A Mind Divided

cat_two_minds

A house divided against itself cannot stand.

That is a quote from Abraham Lincoln in 1858. He was using it in the context of the division in the ‘United’ States between slavery and non-slavery states. Ultimately it took a disastrous Civil War to finally unite the Northern and Southern states although there are still some who feel ‘divided’ and unjustly treated even today, over 150 years and 5 generations after Lincoln’s speech.

While Lincoln said it, it was not his original thought, like many great quotes it was first stated in the Bible, Matthew 12:25 and others,” Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.”

I believe however, that the quote also applies very well to each one of us as an individual.

How can that be? How am i, how is anyone of us, a ‘House divided’?

It is an undeniable fact that we all live in our own physical ‘house’ – our human body. What is perhaps less clear, or at least not very well understood by the majority of us, is what that body ‘contains’ within, in terms of our consciousness; the thing that allows us to perform actions with that body as well as to think thoughts and experience our human desires and emotions.

While science has made unprecedented progress in discoveries external to our body and has made good progress in medicine and understanding of the physical human form it has made little to no real progress in helping us understand our internal nature, our consciousness, our mind and that poorly understood term, spirit.

I contend that within our true nature are two opposing ‘sides’, for want of a better word. The physical side that contends with our daily life and experiences (since conception/birth) of the physical environment around and outside of us, and a spiritual side that operates differently to our physical nature, one that is so very easily overlooked and hard to ‘pin down’ for our examination or dissection, unlike our physical side.

As we grow from our childhood into adulthood in our physical nature, gaining from every single life experience in the physical world, so too are we to grow from spiritual childhood into adulthood, by living and gaining from our experiences with the things of Spirit.

The trouble here is we tend to confuse both as being one and the same thing when it should be quite clear that it is nothing of the kind.

We live simultaneously in two ‘minds’ – one dedicated to the physical and one to the spiritual side of our nature. We are a house ‘divided’, subject to two differing and powerful ‘forces’ (attractions). As Lincoln and many others have long known, we do not perform to our full capabilities if we are of two minds, one must take precedent over the other so as to prevent working against our own best interest. As the Union was to be under one government to best serve it’s peoples’ interest, so too we are to be under one ‘government’ to best serve our self interest.

The Bible states ” No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.(material wealth)” Matt 6:24

The truth is most of us feel like we need to follow the attraction (force) that is dedicated to our material world, that this is necessary in order to feed ourselves and our families, to provide shelter, to educate ourselves and to ‘enjoy’ our (physical) life. Since this is the world we spend most of our time having to experience, the tendency to give it our highest priority is a quite natural and understandable one.

However, this largely ignores, and in some cases directly opposes, our spiritual natures, what some call our ‘highest’ ideals; we compromise ourselves out of expediency or physical ‘necessity’.

It does not have to be this way though, indeed – i feel it should not be that way!

The alternative is to find ways to follow the attraction (force) of Spirit in our life, to give our spiritual ‘child’ as much nourishment as was given to the physical child we once were. It requires a certain self-discipline, a willingness to even consider that the option exists in the first place and then to be able to overcome the attraction we feel to the physical and all the fixed behaviour patterns in it and to it we have developed since childhood, our materialistic desires and wants and likes; to gain control over our emotional states that oppose our spirit: Anger and rage, envies,greed, lust of physical form, hatred, selfishness, self-pride, etc, etc.

Some achieve this ‘naturally’, through a debasing process where an individual falls down so far and comes to realise how futile their life has become through ignoring their spiritual nature and paying attention only to the physical world and self. That such a life has no longer anything of value to them and they see a new way of being – their spirit reaches out to them once all the appeal of the physical has ‘died’ or is very near to death, to having nothing left of any permanent value to the individual.

Some take a longer route and achieve it through various devices, of a religious or ascetic nature. Whatever the path it is possible for anyone to choose to become more ‘in tune’ to their spiritual nature and to begin practicing living a life where the spiritual ‘mind’ takes control over the physical body.

We can ‘walk’ in Spirit.

But we have to crawl before we can walk, and ultimately run, as our spirit desires.

It is not just my philosophy, but that of many of the world’s greatest minds since humans began to write their thoughts down, that considers our spirit is a part of a greater ‘Whole’: that we can connect to a vastly more complex unity than we ever experience from our own self viewpoint and can learn how to operate in total harmony with that Unity, the Oneness, God.

