Of Carts and Bags – A tale of Christmas

It was a cool, somewhat gloomy morning with a light snow falling but not accumulating.  Just a few things to be done including a quick trip into town to pick up some things to complete a project I was finishing up.  The large home improvement store, in town, wasn’t crowded, surprisingly, especially for a weekend and so close to Christmas.  I suspect the dreariness of the day was the reason so few were out and about.

I made my purchases, exited the store and began making my way across the parking lot to my car when I noticed out of the corner of my eye an older, disheveled woman, running in the direction of my car and on a trajectory that would intercept me just about the time I reached the car myself.  I didn’t give it much thought until she raised her hand and started calling out, “sir, sir, oh sir can you help me out?”  I looked up without really considering that my car was alone in that section of the parking lot and while I acknowledged her call to me for help I assumed she was going to ask me to assist her in loading something in her car.  I was only too happy to be of assistance but looking around the parking lot there were no cars nearby that I thought might be hers.

As she approached me she surprised me by asking if I could drive her to meet a friend exactly seven point two miles up the highway.  I quickly thought how odd it was that she knew the exact mileage to her destination but before I could say a word she told me her car had broken down and she really needed to meet her friend just up the road.  She offered to pay me for gas if I could just help her out in this small but important way.   There was an urgency in her plea that overwhelmed any sense of concern in me and I simply agreed to take her to meet her friend.  She was so grateful and thanked me profusely while I opened the car door to let her into my car.  As she passed in front of me to get into the car I noticed the foulest smell.  It was the smell of dirty wet dog with a hint of urine and rotting milk.

I got into the car, started the engine and quickly opened my window as the smell was so disturbing.  I put the car into gear and began moving when she asked if I could go up to the other end of the parking lot so she could get some things from her car to take with her.  I agreed and slowly moved across the lot expecting her to point out her car so I could stop and she could gather the things she needed.  As we neared the edge of the building she instructed me to stop but there were only a few cars nearby parked in the employee parking area.  I asked her which car was hers and she just instructed me to stop.  I stopped and as she stepped out of the car she told me to just stay here and I’ll be right back.

I looked around to see which car she was going to get into but she slipped in between two cars and began pushing a shopping cart that was full of boxes and plastic grocery bags.  I stepped out of the car and she called out, “oh no you don’t need to help, I can get this.”  I walked back to the rear of my car and opened the rear gate and began to remove items from the cart and place them into the car.   It dawned me that there really wasn’t a broken down car and that the items I was loading into my car were her possessions.  Worn out clothing, worn out shoes and a dirty sleeping bag along with some odds and ends that I knew must be important to her.  Her story about her broken down car now seemed a ploy to tug on my heartstrings to get me to help her out.  MY demeanor changed from cheery helper to guarded dupe who had just been taken by a homeless, bag lady.

We got everything into the car, stepped into the car ourselves and headed for the interstate on ramp heading north.   She reiterated that the destination was only seven point two miles up the highway and that she truly appreciated me helping her out. I didn’t say anything because I was now put out.  She began to speak of how she had fallen on hard times, that her mother had fallen very ill and lost her house while her father died suddenly just about the time she lost her own job.   It was a tale of hardship and loss but she never really lost her perkiness as she told it.  She seemed very happy to be alive even amidst the hardships she had encountered.   She thanked me over and over even as I tried to tell her it was no big deal and not to worry.

I kept a close eye on the odometer because I didn’t want to overrun her exit but we drove far beyond the seven point two miles she said we were going and I began to wonder just how far the drive would be.  It was about fifteen miles.  I was stewing.  She pointed out the exit we were to take and I made the turn off the freeway when she asked me, “you know, speaking of hard luck if you wanted to help me out with a few dollars I would really appreciate it. “This was the proverbial straw.

I blurted back abruptly, “wait a minute, you mean you’re asking me for money when you offered to pay me for gas to drive you to where you are going?”  She responded, “oh yes that’s right I did offer to pay for gas.  How much would you like for your gas.”  I was flabbergasted.  I wasn’t about to take any money from her but I asked, “do you even have a car?”  She said that she did have one about seven years ago.  Very sternly I began to lecture her about her lack of honesty and how if she was up front and honest that she might get a better response from people and more would be likely to help her out.  She agreed with everything I said and began apologizing and promised that she would take to heart all the things I told her would make her a better panhandler.

She became very quiet other than to point out a Target store down the road that was where she would be getting out.  I was feeling smug as could be that I had exerted my two cents and had successfully given her useful instruction on being a better homeless person.  I drove her to a place where excess shopping carts had been lined up along the outer wall of the building and stopped, got out of the car while she did the same. Without speaking she walked over got a cart and wheeled it back to the car and I began helping her load.  She placed each bag in a particular order and meticulously positioned them as if she knew exactly where each one belonged in that particular cart.  She didn’t have much but she loved what she had.  My heart tugged.

