When someone as insightful as Albert Einstein says there are only two ways to perceive life, I listen: “One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” Things are things; it’s only our processing of those things as they relate to and affect us that places any relative value on them.
Einstein understood things that we can’t even see with the naked eye, theorized the inscrutable based on evidence and reasoning. And he chose to look at life, a life into which he saw so deeply, as miraculous. Someone operating with a primary reliance on Ego would never be able to make such a statement. Ego finds too many problems, too many challenges, too many excuses to view everything in life as a miracle.
In my novel, The Fellowship of the Heart, one of the protagonists, Eric Lafarnge, has discovered Self and begun to see purpose in his life. His shift in attitude and perceptions becomes evident to those he works with. In this passage, Eric, a lawyer, discusses his awakening with his main paralegal assistant, Jen.
“Okay, but you’re saying people see a change.”
“Yep, from apathy to intensity. It’s like you took a super vitamin and got your pep back. You compliment people again and you are using me a lot less. To me, that says you actually are invested in your cases — like you used to be.”
“Your turn, dude. You promised, kind of.”
“It’s not a big secret. For the past few months before my ‘super vitamin,’ I came to that classic question it seems so many come to about finding themselves. I really had lost sense of self and my purpose for being a lawyer, being anything, really. I’ve connected with my heart, and I am enjoying this. I know for now I’m doing what I want to do.”
“Okay, then, Eric. You know what? I think a lot of people haven’t made that heart connection you mentioned. It sure shows. Hell, you even bought us all lunch for the last two Fridays.”
“Yeah. I want you all to know I appreciate you. How amazing is it that our lives have intersected here at this firm in this little division? I don’t think it’s accidental.”
“Not everyone is so happy to be here as you, but at least they see a difference. And it makes a difference.” Jen started to get up but sat back into the chair. “Hey, what about the partnership? Is that making you any happier.”
Eric got up, walked around his desk and behind Jen, and closed the door. “Okay, this is confidential. You asked, and we’re friends. I am not planning on taking that position at this time. Nobody knows this — not Jack, not Peter. I want to just let it ride for now — no mentions. I want to do exactly what I’m doing.”
“Eric, this is huge. How could you not jump on this? What exactly is it you’re loving about this right now?”
“Jen, I get to be a voice for the voiceless in a shitty rigged system that has been cross layered by power players trying to cover their asses. I love seeking real justice for those who have no idea how to penetrate those layers. I’m passionate about this.”
“Obviously! Okay, Eric, but how does Anne feel about this?”
“She hates it. I’m not saying anything else about Anne and me right now.”
“Got it. Okay. Time to get to work. Do you have anything for me, or should I go see what I can do for one of these other guys who are like you were a month or so ago?”
“Here. I need you to do some research on these specific topics — cases, decisions, arguments used. These cases are getting really specific, Jen. I really need your expertise.”
“You’ve got it. It’s fun to work with this energy. Thanks.”
“I see everything in a different light. It’s all me, all my perception, and I see little miracles everywhere. Ms. Oprimida is one, because she will have justice for her husband’s death.”
Eric’s knowledge of his own Heart and his purpose of seeking justice for the voiceless produces a passion and enthusiasm in him that colors his life and infuses that energy into the lives of those around him.
I wrote about Jonas Salk two days ago. I didn’t use this quote, but it has the same character to it as Einstein’s. Salk also worked with phenomena that were not visible to us, but his sense of understanding of life and the energies of life allowed him to “…picture [him]self as a virus or cancer cell and tried to sense what it would be like.”
Can you imagine? Me, neither, but he did. He understood and viewed life as miraculous. So cool to be connected to people who walked in the fellowship of the Heart.
Hey, we can, too! We don’t need to be geniuses; we only need to respond to our own Heart! People know the difference between one who operates by Ego and one who operates by Heart. One can’t sees everything as pragmatic and mundane; the other sees miracles all around.
I am ecstatic! I wrote more than fifteen words in The Fellowship of the Heart today. This post won’t reveal anything super significant, probably, unless your Heart has prepared you for it. However, I will share some of what I wrote and some of what my Heart said to me about that.
One of the messages I have received over the last few days is this: Hearts know things. My Heart made it clear to me this morning that I have to focus on my novel and my ebook. Oh, I will still do my posts — not stopping on 261 — but my efforts in other things will be on an when-I-have-time basis.
