Being considered a professional is important. But most of us are 'old' professionals, not old in age, but old in thinking style and approach to living. Old professionals separate science and spirit and think in terms of either/or - 'you're either for me, or against me.' New professionals connect science and spirit and think in both/and terms. Please read: The New Professionalism: Connecting Science and Spirit, available at www.WisdomAtWorkUSA.com.
In yesterday’s post, I used the word ‘merely’. Merely
implies only, simply, just – a kind of effortlessness. But the ‘merely’
involved in undoing the ego and giving over to spirit is not effortless when
I’m myself and identified with ego. Yes, I have only, simply, just and merely
to give myself to mySelf. But to myself, this entails a great risk and even
sacrifice. When ‘merely’ giving myself to mySelf, I need to expect resistance
and remember to be compassionate with myself.
The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. As Lee
Lipscomb Hanahan wrote in the February issue of Science of Mind magazine:“Continuous surrender is required and our
culture is basically anti-surrender. We miss the monumental strength and
courage it requires. To trust, most especially that which we can [barely]
experience with the five sense, is to risk. We put ourselves on the line. We
open ourselves to hurt and shame and loss. Who wants all that vulnerability?
Only those who need it [and we all need it]. Surrender is such a relief!
“I cannot have a compassionate heart toward others until I
have one toward myself. I know I [the ego] am not in charge. What a release
that truth is! I just [merely] have to lift the second foot off the bottom of
the pool and float, giving in to The Benevolent. When I do that, I can walk in
compassion. I can be compassionate with myself and with you,” and give myself
MySelf always knows what’s best. Spirit plans for my safety
and joy better than I can. I can know this anytime I choose. I need be neither
careful nor careless. I simply need to cast my cares upon Spirit and receive
Its guidance. I merely have to undo the blocks to the love that is my natural
inheritance as spirit, and return to God the mind It gave me. Whenever I am not
wholly joyous, it is because I have forgotten my Identity and reacted with lack
of love. This is not a sin, simply a mistake, and mistakes can be undone.
The first step in the undoing is to recognize that I have made
a mistake and decided incorrectly – that I’m not being punished nor is the
world or anyone else against me – tho it seems that way, I simply identified
with my ego self instead of my God Self. I decided. I take responsibility. I
can decide differently, now. My part is to return my thinking to the point
where the error was made, and give it over to my God Self.
Here are some steps, some spiritual technology, for undoing:
have decided incorrectly, because I am not at peace
the decision, but I can decide otherwise
to decide otherwise, because I want to be at peace
not feel guilty, I made a mistake, not a sin
give it over and joyously receive the guidance I need.
When my hernia acts up, which it did a little while ago, or
I can’t figure out how to do a screen print or get the dogs to stop barking,
it’s clear that I’m identifying with myself, instead of mySelf. The hernia will
stop hurting, the dogs will stop barking and I will know how to do a screen
print, as soon as I’m ready to turn it all over to mySelf and experience it all
The more my ego yells and throws a tantrum like an infant
demanding its bottle – I want it! I want it now, now! I need it - the less I’m able to let go. I am literally holding those
conditions in place by looking at them the way I do. If I want the conditions
to be different, I’ve got to be
different. Having to have whatever it is now, is like saying, I of myself can
make a better plan for my safety and joy than mySelf can make. MySelf has given
me these conditions, not as punishment, but as feedback, feedback about who and
what I’ve been identifying with – ego – so that I can choose to identify
differently, with spirit, with mySelf.
Letting go and giving it all over to spirit, I can see
things differently and know what to do. So I gave it over and talked with a
physician about next steps for the hernia; realized if I lowered the shade the
dogs wouldn’t see out and bark as much and called my computer guy for help with
the screen print.
God is my Self. It is who I am. The truth of my identity. I
am part of It and It is part of me. It is the very principle of being and
becoming. It is the creator, and that which It creates – the process by which
the creative impulse become the created thing. It is always there, always on,
always responsive. If I identify with It, I get experiences of It – peace, joy,
optimism. If I identify with ego, I get experiences of ego – hernia, barking
dogs, frustration and fear. Spirituality
is about becoming aware of how It works and what I am creating with It – hernia
pain or hernia relief; sleeping dogs or barking dogs. Different spiritual paths
are simply different methods of becoming aware.
