Hello Again (A Love Letter)

December 18, 2011

(This is a note to me from my True Self, but it applies to all.  —Ven)

My dearest,

No one on this Earth loves you like your mother loved you. Even she didn’t love you like Spirit loves you. Why shouldn’t you love yourself the same?

Spirit is the guiding Force, Love, and Intelligence behind the Universe. The Universe can seem to be cruel and unforgiving because of where you are. In the end, though, if you look to Spirit to provide everything you need, It will reach you. It will reach out to you through the Universe, and through your own inner self.

You are draped in love and cradled in forgiveness. You are here! And you live. You make mistakes, you learn, and you conquer the wrongness within yourself. That is right, and it is good.

You are doing what is best for you to do, and that is best for the All. Who wouldn’t love you for such a thing? And yet, even if you didn’t do these things—and you don’t do them perfectly yet anyway—you would still be Loved.

What do you want for your children? To be held down and miserable, because of something they did in the past, still suffering even after they saw their error and went through the agony of correcting themselves—alone?

Would you want your children to live in guilt and unforgiveness because some other person doesn’t see the good inside them?

No!

You would want your children to move forward and step into new light and a new, better way of living. You would want them to have endured suffering, pain, and hardship so that they could earn an even greater and happier existence because of it.

You would want to see your children thrive.

You are the child of your mother. You are the child of the Universe. You are the child of Spirit Itself. You are beloved. You have no need to go on in misery, doubt, and self-blame. No one who loves you wants this for you.

Why can’t you see this? (The ego talking.)

Don’t listen to the ego. Listen to the truth: you are worthy of love and you are worthy to be loved. You carry love within you and it is your right to share it with the world around you. If there is a part of your world that does not accept your love, withdraw it.  Remove yourself from that negative influence and focus your love where it can grow and produce more love.

Where is that? (The ego talking.)

It’s all around you. It’s everywhere. Even people who don’t know you well have given you their support and encouraging words. If they can see your goodness, how much more will someone who truly knows you see your goodness?

Do not limit yourself to satisfy some long-lost directive given by someone with lesser understanding, long ago. You know what is best, and you know what to do. Step out, in faith, and let go. Remember, you have wings! You will fly.

How do I stay positive? (The ego talking.)

Focus on the positive in your life and eliminate the negative. Change whatever you have to in order to live well. Free yourself from the chains that you allow to bind you! You have that power. You know it.

And remember: you are loved, no matter what.

So, my beloved, Hello! Welcome to the Universe again. You are welcome here, and there is much help to guide you along the way. You have no need to fear. You need only take the first step from where you are.

Do not let that which matters most drown in the puddle of that which matters not. There are mountains to be moved. Move them!

Hello, and welcome back.

Love,

Me

(written in 2009)

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I Can Relate

December 16, 2011

I’m so happy and grateful that I can relate. I can relate because I have suffered (and caused harm) and overcome.

Have you been hurt by someone, on purpose? I can relate. Watched a loved one endure pain you can only imagine? I can relate.

Stood by your mother and watched her breathe her last? Been the victim of senseless violence? Lost the love of your life? Fallen into depression, addiction, or self-mutilation? Been divorced? Lost your role as a parent to your own kids? Watched your current or former mate fall into someone else’s arms and bed? Had to give up on someone you love because only they can help themselves? Realized—too late to fix it—the immense pain you inflicted on someone close to you, who trusted you with his or her heart? Had two close friends die in the same way, on different continents, before age 25? Had a young friend take his or her own life? Been violated or otherwise abused? Watched somebody you love die from injury or illness? Carried your mother’s body to the funeral home vehicle? Been homeless for months? Had your heart and sense of self-worth stomped into the ground when you were little?

I can relate. We all can. We all share human life. Life isn’t always fucking peaches and cream.

Suffering is all the same, but it’s different. It all involves loss, it all makes us change the way we see ourselves and the world, and it’s all temporary. You can never lose that which is most important. As someone wise told me this week, “The pain goes away, but you keep the lessons you learned.”

We are strong. We are made of stuff so powerful that we can’t imagine our own strength until we are tested. Life throws pain and heartbreak in our direction so that we can become better because of it.

It’s like being refined in fire. How do you suppose steel would feel as it becomes stronger, better, and more beautiful and useful in the foundry? A samurai sword is bent, folded, hammered, and heated to intense temperatures to make it a worthy weapon in battle. And it is beautiful.

We are powerful, you and I. True power is beautiful. Take that fact and instill it in your bones. Weakness is temporary. Our strength endures.

