Thursday, December 30, 2010


With help from the fabulous Jesse Jennings in the December SOM Magazine.

“Abundance is a state of consciousness. It’s knowing that your needs are easily and naturally met – that you can relax and express creatively and generously. You realize you don’t have to finesse life or work the angles in order to thrive. Nor do you need other people to be fastened onto for support, which allows relationships to breathe and be balanced, where each party is of equal value.

“Abundance is the feeling of being enough and experiencing inner contentment, even when seeking change and growth. Frantic acquisitiveness and conspicuous consumption are not at all signs of inner abundance consciousness,” but its opposite. “we are not what we have, or what we do. These things are merely temporal effects.”

“Abundance is a context in which we view ourselves and our world. Money isn’t the summary of abundance any more than a greeting card is the summary of one’s love and caring. Abundance is as universal as gratitude.” Be grateful for what is, being appreciative even for the things that you’d like to change. “Suspend any disbelief in the idea that there now is more than enough of everything for all people everywhere. Acknowledge one infinite, limitless Source that has emanating from within It an infinite array of re-Sources for our use as powerfully creative beings.”

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Spirit and Matter

From the SOM Magazine reading for 12/25/10:

“The Spirit shall look out through Matter’s gaze and Matter shall reveal the Spirit’s face and all the Earth become a single life,” Sri Aurobindo.

“Christ is Universal Idea, and each one ‘puts on the Christ’ to the degree that s/he surrenders a limited sense of Life to the Divine Realization of wholeness and unity with Good, Spirit, God.” SOM Text, p 579

Now, this very moment, is the Christ born in me as I awaken to a deeper realization of my wholeness. Communing with my innermost being, I become attuned to my transcendent self. I see beyond what seems to be and am not misled by appearances, knowing separation is an illusion and not what is ultimately true, right now, in this moment.

I shift my perspective to that Truth. I release all sense of smallness, lack and limitation and know spirit is the source and essence of all and as Jesus said, meaning this as the truth for you and I, not just for himself, “I and my father are one.”

I practice in realizing this truth and seeing beyond the appearances of separation: lack, fear, limitation and scarcity. I am ever more receptive to the gifts of goodness, love and peace that are my birthright, and yours, as a child of God. Surrendering any sense of myself as limited or separate, I celebrate a glorious renewal of my life and the way before me is made straight and grace filled.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

An alternative to the ego

God’s teachers – you and I when we know who we are, beings connected to spirit and thus because spirit is back of and within everything and everyone – represent another choice, which has been forgotten, an alternative to the ego. When Jesus the great example and way-shower, not the idol we have made of him, healed the sick, he did not heal them, but reminded them of the remedy God had already given them. So, too, our holiness blesses, by asking nothing of another. Those who see themselves as whole make no demands.

With ego, because ego is the separation from source, and therefore lack and scarcity personified, if we look honestly at our relationships, we’ll realize we’re always making demands because we’re always feeling something’s missing, which of course, it is. Sometimes it’s quite obvious, others it’s quite subtle. The sense of lack must be there as long as I believe I’m an individual, separate from God and each other, and I do believe that, I do, I do, I do. As long as this underlying belief remains uncorrected, it will generate a continual need to fill up what is missing, to substitute material things for spiritual lace.

But when I fill myself with spirit, or better, allow the spirit that’s already there to enter my awareness, when I identify with holiness, I ask nothing of anyone because I am everything and have everything. Having and being are the same. Healing the sick and saving the world really means saving myself from the belief that there is a world. Since all minds are joined in the holiness of spirit, if my mind is healed in any given instant, the world’s mind is healed, too.

None of this is completely understandable from the world’s perspective and can’t make sense within our experience here. It can be grasped and understood only by giving up everything I think I know and believe and go above the battlefield with spirit, to be with spirit and have spirit as my teacher. From there I can look back on the world and see it differently, realizing what has to be saved are my thoughts about the world, which result from my thoughts about myself.

Friday, December 24, 2010

What is born on Christmas Day

The babe born on Christmas day, the light of the world, the star that guided the wise men is awareness – awareness of our, and everyone’s, reality as spirit - mindfulness – awakening to the truth that we are spirit first, then physical. It’s not necessary wait for Christmas to do this, or do it once a year. In fact, that’s blasphemy. Christ consciousness, the awareness of the benign blessings and the absence of the ego’s fear, loathing and hatred, is always there in the manger of our everyday consciousness, calling out to us, a pure innocent babe, wanting to be nurtured. It’s not for some people, the baptized, or for a special day, Christmas, but for all human beings all the time. Jesus was and wanted to be, the great example, not the great exception. We are, right now, as holy as he was. “Greater things than this shall you do also,” he said.

