A couple thousand years ago, a man named Paul wrote a letter to people who lived in Philippi. He was thanking them and teaching them a lesson about handling any situation. He wrote in Philippians 4:11-13:
I encourage you to read more about how to have joy, peace and love in life.
How are you doing? Many of us are not happy or not as happy as we'd like to be.
To enjoy my life, to positively transform the ways in which I see my life and the world in which I live, I intentionally engage my thoughts. How I'm doing starts with my mind. Now, this seems fairly straightforward and self-evident. And yet many of us are not happy or not as happy as we'd like to be. Many people suffer from daily problems and feel more confused than happy about life.
Shaped by Your Mind
Every experience you have is shaped by your mind. When certain parts of our lives could need a little help or boost--when our job is not fulfilling, when there's not enough money in the checking account, when our lover seems distant--our minds are what is actually shaping, determining, defining those experiences. Everything you do, everything you experience, everything you feel--all of life is because that's how you deliberately think it is.
A Common Question
After our family fellowship, I took my family to one of my favorite restaurants in town to enjoy some lunch. After being seated at our table, our server asked me how I was doing. It was a common question that she has likely asked a thousand people.
At that moment I was reminded that my answer to her would be solely dependent upon how I thought about the present state of my life. My answer was not dependent upon how my life actually was, but upon how I in fact thought of it. Regardless of what was presently happening in my life, my answer to her question rested squarely upon my thoughts, my mind. My purposive answer to her would be a direct reflection of how my thoughts shaped my world. My world is my representation, as Schopenhauer said. I have the freedom to manifest my world into whatever I'd like it to be, and I could share that with anyone.
"Welcome to the restaurant. How are you doing," she asked.
"I'm doing great," I replied. "I think I'm having the best day. Glad to be here. Thank you for asking."
Our Minds Are Everything
Our minds are everything. How we think about ourselves determines how we live our lives. Everything I am and everything I've done are shaped by my mind. No matter where you work, no matter how much money you make, no matter who you're making love to, you won't enjoy any of it, unless you intentionally think to.
Game of Life
Let me ask you. How are you at this present moment (while reading these words)? Your answer will depend upon how you work your mind, regardless of the situation. Your mind could be in control, or it could be out of control, and your life feels like riding a wild horse in the night blindfolded. Either way, you determine it. And this is part of the game of life.
Once you understand that, then you can play the game differently. One of the most important rules of the game is: the way in which you intentionally think about the present moment determines how you live your life.
Jesus, Siddhartha Gautama, Lao Tzu, Paul of Tarsus, and many great philosophers, poets, and enlightened folk will all tell you the same thing: the mind is everything.
Sam Harris, in his book, Waking Up, says:
Religion, which is the most destructive and dangerous man-made creation on Earth, and its dogma that condemns minds into prisons of fear and ignorance will not reveal this simple, empirical truth of life about our minds. So, let's not go there.
1 Peter 3:8 says that we ought to be more like-minded, united in spirit, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit toward each other as members of one household.
I encourage you to learn more about the human condition and how each of us have been given a lifetime of learning how to live a spiritual life founded on an empirical belief in God that consciously engages our bodies, minds and spirit.
This article explores the way in which you see yourself positioned in the cosmos and how that defines who you are and how you see the world around you.
We live on a wondrous planet spinning around an amazing solar system. Everything you see in our system, the sun, planets, Earth, me, and you were all created and formed from dust. Yet Earth is astonishingly beautiful and complex. Our oceans are enormous. Our weather is incredible and ever changing. Our mountains are giants and our landscapes are breathtaking.
I am fascinated by how the world in which we live was created by God, how it moves, how it is shaped, and how the physics that governs our world also shapes other worlds in the universe. The ways in which we experience life here on Earth connects us with everything else in the universe – from our solar system to the moving stars in the night sky.
It’s an amazing time in which we live, because we’re the only beings that have the capability to explain who we are and our position in the universe.
My perspective, the way in which I see myself, on our planet, in the universe, defines how I see the world around me. Similarly, the way in which I see myself positioned spiritually in the cosmos defines much of who I am.
When the Bible was written, people thought that the Earth was in the center of the universe, and that it was flat like a round disk, and if you went too far out to sea, you’d fall off the edge. We know better now.
People used to thank God for the sun rising over the Earth, and for the Sun setting below the Earth, and its apparent movement across the sky. But the movement of the sun is caused by our planet spinning through space. What we see is different from what’s actually taking place. The sun does not revolve around the Earth. It's the other way around.
