Week #21 – Worthy?

(This actually was going to be a share in the Alliances, but it turned out a bit loooooooong to put in there!)

Been thinking a lot about unworthiness this week.  See, I have an easy life these days.  I don’t have a regular job and yet I don’t have to worry anymore about having enough income to pay bills and keep a little for unexpected expenses.  Wasn’t always this way – I remember skipping meals when I couldn’t buy groceries because every cent I had needed to go to the rent or gas for the car; a roof and getting to and from work trumped eating.  So I’m intensely grateful for what I do have now thanks to some shrewd decisions on the parts of Jerry’s Dad and his family.  But it leaves me with nagging feelings that I don’t deserve what I have.  Now, that drives me to do something to make myself worthy, which looks correct on the surface of things, but

Because the real problem is definitions.  Feelings of unworthiness keep us from doing things that might lead to liberty, growth, autonomy, legacy, and so on – deep down, we don’t believe that we deserve good things, so we in essence sabotage ourselves so we don’t ever get any.  But who decides what constitutes ‘worthy?’  What standards are you following if you are ‘being worthy’ of the life you desire, with all the symbols that go with you living your bliss?

For most folks, worthiness is something imposed from the outside, usually by the herd.  As adolescents, our worthiness, our value, is determined by our popularity with our peer group; if you aren’t popular, you’re second-class or lower.  As adults, our value is determined by our coworkers, our bosses, our spouses, our in-laws, our friends, generally based on what they think we can do for them.

But letting an outside source determine our worth is an untrue measure.  If all true power comes from within, as Haanel says, then all true value must also come from within.  What do you believe you are worth?

But thinking that way, we run afoul of the question, what do I need to do in order to be worthy in my own eyes?

In other words, if I do a, b, and c, then I become worthy of x, y, and z.  And seriously, in the light of what we’ve been learning the last twenty-odd weeks, what kind of sense does that make?  Because as soon as we start to think that way, we fall right into living life backwards and constantly-moving goalposts.

So how to answer the question?  If others can’t truly define my value, and I can’t either, then what determines worth, and what measure can be used?

Well…

Haanel says very clearly that we carry within us a piece of Universal Mind/Divinity/God/Source, which at its heart is indivisible.  If we are in the Divine and the Divine is in us, how can any of us, even those who don’t understand the world within, be ‘unworthy’ of receiving the abundance of the Universe?  That would be Universal Mind saying, “You are a lesser part of me,” to bits of itself, bits that are the “same in kind and quality as the whole, the only difference being one of degree!”

Which then therefore means that the whole idea of worthy/unworthy is just as much of an illusion as fear.

We are pieces of the Universe made manifest.  By definition, we cannot be unworthy of receiving the gifts ready and waiting for us to claim them – though if we won’t have them if we are not in harmony with universal law.

Works for me.  How about you?

Week #20 – Searching

Suzuki S40 Boulevard

It’s that time of year again.  I’ve been staring at white, dirty white, and brown for months; my eyes are aching to see warm, living greens.  I miss the bass growl of thunder and the syncopated staccatto of rain on the roof, colorful flowers, the hum of bees, the smell of damp earth.  My favorite moment of the year is that day, that one day, after the snow has melted and the new grass has begun to poke through the still-wet dirt; the crocus, trout lily and trillium are sending up stems and leaves and the trees are budding out… nature is waking up and having a stretch.  One day the limbs and twigs of the woods are bare and brown, and the next there’s a fine haze of various shades of bright green all around, and I look up and smile and say to myself, “When did that happen?”

And meantime, my lonely and idle motorcycle wants to know why we don’t live in a place where we can ride all year.

I’m starting to wonder about the whole concept of anthropomorphism – as in, maybe we’re mistaken in thinking we’re assigning human qualities to an animal or object.  From MK 20: If Source is in me, and I am in Source, and Source is also in “the infinitely small as well as the infinitely large” and understanding and appreciating that fact “will enable us to absorb its essence” – in other words, it isn’t just our “I” that’s connected with Universal mind, it’s every living cell in our body individually (whether they think or not) as well as every living cell in an animal, a tree, a blade of grass, an earthworm, and even the inorganic.  In MK 10:8-9 “The plant reaches down into the mineral world and touches it with the mystery of Life,” because “We have seen that there is an impassable barrier between the organic and the inorganic, and the only way that matter can unfold is to be impregnated with life; as a seed reaches down into the mineral world and begins to unfold and reach out, the dead matter begins to live, a thousand invisible fingers begin to weave a suitable environment for the new arrival, the Law of Growth begins to take effect…”

