Principle 3 – The most promising method of securing a virtuous people is to elect virtuous leaders.

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“Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt. He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of his country who tries most to promote its virtue, and who … will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man.” – Samuel Adams

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The other day I was watching CNN and the commentators were talking about how we are more forgiving of the Hollywood Celebrities indiscretions, than we are of our representatives in Washington. The idea that we compare our Hollywood Celebrities with our those in whose trust we place our lives says it all. The media has turned us into mindless sheep. We believe what we see on the boob tube. We are a nation that has become lazy, fat, and uneducated. And the politicians, advertisers, bankers and everyone else who wants our money or our votes – love us that way.

We do not seek virtue or honesty in our leaders, how could we? We no longer seriously value it in ourselves. We placed virtue and morals into the category of things to which we aspire. If we were educated, or, if we did have moral and virtuous leaders in Washington, leaders who were there as public servants for no reason other than to best represent the needs of the American people, we would not have a healthcare problem. If we had the type of representatives that our founding fathers were, and intended us to have, no corporation or banking institution could ever get away with any actions that were not in the best interest of the Citizens of the country. There would be no lobbyists in Washington if this was the American of our founding fathers. There would be no interest that stood between our representatives and us. Those who ran for office would do so for the same reason as one who joins the peace corp., to serve the greater good, as a calling. Our founding fathers considered politics a Divine Science, in this country it was a calling from God and they treated it, at great expense to themselves, as such.

Today, with the problems existing in healthcare, it has been said that if there is no great profit in medicine, we will no longer have doctors. This is insane. There have always been doctors or healers as far back as history. Once, to be a healer was a spiritual calling. Later, although not spiritual, it was still a calling to heal. If being a doctor were no longer a high paying career, there would be a different kind of doctor practicing medicine. A doctor would be one who felt a calling in his heart to heal. This is no different from any other calling. We see our soldiers who serve their country for little pay. There are police and firefighters who find it their calling to serve and protect, some come from generations with the same calling. Teachers are called to educate the young leaders and citizens of the future for so little money it is shameful, but still – they teach.

Ministers, who  generally make only enough to live on, still feel called to serve God and His children. There is no shortage, regardless of what we want to believe, of men and women who feel the need to be of service to their fellow human beings. John and Samuel Adams both sacrificed their fortunes to serve in public office. George Washington did not take the pay for his position as President, although his plantation had been wiped out by the Revolutionary war. The founding fathers believed that one of the most important pillars of the Constitution was the virtue of those who would be elected to enforce it.

Imagine for a moment, that teachers were elected. In order for the voters to know what the teacher was about, she would need to pay for TV time and advertising to reach the people and get the votes. This would cost money. So, the teacher of your children would have to make deals with whoever had the money to pay for the exposure necessary to be elected. This would mean that if they wanted to be elected for another year, they would have no choice but to teach your children what their contributors wanted taught. Regardless of how well meaning the teacher was initially, it would no longer be feasible for a teacher to take what was best for your children into account. The only thing that the teacher would worry about was teaching your children in a way that pleased whoever had to be pleased to raise the funds for the next election. The founding fathers knew the dangers of corporate involvement.

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“Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains. Thomas Jefferson

The way that you would feel about the education of your children being determined by whoever chose to pay for the means to be elected, is the way that our founding fathers felt about those who were chosen to represent the people in Washington. They believed very deeply that there should be no monetary incentive to become a public servant, and that is what our congressmen are, public servants. Not only our congressional representatives, but also our governors, mayors, council members, and all officials elected to represent our interests. Those who served after the signing of the Constitution did so as a sacred calling. The founding fathers did not consider these principles to be simply ‘good ideas’, they considered these principles to be the mortar that held the bricks of the Republic together. Self-government requires virtuous citizens and then virtuous leaders. Trusting men and or women to represent us in Washington, or even in our local city hall is much worse, and more profoundly destructive than leaving a gang of thieves to guard our most prized possessions. And what is more valuable than one’s life and liberty? Yet, we know that long before our representatives reach the polls, they have been forced to sell their services to corporations or special interests in order to even be considered for election.

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“History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling the money and its issuance.”
“There are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the of the people by the gradual and silent encroachment of those in power, than by violent an sudden usurpation.”
James Madison

The founding fathers believed that limiting the term of our Congressional Representatives to two years, would guarantee that if they were overcome by greed or some form of self-interest or corruption, the people could vote them out of office before they had enough time to hurt the country. However, with the system as it is today, that two year limit means that they have less time to prove to their benefactors that they are valuable enough to reinvest in. There is no time, or room, for the best interest of the people – therefore, what is best for the corporations and for the special interests is sold to us as what is best for the people.

Thomas Jefferson stated that there was what he called a “Natural Aristocracy”. This Natural Aristocracy was one that existed through a wealth of virtue, and talent. He was accustomed to what he considered the “Artificial Aristocracy”, founded on wealth or station of birth, lacking in virtue or talent, which, controlled the governing of European countries. He, as did all of our founding fathers, believed that in order to our Republic to remain strong in its service to its people, the rulers must be of the Natural Aristocracy and not the artificial one.