Sometimes, when I’m overwhelmed, my mental and emotional states open the pathway for Ego to start flowing through that old, bypassed circuitry, and it is one lousy-ass feeling. I’m convinced it can even produce physical symptoms, but that is one advantage of being self-aware. I know when this sort of thing starts happening. The first sentence of negativity, exasperation, resignation, or blame that issues from me is a siren, warning me of what’s coming. Over.
Those who have not awakened to self have no such warning system. Ego rationalizes the negativity, justifies it, and even encourages it sometimes, unless it’s advantageous to call it off. It all depends on how a situation makes you look or feel. Do you need sympathy and pity or recognition and importance? Ego will fill the order, but ultimately will leave you continuing to question the meaning of your life and feeling empty and joyless.
That brings me to the portion of my writing I will share with you tonight from the novel. Anne Lafarnge, who has her new position as a senior associate in an engineering firm, is speaking with one of the younger engineers on her team, Kathryn Frank.
“Okay. Listen, Anne, I know you’re a lot more involved in other things now, but I really don’t have anyone else I feel very close to, except Ed. I still feel as if something else is going on, and I’m simply saying I want you to know I’m aware of it and I care. That’s all”
Anne spoke slowly. “Thanks, Kathy. Now, what about the composite material research and specs.”
“Looks like we can come in well below cost compared to standard materials, and we know that because we have already done a rough estimate of standard materials that will be required. It’s preliminary, but Ed and I really wanted to know if there would be any significant difference.”
“That sounds great, but how much are we talking about?”
“The composites will cut the material cost alone by close to thirty percent. We have some idea, very crude at this point, of what it would do to the labor. It will probably be at least that much.”
“Okay, this is the sort of information I was hoping for. I…” Just then Anne’s H-com buzzed. “Shit, Kathy, I’ve got to go. You guys have already done an awesome job. I would like you to get the work-up on the standard materials. Let’s see if we can’t get…” Her device buzzed again. “Shit. I don’t even have time to talk. Would you like to have a drink with me after work.”
“Sure, Anne. Just let me know when and where.”
Anne grabbed her computer and left Kathy in her office.
Kathy sat there for five minutes, staring at Anne’s pictures strung across the credenza behind her desk. She noticed pictures of Anne and Eric, laughing, exploring, holding hands. She also noticed there were no pictures of a child.
Kathy stood up to leave, but she walked to the credenza and looked closely at one picture in particular. Eric smiled with his whole being, blue eyes almost laughing. Anne’s red hair was tousled as she peeked over Eric’s shoulder from his back, her mischievous green eyes winking at the photographer.
“She’s different now. I can see it in her face, her body language.” She began to leave, but something urged her to turn and look at the photo one more time. “It’s more than that, isn’t it. She’s just not happy. I don’t know how I know it, but I do.”
The words were very distinct in her mind: Hearts know things.
Hearts really do know things. Our Heart is the deepest essence, core Self of Us. As that small part of eternal Spirit dwelling within, it not only knows our personal needs and offers us as much guidance and insight as we seek, but also it knows parts of life energy fields all around us. We can, to different extents, sense things about the Universe, including others, like Kathy’s heart in the passage.
I take real comfort in this. Yes, Hearts know things, and we receive all we need through Heart. Not a bad deal since Heart was part of factory original equipment!
Yes, I discovered something new today. I have known since I was a grade school boy who Jonas Salk was. He invented, innovated, and developed the vaccine to stop the polio virus. Polio created fear every summer throughout the United States, especially.
I knew all that, so this was not my discovery. Sometimes discoveries are simply realizations or acceptance of ideas, concepts, or facts previously unknown. This is what happened to me today when I read a quote from Jonas Salk on someone’s Instagram post. I couldn’t even find it again, but I looked up some quotes and biographical information about Dr. Salk. (Thanks, Goodreads!)
I’m not doing a school paper on Salk, but I will share a bit. The last several years before the final tests and deployment of his vaccine, fifteen to twenty thousand children a year were being paralyzed by the disease. Salk engineered the whole program, and it was successful. The awesome part is that he refused to apply for a patent for this. A few people claim it wouldn’t have been possible; however, at that time Salk was considered a savior and I’m fairly certain he would have been successful. Estimates of possible profits run into the billions for Salk, but he chose not to capitalize on the vaccine.
