“The cemeteries of history are filled with the graves of the dead gods… Astarte, Baal, Isis, Horus, Osiris, Jupiter, Thor. It is time to bury at least one other god, the god of vengeance and anger, a theological policeman whose beat is the universe, a heavenly trigger man, a celestial hit man who has a contract out on some earthly humans.

“There is a far greater archaeology than digging for lost cities. It is an archaeology of the mind, aimed at uncovering the foundations of the authentic city of the soul, covered with all the debris of conventional and antiquated religious systems. We must dig through, layer by layer, until once again each of us can experience in our own lives the fresh new spirit that speaks again ‘let there be light… and there was light…’”

~ William Edelen

All the wishes for a Happy New Year extended at the end of 2019 didn’t work very well for too many people. The unprecedented mix of the COVID19 Pandemic, toxic politics, climate change, and economic hardship combined with the trials and tribulations of everyday life have made 2020 a year many will want to forget. As we enter 2021, the mix continues into the new year with us, so we clearly have some unfinished business.

In our New Thought teachings, we learn that external conditions are the effects of the working of our minds – as within, so without. As we move beyond a basic understanding of this concept, we see that this is not really a linear process. I don’t get a cold because I was thinking about getting a cold; I get a cold because my thought patterns were cause to a weakening of my immune system, and the cold virus penetrated those weakened defenses. My thought patterns were likely about something completely different, but the accompanying anxiety or depression had its effect on my physical body.

“We are living in a Star Wars civilization with Stone Age emotions, medieval institutions and Godlike technology.”

~ E. O. Wilson, Biologist

I have no doubt that the issues that we face collectively have arisen through some creative process in which we are intimately involved. That said, each of us is having an individualized experience of these larger issues. The basis for that experience is our emotional system, called the limbic system, in our being – we were feeling creatures before we were thinking creatures, and emotions are key to our experience.

We may think of objectivity as exemplifying maturity, but that is not so. We are not and can never be objective beings. Our subjectivity is a deeper aspect of who we are. Maturity is, therefore, not a matter of becoming more objective, but of becoming emotionally mature or intelligent. Anaïs Nin says it very well:

“I opposed subjective to objective, imagination to realism. I thought that having gone so deeply into my own feelings and dramas I could never again reach objectivity and knowledge of others. But now I know that any experience carried out deeply to its ultimate leads you beyond yourself into a larger relation to the experience of others. If you intensify and complete your subjective emotions, visions, you see their relation to others’ emotions. It is not a question of choosing between them, one at the cost of another, but a matter of completion, of inclusion, an encompassing, unifying, and integrating which makes maturity.”

~ Anaïs Nin

When we enter a new cycle of life with unfinished business from the previous cycle, we are inhibited in our growth and success. The end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021 is an artificial moment in time, but it is a cyclical moment which we recognize emotionally. Dragging our unfinished business into the new year is never a good idea, and this year it may be more important than in other years for so many of us.

In such cases, we are called to change our minds at depth. This means going beyond the language of thought to the deeper feelings of having one foot in physical reality and one in divinity. The analytical aspects of our minds resist significant change. Our deeper aspects know that change is both inevitable and positive – as long as we are guiding it with a mature wisdom. Radical changes are needed for humanity to continue to live on this planet, and, perhaps to explore others in the future. Radical change means just that – the death of what no longer serves and the birth of what is ready to emerge. The signs that new emergence is ready are everywhere – but we cling to our current habits and lifestyles as though they can support us forever. The cannot, as COVID is showing us in no uncertain terms.

“Mircea Eliade states that it was probably the image of eternal birth and death of the moon that helped to crystallize earliest human intuitions about the alternation of life and death and suggested later on the myth of the periodic creation and destruction of the world.”

~ Demetra George

Creation requires destruction. Evolution is the vehicle of large-scale creation in our universe. Evolution means that something does not exist, and then it does. This radical newness can only occur when what came before is destroyed or radically reconfigured. Life exists because the necessary heavy elements to make it, which did not exist before, were formed in the explosions and collisions of stars and planets. To become an adult, the child has to die – clinging to childhood or to adolescence hampers the functioning of the adult and denies one the full expression of potential. We often fight this evolutionary emergence – and we can see today with the proliferation of conspiracy theories and the acceptance by some of only that information which conforms to their version of reality. This is living in fear and in such people, the soul is crying out for wisdom.

Mature wisdom allows us to direct this process of creation and destruction using our thoughts as the director and our emotions as the “engine” of change.

“You heal by bringing more mindfulness into the emotions that you feel.”

~ Lalah Delia

This new year and the years which follow are filled with challenges, many of them due to our own human behaviors. Like it or not, the work is ours to do, since we are the ones who are present in this transitional moment. Whether this moment leads to positive transformation or to rapidly worsening conditions is up to us, individually and collectively. We are thrust into a hero’s journey of great importance to humanity, if not to the universe as a whole. Our challenge is to see past our own blind spots and to realize the possibilities and not to dwell on those who do not.

How are you going to BE in 2021?

“Our blind spot, from a person or people point of view, keeps us from seeing that we do indeed have greatly enhanced direct access to the deeper sources of creativity and commitment, both as individuals and as communities. It is one of our most hopeful sources of confidence because we can access a deeper presence, power, and purpose from within.” 

~ C. Otto Scharmer, Theory U

Copyright 2020 – Jim Lockard


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

~ Richard Corliss

I like to make it a practice to vision and spend some time in solitude during the last half of December each year. This year, I find that I am in a place of needing to do that very much and will largely unplug for 3 weeks from “business” stuff like committees, advisory boards, and the like. I will spend time with my wife and Zoom with family and friends, dabble on social media in a reduced way. I want to spend some quality time discerning what is up for me in 2021.

I find that coming to terms with 2020 is a difficult but essential task before moving on. Of course, the major issues of 2020 will carry forward – at a minimum, the global climate crisis, the COVID19 pandemic, economic inequality, and the strained political atmosphere will not cease to exist at midnight on December 31st. Nor will racism, sexism, religious intolerance, and so on. But this is the world we live in, and it is not subject to dates on the calendar.

“In an age of acceleration nothing can be more exhilarating than going slow; in an age of distraction, nothing is so luxurious as paying attention; and in an age of constant movement, nothing is so urgent as sitting still.”

~ Pico Iyer

One of the fortunate things about the way 2020 has unfolded it that, thanks to quarantine policies, solitude is easier to manage for many than in the normal year. Another fortunate thing is all the opportunities for learning about myself and my psychological and spiritual development that the year has brought. I am tugged from within to make some changes, and that is what I will explore during my personal retreat.

“It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.” 

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

The goal is not to separate from humanity, from community. The goal is to realize my best self and live it in more aspects of my life. I want to engage more fully and compassionately. I want to be more present, more connected, more of a contributor for good. I want to savor the best of life and find the inner resolve to stand in the face of the worst of it.

Each day I will spend time in meditation and contemplation. Perhaps I will journal as well. I plan to walk in nature and listen to beautiful music, explore art and culture. Along with my private students during this time, I will re-read Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces and revisit some of the work of Carl Jung. All of this will be with a question in mind – What is next for me?

“Long ago the word alone was treated as two words, all one. To be all one meant to be wholly one, to be in oneness, either essentially or temporarily. That is precisely the goal of solitude, to be all one. It is the cure for frazzled state so common to modern women.”

~ Clarissa Pinkola Estes

I will vision what I want to BE in 2021, and how that will FEEL. What is ready to be born anew?

“. . . schism in the soul, schism in the body social, will not be resolved by any scheme of return to the good old days (archaism), or by programs guaranteed to render an ideal projected future (futurism), or even by the most realistic, hardheaded work to weld together again the deteriorating elements. Only birth can conquer death – the birth, not of the old thing again, but of something new. Within the soul, within the body social, there must be – if we are to experience long survival – a continuous ‘recurrence of birth’ (palingensia) to nullify the unremitting recurrences of death.”

~ Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, page 16

(a quote that might be good to forward to President-Elect Biden)

While the degree of schism may be greater in 2020 for many than in other years, the solution is the same – the birth of new thoughts, the emergence of creative expressions of good, love, truth, and beauty. These things can bring us to the realization of a greater expression of life for ourselves, and, when expanded beyond to our communities, for a collection realization. It is clear to me what my agenda is – to make myself available to this new birth without attachment to what it must look like.

I know that the year will bring opportunity, joy, and sorrow. It will bring challenges and frustration as well. I want to BE strong within and without so that I can bring compassion for myself and others to every situation. I want to listen to the small voice within to discern what it is that is calling to me. I want to be available to the transformation that calls to me from within – to be a lived expression of a New Thought Evolutionary.

“Step far enough into the world’s injustices, cruelty and stark brutality, and they will hammer away at your idealism. They will even shatter your dreams of being an effective agent of change. However, if your vision is rooted in your heart, when the heartbreak comes you will feel pain, loss and deep deprivation, but it will not be the end of the story. It will be the beginning of a sacred transformation.”

~ James O’Dea

Have a blessed Holiday Season and New Year. I am so grateful that you have chosen to share this journey with me.

Copyright 2020 – Jim Lockard


“We are all carrying the grief of the lives we thought we would be living right now. We are continually mourning our missed events, our changed plans, our what-might-have-been years.”

~ John Pavlovitz on Twitter

“When we find ourselves in a place of discomfort and fear, we’ll find that we want to blame, to take sides, to stand our ground. We feel we must have some resolution. For the warrior, ‘right’ is as extreme a view as ‘wrong.’ They both block our innate wisdom.”

~ Pema Chödrön

Life has a way of getting our attention, letting us know when we are being lazy, inattentive, or fearful. The inner wisdom of the soul continually seeks to bring the Divine Urge of being into our awareness seeking the fulfillment of the Soul’s Agenda. Joseph Campbell wrote that a human being is “protoplasm with an Urge.” The Urge is to follow the agenda: for us to live fully, authentically, fearlessly as ourselves. This Urge is insatiable, as the soul seeks to experience the Infinite.

So many of us resist this Divine Urge, always to our detriment. It is almost impossible not to resist it in some instances, as the soul does not care about rules or propriety, and it definitely does not care about pleasing others at the expense of our own authenticity. The soul demands our best and it wants us to be explorers of being fully alive. It seeks fulfillment without – in our physical experiences of life, and within – in our mystical connection with the Beloved. In finding fulfillment of our soul’s agenda, we are required to become radically self-honest and spiritually mature.

“We have a fear of facing ourselves. That is the obstacle. Experiencing the innermost core of our existence is very embarrassing to a lot of people. A lot of people turn to something that they hope will liberate them without their having to face themselves. That is impossible. We can’t do that. We have to be honest with ourselves. We have to see our gut, our excrement, our most undesirable parts. We have to see them. That is the foundation of warriorship, basically speaking. Whatever is there, we have to face it, we have to look at it, study it, work with it and practice meditation with it.”

~ Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

Spiritual seekers often avoid this essential pain by using spiritual bypass. They think that if they do not look at their problems, they will go away. They police their language (and often the language of others) for anything sounding “negative.” They would rather call the game “Goodminton” than “Badminton.” They may do a regular spiritual practice, but they stay in the shallow waters of the self, never delving into the depths where shadow resides. Despite being in a teaching that says that victimhood unnecessary in consciousness, they often celebrate victimhood and resent it when it is pointed out as unnecessary or something to overcome.

Recently on a social media platform, I commented on a question about connecting with the Divine by saying that I could see the divine in others but still keep reasonable boundaries and that I could call someone out for being out of harmony if they were hurting themselves or another. While there are a number of “Likes”, there were also comments that I was out of principle for saying such a thing. The implication was that if I am “seeing the Divine in another” that I could not also see incongruency in them and hold them accountable, I guess. What I believe is that I can be kind and still disagree with someone – or seek to hold them accountable if that is mine to do. A spiritual warrior would know that.

If you were arrested and charged with being a Religious Scientist, would there be enough evidence to convict you?

