Spirituality * Culture * Self-Expression

Author: Michael A. Michail Page 1 of 18

Happy Easter 2022

The Good Fight

There has never been a good war. Not even World War II. All wars are bad. Lives lost, property destroyed, dreams shattered – nothing is worth that. War is a rich man’s trick. War only benefits the rich and powerful who use it as a means of establishing more dominance over the common people. No poor person ever started a war or truly benefited from one.

But what if one country invades another? Do people have the right to defend themselves against attack?

Yes!

And not only the RIGHT but also the DUTY to defend.

Do I contradict myself?

I think the real issue is in HOW do you defend yourself and fight back – and what, exactly, are you defending.

I advocate for Civil Disobedience. This applies not only to foreign invasion, but domestic abuse by our own leaders.

The path is to stand by your principles (assuming you have any) and resist your oppressors – not through armed conflict, but by simple refusal to submit.

There are two basic outcomes in war or invasion – either your tax dollars and tribute is just redirected to a different master; or, the personal freedom you use to have is totally taken away making you a slave to your new master.

The second outcome is more serious. The method of Civil Disobedience works best in this situation. Gandhi used it very effectively in overthrowing British Imperialism in India and giving his people an independent voice. The method itself goes back much further than Gandhi or even Henry David Thoreau who wrote the essay that empowered Gandhi.

During some periods of the Roman empire, the rulers sought dominance over various populations. They weren’t just raising taxes, they were trying to ensure that taxes would continue to accrue, unhindered. They made, what appeared to be, mild demands on people, buy enforced those demands with the sword.

A specific example is this: the emperors declared that all religions would be permitted (except ones that practiced human sacrifice, cannibalisms, or other such rituals) as long as each person also paid homage to the Roman State religion – specifically honoring the emperor.

In other words, like modern political leaders, they said everyone could express themselves freely as long as they obeyed the will of the leader without question. They were free to do what they wanted as long as what they wanted was agreeable to the State.

Well, honoring the emperor was a fairly simple process in most cases. It involved something as easy as appearing at the local temple, putting a pinch of incense in the fire in honor of the emperor and then receiving a certificate confirming that you did what was required. (Again, sounds familiar)

Most people complied – including people who claimed to be monotheists. Because compliance meant you could keep you job, keep your money, keep your property, keep you freedom to move around, etc.

What were the penalties for NOT complying? Besides losing your livelihood you would be confronted by authorities and told to comply, if you refused, you’d be arrested and told to comply, if you still refused, you’d be imprisoned, and then tortured and then, finally, for those who continued to resist, you’d be killed – often horribly by being thrown into an arena and torn apart by wild animals for the amusement of the mobs who obeyed the mandates.

Things have changed a little since those times, but not much.

Some Christians, with solid principles, convictions and faith, refused to comply. They resisted to the end.

 How did they fight back?

Did they take up arms to kill others?

Did they riot through the streets?

Did they burn down buildings, beat people up, loot stores, block the streets, threaten the lives of the emperor and local authorities?

No.

They simple did not comply with the dictates and accepted the consequences. They even prayed for the health of their persecutors.

Yes, they suffered horribly for their convictions, but eventually, other powerful people, with more wisdom and good sense, stopped the evil practices and changed society.

2000 years later, many of the martyrs of that time are still remembered. Their names are recited in Church services around the world. Their sacrifices that changed the world are honored.

What about the soldiers, local authorities, and emperors who persecuted the martyrs? They are pretty much all forgotten – buried in the garbage heaps of history. The few who are remembered are classed as monsters and psychopaths.

The Roman empire itself collapsed while Christianity became dominate.

People die in wars all the time, innocent people, mostly. But the martyrs who fight the good fight – without resorting to violence, themselves – win a great, moral victory.

Is this a path for everyone, in every instance? No. This is a narrow path for the most courageous people. A path not to be taken up lightly.

Even in modern conflicts between nations or when confronted by violent individuals, those on a spiritual path are not fighting merely flesh and blood opponents, but spiritual forces as well.

If you have principles and faith, then stand firm in your convictions. The war never ends, but the violence within ourselves can be stopped.

The Second Horseman

We all know that the Book of Revelation, written some 2000 years ago, predicts the rise of the Anti-Christ and his reign of terror, but it also describes a long period of build up before this monstrous ruler appears.

