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Section 7 - Frequently asked spiritual questions
NEW    Does the moon affect our emotions?
UPDATED   What are the chakras and what role do they play in our healing?
The questions

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1. About God

2. About the guides

3. About spirituality, healing and genes

4. About souls

5. About life, death, reincarnation and karma

6. About religion and sin

7. About the devil, hell and negative energies

8. About the end times

9. About human behaviour

  1. What is our spiritual diet?
  2. What is the "cold shoulder"?
  3. Why do people withhold their approval?
  4. Why do people play practical jokes?
  5. Why are people superstitious?
  6. Why do people steal credit for work that others have done?
  7. Why do people judge, criticise and condemn work that others have done?
  8. Why do people lie?
  9. What is manipulation?
  10. What if nothing is wrong, but I still feel awful?
  11. What is legacy guilt?
  12. What is legacy resentment?
  13. About gift-giving
  14. About the passage of time
  15. More about gratitude
  16. More about forgiveness
  17. More about grieving
  18. More about guilt
  19. Why do we think that everyone else is the enemy?
  20. About toxic relationships and letting go with love
  21. What is the spiritual component of revolution?
  22. More about manipulation
  23. Why have politics become so nasty?
  24. What can we do to fight terrorism?
  25. Does the moon affect our emotions?


 
The answers

1. About God

1.1 Does God really exist? Does he have a plan for me? How can I find out what it is?
Yes. God really exists. However, what we choose to call the Universal Intelligence is up to us. God, Source, Creator, Mother, Father, Universal Intelligence, The Universe, They, It, Her or Him - Any question directed toward the source of all things will bring a response that is in accordance with the spiritual law of free will. Yes, God has a plan for you. Find out what it is by meditating in the new way. Get centred and ask your question as simply as possible; then listen for the answer. If the answer doesn't come immediately, there may be other information required to enable clarity. In that case, start to build a pattern of regular mediation (communication) with the Universal Intelligence and work through inner child issues.

1.2 If God IS, why is there pain and suffering in the world? Why is there war? Why is there sickness?
The gift of free will enables us to choose how to think, how to behave, and even what to believe. These spiritual choices determine our physical reality and, in fact, the condition of life on the planet. We are not judged for our choices or punished, but the Universal Intelligence allows the logical consequences of them to happen. That is, if we judge, criticize, condemn, control, blame, hate, seek revenge and so on, it is we who must deal with the physical results (accidents and/or injury and/or illness and/or war) of these negative spiritual choices. Our physical body rests upon the foundation created by our thoughts, attitudes, emotions, beliefs and desires; our planet and its life forms are experiencing the results of countless thousands of years of them. The world is becoming a better place as we begin to grasp this idea, and as we do the work required to bring profound change into our lives. Click here to learn more

War, genocide, crimes against humanity and acts of terrorism continue to occur, just as they have throughout history. Like every human behaviour, they are caused by negative thoughts, attitudes, emotions, belief systems and desires. Of course we must be ready, willing and able to stand up to bullies and aggressors; pacifism is not enough to stop those on a path of wanton destruction. We must be willing to defend our way of life, yet we cannot sink to barbarism when meting out justice to the offenders. Doing so only perpetuates the cycle of karmic debt. It is far better to employ restorative justice.

1.3 Is God angry or disappointed with humanity?
No. God is neither angry nor disappointed with humanity. Disappointment implies that judgment, criticism and condemnation have taken place, and since the Universal Intelligence is unconditional love, disappointment is not possible. We are living in accordance with the Universal spiritual law of free will, experiencing all that there is to be experienced, and we will ultimately learn our way back to Source. That is the way, the truth and the life.

1.4 Isn't it time that God gave us some new rules of conduct?
Yes, and here they are:

  • Do not judge, criticize and condemn - either your fellow humans, or self, or the Universal Intelligence
  • Do not control your fellow humans
  • Do not rescue your fellow humans from despots and dictators
  • Forgive others as you would like to be forgiven
  • Strive for excellence rather than perfection
  • Seek guidance from the Universal Intelligence, for it is always available

1.5 Are thoughts powerful?
For your consideration: Nothing exists in physical without first having existed in thought
If the above statement is true, then this universe was thought of before it came into existence: someone or something considered all the necessary components and processes for it to grow and thrive before releasing it. That may sound like a thinking God created everything, but personally, I can’t see another way for this universe to have come into existence. Not a God with a great long beard sitting on a throne, dictating to all the little cherubs and angels what needs to be done by whom, and where, and when. But a Creator, the Source, all-powerful, all-knowing, and, most importantly, unconditionally loving - to the point that it endowed many of its creations with free will. On Planet Earth, each life form and process is bounded by certain limitations, with those in human form having the fewest.

24-7, the Universal Intelligence hears the thoughts of more than 7 billion souls on planet earth, to say nothing of the countless trillions of other souls in the universe. In order to understand how this is possible, we need to have an understanding of just what our Creator is. Creator, Source, Universal Intelligence, Singularity, God, Allah, Yahweh, Heavenly Father or Mother, Great Spirit - no matter what we call it, our Creator is the Source of everything that is. It is energy - deeply intelligent - responsive - creative - unconditionally loving - energy. It brought this particular universe into being. If we tap into Source, we feel an upwelling of emotion that can literally bring tears to our eyes. It is in that moment of connection that we know that everything is ok, there is nothing we need to do or change in order to be accepted - we are loved unconditionally.

How can it possibly hear all of us, all the time?
We are accompanied throughout each of our soul’s physical incarnations by at least one spiritual guide. These divine representatives were created for us at the instant of the big bang. They are often referred to as our inner voice, or our guardian angel. At our current stage of spiritual evolution, it is a challenge to set aside our busy thoughts long enough to have a meaningful conversation with our guide, and it requires even more effort on our part to connect with Source. Therefore, our guides serve as the “middle man” between us and the Universal Intelligence. They hear our thoughts, our questions, our worries - everything in our life’s experience, and they provide us with information, instruction and guidance that come directly from Source. (We may credit ourselves with the information, but that does not change the fact that it comes from the Universal Intelligence.)

Fewer thoughts
The more we reduce and refine our thoughts, the easier it becomes to communicate with our guide, and with the Universal Intelligence. As more and more of us do this work, we will edge closer to the next step in human evolution: that of becoming ready, willing and able to include input from the Universal Intelligence in all of our daily affairs.

While we are all imbued with the spirit of the Universal Intelligence, free will allows humans to choose to ignore it. Ignoring it can get us into considerable trouble, but what better way to learn?
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2. About the guides

2.1 What is my inner voice, and how can I hear it?
Our so-called inner voice is the wisdom of the Universal Intelligence, given to us by our guide. By learning to meditate in a new way, you can begin communicating consciously with your guide.

2.2 What is my guide's name? How many guides are working with me?
When in a centred state, ask your guide his or her name. (Although the guides are not male or female, they do tend to respond to us in ways that seem either feminine or masculine.) If you hear more than one name, there is more than one guide with you. In that case, ask for the name of your personal companion/teaching guide. One guide accompanies us on our life's voyage (in and out of human form) and other guides travel with us for as long as God feels it is necessary. In truth, the number of guides working with us does not make us any better or worse than any other human, nor does it mean that God has higher expectations of us than of others.

2.3 Why don't our guides keep us from coming to harm?
Sometimes they do, and sometimes they do not ~ it all depends on what is required for our soul's life experience. The guides abide by the guidance of the Universal Intelligence and its spiritual laws. Only they know what lessons are required for each soul. Although some experiences harm the physical body, the soul gains wisdom from the experience, even if not until the soul is "at home". Unfortunately, it is often through the more painful and difficult experiences that we learn the more difficult spiritual lessons.

Whether or not we come to harm also depends upon whether we're paying attention to our thoughts. Very often we are warned to do or not do something (in our thoughts of course, for the guides communicate with us telepathically), or to go or not go somewhere. It is our choice whether to heed the warning though. We may never know how many people met with harm who chose to ignore their guide’s suggestion, but we are hearing of more and more people who do pay attention, who live to tell the tale.

2.4 Is mental telepathy between people possible?
No. Telepathic communication is a reality, but only between a soul in physical form and the Universal Intelligence via our guide. Of course, our Creator can cooperate with our belief systems and desires and let us think we're reading someone's mind; plus, we may sometimes guess what someone’s thinking. At this point in human evolution though, we hardly even hear our own thoughts, never mind someone else's. So long as we judge, criticize and condemn and try to control one another, mental telepathy will not be possible. We may have a premonition that a loved one is having some sort of extraordinary experience, but it is our guide letting us know - not our loved one.
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3. About spirituality, healing and genes
3.1 What is spirituality?
Spirituality is knowing that we are children of God, and therefore loved unconditionally. It is knowing, deep within, that we are much more than our physical bodies - that we are spiritual beings dressed in human form, learning our way back to Source. Spirituality is knowing that this holds true for each and every human being - not just the fortunate few. Being a spiritual person does not mean having to forsake family, friends, sex, wealth, luxury, food or drink, or even work or play. We need not deprive ourselves of the joys of life, and we certainly need not inflict pain on ourselves to prove our devotion to God. After all, the Universal Intelligence hears our every thought, so there's really nothing to prove

3.2 What are some of the spiritual gifts?
These are not so much gifts as they are skills or abilities learned in previous lifetimes that the Universal Intelligence may activate in the current existence, after we have worked through our unresolved issues and inner conflicts. Any spiritual ability that we have while in human form is there because the Universal Intelligence has enabled it. Here are some of the spiritual gifts, along with some newer information:
  • The ability to heal others is a myth. Healing is given at the discretion of the Universal Intelligence - sometimes working through another human, sometimes not. See miraculous healing
  • Medical intuition is the ability to hear our guide tell us what is happening physically with another individual. Of course, the clearer one's thoughts and the fewer one's inaccurate belief systems, the more readily one may hear Universal Truth
  • The ability to see auras is the ability to see the energy emanating from another individual. Of course, the only way to really know what the various colours mean is to ask your guide in meditation. Remember to ask for whom the message has been given
  • Psychic abilities are becoming more well-known and widely accepted as being a possibility. Foreseeing future events, finding missing people (both victims and criminals), channelling, communicating with the dead, seeing entities who are not in physical form, interpreting dreams; these are all thought to be the result of psychic intuition. The Universal Intelligence says that they are the result of the guides giving information to the psychic individuals, and producing, sometimes spectacular, special effects to go along with the information.

    The psychic is simply an individual who is willing to tune in and listen to what the Universe has to say, and then share the information. However, and here’s what can damage the credibility of psychics, the information is filtered through the thoughts, attitudes, emotions, desires and belief systems of the psychic individual, so the message may or may not come through intact. This is one of the reasons that the information in the Bible may not completely contain or reflect Universal Truth and wisdom and may have been influenced by the prevailing social norms of those olden days.

