Category Archives: Solar Plexus Chakra Willpower

God’s Not Dead: Deeply flawed, but decent

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So I didn’t think I was originally going to go to this one before it hit the dollar theater but on some word of mouth recommendations (and the fact it is getting as much buzz as it is) this little pagan thought he would see if this was more than the typically bad Christian film.* It wasn’t, I would go as far as to say this is the best I’ve seen from this genre. It certainly was the best performance I’ve seen from Kevin Sorbo. But that is not to say that it is not without its flaws.

 

The central plot revolves around a Christian student (Shane Harper) Josh Wheaton** who is forced to either say in class that there is no God or risk his grade for the class. And as there is no tradition of taqiyya in Christianity he feels he cannot lie about his faith. This, in what I have to say is the worst teaching method I have ever seen, leads the rather pompous professor (Kevin Sorbo) to try and humiliate him by making him defend the idea that God exists before the class. What follows is his defense of God and how it affects him and those in his class…and a lot of people not in his class, and some people only connected by the most tangential lines…honestly I think they tried to squeeze way to many subplots into this movie.

 

Now his argument in favor of God takes three main points:

  • The traditional argument by cause…although Aquinas made the philosophical much better, and I’ve seen many others make the scientific argument much more clearly.
  • The argument from design looking at life, specifically he looks at the rather shaky grounding for modern evolution being set on punctuated equilibrium…rather than the stronger attacks on the fact that life could not just spontaneous come into existence, nor could sentience. But I was quite happy that the writers took the much more intelligent tack that even if evolution is true it still demands a God to work the way it has rather than the ignorant creationist or simplistic intelligent design arguments.
  • And finally rebutting the problem of evil and taking the Augustinian side that evil exists because of free will.

Regrettably the film didn’t actually use any of the names or terms I used above which would make it difficult for most people seeing this film to actually go and read the more fleshed out versions. So if the film wanted to convince people it may have whet their appetite for these ideas but it didn’t give them anything to work with from there. But overall the case presented by the student is one that is accurate if a bit over simplified.

 

Further I liked the point that behind every atheist is a very angry theist who is angry at God for some reason, which is more or less what I’ve witnessed in life…and what has at least been partially substantiated by research (it’s been shown they all fear him…and with following Yoda’s line of logic…) Although given the rather callous and shallow letter the professor’s character’s mother wrote to him before dying, I can kind of understand why he might have issues with God.

 

My biggest problem is this jump in logic the movie seems to make over and over again. If I show the arguments against God are wrong and show evidence that there is a God then it follows that a Protestant Christian interpretation of God exists.  Over and over again this movie implicitly makes this assumption.   Now to a New Ager like me this is where I have problems. If you destroy the opposition’s case and show that a God exists…that shows that a God exists. You still have a long way to go to prove that your particular interpretation of God exists. And this is the biggest problem I have both with atheists and Christians in this fight; they both seem to assume it’s either their side or the other side. It’s this one or the other. Atheists seem to feel that all Christians believe the exact same thing and can be lumped together and most Christians (or at least a very large portion of the more vocal ones) seem to feel that their interpretation of Christianity is obviously only the right one. As a non-Christian I look at this battle between these two groups with probably the same confusion that America looked at the side war between Finland and the USSR in the early 40’s: Guys you do know there is much bigger battle going on that doesn’t just involve your own petty differences? Right? Honestly as someone with many Thomist sympathies, I don’t think even Catholics would be particularly thrilled with the defense of Christianity in this film (but I could be wrong).

 

But I think this shows a larger problem that is not just specific to Christianity (nor do I think all Christians suffer from it). This film, which ostensibly should have been there to try and offer arguments for atheists and agnostics to give up their beliefs and accept God, does a poor job of it because it implies that if you believe in God you must be a Protestant. You would do a much better job by just proving that a God exists. Once that door has been opened philosophically then if you truly believe in your interpretation you should trust free will and faith (which was a central part of the argument in the movie) to bring people to the truth. By saying that if you have to accept everything or nothing you’re committing just as egregious a logical sin as atheists, and tactically making a very poor move. And I say this is a larger problem because you’re seeing the same problem in a larger political sense, where populists are currently demanding that all who are in the Republican party must be ideologically pure or we can not have them at all…and it is this attitude that drives voters away and keeps the party from winning time and time again…and if Christians* like the producers want to make a case for God they might do best to just try and prove the existence of a God by itself before they make the case for their interpretation of a God as making someone accept both at the same time might in many cases be a bridge too far.
One of the most jarring things of the whole film is that near the end one of the atheist characters in the film is confronted with death and makes a death bed conversion. Luckily there is a minister there to help guide this character back to the faith in their last minutes…and it’s not too subtle that God had a major hand in making sure the minister was there at that place in that time to help save that soul. Even as a pagan I didn’t have a problem with this because I do believe this is how God works…what I had a problem with was that between the writing and directing the scene comes off in a very cold and callous way. Immediately he begins preparing this character for death even though the correct thing for someone to do would have been CPR to save the character’s life. It comes off a little heartless. The fact the very next scene has the cast of Duck Dynasty insulting this character after they’ve already died is possibly one of the worst directing calls I have ever seen (honestly if you just flipped the order of the scenes it wouldn’t have been as bad) but apparently the director felt like insulting the dead.

