Conversations with God spoke many years ago of humans living life in total transparency, and it said that this would be the chosen and preferred lifestyle of every truly evolved society.
There is, among people who are living at the highest level of integrity, among those who are moving through their days and nights and in accordance with the purpose and agenda of their soul, no reason for any secrets to be kept from anyone.
Not a telephone record, not a purchase receipt, not list of books ordered online or a credit card statement or a bank account balance or a tax filing or any data about us whatsoever need be kept from the public eye — nor would anyone want it to be unavailable to anyone else.
There is no reason for everyone not to know everything about us, unless we have something to hide.
The reason that giant corporations, major institutions, and governments hate it when things like WikiLeaks press releases happen, or revelations like the Guardian newspaper stories about telephone records occur, is that they all have something to hide.
Recently, news reports all over the Internet have been telling of a top secret court order that allegedly required the giant Verizon telephone service provider to release the private phone records of Americans to the U.S. Government’s National Security Agency every day until the 19th of July.
Politicians have been scrambling to take sides in the aftermath of the revelation, which has been the source of much commentary (such as this one) on blogs and talk radio and television news networks like CNN, which began one of its online reports with this lead paragraph…
“Frightening government overreach or valuable law enforcement tool? That’s the question politicians in Washington, and millions of citizens around the United States, asked on Thursday thanks to an explosive report suggesting that the government has been collecting millions of Americans’ phone records.”
U.S. President Obama sought to soothe the nerves of his nation’s electorate by saying at a press conference that no one’s personal phone calls had been listened to, and that only records of numbers called, the time logs of when numbers were called, the length of conversations and the like were among the data gathered.
A number of U.S. lawmakers, including U.S. Senators and members of Congress, rose to say that such data gathering had saved their country from at least one major terrorist attack that they know of — and could avert many more, if only by making it more difficult for persons around the world to use major U.S. calling networks as a communication means by which to lay plans for their assaults.
Others have loudly protested the data gathering as a Big Brother Is Watching You intrusion in private lives. Yet this raises an interesting question: Why does one need a private life? What information is so secret, or would be so embarrassing, that we have a need to keep it private? What if everyone knew everything about everyone? What would happen?
One thing that would happen is that we would find out that we are all not so very different from each other. The other thing we would discover is that most people are pretty accepting of others — and that those who aren’t would soon, in a completely transparent society, find themselves among the tiniest minority…and have a hard time explaining what they are doing there. The third thing we would find out is that Total Transparency does not work unless everyone is playing by the same rules. That includes government, corporations, organizations, and every individual.
Can or will that day ever come? It seems a long way off. And yet, we are told in Conversations with God that this is the most wonderful and mutually beneficial way to live — and that human society will, indeed, one day move to this model. How to get everyone to embrace the model simultaneously…that is the question.
More on the world’s “move to transparency” in the days ahead. Your comments below invited. We will in the days ahead also be continuing with Part III of our series of News Analysis articles on eruptions of violence in our society. We invite you to return to this location on the Internet for ongoing and lively discussion.
This summer, my main “spiritual project” has been to fully be the now moment at any given moment. Sounds like an easy task. But in reality, this was much, much harder than anticipated. After delving into some serious self-reflection, I realized that my blockage of the now moment came not from getting into the present moment, but rather staying within it. Why was it so hard to stay in the now moment? Too many distractions.
It seems as though there are a million different things that tempt us and sway us away from the now moment. In earlier times, our minds themselves were pretty effective at keeping us thinking somewhere else. But in the 21st century, we’ve even expanded our range of distractions to al list that can easily fill the rest of this week’s post. Movies, Music, TV, Internet, Social Media…all conveniently located at the tips of our fingers to distract us even quicker, even more efficiently. With every hit new song to the top viewed channel on YouTube, every little thing is constantly fighting for our focus. By giving up our highest intention to pay the lowest attention to some lackluster entertainment, we distract ourselves from the most important thing there is: now.
