Posts Tagged ‘good’

The presence of Satan

July 5, 2012

[making the sign of the cross just in case Satan is for real]

I’ve always been a little confused about this God/Satan thing as two forces opposing each other in an eternal battle for our souls. It started when I was a very little person and went to Catholic catechism classes. It seems that God is perfect and created these angels . . . but God gave the angels free will and choice. Satan (aka “Lucifer”) staged a coup which failed miserably and he ended up in being banished forever to hell and [gulp] the earth. Because Lucifer was an angel, he is immortal. So, this guy’s soul or essence or being or whatever is still lurking about in plain sight.

Among believers, it is agreed that God created everything. “Everything” would have to include those things we find “good” as well as those things we define as “bad.” In fact, God admits he created evil in Isaiah 45:6-7: that they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none besides me: I am Jehovah, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil. I am Jehovah, that doeth all these things.

The Hebrew word “satan” means adversary/enemy or someone who obstructs or opposes. Because I know there is absolutely nothing outside of the eternal presence of God/Universe/Spirit/Jehovah, I prefer to deal with Satan as a metaphor rather than as an adversary to struggle against. We don’t need to go looking for evil because it resides right here right now in us. Like the angels, God gave us freedom of choice. Because we are all a part of God, we, too, have the power to create both peace and evil. Metaphorically speaking, we are both God and Satan . . . with the freedom to choose which energy we want to use. Think about that.

But that is not why I brought you here today with this rather flamboyant title. Yes, I wanted to get your attention to let you know where I have been these past few months. I’ve still been writing and blogging, but my efforts have been focused on Meaning Making, Loyola University’s student blog. You will find me in “Shamanic Revelations.” You can also find me here and here. I wrote the About section, too. I am still working on getting Loyola to offer subscriptions.
Until then, as a new posting appears in Meaning Making, I plan to make our work there part of my work here.

It is ALL good.

©2012 by Barbara L. Kass

the presence of polarities

June 6, 2010

A common theme in my life lately has been positive/negative thought and the power that our way of thinking has over us and our lives.

They are polarities: ways of thinking and feeling that oppose each other and actually repel the other. I’ve been going back and forth about this concept for the past couple of days.

As near as I can tell, one of the problems we have with this concept is what positive thinking really is and how to apply it. When we want our lives to improve in some way, positive thinking would include affirmations such as “I am healthy and whole.” However, if one’s intent is to cure a disease or physical imperfection, for example, and as time goes on and a person is not cured, the focus becomes centered on the fact that nothing has happened, the disease is still there (or gotten worse), the physical imperfection persists, and the struggle to stay “positive” begins. Connected with this process is the fear and feeling of failure.

Other schools of positive thought instruct us to “see” the outcome we desire, act and believe as if it has already happened. Some people I think misunderstand the acting part. Let’s say I wanted to be a millionaire, so I put a picture up of a million dollars or items that represent it and stare at it day after day. I believe that I have a million dollars in my bank account. I might even create a fake bank account on my computer. The acting part gets tricky. I think that a lot of people run into trouble with this one because they make the mistake of how millionaires behave. Nearly everyone who is a millionaire did it through hard work, innovation, and NOT spending their money – in other words, being frugal. I have witnessed people spending their money foolishly because they believed that is the way millionaires behave and they just “knew” that their money was on its way. Well, it wasn’t and now they are stuck with a huge amount of debt and still struggling to think positively.

As an eternal presence, I have an agenda and that agenda is to grow, become fully integrated and alive, and be who I truly am. My eternal presence does not have a particular way that I become, only that I do. All circumstances contribute to my becoming, whether I deem them “good” or “bad,” “right” or “wrong,” “positive” or “negative.”

None of this is “right” or “wrong.” I think there is great benefit to affirmations, positive thought, and proactive behavior. The integration of these methods in my life requires some attention and examination of their power and their limitations. Over the next couple of days, I am going to explore how our thinking makes us feel, how gratitude plays a part, and how the mind works with its conscious and subconscious parts.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass

The perception of presence

April 16, 2010

Don’t take anything personally.

This is the second agreement in Don Miguel Ruiz’s book, The Four Agreements.

And he doesn’t just mean anything . . . he means everything.

When a person let’s go of taking everything (or anything) personally, they essentially let go of our sometimes snarky nature of being judgmental towards ourselves and others. We are trained at a very early age to please others to get our needs met, to receive affirmation, to know that we are accepted and loved. When someone praised us, we felt good. We had done a good job. We could consider ourselves good.

But when we did something that another person considered “bad,” we would not receive praise, but rather be reprimanded, rewards would be withheld, and we felt bad. Some of us even considered ourselves as being bad.

The key, Ruiz says, is to realize that another person’s judgment of you or your actions as “good” or “bad” is all about them and their perceptions. None of it is about you. Perception is just as much a presence in you as it is in others. You and I also perceive and judge our world from our personal perspectives.

When someone does something we like and it makes us feel good, we compliment them. We would like for them to do more of those things that we approve of and make us feel good. When we do this we have just given power and control over our feelings to them. Ditto for feeling bad about what other people do and say.

Just for one day, be mindful of the presence of perception in yourself and others. Be aware of what you feel when another says or does anything. Watch that little judgmental angel rise to the occasion and begin to label another’s actions or words. Pay attention to how that judgment makes you feel. Then change your perception. Pretend you are someone else who might think what that person did or said was good. Watch your feelings change as you change your perception.

“ . . . for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” Hamlet, William Shakespeare

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass