Harmony and Health

Credit: WallpaperUp.com

Credit: WallpaperUp.com

I have said many times in my various writings that I believe that our true life is spiritual, not physical. Our spirit gives the body life, but when the body withers away, the spirit remains—eternal.

The spirit-self will never die, and there is nothing in this world that can cause it permanent injury. Only we can cause “injuries” to our spirit by our negative, selfish, and destructive mental attitudes, bad behavior, and neglect of those who need our help.

These are failures of character that prevent harmony between spirit, mind, and body. This can cause an imbalance that makes us susceptible to disease. The disharmony is the cause and illness is the resulting effect. Perhaps it is the widespread focus on materialism, rather than spirituality, that contributes to the rise in poor health and disease worldwide.

God will always provide what is necessary for us to fulfill our life plan. With faith in this edict, what need have we for anxiety, worry, stress, or fear? Those who have achieved harmony between spirit, mind, and body are free of these negative states of mind that can contribute to poor health. They are happy and healthy individuals who have chosen a life of spirit over one of materialism.

As Silver Birch has often said, “If the spirit is aright, then the body will be aright.” There likely would be no illness if our spirit, mind, and body were in perfect harmony.

How does one achieve this hard to reach harmony? The anchor, the rock upon which this harmony is built is expression of the spirit. If we are not aware of (or acknowledge) our spirit and its purpose in our physical life, then harmony will remain elusive, and we will have missed the opportunity to have a truly vibrant, healthy, and (spiritually) rewarding life.

Expression of the spirit is one of the main themes of articles published on this web site. Selflessness and a strong desire to help others are the hallmarks of spiritual expression. If we strive to consistently live a life of goodness, virtue, love and compassion, our spirit will begin to express its innate divinity and we will not only achieve harmony between spirit, mind, and body, but also among our fellow human beings.

You may like the following related articles:

Harmony between Spirit, Mind, and Body
The Spiritual Mind

The Privilege of Special Abilities

Christ Healing the Sick Painting by Washington Allston, 1813 Source: Wikimedia Commons

Christ Healing the Sick
Painting by Washington Allston, 1813
Source: Wikimedia Commons

I recently saw the movie Lucy which is about a woman who is exposed to a drug that enables her to use 100 percent of her brain. In the movie, it is said that we use only approximately 10 percent of our brain. However, I am not aware of any evidence that substantiates this claim or hypothesis. Brain scans show neuronal activity throughout the brain.

But I do not wish to debate whether we use all or a part of our brain. What interests me is the idea that the human race has not accessed or expressed its full potential regarding powers of the mind and body. No wonder considering that so few appear to have expressed the third aspect of being—the spirit-self.

I believe that humanity has indeed tapped into only a tiny fraction of its physical and mental abilities. Any uncommon, extraordinary, or special abilities or powers that we observe in a small percentage of the population provide a glimpse into some of the amazing human potential that lays dormant in all of us.

I must stress potential because, as noted, only a very few display extraordinary abilities, and usually only one special ability is seen in an individual. Perhaps some day, special abilities will become more commonplace. However, it may require many millennia of spiritual evolution of the human species before this can happen.

Why is it that we cannot access and express the full range of special abilities that we know to exist, as well as a host of others of which we are not yet aware? I believe that the human race is not spiritually ready for the awesome power that lies latent within it. Humanity’s potential power will gradually unfold and express in accord with its level of spiritual progression and evolution. We must as a species demonstrate that we understand the responsibility that comes with knowledge and special abilities. That is, we are expected to use these only for good and to unselfishly help, heal, inspire, and uplift our fellow human beings.

We can begin to see the danger in jumping ahead too quickly. Man had progressed in his scientific knowledge and ability to learn how to split the atom. However, he was not ready spiritually to use its power only for good. Instead, one of the first applications of that knowledge was to make an atomic bomb.

Although extraordinary and special abilities are seen to manifest physically, I believe that they are actually powers of the spirit that are being expressed through the body. The privilege of such power must be earned. In order for uncommon abilities to be expressed, one must be at a level of spiritual awareness and evolution that is sufficient to assure that they will be used responsibly.

Witnessing the Spirit-Self

For a long time I have wanted to learn how to meditate. Initially, the main reason for my wanting to do so was to slow down my mind. I wanted to free myself from the incessant flow of thought. My hope was that by doing so, I would become more present in every moment throughout the day.

Now my hope is that meditation will help me come closer to my spirit-self, and, as a result, facilitate its expression in my everyday life. These things may be referred to as enlightenment by some. I call it witnessing the spirit-self.

I was superficially aware of a number of different meditation methods and their benefits, and tried to meditate on a number of occasions in the past without success. A big part of the methods I attempted was proper sitting posture. In fact, seemingly volumes are discussed about the nuances of posture, while the actual meditation method is covered in a paragraph or two.

