What are we celebrating this 4th of July?

Today is a very special day for all Americans and for lovers of liberty around the world.  Independence Day, better known as the 4th of July, is a celebration of the day that The American Colonies began that very frightening and dangerous step of severing ties with our Mother Country, Great Britain.

Its always scary when the kid leaves home and goes out on his or her own but when you write a bill of divorce from the most powerful Empire on Earth, it’s serious business and not to be taken lightly.

The very life of every signer of the Declaration of Independence was immediately forfeit according to British law. This was an act of TREASON against the Crown.  

Can you imagine the intestinal fortitude (guts) it took for these wealthy and privileged men to put life, limb, family and property all on the line for an idea. A revolutionary idea that all men are created equal in the sight of God; that all blood was red, none blue?

Yes, the founders made one glaring exception and that was the Black men and women brought from Africa to work as slaves throughout the Colonies.  A shameful omission seen through today’s eyes, but we must all judge our forefathers and mothers by the mores of their time.

In 1776 Europeans were just beginning to condemn the slave trade and slavery itself.  (Britain would not outlaw slavery and the slave trade in the Empire until 1811) But like all moral leaps, abolition was in its infancy in 1776.

What are we really celebrating on this Tuesday, July 4, 2017?

We are celebrating liberty:  The freedom to speak our minds, even unpleasantly and to defend the rights of others to do the same.  If one person’s liberty is abridged, all liberty is abridged.  Liberty has limits in that one cannot threaten murder or incite riot or rebellion.  New limits on the cyber world are long over due but liberty must be the floor under all such reforms.

We celebrate a nation that is free of aristocracy and the idea that one class is higher born than another.  No one is trapped in their social class in America unless he or she will not do the work needed to climb the social ladder.  Not very long ago your race, religion, gender or national origin could bar you from advancement into the world of affluence and influence.

Today, Americans of all races, cultures, gender and religions sit at the table of power, both economic and political.  Can we do more?  Yes, a society can always do more and we are making great strides in breaking barriers that could not even be discussed in the world of my youth.  This is sometimes a bit jarring to those of us born into the Post-War world but to my generation I say: GET OVER IT.

If you are a lover of liberty, as I am, you cannot cherish your freedom and deny the freedom of others.

The most important meaning of this Independence Day is that on this day of July 4th 1776, Americans lit a torch of freedom which changed the entire world.  Within 20 years, France, Hungary, Britain and even Germany overthrew or liberalized repressive regimes.

The fact that Great Britain, the most powerful Empire on Earth at the time, was soundly defeated in a long and bloody war by farmers, merchants, freed slaves, immigrants, merchant seaman, planters, tailors, cobblers and men of all classes and occupations.  Every one risked his life, his fortune and his family in the cause of liberty.

Can we do less today in 2017. Let’s come together as Americans.  Let’s bury our differences, learn to listen to each other (we just might learn something) let’s make a Declaration of Interdependence, a manifesto of common values of civility if not always agreement, of love, light  liberty, and justice for all.

Let us all pledge to defend, to the death, the freedom and personal liberty that our forefathers risked all to obtain. Especially the liberty of those with which we disagree.   Abridge one person’s liberty, all liberty is at risk.

Let’s make this July 4th 2017, the Day we re-united as Americans.  Make this Interdependence Day, for in truth we are all interdependent, all part of the whole.

Rev. Dore’ Patlian, Sarasota, FL   I Am a Religious Scientist!   Learn more at CSL.org

Open Sesame!

There is a key that unlocks the unfulfilled life.  Rather like the old magician’s “open sesame”, this key will transform your entire outlook on your life and the world around you.  What is this magnificent key, you may ask?

It is so simple that you will wonder why you never thought of it before.

The key to a life well lived is empowerment and that empowerment happens only when you realize and understand that everything in your life begins and ends with you.  You are the driving wheel, the motive force, the producer, director and chief actor in this drama called life.

You see, we really are the “captains of our fate and the masters of our soul“.  It was true in the 1600’s when William Shakespeare penned those immortal words, and even more so in this age of personal empowerment, civil liberties and an “anything goes” public morality.

How do you find this key and what do you do with it.  First, claim your power! Affirm that you are a magnificent creation of God and that God never experiences a recall. (no junk).  Know that you and I and all humanity are made from the very substance and stuff of the Most High God which is the God within each and every one of us. Yes, you and I and even your mother-in-law are made of the very substance of the Divine.

You may say, what happens when we are the victim of other people’s actions, nature or luck?

Please know that becoming a victim is a conscious choice by you, not something that is forced upon you.  OK, a really bad thing happened in your life.  Lost your job, your home, your spouse; you became ill, you were diagnosed with cancer. These are tough things to take in stride, but unless you want them to persist, that is exactly what you must do.  How do you look cancer in the eye and say no big deal?  How do you lose your spouse and say it doesn’t matter?

Sure, these things matter, they are scary and they hurt like hell! I know I have experienced all of these more than once.

Here is the secret.  These things did not happen to you, nobody did this to you. In one way or another you are responsible for every thing good or bad that happens in your life.  Be careful now, you are not to blame but you are responsible.

There is no blame in the spiritual realm,  but you did create the situation with your stream of consciousness (thought) and your words which led to your choices.  Thought, word and choice are the building blocks of life.

In truth there are no victims in life.  Sounds heartless I know, but its true nonetheless.  When I was diagnosed with cancer my first reaction was woe is me! But then I recalled that I am a Religious Science Minister and that I don’t believe that things just happen.  We create them one way or another.  I traced the thread back in my memory and presto, I found the cause of my cancer.

The cause was a rather tumultuous love life that featured three divorces.  Once I realized the cause, the fact that my cancer was in the Prostate was no accident.  The Prostate is the sexual and reproductive area.   I caused my body to turn against itself (that is what cancer is) with my feelings about my turbulent personal life.  

Since I have been happily married to my dear Susan for almost 19 years I know that there will not be a recurrence.  Her love and my being ready to be loved have healed the old relationship wounds.

Once I knew the cause of the cancer, which is always spiritual or mental, I could let the Doctors treat the symptoms and I would treat the cause so it never would return.  Anger, sorrow, a terrible hurt and great stress are the real causes of cancer and the reason why it is endemic in 21st Century America. 

The “Open Sesame” is to understand that YOU are the power in your life.  You have had a license to heal since birth, given by Deity.  You have the power to transform and to create whatever life you desire.  You are a magnificent creation of the Architect of the Universe and you need never be a victim again.  

Think of what you will allow in your life, speak words of kindness, love and joy, and chose what is healthy, happy and the highest and best for all concerned.  That is the recipe for a life very well lived.

Until we are together again…..

Rev. Dore’ Jacques Patlian, Sarasota, Florida   Yes, I am a Religious Scientist! 

Standing for Faith and Truth and the American Dream

It has been said that those who stand for nothing will fall for anything.  In our nation and in too many others around the world, we see the creeping virus of disbelief in our private, public and civic life.  It is essential for every human being to believe in something greater and more noble than themselves.

 A good religion or spirituality provides this faith and belief and teaches a moral code as well.  Believe in Science, if you will.  Believe in America or your family but believe in something greater than yourself. 

Countless hours staring at a game console, tablet, smartphone or other device has many of our Millennials living in an artificial universe where they don’t talk, they text, they don’t make love,they hook up, they don’t work, they do their thing.  

Far too many Americans under 40 believe in nothing, experience little of real life and have retreated to a Doll House existence.  (Doll House is a chilling sci-fi series about a near future reality in which humans don’t live in the outside world at all, we lay on couches and experience life through AI, (artificial intelligence).

If you are not familiar with Doll House, stream it on Netflix.  It will scare the pudding out of you!  

Belief is the greatest power of the human mind. Some call it faith which is a first cousin to belief, only deeper. Faith can heal when the doctors give up; it can move mountains, surmount any obstacle, achieve the “impossible” and create whatever you can believe and conceive. 

A society that has lost its core belief is doomed. Rome did not fall because it was evil or corrupt but because it stopped believing in the Gods of Rome and the ethos of the Roman state and so they ceased to be Romans.  Are we headed for the same fate?

What is America’s Core belief?  It is the American Dream, in which fewer and fewer believe today.  It never was a promise or a guaranteed benefit.  It was a chance to be more and do more than your grandparents or parents.  It was a chance to be free, to speak your mind without fear or reprisal,  it was a chance for those who arrived in steerage to travel in First Class within a few years with enough desire and hard work.

It still exists and is alive and well but it seems that only immigrants believe in The American Dream today.  We hear all too often that the system is “rigged”. It is only rigged if you believe its rigged.  

Andrew Carnegie was nearly bankrupt when he finished the first steel bridge over the Mississippi River with borrowed money.  Within 5 years he was the richest man in America. 

To those without belief, courage and guts the system will always seem to be rigged.  Was it rigged for my Cambodian neighbors? Here is their story.

I patronize a dry cleaners owned by a family of Cambodian immigrants.  They walked 500 miles to get to Thailand, fleeing the death camps of the vicious Khymer Rouge.  They had $100 to their name when they arrived in America. 

Today they own 4 dry cleaners and 5 restaurants, providing a fine living for the entire extended family.  They came here with $100 to their name.

How did they do this when so many Americans believe that this story is no longer possible?  Immigrants are highly motivated and they believe that in America anything is possible and so it becomes possible for them.  Faith, courage and hard work does the rest.   

Doubt or cynicism is the enemy of the creation of our good for the cynic and the constant skeptic believes in nothing; not even in themselves.

I believe that the day that we stop welcoming immigrants to the US will be the day that America begins to die.  Immigrants refresh the tree of Liberty with their hopes, dreams, hard work and faith.  They are a lesson for all Americans and an example of the American Dream in action. 

Searching for a spiritual faith that you can believe in this 21st Century?  Log on to CSL.ORG and find the nearest Center for Spiritual Living near you.  We teach Religious Science which is the Science of Mind.  You will be glad you came and you will be most welcome

Rev. Dore’ Jacques Patlian, Sarasota, FL

Thoughts From A “Valley Boy”

For those of you not born and raised in Southern California a bit of explanation is needed.  A Valley Boy or Valley Girl is someone from the San Fernando Valley Section of Los Angeles.   Valley Boys and Girls have a particular way of speaking, thinking and acting.  Got to be hip, very cool and talk with a rather strange accent.  Toadily Rad is one example from the old days.  Also saying “Like” 10 times in a sentence began in the Valley.

When my parents moved from the seaside city of Long Beach out to the “Valley” in 1950 it was the fastest growing place in the entire United States.  Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Roy Rogers, Gail Storm (My Little Margie), Liberace, Andy Devine, (Jingles) William Boyd (Hopalong Cassidy) Tex Ritter, Gene Autry, Hugh O’Brien (Wyatt Earp) were just a few of the movie and TV Stars that called the San Fernando Valley their home.  Not to mention the author of the book “Tarzan” (Edgar Rice Burroughs) who got a neighborhood in the Valley (Tarzana) named after his famous jungle man.

Van Nuys Blvd was the prototype for “cruising” and car clubs all over America.  This iconic street runs right through the middle of the Valley and was THE place to show off your “ride”, do a little street racing (until the LAPD showed up) and get a shake and a Big Boy hamburger at Bob’s Big Boy Drive in on the Boulevard.

I grew up in this wonderful place, cruising, dating, laughing and loving. I went to Van Nuys High School, just two blocks from the famous “Boulevard” .  Went to college at what was then San Fernando Valley State College (now Cal-State U Northridge).  The movie “American Graffiti” was about the Valley and this era.

OK, what is the point of this walk down memory lane?   There is no deep message, no spiritual truth that will jump out at you in this post.  I had a very good childhood; with the exception of a Southern Drama Queen Mother and an Armenian Long Suffering Father but they were great, in spite of it all.  Dad did the parenting and Mom was the teacher, law giver and disciplinarian.  

My childhood forged in my character an affinity for strong capable women like my dear wife Susan, the love of my life. 

What did I learn from my childhood and teen journey through the 50’s and 60’s in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles?

