- Acceptance by Lapis
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Blog: Resonance: "a vibrational collection"
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The Life-Giving Habits of Self-Development
The deadly habits spring from resistance to incoming information. This touches off a cycle of struggle as humans defend the inaccurate mental boundaries instead of identifying and removing them. The experience is then one of fear, self-preservation, and competition as prime motivators, and the creation of chaotic, "random," and often unpleasant events which seem to come out of nowhere. Resistance to incoming information is resistance to experience, and ultimately resistance to spiritual intention. Living from an operational base of deadly habits has reduced the human condition to a perpetual state of spiritual frustration---a state which is screaming "FIX THIS!!!"
We all know people who seem to be caught in this cycle of frustration. Their lives are filled with one crisis after another. Their solutions to the "crises" seem to only bring on more of the same. It would behoove them to read the above paragraph for a starter. Of course, the "Lessons" would be an even better place to start.
The solution is simple and profound. The answer is the antithesis of resistance---it is acceptance. Acceptance reverses the misplaced impulse to defend or self-preserve a limited mind by opening it wide to experience. Open acceptance faces the fear and moves through it, finding the belief source which is festering in the mind. Acceptance heeds the message of the fear and acts upon it correctively. Open acceptance allows the Earthly experience to be evaluated by spirit, liberating it from the judgments, physical illusion, and isolation of mind. When unimpeded by resistance and respected as the messengers of spirit, the feeling signals can at last be allowed to do their job. Then--- and only then ---can purposeful, meaningful, fulfilling experience begin.
Sometimes, even the "fear" of an experience can serve as a sufficient block to prevent the value of it from coming to the fore. It would serve us well to remember that Spirit in not intent on destroying us, rather it is our guide to evolvement.
Once restored upon the intended path, the individual is then reconnected with the Spirit and living in the Light. Human feeling then takes its rightful place as the internal guide. Its signals are carefully analyzed and acted upon, following the response rules. This tremendously speeds progress, leads to the intended joyous feeling state, the creation of desired meaningful events, and fosters an ever-expanding arena for spiritual development and expression. Fear becomes only a casual visitor, and only when learning is in order. And resistance is cast aside as a vestige of ignorance.
This is the promise of things to come, when Spirit begins to play a rightful role in our learning process. Just as the happiest child is one in a state of painless learning, so can we, as adults, reach that point (again) where mental and spiritual growth are a natural and joyous process.
Open acceptance creates a positive cycle of thought and action that can become habitual to instantly deliver optimal responses and experiences. Acceptance opens the door to each and every incoming experience, regardless of whether it feels good or bad. In fact, the earliest acceptance of the stuff that feels bad affords the quickest response time. This allows levels of fear and other pain to remain relatively minor and never to build to the horrific proportions now routinely experienced by far too many humans.
Ignorance feeds "fear" and too often exacerbates that which would remain a minor sensation so long as we understand the reason for it and place a higher value on the experience itself. We progress because we trust. This gives broader meaning to the whole concept of Faith.
The Role of Judgment
The key to building the habit of acceptance lies in understanding the nature of judgment. Many great leaders have heralded the warning message of human judgment, but it has not yet been correctly absorbed and applied. A clear understanding of the problem must start with a review of the capacities of mind.
Our propensity to "judge" others by a stricter standard than the one we apply to ourselves, has led to harsh actions and reprisals which, in turn, has lead to massive violence. We have labeled our actions as justifiable wars, but they were clearly much less noble.
The mind is a tremendous gift with incredible capabilities designed for the task of creating optimal spiritual expression in human experience. Mind as a receptacle acts as gatekeeper, defining the bounds of individual self-identity. Mind as a computer performs rational, informational processing to store, classify, sort, merge and utilize ideas in incredibly useful ways. Decisions and conclusions result from such processing, which in turn, motivate thoughts and actions which are tested in the world. These thoughts and actions are then evaluated against the external results that they achieve. If the strategies behind the actions are sound, they would meet with success in fulfilling spiritual needs in the world. This success would be signaled by good feelings. If mental belief strategies were not adequate, they would meet with failure and bad feelings. Such successes or failures then are remembered, and taken into the self-identity of the human.
While history does make an effort to record facts, it does not always do a very good job of recording and retaining the feelings that follow a particular line of action, even though the action at the time, was based upon a process that was considered most rational. In war, for example, it is usually the winners who write the version of the events that led up to and justified their actions. The alternative to "war" is seldom given adequate review because it was not one of the consequences.
