Thursday, December 4, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
I'm sitting in the library with a book about Edward Weston in front of me. For those that don't know, I am a both a photographer and a student of photography and find the subject of both photographers and their photographs fascinating. Every moment I can study someones work drives me to discover the next photographer.
I'm also listening to a podcast on the history of photography by Jeff Curto. He teaches a course at the College of DuPage in Illinois and he's a fascinating listen because you can tell he knows his stuff and remains passionate about it. It was Mr. Curto that put me on to my current fascination with artists from the early to mid twentieth century time period and I am appreciative of it. In fact, during my morning gratitude "vibing," his podcast remains another blessing that I am grateful for.
With a book of Weston's photographs on this table, I am seeing the American West through his eyes and through the essays in the book I am getting clues as to who he was as a person and how his life was incredibly complicated.
There are allusions to his "lover" Charis Wilson as well as a few nudes of her in the sand dunes. The point is not that the book contains a few nude photographs, but rather the passion at which Weston pursued his interests. There will be those who read that Wilson was nude and immediately want the book removed from the library.
However, things like that didn't appear to matter to Weston. He pursued his artist vision, and made his vision a reality. It is a lesson to me as I continue to manifest the events around me. Weston became the photographer he wanted to be because that is what he wanted to be.
At this point, I am not the photographer I want to be because I have let things get in the way. I have blocked my blessing, as it were, by letting it happen and, by letting it happen, attracting more distraction to myself.
The Law of Attraction is very clear on the topic of being distinctive. The Universe will give you what you want, but you must be specific about what you want. The more drilled down on what you are manifesting, the more you get what you want.
For example, I was manifesting the idea of myself being a "good photographer." Does that mean I am a good photographer. It can, but photographer of what? A good photographer of lint in my pocket from my camera phone? If that's the case, how does that serve my real desire? By wanting to be a "good photographer," did the Universe grant that as my gift? Is that what I really wanted? And if not, how was the Universe supposed to know?
You can have your desires, but unless you ask specifically for what you want, how is the Universe ever supposed to give it to you?
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
The "vast right wing conspiracy" accuses the "liberal media" of bias and vice versa. Is there true objectivity in the campaign or in the reporting of the campaign? Why are some of those media not even trying?
I have said that this will never be a political blog and I will stick with that. But the uproar surrounding Colin Powell's endorsement of Barack Obama has moved me to write this post. You see, General Powell was well respected by the power elite up until Sunday morning when he appeared on Meet The Press and was asked about the presidential election and what was his opinion about endorsing one candidate over the other.
The General's statement was measured and well reasoned and made perfect sense for him as he stated his case, while he respects the Republican candidate John McCain, he has decided that the candidate that he would support is the Democrat Barack Obama. Being a Republican, the former Secretary of State had to agonize over what he was saying.
The backlash was immediate and filled with venom and hatred. Read the following transcript from conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh:
race," Limbaugh wrote. "OK, fine. I am now researching his past
endorsements to see if I can find all the inexperienced, very liberal,
white candidates he has endorsed. I’ll let you know what I come up with.
"I was also unaware of his dislike for John Roberts, Clarence
Thomas, Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy and Antonin Scalia. I guess he
also regrets Reagan and Bush making him a four-star and secretary of
state and appointing his son to head the FCC. Yes, let’s hear it for
transformational figures." (source )
Why would the spin on this be so vitriolic? General Powell just spoke his heart. If he was speaking from his conscious being, why would that be attacked with such venom? And is Limbaugh's attack from his conscious being or from his ego? His radio show tends to raise the rabble and seek the most evil bottom line in the egoic. He turned a thought out response to a question into race baiting to play on some people's hatred of a small aspect of a person's overall being. It's free speech, but is it responsible?
This is an important election, so whoever you support, please vote. But vote from your own being, not from the egoic hate-speech of talk show hosts who are hired to cause a ruckus without thinking about the repercussions of their poison-speak.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
If you following the Law of Attraction, you already have a portion of the answer. The hardest part is to keep the real feelings of gratitude continuing to vibrate through you. As we know, gratitude is the highest vibrational frequency in the Universe and you can continue to use that to make your future what you want it to be. Now, should the Law be used for something as ultimately trivial as wealth acquisition? No. If that was the case, we'd all be lottery winners by now. However, we can choose to manifest a solution to the world financial crisis to minimize the effect on the planet. We can prevent a catastrophic collapse that would affect millions, or more likely billions, of people.
