What do notions of ‘true health’ and ‘true responsibility’ have to do with good governance?

An excerpt from Chapter XI – “True Faith and the Three Portents,” of A Glimpse of Heaven: The Philosophy of True Health…

“Political parties in democratic societies employ faith in the party platforms and philosophies they promote and claim to adhere to. They compete for a finite number of seats, and ideally, this is a good thing. It is important that one group or another does not become too powerful. Even so, when individuals or groups in any political party become hateful and greedy, the fundamental well-meaning political philosophies of the party can fall to the wayside. Vicious grandstanding and blindly obstinate behavior can become more and more the norm – versus the spirit of healthful democratic compromise (for the betterment of the people they represent). As is often seen, negativity and one-upmanship can become the dominant factor in the practical application. Greed is at times displayed – whether through financial graft or in ‘doing-what-one-needs-to-do’ in order to win or hold onto the perceived power and notoriety of a seat.

If a significant percentage of constituents do not take true responsibility for themselves and become more and more broadly educated – able to think objectively/critically about the realities of their political system…their world, then their ignorance will be prey to lies and twisted propaganda promoted by compromised officials. Over significant periods of time, such bad behavior may have truly frightful effects on a society.

Not unlike religions, if political parties do not respect the spirit of basic good principles – if they set aside significant levels of fundamental healthful dignity and decency (which they claim to espouse), then all might be lost. It may sound naïve and quaint when contrasted with the world of politics, albeit the Golden Rule should be applied here also: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” The notion of Acting Without Acting – doing the right thing for the right sake without the need for selfish recognition, actually sounds quite odd, and once again, “naïve and quaint,” when contrasted with contemporary politics. How sad.

It is unlikely that important/necessary and substantive reform and/or legislation will be realized if a majority of individuals in political parties do not realize a well-meaning, honest, and healthful faith in their philosophies. Throughout history, nations and cultures have fallen apart when too many of their people lost sight of and/or faith in, their most fundamental principles – principles which must be congruent with a spirit of healthful self-respect and compassion. In order for humankind to further evolve, these principles must be at the heart of human endeavor – at least a majority of the time.” — Dr. Glen Hepker (Copyright 2011)

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What are the harbingers of bad tidings?

An excerpt from Chapter XI – “True Faith and the Three Portents” – from my book, A Glimpse of Heaven: The Philosophy of True Health…

When an individual or group within any religious tradition takes on the persona that theirs is more deserving or entitled, and/or embraces any ‘blind’ belief that they are better and more ‘right,’ how can such a way-of-being be healthful? Clearly such thought and behavior is not consistent with prudent ethical principles and with doing the right thing for the right sake. Where is the spirituality in behavior which pushes us further apart? In what fashion is such behavior in character with the Golden Rule – “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”? For instance, when members of sport teams pray that no one on their team will be injured, it can be perceived as a good thing. Albeit, when members of sport teams pray that their team will enjoy victory over the opposing team, then such displays of ‘faith’ can clearly be perceived as being harmful, and inclusive of hatefulness and prejudice – even ignorance and greed. Well-meaning healthful ambition can be a good thing, but this is not that.

Hate, greed, and ignorance often seem to work quite well together. If one does not understand what things are like for someone else or what things are like somewhere else, it can be a simple matter to believe a lot of bad things about ‘them’ and/or that ‘other place’ over there. Such a lack of objectivity may make it more likely that we can even justify a belief that we are more deserving of having what they have (such as recognition, respect or success).

Is it possible that if we educate ourselves, if we promote our wherewithal to enjoy critical/objective thinking skills, we will have less and less excuse to display, for instance, hate on any level? If we have, in-effect, developed an addiction to hate, and/or greed, and/or ignorance, change can obviously be very difficult – particularly when such practices have been handed down throughout generations. Even so, healthful change does occur: It requires us to grasp onto and deeply appreciate momentary insights – epiphanies. It necessitates an objective and clear view of something much better and beautiful. It is unblemished witnessing – enjoying a fleeting look at how good things can be – a glimpse of heaven. Just getting to the point where such ‘glimpses’ are possible, necessitates a lot of effort, and often a lot of time. You may say, “It’s too difficult, I’m just getting by as it is, by the ‘skin of my teeth.’” As stated, healthful change can obviously be very difficult – albeit, anything less is a living death when the status quo is composed of any significant measure of hate, greed, or ignorance.

