The Power Within: Follow-up by John Cali

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John Cali

A long-time friend and reader of our newsletter gave us some thoughtful feedback on last week’s newsletter. She and I had an interesting email exchange over a couple of days. With her permission, I’m including excerpts from that exchange in this week’s newsletter.

Below is the email conversation I had with Alberta (not her real name), followed by Spirit’s thoughts.

John — I’d say nothing surprising coming from dear Spirit in this latest message.

But I do pause at the apparent suggestion that we all avoid the diversion of our attention with sex. It seems that even those who make a solemn pledge to do so, priests of several kinds, actually proceed to subsequently engage in illicit sex which is harmful to those under their influence.

So it would seem Spirit is suggesting we all become priest-like but do better at it than many priests do.

And then what about the diversion of food? I understand there are those who live without eating. Is that also something to strive for?

And while we are not to get ourselves troubled by the troubles of the world, after we stop having sex and rev up our attention, what do we do with it?

I hope you can see some sense in my effort to ask a serious question.

Well, Alberta, Spirit has always said he can’t tell us anything we don’t already know–so why would you expect anything surprising from him/them?

Spirit was talking about the intentions people have when they need to deal with problems. Instead of turning to the power within to deal with the problems, they often turn to alcohol, sex, food, whatever.

Spirit said nothing about any of those things being bad, or that we should abstain from them. In fact, he’s often said some of those things (food and sex, e.g.) are good and, in fact, necessary for physical survival of the individual and the race.

We’re talking here about the intent held, not the means used.

We must deal with the problems of the world, and our own personal problems also, in whatever way feels best to us — as long as we’re acting out of inspiration that comes from within us, and acting out of only what feels good to us.

Hope that all makes sense.

Thanks for ‘splaining it to me, John. I suspect there may be a fine line between having, and not having, the better intention when, for example, eating. I sometimes eat for the pure enjoyment of the food aside from any nutritional value and apparently independent of any problems I may have. Other times, I make a decision about what to eat primarily for nutritional reasons. So I wonder if it’s possible, I hope it’s the case, that I generally do not eat with an undesirable intention.

Your replies are always welcome but I’m content on this. I do wonder if there are other readers who also were puzzled by the last message.

You’re most welcome, Alberta. I understand exactly what you’re saying, and I fully agree with it. I also often eat things for the pure pleasure of it.

I would never say that is an undesirable intention — nor do I think Spirit would. After all, life is supposed to be fun. Joy is our purpose. That kind of intention (eating for pleasure — or having sex for pleasure — or whatever) is very different, IMHO, from using food (or anything else) to numb your pain instead of dealing with the problem head-on.

We did get feedback on the message, as we always do every week. But if any other readers were puzzled by the message, they didn’t say anything to me.


We have only a few brief comments to add to the above conversation which, in our opinion, clearly explains the vantage point we have on this subject.

We repeat what we said last week — you do not need outside means to make yourself feel better. However, and this is obvious, you do need, for example, food to sustain your physical body. At least most of you do.

And, as Alberta and John said in their letters, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying food, sex, etc. In fact, it is natural for you to want to enjoy these things. Alcohol and drugs are in a slightly different category. But we do not want to get into that today.

Again, we are talking about intention here. Your intention is everything. In sexual matters, the intention of a rapist is very different from the intention of a lover. Yet the act is outwardly the same.

Do you see our point?

It’s all a matter of intention. Your intention is very powerful. And it determines the outcome of all you do.

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