I Looked in The Mirror and Didn’t See Wrinkles Anymore!

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​A love affair really does begin with a love affair with you. 

In fact, I didn’t see “me” at all. I didn’t see what I would typically see. I didn’t see my physical reflection, I didn’t see the person who wasn’t very clear in yesterday’s meeting or the one who got embarrassed making eye contact with the handsome stranger in Whole Foods. I saw beyond all of that, I saw right through to my essence and I fell deeply in love.

In love with the ability to experience being a human in this magical mystical place, we call planet earth, suspended in a Universe of cosmic energy. It blew my mind. It only lasted for a moment, I think I could have stayed with it longer but that was all I needed — a brief glimpse to remember who I really am.

We are not our story, we are the essence behind the story:

It’s the same for every human on earth. I couldn’t help but think that if everyone could have that brief moment where the truth was revealed – not the story we make up about our lives, but the essence behind all life. We would remember what a miracle it is to be able to experience Creation, as well as our individual thoughts emanating from the power to create a personal experience through our ability to think and be conscious of what we think.
How can you not fall in love with the mystical universal experience, we all share? That Universal experience is who we really are – we are the ability to experience Creation. We also experience the ability to create in our personal worlds, and experience our personal creations as well.

What does this have to do with our daily lives?

It becomes so easy to notice when we start to go down the tube of upset. It becomes automatic to catch ourselves the instant we feel “off” our mark. By this I mean, that when you spend time in the flow of life and out of your head about what you think life is, or what it should bring you, or what you deserve, you will feel calm and secure. It’s an automatic thing. It becomes the norm, your default setting and you’ll notice when you’re not there and you’ll want to get back “there” to that good feeling so much that you’ll take a straight line back, not a jagged one through emotions and upsets. Just right toward better feeling states. The cleanest, fastest way is to let go of non-productive thoughts that cause you to feel bad. Thinking about it won’t change it, thinking about it will only take us away from a nicer feeling state where we all function better.

Turning a glimpse of pure consciousness into a way of life:

I can’t imagine how these glimpses that help me in my personal world would happen for me had I not known that it is Mind, Thought and Consciousness that brings me my personal experience every moment of my life as a human being. Mind, Thought and Consciousness are the 3 principles that were uncovered in 1972 via a spiritual epiphany that a man named Sydney Banks, experienced.

To me, it was the Holy Grail that everyone wants but most of us have been looking for it in the wrong direction. Humanity has been looking in the world of form for the answers that are already within, invisible and immeasurably valuable to humankind.

These Principles, once understood by enough people, will definitely bring peace on earth. We each have the opportunity to understand them for our own peace within and to understand how we get a personal view of this mystical thing we call Creation.
In the last thirty years of my life, my understanding of these simple, yet extraordinarily profound principles has deepened.

What Sydney Banks saw in a moment in time, takes most of us a lifetime to SEE. Perhaps because to fully understand the depth and breadth of what was revealed to Mr. Banks, we have to find it through insight, not through our analytic minds, and we’re so accustomed to depending upon our analytic mind for answers. It’s not something that can be taught or learned, it can only be uncovered from the depth of our own soul — where we already know and knew before we covered up our spiritual essence with personal, conditioned thinking.

We can all sense a formless energy behind the physical world we know:

We exist in what seem to be two worlds — the formless world of spirit and the physical world formed by our use of Mind, Consciousness, and Thought. We can use these gifts in a healthy, helpful, productive manner or we can use them in a destructive, unhealthy manner. Most of us don’t realize that we also have the gift of free-will to choose which thoughts we make our own and go forward with and which we let pass us by with nary a second glimpse, knowing full well how destructive it would be to follow them. Thought is the bridge between the world of form and formlessness for humanity so that we can know Creation.
Mr. Banks saw that the world of form and formlessness are the same. He did his absolute best to show anyone who would listen. I listened with as quiet a mind as I could. I have had glimpses of the oneness of the world of form and of formlessness, and it is a beautiful, serene, magnificent experience.

Each year that I look in the direction of the formless energy from which we derive. I SEE it more and more. I cannot begin to tell you how much easier, simpler and more lovely it makes life on planet earth — you’d have to SEE it for yourself.

I Looked in The Mirror and Didn’t See Wrinkles Anymore!

A love affair really does begin with a love affair with you. 

In fact, I didn’t see “me” at all. I didn’t see what I would typically see. I didn’t see my physical reflection, I didn’t see the person who wasn’t very clear in yesterday’s meeting or the one who got embarrassed making eye contact with the handsome stranger in Whole Foods. I saw beyond all of that, I saw right through to my essence and I fell deeply in love.

