Sunday, September 15, 2019

Is a Cultural "Anti-Christ" Bringing the Real "Rapture?"


"...our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world...as in being able to remake ourselves."
Mahatma Gandhi


We're a little like moss on a rock here on earth – a simple colony of life. In the same way that any collective life form experiences stress when the conditions for it's survival begin to change, our world is beginning to experience the very real stress of climate change, species extinction, environmental degradation, income inequality, and the spread of unsustainable lifestyles based on exploiting the planet. For all of us – as well as for each of us – there's a need to adapt. The destruction driven by blind predatory capitalism leads to the weird conflations of "patriotism" and religion, self-defeating delusions we see in the ugly ironic examples of market-based "winners," and "christians" supporting diabolical perverts and criminals because they are leading us to "The End of Days."  
Much of this grows out of a serious flaw in our culture's perception of Darwinism, which is not about "Survival of the Fittest," but actually about Survival of What Adapts in the Most Cooperative Way. What is it that carries us through the tough times, with Love? 
It's an altogether different definition of fitness. It's a spiritual fitness, based in a spiritual context – answering our human problems with the recognition of simple, spiritual answers. It's about real, quality survival.

For example, the biggest, meanest guy may clobber everyone who disagrees with him, take all the food, and force himself on the prettiest women; but his karma (created by ego and fear) and the failure to evolve spiritually in a world of expanding consciousness, will cause his destruction (sex specificity intended) – a genetic dead end. The richest guy may have the most secure, most isolated fortress, the largest vault of canned food, and the most guns and ammo; but his isolation and fearfulness will lead to spiritual atrophy, and the inward collapse of his shrinking world. Those attributes and characteristics that are associated with Power and domination are dying out, as those associated with Ethics and compassion are on the rise. Life on earth is always adapting – the parts that don't adapt, don't last on our biological time-table.

Hard times stress the colony, challenging it, forcing it to change; and now we see the shape that change is taking. It's like breaking up bad pottery, and soaking it until it softens and becomes the clay that forms the basis of real life, in order to start over. People are coming together to re-configure their world on that basis – what's actually real and important in life; inspired by a sudden common awareness of what the management of Earth's abundance actually entails, and what the real consequences of continued unconscious exploitation is leading to.

A new cooperation – an evolution –  is exploding into reality, based on the spiritual unification of humankind, facilitated by the internet, manifested in an expanding sense of a global community, called to action by the impending catastrophe of climate change. The explosion in clean energy, expanding cooperatives, reuse and recycling, uncontested environmentalism; the elections of Obama, of women, of representatives of diverse religion and ethnic backgrounds; and the impetus for universal health care, local food production, the accelerating growth of animal rights awareness, vegan and vegetarianism, social support systems of all kinds – as well as the public momentum to institute these ethical concepts by means of regulation and legislation (a result of the rise of destructive fascism in the world), is the shape of the change.

Extremists and fundamentalists – religious, financial, racist and militaristic fascists – are dividing themselves off from the majority of peace-loving, compassionate humans, and defining their differences in preparation to be shed from the whole. They actually constitute just a small part of the world's total population. The rise of climate-denying, pro-corporate racism and fascism actually marks the end of their world. It will be a little messy, but it's happening.
 Do everything you can to help it along. If you open your heart, you'll intuitively know what that is. You'll know how to behave, how to shop, how to contribute, how to vote. You already do.

In a manner of speaking, a kind of biblical "Rapture" is actually taking place now amongst those who are awakening to this new consciousness, many of whom are experiencing hard timesand finding themselves and their neighbors falling through the same cracks in the system that allow spiritual evolution to enter. These are fractures in the false world of materialistic consumerism, and a dis-identification with a media that's destructive by corporate design. The Christ Spirit that's returning isn't the bearded redhead in the paintings, it's the spirit of Ethics, Cooperation, Compassion, and Love.

Those who want it all, who think they have it all, who are trying to get as much as they can, and will do anything not to lose it; who want to prevent change and "make things great again" – who suffer the delusion of their superiority and entitlement – who think they can will the truth to be what they want, are fast being "Left Behind" in their spiritual morass, a private hell of their own making. But they won't remain here suffering while the blessed 80% ascend to Heaven – they'll simply become redundant. Their hateful opinions will hold no sway. Their methods of fear-mongering will become ineffective. 
 Your biggest job may be to help those you know and care for, who've been compromised by fear-mongering, to catch up to the change – by generously applying Love and compassion.