When she finished loading she looked up at me and thanked me again not only for the ride but the instruction as well.  She offered to pay again and I told her there is no way I will take any money from you.  I then reached into my pocket and removed my wallet, took out every bill I had and handed it to her.  It wasn’t more than seventy dollars and she pleaded with me that she would not take it while reaching over as fast as she could and snatching from my hands.  It didn’t matter. I would have given her more if I had it.  I was feeling a bit like a heal but her graciousness poured out again and she thanked me over and over. I smiled at her and told her she should have a nice meal with her friend.

The encounter was over.  I got into my car, drove out of the parking lot and about the time I was entering the main road when I suddenly burst into laughter.  Not ordinary laughter but debilitating, full on, belly laughter. You know the kind that takes your breath away and creates tears that stream down your face.  I had to pull over to the side of the road because I had no bodily control and was not able to see the road through the tears.  I roared like never before and the convulsive heaves of laughter poured from my mouth in huge waves.  I was hysterical; absolutely hysterical.  This lasted for several minutes before I could see through my tear soaked eyes and I began to breathe deeply and methodically so I could regain enough composure to make the drive back home.

As I was sitting there the thoughts began to pour in.  I had just lectured this lady, who carried all her possessions in a shopping cart, on the virtues of honesty in the performance of living an effective “homeless” life while at the same time realizing that not only had she secured the ride to her next place of temporary residence but she got all my money as well and by doing it exactly the way she had always done it!   I began to laugh again, only this time at the smugness of my offering her a better way while sitting on the side of the road, roughly thirty miles from home and not a penny in my pocket.

There is no lesson here or profound meaning.  This is nothing more than a chance encounter with a fellow soul whose trajectory in life happened upon mine at this unique time and place in the eternities.  I judged her and who knows but perhaps she judged me, as well, but even still it was the connection of two souls living the life they were living and without the judgments each life was perfectly fine.  We find a way, don’t we?

I smile, still, when I think of this intersection of our paths and often wonder how she is doing and really how special my encounter with her was.  A lecture, a laugh and smiles for the memories. Looking back and then returning to the present there is no one I would have rather given my money and a ride too.  Merry Christmas.

Saviorism – Who saves you…and from what??

One of our greatest faith base deceptions and one that we all buy into in some form as humans is the mythology that something or someone is going to save us from whatever form of adversity we may face in our current experience. Throughout the ages humans have sought for outside sources to rescue us, or at least, to make fair what seems to be unfair in our existence.  Judgment day and Karma are forms of this “making fair” scenario and most of our common mythological stories are that they may save us from forces we believe are rooted in the idea of saviorism. This idea rings in every aspect of our existence including our governments, local and national leaders, religious leaders, corporate leaders, etc.

No greater deception exists in human experience then the idea that we can and will be saved by some benevolent force that possesses power greater than our own. In fact, in our government and religious institutions we willingly hand over our own power to individuals who are unable to control anything and in so doing squander our own innate ability to express our own individuality.  Did you get that?  We give our own power away – literally!

Regardless of our own individual politics, all government is seen as bad or good from the collective standpoint. Some faction sees the current leaders as their saviors while another faction sees it as doom and the cause of social problems whatever they may be. Both claim their own political saviorism as the way out of whatever dilemma they choose to embrace and blame the other as the cause for their existing problems.  It is a vicious cycle which we, collectively, will never get out of because regardless of your political view no one can save us.

It is a timeless condition of the human experience. “Somebody save me!” Religious institutions reflect the same kind of outward looking as well.  Jews continue to look for another king David who will rise up and put down all the enemies of Israel and save them from a world that is set upon their destruction.  At no time in history has any religious group looked more forward to a savior. Christians, too, look to the returning Jesus so save them and the world from those who do not believe in him, as their personal savior.”  The great saving device of this returning God is his swift and righteous judgment, righting all the wrongs Christians the world over have suffered.

For Muslims, Allah, will vindicate the faithful and restore the birthright they, too, believe was taken from them.  Hindu’s and Buddhists will cycle around in different forms until they have satisfied the requirements of God whose rules they subject themselves too. Their savior is time; endless time.

Religious institutions the world over whether they be large collective movements, small and localized, mystical, dogmatic, new age or old age all look to some force out there to equalize and make right what they collectively perceive as unfair or wrong.  All that is asked of the individual is to believe that the unique collective perspective will be right.   In other words, suffer now with patience and hope and ultimately you will be vindicated.  There is no difference whether the collective institution is secular or religious. They all cry, “We are right and they are wrong.”  People go to their graves with this kind of hope, believing everything they were taught was wrong will be righted!

Human history is littered with fallen saviors who came with the power of words and ideas but failed to provide any long-term solution to the plight of people or nations. In fact, history is nothing more than an endless parade of one thing not working but being overcome supposedly by something better only to fail and repeat over and over again. Winston Churchill referred to history as “just one damned thing after another.” How true.

