Faith and Patience

In this age of instant information – much of it with questionable veracity – it can be difficult to ascertain what is TRUE and what is simply horse feathers (a term used in place of “bullsh!t” by my older relatives when I was growing up)

The pace with which information goes viral is such a problem that businesses have emerged to assist people in cleaning up their online reputations.

I forget which recent story had me pondering this, but the protestations of a recent public figure, caught in a mess (not sure yet if it’s of his own making or a smear campaign) reminded me of the story of Joseph and Potifar’s wife.

Joseph had been sold into slavery by his brothers. He had shown himself to be a valuable asset, and was working in the employ of Potifar – an official in the government/kingdom of Egypt. Potifar trusted him and relied on him for advice, and more; giving Joseph a lot of clout in Potifar’s household and among Potifar’s colleagues and friends.

Potifar had a wife who was feeling neglected and who tried repeatedly to get Joseph to sleep with her. He refused multiple times, but the last time, she grabbed his garment to pull him to her, and he bolted; but as he ran, she held his garment.

Embarrassed, angry (or both!) at being so boldly rejected, she cried out that he had tried to rape her, and held up his piece of clothing as “proof“. Poor Joseph stood accused of a terrible crime, and was thrown in jail.

Joseph was unfairly accused of doing something when in truth he was not only in the wrong place at the wrong time; but he had actively tried to avoid the circumstances on multiple occasions. Still, he ended up in jail.

Sometimes in life, we end up “in jail” for things we did not do. We may end up in financial distress, even though we’re working hard, doing all the right things, and striving to do better every day. Other times we may find that we are disliked and ostracized at work, even though we go in every day with a positive attitude, treat everyone around us with kindness, and contribute at a high level, helping others whenever we can.

Whatever the unfair circumstance that we find ourselves in, we can look to the story of Joseph and Potifar’s wife for some good news.

20 And Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined, and he was there in prison. 21 But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. 22 And the keeper of the prison put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners who were in the prison. Whatever was done there, he was the one who did it. 23 The keeper of the prison paid no attention to anything that was in Joseph’s charge, because the Lord was with him. And whatever he did, the Lord made it succeed.

Genesis 39

Although being in prison was a hardship, it was made better by the fact that Joseph had special treatment by the prison keeper, and had special privileges. Genesis accounts for this as the favor of God; metaphysically we would interpret that favor as being someone who understood the concept of Omnipresence.

Spiritually-aware people understand that no matter how things appear on the outside, Spirit is right there in the middle of things, and it’s going to work out. It may not work out the way we want it, or on our timetable; but ultimately things are going to be OK.

While in the prison, Joseph interpreted dreams for 2 new prisoners, both of which came true. One of the prisoners was freed and had access to Pharaoh, who, some 2 years later, had a troubling dream that none of his wise men could interpret. The former prisoner remembered that Joseph had interpreted his dream accurately, and shared this with Pharaoh.

Pharaoh summoned Joseph, who interpreted the dream, and – long story short: Joseph ended up not only being freed from prison, but being put in a position of power and status in the land.

41 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.” 42 Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand, and clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain about his neck. 43 And he made him ride in his second chariot. And they called out before him, “Bow the knee!”[e] Thus he set him over all the land of Egypt. 44 Moreover, Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no one shall lift up hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.”

Genesis 41

The big picture story of Joseph is easy to recall, but we must not gloss over the part of the story that outlines the path he walked before he was given Pharaoh’s signet ring:

  • betrayed by family/sold into slavery
  • falsely accused of something he didn’t do
  • several years in prison

I have written about the life work of Neville Goddard in several previous posts (Pray Like Neville and Neville’s Gifts), including one where I outline his regular reference to the world of Caesar. While we can absolutely count on spiritual Law to work in our favor when we are walking in alignment with principle; it often works for us within the context of the world we live in – Caesar’s world, or the physical world we all know and inhabit.

The story of Joseph is the telling of this Truth. Joseph was indeed spared and sustained by Spirit; but he had to walk to his freedom through the world of Caesar, which in his case was slavery and prison.

Like Daniel who had to spend the night in a den of Lions, and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednago who had to go into the fiery furnace – Joseph had to accept his miracle within the context of this world.

Also like Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednago; Joseph was never alone. And neither are we.

