Happiness – Your Birthright and Native State

2013-08-05 02.20.12

At times on our journey through life, we lose our inner spark, our feeling we can do whatever we wish, conquer the world, and be happy.

I think happiness is our most desired quality and  state of being.  When we are happy, we feel carefree, warm, active, loving, devil-may-care, adventurous… or secure and confident.  When we’re happy, we feel at home in our skin and our world.  Things are good.  We take joy in helping someone do or achieve something they want.

I believe that happiness is a human right!  Each human being, no matter his or her origin or destination, deserves to be happy.  Life is only enjoyable when we have the reward of pleasure, joy and happiness.

There are many reasons we can become discouraged, sad, dispirited.  It is not always within our control.  An accident or loss can’t always be prevented.  But we all contain within us the inner resources to come back up.  The first step toward doing so is the decision to do it.  Then put your attention and focus on doing things that interest you, or that you love or consider worthwhile.  Realize that each of us can be a positive and inspiring spirit in our own world, circle, family, group… even neighborhood, town or company.  And get back into action.

There is another reason we can get to feeling low, weak, powerless, hopeless.

If there is someone in your vicinity who makes you feel low, who brings you down, who gets you to start thinking about bad things or your failings, or who makes you feel like you won’t be able to achieve your hopes and dreams, then you need to realize it and handle it.

Such people strive to reduce happiness.  They take pleasure in it.  Don’t allow it.  You are a unique person, a unique force in your world.  There is nobody like you, and the more special qualities you  possess, the harder some people will try to wreck you.

So set them straight.  Get up your courage and speak up.  Don’t let them get away with it, and don’t let them make you feel small.  And if you are in a position in which you are forced to tolerate their presence, then don’t back down.  Let them know you are done with being bullied, done with their snide remarks, done with their nasty or covert put-downs.

Sometimes even the unexpected will occur, and they will turn around and become your friend.

Your life and fire deserve to burn bright in the world.  Shine on!

A Christmas Visit

Copyright 2012 D.E. Lamont

The prospect of death can be terrifying or depressing and for some can make living and life seem worthless. After all the greatness and creativity and pleasure that human beings can enjoy and invest into life, it seems the greatest bad joke of the universe that our awareness and our participation in life can simply be cut off forever.

Perhaps you, like many others, were taught that when your life stops, you stop – that you cease to exist and your awareness is gone. That is, after all, what our bodily senses and perceptions seem to indicate.

Others try to get you to accept it. “It’s a natural part of life,” they say. But the whole time you’re thinking that that really doesn’t help at all or make you feel any better.  Who wants to feel good about death?  For that matter, who wants to accept it, under any circumstances?

Well, maybe that really isn’t what happens. Maybe something entirely different occurs that has nothing to do with either ceasing to exist or going to heaven and floating on clouds and playing harps for eternity (no disrespect to religion intended).

Throughout the world, many religions and many people believe and have believed for uncounted ages that humans are really “composite” beings consisting of a soul, or spirit, and a body. Many also believe that the mind is not part of the brain, but part of the spirit. The spirit is immortal; it goes on existing through eternity, and so does the mind and the personality that is you.

A physical analogy for the spirit is electricity, which powers machines and electronics. It is obvious that when someone dies, something has left the body. Its source of power is gone. That something, many believe, is the life force – the spirit.

What the spirit does after the body dies may be somewhat different in each case, but it is not necessarily true that you are automatically sucked up into a dark tunnel with a bright light at its end.

I have personally had a few direct experiences with spirits. The most spectacular and wonderful such experience was a night shortly before Christmas back in the late 1980s.

I lived in a dramatic 2-story-tall apartment in West Los Angeles with a spiral staircase leading up to a small bedroom loft.  I had decided to decorate the apartment for Christmas by wiring faux pine garlands to the railings bordering the loft area and also down the spiral railings for the staircase. I began fairly late in the evening, and cut off pieces of green wire twist-tie from a big roll I had, to fasten the pine garlands to the rails. (Twist-ties are wire wrapped with plastic, used as fasteners around loaves of bread in the U.S.)

As I worked, I had the wistful thought that it was too bad that nobody but me would see my decorations, since they were looking so pretty!  I didn’t have plans for anyone to come over that Christmas – but I wanted to decorate anyway!