In love with the ability to experience being a human in this magical mystical place, we call planet earth, suspended in a Universe of cosmic energy. It blew my mind. It only lasted for a moment, I think I could have stayed with it longer but that was all I needed — a brief glimpse to remember who I really am.

We are not our story, we are the essence behind the story:

It’s the same for every human on earth. I couldn’t help but think that if everyone could have that brief moment where the truth was revealed – not the story we make up about our lives, but the essence behind all life. We would remember what a miracle it is to be able to experience Creation, as well as our individual thoughts emanating from the power to create a personal experience through our ability to think and be conscious of what we think.

How can you not fall in love with the mystical universal experience, we all share? That Universal experience is who we really are – we are the ability to experience Creation. We also experience the ability to create in our personal worlds, and experience our personal creations as well.

What does this have to do with our daily lives?

It becomes so easy to notice when we start to go down the tube of upset. It becomes automatic to catch ourselves the instant we feel “off” our mark. By this I mean, that when you spend time in the flow of life and out of your head about what you think life is, or what it should bring you, or what you deserve, you will feel calm and secure. It’s an automatic thing. It becomes the norm, your default setting and you’ll notice when you’re not there and you’ll want to get back “there” to that good feeling so much that you’ll take a straight line back, not a jagged one through emotions and upsets. Just right toward better feeling states. The cleanest, fastest way is to let go of non-productive thoughts that cause you to feel bad. Thinking about it won’t change it, thinking about it will only take us away from a nicer feeling state where we all function better.

Turning a glimpse of pure consciousness into a way of life:

I can’t imagine how these glimpses that help me in my personal world would happen for me had I not known that it is Mind, Thought and Consciousness that brings me my personal experience every moment of my life as a human being. Mind, Thought and Consciousness are the 3 principles that were uncovered in 1972 via a spiritual epiphany that a man named Sydney Banks, experienced.

To me, it was the Holy Grail that everyone wants but most of us have been looking for it in the wrong direction. Humanity has been looking in the world of form for the answers that are already within, invisible and immeasurably valuable to humankind.

These Principles, once understood by enough people, will definitely bring peace on earth. We each have the opportunity to understand them for our own peace within and to understand how we get a personal view of this mystical thing we call Creation.

In the last thirty years of my life, my understanding of these simple, yet extraordinarily profound principles has deepened.

What Sydney Banks saw in a moment in time, takes most of us a lifetime to SEE. Perhaps because to fully understand the depth and breadth of what was revealed to Mr. Banks, we have to find it through insight, not through our analytic minds, and we’re so accustomed to depending upon our analytic mind for answers. It’s not something that can be taught or learned, it can only be uncovered from the depth of our own soul — where we already know and knew before we covered up our spiritual essence with personal, conditioned thinking.

We can all sense a formless energy behind the physical world we know:

We exist in what seem to be two worlds — the formless world of spirit and the physical world formed by our use of Mind, Consciousness, and Thought. We can use these gifts in a healthy, helpful, productive manner or we can use them in a destructive, unhealthy manner. Most of us don’t realize that we also have the gift of free-will to choose which thoughts we make our own and go forward with and which we let pass us by with nary a second glimpse, knowing full well how destructive it would be to follow them. Thought is the bridge between the world of form and formlessness for humanity so that we can know Creation.

Mr. Banks saw that the world of form and formlessness are the same. He did his absolute best to show anyone who would listen. I listened with as quiet a mind as I could. I have had glimpses of the oneness of the world of form and of formlessness, and it is a beautiful, serene, magnificent experience.

Each year that I look in the direction of the formless energy from which we derive. I SEE it more and more. I cannot begin to tell you how much easier, simpler and more lovely it makes life on planet earth — you’d have to SEE it for yourself.

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The Greatest Lesson In Love I’ve Ever Had

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Many years ago, I was in a serious relationship and living with the man I thought I would marry. he had given up everything to be with me, moving from the US to the UK, leaving his job and even selling his car (he loved that car).  He arrived at the airport with a few personal items and carrying a promise: we would be together.  Forever, I thought.

This was not to be. And it was the greatest lesson in love I ever learned. 

After a year of living together and enjoying life together I noticed he was becoming irritable.  He complained about city life.  He felt like a foreigner. I jumped into action with everything I knew to show him the best sides of my city, my life and myself.

I thought, despite these little concerns, that we would marry and be together always.  I was deeply in love and as I looked at it from the bright side, it seemed we could live anywhere and do anything we wanted to. We'd work it out...

