Your Best Life Now

Your Best Life Now

The Point of Human Existence? What Is It?…

posted by smcswain

The Secret to Finding God Is…

posted by smcswain

Do You Seek God?  And yet, no matter how hard you try, you do not feel as if you can quite make it with God?

I understand.  Which is why I write so much and so often about this. I have struggled most of my life looking for God…longing for God…but only occasionally ever feeling close to God. Instead, I mostly felt I was undeserving…not quite fit…missing something…as if I wasn’t doing enough…and, as a consequence, my sense of spiritual fulfillment usually left me feeling like a thirsty runner carrying an empty water bottle.

But then, one day, I unexpectedly understood something Saint Francis of Assisi was trying to say, when he said, “What you are looking for IS what is looking.”

“What did he mean?”

When you get what he meant, your life will change. Your religious life will end. Your struggles will cease. Your humanity will emerge. You heart will heal.

You, my friend, will experience a resurrection that causes those who do not yet know it to look for it in some resurrection beyond this life.  In other words, when you become aware of this single greatest spiritual truth, you will have discovered the mystery of all mysteries…what Jesus called, “the abundant life” (Jn. 10:10).

For me, it was like waking up. I woke up to the realization that grace comes to those who stop struggling.  Which is why, in the little novel, Why Is God Laughing, one of the characters says, “When it finally sinks in that there is nothing you can do to find God, he suddenly appears.”

That’s the mystery. Perhaps even, life’s greatest paradox.

Remember this, my friend.

You can make knowing the Divine Presence into a problem if you’d like.  You can let your religion brainwash you into thinking that you’re undeserving of God…or, God’s grace…or, that your ugliness is so ugly that God had to kill his own Son just so he could look in your direction.

You can believe in madness if you wish…but, if there is something in you that feels as if there may be more to this story of God’s grace than the limited version you’ve heard, then I’ve got good news for you…and, I mean, really good news…not bad news peddled across a religiously misguided marketplace as if it were good news.

Want to know what this good news is?

A Course in Miracles puts it like this: “When we are finally ready, God will take the final step in our return to him.”

Lama Surya Das, the most highly skilled western lama in the Tibetan tradition of Buddhism, put it like this: “The finding of God is inseparable from the longing for God.”

If you’re a Christian, here’s how Saint Paul put it: “Saving is all God’s idea. And, all God’s work, too. What we do is trust him enough to do his work in us…” (Ephesians 2:8-10).

In other words, anything you do to add to what God has done is, of course, the problem. You cannot add anything to grace.

Why would you? How could you?

Even following some prescribed formula for activating this grace – like reciting the Four Spiritual Laws or some “Sinner’s Prayer,” as it is sometimes called – is little more than a great big attempt to add something else to the nothing else that needs to be done. Why would you add your icing to a perfectly decorated cake created by a skilled bakery chef? What, the chef needs your help?

No, my friend, the secret to knowing God is to quit trying.

“The day you stop looking for God is the day you discover God has found you already.” (From The Enoch Factor: The Sacred Art of Knowing God).

That IS…

Your best life now!

The Enoch Factor: The Sacred Art of Knowing God – Video Blog # 4

posted by smcswain

The Enoch Factor: Video Blog # 4

What’s the difference between “beliefs” and “faith”? And, what kind of internal environment is needed for my faith to grow?

1. Question Everything (Video Blog # 3)
2. Today, I would suggest…

Going Within…Changing Your World!

posted by smcswain

Nepo says that when he was young he talked fast and loud.

Sometimes, I still do.

What he did not realize until much later in life is that “I kept talking faster and louder to the world around me because I couldn’t hear the world within me.”

A profound sutra.

When I read those words, I shuttered within.

Why? Because he was kind of describing me, especially when he warned, “Do not mistake the need to hear with the need to be heard.

Wow!

Don’t you think that sometimes we do not enter the world within – what Jesus referred to as “the Kingdom within” – because we do not want to hear the messages coming from there…or, maybe it is that we’re afraid of what we will hear.

My friends, here’s what I’ve been learning, having regularly visited my inner world for several years now. I now go there daily and I can tell you, unequivocally, there is nothing to fear. There is nothing you’ll hear that won’t heal you.

Easterners call it meditation; Christian Benedictine monks call it “praying without ceasing” (1 Thess 5).

