The Law of Attraction and my brand new iPad: How it manifested

According to Law of Attraction dictates, if we are to attract what we desire in life, we must to think about our desired object a lot, believe deeply that we will unquestionably receive it, and feel as excited now as we will when we receive it. In other words, we must raise our vibration to the level of the desired thing and it can’t resist us; it will naturally be drawn our way.

I’m not sure at what level a penthouse condo, S-class Mercedes, complete healing from an incurable disease or a famine-free life vibrates, so how does one match it? I also haven’t a clue how much time I must think about something before it actually materializes. On last week’s post about the Law of Attraction, a frustrated commenter mentioned that she’d been following the LOA dictates for years, and had concluded that she must be doing something wrong because she wasn’t materializing her desires.

If it doesn’t work, it means that I didn’t work it

Really. She thinks she’s the problem. Are we now blaming the victim rather than the misleading interpretation and misguided application of the Law of Attraction?

It appears to be very natural for us to give credence to the written word—particularly if it’s popular in our culture. Never mind that the words often contradict each other or they tell us to expect things that are implausible. We blindly believe in the expected outcomes, even after our lives and the lives of everyone around us fail to produce the predicted outcomes.

Cashing in on spiritual law

One thing was predictable to the producers of “The Secret” movie and other copycat media: human behavior. Humans crave control, and they would be magnetically attracted to a playbook that gives them the instructions to control their outcomes.

As for the millions who received no return on their investment, the response is typically: They must not have followed the steps correctly. They didn’t really, really believe in their heart of hearts that they could actually receive their desired outcome. Consider this: Maybe their “happy” frequency wasn’t high enough to attract that new home or complete reversal of terminal illness. Or, as someone recently told me, perhaps they simply didn’t believe that they deserved it. If we don’t believe it, it’s not going to happen.

Commercialized Law of Attraction’s Achilles’ heel

And that brings us to the Achilles heel of the commercialized version of this very spiritual law: surprises and disappointments. Not one enthusiast who has earned money espousing the virtues of LOA can prove or even claim that things always happen according to their dominant thoughts, visualizations of their desired objects or situations, beliefs in a certain outcome or emotions our beliefs about that outcome. Like everyone else, the only time they experience a deep disappointment is when they did all that and things didn’t materialize the way they envisioned.

If we follow their claims to their logical conclusion, what they’re saying is that if things never cross our minds and we don’t expect them, they will never manifest. Have these enthusiasts ever been surprised—pleasantly or unpleasantly? Of course. Will they stop trying to sell us material that insists we can do things to control every outcome? Probably not because humans predictably believe—and buy—without thinking.

Laws produce the same outcome for everyone. Otherwise it’s merely a possibility. But who’s going to pay for a book or a movie about that? Tell ’em it’s an ancient “secret.”

Bless their hearts, they found a way to commercialize karma–and in doing so, created some of their own because they know that nobody anywhere ever has gotten everything he or she wanted. If it was a law, everybody would. Laws produce the same results 100% of the time–whether they are spiritual laws or physical laws.

The Law of Surprise

The Law of Attraction denies the existence of surprises and disappointmentsI know: Maybe we should call it the “Law of Surprise.” After all, the outcome is the same for everyone: Whenever it happens, it’s unexpected. Always.

Such was the case earlier this week when I attended a seminar and entered a drawing to win an iPad. Everyone in the room wanted that iPad. I know that because when they asked prior to the drawing whether anyone had not yet registered, no one raised a hand.

The iPad wasn’t the only prize. There were three lovely mugs and several vases of flowers. I literally tried to become invisible during those drawings: I already have an enviable collection of mugs. Some are collectors items. So, no more mugs, please. And, since I was going to a meeting immediately after the seminar, I didn’t want to lug a vase full of flowers with me, either.

My eyes were still avoiding the front of the room when I heard the words “iPad” and “Pat Arnold” in the same breath. I was stunned! I’m one of those people who never wins anything really cool, and I had no expectation of breaking my streak.

But I did. Now, as my daughter squealed when I surprised her with an iPad at Christmas a couple of years ago, “My Apple Universe is complete!” And it happened while I was focused on what I didn’t want. Imagine that.

The physical realm does not control the spiritual realm

Here’s the thing: The Law of Attraction is a spiritual law. It applies exclusively to the spirit realm, just as physical laws exclusively apply to the physical realm.

Spiritual and physical laws also are not interchangeable. For example, physical law restricts physical beings and objects to one place at a time, no matter how much we desire to be in several. Spiritual law has no such restriction; invisible spirit can be everywhere at once.

Let me phrase it another way for those who believe that we are spiritual beings having a temporary physical experience: LOA applies to the invisible, immortal you: the soul that is temporarily wearing a human body costume. The law does not apply to the costume.

Your costume, which is limited both in nature, power and life span, has no ability or authority to successfully trump, direct or place demands on the spiritual realm, or manipulate spiritual laws for its benefit. But many have tried.

We may be confused, but LOA isn’t

The spiritual Law of Attraction says whatever you put out, you get back; what goes around comes around. Spiritually, it is simply another word for “karma.” Many confuse karma with punishment; but karma is merely the natural reciprocal for every action, including the good we do. That’s why LOA is also called the Law of Reciprocity.

Unlike the physical world, in the world of spirit, balance is always maintained. Scripturally, it’s been expressed as “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”—a bit graphic, but I think they wanted us to get the point. The way I express it is: “Whatever you do will be done to you.” Some might find that a bit graphic, too, depending upon what they’ve done.

From the Balcony of Life, there’s a bigger picture and broader context than is visible to those on stage. From here, it appears that our karma is not always balanced while we are playing a certain role and wearing a particular body costume. That is why so many of us tend to think that life is unfair. But our actions don’t stick like glue to the body costume that we’ll eventually slip out of. It sticks to us—as immortal souls.

That is the Law, and we should think about that before doing something to someone that we would not want done to us. Because it will.

Who’s directing the show?

Manifesting my shiny new iPad was the perfect punctuation for last week’s post about humans’ egoic belief that we control everything, including spiritual laws. I view my unexpected gift as a hat-tip and a wink from the Universe. (Thanks so much for the encouragement to continue speaking the truth from the Balcony of Life!)

How does LOA explain my unexpected windfall? It can’t, because what happens in life is more than the physical eye can see and the physical brain can comprehend—or control. I was simply lucky that day. That’s always a possibility.

 

Law of Attraction “secrets” that #LOA enthusiasts never mention

The Law of Attraction has been the focus of several conversations within the past week, inspiring me to update the book I wrote on the topic several years ago, Crossing an Unseen Bridge: The Law of Attraction Secrets No One Wants to Talk About. I’ve put it near the top of my to-do list. In the meantime, I’ll discuss it here.

For those who have heard the term “Law of Attraction” or have seen the hashtag “#LOA” but are not sure what it means, let’s first look at what a law is and isn’t, what it does and doesn’t do:

Laws produce the same result every time for everybody

First and foremost, laws are predictable. They produce the same result every time for everybody. That’s what distinguishes a law from a possibility. Imagine this: You’re going to a football game and every seat in the stadium is filled. You can predict with certainty that not one seat will suddenly be vacated because its occupant randomly floated into outer space.

Why? Because the Law of Gravity grounds every edifice to the planet, including that stadium; ditto for every seat in the stadium and every physical being or object occupying a seat.

This phenomenon doesn’t happen occasionally or frequently. It’s governed by a physical law. Consequently, there are no flying buildings or flying people—unless you’ve heard of instances of which I am not aware. If so, please share.

Laws don’t require human intervention

The Law of Attraction is KARMA by another nameWe don’t have to do anything to invoke the laws of gravity or attraction. We don’t have to read books or attend seminars to learn how to use these laws for our benefit. They are in effect all the time, without our awareness, intervention or facilitation.

Many disagree, starting with the creators of the 2006 “The Secret” movie and Rhonda Byrne’s bestselling book of the same title. They claim that the Law of Attraction doesn’t work unless we work it.

They contend that with some effort, we can attract everything we want or need. All we have to do is:

  • Repeatedly think about the object, situation or person of our desire (i.e., make it our dominant thought),
  • Believe that it will manifest, and
  • Maintain positive emotions that our desired outcome will manifest. The more gleeful we feel, the higher our vibration and the more likely it is that we will match the vibration of our desired thing.

