Vengeance is Mine

Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. — Romans 12:19

I shall never forgive him as long as I live!” She bawled at the judge, then took out a small, white hanky from her designer purse, unfolded it, and in trembling emotions, wiped away tears. “He ruined my life! How can I ever again walk down the street at night without fear of being robbed!”

Her attacker, the man who stole her purse—the black designer purse, not the red one she carried into the witness stand with her, sat quietly in the accuser’s box, head bent, avoiding eye contact with the judge.

Although the above scene is fictional, it’s analogous to cases of near theatrical drama played out in society today of people who feel they have been seriously wronged or insulted. All one has to do is listen to the evening news or watch popular television’s court dramas to realize that we’re obsessed with hate and vengeance—and our need for justice!

I don’t have any official, peer-reviewed studies to quote from to back my findings, but I’ve lived long enough and witnessed many cases where the incidents often were more drama than real injustices.

Although the following story is loosely based on a true story about a couple I once knew, I embellish highlights to emphasize some important points.

For the first year of their marriage, this couple were madly in love with each other. They were like two pieces of harmoniously locked Lego©. They had the same interests; they went to the movies together; they went shopping together, they even enjoyed mutual friends.

Gradually, however, the husband got involved in activities and interests that did not involve his wife. He even started drinking. Five years later, the husband finally approached his wife and asked for a divorce.

Call it rage, indignity, or plain fury, but the wife did not accept the husband’s request for a divorce lightly. She felt extremely hurt and humiliated and vowed that she would do everything in her power to see that that “unfaithful rat” (her husband) gets totally ruined and humiliated.

The husband finally got his divorce, although the court battle was steamy and expensive. The husband was willing to concede much of their joint property—just leave him with some dignity. But the wife would have none of that. The rat had to be completely ruined!

In her bitterness, what the wife did not realize was that the long-drawn-out court proceedings and lawyer fees not only financially ruined—now her ex-husband, but also ruined her: the lawyers were the new owners of her once-beautiful home, their Daimler sports car, and their once-joint bank account.

Long-suffering and patience are a virtue

If the wife would have been more patient and thoughtful, if she would have waited just two years, her desire to see her ex-husband ruined would have come true, naturally, with any effort on her part. And she would still be living in her beautiful home, and possibly still driving her Daimler sports car.

It ended up that the woman at the center of the reason for the ex-husband’s divorce changed her mind about marrying him, so in frustration and disappointment, he took to drinking—heavy drinking, ending up penniless and homeless.

Perceived injustice is everywhere in society. Who cannot find at least one person in their life who has committed an injustice to them? Unfortunately, to carry the anger of unforgiving injustice in your heart for the rest of your life only weighs heavily on your own health. It’s like drinking a cup of poison to hurt your accused. You end up hurting yourself!

The good news is, there really is justice. It’s just that we’re often consciously so busy carrying the burden of our injustice, we don’t see the complete picture. I’ve shown one example of justice in the above story about the husband and wife who, in the first year of their marriage, cared deeply about each other. But later, their marriage turned very dysfunctional.

Taking into consideration the complexity of almost any situation in life, it is difficult, if not impossible, to lay the fault on either person or an event. Negotiation, where possible, is a preferred option. However, like in the above situation where one member refuses to negotiate, it is often best to leave ‘justice’ in the hands of a Higher Power.

Creation is too complex to believe that life began through an unconscious series of events. To even consider such a possibility, my question then would be, who brought into existence the laws of physics and metaphysics to even give stability to life as we know it?

Thus, given the possibility that an intelligent ‘Super Mind,’ is behind creation, it would only seem logical that such this Mind—God, would care equally for both the antagonist and the recipient of the antagonism, and that metaphysical law would ensure justice prevailed.

To forgive a person for an injustice that they might have done to you is not to “let them off the hook,” so to speak. They are still responsible for dealing with their own actions. You are forgiving yourself for any anger you may have felt during the incident, thus clearing your own conscience and “leaving the details of justice to God.”

An Eye for an Eye

An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind ——Mahatma Gandhi

The next time someone does something perceived as wrong to you, instead of flying off the handle and thinking of ways to get even—which seems so popular an attitude these days, why not be different and try a positive response, instead? Talk to the person. Find out why they replied so negatively to you. Was it something you said that irritated the person? Is the person just having a bad day? In short, try to understand!

Humanity is comfortable in a no-change environment. Change causes uncomfortableness, and uncomfortableness causes irritation and short-temperateness in people.

The earth, and even our entire solar system, is going through a rapid transformation: an evolutionary ‘upgrade’[i] [ii] that is causing problems in our psych. It is in our nature to be more comfortable with the same-old, same-old, rather than experiencing change.[iii]

Fortunately—or unfortunately for some who elect to stay behind, this rapid change is necessary for evolution’s sake, both for us, for our planet, and our solar system as we prepare for this transformation. If we let our guard down during these changing times, it can become habitual to shut down reason, unharness the motions, attach these undisciplined emotions to our tongue and let fly, come what may!

A good example of letting our emotions rule over reason is evident in the recent “Defund the Police” marches. Yes, there are problems with police butality, especially in Black communities. But, can you imagine our society without police to protect us from the criminal minded? Practical reason is the answer to this social problem, not unbridled emotion!

