Commentary

The place for action

“. . . For what is inside of you is what is outside of you,
and the one who fashioned you on the outside
is the one who shaped the inside of you.
And what you see outside of you, you see inside of you;
it is visible and it is your garment.”

- The Thunder, Perfect Mind
Nag Hammadi Library, p.302
from A Gnostic Book of Hours, by June Singer

If we understand this message, which we hear from many sources, it should be clear that any sane response to external events must begin with setting in order what we see inside of ourselves. Outrageous events that we witness in the world - and we witness them every day on the radio or television news, or on our phones - often cry out for action, and often leave us with a sense of despair because we feel we can do nothing.

That is when we should remember that what we see happening is happening in us - that is to say, in our consciousness, in our awareness - and as such can be responded to in our consciousness by the application of straight thinking in the abstract or by other meditative practices. This is fabulously good news, challenging as the times are, because it means we are not without resources nor the ability to respond meaningfully.

Responding meaningfully first will bring guidance as to further steps to be taken, letters to be written, meetings to attend, or reading to be done, if any. It can be a useful step back before clicking on that button urging you to “ACT NOW”.

Leavening the lump

Eugene Peterson, a very influential voice in defining the role of the pastor in modern America, writes in his memoir about his experience of seminary:

“Daily life at the seminary comprised common prayer in the chapel, common meals in the refectory, common play in the requisite volleyball game on the roof after lunch each day. . . . All of this took place on a quiet side street bordering the maelstrom of noisy, jostling, harried, secular, cutthroat, competitive New York City.

“I had only the vaguest notion of why I was there. . . . I didn’t know it at the time, but what I absorbed in my subconscious, which eventually surfaced years later, was a developing conviction that the most effective strategy for change, for revolution - at least on the large scale that the kingdom of God involves - comes from a minority working from the margins. . . . [T]hat a minority people working from the margins has the best chance of being a community capable of penetrating the noncommunity, the mob, the depersonalized, function-defined crowd that is the sociological norm of America” (my emphasis).

We do not change the world; but changing ourselves and working in the community of our study groups can provide the insight that will power revolutionary change on a larger scale, that is, the unfolding of Divine consciousness in the lives of an entire planet.

P M A

An old chestnut from the sales lexicon: Positive Mental Attitude. It is a pretty important asset for a sales person, but there’s a lot more to attitude than being positive or negative. Attitude determines what we see and what we don’t see. It’s very true that a person who cannot see themselves succeeding at something will have a much more difficult time than the person who can. So a lot of motivational exercises address themselves to this problem with tools like visualization and affirmations: one develops PMA.

Thei Prosperos takes a different approach - a different attitude about attitudes, as it were: Put yourself to the task of unlearning attitudes that are restrictive. The thesis is that perfect competence, perfect enthusiasm, perfect energy, and perfect delight are all part and parcel of our natural being. They do not have to be inculcated or created. Your effort and your energy belong to addressing the many claims of limitation, inability, bad luck, etc., etc., etc. Each of these claims is a liar.

It’s easier to spot some of these false beliefs than others. It can help to is ask yourself, “Where do I feel or see limitation, discomfort, or unhappiness?“ Every instance of limitation or dissatisfaction is concealing an attribute of the boundless. Your true identity is boundless and, being boundless, immediately available and at hand. The Law of the Vacuum and The Law of Assumption lessons on this website go into these points in much greater detail.

The beauty of excellence

One of my favorite things about the apartment which Alana and I have shared for the past 17 years, here in Silver Spring Maryland, is that it has a south facing lanai, and we enjoy being out there in the warmer months.

One of the things you notice if you’re sitting out there in the evening is all of the bright lights that are aircraft coming in to land at the National airport just across the river from Washington DC, in Virginia.

I timed these aircraft one night and found out that they made their approach exactly 2 minutes apart. Now, National airport has two runways that run parallel to each other so it’s possible for aircraft to land on one runway or the other one. Still, between 8:30 and 9:00 PM there is a steady stream of aircraft landing, one every two minutes. Each of these aircraft is independently piloted, and most of them carry over 100 passengers. There is something truly uplifting about the professionalism and excellence of the system by which so much traffic can be handled with so elegant a process.

This is what we are capable of, at our best. We are capable of impossible feats of engineering, like sending a crew of humans to the moon and bringing them back to Earth safely. Or, like sending the space shuttle up into orbit, traveling at 17,000 mph, and then having it glide back to earth without any power whatsoever to land exactly in the middle of a landing strip at Edwards Air Force Base.

It has been a perplexity for me for many years to witness the explosions that we produce with the aim of killing people and destroying cities when we have at our fingertips the power to transform lives for the better with great feats of imagination and prowess.

It’s not a bad question to think about: What kind of explosions are there in my life? Are they outbursts of creative imagination? Or are they outbursts of anger, frustration, and so on? The message of The Prosperos, and the message of Ontology is that we have the power to turn our frustrations, our anger, into creative acts that enrich our lives and the lives of everyone around us.

“Thus Pallas Athena . . .

. . . She led the way,

And the man followed in the deity’s footsteps.” -Odyssey, Book 5

This statement recurs throughout the Odyssey. Intuition can feel like a glimmering of the divine, and it can lay out a path for us to follow, leading us out of a familiar, comfortable, possibly unpleasant situation, into challenging circumstances, and finally to resolution in the making right (ho’oponopono) of all issues.