 

 

On a final note I did appreciate the film showing that China is a repressive tyranny and the religion of peace is anything but.

 

If you’re a Protestant you’ll probably be able to overlook some of the glaring philosophical problems and downplay the bad writing and actually enjoy the film (again I’m not entirely sure how much the Protestant interpretation will grate for non Protestant Christians)…if you’re not a Christian that philosophical jump between God’s existence and Jesus died for you might be a bit much to overlook and ruin the enjoyment.

 

I give the whole thing a C-.

 

*That is not an insult to Christianity…that is an insult to the absolutely pathetic writing and production values faith based movies have had for the past couple of decades. Let’s be honest, Lifetime laughs at the production values of faith based films.

**I still am not sure if the fact that his name bears a great deal of resemblance to a very famous atheist is intentional or not.

***Again certainly not the entirety, but an awfully large number with access to mass media.

 

 

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How a New Ager Views History

 

How a New Age looks back on history…

So in the last week I’ve been asked by several conservatives why I am still fairly hopeful for the future (the long term, not the short term—short term sucks) in light of the fact that both here in America and basically everywhere overseas we’ve been guaranteed at minimum four years of going to Hell in a hand basket.

 

Now my optimism is an extension of my faith.  I see mankind as moving toward Enlightenment, not just of some, but eventually of everyone.  And while Hinduism and Buddhism have many statements about everyone eventually reaching Enlightenment, I always like to go to prose of A Course in Miracles:

“You are as certain of arriving home as is the pathway of the sun laid down

before it rises, after it has set, and in the half-lit hours in between. Indeed,

your pathway is more certain still. For it can not be possible to change the

course of those whom God has called to Him.”

I have faith that humanity is moving toward complete Enlightenment.  It is not a question of if, it is at most a question of when.* It will happen.  Every soul will reach complete Enlightenment and return to being one with God.

 

Now it’s easy to say this as a statement of faith, but even the faithful need something to justify a belief in…and more importantly need to at least see that in the long run there is nothing to contradict this viewpoint.

 

 

So let’s look at this.  As I pointed out in Republicans and Reincarnation, whether you want to use the system of chakras or a myriad of other versions in other cultures, there seem to be seven stages in the evolution of the soul back to Enlightenment. More or less each stage corresponds to the energy and issues often associated with each Chakra.

 

 

Now we could go over each stage and each chakra, and I know you love when I make these blogs like ten pages long, but the fact of the matter is that, right now, I would say only the smallest portion of humanity are above the issues of the third chakra.

 

The first chakra, the root chakra, is associated with our physical existence.  Do we have enough to survive?  Are we safe in this instant?  Do we live in fear for our existence?  Do I live?

 

The second chakra deals with safety and security.  Not just surviving in the instant as the first chakra looks to, but to long term safety and comfort.  Not just do I have what I need but do I have what I want?  Do I win?

 

The third Chakra deals with self control and self awareness.  Not just having things but doing things?  Not just comfort but achievement.  Do I strive?

 

(The first three chakras are remarkably similar to the first three levels of Maslow’s hierarchy.)

 

 

Now since at some level each soul is connected to each other even if one soul is extremely advanced they are affected by those around them.  This is why stories of ascended masters and saints often describe them having a positive effect on people just by their presence and conversely why it is best to avoid being in proximity of those who are very negative.  And since we are all connected society as a whole acts like much in the way of an average of the collective evolution of all its souls. And as all souls are reincarnated and evolve so does society.* So, the question then becomes, if I’m right, and the world is experiencing a continuous growth in spiritual evolution is there any evidence of it?

The answer is yes.

 

If the average of people were working out problems with level one then society would be about survival, it would be about power, it would be about having more and more, not quality or comfort, but more in a numerical value where the chief worry is famine or invasion.  You would see constant conquest, constant struggle, and constant fear about not having enough.  Sure there might be the occasional enlightened person or at least some not consumed by a desire for protection and safety, but they’re the exception (and groups of them are especially the exception.  To a person or a society at this level, the universe is chaotic, uncaring maybe even vengeful—there is no way to reason with others, with God, with life, there is only power and ability to survive (in practice, it’s a little Hobbesian).   This pretty much describes all history until around 1400 CE.  The rulers always had to have more, the common people never really complained so long as they were promised safety (ignore whether that promise was actually kept).  At your highest moments most people were looking for no more than bread and circuses.

 

For a society where the average level of the second level you would find people not so much concerned with just safety but now with comfort (and at its worst decadence).  You won’t see as much a desire for power but for rules and order.  You would see an outlook that saw the universe not as chaotic, but ordered…still often uncaring, but not capriciously so.  And again we see this in history.  Starting just before the turn of the common era you see society from Europe to China more concerned with rules, with what we would match the requirement of any general definition of civilization.  And from this point until around 1400 you see the battle conflict between the predominant themes of level 1 and 2 defining the time, power vs. rules. And from 1400 from the Renaissance/Scientific Revolution in the West, Ottoman control in the Middle East and the Qing Dynasty in the East.  Not that the world is suddenly a bastion of humanity and good will toward each other, but the focus seems to have made a massive switch from a universe defined by brute force to one defined by rules (often very evil rules, but rules nonetheless).

