We Built A World For Our Egos, Now Let Us Build A Garden For Our Souls

Over the past seven or eight years, with increasing urgency, people have been asking me when things will go back to the way they were; when life will return to normal? We should not seek to once again walk that path that brought us here.  That is recovery.  We need to forge a new path, let us not recover, let us recycle the lessons that we learned from that past and create a New World, one that does not reach to scrape the sky but to touch the heart of Heaven.  Now is our chance to redefine what it means to be a human, and not an animal.

We are at the end of an age, imagine, lets say, one of those plastic bottles of Elmer’s glue that squeezes out. In the beginning, when it comes out it is smooth, tight, solid, dependable, it goes where it’s put, precisely and easily. But as the end draws near it may begin to slow down, requiring more force to get it out, but still, it comes. Once the end is reached, it comes out in jumps, starts, and sprays, it is almost impossible to direct, control, or depend on.

All of us alive today have been born at the end of this era, the Age of Pisces. The twentieth century was a critical century for mankind. The number 19 is a karmic number. It represents the needs of the self (1) versus the needs of humanity (9). This was the essence of the century, it highlighted separation from the whole, whether separation by race, religion, nationality, or economic status, we dealt with the loss of and the fight for human rights (9) throughout the world. We were forced to face our dark side. It first came to light with the Nazi’s and their attempt to annihilate the Jewish people. We have witnessed the Black people both in the United States, South Africa, and other counties being hung, killed, and treated as second-class citizens, we have seen many attempts at racial cleansing throughout this century and watched millions of people being slaughtered in tribal wars, and we have done nothing as Africa dies of AIDS. Nothing has been more open and in our faces than the issue of the rights of the few versus the rights of the whole.

We have been forced to see that there is a gap between the image that we held so proudly of ourselves as civilized beings and the reality of our darkness; we began to perceive our frailty, this has been our first unconscious inklings that perhaps, we could not trust ourselves or, for that matter, even life. It was the first, microscopic fissure in our façade. We began to speed up the pace of our lives: to get more life into a day, and more living into a life. Woman, after working in plants and doing the jobs that were previously held by men, began to feel that they could do more, have more, be more.

A generation of children was born into this atmosphere of dissatisfaction, and confusion. These children absorbed the emotions, existing all around them, into their souls; they observed the shattered image that man had once held with pride. Hidden in the closets were the skeletons of bigotry, hatred, and hypocrisy, which screamed out at them. This was a generation driven by an evolutionary intent to begin the process of exposing what was hidden by questioning the lies that had heretofore been accepted as natural. They came in to begin the dismantling of an age. They brought prejudice out into everyone’s faces to deal with; they insisted on civil rights, and woman’s rights. They demanded a world in which their parents had only pretended to live.

Aware that their parent’s generation had stood idly by, while Hitler massacred millions; made them commit to not just standing by and watching. They fought, peacefully, and violently, they lived hard and many died young: they were driven. Yet, it was also a generation whose strength was its numbers; that Vietnam thinned out badly, and whose weakness was its youth and its idealism. It made an enormous difference, but what it didn’t do, what it couldn’t do, was reach its goal; it could not create a beautiful world. It couldn’t do it because it ran up against a green wall of money and power. It believed that it knew the enemy, and the enemy was in front of it and had the power. So, it decided to regroup, go into the world to obtain the power from the enemy and change the world. Unfortunately, It did not know that idealism does not die, it transforms into cynicism. And when we get the power we become the enemy because the enemy does not have the power, the enemy is the power.

We, unknowingly, took the last step towards becoming the enemy…we turned our eyes to the power we needed to obtain our goals and through the power — lost sight of them. Power easily becomes Force. It is the ring in Lord of the Rings, and only those without desires can wear the ring, wield the power without being devoured by it. Our goals were full of God, but, when we turned to power and money, we became distanced from God. The light of God is a soft and eternally burning flame but the lights of the material world are like the lights of New York City at night. The man made lights are blinding, and make it harder to see the other lights, until they finally go out, by whatever means they go out — and they go out quickly; or they burn us out quickly.

