Being Consciousness Bliss - a seeker's guide
Excerpts from Part Three - Uncovering The Self
By studying a few essential principles ... we can correct our errors of thought. By restoring the normal functioning of the human instrument and by objective observation of our thoughts, feelings, and actions, we can help to bring about the harmonious functioning of our faculties. This kind of Self-investigation takes place in the "now," the only time and place where effective, positive change can take place. In this work there is no looking back, no regret, no delving into the dark recesses of the mind, no reliving of past trauma. The healing is instantaneous. When we begin to live in the present moment and refuse to act mechanically, the mind-body mechanism will follow suit. We will avoid going into a tailspin of pathological reactions when somebody "presses our buttons" ... The clusters of habitual reactions will eventually atrophy, since we are no longer giving them any power.
These are not just metaphors. We already know that thinking and feeling affect every cell in the body and that meditation can permanently alter brain waves and perceptions. It can be assumed that when we begin to make conscious efforts to observe ourselves and practice one-pointed attention, new patterns begin to form in the nervous system as the old clusters of neurons relating to certain habitual reactions and emotional patterns are deactivated.
This work not only teaches that transformation is possible - that we need not be enslaved by inherent tendencies, that wrong thinking is correctable, that bad emotions, attitudes, and habits are reversible, and that suffering is unnecessary - but also gives us the tools to ensure such transformation. It proposes that we can cure illnesses of the mind - often known as "ignorance" in Eastern teachings - by saturating them with "right thinking," with good principles and truthful ideas. It suggests that emotional illnesses - lack of love and enthusiasm, false attachments, feelings of separateness - can only be healed with finer emotions, with the reawakening of conscience and the love of truth.
Such Self-investigation lies in stark contrast to other means of psychological healing, such as psychotherapy. Modern psychological methods (except for Jungian, archetypal, and spiritual psychology) look only at certain aspects of the human psyche, chiefly focusing on the ego or persona. They give little or no consideration to the soul, the spirit, or the collective purpose of our existence. Many forms of psychology hold that change is possible only if we go back into the past to find the childhood trauma that caused the present pathology and that we can only cope with our present situation if we clarify all the past events of our lives. Other branches concentrate exclusively on behavior modification, neglecting the inner life completely.
Self-inquiry also stands in contrast to conventional religious education, which frequently consists of telling us what not to do but rarely tells us how not to do it. Although religious training may impart moral principles and awaken the conscience to a sense of right and wrong, it does not provide the tools for transforming our being and attaining to a higher calling. When we know better but cannot change for the better, we are left with guilt and shame.
Spiritual work ... leaves the past alone, except as refuse to be cleared away to reveal the resplendent Self. The aim is to take practical, positive steps toward our dreams of wholeness and our intuitions of unity. It sets forth the ideal to be achieved, the state to be attained, and defines the purpose of our existence, which, as the sages tell us, is to realize bliss. It assures us that realizing the one true Self is not only possible but necessary. If we remember that a mountain is climbed one step at a time, we can begin the journey with confidence.
From Being Consciousness Bliss - A Seeker's Guide, © 2001 by Astrid Fitzgerald.
Great Barrington, MA: Lindisfarne Books, Used by permission of the author.
The book is available at b&n.com and amazon.com
Click to see Astrid's art
an old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life.
"A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy. "It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.
This same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather which wolf would win.
The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."
I would add that this fight is never over.
.....Ted Knerr, 10/30/02
follow your bliss
MOYERS: Do you ever have this sense when you are following your bliss, as I have at moments, of being helped by hidden hands?
CAMPBELL: All the time. It is miraculous. I even have a superstition that has grown on me as the result of invisible hands coming all the time - namely, that if you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open the doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be.
MOYERS: Have you ever had sympathy for the man who has no invisible means of support?
CAMPBELL: Who has no invisible means? Yes, he is the one that evokes
compassion, the poor chap. To see him stumbling around when all the
waters of life are right there really evokes one's pity.
MOYERS: The waters of eternal life are right there? Where?
CAMPBELL: Wherever you are - if you are following your bliss, you are
enjoying that refreshment, that life within you, all the time.
Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth, with Bill Moyers. PBS TV Series 1986
the four agreements:
be impeccable with your word
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
don't take anything personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.
don't make assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
always do your best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgement, self-abuse, and regret.
from The Four Agreements, by don Miguel Ruiz, 1997, pub. Amber-Allen
a poem written on 9/13/01 by Alec Emerson,
a great-grandson of Ralph Waldo Emerson.