This old saying carries a great deal of truth for the spiritual seeker who uses The Science of Mind on their spiritual pathway. Adherents of other New Thought teachings can put the appropriate name in the sentence. It asks is there is evidence of your spiritual teaching in your life for others to see. It asks if you are an example of the teaching. Would it be obvious or would an observer be surprised to find the book on your coffee table or bedside stand?

The embodiment of a New Thought spiritual teaching is an ongoing journey with no final arrival point. There is always more potential for realization and experience. There is a deepening or mellowing process over time as one increasingly embodies the teaching as a BEING STATE. We gradually shift from being a spiritual amateur to a spiritual warrior. We move from a being nature that is largely fearful to one that is largely love realized.

“Love is not the overly emotional or passionate rapture we see in the movies. Love is the absolute absence of fear. When there is no fear, there is no need to justify or defend our beliefs. I cannot stress enough the need to choose love over fear every step of the way, because that choice alone marks the difference between resisting change (holding on to the past) and embracing what is happening and what is yet to come, while allowing your divine nature and true power of a peaceful warrior to emerge.”

~ Puck Arks

The warrior nature is our inner power. The amateur warrior is indiscriminate and largely outer-directed in her battles. She fights, resists, fears, is anxious and always on the defensive. As she matures, her warrior nature turns inward, recognizing that is where her power is and coming to understand that the real battles are internal – with her own fears and ignorance.

The spiritual warrior more deeply realizes his own potential and identity, whether we call that the Christ Consciousness, Buddha Mind, or enlightenment. He says “YES” to everything, realizing that if it is in his life it is his by right of consciousness, whether “it” is positive or negative in nature. The spiritual warrior does not turn from what is uncomfortable, does not practice avoidance, but engages fully with life in all its aspects.

The path of warriorship is the path of mastery. If we are to successfully navigate these increasingly challenging times, we will need to develop our mastery and our mature warrior consciousness.

“The movement from basic knowledge to principled understanding to embodied integration is the idealized essence of mastery in any growth process.”

~ Christopher Heuertz

The goal is the effortless expression of life from an embodiment of a great teaching. To live the Science of Mind in each unfolding moment because through daily practice it has filled our being nature so fully that it is the essence from which we automatically perceive and act. We never fully arrive, but the path is made smooth so that we see what is essential.

I want to live my life so that if The Science of Mind books were lost, they could be rewritten by observing me.

Copyright 2020- Jim Lockard


NOTE: at the end of this post is an announcement for an upcoming class I am offering – MASTERING THE SCIENCE OF MIND

“What fresh hell is this?”

~ Dorothy Parker

I am aware of the range of emotions which so many are feeling this week. The energy has been building as the US elections grow closer and the pandemic continues. I must say, that as I explore social media platforms, I am seeing just about everything but joy. I am seeing sadness, anger, fear, lots of cynicism, rage, and so on. These feelings are largely due to the fact that we, each of us, regardless of our political loyalties (or lack thereof), seek a better world and are frustrated that does not appear to be happening – at least not on our terms.

I am not here to tell you how to feel – I have felt and am feelings many of the above emotions myself these days. But I am seeking to find that inner Joy within myself more and more. I am seeking the experience of being a greater example of the teaching I love, The Science of Mind. That is what this post is about.

“In the Science of Mind, we do not say everything is all right when it is all wrong. We do not say peace when there is no peace, but rather we try to discover what is wrong and why we do not have peace. We do not say that people are not poor, sick, or unhappy. We ask why these things should be if the Original Cause of all things is Harmonious, Perfect, Radiant, and Happy.”

~ Ernest Holmes, Living the Science of Mind

What challenges us reveals where we are psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually. But challenges do not reveal where we can or will be as we develop further. If we currently feel inadequate to the challenges we face, it is a signal to go within and call forth something new – greater love, strength, awareness, etc. Our challenges call us toward greater mastery of our teaching so that we might realize the greater Truth of our being. There is no limit to what is within us, but it cannot serve us unless we call it forth into expression.

“Nature will not let us stay in any one place too long.  She will let us stay just long enough to gather the experience necessary to the unfolding and advancing of the soul.  This is a wise provision, for should we stay here too long, we would become too set, too rigid, too inflexible.  Nature demands the change in order that we should advance.  When the change comes, we should welcome it with a smile on the lips and a song in the heart.”

~ Ernest Holmes

We are ever urged forward in our growth and realization. The Divine urge of our soul is to move toward greater fulfillment and expression. The soul wants us to be fully authentic, fully realized, fully expressed. The soul will not settle for less – if growth stops for too long, it will torment us until we get back on the pathway. When we feel overwhelmed, we should seek solace and practice self-care, however, we must also realize there is something within us that is not overwhelmed. And that we will continue forward on our spiritual pathway after our rest.

“We shall often need to announce that the Truth which we announce is superior to the condition we are to change.”

~ Ernest Holmes

What Dr. Holmes means here is that when we become firm in our conviction and faith in the Creative Power within, conditions change. We must see through appearances (current facts and our reaction to them) and know that something greater is not only possible but is assured as we expand our realization. When we are bombarded by negativity of one kind or another, it is easy to become disheartened. That is when we most need our conviction. To access to our inner strength in such times, we have to have been doing our spiritual practices regularly. If we have not, we had better get started.

“What the world needs is spiritual conviction, followed by spiritual experience. I would rather see a student of this Science prove its Principle than to have him repeat all the words of wisdom that have ever been uttered. It is far easier to teach the Truth than it is to practice It.”

~ Ernest Holmes

Mastery is not a final step in our spiritual growth – it is a step from which we can realize Truth more easily. It is a state of being attained through rigorous, regular practice, requiring radical self-honesty. Mastery means we naturally walk our talk.

We arrive at each moment of our life and the circumstances which are presented having access only to the degree of our potential which we have developed. We often realize that we are unprepared for those moments, which is a divine reminder to do the work more diligently. If we are to continue on our journey toward greater expression of our Divine nature, we must do the work, demanded of us. We are by nature evolutionary beings, so let us evolve!

