Holding Up To The Light

Jim:    Ah, turn the light on.  I can’t see.  I’m in the dark.  So, how often do we refer to situations in our life as light or darkness?  So, light – according to our wonderful scientists is all colors put together.  And, darkness – black, is the absence of light.  So, in theological and spiritual terms, we quite often refer to the light as goodness.  And, we refer to the darkness as evil and danger.  However, those are relative terms.  So, here in Fishing Without Bait we take the perspective that we’re open to all experiences.  We expect the unexpected.  We don’t go into any place, situation, or thing, or person with definitive expectations already in our mind because we often set ourselves up for disappointment.  Welcome to another edition of Fishing Without Bait.  And, today as always, I’m joined by my good friend, co-host, and producer of this program – Mr. Mike.  Mr. Mike, we often end the show with asking people, challenging people to do a kindness for themselves and do a kindness for another, do we not?

Mike:    Absolutely.  It’s been the mantra of this show since very early.

Jim:    So, we often in our lives get requests from people.  You get many requests, do you not?

Mike:    Oh, every day.  

Jim:    You get requests for work.  You get requests for you to help someone.  You get requests to give a donation, do you not?

Mike:    Absolutely.

Jim:    So, how often do we also get a request for please pray for so-and-so; please pray for a situation; so-and-so is ill, or they have a big test coming up, or even the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard in a while is to pray for a basketball team to win.  I’m not too sure that the Creator, the Divine, is that much interested in basketball games.  Mike, I remember a few years ago, Bobby Knight was a motivational speaker.  However, he was known as a real hard-nosed disciplinarian when he coached the University at Indiana basketball team.  And, during one of his speeches, he generally brought it hard.  And, he addressed the audience saying when you people ask for God to bless your basketball team or to God be with us through this tournament, I just want you to step back and think of how ridiculous that is.  God does not care about the basketball team.  God is wandering through refugee camps.  God’s wandering through cancer wards.  That’s where God is.  Please, please let’s avoid that.  When we talk about our arrogance, when we talk about our selfishness and we talk about our self-centeredness, how self-centered is it that the Creator – the Divine – who had a hand in everything, that we could influence that essence into doing our will?  Think about that for a moment.  How arrogant?  How egocentric is that?  Do you truly think that the Divine is waiting to hear from me before the course of events are determined?  I’m not too sure about that.  Rather than perhaps pray for some miracle, pray for something to happen – and, it may occur.  Believe me it may.  And, again I’m talking about my own life.  What I’m asking is that the individuals in certain situations be asked to accept the will, the destiny of the Divine or the Creator, or of the universe, okay?  As everyone may or may not know out there, I’m a convinced member of the Religious Society of Friends.  When we receive requests for assistance from people who ask us to “pray for them” what we do is we hold people in the light.  And, when we hold people in the light, Mike, what we do is we ask that we join in the connection of the infinite love that the Creator and the Divine has for that person.  We join in that love.  We join in that connection.  We ask that we be participants in that.  And, we literally envision this person and hold them in that light.  When I hold someone in the light, I’m asking that God hold them in that love.  That the Creator hold them in that love, and I’m sending whatever good and warm thoughts that I have.  So, in order to send good and warm thoughts, I have to have them, do I not?  And, to have good and warm thoughts I have to have them about myself.  The Bible’s Jesus was confronted many times and the authorities were always trying to trip Him up in some type of matter of law.  So, when they asked him what the two greatest commandments were, he said love the Lord God with your whole heart, your whole soul, and your whole mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.  So, Mr. Mike, when Jesus said love your neighbor as yourself, how can you love your neighbor in great measure unless you love yourself?  Well the whole idea of this thing is that sometimes we think that it’s again self-centered or egocentric to love yourself.  When we love ourselves in such a way that we go through our lives with confidence – when we know our strengths, our talents, and abilities, and we also have taken an inventory of our challenges, and we begin to like who we are – then in turn we can love ourselves, and in turn reflect that love to others.  This is one of the essences of Fishing Without Bait.  This is one of the essences.  This is a true essence of full-impact mindfulness.  Full-impact mindfulness is not only impacting yourself on life and living in life, it’s about impacting yourself.  We’ve often talked about not necessarily finding ourselves, creating ourselves – do we not?  

Mike:    Absolutely.

Jim:    So, isn’t it a nice mixture of love?  When we talk about ourselves being a gardener.  We referred to that in past.  We refer to ourselves being a gardener.  And, if you love – if you love a plant, would you transplant it from nice, rich, fertile soil into a sandbox?  

Mike:    No.

Jim:    What would happen if you would?

Mike:    Because then you’ve taken away the things that are helping it flourish.

Jim:    That plant would die.  So, when we’re talking about being planted in soil, the soil is your environment, Mike.  And, again, we come back to that matter of choice.  We want to enrich our lives.  We want to enrich the soil in which we grow.  And, some people choose – literally or figuratively – to live their lives in a sandbox, devoid of love, devoid of water, devoid of the Divine, devoid of friends, devoid of nutrients.  So, the next thing that a plant needs would be water.  A plant needs water.  We referred to a plant as having water, and refer to you as the water of your life – taking care of yourself.  The nutrition is exercise to tolerance, taking care of yourself.  The water of your life.  And, then a plant finally needs sun.  It needs the sun to grow.  A plant needs sun.  It needs sunshine. And, again I’ll go back to the 12-step world.  And, we’ll talk about that being the sunlight of the Spirit.  We talk about basking in a connection with the Divine.  A connection with each other.  I am that – um soham.  And, yet all three of those ingredients and you can flourish.  And, when you flourish – would you give somebody a wilted flower?

Mike:    No.

Jim:    Would you give your wife a wilted flower?  Would you give your wife a rose without petals and just thorns?

Mike:    No.  

Jim:    No.  Of course not.  You want to grow something beautiful and nice to give to her, right?  And, that’s yourself.  And, that’s what I’m challenging you to do, Mr. Mike.  I’m challenging you – and I’m challenging everyone out there to be their own gardener in their life.  To hold yourself in the light.  Hold yourself in the light so that light grows so bright that you can pass it on to others. Brighten your world.  Brighten your life.  That’s our challenge for today.  Do a kindness for yourself.  Do a kindness for another.  Hold yourself.  Hold others in the light.  Participate and have a connection with the Divine’s love for everyone.  Namaste.