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1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 36: What Do Adam and Eve Stand For?

The Fall of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden makes me wonder about a lot of things. Of course, Christians claim it is simply a literal account of how the world was created by God. I don’t regard any belief as false, but I think it might just be possible that there’s much more to it than that. Why did women start giving labor in pain only after God cursed Eve for disobeying his commandment? Why was this also the point in the story when they were commanded to work the earth? Could it be that this was the time when “Adam and Eve” became incarnated beings, the time when time began, so to speak, when souls entered into male and female bodies and populated the earth? This is a similar concept to the Kabbalist idea of tzim-tzum, the big bang which took place due to God contracting his total goodness, thereby removing it from a certain place in time in space, creating the Earth, a world motivated by infinite desire, all beings feeling the emptiness of having lost God’s all-encompassing love. This is believed to be the reason why most of us experience a spiritual impulse at some point in our lives, why religion has arisen since the dawn of time and continues to pop up in every part of the planet, since we long to reconnect with God, with the creator. Could Adam and Eve also represent masculine and feminine forces, both which are found within each person, positive and negative, the yin and the yang? Could the story of the creation of Adam, and then Eve from his ribs, be a way of symbolizing the fact that both forces need to connect, that one can’t be without the other? After all, a man and a woman connect to create a new life on this planet. Nobody knows how this conjures up consciousness into a new body, nobody knows the complete process whereby a cranium is developed to hold that consciousness, or actually the brain that will receive, or perceive, that consciousness. It all just happens, a higher intelligence takes care of all we take for granted. All we need to do is get together and make love, ideally while we are in love. This disregard for connection, yet global obsession with sex at the same time, is creating a lot of problems as unexpected and often unwanted children are being born, and their parents either give them up for adoption, or much worse, go in for an abortion. If they choose to keep the child, he or she usually grows up in a tense environment, if the parents are teenagers there are usually lots of problems with parents and they end up separating. This ruins the experience of childhood for many kids, and it ruins many people’s adult lives as well, as experiences of fear or trauma or too much stress and disagreement in the air can cause psychological or emotional problems in young children’s minds. But of course, these parents never thought about the idea of truly connecting with someone else, in order to start a family and take care of a new life. All they did was let themselves go, into all kinds of pleasures, desensitized from all possible consequences, living as if life is nothing but a dream. If more people treated the subject of sex with respect, if they truly understood the sanctity of love and true connection between two people who support each other, then maybe people wouldn’t abuse it so much, and many of these problems could be avoided. Quick and stupid decisions have consequences that last for generations. I got a little bit off course there, but on another note about Adam and Eve, could they also signify the good and evil of life? We already wondered about the positive and negative poles. The Law of Polarity is one of the seven hermetic principles, as well as The Principle of Gender. Good and evil could be part of this as well, since no one really know what real good really is, the truest good which is beyond both the good and the evil of duality. This is a planet of polarity, and maybe we need to find balance between good and evil by understanding both pain and pleasure and becoming indifferent to them, understanding that there is a higher essence above them. Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, so was there already good and evil, or did they begin when they ate from the fruit? Did they simply become aware of these concepts, of good and of evil, and that this knowledge came along with free will, with human life, with the life of suffering which we all live in, according to the Buddha? Why must the nature of life be one of suffering, why must no earthly good completely satisfy? There must have been some initial mistake, and Adam and Eve’s mistake seems to be one that impacted generations for millions, or possibly billions, of years? But how could they have chosen to disobey God in the first place and eat from the forbidden fruit, if they didn’t yet have free will? So, I don’t really know. Where these really human beings, or angels, or mythological characters, personifications of certain concepts? Could a happy marriage be the highest we can achieve in life? Could it be some kind of way for us to fully connect our opposite energies, if we do it in the spirit of true love, and to feel a connection that resembles the connection between Spirit and God, between the Atman and Brahman, the lover and the beloved? Could marriage, just as sex, be divine symbols for the connections that must be joined in balance, during this life, in order for us to live correctly, or of the physical body parts that must be joined in order for life to even continue? We can never know, but we can study and maybe one day we’ll come to a more complete conclusion.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 37.

