Choosing Honor is an award winning book that provides a curious and uninhibited take on modern politics and economics: an unexpected tonic for what ails the United States and in affect the World. Add a heavy sprinkle of pop references from Mr. T to Pink Floyd to the mix and Choosing Honor presents a spiritual remedy for the dishonor and economic woes plaguing the United States that borrows heavily from Jewish mysticism to present an alternative Christian vision. In this book honor and morality are derived from a set of ten "Absolutes," similar to the Kabbalah, a.k.a, The Tree of Life. The author, suggests these Absolutes be applied not only to individuals but to nations. She calls upon every American to pay attention. This takes on especially great importance in the United States, a land ruled by the people, for the people. The author draws conclusions readers might expect from someone long steeped in the political left. The author's economic views, however, are surprisingly conservative or libertarian in origin. The resulting call to action is unusual. Individuals are encouraged to accept their role as the nation's destined saviors.
|Product dimensions:||4.37(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.79(d)|
|Age Range:||3 Months|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Choosing HONOR An American Woman's Search for God, Family and Country in an Age of Corruption
By Mary T. Ficalora AVAIL PRESS
Copyright © 2008 Mary T. Ficalora
All right reserved.
Chapter One The Absolutes
For What It's Worth
In 1967, Stephen Stills sang about something happening; he called our attention to gunshots ringing out and the realization that who was right and who was wrong wasn't clear. He named this song, "For What It's Worth," a title that conveys hope in the face of powerlessness. His lyrics cry out for us to pay attention to authoritarian forces that strike fear in us when we dare to speak out against them. This is 2007; there is a new generation and a new conflict, but the forces at work remain the same. The need for everyone to look at "what's going down" is the same today as it was when Stills first sang, "For What It's Worth."
Most of our citizens do not know what our military is fighting for in Iraq any more than we knew what was being fought for in Vietnam. We rally to the rants of radio jocks demanding unquestioning public support for the cause. Support is given despite evidence that leaders have lied to us. We do not really know why we were lied to. We do not know what is really going on, but we brand anyone who dissents unpatriotic. Dissent, we are told, undermines the morale of the brave men and women who are sacrificing their lives for what we do not know. National secrecy andunquestioning support for secrets is the norm. The average citizen has no idea what the United States government is doing around the world and why. I know this is true because I am one of these average citizens. I have only just begun to start paying attention.
The death of John F. Kennedy Jr. shocked me out of my comfort with ignorance. I had subscribed to his George magazine as soon as I'd read the first issue. A lot of my hopes for the United States' future were pinned on John F. Kennedy Jr. No one else on the public stage glowed of potential greatness and trustworthiness.
Then came the 2000 presidential election and the inconsistency between exit polls and election results. I "knew" all was not right in the workings of the United States. I started reading beyond the surface stories found in mainstream headline news.
During the 2004 presidential election, I worked long hours writing letters to editors around the country. I was driven to respond to ideas and statements made by the Swift Boat veterans and religious "right" thinkers. Hundreds of emails came and went from my computer. The Swift Boat veterans' attack on John Kerry's support for ending the war struck me as either a sign that our president had no control over his supporters or proof that our president had no honor.
A few of my favorite friends were devoted to the Bush administration. Part of my family supported Bush. The religious core that held them loyal to the administration scared me a few times. But I held firm with my campaign to hold to the truth. In the Vietnam era, Kerry, a decorated veteran, earned the right to stand up and ask the question, "How do you ask a man to be the last to die for a mistake?"
He asked a valid question. Our nation did make a mistake by going to Vietnam. The parallels between Vietnam and Iraq were, to me, screamingly obvious. In 2004, my letters questioned the morality of our foreign relations in Iraq, the Abu Ghraib torture revelations, and the scare tactics used in Bush campaign commercials.
The Republican campaign was about fear. Commercials showed wolves running in the woods that were going to get us if we let Kerry lead us. Others showed atomic bombs that were going to go off in our cities if we let Kerry win. This scaremongering, to me, was terrorism. If our fight was righteous, why did our citizens have to be scared into fighting? Why did going to war in Iraq require a lie? Why did we have to resort to torture? Why were we not hearing positive messages from a position of strength based on a list of facts that cast obvious Light on the work that needs to be done?
