "You can tell me. I will keep your confidence and when you tell me your secrets we can talk about what, if anything, can be done."

Robert told me his secret and we both laughed about how silly it was. His secret was a lie he had told his grandfather and his uncle 40 years ago. His grandfather was now dead, but his uncle was still alive. I encouraged Robert to tell his uncle his secret just as an experiment to see what his uncle's reaction would be. Two weeks later, Robert and I met again and Robert was a new man. He was relaxed and happy with a grin on his face. Robert told me that when he told his uncle his secret of the lie he had told 40 years ago, his uncle laughed and said he had known all along that Robert had told a lie and his grandfather did as well. Robert said that his uncle hadn't wanted to confront him with his lie because his uncle wanted him to come to the realization that telling the truth would not change the love that grandfather and he felt for him, but this disclosure could happen when Robert became brave enough to overcome his fears of shame.

Robert laughed at his own folly of keeping his secret from those he loved for over 40 years for nothing but a life lesson about spiritual growth of monumental significance. Keeping secrets is a prison for our spirit of our own making. Purification and bringing darkness to light is what "enlightenment" is all about.

Quote of the day - Choose again

Jesus asks us in A Course In Miracles, "Would you be hostage to the ego or host to God?" T-15.III.5:1

Saturday, July 1, 2017

We shouldn't settle with too little when we could experience our magnitude.

It is written in A Course In Miracles, "Every decision you make stems from what you think you are, and represents the value that you put upon yourself." T-15.III.3:3

A little further in the same chapter Jesus says, "I asked you earlier, 'Would you be hostage to the ego or host to God.'" T-15.III.5:1

One of the famous verses in the New Testament is the one in Matthew 16:15 where Jesus asks His disciples "Who do you say I am?"

Deep down we all feel defective and inadequate in some way. Our biggest fear is that we are little, small, unworthy. This generates, usually unconsciously, a feeling of shame. We are embarrassed and live with anxiety about being found out, judged, rejected, and abandoned.

It is this deep, innate, sense of inadequacy and defectiveness, which creates our human problems as we try to cover it up, hide it, and attack others before they attack us.

If this entity of defectiveness and inadequacy is who we are afraid we are, we diminish ourselves and don't understand that we are loved unconditionally by the source of our being. We have chosen our defectiveness and inadequacy by separating ourselves from our divine source thinking that we can do things on our own only to discover, as is taught in Alcoholics Anonymous in the first step, that our lives are unmanageable and that we have to turn our life over to our Higher Power and follow God's will not our own.

Patty told me several times over the course of our weekly meetings for six months that she didn't love her husband because he didn't love her but some other woman he had told her he would rather be with. Patty had left for a while with the kids, but finally went back home where her husband continued to pay the bills. He had gone to live with his mother but slowly over several weeks he moved back in after spending a few nights with Patty. He said he cared about the kids but couldn't make a commitment to her and this made Patty, she reported, angry, sad, and confused.

I teased her and said, "Why? What's not to love? You are a good person."

She smiled at me shyly as if she couldn't or wouldn't accept that she could be loved by her husband. She was competitive, jealous, and hateful of this other woman whom she believed her husband loved more than her even though his actions didn't seem to match completely her worse fears.

I said to Patty, "If you don't love yourself, it's hard to believe that he could love you and if you think he does, it is only a matter of time before he becomes disillusioned and disappointed and leaves you for someone else."

She looked at me with a perplexed look and said, "You think I am the one with the problem?"

I said, "No, it's a problem for the whole family because it affects everyone in the family and friends as well, but the only person you can ultimately control and take responsibility for is yourself and I don't think you have a good appreciation of who you really are."

Patty started to weep and I said, "What ever makes you cry, let's talk about in our next meeting."

A Course In Miracles says that we accept too little when we should only accept our magnitude. We are, after all, children of God, and bringing our will into conjunction with God's will for us, we become an unbeatable, unstoppable, glorious dynamic duo with our Creator.