If humans can manipulate the Law of Attraction to produce what they want, everyone who has followed these steps consistently receives what he or she wants, without one exception because laws produce the same results for all.

If we follow the same directions and get a different result, it is not a law

Since 2006, more than a million people have seen the “Secret” movie, bought the book, paid for seminars and practiced the principles espoused by the motivational speakers who appeared in them. Some of them got precisely what they desired—but not everyone. That would be a clue.

Sometimes we ignore clues. During a 2008 show that focused on what I call the commercialized version of the Law of Attraction, a couple of women had LOA testimonials. One claimed that because she decided to think positively about her husband’s surprise lay-off, and celebrate rather than mourn when he returned home, he landed an even better job weeks later. (One might ask what she was thinking before he was laid-off, if LOA did all that.)

Oprah shared an LOA testimonial of her own: She claimed that she had attracted a beautiful silver bubble blower from Tiffany & Co., just minutes after declaring to a guest who was making phenomenal bubbles that she’d love to have a bubble blower.

Wow! What a powerful demonstration of LOA, she thought. I didn’t. And she confirmed it when she finished the story:

In the next breath, Oprah told the audience that her assistant had given her that bubble blower from Tiffany & Co. several months earlier. Yes, months before a bubble blower was even on Oprah’s radar, let alone on her wish list, that gift had sat in her office, unopened. Her assistant brought the gift to Oprah’s attention after she mentioned it on the air.

Not to disparage Oprah. I like her personally. We socialized when we worked together at ABC-7 years ago. I’ve brought in a New Year at her home; I think she’s cool people and would never do or say anything to intentionally mislead anyone. But not only did she drink the LOA Kool-Aid, she gave credit to LOA that belonged to her poor assistant who’d been waiting for months for her gift to be opened.

I remember that incident so vividly because it inspired me to write “Crossing an Unseen Bridge.” Thank you, Girlfriend!

We must think before believing

If life worked as LOA disciples claim, everyone who follows its prescribed steps would attract their desired result. There would be no exceptions: Every sick person who wanted to be healed would be. Everybody who didn’t want to die would not. Everybody would be admitted to the college at the top of their list. Everybody would land the job and marry the mate of their desire.

People in countries who desperately want clean water, access to affordable healthcare and an end to war would receive that. And everyone who wants a lovely gift in a Tiffany box within minutes of expressing a desire for one. In fact, banish the thought, everyone who wanted to be released from prison would simply have to focus on their freedom, visualize themselves on the outside, and feel the ecstasy of that moment when they walk out of the pokey. Whoo hoo! Freedom! Praise LOA! Hallelujah, amen!

There are a number of other secrets that LOA enthusiasts don’t tell us. I’ll share them with you next week, starting with this little factoid: The monetized version of the Law of Attraction pretends that two words don’t exist in our vocabulary: Surprise and disappointment. In fact, you might call it LOA’s Achilles’ heel.

Know that I love you much—and I encourage you to keep thinking before believing.

Is forgiveness a matter of life and death?

You accept God's forgiveness by extending it to others--A Course in MiraclesMost of us believe that we’re granting someone a favor when we forgive them. In reality, we’re doing ourselves a favor: We’re freeing ourselves from the grip of any negative energy associated with the incident.

When we forgive others, we also are making a conscious choice to defer to what some call the Law of Reciprocity, the Law of Attraction or karma. We are trusting that in a “what-goes-around-comes-around” world, hurtful behavior will be naturally balanced at the most perfect time and in the most perfect way.

Allowing every soul to receive what we’ve given isn’t punishment or reward; it’s merely balance. It’s divine fairness.

Forgiving others also is a conscious decision to heal ourselves so that we can progress on our path instead of being stuck in someone’s stupid. Forgiving someone does not endorse or excuse their behavior. And it does not let them off the hook. They own their behavior, and they alone will be held accountable for everything they do.

It reminds me of the time I was walking out of my office and a concerned staff member called me back. I’d left my wallet on my desk. My response: “I have way too much work on my plate to add the task of monitoring someone else’s karma.”

As far as I was concerned: If someone came into my office without permission and stole my wallet, oh well. They had just signed a requisition for someone to violate their space and steal from them. It’s what happens whenever we do something to someone else that we wouldn’t want done to us. That’s why the rule is golden.

There’s no better time to be selfish than when deciding how to respond to someone’s harmful behavior. The most selfish thing we can do is to avoid creating any negative karma of our own by trying to even the score. The Divine doesn’t need our help in restoring balance. If there a role for us, something we must physically do, we will be guided. You’ll know that it’s Divine guidance if it is spoken calmly and you feel a sense of peace while hearing it and following the directions. If the words or directions cause you to feel angry or hurt, it’s not the Divine talking, it’s Ego.

Forgiveness does not heal relationships with anyone but yourself, and does not require that you remain in the friendship, marriage or other partnership, job or other organization. Once trust is lost, it takes more than forgiveness to restore it–and restoring trust is the other person’s job, not yours. But while forgiveness cannot necessarily heal a relationship, not forgiving might physically harm you.

Harboring anger and resentment linked to cancer

A study published in the November-December 2012 issue of Cancer Nursing: An International Journal for Cancer Care and cited on the US National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health website suggests a link between forgiveness and illness:

“The observed relations between religious characteristics and attitudes of guilt and forgiveness suggest that a careful examination of the role of religious beliefs and values is relevant in the clinical care of patients with cancer, both in the setting of early and advanced disease.”

Metaphysical lecturer and bestselling author Louise Hay, who claimed such a link in her 30-million copy bestseller, You Can Heal Your Life, focused specifically on cancer 20 years later in her book, Cancer: Discovering Your Healing Power. Hay asserted that resentment, criticism, and guilt create and maintain illness. And she presented forgiveness as the key to resolving diseases such as cancer.

We will not be held accountable for the way others treated us, only for the way we treated them, no matter how they treated us.Now, how do you feel about forgiveness? Inspired you to drop everything and start forgiving everyone who’s ever “wronged” you? There are things that have happened to us that we can’t recall or that we’ve protected ourselves from by stuffing those memories in the farthest reaches of our subconscious minds. If those situations are not healed, they can resurface—sometimes violently.

The situation is further complicated if you believe that you are a soul that is temporarily wearing a body. There could be thousands or millions of situations to forgive that are outside of our conscious awareness. To cover that possibility, I like to say: “I forgive myself for causing harm and I forgive everyone throughout my eternal life who has ever harmed me. I release all anger and negative energy that have chained me to those situations and souls.”

Life has dramatically taught me the transformational power of forgiveness, and I eagerly encourage others to reap the benefits of the practice (and it is a practice). Years ago, I created Forgiveness Coupons for one of my Drama Queen Workshops groups. The coupons were such a hit that I posted them on my website as a free download.

Right now, I’m in the process of a “gut rehab” of my original site, after remodeling it several times over the years. But some elements must follow me to the new domain. Among them, these precious coupons.

As I say in my workshops: “How would we experience the power of forgiveness if no one ever did anything that required it?”

I invite you to download the coupons as many times as necessary. Share them freely. Heal yourself and your loved ones—and as you practice forgiveness, be mindful not to do anything that would trigger self-forgiveness or the forgiveness of others. Balance makes no exception for you, Dear Soul.

Opening the eyes in back of your head

I recently reconnected with my college sweetheart and lifelong friend, who initiates a pleasant game of catch-up every once in a while. After all these years, I’m still surprised whenever he and his healthy sense of “what if…” curiosity suddenly reappear on my life path.

During our latest round of shoulda, woulda, coulda catch-up, we had a friendly debate about the value of revisiting the past. He insisted that it’s a healthy exercise, whether our memories are dramatically romanticized or even tinged with regret. Although I didn’t immediately admit it, he was right: Staring straight ahead can be myopic. Worse, we lose the valuable gifts tucked inside those rear view glances: context, life lessons and wisdom.

Rear-view mirror

(c) Bill Frymire

Perhaps you’ve noticed that we can’t always see where we’re going as clearly as where we’ve been. It’s the birthing chamber for those “If I only knew then what I know now” groans.