And in Lesson 37 in the Workbook of his Course, he gives us this affirmation: “My holiness blesses the world.” He’s not telling us that we should bless the world outside us, for that would contradict everything he’s been teaching so far in his Course. Rather, he is teaching the world is nothing more than a mirror of out thoughts; saying that if we choose his blessing – within our minds, which is all that is truly real - our minds, not our brains – and see ourselves as holy because we have joined with him, because holy and loving and all-inclusive is all he is - there is no duality or judgment, guilt or blame in spirit, holiness will automatically extend through us and envelop everything se see.

Our purpose is to see the world through our own holiness. The problem is that we see the world through our own un-holiness, as separated ego/bodies whose mission in life is to protect and preserve our separate specialness. Our focus is to be on our thoughts and which teacher we’re allowing to guide us, not on the world. The world is only a reflection of our thoughts.

If we see things we don’t like in the world, we need to realize we’ve been looking with ego, go back into our minds, and ask spirit to help restore us to our right minds. Fixing things in the world without going inside and connecting with spirit first, will not work, because we’re still coming from ego. It’s like trying to fix an out of focus movie by going up to the screen. It’s the projector, our minds, that needs to be adjusted.

The principle is: ideas leave not their source. If my holiness is the source, the idea of the world must be holy as well. The ideas that comprise our perceptual world are merely the projected self image that has its source, either spirit or ego, in our minds, and thus what is projected out always remains within.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Claiming the good

Ervin Seale said, “It is the light of the mind which determines whether you see confusion and limitation or whether you see order and abundance.” I’m not sure who Mr. Seale was, but those are wise words. Page 406 of the SOM text continues Seals’s theme: “We must learn to think in the Absolute. This means to think independently of any given or experienced effect.”

We’ve just past the Winter Solstice, the day the sun shines least, the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. In actuality, the sun is always shining, whether or not we can see it, just as spirit is always present no matter what appearances and conditions may suggest. We’ve got to look beyond appearances of disharmony and lack and realize that omnipresent spirit is always shining in our lives.

Just as daylight may last for a shorter or longer time, depending on the time of year tho the sun is always shining, so spirit is always shining in our lives, even when it does not appear to be. I now claim spirit as the cause and essence of my life and see beyond the darkness of temporary appearances.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I could see peace instead of this

Course Lesson 34: the affirmation: “I could see peace instead of this,” is an appeal to the decision maker within that hears both the still small voice of spirit and the raucous shrieks of the ego, to choose spirit, even tho the ego speaks first and loudest, and even tho we identify most completely with the external reality of the ego world. It’s an inside-out job. “It is from your peace of mind that a peaceful perception of the world arises.” No peace within the mind, no peace in the world. To ask for external peace is to have first made the ego’s world of conflict within real, then projected it out.
There is no world apart from the way the decision maker perceives it and how s/he perceives it depends on which teacher we’re using, spirit or the ego. What matters as a student of the Course is correcting how I perceive, which I involves correcting how I think, which in turn involves correcting my choice of teachers. I can affirm: “I could see peace instead of this,” and/or “I could see spirit instead of this.”

It’s important to be mindful and aware of our unloving thoughts and not deny, hide or suppress them. This is a big part of the process. I want to look at the darkness and bring it to the light. “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all of the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. It is not necessary to seek for what is true, but it is necessary to seek for what is false.”

In other words, you can’t let a thought go if you’re not aware of it. And, you can’t let it go unless you have something to let it go to, have chosen spirit as your teacher/guide. It’s a process of mindfulness, watching my mind and noting my ego/cloud/thoughts floating by and noting them casually, without making a big deal about them. As soon as I make a big deal about them, or judge some better than others, I’m making them real and thinking with ego. Choosing not to look also makes them into a big deal, because it usually means I’ve taken them so seriously, I’m afraid to look at them.

Taking things lightly, slowly, steadily and gently is the kind of mindfulness process we want to practice. As soon as we experience ourselves taking things too, seriously or making a big deal about them, which I do often, we want to remember to say, “I could see peace in this situation instead of what I see now,” or, “I could see spirit in this situation instead of what I see now.” I’ve been saying this a lot lately, especially as I hear about what our Republican friends in the Senate are doing, and it helps a lot. Try it; it works equally well with Democratic friends, with family members and co-workers, too.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Spirit's view an alternative to Ego's view

The alternative to the ego’s view of the world is spirit’s view. It’s knowing it’s all still just clouds and getting involved with some of them, but also knowing by intuition – the still small voice within, the sun behind the ego/cloud/thoughts, that “there is something, beyond what we have so far consciously experienced in this world,” SOM Text, p 465. It’s understanding that the experience of limitation results from not calling forth the greatness that is my, and your, true nature that usually lies dormant.

I can decide right now, as you can, to call forth my greatness and move beyond my comfort zone, and freeing myself from perceived, most imagined limits, enter into the new and unknown loving relationship with spirit in the world. I can turn from the ego’s fear, lack and limitation expand and extend my awareness of my oneness with a loving, all-good spirit, and allow that to manifest here, in the world.

