All of it is perfect

Photo by Jonathon Young on Unsplash

Poets and mystics have long pointed to the notion that every single thing is an integral part of the perfection that is… life.

By ‘perfection’, we’re not just talking about things that makes use warm, fluffy, fuzzy, and happy inside. That would only be half — at best — of the grand puzzle.

I’m talking famines, lice, tics, rashes, boils, poverty, constipation, cancer, end-of-days-style weather, senseless crime, fraud, deceit, bad coffee, unexpected phone calls from your kid’s teacher, warm beer, the Hallmark channel, botched haircuts, reruns of Maury Povich at the dentist, bad hair, stubbed toes, bitten tongues, and chicken pox.

I’m also talking about that unexpected windfall from your industrialist grandfather, all green lights in one day, that perfect parking spot at Trader Joe’s, straight-A’s, expressed love from your child, winning at Scrabble, cleansing bowel movements, groundbreaking conversations, raises at work, and dying in your sleep the evening after running a 5k at the age of 85.

And sandwiched in between those things is… you. The divine bubble of your consciousness. In that sacred space lives your innate desire to improve conditions.

Your desire to improve conditions is part of the grand perfection of life.

We’re constantly being called to step up.

This won’t ever stop. Life won’t ever stop asking for more through us.

So we may as well just relax into our roles, right? Stop stressing about it so much.

Maybe then we could just put one foot in front of the other and engage with life knowing this isn’t some urgent race towards a finish line, but rather a surrendering to a divine tug that pulls us towards the next step of our unfoldment in this ever-expanding universe.

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It’s not easy turning pro

In my past life, I was a golf professional. Not like the ones you see on television, but a club pro (I ran a shop, gave lessons, etc.).

Anyhow, yes, I was pretty good at a young age. But note that I just said I wasn’t on television. So I wasn’t that good. Just good enough to get in on the business side of it and teach others the game.

At the apex of my career, I remember the stress of going out and playing with friends, family, and members. See, I was working 50–60 hours a week in the shop behind the counter. The last place I wanted to go on my occasional days off was the golf course.

I stopped practicing. 
So my game went to hell. 
Horribly.

When I went out to play with people, they expected me to shoot 67 every time. But when I shot a cool 89, they were stunned. Like, wait a minute, I thought this guy was a pro.

And I was (but remember, not that kind of a pro). It was frustrating not being able to meet up to their expectations. I really wanted to blow them away and impress them. But really, I just wanted to enjoy the game again. Which my ego made hard to do.

I still have a lot of work to do before I become a minister in the credentialed sense. But I’m already seeing the parallels between this field and that from my previous life as a golf pro in this regard. Only, as a minister, you don’t only face this pressure on the golf course. You face it in all waking hours of your life.

Even now that people know I’m becoming a minister (aka: not one yet), I feel I can’t cuss, yell at my dog, or get frustrated when my WiFi signal is bad. This could very well be self-imposed (usually is), but I can’t help but say what I’m making up about it.

When you turn pro, you have to manage the self-imposed gap between reality and the bloated expectations of your ego.

I think it’s similar in most any profession.

How dare a writer use bad grammar.
How dare a teacher not know the capitol of Mississippi.
How dare a marriage counselor get annoyed with her husband.

No one ever said it was easy turning pro. 
But worthwhile? 
Absolutely.


Jonas Ellison is a spiritual counselor and blogging coach who writes shortish preachments in Higher Thoughts on the daily. To jump on his mailing list and get his free email course as a gift of his undying gratitude, do your thing below…

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About this whole ‘unconditional love’ thing

Image: Jez Timms

The phrase unconditional love is an overused, often misunderstood one that many of us find fuzzy at best.

No, I haven’t gone door to door or done any surveys. I just know that it’s never quite made sense to me and I’m sure I’m not the only one. I’ve heard the phrase time and time again, but it’s never really clicked.

When Rory was born, I thought it would click. I thought I’d finally understand what unconditional love meant.

But I soon realized that this may not be true.

Why? Why was this simple concept so hard to understand?

I now see that I was looking at the definition of love the wrong way.

The problem was, I long held the subconscious belief (I know it was subconscious because, if I would have dug this belief up and exposed it to the light of my conscious awareness, I’d have dispelled it) that love meant never getting mad at someone.

