Posts Tagged ‘belief’

the presence of beliefs

January 20, 2011

The same message has come to me three times recently: the universe is living and manifested through me. I am enamored with this quote from the January 2011 Science of Mind: “there is a wholeness, perfection, love, and beauty in the universe that is seeking permission to live through and as your life.”

My intellect wants to examine this message with detached curiosity. My mind wants to convince myself that it is true. My heart would like to feel that belief in all its intensity. My presence is silent on the subject. Perhaps, at that deeper level, I already know this to be true.

And, if I choose to believe this, then it must be true for everyone, not just for me.

In yet another round of dual unveiling of self, Ben and I recently had this exchange in the presence of challenge:

Ben wrote “I notice as I move towards the thing that really calls me I run smack dab into my beliefs, boundaries, and comfort zones. That is why I really don’t believe in beliefs and yet I see I have them — some deeply hidden away. Those beliefs are the boundary I self imposed that I am not getting beyond or is creating the suffering and discomfort. I am holding onto some idea, belief, or concept about how my life is supposed to look.”

I responded: “Beliefs ARE self-imposed boundaries and someone created them — we absorbed them from the adults in our lives when we were very young and created them from our experiences. Not believing your beliefs has two facets: the first is some people don’t believe they have beliefs (they are delusional) and the second is as you say not “believing in beliefs” because they are just those thoughts/ideas we create to make a boundary for ourselves.”

That I received these messages about the universe and beliefs simultaneously made my inquisitive little investigator perk right up. What beliefs am I holding on to that hold me back? That cause me suffering? That keep me from becoming the being I truly am? Can I let go of enough belief to make room for the idea that I can be the universe manifested in wholeness, perfection, love, and beauty? Does believing make it so? Can I disband the boundary that I and the universe are separate and apart?

Like Ben, I am following the bread crumbs that I toss myself as I seek the path that lightens my heart and quickens my breath. I am seeking the magic that will unlock the words, the feelings, the living, the thoughts, the intents, and the manifestations of the universe incarnate. I find some paths are blocked with gates and locked with heavy steel barricades.

But I think the universe just handed me a key.

©2011 by Barbara L. Kass

the presence of spiritual atheists

August 18, 2010

My cloistered Roman Catholic childhood still blisters my world awareness and often makes me blind to all that exists. While I can often see the wide panorama that is our universe, I sometimes miss the details that paint that picture.

I’ve been reading the book How God Changes Your Brain. The researchers who wrote the book surveyed atheists and found a number of them to be highly spiritual. While it sounds like a spiritual atheist would be a living oxymoron, a clear view of their beliefs makes me realize I am not so far removed from them.

An atheist is a person who does not believe that God (or any deity) exists. This is not to say that an atheist does not believe in a higher or greater power in the universe; they just do not believe in beings external to the universe who created and control everything. Because they do not believe in worshiping a being outside of ourselves, religious worship has no value for them. It is not that they don’t believe in religion. Religions exist. A spiritual atheist simply has no need of a traditional religion. However, a spiritual atheist is very open to transcendent experiences.

I ventured on to the Web site for the Center for Spiritual Atheism. And there they are advertising the slogan “We are all ONE” and connecting with other spiritual atheists on a Ning network. I wandered around and found phrases like “thoughts, words, and actions that are in harmony with the idea that the entire universe is, in some way, connected” and “that as they [spiritual atheists] go about their lives striving to be personally healthy and happy, they should also be striving to help the world around them be healthy and happy.”

Interestingly, an atheist is defined by another person’s definition of God. One spiritual atheist was quoted as saying “If ‘others’ accidentally mistake ‘God’, the mythical representation of the universe itself, for something that exists outside of the universe (the external creator and ruler of the universe), I have no ethical choice but to declare myself to be an ‘atheist’.”

I consider myself to be in a process of self-definition. I go about the world identifying with some labeled groups, yet not belonging to any single one of them. I do not want to be labeled. My beliefs are very similar to those of spiritual atheists, but I don’t know that I would use the term to label and define myself. I definitely want to transcend any categorization that is defined and determined by other people’s beliefs.

If we are all ONE, then we are all some of everything. And that can never be labeled.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass

Spiritual Warrior

July 31, 2010

My friend, Jeff (the reluctant bloger), responded to one of my blogs using the term “spiritual warrior.” In my quests to discover the divine truth of me and my life, I often feel that I am battling to discover, uncover, and recover.

Jeff said “it takes powerful courage to walk the way of the spiritual warrior.” My courage comes from my innate gravitation towards happiness. I want to be happy. I want to feel love. I remember those gravitational moments in my early years when I sought to be happy and some misunderstanding soul slapped me down. And because I was small and dependent upon them, I stayed down. I think it does take courage to get up and be willing to tackle the monsters again.