About 14 months after we moved in together, he sat me down one day in the living room. It was spring and grey skies were lifting. I had noticed that his mood had not.  He seemed to spend his days in the house now, smoking more often.  He had more complaints when I arrived home in the evenings -- some about me, but mostly about life.

As I sat on the floor he began, "I want to go home."

I guess I had felt something coming.  Recently our discussions about the future and marriage had got very sticky. I felt I was pushing him. A bad feeling was growing in me. Something was wrong. In my usual haughtiness, I assumed something was wrong with Him.  

"Back to San Diego?" I inquired.

"Yes..."

Well, that seemed a reasonable thing.  He had lived there for years and we met there. My mother lived there.  It sounded like a good plan for us, but somehow I knew he wasn't talking about our plan.

"...I am leaving in July on my ticket and I don't want to plan to come back."

As each word landed I felt the ground rumbling under the pounding hooves of large oncoming herd of buffalo.

Now being an American in the UK has challenges.  allows you only so much time in any one sojourn so the sand in the hourglass is always dribbling. You cannot work and you have to leave regularly in order to renew your visa.  You can also only renew a tourist visa a limited number of times. If he were to come back after his current ticket was used, we knew it would be the last time and we were aware of the dangers of marrying under pressured circumstances. (Small detail: he hadn't asked). We could both live in the States, however, so we had talked about moving. My head was swirling.  Maybe that's what he was talking about...

He was looking at the floor.  This was something more.

I asked questions. Did he want me to come with him? Would I come later? Would we try living there for a while? Live in both places?

His answers were sad and clear. He could go live with a friend who had a room. I probably wouldn't like that place.  Also, he didn't want to have any more possessions. Only the minimum needed to live.  He would live a life "off the grid."

"Does this plan include me?" I asked, anxiously.

"If you can live that way," he replied still looking down.

A life "off grid" he explained would involve living only with recycled and found items, buying nothing new. He would get furniture or anyting else he needed off the street.  But he didn't expect to need that. Sleeping rough in his room would be fine. A computer and a few hangers would hold his life. Enough consumer items have been made to fill a planet already, he would have no part of encouraging "them" to make more.

My head was exploding in two directions. First, I felt accused of being some kind of reckless consumer. I felt frivolous in my choices, the amount of clothes I owned, my spending on food and entertainment.  I felt as if a great finger of shame was pointing at me. As if that wasn't bad enough, I was starting to feel sick.  My stomach had sunk to the floor. Tears were burning my eyes. He had planned this. He had already thought it through. ohmygod.  For some time!  He knew exactly what he was doing and how much he would budget. It was all worked out. I was not being consulted. I was being informed.

He was leaving me.

In the months that followed I did little else but cry and cry some more. I was hurt, betrayed and I felt pitiful. "The one I love who I thought loved me, is leaving me."  I begged to understand how I could fit in to this plan.  Could the plan be modified. What about this? What about that?  I got angry the more I realized I couldn't fit in.  I yo-yo'd between grief and fury. I settled for despair.

The one thing I did not do, was act like someone who loved him.

It tooks months to see beyond the pain to the lesson I would eventually find.  OH, the pain! I was sliced and diced. I could hardly eat. I was sleepwalking at work and when I wasn't actually sleeping I was crying. I woke up crying, I showered crying, I sat on the toilet crying.

As July approached and my once-lover, not-future-husband packed to leave, I had found some self-help books and leaned on friends to help me get through this major life event.  But my suffering was intense and at Heathrow airport his parting words flattened me. What I longed to hear, "I can't leave you, let's figure this out somehow," fluttered through my hopeful heart as we shared a coffee and watched the clock in silence.   Then we stood up, walked to the gate, he hugged me, ticket and passport in hand, he whispered, "I made a mistake.  I wish I had made love to you one last time."

And then he disappeared into the security check and the crowd beyond.

Zombified, I walked to the car. Called a friend. Pretended like I felt OK and drove home blind with tears.

Some while later I found myself transferred to the US with my job and living in San Diego. Briefly my lover and I reconnected and I had a revelation that showed me everything I had been unable to see.

My revelation was this: I loved him, but I actually didn't know what love was.

You see, when I arrived in San Diego I began to notice a happy man living exactly as he wanted to. He was enjoying the life he had made "off grid." It was everything he had hoped for and more.  He had a great life. For him.

The terrible truth dawned on me:  that day of his revelation in my living room, I didn't want him to have a great life; I wanted him to want me.

THAT was all I cared about.

This is not love. 

To love someone is to want what they want for themselves. To love someone is to want them to have their happiness. Even above you.  

I realized that if I had truly loved him I might have sat on my floor that day full of curiosity about the life he was planning and interested in his happiness and his joy. But No. I was thinking "What about ME?" and "How can you leave ME!" and "Oh, my God, there goes MY life down the toilet!" Selfish Elese. I didn't give a shit what he wanted.  I didn't care.

Thinking what I did seems perfectly normal and completely understandable when you get a shock. The problem came when I mistook it for love. I even thought my bad feeling came from the fact I loved him.

It did not.

Love loves that the other person loves what they love and leaves them free.

There are still many, many ways every day that I forget this lesson of mine.  I still am fully capable of trying to shape the lives of others for my own selfish reasons, whether it is my family or my friends.  And of course, it remains a challenge in any relationship too. I'm a human so life has it's variety.  I continue to fail to be happy for other people's choices and to judge them.  I continue to fail to leave people to their own devices, to bless them, to honor them and to continue on my way without still feeling some tug to intervene.

When I am at my most clear, I see that the intervention needed is for me, not for them.

But my personal folklore about Love has shifted.  Most of the ways we all talk about love and what it looks like are simply sentimental and untrue. A piercing look into our love relationships may well show us, not the faults of the others, but the dark places in ourselves. We can refuse to step into these places at our peril. The danger being that we continue to experience love as nothing more than a form of pleasurable self-interest that comes with a sting in the tail the moment we don't get what we want.  

I learned a hard but beautiful lesson and sometimes I need to remind myself of it.
Bruce de Marsico said in this article To Love is To Be Happy, "you only fail to love if you get unhappy."

I know that I can
  • be happy with another person's choices -- though I don't have to share them
  • be happy with their predilections and habits -- though I don't have to indulge in them
  • be happy with their lives as they see fit to lead them -- even when that does not involve living with me
Love has only one face and very simply, we know it by a feeling of love and happiness.  To know that face we must stop trying to choose happiness for others and choose it for ourselves.  Only then will we finally meet the other person as who they are and perhaps we will find they are as flawed and as lovable as we are.

My postscript. 8 years on...

Now and again I run into my ex and I see clearly we wouldn't have worked out as a couple. We've very different lives. Now I can appreciate him and that he gifted me this lesson.

Thank goodness for him.  Thank goodness he had the strength to remain steady in his conviction instead of submitting to my misguided and misdirected will.  What a mess of a compromise we would have made!  Each trying to love one another at the cost of our happiness.  I love that he is happy. I love to spot him from time to time riding his bike, smiling from the saddle of his free and unencumbered day.  His life is not for me. And it is perfect for him.  
 
I Love that. 

The Greatest Lesson In Love I’ve Ever Had

Picture
Many years ago, I was in a serious relationship and living with the man I thought I would marry. he had given up everything to be with me, moving from the US to the UK, leaving his job and even selling his car (he loved that car).  He arrived at the airport with a few personal items and carrying a promise: we would be together.  Forever, I thought.

This was not to be. And it was the greatest lesson in love I ever learned. 

After a year of living together and enjoying life together I noticed he was becoming irritable.  He complained about city life.  He felt like a foreigner. I jumped into action with everything I knew to show him the best sides of my city, my life and myself.

I thought, despite these little concerns, that we would marry and be together always.  I was deeply in love and as I looked at it from the bright side, it seemed we could live anywhere and do anything we wanted to. We'd work it out...

About 14 months after we moved in together, he sat me down one day in the living room. It was spring and grey skies were lifting. I had noticed that his mood had not.  He seemed to spend his days in the house now, smoking more often.  He had more complaints when I arrived home in the evenings -- some about me, but mostly about life.

As I sat on the floor he began, "I want to go home."

I guess I had felt something coming.  Recently our discussions about the future and marriage had got very sticky. I felt I was pushing him. A bad feeling was growing in me. Something was wrong. In my usual haughtiness, I assumed something was wrong with Him.  

"Back to San Diego?" I inquired.

"Yes..."

Well, that seemed a reasonable thing.  He had lived there for years and we met there. My mother lived there.  It sounded like a good plan for us, but somehow I knew he wasn't talking about our plan.

"...I am leaving in July on my ticket and I don't want to plan to come back."

As each word landed I felt the ground rumbling under the pounding hooves of large oncoming herd of buffalo.

Now being an American in the UK has challenges.  allows you only so much time in any one sojourn so the sand in the hourglass is always dribbling. You cannot work and you have to leave regularly in order to renew your visa.  You can also only renew a tourist visa a limited number of times. If he were to come back after his current ticket was used, we knew it would be the last time and we were aware of the dangers of marrying under pressured circumstances. (Small detail: he hadn't asked). We could both live in the States, however, so we had talked about moving. My head was swirling.  Maybe that's what he was talking about...

