How much can ego influence the things and people around us? Can our ego manipulate things and people showing up on our doorstep? I understand it can tap into, or mimic spirit, but can it make animal messengers show up in my yard?
Yes, the ego/small-self can really take us for a ride–it is after all programmed to keep us feeling separate from our Source, our good, and so it will do all kinds of contradictory things to make sure that happens.
One of its tricks is to imitate Spirit. We may “hear” or “see” glorious light and beautiful possibilities, but mixed with criticism, judgment, and fear-mongering–that always is the ego. And, because we perceive the world around us as a reflection of what we’re being in the moment, the people around us show up just as the ego decides they will based on the beliefs we’re still holding about ourselves and the world.
You know it’s Spirit communicating when it’s totally unconditionally loving; accepting what is, offering guidance for the next step (always just the next step, because that’s all that Is in this moment), and feels totally fitting with who and what you are, right now.
So, if there’s any sense of criticism, judgment, and fear-mongering, that is always the ego, whether it’s inside or outside, and is a sign that there’s a belief in separation from your Source has gotten in the way and blocked your current realization of well-being…
And that’s actually a good thing! We need these experiences to show us what we believe that’s out of alignment with Who We ARE, and we need to release them to become THAT…. then all is well until we come around again in life and get to do it at the next level–ah, the joys of becoming!
The question really is not whether there is an Afterlife, but “what is the nature of the soul?” Because if who we are is limited to this body for a few decades, then the question is moot. But if we truly are eternal beings, then there is no beginning and no end to our existence and experience–and life in this body is only one temporary set of experiences on an eternal journey.
There are thousands of accounts being shared through hypnosis and regression therapies whereby people describe having experiences that are not in this space and time. There are thousands more in which people describe experiences that occur when the body is clinically dead. These alone are enough to cause the thinking person to consider the possibility that the essence of us, or soul, is not at all limited to this body’s lifetime.
Another way to think about it is to ask the question: “Am I the same person I was as a toddler? an adolescent?” Clearly, though the body has changed considerably over the course of a lifetime, the essential person does not. So, if the body goes through yet another change, called “death” will that change the essential person?
In my latest book, One Law, Henry Drummond (a natural history professor at the time of Charles Darwin) explores the possibility that the fundamental processes of development apply to a much broader continuum than just the physical body, and that we are not only “natural” but fundamentally “spiritual” in being, developing gradually through stages in both. He sets forth a powerful case for his ideas and thousands of people were excited about them when he was writing.
Perhaps now we can revisit those ideas from a new perspective and, using modern scientific methods, establish without doubt the infinite, eternal nature of our being, as we experience this brief span of life in bodies.
Remembering that matter-space-time are all bound in some sort of sequential process, while unlimited Reality can’t be, helps me make sense of it all. It also helps to know that who we are in essence, the I Am, is what’s Real, is not bound in matter-space-time, and so operates inside, outside, and around it–making what look like miracles, clairvoyance, etc, happen.
Also, if All That Is is occurring in the nonmaterial Reality NOW, then our unfolding material experiences are simply the way we “catch up” with Reality–and, in truth, our clear visions are more Real than our material experiences.
If you’ve had an internal experience of Ascension, then in Reality you have ascended (actually we all have but most don’t accept or know that!) and now you know it. Then the question becomes will you get to experience Ascension materially, “in the fullness of time”? Or have you already had the experience and so don’t need to do so in matter-space-time? Or is there something even more wonderful unfolding?
The Boddhisattva vow is, having ascended, to wait for full Union until all sentient beings can be part of it–and work to achieve that. I used to resent the fact that Buddhist teachers usually begin their classes with everyone taking that vow without know it by reading it in Sanskrit–until I realized (in teaching A Course in Miracles) that by definition, the Whole isn’t Whole until all the pieces are present, and Full Union can’t happen until all beings are part of it and aware of it… duh! A Course in Miracles says “the only way to get to Heaven is to take your brother with you.”.The Buddhist feminine presence, Tara, is said to free thousands of souls an hour in her effort to fulfill that vow.
Playing with this some more, the visible Ascension of the resurrected Jesus into Full Union–total, free, Oneness with Infinite Power, Presence, Wisdom, Joy, Love, Peace, Creativity–is the image we’re given so we can use it for our own inner experience of emerging into the Reality, just as the story of the former prince “waking up” to become the Buddha is the image for our own internal awakening to the Reality of our being, the stories of miracle-working disciples, wizards, and alchemists open the way for our discovery of our own ability to work outside of matter-space-time, and the story of Tara freeing souls is the image for our own internal experience of the same…. all of which may or may not show up in matter-space-time, but is nonetheless Real!