To read more about my monsters, go to “real monsters don’t wear costumes” under my About section.

I am fighting my programming, my natural instinct to survive, my need to belong and fit in with others. My warrior fights for my need to evolve and become while my survivor says “yes, but let’s fit in with the rest of the world at some level. We need them.”

I let my outside circumstances and other people determine who I became and I was a very unhappy soul. No matter what mental or emotional acrobatics I performed, the world was still not satisfied and continued its dysfunction. I could not become any more dysfunctional to accommodate it. To do so would have meant a total mental and emotional breakdown. I would have ceased to exist.

If I wanted to survive, my only option was to begin this journey. I began to slay the demons I had created for myself and who I had come to depend upon for survival. They worked in my childhood, kept the insanity of living in check, so letting go of them was often painful and distressing. After all, how would I survive without them? Can I find my spiritual enlightenment and awakening in this world? Must I slay foes with my spiritual sword or am I to use it to carve my path through thickets of lies to reveal my truth?

Illusions that once secured my sanity continue to be in my way. Beliefs that I once depended upon to make decisions sway like boulders on the precipice of avalanche. How can I create the security I need to challenge these systems? Do I need a specific set of circumstances to evolve? Do I have to create the ideal set of circumstances to become enlightened? Can I use any moment to become?

It helps to have a plan – a new set of ideas, beliefs, and ways of being that I desire. I can even try them on for size and practice before I let go of the old beliefs and ways of being. I can look for ways of being outside of me that resonate with my true presence and find that talent already hidden within myself. I just have not brought that monster out to play.

I know a few people who are genuinely, innately nice. They are kind and generous with their way of being in the world. They seem broadly happy and satisfied, even when they are overcoming obstacles on their way to becoming happier. They have an attitude that I can only describe as “inquiring” when someone is angry, rude, or hostile. I have felt this way of being calling me for a long time now.

All people who come on my path are my teachers – the “good” ones along with the “bad” ones. If I recognize them and label them, then I know I am them, too. A good warrior also knows when to lay down the sword.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass

remembering presence

July 6, 2010

Memory is a particularly peculiar human trait. While we are all born with an instinctive memory that prompts us to let others know when we are hungry or cold (or even just lonely), we have to learn everything else – even how to be human. Learning to be human is a lifelong process, not one that ends at whatever arbitrary age of emancipation our laws might choose.

What we remember and what we forget also shapes our humanness. We have our short-term memories and our long-term memories. A lot of what we choose to remember depends upon how much and how often we are going to need that knowledge. We also choose to remember significant events in our lives . . . significant being self-defined not event-defined. Some of the events I remember from my childhood “didn’t happen that way” according to my parents and siblings. Well, they didn’t happen to them that way, but they happened to me that way. If I want to change how I remember a particular event, only now as an adult am I able to look back and take a different perspective.

I have also forgotten many, many events from my childhood and adolescence largely because I choose not to focus on them. What is the most difficult for me to forget is my way of being in the world. I learned to be human in a dysfunctional family that was only a microcosm example of the larger dysfunctional world. It is how I learned to survive and giving up any survival mechanism threatens my safety at a primordial level. Yes, I believe at some deeper level of my being that if I change, I will die.

I think a lot of people have this belief and are just unaware of it, but I cannot speak for them. I can only speak to how I work to change this belief each time it surfaces in my life. As any forgotten memory that has been living in my subconscious rises to the surface level of consciousness and becomes remembered, I have to note if that memory is associated with my current way of being in the world. That I have released the memory from my place of forgotten events means my higher presence, my eternal presence, knows that I am ready to deal with that way of being in the world. The memory serves as a sentinel pointing to a seminal event that could be inclusive of every other event where I made a decision of that particular way of being in the world.

At that point, I can take the event outside of me, place it on the movie screen, and get a little distance. I can watch me as a child go through the event and my decision-making process. I can ask me what I needed then and, as an adult, I can give my inner child now what she could not get then. I respect her so much for the decisions she made to keep us alive and secure until we reached adulthood and could take care of ourselves.

Then I invite her to come join and be with all that I am and let me the adult take care of us. The child who I was then integrates with the whole of me and suddenly there is a space for a new way of being in the world. How I am going to be in that new space comes from a greater whole me.

I do not forget the event but now it no longer has as much power over my way of being in the world. Forgetting has served its purpose and now I can safely remember and acknowledge events without reliving my life, without feeling now what I felt then.

As I move into my new way of being in the world, I still bring with me that wealth of experience, and experience is not something we forget.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass