The Powerful Desire for Revenge

grenadeI remember my powerful emotions when, many years ago, during the hazing period at a local university fraternity, the recruits were required to swim across a small lake on the campus. One young man had never learned to swim but he was told, ‘You don’t swim, you don’t join.’ He went into the water, sank to the bottom and drowned. Their defense was that everyone had been drinking.

For years, my chest tightened when I thought about what happened to that young man, but back then I thought, “If he was my son, I would make it my life’s mission to tear this university down.” I wanted revenge and the boy wasn’t my son! I wanted revenge, even though I believe, for the purpose of spiritual advancement, we choose our parents, our lives, and about how long we will live before we are born.

The rage at the seeming senselessness of so many incidents and the powerful desire for revenge is, to a large degree, why our world is not at peace. If you lived in a place where a wall separated you and your enemies, and they shot grenades over the wall at you, and you shot grenades over the wall at them, and members of their families died and members of your family died, could you become a peacemaker? Could you be the first to stop lobbing the grenades? If you stopped, but they did not, would you and your family just stand there and die? If they stopped, would you, also, giving up your war for . . . for what? The land? A principle? A belief that God loves you more than them?

No matter how holy any terrorist (or anyone standing on ‘God’s principle’) tries to make their attacks or justify their motives, war is war. War is death. War is human. War is hell. People standing on God’s foundation, like Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., make peace, not war. They see the never-ending cycles of revenge. They transcend their outrage. They put the problem into God’s all-healing hands and ask to find solutions in inspiration. They understand, they compromise, they heal, they make peace, but only arm-in-arm with God. Remember, where God is, there is love, forgiveness and compassion. Where God isn’t, there is war, acrimony, and arrogance.

“You shall know them by the fruit they bear.”

The Man of Real Peace

Head of Christ

Hoffman’s Head of Christ

When I think of Jesus Christ, what I know in my heart is all mixed up with pomp and history, wars and wars of words. The gentle man of peace, the direct-speaking man with no belongings, the man whose gaze and voice and touch healed us, what does He think of our world?

When I read news stories of those who sacrifice their lives for another, I experience awe. Years ago in our town, a woman jumped instinctively to save her family dog and was killed by a train. My young sons were so upset, “Don’t you ever do anything like that!” I try to imagine what her children felt. I can’t; it’s beyond my understanding.

And that’s how it feels to me with Jesus Christ. How did that happen again? A Great Being of Light chose to take on a coarse body like ours and lived and worked like us, to try to get through to us? “Your Father understands everything—look to Him for help in this life. Your Father’s love for you cannot be measured. With every beat of your heart and every breath you take, He is with you. Earth is not your home; follow me and I will show you the way.”

Earth is not our home? Hold on a minute! Let’s not get carried away. I’ve got stuff, gold, position, respect. I’ve got power; I say jump and people jump. I’ve got family, goals, responsibilities, people to see, places to go, things to do. I can’t follow You right now; I promise to check in at the end, though. Promise.

I often wonder if we aren’t characters on a stage, a darn good mock-up, but still a mock-up, and if enough of us realized it, we’d be like Jim Carrey in The Truman Show and break through the fake sky to the real one. I think that’s why the Man of Peace was born—so we could find what’s real. And that’s probably why He was killed, too.

Related Post: Man with a Plan 

The Path to Peace: You Are As Important As I Am

handshakeThere is a path to peace—first to peace within, and that leads to peace between people and nations. It is a well-lit road, yet the least traveled because on it we must expand our understanding to include the views of others, intuiting that they are as important as we are. It means respecting all of life, because our Creator made this world and all living things.

Whenever you see political candidates and our representatives in Washington, D.C. talking with a smirk or a look of superiority on their faces, know that they are not genuine, that they care more about themselves and their viewpoints than they do the American people. And when people in power make racist and sexist comments, know that they are full of a pride that will tear our country apart if we don’t ourselves stand for brotherhood.

