Monday, October 25, 2010

Bridges of Hope by Emily VanLaeys

A dear friend of mine is in deep despair because of all the evil she sees in the world. I have known this woman for many years. She is a warm-hearted, creative, compassionate, and beautiful person. It pains me to see her in so much despair, so I’m trying to come up with words that might give her some hope. It’s hard, because she thinks I’m a “Pollyanna” new age-thinker, and that “the apocalypse is upon us while we cling to our new age notions of positive outcome and souls in joy.” Maybe I can’t boost my friend out of the pit of despair, but perhaps my thoughts will help someone else who is down there with her.

My friend says that she looks around and sees "starvation, weapons sales, drug wars, oil spills, and on and on.” I see these things, too, but only in the news. I don’t think my friend sees many of these things first-hand. The media keeps these horrors in the forefront of the news, making people feel helpless, hopeless, and overwhelmed. These feelings prevent people from trying to make the changes that will tip the scale on the side of goodwill and light.

We have to search for the good because it's quiet, and maybe too busy doing good works to spend time on PR, not to mention the media doesn’t want to bother with them. We can find a lot of good news just by searching for it on the internet. And there are so many organizations of volunteers and non-profit employees that have as their goals: peace and justice, human rights, saving the environment, and on and on. One example that my husband mentioned as he went out the door this morning was the group of German missionaries he met when he was in Ethiopia. The Germans were not evangelizing. They were just trying to educate people to stop the mutilation of women and girls that is part of the culture there. Then there's Heifer Project International, providing people with farm animals and the knowledge to raise them; there are all the microenterprise organizations that help poor people get started in business; there's Amnesty International, working to end human rights abuse, Habitat for Humanity, and many, many more.  The point is that all over the world people are doing things, not just thinking, in positive ways, to transform the world into a better place.

Gift of cows from Heifer Project International
My friend says she doesn’t believe in a god with a magic wand who’s going to make it all come out right in the end, and she doesn’t believe in the power of good thoughts to make things right.  She says it’s up to us to change the world, and I agree – I just don’t think we’re alone in this task.  I don’t believe in a god with a magic wand, but I do believe that our creator is Love and Light; that God has more power than the forces of evil; that there is a divine plan that is not totally clear to people living within the limitations of this physical world; that there is all kinds of activity taking place in those realms not apparent to our physical senses.

My friend has the ability to see, or at least feel and hear, some of the reality of the "invisible" world, but not all. I can’t see them, but I know that the beings and intelligences on those other levels are vibrating at a higher rate than our eyes and ears can detect. We know about the existence of infrared light waves that we can't see, and sound waves that only animals can hear. Scientists keep discovering more and more about the "invisible" world, proving to us that there is so much more going on in the universe than we can experience directly. And my faith tells me that most of it is happening for good.

Scientists are studying the Quantum Theory which states that everything in the universe vibrates. When I talk about being a light in the darkness, I mean that we can vibrate at a higher rate than the physical world around us. I have learned to do this through meditation and focusing on the good, and I like to think that my higher vibrations or light energies affect those around me in a positive way. When we focus on the negativity that saturates our news; when we are depressed, hopeless, despairing; our energy is heavy and low. So we have a choice: do we want to contribute to the dark energies of the world and hide our light under a bushel basket as Jesus implies in Matthew 5:15? Or will we choose to do as he asks: ". . . let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your [creator] in heaven."

While my friend is not a Christian, she says that she agrees with the Christian philosophy that the world is full of evil. I would say this is not a philosophy: it is a fact that the world is full of evil. But it is also full of beauty and life; and there is more than that to the teachings of Jesus, who told us that the meek will inherit the earth and that we must learn to love our neighbors as ourselves, and love our enemies, too! Jesus warned that there would be wars, famines, and earthquakes at the beginning of the earth’s birth pangs – the pangs that herald the birth of a new earth: the one spoken of in Isaiah 2:4 when soldiers “shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.” I believe that we are in the time of great tribulation that must precede the coming of “a new heaven and a new earth” (Rev. 21:1) (Isaiah 65:17).  Regarding this time, Jesus said:  ". . . because of the increase of lawlessness, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." 

