WHY?

A Simple Question … Endless Possibilities

Posts Tagged ‘faith’

Why is There a Devil… Just a Fictional Character…

Posted by apwood on April 16, 2009

So.. although I would consider myself a very spiritual person… I’ve never been religious.

I was baptized in two different christian religions and made to attend church as a child – which was good.  I learned the bible teachings, different religious philosophies, and the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ aspects of religion. (which is a whole other post)

In a nutshell, I think religion can be a ‘good’ thing offering people peace, fellowship, and purpose.  But, for me, the ‘bad’ fear-based teachings that you must be ‘a good person’ or you will find yourself face to face with the DEVIL when you die was always a problem for me.

Even as a young child it seemed backwards to teach love and acceptance for fear of hell.  Just never resonated with me.

So I chose as an adult to read about other religions and find what spirituality meant to me without participating in religion.  I found that unconditional love, acceptance, and non-judgment were the basics that made the most sense.  They feel good and right to me.

For me, I do believe that I have an obligation (mostly to myself and my evolvement) to strive to be a ‘good’ person.

Honesty, loyalty, unconditional acceptance, love, kindness, and giving are all words that I would hope one day would be words that those who knew me would use to describe who I was.

All of this I feel is important because of who I want to be not what I fear will happen to me if I do not.

I do not believe there is a separate entity named the ‘Devil’  although i do think the pain we may cause ourselves and others through unkind acts could be dark and painful, which could describe the despair we may feel.

I receive a daily email from Abraham-Hicks Publications.  They are excerpts from their teachings.  I was moved to share this as it seemed to sum up my underlying disbelief in a devil.

The “devil” is a fictional character made up (and perpetuated) by insecure humans who want to control other insecure humans. There’s a lot of power in fear, isn’t there? There shouldn’t be, because, really, what fear is, is power-less. If you understood Source, as we do, you would never fashion such fiction because there is only Well-Being that flows from that which is your Source.

Excerpted from the workshop in North Los Angeles, CA on Saturday, March 6th, 2004

Our Love,
Jerry and Esther

I found this very powerful.

I also was moved to look at fear as something that i do to myself to take my own power away.

Wow…. it takes one sentence to change a perspective.  It can be said a hundred different ways but maybe only one really makes it clear.  Writing is a beautiful thing.

Wishing you a wonderful day!

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Why I SEE things Differently.

Posted by apwood on April 27, 2008

The 8th Oprah & Eckhart class talked about INNER SPACE.

I especially found it helpful because Eckhart answered a lot of questions from people (including myself) who had a hard time with “being” one with now and what is, and “doing.” Just as I did, a lot of people were seeing this “peace” only when being still.

One guy asked how we make money and pay our bills and still be.

Eckhart explained that being is not just sitting there being with it, but having it behind all that you do.

He also spoke to the fact that is it more difficult to remain a conscious observer when faced with adversity, anger, or anything unsettling. But that if you can remain conscious that you are angry, you are not lost or taken over by anger.

That it is a practice, which takes time, and eventually you become more aware and don’t have to “catch” yourself because you are most always coming or operating from presence.

It really did help. Something that Oprah said to one caller was that if you look at things from your conscious without labeling that the world really does transform. I felt what she was saying as this has been my experience over the last 8 weeks during the classes.

As I’m sure a lot of Mother’s agree, household and necessary tasks can be boring, and repetitive. During these times – driving to the grocery store, dry cleaners, or wherever I’ve tried to use the tools Eckhart has spoken about – deep breaths, feeling my inner body, looking at things without labeling them etc.

Wow, what a difference it makes!

I’ve noticed things that I’ve looked at for years and never really “saw” them before.

Like dandelions. Instead of seeing them as a weed, they looked so yellow and beautiful and they reminded me of all the times my daughter picked them for me as a little girl. Even the ones she shoved in her pocket at school to give me later!

The tree across the street that is missing a side branch and always looked deformed to me before – now looks unique and strong and beautiful because it isn’t perfect.

Our dog Angel – who wanted to go out and walk or sit in the sun during the day when I was busy (which previously at times seemed like a chore)- now allows me to take 20 minutes to enjoy the beauty outside.

This may be second nature to some – but to me – it’s all new.

What a gift to view the beauty of the world new each day.

I am so grateful.

Posted in A New Earth | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Why Will You Thank Yourself for Watching Eckhart & Oprah’s 5th & 6th Online Class?

Posted by apwood on April 13, 2008

Because the emotional baggage that you have acquired – which weighs you down, reacts to anything negative said or done to you, and keeps seeking more pain – will begin to go away.

Eckhart calls this emotional baggage the “Pain-Body.” He describes it as an entity consisting of all the negativity that we’ve held onto. It eventually keeps collecting and feeding off of more and more pain becoming so large in some that the pain-body can be ‘active’ in you most of the time.

Which would describe me for a better part of my life.

