Archive for March, 2011

Prayer(103)

March 31, 2011

More prayer methods. When and Where to Pray. When I can’t sleep is a really good time to pray.  Taking a walk is another. Folding clothes is another good time. Kneeling in Prayer beside my bed.  Prayer in church is good.  Prayer after church is good. If you are Muslim then you should probably pray to the East.   If you think that you have special requirements for prayer then you should follow them. But, if you can see other ways then do it. Pray to the North, West, & South.    Pray at Sunrise, pray at Sunset.

I haven’t talked about the Chakras yet.  That is concerning Meditation.  But it is also an alignment of our bodies and minds.   We are really seeking a physical, mental, emotional,and spiritual coordination.  We are sick when one of those four are out of alignment with the other three.  I bring this up because there is another way that I pray that “seizes the moment”, carpe diem. 

There’s a scene from the movie “Ghost” where Patrick Swayze is a lost and lonely ghost wandering the subways. He meets another ghost and pumps him for information. One thing that he asks is how can I control and move things in the material world again.   The other ghost uses a tin can to train Patrick how to push around material objects from their state of the Hereafter.  The principal lesson is that Patrick must reach way down inside of himself to find the emotional energy to “thrust” the tin can.  Patrick realizes that it’s more than a mere mental exercise. He then conjures that mental/emotional energy and  thrusts the can across the floor.

 If prayer seems like a duty then we need to try something new. We need to thrust our prayers. We need to give them importance. 

I was attending the county fair with my kids. We decided to ride the ferris wheel.  We get on and it starts to rotate upwards and naturally we became excited and wonderous of the view all at the same time.   We reached the top and were feeling “on top of the world”. As we descended I instinctually and emotionally realized “this is it”, PRAY NOW.   As we came up again to the top and we gazed at the whole surrounding countryside I mouthed the silent prayers for people, issues and opportunities. Because my emotions and my mind were aligned I felt these to be particularly powerful and good prayers.

I now try to pray using all of my emotional contexts.  I’m not in a state that my prayer is constant, but I realize now that I can and probably should pray when I am sad, depressed, hurt, happy, glad and moved. If it’s not a so pleasant an emotion I can transform it. If it’s a good emotion I can make it better.

So now if I’m depressed I say a prayer. If I am sullen I say a prayer. If I am anxious I say a prayer. If I’m walking through the countryside or the cosmpolitian city I say a prayer. If I’m walking on the beaches of St. Augustine I say a prayer.

As my kids and I got off the ferris wheel my daughter turned to me and said, “Can we do that again?” I laughed and said,”I was just thinking the same thing. Sure we can.”

“Prayer is as natural an expression of faith as breathing is of life”

                                                    – Jonathan Edwards

 
 
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Karma(#3)

March 30, 2011

There are a couple of stages of Karma. Instigator, defender & witness.

When earlier in my life I watched my son doing his homework, I would want to jump in and help. I resisted many times but one time I did manhandle the assignment and everyone knew. My wife knew, the teacher knew, his sister knew, my son knew . I was the only one that didn’t know.   My wonderful wife soon let me know and the teacher was extremely gracious about it and even kind of complimented me for being such a good Dad.  We can’t learn kids lessons for them. They have to do it themselves.  Sometimes we love our kids so much that we overdo it. 

You have a fight with your Mom. It’s a pretty good fight and grandma witnessed the whole thing. We say we’re sorry and move on.  We grow up, life goes on, you have kids.   Years later, you and your daughter have a fight.  It’s another good fight, this time your own mother sees it and just goes with the flow, it’ not her business so she doesn’t do anything.  We grow some more, our kids grow up, they have their own kids and they grow into teenagers.  You’re a Grandma now.   One day your daughter and granddaughter get into a serious fight, you see the whole thing.  All three roles are you.  You are the daughter, the mother and grandmother all at the same time.   You don’t really realize every facet of the Karma until the end.  You played all three roles, teenage instigator, Mother defender, Grandma witness.  Except that as the Grandmother you can play your last role in the scene, that is of you being the witness of your own teenage angst.

