Wednesday, July 25, 2012

~ Life ~


Life is a continual battle. Man struggles with things that are outside him, and so he gives a chance to the foes who exist in his own being. Therefore the first thing necessary in life is to make peace for the time being with the outside world, in order to prepare for the war which is to be fought within oneself. Once peace is made within, one will gain by that sufficient strength and power to be used through the struggle of life within and without. Self-pity is the worst poverty. When a person says, 'I am...' with pity, before he has said anything more he has diminished himself to half of what he is; and what is said further, diminishes him totally; nothing more of him is left afterwards. There is so much in the world that we can pity and which it would be right for us to take pity upon, but if we have no time free from our own self we cannot give our mind to others in the world. Life is one long journey, and the further behind we have left our self, the further we have progressed toward the goal. Verily when the false self is lost the true self is discovered.

Life to a wise person is music; and in that symphony he has to play a certain part. If one were feeling so low that one's heart was sounding a lower pitch, and the demand of life at that moment was that one should voice a higher pitch, then one would feel that one had failed in that music in which one was meant to play one's part fittingly. This is the test by which you can distinguish the old soul and the child's soul. The child soul will give way to every feeling; the old soul will strike the higher note in spite of every difficulty.

There are moments when laughter must be kept back, and there are times when tears must be withheld. And those who have arrived at the stage where they can act efficiently the part that they are meant to act in this life's drama, have even power over the expression of their face; they can even turn their tears into smiles, or their smiles into tears. One may ask, is it not hypocrisy not to be natural? But he who has control over his nature is more natural; he is not only natural, he is the master of nature, while the one who lacks power over nature, in spite of his naturalness, is weak.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

~ Are You Living in Reality or Illusion? ~


There comes a time on our personal, spiritual journey when it is time to evaluate whether we are truly living in reality or illusion. When our actions are mostly being motivated by thoughts relating to external circumstances and the subsequent emotions they create in us, we are not living our reality. We find ourselves being drawn into negative relationships and unpleasant situations in many areas of our lives because we are under the illusion that we have no control of what happens to us.

We forget that there is another aspect of ourselves that is very, very important. This is our 'will'. God gave us a soul, which consists of our mind, will and emotions.

 Our will is a gift from God.  For a person to have a strong will and sense of self is an indication of a healthy personality not to be mistaken for a stubborn will which is actually an indication of an insecure or weak person. Also not to be mistaken for ego which expands in a selfish, fearful personality. God isn't giving us another mind other than what we already have. When the illusions we live under are removed, the true mind is revealed. It has always been there but covered over by the lies and untruths we lived our lives by. Using our God empowered will is what brings our mind and emotions into proper use and establishes our renewed mind. 

We 'set our will' according to what we believe and we make a stand, no matter what comes against it. It must be a firm resolve with strong assertive resolution or we will waver when opposition comes.
We should guard our 'will' carefully from control by any other human being. It is so personally ours, it is what brings everything into our lives. Without us setting our will to things, they won't happen. Even if someone is controlling us, we still have set our 'will' to let them. If bad things are happening to us, somehow we have let our will go to let those things take place. 

 Just thinking about something won't bring it to pass unless we accept it, even illness comes to us that way. Someone visits us who has a cold and we just know they breathed their germs on us and we will to let that cold come in when we think, "I feel tired and my throat is scratchy now. I know I'm getting their cold." 

 Satan can't touch us in any area of our lives unless we will to let him. We can feel guilty about something untrue said about us and we will to let guilty feelings come in. We can feel bad about what someone says and will to let in depression or feelings of rejection. It is our will that always establishes what happens or doesn't happen, even when this happens in our subconscious and we aren't aware. This is because at some point in our lives we have given ground in that area and we never took it back. 

Never surrender your will to anyone, ever, not to parents, not to friends, not to husband, not to wife, not to children, not to boss, nor to lover, only to God. When you surrender your will to Him, it cements your will into His and your will is established with the strength and power of His will. You have become incorporated into the will of God Himself. 

 So we can assuredly and boldly stand before anyone and command forth the word of God and live by the truth in our heart with no excuses. Never falter when you know what's right for you. When you are feeling the life of God in your choice and all is balanced and your energy is flowing positively, you are in the Spirit! Go with it! No one can stand in your way.