~ Rebel Spirit

 

1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 19: Setting Daily Goals to Create Habits.

I thought I’d just take a moment to reflect today on all the goals I’m currently working on achieving, and since I’ve yet to write today’s thousand words anyway, I thought writing about my goals would be a great way to reflect on them a for good while. I’m not talking about extremely ambitious, long-term goals here. I’m talking about the small goals which I make a point of keeping daily track of in my notes notebook. One of the goals which has helped me the most so far, which has given me great peace of mind in the past few months is my goal of not drinking. I can’t drink a single drop of alcohol – no liquor, beer, wine, whatever it is. Growing up, drinking was some of the greatest fun my friends and I could have. It was what allowed us to get into the crazy fun situations we always got into. Over the years though, as I started maturing, I realized I couldn’t enjoy drinking anymore, at least not the full experience of it, including the side effects. My hangovers were straight from hell, filled with a general anxiety and fear about life, with a sort of hatred and intense hostility against life, cussing at the heat, brushing off the sweat from my face, everything hurting, not wanting to talk to anyone. I don’t know remember a lot of my drunk times from way back in the day, so I don’t know if things were always so tragic, or if I was just becoming more aware of the horrible state drinking puts a person in. Either way, I soon realized I had to stop. Drinking was draining me of energy, it was making me lose and break things and money was always scarce. I was doing much harm to myself during my drinking days, and not only to myself but to my family for a long time, and now it was happening with my wife. I couldn’t keep it up. I started with a simple 5 day goal, and I kept adding 5 days every time, with some drinking in between goals. With each goal that passed I felt less and less desire to drink, yet when the goal finished I’d always be tempted to start again. I did a hundred days and drank again, only to feel sick of it a few days later. I was also able to drink in a more controlled manner. I was excited for the next goal though, and after a powerful acid experience I decided I had to double the days. I’m currently about sixty days into my two hundred days of no drinking, and I can honestly say I don’t think I’ll even feel the need to drink again once this goal is over. My attitude towards alcohol and its role in my life has completely changed. The next goal I’ve worked on over  the past few years is to stop watching porn and masturbating. This is obviously something more or less normal for all boys growing up, yet we don’t realize we are draining ourselves of essential physical and mental energy whenever we ejaculate. We also don’t understand that we are becoming addicted, slaves to pleasure and lust. As I progress in my spiritual and intellectual journey, it has become clear that both of these habits have to go. It feels good that after many months of working on this, I can now say I am free from both of these things. I have a beautiful wife now anyway, and I don’t need to fantasize about anything else or look for girls on social media. Temptation is always there, as well as in real life, but it is easier to succumb to something seemingly harmless like porn, whereas I took a decision before I married, that I would remain loyal to my wife no matter what, so I’m not too worried about temptation in real life. Now that I don’t drink I have self-control at all times and can make sure I don’t do anything stupid in the heat of the moment. Perfect, both goals go hand in hand. Another goal I’m working on is to exercise every day. I’ve been at it for the past few weeks now, non-stop, and it feels great to have so much extra energy. I take a moment every day to either run ten laps around the baseball field, do some yoga, or some push-ups, or lift some weights. Exercise is essential to keeping our bodies strong and effective, just like one’s diet. Regarding diet, my only goals for now are to make sure to eat breakfast every day, and to never eat any later than midnight. I’ve been pretty consistent with this goal so far. As I’ve mentioned in some earlier posts, I have a goal of reading a book a week. Sometimes I take two or three weeks depending on the size of the book. Apart from this, I have a goal of reading at least one chapter of the Bible daily. Although I can’t really say that I’m either a Christian or a Jew, I was raised with the Bible, and I highly doubt that this book is one to be easily discarded and set aside. Due to my interest in religion, in spirituality, in literature, in philosophy and in psychology and society, the Bible is a must read for me. Since it’s very long I read just a chapter or two every day with Maria, we are currently about halfway. After the Bible I plan to read the Quran, or the Zohar, as the next books to be read on a daily basis. I want to understand the essential ideas of these texts, and to know as much as possible about their connections, and about the mental and spiritual states of those who wrote them. Although it’s not yet an official goal, I usually read a Buddhist Sutra on most days, since they usually really short, but have great meaning to them. I’ve been learning about Buddhism for quite a while now, so I think I just might start an actual goal of reading at least one Sutra every day. The messages I am reminded of as I read them usually put me in a great state for my daily meditation. My goal is to meditate at least twenty minutes straight every day, and I’ve kept this up for maybe a year now, yet I still keep track every day. I don’t meditate to fulfill the goal though, but to just meditate, to simply be. I find that this is the best approach to meditation, but I’m no expert. I encourage you all to try this daily meditation, just sitting for twenty minutes. If anything, it will create a peaceful moment for you to appreciate your life, and to appreciate being with yourself, away from all the craziness of life.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 20.

