Week 9 – It’s Friday? Again????

Three days of the week: Monday – well we all know what that day is. Wednesday – hump day. And Friday – blog day.

Over the course of the MKMMA experience, there have been certain phrases, concepts, principles and Mark J-isms that just stand out. Those moments of perfect harmony and balance where the student was ready and the teacher has appeared.

Lesson 9 from the Master Key has contained many of those moments for me this week. As part of the daily assignments is the reading of the Master Key, members in the MKMMA course were advised that we could highlight sections from the Haanel and mix the reading between the full text and just the highlights. I’d like to share the meaningful bits, my highlights of the highlights, from this week.

“your inmost thoughts will find expression just as certainly as the plant springs from the seed”. Well that’s scary. No, it’s promising. We just need to be sure to have a keeper of the gate posted at every door into our heart and soul. We decide.

“Character is not a thing of chance, but it is the result of continued effort”. Effort. Continued effort. A little step forward each day.

“Health, Wealth, and Love.” The Holy Trinity of Happy! Health and love are essential. Wealth is necessary. I was excited to consider that wealth is necessary, not evil. And that wealth is different things to different people. If we don’t have it, we can’t share it. I think with wealth and love, if we share what we have first, more will come back to us.

Truth – a whole pile on truth. “Every action which is not in harmony with Truth, whether through ignorance or design, will result in discord…”

Haanel shared the observation that as a human being, we completely rebuild ourselves over a certain period of time – I think the jury is still out on the length of time it takes. We have the option and ability to, at the very least, decide the quality of the replacement parts. OEM or offshore knockoffs? Go for the good stuff!!

The affirmation – “I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious and happy”. Hard to say without laughing some days. One of the most challenging affirmations I have had to make effort to embrace is found in a Primary song sung by the kids at the church I attend. Frankly, I think the most profound and powerful songs in Church musical literature is found in the primary songbook. “I Am a Child of God”. As a convert to the faith nearly 35 years ago, this was a hard one to choke down. Not because I didn’t want to. It was just new to think that there was One who would love and care for me, stand in my corner and and cheer me on in spite of myself, and with every ounce of divine”enthuuuusssiasm” regularly whispers in my ear “My son, you are whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious and happy”.

So grateful for tender mercies…

 

LT

Week 8 – With the Cards We’re Dealt…

The Scroll Marked II

Just a short thought this week. As I was reading from The Greatest Salesman this morning, I discovered a common theme, at least to my eye.

Discover the best in every situation, appreciate it’s beauty, and to offer and receive love, always.

Appreciate the light and the darkness for their unique perspectives, the rich and poor as equals. To carry love to all and that it will serve as both a gift to be offered and as a shield to protect. To honour and praise God in the same manner as all of nature – by being your best you.

Be kind and loving to all in all cases, but first and most importantly, be kind and loving to yourself. Avoid all things that will destroy your body and spirit, and ingest only the best. In doing so, we will be better servants. That is our calling – each of us.

Week 7 – Manic Monkeys and Dirty Loops

Monkey mind. That’s what I’ve heard it called. Actually, I thought it was called Monkey Brain, but when I did a Google search for that, well, let’s just say it wasn’t what I had expected. Think the second Raiders of the Lost Ark. Nasty. Don’t go there.

Monkey mind refers to that experience where our head, our thoughts, our attempts at focus,  seem to be in total chaos, not unlike a troop of monkeys running around a cage, each screaming for attention and  swatting at each other in an attempt for dominance. From  the reading I’ve been doing as part of the MKMMA experience and process, it seems that this is not unusual and a fairly common reality for a lot of folks.

