Minister's Blog

Imagination 

 

Albert Einstein once said, “I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination and furthermore, imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” 

You’ll remember last week that I talked about Albert Einstein’s Cosmic Religion, which I think went over very well with this congregation because that’s where I see this group of Spiritual Warriors moving towards.  A higher level of religion, or what I like to call, greater Spiritual connection with Source. 

As I closed the message last week I said, “We all want to create more Good in our lives.  So don’t let what you think you know keep you from receiving what you have yet to imagine as possible.” 

He should know.  As a result of a 6 week coma, which he went into after a severe heart attack, he awoke with a powerful awareness of what the mind can do.  He came to know more about the power of imagination. 

It’s the ability to entertain ideas and create possibilities that may never have existed before.  It is the greatest power the mind can have. 

Do you ever stop and think about how much we use imagination everyday of our lives?  In religion we use it explain the unexplainable; the great mystery; the mystical; the unseen.  From primitive man to modern man we use our imagination to explain what our rational mind cannot comprehend. 

Here’s a story of how an old Paiute Grandmother explained to her grandchild how the Grand Canyon came to be and here’s how a modern day Paiute Indian used his imagination to put it into a lyrics and song so children in Rochester New York could sing it with an orchestra.  It’s called “Path Made of Rainbows”. 

Showed Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-g_dma93ffQ 

Imagination also feeds hope, because wouldn’t you agree, that there is a sort of built in optimism in all works of the imagination.  And the goal of imagination is nothing less than freedom which is pretty much the point of the activity of the imagination.  It completely liberates us from the forces that binds us in the “here and now.” 

Imagination is so vast, so large, and so free that it grows our souls and allows us to experience and contemplate grandeur.  The cosmos, our imagination gives birth to, is even larger than the physical cosmos.  We transcend outside the immediate world to a world of infinity. 

We just have to learn to trust the universe and its creative powers.  If we don’t have a living, breathing vibrant imagination and aren’t busy feeding and nourishing imagination, then we simply lack the expression of soul in our daily lives. 

Have you wondered where imagination comes from, what makes us creative, why we think scientifically or create art, and invent tools? Philosophers have argued for thousands of years about the essence of imagination. Scientists at Dartmouth College believe their study brings us closer to the answer. 

They say the answer lies in the human brain's "mental workspace", a widespread neural network that coordinates activity across several regions in the brain and consciously manipulates symbols, images, ideas and theories. 

However, clearly demonstrating that such a "mental workspace" exists has been extremely difficult with available techniques that only managed to examine brain activity in isolation. 

I suggestion that what we call imagination is a central ingredient in any religious experience and that the proper uses of the imagination in ceremony is essential to experiencing something meaningful or experiencing nothing  by rote. 

My definition of imagination is this: It is the act of making images that convey through their shapes, form, and emotional authority a power of reality that seems to lie at the heart of things. 

IOWs, ordinary events of life are held accountable to an imagined vision of truth. 

Imagination came up during this week’s Animal Totem workshop when it became clear that false childhood beliefs create blocks for us now in using our imagination.  In order to do a Shamanic Journey we must imagine our spirit descending into the lower kingdom of plant and animal spirits, which is really the 4th dimension.  Some of us were taught that going downward to enter a lower kingdom was taboo because it was associated with Haidys, Hell, Evil spirits.  But that’s not true at all.  So as we grow in spiritual maturity we have to debunk a lot of childhood fallacies in order to receive new beliefs that support our lives now. 

After I left ASU in the early 70’s to move to Champaign/Urbana, IL, to study the violin with Dr. Paul Rolland.  He took me apart and put me back together from the fundamentals on up and when he was through, I knew I knew how to play the violin but I didn’t know what music was.  That became my goal at that point:  to discover where music comes from. 

My first attempts were to go to my practice room, like always, and instead of playing the violin, just sit and listen for music to come and then play what I heard.  The problem was I didn’t hear any music.  All I heard was the traffic outside so out of boredom, I picked up the violin and played just one note. 

I explored this one note in all of its overtones and variety of sounds that came from bowing it with different techniques.  As I explored this one note a rhythm came into being and an energy and power came into sound and form.  Then from this sound and form I settled back into a state of trance-like openness. 

As I played this note and this rhythm my mind automatically shifted from an analytical state of mind to an imaginational state of mind and a visual moving image began to form and act out thoughts, feelings, emotions and  a story of an alternate reality; an alternate life time. 

I didn’t understand what was happening at the time.  I just observed and went with the story.  But something in the music and story-line evoked a powerful emotional experience of running for my life as it was being ripped apart all around me from loss, trauma, and a deeply embedded sense of sadness.  This feeling caused a spontaneous outburst of weeping, but not just once; every time I replayed this piece of music. 

The music is now known as my “soul” song and is called the Tribal Music Suite which tells in musical language the story of a young mixed-blood boy named Quaninch born in the spring of 1829 to a Nuwuvi Indian mother and a Scottish frontiersman, a trapper, explorer and fiddler.  The story follows his life from birth to adulthood in what Joseph Campbell calls the Hero’s Journey. 

I had never heard of the Hero’s Journey when this music created the story, so it speaks to the common DNA that we carry within us as a human species here on Planet Earth. 

In the book The Educated Imagination, Northrup Frye suggests that there are three levels to human understanding and each of the three has its appropriate language. These levels of human understanding are 

The level of imagination, and the appropriate speech for this level is what he calls "poetic language." This is the only level of communication in which there is some sort of transcendence implied in the mode of communication. Poetic speech is transcendent speech just as music is a transcendent agent of imagination. 

Ordinary speech and techno speech that dominate so much of our lives have as their primary purpose the description of the world in which we live. Poetic speech has as its purpose the description of the world we hope for, a world of our hope in the perceived shape of a humane future. 

Let me now suggest three ways in which the role of imagination in religion will open us to a new sense of its uses. 

Through imagination, we are able to suspend our own passionately held beliefs and to treat them as possibilities and even options, so that we may understand the possibilities and beliefs of others. 

In the public scene, tolerance is an extraordinary achievement. Without tolerance on a crowded planet, the future is problematic. Imagination enables us to step back from our own sense of self-assurance, to entertain another's beliefs and values enough to allow them to become a possibility. 

A second use of the imagination in religion has to do with removing us from taking pleasure in cruel things. There is a fine 18th-century phrase, "literature and art refine our sensibilities." 

IOWs, imagination may help us to accept the world as it is, in its grandeur and misery, its beauty and its cruelty. 

Finally, imagination is a necessary ingredient in perceiving hope for our sense of the future. 

Northrup Frye said,I believe that imagination is central to religious experience. Religion does not necessarily "demand belief" (certainly not unquestioning belief).  At its best, it operates through the exercise of the imagination. Certainly, Jesus' teaching method was to awaken the imagination. 

Songwriter Malcolm Stewart wrote a song where he has Jesus saying, "Let's play a game; let's pretend that love is each man's name; let's see if the world remains the same." 

I invite you to live "as if" the imaginative insights of the Holistic World View are true and thus see the world in a new way. 

To imagine means to form new images and sensations that are not perceived through the five physical senses. 

In the book the Secret of Aladdin’s Lamp, author Paul Boutet, says, 

Aladdin’s Lamp symbolizes the intelligent utilization of our thoughts and imagination combined with the creative power of the Supreme Mind.  The creative power of the Source of Creation, the genie, can be tapped through proper use of imagination in relation to our needs and desires.  Aladdin’s Lamp is symbolic of spiritual power. 

Let’s refer to this spiritual power as prayer to designate the conscious union of the heart and mind of the individual with the Universal Spirit of Love.  Practice will bring us to know more and more that we are eternally united with God. 

Ernest Holmes uses this Principle in prayer for a deep inner perception and conviction of the Spiritual Truth about himself and any condition related to his prayer.  IOWs, 

If we are to become whole, we must come to the perception of wholeness, imagined wholeness. The mold, we create with the Intellect ... but the realization comes through imagination.  It must be as real as dirt, if we want to receive the miracle of Heaven. 

I’d like to close now by teaching you a 5 Stage Prayer Treatment that Ernest Holmes taught. 

This is what I do in each stage: 

I state the condition in my life that I desire to change. 

This is where I formulate the purpose for my treatment.  Example: 

I urgently desire a job. Unemployment benefits are running out and bills are piling up.  Then... 

I state the changed condition that I expect to experience as a result of this treatment. 

Example: 

A new job is now mine which meets my financial needs with substance to share and to spare, and offers room for growth and contribution. 

This statement is the purpose of my treatment.  In clarifying the purpose before I begin my treatment, I am creating a course or theme for my treatment upon which the Realization step will eventually be based. 

Stage 1: I Recognize that Source Energy is all there is 

I describe the Divine.  I use words that express the Oneness, the Allness, or the Wholeness of Creator. I express my deep conviction that the Divine is all there is.  The I AM is All-inclusive...there is only Infinite Love that rules the Universe through the Law of Mind. 

Stage 2: I unify with the I AM, I become One with Creator 

I describe my relationship to this everywhere-present Divinity in terms of my oneness with it.  I state ideas that express that I am inseparably one with the Source, with the Infinite Presence and Power. I express my deep conviction that God in me, as me, is me...that I am made of the same God-Stuff, a whole, perfect, and complete child of Creation. This is WHO I AM. This is the Truth about me. 

Step 3:  Through realization:  I accept and embody my Good. 

Then I express my acceptance of what the purpose of my treatment is for.  I declare that I wholly accept and embody the realization of the Spiritual Truth in my life and affairs.  I clearly see the good that I desire as already mine, right now. My entire life is open and ready to receive this good that is mine now. 

For example as Ernest Holmes says, “I deeply and fully realize that the good I desire is already mine because of WHO I AM, God's perfect child, a Spiritual Being right now, right where I am. I am one with all the abundance and energy of the Universe. I wholly recognize, accept, and embody this Perfect Right Action, and I allow it to unfold in my experience.” 

Stage 4: Thanksgiving.  I Give thanks. 

Then I express my thankfulness for this realization of Good that is taking place in my life and affairs – for the good that is taking form in my experience right now. 

Stage 5: Release:  I let go and let God 

Now I bring this Spiritual Mind Treatment to a close by using words that illustrate I have released it to the action of Spiritual Law.  This step is an affirmation of trust and confidence that the Law of Mind is at work.   It is important that this release be total. I may treat again tomorrow for the same good; but the present treatment is a spiritual entity and, as such, is being released into the Law. 

Let us bow our heads and close our eyes and enter into a powerful prayer of spiritual mind treatment. 

Our purpose today is to pray for a shift in human consciousness from one of mindless consumption to that of the Holistic World View, the idea that the whole is more than merely the sum of its parts. 

The planet has been compelled to shoulder some of the worst environmental disasters caused by human activities. Whenever these disasters occur, the environmental consequences presented are very high and their impacts are felt for hundreds of years. 

Our vision is to see the world population become ecologically aware and humanitarian for all people of Planet Earth.   In a holistic worldview we learn to mentally step beyond ourselves, to see our lives as individual strands within the web of life. We become aware that everything we do in life causes a ripple of impacts, big or small, good or bad, to travel throughout the web and ultimately back to us. 

From space there are no visible boundaries or cultural divides, just a beautiful blue marble alone in an infinitely large universe.  It is readily apparent that all life is interconnected, that the fate of humanity is directly linked to the fate of planet earth. 

Therefore, as Minister for the CUL, I assert for this circle of community gathered in positive, loving oneness that… 

Step 1:  There is but one source of Creation and that Universal Source is Mind not mechanism.  The one true Source of All Creation is revealed as the eternal “I AM,” There is but one power in the Universe and that is the power, the energy of Love.  The energy of Love is omnipotent and omnipresent in all things. 

Step 2:  We affirm the belief that all people are perfect just the way they are and that each person is the Divine that dwells within, the same as the Divine Essence, Source of all Creation.  Since Source exists in perfection then as people of this Creation we also exist in perfection. 

Step 3: We deeply and fully realize that the good we desire for this planet is already ours because of who we are, children of Mother Earth, Spiritual Beings right here and now. We are one with all the abundance and energy of the Universe. We recognize, accept fully, and embody this Perfect Right Action, and we allow it to unfold in our experience. 

Step 4:  We express our thanks and gratitude for the realization of Good in our lives and affairs – and for what we now realize as the good that is taking form in our world experience. 

Step 5:  I bring this prayer to a close now by releasing it to the action of the Law of Mind.  We affirm with trust and confidence that the Law of Mind is at work and it is with total faith in the process that we let go and let God, Aho!

 

Mother Earth's Spiritual Warriors 

Recently during a meditation experience I went into lucid dreaming and during the journey I went down deep below the earth crust to the actual place where Mother Earth lives.  It was like the center of her consciousness.  When I got there I found her living high in a tree whose roots held up the tree like stilts. 

She was very pleasant and welcoming; eager to help me in my journey (I guess she figures that anyone who talks to Mother Earth in a Meditation is certainly on a journey).  She exuded a loving presence that made me feel very much at ease with her. 

Then she said, as if lamenting, that we as human beings, we bringing about our own extinction and she said, “I can’t save you from that because that is the result of “cause and effect”, the Law of Nature, Nature’s Way”.  We are bringing about our own self-destruction. 

There was a jaguar hiding in the roots of the tree watching me.  I was fascinated by the jaguar and I wanted to get a better look at it so I crawled into the roots to get close.  Of course this upset the jaguar and it climbed up the tree to sit by Mother Earth.  She comforted her “kitty” and calmed it down although her demeanor turned dark towards me and she said, “So, what is it that you want?!” which indicated to me that she was done with me. In other words, you bother my beloved animals and you will upset the Mother as well. 

