Monday, October 4, 2010

Higher Power - The Force - God

One of the keys to recovering our True Self is an intimate relationship with a Higher Power of our own understanding. What name might we use, well in 1654 Athanasius Kircher claimed to have found 950 names! What ever name you prefer: Higher Power, Great Spirit, The Lord, or simply The Force, all are good. One excellent reference is the "Infinite" because different names allow differences, but there is only one Infinite, so we all can share it. 

The point is there are many choices, so find what works for you to access your own personal and Higher Power. At Cowboy Dharma we are comfortable with them all so switch around a bit just to keep it fresh and lively. The name God carries a lot of baggage so many avoid it, but it does seems a fitting name, as it infers infinite power, presence, and wisdom.

The alternative is a big, dumb, random universe. Personally, we find creation too complex, diverse, and intelligent for that to be true. There appears to be a divine force that manifested this awesome and incredible drama of creation and life to emerge, expand, and thrive through-out the ages. Also you,  everyone, and everything is a microcosm of that macrocosm. We have it all within us, this same power, presence, and wisdom.

And if we are the children of God, then we are the heirs of this higher power, presence, and wisdom. It is our birthright, and inheritance. We all have the power to create or destroy, a little at a time, but immensely over a lifetime. Just look at civilization; all the houses, schools, libraries, churches, businesses, streets, etc, and the things in them, all ideas in peoples minds come to fruition.

But what has guided us? Conquest, subjugation, imperialism, consumerism, and other pursuits have done much damage. Where is salvation? Greater good, higher law, higher purpose, and higher truth found through Higher Power. This is why a good, if not great relationship with our Higher power is so important, as we strive to do what is best for not only for ourselves, but all people, and all life.

Another reason a deeply intimate relationship with a Higher Power is so important is because in our daily lives most folks believe they are a physical being having occasional spiritual experiences, so what we hear, see, and feel is our foremost reality. If this is our truth we are at the mercy of worldly concerns, and blown about by the whims of people, cultures, religions, governments, wars, disasters, and the like. 

Yet through prayer, meditation and deferring to our Higher Power we can turn that around completely to where we can come to see ourselves as spiritual beings having a physical experience. This might seem upside down and backwards, but the truth is that's how we have been living all along, and it's high time to turn things around. This is true freedom, and one of the keys to finding our True Self (more on that later).

It's time for us to stop building up our own little kingdoms. It's time to knock down the walls and find we were safe and at home in God's loving embrace all along, we just didn't know it. We may at last give up the rat race, battles, and war raging in our minds, hearts, homes, and world to instead rest in God.

This peaceful place of absolute, love, beauty, and grace can seem far, far away, But when we take time in prayer and mediation we hear a still small voice is calling us from deep within. This is the voice of our True Self, True Home, and Higher Power. Prayer and meditation are a key to this all important connection and very helpful ways to experience true grace. To learn more take these links to prayer and meditation.

Unfortunately many people grew up in dysfunctional, abusive, neglectful families and situations where parents and others either failed to protect them from difficulties, or were the cause. Search family dysfunction and nearly universal features of lack of empathy, denial of issues, mistrust, extreme conflict come up.

Other typical features such as jealousy, controlling behaviors, silencing children, adultery, promiscuity, incest, and distancing are also common. Since authority figures had power over our lives it was only natural that we overlaid the negative experiences and views onto our experience of Higher Power. Very sad but true. It can be a lot to overcome, but it is critically important we do.

For those that have a real problem with the idea of God, or Higher Power, some find "A Power Greater" works for them, See that post here For many, that "Power Greater" is their recovery group or a loving family member or friend who exemplifies God's infinite power, presence, and wisdom in tangible ways. We often find these people truly are God's eyes and ears, hands and feet.

Since our view of our Higher Power good or bad was created and cemented as a child, our childhood is another very important place to slowly work to understand and transform ourselves and our situation. For help in this endeavor we recommend the Inner Child Sanity File. Here we can recapture the creative, authentic, joyful, playful, imaginative, and loving child hidden deep inside.

 As wonderful an idea as this seems, we must be cautious, as the inner child may be holding onto intense, fear, grief, and sadness that can overwhelm us if we aren't ready. This is good reason to have a Loving Higher Power to hold our hand to help us face the difficulties of our past. It is often helpful to recognize that our transgressors were, or are also wounded children longing for love and closure, and not to condone their behavior, but to allow a measure of forgiveness to lessen our burden.

Another amazing source of kindness, caring, and love for us is our own inner parent. Just like our Higher Power, the inner voice and opinion of ourselves was inherited from our parents and other authority figures, so healing this internal entity is also of the greatest importance. For help in this essential endeavor we recommend the Inner Parent Sanity File.

