The ego mind both professes its desire for love and does everything possible to repel it, or if it gets here anyway, to sabotage it. That is why dealing with issues like control, anger, and neediness is the most important work in preparing ourselves for love.
We live in a world of constant juxtaposition between joy that's possible and pain that's all too common. We hope for love and success and abundance, but we never quite forget that there is always lurking the possibility of disaster.
In the hands of the ego, marriage is a prison. It is exclusive. It is a place where people are constantly reminded of their failures and limited by the energies of another person. It is rife with judgment and blame.
Hope lies in having more faith in the power of God to heal us than in the power of anything to hurt or destroy us. In realizing that as children of God we are bigger than our problems, we have the power at last to confront them.
Relationships are eternal. The 'separation' is another chapter in the relationship. Often, letting go of the old form of the relationship becomes a lesson in pure love much deeper than any would have learned had the couple stayed together.
Enchanted partnership begins with the conscious understanding, on the part of two people, that the purpose of their relationship is not so much material as spiritual, and the internal skills demanded by it are prodigious.
The whole Obama phenomenon brings up memories from my distant past: the good-looking guy who talks real good, whose line you don't buy immediately but whose charm is so dazzling that he gradually convinces you that this time it will be different.
Whatever it is that leads human beings to hate, to destroy, and to kill has taken on a collective force like never before, as technology and globalization now give it the capacity to not just strike, but to strike us all, together, as one.
The new midlife is where you realize that even your failures make you more beautiful and are turned spiritually into success if you became a better person because of them. You became a more humble person. You became a more merciful and compassionate person.
The Project Angel Food Program's mission is to nourish the body and spirit of men, women and children affected by HIV/AIDS and other serious illness. The Project Angel Food Program delivers free and nutritious meals prepared with love. We act out of a sense of urgency because hunger and illness cannot wait.
Take stock of your thoughts and behavior. Each night ask yourself, when were you negative when you could have been positive? When did you withhold love when you might have given it? When did you play a neurotic game instead of behaving in a powerful way? Use this process to self-correct.
Priests, ministers and rabbis are asking where the children are going. Slowly but surely, they're seeing that people are hungry for something beyond the doctrine. It isn't that they don't want religious truth. But they want the mystical core, the heart of the religious truth.
Americans are good with to-do lists; just tell us what to do, and we'll do it. Throughout our history, we have proven that. Colonize. Check. Win our independence. Check. Form a union. Check. Expand to the Pacific. Check. Settle the West. Check. Keep the Union together. Check. Industrialize. Check. Fight the Nazis. Check.
Viewing Israelis and Palestinians from a psychological perspective, they would both be seen as victims of abuse; that is how they both understandably feel, and it's how they both understandably behave. The Jewish psyche is in victimized reaction to the Holocaust, and the Palestinian psyche is in victimized reaction to the Israelis.
Trying to suppress or eradicate symptoms on the physical level can be extremely important, but there's more to healing than that; dealing with psychological, emotional and spiritual issues involved in treating sickness is equally important.
The entire political system is contrary to everything a feminine heart stands for. It lacks inclusion. It lacks tenderness toward children. It lacks honor for relationships. It lacks reverence for the earth. It lacks love. And without those things, the feminine psyche disconnects.
One day I looked at something in myself that I had been avoiding because it was too painful. Yet once I did, I had an unexpected surprise. Rather than self-hatred, I was flooded with compassion for myself because I realized the pain necessary to develop that coping mechanism to begin with.
Jesus is a personal symbol of the Holy Spirit. Having been totally healed by the Holy Spirit, Jesus became one with him. Every thought, action, and deed of Jesus was guided by the Holy Spirit instead of ego.
The 'Course in Miracles' says one day you will realize that death is not the punishment but the reward. And it says that birth is not the beginning of life but a continuation. And physical death is not the end of life but a continuation.
In 2004, Kucinich was the only presidential candidate who warned that a war in Iraq would be completely disastrous. I remember how mocked he was when he predicted hand-to-hand combat in Baghdad. I remember Candy Crowley, and other reporters as well, treating his views on the impending war as ridiculous, out there, almost insane.
You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure about you. We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us.
As we become purer channels for God's light, we develop an appetite for the sweetness that is possible in this world. A miracle worker is not geared toward fighting the world that is, but toward creating the world that could be.
I think the heartbreak of September 11 - America's grief not only over the loss of life but also the loss of our own innocence - has expanded us as people because it has tenderized our hearts. On a psychological level, the American people have matured as a result of that awful day.
In every advanced mammalian species that survives and thrives, a common anthropological characteristic is the fierce behavior of the adult female of the species when she senses a threat to her cubs. The lioness, the tigress and the mama bear are all examples.
We Liberals like to think our thoughts aren't controlled. We pride ourselves on our independent thinking. We know we shouldn't believe everything we read. We realize the media is skewed, we know it's owned by a small group of people, we realize it's biased, etc.
Certainly there is such a thing as chemical depression, and for that, obviously, there are issues that psychotherapists are much more expert at speaking to, but I think there is a low-grade depression that actually prevails in our society. And most of us feel it.
The Law of Divine Compensation posits that this is a self-organizing and self-correcting universe: the embryo becomes a baby, the bud becomes a blossom, the acorn becomes an oak tree. Clearly, there is some invisible force that is moving every aspect of reality to its next best expression.
In the name of feminism, we denied some essential aspects of our authentic selves. While feminism should have been nothing if not a celebration of our own unique characteristics, we insisted that we had no unique characteristics... that gender differences were hogwash, and a feminine woman was nothing more than a plaything for men.
Presidential campaigns are exhausting. Once they're over, we all heave a sigh of relief that we have our lives back, the constant emails and news reports no longer harangue us, and the topic even turns at times to something else entirely.
The mortal mind alone cannot devise an answer to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, because the true answer lies on a level of consciousness that's beyond our mortal thinking. Quite simply, when it comes to Israel and the Palestinians, we need a miracle.
I remember I was walking through a store, and I saw clothes a 25-year-old would wear. And the conversation in my head was, 'I'm not young and fabulous anymore.' But, immediately, there was a voice that said, 'No, you can be older and fabulous.' In other words, still just as fabulous, but in a different way.
Old Newtonian physics claimed that things have an objective reality separate from our perception of them. Quantum physics, and particularly Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, reveal that, as our perception of an object changes, the object itself literally changes.
When my sister was diagnosed with cancer in 1989, her doctor told her that the cancer had probably been in her system for 10 years. By the time cancer's diagnosed, it's usually been around for quite a while.
When I was just writing books and giving lectures, if people disagreed, they just didn't buy your book or attend your lectures. But, if you're leading a congregation, people feel they have the right to tell you what you should or shouldn't talk about. And that hasn't always been easy for me.
We need to shift from an economic organizing principle for human civilization, to a humanitarian organizing principle. Making money more important than your own children is a pathological way for an individual to run their affairs, and it's a pathological way for a society to run its affairs.
Some men know that a light touch of the tongue, running from a woman's toes to her ears, lingering in the softest way possible in various places in between, given often enough and sincerely enough, would add immeasurably to world peace.
The fact that people in Hollywood are open to what I teach is not because they're more desperate than anyone else, but because they're more touched by it. That's not their weakness. It's their strength!
Dear God, I surrender this relationship to you," means, "Dear God, let me see this person through your eyes." In accepting the Atonement, we are asking to see as God sees, think as God thinks, love as God loves. We are asking for help in seeing someone's innocence.
We're just afraid, period. Our fear is free-floating. We're afraid this isn't the right relationship or we're afraid it is. We're afraid they won't like us or we're afraid they will. We're afraid of failure or we're afraid of success. We're afraid of dying young or we're afraid of growing old. We're more afraid of life than we are of death.
Governments move armies, but only individuals can move hearts. And with every act of love that emanates from any of us, we are activating miracles, adding to a spiritual ocean that in time will purify our planet of all vestiges of fear. Love alone can triumph over hate, and if we give it the chance, it will.
Something amazing happens when we surrender and just love. We melt into another world, a realm of power already within us. The world changes when we change. the world softens when we soften. The world loves us when we choose to love the world.
Every aspect of life is pre-programmed to rise to its highest creative possibility. We don't have to make that happen, but we have to allow it to happen. And that itself is the struggle of life: resisting the resistant mind.
There is a collective force rising up on the earth today, an energy of the reborn feminine... This is a time of monumental shift, from the male dominance of human consciousness back to a balanced relationship between masculine and feminine.
...you're on this earth with a divine purpose: to rise to the level of your highest creative possibility, expressing all that you are intellectually, emotionally, psychologically, and physically in order to make the universe a more beautiful place.
For many people, God is a frightening idea. Asking God for help doesn't seem very comforting if we think of Him as something outside ourselves, or capricious, or judgmental. But God is love and He dwells within us. We are created in His image, or mind, which means that we are extensions of His love, or Sons and Daughters of God.
We're often afraid to do anything unless we know we can do it extremely well. But we get to Carnegie Hall by practicing. I remember how freeing it was several years ago to read in an interview with Joan Baez that some of Bob Dylan's early songs weren't so wonderful. We have this image of genius springing fully grown out of Zeus' forehead.
God created the law of free will, and God created the law of cause and effect. And he himself will not violate the law. We need to be thinking less in terms of what God did and more in terms of whether or not we are following those laws.
As far as nonviolence and Spiritual Activism, Marshall Rosenberg is it! Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life, is essential reading for anyone who wants to improve their communication skills. Applying the concepts within the book will help guide the reader towards a more loving, compassionate, and nonviolent way of understanding and functioning with others, and foster more compassion in the world. I highly recommend this book.
The wisdom that comes from having experienced heartbreak cannot be bequeathed; it can only be gained through experience. And having truly felt it, we are far more likely to have compassion for others. Anything that takes us close to true compassion takes us closer to what will one day be an experience of even greater joy.
Truth will always reassert itself, given a symbolic three days. Three days represents the time it takes between the crucifixion and the resurrection, between an open-hearted response to hurt and the experience of rebirth that will always follow.
Dear God, May all the tears I cry, and all the tears I have not cried but hold within, pour forth into Your hands. Please take each painful thought and unhealed wound, and send angels here to me. I long for peace. Amen.
How tragic it is that so often we stop everything just as we reach the starting line. We must move past the narcissistic preoccupation with getting the love we think 'works' for us. The point of love is to make us grow, not to make us immediately happy. Many of us have forsworn the chance for the deepest love in reaching out for the easier one.
To the extent we are perceiving anyone's guilt -choosing to focus on the errors of their personality rather than the eternal innocence of their spirit - we're closing our hearts, deflecting a miracle and causing our own inevitable suffering.
Embryos turn into babies; buds turn into blossoms; acorns turn into oak trees. The same programming that exists in them exists in each of us - to manifest our highest potential. What is the difference between those things and us? That we can say no...So today, say yes.
There are other kinds of emotional pain that emerge from our own mistaken thinking. As we surrender that pain, we are inviting into our thought system a guide who will lead us to different thoughts. It's like the song "Amazing Grace": I was blind and now I see.
We were born with a natural tendency to focus on love. Our imaginations were creative and flourishing, and we knew how to use them. We were connected to a richer world, a world full of enchantment and a sense of the miraculous. What happened?
