HERETIC ALERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Friday, September 18, 2020

Intentional Magick


'Bippity, boppity, boo'

'Double bubble, toil & trouble'

There can be no doubt that words have power, but do words like those listed above actually have the power to change reality? 'First off', one might well ask, 'what IS Reality?' What determines if something is real or just a figment of our imagination? Do WE determine what is 'real', or is there an Absolute?! Can we alter Reality ( not just ours ) by uttering Words of Power like those above? These questions, as well as others like them, may seem frivolous, inconsequential, or even silly & stupid to some, but to others, they give pause to consider, at the very least. Reality, to most, IS Absolute! 'It is what it is' comes to mind. In this application, though, it should be understood to refer more to the choices of those around us, than to a deterministic, fatalistic type of view. It is true that, as far as our senses are concerned, inanimate objects, such as a block of wood or a stone ( boulder? ), are part of that Reality. It should be noted too, that, again, physically ( biologically ) speaking, we are a part of that Reality, as well. However, the Reality to which I'm referring here is an ever-changing one. While everyone may seem to be subject to the same Reality, in truth, everyone has their own Reality. determined by the choices we make as individuals. IE, because of personal choices, to whatever extent, one person's Reality may seem more hellish, while on the other hand, another feels they're walking on 'Cloud Nine'. Both Realities are very real, or at least, so it seems, but the perception is different!

Magick, as opposed to Magic, is Reality itself! The latter is an Illusion, mere ( however convincing ) parlor tricks, sleight-of-hand, while the other happens on a daily basis. Magick has been given a bad name over the years, with its practitioners operating under a cloud of stigma. Television, for the most part, hasn't helped in this arena, often portraying witches as evil & while that stigma may have lessened somewhat in general over the years, the magick practiced by witches is portrayed as almost supernatural ability. In fact, for the most part, these portrayals are noticeably ignorant of truth, being presented simply as 'magic'. Magick can be likened, perhaps, to what most call 'miracles'. This might warrant a post of its own ( maybe even a blog ), but Miracles, while they often seem supernatural, not unlike Magick, are an everyday occurrence as well. The birth of a child, for instance. From conception to its emergence into this cold, cruel world, the growth of the child, not to mention its very existence, is nothing short of miraculous. Planting a seed in the ground & watching it grow to fruition is a very similar process & hardly any less of a Miracle. Both of these, while many attribute the Miracle to 'God' ( or Whoever ), the Truth is that they are simply everyday occurrences & completely natural, biologically speaking.

Intention, unconscious or not, is what motivates us, humanly speaking. One example from my own experience is that when someone did us a perceived wrong & ended up hurting us either physically or emotionally, after being made aware of what they did, their response would be something along the lines of, 'I never meant to hurt you'. "Well, you didn't mean not to, did you?', was usually my sharp ( hurt ) retort! The point is, our intentions are manifested in our actions. When it comes to emotional harm, of course, it becomes difficult to discern between harm which we actually cause & that which is simply that person's perception. When we intentionally ( consciously ) practice doing what we know is good, just & true, we are, in essence, doing Magick!

Doing Magick can include ( depending on your chosen religion, or way of life ) the use of certain words, such as those above, or phrases, even chants or prayers. However, to practice Magick, one doesn't need to cast spells, perform certain rites, or utter incantations. One needs only to have the intention to do a certain thing & it will be done, if one's intentions are true. In the same vein, one's intentions may be true, but if what they intend is NOT good, just & true, that one may be perceived as practicing 'Black Magick'! 'Black Magick' is usually attributed to Satanic activity or devil-worship, involving dark incantations, or even the summoning of evil spirits & calling on the 'Dark Lord' himself!

While intentions are not always good ( ? ), our intentions lead us. Speaking of Magick, contrary to popular opinion, simply by intending to sprout literal wings & fly, one cannot thusly defy the laws of gravity ( ? ). It could be rightly said, however, that Orville & Wilbur Wright did just that, metaphorically speaking! Following their intentions to the end, the brothers figured out how to sustain flight & now, thanks to the same technology, even space travel has become almost matter-of-fact. Intentions help us to accomplish what might seem impossible to the casual observer. Call them Miracles, call it Magick, everything begins with our Intentions, whether it's a new life ( human ), or the Miracle of Flight!

There is a common thread, so to speak, running through both Magick & its illusory pretender; both are possible through Intentions. a mere magician ( parlor tricks, etc ) intends to fool his audience into thinking he ( or she ) has sawn a person in half, while still preserving their life, or just simply guessing ( correctly ) the card they chose. Magick, on the other hand, is a bit more mundane ( ? ), simply being the result of one's intentions for good. As we saw, simply by intending to 'sprout wings & fly', one cannot defy the Laws of Nature ( ? ), for example, but with the right intentions, plus plenty of blood, sweat & tears, one can indeed take flight into worlds unknown!

Reality, in the Greatest Sense, IS what you make it!

Namaste' & Blessed Be,

Charles Haddon Shank

Sunday, September 06, 2020

Beyond Dreams

Whether we realize it or not, when our body rests, we enter into the realm of dreams. Some people keep a dream journal by our respective beds so that when we return from that ( realm ) to this physical ( material ) realm, we can jot down what we remember from our sojourn there. There is no question that when we go to sleep, we enter another realm, not physically speaking, of course, but mentally, spiritually. Even if we aren't aware of our time in this realm, we all enter this state of consciousness! Some people enter this state during what are normally called 'waking hours'. Though these may seem to be somewhat different than our 'sleeping dreams', they're really not; dreams are dreams, whether we're awake or not, whether we're aware or not! The question is, 'what ARE dreams?' Are they reality, or are they merely our unconscious 'mind' manifesting our hopes or fears? Some have learned to pay attention to these dreams, as they believe, or 'know', rather, that these dreams are messages from their Higher Selves, warning them of what may happen if they continue the course they're on, or in other words, by making certain choices.

Dreams are funny things. 'As above, so below'; they can include anything from pleasant ones, like what are often called 'wet dreams' to premonitions of what we subconsciously ( or consciously ) fear may be looming on the horizon. Dreams can also take the form of nightmares, again, usually involving fear, with either scenes of things we hold remorse over, such as killing in war-time, or again, premonitions that our actions will have terrifying consequences! These should not, however, be feared, as they are messages from Beyond, whether powered by our conscious or unconscious 'mind'. The Mind is a powerful thing!! It is also something to be aware of; It can be deceitful! We create our own 'reality', our own 'truth', through it. Here's where we come face to face with the Ego. As we've noted previously, the Ego is neither good nor bad; It, like the Mind, just IS. It is when we allow them to control our lives that we get into trouble. Don't get me wrong, both the Mind & Ego CAN be put to good use. In this thing we call 'Life', one usually won't get far without a good, strong Mind; the Ego also helps keep us afloat in the busyness of the 'day-to-day', especially in this 'dog-eat-dog' world!

The question, at this juncture, is ( or should be ) 'what IS 'Life'?' If Life is simply ( ? ) the 'busyness of the 'day-to-day' in this 'dog-eat-dog' world', then maybe we should all just go Home! Is stepping on the backs of the down-trodden so that we, personally speaking, can get ahead really living, or is it just surviving? "Survival of the fittest' may not be as popular a phrase as it used to be, but it sure has manifested well ( ? ) over the ages! For all intents & purposes, one might well call this physical experience 'Life', but is that all there is to It?! We live & die, then we come back to Life to do it all over again ( hopefully with better results )? Now, the question that REALLY needs answering is, 'who ARE we?'

Knowing Who & What we are is of utmost importance! So 'people have 'survived' without truly knowing themselves for ages', one might object. That's true; they 'survived', only to 'die' & begin the cycle all over again ( some people are just slow learners ). To truly live, one MUST develop an understanding of Who & What they really are! It's been said before ( many times ) that we are spirits having a physical experience. Whether one believes this or not, 'it is what it is'; while believing ( knowing ) this will make the biggest difference in how we live our lives on this earth, it IS possible, through our choices ( powered by 'free-will' ) to do More than to just survive this experience. To truly LIVE, though, one must, to some extent at least, know themselves for Who & What they truly are. Not that this is an easy proposition. It IS, however, a simple one.  

Simple meditation, if we can but quiet our Minds & Egos, can do wonders for our soul, like 'Chicken Soup', one might say! Meditation is not 'the end-all', of course; it's simply a means to an end. The goal of meditation is More than just quieting the Mind, though that IS necessary; it is THROUGH quieting the Mind that One begins to realize that the Mind isn't all It's cracked up to be! 'As above, so below'; it is 'good', in this day & age especially, to have a Mind that is not easily swayed by outside influence, by 'others', so to speak, but in order to 'see' past the rigamarole of this thing we call 'Life, One must first stall the Mind, bypassing the Ego, to find the 'Us' that NEVER changes!

As a human being myself, personally speaking, I can surely understand that, with the busyness of 'Life & our hectic 'day-to-day', it is difficult, some might even say 'damn near impossible' to find the time to meditate! As they say, though, we must MAKE time!`If we can't take the time to get to know the Real Us, all we'll ever do is survive; we'll dig a rut so deep that our Mind will convince us that there's no way out. The Ego, on the other hand, will try to convince us that we're better than that, so there will be continuous warfare between these two, until we realize we are More than both of them!