World Trade Center
The ghosts of Wounded Knee
They are quiet and gentle.
No one has young eyes.
Their clothes are neatly patched,
their moccasins carefully repaired.
It happens to be their rotation as guides
in the museum of atrocity.
Last week it was Dresden's turn,
the week before My Lai.
The week before, Tieneman Square,
the week before, Nagasaki,
the week before, Guernica.
Next Tuesday, a small ceremony
will mark the opening of
the World Trade Center.
The ghosts of Wounded Knee
copyright 2001 by Alec Emerson
When I am submissive and modest, I feel surrounded by someone who makes me do things of which I am not capable. All art worthy of the name is (spiritual, or) it is nothing more than a document, an anecdote.
Something sacred, that's it, - we ought to be able to say that word, or something like it, but people would take it the wrong way, and give it a meaning that wasn't intended. We ought to be able to say such and such a painting is as it is, with its capacity for power because it has been touched by God. But people would put a wrong interpretation on it.
A human being is a part of the whole, called by us 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 to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
... if you are aware that no one else can make you happy, and that happiness is the result of love coming out of you, this becomes the greatest mastery ...
Love is ruthless; it doesn't feel sorry for anyone, but it does have compassion. Fear is full of pity; it feels sorry for everyone. You feel sorry for me when you don't respect me, when you don't think I am strong enough to make it. On the other hand, love respects. I love you; I know you can make it. I know you are strong enough, intelligent enough, good enough that you can make your own choices. I don't have to make your choices for you. You can make it. If you fall, I can give you my hand, I can help you to stand up. I can say, "You can do it, go ahead." That is compassion, but it is not the same as feeling sorry. Compassion comes from respect and from love; feeling sorry comes from a lack of respect and from fear.
When you become wise, you respect your body, you respect your mind, you respect your soul. When you become wise, your life is controlled by your heart, not your head. You no longer sabotage yourself, your own happiness, or your own love. You no longer carry all that guilt and blame; you no longer have all those judgments against yourself, and you no longer judge anyone else. From that moment on, all the beliefs that make you unhappy, that push you to struggle in life, that make your life difficult, just vanish.
The Mastery of Love, by don Miguel Ruiz
a letter from a psychic child
This is an amazing letter we received from a young person who literally showed up at our door a few weeks ago, just about the time the Thomas Messages started going out. (She had not read them) As she walked down the street she had the impulse to knock on our door, and she has been volunteering her time ever since. She told us amazing stories about her life and gifts, and I knew immediately that she was sent to us by God. When I asked her what she would like to say to the rest of us, this is what she gave me. I think you will find it amazing and inspiring. It is an opportunity to step inside one of these Psychic Children's minds to experience what they must go through, and how they think. It also gives insight into our own truth, who we really are, and why we are here. I think this is one of the most important emails we've forwarded so far.
Enjoy, James Twyman
The Beloved Community - email: firstname.lastname@example.org
It is very important that you do not limit yourself in Love because your story is not the same as everyone else's. You are unique and beautiful and capable beyond measure to Love with the vastness of Spirit, no matter what your past experience has been. Remember, your story is not Who You Are.
I had an incredibly violent childhood. My body, mind, and emotions were abused in ways that are hard to believe. So, I know what it is like to come from a past absent of Love. I came into this world knowing who I Am, Rememebering everything before coming here, having full conscious experience of my conception and birth, knowing what I came for, and have never forgotten. Even with the terror that has been in this life for me, I have always known who I Am. I do not act like a typical abused child because my motivations are different, the clarity of my personality is different, the strength of my spirit is unwavering (not more or less, just different). I hear extra, see extra, feel extra. My senses are enlivened and sometimes oversensitive. I was born with special gifts and abilities that have not gone away with time, or growing up, or programming, or getting them beaten out. The only thing that stops me from having them is me. I've done my best at times to ignore them, shut them off, or abandon them, but they are there whether I think they are or not, whether I want them to be or not. I can do many things that other people can't do...yet. In the kind of story I have come from, this has made me very isolated. Yet, I did not go crazy, do not need extensive therapy for my entire life, and I am not permanently damaged.
