A Sunday Chat with Myself — 28 January, 2018

“Knowledge is the life of the mind”— Abu Bakr

One of my favorite poems is “Vestigia,” by Bliss Carman

“I took a day to search for God, and found Him not.  But as I trod by rocky ledge, through woods untamed , Just where one scarlet lily flamed, I saw His footprint in the sod …”

At present, I’m reading a very interesting book, “Children of a Living Universe,” by Paul Von  Ward. The author states, “A review of present conventional religious and scientific assumptions is necessary.” He continues, “most of what groups now label truth would have to be considered tentative, but not fact.” I tend to agree with the author;  creation is in a constant state of flux, assumed truths and mistruths. For example, according to Reference.com, there are a whopping 4,200 religions in the world today. Each one professes to “know the truth, to claim (know) their version of the word of God to be the only true word, and boldly claim that all other religions, except their own, have at least some wrong–mistruth–in them.”

So I ask, if I want to know God–the true God, which religion do I join?

Another burning question: countless wars have been fought over whether our universe came into being via the Big Bang, or whether God created the univers out of nothing–which, of course, begs another question, is there even a God?

Was the Garden of Eden really the birthplace of mankind, or was Zacharia Sitchin, in his book, “The 12th Planet,” more correct when he claimed, that “Life, scientist have concluded, evolved not upon the terrestrial planets … but in the outer fringes of the solar system.”?

If most of our history is written by the victor, what is mankind’s true history?

Heraclitus is credited with having said, “The only thing that is constant is change.” Is that the same as saying, the only truth in the universe is change?  Is  Heraclitus saying that change is God? If every creation in our universe boils down to that simple quote, I can see mankind’s destiny as utter madness. Is there no stability, no anchor that we can fix our hopes and dreams on?

I believe that, if I ever want to find truth–real, eternal truth–I have to look inside myself, for nowhere else can it be. Inside of me I see Love. Love always has been. Love always will be–as the old cliche goes, hiding in plain sight from my frivolous mind. Love is eternal. Love never changes, and can be depended upon to always fulfill.

Love, with its opposite quality, hate,  is, beyond question, the primary, the most stable, the most powerful truth upon which the entire universe is built, and is the foundation upon which all other truths are based. Love and hate are the cornerstones upon which all my other experiences are built. What hate destroys in me, love can heal and resuscitate.

I can therefore conclude that recorded history–or any point therein– is volatile. It’s not constant. What seemed true to a nation yesterday, is no longer true today. If I unravel that history’s  seemingly whole into parts–into separate acts, I see that many of its pieces have changed, but where love or hate played a part at the time, the same result is today as it was then.

Through my rage/hate–let’s say as a Roman soldier–I burnt a peasant’s home and killed its occupants. The rage was the same then as it would be today, and its manifestation the same as if I go, today, and raze a jungle village in the Amazon in order to make room for my oil rig. Politics, opinions, justifications change: therefore they can’t be classified as Eternal Truths. But manifested hate, or rage then, in Roman times, as it would today, or any other time in our history, can be classified as an eternal truth.

Another, positive example this time: let’s say I become aware of the plight of refugee children in some war-torn country today. I take my funds and build them an orphanage with all its amenities to help ease their suffering. In other words, I have come to love these children. The manifestation of that love is the same–a constant–today as it would have been for the compassionate person who built the first hostel to ease the discomfort of the weary travellers along the ancient Chinese Silk Trade Route. Love, like its opposite, hate, is a constant.

Love and hate aren’t the only constants in our universe. There’s charity, with its opposite, greed; compassion with its opposite, indifference; morality with its opposite, immorality; industrious with its opposite, sloth, and let’s not forget intelligence with its opposite, stupidity!

These are all constants throughout the universe: unchanging, eternal. Did I finally find God?

 

A Sunday Chat with Myself: 7 January, 2018

A Bible Study help: 

Read slowly and ask yourself, who is speaking, and to whom are they speaking.

I find reading Holy Scriptures fun and exciting, especially if you allot time on Sunday–the Day of Rest–for such a mind-expanding activity. I found this out quite by accident–well, maybe it was more by design, arranged for me by a Sunday School teacher that I had met–or, again, she “arranged” to meet me–several years ago. She showed me how to study Scripture, not just read it, which has, in the past, left me more confused than when I started. Like I say, I now find studying Scripture very thought-provoking, and I’d like to pass this little secret on to you.

