The Pagan Path

Those who wonder are not lost; they are trying to awaken! 'The Sleeper must awaken!'

Tuesday, July 06, 2021

As the Wheel Turns ( 'On Reincarnation' )

 'I'll see her/him again......................'

Growing up Christian, as this blogger did, these were always supposed to be words of comfort & while, to those who had experienced  Death, I.E., had a loved one pass from this life, these words embodied the hope of the Resurrection, to me, they never really brought much hope or comfort! As it is now, however, these words bear new meaning. In a sense, of course, it's all relative, depending on where one is in their personal Journey. Some may still cling to this hope, while others have no hope at all, believing that this life is all there is & that when we pass from this life, we cease to exist. Still others, with no religious affectation at all ( ? ), however, have latched on to the notion of some sort of 'life after death', albeit, not necessarily in the traditional  'Heaven' or 'Hell'. Yet others accept 'Reincarnation' as a fact, thus professing belief in 'life after death' of another sort. It is this 'belief' we will examine in this post.

'Reincarnation', or the notion that the soul does not perish with the body, but returns in an entirely different one, is not a new one. Though it may be primarily attached to Eastern religions, it is not strange to Western tradition, though maybe not by that name. 'The Hope of the Resurrection' is really not too dissimilar & for the serious (open-minded ) Bible student, there are quite a few passages that seem to at least leave the window open to this possibility.

The Fact, accepted by some & discarded by others, that we are 'spirits having a bodily experience' has been debated for centuries, even millenia. Western religion, for the most part & to whatever extent, teaches the existence of the individual soul (spirit ), but that we are, first & foremost, human beings, more or less, animals with an eternal soul. In actuality, there is really only one major Western religion, that being Christianity, though it bears more facets than a diamond! The Eastern religions, though they are many & varied, seem to have one thing in common; 'Reincarnation'! A popularly accepted definition of 'reincarnation' reads something like this; 'a person or animal in whom a particular soul is believed to have been reborn', or, 'the rebirth of a soul in a new body.' The Christian 'Resurrection' doesn't sound much different, except that it is explained as 'the selfsame bodies of the dead which were laid in the grave', yet without the so-called 'effects of sin'. 

However any certain religion defines its teaching on 'Reincarnation', it might, in the words of this blogger, be defined as a sort of 'second chance' ( or a third, fourth, etc.........................to infinity ), a chance to do better, even to rectify the mistakes of the past, to learn a certain lesson................. This might seem to imply the existence of a Higher Power, Who continually sends you back, in order that you learn these lessons, but it could also mean that your own Higher Self continually chooses to be reincarnated, either for your own good, or for the good of others!

The belief that it is our Higher Self choosing to come back ( reincarnation ), rather than some Higher Power ( outside ourselves ) sending us back, makes more sense to this blogger, as it puts the responsibility squarely where it belongs, on our own shoulders! As Christians, we were taught, to whatever degree, that 'the devil made me do it'. Therefore, it is only through the intervention of yet another outside source that we can be saved from the effects of this 'sin'. That this other 'outside source' created 'the devil' ( 'Satan' ) only serves to 'muddy the waters'!

Doctrine & Dogma aside, The Great Wheel of Life teaches us that there is More to it then simply living & dying. Christians also like to tout that we only live once, then we go to 'Heaven' or 'Hell'. Rather than this linear view, history itself shows us a cyclical ( circular? ) pattern. Biology is one example of this pattern: beginning with the mineral form, the plant form is nourished & grows, becoming food for the animal form, which, when it perishes, breaks down into the minerals from which it was formed, beginning the cycle all over again. Human beings, who are basically animals with a soul, lend to this cycle by repeating the same mistakes over & over again throughout history. Wars are a good ( or is that 'bad' ) example of this!

'As above, so below', though; being More than human, through reincarnation, we can rectify this situation, not only in this lifetime, but in the next! For whatever reason, War being one of the primary ones, the lessons that Life teaches us may not quite 'get through', but as the Great Wheel turns, we can only hope that future generations will see the error of their ways & that eventually, these life lessons will find their mark. Though in a slightly different sense, Reincarnation brings much the same Hope as Resurrection, just that it is more of an inner working, whereas Resurrection points to an outer one.

The Greek Scriptures, in I Corinthians 15:19, tell us that, 'If in this life only we have hope in [ the ] Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.' It would be wrenching this passage from its original context, probably, to say that this lends credence to Reincarnation, but there it is! Those who have read some of the posts on this blog are probably aware by now ( even though they may disagree ) that it is my belief that the Christ ( Potential ) lies within us all. It is that Higher Self to which I referred earlier, that same Higher Self that chooses to be reincarnated, either for our own good, or for that of others. Therefore, in the manner of 'Universal Truth', which I've spoken of previously, the passage which I quoted above might be revealing this message; 'it is not only in this life, but in the next as well, that we can hope to better our situation'!

Though, unlike 'The Hope of the Resurrection', we ( specifically ) may not see our loved one again, even in a different form, the world undoubtedly will! On the other hand, even if we do not recognize their new form, if we really knew them at all, we will also doubtless recognize them in whatever form they reincarnate, even if we do not personally see it. ( 'The Shadow knows!' ) 

The Christian ( Hebrew & Greek ) Scriptures, do, according to traditional ( Orthodox ) doctrine, teach a life after death, but they don't really give much hint as to what this life will be like, except that it will be in 'Heaven' or 'Hell'. Later creedal statements tell us that, in the latter, we will suffer for eternity & that, in the former, we will 'worship Him forever'. Reincarnation says much the same, in reality, as, in our next life, we have a more informed choice on how to live in 'Heaven', instead of suffering in 'Hell'. Therefore choose wisely; become familiar with your Higher Self: don't wait for your next life to make your world a 'Heaven on Earth'!

Namaste' & Blessed Be.