We are Beauty, incarnated. We are Spirit, caught temporarily in the visceral, gritty web of this physical existence for awhile. We are here to endure, and overcome, and be better than we were yesterday, last month, or last year. We are not here to succumb to the storms of life. We are here to learn to navigate our vessel through every kind of weather, squall, gale, and hurricane—and to return our vessel to shore, whole and complete and functional.

We have the skills, the talent, the ability, and the will to overcome whatever Life throws at us. As another person said, “You will not be tested beyond what you can endure. But when you are tested, you will also be given the power to kick life in its ass.” (I Corinthians 10:13, paraphrased)

(Your King James Version and New International Version New Testaments use the word “tempted” instead of “tested” in this verse. The Greek word peirasomos can mean either “temptation” or “adversity.”)

Time does not heal. The unimaginable power of the human Spirit heals. It just takes time to do it because…well, because we’re human.

And we can do it over and over again, getting better and stronger every time.


Ripples

December 15, 2011

What is it about my life that I think is so interesting to others? Am I just crying out into the darkness in search of a reply, listening to my voice echo? Am I trying to find something that I lack, or am I trying to share something I’ve found?

We have to ask ourselves hard, honest questions if we want to live in harmony with our inner selves and the world around us and stop living in error.

It bothers me a bit that I use the word “I” so much in these messages. It’s not really about me, but about all of us, together. “I” is only the particular lens through which the Consciousness of Life is focused right now, in this particular time, place, and body.

“I” is the only perspective I can observe and write from! So I won’t try to remove it from my writings. That would be not only artificial, but also superficial and even dishonest. Even worse, it would be insincere.

“I” is the only perspective from which you and I and everybody else operate. So, I describe what’s going on in my own little piece of flesh, knowing that it relates somehow to what’s going on in your little piece of flesh, and hoping that someone will find something somewhere in my words that will make a light go on or help them make some connection they’re missing.

I even hope people will find mistakes in my messages so I can correct my own views if they’re wrong!

That’s why we’re here, isn’t it? To experience life, share what we’ve seen, compare notes, and help each other to be better? To adjust our inner world so that we see the outer world more clearly and then can create better conditions “out there” with what we’ve learned?

(Yes.)

All that has happened has happened with a full view of past, present, and future. Life doesn’t happen blindly, from the view of the Universe—just from our own limited view in the flesh.

All that we think, feel, and do creates ripples, whether we know it or not, whether we want to or not. These ripples go outward in every direction, like waves from a radio tower. The more we are aware of the ripples we’re making, the better ripples we can create (to the degree that we’re free from wrong thoughts and unexpressed negative emotion).

My writings are my own way of becoming more aware of my ripples, refining them before they go out, and sending them in the best way I know how. They’re also a way for me to get ripples back from you—somehow, someway, sometime. Maybe not directly, maybe not even from you. If children in the future benefit from my ripples today, that’s more than worth my effort NOW.

In the fabric of Life, ripples go on forever. Look at history and you can see this. Today is the result of all the ripples that have ever been broadcast by everyone (plant, animal, protist, fungus, virus, and human) who has ever lived, and those who are alive today.

The dead create no more ripples, so we the living have the real power to change the ripples around ourselves, even in the unimaginably complex background noise of the ongoing ripples of the past. (Visibly, we see this noise as our culture.)

I’m doing my best to make the ripples harmonize as much as I can from where I am. That will help others to do the same. Ripples make ripples, make ripples, make ripples. And ripples affect living beings (redundant phrase).

Ripples are the voice and intention of Spirit in this world of matter. We, as spiritual beings (redundant phrase), can either make them or be made by them—in which case we only send out more of what’s already there.

But we can do better than that!

(written in 2009)


Acceptance

December 5, 2011

According to an amateur numerology reading I had years ago, I’m supposed to “reach the highest spiritual state possible.”

It might sound silly, but some time ago I realized that I might not ever reach the “highest spiritual state” of a human, at least not in this lifetime. I reach and reach as far as I can from where I am, and I make progress—but that goal is so far away that I can’t see it, or even understand it most of the time.

I have glimpses.

At this point, I don’t want it. I feel a greater purpose on my Path from here to there, and that is my priority, at least until I’m ready for the other.

Maybe I’ll get “there” and maybe I won’t. It’s not even really up to me (a strange thought!), and I’m not worried about it anymore. I have a purpose for being here, and it isn’t a self-centered purpose. In other words, I’m not going to go off and meditate in a cave. I am here.

