Thursday, July 18, 2013
Where did the idea that we pick out our parents come from? It comes from Buddhism. The belief that we each select our parents in each of our lives is well documented in the Tibetan Book of the Dead. That book explains what happens to a soul traversing from one incarnation to the next. The soul goes into what is called the Bardo, loosely translated as “The In Between” where the soul travels for seven weeks—forty-nine days—while Buddhist monks chant in an effort to guide the soul on its journey. The chants attempt to encourage the soul to accept one of the several heavens offered to it at various stages along the way. But if that does not happen, or cannot happen due to the need to balance out the positive and negative forces of karma left over from the actions and consequences in prior lives, the soul at the end of the Bardo is given the choice to accept any one of several couples for parents in its next life time. The soul sees all of those potential parents making love and the sexual magnetic energy is overwhelmingly strong. Still, the soul is encouraged, per the book and chanting monks, to be cautious not to go into what is called a ‘bad womb’. What is meant by a bad womb is being reborn into a life where dharma or the ultimate reality will not be taught. The soul is told to aim its will towards requesting the couple to teach dharma and thus block any womb of those who will not, or to form the powerful intention to receive spiritual attainments from the couple that will block the womb of any who cannot. It is important to block the womb where there is lust, hate, and delusion. The soul does not enter into an already made body, but it forms the body suitable for the soul to inhabit. The soul comes first. It constructs the body. It is the thought force of desire for sensory expression that causes the natural formation of the fetus to be molded by energy supplied by the creative impulse of the being that lived before. The best known Buddhist text, Dhammapada, opens up with: “everything we are is the result of what we have thought”. Therefore each of us can determine our past life experiences by looking at our bodies and can know what the future will bring by noting what our minds are thinking right now.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
For the last year or so my husband and I have been receiving numerous letters from various sources about the Homeowners Relief Program (HARP). My curiosity was aroused so I called our mortgage lender to find out what those offers were all about. I was promptly told they would refinance our loan to reduce our interest rate. During a half hour conversation I was delighted to hear all the wonderful things my lender would do so I would get to pay them less money. That’s not what actually happened. After paying a non-refundable fee of $350.00, spending a lot of my time over the next several weeks filling out a mountain of paperwork, standing by my FAX machine for several hours feeding in my last two years tax filings, and suffering through two separate appraisals because the first one took flight into the void, and seeing the unaccountably unattractive pictures of my home taken by the second appraiser that made the hair on my head stand on end, our lender did not make good on what was initially told to me. There was a lot of talk about Fannie May and Freddie Mack, but our lender wasn’t really offering a HARP loan. No, they ultimately wanted my husband and me to fork over thousands of dollars towards our loan with them so the mortgage would be 80% of the current market value. Maybe it was my anger at the waste of my time, energy, and the non-refundable fee that caused me to rummage through the letters that were still being mailed to us. I dialed the telephone number on the top letter to find out if we could get our interest rate reduced…really. As it happened, we could, and did. The person (www.MyHomeLoansStore.com) I called made it all happen with less fuss and time than I’d spent with our original lender. He used the formulas listed and used by the government that showed the value of our home several thousands of dollars over that horrid appraisal we’d gotten. Admittedly I was surprised at how the value of our home had plummeted, but that is the point of HARP. The homeowners who have always paid their mortgage payments on time and have good credit are able to get some relief from the conditions of the home market—not just those who didn’t pay on time. The acronym: HARP. Where does the “A” come from? Shouldn’t it be HORP? Maybe, but there are some lenders that I’d like to harp about and others who might be playing some soothing music to a homeowner’s ears.