I was damn fortunate to be born in post war Southern California where all things were deemed not only possible but routine.  LA was the center of the world and there was nothing that could not be done or achieved.

I had slightly unusual but loving parents who prepared me well for the life I was to lead.

I was raised a Religious Scientist (Los Angeles was the center of Religious Science and the Home Office of the denomination) which gave me an understanding that God provides the innate qualities of life and we create our life experience through wise use of the Law of Mind Action: (as a person thinks, so they are).

That nothing ever really happens to you, you happen to it.  You are the motive force, the driving wheel of your life.  What you think is creative.  What you say has tremendous power and what you do or fail to do changes your life in ways you cannot fully fathom.  It’s all up to you, but a power much, much greater than you or I is always open, always available for help, inspiration, comfort and strength.  That is the God within which is the Most High God.

And So It Is!

Rev. Dore’ Jacques Patlian, Sarasota, Florida

The Healing of America, Part 2

Last post we diagnosed the cause of this malaise in the American Spirit that has produced this most unpleasant election. Most would agree that this campaign has been a low point in modern  political life.  America is sick at heart and in spirit. Time to call the Doctor!

Working class America feels betrayed and left behind, that is clear.  Whether their feelings are justified does not really matter.  Feelings are feelings and must be addressed when those feelings are coming from 52% of the electorate.

Working class America is feeling like the “stepchild” of the body politic in America and they are very angry.  They feel like attention has been paid to every constituency in America but them and they demand our attention.  With the nomination of Donald Trump they got our attention in full measure.

With a better messenger, the message might have changed things for the better.  Alas, Working Class anger brought us an angry, unfit demagogue and it has cost us dearly as a nation and a people

I am writing this post on November 7th.  Tomorrow we will know if we have chosen the first woman President, complete with a semi-truck load of baggage, or a deeply flawed reality show star and minor celebrity who is reminiscent of the demagogues who took over many European nations in the 1920’s and 30’s.

What has brought us to this Hobson’s Choice and what can we do to ensure that it is never repeated?

How do we knit the nation back together after this most divisive election and create a climate where every one feels that their concerns are addressed and that they are heard?   A few simple changes are needed.  These changes won’t return a high paying union job for every “rust belt” worker who lost his job in the last 20 years.  The one constant in the Universe is change.   The world has changed, America has changed and too many working class Americans are still living in the past.

But the ideas I am proposing will make our government more responsive, stop the ridiculous “beauty contest” of the primaries, shorten a campaign season that never seems to end and once again provide candidates that we can be proud to support.

Presidential Primaries are a very bad way to choose the nominee from each party.  In this Republican primary election, we had the specter of 16 candidates and ended up with a Republican nominee who had never been a Republican in his life, never held office, never served his country in any capacity, went bankrupt 6 times, has never divulged his tax returns and still is not a registered Republican.  And that is just the tip of the Trump iceberg.

Today’s primary system is a you all come proposition where people with no qualifications or character can run for President and even become nominated.  Would Franklin Roosevelt been nominated by primaries?  Would Abe Lincoln, Jefferson, Washington or Teddy Roosevelt?  Harry Truman? Dwight Eisenhower?  Would John Kennedy?  Ronald Reagan did make it through the primary system but that is the exception.

The solution?  Go back to real party conventions that actually nominate the standard bearer of the Party. It is the job of the parties to pick their presidential candidates and the people then choose between the 2 chosen ones.  It is not the people’s job to sift through 30 candidates that they know nothing about.  

The Party knows who has worked hard for the Party, they know who worked their way up the ladder. They know his or her character and they know who has the depth to be a successful candidate.  In other words, if you are nominated by either party you are a proven winner, have been thoroughly vetted and have “paid your dues” working for the party and for America

President is no job for an amateur!

The next fix is to introduce partially or wholly Federally funded Senate, House and Presidential campaigns.   This takes the “big money” influence out of our electoral process.  This would be the best money we could spend to save our democratic process.  In my plan, the people could contribute tax deductible contributions to the Federal Campaign Fund to help keep the tax burden down.