Realizing that spirit is my true nature and essence, I now call forth my wondrous gifts, talents and abilities! I know that the more I call upon these gifts and abilities, the more fully they come forth into expression. Such is the primacy of thought and awareness of the still small voice, not external conditions. I cultivate my awareness of my partnership with spirit by consciously aligning my thoughts, feelings and actions with all that is great and magnificent, turning from all that is hateful, mean-spirited and fearful and keeping my eyes fixed on my, and everyone’s, larger possibilities. Now I dare to dream big, and invite you to do so also, and to join with me in contributing to a world that works for everyone and everything.

Monday, December 20, 2010

It's a process

Lesson 31 in the Course: “I am not the victim of the world I see.”

This is about betting it all on black, about being completely in my ‘right mind,’ about shifting from the ego’s projection of guilt to spirit’s extension of forgiveness and love – the key to the practice of A Course in Miracles. It’s about being with spirit, only. If I’m not the victim of the world I see, then I’m entirely with spirit and need no defenses.

In traditional psychology, if I am without defenses I would be thought to be psychotic, and from the ego’s perspective on the world that would be true. To be completely identified with the Love of God is indeed a form of psychosis as the world sees it, because it goes against everything judged to be reality. I don’t want to be considered insane and tho I long to bet it all on black, don’t really feel I can. I’m not about to walk in front of a moving car or give all my money away.

But I can, moment by moment, choose to be with spirit instead of ego; choose to be guided by intuition and the still small voice of spirit, and make the moment to moment choosing a habit. This is being mindful. This is knowing the ego always speaks first and loudest and to repent, to choose again, before acting. It’s living with a pause, and allowing my true reality to manifest. It’s not judging myself or beating myself up for having an ego, but rather saying, “oops, there I go again,” and choosing to see things differently, with spirit and experience that reality here.

It’s about recognizing the primacy of thought, that my thoughts alone are important, not the world outside. It’s the mindfulness of watching the images my imagination presents to my awareness and allowing them to drift in and out, like clouds across the face of the sun, and realizing that I’ll see shapes and meaning in some clouds, but that they’re still only clouds. That’s what I’m endeavoring to do and from that relatively egoless, guilt free, non-judgmental place to make a contribution to a world that works for everyone and everything.

But, and oh, God help me with this, I’ve got to remember it’s a process! It’s not done once and for all; oh no, that would be too, easy. It’s an ongoing, never ending process, each moment a new choice. And tho looking at this as something I’ve got to do each moment for the rest of my life is daunting, it’s also comforting to know that its cumulative, that it is a process and I’m building new spiritual, mental, emotional and physical habits, that it gets easier each time, and in fact, some moments take care of themselves without me having to choose.

Friday, December 17, 2010

A new kind of projection

Lesson #30 in the Course Workbook: “God is in everything I see because God is in my mind.”

“Today we are trying to use a new kind of ‘projection.’ We are not attempting to get rid of what we do not like by (projecting it and) seeing it outside.” Remembering that we look within first and choose either spirit or the ego as our guide, this lesson is about extension, about choosing spirit as our guide and extending our reality as spirit’s love, the other half of the dynamic of looking within, and having that affect what we see outside.

With projection I see my sinfulness and guilt for accepting the separation from God as real, judge against it, and project it onto others, thus creating a world of specifics to have someone and something else to blame for having separated from, and denied my source.
I seek to get rid of what I don’t like within, literally making up the world, “thus were specifics made.” It is this that I want to forgive and be forgiven for.

Now we are to learn about forgiveness and experience a new kind of projection - extension, in which we take the love we first looked at within – the love of spirit which we really are because there is no way we could separate from God, and have it extend so we see it and not guilt and fear, all around us. Unlike projecting our imagined guilt, with extension I do not see love as separate from me. Spirit’s love, which is first seen within, when I accept my reality as spirit and choose spirit as my guide, is now experienced in everyone and everything, regardless of the veils of fear and hate I use to unconsciously conceal it. I experience the love and oneness of spirit in everyone and everything because I have first experienced it in myself – God is in everything I see because God is in my mind.

This is the shift from ego to what the Course calls our ‘right minds,’ from the ego’s projection of guilt to spirit’s extension of forgiveness and love – the key to the practice of A Course in Miracles. “We are trying to see in the world what is in our minds, and what we want to recognize there” - what I want to recognize, what I choose to recognize there – a world that works for everyone and everything. “Perception seems to teach what you see. Yet it but witnesses to what you taught (and the teacher you chose). It is the outward picture of a wish; an image that you wanted to be true.”

So, what do I want to be true? Who do I want to be my teacher, spirit or ego? And what about you, what do you want to be true? Who do you want to be your teacher, spirit or ego? Do you want to contribute to a world that works for everyone and everything, or one that works only for true believers such as yourself, and the rich, powerful and politically connected?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

God is in everything I see

Lesson 29 in the Workbook of a Course in Miracles says, “God is in everything I see.” This does not mean that God is literally found in the materiality we see around us. It means that the purpose of God – forgiveness, is in everything I see. Everything I see offers the opportunity to awake to my reality as a spiritual being having an earthly experience, as you are, too, and to know that I am one with, and connect to spirit. To see as the Course means it, has nothing to do with the body’s eyes, but with the mind, not the brain. To see, as the Course means it, to have vision, means I have chosen spirit as my teacher and see from the inside out with Its eyes.

