“I’m worried about everything.”

~ Michael Ian Black, @michaelianblack on Twitter

It is easy to become overwhelmed these days. The increasing complexities of everyday life are being compounded by a litany of social ills, chaotic and corrupt politics, and the breakdown of trust in our institutions. There is terrorism, mass shootings, racism, sexism, and more in our society. We are blasted from all sides by fear, anger, and calls for attention to this or that issue. The media and social media are filled with examples of natural disasters, crimes, corruption, and tragedy – and now theses things spread farther and faster than ever before. I see friends driven to crowdfunding sites to pay for healthcare or basic expenses, and others for whom “retirement” has become a distant dream. As I sit writing this, news is breaking about a fifth bombing in Austin, Texas and a new school shooting in Maryland. It seems there is no break from “breaking news.”

Breaking News Fear

One result of these issues is that New Thought is beginning to turn outward so as to engage more fully in the issues of the world. While this is an essential, and perhaps inevitable, consequence of our cultural evolution, it nevertheless puts additional stress on us, as change always does. We are called to bring forth a higher version of ourselves and our teaching into the world. This process of emergence adds to our stress levels even as we see its rightness and necessity.

“We grow from challenge. We grow from taking something on.”

~James Hollis, Jungian analyst

While our Power is internal, we are activated by our environment. We must respond to what we find in our lives, both at the macro and micro levels. Emergence of new qualities and possibilities comes as an adaptive mechanism to changing life conditions. It seems that we in the western societies, particularly in the United States, find ourselves in conditions which demand a spiritually based response. We must do more than sit in meditation and prayer-treatment (although both practices are necessary for our personal sense of stability); but we must act from a place of spiritual poise.

“Only a person who has lived through a time that threatens his life and that valuable substance, his individual freedom, with war, power, and tyrannical ideologies – only he knows how much courage, how much honesty and determination are needed to maintain the inner self in such a time of herd insanity.”

~ Stefan Zweig

Complexity and Chaos

The apparent chaos of our current times can be seen as a reaction to rapid increases in the complexity of our living conditions. Many people have not adapted to these increases in complexity for a variety of reasons. They are frustrated, and that frustration is increasingly showing up as fear and anger. They want to bring what they see as a runaway social system to a halt and return to some version of a better yesterday when life seemed more manageable.

What we see termed “nationalistic” or identity politics is a version of that desire to reign in change. When we fail to adapt to greater complexity, we will naturally see that complexity as wrong in some way. Nationalistic politicians, ironically often using very complex psychological methodologies (LINK), will tap into this frustration and resentment to gain power – the power to try to turn back the clock in some way, usually by gaining control over the society’s institutions. We are in such a cycle now, and it appears that there is a great deal of chaos in our future as the larger societal structures adjust to these dynamics. It is easy to be in overwhelm and to seek to join in this apparent battle for the values of our culture. Better to rise above that approach and to engage via the compassionate heart.


“That we go numb along the way is to be expected. Even the bravest among us, who give their lives to care for others, go numb with fatigue, when the heart can take in no more, when we need time to digest all we meet. Overloaded and overwhelmed, we start to pull back from the world, so we can internalize what the world keeps giving us. Perhaps the noblest private act is the unheralded effort to return: to open our hearts once they’ve closed, to open our souls once they’ve shied away, to soften our minds once they’ve been hardened by the storms of our day.”

~ Mark Nepo

When we are overwhelmed, we need to take time to heal, to rest. There is nothing wrong with needing some time away from the chaos. But in that process, we must work to keep, or to regain, a positive frame of mind. We must do our praying, our meditating, our affirming every day. Our spiritual practices are essential to the development of true spiritual poise – to a consciousness of empowerment and to the compassionate heart.

Spiritual Practices Kit

“No greater good can come to you than to know that the Power already within you is the power to live, the power to create.  Not only to create for yourself, but to create for others — the power to do good, the power to heal, the power to prosper.”


Our teaching tells us that no outside condition is stronger than our internal potential. We are called to rise to the occasion, to embrace and thrive in changing times, to reveal the Truth of our being in each moment. We are the ones we have been waiting for – it is our turn to step into the world around us and bring a powerful, realized consciousness of healing and love.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

~ Marianne Williamson

 As always, your comments are welcomed. Feel free to share this blog with others who may be interested.

Copyright 2018 – Jim Lockard




Pope Francis & Child

The photo above appeared on social media this week. Here is the caption that went with it (I saw it on multiple platforms).

A girl with Down syndrome, got up during a regular papal service, and went toward the Pope. The security men quickly moved in to take her back to her mother. The Pope stopped everyone and said to the girl, “come sit next to me.” The girl then sat down near him and the Holy Father continued to preach the homily while holding hands with the little girl.

The comments and responses were, as you might imagine, generally positive, given the image and the caption. However, on some of the feeds, the responses criticized the Church and this pope for being rigid in dogma, for the scandals of child abuse, and more. While these may be valid criticisms, I have noted a tendency by some to refuse to allow anything positive relating to those with whom they disagree to pass by without a negative comment. And, also, to refuse to allow anything negative relating to those with whom they agree. We see this all too often in our politics, our religion, our businesses, and our personal relationships. And, all too often, we forget that what we are doing is projecting our shadow elements onto others and reacting to their mirroring our own qualities back to us.

