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From Parting the Red Sea to Finding a Parking Spot


“No problem is so big that it can’t be solved by a good miracle” -Anonymous “Miracles happen to those who believe in them” - Bernard Berenson

From Parting the Red Sea to Finding a Parking Spot Copyright ©Samuel Markle 2010 Design: Bill Chapman


I N D E X

Y O U

G E T T H E

E X A C T L Y

W H A T

Y O U

S E C O N D - C H A N C E

A T T R A C T

M I R A C L E

T H I N K I N G V I S U A L I Z A T I O N

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G E T T I N G T H E

T H E R E

W H E E L S

P R A Y E R

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M I R A C L E

A S

G A M B L I N G

M E D I T A T I O N

Y O U &

S O W

L U C K

T I M E C O N N E C T E D N E S S L E S S M Y

A

L O V E

C I G A R E T T E S

S T E P F A T H E R ’ S T H E

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E L E C T R I C S E N S E

O F

M I R A C L E S G A L L E R Y

H U M O U R


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Y O U

G E T

E X A C T L Y

W H A T

Y O U

A T T R A C T


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Y O U

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W H A T

Dad, why don’t you

Y O U

A T T R A C T

I will tell you in plain language what you will need to transform your life. You will be shown how you can become a miracle magnet; yet this is not a “12 Steps ” sort of book.

write a book

about your belief in

attracting

miracles “Dad, why don’t you write a book about your belief in attracting miracles?” With a strong passion for the ideas and beliefs expressed here, it was still a leap of faith from talking about it to actually writing a book. My youngest daughter Julie encouraged me to do so when I was going through one of my periodic low cycles. Maybe you are familiar with those times, the “my life is over,” “I’m a failure”,“what do I have to show for my life?”

I have experienced many personal miracles, and one of my favorite ones has to be that you are actually reading this book. Considering this was my first attempt at writing a book, and I was in and in my late sixties when I began, the odds of succeeding weren’t all that great. Having a less-than-impressive academic background (graduating from high-school in Winnipeg with 100

Albert Einstein said “There are two ways to live your life, either you believe everything is a miracle, or you believe nothing is a miracle” Guess which category I fit into. Do I believe that miracles are within the realm of possibility? You bet I do. I don’t just believe in miracles; I rely on them. This is a short and personal book about attracting miracles. If you think such a book should be written by a PHD, then this may not be your cup of tea.

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Whenever I experience a miracle, I talk about it—telling anyone who will listen” in Art and Math but only 50 in English) with a strong need for self-expression first in painting and sculpting and later in speaking and writing, it was still presumptuous to start writing a book in my late sixties. Julie’s solution was simple, “Dad, why don’t you write a book about your belief in attracting miracles?” YOU GET EXACTLY WHAT YOU ATTRACT C H A P T E R

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“Julie, do you know that publishers accept only one manuscript out of perhaps 2,500 for publishing? And only a small percentage of those published sell even the numbers of the first printing.” “So what?” said Julie, “Even if no one ever reads it, do it for yourself!” As you can see Julie was raised right! Even as I spoke of the odds against this happening a part of me knew the book would be written. As long as my goal was to help others it would happen. So I began writing (mind you not giving up my day job) but writing in spare time. Whenever friends or family heard of the project, they invariably asked if I had a publisher or at least an agent. My answer was always more or less, “Not yet, but I wouldn’t have much credibility in attracting miracles if I couldn’t attract a publisher.” Maybe that was more than a trifle naive, but I did expect that to happen. Whenever I experience a miracle no matter how small, I talk about it, -telling anyone that will listen. Not to brag (or to take credit for it) but because doing so adds energy to the process and keeps the environment around me fertile for more miracles. The side benefiti s that everyone I tell may become more open to attracting miracles and then telling others that may become more open to attracting their own, and so on. What do I mean by Miracles? The dictionary definition is: 1. An event contrary to the laws of nature and attributed to a supernatural cause 2. Any amazing or wonderful event 3. A marvelous example of something. A supernatural event regarded as due to divine action (an extremely remarkable achievement or event, e.g., an unexpected piece of luck).

From Parting the Red Sea

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This book is not so much about what you have to do, but rather what you have to do less of�

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You have no doubt heard or read many of the ideas that will be expressed here, but maybe you weren’t as ready then to hear them. Before you finish reading this book, you should know how to attract miracles. You should easily be able to attract 10, 100, or even 1,000 times the cost and time investment you made in this book, though material gain is not what I am advocating. Most books are meant to be read in chronological order as points are made in a sequential manner, but you may read this one in any order at all. The choice is yours, start anywhere and move around at will. Hopefully, it will still make sense, and more important I hope it will be of benefit to you. Maybe you already believe in miracles. If so you probably believe they are rare and just happen spontaneously. Well you are correct on the first belief and wrong on the second and third. Yes, there are miracles, yes they are plentiful and YES you can attract them yourself. There is absolutely no shortage of miracles. In the Miracle realm there is no shortage of any kind. The Universe has an endless capacity for delivering miracles, and you only need to learn the secret of attracting them yourself. Right thinking and right feelings are the triggers that release the enormous power that creates the results we call miracles. Why is it that all that has been written and taught about positivity so many of us still wish we had better health, better relationships with family, and friends, more money, better jobs, a nicer place to live, less weight, more travel, more choices and so on? Why are there so many religious and generally good folks, but so few who seem to use their faith in acquiring more love, abundance or greater happiness and peace? For although these people profess to have faith, at the bottom of their hearts they really do not believe they can attract these things, or more important that they deserve to have them. Tall, short, black, white, fat, thin, urban, country, rich, poor, educated or not, we all seek the same thing--happiness, peace of mind, love, contentment. The only difference between us is what we believe will bring those to us. Most of us much of the time move through life experiencing only the material world. It is a pretty safe assumption that you have at times felt life was somehow falling short of fulfilling your desires. At times, you probably have difficulty

From Parting the Red Sea

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There is no shortage of miracles. In fact, in the Miracles realm there is no shortage of any kind”

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understanding or getting along with those closest to you. At times, you may also experience financial shortages in your life. Have you ever noticed yourself saying, “If only I had more______________(fill in any of the following: time, money, energy, love, fitness, connections, or any of your own choice). Benjamin Franklin said, “Most people die at 25 and are buried at 75.” Does your life seem consumed by making a living and raising a family? Most of us rarely evolve beyond the mundane to live a fulfilling life, limited by what we perceive with our physical senses and never realizing our potential. But on some rare occasions we catch a glimpse of the hidden mysterious aspect of existence, This flash of insight, or inspiration can only be received through our sixth sense. At those times (maybe when enjoying a sunset over the sea, the Grand Canyon, or at a moment in love-making), when time seems to stop for a short interval. The problem is we soon bounce back to “reality .” Or do we have it backwards and those brief moments are the only reality, and the rest of the time is only a dream state? This book is not so much about what you have to do more of but rather what you have to do less of. It is about falling still, getting in touch with your inner self and trusting that the Universe is unfolding as it should. You may be thinking that I mean do more, not less. Well, I mean do less. We believe that striving and doing is the only way to go and driven by this idea we keep on doing and doing. But, all this doing is without understanding. Real understanding tells us that to do a lot we need to do very little. An ancient Oriental image says, “There is no action at the centre of a wheel, and yet all action originates and is governed there.” For sure you have had times when you were completely rested and relaxed and any task you set out to do just seemed to get done effortlessly, and other times when you were tired, angry, or stressed everything took longer and just didn’t get done right. If you stop trying long enough to fall still and be at peace you free yourself from the striving, doing, achieving. Then, all that you need will indeed come to you. No doubt, this is opposite to everything you have ever been told. For the moment, just suspend what you have been taught for although well-in-

From Parting the Red Sea

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Within us is an incredible spiritual power waiting to be released to create and achieve whatever we desire” tentioned those early lessons might have been off-base.

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None of us had control over the kind of family, circumstance, country, or civilization we were born into, but what we ultimately become, depends on our attitudes and effort. If you were lucky enough to have had loving and nurturing parents, and good and inspirational teachers, you had an advantage that gave you an enormous head-start. However, what you become depends on what you believe in, how much you want it, and what you do to achieve it. For many of us life is simply a process of greedily grabbing and taking, to satisfy one appetite after another; for money, food, sex, fame, or whatever. Others find such pleasures too self-centered, too short-lived, and are more concerned with what they are than with what they have. They try to observe high moral and ethical principles in their actions and the way they live. No matter where we started from both different doors are open to us. The one we choose is up to us, and we cannot blame the wrong choice on anyone else, although the tendency to do so is fairly universal. What percentage of the complexities/challenges/problems in your life do you think is of your doing and what percentage is others? Most people answer about 50-50. The correct answer is 100% your own doing. Increasingly these days the Biblical advice, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” has become, “Do unto others before they can do it to you.” And yet if you think about it, to be more loving and caring of others can only come back to you in kind. We need to find a better way to relate to one another, to bring out the best in ourselves and others. The current time offers enormous opportunity for personal growth and development and if we make the most of our experience, wisdom, optimism, and compassion, life will reward us richly. To make a beginning start to notice how your surroundings are influenced by your personal preferences. We believe that circumstances influence our thinking, but the reality is the exact opposite, for what we think results in our

From Parting the Red Sea

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Amazingly, events that seem devastating at the time later prove to have been an opportunity for personal growth” circumstance. We are not the product of our environment as much as the environment is a product of what we are. Start paying attention to how your thinking, feeling and behavior influences your surroundings and your life.

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Observe how your approach can cause changes and how you can create the conditions you hope for in your life. No one consciously wants to be sick, and no one consciously wants to be poverty-stricken, unloved, unsuccessful. It would be next to impossible to find anyone who would admit that they desired these negative things, but if they have them, they have surely attracted them. In his iconic best-selling book, “Think and Grow Rich,” Napoleon Hill, said, “Anything your mind can conceive and believe, you can achieve. Success is mental not physical. Things don’t just work by chance-you make them work. And if you really know what you are doing, you can work Miracles.” Hill devoted his life to studying, lecturing, writing, and practicing this philosophy. He spent 20 years interviewing countless millionaires as well as leaders in every field in the United States and abroad, using what he learned from them to teach thousands of others how to succeed in achieving their dreams Along the way Hill became wealthy and famous himself and to this day, many years after his death he is still considered to be the father of the self-development movement and his book still sells briskly even in a genre that is loaded with choices. All miracles are the same, and there is no hierarchy of importance. The belief that a miracle has to be big, reverential, important, and serious, is just not so. We believe it’s a miracle when a paralyzed child can suddenly walk, or a blind person can see. For sure these are miracles-but not all miracles have to be that important. Don’t be intimidated if you require a small or not so important a miracle. Finding a parking spot when you need it may not be in the same class as parting the Red Sea but finding a parking spot is still good when you need it. In “A Return to Love,” Marianne Williamson, says, “Goal- setting has become very popular in recent years. It is a process of focussing the mind on a desired result. This is just another way of trying to get the world to do what we want it to do; -it is not spiritual surrender. Miracles are when we ask God what we

From Parting the Red Sea

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In order to attract miracles, you don’t have to consider yourself particularly spiritual, but it will certainly help if you are” can do for Him. Miracles shift us from a get to a give mentality. The desire to get something reflects a core-belief that we don’t have enough already, and as long as we believe there is scarcity inside us, we will continue to manufacture scarcity around us.”

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What Marianne is telling us is that if we really expect to receive miracles we should stop asking and start giving. Isn’t this a paradox? Yes but so is almost everything and we will revisit this later. Our real nature is pure, perfect, and unlimited, and there is no lack or defect but because of misconceptions, greed and attachments the world gets into disorder. Our basic nature gets covered over by an artificial essence. Within us is an incredible spiritual power waiting to be released to create and achieve whatever we desire. We already possess everything we will ever need. Essentially, all that is Start with a required is a basic belief that anything is possible and then having the unalienable expectation that it small miracle, will happen. a like

finding

parking spot

The good news is you don’t have to understand how this works anymore than you need to understand how your TV, car, or computer work in order to use them. As you begin on your miracle path, you need the belief that what you pray for will indeed come to pass. Unshakeable faith is absolutely paramount. Gradually it will become second nature. Indeed, it will become automatic as you suspend the thoughts of fear, anxiety, and negativity and replace them with feelings of positivity, love and energy. It is not enough to just say, “I am positive,” you have to actually believe it and feel it, deeply and emotionally. Just as in Biblical times, what is needed for miracles is Faith? Total Faith. Faith in God (whatever that means to you). Substitute any word, words or phrase for God that works for you. Whether you call it Jesus, Allah, Jehovah, Buddha, Universal Consciousness, the Absolute, Lord, Higher Mind, or even Peanut Butter doesn’t matter. If you really believe-fully, totally. Intellectually and emotionally believe, then that is the truth for you.

From Parting the Red Sea

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When praying for a miracle, rather than asking for what you wish, it is best to give thanks as if you already have it”

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You already have the power to attract any miracle, but you just don’t realize it yet. You can and will attract miracles, probably by the time you have finished reading the first few chapters. As a matter of fact, you are already attracting miracles (and always have) because everything you have or ever have had is a result of what you have attracted. You may be thinking, “You’ve got to be kidding, are you saying I wanted my marriage to end, my business to fail, the sickness and deaths in my family, the loneliness I feel, the anger, the anxiety, the fear, etc.?” You may feel like chucking this book now and get on with your life (such as it is). Remember, we have all had misfortune, bad luck, loss, pain, loneliness. Sorry to break this to you but you aren’t all that unique in your suffering. Which of us has not experienced despair at one time or another? There is often gold hidden in the dreck if you have the eyes to see it. Amazingly, events that seem devastating at the time later prove to have been an opportunity for personal growth. Now, you may be saying, “I have already grown to 14’ tall, so God please go and grow someone else for a change!” So, let’s get back to your suffering. I know where you are coming from, having often been there myself. You will not get a whole lot of sympathy from me because many people have and are suffering a lot more than you are. Can we for now agree that lousy times are fairly universal? Can we also agree that the past is the past and the future has not happened yet? Then what we are left with is the present moment. (I was going to say, “You can’t change the past so why dwell on it,” but actually the past can and is changed continually, but we are getting ahead of ourselves). If you believe life has treated you badly, look at it this way you were only receiving what you thought you deserved at the time. Today’s thinking always creates tomorrows reality so if your life has been somewhat less than a bowl of cherries who do you suppose was responsible? As already said, it is yourself! It is tough to accept that the difficulties and challenges in your life were created by yourself but then keep in mind that all the good stuff was too! It is not too late to modify the circumstances that you have been receiving up to now. You can change what you have been experiencing, and you can start

From Parting the Red Sea

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Don’t be like the ship at sea without a rudder and without power, left to be blown in any direction by the wind and waves” right now. First, you need to forgive yourself for mistakes and misdeeds (both real and perceived). Then forgive others for the (real and perceived) hurts they have given you. Both are easier to say than to do but that is where you have to begin. You are the master of your destiny so don’t hold yourself back just because you face obstacles.

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What you practice is what you become. If you are short-tempered, cross, hostile, angry, and unhappy you will become more short-tempered, cross, hostile, angry, and so on. Practice being patient. The next time you are in a traffic jam, or waiting in a long grocery line just look at those annoyances as a chance to practice patience. Before you blow your stack pause and take a deep breath. In the scheme of things with all, that is going on in the world just how important is it for you to get anywhere a few minutes earlier ? To attract miracles you don’t have to consider yourself particularly spiritual, but it will surely help if you are. It will help to attract good fortune, and enjoy and retain the benefits of miracles if you are spiritual. Everything in the Universe contains spirit and is connected to everything else. We are all spiritual beings it’s just more hidden in some than others. You need to uncover your own spirituality to achieve miracles. Does this mean you have to go to a church or synagogue? No. But like chicken soup it won't hurt if you do. The ideas expressed here are not contrary to the ideas and beliefs of any major religion that I am aware of. What we are talking about is spiritual, instead of belonging to any particular doctrine. The two are often mutually exclusive for you will find many spiritual people who do not participate in any organized religion, and you will find many religious people who aren’t very spiritual. Ideally, the two are combined but if there

From Parting the Red Sea

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The hardest part is getting started. Once you do, it will become increasingly easier through the synergy of repetitiveness�

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is a choice of only one give me spiritual every time. In their basic essence al religions contain the same basic truths, Love, Forgiveness, Service, Charity, etc. However, they all blow it when they deviate from the Truth and take the doctrinal approach that their way is the only right way. Many good people have an absolute blind-side when it comes to the belief that theirs is the only way to lead to Heaven (whatever that is). This is a man-made belief and not consistent with the teachings of the originators of any of the major religions. They all taught the same basics; love, compassion, forgiveness, and righteousness. The idea that God could only be found in a particular building and only there, merely limits and reduces the concept of God. When praying for a miracle instead of asking for what you wish it is best to give thanks as if you already have it. By affirming, that you have already received it (and giving thanks) you are energizing the power of prayer. You enjoy granting the wishes of those you know will be grateful don’t you? Well, so does the Universe. Your past thoughts and actions have brought you whatever you have now, and whatever you are now. If you are having a problem with this try to visualize the following: Imagine two magnets, one an ordinary magnet that attracts iron filings, and the other a very special kind of magnet that can attract anything! Imagine that you are like the ordinary magnet that attracts only iron and the iron is what you have attracted in your life up to now. How do you view your life today: 1. How is your health, weight, fitness etc 2. How are your relationships? 3. Do you have all the material abundance you want? 4. How is your self-esteem? Now imagine you are like the second kind of magnet and can attract anything, you can attract the love, health, energy, abundance, peace of mind etc., you desire. Write down in some detail what it is you desire. This time it will probably look something like this: 1. Perfect Health & Fitness 2. Love of a good mate 3. A loving family

From Parting the Red Sea

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Is there any limit to what you can achieve? No. Absolutely, positively no limit. And it is never too late to change”

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4. Loving friends and associates 5. Enough material abundance 6. Greater self-esteem, and so on. Is there any disparity between your two lists? Let me guess, YES, there is a big-time difference between what you say you would like to attract and what you have already attracted. Again, you are not that unique because nearly everyone would answer yes. So how can you go about changing the disparity between what you have, and what you would like to have? Napoleon Hill, in Think and Grow Rich said, “What do you want out of life? Where are you going? What will you have achieved by the end of your life, if you keep doing the things you are doing now in the way you are doing them? Don’t be like the ship out at sea without a rudder and without power, left to be blown in any direction that the winds and the waves push it. No one can live your life for you. You must know what you want and go after it.” What you want and what you need are often two different things but sooner or later what you need is what you will get. Fate has a way of putting us in the right place at the right time. Stop fighting it and get out of God’s way and let Him do His thing. It is useful to articulate (preferably in writing) exactly what you desire in life. The more detailed and accurately you describe your desires the more likely you will attract them. Saying that you want a fortune, a better job, or a mate, won’t do it. First, because these are just too vague, and second because they do not address the basic underlying needs; namely, the need for feelings of inner security, self fulfillment, and self-love. Despite your current situation, the state of your health, your age, your lack of anything, you can still change your life. But, to do that you have to modify your basic belief system. A lot. Start now. Not later, not tomorrow, start right now. First, you need to eradicate negativity and as much as possible reprogram yourself to positivity. Banish the thoughts and words “can’t, impossible, never” and replace them with “can, possible, always.” This may be a tall order after a lifetime of negative teachings and beliefs but as with any acquired skill you have to start with some small exercises. The hardest part is getting

From Parting the Red Sea

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As you begin to evolve on a more positive and loving path, you may find that material possessions become less important” started but once you do it will become increasingly easier through the synergy of repetitiveness. It’s a good idea to practice on attracting some small miracle. Maybe begin with finding a parking spot-it’s amazing how often this will manifest a space opening up just where and when you need it (provided you believe it will and expect it to happen).

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Bob Proctor, Canadian author and lecturer, in his book You Were Born Rich says “Most people will look at a result in their life, and let the result dictate the thoughts to build their idea. For example, if they see that their bank account is empty (a result), they will choose to think thoughts of lack, and then use those thoughts to build the idea of poverty. However, since the idea they are holding in their mind must manifest in future results, they are actually bringing about a repeat of the very thing which they say they don’t wantnamely, an empty bank account. It thus becomes a self doom-fulfilling cycle, and this is not the way our Maker intended for us to live.” In Bob’s younger years he experienced many trials, reverses and poverty as he searched for the fundamentals of success he now enjoys, and shares with countless others around the world in seminars, books, and tapes. Bob says, “ You might very well be saying to yourself that this is an absurd argument; for if a bank account is empty, it’s empty, and it just isn’t realistic to look at an empty bank account, and then to visualize great wealth. But, this is the very kind of reasoning which perpetuates poverty and keeps poor people impoverished. You must understand that the present state of your bank account, your health, your social life, your position at work, etc., is nothing more than the physical manifestation of your previous thinking. If you wish to change or improve results in your physical world, you must change your thoughts immediately.” Is there any limit to what you can achieve? No. Absolutely no limit. And it is never too late to begin. As long as you are alive, it is never too late (and after this life there are more chances again in the next life). Of course, you have a better chance of reaching your goal if you keep it realistic. If you are 4’11” tall and over 21, and you desire to grow to 6’5” that

From Parting the Red Sea

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Money is only a means to an end. A truly wealthy person is one who never worries about money”

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may be a tall order (forgive the pun). I am not saying that it isn’t worth a try for it is. I do believe that you could add height by having enough faith that it is possible to do so! You could also assist the process in a practical way by exercising, stretching, walking more erect, wearing clothing that add height, and end up appearing taller to the world. For sure if you project from within as a tall person, the world will see you as a tall person. How tall, how thin, or how you look has nothing to do with who you are and we are only talking about being able to attract change and not inferring that physical attributes are of any import. Similarly let’s say you are 40 years old and have never played a musical instrument nor ever expressed a particular interest in music, you will agree that it might be fairly tough to become the world’s greatest violinist. This is not to say that it is out of the question (for all things are possible), it’s just that I recommend you start practicing on a miracle that you might be more likely to attain. However, you might as well aim high, for even if you achieve only 80% (or 50%) of your goal, you will still have achieved a lot. So shoot for the moon, and even if you miss you’ll still be among the stars. If the miracle you want is acceptance that is simple (not easy but simple). To achieve this miracle of acceptance there are two basic requirements. Firstyou need to accept and love yourself. Second you have to accept and love everyone else. Although the second is the most important and will enable you to reach your goal it just won’t be possible unless you are first accepting of yourself. Financial security would likely be high on the list of most people’s miracle-attracting list, but money alone will never bring you happiness or peace. Dr. Deepak Chopra, best selling author, in “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success,” says, “There are many aspects to success and material wealth is only one component. Moreover, success is a journey, and not a destination. Material abundance in all its expressions, happens to be one of those things that makes the journey more enjoyable. But, success also includes good health, energy, and enthusiasm for life, fulfilling relationships, creative freedom, emotional and psychological stability, a sense of well being, and peace of mind.”

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All stress and anxiety in our lives occurs because we don’t have everything we want, not need” Chopra, one of the icons of our time, is right. Yet, we still believe that if we could only win the lottery that will make us happy. We erroneously believe that people who have a million or more dollars are happy. Well I have news for you, some of them are happy and some of them are unhappy. Probably in about the same proportion as people who do not have a million dollars.

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As you begin to evolve on a more positive and loving path you may find that material possessions become less and less important. I have been on that journey over the past number of years. It took the loss of the bulk of my net worth (which was in seven figures), during the “recession” of the early nineties, in order for me to accept and understand this. Incredibly as my financial worth shrank I discovered that I was not my money. Money was just a small part of me and as it decreased other areas of my life - health, family, experience, intelligence, creativity, and even serenity seemed to increase in direct proportion to the material losses. This is not to say that I am particularly happy about the shrinkage of my material net worth, but I believe that it will in some measure return, and has already begun doing so. It is my belief that the My loss of my material net worth was only temposeemed to rary, and when the lesson that I was meant to learn is clear it will return. Forced at age 64 to start all over I am now in a comeback phase in direct proportion and rebuilding my resources. But, my future to material happiness and well-being will not be affected whether I have money or not.

serenity

increase losses

You can have and enjoy materialism. It’s perfectly ok to enjoy your Porsche, BMW, Rolex whatever, provided you are not attached to them. By all means accept them as good fortune, but understand that their value is fugitive and that you can live and be happy without these possessions (and possibly even happier). It’s quite all right to enjoy your BMW, but remember that beautiful set of wheels is only metal and if it gets scratched, you won’t bleed. We do after all live in a material world so unless you are ready to become a monk and live in an ashram, go ahead and acquire material things- just keep

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The more you worry about something, the more likely it is you will have something to worry about”

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in mind that you own them not the other way around. Remember that acquiring materialism is ok with the Universe provided you do not hurt anyone or anything while you are doing it (and remember hurting anyone also includes yourself). We need to have money in this world and there is nothing wrong with that, however, money is only a means to an end and not the end. No matter how wealthy a person may seem until they realize that wealth is spiritual they will never be financially free. A truly wealthy person is one who never worries about money. If you have a million bucks in the bank but are always thinking about it, about not having enough, or consumed with fears of losing it then you are really poor. To be truly wealthy is to be totally carefree about what you do or don’t have. . American writer and philosopher Eric Hoffer said “The real haves are those who can acquire freedom, self-confidence and even riches without depriving others of them.”’ How much do you suppose is the right amount of money to have financial peace of mind? Is it $10,000,000.00, $5,000,000.00, $1,000,000.00, $500,000.00? Which figure did you select? I have news for you, the answer is none of the above. The real answer is simply ”enough.” Whatever that means to you. Enough is being at peace with whatever you have. In the 1930’s Gershwin classic, “Porgy and Bess”, Porgy says it best when he sings, “I’ve got plenty of Nuthin’, and Nuthin’ is plenty for me!” Enough is different for everyone,depending on their circumstance and to the extent which they are secure within themselves. Do you think that the mother in sub Sahara Africa who has no idea where the sustenance for her starving child will come from to get them through the day really desires a million dollars or more? To her enough of a fortune might be simply having your table scraps for the next month or so. Your garbage disposal eats better than a third of the worlds population. While on the subject of the unfortunate starving millions in Africa, and anywhere else, how do we reconcile the belief that the Universe has more than enough abundance for every living creature with the reality of deprivation that exists for so many? This is a question that has faced us for millenniums and

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In my inner dialogue with God, I asked to forget the BMW, just get me to a shower”

YOU GET EXACTLY WHAT YOU ATTRACT C H A P T E R

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is difficult to rationalize. Mother Theresa once said, “There is no shortage of abundance in the world, and those unfortunates who are starving, are not starving because there is a shortage of food in the world but rather because there is a shortage of love.” Until we sufficiently evolve to understand the workings of the Universe we can only accept that there is some vast karmic plan at work, unfolding exactly as it should, and for reasons that we cannot fathom some of the world’s creatures are meant to live with scarcity and suffering. All stress and anxiety in our lives occur because we don’t have everything we want. You will notice I did not say need, but want. Mostly we already have everything we need, we just don’t have everything we want. The trick is to accept this fact and reduce your wants (greatly) and be satisfied with what you have. A few summers ago, I was on an eight-day spiritual retreat outside Boston (organized by The School of Philosophy) with about two hundred of us from Toronto, Trinidad, Boston and New York. Each day was much the same, rise at dawn, meditate, housekeeping duties, a class or two, work on the grounds, lunch, more work on the grounds, shower and dress for dinner, another class, meditate, dinner and a lecture. In all, it was a wonderful, and cleansing week. At one particularly grueling afternoon work sessions moving rocks and pulling up enormous weeds in the blazing sun, all my wants and desires for material abundance mysteriously vanished and were replaced by the simple desire for a shower. In my inner dialogue with God, I said, “Forget the new BMW that I have been asking for and just get me to a shower.” In time, my desire for a shower was granted and it was wonderful. I can’t imagine that a new BMW at that moment could have brought the same degree of bliss that the shower did. Interestingly enough only when you eliminate or substantially reduce your wants, and be at peace with what you have, can you actually attract more abundance in everything. Let me repeat this apparent contradiction in terms,

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To begin attracting what you want, a totally positive mental attitude is essential” for it is probably the essence of attracting miracles: Only after you release attachment to everything will you be able to attract anything. This sort of thinking may be of theoretical interest to you, but until you actually try it you will never know whether it works. Following are the fundamentals you need to adopt in your personal miracle-attracting. Positivity YOU GET EXACTLY WHAT YOU ATTRACT C H A P T E R

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To begin attracting what you want a totally positive mental attitude is essential. The more you worry about something the more likely it is you will have something to worry about. Negative thoughts encourage negative events: it is one of life’s natural laws. The good news is that the reverse is also true. Think positive thoughts and positive things will happen to you There has been so much written about positivity and most of us can intellectually understand and agree with it but until we embrace it emotionally, we are only giving it lipservice. It is just not enough to think positively, you also have to feel it deep in your gut and then act that way. Belief If you want to attract miracles you must have the faith and belief that there is a reason for everything that happens in the Universe. If you have a problem with blind faith then just for now give it provisional hypothetical faith, and just assume it is so. You will never attract what you say you want if you don’t first believe that it is possible to do so. Expectations A conviction that you will receive whatever you expect is a prime requirement. I did not say receive what you want but receive what you expect. Hopefully, what you want and what you expect are one and the same. This aspect of expectation is probably the single greatest difference between receiving miracles and not because we always get what we expect. As an ancient proverb says, “ Be careful what you wish for because it might come true.”

