More on Spirit vs. Ego

Today’s Facebook feed included a post with a quote from  Thich Nhat Hanh.

If I am incapable of washing dishes joyfully, if I want to finish them quickly so I can go and have dessert or a cup of tea, I will be equally incapable of enjoying my dessert or my tea when I finally have them.

My initial reaction was to resist and argue with the concept as I approached it from my Egoic mind and emotion. I thought of the instant vs. delayed gratification argument and then went into personality typology thinking; “those SJ (Myers-Briggs) types would have no problem with this, so this means that SJ’s get a free pass when it comes to spirituality while the rest of us NP’s have to struggle to be good enough”. I recognized that my argumentativeness was my Ego’s way of resisting change, so I took another look at the quote from a different perspective.

After further consideration, I realized that what the author was saying was that “if I cannot find and surrender to the Joy in washing dishes prior to having dessert or tea, then I will not take the time to find and surrender to the Joy of the latter.” In other words, if I cannot be present and mindful while washing dishes and can only think of the future, then when I am finally able to enjoy my dessert or tea, I will continue to be disengaged in the moment. I will have established a pattern of my mind being some place other than my body and spirit. Most likely, when I am finally able to sit and “relax”, my thoughts will be directed to something else I need to do, or I will begin to take an inventory of my “to do” list making sure that I actually do “deserve” this time of respite.

The Ego is a master of deception. Not because it is evil or has bad intentions for us; rather, it strives to remain in control at all times, “protecting” us from perceived threats or even undesirable outcomes. This is more true when it comes to spiritual or religious matters. The Ego can excel in sacrificial or disciplinary action in the name of spirituality, as long as it can remain active and in control. Thus it is easy to feel that one is being spiritual by completing an undesirable chore prior to rewarding oneself, or that it is OK to take a break as long as you are fulfilling your obligations. However, this is not spirituality. Serenity is recognizing the truly important, such as serving a beloved by washing the dishes, or being grateful that one has food and dishes to clean up. It is also taking joy in the delights of dessert and tea. While our goal may not be to live a life of perfection, the more time we spend in Serenity, the more fulfilled we will be and, for recovering addicts, the more our recovery is insured.

The point of the above quotation is not the work which needs to be done, neither is it the discipline of handling more important matters first. The point is surrendering to spirit in order to be present in the moment and abiding in Serenity, being mindful of that which is truly important and taking Joy in the moment. The author’s point in the above quote is that rushing through a chore to get to what the Ego wants to do robs one of the Joy of both the chore and the relaxation afterward.

This reinforces the idea that Surrender is an exercise in our own best interest and not simply an act of obedience. Another lesson one may derive from this is that you cannot move from negative energy to positive via the Ego. No amount of “positive thinking” will convince you that doing the dishes is a delight. You must transfer control from the Ego to your Spirit. Engaging in the activity is a start, but you must surrender to Joy and allow it to change your mind and heart. Take in the warmth of the water, the aroma of the dish soap, the feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction. You cannot arrive at Joy through your Ego, you must bring Joy to it instead!

 

Ego vs. Spirit

We have already established that the Ego is that natural part of us that is connected to the body, the mind and our primal emotions. In short, it is who we think we are.

The Spirit is that part of us which communicates with God or the Universe. It operates predominately in Positive Energy while the Ego is susceptible to Negative Energy due to its connection with the physical body and material world.

It is not our goal to eliminate or to by-pass the Ego since everything we experience as humans is experienced by our Ego. However, we must learn to Surrender our Ego to the higher Wisdom and Enlightenment of our Spirit.

When we begin in this endeavor, the Ego will offer great resistance. Many times, what we think are spiritual exercises with the goal of transformation are actually Ego-motivated thoughts and actions designed to comfort and restore the Ego to power. This is why we do not experience a change in our situation or circumstances as the Universe continues to honor the desire of our Will to transform. At this point we must learn to Surrender the negative thoughts and emotions generated by the Ego and embrace Positive Energy from our Spirit.

