Can Goodness Be Taught?

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“You are part of those who, day by day, strive for goodness with intelligence. Is it possible to teach this approach?” Nathan asked Vadim.
“I think so,” Vadim answered. “Although, goodness is something that one learns by oneself. Certainly, we all have the tendency to become like those around us. This is a trend that is seen everywhere; our surroundings rub off on us.”
“We do indeed have the tendency to adapt to the level of the people around us.” Melvin agreed. “What our behaviour shows, is what we teach.”
“You’re confirming what I have always thought.” Nathan said. “Goodness can therefore be taught; it can be transmitted.”
“Certainly,” Vadim said, “But I must add that to truly acquire sincere goodness, the receiver will obviously have to do the necessary actions.”

Real Love and Relationships

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“What do they talk about with you?” Nathan asked.
“All kinds of problems, but usually they are all centered on the same subject. Many people imagined their romantic relationships differently. They often believed they had found real love with their partners, but with time, they became totally disillusioned.” Catalina answered.
“When do we know if it’s real love?” Nathan asked curiously.
“It’s simple; love is not real if it changes when the circumstances change!” She stated.
“In a relationship, doesn’t love and suffering sometimes go hand in hand?” Nathan asked.
“Suffering comes about when a relationship is based on need, when subconsciously, one partner wants to possess or dominate the other. What sustained that relationship in the beginning was the need for love that brought about that relationship in the first place, and then it became a habit, and often, it ends in solitude.” She explained.
“Why do some relationships seem so promising in the beginning?”
“In the beginning, feelings of love are subconsciously projected on the person we meet.” Catalina stated.
“In that case, does it mean that those feelings of love were not sincere?” Nathan asked.
“Love is always present within each of us. We don’t need someone else to experience it.”
“Are you saying that we don’t need anyone else to feel love?” Nathan asked.

“No, we don’t need to search for it, and definitely, we should not want to dominate another. Many people erroneously imagine that they can find the love they want in someone else, but no one can give us what we already have.” Catalina stated.

“What does a loving relationship mean to you, Catalina?”
Catalina took her time to properly formulate her answer. Finally, she said: “Loving is taking the time to truly be interested in one another, to be with one another, but especially to find peace with one another.”
“Then I believe I have a loving relationship with Sophie.” Nathan said.
Catalina smiled.
“We have a loving relationship with everyone, Nathan. What renders your relationship with Sophie particular is the intimacy you share together.” She stated.
“What is the most important thing about a relationship?” Nathan asked.
“To always dare to recognize the truth of the moment.” Catalina replied.
“The truth of the moment?” Nathan asked curiously.
“It’s what we learn by giving the other the possibility of expressing himself or herself, whether it’s disapproval, admiration, anger or joy.”
 

How much richer relationships are when the two parties feel complete within themselves, when they realize that Love has always been within, and then they embark on a relationship as a “sharing” of such Love rather then searching for it in the other… If you have the impression that Love is on the outside and you need to find it in another person to feel “complete”, then you’ll always be disillusioned.

Intuitive Perception

Is intuitive perception and for what purpose do we experience it?

Intuitive perception –an inner sense or “feeling”-  comes to us before our minds have the chance to name or interpret what we are seeing or hearing. It’s a perception that is outside the flow of our ordinary and conditioned thoughts, in a state where the ego does not intervene, and which permits an inner connection with an intelligence that transcends ours. Intuitive perception gives us insights into our personal destiny. The particularity of intuitive perception is that it comes to us effortlessly and without intellectual exercise.

Does God Hear Our Prayers?

Does God hear our prayers and will He ever answer them?

Supposing that God did indeed hear and answer all our prayers, all our demands resulting from our extremely limited view of the world -let’s imagine for an instant that God took into account the caprices of each human being and that He did in fact yield to all the pleadings and whims – could we then think of God as all-powerful?  Rather He would be a God of unprecedented weakness, a God in which it would be impossible to trust. Expecting God to do all this is far from understanding His magnitude, and attributing to Him nothing more than a human vision. God is the mastermind, the Creator of all existence, and only He knows the proper order of things as a Whole. He does answer prayers but not always in the way we expect, or in the way that is immediately perceivable, but in the way that promotes harmony and unity for all.

