A HAPPY THANKSGIVING week to everyone! I hope you are nestled in with hot chocolate (or stronger), your family and friends, great memories and lots of fun!
Sunday, November 16, 2014
A Face Reading Short Story by Barbara Roberts
Abraham Lincoln emerged from the War Room tired and sick at heart. He had just come from the battlefield where he visited the tents of the surgeons. His mind held the continuous image of timelessly sobbing widows in black long dresses. Hopeless, orphaned sons and daughters cried at the doors of the homes waiting for their fathers who would never return.
Although he had surrounded himself politically with those who had opposed him and wished for his nation to be open to all men and all views, the president was acutely aware of that political incompetence meant wounded soldiers and dead men. His heart was filled with quiet grieving, and the Great War never left his heart for a moment.
“To even have a healthy son reach adulthood was a miracle of God,” he reflected. “So many epidemics of flu or cases of consumption. Even a body soaked with rain on a wintry day might be lost by nightfall.”
So that some of the city’s young bucks dreamed of the ‘battle cry’ and fighting to prove their manhood angered him deep in his soul. That the young people romanticized war gave him lingering sadness. If only they saw what he had seen. Brothers in battle together – one kneeling over his dying loved on. And no grieving, they say, can compare to a parent who has lost a son. He had Todd, and he knew what the all encompassing love of a father could be. Protective and tender at the same time.
And how cruel men and nature could be to the human flesh. Some was Fate. War was choice. He was determined to end the War as quickly as he could. Send just one son home to his Mama - one son who might never have had a chance on the battlefield. It would be worth one son - whole and well.
So much rested on the integrity and capabilities of the men he chose for his Cabinet. His leaders must be of the highest caliber. Strong, fearless and true. They must be understanding of his people, their children, and the future of a great nation. Everything was at stake now. Of the Cabinet he had chosen, some were from different states and had different backgrounds. He liked that about them. He chose them by looking closely at their military records, their letters of accommodation, and by reading their characters. He tried not to miss anything. As president he could not control much, but he could hand-select his men who would make national decisions. That was his job. The destiny of a nation at War depended on it. He must not fail his people.
When he was younger the Illinois lawyer had met with one obstacle after another. Some eight at least, he reflected. Many elections lost. To others he seemed like a complete failure. But in each political skirmish he had learned to look at people closely and assess their nuances of personality. So their behavior or decisions would never surprise him. He knew more about some people than they knew about themselves, but he kept his own council. He studied the ancient system of physiognomy (Face Reading). Ten feet from a prospective juror or witness in a trial, he could turn the fate of a legal outcome. Lincoln could laugh and weave a good story with the best of them, but inside he had the instincts of a cougher. He looked at people and saw them – beyond artifices, fancy verbiage and fine clothes. He would laugh at a child’s story and shun an arrogant general.
One afternoon as his Cabinet assembled in the White House, the sun’s hot fierceness poured through the room. Men were loosening their neck clothes and removing their bulky jackets, wiping their forehead with large white hankies. All stood as Lincoln entered the room. His hands rose palms down to motion them to be seated.
“I understand that today we are reviewing the application for Lt. James Need, who wishes to be Secretary of the Treasury. Will those of you who have letters of accommodation, military files and written testimonials abut him, please step forward.” Lincoln seated himself behind the mahogany desk and opened his right hand to receive the papers. Letters from Generals, teachers, red wax sealed missives about Lt. McNeed were handed over. The pile was so high that by the time Lincoln had read them all, the sun was setting. The men were eager to get into their carriages and return home to their wives and dinners.
“Well,” Lincoln began, “he seems an ideal candidate form these dossiers. His war record is impeccable, and I can find no fault with anything I have read about this man. Let us meet him now, so we might to return to a quiet evening with our families. Bring Lt. James McNeed to me please.”
