October, 2012

(Part 4 of a 5-part series)

There is a very good reason why you cannot go to hell no matter what you do during your life here on earth. There is no such place.

We are invited by the Conversations with God writings to explore the possibility that God’s Kingdom is divided into three parts—what we might call the Realm of the Spiritual, the Realm of the Physical, and the Realm of Pure Being. Nowhere is there mentioned a place of eternal torment and damnation.

Of course, other spiritual writings do mention such a place, as we all know. So the question becomes: Which of Earth’s spiritual writings is accurate and true?

The difficulty with approaching such a question is that some religions claim that the question itself is a blasphemy. In some religious communities one can be sentenced to death for posing such an inquiry.

Some religions seek to make it very clear that the writings that support their spiritual understanding were “inspired by God,” and are therefore beyond question. They are to be taken as the Literal Word of God. No questions asked, no doubts permitted.

Yet if even one of the writers of the world’s many sacred scriptures got even one of the major principles upon which an entire religion is based wrong, or misinterpreted anything at all, the world could have been inadvertently misled for hundreds or thousands of years.

On the question of “hell” and “damnation,” Conversations with God tell us this is exactly what has occurred. God is the creator, the source, and the essence of Pure, Unconditional Love, and would never judge and then punish God’s own creations simply because—to use one striking example from ancient and contemporary religious doctrine—different people have come to God by different paths.

Does it really seem that a loving, caring, compassionate and all-wise God would say to a devote and loving, patient and kind, compassionate and generous, caring and forgiving person that because he or she did not belong to a particular religion that he or she was going straight to hell?


There is no such place as hell. It simply does not exist. There is, however, an “afterlife.” And in that Afterlife every sentient being will experience what is true: that every sentient being has been given Free Will.

It is how we have used that Free Will that has produced the Hell on Earth that so many human beings have experienced—and are continuing to experience on this very day. Yet in the moment that we leave this physical body and return to the Realm of the Spiritual, we will use that Free Will (which will still be ours, by the way) to express and experience our True Nature (which is Divinity) fully. Unless we don’t. If we want or feel the need to experience some sort of “hell”…if we feel we deserve it and ought to go there…we will. (Thus, the testimony of some people who have clinically died, come back to life, and sworn that there was a “hell” on “the other side.”)

Yet in the one-millionth of a nanosecond that we experienced what we, in our imagination, have thought “hell” to be, we would surely say, “I want out of here!”—and with that very thought we would free our Selves, as an experience and expression of Who We Really Are…and that will be “heaven.”

(A remarkable and detailed description of this entire process will be found in the book Home with God.)

Even more amazing, we have the opportunity to express and experience that True Identity right here on Earth. We don’t have to wait for the Afterlife. We can experience our Divinity right here, Right Now. Indeed, all of physical life was created as an opportunity for us to do so. It is what we decide and what we do, both individually and collectively, that determines whether we experience our Divinity.

(Neale Donald Walsch is the author of the Conversations with God series of books. His newest writing, The Only Thing That Matters, releases this week from Hay House. In it he describes how we can all experience our Divinity.)

Good Grief?

There is so much pain in the world. I see it written in the eyes and on the faces of people everywhere I go. Perhaps I see more of it given my work with grief, but all kinds of emotional pain finds its way to my doorstep. I do not see emotional pain as a bad or negative thing, rather I see it for what it is, the opportunity to be one of our greatest guides. It is a process to knowing and experiencing the depths of who we really are. There are many different kinds of emotional pain. And in this week’s column, we will begin to explore the many aspects of grief and recovery. Healing our grief is vital if we desire to create health and lasting happiness, so let’s look at it a little deeper.

What is grief? Most would answer sadness. While sadness may be a part of grief, it’s not representative of the whole picture. Grief is actually all emotions one feels and experiences while moving through any kind of loss. It is also common to feel what would seem to be conflicting emotions while grieving, like sadness and happiness at the same time. For example, sad that a loved one died but happy that they are no longer suffering from the pain of a long illness.