~ Rebel Spirit

There is No Religion Higher Than Truth.

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Every day that passes, hundreds of thousands of babies are born all around the world. It is estimated that about three hundred thousand babies, to be more exact, are born worldwide every single day, into different families, cultures, religions and environments, each under its own unique set of circumstances. In most cases, these circumstances play a big part in producing personality. It’s hard, if not impossible, to fully understand just how much of what we believe and feel as adults, how much of what we think, however confident we may feel about our beliefs and ideas, comes from these elements which we are born into, seemingly by no decision of our own, which surround us as we grow up, things including but not limited to family life and social position. Or how much of who we grow to be is already embedded in our own DNA when we arrive on this planet, just like the essence of a tree is embedded in the smallest seed, and how much of us is perhaps actually something carried over by the spirit from a previous incarnation? Most importantly, from all these possibilities and theories of reality, how can we be so sure of the absolute truth of either one? Are we born with a distinct personality which is further shaped by our life experiences, or is each of us born as a blank slate, another blank page yet to be written in the book of history? If we believe the latter possibility, then who is the author of such a book anyway? Who or what designed this world full of beauty and inspiration, but also overcome by brutality and ignorance? Is this all part of a grand design which we simply cannot comprehend at our level of consciousness? A divine plan perhaps? Or are we all accidents, existing merely by chance – a chaotic concoction of coincidences?

Many religions and philosophies attempt to provide us with answers to these timeless questions, which personally fascinate me almost to the point of obsession, a feeling which manifests in my life as a driving desire to discover the truth hidden deep within the soul of the world and its inhabitants throughout the ages, the perpetual truth masked behind all the advertising, the corruption, the labels, the denominations and the propaganda – the perennial philosophy, as Aldous Huxley would refer to this truth I seek. See, I grew up in a Christian home. My mother, a true follower of Christ, is devout, caring, and kind to all people – the purest person I’ve ever had the privilege to know. She, along with my father, raised me to live with integrity, with respect for everyone and everything. They recited Bible passages to me from a very young age and taught me about God – Jehovah, Jesus, the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. As a young child, I believed what I was told without applying any critical thinking. I found out that when I grew up a bit and started learning more on my own, reading more, wondering more, thinking outside the box, the absolute certainty of many of some of my beliefs didn’t seem so certain at all anymore. I realized that we all have the capacity – no, the duty – to wonder, to inquire into the deepest parts of our spirit. My mother wholeheartedly believes that one must accept Jesus as one’s sole savior and God incarnate in order to reach heaven eternally after death – if not then the alternative is hellfire and suffering, also eternal. I’m not saying that any of this is something I believe or I don’t believe necessarily, but what I am saying is that one must make the effort to investigate and learn from religions and philosophies other than one’s own, in order to compare – not to create division, but to connect the similarities, to dive into the differences, to enrich one’s life experience. An early unease with this situation about hell, and the injustice and cruelty I feel about the idea of it, as well as the possibility that it could be a total invention, a tool for mass mental control, and an unease with not knowing how people can be so convinced of their beliefs beyond doubt, have been like fuel for me, they have ignited the fire of inspiration in my soul to always learn and to grow more, to leave aside all vanity and to follow what is true and good, to always dig deeper and to doubt everything – to believe all but to believe nothing all the same. To believe in one religion exclusively is to shut oneself out of the richness of other cultures, of deeper understanding among brothers and sisters who are also God’s children.

