Do you wish you could stay strong when setbacks hit and things go wrong? If so, you’re not alone! Setbacks and disappointments are a part of life, but learning how to effectively deal with them, can help to strengthen us from within.
When faced with setbacks, disappointments and stagnation, the first thing to do is not to fight back harder, but to step back and regain perspective before proceeding. This may feel counterproductive at first, but it is vitally important.
When we get so focused that we see things as black and white, good or bad, we can get boxed into rigidity. Truth is, life consist of an entire spectrum of possibilities, rather than just two choices. Stepping back and refocusing opens our minds to more ways of seeing and acting in life.
It does not always require a major shift; even a small tweak can make a difference. Just step back and shift your perspective enough to include one more way of looking at that situation. Is it really true that you are the only actor responsible for creating a desired outcome? It may be more accurate to say you represent one of many conditions that need to come together for something to unfold.
Even when we put our best into something, the outcome might not be what we expected. There may be very strong messages from inside and around us telling us that the outcome is the most important thing, yet that is a limited perspective. The outcome is less important than cultivating our capacity to be with whatever is, even when it is not at all what we have wished for.
This means learning to be okay with not knowing, with not being able to control the outcome. We continue to practice and train our ability to at peace within, and we don’t take the outcome personally.
This is at the heart of authentic spiritual work: it includes both being and doing; awareness as well as the discipline of application. What keeps us pliable in this often challenging process, is the attitude of gratitude.
Gratitude is not dependent on external circumstances. We don’t feel gratitude just because everything is going great, although that’s important to acknowledge. We especially need to practice gratitude when things are not going the way we want them to. It’s when things go wrong, that we are faced with deeper attachments and desires that often masquerade as needs.
To stay flexible, we need to practice gratitude anyhow; similar to the concept of “hallelujah anyhow” that is often heard in black churches; giving thanks and finding gratitude not because of our circumstances, but despite them.
The challenge is to stay in a receptive, open place, not fighting against what’s happening, but digging deeper within to live from our core values, to be the difference we wish to see in the world, and to lead by example in making a difference despite the setbacks we may face. It requires us to dig deep and keep showing up, doing our best with the resources and gifts that we ourselves have been given to make this world a better place.
And when our best is not sufficient to change things around yet, we entrust the outcomes to a Higher hand and we stay the course with compassion for ourselves and others. Once conditions are appropriate, the outcomes will be sure. In the meantime, the work remains because living from our true core and purpose is the only meaningful way to live. Even when conditions are not yet appropriate for optimal outcomes to show up, we can say “hallelujah” anyhow, and stay the course.
Setbacks and delays are part of life’s reality, and they are fully workable. Our practice is to not pull away from the dissonance, not to withdraw from what we are faced with; and in that place where commitment and discipline meet the obstacles, our souls learn resilience and strength.
This is true especially when you feel outnumbered and alone. Don’t get locked into the duality of blame and shame! You cannot be successful by feeding what you are fighting, so when you reach this point, step back and regroup!
Do something good instead. Recognize that we need the shadow to show us the light, and navigate by forgiving the limitations of the shadow and finding a way to shine the light.
One of the biggest pitfalls in our society is the way in which personal preferences are mislabeled as needs. People often attempt to manipulate others by presenting their emotional preferences as needs, and then demanding these “needs” be met. Listen to individuals for a day and you’ll notice how often this is used to manipulate: “I need you to be quiet now,” “I need you to listen to me,” “I need you to do this right now,” and the list goes on.
In reality, these statements confuse emotional preferences with needs. They are indicative of misappropriate use of the limbic brain, where needs and preferences are often confused in early childhood. Adults who get stuck in this dysfunctional behavior, create a lot of chaos for themselves and others.
An emotional “need” is not the same as the biological need for oxygen, food and shelter; it is simply a preference. In fact, psychologist Steven Stosny identifies only one valid emotional need for adults, and that is to act consistently on deeper values.
When we consistently act from our deeper values, all the emotional preferences that parade as important needs, will either be satisfied as a byproduct of meaningful living, or they will drop away as unimportant in the bigger lens of living a purposeful life.
The best way to attain the life you want to have, is to approach it from the perspective of living it in alignment with your deeper values and meaning, not from emotional preferences masquerading as “needs.”
When you do that, you will find your roots digging deeper so you can stay strong when things go wrong.
About The Author:
©Copyright Ada Porat. For more information, visit https://adaporat.com. This article may be freely distributed in whole or in part, provided there is no charge for it and this notice is attached.
We all want to be happy; why is it that some find happiness and others fail?