The side door opened, and the attending army aide ushered a man in uniform into the room. He came to stand directly in front of Abraham Lincoln. The president’s gaze was powerful and searching as he regarded the officer. Lincoln was reviewing McNeed’s facial features, as system called Face Reading, which he had learned when he was a young lawyer. It helped him to accurately read a person’s character. In his mind, Lincoln made note of Lt. McNeed's features: a dimpled chin that was short, a chin which receded back to tuck behind forward thrusting front teeth, an uneven forehead hairline, a tiny, tight mouth (that looked like a man set on a vinegar drink), strange ears which protruded out from his head at odd angles, a mouth that upturned like a joker (but McNeed wasn’t smiling), and a thick unibrow eyebrow. The president reflected that he looked like a rat. And then Lincoln remembered the words of Aristotle, the first great scholar in science of physiognomy: “If you look like an animal, you are it!” (You will have the temperament of that animal.)
What was curious about Mr. McNeed, Lincoln thought, was that as he answered each direct question, his eyes would shift, almost retract visibly. Then they would become clear and present. It seemed to happen when the questions involved his military record. Lincoln had learned to recognize this eye change as “cloaking,” and he had seen it often in spies of all sorts. The president paced up and down, his head down and reflective before his men.
He made his decision and turned to the group, “Please leave us, Mr. McNeed.”
And after the man disappeared down the corridor, Lincoln turned to the curious Cabinet members and said, “I don’t want this man anywhere close to me.” Lincoln pounded his open flat hand onto his desk as the astonished group gasped and was riveted to attention. “Show me a man who is forty who is not responsible for his face.” With that he pulled in his vest and with long strides left the room.
Weeks later a news bulletin emerged from a Border state with an artist’s rendering of an escaped convict, Walter McNeed, who had been incarcerated for killing his brother, Lt. James McNeed, and stealing his military papers. The murdered brother, Lt. James McNeed had been a valiant soldier, decorated in battle. And for those who studied the facial drawing closely, the man who had stood before Lincoln had been none other than Walter McNeed.
(C) Copyright, Barbara Roberts, 2009. All rights reserved.
Monday, November 10, 2014
About 20 years ago I did a Face Reading TV show on InSide San Diego talking about SOUL AGE and using Yogananda's EYES as an example of an Old Soul. Here it is (for folks seeing the movie AWAKE)!
The Movie "AWAKE" - What do YOGANANDA'S Eyes say about his SOUL AGE?
The Movie "AWAKE" - What do YOGANANDA'S Eyes say about his SOUL AGE?
Monday, November 3, 2014
“Choosing a Man of Destiny”
In a distant territory the elders of a court were gathered around the bed covers of their dying king. His elderly wife bathed his hands and gently massaged his feet to comfort the aged ruler in his last moments. The monks sat near-by praying with deep devotion that God guide their beloved king to the highest realms of the Heavens. Outside the marble towers, the king’s army had heard the rumor of his immanent passing, and the young, buck warriors were already fighting for supremacy and boasting of their personal prowess and lioness strength.
“I’m the best.” “I am the strongest.” “I deserve to be king.” “I will be the next ruler.” “Fight me for the throne.” Restless echoes of jostling male egos and a surfacing panic created a deep turmoil in the peaceful realm.
“A new beginning must come now. Against our will, our noble king lies dying, and we don’t know how to replace him. Finding a monarch so loving and devoted to his people will not be an easy task,” said one of the older ministers.
As the royal one took one last surrendered breath, the assembled ministers and holy monks knelt in prayer. “Lord, who has given our nation this very righteous leader, do not forsake us for our worldliness or ignorance. We ask that in your Divine mercy you help us to choose our next ruler so that our people might continue in peace and prosperity.”
One of the wisest and most trusted of the king’s ministers was a mystic named Acara. Clear of avarice and sympathetic to all people, he was the mentor and guide for the younger ones. The king had loved him the most, because he could lean on him heavily for advice. Even the monarch, who had possessed clarity beyond most mortals, knew that one still needs true friends and advisors who speak frankly and could not be bought.
Acara spent subsequent days and weeks walking the rural market places and busy streets of his country so that he might assess the changing emotions and energy of his people. He prayed continually that he might be guided to a predecessor for the king, who would be fearless, brave, and kind. One morning after prayers, an unusual intuition came to him. All of nature marks creatures by patterns. The black widow spider’s red back is different from the house spider’s brown. One is dangerous, the other helpful. One snake is poisonous, the other helps the gardens. One knows this by the markings of features. If nature makes this so apparent, what of the faces of men? Could there be facial markings that appear consistently in great souls? Facial features that marked a man for a powerful Destiny?