This can be a difficult, torturous process. Once I recognized that my Ego was the force behind my attempts at restoration, I began to ignore the negative thoughts and emotions it generated. At this point I felt “numb” rather than positive or joyful. I recognized this as progress but knew that I needed to press further in order to put my Spirit fully in control. I continued to have difficulty hearing my Intuition and discovered that during my meditation my Ego was trying to obtain information from my Spirit so that it could continue to be in control.

The objective for which we are striving is being led by our Intuition rather than by our wounded, negative Ego. Learning your personality type will help you considerably in knowing how your Ego responds to its environment and why you think/behave in a certain manner. Finding a Tarot Reader is one way in which you can navigate the Spirit realm and get feedback on your progress toward transformation. Mentors, Counselors, books and online groups may also provide assistance.

We have difficulty understanding why it is so difficult to operate from the Spirit and to surrender the mind and the Ego. This is because the Ego operates in Negative Energy which is manipulative, forceful and controlling. It is not that our Spirit is weaker, but that Positive Energy operates on Love and Respect. It has to wait for us to see the “light” or value and then set our Will or Intention to move. In other words, transformation requires self-determination. This also explains why co-dependency and victimization are such blockages in obtaining healing. Religious focus on obedience and compliance as well as adherence to dogma is another factor in becoming stuck on our journey.

As we take steps of Faith toward Liberation, it does not matter so much that we “get it right” but that we simply reach out to the Universe and that we begin to stand up and fight for our Selves with the realization that we are worthy and a beloved, integral part of Creation and the Universe.

Solving the “God” problem of Recovery

Although most religions claim to be spiritually focused, nearly all filter spirituality through the physical lens or require some type of behavioral compliance in order to obtain spiritual rewards. Monotheistic religions tend to view God as a singular being, much like ourselves, and worship Him as a personal deity rather than acknowledge the spiritual laws, principles and concepts that make up Positive Energy. The Bible states that “God is Love”. If He is Love, then it logically follows that He is also Wisdom. And if He is Wisdom, He is Truth; and Health; and all other things Positive. In fact, God is Positive Energy; ALL of it, which also means that ALL of it is also God. That means that we need to give the same reverence to Health as we do to Love, Truth and Wisdom. It also means that we need to place far more emphasis and importance on spiritual matters rather than earthly or temporal matters. Of course, we are constantly reminded to do this by scriptures, sages, prophets and the occasional televangelist. It’s just that we get so easily distracted by all this “physical” stuff we have to do, that we forget the spiritual.

It is most helpful to shift one’s view of God to that of Positive Energy and focus on the Principles of Love, Truth, Wisdom, etc. since these are attributes which require personal acknowledgment and action, rather than expecting a divine entity to do something for us or meet our needs. If we perceive God to be like ourselves, then we will eventually project our prejudices and expectations onto Him which will lead to disappointment, and subsequently, resentment. In fact, it is better to perceive ourselves as more like God than vice-versa. If we realize that we have access to His energy through surrender to His laws and principles, then we are more likely to pick up our responsibility and flow within the properties of Positive Energy. Moreover, our objective will become one of self-investment rather than simply obedience to a superior entity. It is hardly noble to obey an entity who can obliterate you with a simple thought, and blind obedience hardly seems to be the objective of creating a free-will agent. However, freely acknowledging that which is valuable and surrendering oneself to its principles for self-advancement and benefit is quite noble indeed.

Religions tend to focus more on the adherence to moral code rather than the natural boundaries of spiritual principles such as Love or Truth. The Golden Rule is very simple; treat others as you would like to be treated. No need for an elaborate list of do’s and don’ts. Religious or Egotistic thought tends to place the cart of behavior ahead of the horse of one’s location within Positive or Negative Energy. It is one’s spiritual location that will determine the consequent behavior and not vice-versa. One of the major focal points of our physical state is our need to judge based on performance. After all, our survival is directly related to our ability to perform. In the spirit realm, however, there is no need to evaluate by performance since it is not the individual who is in control, but God, The Universe or Universal Principles.  The objective is not to “get it right” so much as it is to line up with, or to get into the stream of things. If we are operating in Love then our subsequent actions will be motivated by Love. Our location in Positive or Negative Energy is largely determined by our focus, intention and level of enlightenment.