Our dreams would tell us much, if we'd only listen! I should clarify; some dreams get pretty crazy, at least mine do. Crazy as it may sound, we, our Higher Selves, are telling us something important through those crazy dreams, something Beyond! Even though they may seem, especially at the time, to be rather inconsequential, even silly, there is a deeper meaning to them. If only we could easily decipher them & move Beyond, but alas, for the most part, our dreams, sleeping or waking, are relatively difficult to figure out. Some are fairly simple & vivid ( lucid? ), such as premonitory dreams, but even those usually have a deeper meaning attached. As the case may be; I wish you, my readers, the best of luck as you Journey Beyond your Dreams!

Namaste' & Blessed Be, 

Charles Haddon Shank

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

The Core

'Yes, Virginia, there IS an Afterlife!' Okay, so maybe not in the sense that most think of it, but then, everybody has their own unique perception, right?! One person's idea of an 'Afterlife' could be sitting on 'Cloud 9', playing on harps for Eternity ( a bit of a cliche' ), while another's could be a simple as playing 18 holes every day. The term 'Afterlife', especially for the Christian & certain other religious folks, is usually more-or-less synonymous with 'Heaven'. Some believe that, at the End of Time, the Earth will become 'Heaven', while others believe it is either so now, or at least underway. Whatever the case may be, in the view of this blogger; call it 'Heaven', 'the Afterlife', 'Summerland', or what you will, It, whatever It is, is simply a sort of spiritual 'waiting room', a dimension, if you will, where souls/spirits go when they are separated from their physical hosts, or 'avatars', until such 'time' when they reincarnate. Yes, that's a hard pill to swallow, but that is MY personal view & it resonates with my Spirit!

Having just read 'Proof of Heaven' by a neurological doctor ( surgeon, no less ), I can't help but perceive how his experience ( NDE ) was influenced, to whatever extent, by his chosen religion. No, I'm not saying that it was all in his head, nor am I discounting the reality of his, or any other NDE, just that, as he even states several times in his book, in other words, once 'encumbered' ( limited? ) by his physicality ( brain ) again, he found it well-nigh impossible to accurately portray what he experienced. Neither am I saying that ALL of what he portrayed was 'colored' by his religion; there is no doubt in my mind that 'he' experienced what he did, for there IS consciousness apart from our physicality, or humanity. All I'm saying here, is that while much of what he wrote, again, 'resonates with my Spirit', in the telling of his story, the good doctor showed his religious colors, for what that's worth!

'As above, so below'. Besides being chock-full, in its simplicity & complexity ( kinda like, 'it is what it is' ), this statement implies strongly, among other things, that the state of our Higher Being has a direct correlation to that of our Lower Being. Now, I realize too, that this statement itself implies 'separation', but this cannot really be helped, at least, not on  this 'plane', since sadly, many don't acknowledge that they have a Higher & Lower Self!

As we then, humanly speaking, contemplate our own mortality ( whatever our chosen belief system ), it is comforting, to whatever degree, to think that there IS life after death; in other words, that after our biological clock stops ticking, that somehow or other, we will live again, whether it's in another 'form', or in Christian terminology, as a glorified ( ?) human being, inhabiting 'a new heavens & a new earth' in the selfsame ( though 'glorified' ) body. A pleasant dream, no doubt, but a dream nonetheless!

At the very 'core' of our being, we are spirits having a physical experience. You've probably heard something like this before, but it bears repeating. If indeed it is otherwise & we are simply 'Higher Animals' ( on the evolutionary chain ), then why SHOULD we worry about trying to 'do better next time' or waste our time trying to make the world a better place? For that matter, why not just live our lives however the hell we want, since we are 'just' animals & this is all there is?! Thankfully, we are More than 'just' animals: though we have an animalistic nature, we also have a Higher Nature, One that, because of Its interconnectedness with the Divine, allows us to see & therefore live for More!

Dr. Alexander called this 'dimension' in which he experienced the Presence of Divinity 'the Core'. This, in my opinion, is a very fitting name for what most call 'Heaven', for it implies that we are 'Heaven'! Being brought up 'in the nurture & admonition of the Lord', so to speak, I learned, in time, that the Holy Spirit ( ' God' ) lives in our hearts. Now, if that's not 'Heaven', I don't know what is! If you've read any of my posts over the last 10 years ( give or take ) you're probably familiar with the phrase, 'Heaven' is in our hearts'. This is not to say, again, that the doctors 'vision' was all in his head, so to speak, for as he explained in his book; his brain ( at least the necessary cognitive part ) was not functioning at the time. Dr. Alexander DID experience an NDE; for all ( or at least most ) intents & purposes, he was physically ( clinically? ) dead! But, just like Lazarus in the biblical story, his spirit returned to his body & he awoke with New Purpose.

What then, does 'the Afterlife' look like? IS it a waiting room for the Eternal Cycle of, in Christian terms, 'Birth, Death & Resurrection', or in another, 'reincarnation'? Is it simply a place of Eternal Rest where we sing the praises of our Lord & Savior all day long? A 'place' we go to after we die? Of course, WE don't really die, do we?! This biological machine ( some call it our 'avatar' ) will eventually wind down & become wormfood, but who we really are, at the Core of our Being, will never die!

Namaste' & Blessed Be,

Charles Haddon Shank

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Perish the Thought

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Philippians 4:8 ( KJV )

'Think before you speak!' When dealing with the Person, especially the Other Person, this is usually a good idea. Or at least, so it would seem! Usually, in the course of any given day, at least once, we will find ourselves regretting something we've said or done without thinking it through. 'As above, so below'; thinking things through before you speak sounds good enough, but (at least ) two 'problems' should be noted here; one, even if it's not 'appropriate' ( ? ), by not saying how we really feel, we're being dishonest, not only with the 'Other', but with ourselves! Secondly, we have a tendency to over-think any given situation; so often, for much the same reason ( 'it's not appropriate' ), we end up doing or saying what we shouldn't. Either that, or we remain silent & inactive.

The verse above, again, personally speaking, sounds like great advice, right?! If we kept our minds 'on things above', so to speak, rather than 'things on the earth', to follow further instruction from the Christian bible, we would do well, we're told. But, therein lies much of the problem; because we as humans believe in duality, we see things in black & white. This is beautiful, that is not, etc. This is worthy ( we are worthy ), that is not ( they are not ). Don't get me wrong; I'm by no means saying there's no such thing as 'just desserts'  ( call it 'Karma' ), just that with a dualistic mindset comes 'separation'. 'But, there should be separation', some would argue, basing this on passages from the Christian bible, like II Corinthians 6:17. This is probably another matter for another day, but suffice it to say that this passage, indeed most if not all passages like it in the Christian bible are referring to a different people in a land & time far, far removed from our current situation.

Most famously, it was Rene' Descartes who said, 'I think, therefore I am'. If we've learned anything in the pages of this blog, it's that it not only sounds ass-backwards, it's just plain wrong! Thinking is not a result of who we are & it definitely doesn't make us who we are! The overwhelming majority of people in this world seem to think that we are merely human beings with rational minds & the ability ( unlike other animals? ) to think things through before we do or say something we might later regret. This is where Fear enters the picture, but again, 'another matter for another day', perhaps. This is not to say of course, that we needn't exercise care, watching our words, so to speak, but too often, our fear of what others might think prevents us from speaking our mind. Not altogether a bad thing maybe.............................

Getting back to Descartes' statement above, putting the cart before the horse ( ? ), so to speak, although it is more like, 'we ARE, therefore, we think', really, in all actuality, it is ( only ) in our capacity as human beings that we do think. As 'monads', or individual minds, in the Hyperian way of thinking, our thought processes do, in that sense, stem from the fact that we are More than our humanity, our 'avatars', in a manner of speaking. As just a bit of a side-note here; whether you take Morgue's word for it or not, he does make some sense; convoluted as it may be, the idea of 'the One & the Many' is not unique to him. Being unique ( individual ) souls, in a manner of speaking, we are possessed of our own thoughts; in other words, we, in our humanity, do not ( necessarily ) have a 'hive mentality'; we think differently, however similar or dissimilar, than any other human being. No one person out there thinks entirely the same as another.

Not to get too biblical, but the apostle Paul, in I Corinthians 2:16, talks about us, in our humanity ( ? ) having 'the mind of Christ'. As accurate or inaccurate as this translation may be, you can be sure that what the writer speaks of here is not a mind that only thinks pure thoughts, as one would expect of 'the mind of Christ'. No, what the author refers to here is the Oneness with the Source that the above-mentioned 'Morgue' also speaks of. As individual minds, or 'monads', we DO think our own thoughts, separate from the One Mind, or 'the Source'.  However, we may choose, as an integral part of the Source, the Collective Mind, one might note, to simply observe ( without judgement ) those unique, individual thoughts, allowing them to pass freely through our mind.

While we may be, as some have said, 'of like mind', we do not, 'as above, so below', think exactly the same thoughts as any other human being ( even 'monad' ). Although we may be fairly 'like-minded', we will never think the same thoughts as another individual. For example, we may be thinking the same thing, as sometimes happens, but everyone has their own unique 'spin' on it, whatever 'it' may be. On the other hand, we should well note, just because one has 'the mind of Christ', it is not to say that impure or 'unholy' thoughts never enter his or her ( individual ) mind!

Because we are who & what we are, call it 'monadic individuals' or what you will, we DO have thoughts unique to us, as individual human beings; there is no avoiding that, nor should we wish to. I realize that, in some traditions, 'thoughtlessness' is highly spoken of, but it is not that we need to avoid thinking, though sometimes we tend to overthink any given situation, it's that, rather than allowing our thoughts to rule us, to the point where we begin to identify with our thoughts ( for example, 'I'm thinking about this, so I must be a..............' ), we simply observe our thoughts, as one separate, yet not separate from the Source, call it 'the mind of Christ', or what you will.

