Why, Robin? Why?

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“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.”   Robin Williams

Robin Williams. Abraham Lincoln. Judy Garland. Demi Lovato. Rosie O’Donnell. Sir Winston Churchill. J.K. Rowling. Billy Joel. Princess Diana. Ah, the rich, the famous….and the depressed.

As news spread about Williams’ suicide on Monday, countless fans around the world couldn’t help but wonder why? Why would a comedic genius, who seemingly has it all, commit suicide? Depression does not discriminate. It affects people from all walks of life, ethnicities and party lines.

More than 350 million people suffer from depression globally and one in 10 Americans deal with the disease. So if you are surprised by that list of names above, don’t be. That list above could have actually been much, much longer. The fact is depression has nothing to do with what’s going on outside (fame, fortune, etc.) and everything to do with what is going on inside.

It is commonly said that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. There are thousands of neurotransmitters in the brain that transmit signals from one neuron to another. It is said that too much or too little of these endogenous chemicals can lead to depression. While this is true, let’s be honest. It is much deeper than that. Many other scenarios can trigger mood swings including loss of a loved one, stress, loneliness and certain medications.

Although more research has been done than ever before, there is still a lingering stigma associated with depression. Many are embarrassed to admit they suffer from the disease and it continues to be significantly misdiagnosed and untreated.

Why are people afraid to talk about it? My husband and I had a hard time conceiving. After several doctor visits and the use of fertility drugs, I finally gave birth to a beautiful baby girl in February 2000. Only, I wasn’t happy and suffered from post-partum depression.

Finally, I was holding the baby that I begged God for and I was depressed? How dare I feel this way? Why? It took me a long time to admit that I had a problem and thankfully it went away after a few months with the help of family and friends.

I can only imagine what was going through Robin Williams’ mind. It’s certainly not easy being in the public eye. The public has certain expectations and you feel an obligation to uphold that image, even if it’s not the real one. Take Williams, for example, here he is one of the most beloved comedians of all time. He made a living making people laugh. Can you imagine how hard it was for him to admit that he was suffering from severe depression? Perhaps, he felt it would hurt his career and his public image. Perhaps, he felt ashamed.

In a 1995 interview with the BBC, Princess Diana spoke openly about her bouts with depression. “When no one listens to you, or you feel no one’s listening to you, all sorts of things start to happen,” she said. “You have so much pain inside yourself that you try and hurt yourself on the outside because you want help, but it’s the wrong help you’re asking for … I didn’t like myself; I was ashamed because I couldn’t cope with the pressures.”

According to WHO (World Health Organization), depression is the leading cause of disability globally.  It is also a major killer, through suicide.  The question then becomes not why someone as famous as Robin Williams would commit suicide but rather how we can learn from his death and what we can do about it.   True, in life Williams made America laugh.  But, in death, hopefully he will make us better understand the disease and know that it is not something to be ashamed of or feared.  Hopefully, more and more people will know that they are not alone.  Hopefully, more and more will seek help.

Williams sat down for an interview with James Lipton for an episode of “Inside the Actor’s Studio” in 2001.  Lipton asked, “If heaven exists, what would you like God to say when you arrive at the pearly gates?”

To this, Williams responded, “There’s seating near the front. The concert begins at 5.  It’ll be Mozart, Elvis, and one of your choosing.  Or if heaven exists to know that there is laughter.  Just to hear God go ‘two Jews walk into a bar.’”

His wife, Susan Schneider, had one request as she sked for privacy in dealing with her grief, “As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin’s death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions.”

My heart goes out to his family and friends.  Thank you for the laughs, Robin.  You will long be remembered.  And by the way, heaven does exist.  Only now, there is much more laughter.

Toss the Advil; Drink More Water

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“You’re not sick; you’re thirsty.  Don’t treat thirst with medication.”