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The past was just a prelude to the present, and the future is all potential” Live in the Moment

YOU GET EXACTLY WHAT YOU ATTRACT C H A P T E R

The past was a prelude to the present and the future is all potential. You need to release yourself from the bondage of being judgmental, hurts of the past, anxiety and fears of the future, and begin to live totally in the present moment. Only if fully in the present can you be ready to deal with whatever comes along. I don’t know who said, “Live each day as if it is your last-and one day you will be right.

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T H E

S E C O N D - C H A N C E

M I R A C L E


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T H E

S E C O N D

C H A N C E

M I R A C L E

single employer for 42 years (myself) job prospects did not look all that great.

In the spring of 1997, the market

crashed

Still, I really had no fear or doubt that God would take care of me. My wife, I was 64, Mary Jane did not share that belief though she was very supportive with of throughout this difficult cycle. As the inevitable approached Mary Jane said, “We shall lose our home, and I will beMy brother Jack and I were both mil- come a bag lady.” lionaires by 1989, at least on paper, and could have retired if we wished to, “Sure dear,” said I, “But you will be a but we didn’t. Our sign company, The designer bag lady.” Markle Brothers Ltd. specialized in the architectural and developer markets, Not amused, Mary Jane continued, and produced some of the most inno- “Why aren’t you doing something?” vative and dynamic signage in Toronto and beyond. In the spring of 1990, the “I am doing something,” was my restock market suddenly crashed. Many sponse. of our clients (some of the largest developers in the country), went bankrupt and our architect friends either reduced their operations or closed them. For the next seven years (with but two exceptions) our company experienced losses yet we still had hoped that things would improve. They didn’t.

broke... no chance making a living

Finally in early April 1997 hitting bottom our company was forced into receivership. My personal financial resources that were leveraged to the limit (trying to shore up the company during the preceding seven years) found me practically with a mortgage on my clothes. I was sixty-four years old, broke and with no way of making a living. With only a

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In the spring of 1997, the market suddenly crashed and many of our clients went bankrupt” “Yeah, what are you doing?” She asked. “I am meditating.” I said. Somehow this did not amuse her either. Julie helped me put together some very creative concepts for job hunting, while her sister Terri said, “Dad, why bother with a resume when you know you will never work for anyone else- you will be back in business in not time.”

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I had no idea how the future would unfold, except I knew it would be OK. The Trustee in Bankruptcy spent a week or so trying to sell the assets of the company as a going concern (which would have provided management jobs for Jack and myself). Some of our competitors came to kick the tires and most were interested, but our hopes sank as one by one the prospective buyers bowed out. Things looked very dark, yet I still expected a miracle. Meanwhile, the Trustee hired Jack and me to help harvest the receivables, and finish some of the uncompleted projects so that the proceeds would reduce the bank debt. He wasn’t interested in starting any new jobs or in completing those that were barely started at the date of bankruptcy. The incredible thing is that from the day after the bankruptcy the phone kept ringing and when we typically answered the call went something like this, “Hi Jack (or Sam), I need a sign.”

Sure, dear... but you’ll be a designer bag lady

Jack or I would then (with a stifled sob) say, “I am really sorry to tell you this, but our company went into receivership a few days ago and……..” The caller would usually say, “Gee, that’s too bad, so how soon can you get a sign ready for me? Quickly we registered a new company name, “The Brothers Markle Inc.’ and took on these new orders, with no plan of how or where we would carry on.

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This person wasn’t a friend, relative or even a large customer of ours, so his magnanimous offer came out of the blue. Or did it...”

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The Markle Brothers offices on Steelcase Rd, Markham For the short-term, the Trustee allowed us to do the jobs on the premises with the skeleton staff that was kept on. Early on a Sunday morning around the third week in April, Jack called and sobbed on the telephone, “We’ve got our miracle!” When he calmed himself enough to continue he said, “I am in the locker room at The Fitness Institute and was just talking to L.D. (who was a client of ours). He asked me what we were going to do.and I told him that what we would like to do is buy back some of the assets from the Trustee and start over in a smaller way, but we didn't have any money. He then asked me what it would take for us to start over in a down-sized operation, and I said, “about $100,000”, and L.D. said, “I will loan it to you. Come to my office tomorrow.” Jack went into the locker room, had a little cry, and then called me. When he

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We walked out of there feeling somewhat like two condemned men who had just been handed a reprieve” told me what had happened, I too had a little cry, and then I said to Mary Jane, “I knew we were going to get our miracle, I just didn’t know what form it would take.” THE SECOND CHANCE MIRACLE C H A P T E R

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This person wasn’t a friend or a relative or even a very large customer of ours, so his magnanimous offer came out of the blue. Or did it? The next day we went to our benefactor’s office. L.D. Heads a large international company (he had founded years before) and is an extremely gentle, modest, and soft-spoken man. He ushered us into his enormous office and softly asked for us to review our plan Sam the Record Man Yonge at Dundas with him. We did. Then, he said, “Would five years be ok for repayment?” “Yes, yes, five years would be fine,” we replied. He asked, “Would 4% interest be all right?” (This when the bank prime-rate was about 8.5%) Again our response was, “Yes, fine!” He said, “Should the cheque be made out in your wives names?” “We guess so.” “Would they mind signing a promissory note?” “No, we don’t think they will mind, but it might be a day or so until we could

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Our clients were inordinately supportive and to this day we are doing well’ get them here.” “That’s OK,” he said, “they can mail it.” L.D. left the room for a few minutes and then returned with a cheque for $100,000. As he handed it to us. he wished us luck and said, “If you can’t pay this back in five years don’t worry about it.” THE SECOND CHANCE MIRACLE C H A P T E R

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The entire meeting was possibly five or six minutes long. We walked out feeling somewhat like two condemned men who had just been handed a reprieve. The next morning we bought some of the equipment, furniture, and inventory from the Trustee. At this point we didn’t know where we would land but the Trustee let us work in the existing premises while he organized the auction sale for the remaining assets. The auction sale was planned for 3-4 weeks later so we started to look for a smaller space that was affordable. In about 10 days and still without a premises we were told we needed to vacate a week before the actual sale so the Auctioneers could do their thing.

The Brown Derby Tavern, Yonge at Dundas 1970s

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We shared a small space for two weeks, and rented a semi-trailer to temporarily house the rest of our inventory and equipment” Under some time pressure we found a suitable affordable space, BUT it was still occupied by another firm for another two weeks. With some negotiating we were able to work out a sharing of the space so we could have a small area to work in, Meanwhile, we rented a semi-trailer to house the equipment and inventory that couldn’t fit into the shared space,

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and parked it behind the building. When the sharing tenant vacated we moved the rest of our stuff into Toronto Star Business, 1993 the space and were up and running in no time. We rehired about a fifth of the staff (the best fifth). Our clients were inordinately supportive and to this day we are doing fine! As if this was not enough of a second-chance miracle, a few months later our benefactor called just to see how we were doing, and when Jack said, “Great, but because we need to pay cash for almost everything (until we rebuild our credi-

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Although we had no new premises, we needed to vacate a week before the actual sale so the Auctioneers could do their thing” bility), our receivables are growing yet we are constantly strapped for cash.” To which our benefactor said, “Could you use some more money?” Jack, overwhelmed and embarrassed, said, “No, no, you have done more than enough for us already.” THE SECOND CHANCE MIRACLE C H A P T E R

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But the next day, after considering our difficult cash position (we could hardly even meet the payroll the next day), Jack called our benefactor and said, “Were you kidding, or what?” “Not at all,” said L.D. When Jack told him we could probably use another $50,000 and could see him the next day or even better that same afternoon. “L” said, “I shall be out of town tomorrow and I am busy this afternoon…..” As Jack’s heart sank, L then said, “….but I will courier the cheque to you now.” Within an hour, a courier arrived with a cheque for $50,000. Was this person for real or an angel in disguise? Guess which one I believe? Since that time, God has continued to smile upon us. Visit our website at brothersmarkle.com

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From Parting the Red Sea

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In early 1965, we started up Thought, Inc. whose only product was ideas... creative ideas”—Sam Markle

THE SECOND CHANCE MIRACLE C H A P T E R

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Signs in Canada Magazine 1964 article on Thought Inc

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The Sam the Record Man sign was the first spectacular sign on Yonge Street and was declared a Heritage Site in 2007�

THE SECOND CHANCE MIRACLE C H A P T E R

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Sign Business Magazine 2007 article on The Brothers Markle Inc.

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Was this person for real or an angel in disguise? Guess which one we believe’

THE SECOND CHANCE MIRACLE C H A P T E R

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The Trustee let us work in the existing premises while he organized the auction sale for the remaining assets�

THE SECOND CHANCE MIRACLE C H A P T E R

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Our receivables were growing, yet we were constantly strapped for cash. Our benefactor said “Could you use some more money?”

THE SECOND CHANCE MIRACLE C H A P T E R

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This person wasn’t a friend or a relative or even a very large customer of ours, so his offer came out of the blue. Or did it?”

THE SECOND CHANCE MIRACLE C H A P T E R

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T H I N K I N G


3

T H I N K I N G closet or other convenient hiding places and toss out the junk you have been saving forever. If you have not needed something by now you will probably never need it and if you suddenly find that you do tomorrow need it you can always buy it newer and better.

Decide what is

most valuable and what is

just junk

in your life and

make space for

new ideas

A professor came to inquire about Zen from Nan-In, a Buddhist Master during the Meijj era (1868-1912). The Master served tea, pouring his visitor’s cup full, and then kept on pouring. The professor watched the overflow until he could no longer contain himself.

As a side benefit while you are at it a long lost item may turn up unexpectedly. Incredibly when you empty a clothes closet (ideally by giving the unneeded stuff to someone who can use it) you make room for new clothes that somehow appear to fill the void.

“It is overfull!” He said, “No more will go in.” “Like this cup,” answered the Master, “you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you unless you first empty your cup?” Many of us suffer from the full-cup syndrome so we cannot expand our knowledge, understanding, or awareness. Before we can acquire the new, we need to discard the old, for the Universe works best when a vacuum has been created to be filled No doubt, you have found it is useful to go through a

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Knowledge does not necessarily yield wisdom, although the two are often confused” Life is like a closet. Decide what is valuable and what is junk in your life. It is a benefit to go through your mental and emotional closets and discard old outmoded ideas to make space for the new. Get rid of things you have depended on earlier because there are wonderful new things waiting to fill the gap, things you have often dreamed about but never dared believe might be yours. THINKING C H A P T E R

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You can alter your thinking to attract happier circumstances in your life. Real wisdom is more than theoretical discussions that compare the views of others with your own. That may make you learned but never wise. Knowledge does not necessarily yield wisdom, although the two are often confused. We all know people who have great specialized knowledge, say in their profession yet in their personal lives show very little wisdom. Not only do these people exhibit very little wisdom but at times just act plain dumb. Knowledge gained from your own experience is the only real wisdom. Instead of accepting or rejecting a proposition, it is best that you try it yourself and see how it measures up to your own experience. Our parents and teachers, mostly did the best they could, but much of what we were taught was wrong. Richard Saul Wurman, in his book, “Follow the Yellow Brick Road,” said, “When we were growing up, many of our instructions were negative. We were told what not to do. Moses came down from the Mount and proclaimed ten things, most of which we weren’t supposed to do. He never told us what to do! Much religion is about what not to do instead of what to do. (as is child rearing).” Given that most of what we were taught was based on negativity, it’s amazing that we ever learned anything! We need to let go of criticism (of ourselves and others) and start fresh. We need to accept that we are unlimited and perfect in every way. Suspending being judgmental (simple to say but a bit more difficult to do), is the only way to escape the bondage of the repetitive and destructive patterns of our thinking and behavior. Napoleon Hill, in his classic, “Think and Grow Rich,” said, “Fears are common, some are justified, but others take root without you knowing it, unless you get rid of indecision and doubt, which sow the seeds of fear. Help yourself

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Many of our beliefs and attitudes are incorrect, unproductive and even downright destructive” to find the exalted plane of thought which can give you priceless hunches. .”

THINKING C H A P T E R

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Many of our beliefs and attitudes are incorrect, unproductive, and destructive. Guilt, and remorse for alleged past failures and sins, feelings of unfulfilled responsibilities, and self-doubt is common to us all. We hesitate to experiment with new ways. Examine your attitudes to authority figures, work, achievements, responsibility, change and, most of all your attitude to reality. Is the world a forbidding place to you, cold and merciless? Or is it a stage where you can comfortably play out the drama of your life? We can become slaves to ideals and attitudes that we have been told to have by others and aren’t even relevant now (even if they ever were). These ideas and values can and should be changed now. We allow our selves to become so attached to the idea that we are inadequate that we can no longer distinguish any other reality. In “The Greatest Salesman in the World,” Og Madino says, “most of us build prisons for ourselves and after we occupy them for a while we become accustomed to their walls and accept the false premise that we are incarcerated for life. As soon as that belief takes hold we abandon hope of ever giving our dreams a chance to be fulfilled. We become puppets and begin to suffer living deaths. It may be praiseworthy and noble to sacrifice your life to a cause or to the happiness of others, but if you are miserable and unfulfilled in that lifestyle, and know it, then to remain in it is hypocrisy, and a rejection of the faith placed in you by your creator.” “Think before you act!” is possibly the most erroneous lesson we were ever taught. “Hello,” you say, “Isn’t that the responsible thing to do, for otherwise, we would lapse into acting in a thoughtless manner?” Strangely enough, thinking is precisely what gets us into trouble in the first place. Thinking is not done in the present, so when you are absorbed in thoughts you are either reliving the past hour, day, month, or even twenty years ago, or you are engrossed in anxious thoughts of the future. In constantly reliving and rehashing the past (and at that only the past you perceived it to be, not as it really was), you remain in bondage to the prejudices, judgments, and pain of the past. Alternatively, thoughts dwell on fears and

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Strangely enough, thinking is precisely what gets us into trouble in the first place” anxieties of the future, and worries about what might happen tomorrow, next week, or next year.

THINKING C H A P T E R

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It is not the conditions of life that trouble us, rather it is the fear of what might happen if we do make changes. Most of what we fear in the future never occurs anyhow, and even if some of it does, what possible use is it to have the anxiety in advance? Often, things seem worse than they are, and most of our fears and apprehensions are irrational anyhow. Only when in the present can you utilize all the resources that are available to you. The sum total of all your own knowledge and experience, and indeed the sum total of all the knowledge of the Universe will come to the fore when you are focused on the moment. It is amazing that when truly in the moment the right ideas and the right words do come to you. The past is past, the future hasn’t happened yet, and the present thought even as we think it becomes the past. The only thing we really have is the present. The Brazilian best-selling author Paulo Cohelo in The Alchemist says “because I don’t live either in my past or my future, I am interested only in the present. If you can concentrate on the present, you will be a happy man. Life will be a party for you... a grand festival, because life is the moment we are living right now.”

Learn to

To place yourself in the path of attracting miracles it is essential to learn to be in the present, not dwelling on past ideas, prejudices, and negativity, or on fears and anxieties of the future. The incredible thing about freeing yourself from the bondage of thoughts of the past and fears of the future are it will put your mind in an open mode where you can respond appropriately to the needs of the moment. What is not being said here, is that it is necessary to banish all thoughts from coming into your mind (this would be an impossibility anyhow).

live in the

present don’t dwell

on the

past

What is being suggested is that by allowing yourself to fall into the trap of following inner conversations, thoughts, and imaginings of what might happen,

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Sometimes the best plan is to have no plan at all, and to just be open to whatever happens” or has already happened, you shall miss a good deal of what is going on right now. We have all experienced planning what we will say or do in an upcoming encounter or meeting (and simultaneously imagining what the other parties will say and do as well). And all this does is to get you so uptight on the day of the meeting, and so sure of what shall happen that it makes a fresh response to what is actually happening impossible. It is a wonder that we ever see or hear anything that is going on as we float through life totally involved in our inner thoughts.

THINKING C H A P T E R

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Sometimes the best plan is to have no plan at all, and to just be open to whatever happens. This is not to say you should never make plans, or to never look at a photo album, listen to Miles Davis or Charlie Parker, read Gone With the Wind, or rent Casablanca. The point is while planning or reminiscing about the past you can remain in the present. You need to plan your vacation, but if you get to the airport and find that the flight is postponed, just enjoy the moment and take whatever comes as an opportunity. Go ahead and make your plans for tomorrow, next week, and next year, then drop any attachment to those plans, and live in the present, enjoying whatever comes along. When you are consumed by the result or outcome, you miss the process, which is the only thing that counts anyhow. Just as you may be frightened in a dream by say a Bengal tiger and then awaken to find you are dreaming so too when you are not in the present moment, you are often frightened by imaginary Bengal tigers that simply do not exist. In a lovely little book “As a Man Thinketh,” written about 100 years ago, James Allen the author said, “A man’s mind may be likened to a garden, which may be cultivated or allowed to run wild; but cultivated or neglected, it must and will, bring forth. If no useful seeds are put into it, then an abundance of useless weed seeds will fall therein, and will continue to produce their kind. Just as a gardener cultivates his plot, keeping it free from weeds, and growing the flowers, and fruit he requires, so may a man tend the garden of his mind, weeding out all the wrong useless and impure thoughts, and cultivating to perfection the flowers and fruits of right, useful, and pure thoughts. By pursuing this process, a man sooner or later discovers that he is the master gar-

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There are many ways of knowing things other than the thinking mind, but most of the time we aren’t aware of them” dener of his soul, the director of his life.” There are many ways of knowing things other than the thinking mind, and most of the time we aren’t aware of them. Awareness is like a light. It is not in itself a “tool” you can use, but rather it is the light that reflects the “tools” you already have available. First, you must be aware that you have these tools, and then allow the light of awareness to shine through. Can you imagine working in the dark even with all the tools at your disposal? Imagine going through life unaware of these tools. Unfortunately, most of the time unaware is how we do go through life.

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Albert Einstein once said, “I did not arrive at the understanding of the fundamental laws of the Universe through my rational mind, but rather through intuition.” The Universe operates on an extremely simple level. Whatever you are thinking is reduced to absolute basics. So if you think and/ or say, “I won’t have the money to pay my bills this month,” the Universe always assuming what you think is what you want says, “Not having money to pay your bills appars to be what you want (because it is always on your mind), so okay you got it – you won’t have enough money to pay your bills.” Whatever it is that you are thinking is what you attract so if you are thinking lack – you will get lack, if you are thinking abundance you will get abundance. All the unhappy conditions in your life will cease to exist when attention is taken away from them. The Bhagavad-Gita, in “The Book of Doctrines,” says, “Yet, the right act is less, far less, than the right-thinking mind.” Louise Hay, metaphysical author and teacher, in her book, “Heart Thoughts,” says, “I dwell on positive thought. Imagine that thoughts are like drops of water. When you think the same thoughts over and over, you are creating this incredible body of water. First, you have a little puddle, then you get a pond, and as you continue to think the same thoughts over and over and over, you have a lake, and finally an ocean. If your thoughts are negative, you can drown in a sea of your own negativity, but if your thoughts are positive, you can float on the ocean of life.”

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If your thoughts are negative, you can drown in a sea of your own negativity; if positive, you can float on the ocean of life” The next time someone asks how you feel, don’t give them a long list of your aches and pains, for sure no one is that interested, and furthermore when you think and talk about aches you are adding energy to the thoughts that created those aches in the first place. Whenever you say or think, “I have a cold coming on and will be a mess tomorrow,” you can be sure you will experience the self-fulfilling prophecy of “being a mess tomorrow.” However, if you say and think, “I will slow down and rest so that I overcome this symptom,” that is the reality which you will attract.

THINKING C H A P T E R

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The first step in eliminating feelings of tiredness, lethargy, malaise, and depression, is to say as loudly and with as much enthusiasm as you can, “I feel great!” Start thinking and saying these things (even if they aren’t all that true at the time), for they will become true. More important you need to become unattached to your body. “You have got to be kidding,” You may be saying, “How do I become unattached from my body?” You need to understand that there are two distinct selves. There is the everchanging self, and there is the True Self, which never has and never will change. Since the time you were born, cells of every part of your body have been replaced several times, on average once every seven years, yet there is a part of you that has never changed. There is a part of you that is the same as it was when you were a child (and even as it was in earlier lifetimes) Whatever name we give this part of ourselves, soul, energy, essence, spirit, or whatever, it is the True Self. It is this True Self that is immortal, pure, perfect, complete, and unchanging. This is the Self we really are, as opposed to the self we think we are. Realistic people accept occasional disappointments as a part of life. Which of us does not have regrets over missed opportunities? Despite our best efforts and intentions at some time or other, we are bound to be disappointed, and this is often especially so in our careers. The more original our ideas and the greater the possible gain, the greater the possible risk and chance for failure and disappointment. We are also going to experience setbacks and

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The bottom line is that we will never be happy if we focus on the result, and believing we can force the outcome” challenges in personal relationships. Hopefully, more of the results will be positive, but we still have to learn to live with the negative results. It’s too easy to become discouraged when we lose a sale, miss a job deadline, or if our boss turns down a good suggestion.

THINKING C H A P T E R

3

The cause of all anxiety, stress, and disappointment is simply that things are not working out the way we want them to, and people are not behaving as we want them to. We are striving for certain results that just aren’t forthcoming. The incredibly simple solution is to just stop focusing on the result (for it is not you that is controlling the result anyhow). The bottom line is we will never be happy if we focus on the result, and believing we can control the result. However, if you focus on the present moment and leave the result to the Power that really is in control, you can be happy. Who do you suppose knows better what is good for you anyhow? All you need to do is get out of the way and let God can do his thing. Someone once said, that life is what happens while we are making plans. This does not mean you should never make plans, have goals and dreams, but only that you should not be unduly attached to the result and just enjoy each moment. By all means follow your dreams. Within you is the capacity to bring those dreams to fruition. You can breathe life into talents and abilities that will bring the results you seek. Do the best you can in the moment and let the chips fall where they may. How do you react to disappointment? Do you try to find the reason for it soyou may avoid a similar result in the future, or do you waste your energy trying to find someone or something to blame? Do you take disappointment in stride and bounce back as quick as you can, or do you let it get you down? Do you turn your attention to the next problem without dwelling on the previous failure? Do you help other people land on their feet when they stumble, or do you make life even rougher for them by jumping all over them? Do you have the courage to accept occasional disappointment as the price of progress or does it discourage you? It’s common sense to steer clear of failure, but there isn’t a person born yet who is clever enough (or lucky enough) to succeed at everything he or she ever tries.

From Parting the Red Sea

to Finding a Parking Spot


The only benefit to be derived from missed opportunity is to look for the lesson to be learned, and prepare for the next one” Do any of the following sound familiar? “I should have taken that offer,” “I should have moved, not moved, bought, not bought, and so on…..” Of what possible use are these regrets? Will they bring back any of the missed opportunities? The only benefit to be derived from missed opportunity is to look for the lesson to be learned and prepare for the next opportunity. THINKING C H A P T E R

3

All of us have experienced feelings and thoughts of self-condemnation, and guilt (mostly unjustified). Feelings of remorse for unfulfilled responsibilities, depression and self-doubt are familiar to us. We have all at times had an irrational sense of fear and apprehension, where illusion becomes indistinguishable from reality. Don’t be discouraged by these occasional lapses into negativity, depression, and fear. Be aware that you are on an emotional treadmill (in motion yet going nowhere), and that you are in full control and can step off the treadmill anytime you decide to. Just recognize what is happening, without giving any energy to the negativity (neither giving into it, or fighting it). Merely observe it, and just step off the treadmill. Although your thoughts may be telling you that you are limited, impure, imperfect, and incomplete, in truth you are, were and always will be pure, perfect, and complete. The imperfection which we feel lies not in ourselves, but only in our perception of what we are, and in the thoughts based on that perception. The difference between intellectually studying an idea and experiencing it emotionally, is some what like reading a menu compared to eating. While some menu reading is interesting, and holds much promise of what is to follow, in itself it will do nothing for your nourishment or pleasure. If you use your imagination fully you may get a good idea of taste from the description, or someone can tell you what it tasted like to them but until you bite into the food and experience the taste you will never know exactly how it is. While on the eating metaphor, we all know people who live their lives as if it were a fast-food meal resulting in a life as predictable and bland as fast-food is compared to fine dining. There are times when fast-food is convenient and satisfying, but do you really want to live your life without ever experiencing

From Parting the Red Sea

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The imperfection we feel lies not in ourselves, but in our perception of what we are” fine dining? And if you are experiencing fine dining, do you want that limited to say French cuisine only?

THINKING C H A P T E R

3

The point is not about food, but about emotionally experiencing and feeling ideas instead of intellectualizing them. While true in every area of life, in the spiritual realm, it is paramount. Many people blessed with emotional understanding are totally uneducated and not even able to articulate their understanding, and others who can discourse pedantically on a subject, may miss the essence completely if the don’t feel it. Ideally the combination of knowing and feeling is combined, but if there is a choice of only one, give me feeling every time! When you feel an all-consuming burning passion and believe that you will receive it, then anything is possible. The likelihood of achieving your dreams is directly proportionate to the degree of your desire, and the belief that it will come to you. If you want it enough and believe it enough you will get it. Anything. Anyis time! Desire alone is not enough as most of the time we desire one thing while expecting the between the opposite. Guess which one we wind up getting?

Emotion link

thought and

action

Emotion is the link between thought and action. When your thoughts evoke a sense of enthusiasm, you approach tasks with a light heart and the expectation of success. When your thoughts are negative your emotional link prevents you from acting at all, or leads you into wrong actions. Positivity and love are not something you can try once or twice and obtain a good result (although you will) but rather you will need to develop a pattern of positive, loving behavior. Once on the path it becomes easier to continue it as the “Law of Inertia,” kicks in. If you have never heard of this physical law (originally formulated by Galileo), it is essentially, “the tendency of a moving object to remain in motion and the tendency of a stationary object to remain stationary.”

From Parting the Red Sea

to Finding a Parking Spot


We all have an irresistible need to be loved, and almost everyone believes they are not loved enough” On a physical plane this is simply demonstrated when you are on a subway car holding onto the overhead strap and the car comes to a stop your body moves forward and the reverse when the subway starts to move again. The Law of Inertia, also applies to our mental and emotional state. When you are positive you can attract more positivity, and so on. Similarly, negative thinking attracts negative results, which reinforce further negativity that attracts more negativity, and so on. THINKING C H A P T E R

3

Because positivity attracts positivity it is essential to place yourself in it’s path. Surround yourself with people who think positively, and who act with confidence. People will act as you expect them to, so if you give them praise they will behave in a praiseworthy manner. Try to see an invisible sign on everyone you meet that says, “Please make me feel important!” With all our individual uniqueness and diversity, on this one requirement we are alike -we all have an irresistible need to be loved, and almost everyone believes that they are not loved enough. In “Everyday Ethics,” Joshua Halberstam, says, “When you judge other people remember an overriding axiom: ‘Everyone is having a hard time’. Everyone is insecure. Everyone is hassled. Everyone is tired – we all need more sleep. Everyone wishes he had more courage, more money, and better social skills. Everyone wants more glamour in his life, and we all desperately need more laughter. Few can figure out how they ended up living the life they lead. It’s not easy doing a life. Give people a break.”

