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

Manifesting 101

Encinitas, CA (2019)

When The Secret came out, I was immediately mesmerized – as were millions. And yet, somehow I knew that the spiritual tools hinted at in that movie were much deeper and more nuanced than wishing for a gold necklace and having it appear on your neck with no effort.

While I have been critical of some aspects of The Secret, it was a gateway to deeper learning for me and for that I am most grateful.

After The Secret came an explosion of metaphysical teachers on the national and international stage teaching the “Law of Attraction” (LOA) and similar content. And the workshops and seminars multiplied – as did the dollars in the bank accounts of many teachers.

I have no issue with anyone offering a product or guidance and charging a fair price, so I am definitely not disparaging all LOA teachers*. I do wonder about the participants who have spent thousands, and sometimes tens of thousands of dollars, to sit in seminar and workshop after seminar and workshop: this stuff isn’t that hard! Learn the basics, and then get up off the workshop seat and get to work!

One of the things that is missed (or left out) in these seminar offerings is that once you learn how to manifest things into your life; it rarely (if ever) shows up as a lottery jackpot or inheritance from a long, lost wealthy relative. It most often takes on the form of what I call “daily bread“. And from what I have observed (I’ve attended a few of these over the years), many of the frequent flyers in the LOA workshops are primarily interested in manifesting a ton of money.

I get it. I would ALSO like to be able to meditate for a few days, chant, speak some affirmations, journal in a fancy book, and have $10 million, $1 million, $100,000 or even $10,000 show up with no additional effort.

Heck – there are days when $100 showing up would be awesome! But in my experience, that’s not how it works at all.

I’ve had some significant success in attracting things into my life that previously seemed impossible, but instead of life-changing lottery winnings; more often than not, I manifest “daily bread“. I use the term “daily bread” to refer to things that I need (or want) that are integral to day to day life.

I’ve written about some of these demonstrations: money for a roofing job; new shoes; a new chair and an under-shelf basket; a retirement pension; and someone to pay my student loans – and many more. All of these experiences began with at least the passing thought that if I “won the lottery“, the situation at hand could be solved. But the lottery never showed up – and that’s likely a blessing – especially since research tells us that the odds of winning are very low and many people who win large lottery winnings end up much worse off just a few years later.

Like many things in life, successful manifesting is a long game. There are no quick fixes, or get-rich-quick techniques. Success requires studying the principles, changing our perspective, practicing the pivot away from old mindsets and toward a new way of being, and finding gratitude in the smallest of wins.

I suspect that a seminar where you could learn how to find the perfect price on a pair of shoes, or an almost-free chair or a part-time job that lasts just long enough to pay off the roof would be hard to pitch. It’s much sexier to have a wealthy (or seemingly wealthy) person stand up and promise that you, too, can have what they have.

But you can have what I have – the tools to attract into your life the things you want, and the things you need when you need them. It’s simple – although not always easy; and you don’t have to spend any money (you can learn a lot on this blog, and it’s free!).

The principles are universal; the lessons are for us all. During this week of celebrating freedom, give yourself the gift of freedom from worry, and freedom from chasing unreasonable goals. Learn the principles of spiritual prosperity, and live a life free from financial anxiety – a life filled with a peace from knowing that what you need will show up; that you are provided – always, and in all ways.

As one of my first teachers liked to say, “This stuff works!

For a primer on how these principles work, start with these blog posts – and if you have any questions, send me an email (I’m happy to share what I have learned).

And so it is.

  • *Blogs on LOA teachers with whom I have taken issue can be found here:
(C) 2019 Practitioner's Path

Stuff we learned in kindergarten

I recently had an experience that highlights a point I made in a previous blog. The Cliff Note’s version is that spiritual people (those who walk an intentionally spiritual path) have just as many life challenges as everyone else; but often when their peanut butter & jelly sandwich falls to the floor – it lands face up.

My latest experience with this involved money. In the insanity that has been the past couple weeks, I neglected to keep track of my bank account and last night – while several other issues were emerging for me to deal with, I logged into my bank account to find that a deposit and a check had crossed paths in the wrong order and I had sustained a $36 overdraft fee.

Ouch.

I was angry, initially, because they both posted to my account within the same hour. And $36 isn’t chump change. But I’ve been walking that spiritual path I referred to above and I know a couple things. 

The first thing I know is that there’s a purpose to everything. Perhaps I needed a $36 reminder to slow down, plan ahead, stay focused,…etc.

The second thing I know is that “money is not my Source“.  This means that no matter what it might look like on the physical plane,…I always have what I need.

