Monday, August 4, 2014

Judge Not Lest You Stop Your Awareness

As I have been studying the brain and the mind, one book stands out as a wonderful treatment of awareness and how we often without knowing it, trap experiences within us, and literally trap ourselves within life experiences. There is a phenomenon that if we are paying attention, can be avoided by avoiding over use of a mechanism that helps us distinguish between events and things that we wish to duplicate and those that we do not.

It is called Judgment and a Bible verse lays it out in the book of Matthew this way, in chapter 7 verses 1 to 3
1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

When Michael Singer was describing in his book, the Untethered Soul, the way that the awareness sometimes fails to let an experience pass through us and instead, fixes itself on some aspect of that event or object and holds on to it, and builds an emotional response around it, and then buries the encoded event, which he calls by the Sanskrit word, Samskara, I immediately realized he was talking about judgment. When we see something and decide to take offense, or to reject it as not worthy of us, or of our love or attention, we actually lend it more reason to burden us by trapping its energy within us instead of letting it pass through us and only momentarily noting its existence.

Certainly there are judgments which are just, and which are necessary for us to relate an event or thing to our core beliefs or understanding, but the more we pass negative judgments on other people, or things, the more we cloud our psyche with unnecessary baggage that gets dredged back up from time to time as similar events or things appear that trigger the encoded judgment we have buried within us and so with that same judgment are we judged and we end up carrying around a burden.

A story within the Buddhist tradition explains this effect well.  Two monks who had taken a vow to never be with a woman, were walking along a riverside path when they encountered a beautiful young woman trying to figure out how to cross the shallow river without soiling her silk robe. The elder of the two monks whisked her into his arms and carried her across the river safely setting her down on the other bank. For many minutes after that the younger monk remained silent but appeared troubled, until finally he could no longer contain his bewilderment. The elder monk finally asked, is something bothering you? to which the younger monk replied, "Master, we have sworn an oath to never be with a woman, and yet you thought nothing of picking up that young lady and carrying her across the river. Why?" The elder monk, smiled and replied, "Ah but I set her down at the rivers edge, yet it is you who still carries her."

It is my belief that this message tries to teach us that when we worry about things that we cannot control, we carry the greater burden, whether it be in judging another unfairly, or in deciding that someone else has not lived up to one of our own standards. It is not for us to judge others in this manner, for if we do, we literally carry the burden ourselves and they hardly feel the burden at all.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Kingdom of God is Within You

Luke 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

With simplicity, the Savior states what has become better known and understood with time. Everything that manifests in the world starts within us or within someone, every action was a thought first, every structure was an idea first, every destruction was an impulse first, and so it is with the Kingdom which they surrounding him sought.

The power of an idea has never been more profound than when the Savior spoke of his Kingdom being one that must first take root in the heart before it can ever become a reality. All around us in the world we can see the power of ideas manifesting reality in ever increasing diversity and profundity.  We see thoughts combined in new and creative ways resulting in innovations the world could never have imagined in bygone centuries. This then, is one way that we can see that once an idea takes root in the heart, it cannot help but become manifest in reality.

This is a law of heaven and one spoken of in the Secret as the Law of Attraction, we truly can manifest what we focus our attention on, but most ideas don't take hold because there is not always any degree of heartfelt emotion behind them.  Mind you this can be strong good or bad emotion, but either way, emotion can and usually does become the driving force of an idea becoming a manifest reality.

Proverbs 23: 7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.

This goes doubly for the person we are becoming each day.  Our thoughts guide our actions and our actions develop into habits; our habits form our character, and our character forges our destiny.  All this from the power of thought.  We must become more conscious of our thoughts and which ones we allow to become emotionally charged, for it is certainly a fact that we do have a high degree of control over which thoughts develop into actions and ultimately forge our character.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Gratitude as Faith in Action

While pondering the principle of Gratitude and how it can affect every aspect of our lives, I happened upon the following scripture in Phillipians 4:6

6 aBe bcareful for nothing; but in every thing by cprayer and supplication with dthanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

The greek words starting this off are "meden merimnate" meaning Be not anxious, as it is also used in Matt 6:25.  The next combination however is even more instructive, "in every thing, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving," so it is saying even though we are to not worry about our needs being met, for they certainly will be, we are to pray and even supplicate, which is a bit stronger word, implying an awareness of lack or need, with an attitude of thanksgiving.

