The High Path is the Destination

Babaji Copyright unknown

My message is very simple. Truth, Simplicity, Love, and Service. I ask for no-thing. I am no-thing. I observe unconditionally without judgement. I am not here to convince anyone of anything,..I seek only to share my message. 

What humans seek on the Lower Path such as wealth, power, and control is of no interest to me, and should be of no interest to those on the High Path, for the things of the Lower Path will only lead to misery and despair. Misery and despair is the destination of the Lower Path. Truth, Simplicity, and Love is the destination of the High Path.

Babaji of Haidakhan

On the “High Path”, the journey and the destination are the same: Following the path of Truth, Simplicity, Love, and Service leads to Truth, Simplicity, and Love.  The means are the ends; the journey is the destination.

Contrariwise, on the Lower Path, the path is different than the destination. Wealth, power, and control lead to misery and despair. People who are immersed in their own desire or attachment for wealth, power, and control, do not see, cannot see, or ignore where it ultimately leads.

On the Lower Path, the immediate gratification of the control, wealth, and power obscures the delayed effect of misery and despair.

On the High Path, because the journey and the destination are the same, Truth, Simplicity and Love are the immediate  and the ultimate gratification.

 

No One’s Mind Works Like Yours 

Whether or not you are on a spiritual path, the title of this post holds true. No one thinks the way you do; no one’s mind operates as yours does. Everyone has completely different mental associations regarding very basic experiences (much less the more complicated ones!) and from those mental associations everyone has different emotions attached to those experiences; neurologically, everyone thus also has different patterns of brain/body activity in the form of tiny electrical neuron “signals”.

For example, we all know what “breakfast” is. Some people eat breakfast in a car (and everyone’s car is different) some at work (and everyone’s work is different), some not at all. People’s experience of place is different. Some people eat a Mcsandwich, some donuts, some fruit and a nutrition bar. Everyone’s experience of substance is different. 

These types of difference are noticeable and easily overcome if the place or substance changes, like having pancakes on the weekends, joining a friend at a restaurant, or socializing after a Sunday meeting.

The invisible associations like emotions or neuron patterns are much more difficult to ascertain, but these invisible associations influence behavior, and thus can affect how people relate to others. 

For example, what if breakfast is the loneliest point in a child’s day? What if breakfast is where two spouses argue over their hectic schedules and how little time they have for each other or for themselves? What if breakfast is where grandma sits quietly drinking coffee…then one day grandma is no longer there? 

You never really know how people have experienced anything. You never really know what mental/emotional associations people bring to situations and relationships.

Sometimes, this is called “baggage”, but it’s only referred to as such when it causes “a problem”, when there is a lack of understanding about those invisible influences.

Doing personal or spiritual work sheds light on these invisible influences. An adult who was a lonely child may intentionally separate him or herself at a group breakfast, because being lonely is what they know and are comfortable with. Arguing over time and responsibility may be an expression of really wanting more love and time with that other person. A loud or boisterous person may be expressing a need to fill a sad void. 

These influences are underneath everyone’s behavior. When we become aware of such associations within ourselves,  we are able to understand our behaviors better. Understanding brings greater choice, greater self-determination. We are no longer susceptible to the unseen influences, because we can see them for what they are and how they affect us. We can choose how we want them to affect us or if we want them to affect us.

More than this, we can begin to see the invisible influences that affect others, and bring patience, love, and acceptance to people and our interactions. 

There are many ways to clear your own mind, gain awareness, and bring in the light of understanding. You have options. Do you already do this work? What do you do? If you’d like some suggestions or don’t know where to start, reach out to me and we’ll talk. 

Seeking and Finding

The ego is certain that love is dangerous, and this is always its central teaching. It never puts it this way; on the contrary, everyone who believes that the ego is salvation seems to be intensely engaged in the search for love. Yet the ego, though encouraging the search for love very actively, makes one proviso; do not find it. Its dictates, then, can be summed up simply as: “Seek and do not find.” This is the one promise the ego holds out to you, and the one promise it will keep. For the ego pursues its goal with fanatic insistence, and its judgment, though severely impaired, is completely consistent.

