Are We Free?

Are we free, or are we enslaved?

Most people don’t realize that they are enslaved. It is so widespread that they think it is just natural to be paralyzed with fear. So the first thing is to know the difference between being enslaved and being free. Once we know that we can be enslaved when we could be free, then the question is, What is the next step?

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Work as Spiritual Opportunity: part 2 Harmonious Prospering

. . .Our ability and willingness to be useful and helpful in business or employment determines the prospering of it. Should we experience insufficient income or a slowdown in our business, we need to improve our ability to be helpful.

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Maturing vs Aging

Aging is the accumulation of unresolved grievances. . . .

The word “maturing” is an attempt at describing a progressive development of consciousness, moving in the direction of ever-clearer discernment of nondimensional Reality: toward the light of enlightenment.

-Dr. Hora: "Self Transcendence"

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At the Core of Addiction is a Spiritual Longing

One core thought at the root of addiction is the urge for liberation, freedom and joy. This urge is from the soul, the depth of being. Confronted with the cultural, educational, familial ways of life that are often dismissive of this spiritual longing or relegate it to meaningless rituals and rules, the opportunity to escape to a "high" is welcome relief.

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Healing that "Funky" Feeling

Just a little funk. A moment of downness and unhappiness, with the repeating question “what to do next?” There is a search for distraction through routine, obligations, or entertainment. And yet, anything that occurs to me that needs to be done or could be done is coated in burdensomeness and resistance.

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If "God" is a Typo

Instead of imaging God as the all powerful arbitrator who decides who suffers and who prospers, the “Good” would be understood as the dynamic principle of all life. Who could misunderstand that? Would we kill in the name of Good? There might be disagreements about personal good versus collective good but we won’t kill each other over it. Good can be defined so that there is no mistake.

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“Our Hearts are Broken”

President Obama opened his heartfelt speech in Tucson, Arizona with this phrase.And, it is true. Our hearts are broken by what happened this past Saturday in Tucson, Arizona.

This confirms a universal Truth - that what happened is wrong. We agree on that. There is nothing good about a disturbed individual shooting innocent others.

On the other hand, the individual responses to the violence, and to those who were hurt by the violence, is recognized by all as good.

These two self-evident truths sum up our purpose in life.

The recognition of what is good and the healing of what is not. In every moment of our lives, this is the task.

God did not plan this tragedy, nor was it anyone’s destiny to be hurt or killed in this untimely violent manner. Neither was it anyone’s goal to heroically charge the violent attacker or in anyone’s dayplanner to sacrifice themselves in an attempt to save the one they loved.

Yet, the choice between violence and peace, fear and love, happens everyday in an infinite amount of ways, large and small, and this is our purpose – to choose love over fear; to respond to real needs over reacting out of personal frustration.

In Search of the Holidays

The fact we are unhappy when we attempt to be “happy” by partaking in “happy holiday festivities” points to our mental health. Within our awareness is the uncomfortable realization that we are participating in a fantasy.

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The End of Intuition: Unsolvable Problems

The path of intuition has an end. Like the runway that allows the airplane to build up enough speed to take flight, intuition speeds perception to a point where we are lifted beyond the limits of the road. There is a point of awareness when the end of intuition is recognized – where intuitive insights have completed their job.

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Are You OK?

We hear and say this phrase over and over again, especially here on the East Coast after Storm Sandy, but what are we really saying? 

Sometimes when the question is asked the answer is a superficial “everything is OK” in an attempt to relieve the anxiety of the questioner. Other times the questioner is overwhelmed when the answer comes back filled with troubles and losses that are unsolvable. Sometimes we “tune out” and ignore others rather than face the anxiety of not being able to help someone who is suffering,

In its most pure and universal form “Are You OK?” is an expression of love. Rather than a question, it is really a statement: “Even though it does not seem like it, all is well. We are with each other right now in this moment.” 

Love is a quality of being that is attentive. It is our capacity to listen in order to understand. 

Problems can arise with the question “Are You OK?” when it is translated into “How are you feeling?” or “What’s wrong?” Instead of a statement of assurance, it becomes anxious concern and an invitation to dwell in fear.

Even when we are frightened, the question, “Are You OK?” can be asked and answered with the awareness that one is reaching out to another with love and compassion.  Not necessarily with answers and action.

We don’t know what we will hear or what we will say. Beyond the thought that we “should” be able to help, have the answers, or know what to do, is the capacity to listen – to ourselves, to another and to Divine Inspiration. 

The truth may be that in that moment we do not know what to do or say or what action will be helpful. Knowing that we don’t know, and that we don’t need to know relieves the anxiety of thinking we “should” know. This allows love to listen. And if there is a helpful response beyond listening, it will become clear.

What Makes it a "New Year?" And Who Determines that it is "Happy?"

This thought was originally posted on January 10, 2014 and it still seems relevant. While New Year’s Day is an arbitrarily agreed upon point in the calendar of days, the “meaning” of it was brought to mind by the many friendly smiles shared between strangers walking by each other declaring: “Happy New Year!”

The communication seemed to be “it’s a holiday (a holy day) and on this day we can be unburdened by our normal concerns.” And thus, the underlying truth of being slips into view.  Freed from the day-to-day habitual "shoulds," openness, friendliness and goodwill took their place.

What is symbolized in the phrase “Happy New Year” that inspires such openness? Perhaps it is the recognition that all of the heavy burdens of human living can be transformed in a moment.  Our true identity of joyful lightness of being can be realized. It’s hidden in the words:

Happy: Happiness is an inner quality of being that becomes more and more available to us as we value joy. In the words of Dr. Hora, “Gratitude is the door to joy, seriousness is a killjoy.”

New: Each moment is an opportunity to realize that we do not need to be determined by our past experiences, present circumstances or future expectations.

Year: We are endowed with the capacity to manifest divine order and harmony as they unfold in the context of Joy. Everything everywhere is already all right, even when it does not seem that way.

While taking a break in the middle of writing this blog, I was confronted with a tension. Something I expected to happen did not happen. Blaming and being blamed filled the atmosphere.  Then came the awareness that expectations have no place in joy; gratitude was overshadowed by the presence of a “should” thought. With this illumination it became possible to let be, release the expectation and apologize for letting it in. Grateful to be able to see it, to humbly acknowledge it and then turn to the new, free moment.

Happy New Year.

In other words, Be grateful. We are not cement, we are consciousness with the capacity to be free moment-by-moment from our habits of thought.

Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual guidance looks for the answers to life’s difficulties beyond superficial cures and coping mechanisms to understanding something about who we really are and what life is all about.

All problems are psychological and all solutions are spiritual.

-Dr. Thomas Hora

Problems cannot be solved from within the mindset that is experiencing the problem. Any good solution needs to come from a larger, wider, more elevated view of the situation.

Metapsychiatry is a method of spiritual guidance. It begins with the premise that we are spiritual beings capable of transcending the human condition we find ourselves in. In other words, we have the capacity to see our situation from a larger perspective.

The larger view of any situation can open us to the wisdom necessary to see our problems with the awareness of the transcendent self. Just as looking at a map can provide the larger view needed to guide the way when traveling in unfamiliar territory.

A Metapsychiatrically oriented spiritual guide is a committed and well-seasoned fellow journeyer on the path of truth realization. The dialogue between seeker and guide is a joint endeavor in the search for what is true, meaningful and helpful regarding the issues and questions brought to the meeting by the seeker.

Beyond Decision-Making

The Bible story of the prodigal son presents two life choices: cultural conformity by the dutiful son, and non-conformity by the profligate son. At first it looks like one brother made good choices while the other made bad ones. I was reminded of the above Bible story when a crossroad decision made years ago came to mind. When the decision was made I did what seemed right at the time, but it was now occurring to me that I had taken the path of “cultural conformity.” The other path, in the fantasy of hindsight at least, had the promise that “I could have been somebody;” perhaps done something important in the world.

Both thoughts are firmly established in the past, expressing the double whammy of: “I should have. .” and: “I could have. .”

Memories are dreams and dreams are thoughts about “who I think I am, and who I should have been.”

With this view it becomes clear that whatever done or not done in life, while meaningful and often full of drama, is not the substance of true fulfillment.

Either choice considered at the time came from influences about what I thought I was expected to do and to be.

The choice made merely pointed out the overriding interest at the time, with the resulting consequences. The remnant thought that “I coulda,” is of course, a “should” thought from another set of things I think I should have accomplished.

It dawns on me that the choice made many years ago was neither right nor wrong. It resulted in both good and bad due to the many common cultural thoughts swimming in my consciousness from the sea of mental garbage. Yet, at the same time, throughout my life, good ideas and good things happened.

The Good of life does not come from what I do or not do, what I have or don’t have. The Good of life flows from an orientation to what is wholesome and harmonious.

