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"Free and critical minds can emerge only by a return to the source-the primary sources. A free and critical mind takes nothing for granted and is not intimidated by "authorities" who frequently may be more confused than the general public. Free and critical minds seek truth without chauvinism or shame." - Dr. Asa G. Hilliard III (1)

“One single bit of information, if missing, incomplete, out of order or just plain wrong, has the potential to significantly alter thought processes, conclusions, decisions and behaviors, even when that one single logic entry exists in a sea of accuracy.”

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Holy Words of Love

Listen as your day unfolds
Challenge what the future holds
Try and keep your head up to the sky
Lovers, they may cause you tears
Go ahead release your fears
Stand up and be counted
Don't be ashamed to cry

You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold, you gotta be wiser
You gotta be hard, you gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger
You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm, you gotta stay together
All I know, all I know, love will save the day

Despite all the truth and inspiration in those words, it does simply come down to love. Beautifully-said sugarcoated love is our salvation - sometimes. At other times, a stripped down, tougher love is needed to save us from the darkest of days.

The Supreme Scripture

Aren't personal growth, respect for nature and seeking spirituality basic themes in holy texts such as the Christian Bible, Qur'an, Divine Principle,Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and Buddhist texts, just to name a few? Don't these themes and scriptures require love? Isn't love the holiest of holy themes?

Aren't words like, higher power, spirit, spirituality, universe, energy, karma, kismet, Chi, Ubuntu, Roho Mtakatifu, Supreme Being, enlightenment and God, good words. Aren't they all part of the same intricate whole that seeks to help, heal and connect us to our better selves? Are we harmed by having faith in two or more of these philosophies? Not necessarily to the nth degree but to the degree they promote love. How could that be blasphemous or sacrilegious?

Each philosophy is essentially about a uniting and a oneness. That's what love is, ain't it?

Not considering other beliefs whose essence emanates from the core of love is to act contrary to peace, goodwill and salvation. We do the world no good with this kind of faith. Great faith, with little leeway - for love.

Diversification, Not Interpretation

If we cling to any singular text as the one and only teacher of truth, look out! Not only will we miss truths outside of the text, we will miss truths in the text.

We won't discover much with closed minds, not even our spirits. The spirit sends messages in more ways than just through a select few. First of all, message are sent directly from our spirit to our awareness. The rest of the time messages are sent through anyone, any experience, nature, dreams, conversations, writings, music, television, sports and so on.

We won't discover the bounty of positive, helpful things if we don't consider, read, study, reflect, observe, have conversations and expect guidance from anywhere at any time. We will not be overwhelmed. By opening our spirit, we will become better discerners as we move through this maturation process.

Love Saves

One day, our depiction of life will be played back. Will this replay show languid, loveless lives reading from scripts instead of taking their cues from the spirit who knows the truth in every text by heart? Why risk our only chance by betting it all on man's adaptation?

Perhaps this replay will be different because we started acknowledging the entirety of love's breathing includes holy words like “You Gotta Be” by Des'ree.

Once again, only paying attention to a small number of texts, VIP's and insiders is like listening with one ear closed. It throws off our balance, makes it hard to hear breathing.

Why do that? For fear of desecrating our souls with love? If we behaved as truthseekers, we'd quickly intuit: love consecrates souls. Love is the salvation. Love is the Supreme One.

Will today be the day we become followers of the one holy word that saves us all no matter what other words we choose?

(1) You Gotta Be by Des'ree

Related Links:

When Was The Last Time You De-Learned?
Listening For Understanding

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Spirituality Meets Money Mentality

Money is needed, few doubts about it. Spirituality is needed, fewer doubts about that. Sometimes these needs appear to be at odds. It's about time they learn to get along.

What Spirituality Represents

The primary purpose of the spirit is to help us get the most out of the value in ourselves. By doing this we will get the most out of this life and the one to come.

Our spirit represents the greatest portion of our individual, personal value. We own this value free and clear. The spirit is our birthright. It was granted to get us started on an equal footing and to keep us going. It is life ensurance.