“Evolution has brought man* to a point of self expression and it can do no more for him until he consciously co-operates with it…. All nature waits on man’s recognition of and co-operation with her laws, and is always ready to obey his will; but man must use Nature’s forces in accordance with her laws, and in co-operation with her purposes—which is goodness, truth, and beauty—if he wishes to attain self-mastery.”

~ Ernest Holmes

Spirit can only do for us, what if can do through us, as Dr. Holmes notes early in The Science of Mind text. This is a basic metaphysical law. We must create the inner conditions for the deep realization and expression of Spirit’s intention for us. We must consistently move toward mastery of our teaching so that when we are challenged at depth, we are prepared and ready to respond from Love, Wisdom, and Power. We can create #TheBelovedCommunity together when each of us has done this critical work to realize our deepest potentials and develop the compassionate heart.

Then we are capable of acting individually and collectively to change the world to #AWorldThatWorksForEveryone.

“(One’s) mind should swing from inspiration to action, from contemplation to accomplishment, from prayer to performance.”

~ Ernest Holmes

Copyright 2020 – Jim Lockard

*I use the original gender identification used by Dr. Holmes in this quote.


“One cannot be a good student of the Science of Mind who is filled with fear and confusion.”

~ Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind

“One must never give way to fear, but one must admit to oneself that one is afraid.”

~ C.G. Jung

The year 2020 is a year of transition for humanity, a year of hardship for many, and a year lived in at least some fear for most. It is a year when old institutions are showing their inadequacy to the world which is emerging, and when the fear of change is driving our politics. We are facing unprecedented challenges from climate change – an issue that grows more urgent and disruptive each day. We are learning the costs of failing to keep our social house in order as the politics of anger, hatred, and fear dominates most news cycles. Racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination have clearly not been healed and they are becoming ever more visible, causing heartache and violence in too many places. Decades of progress toward a more equitable and compassionate society in the United States are now being reversed in many instances. The increasing complexity of our societies is causing confusion, fear, and a retreat to simplistic answers which no longer work.

What 2020 Feels Like to Many

The two quotes at the top of the post may seem to be diametrically in opposition, however, they align quite well. Ernest Holmes is not telling us to deny fear – he is telling us to move through it and beyond it. He is saying that we cannot practice the principles of the Science of Mind teaching if we are filled with fear. But we will always have some fear, will we not? A refusal to admit to fear is a lie to oneself and radical self honesty is essential to the practice of the Science of Mind as with all New Thought teachings. How we recognize and process that fear is the key to our experience.

“You can’t go limp in the face of this world’s horror and barbarity. Limp is what they want, in the paranoid sense of the word ‘they.’”

~ Anne Lamont

We are imbued with Power as a divine aspect of our being. This Power is Life itself, the animating force, and it includes the capacities needed to live our lives creatively and fully. When fused with Love, this Power is a force for good – for us and others. In times such as these, it is important to recognize and express our Power and our Love. This kind of Love refuses to be abused and will abuse no one; but it will stand in courage and Truth. Our battles are within ourselves as the voices of our Higher Self and our fear-based ego each seek our attention.

“The world we see that seems so insane is the result of a belief system that is not working. To perceive the world differently, we must be willing to change our belief system, let the past slip away, expand our sense of now, and dissolve the fear in our minds.”

~ William James

“The human ego prefers anything, just about anything, to falling or changing or dying. The ego is that part of you that loves the status quo, even when it is not working. It attaches to past and present, and fears the future.”

~ Richard Rohr

Our fears are associated with losing what we have – freedom, joy, even life itself. Indeed, these things are threatened for many in these times. We must find the inner strength to shed our attachment to the status quo, as those beliefs and practices are inadequate to the demands of the current world. We are being called to an evolutionary response of a higher order than the current status quo, which serves very few.

My best definition of fear is “the edge of your known reality.” This kind of fear is natural, and wise – for when we are stepping out of what is known, fear can keep us focused and heighten our senses. This is the fear that we feel when we are on an adventure – a fear that may frighten us but is also welcomed. A key to thriving in these times is seeing them as an adventure – a high calling to our deepest faculties and a challenge to our best selves.

The world around us is changing and we must rise to the tasks at hand. We cannot pretend that nothing is happening, or retreat into an insistence on positive thinking only. We must confront the reality head on, not deny its fearsome aspects and stand in our Power. The positive thoughts we think must take into account the reality around us or we will not be effective in changing it for the better.

“Our spirituality should not infantilize us or make us whitewash evil. Spiritual seekers should be the biggest grownups in the room.”

~ Marianne Williamson

“Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging. Negativism to the pain and ferocity of life is negativism to life. We are not there until we can say ‘yea’ to it all.”

~ Joseph Campbell

We do not lack information, which is everywhere. What we too often lack is the willingness to discern the quality of that information and then to step forward and engage from a place of Power and Love. Just talking about what is wrong, or “Doomscrolling” through social media is not going to move us forward. We need to know what is happening, where the threats are, find strategies with which we can align to create better outcomes, and then work to bring those strategies to life.

“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

Let us begin by acknowledging our fears and assisting each other to move through and past them, bringing courage into our reality during the process. Let us clearly vision the kind of world we wish to inhabit and set clear intentions about manifesting. Let us bring compassion into conflict, but also set and enforce healthy boundaries to preserve our mental and emotional well being. Let us enter into the joy of living in a word which includes sorrows. As Joseph Campbell wrote, we cannot cure the world of sorrow, but we can learn to live in joy. He meant that when we bring the best of ourselves to what challenges us, we feel fully alive.

We are called to do our inner work in order to bring our authentic selves forward so that we rise above our fears and sense of inadequacy – and our fear of our own Power – to create a world that works for everyone. Begin now, today, with one thing that will allow you to express more fully, more compassionately, and more courageously.

“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

Copyright 2020 – Jim Lockard


“His grief he will not forget; but it will not darken his heart, it will teach him wisdom.”

~ J.R.R. Tolkein

“Lord, we have lost so much this year. John Lewis was a blow. Chadwick Boseman was a gut punch. Nearly 200,000 souls have gone into the ether. Losing Ruth Bader Ginsburg just fills the whole atmosphere with despair. Let’s fight it though and honor these great souls by our actions.”

~ Joy Reid, MSNBC Host

We are grieving, so many of us. The families and friends of over 200,000 who have died from COVID19 or its complications grieve, often without benefit of last visits or funerals. Those who value civil rights grieve the loss of John Lewis and Chadwick Boseman among others, while Black Lives Matter and modern civil rights efforts and protesters are vilified by so many Americans. Those who value liberal democracy (LINK) are grieving the ruthless power grabs of the current US administration and the rise of authoritarian leadership in several western democracies.

And we each have our own losses to grieve. Personal losses in our own families, losses of jobs and livelihoods, losses of the ability to move about and connect freely, losses of in-person spiritual community, and more. I have written about grieving before (LINK) (LINK), but that was about personal grieving – the United States is in grieving now as a nation. Not everyone, of course. Some are in denial of what is unfolding, some support it blindly, and others have tuned out. But if you are paying attention, and your have even a small degree of empathy, you are grieving – whether you know it or not.

“Failures to grieve loss and disappointment, openly, honestly, will rise again, as unbidden ghosts from their untimely burial, through depression, or as projection onto objects of compelling, delusive desire, or through captivation by the mindless distractions of our time.”

~ James Hollis

We grieve what is lost, or what we are in the process of losing. We grieve the dead, and the seriously ill. We grieve the loss of innocence, as we are made aware of the degree of oppression of so many in our “free country.” We grieve the fact that movements like Black Lives Matter, LGBTQIA+, and #MeToo are necessary in our society. We grieve for the children in cages near our border and for their displaced families; we grieve the loss of a sense of living in a compassionate nation.

If we are aware of all of these things and do not grieve, then we are caught in a spiral of denial and our development is arrested, if not reversed. Our national obsessions with blind consumerism and the cult of celebrity are examples of the kinds of mindless distractions of our time, to which James Hollis refers in the quote above.

“Every one of us must undertake an apprenticeship with sorrow. We must learn the art and craft of grief, discover the profound ways it ripens and deepens us. While grief is an intense emotion, it is also a skill we develop through a prolonged walk with loss.”

~ Francis Weller

When we allow ourselves to grieve, we give ourselves the opportunity to emerge from that process with a healing. We may still be broken in some way, but the mended place can ultimately be stronger than before. When we allow ourselves to grieve, and each of us grieves differently, we process loss, betrayal, and sadness into something new – an alchemy of healing (LINK) emerges and we are lifted up into a new stage of growth.

“True maturation on the spiritual path requires that we discover the depth of our wounds; our grief… unfulfilled longing, sorrow that we have stored up during the course of our lives. Until we are able to bring awareness to our old wounds, we find ourselves repeating their patterns of unfulfilled desire, anger, and confusion over and over again. We heal through a systematic spiritual practice.”

~ Jack Kornfield

Now is the time to grieve, for loss is upon us. In addition to the normal losses of any life, the year 2020 seems to be calling us out for all that we have failed to do as a people in the past. We are driven by events which can no longer be avoided but must be managed and ultimately transmuted into new ways of being. Our relationships with our planet and our fellow humans must change. We are losing much in this process – some of it real, some imagined or fantasized – but loss it is.

We are called to come to the realization that we are not mere actors in this drama of life, we are the authors of our individual and collective experiences. And while we cannot control others, we can work to help influence others to realize the value of coexistence in peace and with equal measures of liberty and accountability. We have the tools of great teachings to use – let us use them wisely, compassionately, and with great passion and power. We are called to courage, but not a courage which denies our need to grieve.

“Do we have the courage to hold the grief that comes with the end of a story? You can only hold the beginning if you are prepared to also hold the grief for what is over, otherwise a certain maturity is lacking. At this time we are called upon to recognize the bigger story—which is not the story of supermarkets, not the story of politicians, not even the story of religious fanatics—but the story of the earth at this time.”

~ Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

Copyright 2020 – Jim Lockard

Image c Christophe Dessaigne


New Thought teachings are about healing. If that is so, I often wonder at how much is unhealed in us, how we struggle with basic things, resist change, hold grudges, too often loathe ourselves, and more. Why do our spiritual communities struggle to survive, rarely thriving with attendance and financial support? Why are we not magnets for the many who seek healing in their own lives, families, communities, and nations?

Perhaps, we have not learned what healing is, much less how to teach it. We have nibbled around the edges, celebrating getting parking spaces or buying a new car (with only 5-7 years of payments!), or manifesting relationships which ultimately do not work. We attempt to affirm things we do not wish to experience away, refusing to look at the negative side of ourselves and manifesting denial. Can we truly say that we are any more “successful” in these areas than others who do not know about our teachings?

“I marvel at the overwhelming power of the unconscious and, at the same time, the intensity of its drive toward healing.”

~ Marion Woodman

“Christ healed the blind, the halt, the palsied, and the leprous. But the fool He could not cure.”

~ Khalil Gibran

And is the issue one of an insufficient understanding of Principle, or of insufficient or incompetent practice? Or both? Or perhaps it is one of refusing to see suffering as an inevitable part of life, refusing to confront what we fear; or coming to believe that if there is something wrong in my life there is something wrong with me?

“We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get ‘solved.’ They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief and for relief, room for misery and for joy.” 

~ Pema Chödrön

Pema writes here of a spaciousness in consciousness – a willingness to expand our perspective, allowing ourselves to embrace a wider variety of experience, sensation, and emotion. When we shut ourselves off to pain, we effectively decide that we are not up to being fully human. We limit our ability to presence fully – to be present to the ups and downs of life while recognizing that our essential center will hold. This is a necessary quality to possess if one is to live among other humans, for have no doubts, other humans WILL let you down from time to time; just as you will let yourself down from time to time. The essential center – the sense of empowerment linked to a realization of one’s own divine nature – is what must be realized. It does not need to be developed, nor strengthened, for it is always fully present. It does, however, need to be realized, which we can do with spiritual practice and deep self-examination.

The realization of this essential center and the ability to live from a knowing that it is always present, can be seen in higher levels of emotional and spiritual intelligence. Higher levels of these intelligences lift you into the realm of alchemy – the realm of the Magician archetype. Here, healing is the natural order of the day, for when one fully trusts the essential center, one can face any degree of pain, knowing that healing is the alchemical transformation of consciousness via thought and emotion.

