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, November 2, 2014

In Defense of EGO: The Power of Zeal

Without any agenda of looking good and appearing happy and free, animals can be the best models
of ZEAL we can find among us.
I searched and searched  for pictures of zealous individuals for this month's post on "The Power of Zeal."  But the only ones I found, all looked staged.

So it made me wonder: Do we, humans, always have the "valley of the shadow" of darkness looming somewhere in the background of our happy faces, so that if we use X-Ray eyes we can see through the facade?

Maybe, I was just being cynical, thus overly critical. Maybe, I'd watched one too many ID shows, where perfectly happy couples, families and friends winded up taking down each other for money...for fame...for greed.

Perhaps that's the reason, hard as I look, I could not help but see, with my X-Ray eyes, just poses. So, I used the above photo of horses...looking untamed and running wild. Even if those, too, are staged, at least you know for sure the horses are wildly happy!

Starting with this platform as a base, i.e. humans do not really express Zeal, they just act that way, we begin to examine, in truth, the Power of Zeal.    

So what is this elusive power, Zeal?

Following Henry Ford's definition of enthusiasm, Zeal then should not be so hard for us to find.
We all approach our work, our careers, our lives, trying to walk through our days with enthusiasm. What then are we not communicating in our ways and our walk? Or, more specifically, what is blocking the total view of this unencumbered walk through life?

Fear of judgment.
Fear of failure.
Fear of not being quite enough.

We can build up as much enthusiasm and joy in our hearts for the project we have at hand. Anticipation of perfect and only perfect results, yet...when alone with our thoughts...

Walk into the beauty of nature, see the birds,  presented here by LaBioguia,
to enter into an untroubled life. 
We need to take a walk or ride through nature...enjoy a view of the birds. We need to go out and ...relax. Breathe and let go. Enjoy the flowers of life.

All these are great techniques for releasing stress and trying to overcome our apprehensions of not completely succeeding to the end.

Great techniques. But why do we need them?

We're not focusing on the moment at hand.

When we to enter fully into our work...our projects, getting totally lost in them, do we have time to worry? Absolutely NOT.

The moments of greatest joy all of us can point to are those where we were "lost" to ourselves.

So, we have to get lost to find joy!?

This is the crux of the challenge to our feeling complete joy and enthusiasm throughout life: we are unable to live fully in the moment, allowing the Spirit within us to guide us through moment by moment the work that is ours to do.

The ego always is at work...as is our mind. Working. Churning. Doubting. Fearing.

"Be Still and Know," The lord of our being invites us. Don't fight with your mind, as Osho, the mystic says in a 21-Day Meditation program offered by Mentors' Channel earlier this year (Access the program here: 21-Day meditation program via Mentors' Channel)
"Mind exists with your cooperation or your conflict…When you fight with the mind, you are giving energy to it…So whether you cooperate or you conflict, in both the cases the mind becomes stronger and stronger. Just watch. Just be a witness. And, by and by, you will see gaps arising. "
We're often also advised: "Whatever you do, do so with enthusiasm." 
Few, though,  urge us to stay in the moment of all that we do.

This is the true secret to expressing the Power of Zeal.
"I fairly sizzle with Zeal and Enthusiasm, springing forth with a mighty leap to do the things that ought to be done by me." said Charles Fillmore, founder of Unity, while in his 90s.
To be in our 90's and fairly sizzling with zeal and enthusiasm for life. What a goal!?

How to live life fearlessly?

Begin where you are.
(Here's also a link to Silent Unity's Fearless Living 30-day program that began on Nov. 1.)

*First, Gratitude for all there is currently in your life.

Be grateful for all things, even those that may not, on the surface, seem to be working in the best ways for us at this time:

Let Thankfulness become a way of life...not just something you do when something good happens.  Change your consciousness and awareness to realize that everything that happens in your life is working for your good....yes, even the seemingly "bad things." 
"We have thousands of opportunities every day to be grateful: for having good weather, to have slept well last night, to be able to get up, to be healthy, to have enough to eat.... There's opportunity upon opportunity to be grateful; that's what life is."
David Steindl-Rast, founder, Gratefulness.org
Give Thanks for All.

Next, remember, you're the co-creator of your life. You are steering its direction in every moment....with your thoughts.

So, think pure thoughts. Think positive thoughts. Think righteous thoughts. Think holy thoughts.

Remember, too, "thoughts are things," so they are creating your reality.

Let go, then sink into your task of the moment...and trust.
Don't give your ego a foothold in your life...other than to urge you to keep going.

Know which master you serve: the Spirit within you.

You are the vessel...the Spirit...your Soul is the doer, the master. [As much as we talk about the Soul being IN us, do you know WE are IN the Soul...the Universal Soul?]

Let it through.
Photo Credit: 1,000,000 Pictures. (As are two below)

"Just by walking into the unknown you create the path. The path is not already there; just by walking, you create it." 
Osho, 21-Day Meditation, Mentors' Channel
This may sound uncannily negative but is sound advice, especially were you test it for yourself: Do not share your plans or goals with those who have no vested interest in your success. Go into your secret chamber and pray when you have an extra moment. People, when they are steeped in their own unhappiness or sense of failure, do not want to see happy people around them. Your joy reminds them of what they lack, Osho says.

