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

The Greatest Truth Seldom Told

If you were to point to the greatest problem that the United States and much of the world is experiencing what would that be?  Terrorism?  Inequality? Poverty?

My pick would be the retreat from Oneness and Brotherhood and the degeneration of many societies, including the United States and much of Europe into a new tribalism.  This splintering of society is the result of “identity politics” where political parties slice up society into racial, sexual, religious, class and educational strata and appeal to the narrow interests of the different “tribes”.

An appeal to all Americans to unite in common cause seems today to be as quaint as blue suede shoes and Poodle Skirts.  Everyone identifies with a particular piece of their personality, forgetting that the most important identity and the only one that matters is first being human and then American.  

The Left plays this game better than the Right.  After all they have been doing this for 100 years, they even have a “how to book” on combating nationalism and Oneness by creating class consciousness.

There were no Republicans or Democrats on 9/11/2001.  I live in Sarasota, Florida which has a special place in the history of 9/11 because our President was visiting one of our elementary schools as part of his televised roll out of the “No Child Left Behind” Program.  Most of us will never forget the look on President Bush’s face as the he was informed of the first plane crashing into the Tower.  He had been reading a story to the class and suddenly the world turned upside down.

America’s reaction was to come together; forgetting race, gender, orientation, ethnicity and politics. Our President had the good sense and grace, not only to set exactly the right tone immediately after the attack, but to visit a Mosque just days later to send the message that Muslim Americans were first and always Americans.

Where are such leaders today?  Where are the leaders that can say just what must be said in just the right tone and at the right moment; as was done during 9/11?

Words matter, a lesson that needs learning in today’s political climate. In fact words and the thought that precedes them are the building blocks of our lives.

It seems to me that our culture and our politics have coarsened to the point where even death threats and actual murder are legitimate coin of the American body politic.

There is an immutable fact of human life that there is no subspecies of the human race, no lesser humans.  We are all magnificent creations of the Creator of the Universe, made from the very substance of the body of God.  It can be said that all that exists is made from the substance of the Divine Prime Mover. Thus we are all literally Brothers and Sisters.

My barber is a wonderful man who immigrated from Jordan and is a devout Muslim.  We have stimulating and friendly conversations about history, comparative religion and I listen eagerly to this very wise, very fine American who chose to come to this nation to raise his family and prosper.  He has improved his condition in just a few years to the point where he and his wife are shopping for their first home.  

His culture and religion may be foreign to me but he is as American as apple pie in his love of family, his desires for his family and his life.  We all want the same things, no matter where we live, how we worship and what our politics are.

We want to raise our families in peace, love and contentment.  We want our children to receive a fine education and go on to surpass us in accomplishment and in the joy of life.  Each generation builds upon the last in a good society and this nation is a very good society.  The fact that too many of our people have lost their faith in our national ethos and in our democracy is very troubling.

We can restore our national consciousness by taking our various racial, class, sexual and other distinctions as a matter of course that needs no celebrating and instead celebrating our Oneness as Americans.

We have been majoring in the minors and neglecting what really matters which is that all humans are One.  Everything else is exterior paint, manners and culture and not worthy of our attention.

Americans all: we sit at the table of democracy and freedom together with the conscious knowledge that we are truly One in God, One in Mind and One in Heart.

Tribalism is what civilizations degenerate into.  Is that what we want for our nation and our world?   I think not!

Rev. Dore’ Jacques Patlian, Sarasota, FL     I Am a Religious Scientist!  

Find out 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

Creator, or Parent?

It seems that there are as many concepts of God as there are people.  Just who is this all powerful Spirit, Being or Intelligence that is the architect and engineer of all that exists?

I have narrowed the God Concept to 2 main ideas.  Parent or Creator

The Parent:  

This is the most prevalent idea of God in Western Judaeo/Christian/Islamic civilization.  Since we all have or had a mother and a father, it is only natural that we should internalize God as our heavenly parent.  Like our own parents, God gave us life by creating all that exists, including Mom and Dad.

This parent God not only created us but acts as our Heavenly parent; punishing us when we are bad or “sin” and rewarding us when we are good.

Often our own parents acted as judge, jury and jailer, (I must have served 2 years total during my childhood and adolescence “on punishment”).  If God puts us on “punishment” its not a couple of weeks, its for all eternity.

Whew, talk about tough love!  But that’s not all the “Parent God” does for us. He/ She also helps plan our life and direct our path, rather like having a perpetual mother-in-law or ethnic Mama (Jewish, Italian, Armenian, Greek, Irish)

People who believe in the “Parent God” often ask:”What is God’s Plan for Me” as if we came with a life road map at birth.  This can even extend to buying a car or house; getting married, having a child, taking a new job or moving to another city. Any salesman can tell you of customers who would not decide on a home or car unless “it was God’s Plan”.

I often wondered how God could possibly have time to deal with the minutiae of 10 billion people and that is just our one little planet out of millions more in the Universe!

Belief in this Parent God is called Theism.  

The Creator

My personal favorite God is the Creator God, the God of the 17th and 18th Century Enlightenment.  This is the historical period when fear based belief and the old medieval ideas gave way to science and the philosophy of Rousseau, Locke and Montesquieu.  This is the God of our Founding Fathers, including Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Franklin and virtually every major player in the founding of our nation.  This idea of God is called Deism, the idea that God is the Creator of all that exists but rules by natural laws, both physical and spiritual. 

God’s gifts to us are life and what Deists call “Providence”, meaning that God has provided all that is needful for humanity to thrive and be successful on this Earth.  To a Deist, God is not a parent or nanny but a Creator and Law Giver. 

Does this seem a bit cold and detached compared to the Parent God?  There is no denying that if you want Big Daddy or Mommy in the Sky, you will not find them in a Deistic Universe.  This Creator Deist God does not get involved in your love life, what car you drive or where you live.  The only “plan” that the Deistic God has for you is what you think, speak and choose.  YOU are the author of the “plan”.

A Deistic God has endowed his creations with all they need to live happy lives and succeed.  It is their choice, however, to live their lives wisely and well or foolishly and badly.  By our thoughts, words and choices WE are the authors of our lives. The Book of Life that we write is neither right or wrong to a Deist… it just IS.  The Law returns measure for measure back to us exactly what we have thought, done and believed. 

A Deistic God does not punish or reward. Your life and after life is created by your thought, word and deed. Law gives back what you put out so no Divine intervention is necessary.  No need for reward, for virtue is its own reward, no need for punishment for we do a fine job of punishing ourselves . 

Before you conclude that the Deistic God is just a Divine Clock Winder who began the Universe and all that is in it and then left us alone, you should know that this concept of God is open 24/7 for consultation and inspiration.  It will encourage you, love you, and inspire you you at every turn of your life….If you are open and listen to the voice within, which is the presence of the Divine in you. 

The Deistic God is the best friend you could ever have for he/she never rewards or punishes, he or she merely is and always will be. 

This is a God that you can talk to and get answers; clear answers that human beings can use and follow.  Yes, you can talk to God for God is not up in Heaven, or down in Hell.  No these places are merely constructs of the human mind and have nothing to do with God.  

God is everywhere present at all times, including in you and I and every person on this planet and many more beyond our imagination.  God lives and moves and has it being in you and I and in every living thing.  We swim in God as a fish swims in the sea but we persist in believing that God is a stern and distant parent, beyond reach and reason. 

Religious Science is very God centered but ours is the Deistic concept of Emerson, Descartes,  Thoreau,  Swedenborg, Quimby and the philosophers of the Enlightenment.  

If he were alive today George Washington would be a Religious Scientist.  

There is no mystery to God, He or She is as close as a prayer and stands ready to give you strength when it all seems hopeless, inspire you when all roads seemed closed to you and warm your soul with Her Eternal, Unconditional Love. If you want a faith and philosophy that warms your heart and soul and still makes sense in this 21st Century then log on to CSL.ORG  and see if Religious Science just might be the answer you have longed to find.  You will be most welcome!

And So It Is 

Rev. Dore’ Jacques Patlian, Sarasota, Florida

 

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

In Search of Wisdom

Wisdom is to intelligence as aging is to wine.  It enriches, hones and perfects the  intelligent mind and the eager heart.   Smart without wisdom is rather like a fine horse never broken.  All potential but little or no production.

Wisdom is the art and science of what to do, when to do it and the converse.  It is often more important to know when to keep one’s own counsel, when to remain still and let things play out.  A wise person does not care what others think of him. Wisdom is secure in the knowledge that it has the goods, that it can handle the situation and that what others think of him or her is really none of his business.

Where are the wise men in the 21st Century?  The commodity of true wisdom is becoming more and more rare.  In order to acquire wisdom one must be still and listen, do an inner inventory of one’s self and be willing to not like what one sees.

