Tag Archives: Christ

Rethinking AUTHORITY

A conversation between Joe Dispenza and Gregg Braden touched on the challenges of increasingly dangerous, polarizing times and what I’ve described as the leadership deficit.

Authority, they observed, is shifting.

I agree.

As prelude to a deeper look into what this means for us, I’m posting here a 2000 essay which explores the full-spectrum potential of the authority-word. Although my writing style has evolved since then, the substance remains well worth your attention.

King

ESSAY 7. AUTHORITY

Christ was one of the greatest mystics of all time. He knew everything that has been ever said in the Eastern traditions. When Moses asked God, who are you? God said, I AM that I AM. Christ in the Gospel of John says, “Before Abraham was, I AM.” The very word Abraham comes from the Eastern word Brahman, which means the primordial being. . . So when you start looking, as paleo-linguistic anthropologists do, at the common roots of the various religions and traditions, you find that it’s all universal. Truth has to be universal. It can’t be your domain or my domain. Deepak Chopra, transcript, Larry King Live

Those who are adept in social intelligence can connect with people quite smoothly, be astute in reading their reactions and feelings, lead and organize, and handle the disputes that are bound to flare up in any human activity. They are the natural leaders, the people who can express the unspoken collective sentiment and articulate it so as to guide the group toward its goals. — Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence

Archibald Garrod risked a conjecture that would reveal him to be a man far ahead of his time, somebody who had all but unknowingly put his finger on the answer to the greatest biological mystery of all time: what is a gene? Indeed, so brilliant was his understanding of the gene that he would be long dead before anybody got the point of what he was saying. — Matt Ridley, Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters

THE FRONT

Definitions of authority span the Life Wheel continuum from mundane to sublime. We therefore get meanings mixed up and speak at cross-purposes. The ancient derivation refers to the Creator, the author. In English, the meaning shifts to the power or right to give commands, enforce obedience, take action or make final decisions.

It changes again to mean the power delegated to another. Further diminished, it becomes a quote supporting an opinion or action. In government, authority refers to those with the power or right to enforce orders and laws. It can also mean an expert, someone with knowledge in a specialized field whose opinion is reliable. Lastly, authority means assurance coming from personal experience.

It’s important to know what standard justifies each type of authority. Which authorities may legitimately exercise what kinds of influence, and by what right?

Traditionally, biological parents, the first authors of our physical form, are the original human authorities, taking responsibility for instilling values and governing childish behavior. After coming of age at 18, however, each adult is responsible for choosing which authorities to accept and follow. For the fortunate, bonds of gratitude, affection and mutual support sustain family ties.

In addition, however, we begin to look to other authorities for education, leadership and support. Communities grounded in commitment to common beliefs, goals and friendship can enlarge or replace family circles. Command of a particular subject qualifies the expert.

In the United States and other democratic countries, popular vote gives legislators authority to write laws. In bureaucratic military and government agencies, as well as in private corporations, rank — regardless of character or motives — legitimizes power over subordinates.

Deeper than credentials and social sanctions, however, is the inner authority called conscience which is deliberately invoked by working with the I Ching. It’s the innate sense of timing within each of us. It warns when and how to act and when to keep still, when to seize and run with opportunity and when to side-step danger.

In sages, authority is the fruit of self-discipline and direct experience. As Daniel Goleman suggests, “natural” leaders possess a cultivated knack for knowing what others need along with the ability to effectively coordinate individual gifts to meet group goals.

The gift for insight doesn’t, however, translate automatically into leadership ability. Those like Archibald Garrod – brilliant but lacking the communication skills to help their neighbors “get from here to there” – may inspire admiration.

But it takes a true teacher to bring the next generation of followers along. This requires a marriage of words, competence and consistent action, the ability to speak with clarity and live according to one’s beliefs. Christ is the ultimate example of such a teacher.

Most of us cherish the memories of authority figures whose lives have touched and improved our own — respected leaders whose accomplishments, example and encouragement have inspired us to honor and lovingly live the law.

THE BACK

The flip-side of authority is unauthorized abuse of power. To the extent those with delegated decision-making power are unqualified by inner experience to represent the ultimate author, the true spirit of authority is violated.

The murderous MacBeths in Shakespeare’s play are a famous example of tragic lust for power. Misled by dark-side mediums into violating the code of hospitality, they kill the sleeping king within their castle walls to usurp his throne. In so doing, they bring down both the kingdom and themselves.

Authority and responsibility are necessarily linked. When power is sought and used without genuine regard for the intrinsic value and practical interests of those governed, a divine as well as secular trust is violated. The scales of justice are knocked off balance, and misfortune for all concerned ensues.

 

What about Love?

Love is the heart of life. Naturally, life-long, I’ve sought to understand what on earth (and in heaven) the love-word means.

I’ve already posted earlier thoughts. For example, in Rethinking LOVE I wrote:

Love is the ultimate mystery. It sparks and keeps the life process going, more to be accepted and honored than psychoanalyzed. Plato described seven stages of love. Each is a rung on an evolutionary ladder which leads from a child’s love for parents, to erotic love, to friendship, and eventually the pinnacle of divine connection. These seven stages correlate exactly with the seven energy centers of yoga anatomy.

In I Want To Know What Love IS (& Isn’t), I wrote:

There was a time when, wherever I’d go, the popular Foreigner tune “I Want To Know What Love Is” was playing in the background. I shopped to it at Woodman’s grocery store. At Gold’s gym, I showered and dressed to the sound of the same music. While I waited in line at the local Subway for my six inch sandwich on honey-oat bread with tuna, provolone cheese and veggies . . . again, the same song.

I wanna know what love is.
I want you to show me.
I wanna feel what love is.
I know you can show me.

If it wasn’t that, then it was the Jennings/Winwood song, “Higher Love.”

Think about it: There must be higher love
Down in the heart or hidden in the stars above.
Without it, life is wasted time.
Worlds are turning and we’re just hanging on.

We walk blind, we try to see,
Falling behind in what could be.

I took it as a cosmic hint. Pay attention to this universal need, and the ways we sing about our searchings.

Attempting to comprehend how people can possibly apply the same love-word to such a broad range of contradictory behaviors, I located what I’ve experienced within the spectrum of energy centers. Plugged in to the Life Wheel of Einstein’s intuited Unified Field Theory, with the crowning pinnacle being Divine Connection (Higher Love), it looks like this:

 

LoveLadder.sized

You might find it useful to know a bit about the personal experiences that led to this understanding. I count five significant love relationships, each a stepping stone to the next.

First there was Beecher. I was a high school senior. He had already graduated college as a physics major and worked at a prestigious research firm. He had plenty of money to spend on fun dates, a fancy sports car, and a suave manner about him. He found me fascinating, which I found flattering. Near the end of the school year, after I’d already been accepted at Oberlin, the college of my dreams, he asked me to marry him. I didn’t need time to think about it. I told him flat out never to ask again. I had an inner sense of destiny — of an as-yet unknown calling. Forfeiting college for an early marriage wasn’t it. That was easy.

Within the Life Wheel, this experience fell on the positive side, primarily on the material level. Kindness and consideration were present, though not its focus. Encouragement was lacking, nor did I feel protected. The possibility of higher love never occurred to either of us.

Second was David. From the start, I was stuck on his name. My hero grandfather, beloved younger brother and two cousins were all named David. It was the name of my idealized biblical figure, King David, who combined the aspects of healer-warrior-king all-in-one.

This David, a dazzlingly gifted pianist and conductor, came into my life during my Freshman year at Oberlin. He was a blond, lion-maned, flamboyant Leo. I was his compliment, a gentle and quiet brunette — a Jungian “dark” Leo. We set each other off like fire-works. He courted me with red roses, music and poetry. We adored each other.

Sadly, he was damaged by childhood abuse, seemingly beyond repair. I met him at the time of a prior girlfriend’s horrifically hurtful suicide. Then a scheming female got her hooks into him. She seduced him into a marriage which he instantly regretted. But I would not take him back.

There was an element of fate at work. Even after college, David kept reappearing. He instinctively found ways to locate me, and always at a vulnerable time of transition.

I agonized on and off again through many twists and turns over the span of more than twenty years. Only through repeated self-analysis did I come to recognize the power he held over me, the lessons to be learned, and finally get free for good. In essence, I had projected all my gifts onto him. The lesson was to take back my power, and however modestly, own in myself the virtues I saw in him.

Within the Life Wheel, despite its emotional highs, this experience fit predominantly on the left, negative side — a mix of romance, sentimentality and violent possessiveness.

Third was George. He came into my life after David’s marriage. It was a rebound swing to the opposite extreme. He was balding, bland, and boring. He offered stability. Although we talked about love and marriage, there was no spark. The major up-side for me was that his presence in my life kept my parents off my back. They liked him.

It ended when I was awarded a NDEA Title III Fellowship to complete a Ph.D. in English Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I phoned him up with the news, ecstatic. He broke up with me on the spot, saying it meant I was smarter than him, which he couldn’t bear. After initial shock came relief. No great loss.

Within the Life Wheel, security-based love was focused on the material outermost rim though, to his credit, he was always kind to me.

The greatest disappointment from George-time came from a conversation with Mom a few months after the break-up. She commented that she hadn’t heard much about him lately. I told her why. She actually sneered. “Good for him,” she said. “Serves you right.”

That relationship didn’t even register on the chart. Though she went through the motions, her heart wasn’t in it. Was her harshness a factor in my father’s suicide? I was only six at the time, so only God knows for sure. My ultimate solution to that loss: turning to God, as Christ did, as my true Father.

Fourth was Swami Rama. The training in yoga science and philosophy was invaluable. However, he wasn’t what he seemed. The world saw a highly accomplished performer. But behind the mask of a celibate holy man. he was a serial rapist, financial con artist and ruthless deceiver — living proof of the maxim, “The larger front, the larger back.” For too long, he got away with abusing energy sciences to exploit unsuspecting students. Bottom line: I learned valuable, undoubtedly necessary life lessons and was then released to move on.

Where would I place this experience within the Life Wheel? Despite the swami’s seductive promises of love and help, it registered exclusively on the left-hand side, fluctuating between lust, domination, lies and oppression.

Fifth. By comparison, earlier relationships heightened my appreciation of OA. No status and adventure. No flaming, heart-breaking romance. No social stability. No two-faced “spirituality.” He was the real deal. Magical – full of healing, wisdom, wacky humor and an incredible, unearthly sweetness. He too loved God as his Father and, like the good angels, acknowledged Christ as his lord and master.

OA breathed a natural genius into whatever he touched. Some praised his incredible memory, but I suspect he was dipping into akashic records with the same intelligence he applied to physical computers, instantly retrieving whatever information he called forth. Words cannot express the gratitude I feel that such a soul ever walked this earth, much less that I was allowed the opportunity to make his last days easier.

His influence spanned the entire field, on the right-hand, positive side of the Life Wheel. As I told Old Avatar, in him I’d won the lottery of life. He knew and showed us what Higher Love IS.

Angel Calling

 

Rethinking LOVE

Tonight, September 4th, when I looked for prior posts on the subject of love, I found that one of them had been published elsewhere and wasn’t available on my website. I’m correcting that oversight to complete the record. It started this way:

This post is for Tony iWiz of Ozzi and Mark Henry Smith. Tony had the courage to post an article Men in LOVE, asking Is It Real or Mother’s Love. Marko posed his questions about truth and love in his comments to TIME for a FRESH START.

I’ll hassle Tony from a woman’s point of view on his post. But since love is a human thing, not just a guy or gal issue, I decided, in addition, to post an essay from the collection written in the year 2000.”

Rose

ESSAY 38. LOVE

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord; And thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. – Moses, Deuteronomy 6:4-5

As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you. . .This is my commandment. That ye love one another, as I have loved you. — Jesus Christ in St. John, The New Testament

In Taoism, we say the heart is the seat of love, compassion, joy and happiness. This is what people are looking for. But they are looking outside. We don’t know that joy and happiness is seated INSIDE our heart. We’re running around the whole world. Going to the amusement park, night club, theaters, all kinds of places in search of happiness, peace, joy. But the peace, joy and happiness are within us. — Mantak Chia, The Inner Smile

THE FRONT

Roots of love mean to be fond, or to desire. Webster’s first definition is a deep and tender feeling of affection for, or attachment to. It can be an expression of one’s affection. It can mean a feeling of brotherhood and good will towards other people. It can be strong liking for or interest in something (a love of music). It’s a strong, usually passionate affection, partly based on sexual attraction. In theology, love refers to God’s tender regard for mankind, or mankind’s desire for God as the supreme good.

Love is the ultimate mystery. It sparks and keeps the life process going, more to be accepted and honored than psychoanalyzed. Plato described seven stages of love. Each is a rung on an evolutionary ladder which leads from a child’s love for parents, to erotic love, to friendship, and eventually the pinnacle of divine connection. These seven steps correlate exactly with the seven energy centers of yoga anatomy.

Plato traces the attraction between males and females to jealous gods who severed a complete, content person in half at the navel. Ever since, each part has chased after the other, longing to become whole again. Unfortunately, rather than seeking to integrate male and female energies internally, most Westerners persist in externalizing this desire for reunion.

In contrast, I Ching-related healing arts provide methods for restoring inner wholeness, attaining the ultimate level of Platonic love. The new law Christ taught fulfills the law of Moses.

Further, the Old Testament command to unify the three levels of soul, heart and might into a single-minded love of One God resonates with yogic practices which coordinate upper, middle and lower tan tiens, the Chinese equivalent of Sanskrit energy centers.

These methods give people of every faith practical means for actualizing their religious ideals. Put another way, only by integrating and harmonizing the levels of mind, body and emotions can love of God be actualized and the universal law be fulfilled.

Healing gender, race and religious splits calls for fluency in the complete energy spectrum of love. Even in grimmest times, love is the omnipresent, underlying bedrock. In Rocky IV, for example, Sylvester Stallione scripted an I Ching-worthy East-West reconciliation of opposite cultures. A nature-trained David not only defeats a technology-mutant Goliath with love and relentless grit. He wins the hearts of a hostile crowd. His victory message to international TV viewers: “If I can change, and you can change, we all can change.”

Those who turn love into a commodity exploit what people out of touch with their true selves crave most. There’s a push-pull between those greedy to get what they’ve been fooled into thinking they lack and those who exploit this misconception.

The ultimate Tai Chi push is to persuade someone they’re incomplete and not-okay. Further, you’ve got a life-changing product that can fix them. If they buy it, do what you say, turn over their power and money, you will transform them, make them okay.

Those grounded in reality, however, know better.

The question then arises, what happens when one becomes focused and centered. Does all interest in the external world and motive to accomplish cease? Actually, it’s the opposite. As one becomes more secure from within, fear-built barriers come down. New, more authentic motives arise to replace artificial desires. As one pares away the illusion of need, the native impulse to serve with generous compassion arises.

THE BACK

Hate is the opposite of love. Where love grows upwards from childish attachment through degrees of maturity to altruism, hate descends to the depths of destruction. It obliterates connections, shatters hope, and in the end destroys those it consumes.

Fear-based insecurities generate a host of love perversions. Possessiveness, envy, jealousy and rivalry are variations on the theme of illusory insufficiency. In all cases, it’s the result of looking outside for what can neither be bought nor stolen, as love is the timeless, abiding state of one’s innermost life.

 

Life is Eternal

In JBP at his best, I wrote A great deal of suffering comes from ignorant fear of death. Many have been deceived into doubting the existence of the immortal structure that supports the mortal frame.”

Here, due to time constraints, it must suffice to expand on my meaning by drawing from earlier work. In Contemplation of Mortality, I quoted from Essay 2 on DEATH.

Dying patients went through the five stages, but then after “we have done all the work we were sent to Earth to do, we are allowed to shed our body, which imprisons our soul like a cocoon encloses the future butterfly,” and . . . well, then a person had the greatest experience of his life. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, The Wheel of Life

I continue:

Webster’s definition of death is the act or fact of dying — the permanent ending of all life in a person, animal or plant. Personified, death is pictured as the grim reaper, a hunch-backed, black-robed skeleton wielding a scythe. The term refers to extinction, as in the death of hope.

These definitions, however, represent an extreme cultural bias with important effects on behavior. They reflect the materialistic belief that the physical is all there is. When the body fails, there is nothing else. There is no essence which survives to travel on.

The I Ching embodies a more inclusive, comprehensive view. Like the learned amongst most ancient cultures, Chinese sages regarded birth and death as natural changes, complementary stages of an ongoing cyclical life process.

Sages continue to regard death not as extinction, but the culmination of a winter season most wisely spent preparing for the coming spring. They teach that a soul, having learned the lessons and completed the work of one life cycle, separates from its used up shell. The shell, once the spirit moves on, collapses. The life essence, however, simply migrates, possibly to take on another form.

Further:

Fear is the natural outcome of limited materialistic beliefs equating the end of physical life with total extinction. Those who experience the True Self as immortal and indestructible are not plagued by fear of mortality. No doubt the courage and solace which sustained Socrates as he calmly accepted his death sentence — not as an escape, but an affirmation of principle — came from the depth of his soul awareness.

book header bird

Also to the point are the following sections from Rethinking Survival. The first is “Higher Love, Unity and Inclusiveness.” The other is “The Mystery of Death and Rebirth.”

Higher Love, Unity and Inclusiveness

The Positive Paradigm Wheel is the image of wholeness and completion: Higher Love. It pictures the inclusiveness which Campbell and Einstein believed essential to planetary survival. All parts are present, each in right relationship to the others. No part of life’s experience is lacking. No part is distorted or out of place.

This is the harmonious unity each one of us, by birthright, has the potential to experience. Poets describe the joining of the center with the surface as the Marriage of Heaven and Earth.

Given today’s paradigm malfunctions, the bliss of Higher Love seems like a distant dream. Yet we each have memories, however distant, mirrored in our art and sacred symbols. The mandalas and stained glass church windows are just a few of the countless examples. We each have persistent longings for “home” and romance that remind of us of what’s possible.

These longings are captured in the often quoted “Ode on Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood.” The 19th century English poet William Wordsworth lamented the socialization process that represses early awareness of divine origin:

Wordsworth

Like Wordsworth,  Einstein had glimpses, notably at the beginning and at the very end of his life. As chronicled by Walter Isaacson:

The great awakening that happen in childhood are usually lost to memory. But for Einstein, an experience occurred when he was 4 or 5 that would alter his life and be etched forever in his mind:

The catalyst of this lasting impression was a compass his father gave him. He remembered trembling and growing cold in excitement, awed by the “mysterious powers” of a magnetic needle that behaved as if influenced by a hidden force field. As he recalled later, “Something deeply hidden had to be behind things.”

inner-compass-sized

At about the same time, his mother introduced to him to music. It awakened awe before the magic and mystery of nature. “Mozart’s music is so pure and beautiful that I see it as a reflection of the inner beauty of the universe itself,” Einstein wrote.

For him, “love [of music] is a better teacher than a sense of duty.”

Phoenix - sized

The Mystery of Death and Rebirth

The yin-yang mysteries of life and death apply to experience on every level, from the individual, to families, nations and even planets.

. . . “The strange thing about growing old,” Einstein wrote, “is that the intimate identification with the here and now is slowly lost. One feels transposed into infinity . . . ”

In the year before his death, commenting on the passing of colleague Michele Besso, Einstein wrote, “He has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. It means nothing.”

Making an observation that could have come directly from the Yoga Sutras, consistent with the Positive Paradigm, he consoled Besso’s family, “For us believing physicists, the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubborn illusion.”

It is said that in the middle ages, Carmelite nuns retired to their cells each night to sleep inside the wooden casket in which, when they died, they would be buried. Taken out of context, this may seem morbid. But in fact, they had it right. They were aligning themselves with the patterns of nature, the better to ultimately survive them. For each in- and out-breath repeats the cycle of release and renewal. Each night that we sleep, we let go of bodily awareness and return refreshed the next day.

On every scale of magnitude, the pattern is the same. Paradoxically,survivors who have released unfounded fears of death are freed to live to the full, here and how.

Lao Tze’s work, which breathes I Ching wisdom, illumines this paradox. He describes the relationship between the Creator and creation in the first passage of the Tao Te Ching. From Two Sides of a Coin: Lao Tze’s Common Sense Way of Change:

Unmanifest and manifest are two sides of a coin, seamlessly joined, though apparently opposite.

Entering this paradox is the beginning of magic.

Figure II.8 shows what this vision looks like when the words are properly placed within the Positive Paradigm Wheel. To the uninitiated who live exclusively on the surface of the Wheel, the eternal may seem illusive. However, the inner vision necessary to accomplish goals is found only by daring to let go of the familiar surface to travel true home to the center from which blessings then flow outward.

