Towards Your Enlightenment . . .

A short while back I wrote a blog about a book my dear friend Anita had recommended to me, and in the comments she stated that she was sending me another book. This post is about that book.

The name of the book is “From Here to Here” by Gary Crowley.

The first thing I need to say about it is that it is another “Layers of an onion” discovery. You absolutely can NOT absorb everything it offers in one reading. In fact, there are exercises in this book that are specifically designed to be done many times. Do them – the more times you do them, the more they will help you.

I’ve blogged many times about my belief that all REAL truth is universal. There was nothing in this book that contradicted that belief. No matter what spiritual discipline you’ve followed in your life, you will find this book to be familiar.

But, something else was amazing to me. Many years ago I blogged about the challenge of getting our female cat, who is very nervous and excitable, to accept me. It took me 3 years to get her to even sit on my lap (which she now does daily). When I wrote that earlier blog, Anita commented that “cats just seem to know” – or something to that effect. At the time, I took it as a compliment that I’d accomplished something worthwhile by breaking through her apprehension. I have a whole new level of respect for Anita’s comment, and for our cats, after reading this book. Many times in the past I’ve heard domesticated cats referenced as “the most enlightened members of the animal kingdom of earth.” They never hold a grudge, they are forever “in the moment” and they never withhold praise when it is deserved. If they like you, it is unconditional – and if they don’t you’ll never get near them without a fight.

These are exactly the qualities that define someone who is on the path to true enlightenment – but for us it is so much more simple that most spiritual seekers refuse to see it. One of the exercises in the book was to answer a question: If you believed you are in a hole that didn’t really exist, how would you get out? Mr. Crowley suggested that many spiritual seekers might try to imagine a ladder, or a rope, or some other device to get out of the hole. The most basic solution, however, is just to accept that the hole never existed in the first place.

I read the first 80 pages of the book in one sitting – but I’ve always been a fast student. Many parts of the book I found very familiar – and one exercise in particular was something I’ve been using to help others since 1993. I’d just not found a way to use it on myself until I read this book. Using it on yourself is, however, EXACTLY what anyone who wants control over their own spiritual growth needs to to be able to do. This book gives you that tool.

After reading those first 80 pages the first time, I looked at my wife and told her that I felt I needed to take a break. I had reached a slightly euphoric, light headed sense of detachment from reality that I wanted to spend time appreciating and exploring. I haven’t felt this way since I attested to being a past-life Clear. Since then, I’ve had another cognition, but for now I’ll keep it to myself.

“From Here to Here” is by far the best book I’ve read in the last 5 years. If you want to grow as a person of faith – any faith – you MUST read this. And – don’t skimp on doing the exercises.

Another difficult call . . .

but this one wasn’t a phone call. It was a decision about a letter. I wrote the letter to my dad, and wrestled with it for a week. The decision was about the temptation to post a copy of it here. This morning I concluded that it should not be shared, because I couldn’t find any way that it’s personal and family information would actually help anyone else.

Except for one thing that isn’t personal or family information. It’s about a problem in our world that affects everyone in some way or other. So, I’m going to write this as an opinion piece to the whole world.

There is a misunderstanding that is one of the most fundamental we face. The differences between an opinion, a fact, and faith.

At the most basic, most people think they know what each of these 3 things is. However, when it comes to applying that knowledge, the meanings get blurred.

We accept that one person may not like our favorite sports team, or prefer one city over another, or prefer tea over coffee. Everyone knows that those are matters of opinion, and we generally respect those opinions.

We also know that a fact is something that is able to be tested, and proved, over and over by anyone trained to examine it. A fact is that riding a motorcycle without a helmet at low speeds is more risky than using the helmet. It is also a fact that the helmet probably won’t save your life in an accident at highway speeds, because the helmet can’t protect your neck.

But our real problem on this planet is the number of people who mistake faith for facts. The only difference between faith and an opinion is the religious nature of faith. Faith is an expressed belief in something that can’t be proved – thus it is an opinion on religion. Missing that one thing is why so much strife exists in our world anytime religions clash.

Please, people, learn to treat your own faith, and the faith of anyone who disagrees with it, as an opinion. Religious zeal has already caused too many wars, ruined families, and hatred among us. It is arguably, historically speaking, the #1 cause of preventable death globally.

Love really is the answer.

Saturday Posts . . .

Here is another piece of wisdom gleaned from a video game.  This was found in the “Rise of the Tomb Raider” game, and was attributed to a disciple of a “prophet”.

“No man has ever told the truth about God, for no man can ever know.

There is more sacred in the heart of a farmer or soldier than in the hearts of lords and emperors.

We are all of us deceived by those that claim to speak on behalf of the creator.

No man speaks for Him, for His voice is the sky, the water, and the flow of the world.”

Quote

Saturday Posts . . .

Today, I want to share a quote I got from a video game character, which I think needs to be impressed on every person who is intolerant of beliefs that conflict with their own.

“Faith is of the heart, not the head.  When the heart is ungoverned by reason, charlatans have powerful tools to deceive.”  —  Sister Justinia, a non-player character in the video game Dragon Age: Origins.

The prime definition of faith is that it is a belief in something that can’t be proved – so it isn’t a fact.  Nobody’s opinion (or faith) is better than anyone else’s, no matter why you choose to place your faith in it.  And the beliefs of any religion should never guide governments in passing laws that put other faiths outside of the law.

Follow-up on “Understanding Hits Like…”

One of the things I’m learning about applying the Law of Attraction (LOA) is that there must be an action towards the goal.  You have to do something.

Well, I may not (yet) have an idea what my dream, or purpose, is, but that can’t be allowed to be a barrier to my eventually getting there.  I still have to take action, if for no other reason than to show “the universe” (also known as God, the higher power, or my best self) that I’m serious about making these changes.

So, I hit on a plan of a sort.  I’m going to look into doing the same thing with a video game that Natalie Ledwell did with her book.  I’m going to try to write a video game that is entertaining and captivating, but at the same time teaches the player the fundamentals of using the LOA.  Or, if I can get a team of people  together who share my vision, perhaps my vision will be enough to guide the process, and their skill will produce the better product.  I’m not sure about the details, and at this point I don’t need to be.  I just have to have an idea, and start moving in that direction.

Mystic Lands series . . .

One of the things my wife and I have been watching lately is a documentary series (available on disc through Netflix) titled Mystic Lands.

It was conceived rather ambitiously for a network TV series (originally airing on the Learning Chanel).  The idea was a 13 episode series looking at numerous different locations of the world, and the spiritual practices that were (or, in some cases, are) practiced there, without cultural bias or prejudice as to the views of the practices being shown.

We’ve seen 4 episodes so far, and I have to say that I think they succeed.  Series director Chip Duncan (who is interviewed about the project in an extra feature on Disc 2) wanted to show spirituality as a potential unifying force of humanity despite the diversity of beliefs, and I respect that view tremendously.

I would choose to phrase it this way: WHAT you practice is not so important as IF that practice means something to you. On the other hand, something being successful as a faith for you is no indicator of it’s rightness for anyone else.  You have a right, and obligation, to do what is right for you, but you have no right or authority to enforce it on anyone else.

Ultimately, your decision to make someplace a spiritual place for you is the only thing that is necessary.  You can make it spiritual just by setting up an altar in a room in your basement.