Everyone is having a

hard time give people

a break

“To which I would add,” Be sure to give yourself a break too!” Whenever I am going through a personal crisis or challenge and appear to be ignoring it (or at least not dealing with it) Mary Jane says, “You are living in denial!”

From Parting the Red Sea

to Finding a Parking Spot


Work at making your life better on all levels, but dwell totally in the present moment” My response is, “Yes I am living in “Denial”, which is a pleasant little town about 70 miles north of Toronto.” The reality is I am dealing with these problems; it’s just that they are now dealt with differently. Problems and challenges now are more subjective. I prefer to centre myself through meditation and go inward for answers. Incredibly many so-called problems, fears, and anxieties never happen anyhow, or just seem to work themselves out (miraculously!)

THINKING C H A P T E R

3

I am not saying just float through life drifting along with whatever happens and never do anything on a conscious level. What is being said is, do have goals and direction. Work at making your life better on all levels, but dwell totally in the present. Surrender and trust that the Universe will take care of you. When you do it will indeed work out. Understand that you aren’t doing all this stuff anyhow, rather it is the Universe, Absolute or God that is the real doer! You just need to get out of God’s way so that He can do His thing. Does this mean passively accept everything that happens to you because it is your destiny and the wish of the Universe? Probably yes, but you can do something besides totally trusting in God. What can you do? You can’t fight major global events, earthquakes, and wars, but you can fight everyday injustices and inequities. You can even fight City Hall. Does this mean look for fights and imagine grievances and injustices where they don’t exist? No, but when they are real you may fight. Fight to win as much as possible, but striving to make each such encounter a win/win result. Fight fair but be sure you are fair to your own position too. We often accept any kind of law, rule, or regulation because we have been taught to be lawful, obedient, and respectful of authority. The problem is some laws, and some rules are just not right and should not be blindly obeyed. Only a few generations ago slavery was legal! While hard to imagine there was a time (not that long ago), when “slaves” were snatched out of their natural habitat, transported in chains to the New World, then sold into a lifetime of slavery (as were their yet unborn future offspring). In our own lifetime we have seen the result of obeying racially discriminatory laws and regulations in Germany during the Nazi era, when just being a Jew

From Parting the Red Sea

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Millions of otherwise decent people still have a blind spot in certain areas of their belief systems” and staying alive were illegal! The racial laws in South Africa until recent times were completely legal, yet totally immoral. Millions of otherwise, decent people still have a blind spot in certain areas of their belief systems. Incredibly some well-intentioned people who are pro-life actually believe that it is okay to murder abortionists in their zeal for “saving life!”

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3

Jack and I used to belong to a business group, Presidents of Entrepreneurial Organizations, who met two mornings a month (with a facilitator) to discuss matters of mutual interest. The wide-ranging topics would include presentations by members on challenges or issues they might have been facing in labour, marketing, legal, finance or whatever. On other mornings discussion would be on the latest business book, buzz words or “paradigms” currently in vogue. At one of the sessions, James (a young man in his early thirties) the president of a small family company told us about himself. He said that the company founded by his father, now belonged to his older brother (inactive in the day-today operation), and himself (a minority share). James said; “Although my father had always made a living and managed to raise five children, all of whom he put through University he was somewhat of a loser and at his retirement the business had only achieved about $800,000 in annual turnover.” By streamlining, computerizing, and implementing a more aggressive marketing program James in six years increased the company’s annual volume to $3,000,000. Most of those present nodded in tacit agreement with James’ comments about his father being a loser. I felt a need to point out the error of James’ opinion. In my view his father seemed a winner by every yardstick, and was a loser to James only by the single criteria of the volume the business had achieved. Reluctantly James and the others agreed with my opposing view, but I couldn’t help feel that they were seeing my comment as being defensive of my own diminished business success. Incredibly, several meetings later, the topic of discussion was, “Values in our non-work related lives,” and this time (to my surprise and pleasure) the group espoused my non-material values as being the really important thing in life. Indeed, when it came to James’ turn, he said, “I found myself becoming a

From Parting the Red Sea

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In our preoccuptaion with materialism, thr pendulum has swung too far� workaholic but recently experienced a somewhat revelatory insight into what were the important values of life.� He told us he had recently bought his 6 year old step-son his first bicycle and helped to teach the boy how to ride. James resolved from then on he was determined to put more focus on the non-material parts of his life. THINKING C H A P T E R

3

We have passed through decades of greed and attachment to material possessions. We struggle with forces enticing us to experience life through the brands of clothing we wear, cars we drive, places we live, and the food we eat. In our preoccupation with materialism, the pendulum has swung too far and we may be about to see a great swing to the opposite side of the spectrum. The best upgrade is a downsizing of the ego. Expanding humility increases room for others in our lives.

Organizations are

successful more often when rooted in service and

caring

From Parting the Red Sea

My belief where business is concerned is that those organizations founded on principles of service and caring (not just for their customers), but for employees, suppliers, the environment, and indeed for the Universe, will be the ones to prosper and to sustain prosperity over a long time. Maybe this subject will be my next book.

to Finding a Parking Spot


4

V I S U A L I Z A T I O N

&

M E D I T A T I O N


4

V I S U A L I Z A T I O N

&

M E D I T A T I O N

your parents’ and your early childhood limitation. Look in the mirror and say to yourself; “I deserve all good. I deserve to be prosperous. I deserve joy. I deserve love.” Open your arms wide and say; “I am open and receptive. I am wonderful. I deserve all good. I accept.”

I expect

positive results

I receive positive

and

results

Your body is not the only thing that can achieve fitness by exercise. Your mind can as well, and you don’t need any special equipment to do it. Affirmations are exercises in training the mind to think a certain way in order to build selfesteem and positivity. As already indicated, whatever you dwell on mentally or emotionally, love, hate, joy, fear, is reflected in the circumstance and events of your life. The belief that circumstance and events create our lives is erroneous. The reality is the exact opposite. When you feel confident and positive about yourself your surrounding conditions will be affected by your inner emotional and mental state. You influence the environment more than the environment influences you.

Louise has written many books that are full of affirmations, and I recommend you read them if you have not already done so. Many other awareness/new age/ spiritual writers have written about affirmations and these can be found in every bookstore.

Louise Hay in Heart Thoughts says, “We learn our belief systems as very little children. We then move through life creating experiences to match those beliefs. Many of you believe that you deserve to live an atmosphere of ‘not good enough’. Start doing affirmations that you really deserve, and go beyond

From Parting the Red Sea

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Affirmations are extremely useful for reprogramming the negativity entrenched in our inner thoughts” When you write your own affirmations it is essential that you make them in the present because you will attract attributes if you affirm that you already have them (which you do, they only need to be uncovered). So do not say, “I wish to have love, health, wealth, etc., but rather “I have love, health, wealth, etc.”

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Affirmations are extremely useful for reprogramming negativity entrenched thoughts. How often should you repeat an affirmation? There is no rule but in this case more is definitely better than less, and even a hundred or more times a day are not too many. Develop your own personal affirmations. Following is some samples of the kind of affirmations that I use. Chose from this list or personalize some of these, or better yet develop your own. I have perfect health, energy fitness and vitality I am growing younger each day I have a loving mate (or I am attracting a loving mate to me) I expect positive results and I receive positive results My family and friends all love me and I love them I attract unlimited abundance in every area of my life I am free of prejudice and judgments I have wisdom and understanding I have an unlimited capacity for learning My partners, employees, and colleagues love me and I love them Banks love me and I love banks ( formerly I hated them-but that only worked against me)

From Parting the Red Sea

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In visualiztion, you create a picture in your mind of a future condition. This is a powerful technique for attracting future results� My creditors love me and extend very liberal terms to me and I love my creditors My customers love me and I love them I am full of confidence I am loving to all

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I am at peace with the world Visualization Affirmations are statements that acclaim the attainment of a desire or goal, and visualizations are pictures of the successes you desire. In visualization, you create a picture in your mind of a future condition. As you visualize your objectives, your power to attain them grows. This is a powerful technique for attracting future results. While I urged you to avoid dwelling on the past and the future, there is one exception-. that is when you are visualizing a positive result for the future. This is a subtle but basic difference, for in visualization you are dealing with the future while being in the present moment. Although you are visualizing a future event, it is being done in the present. We are visualizing when we anticipate circumstances in our lives. Regrettably most of the time we visualize negative and disappointing situations, a full parking lot, long line ups at the bank or conflicts with others. When we convince ourselves through these visions, events invariably unfold exactly as we expected. If you want to maximize positivity in visualization, centre your thoughts on serenity and peace and allow a feeling of calm assurance to settle in your mind. Then form an exact image of the successful outcomd you desire. Relax and allow this mental image to form in your mind, whole and positive. When you repeatedly practice this, you will form positive habits. As you know habits can be formed in a matter of weeks by repetition. Try it. Visualization (whether

From Parting the Red Sea

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The secret is to see yourself in a future situation, being totally successful” in a meditative state or not) is a wonderful device for attracting results that you desire. Every successful person one way or another makes use of visualization. Winning athletes have long been practicing visualization before an event, where they see themselves in their mind’s eye performing a perfect golf swing or even being presented with an Olympic medal .

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The secret is to see yourself in a future situation being totally successful (whatever that represents to you). It is important to give as much detail as you can possibly “make up.” If you have an important business meeting coming up; imagine what the room will look like, the colors of the walls, the furniture, and imagine what the person (or persons) look like, and even what they are wearing. Now see them all smiling, agreeing with you and shaking your hand. I have used this technique successfully for over thirty years, and it’s incredible when I meet the imagined people how often they resemble what I had visualized. Also, incredibly more often than not the result of those meetings is similar to what I had visualized. When planning a meeting it is a good idea to have your agenda not too prepared beforehand, but just review the points in your mind’s eye that best present your side of the issue and then forget the “script.” The only part of visualization that is mandatory is that you are happy with the result. Proceed with an open mind, fall still and become centered in the present. As repeatedly indicated when in the present the Universe miraculously brings the exact right thoughts, words, and actions that you require . In visualization, it’s a good idea to “lighten up” and have some fun (for that matter it’s always a good idea to lighten up and have some fun). When I go into my inner space to visualize “healing” myself (or another), I create some fun equipment to work with. If its myself that is being worked on I visualize being in two places at once, both as the operator of my incredible “Healing Machine” and as the object of the healing. When experiencing cold or flu symptoms after going into a perfectly relaxed state I picture myself in a kind of booth, and connected to that is my incredible magical “Healing Machine.” There is an instrument panel on the machine with buttons and levers to activate the treatment. I press the bright yellow“Sun-

From Parting the Red Sea

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Visualize the activity of your cells in healing a wound or repairing a damaged part of the body” shine” button which zaps a million volts of sunshine into my cold-filled body and then pull an orange lever releasing a million ounces of fresh orange juice through a magical hose hooked to my body. Visualizing the dose of sunshine and vitamin C being transmitted, I watch as incredible energy enters and fills the body Finally, as the healing clicks in a happy smile emerges on my face.

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When trying this, visualize in your mind’s eye the activity of your cells in healing a wound or repairing a damaged part of the body. If you want to help along your weight-loss program for example, visualize the weight you wish to lose as, say, a giant brick of butter (as big as a house). Now, imagine it gradually melting and flowing away in a river of liquid. When visualizing for a positive result, my motto is that anything worth doing is worth overdoing! When I talk to acquaintances about these ideas, they usually say that it’s just my imagination. Yes, it is just my imagination, but imagination is everything; imagination is where everything begins! Keep a clear image of your goals in the back of your mind. This will serve as a mental map allowing you to gauge the distance already covered, and keeps you moving in a positive direction despite obstacles or challenges. In your busy daily routine, try to make some time for periods of quiet visualization and meditation. Are there optimum times of the day to practice these things? In Seven Steps to Unitology Alan Carter says, “The two times during the day when you are most sensitive and susceptible to inflowing spiritual impulses are when first arising and just prior to going to sleep. Upon retirement, your thoughts are usually

From Parting the Red Sea

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I relax my mind and body and let the healing rays bathe every atom and cell in my brain and body” filled with what has transpired during the day. They are likely to be occupied with doubts, worry or apprehension, or of resentment for a wrong done to you. All these are negatives.”

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Can you relate to having these thoughts? Carter goes on to say, “If the day has been extremely pleasant and things have progressed well for you then you are in a proper state for sleep, but if on the contrary, you should not allow yourself to go to sleep with negatives in your mind. Say to yourself, “I meditate on the healing currents that are in my mind and body, and in the cosmic mind that rules the universe. I relax my mind and body and let the healing rays bathe every atom and cell of my brain and body. I overcome all negative emotions of fear, worry, hate, jealousy, greed, and selfishness, and replace them with positive emotions of happiness, confidence, peace, forgiveness, charity, goodness, and love. I breathe deeply the golden elixir of life, knowing that the healing power of invisible forces now flow into my bloodstream, giving me perfect health, youth, and vitality. I am life; I am health. I am youthful and have energy and vitality. I adopt the mental posture of radiant good health, youth, and vitality.” Meditation Not long ago we thought meditation was something practiced only by monks in Ashrams. While not exactly the mainstream, meditation since the early 60’s has rapidly gained adherents. We live in a time when people all over the world are practicing meditation. It is increasingly accepted as a practice that soars above cultural and religious barriers.

I’ve

successfully used these

techniques for over thirty

years

There are many methods of meditation, with TM (Transcendental Meditation), practiced in India for thousands of years the best known. TM is the silent and continual repetition of a “mantra” (a specific Sanskrit word) whose sound vibrations help remove thoughts in the mind and gradually lead the mind into the silence that underlies thought. The trick is to empty the mind and focus on the mantra, becoming aware of how thoughts flow in and out of your head.

From Parting the Red Sea

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There are many methods of reaching a meditative state, and you will need to discover those with which you’re most comfortable”

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TM was introduced to the Western world in the late 1950’s by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Maharishi was a disciple of Guru Dev, the Shankaracharya of the North, one of the most revered Indian holy men (from a line of Shankaracharyas stretching more than eleven hundred years). After studying as a disciple with the Shankaracharya, Maharishi spent 14 years in isolation in a cave, in meditation, prayer, and contemplation. When he emerged he devoted himself to teaching meditation to the world. Many other Eastern gurus have brought their teachings to the West both before and after Maharishi, but none received the same measure of success. This was in good part aided by the organizational efforts of the U.S. branch of TM and the help of many famous entertainment personalities, among them; the legendary Beatles (who for a while dabbled in the esoteric philosophy of the Maharishi). Sitting in meditation with the eyes closed, upright in a chair, the body comfortable and relaxed, with thinking suspended, induces the nervous system into a state of restful alertness. The mind remains alert while the body becomes deeply relaxed, so that the opposite states of being awake or asleep are combined into one. In a series of experiments in the late 1960’s as part of his doctoral thesis, Dr. Keith Wallace, a UCLA physiologist proved that (aside from the spiritual implications), meditation also had profound effects on the body. Wallace took groups of college-aged volunteers who practiced TM, and hooked them up to monitors that tested crucial bodily functions while they meditated. The volunteers professed to experiencing a sense of increasing calm and inner silence. While it was earlier thought that it took many years of practice to attain a deep meditation, the TM technique quickly produced profound relaxation as well as significant changes in breathing, heartbeat, and blood pressure. There are many methods of reaching a meditative state and you will need to discover which one you are comfortable with. You can join a TM, Yoga, or other similar type of group and learn the techniques, or simply practice on your own (which will likely be the more difficult way to go). Meditation can be done lying down, standing or sitting. Sitting is the most common and the most recommended.

From Parting the Red Sea

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Man does not want to be with God as much as God wants to be with man” - Bishop Fulton J. Sheen First make yourself comfortable, loosen your belt (by the way have you ever noticed that when you hear, “make yourself comfortable” there is much shuffling and changing of position, which makes you wonder why we were not sitting comfortably before we were told to do so!)

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Anyhow make yourself comfortable, sitting in a chair with your back straight. Do not lean against the chair back. Your posture while meditating is important so especially keep the spine erect (without forcing), and your head in a straight vertical line with the spine. Your thighs should be parallel to the floor and your feet flat on the floor. Let your hands rest comfortably on your lap, ideally with the left hand cupping the right, and palms upward. Breathing easily and rhythmically allow your body to relax, and gradually shed the tensions and worries of the day. When you breathe in imagine that your breath carries light and positivity, and when out imagine that you are expelling darkness, negativity, and doubt. The object is to quiet yourself and fully relax the body and mind. Your breathing should continue to be deep and rhythmic. Some people imagine a peaceful scene in their mind’s eye, such as a meadow, or lake, with themselves relaxed at this idyllic place. The optimum times of day for meditation are during the periods immediately preceding and during sunrise and sunset, but if these times are not convenient then any time will be better than not meditating. If your mind wanders to random thoughts when you are meditating (which it is likely to do ), don’t worry about it or “fight” it, just allow the mind to gently return to the meditation. There is no such thing as a good meditation or a bad meditation. All meditation will have some benefit. There may be a tendency for beginners (or even experienced adherents) to skip a day (or two or more), but don’t let the guilt over these missed sessions deter you, just pick up again and meditate. Meditation produces a sense of lightness, and peace energizes the meditator to clear insights and positive energy. Dr. Wayne Dwyer, renown author and lecturer, in his book, “You Will See It When You Believe It,” says, “ I go to a quiet place, and with my eyes closed visualize a pastel kind of light. Any thought is pushed away by the power of the light. As I become more and more peaceful, I see a white light in the centre of the field of pastel, and feel I am moving closer and closer to the white. When I finally go through that

From Parting the Red Sea

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When you’re in a state of meditation, you are in a sense in touch with everyone else who is meditating at that moment” light, it is very much like going through a gate. I feel energized and totally in control of myself and my surroundings.”

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“Exquisite peace” he says, “is the best term I can think of for this place. I feel as rested as if I had slept soundly for eight hours. When I leave this level, I feel totally connected to all of mankind. After meditating I know that I can accomplish anything! Some of my most profound ideas, best speeches, and most satisfying writing emerge after meditating. Give yourself the time and quiet space to be alone with the invisible you. Miracles are waiting for you in that spectacular space. Go there. It is truly exquisite!” Bishop Futon J. Sheen said, “Man does not want to be with God as much as God wants to be with man. This is the secret of meditation. Try it and be happy.” Sheen further says, “The word meditation is rather an abused word It would be much better to use the words “Quiet time,” in which a person shuts out the noise of the world, enters himself and judges himself not by his press clippings, but how he stands with God.” When you are in a state of meditation you are in a sense in touch with everyone who is meditating at that moment, and indeed with everyone who has ever meditated throughout history. There are hundreds of thousands, probably even millions of people all over the world who meditate regularly for 10, 20-30 minutes or more every day. Meditation is one of the most powerful tools in the world, and I believe it’s practice will one day change the world. And so do many of other people (obviously they are all meditators). Now, you are possibly wondering where you shall find the 20 or 30 minutes twice a day to meditate when you can’t even manage to get everything done in a day as it is. This is a typical reaction, and it is the one I had when first considering a commitment to meditation. What I was told then ( which proved to be true) is that we really do not require more than four or five hours of sleep in oder to be full refreshed, and furthermore meditation will provide more energy throughout the day to not only accomplish what you did before but more. If the four to five hours of sleep concerns you, then don’t worry about it, sleep

From Parting the Red Sea

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There are hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions of people all over the world, who meditate every day� for six or six and a half (for starters). Begin with 5 minute meditation sessions, gradually increasing the duration to 10, 15, 20 until you hit 30 twice a day. Just try meditation for yourself and see what happens.

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From Parting the Red Sea

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5

G E T T I N G

T H E R E


5

G E T T I N G

T H E R E

Expect to receive

with it.

miracles and always

6. Attract your miracle. Everything and everyone respond to vibrations. When you send the “right” vibration, you will be able to attract anything.

give thanks before and after receiving them

Although I have told you that this is not a 12-step sort of book, following is a plan of steps that have worked for me in attracting miracles, and should help you to get there: 1. Identify exactly what it is that you want. You probably think you know what that is, but it’s a good bet you do not. 2. Articulate your goal clearly. Be as specific as you can, using as much detail as possible.

7. Receive your miracle. When you do receive your miracle, it may often be in quite a different form than what you requested. 8. Give thanks for the miracle, And do it before receiving it as well as afterwards. 9. Enjoy your miracle. Most of us believe we really don’t deserve good fortune. Could this be why we attract so little of it?

3. Emotionalize your desire. Just articulating the goal is not enough you also need to feel it passionately. 4. Expect to receive the miracle. This has got to be the most important requisite of all. 5. Meditate upon your desire. No doubt, you have been taught that you need to work hard and strive to achieve your goals, but everything you will ever need is already within you. All you need to do is go inward and become in touch

From Parting the Red Sea

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Once you identify what it is you desire, it is essential to clearly spell out what you believe will give that to you” 10. Share your miracle. You won’t in any way take away from your own abundance by sharing it. Quite the contrary, it will only grow when you share it. Now to expand on each of these steps in more detail: Identify exactly what it is that you want GETTING THERE C H A P T E R

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What is it that you want? You think you know exactly what that is, but chances are even if you do, most of us often give a label to desires that miss the fundamentals by a mile. You may say, “I desire much money,” when what you really need is the freedom you believe would be yours if you had much money. We know this is not true for otherwise, all people with money would feel secure and free, and those without would not. Yet, some wealthy people are very insecure indeed, and others with very little or no money are very secure. Security comes from within, and contrary to popular belief has nothing to do with material possessions . Or you might say, “I wish to receive the miracle of having Ralph love me.” What you mean is you wish for the good feeling that you believe will be yours if Ralph loved you. It is the feeling that you are loved by someone whom you love that is your desire (whether it is Ralph or someone else). As indicated the love of another person will never fulfill you anyhow, until you are first able to love yourself unconditionally. Incredibly, most of us have little or no idea what it is we want out of life. The Universe, which always delivers exactly what we asked for, therefore assumes that “no goal” or “confused goal,” is in itself a goal, and so delivers the “no goal” or “confused goal,” that we seem to have wanted. Articulate the goal clearly Once you identify what you desire, it is essential to clearly explain what you believe will give that to you. For instance, asking for a “lot” of money is just too vague, and so is asking for a “big car,” a “fabulous” home, or a “loving”

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The mind is a powerful magnet and as such it attracts whatever corresponds to its ruling state” boyfriend. If you want a chance of achieving your goal you better be a lot more specific than that. A “lot” of money to a young child or to someone on welfare could mean a hundred or so dollars, but to you would just be chopped liver, and may be a tiny fraction of what you already possess So, be very specific and ask for exactly $462,890. if that is the figure you desire. GETTING THERE C H A P T E R

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If it’s a car you wish for, describe it in as much detail as you possibly can. Asking for “a new set of wheels” will get you nowhere (or maybe the Universe will send you a tricycle). Make your wish specifically: “a 2012 white Jaguar Cabriolet, 12 cylinder convertible, with navy blue soft-top and tan leather upholstery.” Want to attract the right mate? Imagine that person in as much detail as you can. Describe the looks, height, weight, hair, and eye color, how they dress, walk, talk, etc. Describe the qualities you value in this imaginary person, sense of humour, gentleness, kindness, sensitivity to others, loving, and so on. What are their interests, vocation, hobbies? What books do they read, what films, music, food do they enjoy? Write a detailed description and then refer to it often. Update and refine the details You will be amazed when this does actually attract such a person to you. Emotionalize the Desire Now, that you have articulated your desire with as much detail as possible, you need to feel the desire, passionately. Your chances of achieving your desire are directly proportionate to the intensity of your desire. Identifying and articulating the desire, are the necessary intellectual requirements, but until you buy into them emotionally, the desire remains an academic exercise at best. If you are thinking (or saying) that the feeling, car, home, person, position, or whatever would be, “ nice to have someday,” then forget it. You will not attract anything more than wishy-washy results, with wishy-washy thinking.

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When you think about your desire, attach as much emotion as you can muster — and then begin to feel it, deep within your gut” When you think about your desire, attach as much emotion as you can muster, and then begin to feel it, deep within your gut. Passionately! In your mind’s eye, imagine how you would look and feel when that desire is fulfilled, then start to feel that way now. Because chronological time as we know it has no relevance in the Universe (more about this in Chapter 9), it is essential to assume you already have everything you desire (which is true, except it is in the future).

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Expect to receive the miracle you desire While all these steps are important, this aspect is the most basic. For if you did everything else right, but did not have the “expectation” that you would receive your desire, then you never will. Alan Carter, in Seven Steps to Unitology (written about 50 years ago) said, “The mind is a powerful magnet and it attracts whatever corresponds to its ruling state. An expectation can be either a blessing or a curse, but either way it is one of the most powerful forces in life. However, if you do not exercise extreme caution, expectation can also, just as rapidly, turn into a destructive, lethal enemy. Therefore, be cognizant of how you are exercising this invisible, powerful force.” Expectations are evident in everything, for whatever we expect is what we attract. Look at our language “this is too good to last!” “Knock on wood,” “this is a pain in the ______,” “don’t count your chickens until they hatch,” “I can’t win for losing,” “Why bother, no one cares anyway,” “Life is cruel,” “Good guys finish last,” and so on. We all use some or all these, as well as many other negative expressions. What do you suppose this form of expression attracts? You got it fear, negativity and failure. What we are thinking and feeling is what we get. Every time! Carter further said, “One of the negative principles of mankind is the suggestion that we should beware of expecting too much, for if we fail to receive it, we will be disappointed. This is a negative concept. In your expectancy of good, lies the key that will bring you good. By expecting good, you receive

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Meditation is perhaps the most powerful tool available to us in the Universe” good. By expecting evil / disappointment, you will receive evil / disappointment. Therefore, expect good.” Years ago Jack and I, advertised for a Girl Friday / secretary (this was before the “politically correct” time, and you did not have to say “Person Friday”). When the applicants arrived, we asked them to fill out an application form, chatted with them for a few minutes, and then asked them to type a sample letter.

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One of these applicants (a tiny, young woman), sat down at the typewriter and immediately said, “But, this is an electric typewriter!” (Remember this was long before PC’s, and owning an electric typewriter was pretty much state-of-the-art). Anyhow, the tiny, young applicant said, “I can’t use an electric typewriter; I will break it!” “Nonsense,” said Jack, “You won’t break it, for an electric typewriter is the same as a manual typewriter, except maybe a little faster.” The tiny young woman persisted, “I’ll break it,” she said again. “You won’t break it, just give it a try!” Jack said. “I just know I will break it!” She insisted. Jack, determined (as always) said, “Try it, just start typing, it’s impossible to break an electric typewriter.” By now you have surely guessed the result – the tiny, young woman did break the typewriter! To this day, we still have no idea how she did it. As she left, we wished her luck, for how could we fault her when she had in good faith, declared before hand that she would break the typewriter, and all she did was what she expected to do. Meditate on your desire This aspect is similar to the third step (emotionalizing the desire) but with the added requisite of going into a meditative state.

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When you reach a meditative state, visualize yourself as already possessing and enjoying whatever it is you had desired” Meditation is perhaps the most powerful tool in the Universe. You need to meditate to obtain your desires. We have been taught that the Universe is “out there,” and that we need to work hard and strive towards our goals, but everything we will ever need is already within us. Everything is within our grasp; we only need to go inward and become in touch with it.

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When you reach a meditative state, visualize yourself (in your mind’s eye), as already possessing and enjoying whatever it is you had desired. As Carter, said, “I believe you understand that you cannot have wealth in your material world, until you have first visualized the wealth in your mind. But, what does this really mean? It means that before any of us can begin to overcome the poverty which surrounds us in our external world, we must first conquer the impoverishment that is buried deep within ourselves.” Attract Your Miracle Everything in the Universe is made up of invisible atoms that are in constant vibration. Everything you have in your life now, and everything you will ever have in the future, is a direct result of what you have “attracted” to yourself. All things (and people) who are in harmony, will respond to a similar vibration. Therefore, if you begin to really believe that you will attract something (or someone) you will be sending the right vibrations that will bring that something or someone to you. Receive your miracle If you follow the preceding steps properly and consistently, you will receive much of what you are seeking. Provided however, that what you have asked for does not harm anyone else (or yourself). Indeed, one should always ask for and expect miracles that will help others. Again Carter said, “Anything you seek to do, which is intended to bring something into being and is not done with the purpose of harming another is constructive.” When you do receive your miracle, it may be in a somewhat different form than what you had requested. Trust the Universe to send you the miracle that is right for you, for whatever comes your way, it is a manifestation of the par-

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You should always give thanks in advance of receiving your miracle, during and afterwards” ticular experience that you need at the time. We often tend to diminish any miracle we receive, by saying “this was just a coincidence, or just luck,” or whatever. You have probably noticed by now that I don’t believe anything is a coincidence, or random luck, but rather everything is happening according to a vast Karmic Universal plan. The Universal plan may not coincide with your plan, but you can be sure that it is according to the Absolute plan.