Heaven will return on Earth as we stop poisoning it (because we must), restore natural balance, use free energy, distribute the earth's resources equitably, and evolve into our truest "Divine State" of spiritually unifying our global human family. The balance is returning as it must, and if you're part of that change, you needn't worry about the hard times. What truly matters is what each and every one of us keeps in their heart – just be sure it's Love.
"Our present world is conditioned by our present mode of consciousness; only when that consciousness passes from its present dualistic mode...will the new creation appear, which is the external reality of which our world is a mirror."
  Bede Griffiths


Read about this and much more in the latest book: How to Get to Heaven (Without Really Dying), Wisdom From a Near-Death Survivor, from Llewellyn Worldwideand the first book: How to Survive Life (and Death), A Guide To Happiness In This World and BeyondBoth are available everywhere – but ask for them at your local bookstore!

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Lessons from an "Out-of-Body Experience"




It isn't often that you hear someone describe what it's like to die – that's an experience rarely reported; but I have the dubious qualification of having survived three distinctly different "Near Death Experiences," and I'd like to pass on what I learned from the first one, an "out-of-body experience" – in hopes that you'll never find the need to try this at home. It wasn't what you'd call fun, but it was very informative.

We most often think of Evolution with a capital E, as in "the Theory of," or as the transitioning growth of successive generations, species adapting across expanses of Time – and so it is. My experiences lead me to consider it as a personal process, largely because of realizing the importance of the Eternal Moment (in which everything alive is always living), and because the evolution of the whole spreads out from the evolution of each individual. As that phenomenon of personal experience, my life's evolution is more directly related to my NDEs than to all but a few of my "conscious" life lessons. It's like peeking behind the curtain...

So here, preceded by brief circumstantial descriptions, here is the gift I received from my first NDE, set down short and sweet as possible:

I was in a serious single car accident (I'd like to say through no fault of my own, but it wouldn't be true) and instantly found myself suspended in mid-air over the crash site, observing the wreckage, my body, and the ministrations of the lovely people who rushed to my aid (God bless 'em). After a while into all the hub-bub, I was gently shepherded off by a kindly entity (that remained out-of-view) into what I can only describe as a soft, warm, cotton-wool cloud, and on to a place of great ease and comfort where I was sat down in a congenial but serious conversation regarding the true nature of things, and my position within it.

The space was idyllic, like a very nice summer's cafe. There was no sense of Time or of gravity, and certainly not of any want or necessity.Thought operated in a non-sequential, undemanding way – all at once easily, as it were, rather than in any urgent, serial way (like after a good meditation). Here's what I learned:

We are avatars living spiritually within these physical bodies, very much like driving around in a car (...I wish I could afford a new one). Of course, our bodies are us, here in this place we call The World; but they aren't really us – they're the means to experience this sensory experience, "good" and "bad," and to gain as much from it as we can in the service or our own, and our greater collective Self's evolution. This allows us to investigate the karma of our lives, to repair it, and to create it anew by being of service to those we love, and to the world as a whole.

So when we observe others as well, we can realize that they are simply their karmic energies (as I am mine), filtering through their somewhat limited (and not always easy to maneuver) human forms. That understanding informs a sense of compassion and identification that allows the people and events in your life to clearly be happening for you – not to feel like they are happening to you. Then, we can objectively witness the miraculous diversity of Life – in all it's sometimes challenging forms – with tolerance, respect, and wonder!
I call this way of seeing: The Gift of Perspective.


"The fundamental, simple, and great mystical realization is that by which you identify yourself with consciousness, rather than with the vehicle of consciousness. Your body is a vehicle of consciousness."
Joseph Campbell



Read about this and much more in the latest book: How to Get to Heaven (Without Really Dying), Wisdom From a Near-Death Survivor, from Llewellyn Worldwide; and the first book: How to Survive Life (and Death), A Guide To Happiness In This World and BeyondBoth are available everywhere – but ask for them at your local bookstore!

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Take a (Spiritual) Summer Road Trip, or: How Rte. 66 Can Lead You to Bliss



        It’s Summertime…and the highway is calling. With vacations planned and wanderlust on the rise, now is the time that we find ourselves striking out on the road to adventure and discovery. On our drive to discovering a few different Americas out there, it can be all too easy to find a disheartening drone of interstate arteries, drained by identical off-ramps evenly spaced, fed by the same corporate fast-food chains, pitching a kind of fabricated heartland patriotism – a navigated, located, ATM card “freedom” that’s only designed to free you from your vacation savings while propelling you past an alien, deeply divided America. It almost makes me just want to stay home and cry…but wait—there is another way! 
The Buddha said this about Life’s transit:

We are created by our thoughts; we become what we think.
Pain and suffering follow negative thoughts like the 
wheel follows the ox that pulls it.