'Speaking your mind' is not entirely a 'good' thing, nor is it necessarily a 'bad' thing. When one doesn't speak his or her mind, whether out of Fear or what, not only are they being dishonest with the other; they are also cutting themselves short. There is such a thing as 'tact', though; I'm not saying that we shouldn't choose our words ( timing ) carefully, just that we should always be true to ourselves. 'As above, so below'; it is when we identify with our thoughts ( 'I am this', 'I am that' ) that we run into trouble. For most people, it IS easier said than done, not to act ( 'right' or 'wrong' ) on our thoughts, but for those few who manage to disassociate themselves from their thoughts & simply observe them without judgement, like passing clouds above, the result is that we are not spurred to action by our thoughts, but by our Will.

The Will does not stand in opposition to the Ego, as some might suppose, for they stem from two very different sources! The Ego, as we've noted, is attached to our human, or animal nature. In fact of the matter, it is an integral part of our avatar. The Will, on the other hand, gets its strength from a Higher Source, stemming from & rooted in our true nature, as spirit beings having a physical experience. I should clarify; though it often seems that the Ego does oppose the Will & sometimes the Will must oppose the Ego, the Ego, as some also suppose ( we've been here before ) is not necessarily 'evil'. The problem 'crops up' when we allow It to overrule our Will.The Ego enables us, in our human nature, to operate in this physical realm; through It we exercise what we humanly call 'free-will', which, though attended by the Will, is not the same. But, I digress.................

There is nothing 'wrong' with thinking! Sometimes, even the darkest thoughts occur to us, troubling or else relieving our minds. We think, though, whether because of societal ( cultural ) conditioning, or what, that such thoughts are 'bad', or 'evil', but they are simply there. Again, 'it is what it is'. If we just observe those thoughts, allowing them to simply & smoothly pass through our mind, 'no problem': it is when we attach ourselves to these thoughts, allowing them to determine our course of action that we run into problems!

To end on a positive note, do not, as some seem to preach, try to change your way of thinking; 'you think just fine!' Your thoughts are NOT the problem; the free exercise ( I'm NOT referring to 'free-will', here ) of your Will is the problem. Learn to differentiate between your Will, which comes from the Spirit Within & your 'free-will', which originates with the Ego; again, NOT a 'bad' thing. Once we learn to differentiate between these two distinct points, we will be more easily able to simply observe our thoughts, without judgement, as they pass freely through our minds. Without the attachment to our thoughts, which belong to our humanity ( again, NOT 'wrong' or 'evil' ), we instead rely on our Higher Nature to determine our course of action, which is ALWAYS a 'good' thing!

Namaste' &  Blessed Be,
Charles Haddon Shank

Tuesday, July 07, 2020

The Death of the Person

First of all, what is Death, but the cessation of Life? In relation to that, what is Life? In one sense, it depends who you ask. 'What sense is that? one might well ask. 'Well, most people seem to think that biological existence is Life.' An acceptable enough answer, I reckon, but is that really what constitutes Life? One might note that it is a necessary constituent, but then we're right back to 'square one', so to speak. 'Is Life simply biological existence, or is there more to it than that?' If Life is mere biological existence, then yes; it could be rightly said that once a person stops breathing, Life has ceased to exist for that person: therefore, 'Death is the End'!

There are those who believe that Death is only the Beginning. In some sense, the greatest maybe, this is true: Death means the Beginning of something New. Biologically speaking, anyway, it is a Universal Truth that, in order for something, be it plant, animal or human ( animal ) to live, something else, 'as above, so below', must die. Therefore, when something dies, something else experiences new life, whether it's a blade of grass that becomes food for an animal, or whether it's what is usually called a 'dumb animal' offering it's 'Life' so that a more articulate ( human ) animal might live. That really doesn't answer the question though, does it? 'If you claim that Life is More than this Biology, then the burden of proof is on you, right!?' Well, yes & no. It's easy enough to say, 'It it what it is', in an attempt to slip out from beneath that burden, but that IS a pretty 'pat' answer!

Just as there are those, 'as above, so below', who believe that 'Death is only the Beginning'; in a slightly different sense, there are those who know that Death is only the Beginning! One might well ask, at this juncture, 'is there really much difference here, between knowing & believing?' Don't we know what we believe? In essence, if we believe something, doesn't that imply that we know it? 'I mean, what do you take me for, anyway?!' Then again, a Muslim believes certain things about 'God' that a Christian might gasp in horror at, because the Christian 'knows' that 'God' isn't like that. 'Why', you should ask yourself, 'does the Christian 'know' that 'God' isn't like that?' If it's because the Christian's Holy Book says so; don't you think the Muslim believes with the same or even more fervency what their Holy Book says about Who or What 'God' is?

Every culture known to humanity has their own peculiar notions about Who or What 'God' is! While Western religions, Near Eastern religions & even some Far Eastern Religions put a 'personal' spin on 'God'; those 'in the know' know that 'God' is simply the manifestation of our own Divinity. Now, before you consign me to 'Hell' for 'Eternity', let me offer this clarification. When I imply ( strongly ) that we are 'God'; I am by no means saying that we 'created' everything we see, up to & including the Universe ( or Multiverse ) Itself. We are not the Source of All!

Being One with, or a Part of that Source, we are then Divine, just as the Source is. Some call this Source 'God'. As we've noted before in the 'pages' of this blog, even the Christian Bible tells us that we are Gods ( small 'g' or large 'G'; does it really make THAT much of a difference?! ) As we've also noted, the Hebrew word used in both cases is the same. On the other hand, most Science tells us that the Universe & everything in it is made up of pure energy, always moving, like a great 'Wheel in the Sky'. If everything is Energy, where then did that Energy originate? Has It, like most religion's concept of 'God', always been, or did Energy have a Beginning? In our personal experience, something must be set in motion in order for it to maintain that motion, for whatever period of time, even for what might pass for Infinity. However, taking that back to its natural conclusion, that would be akin to saying that the Christian 'God' Himself, the Creator, had a beginning!

Science has told us that all is Energy. While that is 'plain' enough, It does not satisfy our curiosity as to Who or What 'God' is, the One who purportedly put everything in motion. What some call 'God', others call 'Energy'. Again, 'as above, so below', in our personal experience, a thing must be set in motion in order for it to remain in motion for any length of time: however, what if Energy, as some Science says, does not die, but is simply transformed? 'What then?! What if Energy is a veritable 'perpetual motion' machine? One might try to throw a wrench in the works here, saying something like, 'but even perpetual motion machines gotta start somewhere!' True enough; 'in our personal experience, yes, but are we not More than the Person?!

Whether one believes or not that we are spiritual beings having a physical experience, it cannot rationally be denied that there is more to us than what is noticeable on the surface. Most religions teach us that, after the death of the physical body, the 'soul', or spirit continues on for 'Eternity'. Thus, by the overwhelming majority of accounts, we, as the Person, are governed, or motivated by the Soul. Therefore, the Person is not 'Who' we are, so much as the Soul, or Spirit is!

Being Who we are, then, We cannot die! Only the Person dies. When our Person (individual body ) expires, if we identify with that Body ( as most do ) we might rightly say that Person, or individual has died. But those who know, know different. Just because an Individual believes they are the Person does not change the fact that they are More. They are simply blinded to the Fact!

The Death of the Person then, in that sense, if that sense alone, is not the End! It really is the Beginning, the Beginning of a New Person, the Beginning of a New Life, in a manner of speaking. 'But wait', you say,' didn't you imply earlier that Life is More than this Biology?!' Why yes, yes I did!

Namaste' & Blessed Be,
Charles Haddon Shank

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

The Healer

'Joe' was, to outside appearances anyway, your ordinary, average girl-next-door. Born Josaphyna Aryana Smith, she was the only daughter of the deacon of a local community church, a modest little social gathering that boasted around 200 members. Though her upstanding parents had managed to keep it out of the papers, so to speak, Joe had a dirty little secret: at the tender age of 13, she had managed to get herself pregnant. Whether because she knew from her upbringing that abortion was murder, or simply because she was afraid of the shame it would bring upon her parents, Joe found a 'black market' physician who would perform it for her, 'no questions asked', for a modest sum, of course. To his credit, the responsible young man, who was a bit older, somehow came up with the money. The abortionist, however, was not the physician he claimed, so when the deed was done, not only was little 'Joe' not pregnant anymore, unbeknownst to her at the time, she never would be again!

Like a lot of teenage girls, especially those infamous 'PKs', Joe had discovered the 'joy' of sex. Like most, though, she soon found that 'Joy' was a fickle mistress, for without the experience of orgasm through sexual intercourse, the relationship, such as it was, quickly fizzled out. In fact, because of this, Joe earned the nickname 'Potato Chip', for most of the local boys quickly learned that she was, to put it crudely, an 'easy lay', a moniker which became even more prolific when it was discovered that there was no 'danger' of pregnancy.

At first, Joe, along with her multitude of wannabe 'lovers', counted this a boon, but when she tried to 'straighten her act up', at the behest of her parents, who didn't realize she was barren, she found that she was not 'marriage material' to the kind of men her folks approved of. Though she did go through her fair share of suitors, even managing to get as far as engagement once or twice, Joe soon learned that, in most circles, particularly the ones her parents ran in, she was considered 'damaged goods', even 'broken'!

Broken' as she was, as well as being naturally rebellious to her strictly religious upbringing, Joe finally, at the ripe old age of 33, found a man that was willing to spend the rest of his life with her. As 'Luck' would have it though, her Joy was not to last, for a mere two years ( to the day ) after they said their vows to each other, her husband passed away in a freak vehicle turnover. At 37 years old, Joe was still quite a 'looker', so, while finding a 'lover' was a fairly easy task, since she only seemed to attract married men, none of whom were willing to leave their wives for her, she decided that the married life was not for her!