Sage Charles

Monday, June 21, 2021

The Reality of Marriage; the Coupling of Soul

According to the simple definition offered by Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary, 'marriage' is 'the state of being united as spouses in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law'. Somewhat vague in its simplicity, maybe, but in other words, marriage might be more popularly described as a 'lifetime' commitment of two people, whether of opposite or same-sex, in which they live together, with all that entails, for a multitude of purposes, not least of which is pro-creation ( at least, for opposite sex couples ). But is it really that simple?! Can marriage be defined simply? It has been said that 'marriage is a purely human institution' & so, in that sense, if that sense alone, it is, but does it not go deeper than that? Should it not go deeper than simply fulfilling the human being's innate animal lust? 

'Animal lust', in & of itself, is not necessarily a bad thing ( 'it is what it is' comes to mind here ); like the Ego, like so many other aspects of the human animal, the 'lust of the flesh' is a very natural part of our make-up. When we allow our lust, though, like the Ego ( et al ) to rule us, then we run into issues! Whether one deems this part of our human nature to be 'a necessary evil' or not, it is an unavoidable attachment that helps us to cope with our perception of Life. Is it possible to go through Life without 'falling prey' to its temptations? Sure, for some, the answer can be as simple as withdrawing from society, while others go to extremes, even going so far as mutilation, in pursuit of a more chaste life. Yet others have found the Strength Within themselves to persevere in such a course, even in the midst of the temptations of 'civilized' society!

A 'civilized society' seems to be based upon the notion of the progress of evolution; in essence, that this society has advanced beyond that one. In many ways, this evolutionary progress can be tracked ( as far as history books go, anyway ), but have we really made much, if any progress, where it really matters, in the past several hundred years? The last couple thousand? In many ways, we have, as a society ( worldwide ), made many technological & political advancements ( astronomically, even ), but have we really progressed in our humanity? We're still the same old human beings, with the same self-centered nature that we see in movies about 'the good old days', or read about in ancient history. The only difference is that we've learned how to do it ( ? ) more efficiently!

Getting back to the subject at hand, but coming full circle, one might well note, marriage has suffered in this evolutionary progression as well! 'How has marriage suffered?', you might ask. Before there was a license, before there was even an official clergy to orchestrate the ceremony, marriage was a fairly simple proposition. A man & a woman came together as One. The marriage continued till it ended, usually with the death of one or both parties. Divorce is a relatively new concept & is one of those 'civilized' advancements we're talking about. Even up till the last century or so, most couples found a way around their difficulties, whether it meant living in separate houses ( or states ), or with the help of a 'little yellow pill'.

'Marriage is NOT piece of paper!' Again, with the advancement of 'civilization' came the whole notion that, not only must a marriage be presided over by an ordained ( male ) member of the clergy, within the last hundred years, give or take, it MUST be licensed by the State in order to be legal & valid! Although there are some states that still honor the so-called 'Common Law' marriage, it often makes better political & economic sense to simply invite the State into the marriage bed, in essence, apply for a license. With that in mind, many marriages have deteriorated into a mere contract that can be undone as easily & quickly as it was done. That said, the original concept, from as far back as the Middle Ages, is alive & well. In fact, a growing number are joining a rather quiet rebellion & saying 'NO' to Government involvement in their marriages, if not their lives!

Is marriage truly as simple as a man & a woman living together, basically becoming One in purpose, if not in deed? As defined by the overwhelming majority, both officially & unofficially; yes, that's what marriage looks like, at least, upon a surface examination. But as any married couple can tell you, it's really NOT that simple! The reason for this, though most seem to be painfully ignorant of it, is that there is more to the human being than meets the eye! Every human being on this planet is possessed by an individual Soul. This is the Heart of Marriage. Without it, marriage is merely mundane, but with IT, Marriage is Magick!

'Marriage IS Magick!' By 'Magick' is meant that It is the product of Intention & Intention means Soul! The problem with marriage today is that it has lost its soul. Many failed or failing marriages will often produce statements like, 'we've lost our spark', or 'there just isn't any magick left in our marriage'. Most, I would imagine, will readily admit that marriage is at least as complex a proposition as human beings are complex individuals, but most, I would imagine as well, rarely explore how very deep this well goes! Admittedly, it can be a very painful process, but, once the Soul has been bared, the Journey can begin in earnest. This is when the Marriage will begin to grow by leaps & bounds!

Now, don't get me wrong, when I say 'leaps & bounds', by no means am I saying that once the Soul is bared, everything will be 'hunky-dory', a bed of roses, so to speak. No, quite the contrary, once the Soul is bared, the pain ( and healing ) really begins. In fact, one might note that, UNTIL the Soul is laid bare, the healing will NOT begin. This is what most couples who go for professional therapy find out. The Ego, which is attached to the Individual Soul, but really has more to do with the mundane side of our nature, has much, if not the most, to do with the problems that human beings suffer in their marriage.

The Ego, as we've noted before, in previous posts, is neither good nor bad; it just is: however, when we allow our Ego to 'get the better of us', in other words, control our thoughts & actions, then's when things get ugly! If, however, we can learn to control our Ego ( even use it to our advantage ), rather than letting it control us, then our Individual Soul will shine through. Who we really are, not just as a Person, not just as an Individual, but More than Human, will make Itself known. Once this happens, once we know ourselves for who we truly are, then we may begin to learn More about our spouse/partner. This encapsulates a much deeper knowledge than just knowing their quirks, being aware of their 'triggers', their idiosyncrasies, etc., etc. It involves what Marriage is all about, the Blessed Union of Souls!

Marriage is not all it's cracked up to be! This is why the overwhelming majority of what passes nowadays ( in fact, for much of history ) for marriage have failed. Rather than being based in Soul, they are rooted in the basest animal desires ( which, again, are not necessarily a 'bad' thing ) & because our feelings/desires tend to change like the weather in Montana, when the desires exit stage left, the 'marriage' often flies out the window, as well. Having been in one of these 'quasi-marriages', this blogger can personally attest to this disturbing fact.

