Palm Sunday Sermon: Whose Triumph Is It, Anyway? #palmsunday #holyweek #jesuschrist #God #peace #grace #sermon

For a change, I got to preach today, and I am so grateful.  I love preaching!!!  And I re-discovered my Jesus, and why he is Christ to me, as the message came to me.  I had no idea that there were really so many political implications to how Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, until I read these scholars’ remarks in the context of our political situation in our nation and our world today.  May Christ inspire you as he inspires me, to speak for peace and non-violence even in the face of evil.

Whose Triumph Is It, Anyway?

Rev. Carol E. Richardson

Hyattstown Christian Church

April 9, 2017

 

Have you ever ridden a donkey or a burro before?  How did that go?  When I was 17 years-old, my family traveled to Greece for vacation, and part of the time, we stayed on a small, not very tourist-y island.  One Sunday morning, my father and brother and I rode on Mediterranean burros, and I’m guessing what Jesus rode was more like these really small burros, rather than a larger donkey.   To ride these burros, we had to sit sideways, and kick our feet, both on the same side.  It looked really funny; not very glorious, not very dignified.  The one distinctive characteristic of donkeys and burros as far as I can tell is stubbornness, especially when being ridden, and especially when being requested to move forward in a particular direction that they apparently just don’t want to go in.

I don’t know how Jesus did it.  I don’t know how Jesus rode a donkey, and a colt, or with a colt – somehow, I find that part a little confusing, that he rode “them” as the text says, riding them into Jerusalem.  Jesus’ ride into Jerusalem, though humble, was bold, brash, and braying.  Approaching Jerusalem from the east, Jesus rode a donkey down from the Mount of Olives, surrounded by a crowd of mostly peasants.  It was not the rich and powerful, nor the might of the military that greeted and escorted Christ into the powerful city, but a group of peasants who wielded cloaks and branches rather than weapons.  Jesus humbly rode into Jerusalem to serve those who also humbly bowed before the prophet, that is, those who truly bowed before God.

Just like the authentic prophets in Israel before him, Jesus entered as God’s messenger from outside the halls of official earthly power.

By contrast, on the other side of Jerusalem, approaching from the West and riding on a war horse, was the Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate, leading a column of imperial cavalry and soldiers. [1]  According to one source, Pilate was riding from Caesarea Maritima, which sounds as though it was a pretty upscale coastal city, complete with a Roman aqueduct and an amphitheater.  The reason Pilate entered Jerusalem at this time was to keep the Passover crowds under control.

So then, one leader entered Jerusalem for liberation and spiritual sacrifice for the uplifting of all the people, and the other leader entered to maintain his and Roman power for the continued domination and subjugation of the Jewish people.

Biblical scholars John Dominic Crossan and Marcus Borg describe Pontius Pilate’s procession as proclaiming “the power of empire” while “Jesus’ procession proclaimed the power of the kingdom of God,” thereby setting up “the central conflict of the week that led to Jesus’ crucifixion.”[2]

Is this contrast setting us up to understand the nature of Christ’s triumph?

Whose triumph would you have bet on if you had been aware of both processions at that time?  Are we not accustomed to expecting big military powers to be the ones who triumph?

What could the people following and praising Jesus understand of the kind of triumph he would bring?  Didn’t they also want to be liberated from the Romans?  Many of them did.

If Jesus’ followers could move forward 2000 years and if they were on the ground in Syria right now, would a non-violent prophet still look like the answer, or would a military leader seem to be the savior of the day?

What is it that saves us in times of evil?  What is it that saves us from the Roman-like dominations of our day?

Writing in 2010, Biblical scholar John Rollefson suggests that Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan’s part historical and part imaginary visions of the two processions into Jerusalem sets the tone for when the church sings “All Glory, Laud, and Honor,” so that it becomes less like “My country, Tis of thee” or “God Bless America,” and more like one of the church’s songs of “protest and resistance” such as “We Shall Overcome” or “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”[3]

I believe what the Biblical scholars are all saying, in effect, is that Jesus Christ did not enter Jerusalem in order to make Israel great again.  Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem to show forth the greatness of God through his life and death and resurrection.  It was the exquisitely beautiful greatness of God Christ empowered to triumph through Christ’s grace, so that everyone would be saved.

