A Series of Open Messages to Whomever
From the Desk of -- Belle's Papa
Date: Initial Version Completed on May 3, 2004.
Series-Three (Expanded Focus) Topics.
This niche within the website has been graciously offered to me as a means to put up on the Internet a series of personal messages or informal offerings of information which may well have a meaning for you as a searcher and Wanderer. As you are here reading these words, you have already made the decision to challenge the implied cultural and spiritual mechanisms you have grown up with. You may have heard that you are a product of that societal structure, and do not have any possibility for change in your life, short of leaving your location and starting over somewhere else. The gist of this "niche" is as a message-board for your spiritual-self, where I hope to inspire or influence you to look beyond the obvious and sublime. To challenge that which initially seems correct and proper, while keeping the safety of your sanctuary intact. Nothing revolutionary or subversive is meant or intended in these messages - although you may over time decide to change your way of thinking and acting. All for the positive. That is the purpose behind these words. For after all - that is what is offered to you: words. But they come from a very spiritual focus and intent. I am a spiritual shaman and healer. But I also retired from a career in science and engineering, so I have personal knowledge of a great many things and events. As well I am an amateur scholar and researcher, meaning that I am a scholar in the original sense: I do it not for money! And I have an excellent and specially-focused personal library which is one of the best of its kind. An ever-expanding one. So we make this journey together, my friend to be, and I wish you "Bon Voyage!"
TOPIC: Living the Spiritual Life.
This is perhaps the most important Topic in the entire collection herein, to date.
I could go into a massive overview of the various cultures and lifestyles of all of the various communities found elsewhere on this planetary surface, and collect the necessary information regarding common activities, specific but similar activities, and specific but less similar activities conducted by the reportees. What would come out of that would be a snapshot of life on a planetary surface which follows along with many historical ideas still extant among ordinary people. Long-term ideas and cultural patterns remain in place over a long period, even after older, historical political structures have been removed or subverted. The current "Middle East" (Southwestern Asia) is a case in point. Where there are religious activities still being conducted long after the political powers of the originating systems have been subverted or destroyed. It is always a factor of the will of the ordinary people, as to their keeping or dropping their support of historically-based activities. But here in this country, we are told that such things are not a part of our national substance, where old customs no longer have a place in our frantic consumer-driven economy. Where we have now to look only to those with the money-power for guidance and prostrated allegiance. The current power structure in place in Washington, DC is a case in point, and the power-brokers therein are allied very closely with an army of lobbyists for trade and commercial enterprises. Big business-oriented, almost exclusively. With some exceptions.
So our problem with this all is in attempting to understand just what an appropriate Spiritual Life might be in a world such as this one. Where the American drive for 'global-ism' or global 'command and control' of the old historical systems is now of the utmost importance. Where new landlords and the privatizing of what once were public utilities have now become the challenge to ordinary citizens or residents of non-industrialized countries. Bolivia is a good case in point, where the ordinary people had to openly oppose such happenings at the street-level to gain back some control over their lives. Especially regarding their own water. .
Our expanding problem is in better understanding just what ordinary people are required to do in maintaining some control over their lives. Where the need is to ensure that a requisite amount of time and energy is ever available for personal usage, such as in the most-personal aspects of a Spiritual Life. Especially where an available, outwardly-acceptable by some others, form of 'spiritual life' imagery might not be acceptable to still other, specific people.
This following paragraph must be read in terms of the current "Patriot Act" of Congress, and the resultant limitations placed upon the legal laws of intent formulated within the US Constitution. The current, national "war on terrorism" [a misnomer] has become an all-encompassing series of events which may lead to the complete cessation of whatever still remains of our guaranteed liberties within the famous "Bill of Rights," the first ten Amendments [a specific and designated block of ten] to the US Constitution. There are now various 'national leaders' who deny the current existence of any Constitutional power within their interpretation of the law. So, please read the following paragraph in that light:
The "separation of church and state" guarantee laid out in the US Constitution is now under a massive attack by certain Christian fundamentalists [and others] who claim to speak for everyone else. Who claim that this was meant to be a "Christian" nation, subject only to the laws of 'their god,' as exemplified in their general standard-work, the KJV Christian Bible. But the US Constitution is clear: Within the "Bill of Rights," Amendment I, Restrictions on Powers of Congress, Section 1, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." [Proposed: Sept 25, 1789. Ratified: Dec 15, 1791.] This is the famous "separation of church and state" Amendment. And the law is very clear. So various fundamentalist-based folks are now attacking it on a state-by-state basis, using the notion of "states' rights" as the verbal battering ram. In other words, the meaning and intent of the founders of this nation are now seen to be erroneous and set-aside by these fundamentalists. In their acting as an army of religionists bent upon taking over and controlling the lives, and every aspect of those lives, of the general public here in these United States of America. So what is there to do in countering this potential invasion of the private lives of the American public?