After I was done with the garlands, I used more twist-tie to put little clusters of bright red holly berries along the garlands.  I was upstairs when I finished, so I surveyed my work from above, then dropped the by-then largely undone spool of green twist-tie – which then looked like a big spiral spring – down to the floor through the spiral staircase. It fell on the carpet under the stair case.

I then busied myself straightening up in the loft. At one point I heard a noise downstairs – a definite medium-soft “thunk” of something hitting something. It gave me a start, because nobody was in the house. I instantly discounted it, because it wasn’t something that should have been possible, and kept working.

A little while later, I went downstairs to clean up, intending to pick up the loose roll of twist-tie I had dropped onto the carpet.  But it wasn’t there!  I very clearly recalled having dropped it through to the carpet and noticing how it unwound, looking much like a big green spring.  I was bewildered, to say the least.

I looked around, and then I spotted it. The roll of green twist-tie wire was sitting in the middle of my old wood eating table. And no longer was it a large disarrayed spiral resembling a spring. No! Instead it was rolled up tightly and neatly in a little spool and secured with a clever tie that I didn’t even know how to do!  It reminded me of something a seaman would know how to do. 

I became pretty creeped-out then, because I KNEW I hadn’t done that.  I nervously searched all through the apartment, checking everywhere to make sure nobody was there. There was nobody there and all the windows and the door were locked tight. The only possibility was one which I was
not entirely ready or able to accept, and it took me some time to buck up my courage and get used to the idea. And that was that I had had a disembodied visitor with remarkable capabilities, able to manipulate physical objects. 

While still somewhat nervous about it, I also felt shy, because I wasn’t sure whether he might still be there. I decided to address him (I felt that he had once been male), in case he was still there, and thanked him/her for wrapping my twist-ties back up and for coming to visit me and show me that he had been there.

This experience was so amazing and hard to believe, yet impossible not to believe, that it changed my overall view of things. It confirmed for me utterly, once and for all, the existence of the spiritual plane. I had seen for myself (and heard for myself) that a spiritual being was real – a personality that could indeed act and make himself or herself known to us. And could move objects without the need of a body!  It was a confirmation on a different level of what I had already believed, and it meant the world to me that my visitor had come to visit me and show me this truth in a whimsical and instructive way.

A postscript to this story:  As I was standing there thinking about what had occurred, I remembered that earlier in the evening, when I was downstairs and before I had started decorating, I had been walking toward my office area when I suddenly felt an overwhelming rush of love and loyalty for a certain very wonderful friend who had passed away a few years earlier.  My emotion was very powerful, and I felt just like I had walked right into a pool of intense love.

Standing there, as I recalled that event, my eyes misted over and I thought that perhaps, just maybe, my beloved old friend had been my unseen visitor that night. And that indeed, someone very, very special had come, after all, to see my Christmas decorations.

So, I would ask you, is dying the end of us?

I think not.  

D.E. Lamont

Dreams – Random Imaginings or Gateway to our Spiritual Selves?

Copyright 2004, 2012 by D.E. LamontLittle-Understood and Mysterious, but Part of Us All

Everyone has their own ideas of what dreams are, and what they mean – if anything! Dreams might be the most often discussed yet little understood phenomenon common to all humans – though animals also dream. Certain professions claim dreams as their exclusive turf to define and label – but seem to want to insist that dreams are always symbolic. That is nonsense.

What Are Dreams?

Though superficially dreams seem similar one to the next, not all are of the same character. Dreams can actually be many different things, from a random creation out of imagination and experience with no additional significance, to a spiritual experience that is actual. At times they seem to offer a door into an unexplored and supernatural realm; sometimes they offer a glimpse of incredible beauty. While most seem to be happenstance, some appear not to be. Here are some of the things dreams can be:

