Friday, January 31, 2014

We Live As One

Girl:  “What are people like on the inside?”

Powder:  “Inside most people there is a feeling of being separate.  Separated from everything.  And they’re not.  They’re a part of absolutely everyone…and everything.”

Girl:  “Everything?  I’m a part of this tree?  You’re telling me that I’m a part of some fisherman in Italy…on some ocean I’ve never heard of?  There’s some guy sitting on death row.  You’re telling me I’m a part of him, too?”

Powder:  “You don’t believe me?”

Girl:  “It’s hard to believe that…all of that.”

Powder:  “That’s because you have this spot that you can’t see past.  (He puts his finger on her forehead.)  My grams and gramps had it.  A spot where they were taught that they were disconnected from everything.”
 
Girl:  “So that’s what they’d see if they could…that they’re connected?” 

Powder:  “And how beautiful they really are.  And that there’s no need to hide, or lie.  And that it’s possible to talk to someone without any lies, without no sarcasms, no deceptions, no exaggerations, or any of the things people use to confuse the truth.”

The above is a scene from one of my favorite movies called “Powder” and was one of the first message movies that had a real impact on me.  Powder was a young man who was an albino, extremely intelligent, and who could sense the thoughts and feelings of those around him.  The film explores the limits of the mind and body, and shows society’s capacity for cruelty, as well as its hope that humanity will be enlightened to a state of better understanding.  It a heart-wrenching, yet heart-warming movie which gives us hope that maybe we human beings can learn to accept each other with love, kindness, and compassion, and to really come to know that we are, in truth, connected to one another, as well as to animals, nature, and our great Mother Earth. 

Albert Einstein said, “A human being is part of a whole, called by us the ‘Universe’ - a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts, and feelings, as something separated from the rest - a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

It is only when we separate ourselves from everyone and everything that we treat others differently.  Slap a label on them and we have our justification.  One of the biggest areas that causes separation is through our religions.  When we think that ours is the one and only religion that should be believed in, we feel justified to vilify and condemn others based upon our beliefs.  Whose beliefs?  Whose religion?  And whose denomination within those religions? 

I feel connections to people through all religions and belief systems regardless of what I believe personally.  I’ve learned a lot from Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Sufism, Taoism, Confucianism, Gnosticism, Hinduism, those from American Indians, Africans, Hawaiians, and so many more.  I’ve also learned from so many teachers and masters throughout history, as well as modern day writers and speakers.  There is so much truth and beauty in most all religions and by opening our minds to the wisdom to be gained from each, we make our lives and our belief systems so much more enriched.  That doesn’t mean we can’t believe in only one religion or belief system.  Most do and that’s perfectly okay.  I will never tell anyone what they have to believe or that they’re wrong if they don’t believe the way I do.

There is also so much to be learned from all the various cultures all over the world.  I hope that someday I can visit different parts of the world to see and learn from so many.  Personally, I feel very connected to all people, to animals, and to Mother Nature, and I feel so blessed because of it.  Enlightenment comes from opening our heart, mind, and soul to everything God/Spirit/Universe would have for us to experience. 

Just think….  If we could all come together as Powder said above…without any lies, without sarcasms, deceptions, exaggerations, or any of the things people use to confuse the truth, maybe, just maybe, we could experience real love for our fellow beings and all of life, and maybe, just maybe, even manifest world peace.  As John Lennon said, “You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us. And the world will live as one.” 



Published in the January 31, 2014 Cookeville Herald Citizen newspaper.

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Friday, January 3, 2014

What If...?

What if…we all became aware of who we really are, that we are powerful beyond measure, and that we really have more control over our lives than we were led to believe?  So many believe we are weak, that we are puppets of fate, and that no matter what we do, things will never change.

What if… we all thought of ourselves as beautiful, handsome, wonderful, and magnificent, and that we are the best there is and it has nothing to do with anyone else?  So many think of ourselves as less than, which causes feelings of low self-esteem and low self-worth. 

What if…ignorance no longer existed and people actually thought for themselves and researched the truth in all matters?  So many only believe what others tell them whether it has to do with religion, politics, education, or what our caretakers (parents, etc.) tell us, and they don’t know that they can think for themselves and ask questions.

What if…we released all our attachments to the way we think others should be and allowed them to be who they were meant to be?  Because of those attachments, we make others wrong for they don’t live up to the way we think they should be, or the way they should believe, or what they should do in life.

What if…we no longer judged each other?  People tend to put labels on everyone and everything and because of these labels, they feel it gives them permission to look down on others and make them below us.

What if…we all saw God/Good in each other?   Most people will only see the flaws and weaknesses in others, and will use them to make themselves feel bigger and better.

What if…we just allowed other souls to exist and to experience whatever they came here to experience?   People tend to think they should have control over other people’s lives and should be able to tell them how to live, what to believe, and what to do.

What if…we only heard the good news on TV and radio?  Nowadays we only hear biased opinions and rarely, if ever, the facts.  Newscasters tell lies, misconceptions, spread rumors, and pass them off as news, and what’s sad, is that too many people believe whatever they hear. 

What if…ministers and other church leaders all agreed to disagree in their beliefs?  Too many waste too much energy putting others down, finding fault with them, and demonizing them because they don’t believe in the same things. 

What if…all religions lived together in harmony?  Too many believe that anyone who doesn’t believe the way they do are condemned and this gives them permission to treat people however they want, regardless if it goes against the very teachings of their spiritual masters to love one another.

What if…all our politicians worked together for the good of our country and our world?  Too many are in politics only to further their own personal, selfish, and greedy agendas and answer only to those who have the money to buy them off.

What if…we cared for all our fellow beings, making sure everyone had shelter, enough food and clothing, and their health needs taken care of?  There seems to be a great divide in the haves and have nots as people want only for themselves and could care less about others.

What if…we had world peace where everyone worked together as one for the good of all?  Too many are divided just because there is a “partition” between states, countries, and land masses.

What if…the law of the land was unconditional love for all?  Many people say they love, but their words and actions say different. 

What if...we could change our “what if’s” into a reality?  It is possible!  One person at a time; one step at a time.  People are making a difference because they have discovered how to be the greatest expressions of who they were meant to be.  They are lights shining in the darkness.  With their unconditional love, like a lit candle, they light the candles of others whose lights have been dimmed. 

It is said that we are made in the image of God, so to think we are less than is an insult to the very God who created us.  When we open our hearts and minds to everything the Universe would have us know, it’s unbelievable the amount of wisdom and knowledge that is given to us. 

As Marianne Williamson said, “Something amazing happens when we surrender and just love. We melt into another world, a realm of power already within us. The world changes when we change.  The world softens when we soften. The world loves us when we choose to love the world.” 

When love rules, we can change the world!

What if…?

Published in the Cookeville Herald Citizen newspaper January 3, 2013.