Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Forgiveness is necessary on the path of the spirit.

It is written in A Course In Miracles, "Forgiveness is the world's equivalent of Heaven's justice." T-26.IV.1:1

That's an awesome idea. If God is Unconditional Love, forgiveness shouldn't even be necessary for what would there be to forgive? What difference would sin make on such a path?

If God is Unconditional Love there would be no judgment, no punishment, no hell. Judgment, punishment, and hell is the creation of the path of the ego. We humans, in separating ourselves from God's Oneness, have created our own hell. The ego loves the hell we have created because it involves drama which keeps us from being aware of the choice we could make to leave the path of the ego and embark on the path of the spirit.

If Heaven, the At-one-ment, Salvation is when everybody loves everybody all the time because this loving everyone all the time is an extension of God's Unconditional Love, then forgiveness of our own and our brother's egotistical beliefs, intentions, and behaviors is the correction required by the path of the spirit to move humanity closer to God's intentions for us on earth as it is in heaven.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Don't be fooled by perceptions - remember the whole

It is a principle in systems theory that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. We, humans, have learned much about the nature of the world by breaking things down into their component parts. Our logic and rationality is linear and reductionistic and this approach has contributed to great scientific understandings of the phenomenal world. And yet, with this linear and reductionistic approach, some of us understand that something is missing. Newtonian physics, looking at the world like a mechanism of a clock, doesn't quite cut it. This perception is missing something. So we put the things we have deconstructed back together again looking for the whole and the quality that the parts, individually, are missing.

What gives us peace and satisfaction is wholeness, oneness, the still place where there are no boundaries, no limits, no discrete parts that are less than the whole. We long for the whole, for the Oneness from which we came and to which we return.

Humans complicate things. We break existence down into parts. We separate things and in doing so we create illusions that are not real. We are only seeing a part of the whole, the proverbial "tip of the iceberg." Don't be fooled by perceptions. They are not what they seem to us to be. We are missing the whole picture which we consciously or unconsciously crave.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Worthiness has nothing to do with it. God's love is unconditional

There is one major hurtle on the spiritual path. That hurtle is the belief that some people are worthy and some are not. Some people are good and others bad. Some people deserve salvation while others are damned to hell. This belief in degrees of worthiness is the path of the ego and is not on the path of the spirit, for God loves all of God's creation unconditionally. It is humans, who have separated themselves from the love of God, who have created these levels of hell.

The correction, of course, is forgiveness and surrendering our will to the Holy Spirit of God.

It is written in A Course In Miracles that problems appear to us in many forms with different circumstances and characteristics and levels of intensity. The Holy Spirit of God cares nothing about the form for the issue is always the same, our willfulness and illusions.

Surrendering to the Love of God fills us with the fear of giving up our egos and that, most of us most of the time, are not willing to do, yet. But there comes a time when our spirits will be pried lose from our bodies and how that goes for us will depend on whether we go willingly or unwillingly. If we have matured enough to not only go willingly but to welcome the incorporation into the Oneness we will find peace and bliss. If we are still immature and our fears prevent us from surrendering, we will have to learn more before we are ready, and perhaps, if reincarnation is accurate, come back again to the school on the earth plane to continue our education.

The bottom line here is that, if anything deserves our faith, it is the Holy Spirit who can help us solve all problems. The best joke I ever heard is this, "If you want to hear God laugh, tell God your plans." That's the funniest thing I ever heard. The best question we could ever ask of God is "What do you want me to do?" Ask the Holy Spirit of God to help us surrender our ego and joyfully join in God's loving will for us.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Loneliness is overcome by sharing

R.D. Laing, the British Psychiatrist, wrote in his book, Politics of Experience, that I can experience my own experience, but I can never experience your experience. The closest I can come to you is to experience my observing you experiencing your own experience.

Read that again. Stay with it. It's profound.

According to A Course In Miracles, we humans have decided to separate from the Oneness and form our own bodies. In doing so we made a sacrifice.