But there is something else that can be done that might help you on a personal level. If you invest in the market, research the companies that you own stock in. Most investment brokers take you through the numbers of companies without looking at what the company does, how they treat their employees and customers, what their environmental impact is and many other factors that may be important to you.
Now that a good deal of stocks are down, maybe this is the time to decide that you are going to buy shares in companies that match your core values. This is not a financial blog so I'm not offering financial advice, but my wife and I are taking this time to re-evaluate where our money is going. It's not a lot, but we want to make sure we're supporting the right things. We've already sold off 3 companies that have a reckless disregard for the environment which is something that is personally important to us. Clean, renewable energy is another hot button for us so we're currently finding ways to put money into a company or two that is working in that direction.
Think about the things that are important to you? Are there places to put your money that will also take that money away from the companies that are harmful to your values? Perhaps now is the time. And if a few of us becomes a significant number, those ideas that are important have a chance to succeed and flourish.
Besides, manifesting world stability, I think, is a worthy goal.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Friday, September 5, 2008
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
She asked me what religion I am and I told her that, even though I grew up Roman Catholic, I consider myself more spiritual and also reaching out and learning more about the life I can lead on a spiritual level. She told me that I earned her respect with that because if I said I was Christian, she would hold it against me. I thought that was an odd thing to say, but further explained that my understanding of the Universe is that there is one God, Great Spirit, Universe and that there have been great teachers that have had insight with which they shared with the world. I follow the teachings of Christ which, by definition, makes me Christian, but does not limit me there.
Her point was that I should consider myself a Deist, a person that believes in a supreme power, but does not intervene in it's normal function. And that's where we both agree and differ. I do believe God can intervene because God is also the Universe and the Universe is God. By utilizing the Law of Attraction, for example, we are calling upon the Universe to intervene on our behalf in big and small ways. But she is also right in that I believe that most holy books are written by people and contain man's flawed view and are not the works of God whispering the text into a writer's ear.
We talked about the Bible and how it is a book of stories to teach us how to behave, not literal interpretations of events. For example, Genesis says the world was created in 6 days. But in the relative time of God, what does that mean? How long is a day to God? Is a day enough time to evolve life on the planet to where it is now? Just because our perception is billions of years, what does that mean to the Supreme Being? And what is time, but a human construct anyway. Evolution and intelligent design can co-exist if you don't look at things so literally.
We've tabled our discussion the subject for now, but earning my daughter's respect on this subject gives me something to increase my feelings of gratitude. And that's a good thing.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
The mind. An onrushing stream of dialog leading from one thought to another in an effort to get you to identify with the ego, instead of your true inner self. How many of us have quoted Rene Decartes', "I think therefore I am."
How wrong we are.
According to the teachings of "A New Earth" and "The Power of Now," Eckhart Tolle says that the most common roadblock to becoming your true self and understanding your true standing within the nature of the universe, is that incessant chatter that kicks around in your brain without a break. If you could give your ego human characteristics, would you say that your ego is afraid of being exposed as a fraud.
But how many rocks are you throwing into the mind-stream? How many times are you focusing yourself on the present moment and interrupting the babbling brook of ego? Have you thought about how you can come into the now so intensely that you feel the joy of your own consciousness?
Tolle gives us exercises to quiet the thoughts that don't seem to want to shut up. One of the most basic and one that you can do nearly anywhere is to spend some time focusing on your breath. Since the mind cannot intensely concentrate on two things at the same time, focus on the inhalation and exhalation of your breath. The chatterbox monologue will fall away and you can experience the pureness of being. If this is not something that you've done before, you will notice the stillness and quiet power of being. There is joy there as you move away from mind identification and become your true consciousness.
It is important to say that you experience your consciousness because this is not an exercise in passivity. No part of this exercise involves being unconscious. Even more so, when you are focused on the present moment, you are hyper alert. Being in the now will open you up to more possibilities than you may have previously known possible. When we're lost in our minds, we are conditioned to react by what we've experienced in our past. By being present, creativity, joy and beauty can be seen and experienced in a true way.
So keep throwing those rocks in the stream.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Talk radio in
I’ve been listening to various shows over the last few weeks and the negativity being spewed has been more and more strident because they are competing against something that they don’t understand: hope.