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Anyhow, call it whatever you wish, for if you receive what is good for you, it really doesn’t matter what you call it, does it? Give Thanks for the Miracle Always give thanks in advance of receiving your miracle, during and afterwards. No doubt, you can and will (and have already) received miracles, without having been particularly grateful, but in the long term in order to retain the benefits it is essential to continue to giving thanks. When you focus upon the good things you have received, and which surround you in your life by being thankful, you tend to increase them. Be thankful for whatever it is you now do have. A wise man once said, “If you don’t appreciate what you have, how will you ever appreciate anything else that you will receive?” It is definitely of benefit to you to give thanks for the love, health, abundance, peace, wisdom, happiness, or whatever, which you already possess. Enjoy it When you receive whatever you desired, enjoy it fully, completely, and with no guilt. Many of us have the erroneous belief that we don’t deserve good fortune, and so we set about (at least subconsciously) to mess up, or otherwise diminish any good we have received. We have all heard of lottery winners of millions who lose or squander their

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Of course, giving must not have the self-serving motive to create a benefit for yourself” winnings in a very short time. Maybe it is the unconscious belief that they are not deserving that brings about these results. Be assured that when the Universe sends you good fortune (in whatever form), you are meant to enjoy it, and to retain it.

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Contrary to popular belief there is no conflict what so ever with spirituality and materialism. It’s quite ok for you to enjoy any abundance that comes your way (unless you identify with that abundance, and become a slave to it). So go ahead and enjoy your BMW, but just remember that if it gets scratched you won’t bleed. Share it When you share what you receive (material abundance, or love or whatever), instead of diminishing it you actually add to it. Miracles grow exponentially every time you share what you have, whether love, time, money, kindness, or whatever, you are helping others in their miracle attracting. As a side benefit, what you have given, comes back to you (either from the recipient, or from a completely different source). As Jesus said, “Give and it shall be given to you.” Many other sages said essentially the same thing. Giving should not have the self-serving motive of creating a benefit for yourself, for that would not be true service. Once you are fully and totally comfortable with the knowledge and belief that we are all connected, then service will become natural and unselfish. Why would you not want to serve, help, and be kind and loving to others when “they” are really “yourself”? (More on this in Chapter 10). We already possess the greatest miracle of all- Life! You can live without food for a long time (at least a month, and maybe several months). Without water, possibly for a week, or so. How long can you live without air? Only minutes. Yet, we never worry abut running short of air; we just know with complete certainty that there is an abundance of air available. The Universe always seems to have enough air for everyone doesn’t it? A miracle! In the same way you take for granted that there will always be enough air to

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You probably think that if you could only get your financial problems solved you would be happy and feel good”

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breathe, you need to learn that the source that provides this abundance of air, whether you call it God, Universal Consciousness, or whatever, will also provide an abundance of everything else. Not only will but is already doing so. Whatever it is that you take for granted and expect, whether good or bad is what you receive. The greatest obstacle to receiving (manifesting) miracles, is the mistaken belief that you do not deserve it. The commonly held misconception, that we are not worthy enough, is universal. As soon as you change that belief and feel worthy and deserving, you will be able to receive anything. Yes, I said anything! As the Bible says in Mark 9:23, “If thou canst believe all things are possible to him that believeth.” You probably think that if you could only get your financial problems solved you would be happy and feel good. When actually what you desire and what you should be looking for is being happy and feeling good, for that must come first. If you are happy enough and feel good enough, money will follow, and even if it doesn’t, if you are happy and feel good, you won’t need more material abundance. It’s a very good idea to just ask for the miracle of good health because without that you may receive the million bucks you asked for and then find you are too sick to enjoy it. At times, it is very easy to miss a potential miracle that is coming your way. Let me tell you about one that I didn’t see. During High School, my daughter Julie had a close friend, whose name was Jeff. After High School Jeff went on to receive a degree in computer engineering at the University of Toronto and then took a programming job at Ontario Hydro. He was good at his work but was bored and decided to move to California and do an MBA at Stanford. The summer before he left for California, Jeff worked for Jack and me, writing some software for computerized building directories that we were developing at the time. We paid him $ 10. an hour and he did a great job. When Jeff graduated from Stanford with his MBA he was offered several jobs in large hi-tech organizations, but chose instead to team up with another engineer who had a startup idea, Jeff created a business plan for the idea to

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In the summer of 1998, Julie said to me, “Dad, Jeff’s company is going to go public in a few weeks, buy the stock” secure initial financing. Meanwhile, he lived off his MasterCard. In the summer of 1998, Julie said to me, “Dad, Jeff’s company shall go public in a few weeks, buy the stock.” As much as I love Julie, I was not about to take investment advice from my daughter, the Art Director, so I ignored the tip. In Sept, 1998 Jeff’s company did go public.By the way, did I mention that Jeff’s last name is Skoll and his company was eBay?

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Today, Jeff is the 4th wealthiest Canadian! He is retired from eBay now and devotes his time, and resources to humanitarian endeavors including producing socially relevant films. Who would have thought an online auction was a winning idea? A $10,000 investment at the start would probably be worth a million bucks today.

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6

T H E

W H E E L S

M I R A C L E


6

T H E

W H E E L S

In the spring of 1985 I had a really

strong

desire to own a BMW In the spring of 1985 I had a strong desire to own a BMW. A very strong desire. Then, my desire for materialism was somewhat greater than now (currently I seek, expect, and receive miracles of a less material nature). But in 1985 I could practically taste this set of wheels. In my mind’s eye I saw a topof-the line, white, BMW “733,” with tan leather upholstery, fully loaded. It’s cost at the time was about $37,000. Did I mention that at that time I did not have available even $3,700, let alone $37,000? I didn’t have any cash for any car then.

M I R A C L E

It just so happens that I was on a sales call seeing George Minden, the owner of the very chi-chi Windsor Arms Hotel in Toronto about a signage project. While chatting with George in the hotel lobby, this very sharp-looking Englishman walked in and greeted George. At which point George said to me, “Sam, meet John Cox, my partner in Grand Touring Automobiles.” “Hi, Sam,” said John, “If you ever want a good deal on a BMW call me.” “Thanks a lot, John, I would love a BMW but, right now I really can’t afford to even think about that, but thanks anyhow.”

In partnership with Jack for many years in the sign business, we had always done quite well, but at that time we were just emerging from a reverse cycle (recession or whatever). Our bank credit was stretched to the limit, and there was no way we were in any position to acquire this car I wanted. Or even any car.

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I didn’t have the money to buy a car, but why not enjoy the use of an — almost new — BMW for the weekend” As fate would have it (a coincidence?), a few weeks later on a beautiful spring Saturday afternoon, found me walking past the Grand Touring showroom with Mary Jane and her dad, Ron. “Hey,” I said, as we approached the used car lot in front of the agency, “I recently met John Cox and George Minden who own this company and can probably get a good deal from them on a BMW!” While I was saying this, we were standing in front of two very slightly used white BMW’s (with tan leather, etc)., either of which I would have killed for.

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“Great,” says Mary Jane, “but can you afford to change cars right now?” “No I can’t” I said, while at the same time seeing John Cox coming out of the showroom toward us. “Hi George,” said I, “we met a few weeks ago at the Windsor Arms.” John said, “Yes, Sam I remember. How would you like to take one of these “Bimmers” home for the weekend?” I didn’t have the money to buy a car, but why not enjoy the use of an almost new BMW for the weekend? So I did. As expected, a weekend of driving this set of wheels was great, and although I believed I would eventually have a car such as this, I regretfully returned it to the agency on Monday morning. In no time flat, I received a phone call from a Grand Touring sales rep saying that the price of the car was being reduced that very day (from $31,000 to $28,500). “Great,” I said, “but I really don’t have any money for a car now.” By coincidence my friend (and partner at the time in some real estate) Irv Pitch, was in my office during this telephone conversation and when I got off the phone, I told Irv of my desire (and of my cash flow shortfall). “Well that’s easy,” he said, “here is the name and phone number of a loan manager at a suburban branch of one of the big “B” banks, that I met recently, and she is very anxious to get some new commercial loan business.” I called the woman, and just as Irv had said she was indeed anxious to get

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In time, the economy turned around, and we easily repaid the car loans” some new commercial business. Her branch was way out in the boonies of Toronto, so she asked me to just courier some financial data (this was before everyone owned a fax machine, let alone email). Then, we spoke on the phone. Our telephone relationship progressed so well, that I requested enough of a loan to buy two cars, one for Jack as well as the BMW for me. Incredibly, over the next few days while this telephone and courier relationship was progressing, the sales rep at Grand Touring called me daily, each time further reducing the price of the BMW.

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Within three days the BMW was now priced at $23,500, the loan was approved and the banker arranged for a $50,000 bank draft to be delivered to me, without her ever having met me or ever seeing our premises in person! And she required no security other than our signatures. The next day our company owned the BMW that I desired, as well as a brandnew Audi for Jack, and on top of that we still had the company’s two existing vehicles to sell for some much needed cash. As a side benefit my daughter Julie, about 20 at the time, had the use of my big but elderly Mercedes for a few weeks until I sold it for $10,000. We also sold Jack’s Oldsmobile, so the company had cash, and we each had our German automobiles. In time, the economy turned around and we easily repaid the car loans. In the miracle realm, having two new German automobiles manifest themselves when you have no cash, is hardly in the same class as Moses’ parting of the Red Sea, but it is still impressive.

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... having two German cars manifest themselves is hardly in the same class as Moses’ parting of the Red Sea, but still...”

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7

P R A Y E R

/

A S

Y O U

S O W


7

A S

Y O U

S O W

/

What you give is what you get... share your time, energy, love

P R A Y E R

it back (often instantly) and in spades. This is a basic law of the Universe, as basic as any physical law. It is the same as the physical law that every action causes a reaction.

& kindness

“As you sow, so shall you reap” is as true now as it was when it was first written. It probably wasn’t that original then, for every religion and system of thought has said the same thing in one way or another. What you give is what you get. We have heard, read and repeated this axiom in some form, hundreds, possibly thousands of times. Although we profess to believe this basic truism, we usually do not act as if we do.

If you want love, give love, if you want friendship - give friendship, if you want respect – give respect, if you want help – give help and so on. Did you notice I left materialism out of the examples? Not because materialism does not apply in that realm. It surely does.To create and achieve material miracles is just as important as creating spiritual ones, for we do after all live in a material world. So unless you are ready to become a monk, live in an ashram and devote your life to prayer and meditation, you will require

If “Love Thy Neighbor,” “Turn the other cheek,” and so on are a bit too esoteric or religious for you, then look at it in more mundane terms. Whatever you want give it and you will get it back. Incredibly simple, yet we seldom trust it. These seven words are worth repeating out loud: “WHAT YOU GIVE IS WHAT YOU GET.” “WHAT YOU GIVE IS WHAT YOU GET.” So, whatever you think you lack in lifegive it. Just going through the motions of giving won’t work. True giving must be with an open heart. When you want anything, simply give it and you will get

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We believe that materialism is somehow bad, because we were taught that money is evil” a measure of material substance... probably just a bit more than you’ve got right now.

PRAYER / AS YOU SOW C H A P T E R

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We believe that materialism is somehow bad, because we were taught that money is evil. We were told that St. Paul said, “Money is the root of all evil.” No one knows for sure what Paul said or didn’t say, however, the actual biblical quote attributed to him was, “The love of money is the root of all evil.” It is the worship of money (to the exclusion of other things such as love, forgiveness, compassion, kindness) that is evil. Money itself is neutral. It is not evil or good. Rather it is whether it is put to good or evil use. If anything it may be the lack of money, which is the root of all evil. We feel guilty for having money or even for wanting money. Let me assure you that most of those having this belief do not have much money. Is this a coincidence? I don’t think so. Furthermore, I don’t believe that there is any great virtue in poverty (there is no shame in poverty but it is not a virtue either). In You Were Born Rich, Bob Proctor, says, “Always remember, money is a servant; you are the master. Be very careful not to reverse the equation, because many people of intelligence have already done so, to their great detriment. Unfortunately, many of these poor souls loved money and used people, which violate one of the most basic laws governing true financial success. Always love people and use money, instead of the reverse.” Let’s get back to, “As you sow so shall you reap.” This was easier to understand in earlier, less complicated agrarian times. When you wanted to harvest corn, you planted corn seeds, when you wanted tomatoes; you planted tomato seeds. It should be apparent it is pretty dumb to set out to grow watermelons by planting tomato seeds. Yet that is precisely what we do with our lives most of the time. We tend to believe that if we are generous to others we may be taking away from ourselves. The truth is the exact opposite! If you are kind to others, that kindness will come back to you. The Biblical advice, “Do unto others as you

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We tend to believe that if we are generous to others we may somehow be taking away from ourselves” would have them do unto you,” still works today the same way as it did when written two thousand years ago. Love and respect your family, friends and associates (and yourself). Sharing your material wealth is important, but not near as much as sharing your time, energy, love and kindness. Also, remember to show the same kindness to yourself. PRAYER / AS YOU SOW C H A P T E R

7

At times, we all abuse our bodies with too much or the wrong types of food. What we ingest is a powerful weapon for maintaining a healthy mind, body, and spirit. Overeating and abuse of alcohol or drugs are not being very kind to your system is it? Incredibly you wouldn’t dream of putting garbage into the gas tank of your car, yet you are not as fussy about what you put into your stomach. We know smoking is harmful to health, and we know this can be a difficult practice to give up, but it can and is being done continually. I smoked for over twenty years, finally giving it up about thirty years ago. There are many programs and clinics that can help to end your smoking habit. When you are ready to finally kick smoking, you need to change other habitual stuff that accompanied your smoking (at least in the short-term). The most common triggers to smoking are, coffee, alcohol, fried foods, spicy food, cokes, Chinese food and so on. Sorry, but these have got to go, at least for the first few weeks. Try oatmeal and a cup of cocoa for breakfast, it’s highly unlikely you will want to light up a smoke with that combination! The biggest single tip that I can share with you for giving up smoking is simply this: You don’t have to decide you will not smoke again in your whole life, for that may be too tough, just postpone your next cigarette for 30 seconds. Anyone can postpone an urge for 30 seconds, right? The urge will return after 30 seconds, at which point you just postpone for another 30 seconds. After a little while of repeating the 30 second postponement, incredibly the urge will gradually not return for 40 seconds, then 50, 60, and so on. The urges will keep returning, but the incremental time between will increase, and eventually it will be a week apart and in time a year apart. Don’t take my word for it, try it yourself. However, if it is just too difficult to do any of the above, don’t

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Just remember in an exercise program (as in all other things), moderation is a good idea” sweat it, just work on becoming a more loving and spiritual being and eventually the smoking habit may become easier to let go of. Remember also to be more kind to yourself. Being kind to yourself should include getting enough rest, fresh air, relaxation, proper nutrition, and exercise. We need exercise to keep the heart fit and the body healthy. You can slow down the aging process, build new energy, and stamina, and stay fit no matter at what age you begin to exercise. Just remember in an exercise program (as in other things), moderation is a good idea.

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Walking is the simplest and maybe best exercise that you can do. I am somewhat lazy and undisciplined about exercise, and partake of it only in sporadic spurts, choosing instead to rationalize that thinking right and getting enough rest will keep my body fit. Which it sort of has. In this fast-food society, proper nutrition is easily overlooked. I avoid fast-food like the plaque, except for some occasional and suitable moments. Eating less than you feel like is always a good idea, even if not easy to do. Minimizing or totally eliminating meat (especially red meat) from your diet can only be good for you. Eating lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, and grains, and drinking lots of water, willmake you feel more fit and will give you extra energy as well. Above all stop being so critical of yourself. Most of us would never dream of being as critical of others as we are of ourselves. Stop beating yourself up. We dread making any kind of a mistake, and when we do, spend inordinate time and energy trying to cover up mistakes. Or blaming others for them, instead of just accepting the mistake and then doing something to correct it. Wayne Dyer, in You’ll See It When You Believe It, says, “Be kind and understanding of yourself, especially if you behave in a way that you dislike. Talk kindly to yourself. Be patient with yourself when you find it difficult to be a “holy” person. It takes much practice just as it took much practice to develop the neurotic and judgmental habits that we possess. Forgive yourself, and then when you do not act as you want to, use your actions as a reminder of where you are and where you are not. The more you extend

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Most of us would never dream of being as critical of others as we are of ourselves” kindness to yourself; the more it will become your automatic response to others.” Remember to be kind to your emotions as well. Banish “can’t,” “feeling lousy,” “never,” and all anxious and fearful emotions, and accept and love yourself as you are. Fall still, try to relax and enjoy each moment, one at a time. PRAYER / AS YOU SOW C H A P T E R

7

Louise Hay, writer of The Power is Within You, said: “Unfortunately, many of us will not love ourselves unless we lose the weight, get the job or get the raise, or the boyfriend, or whatever. We often put conditions on our love. But we can change. We can love ourselves as we are right now! If you are not willing to love yourself today, then you will not love yourself tomorrow, because whatever excuse you have today, you’ll still have tomorrow. Maybe you’ll have the same excuse 20 years from now, and even leave this lifetime holding onto the same excuse. Today is the day you can love yourself totally with no expectations.” Be kind to nature and show respect for the environment. Why is it that we want to live in nice clean, orderly surroundings because it is our personal space, and yet do not feel the same ownership and responsibility to the Universe? We don’t think it is very cool to pollute our own living-rooms, yet do not hesitate to pollute our streets, roads, lakes, rivers, forests, and air. Is it simply because we fail to realize that we are all connected, and the Universe is just our universal living room? Prayer If prayer sounds too much like what you were pushed to do as a child, but never really believed in it, then I have some good news for you. There is no prescribed way to pray. You can use any style of communication you wish. The only requirement is that you focus completely on the moment and that you speak (or think) with an open heart. And if you think you can pray for some bad thing to happen to another, you can’t, for that sort of praying inevitably turns on yourself.

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Be kind and understanding of yourself, especially if you behave in a way that you dislike” The renowned Catholic theologian, Thomas Merton said: “What is the use of praying if at the very moment of prayer, we have so little confidence in God that we are busy planning our own kind of answer to our prayer?”

PRAYER / AS YOU SOW C H A P T E R

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The news of the death of God has been greatly exaggerated, and there is a religious renaissance of sorts afoot all over the globe. Miracles always come from God; however, God probably doesn’t mind if you at least start the process, and leave the completion to Him. No matter whether you regularly go to a particular church, temple, or whatever, when you pray in your own way, if you truly believe that your prayer will be answered, it will be. There IS Answered Prayer. Every prayer is answered. I don’t know who it was that first said, “all our prayers are answered, it’s just that sometimes the answer is no.” Can you increase the chances of having your prayers answered positively once you have a better understanding of prayer?. Marianne Williamson in her book Illuminata says, “May God’s will be done, not my own.” This seems like very good advice indeed. Whether you belong to any particular faith, whether you attend religious services, each of us in our own way uses prayer. Some of us pray more formally, more passionately, and more regularly, but everyone does it somewhere, somehow, sometime. In your own way and in your own personal time and space, whenever and wherever it is, when you do pray, the form of your prayer is not as important as the intensity and the purity of your intent. Khalil Gibron wrote, “When you pray you rise to meet in the air those who are praying at that very hour, and whom save in prayer you may not meet.” A disciple once asked his rabbi, “Tell me, Rabbi, what do you do before you pray?” The Rabbi answered, “I pray that when I pray, it should be with all my heart.” Over the years, the sages, and the originators of all the major religions have said the same thing in one way or another. The Koran said it this way, “And

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I am able to commune with God anywhere, sometimes even in my car in the midst of traffic” do not say, regarding anything,” I shall do that tomorrow,” but only, if God will.”

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And Jesus said, “For verily I say unto you: ‘Be though removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which He saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore, I say unto you, What things soever yea desire when yea pray, believe, and yea shall have them. And all things, yea shall ask in prayer believing, yea shall receive.” (Matthew 21:22) I am often asked to reconcile my seemingly opposite viewpoints of God Power, vs personal power. While on the one hand I believe we are responsible for attracting miracles (and responsible for attracting all negativity, fear, illness and general bad fortune); however, I am a total Pantheist, believing God is everything and that everything is God. I am comfortable with this apparent paradox because I do not see myself and God as being mutually exclusive. You may be thinking, “How arrogant – do you really believe you are God?” “I do,” is my response, “ but then I believe that you are God as well, and that every other living creature is God.” I also believe you can pray anywhere at any time, and in any form. This should not be taken as sacrilegious to any religion, but it seems to me to very much limit the concept of “God” by requiring the prerequisites of time, place and form to reach “communion” with Him. I am able to commune with God anywhere, at times even in my car in the midst of traffic. We know that there is an inherent spirituality in certain “sacred” places that have been used over a long time for prayer or meditation, and most of us can feel the stillness and peace when in such spaces. You don’t have to be Christian to feel this sense of awe and peace in a cathedral, or a Hindu to feel the same thing when you see the Taj Mahal. In the spring of 2009 we were on vacation in Israel (largely because of the generosity of daughter Julie and her husband, Joel). Let me tell you whether you are a Christian, whether you

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What things soever yea desire when yea pray, believe, and yea shall have them” -The Bible are even religious, when you walk the Via Delarosa in Jerusalem and are told that this is the path that Jesus supposedly walked to his crucifixion over 2,000 years ago, it moves your spirit – Big Time!

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Be assured that God hears your prayers, whether made in a church, temple, synagogue, in a serene natural setting or in the middle of a boiler-factory. Without taking away from the preceding statement, it does seem much easier to become in touch with God, when we are in a still and quiet place When you are in your own particular place, and using your own particular form of prayer, it is unnecessary to speak with God it is probably better not to speak, but just to become still and silent in your prayer and to listen to God – for it is in those silences that God speaks with us.

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G A M B L I N G

&

L U C K


8

G A M B L I N G

&

L U C K

Don’t hold back for

spite Monica’s misplaying and negativity she kept on winning. So go figure!

there is no greater failure than never

We took a dinner break (Monica’s treat), and afterwards returned to the casino for another session before calling it a day. This time Lady Luck was good to me, and I quickly recouped my earlier loss and went on to win a goodly sum. Monica did the reverse. Leaving the Casino and feeling extremely pleased with the result, I said, “I knew God would eventually come through and send me some good fortune.”

fear of failure having tried

God has nothing to do with it!” said my mother-in-law Monica. To say that Monica’s view of God was dogmatic would be a huge understatement. She was a devout Catholic who, like many folks of her generation (born around 1913), took her religion very seriously indeed. But she really enjoyed playing cards; so when the Canadian National Exhibition ran it’s first annual casino event several years ago, Mary Jane and I invited her to join us for a blackjack outing. Since discovering the power of attracting miracles, I win a lot more often than lose in casino gambling. And if I do lose, the losing sessions are smaller than the winning ones. This time, to my surprise and despite my expertise (and very positive attitude), for about two hours I could barely win a hand. If I had 20 the dealer drew 21, if I pressed my bet with a twocard eleven I would draw a deuce or a three and so on. To make matters worse de-

From Parting the Red Sea

“God has nothing to do with it!”, she countered. “But Monica, I thought you had a strong belief in God.”


God is so vast, powerful, and unlimited that all miracle requests can and are fulfilled simultaneously” “I do,” she said, “but God would not be inside a casino for He has more important things to do.”

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In the scheme of things, what with all that is going on in the Universe, my winning at blackjack may not be such a hot priority for God, but, Monica’s concept of God seemed to be decidedly limited. To me clearly God is present in a casino, for He/She/It is present everywhere, in everything, is everything (and more that we cannot even begin to articulate). Many religious people everywhere share Monica’s limited vision of God. Their concept of God is something that can only be found in a church (mosque, temple or synagogue), and at that only the one of their choice. Their God would never (God forbid) be in a casino. Do not take my comments as disrespect for the majority of people who share Monica’s or similar views. I do believe it’s okay to lighten up and expand your horizons a bit. I don’t think it is sacrilegious to talk directly to God without an intermediary. I do that continually, while driving my car alone, and at any other time or place. Furthermore, I believe it is not sacrilegious to ask for and to expect God to fulfill your ordinary desires. It’s best if you don’t ask for your own selfish purposes but rather for the good of everyone (however, everyone does include yourself). Asking for a winning blackjack hand will not in any way take God away from some more important miracles that are needed elsewhere. God is so vast, powerful, and unlimited that all miracle requests can and are fulfilled simultaneously, without putting any strain on the system. To put limits on God’s miracle-granting capacity makes no sense for that assumes the power is limited in some way, just as a computer, or a telephone switchboard can become overloaded. Do not fear that you will be put on hold indefinitely, just because God is busy on a more important miracle call elsewhere. The Universe is limitless, and so is the Universal capacity for creating miracles limitless. There are no restrictions (such as only the first 100 requests a day, or only the most important requests will be answered). If there is any hierarchy at all it has to be that good will take preference over not good or bad. I believe that everything is a miracle. And I believe that everything is a

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Attracting winning hands in a casino is just a physical manifestation of our thinking” manifestation of our thinking. Attracting winning hands in a casino is just a physical manifestation of our thinking. Does this mean thinking you will win will make it so? Theoretically yes, because your thoughts become your reality.

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The dictionary definition of luck: “Events that are beyond control and seem subject to chance,” is similar to the dictionary definition of miracles, “An event contrary to the laws of nature and attributed to a supernatural cause.” If we blend these two definitions we get, “Events that are beyond control and seem subject to chance contrary to the laws of nature and attributed to a supernatural cause.” So, is there such a thing as luck? And if so, can you attract it? Ask anyone, and they will all say: “You can’t control luck. Luck is just something that’s out there, and some people just have more of it than others.” Most people would agree that there is such a thing as luck, that some people get more good luck than others, and that each of us experiences cycles where we are luckier than at other times. The agreement ends however, when you suggest it is not randomness, but the lucky people are doing something differently to attract the luck they have. So where do you fit into the luck syndrome? Do people envy you, or do you envy others? Are people in awe of you? Are they in awe of your meteoric rise to the top, wonder at your success, accomplishments and good fortune? Or is it the other way around? Many people find luck elusive and capricious, and some people seem to be naturally lucky, while others appear to be chronically unlucky. Being in the right place at the right time and knowing somebody that knows somebody who can help you is surely an advantage. But, the big news has got to be that placing yourself in the path of good luck can bring it to you. When you expect good luck to come and are prepared for it you will maximize the potential when it does come your way. Your attitude to risk-taking plays a big part in achieving goals, desires, and

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I am not saying that your risk-taking should be foolhardy and irresponsible” your ultimate happiness. Daring to take a chance is the difference between winners and losers. Don’t hold back for fear of failure, for there is no greater failure than having never tried.

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Bob Proctor, in You were Born Rich says: “You will never hear of, read about, or see anyone who achieves anything of greatness in life, without first taking a risk. Think of the monumental risks that religious leaders have undertaken during their lives and reflect upon the enormous risks which all great business leaders have undertaken. As you meditate upon these stupendous accomplishments you will become increasingly aware that you too, must become a risk-taker to develop the greatness you were born with.” I am not saying that your risk-taking should be foolhardy and irresponsible. Jumping off a roof because you have total faith that you can fly (and believe that God will keep you safe), which is correct (in theory) for a Self-realized being, but may be pushing it a bit for where you are now. What is meant is “calculated” risk-taking. Be as prepared as possible, and then dare to take the risk (while fully expecting it to succeed). Good luck favors those who trust their own judgment and are prepared to push ahead with what they believe in. Luck is not something “out there”; luck is something “in here”- you create it for yourself by being positive and optimistic. Anyone who has gambled at games of chance knows the fickleness of Lady Luck. Have you noticed that sometimes you can do nothing wrong and at other times nothing right? Hunches and superstition play a role in gambling. There is much about casinos that are distasteful and in many ways casinos represent the epitome of greed, selfishness, ostentatiousness, and negativity. Las Vegas may be the Sodom and Gomorrah of our time, but there is something fascinating and exciting about gambling I suppose Sodom was exciting too. Sin usually is. Anyhow, gambling is not the issue here, but is worth looking at, as it is a microcosm of life— for whenever we make a choice in life it’s like placing a bet in a casino. So for the moment, let’s look at casino gambling. Even if you have never been to Las Vegas or Atlantic City and couldn’t care less, it should be apparent when you think about it that all those opulent hotel/casinos have

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When gambling, a winning, positive attitude is the primary requirement” been paid for by the losers, not by the winners!