Why did he choose to forfeit such wealth? This is where I love to process situations involving mind and soul through my Heart. I see evidence that tells me what was motivating and empowering Dr. Salk, and he was someone who had come to discover core Self, one who chose Heart. Did this go on through his whole life? I have no idea, nor do I care in the sense of judging him about anything else. At least some of his actions and words bear witness to a man who enjoyed the fellowship of the Heart.
His actions and work have saved millions of lives and millions more from lives of misery. His words, oh, that’s the discovery of my day. How does one work tirelessly for seven years to succeed in a quest like virtually wiping out polio? “Intuition will tell the thinking mind where to look next.” But this wasn’t random. Salk cultivated that relationship with “intuition,” which I would probably call Heart: “It is always with excitement that I wake up in the morning wondering what my intuition will toss up to me, like gifts from the sea. I work with it and rely on it. It’s my partner.”
Then, he relates these ideas about intuition and Heart to others, encouraging them, urging them, to know the same sort of motivation and spirit he experienced and lived by. He cared for people deeply, and this is a marker of one who is in the fellowship of the Heart. He would ask others, “What makes your heart leap?” He prodded them to help them recognize their passion and where they might experience significance.
He also laid out the relationships of humans with one another clearly: “I look upon ourselves as partners in all of this, and that each of us contributes and does what he can do best. And so I see not a top rung and a bottom rung — I see all this horizontally — and I see this as part of a matrix. And I see every human being as having a purpose, a destiny, if you like — the destiny that exists in each of us — and find ways and means to provide such opportunities for everyone.” Knowing your Heart and discovering Purpose — yep, pretty clear.
Then, he encouraged people to have dreams and execute them, like he had modeled so well to the world: “Hope lies in dreams, in imagination and in the courage of those who dare to make dreams into reality.”
I hope we all work towards making dreams into realities this week.
Whenever anyone writes or speaks, the concept and actual expression of Voice plays a distinct role in the communication. I know. I taught English language arts for years, and I explained voice within the context of literature and the writing of literature by my students.
Yes, I could deal with voice in the construct of the Aristotle’s rhetorical triangle, but out of respect for my audience (a consideration of pathos), I won’t. For the most part, you don’t give a shit. Voice, however, is far more than a topic of academic literary study or evaluation of someone’s argument. It is much more.
Voice is not an invented concept. As with most observations about human behavior and the dynamics of those, it is a term that is simply descriptive of those dynamics that have existed as long as we have. In other words, it exists, no matter what anyone would call it or how a teacher would grade a student’s response to or employment of it.
I raise this issue because Voice as descriptive of human dynamics gives insight into spiritual realities within individuals. Sensitivity to it can help us in understanding others; it can helps us in understanding ourselves. While the term is applied specifically in literature and writing instruction, spiritually Voice carries the implication of conveying the energy of our mind and soul to the outside world, whether that be one individual or an actual, widespread audience.
If you have read any of my work, you know such ideas carry a lot of weight with me. They do so because I care about the energy I convey and project and the energy others carry. The choice of a person determines Voice: positive, energetic, self-deprecating, loser, warrior, winner. Yes, I know those ideas are indicative of tone and that nuances exist between tone and voice, but I’m now referring to, correctly, the projection of those tones to the world. That is voice.
And I will expand that because I said that the literary concept of voice was simply descriptive of dynamics already in existence. Those dynamics include the desire of every one of us to be heard, to have a Voice, not just someone analyzing our voice. We want to and need to be heard. More than that, we yearn to be heard. As a member of the human species, we want others to know we have something significant to contribute to life. We have a Purpose, and we want it to impact, make a difference for this world. Yes, I know there are some who say they don’t give a shit, but they are living under the deceptive influence of Ego.
Heart, the true essence of each one of us, is the embodied expression of eternal Spirit. We carry a section, a part, of Spirit, one characterized, filtered through, and now, enmeshed with our total person. For instance, I am now the Michael Foster DePung chunk of eternal Spirit, and that life energy will always go on and is identified by me as Discovery. Why do I bring this up here? Because I know, beyond any doubting, my life Purpose is to express the energy of Discovery; that is my Voice.
Since we all at some level and some point in our existence — it could be very early or very late — want to know who that core Self is and why that core Self came here to live in the constraints of mortality, we have Voice. That core Self is in us to be manifested, to be heard, and it is through Voice, the expression of life energy we contain, a unique, powerful Voice.