There are major losses, like death and divorce; and minor ones, like breaking or losing a favorite pair of sunglasses. We all experience grief in every form, yet not all recover from it; major losses being especially challenging. Having recovery tools to move through this very natural human emotional process can make the difference between really living versus just existing. Embracing your grief is to embrace your life, for it is part of who you are. Living a life full of joy does not mean we live a grief-free life, it simply means we move through the tough times returning us to our natural state of being. Winston Churchill said, “If you are going through hell, keep going.” I couldn’t agree more.

While I get having a conversation about grief isn’t usually in our “top ten” list, we might want to consider placing it there, for there is no one who escapes it.  And learning how to be with it, rather than avoiding that which is unavoidable, just makes sense.

When you look to see what it is you were taught about grief and how to deal with it, it becomes clear that we may have been given some less-than-helpful information around it, if we’re given any info at all. How many of us were taught things like “time heals all wounds” or “big boys don’t cry”? I am sure you could come up with many more of these well-intentioned but untrue statements.

Often there are things communicated that might even be intellectually true for us but aren’t really helpful when we are in the midst of dealing with a loss, things like “they are in a better place now” or “there are more fish in the sea.”  Far too often we approach grief with our intellect, which is the wrong tool for the job; grief is an emotional process. Intellectual comments, whether true or not, can leave us feeling empty and isolated. Going through loss alone makes it that much more painful and it’s never recommended. Suggestion number one in “When Everything Changes, Change Everything” is never go it alone.

Avoiding grief can lead us toward unhealthy behaviors which do nothing to help us resolve or heal our pain. The desire to feel different or to “fix” what we are feeling is quite common. Of course, in truth, there is nothing to fix because grieving (feeling) doesn’t make us broken. All of this born out of the idea that there is such a thing as a “bad feeling”; this thought leads us into more pain. Far to often people self-medicate, using all different sorts of substances or different forms of destructive behavior seeking an unneeded cure. Stuffing our feelings over time can create all sorts of health issues. Think about how often do you stuff laughter? Then why do we stuff our pain?

Feelings are created to be expressed and not repressed. When feelings are expressed, they are like waves…they have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Once a wave passes, either a similar feeling begins with less intensity as the next wave or the feeling of being complete begins to set in. Completion is all our feelings desire, simply to be fully expressed, holding nothing back. This emotional process happens until it ends naturally; surrendering to it is the key.

When I became willing to move toward my pain, rather than avoiding or running from it, an interesting thing began to happen for me. Moving toward it, especially with the intention of healing it, revealed gifts my pain had to offer. Gifts you ask? Yes, underneath all emotional pain is buried treasure. It certainly may not look or feel like it when you are in the middle of it, and I do not say this lightly or without empathy for the many painful events we all move through, yet I am still humbled when I think of the many ways my pain has nudged me in directions I may never have taken without it. Here is where our spiritual nature reveals itself, always there, holding us together as we fall apart. I am certain that if you have been on the planet for awhile you have experienced this, probably many times. The question I ask myself these days is, why do I resist it? Especially knowing that perhaps all of my greatest insights and spiritual awakenings have come through some of the most painful events and greatest hardships in my life.

I am moving through such a challenge right now and once again have noticed that old familiar feeling of resistance coming up. Yet there is another voice present, one gently urging me to surrender to the process. This voice whispers: trust that nothing happens by accident and that everything that is happening right now has a reason and purpose behind it, which, as always, supports you and your greater good. Listening to this voice has provided some comfort and a willingness to move back into the process, moving within to heal with a new level of faith and trust. But perhaps more importantly, simply allowing the pain to be expressed rather than repressed; this is the message my soul wishes to remind you of today. There is something wonderful to be experienced within the authentic expression of our emotional process, and to deny yourself that which you created simply because it feels “bad” produces more of the thing you are attempting to avoid anyway. Remember “what you resist persists.”

Moving through emotional pain is a blessing as only moving through it can be. Allow others to not only witness your process but hold you through it. Know that help is available. Know that you are not alone. Reach out…I am here.

I will close this week’s column with this wonderful quote: “Beautiful pictures are developed from negatives in a darkroom…so if darkness has fallen upon you, rest assured that a beautiful picture is being prepared, waiting only for the right time to be revealed.”