Since the inner and outer are the same, what I perceive outside is a projection, like a movie on a movie screen, nothing more than a shadow of what I have first perceived within, a reflection of the teacher I have chosen. When the Course says, “God is in everything I see,” it means God is in everything I think, because seeing and thinking are the same: perception comes from thoughts, and remains one with them.

“God is in everything I see,” because I have chosen spirit’s inner vision, forgiveness, not blaming nor feeling guilt for making the error of outside-in thinking real. I am centered in the present moment, empty and free of past beliefs and constraints, ready to be filled, open to the all encompassing, loving reality of just being with nothing to prove or to do, like the lilies of the field. Looking with vision, I forgive and am forgiven, seeing God in everything because I have fired the ego as my teacher, and hired spirit. I let go of my pathetic attempts to control things and instead, bet it all on black – on spirit, hoping, no knowing, that, that’s what’s best for all concerned, the only possible way to build a world that works for everyone and everything.

“Resign now as your own teacher for you were badly taught,” the Course says. Boy, that’s right! “God is in everything I see,” means the opportunity to forgive, awake and experience God in everything I see, is present if I choose to accept it. Everything offers this opportunity, everything, good, bad and in between, it’s all the same to spirit; only I in my ego ‘wisdom’ arrogantly choose to label some things good and others bad. The rain falls on the just and the unjust alike. Everything I experience is an opportunity to learn to look on all things with love, to know spirit’s reality and mine as one with it, to identify with love, to look with appreciation on the world because I see in it the opportunity to learn that I am forgiven and that the ego can be undone.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

An Economics of Abundance

Inspired by two articles in the October issue of Ode Magazine.

Scarcity is the central principle of economics. How do we handle something we have too little of, like money or food, and how can the cost and price it best? We take this way of looking at things as normal and never question it. But, what are the effects, the cost/benefit ratio of this focus on scarcity? Most metaphysical systems say what you focus on and think about with deep feeling is what manifests in your life. What would happen if we focused on the abundance of the universe instead? In just one growing season, plants yield a return of thousands of percent. Trees take a little longer, but once they’ve grown, they shower us with revenue. The law of the cosmos is abundance, one big celebration of giving and pleasure.

Sure, in most parts of the world, nature’s abundance is seasonal; so we learn to cope by balancing it with scarcity; to fill our storehouses during the seven years of abundance to tide us over the seven lean years – as Joseph taught Pharaoh. Still, an emphasis on balance is different than an emphasis on scarcity, just as an economic model based on balance would be different than one based on scarcity.

An economics of balance might be more inclusive, less harsh and punitive, and might create less of the gross imbalance between rich and poor. It might reduce or even eliminate the wide boom/bust cycles produced by the so-called ‘free market’; so called ‘free’ because it’s not really ‘free’ but full of government manipulation from the tax code to hidden subsidies. An emphasis on balance might require government manipulation to be more transparent, less subject to special interest influences and more favorable to the broad public interests of the vast majority of citizens, rather than to the interests of only a few.

From the metaphysical perspective, an economics of abundance, even allowing for seasonal fluctuations, would be best and even most realistic, because spirit/source is abundant and everywhere equally present. To rely on such power is the most sensible thing. But that’s not possible because we’re so full of fear, lack and scarcity thinking, we can’t even imagine the possibility of relying on manna, what God fed the Hebrews during the Exodus, and what Jesus tried to get us to see in the parable of the lilies of the field, that neither struggle nor toil, but are fed.

Yet a vital sense of ever present abundance and our oneness with it can inspire us to innovation and creativity and to brief moments when lack, limitation and scarcity are forgotten. From such moments of clarity and vision come our greatest breakthroughs and innovations. Such moments balance our fear, terror and anxiety about lack and turn us to an awareness of abundance, compassion and inclusiveness. From such moments we can build a model of economics that focuses on abundance, not just scarcity. From such moments we can contribute to building a world that works for everybody and everything.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Course Corrections 2

In an article in Ode Magazine, Amy Domini, wrote about something that really made me think, and feel guilty. Writing about garbage and trash disposal and Julia Hill’s question: where is away when I throw things away, Domini asks, “are we unwittingly destroying our own ecosystem” when we think and say, “throw it away?” Where is “away”? The world is an island, but a part of a universe. There is no “away.”

Tho I accept the idea that the world is an island, in practice I throw lot’s of stuff “away,” and hadn’t connected this behavior with the idea that there is no away. As I read Domini’s article, I felt stupid, then guilty. I recycle and thought it was enough, what else could I do? The article suggested more things that could be done, most of which I thought were too much effort for too little return. But it’s still a marvelous question, not just for thinking about throwing away physical garbage, but mental and emotional “garbage” as well – where is away?