However, when Marriage is based in Soul, as it should be, it can be very blissful! Again, it's not always a cake-walk, a walk in the clouds, so to speak; there will be times when you'll want to claw each others eyes out, but then again, times when you'll want to tear each others clothes off! Both of these actions are natural, human reactions, controlled by the Ego, so neither necessarily 'good' or bad', but 'as above, so below'; when the Marriage is based in Soul, WE will control our actions, not allowing our Ego to gain the ascendancy. But even then, because we are Individuals, there will be times when issues present themselves: then is when we will need to remember that we are More, even, than Individual Souls; we are part of One Whole!

Magick is Intention! As Human Beings, intentions change, not unlike our feelings, but when we learn to be Soulful in our Intentions, Magick occurs! Not just in our marriages/relationships with others, but in our relationships with ourselves. This is where Soulfulness begins, for if we cannot be Soulful with ourselves, we will never be Soulful with anyone else. Bringing the Magick back to Marriage, even if we have ignorantly ( or regrettably ) contracted with the State, or some other such entity, will ensure the stability of that relationship, as long as both parties are consciously Aware, that is. In order for any type of relationship to work, all parties involved must be on more or less the same level.

'Marriage is NOT a piece of paper!' Let that sink in................................for until it does, we ( human beings ) will continue to view marriage in a contractual sense! Marriage, by its very nature, like US, is so much More than meets the eye. It is, 'as above, so below', a Union of Souls. More than that, though & more importantly, It is a Union of Soul! It helps us to realize that, although we comprise Individual Souls, we are, in Essence, One. As a Christian, I learned that Marriage is a picture of the Christ & His Church; as one who has moved ( evolved? ) Beyond Christianity, I now better understand the Truth of this statement. Marriage, True Marriage, not the human institution known as 'marriage', brings together, not just two Individuals, but reunites two pieces of the Whole, the Collective. In that sense then, Marriage can almost be said to be open, not just to two Individuals, but can include a Multitude, a Community of Souls!

'Full circle', then, we must dispense with the notion that 'she/he belongs to me'. Marriage, True Marriage, knows no ownership! No human being can really claim ownership over another. If one does claim to own, or have power over another, you can be sure that the Ego is strong with this one. Whether 'right' or 'wrong', this one has allowed their Ego to control their thinking, if not their actions. Marriage gives us no 'rights', especially the right to control another!  ( To be perfectly honest; as human beings, we have enough difficulty controlling ourselves; why would we even think we can control another? ) If we think, then, that marriage includes ownership/property, we have another think coming!

As More than Human, indeed, More even than Individual Souls, having dispensed ( thoroughly ) with the antiquated notion of marriage as ownership/property/rights; let us begin to see Marriage for what It is, a Restoration of the Divine to the mundane! Marriage presents a Vision of Life as It truly is; not just Individuals going about the day-to-day, but truly 'Heaven on Earth', with Humans living together in Sacred Geometry & Symmetry!

Namaste' & Blessed Be!

Sage Charles

Saturday, May 22, 2021

................A Place that Is Higher Than 'I'

When my heart is overwhelmed;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

Psalm 61:2 b & c

'I do not like him/her/it!' Whatever our complaint may be & against whomever, it always seems to begin with 'I'. Why do we not like him/her/it? What is it about them that we don't like? Is it not ultimately, in most cases ( I must give the 'caveat' ), because they don't want the same things, or do what we want/think they should? Where does this feeling come from? Does it not come from the same place? It is the Person/Ego that feels likes or dislikes, loves or hates, that fears or is fearless. Our Spirit, our Essence does not know Fear, It does not know Love or Hate ( We ARE Love ); It knows nothing of Likes or Dislikes, for, in our Spirit, we are of the same Essence, the same Essence, or Energy that hung the Stars so many eons ago!

Before we go much farther, we should note the difference between the Person that is known as 'I', the Individual & the real 'We', the Collective, the real 'Us'. 'As above, so below', 'We' do not have likes & dislikes, 'We' do not fear or love ( for we ARE Love ). The Individual, however, the Person, the 'I', feels all these things, being separate ( by definition ) from 'others'. Now, this is not necessarily to say there is anything wrong with Individuality, with being your own Person; in some sense, that's what makes the world go round! The problem presents itself when 'We' allow the Person to control us. When we as Individuals cling to our separateness to the point where we forget that 'We' are not simply our 'Self'. 'We' are More than the Person, 'We' are More than the 'I', the Individual; 'We' ARE, in the Greatest sense, in this together. Even as Individuals, what affects one affects all, however minutely. When we allow ourselves to focus on our individuality ( again; nothing necessarily wrong with Individuality - 'it is what it is' ), 'We' tend to forget that it's not just about us, even humanly speaking, the 'I' is NOT all-important, the Individual ( Person ) is NOT what its all about! 'We', in Essence, forget Who & What we really ARE!

'Who ARE 'We', then, REALLY?!' Yes, Yes, if you're a follower of my 'wanderings', this is probably all-too-familiar territory, but here goes. Yes, in this iteration, in this Life, 'We' rely on the Person, the Individual, in order to manifest ourselves in this realm, this dimension. 'We', however, must realize ( not to sound like a broken record ) that we are More than either of these. 'We' are part of the Collective, One with ALL, including the Source of All! As such, then, when we focus on our separateness, our Individuality, it is only natural to let our differences divide us, as in 'us & them'. In this realm, there is a very real truth to this distinction, but too often, 'us & them' becomes 'us versus them'! In the Greater Reality, however, 'We' know that this only hurts us ALL, for, 'as above, so below', what affects one affects ALL!

The passage above, though admittedly only part of a verse from the Hebrew Bible ( verses are a relatively new construct & NOT original ), however portrays what is known as a 'Universal Truth'. This 'Universal Truth' is self-evident; whether, as a Christian ( of whatever denomination ), one believes that 'God' is an omnipotent Being, separated from us by our 'sin' ( ? ) who must save us from ourselves, or whether one accepts the fact our salvation is up to us, that simply by connecting to & becoming familiar with our Higher Nature, we may Journey to that 'Place that is Higher than 'I'.