Our planet is a sphere, a ball of rock.
Our ancestors didn’t know all of these beautiful patterns, rhythms, and order of the solar system. When our ancestors looked up into the night sky, they saw tiny bright lights, and imagined images and figures. And they used the stars to tell stories of creation, life, and their position in the cosmos. Today, we tend not to look up at the stars in the majestic sky anymore. We’ve lost our connection to the stars and other planets.
When our ancestors looked up at the night sky, it told them one thing – they were at the center of the universe. If you look up at the northern night sky, you’ll see a star called Polaris, the North Star. The cup of the Big Dipper points to Polaris, which is at the end of the handle of the Little Dipper. The North Star is almost in line with the Earth’s celestial pole. And when you stare at the North Star at night, all of the other stars rotate through the night sky around that point. So, it looks like the entire universe rotates around the Earth, that the Earth is apparently the center of the universe. And that’s what everyone, our ancestors, thought for thousands of years. It looked obvious. But they were wrong.
Mars Retrograde Motion
To really understand the position of the Earth in the solar system, we have to look at Mars. When you plot a chart of the position of Mars traveling across the night sky, you’ll notice that it doesn’t move in a straight line across the nighttime sky, but changes direction and loops back on itself. This retrograde motion is impossible to explain, if you think Earth is at the center of the universe. It can only be explained when you position the sun at the center, and the Earth as one of many other celestial bodies orbiting the sun.
Understanding this retrograde motion was a great achievement in understanding our position in the solar system and the beautiful patterns and order of universe.
A couple thousand years ago, a man named Paul had a similar breakthrough achievement in understanding our spiritual position in the cosmos. And he taught others about it. And he wrote those teachings down for us to read, learn from, and apply to our lives. Let’s take a look at Ephesians 3 in the King James Version.
About 50 AD, a man named Paul wrote about the most fundamental change in our relationship with God. He revealed the greatest spiritual truth that anyone could ever know. It was one of the greatest mysteries of the world. And it triggered a fundamental change in humanity's relationship with God - a relationship in which believing, rather than behavior, became the key to a more than abundant life.
Paul was born Jewish. He lived in Tarsus, which is now Turkey. He lived within the Roman Empire. He traveled to Jerusalem, Asia, Greece, and Rome. And he taught and wrote. Paul wrote 13 letters. He never met Jesus, the man, but met his friends and disciples, and for many years, Paul actually had a job to hunt and persecute them. He grew up under Roman law, and he knew the Jewish law or Law of Moses (Old Testament) very well.
Pay for Love
Under Jewish Law, good behavior included what was/is called “indulgences,” where you essentially pay for God’s love. The more money you pay the church, the more of God's love you receive. This religious dogma limited people of the past. But, because of men like Paul, we now know better.
Ephesians 3:6 actually reveals a certain spiritual truth that remained a mystery until Paul revealed it:
This was a great mystery revealed -- that we are to be of the same body (both Judean and Gentile). Paul revealed to the folks who lived back in those days that everyone could be of the same family, one new body, a new spiritual family body, both Judeans and Gentiles, both the "haves" and the "have nots," both the rich and the poor. All believers in that body are "fellow heirs" of all that God has made available to us. And we can "partake" of God's "promises."
Turn to Colossians 1:26-27 in the King James Bible. It says,
Paul writes this to help reveal the great mystery in more detail. And it's all about love.
Gift of Love
Every believer can have Christ in him or her, which is referring to the gift of holy spirit. Holy spirit is a gift from God to every believer. And it's given unconditionally. "Christ in you" in the bible means the love of God in the renewed mind in manifestation. So, where the bible says "God in Christ in you," that means that you can have the gift of holy spirit in you, the unconditional love of and from God, held in your mind (renewed mind) and manifested (applied) in your life.
How can God be in your mind? Well, you have to understand what God is, and what God is not. God is not a man. God is not an old man with curly hair floating in the clouds, waving his finger, and doing good and bad things. That's a bit delusional. You might as well believe in Poseidon. Actually, God is what the bible says it is. God is spirit, love, light, energy, everywhere, powerful.
The Buddha said, "The mind is everything. What you think, you become." That's so true.
That's how every believer can have the love of God in the renewed mind in manifestation. It's all about believing. And it starts with your mind.
That’s what Paul revealed. That’s what Paul taught and wrote for us to read today. Paul revealed a spiritual truth that helps us understand our spiritual position with God and our relation with others.
