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KNOWING vs. BELIEVING

A conversation is recounted in the book # Shantaram  in which the character, Khaderbhai, says: “There is no such thing as believing in #G...

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Tuesday, 17 December 2013

UNWRAPPING GIFT # 2: DISCERNMENT

"Discernment: the ability to decide between truth and error,  right and wrong...Keenness of insight and judgment."

It feels like an eon since I unwrapped the first gift, Consciousness.  Perhaps Nelson Mandela's passing and the bombardment of eulogies was timed to bring us all back to consciousness.

Madiba has since been laid to rest and my focus has been with the rest of the world's on the measure of the man.  As it happens, that measure has been in no small part due to his capacity for thoughtful discernment, the second of our gifts.

The gift if discernment gives us the capacity to discern right from wrong, good from evil and truth from fiction, but always in the context of Life as it truly is (rather than we would have it and demand that it should be). Although discernment includes the making of a judgment, we judge not as we believe things should be, but rather by reference to the laws of nature and God.  

Tata Madiba risked everything,including the alienation of his own supporters, when he discerned that it was time to negotiate with the enemy.  His higher self discerned that speaking to the South African apartheid government was more important for the good of the whole than was his ego's need to draw and maintain battle lines.  He discerned that letting go of his resentment and actively pursuing reconciliation with the oppressors of the Black people was more important than getting revenge for the indignities and injustices of the past.  If ever there was someone who was entitled to feel bitter and get even, it was Nelson Mandela, but his discernment, drawing on the truth of a higher vibrational energy, created the miracle which no one believed possible.

Discernment requires us to tell the truth about Life as it is and then make choices for each next step out of a space of pure integrity, choosing not just for the small space which each of us occupies, but for the bigger space which we all occupy in the Universe.  It is big picture decision making, drawing on our highest selves and the noble virtues which we all possess.

And when we discern for the higher good, that is when we truly make a difference both in and around us.  What an incredible gift. 


Still on the subject of gifts, with Christmas approaching you might want to consider giving someone The Talking Stick: Exploring Life's Possibilities, available in hard copy from all good South Africa book stores, in Kindle form from Amazon or directly from me by clicking HERE.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

UNWRAPPING GIFT # 1: CONSCIOUSNESS (OR AWARENESS)

"Consciousness (n): Having an awareness of one's environment and one's own existence, sensations, and thoughts."

Consciousness is the first of the seven gifts on which we draw in order to live purposeful and connected lives. 

Consciousness is about bringing to total awareness all that surrounds us, every one of Life's stimuli and all of Life's messages.  It is the only way in which we can engage with the Universe at every level, including engaging with our own higher self.

There are times when we become so overwhelmed with stimuli that we start filtering stuff out.  Think about a persistent noise - say traffic - which eventually gets filtered out of our consciousness so that we no longer notice it.  So it is with many of Life's other stimuli.  We start filtering, becoming less conscious to what is.  Our consciousness and awareness is also diminished by what we put in our body.  Alcohol, fast foods, caffeine, drugs and so on are also part of the cause of our loss of consciousness, or symptomatic of it.

In this un-consciousness, we inadvertently also filter out or become numb to many of Life's opportunities and possibilities.   We eventually become unconscious to who we are, what our place is in the greater scheme of things and how we are to claim that place.  Fundamentally, by permitting ourselves to ignore or be unconscious to any of Life's messages, we are cutting ourselves off from our awareness of our highest and most noble state.  

Unconsciousness is to consciousness as sleep is to being awake and as death is to life.  The filter system may allow us to pursue certain things with intent - money, fame, indulgence, achievement, career, happiness, misery - but usually at the expense of the whole.  We might be alive to the trappings of what we are pursuing, but dead to everything else in our lives.  It is in the dead part that we miss the bigger possibilities.  Chase money, chase sex, chase happiness and we end up passing by the other stiff on offer - connection, love, integration with the world and so on.

It is incumbent on us all to awaken ourselves, bringing everything around us to consciousness and to reach for our God-state, that state of being which allows us to connect with everyone and everything around us.  Every one of has the ability to access that state.  It starts with tuning in to the world around us with every sense at our disposal.  

