I don't mean to interrupt the whole James Doty thing, but I felt this is an important inclusion to this process of perspective that I try to share each weekday. This interruption is courtesy of an email I received from the great and wonderfully accessible Hal Lingerman. Hal, as I've mentioned, is the author of several books, particularly "The Healing Energies of Music" and "Life Streams."
I had asked him the following:
"Hal, As fear and anxiety rest in the ego, I'm curious if you feel that gratitude is a softening to the ego's energy. We've spoken about this before, but I believe you said that gratitude keeps us in the moment, diminishing the anxiety of the future and the regrets of the past.
Do I have that right?"
Here's his answer. I'd pour yourself a cup of tea, turn off all extraneous devices, and take a little time to absorb these words. You'll likely want to read this again:
SOUL and Ego
Our soul, will and spark of God’s spirit within us are our inward sources of wisdom and inspiration.
The more we can feel some degree of contact with these deeper parts of ourselves, we will know that we are alive forever and that we are NEVER alone.
These deeper parts of ourself can inspire and come through the outer layers of our personality (body, emotions and thinking/attitudes). The aggregate of our bodily instincts, emotional impulses and thinking patterns is called EGO. Each person’s ego is a composite of past impressions, experiences, actions, desires, ideas and opinions and the outcomes of our contacts with other lives.
In order to evolve, something of the inward love and wisdom in each individual (soul, will and spirit) has to be able to come through our outer layers. It is their depth that can change, transform and heal the warps and wounds in our outer EGO, which tries to go it alone but will eventually fail unless it is connected to the deeper values and qualities emanating from the intuitive soul, will and spirit.
WHAT MAKES US WANT TO CHANGE AND GROW?
In my view it is our EGO’s dissatisfaction and perpetual longings that ultimately drive us to decide to welcome the love and wisdom of our deeper layers and of That which has made us.
The EGO may also face a crisis or a disappointment, OR a sudden ecstasy reveals to us the opening of “There must be more!” - that deeper, undiscovered and more inspired parts of ourself exist, waiting only for our receptivity, invitation and teachableness.
At some point from the sensing EGO there must come an openness and a sincere invitation to be inspired and guided by our deeper layers of Spirit within us and by God the Whole.
Also, great souls’ wisdom can awaken us to our own beautiful, latent talents and soul qualities of Spirit, so we keep reaching, reading, studying and listening to find the gold buried within ourself.
By reflecting, focusing and joyfully inviting the Light energy in ourselves and in others to COME FORTH, gradually, our beautiful soul qualities become more identifiable, clear, interesting and essential to us than just our EGO’s daily appetites, drives and distractions. This new phase is called "the development of character.” We try to awaken our soul qualities out of our love for God and for others, not for any rewards for self-gratification. Everything is offered freely and generously as a gift to the greater Glory
This step can be very difficult for the EGO, which usually asks, “What’s in it for me?” Hence, the EGO must ultimately agree to be "crucified in the Light” (Bible: “refined in the refiner’s fire” - Malachi 3: 2) in order to be alchemically purified and resurrected as a beautiful, finer instrument and expression of God’s Spirit. Eventually, all the outer petals of the rose fall off, in order for something far more beautiful to be born and to bloom in perpetual newness, more fully alive in lasting radiance that blesses the Earth and glorifies the Creator.
At some point we realize how “Life is living us” and expressing Itself through us, more than just the notion that “We are living our life.”
In our melting into a greater Radiance within us and all around us, we begin to make sense of the gift of life and many “lifetimes.” We continuously disappear, only to reappear as something finer.
We begin to participate more fully in the deep mystery of our own emergence as a divinely created spiritual being and a miracle of living a more genuine existence as a fully embodied Son - Daughter of God.
He then attached the following:
366. From “The Song of Myself” By Walt Whitman
I CELEBRATE myself, and sing myself,And what I assume you shall assume,For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.I loaf and invite my soul,I lean and loaf at my ease observing a spear of summer grass. My tongue, every atom of my blood, formed from this soil, this air, Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and their parents the same,…
A child said What is the grass? fetching it to me with full hands;How could I answer the child? I do not know what it is any more than he. I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful green stuff woven. Or I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord,A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropped,Bearing the owner’s name someway in the corners, that we may see and remark, and say Whose? Or I guess the grass is itself a child, the produced babe of the vegetation….
What do you think has become of the young and old men?And what do you think has become of the women and children? They are alive and well somewhere, the smallest sprout shows there is really no death. And if ever there was it led forward life and does not wait at the end to arrest it,And ceased the moment life appeared. All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses,And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier. I know I am deathless,I know this orbit of mine cannot be swept by a carpenter’s compass, I know I shall not pass like a child’s carlacue cut with a burnt stick at night. One world is away and by far the largest to me, and that is myself,And whether I come to my own to-day or in ten thousand or ten million years, I can cheerfully take it now, or with equal cheerfulness I can wait."
I will print this. And today I am so blessed having known this wonderful man.
Now you got a chance to know him, too.