He was looking at the floor.  This was something more.

I asked questions. Did he want me to come with him? Would I come later? Would we try living there for a while? Live in both places?

His answers were sad and clear. He could go live with a friend who had a room. I probably wouldn't like that place.  Also, he didn't want to have any more possessions. Only the minimum needed to live.  He would live a life "off the grid."

"Does this plan include me?" I asked, anxiously.

"If you can live that way," he replied still looking down.

A life "off grid" he explained would involve living only with recycled and found items, buying nothing new. He would get furniture or anyting else he needed off the street.  But he didn't expect to need that. Sleeping rough in his room would be fine. A computer and a few hangers would hold his life. Enough consumer items have been made to fill a planet already, he would have no part of encouraging "them" to make more.

My head was exploding in two directions. First, I felt accused of being some kind of reckless consumer. I felt frivolous in my choices, the amount of clothes I owned, my spending on food and entertainment.  I felt as if a great finger of shame was pointing at me. As if that wasn't bad enough, I was starting to feel sick.  My stomach had sunk to the floor. Tears were burning my eyes. He had planned this. He had already thought it through. ohmygod.  For some time!  He knew exactly what he was doing and how much he would budget. It was all worked out. I was not being consulted. I was being informed.

He was leaving me.

In the months that followed I did little else but cry and cry some more. I was hurt, betrayed and I felt pitiful. "The one I love who I thought loved me, is leaving me."  I begged to understand how I could fit in to this plan.  Could the plan be modified. What about this? What about that?  I got angry the more I realized I couldn't fit in.  I yo-yo'd between grief and fury. I settled for despair.

The one thing I did not do, was act like someone who loved him.

It tooks months to see beyond the pain to the lesson I would eventually find.  OH, the pain! I was sliced and diced. I could hardly eat. I was sleepwalking at work and when I wasn't actually sleeping I was crying. I woke up crying, I showered crying, I sat on the toilet crying.

As July approached and my once-lover, not-future-husband packed to leave, I had found some self-help books and leaned on friends to help me get through this major life event.  But my suffering was intense and at Heathrow airport his parting words flattened me. What I longed to hear, "I can't leave you, let's figure this out somehow," fluttered through my hopeful heart as we shared a coffee and watched the clock in silence.   Then we stood up, walked to the gate, he hugged me, ticket and passport in hand, he whispered, "I made a mistake.  I wish I had made love to you one last time."

And then he disappeared into the security check and the crowd beyond.

Zombified, I walked to the car. Called a friend. Pretended like I felt OK and drove home blind with tears.

Some while later I found myself transferred to the US with my job and living in San Diego. Briefly my lover and I reconnected and I had a revelation that showed me everything I had been unable to see.

My revelation was this: I loved him, but I actually didn't know what love was.

You see, when I arrived in San Diego I began to notice a happy man living exactly as he wanted to. He was enjoying the life he had made "off grid." It was everything he had hoped for and more.  He had a great life. For him.

The terrible truth dawned on me:  that day of his revelation in my living room, I didn't want him to have a great life; I wanted him to want me.

THAT was all I cared about.

This is not love. 

To love someone is to want what they want for themselves. To love someone is to want them to have their happiness. Even above you.  

I realized that if I had truly loved him I might have sat on my floor that day full of curiosity about the life he was planning and interested in his happiness and his joy. But No. I was thinking "What about ME?" and "How can you leave ME!" and "Oh, my God, there goes MY life down the toilet!" Selfish Elese. I didn't give a shit what he wanted.  I didn't care.

Thinking what I did seems perfectly normal and completely understandable when you get a shock. The problem came when I mistook it for love. I even thought my bad feeling came from the fact I loved him.

It did not.

Love loves that the other person loves what they love and leaves them free.

There are still many, many ways every day that I forget this lesson of mine.  I still am fully capable of trying to shape the lives of others for my own selfish reasons, whether it is my family or my friends.  And of course, it remains a challenge in any relationship too. I'm a human so life has it's variety.  I continue to fail to be happy for other people's choices and to judge them.  I continue to fail to leave people to their own devices, to bless them, to honor them and to continue on my way without still feeling some tug to intervene.

When I am at my most clear, I see that the intervention needed is for me, not for them.

But my personal folklore about Love has shifted.  Most of the ways we all talk about love and what it looks like are simply sentimental and untrue. A piercing look into our love relationships may well show us, not the faults of the others, but the dark places in ourselves. We can refuse to step into these places at our peril. The danger being that we continue to experience love as nothing more than a form of pleasurable self-interest that comes with a sting in the tail the moment we don't get what we want.  

