Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Mindfulness and Faith

The Course in Miracles asks that I practice my connection with spirit by sitting quietly for a half an hour – a whole half an hour – and just let my thoughts drift by, not judging or getting involved with them. This is a classic mindfulness meditation found in all – all – metaphysical traditions.

The Course explains that it is difficult to sit thus, even for five minutes, much less thirty, because the ego wants to keep us separate from our oneness with spirit. Sometimes called the ‘monkey mind,’ the ego creates difficulty and distractions to protect itself and our identity with it and keep us from the silence and peace of our spiritual reality. So I am noisy and restless. A fly disturbs my centering, my ear begins to itch, an important task I must prepare for crops up, and dozens of other irrelevant thoughts cross my mind.

When having difficulty with this task and indeed, any task, The Course advises me not to berate, judge or pressure myself. I am simply to say: I’m distracted because I’m afraid of oneness, for if I were really still, thoughts of peace and joy would penetrate my barriers – my bloated nothingness - and I would disappear into spirit and cease to exist as a separate ego identity. Indeed, this does happen, I do disappear into spirit, but only for seconds at a time, which is why it’s so refreshing!

If I do not succeed in today’s exercise or whatever activities I’m doing, I need to know in time I will. If I grapple with thoughts of when, or thinking it will never happen, I but return to the mistake of giving the ego power it does not have. I need to remember that I’m doing the work properly, to the extent I do it ‘miserably,’ but without judgment. Pressuring myself into being perfect, merely reinforces the fearful belief that I am imperfect. The goal of all activity is to lead me to remember my Identity; to open a window to timelessness, in which all sense of self disappears.

Success comes from observing my mind without judgment, from being mindful, and watching how fearful I am of letting the ego distractions go and of seeing spirit’s face instead of my own. Acceptance of this fear becomes the foundation of the trust between spirit and me that will, in time, gently lead me beyond the ego to the joy that awaits us all. Perhaps today, perhaps tomorrow, but certainly.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Being Miracle Minded

Given that we all think and act as if the ego nightmare was ‘reality,’ and even tho a few of us are aware that this is not true and are engaged in waking to our true identity as spirit; within the nightmare, there are things that need to be fixed. Fixing things in the nightmare without awareness of our reality as spirit is like going up to the screen to fix an out of focus film, instead of going up to the projection booth. Fixing things in the nightmare with awareness of our reality as spirit can help shift the nightmare to spirit’s happy dream.

That said, I want to be clear that there are things in Medicare and other aspects of our lives, that need to be, and can be improved, but in the case of Medicare, not Paul Ryan’s way. Ryan and the Republicans have once again turned whatever possible discussion might have been possible about honest, compassionate and cost-effective fixes to Medicare into a win/lose debate. Sure the Dems are complicit, but let’s face it, the Republicans are running the media show.

The House majority, any majority anywhere in a principled democratic society, has the obligation to look out for, and take care of the minority, not simply steam roll them. This is a duty of the majority in every aspect of our society, not just politics. The majority must rise above its fear, stop unproductive adversarial drama and seek solutions that contribute to a world that works for everyone and everything. The adversarial drama we experience everywhere is like the hot sauce one now finds in almost every food, something to spice up an otherwise dull experience. Except given the real economic, energy, weather and other problems we face, there’s already enough hot sauce without adding any.

Aside from the extremists of all stripes, who have to have ever more hot sauce until that’s the only flavor there is, I think most of us think that everyday experience is spicy enough and want to fix the real problems and contribute to a world that works for everyone and everything. For us and even for the extremists I offer Einstein’s quote, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

By being miracle minded - centered in our reality as spirit and knowing the ego world is only a nightmare from which we can awake to the alternative of our reality as spirit, if we are able to be mindful and to chose - we are going up to the projection booth and fixing the out of focus movie we see around us. The miracle minded process is, as I said previously, never ending, and a one-at-a-time thing; you claim it for yourself, I claim it for myself; we inspire one another and a critical mass builds. I think that sort of miracle mindedness is at work in Congress in an area other than Medicare.

A few hours ago, McGovern's plan to end the war in Afghanistan was narrowly defeated on a vote of 204 to 215. Though many are disappointed in this result, it may be seen as a miracle, not a defeat. This is a victory and a miracle because more House members than ever before voted to end the war in Afghanistan. And for the first time, the idea of ending the war and using that money to eliminate our budget deficit, received endorsements from some of the powerful people in Congress - including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Being miracle minded keeps us aware of ordinary miracles all around us. As we open our hearts and minds to the possibility or miracles around and within us, we move into a greater experience of life itself. We can see in ordinary miracles, the endless cycle of creativity of a power for good in the universe, a power available within and around us right now. The question is not is love available, is compassion, justice and miracles available? The question is, am I available?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Connection Between the Process of Knowing One's Self and Knowing the American Political Process

Lao-tzu said, “Knowing yourself is true wisdom; mastering yourself is true power.”
This is a never ending process - one is never done learning and mastering one’s self, and based on my experience, there are more disappointments and set-backs, especially at the beginning. However, the sense of wonder at the loosening of limits and opening vistas of potential; the sense of accomplishment from knowing and mastering oneself even just a bit more, is worth the effort. Gradually, one comes to appreciate that she is not only her thoughts, goals or physical condition, but pure potential and the sky’s the limit.