Ahhh, if our foresight was as 20/20 as our hindsight, life would be so much easier, wouldn’t it? But let’s be grateful that we have eyes in the back of our heads. With that hindsight, we can squeeze every drop of value from our experiences—pleasant and otherwise.

Easier to believe than to think

Albert EinsteinIt doesn’t take Jesus to tell us that putting new wine in old skins will make an absolute mess. It doesn’t take Einstein to tell us that doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome is simply wacko. That great teacher, Experience, has told us these things on numerous occasions.

It doesn’t profit us to blindfold the eyes in back of our heads or power down our brains when discerning truth from possibility. By now, we’ve had millions of chances to be “born again”: clear out the debris from thoughts and beliefs that we know, from experience, don’t work and let our evolutionary lessons inhabit this new space—staying open to the possibility that new discoveries might replace them, as well.

Is Earth really flat?

We don’t have to rely on what others told us to believe. For example, several Bible scriptures, including Revelation 7:1, Isaiah 11:12, Job 28:24 and 37:3,  tell us that Earth is flat. Eyes open, brains in full throttle, do we embrace these scriptures as Truth (the Word of God), or as insight into what ancient people believed was true?

During an online search for images depicting the “four corners of the Earth,” as described in Revelation 7:1, I discovered the existence of the International Flat Earth Society. Its members are dedicated to “unraveling the true mysteries of the universe and demonstrating that the earth is flat and that Round Earth doctrine is little more than an elaborate hoax.”

Half of what you see, none of what you hear

I also found the image I was seeking, created in 1893, complete with ten Biblical scriptures that “condemn the globe theory.” Among them, included scriptures claiming that the earth, moon and sun stand still.

Map of the square, stationary Earth

In the tradition of new wine in old skins, this map presents us with a round and square Earth. It was created using the same methodology as the Christian clergy at the Councils of Nicaea in 325 and 787 CE, who poured an Old Testament God inside New Testament wineskin. All over the floor splashed a bi-polar deity who is genocidal, filicidal, difficult to please, smiting, full of wrath, judgmental, homophobic, punitive, capricious, vindictive, sadistic, AND the unconditionally loving, forgiving father of prodigal children.

Does believing make it so?

Every minute of our lives, we have the opportunity to apply the lessons we’ve learned and use them as guides as we progress along our life paths. Instead, we repeat phrases and hold expectations that they will perform as if they are true, even though we’ve learned through observation and experience, they are not. Phrases that top that list: “Believing makes it so” and “What we think about, we bring about.”

Millions of us quote modern scribes who declare that we can manifest whatever circumstances, possessions and relationships into the physical world that we desire. All we have to do is “claim” them or follow a certain formula or invoke a particular spiritual law.

With all due respect to the writers of those theories, nothing we have experienced or witnessed validates their claim. When our eyes open and brains are in full throttle rather than idling in gullibility, we know that laws produce the same result, 100% of the time for 100% of those affected, independent of our thoughts or beliefs. Yet we keep doing the same thing, expecting a different result.

We also know that laws don’t have to be consciously invoked. When’s the last time you you invoked the Law of Gravity so that you could walk, sit or hang a picture without anything floating away?

Is possibility a law?

Anything is possible. But if the Law of Attraction works the way modern sages say, everything to which we devoted dominant thought and emotional energy, and visualized in great detail would appear in our experience. Nothing else.

In other words, there would be no dictionary entries for surprise or disappointment. We’d be in total control of our experience here; in fact, we’d have dominion over Earth, just as the ancient scribes believed. Wouldn’t that make our physical/ego selves’ toes curl with delight?

Opening the eyes in back of our heads

Perhaps it’s time for us to see a bigger picture, and make a game of it, as creative souls do. My dear friend Joe’s wonder-filled game of “what if…” seems perfect for this:

  • What if God is so much greater than the brain-limiting images of a huge being who looks like a human and lives in outer space?
  • What if God is a divine, immortal and invisible intelligence and we are made in that likeness and image, rather than the other way around?
  • What if we have misidentified ourselves as mere mortals?
  • What if we, as divine, immortal and invisible souls are much more invincible and intelligent than the sensory human body costumes we are temporarily wearing?
  • What if, in the divine, immortal and invisible world of Spirit, everything is perfect, in Divine Order?
  • What if, as divine, immortal and invisible souls, we are precisely where we want to be, having the experiences we want to have for this bat-of-an-eyelash moment in Universal Time?
  • What if attempts by our mortal, sensory human costumes to control the divinely perfect experience we’ve designed simply don’t work?
  • What if we let go of our limited vision of ourselves and consciously sought to identify ourselves as the divine, immortal omniscient spirit within us?
  • What if we trusted the Divine Within to be our pilots, instead of using our bodies and the brains within them to manipulate the circumstances, possessions and people in our physical lives?

Oh NO! Not the seven iron!

What to Do When Someone Does You Wrong, Part II

Perfect timing! On the heels of last week’s discussion about what to do when someone does you wrong, a couple of stellar volunteers have crept out of the woods to give us a real world example. Let’s bow our heads in sincere thanksgiving to a wandering Tiger who repeatedly lost his way, and publicly sacrificed his honorable reputation to demonstrate how it ultimately ruins your golden game.

While we’re at it, let’s observe a moment of silence for his angry mate, shall we? Her soul certainly could benefit from tightening her grip on a response to wanderlust that’s infinitely more evolutionary than a seven iron.

I won’t recap the nuts and bolts of the Tiger and Elin Woods story or the jokes that erupted in its wake. I won’t even address their insult to our intelligence. Did they really think we’d buy the implausible story that she had to rescue him by breaking the rear window of his SUV when any door—including the undamaged one in the rear—probably would have done the trick?

The real value of this sad little drama is the gift it offers our own lives. It is a story about how to act and react with integrity and character, how to honor ourselves by remembering that we are not Lone Rangers. Whatever we call the eternal spirit that gives us life—“The Traveler,” “The Observer,” “The Divine,” the “I Am,””Allah,” “God,” It is always with us, within us.

Wherever we go, the omnipresent God goes with us; whatever we do, the omnipresent God experiences it. When we do anything that we would not want done to us, we fail to honor the Divine within us. We temporarily disturb the order that the Divine has established.

Divine Order seeks balance. The Universe depends upon it. Without it, the very planets would spin out of control. When we create imbalance in our lives, we set the wheels in motion for that imbalance to be automatically corrected and for Divine Order to be reestablished. It happens through the spiritual Law of Attraction or, as some call it, the Law of Reciprocity. Plainly stated: Whatever you do will be done to you.

Avoiding unpleasant or painful situations (and people) requires pure selfishness, but not as traditionally defined. In a reap-what-you-sow world, selfishness is defined as actions that focus driven entirely by what’s in our best interest. Temporary gain is not in our best interest. What best serves our interest is doing whatever we can to assure that the Law of Reciprocity does not deliver unpleasant or painful situations into our experience.

The most selfish thing we can do is to treat others well. Selfish people ask: “How would I want to be treated? Is the action I’m contemplating something that I’d want done to me?” The response is instantaneous, and can be trusted to provide the best guidance. Deciding how to act—and react—doesn’t get any simpler than that.

For example, a selfish Tiger would have asked, “Would I want Elin to sneak around and be intimate with other men while I’m away?” The assorted felines (six, at last count) would have asked, “If I were married, would I want my husband to sneak around and be intimate with other women?” Elin would have asked, “Would I want to be physically accosted if I did something that angered Tiger?” If anyone in this cast of characters was selfish, none of us would even know that there was a fire hydrant near the Woods’ driveway.

We have no control over other people’s actions and are not held accountable for how they treated us, only how we treat them, no matter what they did to us. Consequently, it’s in our selfish best interest to focus our attention solely on our actions and reactions. All we should care about is that when the Great Balancer comes to call, He is swinging Sweetness and Light, not seven irons.

Ever since the late Anglo-Saxon period (c. 900-1100) when the concept of individual penance spread to England from Ireland, humans have believed that it is our job to design and price others’ sins. We must make them pay! A thousand years later, we’re still driving into God’s lane, determined to do a job that God is quite capable of doing.