The universe is a multi-dimension al creative process, constantly forming new facets of possibility for you and all living things. Expanding our awareness of the process, we allow ourselves to experience more of it. Every moment we can remember that ANYTHING is possible in a realm of endless possibility.
What's difficult in life is to stay centered when somebody does or says something that tempts us to close our hearts because their heart was closed. That is hard. But that is also how we grow. We go through those circumstances in order to evolve into people who can hold to our loving center no matter what the world throws us.
Even a happy life has a sad day. We fail to provide a context which says it's okay to cry, it's okay to be sad. So I think making the space for suffering is so important and making space for this expression of feelings in community.
Think of your career as your ministry. Make your work an expression of love, in service to mankind. Within the worldly illusion, we all have different jobs. Some of us are artists, some of us are business people, some of us are scientists. But in the real world that lies beyond all this, we all have the same job: to minister to human hearts.
Forgiving ourselves for all the woulda-shoulda-couldas in life, and sometimes forgiving others for actions that we feel undercut or undermine our good, can be very challenging. But forgiveness of the past and mistakes, our own mistakes as well as the mistakes of others, is imperative if we are to dwell fully in the present and experience the miracles that are only available to the forgiving and loving mind.
Our religious institutions have far too often become handmaidens of the status quo, while the genuine religious experience is anything but that. True religion is by nature disruptive of what has been, giving birth to the eternally new.
Forgiveness is the choice to see people as they are now. When we're mad at people, we're angry because of something they said or did before this moment. By letting go of the past, we make room for miracles to replace our grievances.
The love within us is meant to extend outward. The closer we grow to our inner light, we feel a natural urge to share it. We all long for meaningful work, some creative endeavor that will be our ministry, by which the energies within us might flow out to help heal the world.
Once you see that everything in life is a gift, you see that food is also a gift. If you are about to eat chemically processed, unhealthy food, you realize that to do so is, on a certain level, an act of violence against yourself.
Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we learn. The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear and prejudices and the acceptance of love back in our hearts. Love is the essential reality and our purpose on earth.
In the century now dawning, spirituality, visionary consciousness, and the ability to build and mend human relationships will be more important for the fate and safety of this nation than our capacity to forcefully subdue an enemy. Creating the world we want is a much more subtle but more powerful mode of operation than destroying the one we don't want.
We have great power to affect the attitudes and behavior of the people around us, at work and at home. We have the power to set a tone of honor, to create an energy around ourselves that says, 'I respect myself. I respect you. Let's respect each other.'
Happiness is the choice I make today. It does not rest on my circumstances, but on my frame of mind...In cultivating the habits of happiness, I attract the people and situations that match its frequency. I smile more often, give praise more often, give thanks more often, and am glad more often. For such is my choice today.
If we only identify with the mortal world, then we identify with a level of scarcity and lack and brokenness, and that will be our experience. But if we shift our experience of self-identification - and this is what enlightenment is - from the body-self to the spiritual-self, then we place ourselves under an entirely different set of possibilities and probabilities.
While overeating would be seen by some as an indulgence of self, it is in fact a profound rejection of self. It is a moment of self-betrayal and self-punishment, and anything but a commitment to one's own well-being.
From a mind filled with infinite love comes the power to create infinite possibilities. We have the power to think in ways that reflect and attract all the love in the world. Such thinking is called enlightenment. Enlightenment is not a process we work toward, but a choice available to us in any instant.
Focus on guilt will always breed fear, and focus on innocence will always breed love. Any time we project guilt onto someone else, we are fortifying the experience of guilt within ourselves. Like blood on Lady MacBeth's hands, we cannot remove our own guilty feelings as long as we are judging others.
Rather than accepting that we are the loving beings that He created, we have arrogantly thought that we could create ourselves, and then create God. Because we are angry and judgmental, we have projected those characteristics onto Him. We have made up a God in our image. But God remains who He is and always has been: the energy, the thought of unconditional love.
Love is to fear as light is to dark; in the presence of one, the other cannot exist. So wherever there is a place of fear in your life, think of one thing - even if it's just a thought you can think-where you can generate love to cast out the fear.
Usually we try to figure out what we think would make us happy, and then try to make those things happen. But happiness isn't circumstance-de pendent. There are people who have every reason in the world to be happy who aren't. There are people with genuine problems who are. The key to happiness is the decision to be happy.
Everything we do is infused with the energy with which we do it. If we're frantic, life will be frantic. If we're peaceful, life will be peaceful. And so our goal in any situation becomes inner peace.
Love is the essential reality and our purpose on earth. To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life. Meaning does not lie in things. Meaning lies in us.
When we stay close to the wisdom of our knowing, seeking solutions to our problems in the sanctuary of the heart and not in the vanity of the mind, then we can pretty much trust in the unfolding, mysterious wisdom of life.
Imagine any problem you have to be a huge, locked door standing in front of you. Now see yourself taking a golden key out of your pocket. You brought the key here with you when you arrived on this planet, but you sometimes forget to use it. See yourself putting it into the keyhole, then watch the door swing open. On the key are inscribed these words, "Unconditional Love."
When you meet anyone, remember it is a holy encounter. As you see him, you will see yourself. As you treat him, you will treat yourself. As you think of him, you will think of yourself. Never forget this, for in him you will find yourself or lose yourself.
The enlightened world will be one in which everyone is in love with everyone all the time. We will see each other as God created us: as the perfect, loving, and lovable people we really are. The purpose of romantic love is to jump-start our enlightenment.
To appeal to God is to appeal to the action of universal love. Love never fails to come when we call to it, but it will always seem to fail us when our bidding is self-centered. The most powerful prayers are simply for God's will to be done, because God's will is healing for all living things.
Whatever we focus on is bound to expand. Where we see the negative, we call forth more negative. And where we see the positive, we call forth more positive. Having loved and lost, I now love more passionately. Having won and lost, I now win more soberly. Having tasted the bitter, I now savor the sweet.
The universe is an infinite opportunity creation machine. In every instant, the possibility of greater possibility is programmed into the nature of things. Love creates the conduit through which new possibility enters our experience, and lovelessness keeps it at bay.
Within the miraculous brew of universal creativity , all you desire already exists. Spend five minutes each morning with your eyes closed, living in that dimension. Allow images to unfold without censor. Feel yourself living the most magnificent life -- a life of joy, creativity and love -- as you grow inwardly into the person you need to be in order to manifest it effortlessly.
Until we see love as the meaning of life, life seems to have no meaning at all. The sense of meaninglessness produces chaos, and the chaos produces fear. There is only one way out of this, and that is to see every moment and every situation as an invitation to love.
When love isn't in our lives, it's on the way. If you know that a special guest is coming at five o'clock, do you spend the day messing up the home? Of course not. You prepare. And that is what we should do for love.
Miracle workers learn to keep their own counsel. Something that's important to know about spiritual wisdom is that, when spoken at the wrong time, in the wrong place, or to the wrong person, the one who speaks sounds more like a fool than a wise one.
There's a collective knowing that a dimension of reality exists beyond the material plane, and that sense of knowing is causing a mystical resurgence on the planet today. It's not just children who are looking for a missing piece. It is a very mature outlook to question the nature of our reality.
There are no different categories of love. There isn't one kind of love between a mother and child, another between lovers, and another between friends. The love that is real is the love that lies at the heart of all relationships. That is the love of God and it doesn't change with form or circumstance.
Looking for Mr. Right leads to desperation, because there is no Mr. Right. There is no Mr. Right, because there is no Mr. Wrong. There is whoever is in front of us and the perfect lessons to be learned from that person.
Change is in the air, as old patterns fall away and new energies are emerging. Consciously release what needs to be released, and welcome with a full embrace the newness you've prayed for and so richly deserve.
The field of quantum possibility, in which love has opened doors otherwise unimaginable, is our soul's true habitat. The world of fear and limitation is not our home, and who among us is not profoundly weary of hanging out where we do not belong.
The Department of Peace would take a more human approach to healing our society, looking not merely for ways we can destroy an enemy, but for more powerful ways to create new friends. While the State Department engages in international diplomacy, there is no domestic parallel. There is no department seeking to harness the power of a nonviolent heart.
There is no such thing as a faithless person; we either have faith in the power of love, or faith in the power of fear. For faith is an aspect of consciousness. Have faith in love, and fear will lose its power over you. Have faith in forgiveness, and your self-hatred will fall away. Have faith in miracles, and they will come to you.
As long as you identify with the universe - which is perfect and can correct material conditions to bring them back into alignment with that Divine perfection - as long as that is where your mind is aligned, it's as though there were two parallel universes. You decide with every thought you think which one you're going to inhabit. Two parallel universes of experience, as it were.
We cannot give what we do not have: We cannot bring peace to the world if we ourselves are not peaceful. We cannot bring love to the world if we ourselves are not loving. Our true gift to ourselves and others lies not in what we have but in who we are.
While it is tempting to believe that you are the victim of certain people or forces beyond your control, A Course in Miracles teaches you to recognize that you are not a victim. Through the grace of God, you are lifted above and beyond any forces-internal or external-that threaten to limit you. Knowing you're not a victim is a major form of personal empowerment.
The implication was that if you had any skepticism whatsoever, you were anti-science. I think there's a difference between having skepticism about science and having skepticism about the pharmaceutical industry.
Love floods our nervous system with positive energy, making us far more attractive to prospective employers, clients, and creative partners... Love leads us to act with impeccability, integrity, and excellence... Those things are the opposite of a poverty consciousness; they're the stuff of spiritual wealth creation.
There are clearly times when quieting down and bringing our energy back into ourselves is a step toward inner peace. Yet the most powerful life is not one in which we bring ourselves back to our center when we have spun away from it, but rather one in which we seek to live from that center at all times.
In every moment we make a decision -- whether conscious or unconscious. Will I choose to open my heart, send love, withhold judgment and thus free myself from fear? Or will I close my heart, project fear instead of extending love, judge others, and thus bind myself to fear? The choice is mine and mine alone.
Atoms are driven by consciousness. In proximity to love, they move in harmonious collaboration with other atoms. When in proximity to fear, they become disharmonious and chaotic. We choose each moment the energy that surrounds us.
A queen is wise. She has earned her serenity, not having had it bestowed on her but having passer her tests. She has suffered and grown more beautiful because of it. She has proved she can hold her kingdom together. She has become its vision. She cares deeply about something bigger than herself. She rules with authentic power.
You may believe that you are responsible for what you do, but not for what you think. The truth is that you are responsible for what you think, because it is only at this level that you can exercise choice. What you do comes from what you think.
Our kingdom is our life, and our life is our kingdom. We are all meant to rule from a glorious place. When God is on the throne, then so are we. When God is in exile, our lands are at war and our kingdoms are in chaos.
We can't look to the world to restore our worth; we're here to restore our worth to the world. The world outside us can reflect our glory, but it cannot create it. It cannot crown us. Only God can crown us, and he already has.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?
The highest prize we can receive for creative work is the joy of being creative. Creative effort spent for any other reason than the joy of being in that light filled space, love, god, whatever we want to call it, is lacking in integrity. . .
