What is Mine to Do?
Recently I felt confused, frustrated, and uncertain of where I am headed. For a number of years this confusion has been in the background. The wide divide in politics, conspiracy theories, emails, Facebook posts, tweets, and now the Pandemic have created a strange and confusing mix. This has been compounded by rapid changes in technology. I should have felt satisfied. I was able to complete two wonderful projects. One project was to take a trip to Whitefish, Montana with my 19-year old grandson in July. In spite of heat, wildfires, and smoke the trip went very well in our 22-year-old car. We had a wonderful visit with friends and family. The second project was a 3 and 1/2 day meditation retreat at our house. And in spite of heat and the Pandemic, I felt that the retreat was very successful and special.
The reason for confusion, frustration, and uncertainty rising to the surface is that a routine check up for cancer showed that I needed some biopsies. For over 3 years The Cancer had not returned. Now I needed to know if I had Cancer and if had to have more surgery. So I went in to the hospital for this procedure on Aug. 20, and as a result was in pain and uncertainty for 6 days waiting for the results. During this time I thought about today’s talk and the answer was clear. No way was I able to write a talk: I needed to cancel it. There was no question in my mind.
My last talk was “Learning to Recognize Ego.” You may remember that I love the cartoon drawing of a Devil on one shoulder and an Angel on the other. It is such a clear picture of my nature. That is, my Human Nature vs. my Spiritual Nature. As a Mystic, I really want to listen to and follow the Angel. But I have found that Ego can make this tricky.
I believe that my Spiritual Nature, that Angel on my shoulder, speaks to me through intuition. One thing that has really helped me is to use a numeric scale. So I give the number 10 to one alternative and then ask the value of other alternatives. In this case I gave canceling the talk a 10 and then asked my intuition what not canceling was, a 40. Now I want to make it clear that I was a “basket case.” Not only was I in pain from surgery, I was having back pain and had a catheter. I don’t know how many of you have had back pain, but for me it makes everything much more painful and much more difficult. In our Course in Miracles study group with Brian Jones, we read that Pain comes from Ego. Or at least that is how I remember it; I can tell you that knowing that did not seem to help in the slightest. I was reminded that it is very difficult for me to be Spiritual when I am in pain.
I continued to ask the question again and again. The answer was always the same. That it was much better for me to do this talk. So I didn’t cancel it. Even though that was the easiest thing for me to do.
This is a familiar pattern for me. A clear message from my human nature on one shoulder, “Cancel the talk.” An apparent message from my other shoulder, “Don’t cancel the talk.” Then come “Gentle Tests.” A “Gentle Test” is usually an adversity. It can be interpreted as a sign that I am headed in the wrong direction. Or it can be interpreted as a test to see how dedicated I am to my Spiritual Path. How do I tell the difference? Not by examining the adversity. I can by checking my intuition. So when I continued to be in pain day after day, I checked my intuition day after day. Although I asked the question in different ways, the conclusion was always the same. Not to cancel the talk.
Carole sang “Peace in the Valley,” a gospel song written in 1939. This is the vision that I had. I was in a place of pain, suffering, and unable to do anything. But that I would be in a better place by today. Including that I would know the medical results.
By Wednesday, I was feeling better. I still was unable to sit very long at the computer, so I started to write the talk using pen and paper. Thursday I saw the doctor and found out that the biopsies showed NO Cancer. I was delighted! The Valley was indeed Peaceful, but I was not there yet.
By Saturday, I was finally able to sit down at the computer and write this talk. The title of this talk is “What is Mine to Do?” What I have been describing to you is the difficulty of my journey to reach the answer, “This talk.”
Going back to my last talk, here is one of the ways to identify if an answer is coming from Ego. Emotions. Emotions tend to come from the Ego.
I was struck by a Facebook post by someone I know. It was information that is not in line with the individual’s training or education. The post struck me as being “off.” It did not ring true. The Internet magnifies people’s voices without a filter. Unless I am somewhat knowledgeable, confident of the source, or can somehow check the information, I am not confident that it is true. I meditated on the post and it seemed like I should not just let it go, but email my friend. So I emailed some thoughts. Now it felt like there was a lot of emotion in this post. I mentioned that along with the feeling that the individual wanted to help others, but asked, “Was it his to do?” The email I got back confirmed that the individual did have the feeling of wanting to help others. Remember, “Feelings are the language of the Soul.” However, the answer also confirmed that the post was because of anger the way that “ …information and testimony … is censored both online and by the mainstream media … “ The individual wrote “I don’t think that everyone has all of the information necessary to make educated decisions …”
The individual then asked me a number of questions that would have drawn me deeper into the subject of the post. I decided that this was not what I wanted and stopped. Going further was not mine to do.