The Anti-Christ, also known as the Great Beast, is the diabolical, world leader who unleashes hell on Earth. He, or It, doesn’t show up in the Book of Revelation, however, until Chapter 13. In the earlier chapters, all sorts of horrible things happen. These include, but are not limited to, wars, famine, pestilence, earthquakes and even some asteroid collisions, as well as religious persecution and social upheaval.

The coming of the great tribulation is ushered in by the infamous Four Horseman of the Apocalypse: False Teaching, War, Famine and Death.

It would seem that the First Horseman, False Teaching and Propaganda, has been on the loose for some time now. The false doctrines of Globalism, “wokeness” and perverse spirituality have weakened the human condition to the extent that many people in power have no clue regarding right and wrong, good and evil. And the population at large is doubtful about the reality of any moral distinctions.

This has paved the way for the coming of the Second Horseman – War. He rides a red horse and carries a large battle sword that he wields with fury. The Horseman engages in Spiritual as well as physical warfare.

Feckless leaders, demoralized nations, lack of critical thinking – all allow the Spiritual Evil of war to spread, unchallenged and destroy the hopes of the people.

With the Russian-Ukraine conflict, a domino effect could ensue with one country after another plunging into chaos. And who stands in the way of this?

There have been plenty of wars over the past 2000 years. The wars spread by the Second Horseman, however, destroy more than physical lives. They twist and pervert the soul of humanity, making people ripe for demonic control.

Leaders of the world seem already to have accepted the Dark Path. War is just another tool to extend what they believe is their own power base; they are really aiding diabolic forces to gain dominion over the people.

In a real democratic society, leaders are supposed to SERVE the people not lord it over them. There are no longer any true democracies or Just States – the First Horseman took care of that. As recent events have shown, false leaders are all too eager to crush dissent and the propaganda networks, spurred on by the ride of the First Horseman, willingly collaborate in subjugating the masses. The Second Horseman drives the fearful ever deeper into the darkness.

If the Second Horseman is truly on the loose, the only way to survive the next few years is by strengthening our Spiritual will – the physical world is controlled by evil.

We must wake up and become aware of what really matters – our true, inner divinity.

We must Wake Up! Wake ourselves up. Wake up any way possible, any way we can. And then we must strive to wake up others.

“For we strive not against mere flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12

Freedom For Thought

There are a lot of things going on in the world, today, that might make us concerned about the future. There are clashes, everywhere, between people with different opinions about freedom and free thought. This deserves some attention. However, attention might be more profitably directed at the conflicts within ourselves, and our own attempts at developing inner harmony and the ability to think freely.

We achieve harmony within ourselves by being able to react FREELY to the issues and concerns that arise within us. What do we consider “good?” What do we consider “bad?” What makes us feel guilty? What makes us feel secure? What do we allow ourselves to think?

Inner harmony requires inner freedom – but it is freedom to think clearly and not have our mind clouded by issues and ideas that provoke us or depress us.

Do you ever consider how what you do or think affects your mood? Or do you suppose that your mood shows up first and then you think and do things in response?

Here is a new exercise to help you explore these ideas.

Relax and let yourself become aware of, and examine, the things you let influence you – opinions, suggestions, invitations – not just from your surroundings, but also from within your own thought world.

What makes up your “self talk?’ what impacts your decisions?

Are you encouraged to move towards an expanded, open consciousness, or are you confining yourself to a familiar world view?

Are your decisions and actions based on feelings of anxiety, bad conscience, and criticisms – both from others and from yourself? Or do you look for inspiration to help you work towards your preferred goals and wishes?

What, actually, does inspire you?

What inspires you, for instance, to take up this and similar exercises and thought practices?

What strengthens your desires?

What makes you more capable to face life?

What thoughts, attitudes, actions and processes do you know of that stimulate your body and mind in positive ways?

Can you think of possible influences you haven’t yet explored that could move you towards a more harmonious and free experience of life?

To be truly free, your thoughts should flow with choices, possibilities and information. Fears need to be understood and accepted, if not actually overcome.

Examining what thoughts currently influence you and how they influence you – how they LIMIT you – is a step towards freeing yourself to truly express your own best life.

Love and blessing and all good wishes for Peace Profound.

Inner Awareness Part 5

Work through the first 4 parts of this exercise for awhile until you are comfortable experiencing your own thoughts without judgement.

