Two FREE books!

Dear friends,

As of today, Remembrance Day, 2016, until midnight on Dec. 31st this year, BOTH my e-books will be available at absolutely NO CHARGE!

You can upload them right here on my web site/blog, including both front and back covers of “book-1,” and the front cover of “book-2.” Simply double click on the front or back covers.

To upload the text of the e-books, for “Bringing Spirituality Down to Earth,” click on “book-1-sept-8-2013-5th-final-draft.” For “Soaring & Crashing: A Memoir of Bipolar Illness,” click on “book-2-sept-20-2015-re-written-to-the-end.”

If you like what you read, please tell your friends. (After this free offer expires, both books will still be available on Amazon for $2.99.)

Spiritually yours,

Michael Manning

michaelbrucemanning@yahoo.ca

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book-1-front-cover-sept-16-2013back-cover-oct-16-2013e-book-2-cover-amazonbook-2-sept-20-2015-re-written-to-the-end

 

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Politics

eagle 4Despite the many brilliant and ethical world leaders, wherever we look, there are signs of political and personal corruption. Yet, in our admittedly imperfect world, democracy is the best political system available.

In theory, monarchies or benevolent dictatorships may be more efficient in certain respects, but at what cost? They not only rob us of our freedom of choice, but the amount of power placed in the leaders’ hands often causes flagrant abuse.

In a democracy, everyone has a right to vote and to run for office. We all have equal rights under the law. This reflects the spiritual principle that, although we are all different in talents and abilities, we are all equal in the eyes of God. Everyone has the right to both personal and political freedom.

Within the framework of democracy, the best economic structure is free enterprise. It rewards hard work with better finances. This is in keeping with the spiritual law of cause and effect. The main criticism of free enterprise is that it promotes greed and does not look after needy people. The truth is that – although the potential for corruption exists in any system of government – the proper use of free enterprise can generate tremendous economic growth, which can then be used to help people who are truly in need. Also, if we do not like something about the free enterprise system, a democracy allows us to get involved in the process of change.

A problem arises with the welfare system. The spiritual principle is that those who can work should. In practical terms, this means not giving out welfare checks to able-bodied people. It means helping unemployed people find work if possible. It also means giving an adequate allowance to people who are unable to work.

Governments often spend huge amounts of money on national defense while ignoring foreign aid and the care of the poor and sick at home. This is based on fear, not love.

It is interesting to observe that there is seldom any relationship between what most politicians promise to do before an election and what they actually do afterward. The majority of people don’t like hearing the truth, and anyone who is bold or foolish enough to offer truth will seldom get elected. For example, most people love to hear about lower taxes, but they also want to know that roads, parks, hospitals, and schools will be improved. Where is the money to come from? Amazingly, few people stop to consider this.

Most importantly, how can we change this situation? Individually or in small groups, we can begin to recognize the relationship of cause and effect. For instance, it is not possible to take a staggering national debt, wave a magic wand, and make it disappear. What could be done is to pay off a small percentage each year by cutting back on the least important government expenditures and/or by raising certain taxes. Unfortunately, most people don’t want to hear this sort of reality-based solution, certainly not at election time. Instead, they want something for nothing, and that is exactly what most politicians promise them.

This world and everything in it will always be flawed. Yet as each new person comes to understand and accept the law of cause and effect, the truth will gradually spread to others and life will be a little richer for everyone.

 

Spiritual Songs by Michael Manning

I have FINALLY figured out how to upload my five professionally recorded, spiritually based, DIGITAL songs to the Internet. (I have about 100 others, but they are all recorded in analogue — i. e. on cassette tape. Sigh…)

I wrote these songs during or prior to 1989 when I had a small recording studio. They are from an album called “Pretending to be Human” by Bruce & Bruce. (Bruce is my middle name.) Sometimes humorous, sometimes more serious all are, I hope, inspirational.

The release was a collaboration between myself and my good friend, Bruce Wozny. I wrote the songs, did the lead vocals, and the synthesizer tracks (piano, strings, bass, drums, flutes, etc.). Bruce is the guitar wiz, did the back-up vocals, and collaborated with me on the arrangements.

