Showing posts with label intermediate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label intermediate. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Daily Reflections, Day Seventy seven, Perfect moment when time has no meaning.

Day Seventy seven
Perfect moment where time has no meaning.

“The basic decision of the miracle-minded is not to wait on time any longer than is necessary. Time can waste as well as be wasted. The miracle worker, therefore, accepts the time-control factor gladly. He recognizes that every collapse of time brings everyone close to the ultimate release from time, in which the Son and the Father are One. Equality does not imply equality now. When everyone recognizes that he has everything, individual contributions to the Sonship will no longer be necessary.” ACIM.T-1.V.2:1-6

The end to time will be when everyone loves everyone all the time. That is a definition of salvation. Until the end of time comes, we continue to find ways of connecting with one another which we sometimes refer to as the “meeting of the minds.” Another phrase for “meeting of the minds” is  “kindred spirit ship.” 

A “perfect moment” which A Course In Miracles calls the “Holy Instant” is when we connect with another person to let them know what they mean to us.

What do other people mean to you? Are they your enemy, the means to your satisfaction, an object to be used for good or evil or are they part of your own being, a part of the Divine Spark, the Ground of Being, the Life we all share together?

When we recognize that the inherent worth and dignity of every person is a worth and dignity we all share, we hasten the end of time for it is coming to this recognition which is the purpose of life.

The purpose of life is to remember from what we have come and to what we yearn to return. When we all have returned to that from which we have come, time will end because it will have no more meaning.

Today, I will quiet myself, look past the endless chatter in my mind and relax into the Oneness of my Being. I will look for this non anxious presence in other people and try to connect with it. I will, in a loving way, communicate to another how much they mean to me and relax into a joint awareness of a holy presence which we all share and eventually will become aware. I will aspire to experience a perfect moment which is our natural inheritance where time has no meaning..

Monday, February 24, 2020

Virtue development, nonjudgmental attitude, part two - recognition of inherent worth and dignity

Part two - recognition of inherent worth and dignity.

Judgment is inherently dishonest because we are assuming to  know things which we could not possibly know. Truth requires that we recognize and acknowledge that not only are we ignorant of all that goes on with another, we don’t even know what goes on with ourselves. Our unconscious percolates beneath the level of our awareness and so we often are blind to our own motivations and intentions let alone another’s.

In judgment, we must admit when we are completely honest that we have deceived ourselves and lost our faith in God’s unconditional love for God’s creation. Our loss of faith leaves us in anguish, fear, despair, and guilt. We believe the old saying “Judge not that ye not be judged.” Our fear of our own judgment fuels the judgmental process where we unconsciously play the game of “one or the other.” One of us must be guilty and deserve punishment and it is them not me.

Judgment then leads to separation and divisiveness. We have given up our honesty and our faith and in this pit of despair, hopefully, it dawns on us, at some point, that there must be a better way. That better way is in adopting a nonjudgmental attitude and unconditional positive regard for all of our brothers and sisters because we recognize their inherent worth and dignity.

This recognition of every person’s inherent worth and dignity is the hallmark of the virtue of a nonjudgmental attitude.

Daily Reflections, Day Seventy six, No longer choosing to play the victim.

Day Seventy six
No longer choosing to play the victim.

“The emptiness engendered by fear must be replaced by forgiveness.” ACIM.T-1.IV.4:1 “Those who witness for me are expressing, through their miracles, that they have abandoned the belief in deprivation in favor of the abundance they learned belongs to them.” ACIM.T-1.IV.4:8

We always have a choice between the path of the ego and the path of the spirit. The path of the ego involves separation, locality, fear, guilt, anger, resentment, loneliness, and death. The path of the spirit involves joining, Oneness, love, forgiveness, peace, joy, safety, and eternal life. What would you have?

Life on the path of the ego is made up of scarcity and deprivation where we struggle to get more. Life on the path of the spirit is made up of abundance and wholeness where we are content and secure.

The path of the ego is seductive offering false promises from multiple idols which contribute to our forgetting God. Sometimes we even dismiss God thinking that God is too good to be true or we have been taught that God is judgmental and will punish us. This judgmental and punishing God is a false God promoted by clergy who would control and exploit those who believe their lies and foolishness.

The path of the spirit is offering the true God of universal and unconditional love. Access to the awareness of this Divine Spirit is through forgiveness wherein we are willing to give up making other people and things responsible for our unhappiness. We come to realize that the power of salvation lies in our own decision making mind. We can choose the lies of the ego or the promises of the spirit.

Today, I will take several moments when I am upset, fearful, angry, resentful and ask myself if I am going to make this person or this situation responsible for my unhappiness. Becoming aware of the stupidity of this attack, I will laugh, and turn away, and rise above, and praise God for my ability to choose forgiveness rather than to feel like a victim.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Daily Reflections, Day Seventy Five, The restoration of my birthright.

Day Seventy five
The restoration of my birthright.

“Darkness is the lack of light as sin is the lack of love. It has no unique properties of its own. It is an example of the ‘scarcity’ belief, from which only error can proceed. Truth is always abundant. Those who perceive and acknowledge that they have everything have no needs of any kind. The purpose of the Atonement is to restore everything to you; or rather, to restore it to your awareness. You were given everything when you were created, just as everyone was.” ACIM.T-1.IV.3”1-7

Sometimes we feel and think that we are in the dark, or that other people or circumstances are keeping us in the dark. We intuit that there are things we should know that we don’t know, that the truth is not being told or made clear. We sense that there is a hidden agenda, that we are being manipulated, that there are covert schemes and strategies influencing our lives in ways that are nefarious. We worry whether we are being cheated on, betrayed, marginalized, silenced, exploited, taken for granted.

We may be led to believe that we are giving our consent to these schemes but the consent we give is not informed consent, but rather disingenuous. We have learned that the ego lies. The path of the ego is constructed of conniving, deceit, and exploitation.

We engage in games of cops and robbers, cat and mouse, where we attempt to ferret out the truth and play NIGYSOB, Now I’ve Got You, You Son Of A Bitch. Is this how we want to live our lives on the path of the ego playing games?

We come to the point where it dawns on us that there must be a better way. And what is that better way? We go in search and the search takes us to many places and on many journeys which if we are patient and persevere all wind up eventually in the same place. That place where the spiritual life takes us is to the Atonement, the rejection of the separation and the acknowledgment and acceptance of the Oneness from which we have all separated.

Today, I will give up living in the darkness of the ego and move toward the light. I will turn away from the sins of the ego which sow separation and divisiveness and move toward an alliance with the Oneness of God. I will willingly remember and restore an awareness of my birthright, which is Love.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Daily Reflections, Day Seventy four, The appreciation in which I can rest.

Day Seventy four
The appreciation in which I can rest.

“Your mind can be possessed by illusions, but spirit is eternally free. If a mind perceives without love, it perceives an empty shell and is unaware of the spirit within. But the Atonement restories spirit to its proper place. The mind that serves spirit is invulnerable.” ACIM.T-1.IV.2:8-11

As Carl Jung taught us, the psyche has a shadow side. Every person has one. Usually the shadow is unconscious and is made up of illusions like a bad dream which we unknowing project onto the world. Usually these projections are what we fear and hate the most.

Holden Caufield, in The Catcher In The Rye, called it the “Big Lie”. The Big Lie is the illusion that the ego would have us believe is real. The Big Lie excludes Unconditional Love and is based on fear and guilt and tells us we live in a world of “one or the other” and we “give to get.” Everything is conditional and is a zero sum game based on scarcity. If a person believes what society has told them, they live in an empty shell and are unaware of the holiness beneath it which is their natural inheritance.

Once a person sees through the game, though, and realizes there must be more, and that there is a better way to live and move through life, they come to understand the Oneness from which we have separated ourselves and see the ground of their being which pervades all of life in a cosmic harmony. Once this enlightenment occurs, the mind, the psyche is invulnerable.

Today, I will reflect on my experience and look behind the curtain of the Big Lie. I will settle into the Ground of Being and let the idols of the ego go. I will realize that the ego hell that I have been taught I am living in is not real. I will appreciate that the Oneness of my being is invulnerable and in this appreciation I will rest in peace and bliss..

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Daily Reflections, Day Seventy two, Telling secrets is a path to liberation.

Day Seventy two
Telling our secrets is a path to liberation

“The escape from darkness involves two statges: First, the recognition that darkness cannot hide. This step usually entails fear. Second, the recognition that there is nothing you want to hide even if you could. This step brings escape from fear. When you have become willing to hide nothing, you will not only be willing to enter into communion but will also understand peace and joy.” ACIM.T-1.IV.1:1-5

So much of our perceptions and feelings are shame based. We live in great fear that what we believe is our innate defectiveness and inadequacy will be discovered. We learned as children that we must behave properly so that people will approve of us and not punish or reject us.

As we mature, we realize that this false facade, this fake self, takes great effort and stress to maintain. At times anxiety and depression overtake us, and we “break down,” and find ourselves doing things we would not do, and not doing things that we think we should do. Freud called this behavior, “acting out.” Our symptomatic and dysfunctional behavior is generated by unconscious thoughts and feelings that we are not consciously aware of. This leads to confusion and distress.

To look into the unconscious is scary and is often avoided, but when we become curious about what makes us tick and are willing to examine our lives, we begin to realize that there really is nothing we want to hide any longer and we decide to live our lives in more transparent and open hearted ways. It is in exploring the unconscious that we come to realize that there was nothing to fear to begin with and a great peace and joy ascend into our consciousness.

Today, I will identify a few of my secrets and identify someone I can tell them to. This unburdening will provide a liberation and relief that generates peace and joy that the risk of disclosure comes to be seen as very worthwhile. I will come to understand that telling my secrets is the path to liberation.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Virtue development, faith, part six - getting home depends on the path we choose.

After the dark night of the soul when we are consumed with our seeming loss of faith and being forsaken by that in which we have put our faith, we finally let go of our whole ego world and become One with that from which we separated ourself. We finally experience peace and bliss. It is in the emptying of our ego self that we are able to experience our transcendent Self which is One with everything..

Few people achieve this. Even Jesus says in Matthew 27:46 as He is being crucified, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus is talking about his bodily self. For after this cry of anguish, his spirit is resurrected when he says in Luke 23:46, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”

And so, our ego self seems forsaken, but our Spirit is eternal and triumphs in Love. This is the bottom line in faith: do you believe things turn out alright in the end and are completed as they should or do you believe things will be destroyed and go to hell? The way of the ego frightens us with hell, and the Spirit promises us glory. The virtue of faith is exemplified by which path we choose. 

Climate justice - Speaking up, organizing, voting, boycotting, taking systemic action

But it also isn’t necessary for Westerners to adopt the lifestyle of the global poor. Seventy percent of the energy produced by the planet, it’s estimated, is lost as waste heat. If the average American were confined by the carbon footprint of her European counterpart, U.S. carbon emissions would fall by more than half. If the world’s richest 10 percent were limited to that same footprint, global emissions would fall by a third. And why shouldn’t they be? Almost as a prophylactic against climate guilt, as the news from science has grown bleaker, Western liberals have comforted themselves by contorting their own consumption patterns into performances of moral or environmental purity—less beef, more Teslas, fewer transatlantic flights. But the climate calculus is such that individual lifestyle choices do not add up to much, unless they are scaled by politics. America’s rump climate party aside, that scaling should not be impossible, once we understand the stakes. In fact, the stakes mean, it must not be.

Wallace-Wells, David. The Uninhabitable Earth (pp. 33-34). Crown/Archetype. Kindle Edition.

Turning off the lights in an empty room, recycling, setting your air conditioning to 76 degrees, collecting rain water in barrels to water your garden, giving up your Big Macs are good ideas but pissing in the ocean, farting in a huricane. The real answer to adequately addressing carbon emissions and climate warming are poltical and Americans elected a President and a Republical congress who are climate change deniers and pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Accords and brashly promote coal jobs and fossil fuel drilling.