I didn't perceive honesty from either the Republicans or the Democrats in the 2004 presidential election. Kerry did not defend his Vietnam stance nor did he take an equally brave stance regarding Iraq. Kerry stood down. Valor was a thing of his past. Bush was a fear monger. Neither candidate entered into honest exploration of the facts, the history, and the events that led us to war in Iraq. I perceived fear dominating everyone. Honor was not evident.
Honor is everything when it comes to wielding Messianic power. The power of kings in western tradition is derived from Messianic teachings. All leaders, all public figures are wielding Messianic power. Honorable working of Messianic power is defined by sayings such as "All for one, and one for all." Traditional Messianic power works by the people lending all their power to the king (the Messiah) and in return the king dedicates all the power he wields for the good of all. The king must stand for honor if the people are to prosper. Honor is standing for the good of all in situations of powerlessness. A king without honor is a despot. Despotism is a mandate for revolution in the United States of America.
You and I are "We the People." We the People of the United States of America are sovereign. That means we hold the power of king in our nation. We the People are the one and the all. President John F. Kennedy's famous line from his inaugural speech, "Ask not what your country can do for you-ask what you can do for your country," tapped into the Messianic power at work in the United States of America. We the People are the kings of the United States, thus We the People must be ever-vigilant that we give back as much as we take. We the People must be ever-vigilant in how our power is being wielded. We the People have to stand for honor in the face of forces we cannot control.
Messianic teachings are not religion. Messianic teachings are not "church," as in separation of church and state. Both church and state interpret the Messianic teachings. Church interpretations are emotion based and driven by faith and prophesy. The church honors the miraculous mysteries of life. State interpretations are based on rational facts. The state honors justice in the face of humanity's imperfections. Justice is not faith based. Justice does not require church. Justice is not well served by emotions, faith, and prophetic predictions. Thus, We the People have the separation of church and state.
For Christians, Messianic teachings are what James Robison, a popular Christian leader in the United States today, calls the Absolutes in The Absolutes, Freedom's Only Hope. Robison, like most religious leaders, defines the Absolutes by inference made from studying Jesus Christ's life and the dictates of the Bible.
Using Christ's life and the Bible as a model for establishing the Absolutes is an ancient practice. The problem is that the Bible contradicts itself. On the one hand Jesus Christ tells us that God is the Light. God is unconditional love. On the other hand there is the Creator God, the God author Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion says is:
arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.
The Creator God has no love to spare for the human race. My early religious training was marked by frustration over the fact that religious law and universal truths-what I now call, thanks to Robison, the Absolutes-are defined by inference gleaned from this inconsistent source.
I now believe the contradictions in the Bible exist because the Bible is actually the outcome of tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of years of "playing telephone" with kabbalah, an ancient body of esoteric writings. Kabbalah is also known as the Tree of Life teachings, also known as the Messianic teachings.
I grew up believing in Jesus Christ as "the Messiah" of prophesy. No one ever taught me that the original teachings that made him a Messiah also teach that we are all mandated to follow the same paths and become Messiahs ourselves. I was surprised to find out that kabbalist teaching is that the "end of days," the prophesied time we will enter the kingdom of God, will be when all of mankind achieves Messianic consciousness. Mastering kabbalah, mastering the Absolutes, is how you attain Messianic consciousness.
Christians are not taught that kabbalah is where you find the teachings that define a Messiah. Christians are not taught that kabbalah is what Christ based his work on. Christians are not taught that the Book of Revelations in the New Testament is a reflection of kabbalist teaching. Christians are not taught that making laws based on kabbalist teachings counters kabbalist teachings.
You cannot make definitive law based upon the forces that balance the Light without ensnaring yourself in violation of these forces at the same time. The forces of balance, the Absolutes, can only be recognized and honored. Honor cannot be enforced. Recognition cannot be legislated without judging. The Absolutes just are; they are not good or evil. As Christ taught, judging has to be left to the Light. Knowledge and understanding of the Absolutes do not qualify us to judge others. The force of creation always rights itself. The balance of the Light is as inevitable as gravity.