–Dr. F. Batmanghelidj

I had a very strange dream last night. I was someplace, but I have no idea where. I was holding this cup in my hand and this woman approached me. I don’t know who she was. She told me to go all the way down to the room at the end and make a left. Here I would be able to fill my cup with water. I did as I was told and reached the room which, to me, looked like a bathroom. I don’t remember if I actually filled my cup with water but when I looked up I saw my Godmother Lucy who passed. She was talking to a man. I was so shocked when I saw her and yelled, “Lucy!” She then turned to look at me. I then asked, “How are you?” To this, she replied, “I am OK.”

Then I remember that I wanted to hug her so I told her to come closer. She looked at me and said, “I can’t.” At that moment, my alarm clock went off and I woke up.

I posted the above dream on my Visits from Heaven Facebook Page on September 23, 2011 and received several responses.  But one comment from Freddie Rivera, a psychic medium and a group member, really caught my attention.  Here is what he wrote:

“To me things are very simple; the woman was a spirit guide telling you that you need to drink more water, your system needs it. Josie you can be so easily distracted, when you were getting the water, you saw Lucy, and forgot about the water you so need. You are being told to set your goals and stop jumping from one thing to another, you so want to do everything very fast and so right that it makes you feel like you haven’t done anything at all, when in actuality you have. Lucy was telling you, don’t worry, do what you have to do, I am always here.”

Freddie was absolutely correct.  I never drink enough water.  For some reason, I find drinking water boring.  Coffee is usually the closest I come to water.  Secondly, I do have a tendency to juggle too many things at the same time.  And always get the feeling that I’m just not getting enough done. And third, it doesn’t surprise me at all that my Godmother Lucy would come to me in a dream and warn me as she did.  She was always looking out for me when she was on this Earth and continues to do so from the Other Side.

Recently, I was speaking with a friend of mine, Mary Ellen, who told me about a doctor named Fereydoon Batmanghelidj, M.D. and how he discovered that water is actually a pain reliever and can cure the body of various diseases and ailments.  As we chatted, I couldn’t help but remember my dream and thought perhaps this time I should pay attention so I began to research the benefits of water.  Honestly, I don’t think I will ever look at water the same way again.

Dr. Batmanghelidj was a practicing physician in Iran before the Iranian Revolution broke out in 1979 and was taken as a political prisoner to the infamous Evin Prison for over two years.  While confined, he discovered the many healing powers of water.

In an Editorial found on his website (J Clin Gastroenteral5:203-205, 1983/A New and Natural Method of Treatment of Peptic Ulcer Disease), Dr. Batmanghelidj writes of one of many healings:

“In January 1980, a chance incident forced me to treat one of the inmates, who late one night sought relief for unbearable pain, with 500 cc (two glasses) of water.  His pain became less severe and then disappeared completely after 8 minutes.  He was an experienced “sufferer” with a long history of repeated treatment, and found relief of pain with water a surprising but welcome experience, particularly as it permitted him to avoid any contact with the guards.”

After his release from prison in 1982, Dr. Batmanghelidj came to America and began to research the effects of dehydration on the human body.  His findings are astounding as he found a shortage of water in the body not only produces pain but many degenerative diseases.  These include arthritis, lupus, and multiple sclerosis. So drinking enough water can help prevent these and many other conditions including asthma, colitis, migraines, high-blood pressure and early-adult onset diabetes.

The human body contains an average of 60 percent water.  Infants have a much higher percentage of water but this drops as they get older.  Here is a little breakdown of where the water is in our body:

Brain and Heart: 73 percent water

Lungs: 83 percent water

Skin: 64 percent water

Muscles and Kidneys: 79 percent and

Bones: 31 percent

When you consider the percentages, it’s no wonder why our body needs water to function properly and survive.  Typically, an adult male needs 3 liters per day while a female is said to need 2.2 liters. Getting enough water flushes out the toxins in the body and is said to increase energy, boost our immune system, and even promote weight loss.   (http://water.usgs.gov/edu/propertyyou.html)

After what I’ve read and discovered, it’s clearly a no brainer.  It’s about time I give drinking more water a try.  How about you?  Water anyone?

Note:  Additional information about Dr. Fereydoon Batmanghelidj can be found on his website:  www.watercure.com.

A Lesson in Positive Thinking

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“You are not a helpless victim of your own thoughts, but rather a master of your own mind.” – Louise Hay

Recently I attended a bridal shower. Someone had spilled something on the floor and the wait staff were busy drying it up. Well, apparently they missed a spot because I ended up slipping and falling hard on the floor. It hurt but feeling embarrassed and not wanting to draw any more attention I quickly got up and brushed it off.

A young waiter came rushing over to me, “Are you OK? Can I get you some ice?” I responded that I was OK and made my way over to the buffet line.

As I got my food, the same waiter was there serving me. “Are you sure you’re OK? You fell hard.”

I appreciated his concern and again told him that I was OK, despite my painful and throbbing right knee.

A short time later I went down to the bar with my sister to get a glass of wine for my aunt and again ran into this waiter. “You say that you are OK. Are you sure?” he asked yet again. “You are limping like crazy.”

I looked over at him appreciatively and responded, “I have C.P.” He looked at me both puzzled and confused. “I have cerebral palsy. That’s why I limp.”

He didn’t know quite what to say at this point and only said, “Oh.” After we walked away I asked my sister, “What does he mean ‘limping like crazy?’” My sister didn’t answer. Truthfully, though, she didn’t need to.

Fast forward one week. My sister and I then attended a wake for a family friend. The deceased and her family lived upstairs from us for many years and we became close. I went up to the receiving line to pay my respects to her husband when her daughter introduced me saying, “Dad, this is Josephine. You remember Josephine?”

I can’t say I was prepared for his response, “No, that can’t be Josephine. Josephine could not sit up straight or even walk.” I stood there stunned at first not quite knowing what to say but soon responded, “Well, I guess it’s a good thing that you don’t recognize me.”

Now, what’s my point in telling you all this? Growing up I never thought of myself as disabled. Sure, there were of course times when the thought would creep in like when kids made fun of me or when I fell down. But I never dwelled on my disability. I never thought of myself as limping. In my mind, I walked just like everyone else. In my mind, I sat up perfectly fine.

As I’ve said countless times, you get what you focus on in life. Our thoughts create our reality. Our thoughts create our actions and our actions then create the end results. Had I thought of my disability and all the things I could not do, I have no doubt that I would not be where I am today. I can honestly say that I wouldn’t have went to college for journalism had I thought of myself as disabled.

The day after the wake I was really upset. I kept replaying those words over and over again in my mind, “Josephine could not sit up straight or even walk.” What did he mean I couldn’t sit up straight? That was certainly news to me.

Later that evening I called my mother and told her what happened. “Is it true, Mom?” I asked. “Was I not able to sit up straight?” My mother, who has always been brutally honest with me, replied, “Well, he remembers you when you were little. I used to hate seeing you like that but I never let it show. I used to go to sleep at night and cry.”

Now, I really felt bad. First I didn’t even sit up straight and now my mother cried into her pillow at night. For the next week or so, I wallowed in self-pity. Why? Because unconsciously I started to think of myself as disabled. I started to worry about what others think of me. I started to wonder if everyone could notice my limp. I became so self-conscious and insecure that it drove me crazy.

But I soon realized, however, that my experiences were a powerful lesson in positive thinking. My experiences were a beautiful reminder of the importance of a positive mindset. My reaction to both the waiter at the bridal shower and the family friend at the wake was yet another example of something that I have been practicing since I was just a little girl walking with leg braces. That if you concentrate on what you can do, and not what others say you can’t, then what they say about you not only doesn’t matter, but can actually serve as motivation to prove yourself right and them wrong.

It has been scientifically proven that thinking positive thoughts actually creates new neural pathways in the brain. Hence, you can actually change the makeup of your brain simply by changing the way you think. Changing your thoughts really does change your life.