So, we had our daughter, and in true fashion, I’d eventually get mad at her.

I knew I loved her, but this subconscious belief made me think that maybe it wasn’t unconditional. Because if it was, I’d never get angry with her. Right?

But just the other day, it clicked. Consciously. I finally got it. (Yes, I’m quite slow…)

It hit me that Rory could stoop to the lowest of the lows in life. She could steal from me, try to beat me up (though I’d totally take her in a wrestling match), lie to me, steal from me — whatever — and as angry as I’d get at her (and I WOULD get angry, for sure), I’d still love her as much as I did on the first day that I looked in her eyes and saw God staring back at me.

In true guru fashion, my daughter taught me this (hey, ADD moment here, but is the word taught in daughter — almost)…

Unconditional love doesn’t mean not getting angry at someone. In fact, getting angry at them is often a sign of a love that runs deep.

The love is the basis of it all. If I didn’t love her, I wouldn’t care what she did. I wouldn’t be effected by her decisions or actions because I’d not be emotionally invested in them.

But I am. And my love for her is infinite. 
I’d even say it’s unconditional.

Damn… She painted on the wall again.


Jonas Ellison is a spiritual writer, teacher, practitioner, and an interfaith minister-in-training. He helps people deepen their lives through applied spirituality while documenting his journey along the way.

To subscribe via email to his updates and exclusive content, click here.

Practice in public

Before I started blogging daily, I was a devout practitioner of Julia Cameron’s ‘morning pages’.

You’ve probably heard of the exercise, but if not, you can learn more about it here (I highly recommend it). It’s basically a daily journaling exercise that’s designed to kill the ‘internal editor’ that holds us back from our best creative work.

When I turned my morning writing practice from private to public, I thought I was going to lose the magic that morning pages offered me. I know there’s certain things that we only give ourselves the liberty to say in private that’s being held back when writing publicly. And I was no longer saying those things.

But on the other hand, I have to say, practicing in public has taken my writing to a whole new level. Creating under the heightened awareness that comes with knowing my work will be in front of a stranger has built my word muscle in the strongest way.

Want to get really good at something? Practice in public.

This is something I’ve long believed in, but just saw spelled out as one of the main principles in Jeff Goins’ new book, Real Artists Don’t Starve (which is awesome, btw).

No, you don’t have to do it daily like I do. But more than you do now. And then increase it as you go along.

Yes, it’s terrifying. 
Yes, you’ll fall face-first in front of an audience.

But there’s no way around that part of it. 
May as well not delay the inevitable.


Psst: Does this post speak to you? Need a little coaching through this process? Take a look at my Medium Mentorship program here.


Jonas writes microsermons and meditations here in Higher Thoughts on the daily. Get one to enjoy with your coffee every morning by subscribing below.

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Stop worshipping the quarterback and carry the ball forward

Image: Abigail Keenan

I feel most Christian religious orders are well-intentioned (although, some not), but have missed the mark in a big way when it comes to Jesus.

Now, please know I’m no Bible scholar (yet), but from the blips and blurps I’ve read and heard, Jesus didn’t want to be worshipped in a physical sense. It seems that the thought of a religion being named after him would make him roll over in his grave (wait, I guess that analogy doesn’t work here, sorry).

Yes, he said things like, “I am the way,” but this must be taken into context from the original translation in Hebrew, etc. When we do this, we see his statements like this in a more subtle, metaphorical, lyrical, non-direct way. (People have written volumes on this and I may go deeper into it someday, but this little daily blog post isn’t the place. Google away, friends.)

Essentially, I feel like Jesus was one of many quarterbacks whose intention was to hand the football of the Christ Consciousness off to humanity, but rather than taking the ball and running with it, they stopped, got on their knees, and started worshipping him.

I feel like he’s kinda like, WTF, guys?! Go!!

Jesus was the quarterback. Our job is to catch the ball and run with it. Not to stop, get on our knees, and worship the dude.

Learn from the great teachers, love them, get lost in them, but you have to realize the divinity they speak of rests in you. Hero worship does no good. They’re pointing to the divinity in you and me.

We have all we need to live a divinely-guided life. This has nothing to do with being religious or pious.

