Faith Roundtable Article January 22, 2017

          By Chuck Robison 

 The Question: Should strong relationships be formed with those who have different religious views?

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 January 11, 2016: “A new video has just been released in which Pope Francis very clearly expresses his belief that all of the major religions are different paths to the same God.  He says that while people from various global faiths may be “seeking God or meeting God in different ways” that it is important to keep in mind that “we are all children of God”.

The two moral leaders of our time, Pope Francis and The Dali Lama affirm that all paths lead to God.  This echoes what Albert Einstein said seventy-five years ago: “Science and religion both lead to the same truth.”

If you have already made the transition to a One Uni-verse View, that all things are connected and work together according to God’s direction, then this Roundtable Discussion is a slam dunk.  YES! Strong relationships should be formed with those who have different religious views. In fact, if you are open to forming strong spiritual relationships with everyone who comes across your path without regard to faith, gender, nationality or color, you will see your soul growing by leaps and bounds.

In my ten years as a Chaplain at the United Nations, this one issue was the central thing I took away when I left New York. While there, I got to meet, know and work with leaders from all the world’s religions.  That ten-year period in my life was like a Post Graduate Degree in World Religions, and I am truly grateful that I have that experience to inform my understanding of how things are meant to work.

Today there are 4200 religions in the world and each one has a different name for God, just as many of the readers of this column have different nick-names when they are in different social groups.  The names change, but the person is the same.  As below, so above.

God does not separate us; we separate ourselves.  The truth is that even the most difficult of religious zealots has a heart and a mother and a dream for the future.  When we are willing to relate to each other on that level, we can see God through our eyes, our friend’s eyes and God’s eye’s as well and all at once.

Here is something both common and special at the same time.  When you drop your defenses, and are willing to not have to be right all the time, and show just a little bit of open curiosity about another’s truth, you will find that people are always willing to explain their religious beliefs to you as well as how their religions work.  It makes them feel valued and shows you are valuable too.

Then, something close to magic happens.  When this moment of unity occurs with another, our hearts come into coherence and beat in rhythm and we find friendship and the discovery that we are one with another person whose belief experience is totally different than our own.  This is called Oneness and it is how you feel every time you hear that old Coca-Cola commercial about how “I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony!”

Somewhere in each of our hearts we know that special song, which all of us knew when we were four years old.  The grownups told us that was just childish and we forgot that song, for the most part.

But as you read this very sentence, your heart longs to experience, once again, that child in you and his song.  He still remembers we are all one, and he knows to hold hands with each other, because it is safer that way.

 

 

 

Elizabeth Quintanilla

Elizabeth Quintanilla is founder and CEO of Marketing Gunslingers, a fast track Austin firm. She knows a lot about consciousness as you will see below:

Working for the Man. Hill Country News, August 24, 2016

Small B&W MG_6032by Chuck Robison

A friend sent me a chart by the Cato Institute that outlines what States pay unemployed workers. It was meant to belittle the “government giveaways” to people unwilling or unable to work. Here is my response:

“At the moment, there is no State in America where one can find a one-bedroom apartment a worker earning the minimum wage could afford.  Even Walmart workers are forced to apply for food stamps and welfare for their children to compensate for the meager salaries paid them by this international retail giant.  And this is built into the system. There are less real jobs and less willingness to pay for the work people do.  So some of our States’ willingness to support people who cannot find work more profitable than the support offered by the various State governments is a step in the right direction.

We have reached the 500 year deadline for the end of the Protestant Work Ethic. I hate to see one of my theological heroes, John Calvin, retire, but we are replacing people and jobs at every turn with machines and systems. This will go on for the foreseeable future. Ask your ten-year old child to explain how AI will change work in the future.

There is an old hymn in every Presbyterian Hymnal that puts to music a poem by James R. Lowell, published in the Boston Courier, December 11, 1845.  Titled, Once to Every Man and Nation, it contains the following lines:

New occasions teach new duties
Time makes ancient good uncouth,
They must upward still and onward,
Who would keep abreast of truth.

