lovely things

Lovely Things and Dealing With Reality

“It is told of St. Francis of Assisi, in whom the love of lovely things was always paramount, how he forced himself to visit the lepers whose sight and smell disgusted him. … For, as he confessed, the sight of lepers ad been so grievous unto him that he had been minded to avoid not only seeing them, but even going near their dwelling. … But through the grace of God he became so intimate a friend of the lepers that, even as he recorded in his will, he did sojourn with them. …

“Also, after his great renunciation of all property, he, once a prosperous young man , … accustomed himself to take a bowl and beg scraps of food from door to door. …

“The object, then, of this self-discipline is, like the object of all purgation, freedom: freedom from the fetters of the senses.” ~Evelyn Underhill

Dealing With the World

Some think that to be spiritual, we must stay away from everything negative and horrible about the physical world. Others think we should embrace and accept everything that happens because there is no good or evil. Both of those extremes are not good choices.

We need to be aware of everything that is happening in the world, even that which is negative. And not just on a superficial level. Just listening to statistics on poverty and homelessness isn’t enough. We need to go out and visit places where there is poverty. We need to see homeless families sleeping in parks and under bridges. We need to see sick people dying of illnesses that could easily be cured with changes in lifestyle rather than drugs. But that doesn’t mean we need to embrace such things and become part of them.

Lovely Things

Underhill says that St. Francis likes “lovely things,” and that is probably true. But what does that mean to a spiritual person? He came from a background of wealth. Since his father was a merchant of cloth that he sold to tailors, Francis grew up wearing and liking fine clothes. But after he had his spiritual awakening while watching a sunrise one morning, he gave up the fine clothes and began wearing a simple robe. So what he considered lovely things were not material possessions. It was natural beauty like flowers that he liked to be surrounded with. Also, of course, beautiful people. Again, not the physically beautiful. It was spiritual beauty that he sought in his companions. Continue reading “Lovely Things and Dealing With Reality”

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Creation and Destruction, Positive and Negative

“In true Gnostic fashion, the alchemists were aware that the capacity for creation and the capacity for destruction were very finely balanced – nowhere more so than in themselves. Whoever held the secret of life had a power for evil that was as great as his power for good. These were the men who ultimately understood the symbolism of the prime rule of alchemy: use only one vessel, one fire and one instrument, which is the self. Through their work they were aware of the Power of their own Being. They knew the characteristics of the Secret Fire, the serpent power that moves upward in spirals and of the great primitive force hidden in all matter both organic and inorganic.” ~Bernard Simon

Creation and Destruction

Many believe that creation and destruction go hand-in-hand. That you cannot create a new thing without destroying something else. That is not true. Real creation doesn’t destroy. Carving a statue out of rock is not creation or destruction. It is modification. The shape of the rock was changed, but noting really new was created.

On the other hand, chopping down trees to make room for houses or farms is destruction because you are replacing something living with something dead. Even if the wood from those trees is used to build the houses, you have destroyed living trees to make something artificial. That is destruction, not creation. True creation gives you something where there was previously nothing except energy.

Finely Balanced

Something many don’t understand is that natural energy, even spiritual energy, is neutral. It isn’t good or evil. The good or evil part depends on how you use that energy. If you take in that energy, and send it out to other full of thoughts of peace, love, and harmony, you are making it positive energy. But you can just as easily send forth that same energy embedded with thoughts of hate, fear, and prejudice and it will be a negative influence on those receiving it.

The Story of Two Wolves

Those energies and feelings within us may be “finely balanced” but we can choose which to use and which not to use. As the old Native American saying goes, we decide whether we will be like the good wolf or the bad wold by which one we choose to feed. As we continue to evolve, we will eventually rid ourselves of that dark side. Until then, we must be careful not to let it take control. Creation and destruction may walk hand in hand in the material world, but that can be corrected. Continue reading “Creation and Destruction, Positive and Negative”

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Hateful or Evil Thought and Countering It

“You can only oppose successfully the hatred or evil thought of others by throwing out toward it the thought of good-will. Good-will as a thought element is more powerful than the thought of hatred. It can turn it aside. … The Christ precept, ‘Do good to them that hate you,’ is is based on a scientific law. It means that thoughts are things, and that the thought of good can always overpower that of evil. … The fact that all thought, all emotion, all of what is called sentiment, or qualities such as mercy, patience, love, etc., are elements as real as any we see, is the cornerstone to the scientific basis of religion.” ~Prentice Mulford

Hateful or Evil Thought

Before you can deal with hateful or evil thought, you have to know what they are. In some cases it is obvious. If a person is thinking that he wants another person to be dead, or worse yet, wants to kill him, those thoughts are obviously hateful and evil. But some thoughts of hate and evil are of a gentler sort, yet can still have effect.

A person who is not one of the smartest in the world, might improve over time if given a chance. But if everyone around him keeps thinking he is not very smart, it makes it nearly impossible for him to improve. Likewise, if an overweight person has friends and relatives who think, “He is fat, he ill always be fat, he can’t change that.” They are sending out powerful energies that keep their friend from getting control of his weight.

Thoughts of Good-will

The good news for those of us trapped in some type of evil though cage like those mentioned above can be helped by others as easily as they can be hindered. If a kind person thinks that the guy who isn’t very bright can and will improve, he sends toward him energies that helps him break out of the hateful cage he is trapped in.

If good-will thoughts are sent to the overweight guy, he too can be broken out of his cage. The ones with irrational fears can have those pushed aside with the help of friends. Good-will thoughts can help us succeed in almost anything. And they don’t have to be very specific. Just sending out general thoughts of success, patience, and love can help. Continue reading “Hateful or Evil Thought and Countering It”

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Lingering Thoughts and Their Effects

“And now we will begin our consideration of the laws governing what we have called’ Subconscious influence.” All students of the Occult are aware of the fact that men may be, and are, largely influenced by the thoughts of others. Not only is this the case in instances where thoughts are directed from the mind of one person to the mind of another, but also when there is no special direction or intention in the thought sent forth. The vibrations of thoughts linger in the astral atmosphere long after the effort that sent forth the thought has passed. …

“We all attract to us thought vibrations corresponding in nature with those which we are in the habit of entertaining. … We invite to ourselves these thought vibration by maintaining and entertaining thoughts along certain lines. If we cultivate a habit of thinking along the lines of Cheerfulness, Brightness, and Optimism, we attract to ourselves similar thought vibrations of others.” ~William Walker Atkinson

Lingering Thoughts

There are many ways in which we are influenced by the thoughts of others. Some people can be easily influenced by the thoughts of another individual or small group. That influence, however, can be countered by the next thoughts they pick up on. Others are influenced only when a large number of similar thoughts bombard their subconscious mind. They are the type who follow the crowd, often without knowing why. They are the type susceptible to what is called “mob mentality”. When they are part of a large group, they will follow the group without question. Afterwards, they may wonder why they did something so foolish.

The most fortunate group are those who are influenced only by the thoughts they wish to be influenced by. Unfortunately, this group is small. There is also the possibility that some of them may choose to be influenced by the wrong kind of thoughts. He very materialistic person, for example, might think it is fine to be influenced by the greedy. Continue reading “Lingering Thoughts and Their Effects”

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