In a Conscious Society Bling is the New Fur

I remember walking down the street in my fur coat a few years back and having someone ask me if I knew how many minks died for my fur. I stopped wearing fur. I stopped because I did not need it, it was a luxury, it was a sign that I had made it – it was ego food. I understood the question. Now, with the world so small, and the suffering so great – so unavoidable – I wonder if we should not feel the same sense of responsibility that we feel for helpless animals, for helpless humans.

There was a time when your choices were beautiful sparkling diamonds or dull glass. It made some sense, if even in a superficial way, to want a diamond. But today, there are faux diamonds that cost a fraction of the cost and sparkle with equal brilliance – so one has to ask oneself why buy the diamond? What is it’s value in our world today? What if you have a ten thousand dollar diamond, trade it in for a one thousand dollar cubic zirconium and give the nine thousand dollars that you have left to buy mosquito nets for children in Africa? Then your diamond would have value., it would show much more than what you can afford to have, it would show what you are willing to give. Wouldn’t it be cool, rather than wearing a five thousand dollar blouse that says you are filthy rich, wearing a five-dollar tee shirt that says, “The money I planned to spend on a blouse is feeding a village in India”. How cool would you be?

Bling says to the world, “I am wearing this because I can afford it and I have nothing better to do with it than waste it on show”. Yes, it just does. No one can watch the homeless and displaced, the diseased and dying in this country and around the world and then spend thousands of dollars on things, which announce, “It’s about me”. Not today. Today we don’t need to spend thousands, millions of dollars on precious gems in order to sparkle. We can spend a fraction of that on semi-precious gems, give the rest to those in desperate need and not only sparkle from the gems, but glow from the heart. I believe that today it would be much more satisfying to wear something that doesn’t say “I have made it because I can afford to drip in diamonds” but something that says, “I have made it because I can afford to feed a village”. The oohs and ahhs are much greater today and much more long lasting when you show what you give rather than what you wear.

If our success in a profession is measured by the amount of money that we are paid, that is ok, if we understand that our true worth is measured by what we give. The point is that there is no need for bling today, it doesn’t look better than faux bling, but trading that bling in for heart does look better. We cannot outlaw bling anymore than we can outlaw fur, but it would be nice to ask someone dripping in bling, “How many children’s bellies could be filled by those earrings?” “How many villages could be educated against AIDS with that ring?” And perhaps, while we are at it, we should ask ourselves how much does it cost to make a house a home, and how many children can we give a home to for the price of a ten million dollar house?

I am not advocating ego denial. I am advocating a sense of satisfaction that not only feeds the ego but also feeds the soul. Trust me, it feels better to give to give to children in Somalia than it does to give to salespeople in Harry Winston, Proving to a child that faith has reason, God is alive and that there are angels is so much more gratifying than the stares you get from sparkling down the street in jewels. And who could honestly say that a tour of a mansion you built could hold a candle to a tour of the hospital you built in a village that has not even seen a doctor. Save a mink, don’t buy fur, Save a child, don’t buy bling.

Changing our Concept of Good and Evil

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We have evolved in many ways since the days when the major religions were founded. We live in a world that is now explainable in ways that our ancestors could never have understood. We no longer fear the darkening of the sun, because we understand the science of eclipses. Religion used the mysteries of nature to prove their validity. Now, we understand the forces of nature and although we cannot control them, they are no longer a mystery. It is a different world. We have evolved by leaps and bounds intellectually, now in order for us to continue to live on and be sustained by the earth that we have come to understand scientifically, we must evolve, we must mature spiritually and “put away childish things”. We have access to great Spiritual knowledge; we must make the spiritual leap.

Before we can understand good and evil, we must be able to stand mentally and emotionally firmly in the understanding that we are not these bodies or these lives, we are souls experiencing these bodies and these lives for a great purpose. We are energy and energy seeks to expand, we are the stuff that God is made of, and as we expand so does God. Thinking logically, the earth is not the only game in town. Ours is not the only dimension in town, and we are far from the only intelligent species in town. I believe that the earth is a unique school, one in which a soul can study the most diversified subjects and master the most diversified abilities. We are all creators, this is part of expansion, and the earth provides so many different mediums to learn to create within. There is the earth itself, there is the body, the emotions, the intellect, so many areas to perfect, and so many opportunities to grow.
Then there are those difficult courses, such as overcoming temptation, overcoming greed, selfishness, fear, hatred, prejudice – what we call the seven deadly sins are actually the seven challenges that we must overcome in order to graduate from this cycle. This is a very difficult topic because it seems to easy to declare one person evil and one person good, one act evil and one act good, but spiritually there just is no evil.

To say that a lie is evil causes most of us to immediately put up a defensive wall, against hearing anything else. The ego becomes angry and prepared for this attack on its goodness. Yet, this is not meant as a judgment of goodness. It is mean to help us to question our concept of evil.