The problem is, far too many Pastors and Teachers of all faiths emphasize only reading the scriptures– “have you read your scriptures today?“–while shaking a ‘naughty-naughty’ finger at you, without placing hardly any emphasise on studying–understanding–what you’ve read.

I haven ‘t conducted a formal pole on this topic, but I’m sure, if a study were conducted, it would show that this is the main cause why so many people leave their faith: they just don’t understand the doctrine, or why so-and-so prophet said this-and-that, and why it should also be important to me! A person who truly understands the words and actions of our spiritual leaders have lovingly and passionately given to us, will not do many of the things “plastic” Christians are accused of doing: warmongering, cheating, infidelity, hate mongering, stealing, indifference, etc.

Also, please don’t put too much hate and blame on, what we might call, “False Prophets,” the guys who are in it only for fame and riches, for leading people astray. They’re only filling a human demand: I’m too lazy to think for myself, so I’ll just believe whatever you tell me is right. Also, don’t put too much concern about your feelings that these negative people are getting away without judgement, and here I include both the so-called victim and the false prophet. They’re both in it together, to teach each other some real lessons in life, and they’re both united to their karmic fellowship until they’ve outgrown each other’s need. Forget about them, and concentrate only on the positive: on you, and you moving forward!

“For God will bring every work into judgement, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.” — Ecclesiastes 12:14

Getting back to my initial Sunday School teacher.  let’s put theory into practice. Get your scriptures out and turn to 1 Peter, chapter 1 verse 21: “Who by him (Jesus) do believe in God, that raised him (Jesus) up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

Beautiful verse, but do you understand what it means? Let’s dig deeper and get more meaning out of this verse. Using my favorite expression, “define so-and-so.” In this case,  “define” Who is it that has glorified Jesus? If you look more closely at verse 21, you will see a small “a” superscripted to the left and above the word, “glory.” Now, go to the bottom of the page and in the footnotes find, “21a.” Next to it, you should see: “Acts 3:13 (13-15).” Back to your Scriptures, turn to Acts 3:13, and you will read:  “The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son, Jesus:” In other words, God glorified Jesus. Now you know more than  you did by just reading the passage.

Let’s continue. Go back to 1 Peter 1:21 and you will see a small “b” superscripted to the left of the word, “faith.” Again go to the footnotes and find, 21b. You should see it just below 21a, where it tells you to see Galatians chapter 5 verse 5 and 6: “for we, through the Spirit, wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.” Ponder that scripture for a moment, then turn back to your Scriptures and do the same thing with many of the other superscript letters that you see next to key words. It won’t take long and you’ll find scripture study very fascinating and an hour–two hours–will fly by in no time, and you’ll look forward to your next personal study session!

Do that for an hour or two each day for a week and you will have found the best Sunday School teacher on earth: your own guiding spirit–the spirit that “never faileth.” As a closing thought, read Luke  chapter 2, verses 26 to 32.

“Bible study is like eating peanuts. The more you eat, the more you want to eat.”

A Sunday (Christmas) Chat with Myself — 24 December, 2017

Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”  ― Dr. SeussHow the Grinch Stole Christmas!

The biggest iconic opposites polarity in humanity celebrating Christmas is between Jesus, or December 25th, the day we celebrate as Jesus’ birthday, and Santa Claus. To me, Santa Claus is little more than a sales gimmick created by Coca-Cola to increase their profits, and is an icon of the shopping frenzy that takes place during the pre Christmas season. Santa Claus is to the real meaning of Christmas what a plastic, ten cent diamond is to a real thousand dollar diamond: Artificial. It is the exact opposite of what the season is about.

Jesus’ birth–his gift to all earthly creation–is that there is hope, and that’s not what Santa Claus offers you! Jesus offers hope: a way to lift ourselves out of the hopeless misery that we are/were in, and the opportunity to turn hate into love, and be loved in turn; To replace wordly passion with compassion; To replace violence and war with understanding and compromise; To replace ignorance with true education; To replace selfishness with unselfish  deeds that  care for all creation, not just ourselves and friends; To replace punishment–prisons–with understanding and a helping hand.

A 2013 CBC  report states that Canadian prison population  has increased by 75% in the last decade. The report further states that, ten years ago, the number of inmates in federal Canadian prisons was nearly 12,000. It’s now over 15,00! Obviously, punishment doesn’t work! Until we start treating criminals as human beings that need help and not our contempt, our prison population  will never go down!

“Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind. ” 
― Mary Ellen Chase

There was a time, before the Great Depression of the 1930s, that social assistance was provided by religious charities and other private groups. Today, welfare is big business and  has migrated from the offices of Pastors in religious institutions to government, and a report by the National Council on Welfare indicates that there are 1.7 million Canadians on welfare–obviously a growing statistic! And the last “Ho ho ho” that I heard from Santa Claus, he wasn’t too concerned about feeding the hungry and clothing the sick as he flits to and fro between us and the North Pole!

In order to survive, primitive man had to think of himself first. As we to evolve, Jesus the Christ was born to us with a new message: it is better to give than to receive. Is the idea of Santa Claus’s popularity just an attempt from the Dark Side to keep us primitive, to think only about our own selfish wants?

Giving and receiving is fine. It’s a Christian tradition. But charitable giving and receiving is Christ-giving and receiving! That’s what Christmas is all about!

“Want to keep Christ in Christmas? Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, forgive the guilty, welcome the unwanted, care for the ill, love your enemies, and do unto others as you would have done unto you.” 
― Steve MaraboliUnapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

A Sunday Chat with Myself

“The sad thing about Artificial Intelligence is that it lacks Artifice and therefore Intelligence.” — Jean Baudillard

In a C|Net article titled, “As AI and robots rise up, do humans need an upgrade too?” the author continues, “Forget hacking a computer. Some researchers want to hack the brain (italics added) to create human superintelligence to compete with AI.” In this article, the author makes some convincing arguments in favor of a better brain, and in its  prescribed aspect, I agree with her. Many of us could drastically reduce the calamities that befall us if we’d “upgrade” our thinking capacity, like upgrading our skills, education, and my favorite, playing professional Brain Games like Lumosity and Brain HQ. but aren’t we putting the cart before the horse?

We talk about AI (Artificial Intelligence) taking over, but forget that AI is a human–a mind/brain creation–something that we’ve usefully invented through the use of our brain, and then, instead of taking pride in our accomplishment, we limit ourselves to think that the brain did it all, that we’re just a brain. No more!

“Before we do something about Artificial Intelligence, why don’t we do something about Natural Stupidity?” — Steve Polyak

We are much more than a brain. We’re a Soul! In other words, we’re a thinking, reasoning, eternal, feeling being that has somehow–still largely unknown to us just how we did it– created a brain–an indispensable tool–to help us create even greater things. As such we should celebrate our infinity, rather than degrade ourselves into believing that we’re only a brain that has somehow developed a mind, and that’s all we are.

Like a carpenter with his hammer, what does it prosper me to upgrade my hammer, as this article suggests,  but remain clumsy and continue to keep hitting my thumb with it every time I try hammering a nail into a board? Doesn’t it make more sense to upgrade my spirit–my soul, and therein eliminate  from clumsiness?

In this same article, Bryan Johnson is quoted as saying, “Looking at superintelligence for me is like when you’re on the motorway looking so far out ahead that you crash into the car in front of you,” and I believe this is exactly what we are doing by accepting brain improvement over Soul improvement.

Improve our spirituality and our brain will automatically work better for us to our interests, because it is only a tool–a beautiful, wonderful, powerful tool–of something in us that’s much, much bigger!

“Artificial Intelligence has the same relationship to intelligence as Artificial Flowers have to flowers.” — David Prnas

A Sunday Chat With Myself – Sunday, December 10th, 2017

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”    ― Epicurus

I like Sundays. Sunday can be a nice time to reflect on one’s life and get spiritual, and one of my favorite spiritual pursuits is giving thanks!

There was a time in my life when I was like so many people I know: I’m getting old and feeble and grumbling that my body ached too much; I didn’t have enough money–I couldn’t go on the vacation I wanted to go on; I had too few friends, the government was out to get me and thinking only of their own greedy selves; It’s winter and cold outside: why couldn’t I have been born in a warmer climate? My neighbor makes too much noise at night … and I could go on and on, as often I used to do. My life was just one misery after another.

I watched other people, and they didn’t seem to have the problems I had. For example, I noticed that Gus, just two houses over from me, was making the very same wage that I was making ( know, because he works at the same company I worked at), yet he seemed quite content with his lot. His kids were well adjusted and did well at school. I was making twice the visits to my doctor than Murphy was–and Murphy was even handicapped!  Why, I asked. Why? What was the difference between Gus, Murphy and myself?

I decided to do some investigating and found that the one big difference between us was, they gave thanks for what they had. They were grateful–not because they knew folks who had even less than they had, or even worse handicapped than Murphy was, so they felt it was their duty to be grateful, but they were just … well, Grateful for what they already had! And there lies the big difference. They weren’t grateful because they were happy, but it was gratitude that made them happy.