The Dhammapada, 1:1

        What if we struck out on a different route instead? On a path inspired by our longings for a truly fulfilling vacation – healthful, connected, and discovering our uniquely diverse American wholeness, lined with joyful creativity and camaraderie? Well here’s the good news: That America is out there, waiting for you…but how do we find it?

        Recently, my wife and I left our home of many years in New York City, and drove cross-country for twelve days to our new home in the West; across a southern route we’d never taken before. Along the way we accidentally – almost magically – discovered a beautifully spiritual route, right through those limited options and glaring cultural divisions we might otherwise drive by without investigation. It happened as a result of one amazing “secret” trick that I’ll give you in a minute, but also by following a couple pretty intuitive tips that made it all possible. So here’s the dharma of the road trip we discovered…

        First of all, don’t crowd the drive into fewer days than necessary – getting there really is half the fun. Lay out your days in a general way, and limit yourself to four or five hours of driving per day, starting in the morning, and arriving to your daily destination in the early afternoon, giving yourself time to explore along the way, and to settle into your overnight surroundings with some space and energy. The variety of excellent lodging apps makes finding a place to stay as easy and worry-free as spending five minutes after lunch to book your top pick.

        While traveling, be willing to venture off the beaten path, and be positive and open-hearted to everyone you meet. Remember that practicing radical, unconditional kindness is an incredibly powerful way to open doors and possibilities. It’ll precondition every experience you encounter, and magically gain you upgrades and invitations that you could have never dreamed of. Let the trip show you where to go next – synchronicities and “magical” meetings will pile up as evidence that the Universe is showing you where you have to go, and what you have to see next; and introducing you to exactly who you’re supposed to meet. The coincidences will be custom-made, but won’t appear unless you’re fully flexible, and open to the energies generated by each experience. You’ll find yourself being mysteriously woven into the fabric of everywhere you are. 
        And naturally, If a place is telling you not to stay, get in the car and leave. 

“Let the road home, be home.”
Anonymous

        Now here comes the secret trick – and it came to us because my wife is a vegan, and I’m a vegetarian, but whether you’re a non-meat-eater or not, you’ll find this method works miraculously well. (It worked especially well considering that we traveled across the old Route 66 – through a slice of the heartland where you wouldn’t expect veggie-types to find many easy meals…)  Now here’s the secret:

        Do a search for vegan/vegetarian restaurants before getting to your daily destinationwhether you’re a veggie or not, and watch how it will transform your trip, and maybe your life!

        It (literally) turns out that as you navigate towards those destinations, you’ll find yourself completely avoiding the big boulevards lined with corporate tourist-traps and “neighborhood” chains, and heading into the artistic, architectural, entrepreneurial, and “alternative” neighborhoods instead – the parts of town where you can really eat well, and feed your soul at the same time. 
        There aren’t any aggressive 24-hour TV truckstops blaring where “alternative lifestyles” are quietly creating the new sustainable businesses of the future; bringing the solid old (often industrial) neighborhoods back to life after having been abandoned by the rigid corporations and their forced, soulless “food and fun.” They’re the parts of town where you find new galleries, boutiques, coffee shops, music venues, live theater, and of course, cutting-edge food. Right away, you’ll thank God it isn’t Friday.

        There you’ll also find the greatest local diversity – people bridging ethnic and generational differences who may have had to live outside of local expectations – the real innovative rebels, often rejected by common dogma and unconscious politics. These are people who’ve learned the real value of tolerance and compassion, first-hand. They’re the people who are growing new alternatives towards a new reality, preparing for the actual challenges of our changing planet – without burying their heads in some shallow Fox-hole, or blindly consuming another Bud and double-double bacon cheese burger…and they’re in every town, forming brands that are timelessly fresh, inventively earned, and altruistically authentic…and there’ll be a tattoo or two…