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Many years ago, I took Mary Jane to Las Vegas for her very first time when my best friend, Harvey invited us on a “comp” trip. The flight from Toronto was delayed from the scheduled departure, and we arrived in Las Vegas in the early evening. After a hurried check-in, we got into a hotel restaurant lineup for dinner with our companions. We were told that there would be a wait of about twenty minutes for a table, and being even more compulsive and impatient then than now, I asked our friends whether they would mind waiting in the line while I gambled for the 20 minutes. Nice folks that they are, they readily agreed. So with Mary Jane in tow, I made for the nearest craptable (only a few steps away from the restaurant entrance that is common to casino architecture, as their objective is to tempt you to gamble whenever possible). The crap table was crowded with players, but I managed to get a spot and within a few minutes of play the dice came to me. Betting modest sums to start, I had some incredibly good luck making about six or seven passes in a row before “sevening out.” For those of you who do not understand the jargon, suffice it to say that when you are shooting craps, six or seven passes is indeed a very good thing to happen to you. When my “hand” ended, all players, and even the bystanders, applauded as we left with our winnings to join our friends for dinner. “Tell me,” said Mary Jane (who had no prior knowledge of the game), “Why did those people applaud you?” “Well,” I said, “It’s because I made seven passes in a row and most of those people were betting “with” me so they also made a lot of money.” “Therefore,” said Mary Jane (who knew nothing about craps, but has a very pragmatic side to her), “having seven passes in a row must be a very rare occurrence.” It is indeed! More people lose more often than they win. Something I have learned from my buddy; Harvey Mellon (the friend in the preceding anecdote) is that expecting to win at gambling is almost a guarantee that you will! The reverse is also true if you expect to lose, you will lose.

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The second, and equally important aspect, is to take advantage of hot streaks” As expected, Harvey mostly wins (and since learning this secret so do I). Having observed casino players over the years, and talked to dozens of players who consistently win, they claim that the following scenario is repeated with only minor variation: A player enters a game saying “I have only 10 minutes to lose this money,” or “I have $50 to lose,” or “with my luck this is a waste but here goes.” GAMBLING & LUCK C H A P T E R

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What do you suppose invariably follows these comments? You are right, these players lose! They lost before they sat down- they lost the moment they had the expectation of loss. When gambling, a winning, and positive attitude is the primary requirement, but there are several lesser but important requirements. Obviously learning the fundamentals of the particular game helps a lot, and managing your money makes a big-time difference. There are two parts to management of money. The first is to set the limit you can afford to lose (an amount that you will not miss). Now, you may be thinking, “if you only expect to win why even entertain the possibility of losing by limiting the amount you can lose? Good question, and fundamentally you are correct; however, until you have achieved the ultimate in positivity, it is just prudent to limit the downside if you can. The second and equally important aspect is to take advantage of hot streaks, so that you benefit from the cycles. When you are on a cycle of winning your bets should be incrementally larger and the reverse for losing streaks. The common rationale is, “this winning streak (or losing streak can’t last,” but that is not the way it happens, for “The Law of Periodicity” kicks in. This law essentially is; everything that happens will repeat in cycles. Indeed, everything in the Universe is cyclical, from the weather to financial market fluctuations. have their own cycles (as far back as the visions of Joseph in the Bible, of “Seven fat years followed by seven lean.”) In 1971, Professor Edward R. Dewey collaborating with Og Magdino wrote an interesting book called “Cycles, The Mysterious Forces That Trigger Events.” The book is about the cycles that occur from salmon abundance, to brain waves, marriage rates, immigration, steel production, stock prices, barometric pressure, to sunspots and hundreds of other phenomena.

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The casino is giving you free drinks so that you will be less capable of making appropriate decisions” One thing you can bet on is that all cycles have an end to them–the trick is to be able to predict when they will end, and to have the staying power to endure the difficult cycles until they change for the better. This applies to everything in our lives. As the Bible says in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, “To everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven. A time to be born, a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted.” GAMBLING & LUCK C H A P T E R

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Just as trees and flowers have a growing season and a resting season, so we have times in our lives that are more fortunate, and other times that are less fortunate. Getting back to the Casino; along with a “winning” attitude or maybe because it is a basic part of a winning attitude is discipline. Back to Harvey who says, “Be prepared to walk away from the table if you are losing. Sometimes a change makes the difference. Don’t be greedy, for if you are on a bit of a streak and are ahead it may also a good time to get up and leave, while still a winner. Change the scenery, go to dinner, have a drink, go for a walk, or just go to bed. Remember the money you have in front of you now is your money. When you are ahead, never think that you are now gambling with their money, for once you have won it fair and square it is yours.” Harvey adds, “Make it a hard and fast rule never to drink when you are at the tables. You may think the free drinks are free, but they are not. The casino is giving you free drinks not because they are nice guys and like you. The casino is giving you free drinks so that you will be less capable of making right decisions. No one on the “house” side of the table is drinking so why should you?” By now you may begin to see that Life is just a big casino, and the same principles apply to everything. So let’s move out of the world of casino gambling and into the real world. Let’s say you are going on a job interview for which you are qualified, but are saying to yourself, “I’ll never get this job because the competition is just too great,” guess how you will project during the interview? You will project you are not good enough to get the job, and guess what, you will not get the job! Do you think you improve your chances if you expect to

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Life is just a big casino, and the same principles apply to everything” get the job? If you really feel the job has your name on it? This is not to say you should apply for the position of Chief of Neurosurgery at General Hospital if you are a high-school dropout, for even if you have a dynamite winning attitude that just might not be enough to get this position.

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To make the most use of life, your approach has got to be I can win, I will win, I am a winner. When you really feel that way, you are on your way to fulfillment. All your actions and all your reactions will govern your successes (and your failures). If you face obstacles as challenges to overcome, you will for sure collect some scratches in life, but the scars will fade quickly when you are too busy with life to let it get you down for long. Have you noticed how certain people always seem to get the breaks in life? They get promotions in their careers when these positions come up. They seem to be in the right place at the right time. Some people appear to attract more than their share of luck. Is this just a coincidence? I don’t think so. I believe that there is a hidden factor to success. The luckier people are doing something different from the less lucky (or unlucky) people. People who are truly successful have learned how to control this factor (at least unconsciously) and use it to direct their future. A winning attitude is a must to attract success in every area of your life. If you have the attitude that nothing will work out for you, then nothing will ever work out for you. Having a winning attitude is the difference, and so is being prepared for the breaks, and so is the willingness to take a risk, and having the expectation of winning. Opportunity knocks for everyone; quite frequently, actually. When it does knock, are you ready for it? Do you say, “I don’t hear anyone knocking”? or “Come back later, I’m too busy now,” or “I gave at the office etc.,” or do you open the door with a smile and say, “Where have you been, I’ve been waiting for you.” We often hear ourselves (and others) saying, “I should have taken the chance on that opportunity, relationship, job, or whatever. I should have bought, sold, taken that trip, read that book, seen that show,” and so on . Whether you agree that there is such a thing as luck probably depends on whether you have good or bad luck (or think you do). Why is it that some

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Why is it that some people can’t seem to miss on whatever they try, and others always seem to miss?” people can’t seem to miss on whatever they try, and others always seem to miss? Is it because the so-called winners do more, take more chances, and above all believe that they can and will win?

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By the way winners also fail a lot more too, because they are willing to take more risks, and if at the end of the day the score is more won than lost who remembers the losses? Everyone knows that Babe Ruth hit more home-runs than any other baseball player, but who remembers he also had a record number of strike-outs? It’s simple, you can never hit a home run unless you take a chance and swing at the ball. Willy Mays is in the Hall of Fame for holding the record for most stolen bases, but who remembers that he also holds the record for outs while attempting to steal bases? My good friend Jack Winestock started four small business’ that failed until he clicked on the fifth, and prospered. Bob Proctor, in You Were Born Rich, said: “You should understand that in truth, no genuine satisfaction in life can simply ever be attained by you or anyone else who refuses to take risks. For the life of anyone who chooses to live with extreme caution will never amount to anything more than a succession of dull, soporific days, continuing without interruption.” Duke University, over thirty-five years ago in experiments by Dr. J.B. Rhine, investigated the possibility that some people had a greater than average ability to predict the result of cards and dice, and of willing those outcomes. Dr. Rhine and his colleagues set up rigid, scientific guidelines and safeguards for these experiments that continued at Duke for many years. At first (as is typical of scientists), Rhine was skeptical of the possibility of supernatural or paranormal forces. Gradually, however, the experiments proved that some people could indeed predict the future outcome of the cards and dice by a very wide margin over probability. In time the experiments proved that aside from the ability to predict, some of the participants could indeed will the outcome which they desired. So, think lucky and you will be lucky.

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Winners also fail a lot more too, because they are willing to take more risks�

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From Parting the Red Sea

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T I M E


9

T I M E

Time has no

diagnosis to be recognized. And healing is the reverse process. You are ill, and your health is declining, and then you receive some sort of treatment (or not). In an instant, the body stops going downhill and begins the first step of repair.”

relevance

eternity and the present instant are one and

same

the

“Tiny gradual changes could lead to dramatic alterations if they were given sufficient time” Charles Darwin said. Miracles, are extraordinary only in the context of time. Events we consider as natural over time, seem to be miraculous if time is compacted. A single drop of water if it continues over time., will wear away stone A cut on your finger heals in a matter of weeks, and new skin growth makes the cut invisible yet you do not consider it a miracle. But, if the healing took place in an instant (or even a very short period) you would probably consider it a miracle.

Events that we consider normal over time appear to be miraculous if that time is compacted. If at age 20 you desired a new red convertible and worked for three or four years, saved your money and then bought this set of wheels, although impressive would not be much of a miracle. But, if you desired the convertible and did not work at all, but won it in a raffle (and even better found the winning ticket on the

Marlow Morgan, in her wonderful book Mutant Message Down Under, says, “Healing has absolutely nothing to do with time, for both healing and disease take place in an instant. The body is whole, well, and healthy on a cellular level, and then in an instant, the first derangement, or abnormality happens in a part of some cell. It may take months or years for the symptoms or

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Events that we consider normal or expected over a period of time appear to be miraculous” street), then you might say, “This is a Miracle!” Imagine yourself in your great-grandfather’s time, telling him about a miracle machine that would let him see and hear events a continent away. Imagine telling your ancestor this miraculous machine will let him see and hear wars, earthquakes, etc. while they were happening. Would your great-grandfather say, “That is television you are describing,” or would he say, “That would be a miracle.” You got it... miracle!

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Continuing this scenario, imagine you are telling your ancestor about transporting people and cargo across the Atlantic in just a few hours. And what about removing human hearts and replacing them with donor hearts and even artificial hearts? Then how about telling him about landing a man on the moon? Only time has made these seeming miracles just natural occurrences. You don’t even have to go that far back in time to see the “miracles” in computerization that has happened in the last generation. Look at some of the world miracles that we have experienced in recent years. If you had been asked in the late 1980‘s to imagine that any of the following events would occur within the next few years: • The Berlin Wall will come down (without any conflict) • The Soviet Union will collapse, and its former members will become our friends (and unbelievably would create numerous billionaires) • South Africa will elect Nelson Mandela, as its President in a free election. • A formerly jailed playwright, Vaclav Havel, would become the President of Slovakia • Lech Walesa, a shipbuilder’s union official would become the Premier of Poland. • The world would become instantly connected by something called the Internet. • The United States would elect Barak Obama, a black president • Egypt’s leader, Hosni Mubarak would step down in a peaceful revolution. And more recently, we have experienced digital photography, IPhones, IPods, Ipads, GPS, Twitter, Facebook and a myriad of other technological discover-

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The Universe is unfolding exactly as it should, according to some higher plan” ies. Who knows what other technological /medical “miracles” will occur by the time you read this? Your response would have been disbelief followed by gales of laughter, and you would probably have used the word “Miracles” in your comments, too. For sure time affected our concept of whether these were miracles. TIME C H A P T E R

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If you agree that time and miracles are connected, then consider this extension of my theory; for I believe, that attracting miracles will be commonplace eventually. (provided that our evolvement advances somewhat from where it is now). Obviously we haven’t advanced in human terms a fraction as much as we have in technology; perhaps the more we progress in technology. the further we retreat from humanity. As you are reading this, you can contribute to this eventuality by using it yourself and then encouraging others to do so . I am often asked by friends and colleagues (those familiar with my beliefs) whether I believe the individual has free choice, or is the subject of destiny. My answer is I believe both simultaneously. “How can that be?” they say, “Either everything in the Universe is pre-destined, or we have the freedom of choice to determine our own destinies.” I do believe that everything is predestined, and that the Universe is unfolding exactly as it should according to some higher plan. I also believe in reincarnation and that we live many, many lives (not necessarily in chronological order—but more on that later). By the way, although most religious people deny it, reincarnation is referred to in both the Old and New Testaments and indeed is a part of most of the ancient universal religions. My belief (and the Vedic belief) is that when the soul, spirit, essence, or whatever it is that is the Real Self, leaves one earthly body it can chose the next incarnation. The soul chooses all the circumstances, the parents, siblings, country of residence, spouse, career, and so on that the next incarnation should experience. So while the destiny of the individual is pre-determined, it is the destiny that was chosen by the soul before returning for another lifetime?

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Therefore, the future we shall all experience is really a future that we have chosen beforehand” The future we shall all experience is really a future that we have chosen beforehand. A future that we created by our actions, beliefs, thoughts, expectations, fears, and anxieties in this lifetime (and in all the previous ones as well). Karmacly we get the life that we deserve, and it is the life that we have chosen beforehand.

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We can learn these lessons the easy way or the hard way. The easy way involves making some effort to learn the needed lessons we have brought to this embodiment, the hard way is to fight the lessons and condemn ourselves to repeat them again until we get them right (both in this life and subsequent ones). The balance between destiny and free-choice is delicate and maybe these choices could be expressed as our nature and the TRUE SELF. Man (and as far as we know only man), has the capacity to actually stand back and observe himself, and it is this “observer” part of us that is the TRUE SELF. A few years ago at a class at the Toronto School of Philosophy, (where I was a part-time student and a part-time tutor), one of my classmates asked our tutor (and the rest of the group): “How come, if we believe that our present lives are pre-destined (which we did), then what is the point of working to achieving greater awareness, and a greater degree of self-realization, and for that matter what was the point of doing anything?” The answer most of the group felt comfortable with was, “as we are not conscious of exactly what our destiny is, why not assume that achieving a greater awareness and a greater degree of self-realization were our original destiny and then follow the path that will most likely achieve that.” To put it in more mundane terms – imagine the pre-destined aspect of your life as the cards which you were dealt for this lifetime; however, how you play them is your free choice. Each of us came to this life with a script (which we had ourselves created beforehand), we are however, able to improvise and change the script as we go through this lifetime. The many parts which we play (husband, father, brother, entrepreneur, author) are merely parts in the play, and these are not what we really are.

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Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” – George Santayana If we stretch our imagination beyond the line of time as we know it, we can almost see past, present and future blend into one. We can feel this thread of creative free-choice that moves forward at every moment, and that is causing the future to occur. Our lives continue a strand of an intelligent mind that existed before we were born, and will continue after we are dead. Freewill, the force that changes the entire course of a stream, exists within the stream of Mind itself. TIME C H A P T E R

9

It is like a never-ending relay race; at birth in this lifetime we pick up a torch and carry it, lighting the way through the darkness for our whole life, with a light of consciousness and immortality. The past is a blueprint for the future. George Santayana, the semanticist said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” So let’s get back to the chronological order of successive reincarnations. As indicated, each soul experiences many lives (maybe a thousand or more), until all the necessary lessons of Karma are experienced. As time has no essence, eternity, and an instant is relatively the same; it then follows that successive lives need not be experienced in a chronological order (consecutively). Indeed after living the current life in the twentieth century, the soul may just choose to experience its next life in the seventeenth century. That probably explains why some people in this lifetime always seem to know future trends, always know the right moves, and always seem to be ahead of their time, These people know the future- because formerly they have lived in the future. This may be how it is that new discoveries are really remembrances from a future time that was experienced earlier. Maybe you find this a bit confusing. This thesis was employed in a very amusing way a few years ago, in the film Back to the Future, which besides being a very entertaining movie, illustrated the idea in simple terms. If you haven’t seen the film, run out and rent the video now. Spiritual teacher and writer John Harricharan, in When You Can Walk on Water, Take the Boat says: “Each person exists in many dimensions and many systems. Each one inhabits the entire universe, but most times is focused in one tiny spot. From that spot, each one influences his entire future

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Each person exists in many dimensions and many systems. Each one inhabits the entire universe” and past. You live as many lifetimes as are needful on earth. In each lifetime, you learn and strive to be better than the one before, if you accept time as sequential. If you accept time as eternally now, then you exist in many dimensions simultaneously.”

TIME C H A P T E R

9

Time has no relevance; eternity and the present instant are one and the same, In this way past, present and future all merge and happen simultaneously so that we are in a way living all the thousand or more lives simultaneously. Therefore, any choices you make in this lifetime affect them all! Does this mean that you can actually change the past? Yes. Am I saying that it is never too late to have a happy childhood? Again yes. Let me tell you how I have experienced this seeming impossibility. For about 40 years, I was convinced I was the victim of a difficult childhood. Our parents had separated when I was about seven years old and Jack was about six months old. Our mother was always a bit avant-garde, for in 1940 marital separation was a rare choice indeed, yet that was the decision that she made. In those days, the children of divorce were generally raised to hate (or at least blame) the parent that they were not living with. So while my father repeatedly tried to have contact with Jack and me, the relationship on our side was ambivalent at best and just plain hostile at worst. Money was scarce in our family before the separation (in Winnipeg during the Great Depression) and afterwards it deteriorated even further. How poor were we? Well we never locked our doors when we went out for a thief would likely have brought stuff into our home instead of take anything! At the time, we lived with our maternal grandparents and my mother’s two younger sisters. My grandfather died suddenly at age 61, several months after our parents separated. Our mother working two jobs, with a new-born child, no money, and distraught over her fathers untimely death and with her own circumstance, had a nervous breakdown, and required hospitalization. At that point Jack and I were temporarily put into an orphanage. This institution was not exclusively populated by orphans, and indeed housed many children who had parents but for various reasons could not care for them, or who lived in remote areas and boarded their children in the “Orphanage” in order

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I carried the idea that life had dealt me a rotten childhood. I felt that I was a victim” for them to obtain a Jewish education.

TIME C H A P T E R

9

Some sixty-nine years later, I can still relive the misery and self-pity I felt on that first night in the orphanage, as I covered my head with the blanket and sobbed myself to sleep. I can vividly recall how rough the blanket was compared to the one I had at home. In the grand scheme of things— and with what we all experience in a lifetime—the relative softness of a blanket is no big deal. But at the time, the rough blanket was symbolic of my circumstance. The feeling I had that night was of abject abandonment and I can still relive those feelings now whenever I think or speak of it. In less than a year, with my mother physically recovered and working again, I was taken home. Jack needing more care (he was as rambunctious at two as he is now at seventy-one) remained in the orphanage for about another year. For many years, I carried the idea that life had dealt me a rotten childhood. I felt that I was a victim, did not have a father figure in my life and so on. It was only after about twenty-five years in and out of analysis, counseling, and plain life experience that I gradually came to the understanding that my childhood was one of positivity and love, instead of the opposite. Yes, we were raised by a single-parent, but a single-parent who showed us unconditional loving care. Indeed, this care and love were exponentially increased by the fact that we lived with our grandmother and until they left home the two aunts. As for poverty, it was only a bit more poverty than everyone else in the neighborhood was experiencing at the time. Our mother raised us to never feel poor, only temporarily broke. This difference while subtle (for if you have no money you have no money), is basic and still works well for me now more than half a century later. In the same way I eventually came to the realization that I did not hate my father, but indeed loved him. Blaming a parent (or anyone else) for hurts of the past is totally useless, for they no doubt were doing the best they could, given where they were at the time. My father died years before I had the realization that I loved him, so I could not share the discovery with him. I am however, comfortable with the knowledge that his spirit knows it. As a side-benefit we eventually reconnected with all my father’s family (many of whom we had lost touch within the intervening years) and we now have a very close, loving re-

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Live this particular lifetime to the fullest, leaving the past and future lifetimes to take care of themselves” lationship with them.

TIME C H A P T E R

9

It is in this way that we can change the past, or at least those parts of the past that we believe need modifying. We do that continually by using selective and very judgmental memory. We view the past as we chose to perceive it, whether it is “true” or not. All mankind’s history is based on subjective and biased selective memory, depending on whose version we are hearing. My advice to you now is make peace with the past so it won’t screw up the present. So it’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But, the second one is up to you and no one else. The additional benefit of changing the past is when you are doing so you also change the present and you also change the future. Some of you may be readier to buy into these theories and maybe that is because you have either lived in a past lifetime where this was true for you or you have lived in a future lifetime where this was true for you. If this is a bit too esoteric, don’t worry about it, just live this lifetime to the fullest, leaving the past and future lifetimes to take care of themselves, which they will anyhow. A spontaneous miracle and an expected miracle are the same, differing only in time. For instance, a car flips over in an accident and the driver miraculously steps out unhurt - was it the belief system of the driver feeling protected, or did he in a split second “ask” for the miracle of being saved, and then received it? I don’t know the difference, or even if there is a difference; however, I feel comfortable with the belief that some people have a natural divine protection, and no matter what is happening around them, they will be all right (I believe I am in that group). I am also comfortable with the belief that everyone despite their current level of positivity can attract miracles. Provided they desire them enough, and provided they expect them enough. As said in previous chapters -if you can’t meet the mortgage today or if you find yourself unable to pay your bills, all you have to do is change your present thoughts to change future conditions. Discard attitudes that are filled with self-doubt and negativity. What happens today is not by chance, it is a direct result of what took place yesterday and the day before and the day before that. Think right today because the future is always the present thought made

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There are two days in every week that should be kept free from fear and apprehension. They are yesterday and tomorrow” manifest. Change your thinking today and you will make your future more harmonious, peaceful, and successful.

TIME C H A P T E R

9

To fulfill your deepest desires, you need first to create them in your consciousness. Love, happiness, and material abundance can become part of your conscious life when you consistently fill your mind with visions of these conditions. There should be no room in your thoughts or in your life for negative, unhappy, or undesirable circumstance. It is unlikely that anyone can pass through life without feeling at least temporary uncertainties of health, finances or relationships. Those times are usually only a cycle requiring personal effort, but when you look back on them, will be seen to have advanced you along a path of greater success. It is not enough to only wish for things as a child would do, while simultaneously not really believing that those wishes can be realized. Although there is much divisiveness in the world between dissimilar values and ideas, Liberal vs. Conservative, black vs. white, secular vs. religious, and so on, this may be only a necessary fragment of the dramatic changes that are happening. Throughout history, these periods of seeming separation invariably led to cycles of coming together for a common purpose. These cycles are as constant as the tides of the ocean and provide society and individuals an opportunity to learn and to grow. There are two days in every week that should be kept free from fear and apprehension. They are yesterday and tomorrow. All the money in the world cannot bring back yesterday. We cannot undo even a single act we performed nor erase a single word we have said. The other day we shouldn’t worry about is tomorrow-for tomorrow is beyond our control. Tomorrow’s sun will either rise in splendor or behind a mask of clouds - but it will rise. And until it does, we have no stake in it, for it is still unborn. That leaves us only today. So live each day one day at a time! Every one of us can fight the battles of just one day. It is only when you add the burdens of yesterday and tomorrow that you have problems. It is not the experience of today that drives us mad, but rather the remorse or bitterness of yesterday and the dread of what tomorrow may bring. The operative word here is MAY!

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That leaves us only today. So, live each day one day at a time! Every one of us can fight the battles of just one day� The next time you are going through a challenging cycle, just remember you only have to get through this one day as if it were a dream, and that when you awake the next day everything will be magically ok. It is amazing how often this does occur when you are truly in the present moment. And even if it isn’t ok on the following day, you only have to get through that single day. TIME C H A P T E R

9

There is one thing that every human being in the world has the exact same amount of, and that is TIME. Rich or poor, educated or not, male or female, old or young, each of us has exactly 24 hours in a day not a minute more or less. The differences are only in how each of us uses that time. Many of us carry around past hurts that weigh on us and can be extremely painful. Lack of forgiveness can be like a festering wound that never heals, often throbs, and is easily opened. Issues that are left unresolved can manifest into other problems such as stress, anxiety, unresolved anger, and poor self-esteem. Everyone, at one point or another, has made mistakes or done things they later wished they could go back in time to alter. Forgiveness is a two-way street and that if you want to be forgiven of your mistakes, you need to offer others the same courtesy. Forgiveness is a powerful tool for self-healing. When you finally let go and love people for whom they are, even when they have hurt you, it will free you from any self-imposed bondage of angst and anger. You also need to forgive yourself for your own mistakes.

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10

C O N N E C T E D N E S S

&

L O V E


10

C O N N E C T E D N E S S

There is a link between human

awareness

and the workings

of the universe

Everyone and everything Universe is connected.

in

the

As Albert Einstein said, “A human being is part of the whole, called by us “Universe”, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest –a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

&

L O V E

everything was built up of tiny invisible blocks, each of them eternal and immutable and that transformations in nature were not caused by actual changes but rather by rearrangement of these building blocks. The word “atom” means “un cuttable.” Today, we know that atoms are not “un cuttable,” and indeed consist of sub-atomic particles called electrons, protons, and neutrons which are themselves composed of even smaller sub-units called quarks. Molecules are structures consisting of two or more atoms bound together, and cells consist of billions of molecules. Since the establishment of Quantum

We know that everything in the Universe is made up of atoms, the smallest unit of any element that exhibits the physical and chemical properties of that element. We think the discovery of atoms is a recent event, but their discovery, and naming goes back to the ancient Greek philosopher, Democritus (c.460-370 B.C). He assumed that

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Quantum Theory has led scientists to study the link between human awareness and the workings of the universe” Theory that deals with interactions at sub-atomic level, scientists have become intrigued with the link between human awareness and the workings of the Universe. Thirty or so years ago if you asked a scientist “Do you believe in God?” The likely response would have been “Of course not, I’m a scientist!” CONNECTEDNESS & LOVE C H A P T E R 10

Today if you asked the same question, the likely response would be, “Of course I believe in God; I’m a scientist!” You may be thinking, “Why the science lesson at this time?” Hang in a bit, there is a point to be made. We now know that each human is made up of billions of cells, each cell unique in makeup and function, yet each containing the complete DNA blueprint of the individual. The cells in your fingernails contain not only the characteristics of the fingernail, but also the biochemical blueprints for all the cells that comprise your entire body. In the same way each human being, with his own unique characteristics and personality combines with every other human being to make up the entire body of mankind. Just as each of us is made up of billions of separate but connected cells, so is the Universe itself connected to each of its separate parts. Imagine that each of your fingers (and toes) believes they are separate as they “wiggle” on their own, yet they are really just a part of the hand (or foot) that are themselves just a part of the body. We believe that we are just fingers and toes as we “wiggle” through life never becoming aware of our connectedness. Each of us imagines that we are a single wave in the ocean. Each wave thinks it is unique and separate from the rest of the ocean and is therefore, not the ocean. As the surf rolls in, each wave says, “Woosh, here I come, Mr. Wave himself.” But in truth there really are no Mr. Waves. There is only the ocean. Deep

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The whole theory of the universe is unerringly directed at a single individual; namely, you” —Walt Whitman down under the waves on the surface it is very still and very quiet. When it is calm and smooth on top as well as on the bottom, it appears as one unified ocean instead of individual waves. Just as each of us believes we are “Mr. Wave,” forgetting that we are just an incredibly small part of the entire ocean of mankind.

