ONE OF THE FOUR AGREEMENTS

Posted: March 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

In 1997, Don Miguel Ruiz came out with a wonderful book that is now a classic in self help literature, The Four Agreements. These agreements are based upon ancient Toltec wisdom. They are a code of conduct to live lives of freedom, happiness and love.

Agreement #2: Don’t Take Anything Personally

“Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.”

Read and re-read those words. We constantly subject ourselves to people’s opinions and sometimes live n hell because of it. If we can only understand that none of those opinions has anything o do with us then we can forgive and walk in love and bliss. That is a noble goal to say the least.

POINTS TO PONDER

Posted: March 11, 2012 in Uncategorized

A couple of weeks ago I sat with a good friend on his birthday. It was a relaxing Saturday morning in a nice Italian coffee shop. Within the space of two cappuccinos we had solved a few of the world’s problems (that was the easy part) and had come to note a few maxims to live by as we went out into the world caffeine-enriched. We were both wrestling with some issues regarding ducks in our lives—you know, those that are continuously quacking no matter what…all you hear from them is “quack, quack, quack.” Quite annoying.

Here’s what we came up with:

1) Take nothing personally
2) Everyone has their own story
3) Forgive, forgive, forgive…they know not what they do
4) To change actions, change beliefs

Sounds simple. Do it!

THE DARK SHADOW OF LUCIFER

Posted: February 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

Lucifer (aka Satan)  has been in the news lately.

Well, lets take a look at him.

There is currently, for the first time ever, a couple in the process of being made saints. The French intellectual married couple, Jacques and Raissa Maritain are currently in the beatification process. They met in 1900 in Paris. She was a Russian Jewish emigre. Together they searched for truth, the truth of God. They considered themselves atheists for a while and considered committing suicide together, until they discovered St. Thomas Aquinas. They then both converted to Roman Catholicism. In 1929, in the midst of a European rise of fascism/totalitarianism/authoritarianism (namely, Stalin in the USSR, Hitler in Germany,  Mussolini in Italy, and Franco in Spain), she wrote an essay called The Prince of This World. In it she she writes:

“Lucifer has cast the strong though invisible net of illusion upon us. He makes one love the passing moment above eternity, uncertainty above truth. He persuades us that we can only love creatures by making Gods of them. He lulls us to sleep (and he interprets our dreams); he makes us work. He then does the spirit of man brood over stagnant waters. Not the least of the devil’s victories is to have convinced artists and poets that he is their necessary, inevitable collaborator and the guardian of their greatness. Grant him that, and soon you will grant him that Christianity is unpracticable. Thus does he reign in this world.”

Now clearly, you do not have to believe in the devil to understand the philosophical worth of what is being said in this essay. There is darkness, there is evil…even if you only consider it as the absence of light and the absence of love. The world is immersed in darkness on many levels: war, terrorism, genocide, and hatred of any faces. Even here in the U.S. we are purposely being thrown at each other in unnecessary class warfare, religious freedoms are being abolished by our government and we are being told that Jesus wants our taxes raised. Not pretty, for sure. But, and of this I am sure—light and love will prevail, and the darkness (including its Prince, if in fact he does exist) will be defeated. Keep the faith.

Godspeed!

WHERE ARE WE, THEN?

Posted: February 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

“Where are we, then?
The religionists are the enemies of liberty, and the friends of liberty attack religion; the high-minded and the noble advocate bondage, and the meanest and the most servile preach independence; honest and enlightened citizens are opposed to all progress, while men without patriotism and without principle put themselves forward as the apostles of civilization and intelligence.
Has such been the fate of the centuries which have preceded are our own? and has man always inhabited a world like the present, where all things are not in their proper relationships, where all virtue is without genius, and genius without honor; where the love of order is confused with a taste for oppression, and the holy cult of freedom with a contempt of law; where the light thrown by conscience on human actions is dim, and where nothing seems to be any longer forbidden or allowed, honorable or shameful, false or true?
I cannot believe that the Creator made man to leave him in an endless struggle with the intellectual wretchedness that surrounds us.”

Democracy in America, by Alexis de Tocqueville, 1835

Kinda says it all, doesn’t it?

Today John White wrote an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal about his campaign to have the Medal of Honor awarded to George Washington. He gives examples of how the father of our country was not only a commanding leader and brilliant statesman, but was also one of the bravest soldiers in American history. He gives several examples of how George Washington led his men from the front directly into enemy fire. He was a man of amazing courage and honor. This essay is very enlightening as to the depth of character of our first President, and it is very inspiring. George Washington was a paramount example of a man of honor. Honor.—wonderful virtue, one the world can use more of. Let’s all hope that George Washington is finally granted the Medal of Honor and the country unites to celebrate who this man was and what he stood for. The times yearn for it.

PASSION

Posted: December 18, 2011 in Uncategorized

COVENANT PRINCIPLE #6: Passion plus compassion moves mountains.

As we approach a new year we all ought to consider following our passions, living our passions. Life is too short to do otherwise. It is our life to live. Are we allowing others to live it for us? Are we allowing circumstances to dictate how we live? Time goes by quickly, far too quickly. Before you know it months turn into years, dreams fade and life wears us out. We can’t let that happen. Stop it now! Let’s all vow to take our dreams out of the closet, dust them off, and make them come true.

The compassion part of the principle means that we should all desire to alleviate the suffering of others…and our own. Interestingly enough, if you start relieving suffering, whether on yourself first or others, it almost automatically works on both. So let us vow to relieve suffering wherever we find it.

Passion and compassion. Powerful!

More on Gratitude

Posted: November 28, 2011 in Uncategorized

Here is an excerpt from The Covenant Secret: The Master Key to Success

“Milton wrote, ‘Good, the more communicated, more abundant grows.’ Other philosophers have expressed the same concept more or less this way: ‘That which we pay attention to, expands.’”

Bill nodded. He had heard this before.

“We choose where we place our attention,” Tom continued, “which gives us the power to shape our lives. Emerson said, ‘Life consists of what man is thinking about all day.’

“Now, what I believe—and I am not alone in this—is that when we are grateful our lives are more abundant. Gratitude is powerful. Be thankful for what is good in your life and you will get more of it. It’s a pretty simple principle, but don’t doubt its power. Meister Eckhart, the great mystic, said, ‘If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.’ And Plato said, ‘A grateful mind is a great mind, which eventually attracts to itself great things.’”

COVENANT PRINCIPLE #2:  “That which we show gratitude for increases.”

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Now is the time to show gratitude for everything and everybody that make us happy and our lives richer. Give thanks. Give thanks. Give thanks.

Aside  —  Posted: November 23, 2011 in covenant secrets