We will not experience peace as long as we continue to elect men who boast about themselves and their ideas and manipulate our country to increase their holdings. Honest peacemaking generates consensus through truth, which is a broad picture that respects all citizens as equal. It is not time to travel backwards and further separate. It is time to raise our consciousness and work for the best life possible for ourselves and others, people who are in truth, our brothers and sisters.

The Path of Non-Violence

Path of Non-ViolenceThe great spiritual teacher, Paramahansa Yogananda says–I’m rephrasing here–that we humans create our environments with our thoughts, literally. An aggravated mood might bring mosquitoes to us. Fear or anger overtaking a city can stir up tornadoes, or draw a hurricane. (Prayer and meditation have the opposite, calming, effect.) Large-scale acts of violence such as the events of 9/11 can lead to war. The acts themselves do not cause war—our reactions to the events, our thoughts and fervent emotions, lead to war. And, who among most of us doesn’t love payback? I find it difficult to resist the revenge-stories where a father goes after the perpetrators who killed his wife or child.

My children are familiar with the teachings of the Bible because they were raised in Catholic school. Jesus’ words, ‘If a man strikes you, turn the other cheek to him,’ were in a reading at mass one day, and that night my eldest (as a fourth-grader) asked, “Mom, do we really have to just take it if someone punches us?” At the time I said, “You have to protect yourself. You can’t stand there and let someone beat you.” I thought ‘turn the other cheek’ had no practical application in our world.

I didn’t understand then that Jesus’ words are about forgiveness, not cheek punches. I still believe we have to protect ourselves if someone attacks us, although I did once ask myself, “What would Jesus have done if punched?” I was reminded that He offered no resistance when arrested, beaten and forced to carry heavy wood on His back to His own death. “Ohhhh,” I thought. “I see.” To this day, I can’t comprehend the totality and impact of His sacrifice.

There have been others who gave their lives to the path of non-violence, such as Martin Luther King, whose great life we remember today, but it is certainly not natural to us. Think of the Protestants and the Catholics, Muslims and Christians, or the people of Israel and Palestine. You killed my daughter, my wife, my mother, my son. You will pay. Just when we believe a compromise/solution has been reached, a crazed retaliator starts everything up again, and the families of the latest victims commit to retribution until their dying breaths.

So, will our world ever be a peaceful world? Something would have to shift in our consciousness. We’d have to commit to non-violent solutions and to action. We’d have to expand our minds to realize every soul on Earth has the same hopes and dreams we do: to live in a loving family in a safe home, and to find fulfilling work within a cooperative, positive society. We’d have to plan to secure a future for our grandchildren and their grandchildren, and show great care now for Mother Earth in the choices we make. If our consciousness expanded, we’d choose the path of non-violence. We’d be the one who says, “I’m listening. Please tell me your side of the story. Let’s work this out together. I forgive you. Can you forgive me?”

Related Post: Man of Peace

The Beautiful Glowing Man

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! May the Spirit of Love bless you and yours in 2016.

Photo courtesy of kimberlydefining.files.wordpress.com

Photo courtesy of kimberlydefining.files.wordpress.com

P.S. — This is how I think of the great and loving Being of Jesus, the Christ:

God, he was beautiful. His skin almost glowed; his features were perfectly symmetrical. It was impossible to look into his eyes without your heart skipping a beat. Was he a magician? Some thought so, because he looked into their souls and they felt it, a measuring of sorts. “Who are you?” his eyes asked. “What is important to you? How have you lived?”

He was a teacher of Life–of the things of permanence. Oh, he loved his family, even had a profession and friends, but only a small group really wanted to be with him. He was from another world and sometimes things got spooky, like when he read their minds. It took courage to stay with him, and a desire to see beyond what we humans experience in our bodies.

Life was hard, but he wouldn’t listen to rants. He talked about love and forgiveness, healing and wholeness. “Let me show you,” he’d say, and they’d sit together around a fire and listen to his stories. He seemed to be asking them to ignore their problems, to live and think in a whole new way, to express thanks to God for everything, even their suffering. That’s when people stomped off. “I will not!” they’d shout. “If God loved us, these things wouldn’t happen!”

“This world,” he would say with a sweep of his arm, “is not the real world. This is only a play, created by your desires and thoughts. Only those aligned with this world are born here, for we are what we think, what we believe. How could you be born elsewhere when this is what you believe?”

“Close your eyes for a moment.” He spoke and stories unfolded in their minds’ eyes. “Love and peace are gifts of your Father in Heaven. Once you open your minds and hearts to His gifts, you will go and share them with others and they will do the same. My great Love for all of you is now your Love to spread. My work to heal the warring within you and in the world is now your work. In this way, the world will one day be healed of war.”

“The world will be healed of war?” a man said, astonished. “That’s impossible!”

“Divine Love is irresistible, as is my Father’s invitation to come Home. Your hearts long for this more than any other desire and they are being made anew, changing the light in the world. Does this answer your question?” he asked.

“It is an answer, but I’m not sure I believe it.”

“Stay with me,” the beautiful, glowing man said, smiling, “and you will see it.”

Transforming Fear, a Guest Post by Sharie, Spirit Teacher

Dearest Pam,

A Course In Miracles teaches that there are only two ways of seeing in this world.  Through the eyestransformation of fear of Love which is God or through the eyes of the ego which is fear. What you call dark forces, I would call ego misperception. Since God is only Love and God is all there is, anything that is not of God cannot really exist. Yes, it looks and feels real and can be very distracting when we are experiencing it, but if we remember that it isn’t God and therefore is only a harmless illusion we can take our power back and choose to see this through God’s eyes.  When we look at everything with God and lift up all fear and darkness to Him, He then can shine His light into the darkness and show us it is nothing.

Remember no matter how it looks, no matter how it feels, no matter how it manifests itself, in your body or in your life, IT IS NOT GOD.  If it were God you would be peaceful and filled with love.  God is only Love and God is all there is. And so when you call it names like a dark force, or when you see dark faces coming at you, you must believe that whatever this is, it cannot harm you and it cannot interfere with God’s Love that lights you from within. If you can, smile gently at the faces and ask silently, “How can I help you?”  Then lift them up to God so He can make the correction from fear into Love.  Since you are clearly a visually sensitive person, visualize light around the faces and then visualize them fade into the light and disappear.  And then visualize something beautiful like a garden or a rainbow or whatever you find beautiful in this world, a snowy mountain top, a green park with children playing on the playground.  You are a writer with a wonderful eye for beauty so choose your place or space and see that instead of the darkness.

The ego is simply a mistaken thought system that we made up to separate ourselves from God. It didn’t work, of course, because we do not have the power or the ability to separate ourselves from our Source, but we can certainly believe that we have.  What you are experiencing right now is either your own ego energy trying to distract you or the ego energy of others or a combination of both. I always believe that the fear is mine and in that way I know I made it up and so I can let it go. It often gets so strong that I am tempted to think it is separate from me and outside of me, but I remind myself that there is nothing outside of my mind because I am God’s Creation and there is nothing outside of the Mind of God. Either way, you have the power to choose God in this and free yourself of this experience. GOD’s LOVE IS ALWAYS MORE POWERFUL THAN FEAR.

A Course In Miracles teaches that the only way to weaken ego’s hold on us is to look at it and calmly say, “Oh, there it is again. Fear is back. So what’s new?” and then surrender it.  What I do after I remind myself that it isn’t real is to ask God to help me see this through His eyes.  Then I can smile gently and let it go.  Sometimes it hangs on for a while after I have surrendered it, but then it fades and disappears into love. Of course it will come back and I will have to repeat the process.  We must understand that we have accumulated a lot of fear in this lifetime and in past lifetimes.  We aren’t going to eliminate it without some work.  But at least now we can recognize it as harmless and an illusion and choose God each time that fear arises.

When we are on a spiritual path, ego gets a bit more persistent.  It understands that we are releasing our attachment to fear and that makes it more fearful. Without fear the ego cannot exist. It will try to keep our attention and the more we turn to God, the more it wants us to see it instead. But now we can see the ego’s persistence as a good thing, because every time fear arises we are given another opportunity to see what pushes our buttons and where our weaknesses lie. It is only when we are willing to look directly at the fear, understand it is nothing and then surrender it that we can ever be free of it.

Remember, there are only calls for love and extensions of love.  A call for love is any brother or sister who is experiencing fear in any form.  And if a brother or sister calls for love, it is our function to extend love and as we extend love to another so do we offer it to ourselves.  As I offer these words to you, so am I choosing to see my fears another way as well.  And thank you for reminding me of what God is teaching us every moment, we are here to be happy and peaceful and joyous and loving.  We have no other purpose because that is how God created us.  Together let us extend love to the faces and the fear you experience.  We are the light of the world and twisted faces and dark forces cannot interfere with that.  The laws of God transcend the laws of the world and the laws of dark forces. Now our Love has washed away all fear. God’s Light has shined away all dark forces.

Now, envision yourself as healthy and strong in mind and body. Feel what perfect health would be like and allow yourself to experience the joy of perfect health.  Do this any time you think of it and be sure to do this at night before you fall asleep and again in the morning when you awaken.

REMEMBER: FEAR IS NOT REAL!  ONLY GOD IS REAL!  I CHOOSE GOD NOW AND IN ALL THINGS.  And then simply be grateful. Let gratitude flow over you like syrup over pancakes, like sunshine over shadow, like crystal spring water over rocks, like Love from a healed heart.

Love always,
Sharie

Has the Destruction of Earth Been Planned?

black stalks ingold skyWhen I was falling back asleep this morning, these thoughts came: What if Mother Earth is not in turmoil only because of the way we have treated her? What if she is cleansing the filth of man’s inhumanity to man? Imagine what her destruction, the depravity and our fears feel like to her. What if she is taking Home some of those who truly have no hope for a future on this Earth?

Of course, floods cover entire plains and tornadoes demolish complete towns and tsunamis wash away whole communities. Are those victims all inhumane or all compassionate people? All human, with all our imperfections, yes, but most of them likely decent people. So what is going on?

Life is not only about living on Earth right now. It is about our evolvement as a species and Earth’s evolvement as a planet. Bloodshed has ruled us for the past ten thousand years, if not longer. It is time for us to live in peace. Our job is to learn how, now.

It is obvious, however, that some people have blocked the light from themselves and have sucked the essence of Love from everywhere and everyone they can. Bewildered, I have often asked myself, “But why destroy the source of their profits?” That’s when I was thinking accumulation was their ultimate goal. But what if amassing fortunes is not it? They know they “can’t take it with them,” just like we all do.

What if they can take life essence, energy, they have turned to dark power, to a place of their own creation? What if, like in a sci fi movie, their purpose is to destroy the Earth and to make certain we humans never live in peace? What if we are all living in a story of love vs. evil and of light vs. darkness? It sure seems like darkness–war, genocide, slavery, out-of-control greed, the destruction of Earth’s eco-systems, hunger, homelessness, abuse of every imaginable kind, wages-slavery, intolerance, dominance, etc.–is overtaking our planet, far beyond what our personal materialistic desires or our problems at home or at work could do. They are working in shadows, building darkness–and we either add our thoughts and actions to this darkness, or we add them to the light.

A wave of light is also moving across the planet. Perhaps our lives will be taken in a natural disaster, or perhaps we are being asked to give ourselves, maybe even our lives, to the cause of peace. If we drop our ideologies and stand united for peace and for all our brothers and sisters, for all life, the angels and our dear Earth Mother will rejoice and help us create a miracle. Can you hear their song?