So if dead matter can be subject to the Law of Growth, it must therefore be connected to Source or Universal mind and the spark of Source or Universal mind in us can connect with any other spark of Source because they are all one in kind and quality, the only difference being one of degree, and therefore these individual sparks are in truth indivisible, because Source/Universal mind/spirit/God is omnipresent.  So feeling that spirit in a cat, a dog, a tree… a house, or a machine that has been created by the power of thought which “is the secret of all inspiration, all genius,” and is the “only activity which a spirit possesses,” is that really so far-fetched?

I just heard my brother roll his eyes and sigh.

Just a thought.  I’ve actually believed for years that communication – and therefore cooperation – with animals, the natural world, and inanimate objects not only is possible, it exists.  I never will forget the day at work when I heard one of the components I was building into a fax machine or copier clutch shouted, “Whee!!!!!” as it rolled down the pile of cases, across the counter and off the edge.  It was a loud factory, one with required hearing protection because of the banging and hissing of assembly presses, the thump and grind and click of the assembly robots.  There’s no way I could have heard the physical sound that the case made as it went rolling, and I wasn’t facing that section of the table at the time.  I heard that shout of glee and I turned to catch it midair.  I’ve never doubted that it actually happened, but I’v always been careful about who I spoke to about it.  I don’t like it when people give me sideways looks and start edging away from me, or mutter about schizophrenia when they think I can’t hear.

Well, now through Haanel, I’ve discovered logical reasons supporting the belief.  If Source is omnipresent, and the mineral world can be imbued with Life in order to support life, then inanimate objects having a spirit of their own is possible, and it’s equally possible for the spirit in us to hear the spirit in them.  Especially when they’re being loud because they’re having fun.

So there.

But I digress.  What I actually wanted to talk about this week was more along the lines of a minor frustration.  I’m linking, connecting, I’m building good habits.  I was writing an article for my website earlier this week about the Reno gang – the gravesites of Frank, Simeon and William are in Seymour, Indiana – and thought about how their criminal activities and their eventual end was a perfect example of Emerson’s Law of Compensation.

I had trouble with this week’s Master Key – I think I’ve mentioned before that my beliefs are not mainstream, so I had to keep substituting words and concepts for “God” which had better connotations for me… even though that’s kinda distracting.  Up until now, Haanel’s kept his verbiage very general, which I have appreciated.  And truly, it all is just a matter of semantics.  Universal Mind is Source is God is Omnipresent Spirit.  I just haven’t gotten to the point yet where I can read it in Haanel without feeling my shoulder muscles ripple in mild distaste.  A sure sign I’m still living at least partially in associative mind.

But what bothers me most at this point is that week to week, I am writing about the same old things – applying Haanel and Og to my life, how the exercises affect my daily life, observing minor changes in myself.  No brilliant, earth-shattering insights.  No quantum leap in lifestyle or business or happiness.  Just ordinary, everyday growth in an ordinary, everyday way, and me combatting self-critical behavior because I can’t force an acceleration.  It’s irritating, is what it is!  And it’s not as if I’m saying this because I feel the need validation of the process or myself – I don’t need exterior support anymore.  And that is definitely more than I had before the start of the course – progress of the Slight Edge variety.

‘Cause it’s more like the change of the seasons than the burst of a firework.  For months everything is slowed down, dormant; and then before you know it, your world is bursting into life faster than you can keep track of, and the roads are clear and dry, and you turn around to see the haze of green on the trees and ask, “When did that happen?”

And then you take your motorcycle out for a ride… which makes it very, very happy.

S40, ready and rarin' to go!

Week #19 – Imagine what we’ll know…

Holy cow – in the homestretch of the course.  I say ‘of the course’ because this kind of process never really ends.  I’m interested to hear about Mark and Davene’s exit strategy; myself, personally, I’m going to start all over at the beginning, read the master keys again week by week – I’m sure I’ve missed lots of the nuances, kind of like how Jeff Olson explains it in The Slight Edge:  “I can read a book like As a Man Thinketh, return it to my bookshelf, then come back a year later to read it again – and it feels like somebody sneaked into my room while I was sleeping and completely rewrote the book!”  I’m looking forward to seeing things I didn’t see the first time through.  Hopefully we’ll still have access to the webinars, but even if we don’t, maybe some mastermind partners and I can get together and have discussion sessions.  (My favorite uncle, who passed away a couple years ago, read The Divine Comedy by Dante every year in the original Italian with a group of friends and then they would discuss the passages and each relate what new wisdom they had gained.  This process has been seriously rough in patches, but why invest so much time and effort only to stop after the twenty-sixth week?  That’s just silly.)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Lotsa thoughts buzzing around in my head this week.

When reading Master Key 19, that scene from the first Men In Black keeps occuring to me.  You know the one.  Where Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) is recruiting James Edwards, who becomes Agent J (Will Smith) and says, “Fifteen hundred years ago everybody knew the Earth was the center of the universe.  Five hundred years ago everybody knew the Earth was flat, and fifteen minutes ago you knew that humans were alone on this planet.”  And his voice drops to that gravelly, impressive Tommy Lee tone – “Imagine what you’ll know tomorrow.”

Appearances are deceptive because we don’t know all there is to know yet.  Everything new that we learn, once we’ve developed the neurons necessary to be able to think about it, changes how we perceive what is.  Myself, personally, I’m not sure we ever will know everything – at least not while we’re still physical beings.  The mind might be unlimited, but the meat brain can only hold just so much and Universal Truth is so… Very… All-Encompassing… that at our stage of evolution our brains would fry if we tried to comprehend it all, all at once.  So we get glimmers.  Flashes of insight.  Flickers of intuition.  And we keep asking questions, pushing boundaries, developing new neurons, and eventually learn and accept enough to change what is “common knowledge.”

(You know, learning that really explained a lot for me.  I’d wondered throughout my life why it was I would grasp some things so quickly and yet require time to mull over others that seemed so much simpler.)

Hey – do you remember when Mark was talking about the compound in Kauai, about how he had envisioned himself and Davene, and Davene had envisioned the entire family, and turned out The Fab D’s vision was the stronger of the two?  So one of the thoughts kicking around my head this week is wondering what determines that stronger vision.  Emotion, determination, certainty?  (I know, I know – “Unbridled enthusiasm.”)

Trouble is, I can be enthusiastic, but I just don’t do ‘unbridled’ enthusiasm.  Even when I’m excited about something, there’s a measure of deliberate control involved, and there’s always a part of my mind watching and evaluating.  So how does strength of vision work under those circumstances?

Rather well, apparently.  It’s been four weeks since Jerry’s hip replacement surgery; he was scheduled to go back for a checkup and he was less than confident about it.  I told him, “We will go, the doctor will give you a look-see and be pleased, he will give you a clean bill of recovery and then you can drive home.”  (That’s what’s bothered him the most while he’s been recovering – not the driving so much, but that temporary loss of independence associated with not being allowed to drive.)  And Jerry’s response was, “Oh, I don’t know.  I think maybe he’ll have seen a lot better, and want me to come back in a couple more weeks, because I’m really not that good.  But it could go like that, I guess.”  Completely overlooking the fact that he doesn’t even use the walker anymore, and never went through the intermediate stages of crutches or cane.  And I said, “It will go like that, I have decreed it.”

Doc Maybry said of Jerry’s new X-rays that they were “perfect” and Jerry’s recovery “couldn’t be better.”  He cleared Jerry to drive and start resuming side-to-side motion of the leg, though with the proviso that the restriction “If it hurts, stop” is still in effect.  Still more healing to be done over the next several months, with the first three being the period when the major mending happens.  But unless Jerry or I have questions or concerns, he doesn’t need to be seen for his hip until the one-year mark.

I never exercised any concsious enthusiasm toward the outcome, but I was absolutely confident it would work out the way I envisioned; Jerry was less certain and more pessimistic, but his overall emotion was stronger than mine – it always is, always has been; he’s a far more emotional being than I am.  So what’s the defining line?  How does it work?

Looking forward to exploring more and finding out… even after the course ends.

