Sunday, April 22, 2018

Would you rather be right or be happy?

We often think we know what things mean don't we? And if we are honest with ourselves, we also have to admit that we often are wrong. When we compare our meanings with the meanings of other people we often are startled and often upset that we don't agree. We attack the other for being wrong and insist that they agree with our version of rightness.

I told her the glass was half full and she told me it was half empty. She got very indignant and called me stupid and I called her a bitch. She said I was not the person she fell in love with and I started to laugh and said, "Who was he?"

This only made her madder and she started to cry. This made me feel bad, but I was still hurt and angry. Then it dawned on me that we don't know what things mean. I thought of the saying from A Course In Miracles which says, "Would you rather be right or be happy?"

I want to be happy, and happiness is achieved by forgiveness for our own and other people's stupidity.

I said to her, "Honey, I'm sorry."

Instead of crying she started whimpering and then stopped.

A peace started to descend between us.

I decided right then and there that I no longer needed to be right. I realized that being right is the path of the ego which takes one to hell. I realized there is a better way and that's the walk with Love on the path of the spirit. I remembered the line from a famous movie several years ago, "Love is never having to say you're sorry." That's because true Love is unconditional. There are no conditions. True Love is freely given. It does not have to be earned, deserved, warranted. Unconditional Love is given just because it wants to be given.

When we live with unconditional Love there is no longer any meaning because being right about meaning is meaningless.

Friday, April 20, 2018

We don't know shit.

Do you think you know what things mean?

Is the glass half full or half empty? It the lamp high or low? Is $20.00 too much or too little? Is she pretty or ugly, thin or fat, tall or short, nice or mean, helpful or uncooperative?

Will today be a good day or a bad day. Will people like me or not? Will I be kind or dismissive?

Let's face it. We don't know what things mean. It's all relative. It depends on our mood. It depends on what happened previously. It depends on what we have been told and people are saying.

We get in a rut. We experience the same old thing. We don't think that things will ever change.

As my brother used to say, "There is no such thing as gravity. The whole world sucks." And indeed, for him, it did.

And so, we make up our reality. What we see is what we get or better yet, what we think we will see is what we will get.

Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it.

Be careful what you fear for fearing something will bring it closer to you.

Don't be afraid but love and let go. Do your best and God, Life, The Universe will do the rest.

It must be admitted, when examined closely, that we don't know shit.

Adopt a position of "not knowing" and live your life with curiosity. Life is a search for the Divine. Greater powers than ours generate the universe of which we know very little if anything. Life is a mystery.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Jesus' life hacks

Jesus asked His apostles, "Who do you say that I am?"

After two millennia people are still asking that question of one another.

What do you say? Who is Jesus to you?

It is written in A Course In Miracles, "The name Jesus Christ as such is but a symbol. But it stands for love that is not of this world." MT-23:4:1-2

That's works for me although I would capitalize love, as Love because Jesus tells us "The Father and I are One."

The same thing is true for each one of us, the Father and We are One, except that most of us aren't aware of it and so don't experience it on a consistent basis.

It is written in the introduction to A Course In Miracles, "The course does not aim at the teaching of the meaning of love, for that is beyond what can be taught. It does aim, however, at removing the blocks to the awareness of love's presence, which is your natural inheritance."

A life time, well spent, is consciously working to remove the blocks to the awareness of Love's presence. Jesus came along two thousand years ago and gave us some tips, what now days are called, life hacks.

Jesus told us that the way to the kingdom is "to love as I have loved."

Okay, I get it. Jesus is a coach, a consultant, a teacher, a mentor. I have learned a lot from Him and continue to every day. If you want the Cliff Notes version of Jesus' life hacks read the Sermon on the Mount for starters.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Heaven is born

What is the function of a person on the spiritual path? It is to join with others in forgiveness and Love.

We can't do this half way. We can't do this for some and not for others. It is an all or nothing deal. Either we are one with the All or we are not. Either we see the Divine spark in all people or we don't.