Recent psychological studies report that the biggest psychological problem in the United States is loneliness.

As I was reading about this finding, it made me laugh. Really? Loneliness? What made me laugh is the naming of this as a psychological problem which, undoubtedly it is, for which one of us has not experienced loneliness even in a crowded room, even in our committed long term relationships? What made me laugh is the lack of recognition that this, at its fundamental base, is a spiritual problem. The psychological aspect is only symptomatic at the surface, but fails to get to the bottom of things.

And so the problem of loneliness is a problem of the path of the ego. Rather than take the path of the spirit we have chosen the path of the ego which has taken us down the dark dead-end road to loneliness.

The good news is that things don't have to be this way. We can change course and embark on the path of the spirit and leave the path of the ego.

What does this change of course look like? It looks like forgiveness and love instead of blame and greed. It is about sharing instead of clinging and protecting.

Friday, January 12, 2018

There is a divine spark in every person that deserves only our love

It is only just that everyone love everyone all the time. Any less is unfair to God's creation. Love withheld from any of God's creations is wrong and blocks the awareness of Love's presence. For the person, from whom Love is withheld in our hearts and minds, we attack and all suffer in  a hell of our own making.

In order to love everyone all the time we must forgive our misperceptions and our misjudgments. When we misperceive and misjudge, we have not acted rightly and have been unjust, first to ourselves, and then to others. To correct our perceptions and judgments so that love comes to replace our injustice is what A Course In Miracles calls a "miracle."

In order to manifest the justice of God in the world we must love everybody all the time. What we must perceive and acknowledge is the divine spark in everyone which deserves only our love. When we love everyone all the time, God's justice manifests itself in our consciousnesses.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Is it just for everyone to be happy?

You deserve to be happy. You deserve to have a high quality life. Do you believe these two statements? Do you believe they are true for other people as well? It has been said in A Course In Miracles that justice demands it.

On the path of the ego, it is believed that justice demands vengeance. Justice, on the path of the ego, demands that people are compared and found unworthy and offensive. We prefer to see other people found guilty and punished rather than ourselves. This preference in other people's guilt and punishment is based on our belief that justice demands it.

On the path of the spirit, it is believed that justice demands fairness. Justice, on the path of the spirit, recognizes and acknowledges that all human beings are children of God and as such fairness demands their happiness and high quality life all alike. Our function, on the path of the spirit, is to encourage people's happiness and high quality life like our own.

Is your God a just God? If so, your God loves everyone one of God's creations uncondtionally. As Sister Helen Prejean said in Death Man Walking, "Every person is worth more than his worst act."

Justice demands that everyone be treated is such a way as to increase their happiness and quality of life. Anything less leaves justice lacking.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

How do you want to live your life? By the law of scarcity or the law of abundance?

God loves us all unconditionally.

That is the truth on which our faith rests.

God loves God's whole creation all the time.

Human beings, however, want to be in charge. We have separated ourselves from God's unconditional love because we want to be special. To be special be must compare and in comparing there are winners and losers. Our specialness excels at the expense of others.

In the desire for specialness the law, which we have made up because it isn't of God, of scarcity has been created. The law of scarcity requires winners and losers and to be a winner we must fight, we must attack others. The corollary law is "get them before they get you." With the creation of this corollary law of "get them before they get you" we have created hell, hell on earth.

Hell on earth is of the making of human beings who are willful. It has nothing to do with God. God's world of unconditional love knows nothing of scarcity. In God's world there is enough for everybody.

How do we who understand get of the world of hell we have created to the world of unconditional love of God?

First, we need to understand. We need to understand that the hell on earth is the handiwork of mortals.

Second, we need to intend to live in a different world than the hell we have created.

Third we need to act by forgiving ourselves and others for our selfish, greedy behaviors.

Fourth, we need to love ourselves by loving others and sharing what we have not jealously protecting it.

