The Ego, The Present Moment and Some Unexpected Revelations!

More and more I think Eckhart Tolle is right. I think there is definitely something good, a worthy practice or pursuit, in staying in the present moment. As I continue to plow through ACIM and learn about the intricacies of the ego, I am coming to understand some things, some past experiences.

I first “met” or encountered or even experienced Tolle I think back when I was living in my grandma’s attic. Man I really miss those days! There I was, all this space to myself, places where I could go outside and do yoga or meditate, and I never really appreciated it! I guess the fact that my mother and my grandmother were constantly arguing, and I felt like I had to play referee may have contributed to my not seeing the blessings I had been given. Also I was far away from town and other people – no social opportunities. But I had a bed, my own relatively warm room (warmer than the RV anyway!) and plenty of space and time to do something with my life. If I had been intelligent at all I would have started to be serious about YouTube, back in 2009, BEFORE all their restrictions and censorship. Who knows? Maybe if I had I would now have my own huge channel and thousands of subscribers, enough that I could relocate anywhere I like.

In any case, some folks were going to repair our bathroom and remove mold, so my grandmother’s insurance company moved us all out into hotels until everything was finished. While I enjoyed my time at the Staybridge, I read Tolle, Basho and Ryokan. That’s when I started to write these shorter, Haiku-like poems. It just fit me, felt right. In immersing myself in Tolle’s teachings, I found myself in that space where poetry flows effortlessly through me. It is the exact same space I am in when I am in the natural flow of my life instead of struggling against the current. One way you, the readers, know that I am not in the present moment, not in the flow, is that there are no new poems being shared here. The few I have shared these last few months were written last year, or during some brief time when I was in a happier state. When I am angry, depressed or suffering from cabin fever, like now, the stream of poetry finds no access through me, and I can no longer be a channel for it. Or anything of a loving or spiritual nature. I am sure you can see that from the things I have written these last few months.

I think I understand a few things about this now… It occurs to me that a truly enlightened person is permanently focused on the present moment. They have to be, and this is important because, the ego does not have any influence or power in the present moment. I am certain this is true. Nobody who is fully aware, fully present, gets caught up in other people’s BS. This must be how I was able to stay at my brother’s the last time I was there, and when he blew up, I did not engage. I was able to just walk away. I am sure I wrote about this here some years ago. When you are fully aware, fully present, fully IN your present moment experience, you are happier, you are more inspired, you are more loving and you are more of a conduit for true spiritual energy, that might manifest through you in the form of writing, or art, or some other creative endeavor. In other words, if you are blocked creatively, it seems to me the most effortless fix would be to find a way to get into the present moment. Meditate, accept your feelings about your art as they are, embracing them, feeling through them, then releasing them and letting them go. If you can get into the present moment, and practice staying there even for a few days, my guess is that the ability to create will come flowing back.

From what I can understand of ACIM, the ego is past-focused, and it uses the past as a reference for the future. But it NEVER, EVER dwells in the present moment. Someone in the sway of their ego will find themselves easily caught up in the ego BS of others around them. They are easily influenced by the actions of others. They experience anger, discontent, frustration, unhappiness, stress and a host of other negative emotions. Why is that? Lost a train of thought here, but will type in in faith and knowing the words will come if important…

Why is it that someone being driven or influenced by their ego is unable to experience more joyful, spiritual states? Simple… Because there is this idea (I guess it comes from the ego) that the present moment experience should be something other than what it is. It is that simple. It really is. If you are angry it is because you are in denial of how things are. You want things to be different, you believe and really feel they should be different. But reality doesn’t bend to your will like that. Actually, as long as you are angry and struggling against reality, you will continue to create a reality that seems to be fighting against you, that seems to be in some struggle with you. It’s that rowing against the current state. Caught up in your ego, you never realize, it never occurs to you, that you can simply accept reality as it is, get back into the current, and determine to create a better experience for yourself.