But it requires us to recognise that the physical and the spiritual are most often working towards different aims, that there is an imbalance inherent in us that we have to learn to overcome, and that we can only do this by accepting the Gift of spirit we all have been given and using it in the manner in which it was intended to be used.

If we choose to ignore the spirit, we do so at our peril, knowing the consequences and taking what benefits we may in the short term.

But the spirit has a longer term objective, one of far greater reach than we can achieve using just our physical body alone, it desires to be re-united into that from which it came, even as it is certain it can never be parted from it for more than a single lifetime.

Once we become aware of this we then have the choice, to live with our physical mind commanding our thought and action, following the physical attraction, or to choose the spiritual mind to lead us and follow that attraction, each one will pull us in one way or the other – only we can choose which one is to have our full attention.

it’s your choice now.

© B Thursfield 2013

 

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Desire

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Desire: to wish or long for. “When you wish upon a star”. De-sire comes from the latin de+side (star) – desiderate.

A couple of blogs i have read lately have got me thinking on the subject of Desire.

Our desire(s) could be said to be at the very heart of our being. We can do something to ‘Our Heart’s desire’, our heart aches with desire. Many of the verses in Proverbs and Psalms speak of the vital connection between the heart and our desire as a link to God. “Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.” Ps 37:4; “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” Prov 13:12

Throughout the ages philosphers from Plato to Immanuel Kant have considered desire as an important motivating force in human life. Even Buddhism which considers it necessary to eliminate sensual desire  (that causes all suffering)  in order to find Nirvana concedes that a novice is to work on motivational forces through skilful application of desire.

Our greatest desire determines our main priority in life; our priorities strongly determine our choices; our choices lead to the actions we take and our actions we take determine the kind of life we live. How we behave and who we become.

regret

So what is your greatest single desire?

Is it a desire of self ( one that gives you personally the greatest degree of personal or sensual pleasure) – or a desire to follow the Will of God or of something greater than (external to) just yourself? ( Humanity?, Ecology? Nationality?)

If your greatest desire is to something other than self (but including, as a small part, the self) do you only act in harmony with that desire? Or do you sometimes slip into ‘selfish’ mode and consider your needs over those of others and the greater good?

Could this be behind the ‘conscience’ that sometimes causes us to have a niggling feeling of guilt when we do a thing, or not do a thing?

Maybe in order to reduce the instances of that ‘niggle’ we might consider the idea more carefully?

Any thoughts?

Monday Meekness – a Reminder to be Humble.

It’s Monday!Monday

For those who may be unsure Monday is named after the Moon (MoonDay), naturally it follows Sunday, Biblically the First Day of the week (The day after the Sabbath Day, day of rest from labour) which is named after the source of light to Earth, the Sun. (Light being created By God on the First Day according to the Book of  Genesis)

Although these are the words used in English today, they simply carry on a much longer tradition. The ancient Latin (and current Italian) Words for Sunday and Monday are  dies Solus and dies Lunae (Soledi and Lunedi) Sol and Luna being the Sun and Moon respectively. That this is so is not that remarkable considering the English language is largely based upon that of the Roman conquerors of Britain in the beginning of the first millennium  and of other countries such as France and Germany (and related to Scandinavian Germanic languages also) all of whom have similar sun and moon day names for the first two days of the week.

That this is a long and deeply held belief however is verified by the fact that both Korea and Japan similarly honour the Moon god in that day name as do many Indian languages and Ancient Sanskrit!

So what then, does all this have to do with Meekness and Humility?

The Greek goddess of the Moon was Selene. I hold a tendency to relate Selene with the very similar sounding word Serene, which means calm, tranquil, clear or bright. I also associate those meanings with the Moon. As a source of Light on Earth (albeit of a reflected nature and not as the original source) the Moon is second in nature to the Sun. Whereas the Sun is the most powerful source of natural light, which it possesses due to massively violent nuclear explosions ( the antithesis of calm and quiet, tranquility) the Moon receives this light and in silence and without any effort other than being it’s own Serene self, calmly reflects the light to us down here on Earth. The Moon has no light of it’s own, but by reason of simply being, it is the second brightest object in the sky.

I see this as a very suitable analogy for my relationship with God. I have no ‘light’ that is originated in me, but if i simply ‘be’ (and truly believe) i may reflect the Light that comes from the source of all Light (enlightenment) on Earth. I am to be like the Moon to God’s Sun (Son). Calm, tranquil and serene, being Humbled into second in importance in the Heavens, reflecting purely the Light to all. A light that is commonly surrounded in great darkness and yet lets us see when, at other times, the Sun may not be directly visible to us.