If we can learn anything from history it is that we cannot learn from history! What we should gather from history is that nothing, no one, can or will save us. No president, political party, nation, religion, individual, philosophy or ideal can save us.  We cannot be saved because there is nothing to be saved from!

Somehow the human mind, the ego has convinced us that we all need something outside of us to make us whole and complete.  To protect us and make our lowliness or lack in the world a cause for equalization by some force that has power beyond our own. We are conditioned throughout our lives to accept some form of saviorism.  It is as if the ego is hiding from some great unknown crime for which it must pay by accepting an outside force to resolve.  It seems that the reality we all accept on some level is that guilt unworthiness, evil, etc. is the state of human awareness. It is not always aimed at our individual selves. These characteristics are often aimed at those who are not like us.  Thus the collective finger-pointing for our own collective ills.

Saviorism is dependency. It stems from the fear we are taught throughout our lives that we are to be perfect even though no one can describe perfection without their own unique judgment of it. We convince ourselves that no one can be perfect and that being the case the idea of needing saving is automatically formed. The idea is so pervasive it inserts itself into every aspect of our lives. It lies at the root of the karmic idea that “what goes around comes around.” “Sooner or later you will get yours” even if we have to wait a long time for it to happen. God, e.g. savior will make it right in the end.

Our saviors, consequently, take on many forms. They are people, places and things. Even pills and plants save us. For instance, we look for a pill to slim us down or prevent us from overeating. Heaven forbid we simply take control of our own lives and stop eating or start eating in ways that are healthier!  Instead, someone will create a pill that lets us eat anything we want and as much as we want without becoming overweight.  Perhaps the pill will come along that will motivate me to work out so I can get that body I have always dreamed of! Perhaps our savior is this new job I’ve been expecting that will launch both a new career direction and greater prosperity.

I have a friend who is partially disabled who lamented constantly that he could not be whole until his government disability was approved.  Now that his disability has come through, which was more than he anticipated; he now complains that he cannot live on the amount provided even though he does nothing to manage the money he does receive.

Can you see the subtlety of it?  My friend was saved from a story he created and now he has created a new story that the amount of disability is not enough. He is now looking for a new savior to rescue him from this latest unfairness.  After that a new unfairness will lurk into his awareness and he will turn to yet another savior.  “If I can just win the lottery it would save me from my financial burdens.”  I hold to my religious beliefs accepting fully my struggles, my faith will cause God to look favorably upon me and vindicate my lowliness.

We all do this.  The greatest saviors we look to are governments and religions because they attempt to right all the wrongs on a much larger scale but the nature of saviorism permeates every aspect of life and it affects every one of us regardless of our situation or circumstances.   The most subtle are our most benign daily wants and desires, particularly our relationships. How many times have we heard someone proclaim, “Oh I can’t live without him or her?” Or “I just won’t be able to go on if they break up with me,” etc.  As if life without someone could save us from life altogether!

So many of our individual stories and dramas are played out because of the insidious control our minds play that we must have something or someone in place that will make everything better. This is saviorism!  It even finds its way into new age thought that tells us that we can have anything we want if we put our focus and attention onto something even though the original premise is I can be saved from the lack I now have in my life by thinking about and working toward whatever it is I lack.

“Ask, and it will be given” is a common idea in our collective thought and yet at its core is that whatever it is you ask for will only come from some outside source to whom we are all beholden. That is saviorism.  In fact, the subtle implication is that all you need to do is ask and something greater than you will provide it. This thing, whatever you call it, is the kind giver of that which you do not have.  It will save you from what you do not have presently.

The only way out of this condition is to accept full responsibility for everything in your life. You create your existence and you, therefore, are your own savior should a savior ever be required, which when you take control of everything in your experience will never happen!  There is nothing to be saved from in the responsible life.  Taking responsibility for life is recognizing that nothing in human experience is personal to you even though it may seem to be.

We create our own experience and exist only as humans for a short while that will never be anything more than the experience.  When we take this kind of control over our lives we see that everything that happens is unique and wonderful even if the collective world comes to our rescue and tells us “it’s not right or good.”  It is said that “we must be the change we see in the world.”  In other words, until we decide that nothing outside our own unique existence can or need save us this idea of saviorism will haunt us for the entirety of our lives.  It never matters what the world thinks of us or how we view ourselves in it.  Nothing that happens needs outside forces to square our experience with anyone else’s or with collective thoughts and intentions.

You are the hero of your life. I am the hero of my own.  There is nothing that will save you simply because you are the hero, the savior and when we all remove our judgments of the experience we each individually enjoy something unique and special that no other can or will.  That is the beauty of discovering the divine within us.  It knows that this experience is nothing in infinity and is only to be enjoyed as only Gods can.  It also knows that there is nothing in infinity from which we can or need be saved. We literally have it all. We literally are ALL!