According to a growing number of psychologists, happiness is a choice, not something that happens to you or that you find on the outside. Happiness is an inside job: you can choose to be happy by making the effort to cultivate a life where happiness resides.
Mahatma Ghandi said, “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
In other words, inner alignment precedes outer success. The pursuit of happiness consists less of looking for it out there, and identifying what it is that gives you a sense of purpose and fulfillment from within. We can boil that inner alignment down to four basic principles: belonging, purpose, transcendence and narrative.
In other words, happiness is not a gift that falls into our laps; it is a state of being that is earned. In Manuscript Found in Accra, author Paulo Coelho puts it this way:
“I fell asleep and dreamed that Life was only
I woke and discovered that life was Duty.
I did my Duty and discovered that life was Happiness.”
Happiness, then, is the fruit that grows on a tree where four distinct branches are dutifully nurtured and cultivated: belonging, purpose, transcendence and narrative. The more we cultivate these, the more bountiful the harvest of happiness it bears.
The need for belonging is hard-wired in our genes. From the earliest history of homo sapiens on the planet, humans have sought out communities and tribes to belong to. It affirmed their sense of identity and offered a sense of safety. But in the context of happiness, I am referring to more than superficial, tribal membership and groups based on belief systems.
The true sense of belonging I refer to here comes from understanding who you are as a soul and what your purpose and place is on the grand stage of life. Knowing your place in creation brings the realization that you are made of more than the stuff of belief systems and memberships; you are a unique soul who chose to embark on an earth life and become an integral part of the family of mankind. And as mankind goes, so do you.
In this larger context of identity and belonging, there is no place for petty grievances over race, gender or status. Instead, there is a shared purpose and destiny that we either fulfill and benefit from, or forfeit at our peril as some ancient civilizations had learned.
A true sense of purpose requires of us to align with that destiny that is larger than the sum of its parts: the call to awaken to our true purpose in life and embrace the opportunities for growth. It beckons us to uncover and develop our unique gifts, skills and strengths, and then to apply them in service to a cause greater than our individual comfort and existence.
True purpose requires us to step off the pedestal of privilege and instead of asking what others can give to us, to ask how we can be of service. It requires commitment, loyalty, discipline, effort and staying power, yet there is no joy greater than being part of serving the greater good.
Transcendence calls us out from the daily drama and petty battles on the surface of life to a Field much higher, much more powerful and much more meaningful than our individual ego identities.
All spiritual traditions speak of transcendence as a way to rise above the mundane into ultimate partnership with the Divine Creator and the Field of Consciousness. This Field holds the possibilities of all that was, is and can be. It is sometimes referred to as the presence of All That Is.
As we align with this Presence more and more, it slowly permeates our understanding so that we awaken to the process of personal growth and so transform our own consciousness into higher levels of being. Transcendence calls us to this higher way of living: it invites us to expand, grow and reach beyond the mundane in order to fulfill our highest potential.
Narrative refers to telling our story, and how it defines us. We can learn much from listening to the way someone speaks about their life; what they focus on and how they cast themselves in the plot.
Are you telling your personal story from the perspective of a victim or a victor? By breaking free from the limiting narratives of your life that constrain and disempower you, you will find freedom to create a new narrative for your life: one that honors the truth of your soul’s limitless potential, filled with deep meaning and satisfaction.
Together, these four principles form a solid foundation for a life well lived, blessed by happiness and fulfillment.
Finally, it is helpful to remember that all good things take time to develop – patience is perhaps the first quality trait needed on the journey toward self-mastery and happiness. In the book, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, the great German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche put it this way:
“He who wishes one day to fly, must first learn standing and walking and running and climbing and dancing. One does not fly into flying.”
About the Author
©Copyright Ada Porat. For more information, visit https://www.adaporat.com. This article may be freely distributed in whole or in part, provided there is no charge for it and this notice is attached.
Want to get enlightened fast? Here’s a reality check: True enlightenment is not going to happen fast; if it does, it is not authentic. True, authentic spirituality is a slow, organic process of growth.
It follows a cyclical rhythm, the way life flows through seasons and patterns. And it looks less like a body-builder on steroids, and more like a homegrown strawberry.
So much of what passes for spirituality today is actually about selling seekers on a package that looks good, but does not lead to authentic spiritual transformation. It represents spirituality on steroids – and while every package promises to be the magic tool, it places appearance and performance above inner transformation.
This consumerist spirituality is all about selling us an image. Master these yoga asanas and you’ll reach enlightenment… or wear these clothes and you’ll be transformed faster… or visit this sacred site and you will become more spiritual.