To fully understand what’s occurring in our minds, we find ourselves asking some very interesting questions, with some equally interesting responses. So, we ask and respond: why do we continuously choose to occupy our mind with distractions instead of living in the glorious and infinite present moment?
Boredom. We are taught to fear the blank spaces in our lives. Whether it be of time or of silence, peaceful nothingness has virtually become shunned in our society. More and more in this day and age, we seem to have a ‘default’ noisy mental state. We fill up every corner of our mind with something, just so we are not confronted with that uncomfortable feeling of pure oblivion. When we begin to feel that nothingness, we look for anything to fill that space, even if it isn’t real. We play movies in our minds, with the film reeling the stories of our past, or the dreams of our future. For better or for worse, we take this time to pass judgment and make expectation, either about the newest post on Facebook to the upcoming channel on Youtube. By constantly fixating on the images of yesterday and tomorrow, we find that we really don’t have time for anything else. And so, our minds have adapted to never being nothing.
Now, the question remains: why are we so afraid of nothingness?
In a nutshell, we are afraid of being mindless. As seen across the ages, we value our thought power so much we forget (or ignore) how misleading our thoughts can be. We are so attached to our thoughts that we often don’t even realize just how meaningless 99% of our thoughts are. In our unparalleled attachment to our minds, we far too often let our minds define Who We Are and What We Wish To Be. All too frequently, this leads to a false image of the self being created – one that is entirely based on your past physical history. Further, if your mind is unhappy with the false self it has created, then it will hope that in the future something happens that changes that definition. The ego in the mind craves every little detail (past or future) to remind itself of Who It Is – at the expense of your attention AND awareness.
Unfortunately, for the ego-bound mind, it cannot define itself Now. If all that exists is the present moment, then the ego itself has no basis of comparison to make its judgments or expectations. Without giving our minds the time to be subject to the ego’s whims, we have the space to experience ourselves in our truest form. Because, What could possibly be more important than Now?
The element of distraction certainly has seemed pretty elemental to our society – but it doesn’t have to be. By choosing to be mind-less, a deeper and higher voice can be heard. Just watch your thoughts for ONE DAY, and you will begin to understand what they are. Begin to see through the distractions, of past and future, and unwrap for yourself the greatest gift of all. The present.
(Lauren is a Feature Editor of The Global Conversation. She lives in Wood Dale, IL, and can be reached at Lauren@TheGlobalConversation.com)
I am confused and hurt. I recently found out my boyfriend of two years has cheated on me with three different women. I thought that he was a very spiritual person because he teaches Chi kung, but this doesn’t sound like very spiritual behavior to me! … Jewel
Dear Jewel… Conversations With God Book 3 says that God is eternal, unlimited and free.
Conversations With God also says that we can substitute the word “Love” for “God”, so let’s do that with our previous statement. It would then read:
Love is eternal, unlimited and free.
Do you know that God is all there is and that your boyfriend is a part of God? When he is freely expressing unlimited love to others besides you, his girlfriend, he is actually acting from a very natural place. Our society calls it cheating, but in truth, the sexual behavior itself isn’t cheating, his dishonesty about it is.
Now, it is true that many of us, myself included, freely choose to be in a monogamous relationship, meaning a relationship with just one mate. However, many people feel that a monogamous relationship limits their freedom too much, and apparently your boyfriend is one of those people. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t care about you or that he means to hurt you. He just cares more about following his natural inclinations.
I would gently suggest that it is your thought about his actions that is causing you pain. If you can allow yourself to understand why he is doing what he is doing and not take it personally, you can begin to alleviate your mental suffering.
I’m sorry if it hurts to hear this, Jewel, but if you want a monogamous relationship with a man, it may not be possible with your present boyfriend. It’s logical to conclude that if he has been with three other women already, his pattern of behavior will likely continue.
If you choose to move on from this relationship, please be very honest with him about why you are doing so. Speak your truth but soothe your words with peace.
Allow yourself time to grieve if you’re still feeling sad, and take stock of the aspects of this relationship that you don’t want to experience next time around. Then set your sights on what you do want.