Long and many years had Acara studied the face of his beloved king as he listened to him, advised him, and was his friend. He had lovingly memorized the monarch’s every line, crease and feature. The thought came to him that nature herself might show him how to find a man of Destiny if he could remember all the facial features of the monarch and those he had seen in foreign kings and noble statesmen. And here was the list he wrote:
Long earlobes, thick and large
Noble brow – eyebrows round and full
Large, wide forehead that was clear of blemishes
Eyes which radiate kindness and nobility
Full cheeks of rounded softness
Strong teeth which were evenly spaced
Large, wide jaw, which was both powerful and fearless
Balanced lips that naturally upturned at the edges
Large ears like an elephant
Mouth that smiled and love to laugh
Clear eyes that saw all, yet were not petty
Thick, full hair that shown with radiant health
Open, upper ear rim that was perfectly shaped
Large, inner ear hole that allowed sound to enter easily
Forward chin for bravery
“And so here is what I must look for.” Acara put down his pen, “It matters not if this man be a merchant, forest dweller or wealthy prince. These facial features reveal greatness of character. So his background, color, or position in life will not matter. I will keep an open mind that God and nature herself might guide me.” And so he stood up, put his water and scanty food into his pack and started his long journey.
Acara walked for days and months meeting and looking at hundreds of men – farmers, merchants, monks, great archers, and cunning warriors. Yet none possessed the facial features from his list. When he had almost given up his quest, a traveler told him of a hut in the woods where there lived a saintly man named Narada. Without stopping to rest or even taken his evening meal, Acara directed his footsteps into the forest.
The minister reached the hut quickly and was greeting warmly by the young Narada. Tired, but excited from his travels, Acara looked deeply into the face of the young man as he searched for the facial features of Destiny. Mentally he checked them off one by one. Narada had them all. Acara sighed and gave inner thanks that his journey for a new ruler might at last be at an end.
So excited was he, that the minister immediately blurted out his request, asking Narada to come rule the country. Unlike others Acara had met who were only too eager to take the throne, (but for the wrong reasons), Narada was taken aback by the request. He raised both his hands in the air to push away the offer.
“Honored minister,” Narada began, “I know nothing of ruling a kingdom. I am not trained in the art of politics or dealings with nations. I am a simple man - at one with nature. You need a great warrior or a man who has mastery over delicate words to lead your people. I do not possess the skill or power to maneuver those who wish for power, prestige or wealth. I would lose my way and be of little use to your citizens. Ask the Divine One to guide you to one more suited to your needs.”
The white cloaked elder bowed his head before the clear humility of the younger soul, “Narada, we have seen warriors and men of verbal adeptness. Through centuries we have seen them rise and fall, unable to sustain our people’s love. Our court looks now for a ruler with a pure heart. For we have learned that a king rules as he lives.
"We need a man of holiness even if he is untrained in the webs of politics and contract negotiations. For despite the restlessness or worldliness of our people, they know when a monarch loves them. They know when a man is centered in God. For he is just, kind and fair. His calmness in decisions of court goes beyond his emotions or personal opinions. He rules with a generous hand. He holds nothing back from his heart.
“The young ones among us must see this altruism lived out or they will completely forsake the ways of their elders. And the elders, whose bodies have become frail, must see the embodiment of their struggles and dreams carried out by a worthy successor. Our kingdom must be ruled by a man of inner greatness. Again, my lord, we offer you our kingdom to rule. Please do not refuse us. I beg of you.” With that Acara put his staff down and sat on the near-by rock.
Narada became quiet and thoughtful as he paced in front of his thatched cottage door. He turned his mind to God and quiet, deep introspection. “Acura, my respected counselor, let me offer your food and drink before we talk of this. Come. Lie down on the cot within my house that you might rest after your long pilgrimage. You must be very weary.”