You can call it whatever you like.

The fact is, going within is the way to transformation. It is the only way.

If you want your outer world to be different than it is, something has to change internally. Your outer world is only ever a reflection of your inner world. If it isn’t working around you, it isn’t working within you.

Oh, sure, you can blame your circumstances, other people…many do. You can complain, criticize, and so judge others and the world as if it all one huge, unfair place toward you. You can say things like, “He makes me mad.” “If it wasn’t for her, my life would be peaceful!”

Think the world sucks?

I assure you, the world without IS your world within.

Others may push your buttons, to be sure, but you, my friend, control the volume.

Nothing will ever change around you until something changes within you.

“But,” you say…

No “But’s!”

“But, if I could just win the lottery…just get a better job…if I had not married him…I would be happy!”

You really believe this internal message?

You, my friend, have much to learn about life…much to listen to that your voice in the head mistakenly believes. You, my friend, have many beliefs that need questioning.

The world around you is but a reflection of the world within you. It has only ever been this way. Which is precisely why Jesus taught, “The Kingdom is within you” (Lk 17:21).

Learn now to go within and watch the world without transform before your very eyes.

Start today. Take a walk within. See where it leads. You will not be disappointed. That’s a promise.

The Enoch Factor: The Sacred Art of Knowing God – Video Blog # 3

posted by smcswain

Do you ever long to know God?

I have come to believe that knowing God is both an art and an art that is sacred. That is to say, knowing God is not difficult. But most of us make it difficult. Sometimes, the difficulty comes from within ourselves and, at other times, our religious conditioning.

There are things you can learn that will help you step beyond the hurdles you have either created within yourself or inherited from our religious upbringing and reconnect with God. That’s why I call this, “the sacred art of knowing.” Once you learn how to reconnect with your inner self and your spiritual Source, you will restore the sacred side of your life. You will have rediscovered the secret to peace and happiness.

So, I offer you these videos to guide you…that is, to help you in your spiritual journey with God. I hope you find them useful.

“I’m in a Hurry (and Don’t Know Why)…”

posted by smcswain

I’m in a hurry and don’t know why…

I was on a flight yesterday morning from Louisville to Sarasota to visit with clients. Sitting on the plane just before takeoff, I looked out the window at the massive wing reaching out on either side of the fuselage like a mighty eagle stretching its wings before taking flight. I marveled at its size…its strength and weight…the fact that inside its wings resides the unseen fuel that gives engines the thrust so the wings might effortlessly do their work.

I understand little about aerodynamics. What I do know is that the wings are just the right shape, size, and length to enable this jetliner to lift from the earth to the heavens.

It’s a spiritual lesson and one I almost missed.

I returned to my Delta brewed coffee with a splash of Baileys when the thought occurred to me: “As human beings, we, are equally complex creations, are we not? Mysterious in design and capability, too?

Think about it. We are an immaculate design, providing temporary residence to trillions of cells that flash on and off like lights, each performing its momentary but momentous function and all the while orchestrated by an unseen Conductor who leads this perfectly tuned symphony we call human life.

Whatever this Mystery is, it enables my mind to think, my heart to beat, my lungs to breathe, my hands to grasp, my fingers to move, my knees to bend, my feet to walk, my tongue to speak, my eyes to see, my ears to hear and on and on and on with  a myriad of millions, even billions, of unseen functions all occurring within and simultaneously and without any involvement by me.

It all just happens and I am completely unaware of it. It is one breathtakingly majestic mystery.

Can you think of anything more magnificent? Must you and I stand at the edge of the Grand Canyon before we feel the majesty, mysteriousness, and magnificence of this creation? Of you, yourself?

What I’m talking about my friend is God in human flesh. Only this time, the human flesh is YOU!

Your life.

If you knew who this was IN YOU, doing all of this unseen stuff, of what could you possibly be afraid?

If you were even remotely aware of how extraordinary you really are, how could you ever again regard your life as too damn ordinary?

Know what our problem is? What my problem is at least?

I’m too often spiritually unconscious!

And, if salvation isn’t awakening you to greater consciousness…more alertness…a larger awareness, what good is your religion anyway? Really now! What good is it?