Adapted from the book “On Human Being – Loving & Living Without Purpose”

The Nature of Spirituality

While working with my Sister in a village in Honduras where she had bought property and had set up a small clinic for the people of that village and surrounding areas I was able to see firsthand that spirituality is not a condition of what we posses or an arbitrary hierarchy of needs as so many of us believe.  There was every form of disease and malnutrition and every single person who came to her clinic would receive a dose of a de-worming medicine just for showing up. Parasites infested everyone because there was no infrastructure anywhere in Honduras that could provide basic needs.  Dirt floors and stick huts packed with mud were common and trips to the river were where the villagers drank, washed clothing and dishes and bathed themselves.

One day we my sister and I were talking about the children who always seemed to be hanging around. I observed that they all seemed so happy and asked my sister if she thought these little ones stood a chance of ever having a spiritual awareness. She exclaimed immediately that it was not possible in the least trip 12 008 as they were struggling with so many other issues that to discover their own divine nature would be impossible. I was surprised  by her response and asked, “How do you explain that they all seem so happy?” Her response was just as immediate and similarly  direct. “I don’t know” she said, “it puzzles me too because they have nothing and they have nothing to look forward to!”

I was not satisfied with this answer and pressed her a bit further on the subject of spirituality. She insisted that “basic needs” had to be served before anyone could advance to a more “enlightened” state and that outside the work she was doing to help the little ones in her village few if any had any chance of having anything other than a life of poverty and disease. I remember being saddened by her assessment of those children and pondered the sweetness in their faces and their complete exhilaration with the life they were living. Not once did I ever hear a child complain of their circumstances and everywhere I saw gratitude and acceptance, happiness and joy. In fact, when I was getting ready to leave three of the young children wrote me letters thanking me for coming to visit them and expressing how much they loved having me there with them. What moved me most, however, were their wishes for me. Each of these wonderful children wished for me to have “everything I desired” in life and to be happy.  Without having any concept of how “good” I had things in my life, how abundant and full of the things that are supposed to help us become “actualized,” these children were completely giving of themselves.  What they gave was more than all the riches in the world. They gave their love, their friendship and from the very depths of their souls they spoke to mine.

Their “giving” to me was from the depths of someone deeply spiritual but without, even, the label of “spirituality.” They were divine and it didn’t matter if they knew what that meant or not. Life for them was a treat as was my life when I was with them.  I wept when I read the words of giving and concern for my happiness.

Spiritually speaking these were the great ones. Amidst, the squalor, disease and rampant poverty, as we in the west would define it, I witnessed majesty as I have never seen it. I stood among giants and I trembled before them. I could no longer feel any sorrow for these children as my sorrow for them turned to sorrow for myself. I had become the judge of their existence and what I had seen for them was destroyed by what they already knew about existence. In desolation they knew more than I ever hoped to. They were humble; I was embarrassed. I was completely undressed by the “gods” of this tiny little village and I have never been the same since. My prayer since that visit has been that the children of this village never discover the labels we put on them and that their simple view of life never gives way to the noise of our, so called, “actualized” descriptions.

Surely spiritual awareness, which I had sought for so many years, is not a property of attainment, acclaim, and fulfillment of so-called basic needs.  Spiritual awareness is our very first aspect; it is the very core of our nature.  How true the New Age statement that “we are spiritual beings having aSamiel human experience”.  There is nothing we must attain to in order to achieve spiritual awakening.  In fact, it might be considered an arrogant assumption that we must somehow become something we are not, nor may ever be, in order to achieve higher states of awareness.   One might ask, “What chance do the poor and infirm have of ever reaching higher states of awareness if they must rise above basic needs when such a possibility may never present itself in their lifetimes?”  We all sense a kind of hypocrisy at such a question because we know that some of our greatest spiritual icons came from such circumstances.  Some even went from incredible wealth and royalty to a life of poverty and begging as a way to find the awareness I was convinced must come some other way.

We are spiritual beings.  Our first state of existence is a spiritual one and it is the human-ness of our earthly existence that conditions us to think that the human is not the second state but the first.  The focal point of our existence, the peak of the pyramid, if you will, is our most basic knowing, and poverty and lack is equally able as is wealth and riches, or education and intellect, to drive us from or to that knowing.

Adapted from the book: On Human Being-Loving & Living Without Purpose

What do you do to be enlightened?

I was asked these two questions about enlightnment recently and wanted to share my thoughts with each of you as well. Here is the Question:

Do you think that we can all one day become enlightened? If so, what do we need to do?

My Response:    There is no “day” in some future time that we become enlightened. There is no future at all. Each of us already is enlightened and at various points in our lives we see it. Those who do get a glimpse of it are usually pulled into it by some event, such as the death of a loved one, or something else that causes deep reflection in which no “answer” comes.  Most people who have such an experience can always recount the emotional state they felt in such times but they almost always revert back to the egoic need to explain what is going on.  Most come to some conclusion that their “prayer” was answered or that an Ahhhh Haaa came to them and they understood in a way they hadn’t before.  What gets lost in these conclusions is that in that moment where no answer existed is the only place that enlightenment occurred.