In this steroid-driven spirituality, the pathway becomes the goal. Its to-do list may look glamorous: a meditative state to attain, a transmission to receive, a workshop to attend; yet the promised result remains just out of reach while we are sold the latest ‘guaranteed’ way to reaching it. You see, it’s based on a flawed principle that we are somehow lacking something we need to strive for.
In truth, authentic spirituality and enlightenment is not a goal we reach out there; it is something we become. The entire Universe operates on the principle of emergence and our spiritual nature is no different: it unfolds when we remove the obstacles to its emergence.
The authentic work of realizing our true identity needs no fancy interventions: it simply requires basic conditions that sustain all forms of life on this planet.
The strawberries in my garden can attest to that.
Strawberries will grow from a tiny seed to a beautiful plant that bears prolifically if you give it the right environment. It needs nutrients from the soil, sunlight and comfortable temperatures. When it gets these basic ingredients, it grows abundantly in full harmony with its own genotype and bears beautiful, juicy fruit in due season.
When we alter the nature of strawberries with genetic engineering and chemical steroids to boost production, the fruit will turn out big but tough and tasteless. They may look good on the surface, but one taste will tell you the difference between scientifically manipulated fruit and a juicy homegrown strawberry.
It’s the same with commercialized-spirituality. While promising instant miracles and results, it robs each individual of their unique journey to become the magnificent soul whose potential they’ve carried all along, and it renders them weak and tasteless.
While it makes bold claims of miracles, power and peace, commercialized spirituality sells us an image of who we think we need to be to qualify, lures us away from the very life we have by promising us something better, and tempts us to strive for spiritual success by doing more while in the process losing our most precious connection to our inner selves.
Thankfully, the way to authentic spirituality is always open to us.
Authentic spirituality puts an end to the lie that we need to be anywhere other than where we find ourselves right now. It gives us the freedom to grow right where we are, to harness the nutrients of the life we are already living, and to allow our inner guidance to produce delicious, juicy fruit to share with the world.
Here are four important principles of authentic spirituality:
- The answers already await inside you.
Whatever the question your life is asking you right now, the answer lies in the truth of who you already are. Why? Because you are a limitless spiritual being, experiencing this duality-based earth life to grow, evolve and realize your full potential.
Learning to distinguish the authentic voice of your soul from the noise of culture and conditioning is a journey—and it’s not necessarily easy. But it’s simple, and that is important. Whatever response is called for, you can relax and ask yourself, ‘How could this be useful on my path?’ then listen for your soul’s whisper to guide you. Learning to recognize the voice of your Higher truth will set you free from the confines of your limitations.
- Your body is the perfect spiritual vehicle for authentic spiritual growth.
Instead of bypassing the body’s messages or judging it as a faulty tool that needs to be fixed, authentic spirituality embraces the body as a vehicle that continually communicates with you. When you are at home and grounded in your body, you have the best chance of healing, learning, growing and becoming.
The physical body is not optional in this life and it is not a problem. It is a temple not made by hands; a sacred vessel for the presence of Spirit in our lives. The more we become present to our embodied experience, the more we are able to harness all the energy of Spirit we can contain to heal, transform and fulfill our potential.
- Your life is always speaking to you.
Right now, your life is speaking to you through events, metaphors, symbolism and other messages to guide you. Instead of resisting, try listening to it with an open heart. When we listen to our lives, we get precious information that is customized just for us.
It is by learning to love the life you have, that you can begin to choose a life you love. Your own direct experience needs to be the authority in your life rather than any external program, guru or person. Over time, listening to your life in this way is how you’ll learn where you grow best and what conditions allow you to bear the greatest fruit for your community and world.
- Your emotions aren’t a problem.
Most suffering in life is caused by the unwillingness to feel what we are actually feeling. Instead, we create elaborate avoidance strategies and masks to hide behind, causing endless suffering.
When you allow yourself to feel your emotions as they come and go, you’ll find peace. There is no story to tell around it; there is simply the being present in each moment, and the awareness of the emotions passing through your awareness like clouds in the sky. By observing your emotions without resistance, you’ll find them passing through your awareness while you continue to stay identified with your consciousness as the core of your true Self.
Authentic spirituality is a path of inner, direct experience that gradually unfolds at your unique human pace and produces practical enlightenment – the kind that serves instead of enslaves.
About the author
©Copyright Ada Porat. For more information, visit https://www.adaporat.com. This article may be freely distributed in whole or in part, provided there is no charge for it and this notice is attached.