The big lights are hungry, and greedy, they draw us in like moths to a flame, and so the closer we get, the more we want them, we become addicted until we overdose. The lights have become both stronger and stronger while the soft flame both harder and harder to find. Many of us joined the quest to put the ring where no one could find it. Few of us emerged untouched by the lure of the darkness that shines like neon lights. And by the time 1994 came along, we saw on television one million men women and children being brutally slaughtered in Rwanda, just as our parents had known about the Nazis and just as our parents turned a blind eye to the Nazis, we turned a blind eye to Rwanda…again, we did nothing. Since then, we have watched repeatedly as outbreaks of brutality and genocide have swept the world. As they might say in Star Wars, “The Dark Side is strong in humankind.”

Imagine being God. You have a garden that you created with love…into that garden you put the children who are the most precious to you. You provide them with everything they could possibly need. But they see something perhaps brighter and shinier than everything else and they turn away from what you offer them — and go to all that glitters. It is that old tree in the Garden all over again. We constantly create new kinds of shiny golden calves. Generation after generation of men and women are seduced, we bite the shiny apple, we worship the shiny statue while God looks on and sees His once beautiful garden all cut up, five of His children have ninety-five percent of the world locked up behind huge walls, while the other ninety-five of his children starve outside.

This is not the first time that He has watched us do this. The weak and oppressed unite to defeat the strong, then they in turn become the strong and oppress the weak; after the oppression becomes too much, again the weak unite and again the cycle starts over. The next step is that the stronger of those on the outside of the wall storm it and seize the resources…with the intention of sharing them among all, and then they decide to hoard rather than to share and then rebuild the walls once again; the persecuted becomes the persecutor they once defeated.

Part of our divine impulse is to create, it is inborn — if we cannot create we cannot survive. Yet, we are continuously being devoured by our creations because we keep falling in love with them. Or, we become so enamored with our own greatness that, reminiscent of Narcissus, we keep falling into our reflections and drowning. And in the image of Adam and Eve, we keep biting the apple. It is part of our nature and most of us sadly have been unable to rise above it.

The story of man’s birth, man’s temptation, man’s heroic effort to overcome, and defeat that temptation and his ultimate failure in doing so, leading to man’s final destruction by his own hand or because of his inflated belief in his own powers is his archetypal theme or perhaps it is a warning that has gone eternally unheeded, although it has been told in thousands of different ways from myths, to legends, to fairytales for thousands, maybe millions, of years. It has been repeated through the history of every mythological or historic civilization that has ever risen out of the hopes and dreams of the masses, and ultimately fallen tempted by the intoxication of power. Are we creating a new version of an old and repeated theme or are we writing a new one? Will we go down in history as the inhabitants of the lost Empire of America with legends told for generations of how we became too engrossed in our own power and destroyed ourselves? Or will we, through our actions, finally do something no other people have ever done; and bring the peace, that we have only dreamt of, to the world? Are we past the point of miracles?

The gift in this whole thing is that the story really never ends. It is a story that we are meant to relive, meant to recreate until we see, until we learn, that the ending is always the same. I believe that a large number of the souls here now, are the souls who have been in this school since Atlantis, some are here because they hadn’t learned the lesson at that time, others are here to help teach the lesson, and everyday new souls are entering who will be a part of the building process for the New Age. We are in that period of wandering in the desert, being tempted – tempted by power, tempted by money, and tempted by desire. At these times, like the Hebrews in the desert, Jesus in the wilderness and Buddha under the Bodhi tree we are tested, not to see if we deserve to enter the promised land, but to see if we are ready – if we have become the energy of love, unattached to the trappings of the world, or, if we still cling to the false gods of more money and more power and bigger and shinier things to own.

For that which guides them, the fire, will give them an illusion of truth, and will shine on them with a perishable beauty, and it will imprison them in a dark sweetness and captivate them with fragrant pleasure. And it will blind them with insatiable lust and burn their souls and become for them like a stake stuck in their heart which they can never dislodge. And like a bit in the mouth, it leads them according to its own desire. And it has fettered them with its chains and bound all their limbs with the bitterness of the bondage of lust for those visible things that will decay and change and swerve by impulse.” Jesus, ‘Book of Thomas the Contender’

Yet, it is all done with love, there is no judgment for not being ready. We just come back, and try again. We come back until we value only that which is worthy of value. This is the planet of choice, and we must choose whether we are rich or poor, healthy or ill, Black, White, Brown, Red, or Yellow. We all choose, love or hate, heal or harm, save or kill, or hold on or give away. It really is a matter of, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again.” These bodies are symbols of our journey, everything is just a symbol created for our journey, so spiritually, it is better to add up how much we are still holding on to, than it is to measure how much we give. What we give to others, to the world, we give to God, what we hold onto, well…let’s just say, that it is what we keep from God. The more we give to God, the more joy and contentment we receive from God.