Just last week, Elin Woods plowed a golf cart-sized hole in her original prenuptial agreement, as penance for Tiger’s infidelity. The prenup reportedly awarded her a lump sum of $20 million if she and Tiger remained married for ten years. Instead, she allegedly demanded that Tiger immediately pay her $20 mil. In exchange, she will remain in the marriage another two years. And she gets an even bigger payday if they later split. As one person commented on the Chicago Sun-Times website:

“Getting paid to stay in a relationship? Where I come from, that’s called “prostitution”. If it’s no longer for love, then it’s not a real marriage, is it? Very sad.”

Yes, this is very sad, but it’s also very instructive. How we respond to situations says more about us than it says about the person we’re judging or punishing.

I’m sure that it was not Elin’s intent to stick a gaudy price tag on her body. But she did, and wherever she goes, people will see her and instantly see it dangling from her golden locks. Another dramatic demonstration that you can’t hurt someone else without hurting yourself. Dignity is priceless–and losing it is something that Elin Woods obviously feels that she can now afford, along with millions of other disposables.

Elin and Tiger are reportedly in intense marriage counseling, with thrice-daily in-home sessions. Frankly, one good chat with Jenny Sanford might have helped Elin respond to infidelity in a more dignified and less karmic manner.

Mrs. Sanford, betrayed wife of South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, was highly instrumental in building and sustaining her husband’s political career. Despite all that sweat equity and the forfeiture of her own very successful career, she didn’t lunge for her husband’s golf clubs or his bank account after he abandoned her, their four sons, and the entire state of South Carolina to make passionate love to his “soul mate” in Argentina.

First and foremost, Jenny Sanford wanted her errant husband to be a role model for their four sons. By example, she wanted him to teach them what integrity looks like, what being a strong man looks like, and what valuing family looks like.

While Mark Sanford’s behavior was “inexcusable,” she told the New York Daily News, it was not unforgivable:

“Forgiveness opens the door for Mark to begin to work privately, humbly and respectfully toward reconciliation,” she wrote. “However, to achieve true reconciliation will take time, involve repentance, and will not be easy.”

“Mark has stated that his intent and determination is to save our marriage, and to make amends to the people of South Carolina,” she added. “I hope he can make good on those intentions, and for the sake of our boys I leave the door open to it.”

Jenny Sanford is a Thinker. She comprehends that in a reap-and-sow world, we are punished by our sins, not for them. Ultimately, the price we make others pay will cost us in the future—something the soul currently known as Elin Woods will eventually learn.

If she’s really fortunate, she also will learn the difference between power and force. And she will understand, as the powerful Jenny Sanford understands, that when we ask that our trespasses be forgiven in the same way that we forgive those who trespass against us, God and the Law of Attraction/Reciprocity answer our prayer with exact precision.

Why We Consistently Create Disappointment

Last week we discussed the phenomenon that prompted millions of us to buy into the claim that the Law of Attraction was a “secret.” After spending our hard-earned money, we discovered that we’d known the “secret” since childhood: You reap what you sow.

The Law of Attraction/Reciprocity has now been reincarnated, reinterpreted, repackaged and monetized as a means by which we can we sow positive thoughts and reap desired possessions, conditions and people into our lives. Thinkers: What do we know about laws? Physical or spiritual, they produce the same outcome 100% of the time for 100% of the people.

Positive thoughts, affirmations and visualizations have no impact on a law. Visualize yourself releasing a brick from your hand. Meditate on it floating into the sky. Feel the excitement of defying gravity. Now, let the brick go. Did it fall up?

How does the Law of Attraction work in its 21st Century incarnation, exactly? Does it enable us to attract our every desire 100% of the time? Shouldn’t it, if it’s called a law? What if we all want to have lots of money without working? Can we leverage the Law for that? Shouldn’t we be able to?

I read a story today about a guy in Kansas who won the lottery for the second time in a year. Last September, he won $75,000. Now he’s won nearly $900,000. Did he leverage the Law of Attraction the first time and become more proficient the second? Maybe…

“When I hit $75,000, I figured lighting struck once, it won’t ever hit again,” he said. “This one knocked me flat!”

OK, so the Law didn’t have anything to do with it. He had consciously rejected the idea of beating the odds again; but it happened anyway. I’m confused. That’s not the way it’s supposed to work. Is it? Generally, when the Law doesn’t work as predicted, the explanation usually includes some tactical error: didn’t do enough this or did too much of that. I am not convinced, for any number of reasons. Let me just cite a few:

Years ago, budding actor Dustin Hoffman wanted only to enjoy practicing his craft; he didn’t want to be famous. But it happened anyway. Years later, Oprah Winfrey was scared to death when our general manager decided to move her time slot to compete directly with Phil Donahue. She was sure that Donahue would annihilate her in the ratings; her dominant thought was fear. But she became the world’s most successful talk show host anyway.

What does this say about the power of thought and the Law of Attraction? Perhaps it’s this: You’re experiencing your soul’s life, not your body’s. Your physical brain and the desires of your body cannot reroute your eternal soul’s path. If your body and soul are not in agreement, your body will not get what it wants, when it wants it, no matter what metaphysical principles you practice.

Consider the possibility that each eternal soul’s finite experience on Earth has a purpose. That purpose is sometimes lofty, sometimes not. On occasion, a soul wants to experiment, push the envelope, and explore the possibilities on Planet Earth. Other times, a soul paves a distinct path, and everyone that it is destined to meet and all of the experiences that it has designed for its pleasure or growth are awaiting its arrival. In other words, as I like to say, the script is already written. Then someone tells your body that it can write a new script. Let’s climb into the balcony and see what that looks like:

INTERIOR: GOD’S FAMILY ROOM, FLOODED WITH LIGHT AND FILLED WITH FROLICKING KIDS

God is relaxing, watching them play, when a very serious looking child who has been staring out of the window suddenly beams himself next to his Father’s side. God leans over and kisses the child’s forehead.

GOD
(smiling)
Well, hello there, my little cherub. You’re looking awfully unhappy. What’s on your mind?

BLISS
Joy needs you over there on Earth. You’ve got to go help! I know that you can hear her. Why are you ignoring her?

GOD
Ignoring Joy? I don’t think that’s possible. Are you sure?

BLISS
(impatiently)
Yes, I’m sure.

BLISS points to the window where he had been intently watching the flurry of activity on Earth.

BLISS
See? Joy’s just talking, talking, talking to you over there, and you’re over here, not paying attention!

GOD
(A twinkle in his eyes)
Bliss, listen to me carefully. You know how much I love Joy, right?

BLISS
(nodding)
Yes.

GOD lifts BLISS and places him on His knee.

GOD
I love Joy unconditionally—the same way I love all of my children. No matter what she does or what she says, she’s mine and I love her. True?

BLISS nods

GOD
(Holding Bliss’s little face in His hands)
Now here’s what I want you to do: Close your eyes and bring Joy into your mind.
(He pauses)
Can you see her?

BLISS
Yes. She’s still talking to you, but she keeps looking at the sky.
(He frowns, puzzled)
Why is she doing that?

GOD
She thinks I’m in the sky. But never mind that.
Now. What else do you see?

BLISS’s eyes pop open. He’s surprised—and delighted.

BLISS
I see YOU, Daddy! You’re right there with her. I see her Light. Joy still has her Light!

GOD
(smiling)
That’s right, son. There is no spot where I am not.
Now close your eyes again. What else do you see?

BLISS
You’re whispering to her. You’re telling her that what she wants right now will stop her from fulfilling the mission she created before she left home.
But Daddy–she’s won’t stop talking so that she can’t hear you. She’s really, really upset that you’re not giving her what she wants.

Tears begin to stream down BLISS’S face. GOD tries to comfort him with a big hug.

BLISS
Why doesn’t she just shut up and listen to what you’re trying to tell her? Why, Daddy?

GOD
Joy has simply forgot that I am there. She’s lost touch. She’s been told so many times that I am far away, in the sky. Now she believes it, too.

BLISS
(sighing)
She doesn’t know that you’re right there? Can’t she see her Light? How is she going to keep from making a mess if she’s not listening?

GOD
(nodding sympathetically)
That’s the challenge all my children face when they pass through the Veil of Forgetfulness to the domain of the ego.
You know, the ego can only survive in the physical world.