Trying to achieve and maintain correct posture for meditation was a problem for me as I am not at all flexible. My experience sitting in the manor required ranged from extremely uncomfortable to painful. It was a major barrier to meditation for me.

Recently, I decided to look into transcendental meditation (TM). The general description of the technique sounded remarkably easy and required only two 20 minute sessions per day.

I went to TM.org , a national organization that presides over TM training through a network of certified instructors. There is a video on the web site that gives a very good overview of TM and its health benefits. The method used for meditation is extremely simple. Anyone can do it without difficulty. For one thing it does not require a specific sitting posture. I encourage those interested in meditation to take a look at the video.

As I dug into the web site, I eventually came across the cost of instruction—on sale from $1,500 to $960! This to learn a method that is so simple and easy to do as to be almost trivial! Furthermore, this simple method puts us in touch with our natural ability to find our inner quiet. I don’t know about you, but I am not going to pay exorbitant fees to be shown how to access the God-given stillness that is already present inside me any more than I would for someone to show me where the fuse box is in my house so I can turn on the lights.

I ran across a book titled Deep Meditation by Yogani that appeared to provide instruction in TM. I got the book and indeed it did describe the TM method along with what to expect, the spiritual benefits, and various phenomena that may arise during practice and how to deal with them. The book was exactly what I had been looking for! Total cost for learning TM: $3.82 for the Kindle book. If you have been wanting to get into meditation, this book will give you a remarkably easy and effective way to do so.

After reading the book, I realize that I have already experienced, by other means, some of the personal and spiritual benefits that can arise from regular TM practice. Examples include positive changes in disposition, becoming more tolerant and accepting of others, becoming more grounded, centered, and relaxed even in stressful situations, and eventually witnessing the spirit-self.

I achieved the above benefits through many years of qigong and tai chi practice. Nevertheless, I feel I can progress much further and faster by adding meditation to my daily practices. There are health benefits from all of these practices, but for me the changes in my outlook on the world around me, and the leap forward in my spiritual awareness were the most rewarding.

Tai chi and qigong are technical practices to cultivate and increase one’s internal energy that require instruction and study to learn. Whereas, TM is not technical and easily accesses our inner stillness. Consequently, in my view, TM is the best and easiest practice for the general public to transform themselves by transcending the outer noise and confusion and cultivating the inner silence that is the spirit-self. I encourage everyone to give TM a try.

The Light Inside You

Copyright 2013 by Blair Atherton

Copyright 2013 by Blair Atherton

 

On the occasion of the first year anniversary of this blog site I am republishing a verse I wrote a long time ago and that was one of the first entries in this blog. It likens our spirituality to rays of light that we too often shut away. And having hidden our spirit-self deep inside, it continually seeks release and expression.

The Light Inside You

For only a few fleeting moments
Have I felt the warm light of you—
Of what is inside of you.

Those moments were like rays of light
Peeking through the cracks of a door
In a dark room.

I am in the darkness alone,
Longing to know
What lies on the other side of the door.
Yearning to feel the touch
Of the warm and beautiful
Light that lies there.

But the door is locked,
The key to its opening
Unknown to me.

I will wait—
Yes, wait patiently
For the next beam of light
To spill through the cracks.
Longing to know
To understand
To embrace
The wonderful light
That shines inside of you.

Copyright 1969, 2012 by Blair Atherton

It is my belief that no matter who you are, what kind of a person you are, or what kind of life you live, there have been moments when your spirit was able to squeeze through the cracks in the walls you may have built around yourself. The fortresses we build to protect ourselves are always flawed and conquerable from within and without.

Our spirit-selves, that some of us try to hold captive in the darkness of our fears, doubt, and insecurities, yearn—no demand expression. It is like trying to hold your breath until you pass out; you cannot do it. Similarly, no matter how hard you try to cling to the material world and deny your spirituality, your spirit will always seek to show you a better way.

If you accept the notion that your spirit is what gives you life and your spirit-self is the real you, then you can see that your spirit must be allowed to express itself. Otherwise, are you really alive?

I believe that we are all spiritual beings. We, and those around us, look for evidence of this in us and in themselves. They are searching for the warm and beautiful light emanating from others and hope to find within themselves. Perhaps we do not realize that all we have to do is open the door, even if only a crack at first.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Many thanks to those of you who have consistently followed my blog over the past year.  This blog exists purely to serve its readers. I hope that those who are relative newcomers will continue to find value in what is written here, and if you have not already done so, explore articles in the archives.

I Am Spirit

The Hodge 301 Cluster in the Tarantula Nebula Credit: The Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STSci/NASA)

The Hodge 301 Cluster in the Tarantula Nebula Credit: The Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STSci/NASA)[/caption

I Am Spirit.
I have existed before time began
And I will exist after the end of time.

