Understanding—a Book by Pastor Shane Wall

Pastor Shane Wall and I have never met in person, but we’re friends. I’ve read his book more than once and have seen into his heart of heart. He’s a genuine devotee of the Living God, and that I like. His true feelings of worship and awe come through in his writing, and in that can be no pretense.

Shane’s book, Understanding: All Success Is Attained by It can be bought at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.com.

I’ve seen Shane Wall giving his sermons online on Sundays: http://live.orangeburgchurch.com/chat . He preaches at his nondenominational church, The Feast of the Lord. To me, he’s the New South, honey—sophisticated and he doesn’t shout. Not even a hint of a Southern accent. But he zings God to his congregation in some of the same Old South ways, with force and the conviction of one who knows. Shane talks to God/receives directly from God and then tells it to the rest of us like it is. And it’s good. The path is narrow, but everyone talking about heaven isn’t going there. So if you want to go there, now, in this life, or in the future…

I felt that I should interview Shane for my blog, so I did.

How did you get the idea for the book?

Pastor Shane Wall: I literally received a divinely inspired revelation. I’m always asking God to tell me what He wants people to know so I can share the information with them. During my prayer times, I hear the voice of the Holy Spirit giving me much understanding about different facets in life and I can hardly wait to impart what I received! I’ve been preaching for over 30 years and pastoring for over 10 years. Sundays can’t come quick enough for me to teach what God has given me for the congregants attending each service. I’m excited to release words of life that help people live successfully in every area.

Is seeking understanding a process you often have gone through?

Pastor Shane Wall: Seeking understanding was a very tiring process that I had to undergo for years, until I finally understood that seeking understanding from worldly resources was a waste of my time and a literal waste of my money as well. Once I learned that seeking God for the understanding and other related secrets was the key to success, I followed the outlined instructions, which I’ve included in my book, and I don’t remember the last failure I had to endure.

What is understanding?

Pastor Shane Wall: Plainly put, understanding is revealed insight. Of course we can’t know everything, but some things we need to know so that we can properly engage in actions that produce a successful life. Because the Holy Bible is accepted across religious divides as a great book of wisdom and understanding, and billions of people, as do I, consider it to be the literal Word of God, I used the sacred Scriptures as the sole, written resource for confirmation of what I felt and heard the Holy Spirit speak in my heart. Therefore, whatever God says—that’s the understanding. Whether His Word is delivered from the Bible or what is spoken in our hearts, that’s the only understanding we should note as direction, instruction, and truth, forsaking all other advice given.

How does this fit into your ministry?

Pastor Shane Wall: Understanding actually is my ministry! As I looked back at the hundreds of sermons that I’ve delivered over the years, it amazed me that understanding has always seemed to be an underlying theme in each message. Too many misunderstandings in the world have caused spiritual, financial, social, mental, and even literal death. As I minister, I want whatever I say to produce the proverbial light bulb of understanding for all who are experiencing misconceptions, perplexity, ignorance, or any other state of mind that blocks true comprehension from entering their lives along with its resulting peace and prosperity.

Who should read this book?

Pastor Shane Wall: Those who will benefit from this book’s message are the ones who desire to obtain success in every area of their lives, while not having to wonder if the process is certain to work. Some may look at the back cover or may even skim through the book and notice that scriptures verify the message, but still say that because they’re not Christian, the book isn’t for them. This book is not a fire and brimstone deal that causes readers to feel like dirt if they aren’t Christians. It’s a message of certain hope and personal fulfillment, based on words from the One Who made and understands us and the world that surrounds us.

Anything else you want to say?

Pastor Shane Wall: The reason the subtitle of the book is “all success is attained by it” is because anyone who has ever been successful at any feat is said to have understanding concerning their area of expertise.

Not only is it possible to know how God understands, we can actually understand God!

Even if we haven’t experienced the same trial that someone else has had to undergo, we can still understand that person’s ordeal and offer comfort that will be effective and readily accepted by the one who suffers.

I’m happy to be Shane’s friend. I don’t share his exact practices, but I’m lucky enough to know the Spirit when I see it in action. I hope you’ll consider Shane a font of Spirit when you need some Living Waters.

My Best Forever Friend (BFF)—God

One day while listening to a spiritual podcast, I had two visions of God. Now don’t characterize me as being a simpleton because of their content. I’d never actually viewed God in this way and the visions were spontaneous.

The first vision was of God radiating from a cloud. The feeling emanating from the cloud was one of great equanimity. As I said, I’ve never imagined God as a man in the sky.

The second vision, which came a little while later, was of God and me walking down a country road. He was big and I was (well, I am) small. We were walking hand in hand.

The fact that I recall these images from time to time and haven’t forgotten them tells me that they made an impact on me. They did.

But let me go back a moment, because now, while writing, I do recall something else. I’d been in the few days preceding that saying to myself repeatedly, “Trust in God. Surrender to God.” So what I received seemed like a result of my directions to myself, a payoff you might call it.

Fast forward about a year and I was in my usual place of worship. Worship, I say, but I was thinking how I’m always so self-centered in my prayers, hardly ever truly focused on God. Even when I pray for others, it’s because I want something for them. It’s unselfish, yes, but not really adoration of the awesomeness of the Source (or insert your own word for the Creator here). I tried to bring to mind who God is, something so unimaginably magnificent that we would never be able to comprehend the entirety of the All.

But instead of evoking the feeling I’d intended, what arose for me from the Energetic aspect of the Divine was a feeling of closeness, of God as Friend, of God as aligned with me—little me. I would never have anticipated it, I assure you. The message, and it was a fully felt message, was that God is here as my Friend.

And later I remembered something from many decades before. I experienced the Friend in the Heart. I’d read about the concept (though I couldn’t find it just now in an Internet search). The Friend in the Heart is a spiritual presence located in the heart. At the time, I’d naively thought this Friend was with me to stay. I hadn’t had a lot of spiritual experiences and didn’t realize the best ones come and go… though I’m sure for some the Friend in the Heart does abide forevermore. Not me, however.

People sometimes say an experience previews what you may later receive. That would be lovely. I only know that I really like the feeling of God as my Friend, this awesome God of ours, who should be worshipped, isn’t harsh or forbidding (so let’s not be).

God is the Friend who will take our hand or reside (not just metaphorically) in our hearts. This sounds sentimental, but I’m depicting the reality of my experience.

I never expected such gentle kindness, to be quite honest, but I do catch the image these days from time to time. God is my Best Forever Friend.

Whether you’re Christian or not, here’s someone who knew the truth of the universe and told us about it: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/91472

A Pearl of Great Price

I often wonder why people don’t involve themselves in spiritual life. Yes, many folks go to church on Sunday, which is a comfort to them, and I’m sure it does them good in numerous ways—points them in the right direction and makes them better people.

 Still, actual spiritual life isn’t just words. That’s what I want to emphasize here. In spiritual life we’re not just talking or listening to empty, though majestic, rhetoric.

 So I’ve been thinking that perhaps many individuals don’t realize what a shift into experiencing the realm of the spirit means. The most exalted experiences in life are those we partake of in a spiritual mode, but getting there may sometimes require a little bit of trying.

 I say “may sometimes” since I know that many people stumble onto this gift because they simply have what it takes, whether they or the outer world knows it or not. In fact, we all have what it takes, ultimately.

 The work we do is the work of opening and then accustoming ourselves to entering spiritual states and opening further. But some people are simply given this type of experience out of the blue. The…“I was walking in the mountains, and suddenly I felt (or saw, or heard)” kind of thing.

 Those of us who’ve become habituated to these shifts join groups of others who regularly partake because nothing is so sublime as those glimpses of a different—and higher—state of being. We want more.

 But a great many people, especially in our cynical age when nonbelieving is thought to be “smart,” either haven’t yet gotten a clue, or forgot the clue they were once given. Or they think digging up that clue again would be too hard. Or they suspect God doesn’t or won’t favor them. (After all, their parents didn’t.)

 Still, the thing is, nothing is of greater value than this shift in perceiving and feeling, which takes us from the mundane to something entirely different, entirely elevating, entirely wonderful. That’s the pearl of great price, the kingdom of heaven, which is within, and is currently (and forevermore) available.

 I’ve had many spiritual experiences over the years and I hang out with people who also have a lot of wonderful inner receivings—experiences, knowledge, and abilities—and that tells me how marvelously varied these things can be. And though we probably never quite get back to the one peak moment we had before (but may have other types of such moments), we can often have shifts that throw us into a higher background state. I see nothing as being predictable in all of this, only something that we want to chase.

 Those of us who know, know, and those who don’t, don’t—to date, anyway.

 Let’s stop being cynical and disbelieving what venturing into the world of spirituality can offer us because nothing means more than this.

 You don’t have to stop your life midstream or your pursuits of whatever. You want money and power, go for it, though the warning here is that you could be changed by the wonderful pearl of great price. Then you’ll find yourself giving up some of that seeking in the world to have more of these magnificent moments.

 It’s the real thing. Life is short and we’d best get hustling.

 Speaking of hustling, here’s my science blog with a new post coming soon: http://gmikihayden.tumblr.com/

Is It Love?

Positive emotions generated by the ego already contain within themselves their opposite into which they can quickly turn. … What the ego calls love is possessiveness and addictive clinging that can turn into hate within a second.—Eckhart Tolle

 Love is a spontaneous phenomenon, associated not so much with a person or persons as object as simply being an energetic condition. Love may also be beyond energy, at emptiness or the proverbial still point, but I haven’t gotten there (yet?). I do, however, sometimes feel the love and I can say nothing is more gratifying.

 The problem comes when we correlate the emotion with a human, personal object. We feel we’re in love with someone when what we have is simply the arising of an emotion. In short, the feeling may or may not have to do with another individual.

 Do you know a man/woman obsessed with a love object? Maybe you’re the one who’s focused on Lucy or Gary or Jean. That could be fine, or it could be entirely inappropriate.

 Thinking of that feeling of love as love for all beings is probably a good approach even if the love is sparked by the presence of or thoughts of another, specific human being. Not that personal love can’t appear, but until a personal love is tried and tested and sustained over time, love is best accepted as an impersonal love, a love that arises from a state of good fortune, even grace, and that has as its object all who live. Nothing is to be done with love, except to feel it and to express it to all.

 To immediately enclose the love as a singular love directed at one person would be short sighted. Indeed, in that case, we allow the individual to evoke and capture our love entirely for that one person’s sake, which limits the feeling that might let us grow into a full human being.

 Individualizing love also creates a condition of potentially truncating the emotion itself.

 Personal love isn’t always well suited to a situation or idea. Should it arise in a mutual, fulfilling way, then we’re blessed. But, really, the larger vision might be less arduous and invoke a lot less struggle.

 Love of all sorts waxes and wanes, even the impersonal stuff. But think, if we awake one morning and feel grumpy about humanity as a whole and disenchanted with the universe, that doesn’t imply an irrevocable split. We suppose our mood will lighten later in the day after we exercise or have breakfast, and nothing is lost. But waking up and realizing the love of “the one” is rotten to the core means a whole big mess ensues, starting with self-questioning and self-doubt and a whole lot of “what do I do now”s.

“I loved her,” said the boy who shot his beloved—and her mother and grandmother—after she’d broken up with him.

Emotions arise, and that’s perfectly fine. Love is a wonderful emotion to feel, a universal solvent that heals all ills if felt often enough for long enough. Love is, in fact, grand. But suppose we take it with a grain of salt when it settles on a particular trigger lest a heart beating with this exalted stuff later fills with a much less pleasant emotion. No, no, I have nothing again love at all. My beef is against our impulsively leaping into…trouble.

For another take on the perils and promises of love: http://profanelight.wordpress.com/2014/05/31/the-madness-of-falling-in-love/#more-148

And for the perils and promises of the universe: http://www.amazon.com/Strings-G-Miki-Hayden-ebook/dp/B00KQ35ZW4/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1401814674&sr=1-1&keywords=Strings+by+G.+Miki+Hayden

Or wait for STRINGS in paperback. .

Resist the Tyranny of the Human Mind

You might recognize the fact that your so-called human mind bosses you around—not to mention the way that other so-called human minds try to dominate you as well.

 I say “so-called” because the human mind isn’t a real, genuine full-functioning Mind, only an idea of a mind, a construct made up of old thought patterns along with newly acquired ones, gained by mimicking what we see around and about, ideas handed to us by consensual thought forms.

 You might not get what I’m saying and/or simply don’t agree because you’re under the impression that you think fresh thoughts: your own, individual thoughts. We all are under that impression. Yet it’s simply not true. I can’t prove it to you; I can’t even prove it to myself. Still, I do believe the outside-the-box premise. But digging deeper and eliminating the tyranny of the individual, human mind presents a challenge. This so-called mind persists in its dysfunctional patterns handed down through individual ancestry and species inheritance.

 So my question is, if we’re really thinking the thoughts we want in our own private, separate minds, why can’t we control said thoughts? Why do thoughts slip in that we’d like to eschew, that preoccupy us, that pursue us—such as a song we really don’t want to hear anymore and that drones on in our so-called minds.

In short, we’re being tyrannized, made to allow in thoughts that really aren’t helpful to us and to entertain detrimental fears and imaginings. Help!

I mentioned the idea of resisting the tyranny of the human mind to a friend of mine and he had just been reading the advice to let the whole mess be—to merely observe. That’s a traditional suggestion advised by lineages of Buddhist and other meditators and Gurdjieffians who talk about self-observation. http://www.dennislewis.org/articles-other-writings/articles-essays/gurdjieff-the-further-reaches-of-self-observation/   and http://www.michaelteachings.com/self_observation.htm

 Those two articles are good and so is the practice.

