Wednesday, August 31, 2011


“Nothing creates more unhappiness than failed expectations…. Expectations are an attempt to control the future,” Deepak Chopra. Boy, is that true for me and Obama! Man, did I have expectations! And so far, boy, are they failing and boy, am I unhappy! Chopra’s talking about positive expectations. But there are negative expectations, too; the things we don’t want to happen but fear they will. Those are the kind of expectations I have about the T Party and its impact on us.

Leta Miller writing in this month’s SOM says that, “action is the key to breaking the pattern” of expectation/disappointment and worry. She recommends asking, “What am I willing to do right now?” focusing on the present where I can do something constructive, rather than the future, where action is impossible.

Clearly, focusing on the present instead of the future is a good idea. But what I’m willing to do right now, about Obama and the T Party, is not so clear. I’m not into demonstrating, tho I would do that if I thought it would work. Writing letters, signing petitions and making phone calls to elected officials seems equally useless to me. Been there, done that, and here we are, things seemingly worse. The only thing I can do right now that I think can make a positive difference is stay centered in spirit, keep my mind clear of negativity, and have zero expectations, either positive or negative.

This is what Suzuki and most metaphysicians call mindfulness. What I can do right now and in all the right nows to come, is to stay mindful; be aware of my thoughts and feelings and, when I find myself getting involved with expectations, say to myself, without blame or judgment, “oh, there I go again,” and give the thoughts and feeling over to spirit.

I need to understand that doing this, being mindful, is a constant, never ending process; a spiritual practice. It is a way out of the ego’s world of hateful illusions and into spirit’s world of love and peace. The more mindful I am and the more a give my expectations over to spirit, the more in-touch with mySelf I am and the better I am able to act in the world, charge neutral, and make a contribution to a world that works for everyone and everything, including the T Party.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Think of a tree or any organic thing that emerges from within itself. To the degree that it follows its inner commitment to unfold in love, as spirit created it, is it able to overcome all resistance and demonstrate itself as a meaningful and worthwhile part of the vast, vital and inclusive manifestation of life. A celery seed will not produce a cherry tree. So, the seed of love will not produce ignorance, hate, anger, judgment, blame and prejudice.

If we’re seeing a lot of ignorance, hate, anger, judgment, blame and prejudice it’s because the seeds of those things are planted in the hearts and minds of those manifesting the ignorance, hate, anger, judgment, blame and prejudice. If these people will plant different seeds, they will manifest different fruit.

What seeds are you and I planting right now? What seeds is our society planting right now? By their fruits you shall know them. Plant seeds of love, joy, inclusivity, compassion, sharing and peace. Please! We can’t plant for others, only ourselves, but if we plant spirit and it grows spirit, we may be an example for others. Wait, in our decision making as a society and community, we do, in a way, plant seeds for others, don’t we? What we teach in school and support with our buying power, does plant and nurture particular seeds. What seeds are we planting and nurturing as a society?

This month’s AARP magazine reported that a new federal report finds only 7% of 8th graders can describe the three branches of government. Can you believe that? Only 7%? What fruit will these seeds of ignorance bear? Will it be good for the American form of democracy? And if our democracy fades, what will replace it…?

The same report also says that only 27% of 4th graders, 22% of 8th graders and 24% of 12th graders are proficient in civics. Who benefits from the destruction of American democracy…? The Communists are gone. Who then? Could it be in the interest of the large aggregations of wealth and power to keep people fat, dumb and happy so they’ll be good docile consumers, drop out of democracy and not bother to vote?

Yet the Sierra Club reports that a Yale University poll found that 77% of teens know what the greenhouse effect is, compared with 66% of adults. And better yet, 57% of youths understand that humans are contributing to global climate change, while only 50% of adults understand this. So, seemingly, we, as members of American society are planting and nurturing seeds of civic ignorance, beside seeds of environmental awareness. I think we want to plant and nurture both - seeds of civic awareness and environmental awareness.

Monday, August 29, 2011


“Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into,” Wayne Dyer.
Does that make sense? It does if one is thinking inside/out, not, outside/in. Abundance isn’t about ‘getting’ its about releasing, allowing and unblocking. The abundance of every good thing, and unfortunately, every ‘bad’ thing too, is already within us. Understanding this enables us to claim our power.

We are not lucky or victims, tho it often seems that way. We are decision makers and as such are responsible for what we choose. Who we choose to identify with, and to be our guide and teacher – ego or spirit – determines what kind of abundance we experience. There’s nothing out there, no god or devil, keeping score and rewarding or punishing us. We are the ones who reward or punish by who we choose to identify with. We are responsible. We are the decision makers [not George Bush – oh, wait, he was the ‘decider’].

What we give out, comes back to us, multiplied. What goes around, what we send forth, comes around, returns to us. Rather than focus of getting and identifying with the ego’s lack and limitation, we can choose to focus on sharing the great gifts we already have within and with that focus choose to make a contribution to a world that works for everyone and everything.

