Tag Archives: oneness

The Soul and the Spirit

496038383:a spiritual journey

 

I read something said about Reiki recently. I read, “Reiki is said to be a spiritual practice. However it is more than that”.

That statement implies the description of “spiritual practice” does not express what Reiki is. It implies the idea of being a spiritual practice is in some way insignificant to other considerations of what that person thinks Reiki is. What they are basically saying I think, is that if we describe Reiki as a spiritual practice it does not tell us the true worth and ability of it.

Being a spiritual practice, is the very highest of what Reiki is. It does not make Reiki less in any way. We have to take a look at the word “Spiritual” and determine what that is. Recently someone said to me that they consider themselves to be Spiritual and not religious and I asked them, what is the difference? The person could not give me an answer because they had not thought about it thoroughly enough. It was a clever and fashionable statement but did not have substance for that person. They did not have an answer to my question.

To consider the word spiritual we perhaps to look at the word religious also and look at them side by side.

Let’s start with the word religion. I feel that many people today have a negative view of religion and use the idea of spirituality in its place so as not to be associated with any particular religion but showing some reverence to something greater. Maybe religious history is partly to blame. This negative view maybe in part due to all of that fighting back stabbing, killing, abuse and downright dishonestly that many religions have engaged in over time, that have caused so many of us to just not wish to even hear the word religion spoken. It could be said that which is meant to nurture the human soul and spirit have thrown dirty water on the task. So it is not surprising that many are left feeling cold at the very thought of the word religion. Religions main task is to throw light on the path to God; instead it too can be bogged down with earthly experience. Difficult indeed to heave one foot on the earth and on in heaven.

Now what do we mean by spiritual? To consider the word spiritual we first have to understand the word “Sprit.”  What is spirit? Often the word soul and spirit are used interchangeably to mean the same thing. They do not mean the same thing. Many people if not most people think of their body as who they are. “I am my body.” “My body must be beautiful because if my body is perfect and beautiful people will perceive a beautiful me.” Are we a sum total of our body or are we more than our body? The body becomes a mess in time because it ages, and so are we now not beautiful because our body may not be so?

To find the real beauty of a person you must look deeper. It is located inside of the person that is where the beauty lay. The beauty lay in their thoughts, ideas, actions, and personality. Those things allow the person to have interaction with the world on a deeper level. What are we to call those bits of the person as a collective expression? Are those things part of the mind or are they more than just mental thinking capacity of the person? The mind is a tool by which we make sense of information on an intellectual level. We analyse the world and life with the mind. We say we think thoughts and they happen in the brain which is the mind. The soul is not the mind it does not analyse at all it just is. We will come back to all of these words and ideas latter. So that leaves the word sprit and if spirit is not the soul what is it?

Let’s recap.

We have so far spoken about spiritual practice, we started with that and also religion and the differences in those two things. We have also spoken about the difference in the soul and the spirit. We further touched on the body and what is that and our ideas of the body and who we are. What a muddled mine field it all is. Please let me give you my take on this it may help you to make some sense of it all.

 

The mindThinkstockPhotos-511136335

That defiantly is where the analytical processes of the person take place. We all think our thoughts in the brain. All information about our external life will be filtered by this part of us through the  senses. We make sense of what is around us via the senses and the brain. We analyse that information with the brain and then that information is stored somewhere in us. We think about what is coming at us via life and our senses and then store that information. We do not think consciously about every bit of information that comes at us form moment to moment as there is just too much of it for the brain to cope with. It thinks about some of it and analyses that which is new or different or previously unknown and unfamiliar. A lot of information that comes in our direction does not need the brain to analyse it as it is very familiar and  not consequential or threatening or different. It has been already stored and understood.

 

The Physical body

This needs little explanation, however it is not who we are. The body is not the person. ThinkstockPhotos-461277209The body houses the person and the person lays somewhere inside the body. I am not my body, but my body is the home that I inhabit. It allows me to move and live within the human experience on the earth. It is flesh and bone and it is easily damaged if I am not careful with it. I can work on my body to enhance its look and health. I need my body to live the human experience on the earth.

 

The soul

This part of the person is the person. The soul is who I am. I am my soul. The soul is my personality, it is my essence. I know that some of the person’s personality is governed by part of the brain. However the person is more than their brain functioning. They feel and when they feel they do not do so with their brain. It is at another part of their body that they go to for their feelings. It will be with their gut and the heart that they feel. Feelings painful and joyful go to these two places. This is where the person or the soul resides. The person resides in the gut mostly and in the heart also. The soul is the part of you that changes and develops over time. You are not the same person that you were ten years ago or even five years ago. In that time span you have had many experiences and those experiences good or bad happy or sad difficult or easy have moulded you into the human being you are today. It has given you your take on life. It has shaped your understanding of the world and what it can be to you and others. I am a therapist and very often it is this part of a person that is in the most distress when they come to me for help. I have to repair their soul, before the body will heal. Very often it is a case of sort the soul out and the body will sort itself out. This part of the person connects to all life on all levels and so it gets the biggest distress sometimes as it negotiates life.

 

The spirit

Now what is the spirit? If the brain governs the analytical process of the person and the soul is the person, what is the spirit?

