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There’s lot of talk about doing God’s Will. “You choose, I’ll follow.” There’s also quite a bit about it being about my will, what I decide it to be. Which is it? I think it means that God wants for us what we want for ourselves. God’s will is simply salvation – that we remember who we are. So the path He lays out for us can be colored by our wishes, our will.

God never forces us to do anything. He only encourages. Seeing the wider Point-Of-View, He knows all is well. No matter what our monkey minds might chatter up. God never stops, never loses patience. Why should He? He has all the time in the world.

What an amazing system He created of Cause and Effect which moves the energy in the Universe. We all have an impact on how it moves, in our own way, at our own pace, in our own time. By our impressions about life we are at cause in what’s happening to us. Our thoughts conjure the particular effect we think about. They direct our action (our cause) to the effect it produces.

Underlying the various stories we seem so magically able to create, is a brilliant, Loving Universe that wants to support us to have whatever it is we say we want. This entity wishes only that we experience all that life has to offer – the “good” and the “bad” – as it’s all God Stuff after all.

It is we carbon-based creatures who care to see this false reality of guilt and blame, up and down, love and fear. We can’t seem to get the game; that it’s all about Love. We find it so hard to see through the illusion to the Loving nature of the Universe.

We can feel it. Maybe see it in action. But it is I guess our challenge, our question to answer: Will we rest into that Loving Universe each and every day? Welcoming all that comes our way with love and understanding? Doing what makes us happy, helping and supporting others, knowing we are all in this together?

In the end, it is God’s will that we find our way there. Salvation is the goal and its end is assured. But in the meantime, it is our will that fills in the details. What we believe about ourselves, about our lives, how the universe works is how the Universe works for us.

The Positive Slant On Business Profile this week was “The Family Thread” about a marketing woman who runs her business from the strength of her family values.

The Positive Slant On Writing had “Writing Tip: Asking Questions.” In all phases of writing asking questions not only improves your piece, but it makes you a better writer, too.

Here on The Positive Slant On the Path, “The Power of Asking” discusses how simple it is to create great things simply by asking.

I posted a second time to The Positive Slant on Business with the third piece of Asking, “Asking for It,” outlining a number of ways that asking can be beneficial in business.

From the Files, Scenes and Musings brought “From the Porch.” A scene set by a lake.

7 has huge significance. Of all the numbers, this probably is the most revered. Though I couldn’t find out precisely why.

God seems to like it. Maybe that’s the reason. It is all over the Bible, especially in Revelations. 7 churches, 7 trumpets, 7 stars . . .

It comes up easily in everyday speech: 7th heaven, 7 deadly sins, 7 seas. In science, too, you will find 7 colors in the rainbow, 7 phases of the moon and 7 circles of the universe.

Of course, there’s 7 days in the week. This seems to be more a religious divination as it doesn’t come out evenly in lunar counting. There are 7 holy days in the Jewish year and the Menorah has 7 branches.

Hindus use the number frequently. Hinduism is thought to be our oldest religion. There are 7 octats in Indian music. 7 chakras or energy centers in the body.

Earlier this year, The Daily Mail in the United Kingdom did a survey of favourite numbers. Guess what won? 7.

Evidently the number 7 figures prominently in mathematics, too. And the Harry Potter fans have found the number in unlikely places. Such as Ginny Weasely being the 7th child of the 7th generation of pure bloods. There are, coincidently, 7 letters in Weasely. I wonder if JK Rowling did all this deliberately or whether it just happened (as it can in storytelling).

James Hadley, LL.D., Professor of Greek in Yale College, said this, “It is well known that men of different times and nations have associated with particular numbers the idea of a peculiar significance and value. It is also well known that, of all numbers, there is no one which has exercised in this way a wider influence, no one which has commanded in a higher degree the esteem and reverence of mankind, than the number Seven.” He had a lot to say about 7.

Some sources say the number stands for togetherness. Another says, similarly, it is about completeness, or a unit. Perhaps we can speak of it as God’s number for our oneness.

Which brings us back to the beginning and the completion of my number series.

Next week I’ll be posting three different pieces to all The Positive Slant Blogs on Asking.

I love playing with numbers. I often catch myself noticing when I spot 11:11 on my many out-of-sync digital clocks. I wrote a post about it awhile back.

5 is one of my favorite numbers and I tend to lean toward it. If I’m making a list and only have 4, I try to come up with one more. If I’m choosing, I will often pick 5.

I’ve found that 5 has lots of significance. (Though I suspect whatever number I would’ve chosen could have produced some results in my searching.) The number 5, however, figures prominently in many religions. There are 5 Pillars of Islam and Muslims pray to Allah 5 times a day. That sounds very practical to me as it would cover the day well.

Christianity, too, speaks of my number 5. It represent the Grace of God. People were transformed with Grace when God added 5 to their names. Much of the Bible is set up in 5s, including two sets for the Commandments. The Old Testament contains 5 books, Matthew had 5 books, 5 narratives, 5 discourses. Even Jesus bled from 5 places.

