Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Power Of The Genuine Reality Of The Pope

Slowly I am coming back around to a place of quiet assuredness – rather than the frenzied whirling Tasmanian devil of old cartoons. Thank goodness! Selling a house is not for spiritual sissies.
The headlined message in the recent issue of The Holy Encounter [September / October 2015, Miracle Distribution Center.] is entitled The Gift of Salvation by Beverly Hutchinson McNeff. It is excellent. She writes:
A Course in Miracles tells us truth is true and only what God created is real. What God created is eternal and can never change. Right there you can see that truth and reality have nothing to do with the world or our bodies [both of which] are constantly changing. It does, however, have everything to do with our spirit and our loving thoughts, which are eternal and the only things that are true about any situation in which we find ourselves.
“This does not mean, though, that we deny the world or our bodies, for to deny them is to give them more power than they deserve. If the world is not real and the body is not who we are, our focus should be on who and what are real rather than on denying an illusion. We spend way too much time talking about our problems rather than focusing on the solution. As the Course tells us, ‘To be in the Kingdom is merely to focus your full attention on it.’ [T-7.III.4:1]
“The world will be transformed as we focus our attention on what is true. This takes practice; not because truth is hard to learn but because we have become so comfortable with the lies. Peace is possible here, forgiveness is the key to happiness, and God Himself shall wipe away all our tears. It’s time for us to stop thinking the Course was written for the other guy to follow. It was written for us! That’s why the only question God’s Voice asks each one of us is: ‘Are you ready yet to help Me save the world?’ [C-2.9:1] 
“[Why would we not say ‘Yes, I am ready?’] … probably because we see ourselves and others as guilty; after all, look at this world! It’s a mess. And from our current perspective, we see no way out. But if you look for the ‘mess,’ you will see the mess. Jesus’ time was just as hateful and chaotic, and he still came to bring us the message that love is stronger than hate and peace is more powerful than attack. His entire life was a testament to this shift in perception and that is exactly what a miracle is!”
I think that’s what I saw as I watched Pope Francis these past several days. I saw mine and other’s perceptions shifting and bending and twisting. Here was a powerful man surrounded by police motorcades, armored cars, bulletproof glass and armed, alert “protectors” of all stripes. Well, where was he in all this? In his little black 4-seater Fiat or in his converted Jeep pope-mobile. It was like watching a pod of orcas, dolphins, and 40-ton whales swimming around in order to protect a trout.
His openness, inclusiveness, and unbridled desire to be, not with the powerful but with the “least of these” – reflected, as well, in his words as he addressed White House guests, Congress, and the U.N. General Assembly – spoke volumes. His beaming smile was infectious. It was a true reflection of his joy – as he embraced children lifted to him by their parents or his bodyguards and as he sought out and embraced the infirmed. He beamed. The children beamed. Their parents beamed.
What he did, the joy with which he did it, and the words of his straightforward addresses were all simply facets of the same message: “I’m here. I’m overjoyed to see you. I love you. I care for you. You are not alone. Be happy with each other. Love and serve each other. That’s what Jesus did. That’s what we are to do. It will change the world”
The impact of his open, honest, straightforward and joyous Self was palpable. I could see it ripple through the crowds. I could see it in the face of the Speaker of the House. I could see it the dazzling smiles of the President, the Vice President, as well as their families. I could see it in conservative and progressive politicians alike.
It was transformative. It was a glimpse of the reality A Course in Miracles is trying to teach me.
It is not about dogma. It is not about perceived biblical truths. It is not about ecclesiastical polity or programs. It is not about cerebral, structured theology.  It is about joy. It is about peace of mind. What I witnessed was how our loving thoughts – expressed as joy and peace – can be used by the Holy Spirit to change the world.
What a week!
Although these messages are mostly for me, thanks for listening. As always – feel free to forward this message to your friends, family, and those accompanying you on your spiritual journey.
#2 Sep 2015

Copyright 2015

Saturday, September 19, 2015

I Give My Recent Spirituality A Grade Of D+

For the last several weeks I have gone crazy. That madness included not sending a message out to you. For those who inquired about the reason(s) you weren’t hearing from me – thank you for thinking of me and accept my apology for not alerting you.
We are putting our house on the market. We interviewed realtors to choose one for the Listing Agreement and were trying to get all sorts of odds and ends fixed up for the photo shoot and virtual tour that need to accompany the MLS listing. It was a crazy time. For example, one morning I was to do some pruning in the yard, some minor furniture repairs, and then …  my sciatic back went out. I was scheduled to go to a family reunion in Indiana, and I became focused on getting my back repaired by my chiropractor for the trip. The pruning and furniture repair stayed on my list of things to do. In this process I simply missed getting the intervening messages out.
Things are settling down a bit now, but I am exhausted. We went from room-to-room discussing what needed to be done. All the accumulated “chores” began mounting up and my notes on my yellow legal pad began to look like chickens had walked through red ink and had fought off a rooster while still on my note pad. I got short with my wife and she got short with me. Since the two of us, standing on the other’s shoulders just might reach the bottom threads of the net of a basketball hoop, we don’t have a lot of height from which to get short. It was tense at times to say the least.
I truly wish I could share with you that, as these tense times came and went, I completed my chores while simply observing my thoughts, smiling with the grace and serenity of the Dalai Lama, and silently chanting “OOOOOMM” to myself.
All I can share with you now is that the last two messages of August I sent – listening to my heart – were totally violated by me.
My reality? The last thing on my mind was to connect to the Oneness of nature by listening to my heart. I was too edgy, too goal oriented working from my “to-do” list, too nervous, and too worn-out. Until we get a satisfactory contract, my punctuality in getting these weekly missives published will probably suffer. I am apologizing in advance, should that happen.
There is a sentence (in fact, many of them!) in A Course in Miracles (ACIM) that states: “The memory of God comes to the quiet mind. It cannot come where there is conflict, for a mind at war against itself remembers not eternal gentleness.” [T-23-I-1:1-2] Certainly, the picture I have painted of myself over the last several weeks is not one of eternal gentleness.
If you also have difficulty at times trying to calm yourself and your thoughts to allow for some refreshing quiet time, all I can say, based on my less-than-stellar example, is “Welcome to my world – Sometimes.”
Although I personally would give myself a D+ in remembering how to become quiet and still, listening for the whispers of my Spirit Guide, I will urge you to try to relax and enjoy the most difficult journey you’ll ever take – the trip that will take you from head-thinking to heart-absorption. Simply practice being the observer of your thoughts and, in that stillness, listen for the whispers of your Holy Spirit.
Although these messages are mostly for me, thanks for listening. As always – feel free to forward this message to your friends, family, and those accompanying you on your spiritual journey.
#1 Sep 2015
Copyright 2015