When your will is united with God's will and God joins you with someone who also is united to Him, you will meet on an equal basis, no control, no manipulation. You both will respect and honor the free will of each other as sacred. You will freely be who you are, truly be able to enjoy each other to the fullest and be natural and real together. This is where trust can grow and love can develop because you are living in reality. Anything else is illusion.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

~ Understanding Emotions ~


We can establish a balance of positive energy in our lives by controlling our words and thoughts. Negative events around us will not weaken us emotionally and destroy our effectiveness in dealing with the problems when we maintain control of what goes on in our mind. 

Negative emotions like Fear, doubt, jealousy, anger, irritation and frustration. are a gague to let you know if something is wrong. 

Positive emotions such as love, peacefulness, acceptance, joy, humbleness and patience are an indication that things are in balance and moving in a good and loving direction.

We are so used to rejecting, denying and trying to overcome negative emotions that we don't use them wisely to deal with truth in our lives. If we have a persistant pain somewhere, we wonder what's wrong and may go to a doctor for a check up so he can find out what is causing it and hopefully correct it. Not so with emotional upsets.

 If we have a painful emotional response to something, we go through a range of thoughts about it from blaming someone to self recrimination. Our mind easily loses reason and we respond according to patterns we are used to. 

Our emotional responses are instantly categorized and defind according to the norm. Jealousy is a good word to use as an example of this. 

...I feel jealous because you are making me feel insecure in our relationship
...I feel jealous because you are making me feel left out, you are spending more quality time with your secretary than me.
...I feel jealous because I am afraid I might lose you to someone you want more than me
...I feel jealous because I don't think I can measure up to the appearance and intelligence of your secretary. The list can go on... 

We define jealousy as a result of feeling insecure and lacking in self confidence and self acceptance. If I feel this way, you may tell me I am possessive and controlling. First, I will get defensive and then after more thought, I will began to push away the defenses and think, maybe I am wrong. I am over-reacting, maybe I am insecure...etc. I will be torn between defensiveness and guilt. First, I am hurt and become defensive, blaming you for my pain and then I will try to force away the blame and instead blame myself for being insecure and maybe making things up where there is no problem at all. 

This is all because we have accepted that the word 'jealousy' or being 'jealous' is a negative response we have to overcome or an act that someone inflicted on us and is victimizing us with, or because we want something someone else has or someone else wants something we have and we may lose it. 

Just for one moment in time, let's separate the emotions we are feeling from the word "jealous". Forget completely the word, "jealous" and what it means. Now, what are you feeling without the definition of what it means to feel that way? 

You feel 'hurt' inside, maybe in the abdominal area. What is that 'hurt' telling you? 

 Maybe it's telling you something is wrong? Yes, of course it's telling you that. Now, instead of bringing in the usual "definitions" of what that hurt means, think about the immediate situation that brought on the hurt. Try to understand what the emotions you are feeling are pointing to in real time. Then, without reacting through the force of the hurt energy, discuss the events that made you feel that way with your partner or who ever you are having the problem with. 

Emotions are energy flows. We have an aura around our physical body made up of energy we can't see but we can feel through our emotions because emotions are energy. The energy of emotions are felt not only from ourselves but others also. When energies clash and don't flow together, something is wrong. 

When we care a lot about someone, our emotional energies are tied in to each other very strongly. When one feels something emotionally, so does the other. 

This is what co-relates are in a relationship. We are attracted emotionally and thus physically to someone who responds to our particular inner emotional needs. Usually these emotional connections are negative but seem positive at first, masquerading as love because the energy pull is so strong. 

In our relationships, when the negatives in our emotional needs are being revealed but not dealt with realistically, our energy does not flow peacefully together, but is chaotic and erratic. 

When I feel hurt inside when I think of you and your secretary, there is something off in the energy in both of us. If I resort to defense or blame or both, I am buying into the common definition of the word 'jealous' and responding how I have been programmed to believe about it. 

If I realize only that I feel hurt inside which is an indication that my energy is off, then I can go a step further and realize that it is connected with you in relation to your secretary. Without blame or guilt, I can look realistically at the fact that our energy is not flowing together harmoniously in that area. 

There is always a reason when the energy is off between two people who care a lot about each other. In connection with the secretary, it is obvious because it's the thought of you and your secretary that makes me feel hurt inside. 

The energy is wrong there, whether the relationship is more intimate than it should be, whether there is a secret affair going on, or whether its been thought about but not acted upon. There are a lot of possibilities, some which could be entirely innocent, but the fact remains, something is distorting the energy flow between us in relation to the secretary. 