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“For I agree with you that there is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talents. Formerly bodily powers gave place among the aristoi. But since the invention of gunpowder has armed the weak as well as the strong with missile death, bodily strength, like beauty, good humor, politeness and other accomplishments, has become but an auxiliary ground of distinction. There is also an artificial aristocracy founded on wealth and birth, without either virtue or talents; for with these it would belong to the first class. The natural aristocracy I consider as the most precious gift of nature for the instruction, the trusts, and government of society. And indeed it would have been inconsistent in creation to have formed man for the social state, and not to have provided virtue and wisdom enough to manage the concerns of the society. May we not even say that that form of government is the best which provides the most effectually for a pure selection of these natural aristoi into the offices of government? The artificial aristocracy is a mischievous ingredient in government, and provision should be made to prevent it’s ascendancy.” Thomas Jefferson to John Adams

It all makes such sense, and, we will not reach back to these principles through design, because we are all too consumed by the material world and the overwhelming task of freeing our legislature from the tentacles of greed. This cancer has grown too large and is too incorporated in our system to extract it. So, the patient, the material, capitalist nation that we have grown to know and depend upon will die. So that the Republic, the nation that our forefathers founded under Divine Inspiration can be reborn from the ashes – like the phoenix.

Happiness Is Knowing When We Have Enough


More or less is never enough, but enough is always enough.
No one who has enough is ever unhappy. Most of us actually have enough to be content right in front of us, but as we are programmed, we are not looking there to find it. We are looking at what someone else has or at what someone else tells us that we should have.

Enough means that you can finally stop seeking more. One day it dawned on me that if there were any reason that I should consider myself lucky, it would be that I always have enough. I have had very little money and I have had a lot of money, but at each stage the things that I wanted were within my reach. It was not that I did not know that there existed more than I had; I just never wanted more than I could have. My life was the most content; it had the most room for happiness, when I did not have those things that I could live without.

I have a friend who I always felt was very beautiful. She was short in height had beautiful dark hair and a beautiful olive complexion. She never felt that she was attractive because she was not a tall blond. It came to me that she could never be happy with herself, with that kind of image. How could she ever be happy with herself when the best that she could be could never be what she considered to be the best? So many people are not happy because what they believe will make them happy is always somewhere over there, yet to be obtained. When we do finally get that thing that is over there, suddenly there is another thing that is better than ours somewhere else. We are always wanting, always seeking what we do not have and always overlooking what we do have.

Happiness is always in having more, or in something else. We don’t have any idea how to have enough. Most of what we have today is ours because at some point we wanted it. What happened to the wanting when it became ours? It is a question of whether it was the thing that we wanted or just a feeling that we expected to have by owning it. We are conditioned only to be happy with more. The only way to be good enough is to be better. Being better gives us wiggle room for failure.

The funny thing is that we are that someone else with that something else to someone else. As we are looking at our neighbor, that same neighbor is looking at us. If this were to be our last moment, it would contain all that we will ever have. When we can want what we have we will have enough. What we have at any given moment must be enough because it is all that there is and because it is ours.

We have what the Universe intended for us to have in each moment of our lives. We are complete. If you can look back at your life and recapture the fullness of each experience, you will see that you have enough.

When we can look within to find our personal value and not attach it to things outside of ourselves we will then begin with enough. Whatever we have or whatever we lose, we still have the ability, and we still have the power within to build with what is left, even if it is nothing, it is a beginning. We are endowed with enough, anything that we add to that is extra. We are already complete.

The ultimate lesson is that we have always had enough, not from the birth of our physical form, but from the birth of our soul. For the soul this is an important lesson. Our journey here as souls is fourfold. First we must obtain, next we must see the emptiness in what we have obtained. Next we must let go and finally we must see and be in awe of, what is left after we have let go of all of the things that we have obtained.

Barack Obama – A Guiding Star

It is difficult to know how to process the idea that a presidential candidate can fill a stadium to the same capacity as a rock star. But think about it, how does a rocker become a rock star? It’s all about the music. Before we see their faces, we hear their music – and if the music hits us in just that certain way, if it makes us feel something that other music does not make us feel – we become captivated. When we see the singer or group, we want to feel that we can believe that the music and the instrument are one. If they are, it brings us a sense of peace, if they are not, regardless of the music or the instrument that it comes from we feel a discord. We want our apples from an apple tree. We may love oak trees, but we will never trust an apple if it comes from one.

Barack Obama looks like a character out of a Norman Rockwell painting who overdosed on bronzers. He looks like Huckleberry Fin out in the sun too long. He just looks like an average American. From his first speech at the Democratic National Convention, his story sounds like a story out of the “American Dream Book”:

“My father was a foreign student, born and raised in a small village in Kenya. He grew up herding goats, went to school in a tin- roof shack. His father, my grandfather, was a cook, a domestic servant to the British.
But my grandfather had larger dreams for his son. Through hard work and perseverance my father got a scholarship to study in a magical place, America, that’s shown as a beacon of freedom and opportunity to so many who had come before him. While studying here my father met my mother. She was born in a town on the other side of the world, in Kansas. Her father worked on oil rigs and farms through most of the Depression. The day after Pearl Harbor, my grandfather signed up for duty, joined Patton’s army, marched across Europe. Back home my grandmother raised a baby and went to work on a bomber assembly line. After the war, they studied on the GI Bill, bought a house through FHA and later moved west, all the way to Hawaii, in search of opportunity. And they too had big dreams for their daughter, a common dream born of two continents.
My parents shared not only an improbable love; they shared an abiding faith in the possibilities of this nation. They would give me an African name, Barack, or “blessed,” believing that in a tolerant America, your name is no barrier to success.”