It was the whole world that Christ came to save!  We need to remember that, the next time we see someone’s face on the news, no matter how different they may be from us, and no matter how far away they may live.

Matthew himself, in our gospel reading for today, compares Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem to the entry of the peaceful king in Zechariah 9:9-10 which says the king will “cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the war-horse from Jerusalem.’

What kings and governments do we know that actually shut down the war machines and enter peacefully to rule a nation? What peoples do we know who look for a leader who does not guarantee their safety through military might?

In Isaiah 50, we have a foreshadowing of Christ’s pacifism and non-violent resistance.  “I gave my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I did not hide my face from insult and spitting.”  How many of us would maintain non-violent resistance in that situation?  We know that Martin Luther King, Jr. could not have modeled non-violent resistance if Christ had not already done so.  I have to wonder if even Gandhi could have been the pacifist he was if Christ had not first been so.

The final political allusion in this gospel of Jesus’ triumphal entry is to the Passover Haggadah, celebrated later in the week, as a remembrance of when God saved the Israelites from slavery.  The custom in the Haggadah is to affirm that God saved not only our ancestors, but also us from slavery.

So then, the final Biblical allusion to political power in this text is to God’s ability to overcome the pharaohs of every age, and to set people, including all of us today, free from oppressive governments.  God has the power to overcome all oppression and to set all of us free.

What kind of triumph is this text talking about then, and whose triumph is it, anyway?

Is it political?  After the crucifixion, it certainly did not seem so.  Some people wanted political triumph.  What did Christ want?

It seems that Jesus Christ did not want to make himself the victor.  It seems that Christ did not want political power to wield over other people so that he could get his way, or wealth, or fame, or military might to “destroy the enemy.”

It seems that Jesus did not want to get his way at all.  Jesus showed up humbly, unarmed, surrounded by the lower classes, the politically powerless people of his day.  Some people would call them “worthless.”  I was talking with one of my clients about some of the proposed budget cuts and how thousands of people could go hungry, lose health coverage, and die as a result of potential budget cuts.  The client’s response was that the people were worthless.  By implication, their deaths did not matter.

One of my unspoken thoughts about the client’s opinion was that, obviously, he was not raised a Christian.  Can we listen to Christ and witness Christ and believe that anyone is worthless?

Perhaps the first of Christ’s triumphs on Palm Sunday is that he proclaimed the worth and dignity of all human beings by humbly accepting their praise.  After all, we don’t really care about anyone’s praise unless we see them as worthy enough to value their opinion.  Christ did not care about the worldly status of the crowd – he valued them, and because God values them, that was Christ’s first triumph, valuing those whom God would save.

If we find ourselves seeing anyone as less valuable than anyone else in anyway, we have already failed to share in Christ’s triumph.  It seemingly did not matter to Jesus whether the people who believed in him were homeless or homely or well-off and well-dressed.  He did not care.  His love for others was universal.  That was Christ’s triumph.

Jesus Christ came to Jerusalem for everyone who would receive him, and Christ seeks entry into the temples of our hearts and the fortresses of our minds today, that he might find a triumphal entry in us.

Again, how was his entry into Jerusalem triumphal?  Was it because the people believed in him?  Or was it because Jesus believed in them?

The triumph of Christ’s entry into Jerusalem was the triumph of humility, of compassion, of love, of equality, of justice, and the triumph of grace.  Ultimately, the message of Palm Sunday, when we see it through the lens of Easter, is that love wins.  Grace frees. Compassion unbinds the oppressed.  Humility allows God to triumph over all human evils.

Let me emphasize that again.  It is our humility before God, just like Christ’s humility on the donkey, that allows God to triumph no matter what is happening in life.

When we allow humility to lead us to grace, to compassion, to sharing the fruits of the Spirit, to proclaiming the hope of resurrection in the midst of suffering, then we proclaim God’s triumph in and through the humility and obedience of Christ.