You see YOU create the current of your life! How’s that for mind-blowing? All the energy you have focused and invested in whatever or wherever you have focused or invested it over the years you have been alive has created a stream, a natural state, in which your life flows. The only way to change that flow is to place all your energy and focus in the new direction you wish to go. And you start RIGHT NOW, in this moment. Then you practice placing your energy and focus in this new direction, every day, until the new current is established. Then you flow in that direction. The current CURRENT you’re are in is very powerful. Or at least it seems to be very powerful, and in your perception it is very strong. You have put YEARS of energy and focus into it. So don’t expect overnight miracles. They can happen – “Anything Is Possible, All Possibilities Exist” (the author), but it is more likely you will have to continue to ride them as you slowly shift things and change their direction.

What does this entail? ACCEPTING THINGS AS THEY ARE, IN THIS MOMENT! Yup, that is what you have to do. The ego has likely influenced the current flow of your life, and that is why your life sucks big, giant hairy goat balls right now! The ego does not have your best interests at heart, only its own. It doesn’t care about you at all. In fact it hates you. That is essentially what ACIM says, and for all I know it is true. The good news is that each moment brings a chance for you to change where you put your energy and focus, an opportunity to begin the most likely (but not necessarily) slow, tedious process of creating a better present moment experience for yourself. But you always, ALWAYS, have to accept the present moment experience as it is. You made it after all! It is YOUR creation!

Teal swan has several videos on anger, and I forget now what she said to do. Something about asking yourself what needs are not being met? In any case, if you are angry, I would perhaps follow her advice, because if nothing else that causes you to pause. It is a good interrupt. You need an interrupt so you can become aware and initiate any change. The next thing I advise is asking yourself, what is it you are denying? What is it you are attempting to deny the reality of in this moment? What is it you feel should not have happened, or should be different? What is the “should story” running in the background here? You need the interrupt to get a chance to become aware of that “should story.” Once you have become aware of it, THEN you have to accept it.

That first step, BTW, I think of as ACKNOWLEDGEMENT, AKA, “It is what it is.” That leads, naturally to acceptance, because it is how it is. It will not change by you being angry at it. Actually, your anger will ensure you keep reliving that same state, over and over again. You will keep having that undesirable and unwanted present moment experience. ALL RESISTANCE EMPOWERS (gives power to) WHATEVER YOU ARE RESISTING! I am sure I have said this before, and that is what I mean. Your denial, your “should story”, is a form of resistance, and you resistance provides the power that creates, drives and perpetuates the experience making you angry. So you have to ACCEPT it, because it is there, you can’t deny it away.

Next you have to feel your way through it. This is where Susan Jeffers, “Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway” comes in. You have to feel what you feel. You have to allow yourself to feel. You have to embrace these feelings, allow yourself to feel them as long as you need to feel them, then when you are ready, you have to release them and let them go. LETTING GO is another egoless state. LETTING GO is antithetical to the ego, just as acknowledgement and acceptance of things the way they are is. These things are directly opposite to the egoic state.

The ego wants to retain. It wants to be angry, it wants to hold grudges, it wants to hate, it wants to be bitter, it wants to be resentful. So it drives you, as long as you are under is influence, held in its sway, to be angry, bitter, hateful and resentful. If you think you are a religious or spiritual person, and yet you have any energy invested in, or focus invested on, any of these states, anything that is the opposite, at its root, to love, you are not truly religious or spiritual. Because a truly religious or spiritual state is one where the individual is influenced by love, not their ego, PERIOD. There are no exceptions!

Any investment in your identity as a religious or spiritual person – as Christian and part of the Christian group, or a Muslim and part of the Muslim group, or a Buddhist and part of the Buddhist group or even as a spiritual, not religious person (this is me) – this is a sure sign the ego is behind the wheel of your life. I am in the same boat as the rest of you in this. Anything we would make as part of identity, and invest all our energy and focus into who we believe, feel or think we are (BLM, LGBTQ – I am looking at you!) is sheer ego. And as long as our egos are in control, there will be war, there will be disease, death and destruction, because our egos hate us, and want to destroy us. It seems odd and counter-intuitive, because once we are dead, our ego is also dead. But our egos are insane. You can not apply logic to insanity. You can not apply reason to the unreasonable.

