Leo Tolstoy on God

LEO TOLSTOY ON GOD: "When you look inside yourself, you see what is called 'your own self' or your soul. You cannot touch it or see it or understand it, but you know it is there. And this part of yourself--that which you cannot understand--is what is called God. God is both around us and inside of us--in our souls.

The more you understand that you are at one with God, the more you will understand that you are at one with all His worldly manifestations."

Sunday, September 7, 2014

In Defense of EGO: The Power of Order

    Photo Credit: Hassim Haramein whose unified field theory describes mathematically how the universe has a self-similar structure and dynamic on all scales from the infinitely big to the infinitely small, how within each scalar boundary condition there is a holographic representation of the whole: an infinitely connected holofractographic universe... http://resonance.is/More details in Nassim Haramein's paper: "Quantum Gravity and the Holographic Mass" in the journal Science Domain International:

At the quantum and cosmological levels, everything is connected.

That's the theory of many scientists, including Hassim Haramein, whose work is highlighted above.

Using Physics, and Quantum Physics, to explain this to the average non-science person may be challenging. Physicists say protons are the primary building blocks of everything; they are at the center of every atom and therefore are everywhere and in everything. If we understand the movement of protons, we would understand the connectedness of all things, scientists say.

So what's the bottom line of all this to you and me? 

There is an order to everything in the Universe, even at the minutest level, and at that level and throughout the Universe, everything is connected.

That's it...in a tightly knit shell.
Photo Credit: Rosario Egovil Forttini

The significance of this connectedness may not strike us in any way as new information.
We're aware at some levels, we all are the same.

Just look at us: African, Arabian, Asian, Caucasian, Indian or other, we're fundamentally the same in the way we function in the world. We all need the same key ingredients to stay alive: air, water, food, sunlight, sleep, et al. The race or color of the person does not make the necessities of life go away. 

Purple, green, yellow, orange, blue...fundamentally...all things are the same.
 Knowing we are the same in our essential humanness has created the bonds we have when we interact with each other in our households, communities, workplaces, country and throughout the world.

Our humanity is the key that connects us. 
Yet, it is this humanity that separates us.

If, in our essence, we are aware that we must come together for our basic survival, somewhere else in our makeup, we're aware of our separateness.

The part of us that connects, yet separates us, is our EGO, which is all so very human.

Our humanity requires we have a sense of identity, an Id, an EGO. This allows us to evolve as individuals. But somewhere in the development of this Id, our EGO, we also believe that in order for us to thrive, not survive, we must remain separate.

So, many of us find ourselves sharing ...up to a point of necessity.
Then comes the separation.

"It's human nature," we cry. 

Yes. It is.

Are we then going to be relegated to the pits of hell that develop from our separation and our humanity?

Luckily for us all...there is that order in the Universe...that connects all things.

It is: Divine Order.

This reigns supreme throughout the Universe.

Just as the patterns are the same at the quantum and cosmic levels in the Universe, so are the patterns of our days and our ways. All is ordered in the Universe by this activity we recognize in the spiritual world as "Divine Order." 

At our essence, we are Spirit. This allows us to connect at our minutest levels, when our physical differences would cause us to separate.

This Spirit is the beingness of us all.

With this one spirit operating throughout all mankind, we should be able to stay connected at all times.

What then, is the problem?

Again...our humanity...our EGOs.

The activity of Divine Order then has to supersede the activity of our humanness and our individual EGOs. And actually, it does.

Throughout our days on Earth, we may individually plan our lives to unfold in such a way that benefits us and our families primarily in all that we do. 

Were it left to our individual selves, every man or every family would be for himself and themselves only. Yet, we know that this does not occur.

Daily, we witness acts of Compassion, Love, Sharing, Caring, Giving and Receiving.

These very acts are Divine Order in operation at the most fundamental levels.

But even greater acts than these occur minute by minute in our lives when we receive good or bad news and tend to be euphoric or sad. In these minute-by-minute occurrences, life is evening the score by Divine Order.