I opened this post with a mention of the pace in society today (seemingly instant everything). To tap into the miracles experienced by Joseph, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednago and others we must channel their faith and their patience.

When we’re standing in a prison, unfairly accused and sentenced, are we singularly focused on finding the escape hatch (lottery ticket, new job) or can we relax and look patiently for the signs all around us that we are not alone?

It’s not easy to react patiently and peacefully when facing lions, fiery furnaces or an unfair prison sentence. The story of Joseph reminds us that the game of life is a long game. It invites us to live in faith, connected to Source and with patience, knowing that – regardless of how things appear – all is well, and working out for our Highest Good. And when we learn to walk this way, we will find more peace along the path of life.

And so it is.

(C) 2019 Practitioner's Path

In Caesar’s World

Neville Goddard spoke often about this physical world as the “world of Caesar“. He is referring to the passage from Matthew in the Christian Bible:

Caesar
Matthew 22
Practitioner's Path
Metaphysical meaning
“Render unto Caesar,…”

17 Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” 18 But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? 19 Show me the coin for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius. 20 And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” 21 They said, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 

Matthew 22

The point that Neville was making based on the above passage is that there are different constructs in the spiritual world than exist in the physical world.

Two of Neville’s best stories highlight this point. His first – the story of being honorably discharged from the Army during WWII and the second – how he and his family got passage back to the US on a boat when there were no available tickets for months. Both are classic examples of a miraculous event coming through the people and circumstances around him.

I have written many blogs about manifesting things in my life that I wanted or needed. And in sharing my stories with students and friends, someone inevitably says: “but we should also be able to manifest a winning lottery ticket, right?

In theory, yes. In practice however, I have found that the spiritual laws I have studied and apply regularly work most often within the framework of the physical world that we live in.

What does that mean?

It means that money does show up when I use the spiritual tools shared by Wayne Dyer, Louise Hay, Deepak Chopra, Neville and many others; but it comes through physical – not paranormal – means.

My needs (money and otherwise) are met – not by a disembodied hand coming down out of the clouds with a fist-full of money – but by the shifting and movement of the people and circumstances around me.

I have shared multiple stories on how this works, but my 2 favorites are the one where I needed a new roof and a storm, a tree and a part time job came my way; and the story of my student loans. The money manifested in these 2 scenarios alone totals almost $50,000 but before I could receive it, I had to be willing to accept it through the framework of the world I live in: the world of Caesar, or physical world.

If I had insisted on receiving money from a leprechaun, a disembodied hand or lottery winnings – I’d still be waiting – and likely with a leaky roof!

Two of the most important skills in manifesting in the world of Caesar are openness & willingness. We must be open to seeing the opportunities that come to us: the people, the circumstances, the information. We then must be willing to act. I’d still be paying off part of my roof (plus interest) if I had not been willing to say ‘Yes!‘ when I was approached about taking on a part time job.

This openness and willingness enables us to see signs and hear the whispers of Spirit. It’s very rare that the answers we seek show up in large, flashing lights on a billboard conveniently placed along our route to work.

My experience has been that it more often comes in someone’s passing comment, or a request from someone, or a gut feeling to go somewhere, or do something – sometimes even an email! In order to manifest, we must be willing to follow Spirit’s nudge.

While we can use the tools and techniques taught by gurus, priests and rishis for centuries; we must understand that most of us will need to work within the limits of the laws of physics that exist on this plane.

Some may say that I am closing the door to miracles, and I understand the point. But I believe that the more day-to-day magic we experience, the more open we are to even greater magic. I also know that waiting on lottery winnings and disembodied hands are long-shots – whereas the demonstration of Good that comes through the people, places and circumstances of every day life can be regular occurrences in life if we choose.

I’m certainly open to once-in-a-lifetime miraculous demonstrations, but I also know that I don’t need to sit and wait: real miracles come my way on a regular basis and I’m grateful for them all.

The point of all of this is that we can wait on a million dollars, feeling misery and disappointment each time it eludes us; or we can give thanks a million times for the crinkled, unassuming dollars that show up. In the end, the money will add up to the same amount, but the truly “richer” life will be the one lived in faith, and taken a step at a time.

