Choosing Our Own Way

“We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
Viktor Frankl

Often, we decide what the right direction is for us based on what it is for others. Then we find that we are stuck with a goal without the necessary desire to reach it. A person may decide to go into his own business because he does not like authority. He does not consider how much he hates paperwork, long hours, paying people from money that he has not yet earned, and that he can’t do it all by himself. Instead of looking within to find what the real problems are and what the personal solutions might be —he looks outside to see what others had done.

This is the kind of confusion that we are faced with when we try to follow guidance from outside, and not of from within. When this choice becomes difficult, instead of seeking a different solution, most people just stick with the plan but find any number of obstacles to place in their paths to prevent its completion. They tell themselves and others that it is not that they won’t do it; it is just that there are too many things going on which currently stand in their way. What is really in their way is that it is not their goal. They do not have the passion to walk the chosen path. If we have no passion for what we do with our lives, we cannot do those things well or for long without getting sick, or off balance in some way.

This causes us to consciously face a direction that we are unconsciously running away from. This results in deadlock. I have seen many people in this position one way or another. They complain that everyone else gets opportunities except them; something always gets in their way. Or it is their karma to fail. That is just not true. What they are doing is building their lives from the plans of others. They are making choices based upon the successes of others. It is easier to walk the beaten path than to pave ones own. There was a time when that it worked for most people. Now, we are in an age of individuality. Difficult as it may seem, we are being forced from an inner need for satisfaction from a constant lack of external reinforcement to forge our own path to our own goal.

We have traveled far from that sacred connection to our true selves. Instead of deciding at which place we want to arrive, we first need to decide what inner satisfaction awaits us there, how much we are willing to sacrifice, and most importantly, before we follow another’s path, we must be certain that where others have gone holds the same treasure for us. Once we know the price we are willing to pay, and what it is that we really expect for that price, we have something that we are capable of working with. There really are two different soul paths: those for whom the destination justifies the journey and those for whom the journey is the destination.

It is not a question of one being the right way, and one being the wrong way. It is a question of which way is right for each individual. Some of us become workaholics because we want more and more; we do it for the prize at the end. Others become workaholics because their joy comes from the work they do. Again, neither is right nor wrong. To try to develop the attitude that others say is right, or to attempt to see the truth as others see it, can only lead to miserable and unfulfilled lives, if it is not our own way. There is a difference between what feels right and what others say is right. In these times, we are being asked to find that difference for ourselves.

Those who live their lives based on what works for others cannot remain committed to what they do. Who we are is what dictates what we can do well. We can only do well and for a sustained period of time, that which is in alignment with who we are. Otherwise self-esteem suffers; either we feel like failures, or we feel unsatisfied which leads us to feeling that we are defective because we are missing what we have been told is the obvious.

This is a time when personal truth, rather than conformity is needed for our own inner well-being and for the well being of the whole, every aspect of our living must reflect the inner self. The Native American names such as: Lone Eagle, Running Bear, Night Watcher, are given based on the persons own unique qualities. They are invited to live their lives in fulfillment of those names. There was a time when we all took names that mirrored who we were. We were once in touch with ourselves and with our environment. We are being asked by our souls to return to that ancient spiritual center. We are being called from within to live who we are, to love who we are, and to do what reflects who we are. This is the dawning of a new age, an age of truth. We neither find happiness, nor satisfaction in living anyone else’ s life. No one ever stands in the way of those who know where they are going. We have to go where we know from within.
When the world was disconnected, and there were such a things as distant shores, the structure of society was much stronger. The strength of a society or a religion to influence its members or followers rests strongly on the limitations of outside information that could otherwise be an influence or create choices that do not exist within the structure. The rules worked, not because they were right but because they were the only rules and pertained to everyone.

Since the end of WWII, slowly but consistently distant shores have become neighbors. Members of completely different societies have been unable to prevent the exchange of information. The world of yellow and the separate world of blue remain intact and self-fulfilling so long as yellow remains separate from blue. The rules of right and wrong, and even cause and effect work for all members of the yellow society or religion as they do for the blue although they may be in total contradiction with each other. However, when the members of the blue group and the members of the yellow group begin to mingle and share beliefs and information, a new green group emerges which inevitably destroys both the yellow and the blue. It does this because suddenly there exists and option, a choice, a way not previously known to either yellow or blue. In actuality it does not destroy the two separate groups but instead it is what they become, the product of their evolution.

The internet has completed the erasure of true borders, the world has now become a melting pot, and so, we can no longer look to any external governing principal for our lives, and how we live them or the direction that will work. We must now look within. There are too many truths ‘out there’ to find the one that will work; we must now journey deep into our own hearts and our own souls to find the truth that supersedes contradiction. This is the inner truth.

Mankind has mastered the lessons of leadership and brute force in the Age of Aries; it mastered the lessons of the herd mentality, the pain, suffering and fear of standing outside of the group, and the manipulations of power in the age of Pisces. It has now entered the school of equality through individuality. In this course, pain and suffering will come from inside when we feel our sense of self diminished. These are the ultimate challenges and lessons of the Age of Aquarius. It is not the energy of the individual merging and losing itself into the group but rather the group growing and becoming greater through the distinctly unique contribution of each individual. We are beginning to suffer depression and illness – not from being isolated from the group, but from being isolated from the self. Many of us think to ourselves, ‘I have what everyone says that I should have, I do what everyone says I should do, my life contains all of the pieces that everyone says should make me happy, yet, the pieces will not fit and I am slowly dying’.

Most people are too embarrassed to admit the panic and confusion that overtakes them when someone says, “Just be yourself”. The truth is, very few people know how to do that, or who that self is. So our first step in finding a fulfilling direction is finding the self that is seeking fulfillment and becoming an expression of that true and unique self living within each of us.

A Time To Reap

Ecclesiastes 3

To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to reap that which is planted.
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to to mourn, and a time to dance.
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing.
A time to get and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

I have always had a difficult time with Ecclesiastes.  Verses like this,  3:16 “And still under the sun in the judgment place I saw wickedness, and in the seat of justice, iniquity”.  It seemed to me that the Teacher was saying that there is no justice.  Then I realized that this is not what that means.  in the following verse, 3:17 “And I said to myself, both the just and the wicked God will judge, since there is a time for every affair and on every work a judgment.”  I realized that the key is time.  There is a time to everything.  In the next verse the Teacher goes on to say, 3:18 “I said to myself: As for the children of men, it is God’s way of testing them and of showing that they are in themselves like beasts.” During the time of planting, we may plant anything we choose.  We may plant love, or hate.  We may plant generosity or selfishness.  We may plant the seeds of giving or the seeds of taking,  and here, under the Sun, it will seem unfair that criminals get away with the things that they do, and poor people, even honest people can be judged wrongly and punished unjustly.  There is no justice, under the Sun, during the time of planting.  Justice, however, comes to all, when it is time to reap what we have planted.  I have seen people who give so little of what they have, and still get more and more.  Of these people I have heard others say that they must have done something good in their past life for God to give them so much, in the way of material success, and power.  I have never see it this way.  Wealth, power, fame, these are all tests, these are seeds given to those who are to be tested in their ability to to fight the temptations of the world.  What will they plant with the wealth and power to plant anything?  Well, today, and for the rest of our lives, and into the lives of our children, we will be reaping what has been sown, and karma will be instant.