The time has come because you are here. What is being revealed for you?

Holding you in my heart – JR

(J.R. Westen, D.D. is a Holistic Health & Spiritual Counselor who has worked and presented side-by-side with Neale Donald Walsch for over a decade. He is passionate about helping individuals move beyond their emotional and spiritual challenges, transforming breakdowns into breakthroughs. His coaching provides practical wisdom and guidance that can be immediately incorporated to shift ones experience of life. As is true for most impactful teachers, JR’s own struggles and triumphs inspired him to find powerful ways of helping others. Sober since June 1, 1986, JR’s passion for helping individuals move through intense life challenges drove him to also specialize in Addiction and Grief Recovery. J.R. currently shares his gift of counseling & coaching with individuals from around the world through the Wellness Center, Simply Vibrant, located on Long Island N.Y. . In addition, he works with Escondido Sobering Services and serves on the Board of Directors for the Conversations with God Foundation. He can be contacted at JR@theglobalconversation.com, or to book an appointment, write support@simplyvibrant.com.)



Hollywood Director Tom Shadyac, most notably recognized for directing blockbuster comedies like “Ace Ventura:  Pet Detective” and “Bruce Almighty” and “The Nutty Professor,” detours away from familiar territory in his thought-provoking documentary “I AM,” where he tackles head-on probing questions that a large number of people in our world are asking today:

What is wrong with the world?

What can we do to make it better?

After a debilitating bicycle accident in 2007, Shadyac journeyed into a self-exploration of his own life and examined closely the obscure concept of “happiness.”  As he sat in the living room of his 17,000-square foot mansion, surrounded by priceless antiques, expensive cars, and a luxurious private jet, he came to the realization that none of these “things” made him any happier.  And he proceeded to sell and give away everything he owned, moved into a mobile home, and set out to create a documentary about what is “wrong” with the world.

Shadyac describes the movie “I AM” as the “Ultimate Reality Show.”  The film highlights interviews with scientists, psychologists, artists, environmentalists, authors, activists, and philosophers in its quest to discover the meaning of all life.  “I didn’t want to hear the usual answers, like war, hunger, poverty, the environmental crisis, or even greed,” Shadyac explains.  “These are not the problems, they are the symptoms of a larger endemic problem.  In I AM, I wanted to talk about the root cause of the ills of the world, because if there is a common cause, and we can talk about it, air it out in a public forum, then we have a chance to solve it.”

Interestingly, but not surprisingly, the scientifically supported discoveries emerging out of this nonfiction documentary are in alignment with many of the messages held within the New Spirituality movement:

“Humans actually function better and remain healthier when expressing positive emotions, such as love, care, compassion, and gratitude, versus their negative counterparts, anxiety, frustration, anger and fear.”

“The heart, not the brain, may be man’s primary organ of intelligence, and that human consciousness and emotions can actually affect the physical world.”

“Humankind’s real power comes in their ability to perform complex tasks together, to sympathize and cooperate.”

“I AM isn’t as much about what you can do, as who you can be.  And from that transformation of being, action will naturally follow.”

I wholeheartedly recommend this film of awakening, where science and spirituality link arms, out of which gives birth once again the undeniable realization that:  We are all connected.

Visit the I AM website here.

(Lisa McCormack is the Managing Editor & Administrator of The Global Conversation.  She is also a member of the Spiritual Helper team at www.ChangingChange.net, a website offering emotional and spiritual support .   To connect with Lisa, please e-mail her at Lisa@TheGlobalConversation.com.)

(If there is a book, movie, music CD, etc. that you would like to recommend to our worldwide audience, please submit it to our Managing Editor, Lisa McCormack, for possible publication in this space. Not all submissions can be published, due to the number of submissions and sometimes because of other content considerations, but all are encouraged. Send submissions to Lisa@TheGlobalConversation.com. Please label the topic: “Review”)


A Chicago-based magazine has just released the recording of a telephone conference call last June in which Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, speaking to a group of small business owners organized by the National Federation of Independent Businesses, urges employers to “make it very clear to your employees what you believe is in the best interest of your enterprise, and therefore their job and their future, in the upcoming elections.”