(Note: This article was authored by Claude Swanson, Ph.D. and is reprinted here with his permission.)
The tragic terrorist attacks in Paris have escalated the conflict in the Middle East, and some Western leaders are calling for a further increase in military activity. This follows an announcement by Obama two weeks earlier that the U.S. is beginning to send troops to Syria, and this follows similar moves by Russia. Although both the U.S. and Russia are calling their soldiers “advisers,” this is not very reassuring, since Americans remember that the first troops sent to Vietnam in the sixties were also called “advisers.”
Several weeks ago the Russian leader Putin met with the leader of Syria, Bashar Assad, to reaffirm support for his government. Russia and Syria are long term allies. Meanwhile the United States continues to support groups who are trying to overthrow Assad. Matters are further complicated because both sides say they oppose ISIS (ISIL), the radical Muslim group which is thought to be responsible for the Paris attacks..
To add to the complexity, Israel, a long term ally of the United States in the region, according to articles by Pulitzer prize winning reporter Seymour Hersh, has been providing military support to Kurdish rebels who control territory in Iraq, Syria, Iran and Turkey and who want a state of their own. Neighboring states fear a strengthening of the Kurdish rebels will lead to further instability in the region. Hersh has indicated that the additional U. S. troops may be intended to help this group. Former U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford pointed out that this Kurdish group itself has ties to terrorist groups and has been accused of human rights abuses.
The track record for U.S. intervention is not encouraging. The countries where the U.S. has intervened over the past fifteen years remain in states of volatile chaos: Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. The refugee crisis in Europe at the present time is largely a result of these conflicts. The alliances forming are disturbingly similar to the Armageddon scenario, and matters could conceivably escalate beyond recall. It is vital that all the hostile factions step back and look earnestly for peaceful solutions. They may need to give up or compromise some of their deeply held beliefs or ambitions to find a common ground. Regardless of the details of the history of past wrongs or injuries on both sides, it is clear that matters in the Middle East are becoming increasingly dangerous and hold the potential for even greater conflict in the future.
Let us ask forgiveness for the mistakes we have made, and forgive all other parties involved, as well. The Hawaiian prayer of Ho’oponopono seems appropriate here: “I am sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. I thank you.” (One beautiful YouTube video based on this prayer is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ac5SGwRPv0o )
Let us learn the lessons we came here to learn. All of us have had a role in creating these events, and we are here to learn and remember that we are all connected, we are all powerful spiritual beings, and our prayers and love and understanding can truly heal the world. We ask, and urgently pray, that everyone sends prayers for peace and wisdom to the world, that all people be guided by the highest good for all the peoples of the Earth.
We need to send prayers to lower the rhetoric, to tone down the bellicose threats and actions in many of these areas. We have become overconfident in our ability to project military power, as we noted in the quote from General Wesley Clark regarding how we got into the Iraq war. This interview ( www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSL3JqorkdU ) may shed light on the viewpoint of some in government who advocate escalation. Power has limits, and eventually it is met with opposing power, sometimes in forms we did not anticipate. As the most powerful country in the world, the United States has an obligation to set a standard of behaving responsibly and with consideration, not as a bully but taking into account the aspirations and fears of others.
Therefore we ask, and urgently pray, that everyone sends prayers for peace and wisdom to the Middle East, and that our leaders be guided by the highest good for all the peoples of the world.
THE NEED FOR PEACE PRAYER
These conflicts serve to highlight the need for peace prayers. To make prayer the most powerful, we ask that everyone around the world pray simultaneously, at the same time. This will increase the power of the prayer, possibly by a factor of several hundred because more people are praying simultaneously. Prayer in each time zone is adjusted so that prayers are simultaneous all around the world. Prayers should be done EVERY DAY.
There is also a best time of day to receive prayer, a time when our receptivity is greatest (see below). This depends on where we are in the world. Prayer times are set to correspond to the hour when receptivity is greatest in the Middle East . Our prayers of peace, love and forgiveness, while directed to everyone around the world, may in this way have greatest effectiveness in calming and bringing peace to this region, which is near a flash point. Let us pray that peace, love and forgiveness penetrate the hearts of all people.
The chart below, Table 1, shows the best time to pray to accomplish this. It is slightly different (about four minutes earlier) every day. It depends on what time zone you are in and the time of year. The time zones and locations are listed in the left-hand column. Find the row which describes your time zone. Then move across to the right to find the column for the correct date. The dates are shown for every five days, but you should pray every day. On days not shown in the chart, choose a time for the closest day shown. For example, if you live in Colorado, you look down the left hand column until you find Colorado or MST for Mountain Standard Time. This describes your time zone. If it is Nov 9, you then look across the top row of the chart to find the date, Nov 9. Going down that column to the row corresponding to Colorado or MST you find the prayer time given is 9:00 AM. This is the center of the prayer period.
