August days, especially in humid parts of the Northern Hemisphere, are lamented as “dog days,” hot sultry miserable days. But feeling miserable is a choice we don't have to make, right? What is the feeling we could choose and really want to choose?
The phrase "dog days" dates back at least to ancient Greece where Sirius, the star which in those days rose with the sun in August, was called the "Dog Star" because it is the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major (“greater dog”). Even farther back in history, the oldest monument in Egypt, the impossibly ancient Great Sphinx of Giza, is now known to have once had a dog head (not a lion or jackal as previously supposed) which faced Sirius during the centuries when this dog star rose over the horizon at sunrise at the summer solstice, the time when the Nile started flooding.
Other than our Sun, Sirius is the brightest star in earth’s sky, has always been associated with the month of August and originally with “blessings from above.” This might explain why the dictionary definition of “august” uses words like impressive, grand, majestic, and noble. But “as above, so below.” So maybe “august” refers to something inside of us.
Let’s suppose you feel dogged by the continued heat of August and you ask yourself: “What is it I really, really, really, really, really, really, really want?”
Of course the ego will answer very quickly: “I want this … or I want that … or this … or that ... start with air conditioning." But let’s suppose you went into the desert or the mountains for 40 days and 40 nights in an exercise to really identify your much, much deeper desires, and to really sort out what you thought you wanted but could actually do without. You might very well end up discovering something like: “I want love … and I want deep inner peace … and I want something inside myself that I know is missing, something I cannot identify, but feels like it will be impressive, grand, majestic, noble.
Ego desires are not the same as true deep heart and soul desires. How could they be? The ego’s hidden purpose is to cause us pain, suffering, and death. The purest depths of our heart and soul want us to be happy.
So if you are listening only to your deepest heart and soul, you'll be fine. But if you are listening at all to your ego, you will have conflicting desires in your mind.
A revelation from Jesus Christ for the twenty-first century, A Course in Miracles, addresses this issue:
“You will also recognize that many of your goals are contradictory, that you have no unified outcome in mind, and that you must experience disappointment in connection with some of your goals however the situation turns out. After covering the list of as many hoped-for goals as possible for each unresolved situation that crosses your mind, say to yourself: ‘I do not perceive my own best interests in this situation.’ ” (ACIM Lesson 24)
As Jesus hints in the above lesson, the first step in neutralizing the ego’s demands is to recognize that we don’t perceive our own best interests. This step leads to becoming less attached to goals that do not serve us:
“You perceive the world and everything in it as meaningful in terms of ego goals. These goals have nothing to do with your own best interests, because the ego is not you. This false identification makes you incapable of understanding what anything is for. As a result, you are bound to misuse it. When you believe this, you will try to withdraw the goals you have assigned to the world, instead of attempting to reinforce them.”
(ACIM Lesson 25)
These two lessons from Jesus, lessons 24 and 25 of A Course in Miracles are very, very powerful lessons which take one a long way in the direction of experiencing one’s deepest and truest desires.
But what use is it to be in touch with one’s deepest and truest desires if the world reasserts its pull like a fiercely determined magnet that just won't give up? Well, although instant enlightenment is possible, spiritual opening is more often a process, so Jesus continues to address the same issue in many different ways:
“The world you see has nothing that you need to offer you; nothing that you can use in any way, nor anything at all that serves to give you joy. Believe this thought, and you are saved from years of misery, from countless disappointments, and from hopes that turn to bitter ashes of despair.” (ACIM Lesson 128)
“You cannot stop with the idea the world is worthless, for unless you see that there is something else to hope for you will only be depressed. Our emphasis is not on giving up the world, but on exchanging it for what is far more satisfying, filled with joy, and capable of offering you peace. Is it a loss to find a world instead where losing is impossible, where love endures forever, hate cannot exist, and vengeance has no meaning? Is it loss to find all things you really want and know they have no ending, and they will remain exactly as you want them throughout time?” (ACIM Lesson 129)
In reality the entire Course given by Jesus is a preparation device designed to open you to the experience of who you really are: an experience of your true nature as an impressive, grand, majestic, noble spiritual being ... a bright star to say the least.
Astrologers might say there couldn’t be a more perfect time than Sun in Leo to open to the majesty of who we really are. Fair enough, this month let's shoot for the highest level of brightness. Let's ask again and again for the brightest of the glowing star experiences, by always asking deeper and deeper: “What is it I really, really, really, really, really, really, really want?”
Each month our Holy Spirit gives a message of prophetic revelation which helps individuals open spiritually and understand Jesus' teaching.
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"...nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you." (Luke 17:21)
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