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It is natural to grow up developing a strong sense of what we own, even inevitable. Our very identity comes from the use of possessives like "I" and "me". Success is commonly measured by what we own. Our education is denoted by what Degrees we own. The reference we make to everything that we like to be associated with is always one of possession. We have "my" family, "my" church, "my" school, especially if we want to be known by it as in "My school is Harvard."

We can't convince the people we want to impress that we have achieved success unless we describe to them "my" car, "my" house, located where "my" address is..., and earned of course through "my" position in the company. If you want to measure the significance of someone in Western Culture it is necessary to list the possessions that have been accumulated, or over which that person has control.

It was recently pointed out to me that the word "personality" has as its origin the word "mask". After we have described all the physical things we own, next we describe the masks that we have created and maintained by which we are known. Because of the ownership and control we have over those masks we consider them ours. To know who we are we think that we need only add up the physical possessions plus the masks we own that constitute our personality. Together, we conclude that these things constitute what makes us special and, therefore, distinguishable from everyone else.

When it is our time to finally "get serious" about our spiritual development, we treat "our" soul with the same sense of possession. The same "my" reference is made to the soul to show the ownership that "I" have of "my" soul. The soul, thereby, becomes another of those things that we own like our arms, our family, our car, house, and personality.

Whenever we believe that we have ownership of something we feel a sense of option regarding it. When I own a car, I can replace it. When I own my body, I can choose either to exercise it or not. When I own my house, I have the option of remodeling it, or moving into a different one. We want to own because it gives us control. Without control, we think, we don't have the resource and opportunity necessary to find success.

Success is measured by the management of "our" resources. We look at what we put into the process and then measure what comes out of it. If the final product is better than the what we originally input, we are building additional success. So, it would follow that when our interest is in developing spiritually, we have only to manage our resources well and the result will an augmented spirituality.

We look spiritually for the same resources of time, the wise exercise of options, and the decision about what we are willing to part with to gain something else in the exchange. It is habitual to pursue our spiritual development with the same "buying decision" mentality and approach that we use when determining when we should buy anything. We review all the reasons to buy by listing the benefits we think will accrue to us and then review all the reasons that we shouldn't buy which includes the resources that we will have to part with. When the accumulative reasons to buy outweigh the reasons not to, we buy. When we find that the reasons not to are the heaviest, we don't buy, and it's that simple for us.

The whole implication in this "buying" process is that we are doing the buying for our own best interest and that we additionally know everything that's in our best interest. When we reach the point in our development that we are conscious about our pursuit of destiny, the unique path for which we were created, our purpose is no longer our own. Destiny never has ourselves as the object of our effort.

Destiny is about what we do for others. When that effort is performed honestly, in integrity, and from the order that we get from our Creator, happiness is given to us as our reward. That is not the same as having happiness as the objective of our effort.

Our habitual insistence on owning our soul is what makes this concept so very difficult to either understand or accept. The truth is that the soul that lives within each of us, OWNS us. It isn't the other way around.

The soul has always existed. The soul will never end. For a very short period of time, it comes up through the earth to take on the physical minerals, chemicals and liquids that will give the soul form. The acquisition of that which gives us physical form is referred to as nutrition. It is the method by which we add to the form, a form which began in our parents who were also the physical form of other souls.

Life is the process by which the soul manages our physical form to finally qualify that form to perform the Creator's work.

For the soul to be successful, it has had to select the parents, the environment, the genetics, the I.Q., the educational opportunities, the period in time, the talents, interests, weaknesses and strengths that will constitute the physical form we identify with. The soul has had to put up with potty training, learning to walk and talk, the challenges of childhood and adolescence. The appeal of drugs and alcohol and other "spiritual tranquilizers" from the soul's perspective has also been a necessary part of the development.

When we are pleased with the result of what the soul that occupies us has done, we take the credit and claim success for ourselves. The soul can only smile at such arrogance. With it's planning which began back before we were in this world, and all of the influences that it arranged for so we could make it through life, it has to be amused that we would then try to take credit for all that has happened.

The soul spends it's time moving within us on this earth making us ready for the moment when we can finally become conscious of what it is doing. That awareness comes in the form of a question presented to us which asks whether we will act for the Creator to do that which we can't see to be in our egotistic best interest, or, whether we will continue to pursue the success the soul has already given us.

That question looks much harder when we think that we are sacrificing our personal efforts for someone else, even when that someone else is our Creator. Recognizing that everything that we have has already been a complete gift from the soul inside, we should be a lot more prepared to let go of a control we never had over our life.

Accepting that the soul owns us makes it a lot easier to say "yes" to the destiny question about acting for the Creator's purpose instead of our own. Holding onto the false belief that our successes have been through our own doing, over which we have had control, makes it feel like we're giving away everything. Seeing the soul as our possessor allows us to see the process as the inevitable return on investment that the soul has made in us for as long as we have been alive.

It isn't coincidental that those men and women that we recognize has having achieved their destiny don't take any of the credit for what they do. The thought isn't one of an altruistic reasoning that concludes that that's what should be said. The thought is the conscious or unconscious recognition that the soul owns them, and they finally allowed the soul to have its way, to accomplish its mission, to develop the way it incarnated to develop.

Happiness, from the vantage point that the soul owns us, isn't any more demanding than letting the soul do whatever it wants to do whenever it wants to do it. Happiness becomes a function of simply not standing in the way of the soul, objecting to its desires and functions.

The soul doesn't need our reason, logic, and understanding to know what to do. It doesn't need our input about what is right and wrong. It has a connection to the Creator that lets it know everything it needs to know, to do everything it needs to do to achieve the purpose for which it is here. It has all the resources it needs to direct what we call "our" destiny.

From the soul's position, it is doing what it came here to do. Destiny is our observation of its activity. To the soul, destiny is pretty ordinary stuff. To the ego of the human observer it looks like a miracle.

Our challenge is to learn how to let go, and let the soul do its work. It is the only challenge that matters in the bigger scheme of things. Everything else is merely preparation for that.

Life is never going to look simple to us, but it will become effective through the efforts we make if we will accept this simple truth that the soul owns us. That acceptance will give us the courage to let the soul experience what it wants to experience. That acceptance will allow us to see the triviality of what we understand, and its insignificance in learning who we are and what we are supposed to be doing with our lives. Life is not about understanding. Life is about experiencing.

Take a quiet moment. Examine your life in light of the soul owning you. Witness how much more sense everything that has happened in your life makes. Consider how much less it looks like we're risking when we view the soul as being the possessor instead of our possession.

Finally, the only abilities we need are to have moral certainty in every situation and the capacity to express unqualified love. When we allow the soul to give us that capability, we will be rewarded with happiness for letting it do so.

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