In other words, enlightenment is not some magical, mystical awareness of all the, so called, “Big Questions.”  Enlightenment is the “nothing” that
existed before the “ego” needed an explanation.  It is the sweetness of being in the presence of absolute silence and not needing an explanation
for everything.  In that place there is no fear, love, happiness, sadness or any other emotional state. There is nothing but silence and it is in that
“not knowing” that “all” is known and none of it needs definition.

What do “we” need to do?  “Be still and know that YOU are god.”  In other words, unmask who it is that occupies your body by silencing the mind.  In
this place you will experience the grand mystery of which we are all a part. It’s all you can do. There is no “we” in this unmasking. You’re own
enlightenment will enlighten others.  The “god” that you are is never invisible to the “god” that they are. Something inside us always sees the greater light but it is in the quiet of the mind.  Quiet your mind and discover the “everything” that is contained in the “nothing.”  This is your enlightenment.

This is what you can do.

How We Create Our Own Reality?

I was recently asked this question and wanted to share my answer which I believe is relevant to any spiritual search. Let me know what you think.

We do create our own experience. When the newborn child you mentioned enters this Earth existence, it is the result of, or creation by, the spiritual being (I call it god) who will occupy that body and grow with it into whatever. What happens for all newborns is that after the initial excitement of the birth the adults in the new baby’s life begin to reprogram the child into seeing things the way they were taught to see. After about ten to fifteen years of this, the child embarks on a life that confirms and reinforces what they were previously conditioned to see, accept and/or believe.
This is why I say we live in an illusion. It does not start out that way but all the experiences, training, etc. that go into making us who we are as “humans” cancels out what, in fact, we truly are and what we were when we first got here. Newborn babies have no egoic identity whatsoever, and therefore everything in and about life is wondrous and incredible to them.

Mind based thoughts are powerful but spirit based creative powers are much more so. In fact, the suffering of most humans can be tied directly to the struggle between “what” they are (or were when they got here) and what they have been conditioned to be after they arrived. Perhaps one of the best examples of this is that in the United States (true for other western countries as well) over 70% of the working population hate what they do as a career but for most who are unhappy in their career field they were conditioned to go down this path contrary to their nature which craves something else. How sad for us!

You mention the mind being all powerful (rhetorical) but let me be very specific. We are each two individuals. The “mind” created individual and the spiritual being, or what I call god, which dwells within us. Those first few years you mention are so critical in the development of a child’s mind because what we are conditioned to believe initially will mask what we really are for the rest of our lives. Very few will break free of the conditioning they undergo and return back to the “unidentified” being they were when they came here.

Our lives here should not be about finding purpose and meaning but rather about finding who we are. In finding that, and synching the mind to our spiritual nature, life unfolds in a very un-conflicted way. “We”, that is the real “We” we were before we got here, is made manifest and life, our creation, unfolds in a way that reveals that being. There is power in our thoughts but our thoughts, as rational as we like to think they are, are anything but.

From the moment of our birth, we are taught to want and have and possess to the point that when we “get”, we completely identify ourselves to all the things we have gotten. Life becomes, in essence, a continuous pursuit of things the getting of which is what we falsely believe, make us who we are. An example is I can be “me” after I get my college education or when I get this particular job or career or when I get this particular house, etc., etc. We literally identify with “what we are not” and determine that until we get (what we are not) we are not complete. This is craziness.

Until we re-access that divine being that dwells within us we create a reality that is as wild and crazy as the one we live in now.

The beauty of the un-identified newborn baby is that in their creation everything is simply WOW! (Good article on this at: https://cbozeman.wordpress.com/2009/11/22/the-frequency-of-wow/. There are no judgments about anything and the entry into life is incredible in every way. No judgment is the key. With a mind free of judgment or identity everything just simply is. Children “act” without thinking and do so until we, as adults, condition them to judge everything. Life slowly but surely loses its Wow-ness.

Bottom line is that when a newborn comes into this life, its body is occupied with a “god” who has already created the experience of being here for no other reason than just being here. That god is thrilled and everything about the experience is exhilarating until the “human” has been conditioned to judge good and evil and place every life experience from that point on into a good or bad range. Ego identity takes over and from that point life experience becomes confused and challenging. It was never meant to be so.

In a nutshell we create our experience but it is either a mind created experience or a “spiritual being” created experience. Unless the mind experience is in synch with the spiritual experience there will always be conflict. The two typically see things in very different ways and “identify” with reality accordingly. The mind has become powerful but it is not “all powerful”. The mind is finite. The spirit is infinite. We, individually, are the purpose we seek and try to create with the mind. All we have to do is turn off the mind, dis-identify with the things it (the mind) has determined are necessary for its identity and simply enjoy the richness and wonder of this life experience. When we let go of “mind” created identity, the wonder and spectacle of life opens up in a way I cannot possibly explain here. It truly is unexplainable.