Meeting our Karma is more than just experiencing the event or action that we have committed or fulfilled.  Many times we will have to witness Karma and ourselves learn from that. We have to let others fulfil their own Karma.  We have to let others learn their own lessons. If we jump into the fray again we run the risk of making a bigger, deeper hole. We run the risk of relearning it all over again.  Sometimes the last vestige thread of our Karma is to witness it and do NOTHING. We created it, now we have to let it slip away. In many ways this is God’s toughlove position, we created it , we must dismantle it piece by piece.

This is part of the reason to not be judgemental and that we need to let others pick and choose their lives, it’s their lesson to learn.

My son is doing fine on his own, if he needs help he’ll ask.

Success does not consist in never making blunders, but in never making the same one a second time.

                                                 – Josh Billings

Prayer(102)

March 29, 2011

Continuation of Prayer.  As you may have gathered by now I think differently than many people. Some of what I’m about to write may seem very different.  Please keep in mind that this isn’t a list of personal triumphs and past kudos. I’m simply trying to share new and additional outlooks of prayer. It’s not mine. I don’t own it.  How I came to understand I don’t really know but I do know that all things are to God’s glory, not mine.

 Thoughts are things and our every thought is in fact a prayer.  From Prayer(101) I talked about the spontaneity of prayer, the sincerity of prayer, and gave permission for others to pray in the manner that seems best for them. I should point out that although I gave voice to a direct, spontaneous, improvised prayer I still believe that a  method prayer, a memorized prayer and learned prayer are good and meaningful.  Again I’m still saying the first thing I said which is you can pray any way that you want. I started praying a lot when I  read something  once that in essence said, “Worrying won’t help, the only time you should worry is when you can’t pray.   I took that to heart and started praying after that.  I prayed before, but after I read that, then I really started praying.

Since I don’t believe in Time & Space, since I believe that no one is lost and all are reuniting with God, I pray for everyone.  I pray for my family, I pray for my loved ones, I pray for my supposed enemies. When I pray it can be at any Time(again remember theres’ no Time) or Space(no Space either).  I pray as much for the dead as I do the living. Not just recently deceased, but people who have been dead for centuries.  Sometimes by design, sometimes not.  When I’m praying it sometimes just flows out and saying a prayer for anyone just comes to me.  I pray for the deceased because they are still growing SPIRITUALLY.  I pray for them because I don’t presume that they have been judged and well placed.   I pray for them because they are still LIVING. The thing that we call death is just a door.  In the hereafter death is called birth.  It’s a new beginning for them, not the end.  Inevitably I end up praying for famous and infamous people only because their names are widely known.

Some of the people who I’ve prayed for are Benjamin Franklin, Gregory Hines, JFK, Dizzy Gillespie, Sid Vicious, Ryan White, Joan of Arc, Billy the Kid, Walter Matthau, Clyde and Bonnie Parker, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Merton & Sir Thomas Moore. I feel pretty sure that many in the Hereafter are praying for us. Whomever you can think of to pray for is worthy.  Good and Bad, Dead or Living, Right or Wrong. You can pray for anyone or anybody that ever was.

Allow me to recapitulate the message that I’ve been trying to communicate through all my posts. We are ONE.  The past, the present, the future; this world and the hereafter, ALL IS ONE.

“Pray, and let God worry”

               – Martin Luther

 
 

Thoughts Are Things

March 28, 2011

Thoughts are things.  They have a beginning, a middle, and end. Most of us, if pressed, would just say that it’s an electrical current running around in our head.   That’s true too. I think that thoughts are builders and destructors.   That each and every moment, each and every thought is building or destroying.  That’s why it’s so crucial to think properly.  Imagine something as soft as a feather but as dangerous as a Blue Flame Welding Torch. That is our minds.  Soft as a feather that when I’m bumped in line at the store, I’ve lost my thought. Yet,when totally utilizing a laser beam focus(like a welding torch) we can become unstoppable.   The blinding light, the searing heat, able to burn through any thing.   Normally though a torch creates a heat that creates plasma to weld two things together. Our ideas build things.

When I was a freshman in school we had a Grammer Book and it stated that the definition of a noun was, “A noun is a word used to name a person, place, or thing.”  About 6 Years later I happened upon a new copy of the book. The noun definition had changed to “A noun is a word used to name a person, place, thing, or idea.” Epiphany!!!  I suddenly realized that an Idea was a thing.  I was holding an Idea. It was the first time that I ever realized that an idea had substance.

Our minds create ideas that build up or tear down our own and others worlds.   In lockstep pattern we create our reality constantly. When you walk down the street and look at the buildings and park benches and buses and signs, keep in mind that at one time these were just the ideas on someone’s mind. Imagine the very beginnings of each object. All things begin with mental conception.  An idea in the engineer’s mind, an idea in the architect’s mind, an idea in the park commissioner’s mind. Imagine walking by these buildings, stores, park benches, street signs, and  street markets and being able to sweep your hands and arms through those idea patterns.  That’s what they were at one time, just idea patterns. 

I believe that our lives are analogous to that one movie “The Matrix”. The Superior beings had created a false world of computer code to ensnare human slaves.  Except that we are the ones creating the code, we are the ones creating our world with ideas.

Our reality is nothing but our Ideas.  Many spiritual books say this. A famous healer was treating a patient one time and he advised surgery.   The recorder of the event knew that a very similar case was treated very differently(medication, massage, proper diet).  She spoke up and asked “Why is this patient different?  Why does this patient need surgery when the other one didn’t?  The healer answered, “Very good question.   THIS PATIENT BELIEVES IN SURGERY. That is the only way he can accept being healed.”

If we were to focus with our laser like minds upon our plasma  like world we could change anything. 

 And Jesus said unto them,  Because of your unbelief: for verily I (Jesus) say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

                                                                                              -Matt.17:20

 

The Whole Is Greater Than The Sum Of Its Parts

March 27, 2011

Try to imagine an Idea. We can’t really do it.  It’s an abstract thought.    It has no size, no shape, no color, or smell.  In fact the idea of an idea can only be fixed in the mind. Can we imagine our own totality, our own collective greatness? I doubt if we can. But I believe that collectively we are the end all, the greatest ever, and we are greatest when we are eventually reunited with God. When we are reunited with God we will be Greater Than The Sum Of Our Parts.

Let me give an example:

A blind man goes into a totally dark room(this is a double-blind experiment). He has a mission to find out what is in the room. Since he can’t see, he makes his way clumsily around the room.  He makes his way along and finally stumbles onto something. He picks it up, examines it, and thinks “It feels like an angular bar.”   He shuffles along again, careful not to fall.  His foot kicks something.  He picks it up and it appears to be a  short rubber tube closed at one end.  Then he bumps into another big piece of  angled piping or tubing of some kind.   He mumbles to himself, “A bunch of useless junk. These things don’t mean anything.”    Then he steps on a flat metal piece. He picks it up and it has sharp-pointed edges.  “Hmm…a type of disc.”    He hates this game and wishes he could be let out but knows this is his mission.   Next he finds another short rubber tube closed at one end.  ” It feels familiar though,” he says.   He shuffles and shuffles and can’t find anything,……finally he kicks something else.   He reaches down and picks it up.  “It’s a  chain of some sort.”     He has an epiphany!!!   “I think I know what it is.”      His eyes light up(even though he’s still blind), he sees the light(even though the room is still dark).  His heart starts pounding but he asks himself, “Is it a self-propelled or motor driven?”   He scrambles around the room looking frantically for the rest of the parts, two here, another there, three more across the room until finally he has all the parts and he knows what it is.   He cries out, “It’s a bicycle.”

The short tubes were the handle grips, the angular bar was the handlebars, the big angular tubing was the frame, the disc was the sprocket, and the chain was of course a bicycle chain.  Even here with his developmental reasoning he still had to ferret out slowly and deliberately the missing part to delineate what it was. “I know what it is, but still, is it a bicycle or motorcycle?  There is no engine so it must be a bicycle.”

