The Gifts of Experience
~ Slippery Slope ~
I’m sure many of you have heard that expression at various times in your lives. Recently I have read on the internet about some who are describing the current financial conundrum that we are faced with in those terms. Some writers say that the U.S. and the whole world embarked on a “slippery slope” sometime around 2008, for sure, and maybe much earlier than that. What that means to me is that it was back then that the leaders of the world caused a chain of events to begin that could never be adjusted to prevent a financial catastrophe from occurring. In other words, “things will get worse, much worse, before they get better”. Now I’m not trying to spread fear about our financial situation, but I am trying to make everyone aware that we have some trying times ahead. We have had many spiritual sources tell us that things will get worse before they get better and we need to prepare for the events to come in the future.
But that is just one “slippery slope” to be aware of. Just how many “slippery slopes” do you think there are in each of our lifetimes? If you answer just one or two, I believe that you will be sadly mistaken. I believe there could be many as a hundred or maybe more. Whoa Mister Writer!! Are you crazy?!? No, I think I might be right. Some slippery slopes may be very demonstrative like the economies of the world, but some may be very subtle and these we don’t easily recognize as we climb aboard the slippery slope.
Some of the more blatant slippery slopes involve addictions like drugs and alcohol. You see no one is really aware that they might be easily addicted to either of these two substances. It is not until later, sometimes many years later, that the person realizes that they have a real problem with either of these two addictions or maybe with both of them. And then it takes a great deal of will power to combat the addiction and to finally be free from it. Then the rest of the lifetime is spent making sure that the person doesn’t relapse and fall back into the habit. The person must then also do battle with the shadow riders who now know that the person is an easy target to work on to see if the shadow rider can present thinking and situations that would cause the person to relapse.
People mistakenly listen to a friend or a peer who says just trying something won’t get you addicted or that marijuana won’t cause you to do hard drugs. That may be true in some cases but it can also be the first step to the top of the slippery slope. And there is no STOP sign or warning sign at the gate to the entrance that leads to the slope. I would even guess that there is more like a sign that says that there is a party going on beyond the gate and that sign probably was erected by the shadow riders. Little bit too dramatic you think? Maybe – maybe not.
Roughly thirty-five years ago I was invited to go on a fishing trip with two other fellows. Both were friends, in fact one of them worked in a company where I was his supervisor. We had to travel to another state to fish and while on the way there, one of the fellows broke out some sort of a wooden device that could be loaded with marijuana and then they would somehow smoke it. They offered it to me and I declined. They made fun of me for being afraid to try it. Then they said to me,” how can you tell your children not to try it if you don’t know how it would affect you”. Yep, that’s what they said. I told them that that was the dumbest statement that anyone could make and that was the end of the conversation on that topic.
Drugs and alcohol are examples of slippery slopes that in some respects are pretty obvious to most of us. Let’s take an example of something that is not so obvious but that many of us partake in on a daily basis. Would you consider gossip to be a slippery slope? What is the topic of conversation at the afternoon tea parties or around the office water cooler? Not always, but at times a lot of gossip is exchanged in these locations. Do we need to talk about others or would we be better off not participating in such occurrences. To a spiritual person I believe the answer is obvious, but still we occasionally find ourselves participating. Some might dispute that gossiping is not a potential slippery slope, but I ask you this; why can’t we just stop and never participate again in the future. Just walk away from the water cooler or just excuse yourself from the tea party and go home. Not an easy thing to do because it puts you in the spotlight and we don’t like that circumstance, do we? We might isolate ourselves and then we could be placed on an island by our “friends” or office workers. Telling and/or listening to off color jokes or jokes about some group of persons that are different from us I believe is akin to gossip also.
Then there are those whose vocabulary is limited to four letter words interspersed between every third or fourth word that comes out of their mouth. Some might say that they just walk away from those folks and I commend you because that is a good thing to do. Ever been in the military? You don’t have the option of walking away from those folks with limited vocabularies. And can you get caught up in participating in that conversation when that is all you hear all day long? I’m sorry to say that you can and I did. After leaving the military that slippery slope was very tough to get off of and it took me many years to do so. Is the slope still around waiting for me for that occasion when I really get angry at something? Of course it is there and sometimes I do a slide job before I can catch myself to stop it. It is like an addiction; it is always waiting for the opportunity and I believe it is monitored by the shadow riders.