Were we to look at the patterns of our individual lives and those around us, we may see instances of tremendous joy and sadness,  successes and failures, periods of extraordinary accomplishments and voids...
Photo Credit: Lofti DK

It may seem unfair that certain people and/or groups' lives are filled more with joys, successes and accomplishments than others. On the human level, yes, it does seem unfair.  
"What about cosmic balancing?" we ask.  
"Where is the Divine Order in this?" we ask.
"Do not judge by appearances but judge with righteous judgement."- John 7:24
The life that may shine with all the wealth and the glory may have miseries untold. 
Still...give me that life!
"I can feel guilty about the past, apprehensive about the future, but only in the present can I act. The ability to be present in the moment is a major component of mental wellness." -Abraham Maslow, via Gratefulness.org
Yet were we to focus on our lives in the moment, instead of being trapped by past errors, past habits and behavior, and look only to what's in front of us to do, then we would overcome these instances of jealousy, envy and resentment.

By going deeply within when life overwhelms or troubles us and connect to the source of our being, we'd know that our Soul is moving inexorably on its path to good. We may not see the good, in the moment, but we can trust Divine Order is at work in our lives. 

We know there is order in the Universe, as we know it takes a baby nine months of gestation before being born. Yes, science explains part of it, but we know the truth that is buried within that explanation: something greater is at work. 

Release, let go and do the work that is yours to do...trusting that all is well.   

A lake suddenly appeared in the middle of the Tunisia desert earlier this year. 
Whether the water were polluted or not, people were intent on enjoying it. (Lake appears in Tunisia desert.) In other areas of the world, people complain about the rain. They want dryness.

How did the water appear and why?
Science, of course, may soon get to the bottom of this occurrence ...Yet, there never will be a full explanation of how, why, in a desert where bodies of water simply don't exist.

Divine Order.

Correcting and balancing those areas that need to be fixed....and those that need to be left alone...drifting along alone to its own unfolding.

Oops...it's a little off course, there, and there...let's fix it. 
A slight adjustment here... a slight adjustment there.

Do you feel it in your life? Do you trust it to tweak what needs to be tweaked and to let what is moving along just the way it should...alone?

Can you feel...the order...the divine order...at work in your life?
Happy Fall!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

In Defense of EGO: The Power of Elimination (Letting Go)

Photo Credit: Cryptik 
Elimination: The Process of Letting Go!

The beauty of nature. The simplicity of nature. The safety of nature, when everything else 
in life falls apart.
Can we take a moment to breathe in the tranquility of the scene above.

Who wants to write this man's story: Is he a spiritual guru? Is he a rich man taking a respite from demanding tasks by vacationing in the Middle East? Or, is he simply a man taking a respite from his daily travails?

We can only wonder. But the truth is the tranquility and peace emanating from this man in desert terrain
 are the goals we seek in our day-today lives: letting go and simply breathing.

We have mountains of concerns surrounding our daily lives: family, careers, finances, relationships,
 politics and short-term and long-term goals.We turn in at night with the bundle of these concerns
 neatly packaged inside our heads and twisted up in the curvature of our physical outline. We wake up every morning, and we pick up our heavy bundle of life's concerns to carry along with us through the
day.. growling before the first sip of coffee, not wanting to smile and say a simple, "Good Morning" to
 people around us... walking with hesitant steps into the day.

Life does carry with it a lot of heavy loads.

So many would tell us to "have faith" and that "everything will work out for the best." 
when troubles come. 

But life in its essence is simple.
Life in its pure state has none of the accoutrements we pick up along the way and carry as heavy 
burdens with us day and night.
So, let me restate what I said above about heavy loads: "Life in itself is self-sustaining." 
[Joel Osteen, the master teacher at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, once noted that palm trees are able to bend and fold with winds and storms, yet go back to their original form stronger than before. To support this message, Osteen cited, Psalm 92:12: "The righteous shall florish like the palm tree, he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon."] 

Life becomes complicated because of the attachments we form and the accoutrements
we add to it each day. Many people believe that they cannot survive a day without a 
him or her added to their essence and in their presence. Many also believe that life 
is not worth living without all the trappings of success: luxury, plenty and more, 
much more, than enough.

[We add the sauces and spices to life, great for adding flavor, but not
always required. Photo Credit: Rural Spin] 

These are great goals to make a joyous and happy life. But the essence of life itself 
requires  only that we show up each and every day. That's all that's required. 

If we pay attention to showing up and engaging in life and the flow of life, one day, when 
we look keenly we will see that we are also waking up each day  to happiness, joy, and peace.

Of course, we can choose to do as many do and short circuit the process by 
 dropping out of the compeititive lifestyle and enter into a life of constant state of meditation,   
or take breaks and go off into the desert. We also can choose to go off and sit in the middle of a  town square and attract passersby' attention .Then, of course, we would have to worry about police charting us off to jail for loitering. 