Here—the place I was trying to escape! But it wasn’t a place. It’s a state of being. It’s just a different one now.

Besides that, I’m learning to accept who I am, where I am, and how much I can reasonably expect of myself. In the past, I’ve constantly striven for more and more progress and I’ve been hard on myself when I make mistakes. This has caused me problems that I won’t even begin to explain right now.

On top of pushing myself mercilessly toward self-growth (which seems dumb from where I am now), I’ve also let my fears about other people’s perception of me determine some of my thoughts, feelings, goals, habits, and behaviors. Whew! How the hell did I not notice it for so long?

The truth is, I did notice it, a bit at a time, over time, and each bit seemed like it was small enough not to worry about. But when you put all those bits together, you end up with a condition. Every “bit” that I ignored was a symptom of the greater condition. My condition has been that of thinking I’m something I’m not, and trying to act like something I’m not. It’s an uncomfortable condition, and each time I noticed it I felt some discomfort.

It’s a psychological law that we treat others the same way we treat ourselves, according to Vernon Howard. I’ve also noticed this tendency in my own experience. I’ve expected more from others than I should, as well as myself. This was unreasonable. Who am I to determine such things?

These negative conditions can only go on for so long, if you’re honest with yourself (which I try to be). I did eventually realize my condition, and I decided to change it. The energy it takes to hold up a false image of myself is better used in something else.

Anything else.

I’ve learned not to be so hard on myself. I can only do what I can do, and some things are simply out of my hands. To try to inject myself where I’m either not wanted or not needed only causes problems. I can’t fix everything. Now I don’t want to. I’d rather enjoy what I have, problems and all. No problem is forever. I’ll handle them when the time is right—and I don’t determine that!

The Path is a process, a journey—not a race.

Do you know what caused my problems? The usual culprits: wrong ideas and unexpressed negative emotions.

(written in 2008)


Captains on the Ocean of Life

December 1, 2011

How could he know this new dawn’s light would change his life forever? Set sail to sea but pulled off course by the light of golden treasure…

—from “The Unforgiven III” by Metallica

We are all as ships’ captains, sailing freely on the sea, guided by the golden light of the ever-setting sun in the distance. If we point our ship toward the eternal sunset, its light guides us always toward our destination—which we eventually learn is no destination at all, but rather a journey of continual growth and improvement.

The wind stays at our backs if we remain steadfast at the rudder, and we move surely and swiftly that way. This takes great faith, intention, and determination, for the journey is long.

The water all around us stretches like shimmering golden carpet beneath the blue ceiling of the sky. Multitudes of ships, each with a single captain/passenger, point in every direction and sail at different speeds—each one toward sparkling gold. Some move toward the sunset and many more move away, against the perpetual easterly wind, sometimes in diagonals or even straight sideways as if keeping the light to one side so as to avoid losing it completely.

There is much danger of collision in these erratic courses.

Gold is sparkling all around us: in every direction, the water-reflected light from its Source dances on the ocean.

In our lifelong quest for the light, we are often distracted by the promise of gold to be had today, or tomorrow, or next year. Perhaps we know at our core that we will never reach our true goal in this lifetime anyway, so these little excursions seem to be worth our time and effort.

Grown accustomed to the little lights flickering everywhere, we sometimes catch a very bright glimpse of gold and gasp, “Oh! It’s so close! What a find!” And so we turn our rudder and pursue the unusually bright light we see close at hand.

Often in our pursuit, the light from this newfound “treasure” flickers as waves enturbulate the surface between us and it. Now it’s there, now it’s not. “No, there! I see it!” we exclaim, and our faith—in the attainment of this new goal—increases. Our goal becomes the attainment of gold, here and now, so we can rest from our journey and rejoice that we have found something worthwhile.

Ships travel every which way, running down fool’s gold, running down the reflection of the light—the reflection that promises so much, which delivers nothing but the fleeting joy of pursuit and can never be reached.

When the fool’s gold we seek disappears (as it always does, sooner or later), we find ourselves lost. Pointed in the wrong direction. Isolated. Confused. In the worst moments, we risk colliding with other ships or unseen rocks below the enturbulated surface.

Hidden enturbulation sometimes causes the shiniest “gold.”

None of this ocean-bound gold has substance, and none of it rewards effort and pursuit, except to teach two lessons: first, that shimmering light can signal danger instead of treasure, and second, that only faith and steadfastness in the Source can bring peace and harmony among captains.