The unconscious processes of projection and denial are constantly occurring in our discourse, whether in conversation or online. Once they are activated, if becomes very difficult to see anything else unless we are aware of shadow work and know how to recognize when we have been triggered in this way. Since most do not practice shadow work and/or have no awareness of the concept, a lot of time and energy go into the projection and denial cycle – we continually trigger one another all over the place.

Perfectionism is one way this shows up – perfectionism has two main traits:

  1. A strong desire to hide what we perceive as our faults.

  2. Imperfectionism – seeing what is wrong, not what is right.

Sign - Perfection Pop 0

We will also project our need for perfectionism onto others – so no one else can have any faults. People who “catch” this type of projection are often celebrities or authority figures – parents, bosses, politicians, ministers, popes. Shadow work reveals this inner dynamic, allows us to notice our reactions to our projections, and work to heal the shadow element(s) involved.

“If we do not know ourselves, we cannot stand to our own truth and are, therefore, in constant danger of invasion by others.”

~ Marion Woodman

We will never stop projection – it is part of being human. What we can do is learn to recognize the pattern and seek the inner message which is trying to reveal itself to us. At the same time, we can let others off the hook of our perfectionist projections. We can allow people to be their whole complex selvesPope Francis can both be a loving person to children and be too slow to rectify a systemic problem in the Catholic Church. Our way of perceiving others (and ourselves) is therefore expanded.

“Projection is a natural process, through which, if we are attentive, we come to recognize our own inner world.”

~Marion Woodman

“Through the withdrawal of projections we come into possession of what Jung calls our ‘treasures.'”

~Marion Woodman


No spouse, no friend, no child, no minister, no candidate for office will perfectly reflect your values. The demand that they do so comes from a deep-seated sense of personal inadequacy which has been repressed as shadow. Healing this aspect of yourself allows you to be more accepting of your own complexity and that of others.

“Healing depends on listening with the inner ear – stopping the incessant blather and listening. Fear keeps us chattering – fear that wells up from the past, fear of blurting out what we really fear, fear of future repercussions. It is our very fear of the future that distorts the now that could lead to a different future if we dared to be whole in the present.”

~ Marion Woodman


Marion Woodman

What we seek is not to be perfect, but to realize our wholeness. Perfectionism, which is ultimately an impossible set of demands, keeps us from realizing a greater sense of wholeness.

“Wholeness does not mean perfection: it means embracing brokenness as an integral part of life. Knowing this gives me hope that human wholeness — mine, yours, ours — need not be a utopian dream, if we can use devastation as a seedbed for new life.”

~ Parker Palmer

When we become aware of our projections onto others, we gain the power of choice over our responses. We are no longer triggered by slight differences of opinion and are open to see the complexity of others. As a result, we realize greater opportunities to connect with those who have different world views. We can relax and no longer be tied to the false idea that if everyone doesn’t see things the way we do, we are all doomed. We can express compassion rather than projected fear and judgment. We can be real. We can create #TheBelovedCommunity together.

“There is almost a sensual longing for communion with others who have a large vision. The immense fulfillment of the friendship between those engaged in furthering the evolution of consciousness has a quality impossible to describe.”

~ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Copyright 2018 – Jim Lockard


I will be in the US for the next four weekends. Here is my speaking schedule in case you are close by – some of them will be live streamed. Info at the websites.

Feb 17-18 – Las Vegas Center for Spiritual Living (http://www.lasvegascsl.net/) – Saturday Spiral Dynamics Workshop & Sunday Service

Feb 19-22 – CSL Spiritual Living Convention – Hotel Irvine, Irvine, CA – Creating The Beloved Community Workshop on Wednesday afternoon.

Feb 25 – Global Truth Center Los Angeles, Westlake Village, CA (https://www.globaltruthcenter.org/) – Sunday Service

March 4 – Simi Valley CSL – Sunday Service & Afternoon Workshop (http://cslsimi.org/)

March 11 – CSL Los Angeles (https://www.csl-la.org/) – Sunday Service





“In presenting these lessons on Mental Science, I do not claim to have discovered any new Truth. The Truth has been known in every age by a few; but the great mass of people has never even dreamed that we live in a mental and spiritual world. To-day, however, there is a great inquiry into the deeper meaning of life because the race has reached a state of unfoldment where a broader scope is possible.”

~ First line of Forward, The Science of Mind™, 1926 Edition

Loyal readers know that I am mostly all about change. I have even supported an updating of the Science of Mind™ text (LINK). But just for fun, let’s explore what the Religious Science Movement would be like today if, instead of revising the text in 1938 (the text used in SOM classes), the decision had been made to stay with the original 1926 Edition of The Science of Mind (LINK to Online Version).

Holmes & 1926 Text

The structure of the 1926 Edition starts with an essay on The Evolution of Man’s Thought, then a series of six lessons about the Science of Mind. This is followed by 21 Special Articles on topics ranging from Absoluteness and Relativity, to The Sequence of the Creative Order, to Jesus as a Savior. Then there are 12 Meditations for Self-Help and Healing, a Glossary and the Index.