So this is the time to be especially vigilant against the forces of evil. We can be overwhelmed and let our love for the world grow cold. Or we can listen to Jesus who said: "Be ye in the world, but not of it." Yes, we have to live here for now, but we can keep our eyes on the better way, and so be a light on that path.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Can One Religion Fit All? by Emily VanLaeys

I wonder how many religions, denominations, and sects claim to know the only way to God, and promise that all who follow their rules will be among the chosen few who will share the glory of heaven for eternity? It seems that the number of such exclusive faith groups has grown with the passage of time, but thankfully there has also been an increase in the number of people who recognize that a God of Love who created all of us would not be so selective.

Just for discussion's sake, suppose I decide to convert to one particular denomination which warns that I will spend eternity in hell if I don’t do as they preach. I believe I've been born again, and I am baptized by immersion in the church pool. I am so relieved to know with absolute certainty that I will go to heaven when I die! I am absolutely ecstatic until it occurs to me that none of my family or friends share my faith, and some do not believe that Jesus is the ONLY way to heaven. How will I enjoy eternity without my loved ones?

As I continue to ponder my salvation, I wonder about the millions of people who have lived in different parts of the world, far away from the place where Jesus lived and died. The Hindus believe that Krishna was an incarnation of God who lived in India thousands of years ago, the Buddhists believe that Gautama Buddha demonstrated the way to enlightenment, and the Muslims believe that Mohammed is a divine messenger and prophet of God. And then there are the other millions of people who believe that God or other divine beings have spoken to them through Nature or other sources. Can I believe that the God who created all of us would have restricted his communications to one little part of the world, for one period of time, through just one person who was granted the sole power to save all of us from an eternity of despair?

Now I have to wonder . . . if God had nothing to do with Krishna, Buddha, and other religious leaders, such as Tao-te-Ching and Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, founder of Sikhism, from where did these men get their ideas? And if they were so completely off-base, why would God have allowed them to teach their flawed concepts to anyone? Would it have been better for the people of Asia and other parts of the world to be kept in total darkness while awaiting the Christian missionaries who wouldn’t arrive in those countries for many centuries? Or is it possible that God revealed divine truth to different people at different times, in different parts of the world; knowing that religion would not be a “one size fits all” concept for all of the earth’s inhabitants?

I ponder these questions while looking more closely at the core lessons of each religion. Buddha taught that one must develop wisdom and compassion in order to attain enlightenment. Enlightenment, rather than salvation, is the goal of a Buddhist. But the Buddha’s appeal that compassion be put into selfless action by alleviating suffering wherever it appears, is really not different from Jesus’s commands to his disciples to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and heal the sick.

The Hindus know Krishna as the embodiment of love and divine joy, who destroys all pain and sin, who was born to establish the religion of love. Jesus said: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind" and, "Love your neighbor as yourself" (Luke 10:27). He also said: "Love your enemies and do good to those who hate you” (Luke 6:27).  Christians who believe the prophecy in Revelation 21:4 will see the similarity between their goal and that of Krishna’s followers: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."

I can’t read the Bible and not feel its underlying message that God is Love; we are all children of Love; and it is the messages of love that emanate from a divine source, while those passages that encourage judgmental thinking were added, I believe, by oppressors who played on the fears of the masses in order to gain power over them.

I have given examples of love as the central message in just three religions; but the golden rule, that you should do to others as you would have others do to you, is the law of love that has been laid down over and over, in different languages, in various religions, around the world. (See The Golden Rule in Thirteen Sacred Texts.) The Dalai Lama has said: "Every religion emphasizes human improvement, love, respect for others, sharing other people's suffering. On these lines every religion has more or less the same viewpoint and the same goal."

Now I have a problem with my membership in the church that promised to save me from eternal damnation. After my contemplations, I realize that a God who is Love cannot leave anyone to such a fate. Even those who don’t believe in God are children of Love, just as a child who runs away from home is still loved and welcomed back on her return. No matter how much our children ignore us and disobey us, we will always love them, won’t we?  How could we expect less of God?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Time to Wake Up! by Emily VanLaeys

Even in the early days of my life I wondered about the mystery of life. Where had my consciousness been before I was born? Why couldn't I remember anything prior to my near-drowning at the age of two - my first memory - when I saw my mother swimming toward me under the water in Aunt Rose's pool? Where would I have gone if I had drowned? I instinctively knew that a part of me would never cease to exist, but I knew so little about that part!

