Archive for the ‘God’ Category
While I would prefer to avoid the news of the day, co-hosting “Above The Fray” podcast twice a week and writing to this blog requires that I keep up on what’s happening, which includes not only reading news sites and other blog posts but also the comments that accompany them. The comments give insight into what the readers are thinking but also into what the manipulators are orchestrating.
Lately both the news, and the comments that accompany it, have become disturbing for two reasons: extreme intolerance and escalating hate. Both should be an alarm of sorts…warning us that something, or someone, is fueling the flames of conflict and division. We had better be alert to where it will lead and what precipitous actions we may be deliberately manipulated into taking out of fear.
It’s probably safe to say there are very few people who do not sense impending trouble. While no one is certain whether it will be by way of the economy, terror, war or natural disaster… something is definitely brewing. As with the onset of a storm, it’s as visceral as rapidly dropping barometric pressure. We feel it… without knowing what the it is.
“It” has many disguises but only one name: Evil.
In Kabbalah, Jewish mysticism, it is taught that Satan is nothing more than doubt. Doubt that God exists. Doubt that God is good. Doubt in the healing, uniting and miraculous power of the Divine. For once you doubt God, your world becomes a breeding ground for evil. In a world of duality, in the absence of “good (read “God”) a space is created in which its opposite “evil” (read Satan”) can occupy.
I’m not saying that simply believing in God is the way to oppose a market crash, ISIL, war or an earthquake. What I am saying is that when you believe in a powerful, loving and engaged force, God, you tend to live more in joy than in fear. So that when a crisis arises, you are in a better mental and emotional state to be pro-active rather than being fearfully re-active.
Now, while I’m not sure how Gandhi did it with the British Empire, I have seen it work.
I once knew an Orthodox Rabbi from New York who was perpetually happy. He had the spirit of a playful child. He commuted two weekends a month by bus from New York to Southern New Jersey to officiate Sabbath ceremonies for a small Jewish community. He usually took a return bus to New York late Saturday night after the Sabbath ended which got him into the City after dark. He would then walk to his apartment several blocks away from the bus station.
One evening, as he began to walk home from the station, a gang of black youths began to follow him. The further he walked the more they gained speed until they caught up and surrounded him. They began to taunt him, making fun of his attire and his beard. True to his spirit, he remained joyful and smiling no matter what they said to him. Finally, one of the gang members pulled out a knife. It was pretty clear what their intentions were. But at that moment, when almost anyone else might have been terrified, the Rabbi began to sing and dance, trying to engage one of the gang members to dance with him! The youths were so incredulous that when one of them said, “This guy is crazy! Let’s get out of here” they all ran.
The Rabbi wasn’t crazy. Nor was he acting. He was living his life as he always did, joyful in his faith in God. The youths, who lived lives absent God, knew only how to have a fearful reaction. Perhaps the story is the microcosm of what Gandhi was able to do in the macrocosm. I’m not certain.
But if trouble is on the horizon, in whatever form, we would be wise to hold fast to belief and trust in the invincibility of faith over doubt, good over evil, and God over the forces that inhabit our world when we fail to remember where we came from, who we are, why we are here and who, precisely, has your back.
GOLD POST IT WEEKLY INSPIRATIONAL MESSAGE for 10/13
What happens if you try to play Scrabble with the rule book from Monopoly? Not so much luck, huh?
still trying to play by the old rules…and the results are stagnation and frustration.
You can’t shirk personal responsibility, or force outcomes, or intend to manipulate the facts or the truth for personal gain. You can’t even “work” the way you used to because nothing “works” the same in this new world in which we find ourselves.
Yes. It looks the same, but trust me, it doesn’t operate the same.
Different game board. Different rules. So what are they?
To move around this new board…you need to follow three simple rules.
1, Allow what is brought into your life (and stop trying to make something else happen).
2. Joyfully experience and express gratitude for all that is right in your life.
3. Hold Love in your heart for everyone and everything.
Allowing. Joy. Love. Get those down and watch how effortlessly you zip about this board.
Sign up here for my FREE Gold Post It Weekly Inspirational Message here.
Someone once asked what caused me to dedicate myself to encouraging and inspiring others to be the best they can be. I had to think about that question for a day or so before I was able to land on a reply that felt grounded in truth. The answer takes a little biblical analysis and some personal history to understand.