I am not certain why the text was so thoroughly revised in the mid-1930’s. But if I may make a guess, I would say that it was likely done for two major reasons. First, the structure of the lessons may have been unpopular with the new group of ministers who were leading the Religious Science churches in the 1930’s (Dr. Robert Bitzer being the first minister recruited for this purpose in 1930); Religious Science ministers are notably an independent lot, and it is likely that they preferred to present material according to their own preferences (just taking a wild guess here). Indeed, it was out of print for decades. Secondly, I can see how a few sections of the 1926 Edition may have been seen as controversial to some in a new denomination seeking some degree of acceptance in the larger religious landscape of the time.

Hints abound. Two entire subjects did not make it into the 1938 Edition of the textbook. One was Lesson Six: The Law of Psychic Phenomena, seen as important enough to be part of the basic teaching in the 1920’s. In the introduction to the lesson, Dr. Holmes wrote: “While no apologies are made for the ensuing pages, yet, in justice to the Truth, it must be said that many of the world’s eminent scientists have investigated the subjects to be discussed, and so far, to the author’s knowledge, none of them have ever refuted the ensuing facts.” This seems to indicate that he saw the topic as both controversial and sufficiently proven to include as a part of the basic lessons of the teaching.

Psychic Phenomenon Collage

“There is within man a power that can communicate without the tongue, hear without the ear, see without the eye, talk without the mouth, move ponderable objects and grasp things without the hand; and perform many other feats that are usually connected only with the physical instrument. All these facts have been completely proved, and it is no longer necessary to produce evidence to substantiate these facts.”

~ Science of Mind 1926 Edition, page 229

Holmes - Young

Dr. Ernest Holmes

Dr. Holmes explains, or attempts to explain, a number of psychic phenomena, including clairvoyance, clairaudience, telepathy, and apparitions. He also described things such as inspiration, streams of consciousness, The Theory of Ectoplasm, and how to create personal charm here. He attributes all of these phenomena to the interaction between the localized, individualized mind and the Universal Mind. Our human minds, he writes, have two aspects, the objective (conscious) and subjective (subconscious); it is the subjective aspect which is embedded in the Universal Mind. For some, what we call psychic phenomena, which are present in the subjective minds of all of us, become available to the objective mind. This can just happen spontaneously, or one can be trained in developing a greater receptivity.

SOM - You Will Live Forever Holmes

In another section of the lesson, he explains immortality and its link to psychic phenomena. Some of the material relating to immortality also appears in the 1938 Edition, but without reference to psychic phenomena. Here is a quote from the section about the human aura:

“The human aura is the mental vibration or emanation of the individual. The idea of the halo surrounding the heads of the saints is explained in this way. The personal atmosphere varies with the changing thought and emotion and is sometimes pleasant and at other times unpleasant.”

~ Science of Mind 1926 Edition, page 278

The second subject which was not included in the 1938 Edition relates to sexuality and gender. This is primarily contained in the special article entitled “Repression and Sublimation.” Here, Dr. Holmes writes about sex and gender, both subjectively and objectively. He also includes descriptions of the relatively new (at the time) field of psychoanalysis and the concept of self-analysis. While some of the material in this section may have been eliminated because it was based on the new and rapidly changing field of western Psychology, there is little doubt that the material on sex and gender was seen as too controversial for the 1938 Edition. Here is a quote from the special article:


“Man, coming from Unity, is both male and female, and has, within himself, both attributes of reality. In some the male predominates; in others the female. We have two distinct types in man and woman; but they are types of one fundamental principle. There is also an intermediate sex; that is, one in which the two attributes seem to be almost equally balanced. The greatest men and women of the ages have belonged to this type, for it is a more complete balance between the two which are really one. But this is too great a topic to discuss in this course of lessons.”

– Ernest Holmes, Science of Mind 1926 Edition, page 305

Sexuality & Gender 1920s

To get back to the question in the title of this post, what might our movement look like if we had continued to hold psychic phenomena and sex and gender as major components of our teaching? Might this have led us to be less mainstream (to the degree that we might be considered in such a light) or less like a church? We will never know.

To be sure, most of the content in the 1926 Edition is reproduced in the 1938 Edition, if reformatted. There are different things emphasized and the first four chapters of the 1938 Edition is new material. It is said that Dr. Holmes was less involved in the production of the 1938 Edition, however, this is disputed by some. What is clear is that he did evolve in some ways. Although he never abandoned the key ideas of the philosophy:

  1. An Infinite Creative Intelligence

  2. A human mind with subjective and objective components

  3. We humans direct our own experience by the use of our minds, which are elements of the One Mind.

What evolved were specific notions of the interplay of individuals and groups and the effect on consciousness, and, in his later writings (especially The Holmes Papers – LINK), he began to write about the difficulties that many have in aligning their minds with Truth.

I believe that the 1926 Edition is worthy of ongoing study by students of The Science of Mind. It is not only a clear distillation of Dr. Holmes first decade-plus of the development of the philosophy, it offers unique insights into areas of his thinking that were not carried forward. And it is fun to speculate what might have been.

In addition to the poem “Peace Be Unto You Stranger, which appears before the Forward in both editions, this poem, “Yourself, follows the Forward in the 1926 Edition:


Oh, weary heart, laden with earth’s weight and care,
Oh, feet, stumbling on the way, bleeding and bare,
Oh, arms outstretched, and hands upheld in prayer,
Oh, back, which so oft has felt the lash and rod,
Oh, soul, which cries aloud for the living God,
Oh, life, struggling to free itself from the clod;
Know this: there is no power from without,
Yourself must answer every fear and meet all doubt
With some divine, indwelling power
Which you yourself, upon yourself, shall shower;
And giving, take, and taking, give
Unto that life which you, yourself, shall live.

