I am Therefore I am: February 2011

Describing the path of our Love with God, a path of remembering our Oneness with Him.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Easy to Love Those You Like

It is easy to love those you like. You like them! If they do something that you don't like, then there is enough "good" which outweighs the thing you don't like that you can "justify" continuing to like them. But look at why you like someone. You like the way they look, their words, their intelligence, their humor, their actions, etc. These are all aspects that relate to the body, personality, or brain. And are you really loving them, or is it a love that comes from liking these factors I just mentioned? Are you loving who they really are or are you loving what appearance they take in the world?

How do you love those you don't like? This is really the grist of the spiritual process. This is what advances us at light speed. For if you can love those who you don't like, if you can see God in them, then you have really arrived. It is difficult to see past appearances. We are extremely conditioned to judge another person on their words, actions, appearance, etc. If we can drop that conditioning for even a brief second, then we have touched Heaven, and we want to get back there permanently. When we drop the judgment, we see ourselves, we see unity. All appearances fade away --- you still see them, but you no longer judge them. It is the judgment which cuts us off from Heaven. As you begin to see more often with true vision, a funny thing happens. Where in the past you had a great dislike for someone, maybe because of their personality, this does not bother you anymore. It becomes impossible to dislike someone and love them at the same time. There will be people that you do not resonate with and do not spend time with , but this is different than saying you dislike someone but still love them. If you think there is someone whom you dislike but love, you are not really loving them, at least not as God loves us and we love God. But that is okay. You will get there if you are having awareness of this dynamic. Witnessing our thoughts and beliefs is the vehicle which is used to become self aware and authentic.

Divine or true love fills a vacuum when ego or false vision has been withdrawn, and this makes it impossible to dislike someone and truly love them. It also makes it impossible to have a hierarchy of how much love you feel. You do not love your family more than you love a stranger. I understand if that is difficult to hear, because it was hard for me to fathom for a long time. But what happens is that your capacity to love is greatly increased, so the love you feel for your family or a good friend moves to a much higher level in intensity and sweetness. It moves from a human love, which always has some type of conditions, even if very small, to a divine love, which is truly unconditional. And you are at peace, the peace of God. It is easy to love everyone the same --- there is no effort involved. The love that God has for you, and the great love you have for Him and as well as yourself, flows in a beautiful spiral loop through and from you to all those you encounter.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

How Much Love is Perfection?

How much do we have to love to be perfect? How much did Jesus love? I don't think anyone can answer this question. Not only would we each have a slightly different view of what constitutes "love", but we would each express magnitude in a different way. It is not like a test in school where you score 100 and that is the most you can do. Talking about the amount of love needed to be perfect is similar to talking about a piece of art. Would you ever say that a piece of art is perfect?

So perfection is not an absolute in how we can define it. I bring this up because many of us have harshly judged ourselves because we don't live up to the standard we set for ourselves. We think we can be more kind, more loving, more patient, etc. But we are nailing ourselves when we don't even know what level would "satisfy" our internal critic. I can tell you what level that is --- there is no level. This internal voice which criticizes and condemns is not who you really are. As you move along the spiritual path and grow in your remembrance of God, you begin to hear that true voice more often. Jesus knew nothing but that voice. He knew only that which he truly was, and he was the first to fully come to that recognition of Oneness. That is the path we all walk.

So back to the idea of perfection. If there is no absolute, then should we be satisfied with where we are at? Yes and no (don't you love these double answers). God is All. If we do not accept where we are at, even if that is a place we want to grow from, then we are not accepting all that is and our place in that. We are saying we are not good enough and in doing so, we will not be able to recognize our divinity because we are affirming that we are not part of the Oneness. Basically, we are separating from ourselves (from God). This does not mean that you don't strive to become more patient, more loving, etc. Therein lies the paradox. We push to improve ourselves while accepting that we are okay, fine, and most importantly perfect as we are. But in doing so we have to redefine our definition of perfection. As opposed to a destination or endpoint, it could be labeled more as awareness and acceptance. It could be labeled as a full understanding of the paradox. It could be labeled as knowing that the desire to get better does not change who we really are. None of this is a change in who we are. What is undergoing change is the recognition of who we are in relation to God. If we have full awareness of that Oneness, full awareness of His Love, then it doesn't really matter what our outer circumstances or what our actions exactly look like. Perfection is in the awareness. If we are aware, our actions and words (kindness, love, patience, etc.) will line up with that awareness.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Sears and the Disposable Society

