Larry Mullins

January 12, 2013

A VICTORIOUS LIFE on EARTH

“Today, like every other day we wake up empty and frightened. Don’t open the door to the study and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument. Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.”
RUMI

The brilliant poet suggests a way to fill the void we feel each day. I personally hate that vacuous feeling. But, I do not have a musical instrument. How do I fill the inner void with beauty? I recall other great words: “Without vision, the people perish.” It seems to me vision–the consciousness of possibilities–is the answer. But also, without faith in that vision, the people still perish. So my daily problem seems to be: First the vision. Next, impregnable faith in that vision.

This begs two questions. What will the vision look like? And, how to I kindle the mustard seed of faith necessary to ignite that vision with passionate meaning and purpose?

What is my ultimate vision? What is my legacy to be? How do I want people to remember me? The clearer, more vivid, more charged this vision is, the more replete it will fill the emptiness. And if we add this infallible mantra, we can attain, or begin to attain, the consciousness of a victorious life on earth:

“The consciousness of a victorious human life on earth is born of that creature faith which dares to challenge each recurring episode of existence when confronted with the awful spectacle of human limitations, by the unfailing declaration: Even if I cannot do this, there lives in me one who can and will do it, a part of the Father-Absolute of the universe of universes. And that is ‘the victory which overcomes the world, even your faith.’”

The Urantia Book

LARRY MULLINS

May 10, 2011

Open Letter to Bill O’Reilly and Billy Graham: Hell is not Real

Filed under: psychology,religion,values — Tags: , , , , , , — LarryMullins @ 10:09 am

Dear Mr. O’Reilly and Peverend Graham:

Open Letter to Bill O’Reilly and Billy Graham: Hell is not Real

 

Dear Mr. O’Reilly and Reverend Graham:

Hell is a state of nonbeing. This state is the opposite of reality.

When I was a kid one of my Catholic friends assured me that hell is a real place where evil people go. The nuns told him. “It’s like when you burn your finger,” my friend said. “You know how bad that feels? But it’s like your whole body is burning forever and ever.” Even as an immature child I could not believe God would do such a thing to one of his wayward creatures.

Mr. O’Reilly, you had a minister on your program who tried to explain to you that hell is not a material place where evil people go. But you interrupted him so much that he never really got to explain what he meant. You seemed to believe that if there is no material hell then Hitler, and Stalin, and Osama ben Laden are in heaven. But nobody believes that. And Reverend Graham, you wrote in your newspaper column that hell is “very real.” Then you quoted the Bible as saying that people in hell are: “shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power.” I agree with this, and isn’t “being shut out from the presence of the Lord” like being shut out from the most real of all realities?

You see, God is “the most inescapable of all presences, the most real of all facts, the most living of all truths, the most loving of all friends, the most divine of all values.” Being all these things, he is also “the most certain of all universe experience.” How can one be totally denied of this reality unless one ceases to be? The reality of being is the greatest gift the Creator has given us. The situation of total nonbeing is tantamount to annihilation.

St. Augustine had an ingenious way of explaining this. He would ask his students, “Would you rather have a beautiful pearl or a mouse?” The answer was always the same, of course, because we would all rather have the valuable pearl than the mouse. Then he would ask, “Would you rather be a beautiful pearl or a mouse?” The answer changed at that point. A mouse, limited as it is, has more being, more power to act than a lifeless pearl. Absolute nonbeing is OK for a pearl. But for a human being, it is an unthinkable disaster. And this state of nonbeing is the fate of those who choose to resolutely and finally deny the ultimate reality of God. We are punished by our sins, not for them.

The more we distance from God, the less real we become. The more we express those things that are true, beautiful and good, the more real we become. Those who embrace evil and iniquity move toward cosmic insanity, the threshold of the ultimate hell. Who are these lost souls? Jesus taught us, “by their fruits shall you know them.” Yet he also said regarding individuals: “Judge not.” So, we can certainly judge the act, but better not to speculate upon the fate of the sinner; leave that judgment to God.

