Reach For The Stars!

REACH FOR THE STARS!

Hey, everyone

GOOD morning!

Hard as it may be to believe looking around you right now, all of this craziness is presenting us with OPPORTUNITIES for a FAR better world and a FAR more compassionate civilization that serves the needs of ordinary people.

Like all things in life, it’s a choice. We can seize these opportunities or we can be seized by a million possible dystopias that fill our minds.

When we do the latter, who wins? Not us.

I’m a FIRM believer that despite the human past and even the human present, we are a good species at heart. We have enormous potential. We are meant to reach for the stars literally, but first we must raise our faces out of the dirt and toward the sun.

We have 10,000 years of conditioning that mostly divides us, mostly makes us afraid to trust, compels us to hold on to our dogmas in ways that don’t even serve us.

We are better than that. You are better than that. I am better than that.

The inertia of our thinking pulls back into our divisions, back into our fears, back into our tribes.

Just like a rocket headed for space, we have to achieve escape velocity, if we are going to escape the gravity of the past.

It’s hard work. It’s easier just to fade back into “Us” and “Them” thinking. It’s easier to say I’ll do it tomorrow or next week or next year.

It’s tough to say it begins right here and with me.

People often say, “I’ve tried positive thinking and it doesn’t always work.”

It’s true positive thinking doesn’t always work, but it GREATLY increases your chances for happiness and success.

Sadly, negative thinking does nearly always work. No one who ever thought they couldn’t did. No one who ever doubted humanity contributed to its advancement.

In two days here in The United States, we are going to celebrate these words…

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

That’s still the dream we ALL have. We all seek life. We all seek liberty. We all seek the freedom to pursue happiness.

We’ve all fallen short. You have. I have. Our “adversaries” have. The man who penned those words did.

Yet the principles embodied in that statement transcend all our failures to live up to it. Those words brought a change in law. It’s time for us, 244 years later, to finally make it a change in hearts.

We come into this world naked and crying. We all leave the same way. It’s the difference we make in between that matters. I know you came here to achieve something great. We all did.

Let’s get to it. If we all focused more on what we’re here to do and less on the hurdles. amazing things can and will happen.

Everyone stay safe. Everyone stay well. Everyone reach for a star today.

Ray

Let the Earth Be Your Witness – Day 113 of 365 Days to a Better You

from You have a right to be here and be who you are!

As you might have noticed, I enjoy pulling concepts from a wide array of sources. Today I want to talk about your inherent right to be the person you came to the planet to be and where that right comes from.

declaration_of_independence-national_archives-2In western philosophy, there’s this idea of Natural Law. Its principles were readily accepted by many of the American Founding Fathers, Jefferson particularly. It’s the idea that there are certain rights we have simply by virtue of being human. They flow from God, Nature, the Universe…however you wish to term the foundational source.

This is evidenced in The Declaration of Independence when Jefferson wrote:

“We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

This is, perhaps, history’s most famous expression of Natural Law principles. What is a Natural Law and why are they inalienable? In a nutshell, they are inalienable because they are held to be true regardless of any “Positive Laws” (human-made laws) instituted by any government. In the Natural Law philosophy, any Positive Law that abridges a Natural Law is not deemed legitimate.

buddha_earth_witness_mudra
Buddha touching Earth in the Earth Witness Mudra.

There’s another very famous expression of this concept from a very different time and part of the world. In the story of the Buddha’s enlightenment, he is tempted and threatened by Mara (essentially the devil in western terms) to prevent him from attaining Nirvana.

“What right have you,” Mara questioned, “to be sitting here making this claim? Return to your life of luxury, Oh, prince.”

Buddha simply placed his hand on the Earth and asked it to bear witness to his worthiness and it is said the Earth shook in assent. He was calling on what western philosophers would call Natural Law to prove his worthiness to be right there making his claim to enlightenment.

Mara bowed in defeat because he had no answer to the Earth’s approval.

Power hack: You live in a world where many authorities attempt to assert control over you, your thoughts, and your selfhood. You should be clear and know that there are rights inherent to you for no other reason than you are a living, breathing human being. They cannot be taken away from you by any force.

That’s not to say these forces won’t try. Many authorities in this world will not accept defeat, as Mara did. Many people who wave flags on patriotic holidays don’t really believe in these principles.

You, however, are the ultimate arbiter and the final decision-maker of your freedom in this regard. As Viktor Frankl, author and holocaust survivor wrote:

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

These Natural rights are yours, regardless of anyone’s opinion. Knowing that is power. Acting on it is self-actualization.

Be your truest self!

Ray

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