The evaluation step is where the confusion over judgment lies. The mind is unlimited in what it can contain and how complex it can become. It can creatively evaluate any scenario based upon its beliefs---including rationalization, psychic blaming, and even delusion--- virtually anything goes within the powerful "brain". Mind has no way within its own boundaries to determine the accuracy of its evaluation. Mind, by itself, cannot measure the rightness or wrongness of its choices. It requires the spirit; an understanding of its intention, and how it speaks through the language of human feeling.
To take "mind" to that next step requires a willingness to trust our spiritual nature and to recognize that mind, alone, can not be the ultimate arbitrator of our actions.
The dangerous kind of human judgment is that which allows mind to perform the evaluation all by itself. This is a profound point: Mind alone cannot---and therefore should not---judge.
To expand the term human judgement to its optimum meaning is to include not only the functions of mind in the decision making process, but to incorporate our feelings. If a decision is not followed by a deep satisfaction of having done the truly right thing, then we are likely to have excluded Spirit from the process.
Recall the problem of Emotional Boundaries. The purpose of mental boundaries is to separate one human from another, to provide a uniquely individual focus of experience, and to allow that focus to freely direct and choose life events. Boundaries of mind are intended to continuously expand as the purpose of self-development is carried out. In contrast, boundaries of spirit are those defined by the Creator and encoded within the body. They must not be changed. They must be actively maintained, protected and defended to ensure at minimum, self preservation, and ultimately, the intended purposeful self-expression. The mind must be as actively developed as the spirit must be actively defended to accomplish the fully-intended human experience.
The "Mind" spends a lot of time resisting that which the "Spirit" suggests when, in fact, if the Spirit were not so often ignored, it would be able to play a greater role in the Mind's decision-making process.
But motivation to defend spiritual boundaries can mistakenly direct the mind to stop developing and defend its current state. This creates the problem of human judgment. A defensive mind closes itself to experience and cuts itself off from the necessary spiritual evaluation. For the mind cannot go outside of itself to bring in new information without conscious involvement of its master. It can only base its decisions upon that which already exists as knowledge, belief, attitude or habit. As we know, there are no garbage chutes in the house of mind where the faulty ideas are automatically shuttled away. Slivers can sit side by side with gems until they are noticed and actively removed. They are noticed only through conscious feeling experience. Such evaluative information must be actively invited--- accepted---into the mind.
Probably, one of the most effective methods of setting ourselves up to experience this sorting process, is to quiet the mind to a state of listening to our inner voice and inviting our Spiritual nature to speak to us through that "voice". This tactic is often referred to as meditation.
The feedback cycle is dependent upon action. Action, and the feeling experience that follows, is the only way to invite new evaluation information. Test actions invoke the spiritual judge and allow feelings to determine how well the mind is equipped to meet spiritual needs. Then corrective actions ---Right, Light and Fight responses---follow the feelings which adapt the mind or alter the world to facilitate spiritual expression.
This may seem like simply a trial and error process absent of any pre-guidance, but it is the least we can do providing we factor in some degree of reflection following our actions. Eventually, our Spiritual nature incorporates our Mental nature and we have to spend less time apologizing for our errors.
The judgment problem arises when the mind evaluates---judges---a situation by itself before active experience, in a habitual sequence of thoughts that result in limiting action choices. Such habit can allow the mind to direct actions which avoid and resist the very experience for which the spirit cries out. But since mind creates events, based upon its contents, it will also attract unpleasant events which point out the same inadequacies it is defending. Such a person will fall "victim" to "bad luck," accidents," or "misfortunes"---all of which mirror perfectly the limiting beliefs that create them. This is a dangerous cycle of misdirected will energy and self-preservationary impulse, which relegates humans to a brutish and minimal physical experience now the norm on earth. This is the condition which must be relieved. It is now time to heed this timeless message: judge not.
When "bad" things happen to good people, these events can serve as educational mirrors, designed (with the help of memory) to educate us in altering the process of our lives. It is not our Spiritual nature that demands that we suffer. It is, rather, our false pride that results in the consequences that are meant to deter us from our wrongful thinking habits.
In short, the mind must accept---even seek out---experience in order to keep itself aligned with spiritual intention. Mind simply must be actively developed. It is a common understanding that the human brain only uses one tenth of its capabilities. This is simply due to the lack of adequate mental self-development. Until the mind is harnessed, the feeling route to spiritual intent must be fully utilized, for the actual percentage of harnessed mind power is much lower. Humans have not yet even imagined the mental potential which awaits within.
Yet, there are no limits to what we can imagine!
Clarity of Purpose
Building habits of acceptance rely upon clarity of purpose. The only way to rise above the automatic, biological imperative of self-preservation of body, is to actively focus upon the higher purpose of self-development of mind for expression of spirit. This is the true goal of the preservationary impulse---to keep humans alive until they finally answer the jammed signal of spiritual feeling and awaken to their intended purpose---the Divine human purpose of self-development and expression.
This seems to suggest that we can purposefully continue to exist in the physical so long as we choose to continue to focus our minds upon the higher purpose of spiritual self-expression. In acquainting ourselves with our inner being, this message should probably be reiterated habitually, if we wish to preserve our mental existence in this physical environment.
It bears repeating that the human purpose is to fully express spirit in the physical form. This requires first the development of mind---the vehicle of expression in the physical experience. Cultural, mental self development is the only route to physical, genetic, spiritual self-expression.
It would be the intent and purpose of these "Lessons" to aid us in this effort. It is for this purpose that I make this effort to express my reflections on the information given and would encourage anyone else to do likewise. - Lloyd J. Klapperich
To focus with clarity upon purpose is to see beyond the momentary impulse to self-preserve, compete, or violate. With consciousness of purpose certain feelings automatically signal the need for mental development. The mind can then seek and create strategies which broaden its boundaries under the ever-present direction of spirit. Purpose is the shining beacon which pierces the darkness, guiding humans toward spiritual reward.
We each have an obligation to develop ourselves to the fullest and, in doing so, we teach others by example to do likewise.
Faith In Spirit
From purpose springs the next replacement belief---foundational faith in spirit. Purpose points the way but faith empowers the movement. Faith allows spirit to energize the body and mind. Faith in individual spirit is faith in Universal Spirit. Those who live in faith, bear life's challenges without the draining heaviness of doubt and fear. Faith in spirit brings optimism, energy, vigor, and vitality to every action.
When we say, "I am one with the Universe", we are acknowledging that our spirit nature is a part of the Universal Spirit and that our experiences are a part of the whole and, finally, that we are not alone in our challenges. To that degree, we are like waves in an "Ocean of Being".
Faith in spirit already belongs to each and every human being. Although it may be buried deep beneath the trappings of belief, or the pains of fear and doubt, it is there. Recognition of spirit is hardwired into the human body and it is "felt" in many natural, universal, human experiences. It comes in a flood of feeling---that swell of love and joy from within upon connecting with Universal Spirit.
A parent feels it for his/her children and vice versa. We experience it in the love for another or a connection with the nature around us. It is the opposite of fear and anger and it becomes apparent to us at the most unexpected moments of our life.
This feeling may have been associated with any number of experiences, but each held the common quality of resonance with the Creator---that unmistakable feeling of divine joy upon recognition and attunement to the ever-presence and intention of All That Is. It is a feeling which begins in the solar plexus, the energy center just below the heart, and washes through the body-mind, bringing a peace-like contentment, and an instantaneous unshakable knowledge of the meaning, wisdom, beauty, order and rightness of the universe.
If we are fortunate to have it only once or twice in a lifetime, it is an experience that we never forget. Ironically, it is an experience that, if we were made aware of it being the normal part of our nature, we could have on a regular basis.
This feeling may have accompanied an interaction with nature's wonders of creation, in a moment of awe and appreciation of a fawn in a thicket, a magic sunset, the unfolding of petals of a flower, or a starry night sky. Or it may have been associated with the unmistakable communion of spirits, that deep connection experienced as love. It may have been a moment where the soul was moved to tears by a powerful, creative expression of another kindred spirit, be it musical, artistic or poetic. Or it may have been experienced through a moment of creative insight---a breakthrough in understanding.
Whatever the experience might be, it is the personal recognition of what Native Americans know as an expression of the "Great Spirit." It is, of course, "All That Is".
It may have been experienced through a religious framework, wherein the presence of the Creator or other higher powers are simply known and felt within each fiber of the being. The unmistakable presence of spirit may have poured forth from the eyes of a newborn child whose ancient wisdom and powerful soul now lie swaddled within soft fresh pink flesh. It may have come in the form of a miraculous event or the message of a dream or from another altered state of consciousness. But the spirit has been ever-present, and may be revealed through a review of each and every life experience that has moved one to tears in resonance with universal joy, with each recognition strengthening the power of faith.
The "how's" and "wherefore's" are innumerable but secondary to the fact that as a part of the Universal Whole, we can and should be experiencing the Spiritual Nature of our created environment and appreciate the source of the power which creates it.