Jerry driving for the first time in four weeks

Jerry driving for the first time in four weeks

Week #18 – Explorations

“This week concentrate upon your power to create; seek insight, perception; try to find a logical basis for the faith which is in you.” – MasterKey 18:33

Webster's Dictionary 1962

Jerry’s mom was a warm-hearted, generous lady.  A caretaker.  She gifted me with this a few years after Jerry and I were married, knowing I would value it.  It was printed the year Jerry was born, and she had kept it on her shelf for almost that long.

I know, I know.  The accuracy of reference material changes over time, and more rapidly now as technology and knowledge advances.  But the book I will never let go of, and much of the information is still good.

Here’s what it has to say about faith:

  Definition of faith  Definition of faith pg 2

My thesaurus lists these synonyms:  assurance; conviction; credence; reliance; trust; belief; creed; doctrine; dogma; tenet; constancy; fidelity; loyalty; promise; word.  (My thesaurus was printed in 1986.)

Notice what’s missing?

All right, maybe a couple more.  Mirriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines it both as a noun and a verb.  Under ‘noun’ it lists these:

: strong belief or trust in someone or something

: belief in the existence of God : strong religious feelings or beliefs

: a system of religious beliefs

and under ‘verb’ says:

archaic

:  believe, trust

See it yet?

Maybe this’ll help.  This is my cat Firefly.  (Yes, she is asleep.  I was watching her twitch in her dreams as I was typing this.)  She’s getting to be close to ten now – I still remember when she was a tiny fluff-ball barely bigger than the size of my cupped palms bullying my 60-pound German Shepherd-Husky mix to the point where poor Ninya wouldn’t even walk up the stairs if Firefly was sitting at the top.  And Firefly will sleep with her belly exposed in a way that most cats won’t, in my experience.  She sleeps like that because she has absolute faith that she can… that none of the humans will reach over and play “pet the Buddha belly!” with her, that none of the other cats will attack in ire or in play.  She has faith that this will never happen, because it never has.

Firefly sleeping upside down

In other words, she has tested this belief over the years, and found it to be fact.  And so she can take this vulnerable position without fear (though I will admit it’s a less vulnerable position for a cat than it is for a dog, given the location of the primary weapons of claws and teeth and the speed with which a cat can apply them, even if they’ve been woken suddenly), and hold it for half-hours at a time.  Similarly, Reggie – and when he lived, brother Indy – had absolute faith that their humans would not drop them, even to the point of being so relaxed they habitually rolled over in our arms to plummet to the floor.  (Their belief in this was rewarded – never once did we drop them, no matter how unexpected the move or how bonelessly they flopped toward a fall.  They had faith that we never would, because we never had.)

So I guess it’s not really surprising that Haanel says we must test our convictions until they become more than mere belief – which means nothing – but fact.  And yet… if we test our belief and support it with fact, that negates the need for faith, does it not?

Except that in none of the definitions above does it say that faith is belief without proof.

Isn’t that interesting?

So I went looking for my logical reason for my faith in my own creativity.  I’m sure that everyone has experienced it – that state of pure creation, where we are so involved in what we’re doing, so in the now, that we’ve lost track of our external environment and all that exists for us is the image we are creating – whether it be via words (spoken or written), paints, inks, clay, camera, sliderule, drafting tools, keyboard and mouse or any other medium.  And I asked myself in my sit, when I’m there, where is my ‘I’?

At the heart of my creative nature, certainly.  But where is that?

Deep in my center.

And where is my center, that point of perfect balance between Self, Universe and Earth?

That’s the point where I touch what Haanel calls Universal Mind, that place that is the same in kind and quality in me as it is in the original, though the original is larger in degree.

But how do I know?  What makes that something that I know, rather than merely something I believe?

The fact that in that state I’ve written such brilliant pieces of my stories I couldn’t quite believe they had come from ordinary, everyday me; how that point feels – connected, relaxed, at peace and yet at the same time exploding with words and ideas and plot points, so much so that I couldn’t get them all down on paper before they flitted away… or rather, before I lost my hold on that expression of the Divinity Within and returned to the mundane semi-depressed ground state that used to be my norm.

Oh, yes.  I have faith in Universal Mind.  I have tested the belief, it exists, and I continue to work toward the day when I can touch it at will, from moment to moment, and never again lose those precious moments of creation when the Universe tells me stories that are mine to share with the world.