Just like a sunbeam can't separate itself from the sun, and a wave can't separate itself from the ocean, we can't separate ourselves from one another. We are all part of a vast sea of love, one indivisible divine mind.
There is no they, only us. We are part of a large fellowship called the human race. We all hurt the same. We all love the same. We all bleed the same. We all need understanding and care. We can't separate ourselves from one another. We are all part of the same vast sea of love, one indivisible divine mind.
You playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightening about shrinking so others won't feel insecure around you. As you let your own light shine, you indirectly give others permission to do the same.
There is a perverse comfort zone to living a small life. For women, that zone has to do with the fact that we're less likely to be challenged, we're less likely to be criticized, we're less likely to be called angry or strident, if we simply go along and acquiesce to the prevailing patterns of thought and behavior.
The spiritual journey, the path of recovery and personal growth, is a detoxification process in which we bring up and out the negative beliefs we have carried with us from the past and that now poison the present.
Often on a journey of spiritual transformation, that is ultimately what heals the pain: the veil is removed from in front of our own eyes and we see where we had been thinking thoughts that would inevitably lead to pain. Until we change those thoughts, the pain will remain.
Until we have met the monsters in ourselves, we keep trying to slay them in the outer world. And we find that we cannot. For all darkness in the world stems from darkness in the heart. And it is there that we must do our work.
Our problem isn't that the universe isn't on our side; the problem is that too many of us numb these days, not awake to the game, or to the power of the universe that flows through our psychic veins. Some of us need to stop whining. It's not like we're the first generation who faced serious challenges. But others rose to the occasion, and we need to too.
The primary social contract between the people of the United States and their government - quaint though it might seem to even mention it at this point - is that ours is to be a government 'of the people, by the people, for the people.'
Spiritual Work is not easy. It means the willingness to surrender feelings that seem, while we're in them, like our defense against a greater pain. It means that we surrender to God our perceptions of all things.
I've known Dennis Kucinich for a long time, and I don't think I have illusions about him. Sometimes I find him pompous, male chauvinistic, intellectually unbending. But he is a good man, and a serious one.
When we do align with it, we thrive. And when we do not, we suffer. This is not "punishment." It is merely the Law of Cause and Effect. With each thought we think, we either align with universal love, or we disconnect ourselves from it. Whichever is our choice determines whether we then feel connected to, or disconnected, from our own true Selves.
In our society, as people pass out of young adulthood, they tend to relate to themselves more in terms of what they are no longer than what they are now, and that's psychologically low-grade devastating.
I read an article somewhere that stated 1 in 4 American women will be considered clinically depressed in their lifetime. This should be more than a gold mine for pharmaceutical companies - it should be a wake-up call.
Whether the Sikhs want to worship in Wisconsin or the Christians want to worship in Texas or the Jews want to worship in New York, we're living under the magnificent umbrella of a Constitution that says we can.
The speed of change today is faster than the human psyche seems able to handle, and it's increasingly difficult to reconcile the rhythms of our personal lives with the rapidity of a twenty-four-hour news cycle.
There's a certain je ne sais quoi that Americans have in spades - a we-can-do-anything spirit that makes so many things possible for all of us. We're rugged individualists, aspirational in nature, and we like to think for ourselves.
Ironically, it is when we identify with our spirits rather than our bodies that we are most powerful on the material plane. Our overidentification with the world does not give us power within the world so much as it diminishes our power here. It makes us frightened and nervous and full of anxiety.
The point of Jesus' existence wasn't to lessen or diminish our appreciation of each other, but to expand our appreciation of each other by reminding us what lies within all of us, because Jesus was an example of the pinnacle of human evolution.
An educated child earns more later in life, knows how to keep their own children from dying, produces more food, is less likely to get AIDS, and in the case of boys, is less likely to engage in armed civil conflict.
I believe that hunger for a 'lost dimension' of experience is a natural yearning in all of us, and it doesn't go away just because we ignore it. It is evidenced among other places in the millions of children and adults who obsessively read the 'Harry Potter' books. It is said that fiction is where someone gets to tell the truth.
People are starting to wake up to the fact that a media/political party-complex basically decide our candidate, then create the illusion for the rest of us that in fact we're the ones who did the deciding.
17,000 children starve on this planet every single day. That fact alone should blow any conscious person out of their chair. You know, my mother used to say that a woman's most important job is taking care of her children and her home. I laughed at that when I was younger, but I don't laugh at it anymore. I just realize that every child on the planet is one of our children, and the earth itself is our home.
A certain desperation is usually necessary before we're ready for God... Until your knees finally hit the floor, you're just playing at life, and on some level you're scared because you know you're just playing. The moment of surrender is not when life is over. It's when it begins
A failure remains a failure only if we refuse to learn from it. Any situation that teaches us greater humility, sobriety, wisdom about self and others, responsibility, forgiveness, depth of reflection, and better decision making -\-\teaching us what's truly important-\-\is not an ultimate failure. Sometimes what we deem a failure at the time it happens actually serves to foster a change within us that creates an even greater success down the road.
A healthy, vital society is not one in which we all agree. It is one in which those who disagree can do so with honor and respect for other people's opinions... and an appreciation of our shared humanity.
A level of anxiety and tension and outright fear that so many people have felt, not only during the recession but during this slow economic recovery since. This made me very much want to up the conversation about how miracle-minded thinking applies to that area of life.
A lot of us simply disengaged from politics altogether, but then we woke up and went wow, wait a minute. Why does that insane conversation get to dominate? Who made those people the creators of the conversation? And how can we start a new one?
A primary goal of the spiritual life is to learn to quiet the mind through prayer and meditation, through spiritual practice, so that we can hear what in both Judaism and Christianity, is called the small, still voice within.
A relationship is more of an assignment than a choice. We can walk away from the assignment, but we cannot walk away from the lessons it presents. We stay with a relationship until a lesson is learned, or we simply learn it another way.
A relationship is not meant to be the joining at the hip of two emotional invalids. The purpose of a relationship is not for two incomplete people to become one, but rather, for two complete people to join together for the greater glory of God.
Allowing the pain of personal growth to be a crucible of your spirit-the alchemical grail through which the metal of your former self turns into gold-is one of the highest callings of life. Pain can burn you up and destroy you, or burn you up and redeem you. It can deliver you to an entrenched despair, or deliver you to your higher self. At midlife we decide, consciously or unconsciously, the path of the victim or the path of the phoenix when it is rising up at last.
Angels light the way. Angels do not begrudge anyone anything, angels do not tear down, angels do not compete, angels do not constrict their hearts, angels do not fear. That's why they sing and that's how they fly. We, of course, are only angels in disguise.
As difficult as it can be to find genuine inner calm, it is the key to creating peace in the world as we know it. The world will not change until we do, and there is nothing the world can deliver to us that will give us the peace we crave. Peace comes not from the world, but from God.
As long as we remain vigilant at building our internal abundance"an abundance of integrity, an abundance of forgiveness, an abundance of service, an abundance of love"then external lack is bound to be temporary.
By softening our attitudes, practicing mercy and compassion, we transform our lives by transforming other people's experience of us. Send love before you when you enter a room, and people will subconsciously feel it; they'll be prone to show greater kindness in return. That's how love makes things work better in our lives; it realigns the reactions of people and things around us.
Calling something "new age" is one of the media's biggest canons. If you're called "new age," you couldn't possibly be serious, you couldn't possibly have anything deep to say, and you probably hang out in California too much - and we know that no one in California reads books or has any serious thoughts!
Chaos often fosters the greatest creativity. Breakdowns often precede the greatest breakthroughs. And when the pain is greatest is often when we're on the brink of the greatest realization.....When the pain is burned through rather than numbed, when our darkness is brought to light and then forgiven, then and only then can we move on. And move on we do.
Children are happy because they don't yet have a file in their minds called "All the Things That Could Go Wrong." They don't have a mind-set that puts "Things to Fear" before "Things to Love." Unless we can be like little children, we can't enter into the kingdom of heaven; unless we can be like little children, we can't be happy. Children are happy because they don't have all the facts yet.
Claim the possibility of a miraculous shift toward global transformation, allow the thought to move through you like a wave of energy, then emerge ready for the task of doing your part to make it happen.
Clearly, there is some invisible force that is moving every aspect of reality to its next best expression. And the universe is not only self-organizing, it is also self-correcting. The embryo becomes a baby; the baby is born; its lungs continue to breathe - not only were they created but then they continue to breathe. The heart is not only created but it continues to breathe. If there is injury and disease that becomes present within the body, the body is also equipped with an immune system to correct that.
Dear God, Please teach me to forgive myself and others. Remove the walls that keep love out, behind which I am a prisoner. Heal my guilt and remove my anger, that I might be reborn. Make gentle my heart and strong my spirit and show me how to love. Please show me how to honor myself. Please teach me how to listen to myself. "Please program my mind to know itself, that I might at last be free. Teach me to appreciate your spirit that lives within me. Show me how to be good to myself, that I might know more fully the goodness of life. Amen
Each of us is born with an internal navigational system. The thinking of the world has a way of switching the system off, but we can always turn it on again through prayer, meditation and forgiveness. Doing this puts us back on track in our lives, making us wise, convicted and powerful.
Enlightenment doesn't mean we were never wounded; it means we've found a way to evolve beyond our wounds. Enlightenment isn't idealistic; it's practical. What's idealistic is thinking we can live from our wounds, stay in our weakness, and ever transform the world.
Enter any moment devoid of agenda, with an absence of posturing, and with your only intention being to send love to everyone you meet or even think of... Happiness, miracles and inner peace will follow.
Every relationship either gives energy to us or withholds energy from us, according to what we give to or withhold from it. And it's not only our behavior toward others, but our very thoughts about them, that builds and/ or destroys relationships.
Every time we focus on someone else's darkness, we are blocking our own view of the light. We think the person we are involved with has attacked us or has withheld love from us, when they really haven't. We focus on their guilt instead of their innocence. Frequently people are just being themselves and we start projecting our own childhood dramas onto them, pushing away the very love we want so much.
Every time we're about to criticize someone for what we think they did wrong, let's first remember to thank them for the things they did right. And to mean it; to sincerely affirm them. Then, if there's still a problem that needs to be shared, it will come from a completely different energy -- and actually be heard!
Faith is believing that the universe is on our side, and that the universe knows what it's doing. Faith is a psychological awareness of an unfolding force for good, constantly at work in all dimensions. Our attempts to direct this force only interferes with it. Our willingness to relax into it allows it to work on our behalf.
First there was the word. A Course in Miracles says that prayer is the "medium of miracles." It's the realm of thought where we are aligned with the thought of God and therefore in a co- creative mode. It's where we surrender our minds to His mind and become empowered.
Forgiveness does not mean that we suppress anger; forgiveness means that we have asked for a miracle: the ability to see through mistakes that someone has made to the truth that lies in all of our hearts. Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness. Attack thoughts towards others are attack thoughts towards ourselves. The first step in forgiveness is the willingness to forgive.
Forgiveness is a selective remembering. It is a conscious choice to focus on someone's innocence instead of his or her mistakes...This serves *you*...Your body was not created to bear the burden of your overattachment to it, but was created as a container for the light of your spirit. It will more easily remember how to function perfectly when you remember the perfection in everyone.