I decided to try it for myself. I created a special “Gratitude” file on my computer and made a goal of finding 10 things in my daily life that I was grateful for. Not only did I try to find 10 items, but also write a paragraph on each item as to why that certain event or thing made me happy. That was the hard part, because it made me really dwell on why I was grateful for that  certain event or thing. At first, it was hard. Having been conditioned for so long to think of only negative things in my life, I really had to “dig” to find 10 items or events in my life that made me happy, let alone write a paragraph on each item as to why. But, I was determined, and after a couple weeks, it actually became easy. And, to my surprise, I found that I was becoming happier!

I found that happiness and laughter are one of the best cures for ill health. Be happy and have a positive outlook on life and it’s hard to be sick. I began to enjoy life. Suddenly it didn’t matter that I couldn’t go on that special dream holiday I always wanted to go on. We have a wonderful patio in our back yard and my wife can make the best potato salad that I’ve ever eaten, and I love to barbeque. Even the children are now looking forward to the cool evenings on our patio deck, and even enjoy our sing-alongs to the our “Golden Oldies.” We’ve even invited Gus and Murphy over a couple times to join us in enjoying our new-found Gratitude!

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses.” 
― Alphonse KarrA Tour Round My Garden

A Sunday Chat with Myself – Sunday, December 3rd, 2017

“Men like that — when they know they won’t be found out — they will do anything.” 
― Michelle Paver

I’m the secretary of our Cardston Home Safe Animal Rescue Society and one of my tasks that I’ve undertaken is to create monthly posters advertising compassion to animals, and distribute them to the bulletin boards of select businesses in town.

After completing the poster, I couldn’t help but reflect on just how insensitive humans are when it comes to dealing with Nature,–not just lost and abandoned pets, but Nature in general. For example, now with the holiday season upon us, many a parent will consider getting a puppy or kitten as a Christmas gift for a family member.

“They’re so cute and adorable!” We hug the animal, maybe even kiss it. “We’re going to take such good care of you and you’re going to be part of our family!” we fondly chortle. At the moment, everything sounds so good and mushy. However, a week after Christmas, when faced with a cleanup job after the kitten or puppy accidently pooped on our beautiful rug, out the door goes the pet, and with the same intensity of passion in which the animal was adopted, it is now abandoned, left to face the cold elements on its own! Forgotten!

But pets and Nature in general aren’t the only things that suffer as a result of our indifference. We’re just as mean and cruel to each other!

I do believe in karma and, although karma can sometimes be delayed to manifest in our lives another day, I  believe that many of the calamities that happen in our lives are a result of our actions. If we are prone to gossip, should we expect people to trust us? If we are flighty and inconsistent in our thoughts and behavior, should we expect stability in our lives? If we frequently get angry at our children and call them stupid, should we expect our children to love us and care for us in our old age?

I listened to an interviewee this morning who was describing his life in Yugoslavia under the Nazi occupation. He was lamenting the fact that no one stood up to defend their neighbor, or each other, under the strict rules imposed on them by the Nazis. This is why Naziism was so successful for so long, because so few people in the occupied lands stood up against them, and I believe that this is the reason so many of us have to suffer because no one is prepared to stand up for justice for the weak, including our animals and Nature in general. In frustration, I often have to conclude that we deserve what we get!

“People speak sometimes about the “bestial” cruelty of man, but that is terribly unjust and offensive to beasts, no animal could ever be so cruel as a man, so artfully, so artistically cruel.”― Fyodor Dostoyevsky

A Sunday Chat with Myself – Sunday, November 26th, 2017

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are Spiritual Beings having a human experience.”

— Teilhard de Chardin

I like Sundays. Call me old fashioned, but Sundays, to me, are quiet, reverend times when I love to reflect, not so much on where I’ve been and what I’ve accomplished, but what I now am, and where I’m going. My self-reflective moments indicate, above all else, that I love my fellow man. That’s important. I can ‘go home,’ at any time, to my God, in peace, knowing that I hold no grudge against anyone and I have fought the good fight, and won!

“Good works do not make a man good, but a good man will do good works.”

On weekdays my thoughts are on making a living, providing shelter and food for myself and my family and keeping my house safe. But Sundays are a time to tuck away the cares of the world and reflect on my spiritual self. Sunday is the day I concentrate on my spiritual growth. What am I doing to make myself a better person? Have I stood as a friend to someone during their time of pain? Do I spend time with family and share their problems?