What do I do with the thoughts, ideas, feelings and emotions I consider to be garbage? Do I ‘stuff’ ‘em, suppress ‘em, deny, disown and project them, blaming others for my shit? Is it shit at all? Can it be used for fertilizer? Is the way I think and feel sometimes toxic, polluting my life and others’ lives? Are the thoughts and feelings I label “garbage” really garbage at all? What if I could stop labeling them as “garbage” and start seeing them as incentives, motivation and catalysts calling for a course correction?

Yes, I’d like to see my garbage differently, am ‘working’ on that, and perhaps in 75% of the cases, I am able to see it differently. But the rest of it, the remaining 25% of my physical, mental and emotional stuff really is garbage and does have to be thrown away. What then? Just stopping, works for a lot of it. Buying things that last longer and have less packaging to throw away, giving up painful thoughts and feelings and turning them over to source, these are non-toxic ways to throw away my garbage. Most effective so far for me, is simply being aware of what’s not working, that is not leading where I want to go and changing, making the necessary course corrections as quickly as the need for them arises.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Course Corrections

More inspiration from the SOM reading for 12/10/10:

“There is One Supreme Intelligence which governs, guides and guards, tells me what to do, when to act and how to act.”

When a plane is in the air, or a ship is at sea, they frequently drift off course, but by continuously making course corrections, the captain arrives at the destination. Continuous course corrections are a routine part of getting there. That’s what I’m blogging about. To me, our shared, common destination, as individuals, members of communities, nations and planetary citizens, is not just to have enough, safety and love for ourselves, but, without sacrificing ourselves, to contribute, in our own way, with our own heartfelt gifts, to building a world that works for everyone and everything.

We live most successfully and joyously with an eye on our destination, understanding that when we see fear, prejudice, inequality and injustice, that’s our cue for making course corrections as individuals, members of communities, nations and planetary citizens. A course correction isn’t a condemnation or a judgment calling for punishment, nor is it even a failure, it’s just a course correction, same as the captains of ships and planes make all the time. We’re the captains, especially in a democracy, if we don’t make the course corrections, we might find ourselves arriving at a destination we’re not happy with.

When I veer off course and my life ceases to feel meaningful or engaging, I try to see that situation as an opportunity to make a course correction. I ask, “What is truly important to me as an individual, member of various communities, the nation and a planetary citizen? What’s my destination, my purpose? What is the One Supreme Intelligence which governs, guides and guards, telling me to do, how to act and when?”

Course corrections are inevitable, everyone must make them. In the midst of making one, when I feel scared, confused or overwhelmed, if I simply allow myself to be still, allow the spaciousness of Source surrounding me to become real to me, I make room for the awareness of who I truly am – a spiritual being having an earthly experience – I can hear the response of Spirit. Think of the need for course corrections as the deep Self calling Itself forth into fuller expression. My life is God’s life expressing. I am always being guided into the right and perfect expression of that life. I am on the right course, right now, making corrections as needed.

Friday, December 10, 2010


A little humor – high quality puns.

1. King Ozymandias of Assyria was running low on cash after years of war
with the Hittites. His last great possession was the Star of the
Euphrates , the most valuable diamond in the ancient world. Desperate, he
went to Croesus, the pawnbroker, to ask for a loan.
Croesus said, "I'll give you 100,000 dinars for it."
"But I paid a million dinars for it," the King protested. "Don't you know
who I am? I am the king!"
Croesus replied, "When you wish to pawn a Star, makes no difference who
you are."

2. Evidence has been found that William Tell and his family were avid
bowlers.. Unfortunately, all the Swiss league records were destroyed in a
fire, ...and so we'll never know for whom the Tells bowled.

3. A man rushed into a busy doctor's office and shouted, "Doctor! I think
I'm shrinking!" The doctor calmly responded, "Now, settle down. You'll
just have to be a little patient."

4. A marine biologist developed a race of genetically engineered
dolphins that could live forever if they were fed a steady diet of
seagulls. One day, his supply of the birds ran out so he had to go out
and trap some more. On the way back, he spied two lions asleep on the
road. Afraid to wake them, he gingerly stepped over them.
Immediately, he was arrested and charged with-- transporting gulls across
sedate lions for immortal porpoises.

5. Back in the 1800's the Tate's Watch Company of Massachusetts wanted to
produce other products, and since they already made the cases for
watches, they used them to produce compasses. The new compasses were so
bad that people often ended up in Canada or Mexico rather than California
This, of course, is the origin of the expression -- "He who has a Tate's is lost!"

6. A thief broke into the local police station and stole all the
toilets and urinals, leaving no clues. A spokesperson was quoted as
saying, "We have absolutely nothing to go on."