The painting is by Paul Hampton Crockett

Living in the Flow

The awakened sages call a person wise when all his undertakings are free from anxiety about results; all his selfish desires have been consumed in the fire of knowledge. The wise, ever satisfied, have abandoned all external supports. Their security is unaffected by the results of their action; even while acting, they really do nothing at all [i.e., nothing producing karma]. Free from expectations and from all sense of possession, with mind and body firmly controlled by the Self, they do not incur sin by the performance of physical action.

Hinduism. Bhagavad Gita 4.19-21

I have a friend who is constantly in an uproar. She had the most difficult time dealing with change, in spite of the fact that life is nothing but change. She always felt that somehow she was in the wrong place, either physically or in life. She was either angry at life, or angry with herself most of the time. She was convinced that she had landed in the wrong place and was unable to accept her life. One day, a woman, from whom she would never normally have accepted advice, told her that the reason her life seemed so miserable and mine did not was because I was able to flow. That statement hit her like a ton of bricks. I think that, at that moment, she realized that the quality of our lives has nothing to do with life itself, but how we approach it. However my life was going and wherever I happened to be, it was my belief that everything was as it should be. I felt, that if I am here, here is where I am meant to be.

I frustrated her every time that I said it. I have always considered myself to be very lazy and really averse to suffering. So, it always seemed simpler and less painful to accept my life as it is rather than to suffer, by resisting the circumstances that obviously exist. It has always just seemed logical to me to play the cards that I have been dealt rather than wasting time and energy, especially emotional energy, fighting what is, because I don’t like it. That, in my opinion, is like beating an impenetrable wall because it is in my way, rather than just looking for a way around it. My philosophy is to acknowledge its existence, and then seek a way around it, and if one cannot be found, then I accept that there is a good purpose for it being there. I prefer to use my time and energy rather than waste it. I am lazy!

The saddest thing about mankind is that we suffer our greatest pain because we won’t face, and accept the inevitable. We waste so much of our time and energy fighting against the inevitable seasons of life, that we leave little time or energy for living. We spend forty-five percent of our time regretting the past and forty five percent of our lives worrying about the future and only ten percent of our time living in the present. It’s hard to imagine what the quality of our lives would be, if only we realized that now is our life.

Each moment evaporates as soon as we experience it. Each “Now” is at once the past, present, and the future. Life is a series of beginnings and endings, some causing joy and some causing pain. Always, as long as we are on the earth, we can look forward to both joys and sorrows, hellos and goodbyes, successes and failures, rising up and falling down, and births and deaths. This will go on as long as the sun rises and the sun sets. A friend is made a friend is lost, an enemy is defeated while a new enemy is making his way to our door. A nation will rise and that same nation will fall. A race of people will rule, and that same race will serve, all in its season. A race will flourish for a time, and then it will be wiped out. Just as each species will flourish for a time and in time become extinct. And what happens has nothing to do with how wise one is, nor how righteous one is, it has only to do with their season. Here on earth, there is no justice, no fairness, but we will, in the end be judged fairly by God. There is no righteous man who has never sinned and no sinner who has never acted righteously, therefore man cannot judge man.

So, what we can do, while living under the sun, is follow the advice in Ecclesiastes 7:13-14:

13. Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight which he hath made crooked? 14. In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider; yea, God hath made the one side by side with the other, to the end that man should not find out anything that shall be after him.

