Tag Archive: Buddhism


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The Universe does not judge…

The Universe does not reprimand…

The Universe does not promote happiness…

The Universe does not control your destiny…..

…you do

 

We live in a Responsive Universe. A conscious cosmos where every thought, action and reaction creates a wave of energy and vibration at the sub atomic level. Basic quantum physics already sheds a bright light on how our responses to life are interconnected and intertwined in a quantum field of light, energy and vibration.

Think of the  Universe as a clean slate… An empty canvas…  The conduit for your energy – whether positive or negative.  The Universe responds to your thoughts, actions and reactions. You are the painter adding color to that proverbial painters canvas.  You are the energy and the Universe is your pathway; your medium… Even  when we comprehend the concept of God as it relates to the Universe we have to include ourselves in that equation. It is our positive and negative thoughts, actions and reactions that become the hand of God. We have the power to create a living heaven or a living hell within this Universe and microcosmic world (Earth) that takes heed to our energy footprints; our waves and vibrations of existence.

When you think happy, positive thoughts these pulses of energy translate into positive actions which more often than not are greeted with positive reactions. Society can be thought of as one breathing organism. When you feed this organism with positivity, it responds with positivity.  This is what defines karma. It begins on the individual level. You have the power of happiness within the palm of your hand. You alone can allow the ego to govern your thoughts and actions or you can let your True Nature be the governing force. True Nature is a place within and without your body that is free of ego and false-self. When you strip away all that is negative: Fear, anger, jealousy and greed you are left with only love and positive energy. When you root your intent; your thoughts, actions and reactions in True Nature you connect to sometime genuine and unadulterated.

You are creating a Responsive Universe…. You are in control. The present moment is the essence of God and Universe – the totality of everything at your finger tips. Believe this and you too will live in a Conscious Cosmos… a Responsive Universe….

John C. Bader is a photographer, wellness advocate and consultant specializing in spiritual self-evolution, meditation, and bio-energy healing. In his writing, he bridges science with spirituality and provides steps to encourage more mindfulness in daily life. His new book, The Responsive Universe – Illumination of the Nine Mandalas is a step by step process on how to begin your very own Hero’s Journey.

About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

Now Available: Amazon    Barnes & Noble

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Understanding Orlando

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“Internal peace is an essential first step to achieving peace in the world. How do you cultivate it? It’s very simple. In the first place by realizing clearly that all mankind is one, that human beings in every country are members of one and the same family.”

– The Dalai Lama

Great quote by the Dalai Lama and it rings wisdom in light of the Orlando shootings. Still, it’s not that simple is it? 49 people are dead and there are fingers pointing to religious extremism and also gun control in America. I also strongly believe our Western Mideast policy which involves greedy corporations, oil and the backing of various governments is a bloody cursor to all this – but no one ever talks about that (and this is not a political blog so I will leave it there).  The fact is,  I am not going to be able to sum up this tragedy in one blog post, but we can try and begin to understand it all:

Lets step away from gun control and foreign policy for a moment and focus more on religious extremism.  I truly think  one of the major problems is “belief”.  Belief in cultural differences  and more importantly belief in religious ideals that have no scientific or philosophical bearing on society.  Specifically religious beliefs born on blind faith; sometimes radicalized. Blind faith is defined as belief that is not based on reason or evidence. All major religions, excluding Buddhism fall under this definition.  As you know I am not a big fan of organized religion and it is crucial to point out that Buddhism and the Dalai Lama is not religion but a philosophy. Buddhists do not worship idols or believe in blind faith. A Buddhists energy and karma lies firmly on reality, their own shoulders, thoughts and actions and not on blind faith or a mystical god.. Further, people tend to draw their “beliefs” from religion and that is where much of the problems lies. People do not need belief or faith in a religious dogma to know what is wrong or right. I have raised my son completely free of religious dogma and he knows right from wrong. He knows what feels good emotionally from a karmic standpoint and he understands how his thoughts, actions and reactions can either benefit and or hurt himself and others around him. My son is a 15 year experiment in parenting and a non-religious upbringing that proves a simple point. You do not need religion to know right from wrong and you do not need religion to live a well balanced, spiritual life. I personally have found god and True Nature through my own devices and nothing is more powerful. When you find the concept or definition of God within (with self-discovery) you have something special, unadulterated and unique. When you rely on others for God outside your own energy footprint it opens up the person and situations that abide with too much variability. It can invite in radical ideas and levels of ego that are not healthy.

