We live in a dualistic world: war and peace; good and bad; hot and cold; short and tall and the list goes on. We also have a dualist mind that contains two thought systems: the voice of the ego or the voice of the Holy Spirit, truth and peace.
Watch your thoughts and you will figure out which voice you listen to.
The bad news is that the ego is the default system that is always running.
The good news is that YOU are the one with the remote! You are in charge of changing channels.
We are listening to the ego’s sly thoughts when our judgments are of someone or yourself. Worried or fearful thoughts of guilt or envy are certainly egoic thoughts. However, they are just thoughts. You don’t have to believe them. Ask yourself: How do I feel? To my mind the ego is always comparing, sizing up the situation, and a master at separating us from others.
For example one night I woke up worried about a planned trip. I could see my mind was going crazy with various scenarios and worry. However, I was worried about something that was in the future. I was projecting fear into the future. The ego went crazy building the case that I was going to miss my plane, or get air sick or stuck in bad weather, etc. I finally realized what was happening and changed channels. I repeated my favorite mind calming phrase “I rest in God” from Workbook lesson 109 and went to sleep. Choosing peace is a practice and a decision.
This example clearly shows that there is a part of the mind that is separate from the ego. It is the decision maker within that chooses, when you are aware enough, and you realize you are not at peace. Always ask: “How do I feel?” If not peaceful then it is up to you to change your thoughts.
I am forever and always inspired by the spiritual/psychological book, A Course In Miracles,
and in particular Lesson #106. Let me be still and listen to the truth.
“If you will lay aside the ego’s voice, however loudly it may seem to call; if you will not accept its petty gifts that give you nothing that you really want; if you will listen with an open mind, that has not told you what salvation is; then you will hear the mighty Voice of truth, quiet in power, strong in stillness, and completely certain in Its messages.”
May you be like this little Yew tree on our friends property! Strong and silent in its surroundings. Its size is not important because its Spirit is Everything.
You have a spark of LIGHT within you.
Whenever you have a kind thought…..there it is.
When you offer help to a friend…..there it is.
When you feel compassion…..there it is.
Everyone has it.
It’s even in someone you dislike.
IT is steady and never goes out.
IT is always there when we look.
IT is within when things look dark.
When we become sick IT is still there.
When we become depressed, lonely or afraid IT is there.
Find it, look for it within and embrace it.
Still your beautiful busy mind and IT is there.
When you feel afraid remember the light is within, IT is you and you are IT.
Where does IT come from.
IT is a mystery.
Mystics speak of IT…..the Light.
IT comes from a Love that is not of this world.
Yet IT is in You.
IT is YOU and IT never dies….neither will you.
“When something has gone to the trouble of happening it is
best to consider it inevitable in my opinion.”
From “My talks with Dean Spanley” by Baron Dunsany and
the 2008 movie “Dean Spanley” with Peter O’Toole and Sam Neil
Sometimes while reading a book or watching a movie, a statement will jump out and you can’t write it down fast enough. The above statement was a beautiful reminder of how we “suffer” when we cannot accept what evidently was inevitable. When something tragic happens we experience horror and non-acceptance immediately. ‘Oh My God, I don’t believe it.’ It is a total shock. Unless we can come to accept that it was somehow inevitable it will continue to traumatize us for months, years and decades in a never ending stream of memories from the past.
In the past year we had an unexpected sudden death in our family. We wonder “why him; or why us?” Our emotions fixate; and we are consumed by the “If only ___ or What if ____ or Why didn’t ___” and the rollercoaster of regrets. However, these thoughts are a waste of psychic energy if it was inevitable in the first place. It was supposed to happen; and so it did; it was preordained; so let it go.
Mystics and spiritual teachers say this world and everything in it is an illusion and that life is a classroom. Each soul comes to learn lessons for its progression and everything that happens is part of the “script” for that soul’s lesson plan. Dr. Brian L. Weiss in his book, ‘Many lives, Many Masters’ recounts several startling cases of past life regressions with case histories of soul evolution through reincarnation.
If our true identity is Spirit, eternal, changeless and formless then no one dies or even can die. Bodies die however and we believe the body is “who” we/they are and become attached to them, we love them. When we realize the eternal Spirit residing within each of us is our identity, we will not suffer when inevitably the soul/spirit leaves the body that hosted it. We each have an individual script and lessons to learn but our Spirit/Soul never dies.
Whatever our script may be, we have two choices: to listen to the voice of love within our mind or the ego voice of fear. The ego thoughts, “regret, if only or “why” will keep the misery, guilt, blame, grief and emotional distractions going forever. How long do you want to suffer? Vigilance is needed because thoughts are seemingly as innocent as a fuzzy drifting dandelion seed until they land and take root. Here’s an exercise: Simply watch all thoughts of regret and pain; do not judge yourself; don’t deny or believe them; just notice and observe the ego in action. Then withdraw your belief in them. Wait for peace to descend.
When you feel peaceful again say:
*“I can be hurt by nothing but my thoughts.
I can elect to change all thoughts that hurt.
The Love in my Mind is my guide today.”
By holding the hand of love within your mind, the ego thoughts are seen for what they are. You, the director of your powerful mind can change them by choosing Love within. Looking and letting go of regret and ego held
grievances truly is forgiveness.
Accepting is surrendering; it was a lesson for all the souls involved. It was
inevitable and nothing could have been done differently, because it wasn’t. We give up blame and all residue of resentment. We always share the Love and Oneness with those who have gone. The mercy of inner peace is now present.
*Excerpted from A Course In Miracles workbook lessons 281 and 284.
The Price of Peace
There is a price to pay for inner peace. Can you put your nickel in the gum ball machine and LOVE whatever color of gum comes out? Do you really want a red or blue gumball? How upset will you be if you don’t get what you want? Do you enjoy that upset?
This is a silly example of giving up having our way or controlling what is going on around us. At some point we need to surrender. There are some things we just can’t control. Control really boils down to fear and worrying about the future. What if (blank) happens? That is a fearful thought and worrying is not peaceful? Our survival does depend on a certain amount of thinking ahead. For instance: “If I don’t step on the brakes I’ll hit that truck.” But worrying about visiting a relative or having an operation always defeats peace. Giving up is the price of peace. Letting whatever happens, happen means we are letting go. It will happen anyway. And when it happens accept it. It was meant to be – it just is. Grievances or un-forgiveness is hanging on to what could, should or might have been. It is not peaceful.
Why do we hang on? We need to realize and understand that we have a split mind. It is split between the ego and the higher Self. Part of us, the ego, likes to suffer. It must or otherwise we would not do it. By taking control of the mind we observe the ego and now there is a choice. We can choose it or to listen to the higher Self. That is paying the price for peace.
Give up the ego and choose to love whatever color comes out of the gum ball machine. That is paying the price for peace and not a big one either.
Just listen to love.
As a student of A Course In Miracles I willingly ask the Holy Spirit
within my mind to be my guide for the coming year.
Will I remember that is what I want all the time? NO!
When I want things MY WAY and insist I am RIGHT, I feel uneasy.
As soon as I realize that feeling, an INDICATOR LIGHT
goes off in my MIND! When that happens I know I need help.
The Indicator Light is the alarm and I willingly turn to the Holy Spirit within and say
“Thank You for being within my MIND. Help me to know the TRUTH.”
Then I thank God for the sanity HE placed within. The peaceful guidance will come.
GOD IS – He is within My HOLY MIND. He is within yours! Isn’t that wonderful?
We can overcome any obstacle becase HE is with us and all around us. We are ONE.
Christmas is the LOVE within you.
That is all you need.
That is what you are.
Honor the LOVE within.
That Love is your true identity
and it is what you share with everyone.