What Money Represents

Money is an accepted and simpler measure of value. This value is used to trade one thing for another. For instance, money represents the value of one hour of work. We trade our time and skill for that money by performing that work. Without money, there would have to be something else of value to give us in exchange for our time and skill. We'd need a bigger wallet and it'd be hard to make change. The power of money is that it makes it so much easier to trade things.

Back in the old days, more people had a greater understanding of the value of things. They were more aware of the time, energy and processes required to make things available. Today, that understanding is highly questionable. Yet, money still represents value. This was just asking for trouble. Along the way from then to now, what we hand over of ourselves, how much money we receive and finally, how much of that value we hand over for other things got really out of whack.

We are no longer connected to what it takes to produce basic things like food or how valuable our time is or our abilities are. All we know is we need things. We also know we need money to get those things. Somebody's got it and we got's ta have it.

We quickly and automatically come to the conclusion money comes from jobs and things come from stores. With this limited perspective of the trade-offs, we cheat ourselves in so many ways by giving up way more than we get or is even possible to get. We seek shortcuts and end up short circuiting.

We give up time, effort, brain power, peace of mind, skill, knowledge, character, health, relationships, honesty, life, dreams, spirit, passion, purpose and so on in order to get apples, milk, eggs, bread, sugar, corn, rice and wheat, lumber, bricks, leather, machines, cotton, power, prestige, safety, security, entertainment, stuff, happiness, success and so on.

Our disconnection on one hand and desire on the other have made it come true that money is a major motivator. Well it is and it isn't.

If money was truly the motivator we act like it is, we would be motivated to get the most out of what we trade to get money. We would appreciate and improve upon the use of our time and skills. That way we would get the most value we could. Then we could have all the things value can buy.

If we have a money mentality, then we should at least go for it completely. Pursue it like we mean it. Be truly motivated. Get the full value for our worth. Quit trading all our important resources for a little bit of monetary value. No wonder generation after generation do not appreciate the value of a dollar spent. It's because we do not communicate the value in a dollar earned.

At Least These Numbers Don't Lie

The other day I read someone earned $10,000,000 a day for the past two years working a job. If I work from age 18 to 68 for an average of $50,000 a year, I would only earn $137 a day.

Evidently I need to change my perspective and awareness concerning my monetary worth. I need to start trading myself for no less than $1,000 per day. That's $365,000 per year. Sounds like a lot but it is not uncommon for many people to earn a million per year. It is even more common for people to earn more than $365,000 per year.

Even if I did earn $1,000 a day for 50 years, the person at the beginning of this example could earn the same amount in just two days. For those making a million per year, their 19-year income would be more than my 50-year income.

The Right Tool For The Job

No matter what, being our best will serve us well in this life. Being our best is not improving our skills, it is doing what we were designed or redesigned to do.

Humans and many animals can learn to do many things and do them well. Doesn't mean that's what we should or were meant to do. Even plants can be trained.

Being our best will help us remain aware of our true value and begin trading that value for things of greater value, including more money. If it takes the motivation of money to move us towards our best, then so be it.

Here's the other side of reality. Trading our value for money will never be equal. It ain't supposed to be. It's impossible. You can't take something of immeasurable value and value it with something that is merely a carnal convention and convenience – money. However, when you employ your spirit, you'll have all the money you desire plus fulfillment.

This doesn't keep us from knowing there are clowns who receive more money and contribute far less value. If they seem to be better off, that's the trick of the enemy to get us to forsake our faith and also trade supposed success for the siphoning of our souls and the sacrifice of our legacy.

Being our best will help us remain connected to our gifts which is spiritual exercise. It's stupid not to use our spirit to our advantage. By not valuing my spirit and using it for all it's worth, as far as I'm concerned, I've clowned myself.

This is even more laughable when it's obvious that if it takes money in this life, the spirit has no problem with us having money and lots of it. Makes me wonder...when they were passing out spirits, did we think they said lyrics, which might explain why we trade our spirits for a song.

