Archive for March, 2010

The First or Last Time

March 31, 2010

Yesterday was such a beautiful spring day that I changed my plans and went for a twenty-minute walk in Uptown Minneapolis. As I was soaking in the experience, it occurred to me that some day I would no longer be able to perform the simple act of walking down a sidewalk on a lovely spring day. When that day comes, whether it is forty-two years from now or the day after tomorrow, I would give everything I own to be able to do what I’m doing at this very moment.

That realization heightened my enjoyment and appreciation of my walk, of my life, and of the present moment. It calmed and centered me, and reminded me that (more…)

Doorway to the Divine

March 30, 2010

When you identify with ego, with individuality, separateness, and scarcity, you see yourself as naked and vulnerable in an unfriendly world. Transcend your ego, and you discover that behind every perceived separation from spirit is a doorway to the divine.

Two prisoners whose cells adjoin communicate with each other by knocking on the wall. The wall is the thing which separates them but is also their means of communication. It is the same with us and God. Every separation is a link.
Simone Weil

Lose yourself in ego and you unconsciously act selfishly. Lose yourself in spirit and you consciously act selflessly.

Once you get hold of selflessness, you’ll be dragged (more…)

The Stirrings of Your Soul

March 29, 2010

By focusing solely on the material world and believing only in the reality you can confirm with your five senses, you forget your divine heritage.

It is the ultimate human paradox that man’s dependence on perception precludes his being able to know his own identity.
Dr. David R. Hawkins

Look to the outer world and you see yourself as a human being. Look to your inner world and you see yourself as a spiritual being.

We behold what we are, and we are what we behold.
John of Ruysbroeck

Ego cunningly (more…)

What the Sphinx Thinx

March 28, 2010

Recognizing the unity of all creation enables us to answer the Sphinx-worthy riddle, What lives within time yet lives in eternity? The answer is humankind. We are each separate and independent yet we are also part of an interconnected whole.

All things and beings on the surface of existence seem separate from one another, but in every plane, beneath the surface, they approach nearer to each other, and in the innermost plane they all become one. Every disturbance, therefore, caused to the peace of the smallest part of existence on the surface, inwardly affects the whole.
Hazrat Khan

Within that riddle (more…)

The Soul of the Whole

March 27, 2010

While the source behind everything in the material world is changeless and eternal, the material world itself is ultimately ephemeral.

Everything you see has its roots in the unseen world. The forms may change, yet the essence remains the same. Every wonderful sight will vanish; every sweet word will fade, But do not be disheartened, The source they come from is eternal, growing, branching out, giving new life and new joy. Why do you weep? The source is within you. And this whole world is springing up from it.

Great masters throughout the ages have taught, That (more…)

A Rube Goldberg Resurgence!

March 26, 2010

Let’s introduce these Rube Goldberg creations with a non-Rube music video. OK Go, a rock band originally from Chicago, created an Internet sensation with their music video for Here It Goes Again, which quickly became known simply as “The Treadmill Video.” Watch and see for yourself why this video has logged over 50 million views on YouTube.

Could OK Go top themselves with their next video? Yep. Big time. Inspired by Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Rube Goldberg, here is their video for (more…)

Nature = God

March 25, 2010

I love the elegant logic behind the following quote by Purdue physics professor Frederik Jozef Belinfante who theorized that Nature and God are interchangeable. Seventeenth-century Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza also concluded that God and the material world are indistinguishable, and that the better one understood how the universe worked, the closer one came to God. It was a popular position among great thinkers: In a telegram to (more…)

You Are a Drop of God In a Sea of God

March 24, 2010

Your soul, the individualized God force within you, is immortal. It has always existed and will always exist.

You are as old as God and as young as the morning.
Hilda Charlton

Just as a drop of water is not the ocean itself, still it is of the ocean and has all the characteristics of the ocean.

You are a drop of God in a sea of God.
Donald Schnell

Just as the ocean is behind every individual wave, so is God behind every breath you take.

You are never alone or helpless. The force that guides (more…)

It All Adds Up

March 23, 2010

We often look for signs after a loved one dies. Here’s a cool story about movies, loose change and girls’ day out. Written by Judy Dill of Blanchester, Ohio, it appeared in the April 2010 issue of Guideposts.

Tom, my second husband, had a deep appreciation for the bond I had with my grown daughter from my first marriage. He loved treating Kris and me to a girls’ day out and got a kick out of the giggle fits we got into when we recounted our day for him. He’d have to join us one day, we said. Shortly after we were married, he was diagnosed with melanoma. The treatments left him too weak to go out with us, but he never stopped exhorting us to have a good time. Two days shy of our second anniversary, he passed away. I felt a part of me had died too, that joy had gone from my life.

A few weeks after the funeral I tried to clean out Tom’s dresser drawers. I thought I could handle it, but I was wrong. These were his favorite shirts, sweaters. Even a drawer full of change he’d emptied from his pockets made my heart ache. I (more…)

Nathaniel Branden on Passion and Soulfulness

March 22, 2010

Nathaniel Branden

I was interested in Nathaniel Branden‘s essay on spirituality, particularly because of his longtime association with Ayn Rand‘s philosophy, Objectivism, which is decidedly atheistic. I like what he has to say on the subject. I also liked reading about his epiphany regarding the process of writing and living in the present moment. I hope you enjoy it too!