Forgiveness is key to enchanted love because it is key to living right, period. It is the capacity to see beyond the veil of personality and worldly illusions. No one is perfect or attractive every day. Forgiveness means we are capable of relating to someone on a deeper level than the ordinary self. And that we are committed to doing so no matter what the appearances are, no matter what the situation is.
Forgiveness is like the martial arts of consciousness. In Aikido and, other martial arts, we sidestep our attackers force rather than resisting it. The energy of the attack then boomerangs back in the direction of the attacker. Our power lies in remaining nonreactive. Forgiveness works in the same way. When we attack back, and defense is a form of attack, we initiate a war that no one can win.
From a pure metaphysical perspective, there is no world outside ourselves. So, at the deepest level, the state of the planet is more a reflection of the consciousness of mankind than the consciousness of mankind is a reflection of world events.
Fuzzy thinking is, after all, just one step above not thinking at all. But to take the ideas of serious transformational thinkers and philosophers and throw the "new age" label at them is also abhorrent.
Genuine transcendence doesn't just look away from human suffering and say, "I am at peace, so I'm at the mountaintop." Genuine transcendence looks human suffering in the eye and attains peace because of a faith in things unseen.
Go forth in confidence and go forth in peace. For there are angels to your left and angels to your right; angels in front of you and angels behind you; angels above you and angels below. You are loved, and you are not alone...
God isn't separate from us, because He's the love inside our minds. Every problem, inside and out, is due to a separation from love on someone's part. Thirty-five thousand people a day die of hunger on earth, and there's no dearth of food. The question is not 'what kind of God would let children starve?' but rather, 'What kind of people let children starve?'
God picks you up. You don't pick yourself up. You're the one who knocked you down or even if somebody else knocked you down, your willingness to believe that what they said had value, was your conspiring with them, with their effort to knock you down - I've never been able to get myself up and I've noticed that every time I ask God to pick me up - he does.
God would have us move to the highest level of our nature, and that means that we need to understand that our capacity to deal with the spirit-the darkness of the spirit with the light of the spirit as our greatest power.
God, please use me" is the most powerful affirmation we can say for an abundant career. It is the miracle-worker's prayer. Everybody wants a great job. Accept that it's already been given you. The fact that you're alive means a function has been assigned to you: open your heart to everyone and everything. That way you're a vessel of God. Don't worry about what to say or what to do. He'll let you know.
God's truth is literal truth. The illumined mind has more operative cells. In reclaiming the mystical, we take back our whole selves. Formerly barren mental lands spring to new life through the planting of spiritual seeds.
Growth is a detox process, as our weakest, darkest places are sucked up to the surface in order to be released...often, it is not a change in partners but rather a change in perception that delivers us to the love we seek.
Harry Potter is one boy in a long line of mythical heroes who have reminded the human race that we are so much more than we think we are, so much more powerful than we seem to know. Jesus said that we would someday do even greater works than He; should we not take Him at His word? And should not 'someday' be today? It's time for us to start working miracles, if indeed we have the capacity within us to do so.
Healing works through a kind of detox: things have got to come up in order to be released. That is true of our personal issues, and also our collective issues. We can't just push the darkness down, pour pink paint over it and then pretend it's not there. We have to look at it, accept that it exists and then release it for healing.
How we sit within the body is an extremely important part of the spiritual journey. The body itself is used either by the spirit within us, or by the fear-based mind. When it is used by the spirit, then it is a thing of holiness. How we dwell within it, how we treat it, and how we use it in relationship to other aspects of the planet is extremely important. When we use the body without reverence, we are destructive elements on the planet. We become destructive to ourselves, to other life forms, and to the earth.
I am very much into politics, but what interests me is sacred principles applied to that area. I am interested in the intersection of the Spiritual and the political - how spiritual principles apply to the social and political issues of our day. For me, the spiritual realm, is a more powerful place to speak from on those issues.
I believe that the most urgent need of parents today is to instill in our children a moral vision: what does it mean to be a good person, an excellent neighbor, a compassionate heart? What does it mean to say that God exits, that He loves us and He cares for us? What does it mean to love and forgive each other? Parents and caregivers of children must play a primary role in returning our society to a healthy sense of the sacred. We must commit to feeding our children's souls in the same way we commit to feeding their bodies.
I believe that the spirit of God enters into the details and if we ask for guidance we will be led to the places where we can learn most fully because we can be most joyful. If I'm in a place that's lonely, I think God has one or two things to say. Extend your hand in service so that you might meet people or go somewhere else - or both.
I can't say that there are "things" that make me come alive. There are thoughts that make me come alive. Those are thoughts that take me beyond myself; that remind me that there's a bigger game going on on this planet than simply my own existence; that love works miracles, and how much we need them at certain moment.
I do believe 50 is the new 40 and 60 is the new 50. Hell, maybe 60 can be the new 40, I don't know. I believe that when we give ourselves permission, we can live with an excitement and heat and passion that most women in previous generations were unable to attain.
I do know middle age can bring greater depth, greater wisdom, greater capacity for love, greater capacity for relationship, greater consciousness and desire to serve and awareness of the fate of mankind - all these wonderful things, yes. And I know I'm getting there.
I don't believe there are any powers, which in the larger sense, are unnatural or even supernatural. I think we just do not yet scientifically understand all of the powers inherent in the human consciousness, and the more attuned we are to the realm of spirit, the more our conscious mind is available to subconscious, spiritual prompting.
I don't think that anything that anyone is doing today that is being pointed at as the "enemy" or "the problem" is as dangerous to our future as the fact that there are so many pointed fingers. The pointed finger is the enemy.
I feel that people who haven't read my books and haven't heard me lecture - who don't in fact know what my work is about - have been very hard on me. There is an expression in Alcoholics Anonymous called "contempt prior to investigation." I feel many people practice contempt prior to investigation.
I feel that the term "new age" is used by basically hostile media to diminish and marginalize a conversation that is very significant. It's held in place by journalists who are constantly looking for hooks and sound bites to keep them from having to make the effort of a deeper understanding and a more profound level of communication with the public.
I fell in love with the thought that a human life could be a priestly conduit, a connecting link between earth and sky. As I grew and stumbled and, most important, as I began to love and be loved, I realized that the ultimate priest is the lover inside us
I find being a mother harder than I though it was going to be. That is a tremendous revelation for me personally. Much more time, more care, more attention and more effort needs to be spent on care for the children. That will save the world at large.
I have heard it said that living out of our vision is more powerful than living out of our circumstance. Holding on to a vision invokes the circumstances by which the vision is achieved. Vision is content; material circumstances mere form.
I have learned from experience that happiness is an acquired skill. Children are one of the greatest lessons in happiness, constantly challenging us to enjoy the moment, as the next one will not be the same. Gratitude is essential to happiness. Every time our children rush up to us and smile, we have something to be happy about; every time we get out of bed and can take a deep breath and go out for a walk, we have something to be happy about-that is the essence of a happy existence. Happiness is a muscle we must use, or it will wither away.
I have lived large parts of my life in wonderful circumstances that I utterly failed to appreciate. Reasons to be happy were everywhere, but somehow I didn't connect with them. It was as though I was eating but couldn't taste the food. Finally, I've learned to celebrate the good while it's happening. I feel gratitude and praise today for what are sometimes such simple pleasures. I have learned that happiness is not determined by circumstances. Happiness is not what happens when everything goes the way you think it should go; happiness is what happens when you decide to be happy.
I have seen so much obstructed potential among people who lack personal discipline, who just slough it off, whatever it is, and who think that nothing matters very much. I want my daughter to have what I think of as a capacity for self-discipline. Not the sort of self-discipline that diminishes her own wild passions, but that makes it safer for her to own those wild passions.
I realize that the curriculum is my life on any given day. At this point, more than anything, my spiritual path means looking at every circumstance and trying to see my part in where it's good and where it's not so good.
I sometimes say to people who have life-challenging illnesses: "Right now you are tempted to think that if you were physically well you would be happy. But if that were true, everybody who is physically well would be happy."
I surrender it to God, knowing that the pain itself is a product or a reflection of how I am interpreting whatever it is that is causing me pain. Some pain is simply the normal grief of human existence. That is pain that I try to make room for. I honor my grief. I try to be kinder to myself. I give myself time to move through and to process whatever is making me sad.
I take very seriously this notion that my highest job is to live a better life, all the time and to the best of my ability. I need to monitor my own progress - take my own inventory - and clean my own closet. I am trying to do all that.
I think future generations will see the invention of the Internet as having been as important as the invention of the printing press. It's the democratizing tool of all tools. As long as no one can control the flow of information, then freedom always has a chance.
I think the greatest gift we can give our children is the experience of deep quiet. If we don't help our children cultivate contemplation, reflection, prayer, meditation, or whatever other practice of mindfulness, then they're likely to be completely spun out of their center by the time they're in grade school.
I think the media has become incredibly corrupt. We used to have a profound tradition of investigative journalism in the United States. Some journalists were real heroes, such as Bob Woodward who helped uncover the Watergate scandal. But today he is leading the opposite charge, trying to bring down the careers of people and score easy victories. In other words, those who used to bust the status quo have now become the status quo.
I try to be self-disciplined with my thoughts. It's our thoughts that matter most, and all the rest falls into line behind that: if I remember who I really am and why I'm on the earth, then I more naturally want to treat my body like a temple and so forth.
I used to feel like I was waiting for someone to discover me, to 'produce' me, like Lana Turner at the drugstore. Utlimately I realized that the person I was waiting for was myself. If we wait for the world's permission to shine, we will never receive it.
I was very much a child of the 1960s. I protested the Vietnam War and grew up in a fairly politicized home. My father was like a cross between William Kunstler and Zorba the Greek. I grew up among left-wing lawyers.
I write and speak about personal and spiritual growth. One week I write about illness and another week I speak about relationships and another week I write about work and money and another week I speak to people with obesity issues. I write about whatever wounds seem to cry out for more enlightened solutions, and the love that heals them all.
If a person is fearful, it is a fearful time. If a person is hopeful, it's a hopeful time. If you look at world events one way, fear is reasonable. If you look at the world another way, hope is justified.
If a train doesn't stop at your station, it's simply because it's not your train. Don't try to flag down the conductor and convince them to stop there, even if their own map says that they should just keep going. You may not realize it, but there's another train trying to come toward you, unable to get into your station because a train that doesn't even belong there is being delayed there by your intensity.
If I say to my daughter, "Go say `hi' to Aunt Gertrude," there is a reason there. I'm teaching her manners. I think the idea that she'll say `hi' to Aunt Gertrude only if she wants to is the biggest crock of silliness I've ever heard. Yet I meet people everyday who were clearly brought up to think that if they didn't want to say "hi" to Aunt Gertrude, that was fine.
If our emotional stability is based on what other people do or do not do, then we have no stability. If our emotional stability is based on love that is changeless and unalterable, then we attain the stability of God.
If our prayer is "Dear God, please use me to be of service," then that is what we will be. And it is not for us to judge either the size or value of our gifts. Our job is to try to get out of the way, to defer to the spirit moving within us and become open channels for the flow of God's love.
