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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Social Controls

Last year I think I mentioned re-reading Eric Hoffer's book "True Believer" which had been required reading back in the day in a number of college classes. He talks about how people get into an organization and give up their minds and hearts and become sort of robotish.  I was also looking in the garage for my social control textbook, but it is still in some unknown box.

Basically social controls are the ways people and people as organizations or governments control people. 

I listened to the tapes of the study of American prisoners of war in the Korean War and was fascinated to hear that they took out the 10% who were leaders, putting them in armed to the teeth camps, and the other 90% were easily controlled with a few guards and a couple of dogs.

I listened and learned after the fall of the Soviet control as I traveled throughout the former Soviet Union. Stalin was a genius of control. One thing he did was encourage and reward the turning in of neighbors, friends and relatives. He built apartment buildings where everyone on a floor shared the same kitchen and kitchen table. If anyone went to the government and said someone said some anti-Stalin thing at breakfast, the unwary person was never seen again. Fear made it so that fewer and fewer people spoke out and more and more were falsely accused for the rewards given to the snitch.

One cannot help but note the beginning of such a trend at many levels here. Think on the latest scandals of bugging the press, accusing press of treasonous behaviors, IRS targeting of people with other than liberal ideas and more. And this trend of liberal behavior is being carried on in other ways in organizations across the country. If a conservative appears, they are fair game. 

From the point of view of an observer of human activity, it is absolutely fascinating. From the point of view of a person who cares about it all, it is terrifying.

I am hoping and praying eyes will open and this trend will be stopped before it is too late.

Look around and think and see and stand up for freedom, please!

Lord, You have shown me disturbing patterns. I ask that You inspire people who are in a position to do something to stand up and end this trend infecting our nation. Thank You for the gift of being born in this free nation with many wonders and blessings. Help us all to protect it, its institutions, and its values.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Path Narrows

One of the ways I look at the journey down this path of life is how it narrows the more conscious one becomes and how there is less tolerance for deviation.

I am not here speaking about the conscious mind and subconscious or unconscious mind. I am discussing here an unaware person vs a person who is more aware, more awake to Spiritual Realities.

A person who is mostly unconscious has many people who pick them up, forgive them, help them get going again and again and again. They may veer off the path 100 times and then back on 1. Little is expected so they are given a wide berth. They sort of stagger down the path of life.

A person who has worked and prayed and meditated and forgiven and studied and is fairly conscious most of the time is not given the wide berth. This person can be judged quite harshly if say there are 100 things done well and 1 done poorly, if there are 100 kind words and 1 harsh word, if there are 100 good deeds and 1 not so good. Others often are quite harsh to the person when the 1 time comes up. The acceptable path has narrowed.

In many ways this is helpful. The fairly conscious person desires to be more conscious and so takes note seriously that the sidestep is a teacher and the consequences much more extreme than for an unconscious person. Practices that lead to being more alert and careful and more conscious takes on a new vigor.

As it was said - all things work together for good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purposes. Yes, the tough things too do work together for good. Each is a teacher. Each carries a gift in its hand.

The task is to not sink into ego when such a time presents itself. The task is to take the gift, learn the lesson, refine, improve and emerge a new improved version of you.

Lord, help me to be more conscious and to reduce those 1 offs that bring painful lessons and prickly gifts. Help me attune to You more clearly so that I walk with You more fully.

Friday, May 17, 2013

What About Love?

One of my all time favorite and most helpful books I've read is Eric Fromm's "The Art of Loving." There is one idea from that book that has embedded itself in my memory and in my weighing of love or not love. It is basically that love has at least four qualities that must be present.

Knowledge, care, respect, responsibility - these are the four.

If you say that you love _________, then you want to know. You delve into who this person is, what they believe, what they think, what they like, what they don't like. You are curious about who they are. You want to know how to be in their lives. You want to know them.

If you say that you love _________, then you care about them. You have empathy for them. You lift them when they are down and celebrate with them when they are up. You offer help when needed. You inquire about how they are doing. You care.

If you say that you love _________, then you respect them. The basis of respect is to see. That is, you see them as they are, not as you wish they were or pretend they are. You look clearly without judgment at who this person is. You celebrate their uniqueness. You do not try to change them into someone else. You accept and see them as they are.

If you say that you love _________, then you take responsibility. One of the ways to understand responsibility is to take it to mean that you respond appropriately. You respond appropriately to whatever it is they have going on in their lives.

I urge you to also apply these four to your own relationship with yourself. We have been told to love our neighbors as ourselves. Your knowledge, care, respect, responsibility to yourself need to be active or you cannot really give them to others.

That is just a tiny touching of these ideas. They can be applied to people, activities, events and a broad spectrum of your life. For example, let's say you tell people you love your dog, but you don't know anything about dogs or your dog's breed; you don't care for the dog not making sure that it always has exercise, attention, food and drink; you do not see its nature; and you do not act in a responsible way. It could be said that you do not actually love your dog.

Just look at your life and the people you say you love. Can it be said that you actually do love them? Do the four qualities of love show up consistently in your relationship? Or look at those who say they love you - are these four qualities apparent?

Lots of hurt could be avoided by noticing when love is or is not actually present. Do not take a person's words alone. Put them in the context of actions. So you say you love me, but you do not ___________. Perhaps love is not present. Perhaps this is not a whole relationship. 

You know I have to go to the spiritual too. You say you love God. Do you spend time in prayer and meditation and study getting to know God? Do you care about God and your relationship so that it is on your top 10 list of priorities? Do you see God as God is or do you put God in a convenient box that is more comfortable for you? Do you respond to God's guidance and what is known as appropriate actions to be in relationship? Does your life testify to the point that you love God? What would God say to you about how you love God?

So food for thought. I hope you contemplate this food.

Lord, I lift up my heart and life to You. Lead me to be, think, and feel love here on earth. Help me to be aware of my love or lack of it and help me to shift into love. Help me to be filled with these four qualities in my relationships with You and others.

Thursday, May 9, 2013


In my new book that I'm working on, I suggest that one of the possibilities for the reason the earth is such a mess is that this is an insane asylum for souls who have a couple of screws loose.

I think I'd like to start an Institute for Spiritual Sanity. People, for example, say they follow Jesus and then act the opposite of him. Oh how they love and adore Jesus but hate their fellow humans, at least the ones who do not fully agree with whatever it is they say is the "truth." Jesus taught love, oneness, forgiveness to everyone - including the outsiders or the enemy. But don't you dare disagree with a fundamentalist so-called Christian. They will let you know in very unlike Jesus terms how lost and terrible you are and how if you don't change you are thrown away and they even tell you that God will throw you away into endless fires-- because of course the know what the Infinite will do.

Or they say they follow Jesus and are routinely unkind to the people around them. From family to friends to neighbors to casual interactions, unkindness pops up regularly. Or they gossip and tear people down behind their backs. Or they do actual harm to people with beatings or cruel and violent actions.

Congruence might save the world from itself and bring Jesus' teachings alive. What if people started working more seriously on thinking, acting, responding, and participating as love and doing what he told us would work to bring us into harmony with God. What if people did the work to retrain the run wild ego and tame it into Christ consciousness?

I don't think I can get the Institute up quick enough. Help me. I'm trapped on a planetary insane asylum.

Dear God, You placed me here on this earth for some good reason I am sure. Please help me to stop being side tracked by the strange appearances here. Help me look through the twisted energies and untwist myself. Help me to be congruent and true to who I am in Reality.Today is surely a challenge. In other words, God, HELP ME PLEASE.