In describing the birth of Isaac’s twin sons, Esau and Jacob, Genesis 25:25 states: “Now the first came forth, red all over like a hairy garment; and they named him Esau.” In Kabbalah, Jewish mysticism, it teaches that Esau was “red all over” because he was filled with the desire for blood and all things material. In fact, Esau grew up to sell his birthright as the firstborn (he was the firstborn of the twins) to his brother in exchange for a bowl of soup following an act of murder.
We always have choice. This is the blessing of Free Will. Esau, too, had a choice. Kabbalah goes on to teach that with his lust for blood, Esau could have grown up to become, for example, a butcher thereby satisfying his lust. Instead, he grew to become a murderer.
My personal story is this. Growing up, my sister always told me I was a selfish person. Perhaps I was whether I had reason to be or not. But if that was my nature, I too had choice as to how I was going to live out that nature. At some point in my life, I realized that what gave me the most satisfaction was not acquiring material possessions or making money but rather when I helped someone believe in their highest potential, supported them in moving one step closer to their heart’s desire or came to the aid of an injured animal.
So, my choice was simple once I had the realization. I could either spend my life satisfying only myself in pursuit of outward goals that society said brought happiness, or I could spend it helping people and animals to have their best life. Both ways would have been consistent with my nature. The only difference was the level or frequency of how I would actualize my self-satisfaction.
As we approach mid-term elections and the 2016 Presidential election that follows, Republicans will tell you to vote Republican to save the Nation from Democratic policies and control. Democrats will implore you to vote Democrat to save us from disaster should Republicans take the Senate. Libertarians will implore you to vote Libertarian to rescue us from governmental encroachment upon our civil liberties. Green Party advocates will implore you to vote Green to save the planet. In 2016, as in 2008, we will be inundated with new versions of hope and change.
But as with Esau and me, there is only our nature and understanding how to use it to the highest good that real change ever occurs. There are no political solutions to what ails us. There is no “change of the guard” that will alter our future. Only a change in the heart of each of us will bring about the world of peace we all so desperately desire.
Butcher or Murderer?
Self-gratifier or Giver?
Warrior or Peacemaker?
Free Will. You get to decide.
We are living in extraordinary times. There isn’t anyone I know who does not feel the profound upheaval and changes we are experiencing both globally and personally. One of the awakenings taking place is the realization that we are free to see, and therefore create, a world of our choosing. We need not be enslaved any longer to someone else’s reality or to the perspective fed us daily by a variety of media outlets and politicians.
Which leads me to write about “compassionate war.” I realize the phrase itself seems like an oxymoron. How can you have something as violent and destructive as war and see it in terms of compassion? The answer lies in the current conflict between Israel and Hamas.
My focus is not the politics of the conflict nor is it the terrorist designation of Hamas. It’s about Israel and the manner in which it has chosen to prepare for and proceed with this inevitable clash.
In two weeks of fighting, Israel has agreed unilaterally to 4 separate halts in the armed fighting. Two of those were humanitarian requests, one by Hamas itself, which Israel honored and Hamas did not. Israel literally built a hospital at one of the border-crossing check-points to treat any wounded Palestinians who would need treatment. No one has showed up. Israel offered and readied millions of shekels, (Israeli currency is 3.5 :1 as against the US dollar) so at least one million dollars, of medical supplies and equipment to deliver to Gaza but the Palestinian Authority rejected the offer.
Israel has spent millions of dollars building bomb shelters throughout Israel and in these past two weeks, 75% of its population has had to use them. In Gaza, tens of thousands of tons of cement and building supplies intended for schools, office buildings and homes were diverted by Hamas over the past five years to burrow and build elaborate tunnels underground from Gaza to Israel to be used in a mass terror attack scheduled for this coming September 25th, the first night of the Jewish New Year.
Perhaps most astonishingly, Israel has done what no other nation in the history of the world has done. It gives advance warning to Gaza’s citizens where and when they will strike. By way of leaflets dropped by the Israeli Air Force, cell phone text messages and twitter postings, Israel gives the Palestinians every opportunity to flee a known missile launch site before striking. Hamas has deliberately positioned those sites in homes, schools, graveyards, and mosques while ordering Palestinian men, women and children to remain where they are despite certainty of injury or death.
