Friday, August 31, 2007

Dying in Character

Seeds IX, 35

Seed: Dying in Character

Princess Diana died ten years ago today. It was the same day my mother turned 61. Mama was very upset that Diana died on her birthday. What she didn’t know, nor did anyone else, was that she would be dead in less than two months.

People die as they live. To an actor, the expression would be “in character.” My maternal grandmother was one of the most critical people I’ve ever known; she died criticizing. My mother was quite fearful; she died afraid. Diana was larger than life; she died in a larger-than-life way. I’m sorry that all three women are dead. In many ways I wish they weren’t.

Whenever my sweetheart has a minor ailment, she quotes Marc Antony from William Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra using her very best melodramatic voice and gesture, she intones, “I am dying, Egypt, dying.”

People die in the way that they live. How are you living? Do you want to die that way? No matter your answer, you always have a choice.

Be serene,

Dr. Susan Corso

Seeds are remarkable gifts. Sown in consciousness, they bring you to the most important part of your being—your Divine Spark.

When you have friends you would like added to the Seeds e-mail list, send their addresses to me at and please visit my blog at Ode Magazine.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Divine First

Periodically, I reread certain books that have had a radical effect on my thinking. When I feel a need to be reminded of who I am, one author who consistently comes to mind is Catherine Ponder. She was known as the lady Norman Vincent Peale many years ago. Now elderly, she recently wrote her memoirs. They’re sweet.

I came across this sentence in my reading today, and I wanted to share it with you.

Remember—you were DIVINE before you were human.

Think on this. You were divine before you were human.

It takes some effort to remember this every day in every interaction.

You were divine before you were human.

So was the other person!

That realization, that remembrance might go a long way toward peace on our planet.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Ecstasy at Your Feet

You do not need to leave your room.
Remain sitting at your table and listen.
Do not even listen,
simply wait,
be quiet,
still and solitary.
The world will freely offer itself
to you to be unmasked,
it has no choice,
it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.

Franz Kafka

I don’t ordinarily think of Franz Kafka as spouting words of this sort but reading them I found my mind completely stilled. What if he’s right?

P.S. I wrote about this in a June 17, 2007 post if you'd like to know more about ecstasy. Nothing like "discovering" a new quote twice!

Friday, August 24, 2007


Seeds IX, 34

Seed: Pronoia

Rob Brezsny, the founder of Free Will Astrology online coined this word; I read it in the March/April 2006 issue of Utne Reader. According to Rob, pronoia is the antidote to paranoia. See last week’s Seeds; paranoia is one of the feelings that can go with feeling estranged.

Pronoia means the philosophy that the world is conspiring to shower one with blessings. It’s not in the OED, but paranoia is. It means mental derangement. Could pronoia mean mental arrangement?

In Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!, that musical of musicals, the opening song has a line in it, Everythin’s goin’ my way. That’s pronoia, and we can foster it for ourselves—dear one, enter into the conspiracy! Sing to yourself that everything is going your way.

The truth is that paranoia is an option, and so is pronoia. You get to pick. I’m putting my energy into the Conspiracy-For-My-Good Theory. How about you?

Be serene,

Dr. Susan Corso

Seeds are remarkable gifts. Sown in consciousness, they bring you to the most important part of your being—your Divine Spark.

When you have friends you would like added to the Seeds e-mail list, send their addresses to me at and please visit my blog at Ode Magazine.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Idle Thoughts? No Such Thing

We all get to wait in this life. In line, for an answer, till whenever. What do you think about whilst you wait?

Most of us think we think idle thoughts. More often, we don’t. In fact, there’s no such thing as an idle thought. Thoughts—all thoughts—are creative.

May I make a suggestion for the next time you have to wait? Use a mantra. Here’s the one I use:

The God of me is All of me.

It helps me stay patient, tolerate waiting, and be kind once I get wherever or whatever or whomever I’ve been waiting for.

Use your waiting time for spiritual practice, dear one. Those minutes will add up, dear one. Watch your spiritual life bloom.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Faith in What?

Did you know that every human has all the faith required? You can’t actually get more faith. You’re hardwired for it, and one hundred percent of faith lives inside you all the time. Actually, you use faith all the time.

The point about faith is your awareness of it, not whether you have it or not. How aware are you of your faith? Aware enough to know where you’re placing it?

Faith is a neutral energy much like electricity. Electricity doesn’t mind if it dries your hair or electrocutes you. Faith too. You get a choice about where you place your faith.

If you want to place your faith in what you fear, your faith will support what you fear.

If you want to place your faith in what you love, your faith will support what you love.

Faith works, dear one. All the time. It just depends upon where you place it.

Friday, August 17, 2007


Seeds IX, 33

Seed: Estranged

Estranged is an old-fashioned word. I remember vaguely hearing it used to describe people who were having trouble in a marriage at one long ago point in my life. Now we are not so delicate about it.

What prompted me to look at this word is something Anne Morrow Lindberg wrote, “When one is a stranger to oneself, then one is estranged from others.” Do you ever feel estranged? Estrange is rooted in the word strange which means outside.

One of the gifts of being human is one’s own perspective. The idea is that no one can perceive the world in quite the same way you do. The secret of perception is to look at the world from inside your Self to the outer world, and not from the estranged perspective, or outside in.

Whenever you feel estranged, it could be that you are taking the outside in view instead of the inside out one. Take a moment to go within and find your center, then look again. Things will likely be less strange.

Be serene,

Dr. Susan Corso

Seeds are remarkable gifts. Sown in consciousness, they bring you to the most important part of your being—your Divine Spark.

When you have friends you would like added to the Seeds e-mail list, send their addresses to me at and please visit my blogs Seeds for Sanctuary and Ode Magazine.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Theology, Relilgion, Spirituality

A Seeds reader wrote to ask me the difference between theology and religion. I knew he was looking for a pithy answer. My reply appears below:

Theology is study about God.
Religion is practice leading to God.
Spirituality is being God.

Ever thought about the differences amongst these three? In seminary, we “did theology.” It was a way to learn about God. Anything that’s an “-ology” is a study. Not the same as a genuine relationship with God.

Religion comes from Latin roots meaning “to link again.” Can you see the English word ligament in there? Religion is a tradition of practices. Some prefer their hereditary traditions; others prefer to release their inheritance. With religion, you get a relationship with a tradition, not always with God.

Spirituality is knowing that you are God, and being God in everyday situations. It is the germ, the core, the essence of religion and theology. Spirituality lets you “become what you are,” to quote Goethe.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Global Warming > Divine Flame?

If you’re looking for doom mongering, you won’t find it here. I was sitting in meditation yesterday and got a spiritual vision of the purpose of global warming. Bear with me, and follow my logic.

Most of you know that mystically the element which represents spiritual transformation is fire.

Could it be that global warming is a physical symptom of the spiritual awakening that is happening all over the planet?

Spirituality is, by all accounts, about fire, about passion, about a new energy, about an enthusiasm for life. Could it be that we must learn how to allow this new fire a place to be in our lives?

In the alchemical process of transformation, fire is used to burn away the old. One way to help this process is to reduce our individual carbon footprints. I find that since I filled out Al Gore’s questionnaire which measured my carbon footprint, I almost always turn out the light when I leave a room. Simple, yes, and effective. I group my errands so I use the car less. Simple, and effective. I think twice before I run the air conditioners. Simple.

I like reducing my carbon footprint. Could it be that as I do this, my spiritual fire can burn more brightly? Instead of mistakenly channeling the heat of transformation into the earth herself, does reducing my carbon footprint allow me to be a better vessel for the heat of spiritual transformation for my own growth?

If you are a reader of Seeds, the weekly spiritual email that I’ve sent on Fridays for nine years now, you’ll know that there is a Divine Spark in each one of us. That Divine Spark has a purpose. It is to burn brighter and brighter so that instead of a Spark, there is a Flame. Let’s decide that global warming is for our good, and let the transformation shine on.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Six Impossible Things

Seeds IX, 32

Seed: Six Impossible Things

These words belong to The White Queen in Alice in Wonderland; she practiced believing in six impossible things every day before breakfast. Do you ever think the things you believe in (or want to believe in) are impossible? Sometimes it feels that way to me.

Can you even let your mind think of six impossible things before breakfast?

1. World peace would be at the top of my list.
2. How about a Jubilee Year which would mean every single debt in the world would be cancelled?
3. How about being able to fly without an airplane?
4. What if we could just wish to know things and we’d know them (I bought an iPod this morning and already I’m intimidated)?
5. How about if you could pick a new talent to have every day?
6. How would the world be if everyone had breakfast?

Believing in impossible things—six or two, no matter—is a good exercise for your consciousness. You never know what this blessed planet is going to ask us to believe in next.

Be serene,

Dr. Susan Corso

Seeds are remarkable gifts. Sown in consciousness, they bring you to the most important part of your being—your Divine Spark.