For a 20 minute prayer, this means beginning the prayer 10 minutes earlier than this. Since the center is 9:00 AM, you would start the prayer ten minutes earlier, at 8:50 AM. PRAYERS SHOULD BE DONE EVERY DAY. Each day the best prayer time is about four minutes earlier. The chart shows the best prayer times every five days, to help keep track of the schedule. However you should pray every day. If the day is not shown on the chart, choose a prayer time in between the times shown. If the times are inconvenient, then pray when you can but include the intention that the prayer is to be joined with others praying in the same time window.
We propose that the prayer be for world peace, forgiveness of others, healing of Mother Earth, and the awakening of love for our fellow man. This follows the lessons of the great Teachers of all religions.
BEST TIME TO PRAY
(PRAY EVERY DAY. IF THE DATE IS NOT SHOWN, LOOK AT THE PRAYER TIME FOR THE NEAREST DATE AND USE IT. )
TABLE 1. How to use it: Look down the far left-hand column to find your time zone. California, for example, is Pacific Standard Time right now, or PST. When you find the right row for your time zone, then go across to the correct column for the present date. If it is Nov 26, for example, then find the columns for Nov 24 and Nov 29, the two closest dates before and after. Your prayer time is in between these two numbers, around 10:50 PM. Choose that time for the middle of your prayer period.
The power of prayer has been known for thousands of years. Recent scientific experiments have proven it (Ref. 1). Experiments show that when people pray together at THE SAME TIME, it has EVEN MORE IMPACT (Ref. 2). Science has also discovered there is a SPECIAL TIME OF DAY when we are MOST RECEPTIVE to spiritual and intuitive messages (Ref. 3). Prayers received at this time are likely to have the greatest effect. If everyone around the world will pray at this time the prayers can have heightened impact, both because of the time of day and because many people are praying together. Fifteen or twenty minutes of concentrated prayer everyday at this time can work miracles.
The Princeton PEAR Lab, the Global Consciousness Project, and other research institutions have discovered that consciousness affects physics and can be measured (Ref. 4). The human mind and human intention alter the behavior of devices called “random event generators,” or REGs. They measure the power of human intention to affect distant events. In scientific studies on prayer, it has been found that when many people pray together the effect is larger (Ref. 2).
The graph below shows this effect. The lower curve in blue shows the level of randomness of these REGs when no one is praying. When many people around the world pray together, the devices begin to act as though they are coupled together (the red line on the graph). This shows that synchronized prayer affects the physics of space-time around the world. Prayer has power that can be measured, and synchronized prayer can have great effectiveness.
GRAPH 1. The power of synchronized prayer. The red line shows how prayer, by millions of people around the world, affect devices called REGs. These devices have been shown to measure the power of consciousness. They are based on patterns of quantum noise which occur when many people around the world think the same thought or focus on the same idea.
The second key piece is the importance of the TIME when one prays. It has been discovered in scientific experiments that there is a BEST TIME of day when intuitive messages are most accurately received. Prayer is an example of messages of this type. The graph below shows how accurately such messages are received versus TIME OF DAY. The peak in the graph shows the best time. It is found to depend on the position of the stars overhead, and is therefore called “sidereal time.” Because the peak has width of about a half hour on either side, this defines a one hour window which should be the “best time” for sending or receiving prayer. Table 1 above, labeled “Best Time to Pray,” shows how this “best time” relates to your local clock time.
GRAPH 2. The most powerful time of day to receive a psychic message. This seems to be the time of day when psychic or spiritual communication is least noisy, which means it is clearer then. If we are sending an intuitive or prayer message to others, this is the best time for it to be received. Just like channels on a radio dial, it is best to send and receive on a channel which is clear and quiet, not one that is noisy. The peak in the graph shows when this occurs. It depends on the star positions overhead, which is why it is called “sidereal time” (Ref. 3) Table 1 above translates this into your local clock time.
To have maximum effectiveness when we pray, it may be most powerful to combine these two ideas: To have many people pray TOGETHER, and also to pray at the BEST TIME for it to be received. In each time zone, when the clock reaches the BEST TIME, as shown by Table 1, everyone in that time zone should join their minds and hearts to pray together.
