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Nick and Linda Martin

Thank-You for Your Service!

There is so much to be thankful for as we go through this season of “conscious thankfulness” celebrating Veterans Day and Thanksgiving Day. This is an opportunity to be reflective of what we have to be thankful for and to whom we must be thankful. A reflection of what others have done for us and an opportunity to see the “face” of God in others. But what about the service to others for which we are deserving of recognition and thanks—when we are reflecting the face of God. This blog is not about attempting to enhance one’s ego or sense of importance. It is about the significance of what you are doing and what you are offering to others—which you may be missing. Even if you haven’t gotten to that place where you are doing exactly what you believe you came here to do—your “life’s work.”

I (Nick) remember some brief conversations with my father who spent 40+ years working 60 hr. weeks as a chef. From those conversations, I don’t believe he fully recognized the great service he was offering in the preparation of great meals for those celebrating a variety of special occasions or moments in their lives. He seemed to chalk it up as a job he was doing just to make a living. He was like the sanitation worker failing to recognize how they ensure the health and appearance of the community, the police officer failing to recognize how they promote the safety and stability of society, the bus driver making it possible for others to get to important appointments or visits, the teacher opening up the potential of a person’s mind, the lawyer ensuring that one’s rights are represented, the salesperson informing customers about products, the nutritionist educating people about what they are putting into their body, ……and all of the other occupations we may be engaged in—willingly or unwillingly.

We mention this because research shows that over 80% of people are not satisfied or happy with their jobs. We believe some of this has to do with failing to recognize the significance of what they are doing—for others if not for themselves. Awakening to this realization can make your work more meaningful even as you work toward doing what you ultimately want to do. One of the ironies from doing these seemingly thankless jobs, is they are often the times when we are being the Love, Life, and Energy—God Is. Many often look back fondly upon those times and with good reason. They were giving to others more so than themselves. From the perspective of Ego, Spirit & You there is service, meaning, and purpose—human and spiritual—in everything we do. Even when we fail to recognize it or someone has brought it to our attention. From a former dishwasher, car washer, bakery factory employee, deli clerk, secretary and bank teller—Thank-You for Your Service!

In peace and love,

Nick and Linda

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God is not a who!

God is not a “Who!”

What a strange title for a blog. Strange for many because it acknowledges the obvious—God is not human. Strange because the thought is embedded in many of the religious teachings we have encountered over the years—God exists within the spiritual realm. Strange because we never refer to God in human terms—as having thoughts, experiencing feelings, having preferences, or taking action. Wait, Wait, Wait! There’s a problem with the last one and it’s also linked to the first two. Haven’t we heard references to God in written and spoken teachings that ascribe human qualities? Human qualities in which God has a gender (Him or Her), is loving or angry, rewarding or punitive, or has preferences attached to religious, political, or cultural approaches, even sports teams/accomplishments, to mention just a very few. God is not a who but every time we use references in which human qualities are connected directly to God that is exactly what we are doing. We are turning God into a who within our human frame of reference. Unfortunately, this has huge negative implications for our understanding of God. It sows the seeds for the conflict and destructiveness that has and continues to take place between people built upon defining who God is.

Many may think and respond by saying that human characteristics attached to God are just metaphorical or figurative and intended to help us to better understand God. Unfortunately, this understanding has two significant problems connected to it: 1) Metaphor is only helpful if one is able to appreciate and keep track of the abstraction involved and not convert it into a concrete, literal meaning. Failing to do so often leads one to cling tightly to the latter as it is often better suited to one’s cognitive and emotional “comfort zone.” This serves to make God extremely human and less spiritual to us even if we are not consciously aware of doing this. 2) Human characteristics attributed to God have often sown the seeds for divisiveness, particularly within and between religions. A divisiveness in which anger, hatred, and war have all occurred in the name of honoring what God “wants” from us. A divisiveness in which the Love, Life, and Energy—God Is within the fundamentally good, well-meaning, and intelligent participants has become lost and an absence of spirituality is being manifested.

If God is not a who then “what” is God? The what is, God Is—Love, Life, and Energy! Everything that was here and always here before humans, human consciousness and human frames of understanding God were formed by people. Love which is unconditional, unburdened, inexhaustible, and connective when we are being it. The life which recognizes the presence of God in all life forms honors all life and realizes the eternal nature of life when we are being it. The energy of light and truth, diverse in manifestation, transformative, and healing when we are being it.

From the perspective of Ego, Spirit & You when we manifest Love, Life, and Energy within our daily thoughts, words, and deeds, we are being what God Is.

In peace and love,

Nick and Linda

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Nonreligious spiritually connected

Nonreligious-Spiritually Connected

Nonreligious-Spiritually Connected: We recently read an interesting article Millennials and religion: The great disconnect (Pittsburgh-Post Gazette/12-13-15) that focused on the relevance and relationship that religion has for individuals 18-34 yrs. old. There were various studies quoted involving declining trends in religious involvement for these individuals across religious denominations. Also there was mention of various reasons for this occurrence such as perceived conflict between religion and science, perceptions of religion as too constrictive and conservative, and perception of church teaching as hypocritical. To those we would add the destructiveness and war which has often occurred in the name of religion throughout history, has turned many people off to it.

A “positive” reason that was not mentioned is that many people, particularly younger ones, no longer view religious involvement as a pre-requisite to their relationship with God. Many consciously or intuitively sense the ability and necessity of establishing their own personally defined relationship with God—which is the essence of spirituality. They are the ‘nonreligious-spiritually connected’ and their numbers are growing. Interestingly, within the above-mentioned lengthy article the words spirit and spirituality never appear. We found this remarkable for an article focused on religious participation. To the degree that this occurred due to the understanding that religion and spirituality are synonymous, there needs to be a great deal of clarification in order to understand what is transpiring in this aspect of life for many millennials and people in general.

From the perspective of Ego, Spirit & You, religion continues to have an important place. We still need it to play its role in the current stage of evolution as we strive to awaken humanly and spiritually. Religion can be a beautiful bridge to our spirit and spirituality when the words spoken by clergy and messages presented within writings and actions are filled with helping us to know the Love, Life, and Energy—God Is within ourselves and fellow man.

In peace & love,

Nick and Linda

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