BLISS
Really? It can’t beam itself anywhere else in the Universe like us souls?

GOD
No, so you can understand its frustration. Being bound to the physical world is a huge limitation. The ego would be all alone if no souls visited Earth. He makes them want to stay longer by keeping some kind of conflict going, whether it’s in their heads or with each other.

Ego makes them believe that Earth is the real world, and they believe it. He promises them that they can have anything they want—and he’s right. But because they think that Earth is all there is, they only want physical things.

BLISS
That’s all? Just physical things? But that stuff’s not forever. It’s not real.

GOD
I know. Ego doesn’t want them to know that. If they knew that they had as much power as they do, and they knew that the Source of that power was within them, they wouldn’t want to spend as much time over there entertaining Ego.
That’s why they’re weighed down with bodies the moment they arrive over there. It doesn’t take long for them to believe that they are bodies, not souls.

BLISS
(incredulous)
No!

GOD
Yes. They’ve forgotten who they are. They’ve forgotten that they all came from the same family. They’ve forgotten their Source. They look for answers outside of themselves, when everything they need is within.

Ego encourages them to fight with each other, yearn for money and possessions, and feed the drama of Earth. They act as if Earth is the center of the Universe.

BLISS
(bursting into a giggle)
You’re telling a story, Daddy! That’s too stupid to be true.

GOD
(smiling)
We don’t judge over here, remember?
No, it’s true, son. Let me explain it to you this way: The ego has a vested interest in focusing your brothers’ and sisters’ attention on the Earth’s stage, instead of on Home.
Ego drives a wedge between us by telling them that they were born evil, and that I’m really mad at them and think they’re unworthy. It even tells them that I plan to torture most of them forever because they’re so bad. They hear it so much that they believe it.

BLISS
(alarmed)
That’s crazy! They know that you are Love, Daddy!

GOD
They knew it before they left home. But they don’t stop to ask, “Would Love do that?” Instead, they believe that I hurt people.

BLISS
But if they really believe that, why would they ask you to help them when they’re in trouble? Why would they expect anyone so mean to really help them?

GOD
Because Ego also told them that even though I’m a tyrant who demands worship, I also am a loving Father. So if they beg just the right way and do just the right things, I’ll grant their requests.

BLISS
And they believe THAT? Are tyrants loving? Does a loving Father torture? That’s stu— I mean, that doesn’t make any sense!
So how do they get what they want? And what if the thing they want isn’t the right thing for them? They expect you to just say yes? That must be the tyrant part, not the loving Father part, right?

GOD
I know it’s confusing. But that’s what happens when souls rely on human brains for understanding, instead of seeking Divine Guidance. It’s a challenge. In fact, Joy and I talked about this before she left.

BLISS
(concerned)
But, Daddy, she forgot! Wha-what’s going to happen to her now? Look at her; she’s working so hard to make things go her way. She’s so sure that this is the right thing.

GOD
(nodding)
I know.

BLISS
It’s not right for her, is it?

GOD
No, son, it’s not. But she has free will. She controls her outcomes, not me. There’s a natural consequence for every decision she makes. If she keeps doing what she’s doing and keeps meeting disappointment and heartache, she may decide to be still and listen to the still small voice within her.

I am not going anywhere. I’ll be there whenever she wants to talk to me, and I will give her guidance whenever she wants to listen.

BLISS
(gently leaning his head on God’s chest)
Thanks, Daddy. What would we do without you?

GOD
(leaning over to kiss BLISS forehead)
You’ll never have to find out, son. You’ll never have to find out.

LIGHT FADES, CURTAIN FALLS

Why We Consistently Create Disappointment

Last week we discussed the phenomenon that prompted millions of us to buy into the claim that the Law of Attraction was a “secret.” After spending our hard-earned money, we discovered that we’d known the “secret” since childhood: You reap what you sow.

The Law of Attraction/Reciprocity has now been reincarnated, reinterpreted, repackaged and monetized as a means by which we can we sow positive thoughts and reap desired possessions, conditions and people into our lives. Thinkers: What do we know about laws? Physical or spiritual, they produce the same outcome 100% of the time for 100% of the people.

Positive thoughts, affirmations and visualizations have no impact on a law. Visualize yourself releasing a brick from your hand. Meditate on it floating into the sky. Feel the excitement of defying gravity. Now, let the brick go. Did it fall up?

How does the Law of Attraction work in its 21st Century incarnation, exactly? Does it enable us to attract our every desire 100% of the time? Shouldn’t it, if it’s called a law? What if we all want to have lots of money without working? Can we leverage the Law for that? Shouldn’t we be able to?

I read a story today about a guy in Kansas who won the lottery for the second time in a year. Last September, he won $75,000. Now he’s won nearly $900,000. Did he leverage the Law of Attraction the first time and become more proficient the second? Maybe…

“When I hit $75,000, I figured lighting struck once, it won’t ever hit again,” he said. “This one knocked me flat!”

OK, so the Law didn’t have anything to do with it. He had consciously rejected the idea of beating the odds again; but it happened anyway. I’m confused. That’s not the way it’s supposed to work. Is it? Generally, when the Law doesn’t work as predicted, the explanation usually includes some tactical error: didn’t do enough this or did too much of that. I am not convinced, for any number of reasons. Let me just cite a few:

Years ago, budding actor Dustin Hoffman wanted only to enjoy practicing his craft; he didn’t want to be famous. But it happened anyway. Years later, Oprah Winfrey was scared to death when our general manager decided to move her time slot to compete directly with Phil Donahue. She was sure that Donahue would annihilate her in the ratings; her dominant thought was fear. But she became the world’s most successful talk show host anyway.

What does this say about the power of thought and the Law of Attraction? Perhaps it’s this: You’re experiencing your soul’s life, not your body’s. Your physical brain and the desires of your body cannot reroute your eternal soul’s path. If your body and soul are not in agreement, your body will not get what it wants, when it wants it, no matter what metaphysical principles you practice.

Consider the possibility that each eternal soul’s finite experience on Earth has a purpose. That purpose is sometimes lofty, sometimes not. On occasion, a soul wants to experiment, push the envelope, and explore the possibilities on Planet Earth. Other times, a soul paves a distinct path, and everyone that it is destined to meet and all of the experiences that it has designed for its pleasure or growth are awaiting its arrival. In other words, as I like to say, the script is already written. Then someone tells your body that it can write a new script. Let’s climb into the balcony and see what that looks like:

INTERIOR: GOD’S FAMILY ROOM, FLOODED WITH LIGHT AND FILLED WITH FROLICKING KIDS

God is relaxing, watching them play, when a very serious looking child who has been staring out of the window suddenly beams himself next to his Father’s side. God leans over and kisses the child’s forehead.

GOD
(smiling)
Well, hello there, my little cherub. You’re looking awfully unhappy. What’s on your mind?

BLISS
Joy needs you over there on Earth. You’ve got to go help! I know that you can hear her. Why are you ignoring her?

GOD
Ignoring Joy? I don’t think that’s possible. Are you sure?

BLISS
(impatiently)
Yes, I’m sure.

BLISS points to the window where he had been intently watching the flurry of activity on Earth.

BLISS
See? Joy’s just talking, talking, talking to you over there, and you’re over here, not paying attention!

GOD
(A twinkle in his eyes)
Bliss, listen to me carefully. You know how much I love Joy, right?

BLISS
(nodding)
Yes.

GOD lifts BLISS and places him on His knee.

GOD
I love Joy unconditionally—the same way I love all of my children. No matter what she does or what she says, she’s mine and I love her. True?

BLISS nods

GOD
(Holding Bliss’s little face in His hands)
Now here’s what I want you to do: Close your eyes and bring Joy into your mind.
(He pauses)
Can you see her?

BLISS
Yes. She’s still talking to you, but she keeps looking at the sky.
(He frowns, puzzled)
Why is she doing that?

GOD
She thinks I’m in the sky. But never mind that.
Now. What else do you see?

BLISS’s eyes pop open. He’s surprised—and delighted.

BLISS
I see YOU, Daddy! You’re right there with her. I see her Light. Joy still has her Light!

GOD
(smiling)
That’s right, son. There is no spot where I am not.
Now close your eyes again. What else do you see?