In the words of the God of Moses, “Return unto me, and I return unto you.”

In Passage 16, Lao Tze goes even further:

16

Here, the sage not only repeats the vision of the hero’s journey. He also describes the methods of the journey — the meditative practice of stilling the mind and emptying the heart, followed by contemplation from the detached observer’s perspective. He also describes the consequences of failing to complete the life pattern and the blessings of succeeding.

The ignorant, through inattention and willfulness, generate misfortune, pain and suffering. Those who attain the source, however, (usually with the guidance of an enlightened teacher) achieve the overview which leads to acceptance, compassion and omniscience. Those who survive intact, merge with the eternal source and begin anew, like the New Adam and Christ in The New Testament.

Preparation makes the difference, deciding who is most likely to survive coming transitions, emerging better than before through the experience. Here is the root of Positive Change:

I Ching # 49. CHANGE. Day and night replace each other in endless cycles of CHANGE. The same natural law generates flux in human events. The unprepared see Change as a threat, but the well-prepared face the unknown calmly. They know that after degeneration reaches critical mass, regeneration follows. Welcome the new. Avoid short-sighted fear.

Angel Calling

The Phoenix Response

Phoenix - sized

In a recent post, Choose Life II, I wrote:

I was increasingly motivated by dread of facing a future based on past experience. Subconsciously, I had succumbed to a death sentence suggested by people far too “nice” to kill me outright, but all too capable of driving me to slow suicide.

Since then, going a few years back in my notebooks, I found my response to a scary conversation. At least ten years ago, we were in a car, on the way home from running an errand as I recall. The driver was flawlessly made up, as usual. She was wrapped in an ankle-length, black fax-fur coat.

I gently suggested in a general way (nothing personal, of course), that sometimes, surely unintentionally, some people push those they can’t control to self-destruction.

She shook her head, No. It was definitely intentional, she objected.

Horrified, I searched my mind for the right survival response. (My belief in reincarnation rules out suicide. At best, unfinished business would just reappear.)

As the issue continued to come up, here is the solution recorded in notebooks over the years. Whenever circumstances or people push me to suicide, I will die – but only to be reborn in this lifetime, over and over, each time better than before.

I called it The Phoenix Response.

I associated this intentional positive decision with the death and resurrection of Christ, whose archetypal pattern represents a possibility for each of us, at any time, as a matter of personal choice, commitment and dedicated follow-through.

This was, in part, the thinking behind the following essay from Conscience: Your Ultimate Personal Survival Guide. I include it below for the benefit of those who, especially given the pressures of our “interesting” time in history, may be pondering similar choices.

phoenix b&w

ESSAY 2. DEATH

Quotes

merging

Patricia E. West, Two Sides of a Coin:Lao Tze’s Common Sense Way of Change

Tai Chi Tu - sized

Dying patients went through the five stages, but then after “we have done all the work we were sent to Earth to do, we are allowed to shed our body, which imprisons our soul like a cocoon encloses the future butterfly,” and … well, then a person had the greatest experience of his life. — Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, The Wheel of Life

Tai Chi Tu - sized

Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished.

If you’re alive, it isn’t.

— Richard Bach, Illusions

Tai Chi Tu - sized

Some day, maybe, there will exist a well-informed, well-considered, and yet fervent public conviction that the most deadly of all possible sins is the mutilation of a child’s spirit; for such mutilation undercuts the life principle of trust. — Erik Erikson, quoted by Jonathan Kozol in Death at an Early Age

Tai Chi Tu - sized

THE FRONT

Webster’s definition of death is the act or fact of dying — the permanent ending of all life in a person, animal or plant. Personified, death is pictured as the grim reaper, a hunch-backed, black-robed skeleton wielding a scythe. The term refers to extinction, as in the death of hope.

These definitions, however, represent an extreme cultural bias with important effects on behavior. They reflect the materialistic belief that the physical is all there is. When the body fails, there is nothing else. There is no essence which survives to travel on.

The I Ching embodies a more inclusive, comprehensive view. Like the learned amongst most ancient cultures, Chinese sages regarded birth and death as natural changes, complementary stages of an ongoing, cyclical life process.

Sages continue to regard death not as extinction, but the culmination of a winter season most wisely spent preparing for the coming spring. They teach that a soul, having learned the lessons and completed the work of one life cycle, separates from its used up shell. Once the spirit moves on, the shell collapses. The life essence, however, simply migrates, possibly to take on another form.

Meditation practices are instrumental in reconnecting the alienated rational mind with the life principle, restoring trust. They can prepare advanced souls to depart the physical form consciously at the auspicious time of their choosing. They also induce the changes of heart and mind that the Bible alludes to as rebirth. To be born again isn’t necessarily an emotional self-deception. Technically, from I Ching perspective, it’s very possible.

As described by healer/teacher/author Barbara Ann Brennan, total transformation and rebirth can also take place within the same body. She describes spending two years of prayer and intense discipline. By the end of that time, as a result of her efforts, every aspect of her life had changed for the better.

Going through stages similar to those described by Kübler-Ross, she released her old life, so that new attitudes, better relationships, and a significantly more satisfying lifestyle replaced that which had been outgrown and put away.

Country music star Naomi Judd, another example, refused to accept the death sentence placed on her by a short-sighted medical establishment. Instead, she chose to accept her illness as a challenge and blessing in disguise, taking the self-responsibility to restore her health.

With a combination of faith and true grit, Naomi educated herself in a broad spectrum of healing arts traditions and succeeded in regenerating herself from the inside out. She not only survived, but became healthy enough to endure the rigors of another music tour. She called it “The Power to Change,” using it as a platform for urging fans to rise to the challenge of change as she had.

THE BACK

Fear is the natural outcome of limited materialistic beliefs equating the end of physical life with total extinction. Those who experience the True Self as immortal and indestructible are not plagued by fear of mortality. No doubt the courage and solace which sustained Socrates as he calmly accepted his death sentence — not as an escape, but an affirmation of principle — came from the depth of his soul awareness.

Permanent extinction, however, is possible. Real death is not dissolution of a temporary form, but the annihilation of the soul itself. According to learned traditions, a soul beyond redemption by its own repeated wrong choices can be extinguished forever. Even the thought is cause for horror, powerful incentive to make right choices.

globe

When Leaders Can’t Be Trusted

In ancient times, seasons of drought were foreseen by the prophets and prepared for by the leaders they advised. The best known example is Joseph, who correctly interpreted the Egyptian Pharaoh’s dreams. Working together as protectors of their people, they succeeded in storing sufficient supplies of grain during times of plenty to outlast years of famine, saving countless lives.

Today, Obama’s reign up-ends the story of Joseph in Egypt, weaving a tangled, dangerous legacy designed to outlast his years in office.

Now, vulture-like, presidential strategists who “never let an emergency go to waste,” lie in wait for opportunities to further the incremental process of world domination by administrative fiat.

Executive Order 13603 is a blatant case in point.

What it boils down to is that federal agencies have been given free license to take anything from anyone, including virtually ALL privately owned resources. All it would take to trigger this social-economic disaster waiting to happen is a dramatic crisis – a convenient excuse to declare a national state of emergency.

Does escalating race-baiting and violence against urban police ring a bell? Inciting massive Muslim retaliations with cartoon contests in the name of “freedom of speech” would also do the trick. Surely you can easily come up with other likely triggers.

Sounding the alert, M.D. Creekmore, author at TheSurvivalistBlog.net, writes:

Over the years I’ve read many articles and books which suggest that the biggest threat to your survival post collapse are refugees fleeing the cities or your neighbors coming to take your preps. While they maybe a legitimate concern, as you can see by reading the except from executive order 13603, they probably won’t be the biggest threat to your survival.*

Following up, I looked for other descriptions of EO 13603. Wikipedia sanitizes it entirely.

The National Defense Resources Preparedness executive order (Executive Order 13603) is an order of the United States’ President signed by President Barak Obama March 16, 2012. The purpose of this order is to delegate authority and address national defense resource policies and programs under the Defense Production Act of 1950. Executive Order 13603 provides the framework and authority for the allocation or appropriation of resources, materials and services to promote national defense.

Contrary to a few initial claims otherwise, the Order appears to update long-existing directives that have been issued as far back as the Truman Administration and makes no claim to allowing the federal government to confiscate private property or declare martial law.** [emphasis added]

In stark contrast, according to MinutemenNews.com:

The EO includes all of Obama’s out-of-control agencies and they would have unlimited power if the president declared a “national emergency.” Executive Order 13603 — National Defense Resources Preparedness allows the government to completely control our lives through the “industrial and technological base,” should the president declare a national emergency.

EO 13603 gives Obama the power over all commodities and products capable of being ingested by human beings and animals; all forms of energy; all forms of civil transportation; all usable water from all sources; health resources; forces labor such as military conscription; and federal officials can issue regulations to prioritize and allocate resources.*** [emphasis added]

Rather than encouraging and supporting individual initiatives to prepare for seasons of natural disaster, the federal government is systematically blocking such efforts, jealously taking unto itself the exclusive role of “protector” – quite the ravenous wolf in faux-sheep clothing. Home farming is banned in favor of huge corporate monoliths. Second Amendment rights, a basic premise of the Republic, are under fire while the feds are simultaneously arming local police to the teeth.

Which leads me to ask, “What recourse is available to sincere leaders at smaller levels of organization? How are they to fulfill their responsibilities to sustain and protect themselves and those they care for, especially from the onslaught of regulations imposed, ironically, in the name of protection?” For all empty PR, feeble gestures and false pretenses to the contrary, world leaders are part of the problem, not any viable solution.

When, far from being trustworthy, those in positions of authority can be relied upon to be self-serving and deceitful regarding the very real dangers we face from the environment and national enemies alike, where do we turn?

Although I’m never given to know more than what I need to function in the moment, I do know this. The “interesting” times we’re going through now were long foreseen by the prophets. Further, the more extreme external dangers become, the more urgently, in balance, we are obliged to turn to the internal, eternal resources which no government can confiscate with the excuse of exercising “emergency powers.”

Unfortunately, those who riot, protest and return violence for violence play into the hands of their enemies. Those who survive and succeed in protecting those they care for know better.

For far greater subtle powers have always protected those who hear and heed them. In an earlier post, I described Joseph, husband of Mary and protector of the baby Jesus, as a wondrous example of “knowing” where to be when to avoid persecution and ensure his family’s survival.

The earlier Joseph, before becoming Pharaoh’s advisor, also miraculously survived the attacks of jealous brothers, the unjust accusations of his owner’s spiteful wife, and years of imprisonment.