The magnifying glass is a very graphic metaphor to consider when thinking of focus. As a tool to improve perception in detail of small text or image or item, the curved surface of the glass helps us to see things we might not be able to see with the naked eye. We usual have to make some minor adjustments in using it to get it in that sweet spot to see clearly what we are looking at.  I would suggest that the function of increasing visual power is it’s primary design expectation. But what else is it capable of? Take that same device on a clear day, get it at just the right distance from any kind of surface that is prone to heat and you can focus the rays of the sun to a pin point and ignite that thing, first with a few trails of smoke then suddenly into flame.

What is this voodoo? What is this “witchcraft”? How is it possible? We’re just bending light and energy and creating a powerful result. Amazing! I needed to have this experience and to gain some understanding of how to better focus my thoughts and actions.

Music and my experience with it has often provided a classroom of sorts to learn significant truths. Once again, this patient teacher showed up.

Dirty Loops. What does that mean?? Dirty Loops is a Swedish trio of young, very accomplished musicians that became a significant YouTube feature doing “covers” of material other artists had made famous. They have a definite arranging and vocal and style and I have had to pick my jaw up off the floor a number of times.

While engaged in a rather unfocused meandering around YouTube, I ran into a Dirty Loops video that I hadn’t yet seen. A cover of an old ’90’s tune that I wasn’t familiar with call ‘Forever Young’.

Outstanding. Again.

A keyboard solo prior to the final chorus had this 2 bar phrase that I just had to learn. I downloaded the video and stripped the audio from it, loaded it into Pro Tools which is an audio program I use to write and produce music. This software allows you to slow music down without altering the pitch and I used this facility to figure out the line. It’s been some time since I’ve had need, desire or opportunity to lift a tune or even a part of one as I was now doing. I have the remains of perfect pitch ( I was told that it might lessen somewhat in advancing years) and so this kind of thing used to be a little easier, but it wasn’t the pitch that was fighting me, it was focus.

At one point of task quitting frustration, I just stopped and had that little moment of self-chastment/encouraging/realization: ‘dude, you’ve been playing in the 12 tone system for 54 years. These notes are under your fingers. Just play the dang thing…’ I was able to focus, center, and relax. Then it came.

The realization of a current challenge I have to tame the monkeys and get clear and focused has been an issue for a number of weeks. The MKMMA experience has heightened this awareness and desire to get it under control. The Dirty Loops Experiment (sounds like the title of a Big Bang Theory episode) has proven I can, when I have a desire and am willing to put in the effort.

I do and I will. No, wait. Not I will.

I do…

 

Here’s the Dirty Loops cover of Forever Young. This style of jazz/pop may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if inclined, watch the whole thing. I did a PiP thing of the 2 bars I mentioned @ 3:02. Give it a few seconds to load.

 

 

Week 6 – Opinions and Edison

 

This is a two parter. At this first line of text, I’m not sure if there’s a connection or not. Let’s explore.

Opinions – The MKMMA path has suggested that we eliminate all opinions. I kind of get that. Council from scripture teaches to not judge others. At the end of the day, we really don’t know another’s circumstance, desire, limitations, experience or any other factor that may or may not have influenced or tempered their words or actions. To judge in our hearts or openly in our words or actions, is manifesting our own limitations. We are expressing, silent or spoken, an opinion. My Mom always used to say that “the thing you dislike about someone else is the very thing you dislike about yourself”. Interesting.

It was suggested that if we’re a world class expert in a chosen area  of study or field, we than carry guarded permission to express our point of view. Even then, “facts” change every day with new discoveries. Care must be taken.

And what of the worst opinions of all. Our opinions of self. Fear, I have been taught and have experienced far too often, is the greatest tool of the Adversary of all things good, to limit our growth and contribution. And how? By promoting self doubt. “I’m such an idiot”, or “I can’t do that” or “I’ll never understand that”, or “I can’t afford that” or other such things. I’m fighting the “can’t afford” demon right now. But aren’t we world class experts of our own lives? Can we not accurately render an opinion in these things? Yes and no. We can accurately say, “I made a mistake” but then say  “I will do better tomorrow”. We can say “I don’t possess the strength or understanding to do that today, but I will find the information, practice the skill or develop the strength so that I can do that thing successfully”. We can say “That idea or principle is not making sense to me right now. Let me take a few minutes, clear my head and then sit down again. I may need to do a little research and seek the guidance of a teacher, but nothing is outside of my ability to comprehend.” We can say “I don’t currently have enough money in my pocket today to purchase that thing, but I can be of service to others, and their returned kindness, whether in financial exchange or some other form will provide me with the very thing I desire or better”.

Strike every self limiting thought, barbed comment or insult directed at yourself. You are speaking about, and to a being with divine heritage. You are abusing a child of God. Stop it!

Edison. Ok, not really Edison. But electricity, and I guess Edison is certainly connected to that. In the Master Key this week, at 6-9 it offers that “…our faith must be strong enough to generate enough a current of sufficient strength to bring our purpose into manifestation.” Current. Let me share what I understand about electricity. This comes not so much from any kind of classroom instruction but rather from sticking my fingers in places they didn’t belong. I have developed a healthy respect for the potential of electricity.

There are two major descriptors of electrical power : Voltage and current. Voltage is the thing that makes impressive sparks. Short out something with high voltage and you can have a great though fleeting light show. But what of current. Current, to my understanding is the silent killer. You can have a pretty low voltage, but if there is enough available current, and you become a solid conductor,  it will kill you. Current is the thing that does the work. If the device that creates the electricity is capable in it’s design, the current is limited only by the thing which it’s passing through. Consider a number of light bulbs. If you put in a 25 watt bulb, you will have limited light. If you put in a 100 watt bulb  the room becomes much brighter. The power to the home has not changed. What has changed is the device that that same power is flowing through. The current has increased. The bulb was the limiting factor.

Of course, our homes have limits designed into them for safety. Most single circuits are limited to 15amps. The problem with increasing current is it increases heat. Too much heat=fire. Not good.  If you tap into the available current and take it beyond the design, you pop a breaker.

So what of us and the current spoken of in the Master Key? Many of us have experienced those bursts of excitement and momentary commitment to a cause. A big spark. Lots of noise and a microsecond of effort, but then it’s over. There wasn’t enough current to sustain the effort. In the Master Key text, faith is the dynamo.

The faith to keep going can be taxed. Current, or the amount of work that can be done is only limited by the supply and the conductor that carries it. We have enough examples in history to suggest that there have been individuals with seeming unlimited supply and more than adequate capacity to execute the task at hand. I would suggest that for the most part, we are by design that same in every capacity to the “great ones” with possibly the exception of faith and commitment, but faith and commitment are not matters of design. They are matters of choice.

So, a connection between Opinions and Edison? Yes, yes there is, as Phineas would say. There’s a condition in computer logic called an endless loop. In programming I don’t believe an endless loop will cause any physical damage, but the program will stop running. In audio, an endless loop could be described as feedback. In our lives an endless loop can send us to the 8th floor (in Windsor, that means the psych ward). “I must – but I can’t…” is an endless loop. “I must” is a decision, and often a good one.  “I can’t” is an opinion and not productive. Put unlimited current behind this experience and we’re going to break something. But put that current behind “I may not be able to accomplish this task today, but I will push forward until I can do it in my sleep…”, and we change ourselves, and bless the lives of others.

An oversharing of opinions might get you uninvited to dinner parties. Oversharing of limiting opinions about ourselves will ensure us to manifest the Thoreau observation that “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation”. May that not be our legacy.

 

My Poster. Well, sorta…

This Moment Changes Everything

We were challenged this evening to create a Movie Poster to support our DMP (Definite Major Purpose). We had earlier been challenged to write the Movie Trailer version of our DMP.  Thought I’d do something a little different.  (as a side note, I wish I could take credit for the music. It’s a great track It came with this iMovie Trailer template. This is just one of the many reasons why Mac’s are the superior platform.  Just saying’… 😉