On the path of the ego it is difficult sometimes to see the Divine spark in all people, and yet, our faith tells us it is there if we are on the path of the spirit.

The path of the spirit asks that we walk with Love. Jesus is very clear about this for He tells us that the way to the kingdom is to "Love as I have loved."

We hesitate, though, thinking that some people are deserving of love and forgiveness and other people aren't. Or some people are deserving under certain conditions but not under other conditions. We act as if we are prosecutor, judge, and jury.

In our judgment we have lost our way. We have forgotten that the bull shit on the path of the ego isn't real in the spiritual world. The bull shit is stuff we humans have made up and promulgated and performed.

As we enter onto the walk with Love on the spiritual path we laugh and say, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do," and we extend our love and forgiveness to the Divine in everyone and heaven is born.

Heaven or hell is based on the things in your heart

It is written in A Course In Miracles in the Manual For Teachers, "Let us not forget, however, that words are but symbols of symbols. They are thus twice removed from reality." MT-21.1:9

The word is a symbol denoting a thing or an idea and, according to the course, the thing or the idea is a symbol of our interpretation and meaning making which the Course teaches is not real but an interpretation we have made up.

We see a chair and say to ourselves, "A chair is ______________." This is a meaning we have made up having been stimulated by the sensory perception of the chair.

The Course teaches that what we are after is an experience. The Course teaches that God is not interested in our words, God is interested in our experience. The Course teaches that prayers with words mean nothing to God, because God knows nothing of words. Words are things humans have made up during the separation and to maintain the separation. God cares nothing for words but only what is in our hearts.

It is written in A Course In Miracles in the Manual For Teachers, "The prayer of the heart does not really ask for concrete things. It always requests some kind of experience, the specific things asked for being the bringers of the desired experience in the opinion of the asker. The words, then, are symbols for the things asked for, but the things themselves but stand for the experiences that are hoped for." MT-21.2:4-6

The question becomes, then, what is in our heart? What are the things hoped for? What is in our heart and the things hoped for, are the basis of our religious experience which can be either heaven or hell.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Honesty is the best policy

The second milestone on the walk of Love on the path of the spirit is honesty.

Honesty is credibility. Do you mean what you say and say what you mean? Do you do what you say, and say what you do?

Along with honesty and credibility comes dependability and reliance.

People who value honesty know who they are. They do not pretend.

People who are honest are authentic, genuine, sincere. In this, there is great peace.

An indicator of whether a person is walking the way of Love is his/her honesty. This is the bedrock on which the good life and heaven rests.

Those that deceive, create a hell. Self-deception is the worst hell, for nothing in the person's awareness is authentic and genuine. To pretend to yourself and others that you are other than you really are, and things are not the way they seem, is to create an insanity that corrupts any experience of peace and bliss.

False prophets are numerous in the world as are false promises and false pretenses. The path of the ego is littered with the false, the counterfeit, the dishonest, the empty deception which while in the short term may glitter, and gleam, and shinily attract, wind up contaminating our awareness with rot and decay resulting in anguish and suffering.

Honesty is the best policy even when it seems to hurt.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Peace comes from surrendering to the Love of the Divine

What is the peace that is not of this world? What is the peace that goes beyond all understanding?

This peace comes from the awareness that nothing real can be threatened and die.

It follows that nothing unreal exists.

This understanding, my friends, is the peace of God which is beyond all understanding and is not of this world, meaning not on the path of the ego.

The basic doctrine of Buddhism is based on the idea of anica or impermanence. The only thing unchanging on the path of the ego is that all things change, and change continually. In physics this is called the law of entropy.

Buddhism teaches that attachment causes suffering because we will lose on the path of the ego whatever we become attached to.

This suffering is the opposite of the peace we seek.

If all things on the path of the ego change and bring us suffering if we become attached to them, where then does peace abide?

Peace abides in the Love of God. This peace is manifested in Loving Kindness which flows from forgiveness and gratitude.