Yesterday, Dorothy White responded to my post on minority
control saying that one of the best ways to help people see things differently
is one-on-one. I agree whole heartedly. Mass media and collective action are
influential, too. But usually those reinforce beliefs and opinions people
already hold. But often – and this is true of the media, too – people are
unable to hear something that’s been there all along until they hear it said
the way only one of us knows how to say it. Each of us matters…more than we
know. Never before has the universe happened just the way I am or you are.
There’s an old Hassidic tale of a man named Zoysa who wanted
to be just like Moses. All day, every day, before he did anything he asked
himself, ‘what would Moses do?’ and tried to do that. Then one night, he had a
dream in which God asked him: ‘I already have a Moses, so why aren’t you
As I wrote about the T Party and Republican obstructionism
yesterday, I felt a little guilty. After all, here I am a metaphysician wanting
to practice forgiveness, inclusiveness and cooperation, ranting about my
brothers and sisters. We are better together. I know that. I know about how
gerrymandering creates safe rightist districts which in turn creates the fear
of being primaried. I also know how good it feels to operate from a place of
fearlessness and inner guidance and this frustrates me.
I want so much for my T Party and Republican brothers and
sisters to know this too. I want so much for them to rise above their
fear-based ideology and get in touch with the humanity they share with the rest
of us and see how much their ideological ‘purity’ creates and adds to the
present pain, discomfort, and discontinuity so many of their fellow human
beings are experiencing - that they need not experience.
What’s going on now, need not be, it’s self inflicted. We
ARE better together. Can’t we ALL understand that and work together to reduce
our present difficulties?Yes, we
can.Will we? Well that seems to be up
to a handful of ideologues, approximately 30 of them in the US House of
Representatives and 20 in the US Senate. Fifty people impacting the lives of hundreds
of millions here and around the world…. Wow!
Yesterday the guy who delivers The Herald drove by but
didn’t give me and most of the people on my block a paper. Today he delivered
two papers: yesterday’s and today’s. He wrote a note on the wrapper of
yesterday’s saying he was sure he delivered it, that I got him in trouble with
his supervisor when I called in the failure to perform, and he has to pay $5.
for each complaint. Too bad. There needs to be consequences for
non-performance. Too bad there are no consequences for Congressional
We are once again embroiled in a self-inflicted ‘crisis’
created, managed and performed by the Republicans in Congress, a ‘crisis’ with
no apparent downside consequences for them. While large majorities of Americans
and even some T Party and Republicans want the Congress to operate smoothly and
without crisis, that doesn’t count and somehow the obstructionists in Congress are
collecting rewards for not doing their job greater than the punishments that
can be meted out to them.
Who are the T Party and Republican Congressmen really
working for? Who are their real
constituents, the people who can reward and punish them? Not the majority of
Americans in their districts. Obviously there are no negative consequences for
being obstructionist. Obviously T Party and Republican Congressmen are being
rewarded for pleasing their real constituents, whoever they are. Too bad those
of us who disapprove of obstructionism and imagine ourselves to be their
constituents can’t punish them as much as their real constituents can reward
I’ve noticed that when I give an idea away I don’t lessen
it. Have you noticed that? Unlike a physical object which when I give it away
is gone, when I give an idea away I actually strengthen it. All of the idea is
still mine, although all of it has been given away. In fact if the person I
give the idea to accepts it as theirs, it reinforces the idea in me and thus
increases it. Have you noticed this? Does it happen to you, too?
This is the basis of spiritual technology. If everything
that we humans do begins as an idea, begins in the invisible, intangible
non-physical world—the spiritual world, then working in that world first,
working with ideas first is the most effective and efficient way to accomplish
anything. Makes sense, doesn’t it? Going to the source, the cause, and working
there has got to be better, more effective and efficient than working with the
This way of being and doing is a no-brainer in everyday
life. If the movie is out of focus, I don’t go up to the screen to fix it. I
get an usher and ask her to call the projection booth. We can do the same with
the bigger things in life: climate change, budget deficits, gun safety. What
are the ideas that make these things concerns? Let’s identify the kind of
beliefs, thinking and ideas that hold these things in place and keep us from
cooperating and change the ideas first, then pass legislation if any is needed.
