The Next Step
As usual, over the last few weeks I have been thinking: “What am I going to talk about? I am too busy to write a talk! Can I get it done in time?” And, “Why did I ever agree to do this?”
My wife Kay and I are long time members of this congregation. I am an Engineer and a Mystic. A Mystic is someone who seeks a direct connection to the Divine. So most of my talk today comes from my own experience, my own journey, not much from books, the Internet, videos, etc. It is my perspective for your information and consideration. In some cases it is my “Best Guess.” My Perspective may not be your perspective. There is value in hearing what reinforces your thoughts. But also in hearing something and thinking, “I am not sure that is true, but what do I think is true?” Here is a story to illustrate how important perspective is. I need to warn you that it funny. Often times people are not prepared for Engineers to tell a joke.
“The Christmas gift” Here is how I remember it: My wife Kay and I met at the University of Washington and after a few dates, fell in love. At the time, were 19 and then 20. I loved snow skiing and Kay started skiing with me. As our 1st Christmas together approached I didn’t have much money, but I did find some gifts for her. One was a piece of cork for waxing the bottom of skis. I wrapped it up nicely and it was the size and shape of a small box. I didn’t have much else, so I decided to make it a hunt to stretch things out. I put clues in an envelope or in a wrapped package. Each clue led to the next one until finally reaching the small gift. When it came time to exchange gifts, this went really well. What was a small, sort of minor gift, took on great significance as Kay went from place to place, unwrapping each clue and hurrying on to find the next one. When she finally reached the wrapped gift, which I recall was in a closet, her eyes lit up and she had a huge smile. I realized that she thought that it was a box with an engagement ring! As you can imagine, it was quite a let down when she discovered it was just a piece of cork. That result was a total surprise to me. It reminds me that I may not have the same perspective as you do.
My hope is that something you hear today will light up your eyes like Kay’s lit up when she saw the wrapped box.
Humor helps us learn more, grow, and expand.
What is the next step? Lets consider some ways to find out.
We have both a Human Nature and a Divine Nature. As a Mystic, I sometimes forget the Human part. But it is very important. If I am in pain, face a physical challenge, or am fearful, it is very difficult for me to be spiritual. My physical path is important. Often pain or disease brings a message that I need to hear or lesson that I need to learn. Some years ago, I had a Vision of myself on top of a cone, on top of a mountain of stuff. I sensed that the message was “Pay attention to what supports you. If it takes too much of your time, energy, or strength, you will be distracted.” A later message, from my future self, convinced me I had too much stuff.
As a Mystic, I think of my Divine Nature first. My previous talk was on the concept of a Spiritual Path. You may have a vision of your Spiritual Path. Having an idea of what your Spiritual Path looks like, can help with the next step. Currently my Spiritual Path is straight up.
Lets consider the Past, Present, and Future.
The Past can be like a Box of treasures. Reminders of when we took a next step. For example, I once felt called to go on a five day Vision Quest, including alone time in the wilderness. At that time in my life I was seldom alone, and the thought of being alone was scary. However, I did it, and I learned an important lesson: “I am fooled by the Physical.” One thing I want to mention is that a search for Truth relative to the Physical dimension may be overrated. Here is my example from the past. I badly injured my ankle in a tug of war. For years, actually at least over a decade after that I periodically reinjured it. Every time I thought that I had nursed it long enough and it was healed, it would get reinjured. Then one day I was meditating and I imagined that my ankle had been broken in a past life. I imagined that I was a prisoner, or slave, escaped, and when I was captured, a man broke my ankle with a sledgehammer to keep me from escaping again. So I tried to imagine why a man would do this? How could I do it? Then I realized if someone ordered me to do this, or they would kill my family, I would do it. So I was able to forgive the man. My ankle healed and I have not reinjured it. Was the story true? I don’t know, possibly not. But maybe forgiveness is more powerful than I realize. Maybe I simply had to have a story to convince me to forgive.
The Present can offer Clues. I ask myself, what is going on? Often a TV program, a book, a conversation, a thought, a story, and even fears can provide a clue. What happens to and around us is not random. However, it sometimes takes three times before I notice. In 2003, I had just retired and had the opportunity to go to New Zealand. I also wanted to go to Australia. I figured that it would cost about $5,000 plus some spending money. I asked Kay if she wanted to go and, being the financial person in the family, was relieved when she said no. Her job had ended; she had interviewed for a new job and wanted to be home to find out if she got it. In a short period of time, she found out that she did not get the job, and won $5,500. Our oldest daughter called up and asked, “Have you figured out that Mom needs to go with you?” I said, “No, apparently I need three clues.” Her call made the difference and Kay going allowed me enough time in Australia to find a didgeridoo.
The Future is where we are headed. It is important to decide where we think we are headed. One saying I like is, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” When I first heard this, almost three decades ago, I was an Engineer and for me, it reinforced the importance of goals. Now as a Mystic, I realize it can also mean to take any step that is in front of you. Or if you don’t like that, or are confused, remember that being kind, considerate, and loving are good goals.
Two weeks ago, Doug Benecke’s talk was “Step by Step.” This is a way that I like to think of making progress, a way to move forward. Sometimes the step is a leap, and sometimes it is a “Baby Step.” How important is the next step? Remember that the journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step.
Last week, Dr. Sheldon Ganberg spoke on Faith. For me, Faith always involves the unknown. For some reason, I am surprised when I encounter the unknown. And then I remember that this calls for Faith. Also a step can require following my “best guess.” Sometimes best guess is as good as it gets. If we wait to be certain, we can miss an opportunity.
Lastly, where we are going can be considered in categories. For example: our Own, a Group, or as Humanity.
Own: My next human step, is keeping what I call, “The Cancer” in remission. My next Divine step is to increase my vibration.
Group: This is my Church family. My Spiritual Family is the Alohem meditation group, which includes Carole Glenn and a number of people in this Church. What is happening may determine the group’s next step. Kay decided to go to the Course in Miracles group, here at the Church on Mondays. So I went along. For one thing, it gave me a chance to get to know Brian Jones better. I have felt drawn to Brian for decades. He first appeared when our Church was in Kingston. As was the case in the past, I got little from reading the Course. However, when we finished, Brian got us to read The Disappearance of the Universe. This made a big difference for me and a number of the concepts have been challenging my perception. Here are four that I am wrestling with:
1. Forgiveness is the way.
2. We never left Heaven. We never left God.
3. We may have a set life span.
4. Enlightenment happens in Life, not in the afterlife.
I think that the next step for our meditation group, the Alohem, may involve integrating these types of concepts into our meditations and discussions.
Humanity: As a next step for Humanity, I will tell you what I heard from a Spiritual Friend, “We have passed the tipping point.” When I tell other people this, they often feel the truth in this statement. My best guess is that this is about the Shift that started in 2012. What some describe as a Shift from this dimension to a higher dimension. I like to think of it as moving to a new reality, perhaps to what Brian Jones calls the “Happy Dream.” The concept is that directly going to true reality would be too much of a shock, so Humanity will first shift to the Happy Dream. Thanks to Pam Cameron, another member of our Church family, I know that a light grid has been installed around the Earth to raise its vibration. Pam was involved in anchoring one of the parts of the grid. Pam wrote a book about her amazing experience. Previously, I have mentioned that our physical bodies are changing from a carbon-based structure to a crystalline structure. This will allow our physical body to vibrate at a higher vibration. Making it possible for us to take our physical body with us as we ascend. Perhaps this is Humanities’ next step.
Here is a brief summary of what I think is important from this talk:
1. Stopping. That is why I commit to speaking here. That is the answer to my question at the beginning: “Why did I ever agree to do this?” Because it makes me stop taking step after step. It helps me see the forest for the trees.
2. Paying Attention. To what is going on around me. To look for clues as to what I may be called to do
3. Finding and taking The Next Step. To move toward where I am heading.
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