Resetting Our Lives

Posted by Roberta Grimes • July 29, 2023 • 16 Comments
Jesus, The Source, The Teachings of Jesus

I am weak but Thou art strong.
Jesus, keep me from all wrong!
I’ll be satisfied as long
As I walk, let me walk close to Thee.

Just a closer walk with Thee.
Grant it, Jesus, is my plea!
Daily walking close to Thee.
Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.
– From “Just a Closer Walk with Thee,” Traditional African-American Spiritual (19th Century)

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” It was Socrates who famously said those words some twenty-five hundred years ago, although just what his statement may have meant to Socrates himself feels less than certain to me. How much of an inner life did anyone have twenty-five hundred earth-years ago? Evidence suggests that most people who were alive when Socrates talked about the unexamined life had probably nary a thought that extended much beyond a concern about where their next meal was coming from. There is evidence that as late as Jesus’s day, most people still had little going on upstairs beyond the daily search for food and shelter and the superstitious need to avoid their own human-created gods’ wrath; and I have sometimes had the thought when reading Jesus’s Gospel words that He was saying things meant for people who seldom had much to think about beyond satisfying each day’s survival needs. When you read the Lord’s words, you can see Him patiently and gently helping His listeners to turn up the brilliance of their own inner lights so they each could begin a personal spiritual journey toward achieving an ever-richer inner life. Jesus was urging His followers to look inward in their prayer lives, too, saying, “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you” (MT 6:5-6).

And even today, so many of us take the possibilities inherent in our potentially rich inner lives so much for granted. But it is essential that we not do that! There are breadths and depths to be discovered in the more effective use of our deeply extensive minds that even most twenty-first-century people have not very much explored at all, so those possibilities remain buried under what by the time we reach midlife are entrenched habits of daily trivialities. And therefore, a great many of us continue to live what are essentially still Iron-Age-level lifestyles. We just have nicer homes and better food choices. I almost added that at least we have better entertainment choices now, but in the Iron Age their primary sources of entertainment were telling stories and waging wars. And now we have TV, politics, and video games. Not very much improvement there, either. I may be simplifying the extent of our modern spiritual deficit to some extent, but I wish I could say that I was entirely missing the mark. Sadly, I don’t think that I am. The percentage of modern people who deeply examine their lives and seek to use the full powers of their minds to enrich their spiritual growth is hardly greater today than it was when Socrates first made his exhortation.

We tend to think of beginning anew as something that we do each January. We make our New Year’s resolutions, and we start the new year with a hopeful  new life. But actually, a new start like what I am about to suggest is probably much better begun around this time of year. If it occurs to you that you want to work on making a better and more spiritual use of your mind, well, that is going to be a fairly substantial process, is it not? And if you begin to work on it now, then you might start to show some positive progress in the coming fall, and be building some solid new habits over the fall season that will help you to roar into 2024 with what is going to amount to a whole new life! So, let’s start to talk about it now, shall we? And then let’s see where we can go with it from here?

The first thing that I urge you to do is to begin to think of your mind as your forever home, and as a home that is far vaster and much more important and more infinitely complex than you ever heretofore have imagined it to be. Your mind is where you live and where you spend time with God. It is a profoundly sacred place. It also is a richly complex and very well-provided place, a world so dense with resources that you could spend all day of every day of the rest of your earthly life exploring what you might possibly do in and with and employing your mind as a place to explore and as a set of tools, and still you would not even begin to exhaust what it might be possible for you to do with your mind. It is a playground many times the size of this universe! And it also is a toolbox whose standard-issue tools will leave you slack-jawed with awe as you first begin to appreciate their possibilities. Every mind is all of this, and more, even in the limited version that each of us brings into this lifetime. But sadly, most people live their whole lives while for the most part altogether ignoring most of their vast, eternal minds’ possibilities.

Conveniently, your mind also is flexible in size, and nearly all of us live with our minds shrunk down to a cozy living room. Furthermore, each of us treats our mind as if it is our private home, a place that is off-limits to everyone else. And we live in our mind more or less the way we lived in our first studio apartment out of college, with paperback books of questionable propriety in cinder-block bookcases beside old sofas with food stains and cigarette burn-holes that we cover up with afghan throws. The shades are always down because their pulls don’t work, and all of that is just as well, since the place is full of empty beer cans and old pizza boxes. We speak to our friends, to our boss, and even to God from there in our most articulate voice and with every word thoughtfully considered, and we assume that no one has any clue what a mess of awful ideas and shabby, inappropriate thoughts lurks behind our well-constructed nice-person façade. We head out from there to live our public life groomed to the nines, so everyone must assume that our deepest mind is as put-together as we always look and sound.