Let’s work from the inside-out.
Spiritual technology such as mindfulness, meditation and
affirmative prayer—the kind of technology that allowed Jesus to perform
miracles, allows me to do this. When I take responsibility for my own thinking,
beliefs and ideas and determine how well they’re working for me and others—are
they creating fear, hate and blame, or love, compassion and inclusion – I can
decide which ideas I want to represent and see manifest in the world. Working
from cause to effect, from idea to result, from the invisible to the visible,
from spirit to matter is what spiritual technology is all about.
This morning because it was too cold out (48 is too cold for
boy), I was doing my Tai Chi in the living room as my wife did her morning
exercise. We got to talking about the Kevin Spacey show, House of Cards, only
on Netflix, about a majority whip in Congress, which we both enjoy immensely.
Spacey’s character is a composite of Boehner, Cantor, and McConnell,
egocentric, power driven and only occasionally interested in what’s good for
his district or the nation. My wife and I are both political junkies and follow
politics closely. The show lays bare the machinations, motivations and deals
that lead to legislation and its passage – none of which has much to do with
what’s good for the people or nation.
We were bemoaning this reality and observed that it had
always been thus back to the Romans. Rich powerful special interests concerned
only with themselves and not the nation or its people, have always dominated.
Our current disappointment with this ‘natural’ state of affairs is that we
thought we’d moved a little beyond it, that in America at least the poorer, less
powerful classes had a chance to better themselves. Clearly this is no longer
true, tho it was true once. The less powerful poorer classes are losing ground
as is the nation as a whole. We used to be #1 in nearly all the quality of life
indicators, now we’re not.
Why? Has the USA
declined? Are we degenerate? Is God punishing us? Too much sex, gay rights and
women’s equality? I think not. It is not so much that we have declined as that
the rest of the world has gotten better and caught up with us. This coupled
with our refusal to innovate, especially in the realms of spiritual technology,
and our refusal to let go of outmoded traditions like the filibuster and
subsidies to big agra-businesses and energy extractive businesses is holding us
After WWII, when the world was devastated and laid waste,
and we were the only power, our shit didn’t stink. We had no competition so our
inefficiencies and outmoded traditions – our shit - didn’t matter. But as the
world has caught up – thanks in large part to our aid and efforts, our shit—our
inappropriate inefficient ways of thinking, doing and being, has begun to
This need not be. Don’t shit where you live is still good
advice. Churchill said the people get the government they deserve. If we want
to see a better, more effective efficient government, more in line with our
ideals, then WE have to change and demand it. We’ve got to see our shit for
what it is – shit – and manage it better.We’ve got to seek the Kingdom first, use the spiritual technology that
has always been available to us and work with the complex interconnections that
characterize contemporary real life and use our best to build a world that
works for everyone. Realizing that if you always do what you always did, you’ll
always get what you always got, we’ve got to stop doing what we always did and
clean up our mess, turn away from it and be more about what we want to be about
- our ideals.
What if the Jew Jesus was not what he’s been made out to
be—the Great Exception, the only ‘son’ of God, but the Great Example—the model
the rest of us who are also the children of God, are meant to follow?What if he came, not to die, but to be
resurrected, to model a healthy beautiful life, not a fierce and horrible
death? What if we’ve had it wrong all this time?What if the good news the rabbi came to share
was that we all have the same spiritual technology available to us that he
used? Didn’t he say, “greater things than this shall you do also,”?
What if he was 2,000 years ahead of his time and the
primitive culture he was born into couldn’t fully understand nor grasp the
technology he used? Not that we’re so much better. Even now, as our scientific knowledge
of the brain thru scanning and chemistry and our awareness the body-mind
connection show that Jesus was right about ‘seeking the kingdom of heaven
within’ first - that we feel better and do better when we come from that place,
most people still seek outside themselves first. But hey, what can you expect
from people who still don’t believe in global climate change or that women have
the right to choose…?
Here’s something I’ve noticed; perhaps you have, too. The
more time I spend in the open, with few expectations, requirements and
judgments, the more I get what I really want and need.
When I have little history and am open to knowing that
whatever happens, from cancer to a flat tire, can be for my growth and benefit,
whatever happens is for my growth and
benefit. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. When I get my bloated nothingness out
of the way of the divine circuits, the divine circuits deliver results far
beyond what my puny ego could even conceive of, much less deliver.
Haven’t you noticed this, too? Cool, ingenious, elegant
solutions that come effortlessly, miraculously, that benefit all concerned and
harm no one, always seem to come when I downplay, let go of my history and turn
my aspirations over to Spirit.
Here’s an interesting thought: history would not exist if
the same errors were not being repeated in the present.
Hmmm…. Gives me pause. Very profound, but I’m not sure what
to do with it.
History would not exist if the same errors were not being
repeated in the present.
What that means to me is that if I live from the inside-out,
in the now, there would be no history. It would be all new beginnings, clean
slates, fresh starts.No baggage, no
shame, guilt, anger and judgment to drag around.Would that be great?!
If I had no shame, guilt, anger and judgment – inner ways of
being, the ‘same errors’, I’d have no history.
The inner errors occur first; I feel shame, guilt, anger and
judgment then seek an explanation for those feelings projecting them onto my
body, parents, the weather, teachers, and others who are not like me. This
projection creates a history. If I allowed the inner feelings to just be and
dissipate on their own – they came on their own, they can go on their own –
instead of seeking an explanation and projecting them out, I wouldn’t repeat
them in the present and would have no history. It would be all new beginnings,
clean slates, fresh starts.
This is the last excerpt. If you would like to reserve your copy of The Covenant and the Scrolls, please let me know. Thank you!
First, they had bathed her.Temple
maidens only a few years older than herself, naked but for jeweled loin clothes
that barely hid their clean shaven genitals and slid suggestively into the
clefts of their buttocks, disrobed her and led her to a pool of steaming
water.Betheena had never seen such
large quantities of hot water before. She dipped a toe in and drew back.The three girls waiting upon her
tittered.One of them, a lithe red-head
who she would come to know as Melka, took Betheena’s hand and led her into the
Betheena had never, ever felt
anything as satisfying as being in that pool.The girls stood away from the pool with their backs to Betheena as she
acclimated herself.Betheena had not had
an opportunity to study a naked person before and her eyes roamed hungrily over
the flowing, full curves the teenage temple maidens.Do I look like that? She wondered.
Melka turned, bent to pick up a
sponge and came to sit beside Betheena in the water.Looking deeply into Betheena’s eyes, Melka
gently rubbed first Betheena’s hands, then arms with the sponge.Betheena’s heart raced and she felt her
abdomen and genital areas turn to liquid.She groaned and closed her eyes, giving herself up to the other girl’s
After the bath, they gave
Betheena a jeweled loin cloth like theirs and led her into the presence of the
Goddess.Already in an altered state of
sensual over-load, when Betheena smelled the hypnotic incense, and saw the
bejeweled larger than life idol before her in the dimly lit sanctuary, she
fainted - flopped to the floor.When she
awoke, it was to a vision of the bare backs and buttocks of her sister temple
maidens as they prostrated themselves before the Goddess.In a few moments, when her head cleared,
Betheena joined them, prostrating herself as they did, in deep gratitude to the
One who had granted her this blessing.
After a time, as Betheena’s heart
ceased its racing, Melka came and led her to a dimly lit alcove with a divan
and a smoking brazier from which floated the same hypnotic incense.They sat on the floor.
“You are of royal blood,
Betheena,” Melka said.“A princess of Canaan.It is your
duty to serve Astarte, Goddess of Fertility.The welfare of our people depends upon the Goddess’ favor.If She finds favor in your service to Her,
She will bless us with a good harvest and many children.Do you understand?”Betheena nodded.“You will now dedicate yourself to Her
service.From this day forth and for the
rest of your life, you will come here, to Her temple for one month each year
and offer your body.You are Her slave,
Betheena, Her willing and obedient slave.Do you understand?”
“I am Her slave,” Betheena said
dreamily and sensually, her body tingling and undulating slightly.