For me, this joy of self mastery and cosmic unfoldment, comes from focusing on process, more than product; on how, more than what, on being, just being, more than on doing or accomplishing. It’s a minute-to-minute thing, never done once and there you are, but an ongoing practice and discipline based on compassion, mindfulness and the intention to awaken from the ego’s nightmare, experience the happy dream of my reality as spirit and make a contribution to a world that works for everyone and everything.

From this comes my focus on the use of language and metaphor and upon how we are operating our democracy. It is not enough to have elections – Hamas was elected, Chavez was elected, even Hitler was elected. The beating heart of democracy is the intention of citizens to honor and support its ideals of compassion, justice and equal rights for all – ALL. It’s that, not the legal technicalities or PC that matter. Are citizen’s intentions about compassion, justice and equal rights for all, for a world that works for everyone and everything, not only for the ‘right’ people, or ‘deserving’ people? Are the intent and process inclusive or exclusive?

As I toss and turn in the ego nightmare, I see problems because the American democratic process and ideals, the beating heart of our culture, are becoming exclusive, rather than inclusive and corrupted by fear and hatred. Right now, the fear and hatred that would deny fundamental rights to all Americans is not only alive, but thriving. In the town of Murfreesboro, TN, 17 people went to court to deny a group of Muslims the right to build a mosque on their own land, a group of Muslims that had been living and praying in Murfreesboro for 30 years! While denying their motion, the judge who heard the case explained to the 17 that Islam is a religion and as such guaranteed freedom of worship under the US Constitution.

You might say you knew that and would never want to deny Muslims or any other group the right to worship, but if we don’t know that this sort of blindness to American democratic culture is occurring with greater and greater frequency, we are in danger of becoming the kind of bystanders who watched the Nazis take the Jews away, or the US Army take American Japanese to ‘detainee’ centers, or the Hutus watching their fellow Hutus massacre nearly a million Tutsis in Rwanda.

As Pitts said yesterday, “the psychological architecture of what happened then is identical to the psychological architecture of Murfreesboro now. Once again, we see people goaded by their own night terrors, hatreds, need for scapegoats, the repetitive booming of demagogues [and their misunderstanding of what American democratic ideals are all about] until they go to a place beyond reason.

“And in that place inevitably lies a dark night of malice, destruction and awful deeds that seem like good ideas at the time. When it passes, like a fever, we – the doers and those who simply observe – are left shivering in a gold dawn as reason reasserts itself, wondering how barbarism overtook us, vowing that it will never happen again. Never again.

“Me, I don’t fear Muslims. I fear Muslim extremists. I fear extremists, period. And that group in Murfreesboro, make no mistake, is extremist. Against their extremism, I find bitter succor in the inevitability of that cold dawn. Yes, there will come a morning after. But first we must learn how dark this night will be,” and to what extent the American democratic process is broken. Because the Murfreesboro 17 did have enough understanding and respect for the system to go to court instead of firebombing someone’s home, I, for one, do not think it broken beyond repair…yet.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Horror in the Heartland

Lao-tzu said, “Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.” Boy, do I agree with this, it’s all about inside-out and awakening from the ego’s nightmare to my spiritual truth. Knowing and mastering one’s self is a process, as I’ve said before, involving watching my ego bloated nothingness, not judging it, and letting go of my righteous indignation as I take the nightmare too, seriously. Here are a few places I’m taking the nightmare too seriously.

Militants, the word ‘militants’ as used in the lame street media. Look the word up, the way the lame street media is using it is totally incorrect, and the nearly ubiquitous incorrect use of the term bespeaks conspiracy to my paranoid mind. Who decides what’s news, what words to use and how to slant it? Whoever ‘they’ are, they’re a mere handful of editors, publishers, executives and owners, and they seem to be in cahoots. How is it in their interests to say when terrorists blow themselves up, they’re ‘militants’. What does it take to be labeled a terrorist these days?

Horror in the Heartland. The tornado damage we’re experiencing now is horrendous, beyond belief! The deaths are awful, but for the tens of thousands left behind, with no homes, no place to shit and piss, no water or electricity, no jobs, no community it is a horror akin to the tsunami damage in Japan. To me, it seems the same people that are deciding to call terrorists ‘militants,’ have an interest in denying the pattern in the weather that seems so obvious. Perhaps ‘global warming’ is not a useful label for what’s happening. How about ‘global climate change’?

For the dead and devastated it’s too late to wake up and change. But if there’s even the slightest chance that the scientists are correct, and even the slightest chance we might be able to make some small difference by acknowledging and dealing with the phenomena, shouldn’t we take that chance? It is not getting better. Look at the pictures of land and cities scoured and rubbed out. For the dead and devastated it’s too late to wake up and change. But for the rest of us, if there’s even the slightest chance that the scientists are correct, and even the slightest chance we might be able to make some small difference by acknowledging and dealing with the phenomena, I think we should take it.