Later, at about age ten, I remember thinking that my true self was not the same as the persona I projected to my family and friends. One night I stepped outside the front door of our house, composed myself in what I thought was a state closer to the "me" that I really should be, and went back in. Speaking to my parents I said: "Do I sound different to you now than I usually do?" The answer was, "No? Why would you think that?"

Why, indeed? But as the years passed, I read one enlightening book after another, and gradually learned that my intuition had been right all along. This physical life is but a misplaced punctuation mark in the epic story of God's only begotten child - the universal consciousness - which began eons ago. At that time we decided to use our God-given free-will to venture out from our spiritual home in order to experience the carnal delights of the material earth. Originally this incarnation into physical bodies was just a vacation -- a week-end trip to the Garden of Eden where we could smell the fragrance of the flowers, feel the soft breeze ruffle our hair, and the silken skin of our mate's body against ours. We enjoyed listening to bird songs; tasting the fruits of the trees, and the roots of the earth. Then we'd return home, to be nourished again by the light and love of our Creator; to be reminded of our true nature as beings of light.
Return to the Garden

Gradually, we forgot our connection with the divine - we lost our faith in the perfection of our Creator's universal design. We became fearful, and as we began to think more in terms of protecting our physical form, we identified more and more with our physical selves, and less with our higher, divine selves. No longer able to move back and forth with ease from our true home to our vacation home, we began to believe that the material world was the real one - perhaps the only one! We became entrapped in the material world, so that only through death of the physical body can we be reunited with the one divine consciousness.

We have been asleep now for many centuries. But, like Sleeping Beauty's wedding guests, we will awaken when the Prince reveals the truth with a kiss. His truth is that love is the law that unites us, and love is the only law we need, to awaken from the confusion and nightmares of our slumber. For, if we examine ourselves through the eyes of love, don't we see that the wars and other evils of history are only nightmares? Such barbarism can't belong in the real life where we will spend eternity. And we realize that all of the power struggles between us are just silly nonsense because nothing in this world really matters except for our ability to love ourselves and all of Creation.

Those of us who grew up wondering what was wrong with this world, and why we didn't feel at home here, are learning to radiate light, like the fairies who waved their magic wands to guide the Prince to Sleeping Beauty's bed in the castle tower. Soon our light will shine so brightly, that every eye will spring open, our inner beauty will awaken, and we'll find ourselves in the kingdom of love .

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Day After 10-10-10 by Emily VanLaeys

Had you heard that yesterday, 10-10-10, was a significant day in the spiritual evolution of humanity and the earth? Many messages were channeled from divine sources who spoke of the day as a stargate, or portal, from the old worldview in which limited thinking, violence, fear, and greed, are acceptable; to a new worldview in which unlimited thinking, love, compassion, harmony, and peace -- the recognition of Oneness -– make up the new paradigm. 

Perhaps you thought, as many did, that it was silly to think there could be anything special about a date, considering that all dates are based on a human-created number system and calendar. This viewpoint comes from the common idea people have that the spiritual and physical worlds are totally separate from each other. The Oneness view is that the spiritual and physical worlds are inter-connected, and that there's a divine understanding of everything, including our number system and calendar! The number “ten” signifies a new beginning, since it’s the last number in our decimal system before we start counting again on a new level. So the divine powers are using our system, the one that we understand, to aid us in our spiritual evolution. (Gee, why would a God of Love choose some other fancy system that nobody understands?)

copyrights: XL D-Sign / Joop van Houdt
Have you seen a picture of the butterfly man crop circle that appeared in the Netherlands a year ago? It is a symbolic image of what is happening to humanity today. We are being transformed from sleepy caterpillars to the magnificent beings our divine creator intended us to be when we were made in God’s image. Because we have free will to choose the life we desire, and we chose long ago to separate ourselves from divine will, we have been living in our chosen dimension where darkness has often reined. After thousands (millions?) of years, many of us have decided we no longer want to live this way. We choose to live within divine will, where all is One, and all is love, peace, and abundant creativity. Today, the first day after 10-10-10, we begin a period of accelerated transformation for all human butterflies who are ready to spread their wings.

Each individual will experience the unfolding of wings in his or her own way. Over the past year I have been experiencing my increasing enlightenment in nighttime “downloads” of spiritual energy – a cocoon of soft, peaceful energy that surrounds me as I fall back to sleep. Last night I had my best-ever experience - just the most wonderful, indescribable sparkly, tingly glow, with glimmers of mental imagery accompanying it. It went on for a long time while I just soaked it up. 