The spirit does not do the same as the soul. It does not feel at all. It is dispassionate. The spirit of the person stands back and watches. The spirit part of the person is the observer. What does it observe? It observes you the person. It observes how you negotiate life. It takes note of everything and records everything about you and what you do. It is like a note book or a USB stick recording as you go. There is nothing that you ever do that you truly forget. It is all housed somewhere and this is where it is housed. We think that our memories come from our brain. In part they may, however it is in the spirit that everything about  you is stored. The spirit is like a filling cabinet and the brain retrieves the files from the cabinet. The spirit half of the soul records. The soul and the spirit of the person sit side by side within the person.

The spirit of the person is the part of the person that is pure energy. It is the part of your being that comes directly from the source of life itself. It is the part of you that on your demise will go back to the source of life. The spirit does not interact with life as the soul does. The soul is the messy part of you feeling everything and reacting to it all. The spirit just takes note of how the soul handles life. It is dispassionate.

These two jobs need to be separated. The soul very often is a mess feeling and reacting to everything that comes its way. There needs to be a part of you that stands back and is dispassionate to keep record of how you got in the mess in the first place. Your history needs to be housed somewhere. It is in the spirt that your history is housed. When you are done with life on the earth and the human experience your spirit hands over the spirit USB stick, if you will, to the source of life and your whole life is recorded in the universe for the source of life to use as information on life. Nothing is lost from the universe life takes note of everything and it is continually adapting to information. We know that life changes from generation to generation and there is development of all species that takes place within life. The universe keeps all information safe and uses it for the development of the universe and life. The spirit goes back to the universe or God. The spirit goes back to the source of all life and hands over its information to the source of life.

 

Oneness

ThinkstockPhotos-177794827In every mystical or religious path we are told we need to recognise our oneness with God. What is that for heaven’s sake? Oneness with God! Many people don’t recognise God and so go into great debate about that. God is a word used to describe the source of all life. God is all powerful and the ultimate force of nature. It is the thing that brought all life and the universe into being. It is the universe. That force is given a human face by Christianity and in other religious paths it is given other faces, as an energy force, gods, or a god of some kind. All paths put that force above everything else and say all sprang from that force.

Now there is a clue in those words “All sprang form that great force”.

So if all sprang from this great force which some call God, that means you and I did and all things did. Mystical and religious paths say all is one and has oneness. All come from one to make many.

We can use the word “spirit” to mean essence of a thing. We are all from the main essence. We could say that the spirit and the main essence being one and the same. So the spirit can be said to be that bit of you and me and all things that came from the great source of life. It is the “God spark”. It is the bit of you and me and all things that come from the main ingredient of life. We can think of God in many ways but its essence is the source of all things. So now we can see the difference between the words soul and spirit. This is why these four words, the mind, the body, the soul and the spirit  are so important to us. They describe very different aspects of the human living condition that are of great importance to the human living experience.

 

Spirituality

So now what of spirituality and a spiritual path? Well spirituality is the path that nourishes both the soul and the spirit. How can we do that? How is that done if it is done at all? If it is done will be dependent on what the person has decided for themselves. Do I ignore the whole idea of the spiritual and just exist?

Do I live the earthly life to the full and experience all that has to offer to the exclusion of nurturing the spirit? In that experience I feed the soul aheavy diet.dv787002 I may well enjoy my self for many years but at the end of it some thing may well suffer.

Do I balance my experience by nurturing both soul and spirit? Walk a religious path alongside the earthly experience. So I can have an affair or two, drink loads of alcohol, take substances that are not good for me perhaps, travel the world and have a great time, then think about the spirit from time to time as is needed. I might think about it at my religious holidays and festivals, and at whatever ways and times that connects me to the “God source.”

Do I immerse myself in the spiritual path and just live my life exclusively nurturing my God spark, feeding the spirit with the best that living can give it? Do I then pass those learnings onto others and illuminate their path to the best spiritual nurturing they can have?

Do I sit back and analyse it all using my brain to assess the validity or futility of all of these paths?

As you can see there are many paths and each path has its own merit. No path is better or worse than the other. Each path has its merits as each path will bring something positive to the person. Each path brings experience through the living experience to the person. All paths are a road back home to the ultimate force. We all return to dust or at least our body does and our soul and spirit go home. The ultimate power of the universe, that which some call God wants back that which it gave us, that piece of itself called the spirit. A spiritual path is one that nurtures that part of us. God is the ultimate energy force that houses the best in us or the light side of us. Not the dark side of the human nature. If we follow a spiritual path we wish to enhance the best side of us. That bit that is nearest to the universal perfection that we have.

Life itself is the ultimate spiritual journey. Life takes us from the universal source of life and then sends us back to it. We are on a journey of return from the moment we are born. We are thrust into life and we are given people who are our parents and wider family and we accept that situation and get on with what comes our way from that experience. We then are trust even more into the living experience and made to learn many things and are schooled by our social systems in one way or another. We start our development of the soul from the moment we are born. The situation to which we are born into starts that development for us. We are on our spiritual journey. We are working our way back home already. To be on spiritual journey you do not have to be religious or non-religious you just have to be living. Living is the ultimate spiritual journey. It is the return home for all of us with a lot of hassles and joys thrown in to make it interesting and stretching.