We have all heard about 2012 and the Mayan end times. Most of us realize that it is not the end of the world, but the end of life as we know it. So, what happens at the end? Before we can move on to something new, we have to tie up any loose ends. One circle has to close before another can be begun. We are completing a cycle. How many times have we all said, “What goes around comes around?” This is where we are.

On a grand scale, we are seeing this in the oil that is flowing into the ocean. Many of the prophesies tell us that this is a time of choice. Prophecy Rock tells us that this is the time where the road forks, The lower fork is followed by the one hearted people (those who think with their hearts, leads to survival and eventually paradise, the upper path represents the path followed by the two hearted people, those who do not use their hearts – who are connected only with the material world, leads to self destruction. The path to paradise is a spiritual path, it is a path of love, of compassion, of remembering that we have been given custodianship of the earth and all of the species living on this planet. The other path, the one we have been on, is the path of forgetting, forgetting that all rights include responsibilities, that we cannot take without giving back. The laws of karma are the laws of balance, of cause and effect. We do get what we give. Sometimes we get it later, and sometimes we get it sooner. We are in Iraq and in Afghanistan because of decisions made by George Bush Sr. upon first entering Iraq.

We relied on luck, cut corners, got away with it, profited by it and believed that we were entitled. We believed, some of us, that we were more entitled than anyone else. And we believed, that what we were doing, somehow, was backed by God. The other day I was thinking about luck, about how luck seems to be gone. Then I heard these words in my head, ‘Luck is the rope that the Universe gives us to hang ourselves’. Yes, we managed to corrupt everything and get away with it. Well, we were not lucky, and we were not entitled. You could say that we were in the right place at the right time. We have been living during an age that we might call the season of planting. To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under Heaven. It is not lucky when you get to go through a green light. This has been the time of the green light.

Now is the beginning of the season of reaping. It is the harvest, time to separate the chaff from the wheat. It is the fork in the road. I believe that there are many on earth today with one heart. I believe that there are many on earth today who will somehow, wake up to the truth and move into the world of oneness, compassion, love and responsibility. Those who awaken will feel the connection, the personal connection with the earth and with all that live on her. They are the seeds of the new planting. During the time of planting, Spirit gives us all of the rope that we ask for, to use as we choose, with total freedom. We can use it selfishly and amass a personal fortune while others starve, die from our greed as acceptable losses or collateral damage. Or we can choose to change, give back what we do not need, and find in our hearts what we really do need. But I believe that this last disaster, on the ocean floor, exemplifies all that is wrong with us. It is the result of our obsessive need to consume, our heartless disregard for life. It shows our irresponsibility, and our psychotic belief that we have the right to do anything that we have the power to do, and that freedom of will, somehow implies freedom from consequences.

We can trust the signs, or just be willing to err on the side of conscience, or ignore the signs, ignore the warnings, leave our hearts in cold storage and pay the price?. I have a feeling that we cannot survive the extinction of the dolphin. They are our last connections to the soul of the earth. We are paying now for all that we have done. Let us ponder the phrase, “the meek shall inherit the earth”.

“Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, which has eyes to see but does not see, and ears to hear but does not hear; for they are a rebellious house.” Ezekiel 12:2

Message to the United Nations (Another Attempt)

Delivered and Submitted by Martin Gashweseoma, Caretaker of the Sovereign Hopi Nation to the General Assembly November 22, 1993

For The Great Spirit, Massau’u:

We come here from the Sovereign Hopi Nation to attend the Cry of the Earth Conference at the United Nations. We are proud that you have opened the door for us. My name is Martin Gashweseoma. As Hopi, we have come here to present our message which is about how we first came here from the previous world.

The Hopi way is to lead a good life. We still have the sacred stone tablets given to us by the Spider Woman. This is our title and deed to this world, and it was given to us with the life plan to follow, and with strong instructions and serious warnings. It was a good life. When the rains came and brought a lot of moisture, then our crops would yield enough for all living beings, including the ants, animals, birds, plants and human kind.

Before leaving the previous world, we came up here to ask permission from the Great Spirit, Massau’u, if we could live here with him because the world down below had become corrupted. He told the people, ‘It is up to you if you are willing to live with full respect for my way of life.’ They said, ‘Yes we are willing to live your way.’ So with his consent we came here, into this new world. This world is where the Great Spirit, Massau’u, first appeared to all first peoples and gave them their instructions and rules to follow. Then the Spider Woman laid before them ears of corn of different colors from which to take their sustenance and livelihood. The greediest people hurried to pick out the longest ears. But the Hopi, being the most humble, waited until last and chose the shortest ears of corn. Spider Woman then gave each group of people their own language and name and told them to migrate to every corner of this continent leaving their footprints, clan markings, and ruins to claim this land.

Before the migrating peoples arrived at the place where the Great Spirit, Massau’u, lives, he used to take walks nearby his home. Coming back home, bringing back violet flowers, he dropped them along the way. After discovering he had dropped the violet flowers, he went back to look for them, but the flowers had already been found by the Horny Toad Woman. The Great Spirit, Massau’u, asked if she would give it back but the Horny Toad Woman refused. Instead, she told him that in time there would be a crisis in this world, with which he would need help. At that time she would be there with her steel helmet to help. Meaning that someday if the Hopi got into trouble, a group of people with the steel helmet would help them.

The Great Spirit, Massau’u, let the first group who had found him live there and settle down. Each subsequent group of people who came to settle in Oraibi after their migrations were allowed to stay based on judgment of their character and how they had traveled when they were searching for the Great Spirit. Those who were boastful and arrogant were sent away to the east. Those of humble and sincere hearts were allowed to stay and keep the ceremonials in the proper manner to ensure rain for the crops and all living things. After this was settled, all the things that were to come were told to the first people in Oraibi by the first people that came from the underworld.

The people were told of another race of people who would come to this land and claim it as their own land. We were told not to accept anything these people would offer to us, but it will tempt us and be hard to resist. They would be intelligent and the inventors of many things. Now we realize that these people are the light-skinned people, the Bahanas. We were told of something that would come that would be pulled by animals, meaning wagons or carts. And ones that would run very fast, meaning automobiles. We were told of the land being cut up by long roads and fences, and of highways that would be built in the sky. And that women would adopt male clothing. And that the secret of women, with clothing, covered, would no longer be secret, but be revealed and exposed.

When this happens, all the world leaders people will be corrupted and will not know whom to look to for direction to correct this corruption. It will mean that we are all nearing the end. Then the wars will come about like powerful winds, and will spread from country to country and bring Purification or Destruction to this world. The more we turn away from the instructions of the Great Spirit, the more signs we see in the form of earthquakes, floods, drought, fires, tornadoes, as Nature makes ready her revenge. All of this will happen at one time along with the wars and corruption. We see this now as young children become angry, killing each other and their parents. They show no respect. We are all corrupt. If this Purification does not materialize, then the world will turn over 4 times and will leave only ants here to start a new life. Before people came to this world they were sick, just as today, we are sick from all this corruption. Now we are seeking a way to solve our present situation. This is the last world, we are not going anywhere from here. If we destroy this, the highest world, we will be given no other chances.

