The Chapters of Our Lives……Signposts along the Journey

 September 7th, I started my 71st year on this planet.  Since this makes me a “Baby Boomer” I know that I have a great deal of company!  We are the largest generation in modern American history which is why so many Boomers are entering or abut to enter their 70’s.  Is growing older a thing to dread or avoid? Am I “washed up”, ready for the recycle bin?  

No indeed, so far I am loving the 70’s!  I can do just about everything I could do in my 40’s and 50’s but perhaps not as often or quite as well!  My consciousness has not gotten older but has gained perspective and grown much less critical and a bit more c’est la vie!  I am wiser and the fires of rebellion, that marred so much of my life and tainted my judgement, have been banked down.  

Inside I still think I am 35 or 40 and that is the key to a long, healthy and happy life.  You only get “old” if you begin to think old, act old and mentally enter God’s waiting room.  

You are not your body; that is just the “earth suite” that we use for life support. That face in the mirror is not you but only a projection of your consciousness.  Say hello to your self as you brush your teeth in the morning!  I wave to myself as I shave and tell myself that I look great with all my silver hair, still sparkling blue eyes and that wonderful Armenian nose.  You are still you and you will only stop being you if you lose yourself in self- pity and regret at becoming older.  

The 70’s are GRAND. Life is so rich!  You see beauty all around you because you have become more contemplative and have the time to see the magnificent beauty of God’s Creation.  The 70’s can open your heart because you realize that if you get 30 more years on this planet that is a blessing.  You had better feel deeply, love unreservedly while you can!

Do great things. write that novel,  laugh, make love, cherish your family and have fun because you don’t have an indefinite lease on life.  Time is a wasting!

As we move along the highway of life our viewpoints, attitudes, wants and needs change.  Each era of life has its own sweet and bitter sweet aspects.  If we have the wit we can grow and deepen as a person as we pass each signpost on life’s highway.  

At 71 I have seen a lot of life pass by my front door.  I have raised a family, sadly divorced once or twice, many of my generation have had several careers and experienced many potholes in the path of life.  We have made wise decisions and stupid mistakes; both are learning experiences.  

My dear wife and I have also had much joy and much satisfaction in watching our children grow into successful adulthood and begin families of their own.  

Maturity is a time of fulfillment for many people; the time for writing that book, taking that long delayed around the world cruise, or just playing golf anytime we wish.  It has been said that if you are bored in retirement you were a boring person anyway.  In this time of life you become even more of what you really were all along.  You deepen or you shrivel.  The choice is up to each one of us.  

What will you do with the chapters of your life? Will you savor each one like a fine vintage or regret the passing of time and become mired in the “glory days” that seldom were very glorious?  

71 is fun!  Live in the NOW!

May all of your days be full of the sweet juice of life and may the love of God surround you, warm your heart and protect you.

Rev. Dore’ Jacques Patlian, Sarasota, Florida

For more information about Religious Science or the Science of Mind log on to CSL.ORG and perhaps visit the Center for Spiritual Living near you.  You will be most welcome!

Life Creation 101 According to Rev. Dore’

What is this thing we call life?  Does it exist outside of our mind and thoughts or is it just an inside job?   Do we lead a life or are we led down the path of life by outside forces, influences and The Deity?  Is it all “rigged” or are we the driving wheel of our experience and fortune?   Is it determined at birth or ours to create?

Determinism is a belief that your life is predestined and that you have very little real control over your life.  Many believe that your life is written in the “Book of Life” before your birth and that, other than personal tastes and likes and dislikes, your life is a trudge toward the inevitable.  As the Muslims say :Inshalla, “if God wills it”.

I believe that a determinist life is a waste of good time.  If I am not the driver but merely the passenger of life, why bother?  What can be learned, what real accomplishments can I claim? Am I just a pawn on a chessboard?  Was it all just “meant to be”.

Determinism is a popular belief because it almost totally cancels out any self-responsibility.  As the comedian Flip Wilson used to say: “The Devil made me do it!”

Self responsibility is the hardest lesson that children must learn while growing up. Some never learn that they are the authors of their own lives and that they are responsible for every word, choice and action.   They become perpetual children at heart and we all have known some of them in our families and acquaintances. The finger of blame is always pointed outward to God, spouse, luck, parents, ethnicity’, race or just the juxtaposition of the stars at 5:00 AM on September 7, 1945.

You and I are the only people who have been present in our respective lives, every second we live.  No one else, just us!  No fault, no blame, just the understanding that nothing or no one could be responsible for your life or my life but us!

This is the first Principle of Life Creation 101:  We are the driving wheel of our lives.  This frees us to create any life we desire if we have the gumption to get up and make it so.  This idea of the “driving wheel” is also is a license for a do-over at any point.

No victims here!  If I am the producer, director and screen writer of my life, then I may edit and change things at will.  If outside forces created my reality then I am merely a victim and can only cry and mourn my terrible fate.

OK, my life experience is largely my creation, I get that!  But how do I change it?

Change your thinking and change your life.…..that is the slogan and byword of Religious Science and it is the first thing you need to know to begin to understand how to create the life that you long for, desire and deserve.  Your life is a product of your Mind.  Change your mind and change your life.

Next post……how to begin the process and use 4 simple ideas to transform your life in less than six months.  Remember that there is no change unless you change.  More about Life Creation 101 next post.  Join me, won’t you?

Until then… think well, speak well and be well!