With or without the intercession of religious authorities, the living presence of Christ endures as the ultimate source of guidance and protection. I take his words quite literally. He said he was before, is now, and will continue after the End of Times. As such, his universal presence pervades the essence of all true wisdom traditions. He promised he will be with his followers always, even to the End of Times. When humans leaders prove untrustworthy, this is the deeper promise I implicitly trust.

The challenge inherent in extreme times, a blessing in disguise, is that they force us to return to the basics and draw upon the inner strength too easily forgotten when life on the Wheel’s surface is easy. To repeat, Christ’s essence (call it the Force, or the Tao, as you will) pervades the matrix of creation. It broadcasts from the center of the Life Wheel, ever available as the unfailing fount of strength and help to those listen and trust.

Christ Broadcasts-sized

* http://www.thesurvivalistblog.net/executive-order-13603-and-what-it-means-to-preppers/

** http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_Order_13603

*** http://minutemennews.com/2013/06/executive-order-13603-how-dangerous-is-it/

Put the Common Core Back in Common Core

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Restore the Common Core” is packed with implications for education and, ultimately, human survival.

For those who haven’t been following articles posted on rethinkingsurvival.com over the past year, here’s a brief summary of the concepts embedded in the Life Wheel.

arrow bulletThe Positive Paradigm of Change is a model equally compatible with the perennial philosophy embodied in the world’s enduring wisdom traditions and with modern science. It serves to bridge the gap between religion and science.

arrow bulletThe Life Wheel with its concentric circles and central, unifying hub pictures the multi-level structure of creation. This form is repeats throughout nature, from smallest to largest. It pictures the organization of snowflakes, each unique in form but identical in basic structure. It pictures the rings which orbit the nucleus of each atom as well as the planets which circle our sun.

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These circles correspond with the three variables of Einstein’s formula, e = mc2. Ironically he had the Unified Theory, but for lack of yoga background, didn’t know it. Briefly, the levels include the material outermost level of observable, measurable, tangible objects, then a middle level associated with energy (chi, prana) and emotions. Still deeper resides a level associated with light. It correlates with the experience of intuition or guidance. All three depend on the Source of Light – the unchanging silent Eternal, beyond duality and therefore beyond words.

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These levels are not actually separate. They function as an interrelated and interdependent whole, linked in an infinite, two-directional in- and out-breathing loop. Those who experience this whole succeed in integrating the levels of daily life with conscience. Those who separate the levels, who ignore some at the expense of others, prioritize levels incorrectly, or place them in conflict, will eventually find themselves in deep trouble.

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This universal concept can be pointed like a laser beam in any direction to illumine the field. For example, the three levels of the Life Wheel correspond with three levels of law: human, natural and divine. This relationship is acknowledged in the Declaration of Independence, which refers to the laws of Man, Nature and Nature’s God.

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A second example explains differing types of intelligence. On the surface, intelligence which divides and argues (using and/or abusing the tools of reason and logic) is measured by the standard of IQ. More recently, it has become fashionable to speak of EQ, or emotional intelligence associated with the middle, energy level. Deeper still is the intelligence described as intuition or inspiration. All these center around a common core which can be called “Conscience.”

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A third example is the use of the Wheel as a linguistic tool. Most words shift meanings depending the level of experience they describe. In the example shown here, the popular concept “Common Sense” shifts meanings with each level of the Wheel. When the levels are linked and experienced as a continuum, Common Sense partakes equally of intuition, gut feeling and sound reasoning.

Now, how is it that this Unified and potentially Unifying Theory gains so little public traction? It begs the question to simply say that many people, for a multitude of reasons, are too highly invested in the status quo. Given the life threatening circumstances that confront us, why is there still such powerful resistance to a return to what the wisest among us have consistently taught from the beginnings of time? Where is the method to the madness?

In partial answer, I offer excerpts from earlier works. The first spells out just how important paradigms are. They make the difference between success and failure, ultimately between survival and extinction. The second excerpt suggests there are deeper dimensions at play. After these two excerpts, I’ll apply all of the above to the restoring the true, eternal Common Core to the progressive/Marxist political/educational curriculum inappropriately called Common Core.

globe bullet sizeWHY PARADIGMS MATTER

Ideas drive results. People’s beliefs color their feelings, triggering basic emotions which in turn drive their actions.

Actions that stem from a simple, complete and accurate paradigm result in personal fulfillment, harmonious relationships, and economic prosperity.

Actions based on false, incomplete and inaccurate paradigms, however well intended or passionately defended, are the cause of widespread misery, suffering and deprivation.

A fatal information deficit explains the worldwide leadership deficit and related budget deficits.

In a dangerous world where psychological and economic warfare compete with religious extremism and terrorism to undo thousands of years of incremental human progress, a healing balance is urgently needed.

Restoring a simple, complete and accurate paradigm of leadership and relationships now could make the difference between human survival on the one hand, and the extinction of the human race (or the end of civilization as we know it), on the other.

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ALIEN INVADERS

Alien invaders infiltrating Planet Earth, weakening humans to eventually take over and enslave them, is a familiar theme in science fiction. For example, in his various incarnations, Dr. Who — television’s time traveler — continuously detects nefarious alien plots and rescues heedless humans from annihilation.