The god that you are “created” this experience long before you arrived here on Earth. The mind identity fights against that original purpose. Find the inner self and you will begin to recognize the awesome power of your own creation. Pretty cool!

The Non-Gift of Giving

There is a common misconception about the act of “giving” we all tend to focus on at this time of year; likely because we hear so much about it.  We call it a time of giving and much of the speak is that “when we give we get back.”  Often we are told that our giving returns to us more than what we give. It is almost as if the idea of “getting back” is the purpose of such giving. Nothing could be further from the truth!

The human mind is always, always about finding reason for doing anything, giving, included.  It is the mind’s nature and the birth of ego is born in this idea that reasons must find their way into our existence and upon finding such we are born into an identity that supports the conceptual ideas we form our identity around.  Sometimes the idea that our “getting,” in return for our giving, is used as motivation to spur us to the action of giving. “Look beyond your means for now and you will receive as much or even more than you sacrificed in the “giving.”

In truth, like happiness, giving is our essence.  Remember that WE are Gods. Individually and uniquely, Gods.  It is our very nature at the level of the divine to give.  The Human in us says, “let there be light, so I may see” while the God that we are says, “let there be light so all may see.”  Giving is our inherent nature as the divine beings that we are and the idea that ego can out do that nature by promising to give back what is given is most absurd.  The idea that you must have returned to you what you gave is not giving; it is taking.  Think about it!

If we comprehend that our nature at the very core of our existence is “the giver” then no part of our existence looks for reasons why there must be a “payback” for our giving.  Remember the new Testament story of the old woman who gave her last penny to charity?  Jesus pointed to her and told those who had given of their abundance that she alone had given the most.  Why would He make such a statement?

We don’t know much about the old woman and her circumstances but we can assume that her ego was screaming at her to keep the penny as she herself was in as great a need for assistance as those she chose to give to.  What kept her from holding on to her last penny and giving all that she had?  She had found and accepted her true nature.  She gave without expectation because the “giver” was unmasked and could not be hidden by the “show” of giving only in quantity.  Those who gave more in quantity, still masked in an identity of receiving for their gifts, gave nothing of their true nature.  Theirs was only a gift; with the expected return.  Hers was a blessing; an act of godliness that reflected her connection to the divine within.  Hers was an act of power!

The act of giving is never about getting something in return.  All that we are, at our core essence, is never wanting or expecting anything in return.  The act of truly giving is a natural act.  It is an act of God and you are God!  Giving resonates in all of us because we have this essence already. Most of us have been taught to give of our abundance but this kind of giving only mitigates the egoic awareness that something else (inside) is the giver of all.

Do you want to know what you “get” when you give?  You get to be who you are.  In other words, you get to stop thinking about acts of giving and just “be” the giver that you inherently are. You get to shed egoic ideas of “who am I” and simply be “who you are” without any conversation at all telling you otherwise.  When we give we engage our inherent nature and that frees us from the egoic nature that is heavy and burdened.

What we feel when we are in service to others is the lightness that comes from being “who, or what we really are.”  The weight of mind created identity leaves for a short time and we feel this lightness and it feels so good we talk about it in egoic terms without really understanding what has happened.  We should all ask what is it about these acts of giving and service that makes us feel so light and happy?  The answer will almost always come back to something like, I got to shed “my stuff” and just be in this wonderfully natural state that was surprisingly without any thought.

If we must have a reason to give then let the reason be because it frees us from our “stuff” and lets us be, if only for a short space of time, the divine giver that we already are. Don’t attach reasons to the giving. Just give and the giving will engage an inherent nature that already is YOU.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

Carl

A consciousness guide; “The” Spiritual Handbook! – Book Review

I am one of twenty bloggers participating in the virtual book tour for Yvonne Perry’s latest book, Shifting into Purer Consciousness ~ Integrating Spiritual Transformation with the Human Experience. Today, I am sharing the review that I wrote. You may learn more about Yvonne and her book at http://shiftingintopurerconsciousness.com

Title: Shifting into Purer Consciousness ~ Integrating Spiritual Transformation with the Human Experience

Author: Yvonne Perry

ISBN-13: 978-0-9825722-9-0

Publisher: Write On!, May 2012

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Yesterday, the tour stopped at Janet Riehl’s Riehl Life blog. Tomorrow the tour will be at Doreen Pendgracs’ blog- Wizard of Words  and I invite you to visit that site to learn more about the spiritual transition we are currently in. See the full tour schedule at http://dld.bz/byrF7 .

Here is my review:

Yvonne’s words float through the mind like a summer’s breeze easing their way into the fabric of the soul. She is eloquent, bold and shares a compelling glimpse into her own spiritual journey that shows us how her journey can become a map for our own. While “Shifting into Purer Consciousness,“ is a gentle excursion into greater spiritual awareness it is an equally powerful handbook that teaches in specific ways how each of us can approach our own spiritual journey.