If we get away from the lazy and fuzzy thinking that is like a poison in our society - if we get away from all the bad television that we tend to watch - and begin to take up serious meditation and other sacred exercises, we will have a real revolution of consciousness. If that happens, the world will change by itself.
If we lose a job, we are easily tempted into thoughts like, "Ain't it awful? There aren't any jobs out there. This is terrible. It'll be awhile before the economy comes back. Even if they're hiring someone, they're not hiring someone my age with my resume." And that's really what causes the crash and burn. The fact is, there are Fortune 500 companies that have been founded during recessions.
If you allow spirit to have dominion in your heart you will have dominion in your life. That changes thinking. That IS the miracle. That I'm not just a child of the body, I'm a child of the universe and in the universe I am programmed for greatness, and the fact that I don't have money in my bank account now doesn't mean I'm any less programmed for greatness. I was programmed for greatness just like the acorn is programmed to be an oak tree.
If you are dealing with life from a low-level sensibility, the Internet can be a tool for manifesting that. But if you're dealing with life from the highest sensibility, it can also be your tool for manifesting that. The simple reason is that it doesn't cost money.
If you are not grieving, you are not conscious. But if you are not rejoicing in the possibilities of how this could all change, then you are not looking through the filter of the greatest spiritual perspicacity.
If you did something in 1975 that you deeply regret and that you now can recognize as having been profoundly irresponsible, for example, the only way to be lifted out of deep regret and the pain over it is through atonement - through the kind of remorse that leads to genuine atonement, the making of amends, and forgiveness of self and others.
If you want to have a nonmiraculous day, I suggest that newspaper and caffeine form the crux of your morning regimen. Listen to the morning news while you're in the shower, read the headlines as you are walking out the door, make sure you're keeping tabs on everything: the wars, the economy, the gossip, the natural disasters. . . But if you want the day ahead to be full of miracles, then spend some time each morning with God.
If you're getting your guidance about who you are and what to do with your life only from the external world, then by definition you'll be led away from your authentic truth. Your authentic truth isn't in the material world. It's counterintuitive, but you have more power in the world when you know you're not of it.
I'm certainly not saying anything new, and I'm not even saying anything all that different from what everyone else I know is saying right now - I'm saying what millions of people are saying. I'm just saying it publicly.
I'm haunted sometimes by the thought, what if we lived from that place all the time? What if we went there without tragedy striking first? The very thought of who we would be together, and the kinds of collectives decisions we would make. The kind of world we'd create makes me want to cry sometimes.
Imagine how differently American business would function were our faith in the power of goodness to replace our faith in the power of money. Huge industries would no longer make billions of dollars on activities that diminish the well-being and safety of our children, our health, and our environment, on the pretext that it's "just business." To put money before goodness is idolatry, and the laws of the universe ensure that in the end all idols will fall.
In asking for miracles, we are seeking a practical goal: a return to inner peace. We're not asking for something outside us to change, but for something inside us to change. We're looking for a softer orientation to life.
In every moment, we make a choice about which direction we are going to go. Once we realize that this is a self-correcting and self-organizing universe, then we don't have to look any further than our own life circumstances, the relationships and situations that we are in, to begin the transformation.
In his farewell address, George Washington warned the people about political parties. Now we see how both Democrats and Republicans have conspired to reduce democratic participation. If this is the best the Democrats and Republicans have to offer, it's time to look elsewhere.Politics should be the prism for our most noble intentions.
In medicine, we have invented an entirely new healing paradigm. Now we no longer simply look to the doctor and to medicine to heal us. We now recognize what has been substantiated scientifically everywhere from Harvard to Duke to Stanford - that the power of the mental and spiritual consciousness of the patient is as significant in healing as physical factors are. If we apply that same paradigm to politics, we see that the mind and the spiritual consciousness of the citizen are every bit as important as anything that goes on in the government.
In pursuing personal growth, there are issues where we can advance just so far by ourselves. At some point, our continued progress and improvement can only come about through relationships with others. Romantic love is an intense and intimate exposure to another person; if we can be who we want to be, even in that context, then our spiritual growth is exponentially expanded.
In the area of work and money, we have one of the most intense gaps between fear-based and love-based thought. It's not that a miracle mindset applies to work and money any more than it applies to anything else; rather, it applies there no less than anywhere else.
In the Holy Relationship, it's understood that we all have unhealed places, and that healing is the purpose of our being with another person. We don't hide our weaknesses, but rather we understand that the relationship is a context for healing through mutual forgiveness.
In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., "No lie will last forever." We have to work at removing lies from our own hearts. And on the national level, we do this not because we blame our country, but because we love it.
Individuals seem to have reached their walls and so has the entire human race. Whatever isn't working, isn't life-producing, isn't producing love for ourselves or others, is going to have to go now. Or, literally, there will be hell to pay.
It can take years of tears to melt the hardness that develops in this world, covering our tender, gentler inner selves. Tears for every devastating loss, tears for every humiliating failure, tears for every repeated mistake. Those who honor those tears, and even honor them, are not failures at love but rather its true initiates. First the pain and then the power. First the heart breaks and then it soars.
It takes mystical insight to see the beauty and innocence in each other, even when that is not what we are showing to the world. That is why God is needed in intimate relationships, to move us beyond the perceptions that can so often poison love.
It's been fascinating over the last few years, watching the high and mighty in business and politics fall precipitously-not because their plans didn't work, but because their character flaws undercut those plans. Whether the microphone caught them making racist comments or their greed overcame their common sense, who they were as people made all the difference-more than their rÃ©sumÃ©s, their degrees, or even their past successes. If you fail at the art of being human and staying human, you recklessly court disaster.
It's difficult to be alive in America today and truly be in denial anymore. It's not hip to be unconscious or uninvolved. One of our great strengths is that we're an optimistic people, but that doesn't mean we don't have sad days.
It's funny, I see Wendy Kaminer herself as a kind of guru - a guru of the fashionably cynical set. Yet she uses the term "guru" to minimize my career, to marginalize my thoughts and to trivialize my work, as well as those of others.
It's tempting to think that decisions that are not life-and-death are therefore unimportant, and that the little compromises we make don't matter to our bottom line or our spiritual selves. How many of us are tempted, in business, to make a less-than-ethical decision? To appropriate someone else's idea or fudge some numbers? We have to remember that maintaining our ethical and spiritual selves is absolutely linked with achieving the degree of success we're working toward.
I've always wanted to have a radio show. It has been a dream of mine for a long time. With a radio show I can sit in a studio, or ultimately even sit in my own living room, and talk to hundreds of thousands of people.
Judaism, Christianity, and I'm sure other religions also, are having to deal with the fact that they may or may not have lived up at all times to the injunctions of their own mystical center. For instance, when I went to Sunday school, I remember learning more about Jewish history than about God. So, once again, that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with the Jewish religion, it just means that sometimes people are not fed the mystical food - the spiritual food - of their own religious background.
Kennedy's assassination was the opening salvo in the social revolution of the sixties. In some ways, perhaps, Princess Diana and Mother Teresa dying when they did, and how they did, represent the opening salvos of a social revolution in the nineties.
Love can be a huge mountain, a gentle garden, a raging storm, a cool breeze, or a perfect bath. But there is always fire somewhere nearby. There is always the red-hot stuff of the soul's initiation. If there isn't fire, then it isn't love ... If it doesn't insist that you move to your next level, if it doesn't take your heart and make it explode in a million pieces, only to fall back together again in some Moment of enlightened understanding, then you haven't really loved.
Love has a way of showing you to yourself, whether through satisfaction or humiliation. It hovers over you like a magnifying glass you cannot escape, intensifying the slightest feelings of either delight or shame. No other experience makes so obvious the realities of both heaven and hell.
Love is everywhere, but if our eyes aren't open to see it, we miss out. Who among us hasn't missed out on love because we were looking for it in one package and it came in another? Our problem is rarely a lack of love so much as a mental block to our awareness of its presence.*
Love will push every button, try every faith, challenge every strength, trigger every weakness, mock every value, and then leave you there to die. And then you will be ready to be born at last, to become a soul who is strong enough to take love on. You'll be a romantic mystic who has achieved the elements: you endured the flames of love, you were baptized in the waters of love, and now you can soar like only a mystic can through the skies and skin of a lover's heart.
Many people say they're looking for love, yet they're actually committed to never finding it. Many people would really rather not know the true scars and triumphs of the person who lies in their arms.
Many people who say they're looking for love are merely looking for superficial comfort. They're not looking yet for the true romantic adventure. For that entails a readiness to die to who we were, in order to be born again prepared for love, truly worthy of the romantic heights.
Meaning doesn't lie in things. Meaning lies in us. When we attach value to things that aren't love - the money, the car, the house, the prestige - we are loving things that can't love us back. We are searching for meaning in the meaningless. Money, of itself, means nothing. Material things, of themselves, mean nothing. It's not that they're bad. It's that they're nothing. ("A Return to Love")
Most of us feel on some level like race horses chomping at the bit, pressing at the gate, hoping and praying for someone to open the door and let us run out. We feel so much pent up energy, so much locked up talent. We know in our hearts that we were born to do great things, and we have a deep-seated dread of wasting our lives. But the only person who can free us is ourselves. Most of us know that. We realize that the locked door is our own fear.
My biggest past mistakes have been when I made decisions out of ego rather than spirit. When I acted too quickly. When I wasn't contemplative or reflective or prayerful enough, and I ended up making what I would only later see to be unwise decisions.
My biggest sorrow, when looking back on my youth, is how much of it I somehow missed. Now, looking at my life today, I don't want to make the same mistake. I don't want to miss this. As Bonnie Raitt sang like she was singing it for all of us, "Life gets mighty precious when there's less of it to waste."
My father's politics were old-fashioned in the sense that he used to say, all the time, "You've got to fight the system!" But my spiritual beliefs have led me to believe that the fight is the problem.
No matter what I write or speak about, it always has some connection to how our spiritual understanding impacts the world we live in. Whether I'm writing or teaching about nutrition, pilates, green living or meditation, all topics simmer down to self thought and intention.
No matter what is happening in our lives, we choose how we wish to think about it. And the greatest gift we give ourselves is often our willingness to change our minds. Despite what might seem to be the saddest and most intractable situation, we have the power to believe that something else is possible, that things can change, that a miracle can happen.
Nobody has to tell me about the glories of the capitalist system. But what concerns me is that there no longer seems to be a commitment to make the opportunities afforded by technology and capitalism universally accessible.
Nothing that happened before this moment has any power over you whatsoever, except to the extent to which you carry it into this moment. Dwell in the present with full forgiveness of yourself and others, and your life will be lifted to divine right order...perfection, prosperity and peace.
Obviously, I don't want to minimize the patriarchal nature of our media, our government and our culture as a whole. But I think it's our refusal as women to own our power that is our biggest problem, both individually and collectively. The linchpin that holds the current system in place is the slumber of women.
Obviously, our political system is profoundly corrupted by, among other things, the influence of money. But, at a deeper level, the current structure is flawed because it looks to citizens for only two things - votes and money. I don't think we will see any healing until citizens are viewed in a whole new way.
Of course, a woman's choice to go out into the world is a very significant thing. But part of real liberation is recognizing that mothering is every bit as important as other kinds of work. I actually believe it's more important than anything we do out in the world.