 

And with level three we see people and society move from a concern not just with things but with the individual, with personal accomplishment and personal achievement—of a search within one’s self for what they want.  And while there have been strains here and there of this dating back even to the ancient world, this strain started to appear en mass in the 1700’s. (I know I’m going over this in very general detail and often ignoring those moments where this group or that makes a major step forward or back…and if anyone wants I’ll go into more detail, I will, but for now the very broad swaths seem to make the most sense).

 

And now we are beginning to see the whole world tilt from an average of level two to level 3.  (Yes the unfortunate side effect of level 3 is a me, me, me attitude…but it’s slightly better than resigning yourself to fate.)

 

Now also with this you’ll see that when you switch from one level to another there seems to be a purge of the old ideology through what is unfortunately a very effective way for people to learn, suffering.  (Aeschylus stated in Agamemnon that “Only through suffering do we learn.” This is not the only way people learn, but sadly, so often, many people only learn when they hit rock bottom and have to confront their beliefs without any illusions.) In that transition between level one and two you have the world wide pandemic.  A great karmic blowout that cleared out the majority of the issues from the old way of thinking and ushered into the new.  And if you apply this basic line of thought you see it is true also in smaller societies as you see this growth in smaller more concentrated areas.  And I think we’re in for an economic equivalent of this purge now as we move from an average of level 2 to level 3.  Now, given the fact that there does seem to be some increase in speed between levels one and two, I hope this karmic purge doesn’t take the century it did in the 1300’s, hopefully we’re right in the middle of it with only 4 years or so left.

 

Oh sure you can probably say I’ve engaged in this fallacy or that, superimposing my beliefs and interpretations onto what are otherwise unrelated events or issues.  But like I said, this is primarily about an issue of faith. I am merely showing that my faith isn’t completely without justification and doesn’t contradict what we know to be fact (unlike, say, ignoring all the evidence that shows your creation myth might be a little off from what really happened), you may not believe it, but at least it isn’t completely baseless.
So why I am optimistic?  Because I believe, not entirely without reason, that this is the storm before the calm and what lays on the other side is well worth the inconvenience in between.

 

*Technically time itself is an illusion, so I’m not sure if it’s really a question of when either.

**Yes even I have said that reincarnation does not necessarily go in a straight line through time, but most souls at the level one and two levels are more comfortable still perceiving time as linear and thus their souls reincarnate in this linear fashion.  And yes, since some people have pointed this out, souls reincarnating out of linear order in time does do some fascinating things to the laws of causality…I will defer to a much better writer to describe it: “People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually, from a non-linear non-subjective viewpoint, it’s more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly timey wimey… stuff.”

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Weekly Meditation: Justifiably Believe in Yourself

“Don’t believe the things

you tell yourself so late at night

You are your own worst enemy,

You’ll never win the fight.”—Ingrid Michaelson, “Parachute”

“You cannot believe in God until you believe in yourself.” –Swami Vivekananda

“The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen.”–Frank Lloyd Wright

“If ye have faith…nothing shall be impossible unto you.” (Matthew 17:20)

“For this individual soul is incapable of being cut; and insoluble, and can be neither burned nor dried. This soul is eternal, constant, omnipresent, unchangeable, immovable and everlasting.”—Bhagavad-Gita Chapter II verse 24

For those of you read this blog a lot you know that I have a particularly annoying troll.   He doesn’t seem to know very much, but is constantly offended by the fact that I am very confident in my beliefs.

His logic seems to be based on a single quote from a truly hackish pseudo-philosopher he follows religiously:

“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always certain of themselves and wiser people so full of doubts.”—Bertrand Russell

My little troll even goes as far to quote on a study that won an Ig Noble award that wasted research time to find out the obvious point that people who are inept at their jobs are often convinced they do a great job, to prove his point.

Oh my silly little troll…

But Russell is an idiot, for numerous reasons, but in this case for not acknowledging that history is filled with people who were very intelligent who were certain of their beliefs and who ignored the doubts of others and themselves and who went on to achieve greatness and often improve the world.  I would say that a general rule of common sense is that if you can easily list off 50-100 counter examples without even thinking to a statement it probably shouldn’t be regarded as gospel truth.  And just because you find a study that says the inept are often over confident, it does not follow that everyone who is confident is inept (but you would have to know something about logic to know that).

The fact of the matter is not that the problem of the modern world is that the ignorant are overconfident, it’s that they’re not self reflective.  The problem is not only are the intelligent full of doubt but that doubt in and of itself has become a virtue.  Why?  Well this is the weekly meditation blog so I’m going to give you a spiritual answer:  The Ego.

That mis-created part of yourself that keeps you from knowing that you are part of God, that you are perfect, that you are not powerless and able to control your own life.