It has to do with having a good business. 
It has to do with having a table full of healthy food.
It has to do with fire pits on cool summer nights.
It has to do with community.
It has to do with making sure people’s rent is paid.
It has to do with making sure our fellow man doesn’t starve.
It has to do with good politics.
It has to do with being true to your word.

I could go on for a long damn time here.

Now, before I close, let me say… If meditating/praying on the name/thought of Jesus helps you connect with that consciousness so you can better make that next play in the proverbial football field of your life, more power to ya.

But treat it like a huddle. Not the point of the game.

Now… Go get ’em, champ…


Jonas writes microsermons and meditations here in Higher Thoughts on the daily. Get one to enjoy with your coffee every morning by subscribing below.

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The breath of life

Image: Léa Dubedout

Today, I want to talk about the story in the Bible (please hang with me here if that word makes you vomit a little) about the creation of the human. I think there’s an amazing point to be made that it seems many have missed the mark on.

Genesis 2 tells us how God made Adam. According to the story, he was the first human being.

Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.
 — Genesis 2:7

This records the mark where the human being became alive. So until the human received the ‘breath of God’, s/he was a lifeless form. S/he was not alive. Not living.

Now, we can take this literally, or we can take this literately (yes, they’re different).

Note: If you’re a literal Bible person, please close this post now. You’ll likely not like anything I say about the Bible and you’re not going to change my mind, so you might as well go find something that aligns with your beliefs in peace. Rock on.

This is a story. I don’t know how you read it, but I see this as the moment when humans became self-aware. When we recognized our thoughts as thoughts.

This God — this Life Force — breathed itself through our nostrils and made us become alive. We had an awareness of this life. We no longer just did what our lizard brain told us to do in order to survive/fornicate/kill.

When this living God breathed life into us, we could choose differently.

We could recognize our souls.

What this story also points to is that our form is not what makes us alive, in the metaphysical sense. My God-given consciousness — the awareness of my soul — is what makes me alive.

Sure feels nice to breathe, doesn’t it?

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To seek the divine is to find it

Image: Philipp Wüthrich

If you’ve happened to come to the end of yourself — like we all do at some point — you might be seeing that Life is much bigger than you previously thought it was. You also might be seeking connection with that thing/presence that is now being revealed in you (as painfully as it may be).

I want you to know you’re there. You’ve made it. Take it easy. This adventure is bottomless. As you sink into it, know that it’ll never totally make sense, but that’s okay.

“You would not have sought Me had you not already found Me.”
 — Pascal

Know that this coming-to-the-end-of-yourself-ness never ends. When you awaken to this notion, what happens is you come to expect it. And you welcome it. You salivate for it, in fact. A part of you must die before a new one is born. Over and over again. The resurrection of your Soul is a lifelong recurrence.

Beware…

If you come to the place where you think you fully understand life, you’ve just made life smaller than you. That, my friend, is impossible.

Life will always be bigger than you can ever imagine.

Always. And in all ways.

This is my prayer for you today…

May you find comfort in your doubt. 
May you find peace in the upheaval of your previous self. 
May you open to the mystery of everlasting life before death. 
And may you know that wonder and bewilderment are the nutrients of the soul.

If you’ve found yourself longing to seek something bigger than yourself, may you realize that you’ve already arrived.

Buckle up.


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Jonas writes short daily stories and preachments on the daily here in Higher Thoughts. Get one to enjoy with your coffee every morning by subscribing below.

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Reason does not oppose love

Image: Lukas Budimaier

I have to keep telling myself this one because it’s so true…

In the heat of the moment, ego gives you a very clear signal of what to do.

Being the core of the split mind, it is all about separating. Divide and conquer. To the ego, when you break the situation in half where the ‘good’ side is over here and the ‘bad’ side is over there, half the battle is done. Then you just get to obliterating the bad and all will be better, right?

Right?…

Division never leads to wholeness.

This is a scientific fact. 
As reasonable as it gets.

From cell to atom to molecule to quark to whatever else exists after that, the universe keeps showing us its infinitude by demonstrating that breaking things down is an endless, fruitless game.

We never get to the essence of anything by dividing it. Division never stops. We can divide and conquer over and over again until the end of time and never get to a place of completion.

Completion just is. All of it is whole right now.

Separation is a fool’s errand. It’s the most illogical thing in the world, but to our ego, it seems to be the best bet.