Black people say that he wouldn’t face the problems that he faces if he were White. White people say that he wouldn’t get the attention that he gets if he were White. There are Black people who don’t trust him because he is not Black enough. There are White people who don’t trust him because he is too Black. Still he packs them in from both races.

I worked in the Title Insurance industry it had functioned the same way for decades. Because it was different than other industries and very set in its ways of functioning, it almost always hired from within. When I first tried to get a job there at a company in that business I was told that it was just too costly to train someone from the outside. Years later I entered the industry as a temp and ended up making it a career. When my Boss was asked to open his own office, he put me in charge of staffing.

The majority of the staff that I hired were, like I was, from outside the industry. This was because I felt that the way the industry functioned was outdated and financially wasteful. I was not going to hire a staff from within the industry because it would be too costly to untrain them. Experience is just another word for habit. If someone is experienced in doing things in a system that is failing, it merely means that they are experienced at working within a failing system. Einstein said, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it”. No system can be changed by the same level of consciousness that created it either. If we want a change – we must look outside of the box. And you can’t get more outside of the box than Barak Obama And yet, at the same time he exemplifies the best of the box, he represents the purest form of the American Dream. He is not anti-war, not a peacenik. In that same speech in 2004, he said:

“I thought of the 900 men and women, sons and daughters, husbands and wives, friends and neighbors who won’t be returning to their own hometowns. I thought of the families I had met who were struggling to get by without a loved one’s full income or whose loved ones had returned with a limb missing or nerves shattered, but still lacked long-term health benefits because they were Reservists.
When we send our young men and women into harm’s way, we have a solemn obligation not to fudge the numbers or shade the truth about why they are going, to care for their families while they’re gone, to tend to the soldiers upon their return and to never, ever go to war without enough troops to win the war, secure the peace and earn the respect of the world.
Now, let me be clear. Let me be clear. We have real enemies in the world. These enemies must be found. They must be pursued. And they must be defeated.”

Yes, he is outside of the box, but think about it, isn’t the outside of the box supposed to let you know what is inside? How does he represent what is inside the box of the United States of America?
He says this:

“…If there’s a child on the south side of Chicago who can’t read, that matters to me, even if it’s not my child.
If there’s a senior citizen somewhere who can’t pay for their prescription and having to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it’s not my grandparent.
If there’s an Arab-American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties.
It is that fundamental belief — it is that fundamental belief — I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sisters’ keeper — that makes this country work.
It’s what allows us to pursue our individual dreams, yet still come together as a single American family: “E pluribus unum,” out of many, one.
Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes.
Well, I say to them tonight, there’s not a liberal America and a conservative America; there’s the United States of America.
There’s not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America.
The pundits, the pundits like to slice and dice our country into red states and blue States: red states for Republicans, blue States for Democrats. But I’ve got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the blue states, and we don’t like federal agents poking around our libraries in the red states.
We coach little league in the blue states and, yes, we’ve got some gay friends in the red states.
There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq, and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq.
We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.”

…“I’m talking about something more substantial. It’s the hope of slaves sitting around a fire singing freedom songs; the hope of immigrants setting out for distant shores; the hope of a young naval lieutenant bravely patrolling the Mekong Delta; the hope of a millworker’s son who dares to defy the odds; the hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too.
Hope in the face of difficulty, hope in the face of uncertainty, the audacity of hope: In the end, that is God’s greatest gift to us, the bedrock of this nation, a belief in things not seen, a belief that there are better days ahead.
I believe that we can give our middle class relief and provide working families with a road to opportunity.
I believe we can provide jobs for the jobless, homes to the homeless, and reclaim young people in cities across America from violence and despair.
I believe that we have a righteous wind at our backs, and that as we stand on the crossroads of history, we can make the right choices and meet the challenges that face us.”

Those who fear the fact that this country is a melting pot fear Barack Obama – he is the product of our melting pot. But he is not a superstar. He is the appropriate voice for the message that our forefathers created 222 years ago when they met to define our country. He is not a superstar, we gather around the world to hear him speak, partly because his is a message that we, the people of the world, need desperately to believe in again. Yet, it is even more than that – more than anything it is because that little voice inside of each of us tells us that he believes his message. He believes that we can be more than the capital of Capitalism. He believes that we can be, once again, “One Nation, under God – Indivisible… with Liberty and Justice for All.” And most of all, he believes in us. We are in very dark times – we don’t need someone who does the same thing in a different way. We don’t need someone experienced in what it takes to get to where we are, because where we are is lost. We need someone inexperienced in the system that is faulty – we need someone who believes in the spirit of our country, and has the foresight to recreate the system so that it mirrors that spirit, uncorrupted by experts. We need a star to guide us out of the darkness of despair with his belief – his hope – his vision. Someone who believes that each and everyone of us are better than what we have been promised and even more than that – better than what we have been given.

The Common Thread

Suppose you and I have had an argument. If you have beaten me instead of my beating you, then are you necessarily right and am I necessarily wrong? If I have beaten you instead of your beating me, then am I necessarily right and are you necessarily wrong? Is one of us right and the other wrong? Are both of us right or are both of us wrong? If you and I don’t know the answer, then other people are bound to be even more in the dark. Whom shall we get to decide what is right? Shall we get someone who agrees with you to decide? But if he already agrees with you, how can he decide fairly? Shall we get someone who agrees with me? But if he already agrees with me, how can he decide? Shall we get someone who disagrees with both of us?… But waiting for one shifting voice [to decide for] another is the same as waiting for none of them. Harmonize them all with the Heavenly Equality, leave them to their endless changes, and so live out your years. What do I mean by harmonizing them with the Heavenly Equality? Right is not right; so is not so. If right were really right, it would differ so clearly from not right that there would be no need for argument. If so were really so, it would differ so clearly from not so that there would be no need for argument. Forget the years; forget distinctions. Leap into the boundless and make it your home!

