Leaf of the Tree

Finding the Divine in the Details


1 Comment

Shall we come to our spiritual senses?

In this world we possess both outer and inner senses. The first helps us to navigate in the world, while our inner senses enable us to connect with our soul’s highest purpose and manifest it.

In the next world, the equivalent of our inner, spiritual senses are the attributes of God. Such divine qualities as love, justice, mercy, and patience become our eyes and ears, so to speak.

If we only developed the many facets of these attributes during what we define as our happy times in this life, we would be unable to fully discern the world beyond, because we would not have fully developed our spiritual senses enough to be aware of all that that reality includes.

The times that we characterize as difficult in this life are named so because they usually go against the grain of our desires.

Yet those desires are often defined by our human nature, which bases its assessments on past experience. Even in this world, there is so much more that we can know, but it requires being willing to go beyond the perceived limits of our past experience.

One of the spiritual attributes of God, also a name of God, is the Creator. As with all attributes of God that we have been asked to acquire, this one has facets of both giving and receiving.

Thus, a wide variety of experience — including the painful and difficult — offers the contrast that helps us build our capacities for both giving and receiving. This is indispensable if we are to fully develop any attribute, particularly the attribute of creativity.

Unless we adopt an unlimited belief in our ability to create, we will never know what we are capable of creating. Cultivating an unlimited faith in the rightness of every one of our experiences to bring exactly what’s needed for the very highest possibilities in our development and that of other souls is a wonderfully effective way of “coming to our spiritual senses”.

WTOEimage.php

Co-authors Ron Tomanio, Diane Iverson, and Phyllis Ring explore related themes in With Thine Own Eyes: Why Imitate the Past When We Can Investigate Reality? from George Ronald Publisher.

Buy the book at: http://www.bahairesources.com/with-thine-own-eyes.html

or find the Kindle version here:

https://www.amazon.com/Thine-Own-Eyes-Imitate-Investigate-ebook/dp/B00I1JPC7I/

Advertisements


5 Comments

The many kinds of homecomings

11902260_1042258072453337_5678325896717186853_n

 

QUICK UPDATE: She was here, then she was gone.

Yes, THE MUNICH GIRL is in process of becoming a published book, an interesting process for this author working with a book designer, with an ocean between us, at present! And I thought I already knew what big learning curves looked like. Sometimes, whole extra curves get thrown into the mix.

For those with any questions about the book, please feel free to email me at the address at the bottom here. For those awaiting your orders, know that they will come! 🙂

Yesterday, my husband and I had the opportunity — privilege – to be of some small service to a family of 16 from Syria as they made their way by train from my former hometown in Germany to Frankfurt. I think, if I am fair, that no matter what may transpire in a day, I’m going to have to search very hard to find what I could call problems in this life I’ve been given. Now, back to the regularly scheduled blog post:

I have the opportunity to spend time in Germany just as my novel, The Munich Girl, comes full-circle.

In the weeks I spent reading the book’s galleys, the scenes drew me back to settings I will carry with me always, whether as part of my inner geography, or because they are actual locations in which the story takes place. Many of these, from cobblestone passageways to Alpine vistas, tiny villages to market squares filled with symphonies of church bells, are ones in which I did the actual writing.

Much like the book’s protagonist, Anna, I repeatedly experience the many kinds of homecomings, spiritual and material, that life brings to us. Much like her, I often find myself in a kind of unbelieving daze as I sit in the same café I’ve known since childhood. Two years, ago, and maybe also five, I sat here capturing down pieces of a story that has always felt more like finding my way toward a puzzle’s finished image than it has any strategic plotting.

If the remedy for feeling out-of-sync in life is to reside in the moment, then we are all here today as I type this: my child self, sitting alongside my parents; that story-struck one who aspired to go the distance with wherever the writing process led (and wondering, at times, whether I truly would); and my self today, blessed to reach a point of completion. 15852216

A highlight for me this month was my return to the first place in Germany where my family lived when I was that child, a village on the Main River called Dorfprozelten. On a cloudy Saturday afternoon, as my life reached six decades, I was able to stand facing the river and offer my prayerful thanks at the grave of Herr and Frau Geis, who shared their house with my family back in 1960.

