Friday, August 12, 2016

"Robert's 101 Rules of Order for a GOOD Life," by A. Robert Smith - Some Distilled Wisdom


Some distilled wisdom for the every day struggling soul. Robert's 101 Rules of Order for a GOOD LIFE, by A. Robert Smith, deserves a place on the kitchen table, or in the handbag, for daily inspiration. At the age of 91, veteran journalist and author of ten books, has published a book of proverbs, his own and those of famous names such as Confucius, Churchill, Elenor and Teddy Roosevelt and not the least, Benjamin Franklin, Robert's own favorite among the Founding Fathers.


I recommend it!

Life and Death - to Honor the Spirit of the Deer


To honor the Spirit of the White tailed deer, I placed him on a favorite spot, stones of white, directly from the ground, and leaves of healing on his forehead. Mimosa - strong friend.

Life and Death. White tailed deer. May the morning light be soft on your head, and make me soft inside. I pray for all life, I pray for peace, and I give thanks, to all life there is.



Sunday, August 7, 2016

Slow


Slow. Sometimes we have to take the time to just look at our creations. Many spiders weave their webs in the dark. Their visible in early morning, dewdrops glistening in delicate, strong threads. Webs seemingly dissapering in the hot sunlight - becoming invisible to the eye, but not the skin.

Looking at my creations. Weaving tonight, or perhaps tomorrow. Weaving webs of light and dark, of life and death. Grandmother SpiderWoman, Old Wise One. We weave. But don't stress. Let the weave be, and wait ....



Friday, August 5, 2016

"Robert's 101 Rules of Order for a GOOD LIFE," by A. Robert Smith. - A Bookreview of a Feelgood Book


I found this small pocket sized book of wisdoms just great. Quote books of sayings in general can sometimes be tedious: often truisms thrown together that no-one can live by, few believe - not even the person who put the collection together. That's why I like A. Robert Smith's Robert's 101 Rules of Order for a GOOD LIFE.

A. Robert Smith is a veteran journalist and author. He was the founding editor of Venture Inward magazine, author of nine previous books, including The Lost Memoirs of Edward Cayce and a former Washington correspondent and columnist whose work has been published in the New York Times Magazine, Newsday, Philadelphia Inquirer, Washington Post, Portland Oregonian, Virginian-Pilot and other publications. He wrote Robert's 101 after recovering from a massive stroke and published the book recently at the age of 91. As far as wisdom sayings go - he knows more than most what he is talking about.

Mr. Smith uses the old-fashioned style of proverbs―short statements that are meaningful and often humorous. About half of the proverbs contained here express his views on marriage, family relations, child behavior, and other earthy topics. The other half includes proverbs and sayings by popular figures, such as Ben Franklin, Shakespeare, Confucius, Schweitzer, Churchill, the Buddha, Maya Angelou, Mark Twain, and Will Rogers.

This is a book that made me smile. Very well excecuted in it's gengre.

Or as Mr. Smith and Confucious states it:

"'Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life,' said Confusius.
I chose a writer's life, and loved it; it often meant working overtime - but I loved that too."

It shows.


"JESUSGATE: A History of Concealment Unraveled" - A Review of an Important Book



“This is not a religious book; it is a book about religion. Specifically, this work seeks to assess the Jesusgate phenomenon. The term Jesusgate, used herein, indicate that Christian leaders, by act of commission and omission, have seriously neglected their responsibility to share with the laity vital information about the origins of Christianity and the Jesus tradition. As a result, an incredible knowledge gap has ensued between what scholars of religion now know, as opposed to what lay people have been led to believe.”

The quote comes from the introduction of JESUSGATE: A History of Concealment Unraveled by Ernie Bringas.
But why should this knowledge gap matter to any of us, especially to those of us who have taken a step back from Christianity? But it does matter; it matters because the widespread ideas and beliefs of Christianity and the Jesus tradition prevail worldwide. Accordingly, all of us are affected by these traditional beliefs, be we Christian or not, beliefs that are no longer rational or defensible.
That's why Ernie Bringas’ book is so important. The ongoing reluctance to share mainstream religious scholarship with lay people, simply does not serve us. It has consequences. Over the past centuries, this knowledge gap—between scholar and layperson—has led us to bigotry, the persecution of Jews, murder, the oppression of women, the suppression of science and many other aberrations.
Bringas makes a clear case that the beliefs that most people have about Christianity are obsolete, and he exposes the reasons why people continue to splash around in the backwaters of a religious mind-set equivalent to that of the 17th century. Bringas breaks down these misconceptions step by step, and provides the knowledge that will help diminish that debilitating handicap.
He goes on to say: “Because scholars of religion utilize a scientific methodology, their fact finding record has proven remarkably productive.” He estimates that of the over two billion Christians worldwide, less than one percent of them know much about the findings of New Testament scholarship, rendering the majority of Christians and non-Christians alike, religiously illiterate. When Bringas speaks of “religious illiteracy,” he is not referring to what laypersons may or may not know about biblical content. Someone may well be able to quote you chapter and verse and yet be religiously illiterate; that is, totally unaware about the findings of religious scholarship.
This work doesn’t make any claims about supernatural subjects (e.g.,Does God exist?) that are outside of the scope of critical thinking. It focuses on the origins, development, selection, authorship, historical reliability, translation and transmission over the centuries, of the New Testament (NT). It also explores the issues surrounding the historical Jesus, the “divinity” of Jesus, prophecy, the status of women in the NT, and the influence of first-century religious and cultural worldviews on NT development.

