How I wish at times that I could control the choices that other people make and particularly the choice that all humanity has made that has resulted in a world filled with conflict, corruption and misery of all kinds. It is especially sad when I see a person right in front of me make a choice that I know from my own experience will end up hurting the person and perhaps others as well. It can bring up a lot of frustration, which of course is not good for my own emotional health.
So yes, it is very important to simply relax and accept our helplessness to control others. Yet we do have the power to influence others by being absolutely clear and consistent in our expression of true values and the highest qualities of character. And this influence not only impacts those who are in our immediate vicinity and see it, but it has a subtle yet powerful impact on the whole body of humanity through the subconscious channels of connection that we share with everyone.
I’ll confess I have always been somewhat wary of asking for what I want or encouraging others to do so. The “I” that wants something is almost always at least in part the small or human ego self that has little idea of what I really need for spiritual growth and development. I tend to honor the initial words of the 23rd Psalm: “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”
“Lit up by love and backed up by the Universe” is an expression that is often heard on Sunrise Ranch. If we really honor this, surely it is best to simply trust this creative process, set aside human wants and desires and delight in whatever the Universe brings.
When the film “The Secret” came out in 2006, revealing the “Law of Attraction,” many people saw this as a golden opportunity to use this law to get what they want. To me, this is a very low level of self-centered human function that disconnects a person from the creative process of life. It’s actually a form of black magic. We’re not here to “get the most out of life,” but to give the most into life.
Yes, it could be said that I have a longing, which I think is different from wanting. My longing is that all human beings awaken to the Sovereign Beings that they are and generously give of that creative power to bless and transform the world. This has nothing to do with the personal wants and desires of an unawakened self.
There have been those times when I’ve experienced something equivalent to freaking out or being out of control. It usually involves some physical ailment or a stack of things that I’m worried about. A friend of mine offered some excellent advice in this regard: “Move into compassion for yourself. Allow yourself to feel what you are feeling in this very moment. Every feeling is acceptable. Trust and know that there is a very good reason you feel the way you do. Your task is to open to learn about what is going on inside.”
I find that when I’m freaking out because what’s coming to me in life seems overwhelming, it’s because I’m offering resistance at some level. I need to stop resisting and simply let go, trusting that what I’m experiencing is there for a reason and I can learn something valuable from what is happening. Sometimes the experience seems life-threatening and I have to let go even of my life in human form.
Jesus made the very wise statement: “Resist not evil.” Don’t resist anything, even the death of the body, recognizing that the Being I am is eternal and can never die. Sometimes the words of my good friend and mentor Martin Cecil come to mind: “The truth is true and all is well; unconquerable life prevails.”
I think one area where I tend to limit myself is public speaking. Even though I speak to large groups in the Sunrise Ranch spiritual community quite often and people tell me I’m an excellent speaker, I think I could do more. Speaking here is always done without any notes. One of my limits is that I have some difficulty speaking for fifteen minutes without anything to remind me of the next subject in my narrative.
I think one reason for my dependency on notes is the training I received as a preaching major at Princeton Theological Seminary. Every student had to write out their sermons beforehand and then present them word-for-word to the congregation. At Princeton I attempted to introduce something I called “conversational preaching” and was severely reprimanded by my professor.
So my challenge has been to unlearn this training and to deliver frequent entertaining and inspiring talks of at least fifteen minutes in duration, all spontaneously without any notes.
Any limitation I have with respect to money does not involve not having enough money, rather it involves maintaining something like a “poverty consciousness” that I’ve held over from the days when I didn’t have enough money. Earlier in my life I had very little money, and consequently, I made great efforts to save everything I got and to spend as little as possible.
Now that I have sufficient money I still find myself living a very frugal existence, governed by an old and antiquated mindset and often denying myself and others the benefits of my naturally generous spirit. I sometimes have to literally force myself to spend money on basic necessities, earnestly telling myself, “Jerry, you’ve got money now; there’s no reason you can’t buy this.”
The core of who I am is wonderfully generous and desires to bless the earth with my substance. However, the remnant of a small ego-self still occasionally gets in the way of this generosity. So it seems that this unreal self simply needs to get out of the way so that the core of who I am can have free access to this area (money) and all other areas of my life. The real self at the core is where the power is, so I’m pretty confident who will win this contest.
In seeking to define Divine identity, my good friend Dr. Misty Funk wrote: “The truth is every single one of us has a connection to a wise, all-knowing aspect of our self. People call it many names—Higher Self, Wise Self, God, Spirit, Intuition, Inner Guidance, Soul Guide, Universal Intelligence, and on and on … .”
Here in the spiritual community at Sunrise Ranch, where I live, we tend to call it Sovereign Being, Angelic Being, Creator Being, Divine Being or Universal Being. It is the inner core of love that is the very essence of human identity.
We are already connected with this Source because it is who we are in the deepest and highest sense. But often our mind gets in the way and we tend to identify with a lower self, with our humanity instead of our Divinity.
A fundamental teaching in our program here at Sunrise is, “You know only what you express.” To know and connect with the Higher Self you need to express the Higher Self in your living. This means expressing the qualities of character that are associated with the Higher Self: integrity, nobility, dignity, generosity, serenity, honesty, stability and compassion, to name a few. They are all differentiations of the central quality of LOVE.
By consistently expressing these qualities of character in living, you come to know yourself as your Higher or Divine Self. You come to realize, “This is who I am!” All separation dissolves and you live as you truly are: a Divine Being incarnate on Earth, transcending limitations and carrying the potential to transform humanity.