I learned a hard but beautiful lesson and sometimes I need to remind myself of it.
Bruce de Marsico said in this article To Love is To Be Happy, "you only fail to love if you get unhappy."

I know that I can
  • be happy with another person's choices -- though I don't have to share them
  • be happy with their predilections and habits -- though I don't have to indulge in them
  • be happy with their lives as they see fit to lead them -- even when that does not involve living with me
Love has only one face and very simply, we know it by a feeling of love and happiness.  To know that face we must stop trying to choose happiness for others and choose it for ourselves.  Only then will we finally meet the other person as who they are and perhaps we will find they are as flawed and as lovable as we are.

My postscript. 8 years on...

Now and again I run into my ex and I see clearly we wouldn't have worked out as a couple. We've very different lives. Now I can appreciate him and that he gifted me this lesson.

Thank goodness for him.  Thank goodness he had the strength to remain steady in his conviction instead of submitting to my misguided and misdirected will.  What a mess of a compromise we would have made!  Each trying to love one another at the cost of our happiness.  I love that he is happy. I love to spot him from time to time riding his bike, smiling from the saddle of his free and unencumbered day.  His life is not for me. And it is perfect for him.  
 
I Love that. 

Getting over “it”

Often people talk about distressing events in catastrophic terms. “I don’t know how anyone will ever get over that!” Or, “It ruined my life; I’ll never get over it.” Or, “It was so awful, I’m not surprised he/she can’t get over it.” We talk as though there are “its” in life that track us and yap at our heels like indefatigable terriers after a fox.

Once the moment of something is over, though, the only “it” is a memory. And what is a memory? It is a thought carried forward through time. And how does a thought get carried forward through time? We keep re-thinking it. Otherwise, it would be stored away like a winter sweater in the tropics, tucked away where we could find it, but irrelevant to the present.  So we’re not looking for it. Forgotten, but not gone. Part of our life we leave in storage. If someone asks, “Didn’t you have a heavy cable-knit sweater?”, we can remember that we did. But we don’t drag it out and put it on and spend a lot of time sweating in it.

It has always struck me as odd that we all find it perfectly reasonable and understandable that we forget where we put things, we forget people’s names, we forget the details of last year’s birthday, we forget promises we made, we forget to do routine chores, we forget to return phone calls, we forget appointments, we forget our last addresses, we forget groceries we meant to buy. Thoughts slip into storage and we fail to retrieve them all the time. Yet we find it unreasonable and beyond comprehension that something to which we attach negative significance could slip into storage and not be retrieved.

How would our brains sort that out? How would the brain select what is forgettable from what is unforgettable? Thoughts are just fleeting energy traces. They all look the same to the brain. It is our own mind, our own creative power, that assigns significance and directs the continual re-creation of certain thoughts. The brain is part of our physical world; our minds are spiritual, the energy that infuses our physical body and empowers us to direct our life, to exercise free will over how we will hold and use our thinking.

We can remember anything. But we don’t have to remember any particular thing. We are in control of which thoughts we bring to mind and which thoughts we leave alone or allow to pass. That is why the Principles of Mind, Consciousness and Thought refer to spiritual truths, not formed ideas. In the formless spiritual realm, there are no choices between this and that. Things are. It isn’t like we can pick and choose when the Principles apply and when they don’t. They are life itself in motion, infinitely. We are the energy of Mind creating Thought and experiencing our creations via Consciousness. All the time. It’s our thinking that generates our personal realities, and what we don’t bring to mind is not part of our reality in any given moment.

So we can always get over anything. We can simply allow it to stay folded up among all the other items in storage, unrecalled, once we have learned what we can from it.

I thought of this when I was working with a family not long ago. One of the children was “traumatized,” and could not stop talking about all the abuse she sustained from her alcoholic parents and how she just couldn’t live happily because of it. Her sibling was not interested in discussing that. “It was 10 years ago,” she said. “I’m glad it’s over. I can’t see much point dragging it into my life now.” They were only a year apart; they had exactly the same memories of childhood. But they were using their gifts of Mind, Thought and Consciousness and their free will very differently in relation to them. One was stuck in time; the other was living in the now.

In the words of Sydney Banks, “Discard the restless, haunting ghosts of yesterday and set yourself free to live the beauty of today,” (The Missing Link, p 104.)


Lessons From (near) Death

Picture
I've spent the last two days in hospital at the bedside of a friend, while he recovered from his own death.

I was recovering from his death as well, as it happened in my dining room.  He was chewing gum and singing one minute. Barely breathing the next.