Taoism. Chuang Tzu 2

Around the age of nine, I found my need to find the “right” path to God overwhelming most other things in my life.  So while attending a Yiddish school on Saturdays, I reserved Sundays to attend as many different churches and Sunday schools that I could get to and also gain entrance.  It seems now to have been a young age for such a quest, but at the time, the world in which I lived seemed so chaotic and unjust, that finding the way to God felt to me to be the only journey that could in anyway offer me peace.  My Jewish upbringing taught me to question and so, of all the churches that I attended, my shortest stay was in the Catholic Church where, because of my insistent questioning, I was asked to leave and not return.  I think that my Jewish experience, on a whole was the most enriching in my life, yet, at the same time, the words that I learned were spoken by the Christ resonated profoundly in my heart.  As I went from church to church, somehow I found it difficult to feel that I had found the home that I was seeking.

Yet, even when I ran out of churches to attend, Jesus stayed with me insisting that I find a way to accept Him into my life.  Part of my problem was I felt that to embrace Jesus was to betray my Jewish heritage, which I so deeply valued.  The other problem that I had was that it seemed a contradiction to say in one statement that we were all children of God and then in another that Jesus was the only begotten Son of God.  I spent many hours in silence asking God to help me find a way to make peace with this contradiction.  Other times I just wished that he would go away and leave me alone.  I debated the concept of Christ for hours on end with my Christian friends but never mention it to my Jewish ones.  Inside I had no peace.  My intense questioning and debate caused one Catholic Priest to actually come to my door and ask me to stay away from the Catholic friends that I had who were members of his church.  It was not my intention to cause them to question their faith, only to seek a way for them to convince me.

Then there finally came a time when my life was so consuming that I did find a way to push the entire question away from my conscious attention.  I did this for some years, although during the whole time I heard myself time and time again quoting something that Jesus had said.  And then one day, I simply felt the Christ consciousness within my soul, without explanation, without intellectual understanding, and contrary to popular belief, without invitation.  From that moment on, not only did I have a new vision and understanding of the Christ, but of God and the Universe.  My level of comprehension was lifted above the world of form and shape to a world of essence and consciousness.  I began writing things that I thought were my own words to only later find out that they were in fact his.  What was even more profound was that these words of his, were spoken by Krishna, and the Buddha before him – I was expanding.  I started to rise above the judgments and classifications that were once in my mind to a place of wholeness and acceptance which had no real words to explain.  And this was only the first step on my journey.

Each scripture is written by the same hand.  Each one is speaking in a different symbolic language.  Each different scripture resonates for the souls who vibrate to that language.  We each vibrate to different symbols, and God, in all His Wisdom, comes in the shape and speaks in the symbols understood by all.  Still, as I read through the scriptures and the mythology of various peoples, the characters may seem different but they are basically the same.  The exact description of their experiences may differ, but the underlying message is the same.

So, when someone begins to speak in the language of their religion, and I feel the urge to correct them and explain the “right” way – I push myself past that impulse and find that regardless of what the differences are in our spiritual convictions, we can always meet in the common area, called Love.  It is my belief that God would not have created us with such diversity if it was His intention that we look, think, live, or believe in exactly the same way.  I also don’t believe that He meant for us to be repelled by our differences or to see them as conflicting differences of better or worse, but simply enhancing differences, each offering a new shade of beauty – a different level of experience.  Just as we have seven major charkas, each one vibrating to a different color, between each of the seven are many smaller ones in varying shades of the colors that they lie between.  Throughout our many lives, each one of the charkas is dominant in our experience of ourselves and of our lives, until we finally reach the crown chakra.

Just like different sizes of shoes, each size fits different feet, but no one fits “better” feet than the other.  They are just different.  Each is a joyous expression of God.  And He experiences Himself through us and through our experiences.  The more varied we are the more varied His joy.

Like everyone in the world today, I have been seeking an answer to why we have arrived at this difficult place in history.  The most simplistic reason is that we really are not able to share this planet – we have not learned the true meaning of being a neighbor, and so we have not learned the meaning of brotherhood, because if we had, than sharing would come naturally. If we knew the meaning of brotherhood, no one would WANT to have more than anyone else – not more things, or more land, or more food, friends more status or a more sacred knowledge of God.  We would want, to have enough, and to be sure that our brothers had enough.  It was Cain who questioned being his brother’s keeper and we all know how that worked out for him. Jesus was not the first to mention the idea of brotherhood, and He taught it 2000 years ago.  The Initiates of the Eleusinian mysteries between 1500 and 1425 BCE were called adelphoi, which means brothers, a Philadelphian was someone who practiced “Brotherly Love”, which is where the name of the city comes from.  The So why is it that we have since traveled to the moon, but not journeyed one step closer to true brotherly love.  Certainly, we know how to say it better now than before and we create stories and books showing the joys of brotherhood, but the concept is as much science fiction as the movies showing the year 2520 with desolate nuked out cities run by mutant robots chasing the five humans left who haven’t killed each other – or is the latter more realistic?