Please keep in mind – the principle of the ‘three portents’ is that each one of them, or in any combination, are “harbingers of iniquitous tidings,” e.g., they bring on and/or foreshadow difficulties. The more and more we lighten ourselves of this vicious terrible weight, the less and less likely it is that we will commonly realize negativity, unclear thinking, and suffering. The less we crave negativity, the less we will experience it. (Of special note: In heartfelt accord with this spirit of being, please know that the notion of ‘true faith’ herein is not meant in any fashion to conflict with or compete with religion on any level. Its succinct purpose is to complement all well-meaning belief systems.) — Dr. Glen Hepker 

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What about “taking the proverbial ‘bull by the horns?'”

“Glen, what do you think of anger – is anger all/only a bad thing?” (An inquiry from a reader of my book and blog.)

Response: Anger can be a blessing if it is treated as such, if one employs it without being in ANY way destructive or harmful. Anger can be congruent with dignity, decency, goodness, and grace, if a loving and selfless effort is made. This healthful outlook can seem quite outside the mainstream view of anger…but it need not be so.

Anger and frustration CAN prompt us to ‘take the proverbial bull by the horns’ and get really/truly good/healthful things done. It is requisite of true effort – most especially in a bright loving spirit of doing the right thing for the right selfless sake. It can be ALL about a deep and abiding true appreciation of our own true responsibility in making the world a better place: Not much can be more congruent with sparkling spine-tingling/shivering glimpses of Heaven. It is life as a living loving art form. Oh boy! Let’s get back to the Garden (of true health). — Dr. Glen Hepker

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How much better can it get?

An excerpt from Chapter X: “The True Responsibility of Supporting Others” – from my book, A Glimpse of Heaven: The Philosophy of True Health…

Certainly, a lot of us commonly do not embrace and/or ‘enjoy the journey.’ We are afraid of changing how we look at things, how we view the world – we intrinsically fear the effort and repercussions of looking objectively at our internal and external environments. We become in-effect, addicted to our world view, and any deviation from our false sense of comfort and security prompts a seemingly innate uneasiness. We allow ourselves to focus our attention almost exclusively on our destination…ignoring the sights along the way – in fear of looking at things in an unblemished fashion. We gather an unhealthful sense of contentment and false security in believing that we know everything, and/or everything we think we need to know about the drive down the same street we have driven hundreds or thousands of times, literally…or analogous of life in general. We reach for, and faithfully clutch onto a perceived-to-be safe and comfortable plateau – a living death while alive. This is not to sound or be harsh: This sad commentary is just that…sad, truly so, when contrasted with wonderfully healthful possibilities of realizing levels of mastery in our lives which are within our reach…higher and higher levels…never ending until the last day, the last moment of our existence here…and maybe in the beyond.

Embracing the notion of taking true responsibility for ourselves and supporting others’ abilities to do the same, enables us to realize greater levels of clarity. It is a bit of heaven which we can glimpse. This level of insight necessitates a healthful philosophical and practical way-of-life in which we can foster ongoing growth – inclusive of a level of mastery over the skill of exercising effort: in these traditions, coined ‘true effort.’

Through true effort we can learn to gather a true appreciation of mastery. In this outlook, being masterful does not include absolute perfection. It means we can gather valuable ever-evolving skills which are congruent with truly deep awareness and appreciation thereof. This practice is requisite of a formidable exercise of free will and self-discipline – true love of, and appreciation for, the miracle of this endless opportunity. Most importantly, it can only be accomplished when we are regularly and selflessly supported in our ability to succeed – AND we do the same for others. It is truly healthful diplomacy, whether between individuals, groups, societies, or countries. It is an appreciative acknowledgement that we are all in the same boat. This is true health…it is the art of life – living it as such…on this Earth together.

Some may say that it sounds as if ‘it doesn’t get better than that’…but accordingly it does…impeccably so…on-and-on, e.g., Heaven/Perfection – if it exists – a ‘place,’ so-to-speak, where there is no time, no space, no distance – nothing to hide behind – more than a glimpse of heaven – more than ‘true health.’

None of us can do it alone, but individually, we can take responsibility for ourselves by exercising necessary levels of ‘true effort’ which empower us to continuously improve – while supporting others’ ability to succeed – better insuring that the ‘boat’ remains more stable/sustainable: As reflected in earlier chapters, “The primary fault of mankind is the notion that you are there and I am here.” Accordingly, we are not just in the same boat together – we are intrinsically connected in ways which we cannot rationally understand – ways we can only witness.

