My Companion and Me

From WallpaperUp.com

From WallpaperUp.com

“Are you feeling lost and downhearted,” he asked? “Come, take my hand and follow me. We have been strangers for too long. Do not be afraid.”

“Where are we going,” I asked?

“We are going where you have always yearned to go. Come I will show you the way. The path we will walk together can be difficult, but the destination well worth it.”

“This is too hard. I don’t think I can do it.“

“Of course you can! Focus on the light up ahead. It will give you strength. Don’t you see how it gets brighter the farther we go?”

“I didn’t realize how we were emerging from such a dark mist. As I look back down the path from where we came, I see that it fades into total darkness. I did not know how lost and confused I was back there.”

“We still have a long way to go, but I will be with you every step of the way. Just don’t let go of my hand or lose sight of the expanding light ahead.”

“As we continue to progress, I feel closer and closer to you.”

“I have always been a part of you waiting for you to take notice. Now that you have acknowledged me, we can continue the journey truly as one—fearless—with great strength and conviction.”

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Jesus taught us that the Kingdom of God is within each of us, and it is realized through love, compassion, and forgiveness. Become one with your own divinity and show it to the world!

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The Spiritual Mind

The Spiritual Mind Copyright by Blair Atherton 2014

The Spiritual Mind by Blair Atherton 2014

I believe that the mind has two aspects or qualities: spiritual and intellectual. We are all familiar with the intellectual mind. It is responsible for processes like reasoning, judgment, analysis, calculation, ego, desire, and other mundane faculties. I envision the spiritual mind engaging in activities such as creativity, intuition, and psychic abilities.

The two aspects of mind likely operate on different planes of consciousness. The intellectual mind (IM) focuses on the physical world, while the spiritual mind (SM) searches for meaning, and communion with God.

Worldly knowledge is acquired by the IM through study and investigation of measurable quantities. Spiritual knowledge can be obtained to some extent by study also. However, oftentimes, the most profound spiritual knowledge comes to us without active searching or any effort on our part except having an open mind and a desire to come closer to God.

Sometimes spiritual knowledge defies logic and ordinary understanding. It can come to us with an inexplicable certainty in its truth, while at the same time we do not how we know it or from where the knowledge came to us.

The two minds look at the world and existence quite differently. The IM primarily sees the here and now, while the SM senses there is much more to existence. Dominance by the IM may lead one to deny or overlook their spiritual nature. It may also lead one to question the existence of God or a Creator, as the IM favors (perhaps requires) measurement and proof over intuition and faith.

In contrast, the SM cares little about the material aspects of existence favoring instead expression of itself through inspiration, creativity, psychic connection, and emotions such as love and compassion.

How do the two aspects of mind reconcile with one another? The IM is essential in order for us to function in the material world. The SM brings meaning to the activities of the IM. The spiritual qualities of mentality moderate and guide the IM toward applications of its faculties that will be spiritually fulfilling and serve the greater good. I believe that a key element of our spiritual progression and evolution is for the SM to achieve dominance over the IM.

The Law of Service

The material world presents us with many challenges, not the least of which is maintaining awareness of our spiritual divinity and seeing opportunities for its expression. It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day of work and family.

Although these things and more can provide fertile ground for learning, many of us may not realize that God has certain expectations of us—laws to govern and guide life in the material world and when we return to the world of spirit. An extremely important one is the Law of Service. It is through actuation of this law in our lives that we express our spirit and evolve. I believe it to be a requirement for progression to higher spiritual planes.

How many people do you know who engage regularly in some form of service to others? In this day and age, it seems like many of us are too engrossed in our personal lives and the quest for fame, fortune, love, or whatever else to even think about helping others. As a consequence, we miss out on one of the most rewarding things in life—helping others through service.

The Law of Service is inherent in the commandment “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Jesus said this commandment of brotherly love is second only to “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” In fact, if you believe that each of us is a part of God, then to love others is to love God and vice versa. Consequently, it could be said that the two commandments are simply different expressions of the same spiritual law.

We have a spiritual kinship with all of humanity. Therefore, people locally and around the world are our neighbors. We are expected to love them all, and in so doing, to provide service and help to anyone who needs it. Unselfish service to others is the single most important thing we can do to change the world.

An Impediment to Our Spiritual Evolution

Garfish, Dominica, W.I. Copyright 2008 by Blair Atherton

Garfish, Dominica, W.I. Copyright 2008 by Blair Atherton

Nature is an all pervasive spirit of love and beauty that fills and nurtures all things. All living things are her offspring and each is loved equally by her. So too, all of her children should love one another to the same degree and without prejudice or favoritism.

Last week’s article on spirituality and nature raises issues about how we view and treat animals. These matters derive in part from the statement “If all things are a part of God, then all things are sacred and demand our reverence, respect, compassion, and protection.”

I believe that animals are at a higher level of consciousness than we may think. Each has its place and role in the spiritual ecology of our world. Animals have as much right to life and freedom as we.

As noted last week, it is our arrogance and self serving nature that leads us to view animals as inferior and/or as food items put here for our consumption. I believe deep inside of me that it is wrong to raise animals for food. For me, it is a fundamental spiritual truth that compelled me to become a vegetarian.

Like any wrong, raising animals in large numbers for food has consequences. Negative impacts on the environment like pollution and global warming are a few examples of the consequential damages of the meat industry (for more details see the author’s note below). There is also a huge toll on the spiritual progression of those who eat meat, support the farming of animals for food, or otherwise refuse to believe that animal life is as precious as human life.

Animals raised for food must endure a great deal of fear, pain, and suffering inflicted by the cultivation and slaughter process. Generally, we don’t want to know much about how livestock are treated and slaughtered because we don’t want to feel guilty about supporting such practices by consuming meat. We know it is wrong, but we do not want to give up our favorite foods. We have come to love the smell of burning flesh and the taste of blood. Would you give up meat if it would save the planet, or if it would remove a major impediment to your reaching new heights of spiritual awareness?

We try to rationalize our choice by saying that if we give up all meat, it will have no measurable effect on the meat industry or the environment. We tell ourselves that one person cannot change the world.

But this misses the point. The world is changed by one person at a time by doing what is right without regard to what others think or do. As more and more people act on their conscience, the next thing you know, changes can be seen, and over time the world is transformed.

One may argue that man has been killing animals for food since time immemorial. But man also has an equally long history of brutality and little regard for human life as well. However, through the ages, humanity as a whole has progressed in its spiritual evolution and now the brutality and large scale killing of humans is primarily reduced to relatively small groups of religious extremists, dictatorial governments, and fanatic groups.

As a race our spiritual awareness has reached the point where we have come to understand that killing each other is wrong. The next step in our spiritual evolution is to recognize that killing animals is wrong too.

Author’s comment:

I urge everyone to read one or more of the following short articles that summarize the environmental impacts of the livestock industry.

http://www.vegetariantimes.com/article/the-environmental-impact-of-a-meat-based-diet/

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/meat/interviews/pollan.html

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=meat-and-environment

http://woods.stanford.edu/environmental-venture-projects/consequences-increased-global-meat-consumption-global-environment