We all have an inner vision of who we are (or could be) that is founded in an awareness of our highest form of being (which I generally refer to as the Higher Self). That vision is something most of us don’t dare acknowledge because it seems so far from the perceived “reality” that to express it is to risk great disappointment. It’s sometimes called a “mental image”.
It’s usually surrounded by (and often buried under) all the other messages we’ve accumulated over a lifetime which, together, make up our mental framework. These are a mixture of decisions we’ve made about how the world works, things we accepted from what we were taught, patterns established by our parents, ideas that infiltrated thru advertising and stories, and the like.
The mental framework is literally the pattern of connections in the neural net and it determines how information taken in thru the senses is perceived, interpreted, and responded to.
The purpose of my Releasing the Past process (also called Express/Release/Replace) is to bring the mental framework into alignment with the vision/image and, ultimately with the Higher Self.
We start with the vision/image because that’s a step closer to the Higher Self that is still addressing the material form. After doing the process for a while, people begin to see the material form align with their heretofore “impossible” vision. They’re healthier, with more balance and joy in their lives, and much less stress. They also are usually functioning as the Observer, though they may not use that word, because they’re aware of what they’re feeling and what the source of the feeling is.
Then, people usually begin to see that they are not the material form nor the mental framework nor even the vision/image. At that point they begin the process of realizing their essence as part of the Creative Flow, from their experience rather than from teachings. They begin to actively and intentionally “create their day” or “co-create the world” or “youthify their body” or some such. This is the first step on the next rung of the spiral ladder we’re all ascending.
The statistics describing religious activity in the U.S. and Europe today are confusing, at best. On the one hand they describe a tremendous increase in spiritual beliefs and membership in some denominations and religions, and at the same time describe an equally tremendous decrease in participation in some of the same denominations and religions. To understand the pattern, we need to look at the historical dynamic.
The tradition of attending church on Sundays (or temple on Fridays or Saturdays) is one that most Americans have grown up with and believe is necessary for our spiritual well-being. We plan our weekends around it. We have special clothes that we set aside to wear for the event. We learn special songs and prayers to be used then and there. We teach our children to behave in certain ways then and there. In short, our weekly visit to the sacred sanctuary has been a significant part of our lives.
Unless, that is, we’ve grown up in a family that doesn’t—as some babyboomers did and many have chosen for their children. Or we’ve turned away from a family that does—as many babyboomers and their children have. Or, in more and more cases, we’ve realized that what is done every week in the sanctuary is a nice beginning but is not sufficient to keep us spiritually nourished—as many people in their senior years have, for centuries.
It’s clear that, following the Viet Nam Era of the late 20th century, and into the early 21st century, many Americans are joining these latter groups, as did many Europeans following World War II in the mid-20th century.
When asked why, such people will have one or more of several responses, they say that they:
- Don’t see the relevance of the services to the life they’re living;
- Don’t accept (or understand) all the things being said in the services;
- Don’t see the need to create a separate sacred space when everything, everywhere is sacred;
- Don’t believe it’s necessary to dress up and go somewhere to commune with the divine;
- Don’t think observing someone else read and speak and sing adds to their spiritual life.
These explanations are worth paying attention to, and a number of churches and temples on both sides of the Atlantic are doing so. They’ve created a more casual atmosphere, where dress is no longer considered an issue. They’ve involved more people in the service, so the focus is on what’s being shared rather than on who’s standing up in front. They’ve updated the language and music so people can see that the ideas being presented really do apply to life today. They’ve refocused their message to be upbeat and entertaining. They’ve created programs that extend beyond the weekly services to engage people in other ways. Continue reading What’s happening to churches and temples in the world today?
Neither I nor any other teacher in the New Thought (Not the same as “New Age”) movement say that anyone is to be “blamed” for their illnesses.
What I am saying, having studied biology and microbiology extensively both for my profession and for my own interest and the raising of my family, is that microbes only grow in receptive environments. Gardeners know that plants don’t get pests or diseases if the soil is healthy and the plant is getting what it needs. Biologists know the laboratory conditions have to be right for the microbes they study to flourish. Parents know that if the child eats, sleeps, and plays well in a consistently supportive environment s/he is less likely to catch anything, and if such children do they sluff it off quickly–my self, my children, and their father being cases in point (we never missed a day of school for illness). Everybody in our culture is aware that when they’re doing what they love to do they don’t feel pain, and if they’re in love they don’t get sick, and if there’s a crisis whatever was bothering them no longer exists–at least for the duration of the crisis.
New Thought simply takes these well-established observations the next step. It says that, using certain tools, we can choose to operate in the same states of consciousness that we’ve called “being in love” or “doing what we love to do.” And when we do so, we make it highly unlikely, or even impossible, for any illness to exist.
I teach the tools that help us shift states of consciousness, and meditation is one of them. It’s useful because, as we say in the book Empowered Care, every form of meditation, even the simple process of Progressive Relaxation, helps to restore harmony and well-being in the mind-body system. The practices we call meditation help us step out of the state of consciousness that includes the experience of illness and into one that doesn’t. That simple.
Now, New Thought goes beyond this understanding. The fundamental New Thought teaching (based on observation) is that different physical conditions are associated with specific emotions and habits of thought. For example, liver problems are typically related to ongoing repressed anger; lower-back issues are typically associated with fear of lack of support (see the work of P. P. Quimby and Louise Hay based on experience, and Bruce Lipton based on lab science). As I’ve written about in various places (check my book page for some of them), for the past 150 years most people who’ve addressed the underlying emotions/thought habits have had a significant reduction or elimination of symptoms. Continue reading Do we have to blame ourselves for getting injured or sick?
When the writings that became the Christian gospels were translated from the original Aramaic in which they were spoken into the Greek in which they were written into the Latin in which they were taught throughout Europe into the English in which most of us Americans learned them, quite a bit was lost in the translation. And this particularly applies to the “prayer that Jesus taught.”
According to the gospels, Jesus was responding to the disciples who were asking ‘How then shall we pray?” This is important, because the Hebrew men then, like their Muslim cousins today, prayed a long prayer of forgiveness, gratitude, and praise 5 times every day. The disciples understood that they were being given a different kind of understanding and that meant a different kind of practice.
What the gospels tell us is that Jesus replaced that very long ritual prayer with a short, summary version, to be expressed with feeling–a deep emotional connection that begins with the very first words. In the ritual prayer these are “Baruch a tov Adonai Elohim:” “Blessed are You, Lord of all Beings.” But Jesus started, instead, with “Abwoon” which is a very loving term addressing the source and nurturer of one’s life. This term of endearment completely transforms the feeling, and so tells the disciples to pray in a very different way. The English words “Our Father” barely come close.
Other phrases in the prayer were also different from what the common English translation says, and if we use what Jesus says in other parts of the gospels to help us “translate” them, we get a very different meaning.
Here’s my version, based on that analysis: Continue reading How can I understand the Lord’s Prayer so that it makes sense to me today?
Ah, the joys of modern technology!
Thanks to the expertise of Tim at Unity of New Hope, outside of Dallas Texas, where I spoke on Nov 18, here’s a guided meditation for you to use…
11-18-2012 Dr Ruth L Miller MEDITATION
A good question, and my apologies for posting without explaining!
It’s a reference to the Advaita Vedanta. The Encyclopedia of Eastern Philosophy and Religion says “Advaita-Vedanta teaches that the manifest creation, the soul, and God are identical.” It tells us that Shankara (788-820), the main representative of Advaita-Vedanta, uttered, “Brahman alone is real, the world is appearance, the Self is nothing but Brahman.”
Amit Goswami, a retired professor of quantum physics from the University of Oregon, is a self-admitted Vedantist, which helps to explain the books he’s written (The Self-Aware Universe, The Physics of the Soul) and the films he’s been in (What the Bleep?, The Secret) since he retired.
Erwin Schrodinger, of “Schrodinger’s cat” (is it alive or dead or somehow both, when we haven’t seen the outcome?) is said to have been attracted to the teachings of the Vedanta back in the 1930s, as well.
To suggest that a Jewish agnostic psychiatrist in New York in the 1960s who finds herself “taking shorthand” for a voice that calls itself Jesus and provides over 800 pages of manuscript that’s later called A Course in Miracles and transforms humanity’s idea of the Son of God, the Holy Spirit, and the nature of reality “Advaistic” seems a stretch, but somehow isn’t too far wrong!
We have the misconception that what we experience with the 5 senses is what God created. Not true.
As all neurophysiologists and cyberneticians know, what we perceive is always a function of our mental framework. We can’t see, hear, taste, touch, or smell anything that isn’t already in our neural nets and it takes at least 5 experiences before the network includes it. So the world we perceive is not real. This is what the sanskrit term “maya” is all about.
Who you are and how you experience life, from conception, has not been the perfection that is what we call God created. What “God creates” is eternal, unchanging, whole–and the you that is You is that. But in this life we’ve been encouraged to act as if the you that is your perceptions is real. So we tend to focus on perceived experience rather than the “real” experience that Hindus call “samadhi” and Australian aboriginals call “dreamtime.” That’s what’s real. Unchanging; eternal; what “God created.” ” Continue reading If everything’s “perfect” how do you deal with painful memories?