“Do unto others as you would have other do unto you”, why is it that the simple things are the most difficult to grasp?  We can communicate over distances thousands of miles in a matter of seconds, but we can’t “Do unto others as we would have other do unto us”.  I know in my heart that God doesn’t make mistakes, so the fact that it is easier to wrap our legs around our necks and act like a pretzel than it is to love our brothers like ourselves must be a sign along the path.  There must be a real message there for us.  Have our brains grown at the expense of our hearts?  Or did we have to master the easy stuff first, like colonizing Mars before we could be ready to tackle the difficult tasks, like learning to share a planet that we have lived on together for tens of thousands of years.

I believe that thirty percent of the people in the capitalist countries hope that there is a God, and thirty percent fear that there might be a God, and another thirty percent hope that there is a God but that either He is too busy to look at what they are doing, or that He has left much more room to maneuver in His Commandments than meets the eye.  This leaves ten percent who truly believe in their hearts that there is a God.  However even of that ten percent who believe that, there is a God, five percent believe that in the end we will find that He did not give us Ten Commandments but the Ten Suggestions.

If everything in the Bible was meant to be taken literally, few of us alive today would make it through the 613 commandments without passing directly to the down elevator.  It is difficult to believe that after thousands of years of floods, plagues and pestilence, God finally grew so frustrated with man that He decided that the only way to secure mankind’s entrance into Heaven was to beget a son, send him to live a life of the highest form of unconditional love for all, and then have him publically tortured and killed.  I believe with all of my heart that God Almighty, All knowing, All seeing, creator of Heaven and earth could find another way.  And I believe that the other Way is through the experience of our lives on earth.  We have been given Teachers, Jesus being one of them, but not the first, nor the last to show us the Way. In Isaiah 13:15-16 the way to Heaven is stated clearly:

15He that walketh righteously,

and speaketh uprightly;

he that despiseth the gain of oppressions,

that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes,

that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood,

and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil;

16He shall dwell on high: his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.

Then later in Isaiah: 56:1, the 613 commandments are summed up further this way:

1Thus said Jehovah:

`Keep ye judgment,

and do righteousness,

For near [is] My salvation to come,

And My righteousness to be revealed.

The Way is again made clear by Jesus in Matthew:

16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?

17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,

19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?

21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.

24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?

26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

This is really one of the foundations for my belief in reincarnation.  It seems I have believed in it as early as I could imagine anything, but it really began to make sense when it dawned on me that God is always looking and that fact doesn’t seem to have any impact on most people.  I mean – we can justify our actions to ourselves, and we can allow ourselves an ‘E” for effort, but it seems to me that in actuality God does not really ask much of us considering what we receive.  And I don’t think that He is really all that vague on His Commandments, but being a Loving God, I do believe that what He does give us is time, and He gives that to of us in the form of reincarnation.  After all, God knows that we can’t make the leap from colonizing Mars ALL the way to “Loving our neighbors” in one lifetime.  It takes many lifetimes, with frequent rest periods in between to stretch that far from human to humane.  Each incarnating class doesn’t have a really high number of graduates at a time, but we all do, in our own time, make that final leap off of the wheel of incarnation.

One thing that is very clear, from Osiris, to Horus, Dionysius to Jesus, and from the Buddha, to Krishna is that the first and most difficult step is non-attachment to the material.  God tells us not to make idols out of gold and silver, but we forget that we are also told not to make gold and silver into idols.  We must begin that journey of separation from our very closest traveling companion, the ego.  We have a lot of history with our egos and they have served us well.  What makes it even more difficult is that at no other time in history has the climate been so perfect for an ego.  All the toys – all the battles – and all those big, big, guns.  It was a great deal easier to make a clean brake a few centuries ago when we were too busy needing each other to give the ego that much room to move and groove.  Now, it seems so hard to hurt the egos we love, the egos, which aid in serving us the world on a silver platter.

The spark of God lives within all of us.  The journey towards that spark is one that every living being on the planet shares, and, with or without knowing it, we need each other to complete that journey.  Life, what is really life, is God.  That life which is within each of us also connects us one to the other.  It guides all of us, loves all of us and creates the one common thread that unites each living being to each other and to the Source of Life itself.   For just as we each have a body with many parts, but just one soul, all of creation is also one Body with just One Soul, and that soul is God.

35And if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee; then thou shalt relieve him: yea, though he be a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with thee.  Leviticus 25:35 (King James Version)

7If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother:  8But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth.  9Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought; and he cry unto the LORD against thee, and it be sin unto thee.   10Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him: because that for this thing the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto.

11For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land  Deuteronomy 15:7 (King James Version)

Psalm 15

A psalm of David.

1 LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary?
Who may live on your holy mountain?

2 Those whose walk is blameless,
who do what is righteous,
who speak the truth from their hearts;

3 who have no slander on their tongues,
who do their neighbors no wrong,
who cast no slur on others;

4 who despise those whose ways are vile
but honor whoever fears the LORD;
who keep their oaths even when it hurts;

5 who lend money to the poor without interest
and do not accept bribes against the innocent.
Whoever does these things
will never be shaken.



Earth is Man’s Growing Field

One of the most important phases of maturing is that of growth from self-centering to an understanding relationship to others. A person is not mature until he has both an ability and a willingness to see himself as one among others and to do unto those others as he would have them do to him.Sir Walter Scott

The earth is a growing field. Imagine a seed planted deep within the soil, a seed having to journey through layer after layer of packed earth, finding its way around rocks and other objects until it finally breaks through to the sun—and break through, it will. Yet what apparent insurmountable odds it faces there, deep within the soil. Still, the same soil which seems intent upon blocking its way, contains the nourishment needed for its survival on the journey.

