12 April 2016
have a purpose that is worthwhile, and that is steadily
being accomplished, is one of the secrets of a life that
is worth living.
people ought to begin with themselves, and make their own
happiness first, from which the happiness of the whole world would at last unquestionably follow.
Wolfgang von Goethe
tenacity of purpose are assets
of infinitely greater value than cleverness.
There is great strength in patiently waiting.
The sun, having set, comes up. The tide ebbs,
but always flows in again.
Fred van Amburgh
Born with Love
(Introduction to A Return to Love)
When we were born, we were programmed perfectly. We had a
natural tendency to focus on love. Our imaginations were
creative and flourishing, and we knew how to use them. We
were connected to a world much richer than the one we connect to
now, a world full of enchantment and a sense of the miraculous.
So what happened? Why is it that we
reached a certain age, looked around, and the enchantment was
Because we were taught to focus
elsewhere. We were taught to focus elsewhere. We were
taught to think unnaturally. We were taught a very bad
philosophy, a way of looking at the world that contradicts who we
We were taught to think thoughts like
competition, struggle, sickness, finite resources, limitation,
guilt, bad, death, scarcity, and loss. We began to think
these things, and so we began to know them. We were taught
that things like grades, being good enough, money, and doing
things the right way, are more important than love. We were
taught that we're separate from other people, that we have to
compete to get ahead, that we're not quite good enough the way we
are. We were taught to see the world the way that others had
come to see it. It's as though, as soon as we got here, we
were given a sleeping pill. The thinking of the world, which
is not based on love, began pounding in our ears the moment we hit
Love is what we were born with.
fear is what we learned here. The spiritual journey is the
relinquishment, or unlearning, of fear and the acceptance of love
back into our hearts. Love is the essential existential
fact. It is our ultimate reality and our purpose on
earth. To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in
ourselves and others, is the meaning of life.
Meaning doesn't lie in things.
Meaning lies in us. When we attach value to things that
aren't love -- the money, the car, the house, the prestige -- we
are loving things that can't love us back. We are searching
for meaning in the meaningless. Money, of itself, means
nothing. Material things, of themselves, mean nothing.
It's not that they're bad. It's that they're nothing.
We came here to co-create with God by
extending love. Life spent with any other purpose in mind is
meaningless, contrary to our nature, and ultimately painful.
It's as though we've been lost in a dark, parallel universe where
things are loved more than people. We overvalue what we
perceive with our physical senses, and undervalue what we know to
be true in our hearts.
Love isn't seen with the physical eyes or
heard with the physical ears. The physical sense can't
perceive it; it's perceived through another kind of vision.
Metaphysicians call it the Third Eye, esoteric Christians call it
the vision of the Holy Spirit, and others call it the Higher
Self. Regardless of what it's called, love requires a
different kind of "seeing" than we're used to -- a
different kind of knowing or thinking. Love is the intuitive
knowledge of our hearts. It's a "world beyond"
that we all secretly long for. An ancient memory of this
love haunts all of us all the time, and beckons us to return.
Love isn't material. It's
energy. It's the feeling in a room, a situation, a
person. Money can't buy it. Sex doesn't guarantee
it. It has nothing at all to do with the physical world, but
it can be expressed nonetheless. We experience it as
kindness, giving, mercy, compassion, peace, joy, acceptance,
non-judgment, joining, and intimacy.
Fear is our shared lovelessness, our
individual and collective hells. It's a world that seems to
press on us from within and without, giving constant false
testimony to the meaninglessness of love. When fear is
expressed, we recognize it as anger, abuse, disease, pain, greed,
addiction, selfishness, obsession, corruption, violence, and war.
Love is hidden within us. It cannot
be destroyed, but can only be hidden. The world we knew as
children is still buried within our minds.
reveals how we each can become a miracle worker by accepting
God and by the expression of love in our daily lives. Whether psychic pain is in the area of relationships,
career, or health, she shows us how love is a potent force,
the key to inner peace, and how by practicing love we can
make our own lives more fulfilling while creating a more
peaceful and loving world for our children.
people behind the words
and excerpts - Daily
Two - Year Three
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Spirit to Spirit
Under the Surface
Because we are spirits having a human experience, we
know just as well as anyone else that what we see in
this world and what's really in this world aren't
necessarily the same thing. After all, when
people see me, they see a human man who is a certain
age, a certain height and weight, with a certain type
of face and hair and build. They don't see the
eternal being that I am, the part of me that's been
around forever and that will be around for a very long
time after this human experience has ended.
And if they don't see me for what I truly am, then
what are the odds that I see others as they truly are?
Knowing that there's so much under the surface of
everyone is an incredibly freeing knowledge.
When I know this for sure, I can see an angry person
and see much more than that--I can see a spirit
struggling with this experience and giving into the
fear of loss or change and having that fear be
transformed into anger, an outward expression of fear
and frustration rather than an inward one. When
I see a person who seems to be arrogant, I know that
the spirit inside that person is also dealing with
fears that come from being human, and that the spirit
hasn't come far enough yet to be able to deal with
people in ways that don't come off as negative.
