redefining spirituality and opening to non-limitation

Archive for November, 2008

thanksgiving


I asked for strength that I might achieve;

I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health that I might do greater things;
I was given infirmity that I might do better things.
I asked for riches that I might be happy;
I was given poverty that I might be wise.
I asked for power that I might have
the praise of men.
I was given weakness that I might feel
the need of God.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life;
I was given life that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I had asked for,
but everything that I hoped for.
Almost despite myself my unspoken
prayers were answered;
I am, among all men, most richly blessed.

– Unknown Confederate soldier

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the purpose for us now…

(photo courtesy oimax)

The purpose for you now
Is to walk this earth in joy and freedom.
And all it takes to do that
Is for you to know
That this world holds nothing that you want.
All it takes to walk this earth in peace
Is for you to know that nothing here
Has any effect on the reality of what you are,
Which is the Child of God.
All it takes to walk this earth in peace
Is to know that you are, indeed Spirit,
That Spirit is One,
That all your brothers and sisters, separate as they may seem,
Are One with you.
All it takes to walk this earth in peace
Is to know that as Spirit
You are the creative source –
And nothing can ever happen to you
That is not totally your own choice.
And all it takes to walk this earth in peace
Is to know that God, and you,
Are love,
And freedom,
And peace,
And joy.

Blessings upon you all.

Yeshua

the ripple effect, part two

THE FACE OF AIDS

The following is the speech Nkosi Johnson, 11 years old, wrote by himself for the opening ceremony of the 13th International AIDS Conference in Durban:

“Hi, MY name is Nkosi Johnson. I live in Melville, Johannesburg, South Africa. I am 11 years old and I have full-blown AIDS. I was born HIV-positive.


When I was two years old, I was living in a care center for HIV / AIDS-infected people. My mommy was obviously also infected and could not afford to keep me because she was very scared that the community she lived in would find out that we were both infected and chase us away.

I know she loved me very much and would visit me when she could. And then the care center had to close down because they didn’t have any funds. So my foster mother, Gail Johnson, who was a director of the care center and had taken me home for weekends, said at a board meeting she would take me home. Nkosi Johnson She took me home with her and I have been living with her for eight years now.

She has taught me all about being infected and how I must be careful with my blood. If I fall and cut myself and bleed, then I must make sure that I cover my own wound and go to an adult to help me clean it and put a plaster on it.

I know that my blood is only dangerous to other people if they also have an open wound and my blood goes into it. That is the only time that people need to be careful when touching me.

In 1997 mommy Gail went to the school, Melpark Primary, and she had to fill in a form for my admission and it said does your child suffer from anything so she said yes: AIDS.

My mommy Gail and I have always been open about me having AIDS. And then my mommy Gail was waiting to hear if I was admitted to school. Then she phoned the school, who said we will call you and then they had a meeting about me.

Of the parents and the teachers at the meeting 50% said yes and 50% said no. And then on the day of my big brother’s wedding, the media found out that there was a problem about me going to school. No one seemed to know what to do with me because I am infected. The AIDS workshops were done at the school for parents and teachers to teach them not to be scared of a child with AIDS. I am very proud to say that there is now a policy for all HIV-infected children to be allowed to go into schools and not be discriminated against.

And in the same year, just before I started school, my mommy Daphne died. She went on holiday to Newcastle- she died in her sleep. And mommy Gail got a phone call and I answered and my aunty said please can I speak to Gail? Mommy Gail told me almost immediately my mommy had died and I burst into tears. My mommy Gail took me to my Mommy’s funeral. I saw my mommy in the coffin and I saw her eyes were closed and then I saw them lowering it into the ground and then they covered her up. My granny was very sad that her daughter had died.

Then I saw my father for the first time and I never knew I had a father. He was very upset but I thought to myself, why did he leave my mother and me? And then the other people asked mommy Gail about my sister and who would look after her and then mommy Gail said ask the father.

Ever since the funeral, I have been missing my mommy lots and I wish she was with me, but I know she is in heaven. And she is on my shoulder watching over me and in my heart.

