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When my kids were in grade school my family used to give the children’s teachers, the office personnel, and the principle gifts as testaments to our appreciation for their kind service. One year I wanted to give each something really special, so I printed up gift certificates good for one full body massage or a Reiki treatment. I offered to do these in-home and I gave them a year to redeem the gifts.
By the end of the year, I decided we needed to choose different gifts. Not one of the teachers or other individuals utilized the offer to receive the massage or the treatment.
I reflected on this and reached the conclusion that the only logical reason one would refuse a free massage or energy healing session would be because of ignorance or fear. Either the recipients had no concept of how wonderful massage was, or they were afraid to try one for a variety of reasons.
This reasoning prompted me to do an analysis of my own life. I started thinking about the many times I had rejected gifts the universe had offered me. My excuses for declining these offerings were varied, but I noticed that a common denominator for me was a lack of willingness to stretch. I also noticed that for me a walk of faith, outside of my comfort zone, had accompanied every leap I had ever experienced in my growth.
I began thinking about all the ways I had said â€œnoâ€ when
I rejected a gift from the universe every time I:
It became really clear to me that the events we draw into our conscious experience are here to help us move towards mastery over our lives.
Today I choose to accept all gifts offered by the universe. I vow to pay particular attention to any experiences I would “just as soon avoid.” I am aware that everything I experience offers me a chance to choose Love.
Gee, it seems this is my lesson in all that I do.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend. Honor yourself and those around you by recognizing the truth of our nature and saying â€œYesâ€ to all the gifts the Universe brings your way.
It has been way too long since I have posted to Secrets.
It is my intention to begin posting at least once a week now.
I have been writing but most of the thoughts are incomplete and I have not felt like they were share-worthy, as written. So, my hope is to rework some of them and share new thoughts as they appear in my awareness. I would love to return to posting once a day, as I did years ago, but to do this I must change the way I work, and that is, hopefully, in progress.
I have been wanting to start posting again. So, I sat down recently, stared at the blank page and realized I had no clue what I wanted to write about. After about fifteen minutes of this fruitless gaze, I turned to see what activity there had been on social media, over the night.
On Twitter, (@elliott_teters) I had posted the following quote: â€œI experience God in nature and behind the eyes of every person I meet when Iâ€™m fully awareâ€¦ When my heart is open, what I see in other people is the Divine. I find it particularly easy to see God in babies. ~ Joan Borysenko, Ph.D.â€
One of my friends responded: â€œI agree. I too see God in babies. However, Elliott, I’ve experienced EVIL behind some of the eyes of person’s I’ve met.â€ So, I decided this was what I needed to address.
To deny that evil exists in the world is to deny our human experience. As, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin is so famously quoted, â€œWe are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.â€ As spiritual beings, having some sort of journey in our human costumes, our true nature is that of our Source.
In the times I have spent in communion with the Source of all that IS, no such thing as hatred, evil or desire existed. But, what would a spiritual journey be without the freedom to choose Truth or to reject It?
Our life is about Awareness. It is understanding that in Truth, we are spiritual beings. As awake, individual expressions of Source we are Aware of our thoughts, actions and all of our other choices.
Unfortunately, many of us have no concept of what we are and no idea why we are here. This lack of awareness can cause some to think it is o.k. to lie, steal and cheat to get the things in life they think will lead to happiness.
This is a mentality which says, â€œThere is not enough to go around; therefore, I have the right to take what I need, whatever the cost. Sometimes this means the taking of one or dozens of lives. Having no real moral compass, these people appear evil; and by all human definitions, they are.
I have looked into the eyes of evil before. It can be frightening. It is, however, our responsibility, as awakened beings, to see past the fear (both our own and that of the individual in whom we see evil) to the Light which exists at their core.
Now, I am not suggesting that we have to stand toe to toe with these unenlightened beings and search for the good in them. If we have a true sense that our lives are in danger, or our way of life is endangered, we need to get out of the situation and work on ourselves and them from a distance. What I am recommending, though, is that we take every such opportunity as a chance to learn more about ourselves and to allow Love to show us the power we have in any given situation.
That last paragraph kind of sounds like a disclaimer. â€œLove can overcome all problems, but be careful not to get hurt nor allow yourself to become a victim.â€ It is not intended to mean we should embrace our fear, but that we are given fight or flight capabilities for a reason. Sometimes, listening to and honoring these inner urgings is important and are there to encourage us to take steps to extricate ourselves from harmful environments. In other words, I would never encourage someone to stay in an abusive relationship while looking for the Light in another. Learning to love ourselves is life’s greatest work, and part of that practice is eliminating dangerous or self-destructive choices.
So, this is a bit longwinded explanation that says, â€œYes, I believe evil exists. I do not believe it is a real power but it does have a pool of collective consciousness from which to draw its strength. While Love is the only real power and is capable of overcoming all evil that does not mean that one should not run when they feel threatened.â€
While any real explanation of the way I think evil works would take more time than I have spent writing this, but suffice it to say our journey would be pointless if we did not have the possibility of choices. We can either choose to be in alignment with our true nature (Love) or we can make the choice to reject Truth. Sometimes this choice is made without any conscious awareness. Some choose to wreak havoc, knowing that it is not the right choice. Others feel they have no choice and are truly ignorant about their True natures. The former may require intervention. The latter needs patient Light and Love; something we can only offer if we, ourselves, are committed to being True to our own Essence.
Recently, I read a news article which stated something like this: â€œScientists have shown that, contrary to popular, modern philosophy, there not only “is” a self, but it is measurable.â€ I did a short search for the article but was not successful in locating it.
The reason I bring it up, today, is because I started reading The Science of Enlightenment, How Meditation Works by Shinzen Young and was struck by this quote: â€œA central notion of Buddhism is that thereâ€™s not a thing inside of us called a self. One way to express that is to say that we are a colony of sub-personalities and each of those sub-personalities is in fact not a noun but a verbâ€”a doing.â€
When I read this, I flashed on the, reportedly scientific article, and two things popped into mind:
*YOUNG, SHINZEN. SCIENCE OF ENLIGHTENMENTÂ : How Meditation Works. SOUNDS TRUE, 2018.Â P. XV
I strive to never write from a mind which is locked into a belief system controlled by my egoic self. While it probably happens, from time to time, particularly when I am feeling compelled to â€œbe right,â€ it is never my intent.
So often, I find that two apparently opposing ideas have more common ground than what is realized at first. I think there is room for science to have its measurable self and Buddhism to insist that such a self is the key to all suffering. While I bristled when I first read the science article, I am now not convinced that the writers were attempting to disprove the philosophical observation that the existence of self is an illusion. I think that just because something is measurable does not mean that it is â€œrealâ€ it simply means that it exists in a world of form. Quantum Physicists are the first to tell us that everything in form is 99+% empty space, and all that we think is form is actually made up of energy, moving slow enough to appear as solid. This, I feel, is what the self is: thought upon thought that has convinced itself that it is real.
Of course, all of this is just my mind at play. I enjoy trying to bring ends together to create full circles instead of linear structures. I guess you could say I am more of a Round Earth type of guy than a Flat-Earther.
Disclaimer: When I say something is Truth, it is, of course, what I perceive to be Truth. I am not sure we can ever really speak to what Truth is. As many have suggested before me, the best we can hope to do is to point to Truth.