If there was nothing but friendly camaraderie between you and her, I wouldn't feel the hurt caused by the distorted energy of something being hidden. Maybe a thought could come into my mind about it, but without the hurt feeling, there would be no place for the thought to take root. 

Thoughts take root and grow in the soil of the emotions which cause the energy flows to run smoothly together or distort. This is the place where all trouble starts. For the energy to distort, there has to be two energy flows. Energy is always being given back and forth between people. This is why there are problems and disagreements or positive and successful endeavors. 

Uneasy feelings, doubts, wariness, distrust, are all feelings manifesting because energy is meeting and clashing somehow. Why didn't you get the job you applied for? Did you get any inner feelings during the interview or a thought that it wasn't going well in your favor? Did you have an instant feeling of fear because you lied about one of the qualities you emphasized to the interviewer? All these things can cause a glitch in the flow of energy between you and create a negative result. 

When energy is flowing smoothly, peace is established, love is shared and endeavors can have successful results. This is what the word 'synergy' means. 

When there are problems and people are feeling negative emotions and there are divisions and disagreements, it is time to get down to the reality of what's happening. Just as in the jealousy problem, each emotion has its own special energy components. 

Say that your friend is angry at you because you didn't return the lawn mower you borrowed. He doesn't know that you broke it and are waiting for your next paycheck to buy a part and fix it before returning it. You feel dumb because you broke it and he is angry thinking you are careless of returning it. He doesn't know the particulars, but guesses at the possibilities and he feels angry and irritated inside when he thinks about it.
When you see each other at a community outing, you avoid each other and the problem does not get resolved. There is this distorted and chaotic energy between you. Being caught up in emotions with corresponding words defined by how you're supposed to think and react, neither looks at the facts that would easily resolve the issue. 

It is simply that where there is a discordant feeling inside, there is a corresponding discordance in the actions of the one the feelings are centered on. The energy flow is disrupted and peace needs to again be established by dealing with the truth in all its aspects. 

Not facing facts and working them out is the cause of divorce and all break ups and divisions. 

In the case of "jealousy", I could just say "We need to talk about something bothering me". You could affirm that and if we are fairly mature, we should be able to discuss the fact that I feel uneasy about you and your secretary. Bringing it out in the open establishes a place of sharing feelings honestly if we both care about our relationship. If you care more about my feelings than those of the secretary, maybe she should be released from her position. 

If you become angry and call me possessive, your defensiveness proves more connection with the secretary than you would want me to know. You care less about hurting me than her. 

Our feelings, if we can read them wisely, not be afraid of the truth they reveal, and don't emotionally respond according to the patterned definitions of the words we are conditioned to acting on, can lead us into new growth and maturity. 

When we overreact from emotions and feelings we really don't want to know the truth. We delude ourselves because we don't want to handle the possibly painful truth. Yes, if I feel this way, it is because of what I fear may be happening. There is a cord of connection between the fear and the feared event. 

If someone in that connection says you are wrong, overreacting, controlling or judgmental toward them, they are defending themselves or attacting you because they don't want you to know. Sometimes they will accuse you of what they are trying to hide. 

This is not the time to get into self recriminations and guilt trips that maybe you are controlling and overreacting. Nor is it time to fly off the handle and accuse and demean the other. It is time to go inside and study the feeling, what and who it relates to, what words are associated with it and what emotions does it incur. When all the facts are there, you know why you feel like you do. Confront it and decide how to deal with it realistically. 

 I think we live most of the time in illusory worlds we create so we can feel as little pain as possible. We convince ourselves our mate is inherently faithful, our boss is totally honest and is not going to let us go next month, our children are not taking drugs or having sex, and so on.

When feelings to the contrary come up, we push them away thinking we are being negative and silly. Of course we believe in those we relate with, care about or look up to and we trust them. We are always shocked when something terrible comes out in the news about someone we never expected to do that or be that way! 

We could have had a lot of feelings about something and just never listened to them. We are admonished not to trust our feelings or our emotions. People will laugh at us or disregard what we have to say if they think we are being led by our emotions. 

We need to learn to trust our inner feelings, accept the obvious evidence and reveal the truth in a firm and mature way. We may save the life of a loved one. Better to face the truth than to brush it off lightly as a silly thought, and continue to live in false security. When we confront someone with truth we feel, it should be alone when appropriate, and we should know deeply that it's what we should do after surrendering it in prayer. 

