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GIST - January 2002 Issue
Surprise Package


   It is not the package; it is the contents that make the difference. A pretty package often fools us into thinking that what is in this wrapping is equal to what it is wrapped in. When we fall into this trap we are often surprised unkindly.

       HOW OFTEN I see children playing in the street, dirty, disheveled and unpretty. They are not the delight of their mother's heart. Always the cry to come in and get cleaned up when the dirty children are in their paradise.
       One child stands by the side of the play area in her pretty clean dress-so desirable. In her heart she would just love to jump into the sandbox and join in the fun, but she has to stay clean.
       Is the child in the sandbox a bad person? Is the little girl in her lovely frock a good person because she is so spotless? The outer indicators are not the evidence of the inner being. Both children are quite likely excellent people being held, for the moment, to different standards. Their outer package is not necessarily their conscious choice. The outer is rather the result of the circumstances in which they find themselves. 
       We are five children in our family. Christmastime each of us tried to outdo the other in imaginative presents and creative packaging. It was depression time and money was scant but imagination was in high gear. My sister Mae was very generous but she also wanted to be treated generously. For some reason we had lots of Christmas wrapping paper so this gave us an opportunity to be grand.
       We wanted to fool Mae and at the same time do something nice for her. We searched for ideas of a gift, usually something we made in our class in school. Our teacher knew we all wanted to give and that the presents we created ourselves would be the most practical. 
       Paper mache was the current vogue. Mixing newspaper strips with water and paste and creating magic about metal hangers twisted into the shapes of animals or people or mountains and the bigger the better. Then we would take poster paint and decorate our creations. It was fun. Most exciting was our desire to surprise the one to whom we were to give the gift.
       Now the big test came. Into WHAT packaging would we put our masterpiece? Naturally some large large large cardboard box and wrapped naturally in Christmas paper.
       My box was the largest under the Christmas tree. In fact it had to be put behind the tree because it blocked all the other gifts from being seen when it was in front of the tree. 
       Everyone looked at Mae's gift in amazement. No one but me knew what was in the massive box so gaily wrapped. Attempts were made to shake the big box but it was stuffed with paper inside too so it would not rattle and give away the contents. It sat there for the week before Christmas the tree was in place.
       Christmas morning when the gifts were opened Mae was given the privilege to open her's first because it was so big and so exciting.
       Gently she removed the wrappings folding the paper carefully so it could be used again. When all of the paper was set aside, Mae, like a queen, stood behind "her present" and opened the lid only to find more paper all crunched up inside to keep the gift in place. She drew out of the box the wireframedpapermached figure to the surprised imagination of everyone who attempted to guess what "it" was. 
       Finally Mae, being artistically inclined, pronounced that it was an elephant standing on its hind legs. And so the "elephant" stood under the tree until we all took our presents to our rooms. 
       Years later, I was visiting a friend at Christmastime. All his family were generous to a fault, but to my friend they appeared very stingy. All had glorious gifts. Laughter and singing were everywhere. My friend saw under the tree only one box for him. He moped around throughout the pre-holiday gift opening time with a hang-dog-expression. 
       Finally it was time to open the presents. Everyone made such a big fuss and ignored my friend's feelings in a very unkind manner. The moment came when he received his gift as they went from the youngest to the oldest child. His little brother ran to the tree and picked up his little box and gave it to him. He was sadness personified. Then he opened the box and found a single "key" in the box. He thought he knew what it meant but it was a strange key. He asked what it meant. His dad said look out the window. During the present opening time his dad had gone to the garage and brought out a brand new red convertible Ford. In a flash he dashed out the door into the cold Christmas morning warmed by his gift in the very little box.

       I always thought about appearances until a few surprises reminded me that it was not the outer packaging, but the content.

Educational Training
For Me To Be
A Spiritual Counselor

       SPIRITUAL is defined as something beyond the physical, metaphysical.
       It might seem that my educational training to be a spiritual counselor must be done in institutions wherein knowledge of religious matters is entertained. However, such knowledge merely tells me what another has done, the opinions of another relative to matters metaphysical and the dogma of religious groups. None of this provides any background or understanding for me to be a counselor in spiritual matters.
       Only when I counsel myself in the area of spiritual discernment can I find its illumination and wisdom. I walk the way for myself. Seeking the divine within my spiritual self is an "inside job" where I go alone unafraid to meet my divine reality.
       I counsel myself. As a spiritual counselor I first love myself. As my own counselor I am happy with myself, I am happy with my divine nature. I am happy with all of my creation and I am happy just the way things are going. As I am my own spiritual counselor I love myself-I like myself-I guide myself to listen within myself to the music of my own spirit, to the dance of my own soul, to the wisdom of all which lies within me. As I the counselor so guide myself, I as the counselor am at peace, in harmony with myself and with the entire world about me, which I created and create continually, just the way I like it to be done.
       The world mirrors back to me, the spiritual counselor, what is within my heart. All I as the counselor can see is the reflection of my own beliefs and convictions relative to the life I am living and to the flowers growing in my own inner garden.
       For me to be a spiritual counselor for my creation, and myself this is the ULTIMATE! I am dealing with the sensitivity of my inner being and this is sacred territory. Being given this privilege, I hold it with high esteem and honor and respect all that it involves-my personal vulnerability-by seeking counsel from myself.
       Hence, as a spiritual counselor, I never give advice. I do not play the role of a minister to myself. My work is to find myself. Only then as I find myself do I lay hold of myself in a positive manner.
       As a spiritual counselor I am a graduate with great honors from the finest greatest university in the universe, that school within myself. Having attuned myself to all that I presently understand, I train myself to listen within to divine wisdom to be fully aware my world is fulfilled and perfect. Because the spiritual counselor is me and I am harmoniously attuned with my inner realm to look within for answers to all of life and living.
       Being a spiritual counselor I work from my inner beingness and have knowledge of the liberal arts and sciences. I am a superior well-founded aware human being, expressing all of my divine virtues. 
     I counsel myself as I listen within from my untouched, nonposs- essive, nonjudgmental- unconditionally loving- self. The world flock to my door and go away revealed.

-Dr Herbert L Beierle