“Emotional intelligence is about so much more than recognizing, naming, honoring, feeling and expressing your authentic emotions. It also consists of alchemizing and transmuting them, releasing the heart wall, healing the emotional body and developing emotional regulation skills.”

~ Mary Amhasnaa

Emotional and Spiritual Intelligence (EQ & SQ) give us the capacity to expand and grow out of the need for certainty and predictability in ourselves and in the world around us. If we are to master ourselves and live fully in the world in which we find ourselves, we must deal with what has, up until now, been too difficult to look at – our past, our shadows, our denied and fragmented selves. There is also a call to do this collectively – to see how our larger society has systemically harmed so many of its members. This collective call can only be truly answered by those who have done their own work of self-mastery. Otherwise, there is insufficient strength – not enough connection to the essential center – to do the heavy lifting of transforming society.

This matters now because we are collectively in a time of great turmoil. The collective consciousness of humanity seems to be ready for a shift and what has been must be replaced by what is newly emerging. Any resistance to this will be painful, and those without a sound realization of their essential center are in for a very rough time. Any “unfinished business” within will inhibit one’s availability to transformation.

“True maturation on the spiritual path requires that we discover the depth of our wounds; our grief… unfulfilled longing, sorrow that we have stored up during the course of our lives. Until we are able to bring awareness to our old wounds, we find ourselves repeating their patterns of unfulfilled desire, anger, and confusion over and over again. We heal through a systematic spiritual practice.”

~ Jack Kornfield

We heal through a systemic spiritual practice, but we must also become radically self-honest. We must do the work of discovering what we have repressed about ourselves and our relationships and accepting and reintegrating these aspects into a healthy version of ourselves. This work cannot be done only by affirming what we desire. We must also look into our own darkness, because if we do not, we can only skim the surface of what is possible – parking spaces instead of true mastery.

“To experience some healing within ourselves, and to contribute healing to the world, we are summoned to wade through the muck from time to time. Where we do not go willingly, sooner or later we will be dragged.”

~ James Hollis, Ph.D., Jungian analyst

“Carl Jung said that if you find the psychic wound in an individual or a people, there you also find their path to consciousness. For it is in the healing of our psychic wounds that we come to know ourselves.”

~ Robert A. Johnson

Throughout this process, our souls yearn to have healing expressed throughout our being. While we have often been conditioned to ignore these yearnings, they have always been there. When we stop resisting, the healing energy is more available to us and we can establish a connection with that essential center. It is in being willing to explore our pain centers that we open doors to deep healing, doors which we may have closed earlier in life.

Nothing short of radical self-honestly will do today. We are collectively challenged to co-create a more equitable, compassionate, and sustainable society and the resistance to this happening is significant. Our woundedness and repressed selves keeps us afraid of deep change. Only by healing at depth can you participate in this unfolding and evolving process from a place of personal integrity and mastery. The path of healing is uneven, difficult, exhilarating, and never ending.

“You can be healing and still: — triggered — afraid — emotionally closed-off — unclear of which path to take next — tender Healing is not perfection, it’s small steps and progress toward becoming you again. Journey with grace through the process.”

~ Lalah Delia

I focus on the yearnings of my soul for healing. I work to bring myself into alignment with my soul’s agenda – to be a fully authentic version of myself, feel comfortable in my own skin, expand to allow the full range of life’s experiences and emotions, and resonate with the fullness of my essential center. I am a match for this world.


~ Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind

Copyright 2020 – Jim Lockard

My Metaphysical Psychology Program Course, which begins on Sept 12th, is designed to bring you into resonance with your essential center.

If you are interested, email me at

Also – this wonderful conference is happening ONLINE in October! Register now!


Five years ago today, the first post of this blog was published – link below. Since then, we have explored many aspects of spirituality, cultural evolution, and spiritual leadership. It is my deep hope that you, dear reader, have found and continue to find value here as you follow the path of your own spiritual journey.

First Post – August 24, 2015 (LINK)

I am very grateful to those who follow this blog regularly, and to those who have taken the time to comment on the various posts over these years. We have had over 102,000 visits!

We find ourselves in times which bring us great challenges. Developing a firm spiritual support system has never been more important. Only through spiritual poise and discernment can we successfully transverse the waves of information and emotional challenges we face. I hope to continue to serve as something of a guide to these times if you are willing to come along for the journey, all the better.

“The answer is never the answer. What’s really interesting is the mystery. If you seek the mystery instead of the answer, you’ll always be seeking. I’ve never seen anybody really find the answer. They think they have, so they stop thinking. But the job is to seek mystery, evoke mystery, plant a garden in which strange plants grow and mysteries bloom. The need for mystery is greater than the need for an answer.”

~ Ken Kesey

Copyright 2020 – Jim Lockard

REMINDER: My 2020-2021 Metaphysical Psychology Program begins soon! There is an information call Saturday August 28th. Email me at if you want to receive a link to that call plus additional information about the course.



“If you live in a world where you are constantly replaying the past, you can never imagine a world that has not yet existed.”

~ Adam Curtis

In my last post (LINK) I described how a return to some of the basic principles and practices of New Thought can be very helpful in dealing with the pressure, stress, and frustration of the issues facing us. In this post, I suggest that if we are to transcend the challenges we face, we may have to take those principles and practices to a deeper level.

With all that is happening now – the pandemic, growing unemployment, Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests, the conflicted mess of US politics with a coming election, and the elephant in the room: Climate Crisis looming and still getting worse. We are in a time of VUCA challenges – Volatility – Uncertainty – Complexity – Ambiguity.

We are experiencing high amounts of stress. Michelle Obama announced that she is suffering from “low grade depression” (LINK) as a result of all that is happening in the US. As a demonstration of how things are in US society, she is immediately supported by liberals and vilified by conservatives. Such is our current reality.

