Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Standing On The Shoulders of Giants

So much of what I teach comes from Ernest Holmes and the books teaching the Science of Mind and Spirit, my teachers in New Thought, and those who have counseled me, been in class with me, or indirectly taught me or inspired me in other ways and from other fields of study. It all adds up and continues my growth and what I can bring to you. It also reminds me that though I may put a spin on something, make it my own, even inspire people with it, I am standing on the shoulder of giants. And even behind that, it is more about my openness to the open-source of all wisdom that comes to me from the Divine Source.

Like software for which the original source code is made freely available, and may be redistributed and modified, the wisdom of the ages and the intuitable creativity and imagination of the Universe is an open-source venue ...for everyone. Even Newton’s “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants,” wasn’t entirely original...

In the 12th century - John of Salisbury, who described himself as Johannes Parvus, was an English author, philosopher, diplomat and bishop of Chartres said, "We are like dwarfs sitting on the shoulders of giants. We see more, and things that are more distant, than they did, not because our sight is superior or because we are taller than they, but because they raise us up, and by their great stature add to ours."

I look at my library and I see all these ideas that interested me, were suggested to me or required for me to read, and some I don't remember why I was inspired to have them. Many are stalwarts in our teaching, but all of them created by standing on the shoulders of giants from ancient times to the last couple of centuries, or from each other.

It’s not where you take things from—it’s where you take them to.  ~Jean-Luc Godard

An everyday example is found in the book,  Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder, where Nassim Taleb describes an evening of a dinner out...

I realized I was going to a place the likes of which have been around for at least 2,500 years, in shoes similar to those worn at least 5,300 yrs ago, to use silverware designed by the Mesopotamians and drinking wine based on a 6K year-old recipe, from glasses invented 2,900 years ago, while eating cheese unchanged through the centuries (in fact, the older the better – right? wine too) while awaiting a dinner prepared with one of our oldest tools - fire, using utensils much like those the Romans developed.

2021 is not a New Year, New You. It is a New Year, NEWER you. As singer/songwriter Peter Allen wrote, “Everything old is new again.”

January's theme, in our year of AWAKENING, was Believe It. What we believe is the ground floor of our awakening. What we believe is the basis with which we experience a fabulous life and a fabulous life is a creative series of connecting the dots of wisdom throughout the ages, ancient to modern to today into our thoughts, feelings, and actions. Here's an example of connecting the dots wisely. It is about creating something you probably have in front of you right now:

1. The first touchscreen was developed by E.A. Johnson for air traffic control almost 50 years earlier than this thing

a. by 1975 other engineers built upon Johnson's work, developed and patented usable models

b. around the same time, the University of Illinois was developing touchscreen terminals for students

c. the first commercial touchscreen computer came out in 1983, soon followed by graphics boards, tablets, watches, and video game consoles

d. Casio released a touchscreen pocket computer in 1987 (20 years before iPhone)

2. Likewise, Kane Kramer (23 yrs old) designed a small portable hand-held touchscreen digital music player called the IXI

a. 1979 invention inspired by the Sony Walkman

b. held only 3.5 minutes of music

c. Kramer pitched it with the potential for immediate delivery, digital inventory, taped live performances, digital storage, and the promotion of new artists and micro-transactions.

Sound familiar? All that got us to the iPhone. Similarly, the technology for a fabulous life is already present and ready to have the dots connected. We can stand on the shoulders of giants right now to make these ideas our own; from Ernest Holmes, the Vedas, James Allen, Meister Eckhart, Wayne Dyer, Florence Scovil Shin, and hundreds of others. Even Shakespeare, drew heavily upon prior works to observe and create from (some may say, plagiarize)

  • Hamlet took inspiration from a play based on Gesta Danorum, a twelfth-century work
  • Holinshed's Chronicles was a comprehensive history of Britain originally published in 1577 - a source for Macbeth, King Lear, and Cymbeline. 
  • Parts of Antony and Cleopatra are copied verbatim from Plutarch’s Life of Mark Anthony. 
  • Arthur Brooke’s 1562 poem The Tragicall Historye of Romeus and Juliet brought us Romeo and Juliet. And that poem came from a 1559 poem by Pierre Boaistuau, who in turn drew from a 1554 story by Matteo Bandello, who in turn was inspired by a 1530 work by Luigi da Porto.

In 2015, John Maxwell wrote a short primer on how to stand on the shoulder of giants. He said:

Stand on the lessons of history.

His example was through Norman Cousins, who wrote, “History is a vast early warning system,” teaching us to learn by mistakes. I say we learn by successes instead.

Stand on the lessons of others.

Throughout my life, starting when I was a very young man, I’ve made it a practice to spend time with people ahead of me on the journey. Observe and ask questions of people you respect, and you’ll gain incredible lessons that you can apply to your own life.

Stand on the lessons of experience.

When you learn from others first, you gain skills in evaluating experience in order to grow. I’ve often said that experience is not the best teacher; evaluated experience is. Use what you learn from others’ experience to evaluate your own, and you’ll go farther, faster, than you would have otherwise.

With your mentors, ally's, and life itself ... what is your history, your lessons, your experience? What do you believe? Whether you are new to this teaching or have been involved with this philosophy for a while, what are you doing with your beliefs?

The words are nice to hear and read - I know, but the belief and its integration, the awakening and embodying of it is essential to the transforming and transcending or for just having a happy life

You must be willing to incarnate your theology and illuminate the world around you … that devotion will give you the will to follow through on all you are guided to do, say, and become in this life. ~Carolyn Myss, Entering the Castle

We don't have to reinvent the wheel for a prosperous life.
We don't have to hold ourselves back or have misery in our lives to learn and grow.

When it comes to the ideas of:

  • Divine Love always within and available
  • Using the Law of Cause and Effect to reveal all  good in your life
  • The One Mind and Unity of Spirit in all life
  • Limitless Power of the Universe is available to us at all times

...our belief in them is proved by our use of these ideas, conscious or unconscious.

Take it all in. Don't lose the wisdom from the ancients because it's old and maybe abused. Don't lose the wisdom of the recent as just the latest fad or what those other people believe

Look at it, smell it, listen to it, touch it. Is it loving? is it constructive? Does it support:

  • Divine Love always within and available
  • Using the Law of Cause and Effect to reveal all  good in your life
  • The One Mind and Unity of Spirit in all life
  • Limitless Power of the Universe is available to us at all times

If so, add it in, make it your own, make it work for you.

Awaken your spirit to adventure; hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk; soon you will be home in a new rhythm, for your soul senses the world that awaits you.   ~John O’Donohue, To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings

Believe it, risk with it, love it, be it. Always remember that behind (and above!) it all is God, the biggest giant with the widest and strongest shoulders. 

As we advance through our year of awakening and continue allowing the evolutionary impulse of Spirit to work through us, let us remember and commit to an upward journey of Divine Unfoldment. Mary Shelley wrote in a preface for Frankenstein: “Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void but out of chaos.”

Not the chaos of confusion, disarray, disorder, and mayhem, but the chaos of the cosmos, of the Divine, of the wisdom of the ages - an open-source of information, inspiration, and transformation.

You won’t be able to say, ‘Here it is!’ or ‘It’s over there!’ For the Kingdom of God is already among you. ~Luke 17:21

Stand on the shoulders of my words and the words my words were inspired from, and the fruits where those were burgeoned and on and on till you get it, believe it, awaken to it; till you see further than ever before …and thrive!

Affirmative Incantation

Today I am lifted up and carried by the gigantic stature of that undeniable, ever-reliable Loving Intelligence that moves through me, with me, as me, and for me.

 I experience It's love like I do gravity, oxygen, magnetism, and electricity – in the result of Its power and presence in all of life.

I believe in It as I see It expressed in the beauty of nature or the eyes of a puppy or my truest love. I believe It as I hear It ringing in the sounds of the cooing of birds, the laughter of children, and the music that stirs me. I believe in It as It is disclosed in my freedoms of choice, words, thoughts, feelings, and actions. 

I believe that I Am to be guided and enlightened today, centered in the love and support of the Highest in me.

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