The spirit is hardly a foreign concept---it is a familiar presence. Each and every human being is already on some level attuned to the presence of spirit, with a corresponding level of faith.
The variance in our state of enlightenment lies within our awareness of the above.
This attunement must be identified, reinforced, and credited for that which it is, for the faith to strengthen. Regardless of the cultural trappings or disguises, spirit itself is the root source of each incident of illumination, of raw joy, and of inspired awe. When the trappings are stripped bare, particularly the ones which carry religious dogma, a pure and deep concept of spirit shall emerge. All faith in a God or Creator should be clearly understood as faith in spirit---Universal Spirit in each of its individual apportionments. Faith in spirit is the trust that spiritual knowledge lies within, not without. It is not dependent upon any one thought system, religion, culture, political perspective, leader, supernatural entity, or any other intermediary. It is rightful, reachable, and ever-present within each human being. Connecting to the Universal Truth is to once and forever establish faith in spirit.
The only sacrifice necessary to attain this, is time. We need only set aside a brief period every day to exercise an intent. If we need to do it in a particular edifice or with a certain group, then so be it. But we need nothing more than a place of comfort and a commitment to seek. The rest will follow.
To have faith in Spirit is to have faith in the Creator and the Creations. It is to rest assured that chaos and suffering is an aberration of the physical experience, not a naturally intended condition. To have faith in spirit, is to know without doubt, fear or hesitation, that there is meaning in each and every life event; that each experience is a message from Spirit to mind that can reveal its rightful intention. To have faith in Spirit is to search for the spiritual wisdom in each physical event.
Nature gets a bad rap in times of chaotic events and is too often portrayed as an enemy of the human race, acting irrationally and reeking havoc as some mindless and callous force. Those steeped in religious fundamentals will even attribute such dire consequences as an act of an angry God. Either attitude is demeaning to the essence of All That Is. Once we can come to realize the role we play in creating our own reality, we will be able to avoid all that we currently fail to understand or fully appreciate.
Accountability & The Law of Attraction
Faith in Spirit leads to more ready acceptance of each and every opportunity to learn. It provides the courage to push past the growing pain and into broader mental and physical horizons. Acceptance is faith in the Spirit's presence within, and feeling signature upon every physical experience. Faith in Spirit recognizes the creative power of mind. Thus, acceptance begins with a mindset that each and every experience is one that has been attracted by that human being. Acceptance begins with accountability for life's events.
By accepting the Spiritual part of our nature as innate to our being, we take a step forward in understanding our role in the physical environment which we have created and the experiences in this environment.
For indeed, the creative mind attracts experience which perfectly reflects its beliefs and intentions. There are no accidents, evil or mysterious forces that decide which probable event will occur physically. It is simply mind creating that which it thinks the person desires. It can only do this based upon what it knows and believes. It can do no more or less. One of the rare guarantees in life is that physical experience will always accurately reflect the parameters of mind ---slivers and all.
Thus, each experience is a portrait of our creation. The bad news is that we create our own reality. The good news is that we create our own reality. The only question we have to answer is the "why" we are having the experiences we do. The obvious answer is that our beliefs are the governing factor.
Desire is the emotional spiritual force---the Will energy---which has remained misunderstood. Thus, each emotion--- whether positive or negative---is interpreted by mind as desire. Desire is intention and feelings communicate intention. Emotion empowers the belief that signals it and creates that event. Given the fact that most mental contents have bypassed the spiritual judge, many beliefs are not aligned with spiritual intention. This means the events they create are not those actually intended by Spirit, they will be unpleasant and will bring emotional pain.
We can get beyond this situation by first examining our beliefs to determine if they are aligned with "Spiritual Intention". Then we can adjust them (or simply allow our minds to) until they do reflect this intention.
The mind is the controller; it holds the ideas, beliefs and values to create experience. Feeling is the key to unlock the creative power of mind. Thus, the mind will continue to create that which it holds, pain and all, so that humans can recognize and accept accountability for the cause and effect relationship between belief and experience.
It is not the intention of Spirit that we should live our lives in pain, although this "pain" can serve a positive purpose in giving us the necessary feedback to alert us that our beliefs and our Spiritual nature are not in alignment. Supplied with this information, we can "change" our mind regarding our beliefs, until our experiences contain less pain.
