The Kingdom of God is within us…

“Everything in the universe is within you. Ask all from yourself.”
― Mawlana Jalal-al-Din Rumi

Humans are essentially spiritual beings who have the unlimited power of the Spirit of the Universe. This power is God’s and yet it also belongs to each one of us. It is only when we realize oneness with the Divine Source, that we become filled with its power. We are never separate from the Divine Source. Through the Divine Spark within us, which is our real selves, we are always connected with the Infinite.

The separation which we might feel and experience is mental. Thought is a spiritual power that has tremendous potency. Our thoughts are a conduit or a channel to connect us with the power house of the Universe or cut us off entirely from it. But even our thoughts cannot touch our intrinsic connection with the Divine Source. This power is unconquerable and transcends the physical and even the mental order.

The Divine Spark within us is connected to the Sacred Flame, thus making us Divine. When we realize our own spiritual identity, we know that we can never die, be defeated or fail. We must learn to think after the Spirit, as a spiritual being, instead of after the flesh, as a material creature. All that we need is within us. No one answers our prayers and desires; we answer our own prayers and desires by the power that the Universe has given each one of us. We find that power deep within us. The Kingdom of God is truly within us.

It is in the Divine Spirit that we live and move and have our being. As soon as we realize the truth of our relationship with the Infinite, we pass from weakness to power, from death unto life.

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Conventions and Change come with a price…

Conventional opinion is the ruin of our souls

Rumi

Society develops conventional systems for its proper functioning. These structures are rooted in tradition, culture, religion and social values. However, all these arrangements are also time bound; slowly but surely, this conventional wisdom will have all convention and little wisdom. How often conventional wisdom rooted in the past without any critical thinking has caused division, hatred and even death of individuals and groups.

If everyone thinks that something is right, there might be something wrong. Just because something was good and right in the past, does not mean that it will be the same today and forever. We need to look at reality and conventional truth with new eyes. With greater clarity and critical thinking, we will find new and creative ways of understanding reality and living meaningful lives.

Life is always in flux. Change and transformation are the very nature of life. For our soul to be alive it needs to be in the flow of life. Structures that block this flow will stagnate the soul and life itself.

Heraclitus of Ephesus (c. 500 BCE) claimed that life is in a constant state of flux. This is often explained as, “You cannot step into the same river twice.” Every time you step into the river, you and the river have changed. His contemporary, Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha (c. 563 – 483 BCE) also recognized that nothing was permanent and everything was in a constant state of change. The cause of suffering was people’s insistence on permanence in a world of impermanence.

Openness alone is not enough for change. Openness is not the end it is only the beginning. Change comes with a price. The life of a prophet generally ends in being killed. Sometimes people who fight for change are alienated, punished and made to suffer by the people they love the most. Because of the consequence of change, people choose to remain silent. This silence is more damaging than facing the conflict of change. In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

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The birds of the air and the lilies of the field…

I want to sing like the birds sing, not worrying about who hears or what they think

Rumi

Living an authentic life will bring us inner bliss and freedom. When we live by our convictions, it will not matter what others think about us. It does not matter if we are rewarded when we live our passion. Our passion is our reward.

When we follow our passion, we create a divine milieu. In this sacred space we experience Wu Wei, an ancient Chinese principle which means acting without acting. Some translate it as doing nothing. But Wu Wei implies being fully immersed in the moment without the dictates of the mind. Wu Wei, therefore, is being totally active.

Wu-Wei is like water that apparently has no purpose, no goal and no specific desire; but as it flows it benefits all of creation without trying to compete with it. It nourishes everything that it passes without focusing on the results. Wu Wei is letting go and going with the flow of the Universe.

As children we lived in this ecstatic reality, just like the birds and every part of creation. We had a taste of living in Eternal Bliss and freedom. But we were slowly dragged into the muckiness of life and lost sight of our innocence, freedom and divine essence. However, the deep craving for union with the Divine Source never ceased within us.