7. An Indian chief was feeling very sick, so he summoned the medicine
man. After a brief examination, the medicine man took out a long, thin
strip of elk rawhide and gave it to the chief, telling him to bite off,
chew, and swallow one inch of the leather every day. After a month, the
medicine man returned to see how the chief was feeling. The chief
shrugged and said, "The thong is ended, but the malady lingers on."

8. A famous Viking explorer returned home from a voyage and found his
name missing from the town register. His wife insisted on complaining to
the local civic official who apologized profusely saying, "I must have
taken Leif off my census."

9. There were three Indian squaws. One slept on a deer skin, one
slept on an elk skin, and the third slept on a hippopotamus skin. All
three became pregnant. The first two each had a baby boy. The one who
slept on the hippopotamus skin had twin boys. This just goes to prove
that... the squaw of the hippopotamus is equal to the sons of the squaws
of the other two hides. (Some of you may need help with this one).

10. A skeptical anthropologist was cataloging South American folk
remedies with the assistance of a tribal Brujo who indicated that the
leaves of a particular fern were a sure cure for any case of
constipation. When the anthropologist expressed his doubts, the Brujo
looked him in the eye and said, "Let me tell you, with fronds like these,
you don't need enemas."

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Be still and know

From the SOM (Science of Mind Magazine) reading for today, by Kathy Juline.

“To be still is to be conscious without thought. You are never more essentially, more deeply yourself than when you are still.” – Eckhart Tolle

If my mind or yours, is preoccupied with worry or we feel burdened with problems, this is a good time simply to be still and know. I can regain a conscious awareness of my true nature as Spirit, and you can, too, as I remove my attention from the mental activity of thinking and instead become rooted in being. Remember, we are human beings, not human doings.

Happiness and peace arise in me when I step out of the movement of thought and simply let myself be, opening to the quiet presence within. In this attitude of thoughtless presence, I am not forgetting or negating my current experiences. Rather I am seeing how much deeper I am than my personal story: I am rising above it. Through entering the silence of the present moment and simply being in it, I discover the true essence of my being.

A significant value of cultivating present moment awareness is the creativity that arises from it. The ideas, actions, and inspirations that spring from this awareness are the seeds of healing and peace. As I enter the quiet, inner space of my own beingness, something transcendent is bubbles up. Spiritual consciousness comes alive in my heart and mind, and the ‘I Am’ presence opens its mysteries of divine wisdom and love within me.

Try it; go within right now and allow the holy presence within to speak to you of your wholeness and perfection. Be still and know.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


From the SOM daily reading for 11/12, I’m finally getting around to sharing it! “It would be a wonderful experiment if the world [or even just me or you] would try to solve all of its [our] problems through the power of Spirit.”

The less I distinguish the spiritual realm from the material, the better off I am. Religion means to ‘bind back.’ Often this is taken to mean adhering to certain moral precepts and staying on the straight and narrow. But it means more than that. With every one of my thoughts, feelings and actions, I am binding to world back to its essence as spirit.

I’ve been taught that the way to succeed in life is to ferret out spiritual truth from amid the rubbish of material falsehood. This sets me to sorting, judging and weighing each component of my life for its spiritual worth – a very personal exercise, not to mention endless and unrewarding because I give as much power to what I’m sorting out as in, and so my energy dwindles. Being mindful is just simple awareness without sorting and judging. Being mindful, I can watch the binding back process at work, and see how I create meaning and experience from spirit.

If it’s all good and all God as I truly believe, why not be mindful, love what is (as Byron Katie says) - good or bad [after all, what seems good now may turn out not so good, and what seems bad now, may turn out quite good] and wrap spirit and matter up as one. Then, holding it all lightly, I can choose to be mindful and know it’s all good and all God and focus my mind and heart on what my heart and intuition guide me to.

This mindfulness process heals the sense of separation which is the only thing that really needs healing anyhow. And when my oneness with source is clearly known, that knowing and sense of peace, calm and loving what is, is reflected back in the material realm of daily doings. When I bet it all on black – live from the space of responsible, victimless, mindful oneness, not only is my own life better, but I’m contributing to building a world that works for everyone and everything.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


“If the only prayer you ever say in your whole life is ‘thank you,’ that would suffice,” said the 13th century mystic Meister Echart, and he was correct. Gratitude is a powerful creative act. It is less an ending to a successful transaction and more the seed planter for all the exchanges of energy that follow it. Gratitude is proactive. When I feel it, I am not thanking any god or goddess, the way one would send a thank you note, I am declaring that right now, before anything has come to pass, I choose to stand in an attitude of arms-wide welcoming to a new reality. Being grateful in advance, embodies the new state or condition I am inviting, to allow it and lay down a carpet of thanks.

And so I am grateful for the great good present, but sleeping in the collective consciousness of the USA, even as I seek to awaken it to a greater flourishing. I gratefully release the following blocks to our goodness, knowing that our good will then manifest.

According to the Monitor, the US now accounts for 75% of NATO defense spending, up from just under half a decade ago, and still going up. Are we getting our money’s worth? Do we want to spend our money on this or something else?

