I know you’ve thought about the Circle of Life, mainly because of The Lion King movie. Have you ever considered the Circle of Blessing? Oh, you haven’t? I wouldn’t have expected you to since I just made it up!
You probably have, though, considered the relationship of thanksgiving and gratitude to faith — maybe? Whenever I can give thanks for anything, whenever I express true, deep, appreciative gratitude, it builds my faith. How? Quite simply because anything for which I can give thanks means I have seen the fulfillment of some expression of faith, even if it was subconscious. And that blessing encourages me to express faith in another goal, another dream, another mission, maybe.
Whatever exists in my life, I have attracted it, created it, or built it in one way or another. Whether I can give thanks for some specific thing or not depends — depends on if I filter and process it through Ego or Heart. What vantage point do I take? What value do I assign to it?
I believe what I have said a number of times: Hearts know things, and my Heart is the originator of my faith. Ego says believe only what I can physically sense, and then, I should only give thanks for what directly benefits me. Ego does not understand that my own vibrational energy has summoned it all. Because of that, Heart knows I can be grateful for it all. Even those things not directly positive can be viewed as something to be thankful for because it helps me to shift my energy to manifest more positive results. Ego spews bitterness, guilt, blame, fault, hatred, and doubt. Hearts generate gratitude and faith.
In fact, my Heart has been a strong influence that way for me, even when I wasn’t fully aware of the workings of it. Heart allows us to emulate an example referred to many times in history: burn the boats. Various accounts of historical figures show some leaders — not always well-intentioned but still effective — gave commands to burn their troops’ boats once they arrived on the shores of nations they wished to conquer. This includes ancient Chinese commanders, Alexander the Great, other Greek commanders, the Muslim commander leading the invasion of Spain, and Hernan Cortes. Once they were on foreign, hostile soil and those boats were burned, no means of retreat existed. Win or die; conquer or be conquered; live or die.
Burning the boats took away possible exit strategies, because either the armies achieved their objective or suffered defeat. That has deep spiritual applications for me.
My most recent boat-burning event concerns my extra-early retirement from public school teaching. If I had continued teaching and bumped my retirement up significantly, days like yesterday and mornings like this morning would have been a disaster for me spiritually.
Why? Because all the Thanksgiving entertaining and visiting becomes hectic. I would have skipped my writing, my very Purpose. I would have allowed my Ego rationalizations to convince me that, after all, I would have an income and be okay. Yep! That’s Ego!
However, now that the boat of financial security in a form that could undermine my Vision and dreams is incinerated, I give thanks for every challenge I overcome.
Make no mistake; I am not eschewing financial security. I want to have a healthy income flow through the exercise of my Heart to make that core Self known. However, as I said, financial security that undermines Purpose will only be Ego actions that would leave me feeling empty, unfulfilled and then wondering why. I would advise anyone, though, that they must come to know core Self and create Purpose before burning any boats. Sometimes, ego can trick us even in these aspirations.
For me, having burned that boat, I push forward in carrying out my mission. Do I know the end? Nope, but I can’t go back now. No escape. I don’t want one, either. I want to express my love and appreciation to the Spirit and this whole Universe through my Purpose.
When I see manifestations of that happening, I give thanks. I have faith to go forward, no looking back — when I stay in fellowship with my Heart and am encouraged in the fellowship of the Heart.
See! Gratitude produces faith produces manifestation produces gratitude: the Circle of Blessing!
I hope that whether you are in America or any other nation that today will be a day of Thanksgiving for you. Every day would be so much better for all of us if we were filled with gratitude and shared it. Many successful, spiritual thought leaders tell us gratitude is a major component of living a life of our dreams. I agree.
In my 10 Steps of awakening I have shared, which is part of my Grand Unified Theory of Humanity, the last step is Love and Acceptance. Those are part and parcel of an attitude of gratitude. I have written much about Ego and Heart and the consequences the one we allow to be our life, mind, and soul operating system; however, I don’t go around trying to judge if people are using one or another. That would be stupid and impossible, since we all at any one given time could be using either.
No, my job is to create my purpose and live it in love and acceptance. And I am so thankful that I can know my Heart, my core Self, and operate from that basis in my relationships with all others. I love people. I can be thankful for everyone in my life.
I think and write about these rather philosophical concepts a lot. Loving and Accepting are actions, not stagnant philosophies.
The only time evaluation comes into play is when problem situations arise, whether on a personal or societal level. Yes, I’m still thinking of Native Americans and not only the past 500 years but also the current situation at Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Those walking in destruction need to be exposed, like the authorities there who are lying and deceiving. But I can even give thanks for that because they only make the light of the Water protectors, the Native Americans there, shine brighter.
When I read about the First Thanksgiving, it should be a day to remember the Native Americans. I do so with thankfulness for their respect of and care for Nature and their very natural sensitivity to the Spirit. Those early days of white Europeans arriving in sickness and starvation would have ended much differently if the Native Americans of the Northeast had not been accepting. History would have changed. Even if they didn’t love the white race, they loved Nature, and that love indirectly helped the colonists.
And today, we witness that same love of Nature in the Sioux and members of other tribes standing with them in North Dakota. We see them protecting the water and their sacred sites, protesting peacefully. Love and Acceptance. I think of the words to “Colors of the Wind,” capturing this Spirit (at least it seems so to me, but I’m a pasty white man): “You think the only people who are people / Are the people who look and think like you, / But if you walk the footsteps of a stranger, / You’ll learn things you never knew, you never knew.”
We can learn a lot through love, acceptance, and gratitude that flows from those. Blessings!
This morning I referred to the First Thanksgiving. I have read the primary source account Of Plymouth Plantation by John Bradford, who was the first governor of the Plymouth Bay Colony and kept an extensive decades long journal, a semi-official record of the history of the colony. The insight is quite striking, and one must remember always that it is written with a definite bias.
I think about the life of those 50 colonists who survived that first winter. They would have been dead by the next if it were not for two Native Americans in particular, Squanto and Massasoit. It was Massasoit who came with 90 of his people to that First Thanksgiving in 1621. Yet time and again, they were referred to as savages.
How utterly brazen to come to someone else’s land and call them savage, to assume superiority over them, to judge them by the invaders’ laws and morals and standards. In fact, Native Americans did have many problems, as did the settlers. And all the problems stemmed from Ego operations in the mind and soul. The same is just as true with us today.
We judge one another, we judge those a half a world away, we judge those who hold different political and religious convictions, and we judge those who have a different skin color from us. We are offended by each other, feel angry, betrayed, and threatened by others because of these things. And every one of these responses derives from allowing Ego to control mind and soul.
If you read this tonight, I hope you consider this question. Tomorrow, for what will you give thanks? If you only give thanks for those who look like you, think like you, benefit you, or can be used by you, then you will limit great, miraculous wonders which could be drawn to you from eternal Spirit through those very unlike you.
However, Ego will never allow differences, divergencies to be accepted. Oh, Ego will accept those who are different, but only if they can be used for our convenience and profit. Although I don’t know exact numbers, I think it’s telling that Bradford in his accounts says again and again that the colonists gave thanks to God for everything, but rarely, if ever, does it say they thanked the Indians.
The Indians were considered agents, instruments to be used by God for the good of the colonists but never appreciated or thanked for who they were and what they did. Guess what? Many senseless conflicts ensued because White Europeans held the native population to their standards and judged them and punished them based on White standards. How stupid.
And even though Indians saved their lives and brought them food and information that continued to save their lives, the colonists disdained these people. How many more blessings might have come to them had they been thankful to the Indians instead of only God? We’ll never know.
But we do know that when the ego operating system is allowed to control mind and soul, thanksgiving is scanty and blessings are limited.
Again, I would ask us, myself included, What and Who are we thankful for? Stand firm, my Native American friends at Standing Rock, against the narrow-mindedness and ego cruelty of greedy oligarchs and their minions. I’m thankful for you.
I’ve had a kind of crazy day, broken up by meetings with stretches barely long enough to get any of my writing done. Hence, my Morning Pages became Evening Pages, especially since I started meetings early this morning.
After reading some today, in literally a few spare minutes, about the Standing Rock protest by the Sioux water protectors and their supporters — I hope they count me as one — and reading about senseless ambush shootings of police officers and the ignorance and uncouth brashness of our president-elect, my Heart demanded that I offer something to help.
Even though I haven’t accomplished all my goals today, I still have accomplished part of them, helping me to feel fulfilled and significant. Am I as far as I wanted to be? Obviously, I am not. My only goal at this point is that I offer you something, even one question, thought, comment that will help you connect for even a minute or two with your own Heart, and maybe you will experience some fullness and significance, even in the face of troubled times.
And because that is my wish, I thought it might be supportive to put my 10 Steps in the process of awakening in one place. I know this will not be the final form in my ebook, but at 11:00 p.m., this isn’t ebook quality. It’s just life, and it feels good. So I give you the list below with the hope you will see the power, peace, purpose, acceptance, and love available to you in awakening to Self. I also hope you see that the sorts of turmoil we face could be ameliorated by masses of individuals coming to such a life point. (The list below is mostly a copy from my Evening (Morning) Pages).
The 10 Steps in Awakening
Enjoy the work of the journey. It’s worth it. Blessings!
Talk about the perfect storm of society! It’s definitely not a good time — IF you just listen to the news. I don’t advise that. At all.
However, I cannot ignore the injustice, inhumanity, and an instigated insanity, but I will not address any of it in depth. Very brief comments about three things. (By instigated insanity, I mean either directly engineered situations or a byproduct of deceit and lies that drive irrational, abnormal behaviors and thoughts).
Instigated insanity abounds around the recent presidential election here in the United States. The deep divisions created by the candidates and their affiliates has been effective in polarizing people to such an extent that I see sentiments similar to those involved in the Civil War. I actually know families who have disowned one another — brother against brother. Sound familiar? I think it sounds absolutely sick to allow a contrived institution like government destroy the very fabric of one reason we even come into this existence: relationships of love. It’s ironic when government should be establishing conditions for such relationships to prosper.
Is who one votes for really grounds for war? We have been duped, and many have succumbed to willful ignorance. Ego — every last nasty part of such divisions. I’m not saying politics are not important. I am saying unless these decisions and leaders begin choosing Heart as the operating system for their minds and souls, divisions will be exacerbated, and our national situation looks to deteriorate further.
Injustice and inhumanity, corrupt the very fabric of our society, especially evident in the racial tensions and conflicts being manifested between police officers and racial minorities. I take no sides because I don’t need to. The various events are all forced into one frame, one composition, for one effect, and the artists want everyone to buy into the perspective in which they frame the picture. That is illogical manipulation.
Every situation in conflicts of these kind need to be evaluated independently. Yes, minorities have been treated in a prejudicial manner, overall, and there are unequivocally unqualified authorities and officers. At least some are beginning to pay for that. However, any dumb assholes who randomly target police officers should count on dying; no justification exists for mob violence or ambushes.
In reality, the big picture looks like almost all parties involved on an individual basis simply want good relationships and peaceful existence. Most of those embroiled in the antagonism have refused Heart by responding in anger without reason — always a mark of Ego. If you hate another group as a whole, no matter what qualifiers you attach — you know, something like, “They’re not all bad.” — let me ask you something. How does hatred feel? Does it give you peace, love, joy, significance — anything positive? No, it doesn’t. Stop being stupid.
I have been thinking quite a bit about the situation with the Dakota Access Pipeline and the skeevy bastards running Energy Transfer Partners. Yes, strong language. I’ve written about the situation at Standing Rock. I’ve seen the videos stacked up against the lies that authorities have been telling. I also know a fair amount of the history of White treatment of Native Americans, and it would be one thing to be able to view this from history, but this is a replay of 500 years of purposed oppression. I’m just not saying any more about this tonight.
I need to get to this. None of this is inevitable. Even though I have opinions and take a stand, I am not discouraged. Why? Because I know who I am and I know why I’m here. My hope is my opinions and discussion, no matter how brief, of these issues will bring anyone who reads this to the same point.
Answer those two questions for yourself. Who am I? What is my purpose in being here? Determine it for yourself. Settled peace about those questions will allow opinions and open discussions with others, differing or not, from the place of fellowship with your own Heart. No better place than that.
I had thought to get a bit further, but I will do that tomorrow. In the meantime, please exhibit goodness, peace, rationality, and love towards fellow human beings. (Hear that, you “officers” in South Dakota?) And if you know yourself, then find others who do, too, and work together in the Fellowship of the Heart.
Wishing you blessings of peace in these times of turmoil.
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!