Tag Archives: peace

The Classic Pamela Positive: “To be an altruist, you must first be an egoist.” —George Gurdjieff

 

 

“To be an altruist, you must first be an egoist.”

—George Gurdjieff

 

 

In 1919 Armenian George Gurdjieff founded the Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man in Tbilisi, Georgia, in order to serve men in peace. Yet Mr. Gurdjieff’s commitment to helping others began with himself. It was about complete self awareness; absorption in meditation; and pushing oneself to a higher attunement to the Spirit.  In so doing, we are then able to be conscious of our own spirituality as foremost in thought.

 

 

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From that standpoint, we can then go on to help others. We see everyone connected in spirit. We wish the best for others as we strive for peace and perfect alignment for spirit for ourselves. So we focus first on our own spiritual commitment, before we focus on helping other’s spirit, in this wonderful journey of life.

 

 

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George Gurdjieff was an Armenian mystic and philosopher. He traveled in the Middle East, Africa, and Central Asia as a young man.

He was born to a Caucasus Greek father, and an Armenian mother in Alexandropol (now Gyumri). Early influences on him included his father, a carpenter and amateur ashik or bardic poet. The young Gurdjieff avidly read Russian-language scientific literature. Influenced by these writings, and having witnessed a number of phenomena that he could not explain, he formed the conviction that there is a hidden truth not to be found in science or in mainstream religion.

He taught in Moscow and St. Petersburg, and in 1919 he founded the Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man at Tiflis (now Tbilisi), Georgia. In 1922 he reestablished the institute at Fontainebleau, France, gathering a group of followers who lived communally, engaging in philosophical dialogue, ritual exercises, and dance. His basic assertion was that ordinary living was akin to sleep and that through spiritual discipline it was possible to achieve heightened levels of vitality and awareness. The Fontainebleau centre closed in 1933, but Gurdjieff continued to teach in Paris until his death.

Bio source: Wikipedia


Citations:

Fig¹.  Paola Chaaya on Unsplash

Fig².  Josh Appel on Unsplash

The Classic Pamela Positive: “Death Is Nothing At All” -Henry Scott Holland

 

 

My beloved Oma was one of my best friends. And yet she is with me constantly. It’s not easy, it never will be, but it changes. I am learning to become more natural in my connection with her, even though I can’t see her. I can still feel her presence, I can still feel her love.

 

I spoke this from memory at her service, and I still love it to this day. Oma, I know you are “just around the corner.” I love you, Oma.

 

 

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Death is nothing at all.

I have only slipped away to the next room.

I am I and you are you.

Whatever we were to each other,

That, we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name.

Speak to me in the easy way which you always used.

Put no difference into your tone.

Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed

at the little jokes we enjoyed together.

Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me.

Let my name be ever the household word

that it always was.

Let it be spoken without effect.

Without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.

It is the same that it ever was.

There is absolute unbroken continuity.

Why should I be out of mind

because I am out of sight?

I am but waiting for you.

For an interval.

Somewhere. Very near.

Just around the corner.

All is well.

—Henry Scott Holland

 

 


Henry Scott Holland was Regius Professor of Divinity at the University of Oxford. He was also a canon of Christ Church, Oxford.

Henry was born at Ledbury, Herefordshire the son of George Henry Holland of Dumbleton Hall, Evesham, and of the Hon. Charlotte Dorothy Gifford, the daughter of Lord Gifford. He finished his studies in Balliol College in Oxford, England where he had the Oxford degrees of DD, MA, and Honorary DLitt. He was elected as a Student (fellow) of Christ Church, Oxford after graduation and later went to St Paul’s Cathedral where he was appointed canon in 1884.

He was keenly interested in social justice and formed PESEK (Politics, Economics, Socialism, Ethics and Christianity) and tried to heal urban poverty. In 1889, he formed the Christian Social Union. In 1910, he was appointed Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford University, a post he held until his death in 1918. While at St Paul’s Cathedral, Holland delivered a sermon in May 1910 following the death of King Edward VII, titled Death the King of Terrors, in which he explores the natural but seemingly contradictory responses to death: the fear of the unexplained and the belief in continuity. It is from his discussion of the latter that perhaps his best-known writing, Death is nothing at all, is drawn:

“Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Nothing has happened. Everything remains exactly as it was. I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference into your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolute and unbroken continuity. What is this death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner. All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before. How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!”

