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I am still rather amazed at my ability to flip a switch and be bathed in light. Light and light bulbs are truly wondrous inventions.  Power is such an important commodity in our world.

The really powerful Light, however, comes from within.  It is the Light which illuminates truth.  It is most helpful to see the stack of books on the floor so you don’t trip over them, but how much more can you gain from seeing that you’re not feeling appreciated! With that information you can be aware of the ways that you’re not appreciating yourself.  There are simple things you can do to appreciate yourself more like acknowledging yourself, or buying yourself a gift for a job well done.  And before you know it your steps are a little lighter and maybe more sure. You might just be able step over those books without flipping a switch.

The insights we receive from shining our own light inside our heads can change our lives completely.  The effects of it can be profound.  Far more than shedding light in a dark room.  In A Course in Miracles they call this Light a Miracle. Seeing what’s really going on in your head is the beginning of forgiveness.  Leading to nothing less than salvation.

Professor Cox would tell you that the Earth could not sustain life without the light of the sun. Personally, I would be deeply depressed if I lived in one of those countries where it’s dark most of the day.  We thrive on sunlight.  But we blossom by the Light of our inner knowing.

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It’s so easy to get caught up in seeing, being and doing “enough.”  Doing it Right.  But the truth is, this no such scale of how much is really, truly enough.  And the jury is still out on what exactly is the universal definition of Right.

Instead, the world operates on the very neutral law of Cause and Effect. You create a cause, you get an Effect. That’s just the way it works.  It’s merely about how energy moves and has nothing to do with good or bad, right or wrong.  It is only how we, who live in this dual world, decide to see it.

With this system of Cause and Effect, there are no “mistakes.”  Just the effect of a cause that you don’t like. The outcome, likewise, is always assured.  There is no way to fail at Cause and Effect.  All you have to do is make the cause and the effect will follow.  And you are always at Cause. If you did absolutely nothing, you would still create quite a stir!  Making a choice to not do is a cause, as well. As long as you are alive you are creating a Cause and there will be an Effect of some kind to match it.

I am doing a daily lesson of A Course in Miracles, thanks to Chris Cade.  Any seeker on the path should check out his web site.  Lesson 25’s idea is “I do not know what anything is for.”  This tells me that I can’t know what my cause will bring, what it might bump into on the way, which cage it could rattle, what window it opens . . . This no way of knowing what effect all those causes might conjure.

Doing a lot of work lately with the Loving Universe.  This Law of Cause and Effect is just another reason to believe it truly is a loving universe. I’m hoping to let go of my litany of ratings and evaluations, my clinging to outcomes and just focus on putting out a good energy Cause.

An interesting phenomena. Life truly is how each of us see it.

This is often apparent with siblings.  Ask a brother how he remembers a certain incident in the past.  Then ask the sister to describe it.  Especially if there are a number of years’ between them, you’re likely to be left with two very different stories.

It’s inevitable as we all see through our own eyes, our own filters.  Our life experiences have been so selective, so specialized that they add up to a custom world view.

This also speaks to our uniqueness.  I like to say that no one is as good at being me as I am.  You can mimic my mannerisms, you can imitate my accent, dress like I do, cut your hair the same way, but you will never do me better than me.

When I look at something it goes through a million calculations.  The mind makes connections with other things I’ve seen, how I perceived it at another time, what I think about it now.  How I automatically see it, how I’d like to see it, how I think I should see it.  This creates a very personal vision.

You say tomato, I say tomato, let’s call the whole thing off.”  Doesn’t work so well in print, but you get the idea.

I see a babbling brook whose sounds sooth and calm me.  You see a great place to drop your line and fish, making your heart beat faster.  The very same view. How many of these moments have we each had?  Reacting physically, mentally and emotionally in our own way.

You might think I blew you off.  But I didn’t do that deliberately.  That was not my thinking at all.  An emergency cropped up that I had to attend to right away.  It had nothing to do with how I feel about you.

Truth is in the eye of the beholder.  I try to remember that before I jump to any conclusions about why someone did something.

We all see things through a filter.  Even if we are willing to face life directly, we still make the choice what we are going to name what we see in front of us.  It helps to stop a moment and ask ourselves, “How am I going to relate to this situation?”

It is up to me to give this situation a name. Am I going to see it in a positive light – through the eyes of the Loving Universe?  That whatever I was hoping for just wasn’t meant to be.  I can learn something and grow from the experience.  Or am I going to see it in a negative light – as if I was being punished for something?  That I failed again and was never really good enough to get it, anyway . . .

Same situation either way.  I can still tell the truth about it and accept that it happened.  No matter how I choose to view it.

If I choose the Loving Universe theory, I melt the negativity gripping my heart, my hand, my mind, my emotions. Things loosen up, settle down. And then I can see life even more clearly, the situation can come into sharper focus.  It no longer hurts to look at it.  I can see the picture better and because I’m not so afraid, upset, angry, frustrated, insecure, unsure . . .  I can stand more confidently in who I am, in a far better, more stable position from which to take action. Whatever it might require. Rather than be standing on wobbly, over-wrought legs.

