Posts categorized "Personal Development"

The world you see must be denied

“You do not really want the world you see, for it has disappointed you since time began.” You cannot see the world and at the same time see the spiritual reality. There is a choice: one must be made real and the other denied. One contains everything you want, the other everything you do not want.

When you allow pollution to come into your awareness—whether it be the fear-mongering of the government, the corporate media, the deception of advertising, or negative ideas and conversations—you are pulled away from joy, which is your natural state of being. What you give your attention to must not pull you away from joy, from an underlying sense of ease, from the state where there is calm and peace within. When it does pull you away, you can stop, change course, do a meditation, take a nap, you can do something that makes you feel good and then start again. This is how real problems are solved and progress is made.

Anything done, said, or created when you don’t feel good is a miscreation. All the ugliness of this world was miscreated by people who were detached from the natural state of joy within. All that ugliness cannot be fought from a place of ugliness, but it can be ignored in bliss and left to die.

I do not give any attention or reality to error. I do not debate. I do not get outraged. I am not afraid—for this would make error seem real, to give it power it does not have, and to pull me away from joy. Spiritual vision looks within to recognize and embrace reality, and my reality is identical to yours if you will do the same. It is our choice for love.

Our lives are shaped by where we put our attention. Find the source of love within, where you remember perfectly well that you are innocent and complete. Feel your positive energy growing. Stay connected to this place in all your thinking and doing, ignoring all else. The reality of love, the only reality, is the only power, the energy of life itself, which contains everything you want within it.

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The past takes nothing away from the present moment, and the future will add nothing to it.

The only dimension where everything in the universe exists, and has ever existed, is in the present moment.

Consciousness / spirit is still, unchanging, and eternal within the dimension of non-matter. Because it is unchanging and beyond threat, it is real. It is permanent and true.

Then there is the dimension of matter (stuff), which is also here in the present and eternal—but it is always moving, shifting, and changing. This observable dimension of form is only meaningful to the extent that we give it meaning. By “we” I mean our true identity as spirit—not as bodies and confused minds but as the conscious observer of the mind and of everything.

Everything is here now. The concept of past is only a memory of how the changing physical dimension was once positioned or organized. Thoughts of the future are only wishes, fears, or predictions about how the physical dimension might one day be positioned or organized. Again, none of this has any meaning other than that which we give it.

This realization has the effect of undoing fear. If everything is here, what can we be afraid of losing and what are we waiting for to arrive? Furthermore, if our true identity is consciousness, which is beyond threat, then nothing in the dimension of form has any real power to threaten us anyway, but perhaps with a bit of temporary discomfort.

But through acceptance and forgiveness—the embrace of reality without judgment—even life’s temporary discomfort is transmuted. After the recognition of reality, we immediately see that all the suffering and crisis—all the drama of life—it was caused only by a misunderstanding of reality. Reality is only joy, love, perfect health, and eternal peace.

The past takes nothing away from the present moment. The future will add nothing to it.

#presentmoment #presentmomentreminder #peace #joy #spiritual #ACIM #acourseinmiracles #inspirational #divine #universe #healing #happiness #success #meaning #life #philosophy


The world is filled with Scrooges

The Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol, is an inspiring story about a greedy, grumpy business man and how people perceive him in a generally moral, loving society.

When the spirits force him to witness the joyful, loving attitudes of the people around him...when he is confronted with real poverty and suffering...he is ultimately persuaded to fundamentally change his ways. He becomes kinder, more generous, and the community instantly forgives and embraces the new, improved version of the old man.

The story is inspiring, but it occurred to me in watching the 1984 TV movie version of the tale, that there is a fundamental flaw in the story as it relates to today's society. Today, poor families are generally not as loving and joyful as that of Bob Cratchett. Employees are not grateful or respectful to their bosses. Nephews do not invite their uncles to celebrate holidays. Kind words and gestures are not appreciated. In short, all of society is now comprised of Scrooges.

In the fictitious world of A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge is the cold-hearted, greedy and slightly psychopathic misfit surrounded by good, moral people with traditional, family values. Today, however, the vast majority of people think and live much more like Scrooge than any of the other characters. It is the joyful, loving, generous, kind-hearted person or family that is now the misfit. Such a person is rarely appreciated, at least openly and publicly, in a community where hearts and minds are closed like Scrooge.