As I write in my book, Make Up Your Mind to be Happy/page xv, “So, then can we change our reality? Absolutely, we can by simply changing the way we think and what we choose to focus on. These choices then precede action and reaction. For example, say I choose to focus on the fact that one of my friends lied to me in the past. I may then become upset and opt not to speak to this person again. Let’s try this from another angle.

Now, say this same friend lied to me, but I choose to instead focus on his good traits. I may then laugh his action off and continue on with the friendship for many years to come. How we respond to the past will continue to control what happens in the future unless we learn to take control of the present by changing the way we think.”

We all have setbacks in life. Perhaps the end of a long-term relationship has you feeling lonely or maybe the loss of a job has you feeling insecure. Sometimes we can’t control what happens to us in life but our response is always within our control. Our reaction is always our choice.

One of my favorite quotes by Abraham Lincoln is, “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” When I was little, we had a beautiful rose bush in our backyard that would bloom big pink roses every year. I remember one time trying to break off one of the roses and getting pricked by the thorns.

Later instead of trying to break off the roses, I would simply smell them and admire their beauty. Sure everything in life is not beautiful but there is something beautiful about every day. You need only look. When you do, you’ll cherish the roses and not waste time fretting the thorns.

Is God Responsible for Our Misfortunes?

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Suffering is but another name for the teaching of experience, which is the parent of instruction and the schoolmaster of life  –Horace, Ancient Roman Poet

Yesterday, while taking my dog Jake for a walk, I ran into a neighbor of mine (we’ll call her Jane).  She is in her early 90’s and is such a beautiful, kind soul.  She always greets me with a smile and never has a bad thing to say about anyone.

I hadn’t seen Jane in quite a while and greeted her with a hug.  We stood on the sidewalk catching up and the conversation eventually turned to my book writing.  Jane wanted to know if I had written anymore books and I told her about Divine Visits, my recently released book about angelic and divine interventions. As we talked about the book, she asked why I wrote it.

“Because miracles do happen, Jane,” I told her.  I went on to tell her about my own breast cancer scare and the divine intervention I had experienced in the midst of completing the book.  Suddenly, her eyes saddened and I could sense the weight of her heavy heart. “I’ve lost faith in God,” she told me sadly.  She went on to tell me about how her niece tragically saw her daughter die after being hit by a car.  Her niece, she said, was picking her daughter up from school.

Jane went on to explain how her niece, consumed with grief, later committed suicide.  And as if that weren’t enough, she then continued telling me how some time later she had made plans with one of her best friends to bake one day.  Arriving with another friend, they found the door locked.  When their friend didn’t answer, they eventually went home.

Later she received a phone call from her friend’s daughter.  Sadly, her friend, too, committed suicide.  Jane was clearly heartbroken and upset.  I put my arms around her to comfort her as she continued. “Her daughter actually yelled at me that day because she said we should have opened the garage door.  Maybe we would have found her in time.

“So I’ve lost faith in God,” she told me.  “Why do these things happen?”

Feeling the pain in her voice, I asked her if she felt that God was responsible for all the bad things that happen in life.  Jane didn’t answer me but only waited for me to continue.

Let me pause here to say evil and all the misfortunes we see in this world are not part of God’s plan.  God does not cause all these bad things to happen to us.  Why would an all loving God cause evil or pain in this world?

Personally, I think most of us know God doesn’t cause our misfortunes. It is only natural that we get angry when bad things happen and who better to blame then God, right?  Two weeks ago, I had to have surgery to remove a cancerous mole.  Since first being diagnosed with melanoma in 2000, I have had many surgeries and often say that I feel like a piece of Swiss cheese because of all the scars on my body.

As I once again waited impatiently for the biopsy results, I went through a whirlwind of emotions:  hurt, sadness, fear, anger, etc.  Was I mad at God?  No.  But I was feeling sorry for myself.  I was angry because I had to go through this ordeal yet again.  Yesterday, I was back in the doctor’s office.  I developed some sort of a reaction and my incision is now all puffy and red.