We are moving from the 5000 year old Age of the Warrior to the new Age of Cooperation.  In this migration to a new understanding of who we are and why we are here, we will see the words “Welfare” and “Charity” become “Sharity”  There is more than enough of everything to go around. Along the way, as we begin to really cooperate with each other across the globe, the need for security will change, and we will be able to dismiss the Military Industrial Complex and its greed for perpetual war and for all of our resources, money and even our meager spiritual lives, as Eisenhower warned us would happen. We are destined to experience the goal set for humankind by our Maker, through the divine process of our spiritual evolution, and we will see the ending of today’s dark ages.   The lights are coming on all over the world and compared to where we will be 500 years from now, we will marvel at how difficult a time this has been.

The visionary Buckminster Fuller (1895-1993) saw and influenced the future.  Imagine how this almost blind man could see, back in the 1980’s, so clearly what is happening today!  The momentous change in which we find ourselves in is really only beginning and it gives a hint of things to come. Here is what Buckminster saw:

‘We must do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian-Darwinian theory, he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living.’

Like it or not, we cannot go backwards and the future, although dramatically different, looks bright and positive. And God is in the center of it all. Come and see!”

A Commonwealth of Consciousness

Hill Country News Faith Column on July 14, 2016

20120220-_MG_Small6032By Chuck Robison

The dictionary definition of Liberty is: “the power or scope to act as one pleases”, and as July 4th reminds us, we love to celebrate our Liberty. But somehow in my lifetime, we have voluntarily allowed ourselves to give up much of that power. And the fault lies directly at our own feet.

We have allowed ourselves to become members of the Great American Herd Instinct, following others most of the time without thinking through the price or consequences of our own actions. We go, as if electrically prodded, on paths that are not in our own best interests. One thing is sure; none of these paths will lead to a positive future by winding through the past.

There is a good chance that in this dynamic year of 2016 many people will Wake Up long enough and soon enough to decide to change things for the better. Plenty of people seem to want to change our government somehow, but when you Wake Up enough, you realize that Government is Middle Management and middle management is tripping all over everybody to make the owners happy.

The owners, in our case, are those following the Golden Rule: He who has the most gold rules. The one simple fact that the two major parties are in play to spend One Billion Dollars, each, on the election for the Presidency…and who knows how much on the lesser offices….is proof enough that our Oligarchy is not democratically inclined.

When you are willing to spend $1 Billion on anything, you do so to get a very big return. Our Golden Rule Oligarchy wants us to mind their rules, take what we are given and remember that only money counts when it comes to the value of our individual votes or lives. In short, this is the end of our Liberty.

Can we Wake Up? Do we have the power to Wake Up? Are we conscious enough to Wake Up? That remains to be seen, but it is certainly the hope of many…..who are already awake.

The Owners care not a whit if we battle each other on sides that have been manipulated to have us believe that the other side is the enemy…and if we get too rowdy, Middle Management has drones, bullets, police, military who can be ordered in to “Bring Peace.” And if you are reading this article, you know this is a distinct possibility.

So let’s focus on the Impossible. The Owners and Middle Management did not give us our liberty. Our great, great, great, great grandparents took it for themselves, and they did the impossible by changing their thinking, creating new ideas about how they would like to live and how to get there. There is strength in numbers and we number about 330 million. As Franklin said, “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately”. By constantly allowing ourselves to be manipulated into at least two camps, which cannot communicate with each other, we cannot ever stand together.

But if we are willing to ignore our differences and come together in A Commonwealth of Consciousness we can forget trying to return to a past that we know does not work any more and begin creating a new future that will work for us just as well as our forefathers invention worked for them.