BLISS
You’re whispering to her. You’re telling her that what she wants right now will stop her from fulfilling the mission she created before she left home.
But Daddy–she’s won’t stop talking so that she can’t hear you. She’s really, really upset that you’re not giving her what she wants.

Tears begin to stream down BLISS’S face. GOD tries to comfort him with a big hug.

BLISS
Why doesn’t she just shut up and listen to what you’re trying to tell her? Why, Daddy?

GOD
Joy has simply forgot that I am there. She’s lost touch. She’s been told so many times that I am far away, in the sky. Now she believes it, too.

BLISS
(sighing)
She doesn’t know that you’re right there? Can’t she see her Light? How is she going to keep from making a mess if she’s not listening?

GOD
(nodding sympathetically)
That’s the challenge all my children face when they pass through the Veil of Forgetfulness to the domain of the ego.
You know, the ego can only survive in the physical world.

BLISS
Really? It can’t beam itself anywhere else in the Universe like us souls?

GOD
No, so you can understand its frustration. Being bound to the physical world is a huge limitation. The ego would be all alone if no souls visited Earth. He makes them want to stay longer by keeping some kind of conflict going, whether it’s in their heads or with each other.

Ego makes them believe that Earth is the real world, and they believe it. He promises them that they can have anything they want—and he’s right. But because they think that Earth is all there is, they only want physical things.

BLISS
That’s all? Just physical things? But that stuff’s not forever. It’s not real.

GOD
I know. Ego doesn’t want them to know that. If they knew that they had as much power as they do, and they knew that the Source of that power was within them, they wouldn’t want to spend as much time over there entertaining Ego.
That’s why they’re weighed down with bodies the moment they arrive over there. It doesn’t take long for them to believe that they are bodies, not souls.

BLISS
(incredulous)
No!

GOD
Yes. They’ve forgotten who they are. They’ve forgotten that they all came from the same family. They’ve forgotten their Source. They look for answers outside of themselves, when everything they need is within.

Ego encourages them to fight with each other, yearn for money and possessions, and feed the drama of Earth. They act as if Earth is the center of the Universe.

BLISS
(bursting into a giggle)
You’re telling a story, Daddy! That’s too stupid to be true.

GOD
(smiling)
We don’t judge over here, remember?
No, it’s true, son. Let me explain it to you this way: The ego has a vested interest in focusing your brothers’ and sisters’ attention on the Earth’s stage, instead of on Home.
Ego drives a wedge between us by telling them that they were born evil, and that I’m really mad at them and think they’re unworthy. It even tells them that I plan to torture most of them forever because they’re so bad. They hear it so much that they believe it.

BLISS
(alarmed)
That’s crazy! They know that you are Love, Daddy!

GOD
They knew it before they left home. But they don’t stop to ask, “Would Love do that?” Instead, they believe that I hurt people.

BLISS
But if they really believe that, why would they ask you to help them when they’re in trouble? Why would they expect anyone so mean to really help them?

GOD
Because Ego also told them that even though I’m a tyrant who demands worship, I also am a loving Father. So if they beg just the right way and do just the right things, I’ll grant their requests.

BLISS
And they believe THAT? Are tyrants loving? Does a loving Father torture? That’s stu— I mean, that doesn’t make any sense!
So how do they get what they want? And what if the thing they want isn’t the right thing for them? They expect you to just say yes? That must be the tyrant part, not the loving Father part, right?

GOD
I know it’s confusing. But that’s what happens when souls rely on human brains for understanding, instead of seeking Divine Guidance. It’s a challenge. In fact, Joy and I talked about this before she left.

BLISS
(concerned)
But, Daddy, she forgot! Wha-what’s going to happen to her now? Look at her; she’s working so hard to make things go her way. She’s so sure that this is the right thing.

GOD
(nodding)
I know.

BLISS
It’s not right for her, is it?

GOD
No, son, it’s not. But she has free will. She controls her outcomes, not me. There’s a natural consequence for every decision she makes. If she keeps doing what she’s doing and keeps meeting disappointment and heartache, she may decide to be still and listen to the still small voice within her.

I am not going anywhere. I’ll be there whenever she wants to talk to me, and I will give her guidance whenever she wants to listen.

BLISS
(gently leaning his head on God’s chest)
Thanks, Daddy. What would we do without you?

GOD
(leaning over to kiss BLISS forehead)
You’ll never have to find out, son. You’ll never have to find out.

LIGHT FADES, CURTAIN FALLS

Why the rule is golden

What if, at the end of the day, you will not be held accountable for what others did to you, only what you did to them—no matter what they did to you?

I don’t know about you; but frankly, this kind of accountability is scarier than the claim that God will burn my soul in a fiery hell. (By the way, if there are any physicists out there, please leave a comment or a link explaining how a physical element such as fire actually burns a non-physical soul. Or is that complication why it takes all eternity to accomplish this task?)

I admit that I probably spend more time thinking about this stuff than most folks, but I am absolutely fascinated by the way humans behave, because it’s such an accurate reflection of what they believe about Life and about God. Anoint my little pointed head with oil if you feel I’m off-base here; but if God is Love, “He” would not use torture as a tactic or a threat to correct errant behavior. And let’s face it: It hasn’t been very effective. That’s proof enough for me that the real God, the one and only God, does not solve problems this way.

What seems more a godly and powerful way to address sin/error, and what makes better sense to me, is the Law of Reciprocity. What is that, exactly? It must be important because all of the major religions of the world warn us to respect it. Perhaps these words are familiar to you:

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, for this is the law and
the prophets.” Christianity

“What is hurtful to yourself do not do to your fellow man. That is the
whole of the Torah and the remainder is but commentary.” Judaism

“Do unto all men as you would wish to have done unto you; and reject for
others what you would reject for yourselves.” Islam

“Hurt not others with that which pains yourself.” Buddhism

Tzu-Kung asked: “Is there one principle upon which one’s who life may
proceed?” The Master replied, “Is not Reciprocity such a principle?—what you do
not yourself desire do not put before others.” Confucianism

“This is the sum of all true righteousness—Treat others as thou
wouldst thyself be treated. Do nothing to thy neighbor that hereafter Thou
wouldst not have thy neighbor do to thee.” Hinduism
Oneness: Great Principles Shared by All Religions

Most of us don’t take these words seriously. By the way we treat our friends, co-workers, employees, lovers and even strangers, it’s clear we haven’t noticed that we hurt ourselves significantly when we ignore the potential pain that the Law of Reciprocity can usher into our lives.

“Do unto others only what you’d want done to you” is the clearest and
simplest way to avoid the flip side of reciprocity. In Loud Mouth-speak, it
boils down to: “Whatever you do will be done to you.” But I’ll let the
scriptures speak:

“It’s nature’s rule that as we sow, we shall reap.” Buddhism

“Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” Christianity

“A liberal man will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be
watered.” Judaism

“What proceeds from you will return to you.” Confucianism

“Thou canst not gather what thou dost not sow; as thou dost plant the tree
so it will grow.” Hinduism

“Whatever man soweth, that shall he reap. If he soweth trouble, trouble
shall be his harvest. If a man sow poison, he cannot expect ambrosia.” Sikhism

It’s difficult to ignore the simplicity and universality of the Law of Reciprocity when you see that so many religions teach the same message. And did I mention how divinely fair this law is: An eye for an eye, not eternal damnation for several decades of sin.

Besides being fair, the Law of Reciprocity, also known as the Law of Attraction, sets God free from a theater of endless tragedies. It lets God be godly, and maintain “His” focus on the Divine rather than the depraved. The Law requires no mind-numbing recordkeeping for numerous millennia, and it involves no demonic child abuse or other torturous tasks that do not befit a Spirit as divine as God.

If God can implant a steady stream of ideas into the minds of mere mortals to make our Internet speed faster, telephones and cameras smaller, and overall quality of life easier, it’s possible that “He” could also implant a self-correcting system of accountability in our souls that would make “His” life a lot easier. That system: The Law of Reciprocity/Attraction.