Here, on earth is where the soul comes to learn its greatest lessons. Yet, what is the earth? Live spelled backwards is evil—and on earth what we consider evil is what the earth is made of. It is a wild, dangerous, greedy, and most of all, insatiable planet—a place where every organism large or small seeks one thing—survival. God said to all life, “Be fruitful and multiply”. To survive, each species knows that it must multiply. Microorganisms, bacteria, viruses, grass, weeds, plants, and flowers—all life on earth fights for the same limited space. The less man interferes with a species, the more instinctively and aggressively intent it is on fulfilling what we, as a species, have labeled ‘manifest destiny’. It is the basic driving instinct of all species on earth. Survival is of the fittest. Weeds, trees, and bushes all grow anywhere and everywhere when not checked. Even concrete cannot arrest their growth. Wild animals fight to maintain and then to expand their territory as they seek to expand their herds. Wars are fought on earth over lines drawn in the sand by every species and every organism on the earth. Each species survives at the expense of at least one other species. The earth is one large hungry, greedy, food chain. This doesn’t make the earth less beautiful, but it is necessary to understand the energy of the earth to understand the energy of the body with its instincts and desires —the body into which we each incarnate.
For some species, survival is for the swiftest, and for others, it is the strongest that survive. For yet other species, it is for those that who are best able to scavenge, or appear threatening—and yet, for others—to hide and appear invisible. Yet for some species, such as ants, or bees, survival is in the inborn ability to know what they have to offer their species and to offer it selflessly and without question. Insects seem to be much better prepared to survive than most species—they appear to have mastered the requirements for survival—united we stand divided we fall.

Man is neither swift, nor physically equipped to adapt to the harsh and changing climate of the earth. He has been given the mental and physical agility necessary to manipulate his environment. Man has also been gifted with the heart and the compassion to manage it with benevolence. We have been given the earth to live on, to grow on and to care for, but not, despite what we believe, to master and destroy. She is not ours.

In nineteen seventy-seven there was an object discovered in space. It was difficult to identify—a comet, an asteroid, a planet. No one was sure at first. Finally it was called a centaur, the first of many objects in its category that would be discovered. This first centaur was called Chiron. Chiron was, as all of the centaurs, half man and half horse. With each new discovery in space, some new door is opened here on earth—some new direction taken—some knowledge finally comprehended or information finally received by man. With the discovery of the centaur, Chiron, came the age of holistic medicine treating the mind, body, and the spirit as a whole—understanding that to cure a part of the whole without addressing the whole—ultimately cures nothing.

In mythology, Chiron was a master of all forms of art, of learning, of philosophy, of self-defense and of combat. Chiron turned each hero who passed through his cave into a true hero—a whole; a hero is not simply the one who can defeat the greatest or strongest foe, but the one who can recognize the greatest foe. This is often within the self. He did not simply give them techniques, he gave them appreciation, value and honor. Chiron did not only train the greatest fighters, he trained the greatest healers, musicians, scholars, physicians, and rulers. To teach these things, he had, in some way, embody them.

Chiron was an exceptional centaur according to legend. There were a few, who, like him, were healers, or philosophers; the majority of centaurs could not really be trusted for they were too susceptible to their desires when they became intoxicated. When intoxicated, they were robbers, murderers, and rapists, simply put, they were untamed animals. One day, as one of the legends goes, a group of centaurs became drunk and went on a killing spree. Chiron went out among them trying to bring peace and was accidentally wounded by Hercules, his dearest student, who mistook him for one of the wild centaurs. However, unlike the other centaurs—Chiron could not die—he was immortal, and as such, he faced an eternity of suffering. In spite of his pain, he continued to teach, he continued to love, and he continued to share his wisdom. In the end, Chiron made the ultimate sacrifice—he sacrificed his immortality to end the suffering of Prometheus who was being punished by Zeus for bringing fire to mankind. Because of Chiron’s selflessness and willingness to sacrifice his immortality to end the suffering of another, Zeus took Chiron up to the heavens and gave him his own constellation.

Since the discovery of Chiron we have all become more and more aware of our lower nature. All that we consider evil—all that we consider vile is nothing more than the natural inherent tendencies of our physical nature—our earthly nature. The earth is void of conscience. We, as spiritual beings, are the conscience of the earth—man brings that conscience from God. Conscience is not natural to our environment—not natural to our physical bodies—and not natural to the spiritually unevolved ego. The earth tests the spirit within each of us. To fulfill our destinies, we must not destroy the earth herself, but the world that man has built on the earth by his egos need to be better than its Creator. Man has built a false world and in seeking to become its master, he has become its slave.  In ancient times the donkey or “ass” was a symbol of man’s lower animal nature, just as the body of Chiron.  In the Bible, Jesus finds it necessary to enter the gates of Jerusalem riding an ass.  However, the spiritual meaning of this is somewhat different than the biblical one.  The city of Jerusalem, at the time was a representation of all that is unholy, nowhere did greed not exist.  It was in essence ruled by the lowest part of man, his greed and his desires.  Even in the Temple money was changed.  And the temples did not permit entrance to everyone who wanted to worship regardless of economic status.  It was a city where all catered to the wealthy.  This was why the disciples were astonished that Jesus said that a camel would pass through the eye of a needle easier than a rich man enter the gates of Heaven.  It seemed at the time that wealth was a gift from God because it was the wealthy who seemed to gain the closest audience with Him.  So Jesus rode into the city on the ass, showing all that his spiritual nature was superior to the animal nature – that he mastered the animal in man.