In our age of social media and the fire hose of  information poured into our homes and minds with 24 hour news and commentary there is less and less quiet time in our lives.   Sometimes we just need to be still  and think.

Be still and know that I am God……Psalm121

Good advice in 1500 BC and still relevant today.  The chattering mind never acquires wisdom for it is on transmit 24/7.  You must LISTEN to learn and be still to be wise.

Are you willing to devote 40 minutes a day to the silence and just listen?  Are you willing to suffer a slight or insult and just let it pass?  Can you be still and not react at the first sign of a crisis or problem?  Can you see the higher good and then act upon it instinctively?

If you can do this you are on the path to wisdom.  It takes time, thought, quiet contemplation and the ability to love, to forgive, to be magnanimous, to live the High Watch and to see the face of God in every one you meet.

Until we are together again… May the Indwelling God and the Most High God (one and the same) bless and keep you warm, well and prosperous.    

Rev. Dore’ Jacques Patlian, Sarasota, Florida

The Art and Science of Swimming in God

It is my belief that the anthology that we call the Holy Bible ( literally Sacred Book) is a Great Light to humankind for it is a book of spiritual wisdom and truth.  The New Testament, in particular is a good rule and guide for a life well lived as it teaches much wisdom, love, tolerance and philosophy by means of parable and allegory.

So it is with with Acts 17:28…For we live and move and have our being within the great body of God.  We live in Him. 

What does this mean?  Does it mean that we are surrounded by God, that we swim in God as a fish swims in the ocean?

Could it be that we have gotten it wrong for nearly 2,000 years?  Traditional Old Time Christianity teaches that God, Angels, and the Heavenly Host live far above in a place called Heaven or Paradise.  We are weak worms of the dust and of little account but can be redeemed and given eternal life if, and only if, we take the man Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

In my book, the Death of Religion and the Dawn of Spirituality, I call this central idea of Christianity the longest running Magic Show in history.  It is a complete contradiction of Acts 17:28.

God is not an unreachable presence in the Cosmos but is everywhere present, all around us, above us, below us, in us and of us. In fact, we do swim in God as a fish swims in the ocean.  We do not become God as the fish does not become the ocean, but it is the medium in which we have our being and our life.

God is within every cell in our body.  God surrounds us with its presence in the form of our aura.  God lives in our Mind, Heart and Spirit.  In fact, the old New Thought saying: There is no spot where God is not is exactly true.

Understanding that God is the medium in which we exist can free our magnificent power, will and intelligence which is the key to creating exactly the life we want and need.  Life then becomes the Art and Science of Swimming in God.

How good a God Swimmer are you?  Do you allow yourself to despair when outside events don’t go your way (like elections or love affairs or your job)? Do you feel worthless and never seem to fit in anywhere?  These are symptoms of a person needing God swimming lessons!

If you develop the Sacred Senses that you were born with to the point that you can feel the warm balm of the ocean of God caressing your Body, Mind and Spirit every moment of your life, then you are a Master Swimmer in God. In this state of being there is nothing that you cannot do with proper use of the Law.

The Art is in the feeling of the God presence each and every moment, in your waking, sleeping, going and coming.   The Science is in the mastery of the Law; the great creative engine of God that we are licensed to use.  Used properly and with right intent and purpose, the Law never fails.

If there is a failure in your Law Work it is due to what my wife calls: operator error.

We really do live and move and have our being within the great Body of God.  If God is Truly all there is and we are here then we are part and parcel of God.  We really do swim in God as a fish swims in the ocean.

For many years I could not feel God enveloping me as the warm ocean envelops the swimmer. There have been times when my heart was broken, my ego shattered, my self esteem dragging and my life seemed pointless.  After practicing serial monogamy for far too long until Lady Susan graced my life 18 years ago and healed my heart and enriched my mind, there were too, many times when God felt very far away from Dore’.  I was washed up on the shore of despair until my dear wife came into my life.

I am now a swimCSL.ORGmer in the Ocean of God.  I know God surrounds me and is within me and I am learning new lessons each day to become a Master Swimmer in the Ocean of God.  Won’t you join me?

Come on in…..The water’s fine!

Rev. Dore’ Jacques Patlian, Sarasota, FL   check out my 120 video podcasts on YouTube.com/revdore   Questions about Religious Science (Science of Mind)?  Go to CSL.ORG

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