The practice is perfectly legal, and employers should utilize it to influence the vote of their workers, Mr. Romney said. The GOP candidate presumably does not feel that this is another case of the intimidation of hourly-wage or salaried employees by their bosses.

Mr. Romney’s remarks came at the end of a conference call in which he assailed President Obama’s policies as being not good for business, and Mr. Obama himself as being anti-business. “And whether you agree with me or you agree with President Obama, or whatever your political view, I hope—I hope you pass those along to your employees,” he told the business owners. Mr. Romney said he believes that what employers tell their employees “will figure into their election decision, their voting decision…”

The recording of the conference call was reportedly published June 17 by In These Times, the Chicago magazine, and re-printed by online outlets, including The Huffington Post and ThinkProgress, according to a report on June 18 by The Slatest, a widely-read online news source. That story may be accessed here.

Readers of The Global Conversion will recall that we pointed here to a widely circulated story a few days ago about the owner of a Florida time-share company who apparently took Romney’s advice, telling his estimated  7,000 employees in a memo from the front office to them all that if Mr. Obama was re-elected and then raised taxes on the super-rich as he had promised, he did not see how he could keep his business operating at its present level and that he would probably have to lay off some employees.

The man, who a few years ago listed his net worth at over a billion dollars, was featured on a recent television program as now attempting to build the Biggest House in America, a 90,000-square-foot mansion depicted here.

What all of this raises in terms of The New Spirituality is the perennial question: What, if anything, can Those Who Have More reasonably be asked to share with Those Who Have Less? Mr. Romney has already announced the income tax rate he pays is a fraction over 14%—which is much less than the rate that most Americans of 1/100th of his income pay. Warren Buffet, the multi-billionaire, likewise announced a few months ago that he pays a tax rate that is less than his secretary’s. Mr. Buffet said that this is patently unfair. Mr. Romney has indicted that there is nothing wrong with this.

And you say…?

It seems like every time I find myself feeling really good and happy about my life, it is short-lived.  One minute I’ll be happy and in no time at all something will happen to throw me into a tailspin and I don’t know which way is up! How can I stay happy for longer periods of time?

~ Melissa, Indiana

Dear Melissa,

First of all, I so know what you’re going through!  Truth is, we all do.  What you are experiencing is the Law of Opposites at work; that is, as soon as you make a declaration to the Universe (i.e. “I am happy.”), its exact opposite will show up in some way.  Admittedly, this experience can be frustrating, especially if you aren’t aware of what’s really going on.  But the existence of this law isn’t to punish or to deter us, it actually helps us create what we want in life.

Allow me to explain.  The Law of Opposites is based on the principle: “In the absence of that which you are not, that which you are, is not.”  In other words, you cannot know yourself as happy unless you know of the experience of sadness.  If you were happy all the time, and were only surrounded by happiness, you would cease to even know what happiness really is.  But when its opposite shows up, and you experience that contrast, your experience of happiness becomes greater.  So you see, the Law of Opposites works in harmony with what you are trying to create more of.  The key is to recognize what’s happening and choose happiness again.

So the next time you have this experience, in whatever context, try this:

Step 1: The moment you notice the seemingly not-so-great stuff showing up in your world, take the time to stop and recognize what’s happening.  Choose to see it as the Law of Opposites doing its part to bring you what you have called forth.  If you dare to, choose to see the “bad” stuff as a sign that the process of creation is indeed working, and say “thank you.”

Step 2: Make a new choice, or, rather, choose your original thought again.  For example, if your original declaration was “I am happy,” then choose it again, and focus on everything that is alignment with happiness.  Make the conscious choice to not give any more energy to the negative stuff that is appearing in your reality.

Step 3: Pat yourself on the back for being the creator of your own experience.

I’m not saying applying any of this is easy, unless it is, of course.  But I am saying with a little conscious thought, intention and awareness, you can have an entirely different experience than the one you mentioned in your question.  Good luck!