The example of the lotus will help us return to a life of freedom and Eternal Bliss. The lotus is rooted in dirt and draws its life and energy from it. Every night it goes back to its roots. But it always rises above the chaos and muddy world to manifest itself in all its beauty and charm. It teaches us to celebrate a joy that is always inside us. It is the Eternal Bliss that no one and nothing can take away from us.

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Building a Better World for Future Generations…

Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.

Rumi

Everyone writes their own life stories and live out the plots. According to Carl Jung we all have a personal unconscious and are part of the collective unconscious. We inherit the knowledge, wisdom and experience of the group we belong to, our family, religion, culture and also the human community. Our personal life experiences from the time were born also become our personal story line and the plot we live out the rest of our lives.

Most people live the stories that come from the collective unconscious. If we do not critically examine our personal and collective stories, we will only strengthen the plot and pass it on to the next generation. How do we change a world that seems to be chaotic and sharply polarized? Whatever we do, it is important to pay attention to the purity of our motivation and our thoughts.

They say that thought is energy that we put out into the universe. This energy affects the collective unconscious. If our reaction to what happens in the world is one of anger, hatred, anxiety, or fear, our collective unconscious becomes more rooted in negative energy. But we can always edit our story line and recalculate the plot trajectory. We are the star, hero and the director of our own movie. If we begin to respond to our world positively, we will overwrite the negative energy.

Sometimes songs with positive lyrics can help in changing the world; songs like Imagine, sung by John Lennon or USA for Africa: We are the World. We need to listen to the lyrics of these or similar songs until we understand the words, believe in the reality of these words and let them sink into our personal unconscious. Slowly but surely, we will transform the world and offer a more hopeful and positive collective unconscious to the next generation.

Links to the two suggested songs:

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When you know how to die…

“Forget safety.
Live where you fear to live.
Destroy your reputation.
Be notorious.”
― Rumi

When you know how to die you will know how to live. Once we recognize the transitoriness of life, we look for the source of our happiness and the meaning of our lives. We find this source in that which gives life and energy to all of creation. We realize that we are an integral part of the flow of this Eternal Energy. We will begin to live every moment as fully as we can and all of life becomes a celebration. Our inner bliss breaks out into a glorious dance.

We realize the transitoriness of life and celebrate the paradox of impermanence. This reality brings us face to face with our own mortality. On the one hand it frightens us and on the other hand it spurs us on to live where we fear to live, physically, emotionally and spiritually. We find the courage to be different and inspires us to live our most authentic and fulfilling life.

We look at all our relationships, possessions and positions in life and know for the first time that we came into this world with nothing and alone and will leave the same way. We let go of all our fears and begin to live our most authentic lives. We look forward to dying while living our purpose and passion.

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Every translation is an interpretation…

“Silence is the language of God,
all else is poor translation.”
― Rumi

Silence is not the absence of noise but an inner stillness. It is the eye of a storm or the depth of a turbulent ocean. It is living fully in the moment. Silence is not total concentration but total concentration is silence. When we give ourselves fully to any activity, however mundane, we silence the monkey mind and experience absolute stillness. The fragrance of this inner silence will then permeate all our external activities.

The soul of Nature is silence and when we immerse ourselves in Nature, we find a channel to the tranquility at the core of our being where we encounter eternal peace and utter bliss.

We do not have a practice of silence; we become silence. This experience surpasses sound and goes deeper than the knowledge of the five senses. It also transcends our physical, mental and emotional pain. Silence is not a denial of pain. Being fully aware of the pain, without identifying with it, helps us live the fullness of life.

Those who are rooted in silence communicate words that reflect the Divine Essence that abides in the sanctuary at the core of our being. When we experience the miracle of life in silence, everyone around us will feel the effects.

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To question is to be alive…

“My soul is from elsewhere, I’m sure of that, and I intend to end up there.”
― Rumi

Socrates was sentenced to death for corrupting the youth. He invited them to explore the existential questions with his famous dictum: “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

Religion and Society have dogmatic statements and consider critical thinking a threat to their power and the status quo. Religion has explained dogmatically the consequence of the life that we live here on earth. And the First World considers sickness and death as a failure.

In response to Socrates’ dictum, we continue to explore the existential questions, Who am I? and the Meaning of Life. According to science, our bodies are made up of elements that first came from stardust that is present in every part of creation. In ancient Indian philosophy Prana is the life force or spirit-energy that is present in our breath and in the entire universe. When we die, our bodies will go back to the earth where it came from and our breath will continue to be part of the Universal Life Force.

Here are three responses worth considering. Teilhard de Chardin, a Jesuit priest and famous paleontologist believed that we are spiritual beings having a human experience, not human being looking for a spiritual experience. He developed his theory of Cosmic Evolution and was silenced by the religious authorities.

A psychiatrist once asked God, “Now that I am 90 years old, what is the purpose of my life?” The response he heard was this: “Your life will have a purpose but you will not know it; you will fulfill that purpose without knowing it.”

An old man in India was asked if he was afraid of dying. He said, “Yes, but I know that when the time comes to die, I will not be afraid.” The interviewer continued, “What will happen to you after you die?” His response was, “Now I am an individual, when I die, I will become Universal. That is my belief.”

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The Spiritual Life is Play-Time not a Project…

“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.”
― Rumi

When we live from the depth of our being we realize the life-giving energy that begins to flow through our conscious life. At the depth of our being there is a calm and serenity that no one and nothing can touch.

Just like a river keeps pure and fresh by flowing, our inner bliss becomes more clarified as we allow the spiritual energy to come alive from the core of our being. As long as our life is flowing over the pebbles and around the boulders of our life, we will not be stuck. We live fully in the moment and experience deep inner peace and joy.

The spiritual life is play-time, it does not have methods and is not a project. In Hinduism, life is “Lila.” This is an effortless and playful relations between the Absolute and the whole of Creation. Lila is a way the Divine Essence is expressed in every aspect of the empirical world.

When we make the spiritual life a project, it will often exhaust us; it will blur the vision and flow of the soul-energy. If we do not approach life like a little child, we will not feel the river and the depth of our soul. We will miss the music and magic of life.

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Fly and find your authentic self …

“You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life?”
― Rumi

When we realize the gifts that we are born with, we will begin to find our wings and experience an exhilarating energy. As we fly through life, everything looks expansive and feels different. We find a new perspective on life. When we crawl through life, we cannot see the stars nor experience the beauty and magic all around us.

Sometimes we do not realize our true potential until we let go of our long-held securities. We need to break through the walls of culture and tradition. They say that “When God pushes you to the edge, only two things can happen: either He will catch you when you fall, or He will teach you how to fly.” The question is: Do you jump off the cliff and expect God and people to catch you and become co-dependent, or are you ready to fly in freedom?

When we begin to fly, we move beyond sacred boundaries, seeking new horizons. We will find people who will be the wind beneath our wings encouraging us to trace our unique and authentic path in life. We leave our mark in life to help others to find their own wings and fly.

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Take charge of your mind…

Why do you stay in prison
When the door is so wide open?

Jalal Ad Din Rumi

Our brains fire the way it is wired. We come wired when we are born. The collective unconscious of our family, culture and religion becomes an integral part of our being. Sigmund Freud believes that the way we experience the first six years of our lives sets the stage for the rest of our lives. Significant individuals and life experience define our identity. We become imprisoned by these beliefs and forget who we are in our essence, Divine.

Neuroscience on the other hand, talks about brain plasticity; our brains have the ability to change as a result of new experiences. We create our own thinking and have control over our minds. It is true that our past influences our present, but we can take control of the present and determine our future. The most painful thing is to be stuck and wallow in the past.

If we recognize the gift of the present moment, we will be free from the fear and anxiety of the future or the regrets of the past. When we look at nature, we do not see any stress, fear or anxiety. Nature teaches us to flow with life and experience life in all its fullness.

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