When we learn to “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s” – accepting that we live within the physical constructs of this world; we will not only avoid the disappointment of trying to manifest a lottery jackpot, but we can enjoy the many wonderful demonstrations of Good that come our way, every day. And so it is.

(C) 2019 Practitioner's Path

A good reminder

“You are never alone or helpless. The force that guides the stars, guides you too.”

Shrii Shrii Anandamurti
TEDx Noosa 2014

In our darkest times, it can feel that we are so very alone. I sometimes see Facebook posts from people who share that they feel unmoored, adrift once their parents pass away, and others who share feelings and experiences of loss and pain.

First of all, Facebook can make the most successful among us start to question our lives – snapshots from others’ seemingly wonderful lives compared to our current struggles can seem like we’re doing it all wrong.

We’re not – it’s an illusion, but as Einstein once said: “[it’s] an illusion, albeit a persistent one!

Sometimes our current circumstances feel hopeless, helpless. And that feeling can be quite persistent! Training ourselves to know this is not the truth when we are NOT feeling the hopelessness/helplessness is the best prevention for those times when things start to degrade.

I remember once when the late Louise Hay – a successful and popular guru of self-help – mentioned that she is able to see things positively about 70% – 80% of the time. I remind myself of this when I slip into those dark places. Even with my education in Consciousness, there are days when it’s hard to put the positive spin on things. Thankfully, I have the tools I need and these periods move on quickly.

One of the tools that I use regularly, and encourage those who seek guidance and support from me to use, is to journal (or simply write down somewhere that you can find again to read). At those times when you are the beneficiary of a miracle, or what metaphysical folks would call a “demonstration” – write down what happened so in later times when things appear to be going downhill, you can recall the many times that things actually worked out.

I like the word demonstration instead of miracle because instead of seeming like a one-in-a-million happenstance; it calls these events what they are: a demonstration of the fact that we are indeed never alone or helpless. And when we’ve used the spiritual tools that are available to know this; good things happen.

While I have had many personal instances where I have been reminded that I am never alone; I was reminded this week of a most profound instance of this. My family lost our 2 year old a few years back (my granddaughter), and the Summer after that loss, her mother had a “visitation“. It came in the form of a beautiful, blue butterfly that landed on her and stayed there with her as she sat on her back porch for more than 20 minutes.

A blue butterfly of the same markings has visited her every summer since. A couple years ago when they had moved into a new house, it arrived, and fluttered around, letting her touch it, and pet its wings. Last year it found them again as they arrived home from running errands. It flew in and out of the family’s legs, let them touch it and get close enough for a photograph.

There are so many lessons in this story: but the most profound one I find is the reminder that there is much more to life than what we’ve been taught to see.

If you struggle with the burdens of life and often feel alone; the statement (above the embedded video and posted below) is one, small – but powerful – tool. Write it down; think about it. Turn your attention away from the problems of the world and spend your time and energy reading, watching videos and discussing with others this concept of unity consciousness.

The YouTube video embedded above is a great talk on Consciousness, but if you don’t have the time or patience to listen to it, here’s the gem from it: a quote from Shrii Shrii Anandamurti – guru to the man speaking (Dada Gunamuktananda).

“You are never alone or helpless. The force that guides the stars, guides you too.”

Ponder this truth instead of focusing on your problems. Reach out when you need help. Know that miracles happen every day and be open to how they show up (it’s often not what we expect). Keep a log of when things DO turn around for you, and read it when things start to go sour. Know that you are always loved; always important – and that you are truly, never alone. And so it is.

(C) 2019 Practitioner's Path

All the Good Stuff

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

Matthew 7:7-11

I stumbled on this redux from the 1970’s hit musical – Godspell – and it made me start to think about some things.

In New Thought, many lean toward the belief that we alone create our life experiences through our thoughts, beliefs and general mindset. To be clear, there is a wide continuum of belief around this in the movement – those who believe that it is mostly us, and those on the other end that are much more inclined to see the Universal Spirit as an entity that, while connected to us and expressing in, as and through us, still has some autonomy.

As I have finished my formal Practitioner training and had the great good fortune to interact and learn from many teachers and others in this movement, I have had the opportunity to think about this – a lot.

