Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Rebuilding Trust

Of the many challenges I have experienced I think the most difficult has been that of rebuilding trust after it has been broken. For me trust was a characteristic built into my core from an early age. Unfortunately, it had also already begun to break down. My first recollection, in retrospect, was the divorce of my parents when I was eleven. I didn’t think of it as a trust issue then, but I realize now that it was. I had trusted in the security of my home and of the love of my parents. Would I still be loved? Would we be okay?

For a child a nurturing home is one of the most important aspects of his or her development. My memories are of a nurturing home. I remember the things I did with my dad, like watching him when I was five years old work for hours on the wood lathe creating his own set of chessman. The necks on the pawns were less than an eighth of an inch thick. Turning them on the lathe meant a great many were broken before he completed the set. He hand carved the horse head knights. I still have that cherished set today. I remember on “allowance day” when he would come home from work and give me the change from his pocket.

My mother was the one who watched and consoled me when I brought home dead birds so I could give them a proper burial in the cigar boxes she would bring home from her restaurant job. It was my mother and sister who taught me “manners,” an important characteristic for relating to others. Sadly, today, so few children seem to have that learning opportunity.

These and many more were the childhood experiences that provided security and happy memories. They inconspicuously built the trust that I only now realize was my childhood environment. Through the years as an adult I was still basically a trusting person. I did not expect people to give me any reason not to trust them. Of course, like most of you, there have been people who did let me down and there have been people that I know I have also let down.

Once we break a trust or have someone we trusted turn on us, the road to restoring trust in that person is often difficult. Not only is it difficult to regain trust in that person, but also our ability to trust in general is shaken. If we are not careful we become skeptical about the intentions of others. We may isolate ourselves from social interaction so we will not be disappointed again. I recently had a phone call that brought up the trust issue again for me. It was from a person who I felt had seriously broken my ability to trust him. I found myself wondering as I spoke with him, “Why is he calling me now? What does he really want?” After completing the call I found I continued to be disturbed. What bothered me most was the fact that I was asking myself these questions rather than simply respecting the reengagement after a long separation. Even if there might have been ulterior motives, I did not know that. It was simply a suspicion, a fear.

Regaining our ability to be trusting requires that we look to a higher level of engagement rather than what our human fears provide. As we build our trust in the spiritual energy in which we live, move and have our being, we will be secure enough to be loving and forgiving rather than skeptical and overly cautious. We will be able to give someone a second, or even a third chance. I have proven this in my life many times. It is still disappointing when it appears a trust is abused, but my recovery time becomes shorter and shorter as I concentrate on the essence of each of us that knows our oneness and the value of the lessons we provide to each other.

I am reminded of a favorite Biblical quote of one of my professors in seminary.

“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” -- II Tim.2:15

“Rightly” dividing the word of truth has always meant to me attempting to carefully use my understanding in such a way as to improve my “workmanship” in building healthy, supportive, and forgiving relationships. This has not always been easy, but I believe this is a key to rebuilding trust.

Monday, August 25, 2008

One Source, Many Channels

As many individuals as there are on the face of the earth, so are there that many different ways of viewing and experiencing an event or an idea. No two descriptions of any event will be exactly the same. We may agree with this statement to some degree, but usually when it comes down to comparing my experience or version with your experience or version, I will unequivocally accept mine as the truth of the matter. Likewise, short of a dramatically convincing argument on my side, you will feel the same way about your own version.

Such it is with life. As individuals we cultivate our own sense of being in order to express our uniqueness. We observe, listen and gather information as we grow from children to adults. For the most part, we become our own person with our own views, feelings, actions and reactions to life as we grow into it. This seems to be the natural course of events, the right way for things to unfold.

One of the potential pitfalls of this belief system, however, is that we may close out many useful channels of information in the process. Nowhere is this more prevalent than in how we settle on our religious and spiritual views about life. Whether Christianity or Judaism of the western world, Hinduism and Buddhism of India, Taoism or Confucianism of the Orient or Islam, all are composed of adherents absolutely convinced their vision of truth is the way. Then there are the sub-sections of followers in each group. Finally, we lose sight of the fact that there is One Life, One Source from which everything comes forth into expression and manifestation.

On my particular path I have encountered a variety of influences, philosophies as well as religious influences. I explored parapsychological systems such as the Edgar Cayce work, the Seth Material as delivered through Jane Roberts and other lesser-known psychics. I have friends who deliver information through automatic writing, astrology, numerology, tarot and trance meditation. There are so many ways in which we have access to information about who we are and what this earth experience is all about.

Instead of embracing the variety, we often take a stand against those systems we do not yet understand. Somewhere in our development we must have been convinced we needed to make exclusionary choices rather than attempt to find the measure of truth and interconnection between them. I began by saying that as individuals we all see things in our unique way. However, I did not say that our beliefs made all others wrong. As long as we let our differences divide us we will never find the harmony and peace that is available us. My experience is valid for me, but yours is also valid for you. Where can we find those parts of our individual experiences that overlap? Where can we find common ground?

The figure below demonstrates how I think of the One Source that expresses through many Channels—Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Jew or even atheist, as well as scientific, philosophical, psychological and parapsychological Channels. The center circle is Source. The arrows proceeding out from center represent the flow of that Source into various Channels, such as scientists, teachers, psychics, ministers and practitioners from many other paths. The colored lines flowing from these Channels touch the lives of countless individuals. Their lives then overlap with others through things they may share in common such as geography, environment, friendships, organizations, etc. By concentrating on what connects us rather than what divides us, we are led back to the Source of all Life, Substance, and Intelligence—All That Is. From our unity of vision we come to know our true sense as humanity and what our purpose individually and collectively is in this earthly experience. We will also begin the process of freeing ourselves from this outer illusion of reality that produces separation. Like notes in a melody, we will blend in an harmonious symphony of the spheres.

All the Channels indicated above have intimated that there is more to life than what appears. It is time to avail ourselves of the fullness of what may be possible. I would urge that we look for ways in which we can find a common understanding when new possibilities are revealed to us regardless of the channel through which those possibilities are made known.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Survival On These Hot Summer Days


Today we have a gentle rain with light thunder here and there. We have had a week of very hot (for Oregon) weather with several days over 100. With the rain comes not only a respite from the heat, but also everything feels green again! I look out my window as I am typing and I feel a cool breeze coming in and the colors of the rooftops, trees and even the parking lot are crisp and clean.

I am not a hot weather person. My mind goes into neutral, if not asleep altogether, and I find it impossible to do much but move as little as possible in order to keep cool. Fortunately, I had the Olympics to occupy my time. I don’t usually watch non-stop TV, but it kept my mind off the heat for the most part. Fans helped!

From The Library

During the hot spell I also managed to pick up some reading from my library, books I have had for forty years but had just never felt motivated to take them on. The books are the five volumes of The Life And Teachings of the Masters of the Far East, by Baird Spalding. It must be the “right” time for me to explore these writings. I found myself experiencing a similar response as I had to The Matter of Mind, by Djwhal Khul. So many words seemed to be coming as much from me as from the pages of the book. By this I mean the words struck a responsive chord of recognition within me. It was like, “I know this!”

These books were published in the early twentieth century and closely coincided with the emergence of early New Thought teachers—Emily Cady, Mary Baker Eddy, Charles Fillmore and others. As I read I found sentences and paragraphs that were almost identical to my remembrance of the writings of these early teachers. At one point I found myself wondering who came first? Of course, that is irrelevant. What is relevant is the correlation of thought and the presentation of intrinsic truths.

In 1958 when I served as a vacation substitute minister in San Diego a young man came up to me after a sermon and said, “Everything you said came right out of The Teachings of the Masters of the Far East. I shared my appreciation for his comments and didn’t think about it again. I had not heard of the books. Now that I am midway through volume three I understand why he made that comment.

Beyond the similarity to New Thought metaphysics, these are books that talk about the ascended masters and their ancient teachings. Much attention is focused on the notion that Jesus and John the Baptist studied in Asia and the Himalayas and that Jesus remained connected with those people after his ascension. This may be troublesome to some folks, but I encourage you to remain open-minded and consider the teachings rather than the stated historical setting. Obviously, I cannot go into detail here about five volumes of information, but so far I find the possibilities for the expression of marvelous powers of healing, love and peace in all of us an encouraging proposition.

I found the dissertation on creation, from the universe of solar systems to the “human” solar system, quite interesting. It reminded me of my personal belief system about the creative microcosm to macrocosm. It correlates with our current understanding of quantum physics as well. It is becoming increasingly “hefty” reading, but totally absorbing. I will undoubtedly share more as I complete the volumes. I won’t wait until it gets hot again, which looks like next week!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What Friends Do

Once again Daryn Kagan shares another great story (I get them every day from her website). This particular story struck me because back on March 1, 2008 I posted a story I read about in the Oregonian that day. (When People Do Nice Things for Each Other) Daryn’s story is about two childhood friends who continued their close relationship into young adulthood when one of them was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Rather than be overwhelmed and at a loss as to what to do, a support project was started that resulted in the development of a special website that gives everyone a way to help others. The story is well worth a read, and perhaps, even participation on your part if you have a friend in need or just want to be a blessing to another person. You can check out Karyn’s piece at: Watch Video >>

You can also go directly to the website at:

Helping friends when it's needed most

When a life-changing event happens, friends and family want to help! The webtool is a FREE website that can help family and friends form a "Team" and respond in an organized and helpful way. Helping a friend through a life-changing event involves lending a hand with meals, transportation and other tasks. These events also call for understanding, love and uplifting support.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Everyone Is Psychic!

For all of my life I have been interested in psychic phenomena. My maternal grandparents were interested in aspects of it, my mother was interested, and of course, it was natural that I would develop an interest. Now, before you start thinking you know why I seem so strange, let me say that I also have always been very skeptical of what was traditionally being offered to the public as psychic activity. I guess you might say my interest had been developed around the lighter side of the subject. I saw the “phenomena” more as a game or as entertainment, rather than a serious practice of ancient arts and secret science.