And as always the ego plays two separate games, offers you two options that are equally foolish.  To those who do not want to be self reflective it rewards them by telling them they’re right for not being self reflective—it makes you over confident and uses that overconfidence to keep you from improving.  Or if you choose self reflection it brings doubt to everything, it tries to make it appear as if anything you do, anything you say, anything you believe in must be wrong…and if you’re so terrible at knowing anything so must everyone else be incapable of knowing anything (it is this side that my silly little troll seems to live in constantly).

And while my troll seems utterly incapable of learning in this lifetime, I would not begin to think everyone is so far gone into listening to the lies of their ego.

You are put on this planet to accomplish,  learn, and the lack of self-reflection and doubts hinder your assignment and improvement.

So how do we counter this?

The first is through self reflection.  Complacency and habitual ignorance are not places to be. You must question everything you believe.  Ask why you believe it.  Ask if you have proof and if that proof justifies what you believe.

The second is not giving into doubt.  That kind of constant questioning can lead to frustration and hopelessness.  Don’t give into it.  Know that you are capable of finding the answer; that your mind and soul are in the end infinitely knowledgeable.  And you have to believe that the answer you find is the right one, be open to new evidence or a new way of looking at things, but you must proceed every day not giving into the paralysis of doubt…for in that way madness lies.  Sometimes, obviously you’ll have to make choices on insufficient evidence with insufficient time to decide, but you have to go on the best information you have at the time and trust that you made the best choice you could at the time.

Honest self-reflection and questioning of your beliefs are not the same as doubt.  Doubt is the belief that you cannot know.  Self-reflection is merely admitting that while you can know, you’re human and may be wrong…but you should never assume you’re wrong unless you have not taken time to think about what you believe and have not had evidence to the contrary considered.

Now really this is more a life-long habit to adopt, repeat, and refine.  It’s going to take more time than a week’s mantra…but a meditation on it is a good start.

So for this week I suggest two meditations.

The first one in the morning is a mantra:

I will reflect on my beliefs and my choices before I act.  I will not doubt my decisions.  I will reflect again when I have a chance and see if I made errors or mistakes, and I will not make them again.

The second is at the end of the day to reflect on your thoughts and decisions again.  To reflect on their outcomes and where you were right and where you were wrong.  Congratulate yourself for where you were right and make a note not to repeat the same mistake where you’re wrong.

This will at least help build a habit that will be a bulwark against the ego’s doubts.

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Weekly Meditation: Live for yourself

A few weeks ago I saw the following on twitter:

And I realized that this was the perfect quote for a meditation.

We often worry too much about others.  I know society has made us think such a thought is anathema, but it isn’t.  Rational interest is not some evil, it is the middle ground we should all seek.  It is place between the two evils of hedonism (the denial of the rights, needs, and concern of others) and altruism (the denial of the rights, needs, and concern of self).  Rather it is the middle ground of rational self interest that say you should “love your neighbor as you love yourself.”

So this week you should consider yourself first.  Do what you want and don’t worry about if it annoys others.  Now don’t go out of your way to piss people off (that would still be letting them dictate your life, although with a slight amount of more pettiness*), just act like you would if they weren’t there.  Now if someone says that what you are doing is annoying them, then the polite thing is to reach a compromise…but your wants, your needs, your desires should be respected.  Do what you want to do.

The goal of life is to reach Happiness and Enlightenment and no one should harm you in your pursuit of those goal.  Those two goals should be your first concern (although you make sure you’re not harming anyone else on that trip).

Remember you’re a child of God, you have the right to do whatever you want as long as it doesn’t harm anyone else.

*Now if you do what you want, like say, write blogs about what you believe politically, and get enjoyment out of watching people who disagree with you get infuriated, bully for you.  But it should first and foremost be because you enjoy the writing and expression of ideas…not just solely to piss people off…unless you to make a larger argument and win people to your side is to show how foolishly your opposition reacts, but again your first purpose is to win the argument not to piss them off as an end itself.

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Weekly Meditation: Who am I

So a little late, again, sorry (start of school year chaos).

So a week and a half ago I recommended you go over what you want in life.  Is what you want going to lead to your happiness?  Is it something you have control over? Is it something that only takes a change in attitude to gain?

This week I want you to look at the other question I put to you a few weeks ago:  Who am I?

It’s not an easy question.  Most of us will spend a lifetime trying to answer it.

For me the easiest way to understand who I am is the value and causes I champion.

These question about your self are directly related to the energy of your third chakra.

For me liberty is the all important virtue of the political world.  The lack of it I believe has been the greatest impediment to personal, social, economic, and spiritual growth for the last 6,000 years.   I believe it is a cause worth fighting for, worth dying for, and worth living for.  (The last one there is the really important part).

And from what I can glean about my past lives, this fight has pretty much been the defining issue in most of my lives.*

Not that this is what you personally should use to define your life.  But what is a life if it is not for something?  You have to be working toward something?  What is that you have that’s worth dying and living for?

Another good way I find to define your life is by the virtues you admire and wish to possess.