 To resist is maybe a little different, however, and may be counter to Jesus’s advice to resist not evil. But remember that Jesus is the one who threw the moneychangers out of the temple and tossed Legion out of a poor suffering madman. In the sense that thoughts foreign to the natural, wholesome, human condition continue to plague us in this day and age, we might try the suggestion to “resist.”

As Mary Baker Eddy told her readers: “Stand porter at the door of thought. Admitting only such conclusions as you wish realized…you will control yourself harmoniously.”

 That’s different advice than to merely observe. (However, she also said, “Error, when found out, is two-thirds destroyed, and the remaining third destroys itself.” That would advocate, I think, self-observation.)

 Maybe self-observation is what Western psychotherapy is all about, with help in pointing at what isn’t being observed by the “patient” or client.

Spiritual teacher Andrew Cohen tells students not to believe their own thoughts or emotions. That, I think, sparks both watching (self-observation) and resisting.

 What do I think is a good approach? Hmmm, I was taught that strategies are useless, that only God can correct us as He will. In the meantime, we try to transform by any means possible.

Coming soon: Strings http://curiosityquills.com/strings-cover-reveal/ . The novel is a tongue-in-cheek look at string theory and the universe and isn’t just for chronological kids.

The Other Place

I was leaving the Subud New York gallery opening: http://www.jerrychalemart.net/
and ran into one of the curators, Eric Strasberg, who was talking to a man named Robert. We kidded around for a while, then Robert, who visits a man he used to work regularly, told us a story. The man is 94 years old and lives in a nursing home.

Here’s what ensued:

Robert: I’m sorry I missed you last week but you were sleeping when I came by.

94-Year Old Man: I just got back. I was in the other place.

Robert: How was it there?

94-Year Old Man: It was wonderful. I saw Him.

Robert: What did He say?

94-Year Old Man: He said everything’s okay. Then I saw the angels on my way back.

Robert: What did they say?

94-Year Old Man: They said the same thing. Everything’s okay.

Eric then asked Robert, “What was his background?”

“Nothing special,” Robert said. “Just like the rest of us. Trying to lean toward the good.”

Eric and I nodded.

“I’ll never forget the conversation,” Robert said. “I hope I don’t embellish the story. Then when I run into the angels, they’ll say, `Here’s the embellisher.’”

I said, “They’ll say, `Here’s the embellisher. Oh well. Let him in, anyway.’”

Then on the train, I (Miki) started talking to a woman who had just visited a nursing home with her spiritual group: http://www.sgny.org/ . I told her the story.

I hope I didn’t embellish too much.

Those who really know tell us the same thing: Everything’s okay.

That’s pretty much what Jesus found out. http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/91472

Waiting for God

Out of work and needing money, my friend recently told me she’s not looking for a job. She’s waiting for God. You might think I’d feel she ought to be more practical—or probably you think she ought to be more practical—but no. I think that’s just as good a way as any to find employment. Maybe even a better way. Who else knows where all the jobs are, much less that one specific job she ought to have?

Then, you might ask, why didn’t you get the job you think you really ought to have? But maybe that’s the job you did get. You hate the job? Perhaps you need to learn to love it. Am I kidding? Only slightly.

But waiting with deliberate intention is a little different than simply falling into a spot that you’ve found yourself. A little different—then again, maybe it really is the right spot for you.

But back to the idea of waiting for God, by which I mean, waiting with intention, waiting with God in mind and God’s ability, even God’s desire perhaps, to guide you, and to “reward” you for turning to the Source of all.

The best position we can be in, in life, is surrendered. Yet can we do it? I have heard that God surrenders you, that we can’t do it. But we can consider the possibility and try to understand why this alignment with the will of God is the best approach to being here on earth.

We might be making every mistake in the book in the meantime, but all those failures and disappointments can lead to more humility and more sense that very little can be done by our design. We find that fortuitously the more we let go, the better the outcomes. The timing of occurrences improves.

Do we have to be 100 percent surrendered to get what we need in an harmonious and timely fashion? Well, no. I haven’t seen that to be true. Less than perfectly surrendered people will have good moments in which their thoughts and feelings soar above what they’re generally capable of, and voila, something in their outer circumstances changes. They might now be a little transformed, having had the experience, but are they perfectly in tune with Divine Will? I’m sure they would like that, but recreating that momentary state might take a while. And for part of the explanation, I have to refer back to my blog piece entitled “Why Not Me?”

Indeed, we all have a grand potential, but probably we don’t recognize that fact and fall back to earth under the force of our own gravitational pull.

Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.—Samuel Beckett

Is it hard? If you think so. Is it easy? Could be for you.

Should we turn to God and surrender? Great idea, Worth a try once in a while.

Having trouble with punctuation? Maybe my ebook titled Punctuation will help. It’s a good reference, anyway. https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/120620