The parts individually mean nothing. Just like he said “A bunch of useless junk.”  But taken together “The Whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”   We are like that.   Individually we are nothing, but working in harmony of motion we are magnified tenfold. It can be argued that “Yea, but the bike is a design, an engineering effort.” To which I reply “So what is God’s plan?”   Aren’t we HARMONIZED together and fine tuned?   Our true being can’t really be conceptualized into we become Spiritual Adults and we work together.

Actually we are the blind man, in a dark room, stumbling together, but separately.  The parts aren’t really pieces, they are PEOPLE.  As we come together we become more. God’s Design is greater than a bike.

“I see the Past, Present, and Future existing all at once before me…”
                        – William Blake

Dream #1

March 26, 2011

Freud and Jung started modern man on the path to understanding.   They weren’t the first and they won’t be the last.

For atheists that don’t believe in God, I ask them to think if they have ever had an out of Time/Place Phenomenon(Psychic, I hate that word) experience and second if they have had any Pre-cognitive dreams.   That’s a litmus test for me that God is real.   I have pre-cognitive dreams all the time.  Frequently I’ll have a  dream and it’s in a totally unknown place with totally unknown people.   When the event happens months later, I am usually in a mid-sentence conversation with someone and suddenly realize “I dreamed this months ago”.   I then look around at the environment and realize that everything is exactly in its place just like in the dream.

An interesting dream I had:

I’m out on the golf course on hole #9 having just chipped for the green when another ball comes whizzing by me.  I’m not happy so I rush back to the front driving area of the hole and encounter an old lady trying to golf.  I start in right away about how she doesn’t know how to golf and that she almost killed me with that last shot.   After I calm down I offer to show her how to golf and start to tee up the ball.   I patiently explain to her that the fundamentals of golf require A, B, C, & D.   I swing the club and my ball goes flying.  It’s a good shot.  

She just looks at me and says that she has her own way.  “Ok, How do you golf?”, I ask.   She proceeds to get a ball out her bag and then she walks off to the side by a small tree. She’s off the shooting area now and I have no idea what she’s going to do.   She places the ball about four foot high in the crux of the tree.   I start laughing almost hysterically.   She draws her club back and swings and hits the ball.  The ball goes flying.  I watch it as it careens the trees, it bounces and lands and rolls about twenty foot past the ball that I just shot.  She then turns to me and smiles politely  and says “We each have our own way, can’t you see that?”   When I woke up from the dream it still took me awhile to realize what I had dreamed.  I finally realized that it wasn’t a golf lesson at all, it was a life lesson.

Later on I found a quote that could have been quite apt coming from the wise old lady in my dream:

Forget your opponents; always play against par

                                 ~Sam Snead

Prayer(101)

March 25, 2011

I didn’t understand that some people didn’t know how to pray.  In a prior post I had mentioned an elderly friend of mine named Mrs. Strong that had newly rediscovered her Bible(her religion never endorsed her to read the Bible on her own).  At that same get together we also discussed prayer. After attending a new  Bible Group she also realized that she didn’t know how to pray.   I asked rather incredulously “What do you mean?”  She had always to my knowledge attended church, I didn’t understand.   She said, “when I go to the Bible Study and we sit in a circle, the members take turns praying.  Some are very, very good.  They say prayers for things I never really thought about.”    I was starting to hear her but was still fuzzy.  “Well, how do you pray?, I asked.   “we have a book of prayers that has a  prayer for every occasion.  I’ve always used that.  These people just seem to pray off the top of their head, they make up their prayer.”  I understood then.  I said, “that’s right, they do”.