Remember, once Spirit enters flesh it delegates the creation of reality to the mind---the portal of individual human experience. The pain of spiritual frustration exists to inform mind that its contents need re-examination. Instead of understanding this message, humans have created many wildly exotic---yet faulty---beliefs to explain why "bad things happen to good people". Superstitious meaning is assigned, external controllers are identified and the internal power remains unclaimed. This adds further limitation to mind, and sets up the cycle of blame and victimhood. This is the norm of human consciousness at this time. Is it any wonder then, why humans only use a mere one tenth of their mental capability?
We would rather come up with excuses why we have unhappiness in our lives than consider the possibility that we are simply creating this unhappiness by hanging on to limiting beliefs. When someone near to us dies, we can mourn their passing to the point of a mental breakdown, or we can rejoice for them as they step into a reality free of pain. Unfortunately, since beliefs tend to continue for people as they go into their next environment, much of the happiness they could be experiencing is being postponed.
The following idea bears repeating---heed this crucial universal truth: There are no accidents, evil or mysterious external forces that decide which probable event will occur physically. It is simply mind creating that which it thinks the person desires. Desire is communicated through feelings. Feelings spring from beliefs. Beliefs must be carefully selected under the direction of Spirit, for mental belief creates physical reality. This is the Law of Attraction.
...and it is our own mind (not someone else's) which is doing the creating. The feelings of fear and anxiety are within ourselves, waiting for someone who might fan the flame. But we supply the fuel and we control the fire. The more negative our beliefs, the more smoke created to obscure our vision of the guiding light within ourselves. Beliefs are like magnets. They draw to us those experiences we think we should be having.
Individual mind is the creator of individual experience and should be held accountable. With this ultimate truth, the most beneficial mindset is to take immediate ownership and responsibility for each experience so that it can be used to find limitations of mind. This is the habit of accountability. Accountability honors the incoming voice of Spirit by looking to mind for answers. Accountability respects the Law Of Attraction. Accountability is seeking mental cause through faith in spiritual effect. Accountability counteracts the psychic blaming which creates the cycle of resistance, limitation and pain. Accountability is looking to self for learning opportunities. Accountability is the habit of mind that ushers the Right Response to emotional pain. To be accountable is to think and live by the credo: "I attract that which happens to me."
If we find the mind's "limitations", we know that our respective beliefs put them there. There is a point somewhere in everyone's existence when we must lay down the cross of victimhood and pick up the cloak of accountability. The time for this is overdue!
Accountability provides its own reward. For example: Recall our person driving to work, relying upon many physical and mental habits. Recall how another driver dangerously cuts in front, grabbing our driver's attention for corrective action. This situation would most certainly bring sudden emotional arousal within our driver, first fear, and then likely anger. It would be very easy and quite natural to direct the anger at the errant driver, and perhaps a physical retaliation of fist shaking or other such gestures.
Rude or thoughtless behavior, responded to with road rage, completes a cycle. Breaking the cycle takes the experience to a new level. If we truly believe that we do attract our experiences, then this is an experience so dramatic, that its lesson can hardly be ignored.
Although this would have a certain valid justification, it gives the power of the moment to the errant driver. This would reinforce the belief that the world is full of idiots whose ignorant actions can leave devastating effects upon innocent others---in this case a potential car "accident". There is utter powerlessness in this belief, which will be echoed by anger which might spoil an otherwise lovely day. Most competent human drivers have experienced such a moment, and can recognize how they have allowed such oafs to drive away with their power. This is simply due to the unconscious, habitual response of resistance and blame.
Whatever tactics we utilize to protect ourselves while driving a vehicle, be they the use of a seat belt or something more metaphysical, such as surrounding one's vehicle with a white, protective light, we can empower this action by remembering that we are in the physical to learn how to create our own reality and the Lessons of Life come to us only when they are needed.
Now imagine instead, at the moment of the incident, our driver uses the emotion to examine the existing beliefs. Accountability is to think---the moment composure is regained---"Whoa! What did I do to attract that into my life???" Was I paying adequate attention to the road? Do I believe that accidents can occur? Do I believe the "laws of probability" I was taught in the school, that I must have a certain number of accidents corresponding to number of miles driven? Do I secretly want to get my money's worth out of my insurance payments? Do I believe in karma? Did I wrong that jerk in another life? Do I expect such things to happen inevitably? Do I have adequate tolerance and compassion for such people?"
The answer to any one of those questions is a step along the way to broadening our perspective on our inevitable life experiences. It also can be a step toward bringing more harmony into our lives, along with more peace and abundance. Ultimately, it leads to recognizing and benefitting from our creative potential.