Since we live in, and are surrounded by, material objects subject to physical laws and properties with limitations, our spiritual vision is, at best, myopic.  Our physical and mental state is quite fragile, and as a result, we tend to be very Narcissistic and ego-driven.  We desperately need to control our environment, and our future; consequently, we revere choice, logic and behavior. We tend to think more in terms of “do” rather than simply “be”. We evaluate ourselves on our performance and our ability to acquire material possessions, take care of ourselves and accomplish things. What’s more, we imagine that God also evaluates us by these standards. In reality, God is not some “person” out there judging us; rather, He is Love, Peace, Serenity, Truth, Wisdom, and everything we truly need, waiting for us to get things in proper perspective and engage Him, or His Principles.

In truth, the Spiritual operates much differently from the physical. Positive Energy has a set of laws and principles that operate exclusively within its realm. The same is true for Negative energy. Positive energy consists of Love, Peace, Serenity, Joy, Wisdom, Truth, Justice, Mercy, Health and so on. These are the principles of Life. They are invaluable and worth any sacrifice in order to experience them daily. But in order to have them in operation, we must first see them, and then pursue them. Since these are spiritual principles, we must seek them with our spirit, or our Higher Self. However, since we are accustomed to operating in the physical realm, this gets quite tricky and the Ego is quite persistent in maintaining control.

The Addiction/Grief Link

The greatest difficulty in becoming our true, authentic self is that our Will or Intention first filters everything through the Soul. This is necessary since the soul and body are linked and completely dependent upon one another for survival. The “Self” that emerges as a result of the experiences, interpretations, thoughts and emotions of this soul/body interdependency is known as our Ego. The Ego is not our complete “Self”, but it certainly makes up the larger percentage of our awareness until we make a conscious change. For the most part, this is who we identify ourselves to be. By the time we discover that we are also spiritual beings, most of us have already developed a sophisticated network of beliefs, coping strategies and substitutes for whatever lack, real or perceived, that we may have experienced. It is only through the surrender of our Ego to our Spirit that we are able to rise above our earthly understanding and comprehend matters of the Spirit. It is not our task to destroy the Ego and replace it with our Spirit, thereby putting to death our “sinful nature”. This is not possible. Our Ego is our Self, or at least a large portion of it, and any attempt to replace it is an exercise in Denial and Negative Energy.  In order to abide in Positive Energy, which is where the Principles of Life, Love, Wisdom, Truth and all other Positive Principles reside, the Will or Intention must Surrender to Positive Energy. Since Positive Energy is not aggressive or forceful, the individual must become enlightened to the value of Positive Energy and then desire it above all else.

Perhaps no greater illustration of this can be found than that of recovery from drug or alcohol addiction. Any recovering addict knows that the path to Serenity lies in Acceptance and Surrender. Elizabeth Kübler-Ross identified five stages that occurred during the Grief process, which are: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. Recovering addicts will immediately recognize these stages as major components in addiction. However, very few programs make grief work a foundation in their approach and simply address it as a separate issue. It is in the final stage that one comes to terms with the forced changes that have taken place and makes the necessary adjustment in order to move forward and return to a state of Serenity and productivity. Addiction forces its victim to undergo numerous losses and changes throughout its devastating course. It perpetually throws its victim into the grieving process, never allowing him to exit through the door of Acceptance. Many programs attempt to deal with Denial, Anger and Depression as separate issues, never seeing them as processes or working toward a singular goal; Acceptance.