Often we see a couple who has separated or divorced and look with sadness at the "failure' of their relationship. But if both people learned what they were meant to learn, then that relationship was a success.
Once you get to your forties or fifties in this society, very few people haven't had at least one body blow - financial, bankruptcy, divorce, relationship disaster, addiction, trouble with a child, trouble with a parent. Most people take some blow.
Once you know that every moment and every person and every situation has something to teach you, you're a student all day. You know it's the depth of your observation that is the issue - not how much the world has to show you.
Our career is not something that we go out and *find.* Your perfect career is something that emerges from deep within you. When you are aligned with the truth within yourself, then you magnetize people and circumstances which align with that truth.
Our divine perfection - not registered by the physical eye but only by the heart's knowing - is who we truly are. Our mortal imperfections - registered by the physical senses - are not who we truly are. Yet we keep trying, in love, to find each other's perfection within the world of imperfection. And it simply is not there.
Our greatest hope is for the experience of joy, and often we are not as smart as we think we are when it comes to predicting what would bring us that joy. . . Hope that is attached to a particular outcome is looking for pleasure but fishing for pain, because attachment itself is a source of pain. It is best to hope for an experience of life in all its fullness-a life that can embrace both joy and sorrow, and will still be at peace.
Our hearts are being stretched to span the violence and the suffering in our lives and world, and at the same time we are also witness to so much magnificence and brilliance. We are a species that has produced nuclear weapons, and also one that has developed profound insight into the nature of life itself.
Our self-perception determines our behavior. If we think we're small, limited, inadequate creatures, then we tend to behave that way, and the energy we radiate reflects those thoughts no matter what we do. If we think we're magnificent creatures with an infinite abundance of love and power to give, then we tend to behave that way. Once again, the energy around us reflects our state of awareness.
Our spiritual mission is not to ignore the darkness, but to bring light TO the darkness. Ignoring darkness does not dispel it; only the light does. That is the difference between denial and transcendence.
Our thoughts about the future go far toward creating it; our minds and hears are like filaments taht connect today to tomorrow, they are conduits for either the status quo or the emergence of different, hopefully more loving, possibilities. How we think and how we behave determine where we are going
People on a spiritual path (personal growth, spiritual practice, recovery, yoga, and so forth) are the last people who should be sitting out the social and political issues of our day. And there's an important reason for this: people on such journeys are adepts at change. They know that the mechanics of the heart and mind are the fundamental drivers of transformation.
People want the nation to transform in the same way they want their own lives to transform. If you're interested in transforming your life, you can't just transform some things. You can't try to fix some things, but sweep other things under the rug because it's too hard to face them. And the same is true for a nation.
People who have life-challenging experiences who choose to remain invested in a consistent catastrophic interpretation are not the ones I meet. I have met many more people who have recognized how vital it is to their healing and to the quality of their life to interpret their experiences differently. That is why some of the people I've met who have life-challenging illnesses are much happier than some people I've known who are physically quite healthy and yet who live lives of greater desperation and depression.
Personal growth can be painful, because it can make us feel ashamed and humiliated to face our own darkness. But our spiritual goal is the journey out of fear-based, painful mental habit patterns, to those of love and peace.
Physically, we get older and then we die. Yet spiritually, whether we go backward or forward is a matter not of the body but of consciousness. When we think about age differently, then our experience of it changes. We can be physically older but emotionally and psychologically younger. Some of us were in a state of decay in our 20s and are in a state of re-birth in our 60s or 70s. King Solomon, who supposedly was the wisest of all men, described his youth as his winter and his advanced years as his summer. We can be older than we used to be yet feel much younger than we are.
Putting love first means knowing that the universe supports you in creating the good, the holy, and the beautiful. It means knowing that you're on the earth for a purpose, and that the purpose itself will create opportunities for its accomplishment.
Relationships are part of a vast plan for our enlightenment, the Holy Spirit's blueprint by which each individual soul is led to greater awareness and expanded love. Relationships are the Holy Spirit's laboratories in which he brings together people who have the maximal opportunity for mutual growth.
So many of us have not attended to the deeper issues in ourselves; in our minds, our hearts, and in our external manifestations that keep love at bay. We instead concentrate on making a list of what we're looking for in another person.
Society never progresses because the majority one day wakes up and says, "Let's do things differently." The majority didn't wake up and say, "Oh, let's just free the slaves." Society always progressed because a relatively small group of people usually considered outrageous radicals by the status quo of their time had a better idea and articulated another way. That's simply how evolution works; it's the mutation. The member of the species who does things differently - that points the way to the future because they're better adapted for survival.
Some of us believe humanity should be in divine partnership with nature, some people believe that man has been given by God the right to have dominion over nature. But since even they say that we should be good stewards, that right there should be the common ground.
Some professional writers write everyday no matter what and perhaps that's the way it should be done, but it's not the way I do it. If I'm not pregnant with words and I'm not in labor with them, I don't even try to bring them forth because they won't be any good anyway. Once I'm ready to deliver, it's like being pregnant. I've got to find a typewriter or a piece of paper. The only words that have ever had any possible value to others seem to have been those words that just had to come out.
Someone with whom we have a lifetime's worth of lessons to learn is someone whose presence in our lives forces us to grow...those who consciously or unconsciously challenge our fearful positions. They show us our walls. Our walls are our wounds--the places where we feel we can't love any more, can't connect any more deeply, can't forgive past a certain point. We are in each other's lives in order to help us see where we most need healing, and in order to help us heal.
Something very beautiful happens to people when their world has fallen apart: a humility, a nobility, a higher intelligence emerges at just the point when our knees hit the floor. Perhaps, in a way, that's where humanity is now: about to discover we're not as smart as we thought we were, will be forced by life to surrender our attacks and defenses which avail us of nothing, and finally break through into the collective beauty of who we really are.
Sometimes when everything has totally apart, the meaningless preoccupations that so often dominate our lives simply fall away. And what is left is who we really are, and who we really are is compassionate and intelligent and wise.
Sometimes when we're feeling sad, it's important just to feel the sadness. Like a snake shedding its skin, old feelings of remorse and regret and hurt and anger often have to come up in order to be released. On the other side we're a better person, capable of a happier life...who we are when we're no longer burdened by the buried feelings that weighed us down, or the self - defeating patterns that the pain produced.
Sometimes, when I talk to someone who has just been diagnosed with cancer or some other illness, I'll remind them: "If you were honest with yourself, you were depressed before this happened. And if this were over you would be happy for a couple of weeks, a couple of months, and then something else would come along."
Spiritual growth increases our sense of what's possible. And as we sense new possibility, we can step into that possibility. With every word, every thought, every action, we choose what we wish to call forth in life.
Spiritual growth is like childbirth: you dilate, then you contract, you dilate, then you contract again. as painful as it all feels, it's the necessary rhythm for reaching the ultimate goal of total openness.
Spiritual wisdom is now available to everyone, disseminated to the masses as never before in world history. Finally, a few trips to the library, and we have a pretty good sense of what all the masters said. They all said the same things. There is a mass discovery that Jesus is truth, the Torah is truth, Mohammed is truth, Krishna is truth, Buddha is truth, and so on. They are all truth and they are all among us now.
Spirituality is an inner fire, a mystical sustenance that feeds our souls. The mystical journey drives us into ourselves, to a sacred flame at our center. The purpose of the religious experience is to develop the eyes by which we see this inner flame, and our capacity to live its mystery. In its presence, we are warmed and ignited. When too far from the blaze, we are cold and spiritually lifeless. We are less than human without that heat. Our connection to God is life itself.
Take a good look at your life right now. If you don't like something about it, close your eyes and imagine the life you want. Now allow yourself to focus your inner eye on the person you would be if you were living this preferred life. Notice the differences in how you behave and present yourself; allow yourself to spend several seconds breathing in the new image, expanding your energy into this...
The choice to follow love through to its completion is the choice to seek completion within ourselves. The point at which we shut down on others is the point at which we shut down on life. We heal as we heal others, and we heal others by extending our perceptions past their weaknesses. Until we have seen someone's darkness, we don't really know who that person is. Until we have forgiven someone's darkness, we don't really know what love is. Forgiving others is the only way to forgive ourselves, and forgiveness is our greatest need.
The famous passage from her book is often erroneously attributed to the inaugural address of Nelson Mandela. About the misattribution Williamson said, "Several years ago, this paragraph from A Return to Love began popping up everywhere, attributed to Nelson Mandela's 1994 inaugural address. As honored as I would be had President Mandela quoted my words, indeed he did not. I have no idea where that story came from, but I am gratified that the paragraph has come to mean so much to so many people.
The gap is not between knowing it and living it, it's between knowing it and living it consistently. You know, we've all had moments when we got it right. Most of us have moments when we get it right every day. The trouble is getting it right when a curve-ball comes at us.
The Goddess doesn't enter us from outside; she emerges from deep within. She is not held back by what happened in the past. She is conceived in consciousness, born in love, and nurtured by higher thinking. She is integrity and value, created and sustained by the hard work of personal growth and the discipline of a life lived actively in hope.
The highest level of creativity consists in being, not doing. When the being is intense enough, when the words are spoken enough, when the thoughts are thought enough, the doing will automatically follow.
The highest level of prayer is not a prayer for anything. It is a deep and profound silence, in which we allow ourselves to be still and know Him. In that silence, we are changed. We are calmed. We are illumined. Prayer is meant to dissolve the worldly focus, to dissolve our sense of a separate self, to help us detach from an insane world order. We pray that He might flood our minds. Prayer is like pouring hot water on an ice cube, melting the cold and encrusted thought forms that still surround our hearts.
The historian Arthur Schlesinger has pointed out that people tend to get interested in politics again every 30 years. The universe moves in cycles of three. The number figures in everything from Pythagoras's theory that the universe is based on three to the Father-the-Son-and-the-Holy- Ghost to the three-sided pyramidal shapes that intersect in the Jewish Star of David. The notion of the mystical three, metaphysically, spiritually, and even politically, is quite interesting to me.
The human species has all but lost its heart; we gave it up for the illusionary fruits of the material world. But a life without heart is a life without life force. The psyche, as well as the body, needs both heart and brain in order to survive. Like Chinese women who bound their feet and the could no longer walk freely, we have bound our hearts, and thus stunted our growth as moral beings.
The letters I get on the Internet and the responses to my books make it very clear that something is trying to happen. And I'm just one person. There are millions of people really ready to go. We're just not sure where to go yet.
The media establishment senses that the boats are coming and it has taken it upon itself to stand on those beaches and do everything it can to shoot the soldiers on the boats. They know the beaches will be taken.
The miracle is when you shift. The miracle is when you know there is no hill - you're removing the hill. The miracle is when you realize the time of physical decline can be a time of spiritual incline.
The number of nuclear bombs on the planet today - the sheer quantity of weapons of mass destruction in the possession of people and governments throughout the world - along with the fact that the use of brute force and militarism is an almost knee-jerk way of problem-solving on the planet today, makes the eradication of war the great moral issue of this generation.