    Given that all souls come from the same place, our creator, we all have an inherent sixth sense and it is possible to develop it. Doing so requires practice and dedication to become a clear channel, else we run the risk of providing less than accurate information. Start by learning to meditate in the way that the Universe teaches, then work on resolving inner child issues by completing the Spiritual Questionnaire. Doing this work sets us firmly on the path of profound soul development and enables us to truly serve
  • Astral projection - seeming to leave one's physical body. This can occur when one is in a meditative state and therefore more open to allowing one's imagination to roam freely. It can also happen during a near-death experience to show the individual that life truly goes on after death of the physical body (a driving force in the human struggle to recall our divine nature). In either case, the importance of asking our guide questions about the experience cannot be overstated
  • Bi-location - seeming to be in two different places at the same moment. This has been observed on rare occasions when the observer believed that the individual being observed had extraordinary powers and was so dedicated to serving humanity that she/he was able to be in more than one place at a time
  • The gift of tongues is indeed a gift and has been widely misunderstood for centuries. It has been taught that when this gift is bestowed upon an individual, the chosen one will speak words that sound like no language on earth. Further, that a human interpreter is required to explain what God has said. In truth, when this gift is enabled, the words of the speaker will be automatically interpreted by the guide of each listener and transmitted telepathically to each listener in his or her preferred language
3.3 What is 5th dimensional state of being?
This is a label for a level of spiritual self-awareness in which one feels peace, joy, bliss and unconditional love, as well as freedom from the physical concerns of time and space. At humanity’s current stage of development, the state is possible to achieve only for fleeting moments of time. We are not yet competent to maintain it and still go about the daily activities of life.

3.4 What are the spiritual laws?
While this information is at odds with much of what is out there, it is simple and straightforward. It’s free of the fear-based ideas that mainstream religions typically provide, and presents the concept of the profound equality of all souls. There is no such thing as sin. There is no judgment, no criticism, no condemnation - all are free and able to experience whatever their soul needs in order to find its way back to Source. It is important to note that each and every individual soul was created, whole and complete, at the instant of the big bang.
  • All souls entering physical form have been granted free will.
  • There is one soul for one physical body per lifetime, beginning at birth and ending at death of the physical body.
  • Whatever lessons are required for our soul’s ultimate spiritual development will be presented.
  • All souls entering into physical form are accompanied by, and entitled to communication with, a personal companion/teaching guide for the duration of their existence.
  • The guides do not enter into physical form, ever.
  • The guides abide by the guidance of the Universal Intelligence and by the spiritual laws.
3.5 What is free will and how does it affect us?
Free will is the most important of the spiritual laws affecting humankind. Many people are familiar with the idea that humans have free will to make their own choices - in fact, Planet Earth is often called the free will planet. But free will goes far beyond simply being able to choose which action to take and when. It is the ability to choose what to think, what to desire, what to feel and how to react; even more importantly, it is the ability to believe whatever we want to believe. God, the Universal Intelligence, the Creator, whatever you choose to call the source of all that is, helps us maintain and even strengthen our belief systems whether based in Universal Truth or not. Whatever our belief, the Universe will allow us to experience, in physical, the outcomes of such a belief. That is free will in action, and that is partly why it is so important to be aware of our core belief systems: they are the foundation upon which our physical body rests, and upon which our life experiences depend.

Free will is also our opportunity to choose between doing what we want and doing that which the Universal Intelligence requires of us. There is only one way to find what God requires of us, and that is to ask God, through our own personal teacher/companion guide. Only they have the Universal Truth of what God requires of us as individuals. If we do not ask what is required of us, the information will not be given (because it would interfere with our belief(s). If we rely upon another person to tell us what God wants us to do, or upon information that is presented in a book (any book) or on television, or on the internet, we will not find God’s Truth of what is required for us as individuals - we will find only what another human thinks we should do. Thus the importance of regular communication with our own guide.

The flip side of the free will coin is unconditional love. We are all children of God and we are each loved unconditionally at all times; therefore, we are never judged, criticized or condemned by God or his representatives. However, God does not excuse us from responsibility. He allows there to be consequences for our choices and our thoughts, attitudes and emotions. The consequences may not always be pleasant - they may even be painful - but the individual is entitled to communication, guidance, teaching and unconditional love throughout the entire life experience, whether or not we think it is deserved. However, just because we have free will does not mean that we are in charge: our lessons will be presented according to God’s timing and in whatever way He sees as best for our spiritual growth and he will test us relentlessly to make sure that the lessons are learned.

3.6 Is there any such thing as miraculous healing?
Yes. There are three key components: (1) the Universal Intelligence initiates the healing process in accordance with our desire to heal, (2) our faith - via the placebo effect - enables healing to occur (may or may not be instantaneous) and (3) the source of the offer of healing must be credible, or at least plausible, to us. A limiting factor is the spiritual law of free will, as healing will not occur if we prefer to remain unwell - yet another reason to become aware of our thoughts. Read about free will and the impacts it can have on our lives. See also ability to heal others

3.7 How could God allow someone who was miraculously healed to become sick again with the same disease?
It all comes down to free will. Since we are free to think whatever we wish (the Universal Intelligence will not interfere with our thoughts), and since illness starts in the thoughts, it is logical that repetitive negative thoughts will have a negative impact on our health. So while a physical disease may be healed, the thought patterns that contributed to its creation may not necessarily change and the disease may recur

3.8 Is there hope that I won't develop either of the diseases that took my parents' lives?
Yes. While the current understanding of inherited risk factors says that we are born with an arbitrary blend of the genes of each of our parents and of their parents before them and so on - and that it cannot be changed without medical intervention, the newer understanding is that the blend is not arbitrary and it is not static. The Universal Intelligence creates the blend to reflect the spiritual makeup of the family unit as well as to meet the spiritual learning needs of the soul who is about to incarnate, so that the blend adapts to reflect the spiritual condition of the soul as it progresses through life - in other words, our genes are dynamic. So even if we are born with the genetic predisposition that goes along with, for example, Alzheimer’s, as long as we don't have the thought patterns that go along with it, the disorder will not develop - another good reason to become aware of - and reduce and refine - our negative thoughts, attitudes and emotions.

3.9 Why do we get sick / suffer injuries / have accidents?
For every human illness, injury or accident, there is a spiritual component that comes from within self. The spiritual component of the condition is the result of our thoughts, attitudes, emotions, belief systems and desires (TAEBSD). It is these that make us who we are - they create our physical reality - they either raise or lower our personal vibrational frequency.

You may be wondering how our thoughts could possibly affect our physical bodies. After all, our thoughts are invisible and nobody hears them, right? While it’s true that no other humans hear our thoughts (unless we actually say them out loud) our body pays attention to them, and our body reacts to them. How? Science has linked each vertebra of our spinal column to the various areas of the body. As Gray’s Anatomy, 29th Ed, page 4, states, “The nervous system controls and coordinates all organs and structures of the human body.” The nervous system also transmits the brain’s messages throughout the body.

Each and every time we have a certain TAEBSD, the message is transmitted via the spinal cortex to the spinal column and outward from there to the vertebra responsible for the particular area of the body that is affected by the particular thought, attitude, emotion, belief system or desire. Sometimes the result of having a particular thought is almost immediate (as with accidents and injuries); other times the outcome may not happen for days (as with certain illnesses); and some habitual thought patterns can take years to manifest in physical (as with chronic diseases). Eventually though, our TAEBSD will catch up with us.

Here’s an example: Physically, the first cervical vertebra (C1) is linked to “Blood supply to the head, pituitary gland, scalp bones of the face, brain, inner & middle ear, sympathetic nervous system” (per Gray's Anatomy). The spiritual component of problems with C1 is “Incongruous belief systems”; in other words, belief systems that disagree with one another; for example, believing that one's caregiver(s) is or was a saint, yet knowing that she or he really wasn't. The effect of a constant flow of energy of a belief system that one knows to be false creates weakness in the vertebra, ultimately creating a number of physical ailments ranging from an inability to pay attention to the matter at hand, to a chronic failure to experience feeling peace or calm, to chronic ear problems, to constant headaches, to hormonal imbalances, and many more.

As science begins to catch up with this concept, humanity will benefit in many ways. Unfortunately though, it is likely to take a long time. After all, no one likes to hear that their belief system is not based in Truth, and no one likes to hear that they themselves have any negative thoughts, attitudes or emotions. In the meantime, we will continue to evolve and eventually, I believe, come to the realization that our thoughts, attitudes, emotions, belief systems and desires are the true creators of conditions on Planet Earth. Then the real work begins.

Coincidence?
Many people get sick or have an accident at the same time of year, every year. Is it just a coincidence, or is there something more meaningful at work? Incredible as it may seem, our unresolved issues can trigger physical symptoms and/or cause additional traumatic experiences around the anniversary date of experiences that have not yet been dealt with and released.

How can this be?
We don’t pay attention to most of our thoughts, but trust me; we think about our unresolved issues much of the time. We just keep on replaying them, looking for some solution as to why they happened. We know when they happened; we remember where we were, what we were doing, others who were present or absent, anyone who helped or harmed, sounds, tastes and smells. It should come as no surprise then, that as the anniversary date approaches, we begin to feel more stressed than usual, without really knowing why. This additional stress creates an extra load on our immune system, and it’s only a matter of time until we contract a virus or have a painful accident that we would normally be able to overcome or avoid. This goes on year after year, and before long we start to dread “that time of year”.

Bad news/Good news
Bad news: Unfortunately, until the inner conflict is resolved, we are doomed to repeat what has become a seemingly unconscious habitual pattern. Good news: Fortunately, we can change - we can resolve these issues once and for all through meditation

3.10 Why are there side effects from medications?
These are unexpected reactions to things that are supposed to help us heal, that result from our unrecognized beliefs and desires about:
  • That which has been prescribed or given as treatment
  • The person who gave us the prescription or treatment
  • Our desire to stay sick or to get better
  • Our beliefs about our ability to heal
  • Our beliefs about whether we are worthy of being helped
  • Our desire or lack thereof to be cooperative with authority figures (like healthcare providers)
Since our TAEBSD are extremely complex and intertwined, the above are just a few of the many possibilities that can affect the results of treatments/medications. However, once we’ve recognized the spiritual components of the cause of our side effect(s), we can start healing from within by really resolving the issue. Then the treatments/medications can start to do their job. Just think how our healing could improve by doing this sort of work!

3.11 Why do we believe that evil spirits are causing our pain / disease / life problems?
This is a holdover from time immemorial, from the days of our ancestors having no other way to explain why bad things happen to good people. Many still hold this belief system - they go to great lengths to find someone to expel the demon(s) and will pay huge amounts of money to have it done. The scientific method ushered in the study of modern medicine, which has provided humanity with treatments and cures for many conditions and disorders, but still no explanation beyond their physical cause, of just why they happen. While it is far easier to blame evil spirits than to accept responsibility for one’s life circumstances, I am here to tell you that recognizing - and changing - our negative thoughts, attitudes and emotions improves / heals / cures our physical ailments beyond belief, especially when this self-work is done in conjunction with medicine.

3.12 Why does God allow so-called evil people to come to power?
Adolph Hitler serves as an example of one whom many regard as evil, who rose to power. As he reported to G. Ward Price after World War I, Hitler was a soldier in the trenches. He claimed to have heard a voice telling him firmly to "Get up and go over there", so he did. A few moments later, a shell burst over the trench he had just left. Had he remained, he would have been killed along with all the soldiers who remained therein. So, had the Universe not intervened, World War II might have been avoided.

This raises the question of why God could allow someone like Hitler to come to power. While we may not be able to fully understand all the reasons, we must at least allow for the possibility that the Universe knew that Hitler's eventual choices would provide for the creation and/or resolution of karmic situations for millions of souls. Such people are instruments of change. Their words and deeds fulfill a vital service in the evolution of humanity, by showing us, graphically, that our thoughts really do matter. How long will we delay accepting the truth that it is we ourselves who must change - not just one individual or group - we ourselves, all of us. If we change, then society changes.