The law of God, which all the great religions teach is, is the law of abundance.

We have to chose whether we want to live our lives by the law of scarcity or the law of abundance.

Simple choice. Easy to make. Harder to implement at first as we transition. However, with practice living by the law of abundance comes naturally.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Why were you born? What is the purpose of your life?

Did you ever wonder why you were born, what the purpose of your life is?

They say there are no two snowflakes alike. There are no two human beings exactly alike, even identical twins. So why did God go to all the trouble to make each one of us unique?

And why were you born at this point in human history? Why not 500 years earlier or 1,000 years later? Why now?

During this lifetime, your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to figure out why you were created to become the person you are destined to become, and why you were born at this point in human history. There must be a reason, otherwise, why would God, the Creator, go to all this trouble?

How do you discern God's will for you, to become the person you were created to become, and to do at this point in human history, what you came here to do?

The essential strategy of discernment is to ask the Holy Spirit, your muse, the Spirit of Life, whatever you want to call your source of inspiration, for help. Discernment is not a solo activity. We all need help. Not only can we not do this alone, we shouldn't do it alone because we will, undoubtedly, on our own, go astray.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:7-8  Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

Neale Donald Walsch in his Conversations With God books tells us that God is talking to us all the time. It is we who are not tuned in and not listening.

We are so distracted these days with media and so many consumer choices and so much drama that we rarely pay attention. To tune in and listen to the Holy Spirit, our muse, the Spirit of Life, we need quiet, stillness, silence. The Holy Spirit does not speak above the roar that we create in our won minds and hearts.

What we need to do is shut up. Stop. Step down. Back off. Disengage. Get quiet. Listen.

The Christmas song says, "Do you hear what I hear? A song, a song, high above the trees, with a voice as big as the sea......."

Today, take some time to listen, at least twice, and more if you can tear yourself away, and make time for your muse. Try to understand your purpose in this life and then endeavor to do God's will to Love yourself and humanity.

Don't give up - change your mind

Remember the saying, "One for all, and all for one?" How about the bumper sticker which reads, "We're all in this thing called life together?"

Our egos want us to see ourselves as separate and having different interests from our brothers and sisters. The ego encourages us to see life as a competition for scarce resources and what our brothers and sisters have means there is less for us. We live in a hell of deprivation and fear.

Why not turn the whole game on its head and see our brothers and sisters not as our adversaries but our allies? How about if we decide that there is enough for everyone and helping each other and sharing is the best way to security mitigating our fears? This is heaven on earth when everybody loves everybody all the time.

All we have to do to enjoy the comforts of heaven is to decide our point of view: do we chose competition and deprivation or cooperation and abundance? The choice is simple.

When we revert to our egoistic thinking and behavior of every dog for himself we need to correct our thinking and behavior and forgive ourselves and others and try again. With patience and persistence we can get it right. Don' give up.

 

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Path of ego or path of spirit?

Our egos, to maintain control of our lives, like to make things complicated when our choices are simple.

The basic question is "What will make me happy?" The ego has one answer and the spirit another. Which do we want to choose? Which will we follow?

It reads in A Course In Miracles that perception's basic law is: "You will rejoice at what you see because you see it to rejoice. And while you think that suffering and sin will bring you joy, so long will they be there for you to see. Nothing is harmful or beneficent apart from what you wish. It is your wish that makes it what it is in its effects on you." T-23.IV.2:1-4

Some people play the victim for they think this will bring them sympathy and comfort. The worse their pain and trauma the better for the more sympathy and comfort they are entitled to. Negative attention seeking is something we learned to do as children from parents who were abusive and neglectful. This negative attention seeking sets us off on a life trajectory of hell. Hopefully, at some point we ask ourselves, "Is this really what I want?"

In asking the question, we begin to get a glimmer of understanding that we are not really victims. We are children of God and as such we have inherent dignity and worth. As such children of God while our bodies can be assaulted and abused our spirit never can be because it is part of the precious divinity of the universe.

