Politics 2016: A Spiritual View

In this election year there is much talk about Big vs Little government, Liberal vs Conservative, bringing to the collective mind important questions such as: How do we structure healthy policies on immigration, healthcare, community safety, regulations of financial institutions, global and local prosperity?

While the following excerpt from Beyond the Dream, does not tell us “what to do” in the current political confusion, it does help us see where good, healthy ideas will come from:

. . .We can distinguish two types of order: sick order and healthy order.  In sick order there is tyranny and repression. It is based on human willfulness. It is a manifestation of “should” thinking. By this we mean thinking in terms of preconceived ideas of what should be or what should not be. . . .Another form of sick order is the result of permissiveness which results in licentious disorderliness, or chaotic conditions of confusion, neglect, and criminality both in individuals and society. . .

Thus we see that structure, while absolutely necessary, remains a constant problem, and it seems almost impossible to have just the right amount of it at all times and under all circumstances. If there is too much of it, it leads to strangulation; and if there is too little of it, it leads to disorganization, anxiety, and chaos.

. . .Thus we have to consider the possibility of healthy order. As was mentioned before, sick order or structure is based on human willfulness or human willlessness, over-concern or neglect, tyranny or permissiveness. Sick order is a disease of the human will.

. . .In contrast to this, healthy order is primarily characterized by principles of aesthetics. Here beauty, harmony, joy, intelligence, love, and the enhancement of the quality of life are the basic ingredients. For instance, a bouquet of flowers or a blossoming forsythia bush may be judged very unstructured, even haphazard; yet inherent in each is a higher type of order and structure signifying aesthetic value. Aesthetic structures are transcendent and independent of human volition and calculative thinking. . . .

Healthy order is spiritual**. Spiritual values and principles constitute the “infinite structure” which makes freedom and responsibility compatible with creativity and fulfillment. Healthy order is under the control of infinite creative Mind, cosmic Love-Intelligence.  (my emphasis)

-Dr. Hora, Beyond The Dream: Session  19, The Curtain of Fear

**: What is meant by “spiritual” is best illustrated in contrast to what is considered “material.” Spiritual is non- material substance – it refers to those qualities of existence that are non-dimensional, immutable and eternal. They are the context for healthy living. We recognize them when we see qualities such as beauty, harmony, joy, intelligence, wisdom, love, etc.

 The current political conversation is revealing deep-seated cultural thoughts about what is needed and wanted now – some that are healthy and some that are unhealthy. From the infinite view what is needed is not condemnation of the individuals who are expressing views different from our own, as many are merely repeating what they have been taught and reacting to what they have experienced as a result of unhealthy order.  After all, some of the views that each of us adhere to may be unhealthy in ways we have not considered.

We can be interested in looking for good ideas from a diversity of sources, distinguishing them from political garbage. These good ideas along with statements clarifying the problems we are facing need to come to the surface of the political conversation – as messy as that may seem. 

Observing the political conversation with the eyes of aesthetic order we can see within the political night sky, specs of light appearing within the backdrop of dark, as we live in the expectancy of dawn. 

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The Soundless Music of Life

March 11 – 13, 2016, I’ll be facilitating a spiritual retreat at the Dancing Buffalo Gardens in Skiatook, Oklahoma.  Below is the retreat write-up.  If you are interested in registering, please contact me through this site and I’ll put you in touch with the organizers.

Life is continually guided by an underlying harmony where all things work together for good, even when we don’t hear or see it. This is the soundless music of life. The purpose of our lives is to wake up to this soundless harmony.

This weekend retreat is an opportunity to hear the soundless joy of life using the teachings of Metapsychiatry as our guide. Metapsychiatry is a spiritual teaching and a method of healing using dialogue, meditation and prayer as study tools. In this retreat we will review some of the core concepts of Metapsychiatry through reading the booklet: “The Soundless Music of Life,” and apply them to the current life issues of those present.

Metapsychiatry was brought forth by Dr. Thomas Hora(1914-1995), a psychiatrist, who had a lifetime interest in enlightenment and the alleviation of human suffering.