  • Random creations of a person’s mind, recombining experience and imagination. This may be the most common type of dream. When remembered after awakening, often the events, objects and concepts make no sense at all, even though they made perfect sense in the dream. Some concepts can’t even be expressed! This is a fascinating aspect of dreams. The way I figure it out is this: if you suppose that each human being has his or her very own self-created spiritual universe, completely apart from the physical universe we all interact in, composed of the mind and anything else the person has put there, then it is possible to see that events, ideas, and objects can be created within that universe which bear no relation to our own, and can’t even be expressed in physical universe terms.
  • A reflection of troubling or threatening events or ideas, or of delightful, pleasant or exhilarating events or thoughts, changed, mixed and magnified in the mind
  • A reflection or elaboration of some actual incident or thought the person had while awake
  • A response to a person’s conscious desire to dream about something specific, such as the creative development of a storyline that a writer wishes to explore. When I am in the frame of mind of creating stories, I sometimes dream a story. Sometimes I am viewing it as an outsider, and sometimes I am participating in the story!
  • A recollection of an intense or beautiful experience or ability from the person’s distant past – even a past he doesn’t know he has, such as past-life existences. Over my lifetime, I’ve had vivid dreams in which I had the ability to create in art forms I didn’t know in real life. I have vividly dreamed of singing improvisationally in an intensely beautiful, otherworldly manner; I’ve improvised beautiful music on the piano; I’ve danced in a medieval castle with such grace and power that I literally flew; I’ve felt love as a spirit in an amazingly intense manner never felt while awake. From all of these dreams I gained a new reality: a wonderful sense that, having had these dream abilities and experiences, I had the potential to experience these sensations and abilities for real.
  • A perception of one’s own spiritual universe, or those of others. When a person sleeps, it’s possible that his/her abilities, normally limited to those of their body’s senses  when awake, can expand unfettered. In such a state, we can be in someone else’s presence, and perhaps share the thoughts and images of their own mind/universe.
  • A trip to another place as a spirit during sleep (out of body, or through viewing at a distance). A couple of times, with my body asleep, I have found myself inadvertently in someone’s private space where I shouldn’t have been (OK, someone’s bedroom!). In one instance, the person became aware of me and demanded to know what I was doing there! It sounded like they were yelling, though it had to be thought transference.) I hightailed it out of there and awoke in my own bedroom! I have also felt myself (as a separate awareness) floating distinctly above my sleeping body that was lying in the bed – a most wonderful sensation.
  • A communication from another person to the sleeper via the thought wavelength, where the recipient receives the communication in thoughts and images during sleep. A type of this kind of dream is a lesson sent from a spiritually aware person or teacher to the sleeper, in moving, living images in the dream, such as in story form. Such experiences can be interactive, containing 2-way communication, with both the teacher and the recipient affecting and changing the images in the dream.
  • A dream foretelling events in the future. I believe it is true that some people have the ability to foretell the future. But I am personally not interested in this ability, because I also believe we all have the ability, even if not always realized, to change and direct our futures in directions we determine. We need not fear the future, because it is ours to create. 
  • A symbol of some existing condition or omen of a future event in the dreamer’s awake life. Here we get to symbols – things in dreams that stand for or mean something else. For example, different cultures or groups may have traditional understandings about dreams and what they mean. These understandings, being widely agreed upon in the group, therefore do prove true among their members, even if untrue beyond that culture. An example is one group’s belief, told to me by one of its members, that if a woman dreams about fish, it means she is pregnant. She related several personal experiences in which that actually had occurred. Her comments were a revelation to me, because it showed that the nature of dreams varied widely from person to person and group to group, and may indeed be carried along with a person’s culture.

As you can see, dreams can be useful and revelatory. They can provide us clues to our own spiritual natures that might otherwise be difficult to experience on our own. All that said, I have realized something very important about this subject.

We shouldn’t let ourselves become too caught up in thinking about dreams, introverting into them or our own minds, and in trying to understand them or assign meaning to them. We should always prefer the real world by doing our best to live a vital, full, rich existence in it, filled with actual communication, face-to-face with other people and facing the real environment around us. We should live and love in the real world. We should put away the smartphones whenever we can and develop interest in and relationships with the real people around us. Therein lies the real satisfaction and happiness of a life well-lived.

All the best!

D.E. Lamont

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Read my illustrated novella, The Way of the Eagle: An Early California Journey of Awakening.

Copyright 2012 by D.E. Lamont. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Are Animals Spiritual Beings?

Hello after an absence of some months!  I look forward to continuing to explore the world of spirit in a common-sense manner through this website.  I want to begin by reposting this article from a year ago.  Many people enjoyed it  – I hope new readers will find it now.

This article is addressed to those people who aren’t sure about the answer to this question. I am sure that many animal lovers will reply without hesitation that animals demonstrate spiritual characteristics, often to a greater degree than some humans. (!) But others aren’t so sure.