One prominent example that has been rumbling around in my head lately involves my job. About six years ago, I was in a well-paying job at a somewhat unstable company in a role where I was easily replaceable. I was doing a lot of soul searching and asking for guidance – seeking “divine intervention” or at least a hint about what I should do. I knew that I was at a point in my life and career where the right move would be a good thing and the “wrong” move could have life-long and negative ramifications.

As happens when we ask, I got an answer. It wasn’t exactly what I had envisioned: I took a significant pay cut, and went from working at home and having a Gold Corporate MasterCard to a Monday through Friday job with a commute and a hierarchy. So much for the good, right?

Funny thing though – that move – though not something I went looking for, or even welcomed early in my tenure there (especially on the bleak paydays) turned out to be the very best thing for me, long term. I now have a pension based on my time in the military and at this job; and some unique and solid experience that makes me a little harder to replace.

I can’t take credit for the incredibly good fortune that I landed in – not in the least. I didn’t visualize it; chant it in, or do affirmations for it to arrive. It came out of nowhere – literally. I got a call, and even then I was not aware of the tremendous long-term benefit that was involved.

It is this kind of demonstration that gives me pause on the “we make it happen” theories in New Thought. I’m not saying that they’re wrong, and others are right – I’m simply suggesting that it seems to me that I had someone/something looking out for my best interests when I wasn’t able to, and didn’t know which way to turn. I literally fell into a pile of mud and came up smelling like a rose with this job situation.

Is it possible that I was subconsciously “asking” for the help, and that this energy attracted the job and circumstance to me? Yes. And maybe it doesn’t need to be either/or. Maybe it’s both.

If we are connected to the Divine, as individualized expressions of the One – it would make sense that deep concern would extend into the Infinite Mind. Still, as challenging as this job was initially (in many ways), it felt like one of those things in life that our Mother tells us we need to do because it will be good for us in the end.

I don’t know which it is.

What I do know that this “good gift” of a job circumstance came from Spirit. Whether I attracted it, or the prayers of my mother and grandmothers sent it – I may never know. I do know that I am grateful, humbled, and blessed to have this retirement circumstance as a part of my portfolio – sent seemingly, from “heaven above“.

And so it is.

(C) 2019 Practitioner's Path

Tools for scary times

Today’s headlines inspire unrest

Each day I think that the national news surely can’t get any worse,…and then the nightly news proves me wrong. We are clearly living in tumultuous times, where long-standing norms are being upended left and right. There is a great temptation to consider the possibility of moving overseas, but that’s more complicated than it seems with multiple generations of family to consider.

Mulling over several disturbing news reports that have emerged over the past few weeks, I began to think about what I should be doing about things. Should I be protesting, running for office, setting up a non-profit? What is it that I could or should be doing?

During this time, I’ve also been diving deep into the teachings of Neville Goddard. The intersection of these 2 subjects finally came into focus for me and I realized what my work is to do: I need to keep teaching.

In his most popular lectures, Neville outlines examples where he used spiritual principles to change things for the better in his life. He recounted multiple times how he secured an honorable discharge from the US Army during WWII, as well as securing passage on a transport ship back to the USA from the West Indies within a day when all passage was booked for months ahead.

As I listened to Neville recount his story of the trip back to New York, I recalled a story that Wayne Dyer told about a time he and his wife were trying to fly out of Istanbul (1974). A military incursion had begun to brew and the airport was in full-blown chaos. The political unrest had rendered their airline tickets invalid and there were few alternative options.

In “I Can See Clearly Now” Dyer recounted how, as everyone in the airport was panicked and frightened, he kept his thoughts and his intention laser focused on getting on a plane that morning and flying out of the region. He refused to give into the fear, and held on to the vision of himself and his wife boarding a plane that morning that he says he “stuck like Super Glue” in his imagination. As it turned out, he and his wife were able to get the last 2 seats on a military transport and leave the area. The day they arrived back in the United States, Turkey invaded Cyprus – they had made it out just in time.

One of the most important skills we can learn in these politically unstable times is how to use the spiritual principles taught by Wayne Dyer, Neville Goddard and others that can shift time and space to make seemingly impossible things happen in our favor.

I’ve blogged about things less intense than escaping a war zone, such as finding a part time job when I needed money for a roof; finding an answer to paying my student loans; being in the right place at the right time for someone in need; and more. I know without a shadow of a doubt that this works – and I have seen that the more I study and apply these principles, the more things come together for me in perfect (Divine?) time and space.