Bringing this thing back down to earth — back down to the heated moment when the ego screams at us to just start breaking things — it makes so much sense at the time.

I don’t know about you, but looking back, the times I’ve listened to my split mind seem so foolish to the higher Self. I never say, You know what, Jonas, good thing you punched that wall and proved to them who was boss. Or, Wow, Jonas, that was one of your shining moments when you told yourself you weren’t good enough to pursue that thing you really wanted to do. Or even, Daaang, Jonas, that was so awesome how you let those people have their way with you so you could be the ‘good guy’ and play the victim — nice work!

Love looks at these moments and says, with a nurturing grin, something along the lines of, Look at what you were making up in that moment. It shows me that the ‘logical’ thing to do at the time turned out out be the most illogical.

In time, only love is logical.

Speaking of time, if we could only see this when the heat is turned on, we’d save ourselves a lot of it.


[Jonas Ellison is a spiritual writer, teacher, practitioner, and an interfaith minister-in-training. He helps people transform their lives through applied spirituality while documenting his journey along the way. To subscribe via email to his updates and exclusive content, click here.]

You assign the role

Image: Joël Assuied

The only enemies we need concern ourselves with are those of our own household. The ones that hide in the shadows of our own consciousness.

After all…

No outer conditions have any power in and of themselves.

Yes, certain things can bruise us, paralyze us, make us bleed and even kill us. That goes without saying, and there’s no way around it.

But those are just events. Conditions. Effects. We write the inner script for how their meaning translates into our experience.

Are we really too old to do that thing we yearn to do?
Does that person
really control our life?
Are the cards
really stacked against us?
Is there
really no way out?
Does this thing we obsess over
really define us?

Just know that you and I assign our role, not our circumstances. 
(I’d say the Divine/Logos/Source has already assigned the role, we’ve just yet to accept it.)

Even if they come with daggers, pitchforks, and torches.
You and I assign power as to where our faith is.

On the God within (cause).
Or the limitation out there (effect).

The cycle of cause and effect only moves one direction. 
It’s when we get it backwards that we prolong our suffering.


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Jonas writes short daily stories, microsermons and preachments on the daily here in Higher Thoughts. Get one to enjoy with your coffee every morning by subscribing below.

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You drive me nuts

Image: Yana Lizunkova (No, not me and my wife)

So I was listening to Oprah the other day (like ya do) and she was saying how she once had a guest on by the name of Harville Hendrix who talked about how you are drawn to people who represent the healing of both of your parents. She went on to say that she and Stedman would never have made it had it not been for this particular concept hitting home.

I don’t know about you, but for me, this is huge. I see it as plain as day. Relationships are hard. Really hard. Having a bad one is easy, you just let time take its toll and watch it crumble of its own dead weight. But having a good one is grueling.

We can easily see this as the other one’s fault. But in reality, it’s all you. They’re just reflecting back the stuff from your past that hasn’t been healed yet. They’re giving you a divine opportunity to see it, heal it, and transcend it.

Now we can see relationships as the true spiritual partnerships they have the potential to be.

I just wish she’d stop stealing the covers:)


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Jonas writes short daily stories, microsermons and preachments on the daily here in Higher Thoughts. Get one to enjoy with your coffee every morning by subscribing below.

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Thy kingdom come

Part 4 of the Lord’s Prayer series

Image: Nathan Anderson

This is Part 4 of the weekly series where I break down, line-by-line, the Lord’s Prayer and interpret it however I wish (because everyone should do this). This series is inspired by the book, Power Through Constructive Thinking by Emmet Fox. If you’ve missed the previous entries in the series, you can read them all here.


Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.


This one always flew a mile over my head… I used to read this as, the big guy upstairs will eventually get his way and a lot of people are gonna be totally screwed (and hopefully not me).

The problem is when we read spiritual stories/poems/passages like we were reading Harry Potter. Or even worse, like an instruction manual. We’re totally limiting these powerful representations of Truth by not going any deeper than the surface (like we’re used to doing in our culture).

As I read this again and ruminate on it, I see that it points to the idea that our main gig is to express — in a concrete, definite, earthly form — the abstract ideas that the Divine sends our way.

This is creative power. To make something out of nothing. From within to without. Ex nihilo. On Earth as it is in Heaven.