Enter 'John'. 'John was the kind that might be called a 'hurt puppy'! He WAS married, but because of certain unresolved issues in his life prior to this marriage, he was having problems keeping it afloat. John's wife had her own issues to deal with, so rather than listen with understanding to each other's issues, they both had chosen to deal with the other's issues without dealing with their own. In this way, both had become sullen, preferring, it would seem, to focus on solving the problem they saw reflected in their partner, not realizing it was their own reflection they saw!

When Joe came along, John found himself drawn to her, not sexually, so much as by an undeniable spiritual connection, though he had to admit she was still very attractive, physically speaking. As their connection continued to blossom, John's wife Mary, while struggling with her own issues, fought to keep her husband's obvious attraction to Joe at bay. Not wanting to cause further issues, while still wishing to maintain the secure connection she had finally found, Joe decided to pursue a relationship with both wounded parties, to see if she could aid in bringing healing to both!

Considering Joe's prior experiences with the opposite sex, physically speaking, it came as no surprise when she began to find herself attracted to Mary, though not necessarily sexually speaking! In her prior experience, Joe had found that men, for the most part, were lead by the wrong head. This is not to say that every man with whom she had dallied only had one thing on their mind, just that, for the greater part, their decisions were based, to whatever extent, on their 'need' to gratify their own lust. Therefore, when Joe began to cozy up to his wife, in a manner of speaking, John began to notice a subtle change in Mary, all the while realizing that it mirrored the transition he himself was experiencing!

John's main issue with his wife, he realized ( hopefully before it was too late ) was that he saw himself as a problem-solver. This sounds like a good thing, but really, most of the time it only serves to exacerbate the problem. When Mary would come crying to him, either literally or figuratively, John's 'go-to' had always, immediately been to try to fix it. When she would 'rag' on him for something he had supposedly done, or if she was just having a bad day, John would almost always go on the defensive, taking personally what was not so much aimed at him as it was just Mary's way of airing out her emotions, or feelings. One thing that John was learning through his relationship with Joe was to do more listening than talking. He was also learning not to be so quick to judge a book by its cover. Both he & Mary had been brought up similarly to how Joe had been raised, so they both were judgmental, not just of outsiders, but of each other. Learning to know Joe, as they both were, they were slowly realizing that though a person's prior history may have an effect on their future, it does not define who they are!

Joe's blossoming relationship with Mary, on the other hand, was more personally based, whereas with John it was mainly spiritual. Both had become more or less comfortable with Joe being in their lives, but Mary, probably because their friendship had begun in physicality, felt less threatened by Joe's presence than her husband did. Though they both had their moments, as anyone would, Joe's relationship with John was actually deeper because of their spiritual connection. Other than that, they really didn't have much in common, but they both felt an almost un-explainable affinity for each other.

Through all of this, almost mysteriously, John & Mary's failing marriage was beginning to show signs of being rekindled! Neither partner was perfect, don't gt me wrong, but through their relationship with Joe, they were quickly learning how much better ( in fact, they found soon enough that it was the best way ) it was to listen more, while talking less. Furthermore, to listen without judgement, though it was difficult for them both at first, became easier the more they exercised their new-found freedom!

Joe, meanwhile, was reaping the karma she had sown in her earlier life. The sexual 'freedom' she had experienced previously had proven to be detrimental, rather than a 'boon' to her health.While
John & Mary's relationship was rising like a phoenix from the ashes, Joe's bodily presence, having fulfilled its purpose, was fading. From all of her sexual escapades, Joe's body had been slowly but surely wearing down. John & Mary were both rather devastated by this realization, though understandably Mary moreso than John, but knew that her continued attachment to this couple would, in Time prove to be detrimental to their relationship, though it had effectively saved it.

Namaste' & Blessed Be,
Charles Haddon Shank

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Power to Breathe

Venturing out on a limb here, I'm going back to my roots! As most if not all of my readers know, I have a very strong Christian background. Quite a few years ago, before I was aware of the Journey I was on, much less the direction it was taking me, I wrote an article entitled 'The Difference Between Having & Taking'. Even though this article is no longer available for viewing ( probably a good thing ), the main gist of it, as I remember, based on the biblical text of Genesis 1:26-28, was that 'Elohim', or 'God', told 'His' Creation to 'have dominion'. It would seem from the garbled history of humanity that this has largely been interpreted as 'take dominion'. No matter how one interprets this passage, though, it clearly says that they were to exercise what they had been given, not take what they had not!

According to one author, Power, personally speaking anyway, takes three forms; 'power over', 'power with' & 'power from within'. She refers to these three forms in this way, '“power-over,” referring to domination and control; “power-from-within,” meaning personal ability and spiritual integrity; and “power-with,” pertaining to social power or influence among equals'. 'As above, so below'; personally ( individually ) speaking, one may exercise their own power over others, whether it be person, animal, or even plant, but, in the case of another person, only if the other, for whatever reason, allows them to. In the case of most animals, mankind has, for the past many hundreds of thousands of years ( ? ) been able to hold power over them, thanks mostly to their own ingenuity. Nature, though, has a way of evening the odds! One might well note that 'Karma' plays a big role here, as well!

Not knowing any more about the recent news out of Minnesota concerning George Floyd than what the MSM wants us to know; I will give this bit of commentary. No matter what the truth may be about this situation, George Floyd didn't deserve to die! The cop, or cops, that caused his death are guilty of murder ( call it 'manslaughter' if you want )! You may have heard that there was history surrounding the incident & maybe there was, but so what?! one can almost understand the one cop kneeling on his neck ( if THAT'S even totally accurate ), given this 'history', for, like as not, Mr. Floyd, if given an inch, would've taken a mile. I guess we'll never know! Whatever the case may be, George Floyd, by ceding his personal Power to someone else, whether through coercion, deceit or ignorance, lost his life that fateful day.

'The Power is YOURS', to quote an old cartoon! Personally speaking, we are creatures of Power. No, I'm not necessarily talking of physical strength, though that is surely a force to be reckoned with; I'm not even speaking of endurance, mental or physical. The Power that I'm referring to is the Power Within, the Power that we innately hold, as spirit-beings. One might even note that we are Power Itself, being One with the Source of Power, Divine Energy. This Power, of course, is not physical or mental strength, although it often manifests in those ways. Beyond the physical attributes or even the mind itself is our spirit/soul, where our personal Journey begins. It is here that Power resides. The Power to Choose is in our mind, but it really goes back, or up/in, even further than that, though we may or may not be aware of it. Our choices, when we are truly Aware, reflect that awareness. However, when we are driven by the Ego/Mind, our choices are most often reflective of our egocentric mindset.Though this is not always the case, this is how we end up with cases like that of George Floyd in Minnesota!

The Ego, as we've discussed in previous posts, is neither good nor bad; 'it just IS'! An integral & necessary part of our humanity, the Ego is that which allows us to function in this Life. With the personal Ego, we would not be able to choose for ourselves. This personal ability to choose, though, is where the problem manifests! We can choose to exercise our Power over other people, animals or plants, or we can choose to exercise that Power alongside of those others. We can live symbiotically with all life, or we can 'die by the sword'! When we decide to use our Power carelessly, or even evilly, that Power inevitably turns back on us & 'bites us in the ass', in a manner of speaking. However, when we live as Nature intended, in harmony with ALL Creation, Life not only flows much better, but we might even enjoy a longer Time in this physical realm!

Inevitably, this biology will, at some point, go the way of all things in the Great Circle of Life! Certain people would probably tell you differently, but 'this old body wasn't made to last forever'! Through our choices, though, or at least as far as it is up to us, we can either shorten or lengthen our Time in this Iteration. It is not totally up to us of course, but we can influence others in their personal choices, either negatively by exercising  Power over them, or in a positive way, by allowing them to exercise their personal power with, or alongside us. One cannot exercise Power over other unless one first takes their Power!

This is not to say, of course, that such a person no longer has any Power; they just don't realize, most of them, that their Power is innate, it goes Beyond the Person! The simple realization of this Power is, well, powerful. Understanding that we are More than the Person & so not allowing ourselves to be controlled by the Person; we can better enjoy Life with our Ego not driving, or pushing us to use our Power over others. Rather, we will be free to use our Power to complement the personal Power of others. Better still; Life flows better when we live it symbiotically, instead of trying to control what is beyond our control!

Namaste' & Blessed Be,
Charles Haddon Shank

Monday, June 08, 2020

Lost in Metaphor; The X Factor

You may have heard it said that, from conception, all fetuses are female, at least, until the 'Y' chromosome is introduced. Assumably, according to this scientific 'fact', it is at this moment in Time that the male characteristics begin to form, most notably maybe, the penis. Don't get me wrong, I'm not ( necessarily ) disputing this 'fact', just reminding my readers that, unless we have studied or otherwise 'discovered' it for ourselves, we are consigned to taking 'their' word for it!

Personally speaking, that is, humanly speaking, even in the larger context, biologically speaking, there are two different sexes, male & female. As it was put several years ago in a previous post, these two sexes fit together 'like hand in glove'. One might even note that their sexual organs were perfectly mastered for procreation. Of course, for most humans, it is also very pleasurable, in the 'right' context, anyway! With the introduction of contraceptives, of varying sorts & effectiveness, the act of sexual intercourse has almost been rendered irresponsibly 'worry-free'. This is not to say, of course, that sexual intercourse should only be enjoyed for the purposes of procreation, as some have taught in the past, nor is it to say that anyone who engages in this practice, purely for the sake of enjoyment, is therefore acting irresponsibly. I'm merely pointing out that the primary, natural purpose ( for lack of a better word ) for these two organs, the penis & the vagina, along with the usual delivery system ( direct injection?) of the male's sperm to the female's egg, is the creation of a biological host body, which then begins the cycle all over again, in the great Circle of Life!