During the course of addiction, one’s Ego is badly battered and torn and becomes filled with guilt, shame and sorrow due to numerous losses. In order to escape the ravages of grief, the recovering addict must accept that he has been under the influence of a disease and has lost many things which he will not be able to recover. Indeed, the recovering addict’s own identity has been distorted and diminished by the very nature of the disease. He must then come to believe that, although his Ego is powerless over this disease, his true self, or Spirit, is free from its grip. This is Acceptance. Surrender is then turning his Will over to God, or Positive Energy, one day at a time. In order to be successful, he cannot allow his battered Ego to climb back into the driver’s seat and have full control.

No real, positive change can occur apart from Acceptance. Attempts to rationalize, suppress, or otherwise “move on” without fully accepting the corruption of the Ego will result in denial and the implementation of a coping strategy and/or substitutes for authentic healing. This is not to say that one must get bogged down by overthinking or ruminating over the past. In fact, Acceptance often takes place on a subconscious level apart from the awareness of the individual. However, in most cases, acknowledgement is required and sometimes further action such as forgiveness and setting of intention. Often, the assistance of a professional counselor or a supportive sponsor will be required in order to complete the work.

Acceptance is coming to terms with the past, that which cannot be changed and that which must be changed, then, having made that determination, letting go. Acceptance, in the recovery sense, does not mean accepting defeat; rather, it means accepting one’s Ego, the damage caused by addiction, the lies, the compensation and the loss; and then, that all of this is an illusion created by the twisted Ego. Surrender to one’s own Spirit, the pursuit of Positive Energy, Life and all Its Principles will restore the True Self. It is turning one’s face toward the Sun and allowing the Light of Life and the warmth of Healing to permeate one’s being and bring restoration.

Positive & Negative Energy

In order to make the adjustment and begin operating more in the spiritual realm, or in Positive Energy, we need to put things in proper perspective. Positive Energy is that which is Real or Authentic. Negative Energy is a mirror, a shadow, a void. Positive Energy is Life, Negative Energy is Death. In other words, anything that leads to vitality, serenity and fulfillment is within the realm of Positive Energy. Love, Truth, Serenity, Peace, Joy, Wisdom, Justice, Mercy, Health, Freedom, Success, Prosperity, Courage, Victory, Fidelity and Integrity are all properties of Positive Energy. The goal of Positive Energy is always wholeness, completion, maturity and fruition. We know this simply by observing nature.

So then, Positive Energy is where we want to be. That is the second distinction that we need to make as we look to transition from the physical to the spiritual. Serenity, Love, Wisdom and Peace are a location. It is not so much about what we do as it is where we are. Take a few seconds to meditate on that and let its Truth permeate your soul. Meditation takes you to the place of Serenity. It does not give you Serenity. We are spirit beings and as such, we engage spiritual principles regularly whether we know it or not.  As we live in this corporeal body, we will always have to balance between Positive and Negative energy, since we are surrounded by both. As we know from nature, Life operates in cycles. It is logical to assume that this life is merely a cycle and that death simply marks the end of this cycle. It is best not to view Positive and Negative energy as “good and bad” or “right and wrong”. Doing so introduces a moral component which actually serves to empower Negative energy.

The next observation we need to make is, if “do” is not the primary focus in Positive Energy, then how do we simply “be”? The answer to that is Surrender. The principles of Life have been around long before we arrived on the scene. It is not up to us to “figure them out”, or to try to control them. Our task is simply to connect with Life and allow the gifts, talents and expression with which we have been endowed, to flow forth. This means not only surrender to the principles of Life, but surrender to our higher self, our spirit, our Heart! We need to surrender to the part of us that hears the voice of Wisdom, Peace and Joy! We must make a distinction between our Spirit and our Ego and no longer allow our broken, hurt, dysfunctional Ego to be in charge.