I am you and you are me.
I am a victim of doubt, skepticism, and ignorance.
I am present in bodies with minds that do not recognize me.

I give you life—yet, you do not truly live.
I am love—yet, you do not share me widely.

I am compassion—yet, you hide my light deep inside.
I am generous—yet, you do not give to those who are needy.

I give you knowledge, but you refuse to believe.
I show you the Path, but you turn away and choose another.
I provide good counsel, but you do not listen.

I Am Spirit.
I am you, and you are me.
One day you will awaken to me
And our glorious light will shine upon all the world!

Copyright 2014 by Blair Atherton

As with other spiritual verses I have published on this blog and elsewhere, I was compelled to sit in front of the computer and wait for the words to start flowing. The message here is clear: we must understand and believe that we exist as spirit, and not neglect or be afraid to express our divine qualities.

We Exist in the Ethereal Spaces Between the Atoms

We Exist in the Ethereal Spaces Between the Atoms Copyright 2013 by Blair Atherton

We Exist in the Ethereal Spaces Between the Atoms
Copyright 2013 by Blair Atherton

As noted in my book and in previous blog articles, I believe that our true life is one of spirit. That is why I promote the idea of living a life of spirit rather than one anchored in the physical world.

We were created in spirit and will remain so forever more. Our spiritual existence does not stop or go into abeyance during the brief periods when we are clothed with a physical body. We may lose touch with our spirit-self from time to time, stupefied by the many distractions of the physical world.

But in the background, out of the din, our spirit cries out for expression. The challenge is to have the presence of mind and desire to hear it.

Our spirit calls to us with the sweet, soft voice of a lover, to remind us that we exist in the ethereal spaces between the atoms of the physical world. We are merely passers by and should consider what spiritual legacy we wish to leave behind in the physical world, because that is the only thing that will follow us when it is time move on.

While all that is composed will eventually be decomposed, our spirits will continue to exist as a part of our everlasting Creator. Just as He has always existed and always will, so shall we.

Note: The last paragraph above relates to my blog article of August 2, 2013 titled All That Is Composed Shall Be Decomposed.

Harmony Between Spirit, Mind, and Body

South Rose Window, Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, France. Copyright 2000 by Blair Atherton

South Rose Window, Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, France. Copyright 2000 by Blair Atherton

It seems to me that one of the goals as a spiritual person is to achieve harmony between the spirit, mind, and body. Here, I would define harmony as congruity between these three aspects of being. All three are integral parts of our existence, and as such interact with, and influence one another.

I think congruity is a key word here. In order for there to be harmony, the mind must be aware of the spirit and understand the nature, meaning, and purpose of a spiritual life. The mind must also be committed to a life of goodness and virtue. The body finds congruity by cultivating good health to fully support expression of the mind and spirit through outward action.

The state of the mind determines the extent to which the spirit is able to express itself. If the mind is at peace, open, and seeks spiritual awareness, it will come. When this happens, the mind is compelled to seek outlets for expression of the spirit-self. There is a transformation in one’s motives, intent, and desire.

When harmony is achieved, love and compassion for all things dominates the person’s world view. One’s thoughts are outwardly directed toward the needs of others. There is a strong desire to serve God and humanity, and material things become relatively unimportant. Expression of the spirit energizes mind and body bringing feelings of happiness and well being.

Prayer for Harmony

Dear God,

I strive to make myself whole, and by doing so come closer to you.
I wish to find the sacred harmony between spirit, mind, and body.
My only desire is to serve and honor you by expression of my spirit
through acts of love and compassion.

I pray that my spirit may one day become attuned with, and radiate your divine love for all things.

Amen

What Can We Learn About Spirituality from the Example of Others?

Hubble Captures View of 'Mystic Mountain' Credit: NASA, ESA, and M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI)

Hubble Captures View of ‘Mystic Mountain’ Credit: NASA, ESA, and M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI)

There are many people who provide examples of how to live a spiritual life. These include not only historical religious figures, but also ordinary people. They demonstrate in their everyday lives what it means to be a spiritual person.

When I heard that the new Pope decided to take on the namesake of Saint Francis, it brought back some childhood memories. I was attending Catholic school in second grade when the class went to the theater to see a movie about the life of Saint Francis of Assisi. I was very captivated by the movie. I remember saying to myself, “I want to be like him.“

I did not want to be a priest or friar, rather I wanted to emulate the way he lived. I wanted to put into action his unwavering humility, selflessness, self-sacrifice and devotion to God. He accepted any and all adversities that God threw at him willingly and without complaint.

Of course at that young age, I had no idea just how hard it would be to imitate Saint Francis. Nevertheless, it became a life goal.

Below is a favorite prayer attributed to Saint Francis that I believe sums up how he looked at spiritual life. This is not a prayer just for Catholics or Christians; it is an approach to spirituality and life that can benefit all of us.