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Myth of American Exceptionalism & Our Bloated Nothingness

As, centered in spirit, we work to see clearly, getting our bloated nothingness out of the way of the divine circuits, we can feel the grace that’s there, already within us, begin to flow, and we realize it doesn’t have to be this way, a world full of hate and terror, and in love’s light, we begin to understand that peace and progress are possible, even if we must work courageously to achieve them. Like the old WWII song said, “Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition! Praise the Lord, we ain’t a goin’ fishin’. Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition and we’ll all stay free.”

“Human hate has no legitimate mandate and no kingdom,” wrote Mary Baker Eddy. “Love is enthroned.” Realizing the truth of that statement in our lives is a process requiring vision, strength, diligence and lot’s of willingness to stop kidding ourselves and get our bloated nothingness out of the way.

The idea of American Exceptionalism is a big part of our bloated nothingness. It is a myth whose time has come…to die. If the dysfunctional way Congress and the White House finally avoided a default on US sovereign debt didn’t put the final nail in the myth’s coffin, it put in most of them. Imagine America trying to rescue the world economy as it did two years ago? The new austerity makes that largely impossible. And what of the surging demands of the baby boomers? Plus, the fact that well justified cuts in the Pentagon’s budget are on the way will not only embolden China and India, but reduce our world footprint.

The latest display of gridlock and the promise of more to come call for modesty, not Exceptionalism. America can be a good nation among other good nations, a noble and prosperous nation among other noble and prosperous nations, but no longer an exceptional nation. If we face this aspect of our bloated nothingness and get it out of the way, we can still experience God’s grace and still make a contribution to a world that works for everyone and everything.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Our Political Bloated Nothingness

Can God’s grace dissolve the polarization and gridlock in American political institutions? Grace – the merit-less ‘bestowing’ of peace harmony and goodness, as described in the song, “Amazing Grace.” Grace can, does and will dissolve the polarization when we get out of its way and allow it to flow. It seems ‘merit-less’ because it is already present within us, part of our birthright as spiritual beings having earthly experiences, and we need do nothing to ‘earn’ it. In fact striving, struggling and ‘earning’ get in the way of Its flow. To experience grace, we have to get our bloated nothingness out of the way of the divine circuits.

To me, getting our bloated nothingness out of the way, involves seeing clearly and speaking the truth. One such truth is that contemporary lame street media fail to help us get our bloated nothingness out of the way and in fact enable our bloated nothingness by perpetuating a number of myths.

One of these is that there are only two points of view. This sort of dichotomous thinking institutionalizes polarization from the git go, giving us two talking heads, pro and con, Republican and Democrat and the dangerous idea that both political parties are equally at fault. This is a dangerous idea because it facilitates people dropping out, not voting, and thereby perpetuating the status quo.

These myths and either/or thinking are clearly not helpful, are clearly not the truth, and are not working for the majority [they seem to be working quite well for the rich and political elite]. Until people clearly get this myth of equal blame, false dichotomy and the idea that the Truth emerges from an adversarial clash of ideas out of their heads, we will have difficulty getting our bloated nothingness out of the way of the divine circuits and allowing the grace that is in all of us, to flow.

Of course there are legitimate differences in the way people define and deal with problems and opportunities. And dialogue and discourse conducted with mutual respect can help combine these differences into something that will work for all concerned, or almost all concerned. But the current political conditions do not support dialogue and mutual respect.

And that lack of mutual respect and willingness to dialogue comes overwhelmingly from one political party. Not only that, but this party also emphasizes trivial issues of little consequence to keep the pot boiling and the polarization in place.

For example, consider the over-hyped, so-called ‘controversy’ over the President’s vacation daze. Obama has taken 61 days off in 31 months in office. Reagan spent 349 days on his ranch. And George the Second logged 490 daze at his ranch! The Republicans started this ‘controversy’ and continue to stoke it while their Presidents, took much more time off than Obama. Hypocrisy? Yes, but worse, much worse. It is only the tip of the iceberg. It is the new way Republicans do business, and they do it because it seems to work. And I guess as long as it keeps working, they’ll keep doing it.

So it’s up to us to see this for what it is: both parties are not equally to blame, there are not only two sides to every ‘argument’ [it may not even be an argument, it may be just a discussion], truth does not emerge from name-calling, one-sided, ignorant insistence that Paul Revere rode to warn the British and corporations are people just like you and me.

All of this is worse than mere hypocrisy and is not business as usual because by just about every indicator, the United States is falling behind and not living up to its ideals and potential. God’s grace is there for everyone, in both parties, and in no party, but until we allow it to flow by getting our bloated nothingness out of its way, we want be able to benefit from it.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Reaction Formation

Certainty often covers deep doubt and uncertainty. As Shakespeare said in Hamlet, “Me thinks he doth protest too much.” The more vigorously someone professes something, or denies it, especially things around religious beliefs, sexual preference and patriotism, the more suspect those professions and denials are; especially when the person sites the absolute certainty of God and the bible to back him up. Vigorous professions and denials are a red flag, a warning that the person making them is not well and not to be trusted. Most of us know this in our guts.