My neighbor and I did our best to keep him alive while the ambulance angels arrived, thronged into my living room and whisked the grey-faced body to hospital as quickly and calmly as only they can.  You've never seen people moving so fast take things so slowly!

Two days later in the Intensive Care, he was musing on being lucky to be alive. 
"Good thing there's no brain damage," he said, barely able to speak after the tubes and lines were removed that had kept him alive for a day.
"I'll be the judge of that," I quipped.
We laughed.
The recovery had begun.

His journey to recovery will be whatever that turns out to be: the body healing, the mind recovering full equilibrium, and who knows what else may come to him.

For me, I can already tell you two odd things have shifted. Both point to something bigger.

Everything I've eaten today tastes sweet. Water tastes sweet. Soup tastes sweet. My mouth tastes fresh.  Odd. Not unpleasant, but odd.

I also walked into my closet and realized I could be rid of half my clothes.  No problem.

Only days before I was on a mission to clear out anything I don't wear. As all girls will know, there is always a moment of truth to be had when you are deciding to "throw" or "not to throw."

I was having some trouble letting go of a few pieces that, although I hardly wear, cost me more than I'd like to admit. I was hesitating and stammering and frankly, attached. I think I felt a bit foolish getting rid of them.  I felt even more foolish standing there now looking at what only days before had seemed so important. The "I might need this one day!" attitude had left me.  I had no desire to see these things hanging on the rail for another year. 

The logic that keeps closets all over the world filled to bursting, is a curious one.  I've talked about it in my book in the chapter on Wants, Desires and Addictions and how "so much of our wanting is fused with our self-esteem and personal identities."  As happens so often, I come back to my own words.  "Once we know how long we have to live, our desire to experience life intensifies."

These things I have do not constitute Life.  Life can only be experienced. It cannot be owned.

As I returned from hospital today to my closet I couldn't imagine that only 48 hours before I felt so attached to pieces of clothing. I knew I would easily let go of this and more.  In my mind's eye, I saw my closet full of things I love to wear, not things I can't bear to throw out. 

It is very strange all the little ways I learn about myself. 

As I considered all the things that would now be leaving my home forever, I felt an intense desire to get back to my own life's work.

Lessons From (near) Death

Picture
I've spent the last two days in hospital at the bedside of a friend, while he recovered from his own death.

I was recovering from his death as well, as it happened in my dining room.  He was chewing gum and singing one minute. Barely breathing the next.

My neighbor and I did our best to keep him alive while the ambulance angels arrived, thronged into my living room and whisked the grey-faced body to hospital as quickly and calmly as only they can.  You've never seen people moving so fast take things so slowly!

Two days later in the Intensive Care, he was musing on being lucky to be alive. 
"Good thing there's no brain damage," he said, barely able to speak after the tubes and lines were removed that had kept him alive for a day.
"I'll be the judge of that," I quipped.
We laughed.
The recovery had begun.

His journey to recovery will be whatever that turns out to be: the body healing, the mind recovering full equilibrium, and who knows what else may come to him.

For me, I can already tell you two odd things have shifted. Both point to something bigger.

Everything I've eaten today tastes sweet. Water tastes sweet. Soup tastes sweet. My mouth tastes fresh.  Odd. Not unpleasant, but odd.

I also walked into my closet and realized I could be rid of half my clothes.  No problem.

Only days before I was on a mission to clear out anything I don't wear. As all girls will know, there is always a moment of truth to be had when you are deciding to "throw" or "not to throw."

I was having some trouble letting go of a few pieces that, although I hardly wear, cost me more than I'd like to admit. I was hesitating and stammering and frankly, attached. I think I felt a bit foolish getting rid of them.  I felt even more foolish standing there now looking at what only days before had seemed so important. The "I might need this one day!" attitude had left me.  I had no desire to see these things hanging on the rail for another year. 

The logic that keeps closets all over the world filled to bursting, is a curious one.  I've talked about it in my book in the chapter on Wants, Desires and Addictions and how "so much of our wanting is fused with our self-esteem and personal identities."  As happens so often, I come back to my own words.  "Once we know how long we have to live, our desire to experience life intensifies."

These things I have do not constitute Life.  Life can only be experienced. It cannot be owned.

As I returned from hospital today to my closet I couldn't imagine that only 48 hours before I felt so attached to pieces of clothing. I knew I would easily let go of this and more.  In my mind's eye, I saw my closet full of things I love to wear, not things I can't bear to throw out. 

It is very strange all the little ways I learn about myself. 

As I considered all the things that would now be leaving my home forever, I felt an intense desire to get back to my own life's work.