“Yes.” Melka stroked Betheena’s
cheek, longing to take the comely virgin for herself.“Her slave.”She stood and reached out her hands to Betheena and when she grasped
them, pulled the new temple slave to her feet.“You will sit on this divan and wait, breathing in the incense of
service, with every breath, reminding yourself that you are only a slave, here
to serve whoever comes and commands you in the Goddess’ name.Do you understand?”
“I hear and obey,” Betheena said
“Good, my little slave girl.I am pleased!”
Betheena’s heart raced with joy.
“You will give yourself fully to
what is asked of you,” Melka said.“Trust the Goddess.She will guide
you.Trust your body; your senses and
feelings will guide you.Let your mind
be asleep.”She caressed Betheena’s
budding breast.Betheena moaned.Melka bent and kissed her nipple.Betheena moaned from the center of her
being.Oh, what sacred sweetness, Melka thought.Surely
initiating this girl could not be a sin?
“This is love, Betheena,” Melka whispered in the child’s ear; “sacred
love.This is how you and I shall serve
Astarte.This: what we are feeling now
is how we are meant to feel and how She wants us to worship Her.You shall never know a greater, more
fulfilling love, Betheena.You are mine
in the Goddess’ name!”
From page 22, Betheena, the mother of the Canaanite general Sisera who fights Devorah is introduced.
If you would like to reserve your copy of the Covenant and the Scrolls, please like this post.
In her royal suite, three stories above the Temple of Astarte in Hazor, Sisera’s mother, Betheena, peered through the palm wood lattice screening the solarium window. She longed for her son’s return, with a lover’s longing. And once again the pangs of that deep emotion bothered her. Such feelings from a mother for her son were not seemly. She had never acted on them; never even hinted at them. But ever since Sisera’s father had been killed by the Haibrus seven years ago, and Sisera had accepted the role of protector of the house, Betheena, had felt a new, deeper, almost sexual (she blushed at the admission) feeling for her valiant son.
When, two years ago, Sisera, then twenty eight had been elevated by King Jabin to command first the palace guard and then the corps of chariots, Betheena had felt her longing become tinged with worry and concern that sometimes bordered on pain. Sisera’s duties required him to be away from Hazor often, and though she was forty-four, with a comely body and the vigor of youth, Betheena kept to herself and was lonely without her son.
It need not have been that way, for Betheena was a princess of royal blood, being Jabin’s half sister, they had the same mother, also of royal blood. Perhaps the longing was in her blood, a thing passed down through the generations. Something she must simply learn to bear, a dull ache that was always present, sometimes stronger than others. Yet it did seem as if there had been a time, when she was twelve, before she’d spent her first month in the Temple of Astarte, when the ache had not been with her.
Even royal maidens offered themselves as sacred prostitutes, though they lived and served in the Temple’s inner-most courtyard, the one reserved for the great leaders of the nation.
Betheena saw a cloud of dust on the horizon, between the city’s twin guardian peaks. Sisera! Her heart leapt. Gently, she said to herself, it may not be he. Yes, gently. She studied the cloud for a moment. Her vantage point on the third floor gave her a good view. It was not a large cloud; probably not chariots, perhaps one or two riders on horseback or a small column of men on foot.
The sounds of the city drifted up to her and Betheena looked down. Across the street immediately below her were the King’s granaries. A small group of functionaries were talking over a donkey laden with sacks of grain. Tomorrow, when the grain was distributed the noise would be deafening. Behind the granaries, was the slave market, with its stalls, and pens and platforms for showings. Some few merchants were walking their human property around the stalls, exercising them. Once a week, in two days time, the market overflowed with the color, noise and spectacle of the very rich in their finest regalia, buying the very poor in rags. To the left were the public wells from which most of the noise came.
Betheena looked up. The dust cloud was dissipating. She could not see the great gate from her position, but if it were Sisera, she would hear his horse’s hooves on the street stones in a moment.
Devorah is a work
of historical fiction, based on
biblical, scholarly and archeological data. Some characters as well as names
for places and things are made up to support the story and are not intended to
be correct, accurate or factual. The relevant Old Testament portions are Judges,
First Samuel and Second Samuel.
One of my favorite
references is Chronicles: News of
the Past, Volume One, now out of print, which describes biblical events as a
modern contemporary newspaper would. The book is actually printed on newsprint
broad sheets to add authenticity.