CONNECTEDNESS & LOVE C H A P T E R 10

Deepak Chopra, M.D., renowned spiritual writer and lecturer, in Ageless Body, Timeless Mind says, “Although each person seems separate and independent, all of us are connected to patterns of intelligence that governs the whole cosmos. Our bodies are part of a Universal body, our minds an aspect of a Universal mind.” No single cell in the body can be happy and content if the rest is starving for elements they need. Nor can any human being ever be completely happy and content among others if those others are unhappy and content. Walt Whitman wrote “The whole theory of the Universe is unerringly directed at a single individual; namely, you.” You are the centre of the Universe. But so is everyone else. We are completely and irreversibly connected to one another (and to everything else in the Universe). Not only are we connected to each other but in reality there is no other, there is only one. Fundamentally, everyone and everything in the Universe are connected in perfect unity and are pure, perfect, and complete. If that is so, then how come there is so much bad stuff happening? Simply, because this perfect oneness within us, is submerged beneath so many outer layers of fear, and negativity that filter, and distort the peace, and love within. We are like an onion or an artichoke, which requires each layer to be peeled away until the essence at the centre is reached. The True Self within each of us is the same Self. There are millions of different body forms, sizes, shapes, colors and names, but there is only one True Self. You need to grasp the concept of unity. -There simply is no separate you and I. The essence of us all, whether you call it soul, spirit, or whatever is only one. The other person in front of you is none other than yourself. The Self of all. Whatever you see in another, good or bad, is simply a reflection of your-

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You are the centre of the Universe. But so is everyone else. We are completely and irreversibly connected to one another” self. To feel connected to your true self, you need to be awake; therefore, fully conscious, instead of going through life on automatic pilot.

CONNECTEDNESS & LOVE C H A P T E R 10

A while ago as Jack coming out of a restaurant after lunch, bumped into “E” (the owner of a large company). Jack knew “E” from The Fitness Institute, and we had earlier done some business with him. The three of us stood in the warm sunshine for a few minutes, making small talk. At one point while Jack and “E” were chatting, I thought to myself, “I know that Jack has had some problem with this person, however at that moment a pleasant, warm feeling to “E” came over me.” When we parted Jack and I walked to our car, and “E” walked to the restaurant entrance. Jack then said, “E” is a __, we did some work for him, and had to sue him for part of it.” “Shh,” said I, “he is still within earshot and may hear you. Furthermore,” I continued, “what I have realized, and would do differently if I could change the past, is to feel love for everyone we ever did business with, and as much as possibly not alienate anyone and to continue to retain all of them as clients.” At that moment, we heard “E” who had backtracked from the restaurant calling to us, “Jack, I want to discuss some new business with you, so please call me.” “A coincidence,” you say? I don’t think so. I believe that if you really feel love (ok, affection will do) for anyone, the good feeling will be felt by the other person, and will be returned to you. Since discovering this I have experienced it often, and have been able to get Jack (who is skeptical to say the least), to open up to this simple truth. It has been incredibly useful to me in meeting the frustrations and challenges of business and in other areas of life as well. Several times each day I may find myself in a hostile or confrontational encounter with someone, either on the telephone, or in person. “How come,” you may be thinking, “a person like yourself who teaches and writes about love and connectedness, finds themselves in confrontational situations?”

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In a confrontational situation, if you ‘fall still’ and achieve a tranquil state of mind, you will be a better listener”

CONNECTEDNESS & LOVE C H A P T E R 10

Well, I have news for you. Teaching and writing about love does not in itself reduce the frequency of stress (although it does help in dealing with it). What I have found useful, when the other person is hostile, argumentative, negative, and scolding me for some (real or imagined) injustice, is to just fall still, take a deep breath, and feel as much love for this person that I can. When I am being admonished for some infraction (not mailing a cheque, not delivering on time, or any of a hundred other errors), I just say, “I hear what you are saying, and I understand that you are upset with the situation.” Then I might follow with, “You are a good person and I know you understand that I meant no harm, and it was wrong of me to do that.”Invariably, the other person calms down and begins to see my side of it, gradually even complying with my wishes. This can happen only if you are really feeling love and connectedness, for if the words are phony and only meant to achieve your own selfish ends, then forget it - you just won’t be credible. If you are in a tranquil state of mind, you will be a much better listener. Your mind is receptive to the point that you receive not only words but also the person's moods and feelings. You can listen very sympathetically, because you can feel with the other person. It is essential to really listen to the other person (instead of being absorbed in thinking about what you will say next). It’s amazing how seldom we really do listen. And it is amazing how much you can hear and understand when you do fully engage in listening. In a potentially confrontational situation, it is often enough to just listen and do nothing else. It is quite miraculous when doing or thinking of nothing but truly listening, how often the other person begins to verbalize your position without you having to say a word. Think I’m kidding? Try it yourself. The next time you find yourself in a stress-encounter, just try it. (You probably won’t have to wait all that long, for there is no shortage of stressful and anxiety-filled situations around). You will be happily surprised and pleased with the result. “Win/Win,” the popular sound bite now takes on a whole new meaning. Formerly, we assumed that for you to win someone had to lose, so it was a leap forward, to graduate from “Win/Lose,” to “Win/Win.” Unless we go to the next level of, “Win/Win/Win,” which includes the Universe as a winner, we would

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It’s amazing how much you can hear and understand when you are fully engaged in listening” not have advanced that much. It could be extremely useful to you (not to mention extremely useful to the Universe), if you learn to repeat the following phrase as often as possible, “I am a part of that which flows through every human heart.”

CONNECTEDNESS & LOVE C H A P T E R 10

It is very much in vogue these days to refer to the synergy of one plus one equaling three, yet when talking about us being connected it would be more accurate to say that one plus one equals ONE. "Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness, and understanding you can muster and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again." --- Og Mandino Have you ever experienced picking up feelings when entering a space, say where people are happy; a celebration, or sad, a funeral, or meditative, a place of worship and so on? We have all experienced how quickly feelings of anger or frustration transfer from a mate, from one family member to another, and from one to another in business situation. Just as this works in small groups it also manifests in communities, cities, countries, and in the whole universe. It is as if there is an invisible loop connecting every person in the world. Test this yourself. Stand facing another person (about 30” apart), with neither of you speaking, and imagine you are giving off an incredible feeling of love. Imagine that this emotion fills the invisible loop, so it engulfs you and the other person, and because it is a loop it comes back to you, then loops again to your partner, and so on. Don’t take my word for it, or confine it to imagination, try it yourself. Start with your mate or partner, a friend, or anyone else. Keep it nonverbal, just feel a very strong emotion, and then mentally send that to the other person. Practice this a few times and then extend the feeling fully to the nth degree. Imagine the loop continually increasing connecting you to two others, then three, ten, a hundred, a thousand, and then every living creature on earth. Indeed, why limit it to the earth, you can even extend it beyond this planet.

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Good thoughts and actions cannot produce bad results; bad thoughts and actions cannot produce good results”-James Allen

CONNECTEDNESS & LOVE C H A P T E R 10

The same is true of negative feelings, fear, anxiety, anger, prejudice, judgments and so on. Whatever you are thinking, good or bad, your thoughts enter the ether and join up with other similar thoughts. These like-thoughts join, taking on a physical form, so when many people are thinking in a particular way, this “thought cloud” gains in synergy and power. We continually send thought-forms, and simultaneously attract the thoughts of others (especially those similar to our own). Just as our own lives are a direct result of our thinking, so everything in the Universe is a direct result of collective thinking. Does this mean all the bad stuff going on in the world is a result of our collective thinking? Yes, and so is all the good stuff. About a hundred years ago James Allen, in a wonderful little book, “As A Man Thinketh”, wrote “Good thoughts and actions can never produce bad results; bad thoughts, and actions can never produce good results. As the plant springs from and could not be without the seed, so every act of man springs from the hidden seeds of thought and could not have appeared without them. This applies equally to those acts called “spontaneous” and “unpremeditated” as to those that are deliberately executed.” I believe everything in the Universe is the result of Universal Consciousness. Everything that occurs in the Creation is the result of our combined thinking and feeling. So when more of us are thinking good - the world gets good and the reverse. The good news is the balance between good and evil CAN be altered by our collective thinking. All we have to do is modify our belief system sufficiently to embrace this, and we could miraculously change the world. We first need to believe that this is a possibility, and then to think and act in a gentler, kinder, more loving and caring way. I believe that this will happen and has already begun to. Even the weather is a manifestation of our thinking. When enough people think, believe, and feel sun, then sunshine is what we attract. Similarly, when there is enough collective grey, cloudy, and cold thinking, then that is what we get. When we stop thinking depression, wars, and other negative things these will become nonexistent. Economic depressions are caused by fear and depression in the minds of the masses. We believe we shall have bad times and become depressed,

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Everything in the Universe, both good and bad, is the direct result of our collective thinking”

CONNECTEDNESS & LOVE C H A P T E R 10

but the reality is the opposite. First, the masses think depressing thoughts, and then the economy becomes depressed, not the other way around. When we think and feel depressed we stop buying, because we believe things will get bad and through self-fulfilling prophecy we are right. What we feared becomes reality. It’s simple you don’t invest in a new car when you are feeling depressed and thinking the economy will go into a recession / depression, and you may lose your job. When enough people feel the same way then, they do not buy cars and the automobile companies layoff auto workers. The laid-off auto workers do not purchase furniture and appliances, so furniture and appliance workers are laid off and they can’t buy other things, and so on and on. I believe we get exactly the political leaders we deserve. We pick the leadership that we get. “Of course,” you say, “we pick the leaders we get by voting for them.” But that is not what I mean. We unconsciously pick the leaders through our collective thinking and beliefs (whether we actually cast a ballot or not) A community, country, or a society has thoughts and beliefs just as an individual does. Indeed, the power of collective thought is dramatically increased exponentially by synergy, so the thought of an individual if held by a hundred, takes on the power of a thousand. Therefore a Hitler, a Nixon (or a Churchill), is only possible when the collective thinking of a community or country, attracts the leader that best exemplifies the mass thinking at the time. It is not the leaders who create the rules and norms of society (except maybe for very short periods of time). On the contrary, it is the reverse, in that first a society thinks, feels, and acts in a certain manner and then the elected leaders create the laws to fit the mass thinking. Although at times it doesn’t seem that it so, ultimately governments do read the mood of the people (both unconsciously and consciously) and create laws that express the mass thinking. A short number of years ago, in the midst of the cold war, the world lived with the very real fear of a potential nuclear holocaust. Interestingly there was a greater risk of this becoming a reality as long as this idea was held by so many. Today with the end of the cold war, the real potential for nuclear holocaust is largely reduced and so is the mass expectancy reduced. My contention is that this has occurred in the exact opposite sequence. As the

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If we mend our own faults, we shall all of us have enough to do without sitting in judgement of others” -Sir Walter Scott collective thinking of the world reduced the expectancy of the threat, then (and only then) did the reality change to comply with the mass thinking.Now we are friends with the Soviets and we have a new fear of radical Islam.

CONNECTEDNESS & LOVE C H A P T E R 10

Everything in the world has to do with Love. Love is everything. Love is all. Where does Hate fit into this thesis? Simple. Hate is a part of love. More accurately, hate is the absence of love. It is the part of love that it is at the other end of the same stick – the opposite pole. Even Hitler is about love – the epitome of the absence of love. From the time we are born, we are taught a lot about many things. However, we may not have been taught very much about the most important thing in the universe, which is love. Most of us were fortunate enough to have loving parents and loving families; however, the love we received was often conditional; as in “be a good boy and I will love you.” Whatever the reality was, or more important whatever our perception of the reality was, almost everyone believes they did not receive enough love and approval. Enough love seems to be just a little bit more than anyone ever gets. Even if it were true that you did not receive the love you thought you deserved, of what possible use is it to cling to that belief now? So let it go and get on with your life. Forgive your parents, no doubt they were doing the best they could, given where they were at the time. Maybe they (or others) did ruin your past, by why would you allow them to ruin your present (and future) by clinging to those thoughts and beliefs of the past? Unfortunately, we tend to perpetuate the same errors, generation after generation. We bargain with our love, so that the beloved gets more or less affection, depending on the degree they have fulfilled requirements we place on the relationship. It is essential to forgive every person to whom you harbor resentment or negativity, no matter what they have done (or what you imagine they have done). Sir Walter Scott, in his novel “Red Gauntlet,” said, “If we mend our own faults we shall all of us have enough to do without sitting in judgment upon others.” Remember the ancient biblical advice, “If thy enemy hunger, feed him, if he

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You must forgive others, not just to be a good person, but because forgiveness can be of direct benefit to you” thirsts, give him drink,” and, “Be not overcome of Evil, but overcome Evil with Good.”

CONNECTEDNESS & LOVE C H A P T E R 10

Evil can never be overcome with more evil, it can only be overcome by GOOD. You must forgive others not just to be a good person (which you should be) but because forgiveness can be a direct benefit to you. This is a basic Law of the Universe The real key to helping others, as well as yourself, is to understand that whatever you do for others, will return to you, many times over. Dr. Deepak Chopra, in The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success says: “The more you give; the more you will receive, because you will keep the abundance of the Universe circulating in your life. Anything that is of value in life only multiplies when it is given. That which doesn’t multiply through giving is neither worth giving nor worth receiving. If through the act of giving, you feel that you have lost something, then the gift is not truly given and will not cause increase.” The incredible thing is when you spend money for your benefit it gets depleted, but when you expend your love, compassion, wisdom, time, and creativity, it is not diminished. Indeed, these things grow through being used. Chopra, further tells us we discover service and dedication to others through asking the questions, “How can I help?” Instead of, “What’s in it for me?” He says, “The question, “What’s in it for me?” Is the internal dialogue of the ego? Asking “How can I help?” Is the internal dialogue of the spirit? The spirit is that domain of your awareness where you experience your universality.” Like the butterfly in China that flaps its wings and causes a storm two days later in the Gulf of Mexico, small caring human acts can have enormous consequences for the world. Louise Hay in Heart Thoughts says: “We have so much love in this world, and we have so much love in our hearts, but sometimes we forget. Sometimes we think there isn’t enough, or there is just a small amount. So we hoard what we have, or we are afraid to let it go. But, those of us who are willing to learn, realize that the more love we allow to flow from us, the more

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The only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love” - Mother Teresa there is within us and the more we receive. It is endless and timeless.” And Mother Teresa said more or less the same thing: “The only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love. There are many in the world that are dying for a piece of bread, but there are many more dying for a little love.”

CONNECTEDNESS & LOVE C H A P T E R 10

It is easy to mistake selfishness and lack of caring for others, as an indication of self-caring, yet the opposite is true. Those who exhibit selfishness and uncaring for others cannot possibly care for themselves very much either. It is impossible to care for another if we do not first care for ourselves. The only way to give of yourself unselfishly, requires that you first take loving care of yourself. Treat yourself well. Be more nurturing and nourishing of yourself. Do not deprive yourself of small pleasures, whether accepting a compliment or simply stopping to enjoy a beautiful day. If you are not taking care of your physical self, not getting enough rest, fresh air, and exercise and if you are over-eating, eating the wrong food, abusing alcohol, or drugs, overworking, consumed by worry and anxieties, never taking a vacation, what shape are you going to be in to give nurturing care and love to your mate, family, friends, fellow workers, and neighbors? When you understand this, you can begin to be gentler, more loving and forgiving of yourself. The first step has to be the belief that you deserve to be forgiven by yourself and then be loved by yourself. So be good to yourself. Take care of your body, eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, cut down on meat, drink plenty of water, get enough exercise, and rest, and above all pace yourself. In health and fitness. You can be your own worst enemy by ignoring the basic prescriptions for staying in good shape. Pampering your body is good for you. Taking massages, facials, saunas, hair treatments, and so on are not selfish, but rather acts of positive energy-giving personal kindness. Incredibly, people who wouldn’t dream of not having their automobiles tuned-up and serviced several times a year will not spend the time, energy, or money to do the same for their bodies. Makes you wonder does it not, that some people seem to have a greater concern for their wheels than for their bodies?

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We poison our minds and emotions by ingesting negativity, fear, doubt, and anxiety” Through attention to physical fitness and a holistic attitude to health, your body can become a sacred temple for the spirit within. Buddha said, “To keep the body in good health is a duty; otherwise, the mind is not strong and clear.”

CONNECTEDNESS & LOVE C H A P T E R 10

In the same way that we poison our bodies and become sick by taking in foods and substances that are not good for us so we also poison our minds and emotions by ingesting negativity, fear and anxiety. Be gentle with yourself. Start now to eliminate habits of doubt, criticism, and worry. Remember to follow a sensible regimen, practicing moderation in all that you do. Enjoy your work. The iconic makeup queen, Helena Rubenstein, declared in 1956, “Work has been my best beauty treatment. It keeps the wrinkles out of the mind and the spirit.” Listen to good music. Spend quiet time with nature. Read uplifting spiritual and inspirational literature. Attend lectures and seminars on these and similar subjects ,and join groups where others who share these ideas are likely to be. Learn to meditate and then practice it regularly. Above all slow down and take the time to become aware of your senses. Just re-awaken to the joys of the Universe, enjoy the wonders of learning and the satisfaction of simple joys. Have a quiet base, removed from the hurly-burly of daily activity, where you can retreat and relax.Sometimes the fastest way of getting anything done is to just slow down (for then the task becomes more pleasurable and miraculously seems to get done by itself). Experiments in recent years have proven that plants respond to human kindness and love. Obviously, giving love and caring to plants, would on a physical level include giving them enough water and sunshine, which in itself would produce healthier growth, but the kind of care and love referred to here is emotional or spiritual love and care. It surely follows that if transmitting nurturing and love to a plant causes it to grow, then transmitting nurturing and love to a human will aid that person’s growth in the same way (not to mention the side benefit to yourself as the giver of love). We know that plants lean towards sunlight, well so do humans lean towards love. We have all heard of newborn babies who denied human love and comfort,

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Hatred stems from insecurity and self-loathing. Love for each other is the power that heals us” just shrivel up and in extreme cases die. Indeed, an inner part of each of us has shriveled up and died if we were denied love at infancy, or even if we believed that this was so. There is more to life than money and power. There is love, laughter, and there is learning. Many of us think we can survive without love, but we cannot. Love for ourselves is the power that heals us. Practice it. CONNECTEDNESS & LOVE C H A P T E R 10

So why do we hate? Hatred stems from insecurity and self-hatred. Hate is always a sign that something is wrong with the hater and not with the object of their hatred. The hater is often irrational, fearful, and envious. When you hate another, you are only seeing a reflection of that which is within you, and therefore only hating the part of yourself you see in them. The good news is that you can change this hate to love. If that seems too difficult a task for you, then try breaking it down into smaller increments and then go to work on it. Change the hate to dislike a lot, and then to somewhat dislike, then to neutral, then to like, then to love somewhat and then to love. It’s not easy, but try to find something no matter how small in the object of your hate that you can like a bit and then build from there. It will be well worth it. Buddha said “Let us live happily then, not hating those that hate us.” The Talmud relates that a non-Jew came to Rabbi Hillel and said to him, “You can convert me on the condition you will teach me the entire Torah while I stand on one foot.” Hillel accepted this condition and told him “What you dislike, do not do to your friend. This is the entire Torah. The rest is commentary. Go and learn.” And Jesus said it this way: “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” To which we might respectfully add, “Because you are your neighbor.” So when you hurt another, it is in a way a self-inflicted wound. If we collectively continue to wound others (and therefore ourselves), we will ultimately destroy civilization. Individually you may feel that there is just too much injustice, inequality, and negativity for anyone to change. But, it is not the im-

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The key to generosity is to give with an absence of desire for self-benefit” possible task that it seems to be. If you modify your own behavior, even in an incrementally small way, by showing greater love, and caring for yourself and then for your family and friends, the synergy will quickly expand beyond your intimates and eventually spread to the entire globe.

CONNECTEDNESS & LOVE C H A P T E R 10

Most of the “good” people in the world believe that the only way to change global injustice and remove at least some of the negativity and evil in the world is by taking action. While their intentions are admirable, their premise may be erroneous. For the active way in large measure does not work The changes needed may be better achieved in the passive spiritual way. by meditative techniques. If more people turned to meditation, the energy of peace, love and kindness would expand exponentially. If you find this a bit too passive for yourself, and believe you have to do something, then just smile more at strangers, and practice acts of kindness and love with no expectation of personal reward. It is incredible how the power of such simple actions spreads from the person you smiled at who then smiles at another, and thus gradually spreading a gentler and more loving energy around the entire globe. Give generously to charity for altruistic reasons, but it is a direct benefit to you as well as it will be returned in full measure by the Universe. Giving money to street-people (whether you believe they are genuinely in need or not) is a good idea. Make your motto, “When in doubt – GIVE.” Generosity is not just a function of sharing materialism (although that is an important form of generosity). Generosity of the spirit is sharing and giving of everything that is available to you, your wisdom, experience, love, compassion, knowledge, creativity, your time, and so on. The key to generosity is to give with an absence of desire for personal benefit. For, if there is a selfish motive that would negate the service. Norman Vincent Peale said, “Each of us can expect astonishing results when we seize the opportunity to help someone else. And in the right spirit it makes us feel good.” You need to serve others, give of yourself and to be concerned with the welfare of others. First, give love and caring to those closest to you, your mate, family, and friends and then beyond to the community, to the country, and

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Sages throughout history have said that true happiness comes from sharing, not selfishness ” even to the world. The potential bonus for being loving is that it will lead to a benefit to you, for the love will be returned. It seems a paradox, but being selfless may actually be self-serving. The catch is, it only works if your acts of kindness, charity, service, or love, are without any hopes for your own reward. CONNECTEDNESS & LOVE C H A P T E R 10

In his book “Your Infinite Power to be Rich”, Joseph Murphy says: “Thoughts of hate, spite, and vengeance will block your prayer for riches and will cause wealth to flow from you instead of to you. Wish for everyone what you wish for yourself – that is the key to your abundance.” You don’t have to love everyone and everything in the Universe, although it would be great if that were true. Sages throughout history have said that true happiness comes from sharing, not selfishness, and that real satisfaction comes from self-improvement. A question which I often ask, “Is the world getting better than it was, is it getting worse, or is it the same?” By many indicators, it seems at best to be the same, and at worst to be deteriorating. The world seems to be sinking in a mire of selfishness and greed. One of the lessons of history is that when morality decays, society rots. In many ways, the demonic forces seem to be winning now. And yet simultaneously, spiritual, loving forces are also emerging and growing. We may be at the brink of a great spiritual renaissance. We have a choice, we can either be kinder and gentler and change the world, or we can watch as the world hurtles along the ever-accelerating pathway to self-destruction. It is my belief that we will do the former. It can go either way for we are at a watershed moment. The choice is ours. Jewish scholar and philosopher Abraham Joshua Heschel said,” Mankind has arrived at the narrowest isthmus in it’s history, with no possibility of avoiding the dilemma of total peace or total calamity.” The current period is somewhat like the crossroads of the Dark Ages with its social decay, poverty, and ignorance that eventually led to a yearning for a spiritual renewal and to the Renaissance that followed.

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The buzz-words ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ are almost as obscene as the perverse deeds to which they refer”

CONNECTEDNESS & LOVE C H A P T E R 10

Can we reverse the process? You bet. Provided we care enough about what we are and what we believe in, instead of what we possess. The world can be changed when enough of us start thinking, feeling, and acting in a more caring way. To begin the process will require only a small number of the population. The Mahareshi has suggested that if even 2% of the population of a large city such as Washington, D.C. meditated, the crime rate would be drastically reduced. I believe this will happen and has already begun to happen, a belief that is shared by thousands of people around the globe and indeed has been espoused by the sages over the centuries. The lessons of the world’s silence or indifference to Nazi Germany's intentions before and during the holocaust have been completely missed as the world stands idly by observing the carnage in the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Burundi, Chechnya, Congo, and in many other places. Today’s indifference to these horrors may be worse, as we no longer have the excuse that we didn’t know what was happening. Thanks to the advance of technology we now have instant access to these atrocities, and yet our response is often tepid to say the least. Even our language has been altered through “Double-Speak” to accommodate our complacency about these events. The buzz-words, “Ethnic Cleansing,” are almost as obscene as the actual deeds they refer to. When we use that horrible perverse description of genocide, we are dignifying and whitewashing the acts. If you were asleep for the past few years and only now wakened, you might think that “Ethnic Cleansing” was just giving an ethnic group a cleaning with soap and water, instead of murder! If you feel powerless to do anything to stop the carnage, the least you can do is to refuse to use the phrase, “Ethnic Cleansing” and when you hear others use it point out that no matter what the euphemism, the actual process being referred to is just plain murder of human beings. Refuse to use all buzz words that try to sanitize wrongful deeds. Despite the voluminous hypotheses over the centuries about the nobility of dying in a righteous war, I do not believe that any war or any killing is justified. I think war and killing is not good. Period.

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We may be on the brink of a great spiritual renaissance. The world may be renewed, transformed, not destroyed”

CONNECTEDNESS & LOVE C H A P T E R 10

Aside from the senseless wars and the many national and international disputes and problems, there are other indicators that the world’s morality is declining. Our endless appetite for violence on TV and movies and the escalation of real violence, spousal and child abuse, crime, drugs and many other evils in seem to indicate a deterioration of the human condition. History has often proven that nothing ever changes over the centuries, that we never learn that wars do not solve anything, that negativity, greed, hatred never gives a positive result. So, is there still a chance to save the planet from eventual and utter destruction? All the predictions of early times, the Bible, Nostradamus, Edgar Cayce, and other current and ancient seers, prophets, and psychics all agree that the world is headed for “Armageddon/Apocalypse.” These prophesies are similar in their descriptions of this ending, and the timing and events that will lead up to the finale. The predictions all refer to natural disasters, earthquakes, tidal waves, and other massive planetary events and plagues, as well as horrible wars. Many people believe that the rapid and global spread of the AIDS phenomena may be one of the horrible predicted disasters. The recent Haitian, Chilean and Japanese earthquakes and fears about the so called “earth faults” in southern California may be another example of the predictions. Despite all this, many people are still extremely hopeful for the potential transformation of humanity. They believe that the predictions of the end of the world refer to an end of the world as it is and see this end as really a new beginning. Incredibly while we are experiencing all the bad stuff, there is an equally impressive and growing resurgence in spirituality. People all over the world seem to be coming to an unprecedented spiritual renaissance. Who would have thought just 30 or so years ago that bookstores would have large selections of “Awareness, Spiritual and New Age” literature available, and others would that are devoted exclusively to books and tapes on these genres. Time magazine and many other International magazines as well have done numerous cover stories on this genre in recent years. All the excitement and enthusiasm of the so-called, “Electronic Highway,” which is touted as the ideal for linking and connecting the world, sounds good in theory, but misses the fundamentals of connectedness by a mile. Unless

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Predictions of the end of the world may refer to the end of the world as it is now, followed by a new beginning� we learn to be more loving of each other, we shall only be speeding up the separateness from one another. The linking and connecting that we have been promised is taking place on a level of disconnectedness. We don’t require more technology to feel connected Indeed most technological advances have exactly the opposite effect. How connected can you get to a voice messaging system or an automated-banking machine, compared to a human teller, or to a PC compared to another human being? CONNECTEDNESS & LOVE C H A P T E R 10

From Parting the Red Sea

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11

L E S S

C I G A R E T T E S


11

L E S S

C I G A R E T T E S

People who couldn’t

quit smoking could at least

smoke LESS

In 1964 Jack and I started a small public relations consultancy, as a division of our sign business and we called it “Thought Inc.” Unwinding after work with a drink one day, we talked about how to get the media to print something about a company. We decided that for starters you would have to know people in the media. Our problem, was our media contacts were absolutely zip. We concluded that without any connections our next best bet wold be to create some story that was so newsworthy, of such high interest to the audience of a particular media that they would have to use it. Obviously, something like multiple murder or starting World War 111 would achieve that. Next to that would have to be a story that had much human interest or creativity or even humour to it (or ideally all three)

in 1964, this was big-time news. The media had a field day. Article after article appeared promoting the giving up of smoking or at least smoking less.

At this very time the Surgeon General of Canada declared that cigarette smoking was harmful to health and while this is common knowledge now,

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In 1964 the Surgeon General of Canada declared that cigarette smoking was harmful to health”

LESS CIGARETTES C H A P T E R

11

‘The More or Less Honest Manufacturing Company’ article in The Toronto Daily Star, 1964

After a couple of drinks as we became more relaxed and silly, we postulated, “What if we created a brand of cigarettes called “Less”, so that people who couldn’t quit smoking could at least smoke “Less.” The point being that the media would inadvertently be promoting our brand every time they repeated the topical health warning to smoke less. So who hasn’t had some creative and crazy ideas, especially after a few drinks? But, when these ideas are examined in the light of the following morning, they usually do not seem nearly as amusing as they did the night before. This time; however, we were still chuckling the next morning at the absurdity

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In 1964, humour in advertising did not exist. We created ‘The More or Less Honest Manufacturing Co.” of the idea (and its possible public relations potential). We could hardly wait to bounce it off our Creative Director, Mike Barter. Mike was not only our Creative Director; he was also our Art Director and Chief Writer; in fact he was the only employee of our new advertising/public relations consultancy.

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When we told Mike the idea, he almost fell off his chair laughing. So we quickly decided to proceed with the experiment. At this point we actually had no intention of producing a cigarette called Less, or for that matter any other real product. We merely set out to get as much unpaid publicity we possibly could on the strength of the idea. Our reasoning being that if successful, the experiment would demonstrate to prospective clients how getting media exposure without having any connections and without spending a million bucks could be done (provided they hired us to come up with an idea of sufficient merit). The plan was simple. We would write a one page press-release and mail it to a short media mailing list we had compiled. The total budget including postage was about $15. Remember, this was 1964 and e-mail and fax technology hadn’t even been born yet, and postage was still cheap. Our creative approach was to be as off-the-wall, and as irreverent, as we possibly could. Before you say ‘so what’ let me remind you that in 1964, humour in advertising did not exist. It was just that some things were taken very seriously indeed—and advertising, and indeed business—were amongst these. The first thing we did that morning was to ask for our lawyer to register a new company name, “The More or Less Honest Manufacturing Co.” It was not too difficult to get the registrar at City Hall (who handled our application) to call the newspapers and tell them about our registration, as this person had probably never registered a company that was any more amusing than say, “Acme Plumbers.” Happily the following morning (Thurs. August 20, 1964), The Toronto Globe and Mail, Canada’s national newspaper, published a “box” article on their front page about our new company. Canadian Press (the national news service) found the item of sufficient interest that they sent it out over their wire service. Almost every newspaper in Canada subscribing to the CP service ran the story, and within a day, or so

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Our ‘Less’ package design won an Honourable Mention award in the 1967 Graphica Art Directors Show”

LESS CIGARETTES C H A P T E R

11

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We had become victims of our own publicity, and for the first time began to believe this could be a viable business idea” we began receiving phone calls from editors across the country that wanted more information about the story. When the story made the front page of Montreal’s La Presse, we received a call from a private-brand cigarette manufacturer offering to produce the cigarettes for us.

LESS CIGARETTES C H A P T E R

11

“Thanks for your interest, but we actually have no intention of producing a cigarette.”’ However, I did take the guy’s name and phone number, just in case. By now our news item was picked up by United Press international (the U.S. wire agency) and distributed over their network of thousands of subscribers. Hundreds (yes, hundreds) of newspapers all over the U.S.and even Australia, South Africa, and beyond) printed the story. We know that because we were so excited by the response, that we quickly subscribed to a press clipping service (an organization that reads newspapers and clips articles that mention its subscribers). Ad Age, the iconic Chicago-based journal of advertising and marketing, learning of the “Less” story called me. “We are considering doing a feature article

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CHUM radio turned our ads down. We prompty called the press about this and happily got a story in the Toronto Star about it” on your idea,” said the caller, “but, we need more information.” “Sure, how can I help you?” “For starters who will be manufacturing your cigarette?” “Well,” I said, “I was just speaking to a private-brand cigarette maker in Montreal...” LESS CIGARETTES C H A P T E R

11

“Great, give us the name and some more details and we’ll do the story.” “Uh, can I get back to you.” Now we became the victims of our own public relations campaign and began to believe this was actually a viable business idea. In no time, flat we made a deal with the Montreal cigarette-maker to produce “Less” for us. Then, we set about designing the packaging and the advertising. No simple package design for us we designed 12 different designs in as many colour schemes, so you could match your package to the colours you were wearing each day (as a side benefit, winning an honorable mention award in the 1967 Graphica Art Directors Show for the packaging design). Messages on the package said, “Each cigarette contains no less than 3% profit for the More or Less Honest Manufacturing Co.” and “The filters on “LESS” cigarettes are primarily to prevent lousy tasting tobacco from spilling into your mouth and sticking to your tongue.” These are some of our ad slogans that we turned into posters and point-ofpurchase material: “LESS IS THE MOST (yeah, by 2 cents)” By the way, Ad Age did the story, and some weeks later another one as well. A friend of ours at the time, Bernie Orenstein (who later moved to Hollywood and became a successful film & TV writer and producer), helped by creating a wonderful funny series of radio spots. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the original spots but I do remember several: Spot 1. Announcer: “Baby, do you smoke?” “I dunno”, girls voice, “I never get hot enough”

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United Press International became a big booster of our press releases” Spot 2. “Did you know that Less cigarettes.cost 4c a pack more than other brands? “Yeah, I heard something like that.” “That’s why they say Less is the Most.” “They can say anything they want, I ain’t paying 4c more for any cigarette!”

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Spot 3. Announcer:”And now a word from the President of Rothmans Tobacco” “Cough, cough, cough, cough, cough...cough” We bought a package of air-time from CHUM Radio in Toronto but when they received our tape they said they couldn’t run them (no doubt because Rothmans was a large advertiser of theirs at the time). Disappointed we promptly called the press to tell them of the rejection and happily got a story in The Toronto Star about it All this activity led to yet another press release, and again United Press International, by now a big booster of our press releases, put the new story out on their wire service. This time we included a photo of Jack and I, with a 4’ mock-up of the new “Less” package. In the new release we included several equally off-the-wall ideas for future products, including, “Roll-on sweat,” “for men who didn’t care to exercise but wanted to smell more manly,” a toothpaste with food particles in it “for those that didn’t have time to eat between brushing,” (these would come in flavors; e.g., Deli, Chinese food, etc). and even a new cereal box full of small plastic toys with just one cereal flake in the box These ideas were calculated to obtain even more mileage of free publicity, and they did, big time with more articles and interviews. As far as receiving free publicity, the venture was an incredible success generating dozens of radio and television interviews and hundreds of print media mentions, including Playboy, The Miami Herald, The Vancouver Sun and The Chicago Tribune, most of them with photos. In financial terms the project was not nearly as successful, although we did manage to sell about 100,000 packages of “Less.” The big payoff was the inordinate amount of fun and excitement while it

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The big payoff was the inordinate amount of fun and excitement we had with the Less campaign” lasted. The rush we got out of this project possibly exceeded anything we have experienced in our working lives before or since. To this date more than 47 years later we still bump into people who say with a chuckle, “You were the brothers who produced “Less” cigarettes in the sixties!”

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11

P o in t - o f s a le m a t e ria l f o r L E S S c ig a re t t e s

N e w s p a p e r a rt ic le s f o r L E S S c ig a re t t e s

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12

M Y

S T E P F A T H E R ’ S

M I R A C L E S


Sam Slywowicz, my late stepfather, was a Holocaust survivor. Sam experienced more miracles than anyone I know. He lost virtually everything during the Nazi scourge. He lost his wife, two very young children, his parents, seven siblings and hundreds of other relatives. He also lost his wealth, business, home, and his health, yet his own life was miraculously spared time and time again. Sam himself said “I cannot begin to count the number of times that my life was miraculously spared, or even to understand why it was.�


12

M Y

S T E P F A T H E R ’ S

My stepfather survived the holocaust but

lost his wife, children, and seven siblings

Sam Slywowicz, my late stepfather, was a Holocaust survivor. Sam experienced more miracles than anyone I know. He lost everything during the Nazi scourge. He lost his wife Scieinla, his two very young children—daughter Luba and son Moniek— his parents, seven siblings, and hundreds of other relatives. His father had 11 siblings, each with large families of their own. He lost his wealth, business, home, and his health, yet his own life was miraculously spared time and time again. Every Holocaust survivor has a similar and equally remarkable story of survival, but obviously I have a more personal knowledge of my step father’s story.

M I R A C L E S

the last few years of his life; however, he seemed to have a need to purge himself of the terrible memories and would talk for hours if asked about it. His memory after all those years became a bit confused at times, especially about the timing of certain events, but the events themselves seemed to be permanently branded into his consciousness. In Sam’s own words, “I cannot begin to count the number of times that my life was miraculously spared, or even to understand why it was.” At Auschwitz Sam survived twelve “selections” by the monster Mengele,

To tell of Sam’s wartime experiences would take volumes, even if such events can be told through mere words. I will however, briefly tell a few of the many survival miracle anecdotes that he shared with me. Like many other Holocaust survivors, for about 35 years after the war, Sam never (or hardly ever), talked about his war experiences, but why should he have? In

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Only about one in ten prisoners survived Mengele’s selection process” where groups of prisoners were paraded before the infamous doctor and his thugs. As they passed before the “selectors,” those prisoners who appeared too weak or ill were sent to their immediate death, and the others who appeared to have a bit of energy left were returned to work details, which saved their lives for a little while longer. MY STEPFATHER’S MIRACLES C H A P T E R

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On one of Sam’s recounting of those “selections,” I said to him, “Sam, did you really go through selection on twelve different occasions?” And his reply was “Who was counting, but at least twelve and probably more.” According to Sam prisoners who survived each selection was only about 10 -15% who went through the process. On one such occasion, when it was clear that he was too ill and weak to pass a “selection,” a non-Jewish fellow inmate (a German convicted of murder committed during a robbery), offered to go on Sam’s behalf for he was strong and healthy and could pass the selection. And indeed he did! Sam’s life ironically, was saved by a German and a murder at that! Sam recalled another “selection” when he was sure to fail the visual test and as he passed the decision point Mengele suddenly spoke to him, “What is your name?” “Slywowicz ” replied Sam. “I like to drink slywowicz (plum brandy)”, Mengele said as he waived Sam to the right (saving him yet again from death ) On another “selection” (late in the war years) that included a group of newly arrived Jewish Hungarians, too weak from hunger and deprivation, no doubt therefore going directly to the gas chambers, Sam was the one who replaced a youth that would not have passed and saved him (at least for the present). Just before the outbreak of the war in Poland, September 1, 1939, Sam being a Polish army reservist was called to the front. The Polish army at the time

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Daily caloric intake of calories in Germany in 1941 was 2310 for the Germans and 184 for the Jews” was living in some by gone era and according to some accounts (possibly a myth) went to their country’s defense on horseback, with ancient rifles and swords against the most mechanized army ever assembled up to that time.

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On Sept, 17 Russia invaded Poland from the east and by Oct.6 the vastly outnumbered and ill-equipped Polish army was surrounded by the German jugernaught and forced to capitulate. Thousands of Polish troops were taken prisoner, Sam among them. Jewish military prisoners were treated more harshly than non-Jewish Polish prisoners, but with Sam’s fair appearance and blue eyes, plus “luck,” he was taken for Polish and in a few weeks (with the capitulation of Poland), he was released along with the non-Jewish soldiers. Sam then walked back to his home town of Dabrowie, Gorniczej, about 40 or 50 miles from where he was released. The occupation of Poland gave Hitler the opportunity to effect the racial program that had obsessed him for two decades. On October 12,1939 he issued a decree establishing a civil administration, called Generalgouvernement with Hans Frank as Governor General of Poland. The Nazi plan was to Germanize the territory by resettling German nationals from the bordering territories and expelling Poles.to the east.and to gradually eliminate the Jewish population. Before the war Poland had 3,400,000 Jews of which only less than 10% survived. Distribution of food in General Gouvernment as of December 1941

Jews were forced to wear arm patches

Daily calorie intake Germans 2310 Foreigners 1790 Ukrainians 930 Poles 654 Jews 184

From the fall of Poland until 1942 Jews were forced to endure increasingly

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In early 1942 Sam was separated from his wife Scieinla, his daughter Luba, and his son Moniek. He never saw them again” harsher conditions under the Nazi regime, yet still some semblance of life continued. Conditions were unspeakable, but most Jews still held out hope for the future. Gradually the Germans expropriated most of the belongings of the Jewish population, including their homes and squeezing the Jewish populace into compressed and isolated ghettos. The administration of these controlled ghettos was left to Jewish officials (Judenrat). Luckily several of Sam’s friends became members of the Judenrat in his town. Having friends in the Judenrat didn’t exactly make his existence a bed of roses, but it did give him some small advantages.

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In the spring of 1942 the Nazis began the systematic gathering of Jews from the ghettos all over Poland, transporting them to death camps. Sam was able to evade the dragnet for quite some time. Eventually, as these actions accelerated, he was caught in a roundup and separated from his wife, his twoyear old son and his three and half year old daughter. He never ever saw them again. Sam was taken to a temporary holding camp and then packed into a cattlecar with countless others headed for the infamous Birkenau (Auschwitz) concentration camp. On this journey, when a door “miraculously” opened on their box car, Sam and ten other prisoners took the opportunity to jump from the moving train. The several hundred other prisoners in the box car, were too weak or frightened to jump but many of them pressed watches and jewelry on Sam and the other jumpers in the hope that they might trade them for food if they made it. Several jumpers died instantly of injuries resulting from the jump, and the Gestapo guards who were on the roof of the train, shot most of the others Of the 11, only Sam and one other Jew managed to stay alive and escape into the forest. Somehow, Sam was able to survive in the forest for a while, without shelter, and with almost no food, or water. Eventually, he made his way back on foot to the ghetto in his own town. By this time, there were no Jews left in the ghetto. Sam found shelter in an empty apartment (that still had furniture in it, but no food). He had his pick of housing as all the former Jewish inhabitants were gone, and the dwellings were not yet taken over by Poles.

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The German officer took all of Sam’s jewellery, telling him that he wouldn’t be needing it anymore” Sam had many Gentile colleagues, customers, and friends, and he surrepticiously visited them seeking their help. The first such friend said, “ I can’t hide you, as I have a wife and children and it is too dangerous (harbouring Jews was punishable by death!). Here is some food, and I will leave some food for you every few days at a secret spot, but don’t ever tell that I did it.”

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For a time he was helped by this and other Polish “friends,” while he barely kept alive and eluded capture and imprisonment. Some of his “friends” were happy to take as much of Sam’s watches, cash and jewelry as they could and in return provided a bare existence of rations for him. When his material possessions diminished, they increasingly indicated that it was getting too dangerous for them to continue the aid. Eventually, he was denounced by a Polish “friend” and taken into custody. Sam was taken to the head of the local Polish police (who was more than slightly drunk) and this low-life with a badge of authority beat Sam severely just for the sport of it. The drunken policeman, soon became bored with the proceedings and said, “Turn this one over to the Gestapo.” Sam was returned to the embarkation centre and handed over to the SS There he was taken to an abandoned factory being used as interim headquarters and put into a basement cell. In the adjacent cell was a prisoner that Sam knew slightly who told him that Jews on the run were usually shot once they were caught. Was this a miracle? The next morning as he was being escorted to another cell he caught the eye of a German female soldier (doing stenographic work) and on impulse he spoke with her, “Please, can you help me?” She seemed surprised that Sam spoke with her but was sympathetic to him and said, “I will speak with the Colonel for you.” Amazingly she was compassionate to Sam, slipped him a cigarette and did intervene on his behalf to the Colonel in charge. He was then taken to the Colonel who quickly relieved Sam of his remaining jewelry as well as his identity card, saying, “You won’t be needing any of these anymore.”

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A Gestapo officer casually kicked Sam down a flight of stairs, leaving him bruised and bleeding at the bottom” The SS officer then led Sam out of the building (and while going down a flight of stairs, another Gestapo officer kicked Sam in the back, knocking him down the stairs). Bruised and bleeding Sam was put into the officers’ own chauffeured car. He was certain then that he was being taken to be shot and decided to jump from the car as soon as he could, even if it killed him. When the car stopped and the officer went into a drug store, Sam asked the driver where they were headed and was told the “extermination place.” MY STEPFATHER’S MIRACLES C H A P T E R

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His opportunity to jump from the car just did not come. But he was still alive, probably because the woman had intervened on his behalf. When they arrived at the camp Sam was put into a cell alone. By serendipity, Dr. Mittleman, Sam’s physician (as well as close family friend) was the camp doctor. This gave Dr. Mittleman some minor status. And when he learned that Sam was in the camp, he quickly arranged to help him with better provisions, a transfer to an “easier” sub-camp and some “work” that would at least temporarily spare Sam from death. In those circumstances, good fortune easily changed from moment to moment and no one knew what the next day or even the next moment would bring. Within days of Sam’s arrival at the “easy” camp the SS set up a ring of their forces around the camp and began to load all 1,000 of the inmates into trucks for transport to Auschwitz (and almost certain death). Somehow Sam was (miraculously) overlooked in his cell, and was not included in this mass transport to death. In a while, he was released from the cell and placed into a dormitory with several other “lucky” Jewish prisoners who were for some inexplicable reason left out of the transport. Here, he met a young female acquaintance that was a cook. “I have a plan to escape in the next two days,” she said, “and if you are willing I will take you with me.” Sam agreed, but before he could make his rendezvous with the young woman, her plan was discovered and she was shot, and with that his chance to escape. However, he was still alive and she was not. During those horrible years when fewer than 5% of concentration camp inmates survived, was Sam

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At one point Sam escaped into the forest, but calculated that he would have a better chance in the camp, so he snuck back in� using all (or even any) of the steps that I have advocated to achieve his multiple miracles of survival? As I did not know Sam then, and not having found him to be particularly positive or spiritual during the more than forty-five years that I did know him, I would guess that he did not possess those attributes to any greater degree than the average person. Why then did Sam and several hundred thousand others survive, when six million of their brethren did not? MY STEPFATHER’S MIRACLES C H A P T E R

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For once I do not have an answer that I am comfortable with, nor did Sam. However, I do (as usual) have a theory. The theory is that Sam (and the others who survived) had the unique and magical mixture of belief that they would survive, and simultaneously not caring whether they did or not. Maybe it was the risk-taking tendency that made the crucial difference. For Sam, losing on these risks would have meant losing his very life, yet he took the risks repeatedly. Maybe it was this combination of not New arrivals unwittingly headed to the gas chambers caring about the outcome, and simultaneously having the certainty of a positive result that saved him. This attitude is the same as risk-taking discussed earlier in Chapter 8 (on gambling), except here the stakes were far, far greater than casino chips. Why is it that only eleven of the 300 prisoners on that box car took the risk and jumped? Although nine of them died, the odds of survival were still higher for the jumpers than they were for those who did not take the risk, for those

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Sam took dozens of risks, always looking for an opportunity to help himself, and others, to survive” perished. The point is that without daring to take a chance on life, you will never really experience your full potential. Sam told me of a time that he found himself outside the camp (the circumstance of which were blurred in his memory) and he made his way to the forest! After a time without food, he made the astonishing decision to sneak back into the camp where although life expectancy was extremely short, he felt he would surely die in the forest without sustenance.

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Back in the camp he was sheltered by his “tailor” colleagues. Here, conditions while horrible were somewhat better than for the general camp population as the tailors made clothes for the Germans therefore were rather useful to them. Because he was no longer “officially” registered, the tailor group covered for him, sharing their meager rations with him and he (who was a skilled tailor) helped them with their work. One day an SS officer named Drier showed up at the tailor shop and announced that he wanted a full length leather coat made, and the tailor who volunteered to make it would receive special privileges if he were happy with the coat, and if he weren't the tailor would be dead. The room fell silent until Sam who figured he was at great risk of being found out as an escapee anyhow-stepped forward and said, “bring me the material and I will make the coat for you” Within several days, he did make the coat and the Nazi officer was delighted with it. This gained Sam extra rations, and some status with Drier (as well as with the tailors). For a while Sam enjoyed being in Drier’s favor and was allowed to walk freely about the campgrounds, and indeed after one “selection," when Sam found himself in the “wrong” line, Dreir spotted him and said, “Step out of this line, we need you to help sort clothes.” Later in the war Sam and several others discovered a “secret” bunker under the camp kitchen and decided to hide there until the imminent liberation of the camp by the approaching Russian army. However, the Germans discovered the bunker and rounded up the group before that could happen. This time Sam seeing Drier and said, “Remember me? I made that leather coat

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With a miraculous burst of energy Sam slammed the pot on the SS officer’s head, momentarily knocking him senseless” for you, can you help me?” Drier’s answer, “ You are scheiss just like all the other Jews.” Gradually, the tide of the war turned as the Allied forces advanced on several fronts, and the Axis resources grew scarcer. By January 1945 just before Auschwitz was liberated, the Nazis, even recognizing that the war was lost for them, were still preoccupied with hanging on to their remaining, pitiful, barely alive Jewish prisoners in the death camp.

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When during a daylight Allied air raid on the factories at Auschwitz Sam ran to the SS’s own kitchen to get some food (instead of returning to his barracks as required by camp ordinance during raids). Sam knew that stealing food was punishable by death, but he didn’t care, and could only think about satisfying his hunger at the moment. In the confusion of the air raid, he easily made his way to the SS guards kitchen where he gorged himself on stew that was simmering on a stove. He then grabbed a pot full of food to take to his bunk for a later feast. Running from the kitchen with his precious pot of food, he ran smack into an SS officer. In a miraculous burst of energy Sam slammed the pot on the man’s head, momentarily knocking him senseless. As Sam fled, the SS officer came to and could see Sam’s identity number, which was sewn to the back of his prisoner’s uniform. Sam said, “I really should have hit him a few more times while I was at it and maybe he wouldn’t have got my prisoner’s number.” He was promptly taken from the inmates’ barracks and put in a cell alone to await his punishment. Early the next morning, when Sam saw from a tiny window in the cell a wooden gallows being prepared, he understood that this was to be his punishment for stealing food and striking an SS officer. He didn’t have much time to contemplate this eventuality because incredibly, within a half-hour of the time at which his public execution was to be carried out, the camp commandant decided to evacuate the inmates and guards of Auschwitz before the approaching allies liberated the camp. There was just no time to carry out the death sentence on Sam. Yet again, another miracle had saved his life!

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There was just no time to carry out the death sentence on Sam: yet again, a miracle had saved his life”

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Ironically years later when Sam had immigrated to Winnipeg, Canada (where he met and married my mother), he was told by the Jewish organization that was handling “Prisoner of War Claims” for survivors that to receive reparations he would have to prove that he was indeed at Auschwitz. Sam perplexed with facing. The complicated proof process (which could only be achieved by obtaining affidavits from other survivors and then having them notarized). This wouldn’t have been that impossible, for other survivors would have vouched for him even if they hadn’t known him at Auschwitz. While contemplating this task, Sam experienced yet another “Auschwitz miracle.” For within a week, a random batch of documentation from Germany arrived at the Winnipeg claims office.and in this was Sam’s actual death warrant, the official camp order for him to be hung! This document My mother Bessie and stepfather Sam in Winnipeg proved that he was indeed a guest of that horrible place and for over 50 years, until the day Sam died at 92, he collected a monthly stipend from the German government. Not that the money in any way cleared the slate for what he endured and lost, but at least it repaid—albeit in small measure—his financial losses due to his persecution. So, Sam found himself among several thousand tired, starving, miserable prisoners who were packed into box cars for transport to Buchenwald, further into Germany itself. On this voyage which took several days (passing through Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia), the prisoners were not given any food or water. Many died on route, and their corpses were flung out of the box cars by the SS guards. The miserable few who survived the journey did so without food, and for water licked the icicles that formed on the unheated box cars.

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Elie Weisel, Jewish-American Nobel Peace Peace Prize Laureate 1986, survived the Buchenwald death camp” At train stops through the countryside, some kindhearted Czech peasants slipped food through cracks in the box-cars. Those lucky few who obtained these crumbs of bread survived the arduous journey. Sam was one of the ones who did; many others did not.

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When Sam arrived at Buchenwald, he was so exhausted, cold, undernourished and ill, that he fell to the ground and did not have the energy or will to move. Mistaking his inert body for a corpse, a cart detail (who were themselves inmates) that was gathering the dead, picked Sam up and threw him onto a large pile of corpses. This load was to be taken directly to the crematoria for disposal. By incredible coincidence, one of the two inmates carrying out this grisly task turned out to be a cousin of Sam’s from Belgium! The cousin recognized the corpse -like Sam, and was miraculously able to revive him to consciousness by rubbing snow over his inert body. The cousin and his colleague then surreptitiously removed Sam to their barracks where they gradually over time nursed him back to a semblance of life. In his first few days in the barracks Sam was too weak and ill to eat the pathetic liquid that their captor’s called soup, so he gave his ration to two artistprisoners that bunked next to him. These two were eventually required to perform art assignments for the Germans, and because of this they were rewarded with extra food. Remembering Sam’s earlier soup-sharing with them, they now shared their own bounty with him. Despite this lucky break and with the war now going very badly for the German forces, conditions at Buchenwald deteriorated to an even lower state of harshness and brutality then earlier. Again, Sam felt that he could not survive much longer. For that matter, he claimed that he didn’t really care whether he did or not. As his strength and resolve diminished, one of the artist/friends prevailed upon his own nephew in the camp, a Jewish camp doctor who had some minor authority, to try to obtain some easier circumstance for Sam. Yet again, Sam’s luck worked for him, when the doctor arranged for Sam to be in a group of about 30 or so that was being loaded onto a truck to be taken to an “easier” part of the camp-complex near Leipzig. After several of his fellow passengers asked him where he had obtained his medical degree, Sam realized that all the others were doctors, and only he was on the lucky truck by

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Death had already marked many of them, but they were smiling with their eyes” —Edward R. Morrow, 1945 mistake. Buchenwald, established in the 1930s was technically not an extermination camp; but it was the site of an extraordinary number of deaths-primarily through illness, harsh camp conditions, and starvation. Many were worked to death, succumbed to evil medical experiments or were executed. Some of its famous inmates included the following: MY STEPFATHER’S MIRACLES C H A P T E R

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Elie Weisel

Fought for the right of Israel to exist. In 1986 he received the Nobel Peace Prize for his fight against violence, oppression and racism

Leon Blum, former (Jewish) Prime Minister of France Jacob Avigdor, chief Rabbi of Dorohobych, and after the war chief Rabbi of Mexico Marcel Dassalt, French aviation entrepeneur Edward Daladier, former Head of the French Government Imre Kertesz, winner of 2002 Nobel prize for literature

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Larger gas chambers and crematoria were constructed in Birkenau to make the killing more efficient” Elie Wiesel,Jewish American, writer (50+ books),professor,political activist, Nobel Peace prize laureate 1986 (his father Shlomo perished at Buchenwald just weeks before liberation). Edward R. Morrow reports on Liberation at Buchenwald 1945

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In early April 1945, the American forces liberated Buchenwald. Edward R. Morrow made his famous broadcast from the camp on April 15.1945 some of that is excerpted here. ”They surged around me in evil smelling stink, men and boys reached out to touch me. They wore rags, and remnants of uniforms. Death had already marked many of them, but they were smiling with their eyes. I looked out over the mass of men to the green fields beyond, where well-fed Germans were ploughing. I entered a building that once stabled 80 horses, and now there were 1,200 men in it!” They showed me the children, hundreds of them. Some were only six years old! One rolled up his sleeves and showed me his prisoner’s number (which he would carry forever). An elderly man standing beside me, said:” The children, enemies of the state! I pray you to believe what I have said about Buchenwald. I reported what I saw and heard, but only a part of it. For most of it, I have no words. If I have offended you by this rather mild account of Buchenwald I am not in the least sorry.” —Edward R, Morrow At liberation Buchenwald held some 21,000 (900 of these were adolescents and children). Horrified at what they had discovered the US Military gave the inmate’s guns and jeeps and allowed them to wreak their revenge on the SS guards. On April, 15 the Americans turned the camp over to the British and eventually it was turned over to the Russians. Gradually the emaciated prisoners, Sam among them, were taken to an assembly point to be sent to various displaced person camps that were being created throughout Europe. The Chairman of the Swedish Red Cross, Count Folke Bernadotte, arranged for many liberated camp inmates to be sent to recuperate in Sweden. Eventually, Sam found himself in a lineup of former

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The Nazis were now able to murder 2000 people at once rather than 200” inmates who were boarding a small ship, sailing for Sweden to a camp being set up there. When the line was cut off just as a friend (who had shared many camp horrors with him), was about to board, he pulled Sam back off the ship. Later it was learned that the small craft was sunk in a terrible storm on the way to Sweden, and no one survived. The commandant of Auschwitz at the

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Entrance Auschwitz gas chamber time wasto the notorious SS Obersturmbannfuhrer

Rudolf Höess.