Some thoughts on the nature of faith and belief

Faith is not belief without proof, but trust without reservation.
D. Elton Trueblood

This is such an interesting subject because belief is broad and faith is deep. Belief can be religious or secular and thus it shares it roots in the world of form, in the world of words and ideas and concepts and theories. And faith has nothing to do with the physical form of this world at all; faith is a knowing that lies deep inside all people, of all nations and all religions and all beliefs both secular and religious.

Think of it like this; to believe something or to have a belief in something or someone, we must do some thinking about it, and have the same or similar thoughts regularly to keep this belief current and alive. A belief is something that we think about over a longer period of time which begins to look as if it is coming from within, because the feeling of our belief becomes familiar and sometimes comfortable to us, but it is just that we have forgotten that we are still having those thoughts; they are just there in the background coming back so regularly that we no longer seem them as coming from thoughts about the outside world, but begin to believe them to be part of the very nature of who we are.

However, faith is a certainty within us that words simply fail to translate. We look for the words but they always fail us, because this certainty of understanding comes from the formless aspect of our nature; a part that is beyond our comprehension at all. When we say we have faith in something, we mean we have knowing beyond the words that attempt to describe how we feel. Faith in its deepest sense is spiritual and formless; it has nothing to do with the world of beliefs, because we can have a wide variety of religious and political beliefs which can keep us fighting and arguing for a very long time, but our faith sits in an untouchable place beyond reach of anything we can debate or philosophise about.

Faith is not about to start a new war; genuine faith is more likely to leave us with a beautiful feeling of absolute certainty of the goodness that lies at the core of all beings. When we enjoy these natural and innate feelings of faith, it is more likely that we will naturally act from a place of compassion, love, and understanding towards the world and other people, rather than from a feeling of conflict. When we luxuriate in the faith of our true nature as spiritual beings in essence, our hearts leap up with the desire to heal the world of all its woes with the unconditional love of life.


Why facts don’t matter

Last week among my Facebook and Twitter friends across the U.S., commentary exploded after the Portable and Affordable Health Care Act (detractors call it “Obamacare”) was declared Constitutional and thus the law of the land. Those who were delighted to see that millions of uninsured Americans would be able to get insurance and receive health care cheered and shared their enthusiasm. Those who were devastated to see that millions of uninsured Americans would have no choice but to have  insurance or pay a penalty jeered and shared their dismay. And then they started talking to each other, and the feverish venom began to spew.

Those who love the law have their reasons, based on one set of facts. Those who hate the law have their reasons, based on a different set of facts. Flinging their reasons and facts at each other with ever-increasing force and anger created such hateful exchanges and obscene name-calling that many people just stayed away from the social media discussion for a few days to let things settle.

It was a perfect storm of bad will, complete with torrential rains of hyperbole, crashing waves of distortion and piercing thunderbolts of  moral indignation. It was a perfect example of why disagreements are never resolved with “facts”. Even though I sincerely wish that more people in this debate would actually be able to look at the neutral facts of the case before spouting off about it, I know that in the state of mind my country is in, it wouldn’t change anything. Facts don’t matter.

“Facts don’t matter?!?”, I can hear some people thinking. What do you mean? If information doesn’t matter, what the heck does matter? How can we make progress without information?

It’s a conundrum. When we are fearful and insecure, we cling to familiar thinking and cannot reflect or accommodate anything new. Anything we don’t already think or know does not penetrate the walls we build around our familiar thoughts. When we are at peace and secure, new information is interesting, but the goal is to transcend all current thinking through reflection to arrive at higher common ground. Facts don’t matter in a state of fear and insecurity because anything new is threatening. Facts don’t matter in a state of peace and security because they are simply ideas that pass through our minds on the journey towards ever more evolutionary ideas.

Looking at the state of mind of a whole culture, a whole nation, it isn’t difficult to understand why people find it so difficult to get along. We are living in low mood times, characterized by all the negative feelings and defensiveness associated with insecurity. No one in a position of leadership is addressing the prevailing state of mind. Instead, we are all continually hammered with more facts, more information, more misinformation, more to think about. That is not the cure; it is the symptom of rampant insecurity. It fuels the fires of anguish and hopelessness.

The cure is peace of mind.  Our state of mind matters. Peace of mind matters.

Here’s a brief chat about that.

In the words of Sydney Banks

“The consciousness of humankind must be elevated. Only then, when the spiritual and physical realities are united, will we find the power and intelligence to guide us through life. Wisdom cleans the channels of your mind and brings sanity into your life. You must find it for yourself.”                                                                                  

The Missing Link, p. 134