An arrogant person is often simply trying to put
themselves above others because he or she is afraid
that others see him or her as inferior, so that person
simply pretends to be superior, while inside that
person is often dealing with a huge inferiority
And very often, the human part of the equation turns
that pretend superiority into a belief, and actually
starts to feel superior to others. It's a very
vicious series of events and decisions.
When we look at a tree, we can know that there's so
much going on inside that tree that we may never
comprehend all that's happening. Water is being
sent from the roots to the leaves; bark is growing and
falling off; the tree itself is growing bigger; the
leaves are taking in sunlight and giving off
oxygen--and who knows how many other amazing processes
are going on in there? Since we know for sure
that we are not what we appear to be on the surface,
can't we be pretty sure that a tree isn't exactly what
it appears to be on the surface? Of course we
can, and we can marvel at the wonder of the complexity
of the tree, of all the trees and bushes and plants
If we refuse to acknowledge our spirituality, though,
there's a good chance that we'll never feel the sense
of wonder that we get when we recognize that something
we see is far deeper and much more complex than what
our eyes are allowing us to perceive. The world
becomes flat and drab and normal, and our place in the
world can't be nearly as special if we don't see the
world as special. When we do acknowledge our
spirituality, we can see other elements of the world
as the mysteries that they are--flowers and trees that
come from tiny seeds, people and animals who are
created from a combination of extremely small sperm
and eggs, mountains that arose when tectonic plates
smashed together, and so on and on.
Under the surface, my knowledge and perspective and
intuition are amazing, yet almost no one sees those
things on the human level. Under the surface,
you understand things that almost no one else
understands, and you see and feel with amazing
clarity. But people see you as "just"
another person in a crowd. When we live from the
spiritual level, though, we recognize that all of the
other people we see are amazingly insightful and
loving and miraculous beings, and our world becomes
richer when we actually recognize just how fantastic
our fellow "human" creatures are.
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comfortable old age is the reward of a well-spent youth.
of its bringing
sad and melancholy prospects of decay,
it would give
us hopes of eternal youth
in a better world.
Taking What Nature Offers
I must have a connection with
Nature, or I feel a huge loss in my life. There's something
about Nature that adds a richness to my life that I'm really
unable to describe--it fills my spirit in ways that make me feel
deeply a connection to life and the world around us that gives me
peace and makes me feel a unity that is very special, indeed.
I don't think it's a coincidence that almost all great teachers
have focused strongly on Nature as a source of renewal and of
learning about ourselves and our lives. Think about it--we
wouldn't even be alive if plants didn't produce the oxygen we need
to survive, and everything that we eat is at one level or another
a product of Nature (although some companies seem bound and
determined to produce food that's mostly chemical!). Without
forests and rivers and deserts and prairies, most of the life on
this planet would cease to exist, and the great circle of life
would be not only diminished, but probably eliminated completely.
But we've pulled ourselves away from Nature, locked ourselves in
these boxes that we call home, with many of us rarely exposing
ourselves and our spirits to the natural world at all. We
may eat a carrot, yet never touch the soil in which it's
grown. We can eat an apple without ever seeing the tree upon
which it grows. We can have pictures of flowers on the walls
or even buy live flowers for our living rooms, but not see those
flowers in their natural states.
And because of this lack of connection with Nature, we don't
nourish our souls with the gifts that Nature gives us. We
don't breathe in the forest air or feel the soil on our hands or
feel the cool, clear water of a river on our skin. We don't
remind ourselves of the cycles of life, a reminder that can
definitely help us to deal with stress and adversity in our
lives. We don't remind ourselves that we, too, are an
essential part of Nature, and that we do have an important place
in this world, mostly because we've chosen not to acknowledge that
place and fill it in ways that we should.
who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of
strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something
infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature--the assurance
that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.
Easily the most
important thing that we can do if we want to feel
the benefits of Nature is to get outdoors for longer
than it takes to walk to our cars. Taking a
walk on a city street is nothing near the same thing
as taking a walk in a forest, yet just being
outdoors, using our legs and our lungs and our arms
to walk in the fresh air and to see and hear the
world around us is a start. The air outside
may not be as clean and fresh as the air in a
forest, but it is air that circulates regularly and
that isn't the same air that was there
yesterday. We may walk by trees and grass and
gardens, and if we take the time to acknowledge
their beauty and their benefit to us, we're starting
to understand our connection with Nature.
Recognizing and appreciating the beauty of Nature is
one of the ways that we can definitely nourish our
spirits. Part of this effect comes from simply
the aesthetic beauty of a tree, a flower, a sunset,
a landscape, an animal or an insect. When we
realize that we are constantly surrounded by beauty
and functionality and that all of this beauty works
together to create consistent cycles upon which we
can depend fully, we can understand that the
stresses and anxieties that we experience tend to
pale in comparison to the amazingly complex yet
constant cycles that keep the natural world always
flowing, always alive.