Your beliefs, religious, spiritual, scientific or anything else, your racial identity, your gender, your sexual preferences – all of this BS does not go with you when you die. Understand that. It all dies with your physical body and your ego. Who you really are is none of that shit. To get more in tune with who you really are, hold your beliefs loosely, let them go when they no longer serve you, and practice being in the present moment. Accept things as they are, and if you want a better present moment experience, invest the energy, effort and focus in the direction you wish to go. But always say in the flow, in a state of acknowledgement, acceptance, allowing then releasing and letting go. If you want to be happy, if you want to be effortlessly creative, that is the state you need to be in, If you want to experience true joy, that is the state you have to be in, and I suspect, that if you want to manifest desirable, wonderful things in your life, that is the state you have to be in. You have to let all the other BS go.

Somehow, someway, I am determined to change the current course of my life to one of abundance and joy. I will get out from under the influence of the ego and get into the present moment, with full awareness. And I will practice staying there, until it becomes the natural current of my life. And I will know I am in that state when all my creative endeavors flow effortlessly through me, just as they did when I dipped my toe into the waters of this experience all those years ago. I keep forgetting all the things I have learned. All the lessons I went through. It is not easy to create such a drastic change in one’s nature, ones state or natural way of being. Or at least it seems as if there is a lot that gets in between me and the intention to change. Thankfully this is a journey we can take together, we can support each other and help each other. Actually I have created a place for that here:
https://www.reddit.com/r/M_A_S_T/

I think change seems difficult, seems hard, because so much energy and focus has created a current state that seems to resist change. The current is very strong, if it has been created while under the influence of our ego. We have invested a lot of energy and focus into our current life experience. But ACIM may be right, this may all be an illusion, “albeit a very strong, persistent one.” (Albert Einstein) The ego is just an illusion. It is not real. It’s like we put the VR glasses on, and now are struggling to take them off. But they can easily come off, allowing us to see things as they really are. We just have to raise up are arms and take them off. It seems harder than it really is. Maybe there is no current dragging us along at all, maybe the currents are just our beliefs, and when we let them go, we come to see that we are not being carried or driven anywhere. We can just start walking in whatever direction we choose. Maybe that’s how things really are. I don’t know, but I will apply and remember what I have learned, and shared with you here.

Here’s to making our experience of this world exactly what we want it to be!

4-27-2020 – The Whole “Be Here Now” Thing

I keep running across this teaching from some of our best spiritual teachers. Ram Das wrote, “Be Here Now” and Eckhart Tolle only writes about the present moment. Even The Barefoot Doctor, in his “Tao of Manifestation“, in my reading today, has instructed me that the present moment is the only moment that exists. But I would like to challenge this viewpoint…

To begin with, your present moment experience is built upon the choices you made in an earlier present moment. Everything you are experiencing now has its roots in past choices you have made, whether you made them with full awareness or not it does not matter. Every future present moment experience will have its roots in the decisions you are making right now.

In other words, you are creating the future right here, right now, in this present moment. On a moment-by-moment basis, everything you do, everything you say, everything you feel, everything you think – all of it is the stuff out of which tomorrow’s present moment experience will be made. The future does indeed exist right now, but it is not tangible, it is in flux. It is constantly morphing and changing, affected by factors happening right now.

Likewise the past exists as I guess a sort of ghost. It is intangible, just like the future, but unlike the future, the past is set, its form has been realized and is a part of the structure of your present-moment timeline. This structure to the past is why folks say, “you can’t change the past.” That’s not strictly true. If you figured out the means you could go back in the past and do something different. But all this would do is create another timeline, and in returning to the future, you would still be in your original timeline, with its original past. Maybe someday humans will figure out how to travel between timelines, but for now, as far as I know, we can’t.

Interestingly this means that all other potential present moments and their pasts exist intangibly, in flux, just like the future. They are in flux, non-rigid, to you in your present moment timeline. But the past that created them is intangible, yet fixed in the present moment timelines of any other you. In other words, each version of you (and there are likely an infinite amount of them) has their own timeline different than yours only in the sense that this other version of you made a different decision in their past.

Every choice you could ever make, and all the ways it interacts and intersects; it all exists as potential to you, and reality to each of the other yous. You get to navigate along the map however you wish. You will never know, see or understand the map – it is beyond physical comprehension. The map exists, and you are free to travel it in any way you wish. It has no borders or limits, so you are never limited.

I take comfort in this. I know that somewhere, out there, is another me who is living their absolute best life, having not made the decisions that I have made which I criticize and judge by calling mistakes. In reality there are no mistakes and there is nothing you can do either right or wrong, bad or good. There are simply choices you make and the results of those choices. This other me has made much better choices and is enjoying much better results. So at least one version of me is happy!

In any case, to wander back to the subject at hand, to manifest something you want at some point in your future, you have to work not only with the stuff of this present moment, you also have to work with the stuff of the future present moment you want to experience. This is my understanding, so I am confused with folks like the Barefoot Doctor instruct me to, for example, envision the house I want in the future by overlaying it on the house I am living in now. Yes, I can spend time envisioning the house I want, and I have, but I am still living in my current house. That makes it hard to see the house I want in the future. It becomes hard work and very tiring to keep myself focused on the house I want, in the face of the house I currently live at.

I am offering a slight twist on manifesting something, like the house in my example… I reach into the future and affirm, “I WILL have the house of my dreams!” I say this with authority, I mean it. I use visualization to imagine what this house will look like. But I don’t spend any time looking at the current house trying to superimpose some future house on it. I have reached into the future potential and have used that energy to create a future present moment experience of where I am living in the house of my dreams. The rest is flow, openness and receptivity. I do not try to force anything to happen. I have simply told the map what my future destination will be, and as I operate in the natural flow of my life, I will be brought to it.

I think this is a better way of looking at manifestation. Yes, this present moment is the only moment you will ever experience. But it exists as part of a a fixed yet intangible past, made up of previous present moment actions and choices. At the same time it exists as malleable, yet intangible future present moment experiences, that come into being, moment by moment, based on the choices you make. Use the past only as a guide you can learn from in determining what sort of future you want. Use the present moment to create that future, by using its potential to create your desired future present moment experiences.

This stuff is kinda hard to talk about or grasp, huh? Lemme know if I need to explain anything here. Also I have presented this authoritatively, based on my own ever-evolving experiences. Scientifically perhaps they would not stand up – no proof. Consider all I teach here to be my thoughts, what I think, based on my experience, or my realizations. Instead of worrying about whether or not anything can be scientifically proven, test things out for yourself, and note the results you get. Whatever works for you – do that. Whatever doesn’t work, decide to try again or find another way. Question everything, test everything, try everything and figure out what works for you. Then come in here and share your experience, OK?

Life of Confusion

I find myself repeating old, limiting patterns again. It would be so much easier to play the role of a victim. To point out all the things that are making things so difficult for me. To explain how hard my life is right now. To express how much pain I am going through.

But the fact of the matter is that I have nobody to blame but myself. Every… Single… thing in my life, everything, is there because I asked for it to be there. There are no exceptions. All the bad, what little good I can recall.

For most of my life I have vibrating at a frequency of failure. Of “don’t notice me” when I am around others. While this is changing, I still vibrate at the frequency today. The end result is that I am alone. I started vibrating at this frequency, I suspect, out of fear of rejection. Fear of being hurt. Fear of failure. Unless I figure out how to raise my frequency, begin vibrating at whatever the frequency is that attracts others of higher vibrations into my life, I will die alone and mostly friendless. I will die a total failure. This will never change until I change.

For most of my life I have also been vibrating at a frequency that, I guess is something like “work sucks” or “I don’t want to work” or “I don’t want to end up like my dad.” Maybe a combination of all of these. As a result, I have been sabotaging myself in every job I have ever had. I am sabotaging myself in my jobs on campus right now. Unless I find a way to raise my frequency and vibration I will keep repeating this until I am aware of whatever it is that is asking for my attention, or until I have learned whatever it is I need to learn.

I could find blame with the people I have worked for and currently work for. Just as I could blame others around me for not noticing me or rejecting me. But if my work is not satisfactory, if I am not happy with it, if I want more of a challenge, or more responsibility, or whatever, I have to operate at the frequency for it. Getting another job does not solve the problem. I will just bring it with me into my new job. It will haunt me until the day I die or simply kill myself. I will never be able to support myself or stand on my own until I kick this motherfucker to the curb.