Any of these self-reflective thoughts can lead to mental housekeeping. Even the slightest liberating mental shift is highly beneficial. Looking to self for cause keeps the power and uses the emotional arousal to develop the self, not preserve self-limitation by blaming another. Perhaps our driver ended the event by reaffirming the dominant mindset of compassion for those less enlightened, and eliminating a lesser, but conflicting, belief in the power of ignorance. The feeling of fear or anger would cease and the day could continue as planned, or perhaps with the energy retained and the mood protected, it would unfold with even more positive events.
Sometimes, if we are willing to consider the possibility, nature itself (for example, in the form of a bird flying across our path, an omen ), can supply us with an alert to a negative experience that might be coming into our reality, a wake-up call if you wish. We might slow down a bit, become a little more alert and seek a blessing from our higher self, as we proceed along our path. This may sound a little too esoteric, but these Lessons are esoteric.
The reward is the feeling that follows the accountable Right Response. Not only does positive emotion reflect the success of the accountable action, it also brings closure to the event and frees the mind for its next experience. But the mind is now that much less limited. Even very minor shifts can be quite powerful, and they build upon one another with incredible results. When enough such shifts have occurred, the mind is allowed the freedom to quickly show the cause and effect relationship between belief and action. This is what is referred to as "the raising of consciousness." This is the ultimate empowerment, because the mind can see more clearly and create more spiritually desirable experience. Such a mind creates a life that is, and feels, GOOD.
The "rewiring" of our belief systems and habits of thought, does require dedication to an intent. Negative habits atrophy when replaced by Positive Habits. The clue is consistency.
Accountability is a very powerful mindset. It is the key strategy of empowerment. Several habits of acceptance can bolster and support this strategy. Breaking the habitual cycle of blame can be quite a challenge; for Mass Consciousness teaches humans limitation, judgment and blame at every turn.
However, the better acquainted we become with our inner selves, the less influential the negative qualities of the outer world will tend to be.
Genuine human compassion is a spiritual tool of acceptance. It is a component of innate morality and counterpart of the connection need. Despite the most successful attempts to look within, there will be genuine times when an external limitation is the source of your spiritual frustration. It is often the case that prejudgment or the beliefs of another causes resistance within them, in turn having a direct effect upon your need-meeting efforts. This will be experienced as an external obstacle and will prompt feelings of anger. In sum, internal accountability needs an ally---external compassion.
This is when we are most challenged. The belief systems of others we care about, block our attempts to achieve spiritual growth. Usually, these people are parents or siblings, but they might be church officials or people whom we would presume would be our allies in our quest. But instead of encouragement, we are often met with threats and strong admonitions to return to their reality.
Although the limitation is a genuine one, compassion recognizes and absolves the other for their limitations while retaining the power to act and respond. To maximize compassion, an essential mindset is the understudying that change can only be accomplished with guaranteed results within the self. The spiritual need of freedom to choose the contents of mind is indeed every human's right. So ultimately, it must be accepted that no matter how well-meaning, no matter how uplifting, no matter how truly valuable, significant and wonderful offers of Light can be, they may not be accepted. This is right and good in the eyes of the Creator, for it preserves the mental freedom that defines the individual human experience.
To clarify, the only "change" we can guarantee is that which we make within ourselves. We can not "change" another's way of thinking by willing such. The best we can do is encourage and motivate by example. This applies not to just our children, but all we are in contact with in our respective environments. Again, the right to be "wrong" is a guarantee under Universal Law and it is a right in universal entitlement. The freedom to progress at one's own spiritual pace (or even to regress, if that is one's choice), is sacrosanct. Free will can have no exceptions if it is to remain what it is. No Divine Spirit can, or would, ever make anyone behave in a certain fashion. Atheists who make the argument that if there were a God, how could He/She allow so much suffering in the world, completely miss an essential ingredient of what Spirit is. The truly great educational institutions are the one's which allow the greatest freedom of thought. It is through this quality of Free Will that we have the potential to exercise our most promising creativity. This principle permeates our existence in the same sense that the ocean penetrates a wave.
And with such freedom, rest assured unenlightened choices will be made. This is the condition of ignorance . Ignorance results from misunderstanding and misuse of the self-preservationary impulse. It results from the habit of resistance and of defending limited mental boundaries. The spiritual right of freedom to choose ignorance is why humans are in their current predicament.
However, it is also why the potential for rising beyond this "predicament" remains intact. The closer we get to understanding the Universal Spiritual Truths of our nature, the greater is our spiritual progress exhilarated. Preoccupation with what is wrong with our planet is only a distraction from envisioning what can be right with it.