~ Dr. Ernest Holmes

As always, your comments are welcome! What are your thoughts about the original Science of Mind text? Note that the Science of Mind Archives and Library Foundation (LINK) has lots of materials from this era.

 Copyright 2018 – Jim Lockard



“There is no such thing as harmless disinformation; trusting in falsehood can have dire consequences.”

~ Pope Francis on Twitter

Fake News is nothing new. We human beings have been twisting or ignoring facts determinedly seeing the world through our values and worldviews, accepting information which affirmed them and rejecting or ignoring information which contradicted them.

Meme - Fake News

At the same time, we have evolved along the spiral through various values systems (LINK to Spiral Dynamics post), including values systems which value truth as a moral imperative (Traditionalist-Blue, which emerged about 4,000 years ago). Violating such a values system was wrong, and many of our institutions developed out of the Blue Code felt a duty to be honest, as did individuals within that values system. You may be old enough to remember when CBS News Anchorman Walter Cronkite was considered “the most trusted man in America” in the 1960’s.

Pope Francis represents the Roman Catholic Church, an institution with Traditionalist-Blue values at its heart. The Church is struggling in the developed western nations where Traditionalist-Blue values are being replaced with Modernist-Orange values. Modernism is a Code which values the individual at the expense of the masses – so within this values system honesty is less of a prime value than self-interest; only in so far as healthy Blue Code values have been retained will one put his or her own self-interest in a secondary position to the truth.

VMEMEs Simplified

When a society is at Blue, a liar stands out as being wrong or evil. When a society is primarily at Orange, a liar may be seen as simply protecting his own self-interest (as in court, for example, where putting your case in the best light for yourself is at least equally important to getting to the truth).

When our institutions become the source of Fake News, it is a sign that truth is not valued as it should be. This is a time when spiritual principles become more important than ever in guiding us in our actions and in our reactions.

“The truth may be puzzling. It may take some work to grapple with. It may be counterintuitive. It may contradict deeply held prejudices. It may not be consonant with what we desperately want to be true. But our preferences do not determine what’s true.”

~ Carl Sagan



In our increasingly complex world, where trust in institutions is eroding, it becomes more difficult to determine what is true and what is not. What is different today than in the past is that the use of misinformation to deliberately affect social and cultural life has expanded greatly. Getting to what is true requires greater discernment (LINK) than in the past. There are no Walter Cronkites, who have the trust of most people, any more.

“People say: ‘Let the facts speak for themselves’; they forget that the speech of facts is real only if it is heard and understood. It is thought to be an easy matter to distinguish between fact and theory, between perception and interpretation. In truth, it is extremely difficult. When the level of the knower is not adequate to the level (or grade of significance) of the object of knowledge, the result is not factual error but something much more serious: an inadequate and impoverished view of reality.”

~ E.F. Schumacher, A Guide for the Perplexed

I don’t know about you, but I feel a need to go in a thousand different directions to be responsive to the world that is unfolding around me. There are so many causes, so many outrages, so many sad and deplorable things happening that it is hard to keep up, much less act in an affirmative and effective way. I can only imagine what it must be like to face all of this without a sound set of spiritual principles on which to base my thoughts, feelings, and actions. I am afraid for our nation, for our world, for nature, and for our planet.

“Fear is a natural consequence of moving closer to the truth.”

~ Pema Chödrön

The New Thought spiritual principles that I have studied and embodied, and am still working to embody more deeply, give me a foundation of belief and trust in a Power Greater than myself. If I do my work to come into alignment with a greater Truth, and to clear myself of the fear and ignorance which cloud my judgement and limit my ability to see clearly, then I can live a life that is both personally fulfilling and of contribution to the world around me. If find that this work is best done in harmony with a spiritual community of evolutionary souls who seek to express their own best selves – a New Thought Spiritual Community of any denomination will serve that purpose. We need to be in community, in part because human beings are “relational animals,” we need connection. In the giving and receiving of support in following our spiritual pathway, we accelerate our progress when in community. We see that we are not alone.

Naturally, my personal inner work is of paramount importance. In challenging times (and times of rapid change are always challenging) I must build a strong foundation of radical self-acceptance of spiritual principles. I must be strong enough and wise enough to discern reality from Fake News; clear enough and powerful enough to speak from my authentic voice and be a champion for Love and Compassion.

Also, I must be flexible about the form things take, while being firm about the application of spiritual principles. Change means that things will look different – forms change to accommodate a higher idea of the application of principle. In this closing quote, Dr. Holmes is speaking about the essence of Truth in principle, not the form which it’s expressions will take. Fake News cannot withstand the application of True Principles.

“Stay with the One and never deviate from It, never leave It for a moment. Nothing else can equal this attitude. TO DESERT THE TRUTH IN THE HOUR OF NEED IS TO PROVE THAT WE DO NOT KNOW THE TRUTH. When things look the worst, that is the supreme moment to demonstrate, to ourselves, that there are no obstructions to the operation of Truth. When things look the worst is the best time to work, the most satisfying time. The person who can throw himself with a complete abandon into that Limitless Sea of Receptivity, having cut loose from all apparent moorings, is the one who will always receive the greatest reward.”

~ Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind, page 283


Copyright 2018 – Jim Lockard


Thanks to all who gave my book 5-STAR ratings on Amazon.com!

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“Nothing ages so quickly as yesterday’s vision of the future.” 

~ Richard Corliss

Ultimately, our future is always out of reach. We are eternally in the present moment, and it is the only place from which we can act. This basic truth powerfully reveals to us our place in the order of things. We are powerful in the now, and our future is determined by what we do in that now moment.

“We are, perhaps uniquely among the earth’s creatures, the worrying animal. We worry away our lives, fearing the future, discontent with the present, unable to take in the idea of dying, unable to sit still.”

~ Lewis Thomas


What we call the New Thought Movement, including all its organizations and spiritual communities, is really an extension of each of us living in our now moments where we build consciousness which creates our experience of the future. The social structures of our movement are projections of the combined consciousness of everyone within them. We collectively co-create our local communities, our organizations, and our movement in each unfolding now moment. So, the question is, what is the content, the substance and the emotions, of those thoughts?

“Stop looking at your future through your present problems.”

~ Raymond Charles Barker

The leaders of any level of our social structures may say this or that about who we are and what is possible, but it is how the body of each level responds in our minds that is the determining factor in what is created. We collectively create a consciousness of success or failure, thriving or struggling, compassion or judgment. We may be influenced by leaders or teachers or books we read, but ultimately, we make up our minds and generate our guiding consciousness.

“So, transform yourself first…Because you are young and have dreams and want to do something meaningful, that in itself, makes  you our future and our hope. Keep expanding your horizon, decolonize your mind, and cross borders.”

~ Yuri Kochiyama 

Beautiful Stone Altar

This is not to minimize the need for good leaders and teachers – it is only to acknowledge the reality of the situation. None of us can abdicate accountability for our experience of life. We take what we experience and give it meaning and it becomes our truth – whether it is factual or not. Once we believe something, we automatically act as if it were true, often to our detriment. False beliefs do great harm. Unless we consciously question our beliefs and do the work to discover truth, we are subject to all kinds of false beliefs. Our present times call for an expanded openness. I am filled with Divine Discontent aren’t you?

“Healing depends on listening with the inner ear – stopping the incessant blather, and listening. Fear keeps us chattering – fear that wells up from the past, fear of blurting out what we really fear, fear of future repercussions. It is our very fear of the future that distorts the now that could lead to a different future if we dared to be whole in the present.”

~ Marion Woodman

We are called to a different way of being. The signs of the present moment are telling us that our old ways of thinking and being are inadequate to the emerging future. We in New Thought are being challenged to use our spiritual technologies more rigorously to create a consciousness of compassion, love, empowerment, and success which is beyond what we have seen before. We are called to an evolutionary response to self-transforamtion and to the transformation of our movement. How will we respond?

“This is the true joy of life — that being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one. That being a force of nature, instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.  I want to be thoroughly used up when I die.  For the harder I work the more I live.  I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me.  It’s sort of a splendid torch which I’ve got to hold up for the moment and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.” 

~ George Bernard Shaw


Copyright 2018 – Jim Lockard


“It’s the end of 2017. Time to start making a New Year’s Revolution.”

~ Michael Ian Black on Twitter

I keep edging toward a realization that what we need – in New Thought spiritual community and in the larger world – is not just change but transformation. Think of change as rearranging the furniture and transformation, or revolutionary change as building a new house. We need revolutionary change, because the complexities of the world have grown and continue to grow at a rate which is outpacing our ability to effectively manage them. We are losing whatever coherence we have had with the rate of cultural change, and our organizations and communities are dissipating (coming apart). If that dissipation continues without evolutionary leadership to help the new emergence of what is next, then . . .


If 2017 has taught us anything it is that our manifestation of New Thought philosophy has often been inadequate to the challenges of our times. We are losing ground in many ways. A quick answer to this might be something to the effect of “Good! The system is breaking down – it NEEDS to break down – and we will keep doing what we are doing until the new system replaces it.”

While that answer may be both quick and satisfying, it is woefully inadequate. The earth is moving beneath our feet – tectonic changes are emerging in cultural evolution and those who are not riding the crest of change are falling farther and farther behind. Those people are angry, they are speaking out – sometimes violently, and they are even more inadequately prepared for what is coming than those “crest-riders” mentioned above. 2017 has shown these things in definitive fashion.

“The manifestation of emotional and psychosomatic symptoms is the beginning of a healing process through which the organism is trying to free itself from traumatic imprints and simplify its functioning. . . . when properly understood and supported, this process can be conducive to healing, spiritual opening, personality transformation, and evolution of consciousness.”

~ Stanislav Grof, Shift Magazine, June-August 2004

One way to transform our thinking is to see the “manifestation of symptoms” as an early stage of healing. This is true in cultural terms as well. We collectively face challenges which include political corruption, mass poverty, ecological devastation, terrorism, the refugee crisis, structural racism and sexism; the root causes for all of these issues are deeply and systemically cultural. The symptoms of these challenges, and the social and economic discrimination related to them are evidence of a deep universal pattern of healing attempting to emerge. Just as we often personally react with denial when symptoms arise, our culture fights the appearance of symptoms, delaying or denying any healing which may take place. Our Shadows, both individual and collective, hold us in place, driving us to try first to “return to normal” – an impossibility, but when we are in denial we lack clarity.

