From the BlogMeet Ron



“How can they rise out of such misery, bad repute and hopelessness? The practical answer is that since these things have happened among us, they can happen with you. Should you wish them above all else, and be willing to make use of our experience, we are sure they will come. The age of miracles is still with us. Our own recovery proves that!” 
c. 1976 AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 153 
Don’t give up before the miracle happens.
A C T I O N: Any Change Toward Improving One’s Nature
Vernon Howard’s SECRETS OF LIFE 

“Speak of the possibilities of goodness in people only after speaking of their present badness.”
Cosmic Command, # 297

This is not an overnight matter. It should continue for our lifetime.
During my early years in A.A. I saw Step Ten as a suggestion that I periodically look at my behavior and reactions. If there was something wrong, I should admit it; if an apology was necessary, I should give one. After a few years of sobriety I felt I should undertake a self-examination more frequently. Not until several more years of sobriety had elapsed did I realize the full meaning of Step Ten, and the word “continued.” “Continued” does not mean occasionally, or frequently. It means throughout each day.
From the book Daily Reflections
Copyright © 1990 by 
Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

“Jesus was not the great exception; he was the great example.”
― Ernest Holmes, The Philosophy of Jesus: Updated and Gender-Neutral

If I can only set down and be quiet.I try, but the monkeys are still chattering.

Only the weak are cruel. 
Gentleness can only be expected from the strong.
~Leo Buscaglia 

Your task is not to seek for love, 
but merely to seek and find all the 
barriers within yourself that you have built against it.

ACIM Workbook Lesson 291 Insights
“This is a day of stillness and of peace.”
Stillness and peace are our natural condition. They describe the state in which we were created. The chaos, confusion and conflict of this world are the effect of believing in the illusion that we are separate from our Creator, our Source. We can return to our natural condition by simply giving up our belief in what could never be. Belief makes experience. If we believe that we are separate, we experience all the effects, all the fear and guilt that come with believing we are separate. This need not be.
We experience this world of separation because we chose it. But in any moment we can choose differently. We need only recognize that this world truly offers us nothing that we really want. It seems insane that we would choose a world of pain and suffering. And it is insane. But in our insanity, we do not recognize that we are choosing pain and suffering. We think we are choosing independence, individuality and control of our ‘lives,’ which can be summed up as choosing specialness. In our insanity we do not realize that in choosing to be separate from our Source, which is our strength and our Life, we are choosing weakness and death.
The seeming complexity of the ego thought system, with its countless images, was made to disguise that we are choosing against our happiness and peace. Consequently, though the choice is simple, it is not easy because we have come to place great value in the images we believe are real. We must be taught that these images offer us nothing of value, and in fact, stand as a barrier against the stillness and peace that is our natural condition.
To be taught, we must be willing to be taught. The entire message of the Course is summed up in the introduction. But we need the remaining 1200 pages to bring us to the recognition that the world we thought was so valuable is not what we want. For most of us, it comes gradually. Little by little we see one aspect or another of what we have valued as not bringing us what we want. We become willing to let it go.
We accelerate this process by developing the practice of bringing every image we have in this world to the Holy Spirit and asking for His interpretation, His meaning. In the beginning it seems that we only are willing to bring to Him the things we perceive as painful. Gradually we begin to realize that even the forms in this world that seem to bring us pleasure have a hidden cost that keeps us from recognizing the joy and peace of Heaven that is our inheritance. And so we become more willing to bring all perceptions to the Holy Spirit and ask Him to decide for us what it means.
We ask Him to decide for God on our behalf in all things. As we let the Holy Spirit decide for God for us, He undoes the effects of all our mistaken choices, freeing us from guilt. This is how we have a day of stillness and peace.
The sentence that stands out to me in this lesson is: “This day my mind is quiet, to receive the Thoughts You offer me.” My practice today is to open my mind to the Holy Spirit’s quietness, the Holy Spirit’s peace of mind.
In order to do this, it helps for me to pay attention to the thoughts I am accepting into my mind. I need to be vigilant to my level of peace. I need to be vigilant to keeping my mind open to receive the Thoughts that the Holy Spirit is always offering me.
Today is a day of practice. Today is a day of accepting the Holy Spirit’s perception with every experience I have today. Today is a day of accepting the truth and letting go of the ego’s false ideas.
My first thought as I read this lesson is that today was going to be a real challenge. This is going to be a very busy day with hardly a moment to catch my breath. I wondered how I could experience stillness and peace under those conditions.
Then I thought that these are the conditions under which I most need stillness and peace. I think that it must be possible to have peace at all times, I just have never chosen to do this. I will work on this lesson today and truly seek peace.
This is just another example of living in the illusion but knowing that I am not the illusion. I will be very busy as I take care of the illusion, but will be at peace while I do it, knowing that God is in charge of this, too.
© 2003, Pathways of Light.
You may freely share copies of this with your friends, 
provided this copyright notice and website address are included.
God has given everyone freedom to act as he will. Never impose your will on anyone else, but if you would persuade someone to do what you humbly believe to be best for him, influence him by love. When Mahatma Gandhi was in South Africa, he was stabbed and lay near death. The officials naturally wanted to prosecute his assailant, but Gandhi refused. ” No,” he said, “If I put him in prison, he will be a greater enemy. I will win him by love.” When the attacker learned of Gandhi’s forgiveness, he became his disciple.
Paramahansa Yogananda  

    The Divine Romance pages 154-155

Marvin GayeMarvin Gaye
Marvin Gaye was a soul singer-songwriter with Motown in the 1960s and 1970s. He produced his own records and often addressed controversial themes.