Money is a tool and resource. Money replaced bartering, checks replaced money and credit/debit cards replaced checks.
Our spirit is a tool and resource. It cannot be replaced. There are no substitutes but many prostitutes.
It is a crime to deface money. It is a sin to disgrace the spirit.

Spirituality and money mentality need to keep on meeting like this.

Related Links:

12 Resources I Have
How To Escape The Rat Race
Job Lost? Don't Lose Spirituality

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Challenge Your Spirit

all men are created equal because all are given an equal portion of the Creator's spirit.

the spirit leapt and cries announced the arrival of joy to the world. yet, the spirit is more than a body quickener. the spirit wants you to have a life without restrictions. listen to this intuitive self, your gut and the voice within...then follow that something only you can sense.

but don't stop there. Challenge Your Spirit to help you become more than possibilities. do not hold the spirit's breath. allow it breathe from all atmospheres and into everything you are and every element you touch.

ask for what you really want. the spirit knows the way past the sun so why ask to reach the sky? if we are capable of more, then the spirit easily is.

beyond physical tears and beyond crying about this and that, it's time to re-cry the cry of creation, the marvelous cry, the cry of new day and the confident cry that your birth was indeed a miracle. living is commanded to reflect that type of miracle-confirming joy to the world.

every body and soul and mind working hand-in-hand-in-concert strengthens the immune system of the world. this harambee (pulling together) within every living cell (person) makes the body (world) more resistant to cancerous wickedness lying in wait for weakness. Challenge Your Spirit to help you reclaim your strength. this will help heal the world simply because you are doing your job by living your life. everyone has an equal opportunity at greatness. Not by law, by love. Challenge Your Spirit to help your life bear proof of its greatest truth.

Related Links:

What Does It Take To Live?
Average Person's Expert
Giving Thanks & Wondering

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Unemployment & Inflation

The ugliest American scandal of all is that the have-nots do not have a handle on what's really going on.

Part of personal growth is improving our understanding of things that affect us. With a better understanding we can reshape these beliefs and finally escape the associated fears. We've already fallen for shenanigans such as “weapons of mass destruction” and “too big to fail.” This time around we don't have to be fooled or frightened by how high the unemployment rate is or by the mention of inflation. Let's explore what those two things really mean.

Inflation starts occurring when the cost of things rise over time. What causes prices to increase? More money in our pockets does. The more money individuals/consumers have, the more things they demand. When demand exceeds supply, prices increase.

Unemployment reduces the disposable income of a population of individuals which reduces demand which in turn reduces inflation. In high unemployment economies, those who are employed, since they are now grateful to have a job, settle for less disposable income by agreeing to wage and benefit concessions and by not asking for raises while the costs of things around them continue to rise. More people spend less.

Not only does high consumer spending add to inflation but also high spending by the government. The government is already spending money on at least two wars and has been for years, now add to that stimulus spending upon stimulus spending upon stimulus spending.

Where did this stimulus money come from? They simply printed it as always. This adds to inflation. But inflation hasn't gotten worse as the government continues to spend more and more money for several reasons. Less spending by consumers due to unemployment, less spending by those who are employed due to uncertainty of how long their job will last and less spending by individuals and business because banks are not lending money.

The government helped reduce spending by individuals and businesses by allowing crucial economic areas such as banking and real estate to go unchecked, which caused the economy to become unstable and take several steps backwards. Adding to this was the continued behavior of Wall Street and insurers of financial products. Our government allowed enough unscrupulous behavior for businesses to fail in rapid, trickle down, domino succession then came to the rescue. This set the stage for rising unemployment and a nervous nation.

Let's jump to 2010. Government stimulus spending and war spending will remain in full force and effect which is why unemployment will remain high. Also, there will be fewer conflicting reports about the economic recovery. Once more individuals start believing what is already taking place, individual spending will increase and banks will lend more money. These two things will cause businesses to spend more. This is why unemployment must remain high. You can't have everyone doing better, at the same time everyone is believing, things are better. Why? Because they will spend more money which creates more demand for goods and services faster than they can be supplied which will increase prices and create inflation especially now since a lot of purchases have been delayed over the past two years.