Important to consider: the time to learn these skills is not when we’re facing a crisis – but in times of low stress. Learning and practicing on small things, and then expanding our ability to use the tools to larger things builds spiritual muscles. The “muscle memory” we are creating will kick in and work when the stress of a situation or circumstance threatens to throw off our concentration. When we learn and consistently use the principles, we are able to use them no matter what is taking place around us.

If ignoring the news isn’t a likely occurrence for you; you can counter the feelings of terror or helplessness. See these times as a call to arms – as the nudge you needed to inspire you to knuckle down and really learn the spiritual principles that can help you alter time and space when you need it most.


Some recommended resources:


(C) 2019 Practitioner's Path

Neville’s Gifts

Neville Goddard
Metaphysics
Spirituality
Manifestation
Neville Goddard

One of the most popular and compelling metaphysical teachers in the early to mid-20th century was Neville Goddard. His lectures were well-attended and he distinguished himself from the numerous preachers who were making rounds in New Thought circles by his strong command of the biblical scriptures – both the Hebrew and the Christian texts – as well as his preference for the academic lecture over the church service.

His lectures live on today and through the wonders of technology (YouTube), we can hear his teaching in his voice. I encourage all students of metaphysics to study Neville and ponder his contributions to the larger body of metaphysical spirituality.

He told many stories to illustrate the power that we have and one of his favorites, perhaps for the strength of its message, was the story of how he got himself out of active duty in the Army after being drafted.

From the site linked above:

In 1943, he was drafted into the U.S. Army at age 38, which he did not want, especially since he felt he was too old to become a soldier and had a wife and daughter at home to take care of. Through the power of imagination, as Neville told it in his March 24, 1972 lecture, he was honorably discharged after just a few weeks of training. One consequence of his brief Army training was that he received full United States citizenship, having been a British citizen up to this point.

Neville Goddard Wiki

Neville emphasized the role of our imagination in manifesting the things in life and the lives that we want. He used his own imagination when he found himself in the Army and unhappy with the circumstances and his method is worth a closer look.

He spoke of not fighting or resisting that which we don’t want, but that we should “submit to Caesar” – a biblical reference to the verse in the Christian text where Jesus is asked by the Pharisees about paying taxes to the government (ruled at the time by Caesar) and Jesus replied:

20 And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?21 They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.

Matthew 22:20-22

Neville used this to explain that when we want to manifest things, we don’t fight against the physical realities in front of us; we are not to resist, but we must focus our mind, attention and intention on what it is that we want.

He went to sleep every night in the Army barracks imagining that he was back home in his apartment in New York with his wife and child. After about a week, he had a vision where he was told that his application to leave the Army was changed from DENIED to APPROVED. Later that morning, the Captain called him into his office and signed off on his discharge from the Army, and Neville went home with an honorable discharge.

Neville Goddard
Metaphysics
Spirituality
Manifestation
Neville Goddard – later years

We learn when we study meditation as a spiritual practice that it is difficult to train the mind. Neville is referring to a discipline with the mind in the concentration on what we want and especially at night as we are falling asleep.

One way to help ourselves get into this habit at night is to use a log. Since Neville spoke of his results in about a week, I created a grid where I can document what I desire, and log the date each night when I go to bed. This helps REMIND me at the end of a busy day, and provides me a way to document what is taking place, including the outcome.

Here’s a copy of the one I created:

I have found Neville’s perspective and great knowledge of scripture to be an enlightening adjunct to the studies I have undertaken this far. He is
at times as obtuse as Ernest Holmes, but in some ways, much clearer about the processes we can use to create lives that we truly want using ancient spiritual wisdom and techniques.

YouTube has a rich treasure trove of Neville’s lectures. Most are around 45 minutes long and all are worth the listen. Once you bring Neville’s teachings into your orbit, I know that you’ll find things changing for you in ways you may have thought unlikely if not impossible.

If you find your freedom, or your “honorable discharge” using the grid I have shared, after you stop running around and telling people that you can’t believe that it worked (smile); I hope you’ll pass on your experience (& drop me a line!).


(C) 2019 Practitioner's Path