A spiritual journey is not about being good or bad. It is not about being the light or dark it is about a return home. How we choose to return home and with what kind of information on our spirit USB stick is our choice. The source of life gets to look it over and it will be happy or sad at the information stored on that spirt USB. The source of life needs you to experience life and no two lives are ever the same. We are all different people having our own personal human experience. There are rules to life, for life would be chaos without rules, and so the source gives some rules for us to follow. However, if we choose to follow those rules or not is up to us as above all we must experience. At the end of life we get to make our case for the life we lived. We are all on a journey of the spirt no matter what. The path we take and if we take a spiritual path on that journey is up to us. Free will and choice is at the heart of the universal desire for you. You get to choose many things each and every day.

 

Religion

Religion sheds light on the way back home. It highlights the rules to that return, or at least that is what it is supposed to do. It is there to remind us that there is a home and we are not here forever just a time and then we return home. The universe is home and the universe is what we return to. All religions give their personal explanation on how the universe is organised. It does not matter what religion you choose or if you choose none at all. You will return home one day and you will have lived a life long or short good or bad. You will return home with experience and development of your soul.

Religion or no religion a spiritual path or not is up to you and always should be your choice. So what bit of you do you most wish to nourish? Is it the soul, the spirit, the mind, or the body? We all get to choose our focus.

 

Reiki

Reiki treatmentNow let us finally go back to the very beginning of this blog and discuss Reiki. We have now come full circle. A spiritual path nurtures the spirit and spirituality is the practice of nurturing the spirit and  the soul. Living itself could be said to be the ultimate spiritual journey as it nourishes both the soul and the spirit to some capacity. Reiki is a spiritual practice and so it nurtures the spirit of the person. It enhances the practitioner’s spirit, because they connect to the source of the spirit. That is where the energy of life comes from and it is that energy that the practitioner connects too. It is that energy that the person both the practitioner and the patient or client engages with. That energy feeds the person on all levels. It feeds the body, the soul, the mind, the emotions and the spirit of the person. It enhances the person on all levels of their being. That is why it is a spiritual practice and that is why it is the very best it can be, and to be a spiritual practice does not make it less than but more than. Reiki is very effective and this is its effectiveness. Reiki connects to the source of life and it connects the person to that source, both practitioner and patient also. Reiki draws energy from that source.

We all get to choose both our focus and our path in life. We all get to choose many things each day. We get to choose if we bother to think about things and analyse things or not. All aspects of the person are important as is the method of feeding and nourishing each aspect that we choose. Each choice is a road ahead and a way forward, a method of engaging with life itself. Each choice we make is an opportunity to enhance the many aspects of ourselves.

What will you choose today? You have at the heart of your being free will and choice to do as you please.

Heart Energy

ThinkstockPhotos-82663378Love Energy

In the previous blog David Brown talked about the heart and its condition in relation to compassion and love. He explained how we can make sure we keep our own heart in good order. He talked about our feelings and emotions and the link they have with the heart.  He felt compelled to discuss this in the light of the recent killings in Paris. We talk in terms of being “stone hearted” or “broken hearted” and “cold hearted” in relation to emotions. This is because we store our emotions in the heart. The heart keeps our blood pumping around our body but it has a much more important job to do than that.

 

Universal Energy force of nature

The focus of the discussion that David and I are having with our readership is one of energy and the importance of it to the mind, body, emotions and spiritual aspect of the person. We have tried to illustrate the fact that universal energy is impact on all levels of your being and life. No more so than the emotional and spiritual aspect of the person.

We have said in many blogs that we take universal energy into our body and this energy feeds all aspects of our person and being. This may seem confusing, ridiculous, inconsequential or just plain not important to you. This single truth is of immense importance to your life and being. This subtle energy of which I speak, which you can just ignore if you so choose, will do many things for your being and life condition. To understand this fact and to act on it means that you have control over many aspects of your life, health and future.

 

A gift from the Universe

On a physical level this energy is electricity and magnetism but on a spiritual level it is the breath of life itself and a gift from the universe. It feeds your body, your life and being on all levels. David talked in his blog about taking this energy into your heart. I understand that for some people reading this, what he is saying to you may escape you.

In the wake of the Paris atrocities that blog and its message may well seem trivial. There is nothing trivial about that message, it is far more profound a message than it may seem at first glance. We are taught to see ourselves as separate one from the other by society and religion. We are separated on so many grounds. We separate on ideas; ideals, religion, politics, country of origin; ethnicity and skin colour are some of the factors that are used.

 

No Separation

In truth there is no separation between any of us. We are one people, the human people of the human family. That is our connection one to the other. We are one race, the human race. We have one home, the earth. This should be obvious to each of us but it is not so for most of us. Look around at the state we are all in at this point in time. So much hate, anger and killing on the grounds of things that seem important yet are inconsequential when looked at that through the lens of what truly connects us. Religion is not important unless you make it so. How we treat each other is important no matter what we may say or do. How we treat each other as part of the human family is of paramount importance. We have all been thrown into life for a time to live, love and grow. How we live, love and grow is important for at the heart of that importance is compassion for each other. Without human feeling and connection there can be no compassion.

 

Compassion starts with empathy

Compassion starts in the hearts of men. It is through empathy and seeing the other person as part of you that we have compassion. Seeing the humanity in the other person does not start and end in the intellect but it is more about a feeling in the heart of mankind.  When we connect heart to heart what do religion or ideas matter? We are connected by a greater force than any of those. We are connected through the energy of the heart.

If we feel others as part of ourselves and love them as ourselves we cannot harm them for we harm ourselves.