We can embrace the stories that depict God as an angry, vindictive, conditionally forgiving brute who helps some of “His” kids pass their cosmetology exams and win football games and lets pedophiles prey on “His” other kids, or we can write a different script—like this one, which has greater potential for attracting more joyful reciprocal circumstances than the script we currently have adopted:

INTERIOR: GOD’S LIVING ROOM, FLOODED WITH LIGHT

God is relaxing when one of His kids runs into the room breathlessly. He looks up, smiles and lovingly strokes the child’s head.)

GOD
Well, hello there, my little angel. Why are you so excited?
JOY
Jimmy and Paul said they’re going to spend the afternoon on Earth. I wanna go, too! Can I go? Can I go?
GOD
Of course, you may go, Precious. There’s plenty of drama over there to keep you busy for several hours.
JOY
(Jumping up and down with glee)
OK. What do I need to take with me?
GOD
Sweetheart, you have everything you need right inside you. Can you see your Christ Light?
JOY
(Looking halfway down her ethereal body, and pointing toward the glowing ball of light)
Yep. It’s right there!
GOD
Well, all you need to do is keep an eye on It. It will remind you that I am with you always.
JOY
(Grabbing God around the neck.)
Thanks, Daddy!
JOY runs toward the door, then pauses and turns around.
JOY
Are you going to miss me?
GOD(Laughing)
How can I miss you if I’m going with you, Sweetheart? You haven’t even crossed the Veil of Forgetfulness at the entrance to Earth, and you’ve forgotten that already?
JOY
(Looking sheepish)
I’m sorry, Daddy.
GOD
It’s OK, Dear. You know that all is forgiven. I just want you to enjoy yourself this afternoon. Now remember, in human time, that translates to about 75 or 80 Earth years, but when it’s time to come home, you’ll know. And don’t forget that you still have free will. You can do anything you want to do over there, but the play rules are the same as over here.
JOY
I know: Don’t do anything to anyone else that I don’t want done to me, because I will reap what I sow.
GOD
That’s right, Love. Try not to forget that.And please remember to pause frequently this afternoon and look toward your Light. Just be still and think about my Unconditional Love for you. You’ll feel my presence, and you’ll remember that you are not alone. There is no spot where I am not.
Oh, and one more thing: There is a little troublemaker who lives on Earth. His name is Ego. He’ll be talking in your head so much that you’ll think that his thoughts are your thoughts. He doesn’t talk as gently as Daddy. One of his tricks is to distract you so that you can’t hear me when I talk to you, so quiet time will be important.
Ego wants to control you. He wants you to think that you are merely the body costume that you’ll be wearing over there, and that you are mortal like your body.
JOY
(giggling)
That’s so silly, Daddy. Who would believe that?
GOD
You’d be surprised. Ego is pretty clever. He takes advantage of the Veil of Forgetfulness. And he’s a liar.He’s going to try to convince you to lean on him instead of me,and he’ll try to make you do things to others that you wouldn’t want anyone to do to you.
You’re strong and powerful. You’ll be able to overcome him if you remember that you’re mine, and he has no power over you. Just don’t let him trick you into giving him your power, OK?

JOY waves and reaches for the door knob.

JOY
I won’t, Daddy, I promise. I love you!

GOD

I love you more, Sweetheart. Have fun, and remember that:

  • Life is always fair, so don’t do anything to anyone over there that you wouldn’t want done to you!
  • God is never far. I am the Light and the Love within you.
  • Don’t believe anyone who tells you that death on planet Earth is “the end.”
  • And this is very important, Baby Girl: Remember that absolutely nothing is unforgivable. No matter what anyone does to you, forgive them as quickly as you’d want to be forgiven if you’d made the mistake, OK?

JOY
I will, Daddy. See you shortly!

GOD
Absolutely. You’ll be back here before you know it. Now scoot, so that you will be home before dark.Have a wonderful time today. When you get back, we’ll talk about all the things you did over there. OK?

LIGHT FADES, CURTAIN FALLS

Why the rule is golden

What if, at the end of the day, you will not be held accountable for what others did to you, only what you did to them—no matter what they did to you? 

I don’t know about you; but frankly, this kind of accountability is scarier than the claim that God will burn my soul in a fiery hell. (By the way, if there are any physicists out there, please leave a comment or a link explaining how a physical element such as fire actually burns a non-physical soul. Or is that complication why it takes all eternity to accomplish this task?)

I admit that I probably spend more time thinking about this stuff than most folks, but I am absolutely fascinated by the way humans behave, because it’s such an accurate reflection of what they believe about Life and about God. Anoint my little pointed head with oil if you feel I’m off-base here; but if God is Love, “He” would not use torture as a tactic or a threat to correct errant behavior. And let’s face it: It hasn’t been very effective. That’s proof enough for me that the real God, the one and only God, does not solve problems this way.

What seems more a godly and powerful way to address sin/error, and what makes better sense to me, is the Law of Reciprocity. What is that, exactly? It must be important because all of the major religions of the world warn us to respect it. Perhaps these words are familiar to you:

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, for this is the law and the prophets.” Christianity

“What is hurtful to yourself do not do to your fellow man. That is the whole of the Torah and the remainder is but commentary.” Judaism

“Do unto all men as you would wish to have done unto you; and reject for others what you would reject for yourselves.” Islam

“Hurt not others with that which pains yourself.”  Buddhism

Tzu-Kung asked: “Is there one principle upon which one’s who life may proceed?” 
The Master replied, “Is not Reciprocity such a principle?—what you do not yourself desire do not put before others.”  Confucianism

“This is the sum of all true righteousness—
Treat others as thou wouldst thyself be treated. Do nothing to thy neighbor that hereafter Thou wouldst not have thy neighbor do to thee.”  Hinduism

Oneness: Great Principles Shared by All Religions

Most of us don’t take these words seriously. By the way we treat our friends, co-workers, employees, lovers and even strangers, it’s clear we haven’t noticed that we hurt ourselves significantly when we ignore the potential pain that the Law of Reciprocity can usher into our lives.

“Do unto others only what you’d want done to you” is the clearest and simplest way to avoid the flip side of reciprocity. In Loud Mouth-speak, it boils down to: “Whatever you do will be done to you.” But I’ll let the scriptures speak:

“It’s nature’s rule that as we sow, we shall reap.”  Buddhism

“Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.”  Christianity

“A liberal man will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.”  Judaism

“What proceeds from you will return to you.”  Confucianism

“Thou canst not gather what thou dost not sow; as thou dost plant the tree so it will grow.”  Hinduism

“Whatever man soweth, that shall he reap. If he soweth trouble, trouble shall be his harvest. If a man sow poison, he cannot expect ambrosia.”  Sikhism

Oneness: Great Principles Shared by All Religions 

It’s difficult to ignore the simplicity and universality of the Law of Reciprocity when you see that so many religions teach the same message. And did I mention how divinely fair this law is: An eye for an eye, not eternal damnation for several decades of sin.

Besides being fair, the Law of Reciprocity, also known as the Law of Attraction, sets God free from a theater of endless tragedies. It lets God be godly, and maintain “His” focus on the Divine rather than the depraved. The Law requires no mind-numbing recordkeeping for numerous millennia, and it involves no demonic child abuse or other torturous tasks that do not befit a Spirit as divine as God.

If God can implant a steady stream of ideas into the minds of mere mortals to make our Internet speed faster, telephones and cameras smaller, and overall quality of life easier, it’s possible that “He” could also implant a self-correcting system of accountability in our souls that would make “His” life a lot easier. That system: The Law of Reciprocity/Attraction.

We can embrace the stories that depict God as an angry, vindictive, conditionally forgiving brute who helps some of “His” kids pass their cosmetology exams and win football games and lets pedophiles prey on “His” other kids, or we can write a different script—like this one, which has greater potential for attracting more joyful reciprocal circumstances than the script we currently have adopted:

INTERIOR: GOD’S LIVING ROOM, FLOODED WITH LIGHT

(God is relaxing when one of His kids runs into the room breathlessly. He looks up, smiles and lovingly strokes the child’s head.)

GOD 
Well, hello there, my little angel. Why are you so excited?

JOY
Jimmy and Paul said they’re going to spend the afternoon on Earth. I wanna go, too! Can I go? Can I go?

GOD
Of course, you may go, Precious. There’s plenty of drama over there to keep you busy for several hours.

JOY
(Jumping up and down with glee)
OK. What do I need to take with me?