“What would it take to __________?” It seems to me that merely by asking this question a person is opening a door to a lot of personal wants and desires that may have nothing to do with what is actually needed from “Higher Guidance,” a term for God used in some spiritual circles.
For example, if you ask “What would it take to make 100K this year?” aren’t you in a sense asking Higher Guidance to outline a program of action that would make this possible and foreclosing the possibility that this is not what you actually need at all?
Instead of bothering with this, it seems much easier and more authentic to simply realize that I am the Higher Guidance that I seek, and to live on this basis. Asking questions of Higher Guidance or Higher Self assumes a separation between you (lower self) and Higher Self. This to me is false identity.
Higher Guidance is who I am and I have only one desire, and that is that my human form with its heart, mind and body express who I am. This will not happen as long as I maintain a separate lower-self identity with all of its wants, desires and questions. Identified with Higher Guidance, I am not here to ask questions or seek solutions but to provide the answer and the solution.
A good friend of mine made the observation: “When you do things that bring you joy, you will feel joy with or without more money. Then as money starts to arrive, you’re already in a higher state, and you don’t confuse money as the source of this state.” Absolutely! This puts things in the right order, even though many people tend to put the cart before the horse and think that money will get them into the higher state.
To me, we begin to experience a higher state when we express the finest qualities of character in our living. We can do this in every moment of living no matter what we’re doing. And we’re not giving expression to our highest and finest in order to draw money to us; we’re doing this simply because it is our nature to do so, our natural mode of function. We were created to do this. Doing it brings meaning and fulfillment and may attract sufficient financial resources to allow us to continue our service on Earth. But making money is never the goal.
As I may have mentioned before, one day when I was twelve, my purpose in life became clear to me. As I put it then: I am here to serve God and to help God save the world. I have since refined this a bit and would now put it this way: I am here for the spiritual regeneration of humanity. In other words, you could say that I’m here to do “spiritual work.” I have found that it doesn’t matter what physical or mental job I am doing, I can always be doing this spiritual work, because it simply consists in being who I am: a Creator Being here on Earth to bring the highest and finest qualities of character into my living in each moment.
I’ve had many different jobs in life—twenty-five years as a house painter, fifteen years as a janitor, many years as a writer and editor, for the past ten years as the director of the Sunrise Ranch post office. I love whatever I’m doing to earn a living because I am always doing my very best at it and bringing value to what I’m doing.
Having said this, I understand that in the world in which we’re living, which reflects the fallen state of humanity, it is often very challenging to find a job that matches earning a living with our natural gifts and talents, i.e., what we most love to do. For example, my innate gifts lie in the area of writing and public speaking, but I have never found a way to draw sufficient compensation to sustain my living merely from exercising these talents.
In a transformed world where humanity is once again in alignment with the creative process of life, things might be entirely different and I might be free to write and speak at will and still earn a living. But in the state that exists on Earth, I have had to compromise and do other jobs, such as those above, to make a living, while doing writing and speaking whenever I can. It has worked out quite well, for I have learned to love whatever I’m doing and see it all as spiritual service.
Just about everything on Earth is out of whack right now and has been for thousands of years simply because human beings don’t know who they are. Their polarity is in the Earth rather than in the truth of who they are, and they wander around on Earth attempting to extract meaning and fulfillment from the environment rather than giving into the environment with the power of creation that naturally emanates from their core.
To use biblical terminology, human beings are eating of “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” rather than “the tree of life.” Even religion is part of this universal addiction. Fortunately, a few in our time are beginning to awaken to our true nature as representatives of the Creator and are seeding the hope that this awful interlude of fallen humanity may someday come to an end. This “spiritual regeneration of humanity” ultimately depends on individual willingness to connect with the truth of love—that my nature and yours is Divine.
I have been inspired and guided over many decades by just one vision and dream: humanity restored to its original pristine state—paradise, if you will; some refer to it as “the Motherland” or “Garden of Eden”—a state where human beings are living together in peace and harmony, individually and collectively releasing the power of creation that blesses the Earth so exquisitely that it glows like a sun.
The Sunrise Ranch community states as its vision and purpose: “The spiritual regeneration of humanity.” While we don’t know exactly what it will look like, individually holding a vision of a transformed state fuels our forward movement.
There is one drawback to holding a big dream and that is holding it too closely. In other words, becoming overly dismayed, maybe even devastated, when the dream is not materializing according to one’s expectations. Maybe it is wise not to entertain any expectations but just to hold the dream loosely, simply letting the possibility of its realization inspire and empower creative action in the moment.
Dr. Misty Funk states: “In order to find the deep connection you desire with others, you must first honestly and intimately create that connection within yourself.” How true. We can hardly expect an authentic friendship with another human being if we are not on friendly terms with the truth of ourselves.
And by “truth of ourselves” I mean the Higher Self or Guidance that defines the very core or essence of who we are. Here at Sunrise we often refer to it as the Angel and seek to relate to each other Angel to Angel rather than human self to human self.
So many people engage in “projection”—they blame or condemn others for behaviors, attitudes or other issues that they haven’t resolved within themselves. This kind of reaction is rampant in society among individuals and in the international arena, even occurring among nations.
Also on the matter of self-acceptance or self-connection, on some spiritual paths it is emphasized that change is essential, that spiritual maturity involves wholesale change into a new person. While I can in some ways appreciate this emphasis on change, my own spiritual path has been a process of learning to accept, fully connect with and love the person that I inherently am.