Rev. Dore’ Jacques Patlian, Sarasota Florida

 

The Truth About You and I

I know the truth about you and I and I have not even met you yet.  There is an overriding Truth about humanity and about every single human on Earth.

That Truth is that in the basics of life we are all the same.  Yes, we have different exteriors, colors, hair type, mental abilities, sexual preferences,  personalities  dreams and desires.

And yet we are more alike than we are different.  Every human on the planet bleeds red blood when cut or wounded.  Every human cries when sad or hurt. Every human must eat and drink often. Every human on the planet must release liquid and solid waste at frequent intervals and every one of us has a pump we call the heart that circulates the blood that carries the oxygen on which life depends.

Pump stops, we die …all races, all nationalities; death knows no country,  culture or color.

Every single one of us has dreams and aspirations; most of us ponder the mystery of creation, which we explain by one system of religion or another.  Or perhaps we make science our secular religion to explain the unexplainable.

We laugh, we get horny, we love, we hate, we kiss and we fight.  We get hungry and we fast.  We are serene and we are anxious but the one constant about humanity is that we are all cut from the same cloth, made in the same mold and have the same Creator.

Every one of us is born of a woman, conceived with the help of a man, and every one of us will end his or her journey in death.  Most believe that the mind and soul goes on, some believe in “lights out, its over”.  I do believe that we live on many, many times but which of us really knows?

The commonality of humanity needs to be re-stated over and over and over in this age where empathy for our fellow humans is running rather thin.  We need to see the common thread of humanity to realize that the differences are mainly cosmetic and personal.  In our laudable search for diversity we have splintered our societies into constituencies and social and political identities that have had the unintended consequence of dividing rather than uniting the human family. 

We are ONE, Created by one Divine Mind, Great Architect, Ground of Being or just God.  We are made of love and come from love.  Love giving itself by the Creator creating all out of itself and on Earth a joining in love of our parents.

Look in the eyes of the next person you meet and see yourself in their eyes no matter the color of their skin, the shape of their features or the type of their hair. They are you with a different exterior decorator.

Every human wants a happy life.  Every parent wants success and happiness for their children and every mother thrills at the first stirring in her womb.  Every man becomes a father the first time he holds his baby in his arms and he’s hooked for life.  All of us wants our children to advance beyond what mom and dad achieved in this life.

One of my greatest joys is watching my three lovely children building wonderful families of their own; buying their first homes, enjoying rewarding and well paid careers and having good solid, American affluent lives.

This success was no Ozzie and Harriet tale.  It happened in spite of being children of a rather unpleasant divorce and being bi-racial.  They had additional hurdles to jump but that only made them stronger and smarter. They are loved by both parents and they know it and that is what enables them to surmount any obstacle.

Love is the lubrication of the good life.  Empathy is the glue that holds a civil society together .  My RX for America is More Love and a Boatload of Empathy, which is in short supply at the moment; in our body politic and in our conversations with each other.

Until we are together again, reach out to someone who needs encouragement, love or understanding.  See the One, Be the One and live as One.

Rev. Dore’ Jacques Patlian, Sarasota, Florida

RX For a Turbulent Time

Why are so many people in the United States and around the world so pessimistic about their lives and their future?  We hear people saying that this is the “worst of times”. The facts just don’t support this gloomy outlook. By every factual measure it’s one of the best times in human history.  

Here is the evidence:

More people go to bed each night on a full stomach than ever before in human history.  More people are literate than ever before in human history.  More people live in comparative freedom than ever before in human history (90 nations are deemed “free” by the UN and many more are on the road to freedom).

Standards of living are rising all over the world in nations that were the “poster children of poverty” just 2 generations before.  Examples are : India, China, Vietnam, Nigeria, Kenya, Angola, Thailand, Burma, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, Russia, Mexico, most of South and Central America, and many more.

Yes, wages in the US seem stagnant but prices on clothing and basic necessities have stayed level or even dropped.  Housing and education costs have soared and that is a major problem.  Gasoline is near 30 year lows, taxes in many states are low and dropping,  (California and New York are the major exceptions)  Federal top tax rates were 90% in 1960 and are 39% today..  

Yet Americans feel that the “system is rigged” and they cannot get ahead.

There are no major wars anywhere around the globe.  Yes there is the scourge of terrorism in the name of Islam but it kills a few thousand where in the 20th Century two World Wars killed over 100,000,000!  So what’s the problem?  

Why all this “Chicken Little” thinking?

I believe that fault lies in our consciousness not in the world around us.  We are experiencing a major disconnect between the world as it is and the world as we perceive it to be. If we do not snap out of this global funk we shall soon create the world that we fear and that we currently believe is true.  What you perceive, you receive!

Life is what you believe it is, nothing more or less.  Our individual thinking, speaking and the choices that we make flow from our thoughts and words.  This is how we create our individual reality and our collective reality.  We need to wake up and live!

No, I am no Pollyanna!   Heaven on Earth is not here yet, but compared to the 20th Century and its bloody horrors this is a Golden Age.  Let’s get some perspective! Europe in the 14th Century was Hell on Earth with a mini Ice Age (Spain had the climate of Sweden) and 1/3 of the total population dead from war and and the Black Death.  

The Fall of the Roman Empire was the fall of Western Civilization and a Dark Age of 1,000 years ensued.  Now that was the worst of times! 

What has caused this massive malaise?  I believe that the 3 main causes of our global discontent (particularly true in the US and Europe) are fear of globalization,  the loss of empathy and our lack of historical perspective. 