Have you ever looked in the mirror and noticed how much older you appear to be? Or that you don’t like the cut of your nose or how other parts of your body could use some uplifting or some “refreshing” or “additions”? Many times we view television programs and the advertisements urge us to look into these options to improve our looks. Wait a minute, how could this be a slippery slope? I believe it is a slippery slope when you too often remind yourself that it sure would be nice to add a nip here and a tuck there every time you view yourself in a mirror, especially a full length mirror. I am approaching my mid-seventies and I like the fact that my hair is greying and I’m okay with it getting a little thinner in spots. It took me a while to get to this point and to me it shows a measure of maturity. Sure I don’t have the physique that I once had, but I can walk and do the daily tasks that I need to perform. When I was back in my thirties and forties, and I looked at older friends and relatives, I never thought I would be as agile as I am today as I approach the age of some of the folks that I observed back then. I like the way I am and maybe that comes from the Soul that I represent letting me know that I am following the plan that the Soul designed. I think we should all be okay with how we are aging and jump off the slippery slope of wanting to “look better”. What better recommendation do we need than to know that God loves us just the way we are, no matter what that look may be.
I believe one is also on a slippery slope when one makes acquiring money and attaining power the upper most goals of your life. Now most would say that one has to make a living and making money is not all bad. That is true and when done with the intent of providing a good living for the family or yourself, it will turn out okay. But when the entire focus is on making money at the expense of “living”, then it can be a slippery slope. Some may be saying how can the writer equate money with power? I believe the prevailing view of very wealthy people is that “they can do whatever they want” and to me that signals power. Further, when the average person who desires great wealth thinks about what he or she would do when that goal is achieved they then think in the same vein of “I will be able to do as I wish”.
Let me ask you; wouldn’t winning the lottery provide you with a great deal of money? And with all that money, wouldn’t you have a great deal of perceived power? After all you could buy any material thing that your heart desired. But let’s forget about the lottery and let’s just say that as you gain promotions and salary increases, doesn’t that give you a feeling of increased power? You can get that new car or the bigger house and the feeling of power is there riding along with you. It may be short lived as the feeling fades and then you day dream about the next raise and what you will do with it. So therefore I believe that the desire of a lot of money leads to a desire to gain more power. It is okay to progress in your career and do well financially for yourself or for your family, but do it without climbing on the slippery slope of making the mistake of desiring the accumulation of money as the most important goal during your lifetime.
Envy can be another slippery slope. A person just doesn’t like their present lot in life and envies others who they perceive have a much better life than they do. Now do you think that they know the whole story about the other person or could the person they envy have a much more tumultuous life “behind closed doors” that is not apparent to the average person. We may be envying something that is totally different on the inside than what we can perceive. But even if it came to pass that we found out the truth about that person, the slippery slope would require us to forget that person and make a change to a different person that we would then envy. The “slope” doesn’t easily let go of a participant without the person expending a great deal of effort to free itself from the slope. Folks, the Soul that you represent designed the life plan that you are experiencing during this life time for a reason. Isn’t that good enough for you? Remember the Soul you represent knows what is good for you and what it wants you to experience. And that Soul knowledge is a whole lot better for you than what your personality with its trained intellect thinks it wants for you. Work at being satisfied with your lot in life and do the best you can with what you have.
Now we get to a subject that some might think doesn’t belong in this article and that is how one person views another person of the opposite sex. Twenty years ago the conversation regarding this matter would be directed, by widely held opinion, at the male population. But I think that times have changed and that the female population has joined the male population in this pastime. Now I don’t mean the casual observation but I mean the viewing that involves “checking out” the opposite sex. Some may ask, how could this have become a slippery slope? Maybe it is due to the constant programing by the bombardment of advertisements on television. (This article is being written at Christmas Time 2015.)
There are a whole host of ads that go on and on about women’s perfume and men’s cologne, clothing, weight loss programs, exercise equipment (that generally ends up in the junk room), to name just a few. Then you have annual programs that feature swimsuit editions in print and as well as television specials for the latest lingerie. I wonder if the effect would be the same if they used average middle aged people in the ads without any make-up or stylish clothes. No it sure wouldn’t because the vast majority of us don’t look like that. Notice I said “don’t look like that” instead of “don’t look that good” because almost everyone looks good on the inside, and that is where it counts.
So as we watch these ads we become programed to view others in real life like we view the ads and we have just jumped on another slippery slope. The more we participate the more we will be held captive by the slope. Have we all participated in this activity? I would wager to say that there are very few who could honestly say that they haven’t. Here is something to think about. Remember that every thought, word and deed is recorded and you will get to review those recordings when you return to Nirvana after your death. Now you don’t want to spend an inordinate amount of time reviewing your “checking out” all of the persons you met in your lifetime that were the opposite sex, would you?
So how many slippery slopes do you think there are? I have thought about this and I think one could tie a slippery slope to every instance where our conscious or our intuition has chimed in with a nudge for us to take a different course of action. Of course you have had to have experienced listening to your conscious and your intuition to get the nudge. If a person makes it a practice to always ignore their conscience or their intuition, then these two abilities start to fade into the sunset and you are left on your own. And on your own is not a good place to be in this world of illusions with all the shadow riders working us over every chance they get.
Now I’m not going to end this article with advice to walk a straighter path as I have done on other subjects. I believe I will leave that up to you and your conscience and your intuition.
Until next time, Phil
The Gifts of Experience / www.awakenedhearts.com