The best habitual response to the swell of anger and frustration which follows an interaction with an ignorant one, is to immediately understand and respect the right to self-develop at one's own pace. Accept the other, warts and all, with human compassion and empathic understanding of their experience. Then use the emotional energy to develop skills and strategies for dealing with them in ways that match their mental environment. To stand in the shoes of the ignorant one and to truly accept their present state of development, is to recall your own time spent there. For an enlightened perspective has surely sprung from having been in a similarly narrower state of awareness at some point. Compassion is to accept and meet the mind of the other and operate from the base of experience or focus on reality. Compassion offers the challenge of learning to express your suggestions to those at many levels of awareness.
There are obvious examples of "Compassion" in the later days of the life of the personality, Jesus. Forgiveness and understanding were qualities that He had to exercise to the extreme. But, what He did, we can and must do also, especially at this critical juncture in our planet's existence, for it is the physical reality we have created and continue to maintain for ourselves.
Compassion springs from spiritual recognition of the one-ness and interconnection of each spirit. Compassion is the resonance of respect for each individual journey of discovery. Compassion is not judgmental, condescending or patronizing, it need not even be communicated to the other. It is simply a mental tool to immediately accept the situation as is, to right the self, and to channel the anger productively. Compassion flows naturally from faith in the integrity of spirit---each and every spirit, regardless of how tightly swaddled they might be within ignorance.
Sometimes, the greatest "compassion" we can exercise is simply by being silent. This simple act does not express approval and can often cause a degree of inner reflection on the part of another on the journey.
Respectful compassion is also an essential ingredient for offering successful Light Responses to others. Although expression can always be rejected, offerings of Light will meet with far less resistance within the resonance of compassion. Each human responds to genuine compassion on a cellular level. There can be no ingenuous manipulation, persuasion, control, or even legal constraint over another without the energy of genuine compassion in validation of their experience behind it. Compassion is the very secret to sharing the Light.
The justice dealt out by our court system could benefit by a greater degree of "compassion" for those whose lives eventually bring them to the point of conflict with man-made laws. Systems are innately flawed and those who operate them and those who are subject to them, are all a part of this flawed process. This might explain why so much of the civilized world has done away with the death penalty---it simply lacks the essential ingredient of compassion.
Another life-giving habit is that of forgiveness. Compassion for the ignorance and foibles of another can reach a limit, if forgiveness does not follow. For ignorance can lead to the most heinous and evil acts of violation by human upon human. This is where the most powerful mental adaptations are necessary.
It would seem that "forgiveness" is an essential part of "compassion" and that the latter can not be complete (sometimes) unless the former is also in place. An example that stands out in my mind might be the Jews forgiving the Nazis for the holocaust. Next to a museum of atrocities might be a museum of "forgiveness". Now that would really be exceptional.
Take the example of murder. The anger that springs genuinely from such evil violation is the true voice of spirit. Such acts are truly inhuman and frustrating to spirit. Such feelings are not based upon limited beliefs or faulty perceptions; these feelings voice legitimate, righteous, spiritual anger. Anger shouts its pain, declaring the violation of every human need when a life itself is taken. It warns that ignorance is threatening the very preservation of the species if such acts are permitted. It is the anger that has moved mountains and defined "civilization".
There is such a thing as "righteous anger" and it does reflect our spiritual qualities. The question is not whether "anger" is justified. It is how that justification is carried out. Like behavior does little to assuage the situation.
But anger must be utilized in productive ways or it can eat away at the soul of the violated one. This is where finding compassion in ignorance and closure in forgiveness can restore power. This is not always easy. For example, it is much easier to find compassion for a man who commits murder from the mindset of his mother, than it is from the perspective of the mother of his victim.
In the first case, the tie is to the perpetrator and in the second, to the victim. While there is little personal loss in the first case, there is bound to be deep emotional pain. In the the second case there is that, plus the loss of a child.
Forgiveness allows the anger to be converted into impassioned energy that can be directed at the source of the true problem, the limitations within Mass Consciousness that allow and perpetuate such ignorance. The perpetrator himself is a symptom. Thus, the victim will never be free until the perpetrator is forgiven. Anger misdirected is the giving over of the power. To retain the power is to forgive. To channel it productively is to remove the beliefs and limitations within human cultures which reduce humans to such sub-human ignorant conditions. It is to build structures of enlightenment within the educational, social, political, judicial and religious institutions and traditions. It is to remove the lingering ideas that perpetuate limitation, spiritual frustration and self-preservationary ignorance.