As Flip Wilson used to say in his Geraldine routine, "What you see is what you get." We can choose what we see. That is our power to live a good, and happy life.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Guilt and punishment or love and correction?

Do you believe in guilt? Do you believe that human beings are inherently defective, inadequate, and prone to sin for which they should be punished to teach the offender a lesson as well as all others who would be deterred from similar sins and crimes by seeing a brother or sister punished?

The law here is simple: if you believe in guilt and punishment you, yourself, will be found guilty and punished. Most of us deal with this fear of being found guilty and punished by telling ourselves that we are not like the offender. Somehow we are different. Some of us more humble will say to ourselves as we find guilt assigned and punishment perpetrated, "There but for the grace of god go I."

It is said that we reap what we sow. The law of karma, simply stated, is, what goes around comes around. When we believe in guilt and punishment we are making our bed and we will have to lie in it.

Is this the world we want to believe in? Do we want to continue to believe in the original sin which makes all human beings innately damaged goods from their births? This belief has consequences, consequences which we have not seen and deep down do not want and if we can get past our fears, we come to know are not true.

The Children of God cannot sin. Make mistakes, yes, but sin? No. God, our creator, does not condemn us and certainly does not punish us. We do that to ourselves. So, the question becomes, do we want to follow the path of the ego and  condemn and punish, or the path of the spirit and correct and teach? Is there a better way? Yes, of course. Is punishment the path to peace and healing or is it love and deep understanding? Compassion and forgiveness?

Friday, January 5, 2018

Two paths: the path of the ego or the path of the spirit

The Dali Lama said that the purpose of human life is happiness. Profound statement. But what does it mean? The next question, of course, is, "what will make me happy?" It is in answering this question that the fun begins and people get lost in the wilderness.

Spiritual teachings tell us over and over and over again that the ego cannot make us happy. The ego promises to and seduces us into all kinds of things and activities and eventually we come up empty handed and in despair.

The spiritual path, though, leads to not only happiness, but joy, and bliss.

The Creator, our Higher Power, God, the Universe, the Ground of our Being, whatever we choose to call the Ultimate is always happy because it is the Ultimate's creation and the Ultimate could not be anything but pleased with the Ultimate's creation which the Ultimate only desires to share because sharing is part of the Creation itself. As part of this Creation we have a choice: to pursue the illusions of our separateness and what we think will make us happy in the kingdom we have created, or to pursue the Kingdom of Our Creator by discerning and following the Creator's will.

Discerning and following Our Creator's will is the narrow gate which Jesus talked about. The saying, "Many are called but few are chosen," at one level makes sense because not everyone chooses to follow the spiritual path of discerning and following God's will initially, but eventually everyone will come around to it. It's only a matter of time.

For those of us who have chosen the spiritual path to discern and follow God's will, it is our purpose to help our brothers and sisters make the same choice when they are ready. For those who follow the ego's path changing to follow the spiritual path can be a big change. It can be for some the easiest most natural thing in the world when they are ready, but becoming ready sometimes is very difficult and painful and entails much suffering because of all the mistakes that are made.

For those of us following the spiritual path, it is our job to forgive ourselves and our brothers and sisters for their mistakes for they know not what they do. Forgiveness is the path to gratitude and gratitude in the moment, the Holy Instant, is the path to the Kingdom of the Ultimate.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Can we get over our tiny selves to gain the whole world?

Systems thinking helps us understand that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. With our Aristotelian logic and reductionist scientific method we gain power over phenomena by reducing the whole to its component parts and at the same time that linear, reductionist thinking enhances our understanding it also leaves not seeing the forest for the trees.

When we talk about the Christ we are talking about the Oneness of humanity. The bumper sticker says, "You are unique like everyone else." We are separate but part of the whole. We are drops in the ocean. It is from the Oneness that we have appeared to manifest the divinity on this earth plane. Most of us, in a daze, think that the earth plane is all there is and is "reality." Some of us have seen behind the veil and know that there is more, another dimension, which we intuitively sense, but can't clearly see.

