Tag: Spirituality

You Can Only Be You

That is a good thing

Photo by Ben Robbins on Unsplash

As a child, I dreamed I wanted to be Superman, The Flash, Spiderman, Willie Mays, Sandy Koufax, Zeus, Davy Crockett, Tarzan, Zorro, Paul McCartney, and others. It is my firm belief that I was not unusual. There is nothing like a child’s imagination when it comes to creating fantasies. Or is there?

Then we leap into the world of teen madness. The Twilight Zone, where children’s dreams go to die. Yes, the brave new world where that horrible word responsibility enters our vocabulary. I am a firm believer that the average life span of a human should be twelve years. Yes. I know. There would be fertility issues.

As a teen, I wanted to be…uh-hmm, hell if I know. Though I was a good athlete, I was not going to get drafted by the Yankees. I was average. I managed to get good grades without trying. I was socially adequate without trying. I found girls attractive. But not enough to have to convince me it was worth the effort. The greatest achievement I attained in high school was having a modicum of success without trying.

Realizing this I began to ask myself challenging questions. What’s the point of all this? Why am I here? What am I missing? It certainly was not love. I lived with and was part of a loving family. I was not destitute. My family was typical middle-class. Back when that meant something. So, I decided to go on a mission in my junior year.

A spiritual exploration. I was raised Catholic even though my parents seldom went to mass. Did I believe Jesus was the Son of God? Well…yes. But no more than any of us. I considered him and his message to be from a highly enlightened soul who chose to be a coworker with God and make the supreme effort to share his spiritual knowledge with the world. Not unlike many such souls that have walked this earth since the beginning of time and continue to this day to work behind the scenes to help us all.

I and a good friend of mine explored Buddhism for some time. I began to see a common thread. Highly evolved souls that incarnate on earth do not seek earthly rewards. If they do attain material riches they are not attached to them. In Buddha’s case, he walked away from great wealth and influence as a prince to live the life of a beggar taking charity from others. This raised an interesting question in my mind. Does one have to give up the pursuit of material things to reach spiritual enlightenment?

Then one day I was in a bookstore exploring the spirituality section and came across a book written by Brad Steiger, In My Soul I Am Free. In it, the author spends many hours with Paul Twitchell who was the modern-day founder of Eckankar. It delves into the life of Paul and discusses in length the teachings of soul travel and so much more. It has come to light through the years that Steiger was being Steiger and some of what he relates in the book is rubbish. But in the end, the result was bringing to light a most important message to the world. We are souls and we don’t have to die to experience it.

I was given a gift that day in 1972. The most precious of gifts. The realization that I am soul. Not that I have a soul. I am soul. Temporarily using this body. This changed my life in so many ways. It began to slowly sink into my thick skull that it was not an accident I happened to be in that bookstore on that day. That my life was about to drastically change. Scary stuff for a nineteen-year-old. Finally, I had something worth trying.

This all led me to my exploratory years. Those young adult years when everything is on the table. College, sex, drugs, alcohol, travel, work. It was a busy, exciting, life-altering, period of my life. During all of this I had read In My Soul I Am Free several times. Each time brought more moments of enlightenment. Was it the book? Or was I awakening to the fact I am soul? Or both? I can’t really say. In the end, it doesn’t matter. It all led to a most amazing life.

A life filled with great love, adventure, misadventures, and a greater understanding as to why I have been so blessed in this life. It really is a simple formula. It goes like this. Love God (by any name). Share God’s love.

In good times and bad times. All the time. Realize you are soul using a body to accelerate your learning curve. We learn the most from the lessons that test us. Each lesson is just a step toward graduation. There are always teachers guiding us, placing us in positions that test our resolve which eventually opens us up to greater understanding. Most often we lack the awareness of their most generous guidance.

How does one gain that awareness? Do you remember when you first learned to drive? Your parents or driver-ed teachers guided you and helped you master what would become an amazing world-changing event. Your outlook and understanding of the world around you grew exponentially. You traveled to places you had never been to.

It is no different when traveling the inner worlds. Spiritual guides help us maneuver through amazing, consciousness-raising experiences throughout higher planes that exist for the benefit of our enlightenment. Most often this is done in the dream state. Why do they choose this task? Love. And so one day we may follow in their footsteps.

On earth, as it is in heaven.

So often throughout human history ignorance and misunderstanding of the role these advanced souls play in our journey home have shined a light on the purpose we are all here for. To learn to rise above ignorance, prejudice, and hate. We will continue to return to the physical plane for countless lifetimes until we learn the only lesson worth learning.

LOVE GOD ABOVE ALL ELSE. BE AN EXAMPLE FOR OTHERS TO FOLLOW. THE REWARDS FOR THIS? INDESCRIBABLE SPIRITUAL AWE.

© 2022 Joe Merkle All rights reserved.