Each of us probably got our first job that way, walking out nicely groomed from a disastrous mental apartment. Some of us have later moved on and mostly cleaned up our mental act, but since I personally never undertook the kind of rigorous mental tidying that really is required to live a fully spiritual life until about twenty-five years ago,  I assume that there are others, too, who have been similarly lax. Most people have only lately come to understand the primacy of consciousness, and when you first gain that insight,  you look at the way you have been living in your mind for your entire life, and you begin to feel uneasy about it. You know that every mind is part of the one vast, eternal mind which includes all other minds, and includes God at its Apex. So, OMG, what does that mean? How deep does this consciousness-based dense mental togetherness actually go?

It turns out to go very deep indeed, I am afraid. I wrote a blog post on this topic almost five years ago now, and I cannot much improve on it so I urge you to go back and read that post again. Nearly all of us think of our minds as the ultimate private space, where we can think even the shabbiest and nastiest and most disgusting thoughts, and no one else can access them. But in point of fact, our minds are all part of one vast, eternal Mind, so it is far better simply to assume that your mind is a fully public space, and to clean up your act entirely and then open wide the top of your head and invite God to come inside.

I first did this twenty-five years ago, and I cannot begin to tell you how much doing it improves the quality of your entire life! It feels a bit naked in the beginning, to imagine that the top of your head really is wide open and to be inviting God to come in and hang out inside your mind with you. But if you are persistent, you soon get used to it. A few who had followed my recommendations the first time I posted that blog post told me then various things, like that they had imagined a special chair for God, although of course God is not physical. Or they had sensed God’s presence in their mind-room. I know what that feels like! And in fact, the more comfortable you become with the sense that the top of your head is always open and a “Welcome, God!” sign is always posted, the more often you will feel Spirit’s presence in your life. Many people have told me over the years that they want to do God’s work, and they have asked me how they can best get started. I credit everything, all the books I have been given to write in the past twenty-five years, all the work I have been led to do, all the contacts I have had with Jesus more recently, and His choice to use me in doing a part of His work, I credit all of it to my yielding my life to God back then as I describe it in that blog post.

So now, what about our friend Socrates? How can we turn a largely unexamined life so far into one that even Socrates himself would consider to be an examined life according to his own terms? Before you do anything about that, of course, I urge you strongly to clean up your living room, and from now on please keep it always as a place where you can comfortably meet and visit with God. Until you do that, all your efforts at elevating your personal consciousness vibration are going to be hampered by the negative detritus that inevitably clutters your mind as a result of your simply living day by day in this modern Western culture. And yes, I am fully aware that for many people this is a very big Ask! Television. Movies. News. Politics. Video games. Sports. Religions. Social Media. I am suggesting that you give up for the rest of this lifetime the entirety of modern Western culture as too negative and much too stressful. I did this twenty-five years ago, and I can personally testify that it is amazingly easy to opt out of all of it altogether!  I have since been told by those who have experimented that some mild doses of some of these cultural poisons can be retained without doing much spiritual harm. But I am skeptical. And I still suggest that you attempt a cold-turkey withdrawal from all of it for at least six months. Allow yourself to know how that freedom feels. Please give yourself at least that gift!

Then once you have cleaned up your mental living room, at least a few times each week simply find the time to sit quietly within it. Doing this was never possible when it was a mess of trash thoughts and negativity, but now you can comfortably invite God to join you inside the haven that is your mind. There are various ways that you can do this. You might play a bit of music first, to re-set your mood. Then begin this quiet time of half an hour with God by reading what I consider to be the most important words of the entire Old Testament. They were sung in the reign of King Jehoshaphat by a psalmist of no special note, but someone who clearly was channeling God. Jehoshaphat was born in the year 905 BCE. He was the Fourth King of Judah in the lineage of David. His psalmist sang, “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth” (Psalm 46:10). As people first began to develop an inner life, hundreds of years before Socrates was born, God here first began to reach out to humankind. “Be still, and know that I am God.” And as you go about your day, simply open your heart as you might think of it to that simple inner invitation from God, thinking, “Be still, and know that I am God.” Invite God’s response to your acceptance of God’s call. This sounds like meditation, but it doesn’t feel like meditation. It feels like a joyful yielding to God at God’s own first-ever call to humankind. As you sit quietly with God, if you do this consistently, you will feel your relationship with God ever deepening on God’s Own gentle, awesome terms.