It got me to thinking about a group of international biologists who in talking about the Paris Climate Conference acknowledged that they are aware of 5 other times in the history of the earth when there accrued mass life extinction.  We’re all aware of the dinosaur’s extinction but there were 4 other times when all life died out even before that. 

The biologists say that we have entered into the 6th major life extinction event and they estimate that within a hundred years it will be on us without a chance for reversal . . .   IF we don’t do something to prevent it now. 

The rest of the world seems to recognize this, but unfortunately Syria and now the United States aren’t on board with what trained, educated specialists in global biology all agree on, that we the people of earth are causing what will be in effect the mass life extinction here unless we use our intelligence and common sense to change the way we live.  Nicaragua didn’t sign because they said the Agreement wasn’t STRONG enough! 

Our President represents the old paradigm of “self-preservation” at the cost of the rest of the world.  I’m am pleased and hopeful to see that California, Washington, and New York stepped forward on their own to lead the country by abiding by the global initiative themselves and in effect showing the country we can move toward a cleaner future. 

Cities Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Atlanta, and Pittsburgh — Universities Emory, Brandeis and Wesleyan — Companies - Hewlett-Packard and Mars - all on board for a cleaner environment 

The age of coal and oil is eending.  We know it, you know it AND we also know it’s hard to let go of our “addiction” to fossil fuels :-).  Kimberly and I do what we can and we know that every little bit helps — thankfully, we now live in a community that recognizes the need for living responsibly and continue moving forward towards living in harmony with all life;  and if we don’t . . . as my Paiute ancestors say, “we will go the way of the Earth.”  Nature’s Way is the cycle of life and death.  She is bound by the Law of cause and effect and so are we. 

At the Center of Universal Light we hold the Holistic World View and make this affirmation to all Spiritual Warriors: 

“The Earth is a living, sentient physical and spiritual being.  Our spiritual consciousness comes through our connection with her, the Earth.  Our vision is to see the world population become ecologically aware and humanitarian for all people of the world.  As Center of Universal Light Members, we treat all people, all animals and all aspects of nature with respect, honor and a feeling of kinship.  With Nature as Mother, and her children as family, it is the Way of the Spiritual Warrior to treat Mother Earth as we would treat our human family (only better).” 

This coming Sunday is an important one for the Center of Universal Light will be making a “call to spiritual warrior action” to the congregation and all people outside community to stand in support of this affirmation, to join the movement and become a member of CUL. 

We’re not asking anyone to adhere to a dogma or lifestyle.  We’re only saying to you, “if you agree with this affirmation, then sign your name to it, commit to being a Spiritual Warrior and live in service to the Earth”. 

This affirmation isn’t any more than we would ask of our children when they join the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts. 

Come Sunday June 11 and stand up for Mother Earth; proclaim your commitment to the Way of the Spiritual Warrior and receive the symbol of the Eagle Feather to remind you of your pledge.  Together, now more than ever, we must hold the vision for a cleaner future, protected wildlife, and peace among all people.  This is a peace that will only come when we ourselves find peace within.

Coyote Capers 

Friday, Feb 3rd, 2017 - Initial Observation - Coyote running with rabbit in its mouth in Hereford, AZ early morning on our way to a presentation at a middle school in Naco, AZ. 

Anytime you see a predator running or flying with food in its mouth, it’s considered good luck.  Not so much for the prey, mind you, but they live differently and understand their place in the food chain.  Even though predators are great hunters, it’s still “work” to be able to eat.  It’s not always easy.  Let’s face it, prey wouldn’t be flourishing if they weren’t very fast or be able to elude predators. 

Kimberly and I were in Southern Arizona, driving very early in the morning East from Hereford, Arizona (a rural location near Sierra Vista) to Naco, Arizona Middle School to entertain and teach with music and stories, we call “edu-tainment” as part of the Outreach program for Cochise Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering. 

It was another hypnotically beautiful Arizona morning, the sun was almost completely up, but it was still a gold/grey morning, the low brush moving in the breeze, waving at us . . . at least that’s what I thought it was until …..SCRRRREEEECH..… and my arm flew out across Kimberly’s chest in reflex . . . and complete stop. . . we both saw a very healthy looking coyote running across the road with a rabbit securely in its mouth.  Ahhhhh, Breakfast. 

My stomach growled. 

We continued on because we had to be at the school by 8am and we still had about 40 minutes to drive, but with excited chatter, we probably sounded like a pack of Coyotes, talking a hundred miles an hour about the sighting. 

Fortunately we’re both of the same mind when it comes to experiences with animals, but the discussion usually takes a lot of twists and turns to come to a decision about what the lesson was or what the Coyote was telling us. We both experience life differently.  I experience life emotionally and Kimberly experiences life analytically, tactually. 

Coyote totem meaning is very complicated and mostly seems to conflict itself, but here are some other facts relative to that moment. 

Date was 2/3/2017 = 6 numerologically - Properly nicknamed the motherhood number, it is about sacrificing, caring, healing, protecting and teaching others. No family or community can function without the power of the 6 to keep them together and safe. She is the glue that keeps it together. 

Morning = the beginning, the dawn of what?  The beginning of our fulfilling our number 6 role? 

Driving to work = dedication to what we do, getting up very early after a late night (sacrifice) to teach, to show we care, to share with the kids, their part in the community 

We were alert = The best way to keep an eye out for opportunities (Coyote in full on run across the road probably crossed no more than 100 feet in front of us, which we could easily have hit had we not be alert!) 

Coyote pointed out to us that we frequently take life much too seriously.  With a grueling schedule, we rarely have time to “be”; we are intent on contracts, driving, maintenance, shipments, setting up, RV parking, preparing, performing, rehearing, etc, etc, and tend to get into a “gerbil wheel” mode, where it’s action, action, action and not taking time for self or dates or fun. Not a great way to maintain a healthy relationship even though we’ve made it work for the last 13 years on the road.  I think Coyote was telling us that all of our relationships will be more fun and rewarding if we laugh more, and enjoy each other. 

So, here we are in Cottonwood, AZ, completely led by desire, intuition, faith and trust that the Universe has brought us here for a remarkable purpose, that will serve many others, grow abundantly and with love.  We’ve had more work but have had more fun since we’ve been here and creating something new and exciting. 

This takes me to the most serendipitous message for us.  It was something I read in one my many resources (I’m paraphrasing here):  If Coyote crosses your path, she may be telling you to consider the consequences of your actions or decisions.  You know, the risk-reward equation. Sometimes we need to play it safe, and other times take a real leap of faith into something wholly new and challenging. It’s likely that you are about to embark on a new situation that calls for adaptation. 

Kimberly’s note May 23, 2017:  Our Coyote meeting happened on February 3rd, 2017 and 22 days later, February 25, 2017, we received the opportunity to open our Healing Center in Cottonwood, AZ which we’ve named the Center of Universal Light.   Ya gotta love the synchronicity of the Universe. . . I think I hear the God/dess laughing!

