Metaphors

A lot of people are constantly looking for a reason to get angry about something.  It is not exactly a recent thing that I have seen, but there are three examples off the top of my head of comparisons that these people don’t “get”.

A. Skittles/M&Ms that represent refugees.

This is a pretty easily recognized concept.  Everyone seems to think it started with Presidential Hopeful Donald Trump’s son. It didn’t, in fact before Jr used the example, it wasn’t Skittles, it was M&Ms, and back in November 2015 Mike Huckabee used Peanuts.  There was outrage then, and there’s outrage now.

B. Bleach, Coke and Water

This one might not be so well known, but it illustrates the problem: You take a cup of coke, a cup of water and a cup of bleach, and you label them after their colors.  Water-You; Coca-Cola-Sin; Bleach-Christ.  Pouring the coke into the Bleach, the coke is non-existant. If you pour the coke into the water, it becomes dark.  Pouring the bleach into the water and coke mixture, it disappears, and when you pour it into the coke, it takes awhile, but the coke becomes clear. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkfH8cmt5QI)

C. Gumballs, Ping-Pong Balls, Marbles

You can use a number of small spherical representations for numbers.  In this case, it was gum balls, to demonstrate an issue with helping people that live in poverty stricken areas of the world.  The professor takes a bunch of gum balls and demonstrate what the numbers of people that make less than $2 a day across the world.  He goes on to explain that we’re taking what we consider a large number of people into our own country.  Well, just watch, it’s easier for you to understand than me write it all out. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDceLiPLHWQ

I’ve seen the same argument for all three of these: This isn’t how things work! We aren’t inanimate objects.  No, we aren’t Skittles, Gumballs, Ping-pong balls or even water filled with coke.  We are people, but what these SJWs are missing is something they should have learned in school: These are nothing more than visual aides.   A means of conveying a message in a way you can understand the message better.

What I find ironic, is that these very same people on my own friends list that detest these metaphors (rather than the argument), are the same ones that love the old Zen story of a guy visiting a master to learn about the person’s path.  But when the guy starts talking about all he knows, the Zen Master begins to pour a cup of tea until it overflows, and then explains that the man is the cup, while the master is the one that holds a particular type of “tea”.

If you don’t like being compared to inanimate objects, you probably aren’t ready for any deep level of philosophy that has made the world a better place.  If you can’t understand that something is a metaphor and not literal, you should go back to your grade school teachers and ask them why they failed you.

When you can accept that inanimate objects are great for metaphors to explain someone’s points, then you can begin arguing against the points they make.  An example is that when someone tried to use the M&Ms argument against Syrian Refugees, an artist released a cartoon explaining that the other 90% of the M&Ms were the antidote.  Essentially going with the Malala argument that the only way to combat the terrorist threat is by doing all we can to help those who are or stand to be victimized by terrorism.

Do politics have a place on a spiritual path?

By Justin Bane

We are on a fast track to November, 8 and I wanted to talk about a question that I posted a few weeks ago. I will not name those who commented, if you want to see the posts about this topic, head over to the KOA main Org page, the KOA discussion page, and the Ashla Knights discussion page to see the conversations.

I get accused of being political quite a bit in my videos and shows (even though I do not inject politics into nearly all of my videos with the exception of maybe 1 or 2 and now this one). It really seems to upset a few people that I do not talk about my political leanings more often and “admit” and to “Come clean” to whatever political conspiracy that they think I am “hiding behind”.

I asked these questions to all of you;

how important is “Political Affiliation” as it concerns your spiritual path? Do politics even play a role in your path and if so, does it guide your direction?

When looking at the leadership of a group on these similar paths, is it important to know what “side” they are on politically?”

I want to share some of the responses that I got and I will share my views on this with you….

JP: So the question was asked yesterday if politics is a part of this pages job, or of a Spiritual path.? I think the answer is obvious. Are Nazis Knights? KKK members? What is a knight, and how does one seperate their spiritual calling from the the rest of their life, or of the world. It seems to me that ones activity I. The world, ones “position” is a symptom, a result, of their belief systems, their moral and philosophical convictions, of their spiritual path. In fact, if you’re wondering where your Spiritual life is at, you might look at what it is you’re supporting, what you believe about the earths, or a countries, problems and issues.