Let us consider this matter seriously so that this world is not destroyed, so that we can continue to live and save this land and life for the generations to come.

Denise Gibel Molini

Whose Heart Is God Hardening Now, and Why?

image Exodus 4:21 The LORD said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders which I have put in your power; but I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go.”


Exodus 7:3 “But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart that I may multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt.”

When Moses wanted to appeal to Pharaoh in order to convince him to allow the Hebrews to leave Egypt, God advised Moses that he would harden Pharaoh’s heart so that Pharaoh would not allow the Hebrews to go free.  What followed, the plagues, the death of children all happened because God meant for them to happen.  In fact, in the study of the Old Testament there is a great deal of destruction and conquering, it is really brutal.  And what is important about that is the fact that the major disasters which occur in the Bible are all orchestrated by God.  It should be noticed that in the Bible, the false idols are statues built of gold.

image

Another ancient spiritual text, the Bhagavad-Gita centers entirely around a battle.  On the surface, like the Bible, we have a story about Arjuna and his relationship with many of the people on the other side of the battle.  We know that he is a great warrior, but it seems that many of those people that he will be required to kill, were also important to making him into the man that he has become. The Bible seems to be filled with unfairness, and ambiguity.  Many Jewish Sages have created back stories to make just what seems unjust, but it is still adding details to a story thousands of years after the story was written.  In the Bhagavad-Gita  the Lord Krishna, who had been posing as Arjuna’s charioteer gives us a spiritual view of the story, depicting it as an external playing out of a human internal battle.

It was understandably easier for the eastern philosophies to be clear in the meaning of their stories because they were not competing with so many other regional belief systems that made it necessary to make the hide the teachings in stories without explanation.  But it is my belief that all religious stories are meant to be inner journeys and that all of the experiences that we have in the world around us are the physical manifestations of those inner journeys to be taken by the soul.

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There is no other way to make sense of the world that we live in.  Today in the United States there is a hardening of the hearts of Republicans and some Democrats who call themselves “Conservative” to the suffering of Americans who, because of the cost of living, the economy and subsequent unemployment, and the rise in catastrophic illness and its cost are literally dying and losing what little they have.  There is no explanation for these statistics except that God has hardened the hearts of of those who could make a difference.

It is easy to see why some people believe that we have been abandoned by God.  It is easy to see this if we see life as beginning and ending with the body.  From that perspective, either there is no God, or God is uncaring and capricious.  Life is as senseless as so many stories in the Bible.  But we are not these bodies we are the souls within them.  And God did not create the world and turn away, the world is recreated every moment, with every life born into it.  Flesh and blood come from the earth, come from man, but life, the life force that animates us and all that is, comes from and exists within God.  It is not manmade.

So God is here and God is Love.  The experiences that we have are lessons for the soul and the bodies that we wear to have these lessons are no different than a school uniform.  Rich, poor, black, yellow, red, brown, white, all are nothing but parts of the lessons in this life. Their meaning is personal and universal but only within the life in which we wear them.  The soul has not race, nor does it have a gender.  It has wealth but that wealth is measured in love, compassion, and understanding.

The following statistics, are proof that our hearts have been hardened, and proof that there can be no recovery because our hardened hearts will not permit us to make the only changes that would prevent what lies ahead.  And so we will fall, and that falling is what will free us, what will part the Red Sea – the sea of suffering and oppression that enslaves us all.

At-Risk Americans: The Uninsured And Underinsured

By Janis McMillen

Data from multiple sources agree that in 2007, 47 million Americans (15.6 percent of the total U.S. population) lacked any kind of health insurance coverage. When these numbers are adjusted for age (excluding those 65 years and older), the uninsured percentage of the population rises to 17.9 percent. Moreover, it is estimated that 25 million adults under age 65 were underinsured during 2007, despite having insurance all year. In total, 42 percent of all adults (86.7 million) were either uninsured or underinsured during 2007.

Putting a face on persons who were uninsured or underinsured during 2007 and 20081

  • Age: One of three people under age 65 were uninsured for some or all of 2007 and 2008; of the total uninsured population, 60.1 million were adults (between 19 and 64 years of age)
  • Duration: Among the underinsured/uninsured, 74.5  percent were uninsured for nine or more months and one-quarter were uninsured the entire 24 months
  • Employment status: 80 percent of individuals who were uninsured were in working families and only 16 percent were not in the labor force (due to disabilities, chronic illness, or serving as family caregivers)
  • Income: Nearly 60 percent were in families with incomes below the federal poverty level (FPL: $21,200/year for a family of four); 52 percent with incomes between 100 to 200 percent of FPL went without health insurance in 2007/2008
  • Racial and Ethnic origin: 55 percent of Hispanics/Latinos, 40.3 percent of African Americans and 34 percent of other racial or ethnic minorities had no health insurance in 2007/2008, compared to 25.8 percent of whites.  While racial and ethnic minorities are more likely to be uninsured, whites accounted for 49.8  percent of the uninsured
  • Age breakdown: The likelihood of being uninsured declines with age; 49.5 percent of those 19 – 24 years old, 36.3 percent of those 25 – 44 years old, 32.5 percent of those 45 – 54 years old and 21.2 percent of those 55 – 64 years old were uninsured over this two-year time period. The 55- to 64-year-old age group consumes more health care on average than younger adults.

For all ethnic and racial groups, lower-income families and individuals were more likely to be uninsured than lower-income whites. This disparity continues even as incomes rise in all groups.

There is a marked increase in the number of adults having difficulty paying medical bills – the most visible consequence of the weakening in insurance coverage. In 2007, 41 percent of adults (72 million people) reported problems paying medical bills, faced bill collectors or were in debt for medical care, up from 34 percent or 58 million in 2005. The majority had insurance at the time these bills were incurred2 – well in advance of the economic downturn.

1 All statistics above and below are from http://www.familiesusa.org/resources/publications/reports/americans-at-risk-findings.html

2The statistics in this paragraph are from http://www.commonwealthfund.org/Content/Publications/Testimonies/2009/Feb/Testimony-Insurance-Design-Matters-Underinsured-Trends-Health-and-Financial-Risks.aspx

Janis McMillen (LWVUS Board member and LWVKS) is chair of the LWVUS Health Care Education Task Force.