If my life is unsatisfactory, if it is limited, it is up to me to make of my life what I want it to be, by vibrating at the frequency for the life I want, not the life I am currently experiencing. If my work is unsatisfactory, if it is limited, it is up to me to make of it what I want it to be, by vibrating at the frequency of the work that I want, not the work I am currently experiencing.

One of the people I work for here at campus left me a scalding reply yesterday. I struggled with how to respond. Do I defend myself? Unless I am guilty, why would I feel the need? Defending myself proves that I am in the wrong, and I know it. The fact of the matter is that what they have said about me is the truth. Not the entire truth or the whole truth. There are forces at work in all our interactions with each other that few of us aware of. But as I look back on my work at that job, I see how I have been doing exactly what he says I have been doing.

While his intention may have been to point out a wrong, I understand that what I am actually getting here is a message from the Universe calling my attention to something I have been doing but have not been aware of doing. The Universe doesn’t give a shit about right or wrong. That’s a human concern. The Universe simply wants me to be who I truly am. It is simply pointing out what I need to be aware of, what I need to address. Because it knows the desires of my heart, and it can see how my actions at my work are not in alignment with the desires of my heart.

When you bend your finger far enough you will feel pain. Proceed and you will damage your finger. The pain isn’t to tell you that you are right or wrong for bending your finger that way. It is there to warn you that you are about to hurt yourself. This message from one of my bosses is just like that. I am being warned that if I continue I will hurt myself. But unlike a normal person who would usually stop once they feel pain, and not hurt themselves, I seem to have at tendency to ignore the warning and cause myself serious damage. I have done it again and again. If these were bones in my physical body, I think I might have broken every one by now! Not just broken, shattered.

The question remains, what do I do? I mean I know I need to be more aware. I know I need to operate at a higher frequency in regards to my work. But how do I do this, and do it consistently, until I have created the inner change required? How do I keep from forgetting what I have come to understand today so I don’t fall back into my old limiting patterns?

A few days ago I pointed out to a friend that they needed to be more mindful when doing their math. But the least mindful person in the room was actually me. Sure I can be mindful with some tasks, like working on math. My advice was good. But for the greater parts of my life I walk through it in a stupor. I am asleep, not aware of what I am doing at all, my mind off into the future or the past.

If it is off into the future, I am typically worried about something. Or hoping for something. Both are based off fear. If I am looking back into the past I am picking the scabs off old wounds. I am lost in regret or sorrow. Why is it so hard for me to think of things in my past that I can appreciate or be happy about? Why is it so hard for me to think of things in my future that I could appreciate and be happy about? Why are there always heavy, gray clouds threatening rain over the skies of my heart? Where, for the love of God, is the fucking blue sky? Where is the fucking sun?

If I quit my job, or quit my life by killing myself, I have accomplished nothing. I have changed nothing. If I come into human form again sometime in the future, I am placing a burden on that person which only gets heavier the more it is passed on. Because each life adds to the weight of sorrow and internal garbage that I have been carrying around since God only knows when. How in the hell can I become the one version or incarnation or whatever of me that finally opens the bag, dumps everything out, and leaves all that shit behind? How can I keep my future selves from suffering the same fate as me? How can I keep going in this life under my current burden?

I have no answers. I don’t know what to do. Or I do but not how to do it. Or I know both and am not allowing myself to remember. I wish I had some guru or something that could slap me upside my head and wake me up long enough that I can remember whatever I need to remember, do whatever I need to do, and change whatever I need to change. Because I am tired of making the same old mistakes. I am tired of walking the path of my life alone, and forcing myself to be alone. I am tired of the kinds of work that keep showing up in my life, and my seeming inability to vibrate at a high enough frequency that better work could show up. Or that would improve my current work.

I am afraid of the future. I worry about what I will do after graduation. I know I am graduating next year. I do not have a low frequency when it comes to my scholarly pursuits. But I am worried I will just keep going to school and run away from everything I need to be aware of and address. I will stick to what I have been successful at but ignore the larger issues of my life. Or I will graduate and I will make it meaningless. I will have this piece of paper and these certifications, but not allow myself to have a good, high paying job that would utilize what I have learned doing my time here.