Poster - Jung - Shadow

“Any serious spiritual work brings up the shadow, the rejected parts of your own psyche, which have to be faced and accepted. It’s the process of inner purification. Other spiritual paths may focus on purification through diet or yoga or good living or correcting bad habits. Our particular Sufi path has a very strong psychological element, and the purification is analogous to Jung’s ‘shadow work’ in which the rejected parts of one’s psyche come to the surface to be confronted, loved and accepted. This begins the process of transformation. As Jung said, ‘One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.’ Then he humorously added, ‘The latter process, however, is disagreeable and therefore not popular.’”

~ Llewellyn Vaughan Lee

There is a temptation for students of New Thought philosophies to express their fear and denial by practicing a form of magical thinking – something to the effect of “it’s all good!” The confusion here is that while it IS all good at the level of Spirit, we are the ones responsible for manifesting good at the level of our own reality. The world is not going to heal itself without a shift in consciousness, just as you are not going to heal your own issues without a shift in consciousness. And any shift of any real depth is not going to happen without some profound and rigorous psychological and emotional work. Our real challenges are not surface challenges, they call forward our deepest selves.

“There is a lack of spiritual leadership in the world right now, so we shouldn’t be concerned what the world thinks of us. We have a religious concept that will revolutionize the world and we just need to stick with it.

“Persistence will bring success, but it is a positive persistence that keeps affirming spiritual reality in spite of material effect. This means continually using ‘constructive rather than destructive conversation,’ seeing the Divine in every person and surrendering the mind in complete abandonment to the idea of success regardless of relative condition or opinion.”

~Ernest Holmes, 1933 Commentaries: Lesson Seven

Here Dr. Holmes uses persistence as a term for rigorous and continual work. It is not merely “holding a positive thought,” in fact, we are taught not to hold thoughts at all – they must flow. What we seek is a continual and persistent stream of uplifting and powerfully emotional thoughts which flow into the creative process and become our belief system. Then, we naturally act from this new belief system and our experience is transformed.

“Living a life of fulfillment that offers something of value to the world starts with radical self-knowledge, self-awareness and self-acceptance. Our task is to be who we are at the deepest level of being “

 ~ Oriah Mountain Dreamer, THE DANCE


Beautiful Dance

We keep doing our spiritual work to elevate to the next level of development, and the next, and the next. There is no arriving, there is only the journey. The journey is either going somewhere or staying in place, and the universe does not accept staying in place, does it? The key role of spiritual community today and in the future is to be places where such deep transformational work can be done in a safe and supportive environment. What the world needs now is empowered and realized evolutionary souls to contribute to an expanding consciousness of compassion, love, and service. It needs a #NewYearsRevolution.

“The 20th century was the Age of Introspection, when self-help and therapy culture encouraged us to believe that the best way to understand who we are and how to live was to look inside ourselves. But it left us gazing at our own navels. The 21st century should become the Age of Empathy, when we discover ourselves not simply through self-reflection, but by becoming interested in the lives of others. We need empathy to create a new kind of revolution. Not an old-fashioned revolution built on new laws, institutions, or policies, but a radical revolution in human relationships.”

~ Roman Krznaric

Copyright 2017 – Jim Lockard


NOTE: I am honored to be a keynote speaker at BE THE VOICE FOR POSITIVE CHANGE GATHERING, an event in San Diego, California – January 19-21.

Here is a link if you are interested:


Positive Gathering Jan 2018



“The real miracle of Hanukkah is the fact that, even after the Temple was profaned, it could still be restored.  Who you are matters. What you need matters, and your intuition—the still, small voice within—tells you this, all the time. The hard part is making the space and time to hear it—but sometimes in the dark, it’s easier to find that one, tiny flicker that we need to follow all the way home.”

~ Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg

I am restating some ideas from my holiday post last year (LINK), and adding some new stuff, too. May this last part of December be a time of new ideas and a birthing of the best version of you to bring to the world in 2018.

Christmas - Peace Wreath

“If it is useful to do so, you must abandon your identity and start again. Sometimes, it’s the only way. Set fire to your old self. It’s not needed here. It’s too busy shopping, gossiping about others, and watching days go by and asking why you haven’t gotten as far as you’d like. This old self will die and be forgotten by all but family, and replaced by someone who makes a difference. Your new self is not like that. Your new self is the Great Chicago Fire—overwhelming, overpowering, and destroying everything that isn’t necessary.”

~ Julien Smith 

As we move through the final two weeks of 2017, it is time to look forward to 2018 and to set the stage for who we will be when that New Year dawns. Spiritual work is best done in advance. When we lay the groundwork of building consciousness over time, our strengths are made available when the inevitable challenge or crisis comes.

“One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight, for a very long time, of the shore.”

~ André Gide

Ours is to find ways to allow the innate wholeness of ourselves to emerge. We turn our gaze inward to do our own house cleaning before casting judgement on others. We take accountability for our reactions, our responses, our thoughts and feelings.

“So perhaps change is less about fixing a broken world and more about uncovering hidden wholeness in all events, all organizations and all people and remembering our personal power to make a difference. This old story has greatly changed the way that I am a physician and also a teacher. It has given me new eyes. Everyone and everything has in it a seed of a greater wholeness, a dream of possibility. Perhaps what I once saw as ‘broken’ or ‘lacking’ might just as easily be seen as the growing edge of things … a place to be valued and nurtured in our patients, our students and in ourselves.”