Then –

Sit and experience the sensations or sounds around you, and the thoughts that arise from the experience. Choose one thought to think through. Choose one specific thought or emotion that seems to need your attention – a thought or emotion that you know that you need to come to terms with. Maybe something you usually ignore or something you prefer to avoid. Choose one subject and stick to it.

Think it through systematically.

Stick with it. Make it your central thought, for now. Just this one subject – keep at it – really focus on it…

And then abruptly STOP! Cease to think about anything. Hold your mind free of all thoughts.

Remember:

“I am not these thoughts.

I am the one experiencing, deep inside, resting in myself, alert, attentive.”

A thought is there. Let the mind work it out. The mind thinks itself, all you do is observe how it handles a subject – you don’t need to get involved.

This opens up a door for you: a door to inspiration. Ideas come spontaneously, you don’t look for them, they just appear – Just like the sounds and sensations around you. The opinions of others. What passes for news. Theses are just things you can observe. And you can decide what is useful and what isn’t.

The thoughts, impressions, sensations surrounding you are only important and relevant if you allow them to be.

Practice reviewing one thought completely and also practice NOT thinking of anything. Notice after a time, the control you begin to have over the things that present themselves to you or arise within you. You can observe them and then move on. Choose for yourself what is of interest. Allow inner stillness to permeate your being as you become more aware of your own inner processes.

Work at this exercise as you choose. We will leave this type of meditation for the time being, but, perhaps, return to it again with some deeper action.

Until next time –

Love and Blessings and all good wishes for Peace Profound.

Inner Awareness Part 4

Let’s continue with this exercise.

You’ve been noticing EXTERNAL sensations and ideas and you have begun to notice that these seem to come to you from something other than your inner self. You observe a separateness – there are thoughts and there is the one who is experiencing the thoughts.

Now, let’s go deeper.

Relax and notice – Which of the thoughts reference you? Which thoughts are about you? Your concerns, your desires, your attitudes, your expectations, your JUDGEMENTS.

Notice what fills your mind – often. What attracts your attention? What preconceptions of yourself dominate your attention?

Maybe you ask –

What should I do?

What CAN I do?

What am I allowed to do? What am I allowed to think? What do I allow myself to think?

Do you notice RIGHT thoughts? Do you notice WRONG thoughts? Who decides?

Can they all just be simply thoughts, even when they are about you? Can some be good and others bad?

What thoughts influence the way you see yourself?

You tell yourself: thoughts are just thoughts. Do you believe this? Do you embrace some and want to shove others aside? Are there thoughts you wish you didn’t have?

Who is the judge?

Notice: the one judging and the one judged – are they not the same?

Notice the contents of the mind – all the things that fill your attention.

Experience yourself, again, as an observer. Especially, an observer of the spontaneous thoughts that seem to just appear out of nowhere – by themselves – without cause – without purpose – without intention.

See these thoughts for what they are: brief fragments, flickering images – things that will just disappear unless you allow them to linger and grow into longer chains, grow into brooding, memories, fantasies …

For now, you might as well learn to just accept the stuff that is filling up you attention. It’s just stuff.

Let all the contradictions surface as they are – not sorted into good or bad – acceptable or unacceptable. Notice all of it, just as it is, all equal. Just be an observer. Free your mind. Let yourself let go of tensions and apprehensions, of judgements and evaluations.

Just experience it.

Keep from turning inward – don’t search for anything. Just sit quietly and notice what comes. Thoughts are just thoughts, sensations are just sensations, opinions are just opinions …

Yet, some things seem to appear from a deeper source. Some strike you, as if physically, and resonate and vibrate from your heart, your mind, your spirit – your very inner self.

These thoughts are few and rare – relax and allow them to warm you. And if such do not appear to you, that is perfect, as well. Whatever comes, relax and content yourself with experiencing it happening.

I am not these thoughts.

I am the one experiencing, deep inside, resting in myself, alert, attentive.

Work with this exercise as it serves you for a time. More will be added, later.

Until then, relax and be gentle with yourself.

Love and Blessings and all good wishes for Peace Profound.

Inner Awareness Part 3

Let’s continue with this exercise.

I think it’s important to learn to resist the influence of the ungodly. In this age of mass indoctrination, gaining access to the source of true knowledge and meaning will help block out the negative world views that intrude on our awareness.

Now, you’re beginning to separate the sensations of the external world from your own inner awareness. You start to realize that what you experience has a lot to do with your own interpretation of the experience.

Continue to notice your thoughts. Sit quietly and experience thoughts, emotions, preconceptions, opinions …

Be an impartial observer who doesn’t get involved in the drama of events and happenstance. Be alert and interested, yet remain apart.

Just what are your thoughts? What comes up for you as you sit quietly and observe?

This isn’t about analysis. It isn’t about acceptance, rejection, agreement or conflict. It isn’t about liking or disliking these things you perceive or imagine. It’s just about noticing them.

Let each thought flow freely and unfettered, no matter how provoking or tempting it may be. Let any emotion or sensation just be what it is.

Remember, you are the One who experiences these things; you are NOT the cause. Not yet. These things are just happening around you.

Continue, steadily, easily, without interference, experiencing your own inner life – let it happen, relax, accept it. Experience without judgement.

Acknowledge – “I am NOT the one who thinks; I am the one who NOTICES the thoughts.”

Forget about “trying” to meditate or do an exercise – just sit. Let the thoughts and perceptions come as they may.

You might find yourself being attached to one particular thought and you might start to dwell on it. Once you realize you are doing this STOP and let the thought go its way. Give equal, uninvolved attention to every thought, image and impression that comes up.

The effort lies in realizing the experience of what you are thinking. How many and how few thoughts, emotions, impressions, or what each one is or appears to be is less important than the realization that there are thoughts that you experience that seem to come from outside you. They are there. What they “mean” is up to you – your inner self. For now, they should mean nothing – they are just thoughts that appear to you – they are only as real and lasting as you allow them to be.

There are many ways of thinking – a different way for each of us. Pictures, emotions, words, sensations: anything might come to you. Notice them only as an uninterested observer.

Continue this practice as long as you like (and notice whether you like it or not). Do it as often as you choose. There will be more guidance to come.

Until then –

 Love and blessings and all good wishes for Peace Profound.

Inner Awareness Part 2

I thought it would be good to continue the exercise from last week and add some extra actions. What we are striving for is to develop the ability to receive information without judgement and interpretation, and clear away the filter imposed by the media and public opinion. We want to evaluate information based on OUR OWN experience and understanding – an understanding strengthened by connection to inner awareness and the emanations from Universal Consciousness.

CONTINUE

When you have practiced becoming aware of sounds or sensations around you, realizing that they are just sensations and have no meaning for you other than the meaning you, yourself, impose on them, begin to take notice of your thoughts.

First, just notice all the various thoughts that come to your attention as you experience your surroundings. There will be many thoughts – and also many judgments and evaluations. Perhaps, you might notice how these thoughts interfere with your actual experience. But, for now, just notice them.

Give the thoughts equal attention without being impacted by any one thought. Is this challenging?

Experience everything that occupies the mind. Let it wander as it will, freely.

Sensations.

Thoughts.

Emotions.

Moods.

Experience your body – breathing, comfort levels, irritations – whatever occurs. And choose to experience all equally without being attached or concerned with any one thought or sensation.

Let your mind be free.

Relax completely and fully give yourself over to this experience.

Then, begin to address yourself.

Say: It is ‘I’ who experience all of this – this is all around ‘Me’ – this is in ‘My’ body and in ‘My’ thoughts – deep within ‘Me’ ‘I’ am the ‘one’ experiencing this – ‘I’ have ‘My’ own life and ‘I’ experience that life with AWARENESS.

For this stage of the exercise, come to the appreciation that you are an individual and that you have the ability to control the interpretation of information that enters your awareness.

You choose what to emphasize and what to set aside. You decide what will influence you and what will not.

As you realize the personal power you have, allow yourself the space and opportunity to relax and accept the world appearing to you and accept the power you have over how things appear to you.

Until next time – Love and Blessings and all good wishes for Peace Profound.

Inner Awareness

We live in a world of information. Facts, figures, opinions, viewpoints come at us from all angles – some information is accurate and some, well, not so accurate. It’s hard to tell the truth from untruth. Information abounds from multiple sources that one person or another, one organization or another, avows is correct while others, equally vehemently, avow is fake.

The media, politicians, scientists, educators, friends, employers, celebrities – they all want you to accept, believe and affirm the things they consider to be “real truth.”

How can you tell what to believe?

External information sources are always going to be questionable. And when these sources declare themselves authorities and forbid you to question them, you know you have problems.

But there is one source that really is reliable: it is your own Inner Voice – the part of you that is connected to Universal Intelligence.

