Tag Archives: Spiritual Growth

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The Reign of Terror Ends – Week 24 Supplemental

Over the last 5 or 6 days, I’ve been doing battle with fear. Well, battle may be a strong word, as I’ve not been contending with fear. Rather, I’ve been experiencing fear and “dealing” with it. I found some interesting ideas in the process.

In the MKE, the Masterkey Experience, we’ve been learning about ourselves, and we’ve been exploring the limits of personal power. Each of us is on an individual quest, and our “mileage,” as one would expect, has varied.

Where I’ve come so far is a place where I can celebrate my individual gifts and talents. I also celebrate everyone else’s gifts and talents. This is a place of abundance, love, bliss, freedom, autonomy, health, service, legacy, recognition and unending spiritual growth. Nice place? You bet.

What’s the catch? Glad you asked. Because there is one, and the price is steep. At least it seemed steep at first glance.

In answer to question 15-9, Haanel gave us one version of the key to this kingdom. “We do not have to laboriously shovel the darkness out; all that is necessary is to turn on the light.”

Most of us have experienced the idea that faith is the polar opposite of fear. If so, to use Haanel’s comparison, fear is darkness, and all that is needed to dispel darkness is to turn on the light of faith.

Marianne Williamson said it this way:

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?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

In the Hero’s Journey motif, the hero is heralded into a new life. That new life begins by leaving the old one and entering an unknown world. On the journey, the hero, with help at first, faces danger and adversity. Ultimately, the hero comes to the abyss, where he or she must “do battle” with nemesis. In that battle, the hero’s old life dies in sacrifice to nemesis. Atonement and resurrection follow, bringing the hero a new life in which he or she re-enters the previously known world with new powers and a new role of leadership and service to the rest of humanity.
Hero's Journey
Interestingly, my experience was that every adversity along my path, with or without help, felt like the abyss of nemesis. Until now.

Until now, I believed bromides like, “Do the thing you fear, and the death of fear is certain.” Or, “Do the thing, and you shall have the power.” Not that these don’t express truth. They do. However, the truth they express has a significant limitation.

The limitation is that the recommended practice presupposes the ongoing presence of fear. Until now, I believed that was inevitable, so the expressed truths made perfect sense. In fact, having practiced a little, I had personal proof that the practice worked.

Inside, however, I knew a greater truth lay waiting discovery. Until now.

My discovery? My greater truth is, “Danger is real, but fear is optional.” And, fear is not recommended. Moreover, danger, too, is largely optional. When I change the way I look at things, the things I look at change. Then I have a new heaven and a new earth.

I intuited that I was dealing with some “core” fears. These were wrapped around a couple deeply held beliefs I had layered into my DNA over many years, starting very young.

Fear 1: Money is evil, and I can’t handle or manage money.

Fear 2: I am unable to achieve at a truly high level.

I knew all along that fear is irrational and that my ultimate triumph was assured because of my faith in Christ. That cognition did not alter or banish my fear.

Until now.

In the abyss of nemesis (fear), the light of insight began to dawn. I saw that all fear is really one fear: “What if?” All the variations of fear are an extension of the basic fear. What if I fail? What if I succeed? What if _________? Fill in the blank for yourself. Even worse for me was the extended formula. What if X? Then Y? Horrors!

Whence, then, the light? Faith. Faith is a gift, free for the asking, and unlimited in its power. The price? Sacrifice.

My sacrifice is being willing to live without fear. In essence, to take up my bed and walk. In Hero’s Journey terms, to sacrifice the former dependent-on-fear life.

I now see that fear has been my crutch, my excuse, my “out.” The core of that fear? What if I’m not the hero I imagine myself to be? What then?

It’s great that our paths are strewn with concept-tools like the Serenity Prayer, the Law of Least Effort, and scriptural maxims like, “Be still, and know that I am God.”

I particularly appreciate the Law of Least Effort this week. The idea that I could just accept things as they are without resistance or rancor has been very comforting. Acknowledging the fact that I largely created my own abyss and crafted my own nemesis is empowering, even if a little troubling. The practice of defenselessness makes it more comfortable to proceed into an excuse-free world.