Eventually, if in the wisdom of God a soul is unsalvageable, it becomes as if it had never been. This is not revenge. It is rather that the personality (the keeper of the soul) has chosen not to be.

LARRY MULLINS

 

 

March 12, 2011

Discovering the Secret of Self-Mastery

When I was a young man, I had an experience that gave me my first inkling of what it feels like to have power over thought and a deep sense of self. When I made this discovery, I was certain I had found the secret of the universe. I had yet to learn that having knowledge of something is not the same as knowing it or owning it. We really do not own something until we incorporate it into our experience and share it with others. Yet, even though I would find it necessary to retrace my steps time and again and relearn the value of self-mastery, the original experience was a critical beginning. It was my introduction to the power of mind control and self-induced inner peace.

As an eighteen-year-old, I lived in a dysfunctional home. I was angry, poor, and had little hope. In this shadowy world, there were many temptations and diversions, but few positive possibilities. Or so it seemed. Too bored and indifferent to study, I barely managed to graduate from high school. Soon, I was working as a laborer in a local lumberyard. On the surface, I appeared defiant and confident, but inside I was in constant fear, turmoil, and despair. It was as though I was not really fully awake and was watching the world through a long tunnel. Then, I happened into a barbershop and met a man known in the neighborhood as “Don the Barber.” From there, everything began to change.

A haircut was a rare occasion for me in those days. I had passed the tiny barbershop many times, but had never entered it before. Don was middle-aged and walked with a severe limp. His intensity and friendliness immediately struck me as unusual. We were alone in the shop, and as he cut my hair, he talked about mind power, human will, and other subjects that seemed peculiar to me. I could not imagine why he wanted to discuss such offbeat ideas with me. I answered most of his overtures and questions with a grunt or a few mumbled words.

When I paid this unusual man, he suddenly handed me a small book with a worn blue cover. I turned the old tome over in my hands and noted the title: Raja Yoga … or Mental Development, by Yogi Ramacharaka. “Why don’t you read this book, and tell me what you think?” he suggested. In those days, such books were unusual in our culture. I was deeply suspicious. A yogi, to me, was a skinny guy with a turban who could lie upon a bed of nails.

“You don’t believe all this stuff, do you?” I asked.

He smiled. “Well, just read it. Think of it as a cafeteria of ideas. If one appeals to you, take it. Otherwise, pass it by.”

I tucked the book under my arm and promised to return it. When I got home, I decided to look the book over. I began to read by the afternoon light of my window. I read words unlike anything I had ever read before: “Before man attempts to solve the secrets of the Universe without, he should master the Universe within—the Kingdom of the Self.”

For a young man who had concluded he was fighting a losing battle with a hostile universe, the concept of a refuge within—a Kingdom of Self—was irresistible. The idea that there is another, better self within, with access to powerful resources unavailable to my present state of consciousness, was thrilling. It seemed to me that I had been playing a life role far below my capacities, one I did not relish. Down deep, I wanted to be something else. Raja Yoga declared that my “real” self was hidden by the fake outer persona, a facade that I presented to the world so that I could cope and get along. I was even more astounded by the assertion that it was possible for any normal person to control the mind and achieve inner peace. The idea that I could control thought was completely unique to me. The greatest of all demoralizers is the state of being in which we are helpless victims of our thoughts.

Regarding the many grievances that tortured my mind, I read:

“Yet this is an absurd position—for man, the heir of all the ages: hag-ridden by the flimsy creatures of his own brain … It should be as easy to expel an obnoxious thought from your mind as it is to shake a stone out of your shoe; and till a man can do that it is just nonsense to talk about his ascendancy over Nature, and all the rest of it. He is a mere slave, and prey to the bat-winged phantoms that flit through the corridors of his own brain. Yet the weary and careworn faces that we meet by the thousands, even among the affluent classes of civilization, testify only too clearly how seldom this mastery is obtained. How rare indeed to meet a MAN!”