Just today, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that any lasting truce will require 1) the “demilitarization of Gaza and social and economic relief for the Palestinian people there.” Even in the midst of war, the Israeli’s are looking out for the well-being of their adversary.
All civilized people who revere life want a world without war. However, as long as there remain uncivilized people who glorify violence and death there will be a need for defensive action.
In the Torah, the Old Testament, it talks about the nation of Israel being a “light unto the Nations.” I think it is fair to say that in a defensive war thrust upon it, Israel has and continues to act in ways that exemplify how even in the darkest of times, honorable men and women can shine a light upon their humanity and reflect for the world our connectedness to one another.
Have we not lost our way when a U.S. Veteran having served in Iraq and Afghanistan languishes chained in a Mexican prison because he accidentally drove over the border with his weapons in his vehicle while our President and Congress are doing everything they can to fast track illegal aliens (many criminal) to becoming U.S. Citizens?
Have we not lost our way when President Obama personally takes time to call Georgetown University law student Sandra Flock to congratulate her for seeking taxpayer money to fund her choice of contraception while the same President does not take the time to fire the head of the Veteran’s Administration for a cover-up and total failure to provide medical care for our Veterans?
Have we not lost our way when a federally mandated academic curriculum called “Common Core” is designed to stifle creative and independent thinking while using public education to promote a political agenda while gathering intrusive personal data on both students and parents alike?
Have we not lost our way when you need a photo ID to obtain a driver’s license, obtain any hospital out-patient or in-patient procedure, purchase over-the-counter sinus medication, donate blood, carry out bank transactions (even deposits now!), cash A check or pay for purchases by check, purchase a gun, obtain Social Security benefits, be booked for arrest, visit a school if you’re a non-student, adopt a child, pick up packages at the post office, produce at a routine traffic stop…but not to VOTE?
Have we not lost our way when we march and protest over cruelty to animals but are indifferent to 50,000,000+ U.S. abortions (many of them late term) in the last 30 years?
Have we not lost our way when schools teach, as early as third grade, the intimacies and technicalities of sexual acts but teachers, administrators and politicians rebel at the mention of God in those same classrooms?
Have we not lost our way when a parent is arrested at a school board meeting for objecting to prurient and pornographic subject matter in his child’s textbook and every other parent, present with the same objection, sits by silently in fear without standing up for the father?
Have we not lost our way when we make believe that some politician will reverse the social and economic nightmare we are living rather than take responsibility ourselves for what needs to be done?
Have we not lost our way?
Do you remember the scene in the “Wizard of Oz” when Dorothy’s dog, Toto, pulls down the curtain to reveal the “Wizard” to be nothing more than an old man who has intimidated a land and its inhabitants with his “smoke and mirror” powers? And do you remember that as the fallen curtain exposes his fraud to Dorothy, Tin Man, Scarecrow, and the Cowardly Lion the old man continues to speak into the microphone and turn the wheel of his deceptive light and sound show in a last ditch, desperate attempt to hold onto the fiction of his power? Yes? Your recall it? Good.
Think about President Obama and Vladimir Putin and Hafetz Assad and Monsanto and Wall Street and the mass media and the pharmaceutical industry and an almost endless list of other apparent power brokers. Notice any similarity? Get the picture?
The Light (a/k/a Toto in my Oz analogy) has pulled down the curtain that’s been obscuring the illusion of power and control under which humankind has been living for thousands of years. What we are seeing and feeling, if only we will open our eyes and our hearts, is the end of illusion. True power, the power given the free-willed individual to understand and live her or his own connection to Source, and to all sentient beings, is what has emerged.
Look at Ukraine or Egypt. Look at Justina Pelletier now being returned to Tufts Hospital for the medical treatment she desperately needs because of public outcry against Boston Children’s Hospital and Massachusetts Department of Children and Families. Look at the stunning Homeland Security decision issued today that flies in the face and reverses Eric Holder’s and the Justice Department’s efforts to extradite the Romeike family who have been seeking political asylum in the United States under grounds of religious persecution in Germany. These are each inspiring and remarkable examples of an awakened Consciousness that finally sees past the illusions of fear and control that has kept we humans confined and dependent upon our keepers…like animals trapped in a zoo.
Both we and the animals were created to be free.
The curtain is lifted. There is no omnipotent power called government or DOW Jones or GE or Google running your life or mine. There is no “cost of living” increase the government or the corporation needs to provide for your financial security because there is no “cost of living.” Life is a gift. The only way to pay back is to pay it forward, in gratitude to Source, by way of service to one another
Breaking News: Look behind the curtain. You are the Wizard of You… and We are the Wizards of Us.
“Lone Survivor” opened in theaters this past weekend to become the second highest grossing movie ever in the month of January. It’s both a war film and a profoundly moving account of ethics, determination and sheer courage in the face of overwhelming circumstances. Yet, the most important message of the movie (and the book upon which the screenplay is based) occurs off screen.
“It went bad for us over there, but that was our job. That’s what we did. We didn’t complain about it. We never gave up. We never felt like we were losing…until we were actually dead.”
What first caught my attention about Mr. Luttrell’s response was his use of the words “we” and “our.” His choice of pronouns may not seem all that extraordinary…after all, these four men trained and performed as a unit. However, it’s the last half of the last sentence that riveted me.
“…until we were dead.”
Marcus Luttrell returns to us to do much more than write a book or make a movie. He returns to us to personify the living manifestation of the unifying principle of Oneness. Four men died on that mountain in Afghanistan, not three. You know that through Mr. Luttrell’s statement. His experience was that “we were dead.” However, four men crawled off that mountain as well and have survived to tell their story through Mr. Luttrell.
Yes, it is a story of war and its ravages as well as of courage, compassion and endurance in the face of overwhelming odds. But above all else, it is a story of our connectedness to one another. What happens to one of us happens to all of us. Until we own that reality, we will continue to tear one another apart both in and out of war.
The solutions we seek to the world’s challenges are not political, they are of the heart. True unity is no better expressed or understood than in the manner that Mr. Luttrell speaks of his/their experience, his/their bond and, most tellingly, his/their deaths. Four men went to Afghanistan and all four have returned to speak to us with one voice.
If Marcus Luttrell still questions why he made it back, my prayer is that he wonders no longer. Every morning that he awakens his three friends awaken as well. It is the highest form of resurrection and it is his purpose to exemplify this reality for the rest of us. I, for one, am eternally grateful to him for the integrity and commitment he brings to the calling. May the Nation, and the world, be awake enough to seize this profound moment to finally understand what divinity in action is all about.
There is only One of Us
Listen to Carole discuss Marcus Lutrell in an excerpt from her radio show “An Hour of Inspirational Gold” on BlogTalk Radio.
Note: click on the gray play button below
Time magazine has named Pope Francis “Person of the Year” for 2013. The Pope’s face graces the December edition of Time. So it begs the question, “What criteria determine their pick?” As far as I can ascertain, its “the person who most influences or impacts the world” in the prior year.
It’s not about position or popularity, or political agenda. In fact, I recall when Time named the Ayatollah Khomeini “Person of the Year.” I remember because it angered me. Yet, under Time’s stated criteria, it made sense. It was 1979 and the plight of American hostages imprisoned in a takeover of the American Embassy there by Islamic extremists relentlessly gripped the world’s attention until they were released.
This year’s pick of Pope Francis angers me also, albeit for different reasons. I am angered now as I was when Barack Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize. Angered because these men did nothing to warrant their awards prior to receiving them. In the case of Pope Francis, he hasn’t been Pope long enough, or done enough in the office, to have influenced much of anything.
Yes, he embraced a few disfigured people and he initially shunned fancy digs for more modest ones. But he also dished, just days ago, Capitalism. You know, the economic system that provides 60% of all contributions to the Catholic Church thereby allowing it to be the largest landholder in Manhattan, and the United States generally.
Really, what else has he done?
So, the award couldn’t have been given based upon the stated criteria, just as the Nobel Peace Prize couldn’t have been given Barack Obama for creating peace. In both instances, the choice of those men was, and remains, an affront to every thinking person. Whatever the rationale behind Time’s choice, it wasn’t about the person who most influenced or impacted the world in 2013 because that simply does not apply to Pope Francis.
The selection committee of Time Magazine has an agenda. I don’t profess to know what it is. What I do know for certain is that each day that passes by trust in the media withers away. Instead of maintaining the honorable position of “The Fourth Estate” they have been corrupted becoming deceitful and manipulative.
