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Self Respect

Sharing 2

Self Respect (August 1996)

Self-respect and quality of life go hand in hand.

Self-respect is an issue fundamental to moving forward in life and those who do not have it continue to struggle with their aspirations for prosperity, fulfillment and happiness.

Respect for the self is one of those aspects that is almost incidentally acquired as one's appreciation grows. When we have self-respect we create the natural requirement for
appreciation. When we appreciate, we are demonstrating self-respect. The two are inseparable - and life without them is not worth living.

Quality of life is essentially defined by an individual's appreciation of what they have, what they do and how they are and indeed, of other people and other things. The level of appreciation an individual exhibits in life is directly proportionate to the quality of life they enjoy. And indeed quality of life, being the kind of perception that it is, can only really be recognized by the individual who is willing to make quality of life into something of value. Hence the requirement for self-respect. Without self-respect, there is no requirement for quality, no recognition of it and little genuine enjoyment or fulfillment.

Wayfarer International, Copyright © John & Melody Anderson, 1996 - 1999. All rights reserved.

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Senses (October 1992)

In 1992, we used the term 'greatness' to describe a direction of more in life... The role of the senses in this direction of becoming more, must be given due credence, for the fact that we live in a physical body is not coincidental to the purpose of our lives, but is an integral part of the way in which we may achieve it.

A project of developing ones receptiveness to expanding awareness, particularly an awareness of the senses is an extremely self loving act, especially if your appreciation is genuine. The degree to which you are able to feel passionate about this will be self-evident. When you feel passion for your ability to sense you are not only appreciating life itself, but you are appreciating your importance within the scheme of life and you are appreciating your willingness to appreciate. Indeed you have enjoyed a glimpse of the ideal, the basic concept for living as a human being.

The ideal is to live and breathe freely, to run and jump and play and love and touch and feel and smell and taste and see and hear and understand and desire and have and be and to be always stimulated and always alive and to be happy and to find delight and pleasure wherever you go.

For us all to gain a sense of that concept and be inspired by it and to begin living by these principles would truly be being great. And that is basically a very simple thing to do. Every element of greatness is something you already know and know how to do. The only difference between someone who is not great, as such and someone who is great is that the great individual uses what they know and with full awareness uses it at all times to create total fulfillment in life. The non-great individual uses what they know sporadically, much of the time without knowledge of it and rides the roller coaster, at the mercy of the highs and lows. To gain a vision of this ideal is the first step toward becoming

Wayfarer International, Copyright © John & Melody Anderson, 1992 - 1999. All rights reserved.

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Sharing (March 1995)

Abundance might seem to be something that can only be measured in quantity. True abundance is not a product of giving or receiving, but of sharing and is measured by our appreciation of it.

Abundance is a force or a flow that depends on movement for its very existence. For the whole system to work in a genuine sense, there must be an equal appreciation of abundance going out and abundance coming in. To concentrate on one or the other aspect is to damn the flow and destroy abundance and its implications for an individual's life. Giving and taking is the commonly known way of describing this flow, but with slightly different connotations, as we understand them. Giving and taking both imply giving away our own power. Giving implying that you can actually give something to another person. And taking, that they can actually give something to you. Sharing is probably a more realistic way of describing the two and certainly with regard to abundance. To share in abundance, no matter where it comes from, is to really delight in what the world has to offer. Sharing in abundance is a way of enjoying and appreciating abundance while taking power for its existence in your life. Giving and taking is a way of doing a similar thing, without taking power and without freedom and therefore, without really enjoying in a genuine sense. Sharing then, implies that you can share what you have and share in what others have - but it is not giving or taking. It is free flowing and nothing is of concern but appreciation.

Therefore, if you place much emphasis on where your abundance comes from and how much you give and how much you get, then you are not capable of sharing and will destroy the whole experience. Sharing has a rather generous sense of freedom in the way that it describes abundance. So then, if you find yourself thinking about quantity and giving and taking, if you find yourself thinking about deserving, gratefulness, or similar words that are commonly linked with giving and taking and sharing in general, investigate your attitudes toward sharing and abundance. Look for these little 'impurities', you may be surprised at what you find.