'Metaphor' can be loosely defined as 'truth told in a way that is not meant to be understood, or taken literally'. It can also be used as a form of symbolism, as in say, certain comic strips or cartoons. Speaking of 'a greater spiritual truth', metaphor can also be used to indicate a deeper meaning, as in statements like 'as above, so below' This statement does not literally mean that what transpires on earth mirrors or represents what is in the 'heavens' or the Universe, although it can most surely carry that intimation; rather, it refers more to the human condition & the undeniable fact that it all begins with the intentions, or thoughts. These intentions may even be unconscious, but as we awaken more & more to our true nature, as spiritual beings, they will manifest more & more in our conscious thoughts & actions.

Our actions betray our thoughts & our true intentions! Whether unconscious or not, whether we are willing to admit or not, our desires most often rule us, at least, humanly speaking. 'As above, so below'; it is in our DNA, so to speak, to use the tools that we have been equipped with naturally, for the purposes ( among others ) of procreation. So not only are we battling the Ego when we endeavor to abstain from sexual intercourse, we are also acting in a way that is contrary to our human nature! Certain religions have instilled in many of us from a fairly early age that it is wrong, or wicked to act on these natural desires prior to marriage ( ? ) & while there seems to be a certain wisdom here, such controlled behavior tends to lead to either sexual frustration or to a marriage based on sex. This is not to say that one cannot or should not exercise self-control in such a situation, just that when one is controlled by outside influences, it rarely, if ever, ends well!

To take literally what was given metaphorically is a big mistake & can lead to a 'world' of trouble! When we misunderstand, for instance, the saying 'as above, so below', we may end up believing that what goes on in this earthly realm perfectly, or literally mirrors what is in the 'heavenly' realm. Or, to bring it even closer, that our actions 'in the flesh', so to speak, mirror our spiritual condition ( ? ). This itself can lead to, as it is also a result of religious conditioning ( some may call it 'brainwashing' ).

The biological 'fact' that we were born into this biology with either a penis or a vagina does not, in itself, determine whether we are male or female! As 'spirit-beings having a physical experience', we are only sojourners in these host-bodies. When this life is over, we continue on for a time as pure spirit ( energy? ), then, when the time is right, we return to this realm to inhabit a different body ( sometimes, a TOTALLY different one! ). In certain circles, in fact largely, the notion of reincarnation has been 'poo-pooed', but when one wakes to the fact of our true nature, it makes all the sense in the 'world'!

In conclusion, then & 'the heart of the matter', so to speak; when we realize that while we may manifest a certain sex, or even gender in this life, that does not mean that we ARE ( defined by ) those characteristics ( penis or vagina - I've heard of people with both ). It simply means that this is the way we have chosen to manifest in this life. Now, before I get myself into too much 'hot water'; some of my readers may be thinking, 'he's opening the door for transgenderism & the like'! Well, maybe I am, maybe I'm not; YOU must judge for yourself, but you must also ask yourself this question; 'if we are More than JUST human beings, if we really ARE spirit-beings having a spiritual experience, as long as we aren't hurting anyone, does it really what gender ( if any ) we choose to manifest?'

Namaste' & Blessed Be!
Charles Haddon Shank

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

The Journey Revisited

'Life is a Journey, not a Destination!'

It's not about reaching a Goal, whether it be a 'pie-in-the-sky' dream, or some convoluted Hope of the 'Afterlife'! It's about Living & Loving. Some people are so focused on 'The End' that they forget to Live while they are Here, which admittedly, IS a relatively short period of Time. It should be acknowledged though, that there are those who, even with this Convoluted Hope, live consistently according to this Journey Motif. We are all, just as we are ALL the same Energy, on the same Journey, but just as we all are at different stages in our personal Journey, so we each manifest a seemingly different Energy, though it is simply a different level of Energy, a higher or lower Frequency, or Vibration, if you will.

My own personal Journey, especially of late, has been rather difficult, to say the least! So many adjustments are having to be made, so many changes are occurring to me, that sometimes I feel I'm going mad. No, it's not to the point ( yet ) where I'm involuntarily erupting into fits of maniacal laughter, but sometimes I sure feel like it! Life sure takes us on some interesting pathways! I say 'pathways', because, though Life has sure taken on a different sheen of late; it is not like I'm on a different Path: I have simply embarked upon a different pathway, a Higher Plane, if you will. In the Journey of Life we all have our own pathway, our own way to tread, but when it comes down to it, we're all on the same Journey!

Life is a 'funny' thing! The twists & turns It takes often point us in such a different direction from the pathway we thought were on that It almost seems completely foreign to us. My personal Path has taken such a turn. Things I only dreamed about are happening to me, even things that I never even thought of! ( Either that, or I simply would not allow myself to think that way ) It's not, 'as above, so below', that I'm on a different Path now, just that the Path I'm on looks much different than 'The Path' I was taught to follow. I have, in some sense, therefore, left 'the Faith', but I'm still firmly rooted on the Path that I entered upon those many years ago!

'The Journey' will take you where It will! Call It 'Fate', call It 'Predestination', call It what you will; 'Life finds a way', as a man once said. Human beings make choices, yes, even we, as our true selves, as one might say, 'individual spirit beings', Beings of Pure Light, have the ability to choose & so the different levels, the various frequencies we find each other in during whatever stage of the Journey, 'our Journey', that we currently find ourselves on. In the words of another very wise man, it is best to 'Let it be', though the context most definitely determines the personal meaning of his words. Choices must be made, for in the end, that's what It's all about, but call It what you will, Life Itself has a way of turning out as It will, no matter the individual choices that we as human beings make, for Life, contrary to popular opinion, is about More than this biology!

Being More than Human, we must realize that 'Life' IS More than this Biology! The phrase ( mantra, really! ); 'as above, so below' hits hard, for in acknowledging that 'Life is more than this Biology', we also admit that it is not just our personal choices that determine our Path ( our 'stage' of the Journey , not our 'Path', per se ). Life. not unlike the Dynamo of Life, IS the Path & though our choices may determine our course, It is what determines our Path, personally speaking. Life is what It is, so unless we can accept It for what It is, we will be hit with hardship upon hardship, stress upon stress!

'As above, so below'; our choices determine our pathway & 'yes', our pathway IS our own, but Life DOES find a way, so to speak; so though our Life is, in a sense determined by our choices, in the greatest sense & on the other hand, 'It is what It is'. Therefore, in some sense, one might note that It is give & take: we DO have a choice, 'free-will', per se, but ultimately, whether because we must factor in the nebulous choices of 'others' or what; 'Life', as they say, 'is what happens in between our choices'. Life, whatever your definition, DOES find a way, not so much in spite of your choices, as those who believe in 'Fate' might aver, but THROUGH our choices, one might well note!

'The Faith' is what I was raised in, but it is different for 'others'. Not everyone was raised in the same 'Faith' I was, nor indeed was everyone raised to have faith in anyone or anything but themselves! This is not to say, of course, that no one SHOULD have faith in anyone or anything in this Life, because to get ANYWHERE in this Life, one MUST exhibit SOME kind of Faith in 'others'; this is simply to say that while we must take great care WHO we exercise Faith in, in this biology, Life needs Faith in order to subsist or even exist!

'Faith', one might well say, 'is the Foundation of Life ( as we know It )'! Without Faith ( in others or ourselves ( mostly ourselves ) it is impossible to get anywhere in this Life! One must exercise some amount of Faith in 'others' in order for one's own personal plans to come to fruition & of course, Faith in oneself goes without saying, in this respect! In Essence, without Faith in our own several abilities, we would get absolutely nowhere in this thing we call 'Life'!

My personal Journey' 'as above, so below', has been full of twists & turns ( not unlike the proverbial rollercoaster )! Life is 'interesting' to say the least. There are 'ups' & there are 'downs' but that is all personally speaking; spiritually speaking, 'It's all good'! Not simply because everything that 'happens' to us is for our good ( which I STILL believe ), but because, spiritually speaking, we simply ARE; no matter what happens in this biology, to this physicality, WE will always BE, for, being More than Human, our Spirit, being One with the All, persists through & beyond this Biology!

Getting back to our Journey, for it IS OUR Journey, though we each must choose our own respective pathway, we must remember always that we are, each of us, on the same Path, though our frequency, or level of vibration & therefore our personal 'stage' is relatively different! Personally speaking, one might well say that we have chosen our own Path, but one might also wonder, 'has our Path not chosen us?!

Namaste' & Blessed Be,
Charles Haddon Shank

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

The Center of Knowledge; A Contemplation

Knowledge; 'It is what It is'! The question on the mind of this blogger is, 'What IS It?' Can Knowledge be simply be defined, like Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary does, as 'the fact or condition of knowing something with familiarity gained through experience or association', or is It, like us, More than what we 'see' on the surface? What if I told you that True Knowledge is gained, not by doing, but by BEing?! In that sense though, one might rightly note that True Knowledge is not gained, but, if you will, 'realized through revelation'. The difference, then, between 'simple' knowledge & True Knowledge is that one is grasped/gotten by the intellect & the other is understood by the Unconscious Mind, or Higher Self.