Is it uncomfortable?  Yes, it is.  Am I irritated?  Yes, I am.  Did God cause this?  No, He did not.  When I was young, I was a little sun Goddess.  I loved to bath in the sun with my mother.  I have light, sensitive skin and would often burn.  But this didn’t stop me from continuing to lay in the sun.  I am going through this because of choices I made in the past.

And what happens in the future will depend on the choices that I make today.  Think of it this way.  We live in a world of both good and bad.  It’s part of the natural laws of the universe.  But if you take a good look at your life, you will likely see that more good has happened than bad.

These bad things don’t make us lose our faith, we choose to.  And we chose to because of all the hurt and the anger.  A few years ago, I was going through a very tough time.  I was angry about a lot of things going on in my life.  I didn’t agree with some of the practices at my church.  So what did I do?  I stopped going to church.

Then during lent that year, my friend Christina told me that she wanted me to go to church every day during lent.  Did I listen?  Yes, and I’m so glad I did.  Going back to church helped me to face the anger that I was feeling and also helped me to realize that I was taking it out on the wrong person, God!

In life, we experience highs and lows.  Suffering and love. We can’t experience love without suffering and we can’t experience suffering without love.  Good and bad.  Yin and Yang.  It’s part of the human experience.  How we react to what happens to us will determine what we get out of our lifetime and the lessons learned.  So I ask again, does God cause our misfortunes?  No, He doesn’t.

Yesterday, as I stood there talking to my neighbor, I did my best to explain why she shouldn’t blame God for all the bad in this world.  Jane looked at me and said, “You know I have to read your book.”  I smiled back, “I’ll tell you what.  If you promise me that you’ll read the book, I will give you a copy.  OK?”

She came forward to give me a hug.  “OK.  I will,” she promised.

As I walked away feeling love in my heart and much lighter than I did before our encounter, I turned back to her and said, “Don’t lose faith, Jane.” To this she gave me an adorable smile and wink of her eyes, “I won’t, Josie.  I won’t.”

Are You Missing the Bigger Picture?

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I work really hard at trying to see the big picture and not getting stuck in ego. I believe we’re all put on this planet for a purpose, and we all have a different purpose. When you connect with that love and that compassion, that’s when everything unfolds.
–Ellen DeGeneres

Those of you who have been following my blogs know that I often mention Fr. Frank. He is one of the priests at my local parish. Very often Fr. Frank’s sermons seem to speak directly to my soul and this Sunday was no exception.

Fr. Frank told the story of a young boy who was a huge Brooklyn Dodgers fan. One day his father surprised him with tickets to the World Series. The game was between the New York Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers. The boy was thrilled and couldn’t wait until the big day.

When the day finally arrived, he was extremely excited. However, that excitement soon faded. Inning and after inning, three Dodgers would come to bat, and all three would make an out. He waited and waited to at least see somebody make it to first base. He thought once that first hit would come, more would follow and the Dodgers would finally score some runs. But unfortunately for him, those runs never came. In fact, not even a single hit or even walk ever came.

That was October 8, 1956. Don Larsen of the New York Yankees had just pitched the sixth perfect game in major league baseball history and the only one of the post season. It was game 5 of the World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers and ended in a score of 2-0.

Afterwards and years later when people heard that he was present at this historic game, they would say things like, “OH WOW, you were at that game?!” Fr. Frank’s point was that this boy was so focused on the negative (the fact that his favorite team did not score) that he couldn’t see the bigger picture (the fact that he witnessed one of the most monumental moments in baseball history).

As I sat there in the pew, I couldn’t help but nod my head in agreement. Fr. Frank went on to talk about how sometimes we are so focused on the negatives that we don’t realize the good or the purpose behind something. He spoke of how we sometimes get so upset when friends don’t react the way that we expect them to or when things just don’t turn out the way that we expect without ever considering that there may be a reason. He spoke of Jesus’ Apostles and how they were, of course, upset about His crucifixion but didn’t realize that they were part of something so much bigger. Three days later, they witnessed His resurrection.

The Apostles spent a lot of time with Jesus; they left their jobs and families to travel with Him. They did not expect that things would end the way that they did. They did not expect Jesus to die and leave them. But the resurrection of Christ changed all that. They realized that it was not over. Jesus was still there for them. They were not abandoned.

Very often we are so focused on the pain or what we perceive as a misfortune in our lives that we fail to see the bigger picture. We fail to understand that we may actually be a witness to something far greater in our lives.

When I was a little girl, I also failed to see the bigger picture. True, I was extremely fortunate to have only a mild case of Cerebral Palsy. True, I spent time in a wheelchair and learned how to walk with leg braces. True, I didn’t always want to be that little girl looking back at me in the mirror. But at the time, I was missing the bigger picture.

I’ve come to realize that my life turned out exactly as it was supposed to. Had I not had all of my experiences (both negative and positive), I would not be the person that I am today. Had I not had my experiences, I would not have written my books. I would not have been able to help others as much as I have.

Now, looking back and realizing the bigger picture, I would not change a thing.

Think about the more trying times in your life. Maybe you lost a job, or a relationship ended. Maybe you have struggled with addiction or abuse. Perhaps you are still trying to come to grips with these or any number of other things that life has hurled at you.

Did you end up getting a better job? Or were you just happier without it? Did you end up in a new, more fulfilling relationship? Did you end up breaking free of your addiction or abusive situation? Sometimes it takes a while to finally see the bigger picture. Sometimes it takes reaching an extreme low to make you realize your strengths and build yourself back up to greater and better things.

As you look back at your life, you will see that some failures were opportunities in disguise. You will see that some disappointments were actually blessings. You will also see the bigger picture that got you exactly where you are today.

 

Spiritual Pangaea

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The Law of Oneness, also considered the first universal law, basically states that everything that we see around us comes from the same Source. Some refer to this Oneness as God, Love, Energy, Light, One Mind, or Universal Consciousness.  Whatever we choose to call it doesn’t matter.  The point is that the world as we know it does not consist of separate things and we are not really separate from one another. We only seem to be.

Universal Laws are the principles which govern the underlying harmony of the universe.  Sadly, most people never take the time to develop an understanding of these Universal Laws.  They go through life relying on what they can see and touch on the outside to determine their perception of reality without ever realizing that things are interconnected and made “real” because of what’s going on the inside (One Mind).

There is proof of this Oneness everywhere.  For example, Pangaea is the theory that the earth was once one super continent.  Just look at a map.  It’s easy to see that the continents look like they fit together like a jigsaw puzzle.  Many rock formations end on the coast of one continent and coincidentally begin on the coast of another.  Also similar fossils have been found on two separate continents thousands of miles apart.

Hence, what is known today as the Spirit of Pangaea is a cue to all of us that we come from one Source.  It is a reminder that we are all interconnected.

Trees are another example.  When you think of the trees in your backyard, you most likely just think of the trunk and the roots that are above the ground.  However, scientists are realizing that there is so much more going on beneath the soil.  In this You Tube video, Professor Suzanne Simard demonstrates how trees in a forest ecosystem, though seemingly separate, are actually interconnected with the oldest ones serving as hubs.

Yet another case in point is dark matter and energy in the universe.  Scientists know the universe should be contracting by now, as the initial “blast” from the big bang would eventually be overtaken by the universe’s collective gravity. However it continues to expand, but not too fast.  Some “dark energy” as it is called is keeping everything nicely together. Scientists and astronomers alike are baffled by this energy.  We know it’s there but we have absolutely no clue what it is.  Scientists also can calculate the expected mass of the universe, based on its estimated size.  However when they “add up” the mass of all the known objects in the universe, it only accounts for a small fraction of this expected total mass.  Something called “dark matter” is thus assumed to make up most of the universe (roughly 70 percent).  Where is it? Again we have no idea.  But we can hypothecate that, whatever this dark matter and energy are, it is everywhere and likely involved in “connecting” everything, seen and unseen, across all time.