The Hero’s Journey motif is consistent throughout history and across all cultures. Why? Because we are all born knowing we’re heroes and heroines. In American parlance, we’re all superheroes. The imagination of creative writers gives voice to this universal knowledge. The persistent success of comic book heroes bears loud testimony to, and gives vibrant social proof of, the underlying universal truths we all perceive.

What I did not, perhaps could not, see was it is only in the hero’s journey that I discover the type of superhero I am. It is only in facing the adversity of my life, in facing the adversity for which I programmed myself, that my real strengths emerge. It is only in following my self-directed bliss that my true greatness unfolds. And it is only in my personal abyss in which the gold of my character and persona are sufficiently refined to be of general benefit when I re-emerge into the known world.

So, what if I’m not the superhero I imagine myself to be? Shallow self-knowledge of the pre-Hero’s Journey world all but guaranties I will not be as I thought. After all, it is only in the journey that I recognize my true gifts, my superpowers.

Here’s the good news. Since I’m definitely a superhero, the worst my new world can be is with me as Aquaman. Maybe my only superpower is sea life telepathy, but that’s still pretty cool when the need arises. Good thing I like sea life and the water in general, huh? At least I’m ripped, buffed out and look good in spandex, right?

When I told a business partner today that he had a superhero within, he immediately smiled. His “Subby” resonated with the idea so fast the smile was on his face before he could finish processing the words.

What’s your superpower? Aren’t you glad you engaged in the Hero’s Journey so you could find it?

As always, I’m glad you’re with me on the journey.

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Heart in Hand

God is Love – Week 20

Sunday, February 16, 2014

We learn from scripture and experience that God is Love. Jesus Christ taught His disciples that the pre-eminent commandment is to love God with all one’s heart, might, mind and strength.

The second commandment is similar: to love one’s neighbor as one’s self.

Study of Haanel’s Masterkey System is a great companion to studying scripture. Truth is truth, and variety of expression can be mind-expanding. For me, it can even seem soul-expanding.

This week I experienced a dramatic failure from failing to apply an industry best practice. I think I’m in good company having initially resisted this best practice, and pondering Haanel’s Lesson 19 led me to understand the nature of my error. I’ll give some detail later on about the failure and the best practice to assuage your curiosity, but the main lesson is more important in that it has universal application.

In Lesson 19 we learn that the only principle in physical, mental and spiritual matters is “mind” or thought. In Haanel’s lexicon, “principle” means a concept that has power. “Power” is the ability to create a pleasing result. Power provides the energy necessary to change polarity and thus cause movement. Movement can be physical, mental and/or spiritual.

Therefore, right thinking is the only positive power, and access to power is immediately granted to one who thinks correctly.

And what is the ultimate “right” thought? Put another way, what is the ultimate “right” motivation? The title to this post gives away the answer to all who are ready to receive it. All good, and all power, can ultimately be attributed to one thought, one motivation: love. God is love, because His only thought is love; His only motivation is love.

Love is multilayered, at least to my mortal, temporal mind. I can, and should, love God, love myself, love my wife, love my family, love my neighbors, love my community, love my nation and love my world. It is appropriate for me to draw motivation from each and all of these layers.

As I demonstrate love for God:
• I revere Him and trust Him;
• I love myself and the rest of His creation;
• I recognize His love for me in His commandments and instructions;
• I embrace His gift to me of agency, personal power and divine potential; and
• I obey Him, not out of fear or a sense of obligation, but out of a desire to honor Him by manifesting the best of which I am capable, always remembering that each act or thought of obedience expands my capacity.

As I demonstrate love for myself:
• I invest in personal development every day, always listening for God’s whisper inviting me to receive knowledge from additional sources;
• I choose nutrition appropriate to my needs;
• I respect my body by adopting appropriate exercise habits;
• I search out my divine destiny, mission and purpose to make sure my life’s ladder is leaning against the best wall;
• I embrace my potential by creating a detailed vision, image and/or statement of that purpose;
• I embrace the need to gain specific knowledge to help me achieve my purpose;
• I rejoice in visualizing, articulating and “owning” objectives, strategy and tactics calculated after due consideration to help me manifest my purpose;
• I choose one or more companions who will join with me in perfect harmony to pursue the path of purpose; and
• I keep all my promises, knowing that every promise kept is a blessing, and every promise broken is a burden.