The disastrous US national response to the COVID-19 pandemic is just one example of the results of electing people to office who lack the capacity for truly complex thinking and for compassion. The rising up of many in protest speaks to a desire to heal the nation – but then many get caught up in fear-based responses. Can you envision Moses, returning from Mount Sinai with the tablets, coming upon a scene such as the one currently playing out in the United States?


Imagine instead if this were how we collectively approached electing leaders:

“More important than any other quality in our politicians we must demand psychological illumination, psychological awareness, because otherwise we get people sparring with their own shadows. Otherwise you’ll get nations, as we had in 1939, like the Germans projecting their shadows onto the Jews, and then when they were eliminating the Jews, onto the Poles and God knows what else.”

~Sir Laurens van der Post, Matter of Heart

One might think that the application of New Thought principles would lead to a clear voice for the kind of leadership mentioned above. However, within our New Thought community, I am seeing a lot of “stress fractures” among some folks on social media and at centers where I have guest spoken and done Q&A – a broad acceptance of conspiracy theories by some, a withdrawal from anything “negative” by others. On the positive side, we are also seeing many who seek some clarification/revision of NT principles to allow for a recognition of a kind of “victimhood” for oppressed people. None of this is particularly surprising, given the confluence of the pandemic with BLM and the woke/cancel culture movements. And it is necessary to acknowledge the oppression and harm that so many have suffered in our society. Without that acceptance, we will not be able to move toward healing, reconciliation, and true equality and inclusion.

What I see lacking in the moment are a sufficient number of leadership voices helping people through these perplexing times – finding ways to reinforce the basic principles of the Science of Mind and other NT teachings, while adding some nuances is increasingly important, I think. In these complex times, a simplistic grasp of Principle is inadequate. For some, ideas such as “it is all consciousness” and “you create your own reality” seem to include the false belief that this means a level playing field – that everyone is in an equal place when they become aware of how to think in more powerful, positive, and effective ways. Such thinking ignores the lived experiences of people. It also carries with it a sense of supremacy (white/male/straight) and privilege with the accompanying conscious and unconscious biases leading to vastly inaccurate assumptions.

“. . .And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the negro poor has worsened over the last twelve or fifteen years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice and humanity.”

~ Martin Luther King, Jr. 

The fact that this 40-year-old statement by Dr. King is still valid, that the progress sought is still largely unrealized, speaks to the resistance of white culture to putting the necessary effort into bringing about justice and humanity for all. And this failure is not limited to those outside of the New Thought movement. Our members who are of color have not experienced a full sense of inclusion historically. While we may be more open to exploring this issue than some others, we have much work to do, both within our spiritual communities, and without in the larger communities where we live and work.

“Our spirituality should not infantilize us or make us whitewash evil. Spiritual seekers should be the biggest grownups in the room.”

~ Marianne Williamson

What is required as complexity increases and the responses from those unready or unwilling to adapt become more destructive, is an increase in emotional and spiritual intelligence (EQ – LINK) (SQ – LINK). This means developing our capacities to accept uncertainty, paradox, mystery, while staying grounded in the ability to act in the world around us. It means finding the inner strength to withstand the pressure and stress of living in this moment. It means increasing our abilities of (Discernment – LINK) so as to find the grains of truth in the onslaught of information and false claims coming at us every day – from advertising, to political punditry, to conspiracy theories.

“The bigger the context in which you can see your own life, the more informed your choices and actions are.”

~ Cindy Wigglesworth

Expecting the same level of consciousness with which you manifested a promotion, or a better car, or healed a minor illness to be adequate to what humanity collectively faces now is naïve at best. I call that “first plateau consciousness,” the level that many students of New Thought reach after a year or so of study and practice. It is a definite improvement over “ordinary consciousness,” when you don’t know how powerful thought can be, but a higher level of realization is needed today. We need to break free of the deeper limiting believes in our subconscious – the ones which are generally untouched by first plateau consciousness.

This is why unconscious biases including racism, sexism, ageism, and gender and sexual identity biases can continue to exist in our spiritual communities. These things tend to be beneath the awareness of those who hold them but are painfully obvious to the targets of these biases. Anything within your subconscious of which you are ashamed is very unlikely to be healed by first plateau consciousness.

“Nature will not let us stay in any one place too long.  She will let us stay just long enough to gather the experience necessary to the unfolding and advancing of the soul.  This is a wise provision, for should we stay here too long, we would become too set, too rigid, too inflexible.  Nature demands the change in order that we should advance.  When the change comes, we should welcome it with a smile on the lips and a song in the heart.”

~ Ernest Holmes

Higher levels exist, and your soul is yearning to experience them. These levels include growth in EQ & SQ along with deeper spiritual and self-realization. But they require deep personal work, which is always uncomfortable and often very painful. This is not the kind of thing that is healed in a weekend seminar or a short class, and certainly not in a single Zoom call. Higher consciousness requires commitment, diligent work and spiritual practices, and at least one, but more likely several guides who have traveled the pathway ahead of you.

We are called to rise up today. Before we can properly and effectively rise up in the world, we must first rise up within ourselves. We were born with everything we need, every shred of potential lies within us, much of it unrealized. It is time to rise up and realize more and more of that potential so that we can each give our unique gifts to co-create for all of humanity #AWorldThatWorksForEveryone.

You are needed.

You are essential.

You are ready to rise up.

And it is all within you.

To answer the question in the title of this post, our principles can never hold us back. They are timeless and limitless. What is holding us back is our resistance to going deeper, to delving into the discomfort of our repressed selves, creating a path to healing and to allowing our inner wisdom to come to the surface so that we can apply it for ourselves and for all of humanity.

“Real emergencies surface people with real leadership capacity. It is possible to become more clear, present, focused, and capable as the stress rises. If you are centered and clear, then act. If you are anxious, frantic, overwhelmed, or unclear…take a break and center yourself. Come back to action when you are clear and ready to act effectively.”

~ Daniel Schmachtenberger

 As always, your comments are welcomed in the comments section. Please feel free to share this post with others.

Copyright 2020 – Jim Lockard


Once again I will be offering my Metaphysical Psychology course to a limited number of students for the coming year.

If you are interested, the email is below.

Mkting 1Mkting 2


Americans are dying

We cannot travel anywhere

Our infection rate is catastrophic

We have no coordination among states or our federal government. 

We are isolated. 

We are sick. 

We are the laughing stock of other countries. 

We are broken. 

This did not have to happen.


I have not written a post for a while.

Like many, if not all, of you, I have been trying to process what is happening in the world currently, especially in the United States. As the words above illustrate, we are in a time of major challenges across a wide spectrum, from the pandemic, lockdown, and its health crisis; to the protests and government response; to rising warnings about climate change and ecosystem collapse – all subject to being misrepresented for ideological and economic reasons. Add the degree of political conflict and the ongoing issues of racism, sexism, gender bias, and classism to the list and you can see how this is both the result and secondary cause of a growing mental health crisis – with more and more people seeking solace in conspiracy theories and acting out in sometimes violent anti-social ways. Add to these things a Federal government which has no idea how to encourage higher social and cultural development while actually working to make some things worse.

One reason why I have not written a post for longer than usual is that I keep seeking some “bigger” wisdom: something more appropriate for these times. I do not want to retreat into platitudes or “feel-good” spirituality, because those seem somehow inadequate for the moment. As I write these words, my inner voice speaks up and gently reminds me that there is no big or small in Spirit. And, of course, that is true.

“There is One Mind, that Mind is God. That Mind is your Mind now. This Mind is always inspired with Confidence. It has no fears, no doubts, no uncertainties. God in you leads, directs and governs you at all times. The Spirit is never hurried, never worried, never afraid. Infinite happiness and Joy belong to the eternal Spirit in which you move and have your Being.”

~ Ernest Holmes audio recording on Confidence

We are clearly in a time of great upheaval, a turbulent time of change for human societies. When added to the challenges of everyday life, it can seem to be insurmountable. Big can seem very big, indeed.

“There is a longing that burns at the root of spiritual practice. This is the fire that fuels your journey. The romantic suffering you pretend to have grown out of, that remains coiled like a serpent beneath the veneer of maturity. You have studied the sacred texts. You know that separation from your divine source is an illusion. You subscribe to the philosophy that there is nowhere to go and nothing to attain, because you are already there and you already possess it.
But what about this yearning? What about the way a poem by Rilke or Rumi breaks open your heart and triggers a sorrow that could consume you if you gave in to it? You’re pretty sure this is not a matter of mere psychology. It has little to do with unresolved issues of childhood abandonment, or codependent tendencies to falsely place the source of your wholeness outside yourself. The longing is your recognition of the deepest truth that God is love and that this is all you want. Every lesser desire melts when it comes near that flame.”

~ Mirabai Starr, “Longing for the Beloved”

There is much soul-yearning today. Some yearn to return to an earlier way of being where there is more peace or certainty (or at least the illusion of these things). Many seek to break free of the restrictions and unfairness of the current social order, wanting to create a more equitable and sustainable society. While this may seem like it ought to be a straightforward process, it is happening in a time of information overload, siloed media, increasing complexity, and serious imminent threats to our ways of living. The pathway of cultural evolution becomes more complex and as a result, people grow angrier and more frustrated. There is clearly a significant mental and emotional health crisis happening. This has led to many of our current challenges, and, sadly, has all-too-often defined our reactions and responses to them.

“As bad as this virus is and as invasive as it has proven to be, what it’s exposed about us is far worse. It’s going to be a long haul to get well.”

~ John Pavlovitz (LINK)

So how are we to respond? Social media, which I do engage in, is increasingly frustrating. I feel like I want to keep reminding people to have a sense of compassion, and a sense of humor, while trying not to be triggered by some of the posts, tweets, memes, etc. We are in a time of too much information from too many sources for us to adequately comprehend and evaluate, making discernment (which is essential) increasingly more difficult. I will not withdraw, but I recognize the need to amplify my spiritual practices so as to be more available an empowered.

In my confusion I seek clarity, in my fear I seek courage, in my anger I seek calm, in my insecurity I seek strength. In all of these, I seek the realization of Spirit As Me in each unfolding moment. I seek to know the Oneness we share as I see others who are not being their best selves. Where I see injustice, I seek to bring a consciousness of justice, compassion, and equality.

I do these things though attention, intention, practice, forgiveness, and gratitude. For me this is taking more time, focus, and effort than usual. There is a wide spectrum of challenges, many of them with great depth, and I must attain and maintain a sense of equanimity so that I will come to know clearly what is mine to do (What Is #MineToDo – LINK).

As always, it begins within – how am I seeing myself, who am I being during all of this? And does that compare with who I would prefer to be? Spiritual practices are about our being nature – becoming the kind of person who naturally behaves as we would aspire to behave. BEING compassionate makes acting with compassion automatic. BEING forgiving makes forgiveness automatic. And so on.

There are no “Five Steps to a Perfect Society” available to us. We must each do our own inner work and then seek to contribute to the greater good, each in our own way as one among many. All the while, we need to avoid being drawn into the fear and negativity of those who are wounded, lost, and angry to the degree that they are incapable of being present. They may not be available to help right now and arguing with them does no one any good. I suggest taking another path. We need to be firm in our intentions and actions without losing an inner tenderness.

Affirmation: I stand strong in my deepening awareness and authenticity. I stand clear of those who are unable to contribute positively right now. I say YES to the unfolding realization of Spirit as me and I seek connection with others who share this pathway of awakening. I support justice, equality, fairness, and compassion. I bring these qualities with me wherever I am. I stand firm, but with an open heart.

Here’s a thought. Go to your bookshelves and pick up an inspirational book that you have not read in a few years. Read some of it. I think you will find that you have known what to do to BE your best self for some time. Today’s work is to realize this essential truth. These are times when it’s good to review the basics.

“The great need of our time is for people to be connected to spirit.”

~ Harold Stone

Finally, here is a list of positive ideas for the upcoming election and the ongoing “election season” to help us to stay clear, centered, and focused.

Affirmations for Politics

 As always, your comments are welcomed!

Copyright 2020 – Jim Lockard


ANNOUNCEMENT: CSLGeneva Global Connection Conference –


Geneva Marketing Save Date