Although everything looks separate, there is actually something strong but unknown “binding” every single thing together (and that includes people).

In the early part of the 20th Century, Albert Einstein proposed that if quantum theory were correct, a change in one particle in a two-part system would instantaneously affect the other particle even if they were separated.  In 1964 another physicist named John Bell came forward with Bell’s Theorem to prove that Einstein’s predictions were, in fact, correct.  Bell was able to show that two particles, once entangled together (around the same nucleus) and later separated (even at two ends of the universe) will change instantaneously when a change to either one occurs.

The implications of this are astounding because it shows the inter-connectivity of the universe. It forces us to reconsider the idea of a purely objective world and consider that both the physical and mental world is constantly interacting.

Science has long known the inter-connectivity of all things.  American-born British quantum physicist David Bohm is well-known for his theory of holomovement.  As stated on Wikipedia, his theory is based on “the idea that everything is in a state of process or becoming (what he calls the ‘universal flux’). For Bohm, wholeness is not a static oneness, but a dynamic wholeness-in-motion in which everything moves together in an interconnected process.”

Mind and matter, he believed, are all abstractions from this universal flux.  In other words, we and everything else in the universe are all part of this holomovement (Oneness) and are constantly changing and moving.  Bohm believed that the universe is in a way a holographic structure and this holomovement could neither be measured nor defined.

In the metaphysical world, Edgar Cayce, recognized as one of America’s greatest psychics, performed thousands of readings during his lifetime.  Interestingly, many of these readings state that part of the problem (our unawareness) is due to our ignorance of our Oneness with one another.

In most cases, Cayce was not with his subjects at the time that the readings occurred. He remained in his trance state while lying on his couch and needed only to know the subject’s name, address, and where the person was at the time of the reading. This led some to refer to him as “The Sleeping Prophet.”

The unconscious mind, he noted, has access to a wealth of information not available to the conscious mind. Cayce’s readings present an optimistic approach to spirituality and religion that intricately ties all of humanity together in a perfect knot. Each reading focuses on the importance of Oneness and the fact that each soul manifests an awareness of this connectedness while living on this earth.  In order to reawaken this awareness, we first need to understand that God is One and we are One with God.

Time and time again, Cayce mentions the problems that our ignorance of this Oneness creates.  Ironically, our ignorance of this Oneness causes us to separate from our true reality or Spirit.

Perhaps no one mentioned the connection between mind, body and spirit more than Cayce when he stated, “Spirit is Life. Mind is the builder, and the physical is the result.” This concept of Oneness is truthfully the underlying philosophy of his readings.

Much of his material has been verified by doctors, psychologists and scientists alike. Cayce was able to provide information on the afterlife, religion, consciousness and more that was previously unknown.  All thoughts, he stated, are things.  In fact, everything that we see is an expression of God’s thought.  Everything that we see came into being because of this One Universal Mind or Spirit.

 “Each soul in entering the material experience does so for those purposes of advancement towards that awareness of being fully conscious of the oneness with the Creative Forces.” (2632-1)

He was considered by many as a modern day prophet who understood the importance of coordinating mind, body and spirit.  According to his predictions, we are all living in a time during which many will become aware of their true nature and this false separateness and ignorance will be chipped away.   For the reason we come to have an earthly experience, Cayce notes, is “for the evolution or evolving of the soul unto its awareness.”

Science is thus now echoing what ancient texts and religions have been telling us for a very long time and that is that there is an unseen connectedness between all things.  We are all part of this universal energy field and that is why every thought or feeling we have and every action we take affects the whole.

The great physicist Nikola Tesla noted that we are constantly receiving and transmitting energy.  Everything is constantly intertwined.  He wrote, “If you wish to understand the secrets of the Universe, think of energy, frequency and vibration.”  Tesla understood that we create our own reality through certain Universal Laws.  What we think, we create.  What we give, we receive.  From Tesla’s words we can also extrapolate that is why if you want love, you must also give love.