Seeking, We Find

I’ve been down with a cold that left, but then roared back as the flu and to make things worse, I’ve been feeling sorry for myself. I’ve been sleeping a lot or lying on my couch, looking out the window at the two large, protective pines and my ash tree friend, Sistine, bare to the branches now, except for about ten thousand seed clusters. I don’t know if it’s possible to start an ash tree from the seeds, but I’ve gathered some and if I ever land somewhere where I can plant trees, I’m going to try.

I was thinking about personal/impersonal questions this morning: Who are we to the Creator of all life? And how are we supposed to learn the answer? How do we have a personal relationship with God if there are millions of universes? (There likely are, because once the creating ball was rolling, how would it be stopped? “Let’s see; I’ll keep creating until the edge of . . . what?” There are no edges.) And think about it: If we’re so important to God that he comes to Earth to show us the way Home, it’s also likely that other ‘people’ exist on some of the billions of planets out there and that they are important to God, too.

I wonder if any of them struggle as much as we do with making peace, not war, including other people in our circles of love versus counting them as enemies. Why is it so easy to say, “God loves me, but not you.” Or, “I don’t care who I use or hurt on my climb to success.” Why is owning the most land and stuff so important that it trumps everyone and everything else? (And, according to many Native Indian tribes, the earth, the water, the land, and its plenty, belong to the Creator, not us. That is true spirituality.)

Will our instinct to ‘grab up’ eventually attract other warrior-beings to Earth who will fight us for our planet’s resources? Or, will we make a group shift in consciousness—a new, expansive way of being, knowing that everything we need has always been available to us (and everyone else) and always will be? Food has been sent from ‘the Heavens’ before. With a conscious relationship with our Creator/Creating, perhaps we, ourselves, will create from ‘the air’ what we really need to live.

We have soul-connections with God, however we see Him or Her, however never-ending the universe is, but we have to slow down and ask these important questions, “Who am I? Where do I come from? And why am I here?” Seeking, we find.

home, Home and HOME

I went home recently and stayed with my dear mom, saw my brothers and their families and visited my very special friends (in order of visits): Toni, Julie, Anita, Marge and Annette. My ‘well’ was nearly empty and their love filled it up again. There were times in my life when I withdrew and curled into a ball, but Love would not let me stay there. Family and friends grabbed my legs and arms, unwrapped me, so to speak, and said, “YOU are SO loved!” The difference between traveling life’s roads with friends and family and without is stunning.

And, more Love blessings were ours, as my sons, daughter and I were together for a few days. It had been far too long. Last week my eldest son celebrated his twenty-seventh birthday and neither of us can believe it. (He doesn’t know where the time went, either!) He and his younger brother made a wonderful dinner; I made a peanut butter and chocolate birthday cake that was dry, dang it. But we had a good time sharing funny stories, together with their girlfriends and boyfriend, and more shared moments were made into heart-memories.

I think ‘filling the well’ is due to the season, too, for all of us. Now is a moment in time to let go of blaming ourselves and others, as the angels sing and the stars twinkle their loving message: ‘Reach out for healing.’ It is beyond time to share our blessings and make a difference for other people, however we can. We should never forget, especially in the times we live in, that heartfelt smiles, warm wishes and listening to others’ stories, just might help avert a tragedy. Love is that powerful. Every caring act blesses the receiver, but seems to double-bless the giver. That’s amazing if you think about it: Our gifts to others of love, of time, of service and of dollars bless us more than them! What a wonderful system the Higher Power has set into place. Giving is healing.

I pray you are home with family and friends during this month of celebrating the unimaginable Higher Love of the Great Being of Light who was born the same as we are: human, naked and vulnerable, to set upon His powerful peace-journey and show us the way ‘Home.’ In spite of all we have destroyed, we still have an extraordinarily loving home and Mother: Earth; and we have a home beyond this physical world. Let’s not forget this and let’s remember that Home and HOME belong to all of God’s children, however messed up many of us are.