Born in 1939, in Washington, D.C., Marvin Gaye sang in his father’s church and in the Moonglows before signing with Motown. He recorded songs by Smokey Robinson before becoming his own producer on the protest album What’s Going On (1971). Gaye’s later records developed his production style and yielded several hits, including “Let’s Get It On,” “Sexual Healing” and “I Heard it Through the Grapevine.” Gaye was killed in 1984 during a domestic dispute with his father.

Early Life

Singer Marvin Pentz Gaye, Jr., also known as the “Prince of Soul,” was born in Washington, D.C., on April 2, 1939. Gaye was raised under the strict control of his father, Reverend Marvin Gay Sr.—Marvin Gaye Jr. added the “e” on the end of his name later in life—the minister at a local church, against a bleak backdrop of widespread violence in his neighborhood.

Throughout his childhood, Gaye often found peace in music, mastering the piano and drums at a young age. Until high school, his singing experience was limited to church revivals, but soon he developed a love for R&B and doo-wop that would set the foundation for his career. In the late 1950s, Gaye joined a vocal group called The New Moonglows.

The talented singer had a phenomenal range that spanned three vocal styles and he soon impressed the group’s founder, Harvey Fuqua. It wasn’t long before Gaye and Fuqua both came to the attention of Detroit music impresario Berry Gordy Jr. and were signed to Gordy’s legendary Motown Records.

Motown Records

Gaye’s first certified hit under his own name wouldn’t come until 1962, but his early years at Motown were full of behind-the-scenes successes. He was a session drummer for Motown legends such as Little Stevie WonderThe Supremes, The Marvelettes and Martha and the Vandellas. Showing his stripes as Motown’s renaissance man, Gaye went on to break into the Top 40 for the first time on his own in 1962 with his solo single “Hitch Hike.”

For three high-flying years, Gaye and Tammi Terrell wowed the country with their soaring duet performances of songs like “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and “If I Could Build My Whole World Around You.” Unfortunately, their reign as the Royal Couple of R&B ended when Terrell succumbed to a brain tumor in 1970. His beloved partner’s death ushered in a dark period for the singer, who swore never to partner with another female vocalist and threatened to abandon the stage for good.

Political Message

In 1970, inspired by escalating violence and political unrest over the Vietnam War, Gaye wrote the landmark song “What’s Going On.” Despite clashes with Motown over the song’s creative direction, the single was released in 1971 and became an instant smash. Its success prompted Gaye to take even more risks, both musically and politically. When it was released in the spring of 1971, the What’s Going On album served to open Gaye up to new audiences while maintaining his Motown following.

Departing from the tried and true Motown formula, Gaye went out on his own artistically, paving the way for other Motown artists like Wonder and Michael Jackson to branch out in later years. Beyond influencing his peers, the album garnered widespread critical acclaim, winning the Rolling Stone Album of the Year award.

Crossover Success

In 1972, Gaye moved to Los Angeles and soon met Janis Hunter, who would later become his second wife. Inspired in part by his newfound independence, Gaye recorded one of the most revered love anthems of all time, “Let’s Get It On.” The song became his second no. 1 Billboard hit, cementing his crossover appeal once and for all. Shortly afterwards, Motown pushed Gaye into touring to capitalize on his most recent success; reluctantly the singer-songwriter returned to the stage.

Through most of the mid-1970s, Gaye was touring, collaborating or producing. Working with Diana Ross and The Miracles, he would put off releasing another solo album until 1976. He continued touring after the release of I Want You (1976) and, after scoring a No. 1 hit in 1977 with the dance single “Got to Give It Up,” released his last album for Motown Records (Here, My Dear) in 1978.

(Decades later, “Got to Give It Up” would become the center of a big controversy. In 2013, Gaye’s estate asserted that producer/songwriter Pharrell Williams and singer/songwriter Robin Thicke had committed copyright infringement by taking major musical elements from the disco track for the mega-hit “Blurred Lines.” After a case in which Thicke testified that he’d had little to do with the writing of the song, the jury ruled in favor of Gaye’s family, who were awarded $7.3 million in damages and profit shares. The jury also ruled that neither Williams or Thicke had purposely committed infringement.)

After two decades at Motown, Gaye signed with CBS’s Columbia Records in 1982 and began to work on his last album, Midnight Love. The lead single from that album, “Sexual Healing,” became a huge comeback hit for the R&B star and earned him his first two Grammy Awards and an American Music Award for Favorite Soul Single.

Personal Life

In 1975, Gaye’s wife Anna Gordy—Berry Gordy’s sister—filed for divorce, and two years later Gaye married Hunter, who had by then given birth to their daughter, Nona (born September 4, 1974) and their son Frankie (born November 16, 1975). Gaye also had an adopted son (Marvin Pentz Gaye III) from his previous marriage. The singer’s marriage to Hunter proved short lived and tumultuous, ending in divorce in 1981.

Despite his successful comeback in the early 1980s, Gaye struggled badly with the substance abuse and bouts of depression that had plagued him for most of his life. After his last tour, he moved into his parents’ house. There he and his father fell into a pattern of violent fights and quarrels that recalled conflicts that had haunted the family for decades. On April 1, 1984, Marvin Gaye Sr. shot and killed his son after a physical altercation; the father claimed he acted in self-defense but would later be convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

Three years after his death, Marvin Gaye Jr. was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Creating beautiful art from a troubled life, Gaye again and again brought his vision, range and artistry to the world stage. At the end of his career, he admitted he no longer made music for pleasure; instead, he said, “I record so that I can feed people what they need, what they feel. Hopefully, I record so that I can help someone overcome a bad time.”

Ron Richey
545 Queen St. #701
Honolulu, Hi 96813




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