Fear of globalization: this seems to be a feeling that as the rest of the world rises in influence, wealth and happiness; that we are perforce declining.  We are seeing the world as a zero sum game in which for other nations to prosper we must decline.  Instead of seeing great new opportunities to serve and sell to billions more customers all over the globe; Americans today see only that we are no longer the only great nation in the world.  This fear is due to our woeful lack of historical perspective.

Let’s examine the role of the loss of historical perspective in creating the “worst of times” pessimism that is sapping our national spirit.  In the US our educational system has declared History, Civics and Geography irrelevant to life in the 21st Century world.  You can’t get a job with them, you can’t spend them, they are hopelessly “low tech”, so why teach them?  Let’s focus on training for careers.

We can train dogs, dolphins, birds and monkeys but only a human can be educated.  My dear mother always made that distinction graphically.  She said that the mind is the “house in which you live”.  “Will you live in a bare little room or a beautifully furnished palace?”  I took her advice.  Dore’ spent much of his life educating himself and others.  

With no perspective and a short historical memory we act as children; believing the false evidence appearing real that demagogues and fools feed us.

“Make America Great Again”?  Really?  We were only “great” for 20 years after World War 2 because we emerged from the war with a terrible new weapon and an undamaged nation and economy. The rest of the industrialized world was in ruins.  Memories are short, prior to 1941 we were in Depression and isolation from the world.

The British Empire was for 300 years the greatest nation in the world, now they are “little England”.  If there be a great nation in the 21st Century we are still it. 

The Loss of Empathy: The prime RX is the return of empathy to America. Empathy is the human faculty of being able to put yourself in another persons shoes.  It is the ability to identify others as fellow travelers on the road of life, kindred spirits in search of the same things that we want.

Empathy is the ability to look in another’s eyes, no matter what color, ethnicity or religion and see yourself as them.  At base it is the understanding that we all spring from the same source and that, appearances to the contrary, we all are seeking the same things from life:  Love, personal fulfillment,  happy families and prosperity.  When we lose empathy we see those different paint jobs or culture as somehow alien and threatening.  We dehumanize them in our hearts and minds.  The world becomes “us” and “them”.

Soldiers have to lose empathy for their enemies or they could not kill them. Re-claiming empathy is very difficult for returning combat veterans.  Once turned off, the empathy “button” is hard to find again.  Since the US has been in an almost constant state of combat somewhere in the world since 1967, our body politic had hardened and lost empathy on a grand scale.

Imagine the loss of empathy needed to sit in a trailer in Nevada and remotely kill people half a world away.  It is said that there is great turnover among these “pilots” because their hearts and souls just cannot abide what they do.  Yes, it may be sometimes necessary but the cost in individual and human empathy is enormous.

The RX For a Troubled World is the regaining of empathy, without which we become a society of sociopaths.  Regaining a decent historical perspective will give us comparisons that will then allow us to make valid decisions.

These two “fixes” will lead to a celebration of the rise of others in the world, not the fear and envy of them that we are experiencing now.

Ronald Reagan was right:  A rising tide does lift all boats; if only we have the heart to see it.

Until we are together again…….be well, think well and speak well.

Rev. Dore’ Jacques Patlian, Sarasota, Florida  

Visit YouTube.com/revdore to check out my 122 video podcasts all based on the Science of Mind or Religious Science.  Check out CSL.org for more information on Religious Science.

 

Fulfilling the Aquarian Promise

” This is the Dawning of the Age of Aquarius”.  Are you old enough to remember that song from the 70’s?  We are entering a new age of human history as we transition from the First Millennium of the Christian Era into the Second.  In Astrological terms we are in transition from the Taurian Age to the Aquarian Age.

Astrology aside, this is the Age of Humankind in which we finally grow up as a species.  Let’s not blow it!

The Aquarian Promise is that humanity will move from the Taurian emphasis on the physical realm to the Aquarian flowering of the spiritual.  Instead of seeking to subdue and conquer the planet and each other as we did in the last Age, we will finally understand that all that exists, all that is real, is of the Mind, Heart and Spirit. The inner will triumph over the outer.  Jacob will triumph over Esau. But can this really happen? Or is it an old Hippie fantasy?

The choice is up to each one of us.  Our collective consciousness is the thought atmosphere that will act on the Law and produce whatever we agree that we desire. We will all decide whether the Aquarian Promise is fulfilled or fails by what we think, speak and do in the next 50 years.

Will we understand that only in Oneness can this promise come to be?  Will we understand that identity politics fragments our consciousness and our society?Will we realize that the only identity that matters is that of a Divine Human?

 Will we finally realize that individual freedom based on self-responsibility is the high road to paradise on Earth?  Can we learn to disagree without anger hate  and rancor? 

Will we learn that true diversity is organic? Real diversity happens naturally; it is absent only when we put up artificial barriers to prevent it.  We cannot engineer diversity.  It happens naturally; if we would simply get out of the way and let it be.

The early days of Religious Science were an example of organic diversity in action.  In an era of exclusion, there was a rainbow of humanity in many Religious Science Churches, particularly in my home town of Los Angeles, and many other cities around the country.  Why has this changed? We chose to splinter instead of unite. 

What must we do right here and right now to begin our journey to the fulfillment of the Aquarian Promise.  We must create a new social contract here in the United States and around the world.  That contract would embody 6 basic truths. 

1. We are all magnificent creations of the same Creator, Ground of Being, Great Architect, God, Allah.  All are names we give the Divine Intelligence that creates everything that exists.  There are no lesser humans. The Creator does not create junk, all is perfect as it was designed to be. 

2. Since we are all created by the same Spirit, the same Divine Intelligence, we are literally brothers and sisters regardless of color, culture, gender or religion. What is done to one is done to all. What is done for one is done for all.

3. Fear is the root of all evil, not money or greed or hatred.  It’s fear.  All wars have at their root fear of loss: fear of the loss of the homeland, fear of subjugation, fear of diminution.  Hatred comes from fear as does anger.  Racism is fear personified.  To make ourselves feel better we denigrate another human. 

4. Sounds like 1968 but its true.  The only antidote is LOVE.  Love of self comes first.  If you cannot love you, you will have no love for anything or anyone else.  You are a magnificent creation of the Lord of the Universe; who are you to disdain such a fabulous creation as you?

5. God is the fact of all creation.  Call it Spirit, Ground of Being, Divine Intelligence, Great Architect: its all the same power and presence.  God is all there is.  Nothing exists outside the mind of God.  Every human being swims in God as a fish swims in the ocean; therefore when we look at our Brother or Sister human we are looking into the very face of God!

6. Religion is a human effort to explain, codify and understand the Infinite.  There is no one “right religion”.  Religion is a bit like ice cream.  Lots of people like it, many partake of it but each  has their favorite flavor.   Our religion, or lack of it, mirrors our temperament and personality.  I call religion ice cream for the soul.  Stop the arguing over religion!  Rocky Road or Salted Caramel? Its all good!

Religion is today, and always has been, the root of the worst wars, the most heinous crimes against humanity.  However, it opens the heart, heals the spirit, raises us to new heights of consciousness; comforts and consoles.  Most importantly religion provides a moral floor under our cultures.  

The Aquarian Promise can only be fulfilled if we agree to be advocates for good and pledge to be against nothing.  I am aware that it feels noble and exciting to be an activist and be righteously indignant about some slight or injustice.  Protests and demonstrations are by their nature negative and that is the wrong consciousness to get the job done.  What you resist will persist.  

If you really want to midwife change, do it by healing, bringing together, loving not hating which only separates your brothers and sisters.  As Mother Theresa so pungently said: I will not lead an anti-war march but I will march FOR Peace.  

More about “the promise” next post.  

Love one another, be for not against, commune with the Most High God and the Indwelling God, both are you in form.  Until we are together again…….

Rev. Dore’ Jacques Patlian, Sarasota, Florida

 

The Millennial Effect

There is unease, anger, fear and uncertainty; seemingly all around the world.  Religious fanaticism rears its ugly head, most notably in Islam, but all too often in Fundamentalist Christianity, Ultra Orthodox Judaism, and even Hindu Nationalism.  What is happening and why? Perhaps its the Millennium Effect!

With the end of a millennium comes the end of an Age. Often these Ages are given astrological names from the signs of the zodiac.  We are entering the Age of Aquarius; according to my astrologically gifted friends.   Whether you believe that the conjunction of the planets and stars affects the affairs of humans and the course of history is a matter of personal belief.  What we do know is that  periods of unrest and uncertainty accompany the turn of the millennium.

I believe its all about energy since all that exists here or in the cosmos is energy.  Matter is simply low vibration energy; this is physics, not astrology.  Can the magnetic fields of the Cosmos be altered by the movements of the planets, star systems and galaxies?  Perhaps.

What do you believe?  I do know that as a Virgo Birth Sign I am handsome (so my wife tells me) intelligent, have some leadership qualities but am prone to judgement of others and can be quite picky and petty, if I don’t guard against it.

So perhaps the astrological matrix into which we are born does influence our personalities but I will also tell you that no one is a slave to his “chart”.  It is only a possible path, perhaps a warning sign; but we determine our lives, we write the script and can edit it at will. Our “sign” only describes tendencies, not our future.

We are in the beginning of the Millennial Effect of the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, a time in which the Spiritual is supposed to flower and bring a new way of life to human kind.  There is always darkness before the dawn and we are experiencing it right now.

This is a phenomenon humanity has not experienced for 1,000 years.  The last millennial change in the year 1,000 was widely thought to be the “end of the world”.  Millions of Christians went to bed on December 31, 999 expecting to find themselves in Heaven or Hell as January 1,1000 dawned.  Quite a surprise when they awoke in the same old serf’s hut or Lord’s Castle!

This dawning of a New Age threatens the old ways of thinking, believing and behaving.  Religion hardens and becomes rigid and unforgiving as it strives to hold back the Light.  Nations experience entropy and may fly apart into tribal societies.  We see this in the UK, the EU, Syria (perhaps the oldest nation on the planet) and we see dangerous tribal rumblings, even in the US as racial tensions soar and police community relations enter a dire phase.

White America perceives the loss of their nation and the world they have known.  Black America feels oppressed and endangered at every turn.  Many of all races and creeds feel that the “system” does not work for them and that it is rigged.

Facts are little help in combating the angst.  In many ways this is the best of times, but try to convince anyone of that right now!  The Millennial Effect is about feelings, not intellect or facts.  It is primal, soul deep and gut wrenching.

We have become a nation of constituencies rather that One out of Many.  Our politics are more and more tribal; we vote our color, our faith, our sexual orientation or our region and, yes even our social class.

Tribalism is always a ticket to stagnation and decay.  The poorest and most underdeveloped nations are tribal and always have been. We can prosper and thrive together as One or perish separately as fools.

Could it be that in our urgent search for diversity we have sacrificed the unity that will save us all?  The melting pot made Americans in two generations out of people from all over the globe.  The “fruit salad” idea of today has made us a nation of separate identities and agendas and thereby fragmented our national spirit and our politics.

We bemoan our “divided America”.  How could it be otherwise when identity politics rules our national spirit.  The only identity that matters to me is the one that says I Am a Divine Human and an American. The solution must be a new social and spiritual contract.

Next post we will explore what to do about this tribalism and entropy.

Rev. Dore’ Jacques Patlian, Sarasota, Florida 

 

 

The Truth About the American Dream

I am writing this post on July 5, 2016 after spending part of Independence Day pondering the rather amorphous idea of the American Dream.  What is it and what, if anything has happened to it?

It seems to me that the American Dream is a spiritual idea.  It exists only in the hearts and minds of those Americans who believe in it. It is a beacon of hope, a Dream but has never been, and is not now, “the American Promise”.  Nothing is promised but all is possible to those who believe and empower their belief with Love and wise use the Law of Mind Action.

It cannot and will not ever work for those who believe its “bunk” or think that the “system is rigged”.  Only belief empowers the American Dream.  Life is what we think it is.  To put it plainly, we write the script of our own lives.  It is done unto you as you believe.  The American Dream is not for cynics but for believers.

The American Dream is the guiding ethos of American nationhood.  It is the light that shines from the “shining city on the hill”.  It is the torch in Lady Liberty’s lamp as she shines her light beside the Golden Door.  It is that aura of endless possibility that America exports to the world.  It is the magnet that draws millions, even now, to our shores and to new lives.

The Dream has never been a guarantee of anything.  Nothing is promised but nothing is forbidden as long as its legal. There is no class system, no birth test, no way of speaking or thinking that can disqualify one from the American Dream.

There is a strong dose of Darwinism in The American Dream.  No one will hand it to you, you must want it enough to seize it; to strive, strive again and never stop until you achieve your goal.  That is as it should be. The joy of the American Dream is in its realization. It is never given; it is earned.

Success is bitter in the mouth if it is given.  Only when you put it all on the line to get where you want to go; only when you push yourself to the limit can you really know who and what you are made of.  Steel is not tempered by sugar but by fire. Reward is sweet only when earned.  Trophies for participation have the taste of ashes in the mouth.  A nice team photo should be the reward for participation.  Trophies are for excellence and achievement.

Today in our political campaigns we hear talk of how it used to be.  Small town America where a young man could walk down the road to the factory or the mill where his father worked, knock on the door and get a good paying union job, just like his Dad had for 30 years.  They say that was the American Dream but I will tell you that has never been the American Dream.  It was the economic facts of Industrial Age Post War America that produced this unique time and place, not the American Dream.  No matter what the politicians promise us, that era is never coming back.  Does that mean that the best is in our rear view mirror?

Not at all, as the old way fades, the new era of globalization and technology opens up opportunities unheard of 60 years ago.  We hear about the evils of globalization but globalization cuts both ways.  Do you know that almost every “foreign car” you can buy in this country is made by Americans in American factories by American workers; in those very same small towns we eulogized as the Golden Age.

Own a Toyota?  Virtually all of them are made in Georgetown Kentucky, the Trucks in San Antonio, Texas.  Many models of Mercedes are built in South Carolina, as are many BMW’s.  VW builds Jettas and Passats in Tennessee. Hyundai is built in Montgomery, Alabama, Kia in Fort Valley, Georgia, Nissan in Smyrna, Tennessee, Nissan Trucks in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

Like Hondas?  So do I, they are all built in Ohio.  Mazda in Flat Rock, Michigan.  Your “foreign car” is putting millions of Americans to work in American jobs paying good wages and benefits.

The American Dream is about aspiration not envy.  It is about striving, not complaining.  It is about risking it all rather than playing it safe.  It is Edison, Tesla, Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Juan Sanchez, my good friend who realizes his American Dream by serving 25 years in the US Army defending our freedom in places none of us would ever wish to be.

It is Igor Dubcek who came from Serbia with nothing and now has the best cobbler shop in Sarasota. It is about untold millions born in poverty who opted for a life of achievement and prosperity rather than a life of envy, sadness and victimhood.  It’s really about the choices we make, the thoughts we think and the words we speak.

Want the safe life? It is your right and privilege but if you choose the safe life of the union job at the mill, you have opted out of the maximum payoffs of the American Dream.  Those who put their lives and fortune on the line reap the greatest rewards.  New Americans understand this but by the 3rd generation many children of immigrants become entitled and believe that success is their due as Americans.  The only thing we are entitled to is due process and equal justice under the law.  The rest is up to each one of us.

The immigrant who came from Armenia with $5 in his pocket in 1892 was betting it all that he could make it.  He won his bet, became a Physician after years of post graduate work and built a fine life in a totally different culture, language, and way of life than that which he had known.  His name was Dr. Emmanuel Patlian and he was my grandfather.  310 Patlians, in all walks of life, are the fruit of his American Dream.  He paid with his life, dying in a typhoid epidemic while treating the hundreds of sick and dying.

I am sure that Granddad Emmanuel would do it all over again, even if he could have known the heroic but tragic outcome.  He loved America and was grateful to the last day of his life for the America that allowed him to escape death in the Armenian Genocide and to begin a fine new family in this magnificent land powered by the American Dream.

Is the American Dream dead or dying?  Not at all, but our belief in it is fading as an entitlement mentality takes the place of the work ethic.  It is fading as class envy takes the place of aspiration.  We now scorn the wealthy rather than aspire to be like them.

Of all the emotions of which a human in capable, envy is perhaps the most corrosive to the heart mind and soul.  It takes our focus from what we may accomplish and replaces it with anger, resentment and hatred of the accomplishments of others.  Socialism is built on class envy and a consciousness of lack and limitation.  Wisely regulated capitalism is the American Dream in action.

Wish you could be a multi-millionaire?  You can if you have the wit, the courage and are fearless.  Watch what they do, how they think and act; how they carry themselves and the risks they take with all that they own and then do that!  The only thing that can defeat you is fear; that is the great enemy.

No one is born with special favor.  We all have different abilities and talents but we are all creations of the Great Architect, the Ground of Being, the Great I AM.  We are all magnificent because our lineage and essence is Divinity.

If we live large it is because we think, act and speak large.  If we play it safe, play “small ball” then we will have a small life.  No one does it to us, we choose our life by our thoughts words and actions.   LIVE LIFE IN BIG LETTERS!  That is the heart of the American Dream.  Can you fail? Sure you can but better to try, try again than never know of what you are capable.

Until we are together again:  think well, speak well, choose wisely and live well.

Rev. Dore’ Jacques Patlian, Sarasota, Florida

 

Ruminations of the Oldest Valley Boy Baby Boomer.

It is rather interesting to contemplate your 71st birthday arriving in just over one month.  I was born 3 days after the formal surrender of the Japanese which marked the end of World War 2.  Thus, I am probably one of the oldest of the “Boomer” generation, so named for the flood of children that accompanied the return of millions of young men discharged from military service.

1945 was a rare year in which to be born, having the lowest birthrate in US history.  No men, no kids!  As a pioneer boomer I have a unique perspective; my childhood memories span the Swing Era with Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman and the Glen Miller Orchestra to Bee Bop in the early 50’s and the Rock and Roll of Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, and of course the King -Elvis.  I was a kid when Pat Boone was a million seller heart throb who competed with Elvis for #1 on the top 40.

They actually played music on AM Radio and still had series and dramas on the radio.  I guess you could say that my generation was perhaps the last one to have the freedom to roam the neighborhood, ride their bikes to the beach (over the Santa Monica Mountains 15 miles away), get a Driver’s License at 16 and then borrow Mom or Dad’s car. We learned how to make and keep friends on our own, not through arranged “play dates”.  We camped out in pup tents with our buddies in the back yard and walked to school and to the store for sodas and snacks.  Unheard of today.

My high school years were about girls, dances, Friday Night Football and the Marching Band, car clubs, cruising the “Blvd” (Van Nuys Blvd in the San Fernando Valley) penny loafers and peg legged pants. My world was Happy Days played out in real life.  Most of the guys wore “duck tail” hairdos (you shoulda seen mine!)

Lest you think that there was no crime, no child abuse, molestation or danger I will tell you that the crime rate in the US was almost 3 times what it is today.  The difference was that we only knew what the 5 minutes of radio news every hour told us and that was not much.  Mostly about the War in Korea, the Recession in ’58, etc.  No internet, no 24 hour news, no Twitter or Facebook to awfulize every occurrence .  If it did not happen down the street, we did not know or care about it.

Now this idyllic childhood did not take place in small town America but in Los Angeles, California; even in my youth a city of 3 million.  We learned how to take care of ourselves, make and keep friends, to protect ourselves from bullies and how to avoid dangerous situations.   We learned by doing, still the best way to learn anything in my opinion

I am not sure how they did it but it seemed like every student in my elementary, junior high and high school could read, write an intelligent sentence and do at least simple arithmetic.  We all knew our basic US History because we took 3 years of it, plus Civics or US Government.  Were there problems in school?  Sure, fights on the playground, car club gang fights ( no guns, but perhaps a switchblade) but the biggest problem was high school dropouts.  You could quit school at 16 and far too many did.

By the time I got my BA in History and started Grad School, the Hippie Era had arrived in LA with a bang.  Hippies with long hair, serious grunge and radical politics competed on campus with the “straights” (the conservative kids like me).  It was the SDS vs. the Young Republicans.  Interesting time but very turbulent.

I have no nostalgia for this time but I do have a great sense of gratitude for being born into this era and getting to experience mid-century America, the Summer of Love, the Space Age and the run up to the Millennium.  I am now enjoying being a “tech savvy” old guy which surprises many of the millennials that I work with.

The only things I would bring back from that time would be personal freedom, privacy, manners and civility which were very highly prized by those on both sides of the political spectrum.  Was my childhood perfect?  Oh, no!

Prejudice was not just prevalent, it was a way of life.  There were epithets for almost every group except the one you were in and they were used in daily conversation. It was not confined to just to Black or White but to Hispanics, Protestants and Catholics, Jews, different ethnic groups even of European decent.  An Irish kid marrying an Italian girl. No way!  There were epithets for almost every group and they were used in daily conversation.

A Black and White marriage? Unthinkable!  I knew all too well the fruits of prejudice. My mother “disowned” me for marrying a lovely young woman from Belize (then British Honduras)  “Beyond the pale” she said. We never spoke again.

Was this the Golden Age that the “angry old white people” seem to want to bring back?  There were a few things that we would do well to bring back but in the main there was little Gold and way too much hate, judgement and narrow-mindedness in the Baby Boomer Era.

It was a Boom and Bust time where good times and recession alternated every 5 or 6 years.  Over all this “Golden Age” hovered the specter of nuclear war with the Soviet Union.  We practiced Armageddon once every week as the sirens wailed and we dropped under the desk in the bomb drill.  I remember asking my 8th grade English Teacher what good this would do if an Atomic Bomb really did fall.  She had no answer.

The secret to being 70 is the same as the secret to being 25.  You are not your body, you are your mind.  If you see the world from a young man or woman’s perspective, if you still enjoy the things of youth: sports, dancing, fun, romance, sex, joy and play; then in your mind you are 25 and the age of your body becomes irrelevant.  Only when you agree to become old, think old and act old will you really become an old man or woman.  You really age from the inside out.

Yes, looking in the mirror can be challenging sometimes but its what’s inside that counts.  When my lovely, tall flaxen haired wife walks by I feel a lot more like 25 than 70 and that will keep me a young man until I take my last breath.  As long as I can write, laugh, speak and learn new things I will never grow old.

Until we are together again, be well, think well and speak well.

Rev. Dore’ Jacques Patlian, Sarasota, FL   visit my video podcast library on YouTube.com/revdore

 

What In The World Is Going On Here?

To say that this is an unsettled and turbulent time in the history of our planet would be an understatement.  Hardly the worst of times as the doomsayers love to bleat, but still a time of unrest, anger, angst, fear and xenophobia.

There have been many other times very much like this in the world’s recent history.  A good example is the French Revolution’s degeneration into the bloodbath of the Reign of Terror which brought Napoleon to power promising to “make France Great Again” and bring order and peace to the nation.  He was “the Man on Horseback” as History dubs these pseudo saviors who appear just as unrest and fear are at their zenith.  2 million Frenchmen died in his endless wars.

These “men on horseback” promise glory, restoration of a “golden age” that was rarely golden and most importantly; safety and order.  20th Century examples of “men on horseback” are Vladimir Lenin in 1917 Russia, Benito Mussolini in 1921 Italy, Adolph Hitler in 1932 Germany,  Francisco Franco in Spain in 1936, Juan Peron in Argentina in 1938, and recently Donald Trump in the USA.

Each of these “men on horseback” use virtually the same language and make the same vague promises that “only they can fulfill”.  In reality, they bring only a loss of liberty and a climate of hatred and division.  “The man on horseback” solution is akin to swallowing poison to cure an head cold.

Now even the UK, a relative island of civility, has voted to leave the European Union in a burst of nationalism, fear, anger and emotion.  This will create a “little England” and destroy the global economic power of the UK and possibly the UK as we know it. Scotland and Northern Ireland  are threatening to break away from the UK, even as I write this post.  This dismembering of a great nation will leave England and perhaps Wales as a rump, rather pitiful remnant of the Empire upon which, in my childhood, the Sun never set.

What in the world is going on here?  Can we see this from a spiritual perspective? Is there no hope for our nations, our planet and our civilization?

Yes, there is hope.  This period is a bit like a case of the shingles in that it is extremely painful, hard to endure but rarely fatal.

Here is my diagnosis of the causes of this spiritual illness: 1. fear of loss of personal liberty, power and status  2. Nostalgia for the mythical country of our youth.  3. A feeling of  loss of supremacy in our nation  i.e. the angry old white men and women who want their country back, which was ever theirs only at the expense of others. 4. A feeling that things are in decline, that nothing works anymore. 

This fear, unrest, xenophobia and misplaced nationalism is what has brought on the ludicrous choice Americans face in the 2016 Presidential Election.  This angst is what has brought on the United Kingdom’s exit from the EU. In recent years the UK looks more and more like the US in diversity and not much like the jolly old England of yore.

The Brits are tired of being told what they can and cannot do by an alien super-government.  By God we want our Bangers (that’s a sausage) made the way they should be, not the way Brussels decrees.  We want the UK to look English and Scottish, Welsh and Irish not Pakistani, Indian, African, Polish, and whatever.  There is widespread nostalgia for the the way it was and for a nation of rosy cheeked white folks.

Being a rosy cheeked white guy myself,  I am not unsympathetic to the wistful nostalgia they are experiencing but they did conquer half the world without so much as a “by your leave”, so now they get to live with them and are the better for it; if they only knew it.  Every savory dish needs spice and heaven knows English culture and their cuisine is often sadly lacking in spice.

Immigrants, as all Americans have proven by being immigrants or the sons, daughters and granddaughters of immigrants, refresh the tree of liberty with their energy, aspiration, and entrepreneurial spirit.

The dry cleaners that I patronize is owned by a delightful immigrant family from Cambodia.  Not only do they now own 2 Dry Cleaners but 3 restaurants; all from virtually nothing but hard work over 20 years.  They are a reminder for all Americans that the American Dream is alive and well.  Nothing is ever given,  it is the product of family pulling together and a lot of long hours and hard work.  The American Dream was never guaranteed, it was earned through blood, sweat and tears.

Take back America, Britain for the British, make the UK or America Great Again.  Keep those foreigners out!  If we listen to this cant, the American Dream will die and so will all other aspirational dreams.   Yes, you will hear this same rhetoric in every speech of the Republican Presidential nominee (sad, sad day for the Grand Old Party).

This is a sickness of the spirit and only a spiritual remedy will cure it.  It is a retreat from love, a retreat from Brother and Sisterhood to us against them, fear of loss of that which you never really had, and nostalgia for an America which was a living hell for large groups of the population who were not of European descent.

This spiritual sickness is rooted in the fear of many that the country and our lives will never be the same again.  They are right, our lives and our country will never be the same again.  It just might be better if we get out of fear and make it so.  Nothing is ever the same again.  Change is the only constant in the Universe.

The lessons of the Master Teacher are being replaced by the dark philosophy of Niche. Globalization is in peril as Jingoism and xenophobia raises its ugly head.  Love and Fear cannot exist in the same time and place.  Love is the mother of peace, liberty and unity.  Fear is the Father of hate, separation and oppression.

What will we choose?  Can we learn from similar conditions in the 1930’s or will we walk down the road to hatred and destruction once again?

The solution is not to return to the religion of Christianity but to the Teachings of the Master Teacher for the Western world, Christ Jesus.  Tolerance, acceptance, love, peace, forgiveness and empowerment of every human regardless of color, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.  That is the path to a new Golden Age, not exclusion, fear or hatred.  The solution is unity, not identity politics that divide us into warring camps.

We are all part and parcel of the Great Architect of the Universe, the Great I AM that Ground of Being that we nickname God.  We are all literally brothers and sisters and our future as a species depends on understanding and living this basic truth.

As Franklin Roosevelt so wonderfully put it:  We have nothing to fear but fear itself.

Until we are together again:  Be well, think well and speak well.

Rev. Dore’ Jacques Patlian, Sarasota, FL   visit my video podcast library at revore@YouTube.com/revdore

 

 

Open Sesame!

Did you know that you were programmed by the Creator with all tools that are needed to have and enjoy any life you choose?  Yes, we have the awesome power of the Almighty One, the Great I AM, the Master of the Universe.  What would you change if you knew that you could speak your word and transform your life?

We all, everyone born on this planet, has an “Open Sesame”, a magic command that can bring us anything we desire, believe in and can see ourselves as having.

Come on Dore’, that can’t be true!  That only works for the 1% not for people like me; regular people working hard for a living.  We have no power!  No silver spoons in our mouths.  Didn’t Jesus say: the “rich get rich and the poor get poorer”? 

You are right He did say that but few if any understood what he meant and what His lesson was when he told the multitudes that: those who have much will receive even more and those with little or nothing will lose the little they have.

Many believe this is the cruelest verse in the Bible.  How could the Master say such a terrible thing!  Jesus was a Christ (one touched by God and appointed to bring Light), and as a man who has looked upon the very face of the Infinite He must speak Divine Truths no matter how hard they are to hear for us mortal humans.

His message was that those who are rich are rich because they think abundantly, they make abundant decisions and they believe in themselves.  They are willing to risk all, knowing that there is always more where that came from.  They are people of courage, certain of their power to create whatever they want or need.

But the poor live in sorrow and fear, always waiting for the hammer to fall, for disaster to strike.  They are victims of life, taking little or no responsibility for the state of their lives; believing that they are powerless and acted upon by forces greater than they can control.  They think poor, believe that their lot is poverty and that people “like us” can never have an abundant life.  They are believers in luck, chance and magic.  They argue for their poverty and usually refuse to see a way out saying: but you don’t understand my life I just can’t do it.  And so it shall be!

Jesus was teaching us that how we think and what we think and speak creates our lives and the events of our lives.  As a man thinks, so he is!   The rich and well off think of plenty and joy and the increase of all good things in their life.  They are not afraid to risk failure because they know they can and will succeed and whatever they might lose today can be recouped tomorrow.  They take the long view, knowing that today’s problems are tomorrows joys.

So what is your Open Sesame?   It is the phrase I Am which is the very name of God.   When you say I am a success, I am healthy, wealthy and happy you have invoked the very name of God and taken His name as your own.  But the Open Sesame works both ways!

If you say I Am sick, I am poor, I am just a weak worm in the dust, you have taken the very name of God in vain.  You have declared that God’s perfect creation is worthless, helpless and broken.  You get exactly what you speak your Word for, positive or negative.

The Second Commandment tells us Take Not the Lord’s name in vain.  That does not mean cursing as most of us believe.  Taking the Lord’s name in vain means speaking I Am in vain by denigrating God’s creation which is YOU! You are a magnificent creation of the Lord of the Universe but only if you agree that this is who and what you are.  Want to be a “weak worm of the dust”?  God will not stand in your way.  What you believe is mirrored perfectly by God’s Law as your life.  You really do speak the cursing and the blessing out of your mouth each day.  

What will you speak? In the beginning was the Word, what will your Word be?   Will you bless your life by thinking and speaking of good, lovely, prosperous and healthy things or will you curse your life by victim talk, sadness, anger and hatred.  Will you honor the name of God, the Great I AM by speaking and thinking of things of good report, of health, prosperity, beauty, love, tolerance and most of all honor to the Creator?  

Or will you use your Open Sesame in vain by putting yourself down, speaking as a weak worm of the dust, speaking and thinking words of hate, judgement, lack and limitation?   You prophesy your life into being by the use of your Open Sesame, the words I AM.

I will prophesy your life right now!  If you will change your inner and outer conversations and speak I AM only of lovely, wonderful things, peace, love and plenty, your life will be transformed by the end of one year!  The Second Commandment is the key to the abundant, joyful life.  Obey it and see the difference in your life. 

Until we are together again, think well, speak well and you will live well.  Richest Blessings on you and yours!

Rev. Dore’ Jacques Patlian, Sarasota, Florida  check out my 115 podcasts on YouTube.com/revdore