Wayfarer International, Copyright © John & Melody Anderson, 1995 - 1999. All rights reserved.

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Sharing 2 (August 1995)

Sharing is much more than simply the exchange of an object or a common experience. In order to share, we must be prepared to give of ourselves.

Like many concepts in life, sharing is one that is open to misinterpretation and indeed, because every individual has their own perception of ideas like sharing, a variety of meanings can be represented by the use of one word. However, most people would acknowledge that there seem to be universal ways of appreciating such concepts and aspects of them that everyone can relate to. These commonalties transcend the various individual permutations to take on a significance that could be likened to a kind of 'spiritual' relevance. No matter what processes an individual may go through, anyone with a goal of rightness and of living a great life, will come across the same understandings within these concepts and will come to appreciate the universal meaning of them.

And it is with this concern for universal meaning that we look to various familiar concepts with a desire to separate the commonly used and accepted meanings from those inherent implications that pertain to greatness. Concepts like love, abundance, equality, appreciation, oneness and so on, are all commonly understood in day to day terms, but so too, do they have unifying, sometimes hidden elements that have the potential to broaden our knowledge of life and indeed, of the magical aspects of life. And if we are willing to look beyond what is first apparent for something deeper and if we apply what we have learned to our daily life, we bring an aspect of the 'spiritual' to everything we do.

In order to achieve this faithfully, we must effect a change in perception, in a sense we must always look beyond face value and look with the heart, not the head. The
heart remains the consistent indicator that may tell us the truth about something, even when the head may deny it. And so with sincerity, we may learn the truth and distinguish the truth from the appearance of truth. Honesty of course is the all-important magic ingredient.

Even at the worst of times, when it seems as though we fool ourselves at every turn, if a desire exists to know the truth, then we can know it. Any uncertainty about how we are, can be dispelled by listening to the heart. If we should think that we are open, a few moments devoted to this 'listening' might reveal that we are not. We always know the truth about ourselves, no matter how much we like to think that we do not. Honesty of course, makes this truth easier to reveal. If we are prepared to be honest, we are less likely to react to the truth and more likely to deal with any reactions that we do experience rather more quickly than if we have a vested interest in not knowing the truth.

One of the pitfalls for the wayfarer is the tendency to inappropriately regard things in absolute terms. For example, something that may be appropriate in one situation at one time may not be appropriate on another occasion. We might perceive that because something works well once, then if we do it the same way again, it will be equally as effective. However, with a change in situation and timing, that thing may be entirely not right, given the circumstances. Different situations demand different actions at different times, with different people. We cannot seek to regulate our behavior in the hope that it will produce regularized results. We must be open to the
spontaneous nature of human living and be prepared to change our approach, given the current circumstances.

The same can be said for our understanding of a concept like sharing. If for example, we perceive that in a certain situation, it is right to give a beggar $5.00, this does not mean that we are compelled to give every beggar $5.00. Similarly, it does not mean that giving money is always appropriate. Yet with a flawed understanding of a concept like sharing we can create
inappropriate compulsions that interfere with the practice of sharing and change its whole meaning in our life.

It is essential that we can distinguish between the
appearance of sharing and actual sharing. The two are distinctly different. For example, working only on the basis of the literal meaning of a word like sharing, we can quite contentedly create the illusion of ourselves as a very kindly sharing person and at the same time exhibit no genuine signs of being so. A similar example is that of love. An individual can exhibit all the accepted signs of being a loving, caring and warm person, yet exhibit no genuine warmth and in fact, if one looks closely, demonstrate many things that would contradict the impression of love and caring that is being projected. A person can devote their lives to helping other people and yet harbor a deep hatred for people. One can donate millions to charity, yet exhibit no sign of such generosity in one's day to day life. So then, concepts like generosity, giving and helping are obvious in their proneness to abuse. We can appear to love, without loving, we can help without helping, we can give without giving - we can 'share', without sharing.