Closing ourselves off from religious and philosophical teachings from many of the world’s great people throughout history and today because they did not or do not share the same label as us is closed-mindedness, it is willful ignorance, and it only results in a loss for ourselves, at least in the immediate sense. Way too much suffering has been caused and is still being caused by people with the idea that they must spread their perceived truth to humanity by any means necessary, disregarding all values in the process. How can we be completely certain of any specific religion or belief unless we consciously expand our horizons and study other people’s beliefs? After all, a child born to a Christian family in America, especially Central or South America where the culture is centred around family values more than in North America, has a high chance of growing up with Christian beliefs and forming a Christian family, while a child born in India might grow up as a Hindu, also respecting and caring for the planet and for humanity, trusting in God, except that he may call God by a different name, or by various names which could even represent the different energies of God at work in the universe – such as the Atman which represents our Spirit, the Divine reflection of God’s essence, referred to as Brahman. In the Middle East, many Muslims bow down daily in reverence to Allah, devout and pious people who have no appetite for destruction and death. They worship the same God of Abraham who founded the Jewish faith and also inspired the faith of the Christian religion and all its subsequent denominations. After all, Allah is just the Arabic word for God. Jews and Arabs are basically cousins, and yet the ceaseless fighting and war is devastating families and communities, all because we can’t put our pride aside, put our differences aside, and coexist as a peaceful people, as vessels of the divine Spirit, without labels and hence without prejudice. It is essential that we all open our minds and hearts to the wisdom of others.

                With so many religions, philosophies and ideologies, one at times might wonder how any critically-thinking person can follow one specific religion or belief system and feel completely confident in it. How can one be certain that one’s belief is in fact the ultimate truth of the universe, without ever even considering any of the other “ultimate truths” our fellow humans believe? We have friends who we have known for years, and yet we never ask them about their beliefs because we are so sure about our own. We all walk around in multicultural communities, everyone interacting with each other in a friendly manner, working, playing, socializing, everyone making their earthly existence work out as best as they can by means of constant collaboration. We call ourselves brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, co-workers, friends, relatives, partners, and yet we all might call ourselves by different religious labels. One of us might believe that you and I will reincarnate here on this planet or on some other one, as people or animals or anything, or you might believe we will either go to heaven or hell. If my friend stopped for a moment to think about what his religion teaches him to believe about someone who does not share his same religious belief, he just might conclude that such a person will burn in hell upon death, as if he could accurately judge said person’s purity of character. But just as a reminder to those who see others in this way: Jesus himself warned against attempting to remove the splinter in your brother’s eye as you blindly ignore the log in yours, and he also dared any man without sin to be the first to cast a stone at the woman who was about to be killed for having been caught in the act of adultery. Do not judge others because there is plenty to judge in yourself, not so that you can put yourself own, but so that you can correct any continuous mistakes and destructive habits.

Just as one person might believe his friend will go to hell, another might believe that he will simply drop dead one day and that will be it – the movie’s over and everyone exits the theater. So many beliefs to critically consider, at least if you’re on a mission for the real Truth, not just the convenient one. All of us ordinary citizens pretend that we are so sure of our beliefs, but if each and every one of us would take a moment to try to understand each other’s views on deep, important subjects, we could hardly handle such a conversation for more than a few minutes without our egos getting in the way, starting trouble and leading to fights breaking out. Why is this? Because we have turned personal beliefs, spirituality, religion, and many subjects on humanity and life into delicate, offensive triggers for those who can’t wait for the next opportunity to express anger or feel offended and hurt once again. On our quest to become completely politically correct, we’ve come to live in fear of each other instead of respect. We can’t handle even friendly opposition to our opinions.