At the age I am now, seasons pass the way a month used to, but in those lovely days, my ten months in that village still seem like a little lifetime. I know that’s partly because since my military family lived “on the economy” in this way, we established much closer ties with actual Germans themselves, something that has played an important part in my life ever since.

984243_885496241474499_535556467277297526_nThe story of The Munich Girl is about many things, including, of course, Eva Braun and history from the time of the war in Germany. It is also about the power of friendship, and the importance of our often ignored and overlooked inner life, without which our world careens increasingly out-of-balance.

The novel is also a story about outlasting that chaos and confusion by valuing, and believing in, the ultimate triumph of all of the good that we are willing to contribute to building, together. When my family arrived at the Geis family’s home, there had been some very dark times, the kind that can make it easy to lose hope. Yet within months, we would embark on what we’d remember as some of our happiest years. munichgirl_card_front

As one character in my novel observes: “Sometimes, we must outlast even what seems worse than we have imagined, because we believe in the things that are good. So that there can be good things again.”

Find more about The Munich Girl: A Novel of the Legacies That Outlast War at;
http://www.amazon.com/Munich-Girl-Novel-Legacies-Outlast/dp/0996546987/

To be on the mailing list for news about the book and author events, please email info@phyllisring.com.


1 Comment

Eternal light, immortal spirit

Israel 139

Grateful this week for this guest post from author

Ron Tomanio:

             My calamity is My providence, outwardly it is fire and vengeance, but inwardly it is light and mercy. Hasten thereunto that thou mayest become an eternal light and an immortal spirit. This is My command unto thee, do thou observe it.

~ The Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh

How can a painful or tragic event be “light and mercy”?

It may help to see the attributes of God more like diamonds with infinite facets as opposed to a one- or two-dimensional mirror. Some facets are developed in times of “calamity” or times of “fire and vengeance”. Some facets are developed in happy times, some are developed in sad times, times of tragedy involving great pain. Mirror Love

It is possible to survive painful events, but not meaningless ones. Although a full understanding of why these events happen may not be possible in the present moment, why allow that to veil us from the experience of that moment?

Instead, we can take what we don’t understand and place it in the hands of God and concentrate our efforts in seeing every moment of our life as a priceless, irreplaceable opportunity to discover the boundless love and compassion that live in our heart.

Untitled1The last part of the Hidden Word above describes our true destiny: an “eternal light and an immortal spirit”.

The incredible irony of learning to develop facets of our inner diamonds during painful events instead of shouting “why me?” is that the choice to develop those gems is the best chance we have of escaping the prison of the painful moment and actually answering the “why me?” question — effectively.

It seems that this process of learning and acquiring the attributes of God, whatever the type of experience it is that offers us the opportunity, has relevance to the next stage of our journey, which entails traversing purely spiritual worlds.

Here is my “why me?” answer, but I emphasize that it’s strictly the answer I received when I personally asked the inner question. What if in this world I could only see one color of the spectrum, such as the color blue? I would not see a complete vision of the world in which I live, and that would have a severe impact on the quality of my life.

IMG_5448In the next world the equivalent of our spiritual senses are the attributes of God. If we only developed the facets of these attributes in happy times, we would be unable to fully discern the world beyond because we would not have fully developed our spiritual senses to be aware of all that our surroundings include. In the next world, the attributes of God become our spiritual senses. Love, justice, mercy become our eyes and ears.

These qualities have facets of both giving and receiving. Thus, a wide variety of experience – including the painful and difficult — that offers the contrast that helps us build our capacities for both giving and receiving is indispensable if we are to fully develop any attribute.

And it is vital if, as souls, we are to acquire a fuller range and spectrum of them.

 WTOEimage.php

Co-authors Ron Tomanio, Diane Iverson, and Phyllis Ring explore these and related themes in With Thine Own Eyes: Why Imitate the Past When We Can Investigate Reality?

Find more about the book at:

http://www.amazon.com/Thine-Own-Eyes-Imitate-Investigate-ebook/dp/B00I1JPC7I/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8