I hate having AIDS because I get very sick and I get very sad when I think of all the other children and babies that are sick with AIDS. I just wish that the government can start giving AZT to pregnant HIV mothers to help stop the virus being passed on to their babies. Babies are dying very quickly and I know one little abandoned baby who came to stay with us and his name was Micky. He couldn’t breathe, he couldn’t eat and he was so sick and Mommy Gail had to phone welfare to have him admitted to a hospital and he died. But he was such a cute little baby and I think the government must start doing it because I don’t want babies to die.

Because I was separated from my mother at an early age, because we were both HIV positive, my mommy Gail and I have always wanted to start a care center for HIV / AIDS mothers and their children. I am very happy and proud to say that the first Nkosi’s Haven was opened last year. And we look after 10 mommies and 15 children. My mommy Gail and I want to open five Nkosi’s Havens by the end of next year because I want more infected mothers to stay together with their children- they mustn’t be separated from their children so they can be together and live longer with the love that they need.

When I grow up, I want to lecture to more and more people about AIDS- and if mommy Gail will let me, around the whole country. I want people to understand about AIDS- to be careful and respect AIDS- you can’t get AIDS if you touch, hug, kiss, hold hands with someone who is infected.

Care for us and accept us- we are all human beings.

We are normal. We have hands. We have feet. We can walk, we can talk, we have needs just like everyone else- don’t be afraid of us- we are all the same!”


He was born Xolani Nkosi in a township slum east of Johannesburg. He never knew his father. His mother, Nonthlanthla Daphne Nkosi, was HIV-positive and passed along the virus to her unborn baby. He became a statistic—one of more than 70,000 children born HIV-positive every year in South Africa, where an estimated one-half of the population under the age of 15 will die of AIDS-related causes over the next decade.
NkosiBut Xolani was a fighter. He survived beyond his second birthday, which is unusual in HIV-infected babies. As the disease began to sap his mother’s strength, he was admitted with her to a crowded AIDS care center in Johannesburg. It was there that Gail Johnson, a volunteer worker, saw the wide-eyed Zulu boy and his ailing mother. She was obviously dying, and he was living on borrowed time. “It was a very personal and mutual understanding,” says Johnson. “I had had a graphic encounter with an AIDS death close to my family, and I wanted to do something more than just talk about it. And there was Nkosi. All I had to do was to reach out to him.”

His mother readily agreed for Johnson to become Nkosi’s foster-mother. As Nkosi Johnson he had a home in a neat Johannesburg suburb and a wide circle of friends at Nkosi’s Haven, the AIDS care center Johnson founded and named after him. Nonthlanthla Nkosi died of an AIDS-related illness in 1997. In the same year, Gail and Nkosi Johnson won a different battle. When she tried to enroll him in primary school, there was opposition from some parents because of his HIV-positive status. Johnson went public with a complaint and won her case. Nkosi went to school.

That controversy made Nkosi a national figure in the campaign to destigmatize AIDS, and provincial education departments across the country were required to draw up new policies. His big moment came last July, when he addressed delegates at the international AIDS conference in Durban. A tiny figure in a shiny dark suit and sneakers, nervously holding a wireless microphone, Nkosi Johnson, all of 11 years old, held an audience of 10,000 delegates in rapt, occasionally tearful silence as he told the story of his birth and his life. “Please help people with AIDS,” he said. “Support them, love them, care for them.”