This is an issue which has been bothering me quite a bit lately, due to my specific set of circumstances. You see, I was born to two very loving, compassionate and authentic parents, and I already mentioned my mom for a moment. My father is also very religious, or spiritual, depending on your definition of those two words. My dad has described to me how he would wrap a pair of headphones around my mother’s pregnant belly, so that I was being influenced by the words of the Bible before I was ever born. My mother read Bible stories to me since a very young age, and I grew up going to church. I also have some very hazy childhood memories of attending synagogue services, as it can be said that my father has always felt a strong connection with the Jewish faith and people. To be honest, it’s difficult to pin him down to a specific religion, but one thing was always clear with my parents—The Bible is God’s book, and His Holy word. Interpret it as you wish, but it is the only book to interpret. According to some sources, there are approximately thirty thousand denominations within the Christian faith alone, not to mention many other religions and belief systems regarding the universe, ranging from Judaism to Islam, from Buddhism to Hinduism, from atheism to Satanism, from the beliefs of the Native American Navajos, to New Age spirituality. Who is right, if anyone at all? For someone who was born to atheist parents, or into a household in which religion or spirituality do not have much influence, and who came to the point of embracing a specific God or religion later on in life, the answer might be easy. If such a person has gotten to that point in life, then they believe they have found their truth, by walking their own path. No one has imposed their beliefs on this person. They searched and they found, they have experienced something. But is that the case for someone like me, who grew up on Bible stories? Can I truly believe what I believe just like that, without fear of being ignorant?

All the death, the horror, the injustice and the ugliness that dwells inside us as well as all around us is ignored. This enables us to go along our day, minding our own business, pretending everything is fine in the world. After all, we all have enough of our own problems to deal with. How could we possibly make time to listen to other people’s issues, and to care for them? How can we possibly take time to listen to, or read about, other people’s beliefs, and to ponder them, to consider them at the very least? It seems that a lot of religious folks are unfortunately too busy to do these things, although they sure are quick to cast judgement upon others who do not share the same label to define themselves. In fact, however, someone who truly follows the teachings of Christ, and loves his neighbors as himself, who judges none, who teaches love and compassion; someone who walks with the needy like Jesus or Buddha, someone who lends a helping hand to his brethren, that person is walking in the teachings of all enlightened beings since the beginning of time, regardless of his religion or denomination. Such a person simply has no religion because he has no need to impose any belief on anyone else. This person is full of love for himself and for the planet, as he sees the world as family to himself, as identical in nature.

THE DANCE OF CONSTANCE CHANGE.

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Don’t be fooled by the apparent stillness of things, or the apparent feeling of being stuck in a specific life situation. Everything eventually passes, nothing is static. Even the globe that we live on is constantly spinning around the scorching sun turning day to night and night back to day, yet we walk about and even sleep soundly without perceiving this unceasingly swift motion which is at work providing life for our planet and people, this background process bestowing us with blessings. Everything changes, and with every new breath life is renewed, and we celebrate the arrival of a new Now. Life, after all, is no more the present moment. Nothing exists for more than a mere moment. As Marcus Aurelius pointed out in ‘Meditations’, that classic book on life from the perspective of (mostly Stoic) philosophy, death robs us of nothing more than the present moment, since all past is mere memory, stored in the brain for practical purposes. I like to think of it as the way in which our progress gets stored in a memory card, allowing us to wake up every day and begin the game of life from where we left off. The future is even less real since what we call the future is in fact illusion, it is a vain hope, a longing for something we have never known, it is nothing that is real in the Now. According to Marcus, “in the life of a man, his time is but a moment, his being an incessant flux, his sense a dim rushlight.” We are only a point in the universe, a point where consciousness has met itself in divine awe and wonder in order to witness this time in history, to be present during this moment in awareness. The essential teaching is that reality is only Now, and when death comes for life it only robs its victim of one moment; it is the same for all who die, no matter whether one or one hundred years have passed in that lifetime, or whether another hundred years would have followed. They wouldn’t have followed anyway, since death always comes at its time, just like life does.