You can listen to or download these songs FOR FREE by going to: http://www.soundclick.com/MichaelManning

Feedback is both welcome and appreciated. And hey, if you know any “real” recording artists (i. e. people who are making a living from it) who may be looking for songs, please nudge them my way! 🙂

Twelve Step Programs

Twelve step groups are one of the truly remarkable phenomena of our time. Perhaps the most distinctive feature of these programs is that they are based on spiritual principles while avoiding conventional religious overtones.

Beginning in the 1930s with the advent of Alcoholics Anonymous, the same steps and traditions have now been applied to almost every facet of human experience. Millions of people have had life-changing experiences as a result of embracing this wonderfully simple, yet all-encompassing way of life.

The twelve steps can be broken down into three basic components:

There is a power in life greater than ourselves and we must find ways to contact it and surrender ourselves to its guidance.

We need to take an honest and thorough look at ourselves and make amends to anyone we have wronged.

We must continue to maintain contact with this higher power, to be honest with ourselves, and to give love and service to others.

Twelve step programs speak of a spiritual power that is greater than human understanding. It is a stoke of genius that they do not attempt to define this power. Atheists and agnostics mingle with member of every religion on Earth in these groups. All come together with common problems and a goal of finding help through the twelve steps and the fellowship of others.

As with anything in life, there are a couple of problems that sometimes arise: First of all, the term powerless is frequently misunderstood. Secondly, some people become addicted to the groups themselves.

The word powerless refers to our inability to cope with life’s difficulties on our own. Instead of saying we are powerless over our problems; it is more accurate to say we are powerless without God.

As long as we remember to follow the guidance of Divine Spirit, we are far from powerless. As Soul, we have full access to the awesome power of God, because we are atoms of God. As such, we live in perfect harmony with all creation. It is only when we let our bodies, emotions, and thoughts rule us that we run into difficulties.

The secret is to always put Soul in charge, to claim divine power as our birthright. Remember: We are Soul. While in this world we take on a body, feelings, and thoughts, but they are not our true selves. They are simply on loan to us while we are here.

The second problem is that some participants become addicted to the groups they attend. A harmful addiction may be replaced by a more innocuous one. In the case of life-threatening problems such as alcoholism or drug addiction, it may well be argued that a twelve step group is a healthy substitute.

On the other hand, there is a feeling among some members that no one could possibly outgrow the need to attend regular meetings. This is nonsense! Even the program literature advises participants to “take what you like and leave the rest.” Naturally, some people decide to make a lifetime commitment to the program, and there is certainly nothing wrong with this. Others, however, join a group that appeals to them, take what they can from it, give what they can to it, and then move on. We all need the freedom to follow a path of our own choosing.

The most important part of twelve step groups is found in the principles which can be absorbed in our hearts and used every minute of the day. In the final analysis, the purity and truth of twelve step philosophy rests in the sacred knowing of Soul.

I will close this chapter with what has become commonly known as The Serenity Prayer. It is used at every meeting and perfectly captures a vital observation in the dance of life:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

 

Soaring & Crashing: A Memoir of Bipolar Illness

e-book 2 cover (Amazon)This book is the story of my life, with an emphasis on my struggles with bipolar illness and the saving grace of spirituality (not religion) in my life. It is written in simple, everyday language. Most people love it and say it inspires them tremendously. It is now available at amazon.com for $2.99 — simply type the title into the search engine. Happy reading to you, and questions and comments are always welcome here.

Creativity

imaginationThe various forms of creative arts are perhaps the most potent type of expression on Earth. It is important to realize, however, that creativity is not limited to the commonly recognized art forms.

Everything we do is creative. Our present circumstances have been created from all of our past thoughts, words, and actions. More importantly, everything we think, do, or say in present time helps to create our future. Knowing this should help us realize we have the awesome power of creation in our hands at every moment.

Perhaps one of the reasons why many of us admire artists is that we all have an innate desire to utilize our creative potential. Creativity challenges us – it allows us to reach into the seemingly empty top hat of a magician and pull a rabbit out of thin air.

Most of us would agree that when a writer faces a blank page and words begin to form, a mystical process takes place. But what about everyday occurrences? What about choosing not to buy a new car so that we can take our family on a vacation? What about losing weight by choosing to eat a salad instead of a desert?