Produced by the LWVUS Health Care Education Task Force, 2009

Poverty Facts and Stats

Author and Page information

  1. Almost half the world — over three billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day.At least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day.Source 1 

  2. More than 80 percent of the world’s population lives in countries where income differentials are widening.Source 2 

  3. The poorest 40 percent of the world’s population accounts for 5 percent of global income. The richest 20 percent accounts for three-quarters of world income.Source 3 

  4. According to UNICEF, 25,000 children die each day due to poverty. And they “die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world. Being meek and weak in life makes these dying multitudes even more invisible in death.”Source 4 

  5. Around 27-28 percent of all children in developing countries are estimated to be underweight or stunted. The two regions that account for the bulk of the deficit are South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.If current trends continue, the Millennium Development Goals target of halving the proportion of underweight children will be missed by 30 million children, largely because of slow progress in Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.Source 5 

  6. Based on enrolment data, about 72 million children of primary school age in the developing world were not in school in 2005; 57 per cent of them were girls. And these are regarded as optimisitic numbers.Source 6 

  7. Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names.Source 7
  8. Less than one per cent of what the world spent every year on weapons was needed to put every child into school by the year 2000 and yet it didn’t happen.Source 8
  9. Infectious diseases continue to blight the lives of the poor across the world. An estimated 40 million people are living with HIV/AIDS, with 3 million deaths in 2004. Every year there are 350–500 million cases of malaria, with 1 million fatalities: Africa accounts for 90 percent of malarial deaths and African children account for over 80 percent of malaria victims worldwide.Source 9 

  10. Water problems affect half of humanity:
    • Some 1.8 million child deaths each year as a result of diarrhea
    • The loss of 443 million school days each year from water-related illness.
    • Close to half of all people in developing countries suffering at any given time from a health problem caused by water and sanitation deficits.
    • Millions of women spending several hours a day collecting water.
    • To these human costs can be added the massive economic waste associated with the water and sanitation deficit.… The costs associated with health spending, productivity losses and labour diversions … are greatest in some of the poorest countries. Sub-Saharan Africa loses about 5% of GDP, or some $28.4 billion annually, a figure that exceeds total aid flows and debt relief to the region in 2003.Source 10

     

  11. Number of children in the world
    2.2 billion
    Number in poverty
    1 billion (every second child)
    Shelter, safe water and health
    For the 1.9 billion children from the developing world, there are:

    • 640 million without adequate shelter (1 in 3)
    • 400 million with no access to safe water (1 in 5)
    • 270 million with no access to health services (1 in 7)
    Children out of education worldwide
    121 million
    Survival for children
    Worldwide,

    • 10.6 million died in 2003 before they reached the age of 5 (same as children population in France, Germany, Greece and Italy)
    • 1.4 million die each year from lack of access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation
    Health of children
    Worldwide,

    • 2.2 million children die each year because they are not immunized
    • 15 million children orphaned due to HIV/AIDS (similar to the total children population in Germany or United Kingdom)

    Source 11

     

  12. Rural areas account for three in every four people living on less than US$1 a day and a similar share of the world population suffering from malnutrition. However, urbanization is not synonymous with human progress. Urban slum growth is outpacing urban growth by a wide margin.Source 12 

  13. Approximately half the world’s population now live in cities and towns. In 2005, one out of three urban dwellers (approximately 1 billion people) was living in slum conditions.Source 13 

  14. In developing countries some 2.5 billion people are forced to rely on biomass—fuelwood, charcoal and animal dung—to meet their energy needs for cooking. In sub-Saharan Africa, over 80 percent of the population depends on traditional biomass for cooking, as do over half of the populations of India and China.Source 14 

  15. Indoor air pollution resulting from the use of solid fuels [by poorer segments of society] is a major killer. It claims the lives of 1.5 million people each year, more than half of them below the age of five: that is 4000 deaths a day. To put this number in context, it exceeds total deaths from malaria and rivals the number of deaths from tuberculosis.Source 15 

  16. In 2005, the wealthiest 20% of the world accounted for 76.6% of total private consumption. The poorest fifth just 1.5%:The poorest 10% accounted for just 0.5% and the wealthiest 10% accounted for 59% of all the consumption: 

  17. Shah, Anup. “Poverty Facts and Stats.” Global Issues, Updated: 22 Mar. 2009. Accessed: 25 Nov. 2009. <http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats

Today we live in an age where information is at our fingertips.  We cannot hide from what is all around us and because of this, we are responsible for it.  Yet we do nothing.

When the pharaohs heart was hardened it was because Egypt had become a nation that worshipped the golden calf.  What is the golden calf but money, power, and all of the things that turn one away from God.  Had Moses convinced Pharaoh to free the Hebrews it would not have been because he had seen the error of his ways, nor because he had realized that the Egypt had become corrupt and inhumane, no, it would have been nothing more than a gesture made to the brother he grew up with.  Had he released the Hebrew slaves, he would have simply increased the numbers of the other slaves.  It was time for Egypt and the Hebrews to see what happens when man turns his back on God and on his fellow man for the sake of the wealth that gold promises.

Man has lost his heart.  The industrialized nations of the world are Egypt.  In the United States, Congress represents Pharaoh and its heart has been hardened to the plight of the majority of the people.  The government and all of those with power worship at the alter of insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, banks, and all of the movers and shakers Wall Street.  And we are the Hebrew slaves.  We are enslaved by the insurance companies that take our money and give back nothing.  We are enslaved by the pharmaceutical companies that charge so much for medications that people die because they cannot afford them.  We are enslaved by the banks that charge so much money for credit card interest that we can never pull ourselves out from the debt that they pile on our backs.

We are the slaves and we are not going to be freed.  Those who could free us have had their hearts hardened.  We will be freed when the system collapses under the weight of its own inequity.  We will be freed by God, but that will only be the beginning.  We have already been given the commandments by which we must live.  We already know they type of people we must become to enter the promised land.  We must become the promised land.  We must build something new.  We must not attempt to recreate the golden towers that enslaved us.  We must redefine success and greatness.  We must establish a new path for our children to follow, one that is not for the self but for all.  We must become one people, and one family.  We will have no choice.  We are slaves, but it is time to build a free world.  We will not recover, we must reinvent.  We must acknowledge the chains that bind us and know we are bound by the chains of our desires.  And when we relinquish those desires, we unlock the chains. We will then lift the fog that hides our future and once again see a light to follow.

There’s Something Happening Here – Perhaps it is An Evolutionary Leap

MESSAGE FROM HOPI ELDERS

“TO MY FELLOW SWIMMERS:

There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold on to the shore. They will feel they are being torn apart and will suffer greatly. Know the river has its destination. We must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above the water. And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate. At this time in history, we are to take nothing personal, least of all ourselves. For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt. The time of the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves!

Banish the word ‘struggle’ from your attitude and your vocabulary. All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.

WE ARE THE ONES WE’VE BEEN WAITING FOR”

Oraibi Arizona
Hopi Nation

September, 2001

It has been some time since I have been able to find words to express the images and ideas floating around in my mind.   I have only been receiving scattered pieces of this puzzle here and there but no glue to connect them, no words to carry me from one piece to another.  In the past, once the pieces start coming, so did clear concepts and ultimately words. I simply had to run to the computer to get it down before it evaporated, like a dream when one wakes up,  Once at the keyboard the words seemed to become anchored and they flow from beginning to end.

However, for a very long time that has not happened, there has been information coming to me, but no flow, when I reach the keyboard the no words.

Now I understand why.  I did not have all of the experiences needed for the pieces of information to be accepted into my consciousness, and anchored into words. The last piece has finally come to me and now I am able to begin the process of writing it down.  I am putting this out as a theory because it seems, even to me, to be really out there, but then again, the times we live in are really out there also.