(Nova Wightman is a CWG Life Coach, as well as the owner and operator of Go Within Life Coaching, www.gowithincoaching.com, specializing in helping individuals blend their spirituality with their humanity in a way that makes life more enjoyable, easy, and fulfilling.  She can be reached at Nova@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.)

The war is over

My ex-husband and I padded the bank accounts of several high-priced attorneys and occupied over two years’ worth of courtroom time and resources, mired in the pain and enveloped in the confusion surrounding our divorce, a word which suddenly and ferociously became a synonym for our own personal “war.”  And most regrettably, we allowed our distorted sense of “victimization” and perceived “failure” to interfere with our ability to be the loving support system that our only son desired and deserved.  We, like so many others, found ourselves consumed with the upheaval in our relationship and paralyzed by the illusions of fear and need, as we found ourselves sinking deeper and deeper into despair and moving further and further away from any concept of who we once knew ourselves to be.

Until one day everything changed.

And I mean literally in one day.  And more profoundly, not only in one day, but as a result of one choice:

I changed my perspective.

It was glaringly apparent, after years of bitterness and conflict, that what we were doing wasn’t working.  So why were we continuing to do the same thing over and over again, making the same choices and expecting different results?  Which, by the way, is the phrase Narcotics Anonymous offers as the definition of insanity in its time-honored book on addiction.

When I shifted my perspective and held my relationship, and the experiences provided to me within it, in a new light, this is what I was allowed to remember:

First, our relationship was not ending.  It was merely changing.  The purpose and intent of our union always was and always will be integrated in our human experience in the way we choose for it to be.  We can choose to consciously and purposefully include and utilize the opportunities blanketed within this experience, or we can choose to continue to react to the experience as one that is happening outside of us and, therefore, to us.  Two very different realities are birthed out of each respective choice.

Second, this relationship was drawn to and co-created by us both as a vehicle within which we were both given an opportunity to experience an aspect of ourselves not yet remembered, not yet expressed, not yet demonstrated.  And because I do not believe that life is a series of random happenings, and I also do not believe that life shuffles us through a predetermined script, I knew there was a larger opportunity being offered here to create meaning and to declare purpose and to know and experience ourselves at a higher level.

Third, I was led to a deeper understanding of what “forgiveness” means…and what it doesn’t mean.  Neale Donald Walsch’s new book “The Only Thing That Matters” says, “Absolution is not necessary, since all human action is based, at its root, in love, however confused, mistaken, or distorted its expression.”  And as “Conversations with God” puts it:  “No one does anything inappropriate, given their model of the world.”

The marrying of these two spiritual concepts created the perfect recipe of change for me and facilitated a new perspective, one that propelled me into a deep sense of appreciation and profound gratitude in relation to someone who once was my partner and who now is my friend.

When some of the top stories in today’s headlines are “Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ Bitter Divorce” or “Real-Life War of the Roses,” as described in a story by ABC News where Michael Rose and Rona Rose’s divorce resembled the popular Hollywood movie that coined the popular phrase and amplifies the rage of a bitter divorce, I now understand the gift I have been given and value the opportunity to share my personal experience to help others.

Why are we as a society enamored with the downfall of celebrity or high-profile relationships, as the rows and rows of tabloid magazines in our grocery store checkout stands reflect?  Perhaps it soothes our own perceived sense of failure to notice that the “most notable” in our society, too, are struggling with relationship challenges.  Perhaps our egos hurt less when we think someone else hurts more.

What if, just for today, you assigned a new meaning to something that is changing (perhaps a relationship) in your life?

What if you saw this event through the lens of an entirely different perspective?

If there is a new perspective that feels better than the one you currently hold about a particular situation that you are facing, what is standing in the way of you embracing it?

Could you “end the war” right now?

(Lisa McCormack is the Managing Editor & Administrator of The Global Conversation.  She is also a member of the Spiritual Helper team at www.ChangingChange.net, a website offering emotional and spiritual support .   To connect with Lisa, please e-mail her at Lisa@TheGlobalConversation.com.)


Part One: Just FLY

In recent weeks, teen bullying has become center stage in news across the nation. At first we were shocked to hear the report of Preston Deener (age 15), with his episode of bullying right before his television interview on the subject. Then we were appalled to hear the account of Max Duke (age 15) and his school suspension for standing up to bullying victimization. And finally, we were truly at a loss for words to even describe the tragic case of Amanda Todd (age 15), whose personal struggles with bullying drove her to commit the unthinkable: suicide.

 We view, we watch, and we see these three striking examples, but the effects of bullying reach far more teens than meets the eye. The lives of Preston, Max, and Amanda aren’t the only ones who are scarred by bullying, as countless other teens, too many in names and numbers, feel that same pain and suffering.  Why is it that so many of us teens experience such physical, mental, and social abuse? How has bullying led some of us to such a loss of the self and the soul? And what choices can we as teens make to live beyond bullying?

Within the following postings, bullying will become the main focus of the conversation. As needless mistreatment and disrespect have affected every one of us at one point in our lives, the experience of being harassed for just being ourselves has now become common. Serving as a theme too universal to be further ignored, we will take a look at bullying from the place it has the most impact: the self.

For the majority of teens, bullying doesn’t necessarily harm our physical self, but it certainly damages our sense of self. This sense of self that bullying (and especially cyber bullying) affects includes our self-concept (Who We Are), our self-image (What We Choose), and our self-purpose (Why We Are Here). As others have generically called this ‘self-esteem,’ the main goal of bullying is simply to destroy it. By using constant humiliation and repetitive subjugation, bullying aims at making our sense of self so weak that we forget how wonderful and perfect our life, our choice, and our purpose really are. So now knowing what bullying does, what can we do? And, more importantly, how can we do it?

As bullying wants to make our sense of self weak, what we can do is make our sense of self STRONG. To do this, all we have to do is just FLY. Or rather, just First Love Yourself, a less common acronym for a very common need.  By loving who you are in this world, by loving your choices and where they have led, by loving the reason why you wake and breathe everything day, you create a certainty in yourself that cannot be easily shaken or dismantled. Just having that love for yourself, no matter what anyone or anything may tell you, will keep you grounded in the beautiful person that is Who You Truly Are. Love yourself unconditionally for every aspect of yourself, even your fears and your regrets, as then no part of yourself is denied from receiving that strength of certainty in your highest self. With a solid foundation in our sense of self, the walls of our self-esteem stand sturdy against any mind games bullying will attempt to use. All you need is love (for yourself).

Loving yourself, however, is still only the first step. In the following weeks, we will delve deeper into transforming our interactions and understanding of bullying. I deeply encourage all of us, teen and adult alike, to continue reading this series and continue to have conversations on this topic. Be the change you wish to see in the bullying world.

(Lauren is a Feature Editor of The Global Conversation. She lives in Wood Dale, IL, and can be reached at Lauren@TheGlobalConversation.com.)

Now, negative thoughts and frustrations will, and do, come in from time to time, sometimes a lot more if we’ve made them a kind of unconscious habit. However, this is not necessarily a bad thing; it’s just a part of how we currently process life. It’s often very temporary, and it’s okay to feel these frustrations. We can even break these negative thinking habits by the practice of patience, forgiveness, loving kindness, and compassion we show on and toward ourselves and others.

The trouble is we tend to be culturally conditioned to focus on them too much and stay in them too long.  This is when they can become unhealthy and less beneficial.

I suggest instead to acknowledge them – thank them, if you will – for pointing out that there’s something going on that you don’t prefer.  Thus, your negative thoughts, feelings, and frustrations are letting you know you desire change.

Now, you can also practice and remember that you don’t have to get caught up in, or stay so focused on, those temporary negative thoughts and feelings.  Instead, just be more aware that they actually are wise friends, pointing you toward what you do prefer.

Negative thoughts, in fact, can have a very positive benefit!  They have an important message.

They are simply pointing out, or letting you know, that something is important enough to create a feeling energy in you to “course-correct” yourself, if you choose.

What would happen if you now saw your negative thoughts and frustrations as your spirit hinting strongly that it’s asking for an adjustment attunement from you to get you to a place of peace and harmony?  Wow! We were never taught that in school or at home! That’s your spirit directing you to course correction.

Frustrations, irritations, annoyances, setbacks, anger, pain, interruptions, BIG or small, can be seen as energy bursts that happen as we desire to better our lives, become more peaceful, balanced, whole and prosperous, etc.  These frustrations and so forth come to us in answer to our desires to improve our lives, and they can help us get there more quickly by the high energy charge they give us.  We see them as negative, but that is our culturally conditioned judgment we place on them.

If we allow it, we see that this is life calling us in answer to our spiritual life improvements we desire to have.  It doesn’t have to always come in the guise of negative thoughts, frustrations, etc.  Yet if and when it does, we can use them for our benefit rather than our determent.  That shows we are ready to move ahead with better improvements with our lives, which is why they come in the first place.

We are indoctrinated into believing that negative thoughts and feelings are bad, that they create bad energy and experiences; whereas, another more beneficial way to look at them, or use them, is that they are showing us that something is important enough to us to cause such a strong energy, and by the feelings they create, they can powerfully move us to positive, beneficial,  and welcome change.

They get us there more quickly than when things are going so-so.  These are powerful energy movers that are created or called forth for our betterment.  They are here to motivate and show us the way to living the life we so desire.  That is their divine cosmic purpose. That is their gift and blessing we often overlook.

But not anymore!

We have another way to see and perceive negative thoughts and feelings. They are secretly disguised course-correctors, the GPS  from our spirit to direct us to more positive lives and experiences.

When we are ready and open enough in our hearts and minds and, thus, look more deeply into life, we see that it is set up in such a way that it works and plays in our ultimate favor.  The negative is here for contrast and free will choosing.  As we dive and peer deeply into the cosmic microscope, we see that good is actually behind and underneath it all.  Wow!

The mind can’t usually conceive this, but the heart, your spirit, your soul, your true self can.  That’s what led you here to begin with, don’t you think?  That is, to place within your current experience an alternative and beautiful way to see life as an expression of Original Blessing and Original Grace.  This article is an answer to your call for understanding.  That’s what the angels tell me anyway.

Using negative thoughts and feelings in this way eventually can become so habitual that we will eventually have less need to have thoughts show up negatively as we gain more wisdom.  Yet using the wisdom, gifts, and blessings behind the seeming negatives works and plays for our benefit, our improved joy in life.  Such is the secret wisdom behind the seeming negative if we but look and honor it.

That’s a win-win!

(Marko Damkoehler is an artist/writer/musician and creator of markoworld.com, as well as an avid student of CwG. He is also one of the Spiritual Helper Moderators on the changingchange.net website.)

(If you have a Guest Column that you would like to submit, send it to Lisa@TheGlobalConversation.com.  Not all material submitted is accepted for publication, but we appreciate each submission.)

The number of older Americans, defined as those over 65, is expected to increase from 43 million to 75 million in the next two decades. That is short—but not by much—of a doubling of that critical count. And why is it critical? Because it raises a critical question: Who shall take care of them?

The question, of course, is not limited to the United States. As the standard of living increases everywhere, as advances in medical science and technology continue, with one disease after another being defeated, life has been made better for people everywhere. And not only better…but longer.

And whether “longer” will continue to equate with “better” remains one of humanity’s biggest question marks. Were we better off, as a species, when we died younger? We have told ourselves, “No.” We have told ourselves that the longer we live (barring catastrophic and painful illness), the better. Yet if this is true, we face as a species that critical question: Who shall care for all the longer-living humans?

Do all of us, as members of this species, love those who gave us life—and, by their labors, opened us to its bounty—enough to grant them the fruits of those labors until they die? Even if it takes them a long time to die?

In essence, the question breaks down to this: To what—if anything—are older humans entitled?

That word—ENTITLEMENT—is playing a big role today in American politics. And on Oct. 16—the day of the second Presidential Debate—a story ran on the American television network CNN announcing that the rise in Social Security benefits in the United States will rise by only 1.7% in 2013, which, the news report said, “won’t be quite enough to cover the increase in prices over the last year.”

Still, the CNN report went on, “it’s better than the previous two years, when benefits did not rise at all.”

The cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security is based on the Consumer Price Index, the government’s key inflation reading, the CNN report explained.  The September reading came out Tuesday and it showed overall prices up 2% compared to a year earlier, greatly due to higher prices for food, gasoline and medical care. The so-called core-CPI, which is closely watched by economists and investors because it strips out volatile food and energy prices, also rose 2% over the last 12 months.

Yet even that index provides a wildly inaccurate picture of what senior citizens are really facing, its critics assert, because it does not truly account for the real increase of costs for older people. For instance, older people use much more medical care than most younger human beings—and the cost of medical care has increased by 4.4% in the latest CPI rating, according to the CNN report.

Most seniors no longer pay income taxes in the U.S., and fall in what  Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney described in his now famous “47% speech” at a Republican fundraiser in the U.S. on May 17. Here is what Mr. Romney said:

“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That’s an entitlement. The government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…

“These are people who pay no income tax…My job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. What I have to do is convince the 5-10% in the center that are independants, that are thoughtful, that look at voting one way or the other depending upon in some cases emotion, whether they like the guy or not.”

Mr. Romney, asked about his remarks immediately after a video of them became public, defended his observation vigorously, although he allowed as to how he stated them inelegantly. Two weeks later, he had changed his mind, saying that he was “completely wrong” in his comments. American voters were left to decide if this was simply an effort to regain votes he may have lost as a result of his earlier remarks and his defense of them.

The larger question that Mr. Romney’s 47% Speech raises is this: Just what “entitlement” does humanity’s older population have a “right” to claim? Most cannot continue working, and thus producing their own income. Nor should they have to. Fifty-five years or more of “contributing to society” should be sufficient to earn them some time of rest toward the end of their lives if they desire it, no? And who says that a person who is retired is somehow a “non-contributing” member of our society? Must we work—even if we are healthy enough to do so—until we are 80 in order to be considered to be “contributing” to the whole?

One point of view about older people is that their own family members should take care of them, not a government which taxes the income of all of its younger, wage-earning people in order to do so. Another point of view is that the entirety of young humans should take care of the entirety of older humans, as two groups whose lives are intrinsically intertwined.

Within the understandings and the messages of The New Spirituality there is no question on this issue. The primary message of Conversations with God is stated in four words: We Are All One. Clearly, were humanity to adopt and embrace the concepts of CWG and The New Spirituality, there would be no discussion of how humanity as a whole would take care of those members within its species who could no longer take sole care of themselves.

Younger people would do so, and would do so gladly, considering it an honor—even if they had to sacrifice in order to do so. Indeed, especially if they had to sacrifice would they consider it a way of honoring Those Who Have Gone Before.

Earlier this year I was asked to edit Phoenix Tears, the Rick Simpson Story, a book that chronicles the series of events leading to the rediscovery of the medicinal role of hemp oil in curing serious illness, and the author’s attempt to bring this knowledge into the public domain. Spanning a decade, Rick Simpson’s courage in sharing his newly found knowledge has earned him deep respect whilst at the same time incurring the wrath of the legal system that eventually forced him into exile, from which he has only recently emerged.

From a small town in Nova Scotia, we learn how the author’s early experiences with illness in his own family was to influence his later decision to provide hemp oil to people who came looking for it. Produced on his own property and provided free of charge, we see that it was a deep compassion that drove Rick to help others whilst at the same time having to deal with constant interference and opposition from local groups. Eventually such would be the demand for hemp oil that instruction videos would be made available to demonstrate the distillation process, the intention being to supply people with the information whereby they could produce the oil themselves.

Since this story began, Rick has cured both himself and many others of various illnesses with hemp oil, as well as continuing to share the information that empowers everyone to do likewise for themselves. Traveling throughout Europe, giving talks and seminars, his desire is to awaken us all to the healing power of arguably the most medicinal plant Mother Earth has produced, and in doing so reconnect to our own healing potential.

Available from www.phoenixtears.ca

(Gemma Phelan is from Ireland where she works as an editor. In her spare time, she enjoys giving musical recitals and teaching various complementary healing modalities.)

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