If we are to understand and appreciate the nature of sharing we must understand this very real tendency to confuse the truth and to distort genuine concepts, which in so doing, become aberrations.

Being able to discern the difference between sharing and not sharing is a matter for the heart. When in doubt our hearts tell us when we are open and not open. Sharing and not sharing thus become discernible through listening to our hearts. Of course, learning to recognize the unique feelings that denote sharing and which also characterize not sharing can be helpful, because essentially,
feeling is the indicator. The actual deed can provide few clues as to the genuineness of our motives, as such. Sharing is an experience, not an act. And this gives us clues as to how to recognize when we are sharing. If we think we are sharing, yet we are closed, or indeed if we are not experiencing any positive sensations, then it is likely that we are not sharing but are experiencing a falsehood.

The essential difference between sharing and not sharing is that when we share, we are
giving of ourselves, through being open. It may seem as though we are giving of ourselves, say when we give a gift or lend something, when in reality, the giving is to be found in our state of being, not in what we do. Giving of ourselves is the most significant indicator that we are prepared to share. Being ourselves in the presence of others is a substantial part of the sharing process. It is impossible to share and remain closed or apart from another individual. Nor can we give something to someone else reluctantly and call this sharing. A classic example of an anomaly is the child who is forced to 'share' his sweets with another. The child's reluctance indicates the absence of real sharing, yet a satisfied parent may well label the act as one of sharing because of the physical act of dividing the sweets. Sharing without the involvement of one's heart cannot and must not be called sharing - for it is far from it.

Sharing is a heartfelt experience and may not even necessarily involve the exchange of any physical objects. It is possible to have a shared experience with another person. However, being with somebody else when something is happening, is not enough in itself to warrant having shared something with that person. Just as living with someone does not necessarily indicate that we share our lives with another person. Once again, state of being, being ourselves and giving of ourselves through being open denotes the shared experience. Sharing also generally depends on an interaction between individuals. While we may well be able to be open with another person and feel that we are in a position to share, generally, unless we have the co-operation of that person in the situation at hand, then sharing would not be the word we would use to describe the experience.

Usually sharing depends on a common goal or purpose, a sense of moving forward together, a unifying approach or the combination of open individuals in harmonious communication. Rather like friendship, sharing is dependent on an interaction of two (or more). While it remains important for the individual to take the initiative and be a friend, the individual must also place themselves in the position of sharing, thus providing maximum opportunity for a sharing experience to take place. If we cannot be a friend, or if we cannot share, then friendship and sharing cannot be a realistic outcome. And yet without the common purpose invested by another individual, neither can truly exist, making friendship and indeed sharing such valuable experiences.

Wayfarer International, Copyright © John & Melody Anderson, 1995 - 1999. All rights reserved.

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Simplicity (September 1996)

Though we may make our lives complicated, the truth is always simple.

Simplicity; we know that life is simple and that it is meant to be simple. Sometimes however, the obvious nature of this knowledge and what it suggests, becomes lost in the complexity we attach to the consideration of the concept of simplicity. Often admired are those paragons of Eastern thinking who make profound and almost naively simple statements about how to live life and what it all means. And yet it is common to find, that although we admire these pearls of wisdom and we quote them to our friends, and although we nod in agreement when we recognize their truth, we also know these things aren't really supposed to be taken seriously and that if we are realistic, life is not quite as straightforward as all that.

But hold on. Why do we nod in agreement and why do we recognize the truth? We do so because the simplicity strikes a chord within us. We resonate with this infinite wisdom, we understand what it means and perhaps most important of all, we recognize that it makes sense. Defining life in simple terms is the most effective way of conveying an essence, an intrinsic truth, something almost inborn recognizes truth when we hear it and it is this instinct which makes us nod. Something inside us will always register when this truth is recognized. The degree to which we observe this process within ourselves consciously is, of course, variable from individual to individual and from time to time.