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
If you have read any of the books about the Spiritual Laws, such as The Secret, you might sometimes get into spiraling mind games with yourself by having the following thoughts: My thoughts create my life. I’m responsible for my thoughts. If I am unhappy about my life, it’s because of my own thoughts; therefore, it’s entirely my own fault. No. That premise is wrong since it is incomplete. It assumes we live in a vacuum, ignoring the fact that our lives are filled with other people who also have thoughts and take actions. We are responsible for how we react to them, which means we need to process our thoughts about life in a way that is not reactionary. We must learn to be mature. Sometimes that means disengaging from those who cannot or will not look at their own thoughts and actions other than in a completely selfish way. Here’s another: I want my plans to turn out in the way I planned them. They don’t. I’m a control freak, and I shouldn’t have been trying to get things to go the way I wanted them in the first place. Again, no. When plans are affected by other people, then that fact must be taken into consideration, too. Face it: some people dissemble and others lie. And one person’s truth is not always another’s truth. One of life’s most important lessons is to know who and when to trust and to not be naïve. Remember: The Law of Detachment does not interfere with the Laws of Intention and Desire. The intention of going forward in some desired direction and having goals is not wrong. A person being prepared will be able to use the opportunities that appear, thus no solutions are forced. A person’s attention grows stronger, and it’s her or his intention that will organize its fulfillment. The Spiritual Laws work in ways that remove the tension and stress.
Monday, April 1, 2013
I, too, love to read books about vampires who are gorgeous and good. “Come on,” I ask, “who could ignore the charms of a passionate and sexy love story that ends with life…love eternal?” But then, I end up thinking about the latest, and then all of those countless fantasies I’ve read, and inevitably start teasing at the story line to pick out the parts that are immature. I question why a one hundred year plus vampire would be interested in an eighteen year old girl. I’m no where near one hundred years old and the thought of spending all of my time with an eighteen year old boy—no matter how gorgeous—would be tedious at best. And really, isn’t there something that smacks of pedophilia,as much as predatory, in the thought of being with a person who hasn’t had much experience of life? By the time I work through that creepy thought, I ask myself if love “should” last forever. I conclude: Love, by all means. But as a married—glued together—couple forever? Well, now that seems like pure emotional stagnation. Still, I’ll continue to sink my teeth into and gobble down those vampire “candy” books. They are just too tasty for me not to enjoy them.
Monday, March 25, 2013
What happened to the rake? You know, the thing people used in the past to gather up leaves and debris from their yards. My neighborhood is filled with people who may not be affluent, yet they do have gardeners. Mostly, my neighbors work so many hours at their jobs, there isn’t time to do the gardening themselves. And the gardeners, who cut the grass and go within fifteen minutes, all have blowers…not a rake to be seen on their trucks. The noise is horrid, since there are so many houses and so many gardeners all coming and going at different times of the day throughout the entire week. Honestly, some days I feel like going outside, ripping off their masks and noise canceling earphones to scream, “You can’t hear the noise you make, BUT I CAN!” If wouldn’t work. I’d be called a crazy woman…or worse. I’ve told my own gardener not to use a blower. The dirt and debris isn’t ever picked up. A lot of it ends up on the cushions of the swing in the courtyard that I get to clean-up myself. Even my one neighbor, who does have the time to do his own gardening, has a blower. I sigh deeply as I think, the rake is one of those items lost in the mist of time when people had the moments in their lives to actually cut, trim, and clean-up. So, I’m not really upset about the noise and dirt as much as the fact that everyone is on the fast track of life…heading towards…you tell me where.