We know that deep down the person “protesting too much” may, and often does, harbor beliefs diametrically opposed to the ones he denies or professes. Some people act out the opposite of what they unconsciously or are ashamed of, believing. Freud called this ‘reaction formation’. As I describe reaction formation, see how well it explains so much of what’s going on with our tea party and Republican brothers and sisters.

A powerful profession or prohibition can only be directed against an equally powerful impulse, Freud explained. What no human soul desires stands in no need of prohibition; it is excluded automatically, and what every human soul desires flows without exhortation. “The very emphasis laid on the commandment, ‘Thou shalt not kill’ makes it certain that we spring from an endless series of generations of murderers, who had the lust for killing in their blood, as perhaps, we ourselves have today.

“Conflicts of this kind due to ambivalence are very frequent and they can have another typical outcome, in which on of the two conflicting feelings [usually the most socially acceptable one] becomes enormously intensified and the other vanishes. The exaggerated and compulsive character of the remaining feeling betray the fact that it is not the only one present but is continually on the alert to keep the opposite feeling under suppression. This is repression by means of reaction formation.”

Building on Freud, Jung suggested that religious fanatics were cloaking their own lack of faith, otherwise they would not affirm theirs with such dogmatic tenacity and certainty. So, could it be that our present day homophobic religious anti-government pro austerity fanatics are trying to cover up their own doubt and uncertainty about these things?

To me, the scariest thing about reaction formation and the fanaticism it breeds if left untreated and unchecked is how far those suffering from these things will go. A lot of innocent, ‘normal’ people could be badly hurt. Consider the recent debt ceiling nonsense, and who knows what’s next. Yes, as I wrote yesterday, the ascendancy of tea party and Republican extremists could be, and I pray it is, the storm before the calm. But if Freud and Jung are to be considered, it is also an illness that must somehow be treated….

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Storm Before the Calm

Here are some metaphysical concepts I was thinking about Sunday morning as I did my Tai Chi by by the lake, as the sun came up and a soothing breeze dried the sweat on my face: I accept Myself as myself, and seek ye the Kingdom of Heaven and all else shall be added unto you. It came to me to try and connect these ideas to Obama and the current political situation.

How would a politician who accepted his spiritual reality as himself and sought the Kingdom of Heaven first appear to us in the ego’s dualistic, fear and terror filled illusion of a world? Would s/he be nasty, angry, vicious and constantly attacking? Would s/he try and reason with people, especially his ‘enemies’, articulate higher ideals, and share visions of a world that worked for everyone and everything? Would he favor compromise and win-win solutions instead of zero-sum games and lose-lose thinking?

His conceptual framework [please see earlier posts for more explanation of these concepts] would be the continuum, not the pyramid or the dichotomy. And perhaps, even as Jesus was reviled and persecuted in a world and a people dominated by the fear-ridden, dualistic ego, so would he be reviled and persecuted. He would be ahead of his time. Misunderstood and unappreciated in his own day, he would only be understood in a later day.

Such leaders are a threat to the ego and its world. And the high priests of the ego - the haters, fear-mongers, selfish, narrow-minded, trickle-down, moralistic people, would never appreciate nor understand him, but would always revile and persecute him.

Can you think of two Presidents in the last 40 years who seemed to fit this profile? Can you think of a single political party now filled to overflowing with the ego’s high priests?

What if the appearance of these two Presidents in recent times and the fierce, open negativity to them, heralded not the end of the American dream, but its renewal? What if this fierce resistance is the last gasp of the hypocrisy that has characterized American culture from its inception? What if the American hope of being the shining city on a hill and contributing to a world that works for everyone and everything was becoming a reality, and the high priests of the ego who are threatened by American ideals, and who have always been threatened by them, tho they give lip service to them, understand this and want to hold it all back, maintaining the ego’s status quo?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Great Spirits and Mediocre Minds

“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds,” Einstein said. And another Jew’s life, Jesus’, exemplifies Einstein’s ideas. Jesus was both reviled and remembered because he was a great spirit and let spirit flow thru him. We have both minds - spirit’s and the mediocre mind of the ego, within us. Our decision maker chooses which we identify with. Let the mind that was with Jesus be with you.

If you choose boldness, joy, compassion, humility and daring instead of fear, hate, blame, safety and security, you are choosing spirit and allowing it, as Jesus did, to flow thru you. Most of the time, we just drift along with the herd and the mediocre mind, letting appearances and opinions drag us from our essence - our spiritual perfection. Mediocre minds see the limitations and frequently say “should” and “should not.” In bondage to what others think of them, mediocre minds are judgmental, intolerant and blaming, small and petty, focusing on problems rather than solutions.

Great spirits see the possibilities, have inclusive ideals and believe they can make a contribution to a world that works for everyone and everything. Sharing their God given gifts, great spirits are kind, gentle and accepting of others while standing for their ideals, knowing they are in a learning laboratory in which each person is doing the best they can in the moment.

