spirituality/religion

Why ritual?

When I was a kid, ritual was something boring that happened in a church or synagogue, that had nothing to do with me — and no point that I could see.
When I was first an active real estate broker, I had the good fortune to have a buyer client who needed to get out of a purchase contract on a perfectly good condominium (and I do mean perfect — the contractor’s inspection, for once, found exactly nothing wrong). I thought to call a feng shui expert (this was before almost anyone had heard of feng shui), and the expert got her out of the contract because the location of the condo was bad, and incurable.

A while later, when she bought a townhouse nearby, he inspected again, and then did a house blessing ritual immediately upon closing. That was eye opening! We stood in the tiny garden, and said different prayers over a vase she’d bought to put in the entry hall. I psychically saw different colors stream into the vase with the different prayers! When I checked with the expert later, the colors did, in fact, match the colors associated with the ‘deities’ for each prayer! So that’s what ritual objects were meant to be — objects that carried spiritual energy! And the point of that ritual was to bring those energies into the house.

This year’s Thanksgiving, an elegant, sit down dinner for 18, taught me even more about ritual: what it is, and why it is. Every year, after Thanksgiving, I write notes about what worked and what didn’t, along with ideas about how to make things go more smoothly. I take photos of the set up, too — table placement for however many there are that year, place setting, etc. I keep all the once-a-year recipes with those notes, too. So each year, Thanksgiving gets easier for me, and more fun for my family and friends. I’ve learned that we should go around the tables, each saying what we’re thankful for before we pass out the soup. I’ve learned that kids make great soup plate runners, serving diners while I ladle soup in the kitchen, that turkey cooks surprisingly fast at 500 degrees, and that a bus bucket in the kitchen keeps clean up much more organized.

OMG, that’s a ritual! Rituals are just ways of doing things that work, so you do them the same way, over and over. Not only are they effective, but they also help people know what to expect, which makes everyone comfortable. I think the problem with the church/synagogue rituals to which I was exposed as a kid was that they had in some way outlived their usefulness — or that the true spirituality behind the form had been lost over time.

Hollis Polk is a personal coach (www.888-4-hollis.com), who has been helping people create lives they love for 15 years, using neurolinguistic & hypnotherapy techniques, decision science, clairvoyance & the common sense learned in 20+ years of business. She is an NLP Master Practitioner, hypnotherapist & has a BSE in engineering from Princeton & a Harvard MBA. She is also a successful real estate broker, investor & business owner.

The Neural Buddhists – New York Times

The Neural Buddhists – New York Times

Hollis Polk is a personal coach (www.888-4-hollis.com), who has been helping people create lives they love for 15 years, using neurolinguistic & hypnotherapy techniques, decision science, clairvoyance & the common sense learned in 20+ years of business. She is an NLP Master Practitioner, hypnotherapist & has a BSE in engineering from Princeton & a Harvard MBA. She is also a successful real estate broker, investor & business owner.

Big Brain Theory: Have Cosmologists Lost Theirs? – New York Times

Cosmologists make psychic phenomena look… normal? or at least a lot less weird than a possible reality:

Big Brain Theory: Have Cosmologists Lost Theirs? – New York Times

Hollis Polk is a personal coach (www.888-4-hollis.com), who has been helping people create lives they love for 15 years, using neurolinguistic & hypnotherapy techniques, decision science, clairvoyance & the common sense learned in 20+ years of business. She is an NLP Master Practitioner, hypnotherapist & has a BSE in engineering from Princeton & a Harvard MBA. She is also a successful real estate broker, investor & business owner.

The web of creation, part 2

I have recently had a vision of the physical world as a (probably) 5 dimensional matrix, populated by intention. Here’s what I mean:

Imagine that you are looking through a window screen at a tree. At first, you notice the screen, because it is right in front of you, and then, as you pay attention to the tree, its leaves, bark, the way its branches sway in the breeze, you stop noticing the screen.

Now imagine that the screen is three dimensional, or rather four dimensional, because it exists through time. Now imagine that there’s at least another dimension to this. This is the matrix that turns the non-physical into the physical, the basic stuff of the physical universe. Now imagine that the tree exists inside this matrix (because it does). The tree is actually created by intention, from the pure potential held in the spaces between the matrix.

The matrix can be likened to female energy, the intention to male energy. Together, they make the world. Neither alone is enough to create physical reality. You need the female to hold and give form to the male intention.

Now imagine that each thing in the physical world, from the tree to the window screen, to you, all exist as intentions outside of the physical world. These intentions are vibrational fields, auras, which interpenetrate each other. When you can feel yourself as a field of intention, and everything around you as fields of intention, then they all interpenetrate each other.

This interpenetration is the visual or felt equivalent of a band playing music. You can concentrate on just one instrument, and hear that. Or you can hear the whole piece. Or maybe you can hear the interplay of two or three instruments.

Hollis Polk is a personal coach (www.888-4-hollis.com), who has been helping people create lives they love for 15 years, using neurolinguistic & hypnotherapy techniques, decision science, clairvoyance & the common sense learned in 20+ years of business. She is an NLP Master Practitioner, hypnotherapist & has a BSE in engineering from Princeton & a Harvard MBA. She is also a successful real estate broker, investor & business owner.

How to end war (modest, aren’t I?)

The source of all conflict is one of 2 things:

a belief in, and fear of, scarcity, or
fear of being wrong,

both of which result in feeling unsafe.

How do these create conflict?

A belief in, and fear of, scarcity causes people to attack to get what they believe there is not enough of. That might be a child who lies about the bad things her sister did because she believes there is not enough parental love to go around. It might be a farmer who steals a sheep because he believes it is the only way to feed his family. It might be a country who attacks another because of supposedly scarce resources of oil.

We know these are false — there is always enough love in the universe for everyone, because the universe is made of love, there is generally more than one way to feed a family, and there is more then one source of energy to power the world (the inexhaustible sun and wind come to mind, but there are other possible, less pleasant sources as well.) And that belief in scarcity causes those who are attacked to defend themselves, their families, their possessions and their land. I might add that the belief in the scarcity of life (i.e. that you only have one) and the scarcity of love (you can only love a finite number of people, who are related to you by birth) compound these defenses.

Fear of being wrong is the same as the need to be right. Who hasn’t needed to be right, whether it’s about the toilet seat being left up or put down, or the best career path for my child to take, or which direction the country should go? Being right makes you safe, doesn’t it? If I’m right, if I know, then all will be right in my world. Thus religious certainty becomes important. So if “God told me to” do whatever, then I’m right, which makes me safe. And if I’m wrong about “God’s message”, then what else am I wrong about? What can I be certain of? How can I possibly be safe? My world falls apart. (For a good discussion related to this, read John Dean’s “Conservatives without Conscience”, Chapter 2.)

So when you are angry, or hostile, or feeling anger or hostility from another, ask these questions:

1. What specifically am I afraid of?
2. What is there not enough of?
3. What do I “have to” be right about?
4. What do I need to feel safe?
5. How else could I get what I need?
6. What might my opponent, also known as my partner in this, be afraid of?
7. What does my partner think that there isn’t enough of?
8. What does my partner “have to” be right about?
9. What does my partner need to feel safe?
10. How can I help my partner get what he/she/they need?
11. How are we aligned?

You may find that anger or hostility are completely unnecessary.

Believe that there is enough, in one way or another, and you will find it. Accept that you don’t know, and you’ll find peace.

Hollis Polk is a personal coach (www.888-4-hollis.com), who has been helping people create lives they love for 15 years, using neurolinguistic & hypnotherapy techniques, decision science, clairvoyance & the common sense learned in 20+ years of business. She is an NLP Master Practitioner, hypnotherapist & has a BSE in engineering from Princeton & a Harvard MBA. She is also a successful real estate broker, investor & business owner.