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by David Truman

It's not what you do . . .
Flower power?
A spiritual life pays attention to its spirit
Thought power
Taking responsibility for the state of our spirit
Achieving Spirit-attunement
The miraculous power of Spirit-tuned action
Recognizing Spirit-attunement
Helping others in Spirit-attunement
God's formula for freedom and effectiveness: Spirit above all!

What IS spirituality? Many things. But perhaps we can all agree on this:

Our spirituality is the spirit in which we live.

That simple statement has powerful implications for Spirit-powered living. Let's consider what it really means.

It's not what you do . . .

"It's not WHAT you say, it's HOW you say it." And . . .

"It's not WHAT you do, it's THE WAY you do it."

Clearly, those statements refer to the spirit of action.

What we do is physically obvious. But how we do it -- the deeper quality of the action -- that's an invisible spiritual reality. Yet our EFFECT, both on ourselves and on others, comes from the HOW much more than the WHAT. The spirit behind an action DETERMINES its effect.

Flower power?

Here is a vivid example: If a man gives his wife flowers in a spirit of begrudging accommodation, the EFFECT of his action reflects begrudging accommodation -- NOT loving care.

In divorce courts everywhere, bewildered men cry, "I don't even know why she's divorcing me! I did all the right things!" Those poor fellows did the right WHATs, no doubt. But probably, like many people, they were less conscientious about their HOWs than their WHATs. Their sad plight just goes to show exactly how ineffective the right WHAT can be!

As you know, there are a thousand ways to give flowers. There are even a thousand ways to say, "I love you." Here is one of them:

"Why do you always want me to tell you I love you? Okay: I LOVE YOU!! -- now are you satisfied?"

Oh dear! What about the spirit of THAT particular "I love you"? It's got to be one of the LEAST likely to succeed. Not because they're the wrong words; because that's the wrong SPIRIT.

A spiritual life pays attention to its spirit


We live spirit-tuned lives when we pay more attention to HOW we do things -- and not just WHAT we do.

Let's face it: under the pressures of daily living, it's easy to get caught up in the process of DOING, forgetting the SPIRIT behind it. So much to do, so little time -- and not much SENSITIVITY to spirit!

But UNspirited action is unfulfilling for us and not uplifting to others. When we simply DO one activity after another, focusing only on what we are doing and not on the spirit of what we are doing, we FEEL empty and we NOTICE that our actions are ineffective.

How lost we feel, drowning in small-minded doings. How frustrated we feel, when we work hard, but our results are RARELY what we want. Proving, once again, it's the spirit of any action that gives it value.

Thought power


"Daddy, where do HOWS come from?"

"HOWs comes from the way we THINK, darling."

We acknowledge the awesome power of thought to mold spirit when we say, "As a man thinketh, so is he." Truly, thought alignment and spirit alignment are inseparable. In fact, thought alignment and spirit alignment are one and the same.

To what KIND of thoughts is our spirit TUNED? The kind of thought we're tuned to creates the feeling and intention that gives our action its TONE, and determines its EFFECT. That's where the HOW of our words and deeds comes from.

Mental alignment is the entire crux of spirit and spirituality. Why? Because the way we think is the most powerfully CAUSATIVE force in our lives. Our mental alignment determines the SPIRIT of our action -- which, in turn, determines our RESULTS. And the most basic question about our mental alignment is, "With what have we aligned our minds -- ego, or Spirit?"

Taking responsibility for the state of our spirit


The answer to that question is very important. The more powerful a tool is, the more care we must exercise in its use -- and no tool known to man is quite so powerful as the SPIRIT of action.

In all its moods and modes, the spirit communicates STRONGLY! When someone enters our office or our room, we FEEL their thought alignment from the moment they open the door; they don't have to even speak to communicate quite a bit. Our own effect on others is immediate, also -- and it, too, comes from our spiritual alignment.

So this IS our most important spiritual responsibility: the state of OUR spirit. Now, how do we exercise that responsibility, and ensure that the best possible spirit fills our words and deeds?

