Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

The Shadow Side of Power

In Koheleth 3:1 (Ecclesiastes 3:1) it states,“Vanity of vanities, said Koheleth; vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” It’s a much quoted, and as much interpreted, phrase. Recently, I have come to a new understanding of vanity.

Vanity, the isolated ego, likes to say, “I did this” or “What a great person I am to have accomplished this” or “I got this all by myself.” Vanity is the false belief that any one individual, solely of their own power, accomplishes success or greatness.

This thought immediately led me to President Obama’s recent statement that became so controversial during the campaign. The President said, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” His statement, on its face, seems true and consistent with my definition of vanity, which caused me to reflect upon how I, and many others, had so negatively reacted to the President’s statement.

But I’ve also been thinking a lot lately about Abraham Lincoln. Mainly because I’ve been trying to figure out what has prompted the “revival” of his story. The sixteenth President seems to be suddenly emerging everywhere…in novels, new biographies, re-printing of former biographies, reissuing of his own writings, as well as movies. Why?

I’ve concluded that in no time since the Civil War has our Nation been so divided. While in 1861 it was North against South and abolition against slavery, it is today poor against rich, black against white, Republican against Democrat… but it’s the same deeply held differences and the same destructive hatreds. What saved the Union was President Lincoln.

Lincoln, who was not traditionally religious but deeply theological, believed in both Divine Presence and Divine purpose. To that end, he called upon Creator for guidance and strength. However, he also bound himself to certain behavior based upon Divine purpose. For example, he vowed to God that if, at the Battle of Fredericksberg (Virginia), the North was successful at turning back Confederate General Robert E. Lee, Lincoln would issue the Emancipation Proclamation he had written two weeks earlier. Upon the North’s success at Fredericksberg, Lincoln did just that citing his vow.

Lincoln none-the-less understood that Divine principles had to be realized within the context of the morality of the times. Therefore, he saw the error and danger of both the radical Abolitionists (who would have instantly forced the end of slavery and destroyed the Union) and the pro-slavery advocates (who would have had their goal reached at the same destructive price).

Lincoln knew he had a partner in his vital mission to preserve the Union. He also knew his partner had the grander vision and the greater plan. Which brings me back to President Obama’s statement.

Everyone, and every idea, has its “shadow side.” This is the person or idea turned on its head, so to speak, misusing its energy to accomplish not the highest good but rather the expedient and/or self-serving outcome. Both Presidents Lincoln and Obama tell us that if you build it you do not do so or succeed alone. You have a partner. The critical difference between these two leaders is the end to which their perspectives lead a nation.

President Obama would have us believe that our “partner”…with a small “p”…is everyone and anyone along the way who had any input into our journey. Therefore, they too deserve the benefits and profits of the outcome.  It is this belief in “entitlement” that has caused so much division and, now hatred, among the citizenry. This perspective generates a “right” not found in either our Bibles or our Constitution. Even God demands action on our part as a quid pro quo to Divine protection and prosperity.

President Lincoln had a “Partner” as well. However, that Partner was the Supreme Being Itself to whom Lincoln turned, drew upon, and publicly acknowledged. He was, after all, the President who initiated a Federal Day of Thanksgiving and signed a Proclamation for a National Day of “humiliation, fasting and prayer” during the Civil War.  President Obama is the first President in the history of the Nation not to mention God in his formal Thanksgiving Proclamation.

Contrary to President Obama’s words, which result in ego-based entitlement and the remedy of forced redistribution of wealth, President Lincoln’s actions sought spiritual and national unity engendered by submission to the purpose and power of Divine principles.

As a result of Lincoln’s certainty in his beliefs and willingness to publicly acknowledge the role of the Divine in human history, the Civil War was followed by a stronger Union than had ever before been achieved. We truly became The United States of America. This was in no small way attributable to the insight, foresight and deeply held theological beliefs of the Nation’s leader at the time.

My conclusion is my prayer. That the Nation awakens to the shadow side of the principles that President Obama supports and advocates. We will not be joined, and will not survive, so long as we believe not in God but in government as the authority and power that makes life worth living. As we traverse these potentially perilous times, we have had quite enough “vanity of vanities.” Let us now seek to rediscover humility by acknowledging Divinity.

Devotees of Ayn Rand ask “Who is John Galt?” I would concur adding, “and where is our Abraham Lincoln?”

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The Answer You’re Seeking Beyond the Chaos

I live in two worlds…the physical and the metaphysical. We all do to some extent. The physical world is what we can see, hear, smell, touch and sometime prove with objective means. It is a world evaluated and acted upon by our Conscious Mind. The metaphysical world is less easily defined but no less real. It is comprised of the branch of philosophy that treats the underlying theoretical principles of a subject.  It studies the relation of universals to particulars, and the teleological doctrine of causation. Its scope is broad enough to include the theologian, the philosopher, the mystic, and the fortune teller.

Some people, like myself, acknowledge and live in both of these worlds in a more or less balanced degree.  It wasn’t always so for me but I have worked deliberately, and at times accidentally, to achieve that balance…that harmony.

Others, such as Nikolai Tesla physicist and futurist best known for his contributions to the design of alternating current (AC) electrical supply system said, “The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.”

So what is our resistance to that beginning?  What is our fear around opening up to the unknown? Again, Tesla leads us in the direction of the answer. “If the genius of invention was to reveal tomorrow the secret of immortality, of eternal beauty and youth, for which all humanity is aching, the same inexorable agents which prevent a mass from changing suddenly its velocity would likewise resist the force of the new knowledge until time gradually modifies human thought.”

We are living in a time when such “genius of invention” is opening up new ways of perceiving the physical and the non-physical, relating to one another and healing the body. We are being gifted the opportunity to open the heart frequency to receive more enlightened information than the mind frequency has the capacity to receive.  But remember what Tesla said about the resistance “mass” puts up to “sudden changes in its velocity.”  We humans are mass and as such, are not immune to the natural actions and reactions of matter.  However, the Universal Laws of Change and Movement that affect all matter also subject us to that “gradual wearing down” of resistance Tesla identified.

Nature is The Answer because it holds all the answers. I live by the same desire that drove Tesla when he said, “The desire that guides me in all I do is the desire to harness the forces of nature to the service of mankind.”

Dogs cannot see color but colors exists to all who can see them.  There are worlds around and within us operating under the same Universal Laws that apply to the reality science studies and relentlessly pursues. If you want to know those worlds, if you want to see where others cannot, relinquish the grasp your mind has on the physical world and open your heart to those worlds that are beyond its grasp.


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An Open Letter To Romney Supporters

I had many people reach out to me today via email and phone calls to express their disappointment, frustration, depression, anxiety, and even anger over the re-election of President Obama. I have responded in the same way to each of them. Since their range of emotions is likely indicative of all those who supported Governor Romney, let me share my response here for those of you who feel similarly.

There are no accidents. Life has a plan even when we lack our own or fail to recognize the grander one. I see profound meaning and glorious potential in what has occurred.

The Torah, the first five books of Moses, has God on occasion calling the Israelites a “stiff-necked people.” By that is meant that they can be, and at times were, resistant to following Divine Guidance.  I think the word applies to our culture here in the United States.

For quite some time, certainly for the past 50 years, years, we’ve lost our way in terms of prioritizing our values. We became too materialistic, too impatient, too disrespectful of life for both the unborn and the elderly, too condescending to Nature, and too lacking in compassion for our fellow citizens. We look to the state and the federal government to do what is ours to do. We’ve abdicated personal responsibility in so many ways that we’ve forgotten how, and why, to do things for ourselves.

Such behavior is inconsistent with all the great religions of the world and so we have become a stiff-necked people.  Where there is abdication there always follows consequences. That’s the bad news.

The good news is that as government continues to grow and more and more people become externally reliant rather than self-reliant, and the freedom that comes with personal responsibility is eroded to the point that all people feel the constricting arms of dependency…we will awaken. When that occurs, we will have the opportunity to pay the price for the personal liberty we thought we could bargain for nothing. It is good news though.  Such a payment is always worth it and, yes assuredly, there is literally Light at the end of this tunnel.

For those of us already awake, it will be a smoother ride knowing that Divine Providence is driving and has a plan. For those unawakened, the ride will not be without its treacherous moments for a stiff neck takes a greater hit than one that has bent itself to the Will of God.

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Bigger Than The Election?

Today I fell down. It goes to show that when you’re on a path to enlightenment, you can’t afford to let your guard down even for a second because it only takes a second for darkness to gain a foothold.

What happened?

Well, it’s Election Day and not any old Election Day either. It’s one on which many people believe hangs the fate of the Nation. I’m one of those people so my passion about its outcome has been vocal and consistent. However, in my passion, I have tried to be respectful and “allowing” of the views and choice of others. Then today, for a brief second, I let my guard down and my “lower self” came rushing up to the plate.

I walked in on a heated political discussion between two people and jumped right in. I not only jumped in, I added my own heat to the fray…thereby proving that negativity begets negativity, anger begets anger and politics is a dicey subject where, absent respect for difference, the outcome is usually more, rather than less, separation.

After I left the conversation, and the location, I was driving home and again thought about the future of the Nation.  But by that point I had regained both my equilibrium and my metaphysical footing. My realization was that the fate of the Nation is more in my hands than that of either candidate. You see, politicians come and go but our humanity, compassion and respect for difference is the basis for our success or failure not only as a Nation but as a species.

While I thought the big news of today was going to be who the next President of the United States will be it turns out its a lot closer to home. The really big news of today is that regardless of what is going on around me, and regardless of how far I think I have come on my journey to higher consciousness, I have to be vigilant in living what I know to be true and the highest good for all concerned.

I placed a call to the individual I hardly knew with whom I passionately argued and said, “Regardless of our difference, there is no excuse for being less than civil. I apologize if I was and I respect your right to differ.”

That’s not only America that’s the road to peace.

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World On The Brink

It begins.

We are witnessing the beginning of a global insurrection aimed at the downfall of Western civilization as we know it.  This is the end result of strange bedfellows having inadvertently, and in some cases deliberately, combined forces to achieve a common end: global domination.

It will be harder to reign in those forces now that we have been averse to self-correcting and accepting personal responsibility for our individual and collective contributions in allowing the world to lose it moral compass.

We have been gluttonous and greedy. We have feigned ignorance and allowed, in some cases condoned, oppression and suffering. The list of errors and omissions is not limited to the Western world. Eastern and Middle Eastern nations have suppressed and oppressed their own people. They condemned and tortured their own, often in the name of God, while diverting attention to the excesses of the West and blaming it for their own refusal to move into modernity.

Because of our unwillingness to be proactive, we find ourselves playing defense. So the question of the hour is, “How do we respond?” This is my answer.

1. Immediately bring all American troops home. They are overextended and depleted from multiple tours of duty.

2. Congress and the President to immediately cease, and suspend indefinitely, all financial aid to any country that protests against or attacks American interests. They do not deserve out help.

3. Alert the world that we will use our resources only to defend our borders and to support the defense of the State of Israel. They are a true ally and share in our humanity and love of freedom.

4. Above all stay focused upon peace and pray.

Judaism begins its 10-day holy period on September 16th which ends with the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur, on September 26th. On that date, Ahmadinejad sought, and has been granted, the podium at the United Nations. Islamists love anniversaries and holidays. Do not overlook what is in the works. The time for burying heads in the sand is long gone. Awaken to the reality, take responsibility for the outcome, and create a new one before it is too late.

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Ann Romney and The Divine Feminine

This morning, talk radio host Glenn Beck was analyzing the speech given last evening at the RNC by Ann Romney. Beck said there’s something electric about ANN Romney and it’s because she’s genuine.

He’s partly correct.

For those of us who have been viewing the world through what some would refer to as a “spiritual” perspective, it’s much deeper and more profound than Beck’s conclusion. It’s also more exciting and hope-filled.

The Divine Feminine aspect of Creation has been suppressed and oppressed for at least 5000 years. With few exceptions, there has been a deliberate and repeated attempt to write the role, and power, of women out of the history of humankind. Oftentimes, when obliteration wasn’t quite possible, denigration was the substitute as in the trafficking of women as sex slaves or the burning of them as witches.

Women’s wisdom (and therefore our unique contribution) was recognized early in Western culture by the Greeks. They were called “philosophers,” a term which has survived millennia, without our ever stopping to realize the name means “lovers of Sophia”…the Goddess of Wisdom.

The return of the Divine Feminine to her rightful place alongside the Divine  Masculine has been a long time coming. Her absence has been the source of an imbalance that has perpetuated thousands of years of aggression, greed and war.  We have waited patiently, hopefully and longingly for her reemergence and recognition.

Ann Romney took the stage at the RNC and stood firmly in her Self.  She was convincing without being overbearing, powerful without being forceful, authentic without being contrived and wise without being didactic. She exemplified what true power looks and feels like. It is power born of experience and strength, tempered by compassion.

Some say they wish she were the candidate. I say let us be aware and grateful that her husband, an example of the drive, aggression and achievement oriented energy of the Divine Masculine has standing by his side this long-awaited and actualized representative of the Divine Feminine.

Together these two balanced energies may actually represent the necessary hope and welcome change we were promised and which has so far eluded us.


Note: You have to watch her give the speech (not read or listen) to understand the power of the energy.  Click here to watch the raw video.

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Isaac’s Message

As I write this post, the predictors are that Hurricane Isaac, now barreling across the state of Florida toward the Gulf Coast, could result in catastrophic damage to Louisiana equal to that of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  Not just in the same location but on the anniversary of the Katrina disaster.  Let’s pray otherwise. Since I’m a proponent of the theory that there are no accidents and everything happens for a reason, and since I’ve mentioned prayer, let’s see if there’s any ancient wisdom to be gleaned from the name of this Hurricane.

Isaac was the son of Abraham, the first Patriarch and progenitor of all three major religions. Abraham was told by God to bind Isaac to a rock (Mt. Moriah) and there offer him a sacrifice to God. Although Abraham was distraught at the instruction, it was Abraham’s unwavering faith and trust in God that caused him to come within seconds of slaughtering his own son. But it took more than Abraham’s faith. It took Isaac’s as well. Isaac was 37 years old at the time.

We all know the outcome. At the last moment, God directs Abraham to cease and desist and Isaac goes on to become the second Patriarch of the Jewish People.  So what’s the message Isaac brings?

Our safety, our very survival, is dependent upon our unwavering faith and trust in a benevolent, if not always understood, Creator.  It’s this unwavering faith that is often tested and, when found to be heartfelt, as often rewarded with the protection and well-being promised.

We are going through some rough times and each of us is being tested. There must have been a lesson to be learned from the Katrina disaster that we somehow missed. Perhaps it is about subjugating our Will.  Perhaps it is another attempt by Creator to awaken us in time to the compassion we lack and the priorities we have confused. Perhaps it is to remember that as Abraham and Isaac…we are not separate but in this together.

Regardless of our age or our inclination to doubt, let’s follow the example of Isaac and surrender to the Will of Creator by having trust that there is meaning in the chaos and faith that there will be goodness in the outcome.

In the meantime, pray for those in the path of this Isaac.

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What The Bible Says About Election 2012

There’s a lot of hate speech flying around these days considered to be standard rhetoric for an upcoming Presidential election. The Democrats (via their SuperPACS and minions) have called Mitt Romney a felon, a murderer and a racist while Republicans (via their SuperPACS and minions) have called Obama a Muslim president who hates farming, hates the military and hates the U.S.

It seems differences of opinion or policy are no longer sufficient grounds for debate. Now, its personal. Not only is it personal, but the opponent isn’t just in disagreement he (or she) is wrong, bad and often just plain evil. While personal, political attacks aren’t new (you can read some pretty mean-spirited exchanges between Thomas Jefferson and James Madison) it appears that we’ve reached a new low. Now it doesn’t even matter if they’re true.

So what lessons may there be out there for us regarding hate speech? I’d say the Bible is a good enough place to start.

There are two mitzvot in the Torah that specifically address improper speech: “Thou shalt not go up and down as a tale-bearer among thy people” (Lev. 19:16), and “ye shall not wrong one another” (Lev. 25:17, which according to tradition refers to wronging a person with speech). In fact, on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement in Judaism, of the 43 sins specified in the communal confessional prayer, 11 are sins committed through speech.

How we use words must be pretty important since God apparently wanted to be heard on the topic. And, yet, we continue to be reckless and unconscious when we speak.

A war of words is a war none-the-less. As long as we choose to communicate in this manner (or remain silent while others do) we continue to support the foundation for wars of a greater magnitude. After all, a war of words is simply the first step taken (the microcosm) towards the final destination (the macrocosm): war that actually kills.

In case you think this is an overblown and exaggerated conclusion, or too great a leap from a war of words between individuals to wars between cultures or nations, allow me one final spiritual reference.

In the Torah, the gravest of speech-related sins is tale-bearing or lashon ha-ra (literally, “the evil tongue”), which involves discrediting a person or saying negative things about a person, even if those negative things are true. In fact, true statements are even more damaging than false ones, because you can’t defend yourself by disproving the negative statement if it’s true! Some sources indicate that lashon ha-ra is equal in seriousness to murder, idol worship, and incest/adultery (the only three sins that you may not violate even to save a life.

Let’s evaluate this campaign season, and the candidates in particular, by their lack of evil speech.  Let’s give them the message that the last one standing with the electorate will not be the one who perpetuates the hate, but rather the one who promotes the highest good.

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Wisconsin: It’s Not About The Gun

Don’t blame the gun. It’s an inanimate object. It can’t fire itself and it cannot maintain the requisite intent to commit a heinous act. Murder, mass or otherwise, is about the lack of conscience, morality and, occasionally, sanity of the perpetrator. So let’s not get all puffed up, Mayor Bloomberg, about gun control and  carried away with the moment while losing sight of the environment that fosters such monstrous acts.

Our energies are better spent understanding and quelling a society that promotes violence in every form of media, condones or remains silent when “winning” is achieved by stepping on the backs of others, and so totally devalues human life as to make abortion a method of birth control.

We have so lowered the ethical and moral bars that we’ve descended to a shameful level of human consciousness. We refuse to take personal responsibility for where we are… while too many still think the “right” candidate or “right” leader will cure all their ills.

Not so.

The shooter, the hate-filled neo-Nazi, who gunned down innocent worshipers in Wisconsin is a symptom of what ails us. The disease which he portends, chaos, is spreading like a cancer. Yet, each of us can, by our personal actions, slow and even arrest that spread. However, it means not letting people like Mayor Bloomberg, and others, divert our attention from our personal responsibility by finding a scapegoat in gun control. Would it be nice to live in a world sans guns? Certainly. But it will do little good to take away the guns without instilling a corresponding understanding by humanity of our connection to one another and our Oneness.  For without such conscious awareness and personal responsibility, there will be the same diseased hearts and minds who will find alternate means of destruction.

It’s not about them and it’s not about the guns. It’s about us…what we value, what we espouse and what we teach, by example, to the next generation.

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The U.S. – Israel Connection

I am hardly in the dark when it comes to politics, the news generally and Israel specifically. After all, I write this blog post regularly, do three hours of talk radio a week and I’m a Jew. Which is why I was so surprised to hear today, for the first time ever, the term “Israel-Firsters.”  I had no idea what it meant or whose agenda it was supposedly furthering. It turns out the term may have been created by MJ Rosenberg, writing for the Left’s  Media Matters financed on-line blog “Political Correction.” I am not certain whether Mr. Rosenberg originated the phrase or just likes to use it a lot. But use it he does.

I am somewhat familiar with Mr. Rosenberg from my work several decades ago that involved interaction with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (A.I.P.A.C.). Back then, Mr. Rosenberg had a diametrically opposed position on American-Israeli relations than he has today. While I have no idea what caused his political “conversion,” he is now the prototypical convert. He is a zealot for his new belief system. In his case, that belief system is founded upon a disdain (a mild choice of wording for sure) for all Americans who support the right of Israel to exist as well as any strategic interest common to both the United States and Israel.

Israel-Firsters apparently refers to those Americans who allegedly put the interest of Israel before the best interest of the United States and see it as “Israel first and above all else.” This term is thoroughly expounded upon, in the negative, by Michael Scheuer in a post titled “Turning The Tables on The Israeli-Firsters.”

I’d like to address two points to both Messrs. Rosenberg and Scheuer.

First, when a position is so extreme that it can’t help but be conveyed with a mean spiritedness, such an undertone belies both objectivity and any assertion of neutrality. Both Messrs. Rosenberg and Scheuer cannot help but write about Israel without sounding as if they have either some axe to grind or political agenda to advance. So much for intellectual honesty.

Secondly, Mr. Scheuer’s assertion that the U.S. is inappropriately enmeshed in a “religious war” between Jews (Israel) and Muslims (the Arab world) is another attempt to reframe the reality in order to advance a political agenda. While it is true that the Koran, and thereby Arab nations, seek the annihilation of the State of Israel and all Jews on religious grounds, Israelis and Jews generally simply seek to live in peace within the borders of their state without imposing any religious agenda on those whose belief system is different from their own. Any insertion by the United States into that conflict is for the sole purpose of obstructing the stated intention of the Arab nations to eradicate the only democratic government that remotely resembles and supports principles and values similar to those held by the United States. Simply put, like attracts like and friends stand up for friends.

As a guardian of the Constitution and free speech, I defend Messers. Rosenberg’s and Scheuer’s right to publicly state their opinions. Unfortunately, both are giving voice merely to their “estimates of reality” based upon very limited perspectives and as such, reach conclusions that are grossly imprecise.

I, personally, prefer to draw my conclusions based upon fact, not opinion.


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