A final look at the US Constitution is now necessary: Amendment X, State Rights, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." [Proposed: Sept 25, 1789. Ratified: Dec 15, 1791.] Please note that these two Amendments were both Proposed and Ratified on the same dates, signifying a common knowledge - and understanding at that time - of them both. So it can be said that pursuant to the First and Tenth Amendments of the Bill of Rights of the US Constitution, there shall ever be the "freedom of worship" or " freedom to not worship" given to each and every citizen of this country who comes under the protection of the US Constitution. And NO specific religion has ever been designated as the 'official' religion within this country. However, there was a religious-based colony established on the eastern coast back during the colonial period, beginning with the Massachusetts Bay Company of 1628, an English chartered company, which over the years attempted to create a religious 'nation' answerable only to itself as a Calvinist-style site of governance. Where later, the people rebelled against the terroristic tactics of same, and finally came to deny such an absolute status for any church therein, and finally focusing on the Congregationalist church in Massachusetts, as led by men like Jonathan Edwards, a founder of the "Great Awakenings" or of the evangelical movement here in America. And culminating in the more-recent "Billy Graham" episode of GW Bush fame. But that beginning, and the ensuing evangelical efforts over the years by such white-hot zealots, has not in any way abrogated the intent of the founding fathers of this nation. And New England has been the site of a major center of learning [the Latin School of Boston and the nearby Harvard College, for example], so graduates have gone back to their respective homes elsewhere and carried along some of the ideas of that zealotry. Usually without an in-depth understanding of the history of it, or of the standing consequences. History is not a strong suit here in this country, as it has been business-oriented almost from the beginning - thanks to those commercial beginnings via the British East India Company, a [nearly] sovereign nation within the England [Britain] of that earlier time. The sovereign [king] got his 'cut' of the proceeds, and kept his mouth shut as regards the tactics used in gaining those proceeds. Until he finally had to disavow that relationship and shut them down. Not unlike this time we live in, here in modern America. Witness the corporate-criminality erupting in the last half of the 20th century here, and the later hand-wringing public utterances from officialdom. There are many books on the subject. I have a few, too.
Expansion of Ideas.
So what is to be done, where a general lack of knowledge regarding the history of this country is so overbearing in affect? There is an unwritten and suppressed history of smaller religious-colonies here in this country, where even the Mormons had been terribly assaulted during their founding years. Recently, the state of Illinois tendered its regrets for the killing there of a major leader of that religious group.
The Kentucky Group (L/L) should become a grand example of how a modern spiritual-based community may be raised-up in spite of various obstacles. They are dedicated to establishing an example of how such a community may be set-up and then prosper with tender, loving care from the members. But that is a Group, and not everyone will be able to become a member of such a Group.
So this Topic is meant to be a help in the task of an individual becoming a person living a form of Spiritual Life, in spite of the history of religious zealotry which permeates the usual thinking of so many uneducated people. So let us attempt to define the meaning of Spiritual: "As relating to sacred matters. Ecclesiastical rather than secular [lay or temporal]. Relating to supernatural beings or phenomena. Of, relating to, or involving spiritualism." These are some of the many aspects of what that word has come to mean for a variety of folks. Here in this work, where a proper mediumship is always exalted, there will always be a hint of spiritualism involved. And then, I am partial to what that stands for. But I don't speak for anyone else, here. Just little old me [some people begin to shrink when they get old - but not me - and who sez that I am old?].
