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Evolutionary Blog

Distinctions to accelerate your personal and professional evolution

Is Your Relationship To God Wrecking Your Relationship With God? (Part 2)

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Be sure that you've read Part 1 » here «.

[Note to the reader: "God" is used throughout as a signifier to point to wherever you put your worship. It could be conventional religions as I will mainly address, but you could just as easily replace it with Gaia if you "put your worship" there--if the environment is your ultimate concern. or you could replace it with polytheistic beliefs such as Hinduism. Or maybe you put your worship in the Universe, consciousness, or Community. Consider that whatever your ultimate concern is, the concepts in this article can apply to that thing as "God" for you. Doing this will allow you to get the most from this article. -Jason D McClain]

 

As I asked in Part 1:


"...was Jesus really born of the Virgin Mary? Was Lao Tzu really born as a 900 year-old man? Is the earth really resting on the head of a giant serpent (or the shell of a giant tortoise)? And of course, the subject of great debate most recently it seems: is the Earth really only 6,000 years old? Are these facts—with belief in them required to enter into the afterlife? Or are they gorgeous and useful poetic metaphors pointing to a greater truth in a way that people at the time could accept, pointing to Divine power?"

These metaphors are a testament to the belief in stunningly powerful, mystical, and magical forces embodied in "Spirit". Stories told to the good common folk of those eras. Metaphors they could relate to. This was useful and good—in fact, it could have been no other way at the time. However, the vast majority that count themselves among the world’s religions have lost touch with this simple wisdom: that metaphors of their spiritual traditions do indeed hold tremendous aesthetic value and inspirational mythopoetic beauty, however, they are not the Truths themselves.

Nor should they really matter when discussing spiritual merit. Would we say someone was not a good person if they acted with love, grace and charity all of their life, dedicated to the service of others, but rejected the idea of the Virgin Birth? Of course not.

Sadly, focusing on the details of the metaphoric stories as a basis for “faith” rather than the individual relationship with the Universal Truths results in losing access to Divinity and Spirit. Ending up, in turn, hopelessly (and endlessly) arguing over details of form and presentation-details of stories told long ago so that simple people could easily have access to God. These arguments aren’t just friendly disagreements or intellectual debates engaged in among scholars; they have split families and divided congregations--and sent nations to war on too many occasions for us to want to list here.

The fact that this is so, and that is springs from traditions that were and are meant to free the spirit, spread love, and acceptance, and give hope to the hopeless, is no less than tragic.

So that we can attempt to avoid the same pitfalls, let us set aside what is “true” or “false” about these mythopoetic themes and focus instead on the more personal and individual experience. This is what is relevant for our discussion that is focused on the context of personal evolution.

For that, we need to address not the truth, but the utility of our relationship to the Divine--"to" vs. "with." This “to vs with” business is not just fun with prepositions. It has a very practical impact on our internal life and emotional experience.

The manner in which we relate to anything determines its meaning and importance in our lives. Whether that thing is a significant other, a new career opportunity, a rainy day, traffic on the highway, and/or yes, even “God”. Perhaps we should even say In fact, especially God—not because that is accurate, but simply because of the impact that our personal relationship with God has on our real-life happiness.

Let’s take traffic.

We have all experienced traffic on a highway. How do you relate to it? What is your interpretation of it? Do you view it as a waste of time? A hassle? An increase in vehicular pollution? Or perhaps you see it as a welcome break and use it to unwind on your way home listening to relaxing music or an opportunity to listen to a favorite book on audio? The obvious point is that how you “hold” this experience we call “traffic” in your subjective world will give rise to a specific and tangible emotional experience around it, or what we will call an “atmosphere”.

 “It is never the thing itself, but rather your relationship to it”.

Knowing that let’s take it out another level: it is not just how you relate “to” traffic that will determine your experience. While this is true, we could take one more step and realize that we are not just in traffic--if you are in your car in the middle of traffic, you are the traffic. You are at the very least a component part of it as a whole.

Think about that the next time you are cursing the traffic you are in.

You can see what we have done there, and you are likely already familiar with the importance of and the ability to “frame” your experience described in the above paragraphs. This is nothing new. Most of the wisdom traditions teach that how you interpret an event will determine your emotional experience around it—and with regular practice, you can discipline your mind to interpret your experience in a way that leads you to have the emotional experience of life that you desire. Simple. Not easy, but simple.

And yet, when we get to the context of God—we go all whacky. As if it somehow no longer applies.

Just as we examined if your relationship to traffic serves you, we will examine the same of your relationship to God.

I was with a client and we chased the source of his "issue" to a particular construction he has of God—and God and spirituality is very important to him.

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The Path to Divine Union | An introduction to Advanced Personal Evolution | San Francisco

Condense a process that would normally take a decade into a few months or a year; accelerate your personal evolution.

We could say that "personal development" allows you to increase your skills in a very predictable, linear fashion. "Transformation" allows you to generate instant and unpredictable results. "Personal Evolution" includes aspects of them both, and yet transcends them both, giving you tremendous power and access to your internal life as well as capacities for the external--increasing your core capacities to handle whatever life throws at you.

Enjoy true freedom. Reveal an ever-increasing degree of your Divinity ... and produce profound results in your life in the process.

The path is clear. The potential results for you are nearly limitless.