Even now decisions can present themselves as “urgent and life changing,” but this is not the truth. The real choice is to recognize whether something is in harmony with what Is, or not. The main question to consider as information and events unfold is: Is there PAGL? If there is, everything will work together harmoniously. If PAGL is not present, let go of the decision for now and be open to learning something.

The healing journey for both brothers in the Bible story was to discover the futility of seeking fulfillment through what they, or their brother, did or did not do, and to turn their attention to the context of Pure Love, as symbolized by their father. It then becomes possible to forgive the past and be grateful for the joy that is available right here, right now.

Fear is the beginning of wisdom

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil. . .

The media is filled with frightening information. Violence and threats of violence are everywhere. The economy is struggling. Our leaders seem to be dysfunctional. It is easy to become frightened. Fear is uncomfortable. And, with the amount of fearful events reported every day an underlying fearful state of being seems normal. “Be frightened about your life, your money, your health, your family,” seems to be the constant mantra of the news and our friends.

To recognize that we are experiencing fear is to know that we are walking “through a valley of dangerous shadows” and this is the first step – the beginning of wisdom.

While it is not possible to just stop being frightened, it is possible to stop being frightened of fear. After all, it is just a very uncomfortable feeling – not the real stuff of life.

. . . I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me.

Who or what is the "Thou" that is “with me” and not frightened of fear or evil? The "Thou" is the ever-over-flowing soundless voice of inspired wisdom.

Thou preparest a table before me in the midst of mine enemies.

Fear, the emotional and physiological reaction to being threatened, is the “enemy,” as living a frightened life is self-destructive. When frightened we cannot be aware of the “table of good” intelligent ideas laid before us. We cannot see the “green pastures" of good pathways through our problems we are being led to.

It is not panic that will safely guide us through difficult situations – it is creative inspiration that flows from Thou into us, just as the river feeds the trees.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

 

Is Perseverance the Right Idea?

There is a story made famous in the book: “Think and Grow Rich,” describing a gold miner who dug and dug and dug looking for gold. He gave up and sold the land to someone who within one day, dug a little deeper and found the layer of gold. This story is used to support the idea that we need to persevere toward our goals and never give up. If a door is closed – bang it down! But, is this the right idea? Does it really work? What is assumed in this story, without question, is the goal to “get the gold.” In other words, the purpose of life is to get what we want, and if we want gold, or to make a sale, or to find a spouse, then all we need to do is persevere. But, this does not work. And, many of us spend whole lifetimes pursuing “getting what we want,” and ending up unfulfilled and unhappy. Even if we “get what we want,” in the form of material goods, a spouse, and career success, there is still dissatisfaction.

On the other hand, “giving up,” doesn’t work either. Both ideas: “giving up” and “persevering” are reactions to wanting something. We can either “give up” wanting and feel deprived, or “persevere” toward getting what we want and be agitated that we don’t have it yet.

While I was not present when the first gold miner gave up, nor was I there when the second miner found the gold, I suspect what is missing from the story is the mental climate that was present. For each, this was a moment in a larger story of their life journey. For all we know, the miner that “gave up” discovered something more fulfilling and meaningful, and the miner that “found the gold” may have succumbed to a life filled with fear of losing his fortune.

Often, when one does "let go" of pursuing a non-fruitful endeavor, a realization of greater meaning, direction and purpose of their life unfolds.

The purpose of life is not to get what we want. Pursuing our "wants" by definition, means a life spent in pursuit of a fantasy future.

The purpose of life is to wake-up from living a life based on what we've been conditioned to, and become aware of who and what we are in the eternal now.

Waking-Up occurs in consciousness. We can become interested in what is "really going on," and the gift of awareness will come. It may come with either a major or minor shift in the circumstances of our lives, but who cares? Getting on the right track is worth any price.

New Year "Purpose of Your Life" Special

Carol Adrienne, author of "The Purpose Of Your Life," asked me to be part of her January "New Year" opportunity for readers of her web/blog site: Carol Adrienne You are welcome to take advantage of the January Special, as copied below.

WHO: NANCY ROSANOFF is the author of The Intuition Workout. From 2001-2008 she hosted and produced the television talk show: The Listening Place, where she interviewed over 250 individuals about their spiritual life and philosophy. WHAT: During January, Nancy is offering a 45-minute consultation, in which she applies the insights of meta-psychiatry (developed by reknowned Dr. Thomas Hora) to your current life question--for only $50. WHAT: Nancy's approach to your situation helps reveal the “meta view” of whatever difficulty, decision, or issue you are facing. The “meta view” involves discerning the difference between what seems to be happening and what really is. WHY: Nancy shows you how to see if you are stuck in the six "futile questions" (such as, "Why is this happening?") She helps you begin to clear away obstacles by shifting attention to purpose, meaning and the intuitive next step. HOW: Visit her web/blog site to find out more about her and her work: www.themetaview.com and email her Nancy@rosanoff.com

What’s Good about Our Health Care System?

It’s easy to be critical of health care professionals. The pedestal of “life saver” that their position represents makes them vulnerable to public criticism, as well as to personal boasting. Although I’ve avoided going to hospitals and doctors until absolutely necessary, I have often been surprised by the attentive, loving individuals who have come to my aid in times of extreme need. It makes me realize that the vast majority of health care professionals in this country are inspired by a caring interest in serving the needs of others. They appreciate the opportunity to respond to real needs of individuals who come to them in vulnerable circumstances.

It also seems apparent that most individuals facing debilitating symptoms are open for guidance and help to relieve their distress. We may not like it when something is “wrong,” and we may resent that we need to ask for help, but when we finally recognize that something is needed, we have the option to look for good advice and care.

While every health care technique, method and medicine has helped someone somewhere, it is also true that every health care technique, method and medicine has hurt someone. They may be useful in the relief of symptoms and perhaps they support healing to occur, but techniques, methods and medicine are not the underlying healing force.

What is the Universal Healing Solvent common to all healing?

Love & Intelligence. Love is the quality of being where the primary orientation is toward understanding and intelligence is the open-minded attention that listens, observes, and recognizes the right idea when it appears. The orientation toward these qualities of consciousness in both the caregiver and the receiver allows healing to occur.

It seems self-evident that when the primary orientation of individuals is toward understanding the presenting issue, and seeking intelligent solutions to problems, the better the solutions, the better the system, the better the living. It also seems evident that most individuals go in and out of this orientation.

What Interferes with Good Health Care?

Caregivers have been trained with the idea that they need to “fix” whatever complaint is presented to them. This approach is also at the basis of how health care is rewarded. They get paid to “fix.” Therefore, the faster they fix something, and the more “fixes” accomplished, the more rewards received. This is an unhealthy system as it does not encourage or reward in a practical way the use of Love-Intelligence.

There is a tendency to look for a system that does not need individual consciousness – a mechanism that “anyone” can apply: a “pill” or “procedure” for instance. Yet, loving consciousness is the source of and solution to our problems and there is no way around that. Tools and techniques, when seen as an extension of intelligence and love can be immensely useful and valuable.

Patients are afflicted with the idea that someone needs to do something to make them better and take away their pain. This idea robs the patient of their capacity to discern between potential treatments for themselves and often blinds them from learning and growing from whatever disease they are experiencing.

A Solution?

As we accept the idea that health and healing require a context of love, intelligence and attention, our health systems will reorganize in healthier ways. While this may be a long arc for the whole health care system, individuals can see the wisdom of this idea immediately. Love-Intelligence does not need a prescription. It helps to know that it is available to any receptive consciousness no matter how challenging the circumstances.

MetaView asks the question: What is Health?

The road to creating good National Health Care may well begin with first answering this question.  There has been much confusion, conflict, money, airtime and fear surrounding the debate on national health care reform and this has a meaning.

Clearly this means that we are confused about the fundamental nature of the problem we are attempting to solve. 

The basic questions of health care reform depend upon a valid understanding of health: what is it, how does it happen, how is it lost.  If we have a clear idea about what health is, then we will know how to support it.

The first challenge in answering this question is that the answer may not be instantaneous.

I can hear someone saying: “Yes, this is a great question, but I don’t have time to answer it now, as I’m in too much pain and I just want relief.”

This is the attitude that is often reflected in the current approach to health care reform.

It reminds me of a recent conversation with someone in a whirlwind of “to do” tasks saying: “Once I’m done with these tasks I’ll be able to relax.”  She even laughed upon hearing herself say this, as she recognized the fallacy of ever being done with “what needs to get done.”

So, engaging with the question: “What is Health?” means first of all, to consider this question as we face the health care crisis as consumer, leader, provider or decision-maker. This does not require us to stop the activity of reforming health care, but if we include this question in our inquiries, new useful ideas and directions may emerge to help us find the right answers.