Saturday, February 18, 2017

My Philosophy

Subtitles coming later. I don't really like how this came out - it's all a bit hurried. Just putting this out there...

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Friday, April 29, 2016

The Shadow is an Illusion

I was out for my pre-dawn jog this morning when I became a bit startled when I noticed a second shadow that seemingly came from behind me. I looked back to see who was there. There was no one. It was my own shadow, being cast from another street light. It was then that I felt a voice. It felt like the voice and presence of my grandfather. The voice said, "Fear not the shadow. There can be no shadow without light." The shadow is but an illusion caused by the presence of light.

Now, I'm not exactly in a dark place in my life right now, but the voice moved me to tears while I jogged. I just knew I had to share it, because I'm sure there's someone reading this words who needs to be reminded of this. Don't fear the shadow. It is merely a side effect of the presence of light. Focus on that light, not the illusion.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Dear Christian, It's Okay to Love Yourself

I first started this blog post on August 28, 2015. I picked it back up November 14, 2015. It's something that I've been weighing for a while, searching for the right words to properly articulate. If something doesn't come across right, please just follow along to the end.

One thing I've noticed among Christians is struggling to embrace the concept of loving oneself. This is due to one of the core ideas of Christianity being that we, as individuals, are sinful and cannot attain right-standing with God on our own. Many Christians come to view themselves as wretched individuals who can only be saved by Christ. So when the discussion of loving oneself comes up, many Christians have a hard time with this. I struggled with this myself, on my own personal spiritual journey.

We are taught that loving yourself is pride. I would argue that the egocentric, prideful "self love" of the greedy and arrogant is not so much self love, but rather self lust. How can one truly love anyone if their definition of love is bastardized by a perception of the world that's been so heavily influenced by negative experiences? It's like making putting peanut butter and jelly on two slices of bread, sticking the two clean sides together, putting it on a plate and saying you know how to cook.

In order to truly love anyone, we must first learn to love ourselves. And in order to love ourselves, we must learn what love truly is. Christians think that loving ourselves is wrong, but not only is it NOT wrong, it's the will of God. I've experienced more spiritual growth and understanding in a few months of learning true love and loving myself than I had in years of studying and learning "the walk."

One of the most popular verses in the Bible, John 3:16, says that "God SO LOVED THE WORLD...." The core belief of Christianity is built upon the premise that God loves us. If God loves us, adores us, is it not an insult to the God we love to neglect this light He sees inside of us that He loves so much? "Love the sinner, hate the sin," correct? What is it in the sinner that God sees, that we are told to look at, that is so worthy of love? And if we are capable of seeing this in others, how can be fail to see it in ourselves?

What I think is important for Christians to understand is, when we talk about loving yourself we aren't talking about loving Ego. We are talking about loving your true nature. The real you. The divine within you. The Bible says that believers in Christ are new creations. This is the Higher Self. THIS is what God sees.

Imagine yourself in a pitch dark vacuum holding a flashlight. All around you it is pitch dark for miles and miles. Off in the distance is another person holding another flashlight. What do you see? Do you see darkness? No. You don't actually see darkness. Without light, nothing is visible. Darkness is simply an absence of light. It is this same very light that is found in every living soul. Ignorance and bad experiences can hinder this light, like a candle in a glass jar with dirt and char on the sides. But the light still exists. This is the light that light sees and recognizes.

Jesus gave only one commandment: Love. But he outlined it as such: Love the Lord your God with every fiber of your being, and love your neighbor.....AS YOURSELF. We are not commanded to love our neighbors more than ourselves. Yet this is what many Christians are taught in a twisted interpretation of laying down our lives. Laying down our lives means setting aside the ego, the light shade, and nurturing our light.

When Jesus walked the countryside healing the sick and being love, he withdrew to himself on a regular basis to pray and meditate. THIS is self love. He gave all that he had, but he did not fail to neglect himself. This applies to all aspects of life. If we revere our Creator, we nurture that which He created out of love. This extends to everything from maintaining spiritual health to proper physical and emotional health.