“Thy kingdom come” means to bring more and more Life-affirming ideas into concrete manifestation on this plane.

We are individualized centers of consciousness, designed to align with the Divine, rise above our circumstances, and unleash Heaven on Earth. Each of us has a unique experience — a free will.

This is where it can get buggered up pretty good. Through our free will, we choose which thought system we integrate into this universe — ego or Spirit. Separation or Oneness. Fear or Love.

Our physical world teaches us to choose the former in order to survive. To choose ego. To get ours, at any and all costs.

But when we integrate Spirit, we bring much stronger forces into the fold.

We turn ‘my will’ into ‘thy will’ we’re suddenly equipped with a life not just of our own doing, but one that the whole universe works with.

When we move beyond the small self and surrender to that loving, generous, creative wellspring within, endless inner and outer walls crumble faster than a single brick is stacked on top of another.

It’s here that the paradigm of the individual free will is aligned with Source and ‘thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven’.

But how do we know when we’re on track? How do we know when we’re doing the right kind of work? How do we know when we’re living true to this?

This is where intuition comes in. Unfortunately, there’s no testing kit we can grab at the hardware store that tells us if we’re living true to ourselves. I can only say that, if life is largely dull, restricted, desperate, or uninspiring — if you find yourself constantly drained and angry — I’d say that’s a huge ‘Rerouting’ signal from the GPS of life.

But if you’re largely running on the emotions of interest, curiosity, passion, exuberance, and joy (although those bad seasons will always pop up), we know we’re on the right road. When we’re not constantly playing chess with life and everyone around us, but instead, find ourselves trusting this divine Source within us all to work through us in whatever way it chooses to show up, we’ll then be able to say to life,

“Thy Kingdom cometh.”

“On Earth as it is in Heaven.”


Jonas writes short daily stories, microsermons and preachments on the daily here in Higher Thoughts. Get one to enjoy with your coffee every morning by subscribing below.

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Only love

Image: Andrew Walton

I’ve read it before (maybe you have too):

There’s only two emotions, love and fear (but only love is real).

I’ve read this a couple places (no, I didn’t make it up). I think here and here (sorry if I’m missing a couple others).

The first part of the sentence made sense from the get-go. The part about only having two emotions.

But the part about only love being real got me.

Fear, I’ve always believed, is very real. I’ve felt it in very real circumstances. It’s made my heart beat faster, my fists clench, and my vision narrow.

But now I get it. And I want to share this nugget of truth with you…

Love is the only thing that’s real.

Fear, we humans made up.

It’s a harsh truth, but it works. Think about it…

Love is what holds this whole thing together. Without love, all of it literally crumbles.

Love is…. Ahhhhhh. Yes. You know you’re in a state of love when you’re warm inside. When you’re in the flow. When you can love boldly and all-inclusively without any inhibition (no, I know what you’re thinking, I’m not talking about hedonistically unrestrained carnal sex — if you look closely, there’s a strong underlying feeling of fear/insecurity when one partakes in this).

Love is the fabric of relationship in all of the universe. Atoms stick together and break apart in a certain way. They don’t try to trick each other or harm themselves. They just… Dance.

Fear is a story. Fear is an arrangement we humans made up when we created the idea that we’re separate from the all, and we’ve passed this story down, generation to generation — not only through our words, but through our genetics.

Now… There’s a difference between fear and alertness. If you’re being physically threatened, I’d argue that you’re in a heightened state of alertness. You’re in action, doing whatever it takes to stay alive. Every animal in the world has this instilled in them. This is not the kind of fear I’m talking about.

Fear is when we sit at home stressed out of our minds while we drink clean water, eat garlic bread, and watch Netflix in our J-Crew pajamas.

Fear is when we look at someone’s skin color and automagically deem them ‘dangerous’, ‘lesser-than’, or even ‘the chosen ones’.

Fear is when we have a bad day at the office and come home looking for a fight.

Fear hates itself and projects that hate onto everyone else.

Fear is in us, but it’s not real as far as creation goes. 
Creation just goes on… Creating… 
In Love.


[Jonas Ellison is a spiritual writer, teacher, practitioner, and an interfaith minister-in-training. He helps people transform their lives through applied spirituality while documenting his journey along the way. To subscribe via email to his updates and exclusive content, click here.]