meditations cover gregory haysEven the most stable of things is constantly moving at the molecular level, rearranging itself in ways unimaginable to the mind and unseen by the naked eye. Nothing stays the same for more than a moment, just as every seven years we ourselves become completely new creatures, at least physically as our cells regenerate and we shed our skin like snakes. Death and life are one powerful and prominent example of the yin and yang, and they are forces to be reckoned and respected. All moments in life are special, and they all arrive at their time. The now is all that exists and we are experiencing it. Don’t let traumatic thoughts of past and future get to you or bring you down. Time is an illusion. If you don’t know what I mean by that then it’s likely you haven’t given much though to the Now and what it entails in its entirety, in its essence. All your past experiences, thoughts, feelings, ideas, all are now memories, and all have brought you to one reality, to the Now, to right Now. You are here for a reason, Now. What is that reason? Find out or it will find you. It may change depending on whether you set out to find it or not. If not, once fate finds you it might be a different one that it originally was. But that’s getting too far away from the topic. Tomorrow will never come, as tomorrow will also be “Now” when we experience it. The transitory nature of life is precisely what allows everything to be a tremendous treasure, as every moment is a whole new life, a whole new experience, a whole new lesson, a brand-new blessing. As the calendar counts, every day and week and month and year is a new chance to set a goal, to appreciate the power and the energy within, to be grateful for the fuel provided by failure, to begin paving the way towards a better day. This is the beauty of life amidst the apparently overwhelming conflict and chaos.

If everything that matters is the Now, and the Now always comes at its time, then that really redefines life in an extremely radical way, an exciting way. Finally, life can be lived with a deep sense of peace and wonder, a state of mind in which we see an opportunity in every obstacle, a clue in every challenge, leading up to our life purpose. Every situation we encounter can be embraced with a sense of gratitude, and self-realization can arise within a mindset which is determined to keep on learning constantly. Realize that change is the natural way of life, and everything changes no matter what we do, whether we like it or not. All we need to do as human beings is to ensure that we change positively, regardless of negative circumstances, – especially in negative circumstances! – something I like to term as mental or spiritual alchemy, respectively as we work with the mind and we administer with our spirit. This allows us to stop anticipating and longing for future events or painfully reviewing and regretting past failures. We can also stop dreading the future and resisting every type of change we are presented with, in the same way that we can now stop taking refuge in past glories in order to feed our damaged ego. We no longer need that, and what a relief it is to realize it. Once we perceive life as the amazing miracle which exists Now, we can stop procrastinating and start living life as if each second was our last, appreciating every act of kindness, every piece of advice, every strange coincidence, and every pure moment of joy without wasting half a second. If we live in the Now, then all that really matters is that we have what it takes to be happy Now, and we all have enough to be happy. We will be fine as long as we have what we need within ourselves, and I wholeheartedly believe all of us do.

the power of nowWe need to express our ideas without fear of ridicule and persecution, and live our lives evaluating every experience, emotion, thought or feeling, from a higher level of awareness, and allowing to flower only what our godly intuition deems fit for us. This does not give us an excuse to abuse others and forget about those who love us simply because we choose to ignore them and disappear into our own inner world of presence in which we function fully immersed in ourselves. Being fully immersed in and conscious of the Now involves being aware of all the blessings which have been granted to us individually, accepting and being grateful for them, but also acknowledging the fact that that the Now of other people who are alive is realer than the past in your memory, or the future in anyone’s imagination. We must feel who we are in the moment, as one with humanity, as a whole collective consciousness, as one people, regardless of differences, and be aware of why we are who we are. Feeling the deep bliss of being should fill us with joy and appreciation in everyday life, and an attitude of love towards anyone who has been involved in the miracle of our being. For example, let’s think of our parents. It is thanks to them that each and every one of us can even feel this deep sense of our being and appreciate it. The miracle of life is definitely something to be thankful for, as our parents give life to us and then grow old and we give life to their grandchildren. We see the change, over time, over generations – inevitable change. It is also thanks to any close siblings or great friends that a lot of us have received the proper encouragement we have needed along the way in order to carry on through difficult times, which have eventually led us up to today. Being aware of, and immersed in the now means acknowledging and expressing, truly experiencing the interconnectedness of life, not only on this planet, but in space, in the stars, in the sun and the moon, and even extending to the spiritual worlds and dimensions. You and I have the ability to be fully immersed in the present moment, whether it be filled with great pleasure or with great pain, and to accept it and transmute it into strength, by being thankful for it and digging deep for the lesson contained within. Digging deep consists of being in the Now. Even the great reformers of the past lived in the Now, and that is why their achievements have inspired millions of people up until today, thousands of years after their physical presence departed.