Number 1 and 2 make it easy for me to let go of anger – at myself or the bank – and be at peace. I was in this state of peace late last night when the thought occurred to me that I could ask the bank to reverse the charge.

I logged into my online banking app and sent a note. I explained that I’d had a hectic month; that I rarely experience this and asked if there was any way they could waive the fee. I also said that if they could not, I understood and thanked them for their consideration of my request.

This morning I received a notification that the $36 had been returned to my account and a nice note from the bank.

I don’t claim any supernatural occurrence here but I do know that my “spiritual orientation” allowed me to quickly reach a level of acceptance of the situation, and be in peace about the $36 before I had the thought of asking them to reverse the charge. I am also quite certain that you get more bees with honey than vinegar, and so coming from a place of peace, I asked and remained unattached to the outcome. In other words – I was at peace about the circumstance whether I got the $36 back or not.

In addition, I understand that the Universe keeps perfect records. I have a responsibility to take care of business; to “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s” which means to pay my bills on time, and take care of my bank business in a respectable manner. This spiritual aspect of the reversed charge was also clear: I was not demanding from the Universe something I did not “pay for” in mental and spiritual coin. I had been responsible in the preponderance of my business dealings with them and so it was a balanced transaction.

While I have experienced and witnessed many instances where space and time have been altered in miraculous ways through the application of intention, affirmative prayer and other spiritual tools; I have also experienced the real benefits of being in the world in a state of peaceful knowing that “all is well”. When in this state, more often than not, things work out – my sandwich lands jelly-side up 🙂

The best thing? I didn’t need to take years of classes to learn this: I learned the basics of being responsible and being courteous at home, before I went to public school. A lot of coarseness and just plain nastiness exists in the public discourse right now. It can be hard to rise above it at times. Walking a spiritual path helps keep me aligned with my core values – no matter what is going on in my life. It’s a win-win all around.

(C) 2019 Practitioner's Path

Pray like Neville

Neville Goddard

From the time I was a very little girl, I have been instructed on how to pray. I grew up in the traditional, “high church” Protestant tradition (quiet contemplation, not loud praise) and learned the typical Anglo-American way to approach the Divine with various wants and needs.

In the Christian tradition, this is an approach of supplication: “Please consider my plea, all my good deeds, and grant me that which I desire.”

As an adult, I questioned this for many reasons, and that questioning led me to the study of ancient, non-Anglo spiritual studies and their presentation through New Thought (which is really OLD Thought in new garments).

The organized religions in New Thought have patterned their ways after the Protestants that preceded them in formally organizing. They have high-mucky mucks in charge of this and that, and they pass out titles in exchange for investments in their organizations. And they have established a RIGHT and a WRONG way of doing various things – including how to pray.

I have to admit that I bought into this initially and I must say that I have also learned a lot along the way. Funny thing about reading, though – the more you read and learn and think for yourself; the more you see things as they really are and not as others would like you to see them. Such it has been for me on the path of understanding prayer.

While immersing myself in organized New Thought studies, I was also reading widely across the emerging spiritual teachings of the day, including Wayne Dyer and Deepak Chopra – whose early exposure and immersion in the Hindu tradition makes him an especially rich resource for interpreting New Thought.

These teachers (and others, too numerous to mention, including many Rishis from long ago) were opening my mind and my eyes to the simplicity of communing with the Divine even as I was being instructed that there was another “right way” to do it.

Some of these teachers spoke in ways that would be comfortably welcomed in a liberal Christian church, while others spoke of things that most ministers would claim as blasphemy. Long ago I stopped being afraid to question the commandments of men (and women) with robes and titles, so I found myself drawn to those whose perspectives were most independent from the mainstream. I was sure that they had something of value to add to my journey. Neville Goddard was one such teacher.

In a previous blog I wrote about Neville and his great gift to the world. His contention that God is not some outside force, but lives within humankind as “our own wonderful, human imagination” would make most ministers of the cloth fall faint; but if you’ve studied Neville and taken his advice to try out what he shared, you know, like I do, that there’s something to it (maybe they faint worrying about not being able to pass the offering plate if too many people figure this out for themselves!!?!?)

A year ago I was looking at my finances and doing some pre-retirement planning. I knew that my savings were on track, but I wanted to make sure that I was also addressing other factors that would be relevant, and one of these was debt.

The one significant area of debt in my life was student loans, and I decided to use the tools and techniques I had been learning to deal with them. I was tired of paying them each month, and wanted to be free of that debt, but in a way that was fair and equitable to all. I didn’t want to stop paying them and thumb my nose at the creditors, but I also didn’t want to pay them out of my existing budget any longer. I knew better than to get attached to any particular way of resolving this, such as deciding that I would win the lottery or receive a long-lost inheritance from a rich relative. I decided to undertake a Neville-esque approach, following one of the ways he described in his lecture series from the mid-20th century.