Take some time to get really clear on the qualities you would like to have in a mate. Make a list of them and allow yourself to feel how great that kind of relationship would be. Then happily release it to the Universe, trusting that It is working to bring this wonderful new man into your life.
But please also know this, Jewel: You need no one outside of yourself to complete you. Because you are also a part of God, you are whole, complete and perfect just as you are. Do whatever it takes to be a happy and fulfilled person on your own. Then you will be so irresistible, you will automatically draw a wonderful mate to yourself!
(Annie Sims is the Global Director of CWG Advanced Programs, is a Conversations With God Life Coach and author/instructor of the CWG Online School. To connect with Annie, please email her at Annie@TheGlobalConversation.com
(If you would like a question considered for publication, please submit your request to: Advice@TheGlobalConversation.com where our team is waiting to hear from you.)
An additional resource: ChangingChange.net offers spiritual assistance from a team of non-professional/volunteer Spiritual Helpers responding to every post from readers within 24 hours or less. Nothing on the CCN site should be construed or is intended to take the place of or be in any way similar to professional therapeutic or counseling services. The site functions with the gracious willing assistance of lay persons without credentials or experience in the helping professions. What these volunteers possess is an awareness of the theology of Conversations with God. It is from this context that they offer insight, suggestions, and spiritual support during moments of unbidden, unexpected, or unwelcome change on the journey of life.
In my last article, I suggested that you add yoga to your physical exercise routine especially if you feel worry, anxiety, or hate. Today I am still contemplating exercise. We are choosing whether we live healthy or diseased. If you have a choice, don’t you want to choose to be the healthiest that you possibly can be?
Do not be the person that talks about exercising and then doesn’t follow through. You owe it to yourself and to the rest of the world to stay here with us for as long as possible. You have a lot to share. You have a mission that you may not have found yet, but it’s there waiting for you. If you are ever admitted to the hospital you have a 30-40% less chance of dying if you have a regular physical routine – even if it is just walking three times a week for 15 minutes! You are also 50% less likely to die a premature death if you are active. So please add physical movement to your routine.
If you do not have a physical activity routine, then I am asking you why not? Most people say they don’t have enough time, they are too tired, or they can’t afford it. It’s time to get rid of the excuses and simply do it. Decide now that you will implement a physical activity plan that starts at a reasonable level for you and increases over time. Track your progress and plan for future upgrades. You are the only person who can take care of yourself and keep yourself healthy, and this is one of the only ways to do it. If you don’t have time to exercise, then do you have time to be dead? I know I don’t. I still have things left that I want to accomplish.
Start simply and slowly at your level. Choose whatever activity you enjoy from walking, functional exercise, or structured exercise! Don’t overdo it at the beginning so you don’t hurt yourself or burn yourself out. Start slowly and build up slowly. Keep at it. If you miss a session get right back to it as soon as possible. No one can do this for you. After you exercise you will feel great and your energy level will increase over time as your build up.
(Beth Anderson is a Certified Holistic Health Coach and a Certified Natural Health Practitioner. She is the founder of Holistic Health Hotspot in Evansville, Indiana and author of The Holistic Diet: Achieve Your Ideal Weight, Be Happy and Healthy for Life. Beth received her training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. An expert in holistic and alternative health, Beth thoroughly enjoys educating and inspiring people to learn about the truths of food, consumer products, environmental issues, and life choices. She speaks nationally and publishes articles regularly on several internet wellness sites. Beth provides individual and group holistic health coaching and works with companies to provide wellness programs, workshops, and individualized coaching services for employees. You can find Beth on Facebook or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org)
On a recent trip to the west coast of the United States, I had an interesting experience. Now, for some of you who may live in California, this may not come as a surprise to you, but I believe there are plenty of people, who, like me, actually thought that medical marijuana was being prescribed by actual doctors and not a guy in a green suit and rollerblades. I know, I know, call me naive, but I thought there was truly some degree of legitimacy in the whole medical marijuana debate.