Historically, protests have brought about much-needed changes in the way citizens are abused by those in power. The problem is, hidden within the grained victories of the protesters, are buried the injured innocents that happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time while these protests took place. And correcting the wrongs suffered by the innocently injured can take generations to heal, especially if they are brushed aside or insufficiently dealt with.

Looted and damaged storefronts are one example of how an innocent person or business can suffer unfairly during a demonstration. Insurance, plus other costs and inconvenience caused by rioters, are only a minor example of what is wrong with this method of gaining justice by demonstrating against our perceived wrongs.

Lives are lost during riots. Between 1954 to 1968, 41 people were killed during the civil rights movement in the United States.[vi] And that’s just one small sample of human costs caused by riots, revolts, or disagreements.

Is there a more civilized, peaceful way of protesting for the oppressed to be heard? Yes, there is!

Non-violent protests are a far superior way to gain civil rights. This has been demonstrated through proven actions by famous leaders of peaceful protests like Mahatma Gandhi, Henry David Thoreau, Te Whiti o Rangamati, Leo Tolstoy, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, and the list goes on.[vii] So, we see, peaceful resolutions to our social issue happen, and are possible! Best of all, they don’t cause injury or damage to the innocent.

If we are serious about going along with humanity maturing, we have to abandon violent solutions to our problems.

Rather than rioting to solve our injustices, we need to take greater advantage of our court system. Just like the rioting slogan, “Defund the Police” is concerned only with one aspect of the problem: police violence, court trials can present to an unbiased jury or judge both sides of the argument, resulting in a more satisfactory solution to a problem.

The sign of an intelligent nation is reason through controlled emotions by the application of reason – Mayra Mannes

We also have to think about our future and the future of our children. Will we give in to the rioters and hot-heads and let them stain the good name of humanity by allowing them to solve their issues through rioting and violence? Or will we leave our children a legacy of superior, more just, and binding laws that will leave a legacy of comfort to them that reason, not violence, is the better road to a happier life?

[i] Cosmic Evolution: an Interdisciplinary approach: https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/~ejchaisson/cosmic_evolution/docs/fr_1/fr_1_site_summary.html

[ii] Cosmic Evolution by Eric J. Chaisson: https://www.physicscentral.com/explore/writers/chaisson.cfm

Lena M. ForsellJan A. Åström

[iv] Lemmings: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemming

[vi] Civil Rights Movement: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Rights_Memorial#:~:text=The%20Civil%20Rights%20Memorial%20is,the%20Southern%20Poverty%20Law%20Center.

[vii] Leaders of non-violent protests: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nonviolent_resistance

Making Moonshine, and how to Hide it from the “Revenuers”

There is an interesting and colorful connection between the Great Depression of the 1930s and the many “entrepreneurs” of the day who turned to making moonshine to feed their family and entertain themselves during those depressive times. Later, we’ll get to the interesting part—what this story is mainly about the moonshine story. But, first, …

Let’s start with Canada and the “Dirty Thirties,” as they were referred to. They were called the Dirty Thirties because, along with the Great Depression that plagued the world at the time, the Prairies were also stricken by very dry and dusty weather conditions.

Let’s start with Canada and the “Dirty Thirties,” that plagued farmers at the same time the depression hit. The Canadian and American mid-west was experiencing a severe drought with accompanying sinister dust storms that gave the area its sarcastically descriptive name, The Dirty Thirties, or The Dust Bowl.

In the United States, they called it “The Great Depression.” The stock market lost close to 90% of its value. Approximately 11,000 banks failed, wiping out many depositor investments. Unemployment rose to 25% and average household wages dropped by 40%.[ii]

In 1933 Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected President of the United States and not only promised but pushed through 15 major laws during the first 100 days he was in office, the Social Security Act being one of the best-known ones, and he also founded the March of Dimes program. Route 66 became a popular route for Americans traveling west to California in hopes of a better future.

In Canada, it was a common sight to see empty railroad box cars filled with men traveling from Ontario to Alberta and British Columbia in search of work. I grew up on a farm in Southern Saskatchewan near an east-west cross-country rail line, and it was not unusual to have “migrant travelers” leave the empty rail cars and visit our farm, offering to work for a meal.

Like everyone else in the community, we had little money, and could offer no pay for labour, but we always had plenty of vegetables from our large garden and meat from butchered cattle and poultry, so we were happy to feed these hungry migrant travellers, and while they were eating, they would tell us interesting stories about depressive times in Ontario.

As can be imagined, an event like the Great Depression had an enormous effect on the mental, emotional, and physical lives of the people caught up in this trauma. Desperate times often called for desperate measures. Entertainment played a vital role in their lives, for it offered a means of escape—even if only temporarily, from the dreariness and pain of life. Dancing, moviegoing and social gatherings were especially popular, being the cheapest form of entertainment available and easiest to organize.

The price to buy liquor to ‘supplement’ the buoyancy of a party from a regular government vendor was out of reach for most partygoers, so people innovated: they made their own liquor; moonshine!