I was taken by the numerous exercises and affirmations Yvonne shares that are impactful, deep and compelling.  The book will lead you on a journey of self discovery that makes the essence of every single moment in life significant and essential. Yvonne is not only a guide but a friend who shows us the way to venture into our own “Human Experience” and even in those moments of fear and timidity she effectively shows us how to be unafraid.  There is boldness in her words that, “where all paths are honored and merged, I see no reason why one must follow a strict regime of “getting it right” (indicative of a patriarchal system). It is our intention that counts.”

Intention does count and this wonderful book shows us so many ways to discover our own unique spirituality and find “Intention and Purpose” in every facet of life. If nothing else this book will make you look at yourself in a new and reverent way and it will most certainly “shift your consciousness.”

Carl Bozeman

Author of the Bestselling Book: On Being God – Beyond Your Life’s Purpose

www.spiritual-intuition.com

My Father Al; A Living Tribute

It may seem a bit odd to pay tribute to another human in the form of an obituary but what good are expressions about someone if they, for whom they are written, are unable to hear and know the depth of feeling a Son can have for his Father.

My Father Al came into my life after I had ruled out all adult humans as trustworthy and protective of those they were charged with caring for. My real father had left without having any contact and my life as I knew it then was forever over. I never even gave my Father Al a chance to be a friend let alone a father to whom I would look up to. He was just another Man, human if you will, who like so many others would find ways to hurt, abandon and abuse me and make my life a hell that would haunt me endlessly. I kept him at a distance but I never stopped observing his quiet, steady ways. Beyond that I never gave him much thought. He was not much more than an inconvenient intruder in my own already defective life.

As I grew older, I began to take upon myself, with great pride, the idea that having lost my biological father, I could pick and choose the men who passed through my life and take from them characteristics I admired and wanted to emulate. I prided myself on the great variety of virtues I was able to draw upon as well as the men from whom I would draw them. I threw my admiration at certain men from many walks of life and eagerly observed and adopted characteristics I felt were necessary to my own character building. Things like integrity, honesty, hard work, devotion to family, self-sacrifice, humor and love of life. As I sought these things, always, Al was in the background.

One rarely knows the “hows” of our experiences. Most of us come to a place in our lives where our own retrospection looks back on “what changed” or on “what just happened” and in silence we marvel at what we missed for so long. For me, like John Bunyan’s “Pilgrim” I travelled a long and desperate road only to circle around back to where I had started. In a moment of stark recognition I had made my way back to my original home and to that place where in my youth I had judged so harshly. The journey took me in countless directions and all that I ever sought was always right there where I had begun. The greatest of all men was there in my own backyard. He had not changed but I had. I now had eyes that could see that where I began, and where I had ended was at his feet. And in a silent moment of recognition, at one so great, I am humbled in his presence.

The light has never shined so bright as when I have been with him. My Father Al was everything I ever sought and even with the passage of time being so long before my own recognition I feel as though I have never “not” known. This is because of Him, as well. In all my travels he has never judged. He has loved as only a father could and I have felt that love and it is inexpressible. What was once the “least” to me, is the greatest!

My Father Al has gone home to a place we all know and from whence we have all come. He is with his “greatest of all possessions,” as he referred to my Mother, whom he adored every moment of his life. Another great quality of the man! We are forever drawn to the place he now enjoys but more importantly we are drawn to him. Like a fortress or a stand of trees or the inexorable pull of the moon upon the waters he will always be the force that draws us ever closer to eternity. The light in a dark place, never looking back but always looking forward. He is our guide, a sentinel, not guarding the way but protecting us along the way.

My Father holds many places in our hearts. To some he is “Al,” while to others he is “Dad,” while to some he is “Brother Yates” or “Grandpa” or just “Yates.” Some even know him as “Handsome.” Whatever the name we knew him as or the description of him we hold we are all united in our love for him and he always reciprocated by loving us. Not in grand and showy ways but quietly, completely and most of all purely.

Rest well my Father and know that in this place we celebrate the life of one so good we are all humbled to have been a part of the vast universe you created. Go in peace and know that we all love you.

I love you. God bless you my sweet Dad.

Your Son,

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Awesome Man!

Carl

Breaking Down the Barriers to Spirit – A Way to Live for 2012

Instead of asking you to reflect on the year just ended and create resolutions for the new year just beginning I would like to share a pattern for life that will put you on a path of breaking down the barriers we all have when trying to access our spiritual natures. These are not resolutions rather they are a guide for living everyday, regardless of year, that never requires renewal or reflection. They are a guide for living in such a way that we are always open to our own divinity.

Accessing our spiritual or divine nature is difficult in light of the control ego has on us. Ego is opposed to anything beneficial to others and to ourselves. A Course in Miracles says, “The ego wishes no one well. Yet, its survival depends on your belief that you are exempt from its evil intentions.” 

How do we penetrate egoic devices that keep us from accessing the good within? Here is a list of characteristics that will not only penetrate our ego natures but help form a barrier that will prevent ego from having any influence in our lives, whatsoever.