“My third way of praying is simply to feel thankful. If I want something, either for myself or another, I immobilize the physical body, then I produce the state akin to sleep and in that state just feel happy, feel thankful, which thankfulness implies realization of what I want.”

“I assume the feeling of the wish fulfilled and with my mind dominated by this single sensation I go to sleep. I need do nothing to make it so, because it is so. My feeling of the wish fulfilled implies it is done.”

Neville Goddard, Core Lecture #4

Given this construct, I set about feeling the joy I would feel if I no longer had to pay that large, student loan payment each month. I did not craft elaborate prayers, petition others to pray for me or chant affirmations. I simply felt gratitude for this debt being taken off of me, as if it had ALREADY been accomplished. I also avoided daydreaming how it would come about. I remained in the END STATE of the loans not being part of my monthly expenses any longer.

It was a Saturday, much like today, and nothing seemed to happen immediately, but I did not allow myself to know anything other than gratitude for this accomplished state – especially that night when I went to sleep.

About a month or so later, someone stopped by my office at work. As we were chatting, they mentioned that their fiance had just signed paperwork that would have our employer pay her student loans in exchange for an agreement to stay on in her job for the next few years. I was immediately intrigued, and as soon as they left my office, I made a phone call.

Long story short, I am no longer sending a student loan payment in every month: the payments are being made by my employer, in exchange for me agreeing to remain for a few years. In the world of Caesar (as Neville referred to the physical world), I knew I would be working somewhere for at least a few more years. I like my job and am well-compensated, so it was not a hard choice to make in exchange for the student loans being paid on my behalf.

Some may say that this conversation would have happened anyway. Perhaps, but I’ve seen this kind of thing happen enough times that I’m not quick to believe that is the case.

One of Neville Goddard’s great gifts to the world was his uncloaking of the simple Truth in a way that is accessible to everyone. There is no need to get up early on Sunday morning, or put a certain percentage of your money in a basket or bronzed plate that is passed around, or to find specific words (while avoiding others) and place them in a pre-ordained order of speaking. We need only train ourselves to be able to feel thankful for what it is that we desire, and then assume the feeling of the wish fulfilled – to know that it is done, and live in this knowing, period.

If this is NEW to you, don’t start with something so large that your own doubt will cloud the possibilities: start with something that you can believe could happen. Once you learn how to use this, you’ll find that no news is devastating; no situation doomed; no lack unfulfilled.

Practice, keep reading and learning and live the life you truly desire to live!

(C) 2019 Practitioner's Path
To learn more; check out this lecture (in Neville's own voice). 

Keep outta the how

Mt Lebanon Chr Sc ChurchFor many new sojourners on a spiritual path, the impulse to micromanage what they are seeking from divine alignment is overwhelming. In many cases the micromanaging – or the insistence that their Good needs to show up in a certain way – blocks the arrival or makes the way invisible to them so they never see the way forward.

The best way I have found to teach is by sharing personal examples; my stories, those of my students and others whom I meet along the way. The following is one such story.

In early 2017 I had replaced a portion of the roof that had begun to leak on my older home and paid for it. I knew before the contractor mentioned it that soon, I would need to think about re-pointing the chimneys and replacing the rest of the roof, so his recommendation was not a surprise. It did, however, make me gulp. Paying for an entire roof redo would be pricey, and while I walk in knowing that I am provided, some days its easier to believe that than others (I think we all recognize this).

I said “Yes, I’m planning to do that soon” and thanked him. In my mind I was not sure how that was going to happen, but I knew that I needed to address it sooner than later. I put it out to the Universe to solve. I basically said: “I need some help here with my roof situation,…” and put into practice the affirming that the answer was already being provided to me.

A few months later I came home from work to find that a large tree branch from a neighbor’s tree had fallen on to my house. After speaking with our insurance companies, it was evaluated as being my responsibility (that’s how it is with trees – where they land determines whose insurance is paying; not where they originate).

While I did not sustain damage to the entire roof, I knew that it would be most advantageous for me to have the rest of the work done at the same time that the covered repairs were being done, so I took a deep breath and said OK when the contractor made the same suggestion. I got the insurance estimate and the estimate for the larger completed job and then I let it go.

As it turned out, the contractor was very busy and the completion of the work was delayed for almost a year. While some people may think that’s unacceptable, let me explain what happened in that time period.