From Wikipedia about Höess: According to Höess, during standard camp operations, two to three trains carrying 2,000 prisoners each would arrive daily. The prisoners were unloaded in the Birkenau camp; those fit for labor were marched to barracks in either Birkenau or one of the Auschwitz sub-camps, while those unsuitable

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Not all victims were Jews, but all Jews were victims" — Elie Weisel

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for work were driven into the gas chambers. At first, small gassing bunkers were located deep in the woods, to avoid detection. Later, four large gas chambers and crematoria were constructed in Birkenau to make the killing more efficient and to handle the increasing rate of exterminations. Höess improved on the methods at Treblinka by building his gas chambers 10 times larger, so that they could kill 2,000 people at once rather than 200. Still another improvement we made was that at Treblinka the victims almost always knew that they were to be exterminated and at Auschwitz we endeavored to fool the victims into thinking that they were to go through a delousing process. Of course, frequently they realized our true intentions and we sometimes had riots and difficulties due to that fact. Very frequently women would hide their children under the clothes but of course when we found them we would send the children in to be exterminated. Höess experimented with varioust methods of gassing. According to Eichmann's trial testimony in 1961, Höess told him that he used cotton filters soaked in sulfuric acid in early killings. Höess later introduced hydrogen cyanide, produced from the pesticide Zyklon B, into the killing process, after his deputy Karl Fritzsch tested it on a group of Russian prisoners in 1941. With Zyklon B, he said that it took 3–15 minutes for the victims to die and that "we knew when the people were dead because they stopped screaming." Höess explained how 10,000 people were exterminated in one 24-hour period: “Technically [it] wasn't so hard – it would not have been hard to exterminate even greater numbers... The killing itself took the least time. You could dispose of 2,000 in half an hour, but it was the burning that took all the time. The killing was easy; you didn't even need guards to drive them into the chambers; they just went in expecting to take showers and, instead of water, we turned on poison gas. The whole thing went very quickly. Höess later testified that Himmler himself visited the camp in 1942 and "watched in detail one processing from beginning to end .” Eichmann, Höess said, visited the camp and observed its operations frequently. In his affidavit prepared for the Nuremberg trials in 1946, Höess asserted that

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Indifference in the face of evil is acquiescence with evil itself; it is complicity with evil” —Irwin Cotler, The Jerusalem Post

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Auschwitz-Birkenau gas chamber. Victims were told they were being sent there for a shower

local residents were well aware of the camp's purpose: “We were required to carry out these exterminations in secrecy, but of course the foul and nauseating stench from the continuous burning of bodies permeated the entire area, and all of the people living in the surrounding communities knew that exterminations were going on at Auschwitz.”

New arrivals unwittingly headed to the gas chambers

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Zyklon B gas-pellet canister

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Certificate of Sam’s first wedding


In Memoriam This chapter is dedicated to the memory of the millions of innocent souls who lost their lives to the Holocaust


13

T H E

E L E C T R I C

G A L L E R Y


13

T H E

E L E C T R I C

We expected the gallery shows to be

reviewed regularly... and they were

A while ago I was on my way to the Royal Ontario Museum with Mary Jane, Julie, and grandsons Max & Jonah. Just outside the ROM, there was a Tasty Freeze vendor and Max asked whether he could have an ice cream. While the vendor was scooping Max’s cone, I saw his name, G. Demos, on the side of the truck. “Are you George?” I asked. “Yes, I am.” he answered.

G A L L E R Y

as well as our sign business customers. In those days, you could not serve liquor at such an event unless there was food being served. Galleries then typically served domestic sherry and cheese and crackers at their openings. Wanting to be unique, we elected to have a full bar, and for the required, we commissioned George Demos (yes, the same George Demos) who even back then had a popcorn calliope parked in front of the entrance to the ROM. At the time, I had approached George and asked whether we could ‘rent’ him and his calliope for the evening of the gallery opening. George agreed, and so we trucked his calliope to our sign shop and repainted it in hot red, yellow, and green. Then, we had to remove a large window at the gallery to get the

“George, do you remember bringing your popcorn calliope into The Electric Gallery on opening night many years ago?” George says, “Yes that was 30 years ago! – Are you one of the Markle brothers?” “Indeed I am, and actually, it was over 37 years ago!” In April 1970 we were about to open The Electric Gallery, and had planned to have a large vernisage, inviting the art community, our friends and family

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The Electric Gallery was a unique art gallery that Jack and I operated between 1970 and 1979”

THE ELECTRIC GALLERY C H A P T E R 13

Georeg Demos with his calliope at The Electric Gallery opening 1970 calliope inside. George fired up his steam whistle, started to pop corn, and prepared candy apples for our guests to have with their cocktails. As a nonmiracle anecdote, before our guests arrived I said to George, “ CBC National News is sending a cameraman, and maybe other press will show up as well, so when they ask you what you think of this, will you please say”: For 20 years I worked outside the Museum but this is the first time I have ever been inside a gallery.” Shortly afterwards Jack’s wife, arrived and I introduced her to George saying, “George this is Arlene, Jack’s wife “George said,” For 20 years I worked outside the Museum but this is the first time I have ever been inside a gallery.”

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The Electric Gallery quickly became a critical success, ranking in the top five galleries in Toronto�

THE ELECTRIC GALLERY C H A P T E R 13

The Electric Gallery was a unique art gallery that Jack and I operated between 1970 and 1979. The gallery featured works of art that employed light, motion, sound, or electronics. We exhibited exclusively art powered by electricity, represented some 70 artists from Canada, the U.S., Europe, and Israel. For Jack and myself this was a part time endeavor, as we still needed our day jobs at the sign company to make a living (and to subsidize the gallery). Most commercial art galleries were then (and still are) financially marginal enterprises (except for a small number of galleries who do really well (and are the exception instead of the rule). In its nine-year history, The Electric Gallery never made much financial profit, but quickly became a critical success, ranking in the top five galleries in Toronto. Its renown spread quickly to the U.S. and Europe where it was the first Canadian gallery to exhibit at the Annual Art Fairs in Basel, DĂźsseldorf, Cologne, and Washington. We attracted many European art collectors, arranged shows for our Canadian and American artists in European galleries and museums, and met European artists to add to our roster.

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Selling avant garde art is difficult at best, and was nearly impossible in the ‘70s” Our exhibit at Basel Art Fair 1973 The entire enterprise was somewhat of a minor miracle, as selling avantgarde art is difficult at best—and within our extremely narrow technological specialty—was nearly impossible in the 1970s.

THE ELECTRIC GALLERY C H A P T E R 13

On top of that, when we started the gallery we were naïve about the art business so we didn’t have any idea how difficult it would be. We never did sell that briskly, but we did make our first sale of a little desktop neon sculpture, to a young Toronto architect within twenty minutes of opening the doors. Over the nine years, we sold about one and a half million dollars worth of this “difficult” art, most of it at very low prices. We also arranged some large public (and private) commissioned works for several of our artists, some of which were as high as $50,000 and more.

The Electric Gallery exhibit, Basel Art Fair 1973

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Was it just dumb luck, or did the fact that we expected to be reviewed every time out actually create our luck?”

THE ELECTRIC GALLERY C H A P T E R 13

In a city with only two newspapers, each with a gallery exhibit review twice a week, and with about 150 galleries doing a new show every third or fourth week, the statistical probability of having a review for a show was about one or two per year per gallery. It doesn’t exactly work that way because not all the galleries did what the reviewers considered “important” or “interesting” exhibits, so some would never be reviewed and others would get more than their share because they merited them. Yet miraculously, The Electric Gallery consistently received newspaper reviews of 90% of its shows, totaling at least 15 per year, and countless radio, television, and magazine coverage, both at home, and abroad. Were we just lucky, or is it that we continually expected to be reviewed, and were surprised and disappointed when we weren’t, have anything to do with it? Obviously, I believe the expectation of good luck is everything in attracting it. Do not mistake this for arrogance on my part, because I do believe that good fortune (for that matter all fortune) has a Divine origin. Expecting good luck is merely an expression of faith that God that is the source of everything will send you good stuff. Back to the Gallery. We were also lucky in having extremely talented and dedicated curators who ran the daily affairs of the gallery. Several of these curators went on to success and fame in the art world, although they had all started with us having little or no previous art gallery experience. Joe Bodolai was one of our first curators, and went on to become a noted broadcast producer, now living in Los Angeles. JoAnne Danzker, went on to other arts related positions, eventually becoming the Director of the prestigious Art Gallery of Vancouver. Joanne hired Ihor Holubizky as her assistant, and in time he became our last curator. Ihor Holubizky was our best curator, and he went on to become the highlyrespected Contemporary Curator of The Hamilton Art Gallery (and later with public galleries in Australia and Canada) currently at the McMaster University Gallery in Hamilton. Ihor has remained a good friend for the more than thirty years or so since The Electric Gallery closed. He always had a passion for the artists and the work and had little patience with visitors who said: “Tell me why this is art?’ His is typical response: “You wouldn’t understand!”

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Mister Markle, how did you make such a good gallery?” A booklet we published, entitled Mr. Markle, how did you make such a good gallery? featured copies of children’s letters written to us after a school tour, juxtaposed with essays written by art critics.

THE ELECTRIC GALLERY C H A P T E R 13

Amazingly, the children got the point without judging what they saw!

Jack and I consider ourselves artists, but we had little knowledge or experience in the real art world. No doubt, this worked to our advantage, since we didn’t know that almost everything we set out to do was considered impossible by our peers, so we were not held back by any belief that it couldn’t be done.

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We were the first art gallery to produce a different custom designed invitation for each show”

THE ELECTRIC GALLERY C H A P T E R 13

The Electric Gallery reviewed in the Globe and Mail 1971 At the risk of tooting my own horn (but if you don’t toot your own horn a bit who will toot it for you?), following are some of The Electric Gallery achievements: • The first gallery to produce a different custom-designed invitation for each show (often mailing “objects,” instead of a printed piece). Our second show was an environment by New York artist Billy Apple (in which neon tubes were on the floor and visitors walked over them). The invitation mailer for this show was an envelope with the information printed on a small card insert and in-

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We had the first commercial art gallery that issued press releases for each show. Today almost every gallery does now” cluded a 5” length of clear glass tubing. The Post Office was not very happy with us when most of the glass got smashed in the process (but that was the point). When people called to say they received an invite to the show, but it was broken we could tell them, “Yeah that is what this show is about – broken glass!”

THE ELECTRIC GALLERY C H A P T E R 13

• The first commercial art gallery to issue press releases for each show. Hard to believe because today almost everyone does so. • The first gallery to obtain “maquette” fees for their artists when they entered competitions. The common practice at the time was for public or private competitions between invited artists who in their extreme desire to obtain any commission, would each spend hundreds, even thousands of dollars speculatively on Maquettes. (Maquettes are miniature models of proposed sculptures) Now, fees for maquettes are more the norm than are free or speculative proposals. • We convinced the Canadian Government to broaden its interpretation of “original” sculpture from wood, marble, bronze, to include any technological material. This removed the prevailing Federal Manufacturing Sales Tax of 12%, which was being applied to technological sculptures as if they were a manufactured item. We became so well-known to the Canadian Customs officials at Fort Erie (over the bridge from Buffalo, New York, where most of our U.S. artists entered with their work), that we could have brought in a load of bathtubs or typewriters or whatever, and called them original sculpture for importation without duty. • The first, and for three years, the only Canadian gallery represented at the annual European Art Fairs (Kunstmesses), at Basel, Düsseldorf & Cologne that included galleries from countries around the world. We could obtain small grants from the Provincial and Federal governments for these projects, but at best this would cover only 50% of the cost, and we had to spend the cash first and then wait to be reimbursed later. Jack arrived at our first Kunstmesse, at Basel in the spring of 1973, of which he says, “When I saw the Canadian flag flying with the flags of 30 other coun-

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Exhibiting at the prestigious European art fairs in Basel, Cologne and Dusseldorf required nothing short of financial miracles” tries it brought a lump to my throat, for I realized that had we not taken this gamble, the flag of our country would be missing.”

THE ELECTRIC GALLERY C H A P T E R 13

• The Electric Gallery was one of only five galleries in the province selected by the Ontario Arts Council, as a “nominator” for Provincial arts grants. The galleries chosen could select artists they felt were worthy of receiving government assistance. Being chosen by the Arts Council as one of the five selectors (out of about 150) was a measure of the gallery’s standing in the art community. ** * * * * * * When The Electric Gallery exhibited at the prestigious European Art Fairs in Basel in the spring and in Düsseldorf or alternatively in Cologne in the fall, there was a real need for financial miracles. The Art Fairs were important for us to expand our audience and collectors and to add to our stable of artists internationally. Financially; however, it made no sense. The cost for a struggling endeavor such as ours was horrendous and although we hoped to sell sufficiently at each show to cover expenses, there was never any certainty beforehand of that happening. The Ontario Arts Council would provide a grant of up to $4,000 per show covering half of any potential shortfall between revenue and expenses. The bad news was that this was paid only after the Fair when the actual results were known, and meanwhile we had to manage to somehow creatively fund the endeavor on our own. The space rental was expensive, even for the early seventies, about 10,000 Swiss Francs or Deutsche Marks (then about $4,000 - $5,000 now about three times that) and this was payable in full in advance. The show officials would not allow participants to set up their exhibits until they had first paid the full space rental. The Electric Gallery exhibits or “stands,” as the Europeans referred to them, were always the most popular and drew the largest crowds. The aesthetic creativity however was surpassed by the creative financial “stickhandling” that was needed, for we never did have the 10,000 Francs or Marks in advance of the shows. At each show, we arrived saying something like, “So,

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Sometimes these financial miracles did not occur until the very closing moments of the show” you have not received our cheque that was mailed from Toronto? –No problem, here is a new cheque .” This was always acceptable to the Fair authorities.

THE ELECTRIC GALLERY C H A P T E R 13

“However,” we then added, “as this cheque is drawn on a foreign bank and will take 10 days or more to settle (remember this preceded the days of instantaneous electronic transfer of funds), so why not hold on to it until the end of the show (usually four or five days duration) and then we will be able to settle up with you in Francs (or Marks) in cash out of the sales we make, so you will have your money 6 days sooner.”

Neon Plant in Clay Pot by Sam Markle -Art Bank Collection

Fortunately, this logic prevailed and at each show we were able to sell enough to pay cash in marks or francs by the end of the show and get our cheque back. Sometimes these miracles did not occur until the very closing moments of the show. At one show in Cologne, we had not made enough sales by closing time to cover the space rental cost and we had no idea what we were going to do

about it.Depressed, packing up the exhibit and contemplating our options, a German collector (whom we knew from other occasions as a bargain hunter),

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The Electric Gallery exhibits at our Europen art fairs were always the most popular and drew the largest crowds” showed up flashing a huge roll of Deutsche Marks in his hand, saying, “I have come to buy some Art.” “Forget it, you have been here every day of the show saying that you will buy, but you never did. Now, we are very tired and anyhow nearly everything is already crated for shipping back to Canada.” THE ELECTRIC GALLERY

As I was saying this my colleague, Ihor, was already unpacking the crates as

C H A P T E R 13

Globe and Mail article on The Electric Gallery, June 1971

fast as he could and I began to sell the sculptures as they came out of the packing cases, albeit at a discount So again we received the miracle we needed to pay the rent (and even a bit to spare, as well). Of the first Art Fair that we participated in, at Basel in 1973, Jack says, “On the last day of the show, our Swiss artist/colleague, Pierre Keller (who was assisting at the stand), says to this very chic looking gentleman (wearing ivory colored slacks and a navy blazer over his shoulders), “Bonjour Monsieur Cardin, let me introduce you to Herr Markle, the Associate Director of The Electric Gallery.” Jack said, “How do you do? You are not by any chance Pierre Cardin are you?” And the chic gentleman responded “oui.”

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You are not by any chance Pierre Cardin, are you? And the chic geltleman said “oui” Jack quickly overcame his Winnipeg prairie “rube” origins, in time to sell Pierre Cardin a very creative and very expensive piece of electric sculpture and then arranged for one of our Paris based artists who were at the show, to deliver it to Cardin’s apartment in Paris. At one show in Düsseldorf, the German Electrical Officials (these guys are very fussy about their regulations), during their preshow inspection tour, found our improvised wiring (to put it mildly) somewhat deficient. They threatened to withhold the needed approval unless we had their official (unionized) electricians redo the wiring to make it meet their code regulations. The cost of hiring these union electricians was 6,000. Deutcshe Marks (at the time about $3000. Canadian).“Forget it,” I said, “we don’t have 6000 Marks and we have traveled 10,000 kilometers to bring this exhibit here, so we will just pack up and go home right now.”

THE ELECTRIC GALLERY C H A P T E R 13

You guessed it. The Show official and the union worked out something and rewired the stand to make it “legal” at no cost to us. I am certainly not advocating that you Globe and Mail review, 1974 should set out to get something for nothing at someone else’s expense, for that was not our intent at all. In this instance, it was our certainty that the wiring was safe; they had simply gone overboard regarding their regulations. And since they had created the impasse in the first place, we suffered no guilt in accepting the free rewiring.

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S ig n A s s o c ia t io n o f C a n a d a N e w s

A ugust 1991


The Electric Gallery exhibit, Basel Art Fair 1973


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people who laugh, smile, and are happy will attract more than an average number of miracles.

Happy people attract more miracles than average When you laugh your attention is focused and you feel good. And when you feel good, you become fertile ground for attracting good things. A study at Wayne State University in Michigan found that a happy disposition affected life expectancy, adding years of life to the happy folks. Why is it that happy people seem to attract more of everything than unhappy people? Do you believe that these people are happy because they have more or do they have more because they are happy? Obviously I believe the latter. There is a potential for seeing humour in every situation and incredibly if you are happy to start with you will become even happier. You have likely heard the following frequently: “It takes fewer muscles to smile than frown,” and “everyone laughs with you, but you cry alone” and other clichés. So, why are we talking about humour in a book about miracles? After all, miracles are supposed to be a serious subject, are they not? The answer is simply this:

From Parting the Red Sea

H U M O U R

So you have a choice, you can smile and laugh a lot more and attract a greater number of miracles, or you can take everything in life seriously and remain miserable. Even if you don’t believe you will attract miracles by smiling and laughing more, you will still be happier than you were (and that in itself may be a bit of a miracle). “A cheerful heart is good medicine” Prov. 17:22 Alan Alda once said, “When people are laughing, they are generally not killing each other.

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There is a potential for seeing humour in every situation”

A SENSE OF HUMOUR C H A P T E R 14

Here’s a selection of some of my favorite jokes: Golf Miracle Two evenly matched golf buddies played together regularly for many years when suddenly for no apparent reason the skill of one of them improved dramatically. “What happened?” Said the other, “We have been playing for years and we were always fairly evenly matched so what has happened now to so improve your game? Have you been secretly taking lessons or what?”

“No,” says his buddy, “what has happened is I have been going to church regularly and praying to God for the miracle of improving my golf game.” “Great idea,” responded the other, “I shall do that too.” After some time, and many visits to church and fervently praying to God for

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When people are laughing, they are generally not killing each other” —Alan Alda

A SENSE OF HUMOUR C H A P T E R 14

the miracle of improving his golf playing, there was no change in the friend’s game. Perplexed he said to his buddy, “I don’t understand it, I did as you told me, I went to church and asked for God to send me the miracle of an improved golf game, continually I prayed, but nothing happened.” “Tell me,” asked the other, “Where did you go to pray?” “Why, to the church in my neighborhood,” was the answer. “No wonder you didn’t get the result you wanted,” his friend said. “That church is the Tennis Miracle Church, the Golf Miracle Church, happens to be downtown.” Local Booster The interviewer asked a spokesperson of the local Chamber of Commerce whether the Recession had very serious consequences in his town. “Recession?” Replied the local booster, “No sire, recession never hit us here. But, I must confess that recently we have been going through the worst boom I ever remember.” Circumcisional Evidence A young Talmudic scholar left Minsk and went to America. After many years, he returned to the old country. His aged mother could hardly recognize him for he was dressed in the very latest fashion and looked very stylish indeed. “So, my son,” his mother asked, aghast, “where is your beard?” “In America nobody wears a beard,” answered the son. “But at least you keep the Sabbath, my son?” Asked the aged mother. “In America almost everybody works on the Sabbath,” said the son. The old mother sighed, “And how is it with the food?” She asked the son ,hopefully.

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A cheerful heart is good medicine” --Proverbs 17:22

A SENSE OF HUMOUR C H A P T E R 14

“Ah, mama,” answered the son, apologetically, “it’s too much trouble to keep kosher in America.” “The old mother hesitated. Then in a confidential voice, she whispered, “Tell your old mother, son, - are you still circumcised?” On Thinking Positively Two old friends met on the street. “So,” said one, “How are you? How is your family?” “I am all right,” replied the other, “but my brother-in-law is not so well.” “Really?” Replied his friend, “Do you know the mind controls the body’s health. You must tell your brother-in-law that he only thinks he is sick – if he starts to think he is well; he will be well.” “Okay, I’ll tell him to try that,” says the other. In about two weeks, the two friends again met on the street. “So,” said the one with the positive beliefs, “how is your brother-in-law feeling now?” “Oh,” said the other friend, “He thinks he died. Finding the Way A traveling preacher in a strange town, asked a newsboy the way to the post office. The boy showed him. the route and the preacher thanked him, adding, “You seem to be a bright and courteous young man. How would you like a ticket to my sermon this evening, so that I may show you the way to Heaven?” You will show me the way to Heaven?” Said the boy, “Why you don’t even know the way to the post office!” Growing Older An old woman who had recently turned ninety, became ill and called her doc-

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People who laugh, smile, and are happy will attract more than an average number of miracles”

A SENSE OF HUMOUR C H A P T E R 14

tor. The doctor examined her carefully and couldn’t really find anything except the usual symptoms of advanced age. “Can you cure me doctor?” The old woman asked, hopefully. “Dear Granny,” said the doctor, soothingly, “You know what happens when one gets older. All sorts of ailments begin to happen. After all, a doctor is not a miracle man, and he cannot make an old woman, younger!” “Who’s asking you to make me younger, doctor?” Protested the old woman, irritably, “What I want is to grow older.” Reaching the other side A recently widowed woman tried for some time to “reach” her late husband Henry on the “other side.” For more than a year she unsuccessfully tried to contact her husband saying, “Henry, can you hear me, please answer me.” Finally, one day she heard an inner voice saying. “This is Henry speaking.” “Henry?” She said, “is that really you?” “Yes, it is” answered the voice. “Henry tell me, what is it like there?” “What do you do there?” She asked. “Well, I wake up in the morning, have something to eat and then have sex. Then, I usually have some lunch and sex again. Later on I have supper and then some more sex.” “Gee,” said the widow, “I never thought Heaven would be like that!” “Heaven?” Said Henry, “I’m not in Heaven, I am a rabbit and living in Pennsylvania.” Cheap Miracle Easel and Mendel were partners in a small inn, in an Eastern European vil-

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It takes fewer muscles to smile than frown”

A SENSE OF HUMOUR C H A P T E R 14

lage. One day having scraped together a few rubles; they drove to town to buy a keg of whiskey. On the way back, the weather became cold and blustery and the two partners were overcome by a strong desire to take a drink of whiskey. But, to do so could become a serious problem. When they placed the key on the wagon, had they not solemnly promised each other, to no touch a drop of it? Their entire livelihood for the week depended on their ability to keep that promise. Now, it just so happened that Easel was a resourceful man. He looked into his pockets and found a five-kopek piece, so he said to Mendel, “Here is a five-kopek piece. Sell me a drink of whiskey from your half of the keg.” Mendel, always the businessman answered, “Since you have cash I have to sell you a drink.” So he poured his colleague a small glassful. No sooner-had Easel downed the drink but that he became warm and cheerful. Mendels nose, however, got bluer from the cold. How he envied that rascal Easel for his luck in having a five-kopek piece! But, suddenly he remembered that he now had the coin in his pocket. After all, he reasoned to himself, “The coin is now mine so why can’t I buy a drink from Easel?” He said to his partner, “Easel, here is five-kopeks, pour me a drink from your share of the keg.” Easel, also being an astute businessman, said, “Cash is cash.” He poured Mendel a drink, and took back the five-kopek piece. In this fashion Mendel and Easel kept on buying a drink from each other, with the same five-kopek piece. Easel would buy a drink from Mendel and Mendel would buy a drink from Easel, and so on. By the time they reached the inn they were thoroughly drunk (but happy!) “What a miracle!” Cried Easel, “Imagine, an entire keg of whiskey sold for only one five-kopek piece!”

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Humor is mankind's greatest blessing” —Mark Twain

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A New Religion The originator of a new religion came to Talleyrand and complained that he could not make any converts. “What would you suggest I do?” He asked. “I would recommend,” said Talleyrand, “that you consider being crucified, and then rise again on the third day.” Faith A mountain climber lost his footing at the edge of a steep precipice and fell over it. Luckily, he was able to grab onto a protruding branch, which he desperately clung to. “Help,” he called, “Is there anyone up there that can help me?” Suddenly, a booming voice sounded, “ This is God speaking, - I can help you. Do you believe in me?” “Yes, yes I do believe in you,” answered the climber. “If you really believe in me,” said the booming voice, “The let go of the branch which you are clinging to.” There were several seconds of silence before the climber said, “Is there anyone else up there that can help me?” Pennies from Heaven A young man asked God how long a million years was to Him. God replied, “A million years to me is just like a single second in your time.” Then, the young man asked God what a million dollars was to Him. God replied. “A million dollars to me is just like a single penny to you.” Then, the young man got his courage up and asked, “ God, do you suppose I could have one of your pennies?” God smiled and replied, “Certainly, just a second.”

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There is hope for the future because God has a sense of humor and we are funny to God”— Bill Cosby

A SENSE OF HUMOUR C H A P T E R 14

Doctor While waiting in line to enter Heaven a group of candidates observed a man with a white beard wearing a white lab coat and a stethoscope proceed to the head of the line and enter Heaven. “Hey,” they said, “Who is that just going to the head of the line and entering heaven without getting in line first?” “Oh,” said St. Peter, “That is God Himself.” “If that is so, why is He wearing a lab coat and stethoscope?” They asked. “That”, they were told, “Is because sometimes God thinks He is a doctor” Biblical Zoo A tourist visiting Israel visited the famous Biblical Zoo. He was particularly interested in getting to see the lion and lamb together, as quoted in the Bible. When he actually saw a lion and lamb lying peacefully in the same cage he was amazed and said to an attendant, “This is truly a miracle, just as it said in the Bible, the lion and the lamb shall lie together.” “Not really,” said the attendant, “We change the lamb daily.” Exclusive A gentle and respected black gentleman, decided that he would like to become a member of the church near his home. He called on the pastor of the fashionable church and told him of his desire. “My dear man,” said the pastor. “I do not think you would be happy here, although I appreciate your good intention. I believe that you really would be uncomfortable among my people, and I am afraid it would be embarrassing to you as well as to them. I suggest that you think about it – meditate and pray, and see if God will give you some direction.” A week later the black gentleman met the pastor on the street and said to him, “Reverend, I took your advice and meditated and prayed, and finally God sent me word, saying I should not be bothered in trying to join your church – He said he’d been trying to get in there for years without success.”

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He laughs longest who laughs last” —John Masefield

A SENSE OF HUMOUR C H A P T E R 14

Pastor's Business Card A new pastor was visiting in the homes of his parishioners. At one house it seemed obvious that someone was at home, but no answer came to his repeated knocks at the door. Therefore, he took out a business card and wrote 'Revelation 3:20' on the back of it and stuck it in the door. When the offering was processed the following Sunday, he found that his card had been returned. Added to it was this cryptic message, 'Genesis 3:10..' Reaching for his Bible to check out the citation, he broke up in gales of laughter. Revelation 3:20 begins 'Behold, I stand at the door and knock.' Genesis 3:10 reads, 'I heard your voice in the garden and I was afraid for I was naked.'

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He who laughs, lasts!” —Mary Pettibone Poole

A SENSE OF HUMOUR C H A P T E R 14

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From Parting the Red Sea to Finding a Parking Spot A

B o o k A b o u t H o w T o C r e a t e Y o u r O w n M i r a c l e s

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MIRACLES_FINAL  

Book on creating your own miracles

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