It is when we see others as different or less than ourselves that we can do harm. To separate the other person is to separate a part of ourselves. This is what “being spiritual” means. This is what spiritual connection is. It is a connection one to the other through the heart of you.

 

Heart connection is a wisdom and truth

Ideas and teachings come and go. There are some things that are universally valid and therefore unchanging.  Humanity’s connection through the heart is one such wisdom. It is a constant of the universe and will never change for man. When we go to pray, or talk to God or align ourselves with one religion or the other, we are seeking a strengthening of our human connection through God. I do not wish to get into discussion here on what God is or isn’t or if he exists. That is not the point of this blog. This blog is explaining there is a universal energy that ties us all together, and we can draw on this energy to strengthen our own connection to each other.

We must look to the condition of our own hearts first and condemn others if we must second. I read an article this week about a Muslim lady who was attacked verbally by a man who brought her to tears. How is this man any different from the terrorists? He was terrorising a woman who was peacefully and lawfully going about her daily life in her own country.

I remember and lived through racial abuse in the past in Britain. We have moved past that time and we should all be proud of that. We should all pat ourselves on the back for our own tolerance and sense of humanity. Britain has come such a long way. I have not walked down any British street for decades and been racially abused. To all of my country men and women who have worked hard so that I can have done that, I would like to say a personal and special thank you.

 

Taking care of freedom

Let’s all take care. Let’s all take care of each other and keep this the country we all wish to live in. Let’s keep our sense of humanity for that is part of what the terrorists hate about us; our wish for tolerance of each other because they have none. Freedom is an important part of a healthy human being. Being free to think and act in a loving and kind manner and to add positivity to life and the lives of others.

Let us make sure we keep our humanity and do whatever we need to do to stop this madness from taking a moment more of our precious lives. Life should be about love and laughter not killing and hate.  To keep the love in our own hearts healthy use meditation or just contemplation and bring in good energy into the heart.

Peace and Love Lynette.

In our next blog we are going to share a life changing meditation with you.

 

 

The Power of the Crowd

The Power of the Crowd creates an atmosphere all its own

The Power of the Crowd creates an atmosphere all its own

What an incredible summer of sport 2014 has been.  The World Cup in Brazil, Wimbolden and The Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.  The highs and lows, the passion and excitement and the power that the spectators feel as they become drawn into the competition as the event unfolds.  Nowhere was this talked about more than during the athletics at the London Olympic Games in 2012, when all the members of Team GB spoke about the power of the crowd cheering them on towards unprecedented success, particularly during Super Saturday, August 4th, when Jess Ennis, Greg Rutherford and Mo Farah all got Gold Medals.

So what is this power of the crowd?  How is it that so many people can be drawn into such excitement, that can help raise the performance of the athletes themselves?  It does not just affect the people at the venue, but also the folk watching on TV, even around the globe.

Fascinating research at The Global Consciousness Project (http://noosphere.princeton.edu/) may have the answer.  Based at The Institute of Noetic Sciences at Princeton, it studies the effects of group dynamics on random number generators (RNGs).  Put simply, these RNGs flip coins thousands of times a second and store the results- either heads or tails.  Left alone and over many repetitions these RNGs will produce a ratio of 50- 50 (half heads and half tails).  But this random behaviour can be affected by people thinking more about heads or tails.

The research started with individuals, but later they tried it with small groups of people, and found that those groups who shared bonds, such as couples, siblings and long- term friends, influenced the machines more dramatically than those that did not share those bonds or individuals.  Over many years, the project has found significant effects on RNGs by groups of people who are in some way in synchrony and therefore powerfully connected through their conscious attention.  What brings about this synchronous behaviour can range from local effects at opera and classical music events, to global effects seen at the OJ Simpson trial and Lady Diana Spencer’s funeral.  It appears to suggest that humans have the ability to synchronise and increase the effect of their collective focus.

Perhaps that is what happens at some incredible sporting events such as Super Saturday.  Certainly there was a collective excitement at The Wimbolden Men’s Final in 2014 that may have helped to spur the players on to greater endurance and performance.

Science tells us there are fields of energy that we can tap into.  As a result, we can be influenced by these fields and in turn can affect them.  It is a two- way process that means our presence has an impact on the environments we are in.  It is a complex interaction, but what is clear is that it can become very potent when people are thinking in a synchronous manner.  In negative situations, perhaps this collective affect has been shown in Nazi Germany in the 1930s and 1940s and in Rwanda in the 1990s.  In sport, this affect often shows itself in a very positive light, bringing out the best of people, not just in their sporting performance, but in their behaviour and good will towards their fellow men.  The power of the mind is great and the power of the collective mind appears to be greater still.

Life is a Bowl of Cherries

185899042 - Copy

Life is a bowl of cherries. Not necessarily for every one though. It depends on perspective. What is to one person good and happy circumstances would be the lowest of the low to another person. It is a bit like hot and cold water. Depending on our previous experiences the water temperature will be perceived differently.

Life is– vibrant and full of variety. Each cherry varies in colour, size and flavour and the enjoyment you derive from this variety depends on perspective.

