Monday, January 28, 2013

I Think Therefore I am - NOT

I think, therefore I am  was a statement made by French philosopher RenĂ© Descartes (1596-1650).  His rational conclusion was based on experience and observation; and he rejected mysticism and religion.  Many thinkers during the Renaissance period followed that assumption; it eventually developed into the enlightenment age, and in the long run was adopted as dialectical materialism by the communist/liberal agenda.  Unfortunately, the philosophical approach brought about the bloody French Revolution and later the extermination of millions of people who didn’t agree with the Communist approach.


I had an interesting experience yesterday all day that I became aware of my thoughts not being me.  Many of these thoughts were negative.  Partially, I was sitting in church, and even throughout the afternoon I debated these thoughts.  I thought to myself: “I don’t like these thoughts; that is not me; I don’t believe what these thoughts tell me; why are you criticizing this person; go away, etc.”  Before I knew it the thoughts were gone. 


Become the observer

I remember that in the past I would dwell on this negative process, even being embarrassed by the idea that I am a hypocrite.  I have these bad thoughts even though I want to be good and do well.  For the longest time that has caused me to struggle and doubt my own identity.

I have studied these ideas before.  We should become the watcher, observe these thoughts and let them pass through us.

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
~ John 8:32

Descartes’ thinking was based on a wrong assumption.  Now we know that we don’t exist because of our thinking.  Man is an eternal spiritual being living in a physical environment.  That spiritual nature exists on an energy level and is sensitive to vibrations, words, and feelings.  If we only allow our rational mind to direct our lives we miss out a lot.  In fact, we can’t perceive the feelings and vibrations with our intellect.  Our conscious mind is most responsive to logic while the subconscious mind records all of our experiences, feelings and notices every person we ever meet; and is autonomously in control of all bodily functions: breathing, heart beats, digestion, and memories. 

Be present as the watcher of your mind -- of your thoughts and emotions as well as your reactions in various situations. Be at least as interested in your reactions as in the situation or person that causes you to react. Notice also how often your attention is in the past or future. Don't judge or analyze what you observe. Watch the thought, feel the emotion, observe the reaction. Don't make a personal problem out of them. You will then feel something more powerful than any of those things that you observe: the still, observing presence itself behind the content of your mind, the silent watcher.”
~ Eckhart Tolle,  spiritual teacher.

Eckhart Tolle suggests that we observe the thinker rather than be the thinker.  Being detached from the thoughts allows us to be neutral and declare our own identity rather than identifying ourselves with it.  Since this kind of idea is contrary to the popular approach it is a challenge to change.  To be the observer also works with feelings.  Since feelings are ever so much stronger it takes greater self-discipline but the reward is most satisfying.  You are not just happy or sad for what happens to you in the moment but you decide to be happy.  

Conscious Effort
Spiritual growth comes only through conscious effort.  Because our mind is constantly influenced by our thinking, it takes conscious endeavor to stay in the present moment.  Only in the present moment can we unite our mind and our body and bring the spirit of God into our midst. It takes our full attention to stay in the NOW; that’s where we can be free to feel love, value, and perfection.

Our spiritual DNA is perfect

At the very essence of our human being, there is a truth, a perfect image which resembles God.  Keeping this self-image in mind, we cannot be influenced by thoughts, feelings, or other vibrations.  We only need to remind ourselves constantly of that essence.  It helps to study scripture, keep an active prayer life, and do right.


It is interesting to know that the Eastern Philosophies take a more internal approach and therefore are encouraging us to meditate and reflect in order to connect to our true essence.  It is time that we are open to explore the last frontier, the mind of man, and through that connect with our source, the God-parent who created us.  We were created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27); it’s time to learn the whole story of what separated us from that original image, and how we can come back to it.  
It is through the teaching of Rev. Sun Myung Moon that I discovered why the statement of Descartes was wrong.  His insight in the historical development of the last 400 years shows parallels of teachings following an atheistic (Cain-type) way of thinking and an a religious (Able-type) way of thinking.  Descartes’ ideas fall into the first category.
My conclusion is this: Focus your mind on feeling good, use affirmative words, listen to uplifting music, act in goodwill, and concentrate on values and a vision worth pursuing for a lifetime.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Do you do Jigsaw Puzzles?

I just finished a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle.  When I started it before Christmas I just wanted to relax with some Christmas movies and having something to do with my hands.  I remember doing this puzzle several times with my son when he was younger.  We would finish very quickly when we worked together.

This time it took me over a month.  It turned out not just for my enjoyment but to learn some interesting lessons along the way.  I was surprised how I could draw on many parallels to life in general.

Like I always do with a puzzle I start out finding the straight edges to lay out the frame for the picture.  Then I divided the pieces by color and images where I thought they may go according to the finished picture on the box.  Half way through arranging all the sections, I discovered that some pieces were missing.  Then I became very tempted to end the whole thing since it wouldn’t be perfect at the end.

I have to say that I got frustrated many times during the layout, and finally, I looked up some instructions on the internet on how to do a puzzle.  I was surprised on how many people have described exact methods on how to proceed.  That gave me new motivation.  In the progression I discovered some interesting facts on how to build a jigsaw puzzle.


Purpose of doing puzzle:

1)    Learn patience

2)    Practice imagination

3)    Learn color coordination

4)    Distinguish the different shapes

5)    Finding repetitive patterns

6)    Sorting by colors

7)    Sorting by shapes

8)    Learning problem solving skills


The best thing of all it is a good brain building activity.  It balances both sides of the brain, the logical and the creative parts; and most of all it helps you to focus on the task at hand.  It reminds you that many small parts together make a whole picture; and that when you persevere long enough, you can finish the task at hand.


To build the puzzle of life takes a long time.  It is almost impossible to unravel all the answers and solution without instructions.  Sometimes we need some help, encouragement, maybe even a coach.  As long as we persevere we will always benefit and be enriched.  That’s where puzzles are such a useful activity; we know that there is a spot for every part.  As long as we match the different pieces, we will finish the puzzle.


So when you think that puzzles are for children, think again.  It is a very useful activity for adults, too.  What happens when you have used up all pieces and there are still some holes?  Well – you realize that you tried your very best at completing the picture.  You understand that there are still things missing in your life and you don’t want to ever stop looking for answers.


I like to finish with a poem I found at this website it is called:

Life Is...

Life is... Life is a challenge - meet it.

Life is a gift - accept it.

Life is an adventure - dare it.

Life is full of sorrow - overcome it.

Life is a tragedy - face it.

Life is a duty - perform it.

Life is a game - play it.

Life is a mystery - unfold it.

Life is a song - sing it.

Life is an opportunity - take it.

Life is a journey - complete it.

Life is a promise - fulfill it.

Life is beauty - praise it.

Life is a struggle - survive it.

Life is a goal - achieve it.

Life is a puzzle - solve it.




Monday, January 14, 2013

Luck versus Divine Law

Have you wished your friends and family best of luck for the New Year?  One of your friends wins the lottery and you say: he is so lucky.  Or is it a lucky co-incidence that you ran into a former co-worker who you befriended at work?  What has luck and good fortune to do with Divine Law?

In this blog I like to shed some light on these seemingly opposing forces. To me they are rather complementary or depend on the motivation with which they are used. Therefore, they are neither good nor evil which can never co-exist.

Luck – Divine law

Chance – Purpose

Evolution – Creation

Ego – Self

Science – Religion

Hypnotic Rhythm – Cosmic Habit Force

Sex – True love

I am starting from the fact that there is no randomness in the universe.  Everything has an origin and purpose.  There is a creator who made all things through law, order, and principle.  Man is a superior creation who has the power of choice, and can therefore decide his destiny. The original purpose for man is to grow to maturity, create a family and children to form a lineage, and to be a good steward over the creation. (Gen. 1:28)
Then let’s take a closer look at these seemingly random entities.  

Luck – Divine Law

Luck seems to come accidentally without planning.  But we know now, since all the talk about the “law of attraction” that there is no randomness in life.  The “law of compensation” has been talked about even by Jesus in form of the parable of the “sewing and reaping.”  Because man was given Free Will, we can either go through life by default or plan to achieve our true fate.

“People who achieve success are neither more deserving than others, nor is their success due to luck. Instead, they are examples of the “law of divine compensation.” 

~ Marianne Williamson’s new book titled The Law of Divine Compensation: On Work, Money, and Miracles.
Scientists have even now discovered that our DNA is not fixed at birth but rather influenced by our environment, experiences, and impressions throughout life.  Karma  (Sanskrit for cause and effect) is therefore in our power to be influenced and changed as we wish.

Chance – Purpose

Unfortunately, most people go through life without purpose and leave everything to chance.  Many New Age teachers have given a lot of emphasis to planning and making goals.  The only way for man to grow is to follow our God-given purpose.  Animals have instinct and grow automatically.  Man was created as an eternal spiritual being and has to put out effort to develop. 

I don’t think we can ever define our human purpose without tracing our origin back to God, the creator. Philosophers and poets have been trying to explain our purpose; and politicians have redefined our existence.   Why this controversy? -- Because at the beginning of human history, the Fall of Man (Gen 3:1-24) happened.  Man separated himself from God, and ever since we have lost the owner’s manual for human life.

Evolution – Creation

This is a very big topic between believers and non-believers.  When we look at the ever expanding universe, with its predictabilities and precisions, there is no doubt that it just developed in seven days. Once we consider the symbolic meanings of the bible to explain “his-story,” we can only be amazed by the thread of telling of the restoration of man including to regain dominion back to the godly side.  Everything has evolved through many stages of development, just like a seed planted in the ground has to go through germination, seedling, young plant, and finally a fruit bearing plant.  Because the bible was written in code language, we can only understand it from a spiritual point of view, from the heart.  Evolutionists see the creation only from an external point of view; therefore, it doesn’t make sense.


Ego – Self

Again, both the ego and the self were created by God.  I believe that in many ways, they are one and the same thing, the ego being more physical oriented and the self representing the mind of man.  Eckhart Tolle in his book “The New Earth” and also A Course in Miracles  talks in length of the nature of the ego.  Some believe that the ego separates us from the true self.  That is only true when we take ourselves too serious and blow up our self-esteem.  Because man was separated since the Fall of Man (Gen. 3:1-24) the ego (self) has never fully matured and men have operated in a rather self-centered, selfish way.  Once the ego is allowed to live, serve and mature, it will become the true self, a reflection of a godly nature.  When we truly see ourselves from God’s point of view, create a healthy self-image and live for the sake of others, the ego will become the same as the self and become a driving force to motivate us for positive action.

“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, ...”

~ Philippians 2:1-10

It seems that our whole world is ego driven.  That’s why we fight wars, people hurting other people, and we live in constant struggle.  No wonder we cannot achieve peace. 

“The ego grows out of our sense of separateness.  There is ‘me’ and then there is everything else.  The entire world, its billions of people, its commerce, industry and noise, its structures and organizations – all these constitute the ‘everything else,’ the ‘not me.’  The absurdity of this separateness is the enormous importance we give the ‘me;’ of the rest of the known universe, we are concerned only with those few elements that enlarge or amuse the ’me.’

~ John McAfee (founder of the Relational Yoga Mandiram in Woodland Park, CO) – The Fabric of Self – Meditations on Vanity and Love

Science - Religion

Rev. Sun Myung Moon has for years conducted inter-religious and Unity of Sciences Conferences.  He believes that God is the greatest scientist and religions have developed throughout history in order to make sense of the universe.  It was the ignorance of mankind which has held back many inventions until now.  Rev. Moon says, that once people include God in their lives, more inventions and greater development and discoveries will happen in a very short time.

 “Cardinal Schoenborn (author of Chance Or Purpose)  writes with masterful simplicity on profound theological issues. I, as a scientist and Christian outside the Catholic tradition, welcome his wisdom. He argues effectively that there are multiple approaches to reality, and he states clearly that while intelligent design is worthy of human reflection, from a scientific perspective the evolutionary model is the true story.”
~ Owen Gingerich, Professor Emeritus of Astronomy and History of Science, Harvard University. Author of God's Universe

Here is a link to a TED talk by Cassandra Vieten, PhD. of the Institute of Noetic Sciences on the Science of Interconnectedness. To me it is just one more prove that religion and science belong together just like man’s mind and body.

Hypnotic Rhythm – Cosmic Habit Force

The late Napoleon Hill, wrote extensively about both. In his book of the “17 Principles of Personal Achievement ”  he talks at length about the Cosmic Habit Force.  The negative application of the law is called Hypnotic Rhythm.  This law acts automatically unless we discipline our mind and watch and manage our thoughts. 

Recently, I read his book “Outwitting the Devil.” Napoleon Hill wrote the manuscript more than 70 years ago.  It was published last year, after all family members including his wife who had declared it to be too controversial, have passed away.  Here, Napoleon Hill dedicates one whole chapter on the hypnotic rhythm.  He explains in detail how the devil lulls us into his negative pace.  The best thing we can do for ourselves is to learn how to escape this negative beat and free our mind to think for ourselves and not identify ourselves with our thinking.

“Faith is a state of mind that may become permanent by action.  Belief alone is not sufficient.”

~ Napoleon Hill

We know that the only way can change a habit is by replacing it with another.  Success can only come if we create success habits.  It is the nature of the universe that for every cause there is an effect.  The Cosmic Habit Force comes into play when we practice positive habits, keep a pure heart and attract affirmative vibrations.

Sex – True Love

Again, neither is good or evil.  Both have their proper place in healthy relationships.  Unfortunately, our society is sex driven, and men, women and children are exploited.  Men have become effeminated through the feminist movement, women are used in prostitution and children have no rights by being either aborted before being born or become a burden through divorce.  The only solution is to reconstitute the family where husband and wife raise children who are wanted and loved.  Again, this is the sacred right of all humans; we are hard-wired to experience love and harmony in our life here on earth.

Without sex there is no perpetuation of mankind, we would simply die out.  Sex is also necessary for health maintenance and has no equal as a driving force for creativity and self-expression.  This is where sex emotion is transmuted from a plain physical release to an expression of the mind; in fact it is the secret of all creative ability.  Rev. Sun Myung Moon has talked extensively about the purpose of absolute sex.  He explains that sex belongs in the relationship of mature men and women who are committed to each other for life.  He puts it in plain words, that the male and female sexual organs are the most holy parts of the human body.  Through the union of man and woman in lovemaking, God can dwell with that couple.  He clarifies that in this union, both partners experience true joy and fulfillment.  It also represents the beginning of the ideal world.

“Conjugal and parental love settle eternally when we are married and making love.  Through which part of the body do we make love?  Is it the mouth, the eyes, or the ears? -- We all know it is through the sexual organs.  Until now, people have regarded the sexual organs as something bad, but now I’m teaching you that it is the holy original palace.  How amazing are the male and female sexual organs?  Without them true love, life, lineage and conscience cannot be connected.  Can God’s Kingdom begin without them?  It cannot!  Only through that organ is the world of freedom, happiness, peace and unity possible.”

~ Rev. Sun Myung Moon -- Message from May 5, 1996.

All of our human rights have been jeopardized by the Fall of Man.  The time has come where we have to know the truth in how we can regain our heavenly position as sons and daughters of God.

Monday, January 7, 2013

New Year’s Intentions versus New Year’s Resolutions

My role at the first toastmaster's meeting of the New Year was table topics.  It means that I have to come up with some questions, ideas, words or statements to solicit each member present to give a one- to two-minute answer.  Usually, the toastmaster sets a topic for the meeting.  Sure enough, Elaine, the toastmaster for the evening, started talking about the New Year and asked if we had made NewYear’s resolution. 

I shared that it was our church community’s tradition to send balloons with a wish or a positive statement attached to it into the sky.

When it was my turn in the meeting to present my table topics on New Year’s resolutions, I was surprised that nobody in the audience made New Year’s resolution.  Several people explained that the reason being that most people don’t go through with them; abandon them by February and then feel guilty about it. 

That made me question, what is wrong with resolutions; and what we can do instead? 


Resolutions are abandoned primarily because they set us up to fail. We force ourselves willfully to let go of certain habits.  Resolutions typically focus on what we shouldn’t do or what is wrong.  When things get tough, or we get off track, it is easy to just ditch them altogether.

We acknowledged that most humans resist change.   It is true that most resolutions are to decrease addictive behaviors like alcohol/or drug abuse, smoking, gambling, or unhealthy relationships or eating habits.  When we focus on problems the internal resistance goes up automatically.  Therefore, it makes more sense to focus on a positive outcome which means to formulate an intention.


“Intention is a force in the Universe, and everything and everyone is connected to this invisible force.”

~ Dr. Wayne Dyer

When setting an intention, we focus our attention on the “what” without being attached to the “how”.  Intentions are driven from within. They involve stating a desire and creating a clear mental picture of the direction we want our life to take based on how we feel in the present moment. They create a purpose, an aim, to direct our decision making.

By getting the feedback from each person at the meeting, I determined that from now on I will not make anymore New Year’s resolutions.  Rather I formulate my desire in form of a positive intention and feel myself into what I deeply yearn for.  That way I am becoming the person I am meant to be.  Isn’t that what we are all longing for?