'Heaven' is not a 'Place'; It is a state of Mind. In this Realm, this earthly manifestation, our choices determine whether we abide in 'Heaven' or 'Hell' ( to use the biblical imagery ). When we, as human beings, as Individuals, focus on our differences to the point of division, our existence tends to become rather 'hellish', even though our Mind usually tries to convince us that we're better off in our duality, or separateness. This brings to mind the old adage, 'no man is an island'. We're not alone in this existence;: in fact, we cannot, as human beings, exist on our own. Just as the lowest part of this Biology, plants, cannot exist without the necessary constituent elements, so we too, are Elemental Beings. We will not simply fail to thrive on our own: without the necessary nutrients, we will die!

Through Meditation, or Intentional Living, we may abide in 'Heaven', though we are surrounded by 'hellish' beings, or conditions. By quieting the Mind, we realize that there is More to Life than this drudgery to which we have become so accustomed. When we look Beyond the Mind's Eye, we will begin to see that we are indeed in 'Heaven', that, in Reality, 'We' ARE that 'Place that is Higher than I'! We need not 'assume the position', so to speak, in order to acquire this peace of mind, for, even in the midst of the business of the day-to-day, if we keep our inner focus on the glorious fact of Who & What we are, in Reality, we will experience that Inner Peace & radiate it outwardly to the world around us.

Manifesting this True Nature, the Love that We ARE, often proves to be easier said than done, especially due to the fact that so many have forgotten Who & What THEY really are. Though we must be careful to take this saddening fact into account, we must also realize the startling, but glorious reason we are here. We are here, not just to rectify the mistakes of our own past, but to be a Light, shining in the Darkness! Speaking of the mistakes of the past, while we only bear the responsibility for our own mistakes, we must also acknowledge that those mistakes, even the ones we currently make, or have made in this lifetime, cannot fail but have contributed to the current situation, to a greater or lesser extent.

This, of course, is by no means to instill guilt in my readers; this is simply a timely reminder of the responsibility we all bear. Admittedly, it IS rather a fine line, for the responsibility can bear so greatly upon us that we begin to lose sight of that Inner Peace. On the other hand though, it can drive us to seek 'The Rock That is Higher Than I', which Rock is our True Nature, our Higher Nature, which is part of the Collective. With the Collective, of course, comes the Wisdom of the Ages! With this Wisdom comes, not feelings of guilt, but the Peace that passes understanding. Acknowledging that, though we bear a part, again, however great or small, we are not responsible for the choices of others.

'It is what it is', yes, but our responsibility lies in how we choose to respond to 'what is'. When we respond in a positive way, the results cannot help but be positive, no matter how negative the situation may look, or feel. However, if we respond negatively to a situation that is already negative, THAT, on the other hand, cannot but escalate the problem! That then, is where OUR responsibility lies. As the saying goes, 'you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink'. We can only do our best to make positive decisions ourselves & thus influence others to join us, but it is not OUR responsibility to pay for their mistakes, nor is it our responsibility to force them to make better, more positive decisions!

Even as Individuals, the choices we all make WILL have a lesser or greater effect on our world! What that Effect is rests solely upon OUR shoulders; we cannot blame it on our environment, the choices of others, or any other outside factor. Even though it often seems we have no choice but to do one thing or the other, we ALWAYS have a choice, even if it IS 'one thing or the other'! If we choose to do nothing ( sometimes the best option ), we still have made a choice & thus bear the responsibility!\

Getting back to the subject at hand; 'as above, so below': realizing that We are More than simply human beings, that the way we manifest this is in our ability to choose ( else we'd be no 'higher' than the animals ) & thus to influence others, while placing a greater weight of respons'a'bility on our own shoulders, also brings Freedom ( for with Freedom MUST come responsibility )! This Freedom, then, in the Great Circle of Life, leads right back to Choice, which again, is how we manifest our own Divinity, or Godhood.

As Spirits living in a material world, we are blessed with the ability to live Beyond the confines of this limited Space in Time! We do not have to rely on our humanity in order to survive this experience ( if that was the case, we would most likely not be long for this world ). Some rely on religion & look for their salvation outside themselves, in Essence, 'God', or some other form of Divinity. Such bear no condemnation from this blogger, though they will be encouraged ( vociferously ) to look Wthin, to the choices ONLY they can make & which will be either their downfall or salvation!

So, 'As above, so below'; 'why do we like or dislike this or that Person?' IS it as simple as that? Is it because we rely on the Person/Ego, or our humanity, to make our decisions for us? Can we not simply choose to change our feelings about any given individual? Well, yes & no; personally speaking, some people just give off good vibes while others don't. Can't we just choose to accept the Person, though maybe not liking, or agreeing with their actions? ( sounds a bit like 'love the sinner, not the sin' ). Accepting the fact that we're not required to 'like' everybody brings its own Freedom. We can be ourselves, make the choices we want to make ( as long as we don't harm anyone in the process ), vibe with the people we vibe with & trust that others will be so attracted to our Vibe that they will want to join us in that same ( positive ) Vibe; or not, it's YOUR choice!

Namaste' & Blessed Be

Sage Charles

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

Unconditional Love; Pure Magick

'If you can't love yourself, how can you love anyone else?' I was raised Christian & so, am quite familiar with one of the first of the so-called 'Ten Words', or 'Ten Commandments'; 'Love your neighbor as yourself'. Simple, right? But isn't that the main problem?! Usually, because we DO love our neighbor as ourselves, even though we may say we love them, even feel ( intermittently ) that we love them, we only really love them as much as we love ourselves, which often isn't much, if indeed we don't actually hate ourselves. When this is the case; guess what happens to 'Love your neighbor'?! 

Words not only have meaning, they have Great Power; the Power to Create & the Power to Destroy, the Power to Harm & the Power to Heal! Recently, I wrote a blogpost based on the old axiom, 'Sticks & Stones may break my bones, but Words can never hurt me'. While this Truth appears to be Self-Evident, as we discovered, these Words are not necessarily True! Growing up Christian, as I did, we were taught that, as physical beings, mere words could not harm us, unless, of course, we're talking about being 'butt-hurt', ie, having our feelings hurt. Experience, however, teaches us that Words can indeed cause physical harm. What we feel on the inside because of another's careless ( or vengeful ) Word usually manifests, sooner or later, outwardly, or in our physiology. This is to say nothing of the physical harm that can occur to us when we're careless ( or vengeful ) with our Word!

The Power of the Word not only affects others, It affects us as well! We might spitefully cause ham to another with our Word, but when we do, it's usually because we've already done much damage to ourselves through the misuse of the Power of the Word. The three major religions of the world have taught us to hate ourselves! Beginning from early on, the Power of the Word has been misused to teach us that we are not as we should be; not only that, but we must agree that our only salvation is outside of us, that only by placing our faith in some omnipotent being can we have any hope of obtaining the perfection we were created with. Since then, the majority of people that were taught thusly have castigated themselves to the point where they believe it themselves & no longer need anyone to convince them of their own unworthiness. 

It is our Agreement that is at fault! Both with our self-loathing & the harm which stems from it, when we agree with those who tell us that we are unworthy ( of love, forgiveness, acceptance, etc ) we do harm to ourselves through the Power of our own Word. Because we are continually reminded of our own disabilities, we begin to believe it ourselves; thus the process of our own self-destruction, which was already well underway, takes on a life of its own. Rather than believing what everyone else says about Who & What we are, we must discern that Truth for ourselves; then & only then, will we truly be able to love our neighbor, for then, we will have learned to love ourselves!

It's only natural, especially in this day & age ( need I say, 'this culture'? ) to blame everyone but oneself for our problems. 'He/She really knows how to push my buttons', 'Look what YOU made me do!' are just a couple of the ways which we use to divert the blame from where it really lies; with US! I say 'natural', not in the biblical sense, whereas most Christians would blame it on humankind's 'sin' or 'fallen nature', but in the egoic, human sense, in that the Ego does not like to admit when It's wrong. Speaking of agreement; when we agree with our Ego that it can't be OUR fault, we end up on the wrong side of the Law ( of Love )!

Learning to love ourselves is where True, or Unconditional Love MUST begin! Unconditional Love, by definition, means ( to me, anyway ) Love that is not conditional, in Essence, that Love is not dependent on certain feelings or actions, but is simply there, Present. For instance, a father or mother does not love their child only when the child loves them back, or does what they want. They love their child unconditionally, in the sense that, whether the child obeys them or loves them back, they will love their child, simply because he or she is their child. In some sense, one might insist that this is conditional on the child being theirs, but 'Really'!?

Some might question, at this juncture, 'is it even possible, then, for a human being to love unconditionally?!' You must be the Judge in this matter, but as far as I'm concerned, the true love we see every day, whether it be acts of compassion, the enigmatic affinity between total strangers, or the love of a mother for her child comes the closest to unconditional love on this earthly plane of existence!

Simply saying those three little words, 'I love you', though it is good & well to remind people every once in awhile, will have its effect, for sure, though, if not followed by the corresponding actions, will not have the desired effect, but rather, an adverse one! While hearing the Word may make them feel all warm & fuzzy inside, the feeling will not last & in fact, will quickly dissipate, especially if ones actions contradict that Word. 

In order to love unconditionally, it is necessary to realize that we are More than our Biology, More than Human, for that matter!  You've read this on my blog before, but seriously, It cannot be stressed enough, the gloriously freeing fact that We are not simply human beings who live once, die once, then go to one of two places ( for Eternity? ). Our Consciousness, our very Being, extends Beyond this Biology ( even this dimension ). Being More than Human, then, We bear the Greater Responsibility to show forth in this Biology that We ARE More than Human, Greater than this Biology, much as the biblical Israel was tasked with having the dominion, or ascendancy, over those who were acting as mere human beings, even 'animals'. 

( Speaking of 'animals'; while they definitely have a 'wild' side; observing them in their natural environment often shows us a greater example, or definition of true love than many humans seem capable of exhibiting. Also, ask pretty much any pet 'owner' about the unconditional love of 'their' pet! )

True Love IS unconditional, for a very simple reason; It is the Essence of US! Our Being is not conditioned upon anything; We just ARE. I AM, of course, speaking of our Spiritual, or True Nature, NOT our humanity, for our humanity IS based on conditions; if certain conditions ( food, water, sleep, etc ) are not met, our body, along with our humanity, will perish. However, our Spirit, our very Being, is not conditioned upon anything, but like the Energetic Force from which we came, we simply ARE. ( I realize I just repeated myself, but it bears repeating ) 'As above, so below', however; as we are 'top down' individuals, if We are led by the Spirit ( rather than the Ego ), Love WILL win the day!

Namaste' & Blessed Be,

Sage Charles

Monday, April 26, 2021

Words of Power; A Contemplation

You're probably familiar with the old, child-hood saying. 'sticks & stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me'? Well, in this day & age of 'buttercups' & 'snowflakes', it seems painfully obvious that words can indeed 'hurt a fella' ( or gal )! But, is it really as simple as that?! It depends, as we've discussed in a previous post, on your definition of the words 'hurt' & 'harm'. Are we really hurting them, if by our words, we wound their Ego, or as I like to say, 'bend their feelers'? At this point, of course, we must investigate further; 'what is the intention?' 'Is it the truth?' First off, if 'we' tell them a truth that they need to hear, though it may upset them, or even cause physical dis-ease, 'we' have not hurt them; on the contrary, we have done them a favor, with nothing but good intentions! If, on the other hand, we tell them a lie, causing them to put others or themselves in physical danger, one might well say that we are complicit & have hurt someone with our words. Again, though, the choice is theirs as to what to do with the truth or lie, just as it is ours to tell them the truth or lie!

Words have Power, there is no doubt! Being raised Christian, the first thing that comes to mind is when the children of Israel marched around the historical ( biblical ) city of Jericho every day for a week ( 7 days ). Joshua 6 records that they marched around the city 7 times on the last day, the priests blew the trumpets long & loud, then the people gave a great shout ( no word on what they shouted ) & the walls fell down. Maybe not the greatest example of words themselves having Power, but you might remember the phrase, 'the pen is mightier than the sword', penned by English author Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1839. This phrase was used, if memory serves me correctly, to speak of at least one great 'conflict' that began, more or less, because of the written or spoken word. It goes without saying ( yet I will say it ) that more than one fight starts, on a daily basis, because of carelessly ( even carefully calculating ) spoken words. Here again, we run into the unforgiving brick wall of 'Choice'!

It has been said, 'Life is all about Choice'! This time, 'yes; it really is that simple'! From a human standpoint, at least, it may be well said that how we live our lives here on Earth, even in some sense, how & when we pass from this existence, is our choice: we, in the greatest sense, are the movers & shakers of our own destiny. 'Whoah', some might say; 'what about God?' 'What about 'God'? is my reply. Did not 'God' give us free-choice, according to the Holy Bible? Then again, to further their consternation, I might ask, 'who is 'God'?' 'In the beginning', according to the Christian Bible, this 'God' basically spoke the world into existence ( depending on how one interprets the text ), so, from a Christian standpoint, being Creators along with 'Him', would it be too far-fetched to say that we can speak something into existence, or destroy it with a Word?! Some would say so ( in fact, most probably would ), but the question remains; 'Why not?'

Speaking of my Christian upbringing, another familiar phrase that you might have heard is, 'the road to Hell is paved with good intentions'. Even if one doesn't believe in 'Hell' ( which I haven't for the majority of my adult life ), the phrase could be taken to mean that, even though we may intend well, the results may not be what we, or others, wished. When I first became acquainted with this phrase, it stirred up feelings of guilt in me ( as I'm sure it was meant to )! Even if our intentions are nothing but the best, so the theory goes, for whatever reason, things may go awry. If things go awry ( correct me if I'm wrong ), it's really ( actually ) our fault, because we did whatever we did based on faulty thinking.

Okay; rant over! Our intentions, whether good or bad, have the first & last say in what we do; they ARE, one might say, the Alpha & Omega! Usually, of course, this involves thousands, even millions of brain synapses firing in a split second; sometimes it takes a bit longer, but again, we call it 'Choice'. Our earthly lives are based on it.The Choices we make, to say nothing of the Choices others make, determine the course of our lives in this earthly realm! But, what if it wasn't up to us? What if we actually didn't have free-will ( a mind of our own ) & were simply automatons, able only to accomplish what our Creator programmed us for ( ? )? 'Okay, so it wasn't quite over...............'!

Back to the subject at hand, 'Good Intentions'! When someone intends the best for someone else, even though things might 'go south' anyway, the former bears no guilt in the matter, for they have done their best, they have made what they knew, or believed, was the right choice. The other person, however, also had/has a choice in the matter; to take what was given with the best of intentions & 'run with it', or to disregard it, even to flagrantly despise it. Even bad intentions have a way of turning out for the best. Conversely, the latter may, again, disregard the former's bad intention & turn the intended disaster into a triumph through their own choices, or good intentions. Either way, the Choice & thus, their Destiny, is squarely on the shoulders of the Individual!

'Why not?!' Why shouldn't we, as Creators ourselves, both physically & metaphysically speaking
be able to Create or Destroy with a Word? Is it too much to acknowledge that we can actually convince ourselves not to do something? Can we convince others not to do something, simply by choosing our words carefully? On the other hand, can we not, whether carefully or carelessly. convince someone to do something they shouldn't? Taking some examples from movies, 'Star Wars' & 'Dune' in particular, one might remember how easy it was for 'Obe-wan Kenobi' to convince the weak-minded Stormtrooper that he didn't need to see their papers. In 'Dune', not too dissimilar from the biblical story of 'The Fall of Jericho', the attackers were able to blast through the enemies wall using voice amplifiers, or sound weapons. 'Farfetched?' More or less, but it's entirely possible. In fact, if you believe some of the conspiracy theories out there..................

'Life IS all about Choice'! 'As above, so below', of course, it is on this plane of existence ( ? ) that Choice bears the greater part.  Whatever we choose may or may not have the desired effect, but then, our Choice is what we intend to do about our failure. Even if it involves another person & their Choice, it is still our Choice as to what to do ( if anything ) about their Choice. From there, the Choices & the Situation tend to escalate until someone puts a stop to it. A bruised or wounded Ego is a good thing; it builds character! Some people realize sooner than others that they shouldn't let their Ego run their lives for them. As always, this is not to say that the Ego is a bad thing, even a 'necessary evil', just that 'it is what it is'. It is an integral part of our human nature, not good or bad, simply a part of our 'make-up'. As powerful as the Ego is, though, we still have the Choice of whether to rule over it, or to let it rule over us!

'The Truth hurts'! Does it really?! Only if one is allowing their Ego to rule over them ( determining their choices ) can one be hurt by the truth! In fact of the matter, even then ( in most cases ), only their Ego is hurt, or wounded. Sometimes, physical harm can come from hearing the truth, but again, Choice is the main factor here; there is ALWAYS a Choice!

'Words DO have Power' & when used wisely, with good intentions, can have a miraculous or magickal effect! On the other hand, as we've seen, when chosen & spoken with bad intentions, they can also have adverse effects. Call it Black Magick or White Magick;call it what you will, what it all boils down to is Intention. Intention & Choice. So Mote It Be.

 Namaste' & Blessed Be,

Sage Charles

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Enough

'Okay', let's be honest & call this what it is, 'a fucking rant'! I'm getting so fucking tired ( yup, there it is again ) of people, Christians especially, saying things like, 'I'm nothing without Jesus', or 'I'm just a sinner, saved by grace', based on Psalm 14:3, 51, 53:3, etc. Then, there's Jeremiah 17:9, 'The heart [ is ] deceitful above all [ things ],and [d]desperately wicked; who can know it?'. These passages, if one is careful enough to read them in context, have one thing in common, 'The sin of Judah'. Okay, so the Psalmist refers either to himself or 'The fool', but even though he never specifically points the finger at the Tribe of Judah, 'those that knows' know where he came from. Back to the former statements made by too many Christians, while I can almost agree with the first statement ( though not in the way you might think - back to that later ), the second is simply ridiculous. For one thing, in the context of Scripture, the 'sinners' in view are not those in the 21st century who have a difficult time remembering Who they truly are; no, the 'sinners' were those who failed to follow the instructions of their 'God' under the Mosaic ( Adamic ) Covenant. Yes, this could be the beginning of an 'exciting' discussion about how Adam & Eve were the Mother & Father of us ALL, but I, for one, am here to tell you that I was NEVER under any damn 'Mosaic Covenant' & neither were YOU! Suck on THAT 'can of worms'!

As human beings, are any of us truly enough? 'Interesting question', right? This one brings up others, though, most importantly, 'why are we, as human beings, 'not enough'?' 'The answer, my friends, is blowin' in the wind.................' No, wait; wrong context..............or is it?! Are we not enough, or do we think/believe, for whatever reason, that we're not enough? From our spouses to our children ( though they may not vocalize it ) to our boss/manager at work, as well as our pastor/teacher ( if we sit under one ), we encounter people every day who are quick to tell us, even if they don't say it in so many words, 'you're not enough'! 'ARE we enough?! Read on..................

Here's a good question; 'what IS enough?' In a job/work situation, it could actually be said, 'you're not enough' & be somewhat credible. Just like a person can't actually sprout wings & fly off the top of a ten story building, so some people just aren't fitted for certain jobs. In the same vein, though, to use an example I've used recently, the Wright Brothers sure figured out a way around it, or to be more precise, over & above it! Similarly, children & spouses may tell you, in other words, 'you're not enough'. For reasons mentioned earlier, your pastor/teacher might tell you the same, or worse. You might even be so used to telling yourself, for 'all of the above', that you are indeed, 'not enough', that you take their word for it. Do not believe ANY of these LIES!

The common factor here is that they're all based on Perception. In a job scenario, it might look like this; 'you don't have the necessary qualifications'. That may be true enough, but with enough determination ( Will ), we can usually get the job done. Similarly, in a familial situation, we may initially hear/perceive them saying, 'you're not enough', but when we give it all we've got, sooner or later, they'll realize ( usually after we realize it ) that we ARE enough. The pastor/teacher? Well, that's kinda hopeless. But then, maybe that's just MY perception!

Everybody has a different, unique Perception of things, however slight or major; how they happened, why they happened, when they happened, indeed, if they even happened at all. Perhaps this is why we read a slightly different Story in all four Gospels in the Christian Bible. This, for instance, is why I remember certain things from my childhood that my siblings have no memory of. This also explains why we have so many different religions in the world. To use an analogy that I've borrowed previously, remember the four blind ( East ) Indians who stumbled upon an elephant for the first time? The first grabbed the elephant's whip-like tail & exclaimed that an elephant must be somewhat like a short snake. Another latched onto the elephant's large, leaf-like ear & said that, 'no', an elephant was like an umbrella. The third Indian grasped the elephant's thick, stumpy leg & likened it to a tree. The fourth found the elephant's long, sinewy trunk & decided that an elephant was like a snake, but definitely not a short one. None of them got the whole picture, but they each had a piece of the puzzle. Thusly, though our Perceptions are not necessarily wrong ( although they surely can be ), it is very rare to find a Person who has the whole picture, if such a Person even exists!

'As above, so below'; our Perceptions are not necessarily wrong. Much, if not all of it, depends on the Conditioning we have endured in our lives, however long or short. By 'Conditioning', I mean what we have been taught from day one, whether it be, 'this is yours, that is not', 'we are all Fallen human beings ( sin nature )', or, 'you are not enough'. Maybe you were strictly brought up to believe that 'possession is nine tenths of the law' & so today, you call an 8 X 8 cell 'home'. Maybe you were told, or made to feel, so often that you were somehow not enough that you took their word for it. Maybe your pastor/teacher drilled it into your thick skull that you were beyond hope unless you asked Jesus into your heart, so every time you 'sinned' ( which you really couldn't help ), you feared you would ultimately end up going to 'Hell' ( also a Perception ). Perceptions then, though not necessarily wrong, aren't necessarily right either; they are simply that, Perceptions. One Person may see or view events in one way, while another may have a much different purview of the situation. Religion is much the same, but that may be another Story for another Day.......................

The word 'Enough' can itself be taken, or perceived in several different ways. Anyone who was ever a child probably heard their parents say ( very loudly ), 'Enough!', when they were fighting with a sibling. If you were not 'Enough', that just meant that you had a lot to learn ( either that, or you were hopeless ). Growing up in a fairly poor family as I did, though we never starved, 'not enough' meant that someone was 'going short' ( usually Mom or Dad ). 'Enough' is a human perception, yes, but in a very real sense, it is More than that. As discussed in previous posts, it goes to ( or comes from ) the very Core of our being, Who we really are, underneath all the onion-like layers!

As Human Beings, yes, there is always room to grow, but when we realize that We are so much More than just human beings, then we will see that, while there are areas in which we could improve, We are full of Potential; in Essence, we only limit ourselves. Again, this is not to say that 'pigs can fly', but with the Will to persevere, we can come pretty damn close. Beware Icarus, though! 

As Sean Connery said when a book fell on his head, 'I can only blame my shelf'! But seriously, others, through Conditioning, may endeavor to show/teach us how limited we are, but ultimately, WE are the ones who accept those limitations & in essence, place them on ourselves.  I, for one, being in the handicapped situation that I find myself, realize that there are more limitations on what I personally can do, as opposed to say, a professional athlete. On the other hand, I know as well, that if I would just get off my lazy ass, so to speak, there are many more things that I could be doing, even with my limited availability. The Point is, because We are More than human, We ARE Enough; we are all different, with different abilities, but we must remember, we don't HAVE to do it all, that what we're all here for each other, to do for each other what we can't do for ourselves!

'I'm nothing without Jesus'! Well, not quite; I've said it before & I'll say it again, 'we ALL have the potential to manifest the Christ Within'! It can be as simple as 'helping a little old lady ( or man ) cross the street', as complex as delivering a healthy new baby into its mother's arms or even doing brain surgery, or transcending Time & Space like 'Nothing Else Matters', but the Potential that rests Within each & every one of us is Infinite; Divine, one might note! 