  • Clear your past emotional imprints reducing or eliminating your reactionary patterns, responding to situations with new resources, and establish your foundation
  • Build a solid relationship with yourself
    • Distinguishing your values in every major context of your life
    • Begin to live in conscious and intentional alignment with your values
    • Increase your esteem for your self
    • Develop the skills to navigate your own interiors
  • Expand your embrace through community, life purpose, relationship, or Divine Union
    • Continue the path of depth and expansion

Take two hours for yourself and...

Discover:

  • How you can rapidly clear negativities from your past including
    • anger
    • fear
    • guilt
    • shame
    • Etc.
  • How to build true esteem for your self--strengthening your "immune system for life"
  • Debunking myths about ego and self-esteem that are inhibiting healthy development
  • Effective strategies for managing the most powerful force in your world--your own mind
  • Effective approaches to Purpose, Relationship, and fulfillment through deeper understanding of yourself and others
  • To use your upsets [or the upsets of others] to distinguish values, producing conversations that bear fruit from the rocky soil of conflict
  • The differences among the stages of Divine Communion, Divine Union, and Divine Identification

Yes. All in about 2 hours.

Let’s accelerate the process of movement through the stages--so we can play more, love deeper, laugh longer–and hurt for only as long as is necessary for us to learn what we must learn to deepen our experience of ourselves.

To unfold our depths; to reveal our Divinity.

And isn't that what it’s all for anyway?

Your Personal Evolution is the gateway.

Yes, it will take the gristly and gritty work of building the muscles of facility with Self.  AND it will be the most valuable endeavor you have undertaken.

Let's explore this unfolding together. Let's accelerate the process together.

What: Introduction to Advanced Personal Evolution
When: Saturday, March 30th | 11am to 1pm in San Francisco
Where: »» RSVP «« for exact location

Cost: free
Value: priceless

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Intentional Relating in Community | Responsible Interpretive Rigor With And To Others

Some years ago I wrote some guidelines for an intentional community and what I felt would create the best convergence of wisdom and having a responsible "immune system" for a community for safety of those participating as well as the most freedom of self-expression possible, all while trying to maintain it as Evolutionary -- with constant upward spirals, part of which would certainly include plateaus in that "constancy".

Blah blah, blah.

Anyway, one of the rules I had [and hold] is that in a community with individuals engaged in personal development, where Evolution is present, it is our duty and responsibility to update our interpretations of others.

This is not so unique, and the need is obvious: people have brief interactions with others. "Snap-shots" of that person if you will. But they are brief and contextual. And yet, people then extrapolate out and assess [or judge] this person as X. They then share this interpretation of this person with others. Perhaps out of genuine concern. Sometimes just to gossip.

And those who are careful and responsible in their sharing may even say "I only interacted whit them in XYZ situation and you may have another experience of them", blah, blah, blah.

They may even check in with the person/interact with them to see if their experience/assessment/interpretation was still valid.

And right there is where we can improve this process.

The Evolutionary would check in to see where their interpretation was *no longer* valid. Observe first where we were (or could be) wrong or out of date--looking for difference rather than for confirmation--of and about their assessment.

It is uncomfortable and against human nature's tendency to go for familiarity, confirmation bias, safety, etc. but it is more rigorous in our own evolution and more useful for true human connection and more aligned with what I consider to be Evolutionary principles.

And we will be relating more accurately with the dynamic being in front of us, rather than the stale and static caricature of them in our heads.

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Evolutionary Negotiation | From Conflict to Connection

Conflicts arise. For some of us, they arise more frequently than others. 

We all know this.

Conflicts can arise in our personal lives and in our relationships with other people. They can and do arise in professional contexts. And yes, they can even arise within ourselves.

In our personal lives, they can wreak havoc in romantic situations producing a lack of harmony and robbing us of the joy we expect those relationships to provide. In our professional lives they can corrupt professional associations or derail business deals affecting our financial outlook. When they occur within our selves, they can lead to inner turmoil, when we would rather experience harmony and peace.

This isn't exactly news.

What many of us fail to realize is that regardless of the context or the parties involved, we can use the same simple yet effective communication strategies to not only resolve the conflicts and problems, but to use them as a gateway to increased intimacy and connection, broader and deeper understanding, and ultimately, a positive outcome in virtually any situation--personal, professional, or individual.

With the tools we will cover in this mini-workshop, you will discover, gain, or acquire the tools that will allow you to:

  • Find common ground where most are resigned to discord
  • Expand the number of perspectives through which you can view yourself, others, and situations in general
  • Navigate the delicate and often tricky waters of conflicts in romantic situations
  • Negotiate professional agreements more effectively
  • Overcome obstacles to an outcome that honor all parties involved
  • Validate the other person/parties while still honoring yourself
  • Create conversations that transcend the "problem" and communicate directly at the level of values
  • Speak to the underlying message, rather then the superficial complaint being presented to you
  • Dissolve internal conflicts within yourself where you are "of two minds" about something or feel "torn" between this and that perspective or desire

Decrease conflict and discord in your life. Increase joy, connection, intimacy, and success.

Start by adding the tools we will offer in this free evening workshop:

 

What: From Conflict to Connection
Where: San Francisco »RSVP« for exact location
When: Tuesday, March 12th, 2013 @ 7:15pm

Cost: Free.
Value: Huge

»RSVP« for exact location

 

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How Do You Face The Rain?

Here is a little gem for you. An insight and a practice. Watch this 2-minute video:

 

 

And you can download an iPad version »HERE«.

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