I could go on a bit, but if you’re ready, you’re already getting the point.

Thank you for reading this far. Now, to relieve your curiosity, here’s what happened.

In an attempt to build a relationship and to collect a decision, I followed up with a friend, who is also one of my health care providers. I had answered his request for information with a conditional delivery of data and other resources. The condition was that he actually read and/or view the data and resources and report to me what he thought of them. He didn’t report, hence my follow up.

Despite my best shot at being supportive and non-confrontational, my “friend” was unable to resist what he perceived to be an invitation to provocation, and he totally went off on me, accusing me of social ineptitude (which may be true), and disparaging (without foundation) my industry, company, products, and personal integrity. He didn’t disparage my ancestry or progeny, but he came close. 🙂 The incident definitely damaged the relationship, and it might have destroyed it.

Lessons learned: twofold. One, my friend did not feel my love. Some aspect of my motivation and communication must have been selfish, self-serving, judging or condemning to provoke his reaction. Unless, as was observed by one of my mastermind partners, my friend is mentally ill, in which case his response was outside his control anyway.

Two, and equally important to the future of all my relationships, I did not love my friend or myself enough to make sure he was a “prospect” before offering him information. I learned in Go90Grow a method to employ up-front contracts (Hero’s Journey Skills) to distinguish between a “possibility” and a “prospect,” and I simply rebelled against using them. Mark J reassured me in a private conversation after the incident that my rebellion is unfortunately pretty typical. If I had operated from the sole motivation of love and applied the HJ skills, there is no way I would have invited my friend to receive information in the 1st place, let alone experienced the awkward and exceptionally unpleasant consequence mentioned above.

It happened that my friend and I attended a church leadership meeting this evening. A brief apology, expressions of love and a sincere hug later, our relationship begins anew. Trust will build with time.

Some knowledge, for me anyway, can only be acquired at a great price. I hope you are willing to accept it at “market” rather than unnecessarily paying extra. You and everyone around you will be happier, I promise.

Appropriate to today’s post, the closing hymn for our morning worship service was “God is Love.” It served as a wonderful affirmation of the inspiration with which the day started. God is love, because love is His only thought and His only motivation. Natural Action: He serves, without attachment or expectation of reciprocity. Natural result: He is Master.

Thus we see that Haanel, with Christ, really is offering us the Masterkey. As love becomes our only thought and our only motivation, we likewise gain mastery, line upon line, precept on precept, here a little and there a little, until we come to the measure and stature and fullness of Christ.

I hope you, too, know and feel God’s love. Join me in embracing and embodying love, won’t you?

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Idle Thoughts, Idle Words – Week 12

A scripture came to mind this morning:

34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.

36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.  (Matthew 12:34-37, KJV)

The idea of an idle word or idle thought stuck in my mind.  “Idle” struck me on several levels of meaning:

  • Without true intent or      without focused intent
  • Expressing idleness rather      than industry
  • Casual rather than serious
  • Without forethought
  • Without foresight
  • Without understanding

All of these concepts boil down to a central problem.  Every spoken word is an act of creation.  Words spoken without integrity create chaos, and words spoken with integrity create harmony.

A flood of memories came back, illustrating how many of my words have been uttered without integrity, some intentionally and some unintentionally.

With this insight and these memories, I began to become aware of the magnitude of each thought and each spoken word.  Because we really will (and do, daily) face judgment.

Ultimately, the effort of our lives will be weighed and measured against the standard of truth.  And every thought contributes to either meeting or failing to meet that standard.

My idle words have created little dust devils of chaos.  And those little vortices of chaos have incented people touched by them to doubt me, doubt themselves, and doubt their Creator. None of those are good things.  No wonder Jesus said that such would give rise to eventual judgment.

Fortunately, part of the creative power with which God endowed us is the power to change.  Or, in other words, the power to create a new reality.  Or, in other words, the power to repent and become more godly.

You can guess what my new initiative will be: to limit (at first) and then eliminate idle thoughts.  Because I know that when the idle thoughts are gone, all the idle words and deeds will have magically vanished out of my life, the dark having naturally been displaced by the light.

What about you?  Will you join me?  You know, if you do, I believe we can change the world.

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