Compare the colour of red cherries beside another red object or in front of a red background. How red are they? Now put them in front of a blue background. How red are the cherries now? In front of the red background, the cherries may seem to have lost their vibrancy. When placed in front of a blue background, the colour contrast renders their red colouring as vibrant and intense as can be. This is the power of perspective.119168579 - Copy

It is the difference in how we experience these everyday phenomena that informs our unique life perspective. The variety of experiences we encounter throughout our lives enrich us on a deep level – as they say, “variety is the spice of life.” If we resist opening ourselves up to different experiences, life is the same –same –same. Boring! To add vibrancy, we must embrace variety and recognise the power of perspective when tucking into life’s bowl of cherries.

Let’s take this analogy a bit further. How often do you think about how your life experiences impact you? Most of the time, we just experience without thought as to what experiences add to the quality of our lives. It is commonly thought that to be happy we must only have happy experiences. This is not true. We must have variety of experiences to make us whole, balanced people.

To achieve balance, the key once again is variety. Balanced people are whole because they are at one within themselves and not at odds with the variety of life’s experiences. A machine that is broken – in pieces – is not whole or in good working order. In seeking balance or restoration of “good working order” for ourselves, we must at some point come out of balance. We must tip one way and then the other to discover the correct equilibrium of experience and variety.

Going too far out of balance can cause trauma, but it is important to know that no one has to keep trauma. An individual decides within the fabric of their own being how much trauma they retain or release in any situation. When a trauma is so severe it has become deeply internalised, you must first decide that it is to be released and then set in motion the tools for implementing this release.

Meditation and hypnosis are excellent tools for such release. Hypnosis and meditation are bed fellows – they are very similar but offer direct benefits for the release of trauma.

Life can be whatever we wish it to be; as individuals we have power.  For the most part, each person is in control of their own ship. All is perspective and view point. Life’s cherries can look equally delicious set against a red or blue background. It is up to the individual to decide which background they prefer and why.

Biblical Rain and Misery

Rain and Floods

The ancient peoples of the earth understood and thing or two about life. They understood that they were a part of a greater whole. Recently in Britain we have had nothing but rain. Of course Britain is known for its rain. It has always been a standing joke both inside and outside of Britain. “The Rain”.

The message has always been if you are come to Britain bring your umbrella with you. In fact I stayed in a hotel once in Wales that gave complementary umbrellas to the guests as a way of enticing them into the hotel on weekend packages. Well that free umbrella has long gone but it was useful along the way.

Misery
The misery that floods incur is not to be underestimated. I live about 12ft or so from the edge of a river. I could not be much nearer. When my river rose during the recent rain we stepped outside one morning to find water over spilling onto the bank and heading in our direction. My neighbours and I were not happy. Luckily for us all it did not do more than that. All of the housed were safe. However, not so for so many people in Britain as devastation has travelled across the United Kingdom and the West Country has been very badly affected indeed.
Some people in Britain have been hit by flooding year after year in recent times. I watched people on the news give their thoughts and feelings to the interviewers about their plight with the rain, floods and devastation that has gripped their lives. It has been called floods of Biblical proportions. I can hear the wind picking up and threatening more rain as I write this.

Rain of Biblical Proportions and God’s Displeasure
Religious books are full of stories that tell us what happens to insignificant man should he step out of line and incur god’s displeasure, or even just the earth’s. Have we brought this in some way on our own shoulders? I have watched the weather patterns seemingly change over the years. Now I am no expert on these thing and the experts themselves seem not to be entirely in agreement. Some say global warming and some say not.

The Debate Goes on
The debate goes on with not real conclusion amongst any of us. May be we all have too much of a vested interest in keeping things as they are so we ignore the signs of erosion of the earth’s balance. We all talk in terms of our newest gadget or fashion item or what we simply must own next. At what cost to us all perhaps? We also talk about the endangered species of the earth due to our own expansion and greed. Maybe what we should all be worrying about is another species. Not the tiger or the elephant, although I fully support them both and their miserable plight. Maybe there is a more important cause to worry about, an animal that needs our help more. Ourselves! Perhaps we too are an endangered species. Not by numbers but by our own stupidity and actions.

Slavery, Economics and Inhumanity

467039789 148942488I have watched two very interesting films recently; Eden and 12 Years a Slave. Both films were excellent and were very thought provoking indeed.

12 Years a Slave, directed by Steve McQueen is the true story of Solomon Northup, a free black man from New York in pre-civil war America. He was abducted and sold into slavery, and the film is based on his account of what happened to him. It tells of his inhuman treatment at the hands of the slavers and shows their reasoning and their own level of personal degradation in the pursuit of economic wealth.

Eden directed by Megan Griffiths is a true story of Chong Kim a young Chinese American girl who had just graduated high school. When she was kidnapped and taken forcibly into prostitution. The film talks of her journey to stay alive and come to terms with what happened to her and how she eventually escaped her captors. Her journey at the hands of her captors and how she came to terms with what happened to her.

Both films are well worth watching as they chronicle the brutality and inhumanity of slavery and the resilience of the human spirit.

Descended from Slaves

I am the descendent of slaves as are many people from the West Indies. My father was born in 1919 a British citizen in Jamaica, the West Indies, a descendent of slaves himself. I am sure many people are familiar with the history of slavery in the West Indies and its connection with Africa, Britain and Europe. Of course, there is a new generation of children who are not familiar with the history at all. It is part of the school curriculum in Britain to teach it but it is an optional subject.

Steve McQueen, the director of 12 Years a Slave feels that all children in Britain should be taught this history and the British involvement in it. I am in agreement with Mr McQueen. We need to teach this history in order to  make sure it is not lost and forgotten. I do not think this because I am the descended of slaves but because I celebrate humanity. I know and understand that whilst it would be convenient to think that slavery is a thing of the past it is not, of course. Its global affects and influence are still felt throughout the world today.

Economics of Slavery

Slavery’s history and modern proliferation is rooted in economics and profit. Throughout history enslaved populations were exploited for economic gain.

The Africans were taken to America and the West Indies because they could work the land in unforgiving tropical conditions. Europeans fell prey to those harsh conditions and often died quickly and were not considered an economically viable source of physical labour.

To inflict brutality on a fellow human through the act of slavery is difficult but made easier if the person is seen as less than human. Negros were subject to a dehumanising proces and thought of as primitive inferior beings.

Personal Freedom

I had such taunts when I was growing up in the 50’s and 60’s in Britain. This attitude of intolerance that was a part of Britain’s colonial past.  My generation were the offspring of the black Britons who came to rebuild Britain after World War II. They had a hard time of it to say the least. As a child my parents made sure I understood the history of slavery and told me many stories about intolerance. I did have some instruction on this at school when I was about ten. I have always wondered if it was as a result of having me in the class.

The multi-racial family that I grew up in, as well as the hard lessons I had as a child growing up in 1950s Britain have all gone to make me a person who totally opposes all forms of slavery. To my way of thinking, slavery in all its forms has no place on planet earth period.

Modern slavery, such as abduction for forced labour and prostitution, has no place in modern and enlightened life. People are not commodities as freedom is a basic human right.

Denial of Freedom

Most of us in the West are free people and we can do as we choose. It is our right to do, say and act in any lawful way we choose, whenever we choose. But what if one day that right and freedom is taken away from you? What if you were not allowed to see your family ever again or move freely anywhere as you choose? What if you were chained, beaten, drugged and forced to work in practices that you found morally, spiritually and ethically wrong? What if you were forced to work against you will without pay and with little food? How would that affect your life, your sense of self and will to live? What would you do to change that situation?

Take action

Scotland has proposed an anti-slavery law and it needs as many supporters as it can get. At the moment lawyers, activists, policy-makers and academics are united in their support for the suggested policies, which would:

  • Establish a ‘Survivors Service’ to identify, assist and seek justice for victims.
  • Ensure stronger penalties for traffickers and those that help them.
  • Make special provisions for the child victims of trafficking, including allocating an expert guardian to fight for their rights.

Do we not have a responsibility to each other as fellow human beings? Or is it every man for him-self? As we discuss in Nourish the Flame Within, we are all interconnected energy. We are all part of a greater whole and the energy of the universe. We are all part of one human voice, one human family. This is not always easy to feel when we all put so many forms of separation between ourselves. We separate on colour, nationality, race, gender and religion. Each race, nationality and gender brings something special to human life and the human experience. Respect for all is essential to take life forward through this century and beyond.

Please join me in supporting anti- slavery in any way you can. Nourishing the flame within is not just a personal journey it is also a global one, nurturing our fellow man by allowing each one of us the freedom to pursue the path that leads to the realisation of our own inner talents, skills and potential.

The Universal Life Orchestra

A Jazz band improvises just as Nature does, connecting to a greater force that speaks to all, coordinating and creating perfection in that moment

A Jazz band improvises just as Nature does, connecting to a greater force that speaks to all, coordinating and creating perfection in that moment

Silence……. and suddenly the orchestra erupts into life.  The sound is created through the harmony of many parts, each musician working individually but flowing together to create a stunning whole.  As each individual instrument changes, the others shift in harmony with it, so that perfection is maintained and the beauty sustained.

What a skill to create such a thing!  What talent to play it, conduct it, compose it and manage the ebb and flow of perhaps fifty or sixty individual parts.  Every musician has trained hard over many years to cultivate and nurture their talents and has created beauty and perfection in their own right.  Now, under the organising influence of the conductor and the composer, these musicians work in concert to perform a harmonious whole that is greater than the sum of the parts.

This is no different to the artist painting hundreds of colours onto canvas or a choreographer directing dancers in a company- there is the individual and there is the group.  There are the parts, and there is the organising force that brings these parts together to create a working whole.

This phenomenon is seen throughout nature.  Each of us, for example, is a group of trillions of cells, each cell performing approximately 100, 000 chemical reactions every second.  Each one of these cells works in harmony with all the other cells in the body to create you, sustain you, maintain you and keep you healthy, adaptable and able to learn, develop and grow throughout you long life.  How incredible is that!!!!!!!?

No less wonderful are the atoms that come together to create the chemicals that make the cell possible or the energy that works in harmony within the atom that brings all of life and the universe into existence.  Think of all the planets that make solar systems that themselves go to make up galaxies.  The universe is made up of billions of galaxies bursting in and out of existence, an individual instrument in its own right, part of an ever- flowing concert or symphony that plays because…….. that is what it does!

It is just as amazing to consider that these things are fluid and adaptable.  A living being interacts with the environment around it, changing in response to conditions, yet at the same time sustaining its form.  It is as if there is a timeless, unchanging centre that maintains balance and equilibrium within itself.  This perfection is achieved without thought.  We know this because the beauty of perfection is visible throughout nature- the delicate symmetry of butterflies’ wings or the shape of a tree.  Adaptability is essential, achieved within the context of balance and perfection.