Surrender is not the same as “choice”, which is necessary in the physical realm. Surrender is more of an attitude, a position. It is a type of respect. By surrendering, we acknowledge the inherent value of the principles of Positive Energy as well as our place and benefit within their boundaries.  While surrender, at times, requires choice, it often involves a relinquishing of choice. However, this “relinquishing of choice” is done so that we may remain within the boundaries of Positive Energy. For example, we may surrender to Forgiveness in order to remain within the boundaries of Love, or we may surrender to Simplicity in order to remain within the boundaries of Health. We can say that we “choose to forgive”, but in reality, we either surrender to the law of Love or we fail to surrender and remain in bitterness. We either surrender to the natural laws of Health, or we make choices based out of ignorance and eat what is sold to us through slick marketing campaigns. To say that we have a choice between Positive and Negative Energy is like saying we have a choice between a gold coin and a plastic replica. Choosing the plastic would not only demonstrate Ignorance, but disrespect as well. Surrendering to Positive Energy also gives us access to Wisdom and Freedom, which are both necessary in making wise choices.

One must not look at Surrender as a “giving away” of oneself, or as losing one’s identity. Surrender is simply acknowledging the value and boundaries of Positive Energy. Surrender to Positive Energy is an investment in one’s Self and as such, provides a return in the end. Let’s return to our concept of Mastery. Think about a Master Chef, a Master Carpenter or a Master Electrician. In order to become a master, one must be dedicated or devoted to his craft. It requires an intense level of focus, perseverance, and patience. In other words, it requires complete Surrender! But this does not result in taking away from the pupil; rather, it results in expansion, a return on his investment.

This principle can be applied in all areas of Positive Energy such as Love, Truth, Wisdom, Justice, and so on. Each of these principles has laws, boundaries, and anticipated outcomes. They are not always as “black and white” as they would appear to be and are quite often paradoxical. For example, Love may require that a certain amount of Negative Energy be tolerated for a period of time. Joy often crosses what seems to be a boundary into the Negative through the enjoyment of a glass of wine, or an adrenaline rush. Think of it as light piercing darkness. Boundaries do exist, however, and surrender must be engaged in order to remain within the realm of Positive Energy. If we attempt to extend Joy beyond its boundaries, we may encounter Addiction, for example. Or, if we love someone and tolerate abuse, neglect or negative behavior then we enable them and disrespect ourselves.

In fact, it is possible to elevate or emphasize one particular Principle and violate the Principle of Harmony. If one over emphasizes Truth for example, he may become rigid or legalistic and neglect Mercy or Compassion. This opens the door for abuse, judgment and even hatred. On the other hand, one may over emphasize Love and neglect to set proper boundaries which leads to disrespect and abuse as well. All of the Principles of Positive Energy must be equally valued and respected. Freedom, for example, recognizes the sovereignty of each individual and respects boundaries even though it contains the concept of limitlessness.

Positive and Negative energy operate differently and it is important to make the distinction. Positive Energy is Light. It is intrinsically valuable in that it provides benefit, Life and a positive return to those who invest time and effort to abide within it. By its very nature, which includes Love, Freedom and Peace, it is not forceful or coercive. Rather, it is gentle, patient and forgiving. Negative Energy is opposite. It is forceful, dominating, coercive, deceitful and destructive. Addiction, Disease and Ignorance are perfect examples of Negative Energy. It is for this reason that the Ego alone is insufficient in achieving personal fulfillment and that healing or recovery must include Surrender to Spirit and Positive Energy. The Ego can easily be deceived or overwhelmed by Negative Energy. Only through Surrender to the Light of Wisdom, Truth and Love can it be restored to its original authentic self.

“Good” people don’t smoke marijuana

Ok, it’s day 4 in the New Year and I am sitting down trying to build this blog in some sort of organized fashion so that a reader can follow a train of thought and arrive at a logical conclusion. However, as I begin to write, I am struck by a sound bite on television made by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. His statement that “good people don’t smoke marijuana” succinctly expresses a common belief and pitfall found in nearly all of us.

First of all, Jeff Sessions is not qualified to define “good people”. All people are valuable and worthy simply because of their existence and it is wrong to suggest that people are either “good” or “bad” because of their behavior. We are not defined by our behavior. Behavior fluctuates with positive or negative energy such as moods, backgrounds, mental states, physical states, so on and so forth. Of course human beings are capable of horrific behaviors but even those do not completely alter the worthiness of the individual. Someone who might be considered completely worthless would have to be devoid of any positive quality whatsoever and it is unclear whether or not any human being is capable of making that determination.

