Articles/Essays From Pagans
August 1st. 2015 ...
Lost - A Pagan Parent's Tale
July 9th. 2015 ...
The Magic of Weather
Love Spells: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
June 7th. 2015 ...
A Pagan Altar
The Consort: Silent Partner or Hidden in Plain Sight?
A Minority of a Minority of a Minority
Why I Bother With Ritual: Poetry and Eikonic Atheism
May 6th. 2015 ...
Sex, Lies, and Witches: Love in a Time of Wiccans and Atheists
Gods, Myth, and Ritual in Naturalistic Paganism
I Claim Cronehood
13 Keys: The Crown of Kether
March 29th. 2015 ...
A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft
March 28th. 2015 ...
On Wiccan Magick, Theurgy, Thaumaturgy and Setting Expectations
March 1st. 2015 ...
Choosing to Write a Shadow Book
My Concept Of Grey
Historiolae: The Spell Within the Story
February 1st. 2015 ...
Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader
The Three Centers of Paganism
Magick is No Illusion
The Ancient Use of God/Goddess Surnames
The Gods of My Heart
January 1st. 2015 ...
The Six Most Valuable Lessons I've Learned on My Path as a Witch
Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
Publicly Other: Witchcraft in the Suburbs
Pagans All Around Us
Broomstick to the Emerald City
October 20th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits
A Microcosmic View of Ma'at
October 5th. 2014 ...
The History of the Sacred Circle
Abandoning Expectations and Remembering Your Roots
September 28th. 2014 ...
Seeking Pagan Lands for Pagan Burials
Creating a Healing Temple
September 20th. 2014 ...
GOD AND ME (A Pagan's Personal Reply to the New Atheists)
September 7th. 2014 ...
Deer Man- A Confounding Mystery
August 31st. 2014 ...
Coven vs. Solitary
A Strange Waking Dream
August 24th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Cultural and Spiritual Appropriation
The Pagan Cleric
A Gathering of Sorcerers (A Strange Tale)
August 17th. 2014 ...
To Know, to Will, to Dare...
On Grief: Beacons of Light in the Shadows
August 10th. 2014 ...
As a Pagan, How Do I Represent My Path?
The Power of the Gorgon
August 3rd. 2014 ...
Are You a Natural Witch?
You Have to Believe We Are Magic...
July 27th. 2014 ...
Did I Just Draw Down the Moon?
Astrological Ages and the Great Astrological End-Time Cycle
The New Jersey Finishing School for Would-Be Glamour Girls and Boys
July 20th. 2014 ...
Being an Underage Wiccan
Greed, Power, Witches, and the Inquisition
Malleus Maleficarum - The Hammer of the Witches
Thoughts on Ghost Hunting
July 13th. 2014 ...
A World Of Witchcraft: Belief Is Only The Beginning...
From Christian to Pagan (Part III)
My Wiccan Ways...
July 6th. 2014 ...
Keys: Opening the Portals into Other Worlds
The Lore of the Door
Leaves of Love
June 29th. 2014 ...
What Does the Bible Say About Witches and Pagans?
Are You My Familiar ?
Everything's Alright, Yes: Mary Magdalene
Invocations of the God and Goddess
Results Magic and the Moral Compass
June 22nd. 2014 ...
Witchcraft vs. Religion
Christianity and Paganism: Why All Of the Fighting?
June 15th. 2014 ...
Becoming Your Own Wise One
Canine Familiars: Role of the Alpha
June 8th. 2014 ...
Moral Relativism and Wicca
Paganism in Cebu, Philippines
June 1st. 2014 ...
Rediscovering My Pagan Faith
13 Keys: The Wisdom of Chokmah
May 25th. 2014 ...
Some Differences Between Priestesses and Witches: Duties and Trials
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Listen to Your Heart's Wisdom
Article ID: 14664
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 962
Times Read: 2,285
RSS Views: 9,604
Author: Stewart Bitkoff
Posted: December 16th. 2012
Times Viewed: 2,285
We are living in unsettled times, and it seems that most times in human history have been that way. Witness this famous quote from A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, authored in 1859:
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us; we were all going directly to Heaven, we were all going the other way."