All of that was to later change in my life. I came to the point where my personal experience transcended the limits of “games” and took on a deeper nature of understanding what this was all about. In my early years of seriously exploring the capabilities of our human consciousness, beyond the simply outer sensory awareness, I discovered how everyone exhibits some degree of alternative consciousness—psychic awareness.

Interestingly, the more I came to see the naturalness of our psychic abilities, the more I was skeptical of so much of what I saw practiced. I was always particularly skeptical of the so-called “Ascended Masters” followers. It just seemed to me we didn’t need some hierarchy of ancients hanging around delivering wonderful philosophical statements that never seemed to really make much difference influencing society as a whole. I thought, “If these guys (or gals) are so smart, why aren’t their adherents really making a difference in the plight of humanity?” Well, that question never got me anywhere. I did come to a point where I realized that infinite wisdom is available to all of us, but many of us do not believe we are capable of directly tuning into that wisdom. In looking at the problems of our world and even our own personal difficulties, we just cannot seem to fully grasp that we have greater abilities than we know. So why is it we cannot seem to make the connection necessary that enables us to fully believe in our spiritual capabilities?

Pam McKinnie, one of the co-founders of the Whole Life Learning Center in Denver in 1973, recently sent me a book: The Matter of Mind by Master Djwhal Khul delivered through Kathlyn Kingdon. As I read this book it was almost like reading my own thoughts and touching my own feelings, but it was clearly coming from “outside” me. “DK” as Master Khul is referred to, spoke simply and yet eloquently in easy to understand language. It was the first time I found myself responding to an “Ascended Master.” All my previous barriers of mind that rejected them disappeared and I accepted that indeed, this was another sign of the enlightened wisdom that is available to us if we will listen.

More to the point of why I started writing this article, I visited the MasterDK website and came across the section on questions that had been asked of DK. The one that caught my attention was: Master, when you look at your students here on the Earth Plane, is there one thing that seems to be holding us back from our spiritual accomplishment more than any other? If so, what is it? (This was asked in 2003.) I won’t try to tell you what the answer was, but I encourage you to visit the site for yourself. This answer helped me to understand more fully why we continue to fall short of demonstrating all that we are capable of expressing. Also, we are given encouragement on how to keep on with our effort to understand and bring about our fullest potential.

Click on this URL: or paste it into the address line of your browser. Take some time to further explore the site as well—with an open mind.

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Infrastructure of Well-Being

As I gazed out of the fourth floor window of the cardiologist’s office while waiting for the doctor, I noticed the freeway below and the various arterials leading to and from it. I couldn’t help but think of the circulatory system in the human body. I saw the cars on the freeway as the main blood flow to the primary parts of the body while the cars and trucks on the arterials were carrying that blood to the extremities and then back through the system so waste could be expelled. What a marvel the various systems of our bodies are!

My mind slipped back to a time nearly 40 years ago. It was a Sunday morning and I had just brought in the paper and was sitting at the desk in my office. As I started to look through the paper I gazed up and looked out the window at the cars driving along Colfax Avenue, a main east/west street in Denver. I imagined that the cars were like messages moving about in the body carrying information to various muscles, nerves and cells. It seemed to be an amazing insight. It supported my study of multi-dimensional aspects of reality from the microcosm to the macrocosm. The traffic systems laid out in our cities allowed people (messages) to get to all parts of the city. There are also the other systems as well: electricity, water and sewer. Everything a city needs to function is there. Everything our body needs to function has also been provided us in our very creation.

I thought how appropriate this “reminder” was for me coming at a time I was visiting the doctor following surgery to place a stent in the one remaining unclogged artery around my heart. When a city cannot maintain its infrastructure things begin to break down. When we neglect the infrastructure of our bodies, we also subject ourselves to the possibility of breakdown. Over the years I had neglected my body and disregarded the clear signs of problems. Having always been a Type A personality, half speed was never my game. Only as I began a serious practice of meditation and taught classes on the subject, did I begin to lesson the tense driving for accomplishment. I still moved faster than most people, but the change for me was noticeable.

After I moved on to other adventures in the business community I began to slip away from my meditation practice. Periodically, I would return to it, usually when I felt a need, or was looking for insights for exploring new possibilities. Finally, came a time of emotional upheaval unlike I had experienced before. The relationship with my children abruptly came apart. The “system” had broken down through a careless failure to recognize the signs and appropriately deal with them. For a year stress in my life built to the point where the heart finally yelled, “Stop!” There was no choice but to get the message.

So, here I am. As I wait for the doctor I have another moment of remembrance that gives me the opportunity to reflect on how I can better maintain my infrastructure of well-being and stay healthy. It will be a combination of cooperating with the medical community in whom I have placed part of my trust. It will also be a stronger commitment to meditation and mindfulness that keeps Spirit active in my mind and heart. I have begun the reconnecting with my daughter. The healing taking place in our relationship will most certainly add to the healing of my heart physically. I believe we will both benefit from the healing activity as we engage in maintaining the infrastructure of our well-being.