Many years ago I read a book by, Greg Braden, called, “Awakening to Zero Point”, where he mentioned that people who were journeying towards emersion in the Spiritual principals of Love, Compassion and Oneness, would experience an actual change in their DNA that would lead to positive health changes, among other things.  I have always remembered this, however, I have not had anywhere to apply the information.

I did a past life regression with a friend of mine, Ghary, and during the regression I progressed him into the future.  While he was observing the future I asked him about the Government.  It was difficult for him to describe, but he saw what appeared to be two governments.

I have been studying a new system that combines Astrology, Kabbalah, the I-Ching, and the Hindu Chakra System, that was channeled by a man who called himself, Ra Uru Hu.  He did this in 1987, the year of the great galactic alignment.  It is called, Human Design, and it seems to me to be one of the important additions to the tools that we have to guide us into this upcoming age.   I was listening to a Human Design lecture in which the speaker mentioned, that Ra, had channeled information about a “New Human” evolving during this time.

Suddenly I began to make connections, so many random pieces of what seemed like trivia worth noting, began to come together – things that had impressed me over the years were now connecting.

It is obvious that something is happening, something that those of us who pay attention know, has never happened before, at least not in recorded history.  Life, and humanity itself, at least as I had perceived it, had begun to change drastically. The galactic alignment was an exciting occurrence for me when it happened, but as far as I could see, it just came and went, no big game changer…so I thought.

I believe , though imperceptible, that this was when things began to change.  I understand now, that nothing happens in one day, or overnight,  I have heard so many actors who were labeled, “overnight successes”, that they worked most of their lives for that “overnight success”.  Something began in 1987, a major energy shift,  Something

that said, “From here on everything is going to be supersized”.

Personally, it was not until one day in the mid 90’s that I suddenly felt as though I had awaken, no, I felt that we had all awoken in a parallel universe.  Time seemed to move faster, and normal suddenly leapt to be the equivalent of what was once over the top, and there was no more “over the top” just more until there is nothing left.  What we had, what we wanted, what we felt, what we liked, didn’t like, our love, our hate, acceptance and rejection, the acts of Nature, everything was on a grand scale.

When I was growing up, Christians were the nice, quiet believers, unlike the power hungry, a rule for everything Catholics.  Then suddenly with the Christianity of the old south, which condoned the killing of Blacks and Jews as ordained by God, put on a loving costume seduced people with love and acceptance and suddenly they were killing doctors at abortion clinics in support of the right to life,  Everyone was killing for God.  Billionaires seemed to be the new millionaire, millionaires seemed to be the new middle class, and the middle class turned into an endangered species.  In fact, there were more animal extinctions than in the history of man.  While Cancer grew in the same proportion.  As has Mother Nature’s fury.

Yet, at this same time, Spirituality was growing in power.  Everything that was centered around love, the kind of love that is all inclusive and embracing with love as its foundation, grew more powerful– quietly.  This growing undertone of love and of unity was even emerging throughout the animal kingdom,

tarra and bella The Elephant who bonded with the dog for life

turtle hippo The turtle and hippo who are inseparable

tonda and cat The Orangutan that was given her will to live by a cat

Then there is this story of a Lioness who adopted an oryx:

The Miracle Lioness: Kalmuniak

April 17th 2008 10:31

storiesofwisdom.com

samburu

“SAMBURU , KENYA – In Biology, we know that there exist the thing called food chain. It could be like this: soil nutrients consumed by grass, grass consumed by deer, deer consumed by lion, lion die consumed by microorganism into soil nutrients, and so on. The food pyramid draws on who eat who and who get eaten by who. This means, an oryx, a kind of horned deer living in Africa, is a food to wolves, leopard, lion or other predators.
However, as what was reported in BBC 7 January 2002, A lioness in central Kenya has baffled wildlife experts by adopting a baby oryx. Reports say the full-grown lioness came across the oryx two weeks ago in the Samburu Game Reserve, scaring off its mother.
Instead of then attacking the defenseless calf, the lioness adopted the baby, protecting it from other predators, including a leopard.

kalmuniak

The local witnesses stated that every evening the lioness and the baby oryx would rest together. The lioness would curl up her body to the side of the oryx. The lioness even allowed the real oryx mother to come playing with the baby oryx, giving the baby milk. When the baby gets full, the lioness would then chase away the mother to go.
That also means extra work for the lioness, for she has to protect the baby oryx. In any way, the oryx do rise the appetite of her predator relatives, many other lions would love to meal on the oryx.
However on Sunday of 6 January 2002, the sad end to the story came when the lioness led the oryx to the river to drink. Weakened by two weeks of looking after her adopted baby, she fell asleep, failing to notice a hungry male lion in the area. The oryx was no more.
Patrick Muriungi, a receptionist at Samburu Lodge, told AFP the lioness was grief-stricken when she awoke to realise from the small noises of what had happened. The lioness was right away very enraged and attacked the male lion. “She was very angry. She went around the lion about 10 times roaring, and then the lioness disappeared,” he was quoted as saying.
Of course this extraordinary case attracts the attention of many. “This is either an extraordinary case of maternal instinct or simply the eighth wonder of the world,” the local Herman Mwasaghu told The Nation newspaper. “What is baffling is why the relationship has lasted so long,” said Wildlife expert Vincent Kapeen. He also thought the lioness spared the oryx “because animals have a special instinct to care for the young”. Or could it be because the lioness was being lonely? How about you? What do you think?
Local people in Kenya named the lioness Kamunyak, which means “the blessed one” in the local Samburu language. Since then she has cared for five more young Oryxes, but none lives longer than a week and the last escaped back to it’s mother. Kamunyak was last sighted in February 2003, and despite a number of searches, she has not been spotted again. Her story was recorded by Saba Douglas-Hamilton and her sister, Dudu, between January 2002 – August 2003. Their film, Heart of a Lioness, was shown on the BBC and Animal Planet. This a powerful message for us all to fight racism. If an animal can overcome her hunger and instinct to protect, imagine what we humans can do, if we really want to.”

A growing divide, two opposite directions seem to have clearly emerged in the world today, and as time passes it seems that the differences of those on each side become more more encoded in their DNA.   This makes the Hopi’s prophecy Rock and its fork in the path seem a clear sign of where we are headed.  We are a part of something incredible.

PROPHECY ROCK
“Prophecy Rock is a petroglyph on the Hopi Reservation in Arizona that describes the life path of our world. It represents the prophecy connected with the return of the White Brother to the land, who should be carrying a cross within a sacred circle. If, however, he happened to return with only the cross and no circle, this could be the beginning of the Great Purification that would bring about the end of the world.  The current day Hopi believe that the White Brother first returned to the land in the form of the Spanish invaders in the 1500’s, who were carrying the cross but no sacred circle (they came as enemies rather than friends).  Since that time, according to Hopi beliefs, we have been approaching the end of the world as we know it.

The lower left hand corner depicts the Great Spirit holding the reed through which the people traveled to enter the fourth world.  The people had the choice of taking either of two paths: the upper horizontal line is the materialistic path, while the lower line is the spiritual path.  The first vertical line (just before the circles) represents the moment that the white people returned to Hopi land.  (Note that the people on the top line are not connected with their heads, which indicates their dissociation from their spirituality and the Creator.)  The first two circles represent World War I and II.  The vertical line following the two wars is the last chance that the people on the top line (people in our modern culture) could return to the spiritual path and therefore survive to enter the joy and abundance of the fifth world.  The materialistic path then becomes jagged and gradually fades away.