The Universe is more like a jazz improvisation group, or a band jamming late into the night.  The players have a connection.  Without knowing how, they feel the change in harmony as it happens and adapt to it as its happening.  No different to a flock of birds or a school of fish- they move as one, sensing the movement of the group, not the individual.

What creates this order?  What is the musical score of your body and the Universe?  There is no doubt that there is order to Nature, because this amount of sustained coherence is too incredible to come about simply by chance.  Science is beginning to discover answers to these challenging questions.  It seems that the energy that is the universe is more spread out than we would imagine and interacts with itself through ripples of vibration.  Energy is not the pebble hitting the lake and creating ripples.  Energy is the lake!!!!!  Coded in this energy is information, transmitted within the ripples- the information is a vibration that transmits itself as the ripple moves, spreading across the lake that others can interact with.  This is happening at every point in the universe all the time.  The universe is like a vast lake of ripples.

The waves of the ocean take form and disappear, but they are still made of water, just as the ocean is.  Form is like a wave.  You can see it, touch it, be influenced and affected by it, but it is water, it is no different to the ocean itself.  Form is the same.  You can see it, touch it, be influenced and affected by it, but it is still energy.

This fluid nature of the universe begins to explain why things happen at a distance at the same time, like the flock of birds and the jazz musicians.  The universe is a vast lake of ripples that come in and out of existence and are fluid in nature.   Energy is constantly interacting allowing communication to take place at many levels and all part of the rich tapestry that goes to make our wonderful and mysterious universe- wonderful because of the many combinations of energy the ripples can generate and mysterious because these interactions are often happening beyond our senses and beyond our understanding.

Science is telling us we are interconnected- to each other and with the universe itself.  There are signs of this interconnectedness, events that indicate that we are most content when we are with like- minded people, when we are at one with nature, our loved ones and our pets and most importantly when we are at one with our self.  The harmony of sound in an orchestra, the harmony of colour in a painting, the harmony of shape in a sculpture or architecture and the harmony of minds in a family or working environment are all really the harmonious interactions of energy, the very state of balance and peace of Nature herself.

 

The Language of Truth

 
Many paths lead to the Summit of Truth

Many paths lead to the Summit of Truth

Have you noticed how hard it can be to understand the language of certain disciplines?  Science is full of technical terms and complex terminology that can be impossible to grasp.  Different religions use words and ideas that are often incomprehensible to outsiders, while philosophers discuss concepts and make distinctions about things that are almost impossible to distinguish without years of study and contemplation.

It’s funny how words used to convey thoughts create barriers to understanding.

Camps become polarised and separated by ideologies that can create aggressive opposition by others that feel threatened and ostracised.

If you cut through the barriers of words however, you might just find that they are all reaching for the same truth- coming to the summit of the mountain as it were from different sides.  They all seek the truth- if you understand that many of the words mean the same things you no longer see the differences that cloud the truth but begin to see the mystery that is the truth.

Each path to the mountain top starts at the base.  If you are there, the top seems so far away and other paths of differing views seem so separate from yours.  As you reach closer to the truth you become more intimate with other paths, converging and merging as the truth comes more clearly into view.  If you reach out to others, you may find you reach the summit sooner and with more friends to share the experience.

I am trained as a scientist but it was only when I began to study religions and philosophies and expand my general scientific knowledge that I began to realise that they all study the nature of reality and the wonder of Nature itself.

Meditation is very similar to authentic prayer.  The eastern concept of karma (the science of cause and effect) can be seen in science, psychology, history, geography, sociology and anthropology.  The power of core values in life coaching is termed Kidi in Japanese Zen.  Biology, Chemistry and physics describe scientifically how inter- connected all things are as they are experienced by deep meditation.  Modern western medicine complements eastern ancient arts of acupuncture, herbs, Ayurveda and energy healing.  What world religions call God, One, the Word the Yogis call Om, the Taoists and Buddhists the Void, the Hindus Brahman and the American Indians the Great Spirit.  Quantum Physics describes the same reality that Buddhists and Taoists have discussed for centuries.

In short, all the schools of thought are searching for the truth.  Let’s work together and help each other to discover this One Reality.  Let’s focus on what binds us rather than what divides us and in so doing we will find the answers sooner.  Nourish the Flame Within is our attempt to distil these ideas into a single experiential guide – a chance to discover the truth through many possible paths- each of which leads to the Summit of Truth.

Food for The Soul

74226923 (1)

Food for Thought, Food for the Body and Food for the Soul

 

We all walk a spiritual path as we are all spirit. We are spirit energy in a body. As human spirits we grow by learning. I am constantly learning new things. I like learning it brings new ideas and perspectives to my life.

I do not have all of the answers to life or spirituality for I am always learning new things from many people. I do not believe anyone has all of the answers to anything. There are people who say they have all of the answers and maybe they do for a short while. Life changes and it moves on and is in a constant state of flux. So are we.

When we learn something new we change. We replace old ideas with new ones or we may reinforce old ideas. Either way we are in a win situation with the new knowledge. As knew knowledge equals change to us on some level.

Today we will have a set of thoughts, ideas and understandings and tomorrow they will be different in some way. I am not saying that we do not have a responsibility for the things that we think do or say. I am saying that we will think do and say something no matter what that is and in time will change those understandings and actions as we live and develop. Change means development of us and our lives. We change from the moment that we are born and in fact if we think about it we changed even in the womb. We change in many ways throughout our life. We change physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally. We are not static beings.

From the moment we enter this world we are in for change. Life will change around us whether we wish for it or not. We can resist change but that is futile as change will happen never the less. All things change. The seasons change, day changes into night, the weather changes. Everything changes.

People too change, before our very eyes. They physically change day by day. Nothing about people is set in stone at all. Life seems to be static but it is not.  Change is built into life at all levels. There is wisdom in slow change. Slow change gives ourselves and life time to decide is this a good change and do we need to keep it or change it for something else. It offers us a choice as we move towards the conclusion of the new change. It offers us and life time to understand and assess that change.

Physical change to our body is inevitable and we all know that our body is designed to break down. We can slow things down a little with good food and plenty of sleep and some effective creams and potions. However even with all of that our body will degenerate. Life will move forward and we will bend to its influence. Our body is designed for slow change and the ravages of time.

But what of our soul, how do we keep that in good condition?  And what is a spiritual path? We can develop our soul in the same way we can develop our body. We can condition our soul. To have a healthy body we need to give it good things to work with, such as good food, rest and exercise. To have an active and effective mind we need to give it food for thought. It needs input and stimulation.  The soul needs the same too. It too needs food, rest and exercise.

What is food for the soul? Life is food for the soul as it helps the soul to develop. It does not matter what we do as long as we interact with life. When we interact with life we give the soul its sustenance. Good or bad, happy or sad the soul will thrive on what we give it. It will change and develop in one way or the other. The change that occurs in each of us adds to life. It adds knowledge to the wider universe. It causes us to move forward into life.

We are all part of life and life part of us. So therefore we are all important to life and life to us. From time to time it may be that we may feel insignificant and unimportant. We are just a single person in this huge world of ours. Perhaps there are some moments of despair.

These moments are part of the catalyst for our change and growth. When we reach rock bottom in any situation or interaction often it causes us to find a solution and resolve the misery. It causes us to look, listen and learn so that we may move forward. Despair can lead to change. We are required to look at the situation and our life, the path that led us to the situation, to listen to our inner voice for the truth of the situation and learn from the experience.

Despair forces our hand to give in or grow through movement. In despair we look for the solution that will take us out of the situation. Movement of any sort equals growth to the person. Even negative movement equals growth in time. Negative movement equals more pain and misery which in turn is a further learning to the person. All of life and life’s interactions facilitate growth to the soul.

Meditation, sleep and quiet contemplation are rest for the soul.  Exercise for the soul comes by way of all of the interactions that stretch the soul to grow. On all levels of our being we grow through the interactions with life and the things we put into our being.

We need food for thought, food for the body and food for the soul. Life Nourishes the flame within.

 

The Flow of the Universe

The River of the Universe flows from a ubiquitous source, through a process we call time.  The Universe unfolds at every point expanding and evolving.

We are all a part of that process and we have no choice but to participate. It is up to us whether we are a willing participant or if we resist the endless force that drives us towards forward movement, growth and evolution.

If we choose to resist it is only temporary as we ultimately return to the Great Flow when we die.  To choose to resist can be a tiring and draining process.  It is an experience full of pressure, strain and stress that can debilitate and weaken us. If we resist all we are doing is fighting a natural law of the universe. That natural law is one of movement and change.

In time this resistance can cause Illness with in us and we may become stressed in some way either emotionally or physically.  We may have sensations of dissatisfaction and meaninglessness, we may feel despondent about life and we may think we are powerless.  The more resistance we give to natural flow the more pressure we will inevitably feel.  Nature can give us room to manoeuvre when it makes us aware of our correct path; it then gives us the opportunity to change our poor choices. Poor choices too are a part of growth and change.

These gentle persuasions of nature can be ignored by us as we have free will and choice.  If we choose to ignore them the negative symptoms within us may grow and affect us detrimentally.

There is wisdom in listening to nature and understanding her pulse. She has her own natural rhythm of which you know and understand at a fundamental level of your being.

To be consciously aware of that natural rhythm of evolution and growth can only enhance our lives. It will set us in tune and in step with all that there is. For you to access this knowledge the key is deep inside of your being and to find that key one must go on a short journey. There are many practices that will help you find that key and unlock the door to flow.

Meditation, martial arts, mediumship, yoga, Chi Kung, Reiki as well as all forms of energy healing all help us to connect to universal energy at a deep level.  Once we have found that connection we can use it for many purposes.

In artistic and all daily practice we can connect to the flow of the universe and loose ourselves in its power. In a moment we can become one with its inspiring movement. We can be in the flow of life and the universe itself.  In time we learn to understand its language and use its power to enhance our life and being.

A river does not flow for itself alone.  It flows for the fish and insects that live in it, the animals that drink form it. It is a repository for rain water and a reservoir if the land is dry.  It carves through the earth changing the landscape and moves the earth and water around the planet.  In doing that, it expresses its true essence.  A river cannot be totally isolated.  Its identity and reason are intrinsically tied into its environment. It is a part of the larger picture of life.

So too are we.  What are we without our environment?  How can we shine without a larger context, a greater environment and people to share our light with?

Being a small part of a lager whole is our natural state.  To acknowledge that and work in union with it is to serve a greater purpose. To be in the flow of life and the universe is to be at one with your-self and at one with all.