You have to do it honestly, and ruthlessly, because we all tend to lie a little bit, or a lot, to ourselves…( one good reason for strong feedback, to actually get some perspective in ourselves from outside) Our world is small realtive to all the mythos that motivate and excite us. There are relative few issues to cull through to see where you stand on things…totalitarianism vs, democracy, oligarchy vs, republic,,,and I’ll contest that there are few better places than social justice…for a real earthbound knight to test their spiritual path, or contribute their energy. This one has posted regularly trying to dilute the Black Lives Mattwrs issue, supporting the system and even providing material that the activities we’ve seen lately in terms of racial tension and systemic discrimination and abuse aren’t really happening. I’ll suggest that this is as good a subject as Corporate deregulation or environmental pollution, for you to figure out how your spiritual life is doing…,,

JC: In regards to my path, I assign no value to political affiliation, as the majority of the qualities I see as part of my path fall outside of political affiliation (self control, self reliance, a calm mind…etc).
Political affiliation rears it’s ugly head not based on the objectives and qualities of the path, but how those objectives are reached.

DJ: I consider myself politically anti-partisan. Dividing politics into conservative and liberal separates what should be a single philosophy. We should be conservative in that we preserve what is best in our culture (not everything, but what is best). We should be liberal in that we work toward building a better world. When we separate the two, we get mired in nonsensical conflict — such as what we have today. It is up to those of us who understand this to rectify it.

VJS: Rather than politics informing the path, one’s path should inform their politics.

Perhaps to say that whatever your morals are tend to inform your political views. If your path is one of the Knight, then by the general archetype, you are a champion for the people. One who seeks not only to fight for the safety of loved ones, but strives to help heal this broken world and its broken people with kindness and compassion. Your political views should follow suit, as should all aspects of your life, I feel, or your profession of your path is only empty words

SF: Personally, I am not affiliated with any ‘Political Party.’ I always vote. I try to make an informed decision. I listen to both sides of the issues and then vote for the candidate who I believe will do the best job. It is not perfect……..but what is?

Do you think it makes a person more “knightly” than another solely based on their political affiliations or leanings?

I don’t think so. Just as a Knight’s ‘Religious Affiliations’ does not make them ‘more or less Knightly.

TTM: I have worked the ‘deep end’ of law enforcement. I have interviewed and written profiles on a lot of psychopaths and sociopaths, and various other criminals that felt they were infallible, and could do whatever they liked.

I have reached a point where, even as a Consultant in same, I seldom like to discuss it, My wife requests me to not discuss things like Politics, because I analyze each and every contestant.
I am fairly conservative, but Moderate in some areas, because I am explicitly a Constitutional.

For the most part, I support no Party. Part of this is my understanding of the patterns of human civilization, and part, because I would rather choose the “PERSON” than the party, according to the patterns the contestant shows me by their overall actions.

Today, Some in one party use words like Freedom to try to push socialism and Communism. These politicians I particularly despise as I have watched several countries fall apart due to these methods of rule. Socialism and Communism are also a great part of why I believe in the Republic, and particularly the Constitutional Republic, as it protects individual freedoms from mob rule.

Do you think it makes a person more “knightly” than another solely based on their political affiliations or leanings?

If someone is stuck believing that a political party is the whole answer, they left knightly thought behind.
The Knight thinks for himself. The Knight makes his choices based on virtues. The Knight uses Critical thinking, Adaptive thinking, Judgment of the situation, and mindfulness of cause and effect overall

JE: I am a Constitutionalist. Beyond that, I am also an Egalitarian and a little bit of a Libertarian (Constitutional Libertarianism, like what the founders set up). However, that is just political belief. It has no bearing on my following the Jedi path.

how do you reconcile the Libertarianism and Egalitarian? doesn’t one require more government and the other call for smaller ones?