Okay, I knew, of course, there was going to be a tremendous amount of fraud accompanying the legalization. What I did not expect was that the government of California would simply turn a blind eye to it. I mean, how does code enforcement allow the “Pot Doctor” to put up a sign that says, “get your green card for $40” on his shanty right next to the water pipe store? Really? Really? In my disbelief, I did not notice what type of store was on the other side of the Pot Doc’s place. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a Doritos store!
All right, it is too easy to make jokes about this, and I can easily get off track from the point I am trying to make here. When I turn on the news and hear a story about a state considering the legalization of marijuana based on the “medical need” argument, am I to believe that they are actually considering this as a compassionate alternative for those who are ill and may benefit from the main chemical in pot, Tetrahydrocannabinol?
This is the point of this blog and I am going to keep it really short. California legalized pot on the basis of its usage being for medical purposes. If that is their stance, they should not allow it to be sold and marketed to anyone walking down the Boardwalk in Santa Monica. Now, if they legalized it for recreational use, then they should have defined what that is and how it can be marketed.
I was walking on the Boardwalk with my wife, my stepson, and his father, when we were approached by the esteemed doctor on rollerblades. He nonchalantly put his thumb and pointer finger together and brought them to his lips, “You guys need your card?” Mind you, my stepson is only 19.
After my shock of what had just happened wore off, I started to watch the Horticulture M.D. , realizing I was watching partially because the addict within me was flabbergasted that it was that easy to get pot nowadays. When I was actively using drugs, we had to be way more covert in our attempts to “score.” But I was also curious to see if he was interacting with families with smaller children, and although I cannot be sure he was, it sure looked that way to me.
I haven’t been to Colorado since they have changed the law, but you can bet that I will be sure to notice the culture the next time I am there; however, I feel it is a little different in Colorado. The people have voted and said they were in favor on a recreational basis.
I don’t have anything against legalization of pot. What I have a problem with is the amount of hypocrisy that surrounds these landmark decisions. I know this is ridiculous to suggest, but just be honest, politicians, you are in it for the money. You spent more than you took in, people are resisting you raising our taxes again, and you need to be creative. First it is gambling, now it is drugs, why don’t you just fast forward 20 or 30 years and make the sex-trade business legal now? This way, you can spend us further and further into debt oblivion. Just be honest with us, then do the job right and keep the drug-pusher — oops, I mean the “good doctor” out of my family’s face while we walk the Boardwalk and enjoy a nice sunset and some beautiful weather.
(Kevin McCormack, C.A.d, is a certified addictions professional. He is a recovering addict with 26 years of sobriety. Kevin is a practicing auriculotherapist, CWG life coach, and interventionist specializing in individual and family recovery. Kevin will be co-presenting with JR Westen at the CWG on Recovery Path to Peace retreat in Medford, Oregon, from June 23rd – 26th. You can visit his website for more information at www.Kevin-Spiritualmentor.com . To connect with Kevin, please e-mail him at Kevin@theglobalconversation.com)
I was listening to the song Imagine, by John Lennon, a few days ago. It was the first time I had played it for my daughter, and the first time I had actively listened to the song in years. It brought me to tears to hear it through her ears.
At first I was sad to think about how long ago he wrote it and the little progress we have made in our quest for peace.
And then I looked into my daughter’s eyes and I thought of the hope of the new generation. I thought of all of the children coming up today who are more aware of global concerns; younger than they have ever been in previous generations. I thought of the child who wrote Vice President Biden asking if guns could shoot chocolate. I thought of Malala Yousufzai who was shot in the face for having the audacity of being a girl who wanted an education, and as soon as she was able to sit up in her hospital bed, began doing her studies again. I thought of any number of the children I see in my community who talk about recycling, the environment, who accept others without judgment, and who spread love.
One of the core messages of Conversations with God is, “The purpose of life is to recreate yourself anew in the next grandest version of the greatest vision ever you held about Who You Are.” In other words, each day is a chance to dream a new dream.
In reflecting on the song, I’ve rededicated myself to helping us both to imagine our roles in bringing about a kinder world; because I believe we can change the world.