Maybe someone will call you a liar and want to know what you mean to accomplish by saying something so offensive. The truth can be offensive, it can be downright disgusting at times, but if its not faced and dealt with, it only gets worse and contaminates all around it even more. We have been afraid of being wrong, rocking the boat, of stirring up resentment or of being looked down upon by others. 

However, some people use truth as a weapon rather then a way to work things out and move on harmoniously. If the intent of your heart is blame and retribution or punishment you will not be able to discuss reality and work out the problem. You will be led about by your emotions and matters will only get worse. To maintain a calm emotional state throughout all the storms, we only need to be in control of the rudder of our ship. This rudder is the words we speak, inside our mind and outside to the world. Any person who speaks out everything he feels is called a fool,
and he is called wise when he only speaks what is necessary.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


LISTENING is an important skill that many of us take for granted. Have you ever explained a problem to someone and received an answer that showed that he or she didn't understand the problem at all?

A big part of listening goes beyond getting the main point and drawing conclusions. Listening empathetically, or with feelings, means putting yourself in the talker's position without getting emotionally involved.

Empathic listening precedes effective feedback because it goes to the root of the concern: the other person's perspective. Listening only to obtain information and form opinions means missing much of what the speaker is saying -- the emotions and intensity that make up real communication.

By contrast, if you look at your watch. fidget, or look anxious as the talker is relating a problem, he or she may leave out key details. If you give the other person the impression that he or she is just wasting your time, you're not likely to solve any problems. Have you ever been listening to someone who suddenly says, "I can tell this is a bad time -- we'll talk about this later?"
Instead, show the other person that the most-important thing for you at that moment is to listen. Tell your secretary to hold your calls, or close your door, or tell the talker, "Take as much time as you need." With these actions, you're more likely to get the details that go beyond the main problem and help you find solutions.

If you're the other person's superior, the other may neglect important information because of your higher rank. Therefore, show that the talker's ideas are valuable and that you really want to hear what he or she has to say.
Come out from behind your desk and sit together to create a feeling of equality and comfort. This encourages full disclosure and puts you in a more receptive frame of mind. Even pulling up a chair to the side of your desk to sit next to each other, rather than across the desk, helps reduce tension.

FIND A PERSONAL CONNECTION often, when you suddenly realize you're not on the same wavelength with someone, you're failing to empathize. If you can't understand why the talker is upset or angry, you're probably not relating well. Keep asking questions or listening until you connect. This might happen with a shared opinion or philosophy, or even an experience, hobby or background.

Try to live by the 50-50 rule -- spend no more than half your communication time speaking. You develop a certain power through listening. The more the other person talks, the more information you have, and the better you can understand the needs of the talker and his or her needs.

This is especially important when one of you is not speaking his or her native tongue. If the other person speaks English as a second language, you should encourage him or her to talk as much as possible. It's likely that his or her repertoire of English phrases and idioms are unfamiliar to you.

KEEP ADVICE TO A MINIMUM when someone comes to you with a problem, your first response is probably to provide advice or a solution: but sometimes all the other person wants is someone to listen. If you listen before advising, you're more likely to understand first. When you have a grasp of the situation, then you can offer suggestions.

Often, if you're listening empathetically, the talker solves his or her own problem. For example, have you ever told your problems to someone who just listened? Chances are, by the time you talk your way through it, you had actually come up with your own solution. Empathic listening encourages this to happen.

Just as an empathic approach draws people out, the wrong approach closes them up. Avoid certain signals that prevent effective communication:
DON'T TRY TO TOP THE OTHER PERSON'S PROBLEM. Empathy means understanding the other person's perspective and feelings -- not competing with those feelings. The other person's problem is not a springboard for you to recount your own similar situation. Rather, ask another question or show concern by appropriately paraphrasing the other person's experience. You're there to help: you can best do this by getting the problem out in the open to deal with it. Anything you do to shift attention back to yourself defeats this purpose.

DON'T REACT WITH AVERSION. If the other person has a mistake or unpleasant experience to relate, make him or her comfortable telling the story, however awkward. Even if you disapprove of the speaker's situation or feel turned-off, don't communicate your aversion with words or actions. Be calm and keep the person talking.