How can you tell if the inner voice speaking to you is really connected to Universal Intelligence or is just echoing back the information you’ve picked up from external sources? The answer is to learn to make distinctions between the two, and this requires some practice with meditation and personal, mystical contact with the Divinity within you.

Here is an exercise to get you started on your path to experiencing Inner Awareness.

MEDITATION EXERCISE

We all have different levels and degrees of mobility, yet, I hope that each of you has at least one position you can assume that is comfortable while at the same time allowing you to remain alert. Traditionally, a straight back pose while sitting on the floor is encouraged, but this is not an absolute – do what you can with the abilities you have. Meditation and connection to the Divine transcends all physical barriers. When you have found your special position, close your eyes and allow yourself to rest.

Just do that, at first, and when you have gotten used to being in the pose start becoming aware of your surroundings. Let your awareness extend in all directions. Use sound or touch to experience everything around you. Allow yourself to become aware of all the sounds or sensations in your environment.

Consciousness, like an uncovered candle flame, projects in all directions. It casts its energy on everything without discrimination. Consciousness, perceives everything with equal interest. It is only later that judgements are made about what is perceived. Remain, now, in the non-judgmental state – the state of merely being aware on the information that comes to you.

Notice a car in the street, a clock ticking somewhere, a radio or TV playing next door. Or, notice the texture of your clothes, the feeling of what you are sitting on, a slight breeze, the difference in temperatures on different sides of your body. Allow yourself to perceive everything, all experiences at once. Take in all the information without judgment. That’s all. Just allow yourself to be aware of the world around you.

Do this for, perhaps, 5 or 15 minutes a day. Do the exercise at home or while you are out. Do it just a few minutes at a time. Experience unfiltered, actual, information coming to you without the confusion of other people’s interpretation. Become aware of yourself in your own space without discriminating one item from another.  

Soon you will begin to understand that all the “news” and “communication” that pushes itself upon you is only as valuable as the interpretations you chose to give them.

Until next time – Love and Blessings and all good wishes for Peace Profound.

Where’s Beethoven?

Look back 500 years, 400 years, 100 years, even 50 years and you will see examples of world class, creative geniuses everywhere. Leonardo, Michelangelo, Shakespeare, Martin Luther, Newton, Copernicus, Galileo, Bach, Mozart, Benjamin Franklin, Madame Currie, Dostoyevsky, Nicola Tesla, Beethoven … The list goes on and on. Geniuses in every field of human endeavor, whose works changed the world, whose names will live forever.

But what will people 100 years from now or even 50 years from now see when they look back at our time? Where is our Beethoven?

We are pretty much at the peak of civilization – certainly as far as technology goes. The average idiot walks down the street carrying a device that connects to all the information in the world. We have the ability to communicate, instantly, with people everywhere, anytime. Someone in Tennessee has no problem talking to someone in Timbuktu. And not just talk – they can see each other on screen, send each other documents, conference with dozens of other people around the world at the same time – they can even hop a plane and meet in person in just a few hours. Imagine if Shakespeare could have done that.

There is also more wealth in the world, today, then at any other time in history. And, in terms of percentage of the population, there are fewer people in poverty than ever before.

It’s a golden age for many – or at least it should be – but there is something missing.

We haven’t had a real technological breakthrough since the Moon landing more than 50 years ago. “Art” has literally degenerated to someone throwing excrement at a canvas and framing it. Music, film and television is created by committees and focus groups. Authors are more concerned with the number of pronouns and acronyms they can use than in the story. And “educators” appear to base their curricula on insect or reptilian logic.

The flame of the World Soul is being extinguished.

In the past, creative people struggled to find information, patrons and audiences – how much could Van Gogh, Mozart, Tesla and others have benefited from the Internet? Current technology has solved many problems that hindered creators of the past. We also have excessive amounts of leisure and levels of comfort only the very rich could afford not too long ago.

And yet…

Where is our Beethoven? Our Shakespeare? Our Newton? Our Rembrandt? Our Einstein? Hell, where’s our Elvis?

It seems the fulfilment of needs such as information and leisure does not contribute to greatness. What powers genius is a connection to Spirit – and that is something technology can’t seem to give us.

Instead of a new Axial Ages or a new Renaissance the 21st century is a new Dark Age full of propaganda, conflict, pestilence and the Death of the human Spirit.  

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