        Along Interstate 40 and the old Route 66 you’ll find incredible vegan cuisine at the stylish bistro Bizou, on the resurrected Main Street Mall in Charlottesville, VA (the most sadly maligned beautiful little town in recent media history). At the delicious Laughing Seed, in the cool part of downtown Asheville, NC. Then on the outskirts of Knoxville, TN, tuck into comfort food at Sanctuary Vegan Café, whose proceeds go to save condemned animals…and you’re on your way to the heartily excellent Wild Cow, in the globally-countryfied neck of Nashville. From there, wander over to Oklahoma City, OK? for the truly super-deliciousness of The Loaded Bowl (where they have weekly alt ok-bingo and watercolor classes too); and before you bust out across the Texas panhandle, load up on delicious dumplings at Three Fold Noodles & Dumplings, on South Main in Little Rock. AR. Take a Texas break at The 806, for great coffee, veggie-fare, local color, and live music, in old Amarillo. When you officially hit the semi-hip Southwest, stop for a chile relleño at the iconic Rte. 66 Silver Moon Café in Santa Rosa, NM…and drop in for excellent locally-roasted coffee and not-to-be-beat breakfast at Java Joes, on the edge of downtown Albuquerque, NM.
…and absolutely DO NOT MISS one of the best meals you’ll ever have at Chef Ahmed’s amazing Jambo Café, just a little bit south of Old Santa Fe, NM. As you roll towards the sunset, don’t miss the beautiful Palestinian family that really is the Oasis Mediterranean Café, out on the western edge of Gallup, NM.

...beautiful food and beautiful people at The Oasis, Gallup, NM

        To paraphrase what Mahatma Gandhi said: If you be the change you’re looking for, you’ll find it – by following your heart, and your health (mental, physical, and spiritual). All the food you encounter on this path tastes like Love, because it’s being brought to you with that secret ingredient, wherever you go..
        Stick to the Blue Highways, follow your heart, Google Vegan/Vegetarian and you’ll find people—and food—that you’ll swear you’ve loved all your life, and that you’ll never forget. 

        Blessings, and safe travels…vaya con Dios!…and remember what the Buddha said about heading out onto the road:


We are created by our thoughts; we become what we think.
Happiness attaches itself like an inseparable shadow to 
the positive thoughts that precede it.


The Dhammapada, 1:2



The latest book: How to Get to Heaven (Without Really Dying), Wisdom From a Near-Death Survivor is now available from Llewellyn Worldwide, and can be ordered online; and the first book: How to Survive Life (and Death), A Guide To Happiness In This World and Beyond is available everywhere too – but ask for them it at your local bookstore!

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

"The More Your Eyes Open, the More Sacred You See"



This excerpt is from How to Get to Heaven (Without Really Dying), Section 3: Purpose. This image is one of the original proposed cover designs...



Caught up in day-to-day life, it’s easy to overlook the miraculous nature of everything (especially in the morning before our first mi­raculous cup of coffee), but all we have to do is be present for one moment and there it is again, pouring out in every direction we look. Unconsciousness clings onto its defenses, but when you’re really honest with yourself and recognize the undeniable interconnected­ness of all Life, it’s hard not to appreciate the concept called pan­theism, the idea that absolutely everything is a manifestation of the Divine.

If you’ve been practicing the spiritually perspective-enhancing principles from the first chapters (kindness, humility, honesty, for­giveness, compassion, and service), you have probably noticed something happening as a result of your changing view of Life—the undeniable connection that changes you forever.

This is the realization that it deeply hurts you to cause pain. Causing injury to another sentient creature creates bad karma for you, and ef­fectively causes an injury to yourself. You begin to notice that when you say something that isn’t particularly thoughtful or considerate, it just sounds wrong to you. Like spilled coffee on a clean white shirt, you can’t wear it well—your ego may want you to conceal it, but your true self knows you need to quickly blot it out. Soon, small things that never mattered before come alive in your conscience. When you see a person being wasteful or exploitative, being a bully or a brag­gart, you sense the energy of injustice, of insecurity, of pain; and you increasingly feel like intervening somehow to possibly correct the impropriety. Pretty soon you’re capturing bugs in a jar and releasing them out the back door saying Go be free, my little bug friend.


You may start feeling a little out of place from the growing sen­sitivity to your surroundings, but this perceptual and behavioral change is really a very good thing. When you notice the harm you can do to Life when you’re not conscious of your actions, it means you’re beginning to develop the sensibilities of an angel.

You’re be­ginning to see and feel what Heaven looks and feels like.


The new book: How to Get to Heaven (Without Really Dying), Wisdom From a Near-Death Survivor is now available from Llewellyn Worldwide, and can be ordered online; and the first book: How to Survive Life (and Death), A Guide To Happiness In This World and Beyond is available everywhere too – but ask for them it at your local bookstore!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Beatitude Adjustment – Our “Sermon on the Mount” Top Hits, Unplugged



“Materiality is a metaphoric manifestation of our ‘invisible’ spiritual nature.”


