What often frustrates and derails the spiritual student is the quandary of how to live all the things learned along the path. The purpose of this blog is not to ask anyone to change a belief but to help those who are intent in their pursuit of living in alignment with their beliefs to put those ideals into their real lives.
Monday, January 14, 2013
TIME OUT-TIME OFF
(Personal note:I thought I had already written about this
but I don’t find that I have.At any
rate I am being urged to kick it up a notch/go the next step/dig deeper [choose
your favorite euphemism].This is the
longest piece I have written in a long time.I had thought about sending it in segments, but it really needs to be
absorbed as a whole.As always, use this
material as you are guided.)
TIME OUT – TIME OFF
I have found myself in
several conversations lately wherein the topic has been how hard it is to
fulfill good intentions….staying present, meditation, being in joy, having an
open heart, etc.It has become apparent
that what is “up” right now is what I personally think is THE biggest hurdle in
the way of the spiritual sojourner.
As you may know, one of my
favorite quotes is “You cannot be totally committed sometimes.”And herein lies the heart of the matter.
We have been told to “pray
unceasingly”, which translates to me to be in communion with Spirit ALL THE
TIME.And that is the challenge.I
have been living “in the question” of this for several years now.This is what I now know about this topic (and
assume more revelations may follow).
#1 – THE WEEKLY WORSHIP
Even if you do not attend a worship service at some
organized religious place, chances are good that you did sometime in your
life.Even if you didn’t, it is the
pervasive collected consciousness that weekly worship is how you go about being
a “good” person.Underneath this belief
is the idea that what you do “outside” of church is your “real world” and most
can’t be bothered with thinking about their relationship with God.(Of course there are those that are
dedicated, but we are talking about the general atmosphere here.)
Think for a moment.If you attended worship every single week for a year that would be 52
hours of attention focused on Spirit (by whatever name you call it).Since there are 8,760 hours in a year, that
means you spend 8,708 hours not thinking about Spirit.(Again, I do know there are exceptions.)The point being the collective consciousness
has divided its life into “spiritual time” and “other time”.
The concept of “time off” is pervasive in our society –
whether it is vacation time, holiday time, weekend time, girls’/boys’ night
out, date night, or whatever.We are
invested in the idea that we can be “let off the hook” for behavior and that it
is alright for there to be moments when no rules apply.
I often ask people, “What would you think if you were in
a dire situation and prayed to God/the Universe/the Creator for assistance, and
you were greeted with an ‘Out of Office Reply’?”Or, what if you got a message machine that
said, “God is out of the office and won’t be back until next week.He is taking a much needed time off”?Isn’t that whole idea utterly
ridiculous?That God should not be
omnipresent?Why then, do we entertain
the idea that it is alright for us to not be omni-in-the-present?
As you contemplate the “time out syndrome” as it may
apply to you, please be aware that I have come to believe that it is the number
one obstacle to spiritual growth, therefore it needs our utmost attention.And, I believe that all of the following are
inherent within this one big topic.
#2 – KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR
/DAMSEL IN DISTRESS/SILVER BULLET SYNDROME
The collective consciousness is hugely invested in the
idea that “someday my Prince will come”.Some Savior, Knight in Shining Armor, Mommy, Daddy, the President, Mohamed
will come and “save” me and make everything wonderful for me so that I don’t
have to do anything for myself.
There seems to be some idea that we will be relieved of
our worries/problems/short comings by someone/thing magical outside of our
self.This “rescuer” will right all
wrongs, make straight the crooked, absolve us of our misdeeds and then anoint us
as perfect and place a halo above our heads.Sorry to tell you, but I have looked and looked and looked and I can
find no such deal available.
Also in this category is some hope/belief that “If I just
keep searching, I will find the technique/meditation/posture/mantra/pill that
will be the short cut to enlightenment.”I call this the “Silver Bullet” syndrome and I find it is pervasive in
our society – a silver bullet for dieting, exercise, making money, finding a
Of course, at the heart of all this is just plain laziness
-- a desire to reap incredible rewards with little or no effort on our
part.I must admit to the fact that I
got caught in this trap for about a decade and I have looked high and low for
such an animal and it just does not exist.Whether we like it or not the road to enlightenment is a staircase, not
an escalator or elevator.