Absent any desire in you to immediately run off and join an organized church, and become a practicing white-hot zealot there of some sort, I will put forward some thoughts regarding just what a Spiritual Life might be for you. Or become for you. If you accept the idea that "spiritual" includes "spiritualism," as a means to communicate with those who are not in a form of body which is immediately recognizable by your five physical senses, then we have passed the first hurdle. If you deny that aspect of this, then a much larger form of instruction will have to be entered into, but that is beyond the scope of this piece. Sorry.
So we are left with "sacred matters, ecclesiastical aspects, and the [personal] relationship to supernatural beings or phenomena." Are you still interested? Good. And the question now is over just how one might combine all of those things into a common life, as filled with "home," and perhaps "children," and obviously "work." Is there ever enough time for such arcane things as these spiritual tools? First off, one must learn to practice a form of meditation. This may not be anything more than closing your eyes and not going immediately to sleep. If that happens, then you need sleep , not meditation! Most Americans need more sleep these days, so I caution you to get some! Sleep, that is. What were you thinking? Going to bed naked may be too suggestive. Meditation is a function of desire. If you desire to really make contact with the spiritual ethers, then you will. But first you must believe that you can. If you don't, just let it pass for now. As there is no excuse for a good and present teacher, you may have a close friend who does it well enough to share some personal techniques. While those techniques may not work for you, just the personal contact may work wonders in your developing your very own technique. There is no one technique which is good for everyone. I won't even suggest the use of mine. You might think that I am faking! The gap between "alpha" and "beta" is essentially non-existent for me, so I might just stand on my head and click my ruby slippers together. Just because I need the exercise. But that one doesn't work while driving in freeway conditions! So take care, guy! But a proper meditation can lead to a proper "personal relationship to supernatural beings and phenomena." First things first.
The subject of the "ecclesiastical aspects" of things might immediately appear to be beyond the ability of one person to interdict. But fear not, as it simply refers to something suitable for use in a church. And you are now starting your church-of-one, so whatever your committee-of-self agrees upon is what counts. You can change it later, if necessary. Just don't get hung up on details at this point. There will be plenty of time to debate your own shortcomings, if you follow the usual practice of others. And besides - they may even help you, there! What are we here for, if not to help others? But try to not answer them back with deleted expletives too often, as that brings out any lingering sense of retaliation in them. And try to be around your unbreakable things if you do it otherwise. Or else stand next to a valuable vase of theirs. A good tip!
The final subject of "sacred matters" is the most important one, now. It will define just who you are in the eyes of others. A Muslim might enter into an external jihad if pressed on such a thing relative to his/her 'sectual' understanding. Sectual. Say that fast six times! See how your mind works? No wonder you don't have time for anything else! Naughty! But then the marriage bed can become a form of "sacred alter" for those so inclined. Or reclined. So what else is sacred in your life? Learning? It should be. So let's start our search for sacred matters by including a large chunk of book-learning! Using the correct books, of course. Keep those Playboy magazines out of sight until I tell you otherwise. For lunch or recess time, only. So what do you hold sacred? Besides that? The key to living a Spiritual Life is in how you honor those things you hold to be sacred. And how do you honor anything? You create your own set of values to include such a thing. Just as a Muslim or Jew might not partake of pork, if known. Or as a Jewish friend once said, when he was in the army in WWII, "We always ate corned beef on those days when they served us pork." Out in the front lines, you can't be too choosy! It's that or kill and cannibalize an enemy. But then - you don't know what HE had been eating either. Maybe one of your mates. Or that brood sow which went missing. There, the sacred thing is the very life you have. So you have to learn to honor it in a variety of ways. Honestly. Honestly? It truly is within reach for those who care.
So what have we learned in this road journey? Down the road to a Spiritual Life? The details are all yours to fill-in. And they will change as you do. So if you are honest with yourself about actually wanting to begin a Spiritual Life, then it has already begun. Last night. When you stopped using that special word. Or when you stopped to touch a friend on the shoulder and gently smiled, as he/she was obviously in pain or discomfort. Words didn't get in the way, then. And the eyes told the story of redemption at that moment. Two persons, instead of just one. Someone to share the moment. As a friend and confidant. As I am with you.