Analog time

Image: Annie Spratt

I was proud of myself. Last night, I finished all my work here on the internets in time and went to pick Rory up from preschool. I walked in the classroom and… didn’t see Rory.

A slight feeling of panic was followed by the warm welcome of the teacher, “Her grandma picked her up,” she said with a confused smile.

Damn… I totally forgot. My mother-in-law had planned on picking Rory up and taking her and her cousin to a movie. As I face-palmed myself and walked out into the parking lot, I thought…

Cool… I have another hour or so.

Immediately, my thoughts went to the computer. If you’re like me, the computer is an extension of your fingers. When your hands aren’t busy, they just gravitate toward something digital. A keyboard. A phone. Whatever glowing screen of choice is your poison — you know what I mean.

For some reason, I took notice of this urge. When things are knee-jerk like this, they cause concern. When they become automatic and unexamined, eventually I start to take notice.

I put my foot down this time…
Nope. Not gonna do it, damnit. It’s analog time.

Analog time. I only had an hour. Sure, I could have read some bookmarked Medium posts, checked Facebook (again), edited some of my posts — a plethora of options were for the choosing.

But if we never cut ourselves off, we’ll never turn off.

We who spend our livelihoods on digital have to do this. We have to set some limits for analog time.

Get out of your head — out of the cloud — and back in your body and the world around you.

Get back into your life. Fix the fence. Hand-wash some dishes. Read a physical book. Throw on a record (yes, a real record). Talk to someone. In person. Hand-grind some coffee and drink it outside on the porch, looking at the sky. Whatever suits your fancy — you know what to do.

Analog time, friends. I know it’s an overplayed theme these days, but it’s that way for a reason.

Our souls are screaming for it, as a culture. 
It’s time we listen.


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[Jonas Ellison is a spiritual writer, teacher, practitioner, and an interfaith minister-in-training. He helps people transform their lives through applied spirituality while documenting his journey along the way. To subscribe via email to his updates and exclusive content, click here.]

Hallowed be thy name

Part 3 of the Lord’s Prayer series

Image: Les Anderson

This is Part 3 of the weekly series where I break down, line-by-line, the Lord’s Prayer and interpret it however I wish (because everyone should do this). This series is inspired by the book, Power Through Constructive Thinking by Emmet Fox. If you’ve missed the previous entries in the series, you can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.


This one blew me away…

Okay, first — rolling it back to when I was a good, guilty Catholic kid, I remember saying this line with a healthy tinge of fear on the back of the tongue.

The Lord’s name is ‘hallowed’. I never looked this up, but I assumed it to mean something like, ‘to be respected and feared’. This went along with the whole not-being-allowed-to-say-god-damnit rule.

Fox presents an entirely new way of seeing this line in the book…

In many ancient spiritual texts, the “name” of a thing represents its essential nature or character. So we’re not slapping a name tag, on God, we’re speaking of the essence of Spirit.

Noted...

Moving on, ‘Hallowed’ means ‘holy, venerated, sacred, whole, wholesome, heal, or healed’.

Mmmkay. This takes the sharp edge off of the whole fear / intimidation / come-at-me-bro-ness of God from childhood. Very refreshing. (Thanks, Emmet.)

Fox goes on to speak of the following passage…

A spring cannot pour both fresh and brackish water from the same opening, can it?
- James 3:11

We also read of analogies where a pear cannot grow on an apple tree, etc. Same concept. Each thing represents its source.

So, if God’s essential nature is whole, wholesome, holy, sacred, etc., and God is the proverbial tree, this means that we — being the fruit — must be the same in nature.

What are the repercussions of this, you might be asking? Like, how can it help us? I’ll tell you…

A lot of times (particularly when we’re force-fed a shit sandwich) a lot of us who’ve been handed the bastardized version of religion from a young age start to have this magical belief that God cursed us with it. Like, maybe we said goddamn it or masturbated one too many times and the old man upstairs has it out for us. So we rail against the sky and we dress in black and start drinking absinthe on Tuesday nights after Bingo.

This is baloney. Stop blaming some supernatural, anthropomorphic super-being in the clouds (I’m speaking to a version of myself here, please don’t take this personally). This storm that is dumping on you right now is not of God. It’s not of anyone. It’s largely a perception problem — a horror story we’re making up and rationalizing through a quite irrational fantasy.