Current events indicate there’s considerable truth cloaked in that science “fiction.” Starting with the premise that hidden alien enemies are covertly scheming to undermine humanity, ask, “How would they set about to destroy us?” Logically, they’d create chaos, setting everyone at each others’ throats. They’d trick humans into mutual self-destruction by stirring up dissension and fragmenting their governments.

It’s an absolute priority for evil aliens to attack the mind. Their agents will do whatever it takes to pollute your mind. They confuse it with false paradigms. They clutter and distract it with the ongoing media circus. Every doubt planted in your mind, causing you to forget who you are, to disbelieve in your ultimate origins and creative potentials, is a victory for the dark side.

To totally undermine humanity, atheism is a must. The unifying beliefs which hold families and nations together and fortify them in times of adversity must be destroyed at all costs. Again, how would this be accomplished?

For one thing, language which makes communication and community-building possible would have to be polluted beyond repair. In the English language, for example, every value word has devolved to mean both one thing and its opposite. So people often talk at cross purposes, unaware that they’re missing each other coming and going.

Divide and conquer. Pit each group against the others. It matters not to them which side wins. Let Sharia law advocates, members of Putin’s Eurasian Union and American exceptionalists squander their precious resources duking it out. If they destroy each other and no one’s left, so much the better.

Alien invaders delight in cheating. They stack the deck, gumming up the works with lies and disinformation driven by dysfunctional paradigms.

If you accept the game and its rules as alien agents define them and proceed to rebel against uncivil authorities, mindlessly hating and resisting, YOU LOSE. (Alien invaders win.)

If you give all your attention to what other guys are doing wrong, playing the role of contrarian, YOU LOSE. (Alien invaders win.)

If you quit on humanity and live only for yourself, leading a life of self-centered indulgence, YOU LOSE. (Alien invaders win.)

If you persist in thinking narrowly in terms of political interests and institutions, not human survival, YOU LOSE. (Alien invaders win big time.)

The only chance of winning — ultimately, surviving — is to demand a new, clean, unmarked deck, one with all the cards. In other words, make a fresh start based on an accurate, complete Positive Paradigm.

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My younger brother once riddled me, “How many legs does a donkey have if you call it’s tail a leg?”

His solution: “Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.”

Even so, tacking the label “Common Core” on a curriculum doesn’t guarantee that the substance includes the basics on any level of the Life Wheel. Logic and reasoning skills are deficient; emotional intelligence is insulted, not enhanced; the existence of divine law is excluded, if not ridiculed, as an option.

It’s a matter of human survival to take back the language. Then restore accepted access to the true, eternal Common Core as part of a genuine, complete and accurate education in the true meaning of the word – “leading from darkness to light.”

Conform: Exposing The Truth About Common Core And Public Education by Glenn Beck & team places the political/educational monstrosity called Common Core directly in the camp of the evil aliens described above. They start with the premise, “Information is power. Those without it have nothing. Those with it will always have CONTROL.” They state:

The dumbing-down of America is good for one group and one group only: those who currently have all the power and control. By maintaining a failing system they are forcing a collapse that will have only one “savior”: the federal government. And that’s exactly how they want it.

They continue:

We now stand at the precipice. On one side is the complete nationalization of education and complete loss of local and parental control. On the other side is a complete educational revolution – one that is rooted in individuality and that follows the principle of “maximum freedom, maximum responsibility.”

Sadly, 180 + pages of Conform are dedicated to argument and expose. Less than 30 pages are dedicated to solutions. And these, unfortunately, are limited exclusively to political measures. The most fundamental problem, the lack of a complete and accurate, unifying paradigm is neither acknowledged nor addressed. Deeper underlying origins of conflict as well as the source of genuinely positive solutions are overlooked.

Yet restoring the unifying basics of the perennial philosophy – the True COMMON CORE experienced as COMMON SENSE – an experience equally available to everyone, everywhere – is what might (just might) turn the tide of human history, tipping the balance in favor of human survival.

What Glenn Beck & company has exposed is a radically dangerous situation that calls for opposite and equally radical (truly radical) solutions.

Herein lies the opportunity hidden in dangerous times. In larger context, material resources aren’t that significant when compared with the intelligence, inner strength and inexhaustible vitality available to those whom circumstances oblige to return to the less tangible but very real levels of inner experience.

The disenfranchised (whose numbers increase exponentially with each passing day) experience the results of the prevailing materialistic, conflict-paradigm as catastrophic. They no longer have vested interests in the status quo to protect. They are the ones most likely to find the courage to move forward once again into the past, recovering the timeless treasures buried deep within the perennial philosophy of the world’s enduring wisdom traditions.

Now, as when Christ walked the Earth, the true fundamentalists and radicals (both words mean the same thing!) aren’t members of conflicting extremist groups who meddle with events on the material surface of life’s wheel. They are highly motivated individuals with the vision and determination to change themselves from the inside out. Their shining examples have a ripple effect, gaining momentum through time and space.

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* N.B. The current trend towards disempowerment of the masses is prelude to oppression and tyranny on an unprecedented scale. Co-opting education in the guise of Common Core, turning public school children into Nazi-cloned, obedient zombies, is one piece of a much larger puzzle. Attacks on Second Amendment rights is another. See: http://writerbeat.com/articles/4737-Should-civilians-be-allowed-quot-military-style-quot-guns-