I’m not going to go through a list of the virtues I admire here, but as any regular reader of this blog probably can figure out, humility is not on my list…but just because it’s not on my list doesn’t necessarily mean it shouldn’t be on yours.  Use what you consider to be virtues not what other people do.  And when you have that list, ask yourself what are you doing to make yourself an exemplar of the virtues you admire?

And finally a good way to look at who you are is by looking at which people you admire and want to be more like.   Emulation has been a time-honored tradition of driving us to be our best and understand who we are from Aristotle’s Ethics to the slightly more trite WWJD.  Now honestly I prefer using fictional characters as the archetype to emulate because real people come with problems.  Either the person you’re emulating has numerous flaws (because they’re human) or they’re a saint.  And when looking for someone to emulate flaws can be a major distraction (especially if it’s someone you’ve idolized for a while only to discover later that they were really screwed up).  And as for saints, the virtues of a saint are not exactly what most people need in life, unless you’re a saint.  It’s why I don’t like the phrase “What would Jesus do?” because the correct answer for 99% of all possible situations is “Perform a miracle and give a sermon”—which fails slightly at being useful advice for most of the situations we might encounter.

Now I like fictional characters because unlike real people it’s easier to know them.  With a real person you either have to know them personally or you don’t understand all the complexities and reasons they had for certain actions (that and in reality very few famous figures in history in the modern world are not hideously screwed up individuals).  But fictional characters, for all their depth and layers, are people you are to able grasp the whole of their being.

Now for me personally I look to Don Quixote and Cyrano de Bergerac as my guiding stars.  Follow your convictions and beliefs, damn the consequences, you’ll be a better person for it.  And I have found this to be very true.  But what works for me may not work for you.

The main point to all of this is do you know who you are and do you know who you want to be?   Because if you don’t how do you know what you really want and how do you know how to act?

Who are you? What do you believe in?

These are questions you should reflect on this week.

*Before you make any comments about that sentence let me say that if you don’t believe in reincarnation, you are so incredibly on the wrong blog.

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Weekly Meditation: Focusing on the important things…

I’m sorry, I really wanted to have a more detailed and thought provoking meditation this week…but 6 days of state mandated teacher training has left my brain still unable to function properly. It is often the case that 1 hour of boring and useless work is more damaging to the brain than 10 hours of pushing your mind and body…6 8-hour-days of propaganda and BS based off decades old, out-dated biased research.  Thank you state of Arizona.

 

Anyway, as I try to retrieve balance through more serious mediation, may I suggest this week we all focus on two very important questions:

“Who are you?” and “What do you want in life?”*

These two questions are at the heart of psychology, philosophy, and spirituality, and have been asked in a myriad of forms over the ages.

 

Next week I’m going to bring your answers to these questions back to our eternal battle with the ego, but for this week I just want you to spend a few minutes a day and in silence ask yourself these two questions and come up with a list (mental or written down, it doesn’t matter) and be prepared to seriously look at that list soon.

Who are you?

What do you want in life?

PS It might help if you cleared all your chakras mentally before engaging in this if you have the time.  With the chakras cleared of negative energy and filled again with light and love you might get clearer and more preceptive answers.

 

 

 

*No, I’m not quoting a sci-fi show of questionable production values, these are important philosophical questions. Kudos, though if you get the reference.

 

 

 

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Weekly Meditation: Thing to tell yourself…

I was working on a significantly longer meditation today when I saw this…

 

I don’t think I can top that right now.  Tell yourself these things at least 3 times every day this week…or better yet, print it out and put where you work or spend a lot of time.

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Weekly Meditation: Fear is the mind killer

“I must not fear.

Fear is the mind-killer.

Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.

I will face my fear.

I will permit it to pass over me and through me.

And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.

Where the fear has gone there will be nothing……Only I will remain.”

 

I know I’ve quoted this before in a previous meditation, but It’s one of those points that never gets old.

Many of you may recognize it as the “Litany Against Fear” that appears in just about every single volume of the Frank Herbert’s Dune series (I think they’re up to some odd 15 or maybe 500 volumes in the series, it’s so hard to keep track these days)…

The concept is pretty self explanatory, fear is a paralytic to our behavior.  It causes us to not act, or worse, act irrationally and destructively.  When we act from fear we act from the worst within us and it leads to the worst results.

And I bring this up because I am seeing fear more and more right now.  Be it in my personal life or on the internet or news, I see people acting from the negative, from the worst possible interpretations, looking for the how it will all fail.  And I won’t say I’m afraid of what the results are going to be—I’m not, I believe everything will always work out in the end—I’m just annoyed because when people act out of fear it delays that ending that actually does work out…and you know if I have a choice in the matter I’d like the happy ending sooner rather than later.

So how do we confront this fear with meditation?

Well it’s not going to be just a five minute process in the morning, while quiet meditation will help, the best thing to do is follow these steps during the day when something you fear actually occurs.