I read and read. I was unaware of time or space. When the light from the window was so dim I could not read anymore, I looked up and observed the dark disorder I lived in. There is a better way to live, I thought. Of course, I knew that if I had money I could live on a higher material level. But the stunning new idea was: There is a better way to live now. I could create my own world within! It could be my own gallery of peace, freedom, and joy. I reasoned that if my mind could generate and sustain thoughts as clear and pure as a mountain stream, no one could hurt me anymore. No matter what others did, they could not destroy, or even affect, my inner kingdom—unless I let them. It all seemed so simple.

The pivotal, enduring insight I gleaned that day was this assurance that I had choices. I gained the knowledge that no matter what circumstances surrounded me, I could master my inner life. At the time, I had no idea how difficult such inner mastery would turn out to be. It would take the better part of a lifetime and what seemed to be endless grief before I could consistently win the battle within. Even so, in times of despair, the original revelation that we can control our thoughts gave me hope. That day, I also accepted responsibility for the secret place, my inner life. The strange book that Don the Barber lent me made me conscious of self, of being, in a way I had never imagined before.                                                           LARRY MULLINS

October 9, 2010

Creativity: The Ultimate Secret revealed

For many years I have made a living as an illustrator, graphic artist and by creative writing. I have taught many classes on creativity. I have told a few people the ultimate secret of creativity, but never published it until now.

When people would ask me, “How do you draw a picture?” I always responded with a question. “What is your telephone number?” A bit puzzled, people always responded with their number. I then would always say the same thing: “What was it that looked for that number, and where did it find it?” Of course, they can’t answer. The truth is, no scientist, philosopher or theologian can answer that question. We have no idea how the mind works. We do not know where the drive to create comes from, nor how it successfully manifests.

We do know that there are two stages to creativity: the inspiration, the gift, or the idea, is the first stage. Everyone gets inspirations. Lots of them. It is my belief that the most lofty of these ideas come from God, or more precisely, the Universe Mother Spirit. There is no problem with finding noble inspirations, normal human minds are invaded by them constantly. It is the second stage of creativity where most of us stumble. As T. S. Elliott put it, “Between the idea and the reality … falls the shadow.”

The ultimate secret, the difference between a creative artist and the average person is very simple. The creative artist shows up. Every single day. At the easel, the writing desk, the kitchen, the nursery, or the classroom. They show up, and they struggle to actualize worthy ideas into realities. I have no idea how the creative process works. I only know that if I show up, most days a miracle will occur. My role in this process is solely to cooperate with the mysterious flow and strive to follow guidance I am given. Some days I fail utterly. But some days are glorious, and even though I am only a small bit player in the whole process, I love it. because I know that, for some reason, the great Creator has endowed us with the power to allow the creative process to work, or to stop it cold by simply not showing up. Showing up is an important victory for me.

I can offer one other “secret” that works for me. It is based upon the advice Jesus once gave to a messenger who was to carry an important message. Jesus told him to carry his message fearlessly, joyfully. Because “… this night an unseen messenger will run by your side.” So, I greet each day thankful for a special angel who, along with other unseen friends, I imagine is at my side assisting me in my efforts.

To some, I realize these notions may seem especially over the top, perhaps even crazy. I remind them of the admonition of Zorba the Greek: “A man [or a woman, of course] needs a little madness, or else he never dares cut the rope and be free.”

Dare to cut the rope.

Larry Mullins

September 5, 2010

Stephen Hawking’s Valiant Flub

The Wall Street Journal recently printed an excerpt from Stephen Hawking’s book “The Grand Design” (Why God Did Not Create the Universe). Hawking is a great scientist, but his excerpt proves only that he is no philosopher. Just as science has its rules, so does philosophy.

Hawking states: “As recent advances in cosmology suggest, the laws of gravity and quantum theory allow universes to appear spontaneously from nothing.” The mystery of matter apparently emerging from “nothing” on the quantum level cannot be answered by science, and yet it should not be ignored. It is a question for the philosopher (who has yet to answer it).

