A book I read recently suggested that the Universe, and everything in existence, originated from a single entity. That everything is derived from an all-encompassing essence, including sentient beings such as us, Humans. As I lay here in bed prepared to fall into slumber, the word Unity permeated my being; its meaning, its true essence. I pondered for a moment on the word Unity, and realized that the times we, as humans, are happiest or in the most blissful state are when we are united or feel as such; united with one individual in companionship or friendship, united in a family, united in a society or culture coinciding with the inherent but often unknown essence of what makes us happy. In fact, we desire and go to great lengths to acquire or fulfill this sense of belonging. I dare suggest that it’s because we are all individual parts of a whole, in essence, “in spirit”. Ponder for a moment on these aforementioned instances in which we feel united. Even from our most limited perspective, you’ll find that we are always referring to a Unity Unseen. This Unity Unseen is manifested in natural ways allowing us to perceive it with our senses, but upon some reflection we find that such manifestation is but secondary to the true UNITY that already exists in the UNSEEN. For example, when we desire to feel close to someone, what we are truly seeking is not simply to be physically near them. For even if they perform the most profound actions of love and comfort, absent of the unseen truth behind it, we can perceive the hollowness of those actions and are left feeling empty. Now, if we feel so compelled to be One, Whole or United, and have yet to achieve the state where it is manifested in the natural, this next question begs asking. Is there something, somehow interfering or opposing the very idea of us being united? If so why? And also, how does this force go about interfering as it were with this innate, powerful force of UNITY? The latter of these questions will be the focus of today’s topic.
Unity: joined together or combined so as to form a single whole; in harmony.
Continue reading Unity, Path To Wholeness
God, a fixation for human beings since the beginning of time, continues to permeate every aspect of our daily lives. Some believe in an entity having created everything that exists, others claim that no such entity exists, and that we are here by “miraculous” coincidence, others yet assert that mankind itself, individually as well as collectively, is ‘God’. Either way, one thing is certain, human beings are engrossed in this age-long debate. But who or what is God?
“God is the Unmoved Mover, the Necessary Essence allowing for our contingent and finite existence.”
Continue reading God is Not Religious
We all pray. For those who prefer another word, how about this. We all have hopes, wishes and wants, presented to an unknown but innately-recognized entity we believe can provide what we desire. If you are of the Christian faith, you believe your requests or pleas are heard and provided through the name of Jesus. In John 14:14 Jesus reminds us that “if you shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.” As a result of this, every Christian prayer usually ends in some variation of “in the name of Jesus… Amen.” But what does it mean to ask or pray in the name of Jesus? What does it truly mean to invoke that name besides the perfunctory religious act taught to us by our elders?
“If you shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.” John 14:14
Continue reading Why Pray In The Name Of Jesus?
As finite beings inhabiting time and space, our survival has been dependent on a particular ritual. Animals perform this ritual instinctively, but for other beings with superior cognitive abilities such as humans, we find that we can exercise some choice in the matter. The ritual in questions is none other than the one involving the passing of one’s characteristics, traits and values through to the next generation, parenting. Parenting typically begins with the act of reproduction and continues indefinitely. Much like the lion, who for example, gives birth to cubs, ensure their survival, and teach them the ways of the hunt, so is it for humans vis-à-vis their offspring. It is on this basic principle of survival, and in the case of humans, thriving, that all societies throughout time have observed the staple of “honoring your father and mother.” But what does it mean to honor your parents?
“Parents, in essence, serve as the template by which we perceive and interact with God.”
The dictionary describes Honor as “holding in high respect; or to accept as valid and conform to the request or demands of.” The benefits of honor towards parents are obvious when observing animals in nature. Regardless of their positions in what we call “the food chain”, all children, or newborns, if they are to survive against the various threats of life, must rely on the protection and wisdom of their parents. Those who stray from their parents, much to their detriment, often meet deadly ends. As in nature, human newborns depends entirely on their parents for survival, and when they are of an age where they can provide for their own nourishment, their future survival is often dependent not on food, water and shelter, but on the wisdom on how to navigate through life’s many potential pitfalls. While these concepts may be obvious to most, it is another that I offer on this day. As humans, I believe that the ultimate role of parents, knowingly or otherwise, is to prepare their offspring for living a life in concert with their true Father, God. Parents, in essence, serve as the template by which we perceive and interact with God.