Bible-KJV-King-James-VersionOnce we are able to grasp this state of being which is always within ourselves, we will feel compelled to spread love and awareness to our loved ones and beyond, in order to free humanity from the chains of fear and anxiety which we have so willingly trapped ourselves in. The greatest of (inevitable) challenges can (and is meant to) be mentally re-framed by the mind and perceived in such a way that it motivates and inspires action. When I refer to action I refer to true action; action done without regard for the outcome, even action consecrated to God. This type of action is infused with a deep kind of concentration which ensures one’s consciousness, or real self, is fully experiencing the present moment and providing his or her full energy to it. It is what is referred to as Karma Yoga in the Hindu scriptures, and it involves taking full control over our minds, focusing on the present moment above all else, driven by a deep conviction that the Now is truly all that ever is to us. Even the Bible mentions working for God and offering your action as a sacrifice to the Most High, suggesting in Colossians 3:23: “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.” Be fully immersed in the moment, in other words, walking in faith, trusting in eternal progress. Next time you are sitting at work, hating every second, watching the clock wishing it would speed up so you can leave, just remember this lesson, and try to accept the now and immerse yourself in it somehow. Find something to do. Take action! There is a reason why time seems to disappear when we are in meditation for a while, when we are enjoying a great evening with friends, when one embarks on a visionary trip, when one indulges in creative passion.

If you would like to read more regarding this philosophy about living in the Now, about the constant change of the universe, about the perfection and the plan of life, consider reading ‘The Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle, an awesome book which I will soon write a summary on, and ‘Meditations’ by Marcus Aurelius Antoninus.

~ REBEL SPIRIT ~

“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”

~ Alan Watts

NO MAN CAN SERVE TWO MASTERS

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Unfortunately, too many people become accustomed to making decisions purely based on financial gain, failing to realize that what matters most when they pass away won’t be how much money they left in the bank, but the legacy they left, the way they influenced those around them as well as their environment, family and friends. Definitely keep on getting paid, but put some thought into the deeper things in life. After all, it is man who has the power to make money.. but money can never make you a man. Money can never make you a satisfied woman either, so don’t fall for society’s trap of marginalizing women and forcing them to feel dependent on men for financial stability and a comfortable life. Each individual has inside the divine spark of infinite spirit, and this spirit suffers when we reduce our life purpose to a competition, a misguided ambition to accumulate wealth and possessions.

I love the story of the Buddha, the prince who, without hesitating, left his palace and all the benefits the royal life included, in order to travel the land, to be amongst the people, to share in their lives in an attempt to understand and alleviate their suffering, all human suffering. Such a decision could only be driven by the purest sense of compassion, which we are all able to achieve. Although I’m not suggesting we go to such an extreme as to leave our home and all our material possessions behind, the fact is that currently most of the population of planet Earth is living on the opposite pole, on the other extreme. We pass by homeless people in the streets, in developed nations such as Canada and the United States, and we don’t dare to look in their eyes. The shame would consume us, we would have to bear another person’s pain for one mere moment, and that in itself would be so undesirable to us that we glance away, or walk with our look fixed straight ahead, or we look at the floor.

We know there is much to change in this world, but we don’t know how it can change. We expect others to change it, and decide to ignore the uncomfortable truths of life, until we become desensitized to them. Many people have been emotionally hurt, and being unable to forgive, they decide, consciously or unconsciously, to shut themselves down emotionally, at least to other people. They don’t want to be taken advantage of ever again, so they don’t show any emotion, in order not to seem vulnerable, like easy prey. If forgiveness and love cannot be applied to such a situation, a very hostile and negative attitude will eventually develop towards other people. Once this attitude becomes habit, the affected person will be willing to do anything harmful to another being, if it leads to his or her own gain and satisfaction. As they affect others who feel betrayed and unfairly treated by life, many of their victims choose to take the same path of selfishness and emotional non-availability. The cycle continues forever, creating a worldwide web of insensitivity, violence and chaos. It is evident to us that things should not be this way at all.