First, if you can repeat the Litany as it appears above.  It will center your mind to analyze the fear dispassionately and rationally…and taking that step back from the emotion of fear is going to best thing you can do to weaken the fear.  Now this will also be the hardest step.  When we get into a period of fear, recognizing it and disengaging is the last thing that you’re willing to consider.  Thus I recommend if you can, repeat the litany every hour on the hour.  Doing it on a schedule may help you disengage from a fear you didn’t even realize was bothering you and this gives you  power over it.

Second, when you recognize a fear that is bothering you I want you to ask “What’s the worst that can happen.”  Let me go with an extreme example I’m seeing more and more on the internet right now: all of Europe goes into a whole new Great Depression and the U.S. feels the shock waves.  (There are other wacky conspiracy theories on the net that are even worse than this one, but reason would always dismiss those).  Okay, so.  Time to tighten the belt again, la-de-dah.  The poor in this nation still live lives that the Caesars would envy.  Here let me cut to the chase and go with the worst of worst case scenario: You die.  So?  You’re looking at a meditation on a New Age website, I’m guessing you have some belief in the immortality of the soul—so your body dies, you’re still around, and always will be.  In fact, there is only one ending possible, after some odd number of lifetimes you reach Enlightenment and eternal bliss—any version of New Age belief pretty much holds that this is the only possibility.  Same for most Eastern religions. And if you believe in Heaven and Hell, I think you’re a little foolish, but what do you have to worry about if you’ve led a good life (and if you haven’t I believe the core belief of the Western religions is that it is never too late to change, so get to it).  I know initially that might come off as callous, but hey, everyone pretty much agrees that the worst case scenario still ends with a very happy ending.

But if you don’t want to go that far…look at it this way, most of your problems aren’t at the level of whole nations crashing down.  You lose your job or your spouse leaves or you go bankrupt.  Worst case.  You have friend, you have family, you have things you can sell.  Will it be painful, yes, but you’ll still be alive and you’ll eventually land on your feet, and worrying about it won’t help.  Run the worst case scenarios out in your head, I promise you every time if you extend it out five, ten years you’ll be doing okay.  Yeah, maybe you won’t have that house on the French Rivera, but happiness isn’t dependent on external things.

Are you afraid you’ll never find someone to spend your life with?  Worst case scenario, you don’t.  Can you still be happy?  Yeah.  In fact if you happiness is dependent on someone else it isn’t happiness.  You want someone to share your happiness with, not someone to give you happiness, because no one can.  So if you don’t find someone, it doesn’t matter because it’s not the key to your happiness, you are.

You aren’t going to be successful?  Eh.  Worst case, if you did everything you could and failed, you have the comfort that you were still the master of your fate and learned from the process.

I promise if you run the worst case scenario out for several years into the future, you’ll be fine.  There’s nothing to worry about.  You may not have everything you want, but you’ll still be here and still moving through life, and that’s what matters.

Third  now that you’ve seen the fears to be momentary, that while there may be some temporary hardship and suffering, that life isn’t a stream of misery and failure, you can now kill that final bit of fear.  What is in your power to avoid that worse case scenario?  Don’t worry about the things not in your control, they’re not in your control and worrying won’t help.  The more you think about what you have control over, the more you will realize that event the worst case scenario won’t happen.

So now you know the worst case can’t happen and it is in your power to stop it.

Now look back and see if the fear remains…or if only you remain.

Try this thought process every time you realize you have a fear about the future and you will help to end fear’s control over you.

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Weekly Meditation: Do It Now, Part II

So last week’s meditation was to try and do a little quiet so soul searching and find your purpose in life (short of that divine revelation, to at least focus your goals).

Again, just to reiterate this pair of blogs was inspired by the song “Do It Now” by the great Ingrid Michaelson.

So now that you have some better understanding of where you what your purpose of where you should be directing your life, I hope, we need to put that into practice. (Still don’t know what you want…then I may suggest using this Michaelson song in the meantime as your goal until you have your own purpose figured out.).

First the easy part. Come up with a 5-10 step plan on how you will get that goal (or those goals if you have more than one) done. That should be relatively easy.

And now for the hard part you knew was coming…Do it now. Take point 1 on the list for all of your goals and do it this week.

How is this a meditation? Well meditation is the art of focusing your mind on something…and nothing is more about focus then when your mind and your actions are one and directed toward a very clear goal.

Now I would also suggest, in accordance with the law of attraction that you begin and end each with 10 minutes of visualizing not just following through on that first point but all the way through each point until you achieve your goal. But visualization are not cure for actually getting starting and doing it right now.

“But…”
No.

“But…”
I don’t care
“But….”
You really do not seem to be getting the message…

DO IT NOW. This week. I don’t care what it takes, I don’t care if you need to take a day off work. Even if you need to take a few hundred out of savings. DO IT NOW. And if your first step cannot be done in a week, then clearly you need to break that down into smaller pieces as well.

Now if you’re already in the middle of achieving your goals, this certainly can’t hurt you.  But if, as the song says “you’re living to die” then you need to get out of your morass and start living.

But to move forward this week you need to start working toward every goal you have.