How to Demonise by saying only part of the truth

How to Demonise by saying only part of the truth

Many people have heard the misinterpreted phrase from the Bible – that ‘Money is the Root of all evil’.

The correct translation is from 1 Timothy 6:10 ‘10For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.‘ it is the Love of Money, not the money itself, that is the source of the evil.

Many have heard this but how many know the two verses either side of the above quote?

Context gives a better view of the truth of a matter.
Context gives a better view of the truth of a matter.

Tim 6:9. ‘But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction.’

6:11. ‘But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.’*

meekness n. – 1. the feeling of patient, submissive humbleness; 2. a disposition to be patient and long suffering; 3. the now obsolete meaning of gentleness. (see preceding line*)

So, putting all of the above together: Monday, the day that is dedicated to the Moon by many of the world’s peoples throughout time, is the one day in six i have chosen to pursue Meekness in me, Meekness being one of six things a man of God is asked to follow as a way to flee the evils and griefs resulting from the desire of Man to be rich, or seeking purely material wealth at the expense of our spiritual wealth.

By meditating on how i may be humble, calm, reflective, submissive to a greater power, serene i have hope to become a GentleMan, one who is yet able to shine with bright reflected light as a true servant of that which gives light unto us all.

Bless you all.

Just Who is in Charge Here?

It is my strong personal belief that all evil we see as such in our lives is the creation of the ‘I’ (upper-case) – the voice inside me (and you) that measures and compares everything to itself, that sees itself as the highest Authority in my life – the thing that drives some insane or splits the mind into schizophrenic personalities because it cannot ‘cope’ when life does what it does and we cannot control it as we (I) thinks we (it) should.

My ‘solution’ is to give that Authority over our life back to the One who created us/I/i.

To learn how to surrender our own will over to someone we can Trust/Have Perfect, Infallible, Unfailing Faith in that they will do for us what is BEST for us, not what the I thinks is best for it.

As the Christians (Hebrews?) say: Thy Will not my will be done.

It’s not the same things as ‘giving up’ or not caring about the (true) self – it is recognising a True hierarchy in all life, not just mine, or human, but all life, and giving supreme command over to that which is Perfect and Complete while we take on the role of a faithful second-in-command over our own lives. (as we send the ‘I’ back wherever the heck he came from!)

In sailing terms: we are the engine/er that moves our ship through the calm or stormy waters of life; adds speed or stops when we need to come to a rest, all the time looking to God as captain/helmsman of the ship, deciding our course and navigating the way so as to get us to the right destination with regard to unseen dangers that might lie ahead of us, while we choose to look to Him for guidance to keep us on the right path to our journey’s end on this planet, trusting in His superior experience of life’s currents and submerged rocks that wait to sink us and cause us to flounder.

In this way we learn to live in harmony with the Main Plan and our life will conform to ‘The Flow’ and not be constantly struggling against it. where sometimes we get small personal victories and sometimes we get disasters.

His Plan may not always seem to be ‘fair’ or make sense, but when has life ever done that? for you? – or me – or anyone?

I believe by having faith and seeking Him and following His way over our own choices He will provide a full and satisfying life for His Creations that He did not design to be sad, unworthy or imperfect.

It is the I that mostly causes those things in us and our pride that prevents us from ever seeing it that way. That is why we are required to learn Humility and to serve Him to His Greater Glory.

Bob’s Quotes: #6

Bob Says:

ONE who goes in TWO minds, is but HALF-Hearted.

Bob’s Quotes #4

Bob Says:

In order to properly utilise the power of the mind, it is necessary at some point, to ACT consistently for a period of time!

Physicists have a very good equation for the same thing:

Power multiplied by the time spent equals work done:    P x t  =  W.

Work.

It is important that we enjoy our work…. and remember to take a break sometimes to recover!

Bob’s Quotes #3

Bob Says:

The Awesome power of our mind, properly directed, is able to change our world. If we change our world, we change The World around us.

 

Power of the mind

Bob’s Quotes… #2

Bob says:

To bring forth good fruits from the power at our disposal of a well-disciplined mind, First  we are required to have a Loving, Pure and Faithful heart.

Bob’s Quotes…… #1

Bob Says:

 

The most powerful tool a human being can ever possess is a well-disciplined mind.