Life is a rainbow of colors, some are our favorites and some we don’t particularly like, but we are here to try them all. God creates all of life for us. However many yesterdays we have had, they have mostly been forgotten. However many tomorrows we will have, they are impossible to know. Yet, what we do have is life. We have its flow, with all of the beginnings and all of the endings-all of the seasons. We do not mourn summer when winter comes, and we do not mourn spring when summer comes. This is because we are certain that they will come again. We do not mourn the sun when it sets because we are certain that it will rise, but the truth is that we cannot be certain that it will rise for us. If we believe in God, then we must know that God has no favorites. There is no life in the universe that is more or less important to God than ours. So, whatever happens in our lives is a gift from the one who loves us unconditionally. We must live with the knowledge that first: everything is good, and second: nothing dies, nothing ends, and nothing is born, except form. Spirit is everlasting. Believing this lessens pain, it lessens the sense of loss because that sense of loss is immediately replaced with the anticipation of what will be born in place of what has outworn its usefulness. Life contains no vacuums. Even a circle only appears to be solid. In fact, under a microscope it would be seen as many tiny connected dots, beginnings and endings. And whether or not we choose to accept what happens in our lives will have absolutely no effect on whether or not it happens. If we hate rain, it will still rain.

Life is meant to be lived, and living is experiencing life. Experiencing life with the firm belief that it is only real in this moment. Love with all of your heart, every moment and every experience that it contains. So often we look back at times in our past, when we were so distracted by the things that upset us that we lost those precious moments with those whom we have loved-moments that we can never recapture. Other times we look back and find that those things we were so upset about turned out to be gifts of immeasurable magnitude. We should accept the life that we have been given as being perfect, not because we are perfect, perfect implies a state of completion; and we are not required to be perfect. We are, in each moment, in the process of becoming. We should accept our lives as perfect because the Creator, who gave them to us to live -is perfect.

There are many things in our lives that we can’t change, but those things that we can’t change are meant as gifts from which to learn. Sometimes our lessons come from overcoming, and in those times we will be shown the way to overcome, other times our lessons come from simply enduring and during those times we will be prevented from finding any way to overcome. Yet, whichever way it is meant to be, in the end we will find that it is good. Each life is a puzzle, and we have to put the pieces together. What is important to remember is that life is a puzzle that comes with all the pieces, no matter how difficult the puzzle is that we have been given, we have been given all of the pieces and they will all fit. Life consists of putting the pieces together, and examining and understanding the picture as it grows with each piece. When we have finally put all of the pieces together, it is time for this life to end, so that we may be given a new life with a whole new set of pieces to put together. Each puzzle is a perfect work of art, our creation. We need to have the faith in God and in His work to flow with life and pour our joy into it without counting what we get back in return. Because what we get, is the chance to live it.

The Secret – The Real Law Of Attraction

By Denise Gibel-Molini

Sometime in the 70’s I came across Norman Vincent Peale W. Clement Stone and Napoleon Hill.  Both of these men were amazing motivational teachers.  They taught what today is called the “Secret”.  Then it was the power of the subconscious mind.  Later in the 90’s I had a Spiritual Book store and I began seeing different books on the various “proven” laws of success.  These were more steps to achieve the same goals as were promised by Napoleon Hill and Norman Vincent Peale.

I believed, and still do to this day that there is an enormous power in positive thinking within the individual.  I remember that my year spent in “network marketing” was spent in hours of motivation and the power of positive thinking.  During that you I didn’t make money.  However, I never even caught a cold, I was never tired, and nothing could break my spirit.  It changed my life for the better – just not in the way that I was looking for.

I have a problem with all of these secret, hidden, special, scientific methods of attaining ones dreams.  They could never pass the kinds of tests required in order to state that a product or a drug was proven effective.  I know many many more exceptions to this rule than those for whom the rule has worked.

My cousin is the poster child for the anti-law of attraction, or the law of repulsion.  The more that she wants something, the more she is convinced to the core that she will never have it.  She focuses daily on visualizing her life – long and miserable in failure and loneliness.  Yet, after an entire year of this dedication to the negative – in rode prince Charming on his white horse to whisk her away to love and bliss.  In fact, most of the people that I know who focus all of their attention on the miserable trick that the universe has played on them, are the exact ones for whom success and opportunity seems to pop up out of no where.

Of course, there are those, such as Barack Obama, for whom living in the visualization of being President and sitting in the oval office did work.  Then, there are John McCain, Hillary Clinton, and scores of others who also lived “the Secret”, who lost the race and the chair that they each saw themselves sitting in day after day.  Yes, there is a law of attraction, but it is greater than we could every imagine, and it rules.  You could call it the attraction of fate, or simply the power of the greater plan – the soul’s plan for each of us and for the world.