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Weekly Meditation: Namaste and the Chakras

This week I would like you to continue with the morning and evening meditations from last week to keep your chakras balanced and connected to the energy of Heaven.  But this week I want to add a simple meditation throughout the day.

How simple?

I want to you say one word.

Namaste.  The word that roughly means: “The spark of the divine within me recognizes and bows to the spark of the divine within you.”

Now I know we’ve done this one before too, but done together this will not only help your balance your chakras but connect you other people through compassion and love which will not only send love to them, but in turn have it reflect back to you (creating a slight feedback loop of positive energy…)

So every person you see silently say to yourself “Namaste.”   Every person you pass in the store, on the street, in the office, everywhere.  If you miss one don’t worry.  Just get the next person.

These two practices together will lift your energy and make you feel better the whole week.

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Weekly meditation: Balancing the chakras

 

To one degree or another we have gone other the seven chakras that run along your spine and into your head. This week it’s time to stop looking at them as separate things, but rather as a single system of energy that connects you to the world and to Heaven.

So this week we’ll focus on all of the chakras. Sitting in the lotus position (or as close as you can get to it comfortably) clear you mind, and then focus on the chakras going up you spine. With each chakra focus on it, see it bright, large and spinning quickly and repeat the following series of mantras, one for each chakra. Start at your root chakra and work you way up seeing and feeling the energy move up your spine your mind’s eyes. When you reach the crown chakra focus on it’s mantra for a minute seeing a direct connection of that energy at the top of your skull connected to Heaven and God. Then work you way back down the chakras.

If you can do this once in the morning and once in the evening this should help to focus the energy of all your chakras and extend those positive vibrations into your life.

First Chakra. My life is filled with abundance, safety and prosperity
Second Chakra. My emotional are balanced and in tune with light of Heaven
Third Chakra. My will is strong and one with God’s
Fourth Chakra. I love and am loved and know the love of God
Fifth Chakra. I speak and create beauty and truth inspired by God
Sixth Chakra. I see the complete truth and the now through the light of God
Seventh Chakra. I am one with God

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Weekly Meditation: Singing Fifth Chakra Meditation

So this week we’ll continue to deal with the throat chakra. The throat chakra deals with creativity, expression, courage to speak the truth and advocate for yourself. Last week we tried to get the negative energy out by making it easier to actually express your frustration, even to yourself. This week we’re going to work on doing something positive rather than just eliminating a negative.

As with all the chakras, vibrations are very important to the 5th chakra. The advantage to the 5th chakra is that it’s literally right next to the thing that vibrates the most in your whole body, your larynx. One easiest ways to thus to increase the vibrations of the this chakra is to sing.

Yes I said sing. It doesn’t matter if you’re a trained opera singer or me (whose singing should probably be categorized as a WMD), you’re going to have to sing for this meditation. Sing as loud as you can. With all your heart and force. If you don’t want anyone else to hear it, may I suggest singing in the car—it’s well insulated, and you’ll get drowned out by the music. But you need to sing for this meditation.

What should you sing? Well that’s up to you. I would only say that is should not be anything with any trace of negativity. No songs about how she left you heartbroken. No songs about your misery. No songs about how things aren’t working out. In other words, no country music, the music of pain.

However there is a benefit to singing you should consider. Some songs speak more to the energy of different chakras. Thus if you look for a collection of songs that hits every single chakra, you can not only raise the vibrations of your throat chakra but of those other chakras as well. Two birds, one stone.

If you’re having trouble finding songs for each chakra I have provided a few suggestion below. You don’t have to go with those songs, they’re just suggestions that speak to me…go with songs that will make you happy and reinforce the positive energy of your chakras. And sing! If I have ever written a meditation that you should engage in every day of your life it’s this one.

As this is a more complex kind of meditation (since it deals with multiple chakras) I want you to do this every day for the next two weeks. (Yes this means there will be no mediation will be posted next week. (Yes, I am partly doing this because this movie a day thing is very time consuming.)

1st Charka—Energies of abundance, security and safety.
Money

If I were a rich man (the nice part about this is that if you listen to the end what he wants isn’t money, but the freedom it provides)

2nd Charka–Energies of emotional control and desire
You and I–Ingrid Michaelson (honestly this song covers the energies of the first five chakras)

Up on the roof

3rd Charka–Energies of will power and strength
I won’t back down

My Way

4th Charka–Energies of love and compassion
Parachute

I will love you

Everybody

5th Chakra–Energies of creativity and self expression

The Impossible Dream

New Soul

6th Chakra—Energies of foresight and being in the flow of the universe

I can see clearly now

Only Time

7th Chakra—Energies of being one with God
Prayer of Saint Francsis

Somewhere over the rainbow/What a Wonderful World–Israel Kamkawiwo’ole

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Weekly Meditation: Last 3rd Chakra Meditation

Solar Plexus Chakra

The Solar Plexus Chakra

We will close out our third chakra meditations with a balancing of the three chakras we have covered so far.  Sit in lotus position, or whatever position you can comfortably attain, and see the three chakras in your mind’s eye.

The red root chakra at the base of your spine.

The orange sacral chakra just below your navel.