The government really hated moonshiners! It could be safely said that the government was more concerned about the loss of excise revenue from its normal imposed tax on the sale of liquor than it was in the welfare of its citizens. They doled heavy fines out to those unfortunate enough to get caught in possession of an illegal distillery, or ‘still,’ as they were more commonly referred to. To make it even more enticing for ‘snitchers,’ to inform on their neighbors, the government offered rewards of up to $200 to anyone reporting their neighbor to “Government Revenuers” who would then come and raid the distillery shutting it down. Remember, in those days, an average man’s non-unionized wage was $30 and $40 a month.[iii] A two-hundred-dollar reward for just picking up the phone and snitch on a neighbor was an attractive incentive! To make it even worse for the moonshiner, the police kept names of the snitchers a closely guarded secret so you could snitch in confidence and know that your neighbor would never find out who the ‘judas’ was.

The police targets were mostly farmers. Farmers had more ingenious methods of hiding liquor from snooping government revenuers than their city cousins did. One farmer I knew hid his ‘stash’ in a cattle manure dump next to his barn. Surely, no ‘revenuer’ would think of digging into a manure pile to look for illegal liquor! Good idea! And it worked for quite a while until, unfortunately, the neighbor who ‘squealed’ on the guy, also got to know of the hiding place, so part of his ‘information to the police’ included the location of the moonshine. Bragging to your ‘friends’ about how smart you are at fooling the cops wasn’t the best of ideas!

Lesson learned. Never brag, publicly, about how ‘smart’ you are. But it seems like many of us are slow in learning that lesson, because here’s another example of what not to do.

Whenever the police pulled into this farmer’s yard, the farmer would quickly hide the moonshine under the blankets in his daughter’s bed. The daughter would play sick for the occasion. When the police approached the bed, the farmer would, in an anxious tone, beg that the revenuers not disturb the girl since she was very sick and should not be disturbed. The police compassionately backed away from searching that area. This trick worked for several times until, again, the farmer was stupid enough to brag about how he fooled the “revenuers.” Naturally, the next time the police ‘called’ with a search warrant; they did ‘disturb’ the ‘sick’ daughter!

However, sometimes knowing the psychology of how police conduct their search—and what they don’t search, can prove helpful. This farmer really knew how to hide moonshine in the open, in plain sight of the police! He simply hide his ‘stash’ in the farmhouse attic among his wife’s empty Gem canning jars. As any connoisseur of good moonshine knows, 100 percent pure moonshine is crystal clear and, naturally, blends in perfectly among the clear, empty canning jars. Either it just didn’t dawn on the police how brazenly open, something could be hidden right in front of their noses, or they just didn’t want to bother to, singularly, examine every canning jar in the attic.

What a frustration! The police knew that this guy was one of the biggest moonshine distributors in the area, but even after several frustrating raids, each time they had to leave, mission unfulfilled! Although I knew all along where this farmer was stashing his moonshine, he never revealed to me where he was hiding his distiller, a very important piece of equipment in the making of moonshine. And not being able to locate the distillery was especially baffling and frustrating to the police. However, like his moonshine, I’m sure his distillery was also hidden in plain sight!


[i] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Depression_in_Canada

[ii] https://www.ducksters.com/history/us_1900s/great_depression.php

[iii] https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uiug.30112032654953&view=1up&seq=935

Life Without Religion

“Hatred is the most accessible and comprehensive of all the unifying agents. Mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a god, but never without a belief in a devil.” ― Eric Hoffer,

Many people, especially North Americans, pride themselves in their non-religious beliefs. Too many of us believe that religion has caused more social damage than good, therefore it cannot have had, is having, or will have a positive influence on human relationships.

Nothing could be farther from the truth!

A superficial glance at religion, both present-day and ancient, they appear superstitious and practices that defy reason … that is until we apply the initial purpose of ritual to many religious practices.

Since I profess to be a practicing Christian, I’ll use Biblical and Christian-oriented examples in my reasoning. However, they can equally be used in any religious practice to understand the reason behind the ritual.

The ritual of Christian baptism is one example. Without going into the deeper meaning behind the ritual of baptism, there is no magic in the ritual itself, other than it denotes the person being baptized is now a member of that specific religious belief, and is expected to follow its rules, and appreciate its many benefits like receiving guidance from the Holy Spirit, special study groups to help one become more spiritual, strength in group prayer, and more.

Liken it unto a person joining a co-op grocery store. The initial fee could represent the baptism: becoming a member, and the ‘baptism’ would include a briefing, or explaining—and involve the member’s acceptance — the rules governing his new membership. Upon accepting the regulations governing The Co-op, the recent member would now have access to the benefits of special bargains, unique products, and other savings. Like discounts on travel or hotel lodgings.

Another advantage of belonging to a religious group is the power in numbers that it can influence on our society at large. However, this power is a two-edged sword: it can literally benefit the community at large, or it can be a detriment, and this is where the great debate comes in—and probably the biggest reason so many people renounce any belief in God—and sadly, are missing out on wonderful opportunities that conscientious religious organizations can offer a person.