“We all have our own life to pursue, our own kind of dream to be weaved. And we all have some power to make wishes come true, as long as wee keep believing.”

— Louisa May Alcott

Standing still–not akin to resting and relaxing–is a terrible waste of time. Next Sunday, when I again sit here at my computer and reflect, will I have moved forward? Will I be able to say, “I am satisfied with myself!“? I will sleep well tonight, assured that an Angel stands guard at each corner post of my bed … I cannot be harmed!

Why aren’t my prayers answered?

“It is better in prayer to have a heart without words, than words without a heart.”                 — Mahatma Gandhi

 When it comes to prayer, there are two types of people: those who claim to always have their prayers answered, and those who, because replies to their prayers are so rare, deny the effectiveness of prayer and even go to the extreme of doubting the very existence of God.

Who is right? We’re told that “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”? (Matthew 7:7). So, why aren’t all prayers answered in real life?

I consider myself a religious person–basically Christian, although I also embrace the wisdom of all  major faiths, and all these faiths have one thing in common: they advocate prayer as a means of communicating with our chosen “Higher Power.” Furthermore, they, like Christianity, also, quite confidently, state that all prayers are answered, so what seems to be the problem? Why do so many prayers go seemingly unanswered?

I don’t think the problem is because of an indifference on the part of God, nor is God selective in answering prayers. The problem lies with our misunderstanding of what prayer is, and our express role in prayer. Prayer isn’t just a one-sided communication–and prayer is communication!

Let me explain it this way. Envision an imaginary couch on which lies a gangly young teenager, spread horizontally and comfortably across it, occupying the major part of the couch, his two thumbs intently texting a message to one of his buddies. Let’s call this teenager, Tom. Tom is so busy texting–concerned only with the social affairs of his life–that he is unaware of his surroundings, including his father who is also seated comfortably in a lounge chair, reading the afternoon paper.

All is quiet.

Suddenly, Tom stops texting and glances at his watch. It’s four o’clock. He turns his head towards his father.

“Hey, dad! I’m hungry. Give me ten bucks so that I can go to buy myself a pizza.”

Dad puts down his paper and glances over towards his son.  He knows that Tom’s been lying on the couch, texting, since about noon. “Why don’t you get yourself a part-time job so you can earn some money and buy your own pizza?”

“Aw, come on, Dad! Do you always have to nag every time I want something?” Tom sits up.

“Your friend, Jerry, has a job at Circle-Four drive-through, why can’t you–”

“Stop it, Dad!” Tom interrupts. “For one thing, Jerry told me that the Circle-Four isn’t hiring right now. Besides, it’s on the other end of town. How am I supposed to get there? I don’t have a car.”

“Try taking the bus,” father suggests. “I often take the bus. It’s fun. You get to meet  a lot of interesting people–”

“In winter? Me, take the bus? You crazy? I’d freeze to death waiting for a stupid bus at the bus stop.”

“Well, there’s Nick’s Hardware. I know he’s hiring, and he’s just three blocks from here …”

***********

  1. Do you see what’s happened here? Tom sent a request to his father–a prayer–he needed ten bucks.
  2. Father responded, but not in the way Tom expected, and Tom wasn’t about to agree with his father.
  3. Tom didn’t agree with his father, nor did he want to put any of his own effort into having his desire fulfilled–the desire to have his father buy him a pizza. He didn’t want to listen to some wise counsel that would ultimately help him  become more independent and less reliant on others for his sustenance.
  4. Has Tom ever thanked his father for the comfortable living and blessings that he has already received in the past? Tom didn’t live to become a teenager solely through his own merits. He had a lot of parental love,  care and help along the way.

God answers every prayer. God talks to us constantly, in innumerable ways. The problem is that we’re not always willing to uphold our end to help us experience the fulfillment of prayer. Thus, it seems to our stubborn, often limited reasoning, that God isn’t listening–and, in extreme cases, we even accuse Him of not even existing!

“Be grateful for what you already have while you pursue your goals.
If you aren’t grateful for what you already have, what makes you think you would be happy with more.”
― Roy T. BennettThe Light in the Heart

If it hurts, learn from the experience!

Two days ago a scammer called me—I think he said he was from Microsoft, and said that he needed to get into my computer and clean out some corrupt files. It only took a minute’s conversation with him for me to realize that he was new at the game of scamming. In the scamming game, this guy was a “junior”–just learning the trade, the one who casts the bait by making a zillion random phone calls,  and as soon as he gets someone who will talk to him—a “sucker,” he would hand the phone over to the professional scammer to do the damage. I know the routine because I’ve had these guys call before, and I’ve come to understand their techniques. Now, most of the time I just hang up, or don’t even answer the phone,  but this time, decided to talk to him. Here’s roughly the conversation that we had:

Me: “You’re a scammer. Why would I let you into my computer?”

Scammer: “No, sir, you don’t understand. I’m from Microsoft and I need to get into your computer to clean out some bad files that are corrupting your hard drive and—”

Me, bluntly: “You’re a scammer. a parasite on society. Why don’t you get yourself a decent job and contribute to society, rather than scamming people out of their money?”

Scammer: “But, sir, I need to—”

Me, getting impatient: “You’re a scammer,” I repeated. “Get yourself a decent job!”

Scammer: “And how am I going to get a job, sir? Are you going to give me one?” (those were his exact words, and this is why I recognized him as a greenhorn at the scamming business). Professional scammers don’t ask dumb questions like that, so I admit, for the moment, his questions came as an unanticipated surprise.

Me, at this point, I completely lost my cool: “Now, why in hell am I responsible for  getting you a job?” Get your ass down to the employment office and see what’s available, like the rest of us have to do! Go back to school, if you have to! Get a trade . . .”

My  haranguing continued like that for a few more minutes. He listened in silence, then, finally, I hung up on him.

A bit later, after I calmed down to  a more human level of impiousness, I sort of felt sorry for the fellow. Life certainly had not been kind to him in order for him to have to resort to   scamming for a living, so I sent him a silent prayer, asking God to let someone come into his life and give him some proper guidance concerning the responsibilities of being human. Also, I needed him to forgive me for being so rude.

He obviously had some education—at least enough to know basic computer lingo, so,  at least to a point, he must have chosen, or easily been lead into the scammer’s way of life. Maybe, let’s assume he was raised in a good family that taught him right from wrong,  but he lacked moral principles.  Was his brain twisted enough to make him a sociopath, a person with an antisocial personality disorder who didn’t care whether he hurt another being? I’m not sure that he was a sociopath because, you will remember his question to me: “And how am I going to get a job, sir? Are you going to give me one?” A hard core sociopath—scammer, in this case, isn’t interested in your opinion nor how he can ‘improve’ himself.

On the other hand, if we—society are at least partially to blame for our “misfits,” where are we failing them? I’m a great fan of TVs Dr. Phil show. What I’ve observed so far by watching him is that, in many of his cases where people come to him for help, they’ve already been through at least one other professional source that failed them. Is there a factor in our attempted care to help the less fortunate that we’re leaving out of the equation? I think there is, and I’d like to turn our attention to our King James version of the Bible, Genesis 3:22, for a suggested answer: “And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil.” In other words,  Man can progress to eventual godhood, but, if he wants to continue his upward evolution, he had  best learn to benefit from the opposites in Creation!


The black nefarious agent and the white angel are both equally my teachers.


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Ayahuasca

I just finished watching a video on Gaia TV titled “Ayahuasca: Vine of the Soul.” Ayahuasca is a South American vine whose Shaman use the bark and stems to brew a potent psychedelic brew. It has also become popular way of entertainment in many North American  social groups whose participants use it to get a feel-good high. But that’s not the goal of the Shaman. To them, the drinking of the brew of the Ayahuasca plant is a sacred–indeed, even a religious rite, that allows the participant to learn the wonderment of his own creation.

I must admit that I found the video appealing and sort of, secretly, wished that I could join the Shaman’s group as they sipped the nectar, chanted, and whispered to each other of  sacred experiences they were having somewhere deep within the noisy, chattering South American jungle … but something made me hesitate. It wasn’t fear, nor lack of desire to know more about myself. I’ve always, as far back in my life as I can remember, been a student of spirituality and metaphysics. Not only did I want to know myself and everything around me, but, like Einstein, I even went boldly as far as to desire to know the mind of God! So why didn’t I hop aboard the plane to South America and join my friend–let’s call him Jake?

I believe the answer lies in the fact that there many roads that lead to life’s destination, and Jake decided to take the highway: the quick way to spiritual maturity, while I preferred the slower, grow-spiritually-as-you-experience road. To demonstrate what I mean, let’s throw Jake and me into an adventure!

“Jake,” I said. “If you take the highway, the fast route, you’ll be in the Jungle Camp months before I’ll be there.”

Jake shook his head. “M-mh! Remember what the Shaman said? Even if one of us arrives before the other, he will not give us our box–the key and instructions to our next goal–unless we are both together.”