Don't say: "What a horrible thing to do." "I don't see how you lived through that." or, "I can't believe you're telling me this." Rather, use nonjudgmental, encouraging expressions that help both of you deal with the problem.
You might say: "I admire you for facing that challenge so straightforwardly." or, "l am glad you brought this to my attention so we can work on it." In any case, don't kill the messenger.

It took courage to admit the mistake. Now it's time to find out as much as possible so you can address the problem. Your frosty or condemning reception will get you only an abridged version of the story, which  will equips you to solve the problem.

DON'T THREATEN: EMPATHIZE! Biographer Robert Massie recounts the following anecdote of Peter the Great (Russian Tsar, 1672-1725). After a suspected conspirator was tortured four times and refused to confess, Peter told the man that he had been punished enough.

He offered clemency if the prisoner would confess out of love for his sovereign. At this unexpected kindness, the man broke down and confessed. Empathic listening bears more fruit than hostility and disapproval.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

~ 10 Things You Should Be Able To Say Before You Die ~

1.  I followed my heart and intuition.

As our friend Steve Jobs says:
“ Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.  Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.  Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice, heart and intuition.  They somehow already know what you truly want to become.  Everything else is secondary. ”
This is your life, and it’s a short one.  Don’t accept false choices.  Don’t let others put a cage around you.  Try what you want to try.  Go where you want to go.  Follow your own intuition.  


2.  I said what I needed to say.

Everyone has this little watchdog inside their head.  It’s always there watching you.  It was born and raised by your family, friends, coworkers, bosses and society at large, and its sole purpose is to watch you and make sure you stay in line.  And once you become accustomed to the watchdog’s presence, you begin to think his opinion of what’s acceptable and unacceptable are absolute truths.  But the watchdog’s views are not truths, they’re just opinions – forceful opinions that have the potential to completely brainwash you of your own opinions if you aren’t careful.

Remember, the watchdog is just a watchdog, he just watches.  He can’t actually control you.  He can’t do anything about it if you decide to rise up and go against the grain.
No, you should not start randomly cussing and acting like a fool.  But you must say what you need to say when you need to say it.  It may be your only chance to do so.
Don’t censor yourself.  Speak the truth.  Your truth.


3.  I did what I needed to do.

Every morning you are faced with two choices:  You can aimlessly stumble through the day not knowing what’s going to happen and simply react to events at a moment’s notice, or you can go through the day directing your own life and making your own decisions and destiny.

The greatest gift extraordinarily successful people have over average people is their ability to get themselves to take action – to physically do something about getting from where they are now to where they want to be.  And no, it won’t be easy.  But in the end, suffering from the pain of discipline while you do what you need to do is a whole lot easier than suffering from the regret and disappointment of never fulfilling any of your dreams.


4.  I made a difference.

Act as if what you do makes a difference.  It does.
In life, you get what you put in.  When you make a positive impact in someone else’s life, you also make a positive impact in your own life.  Do something that’s greater than you – something that helps someone else to be happy or to suffer less.

Doing something nice for someone can change the world.  Maybe not the whole world, but their world.  


5.  I know what true love is.

Finding a companion or a friend isn’t about trying to transform yourself into the perfect image of what you think they want.  It’s about being exactly who you are and then finding someone who appreciates that.  Relationships must be chosen wisely.  It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company.  There’s no need to rush.  If something is meant to be, it will happen – in the right time, with the right person, and for the best reason.

As with all things of the heart, there is an ingredient of magic in finding love.  There are no coincidences.  Everything happens for a reason.  Love is beautiful and unpredictable.  The best thing you can do is to start to become the most outstanding person possible.  The universe will know when you are ready, and when you are, true love will happen, unexpectedly.


6.  I am happy and grateful.

Very little is needed to create happiness.  It is all within you, in your way of thinking.  How you view yourself and your world are conscious choices and habits.  The lens you choose to view everything through determines how you feel about yourself and everything that happens around you.  You must choose to be happy.

A big part of this is simply being grateful for what you have.  As Mick Jagger once said, “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you might find you get what you need.”  Look around.  Appreciate the things you have right now.  Many people aren’t so lucky.  


7.  I am proud of myself.

You are your own best friend and your own biggest critic.  Regardless of the opinions of others, at the end of the day the only reflection staring back at you in the mirror is your own.  How you feel about this person is vital to your long-term well being.

Being proud of yourself is also known as having strong self-esteem.  People who are proud of themselves tend to have passions in life, feel content and set good examples for others.  It requires envisioning the person you would like to become and making your best efforts to grow as an individual.