There are, as well, 5 Sacred Symbols in Sikh. In the East Asian religions there is much talk of the 5 Elements, Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. These elements come up in the moving arts like Tai Chi.

I believe my favoring of the number came from the Japanese. In Japan, in the Edo period, they built 5 Temples to protect their new capital city of Tokyo. (So far, it’s worked! Even from Godzilla.)

The five senses are revered in Japanese, especially in cooking. From a website called Savory Japan, the author said, “Even though many young Japanese don’t know the origins of the rules, nor can even recite them, the habit is ingrained in the culture to such an extent that it just comes naturally.” Even kids out for an evening of partying, take the number 5 into consideration.

The 5 senses (form and color, sound, smell, taste, and touch) play a huge role in Japanese cooking. The presentation is critical. The right food on the wrong plate can spoil everything. Touch is important down the feel of the utensils used. Sound comes into play for the Japanese. One thing I noticed when I traveled there was that the Japanese are serious about eating. Quiet eating means devoted eating.

From Buddhism comes 5 colors: white, black, red, yellow and green, which has been a tradition in Japan since the 6th century. There are even 5 tastes associated with Japanese cooking. Salt, sweet, sour, bitter and something very Japanese: A concept that means delicious or savory. You prepare food in 5 ways as well: Raw, simmered, fried, steamed, roasted or grilled.

My favorite part is the 5 Attitudes of which I lift directly from the website:
– I reflect on the work that brings this food before me; let me see whence this food comes.
– I reflect on my imperfections, on whether I am deserving of this offering of food.
– Let me hold my mind free from preferences and greed.
– I take this food as an effective medicine to keep my body in good health.
– I accept this food so that I will fulfill my task of enlightenment.

With all this, it’s easy to see that 5 is an auspicious concept in Japanese tradition. The number itself is seen as lucky. Perhaps that’s just a reaction to the unluckiness of 4 and 9. But the word for 5 in Japanese is Go. (I think that’s why I find it so appealing!) The 5 yen coin is considered lucky because of the way the two words sound together forming a word that means “honorably good luck.”

I wish you all go-en!

The Positive Slant On the Path4 Pillars of Balance
Time / Money / Connection / Purpose.  Next in my continuing number series is Go for 5! about the significance of the number 5.

From the Files: Scenes & Musings – 1 Mansion Drive
A story about looking at a house that opened me to the concept of impermanence.

The Positive Slant On WritingWriting Tip: Appreciate the Computer
Offering thanks to an important Writer’s Tool.

The Positive Slant On BusinessThe Blessing of Faith
A Positive Slant On Business Profile about a man and his successful small business that is blessing his community and the world with his faith-filled work.

From the Files: Rants & RavesThe In Step Brothers and Maron’s Back!
Review of 2008’s  Step Brothers with Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly
and a Rave of one of my favorite comedians – Marc Maron.  On the occasion of the second season return of his very funny show Maron on IFC.

One is an extremely large and amazing concept. It may be the most important One. One by One, One-on-One, One Way, One Day. . .

We are All One. We are all made of the same elements. We are the stars above us, we are the ground beneath us. All One. We all have the same river running through us.

I’ve often thought this is a crucial step to Enlightenment along the Path. Being able to grasp this One. It’s not easy. It holds the Immenseness of the Universe. The Limitlessness of God. It’s a Big One. We humans are so fixated on the tiny details of every day living it becomes a large stretch for us to get our minds around us all being One.

Professor Cox and other Physicists and Astronomers perhaps see on a much larger scale than most of us. He, I’m sure, can get his big brain around the vastness and the age of the Universe.

But we On the Path take it further into God territory and it can get overwhelming out there. It’s a lot to take in, this All One, all at once. But it is a central belief of those of us On the Path. To really feel that One Ness. To take it all in.

In the landmark Conversations with God series, Book III, God talks about concepts even bigger than the Universe! When I read it, it is almost painful to shift consciousness back to our usual scale. The thoughts of Oneness are So Big.

It’s quite astounding the connection between us all and what that can do. What if we could harness our One Power? What great things could we do! Figure out our energy and environmental problems pretty quickly, I’d say, if we all were working as One. Can you imagine our planet coming together as One? (There was, I believe, an Outer Limits episode about an experiment to make a man into an alien to unite the planet against one common enemy.) In truth if everyone was doing okay, we would all be stronger for it. I wonder what we could do with the economy if we had One goal of working together for everyone’s good.

What One can do!

We should all try to do at least one silly thing every day. Thanks, Scott.

Scott B. Pruden Author & Freelancer

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Spring tends to make people a little goofy, especially here in the Northeast where it seemed like we’d be buried under snow until sometime in the middle of July.

But alas, the snow is gone and we just frolicked through a full weekend of sunny, 70 degree-plus weather that seemed bring everyone out to play.

Of course, for me this has never depended on ridiculous things like the weather. Recently I spent a full 20 minutes at the dinner table making my kids collapse into fits of giggling by doing an extended riff on Johnny Depp’s Capt. Jack Sparrow – basically a drunk Keith Richards.

Like I said, for me it doesn’t take much.

So take some time today to do something that you wouldn’t normally do simply because you were worried that you might look a little silly. Here’s a recommendation.

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We come from the stars. According to Carl Sagan and Professor Brian Cox, we are made of the same stuff as stars. The identical elements that make up our world, make up the stars. It’s just a matter of differing proportions. Evidently, we were formed from a dying star.

This is exciting information. Does it mean we have the capacity to shine and reflect light? What if we were all glowing inside? Take a look at people like The Dalai Lama. Certainly he is shining. There are others, too, in your own town, who are not famous, but have a glow, nonetheless.

Perhaps this is what miracles are. Small released bits of star stuff.

Kind of makes you think twice. I am a star. We are all stars. Shining in the firmament. How cool is that.

On this path, as you relinquish your judgements and realize that things are not inherently right or wrong, it makes it harder to choose.  It appears that we, as a species, or at least a country, tend to be lazy about making choices.  We all face so many in a day!  There’s this beautiful thing about life, though: You can make a choice not to choose and life will still go on.  If you don’t make a choice, one will be made for you.

But I want to be at Cause in my life, I want to co-create and in order to do that, I have to make choices.  But, how do I know what to do?  It’s hard to know exactly what’s best for me in all situations. What is right? The answer to whether something is “right” or “wrong” lies within.  Not in what happens, but in how I feel about it.

It must come down to the fact that it doesn’t really matter what I choose.  Any choice is fine.  If it turns out not to be for my best good (and I will know that by the way I feel) I can just make another choice.

Maybe it’s just that simple.

I’ve been playing around with surrender lately.  Thought it’s particularly appropriate in my situation right now, I do believe it’s an important concept.

Surrender, as I’m talking of it, simply means to accept what you find in your life.  A wise friend pointed out that surrender without positive action attached is merely giving up. I prefer the idea of giving in.  Getting in the flow of what’s happening and letting it take you.  That doesn’t mean you can’t paddle or flap your wings, or look out for obstacles in the way.  It’s just that you stop fighting the current and allow it to work for you instead of against you.

1) Surrender to the Daily Trip Ups
The best place to practice surrendering is with the little things.  When you didn’t get the flavor you really wanted.  Or when the lid doesn’t fit, the printer isn’t behaving, the kids are bouncing off the walls. You have a choice.  You can get pissed off, rant to yourself or anyone who will listen about how that’s just another sign that life is out to get you, things never go your way, you should’ve . . .  (or whatever such babble might come up that makes you feel bad). Or you can surrender to the fact that the kids are just playing, that this is not the right lid, or the printer needs some attention. Tell yourself that it’s all for the best.  Maybe today is strawberry.  Tomorrow could be blueberry. Use the small things to practice for the bigger ones.

2) Surrender to the Moment
It’s quite easy and possible to stop and surrender to this moment. It only takes one breath. I find this extremely helpful in the holiday season.  When things get to moving too fast or too loud, if you take a breath and see what’s around you, you might find some good stuff.  Even if there’s nothing going on and it’s quiet.  Whatever is happening, surrender to it.  Just this one moment.

3) Surrender When There’s Nothing You Can Do
Keep an eye out for those things that you truly can’t do anything about.  At least not now. They’re not so hard to surrender to. Simply acknowledging that there’s nothing you can do about it can kick you into surrender gear. The rent’s due, but it’s Sunday and there’s nothing you can do about it today.  So “Don’t worry.  Be Happy.”  Just accept it.  You can take your positive action tomorrow. The Dalai Lama said, “If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.”

4) Surrender to Your Right to Shine Your Light
We all have something to shine.  It’s not really a right, I just liked the rhyme of it.  It’s more like a purpose or even an obligation. I believe that we are all put on this Earth to share our light. The light that’s inside of us.  That’s not exactly easy.  But if we practice with this thought, maybe we can learn to let it shine!

5) Surrender When You Feel Caught
If you find yourself stuck in resistance or obstinance or anger, or a meeting that won’t stop, just breathe out and realize you’re there.  Take a moment to ask yourself, “Can I accept this situation as it is?  Do I have a choice?”  This is where you are.

6) Surrender to the Joy
I happen to believe it is a Loving Universe.  If I allow myself to see all the joy around me, I’m reminded of that.  Surrender to the hot bath, the loving embrace, a good meal.  There’s so much in this world to enjoy!  It may be hard to surrender to a bleak situation, but not so hard to surrender to what’s good.  Practice where you can.

7) Surrender to God
Caroline Myss said of surrender that it’s about saying to God, “You choose, I’ll follow.” Knowing that we don’t know it all and can’t see the whole picture.  We can trust in and surrender to God.

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