Do thy part!: Journey of Courage 2017 – Day 28

I am feeling very intensely today about following my heart. However, I am not sure what this means for me right now; thus, I am left with more questions than answers. Perhaps my questions will help you find your own answers–or your own questions.

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Copyright Tam Black 2015
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

We allow ourselves to connect with our pure Inner Divine Heart of Oneness We are aware of the expression of the Divine Heart through us, as us. We connect with our heart, and are aware of embodying its pure Love intention for All. We are filled with Joy as we embrace our heart’s Love.

Reflection

Following your heart takes courage. Really listening to your heart, your soul, and your being, and doing what is within you to do, takes courage.

I would not say that it is easy to follow the precepts of the world: life is full of decisions and learning, mistakes and effort, struggle and strife (that is, until we figure things out–then life becomes easier). But in some ways, following a path that is laid out before you through social expectations (go to school, get a job, have a relationship, make babies, etc) is easier than really listening to your heart and following what is within you.

But this…this…following your heart, listening to your heart, doing as your heart wills, is so very important, and crucial to expressing yourself fully, as a divine expression.

There is a section of the Bhagavad-Gita in which Arjuna (a warrior-prince) is lamenting to Krishna that he is being asked to kill in battle. He is truly distraught over this, even though he is a warrior. Krishna says to him (paraphrased): “Life does not end, you can’t kill Life. Don’t worry about it. Do your duty. You are a warrior. Warriors kill (though death is but a beginning). It’s better to do what you are than not do what is yours to do”.  (The full text is below.)

Do thy part! Be mindful of thy name, and tremble not! In other words: do what is within you. Do what is your duty (according to your heart, your soul).

How have I shunned my heart? How have I not been true to my soul? How have I not listened deeply enough? How have I not performed what is mine to do? How do I know? How do I listen deeply enough so that I know, and so I know that I know? Why is this concept speaking to me so loudly? What do I need to learn? What is mine to do? ( I do not currently have these answers, but at least I have the questions!)

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Krishna:

That which is can never cease to be; that which is not will not exist. To see this truth of both is theirs who part essence from accident, substance from shadow.

Indestructible, learn thou! the Life is, spreading life through all; It cannot anywhere, by any means, be anywise diminished, stayed, or changed.

But for these fleeting frames which it informs with spirit deathless, endless, infinite, they perish. Let them perish, Prince! and fight!

He who shall say, “Lo! I have slain a man!” he who shall think, “Lo! I am slain!” those both know naught! Life cannot slay. Life is not slain! Never the spirit was born; the spirit shall cease to be never. Never was time it was not; End and Beginning are dreams! Birthless and deathless and changeless remaineth the spirit forever; death hath not touched it at all, dead though the house of it seems!

…This Life within all living things, my Prince! hides beyond harm; scorn thou to suffer, then, for that which cannot suffer.

Do thy part! Be mindful of thy name, and tremble not! Nought better can betide a martial soul than lawful war; happy the warrior to whom comes joy of battle–comes, as now, glorious and fair, unsought; opening for him a gateway unto Heav’n. But if thou shun this honorable field…if knowing thy duty and thy task, thou biddest duty and task to go by–that shall be sin! (Bhagavad-Gita, Sir Edwin Arnold edition. Chapter two)

Resist polarization–Journey of Gratitude 2017, day 23

Today I talk a little about the externalization of the Shadow-self, and how to deny it, transform it, allow it to be corrected by and with Love. In an ironic twist, I just realized that my feeling before writing this, and as I was writing it, could very well have been an externalization of my Shadow-self. You see, I was feeling annoyed, even angry, at the general “state of the world”. Writing brings to consciousness that which is unconscious…you see how well the Journey worked today! Instantaneously!

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Copyright Tam Black 2015 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2015
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

We fill our minds with the Light of the Truth of Love. What more is there? In the Light of the Truth, we are Free. What more is there? Our consciousness expands in the Truth of Love, forever One, forever Joyful, forever in Peace.

Reflection

A few days ago, I wrote about right use of desire, which grew out of the A Course in Miracles concept, proper use of denial: 

This peace is totally incapable of being shaken by errors of any kind. It denies the ability of anything not of God to affect you. This is the proper use of denial. It is not used to hide anything, but to correct error. It brings all error into the light, and since error and darkness are the same, it corrects error automatically.

True denial is a powerful protective device. You can and should deny any belief that error can hurt you. This kind of denial is not a concealment but a correction.

Since then, the concept has been slowly stewing in my little brain, regarding other ways that proper use can be applied, and if there is a general rule about it.

I think, regarding the general rule, the above quote is instructive. Proper use corrects error, and denies anything that limits the Peace of God. 

What inhibits or prohibits the Peace of God? Jealousy, anger, blame, greed, hatred, deceit, carving out divisions, polarities, factions, “for” and “against”…and we are seeing a lot of these recently.

… Deny these things. Resist them. Release them. Stop feeding them. …and when I say this, I mean within yourself. Stop contributing your energy, your mind, your heart to the ideas and actions that prevent your awareness of the Peace of God within you. Start focusing your energy, mind, and heart to ideas and actions that allow the Peace of God to be present within you.

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves. There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own Soul. Everyone carries a Shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is. When an inner situation is not made conscious, it appears outside as fate.” ~ Carl G. Jung

If Jung has it right, then perhaps we (collective humanity, Americans, etc.), are experiencing the “fate” of our Shadow. We are experiencing “coming to consciousness”–and it’s painful. If Jung has it right, then one approach to a remedy is to face your own Soul, face your shadow, bring the unconscious to consciousness. If you do it, if you allow it, and transform your Shadow willingly, it won’t “appear as fate”. Allowing your Shadow to continue, without denying it as an error, without replacing it with Love, leaves you vulnerable to its whims.