It is important to note that there is no such thing as an evil person. There are negative thoughts, attitudes, emotions, beliefs, desires and behaviours, but the soul inside the person is not evil. We are all capable of great kindness or great cruelty, depending on our life experiences and the choices we make. The Universe knows each of us intimately, at soul level, and knows what is needed both for the individual as well as humanity as a whole, to advance spiritually.

Humanity is on the brink of another vast learning opportunity, and there will be choices to be made. Will we choose to side with kindness, generosity, compassion? Will we choose to side with intolerance, fear, greed, hatred? It's up to us. We can either be an instrument of love, or of hate. We can use the upcoming challenges to learn and improve ourselves, or use them as an excuse to behave poorly. But choose we must, for as Elie Wiesel said: "We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Click here for more quotes about neutrality. See Why don't our guides keep us from coming to harm?

3.13 Is there a magic pill that would enable us to heal all diseases and stop, or at least slow, the aging process?
While it is possible to clear the negative thoughts, attitudes and emotions at the root of disease, it is nearly impossible to be free of the negative thoughts that happen every day, that affect the aging process.

Just try being stuck in traffic if we’re hungry or thirsty or need to go to the washroom and then pay attention to our thoughts if somebody cuts in front of us. If we drive to work every day, just imagine the vast number of times this can happen. Listen to what we think if we do not get what we want. Listen to our thoughts if something happens that negatively affects how others see us. Try watching television without judging how someone looks.

The negative thoughts seem to occur without any effort on our part, yet they do occur. At this point in time, I have no proof that it is possible to be in human form and be permanently and completely free of negative thoughts, attitudes and emotions, but that doesn’t mean we should stop trying to improve ourselves. We can avoid much illness by honouring our need for rest, rejuvenation and joy.
• Feeling tired? Don’t be too proud to ask for assistance. Allowing others to help gives them a chance to make a meaningful contribution. (Of course this could mean having to share everyone’s praise of our efforts, but isn’t it worth it?)
• Feeling over-stressed? Allow self the dignity of taking some time to pause and reflect. (Of course this could mean not getting everything done, but what’s more important … being healthy … or having everything “perfect”?)
• Too busy to feel joy? Set aside some time to honour yourself by doing something that is just for you. (Of course this could mean having to let others fend for themselves for a short time.)

Doing these things strengthens us so that we can better be of service to others. Running ourselves down or driving ourselves crazy may make us unable to help anyone at all. Remember, when on an airplane, passengers are advised to secure our own oxygen mask first, and then assist others. So it is with life: make sure that we ourselves are happy and healthy, and our loved ones will thank us.

3.14 What are the chakras and what role do they play in our healing?
Energetic expressions of our reactions to our everyday life experiences, emitted at the vibrational frequency of each thought, attitude and emotion. The chakras’ emissions swirl and blend, creating our aura. The table below shows the chakras along with the trait, key word and physical representation associated with each.

The Chakras

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4. About souls
4.1 What is a soul?
A soul is an element of the Universal Intelligence. All souls were created at the same instant, at what is commonly called The Big Bang. There are trillions upon trillions of souls in the universe. Many have come into physical form, while many more have not. The soul is intertwined with the body in which it resides for the current lifetime. Access to its vast experience, knowledge and wisdom is usually unavailable to us, and that is one of the reasons we need to rely upon our companion/teacher guide.

4.2 What is an old soul?
This is what people call someone who always seems to do the right thing, who seems to be a source of strength in difficult times or who seems to be very wise. Some people say it about themselves (see ego), while others try to escape responsibilities by calling themselves young. We're all old souls! Some souls may have come into human form more times than others, but we're all the same age. Since our soul memories are kept from us when in human form, we are all capable of anything (positive or negative), given the right circumstances.

4.3 What is my soul name and what is my soul's purpose?
We were all created at the instant of the Big Bang. At that moment, we were each given a name, our soul name. Knowing that we have a soul name can give us a sense of belonging to something larger than ourselves. Our Creator identifies each of us as individual parts of the whole.

The guides know our soul name; however they use it only in extraordinary circumstances. In fact, on a day-to-day basis, they rarely address us by name at all - their communications sound like our own thoughts. Rest assured though, if they need to get our attention, they can call our name (our current earth name) so loudly (in our thoughts) that it sounds as if someone actually called us.

How to find our soul name and soul purpose
When in a centred state, ask your guide to address you by your soul name. Listen closely. If you don’t hear it, ask your guide to spell it for you - one letter at a time, if need be. Please note that soul names are not from any earth language; they are in the Universal language of Truth. Finding your soul's purpose may not be quite so simple. If you have a strong fear or a strong belief, the Universal Intelligence will not interfere with it (because of free will). Your guide may well be obliged to tell you exactly what you want or expect or fear to hear. Take a list of carefully formed questions into meditation and work with your guide to find Universal Truth.

4.4 What am I here to learn?
There are many lessons to be learned during the course of one's life. Besides learning to love unconditionally, we are here to have experiences, and to go "home" with no regrets (see forgiveness). And before you say, "Oh, I already do love unconditionally," be sure that you know the true meaning of unconditional love.

4.5 Why are we here?
It’s an age-old question: Why are we here? The Universal Intelligence explains it thusly: In our native spirit form, we travel the physical universe observing the many wonders therein. As spirit, we are able to move in and out of physical matter at will to experience the laws governing all matter, for example the laws of gravity, of motion, of cause and effect and so on.

That is, until we enter into physical form on Planet Earth. Here things are a little different. Here there are additional laws with which to contend. One is that there is only one way in ~ physical birth ~ and only one way out ~ physical death ~ no matter which form we take. (While there are other planets in the physical universe with various life forms into which souls may enter, they are a topic for another time.)

Once we have entered into human form, the attraction to do so again and again becomes more and more difficult to resist. Since the Universal Intelligence supports us in our every desire, new, seemingly irresistible opportunities are presented for us. We “fall” into them, because they seem to have a stronger attraction than remaining in spirit form. Of course they are presented for our benefit though, because ultimately, they will help us to learn our way back to Source.

4.6 Will I ever find my soul mate?
Many people spend a lot of time bemoaning the fact that they still haven’t met their soul mate. They live in a state of frustration, and worry that they cannot or will not be happy until they do. Although it may not seem like it, the good news is that there is no such thing. The Universal Intelligence created us as individual souls, whole and complete. As humans we may feel incomplete, but that is a reflection of unresolved inner child issues. When we feel very connected to certain other souls, it is because there are specific lessons to be learned or taught (see karma). We may also feel connected for another reason: we may recognize her or him as being a member of our soul family. Although we were created as individuals, we also belong to at least one soul family. There are countless such families, each of which has a purpose to fulfill in a particular field of interest; for example, education, healing, artistic expression, revolution, etc. These families formed when souls with that particular interest, and vibrational frequency, gathered to help one another express - in physical - their interest.

It is members of our soul family who greet us upon our return home from an incarnation. Each of these families is overseen by numerous entities, often called guides, angels and/or archangels. At least one guide is assigned to accompany each soul during all of its incarnations into physical form. The archangels assist us on an as-needed basis.

4.7 What belief systems do I have that prevent me from moving forward in life?
This question is best asked while in a centred state. The answer is likely complicated and may take several meditation sessions to fully comprehend. By all means, take pencil and paper with you into meditation. Click here to learn about interpreting the meditation and dream symbols. Click here to learn about core belief systems.

Even a seemingly simple belief system like, "I won't be complete until I find my soul mate can prevent one from ever feeling wholly complete or comfortable, so just imagine what a belief system like, "I caused something terrible to happen", could do to keep one stuck. For example, one might constantly experience poor service, shoddy repairs, cancelled or missed appointments, accidents, injuries, equipment failures, etc. This could well be the result of believing that one is guilty of something. Since guilt assumes responsibility, we're taught that there must be some form of punishment. The Universal Intelligence cooperates with our unspoken or even unrecognized request. Even if we're unaware of our negative, unhealthy belief systems, we can learn about them by becoming self-aware.

4.8 How can I get past the guilt for causing a motor vehicle accident that took someone's life? In the hours before the accident, my thoughts kept telling me to linger over breakfast (I didn't because I was in a hurry to be finished), then to have a nice hot bath instead of a shower (I didn't because I just didn't feel like waiting for the tub to fill), then to do a little window shopping before my appointment (I didn't because I just didn't feel like wasting any time) - well, you get the picture. I just got right into my vehicle and headed out, ignoring my inner voice. As I was making a turn, a cyclist slammed into my vehicle and died. If I hadn't been there, it wouldn't have happened. My fear is that God will see me as a murderer and condemn me to hell. 

Instead of an answer to this very difficult question, here are some questions:
  • Are you sure that your inner voice wasn't just letting you know that something out of the ordinary was going to happen - giving you a warning, so to speak?
  • Are you sure that you weren't being used as an instrument to help the cyclist along his or her soul's journey?
  • Do you know what you are to learn from this experience?
  • Do you know what was required for the cyclist's life experience
  • Do you know what was required for the cyclist's family's experience?
  • Do you think that God didn't know what was going to happen?
  • Do you think that God didn't know the likelihood of your responding to your inner voice?
  • Are you sure that the cyclist did not intend to commit suicide? (How can one ever be sure of what another person is thinking? Just because the cyclist's family members may say that the person loved life and would never abandon them willingly, does not mean that they knew what was in her or his thoughts.)
  • Are you sure that the so-called victim in this accident didn't receive similar warnings from her or his inner voice? Do you think that God didn't know the likelihood of her or him responding to it?
Given all these unknowns, holding onto guilt almost seems like an ego trip. Yes, you played a role in the experience, but so did the cyclist and so did God. If this experience has helped you to be more aware of the importance of paying attention to your inner voice, then God's purpose for you has been furthered. Perhaps the most important thing to do to get past the guilt is to forgive - not only yourself, but the cyclist and God. See "Is it a sin to take someone's life?

4.9 What are the Akashic Records? Who has access to them?
The Akashic Records contain all that has occurred in this version of the Universe since the Big Bang, along with all that has been thought, felt, spoken, and/or done by all components of the Universal Intelligence, including souls. New information given to me through focused meditation says that each soul's record is written on the silver thread that connects our soul to the Universal Intelligence and to our physical body throughout our various incarnations. Only the guides and souls not in physical form can access the records, and the guides provide us with information when we are seeking to move forward spiritually. The information is not recorded in an Earth language, so the guides interpret and convey the information to us. Since the guides have no ego, they will allow us to think we're doing it ourselves - but they will play with us, so it is important to be centred and in a meditative state, and asking specific questions.
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5. About life, death, reincarnation and karma
5.1 Is there any such thing as a near death experience?
Yes. This has been happening for as long as humans have existed. The experience is provided to show us that (1) the soul continues to live even if the physical body does not and (2) even in such a profound experience, our spiritual guides adhere to the law of free will. If we believe in Hell, they will present visions of Hell. If we believe that our deceased loved ones are waiting for us on the other side, that is who will appear to us. If, instead, we simply have an open mind and trust that we are loved, we will be presented with Truth in an atmosphere of all-encompassing unconditional love. These experiences created the need for spiritual expression, which led to the development of religion. These experiences happen for all life forms on the planet, but since verbal, two-way inter-species communication is not currently enabled, we have no way to document or verify them.