According the today’s science everything is nothing, or energy, consciousness – fields.  Various fields of consciousness.  So, some believe, and this is what I believe, that the soul is a kind magnetic field.  Before it incarnates it programs itself to attract to it the people, places, and experiences that will facilitate its personal goals and the goals set by the accumulation of all souls incarnating in a certain time.  We, our fields, are all woven together to form a divine personal and universal tapestry.

We attract, and are attracted to only what we chose as souls.  And for the soul all experiences are parables.  All experiences have within their essence a moral lesson teaching love, faith, compassion, forgiveness, and placing the spiritual above the material.  We can find this in each story that we tell of an incident in our own lives.  Sometimes it may take years to “get it”, but when we do – we understand the lesson.

Part of this process is the ego.  The ego is made up of an accumulation of all of our lives on the earth past and present along with all of the emotional experiences that imprinted on it and lie buried within the database of our subconscious mind.  “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” W. Clement Stone.  This is true, however the kind of belief that is necessary is not belief held in our conscious minds, or our imaginations – it is belief held in our subconscious minds.  You see, we live in a world that is neither solid nor three dimensional.  It has no time.  That is fact, but it is not the belief that is held by our subconscious minds, otherwise we could not share this earthy experience.  So belief, is deeper that imagination – it is deeper than reality.

To journey into that realm of the subconscious through hypnosis or through deep meditation, is a journey to what is in essence another reality.  It is a journey in which we leave our ego behind.  What we find when we do, is that this plan, or this series of plans are purposeful and fulfilling in ways that are eternal and not limited to societal programs or past life understandings  of what we should our should not want in this one life.

What we find, is that the path, however it appeared in our conscious state seems to be a path to joy.  Even if we enter into this state to attempt to rewrite the script.  We come back knowing, believing that there can be no better script for our lives than the one written.

Some of us come into life with a burning desire to be rich and famous.  That burning desire comes from the fact that it is the journey written by the soul.  And when these people enter that path to wealth and fame – they find that it was nothing that they had ever imagined, in no way free of pain or suffering, in no way self-validating, and that lesson is the moral of their parable.

I have a ability to visualize, not so much a persons path, but the purpose of the path – the types of experiences that will bring the story to its true gift.  There is a good friend of mine who is a visionary photographer.  His work will take people to great places one day.  Consciously he is fully aware of the unique beauty in his pictures.  And he is frustrated that he cannot sell enough pieces to pay he rent.  Although people are taken aback by the beauty of his work, it is not selling.

We have done past life regressions.  In each life he rose to a different position of social prominence.  In each life he was very focused on his career, on his good name and his status in the community.  And – in each life he died in deep spiritual and emotional pain because he had passed up his chances for true love and emotional fulfillment.  His soul vowed that in this life he would balance both.  He was told by his guides under hypnosis that he had to learn that God gave him two hands and he could have fulfillment in each.

The last time that we spoke, it came to me that although his material success and public recognition were immanent, his soul would not attract them to him until he was balanced within himself.  Until he found his inner power, his inner love and was able to manifest that love in the world as a part of who he was – the material success would remain just outside of his grasp.  The purpose of this being that if his material success were to come first, he would then become caught up, as in his many past lives in that alone.  Once again he would miss the thing that eluded him life after life.  He had to find himself now, to avoid the risk of never finding it, and living a life of emptiness.

There is a law of attraction that is at work in our lives from the day that we are born, but the attractor is not our conscious mind but the spirit that lives within us.  When we want something and do not get it, it is because it is not something that we want from within our souls.  It is perishable.  The soul seeks that which is permanent and continuously giving.  When we do not get what we want, however badly we believe that we want it, however hard, we believe that we have worked for it.  The cause is not our personal failure – it is the success of the soul.  We don’t generally know what we really want, we only know what we really want to feel.

Society tells us that what we want to fell is in box number one.  But if we cannot open box number one, it is because what we want to feel is not in it.  Society, those things that we are programmed from childhood to believe are the keys to happiness, are only part of the superficial, impermanent world around us.  They are not part of the real and permanent world that is within us, the world that contains the true power.  Jesus says, “Seek first the Kingdom of God, and all else will be added unto you.”  This means seek for the joy that lies within you.  Seek first the foundation that lies within you.  Seek first the soul and its treasures that lie within you.  Once you have found all the glory that lies within, all else will come.  All else will be attracted to you.  This is the Law of Attraction.  This is the real secret.

Whatever we find before we find the kingdom that lies within, will be empty.  And if we seek that first, it will consume us to such an extent that we will remain empty for the rest of our lives.  No praise, no adulation, no recognition that we may receive from the world, will give us the fullness of self that we are really seeking unless first we seek and become grounded in the foundation that lies within.

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.

Returning To The Sun

Our bodies are composed of the same minerals as the earth upon which we live. All life on the earth is basically composed of the earth. It is the earth that nurtures and feeds our bodies and life that lives on the planet. However, despite the earth’s nourishment and the immense force of gravity that holds all life forms not rooted in the earth on its surface, our Universe revolves around and all life on earth grows towards the Sun. Our planet and all forms of life that live on it depend on the Sun for growth. While the Sun itself does not feed us, and it does not shelter us, the light that it gives us calls all life to grow. It pulls us upward and away from the earth, upward towards itself. Even plants turn their leaves towards the Sun, towards this light.

All who have had near death experience recall seeing and being drawn towards the “Light”, and most of us believe that when we leave our bodies our souls are finally taken into the “Light”. If we allow that this journey here on earth is a symbolic experience for the soul, then the light of the Sun is symbolic of what we are, what we have come from, and where we must strive to reach. It is a symbolic reminder to the soul of life, to the spark of light within all, that it is a spark of divine light and what it is, and what that means, is more important than where it is. It is letting us know inside that what we are is eternal and where we are is temporary.

The Sun activates, heals and nourishes the Spirit within all living things. It reminds us that although we all live on different parts of the planet, we all face the same Light, we all grow towards the same Light, and there is but one. The Sun lights the earth, while the Moon lights the darkness. We revolve around the Sun, we revolve around the Light – the center of all beings is the same one Light. The moon revolves around the earth, it has no light of its own, yet the Sun sends enough light to the Moon to tell us that even in the darkness, there is light. The moon reflects the light of the Sun and the earth reflects the spirit of life, but the Sun shines as a reminder to us of what is being reflected.

Just as a tree is drawn by the Sun to fulfill the promise of the seed, man is drawn by the Sun to fulfill the promise of humanity. We are asked to be humane, to rise above other animals on the planet. We have mastered the art of tool making, this does not really place us above our nearest relatives in the animal kingdom, our agility and creativity have allowed us to improve upon the things that all animals do in some form or another. We have taken the fulfillment of our animalistic needs to the level of mastery, but we have not freed ourselves from the yoke of the animal kingdom by mastering the art of being humane and spiritual beings.

Fear, need, and the genetic imperative to survive drive herds to instinctively protect their own, they drive animals to instinctively nurture their young. To nurture and defend one’s family, tribe, city, religious group, race, country, even species, is earthly animal instinct. To do it with manufactured foods, man made materials, genetically enhanced herbs, and weapons of mass destruction shows nothing more than we are the cleverest of apes, no surprise we are on the top of the food chain, but none of that makes us human. What makes us human is our self-awareness. We are aware of the spirit that dwells within our bodies. We are aware that we are more than this body. We are capable, through this awareness, of great selfless service. We know that in releasing the little egoic, animal self, we merge with the greater self symbolized by the Sun that radiates its life giving energy to all life on the planet and not just to one group.

Something inside of all living things knows that the Sun represents life in its truest eternal form and so everything on this planet grows in the direction of the Sun. All life on this planet exists in the shadow of death, and only humans have been endowed with the ability to step out of the shadow and into the light without first having to die. This is what we must do in order to save ourselves. We must emulate the Sun, and radiate through love, and compassion, by embracing, nurturing, and protecting every life that the Sun shines upon. In this way we step up, we step out of the animal kingdom and become the fullness of the seed from which we have come. Our living, our being will be a true reflection of our real essence.

The Power Of Being

When we move from within, centered and one with our journey and our destination, this creates a power that can move any mountain.


When I was a child I was impressed by the way in which people responded to my father. It was clear that people treated him with respect. The atmosphere in a room took on an air of deference when he entered; people seemed to be drawn to him by some unknown force. His words drew an audience no matter how softly he spoke. He emanated power. He was as difficult to describe as to forget. Yet, he seemed to be completely unaffected.

He was my father, and although I enjoyed the way that I was treated because of that fact; I felt that my feelings for him were obviously based upon the fact that he was my father and so I could not understand why others looked at him with that same awe that I did as a daughter.

During the time when anyone with dark skin would have to enter through the back door, my father would enter through the front. Instead of stopping him; people would pretend that they did not see him. This was how my world worked. There were no rules, only agreements and when one did not agree; everyone else moved out of the way.

My parents made an odd couple in the early fifties. My mother was Hungarian and Jewish with blond hair and green eyes. One day in the mid-nineteen fifties, my parents were driving somewhere in the South and a Policeman pulled them over. My father knew that they were pulled over because he was Black and she was White, so he looked the officer straight in the eyes and told him that my mother was Black. The officer let them go. He just did not seem to be subject to the same rules as other people. I could not understand why the river seemed to flow in a different direction for him, I never noticed him asking it to.

When my father died, the minister said, “This was a man who was loved and hated, but whether you loved him or you hated him, you always called him Mr. Gibel, with respect.” The minister had never even met my father, but he knew of him.

His gift to me as a father was his passion for being. He demanded that I honor my own being, and compare myself to no one. My father believed in God and himself. He knew himself as a man and when he said it, it had meaning.

He was completely self-centered. By this I mean that his sense of being was centered within. He sought no outside approval and accepted no outside criticism. He set his own rules and he lived by them. He listened to the voice from within and no other.

I cannot say that he had self-confidence in the way that we think of it. Confidence was not an issue. He was secure in the belief that we create our own world whether we do a good job of it or a bad job of it is another issue. He did not look at himself in the mirror and say, “I love you”, it was more of, “I am”. He had no time for blaming society or hating anyone, he dealt with what was, faced it and walked through it.

This is The Power of Being. The belief that what God created only God can affect. The knowing deep within that God creates us in His image and for that reason we are fully capable of realizing any dream, accomplishing any feat and reaching any goal that we choose. It is only the One who created us that can judge for better or worse our lives and our living.

It was this centeredness that people responded to. Most people are not sure about anything. Most people will follow anyone who seems to know where he or she is going. Of course I did not know my father when he was young. I believe that he had a very difficult childhood. I feel certain that this acceptance was hard won. From what he told me of his life, I believe he came to this point simply because there was nowhere else to turn in his perspective. Being a survivor, the only way to survive is ultimately becoming your own strongest ally.

My father’s life taught me that things were not the way they appeared; there was something wrong with this picture. He would not allow me to be a victim because he showed me that no one could victimize us unless we give him or her that power. He showed me that nothing stops us that we do not buy into. He showed me The Power of Being through his living. When we create our lives from within, instead of simply trying to fit into the world that is without, we have all of the power that we need to succeed in anything that we attempt.

I am bi-racial. That didn’t help me find who I was as a child living in a world that begins with labels. On the surface it would seem that I was Black. But to Black children I was only Black until they saw my mother. Being is not how we are identified by others; it is how we identify ourselves. However, as children we identify ourselves with those around us, we identify ourselves first in the way that our family identifies itself. When our family has no single identity, we must find our own, skipping the first part. So, we begin to find where we fit in with others – since my family didn’t have a group identity, I didn’t have a place to fit in. After much rejection, and minimal acceptance, I chose to identify with my father. I chose to be Denise. I limited my identification to my being. So, from there I journeyed to find my roots, my history – and beginning, not with a racial or ethnic group, but with a single self – the only direction of that journey was within to find my soul and my true Being.

I did this because I felt like a rootless tree – easy to tumble – lacking in support. I needed to root myself, just for the sake of survival. However, when I did, I found that the world related to me in the same way that it related to my father. I found that people began to relate to me in the same way that I related to myself. They neither saw, nor looked for what group I belonged to as a reference as to how I was to be treated. They saw only me, they saw my Being and what they saw, what they related to was greater than the packaged and labeled version of a self, and they saw and related to a Being who was a reflection of a soul – instead of a reflection of a group identity. Seeing the change in how people responded to me taught me that we are no less and no more than we believe ourselves to be. If we release the history – the baggage of a race, a religion, a nationality or a family name, and become only who we really are, then the power of pure being becomes the essence of the energy that others feel in our presence. Our lives are no longer shaped by those who came before us, but by ourselves. This is the power of Being.