Testimonial: “Nancy is helping me see how it’s possible, day by day, to move out of self-limiting ideas.  The miracle of Metapsychiatry is how it fosters a new alertness to “The Good” in everyday life.  With this alertness, I’m aligning myself to potentials I’d previously ignored.  My interactions with people and situations feel quite new.  Following Nancy’s gentle guidance, I discover life unfolding in wonderful ways.  I’d recommend this program to anyone who’s sincerely interested in bettering their life.  Nancy’s leadership is relaxed and she’s a living example of the teachings she shares so naturally.”

-Pat Webb

 

 

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What Makes it a “New Year?” And Who Determines that it is “Happy?”

This thought was originally posted on January 10, 2014 and it still seems relevant.

While New Year’s Day is an arbitrarily agreed upon point in the calendar of days, the “meaning” of it was brought to mind by the many friendly smiles shared between strangers walking by each other declaring: “Happy New Year!”

The communication seemed to be “it’s a holiday (a holy day) and on this day we can be unburdened by our normal concerns.” And thus, the underlying truth of being slips into view.  Freed from the day-to-day habitual “shoulds,” openness, friendliness and goodwill took their place.

What is symbolized in the phrase “Happy New Year” that inspires such openness? Perhaps it is the recognition that all of the heavy burdens of human living can be transformed in a moment.  Our true identity of joyful lightness of being can be realized. It’s hidden in the words:

Happy: Happiness is an inner quality of being that becomes more and more available to us as we value joy. In the words of Dr. Hora, “Gratitude is the door to joy, seriousness is a killjoy.”

New: Each moment is an opportunity to realize that we do not need to be determined by our past experiences, present circumstances or future expectations.

Year: We are endowed with the capacity to manifest divine order and harmony as they unfold in the context of Joy. Everything everywhere is already all right, even when it does not seem that way.

While taking a break in the middle of writing this blog, I was confronted with a tension. Something I expected to happen did not happen. Blaming and being blamed filled the atmosphere.  Then came the awareness that expectations have no place in joy; gratitude was overshadowed by the presence of a “should” thought. With this illumination it became possible to let be, release the expectation and apologize for letting it in. Grateful to be able to see it, to humbly acknowledge it and then turn to the new, free moment.

Happy New Year.

In other words, Be grateful. We are not cement, we are consciousness with the capacity to be free moment-by-moment from our habits of thought.

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Spiritual Guidance

Spiritual guidance looks for the answers to life’s difficulties beyond superficial cures and coping mechanisms to understanding something about who we really are and what life is all about.

All problems are psychological and all solutions are spiritual.

-Dr. Thomas Hora

Problems cannot be solved from within the mindset that is experiencing the problem. Any good solution needs to come from a larger, wider, more elevated view of the situation.

Metapsychiatry is a method of spiritual guidance. It begins with the premise that we are spiritual beings capable of transcending the human condition we find ourselves in. In other words, we have the capacity to see our situation from a larger perspective.

The larger view of any situation can open us to the wisdom necessary to see our problems with the awareness of the transcendent self. Just as looking at a map can provide the larger view needed to guide the way when traveling in unfamiliar territory.

A Metapsychiatrically oriented spiritual guide is a committed and well-seasoned fellow journeyer on the path of truth realization. The dialogue between seeker and guide is a joint endeavor in the search for what is true, meaningful and helpful regarding the issues and questions brought to the meeting by the seeker.

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Beyond Decision-Making

The Bible story of the prodigal son presents two life choices: cultural conformity by the dutiful son, and non-conformity by the profligate son. At first it looks like one brother made good choices while the other made bad ones.

I was reminded of the above Bible story when a crossroad decision made years ago came to mind. When the decision was made I did what seemed right at the time, but it was now occurring to me that I had taken the path of “cultural conformity.” The other path, in the fantasy of hindsight at least, had the promise that “I could have been somebody;” perhaps done something important in the world.

Both thoughts are firmly established in the past, expressing the double whammy of: “I should have. .” and: “I could have. .”

Memories are dreams and dreams are thoughts about “who I think I am, and who I should have been.”

With this view it becomes clear that whatever done or not done in life, while meaningful and often full of drama, is not the substance of true fulfillment.

Either choice considered at the time came from influences about what I thought I was expected to do and to be.

