isolating

Isolating Thoughts and Avoiding Loneliness

“One of the most common things people with cancer tell me is that experiences of hospitalization and treatment are profoundly isolating. I suspect that the sense of aloneness may even undermine the will to live. …

“For more than twenty years I have offered a very simple yet powerful ritual to people before their radiation, chemotherapy, or surgery. I suggest they meet together with some of their closest friends abd family the day before the procedure. It does not matter how large or small the group is, but it is important that it be made up of those who are connected to them through a bond of the heart.

“Before this meeting I suggest they find an ordinary stone … big enough to fit in the palm of the hand, and bring it to the meeting with them. The ritual begins by having everyone sit in a circle. In any order they wish to speak, each tells the story of the time they faced a crisis. … The person who is speaking holds the stone. When they finish speaking, they take a moment to reflect on the personal quality that helped them come through the difficult time. … After everyone has spoken the stone is given back to the patient who takes it with them to the hospital, to keep nearby and hold in their hand when things get hard. …

“No one has chemotherapy or radiation or goes into an operating room without the thoughts, hopes, and prayers of many people going with them. The stone seems to make that a little more plane th people and reminds them of the strength and beauty of what is natural. … It makes the caring of the community visible, tangible, real.” ~Rachel Naomi Remen

Isolating

Isolation is probably something most of us feel at times, especially in times of crisis. But in truth we are never alone, never isolated. While we may be the only person physically in a place, we are connected to others in ways that science is just beginning to understand, but spiritual schools have taught about for centuries. Isolating actually happens in our minds and exists nowhere else.

For starters, even though they may be some distance away, we all have people who are concerned about us. Even when they are at a distance in the physical sense, they remain connected to us on a mental and spiritual level. Beyond that, the physical location we are in is very unlikely to have us as the only being of any sort in it. There are beings of spirit and light that are everywhere, even though they are not visible to the physical senses. Some of them may care for us because they were related to us when living on the physical level themselves. Others care for us simply because they care for all beings, all spirits, equally. Continue reading “Isolating Thoughts and Avoiding Loneliness”

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radiant gems, Ideal-form

Radiant Gems and Enlightened Souls

“Not the glint of yellow gold
Down bright Hermus’ current rolled;
Not the Tagus’ precious sands.
Nor in far-off scorching lands
All the radiant gems that hide
Under indus’ storied tide –
Emerald green and glistening white –
Can illumine our feeble sight;
But they rather leave the mind
In its native darkness blind.
For the fairest beams they shed
in earth’s lowest depths were fed;
But the splendor that supplies
Strength and vigor to the skies,
And the universe controls,
Shunneth dark and ruined souls,
He who once has seen this light
Will not call the sunbeam bright.”
~Boethius

Radiant Gems of Darkness

Boethus says that yellow gold and radiant gems cannot illuminate us, not spiritually anyway. What he says is basically true, but not entirely. Gems, crystals, and gold are tools that can be used in various ways to aid us on our spiritual journey, but they are not the source of enlightenment. A carpenter can do wonders with a hammer and a saw. The same tools in the hands of someone who has no idea how to use them are worthless. The same is true for using gems and crystals as spiritual aids.

I think what Boethus is really trying to say, however, is that the pursuit of material wealth is not a path to spiritual enlightenment. Using gold and gems as examples of material wealth and material excess, he is telling us that such things do not bring illumination. This is especially true for those who buy gold and gems for decoration only, not as aids to spiritual growth.

Seeing Light

The light that is so bright that those who see it “will not call the sunbeam bright,” is spiritual light. It is brighter, purer than physical light. The ironic thing is that the primary source of spiritual light here on earth is also the sun—the spiritual sun. The light of the spiritual sun cannot be seen with the eyes, but only with the soul. We awaken the soul using that spiritual light. Continue reading “Radiant Gems and Enlightened Souls”

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Jewels Gems and Light

Jewels, Gems, and the Light of Glory

“We should have God in mind in all our good works; in evil works we cannot do this. … All other ends should be subordinate to God, not opposed to God; they should be, in their order, a help and a furtherance, that we may the better come to God. And then we are in the right way.
“The soul should also rest in God above all the jewels and all the gifts which it may send back to God by its own messengers. The messengers of the soul are intention, love, and desire: these carry all good deeds and all virtues up to God. …
“This method and this way, of which you may have heard, is called the Active Life. It is needful for all men; and these, at least, should not live contrary to virtue.” ~John of Ruysbroeck

God in Mind

It is hard to keep God in our mind at all times. Nonetheless, it has become popular with members of some churches to ask: “What would Jesus do?”. It would be even better to ask, “What would God do?”. It isn’t necessary to always ask that, but we should instead keep this thought in mind as much as possible: “What would God want me to do in this situation?” That is a slightly different question than asking what God would do or what Jesus would do, because we are not them. We do want to emulate Jesus, and other holy ones, but we do not, at the present, have the power of God, so what we can do is far more limited. And occasionally we have to indulge our ego and buy the sports car, or the designer jeans—but only occasionally. Continue reading “Jewels, Gems, and the Light of Glory”

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Spiritual Growth is a Process

“Enlightenment proceeds from very simple processes. Here, too, t is a matter of developing certain feelings and thoughts which slumber in every human being and must be awakened. It is only when these simple processes are carried out with unfailing patience, continuously and conscientiously, that they can lead to the perception of the inner light-forms. … The student gradually learns, by their means, to see something like soul and spirit colors. The spiritual world with its lines and figures remains dark as long as he has attained what has been described as preparation; through enlightenment this world becomes light.” ~Rudolf Steiner

Meditation illustrationWhether you think the process is simple or complex, easy or difficult, lengthy or short may depend on who you talk too but one thing is certain with all real spiritual teachers: there is a process that needs to be followed to achieve enlightenment. The ridiculously simplistic idea that you have become an enlightened person just by joining a particular church, buying a sparkly crystal, or declaring Jesus your savior just doesn’t work. And as more and more people are becoming aware that these popular approaches don’t work, they turn, unfortunately, to atheism. What they should be doing if they really do want enlightenment is to seek out a real spiritual school.

Just as a doctor, lawyer, carpenter or plumber needs to start with learning from experts and to use the proper tools, so too must the person seeking spiritual growth. If the lawyer carried a hammer and a screwdriver while the carpenter had a law book, they could not do their jobs properly. Continue reading “Spiritual Growth is a Process”

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