The search the ego undertakes is therefore bound to be defeated. And since it also teaches that it is your identification, its guidance leads you to a journey which must end in perceived self-defeat. For the ego cannot love, and in its frantic search for love it is seeking what it is afraid to find. The search is inevitable because the ego is part of your mind, and because of its source the ego is not wholly split off, or it could not be believed at all. For it is your mind that believes in it and gives existence to it. Yet it is also your mind that has the power to deny the ego’s existence, and you will surely do so when you realize exactly what the journey is on which the ego sets you.

It is surely obvious that no one wants to find what would utterly defeat him. Being unable to love, the ego would be totally inadequate in love’s presence, for it could not respond at all. Then, you would have to abandon the ego’s guidance, for it would be quite apparent that it had not taught you the response you need. The ego will therefore distort love, and teach you that love really calls forth the responses the ego can teach. Follow its teaching, then, and you will search for love, but will not recognize it.

Do you realize that the ego must set you on a journey which cannot but lead to a sense of futility and depression? To seek and not to find is hardly joyous. Is this the promise you would keep? The Holy Spirit offers you another promise, and one that will lead to joy. For His promise is always, “Seek and you will find,” and under His guidance you cannot be defeated. His is the journey to accomplishment, and the goal He sets before you He will give you. For He will never deceive God’s Son whom He loves with the Love of the Father.

You will undertake a journey because you are not at home in this world. And you will search for your home whether you realize where it is or not. If you believe it is outside you the search will be futile, for you will be seeking it where it is not. You do not remember how to look within for you do not believe your home is there. Yet the Holy Spirit remembers it for you, and He will guide you to your home because that is His mission. As He fulfils His mission He will teach you yours, for your mission is the same as His. By guiding your brothers home you are but following Him.

Behold the Guide your Father gave you, that you might learn you have eternal life. For death is not your Father’s Will nor yours, and whatever is true is the Will of the Father. You pay no price for life for that was given you, but you do pay a price for death, and a very heavy one. If death is your treasure, you will sell everything else to purchase it. And you will believe that you have purchased it, because you have sold everything else. Yet you cannot sell the Kingdom of Heaven. Your inheritance can neither be bought nor sold. There can be no disinherited parts of the Sonship, for God is whole and all His extensions are like Him.

The Atonement is not the price of your wholeness, but it is the price of your awareness of your wholeness. For what you chose to “sell” had to be kept for you, since you could not “buy” it back. Yet you must invest in it, not with money but with spirit. For spirit is will, and will is the “price” of the Kingdom. Your inheritance awaits only the recognition that you have been redeemed. The Holy Spirit guides you into life eternal, but you must relinquish your investment in death, or you will not see life though it is all around you.

A Course in Miracles, chapter 12

The Point of Diminishing Contrast: Journey of Peace 2017– Day 40

Welcome to Day 40–did you make it through all 40 days? It gets long, doesn’t it? Just a reminder: The next 10 days are “rest” days for this Journey, during which time I will post one last time about my self-assessment for this Journey. Then we begin a Journey of Rest. Like on the 7th day, we rest for the 7th Journey. During this time I’ll do some alternative article-writing, which I hope will inspire and entertain you while we recuperate from the 2017 Journeys and gear-up for 2018. and then…I have some exciting news. The Journeys are now being formalized into online classes. Beginning in 2018, I will offer personalized guidance, support, encouragement, and inspiration for those wanting to take their spiritual practice/seeking to the next level. Stay tuned on that. For now…Thank you for being here and adding your light to the world. Blessings to you.

Copyright Tam Black 2017
for susanwithpearls

Guiding Thought

Knowing the essence of All as my Self, I respect and revere All Life. I love my Self; I love All Life. I bring this Love regularly, sincerely, and thankfully to all my activities and interactions. I now Know the Peace inherent in Oneness. I Know All as my Self. I Know my Self as Love.

Reflection

I love this phrase: “I love my Self”. I used to have a hard time even thinking about loving myself. Now I love saying it to myself and hearing it from myself! I love Love!

You know that I very often ask such questions as “how do I do [it]” or “how do I know”, right?

Well, over the past few days, I’ve been in a situation that has helped me to understand how one knows. Be forewarned: it is not clearly logical or rational, ultimately, the answer is, “you just know”. I think I am getting more comfortable with that answer.

So the question is (or the questions are), how do I know if I am At Peace or how do I know if I perceive Oneness or how do I know if I’m even doing anything.

A lot of times I don’t know–not emotionally, not intellectually, not physically. And I now see that it is due to what I now call “the point of diminishing contrast”.

