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Spiritual and relationship expert, teacher, counselor, advisor, speaker, and writer James Gray Robinson

LIFE VS. THE SECOND LAW OF THERMODYNAMICS

              The second law of thermodynamics states that given a constant state of energy and matter (the universe), the amount of usable energy will decrease until the universe devolves and complex structures decay until the system reaches a state of complete disorder and stillness. In other words, according to science, at some point in the distant future the Universe will be in complete chaos until it goes completely dark. On the other hand, we have the concept of life, which constantly strives to put chaos into order and continually strives to recreate it.

            This struggle between the physical devolution of systems and the creative nature of life oftentimes appears in our lives as the destruction of what we know and creation of something new and better. In shamanism, this is known as going through the “dark night of the soul” and emerging “into the light”. It is the natural order of things. This is also known as the “roller coaster” of life and the pendulum of polarity. We experience life as a cycle for a reason, it is the way life works. Things destruct (2d Law of Thermodynamics) and things are recreated (life).

            In various cultures this is represented by various means. In the east, the cycle of yin/yang is constantly flowing from one state into another. It also is reflected in the concept of reincarnation, in which a physical being comes to a state of stillness (death) and is reborn into another physical being (life). In Hinduism, the god Kali (the destroyer) comes to dismantle all that is an illusion to allow what is real to be revealed. I am sure that all of this is intellectually interesting, but what do these concepts have to do with John Q. Citizen?

            The first thing to realize is that life and experience moves in predictable cycles. These are not random, they are dictated by the interplay between physics and life. On the one hand the universe is devolving into randomness and on the other life is evolving to God. These may actually be the same thing on higher levels. In any event, we constantly go between pleasure and pain, happiness and fear, birth and death. The question should be why are we always resisting the natural order of life and physics? We don’t want things to change, but they must. We must learn to accept it all. When we are in pleasure, enjoy the pleasure, but know that it will eventually cycle into pain. Enjoy the pain because we know it will cycle back into pleasure.

            Beings with higher consciousness tell me that life can be managed, and with proper discipline and thought control we can minimize the pain and maximize the pleasure. Even higher beings, like Buddha, will tell you by letting go of desire we can eliminate the cycle of pleasure and pain and experience constant bliss. This begs the question of whether you want to give up the cycle of pleasure and pain. I seem to relish both the intensity of pleasure and the intensity of pain. I certainly have experienced my share of both.

            I am at that point in life that I am watching my father die. He is old, he is not well and he is tired. He is resisting going to the next adventure because he is afraid of the unknown. It is the resistance born of fear. I completely understand his angst, I am going through my own angst of watching him go through his final stages. I also am going through the angst of living in a world that has cycles of pain and pleasure, life and death and light and dark. I pray to God to ease my father’s suffering and to give him peace. I pray to God to ease my suffering and to give me peace. I pray to God to ease your suffering and to give your peace. All of this is to say that I have great compassion for all beings because I know it is a scientific certainty that we will all experience what my father is experiencing and it is also a scientific certainty that we must embrace change. And if we do not embrace change, we will suffer change. That is our choice and what is known as “free will”. If there is anything we have a choice about, it is whether we suffer. Embrace the light, embrace the dark, embrace pain, and embrace pleasure. Seek the divine who can through grace help us rise above it all. And may all beings be happy.

           

           

            

Spiritual and relationship expert, teacher, counselor, advisor, speaker, and writer James Gray Robinson

BEING CLEVER

            I constantly amaze myself how I can steal unhappiness from the jaws of bliss. It takes quite a bit of effort at times to make myself unhappy. However, because I am so clever, I can do it even when there is absolutely no reason to be unhappy. I realize that it is a learned trait, developed over 50+ years of training, and hard to change. I am encouraged that I realize this, because what I am aware of can change. However, it takes quite a bit of courage and honesty to admit this to myself, especially when I convince myself I am right.

            At this moment, I am cruising at 35,000 feet on an Embrauer Jet from Atlanta to New York City. For anyone that has done a sufficient enough traveling, an Embrauer Jet is a smaller jet for regional flights. The overhead bins are much smaller than larger jets most people are used to. As a result, many travelers are disappointed and frustrated that the carryon luggage they expected to have with them will not fit in the Embrauer cabin and must be gate checked.

            As we were boarding, one woman insisted that her carryon bag should go with her into the cabin. The stewardess kept telling her it would not fit in the overhead bins, and that she would have to gate check the bag. However, due to a bad experience the woman had on a previous flight that lost her bag, she refused to gate check the bag. As a result, there was an impasse, a Mexican standoff of sorts. We could not leave the gate until she gave up her bag, which she was unwilling to do.

            Ultimately she simply ignored the stewardess and sat in her seat with her bag under her feet. Her knees were beside her ears, and she had a look of ultimate angry victory. The stewardess simply rolled her eyes and let her be, even though having a passenger in this position violated air safety regulations.

            As I watched all of this melodrama unfold, the first thought that went through my mind was the teaching that I create my own reality. So I contemplated why I would create this bit of melodrama to start off my day. It was not long before I realized that this was totally symbolic of how my clever mind held on to all of its illusions and judgments. I immediately became grateful for the image I would now have of this woman in misery feeling that she had won an important battle.