All relationships and all events in the ego nightmare can be perceived as pathways to understanding ourselves and one another, and for recognizing the spirit in and through all. Even when the media masterminds and their masters call terrorists ‘militants’ and deny global climate change by mislabeling it as ‘global warming’, you and I are still free to say enough, to choose again (repent), and from the centered place of knowing our reality as spirit, make our unique contributions to a world that works for everybody and everyone.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Mind Blowing, Logic Short-circuiting Paradox

There’s a huge mind blowing, logic short circuiting paradox at the heart of life. It’s duality, our experience of being both spirit and matter. The Course makes clear that we are only spirit, dreaming we’re bodies; that we are at home asleep with God, dreaming the ego’s nightmare. As we practice committing to our spiritual reality and desire to awaken from the ego’s nightmare, we experience more of our spiritual reality here, in the ego’s nightmare.

Khalil Gibran captures that idea beautifully when he says, “And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy….” The SOM Text says something similar, “We can sit in the shade or move into the sunshine. Sitting in the shadow, we may not really believe that there is any sunshine. But the sun would be there all the same, and all the time we are in bondage, the real freedom exists.”

No matter what happens, you and I always have freedom of choice. We can select joy over despair, love over hate, forgiveness over revenge, and growth over stagnation. A crisis can bring out the best or the worst – our choice. The greatest experience we can ever have is to know our spiritual reality in the midst of our physical reality, to transcend and transform seeming misery, failure and adversity. The sun may not be shining right where we are, but it is shining somewhere. As spiritual beings, you and I need not struggle with the circumstances in our lives, but instead, can shift into that place within where the sun is always shining; and from there, deal with whatever is before us. Learning to do this is a process and it takes time, so we need to practice, practice, practice, after all, that’s the way to get to Carnegie Hall.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Mornings and Stealth Republicans

Mornings are the most challenging for me. I want to get up, optimistic about how the day will unfold, open to new experiences, not weighted down with annoying physical pain, fear and doubt. When my feet hit the floor, I want to affirm my reality as spirit and know that this is the day the Lord made. I’m getting better at that; the muscle of truth and spiritual reality is getting stronger. Now, sometimes, I’m actually enthused about getting going instead of being reluctant, the way I used to be.

I’m also finding that, throughout the day, as ‘problems,’ aches and pains arise, if, as soon as I become aware of them I give them over to spirit, asking to see them and my identity with the ego’s nightmare differently, then, rather than struggling with them, ‘solutions’ and alternative ways of perceiving arise. The ‘problem’ ceases to be a problem, but an opportunity – an opportunity to awaken from the ego nightmare to my reality as a spiritual being having an earthly experience and go forward from there.
As I wrote yesterday, this is a process, a training. It doesn’t work immediately, but almost always works eventually if I really stick with it and want it to work. For instance, earlier this morning, I got hung up on the Herald’s headline saying the governor signed the election ‘reform’ bill. ‘Reform’ bill? Give me a break! It’s not a ‘reform’ it’s a regression. I know who the Republicans are, they’re out there in the open doing all these horrors for all to see. But who are the stealth Republicans who write and publish these headlines? How many people are influenced by this so-called ‘reporting’ and actually think the give-aways to FPL, the insurance companies and big business on the backs of children, the elderly and poor are really ‘reforms’? Can’t the paper at least be neutral about it, just report the facts and consequences of what the Republicans are doing? Must they label this shit as ‘reforms’? I guess they can’t or won’t.

So I’m giving this, and so many other political things, over to spirit and will not be enraged and dragged down by it, or at least, not for long. Knowing that my built-in shit detector is working well, and that if I stay in the centered space, despite what these people are doing, I will still go forward and make my contribution to a world that works for everything and everyone (even the stealth Republicans writing those headlines). Hope you will do the same! Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Intuition is the same higher, spiritual intelligence I blogged about a few posts ago. It is always present, always available and always unerringly the best guidance available in the moment; way superior to our so-called ‘rational’ thinking. Intuition instantly takes into consideration all the variables and all the factors in play - variables and factors we could not begin to identify or process logically. Intuition is a natural super computer, a natural shit detector, and it’s available to me and you right now, at no cost, without pre-conditions – no dues, degrees, and no particular sexual, political or religious preference required.

However, our beliefs about ourselves and the world keep us from accessing it. As RW Emerson said, our ‘bloated nothingness’ – our ego beliefs and behaviors, are in the way of the divine circuits. The only thing that needs changing for us to access intuition more often, is our perspective. Once glimpsing our true nature as spirit, the process – the long, often frustrating process of learning to trust intuition has begun.

Like an atrophied muscle, intuition has to be brought back to full functioning, gently. The more we use it, the more we will see the spiritual reality of intelligence instead of the false evidence of our material senses. We start by knowing, feeling, and embodying, if only for an instant, the truth that we are as spiritual as we’re ever going to be, right now – here and now, not when we die; that we already proceed from a boundless, unlimited basis – our relationship to spirit and all that is.

The story of Jesus healing the man with the withered hand is a wonderful example of using an intuition of perfection, despite the ‘logic’ and the evidence of the material senses. Jesus would not have asked the man to “stretch forth thine hand,” if he did not know the evidence of his material senses was not as reliable as the spiritual evidence of the man’s perfect nature in spirit. The man’s healing was proof, not of Jesus’ miracle working capability, but of the ever-true spiritual perfection of the man as spirit. “Greater things than this, shall you do also,” Jesus said, knowing he was the great example, not the great exception.

Intuition is much more about gaining a new perspective than fixing a ‘real’ problem. Learning to trust our intuition and using it often, is “letting that mind be in us, that was also in Jesus,” revealing the spiritual evidence of health and harmony that is much more reliable than the false evidence of disease and discord. Wonderful, uplifting and motivational to think about, harder to do, but worth the effort.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Doing Everything Right and Not Getting the Promised Reward

Don’t you just love it when you do everything right and still don’t get the promised reward? In my case, with my novels for example, I write a wonderful query letter – agents and my fellow writers saying it’s quite good, and get 38 rejections and 20 no responses. [Perhaps one of those no responses will come through…ya think?] Or with my volunteer activities, I’m ‘active’ with two well-known, respected organizations, do all I’m supposed to do and again, nothing much happens [Maybe something will happen soon, in its own ‘good time’].

Or with social networking, again, I do all I’m supposed to, respond quickly, post, follow etiquette and again, nothing much happens [Here, too, maybe something will happen soon, in its own ‘good time’]. Really keeps you going, doesn’t it; its soo motivational? Who’s to blame – me for not wanting it badly enough or not trying harder, the ‘system’ for being a lie, or a combination of the two? Or, perhaps it’s supposed to be as it is, that I’m not ‘meant’ to have what I want. Or, there’s something to be learned and I’m missing it.

What should I do in these situations? Redouble my efforts, try harder? Join the Tea Party? Write a letter to the editor, or better yet, write a blog like this one? Keep on keeping on and allow things to unfold in their own good time? Get my bloated nothingness out of the way of the divine circuits? Remember that if I always do what I always did, I’ll always get what I always got?

Yesterday, my wife and I went to a new gourmet hamburger place giving free burgers. As you might imagine, the line to order was long, it took 25 minutes to get to the cash register. But, hey free Kobe steak burgers, regularly $8.50 apiece. If I was ever gonna try one, it was then, the price was right. We waited another hour, resisting the urge to go to the waitresses or cash register. Finally, after everyone around us, all of whom had come in long after us, got their orders, I politely talked to two waitresses and asked for our money back [we purchased a drink, onion rings and their special zucchini fries]. After another wait, the manager told us our order was ‘lost’ and gave us our money back, but we really wanted to eat there. We ended up at Burger King.

Last night, at 2:50 AM, I was still beating myself up for waiting so long. Do I wait too, long in general? Is there a pattern there? Clearly, no amount of waiting, wishing and hoping was gonna make our burgers appear. Was I ‘wrong’ to wait so long? Am I ‘wrong’ for waiting so long with the other things I’m not getting? Yes and no. If all I’m doing is ‘waiting’, then, yes, waiting is ‘wrong.’ But if I’m doing other things, being guided to other things while I’m waiting, such as learning to draw [something I’ve always wanted to do], then no, it’s not wrong to wait and in fact, its not really ‘waiting.’
Plus, while we were waiting yesterday, my wife and I were pretty mellow, chatted nicely and didn’t get too upset, angry or blaming. We were very disappointed, but not pissed off.

This incident also reinforced another aspect of my spiritual growth work and that is learning to trust my intuition. After waiting peacefully, in a centered place, I could have known that my urge to check with the waitress or manager was intuitive, not anger. I didn’t know that, but will next time. Learning the difference between ego driven emotions and spiritual guidance in the form of intuition is worth the wait.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Freedom Riders

The 50th anniversary of the Freedom Riders is being recognized now and there have been a number of very moving, inspirational and depressing articles about it written by Leonard Pitts and others, as well as a documentary on PBS – where else? - which so many of our most vociferous freedom-loving friends would de-fund. The spiritual aspects of non-violence are just as relevant now as then and just as difficult to apply now as then.

“Embracing nonviolence is not for the faint of heart,” Pitts quotes James Zwerg, now a minister who was beaten bloody as a Freedom Rider. “You have to push yourself beyond the comfort of the old habits and this requires strength. It may not always be popular speaking up for the truth. You may face personal attacks, verbal attacks, maybe even physical attacks. Nonviolence is not easy. It is demanding of the body, mind and soul.”

And here are some neat and important distinctions that I was aware of, find extremely useful and powerful, but until now, never associated with the nonviolence movement. “Nonviolence seeks to win friendship and understanding without making enemies. Most people” – and this is so true of me – “ deal with conflicts by asking ‘How do I get my way?’ When we think this way, we let our egos manage the conflict. There’s a better way. When we make nonviolence a way of life, the first thing we ask at a time of conflict, ‘What is the most loving thing to do?’”

