Effort Produces Results

“Do all in your power not to fall, for the strong athlete should not fall. But if you do fall, get up again at once and continue the contest, Even if you fall a thousand times because of the withdrawal of God’s grace, rise up again each time, and keep on doing so until the day of your death. For it is written, ‘If a righteous man falls seven times’ – that is, repeatedly throughout his life – seven time ‘shall he rise again. … Be like a brave soldier who faces the blows of the enemy; and God will commend you, because even when struck you refused to surrender or run away.” ~The Philokalia

Knee painWhy is a book of instructions to monks talking about running, falling, and athletes? Because the quest for spiritual enlightenment is much like an athletic contest. It is not a race in the sense of trying to be the first to the finish line, it is more a contest of stamina and constant struggle against those forces that wish to prevent your spiritual growth.

As this quote implies, the successful athlete is not one who never falls, or never fails, because that just doesn’t happen. As the old say goes, “The only one who never fails is the one who never tries.” The successful athlete is the one who gets up after a fall, wipes himself off, and starts running again. The first time Michael Phelps tried to swim across an Olympic-sized pool, he probably barely made it alive. The first time he won a gold medal was not his first, second, or even third time swimming a race. There were probably many hundreds of races behind that first gold medal. Continue reading “Effort Produces Results”

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Spiritual Practices

“This life of the soul in thought, which gradually widens into a life in spiritual being, is called by Gnosis, and by Spiritual Science, Meditation (contemplative reflection). This meditation is the means to supersensible knowledge. But the student in such moments must not merely indulge in feelings; he must not have indefinite sensations in his soul. That would only hinder him from researching true spiritual knowledge. His thoughts must be clear, sharp and definite, and he will be helped in this if he does not cling blindly to the thoughts that rise within him. Rather must he permeate himself with the lofty thoughts by which men already advanced and possessed of the spirit were inspired at such moments. He should start with the writings which themselves had their origin in just such revelation.” ~Rudolf Steiner

Meditation illustrationIf you read this blog regularly, you know that I am not a big fan of meditation. But the type of meditation that involves repeating some Sanskrit word, the meaning f which you don’t even know, until you sink into a low vibration stupor is not at all what Steiner is talking about here. That is why we prefer to call it “spiritual practices” or “spiritual techniques” to avoid confusion with that type of meditation. I will use the term “practices” in the rest of this article to avoid confusion with the type of meditation which only serves to turn people into sheep. Continue reading “Spiritual Practices”

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Random Thoughts 2-22-2015

The real problem with the cartoonists who insist they have to exercise their right to insult certain people is that when the terrorists come after them, the cartoonists escape and it’s innocent bystanders who get killed. And cities like Paris and Copenhagen spend many thousands of dollars repairing the damage or catching the bad guys so these childish cartoonists can moon anyone they choose. Yes, they have the freedom to write or draw what they want, but that doesn’t mean you are not responsible for the damage it does. It’s also curious that these freedom cartoonists never write anything derogatory about atheists or humanists, just the religious.


 

Bob: “Adam, Your the best mentor ever! When I grow up, I want to be just like you!”

Adam: “Then who would I be?”

Dialog from a recent episode of Lab Rats on Disney XD

Good point, Adam. If someone decides to be just like you, than there would be no need for the real you anymore. Fortunately that can’t really happen because of a simple catch: If Adam is being himself, and Bob tries to be just like him, he automatically fails because Adam is not trying to be just like somebody else, he is being himself. Of course, you can imitate one aspect of another person, such as a business plan they follow to build a successful business, but that is not being “just like” them.


 

EbooksReminder: I have several eBooks for sale on my Books page as well as a link to the free App for android devices, including Kindle Fire, for those who would like the convenience of opening this blog as an App.


 

It’s good to see that Walmart is raising their minimum wage in all states. The publicity on this, however, is exagerating when it claims they are giving employees a twenty percent raise. The truth is that because many states already have a minimum wage higher that the national one, only a few thousand employees will be getting a twenty percent increase but most will get somewhat less. Still, it is a step in the right direction. Continue reading “Random Thoughts 2-22-2015”

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Return of the Light

“The light will cover the darkness and obliterate it. It will become like something that never existed And the source of the darkness will be dissolved. The deficiency will be plucked out at its root and thrown down to the darkness. And the light will withdraw up to its root, and the glory of the unconceived will appear, and it will fill all the eternal realms, when the prophetic utterances and the writings of those who are fulfilled by those who are called perfect. Those who were not perfected in the unconceived father will receive their glories in their realms and in the kingdoms of immortals. But they will not ever enter into the kingless realm. For it is necessary that everyone enter the place from which he has come. Each one by his deeds and his gnosis will reveal his nature.” ~On the Origin of the World – The Consummation of the Age and The Apocalypse

Night sky praiseThis is the second part of the story. I published the first part a few days ago. Part one was about the changes that must come to the world at the beginning of the end times. This part is what happens when all of that is over. In a sense, part one was about a difficult pregnancy leading to great labor pains. Part two is about what it gives birth to which makes it all worth the great suffering and loss. The way this is written makes in an especially difficult part of the Gnostic Gospels to understand. That may be simply due to the writers style, but is more likely because the gnostics made great effort when they did put some of their teaching in writing to make it obscure so the unworthy could not understand it.

The first sentence of the quote summarizes it all very well. A light will come that will cover the darkness and eventually eliminate it. The scientific materialist would say that is obvious, light always cover and eliminates darkness! But this is not about that kind of light or that kind of darkness. The light referred to is a spiritual Light, the Light that comes from God, The Light of Christ or the Logos. It is also the Light of knowledge, true knowledge, eternal knowledge: gnosis. Compare this to the prophecy of Malachi regarding the Sun of Righteousness and the way Malachi describes this Sun( note: “Sun” with a “u”.) as bringing light and solace to those who follow the teachings of God, but destruction to those who don’t. Does this mean that people who don’t follow truth will be literally burned up? Probably not. It means the evil (darkness) will be removed from them somewhat like boiling dirty water to kill the nasties in it. And as the evil is burned out of people, they will wake up from the mass hypnosis most are controlled by and join us in the pursuit of truth, wisdom and enlightenment. Continue reading “Return of the Light”

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