If God’s ‘name’ is truly ‘hallowed’, and our nature is of that, this means, inherently, we’re hallowed too. From birth. Forever. No matter what kind of nonsense we make up about the situation.

We can make things up. We’re human. We’re creative beings. It’s a great thing to be able to do, but it gets us into a lot of emotional turmoil.

Step back from the story and know your inherent hallowedness.

This is your essence. 
This is the name of God. 
Amen.


P.S. I’m trying something new to see if it sticks… I’ve just opened up a membership program for Higher Thoughts. For the price of a taco a month, you can have access to exclusive goodies. Learn more here.


Jonas writes short daily spiritual pyrotechnics and preachments of whimsy on the daily here in Higher Thoughts. Get one to enjoy with your coffee every morning by subscribing below.

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Undivided individuals

Where individuality and unity go on a joyride together

Image: Janko Ferlic

It’s tricky. Much of life, I’ve found, is a grand divine dichotomy.

This and that. 
Either and or. 
Within and without. 
In and Out (sorry, maybe I’m just hungry).*

Get this…

We are individual manifestations of the divine soup that undergirds our experience, but at the same time, we are all connected as one.

We are each an individually distinct way of knowing the universe. But to go deeper, we must see that one way of looking at the meaning of individual is undivided.

There’s no need to set yourself on an island to regain your individuality.

The consciousnesses of each one is distinct from God and from all others, and yet none are separated. How can this be? How can two things be one, and yet not one and the same? The answer is that in matter, which is finite, they cannot; but in Spirit, which is infinite, they can.
-Emmet Fox

Yes, you have a mind of your own, but it’s on spiritual steroids when you realize it’s plugged into the Mind of All.

*Sorry for the inside joke, but you have to live on the west coast in the US to get that one.


P.S. I’m starting a premium membership program for devoted readers of Higher Thoughts. If you haven’t heard about it yet, you can learn more here.


Jonas writes short daily spiritual explosives and preachments of whimsy on the daily here in Higher Thoughts. Get one to enjoy with your coffee every morning by subscribing below.

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Donate

Image: Kimson Doan

I love pouring my heart and soul into Higher Thoughts. I’m an independent writer. I have no editorial staff and I don’t sell ads. It takes a lot of time and love every month to sustain. Keeping it a clean, valuable, ad-free reading experience — which is important to me and, I hope, to you — means it’s subsidized by the generous support of readers like yourself.

So, if you find any joy in it, please consider a modest donation.

Your contributions directly help move me toward being able to write, speak, and share online full-time, while having the freedom to do so without censorship or influence.

If you’re still reading, I’ll take this as a good sign. For somewhere in the neighborhood between the price of a taco and a nice dinner a month, you can become a Supporting Member. You’ll be joining the loyal readers who make Higher Thoughts possible with an automatic monthly donation of $5 or more here:

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: So, can I give more than the base $5 a month?
A: Absolutely! I’ll still love you if you don’t, but the more you give, the more likely I’ll be to provide even more/better content. So, thank you.

Q: What if I suddenly decide I hate you and want to cancel my membership?
A: I promise I won’t get emotionally attached. Any time you’d like to leave, just go. Fine. Go ahead. (Sorry — I’m getting emotional now.) But yes. You can cancel anytime. A couple details, though…

There are no refunds for monthly memberships already charged. And there is no partial or pro-rated refunding, so your membership will automatically expire at the end of the billing cycle.

Q: Will you be doing any special events or meet ups for supporters in the future?
A: Yes! I hope to. When in various cities for various things, I’d like to shoot emails to supporters in that area and have a little meet up. So yes, this is definitely something I’d like to do.

Q: What will the money be used for?
A: Well, tacos, for one. But also bills for the Higher Thoughts office (my garage), and anything else that can lighten my load in other areas so I can focus on making awesome, soulful, impactful things for people like you.


In closing, thank you. Even if you don’t become a member, I’m still indebted to you for making this publication the success it’s become. Here’s to you and your fulfillment and growth into every tomorrow to come.

As Ever,

Jonas

When the butterflies fly away

Image: Matthew Henry

Butterflies in the stomach suck.