Consciousness is born of or at least starts with hull use of the five identifiable senses.  There is a debate about the 6th sense and what it is, but for the sake of the debate I suggest that it is what some might call intuition, and it is accessible only by full use of the other senses.   The 6th sense gives you access to you highest self - your God state.  

Where to begin on the path to full consciousness?  Start looking after yourself physically.  Then start a regular meditation practice, opening yourself to the use of all of your senses.  These simple steps will start you on the path to awakening.  What have you to lose?  This is a wonderful gift which is worth unwrapping properly.


And on the subject of gifts, with Christmas approaching you might want to consider giving someone The Talking Stick: Exploring Life's Possibilities, available in hard copy from all good South Africa book stores, in Kindle form from Amazon or directly from me by clicking HERE.

Friday, 6 December 2013

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED, #MADIBA: THANK YOU, FAREWELL and G.I.P.

"Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you're alive, it isn't." (Richard Bach, Illusions).

Dear #Nelson_Mandela, 


Who knows why you lingered so long before completing your mission.  Perhaps it was allow friends, family and kinsfolk time to complete unfinished business and to contemplate the full impact of your legacy.  

#Madiba, your mission on earth is now finished.  And what a mission it was.  You came to expose injustice and teach that just and equal practices were consistent with the laws of nature and God.  You came to teach the true meaning of sacrifice: to make holy.  By your sacrifice - 27 years of incarceration and suffering - you made the ideals of freedom and equality truly holy.  You taught the true meaning of forgiveness: a refusal to hold ill will against anyone, especially South African Whites, despite all of the indignities and injustices heaped upon you and Black people.  You came to teach humility: despite your hugeness of stature, you have always remained humble and dignified.  You taught about perseverance, persistence and peace.  You taught unconditional love, beaming your own love onto all of your countrymen, regardless of skin colour, religious, or other persuasion.  You loved the children, who after all are the base on which our future stands.  The light you allowed to shine within you allowed others to experience and see their own light.  And you taught us all about the lightness of being, generosity of spirit and magnanimity.

The extent to which your lessons have been assimilated and learnt by your kinsmen remains to be seen.  For many, the leap into saintliness and Statesmanship may have been too big a gap to span, but no one can have been left untouched by your essence and what you shared during your time on earth.


So, thank you for undertaking this mission.  Not quite mission impossible, but certainly not one for the faint-hearted.  All of us in South Africa (and indeed the world) owe you a debt of gratitude.  My wish is that we repay it by taking and assimilating the lessons you shared and truly embracing the values, humanity and ideals for which you stood.


Go In Peace, Madiba.  We never met, but I shall miss you.
 Namaste.

    Wednesday, 4 December 2013

    THE SEVEN GIFTS

    During a quiet moment a couple of weeks ago the thought came to me that we each have seven gifts which, if we use them fully, can totally transform our lives.  When I listened some more, the gifts which spoke to me were:
    • Consciousness (or awareness)
    • Discernment
    • Choice
    • Forgiveness
    • Courage
    • Connection 
    • Gratitude
    We in fact have many, many gifts and resources on which we can draw.  Some of them are sub-sets of the above gifts, like love, compassion and ability to connect with Source, but the above seven are accessible to each of us and within them lies the path to meaningful and purposeful living.

    Over the next few weeks I will be unwrapping each of these gifts: what they mean and how we can use them.

    And whilst we are on the subject of gifts, with Christmas approaching you might want to consider giving someone The Talking Stick: Exploring Life's Possibilities, available in hard copy from all good South Africa book stores, in Kindle form from Amazon or directly from me by clicking HERE.

    Sunday, 1 December 2013

    LIFE: AS SIMPLE AS TELLING THE TRUTH

    What if living a complete and fulfilling life was as simple as telling the truth? Truths such as:
    • Telling the truth to ourselves and others about how life actually is, and not how we believe and demand it should be?
    • Telling the truth to each other about how we feel and what we think, with no add-ons, no drama and no agenda?
    • Sharing our most meaningful dreams, hopes and desires and what we think it will take for us to get there.
    • Sharing our deepest fears without embarrassment or withholds, so that in our vulnerability we can be open to the support and the truth telling of others.
    Amazingly, it is actually that simple.  So why do so few of us live our lives that way?