I need to back up here a little bit.  Mrs. Strong had always been very devoted to her church and family.  She is great. Her famI didn’t understand that some people didn’t know how to pray. In a prior post I had mentioned an elderly friend of mine named Mrs. Strong that had newly rediscovered her Bible(her religion never endorsed her to read the Bible on her own). At that same get together we also discussed prayer. After attending a new Bible Group she also realized that she didn’t know how to pray. I asked rather incredulously “What do you mean?” She had always to my knowledge attended church, I didn’t understand. She said, “when I go to the Bible Study and we sit in a circle, the members take turns praying. Some are very, very good. They say prayers for things I never really thought about.” I was starting to hear her but was still fuzzy. “Well, how do you pray?, I asked. “we have a book of prayers that has a prayer for every occasion. I’ve always used that. These people just seem to pray off the top of their head, they make up their prayer.” I understood then. I said,”‘that’s right, they do”.ily is great. Her life was great. In essence she had always done what she was TOLD TO DO.  She was also from a different generation and a rural background.  Again this is not wrong because again she has raised a great family, served her community, cared for others and wonderfully fulfilled her faith.  I believe that she did pray on her own but  mostly she recited hers prayers.

I on the other hand I found things differently. When I was a boy and a teenager I would read the Bible in Church, during church service.  This always made my Mother mad.  “Why don’t you read it at home?” she would say.  “because I’m to busy playing baseball,” I answered.  “Then why do you read it in church?” she countered. I gave her three reasons why I read the Bible in church. “One, I’m bored with what the minister is saying. Two, It’s the only book in the church pew. Three, I find Jesus words much more interesting than what the preacher is saying.”  After that she didn’t bother me and she didn’t like it but she did understand. I guess I always read and prayed on my own.

It’s about direct communion.   Back to Mrs. Strong.  I told her it may look difficult but she could pray any way she wanted to.   “The greatest thing to remember about prayer is to pray sincerely.  That’s what these people are doing”,   she nodded her head.   “It sounds like you’ve always prayed for reasons; a birth, a death, a wedding or a tragedy.” If we really think about our greatest prayers, they were done with our deepest conviction and spontaneity.   I relayed to her the story of one Minster’s greatest prayer.  He said that one time while he was getting water from the well his foot became entangled by the rope and he fell into the well. Hanging upside down in the darkness of that well “I never prayed so sincerely in my life as at that time, I was eventually heard and found.” (<Unremembered Source)  With that I want to say that we can pray for a reason but that we can also pray BECAUSE WE CAN!  Every thought is in fact a prayer.

Dear Father, help me find the words….

                                                             – Someone, Somewhere

Jiddu Krishnamurti, A Real Prophet

March 24, 2011

This is the short story of Jiddu Krishnamurti, a true child of God. He was born in India in 1895.   He parents were Brahmins and were also part of a group called the Theosophical Society. In essence this group could be called one of the first New Age Religions.  His father sought and received work from the society and they lived next to the compound in India.  The Theosophical Society was at that time trying to find the new and great spiritual leader of the group and the world.   In short they wanted to discover the new messiah.   As a young boy Jiddu Krishnamurti was chosen as a possible messiah, along with several other children.  

The Theosophical Society created a new organization in 1911 called The Order Of The Star of the East.   The group was to help usher in the new Messiah, The World Teacher.  Jiddu was eventually adopted by the Theosophical Society. As one prospective chosen vehicle Krishnamurti was educated, clothed and cared for by the Order. His brother for a time was with him and they depended on each other.

The next 18 years were spent grooming him, teaching him, showing him to the public, preparing him for being the world teacher.   I’m not sure if this was first decided in 1911 but as time went on he was assuming the mantle as taught to him. Even at this time of growth he was showing signs of great understanding and spiritual depth while also experiencing adolescent growing pains.

His preparation and teaching culminated in August 3, 1929 in Ommen, Netherlands.  While he was being prepared for ascension to New World Teacher, he was himself developing different ideas of God and Reality.  Essentially he felt that the Other of the Star of the East was not correct.  On this day at the annual meeting of the Order of the Star of The East he disbanded the Order in front of the organization and on public radio with this short Speech:

You may remember the story of how the devil and a friend of his were walking down the street, when they saw ahead of them a man stoop down and pick up something from the ground, look at it, and put it away in his pocket. The friend said to the devil, “What did that man pick up?” “He picked up a piece of the truth,” said the devil. “That is a very bad business for you, then,” said his friend. “Oh, not at all,” the devil replied, “I am going to help him organize it.” I maintain that truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect. That is my point of view, and I adhere to that absolutely and unconditionally. Truth, being limitless, unconditioned, unapproachable by any path whatsoever, cannot be organized; nor should any organization be formed to lead or coerce people along a particular path.