Great spirits are actively aware of the opportunity for perfection in each moment and in each event, no matter what the appearances may be; are aware of the natural tendency toward mediocrity, and make a conscious decision to choose otherwise. They choose to see the compassionate, benevolent reflection of spirit in the mysteries, paradoxes and contradictions of life in the ego’s world. Grateful and bold in their hearts, no matter the appearances, they take the next step, choosing to live as great spirits, knowing the Universe will support them.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Saying, "I don't know."

“If you destroy ‘I do not know,’ you destroy all possibilities of knowing.” Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev

Thinking we know it all leaves us with no reason, nor inspiration, to learn. In other words, certainty is the enemy of knowledge.

Is “the devil made me do it” a credible explanation for one’s behavior? It is for some people. Just as, “God wants me to run for the Presidency,” is a credible explanation for others. Perhaps the ones that believe God talks to them are also the ones that believe the devil makes them do things they don’t really want to do.

We have been taught that the idea of having the correct answer, even if its from a supernatural source, is a good thing and saying “I don’t know” is inadequate and embarrassing, especially if you’re supposed to be a leader. How often do you say to yourself, “I should know that!”? It’s very stressful to have to have the correct answer, as if there was a ‘correct’ answer, all the time.

Fear of embarrassment for not knowing, being stupid or inadequate, causes people to limit their lives to only those things in which they feel safe and knowledgeable. Many do not pursue their dreams and ideals, such as contributing to a world that works for everyone and everything, because they are don’t know how to proceed. Many feel like victims, believing that everyone else knows but them. Feeling stupid and inadequate, they become angry, blameful and act from a place that seeks revenge and punishment. They seek to dumb everything down and they become anti-intellectual and anti-science.

Saying, “I don’t know,” is the reason for science and intellectual endeavor. Saying, “I don’t know,” leads to contemplating the great mystery of life and remembering our connection to spirit, which does know. Saying, “I don’t know,” helps us get our bloated nothingness out of the way of the divine circuits. Saying, “I don’t know,” enables us to think of our lives and the world as a learning laboratory, in which we experiment in order to discover and rediscover our reality as spirit, and spirit’s reflection in and around us. Saying, “I don’t know,” opens us to wonder, curiosity, inspiration and discovery.

Why do objects appear solid when the atoms they are made of are mostly empty space? How do driveway weeds thrive when other plants are withering in the heat? What is the “chemistry” of falling in love? Why are babies so cute and teenager so challenging? How does the tiny acorn become a mighty oak tree?

Delight in the great mystery. Live as if you were born into a learning laboratory. Use your innate curiosity to explore, learn, and awaken the memory of your connection to Source. Use, “I don’t know,” as an inspiration to be bigger, better, more compassionate, freer and more joyful.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


The art of turning the bathtub tap on with your toes.

A cat licking your sunburn.

A method for going broke methodically.

The ability to eat only one salted peanut.

The linguistic crutch of inarticulate idiots.

A hole in the water surrounded by wood into
which one pours money.

One who treats all women as sequels.

A pinch of tobacco, wrapped in paper,
fire at one end, fool at the other.

A case for holding dead batteries.

Someone who doesn't have to take a public
service exam to work for the government.

That annoying time between naps.

The confusion created when ones mind overrides
the body's basic desire to choke the living daylights out
of some idiot who desperately needs it.

Twelve people who determine which client
has the better lawyer

The only animals you eat before they are
born and after they're dead.

Making your guests feel at home,
even if you wish they were.

A person who has stopped growing at both ends
and is now growing in the middle.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Parallel Between England in 1939 and America 2011?

Gandhi wrote, “There is a person now slumbering within us, which if awakened would do to evil what light does to darkness.” I read that today and love the synchronicity of the way it fits with what I wrote yesterday. I would only change the word, “person” to “power”, meaning spirit.

Now given what I’ve been writing, you know that I don’t want to give undue energy to the seeming evil in the world, for the more energy I pour into my belief in evil, the stronger the evil becomes and the weaker spirit seems. In my reality as spirit, I know that there is only spirit/God and nothing else, and therefore, if I’m concerned with ‘evil’, I’ve forgotten my identity as spirit and identified with the ego.

So, the seeming reality and sway of evil is, in the learning laboratory of Life, a red flag meant to remind me of the need to awaken from the ego’s dream and choose spirit as my teacher.

The ‘red flag’ I see now, as I write this, is the candidacy of Rick Perry, seen through the prism of what I wrote yesterday, plus the idea that if good ‘men’ do nothing, evil will triumph and England’s appeasement [as well as that of the other democracies] of Nazi Germany before the 1939 invasion of Poland. This comparison was stimulated by a movie I’m watching [movies have a big influence on me] about England’s appeasement of Nazi Germany called, “Glorious 39.”
Here’s what I see: the Republicans will nominate an extremist. With his actual experience in governing, his masculinity and good looks, Rick will easily defeat Michelle. Americans will then have a clear-cut, literally black and white choice between a temporizing socialist compromiser and a no-nonsense anti-government extremist. Which do you think will win?

The parallels with Americans now, before Rick becomes President, and England and the democracies appeasement of Hitler and Nazi Germany are striking. Rick has the backing of the big corporations. The big corporations both here, in England and Germany backed Hitler. For example, IBM was doing business with Hitler even during the war, supplying the machines and systems that supported the so-called German efficiency in military action and death camps.

We now have gridlock, political polarization and wide-spread disgust with the political system; so did Germany in the 30’s. As Nazis and Communists battled in the streets [which, thank God, we haven’t gotten to yet, Dems and Rs just battle on TV, the internet and blogosphere], the vast majority of Germans were paralyzed in the middle, as are the vast majority of Americans now, and, as I wrote yesterday were during the McCarthy and Jim Crow days.

Germany was in a deep financial crisis with high unemployment and no growth, except for military spending, as we are today. Granted it’s not as bad here and now as it was then in Germany, but it’s the worst most baby boomers have seen and if you’re unemployed as 9 million are, and gov’t programs that support you are being eliminated, then the unemployment rate is 100%

Many people in the democracies thought that racism and fascism – Hitler and Mussolini, were harsh, but in the long run, just what was needed. They did not think it was evil at all. Many people feel that way about Rick. Yes, he’s a little extreme and he says things that are harsh, but after all, he has to say those things to get elected, he won’t actually do them. He does? Why? That’s what they said about Hitler, too, and it was all there in Mein Kampf.

It’s scary isn’t it? A little far fetched, perhaps. But history repeats itself…. And if we always do what we always did, we’ll always get what we always got. Is what’s going on economically and politically in the USA business as usual or something to be concerned about? And if we choose to be concerned, what are we to do?

Gandhi wrote, “There is a person now slumbering within us, which if awakened would do to evil what light does to darkness.” I read that today and love the synchronicity of the way it fits with what I wrote yesterday. I would only change the word, “person” to “power”, meaning spirit.

Monday, August 15, 2011

On Seeing the Movie The Help

My wife and I saw The Help, Saturday afternoon. It is an excellent film – splendid acting, writing, music, scenery, photography and a number of strong, gut wrenching messages. On the way home, what struck me most was how the Blacks lived relatively normal and morally decent lives despite the humiliation, abuse and constant threat of terror. I thought of the power of intimidation, threat and fear. I thought of Joe McCarthy and people in the early ‘50’s living under a similar domestic, not foreign, threat of intimidation and fear.

I came away from the movie understanding that we have met the terrorists and they is us – good Anglo Christians, not, swarthy Muslims. And I thought that right this minute, the people who want to turn the clock back to those days and rely on hate, threat, fear and intimidation, many of them knowing and unknowing racists, are once again in the ascendancy and seem to be holding the rest of us hostage. Why do we allow it? Why don’t we speak up and call a spade a spade? How many good lives, including those of the haters, must be lost and damaged due to hate, fear, ignorance and intimidation?

Besides blaming the haters and fear mongers, which was my first choice, many answers to this question arise. The answer resonating with me now is that the best way to deal with hate, fear, terror, threat and intimidation is first individually in our own minds and then collectively, in twos, threes, groups then communities. First, I take responsibility for myself, get clear, then from that centered connected place, reach out to others. Both individual and collective action are necessary, not either or; both.

Terry Cole Whittaker says the mind is the greatest terrorist weapon; and that terror is error with a “t” in front of it. We put up with hate, fear, terror, threat and intimidation because we think we have to, that there is no alternative and that we don’t have a viable choice. That kind of thinking is the error. We always have a choice, and the only meaningful choice is between spirit and ego. If I choose spirit as my teacher and learn to see as spirit sees, I can see the world as a learning laboratory in which I am being trained to see spirit in all people, places and things, especially in those people, the haters, who press my buttons. I learn that they are my buttons, mine to manage and learn from, not to be pressed by me or anyone else.

Connecting with mySelf and learning to manage and learn from my buttons, makes me more attractive because believe it or not, everyone is in the learning laboratory with me, even the haters, needing to learn the same lessons. When others understand what I’m doing, they will join in. I think this is what Jesus meant when he said, when two or more are gathered in my name. His name is love and self mastery, not hate, fear, terror, threat and intimidation. First, I learn, then join with others to help them learn, not as a savior or a holier-than-thou pompous ass, but as a compassionate, loving member of one family; then we choose spirit and put the ego’s hate, fear, terror, ignorance and intimidation aside.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Love of God Enfolds Me

“What is everything leaves room for nothing else, and what is everything is love – agape, spirit’s love for us and our love for It. Anything I do, I will do better, if I remember this fact and know spirit’s omnipotent, omnipresent love better. To help me remember, I affirm: ‘the love of God enfolds me.’ This captures the two-way aspect: my love of God enfolds me, and God’s love of me, enfolds me. I do better when I know better. Wherever I am, I am always in the Kingdom, and with God, all things are possible.

Saying, thinking, feeling, and knowing that the love of God enfolds me, reminds me that there are always right solutions at hand. My responsibility is to align myself with mySelf – my reality as spirit. Whatever the challenge is, I can go within, connect with mySelf, and, with Its guidance, see things differently and seeing differently, know what to say, think, feel and do to make a contribution to a world that works for everyone and everything. The world is still an illusion, but with spirit, I can understand that it is a neutral illusion, a classroom, and depending on the teacher I choose – ego or spirit, I can see it as either a reflection of spirit’s love or the ego’s hatred.

Saying, thinking, feeling, and knowing that the love of God enfolds me, is an affirmative prayer, a partial spiritual mind treatment, that enables me to free myself from the ego’s sin, guilt and fear, to know better and do better, without adding fuel to the false fires of discontent, fear and terror.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Complexity is Not of Spirit

If my purpose is to awaken from the ego’s dream of terror, sin, guilt and fear, and if I am mindful and make a habit of reminding my decision maker to see things differently by choosing spirit’s love, joy and forgiveness, I can be confident that wisdom will be given me when I need it. Asking my decision maker to choose again and asking for spirit’s help and guidance throughout the day, whenever I am mindful of the need to do so, will build my awareness of my connection with spirit, and will remind me that I am in the world, but not of the world.

Asleep with the ego, I think a thousand choices confront me, but awake with spirit I realize there is only one – choosing to realize my mistaken choice of the ego, a mistake I can undo. “And even this but seems to be a choice;” because spirit alone is true. Awakening and allowing the decision maker to choose spirit is the “final illusion.” As that mistake in undone, the world and he thought system that made it disappear.

I, and you, want to be mindful and not confuse ourselves with all the doubts that myriad decisions would induce. Complexity and multiplicity were made by the ego to keep our attention riveted in the dream/illusion of the world. They are the end product of the ego’s plan to keep us mindless – unaware of our decision maker’s power to choose spirit and let the ego go. We think that there are physical, psychological and other forms of problems that demand solutions. Yet this is all made by the ego, a smoke screen to confuse us about the real problem in our minds.

“Complexity is not of God. How could it be when all He knows is One?” Nothing conflicts with oneness so there is nothing to decide. It is conflict that makes choice and decision necessary. The truth is simple; it is one, without an opposite. Truth makes no decisions because there is nothing to decide between. What is everything leaves room for nothing else.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Meaningful Purpose

If time and effort are spent trying to fix the world and not on learning how to choose spirit first, and then with spirit’s guidance ‘fix’ the world, nothing is learned, there is no sense of gain, and nothing is accomplished. An objective look at history will bear this out. Though much has been accomplished technologically, in terms of ending suffering and bringing peace to the people of the world, we have not progressed much beyond the caveman. In fact, given our technological prowess, we have actually learned to inflict pain, suffering and death beyond anything a caveman could have imagined.

Nothing much has changed. Guided by the ego, homo sapiens’ purpose has always been oriented to fixing the world, getting as much as possible from others and the planet, and not awakening from the decision maker’s choice of the ego’s dream of the world. Awakening from this dream is our only meaningful purpose. If I can identify with the goal, purpose and function of forgiving the ego’s dream, changing my mind and choosing a different teacher, my life, from birth to death, from the time I wake to the time I go to sleep, will have great meaning and purpose.

I will close my eyes at night with a sense of fulfillment, not necessarily because I leaned all there was to learn, but because I understood my life in the world is a classroom – neither prison nor paradise. I can rest easy with the thought that even if I had not learned all my lessons, tomorrow is another day, with a loving teacher who is infinitely patient. Thus I awake each morning with joy and return joyfully to bed regardless of the day’s perceived successes or failures, for I have identified with the only purpose that makes life meaningful.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Only Rational Choice

Choice is the obvious escape from the experience of opposites and opposition. Since I cannot hold two mutually exclusive thought systems simultaneously – either ego or spirit – choosing one resolves the conflict and lets the other go. I can’t expect to find peace, joy and love by believing in sin, guilt and fear. If I accept two mutually exclusive thought systems, which I do, then peace is impossible. If I identify with both and teach both, which I do as long as I believe in both, I am teaching conflict and learning it. Yet peace is what I want. Since, the ego thought system seems to be my, and your, default, being mindful and choosing becomes an ongoing, minute-to-minute necessity, a constant process.

Time, like everything else in the ego’s world of form, can be considered neutral. I can be mindful, give it over to spirit, and use it to choose spirit. Time and effort are useless unless I encourage my decision maker to use them in the continuous process of choosing spirit. When consciously engaged in this process, I see the world and my experience in it as a classroom, with spirit, not ego, as my teacher, teaching me that there is another way to experience things; reflecting another way of looking within my mind.

Experiencing the world as neutral and myself as responsible for choosing which teacher I will follow – ego or spirit – opens the door for my decision maker to make the right choice. Attempting to fix things in the world is pointless if it does not lead to changing my mind. Choosing spirit is the only meaningful decision I can make.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Non-Duality in a Dualistic Framework

The spirit teaches non-duality in a dualistic framework. To say that truth is possible here, in the ego’s dichotomous, dualistic, illusory world, is to make the mistake of bringing truth to illusion, to believe that God and spirit can be operative here, in the illusion. It’s not so much that they do not do things here, they cannot do things here, for ‘here’ is an illusion in the mind of the decision maker and unknown to spirit. Yet, in our right minds, when the decision maker chooses again, we can experience the reflection of the love, joy and compassion of God here.

But we must be vigilant not to confuse the reflection with the truth, which is what occurs when religions and spiritualities build a theology based on the reflection, not the thing itself. This is the elevation of form over content – form, illusion, content, spirit. A church or temple, a gospel or bible, dogma and rules are not necessary to experience our oneness with spirit. Whenever I seek for love in ritual, I want to remember this is a confusion of form and content, settling for the reflection of truth, rather than truth Itself.

There is no meaning in form and there never will be. Form must be recognized for what it is: a distraction; there is nothing so blinding as the perception of form. Ritual in the ego world is temptation. It’s intent is to distract us from the truth, to substitute something in the world for a reality not of this world. In our awareness of the real world, we simply say, ‘God is,’ and cease to speak, knowing that words are symbols of symbols, twice removed from reality, and meaningless. I don’t say God is something. You do not see God is anything. God, and my reality as part of God, is. Period – a perfect non-dualistic statement.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Spirit Teaches Indirectly by Contrast

Spirit knows no opposite, It is perfect oneness, now, and I share that perfect oneness, now. But here in the ego world where we dwell as bodies, opposition and contrast are ‘real’ and necessary. Perception works by contrast in the context of figure ground, light and dark, space and shading. This ‘natural’ way of experiencing, makes the choice of spirit seem to be the same as releasing the ego, because in the world of duality, choosing spirit or anything, appears necessary, because again, we perceive in terms of opposites. But really, no choice is necessary because spirit is all there is, knows no opposite, is perfect oneness now and I share that oneness, now.

So the world needs to be re-interpreted. Spirit reinterprets the world the ego made, when we allow it to. Spirit ‘perceives’ the world as a teaching device to awaken us to the truth of our shared oneness. Spirit, tho non-dual, must teach through duality because It must work with and for a decision maker that thinks it is not only dual, but separate, and in opposition. What is true in the reality of spirit, cannot enter here until it is reflected in some form the world can understand.

Thus, spirit does not teach truth directly, because we could not understand it nor handle it, but indirectly, through reinterpreting illusion and contrasting it with truth. Miracles come in an ego framework, complete with duality and contrasts. Miracles and the Course remain within the ego framework, because here is where they are needed. If we knew our oneness, neither miracles nor the Course would be needed; we would not be here, nor would we exist as bodies.

But because we do believe we are here as bodies, we must first recognize that this way of being is not working for us, that we are miserable, unhappy and want to see things differently, with spirit, not ego. So spirit contrasts the fear, misery and occasional joy and glory of the body with the wonder, peace and compassion of its Self. True oneness and love cannot be taught or experienced here, and no one in a body has a clue to what they are. Yet their reflection can be taught.

If spirit could talk it would say, ‘How can you teach someone the value of something they deliberately threw away when they chose the ego instead of spirit? They must have thrown it away because they did not value it. You can only show them how miserable they are without it, and slowly, bringing its reflection nearer, they can perceive how their misery lessens as they approach it.’

Thus, spirit teaches indirectly, by contrast, reinterpreting what the ego has wrought; not
judging, forcing, coercing or punishing, but leading, teaching and showing through our daily experience how even the reflection of spirit’s love and oneness, is more desirable than the ego’s fear, complexity, terror and loathing.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Duality and the Decision Maker

Once the decision maker has chosen the ego’s dualistic, dichotomous world of either/or, the ego’s concern, and the only threat to its existence, is that the decision maker might change its mind. To prevent this, the ego works to keep us in the world and unaware of our decision maker’s ability to choose spirit instead of it.

Ego wants to keep us mindless, unaware of the decision maker and unaware of the alternative to its sin, guilt and fear. The ego tells us that because the decision maker choose to live as an individual – the so-called ‘original sin’, it attacked spirit’s perfect oneness and spirit will come roaring back to reclaim what belongs to It and destroy us.

To escape the sin, guilt and fear of attacking spirit and of having spirit attack us in turn, the decision maker flees the mind and projects itself into the world of time and space in which it sees outside the sin, guilt and fear it did not want to see within.

The result of this is that the decision maker seems forever buried, hidden by sin, guilt and fear which are in turn hidden by bodily experiences in the physical world. In order for the decision maker to choose again, this time for spirit, it must first recognize its original choice for the ego. Spirit’s goal is to help us see the ego projections for what they are so we can learn that what we perceive outside, reflects what we first made real inside, then work from the inside out.

In our dualistic ego world, we think all things have an opposite. If heaven is real there must be a hell. Contradiction is the way we make what we perceive and think real. Western biblical religions are classic examples of the ego’s dualistic thought system. There is God and the devil, heaven and earth, spirit and body, good and evil, forgiveness and sin.

However, this is not the metaphysics of a Course in Miracles, which is non-dualistic. The Course teaches that perfect Oneness is all there is. Reality is not found by reconciling opposites – God does not have a shadow side known as the Devil. There is only truth, light, love – the definition of God. In the ego’s dualistic world, the opposite of love is fear, but in the non-dualistic world of our reality as spirit, what is all encompassing can have no opposite.

Since our self is born out of fear of love, and sustained by fear as well, this self becomes a creature of opposites, inevitably giving rise to a world of opposites contradicting our non-dualistic reality, and witnessing non-dualism’s seeming non-existence. But my self is not my Self. My Self is real, while my self is part of the ego’s dualistic illusion.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Time and the Ego Illusion

Time is but another meaningless defense my decision maker allows as part of its choice for the ego and against the truth of my reality as spirit. As a defense, time is part of the separated world that seeks to prove my existence as an individual entity within a body, a creature not of perfection and eternity, but of time, matter and space.

Bringing the ego to spirit is bringing error to truth where it can be corrected. Error is undone because the contradiction is so obvious, the decision maker can not let it stand. Error disappears in the light of truth, not because it is attacked, but because light simply dissipates the darkness.

We do not have to wait for some future time to have truth be our reality. It comes at the instant we welcome it by being aware of the contradiction and how much we do not want it. It is not that truth comes to us; we come to it. The still small voice is forever within and forever calling. It is we who choose not to listen and who have wandered away by choosing the ego’s illusion, forgetting we chose, then erecting the defenses of sin, guilt and fear to keep us busy in the world. The ego’s world of time: past, present and future, mirror the defenses of sin, guilt and fear. We are like the prodigal son, and like the son of the story, will be welcomed back with open, forgiving arms if we choose to choose anew and return.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Time: Another Part of the Ego's Trickery

So, spirit simply reminds us of another choice our decision makers can make. It does not do anything because there is nothing to be done. It does not solve the problems I, in my ego identity think I have, for that would establish the world’s conditions as real. My, and your reality, is as a part of the timeless, fearless, loving and compassionate experience of oneness and wholeness.

Our ego identities desperately seek to deny this reality, affirming the illusion of a fearful, troubled world is true. Yet, in the part of our minds at one with spirit, tho denied by the ego, and therefore barely accessible, the still small voice affirms our at-one-ment. Thus there is no distinction between having the perfection and timelessness of the Kingdom of God and being the perfection and timelessness of the Kingdom of God.

The ego would have us believe that there is a distinction between having and being, but our reality remains well beyond the ego’s control and outside time and fleeting conditions. Given this, the traditional view of performing good works now, in order to receive God’s rewards and gifts in the future, may therefore be seen as another part of the ego’s trickery. We have already received spirit’s love, we are spirit’s love; spirit’s love is forever, timeless and apart from time. Spirit’s gifts have been given and received and are not something we earn or pay for, but simply accept, now, in the present.

We can know this now, in this holy instant, if our decision makers will release the ego and thus allow spirit to shine through. “The thought God holds of you is perfectly unchanged by your forgetting. It will always be exactly as it was before the time when you forgot, and will be just the same when you remember. And it is the same within the interval when you forgot.”

Monday, August 1, 2011

What is Everything Leaves Room for Nothing Else

“The universe remains unheeding of the laws by which you [in your separated ego state] thought to govern it. And heaven is not bowed to hell, nor life to death.” Spirit our source, knows nothing of our insane belief that we have separated from it. This is a good thing because if It did, it would mean the ego was real and the impossible had happened. Indeed, building on this, the most comforting thought of all is that spirit does not even know about me as an individual, either. All is one to spirit. Of course to the ego this is infuriating and insulting. I am, the ego says. How can you doubt Me? Look about you, see how complex reality is. But to spirit, all this is illusion, a dream of a separation that could never happen, and has never happened. Complexity is of the ego, spirit’s truth is simple – what is everything leaves room for nothing else.

“You[r decision maker] can but choose to think you die, or suffer sickness or distort the truth in any way.” Under the influence of the ego’s dichotomy our decision makers can believe in our separated individual identities, but that does not make that identity real in fact. The decision maker is free to deny our inheritance and reality as spirit, but not to establish what our inheritance is. Tho we can identify with the ego and make it our treasure, that does not make it true. I can violate spirit’s laws in my imagination, but never escape from them. They protect me and ensure my safety and sanity no matter what I dream.

In my separated delusion, i can think myself very evil, fearful, hateful and terrible, and do many evil, fearful, hateful and terrible things, but my Self is always glorious and inviolate. Plus, what I do under the ego’s influence is only ‘real’ in the dream, not in fact. In fact, I am home with God dreaming I am awake on earth.

“What is unalterable cannot change. And what is wholly sinless cannot sin. Such is the simple truth. It does not make appeal to [complexity] might nor triumph. It does not command obedience, nor seek to prove how pitiful and futile your attempts to plan defenses…. Truth merely wants to give you happiness, for such its purpose is. Perhaps it sighs a little when you throw away its gifts, and yet it knows, with perfect certainty, that what God wills for you must be received.”