This is the moment and Now is the hour when we must demonstrate our higher selves and the unity we all share on that spiritual level, by working together to create a new way of living with each other and the world. Liberty: we do have the power to please ourselves by creating a new way of communicating with each other. It will come from the fearlessness of our hearts, not the complexity of our minds. We must lead by becoming the Real Golden Rule and doing to each other as we wish done to ourselves.

After every conflict there is one question for the survivors, and that was also the question posed before the conflict began: How do we live with our neighbors?

The Real Light of the World

Christmas Article for Hill Country News 2015

4x6 B&W Chuck Portrait 6032

By Chuck Robison

Christmas: a wonderful story that has been told, retold and modified for 2000 years. So much so that it is now mostly a creative record of something that is valuable for its spiritual content, but not for its historical accuracy.

Notice something: the whole story happens in the dark, at night, on one of the longest darkest nights of every year. From the beginning, our ancestors marked the Winter Solstice as the time when the Sun was at its’ weakest and most distant. And throughout all history, the return of the Sun from the Winter Solstice has been a sign that new life is coming.

No one today doubts that the Sun is the light by which the world experiences itself. Until recently, Jesus’ claim that He was the Light of the World was basically a poetic title but that is over. Scientists have recently taken the first photographs of light as it happens and at its own speed on a quantum level. This remarkable scientific feat helps us begin to understand that light has energy, mass and speed………in short it is a powerful force.

I am a Red Letter Christian….my understanding of my faith is based on the available recorded words and teaching of The Christ, as found in the first four books of the New Testament. Those words describe the workings of secret spiritual laws and powers, of which light is one of the most important.

Over the past thirty years I have thought a lot about The Christ as light. Just as our Sun can cause all manner of things, God’s Son can bring a new understanding, a flash of brilliant light to the lives we live on the dark side. The world changes when one has seen the light…..and so does the viewer.

Over the next week ask yourself this question: Do you really feel comfortable living your life in fear? We are so accustomed to living in darkness and fear, that when we discover that the light dissolves all fear on a spiritual as well as on a physical level, we do not believe it. The Angels know what our lives are like and that is why whenever they first appear to anyone, they announce, “Fear Not”.

Right now, people all over the world are trying to create fear as a means to control us. We have now gone as far as believing that the fear we are constantly led into by people and forces who know that our fear is our most real, natural and destructive force are politicians, media people, military commanders, mad scientists and yes, even a lot of church folks as well.

But The Light of the World comes now and like a child, fearless and believing in his goodness and yours as well, says: FEAR NOT for I am with you in all places and at all times and my work is to light a clear path for you for every step of your life.

And Lo, this Christmas, we will have a full Moon to light the night sky to remind us that God’s love, even when reflected by other people, as the Moon reflects the Sun’s light, is reason enough to follow the path The Christ is creating for each of us. Peace is the one thing that all 8 billion of us want more than anything else. The Christ, the Light of the World, arrives in the dark to light our way to that peace. Give Him your fear and accept His Peace. Use the next 48 hours to experience pure and simple peace. What If It Really Works?

What is the greatest challenge to your religious beliefs?

Small B&W MG_6032Hill Country News Faith Roundtable

By Chuck Robison

This is a tough one. During the 90’s I was a Protestant Chaplain at the United Nations in New York. While at the UN, when it became time to make decisions about services such as weddings, funerals and baptisms I started hearing people say: “I’m spiritual but not religious”.

Now twenty-five years later this phrase is how many people define their religious orientation. And I am one of them. I experienced many deep profound moments in church religious services from the time I was a little boy. I still define myself as a Christian Pastor, but my spiritual growth now occurs mostly outside the confines of an organized religion.

Working my way through this process has been a great personal challenge. Our society and our religions are not geared to having leaders and followers stray from the herd and we are not sure how to deal with that. But it is happening more and more all the time.

Going through this process has been neither easy or comfortable, but at some point I realized that keeping an organization going by forcing binding rules on participants is not the way I have experienced my own spiritual growth. My spiritual practice now does not need any mediators, organizations or group defined rules for behaviour or growth.

Today my spiritual life is defined as my daily journey as a powerful eternal spiritual being having a human experience. Generally speaking, churches are not addressing this definition of who we are. So the challenge for me came when I realized that I could not hang around and wait for everyone else to catch up. And, of course, I could have been wrong about this radical change in my life.

I fully understand all the positive work the religions do and the power of supportive community that religions attempt to create, but the cost is the requirement that we all get in line and believe alike as the leadership tells us we must.

By following the leadership of my soul, every moment of the day and with every hallowed breath I take, I find a much deeper spiritual experience. In this personal spiritual environment I learn that I am a tiny part of God and God is all of me. And this connects me with every other being on this planet and beyond.

Today I have few religious boundaries and binding rules. I like that. Try it, you might like it too.

 

 

 

So, you think you are enlightened? 2015-01-07

By Chuck Robison 20120220-_MG_6032

This article appeared in the January 7, Hill Country News.

My Daddy always told me: “You are allowed to choose your friends, but God gives you your family.” That makes pretty good sense. It also may be true that we choose our parents and siblings from a list of candidates presented to us by God. In either case, our family of origin is not a haphazard affair. Looking back, you may be able to see that your family provided your soul some of the most powerful lessons it needed to learn this lifetime.

Soul lessons are the reason we are here. This is the big classroom where we are free to create as we wish and also experience the consequences of our creations. Generally, we see that soul lessons are not exactly easy, but are always profound.

Looking back on the past six weeks, you may easily see why Guru Ram Dass said: “If you consider yourself enlightened, spend your holidays with your family.” I know, I laughed too! Our families are the very people who know exactly and precisely how to push our buttons and act like nothing of the sort just happened. But they know their history with us and they have no more revised their history of us than we have revised our history of them.

Often a trip home, for any purpose, is a refresher course in living through old and oft times pain-full memories. One thing is for sure, our families almost always fail to see the person we believe we have become. Too much history and too many old habits get in the way. That may explain why many of us do not look forward to family events.

But there they sit at the dining room table ready for the Great Meal and the “conversation” that feels like we memorized it back in high school. Looking back over the past six weeks of Thanksgiving and Christmas, you may have wondered why Ozzie and Harriet and the Brady Bunch and all the families we grew up with in the media of our day seemed so ‘normal’ and so happy. Just remember, Normal is basically a setting on a clothes dryer, not a measure of social or spiritual progress.

The Lord Jesus, Ram Das and the myriad of history’s spiritual teachers have all said that we are here to learn who we are and to lay up treasures in heaven, not worldly success and other peoples’ judgment of us and our progress.

So now that we have once again passed through the family lens of Thanksgiving and Christmas, it makes sense to ask yourself: “What Have I Really Learned?” and “Where should I look for the next lessons I most need to learn?” You may even have gotten a glimpse of the reality that we are spiritual beings having a human experience, and not the other way around.

An old friend of mine, reminded me back in the 70’s of this simple rule: “The Great Way is easy for those with no expectations.” Releasing expectations, positive or negative, frees us up to experience reality without knowing in advance, what any situation, person or event has to teach us.

Early on, The Course in Miracles Workbook has this lesson: “I have given everything I see in this room (on this street, from this window, in this place) all the meaning that it has for me.” Once you are ready to release your expectations and let God show you the real lesson you are about to learn, you are ready to accept what your soul, and not your ego, needs to experience to aide you on the path to your enlightenment.

In a later lesson in The Course, we learn that in any given instant, we can release our hold on reality and say simply, to God: “This Holy Instant would I give to You. Be You in charge. For I would follow You, Certain that your direction gives me peace.” This is the path to forgiveness and to enlightenment. Perhaps you might like to look up The Course in Miracles. I assure you it will create a change for the better in your life.

Hill Country News 2014-11-26 Roundtable Article

Scott Coleman, Editor of the Hill Country News here in the Austin area, asked the regular columnists to discuss the Issue of Free Speech and Hate Speech and the Bill of Rights.

Here is how I dealt with this assignment:

20120220-_MG_6032By Chuck Robison

Germany was one of the most cultivated countries in Europe. It was one of the leading players in the Enlightenment, and yet we discovered at the end of WWII, that a concentration camp can exist within the same vicinity as a university. Similar discoveries are happening in America today. We are discovering that our cherished freedoms and our hallowed Constitution have been placed in concentration camps for the mind.

Being in graduate school on the east coast in 1965, I was thrilled by Mario Savio and the Free Speech Movement at Sproul Hall in Berkley. I fervently believe in Free Speech….even with all its dangers. But in all the fear-based decisions America has made since 9-11, we have repeatedly and willfully given up the freedoms we tell our soldiers they are fighting for, that we teach our children to believe in, and we talk about as if they are sitting right next to us. However, these freedoms are long gone.

Behind the concept of free speech is the concept of critical thinking. A nation of people who are able to think critically can act responsibly in matters of freedom. For all of this century America has chosen not to think critically and we have taught our children, by example, not to think critically. In fact, right here in Texas, the 2012 Republican Platform forbade the teaching of critical thinking to Texas students because it would challenge and undermine parental authority.

Citizens who can think critically would never be tricked by crowds gathering to lynch gays, or black people, nor would we allow police to shoot unarmed people or our armies to invade any country whose actions offend us. For people who can think critically, freedom of speech is a basic requirement. If we are not free to speak the truth, we will never know the truth.

In our giving up the right to free speech, and the right not to be victimized by unlawful searches and seizures, and the right to peaceful assembly, keeping only the right to bear 20th century guns and bullets, we have convinced ourselves that living in a totally surveiled society has made us safe.

To test that out, watch the: Politically-Challenged: Texas Tech Edition on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRZZpk_9k8E) and you will be appalled at the voluntary and willful ignorance of the students at this highly regarded Texas university. This short video gives rich new meaning to the concept of dumbing our citizens down, right here in Texas.

As Christians we can look back on our history and see how we have been on both sides of free speech. Christians, even Texas Christians, have doled out a serious share of hate speech as recently as this past election. But forbidding free speech, making laws about ‘political correctness’, and trying to control this behavior will not work.

Outlawing things we do not like is not the way to change anything. It just puts that behavior underground where it can fester and mutate and come back to bite us when we least expect it. The only way to create change and to turn the volume down on hate speech is to present ourselves with behaviours, examples and models that inspire feelings of positivity, openness, acceptance and peace.

Behind all of this is the truly difficult lesson we most need to learn: ALL EIGHT BILLION OF US ARE ONE, WE ARE ALL CONNECTED and when we know the truth of that, we will set ourselves free to speak and do anything because we will know what we do to any one of us, we do also to ourselves.

To forget is human….to forgive is Divine! 2014-10-01 Hill Country News

By Chuck Robison 20120220-_MG_6032

Recently, an old friend called and said he had just found out why, when he told a story of one of our past adventures, it was different than how I would tell the same story. And then he explained what he had just learned as follows.

Memory is not located in a particular spot in the brain, but is contained all over the brain. Each memory is like a complete computer file, but it is not backed up anywhere nor is there any duplicate. So, when you bring up a memory, any memory, you open a file that then records every new way your thoughts and feelings and new understandings modify the memory, as it is being used. Then when you stop the memory, the file keeps and closes your most recent modifications to the file and it goes back into storage, with the new details, and it awaits the next time you will call up that memory.

The modifications you make to a memory file are unique to you and that explains why someone retelling his memory of the same event will have a dramatic discovery when comparing his memory to yours.

So the lesson here is that each of us has the built-in editorship ability to modify every memory we recall, and we use that ability every time we re-open a memory.

Now we go to the new truth of this idea. Bring up a memory that is particularly painful. Any painful memory will do. As soon as you begin to experience this memory, you will be in ‘edit’ mode and everything you think, feel or see in this memory will be added to the memory file, and all the past data in the file will be adjusted to include this new information.

So, in memories, as in all of life, we have considerable power to change how we want our life and world to feel and be.

Going back to this painful memory…..let’s say someone (or you yourself) really hurt you and you believe he deserves whatever pain he may be experiencing. But, you have no control over how this memory will affect him……..you control only how this memory pains you. Your wincing, when you bring up this memory, reveals how you have hurt yourself every time you have viewed this memory.

Try as we might, if seems hard to forgive someone (even yourself) who has hurt you so deeply. But your seeming inability to forgive this person is mainly hurting you.

So here is a powerful and effective way to finally forgive anything. When you have finished using an internal file that is so painful and seemingly unforgiveable, you are in a position to further modify that file and begin your healing.

This is how it is done. Before you close this file in your memory computer, add this simple statement to the file: “…..and all is forgiven.” This act prepares the file for the next time you open it. When that happens, the message you appended to this memory will be one of the first things you will notice and that will set up in your mind the intention to see this matter forgiven and you set free from your pain and hurt.

From that time forward, if you close a painful memory with “…..and all is forgiven.”, you will have set in motion the comprehensive solution to learning how to forgive.

Like all that you have made, memory can be used to serve the Holy Spirit’s Purpose. The Holy Spirit can use your memory because God is in your memory.

The miracle that God and the Holy Spirit will bring you in this process will be the Happy Consequences because your memory storehouse will be empty of your pain, and the open door holds all your shreds of memories and dreams. … These are the happy memories the miracle exchanges for your own. And through forgiving others, God leads you to inner peace.

Try it. What IF it really works?

Watch Chuck Robison demonstrate and expand this idea at www.whatifitreallyworks.com

Who is responsible for charity? August 20, 2014 Hill Country News

20120220-_MG_Small6032By Chuck Robison

“If this is going to be a Christian nation that does not help the poor, either we’ve got to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we’ve got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and admit that we just don’t want to do it” Stephen Colbert

Am I my brother’s keeper, or what?

This question, reveals that we are in a spiritual crisis in America that could be called an eclipse of compassion.

Somehow “The Haves” are concerned that when seeking help, “The Have Nots” are trying to cheat them and the system. The cry for compassion is lost amid the fear that any call for help is a scam.

Look at how America is seen around the world right now:

Three million Syrian refugees (1/3 are children) are living in the Jordanian desert while America seems more willing to find places on which to drop bombs than to find ways to support these refugees.

As many as 40,000 Central Americans are trying to escape the criminal takeover of their own countries and are being criminalized at the American border, themselves, for seeking asylum in America. This is underscored by the fact that America’s drug habit is being sustained through the collusion of the cartels and the highest levels of our government. Much easier to blame the refugees than to even look at how our drug dependence has created a six hundred billion dollar profit center for those in this country on the take.

In a response showing a monumental lack of compassion and wisdom, we seem more comfortable in deporting the refugee children than deporting the drugs and drug dealers who are already here. If we are being invaded by 11 year-old drug dealers, as some claim, that only reveals how deeply this nation is addicted to drugs.

In essence, the question is not “who is our brother’s keeper” but when will all of us understand that we are our brothers’ brothers. Until we realize that we have
almost 8 billion brothers and sisters, all connected on this planet, we will not be able to understand compassion.

As Manley P. Hall stated, “When mob governs, man is ruled by ignorance; when the church governs, he is ruled by superstition; when the state governs, he is ruled by fear.”

Before men can live together in harmony and understanding, ignorance must be transmuted into wisdom; superstition into illuminated faith, and fear into love.”

So ask yourself: Are you willing to let charity begin at your home?