GOD
Sweetheart, you have everything you need right inside you. Can you see your Christ Light?
 
JOY
(Looking halfway down her ethereal body, and pointing toward the glowing ball of light)
Yep. It’s right there!

GOD
Well, all you need to do is keep an eye on It. It will remind you that I am with you always.

JOY
(Grabbing God around the neck.)
Thanks, Daddy!

JOY runs toward the door, then pauses and turns around.

JOY
Are you going to miss me?

GOD
(Laughing)
How can I miss you if I’m going with you, Sweetheart? You haven’t even crossed the Veil of Forgetfulness at the entrance to Earth, and you’ve forgotten that already?

JOY
(Looking sheepish)
I’m sorry, Daddy.

GOD
It’s OK, Dear. You know that all is forgiven. I just want you to enjoy yourself this afternoon.
Now remember, in human time, that translates to about 75 or 80 Earth years, but when it’s time to come home, you’ll know.
And don’t forget that you still have free will.
You can do anything you want to do over there, but the play rules are the same as over here.

JOY
I know: Don’t do anything to anyone else that I don’t want done to me, because I will reap what I sow.

GOD
That’s right, Love. Try not to forget that.
And please remember to pause frequently this afternoon and look toward your Light.
Just be still and think about my Unconditional Love for you.
You’ll feel my presence, and you’ll remember that you are not alone. There is no spot where I am not.

Oh, and one more thing: There is a little troublemaker who lives on Earth. His name is Ego. He’ll be talking in your head so much that you’ll think that his thoughts are your thoughts. He doesn’t talk as gently as Daddy. One of his tricks is to distract you so that you can’t hear me when I talk to you, so quiet time will be important.

Ego wants to control you. He wants you to think that you are merely the body costume that you’ll be wearing over there, and that you are mortal like your body.

JOY
(giggling)
That’s so silly, Daddy. Who would believe that?

GOD
You’d be surprised. Ego is pretty clever. He takes advantage of the Veil of Forgetfulness. And he’s a liar.
He’s going to try to convince you to lean on him instead of me,
and he’ll try to make you do things to others that you wouldn’t want anyone to do to you.

You’re strong and powerful. You’ll be able to overcome him if you remember that you’re mine, and he has no power over you. Just don’t let him trick you into giving him your power, OK?

JOY waves and reaches for the door knob.

JOY
I won’t, Daddy, I promise. I love you!

GOD
I love you more, Sweetheart. Have fun, and remember that:   

  • Life is always fair, so don’t do anything to anyone over there that you wouldn’t want done to you!
  • God is never far. I am the Light and the Love within you.
  • Don’t believe anyone who tells you that death on planet Earth is “the end.”
  • And this is very important, Baby Girl: Remember that absolutely nothing is unforgivable. No matter what anyone does to you, forgive them as quickly as you’d want to be forgiven if you’d made the mistake, OK?

JOY
I will, Daddy. See you shortly!

GOD
Absolutely. You’ll be back here before you know it. Now scoot, so that you will be home before dark.
Have a wonderful time today. When you get back, we’ll talk about all the things you did over there. OK?

LIGHT FADES, CURTAIN FALLS

Is truth more important than facts?

In the coin section of my wallet, I carry the tag from an old teabag. It’s a quote from French Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire: “A witty saying proves nothing.” Amen.

We love clever sayings—even if they don’t make sense, even if our own life experiences have demonstrated something to the contrary, and even if we don’t fully understand the implications of the claim that is being made. We just pass these sayings to others on without thinking, especially if it threatens us.

In the e-mail world, this is done by clicking “forward.” I’ve repeatedly received a Bible verse claiming that Jesus said something judgmental and threatening. Each time I’ve received it, I ask the sender if she (it’s always a woman) really believes that Jesus would say something so unChristlike. Those who respond always say that they hadn’t thought about it. That’s the part I don’t understand. It’s the thinking faculty that separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom.

Some of the other oft-repeated sayings that fill me with wonder are those surrounding the spiritual Law of Attraction. These witticisms preach that you can have anything you want: Think it, believe it, visualize it, hold it as a dominant thought, and it will manifest out of thin air. That is the message of these sayings. 

Some not only believe that this is true, they believe that repeating these witticisms actually gives others some hope that they can turn things around. Is it hope or a headache that they’re giving them?

According to the Law of Attraction prophets (many of whom are focused solely on profits), you can have anything you want—even if it’s not yours. You can have anything you want—even if it is not for your Highest Good to have it. You can have anything you want—even though your soul desires something totally different. You can have what you want—even if there’s only one of it, and more than one person wants it. Then that leads to the “blessed and highly favored” sayings that imply that Our Father plays favorites.

Witty sayings prove something if they are true 100% of the time for 100% of the people. If it happens for some, but not for everyone, it’s a possibility, not a truth. And they should be regarded as possibilities and nothing more.

How about this saying from the Loud Mouth: “What’s yours, you will get—at the right time and in the most perfect way—and no one can keep you from it.” While I have no proof that this happens 100% of the time for 100% of the people, there is some empirical evidence that reveals that it’s more probable than “you can have anything you want.”

Anyone who’s ever had a disappointment had to have anticipated a specific outcome: They visualized it, made it their dominant thought, and they believed that it was going to happen. But it didn’t—or it happened for someone else.

Two weeks ago, hardly anyone knew who Kesha Ni’Cole Nichols was. In her world, in her mind, and according to her plans, she was going to be honeymooning with  NBA star Richard Jefferson right now.

This young woman had planned a $2 million wedding day. (The thought of a woman spending that kind of money for a ceremony and celebration that were going to last a few hours might have made any young man choke: Would he have enough money to sustain her for the rest of the year?) But I digress:

How many times do you think Ms. Nichols visualized herself proudly walking down the aisle with a church full of high-profile folks looking adoringly at her ridiculously expensive wedding gown? In this scene, the love of her life was always waiting at the end of aisle, eagerly waiting to say, “I take this woman.” Not once did it cross her mind that Jefferson would dump her the night before. In order to spend that kind of money, you could not have spent time thinking about anything but that wedding day. It was certifiably her dominant thought. And look what happened.

Ms. Nichols is not an exception. These things happen all the time. Heck, they’ve happened to you. It would be crass and untrue to say, “If you want to make God laugh, just make plans.” But you have to admit that it’s witty–and o are clever motivational sayings and formulas touting dominant thoughts, visualizations and other predictors of success, prosperity, and wellness that cannot be proved.

In fact, experience has proved otherwise. With the misperception that we are merely mortal creatures, and that acquiring stuff while we’re in these bodies will make us happy, these witty sayings steer us in the direction of material joy.

In actuality, peace of mind is what truly brings joy. Few things disturb our peace of mind more than getting, having stuff and keeping stuff. What we need are some sayings that give us peace of mind when we can’t pay our bills or when we face health challenges–sayings that have nothing to do with changing the circumstances, but understanding why we created them in the first place. Hmmm, how about: “Trust that whatever you are experiencing is designed by your soul for its Highest Good. Allow it to fulfill its purpose.”

I admit, it might not be very inspirational, but if I know that I am eternal and that the problem I’m facing is not, I am more likely to relax and trust that the soul and the God Spirit within me know what they’re doing.

Maybe it’s the Virgo in me, but I like to understand and analyze my experiences. Based on my belief that things don’t happen to me, they happen for me, I always ask the God Within: “Why did I create this situation, and how does it serve me?” Invariably–usually within 24 hours because I’ve practiced this so long–it is revealed why I am having that experience, and how it is benefitting me. As a consequence, I am rarely disturbed when things happen. I accept that it is happening for my growth and Highest Good. That doesn’t mean that I am delighted that I’m having the discomfort. For added measure, I frequently say something like, “I am open to experience something more pleasant, at the earliest and most perfect time.”

Challenges build muscle, teach lessons and stimulate growth. The last person you want to be around if things go wrong is someone who has not faced a challenge or a disappointment before. Problems are good. Disappointments are good. Not getting everything you want is good. Learning from every experience–and seizing the growth or practice opportunities they present–is even better. 

What advice have you been given, based on a motivational saying, that was fact but not truth? How did you respond? Would you like to share so that we can all grow?