Aftermath

In the wake of death’s passing, all is still.
Things will move slower for a while.

Colors are faded, sounds are muted,
silence falls heavy like snow.
It drapes over everything like a thick,
suffocating blanket.

All the noise of living has moved
respectfully to the side.
It waits for life to resume its usual
cadence and song.

Death has walked here. Tread carefully,
those who are mortal.

“Hello beastie.”

When I was a little boy I used to look up at the clouds and imagine being up there. I wanted to travel up there. I wanted to explore the landscape of the clouds. I wanted to get away, I think, from things down here on the ground. I don’t think that desire has ever really left me.

I realized today that, like the character Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of Caribbean movies, I have my own “beastie” to face. I truly believe that if it had a real, physical form, that somehow it would be easier to face it and defeat it. I tell myself that I would have no trouble facing down the creature. That I would be brave enough or courageous enough.

It seems to me that because my “beastie” has no physical form that it somehow makes things more difficult. There is nothing definite I can go after, no creature I can defeat that will somehow make everything right. In other words, it is easier to jump into the mouth of a real, living monster than it is to jump into the mouth of some ephemeral, intelligible thing.

If all my troubles would just take a physical form, I could vanquish them, quickly and easily. I am sure of it. I am no warrior, no swordsman, but if I had something physical in front of me that I needed to destroy, which by vanquishing it would free some aspect of myself, then I could, and would, kill it.

Anyone can swing a sword or point a gun. I don’t have to be terribly good at either. If my monster somehow defeated me, ending my life, that would be OK. I would have fought and died for something that had value to me, namely my freedom from it.

But I am certain that the fight would end with me standing victorious. Maybe bloody, probably injured, but I could tap into years of rage to give me extra strength to defeat my opponent. I know I would succeed, that I would win. I know it.

But since my “beastie” is not physical, since it has no definite form, it is able to strike me from where I am weakest. My mind and emotions. It can hide, lurking in the shadows, strike out and then fade away. It can do this tirelessly, for years and years, wearing me down, weakening my spirit, and it has.

Just when I think I have a lead, I have its location pegged, just when I am about to strike, it moves away, unnoticed, unseen. Even when I do manage to hurt it, it seems another monster, another aspect of myself that must be faced, pops up. It is like a hydra, cut off one head, one aspect, another takes its place. It just never ends. I am weary with the constant changes to myself I must make.

Worse still I don’t know exactly what effect any of of this is having. I see no outward improvement in my physical circumstances or situation. I can’t be sure that the changes I have made in myself, to this point, have had any effect on anything that matters to me.

I am still pretty much as I was, in the circumstances and situations of my life. Inside I may have changed, but what good is inward change if it doesn’t lead to the desired outward change? It is a waste of time and energy, as far as I am concerned. I am exhausted.

Even my minor victories, if they can be called that, are made moot by the simple fact that I find myself constantly slipping into old patterns of thought. I find myself with the same unwanted habits. The record of my life keeps skipping over the same part, endlessly, and nothing I have done so far has changed this.

I wish I could face my ego and all its attendant crap man to man in physical combat to the death. I wish I could just rip the damn thing out of me, along with anything else I don’t want to be a part of me. I wouldn’t even care what kind of damage it may do to me as a person. If I could just rip all this bullshit out, I may be insane, or I may die, but for a few moments at least, I would have peace.

I can’t live as I have anymore. I learned this when I left grandma’s house and started my bicycle journey. Sometimes I wish I had just stayed away. Stayed out there. But I had nowhere to stay, no way to support myself. I also had some more lessons I needed to learn. I learned what I needed from that trip.

I am impatient with the holding pattern and ruts of my life, my current life experience. I have to get away from my parents, from my family, and establish myself. I have to face this “beastie” of mine in the one definite way I know how, and that is to begin then complete a novel of publishable length.

Not because that will fix all my problems. Not because I will become a millionaire. But simply because this is one monster I have been avoiding, and in facing it I face all the things that created it and set it before me. I will push through, and in some important area of my life I will have succeeded.

Any major success I can achieve will have magical, transformation powers on me. I know this! Until then I am just going through the emotions of living, running away, cowering before my “beastie,” unable and unwilling to face it and jump in, sword swinging.

Do not make my mistake! Face your beastie, whoever, whatever it is. Whatever form or non-form it may take. Tangible or intangible. Find a way, somehow, to follow your heart, that voice inside, guiding you. Ignore the voices in your head, or the voices of others that do not support your quest.

You must not fail! Your quest is just as important as Frodo’s quest to destroy the ring, and Jack Sparrow’s facing his “beastie,” and in doing so, save others, even if he was not initially willing. In order for you to live the life you came here to live, some parts of you have to die.

It will be painful. It will hurt. It may shatter you, leaving you to put yourself back together again. Beliefs systems may be challenged, questioned and ultimately shattered. Pull through, tear down the walls you have built around yourself, break the chains with which you have bound yourself, unlock and destroy any cage in which you have locked yourself.

Free yourself to be who you came here to be, to live the live you came here to live. You have to follow that dream, or risk living a nightmare. For your sake, and the sake of all you will touch in a meaningful, profound way, you must not fail!

Even as I say these words to you, I am saying them to myself. I don’t know how to tell when its time to give up. I am sure there is some point in a life where continuing to struggle is meaningless. Sometimes I think I am nearing that point. Other times I understand there are still more things I can and should do. There are options I must explore, just a few more things to try.

