Experience into Words - A Beginning - Sean Kilmade - 3 Oct 01greenspun.com : LUSENET : Experience into Words : One Thread
To understand my life purpose it is more helpful to search first in the dilemmas of my own experience for meaning. I do not find traditional religious belief systems helpful as a first step.
Beliefs are dangerous, and rigid adherence to belief is unhelpful to humanity. I find that debates about right or wrong, good or bad, are judgmental and offensive to others. They can cause war.
A belief is only a means to an end. It is a map by which I interpret my reality. If my map is not helping me to find the way, then I can get myself a more useful map. I would like to have simple practical beliefs. I do not like wasting my energy trying to prove a belief right or wrong. I am more interested in choosing beliefs that serve me well in my life's purpose. A belief is either useful or not useful. Experience is the test.
Here are ten of a number of beliefs that I find very useful at present.
1. God exists in his simplest state as Being and Awareness in perfect harmonious relationship with each other.
2. The highest form of knowledge comes from experience. For example, I cannot truly know "hot" without experiencing "cold".
3. God is all knowing and to fully know harmony through experience He must also know disharmony through experience.
4. But God, in his simplest state as Being and Awareness in perfect harmonious relationship with each other, cannot know disharmony through experience. In order to know disharmony through experience, God created an outcropping of disharmony between Being and Awareness.
5. He created as a thought, in his own infinite mind, the human ego as an outcropping of Awareness on the one hand, and on the other the, so-called, physical world. The physical world is an outcropping of Being and this is perceived as reality by the human ego.
6. God's creation of the seeds for disharmony was the creation of the physical universe or the "Big Bang" as scientists call it.
7. But God, through his divine love, also created the possibility for the human spirit to regain harmony and communion with Him.
8. So this is my life's purpose. I am divine spirit having a human experience. I am God and My purpose is to know Myself fully through overcoming disharmony and gaining harmony in My human life. Being divine I have the power to redeem myself from disharmony and reunite in harmony with Myself.
9. This power of self-redemption resides in the four human endowments - self-awareness, conscience, intuition and free will. It resides in my freedom to choose my responses to life's challenges. Every difficulty is simply an opportunity to recreate myself in God's image and regain divine harmony between Being and Awareness. I think that 80%of the redeeming challenges that life provides arise in the arena of interpersonal relations. But that's for another day.
10. Meditation is helpful for reminding me of Who I really Am.
Useful Beliefs - a discussion - Sean Kilemade 15/10/01
So, You and I are divine spirit. Spirit is the essence of each person. Our humanity is secondary, yet it is essential as God's way of knowing Self fully.
Ego is the drive for individuality, survival and power. Ego is God's way of throwing Being and Awareness into disharmony. Ego's perceives the world as "not I". Ego perceives separation. But there is no separation. Reality is Being and Awareness; it is Spirit; it is God at one with Self. We have things the wrong way around. We think that we are humans, who are capable of a spiritual experience and who have become separated from God. There is no separation. There is no physical world apart from our perception. Without our perception the physical world does not exist. Our human existence is acted out in the mind of God. This is why our prayers can be answered and miracles can happen.
Ego is useful. It houses the survival instinct that keeps the human experience going. However we must use our four human endowments - self-awareness, conscience, intuition and free will, to check and transcend Ego.
Ego is acquisitive and competitive and this ultimately leads to alienation from Self. While we feel alone, we are all one. Learning to transcend Ego is the way to the higher Self. The starting point is to recognise the Self of others by showing respect, generosity and love.
Frank and Joe are minority partners in Jack's Business. Jack is a hard driving, risk taking entrepreneur. He believes that hard work and quick decisions are the recipe for success. He uses the force of his personality to persuade/browbeat others to his point of view. Frank and Joe feel dominated by Jack and have bruises to self-esteem from innumerable encounters with him. Frank hates Jack and blames him for his unhealthy levels of stress. He is a very unhappy man. Every morning he feels his gut lurch when he sees Jack's merc pull into the car park. Joe was the same until he became enlightened. He believed that Jack was just a bastard and would never, ever change.