Peace be with you Jiddu for your courage and wisdom.

How Many Ways?

March 23, 2011

 

As time goes on we realize that religion is in fact disbanding.  Not in terms of groups breaking up but more and more groups being formed every day.  In fact, splintering, I believe.  More and more people are finding their own religion and values.    In a way we are in a constant state of religious pluralism.  In Europe before Martin Luther’s Revolution there was only the Catholic Church and the Muslims(this may not be quite true, but pretty close).   Today there is a religion on every corner.   The organizational religion is breaking down.   More and more people are discovering their own connection to God and finding their own values. 

There are 6.8 billion people on the earth.  Since there are no institutional funnels that sweep people up to heaven and since there is no religious group that has automatic passes to get to heaven, how may ways are there to get to heaven?  Is it a trick question?   Not really.   There are at least 6.8 billion ways to get to heaven.   Why?    Because each and every soul has carved a unique niche path that only they can follow.  Again from a Karmic point of view each person has built up or tore down their own way to heaven.  Some are quick. Some are slow. Some replay the same lives over and over again relearning the same lessons again and again(probably me).    Many of us have crossed paths many times and we will probably continue to cross paths.   We’re each climbing to the mountaintop but each of us is climbing up a different way.

 “Be kind to people on the way up – you’ll meet them again on your way down.”
                                                  – Jimmy Durante

Founding Fathers(What they really believed)

March 22, 2011

There has been a lot said about the Christian beliefs of the Founding Fathers.  Two books have answered many of the questions of their real beliefs.   The first is called “Faith of the Founding Fathers” by David L. Holmes(http://www.amazon.com/Faiths-Founding-Fathers-David-Holmes/dp/0195300920/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1300658042&sr=1-5).  Mr. Holmes goes step by step through each Founding Father(Washington, Franklin, Jefferson, Adams, Madison & Monroe)  to outline their actions, their beliefs, their letters and other significant evidence as to their real beliefs.   Most of the evidence does not backup an idea of a Christian Nation or Fundamentalism.   In fact, several of America’s leaders were Unitarian or Deist  in belief.   Thomas Jefferson compiled his own version of the Bible which today is called the “Jefferson Bible”.  Three that professed a more Orthodox Christianity were Samual Adams, Elias Boudinot, & John Jay. 

The other book is called “American Gospel” by Jon Meacham(http://www.amazon.com/American-Gospel-Founding-Fathers-Making/dp/0812976665/ref=pd_sim_b_5).   This book more or less reinforces some of the ideas of the first book with more and different evidence.   The Founding Fathers were not devoted to a purely Christian Nation as some people believe today.   The most compelling evidence is the “Treaty of Tripoli”.  This was a treaty to end the pirating of the Barbary Pirates.   Initiated by Washington and completed by Adams it contained language to allay the fears of these Barbary Muslims that America had any designs of a Christian Crusade.    Article 11 of this treaty has these words, “America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion,…..”.   This was ratified by the Senate in 1797.  No apparent evidence exists that shows any public outcry or disturbance.  The Founding Fathers really believed in religious freedom and expression.

Make no mistake that the Founding Fathers were in fact very religious and spiritual minded individuals that tried to live by their beliefs.   In fact, what comes across the most in these two books is each and every Founding Father lived and believed what they thought was right regardless of what others thought.  That takes a lot of courage. If only we could act on the same faith that they possessed.

My practical mindset knows that nothing I’ve written here will hardly change one iota of anyone’s opinion.   Still in all I pursue the truth of things as they really are, not as I wish them to be.

“Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.”
                 -Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan