My Spiritual Journey
December 28 to January 3 Edition
My Spiritual Journey
My story on philosophy was published September 8, 2013 in Philippine Panorama. This is the cover letter:
Our existence is a miracle, "a free gift from moment to moment," says George Santayana.
But our spirit is beyond our control. The spirit, through an act of self-examination, learns a significant revelation: it's utter powerlessness.
"But the moral presence of power comes upon a man in the night," he says. "It re-appears in every acute predicament, in extremities, in the birth of a child or in the face of death."
Philosophy sets the mind free from the dangers of absolute convictions. At the same time, it teaches the mind to use its own powers of logic and intuition to see how valid an idea is, or whether it is worthy of further study, rather than swallowing the whole thing, lock, stock and barrel.
The greatest minds in history all believed in a reality that transcends mere existence. My new story, "What Philosophy Can Teach Us," is about timeless ideas with practical applications in our daily lives.
Santayana shared all these reflections in a speech in a speech at the Hague in 1933 to commemorate the tercentenary of the birth of Benedict Spinoza, who's also one of the philosophers featured in this story. Completing the cast of great minds are Rene Descartes, Arthur Schopenhauer, John Stuart Mill and Francis Bacon.
"Power comes down to me clothed in a thousand phenomena," says Santayana. "In submitting to power, I learn its way: from being passive, my spirit becomes active." So "therefore all the operations of universal power, when they afford themes for perception, affords also occasions for intellectual delight."
My Spiritual Journey
I have changed so much since I began the most important adventure in my life in late 2012: the journey within.
I view karma differently now: it's not a mechanical engine for reward and punishment. Everything you do (or don't do) will have a reaction.
For your soul to grow, you need to experience the pain you've inflicted on others. If you've been cruel in a past life, then you'll spend the next lifetime learning humility for you to achieve karmic balance.
I see the workings of the universe when I'm swimming out in the sea. It's a perfect metaphor because the ocean has deep metaphysical significance. The water just respond to what I do, whether I swim or dive or just float on my back. There's no judgment whatsoever. Just action- and reaction.
Our purpose in life is to purify our souls so we can return to our original state of Oneness with God. We are all connected. From the perspective of infinity, you cannot hurt me without hurting yourself.
The Biblical adage "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth" is one of its most misunderstood passages. Some people even invoke it to incite revenge. But it's not about vengeance. It's about karma.
"It means that a person who takes the eye of another will inevitably experience the same trauma," says the Higher Self of Shirley MacLaine in Dancing In The Light.
It's one of the books I've been reading over and over for the past months together with Superbeings and TheSilva Mind Control Method For Getting Help From The Other Side. I just re-read large chunks of it as I write this piece near midnight on Friday, November 9, 2013, as "Super Typhoon" Yolanda (aka Haiyan) lashed outside my balcony window in my apartment in the city. I have decided to stay in Cebu because there's a small sea-side town down south where I can call home.
I know that my spiritual education and, hopefully, full awakening, should be my priority. I just do the best that I can to keep my focus.
Shirley MacLaine's Out On A Limb is what actually pushed me onto my own search for self discovery. My inner odyssey inspired me to write "The Journey With Shirley MacLaine," my spiritual autobiography.
"Fate moves in mysterious ways," I wrote on my story, which got published January 2013 in Philippine Panorama, the Sunday magazine of The Manila Bulletin. "Things happen, and someday, if you're lucky, you'll be able to connect the dots, and find something that wasn't there before – even if it's been there all along..."
"It is a karmic statement, not a statement of punishment," continues her Higher Self. "You reap what you sow. It is a manifestation of the cosmic law of cause and effect which is administered by the souls themselves, not by the authority of the penal code or a government or even by God. The God energy is no judge of persons. In fact, there is no judgment involved with life. There is only experience from incarnation to incarnation until the soul realizes its perfection and that it is total love..."
On Emotional Independence
December 14, 2013
7:21 a.m., Saturday
My track record in work is at an all-time high.
It's gratifying though I know they're like wisps of vapors waiting for the next breeze.
At the same time, a totally different event last night put me in an introspective mode. I got a gentle reminder about my vow to achieve detachment.
What I want is to be able to serenely glide above the turbulent seas of human passions and emotions. I have lived independently since I was fourteen. I know I can completely turn away from people who don't deserve my friendship.
The funny thing is: the fact that I'm alone in the world is what makes me seek companionship. Looking back, it is this primordial longing that gave me the greatest agonies in my life. But it would be foolish to retreat from the world because that doesn't help any. And besides, being away from my fellowmen tends to makes me want to connect to them even more.
I'm completely independent financially,and I know I'm more emotionally solid and grounded than most people with their personalities constantly shifting as reflections in a hall of mirrors. I would even say that my ego is more titanium-solid compared to almost all of the countless folks I've met in all my travels, with their moods that zoom like a rollercoaster across the Himalayas. I care about friends but there have been times that I cared too much, always forgetting that not all of them can give the kind of respect and loyalty that is to last a lifetime.
I just had an epiphany. The way to be emotionally independent is to lose the fear of losing them if I show how completely self-contained I can really be.
On Batangas City
It's November 9, 2013 as I write this.
I'm in one of the few quiet, shady areas of Cebu's I.T. Park.
This is my story on my trip to Batangas City, more than a hundred kilometers south of Manila, on the third week of November 2012.
I've never seen anything so blue as the sea beyond the Batangas Pier. And I'm supposed to be color-blind.
I was there checking the schedule of the inter-island ferry that will take me to Mindoro where I'll stay with Greg, my best friend in high school in Las Piñas which is one of the high schools I've gone into.
Then, from Mindoro, on to Bacolod and Iloilo.
The deep blue ocean soothed my soul. Yet it ignited a fire in me to sail beyond the beckoning horizon. Water ignites fire.
I went to visit D, one of the figures in my early childhood, in Libjo Central in Batangas City. We haven't exactly kept in touch through the years; I just knew that she's been living there forever. I imagine I looked like a stranger to her now: I was still in grade school the last time we're together. I always bring food whenever I visit someone, though not during funerals. I brought some bibingka, rice cakes cooked over charcoals in customized clay stoves. I got them from the plaza which have been turned into a night bazaar complete with a giant Christmas tree. If it wasn't high noon, what I would've liked was a cup of the world famous Batangas barako coffee.
I sought refuge from the stark midday heat. I found myself in the old church across the plaza where I had my picture in this story taken. The statues gave me goosebumps. I took these photos.
The church has stood for centuries. It has been like a sentinel, watching puny mortals come and go, since the Spanish conquest in the sixteenth century. The true story behind the Masonic symbols will perhaps never be known. A sense of history made me feel more alive, surrounded by the vestiges of a civilization that has died a long time ago.