The lower left hand corner depicts the Great Spirit holding the reed through which the people traveled to enter the fourth world. The people had the choice of taking either of two paths: the upper horizontal line is the materialistic path, while the lower line is the spiritual path. The first vertical line (just before the circles) represents the moment that the white people returned to Hopi land. (In the actual petroglyph, the people on the top line are not connected with their heads, which indicates their dissociation from their spirituality and the Creator.) The first two circles represent World War I and II. The vertical line following the two wars is the last chance that the people on the top line (people in our modern culture) could return to the spiritual path and therefore survive to enter the joy and abundance of the fifth world. The materialistic path then becomes jagged and gradually fades away.”

From, “The Wild Rose Dreamer’s Cottage”

This shows that there are two paths, and people who choose one path and those who choose the other,  We have been in period of choice for some time,   The Hopi have certain signs that foretell the coming purification.  In reading the signs myself, it does not seem, to me that they need be consecutive. only that they need to be fulfilled.

The following Hopi prophecy was first published in a mimeographed manuscript that circulated among several Methodist and Presbyterian churches in 1959.

While driving along a desert road one hot day in the summer of 1958, a minister named David Young stopped to offer a ride to a Hopi elder, who accepted with a nod.

After riding in silence for several minutes, the elder said:

“I am White Feather, a Hopi of the ancient Bear Clan.

In my long life I have traveled through this land, seeking out my brothers, and learning from them many things full of wisdom. I have followed the sacred paths of my people, who inhabit the forests and many lakes in the east, the land of ice and long nights in the north, the mountains and streams of jumping fish in the west, and the places of holy altars of stone built long ago by my brothers’ fathers in the south.

From all these I have heard the stories of the past, and the prophecies of the future. Today, many of the prophecies have turned to stories, and few are left – the past grows longer, and the future grows shorter.
“And now White Feather is dying. His sons have all joined his ancestors, and soon he too shall be with them. But there is no one left, no one to recite and pass on the ancient wisdom. My people have tired of the old ways. The great ceremonies that tell of our origins, of our Emergence into the Fourth World, are almost all abandoned, forgotten. Yet even this has been foretold. The time grows short..
“My people await Pahana, the lost White Brother, as do all our brothers in the land. He will not be like the white men we know now, who are cruel and greedy. We were told of their coming long ago. But still we await Pahana.
“He will bring with him the symbols, the missing piece of that sacred tablet now kept by the elders, given to him when he left, that shall identify him as our True White Brother.
“The Fourth World shall end soon, and the Fifth World will begin. This the elders everywhere know. The signs over many years have been fulfilled, and so few are left.

“This is the First Sign: We are told of the coming of the white-skinned men, like Pahana, but not living like Pahana – men who took the land that was not theirs. And men who struck their enemies with thunder.
“This is the Second Sign: Our lands will see the coming of the spinning wheels of wood filled with voices. In my youth, my father saw this prophecy come true with his eyes – the white men bringing their families in wagons across the prairies.
“This is the Third Sign: A strange beast, like a buffalo but with great long horns, will overrun the land in large numbers. These White Feather saw with his own eyes — the coming of the white mens’ cattle.
“This is the Fourth Sign: The land will be criss-crossed by snakes of iron.
“This is the Fifth Sign: The land will be criss-crossed by a giant spider’s web.
“This is the Sixth Sign: The land will be criss-crossed with rivers of stone that make pictures in the sun.
“This is the Seventh Sign: You will hear of the sea turning black, and many living things dying because of it.
“This is the Eighth Sign: You will see many youth, who wear their hair long like my people, come and join the tribal nations, to learn their ways and wisdom.
“And this is the Ninth and Last Sign: You will hear of a dwelling place in the heavens, above the earth, that shall fall with a great crash. It will appear as a blue star. Very soon after this, the ceremonies of my people will cease.

“These are the Signs that great destruction is coming. The world shall rock to and fro. The white man will battle against other people in other lands – with those who possessed the first light of wisdom. There will be many columns of smoke such as White Feather has seen the white man make in the deserts not far from here. Only those which come will cause disease and a great dying.

Many of my people, understanding the prophecies, shall be safe. Those who stay and live in the places of my people also shall be safe. Then there will be much to rebuild. And soon — very soon afterward – Pahana will return. He shall bring with him the dawn of the Fifth World. He shall plant the seeds of his wisdom in their hearts. Even now the seeds are being planted. These shall smooth the way to the Emergence into the Fifth World.
“But White Feather shall not see it. I am old and dying. You — perhaps you will see it. In time, in time…”

The Hopi elder became silent. They had arrived at his destination, and Rev. Young stopped to let him out of the car. They never met again. Rev. Young died in 1976, so he did not live to see the further fulfillment of this remarkable prophecy.”

Seeking The Truth and Finding Understanding

It has been very difficult for me to post because I am so caught up in what is going on today and it is so easy to pass judgment.  I am not comfortable writing about a topic so long as I feel that my view is obviously the right one.  I have learned that however deeply I feel something to be the truth, someone feels as deeply that it is not.  Until I can understand the path that lead that person to his opposing view, my own view  is only strong enough to hold me.

In writing, my goal is not simply to describe the world as I see it, but to also expand the vision, or give words to the visions of those who read what I write.  A cube has six sides.  The whole, or the truth of a cube can only be expressed by connecting six sides.  Six people, each viewing one side cannot call their side, a cube.  So, I attempt to write when I feel that when I express my perspective it is not my intent to replace the perspective of someone else.

When I began my search for the ultimate truth, it was for no higher purpose than to eliminate the embarrassment of being wrong.  I was bothered by having to rethink my position and then declare to the world that I was not right.  However, my search has taken many twists and turns, and through that process I developed a sincere desire to understand.

I came to the realization that there was my truth, your truth and the truth.  Again, I just had to find “The Truth”.  This was a good place to begin ego stripping, because I found that my truth could never be anything but, my truth.  As hard as I searched, with as open a mind as I could attain, I found that, at least in our world, there just isn’t “The Truth”.  At least not in any useful way.  I found that there has always been “the Seed”  from which all truths are born.  But “the Seed” is not “The Truth”.  A three dimensional world has three dimensions.  There is no one place to stand in which to visualize all sides at once and thus see the whole picture.

Regardless of where I stand, I will only see one side, and even if that side varies markedly from the side I was once on, there is still at least one more side that I am not seeing.  Even being open minded enough to make the effort to see all sides, I will still, inevitably, choose one to be the right one and chances are it will be the one that resonates with my existing belief pattern, or current experience.
When I was in my early twenties I began to study numerology.  I remember reading about my personal numbers and thinking at first that they really, “sucked”.  I wanted this one love who would worship and adore me, and who I, in return, would worship and adore.  All the rest was background noise.  Numerology did not hold this as a possibility, in this life at least.  My numbers only spoke of universal love and giving, they spoke of disappointment in seeking that all consuming great love that I was living for.