Might not this description fit our modern era? Add to this description an overlay of predictions of doom in 2012, excessive drug and alcohol consumption, rampant societal depression, terrorists blowing-up innocents, civil unrest and riots across the globe, the failure of capitalism as a viable way of life, and a general fear that the fabric of our daily lives is being strained. It certainly is a mess out there and this affects our personal reaction to events, forming negative attitudes and a stressed mental posture.
What Is Attitude?
O boy, if I wasn’t depressed before starting this piece, I sure am right now. Even I wonder how this ‘piece of practical wisdom’ concerning the right attitude for progress along the path will help raise my spirit. Well, let’s get started. Here are 7 points to consider:
•Today just about everyone is aware of the importance of a good attitude and how it contributes to overall health, success in the market place, and happier, stress free living. In our society, this awareness has percolated up to the point that is common knowledge.
•What has not come along with this awareness is a general understanding and laboratory to practice methods, exercises, and techniques to lift our attitude when ‘it is in the dumps.’ Plenty of written material exists offering techniques; however, what is lacking is practical in the field training. Often, the closest the spiritual traveler can come to this is in a therapist’s office or exchanging ideas with a gifted spiritual teacher.
•Life is a series of ups and downs, mentally and emotionally, and for most travelers, it takes a lifetime to master our shifting patterns. Early on, we need to be given the tools to observe our attitudes in different situations, practice and master them, and then graduate to doing this throughout our lives.
•Webster’s, The Free Dictionary, defines attitude as: 1) ‘a settled way of thinking or feeling, typically reflected in a person’s behavior: “she took a tough attitude toward other people’s indulgences.” 2) A position of the body proper to or implying an action or mental state: “the boy was standing in an attitude of despair.”
•During the course of a day, and our spiritual journey, we have many attitude shifts based upon different events and thoughts.
•One of the first things learned in a spiritual school is to monitor thoughts and our attitude throughout the day so we can become masters’ of our consciousness and more easily facilitate the flow of higher, positive choices. Accompanying this personal monitoring, there needs to be discussion, with a teacher, about alternatives and other reasons or explanations as to why a series of events turned out a specific way.
•At an early age, many thoughts and reactions, which help create our attitude, are engineered into us by society, hardwired by biology, or based upon previous life experience. The spiritual traveler must take the time each day to sift out the origin for troubling attitudes, and learn to disarm them by suspending these thoughts, and consider all the possible options around troubling events. Most often, we jump to conclusions, based upon previous experience, without going deeper into other possibilities.
[For example, “She said she would call today. Why hasn’t she called? Did I say something wrong?” The reason could be any of the following: she doesn’t like something I said; she was too busy; she had an emergency which took up her time, had trouble with her phone, had to work extra hours; simply forgot. I could go on, but you are getting the picture. Few of these alternatives had anything directly to do with me.]
The Correct Attitude
In a spiritual search, it is not easy to offer an overall best attitude for learning, which allows the higher knowledge to come forward. Here, are 5 points to consider concerning positive attitude and mental posture:
•One definition of Sufism states: ‘Sufism is an attitude learned in the presence of other Sufis.’ Another traditional saying offers a definition of Sufism: ‘to see what is in front of you, not what you think is there, is to be a Sufi.”
•This objectivity to see what is actually present -- as opposed to what you want to be there or have been taught is there -- is a difficult mental posture (attitude) to maintain. This attitude of listening to the situation with your heart, free of engrained prejudice and personal thoughts, allows you to learn and the higher knowledge to emerge.
•In order to benefit from daily experience, your consciousness must be still, a quiet stage, where you listen, and observe; taking in and allowing the play of events to unfold.
•Another of the first things learned and taught in a mystical school, is the importance of surrendering to a situation. Giving-up or suspending what you believe, want and accepting what is actually being offered. This prayer is a good technique to help develop this attitude: “O Lord, I surrender myself to you. Help me to see what is in front of me, learn from this situation and know your will; so, I might better serve you and the higher destiny.”
•In a mystic’s training, surrender of will is not a passive state of consciousness. It is an active attitude where “I” is suspended, so, the traveler might free himself from self and learn/perceive what is actually present; this surrendering of self is offered, in order to serve as a divine instrument.