Contrary to the seriousness of the subject matter, there is much humor in Bringas’ approach; he even throws in a few cartoons for good measure. This was a joy to read, on a very serious matter that affects us all, Christian or not.

Author Ernie Bringas has a Master of Divinity degree from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, and was ordained as a minister of the United Methodist Church. He served the Church for almost twenty years before venturing into academe, where he currently teaches Religious Studies at Glendale Community College in Arizona. Under their auspices, he previously taught these classes at Arizona State University. Interesting to note, during the early 1960s Ernie, with partner Phil Stewart, founded a rock group that came to be known as THE RIP CHORDS. Recording on the Columbia Records label, they placed five hit singles on the Billboard Hot 100.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Reclaim Your Energy from the Past


We are all connected: people, groups, communities. Through ideas and developments, we all grow together. But sometimes connections, meetings, emotional entanglements and challenging situations stop us in our tracks, rather than give us what we need. Worst case scenario, we end up giving away our energy and our power along the way, and before we know it we feel depleted, lack inspiration and drive, and wonder how we got to a point where life lacks color and spunk. We might even be so drained that we get sick and develop ailments of different kinds.
Some people see this as a natural part of life. We get older. We lose the passion of the very young. We cannot expect to be sparkly at thirty, fifty or eighty. Life is a hard ride after all, and it’s expected to wear us down, make us jaded and somewhat tired. Or is it?
In the classic book, Entering the Circle: A Russian Psychiatrist’s Journey into Siberian Shamanism, by Olga Kharitidi, there is a story of Olga meeting a woman who has the ability to change her appearance by daily looking through a photo album with pictures of herself, chronologically ordered in age, showing her younger for every image. This woman’s ID card told Olga she was many years older than she appeared.
How was this possible? Was paging through a photo album some kind of magical act? In a way, I would suggest it was. The woman was taking back her energy from earlier days, reminding herself of who she had been, bringing the energy of earlier times into her present day, to be used for altering her being in a positive way.
In many spiritual traditions, the fact that we are all connected is the premise of existence. But also that we, in this interconnected web, can move and affect things out of space and time. Meaning for example that we can go back in time and change the effect of negative situations where we have lost power. We all have experienced times when we were too overwhelmed, weak or inexperienced that we came out feeling like the losers in specific interactions.
We may also have give away our power to subtler influences, such as religious or society value system that we were not experienced enough to see through. While positive daily practices and a good-natured daily life with loving people in itself can make stuck energy in the past get loose and flow back to us naturally, we also have the choice of consciously going back in time and reclaim what we lost.
Several Ways to Reclaim Lost Energy
There are several different ways to go about this restoration. Carlos Castaneda introduced the idea of recapitulation to the larger audience during the 70’s. This technique has later been refined by many authors such as Victor Sanchez and Merilyn Tunneshende. Recapitulation is a method of recovering the power and energy that we have given away to people, places, and things.
It often involves an organizing element of writing down all your experiences according to themes and chronology. After this work you use a certain method involving breathing exercises to systematically go through your life and recollect what you have lost. Although this seems to work very well for many people I personally prefer to go about energy re-gathering from the past in a more organic and self-oriented way.
This suits me because I believe that our essence, or our soul if you will, not only knows what we need. It also knows what we can handle. This method begins not so much with a mental exercise, but with the feelings and needs of the moment.
True deep spiritual experiences and energy work cannot be properly described with words nor fully understood intellectually. They can be felt with the heart or experienced with the spirit. Yet trying to use words to describe them we might say that if you were a whole large clay vase when you were born, you have been leaving shards of that vase behind whenever you have had intense negative experiences.

As you mature you have the option of checking in with your heart and spirit and ask: “What am I lacking? When and where or with whom in my past might I have left it?” If you cannot grasp fully when and where you lost what you now lack, you can simply state the question, keeping it with you when you do the following exercise.
The regathering of what you left behind is an inner journey. As all inner journeys we have to create a certain state of mind to make the most of it. Most importantly, we have to set up a time and place where we are certain to be undisturbed. To start an important inner journey and be interrupted is not only irritating, it can also be painful and cause us more harm.
People who regularly work spiritually, have different favorite relaxation techniques. These can involve lightning candles, burning incense, playing a certain kind of music or drumming. Whatever technique you use, make sure it suits you personally. Also make sure the body is comfortable and feels supported. The whole point with preparation for an inner journey is to become calm enough for the body to relax, the mind to stop chattering and to opening up for the worlds that lie within us.
When you are ready, close your eyes and allow scenes to play up for your inner eye. They may not be exactly what you thought they would be. That is fine. It is even more likely that they are important if they are not what you expect. When you see the scenes of your past with your inner eyes, part of you can see the situation from an energy level. I often see energy as colors, some people see energy as threads, as animal forms or simply feel the feelings.
Just become aware of the exact moment when energy left you, or was taken from you. Then imagine it rejoining and reentering you. It is also possible for you to reclaim or pick up the energy and put it in a bag. Bring it with you and reintegrate it later, in a ceremony, or just before you fall asleep at night.
To reclaim energy from the past is an ongoing process. We can do it as need comes up, and work through our past lives piece by piece. Some people even do it as a daily practice, ending each day with a recovery of energy loss that might have occurred during the day. Whatever method we use, it is important to remember that we all have the ability to go back to any moment in time and reclaim energy and power we left behind and restore it to ourselves. We are not helpless victims of the past, but active agents of the presence.


This article has been published in The Echo World, the alternative magazine in Central Virginia, and at OmTimes magazine online.