📚Reading & Pondering Today 8-18📚

“Paradox is the language through which God communicates with us. Of course, we do the same in return. We delight, for example, in imagining God in nature or seeing the divine expressed in the birth of a child. In these settings and events—cameos of the divine—the “alchemy for awe is perfect.

When we have these divine moments, we are usually feeling spiritually or physically safe. Our hearts are open and our spiritual defenses are down. We do not expect to hear the voice of God in the mouth of a newborn or flaring out from a setting sun, so we feel safe looking at the world around us and can afford to see God everywhere.

We are rarely open, however, to seeing the presence of God within ourselves and we fear intimacy with the divine unless it is on our terms. When we need help, we want that help to come exactly as we need it, exactly when we need it, causing as little discomfort as possible.

We want constant proof that God hears our prayers and monitors our physical survival, but we do not really want to make eye contact with the divine because of the consequences: After encountering God, we would have to live a relentlessly conscious, compassionate life, and we would have to overlook the behavior of people in our world who continue to live as we once did, consciously unconscious, and treat them with understanding and compassion.

Investing time and energy in learning about higher-consciousness teachings and practices, and then deciding that you would prefer not to be quite that conscious, will lead you into spiritual chaos. Your fear of God will feed itself with superstitions about a divinity who punishes, who takes away your wealth and makes you ill.

Yet, paradoxically, you have no option but to pray to that God to help you maintain your wealth and your health—and your faith. You will attempt to look for God everywhere in your life but not really want to see him anywhere; at least you will not want to see him in a way that makes the divine undeniably real.

Deep in our cell tissue, we know that a mystical experience of the divine melts away doubts. We want it, we fear it, we know that it will empower our souls to reorganize our lives and priorities. We know instinctively that the more mystically we see the world, the more we will be inspired to take action. So, to keep this mystical consciousness at bay, to keep the status quo, we deliberately nurture doubts in ourselves and in God.

In the first mansions of the Castle, you address this conflict between the pull of earthly emotions and higher laws. You aim to work on them, level by level, and to see deeper into them until you can consciously animate the power of higher truths in your system.

To animate a truth is to feel it, sense it, recognize it moving within your soul. And with this consciousness comes the responsibility to pray for the strength to think and act in accordance with it, to live it—and also to pray for the “poor in consciousness.”

When you see, experience, breathe, feel, and know in your soul that God is in all people (even though they do not see the same in you), you have to be the peacemaker, the forgiver, the nonviolent one, the caregiver, the one who does not judge because you now must see clearly. You have to act at one with your faith. As the great mythologist Edith Hamilton wrote, “Faith is not belief. Belief is passive. Faith is active.”

Excerpt From: Myss, Caroline. “Entering the Castle.”

 

 

 

 

 

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🦋Reading & Pondering Today 8-17🦋

“By welcoming seekers of all faiths, ashrams and monasteries are sharing, both symbolically and physically, the mystical space, practices, prayers, and power of the contemplative life.

They are helping to create mystics who can go out into the world. The contemporary mystic more often than not does not reside in a monastery. This new mystic’s community is that of humanity itself, not a walled city or cloister. Like the first Buddhists, Taoists, and Christians, the contemporary mystic is called to represent an invisible power in the world through a personal spiritual practice, through the power of prayer, through living consciously and practicing compassion, and through becoming a channel for grace.

Like the mystics who changed the world even though they remained behind monastic doors, a mystic without a monastery serves visibly in his or her personal life, among friends, family, co-workers, strangers, and adversaries, and invisibly, through prayer and channeling grace into the greater world.

As a contemporary mystic, you are measured by the quality of attitude you bring to all your tasks, by your capacity to be a model of generosity, and by challenging the fear that there is not enough to go around in this world —whether that is money, love, food, fame, power, attention, success, or social position.

Mystical service means modeling calm in chaos, kindness amid anger, forgiveness at all times, personal integrity—to live, in other words, mindful that every second offers a choice either to channel grace or to withhold it.

No one, by the way, is expected to master these ideals. Your goal in your practice is not perfection. Your goal is to live consciously and in accordance with the highest degree of truth that your soul can maintain. You practice living with truth so that it becomes part of your soul.

For example, consider the commandment “Thou shalt not steal”; for some people, honoring that truth unconditionally is second nature. They are well past the point where they can be tempted to steal. But another spiritual directive, “Forgive those who trespass against you,” or “Forgive your brother seven times seventy”—as often as you have to, for forgiveness is a higher path than vengeance, and a conscious soul must forgive—may not yet be one that these same impeccably honest people can honor all the time. They are not yet able to be unconditionally forgiving. But life is a journey of practicing consciousness, not perfecting it.”

Excerpt From: Myss, Caroline. “Entering the Castle.”

 

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🦋Reading & Pondering Today 8-16🦋

“Service requires that you give of yourself in a way that stretches you beyond your comfort zone and improves the lives of one or even many others. As I emphasized in the beginning of this book, mystics changed the world and many never left their monasteries, or left only for very brief intervals.

The power of their souls and their faith did most of their work in the world for them. Service at the mystical level is about devotion, dedication, and maintaining faith in the governing laws of the universe, pouring grace and praying into the world.

As the author of The Cloud of Unknowing wrote, “Your fellow men are marvelously enriched by the work of yours, even if you may not fully understand how.”
Being of service in the world is an expression of your soul’s purpose—your purpose.

Service to one is service to life. People who cannot become fully devoted to the mystic path must still put their awakened souls to work, and can choose lives of service in the world.

You have already begun an active service in your life if you are on a spiritual path. You are already attuned to the needs of people around you and to the environment. Your sensibilities have already expanded.