Only by submitting to God’s will and God’s ways of being can we allow God to triumph in our lives just as God triumphed through Christ.  If we submit to God’s rule in and through us, isn’t that the same as allowing the kingdom of God to triumph over the “kingdoms” of the world?

You know, so many spiritual teachers in what some call the “new thought movement,” or the world of popular spirituality outside the walls of the church, so many spiritual teachers present seminars and workshops on attaining success.  After reading about so many of these, I finally realized that, like Christ, it is not my own success that I need to seek in seeing clients and writing books, but rather, it is God’s success that I need to seek in me and through me, or there is no triumph.

In fact, the triumphs of God come not so much in the glorious light of day as in the midnight hours when one more person needs us to hold their hand and to tend to them, whether an aging parent or a sick child.  The triumphs of God come when we feel too tired to go on but we go on anyway.

The triumphs of God show up when we don’t feel like loving someone but we love them, anyway.  The triumphs of Christ in us happen when we remember his forgiveness for us, and his grace despite our inadequacies, and we choose to understand and forgive the imperfections of others.

The triumphs of God in Christ and in and through us occur when we let go of having to have things go our way, and we focus instead on whether or not everyone else is okay and receiving what they truly need in life.

The triumph of God occurred on a donkey, on a cross, and in a tomb.  The triumphs of God in our lives can occur on a bus, or in a classroom, or an office cubicle, or a metro, or a bathroom, or a kitchen, or a farm.

There is no setting too great or too humble for God to triumph; all it takes is a willing heart.  When we decide that we don’t have to triumph, but we long more than anything else for God’s will to triumph in the world, then Christ has indeed triumphantly entered our own hearts.  Nothing else really matters, for whose triumph is it, anyway?  Amen.

Love and Light,

Carol “Anandi”

[1] I am indebted, for this description of the two entrances, to scholar John Rollefson, writing in Feasting on the Word, (Louisville:  Westminster John Knox Press), 2010, Year A, Volume 2, p. 153.

[2] From The Last Week:  What the Gospels Really Teach About Jesus’ Final Days in Jerusalem, as quoted by Rollefson in Feasting on the Word, p. 153.

[3] Ibid., p. 155.

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Cultivating Inner Wisdom & Finding Truth #truth #wisdom

The following is a copyrighted excerpt from my upcoming book:

Truth and Illusion:

The Politics of Spirituality

and How One Person’s Lie Is Another One’s Truth

In our quest for truth, we need to cultivate inner wisdom, for how can we find truth without inner wisdom?  And when we find truth, won’t it be wise?  All human beings contribute a perspective on truth, and each of our lives embodies and conveys truths.  In order to hear the truths that all of humanity can contribute to the greater truths of life, we need to cultivate inner wisdom.  In order to develop our inner wisdom, we need to:

  • Become self-aware
  • Accept ourselves
  • Heal our own inner emotional wounds
  • Stop the guilt syndrome by no longer shaming and blaming ourselves and others
  • Listen to our own deep thoughts, values, fears, and feelings with empathy and compassion
  • Listen to the thoughts, values, fears, and feelings of others with empathy and compassion
  • Create a safe space for ourselves emotionally
  • Create a safe space for others emotionally by making no assumptions, no judgments, and no projections
  • Overcome the split between “self” and “other” by understanding that we are all part of the universe, therefore we all contribute to a universal truth which encompasses all of us
  • Develop non-attachment and practice acceptance
  • Honor ourselves and every human being as an equally valuable person on this earth, simply because we breathe, think, feel, and exist. In honoring ourselves and others just for existing, we honor Life, of which we are all part.

If we can do all these things, we will be on our way to cultivating inner wisdom.  One sign that we have found inner wisdom is that we will tend to feel a greater sense of peace and contentment in life.  Feeling peaceful and contented conveys an inner wisdom that is open to discovering greater and greater truths, and indeed, has already found them!

Love and Light,

Carol “Anandi”

Highest Harmony Healing & Coaching, including distance healing and coaching, around the world

“Mornings with the Masters: Mystical Journeys in a Postmodern World” on amazon.com

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The Voice of God? Or Our Own Conscience? #hearingGod #conscience #voiceofGod

The following is a copyrighted excerpt from my upcoming book, Truth and Illusion: The Politics of Spirituality and How One Person’s Lie Is Another One’s Truth…..

The throat chakra is the seat of clairaudience, or being able to hear higher guidance.  This is an audio version of intuition instead of the feeling-based intuitions that each chakra has been sensing up to this point.  The throat chakra’s intuitive ability arises through language and the ability to hear our own inner guidance.  Clairaudience evolves all the way from our basic ability to hear the voice of our own conscience,[1] to psychic abilities, to the ability to hear divine guidance through higher beings (angels, for example) all the way to being able to hear “the voice of God.

tiny buddha image

tinybuddha.com

The intuitive ability of the throat chakra advances as we advance spiritually.  One can, instead, become schizophrenic either through drug use or through an experience of emotional trauma, either of which can energetically blow open the chakras, as mentioned before.[2]  In the case of the throat chakra, blowing it open leaves one vulnerable to hearing the voices of disembodied spirits, and unless one has very pure intentions, one may draw unsavory spirits to oneself, and hear “crazy” voices.[3]  The murderer known as “Son of Sam,” who believed that he heard a demon in his neighbor’s dog tell him to kill people, would most likely be one example of this.

The reason that we so often do not trust people who say that they heard God speak to them is that so very few of us are emotionally, mentally, and spiritually evolved enough to do so!  In other words, few of us are so evolved that our throat chakras are completely energized with both masculine and feminine energies, and also purely and potently energized with love rather than fear.  To arrive at this point where we have achieved the true spiritual maturity to hear the voice of God is rare indeed. Until that point, we hear the voice of our own conscience, which reflects only the very best of our own chakra development, or perhaps one level beyond where we find ourselves currently.

Signs that one truthfully hears the voice of God would include the mature, loving worldview of each preceding chakra:

  • Root: all of humanity is part of one big family in which everyone is worthy of being loved, protected, and supported in life;
  • Sacral: justice, equality, fairness, and self-reliance balanced with cooperative sharing of both power and resources are all paramount virtues for human life;
  • Solar Plexus: freedom of individual self-expression, personal responsibility, and interdependence are foundational for healthy human relationships;
  • Heart: unconditional love, non-judgment, compassion, and generosity are fundamental qualities of Divine Love.

Any “truth” attributed to the “voice of God” that does not inherently resonate with all these chakra characteristics would not reflect the highest spiritual understandings of the “voice of God.”  Until one develops through the chakra system, the teachings one perceives as coming from God simply resonate with the “truths” that one is ready to hear based on one’s own level of chakra development.

May we all practice more spiritual disciplines so that we will develop our ability to hear higher guidance!

Love and Light,

Carol “Anandi”

[1] The voice of our own conscience depends on our level of chakra development, which determines to a large degree our level of vibration in terms of spiritual or subtle energy.  Our level of vibration determines the morality with which we resonate or fail to resonate, and thus determines what we are “able to hear” as moral guidance. Our own conscience will only tell us what we are able to hear, and that is usually only at our current vibratory level or perhaps one vibratory level higher.  (The chakras represent our vibratory levels as well.)

[2] I fully realize that this is neither a medical nor a psychiatric etiology for psychopathology.  However, energetic sensitivity through and excessive openness of the chakras can lead to hearing other voices, as well as to the negative influence of other energies including excessive psychic control by other people.  Ultimately, I agree with the teaching that I learned through my Progressive Counselling training in England:  all mental illness is a form or spiritual cop-out (giving up), or, I would add, occurs because of a spiritual crisis.  The physiological and chemical expressions follow the energetic patterns of the person’s spiritual state, which can also be created through karma, whether past-life, or otherwise.  When karmic patterns come through past-life carry-overs, modern science generally labels these “genetic predispositions.”  I would suggest that both are true: karma and genetics are intertwined.

