The grace of God flows freely through me.
This is today’s Daily Word. Interesting.
Do you know why people in pain chose alcohol – or other drugs – over God? Because God does not ‘operate’ in the physical. God can ‘only’ (I say it lightly) work with the physical through us, those who has a living soul in them. People do, among many other. Though God’s energy is everywhere, like a cobweb runs through all of existence, decided action is a privilege of human beings.
God waits. God waits endlessly for humans to turn to ‘him’, chose ‘him’ and allow ‘him’ to work through the person’s faculties.
So, why don’t we chose God if it is so easy?
I am writing below comes from a personal experience.*
When you experience rejection, abuse, neglect or similar not so nice experiences as a child, you make a decision about yourself which is, in most cases, ‘I am no good’ (or similar). As an ‘unlovable’ being you perceive God as a distant punishing figure, if at all, and turn away knowing that you are alone. As a result of that, you take on a ‘strategy’ to cope in life – which is so colorfully laid down in the system of the Enneagram.
The foundation of the ego – our defense mechanism – is hurt feelings that are mostly acted out either as a narcissist, a victim or a bully. I know it is hard to recognize it because all these are covered up by layers and layers of tactics and mechanics. 🙂
*As a child, when I learnt that I was ‘no good’, I decided to become ‘helpful’. I looked around and found that what people around me needed is someone to let their frustration down on. Most of them were mentally ill of the torture and fear they had had to endure, it made them mad. So, I toughened up and offered my services as a ‘scapegoat’. I spent the past 45 years doing that in many ways.
You see the truth is, that, at the end of the day, it is just old pain and anguish that is the result of not allowing God to come in and help which is Grace.
Grace is not a miracle.
Grace is a turning back, facing the music – the original pain, the decisions we made about ourselves, the struggle we have been through – and laying it all down at the feet of God. It is surrendering.
This is NOT EASY at all. That’s why we chose a distraction be it alcohol, drug, sex, games, films, relationships, cooking … anything that keeps our minds off the hurt, the anger, the resentment, the pain, over God.
It is because in God, or with God, we must become vulnerable, we must go back to the original sin which is turning away thinking that God has forsaken us, and forgive. We must forgive the wasted years that we spent on making it ‘right’. We must cry the tears, howl in anguish, feel the penetrating fear of thunder until it dissipates and we are left as an empty vessel for God to fill.
Practically, what it all means is that you must stop fighting and distracting. Honestly, in my experience, it takes courage and perseverance and long … long … time. And then, one day, you decide to take on God’s offer and allow him to work through you. Not instead of you though! 🙂
If you dont like reading, listen to the PODCAST version of the text below.
The path to the Truth is a labor of the heart, not of the head. Make your heart your primary guide! Not your mind. Meet, challenge, and ultimately prevail over your nafs (false ego) with your heart. Knowing your false ego will lead you to the Knowledge of God.
Have you noticed that when you start focusing on something, it starts appearing in front of your eyes? 🙂 As I started contemplating on these Weekly Rules by Shams, I started to have profound experiences both in the physical and in my meditations. WOW!
This past week, I contemplated on my ‘false ego’ – nafs – and how it prevents me from the knowing of God (my Divine Essence) and getting close the indwelling God by asking myself the following questions during my meditation time:
What is my false ego ( my nafs) like? or Who is it that I am NOT?
In what ways does this knowledge help me move closer to the Knowing of God.
On a personal note, I know it is hard to answer these questions. When I first came across them I did not know what to make of them. Now, I know that I do not need to understand these questions intellectually, I just need to allow my inner wisdom’s guidance to reveal the ‘answers’ to me. By answers, I do not mean the ‘solution’ because there is none. God, Spirit, us as humans in Spirit, we are complete and whole as we are, there is nothing to fix. Even though, it often does not feel that way, it is still true. The questions above can guide us shifting our consciousness via our thoughts back to the ‘knowing that we are part of God’. For me God is not a person. By God, I mean, the Big Oneness, a level of consciousness where there is no separation, no false emotions, but purity, simplicity, neutrality and Loving.
So, what these questions revealed to me – again 🙂 – is that my ‘false ego’ runs of something I call ‘Crime and Punishment’! Dostoevsky was a genius! 🙂 My ‘false ego’ runs on the fuel of guilt. This underlying painful emotion makes me a ‘fixer’ and a ‘punisher’, someone who thinks it is her job to see all the ‘imperfections’ of the world and fix them or force others to fix them. Also, because of the guilt I feel all the time, I think it is my responsibility to make it all happen.
It is really hard for me to ACCEPT life as it is. It is often challenging for me to embrace the fact that actually all is well even if it does not seem or feel that way. We all move through life by learning, making choices, course correcting, learning, crying a little, laughing a little, and the whole cycle again. No life is worse than the other. Everyone has the power to make changes in their lives if they chose to. I am saying this with great compassion because I know how hard it is to actually do it. It is CRAZY HARD! But possible. Each life, mine included, resembles the consciousness that we live with. It shows how far or close we are to the ‘knowing of God’.
So, these questions helped me to realize what it is that I can ‘do’ for myself so I can move closer to God.
Because I am run on guilt and punishments, I take on a lot of responsibilities that are not mine and neglect the one responsibly that is actually mine. It is not my job to fix the world or to tell others how to live their lives. It is, however, my job to chose a life that reflects who I truly am. My misplayed sense of responsibility prevents me from being with God in ‘his’ Loving and Care for me because I am constantly on a quest for saving the world or people from their doom.
I am realizing that what I need to practice is ACCEPTANCE, finding that place inside of me that knows that no-one needs saving because God resides in everyone. By connecting with the Essence of God, I maybe able to see and know that all is well beyond a mental concept. I’d love to have that experience when I can look at people who are in great pain and sorrow because of their circumstances or mental dispositions, and feel compassion but not an urge to do something for them. Instead of condemning people for their ‘stupidity’ and ‘ignorance’ I wish to know that they are making the best choices available to them and they WILL move on when they have learnt the lessons shelled in those experiences they are having.
It is such a giant learning for me. I hope that my understanding how my ‘false ego’ works, I can guide myself easier towards experiences that enlighten my way towards more Loving experiences in Life.
I hope that these weekly contemplations and my sharing help you to find your own answers and move into greater Oneness with the consciousness that you call ‘God’ (or Divines or else).
The twelfth symbol is Twelve drummers drumming
12 Days of Christmas
How it all started? In 2019 I decided to look for meaning in the symbolisms of this well-known song. In this post (click) you can read about my journey and how it all started. 🙂
Twelve drummers drumming
Eleven pipers piping
Ten lords a-leaping
Nine ladies dancing
Eight maids a-milking
Seven swans a-swimming
Six geese a-laying
Five golden rings
Four calling birds
Three French hens
Two turtle doves, and
A partridge in a pear tree
The twelfth day
On the first day, we receive twelve drummers drumming. Another joyful day of celebration and welcoming.
According to my research – By the Middle Ages the drum, which was probably introduced to Europe from the Middle East by knights returning from the Crusades, had become a common instrument.
Among the drum’s other uses was to combine it with the trumpet to get people’s attention when making a big announcement such as the arrival of the king or the reading of an important proclamation. In this case the drum was used to announce the serving of the next course of the feast. Source
After the day of Epiphany, the party season starts through the season of Mardi Gras up until Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday and the start of the Lenten season.
The Twelve Drummers – similar to the 11 pipers (read more here) can be perceived as the ‘announcers’ of a new era starting with the Holy Spirit, descends upon and enlightening the seekers. They sure that we are awake and ready to perceive the gifts that are offer to us during the Twelfth Night. Read more about the Twelfth night …
The Twelfth Night
After the last day of the 12-day-of-Christmas, Christians observe Epiphany or enlightenment when the Holy Spirit descend upon and enlightens the ‘faithful’ with wisdom and revelations of Christ’s teachings. The 12 days of Christmas is the bridge between Christmas Day and the day of Epiphany. On Christmas day, ‘my true love’ aka God gives me my first gift of Christ, the promise of enlightenment, atonement and eternal life. By the time we walked the bride of the 12-day across, we have collected and regained certain qualities that we must possess in order to observe the revelations and receive the Holy Spirit on the day of Epiphany.
I also found that investigating the symbolism of ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’ song can help us uncover what it is that we can do to support ourselves. Following the guidance of the song we can become empty and open to receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Epiphany is what we labour towards during the nights and days of the 12-Days-of-Christmas.
Below is the result of some of my research:
“It all goes back to the early 4th century Christian church, which believed that January 6 (Epiphany) is the date that Christ was baptized, representing the birth of Jesus’ soul. This was more important than December 25th to them, regardless of the Winter Solstice at the time. It took a few hundred years; but, by the 6th century, the Christian emperor, Justinian, proclaimed Christmas as a public holiday, with 8 days of feasting. Then, by the 9th century, King Alfred of England increased the celebration from 8 days to 12 days. He declared December 25th – January 6th, with the twelfth day falling on January 6. Note: This means the actual night would be the day before on January 5. Confusing, I know.
One tradition for some on Twelfth Night is to go around wassailing fruit trees as a kind of fertility rite. Exactly how this is done had varied from century to century. But, in the 18th century (when the song was created) wassailing was done by pouring cider, honey, spices and pulp from a burst baked apple (all mixed in a bowl) around the trees. The term “Wassail” is taken from the waes hael meaning “be whole” (aka be in good health).
Another folklore claims that a young maiden was suppose to walk backwards around a pear tree three times on Christmas morning. Then she gazes into the branches. She should see the image of her future husband.”
During Epiphany, we celebrate both the three kings’ (or three wise men’s) visit shortly after his birth and also Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist. According to the Story, three Magi arrives to the crib bringing gifts to the new born. In the sacrament of Baptism, Jesus receives the Holy Spirit.
I think that the Twelfth Night marks the reception of the Holy Spirit. During the time of the 12-days-Christmas, those who follow the holy order laid down by many masters, Jesus Christ being one of them, make themselves ready to receive God’s ultimate gift. During the 12th night and the next day, the Holy Spirit descends on the faithful seeker and fills him/her with the Light and Sound of the Holy Spirit. The seeker unites with God’s Essence and becomes whole again.
I have a different read on the fertility and sexuality symbolism in the Twelve Days of Christmas, suggested above. Unity with God is often called ‘penetration’ and occasionally appears as an act of sexuality in our limited minds. Being united with God may appear to be an act of intercourse and for that one must be fertile or empty in order to receive God, similar to the way a woman receives a man.
In order for the Holy Spirit to fill the faithful seeker on the Twelfth Night, the seeker must have achieved a state of emptiness and receptiveness. What we do (did) during the Twelfth Days of Christmas to empty and prepare ourselves to be able to receive the Holy Spirit.
According to the Gospel of Matthew, the three wise men – named Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar – followed the star of Bethlehem across the desert to meet the baby Jesus, offering gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. The gifts were symbolic of the importance of Jesus’ birth, the gold representing his royal standing; frankincense his divine birth; and myrrh his mortality. Source
In my understanding, the three kings represent the three levels of consciousness we humans live with. They are called many names such as conscious, subconscious and unconscious. They all bring a present that may also be interpreted in many different ways. The important message for me in the story of the three Magi is their long journey and arrival to the birth of Jesus. I see our human consciousnesses arriving to the teacher, bringing presents that show our devotion and submission to the order that Jesus later lay down for all seeker.
The tenth symbol is 10 Lords A-leaping.
The “ten lords a-leaping” represent the 10 Commandments, according to Christianity.com. According to Bible Info, they are the following: 1.”You shall have no other gods before me”; 2.”You shall make no idols”; 3.”You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain”; 4.”Keep the Sabbath day holy”; 5.”Honor your father and your mother”; 6.”You shall not murder”;7. “You shall not commit adultery”; 8.”You shall not steal”; 9.”You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor”; and 10.”You shall not covet.” SOURCE
Let’s imagine for a moment that these commandments were offered to ensure that you can live a ‘holy’ life. By holy life I mean that you live a life in search of and in connection with your God’s Essence. Our God-Essence (or Presence) is of Pure Loving that is neutral and has no care for the world. The world changes constantly bringing a change of ‘fortunes’ with it; ups and downs in constant succession. In God’s world – in Heaven – Love, Peace, and Joy is constant. We can choose to live a life that is about the world or we can chose a life that brings us closer to unity with our God’s Essence. The Ten Commandments intent to guide the latter.
The first three Commandments are more or less the same for me. It conveys the message of choosing a ‘holy’ life in which you make your God Essence a priority. These Commandments ask you to withdraw your attention from the world and turn it within in search of connecting with your God-Essence (or Presence) all the time, not allowing any ‘idols’ like money or fame to misguide you and drive you off the Path.
All the other Commandments are about ‘sin’. The meaning of Sin which is so beautifully explained in the story of Adam and Eve is actually a ‘turning away from God’. If you manage to keep the first three Commandments, you would not need to care much about the other seven! You will keep them by default. 🙂 These Commandments are there as a fence to ensure that you do not fall ofF the Path when you cannot keep the first three Commandments.
The nineth symbol is Nine ladies dancing
From Day 9 onwards, we are having FUN. First nine lading dancing appear to herald joyous time ahead.
According to my research – The “nine ladies dancing” represent the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit, according to The Newman Center at Keene State College. Featured in Galatians 5:22-23, the nine fruits are: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Christians, under the guise of the Holy Spirit, will exhibit these types of virtues. Love refers to the love of God and your neighbor, which is unconditional and without the expectation of anything in return, according to The Catholic Spirit. You achieve joy by relationships with God and other people, and it encompasses truth, honesty, and integrity. Source
I think it is easy to see why these 9 qualities are the ones that contribute the most to becoming ‘holy’. By holy I mean that one becomes aware and perceptive to the presence of the Holy Spirit. As humans we are lost onto the world. We look for safety, love and shelter in the world where there is none. We are of Spirit. Our Home is with God. The Living presence of God, our Soul, years to return Home. In order to be able to do that, however, It must move beyond the limitations of the world and our human (ego) parts. The 9 virtues are those attainable qualities of person that support the Soul on Its journey Home. These qualities are of Spirit, too. As we clear our vision of the limitations of the world, we open ourselves to the Living Spirit within. With that we not only support our own mortal and physical journey to be smoothened out but we also support the Soul within to ascend and eventually – upon our physical death – to return home.
In this PODCAST I talk about the importance of releasing all that we do not need any longer so we can embrace new adventures and create a more fulfilling future for ourselves.
Lighting the Darkness
At this time of year when fall is ending and winter is coming in this part of the world, we move physically into the darkest time of year. This is when there is the least activity in much of the animal kingdom, and almost all of the plant kingdom The life that’s been manifested in the nature kingdoms – in animals and trees and other plants – begins to withdraw and internalize. It is also an opportunity for we in the human kingdom to do the same: to do fewer outer activities – or at least focus less of our attention and energy into the outer activities and expressions – and begin to withdraw our attention more to the inner kingdom. It’s a wonderful time to regroup and reflect, to spend more time on our awakening, on our relationship with God, and to sort out some things that need to be sorted out in there before engaging into the more creative parts of the year again.
One of the interesting things to me about this time of year is that in almost all cultures that experience this physically darker time of year, people in these cultures have intentionally made holidays. I believe that this is because there is an inclination in us that when things get dark, we’re to bring forth light. We do that culturally, and we do that individually. If tonight you walk into a room in your home and it’s dark, you don’t just wander around in the dark room looking for whatever you’re looking for or doing whatever you’re going to do; as you step into that place of darkness, you immediately, even automatically, turn on a light. In olden days it was lanterns or candles, not electricity, that was used. But however we manifest it, we bring light to dark places.
We may not think about that much, and may not realize that that’s inherent in us, but that’s just what we do. And we not only do it in our physical lives by bringing light to a dark room, we also do it by bringing hope to a difficult situation, by bringing comfort to a sad situation, and by bringing friendship to lonely situation. As a matter of fact, even if we’re not consciously doing those things in any outward way, we’re still doing it…because the fact is, we are light. The essence of our souls is the same stuff that is God. We are emanations of that very same living, loving, radiant essence that is God’s being; it is our being as well. So wherever our soul is, it brings light. And wherever our soul is the most focused, it brings the most potent light.
If the soul is only dimly radiant, peripherally present somewhere, then it brings a dim, weak light. If it’s more fully focused somewhere, it brings a powerful, dynamic light. Our souls’ light goes most to where we hold our attention. That’s an important key in our spiritual journey and in our spiritual awakening process, in our healing processes, and in our relationships. Because, if we hold our attention into the dark places – the ego, selfishness, anger, resentment – that’s where our energy goes as well. It’s not the experiencing of them that is the problem; it’s the fixing of our focus onto those things. If we’re holding our focus in that area through the mind or the emotions or the imagination, then what we’re doing is getting further immersed in the darkness and pain. Mind, emotions, body, and imagination don’t have the power to transmute that, because those dark things are inherent in those vessels.
What does have the power to transmute them is love, and love is not inherent in any of those vessels; it’s a component of the soul that infuses those vessels to the degree that the soul is present within them. If we want more of that light of loving, then we need to allow more of our soul to be present in what we’re doing.
So this month, as you turn on your Christmas tree lights or light a candle, or even flip on the light switch as you enter a dark room, remember that in this season of bringing light into the darkness, the most important light is the loving light within you. Let it shine.
Steven* (By Steven McAfee)
How to use your inherent abilites?
It is a pitfall to believe that when you became aware of your inherent abilities, it will automatically enfold. Just because I am good at something it does not mean that I can use it well. In this podcast I talk about how to use one’s inherent leadership abilities for the benefit of all.
The true light, which enlightens everyone, was comingJohn 1:9-10
into the world. He was in the world, and the world came
into being through him.
In my understanding Jesus was not a saviour, but he was a living example of God’s existence and presence in us all. Jesus came to the world to show the way out of the Darkness back to the Loving Embrace of the Creator, the Divine. He enlightens us all by giving us ‘tools’ by which we can rise above our own limitations, fears and misconceptions if we wish so.
This is our great work—to shine our divine light and share our joy every day, all year round. To be that light even when we, or those around us, may feel alone, don’t smell any cookies, or see lights, or hear carolers. The reminder this holiday season is to celebrate the divinity that we are, and joyously share our light with the world.Rev. DeeAnn Morency