A brief manifesto here. My comments are not based on scientific evidence, but on common sense. Heaven help us humans when certain authorities insist that we cannot and should not rely on, or give credence to, the evidence of our senses, our own personal observations and our powers of deduction. How dull and meaningless life would be if we forfeited our own powers of intelligence, observation, and even knowingness – those qualities which are inborn and ours to use as we see fit.  I love science and the scientific method, but it is not the end-all of existence. It has its important uses, but should not supplant our innate abilities.

So, back to the question of animals. To tell the truth, I didn’t feel like I had the picture for many years. Not all animals demonstrate the level of intelligence of humans, and so it was hard for me to conceive of what kind of spirits animals and creatures might be. Then I read an amazing, mind-blowing book by my long-time friend, graphic artist and marine mammal advocate Jon Soeder. It is called “True Tails.” In this book Jon revealed for the first time publicly a side of him few had guessed at and that I certainly had not known.

The book tells how at the age of 2 he discovered that he could hear the thoughts of the animals and other creatures around him, and was able to converse with them via thought. In this book he narrates many anecdotes from his lifetime in which he had communication with animals, birds, insects, reptiles.  By reading these stories, you become aware of the distinct and unique nature and personalities of various animals, and what kinds of things they communicate about and live for. This is no airy-fairy invention of complex personalities like the Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland with his stopwatch. No, some creatures have very very simple, survival-oriented lives and don’t get into things of cosmic complexity, because it isn’t in their nature.

In his stories about the animals he has encountered, Jon makes sure to mention objective facts such as observation of the unusual animal behavior by others in his surroundings – often these observations are evidence that something out of the ordinary did transpire.

Jon’s book was a revelation to me that moved me profoundly. It connected me with the world of animals in a way that hadn’t been possible before, because finally I knew that we are dealing with spiritual entities – like us, spirits playing the game of the physical universe in the form of particular animals.

It is clear to me that Jon (and other sensitive individuals) could not communicate with animals through the exchange of thoughts and images if there were no spiritual entity to receive - and send – that communication. A dead piece of wood and a stone normally do not think or speak. They do not possess living energy. But an animal does, and it is that living energy which is the spiritual part of the animal. 

My friend, Khanada, told me of things she does with her dog that demonstrate the dog’s psychic ability to read her thoughts. She wrote to me:

      “You know if you have a pet there are ways to test this ability and get instant results. One of my dogs cannot help but come to me when I visualize an invisible collar and leash and I pull her toward me when she doesn’t want to come.

“When my other dog doesn’t want to come then I visualize petting and loving on her and she cannot help but come to me. Of course, once she gets to me I always reward her with that love before doing what I originally intended to do (such as clip her nails). Anyway, the power of the mind is awesome. I’ve found that animals are 100% attuned to this power and I believe it is how they communicate since they don’t use words.”

I do not believe that dogs could have such sensitivity to their humans’ thoughts if they themselves did not themselves have extra-sensory abilities – that is, have a spiritual nature. 

Native Americans had a profound belief in the spiritual nature of everything in the universe; their spirit guides were and are invariably an animal or bird or other creature.  In fact, they believe that every object and animal was created from and possesses spirit.

To the modern person, that may seem extreme. I do not believe it is extreme in the least. I believe it is profound, particularly from the perspective that the entire universe was created by one or more great spirits.  What is it that keeps matter together?  At its heart, not in contradiction of scientific laws, it could be the original commanding thought, “Let there be matter.”

                              *            *            *

Many many years ago in the chaparral hills of Southern California I heard coyotes howling together at the moon in an eerie and haunting wail.  I wondered what impulse created the urge to make such a mournful, wistful sound.  The thought came to me that they were mourning their ancient loss of freedom… they were longing for the days when they flew free of earthly bonds, as powerful, free spirits.

Perhaps…

 

Are We Really Living in the Matrix?

Used with permission of iStockPhoto.com

Here’s some food for thought – but it’s not intended to be creepy, as the title might suggest!  Rather, it’s fascinating and potentially empowering.

Everyone agrees that the physical universe is solid and real. It contains awesome levels of energy, unimaginable reaches of space, and immense solidity of matter.  It also persists through infinite expanses of time. Most physical objects last indefinitely until they are either blasted into bits and components by some sun exploding (or a kid with a hammer) – or just break down slowly into their physical components, which go on existing in a different form, like the carpet of moss lying underneath the forest floor, formed from decaying leaves and other plant debris.