Once this also crucial relationship is recovered, a Loving Inner Parent can take our other hand to guide us onward to discover, tend, and recover from our dis-ease, disorders, and dysfunction.  This journey will not be fast, easy, or painless, but we are worth it! As we build a loving relationship with our Higher Power and Inner Parent we find a place to go to rest and recover our vitality and vigor.

These three in relationship are the pivotal key to having a safe, welcoming, and nurturing place to move forward in our lives with joy, purpose, and passion. We find we can alternate back and forth between our Inner Wonder Child to our Loving Inner Parent as needed to live a full and complete life. If these concepts are foreign to you and a bit confusing, check out the Twelve Step Recovery Sanity File for clarity and inspiration.

Nature is also saving grace for us as we so cherish time spent in nature. Everything in the wild feels blessed, sacred, and holy.Wherever we look we see great beauty, love, and peace. Often when we share this aspect of our recovery, people tell us how much nature means to them too. Nature is a symphony, a work of art, and a feast all at once and for all the senses. For more "natural" healing see the Mother Nature Sanity File

 God's fingerprints are all over creation, and we so much enjoy sharing ways that we have seen the "evidence". A great way to see how how God has woven infinite intelligence, beauty, and wonder into the natural world is to check out Sacred Geometry. Science has unraveled this mystery for us, all the way back to the beginning of creation, but beyond that is the ultimate mystery that can't be known.

 Another super tool for getting in touch with Higher Power is Journaling. Some begin each entry "Good morning (afternoon, evening) Lord," then write out all our doings, issues, and struggles good and bad. We find it takes the weight off our shoulders, hearts, and minds and to leave it on the pages.
This can also be true of prayer, meditation, and all our "conversations" with God.

We can imagine speaking with a best friend. An incredible friend who created and sustains us year to year, day to day, and moment to moment on every level from the amazing functionings of body and mind, to the laws and seasons of nature. Some have dozens of these journals, and an excellent relationship with their maker they feel deeply. Just a few lines a day or week can lead to great inner peace.

Some might find it silly to "talk" to God in this way, but we don't have to imagine Higher Power as understanding our words specifically, yet can still believe there is an understanding of the intention, and meaning. It's like when we talk to our babies, pets, plants, and other things. There is an energy  spirit there we feel they get on some level. Not by the words, but from a deeper preverbal place.

Classical Eastern Wisdom (Sanity File) teaches that  us that we must first tame our minds to then train them and transform them with the ultimate  goal of acquiring a "Sacred Outlook". This is real transformation, to see the hand and spirit of God in everyone and everything. To look into every face and see the face of God, and to gaze back into God's eyes with confidence that the greatest good and highest law is at work at all times, in all places, and in all things, however screwed up and awful things may appear.

It can also be helpful to realize that as humans we have two eyes, two ears, and two nostrils to locate things around us. Unfortunately recognizing things as "out there" gives us a separation bias that is constantly at work in the back of our minds. We also use these senses to identify and avoid threats, so we also have a natural negativity bias. This helped us survive on the savannas and in the jungle but causes us unnecessary stress in the modern world.

Fortunately this problem is getting a lot of attention these days as we realize the deep interconnection we all have due to things like the internet, the world economy, and the impact humans are having on the environment and ecological systems around the world. As Bob Marley sang; "One love, one heart, let's get together and feel alright!"

Seeing how beautiful and hospitable the universe is for life and humans, we see our Higher Power as loving also. A flight of imagination took our focus and emphasis on love to the extreme, considering Love Force as the fundamental and unifying theory of the universe. It may be a stretch of the imagination, but a fun and interesting one we hope you find enjoyable and inspiring.

We hope you found something of value for you here. If so, you may also enjoy the posts "God Centered Life" or Living in a Grace Bubble also. Our  roots state that "We make no apologies that we are a spiritually based program". This also is true at Cowboy Dharma as well, as we believe there is no other foundation worthy of our efforts.

The Music Sanity File has a section just for Higher Power and Love. The Super Sayings and Mega Mantras Sanity File also has a significant part dedicated to Higher Power, just after LOVE and FIRE (passion) parts. Many of the other Sanity Files and posts also have aspects of Higher Power in them as all are connected and interrelated in many ways

One day everything in this world will pass away. All of our family, friends, possessions, experiences, opinions, and beliefs will one day melt away...into God. Into the infinite love, peace, joy, and beauty that is God. Will we be ready? Will we fight back with everything we can muster? Or will our precious Inner Child fall asleep wrapped in God's arms, and our Loving Inner Parent take God's hand and cross over the last moments with eyes open gently smiling in deepest love? It's up to us.

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