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Your Unfolding Path
February 2000

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Carol's Current Column

by Carol Adrienne, Ph.D.

Carol Adrienne's work and teachings have been a great inspiration to me!  In August of 1998, about four months after my father passed away, I read about one of Carol's workshops in a Learning Annex catalog and synchronistically found her book on a bookshelf at the bookstore.  The themes of her teachings were familiar and comforting, as they confirmed the thoughts and ideas my father had shared with me shortly before his passing.  Her books and workshops ignited my spiritual curiosity, setting me on my soulful life path, which led to the very creation of SoulfulLiving.com!  Carol's participation has been an integral part of SoulfulLiving.com, at its soul level!  Thank you, Carol, with all my heart!
~Valerie, Founder and Soul, SoulfulLiving.com

"The Greatest of These Is Love"

Happy Valentine’s Day--all month long! Did you know that Valentines’ Day grew out of the martyrdom of St. Valentine in Rome in 269 AD? At that time Emperor Claudius II (that would be Claudius the Cruel) was having trouble recruiting soldiers. He figured it was because they didn’t want to leave their homes, wives, and girlfriends, so he cancelled all marriages and engagements. Two Christian priests, St. Valentine and St. Marius (St. Marry-Us?), quietly rebelled against this edict and secretly married couples. For this St. Valentine was beaten and had his head cut off on February 14. Two hundred years later, in 496 AD, the Catholic Church set aside this day to honor St. Valentine.

In Roman times, February 14th was the feast day of Juno, Queen of the Roman deities and the Goddess of women and marriage. On the evening of February 14th young women would put their names in a jar, and young men would thus select a partner for the celebration and feast of Lupercalia on the following day.

In the Middle Ages, February was noted as the month when birds chose their mates. Love seems a natural for the second month of the year—numerologically the number 2 rules partnerships, love, cooperation, and harmony.

Last month I mentioned a book I was reading, Paul: The Mind of the Apostle by A.N. Wilson. The author describes Paul as a brilliant religious poet and visionary, who seemed to create controversy wherever he went to speak about his conversion to what he called The Path. Paul believed that human beings were the temples of the Holy Spirit, and that that Spirit flows through us and that Christ lives in us. He spoke of the Holy Spirit as the essence of love, and our lives as an opportunity to express and create through love (a message Claudius the Cruel obviously didn’t get). Paul’s great poem in his letters to the Corinthians has stuck in my mind all month:

"If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

"Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

"Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put on end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now, faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love."

Dovetailing into our theme, the following email message highlighting a practice suggested by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, was sent to me from author and speaker, Carlos Warter (www.carloswarter.com). His Holiness reminds us of the power of cherishing as a way to accomplish our practical and spiritual goals—which should be the same:

His Holiness, the Dalai Lama was recently asked five important questions for our time:

1. How do we address the widening gap between rich and poor?

2. How do we protect the earth?

3. How do we educate our children?

4. How do we help Tibet and other oppressed countries and peoples of the world?

5. How do we bring spirituality (deep caring for one another) through all disciplines of life?

He said all five questions fall under the last one. If we have true compassion in our hearts, our children will be educated wisely, we will care for the earth, those who "have not" will be cared for. When asked, "Do you think love on the planet is increasing or staying the same?" his response was to believe that love is increasing."

His Holiness shared a simple practice that will increase love and compassion in the world. He asked everyone in the group to share it with as many people as they can.

The Practice:

1. Spend five minutes at the beginning of each day remembering that we all want the same things (to be happy and to be loved) and we are all connected to one another.

2. Spend five minutes -- breathing in -- cherishing yourself; and, breathing out cherishing others. If there are people you have difficulty cherishing, extend your cherishing to them anyway.

3. During the day extend that attitude to everyone you meet. Practice cherishing the "simplest" person (clerks, attendants, etc.), as well as the "important" people in your life; cherish the people you love and the people you dislike.

4. Continue this practice no matter what happens or what anyone does to you. These thoughts are very simple, inspiring and helpful. The practice of cherishing can be taken very deep if done wordlessly, allowing yourself to feel the love and appreciation that already exists in your heart.

Have a good month!


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