Tomas Young – 1979 to November 2014
Tomas Young, Iraq War veteran and the main subject of the documentary, Body of War. On April 4, 2004, his fifth day in Iraq, Young’s unit came under fire in the Sadr City neighborhood of Baghdad. Young was left paralyzed, never to walk again. Released from medical care three months later, Young returned home to become an active member in Iraq Veterans Against the War. He recently announced that he will stop his nourishment, which comes in the form of liquid through a feeding tube — a decision which will hasten his death.
Below is a letter Thomas Young wrote in November 2014 to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney prior to his death from war wounds on November 10, 2014 in Seattle Washington.
“I write this letter on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War on behalf of my fellow Iraq veterans. I write this letter on behalf of the 4,488 soldiers and Marines who died in Iraq. I write this letter on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of veterans who have been wounded and on behalf of [those who bear those wounds. I am one of those.] I am one of the gravely injured. I [am] paralyzed in an insurgent ambush in 2004 in Sadr City. My life is coming to an end. I am living under hospice care.
“I write this letter on behalf of husbands and wives who have lost spouses, on behalf of children who have lost parents, on behalf of the fathers and mothers who have lost sons and daughters and on behalf of those who care for the many thousands of my fellow veterans who have brain injuries. I write this letter on behalf of those veterans whose trauma and self-revulsion for what they have [done, witnessed, endured] in Iraq have led to suicide and on behalf of the active-duty soldiers and Marines who commit, on average, a suicide a day. I write this letter on behalf of the some 1 million Iraqi dead and on behalf of the countless Iraqi wounded. I write this letter on behalf of us all—the human detritus your war has left behind, those who will spend their lives in unending pain and grief.
“Your positions of authority, your millions of dollars of personal wealth, your public relations consultants, [and your privilege and power] cannot mask the hollowness of your character. You sent us to fight and die in Iraq after you, Mr. Cheney, dodged the draft in Vietnam, and you, Mr. Bush, went AWOL from your National Guard unit. Your cowardice and selfishness were established decades ago. You were not willing to risk yourselves for our nation but you sent hundreds of thousands of young men and women to be sacrificed in a senseless war with no more thought than it takes to put out the garbage.
“I write this letter, my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. I write not because I think you grasp the terrible human and moral consequences of your lies, manipulation and thirst for wealth and power. I write this letter because, before my own death, I want to make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you have done. You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole.
“I joined the Army two days after the 9/11 attacks. I joined the Army because our country had been attacked. I wanted to strike back at those who had killed some 3,000 of my fellow citizens. I did not join the Army to go to Iraq, a country that had no part in the [9/11] attacks and did not pose a threat to its neighbors, much less to the [U.S.] I did not join the Army to ‘liberate’ Iraqis or to shut down mythical weapons-of-mass-destruction facilities or to implant what you cynically called ‘democracy’ in Baghdad and the Middle East. I did not join the Army to rebuild Iraq, which at the time you told us could be paid for by Iraq’s oil revenues. Instead, this war has cost the United States over $3 trillion. I especially did not join the [Army] to carry out pre-emptive war. Pre-emptive war is illegal under international law. And as a soldier in Iraq I was, I now know, abetting your idiocy and your crimes. The Iraq War is the biggest strategic blunder in U.S. history. It obliterated the balance of power in the Middle East. It installed a corrupt and brutal pro-Iranian government in Baghdad, one cemented in power through the use of torture, death squads and terror. And it has left Iran as the dominant force in the region. On every level—moral, strategic, military and economic—Iraq was a failure. And it was you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney, who started this war. It is you who should pay the consequences.
“I have, like many other [wounded and many other] disabled veterans, suffered from the inadequate and often inept care provided by the Veterans Administration. I have, like many other disabled veterans, come to realize that our mental and physical [disabilities and] wounds are of no interest to you, perhaps of no interest to any politician. We were used. We were betrayed. And we have been abandoned. You, Mr. Bush, make much pretense of being a Christian. But isn’t lying a sin? Isn’t murder a sin? Aren’t theft and selfish ambition sins? I am not a Christian. But I believe in the Christian ideal. I believe that what you do to the least of your [own] brothers you finally do to yourself, to your own soul.