Music…

 
“It’s beautiful to see…” Nathan said as he watched the interaction between the two children.
“There is great beauty in everything, but few are those who notice it.” Catalina answered.
“While I was waiting for you, I watched them dance.” Nathan said.
 “In dancing, they found a way to diminish their sorrow. They are now Sentimienta’s protectors.” She stated affectionately.
“Tell me, what does Sentimienta mean to you?” Nathan asked Catalina.
“It’s a temple of music where I can realize and live my passions and dreams; a place where everyone feels special and unique, where dreams are created and brought into reality.” She answered.
“That’s what I saw with your group’s performance in Cape Town; sparks of those dreams.” Nathan said.
“I was fortunate to have been able to bring that magnificent group together. Many of them have not had an easy life.” She answered.
“How did you get the idea to found Sentimienta?” Nathan asked curiously.
 “I’ve always had a special relationship with music and I wanted to create a place where I could devote myself to it.” Catalina stated.
“In what way is this relationship special?” Nathan inquired.
“From a very young age I knew that my real mission in life would be through music. It’s hard to explain, but there are so many things in my life that relate to music…”
“Why is music able to touch us so deeply?” Nathan continued.
“Music is pure and cannot be executed but with sincerity. It’s one of those rare forms of communication that leaves no place for lies.” She said.
“There’s something spiritual about sincerity…” Nathan reflected.
“Indeed. Music helps us attain something higher. It can help us escape every day banality, and makes us understand that everything is connected.” Catalina stated.
Catalina noticed that Nathan was in deep thought.
“Do you want me to tell you an old Indian tale on music?” She asked him.
 “I would love to hear it. I know that tales contain a great deal of wisdom.” Nathan answered.
“We are told that a long time ago, sounds and words were the one and only form of pure communication. Music and words were one and the same, until the day where the first lie was told! Since then, music has been trying to unite with us by inciting us to express ourselves with purity and authenticity.” 
 

There’s not much to add to this. For Catalina, it was through music , her life passion, that she grew spiritually and helped others in various ways. Music is a spiritual experience… But we all have our own individual passions and paths. What inspires us and gives us passion and drive, is usually always from a Higher Source and has many implications not just for our own growth, but for other’s as well. When we do something from the heart, it cannot but have positive effects on all around…

Our Missions in Life…

 
The bus ride to Marrakesh took a few hours. Nathan, who had used those hours to think and reflect on all that had gone on, took the opportunity to ask Sanah a few more questions: “Sanah, what is the essential difference between men?”
“The awareness they have of their purpose in life,” she answered.
“Everyone has a purpose in life, then?” Nathan asked.
“In effect, and everyone is capable of becoming aware.” She answered.
“And how does someone exceptional distinguish himself from others?” He asked curiously.
“By three exceptional characteristics,” Sanah stated.
Sanah had Nathan’s full attention. He was extremely curious as to what she was going to say.
“Someone exceptional does not need to discover that he has a purpose in life. He has always been aware of it.” She said.
Nathan recognized himself well in this; he had always known that to be the case. Sanah continued: “Someone exceptional benefits from a protection that is out of the ordinary, which is his ability to distinguish true knowledge from the false.”
Nathan understood better now why people often gave great value to his opinion.
“And the third characteristic?” he asked.
“It’s the most important one. From now on, it will continuously illuminate your path: the purpose of an exceptional person consists of accomplishing a higher mission.” She answered him.
 

In the book, Nathan does have a higher mission, but I believe that we all have “higher missions”. Whatever our purpose in life, whether it seems small or grandiose, is important, because after all, everything is connected… So there are no small or big missions, just different “assignments” for different people for one whole Big Mission—> Bringing out Love, Light and Peace…

Disabilities

It’s touching and wonderful how you write about people with disabilities. Why are people born with disabilities?

Everyone is born with a form, and knows then, by definition, physical and mental limitations. The perception of these limitations is individual and depends on the way each person experiences them. In general we can say that the will to surpass these limitations allows us to develop our consciousness. Certain limitations can be overcome physically, and others not, but all limitations can be overcome within oneself; not by fighting them, but by accepting them. When we accept all our limitations, something unique emerges; something which had it been conceived differently, would never have come to be.