      Perhaps the biggest challenge that faces any theology is the tendency for its most fervent proponents to insist on literal interpretations of their basic scriptures, when really all ancient spiritual texts are intended as metaphors for spiritual conditions and approaches, meant to help you align yourself to the energy of Love in the Universe (to put it simply). 
      Translating those texts can be very important too, as certain translations may only be appropriate for very particular agendas; take for example the common Biblical translations for the terms “sin,” which comes from the Greek word amartia, and really means: to miss the mark; and “repentance,” from the Greek word metanoia, which actually transliterates as: beyond thought (transformational). You can see what a different spin those choices give to the pure meaning.

      The Beatitudes – everyone’s favorite list of righteous suggestions from “The Sermon on the Mount,” Matthew 5–7 (firmly based on the Old Testament Psalms) are no exception. Plugged into their institutional translations, they can be a little confusing, or subject to rote interpretations that overlook the underlying spiritual technology they describe. In fact, overlooking in a different way is the real meaning of “The Mount;” whether anyone ever spoke from on top of a hill or not isn’t the point – “The Mount” really only means to assume a spiritual point-of-view, where you can get a clear view of the hardships of being human. With all that in mind, allow me to try to Unplug the Beatitudes for you, and hopefully reveal their natural spiritual suggestions.

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

      The idea of Heaven is always easy – it means being in alignment with the energy of Love in the Universe, it’s just “the poor in spirit” part that gets a little confusing. It seems to suggest that we’re talking about poor people, or that we’re talking about people who come up short in “the spiritual” department – yes to both. It is easier for people who don’t have lots of money, and all the demands and obsessions it brings, to be serenely connected to our Divine Source; and back in those days, the powerful leaders of organized religions were considered “rich in spirit.” Theirs was not “the kingdom.”      

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

      Sadness opens our hearts, and causes our energies to resonate with deeper structures of the Universe. It’s a call for connection, and that call is always answered by the Divine, which is indivisible. What we mourn is alive—and we know it in our hearts.

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

      A Zen sage once said, “Water finds its greatest power by seeking its lowest point,” and it’s true of the life of this planet. Humility grounds us in our most profoundly connected way, and the more dogmatic, the more egocentric, the more intellectually self-assured – the more willful – we are, the less chance we have of survival. The greatest chance for humans lies in our sincerest humility, because Earth will always default to the energy of the authentic.

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

      The willingness to take part in the inner exploration – the deep need to discover that energy, that light within (our spiritual sustenance); and to reunite ourselves – to restore ourselves to that Divine energy, is absolutely essential. It’s only by opening up and digging-down that we can be repaired and re-filled by the energy of Love.

Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

      “Do no harm,” is the first precept of Buddhism, and it’s that absolute Golden Rule that informs not just the way we live life in each moment – with (and as a part of) the grace that compassionate consciousness grants us – but also aligns us with the energies of Love in the Universe: It creates our positive karma: as we respect the Divine in all living things, the Divine Love Energy of the Universe reflects that grace into our lives.

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

      “The Kingdom of Heaven is spread across the Earth, but men don’t have eyes to see it,” said Yeshua, the “Teacher of Righteousness,” meaning that it’s the misperceptions created in our minds that prevent us from aligning ourselves with the Field of Love. When we practice kindness, honesty, humility, forgiveness, compassion, and service, our cognitive hearts are cleared, and open to the intuitive intelligence available – the way to live with perspective, presence, and purpose. Then we can witness the Divine in every direction we look.

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the Children of God.

      Really little kids are so innocent and gracious (when they’re not crying…), the ambitions and expectations of life haven’t painted them into any corners they need ‘to fight their way out of’ yet. Those judgements create the aggressive instincts to “get ahead” materially – what we want, what we think we need, what we must hold on to – that cause us to lash out, or try to forcibly control; that’s the painfulness our narrow, short-lived human desires create, not the eternal playfulness our authentic selves deserve.

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

      People look at you funny when you purposefully and unashamedly pursue your spiritual path; they think you’re crazy (because they’re thinking with their heads, not their hearts). I survived three traumatic incidents, and three “Near Death Experiences” – so I had no choice in the matter, my spiritual beliefs are literally immaterial. Most folks try to navigate in a material world, grasping little pieces of serenity, wonder, and joy here and there; and if you turn that approach around 180º and live as a spirit in a world of arising matter, naturally you’ll be misunderstood a lot...