[3] For those of us who do not believe in disembodied spirits, I simply invite us to practice multiple spiritual disciplines, especially pure meditation, until we have fully developed all seven chakras, and attained full enlightenment.  At the level of mature throat or brow chakra development, we can begin to encounter higher consciousness more clearly.  Our sense of truth, and therefore of what is real, evolves with our chakra development, including our experiences of higher beings, as well as of souls who have passed on.  I speak from my experiences working with people in ministry as well as working with clients. (Pure meditation refers to two specific techniques in Raja Yoga Meditation.)

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Infinite Love Heals Hearts #Love #Heart

Our ultimate healing is becoming one with unconditional love, heart-handsthat Great Love that is the Source of All, the Infinite Love that is All there really is. Until that time when fully realize our Oneness with Love, we often experience a lack of love or even heartbreak.  We may also struggle to love ourselves, to forgive ourselves, and we may struggle to love and forgive others.

We can heal our heart chakras by affirming a blessing that intuitively came to me for one of my clients at the end of a healing (similar to Reiki).  What I intuitively heard for the client, and I trust it applies for most if not all of us, is:

“I am Infinite Love, and you are created in my image.  The only thing blocking you from becoming one with Infinite Love is not loving yourself infinitely.  I am Infinite Love; you are created in my image, and I love you infinitely.”

While we are all “created in the image of” Infinite Love, most of us probably do not yet love ourselves with an infinite love.  To love ourselves and others with Infinite Love, we need to heal our heart chakras.  To heal our heart chakras, we can follow a simple process:

First, sit quietly and use deep breathing and, if you like, other meditative techniques, to find your own inner calm.  Next, think of Infinite Love, and feel how much you love Infinite Love, for Infinite Love loves you infinitely – this Love loves you unconditionally and with no limits.

Feel your own love for this love, a love which you can trust implicitly to love you at all times, even in the midst of difficulties and danger.  Feel this Infinite Love loving you, feel your heart filled with and warmed by this love.  Love the Love, and feel the love, allowing yourself to become aware that you are loving yourself with this love.

When you feel full of this love, become aware that you can now share this love with others, for you have no reason to fear them, and no reason to judge them.  From this place of Infinite Love, we are able to love ourselves, and we are able to love others.

May we all experience the healing of our hearts through opening up to Infinite Love.

Love and Light,

Carol “Anandi”

Highest Harmony Healing & Coaching

“Mornings with the Masters: Mystical Journeys in a Postmodern World” on Amazon.com

 

 

 

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Moving from Transactional to Transformational Relationships #transformation #relationships

February 21, 2017

Transformational Relationships  Logo Affirmation

In the Western world of the 21st Century, we engage primarily in transactional relationships.  Each interaction we have with others is so often tinged with the underlying expectation that we will “get” something out of the interaction, or that we will accomplish something that “gets us ahead” or “accomplishes a goal” or “earns more money” or gets us something.  We tend to transact with one another rather than simply interact with one another.

Whether in business or at the grocery store, and even in romantic, friendly, and family relationships, many of us are hoping to “get” something out of talking with someone.  We have too often lost the art of simply “being” together.  Our relationships arise primarily out of doing, as so much of our society and values arise out of doing, purchasing, or consuming, or being entertained, rather than out of our being.

I challenge each of us to see if we can spend at least ten minutes being with someone, without “wanting” anything from them, not even a smile, an acknowledgement, or a comment, but rather being there with them and for them.  If we can just be with someone without wanting anything from them, then we can unconditionally love and accept them.

Transformational relationships represent a spiritual way of being with one another as we evolve into higher consciousness together.  At root, we simply need to be able to be with each other, appreciating and loving each other, without seeking to receive anything from one another.

In transformational relationships, we are able to be present with one another, empowering one another to be our best selves, unconditionally loving and accepting one another, and seeking to be present for the good of the other person rather than for our own self-interests.  Transformational relationships enable us to heal, to learn, to grow, to experience love, and to become more connected with Source energy and Source consciousness, finding our own true, core Selves and bringing that higher presence and fulfilling that higher purpose in the world.