~ Rachel Naomi Remen


Humanity is bursting at the seams with the new. Our old ways need to be released like the snake releases its skin. A radical newness is emerging, and we must adapt radically to midwife it into being. We need visionaries who can see the possibilities and help to bring them through the veil from potential to actuality. Anything that holds us to the old ways delays emergence of the new. We must transform ourselves from the inside out, creating a space of invitation for a new way of being.

“Anything from the past, like an idea of what man of this or that culture might or should have been, is now archaic, and the transformation we are experiencing is really of the whole sense of humanity; what it means to be a cultured and world-related human being. This is a whole new thing. And so we have all of us to leave our little provincial stories behind. They may guide us as far as structuring our lives for the moment, but we must always be ready to drop them and to grasp the new experience as it comes along and interpret it.”

~ Joseph Campbell

This has been a difficult year for many, as every year is. It has also been a year of blessings for many, as every year is. But 2017 also saw more than its share of loss, tragedy, fear, and ignorance. What is ready to be shed is rising into visibility – racism, sexism, misogyny, radical nationalism – all expressions of fear and separationWomen are rising. There is much work to do to right the ship of humanity.

Edgewalkers: “Shhhh! She is traveling between worlds right now. You can see her holding the tension of not knowing ~ she is simply breathing into her unanswered questions. Sometimes she wakes up with quaking hands, not knowing where her relationship or her bank account is going. But this time, she is holding onto the tension of not knowing, and is not willing to hit the panic button. She is unlearning thousands of years of conditioning. She is not being split between the opposing forces of fight and flight. She is neither naïve nor ignorant. She is a frontier woman, paving new roads & making new choices. She is willing to make a new transcendent possibility emerge. You may see her now ~ standing at thresholds, or at crossroads ~ breathing into her body ~ intently listening for inner signals. She’s learning new navigation skills as she arrives at a most magical moment of her life.”

 ~ Sukhvinder Sircar

We are ready for this, or it would not have come. Emergence can only happen through a vessel that is ready for it. As we come to accept this truth, we call forth our courage, our love, our compassionate hearts. We express generously to those in fear and we support everyone it is within our power to uplift. We are the generation where the shift from automatic evolution to conscious evolution occurs – it is us. We really are the ONES WE’VE BEEN WAITING FOR.

“Conscious Evolution signals the evolution of evolution itself from an unconscious to conscious choice. It has occurred in our generation because humanity has gained the power to destroy the world, or to co-create cultures of immeasurable possibilities. It means that we are becoming conscious of our effect on evolution and must learn to guide our new powers toward a life-affirming future.”

~ Barbara Marx Hubbard

My prayer for you and for us:

I am knowing that those who have the capacity to awaken, awake.

That those who become aware of their own shadow, do the work.

That those who have the capacity for compassionate action, act.

That those who can teach compassion and love, teach.

That those who are ready to hear, listen.

That we are transformed by our thoughts and feelings of beauty, love, peace and possibility.

That THE BELOVED COMMUNITY is nurtured into being.

That I am being, doing, and having my share of Awakening Humanity to its Spiritual Magnificence!

And so, it is.


“I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.”

~ John Cage


Sorrow prepares you for joy.

It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter.

It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place.

It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.

~ Rumi

Copyright 2017 – Jim Lockard


“The I Ching, the Chinese Book of Changes, recognizes the continual shifts that go on within the individual. The Yang power, the creative masculine, moves ahead with steadfast perseverance toward a goal until it becomes too strong, begins to break–and then the Yin, the receptive feminine, enters from below and gradually moves toward the top. Life is a continual attempt to balance these two forces. With growing maturity, the individual is able to avoid the extreme of either polarity, so that the pendulum does not gain too much momentum by swinging too far to the right only to come crashing back to the left in a relentless cycle of action and reaction, inflation and depression. Rather one recognizes that these poles are the domain of the gods, the extremes of black and white. To identify with one or the other can only lead to plunging into its opposite. The ratio is cruelly exact. The further I move into the white radiance on one side, the blacker the energy that is unconsciously constellating behind my back: the more I force myself to perfect my ideal image of myself, the more overflowing toilet bowls I’m going to have in my dreams.”

~ Marion Woodman, “Addiction to Perfection” (LINK)

Here, the great Marion Woodman gives an excellent example of how to understand and use polarity management. (Link to Part 1 of this series) In dealing with polarities, we must manage them in the sense of staying in a healthy balance. This may be at the center at one point, and nearer to one side or the other at another. When we see such situations as problems to be solved, we invariably remain out of balance. A polarity map of Yin (feminine) and Yang (masculine) might look like this (there can be many more upsides & downsides for each polarity):

Polarity Management 9

Notice how the focus is to keep the upsides of each pole in play and to minimize the downsides – this requires being in balance in relation to the energies of both poles in the polarity relationship. 95 to 99% of the problems we are asked to solve in formal education are problems with a single right answer. Of the remaining 1 to 5%, virtually all of them are problems with more than one right answer that are independent. Polarities have two or more right answers that are interdependent. Our experience in leadership brings us a higher percentage of polarities.