We Are What We Think*
More and more, work is being published on the importance of positive thinking for good attitude and health. The more I read, the more I am convinced that we are what we think.
Clearly, many factors influence our thought- and many of these influences are outside our sphere of control. Yet how we react to things, in large measure, is a matter of conditioning, and is something that can be changed.
We don’t need behaviorists to tell us that it isn’t good to worry all day or that negative self-image affects career potential. What we do need are many different people, many educators, and many systems that help maximize our capacity to think positively and productively use what we have.
Some would argue that this is the realm of psychologists, and that is true to a point. However, may cultures have systems that help human potential. We in our scientific frame of reference have, until recently scorned the usefulness of these tools and systems. Fortunately, Western scientists are beginning to re-evaluate their initial dismissal and there is a reawakening of the age-old knowledge to harness the power of our minds, bodies, and world (s) .
The New York Daily News used to run a series of sayings by Confucius. One has always stayed with me: “A happy man thinks happy thoughts.” This is true. However what is missing is how to get to the point of thinking happy thoughts, or how to correct situations in which only unhappy thoughts are generated.
Humanity has struggled with this problem since the beginning, but there has always been and answer: turn inward and embrace your Higher Self. Until recently, we were looking in the wrong place.
So, when you are driving your car and the traffic builds up and you start to lament your “outcast fate, ” turn inward. There is a positive uplifting station waiting to be played.
Robert Ornstein, PhD, suggests that the human personality is made up of many parts and smaller selves. We are a composite of parts, some of which are inborn and some of which are developed by situations and potentials.
From my point of view, the task of the spiritual traveler is to get to know these many selves. Identify them and be aware of their operation, so that over a period of training you can learn to still them. Once stilled, we can begin to listen to other parts of self that only operate under this condition. Stilling something is much different that obliterating it, the premise being that the higher consciousness can work within the ordinary personality. We don’t have to change all our smaller selves-only modify some of them. Then, the lasting self will come forward.
Just as I play with the radio while driving the Deegan, looking for a song I like, so have I learned to play the radio stations of my mind.
Living in the Moment*
Living in the moment is a mystical state in which the normal faculties of consciousness are suspended. The ego, or I, recedes and the higher consciousness comes forward. In this condition of surrender, one is free of preconceptions, intellectual baggage, and desires. It is a state of acceptance of what is transpiring, awareness of the unifying mechanisms in events, and intuitive perception. This is not a static condition, and it is not maintained throughout the day. After training, this state may be triggered by the focus word or other devices.
How does this highly technical, somewhat ambiguous description relate to driving on the Deegan? When I find myself becoming overly anxious, annoyed, or distracted by negative thoughts, I enter this state of consciousness. The end result is that I become more fully integrated and able to accomplish what needs to be done. Accompanying this state of mind is another level of energy and capabilities. If you have ever driven on the Deegan, or a highway like it, you know how helpful this state of mind can be.
Surrender to the Situation
In summary, in order for the spiritual traveler to maximize opportunity for spiritual learning, the correct attitude, for the most part, is an attitude characterized by mental openness, the capacity to see what is in front of you- free of bias and the ability to listen to what is taking place through the heart’s inner wisdom.
This is accomplished by surrendering to the situation, and for a time suspending self or ego. You surrender self or ego by saying the prayer of submission, very slowly, and focus on the words.
* These sections first appeared in an earlier work entitled: A Commuter’s Guide to Enlightenment, Llewellyn, 2008; and help describe switching attention from one attitude to another, while acquiring the right attitude for spiritual learning. These techniques and examples are offered within the context of a daily commute to work, and are useful in many other areas of daily life.
Location: Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania
Author's Profile: To learn more about Stewart Bitkoff - Click HERE
Other Articles: Stewart Bitkoff has posted 32 additional articles- View them?
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email Stewart Bitkoff... (No, I have NOT opted to receive Pagan Invites! Please do NOT send me anonymous invites to groups, sales and events.)
Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2015 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.
Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.
Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wrenâ€™s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witchesâ€™ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.
Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.
Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
of The World
NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.
All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).