In The Secret, and in many of Bob Proctor's works, though they do not always endeavor to acknowledge God as such but many times speak only of the Universe or of some higher power, they are constantly talking about understanding the power of gratitude as a way and a means of submitting our desires to God.

In this point they are in strict agreement, whether by some cosmic accident or because it is apparent enough that gratitude is an eternal principle, and as Michael Beckwith at one point says "Gratitiude is Faith in action" quoting Larry James. 

Gratitude in other words, is not separate from Faith, but is a way that we manifest our Faith in God, and to Him.  Gratitude as a means of praying or putting our supplication to God for things we have need of, helps us to take the focus off of our lack of those things, as the first point makes clear, "Be careful for nothing" and allows us to see through our gratitude that we are putting our supplication up to a Father in Heaven who cares about each sparrow, and the lillies of the field.

With our focus on gratitude, our supplication becomes a faith-filled acknowledgment of the goodness of God and a grateful acknowledgment of his promises to us.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Be Still and Know that I am God...

Psalm 46:10 is a verse in the OT of the Bible that was impressed upon me many years ago, as a thought provoking verse, but of late, even more than ever before, I am impressed with the simple depth of the language.

To me, now, it paints a picture of sitting on a stone in the midst of the trees of a forest and letting the mind melt into utter silence, (your living room is fine, but alone is best) no thought of past or future or worry or strife. As the silence falls upon the mind, the first distant utterance of a small animal can be heard, then another, closer, perhaps in response, don't try to understand, and don't picture the creature that uttered it. Simply hear, no... Listen, focus on each sound.

God is in the smallest creature, the most beautiful flower, the moist raindrop, the brook dancing by in the distance. To know that He is God, is not an intellectual exercise, and to know this now, in this moment, does not require a command of the scriptures, or the skills of discourse or debate.

To know God is, and that He is in all these things, is to feel His presence in each wave of sound that touches your senses, each color that is perceived, each scent that wafts by on the light breeze. Don't think too hard on these things, but feel the presence of God in all these ways, and know, without words, that He is with you, there in the forest, in your mind, wherever you may be, lost in the quiet stillness of pondering.

To be still and know, is not hard to do, unless we see to it that we are safely surrounded with reassuring noise and the clatter of civilization. Let yourself occasionally, if not constantly, be encircled about in the arms of His love, and feel His peace, stilling your soul, giving you the peace you are only capable of when you stop and let Him fill your mind, and your being, with His presence. Be still, and know. He is God

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Think on These Things

In the Secret, we are taught to keep our minds clear of the troubling thoughts that would negate our efforts to move in a certain direction. To some, such an action may seem at best difficult, to most, impossible, because they are not accustomed to going a different direction with their thoughts than that which carries them throughout the day, as a current, moved on by the noise around them confirming the worst in most cases.

Unless and until we learn to make our mind subject to our desires, and not run on autopilot, being fed by the white noise around us, we may never know the joy that can be felt by simply being still and seeing God in the little things around us.

In Phillipians I found a passage that jumped out at me this time around because it tells me just what this is trying to say.

Philip. 4: 6-8
6 aBe bcareful for nothing; but in every thing by cprayer and supplication with dthanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the apeace of God, which passeth all bunderstanding, shall ckeep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are atrue, whatsoever things are bhonest, whatsoever things are cjust, whatsoever things are dpure, whatsoever things are elovely, fwhatsoever things are of good report; if there be any gvirtue, and if there be any praise, hthink on these things.

See the good around you, think on these things, and while there will persist in the background, things that might be objectionable, know this; that you can do more to help those around you by maintaining a clear vision of the good and showing them the way, than by seeing things as they see them, and getting caught up in the fear of daily drudgery.

There is no way to solve a problem, any problem, on the same level of thinking that created that problem. Remembering that God is abundant, and that by giving thanks in all things, we begin to see the hand of God in all things, allows us to see that the fear that most feel is only one possible response to a world as ready to bless the lives of all as to take from them.

I see that now, and shake my head in bewilderment that it took so long for me.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Pray Without Ceasing

In 1st Thessalonians 5:17-18 it says in the King James version,
17 aPray without ceasing.
18 In every thing give athanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Those two phrases, Pray without ceasing and in everything give thanks, have taken on a whole larger meaning for me in my recent studies of the Law of Attraction and "The Secret". In the movie, "The Secret" Rhonda Byrne and other masters of LOA, teach that gratitude is the single most powerful element in the successful practice of the Law of Attraction methodology. To be grateful for what we will receive, or to be grateful even for what we now have, is extolled repeatedly as the secret to gaining our desires, and vibrating in synch with that which will give us more.

I believe that true prayer is not the words that we utter, but is in fact, the feeling of gratitude we have in our heart for the laws of God enacted in our lives, for the things we have and for the processes we are involved in. To be in an attitude of prayer without ceasing, I believe we have to be in a mode of gratitude for the smallest things in our lives. It is how we begin to see the hand of God in all things, and are able to feel he is in fact unfolding marvelous things in our lives.

To pray without ceasing does not require us at all to be uttering or even thinking words, and certainly is not about asking Him for anything, but merely requires us to be mindful of His presence and His majesty in all that surrounds us. It is an attitude that sees God in the smallest of His creations, and in the brother or sister who might not even acknowledge His existence.

To give thanks in everything means that we learn to see all things, good or bad, as part of the flowing picture of life, and we begin to understand that what we see as good or bad, God sees as part of the flow of all things as one great whole. We can then understand that death, and pain and all forms of hurt are as necessary as the joy and the beauty that we see, and that without one we can never appreciate its opposite. Being grateful in all things begins to consume our thoughts and we stop having negating thoughts or accepting them for very long.

That to me is how the scriptures teach a very important principle of gratitude being so important to the attainment of all we desire. We must begin by trusting in God's plan for our happiness.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Faith as a Principle of Motivation and of Creation

Faith is often spoken up as a religious principle, and this almost exclusively. The meaning of the word faith however, takes it much further than merely religious in nature, and I will venture to say that there is no area of life that is not affected by faith as a motivating principle of action and of creation in our lives.

Jesus in the New Testament often reminded people that it was not by his own power, or that alone that they were healed, but by their faith were they healed, as in the following from Luke:

Luke 8: 43-48
43 And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any,
44 Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched.
45 And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?
46 And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.
47 And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately.
48 And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.

Often he said things that were hard to understand regarding faith, such as later in Luke when the Apostles asked for their faith to be increased:

Luke 17: 5-6
5 And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.
6 And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this Sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.

As misunderstood as faith is, it becomes central to our understanding of creation as we endeavor to make pronounced changes in our lives, or to live the Law of Attraction. When people try to apply any principle of change half-heartedly, they are in essence demonstrating their lack of faith in the process. In "The Secret" Rhonda Byrne explained at some point it is necessary for us to clear things out to make way to receive that which is on its way.

When we ask for something, we need only ask once, and then we must begin the process of receiving, which is a process imbued with faith, if it is to produce the desired result. There is no room in the process for doubt, or it gets hung up at that point, and the test becomes a miserable failure, thereby cementing in the doubt of the unbeliever, and proving their point that nothing was going to happen.

Too many times I have witnessed exactly such lack of faith applied to a test of the Law to see if it would work, and each time, the Lord's quote comes back, "If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you."

To whomever among us that believes, all things are possible, and I have seen that if we have Faith, nothing wavering, we can see miracles. The "nothing wavering" part is what separates so many of us from the few who will see the miracle. It is possible, and we have only to seriously put his word to the test.