This reality is just the latest reason why, in a world of rapid change and power struggles, thinking for yourself is the surest guarantee that you will remain your own Person of The Year rather than become enslaved to someone else’s agenda.
On 8/28/2010 I did something I had never before done. I awoke at 3AM to be on time to catch a chartered bus to Washington, D.C., along with about 50 people I had never met, to attend a rally on the Mall. If the date rings a bell it’s because it was Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally and, for the most part, all of the attendees were people you’d categorize as Tea Party members, 912 Project members, political Conservatives or Libertarians. As a registered Democrat for the greater part of my life…“a fish out of water” would be an apt phrase to describe my presence among that crowd.
I went because my daughter was a senior in high school and, having listened to Beck on radio for quite some time, I decided his intention was a good one and it would make a great Mother/Daughter road trip memory in years to come.
I probably had reservations about what I might experience but went with an open mind none-the-less. Imagine my surprise when what I encountered was 500,000 civil, polite and patriotic individuals. The amount of respect shown person to person was unparalled in my life experience…and certainly an anomaly in a crowd that size. In fact, the Capitol Police and Sanitation Department said afterward, they had never before (and probably since) seen a crowd leave the Mall as spotless as when it arrived. No trash, no desecration, no graffiti, no disrespect. Just a gathering of like-minded, decent people come to share their love of God and country.
So, shame on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for using the word “anarchist” to describe those of us who today oppose the implementation of Obamacare and seek to defund it as a result. Not only must he not understand the definition of the word as it relates to a political group (Tea Party members seek less government, not no government) but he also sinks to a level that pits American against American in a most hateful way.
If Harry Reid can’t hold on to Obamacare through legitimate and Constitutional means he should give it up, not seek to demean citizens who disagree with his (a/k/a the Progressive) agenda.
If I had to get up again at 3AM to spend time with those same people, or others like them, I would not hesitate to do so. Of course, that’s assuming Harry Reid wouldn’t be on board. I’m a Libertarian today and who knows what he’d call me.
They want us divided. No, this isn’t a conspiracy post. It’s an epiphany.
You know the old saying, “United we stand, divided we fall?” Well, it’s old. Very old. It goes back to Aesop, the Ancient Greek story teller who lived between 620 and 654 B.C. Maybe it’s older than that. I suspect it is because it holds a fundamental secret that is the difference between destruction and survival…between lack and prosperity.
I’d been thinking about the seeming deterioration of race relations in this country over the past few years and wondering what was the impetus? The more I thought about it the more I decided that there really is no racial deterioration…just the promotion of a false sense of one by the media and others who have more to gain, and more to retain, by our division than by our unification.
After 9/11 we saw what we were made of. We experienced our connection and our love for one another. We each know that we are all One in humanity. We know it and we exhibit it whenever we are called upon to do so…and sometimes even when we are not. But we each feel insecure and alone in some ways as well. Maybe it’s just the impermanence of life as we know it that gives us a feeling of unease that is so easy to exploit.
And exploit our insecurity they do.
Those of us on a spiritual or God-focused path know that we are at a tipping point of understanding from deep within our hearts such as the world has never seen. And those who would rather that awakening not occur will do everything and anything in their power to make certain we do not get there. The tool most within their power is division by way of fear. Therefore, in order to to strengthen their grip on humanity and retain the positions of power they have cheated, lied and stolen to achieve, they are pulling out the “big guns”…figuratively and literally. War is on the horizon. Whether its nation against nation in the Middle East or black against white in the West. Divide and conquer.
Gandhi had it right. So did Martin Luther King. We, the People, can overcome. But our only hope is the acknowledgement of our Oneness and the expression of that knowing through Love. Without it we remain divided. And divided we fall.
Let each of us be the change we wish to see in the world, as Ghandi admonished. Let us be loving and truthful in our daily dealings with those we encounter. Let us not perpetuate the worst of humankind by being part of it.
I have a Catholic friend who just returned from Amstedam where she visited The Anne Frank House. She asked me, “How could people do that to one another?” “They forgot there is only One of Us and that we’re born for the sole purpose of remembering that single, life altering fact” was my reply.
Remember now. Unite now. Love now.