This is not, and will never be, a political blog. However, ever since Barack Obama became the presumptive (their word) Democratic candidate for President, the fear mongers are now afraid for the preservation of their egos.
Obama is on the stump, telling people to have hope. He’s telling people that a positive thought process is a way out of the mess that our current ego-centric political leaders have gotten us into. Is Obama the perfect candidate? Absolutely not. He has shown a tendency to react from his ego and not his true consciousness when he is attacked, particularly on a personal level.
But what Obama represents is someone who may understand that the politics of the ego have taken America down the path to a war with a country that did not attack us, a banking scandal that was fueled by the greed of a few unscrupulous CEOs and 4 dollar gasoline from an administration that has an energy policy that they’ve kept hidden from the public.
Meanwhile, the talking heads have been trying to convince the public that Obama is a Muslim (he’s not, but who cares if he is), is soft on the war (remember, Iraq didn’t attack us) and is that one epithet they love to throw around: a liberal (backing policies that are designed to help people).
Decide for yourself, of course, based on your own enlightened consciousness. I’ve voted on those radio shows by using the off button.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
But it occurs to me that what those people are doing is in direct contradiction to what I understand to be the present moment and to what Immanuel Kant said about time. The shorthand of it is that time is not an event or thing and therefore cannot be measured. Eckhart Tolle describes it as the past and the future being egoic structures, and the only moment is the present moment. The ego creates the mental imagination for us to believe that there is past and future.
Difficult to wrap your head around? Same here. Then I recently saw a rerun of Star Trek: Deep Space 9 in which mystical beings called "The Prophets" (yeah, I know - how ironic is that) capture and speak to the main character and quiz him about the human experience with linear time. That is, how events happen one right after another in the human perception because they, The Prophets, don't experience life like that. They were as confused about our version of time as we are of the concept the only involves the present moment.
Since our ego constructs linear time, is it, then, our ego that keeps us from seeing anything else as a means of self preservation? That's a question for the scientists. Did Kant understand the power of the present moment? Can that be where his theory of time developed? And if so, can we think of him, not only as a scientist but as a spiritual figure? Can science also be considered spiritual? If the pursuit of scientific knowledge is to explain things, can those discoveries bring us closer to the universal truth and consciousness?
I am filled with questions as I seek the answers.
Friday, July 18, 2008
George Clinton is the outer-space crazy funk creator who leads the bands Parliament and Funkadelic as well as his own solo projects and spin offs. Clinton has put together album collections with wildly creative titles like "Funkentelechy vs. the Placebo Syndrome," "Motor Booty Affair" and "Gloryhallastoopid." The man who invented characters like Starchild, Dr. Funkenstein and Sir Nose D'Voidoffunk.
If you do a Google search, you will see George in the entertainment sense and wonder what types of street pharmaceuticals are at work. But if you study the work, certain concepts start to sound familiar. As a lifelong fan, the old P-funk albums still resonate in my brain, but now with my study of conscious spirituality, I'm starting to think that Dr. Funkenstein may have known what he was doing with the music while trying to lead people to a spiritual awakening.
For example, on "Mothership Connection," Starchild brought the "Funk" which caused our creation and is the source of our life and our energy, to the people. Could that be interpreted as the role of Buddha, Moses, Jesus or Mohammad? Aren't those figures (and many others) considered to be the the bringers of the word from God to the world? Aren't they considered great teachers and interpreters of their religious doctrine?
Okay, so that is an easy and obvious parallel to draw. How about this. On "The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein" it is revealed that the answers have always been here, but they've been locked away until man was ready. When you read "The Secret" or "A New Earth," didn't you feel like certain answers were finally being revealed to you, as if at this point in your life, you were ready for those answers? In Clinton's terms, you left the Zone of Zero Funkativity and entered Funkentelechy, or love for all mankind.
The Funkadelic album "Free Your Mind...And Your A$$ Will Follow" teaches that materialism and consumerism are the ruination of of all that is good in society. Have you ever said that to yourself when you noticed that television and radio are playing longer and longer sets of commercials? Or when you paid 10 bucks to get into a movie only to watch 15 minutes of commercials? If you have young children, do they have any clothing that is not designed to market cartoon characters or clothing labels? Gas guzzling SUV's, large houses, flaunting one's bling are all symptomatic of the issue.