Sessions’ implication, of course, is that smoking marijuana is bad, irresponsible behavior. The logical conclusion, therefore, is that only bad people engage in bad behavior. The logic is flawed, of course, but more of us than would like to admit, are guilty of it. You may cringe at Sessions’ judgmental faux-pas, but do you employ the same logic at times, especially with yourself? Do you judge yourself or others based on behaviors of the past? Do you judge yourself based on your accomplishments or lack thereof? Do you believe that it is adherence to a code of right and wrong that will win you favor with the Almighty? Of course there is such a thing as injustice when we violate the rights of others, but that implies a debt rather than the loss of worthiness.

God does not judge you based on whether or not you “keep the rules”. You judge yourself! If you eat potato chips and drink sodas every day then your health suffers. If you lie and cheat in business it catches up with you. If you ignore the rules of success then you scrape to get by. God’s laws and principles are already set in place and it is up to us to either surrender to them or not. Our behavior is simply reflected by our degree of surrender. If “good people” don’t smoke marijuana, does that mean that “good people” do not gossip or tell white lies? Does it mean that “good people” are not overweight or ill due to poor nutrition or lack of exercise?

Smoking marijuana is neither good nor bad… unless you believe it is! It may however be detrimental or beneficial to your physical body or mental state (not to mention legal status). It is similar to drinking wine. In moderation, it may enhance one’s enjoyment of Life. In excess it may be a hindrance in reaching your personal goals (at least the really important ones). At any rate, that is a determination best left between an individual and his Higher Power!

The lesson to take away from this asinine statement is that we all are guilty of making erroneous judgments, especially with regard to morality. However, do we feel like we always have to “get it right”? Do we find ourselves being overly critical of our behavior instead of simply enjoying Serenity and Peace where Wisdom, Love and Joy abide? Remember, it isn’t so much what you do, as it is allowing where you are to influence what you do!

More about Surrender vs. Obedience

This is important. You need to get this. I spent the bulk of my life in Evangelical, Fundamentalist Christianity and every day I worried about whether or not I was making God happy or had done something for which I needed to ask forgiveness. The burden became too much to bear. If you are trapped in the belief that you must “obey” in order to be blessed and avoid God’s displeasure then your mental health is suffering.

The problem arises when we view God as “human”. God is Positive Energy. God is Love. Yes, Positive Principles have laws, boundaries and predictable outcomes; however, “obedience” is not the objective. Surrendering to Love is in our own best interest. If we truly knew the nature and value of Love, we would sell our very souls to have it. Why would we not want to surrender to Freedom? Freedom is not going to overtake us. Freedom is not going to conquer us and make us bend to its will. This is not how Positive Energy operates. You cannot “force” someone to Love, to be free, or to be at Peace.

The Principles of God or the Universe are invaluable. When we recognize their value and desire them for what they are worth, then our motivation becomes internal and self-motivated (not selfish). It is within our True Self’s interests to follow the principles of Life, Love, Joy, Freedom and other Positives. Sacrifices will be required of the Ego, but even the sacrifices are for our benefit in the long run. In fact, the Ego derives a certain amount of attention or acknowledgement by “sacrificing” for the sake of obedience or external reward. However, often what is deemed as a sacrifice for “obedience” sake, is  costly to Self and often deceptive, being only for show and empty of true substance.

The gist is this… You are a sovereign entity in your own right. You are made to be uniquely you and fulfill your particular destiny doing what makes you the happiest. You were not brought forth to be a perpetual child to be pampered, taken care of and always seeking approval. The need to constantly check to see if you are “obedient” reinforces the notion of dependency and immaturity. Surrendering to Principles because they are beneficial and within our own best interests demonstrates maturity and responsibility.