On our own, we can only do so well. But we are not alone! Spirit provides God's HOW for our WHAT. Spirit -- and here we mean God, the Great Spirit -- has a great HOW for us. And love, of course, is the greatest HOW.

"How should I be?" I ask.

"Be loving," says God.

"How should I act?" I ask.

"In a loving spirit," says God.

In whatever we do, if we do it God's way, we do it with sensitivity to the spirit. We don't JUST take action -- we place our primary attention on the spirit in which we act. We take care to BE, not just DO. And when it comes to being, we take care to be LOVING.

We're happy ONLY in Being -- being loving. We're definitely NOT happy when we get lost in mere doingness -- especially if our projects are primarily selfish. But when our projects reflect higher values and intentions, the resulting actions are Divinely creative, rather than just humanly so. They are indeed Word made flesh. Our works, hand in hand with God, are well spiritualized. So they are inspired, inspiring, and spiritually effective.

Spirit-tuned persons deliver a wonderfully nutritive vibration in the "envelope" called physical action. Remember, the action is only the container -- spirit is the contents of the container. To make sure the messages conveyed by what you say and do are sweet and effective, make sure your spirit is tuned up to God alignment -- the alignment of spirit with Spirit. That's what SPIRITUAL means.

The thought seeds that create actual goodness in this world are of God.

Right thought comes from right alignment with Divinity.

To be in touch with God's HOWS, and to implement them properly and consistently, we must align our spirit to the higher vibrations of Spirit. And that is not a one-time adjustment. We need regular spiritual tune-ups.

Achieving Spirit-attunement


Mental tuning for Spirit alignment is not hard. It can be done just by paying attention to how you FEEL. And of course, it can be done in prayer and meditation. Periodically sit down, feel how you feel, and self-correct if your present thoughts make you feel dim or dark. You can immediately realign your feelings by embracing thoughts that are more of Divine nature. By so doing, you are tuning your soul to that higher frequency.

Then, once you have tuned up your spirit, bring your brightened spirit into action. You will get better results immediately -- perhaps even results that seem miraculous. That's taking responsibility on a level where it counts!

Seeing the difference, you will feel, "This is better than winning the Olympics!" That's true! No triumph in this world can satisfy the soul as much as willing alignment with the Divine.

The miraculous power of Spirit-tuned action


Spirit-alignment is THE key to effective action. And it is astounding how powerfully the spirit works its special magic.

One day I went into a store, and a grouchy salesman showed me a new model computer monitor -- so new they had not yet had a chance to hook it up. I asked, "Is this a good monitor?" The fellow said, "Of course it is -- it's a Sony." I replied, "You must be Sony brainwashed, my friend! Let's hook it up." But he did not hook it up -- he went off in a huff instead, feeling insulted, and he avoided me whenever I shopped in that store for months afterwards. Not wanting to mix it up with him again myself, I let that uncomfortable standoff continue.

But finally, God gave me a solution in the form of an inspiration. So I approached that fellow and said, "My friend, I owe you an apology. Some time ago, you recommended a monitor, and I doubted you. Since then, I have seen that monitor, and it is a fine one. So, I was wrong -- and you were justified in your confidence in the product." His face lit up when he heard those words, and he proceeded tell me how he had been satisfied with every Sony product he had used since childhood.

Then, after purchasing a couple of things, I left the store, absent-mindedly leaving my glasses on a counter. In a few minutes, realizing what I had done, I returned looking for them. My new friend came to me with my glasses in his hand. In a spirit of sincere kindness and care, he said, "I saved them for you."

What a miraculous difference a better-spirited approach made! Carefully note that in that instance, as in all such instances, it was the SPIRIT behind the action that did the good work -- not the action in and of itself. Therefore, we should not merely think, "I'm going to go and ask somebody's forgiveness," or "I'm going to go and do this or that virtuous activity." Instead, we had better think, "If I want good results from what I'm about to do, I must do it in the right SPIRIT."

Recognizing Spirit-attunement


How do we know when our spirit is rightly attuned, correctly aligned to the thought of Divinity? Well, the effect of Divine alignment is unmistakable!

When our mind is OUT of alignment with the vibrations of Truth, our thoughts are certainly weaker, and darker. When our thoughts are IN alignment with Truth, they are both stronger and brighter. We feel the Divine Wind in our sails.

When our minds are properly tuned UP, we don't just feel motivated and moved; we feel POSITIVELY motivated, and POSITIVELY moved.

Thoughts which FEEL most beautiful are those that reflect alignment of spirit with Spirit. Not surprisingly, beautiful thoughts provide great healing power -- within AND without.

For more on this issue, read "Consider the Source: Egoic Urges or Divine Promptings"

Helping others in Spirit-attunement


The best thing we can do to help others towards spirit-attunement is to be spirit-tuned ourselves. Then they are reinforced in their own spirit-attunement by direct resonance with ours.

Beyond that, where openness allows for it, helping others becomes a process of supporting them in mental steering and spirit-tuning. We can help people tremendously by helping them bring their own thoughts into better alignment with higher consciousness.

For example: You talk to a friend who is working hard at her job, but still feels ineffective and unappreciated. She complains, "I'm doing everything I'm SUPPOSED to do, but nothing I do seems to work the way I want it to."

Sounds a lot like one of those confused fellows in the divorce court, doesn't she? If her results are consistently undesirable, most likely she too is doing the right WHAT, but lacking the right HOW. For positive results, she NEEDS that all-important, effect-determining HOW! And that right HOW can be found ONLY in true alignment with Spirit.

Her thought-alignment is too dark -- too far out of right alignment with both her own spirit, and the Spirit of God. Probably, that's WHY she's unappreciated. Probably, that's WHY when she walks in the room, no one seems to get happy. To change that, she needs to understand that her results are produced more by her thoughts than by her actions. She must adapt to the eternal truth that ONLY spirit-tuned living insures success -- and that action, in and of itself, insures nothing at all.

Here's what to do: First, SYMPATHIZE with her: "Your soul is understandably in pain, since you are not making the difference you want to make. We all wish to make a difference in life -- a POSITIVE difference. Nothing but bringing real light to the world could satisfy a person's soul."

Then, REMIND HER of what she intuitively knows: "As you know, it's not WHAT you do, but HOW you do it. You have tried hard to change your action into the right WHAT, and you've done a good job of it. You are still suffering because you still need the right HOW. You would be wise to accept the fact that you can never expect much improvement by making changes on the physical level only, because your greatest impact occurs on the level of vibration. IN ORDER to be positively effective in action, IN ORDER to bring joy to others, IN ORDER to see people respond wonderfully, you must take responsibility, mentally and spiritually, for your spiritual ALIGNMENT. Tune up your SPIRIT, and you will see better results immediately."

That message is certainly more challenging than the sympathy she may have expected. But it is also more compassionate than sympathy alone. Your friend cannot be truly comforted by consoling words. We ALL need release from the pain of empty, fruitless DOING. We all need to find the effective secret of doing things God's way -- living and speaking and acting in the right spirit. This is that secret, friends -- the secret of freedom and effectiveness rolled into One:


Now, if that isn't the most obvious thing you ever heard! But that, dear friends, IS what "spiritual" MEANS.

God's formula for freedom and effectiveness: Spirit above all!


This secret has been practiced by men and women of God throughout history. People of God have never been overly concerned to meet conventional social standards of rightness (except, perhaps, as a matter of deliberate example -- as in, "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's"). But even when "doing the right thing" meant conforming to social expectations, no enlightened person felt that such conformance was spiritually important. The ONLY conformance they actually CARED ABOUT was conformance to God's Law. They kept their eyes right on the ball.

May you be blessed to find fulfillment through spirit-tuned living.

by David Truman

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The Essence of Spirituality: The Spirit in Which We Live

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