If all of this is true, it requires true faith to put it into practice – inclusive of faith in ourselves and others – devoid of the Three Portents/harbingers of all bad tidings: hate, greed, and ignorance. Faith such as this IS true health. Let it shine.

Bestow a string of faith,

For faith we might have,

Unto the jester of light

In the comedy of reflections,

As we stand upon this stage,

In awe of

Endless,

Encompassing,

All.

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What can we do about desire/craving for ‘comfort food?’

“Glen, quite commonly I generally eat healthfully (vegetables, fruit, etc.), but I also often eat my version of what I call comfort food. What are your thoughts on this?” (An inquiry from a reader of my book and blog.)

Response: It sounds like your diet is likely pretty good overall, J. That said, I detect that you believe that there is room for improvement. Thanks so much for your inquiry.

Humbly and respectfully, through true effort (over time), healthful vegetables, fruit, nuts, grains, and seeds, can themselves become ‘comfort food.’ In my book, I speak to this issue directly – learning to better and better “embrace our comfort and discomfort equally” and “eating ‘light foods’ vs. ‘heavy foods,'” e.g., as facets of a genuinely healthful WAY OF LIFE.

Such a splendid outlook is intrinsically congruent with a deep and abiding sense of true appreciation for all of the blessings which we enjoy…AND many of the things we do not see as blessings, CAN additionally become so. We can learn to better and better embrace healthful change, and alleviate unhealthful preset patterns of thinking, if we genuinely want to make it so. Once again, it is requisite of true effort.

Most of what we coin as comfort food is made up of complicated dynamics of slow poison: True happiness has to be realized from within, not from things which we find outside of ourselves. Embracing this loving notion requires true honesty, which will allow us the true appreciation and true freedom to genuinely enjoy the blessings/gifts in our lives. It can be the difference between witnessing and taking part in the living loving story of our lives, vs. just being a pawn to the story of our lives. It is true health through true responsibility…promoting of more and more common sparkling spine-tingling/shivering ‘glimpses’ of Heaven. — Dr. Glen Hepker

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What might be true gauges of true health?

In the ages-old loving, empathetic, and altruistic health/wellness arts that I teach, coach, and endeavor to practice, we have what we coin as the central tenets of gauging our thoughts and actions, i.e, ‘true gauges.’ Put simply, does it (my thought/action/demeanor) make the world a better place – and is it consistent with (Acting Without Acting) endeavoring to do the right thing for the right sake, without the need for selfish recognition or hidden agendas?

As set forth in my book, the Bright Beautiful School of Thought’s abbreviated primary thesis sets forth the notion of ‘true health through true responsibility.’ Consistently, these ‘gauges’ have a succinctly congruent strategic association with the notions of the ‘true responsibility of making the world a better place’ and the ‘true responsibility of acting without acting.’ This splendidly benevolent theory speaks to all of the broad dynamics of emotional, physical, and spiritual health/well-being. — Dr. Glen Hepker

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How scarey can a ‘glimpse’ of Heaven be?

All of the time, there are amazing magical things going on within the living stories of our internal and external environments – which we are not trained to be aware of, and/or choose to ignore. These gifts, these blessings are right in front of us, even within us, ALL of the time. But sadly, we fool ourselves into thinking/acting as if we know a lot, when, in fact we know SO little from this view, the stance from this stagnant plateau (which can be like a purgatory, a living death).

Lost in the comedy and drama of what so often is our fear or self-loathing, the unhealthful perceived comfort in this stagnant view of the world is a most pernicious of addictions: We are afraid to witness the magical gifts in this, our living story. We are too frightened to look through a new and unblemished lens, one which can assist us in appreciating much more bright, healthful, and deeper lights. We are often closed to the truly quintessential gift of ongoing change – a dynamic within us and outside of us…reflecting back and forth, from us outward and back…countless times each moment, each day.

Nothing may be more difficult than embracing healthful change, but there is hope: It IS possible to gather together the levels of deep gratitude and true effort requisite in embracing healthful levels of change and growth…true appreciation for the magical gifts in what we CAN make our living LOVING story…going on ALL AROUND US, and IN US, all, or most of the time. This IS true honesty – needing less and less to hide behind…a level of objective insight which is a significant measure of true health through true responsibility. It IS true happiness and true freedom…a ‘glimpse of Heaven’ (which, with a LOT of ongoing work, can evolve into sparkling spine-tingling/shivering ‘glimpses’ as a way of life). — Dr. Glen Hepker

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