The ocean exists to carry us toward our eventual goal, and its golden illusions are a necessary part of its nature. The ocean is not evil, and neither are its sparkles. Evil comes when captains risk their ships, and those of others, by ignoring the beauty of the ever-unchanging sunset and forsaking its goodness in the pursuit of the illusions that lie all around—without regard for others.

And it is so easy to do.


Goodwill Toward God

November 29, 2011

Goodwill. Good will. Positive intention. Nice thoughts. Right desires. Correct thinking.

Examine these concepts in order, from left to right, and see their relationship. Recognize the progression from left to right, and take note of the similar terminology. Is “goodwill” different from “correct thinking?” What if they are the same thing?

I believe that goodwill is correct thinking.

Life forms are animated by Life Energy, Consciousness, or Spirit (whichever you want to call it). This intelligent energy is also responsible for the creation and sustenance of the universe. Through the substances and beings It inhabits, the intentions of Divine Intelligence are brought forth into existence and, while we observe, history happens.

In the cycle of life, you could say that the Creator, this intelligent life energy (which I like to call “JUICE!”), “descends” into creation and, once living, thrusts “upward,” from within beings, back toward the Source (Itself) for which It is constantly striving. This thrust is the impetus for evolution and life.

Beings who begin to feel and understand the presence of this Energy within themselves soon recognize the rightness of goodwill toward other people. Eventually they move on to goodwill with regard to life forms, first animals and then plants. If they continue far enough on their path, they begin to emanate goodwill not only toward all creation, but also toward the Creator Itself:

They feel goodwill toward God.

This goodwill toward God can also be called “reverence,” or even “worship.”

The essence of worship is the recognition, within the individual being, of the connection he or she (for those are the only two choices at this level of biology) shares with the Divine Being. The reason this connection exists is the unity of the individual and the Divine. “I and the Father are One,” said the Master. “Atman (the individual spirit) and Brahman (the Great Spirit) are one,” said the ancient Hindus. The same can be said for any person who recognizes that the very spirit which animates himself is the same Spirit which religions seek to personify and describe in their myths and ceremonies.

One’s spirit and Universal Spirit are a unity. This is why spirituality brings one closer to one’s Divine Source. Spirituality is the allowance of Divine Energy within oneself to draw closer to the Source “above” or “out there.” Like attracts like.

Goodwill toward God, then, is goodwill toward oneself—one’s Greater Self, “God in you.” Worship not only recognizes the Divine; it also serves and refreshes the spirit within. True worship is right thinking toward God.

(written in 2008)


The Male and Female Spiritual Principles

November 23, 2011

Spirit operates “behind” or “inside” the physical world we occupy. This simply means that Spirit is the cause of everything that happens and the physical world is an effect (like a hand inside a glove causing the glove’s observable movements).

In a similar fashion, a person’s invisible mind is the cause of his or her observable behavior. Mind (with its “left-brain” and “right-brain” aspects that correspond to the male and female principles) is, in fact, a synonym for Spirit. Humans are thus a neatly-packaged microcosm of the universal macrocosm, especially with regard to sex and intimacy.

As a smaller-scale representation of the universe, humans express spiritual principles—in this case, the male and female creative principles that govern the ongoing creation and development of the universe. These universal principles work together—and must work together—in order for anything to exist at all. On a human level, when we understand the dynamics between these two “halves of God”—the male and female creative principles—and apply them to sexuality and intimacy, the result is increased unity and healing on many levels of being (physical, emotional, and so on).

Both male and female qualities are present in both men and women, although our biological forms (as determined by heredity and experience) determine the prevalence of each aspect in any given person. The male creative principle is directive, analytical, and giving. It is able to evaluate, determine, and implement. Basically, it decides what to create. The female creative principle is receptive, submissive, and nurturing. It is able to carry out, produce, and make happen. Basically, it brings forth into existence.

These basic male and female qualities are symbolized in sexual reproduction. The male determines what will be created by his contribution of genetic material. He gives this biological direction to the female, who receives it and produces the desired effect—in this case, she brings new life into existence.

On a different level, every person produces effects in life by conceiving an end state in their personal male aspect of mind (the conscious, or “thinking” mind), which their personal female aspect of mind (the subconscious or “subjective” mind) carries out automatically. The resulting condition or effect is like the offspring of this process.

Father, Mother, Child: the original Trinity, a symbolic representation of the creative process of life.

So we see that the male-female creative process operates on many levels of existence, and can be learned by observing our own thinking processes, the conditions of our lives, and the world around us, all of which operates according to the same principles.


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