We are changing the world. The world is changing through the love and energy of “living life in peace.” Peace is attainable. Like ripples in the water, each child we teach to dream of peace and love brings it one step closer. What can you do to teach your child about peace today?
“You may say I’m a dreamer….I hope someday you will join me.” Through collective dreaming, we can change the world.
Peace and Love,
(Emily A. Filmore is the Creative Co-Director of www.cwgforparents.com. She is also the author/illustrator of the “With My Child” Series of books about bonding with your child through everyday activities. Her books are available at www.withmychildseries.com. To contact Emily, please email her at Emily@cwgforparents.com.)
I don’t mind when people use the Bible as their Source and Authority on matters of spiritual consequence, but I do have a problem with people who use the Bible “buffet style,” choosing only those verses that suit their purpose or personal opinion, then ignoring anything and everything that does not—or that they think might make them, as staunch believers in the Bible, “look bad.”
The Rev. Tim Reed, pastor of First Baptist Church of Gravel Ridge in Jacksonville, Arkansas may not be a Buffet Bible Believer, but I would like to ask him some questions, just to make sure.
Rev. Reed was quoted in a news story the other day as saying that his church has no choice but to terminate its charter with Boy Scout Troop 542 because the Boy Scouts of America has lifted its ban on openly gay youths. Reed told one of the major television news networks that “it’s not a hate thing.” He said it is a “moral stance we must take as a Southern Baptist Church.”
The Christian minister was quoted by the network as saying: “God’s word explicitly says homosexuality is a choice, a sin.” Others likewise use “God’s word” as their authority in this matter, most often pointing to the Bible’s book of Leviticus at Chapter 18, Verse 22. As found in the King James Version that verse says: “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.”
Many Buffet Bible Believers also cite Leviticus 20:13, which offers this: “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”
And still others often point to 1 Corinthians 6:9, which says, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind…”
Using the Bible in this way may seem to provide righteous authority to some Southern Baptist churches, most of which are predicted to end their charters with Scouting in the weeks ahead. That could amount to nearly 4,000 Boy Scout troops soon without a sponsor. Richard Land, head of the Southern Baptists’ Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, was quoted in the news story mentioned above as saying that “Southern Baptists are going to be leaving the Boy Scouts en masse.”
Okay. Now. Fair Question time. Which verses of the Bible should be operative in our lives if we are to live up to its moral injunctions, as the Southern Baptists feel that are doing in response to the Boy Scouts’ decision to admit gay youths?
Do you suppose it might be the verse in the Book of Deuteronomy where it says that if a man marries a woman and finds that she is not a virgin, and if her family cannot prove that she was a virgin before her marriage, “she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death”? Or perhaps it would be the verse that says that if found to be in an adulterous relationship, both the man and the woman are to be taken to the city gates and also stoned to death. (Before deciding, please keep in mind that if this were to be applied, some churches would have to stone to death their own ministers.)
Or perhaps it’s the verse that says that only certain people are welcome in God’s house of worship. If you happen to be a child born out of wedlock, or the great-great-great-grandchild of a person born out of wedlock, God says you may not set foot inside a church. The Bible makes this very clear. It says that no illegitimate child, “nor any of his descendants may enter the assembly of the Lord, even down to the tenth generation.”
And, did you know this? If a certain part of a man’s body happens to be injured in an accident or as a result of war, he may likewise not join with other worshippers of God in a House of the Lord. The Bible says: “If a man’s testicles are crushed or his penis is cut off, he may not be included in the assembly of the Lord.”
Yes, these are words right out of the Bible. Turn to Deuteronomy 23:1-2, New Living Translation. “Oh,” you might say, “one of those modern Bibles.” Yes. The King James Version has it this way: “He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord,” but it means the same thing.
And the Bible has some startling news for women who take some of those self-defense classes that are offered these days. They can find themselves in a lot of trouble because of some of what they might learn in those classes. The Bible says: “If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to rescue her husband from his assailant, and she reaches out and seizes him by his private parts, you shall cut off her hand. Show her no pity.”
God’s Word also provides us clear guidance on what to do about children who don’t obey their parents. These are probably not thoughts that many mothers would have—maybe even not Southern Baptist mothers, but we have no choice but to obey. As Rev. Reed would say, “God’s word explicitly tells us” how we are to respond. And what does God’s Word instruct us to do with rebellious children?
Now you might not believe that, but it’s right there, plain as day, and you can’t deny God’s Word: “If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. They shall say to the elders, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a profligate and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of his town shall stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you.”
I guess that would do it, all right…
So with respect, I ask you to excuse me, Pastor Reed, if I am not totally convinced that humanity’s infallible answers will be found in the Bible. You may not agree with all of the above verses, either. But if we are going to be Buffet Bible Believers, rather than a Literal Word of God Believer, then might you please tell us which verses of the Bible we are advised to ignore, and which we should apply to the letter?
Thank you, sir. That would be very helpful. We would not want to be called hypocrites for citing some verses of God’s Word when they support our personal prejudices, and ignoring others when they do not, now would we…?
What is going on in Oklahoma? 17 more tornados, just days after the Big One? If you lived in Oklahoma, would you move? From a New Spirituality perspective, what would you say to the people of Oklahoma right now?
While we would imagine that most parents do not want their children to simply adopt the parents’ point of view on everything—and particularly their point of view on something as important as God—the challenge becomes one of providing the child with a free mental space within which to come to their own conclusions while at the same time offering firm and sure guidance, which every child deserves.
Children don’t want parents who are wishy-washy—and they don’t deserve them. They want and deserve more.
If a child is afraid of the policeman on the corner, do we tell her: “Oh, sweetheart, the policeman is our friend. There’s no need to be afraid of him. He’s here to protect us and to help us.”
OR…do we tell her: “Oh, sweetheart, I think the policeman is our friend. I hope there’s no need to be afraid of him. I wish that he were here to protect us and to help us. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.”
If your son is afraid to go into his room at night because he imagines there’s a monster under the bed, do you say, “Son, there’s nothing to be afraid of. Come on, I’ll go in there with you and show you.”
OR…do you say, “Well, son, I sure hope there’s nothing to be afraid of. Come on, I’ll go in with you and I’m going to wish with all my might that I’m right about this. But let’s keep the door open in case we have to get out of there in a hurry.”
Of course you offer the former, not the latter. You know that what your child looks to you for is certainty.
In all matters.
So the challenge becomes one of how to help your children feel certain about things, without robbing them of the opportunity (and the skill) of becoming certain themselves through the reaching of their own conclusions.
This is not an easy thing to do, and it can require us to sometimes walk a very thin line.
Self-discovery is the pathway to certainty
In nearly every situation in our children’s lives it seems to me we do our best job of parenting when we help them find things out for themselves.
Yet how can children find out for themselves about something as hypothetical (and that sometimes seems even to us to be hypothetical) as God?
And the problem here is that many other people talk about God in very definitive terms. So what your child is hearing on the playground, or in the home of friends, can sound very certain. Then, when your child comes to you for clarity, what do you say? That you don’t know? That you can’t be sure? That you have your own ideas, but it’s anybody’s guess? That we should all keep our fingers crossed?
Suppose your child comes to you and says he is afraid of God. Do you say, “Oh, sweetheart, God is our friend. There’s no need to be afraid of God. God’s here to protect us and to help us.”
OR…do you say: “Well, son, I think God is our friend. I don’t believe there’s a reason to be afraid of God. My own thought is that God is here to protect us. I hope there’s no reason to be afraid of him. Let’s hope I’m right.”
Let’s say that your daughter has heard at her friend’s house that God punishes us if we don’t do what He wants us to do. She’s heard that if we are not careful we could wind up going to “hell.” Now what do you say? “Sweetheart, that’s not true.” OR…“I certainly hope that’s not true. Let’s cross our fingers.”
Yes…these questions about how to proceed are not small questions. And we will begin to explore them as we continue with this series of articles in our next post. I hope you’ll join us for it.