Are you or have you been angry, resentful, felt that what you were dealt in life was so unfair? I have. Even the things that happened to you as a child. I mean we couldn’t help what was ‘done’ to us – and it is natural (at least it has been to me) to hold onto those things.

But in the short 2 weeks that I have been aware’ of my pain-body and tried not to be drawn in by it – my actions and reactions have changed dramatically. I don’t get angry multiple times a day!

From inconsiderate drivers, rude customer service reps, to my daughter talking back. When I don’t take what is being said or done as an affront to me (in other words, I don’t experience it through my pain-body) – it doesn’t hurt me and I don’t react. And wow – what energy it saves!

What resonated with me a lot was when Eckhart began speaking about the fact that the pain-body comes out or shows itself the most in intimate relationships. The Pain-Body also tries to feed itself (remember it has to be fed to continue its existence) from pushing the buttons of the one you love. So I suppose simulataneous feeding would be our fights….

This would be why there is that phenomenon that you don’t “really know someone” until you’ve lived with them, this is when you are introduced to their pain-body.

During Class 5 – Eckhart explained that the pain-body” is the emotional manifestation of the “ego.” And that just the thought that it (the painbody) is not who we are gives us the freedom to let it go.

I’m amazed at how simplistic this all seems, including the answers to stopping the cycle. Eckhart said, “awareness dissolve it.” So just as was talked about with the ego, just being aware is enough to separate yourself from it (the pain-body.)

He says in Chapter Six in A New Earth -pg. 161 – “It is your conscious prescence that breaks identification with the pain-body. When you no longer identify with it, the pain-body can no longer control your thinking and so cannot renew itself anymore by feeding on your thoughts. The pain-body does not dissolve immediately, but once you have severed the link between it and your thinking, the bain-body begins to lose energy.”

Eckhart explained that you should feel your pain when it comes up. Accept it.

This was not a natural thing and pretty difficult for me. Who likes to feel their pain? But strangely enough – he’s right. When I was feeling pain these past two weeks, I layed back and surrendered to it. It was almost like jumping off a cliff and trusting the first couple times.

But I have to say when i let go and sat in the pain without one ounce of resistance or hesitation -= it lessened! It is kind of like the pain goes to the background instead of being so close. I was suprised because I have always resisted it with such force. I don’t want to hurt so bad that I would fight it relentlessly. And it has always caused me more pain.

When Eckhart first said to do this – I thought why would i want to feel it. He explained that the reason why you should accept it is because it is part of becoming friendly with the present moment. (AS he discussed previously and I talked a little about in another post.)

Finally, he touched on how important it is to NOT seek external substances when in pain. This is not a rare phenomenon for me or many many people. This is evident through the widespread abuse of drugs and alcohol – which prolongs the problem.

Eckhart admits he likes a glass of wine – don’t we all – but overdoing it is the problem. Medicating the emotion dulls it temporarily but it is still there. For those like myself who have tried these methods and realized their failure to fix us – finally an answer.

Seemed strange for me to go into that pain – but I gotta say – it really works.

Lastly, Eckharts advice to help on stopping yourself from acting through the pain-body. When you are conscious and in the present – it is easier to see the pain-body creeping up – so you don’t have to be taken over by it. When you do feel it creeping up, stop and try and step back from it while it is still an emotion.

Eckhart said something like, “Suffering is not the pain-body but the identification with it when you become it or it becomes you.

As has been the case each week, I’m so happy to have the classes to reinforce the book. I feel like I’ve finally found the tools to really change how I am and enjoy my life like I’ve always wanted to.

Many thanks to Eckhart & Oprah!

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Why take Oprah & Eckhart Tolle’s ‘A New Earth’ Online Class?

Posted by apwood on March 5, 2008

anewearth_cover_120x120.jpg

For one reason only – because You Want to be Awakened.

Wow, the first class with a reported 500,000 participants -I suppose many of us wish to find that something we feel we’ve been missing. Why am I writing about it? Because I am excited and the couple of people I invited to do this with me declined. Which is fine – they weren’t ready. (I learned that as well (: So I wanted to share with someone – if your up for it – hope you enjoy!

So back to the class. First I must say… that Oprah never ceases to amaze me with her ability to evolve and bring that to the entire world. She truly epitomizes the beauty of what can happen when you are dedicated and come from a place of love. She said during the class that she has for a long time gotten down on her knees and asked God to use her for good. Well, Oprah – he has and you have and how amazing it is to watch and learn from.

Eckhart was like no one I’d ever seen or heard before. He was quiet, with a confident timidness that I didn’t know existed. He never hesitated with his answers and they were so descriptive. Not knowing what to expect, I was thrilled to hear him use so many great tangible examples of how to begin to bring consciousness and being present. You could tell he is exactly what he speaks of – just being one with what is. You may think that a spiritual teacher that is so unassuming may be boring or dry. Quite the contrary, Eckhart is engaging, descriptive, and even humorous. He glows.