What I’ve come to learn is they’re supposed to. 
Because what sucks even worse is not having them.

Butterflies aren’t there to scare you away from what you’re doing. 
They’re a sign you’re living.

When the butterflies fly away, beware. 
And then go find them again.


Jonas writes short daily spiritual explosives and preachments of whimsy on the daily here in Higher Thoughts. Get one to enjoy with your coffee every morning by subscribing below.

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Get an ego

Image: thr3 eyes

As much as I bash on the ego in my writing, I’ve also developed a healthy dose of empathy for those dancing with it.

The key is in consciously dropping the ego. But you can’t let go of something you’ve never held.

Ego-based living is a necessary step in the development of our soul.

You have to develop an ego before you get rid of it.
-Richard Rohr

When I see young people who have incredibly strong egos, I internally high-five them (because actually walking up to them and high-fiving them would be weird).

I now see that they have to go up the stairs to realize the view isn’t so great from up there (and that it took a hell of a lot of effort to see this). They have to find enchantment in the ego and then experience the disappointment it brings in order to consciously, voluntarily release it.

Sound familiar? Yeah… Me too.


[Jonas Ellison is a spiritual writer, teacher, practitioner, and an interfaith minister-in-training. He helps people transform their lives through applied spirituality while documenting his journey along the way. To subscribe to his weekly-ish updates and exclusive content, click here.]

Who art in heaven

Part two of the Lord’s Prayer series

Image: Alphacolor 13

Moving on to the second line in the Lord’s Prayer, we read, “Who art in heaven.”

If the nature of God is of Heaven, we can deduce that man is of Earth. We can even reckon to say that Jesus is pointing to the concept that God is cause and man is effect or man-ifestation.

Cause must be expressed through manifestation. Express means to press outward or to bring into shape and form what exists implicitly.

What if we saw everything around us in physical form as expressions of the Divine?

What if this was the home, work, laptop, dog, and underwear of the Divine? What if it was all part of some higher order? How differently would our world look, feel, and respond?

This is the power relationship. Cause and effect, God and man, formless and form, heaven and earth — consciously working as one.

“Trying to have manifestation without Cause, is atheism and materialism. Trying to have Cause without manifestation leads man to suppose himself to be a personal God, and this commonly ends in megalomania and a kind of paralysis of expression.”
-Emmet Fox

We each have our own roles. God and human. One, but not the same.

Our Father, who art in heaven… seeking expression through us humans who art on Earth.

And so it is.


This is Part 2 of the weekly series where I break down, line-by-line, the Lord’s Prayer and interpret it however I wish (because everyone should do this). This series is inspired by Power Through Constructive Thinking by Emmet Fox. If you haven’t yet read part 1 and would like to, click here.


Jonas writes short daily spiritual explosives and preachments of whimsy on the daily here in Higher Thoughts. Get one to enjoy with your coffee every morning by subscribing below.

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Do the Big Work

Image: Jordan Whitfield

Yeah, you can do the small work. You can try to find the thing that takes the least amount of effort and makes the most money. As soulless as it may be.

Or you can do the Big Work.

I don’t know what your Big Work is. Only you do. 
You have your Big Work. I have mine.

But it usually involves butterflies in the stomach, blood on the knuckles, sleepless nights, difficult conversations, outright doubt, gravel embedded into knees, and vomiting alongside the road.

Yes, all the good stuff. And you oddly find this tortuous thing nudging you out of bed in the morning.

The Big Work isn’t called Big for no reason. It’s ominous. It carries very little sense of certainty besides the surety of that flame being ignited in your soul while doing it.

At a certain point, you wonder how you’re going to do this Big Work alone. You eventually reach the end of yourself and you either burn out or…

You realize you can’t do the Big Work alone. And you begin to wonder why you would even want to.

Do you think your ego is the greatest power in the universe? 
Or do you believe there’s some greater Force available to assist you?

I’m not talking dogma or belief systems. I’m talking about a way of being and working and loving in the world.

So whatdya think? Gonna hit that snooze button again?


[Jonas Ellison is a spiritual writer, teacher, practitioner, and an interfaith minister-in-training. He helps people transform their lives through applied spirituality while documenting his journey along the way. To subscribe to his weekly-ish updates and exclusive content, click here.]