This grounded, positive stance gives me a calmer head for making choices before I act. It allows me to pause long enough to consider, rather than being run around by emotions.  My E-motions, emoting me into an action I may not have chosen. It gives me a moment to make a better choice.

In the end, any choice is really okay.  Making a choice is better than not.  Any one will move me forward.  But I have to imagine that a choice made in joy, from a more peaceful mind, is going to lead me to a more joyful place.

Remember the show, The Rockford Files?  I find so much to like about the main character, Jim Rockford.  He is real. Some might call him down to earth.  He loves to fish with his dad. The trailer he lives in by the beach is, presumably, so that he can move to where the fish are biting. Admitting he’s been wrong is not a problem for him.  After he throws a punch, he’s usually found soothing his aching fist. He does a mean handbrake turn and he keeps his gun in a cookie jar in the kitchen.

Jim Rockford is honest.  He doesn’t always tell the truth, though, as he’s been known to pose as other people.  Even keeps a little machine in his glove compartment to make up a business card as needed.  But he has a lot of integrity and will never cheat one if his Private Eye clients.

But the thing I find most interesting about him is his ability to spot the fake.  He seems to always knows when he’s being conned.  He may not know what to do about it and often gets himself into trouble anyway.  But he can tell when he’s being lied to.  This is a very good skill in his private eye work.  Knowing who (or what) to believe and acting accordingly.

It’s also a very handy trait in life.  It would help us all if we could immediately tell if it was the genuine article or not. You could have a good sense about what your next move would be.

Another one of my favorite TV characters is Lovejoy. As an antiques dealer he has been blessed with the rare status of being a “divvie.”  That means he can divine a genuine antique.  He gets all feverish, clammy and woozy when he’s in the presence of the real McCoy.

I wonder if the guiding information to be found in the present moment can make us all divvies.

Who remembers the television show, The Rockford Files?  I always liked Jim Rockford.  As a private investigator, it was a good idea for him to carry a gun.  But he kept it in the cookie jar in his trailer by the beach in Los Angeles.  He loved to fish, so he kept his trailer close to the ocean. A practical man, Jim Rockford.

One of his qualities I particularly admired, was his ability to read people.  He had an uncanny sense (thanks to the writers) to know when he was being conned.  There wasn’t always a way out of the situation from that sense, but he could tell you who was telling the truth and who wasn’t. A handy skill in his trade, no doubt.

There used to be a commercial showing a woman coming into a restaurant to meet a friend for breakfast.  Her friend was already there, enjoying a luscious plate of French Toast.  As our heroine looks hungrily at it, a dial spins in front of her, telling the calories and nutritional information.  No thanks, she says and turns to the cart of other options.  This one is less fat, but not as much nutrition.  Ah, yes, this plate has the right balance!  As they leave, both spot a handsome man.  Our heroine knows not to bother: Married, two kids.  She smiles and keeps walking.

How cool would that be?  To have an inner radar that told you what was really going on.  This would help you to make far more informed choices.

But, perhaps this dial would shut off options,  Only knowing the facts, doesn’t always tell you the whole truth.  How does she know this man is happy with his wife and two kids?  Maybe he hasn’t seen them in years.

Having the facts, plus an inner sense about people is a powerful combination.  If you take the time to get quiet and listen for guidance, I believe, you can develop that sense.  As for the calories or martial status, you might be able to look up both on your phone or computer, but it could be wiser to bank on your well-honed inner knowing in the moment.

Rockford would.  He’d spend time researching all the facts he could, but when it came down to it, when someone had a gun in his back, all he had was his gut.  And it usually came through for him.

In observing my thoughts lately, what I’ve discovered is that they are not so much negative, as they are a constant stream of commentary.  Though it may not be all negative, it is rampant with judgments.

When I’m judging, I’m not accepting.  Without acceptance, it’s harder to change.  You don’t have to judge something “wrong” in order to change it.  It works far better to tell the truth about who you choose to be in relation to this thing you would like to judge.  Telling the truth, as you see it, without the judgment, gives you a broader perspective, a wider berth from which to make any necessary changes.  Acceptance is a far more solid and powerful place.  You can make more conscious and caring choices which reflect who you really are.  Rather than stirring up someone’s ire to fight back.  This allows you to choose what you want, rather than what you do not.

I wish to forgive others their minor traffic violations, as I forgive my own.  Many of my judgments come into play on the road.  The truth is, sometimes, I’m not sure where I’m going and have to make a quick turn.  Maybe I’m tired and cannot be as conscious or polite as I’d like to be. Why can’t I offer the same leeway to others?  I know it’s okay to make mistakes, after all.  We all do it.  And through mistakes you find acceptance, adjustments, more knowledge, and clearer vision.  I do not need to judge others’ driving ability.