“Nonviolence seeks to defeat injustice, not people. We reject all forms of violence” including hatred, anger and blame. “Nonviolence is not used to inflict harm, but to bring healing. It realizes that our adversary is not the person we face, but their prejudice. We confront the hate, not the hater. Instead of returning anger with anger, we respond with calm, understanding, love and forgiveness. The universe is on the side of justice and that right will eventually prevail.”

Pitts ends by saying, “I don’t know if I could have done it. But thank God, someone could.” Amen!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Democracy and Our Built-in Shit Detectors, Part 3

“Following your feelings will lead you to their source. Only through emotions can you encounter the force field of your own soul.” Gary Zukav

Good advice if one remembers that we have ego feelings – feelings arising from our identification with the ego’s nightmare, usually being fear based, anger and blame, and spirit feelings – feelings arising from our identification with spirit’s happy dream, feelings of compassion, love, gratitude and joy. Following the feelings that arise from identifying with spirit is what I think Zukav is talking about.

That’s where the built-in shit detectors I’ve been blogging about come in. From a centered place of IDing with spirit, we are able to distinguish between It and the ego’s BS. When encountering the ego’s BS - shit, we don’t have to be annoyed, angry or upset – tho that’s what tends to happen to me, so that’s what I’m working on – we simply need to know its shit and not take it so seriously.

My problem is, as a Poli Sci major, who joined the Peace Corps and loves American democracy, I see what now passes for intelligent political discourse as so much shit. That’s what happens when one has a personal, political memory that goes back to Eisenhower. I grieve for the Republic; I fear for its survival, as hypocrisy and monstrous lies pass for truth. Here are a couple of examples.

A bill to regulate so called, ‘internet cafes’ that are really online gambling establishments, with 800 now operating in Florida, each raking in an estimated $3 mil a year, was endorsed by the Florida Sheriffs Association and the Florida Chiefs of Police, but was defeated. Among those that voted against regulating these gambling establishments were, according to the St. Pete Times, two Republican legislators, Rep. Peter Nehr and Sen. Mike Bennett, both of whom own ‘internet cafes.’ Is that shit or what?

How’s this for hypocrisy, while railing about big government intrusion into private lives and gov’t. raising the cost of health care, Florida passed a law requiring woman to get and ultra sound before an abortion. Does that raise the cost of health care? Is that a gov’t. intrusion into private life?

More hypocrisy, while insisting the gov’t can’t force people to buy health insurance, Florida just passed a law requiring Medicaid recipients to join an HMO – one of which used to be owned by the governor.

There are too many of these to list here. Suffice it to say, I pray that the stink from this shit will trigger the shit detectors in the people of Florida, so that next elections, we can vote these folks out and perhaps find a few who’s shit doesn’t stink as much.

Well, OK! Can you tell from the tone of my comments how centered in spirit I am, and how I’m not taking this shit so seriously?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Democracy and Our Built-in Shit Detectors, Part 2

Taking responsibility for seeing what’s there, in the ego world, and not denying or avoiding it and then knowing that if it’s not contributing to a world that works for everyone, is what we’re supposed to do as citizens of a democracy. You and I, not only have the responsibility to see and act from a spiritually connected place, but the capacity to do so. We have built in shit detectors. Eating shit is not good nor healthy. We can eat it for a little while, and some of us have more capacity for shit than others, but even they will finally get tired of it, sicken or die.

That’s where my hope for democracy comes in. Right now, the shit eaters seem to be in charge. But I’m hoping that as it becomes clearer and clearer that shit is being served, you and I will vote the shit eaters and shit servers out of office. Gross lying and gross, unbelievably bold and monstrous hypocrisy are signs that shit is being served. To perceive these and to say its only business as usual is to eat shit. Seeing gross, unbelievably bold and monstrous lying and hypocrisy is a signal to me and you to stop eating shit and choose something more nourishing. Seeing gross, unbelievably bold and monstrous lying and hypocrisy is a wake-up call, a signal to me and you that it is not business as usual, that both sides are not the same, that there is a life and death difference between the two parties and our votes do count.

The impulse to shift, to stop eating shit is a healthy one and requires that we are able to know the difference between shit and more nourishing stuff. The shit servers want to destroy that natural impulse and our God-given shit detectors. They want you and i to stay asleep in the ego’s nightmare. They want you to perceive gross, unbelievably bold and monstrous lying and hypocrisy as business as usual, that both sides are the same, that there isn’t a life and death difference between the two parties and our votes don’t count. That’s shit in anybody’s book. They want to make politics nasty, dirty, smelly and disgusting so only shit eaters will get involved and the ‘good’ and ‘descent’ non-shit eating public will stay out of it.

Don’t let them get away with this! Life is not shit! Everything’s not shit! Know there’s an alternative to what the shit servers are serving and the moans of ecstacy from the shit eaters as they consume it.