      ...but you’ll live in a world alive in the Field of Love, connected by a powerful, “unseen” spiritual technology that transforms you “beyond thought,” and lets you “hit the mark” – almost every time. It’ll give you a real experience of grace, serenity, joy, and wholeness like you’ve never known. In truth, it’ll put gratitude in your beatitude!


The new book: How to Get to Heaven (Without Really Dying), Wisdom From a Near-Death Survivor is now available from Llewellyn Worldwide, and can be ordered online; and the first book: How to Survive Life (and Death), A Guide To Happiness In This World and Beyond is available everywhere too – but ask for them it at your local bookstore!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The "Spirituality Today" Review, by Peter J. Morris



While Spirituality Today is no longer with us, this book review from it's Editor, Peter J. Morris, still is:

Writer Robert Kopecky has the extraordinary distinction of having died and gone to heaven not once but no-less than three times during his life. On each occasion he has been unceremoniously sent back down into physical reality and these dramatic experiences have, quite naturally, led him to develop a unique perspective of what it means to be a human, alive on planet Earth at this time.

A Place of Being

In his book, How to Get to Heaven, Kopecky identifies the specific life lessons each near-death experience (NDE) has taught him. More specifically, he has come to recognize that his three NDEs were not separate events at all but that they formed an important part of an evolving sequence. He qualifies these as; Perspective, Presence, and Purpose; with each one heading up a different section of his book.
The experiences of death and brief awareness of life on the otherside’ to which Kopecky was party, leads him to conclude that what we perceive of as ‘Heaven’ is less a ‘place’ and more a ‘state of being’. He qualifies this further by saying, “Going to Heaven isn’t about dreaming a dream of the afterlife. No, going to Heaven is about being right where you are — wherever that may be — and waking up.”

A Threefold Perspective

In Part One of How to Get to Heaven the author examines our core human traits and in particular those that require development. These include humility, release of ego-control, love and kindness. He is of the opinion that practicing honesty and forgiveness aids this process.
Part Two focuses upon the state of presence as a means of creating quality to our lives. Kopecky describes this in the following way, “Awareness in this very moment informs and determines where we’ve come from in life, where we are, and the amazing potential we can access to empower where we are going.”
In the third and final part of his book the author explores how by carrying all of these spiritual principles into everyday actions it becomes easier to discover our own special purpose.

Review

So many reports of near death experiences include a single, common theme, which is that the recently deceased needs to return to the Earth plane specifically to fulfill – or complete, a personal destiny; or in order to undertake an important task for humanity. This also seems to be the case with Kopecky – someone who has clearly taken this challenge to hand and unravelled a personal destiny from which so many people can now benefit.
Whilst the spiritual philosophy that permeates his book has been drawn from mainly Eastern or Buddhist principles this does not color the book to such a degree that it becomes detached from its central theme. Indeed, the result is a deeply satisfying read for throughout its pages Kopecky presents a very personalized style of writing – one that keeps the reader thoroughly engaged and hungry for the next round of insights. The depth of revelation and enlightenment here is rarely found in spiritual publications and comes as a breath of fresh air.
How to Get to Heaven by Robert Kopecky is a comforting book for anyone concerned about the fragility of life. More importantly though it is the sad, the lost and the lonely, the dispirited, disillusioned and disengaged who will gain most from reading it. For those readers I”d personally guarantee that How to Get to Heaven offers the chance of a major personal transformation long before reaching its final page.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Earth is Like a Spiritual Elementary School (that’s on fire…)



The day after a big election is a day like any other, really. A lot has changed, but then, not that much has changed too. The problems don’t suddenly get solved, and in fact the differences and obstacles may seem more distinct and dramatic than ever. It helps me to think of it this way, just for the sake of simplifying things:

The Earth is like a spiritual elementary school, with evolving souls attending grades one through six, simultaneously. The first and second graders tend to be unsure of themselves, to feel vulnerable – they tend to isolate, feel victimized, or to become bullies – whatever it takes to make them feel acknowledged, respected, cared about. They can become intolerant, even violent…they’re fearful, they haven’t got much wisdom yet, or what you might call “ more expanded consciousness.” They get tribal, follow manipulative leaders, and want to control things without really thinking it through. They tend to believe that Darwinism means “survival of the fittest,” but it doesn’t, really…it means “survival of the most cooperatively adaptable,” so they tend to be less cooperative, and more entitled, “independent,” and “self-reliant.”