No matter, we misfits can continue to shine our light of love, friendliness, kindness, and inspiration anyway. It is the right way to live, the optimal state of being in this dark world, even as we might dream of a better society.  

Scrooge


The ego cannot love

They say a perfect relationship does not exist. This is true for people who would choose ego over love. A perfect relationship is, very simply, one made between two people who have decided against ego and in favor of love.

The ego does not know what love is and possesses no qualities capable of responding to it. The ego response to perfect love is either to run from it or to distort it by turning it into what it understands. To greet love with a set of rules, expectations, judgments, and conditions is to decide against mutual bliss in favor of mutual suffering. This is what the world calls a normal, successful relationship. To justify this insanity, we are asked to believe that there is no alternative.

They say that perfect love cannot last, but I assure you that it can and does—not only as a lifelong commitment of partnership, but as an ongoing feeling of perfect bliss. This, the holy relationship, demands of you what the ego cannot do. It is, therefore, only the ego that must be sacrificed…and this is no sacrifice at all because it is only the letting go of everything you do not want.

When you have purified yourself from ego, and the holy relationship is established, then you are accepted unconditionally, you are entirely free, and always open and honest about everything. Can you accept everything about who your partner is and even might do? Everything? If not, you are putting your faith somewhere other than in your love. Unconditional acceptance and total openness is the requirement for love, and is precisely what the ego cannot do.

When I speak of this type of relationship; people always respond, “That isn’t for me.” What this response means is, “I value my false identity as ego more than my true identity as love.” But nobody is going to take away your right to reject love and choose suffering. It is your choice.

Make the need for control real, make attack real, make any rules and conditions real and you instantly banish love at the sad altar of ego. This is the recipe for failure in love because…well…because the ego cannot love. 

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What is the ego?

Ego is the need to be right, to be better, to have more—to believe that my group, my neighborhood, my city, or my country is special, or that my God is the only path toward salvation. As it is impossible to successfully demonstrate or prove any of this, the path of ego is a fool’s errand that can only lead to conflict and frustration.

Ego is that voice in the head that is suspicious of people, that has you attack others to make a point, that tells you to demand and take what it thinks you need. The strategies of ego seem to make sense, but never solve any problem and never lead to lasting happiness.

Ego is fear and paralysis. Constantly up and down. Stressed. Tired. Depressed. Jealous and possessive in relationships. Unproductive and uncreative at work. No fun. Always thinking about past and future until one day time runs out.

Ego cares so much about what others think, about what might go wrong, about what shouldn’t have happened—that there is this tendency to pretend that the present moment doesn’t even exist. And so in this present moment—the only dimension where anything real exists and ever has existed—those in the grip of ego hide away from human contact, they obey tyrants, they cut off communication, they pretend that our souls are not one and that our minds are not always in communication.

This sad state is, by far, the most popular way humans exist on this planet. Then there are the very few of us (and growing in number) who have looked upon our egos and decided against it. As strange as it may sound, and as much as nobody seems to want to talk about it, an entirely different reality is possible now—but only through the full escape from ego. Ongoing joy, no drama, no real suffering, no conflict—it is only a decision away.

What would life be like without ego


Healing is the recognition of the truth in things

Inspiring words are nice, but you can’t control your thoughts and you can’t force yourself to feel what you don’t. It is enough to simply observe your thoughts and to feel your feelings.

You can just observe your thoughts and emotions in a detached way, from the perspective of the observer—as consciousness itself. You are not your thoughts; rather, the one observing your mind. When you feel fear, worry, tension, confusion—you can try to just notice it, smile at it, or shake your head at it. None of it is real. This is only the conditioned, “educated” mind doing what it does.

In this mad world, we all have negative thoughts and feelings from time to time. False positivity is dishonest and unhelpful. No solution or progress is possible absent of honesty and truth.

Healing is the recognition of the truth in things. We can accept it and see it for what it is. This is a gradual process of undoing, and there is so much that must be undone. We can remove the errors, the illusions, the confusion—end the madness of all the world by honestly looking at it.