So if you would have peace that is not of this world, forgive yourself and others who cling to the path of the ego, and encourage yourself and others to surrender themselves to the Love of the Divine.

Friday, April 13, 2018

It's all good

What is justice?

Justice is truth. The truth is that we are all one, not separate.

This idea of oneness is hard for dualistic minds to comprehend. Our understanding on the path of the ego is based on dichotomies, comparisons, perception of differences, the reduction of wholes into component parts, separations.

We have been told, however, that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and it is in this awareness that truth and justice arise.

Justice requires the giving up of comparisons and dichotomies: this is good, that is bad; this is sweet, that is sour; this is high, that is low; this is thin, that is fat; this is right, that is wrong, etc.

As is said in some circles, "It's all good."

Saying this is an awareness on the spiritual path. This is not a statement that makes sense on the path of the ego.

On the path of the spirit, it is all good, true, and just.


Thursday, April 12, 2018

A judgmental attitude always gets one into trouble

A judgmental attitude always gets one into trouble.

When we make a judgment we become irritated and angry.

Irritation and anger is a symptom of our fear.

We should ask ourselves when we are becoming judgmental, "What am I afraid of."

On the path of the ego, there are numerous things we fear.

On the the path of the spirit, there is nothing to fear because we realize that the things on the path of the ego aren't real. The things on the path of the ego are interpretations and meanings that we have made up.

Is the glass half full or half empty?

Drop the judgment. It is what it is. In this awareness there is great peace and bliss.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Do you believe in magic?

Do you believe in magic?

Indeed you do. We all do. We say to ourselves, "If only I obtained this, had that, or that happened then I would be happy."

We attribute our happiness to external events and circumstances.

When these desired objects and events fail us, we become angry or sad or both.

Sometimes we feel guilty that we wanted to control things and failed.

As the bumper sticker says, "Shit happens," and my favorite, "Mega shit happens."

We find ourselves in a hell of our own creation. We thought we could control things, achieve things, obtain things, make people behave toward us as we desired, expected, demanded. Naaaaaaaah, it doesn't work. How long does it take to realize this?

The locker room slogan says, "Winners never quit and quitters never win." Really?

There is a time to quit. There is a time to find a better way. There is help available.

Turn within and ask the Holy Spirit, Jesus, God, Mother Nature, the Muse, the Universe, Life, to help you. As they say in Alcoholics Anonymous in their twelve step program, "Surrender to you Higher Power, whatever you conceive your Higher Power to be."

As the jokester said, "If God is your co-pilot, you're in the wrong seat."

The last judgment

Bill asked me if I believe in the last judgment?

I said, "Yes, but not the way most people probably do."

Bill said, "What do you mean?"

I said, "God doesn't judge us. God just strips away all the pretense, all the lies, all the conditioned patterns of our unconscious defense mechanisms, and asks us to look ourselves the way we truly and authentically are. If we like what we see, we are in heaven, and if we don't, we are in hell because that is what we will experience for all eternity."

"So," said Bill, "to thine own self be true?"

"Sort of," I said. "That's a start, but it's more like to thine own self be true that you believe is God's will for you to be."

"Well, okay," said Bill, "but how does God want us to be?"

"Loving, and at peace," I said.

"God wants heaven for everyone," asked Bill?

"Exactly," I said.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Have you accepted your mission from God?

How does a person following a spiritual path spend his/her day?

(S)he starts with God, ends with God, and remembers God several times during the day.

The person following a spiritual path asks him(her) self whenever there is a choice to be made, "What would Love have me do?" "What is God's will here?"

It is in doing God's will that we align ourselves with the Divine.

As the Blues Brothers said, "We're on a mission from God."


Sunday, April 8, 2018

What is the end of the world?


A person was telling me last week about the apocalypse, the end of the world. It was a story full of judgment and punishment that he claims his church taught him.

I smiled and listened. I didn't say it but was thinking, "Golly gee, what kind of a God is it that this church is promoting? What kind of a world is this church painting a picture of?"