The fifth and sixth graders have gotten a little wisdom. They’ve developed a little “expanded consciousness.” They’d never hurt a fly, tend to naturally like all different kinds of people, and feel connected to everyone and to the natural world in an easy, graceful way. They’re learning that the world isn’t happening to them – it’s happening for them. They’ve learned that fear is seldom real (unless there’s a bear approaching, or a fire is out-of-control). Their community is less a ‘tribe,’ and more a collection of tolerant, “cooperatively adaptable” spirits, all along on the same ride. They know that no one can be truly independent, or totally self-reliant. We are all the same thing, on the same ride, called Earth. They possess what you might call “spiritual sanity,” and have learned that intelligent, mature, responsible stewardship will benefit everyone the most.

Our biggest problem always stems from this situation: The sixth graders can’t give their wisdom to the first graders without the first graders feeling like someone is trying to push them around – insinuating that they’re “better than them” (which in a spiritually-evolved sense, they are, but in a spiritually-evolved sense, no one is better than anyone else). So the first and second graders have to get some wisdom for themselves (usually by making painful mistakes); they tend to be haters before they become lovers. This is their hard karma, the cause-and-effect of life that everyone must pass through, to graduate, that is. Wisdom and expanded consciousness can only be attained by direct personal experience. Unfortunately, everyone in the school falls subject to the struggles of the early-grade students, and those struggles have to hurt enough to make them realize their self-centered pain is unnecessary and self-inflicted – so it’s painful for everyone. They calm down a lot, in the third and fourth grades, thank God.

Sadly, the unconscious “control” of first and second graders for the last thousand years (a drop in the geological bucket-of-time), has led to the destruction of life as-we-know-it on our Mother Earth that we see around us—the catastrophe approaching. The school is on fire. Fortunately, that sadness makes our hearts resonate more deeply with the unseen, benevolent structures of the Universe; and impending doom tends to mature a lot of people fast. Fifth and sixth graders can stay present with all the goodness in their hearts, and try to hold things together, providing enough Love to balance things out…until the kids come around.

If you think people don’t respect you; that you’re being victimized by ‘elitists’ or ‘aliens;’ that you’re somehow different (or better) than other people, or know ‘the right’ way to live; if you think violence is sometimes necessary, and that we can reserve the right to kill or inflict pain on others ‘for their own good,’ or ‘to protect our rights;’ and impose our will on others to ‘make them get it right,” well, welcome to school. Open your heart—and your ears—and realize that no one is all that important. We really are all the same, even if we don’t look like it, or dress like it, or eat like it, or pray like it…we do all love the same.

If you’re constantly shocked at the level of ignorance and violence in the world, don’t be—there’s always been that 30%, and there always will be. Bring on da Love, in large enough quantities to put out all the little fires you can. There’s a tide of Love on the rise (along with the sea level) that’ll quench the conflagration. 
Things are changing – at this school they always have and always will. But if you love it here anyway, don’t worry, soon you be moving on to Middle School.




Read about this and much more in the new book: How to Get to Heaven (Without Really Dying), Wisdom From a Near-Death Survivor, from Llewellyn Worldwide, and the first book: How to Survive Life (and Death), A Guide To Happiness In This World and BeyondBoth are available everywhere – but ask for them at your local bookstore!

Saturday, October 20, 2018

The Simple, Grammatical Cure to All Our Problems


This selection about the cure for society's problems comes from Chapter 11: Looking Into the Truth,


A Simple Trick of Grammar Can Help You Find the Truth

      I really just want to have a simple, hooked-up, plugged-in knowledge of what I am: a beautifully fragile, flawed, creative, and potentially loving expression of Divine Source; along with my wife, my kids, my occupation, a nice meal on the table, and a little sunshine on my face…but it’s just not going to happen that way all of the time. I need some tools to help lift me over the self-created obstacles that block my spiritual view, especially when I like those obstacles. I need ways to trick my ego into leaving the room, so I can lock the door behind him and be happy in a room full of transcendent connectedness—a room with a view of Heaven. 

      In this human form, I find material life is like a vacuum—especially since it comes with so many attachments. It's easy to get sucked into all of the common biases, day-to-day definitions, and material demands of my life. While I can forget my divine connections in an instant, it seems that any time I’m not truly present, I can instantly become obsessed with all the material things that "I am supposed to be." I can quickly forget my own Divine Source.           
      All of the temporary aspects of my life—the externals—have always been changing, even when I don’t want them to; and it’s the instinctive, unconscious effort to control these changing parts of life that sucks us in, isn’t it? One of the best spiritual tools I’ve ever come across is a simple language trick that helps me divide what parts of my life are always changing from what parts aren't. It may be obvious to you that grammar isn’t my strong suit, but even an amateur analysis of sentence structure can help open the window in my heart up to a superior view of of The Divine, in a way.

      Ramana Maharshi, a wonderful 20th century Indian swami, put his finger right on an important point of fact when he simply said (and I paraphrase): “The only important part of "I am this, or I am that" is the "I Am" part. It is always the second half—the "this or that" part that is the problem.” With that helpful grammatical foot up from the good Swami, we can see the distinction between the start of those statements we make about ourselves, "I am," and the finish, "this or that," and what an easy way it is to separate spirit from the material:
      "I am bored; I am an American; I am still waiting to get paid for that job; I am victimized by my landlord; I am smarter than all of those people are; I am detaching from that; I am very spiritual." 
      What changes and what doesn't change in all of those statements? You'll notice the second part, the "this or that" object is what changes, or can always change. It’s the movable part. The first part, the subject "I Am" always stays the same. So if we simply drop the second part, the first part is our connection to the eternal Self—the part that we all share! In this easy, open-ended way, we’re directed straight into the mystery, the common ground that we all spring from and stand upon. It's how we are all the same. That little I Am can compassionately connect us to each other, and to all of Nature, all the plants and animals, the oceans and the Earth—even to the stars and the Universe itself. It’s a pretty big trick for such a little bit of grammar. 

      Then it’s hard not to notice how that second part grammatically separates us from The Divine, by opening the door to our painful regrets, fantasies, expectations, and sense of self-entitlement: 
      “I was once the Homecoming Queen; I was really the first person to use that technique; I am more deserving of that promotion than anyone else; I am going to lose weight.” I am quite sure that none of that really matters.
      Just catching ourselves and stopping at "I am" immediately reconnects us to the real substance of Life, and appropriately disconnects us from the unnecessary desires, fears, conceits, and the like—our troublesome attachments to the vacuum of the material. 





Read about this and much more in the new book: How to Get to Heaven (Without Really Dying), Wisdom From a Near-Death Survivor is due out early 2018, from Llewellyn Worldwide can be pre-ordered online. The first book: How to Survive Life (and Death), A Guide To Happiness In This World and Beyond is available everywhere – but ask for it it at your local bookstore!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

"Transcend the Turmoil"


Transcend the Turmoil
A Different Definition of Success


a working book title (for 2020?)
©2018 Robert Kopecky

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Animals Are Our Partners in The Sacred: An Excerpt


   

This selection about recognizing the Sacred and spiritual stewardship is excerpted from 


      Our continued misuse of the sacred expression of animals to feed
our needs is quite harmful to our spiritual growth and realization.
This idea may sound extreme to you, but you can test it within yourself.
Does it make you uncomfortable to seriously consider livestock
factory conditions and methods of animal breeding and slaughter?
Look it up, focus on the actual techniques, and honestly consider
it in your own experience, and if it makes you uncomfortable at all,
you’ll know that you’re doing spiritual damage to yourself. You’re
making it virtually impossible to realize the graceful potential of Life
that’s available to us all when we recognize and respect the Sacred in
all things.
      Overlooking this potential is easy when we don’t recognize the
Divine Nature of Life, but many of us don’t think we can live any
other way. Acknowledging the Sacred in all things brings a saner and
more spiritually responsible way of living to light. For example, the
big beautiful steer we feel we must rely on for a source of protein got
big and beautiful by eating grass, so a more rational option, on every
level, is to do what benefits all Life, and try switching to a vegetable
protein–based diet. If it’s too big a leap at first, then take it a little at
a time. Look for providers who practice compassionate methods of
raising livestock—who treat, pasture, and feed animals in humanely
natural, spiritually evolved ways. Look at this issue from a spiritual
perspective—primarily as a respecter of Life, then as a responsible
steward of the planet.
     Proof of this improved reality exists in embodying all the benefits
that a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle can bring. Not only will you always
have more and better energy pouring through your body, and be
physically much healthier by every available measure, but you'll also
likely live a lot longer. You'll find it easier to maintain a better attitude,
and to be happy—free from the subconscious guilt of participating in
any unnecessary exploitation of the Sacred. Instead, you'll elevate
your spiritual well-being by consciously celebrating it in every form.
It's the single best way you can personally address the extreme
environmental destruction and waste that animal exploitation inarguably generates, and you'll comfortably contribute to the recovery of the environment and the spiritual balance of the world.