One thing only I know for sure. I can practice presence by being here, in this moment, with whatever I am doing. I do not know if I can keep it up. But I know that today I am aware that I need to practice awareness, and am doing so. I will take that with me into my work today, and whatever happens… I just wrote, “Hopefully I can raise…” What am I actually saying? That secretly I am afraid I will not be able to.

Let’s try again… I desire to, I wish to, I want to, raise my vibration and operating at a frequency that transforms my life and work experience more into what I want, instead of more of the same. I allow myself to feel what I feel. I surrender to everything I am experiencing in this present moment. I yield to my entire present-moment experience. I set the intention, right now, to raise my vibration and increase the frequency I am operating at, starting with my work today.

Everything Happens for a Reason

You may have heard someone say this, may have even nodded your head, unthinking. It is unlikely that you understand the full ramifications of this statement, what it really means.

We will work off a number of premises today… First, as Abraham teaches through Esther Hicks, this thing called your conscience is actually just a collection of adopted beliefs about what is right or wrong, good or bad.

Second that nothing happens that should not have happened, without exception. If something happens, no matter how terrible or tragic it is perceived to be, the fact that it happened proves that it should have happened, because it did happen. On the flip side, if something has not happened that you feel should have happened, the fact that it has not happened proves it should not happen, because it has not happened, yet. No is not a permanent state, every no is a potential yes.

Third everything that happens is asked for or drawn to, without exception. Likely it is not conscious the majority of the time. Occasionally it is conscious. That thing you dread, that you fear, that you obsess over, that is the thing that will come to you, because you are calling it by strongly to you focusing on it.

In the shower today I started thinking about my brother. The holidays are coming up and we really do not get along. We have had some terrible fights around this time of year. I was thinking about how I asked for a brother, how I was so lonely as a kid and so desperately wanted someone to play with that I asked for a brother, and it wasn’t long after that that he was born. I am not sure I directly remember much of this. It is more like an old story I have told myself for many years, based in part off what my parents told me.

Up until today I have felt guilty for how I treated my brother in the past. We had some violent confrontations as kids. I spilled boiling water on him from a water distiller, not on purpose, when we were both small. In later years when he and a friend were picking on me I kicked him, hard, in the butt with a steel toed boot. I remember these things readily, I only just now remembered how he shoved a vacuum cleaner pipe into my face, leaving a scar on my nose I have today. I beat myself up over what I did for so long. Not anymore.

How many years would I go on punishing myself for these things I did in the past, knowing now that I only feel they are bad because I was literally programmed, through my conscience, which as I said is an inherited belief system about what is right or wrong, good or bad, to feel that way? Knowing also that my brother could only be hurt by me if he was, at some level, asking for it or drawing that experience to himself? Knowing also that I could only hurt him in that way if I was asking for that experience, or drawing it to me? The fact that it happened means it was supposed to

If something is supposed to happen it can not be felt or thought of as bad or wrong. Bad or wrong implies that something has happened that was not supposed to. It is at odds with what is. Being at odds with what is, this is the source of most, if not all, of our suffering. Everyone out there upset that Donald Trump is our president is only hurting themselves. The fact is that he is our president. That is what is, in this moment. That is the reality, in this moment. When you argue with what is, you argue with reality, and you only end up hurting yourself and others.

Everything I have done in the past, everything I have beat myself up over all these years, causing me to bind myself, oppress myself, repress myself and ultimately, hurt myself, every single thing that happened, was exactly what was supposed to happen. Let me repeat that. Everything that has happened was supposed to happen. End of story. That is reality. That is what, at each of those times, is.

Everything that happened to me I have asked for, I am solely responsible. Everything that I have done to others they have asked for, and they are solely responsible, with the exception that I could not have done any of that to them unless I was asking or drawing to myself the experience of doing that to them. It takes two, one to ask for an experience, one to deliver or hand out the experience, which is also asked for in some way. And as I said before the majority of this is not done at a conscious level.

Today I have decided to forgive myself. To issue myself a certificate of forgiveness for every perceived wrong I have done. I have admitted and accepted these things, embraced them, released them and let them go. I have decided that from this day forward, I will define what is right or wrong, good or bad, based on my feeling. My feelings will not lead me astray. I know I will not hurt anyone, even given opportunity to, because I am a sensitive person who does not want to hurt anyone. The idea of hurting anyone feels bad to me. Not because it is a sin and I will go to hell if I do it. Not because there will be consequences in the next life, or karma.

The only consequences we face for our actions are in this life, in the society where we live. There is no final judgement. We do not need the beliefs of others about what is right or wrong, good or bad, to control our behavior. Too often when we repress ourselves in certain areas of our lives they become twisted beyond natural, normal states. I truly believe, the rise of the LGBT community is solely due, as I have said before, to religious oppression and sexual repression. It is a rebellion against some ancient inherited part of our collection conscience that says what is right or wrong, bad or good, in a relationship. It is not our own personal beliefs. These are beliefs that have been passed down, generation after generation, that we have successively adopted.

I am certain the 60’s were mankind’s first collective cleanse, a shaking off of the old, adopted and inherited crap, and the LGBT movement is performing a similar function today. As a race we have collectively asked to be free from the strictures of our past, and now we are freeing ourselves. In the past we wanted the strict moral and religious code, that is what we collectively asked for or drew to us. Either we wanted it or we are all afraid of it. Either way there was a focus on that, and that is what we received. Now there is a focus away from morals and religion, and that is what we are receiving.

I think we are moving as a race into a future were there is less control over us and moral as well as religious flexibility. Honestly this is the way it should be. We should not have to be told to “…treat our neighbors as ourselves.” We should want to. We should not have to be told not to hurt others, we should have no desire to hurt others. We should not have to be told who or what God is. We should want to experience whatever or whoever God is for ourselves. If this is the future we are headed to, it is a bright one indeed!

But what I want you personally to take away from this, right now, in this moment, tossing aside everything else I have said, is that it is time to stop punishing yourself for the things you have done. Everything you perceive to be negative, bad or wrong that you have felt or thought, said or done in the course of your life. Whatever has happened was supposed to happen. Whatever you did was asked for and drawn to whoever you did it to. You also, in some way, asked for or drew to you these experiences. It is time to let them go, to admit and allow them, embrace them with love and acceptance, then release and let them go.

You are causing more harm to them, and yourself, by keeping these things alive in your memory. They can’t move on until you do. Move on. It’s done, it is in the past, no matter how horrible you perceive what you have felt or thought, said or done to be, that was then. You are not living there anymore. You are here, in this moment, reading these words. As long as you insist on revisiting the past you are denying the reality of what is, and your suffering, and their suffering, will continue.

Do everyone a favor and come back to this moment, right here, right now. To quote Ram Dass, “Be Here Now.” Where else can you be anyway? Can you go back to the past and change anything? No. But you can be here, in this moment, and from this moment on build a better future for yourself and others. I think that is a far better place to put your energy and focus, don’t you?

I don’t know about you, but I am done being a prisoner of the past. I am done letting others tell me what is right or wrong, bad or good, desirable or undesirable. I am done subscribing to any singular individual’s or group’s ideas about God and the afterlife. I want to learn from them all, be open to all viewpoints. Be open and receptive in general. Let peace and love rule my heart, openness and receptivity rule my mind. That’s what I want, and what I am doing right now, in this moment.

What do you want? Why do you believe what you believe? Why do you think certain things are wrong or bad, and others are right or good? I recently learned that the idea of earning, which I was long raised to believe was right and good, is actually not. Because it causes me to believe i have to earn everything I have, and so closes me off to receiving things without earning them.

Have you actually sat down and questioned some of your fundamental beliefs? Do so no, let go of those you are ready to release and let go. Keep those you still want to hold onto. But at least do yourself the favor of questioning them, because these beliefs of yours, whether they form your conscience, your religion, or both, are directing your life right now, in this moment.

Is your life, in this moment, headed in the direction you wish to go? If something feels off, it is. Honor your feelings. Follow them. Listen to them. You do not need others to control you, to make you behave. It can be natural to you. You do not need a conscience, and you do not need a religion. These are crutches, use them until you no longer need them, then learn to walk on your own.