Saturday, March 17, 2018

A nonjudgmental attitude is a milestone on the walk of Love

Another milestone on the walk of Love on the path of the spirit is a nonjudgmental attitude.

A nonjudgmental attitude is an unconditional empathic regard.

"To judge is to be dishonest, for to judge is to assume a position you do not have," is written in A Course In Miracles. It is written further, "Judgment without self-deception is impossible." In other words how could you know the heart and mind and soul of another? Most of us don't know our own heart and mind and soul, let alone that of another. At the best we can only guess. Who made us God?

And so the walk of Love is one of nonjudgment. It is not for us say or even to think. The recognition that there is more going on than meets the eye is a hallmark of wisdom and the sign of a more advanced soul on the path of the spirit.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

What do you trust?

What are the milestones on the path of the spirit?

The stages of spiritual development have begun with the dawning which has triggered the turning which has triggered the search. The search has necessitated the awareness of the witness which reflects on one's spiritual progress and functioning.

After multiple attempts to identify a way, a method, which facilitates spiritual growth, the individual finally discovers the walk of love. The person learns to ask the Holy Spirit, Jesus, God, Mother Nature, whatever one conceives one's Higher Power to be, "what would love have me do?"

The person comes to learn that the first milestone walking in Love is trust. Some might call it faith. Love cannot be defined. Love is too big to be fathomable. The opposite of Love we are told in A Course In Miracles is fear. Fear makes us chose between attack and forgiveness.

The seeker who is walking in Love learns that forgiveness is essential, and forgiveness takes trust and faith that the laws of Love are the right way to proceed. Forgiveness is the undoing of the beliefs of the path of the ego.

In order to proceed in trust the individual must go through the turning away from the path of the ego to the path of the spirit. This turning away from the path of the ego to the path of the spirit takes a period of "sorting out" of choices. Do I chose Love or money? Do I chose fame and status or integrity? Do I chose judgment or compassion and acceptance? Do I chose punishment and revenge or forgiveness and healing?

As the individual gets practice in making these decisions between the ego or the spirit there is a period of relinquishment. Idols are not important any more. The seeker gives up stuff and gets rid of shit. Some call this, instead of relinquishment, a purification and a liberation.

The fourth step after relinquishment comes a settling down. The seeker is more aware and confident in choosing what is really important.

This settling down can lead to a sense of disillusionment and depression. There is a sense of depression that comes with an awareness of how dysfunctional the ego's beliefs about the world are and the extent to which people have chosen mistakenly and had gone astray. A Course in Miracles calls this stage "a period of unsettling."

Lastly, the seeker comes to trust that (s)he has chosen wisely to leave the path of the ego and embark on the path of the spirit. There is a sense of peace, and bliss and gratitude for this achievement of getting on a better track.

The first milestone on the walk of Love is called trust in the path of the spirit. This trust in the path of the spirit is what we can confidently entrust our faith.

As the jokester says, "In God We Trust. All others pay cash."

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Relationships have a purpose: they are teaching-learning opportunities

The path of the spirit involves relationships at three levels.

First is the momentary. We smile at someone next to us in line at the supermarket cashier and even at the cashier her/himself.

The second type of relationship is more than a moment but temporary, a fellow student in a class, a co-worker, a neighbor, someone we play softball with.

The third type of relationship is life long, a parent, a child, a life long partner in a committed relationship, a friendship which has lasted decades.

All these types of relationships create a teaching-learning dynamic. To understand the teaching-learning dynamic we simply have to ask, "What is the purpose of this relationship?" Is the purpose of the relationship "give to get" or "me or them" or "one or the other," or is it "what's mine is yours," or "both together," or "one for all and all for one?"

To use the terms described in A Course In Miracles, is the relationship a "special relationship" or a "holy relationship?" A "special relationship" manifests a "give to get" dynamic while a "holy relationship" is about joining and sharing.

All relationships are learning opportunities and it is up to us what we will learn. What do we want to learn? Do we want to learn about our specialness or do we want to learn about Love? Do we intend to use this relationship as a means of our journey on the path of the ego or the path of the spirit? Is the relationship about me and you and how we are separate, or about us and how we are the same? Will we continue our journey separate and alone or together and connected?