Humanly speaking, education IS of utmost importance! Without it, people would not get very far, if anywhere in this life. Or, is that simply what we've been taught for so long that we've accepted it 'lock, stock & barrel'? As proof of the 'fallen nature' of humanity, many or most Christians use the example that, 'a child does not have to be taught how to lie, how to act selfishly, etc', when, in actuality, they do! Education, or being taught, as we can all attest to, does not come through verbal means alone. Most often, we adopt the behaviors ( or not; it's ALWAYS a choice ) of those around us. Take, for instance, the proverbial selfishness of children; 'that's MY toy, YOU can't have it!' Does the child innately know that it is her or his toy, simply because she or he has it? Or was the child told, when presented with it, that it was hers or his, that it belonged to THEM?! Not that there is anything inherently wrong with 'ownership' ( ? ). Again, then, did the child selfishly wrest their toy away from the other ( child ) simply out of selfishness ( 'fallen nature' ), or because they observed the behavior of others, children & adults, with THEIR things? Fast-forward as the child matures & falls into the trap of lying ( or not ). If the child is surrounded by liars, he or she will the more easily pick up that pattern. Then again, if they think for themselves, she or he might decide that they don't want to be ensnared in that trap & choose the Truth, even if it hurts, which It most often does!

So we come to the 'Center'. What is meant by 'the Center of Knowledge'? It would only make sense that this refers to the origin of knowledge. In the mind of this blogger, though, that brings us back to the question, 'what IS knowledge?' Maybe that's the crux of the issue though; in our mind, we think we must accrue knowledge, While this is true on this material plane, 'as above, so below', is
'knowledge' simply a learned behavior, an acquired taste, if you will, or is there More to it?! Then again, is True Knowledge acquired, or is it realized? The Gap between the purely mental plane & the spiritual can only be bridged by quieting the mind, through meditation. Getting back to the 'Center', speaking of 'meditation'; centering oneself is well-spoken of as a meditational technique. To 'Center' oneself means just that; in terms of quieting the Mind, it means returning to, remembering where one comes from & who one is; that they are More than simply a human ( intellectual ) being, that, at the heart of it all, at the very core, they are a spiritual being having a physical experience!

At the Center of it all is US! In that sense, then, though what we call 'knowledge' on this physical plane most often comes to us from without, through experiential & environmental means, True Knowledge comes from Within, through our link with the Divine, of which WE are an integral part.  Although, one might well note, we are not Knowledge Itself, it is only through that link with the Divine that True Knowledge comes! It is at this point then, that we must ask ourselves the haunting question, which I've already intimated; 'if our 'knowledge' does not come from the Divine, is It True Knowledge?' In other words, 'can we truly say we 'know' something if it doesn't come from the very Center of our Being?' Put simply, human knowledge, or 'knowledge' as defined by most, if not all dictionaries, comes largely through through the experience of others, not through one's own experience, or link with the Divine. This is not to say that one cannot 'see' Truth through the experience of others, but if one would truly KNOW a thing, one must experience it themselves, through what is called 'the Third Eye' & the spiritual 'Center' of our Being.

As 'spiritual beings having a physical experience', then, though we must needs use our intellectual capacity to operate on this physical or 'material' plane, but when we fail to maintain, or acknowledge our link with the Divine, we are consigned to trusting the experience, or 'knowledge' of others. This is not to say, of course, that we cannot trust the experience of others ( ? ), in particular, on this physical plane, for how are we to say that their knowledge does not come from their own link with the Divine? On the other hand, simply trusting another's 'knowledge' falls into the category of 'blind faith': I'm pretty sure I don't need to tell my readers where THAT can lead!

The Truth often hurts, though not as much as the pain of believing a lie! While learning the Truth for ourselves, after being taught to believe the lie for so long, or simply leaning on someone else's experience, may indeed be itself a painful experience, in the 'end' it will bring us comfort, because we will not simply have acquired 'knowledge'; we will KNOW for certain, in the very Core, or Center of our Being, that a thing is so! It is said, humanly speaking, that 'Knowledge is Power'. True enough, one might note, but if it is not True ( Knowledge ), is it then truly Power, or is it simply Manipulation? 'As above, so below'; if One does not  acquire ( realize ) True Knowledge through their OWN link with Divinity, that one is relegated to believing, with 'blind faith' in whatever 'truth' another person may choose to 'reveal' to them. This is nothing but Manipulation!

The Truth, like Knowledge, like Divinity, for that matter, 'is what It is'; it does not change! Though, again, 'humanly speaking', we may each acquire our own individual truths, or 'knowledge', when that 'truth' or 'knowledge' comes through any other means than through our own experience, or link with Divinity, even & especially through 'blind faith', it must therefore be suspect. By 'suspect', I do not necessarily mean that it is not true, for again, 'It is what It is'!

We ARE 'the Center of Knowledge'! True Knowledge, 'as above, so below', is NOT gained or acquired, It is 'realized by revelation'. Through our link with Divinity, our Higher Self, if you will, we 'see' this Truth, this Knowledge, for what It is & thus claim it for ourselves, not as Power to Manipulate, but as Power to BE!

Namaste' & Blessed Be!
Charles Haddon ( Joy ) Shank

Sunday, May 10, 2020

The End of Suffering

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, 
nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.
Revelation 21:4 

When's the last time you heard these comforting, but generally misused & misunderstood words? As a 'Christian', I defended this realized hope almost to the death & while I know that I made no enemies over it ( my defense ), I'm pretty certain I didn't make any friends either! As a believer in Realized Eschatology, I adopted the position that the passage above referred to the 'end' of the Hebrew/Jewish paradigm. This is not to say, by any means, that there is no value in these words for today, just that the value popularly attached to them today by the majority of Christians requires quite a bit of textual wrangling!

For most people, Christian or not, it IS a pleasant notion to think that, at some point in Time, we will inhabit a new physicality free of all the pain & suffering that seems to be a part of our daily existence. Never to have to fear losing a loved one to the ravages of Time, much less dying yourself, is a very attractive idea to many, if not most people! Although misplaced, it IS a very valid idea. The crux of the 'matter', so to speak, is the nagging questions, 'who ARE we?' & 'why ARE we here?' The answer to the first question, of course, is pretty obvious, right? I am Charles Haddon Shank; you, reading this, are the person that was born, however long ago, to parents who themselves were born of various parentage. Well, on the surface, 'yes'; that's the obvious answer, but is that the 'reality'? Am I just Charles Haddon Shank? Are you simply the person that a name was attached to at birth? The obvious answer that I'm looking at here is 'no'! You may ask me to prove that. I was brought up to believe that we have an immortal soul that will continue to exist after this Life, either in a mythological 'Heaven' or 'Hell'. No longer do I BELIEVE we HAVE a soul; I KNOW that we ARE a Soul, in Essence, a spiritual being having a physical experience!

In ancient times, people understood more readily, moreso in the Eastern world maybe, that when an 'end' was in view, it referred more to a goal than the cessation of something, whether it be the end of an activity or the end of a life. Thus, the 'end' of this blogpost is not the last you'll read here, but the purpose in my writing, the goal I have in mind for making this 'apology'! Thus, the 'end' of suffering referred to here is not the cessation of suffering, for that is almost a constituent of Life; rather, it is the goal of suffering. 'What IS the goal of suffering?', one might well ask. 'Good question!' Most people who have examined this very pertinent question over the ages have agreed, for the greater part, that the goal of our suffering is anything from learning a necessary lesson ourselves to awakening empathy, either in ourselves or others, depending on who's currently suffering. Suffering, then, is not endless, not just that it doesn't last forever, but that it never occurs for no reason, no matter however irreasonable it may seem!

The 'end of suffering' then, does not & cannot refer to a pain-free existence, for as we've seen, humanly speaking anyway, pain is a constituent element to this Life! Pain is a signal, whether physical or emotional, that something is not as it should be. Not necessarily wrong, but not the optimal condition for our health, again, physically or emotionally speaking. Then again, the two can be, in fact, are very closely related. It has been proven, time & again, that emotional pain leads to physical pain! 'As above, so below' is a concept that may be applied here. Pain doesn't necessarily always begin with our emotions; sometimes physical pain is simply caused by something as simple as stubbing one's toe or turning one's ankle. Even in such cases though, the cause could well be linked to our subconscious desires & thus, to our emotions!

Emotions are a 'funny' thing! Whether perceived as 'positive' or 'negative', emotions, like the Ego, are neither 'good' nor 'bad'; they just ARE. How we respond to those emotions, however, is where the 'good' or 'bad' is perceived: in essence, either the positivity or negativity. Again, our reaction/response to what Life seems to haphazardly 'throw our way' determines, to some extent anyway, how our emotions are perceived. Sometimes we have no control over what 'happens' to us in the course of a lifetime, but we ALWAYS have a choice as to how we respond to the things that DO 'just happen'. Of course, our human need to control is part of the problem!

Suffering, whether emotional or physical, 'as above, so below', has many different causes, though we usually can only blame ourselves! Again, the 'heart of the issue' is in our chosen response to any given situation. The human condition lends to our emotional status, being part & parcel with it. Again, there is nothing wrong with having emotions  ( biologically speaking, they're built in ). There is nothing bad even, about BEING emotional ( again, humanly speaking, we ARE emotional creatures ). The problem, 'the heart of the issue', so to speak, surfaces when we allow our emotions to rule us, to determine how we are going to react to any given situation. Heading the obvious question off at the pass; 'yes, certain emotional responses can turn out okay, but even here we must be careful; we may respond in a positive manner out of a sort of emotional love, but the next moment in a negative manner, for our emotions often change like the weather!'

Nobody likes to suffer! Even though we know when we're deserving of our suffering, for whatever reason, we usually endeavor to alleviate, if not escape altogether, the rewards of our particular 'crime'. 'Many people', I should say, act thusly, but there are some who most willingly 'own up' to the perceived wrong they've done. Knowing that, to truly learn their lesson, the law of karma must & will be fulfilled, they willingly submit to said law & suffer the penalty of their particular crime. Suffering, however, is not always a punishment for one's own negative ( or positive ) actions; some people suffer for the actions of others, willingly even, in some cases!

Suffering, even when there is an 'end' in mind, even in sight, is not a very pleasant notion. However, it IS made somewhat easier when the 'end' IS in sight, for then, we can take comfort in the fact that we're not suffering for no good reason. We have better assurance that, not only is our suffering almost over; our goal is almost reached! These goals are not always 'selfish', either, for 'as above, so below', there are those who quite willingly suffer for the mistakes of others, so that others do not have to endure the consequences of their own actions. Though almost admirable, this is not the wisest course of action, in fact, it most often 'backfires' in the most horrible manner! When we suffer for the deeds of others, not only do we suffer needlessly, noble as we may think it sounds; we also deprive the wrong-doer of the lesson he or she may have stood to learn!

'Can we look forward to the cessation of suffering, as many, if not most people ( not just Christians ) are taught to look forward to?' 'SHOULD we focus on such a goal?!' Surprisingly, the answer to both questions is a resounding 'YES'! The answer here is in the affirmative because we can end our suffering in this life! 'What', some may ask, 'will you then kill yourself?!' This is why most people commit suicide, in the reckoning of this blogger; they don't see an 'end' to their suffering, except to 'end' their life. But there IS a better way! That Way is to make a choice, hard as it may seem. Funny as it might sound, suffering is a choice! 'Whoah', you might be thinking, 'this guy's really gone off the deep end!' But hear me out; I'm not referring simply to human suffering. In fact, I'm not really referring to human suffering, except as an effect of our spiritual condition. 'As above, so below'; we are spiritual beings having a physical experience, thus, if we choose, in our spirit, to suffer, this suffering will manifest in our flesh. If, on the other hand, we choose instead, not to allow ourselves to suffer, no matter what occurs to our flesh, we can remain untroubled, for we KNOW there is an 'end' to our pain, humanly speaking.    

'Should we then, focus on the 'end' of our pain & suffering?' Of course we should! We should realize that, not only is suffering a constituent element to the 'day-to-day', it is also a choice. Simple as it may sound, it is not an easy task. Like our Emotions, the Ego gets in the way, making us play the part of the Victim, or else making us react in a negative way, partaking in their karma, even creating our own. Like, yet unlike the misplaced hope referred to at the beginning of this post, we should endeavor, not to become emotionless, but to focus our attention on who we really are & why we're really here.  'Who we really are & why we're really here' are questions that I will leave my readers to answer!

Namaste' & Blessed Be, 
Charles Haddon Shank

Thursday, April 30, 2020

'Train up a Child............'; The Rebirth of Bil Dona

As Apologies go, this is not the best I have ever heard, but then again, it's not the worst. This was related to me by Mr. Bil Dona & I have written it down here for the consideration of my readers, to the best of my abilities.

'I was brought up in a fairly strict Christian setting. My parents both had a somewhat baptistic background, thus having been raised themselves, to varying degrees, in Christian households. So, as the case may be, I was brought up to mind my 'P's & 'Q's, in a manner of speaking. As a child, though for the most part, I behaved as I was expected to, I harbored a very rebellious streak! Somewhere between the ages of 10 & 12 ( more toward the lower end of the spectrum, I think ), I experienced something that scared the 'hell' out of me', so to speak. Right then & there, I decided I didn't want that to happen to me, so I 'accepted Jesus as my personal Lord & Savior', just like I'd been taught. That 'event', if you would know, was a certain part of a film by a popular Christian evangelist, that involved the burning of witches, which, as I'd also been taught, were an abomination to the 'God' of the Bible, 'Yahweh Elohim' of the Hebrews. I barely missed being baptized in water ( dunked ) on the spot, as several of my brothers were being baptized into the Baptist 'faith' several days later: I had not quite made up my mind about that yet! Several years later, though I had narrowly escaped being 'whelmed' in the waters of baptism, I did receive 'baptism by sprinkling', at my father's behest.

As I grew in the 'faith', particularly as I neared the later teenage years, I began to question certain of the things I had been & was being taught! My rebellious streak was beginning to show, faintly at first, but growing bolder all the time! Several years later, when I finally screwed up the courage, 'with a little help from my friends', to 'strike out on my own', I made a small leap & more or less began to establish myself as a bit of a pariah. I may have been accepted as a 'Christian', but some of the questions I was posing & some of the ideas I was espousing were pretty 'heretical'! One thing led to another as my Journey continued & I strayed farther from the 'faith' I had been brought up in! I never left the 'Path' that my Journey had started me on, oh, so long ago, but it had begun to look a bit different than the one in which my parents had trained me.

With the passage of Time, Life itself began to show me that things were not always as they seemed, especially as I'd been taught to believe. Events began to 'happen' in the midst of my Journey that convinced me that my 'faith' didn't have the answers I needed. Not only the questions of Life on our good Mother Earth, but even theological questions like, 'who or what really IS 'up there'?'; 'IS there SOMEONE 'up there'?!' It occurred to me, for instance, that the 'God' of the Bible, though usually pretty patient with 'His' own, wasn't really fundamentally much different than the 'Allah' of Islam! Then there came the experiences with the Teaching of the Masters of the Far East; 'that was a real 'Eye' opener, let me tell you!' If people thought I was a heretic before....................

So, fast forward to the 'Now', as I sit here having coffee with a new, yet very old acquaintance, relating my previously untold Story ( thus far ); I have begun to explore the very thing which 'scared the hell out of me' in the first place'! Witches, I have learned, are not inherently 'evil', as I had been taught. Witchcraft was not 'of the devil' as our Bible clearly told us! Witches are simply Guardians of the Earth & their Purpose is simply to remind us who we are & where we came from. As more of a Way of Life, like, yet unlike Christianity, Witchcraft in general & Wicca in particular holds to no such dogma as the Big Three ( Judaism, Christianity & Islam ). They follow this 'creed' & this only, that 'an ye harm none, do what ye will'. Even according to the Bible, one might note, the Earth is our Mother! I myself began to realize this & other comforting Truth as my Journey continued to motivate me along the Path of Life. I had not strayed from the 'Path' in all my manifold & manifest ramblings, I had simply gone where it led me, instead of where everyone else around me seemed to believe it led!

Life is a 'funny' thing, I was quickly learning; It was not what It seemed! Truth had a way of revealing Itself, whether it came in a package from the Far East, or was bottled up in Western 'rigmarole'. I was taught that Life was made up solely of 'absolutes', or black & white, but I was beginning to see that there are as many shades of grey involved as there are different people. Whatever 'God' you pray to, even if it's simply your Higher Self, as long as you live your own life, not intruding on others or bringing harm to them, you ARE on the Path, no matter what you have been taught to believe!

Rebellious though I may be, my religious upbringing is not a cause of regret to me! If I had not been brought up to believe the way I had, in all probability, I would not be where I am right now. Where I AM is a good place, a Place of Peace, a 'place' where I am at peace with where I have been, where I am NOW & where I am headed. I have learned that I am like a turtle; I carry my Home with me. My new mantra, 'it is what it is', has made Life so much easier! Simply letting Life, like yourself, just BE has brought a much-needed freedom. When we go through Life not trying to be 'judge, jury & executioner' ( even if we leave the 'executioner' part up to 'the powers that be' ), we are freed up to focus more on our own part, our own responsibilities in Life; but I digress.........................

My Life is a blessed one! I have seen much in my relatively short Journey, much that others in my 'world' have refused to see & much I haven't seen that others in my ever-expanding 'world' have seen. I know that there is much more ( infinitely so ) for me to explore; 'the realms of possibility are endless'! One might note that I've come ( some would say 'strayed' ) a long way, but I realize that I've got a long way to go; you might even say 'I've only just begun'!'

So ended our conversation, as far as my failing memory serves me. Bil's Story is not so far from my own experience, nor, I imagine, some that might read this account. Though our personal Journey might not exactly match that herein, or even show much semblance at all, I can only imagine that most who peruse this account will find something here that resonates with their Spirit, the Divinity that rests Within each & every one of us!

Namaste' & Blessed Be,
Charles Haddon Shank

Saturday, April 18, 2020

The Guardian

Rising majestically from the ashes, slowly flapping her great wings of fyre, Sa'phyna ascended into the air! Clouds filled the air around her, clouds of dust, steam & even some that were chock-full of moisture. The beating of her giant wings may have seemed to just stir things up, but they also had a calming effect. The flight she was now embarking on was one of Mercy, Truth & Love. Sa'phyna winged her way over the City below with a watchful eye. Things seemed quiet enough, but She knew, from Her own experience, the Storm brewing just beneath the relatively calm surface. Life, She had noticed, was often like that; things often appeared calm & peaceful, but more often than not, there was an active volcano ready to violently thrust its way skyward!

Her Journey, unbeknownst to Her for years, was one that had consumed Her entire Life, thus far! Sa'phyna knew that it was not over either, nor would be so anytime soon. Since her Rebirth, it seemed It had only just begun, She had been instilled with New Purpose, even a Second Chance, so to speak. She had begin a New Path, only it was not a new one. Neither was it necessarily a totally New Purpose; it was more like she had been rejuvenated for Her Purpose, Her Intentions, so now found She had more Freedom to fulfill those intentions.