Joe realised that for the sake of his health and his investment in the business something had to change. The change did happen and the situation improved beyond expectation. It was Joe that changed. He stopped believing that Jack was a bastard. He began to see him as spirit caught up in his own specific human experience. He saw his anguish and his struggle and began to understand his behaviour. Jack was not his behaviour. Jack was Joe playing a different game. Joe also realised that Jack was drawn into his life to give Joe an opportunity discover who He really is and how he could recreate himself in the image of God. He began to confront Jack's behaviour while respecting Jack. Joe had learned to be more assertive and honest about his feelings. Joe through his enlightenment grew to love himself better and Jack. Then a miracle began to happen. Jack and Joe began to connect for the first time and Jack's beaviour began to change for the better.
Joe is now trying to help Frank, but Frank still hates Jack. "Frank this is not about Jack" said Joe. "Jack is irrelevant. This is about you. Stop blaming Jack. Jack is entitled to be the way he is. The question is what are you going to do about it. What new part of yourself do you wish to create in the face of this difficulty. Choose your best response". This advice is difficult for Frank because he sees Jack as separate.
If I want to change my world, I must start by changing myself. The best place to start changing myself is to change my beliefs. The place to start is with those beliefs that have not served me well.
Does this make sense?
-- Anonymous, October 29, 2001
Sean is your philosophy taken from the Hindu , or should I say Tony Quinn system of beliefs? It seems to be very removed from where I,m at.Does ego cover your feelings /? If so where does love fit in?. If I,M sick is it my ego or my spiritual self that's sick? Rita.
-- Anonymous, October 29, 2001
Sean, Your story of 31/10/01 set me thinking. It's about action and reaction. It's about owning your authority to be who you are. Not allowing anyone to control your responses by their actions. "Jack was not his behaviour". With a small child one needs to distinguish between the child himself and his behaviour, or the child will think you are talking about him as a person and not his behaviour. If he is told off in this manner often enough he will come to doubt his worth or that you love him. To say "You are naughty" is not exactly what you mean. To say "It's naughty to draw on the wallpaper" is better, in so far as it separates the child from his actions. I'm not talking about schizophrenia here now.
Many adults are devastated by constructive criticism. They take all criticism too personally. To work on changing yourself and learning to be assertive, out of love and in the knowledge that Jesus is always in the midst of us, makes relating a much richer experience. It can be worked in an humanitarian or philanthropic kind of way but, as such, will be limited, although valuable never-the-less. There is a counselling trick, to repeat, mirror like, a few words or a sentence of the client. This spurs the client on to say a bit more. If used too often it sounds artificial and causes the client to become uncomfortable. I think the same can happen if you are trying to manage a difficult person with a particular technique and without the necessary spirit of love. The more we live out of God and allow God to live out of us the less affected we are by the actions and reactions of others. We stand in God.
"He began to confront Jack's behaviour while respecting Jack" This is extremely difficult to do. For the past eleven years I have had a colleague who has sharpened my skills in this area. She is one of the people I most respect in my workplace for her knowledge and dedication but she is very difficult at times. I now have a relationship with her built on trust and respect. She can and does still turn on me but I maintain an assertive stance and remind myself that the "Stuff" is hers not mine. I am always the first to approach her with a greeting after a blow out. When Martin talked about sacrificing ourselves either alone or participating in Jesus' Sacrifice, this is what it means for me. If I make my sacrifice alone it is humanitarian and if I link it with Jesus it is spiritual and very powerful.
People are entitled to be the way they are and as you say, I must choose my best response. I think the better response is out of love. Not necessarily felt love, because I might not have any to offer, but love borrowed from Jesus. Because, even though I have to connect human to human, the Holy Spirit in us is also connecting and that is where the source of love is.
One person operating like this in any workplace ,or community has a ripple effect on all the others and the results can be wonderful. Anne Marie 3/11/01
-- Anonymous, November 03, 2001