The yellow solar plexus chakra just below the center of your breastbone.

All three are bright circles of light that are spinning.

Imagine the energy going up through these three and then diffusing throughout your whole body.

As the energy passes through your root chakra say to yourself “My life is abundant, safe, and secure.  Life provides and will continue to provide all that I need.”

As the energy passes through the sacral chakra say to yourself “My desire and emotions are balanced with the divine will of Heaven.  I desire only the good and my happiness.”

And as it passes through your solar plexus chakra “I am powerful, strong and determined.  My will is one with God and manifests that which is best for me.”

If you can manage fifteen minutes in the morning and fifteen minutes before bed everyday this week you should notice your energy, emotions and surrounding environment improve.

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Weekly Meditation: Archetypes, Saints, and gods

So, we come back to the solar plexus chakra. That spinning wheel of fire that is just below the breast bone. The seat of the will.

If you will recall, I have compared previous chakras to the psychologies of certain famous psychologists. The roots chakra with its need for power and control is best represented in the power based psychology of Adler. The sacral chakra with its focus on desire and want matches up quite well with Freud and his statement of how the human psyche responds. Both men were correct when speaking about people who are centered in the root or sacral chakra respectively. And for those centered in the solar plexus chakra the psychologist that best represents the psychology of this chakra is Jung (and in case you’re wondering I mean early archetypal Jung not post mental breakdown later in life Jung.. it’s the psychology I’m saying is correct, all three of these men are actually quite terrible human beings in their personal lives, it doesn’t mean we can’t gleam understanding from them).

Now for a really quick reminder for those of you for whom it has been a while since that Psych 101 course, a good deal of Jung’s psychology dealt with archetypes; symbols and images that represented a complete ideal of a person or greater concept. Archetypes are images and concepts that appear over and over again across cultures and civilizations, but they can also be seen as representations of ideas themselves. For instance in the Bhagavad-Gita every character is an archetypal representation of the different concepts covered in the epic poem. The villains are archetypal representations of fears and desires of the soul, Krishna is a representation of the third-eye chakra (the Christ Chakra as Yogi Paramahansa Yogananda called it) and the central character to whom Krishna speaks, the warrior Arjuna is the embodiment of the solar plexus chakra. (Admit it; you didn’t see how I was going to bring this tangent back to the solar plexus chakra.)

Now if you’re a Hindu this archetype of Arjuna is the model of how you’re supposed to live your life. Arjuna after all, after a moment of doubt, listens to Krishna and goes out and slaughters all of his enemies (fears, doubts, worries, desires, and evil of the ego) to a man…but for most westerners who haven’t read the Bhagavad Gita and the larger work that exists in the Mahabharata (otherwise known as the longest epic poem ever written—it’s longer than the Iliad and Odyssey put together) using Arjuna as a basis for how to live your life is probably not the most efficient archetype to latch onto. Now in the west the more common archetype to latch onto is Christ and that silly statement of “What would Jesus do?” What would Jesus do? He would perform a miracle and give a sermon. Not exactly an option open to most of us. Philosophically the better question to ask is what would (pick your archetype) want me to do?

But if you’re reading this blog, it suggests you might not be so limited to only one archetype. Catholics certainly aren’t, they have a whole list of Saints to call upon. And that’s what calling upon a Saint or angel for help or protection is, it’s asking for a being who represents a certain virtue. For pagan and new agers you have an even wider group of people to call upon (if you’re looking for a specific saint, god, or angel to call upon read Doreen Virtue’s book “Archangels and Ascended Masters” as it has an excellent list of higher beings to call upon and serve as a guide).

These ascended masters you are calling upon will help focus your will and intention in your soul and serve as the archetype for your rational mind to base action on. Now some of you might worry that this smacks of worshiping false gods. No it doesn’t. You can easily call upon God for help at any time. But sometimes you need more focus in your life so you call upon a specialist who serves under god and can help focus your thoughts and intentions. What about when calling on say, Athena or Brigid (both of whom are great to call on for the solar plexus chakra), aren’t those gods from pagan beliefs that have no basis in reality? I figure that somewhere way back in the day there was actually a soul who reached enlightenment, and while we might now refer to these people as saints, thousands of years ago the stories about them turned them into gods (especially after years and years of retelling). You’re still asking for God’s help, you’re just asking for the middle man who specializes in what issues you need help with.

So for this week’s meditation I want you to call upon the goddess Athena in helping to open your third chakra and be more determined in your actions and more in tune with the divine will of your soul.

This may also be a good time to do research on which ascended masters you should be calling upon more often.

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Meditation of the week: Third Chakra Mantra

This week we’ll get back to the third chakra with a mantra meditation.

Sit in lotus position with your hands in front of you. You hands should be open with the fingers touching each other, one thumb over the other, but with the palms not pressed against each other. As you do this chant the mantra RAM (again focus on this being three syllables to be held over a long breath followed by a silent space before repeating). As you do this focus on your solar plexus chakra, the fiery yellow circle rotation just below you breast bone.
If you can hold this for 10-15 minutes great. If not try to do it for just a little longer each day.

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