Up to that point, disappointment was a fitting word to describe my quest for that one true all consuming love.  But then it came to me, a voice in my head told me that God would put my greatest happiness on whatever path I was meant to walk.
Just because I had to experience a different kind of love than the one I was looking for, didn’t mean that it would feel less joyous.  In other words, God does not ask us to sacrifice our happiness, or our fulfillment.  The only thing that we are asked to sacrifice is our egocentric belief that we know better than God where that joy and fulfillment can be found.

I remember when I first felt that Obama would be elected President.  I was happy knowing that it would open a door that could not ever be closed again.  It declared that we are as equal as we choose to believe that we are.  At the same time, I was very saddened intuitively knowing that, “all the kings horses and all the kings men, couldn’t put humpty together again.”  The foundation of our capitalistic, materialistic system was being shattered into pieces that were not meant to be reconstructed.

The world as we have believed it to be was coming to an end.  The world envisioned by Jesus, the Buddha, Krishna, and the many mystics and enlightened men and women would become the manifest world in which we live.  They taught us that material gain was empty – we would see it now as empty.  They taught that attachment was the root of suffering – and through our attachment, our suffering is growing.  They taught us that only through compassion, faith, love and kindness could joy be found.  We are finding that governments are helplessly bound in a stalemate – a battle between the old ways and the new.  And because we cannot find relief from our governments, we seek the help, the kindness and compassion of our neighbors.

Some of us must overcome our pride and ask for help.  Some of us must overcome our fear of lack and extend our help.  Yet, through this process, we are all being forced to overcome the inner attachments that tie us to the material world and block us from seeing the beauty in the spiritual world that lies before us.  Still, so long as we have governments and leaders, change will require their participation.  I have heard it said that the unfinished steps on the back of the United States Seal symbolize our forefathers belief that what they began would continue, and grow, and evolve to fulfill the needs and secure the rights of all of the people.

No man can change the course when God has laid the stones of that path.  We have learned all that there is to learn from taking whatever we want and thinking only of ourselves and our own.  We have emptied that well of any value.  Now we will learn all that there is to learn from giving, from seeing all, as ourselves and all, as our own, and giving all that we have to give. We are now learning that if everyone is giving – everyone is receiving.

The most that any President can do is to redirect our country, through whatever incentives or programs within his power, into a direction that serves all of mankind, the earth, and those we may consider the most insignificant of God’s creatures.  And it should not be through punishing the abuser, but through generously rewarding those who do what is right for all.  “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s”, let the profiteers do what they do and take what they take, but let the government generously reward and assist those who do what is best for those who have always benefited the least.

Barack Obama was elected in part because of who and what he was, but in a larger part because of who and what he was not. He was elected by the people, those same people who are losing their homes, their jobs and their health benefits.  He has two years, not to turn the economy around, but to reach down and make a real change in the lives of the people for whom he is the final hope.  A change, that no one else can claim credit for.  It could be forcing a moratorium on foreclosures, or something to help the growing number of families in dire need of assistance, or even improving education for all public schools.  But it has to be something that is tangible.

I was not a Bush supporter, yet spiritually I knew that he was destined by God to bring us to our knees and allow us to be the direct benefactors of our own actions.  However, although I am not a Bush supporter, I am a Bush admirer.  He found ways to use his authority to accomplish what he believed he had to accomplish.  He did not acknowledge obstacles.  In a very human way, that attitude made many people feel safe, even if their safety was an illusion – who cares?  Our illusions are the fortresses we live in.

We want everything, but we don’t want to pay.  We want big business because we want to be rich one day.  We want Santa Claus, the tooth fairy and the Easter bunny delivering our packages – ON TIME.  We need a leader who will move, with complete conviction to give us, not what we want, but what we clearly need to insure the best quality of life for the greatest number of people for the longest period of time.  We don’t need someone who listens to us, as much as someone who sees the deteriorating quality of our lives.

I read somewhere where someone was quoted as saying that the majority does not rule, the majority is ruled.  The majority of people, approximately 70%, want – need to be told what to believe.  This is what religion does – this is what packs the pews.  About 25% of the people want to do whatever they want to do, and believe whatever they want to believe.  And only about 5% want sincerely to search from the heart for what is right for all – this is the path of spirituality. It has no leaders and no followers only seekers.

On the spiritual path, we seek a personal relationship, a personal understanding of God.  What this really means is that in the highest and truest sense, God is, and the ultimate truth is, what each of us experiences as such.  The truth that lies at the end of the journey is not the singularity of one point – one way, one path.  No, the truth is the singularity of one entire Universe of perspectives – growing, changing, evolving.  It does not narrow as our journey progresses, it expands until it encompasses All-That-Is.  For us as individuals, and for our leaders, the highest good that we can strive for, the greatest success that we can achieve, is to see everyone within the concept of “I”, and to include loving and caring for every species of life, when think taking care of, “our own”.

Accepting Responsibility for our Lives

To be responsible is not simply to accept burdens, more than anything else it is to accept power. We are the actors in the play that is our lives – we are at all times spiritually responsible for our actions in that play. However, until that spiritual responsibility becomes emotional and material within our lives we will be destined to enact the same play over and over again with nothing changing but the period wardrobe and props.

When I was a child my father taught me how to play Gin Rummy. We would play for hours and most of the time that we played I would win. One day I was feeling very full of myself as a great card shark and I decided to play for money. My father tried to talk me out of it, but I insisted. I bet my entire allowance and in about five minutes my father won. Now the game was over and he had won and I believed that he should give me my money back. My father refused. I cried, I begged, I sulked, I even tried to borrow the exact amount, but he absolutely refused. I could not believe that my father could actually love me and not give me back my money. I decided that he did not really love me. I believed that if he loved me he would give me anything that I wanted. This was what I really felt. It took a long time for me to understand that my fathers’ love had nothing to do with my responsibility for my own actions.

After many months, perhaps even years, I finally understood what he had given to me. I could never again act in any way or say any words that I was not prepared to be responsible for the outcome of. I realized that my father would never make idol threats, if I wanted to do something that I should not, he would tell me the punishment that I would receive if I did it. He was no longer attached to my choice, and when I ultimately did what I wanted to do anyway, he was not attached to the punishment. I am now grateful for this lesson. The one good thing about this lesson is that it is never too late to learn, and never too late to teach to your children. It only takes one time, which was all it took for me. I may have pushed the envelope many times after that, but the difference was that I was responsible and prepared for whatever the outcome. I was in my power.

I suppose that when our belief in reincarnation was taken away from us, so too was the possibility of ever really being right – so we went for the next best thing which was appearing to be right. Of course if we could do neither, we had to place the responsibility for our being wrong on someone else – blame – so that we could escape whatever repercussions we envisioned. The concept of reincarnation has always felt right to me. I always knew that God was Love, and it just made sense to me that placing us in the darkness and giving us only one chance to find the right light – without a manual was not a loving act. To me, it was like taking your child and putting her out at night having this discourse:

Parent: Go find it and you can’t come home until you do – and if you don’t you will be lost forever.

Child: Find what?

Parent: Figure it out.