Continue reading Of Parents and Children
We all have dreams. Aspirations as high as the stars. Unbeknownst to our conscious mind however, we have allowed the clarity and belief of that dream to be extinguished by the dogma of this world. While that is the case for most of us, some have managed to see their dreams realized. Not through any dishonest or nefarious means, but through obedience, honesty and hard work. They were able to realize their dream not because of any superpowers or special abilities that the rest of us do not possess, but simply because they have an understanding that most do not. I believe these folks understand that success, and happiness in life, lies in a universal process through which all dreams are realized. The knowledge of the process is liberating to say the least, and easy to understand. Its application, however, is a much more challenging task. The process is as follows: Word or Vision—Faith or Action—Doubt or Challenge—Realization or Fulfillment.
“Every endeavor, every journey, begins with a Word or Vision.”
Continue reading From Dreaming To Realization
For as long as I can remember I’ve heard people say that “nobody’s perfect”. It’s one of those things you never question and readily accept because it is said so often. As I grew older, and noticed the degradation of human character, I realized something. For one, it appears that both theist and atheist agree with the idea that perfection is an unattainable. Secondly, or as a result of the first, we use this idiom as a self-deprecating mechanism. Something that allows us to be okay being mediocre. So, what is perfection and is it attainable?
To be perfect is to be complete, both in substance and in deed.
Continue reading Understanding Perfection
The poem “Splendor in the grass” is about having had certain attributes, skills, capabilities and having them wane over time or losing them altogether. It alludes to aging and all that comes with it. Whereas the young and immature sees aging as things ONLY being taken from us, William Wordsworth takes the perspective of the wise. He speaks that while it is true that things get taken from us as we age, we gain much in the process: we learn to sympathize, to appreciate the positives from negative and painful times, to fortify our faith, and we become wiser through the experience of it all.
Splendor in the grass advises us to enjoy the experience of aging in its entirety. There was a time when our light shone brightly in the radiance of youth, however the latter portion of our lives can be just as “flashy” if we choose to see what we are gaining rather than what once was. Take care to enjoy each stage of life simply for what it is.
Mankind’s greatest flaw and weakness is that we are egocentric. We believe that we are the center of everything. That things start and end with us. That we’re the prototype. Once upon a time we believed the Earth to be the center of our galaxy. We were of course wrong, but if you ponder why we would assume so in the first place, you’ll come to understand why so many wisdoms and understandings have eluded us for so long. The wisest and genius amongst us have realized that to grow or evolve is to see beyond ourselves.
When it comes to having faith, we often do so in exchange for something. We” have faith” when we want something really badly and it is beyond our means of acquiring it. We must therefore “hope” or “trust” that some force in the universe, i.e. God, will come to our rescue and provide it. This view of faith is no doubt useful at time, but it falls short of the grand meaning of faith. What does it truly mean to have faith?
Continue reading Have Faith
As a lion to his Pride, so is a man to his Kingdom. So it is that a man’s duty is to provide for his family, protect them and guide them throughout the often perilous wilderness of life. While it is important to provide these things however, unlike the lion, a man’s duty is to offer more than the what. The what ensures your family’s immediate survival, it does nothing to ensure the longevity of your kingdom and its people–your legacy. The way to ensure your legacy continues is highly dependent on how we govern your kingdom. And this how lies in knowing yourself.
As the ruler of your kingdom everything falls upon you. From the grand to the minute. When other Prides come to invade your land, or when you have to settle disputes among your people, your inhabitants look towards you for answers. Not only to protect or save them from danger, or reaching a fair judgment, but to do so wisely. True wisdom comes from knowing your true self. The one you were intended to be. Through this knowing, you’ll be able to face any unknown-from the day-to-day to the unbelievable- with confidence and conviction. So how do you get to know yourself?
Continue reading A Man’s Duty