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The peace that is timeless on the Walk Of Love

We are all here to learn the walk of Love.

For some it takes a long time how to learn the walk of Love. For others the time is quicker. It is our destiny to learn the walk of Love. In ultimately fulfilling our destiny we have no choice. This is the basis of our faith. But we can choose when we want to learn it.

Some resist learning the walk of Love. There are other things which distract them. Many detours are taken. In arrogance and desire, idols are identified and worshiped. These false starts and mistakes create a hurt that leads to anguish and despair. The tolerance for pain by human beings can be very high.

However, when the pain becomes great enough, it starts to dawn on the person that there must be a better way. This dawning leads to a turning from the path of the ego for a search on the path of the spirit. This search creates a a teaching-learning situation in which the person simultaneously becomes both a teacher and a student for we learn what we teach and we teach what we want to learn.

This teaching-learning dynamic was created by the Divine at the moment of our separation and were it not to have occurred we could not, would not have survived in this life on earth. From the moment of our birth we began learning and with our cries began teaching others how to interact with us. The teaching-learning dynamic is a basic building block of life. We constantly teach, whether we are conscious of it or not, what we are to others and what others are to us.

On the path of the ego we "give to get" and behave based on the belief of "you or me," "us or them," which comes from fears instigated by our beliefs in scarcity.

After "the dawning," "the turning," and "the search," we come to realize there is a better way and we enter into the "walk of love" where we learn that "giving is receiving" and "one for all and all for one." The walk of love brings peace and bliss that is timeless.

Monday, March 12, 2018

There are teachers of God among us to help us find our way

There are many ways to remembering the Love of God. And there are many teachers of these ways. They all lead to the same place, the experience of the Oneness of God's creation.

This experience arises when the blocks and obstacles to the awareness of Its presence are removed. What are the signs of this experience? The signs are peace, bliss, and gratitude.

The teachers of God hasten the experience by taking steps to help us remove the blocks and obstacles to the awareness.

The idols of the world that we worship bring a weariness to our souls that fill us with anguish and sometimes suicidal thoughts. We get to the point at which we don't want to go on. It dawns on us that there must be a better way. With this dawning, there is a turning to the search, and when we begin seeking, the teacher of God appears to guide us on better way.

The teacher of God may say a word, perform a kindness, manifest an example that removes a block or obstacle to our awareness of Love's presence. The teacher of God may not know what (s)he's lesson has meant to us and done for us, but a miracle has occurred. A breach between our detour on the path of the ego from the path of the spirit has been repaired and we feel we are back on the right track.

Teachers of God are a blessing in the world. They continue to learn right along with us. Helping us, helps themselves, and their work on themselves, helps us.

We are here, in this world, to learn. What we chose to learn makes the difference. Do we want to study and learn the ways of the ego, or do we want to study and learn the ways of the spirit? Do we want to continue our separation from God, or learn how to return to the Divine? The choice is ours to make and there are teachers of God among us to help.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Who is a teacher of God?

The slogan is "One for all and all for one."

Another way of putting it is, "We are all in this thing called Life together."

John Lennon, the great contemporary prophet, sang, "Imagine."

Who is a teacher of God?

The teacher of God it is written in A Course In Miracles is the person who "...has made a deliberate choice in which he did not see his interests as part from someone else's. Once he has done that, his road is established and his direction is sure."

When a person wants the best for another person because (s)he understands that that is what is best for everyone, an important step has been taken for the salvation of the world. An important step has been taken toward the Atonement, At-one-ment, when every body loves every body all the time.

The wanting what is best for another person is called Love. The opposite of Love is fear and fear is based on the belief in scarcity. The belief in scarcity leads to a belief in "me before you" or "me instead of you" and "give to get."

The teacher of God operates on different principles and beliefs. The teacher of God believes in the abundance of God's Love, and "give to have" and "your well being is my well being," and "one for all and all for one."

Saturday, March 10, 2018

What are you teaching?

You teach what you believe you are and what you believe others are to you. It is not so much about what you say but how you say it. It is not so much about what you say as what you believe to be true about yourself and others.

It is written in A Course In Miracles, "The self-deceiving must deceive, for they teach deception. And what else is hell?"

When I encounter the self-deceiving I either laugh or cry. What else is there?

Sometimes with a gentle laugh I will say, "You know that thing that you do?" or "You know that thing that always seems to happen to you.?"

For most people, self-deception is unconscious. They are not aware of the habitual patterns of behavior, fueled by false beliefs, reinforced by misperceptions and faulty generalizations that have trapped them into a hell which they think will provide them with happiness.

Along comes a teacher of God who suggests to them that there might be a better way. There is a better way to think, and a better way to behave. With this better way there is a feeling of peace and not just happiness but joy and bliss.

The teacher of God often has no idea what (s)he has said or done to nudge the person onto a better path. The teacher of God has no control over the outcome. The teacher of God just does what (s)he does and turns the consequences over to their Higher Power.

All the teacher of God has done is make a choice to leave the path of the ego and journey on the path of the Spirit. This choice generates forgiveness and in forgiving themselves and others for their previous mistaken choices, gratitude for Love's presence in their lives wells up and exudes a fragrance as beautiful and lovely as one has ever experienced. This experience of God's Love is contagious.

Walking the path of the ego, people teach hell, and walking the path of the spirit people teach heaven. What are you teaching? What do you wish to learn?

As Stephen Gaskin taught, in the last analysis all we have to offer another is our own state of being. What state is your state of being in? What path are you walking?

Friday, March 9, 2018

Teach what you want to learn

Are you a teacher of God or a teacher of the ego?

It is written in A Course In Miracles, "Any situation must be to you a chance to teach others what you are, and what they are to you. No more than that, but also never less."

Stephen Gaskin said that the only thing we have to share with others is our own state of being.

It also is important to understand that we are teaching all the time and that we learn what we teach. It is written in ACIM "It (the course) also emphasizes that teaching is a constant process; it goes on every moment of the day, and continues into sleeping thoughts as well." A little further it is written, "Teaching is but a call to witnesses to attest to what you believe."

We must choose what we wish to learn and what we wish to teach. Do we want to teach about the idols on the path of the ego or about the attributes of the Divine on the path of the spirit?

It is simple really. Do we want money, power, fame, sex, social status, approval, drama, or do we want peace, love, and bliss?

Thursday, March 8, 2018

The God of second chances

We all make mistakes. In many theological models, mistakes are called sins, but the word "sin" is laden with judgment, condemnation, guilt, punishment, shame, and fear.

Existentially, human beings, unconsciously, feel guilty for having separated themselves from God. We are told in religious texts that human beings have sinned and triggered the wrath of God who will punish them sometimes eternally in a hell. These myths are projections of the human mind which is making God in the ego's own mistaken image.

The Universalists tell us that their God loves us unconditionally and would never consign God's creations to hell. The Universalists prefer the word "mistake" to "sin." We are told that in the story of the adulterous woman, Jesus, tells the woman and go and don't make the same mistake again. Unfortunately, the Aramaic word gets translated in English as "sin" when the meaning of the Aramaic is actually "mistake." There is a big difference in the meaning of the word "sin" and "mistake" in English.

It is written in A Course Of Miracles "In every difficulty, all distress, and perplexity Christ calls to you and gently says, "My brother, choose again."

It is written in ACIM a little further on, "The images you make cannot prevail against what God Himself would have you be. Be never fearful of temptation, then, but see it as it is; another chance to choose again, and let Christ's strength prevail in every circumstance and every place you raise an image of yourself before. For what appears to hide the face of Christ is powerless before His majesty, and disappears before His holy sight."

The true God is a God of second chances, and third chances, and fourth chances, whatever number it takes until God's human creation gets it right.

The only question is "how quick will we learn?"

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Knocking on heaven's door

Life's main existential question is very simple: do we want to live in hell or heaven?

Identifying with body and the path of the ego will be hell. Identifying with the spirit and the path of the spirit will be heaven.

The "miracle", the shift from ego to spirit, is based on forgiveness. Forgiveness not in the usual sense, but forgiveness for ourselves and others that we ever separated ourselves from God, the path of the spirit to begin with.