Certain sensations occur within the individual in the recognition-of-truth process. Most usually, we
experience truth in a similar manner to the way in which we experience déjà vu. We hear something and we feel as though, we have heard it before, such is the feeling. Recognizing truth is exactly that, recognizing. Recognition is the perception of something familiar, something we know, perhaps something we have perceived before - or, as per the Oxford Dictionary: "know again, identify as known before".

This is quite an important point because when we recognize something, the feeling we experience is one of
knowing again, a realization heavy with implication. The implication being, that to know again is dependent on a prior knowledge. And if that knowledge is truth, then it is implied, that we already know the truth. We know all there is to know, it is almost as though we come pre-programmed with the truth and that life simply describes a process of finding that truth again in a conscious way and making use of the knowledge to enhance experience.

Truth, honesty and simplicity cannot be separated, for they each share a part of the other. Why is it so commonly acknowledged that children are to be believed and that generally you can rely on the honesty of a child? It is because the child is regarded as simple. The child is uncluttered by complexity and in such a clutter-free medium, honesty can be allowed to flourish. And similarly and conversely, if we live life honestly, then simplicity may pervade our experience, bringing with it all of those qualities that are admired by complex adults.

The truth is that life is simple and that it can be lived simply. We are not compelled to make it complex. It might seem that we are, but the reality is that complexity is pursued because it provides
pleasure. Complexity is created because of the pleasure, it is not created because we are compelled to, or because something within us just cannot overcome the force of our decisions. Once the pleasure is acknowledged, thus, our motives for creating the complexity are acknowledged, (and what is more, fulfilled as a result of the acknowledgement), we are then free to change our minds and to go the way of simplicity without the pull of compulsion.

The 'unspoiled' child does not create complexity for many reasons, but a significant one is the fact that the child is able to find pleasure in simplicity and continues to do so for a period of a year or two or three of its life, before delving into the forbidden fruit of adult pleasures. Those of complexity and hardship.

A child's ability to find natural pleasure in simplicity is often envied by the adults around them. The child is able to do this only because more value is given to simplicity at this early stage. This is largely due to the fact that the child's intellect is incapable of perceiving and creating complexity in significant ways, but nevertheless this value for simplicity must not be overlooked. The values change of course, as the child begins to find pleasure in the trappings of adulthood in the form of the creation of an identity, value for the simplicity drops away and greater value is given to identity. But that's all. This is what marks the transition between a child's innocence and the period where a child becomes far less of a delight for the adults around them. It is a simple case of

Value for simplicity and the pleasure that it brings, is tossed aside in favor of
identity with all its intrigue and complexity. If the child was able to maintain a conscious appreciation of the simplicity and continued to choose it, then there would be no reason for the changes that usually occur so dramatically in the personality of child who begins to formulate an identity. Of course, as adults we have an advantage in that we are able to consciously understand concepts like value, choice, appreciation and the like and we are able to use our understanding to make more considered choices about our lives.

However, when all is said and done, at the heart of a decision is still a very basic precept,
choice between one thing and another. And the way we make a choice is through assigning more value to one of the options than the other. It may seem almost too simplistic to expect that every choice we make can be this simple, however, this is the absolute essence of decision making. The complexity we attach to decisions is exactly that, complexity we attach to decisions. Remove the complexity through the acknowledgement of truth and the decision is indeed simple.

While we agonize over changes in our life we effectively consign ourselves to a decision-making limbo. If a choice is difficult to make, it is because we cannot and are not, assigning value to the options. As soon as value is assigned to the options and the values weighed against the others, a clear choice becomes evident. In other words, difficulty in making decisions is nothing more than not acknowledging the truth and not making the necessary assessments required to put one choice ahead of others. No magic formula can further this process, for it is simply a matter of doing it, or not doing it. It would be worthwhile however, to at least acknowledge, that if we are not doing it, it is because we are not doing it and dispense with the illusions that we are prevented by complex networks of justifiable reasons for why we cannot progress onwards.

When one decision is made, another follows and another and another. Progress is the
joining of these individual decisions to form a direction. Progress in fact begins with one decision. Make it now.

Wayfarer International, Copyright © John & Melody Anderson, 1996 - 2002. All rights reserved.

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