  1. Never point the finger; never and at no one: Pointing the finger steers us outward away from who we are. It is an easy thing to do to look away from ourselves while focusing on others. In fact, all of us need to always be singularly focused on our inner selves, where no inclination, whatsoever, exists to point away toward someone or something else. Pointing in any direction, even towards ourselves, is a good way to distance ourselves from that being who dwells within.
  2. Ceasing to judge anything: Our judgment blinds us to reality. It skews our perceptions to finite criteria which limits infinite possibility. Gods have no limitations of any kind. They are bound to nothing, even so called physical laws. Judgment is the glue that holds us to the idea of impossibility. We like saying “nothing is impossible”, but our judgments convince us otherwise. When we cease to judge anything, the doorway to everything opens up to us.
  3. Give up holding onto the past: Our history is the “school” of our judgments. We learn well our definitions of life in the school of past experience. Those definitions not only become the criteria for judging others, but also for judging ourselves. Judgments are confining to our senses and to our essence as gods. When we give up holding onto the past, newness and freshness strikes us in ways we cannot imagine.
  4. Speaking kindly: Humans are said to be hardwired for communication. The ego, which is uniquely human, is programmed to defend itself. No ego ever wants to be perceived as “less than” its preconditioned criteria. While other egos may not reciprocate, always speak kindly of others. We can never know where anyone is coming from. No one knows your history nor do you know theirs. Speaking kindly allows everyone some ease and safety. It is an opening of your heart and theirs.
  5. Expressions of love soften the ego, speak them often: The only thing “hard” about humans is the ego. It is the shell we all have that supposedly protects us from the onslaught of other egos crucial judgments. Ego is a defensive mechanism built up over time. It is the past brought forward into the present. It is the preparer of future defensive engagements. It is strong against the devices of other egos. It is defenseless against love and kindness. Speaking kindly and expressions of love break down egoic defenses and opens the door to the soul where our defensive walls give way to our divine nature. Expressions of love are gods speaking to others and to us. Nothing can stand against such expressions, especially our own egos.
  6. Love everything: This is difficult because we are never programmed to do so. We are programmed to judge and place our affections on those things we have been taught to see as good. Finding a way to see beauty in everything is a way to open our minds to what our hearts already know. There is beauty and wonder in everything. It is all worthy of our love. Everyone, everything!

Practice these things everyday if you can. You will feel your heart soften toward everything going on in your experience. You will also notice doors opening to you that were once closed and you will be filled more and more with the wide-eyed wonder you had as a child. Each day, less and less will escape your view.

Enjoy your new awareness, enjoy the new year but most of all enjoy yourself right now this very moment.  You are god. All my best,

Carl.

A Holiday Message – Before Giving….Release

During this holiday season I would like to share some thoughts about the greatest “gift” you can give to yourself. I hope you won’t mind my making reference to Jesus as this time of the year is especially focused on the birth and subsequent life of Jesus but the message is universal and certainly non-denominational.

Christians the world over look to Jesus as a gift, given to the world by a kind and benevolent Father and that we should pledge strong belief and allegiance to him. Christians miss much about this great man. The life of Jesus and all his subsequent teachings were about “release.” Our “giving” should be about giving away the things in this life that we attach ourselves to. It is believed that Jesus gave his life for the sins of those who would but believe in him, however, where we err is that the “giving” is about Him and not us. We consider his great kindness to us and we are forever obliged and in his subjection for having sacrificed as he supposedly did.

The idea of giving away our sins is not so much about giving away our sins to him as much as it is about releasing ourselves from carrying them.  We should not feel burdened with life. Giving is a difficult thing to do when the giving is from the abundance of our egoic identity. Egoic abundance is all that ego holds as reality, truth and belief when most of it falls into a realm of illusion and untruth. We are all full of such abundance and all of it comes with the attachments of fear and guilt and second guessing our own unique and divine nature.

True giving is releasing ourselves of our burdens. This is a greater gift then that of giving from our physical wealth because “release” frees us of our emotional ties to things past that no longer exist other then as memories coupled with the original emotions they carried. Giving always carries emotion which is not really giving. Release instead, your identity with the things that cause you fear and doubt. These are the only things that make you question your own divine nature. Release your grief, your sorrow, your sadness, your unhappiness and your pain. These are the greatest gift you can give to life and everyone who experiences you in their life.

It is my hope that you make this holiday season, not about the traditional “giving” we have come to think it is, but about “releasing” ourselves of our limited ideas about how incredible we are. Let everything go and enjoy to the fullest your divine nature and the divine nature of everyone you come in contact with.  Nothing you have done, do, or will do will ever impact your place in eternity. When you get to this place you no longer “give” of your abundance. You give of yourself and those to whom you give will sense the release you have experienced. This will release them.

All my best during this holiday season. Let yourself be merry, happy and free of anything you believe holds you to a view of yourself that is anything less than the god you are.

All my love,

Carl