Caring about others’ emotions and suffering is a natural part of the divine spark of God’s light which shines with integrity from us when we choose to follow it. However, when we choose to ignore our better judgement, declining life’s invitations to partake in charity, or in a simple act of kindness because it slightly intervenes with out planned routine or with our financial gain, we slowly lose our ability to hear the pure voice of intuition within us. This also happens whenever we choose material gain over acting with integrity, committing actions which will devastate others such as financial fraud or robbery, or murder in the hitman’s case. This voice is dumbed down by greedy and hostile thoughts of power, power which is needed due to a lack of life purpose, and perhaps low self-esteem. How can this power be achieved? The natural inclination of the human being is to turn to money in an attempt to reach the much desired power.

Sometimes wealth is gained honestly but in an unbalanced fashion. In such a case, the individual commits all his time, perhaps all his mental energy and life focus, and projects it onto his work, in order to make as much money as possible, to earn the highest commission, to rejoice at the next promotion, to shine bright above all his coworkers. This will eventually lead to a more luxurious, expensive lifestyle which will, in the person’s mind, grant them the happiness and joy they so hopelessly long for for so long. Others resort to illegal and immortal activities to achieve their goal of generating mass amounts of wealth. Hitmen happily accept high amounts of money for their service, which is actually a form of playing God and deciding they have the right to take another human life, since money is involved, and that is more important. Thieves steal from empty homes, or mug solitary people on the street, sometimes shooting or stabbing them for the sake of taking their wallet or phone. Politicians launder insane amounts of money to ensure they remain in power, to watch out for their interests, easily ignoring the crying and shouting voices of the dissatisfied, disappointed, angry and often times hungry nation which has been placed under their control.

This issue sadly affects much of the third world, having been a problem various times in my native country of Honduras, and currently devastating Venezuela. We scream and shout and rage and protest, but yet we choose these politicians to rule over us. We fight amongst ourselves and nurture vicious hatred in our hearts, for others who share different opinions than us or support different political parties. We act as if God has come to reign, and we must support him, we absolutely need our preferred candidate to come into power since they will work their magic and fix all the problems of an impoverished country, or further advance a developed nation generating more jobs and money for its citizens. If this is not accomplished during the duration of their term, we protest because nothing has changed. The problem is us, and we must realize it. We must initiate change in the way we act, instead of waiting for other to do so. We are basically funding the campaigns of these people who don’t give a damn about anything but their own financial and political affairs. We are promised tax cuts, benefits, higher wages, and time and time again we believe one fool after another, as if some magical man will step onto the scene and have all the solutions to our problems. We hold on to hope only to find we have been deceived once again.

That being said, we simply cannot blame politicians for their corruption, we must look at ourselves. If you would find a wallet on the street with an ID or a phone number to call, and you decide to keep it rather than return it because there is money inside, perhaps a quite enticing amount of money, then you must face the fact that you are just as corrupt as any politician you hate, since you decided to make the wrong decision at the expense of someone else’s well-being in a moment when you were not being watched. If we act in such a way, how can we blame politicians from stealing much greater amounts of money from us after we deliberately put them in a position in which they can easily steal and scam without being supervised and investigated.

We must stop putting people in power to rule over us, or allowing money to rule over us; we must realize that God is the sole authority of the universe, and God’s goodness, his greatness, is written in our spirit, a direct emanation of God’s divinity. All we need to do is listen to the voice of the spirit within us, to pray, to meditate, to feel what we know is right, and to act in a right manner. We can only eliminate poverty and corruption in this world when all of us decide to practice righteous living, in every aspect of life, including financially, since all our acts of corruption, however small, amount up and eventually corrupt the collective consciousness of our planet, something which obviously affects all of its inhabitants in a very negative way.
~ REBEL SPIRIT

“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”

~ Matthew 6:24

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