If you find yourself alone this holiday season, now is a good time to open your heart, to risk, and make friends that just might turn into family. Give and receive, care and share, and you’ll soon be basking in the blessed moments with friends and family that make life so valuable. Our wells quickly run dry without them and we do have a choice. Living dried up and lonely? or sparkling, filled out with Love Inconceivable?

Let’s Plug Into the Truth, a Guest Post from Sharie, Spirit Teacher

Flowing

By Sharie, Spirit Teacher
Sending Joy

“Today I will remember the power of my thoughts and choose Love.”

What stops peace is when we plug the flow of God’s Love with our muddy thoughts and judgments. It doesn’t mean that our peace no longer exists. It only means that we have plugged the flow of God’s loving energy with our fear. 

There was a time we knew all this. Long ago God first Created us as Spirit in His Likeness, before we re-created Him in ours.  And yet no matter how dense our misperceptions of ourselves and God, still He is as He always was—and, in God’s Eyes, so are We.

We can bring clarity and the pure stream of joy and understanding back into our conscious awareness by simply choosing Love instead of fear at all times. A Course In Miracles teaches that we are far too tolerant of our mind wanderings. We think our ego thoughts have the power and so we let them run rampant and cause us sadness, anxiety, sickness and insanity which translates into nature’s imbalance and the world’s suffering. We really don’t believe there is another way to live. And we certainly don’t have a clue as to how powerful our thoughts are. If God stood right in front of us and told us the truth, we wouldn’t believe Him. And yet this is exactly what He does as He speaks to the heart of each of us constantly answering our prayers for peace and happiness. These are the answers we ignore or refuse to hear because they aren’t coming in exactly the form that our ego’s expect and understand.

So let’s begin today to unplug from fear and plug into our truth and let our light shine and our peace and God’s abundant Love flow free.

Let’s surrender our preconceived ideas of what Happiness is and what Healing is.  Instead, let’s place all our trust in God.

And then let’s wait and see what happens.

We’re All In This Together

I complain about the traffic where I live. I feel lost in the mad rush, incapable of the maneuversLove Heals necessary to go at that pace. I also wish the neighbors with whom I share an apartment wall were quieter. But this morning, while walking my terrier mix, Roxie, I thought how sad it would be if there was only me. I might break under the longing for my children and family but the truth is, I’d also miss the companionship of other humans and the sense that we’re all in this together.

Imagine climbing aboard a subway train that didn’t go anywhere. Fun vacations by yourself? Attending classes without instructors or fellow students? Going to work to do what? Why? What would I do, or you, if we woke up tomorrow alone in the world?

Hundreds of years ago, we humans were ‘in this together’ in smaller communities. We really did need the talents and participation of every person to survive, even if one or two were terrible gossips or mean-spirited. We traded and all pitched in. We believe things aren’t the same today, but if the 18-wheelers stopped hauling food from one area to another, we’d soon realize the importance of agriculture and transportation. If there were no doctors and hospitals, disease and accidents would simply take us when they happened. We complain the loudest when we lose electricity and heating and air-conditioning. It does make me stop and wonder about us piping in water from hundreds of miles away and building homes where the temperature drops below zero or stays above 100 degrees for months at a time. We like to brag we’ve got Mother Nature beat—all I can say is, ‘It’s a good thing she loves us.’

We truly are all in this life together. What a wonderful mix of people and cultures we are, each of us a Child of God/Love/Great Mystery. I sense a rising of love and respect for each other, as though our eyes are collectively opening. Caring is contagious; kindness is spreading. Remember, all that we have, however little or large our piles, comes first from our Creator and second from our planet. We own nothing; we take nothing with us when we cross over. Share your love and assets and be reminded of how great life is, how wonderful our chance to be here, living in a time of real change for our planet and for us.

I don’t know if we were once more enlightened people and lost our way, or if something new and true is upon us, but let us be caught in the wave that washes away the blood, the cruelty and the greed of the last five thousand-plus years. Let’s join arms and care for each other. We are all linked by Love—it’s time to wake up and make peace. Peace be with you, brother. Peace be with you, sister.