Awakened Living Study Program, Lesson 53: TWINS

Introduction
Dear brothers and sisters: Good morning and thank you for attending our weekly Awakened Living Study Program. My name is Alaye Soteme and I will be your host. Our topic for today’s Study is TWINS. May we focus our full attention on this study for the lessons of life because knowledge is POWER, knowledge is SUCCESS, knowledge is FORGIVENESS, knowledge is WISDOM, knowledge is ENLIGHTENMENT and knowledge is AWAKENED LIVING.

All quotes relating to GOD are interpreted in a Universal sense; in other words our use of the word GOD does not refer to any religion, cultural Gods, saviors, or created Gods. GOD is the underlying ESSENCE of the Universe. GOD has no chosen people, GOD has no Sacred Text and GOD has no Sacred Place! The Universe is the Sacred Text, the Universe is the Sacred Place and all creatures are Testaments of GOD! 

Further you are here to look at life from a different angle. You are not here to follow what others have put in place be it their religion, their Gods, their sacred texts, their beliefs or their way of thinking. You are here to share your LIGHT with the world.  The beliefs of our ancestors are our liabilities. Our challenge is to look at life in ways that promote interdependence and destroy all forms of discrimination including racism, tribalism, nationalism, nepotism, fundamentalism, fanaticism, favoritism, exclusivism, chosen people and racial superiority. 

Lastly, none of the quotes here is absolute or written in blood. They are all human thoughts and ideas based on their experiences and according to their levels of consciousness. The Awakened Living Study Program is a platform to study what others have said and improve on them. Do not for any reason use the quotes as mantra for life because you are the LIGHT!

Opening Meditation
You may offer an appropriate prayer before reading, discussing and reflecting on the famous quotes and the Sacred Texts verses. You may use the following prayer:

O LOVE who pervades the universe, we thank you for this opportunity to learn. We pray for LOVE to manifest amongst us to guide our readings, discussions and reflections. We specially pray for peace of mind and save us from all distractions and concerns of mind and body so that we may learn the lessons of life for our guidance and the transformation of our lives. In the name of Love, the Earth and the Universe, Amen.

Announcements
The Study Leader may make announcements at this time. Welcome new members, recognize birthdays or anniversaries; make an award or recognize a contribution; announce Circle of Life successes. This is also an opportunity for anyone to share an experience, give thanks or make a request for special prayers.

Opening Thoughts
The leader or an appointed person will stand and read the opening thoughts. The opening thoughts explain the topic of discussion. You may use the information below or explain it in your own words.

Twins are two children born from the same pregnancy. Most common sets of twins are identical twins and fraternal twins. Identical twins result from a single fertilized egg that splits into two separate embryos and implants into the uterus. Fraternal twins on the other hand develop from separate eggs and separate sperm cells. Twin studies are important because they help us to remove the fiction from the facts which in turn enables us to have a better knowledge of twins. There are stories about twins who were raised apart but ended up in the same occupation or twins who were also raised apart but married people with the same first names. This study will help us to find out more about twins.

Famous Quotes
Take turns to read the famous quotes and discuss what you have learned from each quote.  Please give credit to the author of the quote and as an assignment for presentations each person may choose an author and find out more about the author to share with the group during the next session.

1 I may be a twin, but I am one of a kind. Jerry Smith
2 You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore but let there be spaces in your togetherness. And let the winds of heaven dance between you. Kahlil Gibran
3 Twins have a special bond. They feel safer with each other than with their peers. Jeanne Phillips
4 Methinks you are my glass, and not my brother: I see by you I am a sweet-faced youth. William Shakespeare, The Comedy of Errors
5 Look at identical twins. When you get closer, you start to see the small differences. It all depends on how much you magnify it. Bryan Swanson
6 No two men are absolutely alike, not even twins, yet there is much that is indispensably common to all mankind. Mahatma Gandhi
7 Twins are usually hailed with delight, because they swell the power of the family, though in some instances they are put to death. John Hanning Speke
8 Just making sure that they both felt equally loved is what was tough about the twins. Jennifer Lopez
9 When you gaze upon the lovely sight. Of twins, arm in arm, asleep at night. Think not that the house has been doubly messed. But that you, as parents, have been doubly blessed. John Walter Bratton
10 One of the reasons surgeons have so much trouble separating Siamese twins is that nobody gets to do many of them. On the table, the anatomy is so different from normal, that you're constantly trying to figure out, 'Can I cut this? Does this wire lead to what?' It's like trying to defuse a bomb. Benjamin Carson

Sacred Texts Quotes
Take turns to read all the sacred text quotes and discuss what you have learned from each quote. In your discussion compare and contrast the quotes. What did you learn from the similarities and differences? What quote inspires you? What life lessons did you learn from the quote? Please give credit to the sacred text during your reading by mentioning the name of the text and where the quote could be found. 