The times in each time zone are adjusted so everyone will pray at the same exact moment around the world. This means the largest number of people will be praying together, which will have the GREATEST EFFECT. The prayer is timed to correspond to the time during the day of best receptivity in the Middle East. This is when the peak in receptivity, shown in Graph 2, is over that region. This part of the world appears most critical at the present time. It is hoped that by directing prayers there when they are most receptive, we may help encourage peace in the region.
THE CRISIS OF OUR TIMES
We are living in a time of great change on the planet. We have built technologies which are transforming the world’s ecology and weather. Our investment in weapons of war is skyrocketing. New weapons including engineered diseases are being stockpiled. Soldiers are fighting in many countries, and it is not bringing peace but only more war. Tensions in the Middle East have erupted into “hot wars” in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Libya and Syria. Growing opposition by China and Russia to U.S. military incursions and the effort by Iran to develop nuclear power raise the potential for escalation. It only seems to bring more anger and create more terrorists, which then feeds the cycle.
In many religions and cultures, the times we are living in have been the subject of prophecy. The Hopi Indians of North America are but one of many peoples who have predicted these times. They describe Western man as having a head and body which are separated. The body represents understanding of the physical world, i.e. technology, and the head represents spiritual wisdom. In the Hopi view, the separation of head and body symbolizes that Western man is out of touch with spiritual guidance, and therefore misuses his understanding of technology. Unless we can learn to access spiritual wisdom, we will make wrong decisions leading to an extremely destructive Third World War.
We humans are at a turning point. Are we able to handle our technology to make our lives better and to spread wealth and opportunity to all? Or do we have a streak of violence, hatred and greed which will doom us to bring about the destruction of this beautiful world in which we live?
The answer does not lie in violence. This only creates more hatred in the victims who respond with greater violence toward us. The answer does not lie in more technology, for without wise and thoughtful use it just causes more environmental damage. The true answer has been given in many cultures and in many religions. We must stop the violence and hatred and greed within ourselves, and then we can help heal the world.
RAPID ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE
The BBC News recently announced that the permafrost melting in the arctic is occurring much faster than predicted. In a story by Matt McGrath for the Science and Environment section of BBC News, it was reported that temperatures have risen in the permafrost from -8 degrees C to -2.5 degrees C even in the northern coastal areas of Alaska. As a result, vast areas are expected to melt in the next few years, much earlier than had been expected. This will turn the upper levels of soil into slush, making roads impassible and toppling many surface structures. Even the Alaska pipeline might be endangered. Trees have already been falling in parts of Alaska. And of course, this frozen region extends across thousands of miles of Siberia as well as Alaska, and even includes parts of the sea bottom in the north Pacific. Therefore a huge area is affected.
Another result of this melting, besides an increase in ocean levels, will be the accelerated release of the frozen methane which is trapped in the permafrost. As the methane is released it enters the atmosphere where its greenhouse effect is 25 times stronger than Carbon Dioxide. Therefore the permafrost melting will further increase the greenhouse effect. All of these effects are confirmation of the rapid global warming that is ongoing.
The Gulf Stream which is responsible for the temperate climate in Europe has been slowing in recent years because Global Warming has rapidly melted Arctic ice bringing fresh water into the North Atlantic. Ten of the twelve ocean convection cells which maintain the Gulf Stream flow have reportedly slowed or stopped on occasion, raising the possibility in the near future of drastic weather changes. Experts now project that the world’s oceans will rise more than one foot in the next century because of this same melting. The rising ocean, in turn, will likely trigger additional earthquakes, which have been increasing rapidly over the past two decades. At the same time, the extinction rate of the earth’s animal and plant species has been increasing to a level not seen since the last “Great Extinction” 65 million years ago when the dinosaurs perished. They were the dominant species then. Are we next?
Let us send love and healing to Mother Earth and to one another, that our mistakes and mistreatment of the environment and of our fellow man may be healed, that we learn how to tread more gently on the earth, and that we be forgiven for the disturbances we have so far created.
LESSONS OF THE GREAT SPIRITUAL TEACHERS
In the West every day we see images of violence and war. War has never solved problems for very long. The defeat of Germany in World War I led to resentment and poverty and eventually to the rise of Hitler and World War II. The wisest teachers have taught a very different lesson. Jesus said:
“…if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” (Matthew 5:38-41)
Jesus taught that violence solves nothing. It only creates more violence. It hurts and angers the victim who vows and plots his revenge. Jesus realized and taught the great lesson that the best way to destroy an enemy is to make him your friend. Jesus taught that the only way to end violence is to:
“…Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you…” (Matthew 5:44)
The alternative is to create more and more people around the world who hate us and plan and live for our demise. With the increasing power of modern weapons, nuclear, biological, and chemical, even a weak enemy can cause death and suffering on a massive scale. And we know from experience that this only leads to retaliation and escalation. It will only stop when one of two things happens.