One Bite at a Time 

Even though Kimberly and I have worked together for many years, I think she’d agree with me, that we’ve probably NEVER been on the same “path” at the same time, in so far as our spiritual, emotional and mental development are concerned. 

I usually wake up 2 or more hours earlier than Kimberly (and the dogs), so that’s my time to meditate, do my prayer work and prepare for my Sunday talk, an upcoming music gig or workshop.  I love early mornings. 

Kimberly would rather not see morning until about 8 or later and enjoys sleeping in with the dogs.  She stays up a couple of hours after I do and that’s her time to drink a glass of wine, read or get something done that she wants without interruption.  By 8 in the morning or so, I brew her a cuppa and she gets up. 

This past Saturday morning, during meditation, I was floating in the ocean and enjoying the sensation until I realized that there could be sharks nearby.  Mind you, not that I saw, heard or felt them, just the thought that sharks could be there was enough to create a great white shark swimming right at me.  I turned to face it and as it reached me with jaws open I put both hands on its nose and leap-frogged over its head to straddle its dorsal fin, “ouch”.  That was enough to jolt me out of my meditation.  VERY unusual, and unsettling.

I thought no more about it and the morning was spent getting ready for the Animal Totems Introduction Workshop, with no chance to review our dreams and meditation which we like to do first thing in the mornings while their fresh. 

At the workshop, Kimberly settled in to do the first shamanic journey with the rest of us, but her mind kept returning to the symbolism of her dream of earlier that morning.  We went around the room so everyone could share their intention and their journey.  When it came Kim’s turn, I was stunned. 

The dream that woke her at the crack of 7:50am was a dream about her swimming in the middle of the ocean, shark grabbing her by the right leg and tugging on her.  She said she never felt scared or believed that Shark was trying to eat her, just that she was trying to get her attention in a meaningful and powerful way.  The woman is fearless. 

Kimberly briefly googled Shark at the workshop because we were talking about the totems, but didn’t get a chance to really delve into it, analyze, and process the information as it relates to us as a couple, I’ll be doing that as I write this blog. 

I think it’s safe to say that for any encounter with Shark whether in a dream or in meditation, he is coming to you with a powerful and strong message. 

Kimberly sent me the following for her interpretation of what her dream meant: 

“Because the shark lives in the water, seeing a shark in our dream typically relates to emotions, dreams and intuitions. 

I love when an unusual animal totem comes to me because to me this means I’m catching the message early enough to either accentuate a positive or thwart a negative situation or direction; that my energy is re-focused.  And by unusual animal totems, I mean one I wouldn’t see in a normal day like, deer, dog, cat, song birds, even crows or ravens, lizards.  But Shark? 

To me, Shark represents self-trust, an issue I have struggled with all my life. Not so much with integrity, but self-trust of decisions and subsequent actions.  For example, even now, when I pick up the Sunday bulletin or a flyer or the bookmarks from the print shop, I have bouts of anxiety that I have made a huge print error that I didn’t see before I sent it to be printed, even though I’ve printed it out at home at least twice and reviewed it.  Either a major typo or information.  Same thing with many production items that I can’t fix quickly, like CD covers, labels, etc. and the message to my self is somewhere between “I’m not good enough and I’ve just wasted money”. 

So I think Shark showed up to remind me to trust myself, don’t try to second guess myself and judge myself as “less than” if I DO make a mistake.  See it dispassionately as a brief moment in time. 

Shark is also a survivor and an authority on all fronts of survival, not just for its own species, but because it only has one real predator, the Killer Whale, it plays an important role in the ecosystem by maintaining the species below them in the food chain and serving as an indicator for ocean health. They help remove the weak and the sick as well as keeping the balance with competitors helping to ensure species diversity. 

While I don’t see myself eating any weak or sick people, I do see my self as a balancer of sorts.  The balance between creativity and analysis which means I am very good at surviving a multitude of situations . . . which I have.  I am reminded that I am VERY good at summing up social situations (perceptive, intuitive, instinctive), and inspiring people to a cause. 

One resource says people with Shark totem navigate through life with a specialized “gut rudder”, primal instinct.  It’s a visceral, hard-wired knowing that guides us.  It’s very reliable and geared for one thing only: survival . . . IF we trust it. 

Sharks exist and survive because they are ALWAYS moving forward (oxygenated water through their gills) and I have to say, except for rare times in my life, I’ve always moved forward, because to me, not moving forward meant my death.  In fact, many people who have been in my life over the years know that I rarely look back which, to be honest, means I'm not great at remember birthdays, wedding anniversaries, anniversaries of someone’s transition.  Why? 

I see that Shark knows that the idea of death is a farce which puts them in a constant state of renewal.  So, it appears then, as a shark person, I re-invent myself, re-direct myself and move forward.  To get into a “rut”, means anxiety, unhappiness, restlessness and other unwanted feelings.  For me a “rut” is going to a job every day 9-5, coming home, cooking dinner, watching TV, going to bed and doing the same thing day after day.  Some people love the routine, I just don't and never have.

When I became strongly aware of this pattern in my life, I traded my 9-5 for subcontracting work.  It was better, but it was still a little too predictable for someone of my nature.  Then came Arvel . . . “I want to play my own music and share my own messages” which meant going on the road full time, living in a motorhome and traveling from point A to point B every 3 or 4 days. . . and well, here we are. 

Probably the most confirming characteristic of Shark is it’s duality.  It lives in a sea of emotion, instinct and dreams, yet it seems devoid of emotion, cold as ice.  It’s not that it’s devoid of emotion, but rather a master of its emotions.  And that’s me.  I am not and have never been an emotional person (menopause excluded). 

I am very slow to anger, sadness, joy, excitement which has its good and bad points, but I’ll live with that.  I prefer to be the one who is in balance; observing and moving forward toward the future at the right time. 

I don’t deal in “fluff”, I’m fairly conservative in my habits, nature and beliefs (not traditional, just conservative) and I’m not given to “flights of fantasy”.  I’m most comfortable in hard data, facts, technology and a wide input of information to give me a rounded and complete view of a situation or decision to be made. 

Shark was a big one for me.  Like I mentioned earlier, because it was an “out of the blue” one-off, it meant significant lessons and tremendous confirmations of my own abilities and ideas. 

Trust and move forward - thank you, Shark.” 

So, reading Kimberly’s message and she is VERY intuitive, I rely on the messages she receives, it appears that even though I am moving forward, I have some anxiety and fear about it, about what other people will think.  But the shark says, “what do I care what they think, I’m a Shark.  I’m at the top of the food chain, I just keep moving forward.”  Sometimes when you have such a big dream and it starts manifesting, we do start second-guessing ourselves, like “oh, my gosh, there’s so much to do, am I prepared for it all?” 

The shorter answer is, Yes, there is so much to do and No, I’m not prepared for all of it, right now, but I will be . . . in divine timing.  And like Shark, all I have to do is take it (all together now) one bite at a time.

The Spirit of the Mouse is Mighty 

Before I left for Tennessee and Georgia last week, Kimberly and I discovered we had some uninvited guests in our motorhome.  We had never had a problem before . . . probably because in the past 13 years, we have never been parked in one spot long enough . . . and so I did what any good researcher would . . . I “googled” how to deter Mice. 

We opted for humane traps with peanut butter and cheese, which worked for 2 of them; the electro thingy that is supposed to emit an annoying sound that only mice can hear (how can you tell it’s working?) and finally lights on the ground around the circumference of our motorhome, you know those pretty rope lights that look so nice in the dark, that’s also supposed to deter them (they supposedly don’t like light; they’re nocturnal, little burglars by nature). 

When I arrived in Georgia, I had some breathing space and I began jotting down notes on what I knew about mice in our physical world and as an animal totem; then followed that up by googling it since I didn’t have benefit of my reference books.  I mean, I teach this stuff, I get it, and yet I let the reality of chewed up paper and other signs overshadow my intuition of this seemingly insignificant animal totem. 

We live together with Animals, so it just makes good sense that we would want to have some kind of a relationship with them on a spiritual level too. If we’re all connected to the One Source of all Creation, the Universe, God, then certainly we can have a great deal of benefit from our relationships we form in our spirit world which is comprised of spirit guides, angels, archangels, ascended masters, departed loved ones and animal spirit guides or power totem animals. 

It’s my understanding that there are four primary animal spirit guides: 

Messenger spirit guide usually appears for a specific situation, and stays until the message is received. 

Journey spirit guide is a GREAT helper when you are going through a life transition or need to make a life-defining / life-altering decision. 

Life spirit guide(s) is the one that reflects back to you who and what you are, usually what you’re completely obsessed with or one who shows up frequently in your dreams.  These would normally be your nine power totem animals that agreed to work with you in this lifetime. 

Shadow spirit guide is probably the most powerful totem in all of your life.  This is the one who teaches you huge lessons, fears to overcome and it will test you over and over until you learn the lessons. 

There are many characteristics to consider when you connect with your animal spirit guides, as well, such as whether they’re land, sea or air creatures, maybe more than one, what do they eat, their sleep patterns, their predatory and survival characteristics. 

But I digress, mice . . . they’re such a cute little creatures, aren’t they?  They’re fast, hard-working, alert, orderly, stealth, with big eyes to see in the dark, big ears to hear and to be alert to danger or opportunity (which one, I guess, depends on one’s perspective). 

Mouse’s wisdom reminded me, specifically to not be too obsessed with methodology and not be too nit-picky.  Ok, first I have to admit that I might have one or both of these tendencies right now. 

This is a huge message because as a professional violinist, I have been obsessed with methodology for 56 years.  My fingers have to be placed “just so” on the strings or you won’t be able to recognize the melody.  Can you imagine a symphony string section playing that way and the conductor says, “Ok, yeah, that’s close enough”? LOL  So, believe me when I say, I am a method-oriented person (when I have learned the method) AND I recognize I don’t always need to be.  I can float on the wind currents and up-drafts like a redtail hawk and watch from above until it’s my turn to take action. 

I was surprised to read that Mouse’s guidance also included signing contracts . . . maybe that’s just because Mouse a business oriented being . . . as far as Mouse business goes.  Mouse medicine people are probably great CPAs, or accountants, or engineers, or bookkeepers.  These people have a knack for remembering number sequences and they love to dance too! 

As a small rodent, it pays attention to the little details (the maze), which tend to get overlooked when we have a BIG goal in mind (the cheese), but I think that’s what we’re doing now . . . laying the groundwork (building the maze) for the Center of Universal Light (the BIG golden cheese).  I hope that sounds as clever when you read this as it did in my mind when I typed it. 

Even more significant is that rodents, in general I understand, have orderly homes.  This is a good one for us because now that we’re stationary, we don’t have to stow everything every couple of days. While I was gone, interestingly enough, Kimberly bought storage containers for old files we can take to our storage unit in Tucson and separate tubs for CUL supplies.  So we were on the same “mouse” frequency to put things away and store them. 

Although Mouse provided a lot of shoulder tapping, I would say our strongest message was that of organization.  In other words, we can achieve ‘big” things by paying attention to the “little” things.  Isn’t that true pretty much all the time? 

I feel a new respect for the mouse as I discovered that the “mouse” is evolving intellectually with a thinking process that includes making and using tools.  Under one of the drawers I placed a sticky paper with a chunk of cheese in the middle and the next day I took the drawer out and found that the mouse had taken a piece of paper towel and “ratted” it up and spread it over the sticky paper.  In doing so, built a bridge to the cheese. 

After some serious clean up and disinfecting, we haven’t seen any more evidence of Mr/s Mouse, cause I think we got the messages.  That’s usually the way it works.  We’ll see if our theory of “learn the lesson and never have to repeat it again” holds water with the mouse message.  But it’s not so much a lesson as a message to be the mouse spirit now at this time and remember all things in Spirit are equal in power. 

I hope you will choose to drum with me on Friday night at the Eco Learning Center on Hwy 89A in Cottonwood at 7pm

And you’re invited for my FREE introductory Animal Totems workshop also at the Eco Learning Center on Saturday from 10-12 pm and sign up for a 4 week course of discovering and stepping into the Power of your Nine Power Totem Animals, “The Power of Nine”.   Email me for details or more information.  revarvel@centerofuniversallight.com.

Oh, and ask Kimberly about her relationship with the Spider sometime.

Soul Retrieval -- Fact or Fiction? 

I recently attended a workshop on “Soul Retrieval”.  Later, a woman came to the CUL and asked, “How in the world can we lose part of our soul and have to retrieve it?  If there’s one thing that’s constant, it should be our Soul.”  I agree with her completely, so I’m going to clear up a some things that I believe about the Shamanic practice of what’s called “Soul Retrieval”. 

The ancient Shamanic practice of Soul Retrieval was used, and often still is used, to treat certain types and kinds of illnesses. One of the more ancient beliefs of illness was that we lost part of our “soul” which is where the practice of “soul retrieval” got its name. 

It’s relationship to the energy of creativity arises from the way it views the origins of illness and disease and how it approaches the restoration of health. The soul or spirit was seen as that part which gives life or which animates our reality.  Illness, disease, lethargy, depression, and the like, was seen as a loss of soul or a loss of the part of one’s soul. 

Every time we experience a tragedy, trauma, severe illness, loss of a loved one or anything that suddenly threatens our life, part of our life-force energy gets bound up with the emotion of that memory. 

Over time all these events begin to build up and store this life-force energy away from us and our ability to use it.  We become weaker and weaker with less ability to defend ourselves from illness and accidents; and our ability to confront life issues and make the right choices becomes more difficult or impaired.  We feel tired all the time and exhausted and possibly depressed. 

Another way of looking at Soul retrieval is that illness and disease are manifested as a result of the loss of our creative spirit. In essence, one loses the creative ability to create health and create new life. To regain it, someone must take a journey to find it and retrieve it. A simple explanation as to why another person is needed to do this for you is that if we could regain what was lost by ourselves we would have already done so. How soul retrieval accomplishes the task of retrieving the soul can be viewed literally as described by the Shaman. 

As a trained practitioner in the Shamanic Way and the ThetaHealing© technique I can say both of these practices require journeying.  In Shamanism, the Shaman takes a journey leaving this dimension to go to another realm of creation. They go into the realm that can best be described as residual emotional energy. They retrieve or obtain something (described as part of the soul or part of our spirit) from the other realm bringing it back into this dimension to give a different way of being to the seeker. 

With ThetaHealing©, a journey is also taken, but this time both the client and the practitioner travel together.  This is accomplished after there has been a thorough investigation into the client’s past to uncover the instances of “Soul loss” or “Energy loss”.  The tragedies, traumas, injuries, near death experiences, severe illnesses or loss of a loved one has to be confronted and healed thru a process of neurolinguistics programing, meaning pulling out old beliefs, releasing attached emotional energies and reprograming and downloading new beliefs, among other things.  The client will still have the memory but his/her emotions will not be triggered by the memory, allowing a re-integration of the energy lost. 

In addition to losing some of their own energy, a client may inadvertently have taken on some energy of another person who was also involved in the incident.  This energy will have to be given back to the other person in order to become completely cleared. 

If this kind of housekeeping work is not performed on a regular basis we can become drained of a lot of our life-force energy which could have cumulative physical, emotional or mental results. 

Another way of saying this is from a creativity perspective. Since energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it must be transformed. If we fail to dissipate the (emotional) energy in extreme negative experiences, that energy transforms to bind our creative life energy, robbing us of our energy.  It’s like hiding a part of our being, forgetting a part of our being, or leaving behind an aspect of our being. Shamanic Soul Retrieval seeks to recover these fragments and return them to the client. 

Within many indigenous traditions in which the shaman operates, if one has parts of themselves that are lifeless, lack enthusiasm for life or they are manifesting some type of illness or disease the interpretation is there has been a loss of an aspect of our soul. Often a soul retrieval of some type is attempted when faced with an illness or other discomfort by the tribal shaman. The shaman, using their unique and personal understanding and interpretation of Creation, journeys into the unknown and unseen realms of Creation to retrieve that part of the soul that was left behind, hence a soul retrieval. 

In much the same way we leave a scent on clothing we touch, and a dog can sniff it with the correct focus of smell, we can also leave a trace of our energy, of who we are, on everything with which we have contact. We do it by the emotional energy we place on the experiences we have. In traumatic experiences, or at least experiences we consider traumatic, we leave behind a greater than normal part of energy selves. 

What is important about the ThetaHealing© and shamanic soul retrieval is the perspective that gives rise to the soul retrieval. Within this perspective there are several important things to understand. 

Many times a traumatic experience lies as the root cause of conditions where part of the soul is lost or our creative spirit or life-force energy is denied, as a result of it.  Often what appears traumatic for one individual is not necessarily traumatic for another. So, what needs to be done will be unique to the individual. 

Keep in mind that the term "traumatic" isn’t necessarily a severe injury, illness, accident or the like. It can be simply that the free expression of our creative spirit is somehow thwarted in such a way we never go back to use that aspect of our being. Becoming frightened or being threatened by some perceived authority figure may be sufficient to cause a traumatic experience as perceived by the free flow of our creative spirit. 

This is reflected in my childhood experiences where I lived in fear of my father and mother.  Not only were they physically abusive but verbally and emotionally abusive which led to the shutdown of the free expression of my creative spirit.  I never went back to use that aspect of my until I did this kind of work; this kind of healing.  It must be done if we are to become fully actualized, demonstrate our full potential, or step into our full personal power. 

Sometimes as a child, in order to survive our environment, we energetically shut down aspects of our heart in order to protect it.  Shutting down aspects of our heart makes the low creative life energy coming from the heart go in directions which do not serve us.  By making a conscious choice to free our creative life force spirit, we regain all that we lost and we are able to regain our creative power. 

It’s also important to note that many of us have the necessary support to feel and process our fear or pain as a result of a traumatic event, so that a great loss of our “soul” or “life force” will not occur. It’s very different for everyone.  You can think of our creative spirit like a very small child when it gets hurt or injured. Who did we run to?  Mommy?  Usually.  We instinctively want a “warm fuzzy place" to be free to cry and process pain in the way we needs to process it without any judgments or impositions from the outside. 

This reaction to seek a warm fuzzy place is not exclusively limited to a child. It’s the nature of our being. It’s how our creative spirit processes pain. This nurturing feminine creative spirit can be found in either a man or a woman or even through a collection or composite of individuals, a community. Such a place is safe and secure space so the creative spirit is free and can do its healing work. 

A shaman or a ThetaHealer© can provide that objective, safe space with no judgement or criticism to regain or revitalize that aspect of our life.  We have several healers right here in our own community that would welcome the opportunity to help you discover the root of your life force scattering and work with you to get back on your creative path to recreate YOUR perfect life.  If you need help finding one, contact me.  I’ll do my best to help you connect with he perfect healer for you. 

As to the question of Soul Retrieval.  I think the better word these days is life force energy retrieval.  Because as sure as I am that I am living and breathing, I believe the Soul is the ONE part of my being that does remain constant throughout eternity.  Rest assured that there is literally nothing you can do that would cause the Soul to leave the physical and spiritual YOU.  In Peace and Blessings - Rev. Arvel

Scrupulous Conformity?  

“Scrupulous Conformity” — that’s the original or archaic definition of the word “Religion”, it can also mean a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith. 

Scrupulous Conformity . . . what is it we want to conform to?  What is it that we want to hold to with such ardor and faith that we quit listening to our own inner guidance, to the “Soul Who Hath Sent Me”, to the One who knows me better than anyone?  THAT’s who we should be conforming to . . . our Inner Guidance. 

How can we expect to commune with an old man with a great long beard, sitting on the alabaster throne with his scepter meting out punishment and reward?  That doesn’t exactly fill me with a vision of love, acceptance and communication.  And if I expect not only my physical self to evolve and grow, doesn’t that mean that the Soul Who Hath Sent Me is also evolving and growing? 

 . . . So, how CAN we commune with the Great Omnipresent Power? 

Charles Fillmore says, “We will never find that out until we find out what God is, put aside all our old preconceived notions about God and our religion”. 

But is God knowable? 

The Native Americans call it “The Great Mystery” because it is not knowable and can never be.  And why is it important to know God anyway?  The Bible says that God created us in “his” image, but isn’t it more likely that WE created God in our own image?  Isn’t it overwhelming enough to comprehend the “Source of our Creation” without having to define it by some one else’s knowledge or experiences? 