5.2 What happens when we die?
We return to our natural state by shedding our physical body and become, once again, energy. We achieve "at-one-ment" with the Universal Intelligence. We have been taught that God judges us when we go Home and either rewards us by allowing us to spend eternity in heaven, or punishes us with eternal damnation. Nothing could be further from the Truth for God never judges us. When we go Home, we are permitted to observe our life (with the help of our companion/teacher guide) to see the Truth, the Universal Truth, of whether or not we learned the lessons that were presented for us. If we learned the lessons, we will be sent back again for the next level of study, or to serve as spiritual teachers. If we did not learn the lessons, we will of course be sent in to try, try again. This is not punishment - it is simply learning. It is the way of growth. It is the way of unconditional love.

5.3 What is reincarnation?
Reincarnation is the process of a soul entering into human form approximately at birth, remaining until the physical body dies, leaving it for a time and then repeating the process innumerable times. Inherent in this belief is the idea that the Universal Intelligence created all souls - humans create the physical being only.

Many believe that the soul is born into human form time and time again in an attempt to attain perfection, and that by reaching perfection the soul will earn the right to no longer incarnate; however, the Universal Intelligence says that there is no such right since there is no such thing as perfection. The newer information says that having once entered into human form, the soul becomes subject to experiencing a vast array of life lessons over many, many lifetimes. This is one of the reasons for Planet Earth being likened to a School.

It is not the soul who chooses whether, when and where to reincarnate, but Source. When the appropriate learning conditions for the soul arise, the soul is sent in. This may be five minutes, five years or five centuries past the soul's previous incarnation, so we cannot assume that our deceased loved one(s) will remain "at home" waiting for us to die and join them for all eternity. All matters concerning birth (and rebirth) into human form are decided by our Creator.

5.4 Why do souls enter human form?
We are sent in to ‘experience’ and to learn.

5.5 If reincarnation is real, why can't I remember any of my past lives?
When we come into an earthly existence, the Universal Intelligence places a veil upon our soul memory. This is done for our protection and to ensure that we have a clean slate for each lifetime. Think what it would be like if one had committed serious crimes in a previous lifetime and were able to recall that existence: just imagine the trauma that could be felt. On the other hand, imagine one who had attained great wealth in a past life coming into an existence filled with poverty and deprivation. This could also create trauma for the soul, albeit in a different manner.

There may be exceptions, but for the most part we are prevented from accessing memories of our past lives. Many condemn themselves for being unable to remember a past life, but this is simply not within human control. However, if we have a true desire to learn about self, the veil can be lifted for a time. Past life regression (and progression) through hypnosis is one method, but one runs the risk of being influenced by the hypnotist. Meditation as taught by the Universal Intelligence can be more reliable but it is always imperative to be clear of desires and belief systems, for our guides will cooperate with them in accordance with the Spiritual Law of Free Will.

We need only concentrate on our current lifetime to find and resolve the issues that affect us negatively now, for any issue that our Creator wishes resolved will be presented in our current lifetime.

5.6 What is karma?
Our actions show that our thoughts, attitudes, emotions, beliefs and desires are either in or out of alignment with Unconditional Love. Karma (quantum entanglement) is the sum total of life lessons needed to produce alignment. Karma is not punishment or retribution. Human experience is considered by our Creator to be learning - not good, not bad - just learning.

Justification
We tend to use our beliefs to justify committing unkind or even criminal acts. For example, when we hold onto resentment and seek revenge against someone, we somehow feel justified in doing so. When we understand completely why we need revenge and call it by its real name, we begin to let go of it - we begin to change the pattern and start to forgive both others and ourselves.

Accept responsibility
Many believe that past life experiences cause our problems in this life, sometimes even including health or relationship issues. To blame our current situation on some past life limits our potential and makes victims of us (Oh, I can’t change that pattern - it’s from a previous lifetime!). The newer teaching says that change is always possible. Accepting that we are given all of the tools and every bit of information necessary for our growth in our current lifetime enables us to make great spiritual strides forward, when we choose.

Genetic disorders and birth issues
When an individual comes into an existence physically or mentally challenged, it is not the result of bad karma: souls enter human form to reflect the spiritual condition of the family, in conjunction with the individual's learning requirements. Even if in a lifetime we committed mass murder, the Universal Intelligence takes all our lifetimes and all that we have not yet learned into consideration when sending us into an incarnation. We could be sent in to become a physician to minister to those in need, just as easily as we could be sent in to become one who is in need. Only the Universal Intelligence knows what is truly required for our spiritual advancement.

Changing the karmic cycle
Strive toward forgiveness, patience, tolerance. Seek understanding. Forsake greed, resentment, self-righteousness. Build self-esteem. Doing so helps us all.

5.7 Why do some people I meet seem so familiar to me?
This is a recognition, at soul level, of someone with whom we have been associated in a past life. Sometimes even the person's words and mannerisms can seem familiar. Like déjà vu, the feeling is given to show us that we're in the right place at the right time, and that everything is okay. Can also indicate that there are lessons to be learned or taught.

5.8 What is a walk-in?
There is no such thing. It is only a rumour that a highly developed soul can walk into another body, to take over when the original owner gives up on life. The owner may give up, but until the Universal Intelligence says that it is time for the soul to come home, that individual is here to stay: “One soul, one body per lifetime, beginning at birth and ending at death”. (And besides - when we're at home we're all highly developed souls. It is only when we are in physical form that we forget our true nature).
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6. About religion and sin
6.1 Why do religious cults exist?
For every religious cult, there is an individual who has come along and said, “I will show you the way, the one way”, and a corresponding group of people only too ready to jump on board. Few of us dare to trust our own inner voice, so we happily surrender our power, our free will, to that person in the belief that their inner voice is somehow stronger / better / wiser / more reliable than ours. We tell ourselves that they have a connection with the Creator that we are lacking, and any direction that comes through her or him must be divine will. This eagerness to follow is, I believe, a fine spiritual quality, but it is misdirected. It would be far better to follow our own inner voice - our spiritual guide - than another human. After all, how can any human being possibly know what is best for another individual? How can handing over our power lead to anything but our ultimate victimization?

The instant we choose to follow someone other than our guide, we set up the conditions under which dictators thrive. We open ourselves to being told what to do, how to do it and when to do it - and, of course, we have to pay them to provide us with this ‘direction’. What great incentive to change ourselves! Of course we still need to abide by the laws of our society, but communicating with the Universal Intelligence to find the Truth about the questions we have, will enable us to find what’s right for us, what’s best for our soul’s development. Because of the spiritual law of free will though, the Universe is obliged to tell us what we expect to hear. Therefore, we need instruction in order to be able to tell the difference between our human truth and the Universal Truth. Since we are not taught how to do this as young children, we must learn the skills later in life. This website contains the information needed to do just that. See Meditation and How can I be sure I'm receiving Universal Truth?

6.2 Is it true that I need a church leader to intervene on my behalf with God?
No. If you can hear your thoughts, you can hear your guide, who is one of God's divine representatives. Read about the newer form of meditation.

6.3 Is there a difference between crime and sin?
Yes. Crime is the breaking of human laws, and sin is the breaking of so-called divine laws. The human laws defining criminal behaviour and the legal consequences for breaking those laws are evolving over time. For example, where the punishment for stealing a loaf of bread used to require public shaming and torture of some sort, it has softened considerably in many parts of the world as humanity evolves.

Likewise, we now understand more about the spiritual reasons for our behaviours, that is, actions we take against ourselves or others occur as a result of our negative thoughts, attitudes, emotions, belief systems and desires. While these may have been considered sinful in the past, the newer understanding of spiritual laws reveals that such actions are not cause for us to be judged, criticised or condemned. The Universal Intelligence views all human experience as learning, so logically there can be no such thing as sin in our Creator’s eyes.

We are God’s children, and God bestows the gift of Free Will upon us as we enter human form. We have been taught that humans are born into sin because of Eve's and Adam's choice to do what they wanted instead of what God had asked; however, just like Adam and Eve, free will gives us the opportunity to choose to follow God's guidance, or to ignore it. There is no sin in either choice. Every time we make a choice, we are using this gift from God. Every choice we make comes down to this: we choose to do as we wish, or we choose to do as God asks. So-called punishment for our, shall we say, less than positive choices comes as a logical outcome of our feelings of guilt or shame, with which our Creator is spiritually bound to cooperate by providing logical consequences.

6.4 Is it a sin to take someone's life?
No. While murder is a criminal act, calling it a sin is another matter. Many believe that abortion, birth control, murder, suicide and euthanasia are sins, crimes against God. Why? Because the Bible says so. When the Bible was written, it seemed very important for humans to be fruitful and multiply, which also ties in with the Bible’s condemnation of homosexuality. Interestingly, the Bible says it's ok to murder, so long as it's one of God's "enemies"; but since we're all God's children, logically, how can any of us be his enemy?

The Universal Intelligence is in charge of which soul goes into which existence and when, and our Creator knows when (and why) an individual will come back from an incarnation - however short or long that lifetime may be. The Universe knows when a woman becomes pregnant the likelihood of her carrying that pregnancy through to completion. Why would our Creator allow a pregnancy to begin, knowing it would end in abortion, if he were merely going to condemn the woman to burn in hell, and the unborn child to be prevented from all future potential incarnations?

If birth control and euthanasia go against God's will, then who can say that prolonging life is in agreement with God's will? Death is every bit as much a part of life as living - only God knows how long he wants a person to live. If one believes that God wants medicine to prolong or protect life, wouldn't it follow that He might also want medicine to help take away life? Likewise, if one believes that God wants no human intervention in preventing pregnancy, wouldn't it follow that He would want no human intervention in prolonging or protecting life? The point is that the individual will never know what God really wants for us unless and until we ask him for his Truth, wait around long enough to hear his answer and then do as he has asked.

6.5 Is homosexuality a sin?
No. We have been taught that homosexuality is a sin, but since God created each and every one of us, and since it is the Universal Intelligence who decides which soul is sent into which existence to learn which lessons, how can any existence be sinful? Is it labeled sin because people believe that our sexual preference is a matter of choice? Is it because homosexuality goes against the belief that God expects us to procreate? Is it because the Bible condemns homosexuality? The Bible condones slavery - does that mean that we should keep slaves?

People will use almost any rationale to hate those who are different. In the case of homosexuals, it is said that 'they' use and abuse young children. It is not homosexuals who do, but pedophiles. Even pedophiles are never judged, criticized or condemned by God, for God knows all of the circumstances that helped to create that experience for the individual. Pedophilia has nothing to do with sex, and everything to do with control. As for the victims of pedophiles, the Universal Intelligence knows why each individual has been given these experiences. They are opportunities for soul development, as are all of life’s lessons. There are no accidents. We simply do not have the whole picture when we judge any situation. Victims and perpetrators alike require all the assistance that can be given by society, for all are wounded children.

It is also said that gay people convert straight people into homosexuality, but since we all have free will, nobody else really makes us do anything. Often we do things out of our desire to gain someone's approval, but it is not that person who makes us do it; rather, it is our own choice, our own decision to act in a certain way.