Taking part in these cycles also can help us to be
happier and healthier. Anyone who has planted
anything as a seed and watched it grow into
something else knows a bit more about the cycles of
life. That person is often going to be able to
find more patience with someone else who hasn't
reached a certain level of maturity yet.
Instead of being angry at that person, someone who
has watched and participated in the cycles of nature
can more easily see that we people, too, are driven
and directed by cycles. Just as we can't
expect an infant to be able to set the table, we
also can't expect an adolescent to do something that
he or she simply isn't able yet to do. A
farmer knows that you can't harvest anything until
it's ready to be harvested, while many parents
expect their kids to be able to do anything they
decide the kids should do. It's a recipe for
love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station,
through which God speaks to us every hour, if we
will but listen.
If we listen to
Nature, we are also improving our lives, usually
without spending a single cent--we're just giving
our time and attention to something that is there
always. What will we hear? We'll hear
the breezes, the songs of the birds, the waves and
the rivers, the falling rain or snow or ice, the
noises of the insects, the barking of dogs or the
howls of coyotes, the bugling of elk. And when
we hear such things, our minds will be tuned into
the authenticity of the sound--we can trust it, for
the source of the sound has neither need nor desire
to impress or to deceive. I love to listen to
the sound of a running brook or waves on a beach on
a cd, for the sound reminds me that there's much
more to this world--on a much broader and deeper
scale--than the trials and tribulations of my
present day. The sounds of Nature can relax us
(unless it's a bear roaring as it chases you, of
course), and remind us that human beings are not the
be-all and end-all of existence. The sounds
can put us in our place--as a part of Nature,
even though we spend such a huge portion of our time
separating ourselves from Nature.
Sometimes we think that if we're not immersed in
Nature, then we can't benefit from it. But
that's not necessarily so. Improving our lives
through our connection with Nature can easily be
done on a very small scale in the middle of an urban
area. Houseplants are a wonderful way of
reminding ourselves of just how important plants are
to us; walks in the park help to keep our minds on
the more eternal things in life--those trees that
you see probably have been on this planet longer
than you have, and those birds and squirrels aren't
worried about drama or jobs or relationships.
It's a mistake to avoid this kind of input into our
lives thinking that it's not enough--it certainly is
better than nothing at all!
People are incomprehensible without Nature, and Nature
apart from people. For the delicate
loveliness of the flower is as much
in the human eye as
in its own fragile petals, and the splendor
heavens as much in the imagination that kindles at the
of their glory as in the shining of countless
Nature. Experience the peace and quiet and
patience of trees, and watch animals and birds and
insects in their natural places. Breathe
deeply of the air of the forest, and listen to the
wind rustling through the leaves above and around
you. You can enjoy Nature a great deal if you
simply search it out, whether you go to a forest or
the desert or a beach. If you can find a way
to participate in Nature by helping to clean up a
forest path or growing some seedlings or taking care
of an animal, you can do that, too. The most
important thing is to actively seek out contact with
Nature, time when it's just you and Nature with no
cell phones, no Internet, no other distractions that
keep you from experiencing the majesty of your
surroundings. A relationship with Nature is
easy to forge, but one must seek it out--it doesn't
I leave you with some very nice words from Ralph
Waldo Emerson, from his essay entitled
speak truly, few adult persons can see nature.
Most persons do not see the sun. At least they have
a very superficial seeing. The sun illuminates only
the eye of the man, but shines into the eye and the
heart of the child. The lover of nature is he whose
inward and outward senses are still truly adjusted
to each other; who has retained the spirit of
infancy even into the era of manhood. His
intercourse with heaven and earth, becomes part of
his daily food. In the presence of nature, a wild
delight runs through the man, in spite of real
sorrows. Nature says, -- he is my creature, and
maugre all his impertinent griefs, he shall be glad
of the most important elements
of living life fully is
awareness-- awareness of our surroundings, of other people
and their motives and fears and desires, of the things that
affect us most in our lives, both positively and negatively.
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once the storm is over, you wonít remember how you made it
through, how you managed to survive. You wonít even be sure,
whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When
come out of the storm, you wonít be the same person who
walked in. Thatís what this stormís all about.
Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
loud and aggressive persons--they are vexations to the
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life
is full of heroism.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Strive to be happy.
is a series of choices and as all ideas in this manifested
universe are divided as opposites, we can choose the
negative ego approach or the positive spiritual approach.
. . . From the negative ego approach we learn that we will
suffer until we balance our actions and bring our lives
into harmony with the laws that govern the universe.
This is called the law of hard knocks or karma. With
the positive spiritual approach we choose to live in
obedience to God's will, to live in harmony with universal
laws without being pushed into it. This can be
called the school of grace.
The biggest secret of self-esteem is this:
Begin to appreciate other people more, show respect
for any human being merely because he or she is
a child of God and therefore a "thing of value."
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