How can we then get out of bed each day, without picking up the bundle of accoutrements we 
carry day after day?

There are many good sources of advice.

The Unity organization offers a thoughtful and complete booklet on "Forgiveness."
(Packed in this 50 page volume, "The Freedom of Forgiveness,"  are sage pieces on many achieving peace and joy through forgiveness.)
"We are the authors of what we think and feel"...
..."Forgiveness is no longer needing to 'tell the story.'"
You can obtain a copy of this booklet by calling Unity Customer Service, 1-800-669-0282 in the United States, or writing to http://unity.org. Or by clicking here:
The Freedom of Forgiveness

Joel Osteen Ministries uses Proverb 23:7 (AMP) to offer this advice:
  "For As a Man Thinketh in his heart, so is he" 

"Every morning, you should wake up and picture yourself succeeding; picture yourself healthy and whole; picture yourself and your family not only being blessed, but being a bigger blessing to others. If you’ll keep the right images in front of you and always submit yourself to God with prayer and thanksgiving, you’ll see yourself the way God sees you and experience all that He has in store for you!"
Then, there's Deepak Chopra's Center in Carlsbad, Calif.,(Chopra Center). This
 powerful spiritual center  puts out myriad audio and video works on meditation, 
personal empowerment and expanding consciousness. Without a doubt, these are some 
of the most effective tools for helping you connect to the power within you. 
Practicing forgiveness, visualization, and meditation all contribute to the overall goal of  
making your life a joyful and happy experience. Specifically, though, the 
challenge of Elimination and letting go of unwanted attributes and traits from our lives
 is a moment-by-moment decision. 

We hear things in a moment that we cannot accept as truth about ourselves, we see people
 do things to us that are unacceptable and rude. How do we respond? That's when, according
 to Master Teacher Joel Osteen, we should "Hit the Delete Button." (Joel Osteen: Hit the Delete Button.)
Don't let negative situations and negative, rude people determine your path in life. "Delete." 
Delete what they said, and if possible, delete them, too, from your life. People are  
to say, do and believe only at the level of their consciousness. Don't let them rub off 
their negative views on life onto you. Delete! 

As challenging situations arise, that's when we make a choice to do the best we can, then "let go and let God" handle it. Letting go, in the moment, allows you to look at the issue rationally and do the best you can to resolve it. More importantly,  it does not affect your emotional state and can be dissolved before it builds into a situation that eventually would require forgiveness. Or visualization of peacefulness or meditation.

Before all those techniques, comes the practice of "Letting Go and Letting God." 
Cosmic Consciousness, God, is always present and always at work. Despite
 the negative appearances we may see and experience in our lives and in the world,
 Divine Order still is supreme. We are only one set of people inhabiting the globe in this
 period and time. We must trust that in light of Eternity, Cosmic Consciousness and 
Divine Order are overseeing the big picture.

 We should remember, too, that when something happens over which we seem to have no control: Life is NOT OVER! When we gather our bearings, it is then we must dig in and remember, WHO we are as children of God!

Letting Go is the critical first step: Know this in the moment! Know that your life is just a drop in the bucket of Eternity. There is a much bigger picture at work. Rise higher to get a better view. Then...Let Go!
Next, remember you are a perfect child of God: Remember this. You were made for this season and time...for a specific reason. The way you are in the world is needed and YOU ARE perfect as just you.

                                                Photo Credit: Directtanews.it

With steady practice, maybe, one day, people will look at you, regardless of the setting,  
and wonder like the top picture: who is this person...simply sitting still, at peace and at one
 with all there is...

Who is that woman? 
Who is this man?

Surroundings don't make the person...
All of Life is within YOU! 
Eliminate... Let Go...in every moment the things that do not belong.

One day, you may just give the simple answer as the Buddha (Siddharta) did when asked:
"Who are you?"

"I'm awake."



Sunday, July 6, 2014

"In Defense of EGO: 'The Power of Wisdom'"

Photo Credit: Akira Ota. A flying insect is pictured above. Insects, ants and others have innate wisdom. "Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise." Proverbs 6:6 

Knowledge may be Power, but it is not Wisdom
Many people, if not the majority, regard wisdom as knowledge. But can we get any further from the truth?!

If wisdom were truly for the knowledgeable, then most of the living species crawling the Earth would be vulnerable to death ...and extinction...every day.
God is Wisdom, which emanates to us from the Soul. 