I said to this fellow at the end of his description, "Wow, that's some story."

He said, "So, are you saved?"

I said, "Oh, yes."

He said, "Good. God bless you."

And indeed, I am saved by a God of Love and forgiveness not the gods of vengeance, judgment, condemnation, and punishment.

Forgiveness is necessary for churches who teach such nonsense, and their missionaries who promote and spread their misguided teachings about a vengeful, judgmental, condemning, and punishing God who is a projection of this God's believers own guilt, suffering and anguish.

With this forgiveness comes a compassion which is not condescending or patronizing, but rather is empathic and understands the pain which contributes to such warped and distorted beliefs.

God is Unconditional Love and generates a gratefulness for existence and an extension of peace and joy into the world.

The Atonement is when everybody loves everybody all the time and when this occurs the end of time will have come because there will no longer we any need for the world of the ego in which we must learn the lessons of the spirit. We all will become one with all of existence, God.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

All that you got is your soul

Religion makes a big deal out of sacrifice and giving things up. There is an attraction to asceticism which, as it moves to an extreme, can become masochistically sick.

Buddhism is clear, in its teachings, about the importance of the middle path, and balance.

Giving up of the path of the ego, though, is no sacrifice, because, once properly understood, the idols of the ego would not have provided the yearned for fulfillment anyway. Pursuing the idols on the path of the ego is a wild goose chase and never comes to the desired fruition. It is barking up the wrong tree.

Where is the sacrifice, then, in giving up the idols on the path of the ego?

The things on the path of the spirit lead one to authentic fulfillment and wholeness. To pursue the things of the path of the spirit one has to leave the path of the ego. This is no sacrifice, but a turning away as the idols on the path of the ego no longer seem relevant, meaningful, desirable.

Turning from the idols on the path of the spirit is not a sacrifice but a liberation, and freedom from and thereby a freedom to.

As it is written in A Course Of Miracles, the fraudulent motto of the path of the ego is "Seek and do not find."

Jesus says in Matthew 16:25-26:

For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for My sake will find it. What will it profit a person if that person gains the whole world, yet forfeits their soul? Or what can a person give in exchange for their own soul?

As Tracy Chapman sings, All That You Got Is your Soul.

Friday, April 6, 2018

How many people does it take to save the world?

You know the old jokes about how many ____________does it take to change a light bulb?

How many psychotherapists does it take to change a light bulb?

Only one, but the bulb has to want to change. LOL

How many people does it take to save the world?

Only one, but it has to be one who has become one with the all like Jesus or Buddha.

Jesus made it simple. He said, "Love as I have loved."

How did Jesus love?

He joined His will with what He believed to be the will of His Higher Power.

He forgave those who killed Him. He loved everyone even the tax collectors, the adulterers, the prostitutes, the Samaritans.

He helped people wherever He went. He shared His love of Life with whoever would listen and even those who didn't or wouldn't listen.

Same with Buddha. Buddha said He had achieved enlightenment and was free to go to nirvana but He wanted to help His fellow human beings achieve nirvana as well and so He stayed on earth to teach people how to do what He had achieved.

Are there women too who have loved beyond measure? Billions. Their stories have not been preserved and told in a patriarchal society unless considers Mary the mother of Jesus, Mother Theresa, Dorothy Day and hundreds and thousands of other saints.

You can save the world when you become enlightened. In the meantime work on yourself and one soul at a time.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

My will or Thy will makes all the difference

The comedian, Flip Wilson, when he performed his comedic character, Geraldine, would have her say in a sassy, sexy way, "What you see is what you get!" This line always got a laugh. It is funny. Part of the humor in the line is that it is true and we all see a little of ourselves in it.

Are you an optimist or a pessimist? Do you love yourself and the world you are living in, or don't you like yourself and the world you are living in? The way you regard yourself and the world you are living in is the lens through which you will perceive and interpret yourself and the world.