I think it is interesting how all of us are born as innocent little infants – our minds a clean palate – it is society/politics and especially religion that colors that palate and with cultural variability, social status, ego, politics, religion (blind faith) and societal pressures. The common denominator is people  exhibiting all levels of crazy. I do not think people need to have the same belief in regard to cultural values. Our diversity is what makes us beautiful. I think the disconnect is forgoing basic, fundamental human rights before religious and cultural values. There lies the problem. If we put religion second to human value we would all realize we are not that different. When we understand that all of us struggle; that we all suffer. That we all have similar DNA. When people worldwide understand that we all also love and dream. Well, we are not that different at all. As Ram Dass has stated eloquently, “we are all just walking each other home”….

John C. Bader is a photographer, wellness advocate and consultant specializing in spiritual self-evolution, meditation, and bio-energy healing. In his writing, he bridges science with spirituality and provides steps to encourage more mindfulness in daily life. His new book, The Responsive Universe – Illumination of the Nine Mandalas is a step by step process on how to begin your very own Hero’s Journey.

About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

Now Available: Amazon    Barnes & Noble

The Responsive Universe on Facebook

John C. Bader on Twitter

 

Image Credit: Patheos.com

“However many storms are within you, there is always room for more…

The ocean did not gain its vastness by turning the rain away…”

– Pavana

 

This wisdom is believed to have originated from ancient Hindu texts. This particular quote brings great meaning and thus I would like to expand on its perceived premise. I think it is interesting to explore the ancient texts and quotes of famous; even enigmatic philosophers  of the past. If you release yourself from any dogmatic trappings and look at the common denominator of each religion or thought you will find many similarities; especially across Hinduism, Buddhism and early Christianity. There are lovely and empowering literary passages to explore from the ancients that spoke and wrote such wisdom so many years ago.

This particular Pavana quote speaks to me. As we have learned through experience, it is the challenges and suffering that teach the most poignant lessons in life. It is from great pain and affliction  that our True Nature arises from the ashes to allow us to vibrate to the next level of mindfulness and self-discovery. From every loss and lesson comes understanding and wisdom. To know pain and suffering is to know love and bliss. Within our minds and being is this vast, open space – this boundless realm within the mind that is infinite and endless like the Universe. With the right awareness, there is much space to be found for all our challenges and suffering. Each experience whether positive or negative shapes our being; our energy footprint. Each experience may shape us, but it does not have to define us. Our minds are much like the ocean: Sometimes turbulent and frothing with controlled chaos; sometimes peaceful and glassy.

The first notion is to continually remind ourselves of the space that exists within; especially in times of turmoil and challenge. Remind yourself that your mind is vast like the ocean and eventually things will calm down. The second notion is to remind yourself that from every negative will birth a positive. From night comes day and from rain comes sunshine. Good things are on the horizon and no matter the toil, you will become a stronger, more mindful and sensitive person.

It is easy to put your blind faith into something like religion. Put your unadulterated faith into yourself; into the vastness that is your being.  Self awareness and self-discovery is a much better spiritual investment.

 

John C. Bader is a photographer, wellness advocate and consultant specializing in spiritual self-evolution, meditation, and bio-energy healing. In his writing, he bridges science with spirituality and provides steps to encourage more mindfulness in daily life. His new book, The Responsive Universe – Illumination of the Nine Mandalas is a step by step process on how to begin your very own Hero’s Journey.

About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

Now Available: Amazon    Barnes & Noble

The Responsive Universe on Facebook

John C. Bader on Twitter

itsatrap

So you had a spiritual breakthrough? …an epiphany? Maybe you read an enlightening book and it has changed your perspective (hopefully it was mine – LOL). Maybe you read a bunch of books… You feel your space, clarity and insight growing… your vibration and glow expanding? Excellent! Self-discovery and spiritual evolution is the goal in a Responsive Universe…

Do you feel compelled to tell everyone you meditated today? Is your new found wisdom splashed all over Facebook and Twitter 24/7? Do you stop random people and tell them you can see their aura or energy? Are you voicing your new opinions to those around you as if you have been a master teacher your entire life? Do you feel more powerful and self-actualized than others with your new found energy? Do you feel sorry for those easily led by blind faith?