The Bible tells
us that 175 years after Moses led the Children of Israel out of Egypt, there
arose a woman, Devorah, a daughter of Ephraim, to be a Judge over her people, a
prophetess and a righteous example unto them. The Bible also tells us of
Devorah’shusband, Lappodoth; Barak, the
great Haibru general;Sisera the
Canaanite general; Yael the Kenite, slayer of Sisera; and of Sisera’s mother,
Betheena. The Bible touches only the
high points of their lives. What follows is a more complete story.
The young woman
turned from contemplating the blossoming olive trees to face the climber intruding
upon her sacred space. So soon, she
thought.I would spend more time with You, Abba.
Dry wind lifted Devorah’s flowing black hair,
spilling it across her forehead and into her large green eyes. Arising from the
soft grassy place on the rock strewn hill, Devorah adjusted the robes billowing
around her.Lappodoth, the man violating her sanctuary, had only a few cubits before
reaching her. She sighed, warmth
suffusing her chest, heart still aching with devotion.
I am always with you, daughter.
She nodded, and
whispered, “I know.I am deeply
grateful!I rely on you so….”This
place nourished and nurtured her; gave her strength.It wasn’t the grassy knoll on the rock-strewn
hill per se, it was the hill within her: a place of deep peace she
carried everywhere she went.And, if she
chose - remembered she could choose - she was able to experience it
anytime, anywhere.Here on the hill,
with the crystal blue sky and windswept, puffy white clouds, choice was
unnecessary as she simply experienced that exhilarating contradictory sensation
of empty fullness.
unconsciousness, oh, no, but a fully-aware alertness, sensitive to the
potential in each moment.In this place,
she was without identity, not Devorah, not a woman, nor lover, nor Sar – a
Judge over Israel,
but just a being: a pure, effortless being and energy incarnate.It was the place God dwelled; was God.In this place, when she thought, felt and
acted from this place, all was well.Outside it, life was more difficult. “Thank You, thank You, thank You!’
she whispered.Gratitude was cause, not
175 years after Moses led the Children of Israel out of Egypt, Devorah, a prophet, became the first and only female Judge to rule ancient Israel.
by pagan Canaanites practicing ritual sex and human sacrifice, Devorah must
find ways to maintain the Hebrews’ belief in the One God and overcome the
Canaanites’ overwhelming military supremacy.
walks a tightrope between her personal view of the One God as a present, loving
force and the prevailing view of God as a distant, punishing power. She calls
the fearsome God of the temple and formal worship, the God of the Scrolls; and
the benign, loving and accessible God, the God of the Covenant.
story is the first in Steve Liebowitz’ soon to be released The
Covenant and The Scrolls series of novels based on these conflicting views
of God and its influence on the lives of Kings Saul, David, Solomon and other
Old Testament characters.
I found an excellent, inspirational example of the
inside-out first approach in a review of multimillionaire, teacher, publisher
Marc Allen’s new book, The Magical
Path—Creating the Life of Your Dreams and a World That Works for All.For Allen, ‘magical’ means inner—intuitive
and non-rational. He suggests that readers go first to the part of the book that
“calls” to them. In his own life, the magic worked for Allen when he turned
within. He says he’s inherently lazy and undisciplined. His favorite yoga
posture was the corpse pose. When he was in his twenties, he couldn’t hold a
job and was broke, out of shape, and miserable until his thirtieth birthday. On
that day he got his bloated nothingness out of the way and wrote down where he
wanted to be in five years.
He says there’s no pressure in this ‘magic,’ just the truth,
which is that the truth is within you. “Magic is the mysterious process by
which something is created out of apparently nothing. It is the process that
has created this entire vast universe with you and me sitting in it and
pondering these words at this moment.” The magical path is shorter because it
involves powerful tools for Selfawareness such as mindfulness and meditation
that can work quickly. It also involves failure. But since every successful
person has had at least one, there’s no sense letting the fear of failure hold
Go ahead! Dream your dream and use the powerful age-old
tools of metaphysics - the technology of inside-out: affirmations,
visualizations, prayers, mantras, mindfulness and meditation – to bring your
dream to fruition. “When the worlds you create in your mind connect with your
heart, you create what you love.”