Child: Which direction do I go?

Parent: Look in the Book.

Child: Which Book – there are so many?

Parent: Figure it out!

Then having the parent close the door on the child. So, reincarnation made sense to me. As someone who has practiced Astrology for many years, I have looked to the chart for past life content. But a chart may be easily verified in this life, but when referring to past lives it is really theoretical. However, since I started doing past life regressions, I find that the chart does give very accurate information as to the issues we need to take responsibility for in our lives that we have failed to do the same in past lives. I see people repeating the same theme over and over again. In the sixteenth century the theme may have been “Romeo and Juliet”, while in the twentieth century it may have been “West Side Story”. Over and over again I see people making the same ultimate choices, life after life, suffering the same consequences only with a slightly different story line. My father put the responsibility for my actions in my lap. I am still growing into that lesson, it is still a work in progress, but at least there is progress. I thought that my choices were pre-determined. I now realize that they are not pre-determined but they are hardwired into my make-up, because they are the choices that keep my ego where it is the most comfortable – on familiar ground. I love the saying, “Better the hell you know than the hell you don’t”. That is straight from the ego’s mouth. When we take responsibility, full responsibility – “The buck stops here” kind of responsibility, we will very likely end up in unfamiliar territory. I know how to function in a bad relationship, but do I really know how to function in a good one? Even happy is scary if happy is unknown. I always go left, maybe I should go right. I always wait, maybe I should act. I always go for the one who needs love, maybe I should go for the one who has it.

We choose the lessons we will learn. We have to accept responsibility for the choices we made before we came here as well as the choices that we make while we are here. We did not choose to suffer; we chose to learn we chose the areas of growth we would work on in this lifetime. This was how we determined our moment of birth<!–[if supportFields]> XE “birth” < ![endif]–>; we chose that moment so the energies of the planets would create the right atmosphere for the growth we came in to achieve.

Taking responsibility automatically puts us in the present. It puts us in a situation in which we have choices to make. As soon as we acknowledge that we have choices, we will realize that we have power. Finding someone or something to blame for our situation relieves us of the responsibility of changing it. It also prevents it from changing. Even if we blame ourselves, we tend to blame something that we label as an inadequacy rather than our own action or inaction, which we can do something about. I will not permit my children to say, “I can’t”, they have to say, “I won’t”, “I can’t” is a great deal more comfortable than, “I won’t”, “I won’t” implies responsibility.

Some people prefer to be miserable; they prefer to be victims. These people are constantly seeking and rejecting answers. Everything that goes wrong in their lives is the responsibility of someone or something other than themselves, and no amount of facts will convince them otherwise. This is a pattern built up over lifetimes.

The wrong people find them; they don’t find the wrong people. They remember the harsh things said to them but not what they might have said to provoke harsh words from others. If they are ever wrong, it is because they were provoked, tricked, or in some way forced to do whatever they were being held responsible for doing wrong.

If there is any good in their lives they find someone to compare it with who has it better. They do not compromise, because if it is all or nothing there is a much better chance of getting nothing. These same people tend to be luckier than most, they tend to be taken care of although they don’t notice it. These people probably live the most tortured lives because they have to keep validating the external source of their misery. The catch is that when we are not responsible we are not in our power, we hand over our power to those people or circumstances that we consider to be responsible. We are not blocked from having a wonderful life, we miss the chances life presents to do so because we are so deeply engrossed in our need to elude responsibility. “I won’t call her because she hasn’t called me”, “I won’t show love because it is never appreciated”, “I won’t try because I always lose”. Even when we blame ourselves, we say, “I am not tall enough, smart enough, attractive enough, strong enough…” We blame an attribute or lack of an attribute; we don’t take responsibility for an action or lack of action, a choice made or refusal to make a choice. We do not take responsibility, as beings.

This is all perception. If you perceive yourself as not responsible, as helpless then the positive side is that you are off of the hook, you didn’t make a mistake, fail, etc., the negative side is you are helpless, a victim of an unsafe world.

Lets look at an example, say that you have a good job, you have never been late, and have never been sick. One day you walk into the office and the boss’s lover is sitting at your desk and you’re out of a job. Well that is a classic case of victimization if ever one existed right? Perhaps, it really depends on ones perspective. This could be an example of how nothing you do works out, so it is a good reason to go get drunk, or lock yourself in your room. You can add this to the list of wrongs done to you. Or you could tell yourself that you’re lucky that you got away from a losing situation. Perhaps you might perceive it as a sign from the Universe to go on your own, or that it is just a sign to move on.

Most people are afraid of responsibility because they fear being responsible for the outcome of our actions. However, taking responsibility for the outcome is unrealistic. When we take responsible for a child or a valuable piece of jewelry or anything left in our keeping this is in a moment. It is not something that we do twenty-four hours a day. However when we accept responsibility for our actions we are taking responsibility for everything except the outcome and we are taking that responsibility in every moment that we are alive. It is being responsible for each thought, each movement and each word that we say. We cannot control the outcome of anything. I may drink and drive and have an accident or not. I am responsible for having been drinking. I am neither responsible for the fact that I had an accident nor am I responsible if I did not have one. To be responsible is to be present and aware in each action that we take in each thought that we have. This is to be in each now of our lives.

There is a part of our brain that works automatically. It regulates our body, it breathes, it pumps blood to our organs it does not take our presence or our awareness in order to function.

When we are toddlers and we begin to walk we are present. Each step is an effort it takes mindfulness. After we walk long enough it becomes automatic. I watched my son focus and strain while he tries to put his socks on. Eventually he didn’t even notice that he was doing it, because it became automatic. Even when we drive to a certain destination enough times it too becomes automatic, as though the car just knows where to turn.

How often do we bump into a piece of furniture and say, “excuse me”? When our living, becomes automatic we cannot be responsible, we are sleep walking. We are not present. Many times the loss of passion in our relationships and even the loss of growth in our relationships emerges simply out of our having sent the functioning of the relationship to automatic. Where once we experienced each word and movement of our lover and were present within the relationship now the relationship becomes automatic. The relationship becomes part of our unseen unfelt automatic world. So we cannot find where we went wrong because we were not really there. We need to relegate the functioning of our bodies to the automatic brain and the functioning of our lives to our active selves.

When we meditate we are taught to focus on our breathing because that connects us with the present. That connection is the key. When we are connected with our present, with our actions we can then assume responsibility for our lives. When we are truly responsible we are again empowered and in control. It may take work and time to disengage our lives from automatic. It will certainly take walking through our own fears. Yet once this is done we are finally connected with our lives, our loves, our souls and our God. When we are awake we can hear sounds that the sleeping cannot hear and feel things that the numb cannot feel.

When we are awake and responsible nothing gets past us or slips through the cracks. When we say something it has value because it is not just an automatic response. When we are awake we awaken those around us, merely by our presence. Our lives do not just happen; we don’t wonder where the day went. We are aware that we have lived it. Each moment is fuller because we are aware of all the wonders within it. In a relationship we feel all the things that we felt in the beginning because each moment is a beginning when we are alive. Life becomes awe inspiring because we are in it. We feel empowered in the knowledge that we are responsible for how we have lived our lives.