“I would not be writing this letter if I had been wounded in Afghanistan against those forces that carried out the attacks of 9/11. Had I been wounded there I would still be miserable because of my physical deterioration and imminent death, but I would at least have the comfort of knowing that my injuries were a consequence of my own decision to defend our country I love—the country I love. I would not have to lie in my bed, my body filled with painkillers, my life ebbing away, and deal with the fact that hundreds of thousands of human beings, including children, including myself, were sacrificed by you for little more than the greed of oil companies, for your alliance with the oil sheiks in Saudi Arabia, and your insane visions of empire.
“My day of reckoning is upon me. Yours will come. I hope you will be put on trial. But mostly I hope, for your sakes, that you find the moral courage to face what you have done to me and to many, many others who deserved to live. I hope that before your time on earth ends, as mine is now ending, you will find the strength of character to stand before the American public and the world, and in particular the Iraqi people, and beg for forgiveness.”
Forgiveness is the only way to Peace.
Let us embrace our brothers and sisters who are wounded by war. Embrace them and their families in our hearts and our communities. Tell them they are loved.
Have you ever stopped to notice if you are choosing joy or pain?
Watch your upsetting thoughts.
Ask yourself: Do I want to be upset about this?
Do I like being upset about this?
Do I enjoy the upset feelings?
Sometimes we really enjoy those feelings?
Why? It makes us “feel” something…..big, strong? Little, victimized?
What do you feel? Do you like it?
Say to yourself:
I WANT to feel peaceful. I don’t like feeling this way _________________!
I can let this upset go. I now let this upset go.
You are the only one who can let it go!
That is a powerful decision from your powerful mind! Let it go –
Choose Joy instead of Pain!
See A Course In Miracles Workbook Lesson 190 – I choose the joy of God instead of pain.
Imagine ascending into the cloud – go through it and into the LIGHT!
see: http://www.acim.org – workbook lessons
Whether you are two or one hundred and two, inner peace is up to you.
Peace is not an event, a campaign, or a movement.
It is a way of life we continually choose to lead every moment, hour to hour; day to day and throughout the year.
Print out the following and post it somewhere where it can remind you that:
I can change my mind about something that bothers me. I can see it differently. I can choose a different perception.
I can accept someone as a friend and equal even if I disagree with them.
I will respect everyone no matter their choice of lifestyle, politics, culture, sexual orientation; economics or religion.
I exclude no one from my friendship.
I am happy when I stop believing my ego judgments and thoughts.
I choose to be happy today.
Peace is simply a choice! Really!
The Spiritual book, A Course In Miracles, tells us there is no death!
There is no death, The Son of God is Free.
There is no death because Spirit cannot die.
Spirit is eternal.
Why is death unreal?
Because it was not created by God.
God only creates the eternal.
God’s Son, YOU, are Spirit and YOU are eternal.
Death is the embodiment of the thought of guilt.
We carry guilt because we believe we have separated from God.
You can no more separate from God than you can separate from your thoughts.
A year ago a beloved relative died. However…….
He is not dead. His Spirit has moved on and we no longer see his
body but that still does not mean he is dead. He came to learn lessons.
The grief and sorrow we feel comes from detaching, letting him go.
The lesson: accept that death is natural to bodies. They are not eternal.
Rather than seeing bodies and personalities see the Spirit Christ Light within.
Love what is eternal and attach to that – their loving sprit.
Love them for the Spirit they came and shared, but detach from the body they are not.
We are ONE Spirit. We are ONE Holy Son of God.
Celebrate their reality; the Son of God; the Christ they and you both are, and you will know that
death is not real. No one dies. And neither will you.