In looking at the recent slaying in the high school in Colorado, we see that the violence and killing carried out by these perpetrators (as well as other children who have committed like crimes at other schools), should inspire a deeper look into our society, not just at the violence we surround ourselves and/or children with, but the mind set that draws us to this atmosphere of violence. As Gandhi once said, "An eye for an eye and the whole world is blind." The circle of violence and hate, only leads to a more encompassing environment of violence and hate. Forgiveness is a way out of that entrapment. For some, it may be the only way.
Competition Within Self
One final habit to develop and hone is a healthy, challenging, internal competition. The habit of competing with others is very rooted within individual and mass consciousness. Be they families feuding, Gladiators fighting, religions warring, political parties arguing, even athletic opposition, human history is peppered with evidence of the broad acceptance and encouragement of external, win-lose competition.
At one point or another in our lives, we have almost all been involved in one of the "competitions" mentioned above. Some have been more personal, i.e. the feuding of families. Others have been more detached, i.e. the super bowl (our modern form of Gladiator fighting). Regardless, the experience of this involvement, while oftentimes rewarding, they are just as frequently losing experiences that take their toll, especially in the area of personal relationships.
Such competition springs, of course, from innate spiritual purpose. This has translated into self-preservationary directives, where humans must compete for "survival of the fittest". But in an enlightened society, competition with others wherein one must lose for another to win, is not appropriate. Yet humans will always have the urge to compete, due to the higher spiritual purposes of self-development and expression, and they must be reinterpreted in that context. Thus a new form of internal, personal competition should replace the old.
Our current economic systems would find a suggestion that competition is "not appropriate", to be not only unacceptable but threatening. Yet, if spiritual growth is to be a part of our future, then a revision of our present mindset is essential.
With the most primitive directive of external competition, individuals simply fight to forcefully overcome the challenges of the environment in remedial caveman-like responses. By placing the competition on the inside, humans can adapt themselves to be successful within every kind of world, as well as make positive changes upon them. Adaptations within the mind and corresponding creative actions in the world are the stuff of human evolution and the only route to enlightened civilizations.
When we make a personal commitment to overcome those elements in our reality that are detrimental to our spiritual evolvement, and do so by altering our own perspective, we may seem threatening to others momentarily, but our long-term influence (if we have the patience to endure) will bring positive change to those areas of our lives and the lives of others that will ultimately be effective.
With the habit of self competition, the individual holds the continuing challenge of personal betterment, with the goal of attaining ever higher levels of skill, ever more valuable and accommodating beliefs, higher levels of acceptance and compassion, and a broader, more inclusive world view. Winning is bettering the self and spreading the unique gifts far and wide. And there can be no more deeply rewarding sense of accomplishment.
I will conquer the person I was yesterday, with the person I am today.
Instead of measuring one's self against the successes or failings of another, it is far more useful to pit them against earlier versions of one's self. This simple mindset can profoundly increase the human connection as well as empower individuals to answer their higher purpose. No longer will it be necessary to beat and humiliate one another in order to attain status or regard. No longer will it be necessary to define rigid categories of value that only honor and value a few. No longer will humans experience the frustration of being measured on scales irrelevant to their own spiritual inclinations, gifts and destiny paths. No longer will humans give up altogether in the face of overwhelming competition. No longer will humans have to elevate themselves by lowering another. No longer will one have to lose for another to win. True cooperation means win-win expressive scenarios for all involved.
Some might conclude that this would make life much more dull. In fact, as we become more skilled in exercising the habit of self-evolvement along spiritual lines, and begin to conquer our sense of limitation, we will find that the satisfaction which follows will overwhelm the lack of temporary enjoyment we might gain from our old patterns of thinking and feeling.
A daily directive of personal development and improvement can provide an arena to meet all the needs within the context of cooperation, compassion, acceptance and natural morality. When humans finally break free from the illusion of necessary competition, evolution can flourish.
Just as the experience of physical flight took humans to another physical level of existence, the experience of spiritual flight will leave behind our preoccupation with conflicts of a lesser level of existence.
So feel free to engage in mental and physical sparring, debates, games and exhibitions of challenge and accomplishment, but do so in the spirit of cooperation with humankind, and only in true competition with yourself.
Truth is an evolving process resulting from the sharing of our expanding perspectives. Just as in challenging ourselves, we can indulge in a truly "friendly" competition.
With the life-giving habits of self-development discussed, we can now turn to the life-giving habits that promote self-expression.