Click here to visit Nathaniel’s website.

By Nathaniel Branden, Ph. D.

When I think of nourishing the soul, I think of nurturing the ability to respond positively to life—that is, the ability to sustain passion for our interests, values, and projects. I believe that the worst of all spiritual defeats is to lose enthusiasm for life’s possibilities.

Every life has its share of setbacks and disappointments—of tragedy and loss. So the question we all confront, in the face of negatives that may assail us, is: How do we keep our inner fire alive?

Two things, at minimum, are needed: an (more…)

You Are the Journey’s End

March 21, 2010

Think of yourself as a radio trying to tune in to higher spiritual frequencies. Keeping yourself plugged into the divine current deepens and enriches your understanding of how the universe operates. As your attunement with the divine current grows ever stronger, so too does your yearning for God.

There is a God-shaped vacuum in every heart.
Blaise Pascal

Surrender to this longing. Let it consume you. Live your life so that everything you think, say, and do brings you ever nearer to God.

Do not seek illumination unless you seek it as a man whose hair is on fire seeks a pond.
Sri Ramakrishna

Every day in which you joyously dive into (more…)

If You Understand God, You Have Failed

March 20, 2010

Self-realization—the doorway to enlightenment—comes when you know through direct contact with God that you are one with divine consciousness in body, mind, and spirit. This exalted state of conscious unity with the divine cannot be explained; it can only be experienced.

Words end where truth begins.
Various scriptures

Humbly acknowledging that God is beyond knowing does not alter your conviction—you know that you (more…)

You’re Got Relationship Questions, Nathaniel Branden Has Answers!

March 19, 2010

If you are in a relationship or want to be in a relationship—which is pretty much everybody!—you owe it to yourself to read The Romantic Love Question & Answer Book, written by psychotherapist Nathaniel Branden.

The book addresses every conceivable aspect of romantic relationships and offers a wealth of insights and examples that can help people create a healthier, more intimate relationship. If you are not currently in a relationship, this book can help you make your next relationship a successful one.

The book was published in 1982. I suspect that if it had been published in 2010, it would have been a runaway bestseller.

Nathaniel Branden

Branden writes with great clarity and precision. I found myself repeatedly impressed with how he expressed complicated subjects so concisely and powerfully. Reading something that makes me think, “Wow, I couldn’t write this better myself,” is my litmus test for quality.

I had read Branden’s book, The Psychology of Romantic Love, years ago and enjoyed it greatly. (Originally published in 1980, Branden updated it in 2008.) In both books, he shares a sentence-completion exercise that is remarkably effective at helping people express their true feelings about a topic. For example, here is a humorous albeit quite revealing excerpt:

Q: My husband is in favor of my working, so long as it doesn’t interfere with all my duties at home. In effect, my emancipation consists of having two jobs. How do I get my husband to understand that I need help in running the house?

A: We once presented this problem at an Intensive to a group of men whose wives or girlfriends held jobs ranging from the secretarial to the executive. Most of them acknowledged feeling that regardless of any work a woman did outside, the home was her first responsibility.

We invited them to experiment with the sentence stem “If I were expected to be a homemaker in addition to holding down a full-time job——.” Amidst a good deal of laughter and embarrassment, their endings included:

I’d say, “Are you kidding?”

I’d feel angry and exploited.

I’d (more…)

Biblical Baseball

March 18, 2010

Comedian Dan St. Paul

Three of my most passionate interests are spirituality, humor and baseball. So I immediately recognized the genius of “Biblical Baseball,” a five-minute comedy routine created and performed by my good friend, comedian Dan St. Paul. It’s an instant classic and absolutely hilarious!

Click on the audio player below to listen to Dan perform “Biblical Baseball” on the nationally (more…)

Seeing Through the Fog

March 17, 2010

Carl Jung

The four steps to enlightenment are learning, believing, knowing, and being. Each of these steps demands more courage and faith than the one before. Their order is absolute—none may be leapfrogged.

There are very few human beings who receive the truth complete and staggering by instant illumination. Most of us acquire it fragment by fragment, on a small scale, by successive developments, cellularly, like a laborious mosaic.
Anais Nin

The chasm between believing and knowing can be traversed with a single bound. It is the distinction between faith that flows from intellectually knowing about God versus (more…)

Believing Is Seeing

March 16, 2010

Walk your spiritual path in faith and you will notice evidence of universal laws at work that reinforces this radical new way of seeing and being in the world. As your field of vision expands, your mindset shifts from “I’ll believe it when I see it” to “I’ll see it when I believe it.”

Faith is to believe what we do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what we believe.
Saint Augustine

That statement is not equivalent to “If I believe it, it must be true.” Your beliefs will only be made manifest if they are in harmony with universal law. As your awareness continues to grow, all doubt is removed and the ideas you once questioned or even ridiculed you now know to be true.

We do not receive wisdom, we must discover it for ourselves, after a journey (more…)