As I describe transformational relationships, doesn’t it sound as though we need more of these relationships in the world today?  It seems as though we almost need lessons on how to do this. We are taught in schools, in business, and even in friendships that we enter these relationships to acquire something that we don’t have.  All of life becomes transactional when driven by a monetary paradigm.  What part of our lives is not measured with money or with other forms of transactions, such as trades, compromises, or “I’ll scratch your back if you’ll scratch mine.”

One of the joys of a true spiritual path is to set oneself free from transactional relationships and to allow oneself to be of service through transformational relationships.  Life becomes richer, relationships become more deeply meaningful, and our own energy and consciousness rise to greater heights of love, peace, and joy.

I have four tips for moving out of transactional relationships and towards transformational relationships:

  • Trust that all is well, and that all will be well, despite the appearance or feeling of things in any given moment
  • Trust that “all I need I have within me,” for the Source of the Universe is within us, therefore the power of loving creation is always with us, in us, and capable of acting through us
  • Hold the intention of blessing others, rather than seeking to receive anything from others
  • Trust that you will receive what you need in and through each relationship as needed, when needed, if needed

You may have noticed that trust is the real key here.  One of the reasons that we engage in transactional relationships instead of transformational relationships is that we have not been taught, and have not yet learned, to trust that we are One with the Loving Source of all creation.  We are not separate from Love; we are Love.   When we know and trust our own oneness with Love, we trust that as we share love with others, we receive from Love all that we need as well.

When we truly trust that Love is the Source of all that is, and that in this Love, all is well, then we can move from transactional ways of relating to transformational ways of relating.  When we move into transformational relationships, we empower ourselves and others to be who we truly are, and to be all that we can be, and to fulfill our purposes on this earth.

May each and every one of us discover the joys of transformational relationships, and may we start a movement of transformational relationships that spreads around the world!

Love and Light,

Carol “Anandi

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The Parable of the Golden Boat #parable #equality #economics #spiritualeconomics #transformationalpolitics #truth #truthandillusion #truefreedomdom

The Parable of the Golden Boat  (for children and adults)

Once upon a time, some very wealthy people lived on a golden boat.  The golden boat was really big, like a city, but floating on a beautiful blue sea. lotus_wings

The people of the golden boat liked to call themselves “The Goldens,” and they thought they were very special.  As a matter of fact, the golden people thought they were much more special than the workers, who worked on the boat, but who lived somewhere else.  The Goldens didn’t even bother to find out where the workers lived, because they didn’t care.

In fact, the workers, who called themselves “real people,” lived on wooden boats.  What was really funny was that the Goldens thought their golden boat floated all by itself, and they didn’t realize that the wooden boats of the real people surrounded the golden boat and held it afloat.

If it weren’t for the real people’s wooden boats, that golden boat would have sunk long ago.  The real people worked really hard to make sure that their wooden boats stayed water proof and leak proof, not only so they wouldn’t lose their own homes, but also so that their boats would keep the golden boat afloat.

Life had been this way for a very long time.  No one remembered when people had lived any other way.

The workers, that is, the real people, would sail wooden cargo boats to the land that they could see at the edge of the water – on the horizon.  On the land, they would gather more wood, and grow food, and get rain water for drinking and all the needs of the golden people.

The real people would bring everything the golden people needed back to the golden boat, and then they also worked very hard for the golden people on the golden boat, making sure they had meals, and clothes, and clean homes.

The golden people directed the workers as to what they should do.  But when they directed the workers to bring them more wood, or water, or clothing, they had no idea where the workers got everything; to the golden people, everything just magically appeared, because they gave the workers something called “money.”

The money the goldens payed the workers enabled the workers to buy clothes and wood and food from each other.  The money also paid for the schools that their children attended, on a big wooden barge behind the golden boat.  The real children had to learn how to cook, sew, clean, count, and so much more.  The golden children only had to learn how to direct the workers, how to dress to impress, and how to make money.  Everything in life seemed to depend on the money that the golden people made on their golden boat.

Because the golden people made the money, they thought they were the real reason that everything went smoothly for everyone.  The golden people took all the credit for creating jobs, for making sure that everyone had wood and clothes and food.  In reality, though, the real people were the ones who made sure that everyone had clothes, and food, and wood, and everything they could possibly need.  The real people did all the work, except for making money.