Since we only truly know what our five senses tell us, our reference point for knowing God is really reduced to these five senses unless we learn to commune with God. 

Fillmore talks about how the Apostle Peter was brought up in that narrow, restricted idea of religion and God, which was based entirely upon the Book of Moses and what the Pharisees taught. Some say that is old stuff and that there are no Pharisees today.  But is that really true?  What is a Pharisee, anyway? A Pharisee is a person who depends entirely on what was taught in the ages past and what has been handed down from age to age as traditional religion, not inspired religion, inspired revelation, nothing new. They preferred the religion of Moses and the prophets and did not need any miracles or new thought or new revelations. 

Even today, there are many people teaching that we don’t need any miracles. Those are the modern day Pharisees who think that you can get everything out of the written word of the Bible. By definition, you are a Pharisee if you are observing the law as taught by Moses. 

That was not true about Jesus Christ — he didn’t follow the Mosaic Law and that’s what got him crucified.  Rather, he wanted to improve on Moses, but the Pharisees didn’t want to improve on anybody living in the past. 

Fillmore warns us that the Pharisee lives on in every one of us. It’s that state of mind that makes us cling to old ideas, that is not willing to let go of old attitudes, beliefs, and practices. 

Why is that?  It’s old fear that the “Pharisees” of many organized religions have that we may no longer need them, that we may leave them and they will lose their influence and power over us.  I believe just the opposite is true.  If we create a community where everyone’s vision is valued, everyone’s path is true for them and we are supported by leadership, we would be more inspired to be part of that community. 

What we’re talking about here is our own inner guidance.  The God-given inner guidance that we were born with.  Wait, you don’t think that God would give every OTHER living organism an inner guidance system (instinct) and NOT give us one too??  “That would be illogical”, as Mr. Spock would say.  We DO have inner guidance.  That’s what that hunch is, that gut feeling, that inner knowing, that inner voice.  That’s our inner guidance trying to get our attention. 

Our inner guidance is often something we discover after we break away, leave home and begin to make our own way in life.  This happened to me when I left home for the final time.  My parents had literally not prepared me in any way to be an adult and live on my own.  I had no social skills . . . I didn’t know how to ask questions, carry on a conversation or keep my word.  I was bashful, withdrawn, moody, as well as lacking in self-confidence, self-assurance and self-reliance.  I couldn’t look people in the eye and I lacked any real guidance in working a job, handling money or taking responsibility for my health and well-being. 

During my Shamanic studies, I discovered I had one thing of my own that became my ultimate Light Saber to cut through the confusion of life.  I called it “The Altar of My Heart”.  If I had a choice or decision to make, or if I read or heard a new belief or idea, I would go into the silence (pray, meditate, etc) lay it on “The Altar of My Heart” and listen.  If it made me anxious or nervous or made my chest feel heavy or my stomach churn then I knew it was not the right choice, but if it made my heart sing then I was sure it was good for me. 

But this is not self-revelation, this is self-guidance.  Self-revelation can come to a person when meditating, when taking a Shamanic Journey, when walking down the street, when sleeping, when observing nature.  Communion is the sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially when the exchange is on a mental or spiritual level like when you are Praying. 

If we are able to hold our daily focus on the Divine that dwells within us then we will be in constant communion with the Source of our Creation, no matter what you want to call it and we don’t have to know the very nature of this Source any more than we need to know the source of our air supply in order to breath.  In fact trying to know God is a waste of time.  That is not our purpose here while attending Earth school.  Our purpose is to learn to love our selves.  If you can learn that then you graduate to the next level of learning. 

A beautiful lady at the CUL service last week shared with me that when I play the violin it’s like receiving the Sacrament (a thing of mysterious and sacred significance), a way in which we can commune with the Great Mystery, God.  Wow, I never thought about it that way before, but I can feel the vibrational changes in me.  It feels like channeling the energy of love that flows through my heart, out through the violin to your ears, your heart and at that moment we are both communing with our Higher Self, with God.  We are aligned with the Creator of all that is and receiving the Sacrament. 

I leave with the words of Ken Carey, from the book "Return of the Bird Tribes". 

"Trust in God, the God who lives within you.  Trust in your Spirit's ability to respond to each situation beautifully, impeccably, individually, creatively.  When you doubt your native ability to breathe the air of spirit into your world and create according to your divine thought, you are doubting both God and the universe.  You are rejecting life's most precious gift to you---your own inner knowing---and you are presuming to replace it with values, judgments and opinions you have acquired secondhand." 

In love, I see the Christ that comes through you. 

Rev. Arvel

Finding the Gifts in Our Garbage 

In the message last Sunday, I spoke about the Medicine Wheel and how the direction of the South is the direction of the Healer. It's about transformation and shedding our skins, our old self, and our pasts.  “Let the Past, pass you by…” as the song says. 

It's about feeling Gratitude, understanding our wounds, being one with and resolving our past hurts and finding the gifts in our injuries.  Very important!  Finding the gifts in our injuries.  In other words, learning to feel the Gratitude, being OK with less than perfect health while looking for the lesson it has to teach you. This is how we can return to long term good health quicker! 

This is NOT to imply we shouldn’t see professional help, and follow whatever healing protocol your trusted professional recommends, it simply means, while you’re healing - while you’re taking the medicine, while you’re doing the therapy - be OK with the illness, dis-ease, injury and find the lesson. 

We are all healers, and granted, it’s usually easier to see others as “whole, complete and in perfect health”, we really must heal ourselves first. 

WHERE DO WE START?   A huge part of healing ourselves is becoming free from our past.  Whether we see these as past hurts and traumas, past “sins” or indiscretions, past mistakes or accidents — it’s not the memory of “it” that haunts us, but the emotions that are tied to it.  These emotions are what are keep us bound to the past.  These emotions rob us of our life force energy.  They steal our chance to feel better, move forward, to have energy for life, love, laughter and happiness. 

The following is an excerpt from an email that I sent to my friend and fellow Prayer Warrior, Bobby, from Florida.  Bobby is blind.  This is used with his permission. 

“I don't know if you were born blind or if it happened later, but we all made agreements in the spirit world to come into physical and experience certain things.  We don't remember what these agreements are after birth but they always have the same end result, ‘Can we experience pain, sorrow, suffering, affliction, trauma, abuse and find our way back to Unconditional Self-love?’ 

If we can, then that's a ‘win’, a victory for the ‘Soul who hath sent us’; it's a victory for human kind and all life on the Planet; it moves the whole of human kind forward in the evolutionary process. 

If we fall short and fall into self-misery and drown in our own self-hate and pity, that's OK, there's no judgement - simply, ‘OK, let's try it again in another life-time’. 

Often, I believe, we are working out our Karma which is, ‘experiencing for ourselves what we have made others feel in previous life-times by our own self-hate and cruel actions’.  Whatever the reason, you've chosen to experience blindness this life-time and your challenge here is to find the gift in your blindness.  Maybe your gift IS your blindness because it allows you to experience other layers of alignment that those with eye sight cannot. 

Sometimes it feels like ‘the greater the pain we have to overcome, the greater the gift we are given in return’. Love yourself -- love yourself as a blind person.  It is one of the things that makes you special; a secret weapon in the Prayer Warrior's circle of the Center of Universal Light.  You have the inner-sight that the rest of us are working to achieve.  That's what makes you our Secret Weapon of Love, Light and Healing. 

Sat Nam…” 
 

“…we all made agreements in the spirit world to come into physical and experience certain things.” - This statement used to irritate me to no end because, in my self-pity, self-hatred, and anger, I believed that all the unwanted things, events in my life, to be the work of an arbitrary, angry, hateful “God”.  As I’ve worked on my unconditional self-love (and I’m still working on it), I have come to understand that my feelings towards “God” were my feelings about myself. “The Soul hath sent me”. 

These are long-held beliefs by MANY brilliant healers, New Thought teachers, ministers, and others.  It has taken me a very long time to understand, internalize and put this into practical use . . . but I’m a stubborn student.  I didn’t give up, and with each tragedy, injury or illness, I return to the quiet in reflection and ask myself “What do I love about this situation”. 

Truth be told, sometimes it takes me a little while to get to that point.  My first few questions are probably not suitable for family publication, but eventually, it comes back to loving the situation, the illness, injury and can I still love myself? 

That’s my challenge to you.  Can you love yourself as a person with Meniere’s disease, a broken foot, cancer, asthma, no arm, bald, tall, MS, fat, short, thin, in a wheelchair? 

Just say, “Yes” — and feel the LOVE the Creator, the Universe, God/dess has for YOU because, “The Soul hath sent me”, and the Planet needs YOUR success story. 

Love and Gratitude,
Rev. Arvel

About "Prayer Requests" 

Greetings and blessings from CUL.  Easter Sunday was a thrilling experience for me and I could hardly sing our opening hymn because of the emotion it brought up for me and then the amount of love that I felt from the congregation.  Thank you. 

This morning I took the prayer requests from the box to my sage smudge altar where I pray every morning.  I am a certified ThetaHealer © and Practitioner of the Shamanic Way.  I am a self-made man and a legally ordained minister in Arizona.  I will soon become a legally ordained minister in all 50 states.  After that Ordination Ceremony I believe I will feel worthy to be called Reverend. 

That being said I would like to talk about the prayer requests.  These prayer request are made with good intentions by the writers who love and want their family and friends to find peace, to end their suffering and addictions, and to be able to heal from accidents and afflictions.  This is an enormous show of compassion, kindness and caring on the part of the petitioners. 

Over the years, as I have worked one on one with people, it has become clear that the words I choose, the way I say them and my intention all play important roles in the process of effective healing. 

There are three parts to the process of healing.  First, there are the Prayer Warriors.  We call them “warriors” because a “warrior” in Native American culture is one who serves his or her people.  So, a Prayer Warrior does two things:  holds the space for a healing to take place and leads the person into the level of consciousness for healing. 

The second part is the “Energy of Source” that activates the healing. 

Now, the third and most important part of this process is the person who is seeking the healing.  Step One (1) is the person must be asking for help.  Whether it be from the Universe, a medical professional or a Spiritual Healer.  There are no surrogates for healing.   The one who wants a healing must be asking for it.  That can be hard to do if that person was raised like I was to believe that asking for help is a sign of weakness. 

Step Two (2) is being willing to accept the healing.  Many people suffer and continue to suffer because of the payoff:  they receive extra attention, love, or care that they wouldn’t normally receive from another; or they aren’t expected to be productive; or it provides a false sense of entitlement.  All of these behaviors are expressions of much deeper issues than the “disability” or “dis-ease” we can see on the surface.  So, you see, the healing must be asked by the one seeking help.  Now maybe you know a person that is or has been asking for help and that is enough to seek a healing prayer on their behalf. 

In order to heal, we must be willing to change and change can be very uncomfortable, difficult, scary, and most of all it takes time and effort. 

Step Three (3) if the person asks for a healing and is willing to accept the healing then Step 3 is taking responsibility in their lives for making the healing real and lasting.  This could mean changing our life style; the way we think, eat, sleep, play and/or work. 

Here is the bottom line my friends and family . . . in all the healing work I’ve done on myself, when I have done the digging into my past to see why “such and such” was happening, or to see what beliefs I’ve lived with . . . when all the statements of “they did this to me”, “I did this to myself” and all the judgements are boiled away, the same answer was always left at the bottom of the pan . . . AND that is “if I’d have only LOVED MYSELF enough, if I’d have only LOVED MYSELF MORE, then what that person did or said wouldn’t have mattered, that wouldn’t have hurt me, that wouldn’t have made me feel bad about myself and others” “that wouldn’t have stopped me from doing what I had wanted to do”. 

Jesus Christ is the greatest example of this that I know.  He came into this life knowing or not knowing that he was going to experience unimaginable suffering, pain, despair, hopelessness and loneliness and yet his LOVE for himself, the knowing of who he was, was so great that no matter what others did to him he was able to keep on loving himself; which means he was loving the Father, the Soul who had sent him. 

If we want healing, it’s imperative that we learn to love ourselves no matter what is afflicting us.  Love yourself with cancer, love yourself with multiple sclerosis, love yourself if you’ve had a disfigurement, and love yourself with whatever affliction you think you have.  There are no mistakes — only lessons, no accidents — only lessons, no illnesses — only lessons.  And the lesson is always spiritual; the Universe wants to know if you can love yourself more to the point where it doesn’t matter anymore.  As the philosopher, Fredrick Nietzsche is quoted as saying, “To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.” 

I believe that before we were born, we made agreements with the “Soul Who Has Sent Me”.  We don’t remember these agreements when we are born; but like Jesus, some of us came here to know pain, suffering, humiliation, indignation, affliction ….. it’s the lesson(s) we agreed to learn.  Could we also then learn to move from that pain, back to the Love that is who we were meant to be?  I have said, “The greater the pain, the greater the gift.”  Based on that, can you imagine the gift that a six year old girl could give to the world if, after being kidnapped, abused, and held captive for years, she could come back to unconditional self-love?  Amazing.  The power of that shift would change the world. 

It has been done, it is being done, and we are doing it. 

What our Prayer Warriors, and all of us can do for others who ask for healing, is to hold them in our heart space of love and kindness, and pray that they experience the divinity, the Love within themselves, their Christ Consciousness.  Only then will they have a healing. 

I always give money, food or water to a homeless person if they ask, because I want them to live long enough to know the truth about who they are.  I don’t preach to ‘em.  I would rather wash their feet. 

Many blessings in Love, 

Arvel Bird, Minister of the Center of Universal Light 

revarvel@centerofuniversallight.com