But your soul will never let you rest—never. It will never be content with becoming comfortable. Your soul will always lead you into situations where you would rather not be because that is the means through which your soul expands its skills in the physical world.

Your rational mind will fight those soul instructions; you probably are already fighting instructions to venture into new territory.”

Excerpt From: Myss, Caroline. “Entering the Castle.”

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✨Reading & Pondering Today 8-15✨

fear, doubt, “Being impeccable with your word is the correct use of your energy; it means to use your energy in the direction of truth and love for yourself.

If you make an agreement with yourself to be impeccable with your word, just with that intention, the truth will manifest through you and clean all the emotional poison that exists within you.

But making this agreement is difficult because we have learned to do precisely the opposite. We have learned to lie as a habit of our communication with others and more importantly with ourselves. We are not impeccable with the word.

The power of the word is completely misused in hell. We use the word to curse, to blame, to find guilt, to destroy. Of course, we also use it in the right way, but not too often. Mostly we use the word to spread our personal poison — to express anger, jealousy, envy, and hate.

The word is pure magic — the most powerful gift we have as humans — and we use it against ourselves. We plan revenge. We create chaos with the word. We use the word to create hate between different races, between different people, between families, between nations.

We misuse the word so often, and this misuse is how we create and perpetuate the dream of hell. Misuse of the word is how we pull each other down and keep each other in a state of fear and doubt. Because the word is the magic that humans possess and misuse of the word is black magic, we are using black magic all the time without knowing that our word is magic at all.

There was a woman, for example, who was intelligent and had a very good heart. She had a daughter whom she adored and loved very much. One night she came home from a very bad day at work, tired, full of emotional tension, and with a terrible headache.

She wanted peace and quiet, but her daughter was singing and jumping happily. The daughter was unaware of how her mother was feeling; she was in her own world, in her own dream. She felt so wonderful, and she was jumping and singing louder and louder, expressing her joy and her love.

She was singing so loud that it made her mother’s headache even worse, and at a certain moment, the mother lost control. Angrily she looked at her beautiful little girl and said, “Shut up! You have an ugly voice. Can you just shut up!”

The truth is that the mother’s tolerance for any noise was nonexistent; it was not that the little girl’s voice was ugly. But the daughter believed what her mother said, and in that moment she made an agreement with herself. After that she no longer sang, because she believed her voice was ugly and would bother anyone who heard it.

She became shy at school, and if she was asked to sing, she refused. Even speaking to others became difficult for her. Everything changed in the little girl because of this new agreement: She believed she must repress her emotions in order to be accepted and loved.

Whenever we hear an opinion and believe it, we make an agreement, and it becomes part of our belief system. This little girl grew up, and even though she had a beautiful voice, she never sang again. She developed a whole complex from one spell. This spell was cast upon her by the one who loved her the most: her own mother.”

Excerpt From: Don Miguel Ruiz. “The Four Agreements”

 

 

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Reading & Pondering Today 8-7

“May my mind become an open door through which miracles can enter.

No miracle is too big or too complicated for God. It isn’t limits to His power but only limits to my love that keep miracles from healing every problem in my life.

A loving thought opens a door, thus attracting a miracle. An unloving thought closes a door, thus deflecting one. May my mind be an open door through which miracles can flow freely into my life.

Life is simpler than I make it, for all things fall into only two categories: love or fear. Where I love, may I choose to love even more. Where I fear, may I choose the love and forgiveness that cast it out. I will thus experience my power to work miracles, through God’s love that is in my mind.”

Excerpt From: Williamson, Marianne. “A Year of Miracles.”

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Reading & Pondering Today 8-6

“On Where to Put Our Talents

The way to abundance is to surrender our abilities and talents, asking that they be used by God to help heal the world.

Too many people feel that they have talent but simply don’t know where to put it. We’re not raised in a society that asks, “What are your gifts, and how can they make the world a more beautiful place?”

We’re usually asked something more like this: “What will you do to make a living?” This knocks us out of our natural rhythm, because the soul simply doesn’t think that way.

There is no more natural proclivity than to serve love. Something very powerful happens when we pray, “Dear God, please use me.” Making ourselves available to the universe for its loving purposes, we are taken up on our offer immediately.”

Excerpt From: Williamson, Marianne. “A Year of Miracles.”

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Reading & Pondering Today 8-4

“Love is not my weakness, but my strength.

Sometimes I feel that if I’m loving, vulnerable, and energetically unguarded, others will take advantage of me. In fact, it’s my love and defenselessness that provide me with divine protection.

My love attracts my greater good.

Love gives me strength. It guides me to clearer thinking, more meaningful reflections, a kinder way of being, and a more attractive personality.

It opens me to a creative flow. It is the key to my success in life, and the source of my inspiration.

Love is the power of God flowing through me. It is my privilege in life to channel His power for the good of the entire world.

With every thought I think, I have the opportunity to extend the force that blesses all things. I am grateful and humbled before His power within me.”

Excerpt From: Williamson, Marianne. “A Year of Miracles.”

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✨Reading & Pondering Today 7-28✨

“It is our dark side, the repressed and disowned aspects of our personality, that cuts us off our true self.

The fact is that whatever we have hidden away in shame or denied out of fear holds the key to unlock a self that we feel proud of, a self that inspires us, a self that is propelled into action by great vision and purpose rather than one that is created out of our limitations and the unhealed wounds of our past.

This is why we must explore our shadow. This is why we must unveil and reclaim our whole self, our true nature. This is why we must look within to examine the underpinnings of our life. Hidden here is the blueprint, a template, a vision of our authentic self”

Excerpt From: Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson & Debbie Ford. “The Shadow Effect”

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