Saturday, March 16, 2013
In the Between is about a woman who dies and travels through the Bardo. The book opens with an explanation of that term: she is going from one life to the next. The word Bardo comes from the Tibetan Book of the Dead, loosely translated as: The In Between. According to that book, souls travel through it for 49 days, during which time they are encouraged to accept any one of numerous heavens being offered. Unless, as in this case, there is some karma left over from past lives. But our soul, in the story, is not Buddhist, she is from the West. And being the kind of woman she has become through all the countless lives—she believes she has lived—she developed her own ideas about living and what happens after death. Based on her ideas she re-lives some of her past lives to help with the evolution of her soul. But before any of that happens—right from the start—when she first arrives at the Bardo, she is surprised to discover something odd about her soul that is confusing. She learns there are two parts to her soul—the animal and the spiritual. The two soul aspects disagree about what is supposed to be accomplished while in the between and the book spells out those differences of opinion through lively dialogue. After achieving some harmony, our soul agrees to re-live her past lives that took place in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Jerusalem, Istanbul, Spain, Brussels, France, England, the U.S., and India. After each experience the two soul aspects review what happened—why she made choices causing karma that must be balanced in her future—and the two parts of our soul begin to grow together. She learns everything is much more complicated than she ever thought, including all of her relationships, whether they seemed good or not so good. She also finds out how it is that thinking people develop their personal ideas about God, the universe, and spirit, but most importantly why souls are on planet earth—at all. The book allows for all of us to ask ourselves: What if it is true? What if we don’t go to Heaven…or Hell when we die? What if karma does exist? What if we do reincarnate into another life to try to learn about our past mistakes and get to balance out misdeeds?
About 18 months ago the CBS Sunday show did a survey and discovered that 1 in 5 Americans believe in reincarnation and 1 in 10 believe they can remember a past life they lived? Check out what famous people like Jesus of Nazareth, Rumi, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Benjamin Franklin, Carl Gustav Jung, and others said. Certainly food for thought. Jesus of Nazareth: “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?” And the disciples answered: “Some say that thou art Elijah, and others Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” “Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist. And if you will receive it, this is Elijah who was destined to come. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” Matthew 16:13-14; 11:11, 14-15 Hermes Trismegistus: The Soul passes from form to form; and the mansions of her pilgrimage are manifold. Thou puttest off the bodies as raiment; and as vesture doest thou fold them up. Thou are from old, O Soul of man, yea, thou art from everlasting. Egyptian Hermetic Fragments Rabbi Simeon Ben Jochai: All souls are subject to the trials of reincarnation. They know not how they are being at all times judged, both before coming into this world and when they leave it. They do not know how many transformations and mysterious trials they must undergo. The souls must re-enter the absolute substance whence they have emerged. But to accomplish this end they must develop all the perfections, the germ of which is planted in them; and if they have not fulfilled this condition during one life, they must commence another, a third, and so forth. The Zohar or Kabalistic Book of Light Rumi: There have been thousands of changes in form. Look always to the form in the present; for, if you think of the forms in the past, you will separate yourself from your true Self. These are all states of the permanent which you have seen by dying. Why then do you turn your face from death? Die happily and look forward to taking up a new and better form. Like the sun, only you set in the West can you rise again with brilliance in the East. Mathnawi Ralph Waldo Emerson: It is the secret of the world that all things subsist and do no die, but only retire a little from sight and afterwards return again. Nothing is dead; men feign themselves dead, and endure mock funerals and mournful obituaries, and there they stand looking out of the window, sound and well, in some new strange disguise. Jesus in not dead; he is very well alive: nor John, nor Paul, nor Mahomet, nor Aristotle; at times we believe we have seen them all, and could easily tell the names under which they go. “Nominalist and Realist” Benjamin Franklin: Finding myself to exist in the world, I believe I shall in some shape or other always exist; and, with all the inconveniences human life is liable to, I shall not object to a new edition of mine, hoping, however, that the errata of the last may be corrected. Letters Thomas Huxley: In the doctrine of transmigration, whatever its origin, Brahmanical and Buddhist speculation found, ready to hand, the means of constructing a plausible vindication of the ways of the Cosmos to man. None but very hasty thinkers will reject it on the group of inherent absurdity. Like the doctrine of evolution itself, that of transmigration has its roots in the world of reality. “Evolution and Ethics” Carl Gustav Jung: My life as I lived it had often seems to me like a story that has no beginning and no end. I had the feeling that I was a historical fragment, an excerpt for which the preceding and succeeding test was missing. I encountered questions I was not yet able to answer; that I had to be born again because I had not fulfilled the task that was given to me. When I die, my deeds will follow along with me—that is how I imagine it. I will bring with me what I have done. In the meantime it is important to insure that I do not stand at the end with empty hands. “Memories, Dreams, Reflections”