Easy there eager beaver!

…your new found self-discovery is creating a new ego from the one you just got rid of!!!!

what?

As we step into self-discovery and sun bathe in the first light shards of enlightenment it is easy to become intoxicated with this new found energy. Congratulations, you are on the path to Self-Actualization!

IT’S A TRAP!

what?

yep, that’s right…. In order to find this new self-discovery and enlightenment, you had to surrender at least a portion of your false-self or ego to connect more with your True Nature. The trap is that it is easy to fall into a more complex ego born from your new found vision. It is easy to step up on your soap box and preach this new age gospel. Beware, it is unbecoming… People do not want to hear it… Silence is the best wisdom… In fact, living by example is the best teacher… If you feel the need to tell people you meditated today or that you are vibrating at a higher level – or their religion is wrong;  that is your ego talking… not your True Nature…

Say less… Do more….

Don’t judge….

Be compassionate….

Sometimes silence is the best wisdom….

Hey, I have to self-check myself all the time – especially with family. It’s part of the journey and when you are mindful of your energy and place with this Universe and do not let it synthesize more ego – well, you just jumped to a new level in self-discovery and enlightenment….

And yes, this blog post is my friendly reminder….

more on Ego     ….more on True Nature   …more on what the Responsive Universe is…

John C. Bader is a photographer, wellness advocate and consultant specializing in spiritual self-evolution, meditation, and bio-energy healing. In his writing, he bridges science with spirituality and provides steps to encourage more mindfulness in daily life. His new book, The Responsive Universe – Illumination of the Nine Mandalas is a step by step process on how to begin your very own Hero’s Journey.

About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

Now Available: Amazon    Barnes & Noble

The Responsive Universe on Facebook

John C. Bader on Twitter

Photo Credit: Star Wars – George Lucas (big fan)

A blog that I wrote in 2012 that is all of a sudden going viral this week… Its numbers are breaking records! So, I thought I would share it once again to our Responsive Universe social media family that has grown considerably of the years as well. Thanks for everyone’s energy and consideration! JCB

The Responsive Universe

All the gods, all the heavens, all the hells, are within you.”

– Joseph Campbell

This is a very powerful sentence…. It sometimes takes great minds like Joseph Campbell to effectively wrap up the Cosmos – everything that exists – in one eloquent sentence. Carl Sagan was able to effectively do this as well. Sadly both of these great teachers have passed but their words live on eternally. That is the distinct power of words isn’t it? The inspiration of this particular sentence comes from the great realization of the Upanishads of India in the ninth century B.C. I find it interesting that even thousands of years ago, people were reaching for the heavens and also inward to find the meaning of existence – the how and why…. But what I find truly interesting is that even thousands of years ago, wise people were connecting to this sublime dynamism that…

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Xmastree

So what does Christmas mean in “Western Culture” to a non practicing Christian? or perhaps a Buddhist or Atheist? Hmmm… maybe I should rephrase that: What does Christmas mean to me; a guy raised in a Christian household but his suffering and wisdom understood with more clarity and insight through eastern philosophy.  A person who is more spiritual than religious? I meditate daily, watch my Karma and really have no internal or external connection to western based religious dogma. I am not a proponent of organized faith but Buddhism does speak to me…

From an American perspective, what is this thing we call Christmas? It is a beast bigger than all of us and the religion that once defined it. We see advertising for it in October.  Some want the Christ back in Christmas! I guess I don’t blame them… Though I have seen a lot of hypocrisy lately with this notion. Something about Syrian refugees; the religious and political right and the fact Baby Jesus and Mother Mary were middle eastern refugees taken in from the cold on a clear night with the North Star sparkling above – or some sort of contradiction like that… It seems Christmas is more commercial than Christian or Catholic. Most of the big retail corporations only want your money in their coffers playing on our emotions and credit cards with heartwarming commercials and subliminal advertising… In the aftermath of Christmas you have reports of holiday heart and reports about whether Christmas was successful from a financial bottom line and not spiritual bottom line. You have got Santa competing against Jesus and Target competing against Walmart. It’s like Holiday Thunderdome out there in the streets! It is a stressful time of year and I think a lot of us caught in the cross fire are thankful when it is all over.

…still, you know what? I love Christmas! uh.. from the commercial side that is.. well, let me rephrase that: I think I am into Christmas for 50% pretty lights and presents and 50% for the holiday idea that it is good to give… .001% for it actually being Jesus’ birthday. My birthday is the day after and it is actually common historical knowledge that Emperor Constantine changed Jesus’ birthday to December 25th at the 300 AD Council of Nicaea – Historically he may be an autumn baby but who knows. What I do know is my birthday is the 26th and it is probably the worst time in the world to have a birthday. I am still damaged from my childhood. There is a lawsuit pending…. But I digress…..

So what do I love about Christmas? I do love the twinkling little lights, the decorations and yes, the food! I love how everyone is in a good mood and people give like no other season. The energy is alive and flowing during Christmas and there is something special about that moment when the dawn illuminates freshly fallen snow and the unmistakable glisten of excitement we see in the eyes of our children. For a moment it seems like everything is perfect in the world. I even like Christmas songs.. even the religious ones like “Silent Night”

Do I thank Jesus for that good Christmas feeling or Amazon.com?

Yes, my family celebrates Christmas. We strings lights, hang holly and buy our friends and family gifts. Still, Christmas for me is not about religious dogma. It is about winter solstice, light, energy and love. More pagan in nature I suppose… Winter is part of the celebration of the Mandala of life. In autumn we see the trees turn as fall takes the hand of summer. Then it is winter that casts its cold gaze over our world. Yet, there is faith that spring will come yet again. Yes, for me, Christmas and New Years is a time to celebrate our lives, be reverent,  to give and center ourselves in the energy of illumination, love and wisdom. A celebration of the past, present and yes… the future!

My Birthday is the day after so do not get mad if I say Happy Holidays to you all!

Ah, hell with it…. Merry Christmas!

image credit: playbuzz.com

John C. Bader is a photographer, wellness advocate and consultant specializing in spiritual self-evolution, meditation, and bio-energy healing. In his writing, he bridges science with spirituality and provides steps to encourage more mindfulness in daily life. His new book, The Responsive Universe – Illumination of the Nine Mandalas is a step by step process on how to begin your very own Hero’s Journey.

About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

Now Available: Amazon    Barnes & Noble

The Responsive Universe on Facebook

John C. Bader on Twitter

A Buddhist for President?

Republican party presidential candidate Ben Carson was recently caught in a firestorm of controversy over whether or not a Muslim could be President.  I am paraphrasing, but when cornered to explain his point he states that depending on how a Muslim would interpret the Quran; there could be ideological conflicts with the US Constitution.

There are probably many misconceptions about the origin of the US Constitution – many right-wing conservatives may argue that the United States of America was founded on Christian principles and the US Constitution reflects that. To a degree this is correct but based on my understanding, the US Constitution itself is a secular document, and nowhere does it appeal to God, Christianity, Jesus, or any supreme being – only that religious freedom needs to be protected.

Mike HuckabeeI guess the irony here is how some people are more concerned with the notion of a hypothetical Muslim President challenging our constitutional rights – some idiots out there still think President Obama is a Muslim – and yet Christianity is ALWAYS challenging our constitutional rights. Maybe you are ok with that… I personally have a problem with it…. From challenging woman’s health issues, to teaching creationism in schools to same-sex marriage. I understand that Christianity is a dominant religion in America and many of our sociopolitical foundations are based on such dogma;  but I think it is interesting when the line between church and state blurs and people’s’ fundamental human rights are violated. When businesses like Hobby Lobby and Chick fil A can dictate how you should receive insurance  coverage based on religious views. When presidential candidates like Mike Huckabee think Jesus is a higher law than our US Supreme Court – that is not only bat shit crazy; it is down right scary! And yet in today’s American society it is sort of the norm isn’t it?…. and that is even more scary….

Now it is clear my religious perspectives are from the outside of the Christian bubble looking in. In fact, I am a minority in this thinking which in itself is ironic. When Pope Francis is more liberal than our right-wing conservative political party who tries to govern our policy and laws, it makes you wonder if this departure from reality is due to religion itself perpetuating close minded thinking, or America is just showing its ignorance, or Fox News is way too far-reaching and persuasive in its views and underlying agendas.

So what about a Buddhist for President? What about a Buddhist instilling and spewing dogma into our schools? Children would learn meditation. In fact, children would have to learn about Karma and how every action and reaction (whether positive or negative) can affect others and yourself. People would have to uphold the Four Noble Truths and learn to suffer less and take power away from our Ego – connecting more to our True Nature. Maybe Buddhist extremists would lobby to force people to spend more time in nature and be more compassionate to others? Probably not right? …The Dalai Lama recently was asked (and again I paraphrase) that if science proved a Buddhist notion wrong what would be the next step? The Dalai Lama responded that we would need to make a change in our thinking that would mirror what science now proves correct…. that’s refreshing….

The lesson here is simple… Be mindful of what is right and wrong based on fundamental human rights. Which paths whether social, spiritual or political are going to lead to the least amount of suffering for ALL people of all faiths, gender, sexuality, income levels and their basic rights as human beings.  Due to societal immersion and the dogma that is so interwoven into our news and politics we don’t even realize the true threats that sit in the shadows waiting to erode your fundamental rights as a human being. I cant reiterate this enough – as history has shown in brutal detail, without opposition, there is only tyranny… and that is why I touch on these subjects…

John C. Bader is a photographer, wellness advocate and consultant specializing in spiritual self-evolution, meditation, and bio-energy healing. In his writing, he bridges science with spirituality and provides steps to encourage more mindfulness in daily life. His new book, The Responsive Universe – Illumination of the Nine Mandalas is a step by step process on how to begin your very own Hero’s Journey.

About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

Now Available: Amazon    Barnes & Noble

The Responsive Universe on Facebook

John C. Bader on Twitter

The recent terrorist attacks in Paris have sparked (or rekindled) a debate on whether insulting a religion is or isn’t free speech. Pope Francis joined in the debate by stating publicly that though he defends free speech, people should show restraint when it comes to insulting people’s faith: “You cannot insult the faith of others”, he stated recently.  I actually like Pope Francis. He has been a refreshing breath of fresh air for a stifled religion weighed down by dogma and archaic views. Still, I respectively disagree.

I understand the comment of restraint and it makes complete sense. If you are picking a fight you will get one. Still recent events have shown that even restraint is overshadowed by terrorism. Without free speech how are we to counter extremism?  Without a voice, how are we to counter the oppressive? History has shown that if there is no opposition, there is only tyranny.  Some may say it is western occupation and media insults that fuel extremism. I agree but it runs deeper than that. It is an opposing life style, slanted view of religion and culture that seen through the eyes of a few extremists, labels the other side as infidels – punishable by death…  That is a problem.

Here is the true problem at hand. Religion is flawed… I know… I know… another insult…. I can’t tell you how many biblical conversations I have been involved in that eventually evolve into arguments – especially when facts outweigh unproven biblical dogma. In my own research, I have learned that an individual’s religious faith is often as strong as the intensity of his or her worries and desires in life. Because religious thinking often gives purpose and meaning to a sometimes cruel and indefinable world, it is hard to dive into religious discussions without insulting someone’s beliefs in some way. People get defensive of their religious beliefs and often cannot take any criticism about them.  Some protect their religious beliefs with an intensity that is fanatical and though I would not call it a benchmark; the more fanatical one is with their specific religious philosophy, the more deeply rooted fear they probably harbor. Being ridiculously defensive alludes to a weakness in thinking; whether it’s because of ego, self-esteem, or ignorance, fanaticism points to a flaw in one’s belief system.

Try to insult a Buddhist… It is pretty difficult because Buddhism is more of a philosophy than a religion. In general Buddhist philosophy and through space, clarity and responsiveness – spiritual empowerment is found within by connecting to True Nature and also through the beauty of people and nature. When someone insults a Buddhist, the Buddhist immediately feels compassion for the person and understands that the source of the insult is a projection of that person’s fears, guilt, ego and lack of intelligence (in certain cases).