My Egalitarianism is more of a social egalitarianism rather than a political, and more of a personal view. It is more the belief that everyone is equal rather than any one group is over another. I have often been called racist, sexist, and other names because I view races, sexes, genders, etc. as equal. It is not something the government can truly enforce. While I would like to see the overturning of any laws or rules that reflect one skin tone over another. However, such legislation would be called racist due to overturning such laws as affirmative action.

My Libertarianism is actually a Constitutional Libertarianism. I believe that our government should go back to the political size and consistency that our founding fathers designed. Congress is a part-time job being paid minimum wage, in session for six months and living with their constituency for the other six. During their six months in session, living with military benefits (food, lodging, doctors).

The Libertarian part also includes things such as handing some power back to the states that the federal government took through things like the Department of Education and IRS. It also includes things like a flat-rate tax and term limits for elected officials.

GT: I am right there with you on this political things do not even get any consideration where my path is considered.

A couple of people get upset that I seem to have certain slants and “political leanings” and that they see a conspiracy in all of my work. They try to label me and discredit me because I have a difference of perspective on certain topics. Even though, I opened the KOA to allow many different perspectives of those willing to come on and share.

I don’t vote with my emotions. I don’t vote with purely my heart. I vote with my mind, using common sense, reason and logic as my guides. This is my biggest problem with politics these days. People commenting using emotional knee-jerk responses anytime something political comes up. People attack and degrade each other because they do not have respect for each other anymore. People are offended that another human being would have the gall to dare challenge them on something. People are now identifying as a political party instead of what really makes them a beautiful and unique individual.

We live in an age politically where being objective is somehow wrong. Where using common sense is treated like a superpower. Where taking a middle of the road approach makes you either a racist or a traitor depending on who you are talking to. Where people are identifying with a candidate more than they identify with themselves. The problem with political seasons and elections is, that when you identify your being with one side or the other, someone ultimately loses, and with them 50% of the population loses too.

So why do I not personally talk very much about politics on the KOA? For a couple of reasons. 1. There is already a TON of commentaries and news and discussions about the topic already. 2. Politics is Ally’s thing with her “Lets Regroup” shows. 3. I like to produce shows, videos, and content that make people better, I like to focus on the individual. Governments cannot change who you are. Governments cannot walk your path. Governments cannot help you learn and grow.

Ironically, I will be joining Ally this week sometime to discuss the political climate in the country. She has asked me to join her and I will be a guest on her show “Lets Regroup”.

I don’t need to know who you are voting for before I decide to show you respect and to treat you fairly. Same goes for your religious preference, your sexual preference, your gender identity, your race, and so on. If you are respectful and fair to me, I will treat you in kind.

I love you all very much, and until next time………Awaken the Knight within!

Leadership and the Empowerment of others

To lead people, walk beside them. People do not notice the existence of the best leaders. The next best are honored and praised. The next, are feared. And the worst are hated. When the best leader’s work is done, people think they’ve done it themselves.” – Lao Tzu

A Knight teaches others the skills needed to navigate the tough situations they will find themselves in. The goal for a Knight is to bring others to a point to where the Knight is no longer needed, and a new Knight in that other person is born. A Knight knows and understands that not every situation needs a sword, sometimes bold action and a stance of defense is all that is needed. Their strongest weapon is not a sword, but it is the drive for wisdom, the wish for Peace, Compassion and Love for others, showing mercy in all situations, and understanding that there is more to all things than what one can see.

What I just said there, could be used to promote protecting others as well. But I think leadership is very important when walking this path, and many times when we step in, we are leading those who need our help. And how we lead others will determine a great deal, when predicting an outcome. The best kind of leadership is had through cooperation and empowerment. When we understand that we are simply part of a solution, and not THE solution, we can then minimize becoming part of the problem!

By leading this way, we are also teaching and empowering those around us in a way that they will be more capable, willing, and able to solve problems in the future. We empower others sometimes through example. Sometimes, it is teaching someone a new skill. Other times, it is through making them invested and part of the solution. For most of my adult life, I have been leading others. Whether that was leading a family to leading a team as my career, or taking lead during a crisis or issue that I was called to or happened upon, I have always lead through cooperation and empowerment and it has worked very well. Lets go over some things that I have learned over the years that I will share with you that has worked for me;

  1. ALWAYS be honest with your feedback of others, both good and bad. People can see through you if you are being dishonest towards them. Especially when you are offering praise and/or criticism. I learned from a great mentor years ago, that if you can’t find an equal amount of good in a person as bad, then you are not honestly looking hard enough at them. Don’t forget to ask for feedback too!
  1. Close mouth and open ears. It is important to genuinely listen to people when they are giving you feedback, suggestions, or offering a different perspective. The Leader, is just another role within the dynamic of a team. You don’t have to BE the solution, only share responsibility for the solution.
  1. Mentor those who are ready. I have always made it a point to share everything I know with those who are in a position that was under my own. I would mentor them and teach them everything they would need to know in the event that they would have to step up and take on my role and any given time. I have know leaders in the past that would horde such knowledge, in fear that someone was trying to take over or take their job. This is nonsense. We lead through empowerment, by teaching others what they need to assume a leadership role, we are making that person stronger and capable!
  1. Learn compromise and diplomacy. This kind of goes back to closing our mouths and opening our ears. A good leader does not have to always have it be their way. There is room for other perspective on a given issue and that perspective just may be the missing piece. There are parameters that we have to work within sometimes, but when those are not strict, empower others to complete things their own way.
  1. Empathy is important! Empathy is Important! Empathy is important! Understand who you are working with. Understand what they are going through. Understand how you can best serve them.
  1. A good leader understands that they are a servant to the greater good of the whole. A leader serves the needs of their teammates, and does everything they can to remove any obstacles that may be in their paths. Understanding that a leader, if not careful, can themselves become an obstacle to the success of their team, by forgetting that they are servants to the cause.
  1. Share in the spoils. In nearly every venue in life, it is the leader that gets the accolades upon success in a given area. It is important that we value the good deeds and hard work that everyone as individuals have given to the success of the team. Learn to be Humble in all occasions, always valuing first the contributions and sacrifices of others before your own. Others may tell of our accomplishments, accepting a gift or praise is just as important as giving, but in truth; a Knight cares not for these things, only their service to others and the common good of all is what matters.
  1. Encouragement is a better tool to help others realize their potential than criticism. But if criticism is a must, then it must be balanced equally with encouragement and praise.
  1. Like King Arthur of the movie “First Knight”, have a round table at your council. “in serving each other, we become free” is what was inscribed on the table. Never place more value on the contributions of yourself or others when working with together.

For the sake of time, I will stop there. These are not the end all, be all, ways to be a better leader, only some of the more important ones for me that I have learned and practiced over the many years of being a leader in various roles. If you want me to do another video on just the tips for being a good leader, like the video and leave a comment down below.

Ashla Axiom 75

Do not use your knowledge and ability to lord over others; this will only inspire contempt and resentment.

Empower others. Guide them to the best parts of themselves. You have done your job when people no longer need you for guidance.

Taking out the Trash

In a recent video titled “Very few are beyond Redemption” I talked about having patience with ourselves as we learn and grow. To take it one step at a time and not allow yourself to be defeated by the desire to force change and force betterment.

See video here

Ashla Axiom 44

What is done in haste will perish, what is done with patience will endure.

Build your inner temple with intended purpose. Erect each pillar carefully and build on a solid foundation. Your Philosophy must be one that can be practiced, your Practice must be done in a way that leads to Right action, and your Path must be one that is chosen by you.

Those of you who have been with us for a long time will know what I mean when I say “take out the trash”. Those who are newer to the KOA, let me quickly explain what I mean when I say this. Taking out the trash is when your philosophy, beliefs, and perspective no longer matches who you are and where you are at, at a particular point in your practice and path. This happens to anyone who is truthfully walking the path and is spending time in introspection along the way. We will talk about this more in another video, we call that “taking inventory”.

We would also say that taking out the trash is when you learn new things and keep what works and get rid of the rest. This also applies to people and social groups in your life who are damaging to your well being, constantly putting you down, detrimental and destructive to your health and taking you in a direction that is counter productive to where you want to get as well.

Be loyal to people who not only deserve to enjoy your loyalty, but who also gives it in return. Be loyal to those until they no longer deserve your loyalty. Be loyal to an Order or group who promotes and behaves in a manner that matches yours, inside and out. Be loyal to that Order or group until they lose their way and no longer emulate an image that you can be proud to be a part of. Be loyal to the ideals and beliefs that help you ‘hold the line’ in the face of adversity and unbeatable odds. Be loyal to those ideals until they no longer serve you, then be open and willing to find new ones that do.

We walk our paths alone, meeting others at the junctions for communion. When changing the Self, others may abandon you. This is OK. When we shed and change who we are, sometimes that means changing those who are in our lives too. As we change and shed falsehoods, so too we change those people and titles In our lives. Take stock in your loyalties and relationships. Keep them only if they are beneficial to not only you, but also to them.

If a philosophy cannot be practiced, it is not worth the paper it is written on. If a perspective cannot be explained and shared, then it is in need of a re-evaluation. If people in your life are destructive and harmful to you and your path, then you should look for those who are going to support and hold you up. If your beliefs no longer serve you along the way, then perhaps you should consider growing past them. We are all at different points in our journeys, be considerate to others and to yourself.

Very few are beyond redemption….ourselves included.

by Justin Bane

Ashla Axiom 100

No one is beyond redemption.

Perhaps in the truest sense of the word. For most, forgiveness can set them and you free. For some, redemption is only to be had in the afterlife.

Ashla Axiom 141

In your dealings with the corrupt do not cast them aside, awaken them with words, elevate them with deeds and repay injury with kindness. Do not cast them but their corruption aside.

We are all capable of falling and failing. Those very corruptions that we stand against could take hold in each of us if we are not vigilant. Lift your fellows up, do not keep them down. You never know when you may need help up yourself….

Can the corrupt and “evil” be redeemed? Can those labeled as criminals be reformed? This is a question that society has asked for as long as time has existed more than likely. I know it is a question that is asked even now. In the world we live in, punishments are handed out in vastly different ways. There does not seem to be consistency in how they are handed out, but instead, consistency is usually only found in what people around the world consider a “crime”. Some places are much harsher than others. In some places, people are put to death, or maimed for seemingly very minor infractions.

Corruption is something found in every corner of the earth as well. Greed, the hunger for power, looking to advance oneself or their agenda are all typical reasons why someone would become corrupt. Where do you typically find corruption? Public servants, politicians, business, and religion to name a few.

I would say that the Axioms that I introduced speak to both internal and external corruption. Today, I would like to focus on mainly the internal corruption that each of us are faced with from time to time while we walk this path. External corruption is the outcome of internal corruption. It is the part we can see once this poison has taken control of our thoughts and actions. They can be on a small scale or large, there are plenty of examples found within our human history and as well as today.

What causes internal corruption? For some, it is believed to be a bi-product of allowing negative emotions to control our temperament. Emotions such as; Fear, Anger, Jealousy, Hate, and others. For others it can be found in the “7 deadly sins”. And still others, internal corruption comes from ignoring or negating the virtues that make a strong and steadfast moral compass, also known as, the “knightly virtues”. One thing is for sure, most all traditions warn about the effects of these conditions and the peril they can lead a soul if left unchecked.

But one thing I have noticed in all the years of practice and teaching this path is that, on a very simple level, the biggest killer of those who are walking this and similar paths is that they lose patience with themselves. They get frustrated with themselves and lose the will to continue. They lose the will to put in the hard work. They lose the will to find courage when it is needed the most. They get so frustrated, that they lack the courage, will, and conviction, to seek the right path instead of the easy one. I can relate to this, as I am sure that most of you have faced this part of themselves as well.

It is easy to want to take the easy road, when faced with frustration, when progress in our studies and practices seem to elude us at times. I want to share a quote with you, that I have used more times than I can count when I was faced with those times where I was becoming my own worst enemy…

Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them, every day, begin the task anew” -St Francis De Sales

A Knight has faith in what they hold to be true. Faith has a way of helping us all past those weaknesses that we may perceive in our selves. What ever the Knight may find themselves believing, they believe it strongly because that is what keeps them going in the face of unbeatable odds. The path is long and the road is hard. Following your path is not a timed exercise. You will achieve hallmarks and find many “Awakenings” along the way. These are merely “road markers”, dots on your map. Do not concern yourself with how much time this journey will take you. Be faithful to the Quest. Be faithful to the path. Be faithful to yourself. You will know when you have arrived.

Very few in this world are undeserving of a chance at redemption. Luckily for us, we don’t have to decide who is and who isn’t. Serve all with Compassion, Humility, and Mercy in mind. Do this, and they will be the judge themselves. Lift each other up with encouragement and hold each other accountable to one another. Commune with your fellows and you will be more enriched and empowered. Like wise, If you see a fellow fall flat, encourage them to rise up and be better than before, do not cast them out, instead cast their corruption aside.

Thank you for taking time to reading this.  I Love you all very much.  Until next time……

Awaken the Knight Within!

Androcles and the Grateful Lion

A slave named Androcles once escaped from his master and fled to the forest. As he was wandering about there he came upon a Lion lying down moaning and groaning. At first he turned to flee, but finding that the Lion did not pursue him, he turned back and went up to him.

As he came near, the Lion put out his paw, which was all swollen and bleeding, and Androcles found that a huge thorn had got into it, and was causing all the pain. He pulled out the thorn and bound up the paw of the Lion, who was soon able to rise and lick the hand of Androcles like a dog. Then the Lion took Androcles to his cave, and every day used to bring him meat from which to live.

But shortly afterwards both Androcles and the Lion were captured, and the slave was sentenced to be thrown to the Lion, after the latter had been kept without food for several days. The Emperor and all his Court came to see the spectacle, and Androcles was led out into the middle of the arena. Soon the Lion was let loose from his den, and rushed bounding and roaring towards his victim.

But as soon as he came near to Androcles he recognized his friend, and fawned upon him, and licked his hands like a friendly dog. The Emperor, surprised at this, summoned Androcles to him, who told him the whole story. Whereupon the slave was pardoned and freed, and the Lion let loose to his native forest.

The lesson here for me, is Gratitude. Androcles found a creature who was in dire need of help and did so, even at the risk of being killed or maimed. The Lion, being grateful, repaid his kindness in that he fed Androcles and kept him safe from other predators. A kinship was built upon this act of kindness and transcended beyond the relationship of predator and prey. When we help others and show them compassion, we do so at times at a risk to ourselves. But when we take the leap of faith, and show kindness and compassion to another who needs us, we also are at risk of making a new friend and ally.

It is a widely accepted belief that all things are connected, what happens to one, can most certainly happen to another. Because we strive to respect all Life, when we find ourselves dealing with a person who is in a bad spot, or even when interacting with others, we develop a basic Respect and decency for them and keeps things in a fair perspective.

 

Do you agree with the lesson taught in this story? What other lessons can we learn from it?

Knights Of Awakening: Righteous actions and the Knight errant

Axiom 58
If you have been sincere in your efforts when progress eludes you, do not force action, simply accept that you have done all that you can do, what is to be will be.

Do what you can do, for whomever you can. Some situations cannot be solved. Sometimes you have to let things happen. Knowing the difference between acting on behalf of a situation or letting a situation happen is key.

You can also find the Knights Of Awakening at:
https://www.facebook.com/Knights-of-A…
https://twitter.com/knightsofawaken
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/knights-…
https://knightsofawakening.wordpress….
www.youtube.com/c/knightsofawakening