So, in this article, we learned a little bit about our position in the universe and our relationship with God. We know a bit more than our ancestors did. The retrograde motion of Mars helps us position ourselves in the universe. And Paul revealed a great spiritual truth that also helps position ourselves as the children of God who have the unconditional love of God held in our renewed minds and manifested in our lives.
You're positioned just right. Stay where you are.
We've all made lists of goals to accomplish. Yes? Your list may have goals of personal achievements, financial means, or a satisfying relationship. But what would be the significance of such list?
In this article, we'll learn that:
List of Goals in Life
Everything on that list of goals comes with promises that, once accomplished, would bring us joy, satisfaction, and a future time when we could really enjoy our lives. But this is just wishful thinking. Hopeful thinking. Because goals do not bring joy, peace, satisfaction and love to our lives.
Q: What does bring those things? A: Our spiritual walk in life. Our believing action in God.
Our minds are everything. What we think, we are. In Proverbs 23:7, it's written, "For as she thinketh in her heart, so is she." It doesn't matter how successful you are or who's in your bed, you won't enjoy anything in your life if you're mind is out of control.
Goal in Life
It's important to have goals in life. Yes, of course. I have goals that include good personal health, mature children, and good relationships. But people tend to search for happiness without understanding the rules of the game of life that we're playing. And the goal of the game for me, and for each of us, is to enjoy the present moment as myself, as I am, regardless of the situation.
That's the goal. Now that you know the goal of the game, let's learn a bit about how to play the game. It starts with your mind.
Sam Harris in his book Waking Up says:
Being Mindful of the Present Moment
By paying close attention to how we think about the present moment is the basis for a fulfilled, spiritual life. We call this mindfulness. By becoming simply interested in the nature of your own mind, and by paying attention to your experience in the present moment, you can investigate certain truths for yourself, without accepting religious dogma or metaphysical abstractions. And examining and studying our thoughts can be done without awkwardness or embarrassment (which cannot be said when chanting Lord Krishna while banging a drum, for example).
The quality of your life, how you feel right now, in the present moment, is critically dependent upon what you're thinking. The boredom, distress, irritation, worry, or disappointment - your suffering or dissatisfaction - that you may be experiencing in your life right now exists because you think it does. As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.
You're Not Alone
You’re not. Jesus said, "I can of mine own self do nothing." That's true. Our natural predominant propensity is to go it alone, achieve our own goals by ourselves, with an "I alone can do" attitude. Our tendency is to trust in our own abilities and strengths. We believe and act as “self-sufficient" in achieving the goals we’ve set for ourselves, accomplishing them, and be happy and enjoy life.
Goals Do Not Bring Happiness
But none of those goals, and none of their promises of joy and happiness, will actually bring such things. Why? Because we don’t have the resources within ourselves to meet all of our needs. Alone we can do nothing.
Only when we trust in the promises and resources of God, not in those of the world, can we truly find peace, love, joy, and satisfaction in our lives (2 Corinthians 3:5-6). Our sufficiency is not of ourselves; it is with God that we are self-sufficient. Physically, we have health, long life, shelter, and food. Mentally, we have peace, confidence, happiness. Spiritually, we have a new birth, holy spirit, spiritual rights, and manifestations. In all ways, in all situations, for all times, our believing action in God, when we walk in the spirit, we can tap into an inexhaustible supply, where every need is met. Our enjoyment in life is not based on human resources, but on divine ones.
A couple thousand years ago, Paul wrote, "God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." What this means is that when our lives are based upon God, walking in the spirit, then there’s no limit to our power and resources. Alone, we can not supply all of our needs. We don’t have the resources within ourselves to meet all of our needs. If we did, everyone would be blessed, happy, and at peace.
Seeing Divine Blessings
Regardless to how things may appear from the senses perspective, when I walk by the spirit I see divine blessings, which are eternal. The eternal things are the most important aspects in my life. The things that I see are temporary.
In 2 Corinthians 4:18, we read, "While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal."
By believing, by walking with the spirit, you don’t have to worry, doubt, or fear anything. I am satisfied. I’m not in a constant state of want or need.
I can do all things through Spirit that strengthens and empowers me.
I am ready for anything and equal to anything through the Spirit that infuses me with inner strength and confident peace (Phil 4:11-13).
I encourage you to be more mindful about your thoughts, which are the invisible boundaries that prevent you from enjoying the present moment regardless of the situation you're in, and understand how your believing action in God brings joy, peace and love in your life.