When we listen to all those who say we're not enough & believe them, we feel ( too often ) that we're not enough. On the other hand, even though we've heard all the arguments, even though we often face circumstances in life that make us wonder if we are enough, the Knowledge that We are More than Human & thus, More than Enough, will bolster us to accomplish great things. All one has to do is take out a History Book & read the exploits of the Heroes of Old!

Namaste' & Blessed Be.

Sage Charles 

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Home

It has been said, 'Home is where the heart is' & while this is true enough; in actuality, how many truly understand the gravity of this tired old phrase? Okay, sure; where we feel ( in our 'heart' ) at home, IS Home, but does that really cover its vast meaning? Yes, personally ( humanly ) speaking, when we love our spouses, our children ( family ), etc, our 'heart' resides with ( in ) them & thus, THEY are 'Home'. 'Closer', but does this even reach It? Home, our true Home, has nothing to do with feelings ( emotions? ), nothing, indeed, to do with our humanity....................except, of course, by extension!

'I'm tired'! As Michael Clarke Duncan told Tom Hanks in 'The Green Mile', 'I'm tired, Boss'. To whatever extent, we're ALL tired; tired of the drama, tired of negative people, tired of the bullshit, tired of our thankless job, tired of............................you name it, but what it all comes down to is, we're tired, to whatever extent, of 'life'! The majority of people, whether they realize it or not, usually put on a good face & stoically go about their 'day-to-day', doing what they feel is necessary for the relative peace & harmony of 'Home'. But this only goes so far. A few go so far as to take their own life, seeing this as the only real option for ending their tiredness ( sadness ). It goes without saying...........................

The Answer to our Problem, 'as above, so below', has nothing to do with our humanity, though it has everything to do with our humanity! Let me clarify; 'as human beings, we always have a choice!' We can choose, as some do, to solve the dilemma of Life, by ending our own, or we can choose to trudge on through Life, stoically doing our best to survive the battle. More to the point though, we can look at the dilemmas that Life hands us as 'problems' to solve, or as opportunities to grow. Depending on how we look at it, we end up tired ( to the point of exhaustion ) or we dauntlessly go about the business of living & loving!

Life has a way of bringing us to our knees, whether literally or metaphorically ( sometimes both )! 'No', I'm not saying, in the manner of most religious folks, that 'prayer is the Answer', though many do turn, in one way or another, to some outside source for salvation. No, I'm simply saying that, in the busyness of the day-to-day, our struggles often bear so heavily upon us that we feel that we can't stand on our own two feet any longer ( 'I can't take it anymore! ). When we come to this wearisome realization, which we all do at some point & to whatever extent, some do indeed choose to rely on some 'outside source' to come & rescue them from their own chosen misery, while others selfishly take the easy way out, hoping their 'world' will be a better place without them in it. Still others pull themselves up by their own bootstraps, defiantly yelling, 'I got this, you 'sonsabitches'!' However one chooses to look at, from a human standpoint, anyway, we still have a Problem to Solve. But there IS a better way........

'O boy, here we go again; he's gonna tell us everything's really 'hunky-dory': the Problem's all in our heads'! Well, yes & no. The dilemmas we face in Life, though ofttimes of our own choosing, are not ALL in our heads; there are things that occur outside of our control. There ARE certain things, for instance, 'the evils that men do', that we cannot change; we can only react in whatever way we choose, even if our reaction is simply to be a duck, & 'let it roll off our back'. Along those same lines, however, it CAN be truly said that the Problem ( NOT the dilemma ) IS all in our head, because, again, it's our choice as to how we will act or react in the face of whatever Life hands us.

'Yes; we've been here before', but here we go, nevertheless! Humanly speaking, it is only natural to react to Life's circumstances ( not that there is necessarily anything wrong with that ), but as More than Human, we need not rely on our Humanity, pulling ourselves up by our own bootstraps, so to speak ( though that often works, at least for a time ); quite the opposite, in fact! Relying on our Humanity, whether it's ourselves or some 'outside source', to pull us through only gets us so far; 'Tired'!

No, as More than Human, More indeed than this Biology ( 'out of this world' ), we need only BE Who We truly are in order to alleviate our weariness! 'Easier said than done', you're probably thinking.......... You're right though; simple as the solution may be, in the busyness of this day & age, it IS a daunting proposition! 'Let it be', you might say; 'sounds an awful lot like being a doormat & letting people walk all over you'! No, I'm not saying to let people treat you however they will, but neither am I saying that, just because it's human nature, that we should react in accordance with our Ego. 

'It's not a Problem unless you make it a Problem'! In other words, our Problems ARE all in our head ( mind ). Again, humanly speaking, we tend to look at the circumstances Life throws at us as Problems to be solved, whereas if we simply 'let it be' ( 'it is what it is' ), we can bypass the Problem ( which really isn't ) & simply BE Who We are, no matter what everyone thinks we are, or for that matter, think they are. It IS difficult, in this day & age especially, with 'the Law of the Jungle' & all, not to simply return 'tit for tat', to 'kill or be killed' ( whether metaphorically or in actuality ), but by drawing on our innate Strength, on what I have often termed 'the Spirit Within', it IS well within the realm of possibility!

Home IS indeed where the Heart is! When we become familiar with our 'Heart of Hearts', in Essence, when we realize Who exactly We are, not just Human Beings, but that We are, in our Inmost Being, One with the Source of All Life, it naturally follows that We are Above all the pettiness of the Person, Above all the Drama of the day-to-day, Above the business of what we, as Human Beings, call 'Life'. As We go about our business ( or busyness ); all We need to do is keep in mind that 'this is not Us'. It ( 'Life' ) only affects us if we let it. If we let It pursue It's course ( including perceived harm ), we are left free to pursue our own course. As always, however, I speak as much to myself( maybe more ) herein, as to anyone else; I too, tend to create my own Problems.

Namaste' & Blessed Be.

Sage Charles