            I recently had an experience that I was not invited to an event I felt I had every right to attend. I experienced feelings of rejection and abandonment for a few hours, and finally let it go. However, even if it was only temporary, I made myself miserable with my mind’s feeling of entitlement and expectation. Just like the woman and her bags, I held on to the idea that I was right and the world was wrong.

            After all of the self-analysis and meditation I have done I continue to amaze myself with the seeds of misery I continue to find in my consciousness. I know that enlightenment is a continuous process of discovery and detachment, and I am really grateful to this woman who modeled for me how my mind behaves sometimes. I am smiling at the fact that enlightenment comes in such comical messages.

            Whenever I have one of these enlightening moments, I return to my original state of grace and happiness. I realize that whatever unpleasantness I experienced with the illusion that I was abandoned or rejected has passed never to return again. That in and of itself is cause for happiness.  So I sit with a smile on my face, determined that I will be able to maintain my happiness despite my clever mind. This would be true enlightenment.

Spiritual and relationship expert, teacher, counselor, advisor, speaker, and writer James Gray Robinson

A CRISIS OF CONSCIOUSNESS

Recently a spiritual teacher and leader was calling on all “light workers” to pray for healing for the world and for an end to the world’s problems and strife so that love and happiness could rule supreme. This misunderstanding—that something is wrong with the world– is at the core of the issues challenging our reality at the moment. Not coincidentally, the world stock markets are plunging (again) and financial uncertainty is again at our doorstep. Financial doom and gloom are causing suffering all over the planet. It is my belief that it is the belief that something is wrong that is causing all of the suffering and misery so rampant around us.

Consciousness is a term often used by spiritual people but rarely understood. The simplest definition of consciousness is the manner in which we view the world. At the lowest form of consciousness, we are in survival mode, living from crisis to crisis. At the highest form of consciousness, also known as enlightenment, we realize that what we perceive is only an illusion and nothing is real. When we are enlightened, we know that we create our own reality.

The belief that something is wrong with the world is at the lower end of the scale of consciousness. When we are in survival mode, everything appears to be a threat and we constantly wish that the world would be different. We want love and harmony, peace and abundance to be available for everyone. What this rose-colored fantasy fails to consider is that without challenges and distress, we do not grow. All growth is painful and we have to take responsibility for our actions.

We blame governments, bankers and the rich for our economic woes. If you have a credit card and use it, then you are part of the problem. Try going off the grid for a while, canceling all bank accounts and pay everything with cash. Impossible for most people I would wager. However, if you have bank accounts, credit cards, a mortgage and charge accounts, then the only person you can blame for this financial mess is yourself. The only reason people have bank accounts and all the rest is for material gain. The big house, the big car, a spouse and lots of money are supposed to make you happy, but it doesn’t. It only contributes to the financial gluttony that is at the root of our financial upheaval.

The higher consciousness would recognize that we are only changing. Whether the change is good or bad is totally a matter of perception. Everything changes. We get older, we get sick, we get healthy, we get “it” or we don’t. When we view anything as bad or good, right or wrong we are experiencing a low level of consciousness. The only thing that is immortal is our awareness, our soul. It only seeks to join with God (however you perceive it).  We grieve the loss of others, pets, houses, money, youth and peace. What we forget is that we haven’t lost anything. It hasn’t gone anywhere. The great thing about this universe is that things do not go away, they change. If you are grieving anything, it is because you are at a lower level of consciousness and are afraid of change.

One of the most interesting aspects of human consciousness is that it changes as well. If we focus, we constantly raise our consciousness and start to enjoy happiness and clarity. If we are unfocused, our consciousness raises and lowers based upon our circumstances like a roller coaster. When we feel like life is a roller coaster ride, it is not life that is going up and down, it is our perception/consciousness that is going up and down.

So the world is a hugely dynamic place. Everything is changing all at once. This planet is where souls come to raise their consciousness at a very fast rate. Until we raise our consciousness to a height that recognizes that there is nothing wrong with the world, we will continue to suffer in lower consciousness. It is like we buy a ticket to ride on the roller coaster and then criticize the roller coaster for going up and down. Of course people are going to suffer and die. This is what we do on this planet until we realize it is all a game.

If we “should” do something, it would be to seek to connect with our awareness and raise our consciousness to enlightenment. It would probably surprise many people who are suffering because of failing bank balances to go to India and see the smiles on the faces of children who have never heard of Apple computers, cell phones or SUVs. Those smiles convince me that nothing is wrong with the planet. The only thing wrong is how we perceive it. If you have a big house and lots of rooms, start boarding homeless people. The world will sort itself out very quickly.

Rather than trying to fix the planet, we would accomplish far more if we were charitable, kind, forgiving and compassionate. Rather than criticizing anyone we would change the world if we let go of our fear and simply enjoyed what we are doing at the moment. Rather than comparing ourselves to others, if we accepted what is as a gift and be truly grateful then the world would become a wonder filled universe. There is nothing wrong with the world, it just is. There is nothing wrong with others; they just are a reflection of our perception. There is nothing wrong with us; we are simply here to be happy no matter what happens. If we focus on our own paths, it doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing.