Saturday, September 15, 2018

An Oldie but Goodie, Reissued

     I recently found on my overflowing bookshelf a marvelous little biography entitled Road to Siena: The Essential Biography of St. Catherine.  I didn't know this until I started out, but it was originally published by Edmund Garrett Gardner in 1907.  Fortunately for modern readers, Jon M. Sweeney came along and edited it, rendering sentences and wording to fit the current age.  It's an easy, informative read.  And if that doesn't convince you, Evelyn Underhill, the great compiler of mystical writings and thought, referred to Gardner's biography of Catherine of Siena as "the best modern biography."  That's high praise.

     What I liked about this book is that it presents both the historical context of her life as well as personal details without intruding by offering unfounded psychological analyses.  I'm sure you've read books where the biographer tries to make a point about someone's psychological makeup that after a while feels tawdry or even gossipy.  You won't find that here.  It's well written, well-paced, and presents a woman in all her complexities in an age very different (and in some ways very much the same) as our own.

     Catherine of Siena knew early on that she was destined to work for her Lord, and she did so to the best of her ability.  She lived during a perilous, rocky time when governments were unstable and religious institutions racked by hypocrisy, scandal, and division.  She spoke her truth to power and worked for peace and stability.   She died at the age of thirty-three, having left behind 380 letters, twenty-six prayers, and her Dialogues, which some have compared to Dante's style.  This mystic deserves your attention.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Another Thought for Today

A pair of quotes for today:
It is a spiritually impoverished nation that permits infants and children to be the poorest Americans.  (Marian Wright Edelman)
How can we even begin to disarm greed and envy?  Perhaps by being much less greedy and envious ourselves; perhaps by resisting the temptation of letting our luxuries become needs; and perhaps by even scrutinizing our needs to see if they cannot be simplified and reduced.  (E. F. Schumacher)
(image courtesy of


Saturday, September 1, 2018

A Thought for Today

A pair of quotes for today:
We live in the richest country in the world.  There's plenty and to spare for no man, woman, or child to be in want.  And in addition to this our country was founded on what should have a been a great, true principle -- the freedom, equality, and rights of each individual.  Huh!  And what has come of that start?  There are corporations worth billions of dollars -- and hundreds of thousands of people who don't get to eat.  (Carson McCullers, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter)
Have compassion for all beings, rich and poor alike; each has their suffering.  (Buddha)
(image courtesy of

Saturday, August 25, 2018

A Book for New Times, Part 3

     I've been writing about Maureen St. Germain's book, Waking Up in 5D: A Practical Guide to Multidimensional Transformation.  There was a section in it that would interest those who want a different view of Twin Souls.

     In the chapter "Finding your Fifth Dimensional Way," she writes:
Your soul can occupy two bodies.  There is more than one version of you.  This turns the whole belief in one soul, one body upside down!  What else do you believe that may not be true?  It's time to expand your concept of reality.  If you are honest with yourself you must accept there is more going on than you could possibly imagine from a linear perspective.
     My understanding of her point of view is that every "road not taken" results in an alternate reality, like a parallel universe, in which you also exist, living out those choices not taken in this reality.  So, there may be more than two, or four, or even a hundred, versions of you.  I still need to ruminate on this, but it is an interesting concept.

     I do agree, however, with a point she makes about balancing the male and female parts of oneself in order to evolve spiritually.  She writes,
Ideally both men and women aspire to develop the balanced self, which is the full expression of the divine feminine and divine masculine in either sex.  It is conveyed through the physical expressions of compassion and receptivity on the female side, and the expressions of balance, order, and power on the masculine side.  Each of us is called to this balance and will continue to encounter all of these aspects until we have achieved mastery through this balance.
     She believes that achieving the balance of the divine feminine and masculine is key to achieving peace and justice in our society, and healing of our world.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

A Book for New Times, Part 2

     Last week I was praising the book, Waking Up in 5D: A Practical Guide to Multidimensional Transformation by Maureen St. Germain, which has many helpful hints about how to move into fifth dimensional awareness.

     Today I wanted to discuss a couple of parts that I think would be helpful to understand what it feels like to be in 5D.  One of the keys, she writes, is our emotions.  When we are in fifth dimensional awareness, we still feel our emotions, but we aren't controlled by them.  We don't stew in anger or get paralyzed by fear.  Rather, we react with objectivity, acceptance and compassion.  We let go of control and expectations.  We dwell in the moment and allow our feelings to be present and then pass away, like leaves on a river (my metaphor, not hers).

     To get into that 5D awareness, Ms. St. Germain suggests that we watch our words.  Rather than using words or phrases that come from a dualistic point of view, she suggests that we replace them with objective, non-judgmental words or phrases.  For example, rather than saying, "That's terrible," or "How bizarre," she offers the replacement phrases, "That's interesting," or "How noteworthy."  Do you see how the judgment phrase is replaced by a more objective phrase?  It takes out the emotional charge as well.  She provides a page-long list of such replacements phrases.  It's worth checking out.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

A Book for New Times

     I recently finished a book entitled Waking Up in 5D: A Practical Guide to Multidimensional Transformation by Maureen St. Germain.  If you believe that the New Age is upon us and want to know how to prepare, this book is for you.

     The author, a specialist in personal development and spiritual awakening, has detailed how we are changing into fifth dimensional awareness.  By this she means that we are evolving from a third and fourth dimensional awareness, which are dualistic, us-versus-them, tribalistic ways of being.  In the fifth dimension, she writes, we are more aware that we are all one, that love is all there is, and that karma has no more power.  I still have trouble with conceiving a world without karma (the little, mean part of me wants to see a couple people get what I think they deserve), but if our world could realize that what we do to others we do to ourselves because we are all one, it would go a long way toward peace and justice on our planet.

     Physically, we are changing from a carbon-based body to a crystalline-based body.  I have difficulty visualizing that, but I guess we'll understand better by and by.

     If you want to know more about what this next step in our evolution will be like, this book is for you.  Just a couple of caveats: an editor would have done great things to help give this book more polish by nipping the excessive use of exclamation marks (it feels like shouting) and the occasional paragraph where the same sentence appears twice.  As for me, I would have liked to have more information about some of the meditation practices without having to go on her website to order more books or downloads.  Still, those are relatively minor things to overlook for the good information in this book.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Talking Trees and Other Thoughts

     Some time ago I read an article in which certain scientists were studying how trees communicate with each other.  Apparently, trees send out hormonal signals when they sense danger (such as an animal or insect eating them), change the taste of their leaves so repel invaders, and even assist their offspring to grow by shielding them from harsh environmental factors and bringing up water to the smaller trees' roots. And scientists are barely scratching the surface of what trees are able to do. As one scientist, Allen Larocque said, "We don't know what they're saying with pheromones most of the time.  We don't know how they communicate within their own bodies.  They don't have nervous systems, but they can still feel what's going on, and experience something analogous to pain.  When a  tree is cut, it sends electrical signals like wounded human tissue."

     Wow.  How cool is that?

     But this got me to thinking -- during the times that I have been in empathic contact with trees, what am I "hearing"?  Am I in contact with their pheromones?  Is it some quasi-electrical communication?  Or am I sensing something deeper -- like their essence or even their soul?

     I really don't know.

     But I would like to think that someday humans will realize that they are not the only thinking and feeling species on this planet.  We need to greatly expand our idea of what life is.  Even Mary Oliver, the wonderful poet, has remarked on how stones talk to her.  Who's to say they don't?

     And once we make this grand realization that we aren't the only thinkers and feelers on planet Earth, perhaps we will take the giant step to treating all other creatures and rocks and pine cones and trees and dandelions and earthworms with compassion and care.  Wouldn't that be something?

(photo courtesy of