"A single event can shape our lives or change the course of history." We all have a sense that time expands and contracts, seeming to drag one moment and race the next, but what is our constant, our absolute? I believe it is “me,” our core sense of self.
To borrow from Einstein’s example, if two men are sitting with the same beautiful girl, the time might drag for one, because the girl is his sister, while it flies for the other if he is in love with her. This means that each of us has personal control over our sense of time.
Consider all the subjective qualities we attach to time. We say things like: “I don’t have time for that.” “Time’s up.” “Your time’s running out.” “How time flies.” “Time hangs heavy.” “I love you so much, time stands still.”
These statements don’t say anything about time measured by the clock. The clock doesn’t lie about how much linear time has elapsed “out there.” But subjective time, the kind that exists only “in here,” is a different matter.
All the above statements reflect a state of self. If you’re bored, time hangs heavy; if you’re desperate, time’s running out; if you’re exhilarated, time flies; when you’re in love, time stands still. In other words, whenever you take an attitude toward time, you are really saying something about yourself. Time, in the subjective sense, is a mirror.
Linear time is moving inexorably forward, and to overcome that, we must find a place where a different kind of time, or no time, can be experienced and internalized.
.. Adapted from Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, .. By Deepak Chopra
One of the worst parts of suffering a great loss is the feeling of utter isolation. The problem of loneliness, which exists for countless people, requires deeper healing than simply seeking out company.
Loneliness can happen in a crowd and may feel most intense when you find yourself alone on a packed city street.
As a child, it was easier to cure loneliness, because the presence of a parent was enough to offer reassurance. As an adult, loneliness becomes more existential–it feels as if you have been abandoned, yet you cannot say by whom. If you suffer from loneliness, have the intention to befriend yourself; ask for spirit to comfort you with its presence.
Children need constant reassurance that they are loved because their sense of self is undeveloped and therefore fragile. By hearing “I love you,” they gain a core of self-worth. As long as this core is strong, a person can withstand the loss of love, even though it may bring intense pain.
When the core of self-love has become too weak, despair is the result. In some people it was never strong enough to begin with; in others the intensity of grief has proved too much.
Ask spirit to come in and repair your innate sense of being loved. Affirm today that you can feel loved within yourself, even after a great loss.
- Adapted from The Deeper Wound, - Recovering the Soul from Fear and Suffering, - By Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2001).
"We must now help people to understand the need for environmental protection. We must teach people to understand the need for environmental protection.
We must teach people that conservation directly aids our survival. We are all here on this planet, as it were, as tourists. None of us can live here forever. The longest we might live is a hundred years. So while we are here we should try to have a good heart and to make something positive and useful of our lives.
Whether we live just a few years or a whole century, it would be truly regrettable and sad if we were to spend that time aggravating the problems that afflict other people, animals, and the environment. The most important thing is to be a good human being."
Heaven is imagined as a place free from the bonds of earthly life where gravity no longer holds down the body. In heaven there are no cares or attachments.
Eternal joy is the soul’s constant state. Without having to imagine them, all these qualities can be traced back to the experience of waking up. The great difference between this experience and heaven is that the virtual domain isn’t outside us; one doesn’t “go” there either in body or soul.
A famous anecdote in India tells of the ascetic who goes to the mountaintop to become enlightened. He fasts and prays constantly; he gives up all worldly desires in favor of meditation. His renunciation goes on for many years until the day when he realizes he has finally arrived.
No matter where he looks, he senses only the unbounded bliss of pure awareness, without attachment of any kind. Overjoyed, he rushes down into the village below to tell everyone, and as he is going along, he runs into a crowd of drunken revelers. Quietly he tries to thread his way through, but one drunk after another bumps him and makes a crude remark. Finally the ascetic can’t stand it and cries, “Get out of my way!” At that instant he stops, turns around, and goes back to the mountain.
This anecdote is about how easily we are fooled into thinking that we can escape our own anger and frailty, but the larger point is that using the personality to get to the absolute is a contradiction. Certain parts of ourselves are designed to live in this world of time.
It takes resolve and purpose to succeed in loosening our bonds enough so that pure awareness feels totally comfortable, and in the face of conflicts we instinctively fall back on anger, as we fall back on stubbornness, self-centeredness, righteous certainty, and so forth.
Yet at another level we do not even possess these qualities, much less feel tied to them. Religious seeking, whatever form it takes, tries to regain that unattached level.
:: Adapted from How To Know God, :: By Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2000).
Do you need ME? I AM there. You cannot see ME; yet, I AM the light you see by. You cannot hear ME; yet, I speak through your voice. You cannot feel ME; yet, I AM the power at work in your hands …
I AM at work, though you do not understand MY ways, I AM at work, though you do not recognize MY works, I AM not strange visions, I AM not strange mysteries, only in absolute stillness … BEYOND SELF … Can you know ME - as I AM - and then, But as a feeling … and as faith.
Yet, I AM there. Yet, I hear. Yet, I answer.
When you need ME, I AM there. Even if you deny ME, I AM there. Even when you feel most alone, I AM there.
Even in your fears, I AM there, Even in your pain, I AM there. I AM there when you pray … I AM there when you do not pray.
I AM in you, and you are in ME, Only in your mind can you feel separate from ME, For only in your mind are the ‘Mists’ of ‘yours’ and ‘mine’, Yet only with your mind can you know ME, and experience ME. EMPTY YOUR HEART OF EMPTY FEARS, When you get yourself out of the way, I AM THERE!!!!!