In a belief built world, good and evil are concepts that arise out of perception. When we life in Maya, illusion, we are already living in a world built in the sky so to speak. Like those castles so readily attributed to neurotics. But what grounds that illusion, what connects it with God is the heart. The heart is where we find the doorway to God. So we can say that what we believe in our hearts, whatever we believe to be the truth, is as good as it gets.

The illusion, the Maya into which we are born is ultimately created by God for the purpose of teaching the soul its own value, its own essence which is God. Man once understood this and so created initiations for the purpose of changing the boy into the man, the boy into the warrior, or the shaman. The boy at a certain age would be sent away from the tribe to some place where he was totally unfamiliar, a place that was wrought with peril so that he could confront the many challenges that would force him to reach deeper and deeper within his being until he was in contact with the source of his power, God, which would then guide him through the dangers. He would then be led back home changed, clear, the illusions of childhood replaced with the knowledge of the true self. Just like Jesus truly became the Christ not merely at the baptism but when he went away for those forty days to confront his last temptation.

This is symbolic of mans time on earth. We must confront the ego which controls our little minds, with its wiles, its rationalizations, it justifications, its cunning and its judgments, which are, in fact, all different types of lies.

Evil is merely an illusion created in the mind of man. It is only “bad” because it takes us further away from our Source, which is connected to the heart. Good is anything that is truth, which originates from the heart and leads us to our Source. Look at it this way, if take one letter, the “o” out of good, you have God, they are connected. If you take one letter the “v” out of evil, you have lie they too are connected. Anything that is a lie, is not good, not of the heart.

When we hear the word evil we immediately seem some red horned figure, or some darkly cloaked sinister shadow lurking somewhere in a corner. Evil is in merely that which points us away from the truth which is that path to God. It is a sign that has been turned in the wrong direction, intentionally, for whatever reason. It is ultimately not in the best interest of anyone if it is away from God.

Am I saying that understanding this will put an end to conflict…an end to war? No, I am not. In a world that is built on a foundation of illusion, which is inhabited by souls who are all on different levels of evolutionary progress, there are bound to be different truths. Those truths will be defended or not based upon the age of the soul, its understanding and its inherent nature. But while the ego seeks domination and adherence at all costs to its beliefs, the heart seeks understanding and acceptance. What I am saying is that coming from the heart, living in truth, even if it is a very personal truth, will put an end to weapons of mass destruction. The heart, every heart, contains the essence of God, and even within the illusion the heart can never justify the death of one innocent being as “acceptable collateral damage”.

The ends do not justify the means in the heart only in the mind. And so a man or woman might very well see that the only way to defend what he or she believes in their hearts is to defend it with their lives. But, at no time will the heart defend its truth with someone else’s life. A noble battle is fought with honor by the one whose belief is being defended. Jesus did not send anyone else to the cross for him. And so, although we will not end conflict by coming from our hearts, we will end dishonor, and find our way to God. We will all emerge from the wilderness with the heart of a true warrior.

How The World Changes

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I have been looking for signs that would tell me how close we were to the Age of Aquarius, and certainly – what would build it. Then, the other day I had the television on as background noise and I heard a commentator speaking about something that the government had attempted to keep secret. The other person on the show remarked that they should have known better in this time of ‘transparency’ with cell phones and other recording devices always around. That conversation struck me as the ‘sign’ that I had been seeking. I could not find a better word to describe the undercurrent that I had been feeling from the people that I had been counseling over the past few years it was the need to live transparently. That saying, “The truth shall set you free” has been playing over and over in my head because over the past few years I have noticed so much of a sense that people were enslaved by the lies that they were living.

I did not grow up in the energetic environment of my parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents so I can’t say how they felt in their lives. I do know that their lives, at least until my parent’s generation, were ruled by the roles society had carved out for them. They seemed to have their ‘place’ and the ‘place’ that they could aspire to. I really can’t say whether or not they were happy once they arrived in their ‘place’. Were wives generally happy serving their husbands and catering to the needs of their children? Did they have needs of their own? If they did, did they believe that the sacrificing of those needs was a worthwhile price to pay for what they received in return? Did they honestly believe that the Church was an ordained pillar of righteousness and all who served were above reproach? Did they honestly believe that our elected officials were moral and honest leaders above and self-serving desires or ulterior motives? In the age of Pisces, illusion is real. And obviously the set up was all an illusion. With all of the rugs being overturned and all of the closets being opened today, it seemed that on the whole, they either closed their eyes, fooling themselves into believing what they were told, and not looking behind closed doors or asking too many questions, or, they told themselves that their lives would be better off if they just lived as if it were right. I imagine that the whole ‘person fit the mold’ thing, rather than, ‘the mold fit the person’, worked for generations.