Everything we say and do is creative. Even our thoughts have an impact on our lives. For example, people who expect to be successful usually achieve their goals. Someone who constantly worries about being sick is often sick. There is really no mystery to it. We need only become more conscious of the things we create in each moment. As we learn to do this, we will begin to manifest a better future for ourselves and others.

I am not suggesting we can make sweeping changes in the blink of an eye. It takes time and effort to achieve most goals. For example, we may tell ourselves, “I’m rich now. Someday I’ll have a lot of money.” Being wealthy is a state of mind we can all have by simply seeing ourselves in a positive way. Creating a lot of money takes time. It requires planning and hard work.

Most of us have lived thousands of lifetimes before this one. Everything in our past has brought us to where we are today. We are free to make choices in every moment, but this does not mean we can quickly or easily change all of our past karma.

Some people believe they can walk all over others to get what they want. It sometimes appears they are getting away with it – if we fail to take reincarnation into account. Of course, there is always a price to pay, and what we set in motion now will be perfectly reflected in future circumstances. To have true spiritual freedom, everything we think, say, and do must be for the good of all concerned.

Creativity is one of the most precious gifts in our lives. It is up to us to use it wisely.

Science Fiction or Science Fact?

'flying saucer 7' -- USEBefore the time of Columbus, the concept of Earth being round was considered ridiculous. Galileo was branded a heretic for asserting that the sun – not the Earth – was the center of our solar system. At the end of the 19th century, few believed we would one day fly. In the 1950s, the vast majority never imagined humans walking on the moon. During the 1970s, computers were thought to be a passing phase. Until the late 20th century, who could have envisioned the incredible power of the Internet?

Many science fiction writers in the past have accurately predicted some of today’s reality. Why do we have trouble believing that much of today’s science fiction will become science fact in the future?

For example, Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek, had a wonderful vision of the future. He saw a time when mankind would no longer be at war with each other, when poverty was a thing of the past, and when we traveled to distant stars faster than the speed of light.

Some aspects of Star Trek have already become a reality. For example, computers have become a vital part of our lives and now respond to voice commands. Lasers are similar to the phasers envisioned by Roddenberry. Who is to say that his other creations – such as warp drive or matter/energy converters – will not be invented?

The notion that we are the only intelligent life in the universe is ludicrous. It makes no sense to assume that Earth has the only life in a universe with millions of stars.

A true scientist has an attitude of humility and an open mind about what may be possible. There are things we think we know, and other things we do not yet know or understand. This is more rational than saying certain ideas are true and others are false. This latter type of thought is both vain and unscientific.

To have a glimpse of our possible future, we need look no further than the world of science fiction. Good science fiction will take us to the cutting edge of our dreams.

 

Levels of Heaven

eagle 10Many of us grew up believing that there were only two options open to us after our death: if we were good we went to heaven; if not we went to hell. This all or nothing premise evolved through many centuries of traditional religious thinking.

The truth is that there are many levels of heaven and no absolute hell. If you understood the principles of cause and effect discussed in the post on karma and reincarnation, then you know the truth of the following statement: Where we go when we leave this world is based on every thought, word, and action in our many lives up to that point.

This is not a punishment or reward system. It is a meticulous plan set in motion by our creator to help us learn and grow spiritually. By facing our strengths and weaknesses, we can take the next step on our journey home to God.

Let’s address the issue of hell: The fear of damnation is a trump card in the hands of major religions as they desperately try to maintain a hold on their followers. The truth is there are places in the lower levels of heaven that are set up in much the same way as rehabilitation centers on Earth. When people pass on, if their lives have been filled with anger, lust, greed, or vanity, these treatment facilities are their usual destination. Again, it is important to note that this is done so they may learn from their experiences, not as a form of punishment. After the necessary time has elapsed, these Souls begin another incarnation as they continue to learn the lessons of life.

There are many levels of heaven or planes of existence. When we leave our physical bodies at the time of death, we will be escorted to the level of heaven that we have earned. There is no avoiding the law of karma. Unlike the law courts in this world, justice is administered swiftly and without any possibility of error. Everything about us is known and taken into account.