The choice made merely pointed out the overriding interest at the time, with the resulting consequences. The remnant thought that “I coulda,” is of course, a “should” thought from another set of things I think I should have accomplished.

It dawns on me that the choice made many years ago was neither right nor wrong. It resulted in both good and bad due to the many common cultural thoughts swimming in my consciousness from the sea of mental garbage. Yet, at the same time, throughout my life, good ideas and good things happened.

The Good of life does not come from what I do or not do, what I have or don’t have. The Good of life flows from an orientation to what is wholesome and harmonious.

Even now decisions can present themselves as “urgent and life changing,” but this is not the truth. The real choice is to recognize whether something is in harmony with what Is, or not. The main question to consider as information and events unfold is: Is there PAGL? If there is, everything will work together harmoniously. If PAGL is not present, let go of the decision for now and be open to learning something.

The healing journey for both brothers in the Bible story was to discover the futility of seeking fulfillment through what they, or their brother, did or did not do, and to turn their attention to the context of Pure Love, as symbolized by their father. It then becomes possible to forgive the past and be grateful for the joy that is available right here, right now.

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Who’s to Blame?

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could just point out who the “bad guy” is and let them know what they’ve done wrong, let them know that it is their fault, and then they change? Wow! Then the world would be just as we think it should be.

It’s easy to know who or what is to blame, but where does this get us? It perpetuates the evil we would like to see disappear.

The “evil” that is shared by both the blamer and the blameworthy is “should thinking.” Both sides know how things should and should not be and that makes it easy to know who is doing it wrong. But this ends up in a continuous dog pile of ignorance – in other words, the news headlines.

So what is a well-meaning seeker of truth to do in the face of such ugly ignorance?

Certainly it is not the right idea to judge another by their outward appearance, and it is not the right idea to bully and terrorize in order to have our way. These behaviors are in line with a personal conviction about who is to blame, and what should be and shouldn’t be.

Jesus said: “Let he who is without sin throw the first stone.” Such a simple statement puts the whole issue in a loving perspective: let the healing begin with me.

Of course it is not good to shoot someone based on the color of their skin, and it is not good to steal, and it is not good to terrorize others into believing what you believe.

Ignorance is to blame, as all of these acts are ignorant of who we really are and the purpose of our lives. Healing can begin once blame is placed where it belongs.

Ron Johnson, the highway patrol captain is standing up and speaking out for integrity, compassion, transparency, and a commitment to truth in Ferguson, Missouri. He is a great example of a healing presence. We can see this is true by watching all the local citizens who are receiving and loving his message.

The truth is within each of us and we need guidance and inspired voices to help us live it in the face of such distressing and frightening events.

The way of healing is to be on the side of truth. All of us can be part of the problem or part of the solution. It’s the very personal human mind that is compelled to take a side – but there is no “side” to Wholeness.

We also have the capacity to be aware of what is true, good, loving and intelligent. It is possible to see the ignorance and not react with more ignorance, but see the reactive “blamer” within our own consciousness. And it is possible to then turn our attention to the capacity to respond to the present issues with wisdom.

 

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Depression

Depression has become a news “headline” again and it is certainly true that many individuals suffer from this difficult affliction.

Metapsychiatry offers a definition of depression that sheds light on this source of human suffering that offers a way out.

Depression is the loss, either real or imagined, of a person, place, thing or idea that is seen as essential to ones well-being.

A loss is a loss. It can be profound, and needs to be mourned. Anyone would lose interest in life if they believed that the source of their happiness and well-being was gone. Just as a computer will turn off if the plug is unplugged. But is this true? Are we computers that have various attachments that keep us going?

No. The source of our well-being is beyond ourselves. It is the context of existence itself, the wholeness of existence that we are each part of. This source is eternal, immutable, never born and never dying. There is no plug that can be unplugged, even if we try.

The truth is that something or someone may be lost to us, after all, everything in the material world is impermanent. But the truth of our being, the source of existence is not gone.

This is the light at the end of the tunnel of loss. It is a healing journey that can be taken by anyone.

It is one path of the journey we are all on to wake up to who we really are and to the purpose of our lives. It will take willingness, time, attention, meditation, prayer and understanding in order for depression to be healed.

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