With all this scientific and metaphysical evidence of universal interconnectivity, it then makes sense how in today’s world, there seems to be a gradual yet undeniable shift from the concept of “boxed in” religious dogma (only “our” religion is the right one, God won’t save the others), towards the more consoling realization that we are all one spirit and mutual love is the ultimate, and really only goal. This return to Spiritual Pangaea is mankind’s true destiny, and our generation is the first where we can see real progress towards this common goal.

Why Do We Hurt the People We Love?

hurt

The shattering of a heart when being broken is the loudest quiet ever.
Carroll Bryant

Last night, I attended a Lent Reconciliation service for children at my church. Fr. Michael stood up to speak briefly before the services began and I found myself glued to his every word. He first read the story of when Jesus appears to his disciples for the third time after the resurrection. After they had all finished eating, Jesus asks Simon Peter, “Simon Peter, son of John, do you love me?” Jesus goes on to repeat the question three times. Simon Peter’s third and last response is, “”Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”

Fr. Michael went on to explain that Simon Peter was the disciple who had denied knowing Jesus three times before His crucifixion. (NIV 60-61): “Peter replied, ‘Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!’ Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.”

Jesus, according to Fr. Michael, was not mad at Simon Peter. He loved him and forgave him. Simon Peter wanted to be forgiven and it was done. But, he asked, “Why do you think we want to be forgiven? We don’t have to ask for forgiveness if we don’t want to. We do it because of love.”

He told the congregation that the love that we feel for someone leads us to want to be forgiven. It is because of that love that we seek forgiveness in the first place. He told everyone to imagine their own life. “Think about a time when you were hurt in your own life. How would you feel if a friend you loved did this to you?”

I almost felt like Fr. Michael was speaking directly to me. I, like so many others, have been hurt more times than I can count. But Fr. Michael’s point was we all get hurt but it doesn’t mean that person doesn’t love you or that you don’t love them. Sometimes the people we love are easy targets. We don’t mean to hurt them.

The following is a verse from a song by the Mills Brothers called You Always Hurt the One You Love:

“You always hurt the one you love, the one you should not hurt at all;
You always take the sweetest rose, and crush it till the petals fall;
You always break the kindest heart, with a hasty word you can’t recall;
So if I broke your heart last night, it’s because I love you most of all.”

In the case of Simon Peter, I’m sure it was fear that led him to deny knowing Jesus, a man he loved dearly. But obviously there are varying reasons why we hurt the people we love. Just look around you. How many times have you seen best friends become enemies and two lovers become strangers? Many times, right?

So why, then, do we hurt the people we love? Well, for one, the ego has a good role in all of this. Our ego prevents us from expressing our feelings. When we love someone so deeply, it is only natural that we expect certain things from them. We want them to feel the same way we do and do the same things we do. But when we feel that our feelings or actions are not reciprocated, we often react by hurting the one we love. Sometimes, unfortunately, this is intentional but more often it’s not.

Think of it this way, when you meet someone new and there is a conflict, what happens? You don’t think much about it. You are able to just go on with your life. But when it involves someone you love, it’s not that easy. You’ve given the other person a piece of your heart. You’ve told this person your deepest secrets. You trusted this person and this makes things all the more difficult.

There is conflict in every relationship sooner or later. Change happens. Life happens. How many times have you promised never to hurt someone only to hurt them in the end? Sometimes these conflicts lead to the end of a marriage, make strangers out of family members or turn friends into foes.

I’m not making excuses or implying that it’s OK to hurt the one you love, far from it. But if we could all just put our egos aside and look at the bigger picture, just maybe we’ll see that certain relationships are worth fighting for. Maybe we’ll realize it’s worth holding on for just a little bit longer. And just maybe it all begins with admitting your pain, acknowledging your own vulnerability and asking for forgiveness.

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