Later that year he took the same message to an AIDS conference in Atlanta, Georgia. “It is sad to see so many sick people,” he said. “I wish everybody in the world could be well.”
Though probably the longest surviving child AIDS victim in South Africa, Nkosi was clearly not well when he returned from his U.S. trip in October. He had a quiet Christmas, then he collapsed. Diagnosed with brain damage, he had several seizures and became semicomatose. Yet he hung on. “Look at him,” Johnson told a local newspaper. “Half the size of bloody nothing and still fighting.”
The story of Nkosi Johnson has galvanized AIDS-awareness campaigners. With at least one of every 10 South Africans HIV-positive, the country faces a public health disaster that will hit poor, populous black communities the most. Nkosi once said he wished he were a white person because he never saw a white person get sick. Dr. Zola Skweyiya, Minister for Social Development, warned last year that the AIDS epidemic could result in blacks becoming a minority in their country. Editorialized the national Sunday Times: “We South Africans—and all others on this continent and in the world—have to learn to acknowledge and treat with humanity those who are living with AIDS. There can be no better monument to Nkosi, the child who has made us confront our frail humanity and our own deepest fears, than this.”

For all the misery that Nkosi has had to suffer, he is one of the lucky ones, says Johnson. “He was accepted, he was loved.” Among those calling at the Johnson home last week were schoolfriends whose parents once warned them not to get close to him. The children at Nkosi’s Haven are also missing the little boy who organized their cops-and-robbers game and always wanted to be the top cop. Contributions to Johnson’s aids care trust have allowed for the opening of a second Nkosi’s Haven in the Johannesburg townships this month. Johnson hopes there will be many more. Nkosi’s name—in Zulu it means Lord, or King of Kings—will live on.

spiritual etiquette

As the frequency of the planet and our personal vibration raises, and the veil beyond thins, more and more of us will be able to see auras, manifest psychic abilities and access the Akashic Library.

We will have more and more access to information about others energy bodies, past lives, and present spiritual condition.

But like everything else in life, having the ability does not mean one has the expertise or the understanding.

These new skills, in inexperienced hands, can be just as destructive as an unqualified surgeon or therapist.

And like everything else in life, people have the right to their privacy, and that now includes their energetic and spiritual privacy.

And to all of us who possess, to one degree or another, some or all of these energetic skills, we must be constantly reminded that the multi-dimensional universe is also made up of illusion upon illusion. That the human mind — even the psychic human mind — is still subject to illusion and lower ego, and quite literally, is not yet — even at the energetic level — fully evolved spiritually.

And that everything we view is still viewed through our individual and cultural and spiritual bias.

Everything we view and intuit is viewed through our own energy systems, and like light through a prism or filter, can be distorted.

We should never just walk up to someone and tell them what we think we may see in their aura, or palm, or astrology chart, or feel about their past lives or present spiritual health.

That is not our place.

It is one thing for a therapist or doctor to say something about someone’s emotional or physical health as, generally speaking, the patient or client has direct access to whether they agree or disagree: they know how they feel.

But when we can see or feel something energetically that they can’t see or feel, then we are putting them at a disadvantage as they have no way of knowing what we are, in fact, seeing or feeling.

It is always best to continue to honor the one absolute law of this universe: free will.

We should only give advice when asked.

And we should always tell the person that what we feel and/or see is just our personal understanding, and that there is only one absolute truth, and that truth is known only to that person and their god/goddess.

punishment


In these challenging times of international monetary and cultural upheaval, it is easy to point fingers and seek (myself included) someone to blame for our troubles.

It is especially easy to blame those who are “truly responsible” for the financial mess, those who made billions by looting companies and then went off on multi-million dollar vacations and extravagant business conferences, while people lost their homes and lifetime savings and retirements and health care.

And what about all those moderate and low-income families who took advantage of the highly risky mortgages, assuming financial responsibilities they (perhaps) knew they couldn’t afford. Aren’t they guilty as well? Do they deserve to be bailed-out (forgiven)?

Taking for granted that quite possibly all of us at one time or another sought ‘something for nothing,’ isn’t it enough that they are now forced to deal with the loss of their homes and the dislocation of their families? Do we really need to add a punishment as well? Are we that unsympathetic?

It is understandable and very human to seek revenge and punishment.

But it is an old energy for an old world that is dying away.