Our separation from the divine began with our worship of idols whom we thought and were taught by our society would make us happy. It can take years if not decades to become aware that this is not true.

This growing awareness born out of depression, anxiety, frustration, discouragement and anguish is called "the dawning." We become aware that there is a better way to live our lives here on earth and we begin to turn from the world to the divine within. Jesus told us that the kingdom of God is within us.

With this turn within, called "the turning," we begin to realize that we are not our bodies but part of the transcendent oneness. Our spirit if part of an oceanic pool of spirithood which we share with everyone. We become aware that we are not separate, but joined.

If "the turning" is brought about by forgiveness what does forgiveness take? Merely a decision to turn our separate wills over to the Will Of The Universe. As they say in Alcoholics Anonymous, "Let go, and let God", or simply, "Let go."

Ask the Holy Spirit, Jesus, God, your Higher Power, the muse to help you. Jesus says, "Ask and you shall receive. Knock and the door will be opened for you."


Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Flesh or spirit: that is the question

It is written bluntly in A Course In Miracles, "You see flesh or recognize spirit. There is no compromise between the two."

So which is it for you? Do you see a body with a spirit or a spirit with a body?

God lets us decide how we want to view our experience. God lets us decide if we want to live in hell or in heaven.

Unitarian Universalists, when they are being cute, like to say, "We aren't interested in getting people into heaven. We are interested in getting heaven into people." What UUs aren't clear about is how they intend to do that, get heaven into people. Bottom line is, they can't. It's up to the individual whether (s)he wants recognize the heaven within them. They have to make the choice.

The choice means changing routes. The choice means getting off the path of the ego to the path of the spirit. Not everyone is ready. Not everyone is willing.

Giving up the ways of the world is scary. We are leaving the familiar ruts for unfamiliar territory and that feels risky. It's better, some people say, to dance with the devil you know than the devil you don't know.

Supposing, though, on the path of the spirit there is no devil at all, only divine bliss?

The buddhas that travel among us tell us that the path of the spirit brings peace, bliss, Love. The buddhas tell us to overcome our fears of setting aside the flesh and bask in the joy of the spirit.

The metamorphosis can be scary for the caterpillar to leave its cocoon and be born again as a butterfly, for the acorn to burst out of its shell and become a mighty oak tree, for any seed to crack its brittle shell and germinate into the being of its true potential.

The things that metamorphize in the natural world have no choice, but we humans, with our consciousness, must decide. Instead of God's will being done, God says, "your will be done." We alone have to decide whether we want to recognize the birth of heaven within us.

Monday, March 5, 2018

How conscious are you of your state of consciousness?

The fact of the matter, whether we like it or not, and usually it's not, is that our sense of self is a social construction.

Something as simple as the language we speak, the names we give to objects of our perception, are handed to us by other people.

Our self concept, self worth, self esteem, self confidence is provided to us by the things other people tell us about ourselves.

You are not your body because it constantly changes, as does your thoughts, your emotions, your social status, your personality. These aspects of the self you think you are constantly change. So what is this self that we cling to and hold so dear?

Have you noticed that the things we think we see in ourselves is what we see in others, both good things and bad things? Other people, other "selves" are a mirror of sorts. George Herbert Meade called in the "looking glass self."

What is behind the social construction? What is it that knows that the self isn't real? It goes by many names. I prefer the term "witness." There is a part of ourselves which is not a part of ourselves that can watch and observe what we call the self.

Some people have a more highly aware sense of their witness while others believe they are merely victims of emotional and social and physical forces they don't understand.

If we are to get really cute, we can also speak of the witness of our witness. So, the question can be asked, "How aware are you of your witness?"

The witness is also called "consciousness." We can ask, "How conscious are you of your state of consciousness?"

The goal of the spiritual life is to achieve pure consciousness which means our egos evaporate. They are no more, and of course they never were. They were just shit we made up.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Born again on the path of the spirit

It's interesting how we project our own problems and concerns on to other people. If we are worried, afraid, disgusted, or happy, amused, enchanted, we assume ( which makes an ass out of you and me) that other people must think the same, feel the same, behave the same.

We become upset and confused when we learn that the other person onto whom we have projected our thoughts, feelings, intentions, and behavior don't live up to our expectations.