(1) Either we destroy ourselves in a global conflict, which has been predicted by many, or
(2) We escape this fate by trying something new: forgive and send love to our enemies, and pray for peace and healing everywhere.
It is up to us to begin the forgiveness process, to love, to send prayers daily around the world to ease the anger and fear, to forgive the violence, to pray for a growing peace. Let the fires of hatred and fear and revenge burn down, let the embers cool. Remember that each of us possesses an immortal soul and is here to learn. Let us follow the teachings of the great Masters of all ages, sowing love and kindness and generosity, and extending it in prayer to all living souls around the world.
When we look beneath the external trappings of any religion, it is remarkable how similar are the underlying beliefs. We offer two examples here. The first is the “Golden Rule,” which in Christianity is “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This same belief is taught in most of the world’s religions:
Buddhism (Udana-Varga): Hurt not others with that which pains yourself.
Judaism (Leviticus 19:18): You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Confucianism (Mencius VII.A.4): Try your best to treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself, and you will find that this is the shortest way to benevolence.
Hinduism (The Mahabharata): This is the sum of duty: do naught to others which if done to thee would cause thee pain.
Christianity (Matthew 7:12): Whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.
Islam (Hadith): No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.
As a second example, consider the teaching of Jesus to “turn the other cheek.” This is often considered a more unusual teaching, because it emphasizes that we should not return violence with violence. In a world torn by terrorism and war, this lesson is too seldom heeded. Yet it is not unique to Christianity. Consider the following quotes:
Buddhism (Dhammapada 201): Victory breeds hatred, for the defeated live in pain. Happily live the peaceful, giving up victory and defeat.
Judaism (Talmud, Baba Kamma 93a): One should choose to be among the persecuted, rather than the persecutors.
Confucianism (Mencius IV.A.14): In wars to gain land, the dead fill the plains; in wars to gain cities, the dead fill the cities. This is known as showing the land the way to devour human flesh. Death is too light a punishment for such men who wage war. Hence those skilled in war should suffer the most severe punishments.
Sikhism (Adi Granth, Shalok, Farid): Those who beat you with fists, do not pay them with the same coin, but go to their house and kiss their feet.
Christianity (Jesus in Matthew 5:38-41): You have heard that it was said, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also; and if any one would sue you and take your coat, let him have your cloak as well…”
Islam (Forty Hadith of an-Nawawi 32): Let there be no injury and no requital.
Such correspondences can be found for almost all religions. Therefore, as the world becomes smaller it would serve us well to look at the underlying similarities in religions, rather than the differences. These similarities are not due to coincidence. They are due to a deep intuitive knowledge on the part of religious founders. These rules seem to describe important truths about how the universe works and how we should live. The alternative, in this time of nuclear and biological warfare and a seriously damaged environment, may be our destruction. A non-violent solution is to pray for global healing and peace.
TO BRING INTO REALITY THE CENTRAL MESSAGE OF ALL THE WORLD’S RELIGIONS: TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER, TO TREAT OTHERS AS WE WOULD LIKE TO BE TREATED, TO FORGIVE OTHERS AND RETURN LOVE FOR HATE, KINDNESS FOR ANGER, TO SPREAD THIS FEELING TO EVERYONE, TO OUR FELLOW MAN AS WELL AS THE EARTH AND ITS ENVIRONMENT.
WE ARE AT A CRUCIAL TIME WHEN MANY PROPHECIES, AND INDEED THE TIDE OF WORLD EVENTS, THREATENS A WIDER WAR AND DRASTIC CHANGES TO OUR CLIMATE AND ECOLOGY. THESE MAY THREATEN OUR WELL-BEING AND EVEN OUR EXISTENCE. THIS IS OUR OPPORTUNITY, MAYBE EVEN OUR “FINAL EXAM” TO SEE IF WE ARE WISE ENOUGH TO HANDLE OUR TECHNOLOGY AND TURN IT FROM DESTRUCTIVE TO CONSTRUCTIVE ENDS.
GLOBAL SYNCHRONIZED PRAYER, DONE EVERY DAY BY MILLIONS OF PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD, CAN TURN THIS TIDE. IT CAN HEAL HATRED AND FEAR AND TURN IT INTO PEACE AND LOVE. IT CAN EASE THE DISTRESS OF MOTHER EARTH AND BEGIN TO HEAL THE DAMAGES TO CLIMATE AND ECOSYSTEMS. IN THIS WAY WE MAY AVERT WAR AND CHOOSE A BETTER FUTURE FOR OURSELVES AND OUR CHILDREN.