I also had a dream in which I got out of a long line of people to speak to a woman who had some theological questions for me. She wanted to believe in a God of Love, but she was having trouble reconciling this belief with some of the doctrines she was taught at church. I explained my view, referring to my favorite parables about the good shepherd searching for his one lost sheep, and the woman searching for the lost coin, and pointed out that these stories demonstrate how God will never give up on a single person. I told her that God IS Love, and that Love is all there really is; so how can anyone exist outside of that love unless they choose to be? As I said this I looked closely into her eyes, zeroing in on one, beautiful, lavender eye, feeling the love flow between her eye and mine.

This morning I re-read my favorite 10-10-10 article: 10-10-10-stargate-lightworker-to-the-new-human and noticed several references to the inner eye; that those who have chosen love and compassion as their path will find their inner eye awakening to spiritual light and wisdom; so I recognized the lavender eye in my dream as the opening of my inner eye. 

Ah, the bridges between heaven and earth are becoming more and more visible to all those who wish to cross them!  I look forward to hearing about other lightworkers' experiences as we gather in our new awareness to spread our wings together!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Does Music Bridge Cultures?

Hans Christian Anderson, nineteenth century Danish author of children's fairy tales said: "Where words fail, music speaks." My question to my readers is: Does the music of one culture speak to those of another culture? During World War I, some German soldiers reached across enemy lines to spend Christmas Eve with the British when they hear the familiar strains of "Silent Night" wafting over the battlefield. Would this music have had the same effect if heard by Japanese soldiers to whose ears it might have sounded strange?
I am looking for answers from readers of different cultural backgrounds.Would you please listen to these selections, preferably with your eyes closed and then answer these questions, either as a comment or as an e-mail to me at: Responses may be used in a book I'm currently writing. You may remain anonymous if you like. 

  1. What is your country/culture of origin?
  2. What emotions did you feel as you listened to each piece?
  3. Did you like them?

Traditional Chinese music: Lofty Mountains and Flowing Water

Traditional Indian Music

Italian Opera: Andrea Bocelli Sings Nessun Dorma

American Gospel: Mahalia Jackson sings "He's Got the World in HIs Hands"

Thank you so much to all of you who participate in this research!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Bridge between Heaven and Earth by Emily VanLaeys

I have been accused of living too much in the ethereal world; for not paying enough attention to current news events; for not paying enough attention to the physical world that I live in. My accuser is one who loves me very much and wants what’s best for me.  He loves humanity and the earth; he worries and prays about the greed and violence he sees in the world. He reads the Bible and tries to believe God’s promises, but it all looks so hopeless to him. He feels helpless and guilty because he isn’t doing more to bring about the change he wants to see. He says to me: “You can’t create peace and justice by wishing for it and imagining it.”
            I  have never used the word “wish” to describe what I do in meditation and prayer. I know that Jesus didn’t just wish that the sick would be well, that five loaves and two fish would be enough to feed five thousand, or that Lazarus would come back from the dead. Jesus brought these events into the physical world from the ethereal world where Spirit dwells and the patterns for material things are created. Jesus said: “The person that believes in me will do the same things I have done. Yes! He will do even greater things than I have done.” (John 14:12) His miracles were not meant to demonstrate that he alone was God’s son, but to demonstrate for us what we will all do when we recognize that we, too, are One with God and One with the Christ spirit.
            When Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is within you,” he was telling us that the ethereal, spiritual world, from where all good things come, is within us, just as it is in him. We lost our ability to access this inner kingdom when we separated ourselves from God, our divine source. This separation took place long ago, as symbolized by Adam and Eve’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden. Prior to that time there had been no knowledge of evil; but God granted us the free will that allowed us to choose the delights of the physical world over the security of life in the bosom of divine will. Our decision to separate ourselves from our divine source was the cause of evil, which we actually blame on God every time we say that a death, a natural disaster, or a disease must be God’s will.
             Jesus talked a great deal about the difference between the earthly world and the spiritual world which he called his home. And he encouraged his followers not to attach themselves to the material world. Jesus said to Pilate: “My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.” (John 18:36) Jesus’ followers did not fight to save him because they knew he could save himself if he wanted to, and because Jesus had taught them that violence is not welcome in his peaceable kingdom. Likewise, we should not fight, whether with weapons, words, or angry thoughts, because the kingdom of heaven can’t be reached by any of these means.
             When God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness,” (Genesis 1:26) men and women were created as spiritual beings, infused with the breath of God: the breath of love, light, and creativity. Although we came to dwell on earth, we knew that our true home was the spiritual, ethereal world; and that we were all One, having the same divine breath coursing through our bodies.When we chose to make the earth our permanent home, we forgot our spiritual heritage and our oneness with each other and all of creation. We forgot how to manifest what we needed from the ethereal world, and so we felt the need to struggle against each other to get what we thought was “our fair share” of the earth’s abundance.
            Now, two thousand years after Jesus demonstrated how to produce “something from nothing,” how to live as God meant us to, in perfect health, and at peace with ourselves and with each other, large numbers of people are beginning to understand his lessons.  They are the ones who have eyes to see beneath the surface of the material world, and ears to hear the spiritual messages that are coming thick and fast from divine sources. They are learning to shine their own divine light, just as Jesus told us to when he said “You are the light of the world . . .  let your light shine among men.” (Matthew 5:14-17) Instead of engaging in politics with its “us against them” mentality, they recognize their oneness with all of humanity, even those that threaten to dim their light and disturb their inner peace. 