If people spent their time and effort in organizing, voting, boycotting, and demonstrating and gettng climate justice and responsible people into policy making positions, real change could occur but alas Americans don't vote in large numbers, they are politically illiterate when it comes to most policies, they blindly vote the party line, and they believe the misinformation and propaganda which corporate media wants them to believe in spirte of the facts.

Unitarian Univeralists, we would like to believe, are more informed and principle based. They covenant together to affirm and promote the respect for the interdependent web, and for justice, equity, and compassion in human relations, but then you got to wonder whether their voting and advocacy efforts would back up their lip service? UUs are "nice" people, but not known for their toughness, their moral convictions. They have a reputation for standing for nothing and having a faith, poorly defined, and easily dismissed.

Could UUs be the yeast in the dough, the salt of the earth, the spark plug for a societal transformation from fossil fuels to renewable energy? Only if they get serious about applying their principles in their poltical lives. Hopefully, they will step up and start making a difference.

Daily Reflections, Day Seventy, What is the way to the Kingdom?

Day Seventy
What is the way to the Kingdom?

“‘No man cometh unto the Father but by me’ does not mean that I am in any way separate or different from you except in time, and time does not really exist. The statement is more meaningful in terms of a vertical rather than a horizontal axis. You stand below me and I stand below God. In the process of ‘rising up,’ I am higher because without me the distance between God and man would be too great for you to encompass. I bridge the difference as an elder brother to you on the one hand, and as a Son of God on the other. My devotion to my brothers has placed me in charge of the Sonship, which I render complete because I share it.” ACIM.T-1.II.4:1-6

There are many paths to the Oneness with God: Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Judaism, Christianity, Earth Centered religions, Humanism, Philosophy, Psychology, etc. Jesus tells us that He is the same as us. The only difference is that He is enlightened, what some faith traditions name an “enlightened master” and as such is a guide, an older brother, whose teachings and example we can use as a bridge to shed our egos and achieve Oneness with the Ground of Being.

We can learn a lot from Jesus, Buddha, Lao Tse, Osho, and many prophetic witnesses to the realm of the Spirit which is our first and last home.

Most of us struggle to remember that Oneness from which we separated ourselves and emerged into this illusionary world of the ego. It is a world of hell we have entered when we left the Kingdom. Jesus and the enlightened masters teach us about our true home and how to return there.

When Jesus says that no person returns to the Father except as He has done, He is not meaning that He is the only way, but that the way, giving up the world of the ego and choosing the way of the Spirit, Love, is the only way.

Separation will not get us there, but joining and becoming One with the Body of Christ is a possible path which Jesus has taught us if only we will learn and practice the lesson.

Today, I will reflect on Jesus’ statement that the way to the Kingdom is to “love as I have loved,” and will ask, when I am called on to make a decision which will be several times today, “What would love have me do?” WWLD

Monday, February 17, 2020

Daily Reflections, Day Sixty nine, Renewing faith in the kingdom of the Spirit.

Day Sixty nine
Renewing faith in the kingdom of the Spirit.

 “Be grateful to return, as you were glad to go an instant, and accept the gifts that grace provided you. You carry them back to yourself. And revelation stands not far behind. Its coming is ensured. We ask for grace, and for experience that comes from grace. We welcome the release it offers everyone..” ACIM.W-169.14:1-6

Every now and then, if we are alert to it, we get a glimpse of the transcendent. We intuit that there is something beyond. In A Course In Miracles such glimpses are called “Holy Instants.”

When we experience a Holy Instant we are touched by grace and we feel blessed. The peace and bliss may be momentary or several seconds or perhaps even a few minutes. When we experience this grace, we know what lies beyond and our life begins to change. A mature innocence begins to emerge and as Jesus said, unless you become as little children you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.

Today, I will take some time to reflect on my experience of Holy Instants I have experienced. I will express gratitude for the awareness they have provided that there is something more and a better way than what the path of the ego has to offer. I will renew my faith in the kingdom of the Spirit.

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