The history of religion is old, its roots forming some time when we, Homo sapiens, first established their superiority over the rest of the Homo crowd. And, yes, many wars and much cruelty has been committed in the name of religion. But, one reason we even rose to the top of the food chain is, that “Tolerance is not a Sapiens trademark.”[i] In short, most times, we fought our way to the top, so violence is in our basic nature—and this is where religion comes in: it can help us become more spiritual, more compassionate, and more loving to each other. Here are a few examples. But, remember, it’s your choice. We can accept the spiritual aspects of religious benefit into our lives, or we can revert to our ancestral ways of getting what we want through violence. Don’t blame religion. Blame our genes!

One last point before deciding about accepting religion. Don’t pay any attention to all the negative stories you hear about religion. Think of any institute in our society: the police, our school system, our legal system. Do any of them have a hundred percent flawless record? No person is perfect—and even then, what is the definition of perfect? Criticism isn’t a positive way to view society. It’s actually a copout, an excuse for some to do nothing. Here are a few positive points to help you get started.

  • Helps in spiritual growth. You’ve heard the expression, “I’m a spiritual person, not a religious person.” Well, here’s your chance to become both spiritual and religious.
  • Accepting good morals can improve honesty.
  • Strengthens family ties.
  • Faith reduces fear and promotes mental health.
  • Improves creative skills. Art has its roots in religion.
  • Helps you become more compassionate.

A great article in Philosophy Talk, titled “How Can Smart People Still Believe in God?[ii] written by Kenneth Taylor can be an excellent start to becoming a more religious person and put meaning into your life. You’ll be glad you read it!

[i] Sapiens, by Yuval Noah Harari, p.19

[ii] How Can Smart People Still Believe in God?”  https://www.philosophytalk.org/blog/how-can-smart-people-still-believe-god

Defund the Police!

In the excitement of today’s volatile society, I know a lot of people haven’t paid much attention to this thought: have you ever imagined what the world would look like if we actually did “defund,”—that is, getting rid of our police? The historic “Wild West” would seem like a mild Sunday picnic compared to the lawlessness that would ensue in these riotous times!

 When I think back to my own brief time in the R.C.M.P. (circa 1951), I definitely notice a deterioration in the police motto, “To Serve and Protect.” But, at the same time, there has been an even greater rift—decline—in society’s morals! In my time, it was a pleasure and an honour to serve. Today, a policeman lays his life on the line almost daily, and the abuse they receive from the public is rarely deserved! Often, is it any wonder that they, on those rare occasions, lash out at their attackers?

What makes matters even worse, is how our ‘official’ news media reports on daily events. In the hustle and bustle of society’s composite events, there are quite literally thousands of happenings in our country that quietly take place every day: situations that are amicably resolved by the police between differing parties, or even arrests made without incident. Where is our news media to report these ‘undramatic’ events?

In reality, can you blame the news media for reporting only the drama, the negative events, of the day? The news media, like any other service in society, thrives only when they have your attention, and to keep your attention, will report only that which ‘entertains’ you. To put it plainly, they report only morbid, violent, negative events of the day because that’s what you demand of them! To prove my point, when was the last time you watched an in-depth current event broadcast, like 60 Minutes, The House, W-5, The Fifth Estate, and the like? They’re out there, why aren’t these programs as popular, or more popular, than the evening news?

Our society is an angry, often violent place to live in today. Demonstrations are rampant. We demand justice! But, as the world’s great peace-maker, Mahatma Gandhi said, “an eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind.”

As we consciously mature, we begin to realize more than we ever did in our past, that there are social injustices that need urgent attention. But, as Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth.”

Unfortunately, our politicians aren’t helping our ‘unjust’ situation, either. In one way, they, like the news media, can hardly be blamed for their indecisiveness and their need to pussyfoot around important issues dealing with today’s fairness and equal rights. Similar to the goal of the news media is to gain your attention, a politician’s goal is to get re-elected, so when situations, like in the present time arise, what should a politician do? Which side should he please, and in deciding, anger the other side and lose their votes? As a result, too often, the end result is, politicians end up doing nothing!

Government is necessary. Government is the shape that society forms, but government is powerless to actually solve an issue, because, in reality, the government is working for you—for your vote, and need your decision before they can take action. Thus, we end up in a situation often quoted in Zen studies: “The student waits for the master to [take action and] enlighten him, and the master waits for the student to awaken to [realize] that the enlightenment is already in him.”

So, please don’t blame the politician for our problems. Take a closer look at the guy you see in the mirror for a solution, or, as Pogo, in his famous cartoon quote said, “I have seen the enemy, and he is us!”

This is quite a quandary that we’re living in, isn’t it? Who is going to step forward, grab both arguing parties by the collar, bring them to the table, and not give them their supper—or paycheque—until a solution is reached?

Government represents the form a democratic society creates, and the police are the glue that holds that form in place. If you don’t like the ‘shape’ of society, change the shape, not the glue that holds the shape in place.

We know that we are in the Latter Days when everything in society is breaking down in order to make room for the New World. But, in order for us to actually realize the New World—the so-called Millennium, reason will have to step forward and take the lead. It’s not going to happen on its own, without our input!