To clarify what the Absolutes are, I've returned to the source. The Tree of Life, kabbalah, is a diagram. This diagram, illustrated here, is a map of paths through which we connect to the Light. I've focused on the ten primary paths found on the Tree. These paths, the circles in the diagram, are called Sephiroths. These are "hub" paths that dictate the workings of all the other paths. I've stripped these primary paths down to their essential meanings. I start at the tenth Sephiroth, the path at the bottom of the tree, and work my way up to the first Sephiroth at the top of the tree.
Each of these Absolutes is a point of honor. If all of humanity lives in honor of these Absolutes at all times, there is no need for law, government, or authority. Humanity honoring these Absolutes makes the existence of God, Family, and the United States possible. Honoring these Absolutes is how you make miracles happen.
1) ALL LIFE REFLECTS THE LIGHT
The Light is the power of creation. All life reflects the Light. The Light we reflect affects our existence. The Light we reflect comes back to affect us. Thus, all life must be honored as we would honor ourselves.
2) WE ALL HAVE EQUAL POWER
All human beings are autonomous and independent reflectors of the Light. Some of us seem to master reflecting the Light, paying attention, "knowing," faster, more clearly than others. But no human has any greater ability than any other to affect existence by reflecting the Light. All of us have the potential to achieve Messianic consciousness.
3) UNITING MAGNIFIES OUR POWER
Combining our reflections of the Light with the reflections of others on the same "frequency" exponentially increases the power of that frequency to affect our existence. Families are more powerful than individual family members. Communities are more powerful than families. States are more powerful than communities. Nations are more powerful than states, and so on.
4) WE ALL HAVE A PURPOSE
Being one with the Light is to further the work of Creation. We must find our purpose, the work we seem born to do. Such work maintains the balance of the Light because we become one with the force of Creation.
5) CHANGE IS CONSTANT
Ascendance requires nonattachment. In the workings of the Light, change is a constant. The important art of life is not to stand in the way of change and right things happening.
6) WHAT WE CREATE IS SACRED
The force of Creation is sacred. We interface with the creative force and thus have the power to create. We are reflections of God, the Light, the force of Creation. What the Light creates is sacred. Everything we create is sacred too.
7) LOVE ALL
To be in full interface with the Light is to love everyone we meet. To love another is to love one's self. This Absolute is not sexual. It is about unconditional love. Love is the All; it is us. The Light is Love. Love is the force of creation. Thus, all of us are reflections of the rest of us. We are all good.
8) BIRTH AND DEATH ARE THE SAME THING
As painful as it is to deal with in the moment of giving up, there is new life with every death. There also is death with every birth. In the All there is grief at birth that matches our grief at death. In the All there is an intense joy of reception at death that matches the joy of reception at birth.
9) ALL THAT WE ASK FOR IS GIVEN TO US
Everything we ask for materializes. If we are in tune with the "knowing," we find that we "never want." Our perception of time keeps us from being fully aware of this truth. Neglecting to focus on what we need versus what we want results in our perception of needs not being met. Changing our minds, losing direction, and not knowing what we want contribute to our perception or lack of perception of this Absolute.
10) ALL OF CREATION IS ONE CREATION
All of creation is one connected whole powered by the Light. The same frequencies of attraction hold all and bring all of creation into form. To me, this list of Absolutes is secular. To honor them, you are not required to adhere to a religion. At the same time, these Absolutes parallel in one way or another most of the teachings found in mankind's major religions.
Kabbalists believe the Tree of Life teachings come from the Creator God. Some say they were given to the sons of Adam. Some say they were given to Moses along with the Ten Commandments. Historically, knowledge of the Tree's teachings and insight into the source of the knowledge has been the domain of priest kings. Time lines that track the ruling years of these priest kings go back hundreds of thousands of years and merge into Christian tradition in which popes ordained kings.
Achieving Messianic consciousness was an integral part of the early Christian Gnostic movement. Gnostic means knowing. The Gnostics placed the "knowing" above all else in the practice of Christianity. Their stance caused serious problems in the formation of a Church hierarchy in the first few hundred years of the Christian faith. Specific documentation of Gnostic policies or a time line of events that led to their demise is hard to find. I like to think that, like early Americans, the Gnostics did not believe they needed a "king" to dictate how the Absolutes were to be honored.
Gnostics were branded heretics and excommunicated from the Church. Their scriptures, including the Gospel of Thomas, were destroyed. Copies of these documents were rediscovered in 1946 in a place called Nag Hammadi in Egypt. The complete collection, known as the Nag Hammadi Library, had been safely buried for over fifteen hundred years.
My father, a devout Roman Catholic, has an instant fear response to the mention of Gnostic belief. Gnostic interpretations of the Absolutes invite accusations of heresy and excommunication to this day.
I do not think everyone needs to study kabbalah. I do think everyone needs to be aware of all that is at the root of the religion they practice. Kabbalah is, I believe, THE root of all of mankind's major religions, Eastern and Western. There are infinite scriptural parallels and beliefs to support my claim. To me, symbolism alone makes source differentials a moot point.
This symbolic revelation came to me when I played with drawing the Tree of Life in four-dimensional form as the teachings dictate. I was astounded when I fleshed out a drawing that could represent a diagram of DNA! I have since discovered that I am not the only modern kabbalist to have divined this similarity.
DNA and the Tree of Life diagram reflect each other. In the Tree of Life teachings, ALL is a reflection of the Tree of Life. With DNA, all life is composed of DNA. The paths of the Tree of Life are said to be four dimensional, combining in infinite ways. DNA has four amino acids that combine in infinite ways. The power of the Light travels the Tree in a spiral motion and moves in an infinite combination of frequencies along the paths. DNA's four amino acids string together in an infinite array of combinations along a double-helix spiral to form an infinite number of life forms.
<%TOC%> Contents Introduction I'm a Mother....................1
Excerpted from Choosing HONOR by Mary T. Ficalora
Copyright © 2008 by Mary T. Ficalora. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Finding and Protecting God What a Long Strange Trip It's Been....................5
The Absolutes For What It's Worth....................16
Money Is Our Magic Wand Mind Games....................29
Personal Power Starts in the Family It's a Family Affair....................46
Personal Power and the Village Pink Houses....................55
Right Livelihood Makes Us Magicians Free Bird....................65
Getting Out of the Mud Forever Young....................69
The Doors of Perception Break on Through (to the Other Side)....................73
Self-Oppression Mother and Child Reunion....................84
The Absolute USA The Star-Spangled Banner....................94
Revolution is a US Citizen's Mandate Born in the U.S.A....................97
Money Changes Everything Money....................101
Question Authority One Two Three, What are We Fighting For?....................116
The Enemy Within the United States: Ourselves Changes....................119
Restore Our Republic Stairway to Heaven....................124
United We Stand One Love....................142
Table of ContentsTable Of Contents
I'm a Mother .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Finding and Protecting God
What a Long Strange Trip It's Been .. . . . . . 7
For What It's Worth .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Money Is Our Magic Wand
Mind Games . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
Personal Power Starts in the Family
It's a Family Affair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
Personal Power and the Village
Pink Houses .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106
Right Livelihood Makes Us Magicians
Free Bird .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
Getting Out of the Mud
Forever Young . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133
The Doors of Perception
Break on Through (to the Other Side) .....................140
Mother and Child Reunion .. . . . . . . . . . . . 162
The Absolute USA
The Star-Spangled Banner .. . . . . . . . . . . . . 182
Revolution is a US Citizen's Mandate
Born in the U.S.A. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 188
Money Changes Everything
Money .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 196
One Two Three, What are We
Fighting For? .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 224
The Enemy Within the
United States: Ourselves
Changes .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 229
Restore Our Republic
Stairway to Heaven .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 239
United We Stand
One Love. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 273
Endnotes .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 307
Bibliography .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 319
Index .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 331