The Sears appliance truck I passed today said something very prominently on the side of the truck about picking up old appliances at the same time it delivers new ones. Sears is playing up the fact that when someone gets a new appliance, it is very important to the purchaser that they get rid of the old one. I imagine most people don't ask and don't care what happens to their old stuff, as long as it is taken away. How many of these appliances still work well, or at least would work well with a minor repair? Probably most of them. If these "old" appliances are refurbished, then they could be given or sold at a very low cost to low income people. You may think you know where I am going with this --- there would be much less dumped in the landfill. That is definitely true, but I have another point here as well. If more things are refurbished and repaired, there would be fewer new appliances and other goods purchased. And this would put a lot of people out of jobs.

So what happens to all these people who lose work? Well, although they are not currently equipped for it, they could go back and work the land, growing what they need for themselves and their family and possibly part of their community. I can hear a lot of you saying that this would be boring or unfullfilling. What I am here to tell you is that our society has it all messed up. We are on a search for happiness that never finds the pot of gold, but we continue the fruitless search, never realizing that the search is our problem. We had what we needed before we started the search. Once people began to try and find God through material goods, money, fame, power, and achievements, they went down a path that created a collective resignation and depression. When we looked to these things to satisfy us, and they did not, we went after more of them in the hopes that upping the ante would do it. In reality, it brought us more despair and put us in a vicious downward cycle. Fortunately, there are a number of people who have hit bottom and who have seen this cycle for what it is. They have cried out that there must be a better way, and they have turned their faces away from worldly things and back to God. I am not saying there is anything wrong with worldly things as I have them and enjoy them. But what is "wrong" is using these things as a substitute for God and His Love.

We think that there are all these things that must be acquired, all these achievements which must be met, when the only thing we need is Him. Western society has derided cultures such as the Native Americans and aborigines as primitive. We are the ones who are primitive in our ignorance and arrogance. Native cultures knew their Oneness with God through the land, through animals, and through each other. You don't need anything else! This is where your joy lies. It is so simplistic that we overlook it. They had shelter, food to eat, close relationships with not only their family but the whole community (which functioned as a whole), and a personal relationship With their God or Creator. We should all be so fortunate to return to a life such as this, one of simplicity, beauty, gentleness, and Love.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Authenticity and Openness

What does it mean to be authentic? If you are talking about a Gucci handbag, you mean that it was manufactured by Gucci and is not a knockoff. In the same light, we can talk about an individual being authentic. Is that person who he or she really is? That may seem like a dumb question to ask, but it is the right question. This needs to be asked by everyone walking the planet. Who am I, really? Are you this body that seemingly moves through life seeing other bodies and having random experiences? This is how it appears to the vast majority of people. The eyes see something they think is real, something which must exist because it is seen. And that person thinks that everyone else sees the same thing, because it is real and exists, right? There is no questioning of the self like "is everyone really seeing the same thing I am?" There is no questioning like "am I really seeing this, or do I just think I see this, and I believe it really exists because the eyes have confirmed its existence?"

Authentic means being open, open to change your perspective, your beliefs, your perceptions, your mind about who you are and what you see. When you are open, you are surrendering. It is not complicated. You don't have to pull off some major spiritual feat or do a certain practice every day, eat a certain way, pray a certain way, etc. You just have to be open. The mistake most people make is that they get set in their beliefs that God is this or that or they have to do something a certain way to proceed further. This may be true even if they have made a spiritual leap (which was created by them being open!), because they think they "have arrived". There is a ladder of remembrance to God, and we are each on different step on that ladder. Now this is only a ladder of remembrance, for we have never left God. But this ladder of remembrance has an infinite number of steps to it, for there is no endpoint into deepening into Him. Don't make the mistake of thinking that you have reached the top, for you will no longer be open, and then you will stall your progress. Don't judge where you think you are on the ladder, because judgment will also shut down your openness. Don't judge where you think others are on the ladder, because comparison will shut down your openness. We think we have to do something in this process to help us along, where in reality that hinders us. Your contribution needs to be only that you are open and willing. The rest is done for you, because there is really nothing that has to be done. You are already that which you seek. We don't need to add but rather we need to take away that which is false (like our beliefs). This reveals who we really are and brings us back into a state of authenticity.

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