Many say that the Bible condemns homosexuality. The Bible may, but given that the Universal Intelligence is bound by certain spiritual laws, whatever beliefs the writers of the Bible held would have been reflected in the words that were given them. Had the writers of the Bible believed that Man were meant to be homosexual, you can be certain that everyone would be trying desperately to be homosexual, and those who were straight would be persecuted and condemned. The Universal Intelligence says that there is nothing wrong in having a loving relationship with another consenting adult - no matter what the race, the creed, the colour, the religion, the gender, the sexual preference or any other criteria humans use to distinguish one from another. We are all children of God, and loved unconditionally.

6.6 How can I know which foods to eat and which ones to avoid?
There are many mixed messages out there about what to eat and what not to eat, which supplements to take and which ones to avoid, what to drink and what not to drink - and the list changes all the time! The Universal Intelligence teaches that our spiritual diet is at least as important as the physical food we eat. No physical food that we eat can be a sin or a crime against God. The many restrictions that are placed upon humanity are placed upon us not by God, but by humans and their desire to control others. To enjoy good physical health, eat a spiritual diet that is low in negative thoughts, attitudes and emotions and rich in positive ones. And here’s some additional food for thought: Plants are intelligent creatures, so ripping a vegetable out of the ground is every bit as cruel as killing an animal - their cries are just at a higher (inaudible to us) frequency. Unfortunately, there is no escape from this fact - life consumes life in order to live. Watch this video called, "Smarty plants - uncovering the secret world of plant behaviour"
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7. About the devil, hell and negative energies
7.1 Is there any such thing as the devil?
No. The only negativity in the Universe is in the negative thoughts, attitudes and emotions of souls in physical form. The idea of the devil came as a result of our need to explain the reason for bad things happening. Bad things do happen, all the time; however, this is not because of an evil entity or force. Natural disasters occur as a result of the laws of physics; unkind acts occur as a result of the negative thoughts, attitudes and emotions of our fellow humans. Getting in nature’s way could be avoided, were we to seek guidance before choosing where to build or live. Avoiding getting in the way of someone’s ill will is a little more complex. The important thing to remember though is that ill will is the result of quantifiable negative thoughts, attitudes and emotions - it is not the result of the devil. The moment we blame, instead of accepting responsibility for our thoughts and actions, is the moment we become powerless victims

7.2 Is it possible to accidentally receive the mark of the beast, namely the number 666 and be sent to Hell for it?
No. The so-called 'mark of the beast' is a symbolic representation of willingly agreeing with, supporting or following, the beast. What is the beast? The beast represents the darkest, negative aspects of human behaviour. There are many leaders, in both the public and private sectors, who are selfish, self-aggrandizing, greedy, power-hungry, murderous, authoritarian - and worse. There are also plenty of regular people, just like you and me, with those same behaviours. Since we all have negative thoughts, attitudes and emotions, we could all be considered to have received the mark - no one is above the spiritual laws. Any soul in human form has the potential to behave in negative ways (see free will). It is important to know that there is no such place as Hell because nothing we could do to cause God to condemn any soul to spend eternity away from Him. We are his children. We are loved unconditionally

7.3 Is there such a place as hell?
Is there such a place as #hell? No. There is no need for such a place because there is nothing a soul can do to cause our Creator to banish us. After all, the worse the crime, the greater the need to receive unconditional love. Rather than punishment, souls continue their journey of learning by attending spiritual 'classes' before and after each incarnation in physical form. See unconditional love

7.4 Can negative energies and entities harm us?
No. Negative entities, ghosts, hobgoblins and other such figures exist only in the negative thoughts, attitudes and emotions of human beings. We may be frightened at the thought of them, but since they do not have physical form, they have no power over us - only our fear has power. The same holds true for witchcraft, black magic, voodoo-ism, and curses (or blessings for that matter). Additionally, vampires and/or re-animated dead people do not, in fact cannot, exist - dead is dead. When a physical entity dies, the soul who inhabited it leaves to continue on its journey, to its next incarnation. It does not / cannot re-enter because dead tissue cannot be re-animated, at least not yet

7.5 Have you been visited by a 'spirit' and felt frightened by the experience?
These entities are the spiritual guides. They are messengers of the Universal Intelligence. We each have at least one guide with us at all times, 24/7. Sometimes they make their presence known, and these are opportunities for us to raise our consciousness and gain access to profound understanding.

Next time it happens, instead of just being afraid and telling the entity to go away or doing some ritual to make it go away, try asking some questions: "How can I help you?" "What is your name?" "Why have you made your presence known to me?" "Do you have a message for me?" If the answer is yes, ask for the message. After you've asked a question, pay attention to your thoughts, for it is there that the answer will appear.

7.6 Can someone steal my energy? Can someone give me their energy?
No and no. The human body is a closed environment. Besides our own thoughts, attitudes, emotions, belief systems and desires, only the Universal Intelligence and our guide can affect our energy. This may be hard to believe, but what this really means is that we are safe and protected.

Thoughts we have and emotions we feel in someone else’s presence are not caused by them. We can be afraid of them, or be angry with them, or like them - but all of these thoughts and feelings come from within ourselves. Fear and anger can be incredibly draining, and blaming the mere presence of someone else for making us feel bad or weak, makes us into a victim. Likewise, believing the mere presence of someone can make us feel good - seems as if we believe that we can’t feel good on our own, without them near.

Giving this much power to another can only lead to negative life experiences, yet we do it all the time! Whenever we blame someone for our having a bad day, we’re holding onto negative thoughts, attitudes or emotions for them. If we praise someone because we’re having a great day, we have given away our ability to feel good within ourselves.

No matter what’s happening around us, we need to take responsibility for ourselves and recognize that we are in charge of our thoughts, attitudes and emotions.

Since the human body is a closed environment and only the Universal Intelligence can affect our energy, it follows that if we receive an energy treatment from someone, it is not their energy being used. They are simply the middle man between the Universal Intelligence and us. The Universe is complying with their desire to be of service, and with our desire to receive assistance. If the healer believes that a certain level of energy is required, that is what the Universe will send - whether or not it is the correct amount and whether or not it is beneficial (see free will).

7.7 What are the "Sons of Darkness"?
This is a biblical reference to humans. It infers that some of us (Sons of Light - the good ones) come from God, while the rest of us (Sons of Darkness - the bad ones) come from Evil. The newer understanding is that this is a reference to human behaviors, and not to our actual nature. In Truth, we are all children of the Universal Intelligence (God, Creator, Source); within each of us is the capacity for great good (light) and great evil (darkness). Because of Free will, we can, each of us, choose to behave well or poorly, given the circumstances of the moment.
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8. About the end times
8.1 Will Jesus come alone to save humanity?
Maybe. Matters of birth and rebirth into human form are in God's hands. If the Universal Intelligence sends the souls who were Mary, Jesus and the disciples back into human form during this time in history, either as males or females, they will each live life and learn lessons. When the time is right for each of them, they will be presented with a choice. The choice will be theirs to make, for God does not force anyone with free will to do anything (see control). They may choose to do what God asks of them or they may not (see free will), but the choice will be theirs. "Jesus" may choose not to serve, or he or she may end up having to work alone, since any or all of the others may also choose not to serve.

It is fairly well-known that 2,000 years ago, Jesus surrendered his free will to God. In all likelihood, although no mention is made of it in today's Bible, some or all of the disciples made the same commitment. If they did, and if they were given a similar choice in this time period, it would very likely strike a chord within them that would inspire them to choose to serve once again.

Many people await the arrival of someone (Jesus, extraterrestrials, a powerful politician) to save humanity, but maybe they haven't truly thought about how it might feel to have someone come along and tell them what to do. Maybe they are simply hoping that a higher intelligence will come along and tell the government what to do, and then everything will be all right. Then they themselves will not have to do anything differently. It is only when we accept responsibility for our own lives that we begin to change. It is up to us, as individuals, to create change on this planet. When we become clear of the human desire to judge, criticize, condemn and control others, life as we know it on Planet Earth will change. For the time being though, we can only refine our own thoughts, our own attitudes and our own emotions.

There can be no lasting peace without restorative justice.

8.2 Are we living in the end times?
End Times (or End of Days) refers to prophesies of a time of God’s judgment and ensuing punishment of humanity; a time of wars, famine, pestilence, terrorism; a time of utter despair; a time in which ‘the devil’ is free to torment humanity. Many believe that we are living in those times; however, let’s try and get a basic understanding of just what this means before running for the hills in panic.

Punishment from God?
First of all, God, the Universal Intelligence, our Creator is energy - unconditionally loving, vastly intelligent, creative, responsive energy. This energy loves each of us unconditionally - after all, it created us - we are extensions of it. As unconditional love, the Universal Intelligence does not ever, in fact cannot, judge, criticize or condemn us. It is impossible to do so, or it would not be unconditional love. There will be no punishment from God.

Punishment from the devil?
If God isn’t going to punish us, will it be the devil who unleashes the horrific things predicted? No, because there is no such thing as the devil. What there are though, are human negative thoughts, attitudes, emotions, beliefs and desires. No one and nothing except ourselves makes us do the things we do - we have free will, and nothing is stronger than that. We cannot continue to blame others, or the actions of others, for our choices. The sooner we accept this and take responsibility for our actions, the better. There will be no punishment from the devil.

So what’s it all about, when is it going to start and what’s really going to happen? It’s already happening - and we’re doing it to ourselves. Wars, rumours of wars, terrorism, pestilence, flood, drought, famine, disease…these are all the logical outcomes of centuries of free will in action, of greed on an unimaginable scale, and of a callous disregard for anyone or anything other than self. These events are signposts to alert us to the change that is coming; in fact, the change has begun.

Ah, sweet revenge
The Universal Intelligence responds to our thoughts. Since one of humanity’s chief desires has been, and continues to be, to gain revenge against those who have harmed us or our loved ones, God provides us with prophecies telling us that that is exactly what will happen - our enemies will be punished and vanquished. Prophecies of doom for the so-called bad people are nothing more than the Universal Intelligence telling us what we want to hear. Our desire for vengeance keeps us trapped in the cycle of karmic debt, and we will not become free of the desire for revenge until we forgive - REALLY forgive.

The trouble is, we’ve all hurt someone at some time - so theoretically, someone, somewhere, could think that we’re bad and therefore need to be punished. No, the punishment won’t come from God, or from the devil. It will come, as it always has, from humans.

Tumultuous change for humanity?
Besides describing physical events, some prophecies mention that the next step in human evolution will occur during the end times. Many have proposed the idea that technology will change us by giving us greater mental and physical capacity and abilities; others suggest that a saviour will come and magically transform us. I believe though that the next step in human evolution is the refinement of our negative thoughts, attitudes and emotions. Additionally, we must change old, outdated belief systems and behaviours. Needless to say, this will not be a fast or easy process. It is next to impossible to convince anyone that they need to change. Such a realization needs to come from within ourselves, and this is one of the reasons that this time of transformation will be a gradual process, rather than a single event. If change were to be thrust upon us, we would resist, and that would inhibit the process.

It’s not that we’re not doing anything wrong; we’re doing exactly that which God wishes - we’re evolving. God has given each of us free will - within the bounds of certain recently-revealed spiritual laws - to live, learn and grow. In the meantime, we tend to get lost in the playground that is planet earth, forgetting our true nature and our true purpose. Human needs overtake our best intentions, and we can end up harming and destroying much. We will continue to do so until we start letting go of ancient (and not-so-ancient) hurts. The only way out of the vicious cycle is to forgive - REALLY forgive.

8.3 Why are there so many disasters lately?
Disasters of all sorts have taken thousands of lives for thousands of years, yet we continue to be surprised. Are there more disasters occurring now though? Well, there are more people alive now than ever in this current life cycle on earth, so yes. However, the real tragedy continues to be that people fail to heed warnings. We may never know how many premature deaths might be prevented were people paying attention to their inner voice telling them to run away, or stay home from work, or take a different route to the store, or whatever. We may never know how many lives and how much developed property might be spared if we asked for (and followed) Universal guidance about the best place to buy or build.

So why don’t we just pay attention to our inner voice? Our lives would be so much easier! We learn to distrust it though, or we assume it’s just our own thoughts, or we decide on a course of action without seeking guidance. These are all choices, and each is made with our very own free will. It’s ironic, because by not using it, we run the risk of becoming victims of circumstances seemingly beyond our control. Victims appear to have mysteriously lost their free will, yet it is free will that gets us into situations that we couldn’t have foreseen or for which we were warned but chose to ignore.

8.4 Why is there so much terrorism and violence in the world nowadays?
Terrorism and violence have existed - in one form or another - as long as humans have existed, and will continue to exist so long as we choose to strike out physically instead of communicating with one another. One has only to look at the many billions of dollars being spent by countries around the world on protection against invasion of any sort, to see that we humans have a tremendous fear of being attacked without warning. That fear manifests in all sorts of ways besides terrorism though: illness, accidents and injuries are but a few.

So long as we hold onto grudges against those who have harmed either us or our loved ones, so long as we feel the need for revenge, so long as we feel the need to control others, terrorism and violence will continue to exist. These horrors are not caused by the devil - they are caused by our own negative thoughts, attitudes and emotions. That means that we - and only we - have the power, indeed the responsibility, to change the world.

Using our words
Why is violence as a form of expression acceptable anyway? Whatever happened to using our words to express our displeasure with someone or something? Have we become lazy? Or ignorant? Or terrified? Or hopeless that we’ll be heard? Do we feel justified in treating others as less than human? (Shades of political regimes built on the low self-esteem of its leaders.)

How can we expect young children to express themselves verbally rather than violently, if we fail to model that behaviour in front of them (the height of hypocrisy)? Yet society begins with children.

Praying or meditating for world peace is pointless, so long as violence is a viable option. For peace to become a reality, we must use our words instead of striking out in violence. Society will eventually change, but not until violence has been outlawed. So how do we change? Click here to get started. Check out What is legacy resentment?
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9. About human behaviour
Human behaviour is complex. It happens as a result of our thoughts, attitudes, emotions, belief systems and desires, so it follows that if we reduce and refine the negative ones, our behaviour will improve.
9.1 What is our spiritual diet?
Our thoughts, attitudes, emotions, behaviours, belief systems and desires form our spiritual diet. They are what we feed ourselves throughout our life's journey. Paying attention to them enables us to find the hidden meanings wrapped inside our everyday experiences, which in turn enables us to identify those needing refinement.

Who, me? Negative? It's easy to just deny that we ever have negative thoughts, attitudes or emotions and be done with it - we blame someone or something other than ourselves for our predicaments and continue on as we always have. It’s not so much that we intend to have negative thoughts though; they just seem to happen, almost like a reflex. These habitual thought patterns easily slip by unnoticed. Constant repetition of such negative messages can only harm us, yet we say them to ourselves (and others) day in and day out. It's not that we're "bad" for having negative thoughts, attitudes and emotions; rather, it's up to us to recognize and change them.

We all think, all the time. Our thoughts, attitudes and emotions (either positive or negative) are the great equalizer, for we all have them - no matter who we are, or where we live, or what we do for a living. Many people become frustrated when they make repeated attempts to change their physical appearance or surroundings so that they'll feel better, and then find that it didn't work. To truly change our lives requires changing our thoughts, attitudes and emotions. In other words, we need to improve our spiritual diet. We need to search for Universal Truth and full understanding about our thoughts, attitudes and emotions, and about our part in our experiences.

How may one start such a process? Visit Section 1 of this website and start at the very beginning, working through each section. The reward - clarity of thought - will make it worth the effort, because then we may gain a sense of our soul’s purpose in being alive on Planet Earth at this particular point in human history - and that’s when the real work begins.

9.2 What is the "cold shoulder"?
It is the withholding of communication as a punishment for a wrong-doing (see isolation, rejection). It occurs as a result of our judgment (you did something I didn't like), criticism (it was a mistake) and condemnation (your punishment is that I will not talk to you for an unspecified length of time). It is a passive-aggressive form of bullying. It is a punishment for their having gone against our will, and the hope is to manipulate the wrongdoer into begging forgiveness and never again daring to take control. Unfortunately it serves only to continue a negative pattern
How to change the pattern:
- If we're doing it, STOP! Only communication can resolve differences, and only communication can lead to growth and understanding. Refusing to speak freezes a relationship and can create ill will with the party being punished
- If it's being done to us, STOP allowing it! Responding in the same old way gives them what they want, which is for us to be under their control, unquestioning. Do the self-esteem exercises in Section 9

9.3 Why do people withhold their approval?
It doesn't matter how good a job we do - some people will never let us know that they like it or approve of our efforts. There is always a comment to let us know we didn't do quite well enough. While they may like to think that they're helping us to become better, the behaviour can actually undermine any desire we might have to improve, since we know that they'll really never be happy no matter what we do. For these people, nothing they experience ever meets - nor can ever meet - their expectations or desires
i: Living in a nearly constant state of unhappiness, disappointment and frustration, always wondering why no one ever does anything right - except for them of course. For those on the receiving end of this behaviour, there can be very low self-esteem and chronic under-performance, along with a constant feeling of inferiority
How to change the pattern:
- If we're doing it, STOP! We're hurting others, but more importantly, we're hurting ourselves. Meditate to learn the real reason for our perfectionism
- If it's being done to us, STOP allowing it! What can we stop? We can change our need to receive the approval of others. Far better to do our best, without expectation of thanks or recognition from others. Meditate to learn the real reason for needing the approval of others in order to function

9.4 Why do people play practical jokes?
People with low self-esteem often appreciate seeing others placed at a disadvantage. Somehow they feel better about themselves, thinking that they alone know what’s happening. This is a form of passive-aggressive bullying with only one desired outcome: to make someone feel inferior. Funny? Not really.
How to change the pattern:
- If we’re the one playing the practical jokes, our self-esteem may need some positive boosting. Do the self-esteem exercises in Section 9 of my website
- If we’re often the butt of practical jokes, we may have a victim mentality. Meditate to discover the root cause of it, for only then can it be changed

9.5 Why are people superstitious?
We perform superstitious rituals to influence the gods to either give us that which we want or to protect us from that which we do not want. We also fear certain things in the belief that they may cause something bad to happen, even though we may know within ourselves that it is silly to do so. The Universal Intelligence neither punishes nor rewards us - it simply allows there to be consequences for our thoughts and desires. Feeling a need to be punished can actually create accidents, injuries, or losses.
Spiritual effects of the pattern: For some, the chosen actions can become OCD behaviours, ultimately producing an inability to make it through the day without performing these rituals
Physical effects of the pattern: OCD behaviours
How to change the pattern: Meditate to identify and resolve the root cause(s) of needing to be punished

9.6 Why do people steal credit for work that others have done?
This behaviour results from having very low or unstable self-esteem, such that the thought of someone else receiving appreciation or recognition for any reason is terrifying and/or sickening and/or infuriating. Can result from one's caregivers in early childhood behaving this way, or from caregivers withholding their approval
Spiritual effects of the pattern: The lack of self-worth is such that that we hardly even know that we're doing it - yet we HATE it if someone steals our credit (a sure sign that there's a problem!)
Physical effects of the pattern: The craving for positive attention is a form of addiction that compels people to do whatever they can to gain it - even if it means that those who have earned it will go without acknowledgement
How to change the pattern: Until we recognize that there is a problem, there is not much that can be done to change it. However, this inner child issue can be identified and resolved through practicing meditation as the Universe teaches the process

9.7 Why do people judge, criticise and condemn work that others have done?
If they like the product, they will steal credit for it. If the work threatens their position in some way though, they will pretend to like something about it to make their critical opinion seem more valid - then their true motive shines through. What they really want is for others to believe that they are the expert. This compels them to find fault, but all they really accomplish is to show their own lack of understanding and/or abilities. Some people fall for this ruse, and that is one of the reasons that using criticism continues to be so popular
Spiritual effects of the pattern: The lack of self-worth makes us desperate for others’ approval
Physical effects of the pattern: Craving others’ approval is a form of addiction that compels people to do whatever they can to gain it
How to change the pattern: Until we recognize that there is a problem, there is not much that can be done to change it. However, this inner child issue can be identified and resolved through practicing meditation as the Universe teaches the process

9.8 Why do people lie?
There are as many reasons for lying as there are people. Here are just a few though:
• low self-esteem
• extreme guilt or shame over a traumatic life experience
• victim of chronic abuse, whether physical, sexual, emotional or verbal

What are the long-term effects of chronic lying?
Lying can be addictive, since it can give one a false sense of power and control. We can become unable to function without lying. It can become pathological, such that we feel compelled to weave a web of lies around a tiny kernel of truth in any conversation. This keeps everyone wondering and guessing, so that one ALWAYS remains in control and at top-of-mind.

When taken to the utter extreme, lying can become Pseudo Munchausen's Syndrome by Proxy. This condition can appear in pathological liars who make up lies about their loved ones, sometimes claiming that one of them has been hospitalized or has even died. Why? To play on people's gullibility and sympathy, in the hopes of being excused from their obligations and responsibilities, because after all, they have to attend a FUNERAL!

9.9 What is manipulation?
One of the biggest issues facing humanity is our inability to stop allowing ourselves to be manipulated. We are so easily swayed by promises and gifts from people wanting our permission to do whatever they wish, that we are unwilling or unable to just say “no” to them - we want a piece of whatever pie they’re serving. Our desire (greed) for their gift makes us tell ourselves that deep down inside they are really kind and generous souls, that they really care about us, and that they want us to benefit from their position. Deep inside though, we know that they are simply trying to manipulate us.
Spiritual consequences: Two things can happen if we accept their gift: We can feel gratitude, which compels a perverse loyalty, or we can feel guilt and shame for thinking badly of them, i.e., for seeing the truth. We then somehow end up feeling obliged to compensate them!
How to change the pattern: Just say "no". Make do without whatever it is, or find an honest way to get it besides selling out. We need to accept the truth: They’re trying to buy us

9.10 What if nothing is wrong, but I still feel awful?
Feeling tired or just generally unwell for no apparent reason is a signal from the Universal Intelligence (via our guide) to let us know that we have an unresolved issue(s). We usually know what the issue is, and we usually know what we need to do about it; the problem is that we are unable or unwilling to do what is needed, and so we continue to avoid it. This is the time to seek information from our guide about other possible options than the one we’re dreading. Visit Section 3 of this website and learn how to effectively communicate with the Universal Intelligence

9.11 What is legacy guilt?
This is the pattern of a family or group of people holding onto guilt over actions taken (or not taken) by their ancestors, which has been handed down through the generations. Like low self-esteem, legacy guilt can make us believe that we have no right to expect to be treated well or fairly or as equals. It is imbued in our offspring just as surely as genetic traits like hair or eye colour. The pattern can create a co-dependent relationship between the offenders’ offspring and those of their victims’, such that neither side is seemingly able or willing to let go of their position. It becomes their identity.