When you have friends you would like added to the Seeds e-mail list, send their addresses to me at and please visit my blog at Ode Magazine.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Violins of War

Sgt. Geoffrey Allison is an Army medic who was deployed for a yearlong posting to the debacle in Iraq. His hobby is making violins. During his 13-month sojourn (how exactly does that add up to a year?) he made four violins.

I do not begin to know what it feels like to be in a war zone, nor do I know how to make a violin, but I do know how I felt hearing that one serviceman was making violins in the face of war. The two acts, war and violincraft, are, surprisingly, similar.

Both require a pattern to follow and adapt when necessary.
Both require discipline and order.
Both require care and concern for materials.
Both require patience and persistence.
Both require specialized skills.

Admittedly, the outcomes of both actions are massively different. But Sgt. Allison’s actions made me realize that there has to be some good resulting from this war in Iraq. There has to be—that’s how things work here. I intend to persist in claiming whatever Good is intended by the All Good in this conflict.

Even if I can’t see it right now, I rest easier knowing that there are four new violins in the world. They offer us the hope of a new song, a song of love in the universe.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Another Form of Pollution

I’m a part of an international prayer team which takes prayer requests. Occasionally, our team leader sends a special email she calls Prayer Team Forum. Usually, it’s inspirational. This week I read a sentence in it that stilled my whole being. Try this out:

Complaining is another form of pollution.

That puts it in perspective, doesn’t it? A spiritual teacher I knew decades ago, Edwene Gaines, suggested a 21-day spiritual exercise to her students. Don’t complain for 21 days. If you catch yourself complaining, you get to start over, a whole new 21-day cycle. She said that when she first did this exercise herself that she was nearly silent for three weeks. She found she had nothing to say.

I agree with Edwene and the teacher who wrote the sentence above. Complaining is another form of pollution. It pollutes our souls, and those of others.

The teacher whose name I couldn’t find anywhere in her essay suggests instead of complaining that we appreciate. When we hear someone complain about someone else, we can add our appreciation of that person into the mix and neutralize the complaint. Her idea is:

Complaints pollute and appreciation elevates.

Want to try the 21-day challenge? It’ll surprise you. The more you switch from complaint to appreciation the better you’ll feel, and the more people will appreciate you. This practice is a form of personal climate change!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Paws & Reflect

Seeds IX, 31

Seed: Paws and Reflect

It’s been a little over a year since my kitty died and there are some days when I miss him terribly—still. I got still this morning and thought about why. It’s pretty simple. Charles was my teacher. Maybe I should write, Teacher.

I learned things from Charles I had never learned before in my life. Stretch when you wake up—your body will thank you. If you’re hungry, eat. If you’re sleepy, take a nap. One of the most important: when you sit in a chair, just sit. Let the chair hold you up. (I used to sit in a chair ready to get up.)

Maybe this is part of a function of a Beloved Animal Teacher—to teach us actually to live in our bodies. When I used to take a nap in the afternoons in Santa Fe, Charles was always ready to join me.

I think naptime is when I miss him most.

Be serene,

Dr. Susan Corso

Seeds are remarkable gifts. Sown in consciousness, they bring you to the most important part of your being—your Divine Spark.

When you have friends you would like added to the Seeds e-mail list, send their addresses to me at and please visit my other blog at Ode Magazine.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Eating for Peace

I was something of a picky eater when I was a kid. I didn’t like fish. I could skip most vegetables. If it was red and sticky, it looked like a good drink to me. You get the picture. America, and American food. The kind kids like me grew up with in the 1960’s.

As I’ve gotten older, my food preferences have expanded and contracted. I used to drink one diet soft drink a day. It’s been years since I could stand the taste of the chemicals. I was a true believer in “the pink stuff.” A friend talked me out of artificial sweetners in a hotel in Atlantic City. I love fish, and most vegetables. Again, you get the picture.

The last page of Ode Magazine grabbed me with its headline a couple of months ago. It read:

“Healthy food is the recipe for peace.”


It turns out that Bernard Gesch, who is director of Natural Justice, a British research institute that studies the causes of anti-social behavior did an experiment in a British prison. They divided 231 prisoners into two groups. For 18 months, one group was given supplements and the other was given a placebo.

Those that were given the supplements committed at least 26% fewer offenses and 37% fewer violent assaults than the placebo group.

Dr. Gesch says of the study, “Research suggests that nutrition is a cheap, humane and highly effective way to reduce anti-social behavior. It could be the recipe for peace.”

I know you’re not surprised. It’s all connected. The whole world and all that’s in it. What we eat matters to peace. Of course.