This failure to meet our expectations generates all kinds of feelings of blame, accusation, disappointment, anger, fear, and sadness.

Our projections, misperceptions, misunderstandings, faulty generalizations are easily blamed on the other person who we further misperceive as having failed us, thwarted us, refused to love us the way we want to be loved by them.

We, in our ego mind, are very reluctant, or even refuse, to take responsibility for any of this. It is much easier initially to avoid responsibility by attacking the other for their failure to satisfy us.

Our inappropriate expect ions that others should meet our expectations fills us first with fear and then with fury, and with rising of fear and fury, hell is created.

As lesson five in A Course In Miracles teaches us, "I'm never upset for the reason I think."

The reason I am upset is that I have identified with the ego and have engaged in its expectations and once again the ego has brought me anguish and suffering.

At this point we ask, "What's wrong with me!?"

At the spiritual level the answer is, "There is nothing wrong with you. You are the beloved creation of the Divine, loved unconditionally, and perfect in every way."

At the ego level the answer is, "You are unaware of what you are. You don't understand who you are, why you are here, and what you should be doing with yourself. You have been tricked into believing in idols and thinking they are real, you have made your life a hell."

The better question is not "What's wrong with me!?" but "What's the better way for me to live my life?"

To which Jesus, the Holy Spirit, God, your Higher Power, the Spirit of Life answers, "Do not give dogs what is holy; do not throw your pearls before swine. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces. 7Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Mathew 7:7

It is this dawning that there must be a better way that precipitates our seeking. It is in deciding to seek with a joyful curiosity that we are reborn.

Friday, March 2, 2018

What is your relationship with God like?

Are you a leader or a follower? Have you gotten upset when no one stepped up to lead when you wanted to follow? Have you gotten upset when you wanted to lead and no one was following?

Life is hard sometimes. Should it be this difficult?

How about if nobody leads and nobody follows but we walk beside each other on the same path? This assumes we are going in the same direction, at the same speed, traveling under the same conditions.

What if we want to go different places along routes, and you want to go fast and I want to go slow, and you want the country and western music station on the radio and I want soft rock?

The path of the ego is mined with different preferences and are any of them essential to our deep seated, long lasting happiness?

We can argue about which preference is the truth, which is best, which is right.

A Course In Miracles asks us very simply, "Would you rather be right or be happy?"

Our ego answers, "right!"

Our spirit knows better and answers, "Happy!"

We are torn between the ego and the spirit. Which to choose? Willfulness or willingness?

Christians pray the Our Father, "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." It is clear in our prayer that aligning our will with God's will for us is the path to happiness.

Do we follow God and let God lead or do we walk along side? Is God your boss or your friend?

Some people, like Neale Donald Wasch, tells us God wants to be our friend. Most religious scripture books tell us God wants to be the boss.

What is your relationship with God like?

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Cosmic consciousness is our destiny

On the path of the ego, things can get really complicated fast. We humans have learned that deconstructing entities into their component parts gives us power to manipulate those entities and the things related to them.

We also have learned that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Deconstruction does not give us the whole story. In the last analysis, it is the whole story that we desire not just crumbs.

Salvation lies in the whole. Salvation comes from joining and unifying. Salvation comes from the awareness that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, and it is in this wholeness that we experience peace and fulfillment.

Salvation follows from the answer to the question, "What would Love have me do?" The question is simple enough if we respond to it at face value. It is in overthinking it that we get ourselves into trouble.

Giving up our dichotomizing minds frightens us. It seems unnatural on the path of the ego for the ego would have us separate, discriminate, segregate, compare, compete, eliminate, attack, oppress, subjugate, and even kill because it is afraid of wholeness, of nondualistic awareness, because the ego would evaporate, it would cease to exist.

The ego protests against this, fights against this, becomes defensive and antagonistic towards anything that threatens its existence. The ego insists that we protect it, sometimes at all costs. The ego would prefer that we give up our souls so that it can stay intact. We come to learn, it is a sign of wisdom, that this is a fool's bargain. In the end, we must surrender our special drop to the ocean and be reabsorbed once again into the cosmic consciousness.