Surrender is Intention. It is You at the core stating; “This is who I am and this is what I do!”  Surrender is standing your ground. You are not surrendering to defeat or any type of Negative Energy; rather, you are surrendering to your own Divine Nature. You are surrendering to the laws and principles of Positive Energy, of Life itself! It is the intent of a sovereign, free-willed individual and it is much more powerful than reluctant, resentful or even deceptive obedience. Surrender has nothing to do with weakness or defeat. It is You yielding to your True Nature and not giving in to Negative Energy!

Obedience vs. Surrender

Ok, I’ll admit that in typical Virgo fashion, I can sometimes split hairs when it comes to definitions. But really, words are just symbols. There is no way that a simple four-letter word can convey an abstract concept such as Love or Life. Words are simply meant to convey a thought or idea. That is why a good meditation practice is to perform a word study. One of my favorite revelations came when I was studying the word “resolve”. It seemed as if a whole world of understanding opened up when I looked up the various meanings and nuances of this powerful word.

So why the need to differentiate between Surrender and Obedience? The issue is the religious understanding that God demands obedience in order to be appeased, placated or otherwise disposed to take care of us and meet our needs. We often assume that obedience produces reward and disobedience results in punishment. Biblical stories, parables and axioms seem to reinforce the concept of obedience, even blind obedience. One can argue any biblical interpretation from many angles (some have even made a case for extra-terrestrials) but suffice it to say different day, different time. Some things that were applicable thousands of years ago in an agrarian, patriarchal culture have been outgrown. Not to say that Truth is no longer relevant, simply that expectations have been raised.  In the grander scheme of things, obedience is a small objective, both for God and for mankind.

The biggest issue, at least for me, is that if God wanted our obedience, as King of the Universe (or the Universe itself) He has a myriad of ways at His disposal in order to get it. I cannot believe that the highest achievement of man is blind obedience to God. Yet this appears to be the culmination of man’s existence, at least according to most fundamentalist, evangelical churches. And you can rest assured that in the course of your existence God is going to ask you to do some shit that you really, really don’t want to do… in order to test your “faith” of course. It’s almost as if God has some sort of identity complex – like Santa Clause in those Christmas movies where the world has stopped believing and it needs some starry-eyed, nerdy kid to restore the Universe to its proper balance. Nope, not buyin’ it.

No, God is not a human being. He is not a person like us. God is Spirit. God is Love. He is also the source of all Wisdom. If God is Love, then He is also Peace, Serenity and Joy. In fact, God is Positive Energy. Instead of looking at God as a “person”, even a highly revered, honorable “person”, and instead, seeing Him as his attributes of Love, Peace, Serenity, Joy, Freedom and more, it changes our view of Life and our responsibility to ourselves. If we want Health then we have to revere it and pursue it. We have to abide by its principles, accept its laws, in other words “Surrender”. In surrendering to Life, we avail ourselves of Life. We enjoy Life. We have Life and all Life has to offer. In other words, surrendering is in our own best interest.

Obedience focuses on the external, on some outside force that is greater in power, knowledge and resources who must be served. One could argue that obedience is an act of love and respect but this is only true to a point. If one were to simply act out of obedience yet harbor resentment, or even secretly act differently when out of the “view” of  authority, then they are violating their own Integrity. Surrender is a result of maturity, of development, of Enlightenment. We must become enlightened to the fact that we are the offspring of the Creator, the Source. In other words, we are Light, Love, Peace, Joy and Success! Then, adhering to the Principles of Light, Love, Peace, Joy and Success is in our own best interests. At that point, our motivation becomes internal. Our actions flow from our nature rather than being something we do in order to “earn” validation or approval.

“Enlightenment” is an act of falling in Love. Once we realize that Positive Energy is part of our very nature, not only are we grateful for the Principles of the Universe, we begin to see ourselves differently. The veil of Darkness, Ignorance and Deception is lifted and we know true Freedom!

Expansion!

The thought for today is Expansion! During my morning meditation I contemplated the idea that my world had become very small. My focus had centered on my bills, my daily routines and simply getting through the day. My thoughts were more consumed with what I didn’t have than all to which I had access through Spirit. I thought about how easy it is to allow our daily lives to become focused around routines and how those routines can take on disproportionate significance. We’ll even start fights and family feuds over trivial details. Do you honestly think that the King of Spain cares that I didn’t get to read the paper at 9 AM this morning? Or that my neighbor gives a shit that I can’t charge my phone because someone borrowed the cord?