The truth is, none of us are ever permanently damaged. No matter what has happened, there is always a way to heal and grow. And no matter what happened, there is always a way to heal. And no matter what happens, who you Are does not go away. In the world of healing there seems to be many back doors to not let go and be unaccountable. There is no such thing as "Once an addict, always an addict," and being victimized does not justify continuing to be a victim in life. These are cop-outs enabling one to rationalize getting out of the responsibility of spiritual growth, physical healing, and movement forward. It is our birthright to Love and to Thrive, yet we have created all kinds of excuses to not do just that. This is the Real craziness. You are your own Higher Power. You are not alone. You are already Free.
Tainting the Truth by sugarcoating, or twisting the Truth in order to make it more comfortable is a waste of energy. There simply is not enough time to wait or beat around the bush. Truth is important NOW, and that Truth is LOVE. Within the flame of love nothing else exists. No amount of negativity or darkness can live in the light of Love. That is why it is so important for us to amplify our own field of Love large enough to reach out into the world, to connect with the Grid that encompasses this Earth caressing and nurturing the darkness into light, the Grid of Love.
You do not have to have psychic powers or gifted abilities to Be Love, to Be who you Are, and to Live Truth. You are a child of God, a child of Love, special and perfect in every way. You have something very important to offer by your Being. The world is waiting for you to Open. Open your heart, let love flow in and out. Let love be your motivation in every action. Let love be the first thing you think about when you wake up in the morning and the last thing before bed at night. Let love fill up your body, every cell, until it overflows out into the world, touching everything. Let Love be your gifted ability; it is what you are meant to do. Every moment take Love one step further in some way, let it grow and grow. Love is endless, as is your ability to express and experience it. There is no limit, no rule, no one way. The more you Open, the more Love will teach you, fill you, emanate from you. Do not wait. Start Now. Have Courage, Intent, Willingness. Let Love be the Truth you represent, the tool you carry, the vehicle that brings you to every new step.
It is Time. Let go, and LOVE.
call me by my true names
.....by Thich Nhat Hanh
Don't say that I will depart tomorrow--
even today I am still arriving.
Look deeply: every second I am arriving
to be a bud on a Spring branch,
to be a tiny bird, with still-fragile wings,
learning to sing in my new nest,
to be a caterpillar in a heart of a flower,
to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.
I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry,
to fear and to hope.
The rhythm of my heart is the birth and death
of all that is alive.
I am a mayfly metamorphosing
on the surface of the river.
And I am the bird
that swoops down to swallow the mayfly.
I am a frog swimming happily
in the clear water of a pond.
And I am the grass-snake
that silently feeds itself on the frog.
I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones,
my legs as thin as bamboo sticks.
And I am the arms merchant,
selling deadly weapons to Uganda.
I am the twelve-year old girl,
refugee on a small boat,
who throws herself into the ocean
after being raped by a sea pirate.
And I am the pirate,
my heart not yet capable
of seeing and loving.
I am a member of the politburo,
with plenty of power in my hands.
And I am the man who has to pay
his "debt of blood" to my people
dying slowly in a forced-labor camp.
My joy is like Spring, so warm
it makes flowers bloom all over the Earth.
My pain is like a river of tears,
so vast it fills the four oceans.
Please call me by my true names,
so I can hear all my cries and laughter at once,
so I can see that my joy and pain are one.
Please call me by my true names,
so I can wake up
and the door of my heart
could be left open,
the door of compassion.
hidden meanings in abstract art
excerpts from an essay by Maurice Tuchman
Abstract art remains misunderstood by the majority of the viewing public. Most people, in fact, consider it meaningless. Yet around 1910, when groups of artists moved away from representational art toward abstraction, preferring symbolic color to natural color, signs to perceived reality, ideas to direct observation, there was never an outright dismissal of meaning. Instead, artists made an effort to draw upon deeper and more varied levels of meaning, the most pervasive of which was that of the ... spiritual, utopian, or metaphysical ideals that cannot be expressed in traditional pictorial terms.
...(art historian) ... Arthur Jerome Eddy ...(wrote in 1914) ..."Pure art speaks from soul to soul, it is not dependent upon the use of objective and imitative forms." "It is only when new and strange forms are used because they are necessary to express a spiritual content that the result is a living work of art."
From the catalog, The Spritual in Art: Abstract Painting 1890-1985, for the show organized by Mr. Tuchman and sponsored by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Opened 1986 and circulated to Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
and Haags Gemeentemuseum, the Hague.