If true denial is a powerful protective device, then using it will increase your strength against even your own shadow when it exposes itself in your external world.

Two final thoughts:

  • What does this have to do with gratitude? Our consciousness expands in the Truth of Love, forever One, forever Joyful, forever in Peace. In order to be grateful for Life as Love, it’s important to experience, really experience, the Truth of Love. We cannot do that if internally we feel divided, abandoned, worthless, or unheard. Love wants us to be with It, for It is always with us. When we choose to accept (rather than deny) the things that keep our consciousness too limited to be with Love, we cannot get to the place of experiencing Love, which means we cannot be grateful for all our experiences, which are always of Love. 
  • Today’s reflection foreshadows the next Journey, Journey of Courage. It takes courage to face the dark places inside you, to allow them to come out for transformation, to bring them into the light. If you are experiencing tumult, conflict, anxiety, distress, fear, these are pointing you toward your dark places. Take Courage! Go deeper. We’ll do more work with this in about a month.

For now, love yourself. Forgive yourself. Know that you do not know as much as you think you do, and allow that thought to comfort you. All is as it should be.

 

 

 

 

The Peaceful Warrior Dilemma

"Peaceful Warrior" Copyright Tam Black 2013 Edited for susanwithpearls.com April 2013 by permission
“Peaceful Warrior”
Copyright Tam Black 2013
Edited for susanwithpearls.com April 2013 by permission

I was recently introduced to a quote about courage that I had never heard before: “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than one’s fear.” I had heard quotes like “Courage is not the absence of fear, but feeling the fear and doing it anyway” and such but this quote is different. While other quotes seem watered down, “…oh, yeah, just do it”, this one smacks of personal priorities, inner decisions, and moving forward in a decided direction regardless of barriers like fear. I pictured the man who wrote this as having a solid sense of himself and great inner fortitude.

My fascination got the best of me, and I had to find out more about this quote. Here it is, in context:

From the article “No Peaceful Warriors!” by Ambrose Redmoon, published in the magazine Gnosis in 1991.

“As a real, live, initiated, trained, experienced, traditional, hereditary warrior with thirty-seven body scars and a trophy or two on my belt, I find such expressions as “peaceful warrior” offensive, trivializing, and insulting. “Peaceful warrior” is far more than a contradiction in terms. The function of a warrior is to eliminate an exterior enemy presence. Cowardice is a serious vice. Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than one’s fear. The timid presume it is lack of fear that allows the brave to act when the timid do not. But to take action when one is not afraid is easy. To refrain when afraid is also easy. To take action regardless of fear is brave.”

The full article was published in 1991, but was most certainly a response to Dan Milkman’s book The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, which was published in 1980. (The full article is now out of print, but can be found here, on the site of Canis Stella: Ambrose Redmoon was her occult mentor, teacher, best friend and confidant for the seven years before he died; I recommend the read, to get the full feel of the intent behind the original article)

The first line is about “scars and a trophy” is intense. It immediately brought to mind my friend who aids marines with re-acclimating when they come home from combat. Through her, I have come to understand, in a very small way, our modern-day warriors; their training, their harsh experiences, their duty in eliminating an exterior enemy presence, and thus their need for courage. They have judged that something else is more important than fear: Their duty, their country, their brothers, all take precedence over their fear. They made this decision when they enlisted, before they trained out fear and trained in courage—the decision about their priorities was premeditated and the decision incorporated the potential loss of their own life. These warriors embody the quote in its shortened form, as (in my opinion) is the intention of the author.

Yet, I wonder, how did “peaceful” become equated with “cowardice” for Redmoon? He says, “’Peaceful warrior’ is far more than a contradiction in terms. The function of a warrior is to eliminate an exterior enemy presence. Cowardice is a serious vice.” Peaceful in the first sentence becomes cowardice in the third sentence.

Doesn’t working toward being peaceful require the same pre-meditated decision that there is something more important than fear? Doesn’t peace require training—learning to behave in a certain way, regardless of emotions or external happenings? Does this decision and subsequent behavior not require strategic and committed discipline to be able to act on the conviction?

The clue lies in Redmoon’s definition of warrior: “the function of a warrior is to eliminate an exterior enemy presence.” Cowardice is a serious vice but the enemy is not always external. Perhaps a warrior is a warrior whether the “enemy” is external or internal.

Sometimes the enemy is fear of the future, fear of loss, grief, depression, lack of self-confidence, feeling stuck or immobilized, not knowing which way to turn, or feeling alone; anything that disrupts peace becomes an internal enemy. In the midst of such emotions and their corresponding behaviors (oversleeping, over-eating, self-medicating, doing nothing, etc.), it takes a judgment about what is important and an inner choice to act on it: it takes courage. “To take action when one is not afraid is easy. To refrain when afraid is also easy.” Pulling oneself up from any depth of emotion, making a decision about moving forward, and acting on it is hard. It is courageous.

As I said, I picture Ambrose Redmoon as a man with a solid sense of himself and great inner fortitude. I picture a man with both inner and outer courage. I then learned he had been in a car accident in his thirties which left him wheelchair bound for three decades; it only strengthened that imagining. I wonder now how fiercely he fought his inner enemies, if he saw himself as an inner-warrior, fighting for his own peace, fighting his battles alone, without military brothers at his side. I wonder if he gave himself enough credit, in recognizing his inner warrior.

I know I do.