WE CAN CHANGE THE FUTURE. IT IS UP TO US!
Benor, Daniel J., M.D., “Survey of Spiritual Healing Research”, Complementary Medical Research, Vol. 4, No. 3, pp. 9-33 (1991):
Benor, Daniel J, M.D., “Distant Healing,” Subtle Energies & Energy Medicine, Vol. 11, No. 3, p. 249 (2001)
Dossey, Larry, M.D., Healing Words: The Power of Prayer and the Practice of Medicine, Harper, San Francisco (1993).
Dossey, Larry, M.D., Space, Time and Medicine, New Science Library, Boston and London (1985)
Dossey, Larry, M.D., “Healing, Energy and Consciousness: Into the Future or a Retreat to the Past?,” Subtle Energies, Vol. 5, No. 1, p. 1, (1994)
Grad, Bernard, “Some Biological Effects of the ‘Laying on of Hands.’ A Review of Experiments with Animals and Plants,” Journal ASPR, April (1965)
Grad, Bernard, “The ‘Laying on of Hands’: Implications for Psychotherapy, Gentling and the Placebo Effect,” Journal ASPR, October (1967)
Swanson, Claude, The Synchronized Universe-New Science of the Paranormal, Poseidia Press, Tucson (2003), www.SynchronizedUniverse.com
Radin, Dean I., Rebman, Jannine M., and Cross, Maikwe P., “Anomalous Organization of Random Events by Group Consciousness: Two Exploratory Experiments”, Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 10, No. 1, pp. 143-168, 1996
Radin, Dean, The Conscious Universe, Harper Collins, New York (1997).
Orme-Johnson, D., Summary of Research on the Transcendental Meditation Program, Compiled and Edited, Maharishi International University.
Orme-Johnson, D., Alexander, C.N., Davies, J.L., Chandler, H.M., and Larimore, W.E., “International Peace Project in the Middle East: The Effects of the Maharishi Technology on the Unified Field”,Journal of Conflict Resolution, 32: 776-812 (1988)
Nelson, R.D., (2003) Global Harmony on Global Consciousness Project webpage, http://noosphere.princeton.edu/groupmedit.html
Twyman, James (2003), http://www.emisariesoflight.com
Spottiswood, James, Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 11, No. 2, pp. 109-122, 1997.
Dunne, Brenda J., and Jahn, Robert G., Experiments in Remote Human/Machine Interaction, Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 6, No. 4, pp. 311-332 (1992).
Dunne, Brenda J., and Jahn, Robert G., “Consciousness and Anomalous Physical Phenomena,” PEAR Lab Technical Note – PEAR 95004, May 1995.
Jahn, R.G., and Dunne, B.J., “On the Quantum Mechanics of Consciousness, with Application to Anomalous Phenomena”, Foundations of Physics, 16, p721 (1986).
Jahn, R.G., and Dunne, B.J., Margins of Reality, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich (1987a), New York.
Jahn, R.G., Dunne, B.J., and Nelson, R.D., “Engineering Anomalies Research,” Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp.21-50 (1987b)
Nelson, R.D., Bradish, J., Dobyns, Y.H., Dunne, B.J., and Jahn, R.G., 1996. “Field REG Anomalies in Group Situations”, Journal of Scientific Exploration, 10:111-42.(1996)
Nelson, R.D., Dobyns, Y.H., Dunne, B.J., and Jahn, R.G., “Analysis of Variance of REG Experiments: Operator Intention, secondary parameters, database structure.” Technical Note PEAR 91004, Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research Laboratory, Princeton University School of Engineering/Applied Science (1991)
Radin, Dean I., Rebman, Jannine M., and Cross, Maikwe P., “Anomalous Organization of Random Events by Group Consciousness: Two Exploratory Experiments”, Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 10, No. 1, pp. 143-168, 1996
Putin, Vladimir, “A Plea for Caution from Russia,” New York Times Opinion Page, www.nytimes.com, September 12, 2013
Massie, Suzanne, http://www.pri.org/stories/2014-03-07/suzanne-massie-taught-president-ronald-reagan-important-russian-phrase-trust
Land of the Firebird: The Beauty of Old Russia, Suzanne Massie, Hearttree Press (1980)
Trust but Verify: Reagan, Russia and Me, Suzanne Massie, Hearttree Press (2013)
History: Beginning of the Iraq War – PBS Frontline documentary: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/bushswar/view