Yet, these species learn to survive and thrive in creative ways that confound many humans.

The tiny ant knows to build its "domain" and stockpile its food in the summer, knowing the winter will bring only barrenness.

Birds know to migrate in different directions, based on the season of the year, for their survival and protection.

Photo Credit: Sociedad Argentina de Horitcultura
Trees and plants bend every which way to ensure they receive the best and maximum amount of sunlight.

Yet, these species and "things" do not have brains. Humans, like other higher animals, have a cerebral cortex, allowing them to process information in a logical way.
"Ants, like other insects have networks of nerve cells called Ganglia. Human cerebral cortex, with ten billion cell bodies, is by far the most ingenious cellular network in the universe capable of processing vast amounts of information...."- Dr. Chatatin on Yahoo Answer.
Swarming ants.
A Colony of ants

How then can the ant and other species know what they know to do what they do? Obviously, something greater is at work, providing these species with limitless "intuitive" intelligence.

Although they help, reading a book and, or, attending seminars may lead to knowledge but not Wisdom. This must be acquired!
    "We don't receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us." Marcel Proust
In the world in which we live, we celebrate those with the most information and knowledge, the most wealth, and the most of anything. "To Get More From..." is the aim of almost all we do, and aspire to, in this life.

Selected from best advertising posters
Look around at the more popular occupations, and you'd see that the ultimate goal of them all is "To Get More From..."
Selected from best advertising posters 

The more brazen fields are ...Advertising,
Marketing, Sales, Telemarketing, Collections, Strategic Planning...Yet, other seemingly innocuous occupations also have the same aim: Accounting, Finance, Teaching, Politics and others.
Telemarketing has to be one of the most aggressive forms of "To Get From"
Insects and other "creatures" and things do more than bug us. They serve some essential roles, especially in protecting crops and also providing diversity in the quality of our food supply. If you doubt this, see this photo gallery: "World Without Bees."

Why is it that most of us, humans, never seem to have enough and always seem to want "To Get More From..." simply to satisfy our own greedy desires? Very simply. It's our egos. 

We want more than...want "to get more from..." because we simply believe that more is better.

In Defense of EGO, we must accept that without this drive to want more, do more and be more, we would stand still, content with the smallest amounts thrown at us.

So, yes, our egos are our driver. But wanting more simply for ego gratification ultimately leads to a void within us. Without being balanced with our Spirit and desires of our Soul, an egotistical desire for more leads us to emptiness. 

The ego drive can be useful and honed to serve us and others in more meaningful ways through conscious awareness and effort. 
Sweet and delicious as honey may be: too much of it can destroy management of Diabetes 
This is where Wisdom comes in.

Wisdom is the reward for having walked a path of self examination and waking up to the truth that we're here on Earth for more reasons than to "get more from."
Money will come when you're not looking, and scheming,  for it.
Let Life flow through you...first.
We all have a greater purpose to serve here on Earth, beyond our ego's role for more. As we become more aware of this truth, we then have the challenge to consciously choose whether we will walk our humanity's need only for ego satisfaction, or follow the intuitive guidance of Wisdom from within.

This awakening is one of life's greatest gifts, yet it presents one of life's greatest challenges we will face each day. Those living an "un-examined life" often can be seduced by their egos into believing that they are doing what is "right, just and true," which is the way of the Christ within.   

On the surface, it may seem to be so. Our ego is a seductress and is smart enough to disguise itself in many forms, such as "I am a good person," "good Christian," "good Catholic."  Yet examined beyond the surface, we may uncover only a need for self gratification...and no other ultimate purpose for "doing good." We must pay attention.

The path of an "un-examined life," which has absorbed religion without question and sees spirituality only as a vehicle to "doing the next right thing," is subject to seduction of the ego. "Right and good" in the eyes of the world may have little, or nothing, to do with the journey of the Soul.
"And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."- Romans 12:2

To be honest, even those who are doing what is "right and good," vs. "right, just and true," may have a conscious or unconscious awareness of  "getting more from..."  Playing by the rules of Spirit and following the promptings of the Soul take hard work!

Writing our honest feelings in a diary is an effective way to help us connect within. Yet, we must learn to listen for guidance and follow it. 
If you're conscious of doing "right and good" only for its immediate rewards, then admit it and stop fooling yourself and others. But if having true Peace within your Soul is the ultimate goal, then you've got to face up to the fact that you cannot walk a double path. You either want "stuff," or you want "peace."
"No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and Mammon." Matthew 6:24

Photo Credit: Alex Wild. Ants building a protective wall around their space.
The ant, the birds, the trees, the plant, the air, water... don't have brains but know what they must do to survive. They want stuff; they get stuff...not by scheming and plotting... but by planning with the intuitive wisdom that comes from within.