A further requirement would be to tell the truth in all campaign advertisements and speeches.  Ads would be independently fact checked before airing.  Presently we are electing the most skillful liar, since so much of what we see and hear is is patently untrue.   Our freedom and liberty are too vital to entrust America to a Liar-in-Chief.

I would limit Federal Election Campaigns to 20 Weeks (5 months)  The campaigns would start 5 days after the end of the last Nominating Convention.

I would also abolish early voting.  Voting is a sacred privilege and duty in a democracy and we should all go to the polls in person and participate in the most important ceremony of an American Citizen.  This will also ensure that no tampering occurs with weeks of early ballots.

I would issue each U S citizen a Federal Voter photo ID Card which would also serve as a Social Security Card.   All Americans would have a tamper proof Federal ID for use in voting, airport security, check cashing, etc.

These ideas would simplify elections, ensure that good candidates are produced for our selection and take the big money and fraud out of our election process.

We might even get candidates with honor and character instead of the “best of the worst” that we too often get in our Federal Elections today.

Just my thinking, but I believe it would work wonders with our electoral process.

In Love and Light,

Rev. Dore’ Jacques Patlian, Sarasota, Florida

The Healing of America (Part 1 of 2)

 This has been a uniquely disturbing US Presidential election. As I write this post, only 3 weeks are left until Election Day, November 7th. Both Republicans, Democrats and Independents are weary of this most uncivil and unseemly campaign; unprecedented in modern American history.

Yes there were elections in the 1820’s and 30’s so toxic and mean that the shame and false accusations heaped upon Andrew Jackson’s wife caused her to die of a broken heart.  It was a “no holds barred” type of politics in the first 50 years of our Republic and I am very saddened to see us descend to this level again in the supposedly enlightened 21st Century.

Whatever your politics or preferences I am sure that you would agree that our democracy cannot thrive in an atmosphere of distrust, thuggery and mean spirited hate speech.  We heard just yesterday a candidate sowing the seeds of conspiracy and illegitimacy of our democratic process.  Unchecked, this could destroy our very soul and nation.  This is the atmosphere that destroyed the world’s first democracy, Athens.

What has happened to “morning in America”?  Where have “hope and change” gone, just 8 years after thrilling and empowering much of the nation?

Every problem has a spiritual solution and this time of nastiness and recrimination can be solved only by good will; brother and sisterhood and a large dose of empathy.  There also must be a few structural changes in our Election process.  (Parties must nominate as they did formerly, then the people elect)  Lest you think I am suggesting that we all hold hands and sing Kum Ba Ya around the campfire I would say that “it wouldn’t hurt” but it is not the medicine that our body politic and our national consciousness needs.

America has lost faith in its own mythology.  A people’s myths are the bedrock of their culture.  We sometimes think of a myth as something false.  That is often untrue.  A myth is a long held cultural tradition, usually based on truth.  Myths are the ideals upon which a nation is built.

What are America’s basic myths and why have so many forsaken them in the last decade?

The central idea of America is the American Dream:  This is the heart and soul of America.  If The Dream dies our nation dies a slow death from the inside out.  However the American Dream is not the American Promise.

Nothing is promised in a free society but equal protection of the laws and due process.  The American Dream simply means that anyone from anywhere is free to thrive or fail to the limits of their talent, hard work and character.  We are now all measured primarily by our talent, drive, character and the fruits of our labor.

There are no longer blue bloods, no privileged class, racial barriers and no nobility or royalty.  Every one of us, if we have the will and the talent and the guts, can become a Warren Buffet or a Colin Powell.

We can all, if we have the athleticism and put in the years of hard work, become a super star athlete no matter if we came from Beverly Hills or South Central LA, from Coral Gables or Liberty City.

Somehow the American Dream has become in the minds of many the American Guarantee.  Nothing is guaranteed in life, here or anywhere else.  To achieve the American dream you must have a thirst for it, a hunger for it that cannot be satisfied until it is achieved.  You have to sacrifice, persevere when the dark hours come and never, never give up.  Most importantly, you have to make wise choices every step of the way.

Particularly in America you must write the story of your life and produce the movie version with every thought, word and choice. You are solely responsible for the outcome.

What causes the American dream to go off the rails for so many?  Many, many people kill their American Dream with a rebellious spirit.  “I am sick and tired of school, no college for me!”  Poor choices at an early age can blight a life.

In 21st Century America, unless you invent something magnificent, or write the great American Novel,  you have just consigned yourself to a life in the working class, working long hours for an hourly wage.  One bad decision not quickly corrected is all it takes to turn the American Dream into paradise lost.

But weren’t things easier in the 50’s?

Weren’t we the greatest nation in the world in the 40’s, 50’s and early 60’s? What happened?  Wasn’t this the Golden Age of America?  It seemed that way to some but only if you were straight, White and Gentile and preferably Protestant.

Jim Crow was in its heyday and religious and ethnic bigotry was a way of life.  There were ethnic slurs for almost any nationality or ethnicity and they were used in daily conversation. Whole neighborhoods would move out if one person of color or unacceptable ethnicity moved in!  Seems unreal today but that was the United States of my childhood.  Not so golden for much of the population, was it?

What about those great jobs?  The days of walking down the street of your industrial Mid-Western or New England town with nothing but a high school diploma and getting that high paid union job at the mill or factory, complete with  fat pension and 100% health coverage, are long gone and they are not coming back.

This way of life was an aberration caused by World War 2.  It never happened before and will not happen the same way again.

Immediately after the end of World War 2 the United States became the most powerful nation in the world and “the American Century” began.  Why and how did this happen?

We emerged from the war with the homeland totally unscathed; our infrastructure, cities and industry emerged from the war as the most modern in the world.  We became the industrial giant of the entire world.

Japan, Germany, France, Holland, Belgium, Italy, Russia and to a large extent the UK had been reduced to rubble by the war.  We had by far the most powerful military in the world armed with the most terrible weapon ever developed.   Hiroshima and Nagasaki were stark reminders of this.

Do you know that post War Great Britain, with their cities in ruins and their economy shattered, had very stringent rationing of fuel, food and clothes well into the 1950’s.  At the same time Americans went on a buying spree unlike any in our history, buying appliances, automobiles and homes, all of which were unavailable during the War.

In 1946, ten million G.I.’s came home in a matter of months, sending women out of the factories and back to home and children. Rosie the Riveter may have built the planes, ships and weapons that won the war but she was fired in mass to make room for the men.  

Women, once freed from the nursery and the kitchen by the critical need for workers during the war, now saw their freedom and independence abruptly ended and did not like it one bit.  Thus the seeds of feminism were born and not a moment too soon!  

My own Mother was one of the first to sign up for gender equality.  She became one of the first females to become a  licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of California.  Seems strange today but real estate was virtually an all male profession prior to the 50’s.

This American monopoly of prosperity and power could not last.  It was built on the misfortune of others.

When the rest of the world recovered and rebuilt their industries and infrastructure we began to have competition in industry and in trade.  A rising tide does lift all boats and the perennially poor nations such as China, India, Malaysia, Korea and war torn Japan began to become industrial powerhouses and soon became First World nations, rather than recipients of our hand-outs.

Sometimes Americans tend to see the world as a zero sum game.  If others advance and prosper; we sometimes feel diminished.  We should be thrilled that the world is getting richer every day.  We should give thanks to whatever Deity we honor that more and more children go to bed on a full stomach, go to school and have hope for a better life  than ever before in human history!

We should celebrate the advances of our brothers and sisters around the globe, but today we envy them.   Hope has been replaced by fear and anger.

Charity and love has been replaced in too many hearts with feelings of loss, helplessness and anger. Only a renewal of the Spirit can remove this stain on our national consciousness and return us to the big-hearted, kind and charitable people that once fed the world, healed the sick and led the way to hope and freedom.

Is there room only for The United States of America in the World Prosperity Club?  Let’s spread the Gospel of Prosperity as ardently as we do the Gospel of Democracy?  

Time to relight that Shining City on the Hill; time to rekindle the American Dream and then export it to the world.

Next post: My take on the solutions.

Be well, speak well and think well, until we are together again

Rev. Dore’ Jacques Patlian, Sarasota, Florida    YouTube.com/revdore

 

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 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