Being proud isn’t bragging about how great you are.  It’s more like quietly knowing that you’re worth a lot.  It’s not about thinking you’re perfect – because nobody is – but knowing that you’re worthy of being loved and accepted.  Boost your self-esteem by recognizing your accomplishments and celebrating them.  Acknowledge your positive qualities, and when you come across a quality in yourself that you aren’t proud of, don’t sulk in your sorrows, proactively work on correcting it.  


8.  I became the best version of me.

It’s a good idea to be yourself, not only because everybody else is taken, but because trying to be anything else doesn’t usually get you very far.  Trying to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.  Strength, success and contentment come from being comfortable in your own skin.

Judy Garland once said, “Always be a first rate version of yourself instead of a second rate version of somebody else.”  Live by this statement.  There is no such thing as living in someone else’s shoes.  The only shoes you can occupy are your own.  If you aren’t being yourself, you aren’t truly living – you’re merely existing.

Remember, at any given moment, you are in competition with one person and one person only – yourself. You are competing to be the best you can be.


9.  I forgave those who hurt me.

We’ve all been hurt by another person at some point or another – we were treated badly, trust was broken, hearts were hurt.  And while this pain is normal, sometimes that pain lingers for too long.  We relive the pain over and over and have a hard time letting go.

This causes problems.  It not only causes us to be unhappy, but can strain or ruin relationships, distract us from work and family and other important things, make us reluctant to open up to new things and people.  We get trapped in a cycle of anger and hurt, and miss out on the beauty of life as it happens.
Grudges are a waste of perfect happiness.  To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover the prisoner was you.


10.  I have no regrets.

This one is a culmination of the previous nine headlines…
Follow your heart.  Be true to yourself.  Do what you need to do fulfill your dreams.  Say what you need to say.  Be kind to others.  Offer a helping hand when you’re able.  Love those who deserve to be loved, and cherish the bond you share.  Appreciate all the things you do have.  Smile.  Celebrate your small victories.  Learn from your mistakes.  Forgive.  And let go of the things you can’t change

Friday, July 13, 2012

~ Learn To Love ~


A young man named Nasreddin planted a flower garden, but when the flowers came up so did a great crop of dandelions among them. Wishing to eliminate the unwanted guests, Nasreddin consulted with gardeners near and far, but none of their solutions worked.

Finally, Nasreddin traveled to the palace of the sheik to seek the wisdom of the royal gardener himself. But alas, Nasreddin had already tried all the methods the kind old man recommended to him for eradicating such troublesome weeds.

Silently they sat together for a good long time. At last, the royal gardener looked at Nasreddin and said, "Well, then, the only thing I can suggest is that you learn to love them."

Friday, July 6, 2012

~ Solitude ~


(from The Adventure of Being Alone by Eric Sloane)

I find comfort and peace in solitude. There are those who would live by the side of the road and watch the race of men go by, but my idea of a perfect place to live is a farmstead where I can't see another house. Even a distant chimney shatters my sense of tranquility; at night, faraway lighted windows are prying eyes watching me.

You can tell a 'loner' by his work: a writer who enjoys being alone writes as if talking to himself, and a painter of the same sort views landscapes without benefit of people to enliven the scene. My countryside subjects seldom have anyone there, and for a while I wondered if I had lost the knack of painting people. Presenting an art award to me, Louis Nizer brought that up, and I squirmed. "Sloane seldom has people in his paintings," he said. Then the famous lawyer with the gift of words delighted me. "But there is always someone in Sloane's paintings," he added. "It is you!"

Knowing the difference between alone and lonely can be more important than other things a student learns, and when I think of the time I spent with Latin, I wonder why the simple subject of living was never considered a proper school subject. The appalling number of recent dropouts, runaways and teen-age suicides might indicate the need for children to know the fine art of coping with being alone.

Solitude in youth is painful because the art of living comfortably with it has not yet been learned; it is usually only in maturity that solitude becomes delicious. At one time, when life was confusing and my mind lacked decision, I went to people for advice. I have since learned that the answers were usually within me all the while. Now when I am perplexed, I seek seclusion and, in the eloquence of silence, I wait for the replies to arrive. And they do.

( it is perfectly true, that each of us enters and leaves this world alone, but it is also true that many spend much of their allotted time here in solitude too, with only silence and the stars above for company..........)