Initiating Considerations On
Five Minute Life Changers
Happiness and Other IMPORTANT Matters

Considerations

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  • Why Are We Not Seeing God RIGHT NOW? What we are doing to prevent the Vision of God, how everyone else supports us in doing that, and what we can do instead to go beyond the greatest human blind spot of all time.

  • Unlimited Feeling and World Peace. How can we hope to transcend national boundaries for real, if our capacity to feel doesn't even extend beyond the boundary of our own body? Our capability to feel for others, depends on our capability to feel to others, transcending the feeling of "otherness".

  • Let Wisdom Rule. A brief history of "separation of Church and state". Why world peace requires human and spiritual maturity, and why those who have that maturity must require it of their leaders if there is to be a true and lasting world peace.

  • The Life of Divine Invocation. Hoping that 5 minutes of prayer a day will change the world or even oneself is something like turning the electricity on for only 5 minutes a day, and hoping to run a fulltime business on that basis.

  • Spirituality, Hormones, and Maturation. Many kids have no interest in sex, or even find something repugnant about it, until the hormones start kicking in. Just so, the actual practices of a spiritual life for most adults may not seem very attractive (and may even seem offensive), until the Divine starts Kicking In . . .

  • "She Made Me Happy." We commonly speak in such terms: he made me happy, she made me unhappy, that made me happy. But can anyone or anything make us happy or unhappy? Will scientists someday be able to find the sequence of steps whereby someone or something makes us happy? Or is what is to be found about the nature of happiness something else altogether?

  • Astrology and Reality. I have always been amused at my staunch materialist (and/or Christian) friends who swear by zodiac signs. They use them all the time to make sense of other people (for example) without ever stopping to consider what the reality of astrology implies about the nature of reality altogether.

  • LUI: "Living Under the Influence". Watch out! It's the ultimate intoxicated state, and there's every chance that you might get "pulled over" for living this way...

  • "Practical Religion" Checklist. Is there a way to practically evaluate whether a religion "works"? A checklist of questions to consider in relation to any religion, philosophy, or spiritual practice.

  • Experimental Spirituality 101. Some experiments for you to try to increase your sensitivity to the Spiritual Reality.

  • "Spiritual Seeker": a Contradiction in Terms! Seeking is about what is not currently the case; genuine Spirituality is ultimately about what is always already the case. The only meeting place between the two is this: the failure of seeking is fertile ground for the start of real spiritual practice.

  • The "Comparative Religion" Trap. Most comparative religionists professional or homespun study religions and talk religion their entire life; but many never take the next step of seriously practicing religion, and therefore never realize its true benefit.

  • Spirituality and Happiness. The human heart won't be satisfied with anything less than infinite and everlasting Happiness. Given that this is possible, why settle for anything less?

  • The Taboo Against God-Realization. We have been programmed from birth in every conceivable way against our greatest human potential.

  • The Doorway to the Divine. We love being entertained by science fiction stories or movies that present visions of parallel universes, and doorways for entering other dimensions. But Truth is more incredible than fiction Fully Awakened Spiritual Masters provide an actual doorway for passing into the Ultimate Dimension: The Divine.

  • Spirituality and Reactivity: Rightly Interpreting the Spiritual Archetypes. The transcendence of reactivity is a characteristic we often ascribe to our heroes, real or archetypal, whether they are Joan of Arc silently enduring being burnt alive, Clint Eastwood not reacting while being beaten by a gang in a classic Western, the Buddha sitting cross-legged with eyes shut, or Jesus as a baby being described by: "no sound did he make". Spiritual growth can certainly be viewed in terms of transcending reactivity. However: such growth is not signed by someone sitting in a lotus position, or in a monk's cell, where their "transcendence of reactivity" depends on separation from the world. It is signed by the freedom to be completely happy, and lovingly emotionally expressive for the sake of others (in whatever form is required), under any circumstance whatsoever.

  • God the Father. Is there any evidence that "God the Father" is an appropriate metaphor for Real God? That is, does there in any way seem to be a God that is in charge, and caring for His believers? We suggest not. But we also point out that that doesn't mean there is no God, or no possibility of perfect happiness through God-Realization. It simply means that there is no "God the Father". (And "God the Mother" is not necessarily any better a metaphor, by the way!)

  • Puritanical, Erotic, and Spiritual. The genuine spiritual process is paradoxically one in which not via puritanical piety or belief but rather via the whole-bodily-erotic spiritual intoxication of Divine Communion, one becomes capable of great and natural goodness in the world, demonstrating great sobriety and balance, because one is always already connected to (and blissfully immersed in) one's Source (for real).

  • The Pursuit of Happiness. We are guaranteed the pursuit of happiness as a constitutional right (in the United States, at any rate). But what about the finding of happiness? Strangely enough, there is a taboo against it. Just so, we are programmed to find our value in "the journey", the search itself. But our truly inalienable right because it is our inherent nature is happiness itself, now, not projected into the future.

  • Tension Headaches, Ulcers, and self-Understanding. We're so used to popping an aspirin for a "tension headache". But the very name is indicative of the fact that we ourselves are the source of the headache: we are physically tensing the head, and that is the actual source of our pain. The clearly superior longterm response to tension headaches or stomach ulcers would be to understand how we are tensing the head or tightening up the gut to create them, and ceasing to do it, or even better, not doing it in the first place. Just so, personal suffering altogether, and the origin of personal suffering in each moment! There is a superior capability that can be developed (and is perfectly effective), which can replace the analogues to "popping aspirins" of unlimited variety, that are are our usual form of coping with suffering (from the outside in, rather than the inside out).

  • Understanding vs. Seeking: The Goose is Already Out of the Bottle. "The goose is already out of the bottle" is a traditional Zen reference to "enlightenment". But what does it actually mean? And what are its practical implications? We examine the wisdom tradition (from the ancient Greeks to T.S. Eliot) which asserts that what must be realized for perfect happiness is always already the case, and therefore need not be (and cannot fruitfully be) sought elsewhere, regardless of whether "elsewhere" is "after acquiring a million dollars", or "on a Himalayan mountain top".

  • Spirituality and Individuality: God, Passion, and Genius. Books such as James Hillman's recent bestseller, "The Soul's Code: In Search of Character and Calling", suggest that "character" is rightly seen as the "acorn" that is present at birth and grows into a full and fully individual human life, if properly attended to. Of course one can examine such possibilities as genetics and reincarnation to determine where the acorn came from. But here we address a different matter, fleshing out Hillman's metaphor in a larger context: the Divine is the Soil, and the acorn must grow in that Soil for a human life to be fully meaningful.

  • The Taboo Against Spiritual Masters. Crucified. Poisoned. Burnt alive. The reasons why the greatest beings who have ever lived who have offered the greatest hope for human kind have invariably been denied and persecuted.

  • The Matter with Matter. Just as "doubting Thomas" needed to touch the wound in Jesus' side to know that Jesus was alive, we use physical touch as an ultimate testing board or "touchstone" for what is real. But what actually occurs when we "touch something"? Is it as solid and fixed a matter as we have been trained to believe? Or is even physical touch a far more complex affair than we ever realized, raising serious questions about the validity of the entire materialistic viewpoint?

  • Reincarnation. Some of the most well-known and intelligent people have come to the conclusion that reincarnation does occur. What exactly is reincarnation? And if we are "reincarnated", does that truly represent any consolation, over "when you're dead, you're dead"? And if it has no consoling value, what is the value of considering the reality of reincarnation?

  • The Time Frame of Spiritual Realization. "How long does it take to realize Eternity, the 'Place' beyond or prior to time and space?" and other curious questions . . .

  • You CAN Take It With You. Does your life have a purpose? If so, is it one that isn't going to get instantly ripped off when you die? Many of us spend our lives denying death, allowing ourselves to be completely consumed and distracted by our responsibilities, our indulgences, and our search for things we cannot take with us after death in any overt form (knowledge, accomplishment, fame, or friendship). But death is still coming. What can we take with us after we die?

  • The Qualities of Real God. Does Real God have any discernable qualities? Different religious traditions around the world suggest different qualities: "all good", "all knowing", "all powerful", "wrathful", "the creator", "the sustainer", "the destroyer", "the judge", "the Father", "the Mother", etc. But how many of these are simply projection of human qualities onto God, as many students of the world's mythologies and archetypes have suggested? And how many of these qualities are the result of looking at the wrong "evidence" while making such assessments? What can we say about the actual qualities of Real God?

  • Spiritual Realization: the Basis for True Morality. Why morality from the "inside out" based on spiritual realization is simpler, better, and more natural than "outside in" morality based on laws and prescriptions for what we "should" do.

  • Habits of Highly Spiritual People. In Stephen Covey's highly acclaimed book, "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People", he relegates spirituality to habit #7, and dedicates it primarily to the purpose of renewing oneself so one can go back to work again. This may be great in terms of a life whose highest purpose is to function effectively. But he's got it completely backwards when the purpose of one's life is spiritual in nature: functionality must be harnessed to serve spiritual realization, and not vice-versa.

  • Suffering is Always Only the Result of Misunderstanding. Quite a claim! But let's get into it. . . and let's also see what understanding requires.

  • Common Wisdom, Great Wisdom, and Life Purpose. Have you ever felt a conversation stop when someone says something like "What is important is enjoying the journey, not reaching the goal", "What really matters is my family and friends", "Well, at least I've got my health", "Life's a bitch and then you die" with everybody nodding as though something profound has been said? Or as though this were indeed acceptable as a final word on life, the universe, and everything? What are the strengths and limitations of such "common wisdom", particularly when contrasted with Great Wisdom?

  • Real God, Science, and Religion. Religious fundamentalism and scientific materialism have always been at opposite ends of an idealogical spectrum, and have also taken turns at being on top politically, in a great historical pendulum. But what do either of these enterprises have to do with Real God or Truth?

  • Spiritually Grand Unified Theories. The Promised Land of physicists is a simple GUT (Grand Unified Theory) capable of explaining all physical phenomena. Progress toward such a GUT has been marked by such milestones as the unification of electricity and magnetism into "electro-magmentism" back in the 19th century, and further consolidations of that sort since that time. But such a GUT will only be a physical GUT, accounting at most for objective phenomena. A theory that truly accounts for everything, must also take into account subjective phenomena. A fully comprehensive GUT must unify the subjective and the objective; it must be a psycho-physical theory.

    Every such consolidation has led to practical consequences of extraordinary reach. "Electro-magnetism" led directly to the development of the electric motor, one of the cornerstones of modern technology. "Psycho-physics" will lead directly to a "technology" of happiness, and the true alleviation of human suffering at its root. But, by its very nature, this "psycho-technology" will not be usable in an independent, purely "objective" manner; self must be invested.

  • Political Splintering, Web Solidarity, and Corporate Merging: A Glimpse of the New World Order. Three key trends may very well end up defining the way the world re-organizes itself in the new millenium:

    • on the Internet: the formation of groups and enterprises on the basis of common interest, rather than political or geographical location;
    • in world politics: the fragmentation of confederations and states;
    • in the business world: the merger of companies whose assets complement each other.

    These three trends correspond to three basic activities of the individual ego: identification, differentation, and desire. What do these three co-existing trends signal, and what is their implication for the kind of cooperative community needed to support true spiritual life?
  • Narcissism and World Peace. There is something curious about the groups that have tended to go to war with each other, both traditionally and currently: Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland, the Jews and the Arabs, the Indians and the Pakistanis, Chinese and Japanese, the Serbs and the Albanians . . . Any third party would have to acknowledge that the warring parties have an awful lot in common! Then why fight? Freud suggested as an explanation, "the narcissism of small differences". If this is so, the origin of the problem suggests that its cure must be one that is capable of addressing narcissism altogether. That is to say: world peace requires a Spiritual solution.

  • The "Problem of Grace" Solved! Alan Watts spent the majority of one of his books ("Behold the Spirit") raising the problem of Grace. This same problem is apparent in the writings of many other authors and traditions, including George Gurdjieff, P.D. Ouspensky, and Hubert Benoit (e.g., his "Supreme Doctrine"). We describe a very obvious address to that apparent problem.

  • Why do We Suffer? One of the longstanding questions of believers in God (particularly in the Judeo-Christian tradition) is "If God is all-good, then how could God create a universe that contains evil, or in which people suffer? Or, if God didn't create evil or suffering per se, how could God allow it?" Many people have become atheists simply because of the lack of adequate address to these questions. We examine the history of this question (and the responses to it), and then suggest a real answer that frees us right now from suffering.

  • Spiritual Practice and Division of Labor. Who does what in real spiritual practice? What does God do and what does man do? Sayings like "God helps those who help themselves" don't come anywhere close to providing an adequate answer. But there is a clear answer to this question!

  • Need versus Necessity. On the importance in distinguishing between something being necessary for a particular functional purpose ("food" is necessary for bodily survival), and the neurosis that emotionally overlays on top of any functional necessity the feeling of neediness: "I need this" or "I need you" in order to be be happy. Do we in fact need anyone or anything in order to be happy? One implication: imagine what functioning would be like if it were unhampered by unhappiness. . .

  • Peeling Back the Onion. Peel off the social "Pleasantville" layer of life, and we get that "universe without inherent meaning" that the existentialists love to describe... Fine. But who says we have to stop there?Suppose we peel further? And what is at the Core?

  • Does God Exist? We examine the history of this infamous question, the traditional "answers" to it, and then examine whether it is a real question as C.S. Lewis once quipped, "God has better things to do than sit around for centuries waiting to have God's existence proven."

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