The reason you’re reading this and can’t stop reading it is because something in you knows that what I’m writing about is true and it feels to your thirsty soul what soil must feel whenever the spring rains descend upon it.

So, you don’t feel so majestic either? You don’t feel wonderfully made, as the Psalmist put it (Ps 139:14)?

Maybe you and I don’t see the mystery that we are or the magic that we are…or, for that matter, maybe we do not recognize the many messages from beyond because…

… “We’re in a hurry to get things done…Oh I rush and rush until life’s no fun…”

Heard that song today, too, like a message from beyond, just as I turned on the radio on my way to have the car serviced. The song is a bit old indeed, but its message is just as relevant as the day Alabama first sang it.

I know. I got the tune stuck in your head now. So, go ahead take it for a moment. Hum the tune with me and words, too, to the next line.

Remember how it goes?

“All I really gotta do is live and die, but I’m in a hurry and don’t know why.”

“…I’m in a hurry and don’t know why?”

Do you know why?

If you’re like me, sometimes I need to be reminded that “all I really gotta do is live and die.”

The tragedy about life is not that we die; the real tragedy is that we never really live.”

The mystery is missed because the mind, rather than being present…rather than being conscious – which means “alert” “awake” “aware” – rather than observing what’s right in front of its face, as in the wing on a plane…rather than hearing the many messages from beyond that quietly speak to us from everywhere and through everyone, even through everything…the mind is “here” but wants to be “there”…wherever “there” is.

Which may explain why Jesus described people like you and me as “lost”…

Lost…

“…like sheep without a shepherd,” lost…

“…like a coin carelessly dropped to the floor,” lost…

“…like a prodigal son trying to survive the stupid choices he’s made of his life…” lost…

“…like a ‘goodie-two shoes’ who’s in church but whose heart is far from Father and resentful toward everyone.”

“All I really gotta do is live and die…”

Live…and…Die.

That’s really all any of us “gotta do” and, come to think of it, we do not control either of them…neither our birth nor our death. So, maybe the lesson in all of this is that we should just be still today…slow down a whole bunch…pay closer attention to what’s going on around us…perhaps even say a prayer of thanks for being so wonderfully made…

And, oh, while you’re at it, do you think we should be grateful, too…

For those messages from beyond that come through old country songs we haven’t heard in a while?

And, what about a word of thanks today, for those unseen Wings that carry you…

…even when you’re not aware?

Who I Am Naturally!…

posted by smcswain

Here’s a thought for consideration on this bright new April morning in spring.

In Harvey Cox’s book The Future of Faith, he references a statement to this effect:

“If we love God, even if we think God might not exist, God will make herself manifest to us.”

Love and faith are primordial…or, you might even say, the capacity to love and to believe are written into the genetic code of your DNA. In traditional religious language, we would call this an act of “Divine grace.” God has gifted you and me – naturally – no effort of our own – to love and to believe.

The history of Christianity is not a history of “beliefs.” To be sure, creeds developed, as any history buff knows. But, Christianity is really more a history of faith…a history of a people who questioned, rejected, and sometimes recreated their beliefs.

I would maintain, it is far more important that you and I be the people we are naturally – people of faith. Isn’t that far more important than you becoming a follower of “my beliefs” or “our beliefs” which are really just “our opinions?”

You will hear religious people say, and say often – and, the more threatened they are, the louder and more insistent they will often become – but, you’ll hear them say, “This isn’t what I just believe or we just believe…we believe what the Bible says,” or “I just believe the Bible” many of them are not aware, what they are really saying is, “This is our opinion as to what the Bible is saying. However, we know that equally faithful, believing people believe the Bible is saying something altogether different.”

A person of “beliefs” or, more accurately, “opinions” will leave little room for a differing opinion.

A person of “faith,” on the other hand, may have a belief…an opinion, even one held strongly, but he or she will always be open to a differing opinion, belief, or understanding.

Now, you tell me, which is it more important that you be?
The person you are – a person of faith? Or, a person other equally frightened and threatened people say you should be – “one of us…believing like us?”

I hardly perfect at my profession, but I think you know which of the two I wish to be – and that is who I am NATURALLY.

This is Your Best Life Now!

The Enoch Factor: The Sacred Art of Knowing God – Video Blog # 2

posted by smcswain

Can I know God? Check this out and see for yourself…

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