Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Having Eyes to See

We begin our spiritual development by taking ourselves apart and putting ourselves back together again the right way. We review many observations and conclusions made in childhood and revise our conclusions based on new evidence.

In a small town in the Midwest, near the turn of the century, a boy named Robert grew up on the wrong side of the tracks. He wore hand-me-down. His parents couldn’t afford to get him a haircut. The other kids teased him. People whispered that his father was irresponsible and had too many kids.

Robert wore the shame of his father’s poverty and yet he was very spiritual. One day a revival came to town. His grandparents took him to the revival tent where many people heard Jesus call them personally for. The energy at a revival is “contagious”. After a few people get the ball rolling, the rest will join in. Sometimes it’s a genuine calling but sometimes it’s just so as not to be left out.

Back at the revival, people were getting the call, but that night nothing happened to the Robert. Rather than going along with the crowd, Robert did not join the throng of people who came forward for baptism because he did not feel Jesus call him inside.

This would be a matter-of-fact story except for one thing. On the way home, Robert, who genuinely believed that something authentic had happened to all others in the revival tent, came to the conclusion that Jesus had not called him because he was not worthy.

Robert didn’t check out his “thesis” with anyone any more than most children do and for the rest of his life, he felt rejected and shamed. Even Jesus did not want a poor boy.

There is a happy ending to this story. Robert grew up to be a well known and successful psychologist in La Mesa, California. He had a great professional and personal life, a very long and happy marriage. Robert was well to do and was respected in the community. He often spoke at the big Unity (metaphysical) Church in San Diego. I am not telling you a story he has not told publicly many times. Robert went through a healing process to understand that as a boy he had added 2 + 2 and gotten nonsense.

As children, we put the world together as best we can. As adults, it is our gift to ourself to return as an adult to some of our bigger decisions and connect the dots again properly if necessary.
I would like to give you another example that is a little more sophisticated. It has to do with the way being unconscious can keep us from seeing things plainly before our eyes.

In the 40s and 50s, it was considered glamorous or “manly”, to smoke. I know I could hardly wait! Louis Armstrong, King George VI of England, Betty Davis, Clark Gable, Babe Ruth and Humphrey Bogart all smoked heavily in public and in their films. They died in their mid-fifties of smoke related diseases such as lung cancer and emphysema. In a horrifying and ironic twist of fate, even Wayne McLaren, the celebrated “Marlborough Man”, died of lung cancer at the very early age of 51. Smoking was considered glamorous and I planned to start as soon as I could.
Like the boy Robert, I did not have eyes to see. I looked at Humphrey Bogart and was told how sophisticated he was rather than noticing what was plainly before my eyes. “This man is a walking cadaver.”

A new trend in consciousness raising about smoking began in 1968 when William Talman made a shocking public service announcement for the American Cancer Society. Talman had played Hamilton Burger on the tv series, Perry Mason. He was dying of lung cancer at 53, leaving behind a wife and 6 young children. According to Barron H. Lerner, a Columbia University professor [Globe Newspaper Company], Talman’s message won praise among viewers, many of whom vividly remembered it for decades and credited it for getting them to quite smoking.
Yul Brynner, who died of lung cancer in 1985, helped reverse the glamour image in the late 80s with a chilling PSA which began, “Now that I’m dead … please don’t smoke.”

If you’re wondering what this has to do with spiritual development and seeing things clearly, let me continue.

If you didn’t go through the process of consciousness raising with cigarette smoking, here’s an example from the 21st Century. The same thing is occurring with obesity. The same long, time consuming process has begun. This time you can be a part of it, waking up slowly to what is before your very eyes.

I visited Russia this summer and people in Russia are not overweight. I really noticed it when I got back home. I have a friend from India who moved here because he wanted to be in a country where “even the poor people are fat.”

Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. Fast food chains are being sued to hold them accountable for selling food high in fat, salt, sugar, and cholesterol content, “despite studies showing a link between consuming such foods and obesity, diabetes, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, elevated cholesterol intake, related cancers, and other health problems” and despite a recent published finding by the Surgeon General that obesity costs Americans almost as much money per year as cigarette related illnesses. John F. Banzhaf III ( is the nationally-known professor and practitioner of public interest law who is bringing these legal actions to the public forum.

The Chicago Tribune reports that suits initiated by Banzhof’s students have already forced McDonald’s to apologize for “duping” people, and pay out over $12 million in damages. McDonald’s claimed their French fries were “vegetarian”. [They are fried in animal fat.]
According to ABCNEWS Internet Ventures, “a second law suit filed by a disgruntled customer in Florida, outraged when she learned that a so-called low-calorie and low-fat ice cream had at least three times the calories and fat she was led to believe, has likewise been granted class action status by a judge, and could involve one million customers.”

Banzhof comments, “We know from tobacco litigation that initial suits have real difficulties because the public has real problems accepting new ideas and new concepts. It took us many years to get us to the point of educating juries about tobacco, so now they are [learning about the fast food industry].”

In one of the finer uses of the evolutionary nature of law, Americans are being shown — until they can “see” for themselves — the connection between junk food and poor health. We are also being shown the correlation between weight gain and disastrous health consequences which we know intuitively. Obesity, watching television and eating junk food and go together like Whoppers and SuperSizeItPlease.

Connecting the dots can help us to correct misapprehensions from childhood and see the world around us with new eyes. It is these new eyes of seeing that are both the goal and the process of enlightenment.

Nancy R. Fenn is a healer and intuitive consultant in the San Diego area. She enjoys working with creatives, intuitives and visionaries.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Nancy,

I was born in Winston-Salem North Carolina, home of Reynolds Tobacco Company. I gave an interview to the local paper about my dislike of cigarettes, smoke and addressed the health issues. Remember this is in 1980, in a big tobacco town and very uncool.

My mother actually have people come up to her "at church" and admonish my interview, as the tobacco industry, (which now we know has addictive chemical additives) and say "remember who employs these people, and she can hurt their jobs! Wow, one skinny chic is more powerful than RJ Reynolds??? (Mother by the way told them gently, to "bite her".

If you must smoke, my friends from Vietnam say many smoke, but NO lung cancer, because they do not add chemicals.

As far as Church and waiting for "the feeling" I am a believer in Jesus, but I also love and understand and study many teachers. Why miss a lesson? I just took gifts to a friends Buda altar.

The people he thought "got it" where perhaps the same sheep mentality that storm the doors at a sale. I was in the Minneapolis airport waiting for a flight to Hawaii and a man I still call "Big Foot" was irate. The airline announced "sandwiches and drinks served while our plane was being serviced". Talk about a stampede for something I would not serve dog or cat. They knocked each other over to get food like it was their last meal.

I sat calmly reading a book and observed the idiots. When we got on the plane I gave many grateful Mom's granola strawberry bars for their children.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...............your friend with the church/non happener!

He already had the love, care and belief in his heart and his actions, and needed no phony affirmations. God sees in out hearts.

I have been to Service in countries were I do not speak the language, and fell the energy to fly.