the sentiments expressed elsewhere in this website, particularly the
section, Law of Mind-Action, there are
notions to which we would like to give special mention for their ability
to support our Joyous living:
Everything we could ever want, ever dream of, is there awaiting our choosing ...our receiving. Think about our living as a sandwich with birth and death as the two slices of bread. As we live our life deciding what to include between the slices, we make decisions that impact on our experience. As we mature ... become our own loving parents ... we realize the consequences of our decisions and we can choose to re-decide; thereby, creating new experiences and new consequences. It seems that many people go through life working this analogy on a trial and error basis. What is so very exciting to us is that if we go to God and ask first, we can open ourselves to Divine Guidance which minimizes the pain and frustration in our living.
Continuing the analogy of the sandwich, if we choose turkey and then experience that turkey does not please us (or more importantly that it is not in our highest and best good), we simply exchange the turkey for beef or soya or something else which is more to our Joyous pleasure. As we learn to partner with our Higher Power, we can know before hand whether turkey or soya is better for us; and, going the next step we can elevate our communication with the Divine and ask the Omniscience ... "What is the best filling to put between our slices of bread?" !!
In this sense, we are co-creators with God. We did not create the turkey; but, we do make choices about how we live our life and what we put between birth and death ... our slices of bread. And we can change and make new choices as guided to do so. Our Higher Power has created all things and has made all things accessible to us. He has also given us the power to choose with free will. In this sense, we create our own experiences.
"The sun will rise and the sun will set; and, what happens inbetween is up to us." Rev. Schuller, Crystal Cathedral
Making a great and Joyous day is our very real opportunity.
So many times we hear people working so hard to understand why this happened; or, why that happened. Why am I ill? Why did that person hurt me? etc. Have you ever considered that it is not important to figure these things out? What is the point? Have you ever considered that, when dealing with Spiritual Law, no matter what the problem, the solution is always the same?
If we want to travel from New York to San Francisco in a timely fashion, we could take a plane. Before we fly, we feel no need to understand the nature of flight. It is not necessary for us to go to university and become an aeronautical engineer. It is enough for us to know that planes meet our need. They have worked for others and they will work for us. In fact, being an aeronautical engineer does not seem, in any way, to improve the experience of the flight!
If we want to fill a dark room with light, is it necessary to first become an electrician or an electrical engineer so that we understand the nature of electricity? No. It is enough that we have the faith to flip the switch which creation has provided for us. Gaining detailed understanding of the "why?" does not make the light shine brighter!
Understanding is sometimes touted as a necessary precursor to knowledge and progress. Perhaps in applying man's laws it is. However, we offer that in Spiritual matters understanding is unnecessary and impossible. The how or why of the processes and principles described herein cannot be "proven" - in the conventional, scientific sense. Given that God is unbounded, God's creation is unbounded; and, attempts by the limited human intellect to understand unboundedness, no matter how brilliant, are doomed. If we insist on scientific proof and understanding at each step, our journey may be lengthened or even denied ... for what human mind can begin to comprehend the unboundedness of the potential of Spiritual Law. But, as in the cases of the airplane or the light switch, if we simply proceed "acting as if" certain statements are true, the results will be automatic and the knowledge gained supplants our need for intellectual understanding. In this Spiritual sense, it can be said that knowledge is the precursor of understanding.
Having the Spiritual courage to "act as if" these notions are true is all that is required to do a magnificent end-run around the whole issue of proof and understanding... Spiritual courage, or, as in Richard's case, being in so much emotional and physical pain, apparently out of acceptable alternatives, and feeling like he had nothing to lose so he might as well try.
We make a discernment between managing and controlling. Managing is knowing, as a partner with God, that we are bigger than anything that could happen to us.... no matter what happens, we can overcome and we flourish. Controlling has to do with the need to make outcomes predictable ... the desire to know the outcome before we venture forth. Nothing made with physical laws is enduring. Even the pyramids are needing repair.
Controlling carries with it the sense that, if we just become better bus drivers, we will manifest better bus tours for ourselves and for those who are with us. Managers accept that the object is not to become a better bus driver; rather, the object is to surrender the need to drive the bus. Trust in your Higher Power. Sincerely surrender (to your Higher Power) the need to drive your "bus" and you open to a sense of Peace, Well-being, and Joy. Our Higher Power is omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent and pure Love. Who would ever doubt that He can surely drive our bus better than we could ever dream possible!!The first three steps (paraphrased) of the 12 step program are:
Step 1: admitted our lives had become unmanageable Step 2: there is one who is all-powerful and all love. Step 3: surrender to that one who will restore us to wholeness.Practicing these steps vigilantly will set the course for endless miracles. Surrender is the way. We hasten to distinguish the difference we make between grasping for control and exercising Spiritual Discipline. While controlling behaviour comes from fear of the future (i.e. things not turning out according to hopes) and perhaps a sense of inadequacy in anticipation of coming circumstances, Spiritual Discipline is born out of enthusiasm and respect for principles and processes which are time-tested and proven to yield a desired result. Control is effectively a fear-based avoidance tactics, while Spiritual Discipline is a Love-based strategy for achieving our Spiritual goals. Control is impossible while Spiritual Discipline is not only possible but is actively supported by Life Forces. Back to the beginning.