Ego, however, often constrains that. Sometimes Ego works through responding to the oppressive, repressive, and suppressive ego actions and opinions of others. That’s a choice, but as I’ve said before, it is a choice belying and denying our true essence, for both the perpetrators and the willing victims. Some folks choose to either consciously or subconsciously live under that tyranny. It is a choice that produces a voice expressed in a thousand negative tones: defeat, bitterness, hatred, self-destruction, resignation, boastfulness, false confidence, etc.
When evaluating this, who in the hell would want to live under the influence of Ego as a choice of life filter and processor? Who would want to communicate to the world in such a way? Does it produce anything positive, any solutions, any love? No, it does what Ego always does — isolates in an attempt to preserve some animalistic sense of Self.
Heart, however, desires us to make a positive choice to know Self, to co-create our life Purpose, and to Voice that to the world, a Voice communicating significance and love, a Voice reaching out for connection. That’s what Heart does — seeks connection leading to mutual edification and ultimately, the grand Unity.
So many more corollaries apply to this. My message, my communication, my Voice to anyone who reads this tonight would urge you to listen long and deep to that Voice within and to seek to communicate that energy to this world, to me, to those who need to hear what you have to say.
And you and I, each of us, has something to say. We have a Voice!
Until faith becomes personal, it’s a word that’s easy to use. Faith involves action, but it’s damned hard to take even simple actions when we don’t know what’s ahead.
Have you ever walked through woods at night? I’m not talking about being scared, but when you are trying to make your way back through the dark in an unfamiliar place, it takes faith to stay true on a particular heading. We just want to see where we are going, every step of the way. It’s natural.
In the Bible, 2 Corinthians 5:7 reads, “We walk by faith, not by sight.” That concept of walking when we can’t see works well, particularly because it implies we have to move, walk. It’s easy to find a thousand references to faith in the Bible, but I’m only using one more to make my point. James 2:17: “…faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action is dead.” If you’re on that dark path in the woods, it doesn’t do ANY good to sit down and believe in your mind that you will reach your destination. Guess what? When you open your eyes, you will still be sitting in the dark, no closer to your goal. Faith requires action.
Faith also drives action, and therein lies great value. Faith focuses on the end game. And for those who know Self and walk in the fellowship of the Heart, that end game is knowing and living life Purpose as expressed in our vision and mission. Action, execution, doing the work to get to the goal, a goal to which we do not know every step of the way, is powered by faith. A vision, no matter how well visualized, will not occur without action driven by faith.
Faith, though, needs an object, and that object is focus on life Purpose, an expression of Self. Too easy or too hard, we can waver. Faith refuses to acknowledge either extreme because if it did, we would have no way to move forward when challenges arise.
In regards to those, let me make something clear. Those who speak lightly of faith don’t know the grittiness of it, the need for it in the daily grind of moving forward. Faith is not an inert spiritual quality, some ethereal notion or philosophy. When challenges do arise, faith allows us to recognize the true source and enables us to press on.
However, if we are allowing Ego to be our operating system, we may attribute challenges to faith or even what we perceive as failures to be the fault of others. Or we may conclude that fate or God or some power is against us and telling us to go another route. That route will never be discovered by allowing ego to act as our default operating system.
By the way, challenges to faith do not originate from some outside agency, be it God, Satan, other humans or any event or circumstances. The source of the challenge is always our perceptions of Self if we have come to self-awareness and walk in the fellowship of the heart. Anything that I perceive as causing me delay or interference or I consider as an alternative path to living my Purpose is a challenge to faith. That’s when it gets real and I need to get going.
Sometimes, going is not a turbo-charged, frenzied effort of productivity, but a simple matter of moving ahead at least an inch. A popular encouragement from my youth was to tell someone to keep on keeping on (KOKO). Sometimes, keeping on is barely getting by, but progress, always progress. Therefore, when I face challenges, I know I have created them as consequences of the drive to live Discovery. When I create a challenge because something needs to change in my life in order to work my mission, faith tells me to move my ass.
How about you? Keep on keeping on!
Questions to consider:
How many times have you asked yourself or simply thought about the following questions?
Who am I, really?
What is my truth?
How do my actions reveal what I really feel and believe?
What would I do with my life if I could do anything?
What is my passion?
Why am I here?
How can I discover answers to any of these questions?
If you have considered any of these questions, I hope that my experiences and writing will give you some guidance. Please read my blog and comment and share your thoughts. I would love to hear from you!