When I find myself judging others, it’s usually in a place where I am unfairly judging myself.  Or feel others are judging me.

Woody Allen once said something like, he heard Commentary and Dissent were merging to form “Dissentary.” When judgments are flowing, like dysentery, you need to find medicine to stop that flow.  Acceptance and forgiveness are good pills to take.  If need be, there’s always the magic potion of gratitude. It’s hard to judge when you’re feeling grateful.

What do you do when you come to a stage in your evolution when you know that nothing is inherently right or wrong?  How, then, do you choose?

As usual, it comes down to how you feel. This is the time to get quiet and look inside for the answer. The tricky piece is – extending the injustice discussion – to find a place to stand where you can love that which you do Not choose.

It is only from that place where a good choice can be activated.  It’s highly unlikely that you will change anyone’s mind or direction by arguing and stressing what you think is Right simply by choosing a different way. When you demand that your choice is the right one, it only makes the other side stand up stronger for their way.

I have found that most people believe  their choices are Right. They may have even checked their feelings and told the truth about what they see, just like I did.  There’s no guarantee that my choice is really right. The “wrong” side is just as sure and committed as I am. So, an adversarial stance is not the most effective place from which to make your choice.

The more evolved way is to make that choice from a place of love for what you don’t choose. To understand the other’s side, knowing it is not inherently wrong, it is just not what you choose in the moment. Tomorrow, you may decide to make another choice.

When you choose in this way, you can begin to meld with the choice you don’t make, and be closer to what the Buddha called, The Middle Way. With enough practice, right and wrong can begin to fade and disappear. Then, you make your choices in the moment, not having to stop to name one choice “right” and one choice “wrong.”

I  get annoyed at injustices.  When people don’t treat me or others the way I think they should, my blood starts to boil!

Well, let’s see, we’ve got expectations going on. The fact is, I am expecting people to act a certain way. It’s also a “should” staring me right in the face.

There kind of can’t be any universal justice because what’s “righteous” for me, may not be for you.  But, I guess we need to come up with some laws or agreements on what’s right and what’s wrong in our society.  If we were more evolved, though, I don’t think we would need to fuss about such things.  We’d all just treat each other equally.

So, the point is not whether or not the Justice system is valid.  Instead the issue is if I am wise to judge an act wrong, much less expect that people or situations must be a certain way.  Does it make sense for me to get upset about what I see as an injustice, if there’s nothing I can do about it?

Maybe it’s about what my part is. Perhaps I get angry, go that far, because I feel guilty that I’m not doing anything to change the situation. Who am I to judge the behavior as “wrong,” if I’m just sitting back and letting it happen?

I must be entitled to my opinion about it, though.  Don’t you think?  Aren’t I free to say this is something I find objectionable?  No, no, no.  It’s about seeing the beauty in everything, rather than judging it.  I can still tell the truth about what’s going on.  Somebody has to.  But I need not judge it before I can decide how I wish to be in relationship to it.   Just tell the truth as I see it.

So, first I need to stop judging that something is wrong.  It isn’t absolutely right or wrong, it just is. If I accept it, just as it is, I am still able to see the injustice.  I don’t have to get so angry and frustrated. The anger is only useful to get me fired up enough to do something about it.   But in that state, not carried away by my anger, I can see better ways to solve the problem.  Or, I can make a decision to let it go.

“The only thing more important than being good is being Real.” – Alan Cohen

We can all agree that being Good is important. Being good and kind to others should be the bedrock of everything we do. If we are to consider ourselves “spiritual” people. Positive and upright. That is the first rule: do no harm. Treat others well. In fact, treat others as you would have them treat you. We are all made of the same stuff, anyway. And since we are all one, we might include ourselves in that being good. I don’t know anyone who would dispute that.

But, Alan Cohen, wise man that he is, takes it a step further. That it is even more important to be Real.

Being real means we get in touch with what’s real, what’s true. Both inside and out. If we are being real, we’re sharing with others what we truly feel. So many of us don’t know even what that is. The process of knowing what we feel can begin with being real about what is going on around us. This awareness of reality gives us lots of information about who we are, where we’re at, and how we feel about it.

I believe that part and parcel of being good is seeing life in a positive light. And holding a vision of how you’d like things to be. But we must be careful that our vision doesn’t cloud what is really happening in the moment.

Presently, I am trying to negotiate with someone. It’s been difficult, I think, because she wants so to see life as she wants to see it. This keeps her from seeing (and accepting) the truth of the situation.

So often we’re not real with others (or ourselves). Opting instead for posturing, making gestures, or presenting ourselves as superior. When in reality we might be scared confused, or doubtful, but unable to say it. Rather than being in touch with that, being real about it, we cover it up. Maybe we even use being “good” as a shield for obscuring the truth of what we’re really feeling, or what is really happening.

In the end, being good will only get you so far. If it’s not backed by some acceptance and awareness of reality.  And, the willingness to express what’s real and true.

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