The Rules

A) There are no simple questions and there are therefore no simple answers; and B) your own judgment is the best for deciding a lot of this ...

Some general statements that are true, but I'm not selling them and you don't have to buy them:

1) We are immortal spirits going through sequences of incarnations in order to learn Love.

2) In any given life we have a particular biography, that is meant to give us what we need in that life.

3) Our world view (belief in Aliens, New World Order, Catholic etc.) in any given life is secondary to the relationships we have with others in that particular life. The biography is the primary teacher, and each biography is unique, because each individual is unique. The Creator multitasks on a level we can hardly imagine and there are no accidents.

4) Karma brings us into these relationships concerning which we have shared wounds (pains needing healing) and destiny meetings (odd events that take us places we didn't imagine we would end up).

5) We have then two kinds of soul pain and joy: One concerns the wider world and its conditions (such as the Arab Spring and 9/11 etc), and the other concerns what we need to learn from our immediate biography (parents, siblings, lovers, co-workers, jobs etc.), that is: all  that which we often see as mundane and unimportant or perhaps so difficult we don't want to face it, but instead want to run away - all that "Life" is the most important aspect of our personal Path.

6) The key place of work (which sometimes seems like a battlefield) is our own mind, not the outer world. The cliche is you can't change the world, but you can change yourself.

7) Now God loves us just as we are, and places no demands upon us that we change or become anything other. The Beatles had it right in the song: Let it Be.

8) However, our immortal spirit has the itch to change in itself ... we want to become, the Creator God doesn't demand it, except to the extent we can aknowledge our personal immortal spirit as an aspect of the Divine Mystery.  The source of wanting to change comes from the divine in ourself.

9) Inner freedom is the key, not outer freedom. One of my favorite teachers writes: "One must be able to confront an idea and experience it, otherwise one will fall into its bondage."

10) Inner work in the "battlefield" of thinking mind involves two basic gestures: prayer and meditation. Prayer is like a conversation, more than it is like lining up at a store and asking for gifts. "Ask, seek and knock" said Christ. We talk to God, and sometimes, He talks back. Meditation is about coming awake within - noticing things that are there. So we have to sit still and let the thinking mind wander and learn from how its goes about this wandering. The biography that teaches us includes the personal stuff of our own thinking mind; and, we can engage in prayer and meditation simultaneously.  These (meditation and prayer) are practice for awake living thinking.

11) Soul is consciousness, and Spirit is self-consciousness. Learning about our own within, and trying to learn to love those intimately in our biography, - these will teach us far more than any book.