It can become a perverse point of shame to hold onto the guilt. It taints each succeeding generation and sentences the descendants to a burden that is not theirs to carry. Each new generation’s family or group members may experience negative or horrific events (group karma).

Programming an innocent child to feel guilt and shame for an ancestor’s actions can also create feelings of frustration, anger and resentment for her or him; after all, this child did not commit the act. These feelings can, if unchecked, cause us to behave like a powerless victim, or at the other extreme, as an aggressive bully.

Releasing the destructive pattern of legacy guilt can be challenging, but it is not impossible. It requires finding forgiveness for all concerned, and it requires something even more - bravery. Bravery, because being the only person in our family to disagree with the way things are done risks our being cast out and abandoned (see status quo bias). Visit my Section 9 of this website and do the forgiveness exercises

9.12 What is legacy resentment?
World peace? Not likely, so long as people are unwilling to release legacy resentment. This is resentment over issues that began with long-dead family members in the distant past that has been handed down through the generations. It becomes a perverse point of honour to hold onto it; it taints each succeeding generation and sentences the descendants to a burden that is not theirs to carry.

The province in which I live has set aside one day each year to honour one of the key people responsible for bringing about its inception more than 100 years ago, Louis Riel. Of course at that time, there were those who fought against the principles for which this man stood - equality and justice for all. They felt that the indigenous and mixed race inhabitants should be subjugated, banished, or killed, and their lands taken for future sale to the newly arriving immigrants.

Honoring this man was a contentious and controversial decision, but it was taken, and the first annual Louis Riel Day was held in 2008.

Recently someone made a public comment about the holiday: Since her great, great grandfather was married to a woman whose father fought against the so-called rebels, this person and her family do not celebrate the holiday as a matter of "honour". In other words, not only was this not her personal grievance; it was not her father’s, nor her grandfather’s or great grandfather’s, nor even her great, great grandfather’s. It may not even have been her great, great grandfather’s wife’s personal grievance, yet this entire family is holding onto this grudge. Their reasons for doing so are unknown to me, but I can tell you that this is one of the reasons for the deep, wide rift between the peoples of this province. Those on each side of the rift continue to resent those on the other and all feel fully justified in doing so. #StopTheMadness

9.13 About gift-giving
Gift giving can be a wonderful expression of affection and appreciation; it stops being wonderful when it starts creating undue stress and financial burden. It is important to understand our motives for giving gifts, and especially, for wanting to give lavish gifts.

Why do we do it?
Besides the obvious reasons for giving gifts, guilt is a powerful motivator, and feeling guilty is the main reason for giving lavish gifts. We usually know if we’ve treated someone unfairly or unkindly, and it is our victims to whom we feel most obligated. We run the risk then of using gift-giving as a way of buying permission to continue behaving poorly. If we have to give a gift to show that we’re really sorry, or that we really do care, then we need to understand why we’re relying upon material items rather than on our own words or deeds.

A better way
Far better to show in everyday experiences how we feel about our loved ones. Treat them with positive attention and feedback, trust, respect, patience, tolerance; teach them to live with joy; let them know they are loved unconditionally.

Win-Win
Rather than giving gifts, gather donations (of money, food, toys, toiletries, etc.) from friends, family and co-workers and then deliver them to a local charity of choice. Read more about guilt

9.14 About the passage of time
Why does time seem to speed up as we get older? For the most part, the speed of time is constant when we are in human form on planet earth. So why is it that when we’re young, one minute can seem like an hour, yet when we’re older, an hour can seem like a minute, or even a second?

To try to shed some light on this common experience, let’s compare drivers of automobiles to humans walking their life path. Like drivers in normal road conditions with many points of reference guiding them as to their rate of speed, young children have many visible points of reference to provide them with a sense of the passage of time. Children tend to notice everything because it’s all new; we’re learning Everything. Almost every moment is full of new information and every experience new and exciting, so there are many points of reference.

Drivers in whiteout conditions often speed up - unwittingly - because there are no visible points of reference; there’s nothing to be seen except white, to tell us how fast we’re moving. We speed up in an effort to find points of reference. As we age, we become more like drivers in whiteout conditions. Because exciting or new experiences occur less often, there are gradually fewer and fewer points of reference: we increasingly lose sense of the present moment and every moment almost seems to blend into one long moment - like whiteout conditions on the road. Unceasing repetition of the same old experiences lulls us into an almost hypnotized state of being.

We can get so caught up in the search for new points of reference that we unconsciously ‘speed up’, thereby losing our innate ability to live in the moment. Inevitably, our search for points of reference takes us into the realm of Worry.

9.15 More about gratitude
Gratitude is an attitude of thankfulness and/or appreciation. It can easily be confused with feeling a sense of relief, but true gratitude accepts that each experience in life is given as a learning opportunity, and never as a reward or punishment from God. The Universal Intelligence knows how we feel before we even think it, so God doesn't mind if we miss an opportunity to say thank you. Saying grace before a meal is a fine practice, but if it's used as a protection against the wrath of God, then gratitude is not the real motive - fear is the real motive - and God knows it.

Thank God
Thanking God for loving us is a concept borne of fearing divine punishment for taking things for granted, for being ungrateful. The fear is that God will think we feel entitled, and that it’s a short step from there to hell. This sort of fear can stem from our caregivers requiring our gratitude for their having provided us with the basic necessities of life. Are we supposed to thank them for choosing to have children, and then for enabling us to stay alive? It’s like an interviewee thanking a reporter for interviewing them - reporters are just doing their job.

We praise God when things go our way and assume that we must have done something right, but what happens when things go wrong? Do we assume that God has judged us as unworthy, or that he is punishing us, or that he likes our opponent or enemy more than he likes us?

Thank everyone for everything
There’s a lot of hype out there about the importance of feeling grateful and expressing our gratitude, but it’s getting so that we can feel pressured into saying thank you for every little thing. This goes completely against the spirit of gratitude. There’s a world of difference between truly feeling thankful, and saying thank you merely because it’s expected. Besides, expressing our gratitude is not a protection against having negative life experiences.

We often rush out to buy a thank you gift for the thank you gift that someone gave us. Far better to allow the giver the honour of having expressed their gratitude to us. Giving a response gift diminishes us, because it makes us look we’re trying to be more thoughtful, or generous, or grateful. It’s similar to wanting to have the last word in a conversation. Accepting their gift with humility and grace dignifies both our act of kindness and their gratitude for it.

It is well and good to express our thankfulness, so long as it doesn’t become excessive or obsessive; but unfortunately it can, and it does - and that’s not healthy. There’s a world of difference between helping to provide for those in need as a matter of compassion and social responsibility, rather than as a public display of appreciation that we ourselves don’t need help, or as a protection against experiencing the same fate. It’s our attitude that counts; it’s our attitude that is heard by the Universal Intelligence. We can fool people, but we can’t fool God.

Gratitude?
Someone at a place of work threw a surprise birthday for the boss. The guest of honour had specifically asked that there be no party, as he feels uncomfortable in such situations. At the party, the hostess proudly announced that she had decided that the boss really did want a party after all and so took it upon herself to organize it. She then waited for his expressions of thanks and gratitude and was offended (really offended!) when he said, once again, that he had not wanted a party.

What are your thoughts and beliefs on this?
o  Was the employee wrong to have arranged the party?
o  Was the boss wrong to have shared his request?
o  Was the boss mean for not just playing along?

9.16 More about forgiveness
What is forgiveness?
Forgiveness is a gift we give ourselves so that we can leave the past in the past, and so that our spiritual and emotional wounds can heal. Like any of the thoughts, attitudes and emotions, forgiveness is a behavioural pattern that becomes stronger with use. We can choose whether to develop a habit of forgiveness or a habit of holding onto resentment, but it’s never too late to change resentment into forgiveness! Even if no one ever taught us how to forgive or how important it is to forgive, that doesn’t mean we can`t learn to build it into our lives.

Forgiveness means not resenting those who have angered us or failed us in some way. We can do this by communicating (in person or just on paper), our feelings of anger or disappointment to the concerned individual(s). This validates our emotions, and enables us to release the person and the experience. Although it is can be easier to forgive when we understand fully why something has happened, it is not necessarily required. We can forgive without people even knowing that they hurt us.

When I first started working with the Universe, the idea of forgiving anyone was almost unknown to me. So I started at the very beginning by forgiving my birth parents for giving me up for adoption, and just kept going all the way up through the years of my life. Let's just say I had A LOT of forgiving to do, so I got a lot of practice. For me now, I know I’ve fully forgiven someone when I can go over the experience in my mind - see their face, remember the words, everything - and not feel any anger or hatred. Once full understanding has been gained about an experience, it's actually easy to let go! Forgiveness is like a muscle - the more we use it, the stronger it gets, until it actually becomes an unconscious habit.

What forgiveness is not
Forgiveness is not a bargaining chip, for example, "I'll forgive you if...” Forgiving others does not mean that we have to allow their abusive or negative behaviour. Forgiving others does not mean that we can trust them to change their behaviour. In fact, sometimes it is necessary to completely limit contact with those who have harmed us. Doing so does not mean we haven’t forgiven them - it might just mean that we’re finally honouring, respecting, or protecting ourselves.

Forgive the dead?
Sometimes it is necessary to forgive someone who is no longer alive. Just because they died does not mean that God expects or requires us to automatically forgive them or that we don`t need to consciously forgive them. It’s not speaking ill of the dead to acknowledge that they hurt us. Not doing so denies our true feelings and can leave us feeling guilty and bad for holding onto the harm that was done. Magically elevating someone to sainthood upon their passing, when we all know that they were anything but saintly, creates needless suffering and anguish for us.

Forgive ourselves?
Just as important as forgiving others, is the need to forgive ourselves. Since self-hatred is one of the most common spiritual root causes of addictions and negative life patterns, doesn’t it make sense that if we can find some way to forgive ourselves that we can finally find peace?

We cannot live our lives wishing and hoping that someone is going to forgive us for something we’ve done or not done - it is up to us to forgive us. It’s up to us to be the best people that we can be, while knowing that we’re all capable of hurting others, even if it’s unintentional.

Forgiveness from God?
Since the Universal Intelligence sees all human experience as education, there can be no such thing as sin, and since there is no such thing as sin, there is no need to be forgiven. The Universal Intelligence cannot and will not ever judge, criticize or condemn us.

9.17 More about grieving
Grieving is the process of coming to terms with life's difficult losses. Everyone grieves differently and at their own pace - this is widely accepted and understood. This article addresses the grieving that is never complete: the kind that makes us constantly replay the pain and loss in our thoughts; the kind that keeps us stuck; the kind that prevents us from letting go.

No matter what the experience (whether it was the loss of a loved one, or of an item, or of an opportunity, etc.), if we are ever to find peace we must find some way to fully let go of that which was lost. It is the holding on that keeps us stuck in a cycle of sorrow, or self-pity, or even anger and hatred; especially, it keeps us stuck in the cycle of reincarnation and karmic debt.

If we are ever to escape the cycle, we must change the responses we learned as young children and learn to grieve in a new, healthy, productive way. Before we can change anything though, we must first understand how we are currently grieving, and find how it is keeping us stuck.