"Misery makes you special," Osho says. "People will find it difficult to be happy."

"That's when friends come to visit and console you." Those are the same friends, he says, who will be jealous of you when you're happy. "No one likes a happy person because it hurts the egos of others."

Photo Credit: Yehuda Edri
Even though happiness is a universal phenomenon and a habit of all other animals and species, Osho says, humans find it extremely difficult to be happy...as they must then walk alone.

"Intelligence gives you the courage to be alone, and intelligence gives you the vision to be creative. A great urge, a great hunger arises to be creative. And only then, as a consequence, you can be happy, you can be blissful."-Osho

Are you ready to be happy? Are you ready to truly enter into life, using your Power of Zeal?

Maybe, the next time I'm looking for a truly happy "human" picture of Zeal... I'll find yours...without the shadows lurking behind?

Happy Thanksgiving!

*NOTE: If you have not yet read it, I strongly recommend
"Thank You Power," the 2007 book by TV Personality Deborah Norville. Make it a MUST READ for your Thanksgiving 2014 holiday.


Sunday, October 5, 2014

In Defense of EGO: The Power of "POWER."

 Photo: Ancient and Mystical Order of the Rosae Crucis (AMORC). http://www.rosicrucian.org
"Come, step back from your close view of the obstacles that seem to surround you. Close your eyes to them for a while and create a new picture. Leave the past and the present out of your consideration and make a new life, a new day, beginning with tomorrow. Build it up part by part in your mind and in your conversations and contacts with those around you until you have a perfect picture of the future that is just beyond today’s horizon. Then step forward bravely into this picture; and with determination start your journey along the line that leads to your new life. You will find yourself master of the picture and of those realities, and you will find in it the greatest happiness and rewards, and every effort, every thought devoted to it."
--An AMORC Leader
The mystical insights offered by the Ancient and Mystical Order of the Rosae Crucis, with US headquarters in San Jose, Calif., are very empowering. Although not unique in its teachings on mysticism, AMORC still manages to put our everyday struggles and challenges into such perspective that their power is diminished. Having done self study on mysticism via AMORC for years, as we focus on the "Power of Power" this month,  I have chosen to highlight this small segment of the teachings. This is in gratitude for the perspective the AMORC teachings offered me as I moved along *my journey of self-discovery, and as I celebrate this milestone October 5 birthday. "Thank you, AMORC."

(EDITOR'S NOTE: Happy Milestone Birthday To Me! In celebration: I use gold, orange and yellow, my favorite colors, to highlight.)
Whether it is words from a mystical order of study or from a philosopher, such as Henry Thoreau, we realize there are powers within us that remain dormant until we put into practice faith and some of the other 12 powers we've highlighted in blog posts on Namaste' Wholistic throughout this year.

From Thoreau:
"If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours."
Many of us may not realize that this power of powers is always at work in our lives. But without the power of powers, we would be immobile for most of our lives. When we are faced with a challenge or obstacle in our path, we somehow manage to reach in and grab hold of that dormant, unknown power. (See this advertisement that highlights that power at work: Misty Copeland's Under Armour Ad).

From Tut's Universe:

"The absolute, most sure-fire way of physically moving in the direction of your dream, on a day-to-day basis, without messing with the 'cursed hows,' is living them, now, to any degree that you can. 
---     The Universe

Where then do we get this confidence to move forward, into an unknown future, into the seeming darkness, still expecting success?

"We just do," may be the simplistic answer. 

But knowing that everything has a source, those of us who have studied the mystical and spiritual know there is always a greater power at work.

"The Power of Power" is based on knowing that the consciousness  we are is the creator of all things and conditions in our lives and affairs, good or  bad. Through most of the spiritual information uncovered and taught by most prominent practitioners in the field, we know that our "thoughts are things" and through the power of visualization (creativity), we are able to believe and see everything we'd like to achieve in life before it becomes manifest.

By controlling the quality of our thoughts and visions, we are able to create the life we desire.

Now, seriously, is it that simple?

Yes. It ought to be.

Everything we currently are experiencing in our lives came from the power of creativity we put to work. "We achieve what we believe." 

Simple as this may be, it takes a lifetime for most of us to get our thinking right enough to create the life we desire. So many, many factors play into our thoughts: our conditioning from childhood, our associations and experiences, and most of all the teachings to which we are exposed from birth.

Living an earthly life, it is almost impossible to never let go of the connection to ourselves (our Soul). At an early age, until about age seven, experts say, we have this special connection. But as we go (and grow) through our lives, we begin to lose the connection, especially as our earthly demands set us adrift in our day-to-day.

It is beyond difficult to believe that we are creating our lives as we go along, when we are brought up with religious teachings that speak of a God above and perhaps one who punishes us. 