What about you? What are your plans? Unless reasonable minds take the ship’s helm to guide us through this deadly storm we’re passing through, Albert Einstein’s prediction will come true: “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”

Thoughts on the COVID-19 Virus

According to an article in Wikipedia, titled, “Neuroscience and Intelligence,” that states, in part, “larger brain size and volume is associated with better cognitive functioning and higher intelligence.[i] If this statement is true, consider the brain size in a COVID-19 virus. The virus, itself, is so small it can only be seen through an electron microscope. If you think that is small, consider the brain size of that virus—if it even has a brain. Yet, that tiny “brain” has been smart enough to bring mankind to its knees!

That presents one of two possibilities: either that article in Neuroscience and Intelligence is off the mark as to what constitutes intelligence, or there’s a far greater intelligence behind the scene, governing that virus. A good comparison would be a person driving a car. Is it the car’s intelligence that winds the car safely through dense traffic, or is it the person behind the wheel of that car that is responsible for the car’s behavior?

Pandemics—plagues, aren’t new to mankind. Consider 1 Samuel 4:8 in the Old Testament: “Woe unto us! who shall deliver us out of the hand of these mighty Gods? these are the Gods that smote the Egyptians with all the plagues in the wilderness.” Other references in the Old Testament seem to indicate that, whenever “God’s people” would rebel against His wishes, God would send a plague to bring the people back in line.

Could this be, at least in part, what’s happening to us today via the COVID-19 virus? I’m not about to point “sinful” fingers at mankind: I’m not a judge, but I would like to mention a few positives that have occurred in society since the virus kept us housebound.

  • Because we’ve been housebound, family ties have grown stronger. People are doing things more as a family, including self-educating our children, rather than relying solely on teachers to raise their children.
  • People are more charitable and friendly. We’re helping each other more than we used to.
  • Recent anti-racial discrimination demonstrations, including an increase in publicly rebuking spousal violence and pornographic behavior is an indication that we’re growing more compassionate and spiritually mature.

The list goes on, and let’s hope this is a permanent trend, so that we don’t have to experience a second—even worse, a third wave—of the COVID-19 virus in order for us to learn our lesson, as the early Egyptians had to do in Exodus 26!


[i] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuroscience_and_intelligence

Self-discipline and our Disciplined Universe

This version contains some minor editorial and gramatical changes.

Of all the laws in the universe, did you ever wonder why God created the law of discipline? I mean, why can’t we just lay back and enjoy life no matter what we do?

In one way, discipline is sort of a restrictive law, yet, paradoxically, that same law can also set one free.

Discipline is a universal law, and works hand-in-hand with the law of cause and effect. In fact, I’d say it’s very much intertwined with all the other universal laws as well: invoke discipline, and you affect all the other laws, and the reason I separate the law of discipline from the law of cause and effect, is that the law of cause and effect is a rather mindless law: it just is, and reacts rather indifferently to whatever you do with it. On the other hand, the law of discipline gives you a choice of being aware of what you do.

There are also two aspects to the law of discipline: self-discipline, and externally influenced discipline.

We foster abandoned cats and, besides having them spayed and neutered, they are locked in every night, which they do not like! Cats are nocturnal animals and, given a choice, prefer to be awake and hunting at night and sleep during the day. But, because, in a rural setting, there are dangers out there at night that they would not normally be prepared to face were they feral, so for their own safety, they need to be indoors at night.

I would call that act of locking up the cats at night, externally influenced discipline. The cats have no choice in the matter. As their foster parents, we impose that discipline—or restriction, on them.

On the other hand, self-discipline is where you decide: you make the choice to do something, or not to do something, independent of external conditions. For example, you may decide to quit smoking, a decision that you make, (assumed you’re being) uninfluenced by any external pressure someone may attempt to impose on you.

In similar manner, the universe imposes restrictions—or disciplines on us. For example, start eating too much junk food, and you’ll get fat. That’s cause and effect. But, if you decide that you’re too fat and go on a diet to lose weight, that’s a self-imposed discipline.

Unfortunately, too many of us lack self-discipline, and because of our unwillingness to learn, we leave ourselves wide open to whatever nature, or society in general—or even our own body imposes on us. We resent our neighbor’s success, but are too un-disciplined to abandon our habitual hours of playing games on the computer, instead of taking a course in a trade that would bring us similar good fortune that our neighbor enjoys. As William A. Ward stated, “The price of excellence is discipline. The cost of mediocrity is disappointment.”

I’m retired now, but after a short military career and years of self-employment, I learned early in life, the importance of self-discipline. Throughout my lifetime I witnessed many start-up businesses ending in business failure. The main reason for their failure was, these would-be entrepreneurs did not bother to self-discipline themselves first, by learning the universal law of what constitutes a successful business, before they opened their doors to a business venture.

In the end, it’s our own doing whether we apply self-discipline in our lives, or just fall in line with whatever is imposed on us by an indifferent universe. The choice is ours, and the universe will deliver that choice! That’s the law!

“We must all suffer one of two things:  the pain of discipline or the pain of regret and disappointment.” – Jim Rohn


If You Know You Are Right …

If you know you’re right, it really doesn’t matter what others think? Note, I’ve emphasized the word, ‘know.’ I’ll give you a simple example of the difference between knowing something to be right and believing something to be right.