It seems obvious that there would be no need for a
savior/knight/rescuer unless there was a victim that needed saving, ergo the
damsel in distress part of this topic.We have examined the attitude of victim in other writings but suffice it
to say the prevailing sentiment is “it’s not my fault”.(Please refer to other writings on my blog or
contact me directly if you want to go more in depth on this.)
#3 - BELIEF IN “OTHER”
The profound belief in “other” is based in a fundamental
belief in separation.Again, we have
explored this before.
This belief allows one to “off-load” responsibility and
to cast blame and judgment.It is the
fundamental realm of the ego and is a necessary ingredient in keeping one from
any spiritual progress.
#4 – AN UNWILLINGNESS TO BE
This is a “biggie”.It encompasses both accountability and impeccability.
“Be Impeccable With
Your Word” is the First Agreement.Most people take away that this means they shouldn’t gossip.Please read this Agreement twice a week for a
year or until it is literally the new program of your mind.
Look at the above phrase without prejudice and without
thinking you know what it means.It
means – literally – to tell the truth ALL THE TIME…the whole truth (as you know
it) and nothing but the truth…NO TIME OUTS.
Most of us have grown up telling a “little white lie” or
fudging for dramatic purposes, i.e. “I did it a thousand times” (okay twice),
or “People everywhere were commenting on how great it was” (okay, one person
mentioned it) or “It is the greatest cookie in the world” (really?) or “I am
the just not capable of doing that” (right).The point being we believe that it is okay to not tell the absolute
truth if it really doesn’t hurt anyone or if it can get our point across.What we have forgotten is that every word we
utter or think is recorded in our Being and becomes a part of our belief system
and expression of self.
What I have found to be the most difficult and
enlightening part of being impeccable with words isn’t that we lie to one
another but that we lie to ourselves.It
has been my observation that the one to whom it is hardest to be truthful is “me”.Because, I have found that one is willing to
repeat a belief that may not be the truth over and over until it is no longer
examined and the truth is buried underneath a bunch of emotional baggage.Try listening to your self-talk and then ask
yourself “Is that the truth as I know it?”You may be surprised at what you find.
#5 – A FALSE BELIEF IN
is a belief system that says “what I do in private doesn’t count”.
Well, the first fallacy is that anything we do could not “count”,
but I believe we have covered that elsewhere.The bigger issue here, as I see it, is the idea that there is such a
thing as “privacy”.Now really….if
God/the Creator/ guardians/guides/teachers/mentors/angels/archangels/the
Galactic Federation/the tooth fairy and Santa Claus are always watching, where
is there “privacy”?
There is an old Zen story that I love:
The Master had 3
students to whom he gave a small bird.He told the 3 students to “go somewhere where you cannot be seen and
kill the bird and then bring it to me”.Away they went.
the hour 2 of the students had returned with their dead bird, quite proud of
the fact that they managed to follow his instructions and were not seen.The 3rd student did not show up
until very late in the evening.
the 3rd student arrived his bird was still alive.The Master asked, “Did you not hear my
instructions?You were to go someplace
where you were not seen and kill the bird and return to me.Why have you not done so?”
student replied, “Master, I did try.I
went behind the Church.I went into the
woods.I went every place I could think
of but I could not find a place where God was not and where He would not see
me.I am sorry I have failed.”
Master replied, “Indeed you have not.You have learned the greatest of lessons – you cannot go where God will
not witness what you do, so you must always do what you know you wish H would
witness, for indeed that is the truth.”
Live your life knowing that absolutely every thought you
have and everything you do is witnessed by the hoards of Heaven and are
recorded in the annuls of the Isness.
In closing, I urge you to
realize that indeed the time is NOW and we are being called to be all that we
can be all the time, with no exceptions.