The first plane of existence is this physical universe in which we now live. It is normally perceived through the five senses and science barely understands what is to be found here. Our planet Earth is simply one world in the middle of a vast cosmos filled with a myriad of different life forms. Yet no matter how huge our physical universe may seem, it is tiny in comparison to the immeasurable heavens beyond.

The second plane corresponds with our emotions. It is a region many times the size our physical universe and is the source of most psychic phenomena including ghosts and UFOs. Many of our dreams take place on this level.

The third level of heaven is larger yet. It is concerned with memories and is filled with countless images from thousands of our past lives.

The fourth plane is divided into two regions, both so vast it staggers the imagination. The first of these zones focuses on conscious thought and the second deals with intuition and other aspects of the subconscious mind.

These four regions are made up of both positive and negative currents. As we ascend through them, the negative force becomes weaker and the positive grows stronger. Beyond these zones – beginning with the fifth plane – there are countless levels of heaven made up of only positive energy. Whether it takes one lifetime or a thousand, it is our spiritual destiny to permanently dwell in these worlds. They are our true home.

If these levels of existence seem strange to you, consider this analogy: Water is a substance that can be altered by simply changing the surrounding temperature – ice turns to water, water turns to vapor or steam. They are all composed of the same basic elements, yet each has vastly different properties. And so it is with the different levels of heaven. As we travel upward into the other worlds, the atoms vibrate at higher frequencies and the laws governing them change.

Each plane has oceans, mountains, deserts, cities, parks, temples, schools, libraries, office buildings, and houses – some similar to Earth, some very different. However, the beauty of the inner worlds is far greater than even the most spectacular scenery in the physical universe. Each region is more awe-inspiring than the one below it.

One of the problems that many of us encounter is that once we get a glimpse of the second or third plane, we think we’ve reached the highest heaven. Fortunately, there are spiritual guides who can encourage us and show us how to reach ever higher into the heavenly realms. We need only ask for their assistance. I’ll write more about these wonderful beings (and some imposters who are there to confuse and delay our journeys) in a future posting.

$2.99 E-book “Bringing Spirituality Down to Earth” Now Available on Amazon

Sept 2015 Amazon cover for e-bookNOW AVAILABLE ON AMAZON: Michael Manning’s newly updated and revised e-book Bringing Spirituality Down to Earth.

Go to http://www.amazon.com/ and simply type the book title into the search engine. It lets you preview sections FOR FREE and you can buy it for only $2.99.  

As you read the book, you will probably become more excited about participating in this blog, as you will no doubt have questions and comments to make.

I have also started a Facebook group and a Facebook page with the same name as this blog – Bringing Spirituality Down to Earth. You can join us there to read posts, make comments or ask questions with other Facebook members. Visit Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/512361535582065/

I hope you will take advantage of this program, and, if you like what you read, please tell all your friends and family about it.

See you here, on Amazon, or on Facebook!

Spiritually yours,

Michael Manning

 

Alcohol and Drugs

alcohol and drugsWhat is the relationship between spirituality and alcohol or drugs?

During the 1960s, there emerged a group of people who believed that drugs such as marijuana and LSD could expand our minds and help us to grow spiritually. What nonsense! These drugs are extremely damaging in every way – physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. While they may provide proof of life in other dimensions – usually just the lower astral plane – they leave us wide open to the attack of unstable psychic forces. If we are serious about our spiritual growth, we will avoid all mind and mood altering drugs (unless prescribed by a competent physician for an illness).

Many believe there’s no harm in drinking small amounts of alcohol. This may be true for some people. After all, it is often said that everything is fine in moderation. However, if spiritual growth is a priority, we would do well to stay clear of alcohol. Even one drink can dull our spiritual awareness.

Alcohol and drugs are not immoral. That is not the point. Rather, it is important to realize that they can seriously damage our spiritual growth, as well as our bodies, minds, and emotions.

All of us have had problems with drugs or alcohol in some of our past lives. Freeing ourselves from addiction may be a karmic lesson we chose to work through in this lifetime. If we are struggling with addiction, we can ask for spiritual guidance, then relax, and trust in God. In many cases, counseling and/or support groups are helpful. If we learn to treat addiction – our own or other people’s – with kindness, patience, and love, we will have traveled a little further on our journey home to God.