No one sees that man as a friend. So we try to stay away as far as possible, only making a connection when we want to beg for something, or plead for forgiveness and mercy.

How can this imposing figure we've been taught about all of our lives ever become our friend?

Ahh...but this is where, if we are discerning enough, we would see the truth: when we're not busy looking and scheming and plotting about how to "fix" the things we've messed up in our lives, an unseen hand seems to shoot out from "no where" to rescue us from ourselves..

The truth: there is no unseen hand...it is our own spirit...our own Soul...that finally gets a chance from us going to and fro in the world to take corrective steps by forcefully steering our course.

Now, that is the POWER OF POWER!

It is the spirit at the steering wheel of our lives that has to sometimes step into our lives in a bold way to avert a collision course for us.

The Power of Power, though, does not only want to show up when we're in trouble. The nature of this power is that it wants us to step back and relax into its truth... and watch it at work.

So, why don't we allow it?

(Photo Credit: Jean-Philippe Detervlle "L'ego vit comme un pendule qui oscille continuellement entre le passé et le futur. Pour le neutraliser, nous devons développer l'attention et vivre au présent. El ego vive como un péndulo que oscila constantemente entre el pasado y el futuro. Para neutralizarlo, debemos desarrollar la atención y vivir el presente.L'ego vive come un pendolo che oscilla continuamente tra il passato e il futuro. Per neutralizzarlo, abbiamo bisogno di sviluppare l'attenzione e vivere nel presente. JPD. English: The ego lives like a pendulum that oscillates continuously between the past and the future. To neutralize, we must develop attention and live in the present.)

Our egos... 
very simply...the part of our humanness that keeps driving us forward also often blocks us from our good.

Unknown to this "entity," called ego--also called by whatever name you're known--we are
 not capable of doing anything without the Power of Power at work in our lives.  

Yes, the ego drive, known by the name we're called, propels us. But it is the spirit within us, the Soul, always a silent witness, that goes forward to do the work.

Jesus knew this well when he said, "Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works."- John 14:10

Step back and see this.

Step back, as the AMORC leader urges us to do  at the beginning of this post, and take another look.

When  you do, you'd want to take a backseat permanently in your life...and enjoy the ride.

Chandon and Moet & Chandon
have long been my celebration champagne

Let the Power of Power, your dear Soul, have its way. (On Eagle's Wings on YouTube)

Remember this always: Your Soul is an individuated consciousness of the Cosmic Consciousness, the one Soul, God, of our universe.

As I move forward into another decade of my life, which has taken many, many circuitous turns as I've grown older and tried to unlearn most of my old conditioning, I would choose to have it no other way.

I leave you with one insight that has served me throughout the challenges that sought to upend my days on Earth:

 "Circumstances do not make the man but reveal him to himself." James Allen.

(Now singalong with me as Stevie Wonder serenades: (Happy Birthday by Stevie Wonder)  (Another from Stevie Wonder)

Now...let the celebration begin
with my favorite champagne. 



*NOTE-THANK YOU ALL FOR HELPING ME ALONG THE THE JOURNEY-I would like to personally thank the following individuals: Rev. Greg Barrette, teaching me how to meditate while at Unity Palo Alto; Rev. Stan Hampson, a master Unity teacher, Rev. Karyn Bradley, my most recent and awesome Unity teacher @ Unity Palo Alto, Venerable Canon Veronica Ritson of Trinity Cathedral of Phoenix, AZ,  for serving as my spiritual director during my time in AZ, for guidance and gentleness of spirit. For inspiration, I've also gained tremendous insights from OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Show, Joel Osteen and T.D. Jakes. I've also enjoyed many years' of spiritual study via Unity School of Christianity, Lee Summit, MO, and also through my spiritual program with Arizona Ecumenical Institute of Spiritual Directors, Scottsdale, Arizona. Without a doubt, too, I never would have made it very far on the journey without the works of many great spiritual writers and teachers: Dr. Wayne Dyer, Dr. Deepak Chopra, Shaki Gawain, Mark Nepo, Michael Singer, Gary Zukav and so many others, including the writings of Brother Lawrence, St. John of The Cross, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Therese of the Little Flower, James Allen, Joel Goldsmith, Neville Goddard, Unity's Charles and Myrtle Fillmore, Mary Kupferle and other Unity teachers who have passed on. I obviously also have to thank family members and friends, especially my Sisters-Friends Bernice, Berteley and Thenia, who have remained committed and steadfast with me throughout the l-o-n-g "desert" years. To you all, I say, "Thank You! I could not have made it to this age and stage, without you." Most of all...MOST OF ALL...I give the Glory to God, his Mercy and Goodness... and KUDOS to this determined, unrelenting Soul of mine that wouldn't quit pushing itself through, when I wanted to give up: "You are THE ROCK and SALVATION of MY LIFE!" 

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. So we'll take it from the bottom.

We first look at the basic building blocks in life, which physicists say are protons. These are the primary foundation 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 that we're all 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 connecting 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 in the middle of the desert, 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!

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.