You are ready then to make Jesus a part of your precious time spent with God. It was teaching us to open our minds and redirecting them toward more effective spiritual growth that formed the greater part of what Jesus came to teach. I have favorite Gospels passages that I read and sit with. Perhaps you have a red-letter Bible. Or since the Roman Emperor Constantine edited the Gospels in 325 CE to suit Constantine’s own fear-based religion-building purposes, you might be someone who worries  that we cannot trust every word of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John as being the Lord’s actual spoken Words. So then perhaps a more trustworthy way to use His Gospel teachings without running afoul of Constantine’s fear-based religiosity might be to go to and go through Jesus’s Core Teachings, one by one. Perhaps read one each day, and then let it play in your mind as you use it to examine your own life.

Either way, simply invite Jesus to help you to relate His teachings to the way that you are living your personal life. Take in His thoughts in the presence of God as they are reflected back to you from your own heart, in the soft silence. “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (MT 7:7-8). Remember that God is only perfect love, so if you ever feel even the slightest twinge of fear, then that is not from God. It is just a random remnant of Constantine’s religious nonsense, and you might ask Jesus to help you ease it out of your life.  You will find that as days and weeks pass, Spirit will help you to examine and to strengthen your understanding of your life in the sweetest and most love-filled way, as Spirit always works in our minds. Whatever your question might be, you will find that you and God already are finding and living the answer.

When my feeble life is o’er,
Time for me will be no more.
Guide me gently, safely o’er
To Thy kingdom’s shore, to Thy shore.

 Just a closer walk with Thee.
Grant it, Jesus, is my plea!
Daily walking close to Thee.
Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.
From “Just a Closer Walk with Thee,” Traditional African-American Spiritual (19th Century)

Roberta Grimes
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16 thoughts on “Resetting Our Lives

  1. Hello. I wanted to share something which I found has been helpful in organizing one’s mind. It is a playlist by Zen Cryar DeBrucke, and it describes how we all have an inner GPS and how to use it. Here is that playlist:

    I have been using it for a little while, and it is simple, practical, and looked like something that would complement your methods. So, consider this my gift to the community.

    1. Oh my dear Jason, thank you! This looks like a lovely way to begin to think about some deeper things.

  2. Dear Roberta,

    Your words here are so good as to create a form of poetry from prose.

    Consider that God has created each of our spirits (consciousness) from His own being (His consciousness). When coming here to live in the material world to gain spiritual learning opportunites, our memory of being eternal spirit that dwells in Heaven is blocked, so that we may take living seriously. But as you explain, by being caught up in the mundain hum drum of everyday life, we are apt to indulge our mortal interests to the exclusion of our spiritual essence.

    There is a balance between living in the here and now and practicing the faith that we are only temporarily separated from God for an education as mortal beings.

  3. Great post Roberta,

    I was nervous when you first talked about how open our minds and thoughts really were. I’m sure most were nervous. Now I kind of like the idea. I have been working on controlling my thoughts. I even asked my guides for help when it comes to unwanted thoughts. So the more open I am the more help I can get. Well that is the theory.

    So your advice sounds fantastic. The only thing I continue to wonder is if I should be avoiding things or jumping into the deep end and figuring out how to control my thoughts. I tend to jump in when I try to learn something and we are in the toughest school there is.

    I understand we have to be careful when it comes to repetition. It’s easy for use to get hypnotized when we keep reading/seeing the same thing over and over again. So I go back and forth on avoiding or working through the negativity.

    With that said, we have been having a lot of teenagers killing each other in my city. Lost a young man a couple days ago. They have to be learning this stuff somewhere. It breaks my heart to see all the pain happening to these kids and their families. Not to mention the need for revenge that continues the cycle of violence and pain.

    I grew up in this neighborhood and there was never any gun violence. Now there has been two shootings down the street within a month or so. I’m looking at moving but that won’t stop the problems. Not that me being here would change it anyway. Again, do I avoid or stick it out?

    1. Oh my sweet Thomas, such a truly awful thing! And such a quandary for all of us, when we see the pain and we want to end it, but there is so very little that we can do!

  4. Dear Roberta,
    I usually wait a few days to read others’ comments before commenting myself, but I have to say this is a very timely blog for me. I have always been introspective and am well aware of probably most of my faults and flaws, and I have been recently wanting to bring my mind under control. Thank you for a guide as to how to begin to do that. I am one of the people you mention who is not even sure how much of the Gospels to trust, so I’ll go visit the blog post you mentioned of 5 years ago and also revisit the Core Teachings of Jesus. Thank you again for the reminder that fear is not of God!
    Much love to you and everyone here,
    Jennifer K

  5. Dearest Roberta, what a blog post!!!
    There is so much here that I don’t know which point to respond to. Nonetheless, I remember you writing about how to clear out and reset the mind on various occasions before. And this is so very important.

    I would like to share one template I use for Spirit contemplation that anchors me and comforts me every time I engage in it:

    Firstly, I loosely design my ‘house’ in the afterlife and imagine myself there. My domicile is placed amid steep mountains looking over a riven-valley watercourse. My home is quite high up, perched near the lip of an escarpment where little streams work their way to a nearby, vigorous waterfall that plunges into the valley far below. A tall deciduous forest edges to the falls and light glows through the tree tops, graces the branches and permeates the streams. (You know; it’s the whole staggeringly beautiful picture.) The air is cool and fresh and fills you with vim and vigor.

    Then I find myself relaxing in my lounge room on any of the various rich, old-world divans. Everything is made of panels of light and framed by carved, rich wood. The domes of the ceiling are framed by gold branches holding glass panels of different shapes. The skylights themselves are traced with colored, patterned lead-lighting.
    (I guess the living room does look more like a glass conservatory with rich carpet underfoot.)

    The view outside reveals a tracery of streams and lily ponds which run towards the waterfall. Mountains gather around everything. Passageways of silver vines, paneled with glass, wander behind the main house to different rooms nestled in clearings between the tall trees of the forest surrounds. A soft brightness permeates everything.

    After designing this place I simply return to sit in my afterlife living room, every other night, and contemplate recent Gospel readings and psalms et all. Basically I spend time in the Presence of Spirit.

    So I imagine what the room looks like in some detail, as if I’m really there. Surprisingly I find that little effort is needed after but a short time of visualization. Before long I could picture the scene without trying. I imagine feeling that I was safe and very happy in my real Home, with the full mind I would have in the afterlife. There I am free of the struggle-to-survive, dualistic, scattered human mind that I carry with me here on earth. I feel the difference.

    This practice – along with excluding trash TV viewing, fear and blame based socio-political culture and drama prone people – has a beautiful effect on living spiritually.
    Thank you dear Roberta for letting me share this practice here with you all. ❣️

    1. Dear Efrem,
      I hope it’s alright for me to reply to your comment, just to say how beautiful and inspiring! Thank you for the idea! My boyfriend passed away in November and I have on a few occasions had the sense of him preparing a home in the afterlife for us. I’m not so great at visualizing but with your lovely written descriptions I found that I was able to “see” the scenes in my mind’s eye.
      Thank you for sharing that. Also, I’ve just read Robert’s five-year-old blog and am inspired to cut out the TV and the negative online news message board that I’ve been visiting for years. :-/ Why do we become so addicted to these things that serve no good purpose for our spirits?
      Much love to you,
      Jennifer K

    2. Oh my sweet Efrem, I really can see it, and it is so beautiful!! Thank you so much for sharing!!

    3. Great idea Efrem.

      I’m building a lovely house with acres of land and animals as I type this. Nice to just sit on the porch, with a cup of coffee, and watch the deer and other animals come up to say hello.

      Appreciate you all!


      1. My dear Thomas, we live that way as well, and within fifteen minutes of the center of Austin! When we first moved here, it was possible to live this way at less than an insane cost, but this city has grown like a mushroom all around us. Just amazing. Still, every early morning and every evening, there come the deer. You are right, my wonderful friend – it is quite wonderful!

  6. Dear Jennifer,
    I am delighted that you replied to my comment above. Direct communication between us only makes this shared blog experience all the richer. 😉

    Now please allow me to say that I am sorry for your loss. May you be comforted in this difficult readjustment time. Somehow though, I know the love you and your boyfriend share lives on. I believe this strongly. As there is no death, our loved ones are living in the afterlife, even as we are living here on earth. And the love we share forms a kind of bridge between the different planes of existence.

    I reckon it is possible to reach each other, via the bridge of love. Jennifer – what if your beloved is actually telling you that he has established a home for both of you in the afterlife? What if this sense you feel is actually him communicating? How wonderful would that be?!

    Perhaps you could ask him to show you this home. Then you could see what thoughts, visual pictures and words arise. I bet you find a clarity in this practice over time. But I reckon that it is important that you feel solace and comfort from any mind experiment you undertake. If something is painful emotionally or makes you feel sad, then it is best left alone at this tough time.

    However, should this attempt at reaching out be for you, I can tell you that the mind’s eye becomes clearer with regular practice. So who knows what you are capable of, dear Jennifer! ❣️🙏🏼🌅

    1. Ah yes, my dear Efrem, very often our loved ones who have gone on ahead are doing just that, and making homes that they can share with us!

  7. Dear Effrem,
    Thank you for your kind words! And also for the information and suggestion. I’m going to try this. I like your idea of asking him for information. I too believe that the bonds of love can never be broken. That’s what gets me through the day!
    Much love to you,

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