Acura followed Narada into the simple one room dwelling to sleep and rest. Narada put cool cloths on the elder’s forehead and gave him the choicest delicacies from the fruit trees. The family of deer outside drew closer to the hut where their friend Narada resided. The forest peacefully rested on into the night, the big and important question of ruling a country absorbed into the sound of crickets and cool stillness of a full moon. Narada lay down on a mat near the bed where his new friend, Acara, lay sleeping. He felt for this old man whose only goal was the safety and protection of his people - a minister whose whole body and life span had been given up in service to guide and inspire the young, the old, the sick, the weak, and even the powerful.
And the young man asked for inner guidance about this issue of ruling a kingdom. In his secret heart he brought to flower the real reason that kept him back from the great honor, which at any juncture might become a great burden. Narada reflected, “What if I lose my way in the myriads of court intrigues, jealousies or maneuverings? I have no footing to keep me resolute in seeking goodness. What if I lose myself in the outer desires for wealth, power or restless longings? There could be no greater pain to my heart than to lose the inner communion I now feel.” With that thought he put his head to his mat and fell asleep.
He rose in the morning to make food for his friend and draw cool water from the well for their baths and refreshments. As he took down the metal pot for brewing the leaves from the trees, a new insight came strongly through his consciousness.
“What have I done to serve my land?” he asked himself, “I am young and strong. Though I am not perfect or trained, I am willing. I am willing to serve and give to the very limits of my physical strength and stamina. At least I can go and make my supreme effort to bring forth good. I will let go of my personal worries about my unworthiness and lack of skill. I will go with an attitude of conquest, service, and willingness to learn.”
He prayed out loud in the still air, “Lord, purify my heart that I might serve them in strength.”
With his new resolution and heart wide open to his new life, he stepped outside into the forest stillness. As if nature’s response was spontaneous and caressing, the talkative birds came to land on his shoulders. They began singing their joyous melodies. The mother and baby deer emerged from behind the bushes to gently lick his hands and to let him stroke the ears of the baby. Even the leopard, which always remained hidden by night and by day, came unabashed before Narada to say good-bye. The brown garden snakes lifted their heads as they approached the quiet hut of their friend. All nature came to love him and wish him well. He knew in his heart that this was God’s way of guiding him.
When Acara opened his eyes, Narada was sitting next to him with a banquet of forest delights for the guest’s morning nourishment. Fresh coconut juice from the trees, the softest and sweetest of mangoes, calming teas and honey, and perfectly cooked rice and lentils. Acara’s worn cloak had been washed and dried by the sunlight. And near Narada’s leg was a wooden bowl of special oil so that he might wash and rub the elder’s feet before the long trek back to the capitol.
The older minister, who had rarely received such personal service during the course of his travels, was touched and humbled. He said within his heart, “By your actions, Narada, you have shown me that I have chosen the right one to lead our people. Even in the midst of a personal challenge, you have sought only for my comfort, not your own. This will surely forebode well for our nation.” And he reached out his sun baked hand to bless Narada’s head.
After the morning prayers and food, Narada addressed the older man, “Great sir, I am moved by the offer you made me yesterday to rule our kingdom. I know that my background is unworthy of this honor. However, I am willing. I ask that God give me the Grace to move forward and be a strong, compassionate leader for your people. I ask that you and the other elders guide me through the intricacies of court life as I strive to do my best for you. I will go back with you. If I can be of genuine service to you and your nation, I will stay as long as you need me. If at any time you feel that I have lost my usefulness, please bring me back to this simple hut in the forest. And I will be content.”
And with that he packed his sparse belongs into his sack. The birds spread the good news through the trees. Hundreds of curious citizens gathered along the paths to greet the new king. Men held their children above their shoulders so that the little ones might see. Women dropped flowers in front of his feet on the dusty roads to the capitol. The young Narada ruled wisely for many years. He was just and fair in his court rulings over disputes. He cared nothing for jewels, so he put all the wealth he received back into the farmers’ lands and the children’s education. The people loved him, and he became a legend as he led them into a time of unparalleled peace and prosperity.
He ruled as he lived.
(c) Copyright, Barbara Roberts, August, 2013. All rights reserved.
Sunday, November 2, 2014
The Movie "AWAKE" - What do YOGANANDA'S Eyes say about his SOUL AGE?
See this TV clip on How to Read Soul Age in the Eyes!
See this TV clip on How to Read Soul Age in the Eyes!