You came home from the office a short while ago, a bit tired, but you remembered your routine before you can call it a. day: taking out the garbage. You fulfill that task in your usual, efficient way, then return to the comfort of your living, anticipating a quiet, restful evening. As you settle into your easy chair, your wife calls out to you from the kitchen, “honey, don’t forget, it’s your job to take out the garbage!”

You explode. “I’ve already taken out the damn garbage! Now leave me alone!”

What made you lose your composure?

It relates back to your insecurity.

According to an article in Psychology Today, “The 3 Most Common Causes of Insecurity and How to Beat Them,” insecurity appears to be at the heart of our auto-instinct to flare up and defend yourself, often at the slightest provocation.

            The first, and possibly the main cause of insecurity is a feeling of failure or rejection. Did you loose last night at the poker game, and now you’ll be a bit short on your monthly grocery allowance, and you’re afraid your wife will find out?

            You self-punish: how stupid of me gamble away our grocery money! Why don’t I have more self-control? I’m just a failure! … and so on.

            A second reason for an angry flareup can be social rejection. Did your boss give that envied contract to another employee and that has put you into a rejective social slump?

            That damn Bill, he’s always suck-holing up to the boss! My idea was far better than Bills! Even Dolly, our secretary, said that I was more qualified!

            The third cause of insecurity mentioned in the article is, are you a perfectionist? In that burst of anger, you feel that your partner should know you take out the garbage at exactly eight o’clock right after you get home from work! Why is she questioning your efficiency?

            Our security/insecurity is something few of us try to analyse. Yet, if we took the time to do so, we could save ourselves a lot of grief. In this present era of our evolution, everything is in rapid change. Look at the violence and distrust that’s present everywhere, and to think that a lot—no! I’d say most of that is generated through people’s lack of faith in themselves, and lack of, or unwillingness to understand of what is actually happening in the world.

            But that doesn’t mean you have no choice but be trapped in this nightmarish world and have to accept whatever is thrown at you.

            You’ve heard the expression, “solid as a rock,” or the familiar hymn, “Rock of Ages.” A rock is a symbol of stability: solidness; surety. Does it care about what the environment thinks about it?

            Another example is the weather and the weatherman. Does the weather really care what the weatherman thinks about its—the weather’s everchanging nature?

            If we wish to survive in all this insanity, we have to become ‘as solid as a rock,’ yet as versatile to change as the weather.

            A rock is! That’s a fact. The weather is! And that’s a fact. You are! That’s another fact! Practice mindfulness. Be present in all that you do. Do your due-diligent research and be informed, not opinionated.

            Like the Universal Consciousness itself—God, if you will, be as solid as a rock, and as flexible to change as the weather: secure in your knowing, and it won’t matter what anyone else thinks or believes of you!

You’re Old Enough, Now. Learn to do it Yourself!

 

When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.  — Jimi Hendrix

See the source imageIn this article I’m going to talk about spiritual guides; not the popular sham ‘guides’ that take you for your money, but the real, honest-to-goodness genuine spiritual guides that you can count on for help. Yes, the universe is full of compassionate spirit guides, angels and benign beings who are quite willing to help you. You just have to know how to unlearn old bad habits and take positive steps to make yourself aware of their presence … and, of course, the big question: how and where these spirit beings can help, and where they have to leave you learn to walk your own path alone.

And, in these latter-day, troubled times, when the world seems to be throwing just too many events at us in too short a time to handle, what could be more welcome than a powerful, compassionate Spirit Guide?

Unfortunately, even in these enlightened times, people who claim to have psychic or other spiritual abilities are still considered to be a little ‘off-centre:’ someone that we ‘forget’ to invite to our social functions. Mind you, knowledgeable folks who are even somewhat familiar with these ‘psychics’ have good reason—probably from personal experience, to show that, much of channelling, card reading, fortune telling and astrology readings are fake! But, other than to caution you that most of these “readers” are fakes, these scammers aren’t the subject of my article, but I will add the reason these scams are so popular is because people—probably due to our own insecurity—will go to great lengths to want to know what’s going to happen to them in the future.

I have an upcoming article where I’ll write specifically about our insecurities and why so many of us turn to spiritual help (different from religious help) for answers, but for now, be very cautious about accepting the advice of one of these ‘psychic’ scammers. Do some diligent research first before engaging an honest fortune teller/prognosticator. Good, honest psychic readers are out there, but the cleverness of scammers makes it very difficult for the uninitiate to tell the difference between an honest and dishonest psychic. It’s something like the old saying of a wolf disguising himself as a sheep in order to catch the unwary sheep. These scamming sociopaths are very professional, and not unlike these computer phone scammers that are so popular now, these guys have the right questions and right answers for the gullible to make you believe that what they’re telling you are ‘facts’ coming through to them from ‘the other side!’

Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.”  Saint Francis de Sales

O.k., having finished now with the precautionary introductions as to what I really want to talk about, I’ll leave the topic of psychic healers/helpers and talk about personal spiritual experiences that people, themselves, have had, ranging anywhere from near-death experience, a ‘visitation,’ a vision, or a very powerful, meaningful dream that contained a message for you—and you alone that has helped you, personally, deal with some particular troublesome problem in your life.