You see, I hang out pretty much with people who a) are good communicators b) value peace and harmony in relationships and home c) care about spiritual values and actualizing them in the world. In short, I hang out with people who work at having clear minds/hearts, and living from that pure space.

This is the point of diminishing contrast: I vibrate with the folks I hang out with on a similar wavelength that reflects our values. There is less contrast between me and my friends than between me and someone who thinks and acts from (let’s call it) “lower self” values. It is harder to discern “how much” Peace I actually embody, if I don’t have a contrasting point of view.

Every once in a while it hits me: “most people don’t think or live like this”. I understand intellectually that my mind and life are smoother, more peaceful than most people’s. But it’s not like I understand the extent to which my life is smoother.

I’ve recently been given the gift of interacting with someone on a daily basis, who (how shall I say this?)…who’s mind is in chaos, and I can see it.

This is part of the bigger, “ultimate” answer of: you just know. When you get to a certain point of experience, you can recognize what you know in other people. This is true in many areas, not just that of spiritual growth. People who have been in recovery can recognize symptoms of alcohol disease in others before the others may recognize it. People who have reclaimed their lives after abusive relationships can recognize the symptoms of abuse. When people focus and learn the skills and behaviors of Peace, it becomes clear when someone is not at peace.

In this particular situation, the contrast is so great, I can practically see exactly how this person’s mind spins, the effects that the spinning has, and how it plays out in the life of this person. It’s just so obvious.

I have to say, this has been a draining situation. I am not used to working with people who are so not-self-aware, and so embroiled in their their mind’s antics. It has been educational on very many levels, and I am thankful for all of them. I can now identify my own Peace much better, and I bless and ask for Peace for those who do not have this awareness.

The Middle Prayer: Journey of Peace 2017– Day 39

Copyright Tam Black 2017
for susanwithpearls

Guiding Thought

The purpose of Life for all beings is to experience happiness, peace, contentment, and safety, Knowing the Oneness and Immortality of the Divine Self. Such Knowledge is beyond speech, beyond thought; it is found in the depths of the heart where communion (co-union) with All is reality. I bring the unifying force within my heart to all people and experiences and thus Know myself as the happiness, peace, contentment, and safety I Am.

Reflection

More and more I’ve been pausing throughout my day to “bring the unifying force within my heart to all people and experiences”. I haven’t even been thinking about the Journey. I just want to do it. (you can see a couple of my recent prayers here and here.)

“Anytime, anywhere” is what I thought about this today. There is no place inappropriate to ask the Divine into the heart. There is no time that is inappropriate (At first I had to get over myself on this particular issue. The first time I was on the toilet and the prayer came up into my mind, I thought… “I can’t do this here“. But I got over it. There is no place God isn’t. Even the toilet. So if you can bring yourself to say a prayer while in the bathroom…you have an understanding beyond “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts” about a relationship with God, congratulations!).

Wanting to pray throughout the day is quite new for me. I have done formal (Russian Orthodox) morning and evening prayers. I do mantra. I say the Our Father and the Hail Mary. I used to “just talk” to God as prayer. I lost that when I was still young, maybe around age 16. Formal prayers became the substitute.

I love formal prayers. I love the assurance of knowing that these prayers have been used for millenia by lots of people who want to communicate with God. It’s as though someone else has figured something out, and all I have to do is say the words to reap the benefits. I can relax; I don’t have to think about (as, of course, I would) if I am “doing it right”. Formal prayers have already been tested and approved.

“Just talking” to God is murkier for me. I want to communicate clearly–all the time, but especially when I am talking to God. When I “just talk” I seem to get lost in my thoughts and the talk turns to distracted musing, wondering, or worry.

The prayers that I now do are kind of an in-between. I use a semi-formal structure (see the links above), then through that structure I invoke and/or ask for Light, Love, Healing, Peace, etc., using my own words, whatever comes to mind, whatever the situation happens to be.

The bridge that helped me find this in between spot–not formal prayer, yet not distracted musing–was the idea that before every prayer, I simply invoke my Christ Presence, the Holy Spirit, my I Am Presence, my Divine Self–whatever you choose to call It, It is that Presence that mediates between your personality and the Divine. With this invocation, every word of the prayer becomes filtered through this Presence, so I can’t “do it wrong” and every word is purified before it reaches God’s ear, so God understands what I mean, even if it’s not what I am saying or if it’s gibberish.