And consider the Funkadelic album "Maggot Brain" which speaks of the hope for love and brotherhood; peace is the only way and war is insanity. As the album ends, it seemingly depicts an armageddon between the forces of good versus evil.
Nice to know I learned a few things about life while I was shaking it up on the dance floor.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
I was listening to a BBC report that talked about a rift in the Anglican Church over the ordination of women into ministerial positions. Due to the decentralized nature of that church, it's happening in some places already, but the old school hierarchy seems to think that, since Jesus only chose male disciples that this meant that only men could minister to the flock and they are reluctant to change that view.
I do not want to get into a disparaging argument over ones choice of worship, but I would like to put forth a couple of statements that might help the traditionalists understand why women in the ministry might not be such a bad idea after all. First and foremost, some scholars have uncovered evidence that Jesus did have female disciples. There is a school of thought that says that Mary Magdalene was one of His favored followers. The reason that we don't know this is because society at the time was very patriarchal and giving a woman that kind of status would have undermined the total male domination of society at the time. So Mary's portion of the gospels was written to play up her outcast status, rather than showing her as an apostle of Christ.
If that evidence is true, then women should have been involved in the higher workings of the burgeoning Christian Church from the very beginning and ordaining female ministers, which some sects have been doing for some time now, is long overdue.
Why is it so hard to understand that a woman can impart spiritual teachings just as effectively as a man? As the thrust of the blog asserts, we are all searching for the Great Spirit, the Universe, God, Allah, Jehovah or whatever other names are placed upon the universal presence that we all seek.
When my own conscious expansion began, it was the author of The Secret, Rhonda Byrne that sent me along my way to discover the power of the Law of Attraction. The person that turned me on to the power of the present moment was Oprah Winfrey when she made her big web production of Eckhart Tolle's teachings. I consider myself a better person for listening to these women. Maybe it's time for another traditional religious organizations to do the same?
Thursday, July 10, 2008
It didn't take all that many words, but it speaks volumes. The simplicity of the statement is in its truth. When you help other people get what they want, what you want will come to you. Does that sounds like the Golden Rule, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you?"
What about the Biblical, "You reap what you sow?"
And what is the principle of karma but the cycle of cause and effect that says if you do good things, good things happen to you.
Given what we know about the Law of Attraction, the highest vibration in the universe is the feeling of gratitude. If we take that a step further, gratitude leads to a lack of competition. Competition, while good in sports, can be a karmic killer in the real world, if you are seeking a positive result in your own life. Competition leads to the thought that your house, car or children have to be bigger, better, stronger or faster than your neighbor.
But do they really? Why wouldn't we all help each other and raise everyone's consciousness and state of being. What kind of world would we have where we all worked together to make our cars more fuel efficient or our houses kept up with repairs or all worked to have smart, healthy kids?
Somewhere inside of all of us, we know the form we currently occupy is transitional at best. When we've moved to the next plane of existence, be it heaven or some interim as yet unforeseen, will it matter that the neighbor's pool was Olympic sized where yours was really your bathtub?
Are you competing to live a better life than the next person? If so, ask yourself why.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
My spiritual journey is probably not unique, but hopefully together we will come to some insights that help everyone in their own journey to God. Or Allah. Or the Great Spirit. Or whatever name you have assigned to the Universal Consciousness.
I was born and raised Catholic and, as such, my label for such is God. However, during the course of this blog, you will see them all, and others, used interchangeably. Nearly a year ago in conversations with some Native American guests, they imparted one of the great, simple truths of our existence. No matter what path you take, we are all looking for the Great Spirit and what is the Great Spirit? The root answer is God.
Further, during my upbringing, an incredible number of answers were given in the teachings of my church. However, I was so wrapped up in my own idea of myself and how the world was built to serve me, that I couldn't see them as answers.
But recently, I have learned to separate my ego from my real essence. I have Eckhart Tolle and Oprah Winfrey to thank for that. If you only read one more book for the rest of your life, pick up A New Earth. As an Oprah Book Club selection and an Oprah.com teaching seminar, my eyes were opened to see what was already there. The daydream that my ego had me locked into went away when my true self awakened. When that happened, the world I had known changed and now I live in joy every single day.
That's the purpose for Prophet Within. Through this blog and the community I hope to set up here, we will go beyond our own narrow definitions of life and expand understanding so that everyone can unleash their Prophet Within.