Let us pray:

“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.

Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.

Dear God, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Amen.”

What really rang true to me about Saint Francis’ view of spirituality is looking past, and going beyond, oneself. He sought to attend to others without regard to his own needs. To me, the prayer above speaks volumes about what it means to be a spiritual person.

At the same time, there are many quiet, gracious, inconspicuous truly spiritual people with whom we come in contact in our everyday lives who may or may not subscribe to any particular religion. Make it a point to pay attention to what is going on around you and you will see them. We can learn much from watching them.

Doing good and helping others is second nature to them. When they see a need, they do their best to fulfill it. They do it without hesitation or having to think about it. Recognition or gain of any kind never crosses their mind even for a moment. It is who they are; they have found their spirit-self.

How wonderful it is that they have chosen to share their divine selves with us! How wonderful it will be for us to join their ranks!

“All that is composed shall be decomposed.”

Omega Swan Nebula, Credit: NASA, ESA and J. Hester (ASU)

Omega Swan Nebula, Credit: NASA, ESA and J. Hester (ASU)

In the traditional or canonical gospels found in the New Testament of the Bible, Jesus or Yeshua, his Aramaic name, gives us a wonderful way of looking at spirituality and how to live a truly spiritual life. There are other records of the teachings of Yeshua that were excluded from the Bible. They are referred to collectively as the Gnostic gospels. I found three: The Gospel of Phillip, The Gospel of Thomas, and the Gospel of Mary Magdalene.

After reading all three, the first thing that struck me was that they were almost completely devoid of stories about miracles. Instead they were composed of what we might call the wisdom or sayings of Yeshua. I saw nothing heretical about them; rather, they provided additional teachings to compliment those in the Bible. The three gospels provided a great deal of food for thought concerning spirituality.

None more so than the Gospel of Mary Magdalene. It was frustrating to learn that ten of the pages are missing. Frustrating because the missing pages are adjacent to what I feel are some of the most mysterious passages. What happened to the missing pages? Were they removed by someone to withhold certain secrets of spirituality, or simply damaged or lost? What do we not know in their absence?

The first ten lines from the Gospel of Mary Magdalene that follow had an especially powerful effect on me. The six pages that preceded these passages are missing from the documents that were found.

[…] “What is matter?
Will it last forever?”
The Teacher answered:
“All that is born, all that is created,
all the elements of nature
are interwoven and united with each other.
All that is composed shall be decomposed;
everything returns to its roots;
matter returns to the origins of matter.
Those who have ears, let them hear.”

The basic ideas in these passages are not new to me, but my reaction to them was totally unexpected. When I read these lines in the gospel, it felt like primal memories buried deep in my soul came crashing forward revealing a fundamental, profound truth. The feelings were so powerful that I felt a little disoriented and confused by the effect they had on me.

These passages spoke to me on a very deep level. The words were both mysterious and wonderful. All of creation is interwoven and united—YES! All that is composed shall be decomposed—that is, all that is physical is transitory. Everything shall return to the Source.

We are drawn to the Source. It is a force of nature that transcends belief. It is that inexplicable yearning for meaning and purpose unique to the human condition. It is the search for our spirit-self and its birthplace.

Spirituality: A Life of Action

There are many attributes with which one can compare people. This is a murky business because things are rarely just black and white. It is more a question of which human attributes are more prominent than others in an individual. When it comes to exhibiting spirituality, it seems there are those who primarily talk and think about it, and others who mainly do things to help others.

Both are important and contribute to our understanding of what it means to be a spiritual person. However, I believe that one’s actions are far more important in defining one’s spirituality than simply talking about it. Spirituality is a way of living rather than a way of thinking or talking.

It may seem odd to say that actions such as going to one’s place of worship regularly, or reading the scriptures may or may not be indicators of a truly spiritual person. Some of you may know people who do these things, but whose behavior otherwise militates against their being spiritual.

I believe that love and compassion for others are the foundation for living a spiritual life, or as I prefer to say, living the life of spirit. But not as a concept; rather, as an expression or outlet for our spirituality. I believe these two attributes to be at the core of our divinity. If someone is unable, for whatever reason, to express these two attributes, then the path to expression of their spirit-self probably has not yet begun.

More likely is that we do not consistently exhibit love and compassion. We may have biases or prejudices through which we filter who is “deserving” of our love and compassion. This is wherein lies the challenge in trying to fully express our spirit. As hard as it may be, we should strive to have love and compassion for everyone.

It might help to remind ourselves that we do not know what demons others face in life. We do not know what experiences have shaped their current state of existence. We do not know the nature of the karma that brought them to where they are.

But whatever these unknowns may be, we need to try our best to give them the benefit of the doubt and extend a helping hand whenever we can, even though sometimes they might slap it away.