The affinity of Holland’s passage to St. Augustine’s thoughts in his 4th Century letter 263 to Sapida is clear.  In it St. Augustin writes that Sapida’s brother and their love, although he has died, still are there, like gold that still is yours even if you save it in some locker.

Bio source: Wikipedia


Citation:

Fig¹.Khadeeja Yasser on Unsplash

The Classic Pamela Positive: Celebrate True Wealth

 

 

Wealth is a state of mind and life. We tend to associate poverty with money. But poverty can be mental, emotional or Spiritual Poverty. I am often struck by this in my travel and volunteering in developing nations. Often, the divorce rates are low. Families not only stay together, but also spend time together. They gather food from the fields together, cook together and share meals together.

 

 

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Contrast us: 15 minute family dinners if we are lucky. Fast-food and food distanced from its natural base. We eat alone; we eat in our cars. Divorces are easier to get, and in our mind it can be easier to allow those thoughts in as a possibility, rather than work through critical issues. So we lose the connection to family. We lose the connection to the local farm. We can lose the connection to long-term commitment.

 

 

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We lose our greatest asset in natural wealth: relationships. Relationships with ourselves, our families, the earth. This wealth creates happy, balanced, productive, lower stress lifestyles, because we are connected in the way we are meant to be.

 

Further, we often pass by our heritage and where we come from. In many emerging nations, and especially in the continent of Africa, we see tribes value their connection to their heritage as primary importance even above their nationality. There is a deep-rooted connection to rituals and history which keeps people grounded in who they are, and the deeper, long-term meaning of being a part of a larger community in their lives.

 

 

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Poverty is about money, at times. It has to be addressed as people should have the opportunity to live productive lives and make choices about what they would like to devote their lives to. Poverty is also about our well-being. Often when we get beyond “money poverty,” we forget “well-being poverty,” and get trapped in a go-go-go consumer culture.

 

 

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I hope we can celebrate the healthy wealth that is accessible to us all in positive, committed relationships with ourselves, one another, our families, our earth, our communities and our heritage. How wonderful this is available to us all.

 

 


Citations:

Fig. 1: Photo by Lee Myungseon on Unsplash
Fig. 2: Photo by Sai De Silva on Usnplash
Fig. 3: Photo by Ramdan Authentic on Unsplash
Fig. 4: Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

The Classic Pamela Positive: “In India ‘Namaste’ means: I honor the place in you of love, of light, of truth, of peace”

 

“In India, when we meet and greet and we say Namaste, which means: I honor the place in you where the entire universe resides, I honor the place in you of love, of light, of truth, of peace. I honor the place within you where if you are in that place in you and I am in that place in me, there is only one of us.”

—Ram Dass

 

 

Come down from your energy high, your doerism, your list. Your take-care-of -the-top-priorities-at-work, and get-done-with-all-your email focus. Dont go to the drycleaners or grocery store. Stop cleaning your home, pushing yourself on your career, helping your kids (for a moment), trying to have kids, networking, volunteering, or getting a match.com date.

 

Stop worrying. Stop thinking about the future.

 

 

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Stop your TV show. Your podcast. Your Spotify.

 

Just honor that other person in front of you, in a space of servitude, awe and love. The people in our lives are amazing.  Be amazed.

 

Ram Dass teaches us to honor the divine in everyone, regardless of their background, religion, ethnicity, or thoughts.  He’s practiced this at Harvard, India and all over, striving to bring peace to the world, person by person.

 

 

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So, who do you see the divine in today? Who amazes you today?

 

For me, it is my Mom.   She is a great person, a great mom, a sincere friend a shining light of care for others.  She is that peacegiver of divine Love, loving others, all the time.

 

 


 

Ram Dass (born Richard Alpert; April 6, 1931) is an American contemporary spiritual teacher and the author of the seminal 1971 book Be Here Now. He is known for his personal and professional associations with Timothy Leary at Harvard University in the early 1960s, for his travels to India and his relationship with the Hindu guru Neem Karoli Baba, and for founding the charitable organizations Seva Foundation and Hanuman Foundation.

During his psychedelic research, Ram Dass traveled to India in 1967 and met his guru, Neem Karoli Baba, affectionately known as Maharajji, who gave Ram Dass his name, which means “servant of God.”  Since 1968, Ram Dass has pursued a panoramic array of spiritual methods and practices from potent ancient wisdom traditions.  He has also practiced karma yoga or spiritual service, which opened up many other souls to their deep yet individuated spiritual practice and path.  His unique skill in getting people to cut through and feel divine love without dogma is still a positive influence on many people from all over the planet.  He now resides on Maui, where he shares his teachings through the internet and through retreats on Maui. His work continues to be a path of inspiration to his old students and friends as well as young people and newcomers.

BioSources: Wikipedia, RamDass.org

 


Citations:
Fig¹. Brooke Cagle on Unsplash
Fig². Kevin Noble on Unsplash

 

The Classic Pamela Positive: Serenity, Courage and Wisdom

 

 

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change; The courage to change the things I can; And the wisdom to know the difference.”

– Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr

 

 

Dr. Niebuhr’s quote is one of the most world renowned, for he paints to the fact that “everything you need is already inside,” and the importance of believing in oneself, balanced with a practical sense of what can be done.  We should encourage ourselves in areas in which we can truly make a change.  Of course the process of trying, especially if we love it, is important to our growth at times. At other times, we need to let go and focus on the positive mountain which is beckoning us to climb it.

 

 

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For the most part, it does come down to motives, too. If it is our past, you cannot change it.  Therefore his wisdom guides us.  Focus on the present, right now, right now, right now…in order to live fully and effect change as we speak…

 

 


Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr was a theologian and orator.  He was an outspoken critic of poor industry conditions in factories.  He supported unions by letting organizers use his pulpit to advocate for workers rights.  He edited the magazine Christianity and Crisis for more than twenty years, and published a number of books and essays, including The Nature and Destiny of Man.  He was married to Ursula Keppel-Compton, a leading figure at Barnard College, who worked with Niebuhr on his writing.

The Classic Pamela Positive: “God Is Awake” – Victor Hugo

 

“When you have laboriously accomplished your daily tasks, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.”

– Victor Hugo

 

Mr. Hugo points to our American culture for sure: We work and work and work. We are a productive country, a do-er people. Even though lately we have so many inefficiencies in government and programs, as individuals, we ‘do.’

And so we must pause. We must reflect. We realize when we lay our heads gently down for rest, that God is watching.

 

 

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She is caring and loving. He is standing guard. This loving Principle may even be shaping our thoughts so that we awake refreshed. We can start the day with greater clarity and positive purpose than the day before.

Work…Rest…Trust God…

 

 

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And so we live Life fully.

 

 


 

Victor Hugo (1802 – 1885) was a French poet, novelist, and dramatist. He is considered as one of the most well-known French Romantic writers. In France, Hugo’s literary fame comes first from his poetry. Among many volumes, Les Contemplations and La Légende des siècles stand particularly high in critical esteem. Outside France, his best-known works are the novels Les Misérables, 1862, and Notre-Dame de Paris, 1831 (known in English as The Hunchback of Notre-Dame).  Les Miserables focused on social issues of the time, and helped bring these to wider attention. Hugo was married to a childhood friend, Adele Foucher, and they had five children.

Source photo: everystockphoto.com

The Classic Pamela Positive: Read This If You Want To Know How You are Measured

 

 

“Don’t ever think that your grades are the measure of your capacity to change the world, because they’re not. 

Don’t ever think that your income is a measure of your capacity to change the world, because it’s not.

 There’s a different metric system if you want to change the world.”

 –       Bryan Stevenson

 

 

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There’s a different way to look at the world. It’s not about your grades.

It’s not about how much money you make. It’s not about your beauty.

 

 

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If you want to change the world, you have to come up with a different measurement system. You have to say and

 

make sure that things count that sometimes the world says doesn’t count.

 

I’m counting all the positive things about you,

Pamela