Co-publishers: LACMA and Abbeville Press.
thoughts on soul growth - (excerpts)
Jean Reid Knerr, 1969
......one must see that everything is good - not good in the sense of some final perfection of goodness, but good in the sense of useful - serving the purpose of creative power, perhaps as a necessary step...(toward)...a better tomorrow.
......all our institutions; governments, schools ... hospitals, etc., are spiritually based, because they owe their existence to the love giving power of the soul of the people. It is the caring power...that is the prime mover in all life. What they can care about determines a person's level of usefulness to themselves and to society. The other working partner of the soul, the brain, directs the activity. It takes both working together in balance to achieve one's desired destination and true understanding.
In the...miracle of the loaves and fishes, Jesus divided, and a limited supply fed the multitude ......the spiritual significance of this parable...is in the word "divided" and...has been demonstrated by the material well-being of America. Never before has a society demonstrated so much generosity...in sharing its products......God's bounty is unlimited if allowed to flow freely....
.........consider the nature of good and evil; good applying to what sets life forward, and evil to what does not. They are both relative terms. At our present state of consciousness all values are relative, good versus evil, dark versus light, etc. What was thought good in the past we find no longer good enough, and, as we grow, we are continually putting new content into that word ..... It never seemed credible to me that an all good and all powerful Creator would create man, in his very nature, evil, as many believe, unless we perceive that evil is ignorance. We are certainly born ignorant and given the chance to overcome it.........
..........God is life, and we are born into a way of life that leads the soul to develop an ever widening self and sphere of consciousness, a growing capacity for concern, reaching outward to include ever larger groups; another individual, the family,.....the region, the nation,...the world, the universe.
Nationalism, a legitimate and quite advanced state, is increasingly being found limiting by a world beginning to think internationally. But a sense of national awareness and loyalty is still far in the future for a large part of the world's people. We must not try to hurry them. Soul growth takes time.
Unlovely behavior in adults is an expression of arrested emotional development, and can be helped only by soul growth, stimulated by kindly and sympathetic treatment......There is much unlovely behavior in the world today, but loving help for it does not necessarily mean overlooking or excusing or explaining it away. Truly loving a naughty child demands of us, not permissiveness, but whatever treatment will help set him or her back on the path of right living and toward the more abundant life.
To the extent that America can burst the bonds of material thinking and come forth into conscious knowledge of our very real spiritual gifts, we shall be better able to understand the nature and solutions of our problems as a leader in the world and defender of freedom......
These spiritual gifts manifest as creativity and productivity, advancement in social consciousness, selfless generosity, good will and helpfulness toward recent enemies. Some speak disparagingly of this, calling it enlightened self-interest. True, but where before in the history of the world has self-interest been so enlightened, and enlightenment is of God.
......The Golden Rule, considered by many a perfect guide to behavior, is all right so far as it goes, but it does not go far enough......People do not need to be treated as I wish to be treated, but as they need to be treated, and our only clue as to what that is, is by evaluating their behavior......
Now certainly a nation that calls a treaty "a scrap of paper", or that consistently goes back on all its commitments, is demonstrating a lower level of standards and of spiritual perception than one which does not, and cannot effectively be dealt with on the same terms. If you treat a child as though he were an adult you only confuse him. You do not promote harmony. Too much permissiveness, in dealing with ignorance and inexperience and aggressiveness, is an indication of our ignorance.....
We cannot have peace in the world, as many short-sighted individuals seem to think, by telling a bully we won't fight no matter what he does. If we have love enough we shall be concerned about his welfare...to try to help him to better ways. I find it hard to see how so called pacifists can ignore the evil of unprovoked aggression, for example. Horrible as the Second World War was, it would have been worse if Hitler had been permitted to go unchecked. What our world would be like today beggars description. That sort of behavior, like a forest fire, grows by what it feeds on, and eventually demands violent counter action, such as a back fire, to stop it. If the nations of the world could have agreed, and made a united stand against aggressive warfare, in principal, when Japan went into Manchukuo and Italy into Ethiopia, the world might have been spared the horrors of World War II.
.....That is the mystic way of soul growth. We all follow in our progress through life, at first blindly and instinctively, then consciously, intuitively and inspirationally, reaching toward the light of understanding, the more abundant life.
Jean Reid Knerr, my mother, was born in 1891 and died in 1977.
.the complete essay
.reflected light - a poem on the centennial of her birth
more quotes ...... 2000...... 2001...... 2002...... 2003...... 2004...... 2005...... 2006...... 2007
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