  • It is possible to manage a polarity well. When you do, you maximize both upsides while minimizing both downsides. This helps you attain and sustain your higher purpose.

  • It is possible to manage a polarity poorly. This is what happens when the issue is seen as a problem to solve in which those in power are able to keep a focus on one pole to the neglect of the other. In a power struggle over poles of a polarity, you will find yourself in the downside of “winner’s” preferred pole. With polarities, over time, there is no such thing as win/lose, there is only win/win or lose.

There is, of course, much more to polarity management. I am just giving you a taste of the model so you, dear reader, can decide if this is something you wish to explore more deeply.

Here are the six steps to the polarity management process from Barry Johnson:

  1. Define the issue.

  2. Include key stakeholders.

  3. Build the polarity map.

  4. Understand how polarities work.

  5. Assess realities with this polarity.

  6. Determine action steps and early warnings.

In a spiritual community there are polarities almost everywhere. Here are a few affecting how the spiritual leadership thinks and acts (LINK):

Polarity Management 10

When these polarities are seen for what they are, the approach to them changes – becoming more complex and multifaceted. A longer view comes into play, since there won’t be a solution, as such. Polarity management moves you into the realization that you are in a long-term relationship with the polarities affecting your spiritual community. My suggestion is to read Barry Johnson’s book POLARITY MANAGEMENT (LINK) and to do some research for online resources on this important model.

Beautiful Flower - Water Lilly

“And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

~ Anaïs Nin

Your comments are welcome!

Copyright 2017 – Jim Lockard


I will be Keynote Speaker at a very special event in La Jolla, California – January 19-21. Please consider joining us! (Event Link)

Positive Gathering Jan 2018


“For every complex problem there is a simple solution. And it’s wrong.”

~ Unknown

Complex Problem

When things are not going the way we want them to, we are conditioned to see them as problems to be solved. In fact, in many cases, they are not – they are actually polarities to be managed.

There are, of course, some problems to be solved – such as getting the sound system to work for your Sunday service, or hiring to fill a vacant position. But many of the things which challenge spiritual leaders the most are polarities – and there is no solution – only the possibility of managing them in such as way as to maximize the desirable aspects (upsides) and minimize the undesirable ones (downsides).

“All the greatest and most important problems of life are fundamentally insoluble. They must be so, for they express the necessary polarity inherent in every self-regulating system. They can never be solved, but only outgrown.”

~ C.G. Jung

Barry Johnson’s groundbreaking work on Polarity Management (LINK to PDF) (LINK to book) brought us a very useful model for visualizing polarities and working to manage them in a positive manner.

“Polarities to manage are sets of opposites that can’t function well independently. Because the two sides of a polarity are interdependent, you cannot choose one as a ‘solution’ and neglect the other. The objective of the Polarity Management perspective is to get the best of both opposites while avoiding the limits of each.” 

~ Barry Johnson

A simple example of a polarity are the aspects of breathing – inhaling and exhaling. They are interdependent – you can’t do one to the exclusion of the other. You can’t just inhale or just exhale. An imbalance in the two will lead to negative consequences. Johnson developed polarity mapping to help see the interrelationships within any polarity.

Polarity Management 5.png

In this simple example, you can see and personally experience how the two aspects are interrelated. There are many polarities which exist in the world of spiritual community (and in many other settings as well). One that we often face and which I have blogged about over and over is the polarity of Stability and Change.

Polarity Management 6

You can see on this map that the upsides of Stability include Consistency and Predictability (there are certainly others), while the downsides include Stagnation and Apathy. On the other side of the polarity, the upsides of Change include Progress and New Energy, while the downsides include Inconsistency and Frustration. The flow lines show that both sides of the polarity are in flux and the goal is to keep the flow going so that the upsides of both sides are maximized, and the downsides minimized. This is clearly a more complex process than simple problem/solution management, but one that is critically important – trying to “solve” polarities just doesn’t work.

The value of polarity management is the expanded view of the dynamics present and the ways that they are interrelated. If the spiritual leader’s attention is toward seeing one or the other side of the polarity as a problem to be solved, she will miss the opportunities to see the interrelationships which need to be managed. The result is likely to be a greater presencing of the downsides of both sides of the polarity. You can see this in the maps below.

The more complexity present, the more valuable polarity management becomes. Things come into view more quickly and can be managed in a direction which optimizes the upsides. The issues which are polarities cannot be solved, and there is an ongoing process of management – what works to optimize upsides today may not work tomorrow. There is a recognition of an ongoing dynamic process, with each side of the polarity contributing to the successful implementation of strategies toward the goal. So, it’s not change against stability – it is the balancing of the two to optimize the upsides of both moving forward.

“Instead of contradicting each other’s view, the task is to supplement each other’s view in order to see the whole picture. Each of them has key pieces to the puzzle. Paradoxically, opposition becomes resource.” 

~ Barry Johnson

In our increasingly complex world, Polarity Management is one more tool in the kit of an evolutionary leader. In Part 2 of this series, I will explore some other examples of polarities present in spiritual community and ministry and go into some more detail about the model itself.

Polarities Statement

“Peace does not mean an absence of conflict, because opposition, polarity and conflict are natural and universal laws.”
~ Bryant McGill

Your comments are always welcomed!

Copyright 2017 – Jim Lockard