Now, to state the obvious, as humans we are affected in many ways by objects and spaces in the physical universe.  That’s what life consists of, for the most part.

But how do we affect the physical universe and exert our will and power of intention upon it? Of course, we do it by moving things around physically through contact with our bodies – or by directing other people or machines to do it.

But here’s the big question:  is it possible to directly and/or instantly have an effect on physical reality through the power of your mind or through a decision? Is the physical universe, as solid as it is, still in some way subject to the will and intention of an individual?

Well, simply put, it is. It is entirely possible and it is not even that uncommon.

How can it be possible?  It can be, if you first realize the following:  that a human being comprises several clearly definable parts, one of which is the individual spiritual identity that runs the body (which you can just think of as you).  If this is a concept that is not very real to you, that’s okay.  Consider what I’m saying anyway. Many truths about us have become obscured in the modern, machine and electronic culture we live in.

The capabilities and potential of the human spirit are many, and are described in detail in a book I’ll recommend below. But one of the spirit’s intrinsic, innate qualities, as amazing as it may sound, is that it is senior to the physical universe.

So can we actually see or use this capability in everyday life? Many people do it all the time, in the normal course of existence, without even thinking anything of it. One way we use this often, without really realizing it, is through our intention. If you have a firm but lighthearted intention for something to happen and you aren’t putting a lot of negative thoughts or emotion into the mix, you can often see quite startling things happen.

I used to have quite a knack for this when I lived in Los Angeles and had to drive somewhere and find a parking space. Perhaps you have done this as well. I would set out without any worry that I would have a parking space at my destination, even if it was in a crowded area. Notice that it was my intention to have a space when I arrived. And so it sometimes occurred that I would be driving along slowly, looking for a space, and a car would jump out right in front of me, leaving a space I could go right into. Sometimes they almost hit me, they seemed so eager to get out of my way!  More frequently, I would just come to an empty space right where I wanted to go, even if it was a crowded block.

What about other types of occurrences? What about the time you dropped a decorated birthday cake on the floor and it landed upright, undamaged? What about the time everything was riding on a seemingly impossible move, or sports play, or “coincidence” – and you did it? Two people’s intentions can also coordinate in this way – what about the time you had to meet somebody in a huge, crowded room or arena and you didn’t know how you were going to find them…but you just walked into the crowd and there they were?

You might be thinking that these are such mundane, everyday occurrences, it is just chance and good luck, right?  I went through my own doubts with it. But when this “ability” remained with me over a period of many years, my attitude gradually changed. And what is luck, anyway? Some people are lucky all the time. There is something apparently unseen at work with such people. My point here is that it likely was some kind of magic – the magic of willpower.

My experience of this and other similar occurrences was that, with a very clear, clean intention, the physical universe, and even other people who may be involved in the scenario, can instantly bend or change. I think of it as pliable or plastic – it will change instantly and reconstitute to conform with your demonstration of clean, strong intention.

And this is why I pose the question: “Are we really living in the Matrix?” I want to bring your attention to the possibility that we all potentially have the power to bring into existence control over the physical universe and the various aspects of our lives. Above I’ve mentioned simple examples. But this idea can be applied to help you change more important factors in your life so that you are headed in more the direction you really want. Even if you’ve gotten where you are due to seemingly accidental circumstances, you can alter that and bring things more under your own control. We can do this because of that “X factor” part of us all – that part of potentially unlimited ability: the living, intelligent and aware spiritual quality that is you.

Here is a one of the greatest inspirational excerpts I’ve seen, and it has been quoted often. I think you will see its relation to what I’ve been talking about here. It is by the mountaineer/writer W.H. Murray, excerpted from his book, The Scottish Himalayan Expedition:

This may sound too simple, but is great in consequence. Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets: 

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.  Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!

~   ~   ~

Here is what I suggest. If you would like to learn more about the capabilities of the human spirit, I wholeheartedly recommend a very unusual book called Scientology: The Fundamentals of Thought, by L. Ron Hubbard. I first read it decades ago, and I think of this as the handbook on the human spirit. It discusses in plain terms the makeup and capabilities of individuals, and it offers information that can be applied. It is very worth considering. Also, please realize that the wisdom contained in this book is for anyone, no matter your religion or philosophy. If it makes sense and is useful to you, it is yours to use freely!

D.E.