1 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Judaism, Tanakh: Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
2 And her days to give birth were completed, and behold, there were twins in her womb. And the first one emerged ruddy; he was completely like a coat of hair, and they named him Esau. And afterwards, his brother emerged, and his hand was grasping Esau's heel, and he named him Jacob. Now Isaac was sixty years old when she gave birth to them. Judaism, Tanakh: Genesis 25:24-26
3 All life, all pulsation in creation throbs with the mighty declaration of the biune truth of Shiva-Shakti, the eternal He and the eternal She at play in manifestation. Hinduism. Kularnava Tantra 3
4 It is because one antelope will blow the dust from the other's eye that two antelopes walk together. African Religions. Akan Proverb (Ghana)
5 My children, listen well. Remember that you are brothers, that the downfall of one means the downfall of all. You must have one fire, one pipe, one war club. Native American Religions. Hiawatha (Iroquois)
6 Maintain religion, and do not stir up any divisions within it. Islam. Qur'an 42.13
7 All ye under the heaven! Regard heaven as your father, earth as your mother, and all things as your brothers and sisters. Shinto. Oracle of the Kami of Atsuta
8 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Christianity. New Testament, Galatians 3.28
9  Beware lest the desires of the flesh and of a corrupt inclination provoke divisions among you. Be ye as the fingers of one hand, the members of one body. Thus counsels you the Pen of Revelation, if ye be of them that believe. Baha'i Faith. Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah 72
10 When one finger is sore you do not cut it off. African Religions. Njak Proverb (Nigeria)

Teaching Story
The teaching story is a story, a parable or thoughts related to the topic of discussion. An appointed person will read each story and the group will take turns and discuss. What does the story mean to you? What did you learn from the story? Did the story add anything new to the topic of discussion? How has this study enriched your life?

Our teaching story is about twins who lived the same life style after being separated at birth

Once upon a time Jim Lewis and Jim Springer were separated at birth and raised by their adoptive parents in 1940. They probably grew up without knowing that they were twins but as it happened they met for the first time when they were thirty-nine years old. A few interesting facts about these two is that first the name “Jim” was given to each of them independently by their respective adoptive parents. Secondly both men married twice: first to women named Linda and then to women named Betty. Third both had childhood dogs named Toy. Fourth each fathered a son; one was called James Allen and the other James Alan. Fifth, both worked as Sherriff’s Deputies. Sixth, both drank the same beer. Seventh, both smoked the same cigarettes. And eight, both drove the same Chevrolet.

Twin Babies of Different Races
Once upon a time twin babies of different races were born to Kylee Hodgson and Remi Horder. One is black with brown eyes and black hair color and the other is white with blue eyes and blond hair color. They grew up naturally as sisters without any color or racial issues in the family. ‘They are such a perfect example of how it should be,’ their mother told the Mail. ‘They are not bothered about their skin color. It’s not the big issue everyone else seems to see it as. It isn’t important to them at all – it’s about what they’re like underneath.’

Closing Meditation
The closing meditation presents the highlights of the Study.  The highlights should include among others what you have learned and what aspects of the study are worth noting. The leader or an appointed person may share the closing meditation. You may use the thoughts and information provided below but I encourage you to use the contributions of the participants and current relevant information.

Our closing meditation concerns our connection as creatures of the universe. We may not be twins but the fact remains that we share many things in common and Life treats us the same way irrespective of our race, color, religion, nationality or social status. Our challenge is to explore the things that bind us together and try to be there for each other.

Donations
You may accept gifts and donations at this time for the work you are doing. It takes effort, time and money to put the Study Program together so I encourage attendants to give. An appointed person may now pass the donation bag. The leader may bless the gifts after the donations.

Closing Prayer
Always close your Study Program with a prayer or an affirmation. Pray for guidance and direction during the week. Pray for everyone present. The leader or an appointed person may offer the closing prayer.

Refreshments
You may serve refreshments after the Study. This is a time to relax and socialize. Get to know the people in the Program with you and I mean really know them well. One of the secrets of success is connection so I encourage you to know the people around you. The host may decide what to serve or he or she may ask the attendants what they want for refreshments before each Study Program.

Talent Contribution
You may now entertain the group with your talent in music, songs, dance and poetry including playing musical instruments. This is also a good time to share some Awakened Living tips for the benefit of the group. 

Circle of Life
The Circle of Life depicts different aspects of your life. You are at the center and the different aspects radiate outwards to form a circle as long as they are in harmony. You can pinpoint an aspect of your life at any given time and find out if you are in harmony with the rest of the circle. If an aspect needs improvement you may have an uneven circle. Your challenge then is to work on the area that needs improvement in order to keep it in harmony with the rest of the circle.

There are 12 aspects in this version of the Wheel of Life including Health, Spirituality, Family, Relationships, Education, Mission, Finances, Work, Play, Personal Development, Environment, and creativity. Take time to answer the following questions and begin to work on the areas that need improvement.

Health
1. Are you healthy?
2. Do you have any bad habits like drinking, smoking, pornography, fast foods, etc?

Spirituality
1. Are you spiritual?
2. When was the last time you meditated, chanted, affirmed or prayed?

Family
1. Do you have a family?
2. Are you happy with your spouse, children, and parents?

Relationships
1. Do you have friends?
2. Are you happy with your friends, co-workers, boss?

Education
1. Do you have a degree?
2. When was the last time you read a book?

Mission
1. Do you have a mission statement?
2. What is your life mission?

Finances
1 Are you financially stable?
2. Do you have any debts?

Work
1. Do you have a job, career?
2. Are you happy with your job, career?

Play
1. Do you play regularly?
2. When was the last time you played with your friends, children, spouse, parents or pet?

Personal Development
1. Do you lose your temper often?
2. When was the last time you took a class on human development?

Environment
1 Are you happy with your environment?
2. How are you reducing pollution?

Creativity
1. Are you sharing your creativity?
2. When was the last time you wrote a poem, painted, sang, danced, or played a musical instrument?

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