The real people cooked, cleaned, manufactured everything except the money, and they worked hard day and night, making life really wonderful for the golden people.  At night, the real people would work hard taking care of their families, and then the real people would get a little rest on their small wooden boats, so that they could start all over again.

The golden people believed that they ran everything.  Because they decided when they wanted more food, and when they wanted more wood, and when they would take a bath or go swimming in their swimming pools on their golden boat, they thought that they were in charge of everything.  They believed that being in charge made them important.  They also believed that making money and having money made them important. They made money whenever they wanted to, and they made sure that their money was golden, too.  The golden people simply got the real people, whom they always called “the workers,” to do everything for them by giving them a little bit of money for their work.

Only the real people knew that all their work made life possible for the golden people, but they had forgotten that they were the ones who knew how to do everything that was needed for life to go on.  After all, they were the only ones who knew how to grow food, and to mend the wooden boats, and to sail to land.  The real people had forgotten that they didn’t really need the golden people, because the golden people had convinced the real people that they needed money, which, after all, wasn’t even very real.

Money didn’t grow on trees, although it was made from trees.  Money didn’t grow fruits or nuts or make flowers.  Money didn’t make the gardens grow, and money couldn’t be sewn together to make clothes.  But, nonetheless, the golden people had somehow, long ago, convinced the real people that they needed money to stay alive.

The real people knew that the only reason the golden people stayed alive was because of all the real people’s work, and because the real people’s wooden boats held up the golden boat.  But the real people were too scared to live life without the golden people and their money.  And the real people liked living beside the golden boat because it was so beautiful and because life seemed so wonderful on the golden boat.  The real people dreamed of being able to live on the golden boat themselves.  They even dreamed of being golden people.

Because the real people lived in the pretend world of their dreams, and the golden people lived in the pretend world of keeping their golden boat floating and their golden lives organized and happy, everyone lived in a pretend world together.  The real people had actually forgotten why they called themselves the real people.

Everyone got along, but no one was really very happy.  The only way people felt happy was by pretending that what they experienced in life was all there is, and by pretending that the golden boat, the golden money, and the golden people all made life special.  The golden people felt good having money, because then they could make the workers do everything for them.  The real people felt good earning money, because then they felt a little bit more like the golden people. As long as they had money, everyone felt a little bit happy, because they all believed the money, and the golden boat, were what made them truly happy.

Sometimes, once in a long while, one of the real people would figure out what was really happening, and become very unhappy.  The real people who woke up, tried to convince everyone else that they were crazy, and that they didn’t have to live life this way, and that the reason everything worked was because the real people worked, not because of the golden people.

Whenever one of the real people woke up and tried to make everyone else see what was really going on, the golden people would pay the real people more money to make that person go away and stop talking “crazy talk.”

Sometimes, the real people who woke up would be rowed over to the land, and left there.  Usually, the real people who were abandoned on the land would learn to live happily with the plants, the animals, and the forests.  Sometimes they would even learn to meditate, and live peacefully and blissfully among the beauties of nature.  Eventually, the real people who woke up and who meditated stopped wanting the golden boat anymore.  Once they broke free of the pretend world through meditation, they no longer wanted to be like the golden people or the real people.

The real people who no longer wanted to be someone else other than who they truly are, became the very few people who were truly free. And once these very few people became free, they never, ever wanted to be anyone or anything except free ever again.

When they became free, they felt so full of love, they wanted to help everyone else become free.  They knew that the best way to help others become free was to remain free from the golden boat themselves, and to teach others how they could become free. The people who became free taught meditation, and were revered by only a few people who had also awakened.  And so, every generation or so, there would be one or two, or maybe even a few real people who woke up, and who became truly happy, and truly free.  They taught the next generation how to be free.

The golden people never woke up, because nothing happened to them that would make them want to wake up.  They thought they were very happy because they had money, and because they lived on a golden boat. The golden people especially thought they were happy because they believed that they were so much better than the workers.  But the golden people were never free.