Now I was thinking that this was a great example for this talk. First of all, the underlying motivation seemed to come from the Soul. The feeling of wanting to help others. However, the decision and the wording of the post seemed to come from anger, an emotion. Indicating that it came from Ego. I charged forward in developing this great example. Eventually it occurred to me to meditate on “Is this post what this person is to do?” The answer was “Yes.” Oops.
Things had become more complicated. Eventually I realized that the title of my talk is not “What is Yours to do? It is, What is Mine to do.” I had crossed the line. In deciding what was mine to do, I was using good judgment. In deciding what was someone else’s to do, I became judgmental. A sign of Ego. Also I decided that the post was not true because it did not feel right. Perhaps a good sign for me, but applied as absolute right, another sign of Ego.
The Ego never sleeps.
So I have provided two examples of What is Mine to Do?
This talk, which I believe is an answer from My Spiritual Nature.
And the post, which is mostly an answer from Ego.
When I was an Engineer working for the Navy, we were part of an important project. To accomplish work that is larger than what a single group or a single person can do, it is divided into pieces. Pieces are assigned to different groups and they go off and focus on completing their part. Once all the pieces are completed the project is finished. Management’s job is to focus on the groups that are having trouble and make sure that they complete their work on time. Often this comes with a lot of unwanted attention. If you are familiar with the Military, you are aware that calling it “unwanted attention” is putting it mildly. We were working on our part when one of the new engineers came up to me. He was very concerned. He learned that another group that needed to find and hire a contractor could not find one. The group that needed to modify a barge had run into unexpected problems. And several other groups had seemly unsolvable problems.
I told him that our job was like changing your clothes in a closet. When they unexpectedly throw the door open, you need to be dressed. “Just focus on our part and don’t get distracted by what others are or are not doing.” Sure enough, one day we were the center of attention, but our work was done. Later he came up to me and said, “How did you know that? How could you have possibly known that all those problems were going to be solved? I said, “Because that’s the way that it works almost every time.” The challenge is not just to get our work done. The challenge also is not to get distracted.
As an Engineer, I see Life like that. It is like a jigsaw puzzle. Except we threw away the box, so we don’t have the big picture. We are in that collection of random pieces. The temptation can be to change yourself to be like the pieces around you. However, if you do not pay attention to your true self, to your Spiritual Nature, you will not fit into your place in the big picture. So I strive to follow my Spiritual Path and not get distracted by the Physical. And the Physical is very distracting.
Keeping in mind that emotions tend to come from the Ego, here is what I once heard in meditation. “Feel you emotions. Do not allow them to take control of your actions.” Instead we can ask Holy Spirit’s help and have our actions come from Love.
Something for me to remember:
I just saw a post I didn’t agree with.
I didn’t get offended.
I didn’t comment
I didn’t feel the need to change their mind.
I asked, What is Mine to do?
The answer was to sent them Love and go on with my day.
My mother was a school teacher. I once said something along the lines that I thought she was a great teacher.
“I’m not a teacher,” she said. “I create the opportunity for learning.”
Something similar happened at our recent Mastership meditation retreat. I felt that there would be a significant change, and I also felt that I knew what it would be. However, I did not know how it would happen. But we created the opportunity for it to happen by dedicating the time, the space, and the effort. For 2 and 1/2 days the meditations moved us along the path. Then, on the last day, the meditation changed. Guides took over and the change happened in waves of energy. I don’t know what it means, but I do feel that it is an important step on our path. It was not mine to do, but it was mine to “Create the opportunity.”
That is what I am feeling about this talk. This talk is Mine to do and to set up an opportunity for change with this meditation. This meditation is based on Matt Jones talk last week, "God is Love."
Carole will sing a song to lead us into meditation.
Meditation – God is Love.
Find a comfortable position …
We are surrounded by Love,
We have never been separated from Love
We will never be separated from Love.
This is an unchanging truth that is behind the World.
We can connect our conscious awareness with this unchanging truth. We can connect our conscious awareness with Love.
Return to Past Events