In meditation, recall the first experience of loss that was ignored or minimized by one’s caregivers (usually in early childhood) along with all the thoughts, attitudes and emotions that we had at that time. If we can manage to tap into our real reaction to what our caregivers taught us to do, we can begin to understand why we behave the way we do whenever we experience a loss. Only then can we begin to change the pattern.

After developing and practicing the new way of grieving, it becomes gradually easier to let go of our losses at ever-deeper levels, thereby letting go of the need to endlessly replay our memories and repeat the old pattern. Changing the way we grieve is a process that takes time. It doesn’t change just because we want it to. We learned how to respond to losses when we were young and have kept on repeating the behaviour, so it will take time to adapt. We have to be patient with ourselves, or we will just keep on creating more reasons to stay stuck in the old ways.

9.18 More about guilt
We can see the results of guilt and guilt trips everywhere around the world. Guilt, and the co-dependent relationships it can create, affects everyone, everywhere - individuals, families, and even entire communities.

Communities
Some hundreds of years ago, Europeans overtook North America (specifically Canada), subjugated the indigenous peoples, and then tried to extinguish them and their culture. We now have the government and the indigenous peoples involved in a complex guilt-based co-dependent arrangement: one side paying seemingly permanent restitution for albeit heinous crimes against the other, and the other living in a victim mentality that keeps the restitution coming. Neither side is prepared to stop, for whatever their reasons might be. One possibility is that a new relationship would need to be built, and that can be an overwhelming prospect.

The situation here in Canada is worsening as leaders continually fail to provide for their community’s physical/spiritual needs. Their people fail to thrive and, recently, there has been a drastic increase in the number of youth committing suicide. Those in charge just keep on seeking more money and more services from the federal government.

The spiritual lesson in this is that rescuing others from meeting their challenges solves nothing; in fact, it perpetuates ongoing issues. We can give information, assistance and leadership so that people become enabled and empowered, but we cannot "fix".

Families
This sort of arrangement can also be seen in families in which a parent continually steps in to divert the normal consequences for a child’s actions. There are many examples of this in the news; one such being the case of Ethan Couch’s vehicular manslaughter, while drunk, of four people. His lawyer, hired by his affluent mother, used a defense of “affluenza” and the child received a sentence of 10 years’ probation - for killing four people.

Individuals
In my family, a guilt-based unit formed the instant my adoptive parents learned they would be receiving a second child (me). They had adopted my sister first, and four years later, they adopted baby me. Forty years later, my mother told me that she had “always regretted not telling my sister” (my four-and-a-half-year-old sister) “that they were getting me”. Because of their choice, my sister was not given the opportunity to prepare for my arrival; nor was she welcomed into helping to care for me, and in fact her offers to help were apparently spurned - quite possibly because my parents feared that she would harm me. And sadly, they were right - she did. There ensued years of bullying and temper tantrums directed at me. Her temper tantrums always paid off too, because my parents would just give her whatever she wanted.

They treated her like a victim, because she was one. My sister treated me like an interloper, an uninvited, unwelcome guest. If she harmed me, my parents would ridicule my hurt and say, “Oh, stop it." "She doesn’t hate you, she loves you." "She was only kidding around." Or "It was a love tap.” Unfortunately though, it felt like I was the one being punished. Not only were my feelings ignored and even ridiculed; I also didn’t receive the so-called benefits that my sister received for her immature behaviour. Additionally, I failed to learn (until adulthood) how to stand up for myself, how to protect myself from unwanted advances, or that hitting does not equal loving.

The end result of such co-dependent relationships is that everyone is harmed. Those living with guilt and shame for their own poor choices (or for those of their predecessors), those who fail to learn to be responsible for their actions and those whom they victimize, and all those who must stand by and observe this dangerous dance, are damaged.

What can we do about it?
In order to change this incredibly destructive pattern, we can take a few simple steps to absolve guilt:
• Don’t add insult to injury by pretending that no one was harmed
• If we’ve caused harm, let us own up to it. Acknowledge that our victim suffered an offense and accept that we are responsible for it
• Let us make meaningful restitution with restorative justice
• Let us ask forgiveness from the injured party
• And, finally, let us forgive ourselves (see forgiveness in Section 6)

9.19 Why do we think that everyone else is the enemy?
There is strength in our differences, yet we cannot seem to accept that it is okay for people to be different or to have different beliefs. Do we think that we are weakened by diversity? Do we believe that God will punish any who stray from (sometimes) centuries-old teachings? Do we think that it’s up to us, the righteous ones, to attack anyone with a different opinion? All in defence of God’s cruel, vindictive nature, of course.

The Universal Intelligence (God, our Creator, the Source of all that is) has no ego to bruise, no axe to grind. There are as many ways to have a relationship with God as there are his children, and certainly no need for everyone’s life choices to be the same. As God’s children, we have been given the gift of free will. We can choose to do as we please, or we can choose to do as God asks. It is not sin and there is no punishment if we choose the former, because that is what the spiritual law of free will mandates us to do: make choices. There may be negative outcomes if we choose to do what we want, but they do not result because God is punishing us - they result because we don’t always know what’s best for us and sometimes, we make lousy choices.

How long will we continue to judge, criticize and condemn, sometimes to execution, any and all with different beliefs than ours? It is beyond unreasonable to think for a moment that God wants any of his children to kill any of his other children. God will continue to exist, no matter what we do. God will continue to love his children, all of us, unconditionally, no matter what we do. We will all return to him eventually, to share our vast lifetimes of experiences with him. After all, that is our purpose … that is why  this particular reality has been created.

9.20 About toxic relationships and letting go with love
What is a toxic relationship?
This is a co-dependent relationship in which all involved parties claim the other side is the problem. Neither is prepared to let go of their position; neither will apologize and neither will forgive; both think the other is infuriatingly stubborn and/or controlling; and, most of all, that they are just plain wrong.

Perhaps the biggest frustration in toxic relationships is that we are unable to fix them, or at least get out of them without being consumed with guilt, resentment and remorse. We tell ourselves that it would be mean and cruel to leave, so we keep trying to get the other party to change; but of course, nothing works. Since we cannot make anyone else change, or even want to change, change is up to us.

Letting go with love
To fix a relationship requires much work and dedication from both sides, and often this is not possible when both parties feel that it is the other who needs to change. In this case, it can be preferable to let the relationship go. The challenge is to do so without holding onto any negativity; this means no guilt, no anger, and no regrets.

It also means not repeatedly returning to the relationship to try, try again. God does not condemn us for being wise enough to know when it’s time to stop trying and let go.

Here are some steps to take that, while they won’t fix a relationship, will enable one to move on and begin living in peace:
• Let go of the need to prove the other wrong (self-righteousness)
• Let go of the need to be apologized to (humility)
• Let go of the need for revenge (forgiveness)
• Let go of the need to receive permission to make any of these changes
• Acknowledge our part(s) in the relationship, and forgive ourselves as well as the other party.

If you’re stuck in a toxic relationship, learn about building a strong relationship with yourself, as well as with the Universal Intelligence. It starts with meditating in a new way.

9.21 What is the spiritual component of revolution?
Wherever there is revolution there has been oppression: oppression breeds it. Revolution erupts because people dislike being told what they may or may not do and then suffering punishment if they happen to disagree with those in power. We all dislike being controlled, and that is the key spiritual component of revolution: feeling that our free will has been stolen, and then taking action, at any cost, to take it back.

Humanity runs the constant risk of power-hungry, narcissistic psychopaths taking complete control over their particular sphere of influence. They’re clever, they’re determined, and they simply will not stop until someone with even more determination and power makes them stop.

As above, so below: As with nations, so with individuals
The pattern starts in families and extends to neighbourhoods, cities, and, finally, to countries. Time and time again, children who are abused, or who are treated as poor, defenceless victims, have grown up to think that the world owes them a living. As adults, these people go out into society, where they bully others, commit crimes and become despots and dictators. Millions have died because no one stood up to these people before they arose to a position of real power. We take the path of least resistance in the hope that someone stronger, or braver, than us will stop them. The only way to stop their quest for dictatorial power is to provide children with the tools they need to live as respected, respectful, contributing members of society. This may be pie in the sky today, but maybe one day it will be a reality.

9.22 More about manipulation
One of the biggest issues facing humanity is our inability to stop allowing ourselves to be manipulated. We are so easily swayed by promises and gifts from people wanting our permission to do whatever they wish, that we are unwilling or unable to just say “no” to them - we want a piece of whatever pie they’re serving. Our desire (greed) for their gift makes us tell ourselves that deep down inside they are really kind and generous souls, that they really care about us, and that they want us to benefit from their position. Deep inside though, we know that they are simply trying to manipulate us.

Consequences
Two things can happen if we accept their gift: We can feel gratitude, which compels a perverse loyalty, or we can feel guilt and shame for thinking badly of them, i.e., for seeing the truth. We then somehow end up feeling obliged to compensate them.

How to change the pattern
Just say "no". Make do without whatever it is, or find an honest way to get it besides selling out. We need to accept the truth: They’re trying to buy us.

9.23 Why have politics become so nasty?
There are at least two sides to every political issue; each party thinks that it their view is correct and the other wrong, and maybe even evil. Our greed for more power and more money and more prestige has created an atmosphere in which it has become acceptable to behave like little children who have not yet learned self-control.

Several election campaigns over the past several years have been won by one side employing disturbing tactics though. (This has happened in countries besides Canada.) It goes a little something like this: One party candidate refuses to allow the other to speak during a debate. She/he does not allow the other to be right. She/he interrupts to prevent any question being asked that might open the door to finding truth. She/he refuses to back down in the face of truth. She/he refuses to apologize for errors, and it absolutely will not admit having outright lied about something. She/he insults, insinuates and generally disparages the other party at every opportunity. She/he accuses the other party of lying, not necessarily because it has, but so that the observer’s attention is diverted/deflected away from the matter at hand.

This sort of behaviour changes a debate into gainsaying (yes you did / no I didn’t). It is designed to shut down any meaningful dialogue by fueling anger and rage, or to make the audience turn away in pure frustration. The practice spreads untruth, discontent and outright fury, and is a disservice to society and the democratic process. It is rude and arrogant, and shamefully manipulative. The sad part is that we are tricked by such behaviour. We cast our vote for, and then flock to, the “winners” in the hope/wish/belief that they are behaving this way in order to serve us, to serve society.

Will we ever learn?
Now, not all campaign candidates employ these tactics, but those who do may well not have the best interests of society at heart. While they can appear to for a time, eventually their true self-serving interests become clear. Society is then left to pick up the pieces and pay their bills. Hopefully we all will learn to identify those who aim to serve self at the expense of others before electing them. We have to be wary and watchful though, because it’s very easy to get sucked into their spin.

9.24 What can we do to fight terrorism?
We must not give in to hate, even though that is easier than seeking to understand terrorists' motives for committing hateful acts. We must not use fear as an excuse to hate those who are different. We must work to change the conditions that allow poverty and prejudice, inequality and injustice to exist in our corner of the world. We must be willing to defend our way of life, yet we cannot sink to barbarism when meting out justice; doing so only perpetuates the cycle of karmic debt. Far better to employ restorative justice

9.25 Does the moon affect our emotions?
No, not directly. Since our thoughts create our emotions, seeing the moon in a certain phase might trigger certain thoughts, and it is these that can trigger certain emotions.

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