In fact, even the shit eaters and shit servers being children of God and our brothers and sisters in spirit, secretly hope that there is an alternative as well. They only do what they do because they are so full of fear, hate, blame and loathing, so cut off from their reality as spirit, that they think the ego’s nightmare is all there is, denying, not only their feelings but the evidence that shit is not all there is, that there’s more to Life than shit. After all, they too, love their families and children – we hope – have hopes, dreams and ideals. But they lack the courage to move towards them with spirit, from that centered place; and instead of contributing to a world that works for everyone, they seek to contribute to a world that works for a few, the ‘good’ people only.

It’s time to see all of this for what it is and quit eating shit and by doing so, stop enabling the shit servers. Compassion for the shit servers is called for as are efforts for us to awaken and thus to awaken them as well. That’s what democracy and an ‘open’ ‘market-driven’ society are all about. If enough of us stop eating shit, they’ll stop serving it. To say that there’ll always be shit is obviously true, but there’s no reason for us to eat it and wallow in it. Shit is normal, natural and has a place but not at the top of the menu pervaded by our so-called political leaders and media talking heads. Enough, enough, ENOUGH!

You and I can revitalize our democracy, fix our systems and make our individual and national contributions to a world that works for everyone, by becoming more centered in spirit and using our shit detectors wisely and well.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Democracy and Our Built-in Shit Detectors, Part 1

My hope is democracy is still a viable option for helping me, and you, as American citizens, make our contributions, and our nation’s contributions, to a world that works for everyone. This, even though our version of democracy - the two party/primary system, is close to hopelessly broken, and as a result of this disfunctionality, voter turnout is declining. My hope is that people can learn to chose differently, guided by a sense of their reality as spirit and their connection to the spiritual intelligence described in my last two posts, and thus, vote differently and make our democracy more viable, less disfunctional and able to contribute to a world that works for everyone, not just a few.

The first step, and most fundamental learning, is on the spiritual level. When you and I come to understand that everyone of us here - no matter our political, religious or sexual preferences, and everywhere in the world, have the natural inner capacity to awaken from the ego’s nightmare and realize our potential to contribute, things will start changing for the better.

The second step is realizing that this awakening is not a once in a life time experience, but an ongoing process. There will be moments of joy, enlightenment and compassion engulfed in hours of fear, hate, blame and loathing. We all crave red meat and it’s good for us occasionally, but its destructive and dysfunctional as a regular diet.

So, the third step is becoming mindful and taking responsibility for our cravings, and while feeding them occasionally, mastering them and choosing how, when and where to surrender to them. Being mindful is controlling and choosing which thoughts and cravings we will feed. If, for example, I’m feeling rage, anger, fear and blame, it’s my choice whether to honor those feelings by looking for ‘reasons’ like being victimized, illegal immigrants, Muslim terrorists, the budget deficit, or just appreciating the feelings and realizing that there really are no ‘good’ reasons for them, despite of the evidence presented by self-serving politicians and media folk who benefit from conflict; that these feelings are just there and arise and manifest and, if we let them, will dissipate.

Feelings, ‘good’ and ‘bad’, are like clouds, wispy and insubstantial, unless we nurture them and make them solid and ‘real’, and will pass across the sun – our reality as spirit, temporarily blocking it, scaring us perhaps, and making us feel cut-off and bereft from it’s warmth, light and energy. But in truth, the sun is always shining…somewhere, and we can never be separated from it.

How comforting is that thought, that feeling! Its thoughts and feelings like that, thoughts of compassion, self-love, brotherhood, and responsibility for choosing, that we want to nurture. Conflict, rage, anger, fear and blame are not the sun, not a part of our reality as spirit, but are a part of the ego’s nightmare, designed to keep us from our reality.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Invisible Power

“To believe in the things you can see and touch is no belief at all. But to believe in the unseen is both a triumph and a blessing.” Bob Proctor

We cannot account for the seen without having faith in the unseen. To believe in Life is to believe in the invisible.” SOM Text p 407

The emphasis in yesterday’s post and in this one, is not to suggest that we ignore or deny the evidence of our senses. Doing that will only create problems, because we believe we live in a material, sensory world, and need our senses to survive. We still have to wash our hands, brush our teeth, eat, drink, pee and poop and not ply in traffic. But the more we come to see our experiences here and the concept of ‘here’ - the world itself as somewhat arbitrary, as based upon consensus reality, as the products of our social, psychological conditioning, we can control and change them.

Like the wind, we can’t see the invisible spiritual essence of life, but we can see the results of a belief in it. Be still and know. When we turn our attention to the deepest, mos centered place within, we can sense Life’s invisible spiritual essence, our connection to it and our reality as It.

Just as it is possible to harvest the invisible power of the wind, so can we harvest the invisible power of spirit, and manifest it here, in the ego’s nightmare. Learning to center and keep our focus on what we want and what works for all concerned, instead of what we don’t want enables us to do that. We manifest what we dwell upon – spiritually, mentally and emotionally. As we develop our belief and reliance upon our spiritual reality, we experience more of it and are able to contribute to a world that works for everyone.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Learning to Trust Intelligence More Than Our Senses

In spite of what our senses tell us, we now accept that the world is round. How else are our senses, outwardly focused and trained to function in the ego nightmare, deceiving us? “The whole process of science is,” Laurance Doyle says in the 4/5 Monitor, “actually the process of taking the evidence of intelligence over the evidence of the senses, intelligence being more reliable than what might appear to be true from our limited perspective.”
The earth was always round, even when we knew it was flat. What else in life is like that? How about what spiritual intelligence says about everything being one and connected? The Earth did not change; the only thing that changed and needed changing was our perspective. So, right now, we are one and all connected. How can we awaken to this more reiable, spiritual relity of intelligence instead of believing the false evidence of the senses designed to support the ego’s nightmare?
Awakening to our reality as spirit is much more about going within and gaining a new perspective than it is about fixing a ‘real’ problem in the ‘real’ world – the ‘real’ problem in the ‘real’ world being the movie screen and turning within going to the projection booth.
The Earth did not need fixing, but the limited way we saw at it, did. Allowing the Mind that is already within us to shine through, reveals the spiritual evidence of health and harmony that is much more reliable than the false evidence of disease or discord provided by our ego dominated sense. Be in the place of spiritual intelligence, come from the place of spiritual intelligence; let the Mind be in us that was also in Christ Jesus and we will joyfully contribute to a world that works for everyone.

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Best Government Money can Buy and the Givingness of Infinite Intelligence

“It is only as we allow the Divine current to flow through us on and out that we really express life.” SOM Text, p 440. Indeed this is what I want to do, what we all need to do, but it takes a bit of effort. It is not business as usual. Business as usual may be seen in the following two excerpts from today’s AOL headlines.
Banks Illegally Foreclosed On Dozens Of Military Borrowers, Federal Investigators Say
WASHINGTON -- Two of the nation's largest mortgage firms illegally foreclosed on the homes of "almost 50" active-duty military service members, according to a Thursday report by the Government Accountability Office.
The report does not identify the two mortgage companies. GAO investigators attributed the finding to federal bank regulators, who recently completed a three-month probe into allegations of improper foreclosures carried out by the nation's 14 largest home loan servicers.
Sponsors Of Oil-Drilling Expansion Bill Received $8.8 Million In Industry Contributions
Contributions WASHINGTON -- The chief sponsors of a bill to expand oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and open the coastal waters of Virginia for exploration have received more than $8.8 million combined in campaign donations from the oil and gas industry, a review of campaign finance records shows.
On Thursday, the House of Representatives passed the Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act by a 266 to 149 margin. The measure would force the federal government to conduct three lease auctions in those areas by June 2012. It is considered the first step in a GOP-led process to loosen restrictions on offshore drilling. Authored by House Natural Resources Chairman Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), it faces a much closer vote in the Senate as well as the stated opposition of the Obama administration.
Nevertheless, the bill's passage in the people’s chamber underscores the extent to which the political world has moved beyond the concerns over domestic drilling that arose in the wake of last year’s historic oil spill in the Gulf. It also serves as another reminder that, in the halls of Congress, certain legislative power comes with financial prowess.
“It may not be shocking that [these members] are top targets of oil and gas money but it nevertheless warrants some questions about whether they are representing Big Oil or their constituents,” said Sheila Krumholz, the Center for Responsive Politics' executive director. “Do these constituents support drilling? If they don’t, then they need to make positions known. Because the oil and gas companies, rest assured, have made very clear their desires. And, through their donations, they have made clear the clout they wield.”
The oil and gas industry is one of the most politically active interests groups in Washington. In the 2010 mid-term election cycle alone it spent $30 million in contributions to federal candidates (either through individual contributions, contributions through political action committees, or money sent to “outside” groups). More than $21 million of that went to Republicans, which was 77 percent of the industry's contributions.
Their campaign involvement, moreover, is rising. In the 2006 mid-term election cycle, the industry spent nearly $10 million less in political contributions.
And those figures pale in comparison to the amount the industry spends on lobbying. In 2010, oil and gas companies spent just under $146 million employing the service of nearly 800 lobbyists.
The oil and gas industry's influence also extends to operations in a wide swath of congressional districts. This setup allows companies to pitch more lawmakers on the idea that expanded drilling would help both the economy and their re-election campaigns.
Such a dynamic affects even members of the House GOP’s freshmen class.
“It is only as we allow the Divine current to flow through us on and out that we really express life.” No divine current here, only the usual flow of big business capital buying the so-called democaratic government, supposedly representing the best interests of the great majority of the people of the USA, for itself.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Does Oneness Include Liberals and Democrats?

Does this include Liberals, too? How about Democrats? Or, Iranians, terrorists, gays, or French people? Where are my ‘freedom fries’? And Jews, Muslims, Ba Hai, and Hindus, are they included, too?

ONENESS by Ernest Holmes

There is One Spirit incarnated in everyone, an immortal Presence forever expanding everything, causing everything to grow. What a difference it would make in our human relations if we tried to sense the meaning of this Divine incarnation in all people and adjust our viewpoint to the truth that all are bound together in the unity of God! While we may think otherwise, behind all this vast array of life there can be but one common Cause, one Universal Mind, one Infinite Spirit flowing into, through, and becoming everything.
We are so used to seeing ourselves as separate from each other that we suspect the very feeling and emotion that causes us to embrace everything in love. But the person who loves the most will live the most. We meet each other only in fragments, only partially, when we refuse to open the whole avenue of our consciousness to the realization that there is but one living Spirit in, over, and through all. If our human relations are to mean the most to us, we must sense that there is within everyone a Divine Presence manifesting Itself in infinite variations—the same impulse, the same love and life, but never quite alike in any two persons.

Does this include Liberals, too? How about Democrats? Or, Iranians, terrorists, gays, or French people? Where are my ‘freedom fries’? And Jews, Muslims, Ba Hai, and Hindus, are they included, too?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Are Facts Different from Opinions and Does It Matter?

Some astronauts have commented that they couldn’t see political boundaries from space, but saw the earth as on unified globe. Could that be true? Is the earth one unified globe? Naw! I mean the French and Iranians and Chinese, you mean they’re our fellow passengers on planet earth – the same as white, American, protestant, Southern Republican Christians? No way! When we finally destroy the planet’s ability to sustain us, will they die out same as us? Of course the white, American, protestant, Southern Republican Christians will be raptured and so have nothing to worry about.

Not so long ago, people thought the earth was flat – many still do, probably the ones who don’t believe in evolution, simply because it looked that way. But the evidence presented to the senses, which is still the same now, conflicted with the evidence presented by intelligence. Indeed, the whole of human progress and the process of science is the process of taking the evidence of intelligence over the evidence of the senses. It’s the realization that intelligence is more reliable than what might appear true from the limited perspective of habitual human perception.

Unfortunately, the realization that intelligence is more reliable than what might appear true from the limited perspective of habitual human perception, is happening less and less in the USA and even the idea that there is such a thing as facts, science and intelligence that transcends human prejudice and habitual perception is under attack.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, “everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” It’s possible to function as a society and preserve the planet and have competing worldviews; it is not possible to function as a society and preserve the planet with a lack of agreement on what is provably, objectively true and what is not.

“Political polarization,” Eugene Robinson says, “is old hat. Empirical polarization – a rejection of this nation’s founding Enlightenment principles – something new. The vast majority of scientists look dispassionately at the data and conclude that atmospheric warming and climate change are real. Deniers don’t produce data of their own, they just say no, no, no – and attack the scientists’ political views, rather than their research.”

Are Americans really deciding there’s no difference between fact and opinions? Seems like we are; and if we are, we are surely doomed as a nation and probably the world along with us.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Knowledge and Imagination

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” Einstein

Although there does seem to be enough knowledge available to deal with many of the ‘problems’ we confront in the ego’s nightmare, we seem to need a whole lot of imagination, intuition and centering in our reality as spirit to apply this knowledge. Imagination and intuition and spiritual centering are opposite mindsets to the ‘business as usual,’ mindset and suggest that ‘if you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got.’

So, if we’ve had enough of what we’ve been having, let’s use the knowledge we aren’t using along with imagination, intuition and centering to have something else – to apply the knowledge we have, discover new knowledge or a combination of both. A no brainer, right?

Well, you’d think so, but some people cling to their ignorance with a passion that keeps them and the rest of us stuck. Take for example the AIDS situation described in an article entitled “Southern Discomfort” in the current Utne Reader. One point before I get into the article. Part of the general ignorance embodied in the conventional wisdom is that ‘good’ folks – heterosexual Christians, can avoid AIDS by avoiding the ‘bad’ people – the non-white, alternatively sexed, that have it. Not true, absolutely not true. Read on.

The challenges specific to the Southern U S, a region cinched tightly by the Bible Belt, have resulted in disproportionately high rates of infection, as well as a very high percent of people living with HIV who don’t know they have it, and are therefore infecting all those ‘good’ folk. 36% of the US population live in the South, but half of all the people in the nation with HIV live there. The South has the highest rates of new HIV cases, half of new AIDS diagnoses, the largest numbers of adults and adolescents with HIV/AIDS, and the most AIDS deaths. The HIV/AIDS epidemic is raging across the Southern US like an out-of-control fire.

Programs to reach those in need and those at risk are probably not reaching those most in need. Tight fisted and impoverished state governments, and conservative attitudes toward sex have created a perfect storm of inadequate HIV care and prevention. Black churches are in denial and it’s hard to reach Latino populations due to the stigma and fear of immigration if treatment is sought.

Come on! Enough is enough! Let’s quit going in circles! Common sense, simple decency and self protection suggest we don’t have to support or agree with people in regard to sexual orientation, immigration status, or religious and political beliefs to use our compassion and imagination to overcome all the BS that isn’t working and apply the knowledge we already have along with our imagination, intuition and spiritual centering to fight for the right to stay healthy.