If somebody walks all over you, it is not love to sit back and tolerate it. This is abuse, and sitting back and allowing it to continue while you suffer is not being love. It is self-abuse. It is no different than sticking a needle in your arm and shooting up pure Afghan heroin. Would you allow someone to march into your house and urinate all over your belongings? When all is said and done, there is nothing more precious than our light, our soul. It is our very life, our very essence. So tell me exactly how it is the will of God to tolerate mistreatment and allow others to walk all over you....

The way we treat others is a direct reflection of how we see ourselves. By standing up for ourselves in a loving manner, not only are we loving ourselves but we are saying to the person mistreating us that they aren't loving themselves and because we love them, we will not allow them to treat themselves in such a way. Take the bottle of whiskey out of the alcoholic's hand.

The way we treat others is a direct reflection of how we see ourselves. It is only when we first learn self-love that we can truly love others according to what love truly is. Stop judging yourself, start loving yourself. We cannot change the past. What's done is done. In the eternal right here, right now, you are light and God is madly and deeply in love with you. What is it that this light sees in you that cause Him to send for an eternal vibration that causes atoms to collide in such a way so as to create the incredible physical universe in which we are a part? It is something so precious, it must be revered.

Nurture this light inside yourself. In doing so you will find that the shade of ego can no longer contain you. And in doing so you will place yourself in harmony with the light of creation, and others will be attracted to you like a beacon in the night. Not only is this okay to do, this is the very life we were created to live.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Bob Marley. Plus Reflections on Love

Bob Marley

Well, Thursday, October 1st meant the start of a new calendar month. Which means September 2015 was the first full calendar month since the passing of my beloved grandfather. As I neared the end of my morning jog I was hit by this fact. With tears running down my cheek, I asked, "Does it get any easier? I miss you so much, G-Pop." Less than an hour and a half later, he would answer me in his typical humor.

For those who don't know, my grandfather is originally from Maine. Since his passing there's been one special memory constantly replaying in my mind. When I was 16 years old I went along with him and a family friend on a canoe trip in Maine. It was a special moment for me because I was the only family member along with him. I carried his canoe through the Maine woods, over rocks and hills, for over a mile as we portaged from one creek to the next.

One of my grandfather's favorite treats from Maine is a soda that is uniquely "Maine." It's called "Moxie." It's actually the oldest soda brand in the country but can pretty much only be found in Maine. The taste is very different, definitely an acquired taste. But I grew to love it, and he would often have some at his house in Pennsylvania that he'd bring back down with him from his trips to Maine.

So as I drove in to work on the morning of October 1st, 2015, I randomly broke out singing "Redemption Song" by Bob Marley. I haven't heard the song for years, and as I finished I said to myself, "Where the heck did that come from? Why am I singing that song?" I found it especially strange being that I had a totally different song stuck in my head for the past few days, not even the same genre.

Then I changed the radio station to the Paul & Young Ron Show on Big 105.9 Miami. They had a guest comedian in studio. I'd never heard of the man before, but then he started making references to New England and more specifically, Maine. They then said his name: Bob Marley. I Googled "Bob Marley Comedian," and surely enough, his name is even spelled the same way as the reggae legend. His YouTube page calls him "Maine's King of Comedy." And to top it all off, he began talking about Moxie and a Maine YouTube sensation, of whom I'd never even heard up to this point, "Little Peter the Moxie Boy." (Again, Peter being my birth name)

Leave it to my grandfather to use comedy to speak to me from the other side. Yes, I miss you dearly, G-Pop. Thank you for letting me know you're still with me.

Reflections on Love

The past few weeks I've been pretty quiet, just keeping to myself. Living and enjoying every moment. One thing I've been reflecting on, as usual, is love. More specifically, a description of love as defined in 1 Corinthians 13: "Love always believes the best." This doesn't mean that love is naive. This means that love, considering its relationship with truth, sees through the ego and deception and sees the higher self. Love sees the best in a person in spite of their flaws and shortcomings. Not only does love see the best in a person (including oneself), but love is fully devoted to nurturing and bringing forth the best in a person. Nothing delights me more than to see my loved ones walking in their fullest potential, being the person they were created to be. This is what love does.

That's all for now. Love.