This lies at the heart of Serenity. Serenity is about maintaining perspective. It pertains to keeping in focus that which is truly valuable and of real importance. In other words, keeping sight of the big picture. As with other truths this can be quite paradoxical at times. What is really important? Being on time for work; paying our bills promptly; noticing the flowers along the sidewalk; spending time with someone you love? Now imagine that you’re dying; did anything change? Those flowers that you haven’t given a second thought, all of a sudden take center stage.

It is very easy to get caught up in day to day routines and lose perspective of the bigger picture. But even that is a cliche. What is important is that we take our place in the Universe and get the most out of Life that we possibly can in the present moment. We can’t get “the most” when we believe we only deserve a portion or none at all. We can’t get “the most” when we are focused on a tiny part of the picture and obsessed with how that tiny piece functions or doesn’t. Sometimes we have to “zoom out” and realize that we are a part of a bigger plan and that we have access to all of it, not just our little section.

The Sacred Fool

This site is dedicated to The Fool’s journey as depicted in the Tarot. It was inspired by an Oracle card written by Alana Fairchild called The Sacred Fool. We are all on a Fool’s Journey in an attempt to discover our True, Authentic Self and overcome the obstacles that hinder us from living a life of Abundance and personal fulfillment.

The sacred fool in you is willing to leave behind what has been because it no longer feels right to stay attached to it. The sacred fool in you trusts life completely. It would never occur to this part of you to try and outsmart life or resist its flow. It recognizes that the mind is a monkey puppet on strings. More often than not, it is cajoled into fear when it could be playfully dwelling in the radical spontaneity of life. So, the sacred fool in you urges your mind to let itself be pulled into joy by your heart strings not into fear and doubt by the controlling machines of mass media.

For the newest articles, click here and scroll down. The following articles are in a logical sequence for starting your journey.

  1. What Does It Mean to Love Yourself? Your first objective is to start loving yourself. No matter what has happened to you or what you’ve done in the past you must realize that you are worthy of Love and you must defeat all lies to the contrary.
  2. The Ego: Your own worst enemy is You. Your Ego is not evil, neither is it your true enemy. Your Ego’s primary job is self-preservation. However, the Ego is highly susceptible to Negative Energy and thinks it’s protecting you when it is actually blocking you.
  3. Ego vs. Spirit: Tips on making the transfer from being Ego-led to Spirit-led.
  4. Freedom from “Religious” Thinking: Most traditional religious exercises do not remove the Ego from the driver’s seat; rather they simply empower it further.
  5. Positive & Negative Energy: How they operate and how to navigate.
  6. True Surrender: Navigating from Negative to Positive.
  7. Surrender vs. Obedience: It isn’t about pleasing God… being You makes God happy.
  8. Discover Your Personality Type: Understand your personality make-up and how your Ego interacts with others.
  9. Find A Reader: Find a Tarot Reader who can help you connect spiritually and guide you through healing and transformation.
  10. Tarot Basics: Understanding Your Reading.
  11. Getting Clarity: Overcoming Negativity… Surrendering to Spirit.
  12. Letting Go of the Past: If you cling to the past you won’t have a future.
  13. Moving Toward Abundance: To get what’s yours you have to know who you are.
  14. Accepting Your True Identity: Surrendering to Your True Self.
  15. Getting Your Wings: Flying above the material.
  16. Out of the Darkness: Taking flight.
  17. Accepting The Ego: Like peeling an onion…

If you peruse the site you will find other pages such as: The Tower; The Reason You Procrastinate; The Addiction/Grief Link; Jail Lessons; Demystifying Enlightenment; The Twelve Steps, and more. May you be blessed in your journey and may it be as quick and as pain free as possible.

Articles are in REVERSE chronological order and are categorized according to topic.