I am not sure what the end game is for extremism. To be honest I do not even understand it. Everyone is born with basic morals of right and wrong – no matter your religious or spiritual affiliation. It is so beyond me that some of religious faith can justify sawing the head off of a journalist or killing cartoonists.  It seems like a major dysfunction or complete lack of moral fiber. How can anyone be at peace and happy when living under these actions?

All I can say is Karma is a bitch….

 

John C. Bader is a wellness advocate and consultant specializing in spiritual self-evolution, meditation, and bio-energy healing. In his writing, he bridges science with spirituality and provides steps to encourage more mindfulness in daily life. His new book, The Responsive Universe – Illumination of the Nine Mandalas is a step by step process on how to begin your very own Hero’s Journey.

About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

Now Available: Amazon    Barnes & Noble

The Responsive Universe on Facebook

John C. Bader on Twitter

121014Happy New Year to any of you reading this blog now… and a Happy New Year to anyone who stumbles across this post; say in July…. I guess that is the point… Every word written here is valid today, tomorrow and in six to nine months…

Everyday can be a new day… a new start…. Sure, New Years is about “out with the old and in with the new”. Still, I am not fond of New Year’s resolutions.  I like to have the option of failing. Yeah, that’s right, failure is good! How many resolutions are still being religiously followed by Summer? Spring? It is sort of a “set yourself up to fail and then feel guilty about it” scenario…. Nothing new and wholesome about that…. Resolutions seem to set us up for disappointment. They certainly have never worked for me.

Still, there is a silver lining in the concept of failure and blown resolutions. Let us not forget it is the failures and shortcomings that teach us the important lessons in life. Much of our wisdom is forged from learning about what works and what does not work. Life can be one big experiment. Life has taught me that with the right mindfulness, every negative can be turned into a positive and from pain is born space and awareness. So with that said, I am slow to say goodbye to 2014 or any previous year without remembering the high points and yes, the low points. It is the latest chapter of who we are.

Still, it is an unfinished story…

That is where the New Year becomes useful: 365 new chances to do better and get things right. It does not have to be a perfect process – it won’t…  and that is okay… We tend to be hard on ourselves for our actions, thoughts and reactions. This thing called living is not easy. Still, we can have the confidence that our story is not yet finished. We are the authors of the next chapter – why not write a good one!

John C. Bader

About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

Now Available: Amazon    Barnes & Noble

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John C. Bader on Twitter

jupiter2How vast is the mind? When we conjure up huge distances in the mind our brain seems border-less in its periphery. Take our own solar system with its planets: Within the mind we can visualize the red planet Mars as we whiz by in our thoughts. Seconds later we pass Jupiter, the largest planet in our Solar System. To the left is an image of Jupiter I took from the backyard using my telescope. Jupiter alone is over 628 million miles from Earth! Soon we reach the rings of Saturn and the icy blue reaches of Uranus and Neptune.  We can visualize what it might be like on planets orbiting other stars in the night sky – some millions of light years away. When we look through a large enough telescope we can see other Galaxies, different from our own – some hundreds of billions of miles from Earth. Then there are the galaxies and deep space objects we can’t see – their light so ancient its energy and vibration has yet to reach Earth. How is it possible to conjure up such vast distances within the mind? How big is the mind and does it have a border? What is a thought? Where do thoughts arise and where do they go?

These are things worth contemplating….

What about the inner world of sub atomic physics. A single cell’s nucleus mirrors that of a planet orbiting afar: Electrons orbiting the protons and neutrons like moons orbiting a host planet. Each cell nucleus spaced like planets and stars across the vast and intricate structure of the human brain. Over 100 billion cells dotting the night sky of the brain – vast, border-less, and possibly infinite…

How do we fit in all this…? The Universe with its myriad of star laden galaxies and the sub atomic Universe infinite in its structure…  There isn’t just the Universe and then us – something detached and separate… In order to understand the Universe in simple terms we need to consider ourselves part of the equation. The same can be said for the sub atomic world within. Just the act of observing microscopic particles changes their result. We are part of the result. We are part of the Universe. There is not one and then the other. We need to consider ourselves part of something so vast it transcends earthly dogma. So vast and connected that anything is possible because within the Responsive Universe there are infinite possibilities.

Do you want to learn more about our connection to the Responsive Universe?

John C. Bader

About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

Now Available: Amazon    Barnes & Noble

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John C. Bader on Twitter

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