If we are in pain, if we are hurting in any way on any level, we know that we are in error. If we are in pain, it is an indication that a return to Love, a return to God is the solution .... no matter what the problem!
Spiritual Love can empower us to transcend the physical laws and enable us to operate in the realm of Spiritual Law. It makes available to us the "Total Potential of Natural Law". Spiritual Love empowers us to dissolve Karmic debt. Spiritual Love can work miracles for us ... and through us for others.
We can't prove to you that God is good all the time. We can't even prove to you that there is a God. We offer that to try and do so is merely a distraction that diffuses our energies and priorities. To try for proof is to merely postpone the inevitable.
It is generally easier to practice "God is Good." when life is going well for us. It is much harder for us to say when our lives are in a mess and we are getting mired in the dramas of every day living. Much harder but more important. In such times, it is most important to affirm that "God is Good ... all the time.". Difficult times are an indication that we have somehow strayed from our God-centered Truth. Difficult times are an indication that we have some error thoughts guiding our thinking. Difficult times can be extremely useful bas a reminder to us that we must get back to living our God-centered Truth ... exclusively. Re-committing to God-centered living implies filling our minds with nothing but God-centered thoughts which in turn will literally pull us out of our miseries and into our highest and best good. Thinking God-centered thoughts is our license to access Spiritual Law wherein miracles are the norm and man's physical laws need bind us no longer as their power pales by comparison.
What we can tell you without question is that, if you "act as if" there is a God and "act as if" God is good all the time, you will simply come to know that it is True... God is Good all the time. This Truth will demonstrate in every aspect of your life .... you will have direct experience ... you will know the tree by the fruit it bears.
Learn to recognize the gifts. Let go of preconceptions about what form your Good will have. Learn to recognize the gifts.
What we experience in our physical world is a projection of our inner-most thoughts. "As within, so without."
We hold to the notion that all that is good in our lives comes as a direct result of our commitment to partner with our loving God; while, all that is less than desirable in our lives comes from our forgetting this same commitment.
Many 12 step meetings start their meetings with an adaptation of the serenity prayer ...
God grant me ... The serenity to accept the people I cannot change The courage to change the one I can And the wisdom to know that one is me.
The point we make is that if we take full responsibility, as much as we are able, for all the drama going on in our lives, then we automatically access the empowerment and resources required to deal with the issues in a way that serves highest and best good.
Continue to take fearless moral inventory and, when we are wrong promptly admit it to myself and at least one other person. Strive to make amends except when to do so would cause injury or harm to myself or others.
Please note that we are talking about taking responsibility not blame. Taking blame is emotionally abusive and focused on the past. Taking responsibility empowers you to focus on the present moment
Be grateful for all things in your life in this moment ... not just the "good" things.
Being grateful for the good things seems self evident but we often forget to express our gratitude. Expressing our gratitude when we are enjoying our experience is much like hitting the "OK" button on the computer when it is asking us "Are you sure that you want this to happen?".
Being grateful for those things which may not seem "good" to us in the moment is also important to us. The point we would make here is that the notion of "good" is context sensitive and we often don't know what is good until later on. For example, if we have a flat tire on our way to an appointment and it slows us down so that we avoid direct involvement in a serious accident that then happens without us. Another example might be a serious illness that then positions us to learn an important life lesson or perhaps be available for a loved one.
God is Good ... all the time. Reminding ourselves of this fact and applying it to specific circumstances serves to open us up to the opportunity of every experience. Every experience then automatically becomes a healing moment.
We often play something we call the "gratitude game". Periodically, we express, out loud, our gratitude for everything in our consciousness. We may be driving down the road in our car and start repeating, out loud, sentences like:
I am grateful for the blue sky. I am grateful for the clouds. I am grateful for my ability to see the colours. I am grateful for my ability to see. I am grateful for my ability to see all things rightly. I am grateful for pavement paint. I am grateful for the pain in my right finger. I am grateful for the lady in my life. I am grateful for ............... (fill in the blank with the first thing that comes to your mind ... without regard to logic or sensibility).Playing the gratitude game has an amazing impact on the way we feel, the way we view the world, and the way that others subsequently respond to us thereafter. If we are down, it lifts our spirits immensely. Truly amazing. We rarely play it for longer than a couple of minutes at a time whereupon we experience a wonderful, natural "high" that seems to effect our Joyous day.
All that is real cannot be threatened All that is unreal does not exist Therein lies the peace of God.- A Course in Miracles
If you are like us, you have a tendency to fight and resist those circumstances in your life which do not please you. While this is normal and human, it is actually counterproductive. God is Good. All Good. Nothing but Good. Resistance is born of fear .... fear that something is expected that (we perceive) would not be to our liking or not in our highest and best good. Where fear is, love is not. Where love is not, God is not for God is Love. Where God is not, cannot exist; therefore, fear cannot be real.
In order to resist "something", we must put our attention on it. We know that what we put our attention on grows. So what we resist tends to magnify in our lives. Better to focus on the all-powerful Love of God at all times.
Events, conditions and circumstances that do not serve our loving nature are the result of our acting outside of our partnership with God. They are not loving; therefore, they are not Real and exist only because we act as if they are important. As we truly stop resisting, as we gratefully and lovingly dismiss them, we cease giving them our power and experience that they have no power of their own over us.
"Would I choose to be right? Or, would I choose to be happy?" A Course in Miracles