The Ancient creators of the zodiac set the Heavens into a circle with twelve divisions, each one represented by an animal that to them symbolized an aspect of God, or, perhaps the aspect of God capable of controlling the represented aspect of nature.  Jesus came in with the age of Pisces, called by ancients, the age of the fish.  Note the references to fish during the time, however, simply coming up with ideas of the meaning of these references to fish gives us nothing.  The view of fish in ancient times was that they were a species where the large always gobble up the small.  Before language, before writing, this was what was symbolized by fish. In essence, fish was the sign-language for the strong eating up the weak.  Jesus was the fisher of men, because he came to save the small fish from the mouths of the larger fish.  Has this not been the greatest underlying theme of the age of Pisces?  It was so clearly exemplified by the Catholic Church gobbling up all of the smaller Christian groups, destroying their wealth of scripture in order to create their own.  It continues with small businesses gobbled up by larger business, homes taken away to build high-rises, this is the age of the fish, in which the fisher of men appeared, not to eradicate our sins, but to lead us away from being fish.

We are not truly human until we conquer the beast and become humane. Until we do this we are no more than centaurs, no more than fish. For most of us, the intoxicant is not alcohol it is money and the wealth and power that it affords us. And, like the centaurs, once intoxicated by money, our higher selves are consumed by the lower nature, unless we are strong and able to resist the temptation to indulge ourselves in that taste for money. We are driven to consume just as every other organism on the earth—we become predators because it is natural to do so.

In the Gospel of Thomas or the Secret Sayings of Jesus, Jesus said,
Blessed is the lion that the human consumes so that the lion becomes human, Cursed is the human that the lion consumes so that the human becomes the lion. When the human eats the lion—devours the beast—it is the soul which has conquered the beast to become humane. The beast, once conquered, serves the soul and thus serves God. The things of the soul are attended to with the aid of the beast that is now lovingly serving the soul. In the twelve labors of Heracles, one of the labors was that he had to kill a lion that had, up to that point, been indestructible. Once Heracles had managed to slay the lion, he kept those parts of the lion that gave it its strength, and wore them as armor. Thus, taking the power of the beast and adding it to his own, he protected himself as he went on his quest. This is man consuming the lion. If the lion consumes the man, however, and becomes human the soul becomes enslaved by the passions and desires of the lower self—the animal self which is of the earth.

I have heard it said that man is the only animal who kills without necessity. I am not sure that this is true. I once had a cat that spent a great deal of his time outdoors. Regularly, we would find dead birds or dead mice that he proudly brought into the house, and presented to us as gifts with no intention of or desire to eat them. He carried his conquests with what appeared to be great pride. Perhaps he was showing us his skill as a hunter—who knows—but what is certain, is that he did not hunt for food—he hunted because it was natural to his species to do so. Perhaps for the cat, like for man himself, the reason for the hunt has been lost in the cans of cat food and bags of crunchy tasty nuggets that he had grown accustomed to eating. But his instincts as a predator were too deeply ingrained in the cellular memory of his body—in the genetic memory of his species since it is born of the predatory earth. My cat, like many other domesticated animals, collected the trophies of his kills because, as an animal, he was a killer. A man mounts his kills on his walls—a tribute to the animal within himself which he has not as yet conquered.

Here on earth there is no evil—there is only the earth. What we call evil is only nature. It is the opposite of spiritual but that does not make it evil. We just need to realize, without judgment, or labels, that we are not this.
Fear is the prevailing emotion on a planet where survival entails eating or being eaten, conquering or being conquered. All that we consider as sins are but the outgrowths of fear; fear of not having enough to survive; fear of not being strong enough to survive; which, ultimately, is fear of death. As we evolve spiritually our fear diminishes because it is replaced by faith. It is faith which raises us above our fears. Faith, affords us the security that we need to rest in the knowledge that there is nothing to fear in God’s universe.

Address to the General Assembly of the United Nations —Delivered October 25, 1985 by Leon Shenandoah, Tadodaho, Haudenosaunee

Listen to the words of the Creator given to the first United Nations—the Haudenosaunee—over 1,000 years ago:
The Chiefs of the Haudenosaunee shall be mentors of the people for all time. The thickness of their skins shall be seven spans which is to say that they shall be proof against anger, offensive action, and criticism. Their hearts shall be full of peace and good will, and their minds full of a yearning for the welfare of the people. With endless patience, they shall carry out their duty.

Their firmness shall be tempered with a tenderness for their people. Neither anger nor fury shall find lodging in their minds, and all their words and actions shall be marked by calm deliberation. In every nation there are wise and good people. These should be appointed Chiefs. They should be the advisors of their people and work for the good of all the people, and their power comes from the “Great Peace.”

A chief must never forget the Creator of mankind; never forget to ask the Creator for help. The Creator will guide our thoughts and strengthen us as we work to be faithful to our sacred trust and restore harmony among all peoples, all living creatures, and Mother Earth.