Judgment and punishment were — and still are — the primary energies responsible for the conditions on this planet and throughout history. Because once we’ve sought and delivered judgment and punishment onto another, we can’t stop there. It becomes a virus that must be fed, and then laws and cultures and religions and governments are built on judgment and punishment. These judgments and punishments can be disguised as taxation and justice and god, but at their core they are about power over another. And of course, these same energies then become a part of our individual psychological and moral makeup. And we consciously or unconsciously manifest self-judgment and self-punishment. Which makes it even easier to then judge and punish others, because we recognize it in ourselves, but can’t attack ourselves, so we must attack others.

And perhaps this has all been appropriate for our growth as a spiritual species.

But it is not appropriate anymore. Now now. Not in the new world being birthed before our eyes.

The election of Barack Obama is a sign of these new times. His inclusion of past ‘enemies’ in his administration is a sign of these new times. His insistence on not pointing fingers or blaming others for their past actions is a sign of these coming times.

It is, quite frankly, a sign of Christhood, and Krishna Consciousness and the Buddha Heart and the Great Spirit.

And it is an energy that has always been open to us, but which is now flooding the planet. And it is an energy that has nothing whatsoever to do with religion, which is steeped in judgment and punishment.

As Yeshua is reported to have said from the cross: “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.” What he meant is that those who judged him and crucified him were not evil, but had forgotten the truth of who they are and always were: the Divine made manifest. Love made manifest.

It is exceedingly easy — and feels good — to blame another, judge and then punish them. In the old world of three-dimensional linear separation, that made perfect sense. It was always us against them.

But in the new, multi-dimensional world of interconnection, who are “us” and who are “them?”

A corporate executive decides — for purely personal gain — rob his own company (though he most certainly has very reasonable reasons for doing it at the time, even if they only make sense to him). People’s lives are destroyed. He gets off scott-free. A clear case of a ‘bad guy’ winning, and one who needs to be punished.

But did he really act alone? Who are his accomplices? An educational system that promoted the one over the many? Laws passed by congressmen and women that allowed his actions? Board members who looked the other way in their own self-interest? Newspapers that didn’t report on his actions? People who didn’t read the newspapers that did report on it? People who didn’t care? People who re-elected the same congress-people? People who cheated others in their own lives and rationalized that this is just the way people are and the way the system works? A culture that rewarded wealth and celebrity at all costs? And on and on.

No one has ever acted alone on this planet. No one ever will. We are all accomplices, whether we like to believe it or not.

And that includes the murderer and the rapist and the genocidal general. Sorry, but that’s always been the truth and continues to be the truth.

The most ‘evil’ people on this planet are a product of the families and the worlds they grew up in. There are, perhaps, those rare and few sociopaths born of genetic and/or birth defects who go on to commit horrendous crimes. But then one could argue that they are not in their ‘right mind’ and therefore not legally responsible. — And certainly until the new world is fully birthed we still have to protect ourselves and our families and nations from those who would cause us harm. But in the meantime we can all start practicing a little less judgment and punishment.

“We can’t reward those who cause us harm.”

The Christ, the Buddha, Krishna would say, “Don’t reward them, but also don’t judge them and don’t punish them. They are not evil. They have only forgotten. As have all of you, at one time or another, whether you choose to believe it or not. And I promise you, you would not like to have your seemingly perfect life judged by another. You would all come up quite short. Luckily, the Divine does not judge and does not punish. It knows you have forgotten. It knows you will eventually remember.”

What would happen if we replaced all the prisons with healing centers — secure ones (this will, after all, take a bit of getting used to for everyone involved).

“Criminals don’t deserve to be healed!”

In the new world there are no criminals, only the wounded, who then go out to wound others.

And if we truly want to break the cycle of violence on this planet once and for all, we don’t keep perpetuating it through judgment and punishment, which are also forms of violence. We break the cycle with compassion. We break it by placing ourself in the other person’s shoes and seeing the world through their eyes. We come to terms with the truth, no matter how difficult, that that person is our brother and our sister. And what we do to them, we do to ourselves. That they have forgotten just as we have forgotten at one time or another. And whether through emotional violence or physical violence, we have all ‘killed’ someone at some point in our lives. And if not in this life, then most certainly in a past life.