We sometimes experience revelation. It is written in A Course In Miracles, "Revelation induces complete but temporary suspension of doubt and fear. It reflects the original form of communication between God and His creations, involving the extremely personal sense of creation sometimes sought in physical relationships." T-1.II.1:1-2 This sense of Oneness is sometimes referred to as a mystical experience. In our contemporary times, with more psychological sophistication, we call this experience "flow."

This revelatory experience is possible with our surrendering to the Holy Spirit which links our desire to be special and separate with the truth which is that special and separate is an illusion because we are so much more if only we could get over our tiny self and become aware of the glorious Oneness of which we are a part.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

What makes you tick?

Ask most people, "What makes you tick," they can't tell you. They look at you annoyed, confused, and perhaps intrigued.

Socrates said that an unexamined life is not worth living. How many people do you know live examined lives? Do you?

We are so focused on the external world we rarely explore our inner kingdom. It is vast, mysterious, at first frightening, and then glorious.

Freud taught us that we have two minds: the conscious and the unconscious. The unconscious mind is revealed somewhat in dreams, in slips of the tongue, in acting out. Freud said that we can either talk it out or act it out. Children act it out, but as their vocabulary and self awareness increases they are able to talk it out. Talking it out is usually perceived as a sign of maturity.

Jesus told us that the kingdom of God is within and among us. If we are to grow spiritually, we need to explore that kingdom. Traditionally, this was called "contemplation". Some prefer the term "reflection."

Do you take time throughout the day to reflect on your experience? In educational pedagogical theory this is also called "meta cognition" which simply means thinking about what you think. What condition is your condition in?

Ask yourself "Why do I think what I think," Why do I feel what I feel," Why do I behave the way I behave," "What is the level of understanding that I have of what makes me tick?"

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

We're on a mission from God

The Blues Brothers, played by Dan Ackroyd and John Belushi, said, in their antics and shenanigans, they were on a "mission from God." It was self denigrating humor  designed to make us laugh. However, part of its charm, and resonance with the audience, is that it is true. They were on a mission from God. We all are.

We are here to lift each other up. We are here to help each other raise our level of consciousness to what can be called "Christ consciousness." "Christ consciousness" is another term for enlightenment. It is when everybody loves everybody all the time.

We are here to to learn that we are part of the All and to help others learn this as well. This awareness is a matter of our spirit not our bodies or even our minds.

We all, not just the Blues Brothers, are on a mission from God.

As  the tag line from Mission Impossible said, "Your mission, Mr. Phelps, should you chose to accept it, is to..........." The question being posed is "do you accept the mission to raise your and your brother and sister's consciousnesses?"

 

Monday, January 1, 2018

New Years resolution - Performing more miracles

What is the self that we protect, defend, enhance at all costs? What is this self which seems to us so special that we lie, cheat, steal, and attack others to enhance and preserve? Is this really the purpose of life not only for our bodies to survive in a dangerous and cut throat world but to thrive if possible?

Thomas Hobbes said, " The life of man is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short." And believing this we make it so and so it seems to be.

However, this is not the only way of understanding ourselves and the world. We might also become aware of the divine witness which watches all this with first, horror, and then sadness, and finally with amusement when we realize none of it is real but only a drama of illusions which we have created.

This divine witness understands that peace, joy, and bliss come from recognizing the divine essence of ourselves and all of existence and bring our awareness into alignment with Existence's will for us.

Another word for this is Love.

Love does not attack, defend, protect, and separate one's own well being from those of which it perceives itself as being a part. Love extends, supports, nourishes, and facilitates the well being of all Existence.

So this new year will be a year of miracles if you choose to shift your perception from the specialness of the ego to the Oneness of the divine of which, realize it or not, you are a part.