The difference here is that, instead of seeking spiritual help from the outside world, the genuine spirits are coming to you and offering their assistance through your own conscious self. One nice thing about the spirits coming to you, instead of you seeking outside of yourself for them is that, unless you’ve created some negative situation to rouse the interests of the ‘dark’ side, your experiences should be positive and reliable.

First of all, you should know that you’re not alone or unique in having—or have had—a spiritual experience. This is not a rare phenomenon. Many thousands of people over the years, going centuries back in time, have had quite dramatic experiences. The problem is, because going public and talking about them is still not a social norm here in the Americas, people tend to just keep such experiences to themselves.

Since we’ve entered the New Age—the age of Aquarius that was supposed to have taken place around December 22, 2012, it’s becoming increasingly more common for people to have spiritual experiences that go well beyond worldly, physical limits, and thus become hard to describe to a friend. Often, the difficulty in describing your experience is not so much fear of being labeled ‘odd,’ but how do you effectively describe such an experience that has no physical, third density, comparison?

My solution is, if I’m talking to another person about one of my spiritual experiences and the person I’m talking to has also had a similar experience, that person will understand. If the person I’m talking to has not had a similar personal experience, then all the describing in the world isn’t going to fully explain the same thoughts and feelings that I experienced.

Here are just two of my spiritual experiences, and how they helped me cope with the frustrations and uncertainties of my life. By describing them to you, hopefully it will help you feel more comfortable in talking about your own experience.

I was one of those kids who, as far back into my childhood as I can remember, I had quite regular ‘visitations’ from the spirit world. One of my first, and most dramatic experience takes me back to my childhood, circa 1930s. One night, when I was about four years old, my deceased oldest sister, Ilona, come to me and announce that she will be my Guardian Angel! Ilona had died even before I was born so, being the third child in our family, I never did get to know her in a physical sense, but over the years since her dramatic spiritual appearance and announcement, I’ve come to feel her comforting presence—and protection, on many occasions. There is no room in this short article to give examples, but I just want to assure you that not just me, or a few thousand others out there have Guardian Angels, but every living person has a Guardian Angel, be it a deceased family member, or a commitment we may have made with another soul in a previous life to ‘guard’ each other as we travel through many earthly dangers.

Why don’t more people report the presence of a Guardian Angel in their life? Our Western society with its materialistic outlook on life is mostly responsible! “It’s all in your mind,” we’re trained to think, so eventually, we begin to believe that erroneous information and miss out on the experiences of a wonderful companionship that we could have had!

My second ‘visitation’ experience occurred when I was a bit older—I think I was six years old at the time—I had the distinct pleasure of meeting one of my closest Spiritual Guides! He just stood there at the side of my bed for several moments, arms folded, and gave me the nicest, friendliest smile. He didn’t speak, but I certainly knew from his smile and loving eyes that he was assigned to be my trusted friend for life.

Unfortunately, most of my youth and adulthood was spent in living and believing ‘the way of the world,’ so, in general, I dismissed—and even forgot—about my Spiritual Guide. It wasn’t until I lived well into my senior years that I again thought about my good friend. Up to now, I hadn’t even bothered to give him a name (spirits really don’t have names, but don’t mind if we assign them names if it helps you identify with them), but now, as I really came to value my Spirit Guide, I felt that I just had to give him a name: I named him “My Yoda,” named after the famous Yoda of Star Wars fame who was quoted to have said, “Do or do not. There is no try.” Only difference being, My Yoda was even more cryptic and positive in his advice to me: “Do! There is no try!”

Since there is no sense of time or space in the spirit world, Spirit Guides and Guardian Angels can have (fortunately for us) infinite patience with us.

Of course, as I began to rely more and more on My Yoda to answer my problems, even trivial little things, in hindsight, I could see that I was getting into the habit of not doing much thinking for myself. My Yoda also noticed this. So, My Yoda patiently took the time to demonstrate to me by just remaining silent at times when I asked trivial questions. My Yoda’s spiritual silence spoke volumes! Through his ‘silence,’ I became aware of how important it was for me to be responsible for my own decisions and not rely so heavily on others to do my thinking for me. Relying too heavily on other people to do my thinking does nothing to improve my spiritual growth!

Relying too heavily on other people to do my thinking does nothing to improve my spiritual growth!

All this brings me back to my opening thought about psychics and the spirit world and what we should or should not allow to enter our minds. Right from the beginning of time, God made us whole and complete in every sense. Although it is wise to harken to good advice, the best advice that you can possibly ever receive comes from within you, be it from your own Self, your Guardian Angel, or your Spiritual Guide. Much of society’s problems stem from the fact that we’ve been condition, even from childhood, that we are nothing: Your stupid! Grow up! Act your age! You’ll never amount to anything! Your sister can do it, so why can’t you? It is no wonder that, when crisis strikes—and crisis does visit every one of us at some time or another—we seek outside help instead of relying on the most accurate help that we could ever hope to get: from inside of our own Being!