There are three disciplines that broadly lay claim to truth: science, religion and philosophy. It is generally conceded that philosophy occupies a place between science and religion, and should seek to mediate between the two. Philosophy then could establish a synthesis by means of an integration of scientific fact and spiritual insight.

Unfortunately, such a tri-part solution as this is denied the expert-specialist because Aristotle confined all disciplines into logic-tight compartments. They do not communicate.

However, uncommon sense permits lay persons to avoid being defenseless against the a priori assumptions of compartmentalized science, philosophy and religion. In this light, the theologian might suggest that matter seems to “disappear” and “reappear” from nothing on the quantum level for a reason. Perhaps the laws of time, space and matter seem invalid on the sub-atomic level because we are looking into the impenetrable mind of God, from whence all matter emerges.

Students of the Urantia Papers recognize this as yet undetectable source as the Unqualified Absolute, the unimaginably immense reservoir of the material cosmos.

Larry Mullins

March 28, 2010

Peak Experiences that Change Lives … Yours may be Next

In Abraham Maslow’s studies of Self-Actualizing people, nearly all of them reported sudden, unexpected moments of overwhelming joy, the legendary Peak Experience. However, though we rarely if ever talk about them, virtually all of us have had Peak Experiences. The precious moments of transcendence are so intimate, so personal, that we are not inclined to share them with anyone. In fact, Maslow noted that a discussion of these highest states of consciousness seemed to embarrass most people, including Self-Actualizers. And yet, for a fortunate few people (including Maslow himself), a particular Peak Experience was a life-changing experience. It was as though the curtains of material reality parted, and revealed another reality. This Peak Experience permanently altered their world view. For most of us, however, Peak Experiences come and go and become faint memories. We may even suppress them.
What makes the difference? In a recent ezine article, I tell the story of my own transforming experience. I note in that article that those magnificent moments of vivid transcendence soon began to fade, and I was left with only a memory. The cold world of material reality began to intrude. Briefly here, I can tell you that I came to eventually learn that this fading reality is experienced by even the highest and most noble Self-Actualizers. This by no means indicates the Peak Experience was not real. It rather indicates that what we are occasionally able to see is a reality that has not yet been made manifest. It is the domain of what is not yet real, but ought to be. Material reality is the domain of science, the domain of fact, the domain of what is. Peak Experience reality is the domain of the visionary, the domain of what ought to be.
I came to understand that most of us fear the Peak Experience. Self-Actualizers somehow embrace it. The fading glory of their particular Peak Experience does not disturb them because they are able to live their unfinished lives as though they are able to see what others have not yet seen. They have been chosen by a great ought-to-be. And they have yielded to it and in surrendering to it they have been lifted. They belong to it. There is no higher calling for any of us than this.
LARRY MULLINS

March 6, 2010

Beyond the cults of self-improvement

Abraham Maslow has been unjustly blamed by some for fostering a “me generation” of ego-centered narcissism. Reasonable examination of Maslow’s ideas will show little correlation to the fads of “self-development” that are centered around ego-embellishment. These cults seem to form around gurus, or ultra-energetic motivators who leap upon a stage and assure their adoring flock that they, too, can be “great.” It is professed that if one can only become fearless enough, free enough, brilliant enough, and can visualize success vividly enough, one can find happiness. The facts of life do not support this notion.
The failure of the “ME” philosophy has now become as obvious as the insolvency of the Freudian “ethic.” Yet, in the face of our disillusioning role models, unhappy celebrities, and the continuous unraveling of the lives of rich and famous personalities, many aggressive would-be “achievers” persevere in worshiping the gods of power, narcissism, and fame — and to “keep score” with money and material possessions.
The new and everlasting philosophy of noble values, what Maslow called Being values or Metavalues, is different. It embraces full use of your powers along the lines of Integrity, Caring and Excellence. It is based upon the classic triad of values, Truth, Goodness and Beauty. In The MetaValues Breakthrough, I describe how Truth in action is observed as Integrity, Goodness in action as Caring, and Beauty in action as Excellence. Self-actualizers become conscious and passionate channels for these supreme values.

January 4, 2010

Should Values be the Exclusive Domain of Religion?

From the Preface of The MetaValues Breakthrough:

Abraham Maslow believed that values should not be the exclusive domain of religionists. He advocated a science of values. Yet he also grasped that MetaValues transcend the disciplines of science, theology, and philosophy. Unlike Rand or Hitchens, Maslow understood that science does not have all the answers. Science can tell us much about material reality, or what is. Science can even suggest possibilities, what could be. But the poet or the religionist offers a vision for us of what ought to be. And science without values builds bigger bombs and more efficient gas chambers. Dr. Maslow fought hard to break down the barriers between science and religion:
“I [have] pointed out that both orthodox science and orthodox religion have been institutionalized and frozen into a mutually excluding dichotomy. This separation into Aristotelian a and not-a has been almost perfect … Every question, every answer, every method, every jurisdiction, every task has been assigned to either one or the other, with practically no overlaps. One consequence is that they are both pathologized, split into sickness, ripped apart into a crippled half-science and a crippled half-religion.”
Unfortunately, Maslow was never able to distill his ideas for mainstream readers; he wrote almost exclusively for his peers. The world is the poorer for this, because Maslow uncovered truths about the human condition that are tremendously uplifting and inspiring—and are easily within the understanding of nearly every person on the planet. With this book, nearly four decades after Maslow’s death, individuals at last have a program that shows them how to put these truths to work in their lives.

From Chapter Eight of The MetaValues Breakthrough:
Dr. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs has now been around so long that it is a yawner for most students in Psychology 101. Although important progress has been made by many pioneers, the great new frontier of the human mind -the summit of the pyramid- has not yet been fully explored. There is no recognized science of values. And the vast majority of humankind still actualize only a small fraction of their potentials. The time has come to propose a new model of humankind that is based upon Maslow’s metamotivation theory- a model that better embraces the farther reaches of what a human being could become.

Larry Mullins

January 1, 2010

The Peak Experience and Self-Actualizing1

My personal journey began with a Peak Experience. However, I was to learn that such experiences may redirect lives, but they soon fade away. What is needed is a way of life in which the elusive process of self-actualization becomes an experience-able reality for the average person. I am now convinced that there are no super people who live at sustained peak levels of consciousness that are unattainable by the “ordinary” person. The MetaValues Breakthrough lifts the lid from human potential as never before. Virtually any normal person can access the inexhaustible power of MetaValues. Knowing how to do this, aspiring actualizers no longer need to be helpless victims of the volatile ebb and flow of human motivation. Even a meaningless life of stultifying boredom can be dramatically converted into a quest toward actualizing some personal mission—a worthy vision or dream—something that is not yet a material reality, but ought to be. The MetaValues Breakthrough is not a self-help book, but rather a MetaValues-help book. My premise is not that we can lift ourselves, but rather that we can be lifted.

November 28, 2009

The MetaValues® that will Change the World

TRUTH, BEAUTY and GOODNESS

The MetaValues® that will Change the World

 “The world is in a crisis of values.

And we are all called to leadership, all of us, to meet this challenge.

For the first time in the history of civilization, large numbers of us can choose to answer this call. To do this successfully, we must understand the power of the primary MetaValues that govern the universe: Truth, Beauty and Goodness.

Along with this limitless power comes boundless opportunities.

And also, the modulating inspiration and energy that will

ensure we use this power wisely.

 Because when our successes allures us towards arrogance,

Truth reminds us of our limitations.

 When our self-interest compresses our perception of reality,

Beauty reminds us of the richness and diversity of the world we live in.

 And when unbridled power corrupts and does injury,

Goodness cleanses and heals.

 For it is the MetaValues of Truth, Beauty and Goodness

that will energize us to lead with confidence and Love,

and will best serve as the touchstones

for our philosophies, our choices, and our actions.”

 

LARRY MULLINS

Older Posts »