You can of yourself do nothing, but I can do all, … For I AM in all …
Though you may not see the good, good is there, for I AM there. I AM there because I have to be, because I AM. Only in ME does the world have meaning; only out of ME does the world take form; only because of ME, does the world go forward.
I AM the law on which the movement of the stars and the growth Of living cells are founded. I AM THE LOVE that is the law’s fulfilling.
I AM ASSURANCE. I AM PEACE. I AM ONENESS. I AM the law that you can live by, I AM the love that you can cling to. I AM your assurance. I AM your peace. I AM one with you. BECAUSE I AM!!!!
Though your faith in ME is unsure, MY faith in you never waivers, because I know you, because I love you.
Instead of being unknowable, perhaps the afterlife is something we haven’t looked at hard enough. And if so, why not?
For one thing, the mind is addicted to repetition. We pursue the same desires today that we had yesterday. Even our thoughts today are generally about 90 percent the same as the thoughts we had yesterday, according to some studies. Habit rules our actions; a fixed roster of likes and dislikes governs our taste.
On the positive side psychologists point out that the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of pain motivate us every day, and generally to good effect. We’re reassured by what we know.
At the same time that is reassures us, repetition has a deadening effect. By keeping out what’s new, it forces reality into the strait-jacket of the old. Each of us lives behind a wall, beyond which lies the infinite potential of the unknown. Only the smallest gates are built into the wall, and we stand guard at these, allowing one experience to enter but excluding another, calling this experience good and that one evil. As long as we keep on taking in reality so selectively, freedom is a remote possibility.
In this regard, death is a great gift, because it throws open all the doors and windows. Dying forces us outside the wall. Instead of seeing the familiar things we’ve assiduously collected and labeled as reality, we must start over.
Whatever our dream is right now, that dream continues. Consciousness is tied by thousands of threads to old memories, habits, preferences, and relationships.
Who are you? You have to know where you are right now, in order to know where you will be tomorrow, and the afterlife is just a special kind of tomorrow.
` Adapted from Life After Death: The Burden of Proof, ` By Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2006).
No other mammal shows more spirited devotion to its family, organization or social group than the wolf. The members of the wolf pack hunt together to insure survival of the group, but they also play, sing, sleep, scuffle and protect each other. A wolf's purpose for existing is to insure the survival of the pack.
A wolf pack is made up of parents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, half brothers and half sisters - it is truly an extended family organization. And though generally only the Alpha male and Alpha female produce pups, every member of the pack participates in the nurturing and education of the young. Each pack member assumes responsibility for the food, shelter, training, protection and play where the pups are concerned, for the pack realizes that the young are their future.
The loyalty exhibited between wolves is well known and documented. But a Montana man who has used his summers for years to study wolves in Alaska gave me a different view of wolf loyalty. He told about a couple he knew who lived in an extremely remote area with their two sons in a log cabin they had made by hand. This family also included two wolves they had raised from earliest puppy hood, rescuing them from their den after their mother had been indiscriminately shot and the pups left to die. This was the only family the wolves had ever known, having only lived with humans as their pack mates.
One day the parents were cutting wood about a mile from home when one of the boys accidentally turned over a kerosene lamp (there was no electricity), and a raging fire began to consume the wooden structure. The two wolves immediately dashed toward the flaming cabin where the two boys were trapped inside, immobilized by smoke and fear. The parents were far behind, so the wolves gnawed and fought their way into the cabin and pulled the boys outside to safety. Though both wolves were badly burned, their loyalty to their "pack" meant the difference between life and death for these two members of their "pack."
The Wolf Credo written by Del Goetz truly captures what the wolf is all about:
Respect the elders Teach the young Cooperate with the pack.
Play when you can Hunt when you must Rest in between.
Share your affections Voice your feelings Leave your mark.
* Excerpt from: Wisdom of Wolves, * By Twyman Towery
I have never accepted that money was the root of all evil. Yet the way of peace has to face the current dominance of greed. Some liberal Christian theologians have tried to soften Christ's apparently blanket condemnation of riches by saying that what he really meant was that love of money is at the root of all evil. The semantic difference is that in the first statement money causes evil while in the second it is only associated with it.
The issue of money and spirituality has changed since Saint Francis of Assisi formed a band of impoverished brothers. Saint Francis took literally a Biblical passage in which Christ says to his disciples, "You have received the Gospel without payment, give it to others as freely." Begging monks were a tradition that was already centuries old in India and China. The basic problem with money seems obvious: It pulls the mind toward worldly things, it fills up one's hours with business and commerce, it distorts the true values of spirit by replacing them with pleasure and possessions. To me, this doesn't say that money is evil or nonspiritual. It says that money is a distraction, and sometimes so powerful a distraction that people fail to go beyond it.
The failure here is to unite spiritual and material values, but I believe the way of peace shows us that this is not only desirable but totally necessary.
If you live as though money brings the only happiness, clearly something has gone wrong. Without holding moral judgments against money, I must accuse riches of being a terrible distraction. They hold us in the grip of a false self-image, that of being creatures whose purpose on earth is to be prosperous and secure.
Our real purpose on Earth is very different, as every spiritual tradition recognizes. We are here to evolve and grow. We are here to discover who we are. We are here to transform our surroundings in keeping with who we really are.
Great spiritual teachers have said that we are ultimately here to transcend matter, to worship our maker, to appreciate the infinite creation and learn humility before it. All those things may emerge once we know who we really are. That is life's central mystery, and money doesn't come close to answering it.
.. Adapted from Peace is the Way, .. By Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press, 2005).