 Jesus said that when the age of hidden truth is nearing its end, “. . . many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because of the increase in lawlessness, the love of many will grow cold.” (Matthew 24:11-12) So this is the time to hold fast to the Law of Love, the law given by Jesus that leads to eternal life. Let us not be disturbed by the storms swirling around us, both man-made and natural – for even the tornados and hurricanes are the result of humanity’s separation from God, our Creator, who intended the earth to be a place of calm and beauty, as it was in the beginning.  Let us remain focused on love, radiate our light in the darkness, and be a beacon for others.  As the light of the world grows brighter and brighter, those who sleep in the dark will begin to awaken, and waking, they will join the celestial song of joy that Isaiah prophesied so many centuries ago:

We have won no victories on earth,
And no one is born to inhabit the world.
Your dead shall live, their corpses shall rise.
O dwellers in the dust, awake and sing for joy!
For your dew is a radiant dew,
And the earth will give birth to those long dead.
                                                (Isaiah 26:18-19)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Bridges between Science and Spirituality

Galaxies by Peter van Laeys

       As scientists learn more about the universe, their discoveries are beginning to close the gap between science and spirituality. Recently I read The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos by Brian Swimme, Ph.D., a mathematical cosmologist. Not being of a scientific bent myself, I find his story both informative and fascinating.
       One revelation I learned about is that the source of the “Big Bang” was discovered by astronomers Penzias and Wilson to be 15 billion light years away from earth. And yet, in terms of the expansion of the galaxies, discovered by Edwin Hubble, the earth is at the very center of the universe. As Swimme points out, these two discoveries seem to contradict each other, but the the evidence is there. He does an excellent job of explaining how this is possible, but to understand it requires the ability to think FAR out of the usual box! As Swimme says: “A re-education of the mind is necessary to make sense of what we have discovered.” 
       The answer to this seeming contradiction includes the premise that any intelligent beings on any other planet in the universe will also find themselves at the center, as the other galaxies will appear to be moving away from them, just as they are moving away from us. Swimme illustrates this by asking the reader to imagine herself inside a loaf of raisin bread while it's baking. No matter which raisin you sit on, you will see all the other raisins moving away from you, putting you at the center of expansion no matter where you are in the loaf of bread. Swimme's conclusion is that "We exist then at the very origin point of the universe, because every place in the universe is that place where the universe flared forth into existence." (p. 89).

       Even more mind-boggling than this is the discovery that elementary particles are constantly emerging in the emptiness of space where there are no atoms, no elementary particles, no protons, and no photons. In other words, there is no true vacuum in the universe. For as Swimme says: "These elementary particles crop up out of the vacuum itself -- that is the simple and awesome discovery." The very foundation of the universe "seethes with creativity, so much so that physicists refer to the universe's ground state as 'space-time foam.'" (p. 93)
       Swimme calls this foam the "all-nourishing abyss" which leads to "The great news of our time . . . that we humans are all embedded in a living, developing universe, and that we are therefore cousins to everything in the universe." (p. 99) And so, the scientist comes to the same conclusion that the world's mystics have always claimed: that all of Creation is One.