The unemployed are the last ones to be reinvited to the party of consumption. In the meantime, the government appeases them with extension of benefits to keep them from becoming completely hopeless, desperate and dangerous which would create additional societal problems. At the same time, the government takes this opportunity to say we also need job creation measures and incentives so they can give businesses “too little to grow on their own” tax breaks, bailouts and handouts while most are left out. This is what happens to those “too asleep to suspect anything.” If we fail to understand what's really going we will always have to settle for a smidgen compared to the smörgåsbord others are invited to partake. On a related note, Congress has voted to not give seniors a cost of living increase in their social security but are considering giving them $250 next year. They must be “too old to need much.”

Finally, let's revisit the automatic, underlying thought we have when we hear the words, “high unemployment” or “rising unemployment.”

If we think those words mean there are no jobs, we are wrong. There are thousands upon thousands of advertised and open positions and more that are not. Jobs are not hard to find.

What's difficult is the lengthy hiring process that is antiquated, highly inefficient and filled with bottlenecks. Another reason unemployment remains high is many employers don't want to hire too quickly because they can temporarily get existing workers to pick up the slack while saving the cost of a new employee. The third part of the problem is employed people seeking jobs. It's their right but it slows down the timeframe for some unemployed people to become employed if the already employed person gets the job. This creates another open position and the process starts again. The last thing that makes the job outlook seem worse than it is, is that many job seekers are not willing to work anywhere doing anything for any pay which is their prerogative. It takes time for all these things to sort themselves out.

Now as the events in the economy continue to play out, we should be able to make better assessments since we know a little more about the script. We already knew who most of the players and actors were. It's up to us to decide if we want to continue to be used as extras or have a more significant role in the next episode of this delightful democratic drama.

Related Links:

Think Kuji! Think!

Quotes & Proverbs To Live By

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Father May I Start Over In 2009?

As children, we used to play a game called “Father (Mother) May I.” The name changed depending on whether a boy or girl was in charge. The game consisted of at least three players: two or more “children” and one “father” We would take turns asking if we could take baby steps or giant steps to reach the place where the father was. It was up to that person to grant the request. If we failed to begin a request with “Father May I,” we would lose a turn; however if we did ask correctly, more times than not, the request would be granted. Sometimes we were granted fewer steps or additional steps. Anyone caught moving when they weren't supposed to or taking more steps than granted would have to start over.

Even at that age, I wondered why anyone would ask for baby steps when they could ask for giant steps. I also wondered why anyone would ask for one giant step when they could ask for any number. The only thing that made sense was taking steps without permission. We wanted to win and there could only be one winner. That's what it took under those odds and those stakes.

Thankfully life is not a game, although if we are not attentive, we could easily end up playing around, fooling around or messing around with our lives (been there, done that and ain't trying to go back). Our saving grace is realizing we have been moving out of turn with our true selves and feel the need to start over somewhere, some way, somehow. This is a good thing because it is always our turn. We can take the next step – baby step or giant step right now. We don't have to wait.

We don't have to wait for anyone else to get their steps granted first. We're not competing with anyone so the size and amount of steps and the time it takes are for each person to measure against their own standards. We don't have to ask for permission. We don't even have to wait until retirement. We do not have to wait for a new calendar year. Many who had to start over in the children's game did so immediately and many of those same children won the game.

What steps am I wiling to take when I'm trying to reach the place I should be? What steps am I willing to take when my life is at stake, when living is the prize and when my life is the main objective?

favorable odds by Usiku

everyone can win
without giving in
for the meeting of ends
since dreams don't depend
on family, friends
or the adulation of men
it's wise to start over again
now is the time to begin

There are two months left in 2009 but only two motions, an inhale and exhale, until I can take a step to start over in some aspect of my life. My higher power granted me lifelong permission at birth and renews it every second of every day. How about yours?

Since I am now plenty old enough to have learned this, when I continue to hesitate, my Father says, "Please child, go ahead already!"

Related Links:

Personal Growth: It's Your Job

Listening For Understanding

I'm Not Holding My Breath