Most other species know they must change form in order to not only survive, but thrive, in myriad forms of beingness. Humans want the same thing too... they want to "get more from ..." but don't think they must "change form" to do so.

Trees in California's Redwood Fores,
 located in Humboldt County.

We, humans, want to have all the riches in the world... be happy...live in peace, live a joyous and prosperous life, beginning to end... without doing the work that requires us to look at the world with new eyes: compassion, love, decency, humanity, caring enough to share. 

Air turns into clouds and survives by changing form. This is called "atmospheric stability. " 

Water turns into ice and survives by changing form. Plants and trees bend and twist and grow up and down, changing form, but still... surviving....and thriving.

But humans think they need do nothing...but continue on the same path...year after year, generation after generation...gathering more, getting more... and giving less and less to the sources of the universe that feed us.

We try to walk through life the same way with the same guiding knowledge we had from the day we came in.  Whatever intuitive guidance we would have flowing from within, we block it out. We allow our egos...and human greed for more... to rule, front and center. In essence...we fight our own, personal, evolution. 

As humans, too, many of us believe we must plow through everything in our path. We cut trees indiscriminately...pollute our waterways and our air, our ground and our groundwater...all in our singular quest for
"getting more from..."

"To hell with those inanimate objects.  Who cares?"

But we all should care... Should we truly, in our greed for "getting more from..." destroy the things we need for basic survival: air, water, plants, trees et al, we destroy ourselves.

It may not seem to matter now...but to future generations ...it will. (One Nebraska Utility is getting the message: Nebraska Utility Is Phasing Out Some Coal Units.)

Lest we stray, let's return then to acquiring "Wisdom." We must understand that wisdom is a journey, not something we can acquire by reading a book, or attending a seminar. We must know each day, we're offered new lessons, new solutions to overcoming old problems, and an opportunity to evolve from our old ways of seeing and being. To evolve authentically and to live truthfully in Peace, we must stay open to our Soul's guidance.
Birds intuitively know what to do to survive...and thrive

Birds migrate in flocks from coast to coast in different seasons
We can look around us at the birds and the trees and know that Wisdom... is a Gift of Spirit, like Strength, Will, Love, Understanding, Creativity and any of the other traits we've covered so far
and will continue to cover through the rest of the year.

The Power of Wisdom does not come from striving and fighting our way through life to "Get More From"... Wisdom comes from getting a deeper understanding of life by allowing the intuitive spirit within us to be our guide.

It comes from taking a closer walk with God and the being within us that is constantly there...our Soul...asking, only, to be let through. But instead of gracefully stepping out of our own way, we push, fight and grab.

So, yes. We get more... Then...comes the VOID. Life lacks meaning. 

So...we wonder...and wander....

Ants build their nests with protective walls around them.
We begin to walk into nature to ask why "Getting more from..." did not bring us the joy and the peace we thought it would. As we look up...we see a tiny ant...busy going to and fro, knowing winter is coming.

We see the tree bent a certain way.
 We observe the birds...migrating in accord...away from the clouds.
 We look into the distance, then, we, too, see the clouds.
We look down and see the water in the lake has turned to ice. We wonder..."how?"
"God Grant Me the Serenity To Accept the Things I Cannot Change Courage To Change The Things I Can And Wisdom to Know The Difference." -The Serenity Prayer
Are you willing, and able, to see...and also accept ...the difference?

Can you acknowledge the Power of Wisdom, as a gift, knowing, it comes from within? 

Giant Sequoia and Redwood trees, hundreds of years old, grow
in California's Redwood National Park. 

Can you be still enough, to differentiate between ego's need for more, and the Soul's gift of guidance to you to "change form" when guided to do so in order to become whole?

"Getting more from..." with ego's and our humanity's guidance is a totally different gift than "Getting More From..." with Spirit and from the guidance of the Soul. 

Are you ready to learn the difference? 
If so...the teacher, within, awaits you. 


Personal Authenticity: "To Thine Own Self Be True"...

"To Thine Own Self Be True and it must follow as the night, the day, Thou canst not then be false to ANY man."
William Shakespeare.