The happiest people in the world were the real people who woke up, and then gave up money, gave up the golden boat, meditated, and became free.  And the people who became free always lived happily ever after.

Love and Light,

Carol “Anandi”

Highest Harmony Healing & Coaching

Mornings with the Masters: Mystical Journeys in a Postmodern World on amazon.com

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Inside the Women’s March on Washington #womensmarchwashingtondc

The Women’s March on Washington on Saturday January 22nd, 2017, was one of the most uplifting and remarkable, down-to-earth expressions of embodied (or incarnational) spirituality that I have ever experienced.  img_0872

A friend invited me to join her and another friend, and to meet her at 8:30 am at the Shady Grove metro stop.  Shady Grove is the end of the red line near me, two stops beyond my “home” stop at Twinbrook Metro Station.  As I walked to the Twinbrook metro from home, I saw a man and his son carrying a sign, and spoke with them to confirm they were indeed headed to the Women’s March.  With delight and gratitude for men supporting women along with peaceful marches for democracy and for protecting the rights of people and the environment, I thanked them.

When I reached the Shady Grove metro station, it was packed with people, mostly women, heading to the march. My friend literally could not get past the 1,000 people ahead of her, slowly feeding into the metro station.  We decided to meet back at Twinbrook, where there was a lot of parking, and no crowds.

She had brought her teenage daughter, who had brought two girlfriends, so there were five of us, enjoying the company of marchers packing the metro train.  Some of the people had come from far away to join us “locals.” How wonderful that they came from other states!

When we arrived downtown, we joined the crowd on the National Mall, and began to search for my friend’s friend, who was near the Smithsonian’s Native American Indian Museum, where the crowds were thickest near the stage of speakers and performers.  Five of us slowly moved through the crowd, and I discovered that it helps to wait for “waves” of movement, and to become part of that wave of motion through people crammed body-to-body.  If I found myself temporarily not touching numerous bodies, I actually felt as though I was missing something!

Everyone was so nice, so calm, so loving and compassionate and considerate.

Can you imagine being part of an ocean of humanity, perhaps 500,000 people, body-to-body, feeling love and peace and cooperation and respect and passionate desire to protect everybody’s rights?  It was a little piece of heaven-on-earth.  The energy was wonderful!

The signs were fun and so meaningful.  One of my favorites was held by a mom, who was quoting her four-year-old daughter:  “Be nice to our country.” My all-time favorite was a sign held by a woman stating:  “Sorry, world.”

The chants were uplifting, fun and inspiring.  My soul self’s favorite was:  “No hate; no fear; everyone is welcome here!” My ego-self’s delight was:  “Trump, Trump, go away; racist, sexist, anti-gay.”   There was also the important:  “My body, my choice,” echoed beautifully and lovingly by the men: “Her body, her choice.”  And also:  “Black lives matter!” and “Show me what democracy looks like!  (response): This is what democracy looks like!”

If you have ever wondered what it would be like if God and Goddess walked the earth through a large gathering of humanity, I would suggest that this March was indeed one example.

Whenever we embody grace, we embody the Divine.  Whenever we embody compassion and especially compassionate action, we embody the Divine.  Whenever we embody peace and goodwill, we embody the Divine.  When we embody love and kindness, patience and cooperation, we embody the Divine Presence.  The Divine Presence was thus present and creating a huge wave of beautiful energy 500,000 people strong, washing across Washington, DC, and emanating out across the world.

In each and every moment, we can choose to embody the Divine Presence, by being patient, kind, loving, and compassionate ourselves.  How important choosing to be Divine Presence is as individuals, and how essential it is becoming that we embody Divine Presence together.

May it be so!

Love and Light,

Carol “Anandi”

Please check out my novel about creating a world-wide movement to heal humanity and the planet here:  Exodus 2012: A Mission to Save the Earth

Highest Harmony Healing & Coaching

Mornings with the Masters: Mystical Journeys in a Postmodern World

 

 

Posted in Activism, Inspiration, Inspiring People, Interfaith Wisdom, Justice, LGBTQ Rights, Political Philosophy, Politics & spirituality, Politics and Spirituality, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 1 Comment