The Holy Spirit/I Am Presence listens to my heart, to my deepest self, and offers that to God on my behalf. Can you see now why I “just want” to pray throughout the day?

Peace and Miracles: Journey of Peace 2017– Day 38

Copyright Tam Black 2017
for susanwithpearls

Guiding Thought

When I lift my vibration into Peace and Harmony, all are lifted with me. With this awareness comes great responsibility: I am a Peace steward of all humanity, of all Life. Eternal Peace is my natural state. I joyfully and easily share it with all, and fulfill my Divine Purpose in the world.

Reflection

I still haven’t figured out how “I lift my vibration into Peace and Harmony”. Sometimes I just do it; it just happens, but I don’t know how it happens.

There are two parts to this seeming conundrum for me.

First, there are things that people do naturally. Some people are artists or musicians, with a natural propensity–the talent comes with ease. Some people are naturally comedians, engineers, chefs, mathematicians, writers, meaning that they do it easily and seemingly without effort. Everyone is a natural at something, whether or not it’s publicly lauded.

People can learn to do something so that is comes to them as easily and effortlessly as if it were natural. In fact all my friends who are “natural” musicians, writers, and artists say that the initial ease and inclination may be natural, but ultimately it’s all hard work (albeit work they love, so it doesn’t feel like work). 99% persperation, 1% inspiration.

This is how I feel about “Eternal Peace [being] my natural state”. It is. But I still have to work at it. I still have to remind myself that being Peace is a priority, that bringing Peace into my home, work, and the world matters. I still have to take every situation and circumstance and consciously think about (make a decision about) how to handle it so that the outcome is Peace. I need to be vigilant to maintain something I know is already there.

This brings me to the second point: Have you ever done something, or known someone who does something, so naturally that to them it’s no big deal, but to others who can’t do it, it’s amazing?  Here’s the example that comes to mind: Jesus walks on water, as though it’s no big deal…heals the sick…raises the dead…all in a day’s work. It’s no big deal. Maybe it would’ve been a big deal to Jesus if he hadn’t known that those miracles were available to everyone, and said as much (“All of this and more than this shall you also do”). But to him, the miracles were natural and easy.

It’s like the two of these things go together, as a person progresses on a learning curve toward (let’s just say) miracles (or being Peace). Miracles are natural. It’s within every human being to do the same things Jesus did.

But until they are natural we are learning how to make them natural (the perspiration part). All of the hard work results in a seamless, effortless performance (for those of you who have been on stage). Through life, we can also learn to naturally bring Peace to all situations–which in today’s world…is a miracle itself.

Peace to you.

 

Victory Over Obstacles: Journey of Peace 2017– Day 37

Copyright Tam Black 2017
for susanwithpearls

Guiding Thought

The Peace of God is stronger than my self-constructed obstacles to it. I open my mind to holy communion with the Divine. Brought to union with God, obstacles crumble. Peace stands victorious. I am that Peace.

Reflection

There are “self-constructed obstacles [to Peace]” and yet, “I am that Peace”. What sense does that make? I construct obstacles to the Peace I am? Why would I construct obstacles to myself or to what I say I want?

In A Course in Miracles, this conflict is understood through the terms the “ego” and the “Holy Spirit”. “I” can perceive either through my ego or through the Holy Spirit.

When I perceive through my ego, I create obstacles to Peace (“self-constructed”), because the ego can only perceive in ways that maintain a consciousness of separation. A consciousness of separation is inherently disharmonious; the mind is in a constant state of discerning and discriminating, valuing and judging, comparing and contrasting.

The Peace of God is stronger than anything created through ego-perception because the Peace of God is inherently harmonious, in a state of Oneness.

Communion with the Divine overcomes all separation; Peace is restored through this communion.

The Holy Spirit mediates this communion. Understanding both God and the ego, the Holy Spirit sees the “goal” (God), and what each mind requires to be brought to union with God. The Holy Spirit can teach us how to choose divine in the face of obstacles, to make those obstacles crumble.

When the obstacles to Peace crumble–when the Awareness of Oneness, perceived through the Holy Spirit, enters the mind–the “I”, which knows itself as Oneness remains, unobstructed. This is the “Peace I am”, the Peace as I was created, the unobstructed Truth of my Self.