The person who commits the crime, consciously or unconsciously, expects to be judged and punished. That is how they justify their actions to themselves: It’s the way the world is. Survival of the fittest.

But what if that person is brought before a jury of their peers and are told: “We do not judge you. We do not condemn you. We shall not punish you. But we will work together to heal the wound that caused this act in the first place, and we will work together to heal the wounds you have in turn inflicted on others.” You will have taken away their defense. You will have taken away their excuse. And eventually, you will break open their heart, and in their long-overdo healing, we are all healed just a little bit more.

And truly, we are not healing them, we are only reminding them of who they truly are, and they heal themselves.

And by this example, the entire culture and the entire world is forced to look at itself deeply and gradually to let go of its judgments and resentments and excuses. And the heart of the planet is cracked-open. And violence will go the way of cannibalism and human sacrifice and witch burning.

And we will awake to heaven on earth.

Of our own making.

Born of our remembrance.

the ripple effect, part one

Village womens’ 1992 request to Heifer International brought gift that keeps giving

As Beatrice Biira was celebrating her graduation from a select US liberal arts college in May 2008 with a degree in international development and gender studies, others were celebrating as well – most especially, 240 families living in Kisinga, a small and remote village in southwestern Uganda, near the border of Zaire and Rwanda. They held a special Mass and feast to celebrate their first college graduate.

In 1992, nine-year-old Beatrice’s wish for even primary schooling seemed unlikely to be met because her family, with a yearly income of less than $1,000, could not afford education for any of their six children. But two events that year helped make her dream a reality. Economist Jeffrey Sachs calls it the “Beatrice theorem” of development economics: small inputs can lead to large outcomes.

First, the women in her village took action to improve life for their children, sending a request for goats to Heifer International, an Arkansas group that has been providing poor families with livestock that will produce income and food since 1944. And, second, in a small Connecticut village only seven miles from Beatrice’s university, children attending Niantic Community Church raised $1,673 to pay for a herd of 12 dairy goats from Heifer’s on-line gifts catalogue to be given to African villagers.

When the goats arrived in Kisinga in 1993, Beatrice’s mother, Evelyn Baluku, received a pregnant goat the family called Mugisa, meaning “Luck” in the Okonzo language. Mugisa soon lived up to her name, producing twins and lots of milk – so much that Beatrice’s family could afford the $60 to send her to school. She was much older than the other first grade students but eager to learn. “Even when I got there, I made sure that I did extra work, extra homework, extra help, how to read, how to write. And I made it pretty quick.” Beatrice breezed through first, second and third grades in three months each, and she and her goat soon became famous.

dirty words


Yesterday I saw on Youtube a video of Joe Scarbourough on MSNBC, where he unintentionally said the word “fuck.” What was more interesting than that, was the responses among the ADULT commentators as the camera cut back and forth as they smirked and giggled, their eyes wide, their mouths open in adolescent grins, all looking like they’d just seen Janet Jackson’s exposed nipple.

Is this really 2008? Are we really in the 21st Century, where normally competent adults are suddenly reduced to fourteen year-olds because they heard a “dirty word?”

Words and images aren’t “dirty,” but our minds and our hearts certainly can be.

How will we ever fully evolve when we still run from certain words and certain images and certain ideas?

“Fuck.”

Did the world collapse? Did a child suddenly turn into a ruthless sociopath? Were we wounded to our soul?

A naked man and woman having fun with sex.

Was a single job lost in the economy due to this image? Did Russia re-aim its missiles?

A gay couple wants to wed.

Did the earth spin off its axis? Did billions of children suddenly decide to not be heterosexual?

Try saying a word you have thought of as “dirty.” Say it a dozen, even a hundred times and watch as it loses its power over you. Feel the energy of freedom that you gain. And don’t be surprised if you start laughing.

When we allow words and ideas and images to limit us, we limit ourselves to the amazing colors of the human experience, we sidetrack our natural evolution. We say that this word or image or idea is more powerful than us and we are diminished because of them.

No.

We diminish ourselves.