The only issue that I have a problem with when it comes to the new age is the way that people such as myself are diminished by that label. I simply don't consider myself "new age." It's other people's small-mindedness that tries to connect me with someone who, let's say, thinks crystals are the answers to all of life's problems. I never did. There are those who suggest that anyone speaking from a base in California has less to say. That kind of bashing doesn't interest me.
The only way to gain power in a world that is moving too fast is to learn to slow down. And the only way to spread one's influence wide to learn how to go deep. The world we want for ourselves and our children will not emerge from electronic speed but rather from a spiritual stillness that takes root in our souls. Then, and only then, will we create a world that reflects the heart instead of shattering it.
The part of the brain that is watching the television and is on the computer at the same time, preparing to jump onto the treadmill for 15 minutes, might be able to lead into sex, but it would be hard put to lead us to romance, or to real authentic human connection.
The path to self-esteem lies in getting over yourself. There is nothing to esteem about our smaller dramas; it's our commitment to something beyond ourselves that is truly estimable to ourself and others.
The people who have achieved more than you, in any area, are only a half step ahead of you in time. Bless them and praise their gifts, and bless and praise your own. The world would be less rich without their contributions, and it would be less rich without yours. There's more than room for everyone; in fact, there's a need for everyone.
The places in our personality where we tend to deviate from love are not out faults, but our wounds. God doesn't want to punish us, but to heal us. And that is how He wishes us to view the wounds in other people.
The plan of spiritual evolution is marked not only by God's will that we move ever in the direction of love, nut also by another of God's creative principles: that humanity has free will. What that means is that in any given moment, it is our choice whether we move toward love or retreat from it. What is not love is fear. But in the larger scheme of things, there is a limit past which lovelessness cannot remain. Fear is not life-giving enough to sustain itself. We can move in the direction of fear only so long before it brings us to our knees, or to our end....
The power of nonviolence is not circumstance-specific. It is as applicable to the problems that confront us now, as to problems that confronted generations in the past. It is not a medicine or a solution so much as a healing process. It is the active spiritual immune system of humanity.
The power to rethink a situation is our greatest tool for transforming the world. This notion is taking hold in medicine, in business, in education. But not in politics and the media. They are the last holdouts of old-paradigm thinking.
The rage building up, generation after generation, among what has become a permanent underclass in many parts of the world cannot continue. We are desperately undereducating our children. In the United States, we are turning prison-building into the single largest urban industry. These are like toxic chemical factors any one of which could cause a raging fire. God help us if they begin to interact.
The reason we don't often confront the larger question of whether or not war is survivable is because of a failure of imagination. We honestly cannot imagine having reached a state in our own evolution in which we do not fight.
The religious stories, the religious truths, the spiritual principles - obviously, they don't change. But as you get older and you experience more, you recognize the applicability, the profundity, and the fundamental truths of spiritual principles in ways that you couldn't when you simply were living a less dimensional life.
The revolution of ideas that will save us is a revolution of goodwill, of compassion, and of higher thinking. I believe that they outnumber the people who would choose fear. But they are not a particularly politicized force. If you look at the numbers of people buying books about revolutions from within and personal transformation as the key to global change, the numbers add up to a much greater audience than most people realize.
The right tends to posit that the market fuels social good. The left tends to posit that the government fuels social good. At bottom, democracy claims that citizens drive social good, but there is currently no container for a political force-field that stakes claim to the unbelievable resources now virtually untapped in every man, woman, and child in our society.
The secret of success is to realize that the crisis on our planet is much larger than just deciding what to do with your own life, and if the system under which we live the structure of western civilization begins to collapse because of our selfishness and greed, then it will make no difference whether you have $1 million dollars when the crash comes or just $1.00. The only work that will ultimately bring any good to any of us is the work of contributing to the healing of the world.
The self-organizing and self-correcting imprint is on all aspects of reality. So not only was your body formed by this invisible hand, not only does your body continue to work by this invisible hand, but every aspect of your life - emotionally, physiologically, and spiritually - is also programmed to thrive, is also programmed for self-organization and self-correction.
The soul force we need in America today, more than any other, is the spirit of atonement. We need to humble ourselves before God and ask forgiveness for the things we have done wrong. We need to ask God to forgive us for our arrogance.
the spiritual meaning of every situation [is] not what happens to us, but what we do with what happens to us and who we decide to become because of what happens to us. The only real failure is the failure to grow from what we go through.
The teenager begins to realize he or she really does want to be part of a community, really does want to have good relationships with others, really does want to create something truly good with his or her life. The teenager comes to understand just being smart and just being privileged are not enough.
The universe is wired with the electricity of God, & each of us is a lamp. It doesn't matter the size or shape of the lamp; it only matters that the lamp is plugged in. With every prayer, every thought of forgiveness, every meditation, every act of love, we plug in. The more of us who plug in, to more the darkness of the world will be cast from our midst. Today, let's all increase love's wattage!
The way to have the life we want is to receive more deeply the life we have. Sometimes we keep our own life at arm's length, thinking we'll wait until circumstances improve before giving it all we've got. But life is just a reflection of consciousness, so it's never going to give any more to us than we give to it. Don't wait for a perfect life; breathe in the life that's already perfect.
The work of intimacy, of course, is to learn to both show your own illumination, and to see it in a way that the physical eyes cannot reveal. In a way that only the heart can reveal: the illumined beauty in another person.
The world in which we live today-reflecting in so many way the opposite of our sweetness and love-reminds us how desperately important it is to break the spell that's been cast on the human race and retrieve our shining self.
The world we live in pictures a pie with only so many pieces, and if other people have more you have less, and you have to compete with other people in order to try to get ahead. You have to sell yourself at every available opportunity. The shift, the enlightened shift, has to do with a movement from competition to collaboration, from sales to service, from ambition to inspiration, and to a belief in scarcity to a belief in abundance as an eternal spiritual quality.
There is a current mythology in our culture that anytime we meet someone and have that "enchanted evening" experience, that experience of looking into the eyes of the other and falling hopelessly in love - that this is nothing more than a delusion; a mutual projection, a fantasy that will only last until reality sets in.
There is a dichotomy between people who feel economic principles should order human civilization and people who believe humanitarian principles should order human civilization. That essential disagreement is underlying practically all our world drama.
There is a lot of sixties-bashing going on these days that I don't agree with at all. I feel that extremely important ideals were brought to the forefront of the collective consciousness at that time. Granted, drug use was so pervasive that our generation did not as a group have the capacity to manifest our ideals to any great extent. But many of the people who were young in the sixties and who were most touched by that collective ethos are still touched.
There is a lot to look at when you are serious about transformation. You look at everything you've ever done, every circumstance you've ever been in, cleaning up everything in your past. Reconciling, forgiving others, forgiving yourself. It's a lot of work, actually.
There is a trend in child-rearing that I find abhorrent: "Whatever the kids want to do is fine." For me, the classic example of this is when someone has a visitor and says, "Go kiss Aunt Gertrude," and Aunt Gertrude says, "She doesn't have to kiss me if she doesn't want to." Well, I think that's wrong.
There is an old cliche, 'You can see the glass half empty, or you can see it half full.' You can focus on what's wrong in your life, or you can focus on what's right. But whatever you focus on, you're going to get more of. Creation is an extension of thought. Think lack, and you get lack. Think abundance, and you get more.
There is no way that carrying fifty or sixty extra pounds is easy on your heart, your lungs, or your liver. That's a fact. Every person in the world, no matter what size, shape, or form they are, deserves respect and love. But that doesn't mean we are supposed to pretend that something is healthy when in fact it is not.
There is one God. The Jews and the Christians have no monopoly on God. I'm speaking about the same God the Hindus talk about, the same God the Muslims talk about, the same God that the Taoists and the Confucians talk about.
There is simply too much unnecessary suffering in our world. And we should see that as a national security risk, by the way. Given enough time, desperate people will tend to do desperate things. At a certain point you won't be able to build enough prisons or enough bombs to eradicate the effects of all that violence inside so many hearts.
There is, inside all our heads, the ego's rabid attack dog. It is purely vicious toward others and toward ourselves as well. Learning to control that dog, and ultimately to end its life, is the process and purpose of enlightened relationships.
There should be an expanded role in this society for every human being. I see an expanded role for the human spirit, for excellence, for virtue, and for creativity - within women, and within everyone.
There's only one of us here: What we give to others, we give to ourselves. What we withhold from others, we withhold from ourselves. In any moment, when we choose fear instead of love, we deny ourselves the experience of Paradise.
Think of the mystical three days between the crucifixion and the resurrection as the time it takes for a situation to change once spirit has infused our consciousness. As we come to look at an experience differently, in time in begins to transform.
To bear witness to all the unnecessary suffering on the planet and make ourselves available to service - whatever that means for each of us. We go deep in our personal relationships in America, but we need to go deep in our public relationships as well.
To me, that's the important issue about spiritual principle: that you recognize it as both that which saves you from the self-sabotaging mind and that which heals you and lifts you up when you succumb to it and attract whatever personal disaster you attract.
Today, the reason we haven't found our grail, the key to who we are as women, is because we look for it in worlds of false power, the very worlds that took it away from us in the first place. Neither men nor work can restore our lost scepter. Nothing in this world can take us home. Only the radar in our hearts can do that, and when it does, ... 'We will light up like lamps, and the world will never be the same again.'
Until we get to the point where we've had enough of things that hurt and long more than anything for a peaceful love, we are bound to take painful roads. We are destined to play out our frivolous disasters until we declare ourselves finished and done with them. How much pain do we have to suffer before we are sure we want no more? As much, it seems, as we have to until we don't.
Until you have a child, it's very tempting to look at the state of the world and say, "To hell with it, in 50 years I won't be around anyway." But if you have a child you don't say that, because even if you're not around in 50 years, your children presumably will be, and maybe even their children. You think of yourself as responsible to future generations in a whole different way.
We all make mistakes, we all have fears, and we all have weaknesses. Behind all that is our essential self. When our essential self has made contact with another, the light is dazzling and would fill the universe. The challenge of enchantment is to remain faithful to that light, to believe in it when it is not so apparent. Then that light becomes an incandescent glow and it wraps itself around everything.
We already have the material means to eradicate deep poverty and thereby eradicate hunger. We have the material means to begin the tremendous clean up of the environmental messes we've created. We have, I believe, the psychological, emotional and spiritual means to create a world without war. We have the material means to create a world in which unnecessary human suffering has been drastically diminished. My vision for the future is that we do those things. And I think we will.
We are dominated on this planet by a fear-based rather than a love-based thought system. Enlightenment involves relinquishing the thought system based on fear and instead accepting a thought system based on love.
We are so trained in the thought system of fear and attack that we get to the point where natural thinking - love - feels unnatural and unnatural thinking - fear - feels natural. It takes real discipline and training to unlearn the thought system of fear.
We can invoke spiritual compensation when we find ourselves in situations of material lack. In other words, what happens for most of us is that we are tempted and we are taught, we are trained as it were, to meet limited circumstances with limited thought.
We give up what we want to give up and keep what in some way we still want to keep. There are payoffs for holding on to small, weak patterns. We have an excuse not to shine. We don't have to take responsibility for the world when we're spending all our time in emotional pain. We're too busy. The truth that sets us free is an embrace of the divine within us.
We go through those circumstances in order to evolve into people who can hold to our loving center no matter what the world throws us. A loving universe makes sure that we go through those things too.
We have a lot of choice about whether to interpret something as adversity or as opportunity. I see in myself the tendency at times to make situations worse than they have to be because of my catastrophic interpretation.
We have been so long in a downward spin, the angels are calling us up. We are meant to fly and with our spirits we can. We are meant to ascend, to transmute the negative mass of the worlds corrupted thought forms. No one asked us to stay so long away from heaven, away from joy.
We have to wage peace. That's the law of the spirit is the waging of peace, because if we simply seek to manage the effects of hatred, which does need to be done, of course. But if all we do is manage the effects of hatred, then hatred will simply stalk us the next decade or the next generation. We need to dismantle hatred itself.
We live in a self-organizing and self-correcting universe. For every problem, there is a potentially miraculous solution. A closed heart deflects the miracle, while an open heart brings it forth....In every moment, we make a choice between the heavenly awareness of our connection to all living things, or the hell of the delusion that we are separate and alone. The mind will manufacture according to our choice; whichever we choose, we will seem to experience.
We must keep in mind that where the road is crooked, God makes it straight, and where our hearts are wounded, God makes us whole. As we open our hearts in purity and simplicity, admitting to God that we are completely powerless in the area of our problem, His illumination redeems us.
We must relinquish our passive observation of the world outside; we can open the door to the world we want. In understanding ourselves, we come to understand the world. In allowing ourselves to heal, we become the healers of the world. In praying for peace, we become bringers of peace. Thus we actualize the power within us to remedy the psychic wounds of humanity.
We need adventure, we need meaning, we need identity. We need love. Someone who has seen us through loving eyes has awakened us from the ranks of the formerly dead. Most people bear the terminal stress of walking the world unseen, a mere number or cog in a lifeless machine.
We need less posturing and more genuine charisma. Charisma was originally a religious term, meaning "of the spirit" or "inspired." It's about letting God's light shine through us. It's about a sparkle in people that money can't buy. It's an invisible energy with visible effects. To let go, to just love, is not to fade into the wallpaper. Quite the contrary, it's when we truly become bright. We're letting our own light shine.
We need not wait for the world to become more mystical; the world is mystical. Our problem is not that the world lacks magic; our problem is that we don't believe in its magic. We do not show up fully for life, and then wonder why life is not showing up more fully for us.
We need to take responsibility for the effect of our environment on our nervous systems, and particularly the nervous systems of our children. No wonder so many of them are diagnosed with all the stuff they're diagnosed with today. Modern technology is a blessing to be sure, but it's also a curse if we allow it to pull us out of our spiritual center. A 24 hour electronic onslaught comes at the expense of our deep humanity and our deepest relationships.
We think we need to create ourselves, always doing a paste-up job on our personalities. That is because we're trying to be special rather than real. We're pathetically trying to conform with all the other people trying to do the same.
We will have gone from men telling us condescendingly to not bother our pretty little heads about important things like politics, to not bothering our pretty little heads without even being told not to! The suffragettes struggled and suffered so much on our behalf; what a travesty of everything they stood for, if we simply look away as though we can't be bothered.
We're all assigned a piece of the garden, a corner of the universe that is ours to transform. Our corner of the universe is our own life - our relationships, our homes, our work, our current circumstances -. exactly as they are. Every situation we find ourselves in is an opportunity, perfectly planned by the Holy Spirit, to teach love instead of fear.
We're hallucinating. And that's what this world is: a mass hallucination, where fear seems more real than love. Fear is an illusion. Our craziness, paranoia, anxiety and trauma are literally all imagined.
What if we truly believed that there is a beneficent order to things, a force that's holding things together without our conscious control? What if we could see, in our daily lives, the working of that force? What if we believed it loved us somehow and cared for us, and protected us? What if we believed we could afford to relax?
What is happening in politics today is a similar process to what happened in the medical world a few decades ago: realizing that there's more to healing than just addressing symptoms. Primary paradigm when it comes to dealing with political and social disease is allopathic: Pass a law, lock someone up, engage in warfare. And the state of the world today makes it clear that such allopathic measures have not exactly brought peace to all.
What we are left with then is the present, the only time where miracles happen. We place the past and the future as well into the hands of God. The biblical statement that "time shall be no more" means that we will one day live fully in the present, without obsessing about past or future.
Whatever outrageous dream keeps flowing across your mind, allow it to live inside you. Don't deflect it, diminish it, invalidate it or come up with some excuse for why it can't happen. This will allow it to explain itself to you - why it's there, what it means, and what if anything you should do about it.
When I was a child, my society lifted me up - though education primarily, as well as through other kinds of cultural stimulation. It wasn't just my parents or my religious community. The entire society lifted me up to the bottom rung of the ladder. Then they said, "Girl, it's up to you whether or not you climb." I don't have a problem with that. I think that is the best way to go about living.
When infants aren't held, they can become sick, even die. It's universally accepted that children need love, but at what age are people supposed to stop needing it? We never do. We need love in order to live happily, as much as we need oxygen in order to live at all.
When it comes to our money and work lives, most of us have had our challenges, our valleys. Most of us have a couple of files in our head. One, I name "It was my own damn fault." And the other one I name, "I don't know how I will ever forgive those bastards."
When it comes to politics, we have an internal glass ceiling. We stand as good a chance as a man to win a political race, but women don't want to run at the same rate as men do. People point to the work-family balance issue, but I think it's much more than that. Many women don't have children, or have children who are no longer at home. There are some deeper psychological and emotional issues in play, like the fact that many of us feel like the embarrassment, humiliation and personal demonization in politics are simply more than our hearts can take. What stops us is fear.
When love is our guiding light, we can break through barriers to be of loving service to the world. Gaining the courage and confidence to stand up for what you believe in is not always easy, but it's fully within your reach.
When we pray for God to illumine our path, we are saying, "Dear God, please show me the way. What thoughts do I need to think, to be able to navigate my life at this point? What perceptions do I need; what insights will guide me? Who do I need to forgive? What parts of my personality do I need to look at; what changes do I need to make? Please come upon me and heal my life. Amen.
When we stop trying to control events, they fall into a natural order, an order that works. We're at rest while a power much greater than our own takes over, and it does a much better job than we could have done. We learn to trust that the power that holds galaxies together can handle the circumstances of our relatively little lives.
When women think of power, we shouldn't think of it only for ourselves. We should be thinking about what we're going to do with power, once we have it. Women should be standing up powerfully and passionately for the care and protection of children, as well as the care and protection of the Earth itself. Women's voices should be front and center in protecting both our young and our habitat. That's the way it is in any species that survives.
When you are dealing with a serious compulsion or addictive pattern, then by definition self-will, self-discipline, and any other machinations of the conscious mind are not enough by themselves to handle the problem. It is like a breaker switch in your brain is simply flipped. Anybody who has had this kind of a problem knows that it doesn't matter how intelligent you are. Sigmund Freud said, "Intelligence will be used in the service of the neurosis."
When you look at obesity in the United States, clearly it is not a bunch of stupid people. It has nothing to do with intelligence. Sometimes people who are dealing with issues of obesity and compulsive eating know more than I will ever know about nutrition, metabolism, and exercise, because they have studied it. But clearly the real problem, and therefore the real solution, is on another level of consciousness, and that is where the spiritual work comes in.
When you realize that the real breakthroughs come from levels of higher consciousness, then you also realize that the achievement of maturity and wisdom is the most powerful generator of new beginnings possible.
When you understand spiritual law, then you realize that everything you give, good or bad, will in fact come back to you tenfold and that's just the way it is. You give someone flowers and the person you are ultimately giving to is yourself.
Whenever we feel lost, or insane, or afraid, all we have to do is ask for His help. The help might not come in the form we expected, or even thought we desired, but it will come, and we will recognize it by how we feel. In spite of everything, we will feel at peace.
With every prayer and every thought of love, we release the light that will cast out darkness. One light alone seems small and weak, but no one's light is ever alone, for all our lights are part of God.
Women will not be free until we can speak our minds and our hearts without having to worry that men will crucify us, women will crucify us, the press will crucify us, or our children will be ashamed... Women are still in emotional bondage as long as we feel we have to make a choice between being heard and being loved.
World conditions challenge us to look beyond the status quo for responses to the pain of our times. We look to powers within as well as powers without. A new, spiritually based social activism is beginning to assert itself. It stems not from hating what is wrong and trying to fight it, but from loving what could be and making the commitment to bring it forth.
You are a child of God, small games do not work in this world. For those around us to feel peace, it is not example to make ourselves small. We were born to express the glory of God that lives in us. It is not in some of us, it is in all of us. While we allow our light to shine, we unconsciously give permission for others to do the same. When we liberate ourselves from our own fears, simply our presence may liberate others.
You are completely at choice who you will be today in your interactions with others. Compassionate, kind, giving and forgiving will create one set of probabilities; angry, judgmental, critical and defensive will create another one altogether.
You can know everything that the books have to say, but ultimately it boils down to whether we do the inner work of devotion and surrender, whether we can put aside our own agendas and allow the spirit to move through us.
You can learn a lesson the first time, when it's presented in a package that is joyous - or at least palatable. But if you don't learn the lesson the first time, then there will be a second time and a third time. And each time it will just get harder and harder.
You can't remove that layer of pain by just saying, "Okay, I'm not going to wallow in it." The only way to remove that layer of pain is to face what it says and to recognize it as the look in the mirror that it is, reflecting the things you did that you wish you hadn't done and the things you didn't do that you wish you had done.
You don't have to be a spiritual seeker, you can be a businessman dealing with the revolution in computers. You could be a congressman, or a scientist. No matter what area of life and endeavor we are in we are seeing the signs of new-paradigm thinking.
You have tremendous gifts to give; God sent them with you when you came to this earth. And while you might forget them, or doubt they exist, God does not forget and He will show them to you. As soon as your gifts are dedicated to His work, they will blossom. Chains that might have held you back for years will dissolve. And you will feel free. You will learn that your spirit is bigger than your circumstances, as soon as you put your spirit first.
You know what we need to heal are the thought forms and the feelings that cause us to create war and mass destruction on this kind of a level, because ultimately if we are to survive as a species, we have to become a human race for whom the thought of war is unthinkable.
Your relationship with love is your relationship with the essence of who you are. It affects your relationship with your body, and your relationship with food. When you realize that you are a spirit and that this body is a temple, then you want to treat it well.
Beyond drama and chaos, beyond anxiety and fear, lies a zone of endless peace and love. Let's all take a very deep breath, slow down for just a moment and remember this. That alone will open the door...
During times of challenge, what you have faith in is what determines what the challenge will turn into. Have faith in the reality of the challenge, and it will birth more challenges. Have faith in the reality of miracles, and the challenge will transform into something else.
No matter what I go through today, I need not fear. For God is all-powerful and God is here. I am never separate from the One who created me. There is nothing I can do to make Him turn his face away from me. I am loved, I am cared for, and I am totally safe in the arms of God.
It is absolutely a relationship with food that is a displaced relationship with God. And that displaced relationship with God takes two forms: our availability to other people and our availability to our own thoughts and feelings.