The deeper question is "how do you think God sees you and world?" If you think that maybe God sees you and the world different from the way you see yourself and the world, what are these differences?

The path of the ego involves seeing ourselves as sinful and the world as a dangerous place based on the law of scarcity. The path of the spirit involves seeing ourselves as extensions of God's love for the world and the world as a place of abundant Love and peace.

Our experience is not based on external circumstances but on the lens we are using to perceive and interpret the meaning of these circumstances.

We often insist on our own judgment rather than on the judgment of our Higher Power. We want to be the boss and in control for a whole bunch of reasons until we begin to laugh when we realize that we hear God laughing because we have told God our plans and judgments.

In our spiritual development we come to a point where we realize there must be a better way to live our lives and with this dawning realization comes a turning from the path of the ego onto the path of the spirit. This turning initiates the search for that better way and our openness to God's will for us rather than insisting on our own, makes all the difference.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Judgment is impossible

One of the milestones on the walk with Love on the path of the spirit is the giving up of judgment. On what could our judgment possibly rest since we lack omniscienceness?

When we judge we delude ourselves. The bumper sticker says, "Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment."

The phenomenon we observe and even the perceptions we experience our multi-dimensional. How could we ever know totally? At the best, we guess and often are wrong.

As the Buddhists say, "It is what it is." With that, let it go and recognize and acknowledge that we really don't know, can't know. We learn to turn our judgment over to our Higher Power and we are grateful and experience a new found peace.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Make me one with everything

To dichotomize means to distinguish one part  from another. We have deconstructed the whole into component parts but the whole is greater than the sum of the parts and so we must ask ourselves what is real?

The distinctions we make are illusionary. We think they serve a purpose and on the path of the ego they do for the ego, but on the path of the spirit they serve no purpose and interfere with our understanding of the truth.

The goal on the path of the spirit is to appreciate and understand the interconnectedness of God's creation. The path of the spirit takes us to an awareness of nonduality and with this awareness differences have no meaning.

The monk said to the hot dog vendor, "Make me one with everything." On the path of the spirit that also is our prayer.

How to make life decisions

People struggle to make life decisions. Should I stay married or get divorced? Should I stay in this job or look for another? Should I say here or move? Should I talk to her anymore or give up on the friendship?

The person is torn between choices and finds it hard to make a decision. The longer one ponders the more one starts to ruminate. If the rumination increases so does the consequent anxiety and depression sometimes leading to fear at disabling levels.

As it is written in A Course In Miracles, the tolerance for pain may be high but not without limit.

What should a person do?

Simple. Turn your will over to God's will for you. God's will be done. Can you bring your will into alignment with what you believe is God's will for you? The word for seeking God's will is "discernment."

How does one discern God's will?

We will make suggestions for how to discern God's will in future articles.

For now be assured that you don't need to make decisions all by yourself. Ask the Holy Spirit, Jesus, God, the Spirit of Life, the Muse, Mother Nature, the Great Spirit, your Higher Power for guidance and be open to what you sense as the answer.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Help offered should be done so unconditionally

When we wish people well and help them, if we worry about the outcome of our well wishes and efforts we have not really helped them. Our well wishes and help is conditional on the giver's expectations and requirements being fulfilled. What was offered was conditional and not freely and unconditionally given. The question then arises should the well wishes and help be offered again? The answer is "no" not until the giver gets his/her frame of mind in the right place first.

What is the right mind? It is one of Unconditional Love for oneself and others. With Unconditional Love the giver has turned his/her will over to his/her Higher Power who is working through him/her. The giver has decided to become one with the all and sees the recipient as part of oneself and therefore any help extended to another is help extended to oneself. In this right mind, well wishing and help never fail, indeed, cannot fail. Failure is impossible.

When well wishing and help is extended from the right mind, it never has be repeated because it's goal is always achieved.

When you wish people well and extend help, do so unconditionally as a conduit of grace of the Higher Power, the Spirit of Life to further the achievement of the Atonement.