Faith In Mind

Seng Ts’an

The Supreme Way is not difficult
If only you do not pick and choose.
Neither love nor hate,
And you will clearly understand.
Be off by a hair,
And you are as far from it as heaven from earth.
If you want the Way to appear,
Be neither for nor against.
For and against opposing each other
This is the mind’s disease.
Without recognizing the mysterious principle
It is useless to practice quietude.

The Way is perfect like great space,
Without lack, without excess.
Because of grasping and rejecting,
You cannot attain it.
Do not pursue conditioned existence;
Do not abide in acceptance of emptiness.
In oneness and equality,
Confusion vanishes of itself.
Stop activity and return to stillness,
and that stillness will be even more active.
Merely stagnating in duality,
How can you recognize oneness?

If you fail to penetrate oneness,
Both places lose their function.
Banish existence and you fall into existence;
Follow emptiness and you turn your back on it.
Excessive talking and thinking
Turn you from harmony with the Way.
Cut off talking and thinking,
And there is nowhere you cannot penetrate.
Return to the root and attain the principle;
Pursue illumination and you lose it.
One moment of reversing the light
Is greater than the previous emptiness.
The previous emptiness is transformed;
It was all a product of deluded views.
No need to seek the real;
Just extinguish your views.

Do not abide in dualistic views;
Take care not to seek after them.
As soon as there is right and wrong
The mind is scattered and lost.
Two comes from one,
Yet do not even keep the one.
When one mind does not arise,
Myriad dharmas are without defect.
Without defect, without dharmas,
No arising, no mind.
The subject is extinguished with the object.
The object sinks away with the subject.
Object is object because of the subject:
Subject is subject because of the object.
Know that the two
Are originally one emptiness.
In one emptiness the two are the same,
Containing all phenomena.
Not seeing fine or coarse,
How can there be any bias?

The Great Way is broad,
Neither easy nor difficult.
With narrow views and doubts,
Haste will slow you down.
Attach to it and you lose the measure;
The mind will enter a deviant path.
Let it go and be spontaneous,
Experience no going or staying.

Accord with your nature, unite with the Way,
Wander at ease, without vexation.
Bound by thoughts, you depart from the real;
And sinking into a stupor is as bad.
It is not good to weary the spirit.
Why alternate between aversion and affection?

If you wish to enter the one vehicle,
Do not be repelled by the sense realm.
With no aversion to the sense realm,
You become one with true enlightenment.
The wise have no motives;
Fools put themselves in bondage.
One dharma is not different from another.
The deluded mind clings to whatever it desires.
Using mind to cultivate mind
Is this not a great mistake?

The erring mind begets tranquillity and confusion;
In enlightenment there are no likes or dislikes.
The duality of all things
Issues from false discriminations.
A dream, an illusion, a flower in the sky
How could they be worth grasping?
Gain and loss, right and wrong,
Discard them all at once.

If the eyes do not close in sleep,
All dreams will cease of themselves.
If the mind does not discriminate,
All dharmas are of one suchness.
The essence of one suchness is profound;
Unmoving, conditioned things are forgotten.
Contemplate all dharmas as equal,
and you return to things as they are.
When the subject disappears,
There can be no measuring or comparing.

Stop activity and there is no activity;
When activity stops, there is no rest.
Since two cannot be established,
How can there be one?
In the very ultimate,
Rules and standards do not exist.

Develop a mind of equanimity,
And all deeds are put to rest.
Anxious doubts are completely cleared.
Right faith is made upright.
Nothing can be remembered.
Bright and empty, functioning naturally,
The mind does not exert itself.
It is not a place of thinking,
Difficult for reason and emotion to fathom.
In the Dharma Realm of true suchness,
There s no other, no self.

To accord with it is vitally important;
Only refer to not-two.
In not-two all things are in unity:
Nothing is excluded.
The wise throughout the ten directions
All enter this principle.
This principle is neither hurried nor slow
One thought for ten thousand years.

Abiding nowhere yet everywhere,
The ten directions are right before you.
The smallest is the same as the largest
In the realm where delusion is cut off.
The largest is the same as the smallest;
No boundaries are visible.
Existence is precisely emptiness;
Emptiness is precisely existence.
If it is not like this,
Then you must not preserve it.

One is everything;
Everything is one.
If you can be like this,
Why worry about not finishing?
Faith and mind are not two;
Non-duality is faith in mind.

The path of words is cut off;
There is no past, no future, no present.