Ashes still dripping from Her flaming pinions, Sa'phyna circled in the air above Her little town. She kept an Eye out for any form of trouble. As She soared over the City, She noticed the heaviness in the air; She could smell the Fear wafting up from below! Not only that, She could feel it with every fiber of her glowing Being! Although it didn't affect Her Flight or Purpose ( it only served to strengthen Her Intentions ), She was still somewhat sad, even incensed, by the feeling. Her New Life had not freed Her from these memories, these feelings, only filled her with Strength to face the Day. No more did She wallow in these feelings, allowing the ashes of Her storied past to keep Her down; now She soared above the clouds of Despair, enjoying the Freedom She'd always had, just never realized!

'Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose', Sa'phyna seemed to remember from long ago & far away. As Her Journey had progressed, She had begun to realize the true meaning behind those simple words. They meant that it is only without attachment that one is truly free! ( 'It should go without saying, of course, that 'without attachment' does not mean that one doesn't care for or about thing on this earthly plane!' ) Not that there's anything necessarily wrong with feeling a sort of attachment to things, persons or otherwise, She knew; that's a constituent element to this Life. No, the problem crops up when we become so attached that we begin to identify with the thing we're attached to, even if it's simply our own body, this mortal vehicle we have chosen to traverse our Path in!

With this Realization, Sa'phyna had learned, over Her relatively short life in this iteration, to soar above it all! To simply allow things to happen, without the unnecessary worry over whether this was wrong or that was right. To simply embrace Life for what it is, without reacting in judgement to what happened around Her in the natural course of things. She knew that what was important was Her own actions & that as long as those were in Order, She was Free to do what She knew to be right & good. Even though many around her were consumed by Guilt & Fear, Sa'phyna knew that, as long as She was attached to them, as She once had been, She could never truly enjoy Her Freedom.  No longer did She Fear, as She once had, what dreams may come!

With Her newfound Freedom flowing as the wind beneath Her wings, Sa'phyna, with Her Renewed Purpose, winged Her way over the quiet little town She had chosen. This was Her town, Her Charge. She would remain in this Life & fulfill Her Purpose in this Iteration! No More would She allow the Fear of Attachment to engulf Her; She was Free to pursue the Life & Charge she had given Herself!

The Rain, which had been waiting to fall from the clouds, had begun, almost unnoticed, to cleanse the landscape beneath Her! Sa'phyna experienced a feeling of Joy She had never previously known, though She had felt its vestiges! While the Cleansing Rain cleared the air of the Threatening Clouds, Sa'phyna shared with those below the Freedom that they too could enjoy, if only they freed themselves. 'If you want to be free, be free' were some refreshing words that flowed through Her ancient memory as well. A bit of Sadness remained, though, in Her experience, for Sa'phyna realized too, that though She & the Rain fulfilled their several Purpose, it was still up to the Individual to set Him or Herself Free! With this feeling of Joy, Sa'phyna continued to wing Her Flight, tirelessly & effortlessly, over Her Charge, knowing that all would be Well!

Namaste' & Blessed Be!
Charles Haddon Shank

Friday, April 10, 2020

Spirits of the Earth?

First of all, what do we mean by 'spirit'? Depending on the context, of course, it can be used in several different ways. One might use it in the sense of  'the spirit of a thing', often referring to the motivation of a person or group engaged in a certain activity. Then again, coming from a Christian perspective, it is used to refer to the third 'person' of the Trinity ('God-head' ). The Christian 'God' is 'Himself' a spirit/Spirit, according to the Bible. What one calls 'spirit', another may simply refer to as 'Energy'. 'What is the difference?', one might well ask. According to certain mages, 'everything is made up of Energy'. Then again, there are those that attach an individuality, or persona, to this Energy, calling them 'spirits', for good or evil. This is not to say that, as a Collective, 'made up of Energy', we, as human beings, don't wear masks, for we do; we each wear our individuality like a garment. All human beings ( animals too ) have their own unique ( individual ) personality, or spirit. This is how we operate in this biological world!

Most popularly attributed to Albert Einstein, the phrase, 'Everything is Energy', though it sounds fairly simple & straight-forward, is really a complex statement. 'If everything is energetic in its makeup, does that by extension mean that everything has an individual spirit?' Of course, such a question is based on the presupposition that the two words convey the same meaning. 'If 'Energy' is what motivates everything, why doesn't everyone have the same amount, or even the same sort of Energy? For that matter, why do some people have a different 'spirit' than others? At the heart of the matter, whether one refers to their 'God' as Spirit, or universally applies the term 'Energy', it should go without saying that Whatever/Whoever is 'behind the curtain', so to speak, 'It' is what motivates every individual, indeed, everything that grows!

It almost goes without saying, though it may have become lost in the translation, that Paganism, at its roots anyway, predates Christianity & both the other major world religions ( Islam & Judaism ) by thousands of years. Often equated with the term 'heathen', the term 'Pagan' is derived from the Latin 'paganus' & simply means 'country-dweller'. Pagan, as a religious descriptor, simply means, in the understanding of this blogger, that the practitioner follows the Old Ways, that is to say, the rituals of the pre-Christian world. Of course, we should take into account as well, that even after the 'birth' of Christianity, there were many who still practiced, in secret mostly, the 'rituals' they had been accustomed to for 'ages'. One the other hand, there are those as well who have rightly noted how many of those 'Pagan' practices, including rituals & symbolism, were integrated into, even at the heart of what became known as 'Christianity'!

Christianity, of course, is typically based on the life & teaching of Jesus, who was 'the Christ', or 'The Anointed One'', the Messiah of the Jews. Though again, much has been lost in the translation, Christianity has become almost synonymous with religious dogma that, unless you fully subscribe to, you cannot enter 'the Kingdom of Heaven'. In fact of the matter, unless you believe, if only in word, everything taught by this religion, you will almost certainly end up on the wrong side of Eternity! On the other hand, most who call themselves 'Pagan' have no such dogma. For the most part, they believe, as it should be, in 'live & let live', in essence, 'an ye harm none, do what ye will'. Even Christian teaching, aside from dogma, says not much if anything different.  Paganism, put simply, teaches that all life is sacred!

Unfortunately, Christianity, as a religion ( institutional or not ) has become more focused on believing this or that dogma ( this goes for the other major world religions as well ), while Paganism, in its 'umbrella' of religious purviews, is focused more on doing, whether it be as simple as picking up trash along the side of the road, or in living a life, as far as possible, in perfect union & communion with all of nature. This is not to say that belief is necessarily a bad thing ( 'we gotta start somewhere, right?' ), for, depending on what one truly believes; their beliefs will manifest in action. If, for instance, one truly believes 'an ye harm none...........................' , that one will live by those words, that belief. However, if one believes certain dogma & henceforth acts accordingly.....................

Paganism, as an 'umbrella' religion, is basically an earth-based ( rather than 'Heaven'-based ) way of Life. The notion that the earth, besides being sacred in & of Herself, holds all that is necessary for the continuation of Life is prevalent! The Wiccan Rede, as iterated earlier, 'an ye harm none, do what ye will' is a good representative statement for this religion! For the most part, if not in whole, Pagans are not taught to be judgemental of other religions! Sad to say, but of what other major world religion can we say this? Of course, whether because of conditioning or some other environmental factor, some people, no matter their chosen ( professed? ) religion, are just plain assholes. Only Perfect Love & Perfect Trust can change that. The Energy that we put into our religion, our daily practice, will return to us, sooner or later, in the same form that we 'sent' it!

Though we all, individually speaking anyway, are motivated by differing energies; at heart, there is but One Energy that moves us. The problem, if 'problem' you would call it, is that most people are so focused on these differing, individual energies, that they forget what motivates us all! Pure Love is what rests at the very center of our being! With the cares & worries of  'the everyday', though, many or most have forgotten this, forgotten who they really are. For the most part, with our forgetfulness, we have seemingly 'zeroed in', in our individuality, on what we THINK matters, totally bypassing what really matters, love for our neighbor. Then again, our 'neighbor' is not just the individual that lives in our 'world'; our 'neighbor' is really US!

'Energy'? 'Spirit'? As we've seen, both of these terms can be applied, in a fairly general way, both individually & Collectively. As a Collective, at the very core of our Being, Energy is in our DNA! 'Spirit', in some sense, can be closely related, although it should be noted that this is, in many ways, more of an individual term. Coming from a Christian background, of course, this blogger is very familiar with the term being applied biblically, as in 'the spirit will return to God who gave it' ( Ecclesiastes 12:7 ), or in reference to 'the Holy Spirit'. Individually speaking, then, we're all more or less familiar with the American Indian's reverence for 'the Great Spirit', with their fondness for 'spirit animals' & such. On the other hand though, 'the other side of the coin', so to speak, while some people obviously manifest different 'energies' than others, 'as above, so below', it is only because they have forgotten who they really are, for the same Energy is at the heart of all Creation!

In conclusion; 'it is, as always, a matter of Choice'! We are, in a biological sense, individuals with differing 'spirits', different 'energies'; there is no escaping that while we remain in this Biology. But this is where Choice comes into play. We can choose whether to manifest from the Universal 'Spirit', or 'Energy' that motivates all Life, or we can choose to manifest our own ( selfish? ) 'spirit', no matter the cost to our 'neighbor' & ultimately, to ourselves! The choice is yours, dear reader, so as always; 'Choose Wisely' & Namaste'!

Blessed Be,
Charles Haddon Shank