Originally published at https://medium.com/for-awe/you-can-only-be-you-302018f7f5d1

Come With Me

Sail the cosmic seas

Photo by Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash

Venus ignored the gusting winds that were trying to turn her long dress into a sail. It did not make her descent down the steep, grassy hill to the shoreline any easier. She was consumed by the Siren’s call, “Come with me. Sail the cosmic seas,” which held her in a hypnotic spell. She was helpless to ignore it. She was no longer in control.

As she neared the shore an oarless rowboat appeared from the mist. “Really? This is the best you can do?” Venus questioned her unseen tormentor. “We are going to sail cosmic seas in this thing?”

No answer. No reply was forthcoming. None was needed as a spectral form appeared in the boat, holding his hand out to encourage her to board.

Okay. I’m either losing my mind or dreaming. In either case, I can either cower and run for cover or accept the possibility I am about to have a grand adventure. Hm-m-m, what to do?

Now Venus was never one to run from a challenge. At the age of twenty-five, she had already traveled most of the globe and had extricated herself from some precarious situations.

This should be interesting, thought Venus as she grabbed the helping hand and entered the boat. She could not help but notice the wind instantly died down as she stepped into the boat. At the same time, the spectral form morphed into a man. He appeared to be fortyish with short-cropped black hair and eyes so dark they seemed to contain all of creation within them. Even though he wore a monk’s clothing from centuries ago she could tell he was chiseled. Despite his odd appearance he looked familiar to her.

The man spoke. “Hello, Venus. It is nice to formally meet you.”

“Do I know you? Have we met before?” she asked.

“Many times. Am I that unforgettable?” he said in jest.

For the first time in her life, Venus was speechless. I would never have forgotten meeting this guy, would I? she thought. “Okay. Which one of my friends put you up to this?”

This was greeted by a guttural laugh from the monk. “It was a group effort. You have many more friends than you are aware of. They all have your best interests at heart.”

“Okay…okay. I’m getting weirded out here. Can you get me back to shore please?”

“Look around Venus. You will find there is no shore. But you may leave if you desire.”

Venus looked down. The boat was gone. The water was gone. They now stood on a path leading towards a white marble building that appeared to be…a temple? I must be dreaming. I just need to wake up she thought as she pinched her arm.

“Take a step back. Look around you. Does anything look familiar?” said the monk.

Venus took a few deep breaths to calm herself. This helped her to realize that she did not feel threatened in any way. As she took in her surroundings a sense of familiarity began to sink in. Not the now I remember this place so much as I feel as if I have been here before. “Kind of,” was her reply.

“I don’t know your name, but you know mine,” she said.

“I apologize. Rebazar Tarz at your service,” he said with the slightest bow.

She could not explain to herself why his name seemed familiar to her. “I have to say sir that this scenery does not look like any cosmic seas I might have imagined.”

“Hm-m-m. So, you have imagined cosmic seas?” he said with a smile.

“I guess so. Like I am floating in space. Bodiless.”

“How did that make you feel?”

“At first it scared me. Then I had a profound sense of freedom. I never told anyone about this before.”

“Excellent! You will make a fine pupil. Let me tell you about myself and those that work alongside me. Many others and I are what many would call Godmen. Simply put, we have reached the state of God-consciousness. Our only objective now is to help others do the same. We have been helping you along the way for many lifetimes.”

Venus could not help herself. She broke out in laughter. “You have the wrong girl. I am not religious. You need to go save someone else.”

Rebazar laughed along with her. “We are not in the business of saving anyone. Nobody needs to be saved. We are simply guides that walked the path and share our knowledge with those that are ready to attain higher states of consciousness. This knowledge is never shared with the masses. Most are not ready to walk on a path that challenges your every step. Nor is it smooth sailing. But the destination is indescribable.”

“You have a choice to make Venus. One is you can return to your globetrotting on the planet earth. I can tell you now all the seeking in the world will not satisfy you. You are a restless soul that needs more. Your second choice is to allow me and other guides to help you obtain the greatest of gifts. To know that you are soul. The choice, as always, is yours to make.”

“How do I know you are who you say you are?” she asked.

Instantaneously she was alongside Rebazar looking at the Milky Way galaxy from a point of view that somehow made them appear to be above it. He points to a star and says, “That is your sun.” Immediately they were hovering over the sun while he pointed to Earth. “That is your planet. Keep in mind this is the least spectacular plane of existence created by God.”

Upon returning to…wherever she was, Venus could not find her tongue. How does one respond to this?

“The offer is good for all eternity, Venus. As I said before, it is always a choice each of us must make. Only the bold inherit heaven. It is not an easy path,” said the serious Master.

Venus had been in predicaments like this many times. The first time she went ski jumping. Sky diving. Swimming with sharks. She could have turned her back on all of them. Venus never turned her back on anything exciting.

“I’m in.”

“Walk with me. Your next classroom session is about to begin,” said the monk as they walked towards the Golden Wisdom Temple.

Originally published at https://joemerkle.medium.com/come-with-me