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What I have noticed in people that I have counseled is a profound unhappiness within seemingly happy lives. In other words, I keep hearing people say that they have everything that others say should make them happy, everything that they believed would make them happy, but they are deeply unhappy. This unhappiness is compounded by the fact that they feel ungrateful because they have what others seem to want. So they feel ashamed of their pain and as a result, too guilty to seek help. If they do seek help, the help that they seek is help in fixing themselves so that they can find the happiness that they are supposed to have with the lives that they are living rather than finding the courage to look within their souls for keys to the true life that would contain their happiness. I am seeing people who either have what they believed would make them happy, or what they were told would make them happy but instead it is the cause of their pain. It is this widespread inner discontent that changes the world. This sense of dissatisfaction – this intense need for some kind of change grows within the collective unconscious until it reaches critical mass and something happens to force a change. We are accustomed to quick fixes, but we need a lasting resolution. Humanity is entering an age that is taking it from the surface to the heart, from the world to the soul, from a world of greater and lesser beings to a world of equality, honesty, freedom and brotherhood. All of the boxes are the same as they always have been, there are still the many ‘things’ out there, the many awards, achievements and ways to find self-gratification – and goodies to buy to advertise our personal greatness, so that we are not overlooked, but God moved the cheese - the happy – to another place.

Everyone wants the brass ring, but we are conditioned to want the brass ring that we can have. Everyone can’t be the queen of England, but some people can, for a time, be the queen of Broadway. So it is to that, which they aspire. Up until about seventy years ago, people were able to be happy because their expectations were very limited. If you were a woman – then you had your list of achievable goals. If your father was a coal miner, you had your list of achievable goals, if you were Black, you had your list of achievable goals and to get to the top of your list, or even close, left most people at least content and usually happy with their lives.

It seems to me that World War II pretty much blew that boat out to sea. Suddenly, people found themselves in strange new roles – roles that were believed and accepted as beyond their reach, or just plain unnatural for them. Women went out to work, formed sports teams, took over supervising positions, supported the country, brought home the bacon and cooked it. Whites had to fight with and often found their lives in the hands of Negro soldiers, all lines, including the color lines were temporarily but still irrevocably crossed. Factory workers became Sergeants, bosses became privates, all in all, everyone found themselves living somehow outside of the box that seemed before to be set in stone. Although the world expected everyone to return to their original roles -and most had to – the taste of the possible never left their palates. Soon, ‘Equality’ was to be the never-ending hum in the background of life from then on. The first key-word for Aquarius was ushered into the age.

Of course, the first harbingers of change are always met with violent opposition, so the shouts for equality were labeled Communist, and the McCarthy era showed that those in power would do anything to combat the massive changes that a movement towards freedom and equality would bring. The generation of children born during and after that war was, as would be required, the “Me” generation. If you think about it, this was the perfect and timely reaction to all of the “everything but me” generations that came before. It made sense because we had to come from ‘what is good for the whole is good for the parts’ to ‘what is good for the parts is good for the whole’ in order to get to our destination of ‘the whole is equal to the parts’ – Aquarius. Change – this kind of change – is not something that happens, like walking out of one room into another. We must transition. For more than two thousand years, power has been held by those who maintained the greatest secrecy. Sometimes it was the manipulation of the ignorant populace by the few who understood the workings and cycles of nature, to pretend to create miracles, such as eclipses, lightening, or droughts. Or, it was by the use of the fear of the gods or God to manipulate the people into submission. Today it is still done, but more through covert actions of institutions, governments, covert deals made with those who manipulate the world’s economies.

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The church has always governed in secrecy the Vatican contains vaults of secret writings, hidden documents etc. For so many years the perverted actions of the clergy went on, hidden and protected by the accepted secrecy so pervasive in this age. Government officials hid their true identities and true motives behind vast networks of cover-ups for as long as we can remember. Then suddenly, bit by bit, the truths have been unearthed, perhaps beginning with the Dead Sea Scrolls and the scrolls found at Nag Hammadi. This, followed by expository journalism, tabloid press, cell phones, hidden cameras, whistle blowers and the internet has made for a growing overall transparency. This is a time of revelations. Everything hidden is being revealed. It is this truth – this revelation – that will ultimately set us free of the shackles of deception and illusion. People said one thing and lived another. We idolized our celebrities as perfect and they had to maintain a public persona. When I was a child I heard the fear of one day having “Big Brother” watching our every move. Today, big Brother is watching us, but we are also watch Big Brother. Everything and everyone is being exposed, more and more. It will only continue to grow. We ourselves are being exposed to ourselves and any lives that we have been living that are not true to our hearts, and our souls, will cause more and more of us heightened levels of pain. I once looked at the supermarket counters loaded with tabloid papers as a part of the degeneration of our society. Until I saw a headline in one of those tabloids saying that two actors, renowned for their humanitarian efforts were going on a spending spree, flying doctors over continents, spending upwards of eight figures for a home and I realized that if we admire people if must be not just for what they do but also for how they live.

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Today, with the world as small as it is, it seems a bit obscene to live large, while others are struggling just to live. And living large is OK, for those who claim with all honesty and candor to be card carrying members of the greedy few. It’s honest. But if you profess a sense of responsibility to the world and the suffering within it, if you believe that to whom much is given, much is expected, and want your name in that book, then you must not just do charity but live a charitable life. It is time for us to be ourselves, live as ourselves, wear one face, and walk our talk.  The United States now has a Bi-racial President.  One whose father was a Muslim and mother was a Christian.  He is a reflection of the New Age – but more importantly, he is a reflection of the changing world in which we live.  I believe that man is evolving at a fast pace now.  It is a spiritual evolution.  The last time that the stars lined up as they will in 2012 was approximately 25,000 years ago.  At that time we had the extinction of a certain type of human called the “Neanderthal”.  I believe that the modern human that survived, did so because it had evolved intellectually in a way that better prepared it for survival in the following cycle.  I see this occurring now, in each generation there have been a small percentage of these new humans born.  Each generation increasing the number until these new spiritual humans will be all that are left.  It is the voice of these “new” humans that brought Barack Obama to the Presidency.  They are the ones who will be prepared to join together to build the New World.  They are in “Society” but not of it.  They believe in diversity, equality, and the best of humanity.  They have always felt different.  Some clearly struggle to make the swim upstream, others fake it, and still others lash out against the old with violence.  Then there are those who just check out.  But most of these new beings find each other and join together.   They embrace physical diversity and spiritual oneness.

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This is what the Age of Aquarius is all about. When everyone says, “This is who I am and I am proud of it”, tabloids will have nothing to expose. When we no longer put people on pedestals, we will no longer feel the need to knock them off. There are no pedestals in Aquarius. As we draw nearer and nearer to that Age we will learn that death is not the only great equalizer. God has moved the cheese. The power box is now empty, the material wealth box is now empty, the public adoration box is now empty. The sooner we figure out that God has put the cheese in the box of love given, time shared, selfless service and brotherhood, the sooner we will find the transition into the new Age a rewarding journey of gain, and not a painful succession of losses.  Someone once said that before a wheel can change direction it must stop.  When it stops everything falls apart.  But then it changes direction and moves in a new and better direction.  We are now on a wheel that has stopped.  But it has stopped only to change direction.  We are experiencing the end of the world as we know it, the end of the journey in one direction only to begin the journey in another.  This is a long process, I once heard a scientist say that science does not embrace a new direction until everyone who embraced the old direction dies.  We are in a time when those who want to repair and return to what was, still have power and are hanging on to the wheel in an effort to turn it back.  Those who want to change and move in a new direction, a more spiritual and holistic direction do not yet have the power to move the wheel forward, but they do have enough power to prevent the wheel from moving backwards.  And this is why the wheel is stopped.  There is equal force pulling in both directions.  This will change because of all that is being lost, the losses will weaken the resistance to change, and we will move openly, honestly and together into the New Age.

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Secrets require darkness. A life that cannot stand up under the Sun twenty-four hours a day is a painful life lived in fear and darkness. But sometimes we are more afraid of what will happen to us in the light than we are of the continued fear of the darkness. When we are here, then the Universe must intervene and expose us to the light that we have hidden from and regardless of what we lose from exposure to the light, it pales in comparison to the sense of joy and freedom that comes from not ever having to hide again. When no one has to hide, when no one wants to hide, when no one will hide – we will know that we have officially become a part of the Age of Aquarius.

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When the storm is over – we will be free

I remember when I was growing up.  Each year my Mother, sister and I would spend one month in Atlantic City.  It was wonderful.  During those summers I made many friends, one was Wanda Wingate.  She lived in Philly.  From the age of about ten, until I finished high school we would write letters to each other every week.  Each week I would sit and tell her all of my highs and lows.  I share all of the intimate details of my life with only her, and she with me.  We exchanged advice, shared each others happiness and tried to support each other through our sadness.   I loved getting her letters, reading them over and over and placing them in a box.  Through her I met my first great love, Jeffrey Goldson.  He was a few years older than I and when he went off to college we would write to each other a few times a week  I loved to stare at how he formed the letters of each word, I loved the scent of the paper because it carried his scent.  The internet is a wonderful place to share, and to learn – but it came at a great cost.  It cost us those letters, those moments of going off to a quiet place to hold those pages and feel the energy of the person who is writing.  I think that our letters intensified my love for him.  And in his box, I could reach in a pull out the letters and feel again that love whenever I needed.

Then I remember so vividly the first book that moved me, it made me fall in love with reading.  I remember the way that it smelled, I remember the way that each page felt against my fingers – I remember this, but I neither remember the title nor the name of the office, just the feel.  There is no e-book that can compare with the feel of a good book in your hands.

Two of my favorite shows when I was young were “Little House On the Prairie” , and “The Waltons”.  The families in those shows had very little.  Life was hard work, but somewhere in that hard work was a sense of quality of life.  All that they had was the love of family and community, and somehow, life seemed to me so much better then.  They were not plagued by depression – even in the depression.  The wealth of each family was their bonds, bonds created out of necessity and lack of distraction.  But their wealth could not be given a price.  I remember when I was in my own business and making more money than I every imagined that I could make.  I would drop ten thousand dollars in a boutique without blinking an eye, but I have never been so unhappy in my life.  I wore the quality of my life on my back – Escada, Ralph Lauren  my gold rolex, my Fendi purse, wallet and cigarette case.  My life had no other value.  I know now that the ability to feel joy and happiness are what we pay for those things.  The more I bought, the more my soul was being drained out of me.  I did not know it.  A junkie first gets high to feel a little rush, to be taken out of himself for a short time.  This is the same thing that happens when we find ourselves with money.  We buy things that we could not have bought before just to be taken out of the self that we once were.  What we don’t realize is that whether the addiction is to a drug, alcohol, food, or money – we are not taken out of ourselves, instead, our self, is taken out of us.  We don’t realize this, until we kick the habit by choice or by force.  Then we find that ‘living’  feels so much better than anything that we could buy or steal to make us feel like we are living.  If one is born poor, he always looking through windows at the people who have everything.  That experience makes them feel that they are not whole.  So it is their journey to strive to have those things in order to see that nothing in the material world can increase us, to the contrary, it decreases us.  Then there are those who are born with money and the status that it brings.  They do what they have to do because they are raised to feel that who they are is about what they have and how they appear.  Only by losing or giving up what they have, can they learn who they are.

There are two cycles of wealth and both are natural as the cycles of day and night and as much a part of our journey.  These cycles occur to the individual soul as well as to the collective.  There is the cycle of material wealth, where it is our path to gain materially at the cost of the spirit.  This is followed by the cycle of spiritual growth, where it is our path to gain spiritually at the expense of the material.  These are set by God, and we can no more change, extend or redirect them anymore than we can the rotation of the earth around the Sun or the moon around the earth.  We can change these no more than we can change day to night and night to day.  There are many minor cycles within each great cycle, but it is the great cycle that rules through it all.  If you are on the spiritual cycle individually, you may win the lottery – then lose all of the money.  If you are on the material cycle, individually, you may be down to your last dime and come up with an idea that brings you material wealth for the rest of your life.  As a whole, we are so deeply engulfed by our addiction to the things that we don’t need, that we can’t see how life could be better  or even tolerable without them.  We have become enslaved by our material addiction collectively, that we fear losing our chains.  In the Rider Waite Tarot deck the Devil Card has a man and a woman chained to the Devil.

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The important thing about this image is that the two people chained to the Devil have their hands free and the chains around their necks are more than loose enough to be slipped right off.  The Devil represents money, power, status, all of those things that are our addictions in the material world.  It seems that the Devil has possessed these people, but in fact, they can leave at any time.  They have taken on the horns of the devil because they have become that which they have coveted.  This is the material part of the cycle.  The Major Arcana, or first 22 cards of the Tarot deck depict the “hero’s” journey from fool to wisdom.  We have been the fulfillment of this card.  But we are entering a Spiritual Cycle.  So, since we will not voluntarily remove the chains, we must be shaken at the roots, we must lose what we have allowed to posess us in order to be free, and so, the card that follows the Devil is the Tower.

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If the natural disasters of the past years have shown us anything, they should have shown us that we cannot control life. We do not know when we will be struck by a disaster. Personal safety is an illusion, just as homeland security is an illusion. We are each on our own clock’s and they will each stop ticking at the appointed time, whether we are in the Twin Towers or walking along the desert. All that we have built and held onto can be lost or taken away from us in a moment. How much better would we feel if we gave what we had to those who have nothing rather than just losing it? Once upon a time the world was immense, and one could comfortably live a lifestyle of opulent excess, ignorant of the starvation and suffering that our excesses could ease. Now, it is not the case.

And [Jesus] told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man brought forth plentifully; and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns, and build larger ones; and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, be merry.’ But God will say to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you; and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” Christianity. Luke 12.16-21

Imagine how the earth was created—how the body was created. The earth was given limited resources. The earth could have been created as a garden in which the food and shelter and everything that we could ask for simply grew as quickly as we could harvest it. Or, we could have been given the power to manifest everything we wish to have merely by desiring it to be. But that is not the case. And knowing that the force that guides the Universe is love, we must know that this is not to punish us. No, the earth has limited resources and some men are born with access to those resources while some are born without that access. This is the Divine Design, it places before us the opportunity to choose righteousness, the path must be chosen to have value, one cannot be forced out of fear of punishment or fear of rejection, the path of love must be chosen out of love—the need for love and the desire to give love. It is obvious that in the wild animals do not have this choice. Animals know only one path, and for the lower self in man, the animal way is the natural way. Yet as humans, we are able to reach into our souls and find the strength to rise above the natural choice to the spiritual one.

What causes wars, and what causes fighting among you? Is it not your passions that are at war in your members? You desire and do not have; so you kill. And you covet and cannot obtain; so you fight and wage war. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. Christianity. James 4.1-3

We are containers with limited space within. We may fill that space with the things of the world or with the things of the spirit or, as it is for most of us – some proportion of both. Everything that the world of flesh has to offer contains an addictive quality. From the moment that we take our first breath – we are engulfed in an addict’s paradise. It is through this addictive garden that we evolve and it is our susceptibility to addiction – not the choice of drug, which marks the level to which a soul has evolved. Addiction is attachment plain and simple, but it is easier for us to raise ourselves above judgment (in our own eyes) if we limit our focus to what one is addicted to rather than that one is addicted. For one to be addicted to cocaine is bad; yet to be addicted to attention – is ok. It is bad to be addicted to alcohol – but power is ok. We become addicted to food, to comfort, to routine, to family, to nation, to form of worship, to race, to position, to war, to being divided or even to being united, to injustice or even to justice. Addiction is attachment.

All of these things that we attach ourselves to will one day be no more. And the extent of our suffering – the intensity of our hellfire, will equal the intensity of our attachment. We are all born within the garden of our own struggle. The lesson is to love your brother as yourself without condition. There is a story of a man who went up to the greatest Jewish religious leader and asked him to condense the entire teachings of all the sacred Wisdom into one sentence and the Rabbi, without hesitation said, “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you”. There are innumerable gardens in which to grow that flower and we are each born in one of them. Some learn through greed, some through religious hatred some through bigotry, some through the need for power and some as victims of the powerful. You can learn the lesson by the choice you are faced with while riding in a limo passing a poor child in a ghetto, or a homeless man on the street. You can learn the lesson being the poor child or the homeless man. Both roles are means to the same end and neither one is a punishment or a reward. The awareness of the other on both ends engenders an emotional response, which in turn forces a choice. The choice that we make in those moments will feed the soil that we sow and determine what we will ultimately reap.

On earth, our parents threaten the harshest punishments on actions that will cause us the greatest harm. They do this out of love for us. So it would stand to reason that the Source of all Love would place the greatest admonishment on those things that hurt us personally the most. And to Do unto others what we would have others do unto us is wise because what we do to others we really do to ourselves. When we harbor hatred, resentment, or anger towards another we create an energetic umbilical cord between the other and ourselves which flows from soul to soul feeding each with poisonous energy. When we are told to forgive, we are really being told to release ourselves from the flow of that poison; to forgive is only to release.

All that belongs to us or will ever belong to us is what we can take with us. All that we can take with us is what we can carry in our souls. Unconditional Love is spiritual tender. Those emotions that can only exist in the absence of Unconditional Love are spiritual debts. When we act selflessly from our hearts we are making deposits into our spiritual retirement accounts. When we act selfishly without regard for others, we are making withdrawals. The account must be full in order to retire from the suffering of this world. How many lifetimes it takes us to fill that account is up to us. There is no judgment. But to retire from suffering, it must be full.

We are here to learn to cherish that which is ours to pass through, with love and appreciation, that which is not ours and to know the difference. We are happy when we receive, when we acquire, when we are applauded, we are happy when we are loved. Happiness is contingent on an action that is happening and when it is no longer happening, we are no longer happy. But our being is transformed into the most elevated joy when we give and the more difficult the gift is to release the greater the feeling of sacrifice – the greater joy that fills us. Remember that to sacrifice is to make sacred. Feed your own body, you satisfy your body, but feed the body of another who is in need and you satisfy your soul.

3. I searched in my heart how to cheer my flesh with wine, my heart yet guiding me with wisdom, and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what it was good for the sons of men that they should do under heaven all the days of their life. 4. I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards; 5. I made me gardens and parks, and I planted trees in them of all kinds of fruit; 6. I made me pools of water, to water there from the forest where trees were reared; 7. I bought men-servants and maid-servants, and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of herds and flocks, above all that were before me in Jerusalem; 8. I gathered me also silver and gold, and the treasure of kings and of the provinces; I got me men-singers and women-singers, and the delights of the sons of men, musical instruments, and that of all sorts. 9. So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me. 10. And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them; I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced because of all my labor; and this was my portion from all my labor. Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labor that I had labored to do; and, behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was no profit under the sun. Ecclesiastes 2:3-10

God, Spirit, All-That-Is, placed a certain amount of resources on the earth for all life to share. It is limited, but it is always just enough. Regardless of what we tell ourselves about the greatness of our effort, we cannot earn more than our share, we do not deserve more than our share. And what is our share? It is that which leaves enough for every other person on the planet to have their share. Those of us who have more than we need to live comfortably are hoarding the food, the shelter, and the medication that could save the lives of those who are dying because of their lack. And the blood of those who die because of our greed is on our hands. The difference between life and death for a child in Africa is a few dollars; the difference between a life of poverty and suffering and a life of hope and possibilities is a few dollars. We are not only our brother’s keepers; we are our brothers. We are one body human containing one Spirit immortal, and to tell ourselves that what happens in the Sudan will not effect us, it the same as saying that cancer in the foot, untreated, will never effect the heart.

All children are our children, all lives are our lives, and any life that we are able to save becomes our responsibility to save. To whom much is given, much is expected. It makes no difference what lies we tell ourselves in order to buy our ten thousand dollar bags, and six million dollar homes, a child’s face is embedded in every one of those dollars and a child’s life or death is written into those choices that we make.

Jesus said to [the rich young man], “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions. And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, it will by hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of Heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Christianity. Matthew 19.21-24

The depression that sweeps the industrialized nations is the price of our greed. The Bible says that money is the root of all evil, but it is not evil, it is the most addictive of all drugs and so it is the root of the greatest spiritual pain. Money is the key to the material kingdom. Money brings worship, adulation, slaves, all things that feed the ego. Yet, it is not money that is the problem it is the hoarding. The more money one hoards, the emptier one is Spiritually because the energy of material possessions in much denser and weighs down our energy fields leaving little or no room for spiritual joy to permanently root itself within us, not because we make money but because we hoard it for ourselves and do not send it back out to do good works.

“For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Matthew 16:25, 2.

Today the Spiritual force of the Universe has made the world one in which we know children are dying needlessly. The world is small enough for us to know where and when men, women and children are being senselessly slaughtered because of the color of their skin or nature of their beliefs. We know, because this has been deemed the time of revelation, when we are revealed for what we are—and what we are is reflected in what we most value, not what we tell others we most value, and not in what we tell ourselves we most value. In this moment, we can stand strong as healthy wheat, wheat that gives nourishment to all, or as weeds nourishing only ourselves at the expense of others. All that we each deserve is enough to live a healthy loving life. All that we have beyond that is what would give that same quality of life to another. I once worked eighteen hours a day and was paid more than generously for that effort; I had a house in the suburbs and three bathrooms in my New York apartment. At the same time a woman sharecropper in Mississippi worked the same eighteen hours a day and could not afford indoor plumbing. I was not being rewarded for being a better person in this life or any past life, what I was being – was tested. It is time for the harvest.

We must learn and not forget that it does not matter how healthy, wealthy or wise we are, the time and manner of our death is not within our control. How long we will keep whatever we have is also not within our control, all outcomes are beyond our control. Now is the time when we are to be seen clearly, we cannot hide or pretend. The true measure of the man is not how much he has, and it is not how much he gives, but how much he is willing to give of that which he cannot bear the thought of living without.

We are being tested, and more than this, we are being given an opportunity through the suffering in the world to show the power of the light that we have within us. The world has become small enough for us to see the needs of others, small enough that we must make a conscious choice with every penny that we waste on selfish pleasures. We are no longer only responsible for the consequences of our actions but we are responsible for the consequences of our lack of action as well.

The Universe is not something around us, it is the substance of our being. God is not a separate entity; God is the Great Self, the Great Soul of which each of us is a part. God is Love; to live in God’s image is to live in the image of love and to love in the image of God. No one is empty, we are all full, those who are empty of attachment to the world are full of Spirit, and those who are filled with worldly attachments are empty of Spirit. Some are half full of the world and half full of Spirit, each have our own proportion of both and that is our choice.

Do you not feel this time  different than any other? This time is not a test it is a gift. It is a gift to us from Our Source, a chance to wipe out our karma with good works, to purify our souls with unconditional love. To strengthen our faith and show our love of All-That-Is by giving without fear of not having enough left for ourselves, for the enjoyment of the world is empty, but the joy of Love is a cup that constantly runneth over. What are the fires of hell? They are the tests and temptations that we must go through on this earth to burn away our attachment to the material – to mammon. The fires of hell are no more or less than the suffering that we endure living with the desire for what we do not need, the fear of losing or actual loss of what we do not own, and the blindness that keeps us from knowing that having and losing in this world are both illusions and what is of value to our souls is always a part of them.

He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that you may always have enough of everything and may provide in abundance for every good work. As it is written, He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor; his righteousness endures forever. He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your resources and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way for great generosity.

Christianity. 2 Corinthians 9.6-11

We must join hands, join resources, and realize that it is not what we have that creates happiness it is what we share.  That is what we will be left with when all is done.  We will have all that we need to live.  Above that we will have the spiritual wealth that is priceless.  We will lose much to gain much more.  We cannot recover we must recreate.  And as hard as it is for many of us to believe, it is in the plan that we will.  We are being shaken from the Devil by the Tower.  But once we have lost all that stands between us and each other, between us and compassion, and between us and God, we become wealthier than we could ever dream because our wealth will flow from an unlimited Source.  It will be spiritual and we will re-birth our humanity – the card in the deck which follows this, tells this story, it is The Star

star

After the tower of all that is false and illusion has crumbled to the ground, we are left with abundance of all that is real and eternal.  The world as we know it is ending, its cycle is over.  The Star represents abundance, a bright future – and most importantly it is a future that one of freedom.  True freedom is owning nothing and being owned by nothing, but being a part of everything.

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We Are All Unique – We All Have Our Own Molds

The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases.

Jung, Carl, 1875-1961, Swiss Psychiatrist

What is necessary for life on earth? What is the one thing that without which there could be no life? The answer is, contrast. There could be no life without contrast. There could be no physicality without non-physicality. Being could not exist without the belief in non-being. One of the primary purposes of this journey is to experience contrast. We find who we are by seeing who we are not. We find where we are by understanding where we are not. Every contrast that we experience is a way for the soul to stretch itself and grow in knowledge of itself.

It is the same as a play, a movie, or even a novel. Ideally, in a play or a movie the actors, directors, writers, designers, as well as the audience are affected by contrast of the work or the characters to their own lives. We vicariously experience our fears, our possibilities, or our dreams, reflected in the lives and experiences that are depicted. The play or book allows us to walk, for a brief time, in shoes of others.

Incarnating into all races, religions, nations and economic levels enriches each soul as a story enriches the writer, the actor and the reader or viewer. There are as many individual roles to play – shoes to walk in as there are souls on the planet. Each one teaches us something unique. This is why no two individuals are the same. It is why our world contains such diversity. We will throughout our many incarnations, all have played as many parts is takes for each soul to realized that there is only One, and that is what we are a part of. That One is called by many names, but its essence is Love. Ultimately we learn that love does not distinguish, it does not discriminate or differentiate as it is said in the Bible, 1 John 4:7 (King James Version) “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.”

We live our lives here on earth through our mythology, through archetypes. For us to have a hero, there must be a villain. To have a victor, we must have a victim. For one soul to experience itself as strong, it must play against another soul who experiences itself as weak. To believe in good, we must encounter what is believed to be evil. We experience every variation on a theme.

Each grouping that separates us has something that is unique to it, some experience that is uniquely shared only by those within that group, just as each person has qualities that make that person different from any other. Through the experience of many incarnations and many different perspectives the soul comes to understand that there are three hundred and sixty different angles of perception but regardless of the view from whichever angle you are in, there is still only one truth and that truth is understood only when you combine the perceptions of every possible angle. We learn that we must incorporate not eliminate.

Each nation, each tribe, each ethnic, religious, and racial group has, through the recorded history of the world, and even before our recorded history had its day in the sun. This is the way life works. Everything exists in cycles, a nation, or a group of people may be the ruling group for hundreds of centuries.

The goal is not for us to lose our differences. The goal is for us to accept and celebrate our differences. I cannot be me if you are not you. If we are the same, then I am not different and if I am not different then I am not I. If you and I are the same in every respect, then how can I be an individual? Many of us are repulsed by the idea of losing our identity. Our fear of death, even if we believe that we do not die, but become a part of God, is just that; merging into the identity of God and losing the identity of self.

We fear loss of individuality, yet, we hate and fear those who, being different are the very ones defining our uniqueness. We have chosen the earth as our schoolhouse because of our desire to feel that we are God. We seek to experience being the creator of our own lives. And so, we constantly create. We create children, works of art, technological advances, tools, ideas and so on.

The Source created us to experience itself as Loving and being Love and receiving Love. And through its creations, it experiences being – and grows richer. Through each experience that we have, the whole experiences itself. God created every species in the universe so as to experience every aspect of itself as a whole and as an individual. This experience is a Divine Gift, wherever we are in the picture.

Besides being influenced by the intent of the soul family, each soul is influenced by the aspect of experience through which it has chosen to incarnate. There are those who choose in this life to learn to master the material world through the lower senses, their journey is to be of the world. Others choose to be master over their lower senses and to rise above the material world, to be in it but no longer of it. Whatever area of crisis we choose to work through, material, emotional, mental, religious, or a varied mixture of each our goal is to learn about the meaning of Love in all of its faces.

Whichever mixture of challenges we choose will color the soul and its experiences here. It will color the way that each of us perceives our lives and also the experiences that we magnetize to us. The families through which we choose to enter will influence us by, imprinting on our lives and our vision the essence of the challenges we have chosen to grow through in this life and those carried over from those lives we consider as past.

Each particular mix, just like a recipe, will add a distinct flavor, a distinct aura to each individual. It makes our lives what they are in contrast to the lives of those around us. In addition to this is the joint experience that we choose to enter through race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and national origin. Each of these elements will color our lives, but in a particular way that is unique to each us as it all combines with the particular soul qualities. Therefore even though we may contain the same ingredients as someone else, somehow when it mixes with all that we carried with us into this life, we still come out unique.

Look at the solar system and you must be immediately aware of what makes this world different. All of the colors made by the different bodies in our galaxy are joined together in our one planet. There is the blue planet, the yellow sun, the red planet, the orange planet, and then there is the earth, the planet where all shades of all colors stand brilliantly side by side, not poured into a bucket to form some single shade of mud, but together forming one planet that stands out among all the others not for its size, or its shape, but for the beauty of its uniqueness. If you were a soul floating through the galaxy passing all of the objects orbiting the sun you would have to say, “I want to go there”. It is alive with diversity. And with all of its color, and all of its diversity it still is one planet. One planet that is special because one size does not fit all.

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