Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Oh, Brother!

I've been thinking a lot lately about something A Course In Miracles says, "Charity is a way of looking at another as if he had already gone far beyond his actual accomplishments in time." Wouldn't that be great if we actually did that? We all know that forgiveness is something that we do for ourselves in order to release the pain that is holding us back - it never has anything to do with the other person. You know that old adage about how holding on to anger and resentment is like "taking poison and waiting for the other person to die." But when we perceive another as if he's already accomplished his desires, that is a powerful act and a substantial contribution to another person.

When Jesus healed someone, it was because he saw that person as perfect. He held the perfection of the person in his consciousness. He did not see the disease, the problem or lack. In his presence, they were whole and then they would become that. This is why so many spiritual teachers do not want to hear our stories. They don't want to be dragged into our dysfunction or dis-ease. It is not the truth of who we are.

I was fortunate to know Ernest Holmes'  Practitioner, Vetura Papke. She was my teacher and my Practitioner. The first time I made an appointment to see Vetura for spiritual guidance, she sat behind a desk in all her 80-some years of glory. She was as sweet looking as the kindest grandmother and she always smelled like flowers. As I began to lay out my woes, I noticed that she was mumbling something. I continued telling my story and the mumbling got worse. It was as if she wasn't even paying attention to me at all. Finally, I stopped and pointed out to her that I had waited a long time for this appointment and it didn't feel like I was getting her attention. She said, ever so sweetly, "Oh no dear, I hear you." "Then what is it that are you so adamantly mumbling," I asked. I'll never forget her answer. She said, "Not a word of truth in it. Not a word of truth in it."

She refused to see me the way I was describing myself. She knew that my story was not who I was. She held firmly to the truth of who I was; to my highest potential, my higher self. She would not give credence to my circumstances. Because of that I was able to rise to the vision that she held for me. She saw me as far beyond my actual accomplishment at the time. What would the world be like If we could do that for others? A Course In Miracles calls it true charity. We are, in essence, enabling one another to live up to dreams that we hold for ourselves.

If you pay any attention, at all, to politics these days, you'll notice how much division there is between people drawn along party lines. There is such nasty, vengeful derisiveness that it borders on violence. And it is building to a feverish pitch. It is the other side of the spectrum to that which The Course advocates. It is looking at the worst in people; concentrating on their faults and it is all done for political gain (or television ratings) and very little of it involves the truth, but that doesn't matter. Say something long enough, about yourself or another, and you will begin to believe it. The power of words should never be underestimated. It is a game forged for gain and it does not serve anyone. It is so detrimental because it only serves to degrade the world that we all live in.

Politics, notwithstanding, most attack comes from our own projection of guilt. We bury things we've done in the past, that we are not proud of, and then seek to disown the guilt. Then we project it onto another person and feel justified in attacking them. That vicious cycle only exacerbates separation and personal despair.

When will we get it that we are all one? To quote Jesus again - not to put him in the spotlight too much but we just celebrated that resurrection thing and I figure he deserves it - "And whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, you do to me." The law of cause and effect is as alive in our world as is the law of gravity. What goes around comes around. Quantum physics also weighs in heavily on this topic with string theory. We're all part of a cosmic field that unifies us. 

The power we hold is undeniable and we can use it any way we choose. As Marianne Williamson says, "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.." And we are. If we are mindful of our actions we can create an unbelievable world for ourselves and others. The Talmud tells us that, "A light for one is a light for a hundred." We cannot forge good deeds for others without reaping benefit. We are all intrinsically connected.

This week I encourage you write down any guilt that you might be feeling. Guilt is the most destructive and useless emotion and it is usually a lie. Ask yourself the 4 questions that Byron Katie asks in The Work, starting with, "Is it true?" Set yourself free of the guilt that holds you back from seeing yourself and your brother as innocent, worthy, valuable and important. Practice unrelenting forgiveness for yourself so that you might see more clearly. Anyone or anything that bugs the shit of you is your key to areas in your own life that need attention and forgiveness.


Practice seeing others living far beyond their actual accomplishments. See your best friend as the actress she wants to be; your husband thriving in the career that he loves; your sister being the mother that she longs to be. These thoughts become powerful waves of vibration that impact us and the people in our lives, much like prayer. We are all one and we must begin to act like it. Let's take the high road this week and begin to see each other as perfect. Let's hold each other in the highest esteem. I believe it will change the world.

I leave you this week with a quote from the Buddhist author and philosopher, Daisaku Ikeda who said, "Great people never forget what others have done for them."


  1. Thank you for the beautiful post, Zan. As always - you made me laugh, cry and think about my life. You are and angel!

  2. Zan,
    I am so appreciative and grateful for these gifts.

  3. Beautiful and insightful as ever Zannie - Love to you, Mxox

  4. This was absolutely thought-provking and inspiring. Thank you for sharing this.

  5. This is wonderful Zan - really thought inspiring and powerful.

  6. Thank you! Just what I needed today.