We were instructed to carry a love for one another and to show a great respect for all the beings of this earth. In our ways spiritual consciousness is the highest form of politics. When people cease to respect and express gratitude for these many things, then all life will be destroyed, and human life on this planet will come to an end.
These are our times and responsibilities. Every human being has a sacred duty to protect the welfare of our Mother Earth, from whom all life comes.
In order to do this we must recognize the enemy—the one within us. We must begin with ourselves. We must live in harmony with the Natural World and recognize that excessive exploitation can only lead to our own destruction.

We cannot trade the welfare of our future generations for profit now. We must abide by the Natural Law or be victims of its ultimate reality. We must stand together, the four sacred colors of humans, as the one family we are, in the interest of peace.

We must abolish nuclear and conventional weapons of war. When warriors are leaders, then you will have war. We must raise leaders of peace.

We must unite the religions of the world as the spiritual force strong enough to prevail in peace. It is no longer good enough to cry, “Peace.”

We must act peace, live peace, and march in peace in alliance with the people of the world. We are the spiritual energy that is thousands times stronger than nuclear energy. Our energy in the combined will of all people with the spirit of the Natural World, to be of one body, one heart and one mind for peace.

We propose, as a resolution for peace, that October 24th be designated as a Day of Peace, and a world cease-fire take place in honor of our children and the Seventh Generation to come.

IS FREE WILL AN ILLUSION?

One of the phrases that we hear and say a great deal in metaphysical circles in “This is all an illusion”. Although it sounds good, it is not something that we are able to really incorporate into our consciousness because it is so fundamentally opposed to our experience. And though we may be temporarily soothed by the idea of it, the feeling vanishes the moment we bump into a part of that illusion, like a wall, and get a concussion on another part of the illusion – our heads. For most of us the idea that our experience is “all an illusion” is filed away somewhere with God, another idea that, for most of us, is firmly implanted in our belief system but very much disconnected from the reality of our daily lives.

If this is an illusion, why does it hurt so much or feel so real? Why can’t we just affirm it away? In a movie, which is for all intents and purposes an illusion, when one of the characters – another illusion is shot by a bullet – another illusion, the character dies – another illusion. There are two layers here. There is the layer of the actors or the soul who is assuming the role of the character – the illusion who dies. Within the movie, nothing is an illusion. When the actor – the soul – steps out of the movie, or the life in our case, it was all an illusion. A good actor will feel the pain of the character; he will feel the joy of the character which is what makes his performance believable. A good actor is very sensitive, just as a soul is. When the actor leaves the role, he has to re-enter his own life – his own role in the greater movie that is life. This reorientation often takes time. When a soul leaves a life, that soul too has to re-enter its essence, after absorbing all of the experiences of the life that it has just left. A character in a movie or in a play follows a plot, acts or reacts in a way written by someone else. So, in order to react naturally the actor must inhabit the part. We souls inhabit our personalities and so we are able to act and react according to the character that we come to play.

An actor becomes the character, so convincingly. that we are able to anticipate what he will do or say next because we believe him. We may know that the actor is acting and that the words have been written by someone else, the cues given by someone else, yet we feel and experience what the characters are going through. Although the choices that each character is making have been predetermined by the writer, we know that those are the choices that this character would make. Even when the character surprises us, if the actor did his job and writer did his, we can review the movie and see how this unexpected action could have been predicted. This is free will. These characters are predictable because we understand how they are motivated. Yet, does our ability to predict their choices deny the freedom of their choices? No, they are free to choose. What is predetermined is the point from which they view the world at the time that God or the Universe places the choice on their path. How often do we say, “I did that based on what I knew then”, or “If I only knew then what I know now”, or, “The person I am today would never have done that”.

Imagine being in a room, facing a wall and from your position, you can see the wall in front of you and from your peripheral vision you can make out the walls on each side, right and left of your position. But from where you stand, there is no door. Now, the position that you are in places you on a wheel, like a clock gear, that will slowly turn you around. However, right now you only see walls. You are facing twelve o’clock. There is a door at the six o’clock position, but you won’t see it for six hours. Now a voice enters the room and says, “You are free to go”. Is it an illusion that you are free to go? No, there is a door. But from where you stand, there is none. In a story, the character has free will and, we can anticipate that characters actions. We have free will, and our choices are predetermined. They are predetermined because our visibility of available options is really limited to one, at the time that the Universe presents the choice. There may be ten puzzle pieces lined up before us to choose from, yet, the experiences, the beliefs, the impressions of the world that we have accumulated up to that moment sees only one perfect fit. Because there is only one, it is the one that our soul has chosen to best experience the lessons we need to learn.
We have to remember that we come here to learn and to grow. In order to do this, we have to set up a lesson plan.

Our lessons do not only come from where the choice leads us on our path, but also from which choice we make, and how we arrived at that choice. We are here to expand our view, and to learn to see from our hearts. Most actors take roles for a purpose. Many take roles which allow them to stretch, to grow. Free will is not an illusion, but in a way, the choices we make are. They are the lessons; they are the set-up for our growth. They create the plot within which the actor acts. As we learn from each choice, our view expands; our abilities grow until we are in tune with our hearts. When we are in tune with our hearts – we are in tune with our souls. When the soul has mastered the personality, its view is no longer limited. It then sees through the eyes of the creator of the path. The dreamer has mastered the dream, so it is no longer a dream; the actor now writes his part, so he is no longer limited by the existing plot. Illusion vanished and all that is left is one Will in tune with All-That-Is. To enlighten is to light the path so one may see the way. It really has never been a question of whether or not we have free will, the question is, how much we really see of what our free will is acting upon. This is where growth lies.