Something else: in both two year and higher earned degrees, we have dropped from our formerly dominant position to 18th of 35 nations with the largest economies. We are the only nation of this group that is not increasing the percentage of degree holders. This impacts our ability to compete worldwide and even to take care of ourselves. 53% of future jobs will require an AA degree or higher. Yet only 68.8% of our youth are graduating from high school, with only 40% directly entering college, and 27% earning a 4 year degree.

In the recent election, Oklahoma voters gave what Leonard Pitts described as, “emphatic approval to a measure outlawing Sharia law – a strict and often brutal interpretation of Islamic religious strictures – in state courts. Sharia is not known to be a problem in Oklahoma, or anywhere else in the US, something even the bill’s backers concede.

“We move through a perilous time that demands serious consideration of serious issues, but we, profoundly unserious people that we are, fret instead about saving Oklahoma from Sharia law, solving a problem we do not and will not have,” while the serious problems go a-glimmering. “Thoughtful people ought to be alarmed.”

Who benefits from this state of affairs, from the status quo? How is it this small minority manages to keep the rest us at bay, losing ground while they prosper at our expense, and we could all, together, build a world that works for everyone and everything?

“One recalls,” Pitts says, “how Bush stood beneath a banner that crowed of a victory against terrorism. But to the degree Oklahoma accurately reflects our national mindset, it is the terrorists [and their domestic fear-mongering allies found more in one party than the other] who deserve to hoist that banner. America is scared stupid. Mission accomplished.”

Monday, December 6, 2010

David is Dead, Long Live David

David is on the cover of the National Geographic, and in a box it says: “Despite decades of searching, archaeologists had found no solid evidence that David or Solomon ever built anything.” And, “Maybe Goliath never existed,” says Garfinkel as he drives across the bridge over the brook of Elah where the famous confrontation is said to have taken place. “The story is that Goliath came from a giant city, and in the telling of it over the centuries, he became a giant himself. It’s a metaphor.”

“Tel Aviv University’s contrarian-in-residence Israel Finkelstein, who has made a career out of merrily demolishing assumptions,” such as those of archaeologist Eilat Mazar who claims to have found David’s palace and whose work is funded by two organizations – the City of David Foundation and the Shalem Center – dedicated to the literal truth of the Bible. According to Finkelstein, and the vast preponderance of science and scholarship, during David’s time Jerusalem was little more than a “hill-country village,” and David himself a raggedy upstart akin to Pancho Villa, and his legion of followers more like “500 people with sticks in their hands shouting and cursing and spitting – not the stuff of great armies of chariots described in the text.”

“Many archaeologists question whether the obsessive scramble to prove the biblical narrative is a healthy enterprise,” say the Geographic. “One of them, Tel Aviv University’s Raphael Greenberg, flatly states, ‘It’s bad for archaeology. What we’re supposed to contribute is a point of view that isn’t available from texts or preconceived notions of history – an alternative vision of the past: relations between rich and poor, between men and women. Something richer, in other words, than just validating the Bible.’”

“But does David, with all his metaphorical power, cease to matter if his deeds and empire are ultimately fiction? ‘Look,’ says Finkelstein, David’s dethroner, ‘when I’m doing research, I have to distinguish between the culture of David and the historical David. David is extremely important for my cultural identity. In the same way, I can celebrate the Exodus without seeing it as a purely historic event. David is alive. David is not a plaque on the wall, not even merely a leader of a tenth-centruy BC band. No. Much more than that.”

For me, too, and I suspect for many people as well. See the story I’m writing about him, Devorah, Saul and Solomon at:

Friday, December 3, 2010


Yesterday I wrote - Light has the power to overcome darkness; not by combating darkness, but by being exactly what it is: light. The light of love is always present, even when it does not at first appear. The eternal light shines in the life of each of us, even in times that seem darkest, like now. So here’s something for us to be proud of, a way the light is shining right now.

“With wealth comes responsibility to help make the world a better place,” Ted Turner said. Bill Gates and Warren Buffett agree. According to the Christian Science Monitor’s 11/22 issue, these attitudes “represent a particularly American vision of the common good – one that includes proclaiming a cause with all the moral fervor of an evangelist. It’s a vision that highlights stark differences between this country and the rest of the world. Even in today’s harsh economic climate, Americans as a whole gave about $304 billion in 2009, but that’s down from $315 billion in 2008.

“When Alexis de Tocqueville observed the peculiar traits of an emerging American society in the 1830’s, he noticed how Americans struggled to find a balance between their unprecedented commitment to individual liberty and the needs of the common good. It’s a struggle that continues, in many ways to define American political discourse to this day.”

De Tocqueville noted that Americans formed “voluntary associations” as a way to bridge the gap between the common good and the commitment to individual liberty. “Rooted in a deep ambivalence about the sweeping power of government,” these voluntary associations worked well for a long time.