In late October I wandered into the local Christian Science church as I was curious if they would be open to renting out space in the facility. Across the course of several conversations with them I mentioned that I had been an organist over the years. Long story short (you can read what happened here), I ended up subbing for their organist on Thanksgiving, and then taking over as the interim organist for the next 9 months.

Each month when they paid me, I deposited the money in the bank. This past Sunday, they held their last service (they have closed the local congregation and sold the property).

It just so happens that the work done on my roof was finally completed this month, and I am waiting to see what the insurance will cover, so I can write the check for the rest of the repairs.

I wasn’t looking for a Sunday job, but I did need a new roof and as outlined in the linked story above, an elderly gentleman wanted to spend Thanksgiving with his family and then to retire from his Sunday obligation. All of these needs were known in the Infinite Mind. As metaphysical practitioners (he in Christian Science; me from the Religious Science perspective), we both knew that our needs would be met in divine order, and they were indeed met.

I now have more than enough money in my bank to pay the additional cost of my roof, and I was able to provide the Christian Science church with organist services as they wound down and held their last few months of services. The previous organist was able to retire and move in with his daughter, on the other side of the county, while leaving his friends in good hands with an easy transition to an interim organist – me.

I could not have pulled together this convoluted solution to multiple prayer requests. Neither could the retiring organist, but each of us knows that there is a power for Good in the Universe – greater than we are – that we can use. We put our trust in this power, and let go of the HOW. We stayed focused on knowing that our intentions would bear fruit; that our prayers were already answered – and they were.

It’s a challenge to let go and trust that the process is working. It can feel that we’re stalling the inevitable, or abdicating our responsibilities; but our responsibility – once we speak our word or affirm the Good we are seeking – is to let go, and let God. Along the way, several well-intentioned people advised me to cancel my contract (signed in August of last year) with the roofing company and hire someone else. Others counseled that I should call and raise hell about the delay, but I knew that it was all being handled in divine order, and as has happened with so many other things in my life, it all worked out – not only for my highest good but for the good of several others involved.

If you are seeking more Good in your life – a new roof, a new car, a better job, improved health and wellness – know that your word has been heard and the manifestation of your Good is in motion. Be open to the opportunities that seem to show up in unusual or unexpected ways, and don’t get in a hurry to “fix” things that seem to be taking a circuitous route. Your request has been heard; things are in motion.

All is well – and so it is.

(C) 2018 Practitioner's Path

Just know it

now-is-the-time

photo taken by the author at Whalehead Beach, Corolla, NC

Ad executives for shoe giant Nike struck gold a few years back with their “Just Do It” campaign slogan. It’s a powerful statement for all of us contemplating a change in our habits, lives or thinking.

Sometimes, however; it feels as though we are ready but the things we need to act upon are still  taking their time to manifest. At the start of the New Year many New Thought churches and centers hold abundance and prosperity seminars, classes and other activities. Because the start of a new year is a great time to turn over a new leaf, and more practically I suspect, because the Christmas season has a way of exerting itself on everyone’s budget in a way that makes them look for ways to change that experience.

Regardless of the “why“, teaching prosperity is a wonderful way to introduce people to the concepts of spirituality and the power that each of us has – right here, right now – to effect positive change in our own lives. Still, one of the challenges in advertising and teaching spirituality is that non-schooled folks who are desperate for an injection of money are at risk for going away disappointed. If they’re not ready for the spirituality piece of it, and are expecting to learn how to pick the winning lottery numbers or to get an immediate promotion and raise at work; they’re not going to find success at the end of a Prosperity seminar or class.

Let’s face it – even schooled spiritual seekers can become frustrated with the concepts of spiritual prosperity! Who among us hasn’t had a strong desire to inspire a lottery win, or a promotion, or even some money to arrive in the mail? I have found though, that only after some time spent in the wins and losses of the prosperity journey have I learned the way that it works, and been able to impact my life for the better.

The start of that shift comes in the knowing that we are provided, regardless of what it looks like in the check register, on the screen as you check your bank balance, or on the balance due as you open bills in the mail.

Knowing, and then letting go sounds simple; but these are the skills of a Jedi. It takes practice to know something in the face of real physical evidence to the contrary, and while we don’t have to travel to Dagobah to learn these skills, we do have to change our perspective and be willing to “unlearn what we have learned“.

A good way to begin is in our attitude. The photo at the top of this post includes a quote by Florence Scovel Shinn, a wise 20th century artist and New Thought teacher.

“Now is the appointed time. Today is the day of my amazing good fortune.”

As we begin this New Year, let’s use this statement to affirm the Truth of who we are: let’s just KNOW it, and then watch it happen in our lives.

Here’s to our success in 2017 – yours and mine!