Because of the way some of us have been conditioned in life; to disrespect our God-given wholeness in which we’ve been created, we live our lives in fear of the unknown; conditioned to believe that we have no control of our circumstances. Nothing can be farther from the truth of who you really are! You are created in the image of the Almighty God Himself! You, personally, are a god-in-the-making! And, like any person of royalty, you have been assigned a host of loyal servants and friends to help you through life’ journey. Begin each morning in gratitude and remembrance of your Guardian Angel and your Spiritual Guide. Be determined to cultivate their presence in your life and you will never be without trusted friends!

“Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.” – Wayne Dyer

Our Fractured Health Care System

See the source image
Good Health is not free!

I have severe arthritis and was put on the list for a surgical hip replacement. I recently was called to the Bone and Joint clinic here in Lethbridge to see when the doctors there would be able to perform the operation. Although the doctors, nurses and general staff were very friendly, efficient and professional, I couldn’t help but feel that I was in a modern-day assembly line. I simply went from here, to there, answered those questions, then shuffled off to the next room to fill out forms, then another room to answer more questions. Very efficient, but there simply was no time allotted anywhere in the procedures to ask the professionals any personal questions!

At the time of this writing, I’m subscribed to a four-day Mindful Health Summit whose aim is to introduce the practice of conscious Mindfulness to healthcare providers in order to help ease the stress load that they experience. Although the summit is primarily directed towards doctors, nurses and the administrative staff in hospitals and clinics, it was interesting and enlightening for me, personally, as a present and future patient, to listen to the speakers and become aware of just how intense our modern-day health providers work under frustrating conditions where they are constantly overworked and understaffed and where burn-out seems a way of life. I have to ask, why? What’s wrong with our health care system, that’s touted to be among the best in the world, yet so inefficient in many ways when dealing with society’s sick?

It can’t be a shortage of qualified people, because I often read articles where highly qualified medical people immigrate to Canada from other countries, but can’t get a job in the medical field, so end up driving taxis. It can’t be a lack of money that’s causing this problem, because, according to a recent CTV News article, health costs Canadians about eleven thousand dollars each, per year! … and here you thought our health care system was free!

On the other hand, in 2011, the total Canadian pharmaceutical market was the world’s eighth largest, representing about 2.6 per cent of global pharmaceutical sales. The Canadian prescription pharmaceutical market was worth an estimated $29 billion in 2013.

That got me thinking. Maybe it’s Big Business that’s very sneakily behind our health care problem. With its well organized, well structured system and extremely well-paid CEOs, it pays them handsomely to keep our health care system in the frustrated state that it is in today. A shortage of health providers creates long waiting lists so people stay sick longer, thus needing more drugs for that longer period of time before they can get real medical help. Burnout of doctors and nurses too often means mistakes are made, leading to law suites (another lucrative source of income for lawyers) thus, because, as a result of these errors, patients often end up on a lifetime need of drugs.

Manufacturers who supply our clinics and hospitals with needed medical supplies—who, by the way, charge quite handsomely for their products—also benefit from people staying sick longer.

Is there a solution?

This prompts me to ask a burning question: considering that it could—and probably is—true what I said above, that Big Pharma/Big Business is behind all this, could this be a good time to ween ourselves from the profiteering drug industry and take the responsibility for our health into our own hands?

It takes effort, I know, because it means taking your health in my own hands, but it’s absolutely worth the benefits: more energy, greater happiness, and a huge decrease in pain and freedom to do many of the things that I couldn’t do before.

In my research for this article I’ve uncovered hundreds of web sites and blogs of specialists who have done just that: become alternative medicine practitioners and have placed your health and welfare—you, the human being—as first priority over profit. Of course, as anyone knows who’s done searches on the Net, there’s a lot of mis-information out there, also, some ideas being even dangerous, so caution is advised. Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet! One of my favorite search sites for health topics is Healthline at http://www.healthline.com. The articles there are well researched, not skimping on quoting all their information source references, and the articles are written in ‘layman’s English,’ making the information easy to understand. At the end of each topic, they also offer a host of additional sites that you can visit for more, or related information and, a feature I really like, it has only a small, reasonable number of ads on its web pages to distract you.

That’s why I repeat the caution about advertisements on the Net: be careful of what you believe or even bother to read on the Internet. Some sites will cleverly hide their supporter’s ads so well that, unless you’re really ‘wide awake,’ you can easily mistake one of their ads for a medical fact. That’s why I suggest you start with Healthline and work forward from there. It’s a very reliable, fact-based site.

All major religions emphasize that our body is our Temple, and the important role our body plays in our spiritual evolution. In fact, one of my favorite Bible quotes, Jesus’ Parable of the Talents, shows that Jesus really stressed the importance of our bodies in our evolution process in Matthew 25, verses 14 to 29, with especial emphasis on verse 29. “For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.” If you read this verse superficially, it doesn’t make much sense. However, if you add just one thought in the right place, the verse makes a lot of sense. “For unto every one that hath [the ability to reason] shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hat not [the ability to reason] shall be taken away even that which he hath.” … in other words, the person, through his own laziness, becomes a slave to whomever he turns his reasoning ability over to: in this discussion, to the drug industry.

We’ve incarnated into a wonderful life here on earth, with oodles of chances to enjoy ourselves and at the same time grow in compassion and love. Don’t screw it up!