Control Of Emotions

Before Nathan realized it, Simon got up and intercepted the waiter, held his wrists and, looking him in the eye, spoke to him in German:
“It’s always the first person to get angry that is in the wrong.”
The waiter, a little surprised, answered:
“That’s easily said. But do you know what it’s like to always be confronted with such prejudice?”
“It’s precisely in those moments that you must never forget your uniqueness. In this way, you’ll find the strength to remain in control.” Simon paused for a moment and then said:
“Consider this incident as an occasion to never feel hurt by those types of remarks.”
“What do you mean?” the waiter asked.
“For you to realize that the real question is who has control over your feelings!  Is it you or is it others?” Simon answered.
“Should I let myself be insulted without reacting?”
“A noble person does not insult others, and therefore any person who utters insults should not be given any more importance then they merit. If you realize this, you’ll never feel insulted again!” Simon affirmed.
Again there was another silence. The waiter thought for a moment about Simon’s words and then became calm.
“Remember this lesson,” continued Simon “If you’ve learned from this lesson, then the pain you have felt up until now will take on a new meaning and you’ll be able to liberate yourself from it.”
 

How we react emotionally to situations and other people is our choice. No one has control over our feelings but we ourselves. Realizing that negativity from others  has nothing to do with ourselves, but very much to do with the others who express it, is in fact liberating.

Pure Knowledge and Pure Love

“Our inner power,” continued Nathan “is it always right?”
“Yes, but it won’t prevent us from making mistakes or making wrong choices; that’s part of our personal evolution. Know that every event, even the most annoying and painful ones, can strengthen our confidence. These experiences are necessary so we can release our inner power. In that way, we can realize our life mission: increasing our knowledge!” affirmed Mauro.
“But were you not taught that our life mission was to develop pure love for one another?” asked Nathan, a little confused again.
“But they’re one and the same!” emphasized his father.
Nathan looked up at Mauro, still unsure of what he meant. Mauro explained further:
“Pure knowledge consists of knowing what is good; pure love consists in doing what is good. The more we know what is good the more we do what is good!”
“But the notion of knowing what’s good and bad, does it not differ from person to person?”
“Every individual has their own perception of what constitutes good and bad, and hence why it’s important not to stay fixed on certitudes, but to always remain open to new thoughts to adjust these perceptions.” said Mauro.
“New thoughts?” asked Nathan.
“These are thoughts that clarify our capabilities and our objectives or life goals.”
 

There are many words that mean the same thing as pure Love; such as knowledge, wisdom, truth etc… what struck me in this dialogue was that it’s very true that the notion of good and bad depends on how an individual perceives them. And the more certain you are of your beliefs, the less likely you are to have an open mind and question or search for more knowledge, and perhaps the less likely you are to listen and interpret your inner feelings or intuition, and the less likely you are open to any new thoughts and changes.

Angels Amongst Us

“In your opinion, what do you think are earth’s most precious treasures?” Nathan asked.
Adnan did not answer right away, and looked at Nathan as if he had been preparing for this moment for a long time. As for Nathan, he intuitively felt that Adnan was about to confide something very important.
“The most precious treasures are the angels.” Adnan answered.
“The angels?” Nathan asked a little taken aback.
Adnan nodded his head in confirmation. Nathan rephrased his question:
“I was referring to earthly treasures.”
But Adnan again confirmed his answer with an air of assurance:
“It happens that angels come visit us.” He said.
Nathan was speechless as he looked at Adnan. The latter seemed to really believe what he was saying.
“How do we recognize them?” He finally asked.
“They look like us, but are different in their way of being.” Adnan answered.
“How are they different?” Nathan enquired.
“An angel is always open and affectionate, both with people they know and strangers alike. That is how they bring out the best in humans.”
“Do they do this to change people?” Nathan asked curiously.
“Angels never try to change those they interact with. They behave that way without any expectations.” Adnan answered.
“They behave that way without any personal interest?”
“Angels have an abundant joy of living that is effortless. They are naturally happy.” Adnan explained.
Adnan’s words incited Nathan to reflect. A preoccupying question came to mind: “Why are they here amongst us?” He asked.
“They take on a human form when they have a specific mission to accomplish. Once that mission is fulfilled, they disappear.” Adnan answered.
 

It is very possible that there are people/beings who come to earth with a higher mission then the average person, and they are very aware of their mission right from the start, unlike most of us. Believing in the possibility of angels is not a religious thing at all. There are just people around us who by their very presence emanate a positive energy that has the effect of potentially changing those around them for the better. Have I ever personally met such people/angels? Possibly, although I can never be certain. but  there have been “random” people I’ve run into that just by a smile, instantly and completely changed my mood, thoughts, feelings for the better and ultimately led me to do something positive, and sometimes on an ongoing basis. So who’s to say those people were not angels?

I’m speaking for myself, and not the author in expressing this.