The way isn’t easy, but it is the only way now. We can try to resist for a little longer, but ultimately there is no path forward other than love. Love is impossible absent of honesty and truth, and inevitable with it.

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The master observes the world, but trusts his inner vision. (Tao Te Ching)

  "The master observes the world,
    but trusts his inner vision.
    He allows things to come and go.
    His heart is open as the sky."
                                    -Lao Tzu

It would be impossible to predict where things of this world will go. What any of it means is only the meaning we give it. That which is non-essential has no real meaning. 

What is essential? Perhaps feeling good? Giving and receiving love? Expressing yourself freely? None of this comes from the world. This exists within and flows from the inner dimension.

Becoming aware of that which is essential, that which is beyond the forces and situations of the world, is learning to see with inner vision.

This too shall pass. But in the now, we are eternally free to look within. May we do so with hearts as open as the sky. 

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Can you love people and lead them without imposing your will? (Tao Te Ching)

Love does not force anything upon anyone and does not restrict. It does not command, insist, or expect.

To properly and effectively lead others is only to love them. Love nurtures by providing a feeling of safety, comfort and support. Love frees a person to become the best version of him or herself. Love undoes fear, gives permission, and accepts everything about the person and the journey.

What reason can there be to impose your will upon others? It is not the struggle of your will; rather, the effortlessness of your love that provides everything wanted and needed in any situation. To value anything other than love is to misunderstand what love is.

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You cannot communicate by not communicating

Because of pride, sometimes we choose not to say what we really mean or feel. Instead, we may try to use body language, passive-aggressive silence, or even attack to communicate what we mean to say without saying it—and then we expect the message to be received and somehow understood.

In truth, nothing can be understood unless it is well-communicated. If you love someone, say it. If someone says or does something that hurts you, tell the person how you feel. If you are afraid to lose someone, be honest. If you feel lonely even while in a relationship, find a way to gently say it. If there is something you really want to do with another person, simply express the need.

Any level of understanding in human relationships is difficult enough to achieve even when we are being completely open, honest and accepting. But withhold honesty, keep things inside, or let another person’s behavior silently eat away at you and the relationship begins to feel unbearable. Resentment begins and now everything is a problem. Then, from this place of frustration and suffering, what ends up happening is that your behavior starts to appear crazy to the other person because they have no idea what’s going on.

Trying to communicate by not communicating doesn’t work. It is only pride, which is a pillar of the ego, that would have you attempt such insanity. True communication requires vulnerability. If there is a problem in any relationship, simply be honest about your inner world. Say what you mean. Encourage the other person to do the same. Now you are communicating, and any problem is easily overcome.

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I am nothing

People use the word “I” referring to a particular body and mind with a particular life story and situation associated with it. “I” or “my” is concerned only with the dimension of stuff / material / matter—the shifting forms of the material realm.

While I recognize that there is a particular body, mind, life story, and situation associated with this temporary physical form, it is not who I am. “I am” refers to consciousness / life / spirit—which is not in the observable, material realm; rather, is of what the mind dismisses as “nothing”.

The paradoxical truth is that something is actually nothing, while nothing is really everything.

We are talking about identity, and there is a fundamental need for a permanent identity. The problem is that we attempt to build one up through everything we are doing in the physical dimension / external world. Here everything is always changing, and all life forms grow old and die.

For to be meaningful, it must be permanent. That which is not permanent / eternal is only a meaningless situation.

A person driven by ego does not fundamentally understand this. Until we escape from the ego trap, we exhaust ourselves in a vain attempt to build up an identity that is recognizable in the external world. We attempt to derive lasting happiness through particular life situations or outcomes, but reality is such that it does not obey our mind’s desires. Anyway, the mind cannot know anything about what you really need until it knows who “you” are.

To spiritually awaken is to humble oneself to the point of saying “I am nothing”, or “I am” without adding anything to it. This is the recognition of identity / truth / reality—which is unchangeable, or it wouldn’t be truth and reality.

Now you can observe the external world and take part in it—but in a way that you no longer want or need anything from it. You are free. You can express and handle truth. Only loving thoughts and expressions are real, and everything else is forgiven.

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