If you thought about reading the book or listening to the class but didn’t for some reason, and you want a recap here are some key points from my perspective.

*Not living in the present moment and living from an egoic state you feel constant frustration because the future will never be here. Life always happens in the present moment.

*Becoming present or aware that there is a separation inside yourself, the ego (your mind or thinking part that is not in the present moment because it is thinking about the past and the future and judging people, and situations and is never satisfied) & the essence (the true you; the part that is present and only present, that is complete, fulfilled, non judging, is ok with what is, that is the part of you that is the formless )

*It is not necessary to judge others or try to change their behavior or think that they should want to be awakened to this. They will when they are ready, when they have suffered enough and want to live from their true essence. Each persons responsibility is to be present in themselves. This presence brought about by stillness and awareness will allow you to experience life from your true essence and not react through your ego.

*How can you learn to start doing this? By asking yourself as many times as possible each day – What is my relationship with the present moment? (If there is negativity then realize -I’m fighting what is) Make peace with the moment to get out of it if it is a negative situation because what you resist makes it worse.

*Find a place of acceptance and become friendly with the present moment regardless whether your ego would judge it as good, bad, or indifferent. If you are friendly with life it will be friendly with you, support you, and work with you.

*So How do you shed years of conditioning of seeing life through the egoic state of judgment, frustration, impatience, and wishing for the future? Just be present and find as many times per day to ask yourself until it becomes second nature. The example Tolle used was ask yourself – Am I Breathing? Feel the breath in the body. This takes you out of your mind into the present when all that you are doing is concentrating on that breath. Using your sensory perceptions while doing the smallest tasks can do this. Like washing your hands. Smell the soap, feel the warm water. At these moments you are present. Almost as if he knew what Oprah had said to herself when she described doing this walking up her steps, Tolle said that the mind says – What is the point of this? I have more important things to do? Oprah laughed as her mind had done that. This he explained was the ego trying to hang on because it doesn’t want to go. When you are present continually, the ego dies. Tolle also said that the more you bring in the present the more the old way goes. You can start retraining the mind by using the simple things to start.

*Begin shifting to this state of consciousness by looking at nature without naming anything – just be and this essence that you will feel is how you can feel the essence in yourself.

*By telling yourself, Thoughts are only a small conditioned part of me, not me. I can separate them. I’ve made a decision to ask (God, life, or however you wish to label the greater power) to guide me to what I am suppose to do.

*You don’t become good by trying to be or do good, but by finding the goodness that is already in you.

*The ego wants to be recognized as spiritual or good or more enlightened. This means that dysfunction is still operating.

*Beneath the good and bad is the formless. Being conscious without thinking is the essence of every human being.

This is just a short overview of what was talked about in the 90 min. class. All of the concepts, words used, examples, and phrases are all repeated from what I heard while listening to the seminar and are not my original thoughts. I took notes and shared what I heard from my perspective and interpretation. If any of it resonated with you and you wish to listen for yourself here’s the link – www.oprah.com and click on Chapter 1.

I have had so many “Aha moments” as Oprah defines them.

One was when they were talking about ego being the part of us that wants more stuff and is never satisfied for long. I’d never really had a lot of expensive stuff througout my life so I haven’t had much of an attachment to material things. However, I do have just a few sentimental things that I cherish. When Eckhart was discussing that it is ok to want stuff and have it, just that you can tell if it is ego that wants it if you aren’t satisfied for long or you are devastated when losing it. Because anything tangible will come and go – but what is truly important (our essence) can not go away or die. So our bodies die, but our spirits do not.

This brought me back to a time in my late teens when I lost a necklace. To me it was of great magnitude because the tiny cross on it was bought by me with the last $40.00 given to me by my mother. She died 6 days before my sixteenth birthday from scerosis of the liver. I hadn’t lived with her or known much about her since I was 5 years old. After she died I was given a bank envelope with $40.00 in it that she had been saving to buy me something for my sixteenth birthday. She was on disability and did not work so I knew this had been a lot of money to her. I wanted to buy something with it that was special and would remind me of her so it sat in a drawer for a few months until i came upon a tiny gold cross in a store one day. I knew that was it because she loved rosaries and crosses and I could wear it by my heart everyday. While out dancing one night in a club, I felt the necklace slide down. I flipped, crying in front of everyone as I crawled on the floor looking for that tiny cross that represented all that I had left of my mom. I never found it.

I’ve done a lot of work over the last 20 years and I was aware that my mom’s spirit still lived on and she was around me. But it wasn’t until Eckhart was speaking that I realized that I had never needed that tiny cross. That the pain I associated with losing it was not real because something material could not represent my mom’s essence or spirit and it did not keep her near me. She already was.

This is just one example of how this book and class have touched me so far. And this is just the beginning? I look forward to more.

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