But here’s where the light begins to fade and the darkness seeps in. Voluntary associations seem to be fading, see the book “Bowling Alone,” and transforming with the internet, so that more and more individuals are abdicating their responsibility for the common good, practically abandoning it to government at all levels and for profit corporations running prisons and hospitals, that used to be a community responsibility.

As this ‘professionalization’ of the common good has gone forward, costs have gone up, as might be expected, and starting with Proposition 13 in California, Americans are experiencing a tax revolt, as people refuse to pay for professional services and at the same time refuse to take responsibility for providing them. So, the common good goes begging. Corporations won’t do it for nothing, government can’t raise the money to pay for it and the private associations are disappearing.

If de Tocqueville were to come again, he would note that the struggle to balance the common good and individual liberty is being lost; deep ambivalence toward the sweeping power of government and the commitment to individual liberty is gaining and the common good is losing. So while philanthropy is a shining light and Americans lead the world in it, unfortunately we are in great need of it and it will never replace what is being lost as government retreats and private associations disappear.

But a little light, it need not be this way. We can still find ways to balance the common good and individual liberty, we can still build a world that works for everyone and everything.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


I was planning to be more “positive” today. I’ve got an article on philanthropy from the Monitor I wanted to share and a great article from November’s SOM – Science of Mind, magazine. However, between the Wiki Leaks on Afghanistan and the President’s proposal to freeze Federal employee pay, and his refusal to stand up to the Republican terrorists and represent his amazingly silent middle class constituency, I’m rarin’ to rant again.

But before I do, the SOM reading for today by Kathy Juline, will add some balance and indeed get at my spiritual truth, and I hope yours as well, the truth I really want to actualize. She begins with this from the SOM text: “Light has the power to overcome darkness; not by combating darkness, but by being exactly what it is: light.” That is what I want to remember, actualize and live by; and probably, if you reflect on it, which is my hope, you do, too.

I want to know that the light of love is always present, even when it does not at first appear. The eternal light, which is the message of Hanukkah which begins today, shines in the life of each of us, even in times that seem darkest, like now. Today’s affirmation: I allow the light that dwells eternally within me to reveal the truth of my oneness and wholeness. So alright, now for the rant, but done with the belief that it, too, reveals the ever-present light and in so doing, allows us to be more aware of that light and thus dissipate the seeming darkness.

It seems we’ve got a pretty clear choice between taking care of ourselves here in the good old US of A, or throwing our money away in Afghan. Only our political so-called leaders, including Obama, don’t seem to see that choice clearly, even with the big deficits they say they’re so concerned about.

As I’ve posted before, the vast bulk of info available about Afghan, now augmented by the Wiki Leaks, is that tho we are doing somewhat better militarily, that success is irrelevant and will not lead to over all success for a number of reasons. First, the official Afghan so-called government is no government at all, at least by our standards. It can not protect it’s citizens, run an honest election, or keep from taking bribes – which after all if we weren’t so arrogant about our way of looking at the world, we would realize is just a normal, acceptable way of doing business there.

Second, this so-called government along with our so-called intelligence guided generals and diplomats negotiated with and gave lot’s of money to someone who was supposed to be the second in command of the Taliban, but who turned out to be an imposter who absconded with the money.

Third and related to number two, the Taliban is not a unitary monolithic force but a lose alliance of various points of view and levels of commitment. In other words, no single person can speak for it or negotiate with it, because there is no “it.”

Then, fourth, there’s Karzai himself said to be a manic depressive off his meds and a ‘patriot’ who doesn’t want foreigners in his country, tho it’s OK for him and his so-called government to take money, and lot’s of it, from Iran.

Fifth, our so-called counter insurgency strategy, endorsed by General Petreus and all our High Level Decision Makers, admits the country cannot be secured solely by military means and requires we have a viable civilian authority to work with, which given points one thru four above, is clearly not present now and seems like it never will be.
Six, we are also working with repressive, nasty ‘war lords,’ who are playing all sides against each other.

So now The Powers That Be want to not give Federal employees a raise for two years. These same compassionate Powers want to cut your, and mine, Medicare and Social Security. All while we spend enough in the Afghan to solve all our problems here. The choice is clear. Not only are you and I already sacrificing for this useless, no-win foreign adventure, but The Powers That Be want us to make even greater sacrifices and cut deeper. I say enough, and I invite you to join me and also say “Enough!”

Enough of the so-called War on Terror and the, “We’ve got to fight them there, so we don’t have to fight them over here,” bull shit. Enough! After 243 marines were killed in their sleep by a terrorist attack, Ronald Reagan pulled our troops out of Lebanon. After the so-called Paris Peace Talks, we declared victory, which we could have done at any time, and pulled out of Nam, leaving the country to the so-called communists. Let’s do that now, in the Afghan. We can no longer afford guns and butter. The choice is stark and clear. Eliminate the deficit and solve our problems here at one stroke and exit Afghanistan as quickly and decently as possible.