All I know for sure is that I am not ready to quit just yet. So I will be right there, fighting right alongside you, in similar battles of my own. Sometimes the fight isn’t really resistance and fighting at all. Sometimes it is just being still and letting go. It is just release. It is non-action.

We must always keep in mind that since our enemies are mostly non-physical, the rules for defeating them are not the same as the rules of the physical world. In the physical world you take action. In the non-physical world, you allow. You flow. Because resistance to a thing makes it stronger. Fighting a thing reinforces its reality, makes it become real. The more we give our attention to something we do not want, the more we attract what we do not want.

So the terms of battle make little sense sometimes. We have to keep in mind the things we want for ourselves, for others. We have to visualize them to draw them into our life experience. We have to acknowledge our monsters, then release them and let them go, freeing ourselves of them. We just continue to keep our eyes on the prize, whatever it is we desire.

It isn’t about positive or negative thinking. We have to embrace both. Its about staying focused on what we want. It’s about not responding when someone does something we normally respond to, staying on our “high flying disc,” remaining at our higher frequency or vibration.

It’s about allowing ourselves to be as we are, even as we allow others to be as they are. We don’t try to force change. It is about flow, not force. Flow is downstream, to what we desire. Force is upstream, away from what we desire.

It seems counter-intuitive and it doesn’t make a lot of sense. And I can’t be sure that even this is the “right path” or the “truth.” It seems to me, at this point in my life, that it is. It seems to me that this is the right battle plan for the opponents I now face. But only my own personal experience will reveal to me, in time, if I have chosen correctly. If I have finally found any sort of answer. It will be the same for you.

We all have to find our way and figure out this thing called life. We all have to find our own path. So if these words ring true with you, if they resonate with you, listen to them. Follow them and your own heart. If they do not, don’t. Just follow your heart until you find what does.

Remember you are not alone. We are all in this together, we are all facing our individual “beasties,” the absolute best thing we can do for each other is love and accept ourselves so we can love and accept each other. To respond with love, letting peace and love rule our hearts. To follow our dreams and our hearts, encouraging others to do the same and supporting them while they do.

I will meet you on the fields of battle, and later, we shall drink in the halls of Valhalla, with all the other mighty warriors who have come before us!

12-21-2016 – My Struggle

Every beloved story has an element of darkness. I can still vaguely remember the terrible scenes that played on my mind’s eye as I read through The Lord of the Rings. I can remember even more clearly the horror as I read through Harry Potter. Then I relived some of that when I saw these movies in the theater. Some of the things I have read and seen seem to be obsessed with the darkness.

Even when a story, on page or on screen, has a “good” ending, I somehow find myself feeling that the losses on the way to the conclusion are too great. Dumbledore’s death in Harry Potter, the elves leaving for the west in The Lord of The Rings, the destruction of the D’ni people in Myst. Nothing can make up for what has been lost. No matter how evil the “bad guy” was, how desperately I needed him or her to be annihilated, nothing makes up for all those I loved in the course of the story who gave or lost their lives, and sometimes, things even more valuable. Priceless even.

I desperately want to write an epic story like one of these I have enjoyed over the years. Mostly enjoyed anyway. I don’t want to copy anyone else, I want to be true to myself in my writing. And even though I feel I am a writer on par with the best out there, I am under no delusions that I could be anything more then almost as good, or maybe, just maybe, just as good. I have no designs to excel those writers who have gone before me. I will let my readers judge me, and they will have a hard time doing that if I don’t getting something written of publishable length. So that is my main focus. I am not even worried about whether or not I will be published. I just know I will be, but I have to write something that can be published first. It is this quest at which I have, so far, utterly failed.

I perceive many obstacles in my writing path, and one of the biggest, I think, is this stubborn tendency I have to leave out the darkness. I can certainly include it. I am not incapable of doing so. But I have this strange and silly desire to write something different. An adventure that is all about the thrill of exploration, just the bright, happy things. All the magical elements I loved in Harry Potter. All the positive aspects of the wondrous D’ni, their ability to create entire worlds. But I fear this is an impossible task I have set for myself. Sisyphus pushing that damn rock up the hill, never getting anywhere.

Every story I have started in this way has died at childbirth, never living more than a couple of chapters. A well respected writer and teacher of fiction writing, in a book of hers I am studying, tells me that I must have conflict. That conflict is integral to a story. Indeed I can see conflict in every story I have ever read and loved. I can’t think of a single memorable story, or even an unmemorable one, without it. Also the only stories I have been able to complete, just short ones so far, have had conflict, and darkness, within them.

It seems there must always be a “good guy” and a “bad guy.” A hero and a villain. The antagonist and the protagonist. Sprinkle in some characters with no particular allegiance to the light or dark, just pursuing their own ends, and you have a variety that fools the reader into thinking the story has more beyond good VS evil. But every tale ever told or brought to the screen, as far as I am aware anyway, has had this duality at its root. Can a story without duality even be written? If it could, would anyone read it? Be moved or transformed by it?

My heart wants to find the way, but my head, logic, dictates that I should just stick with what works. Use the same old tired formula man has used since time immemorial, start and complete something I can publish, edit it like a gem worker polishing a precious stone, and then claw and fight my way into the publishing world, which hungers for new writers of things like Harry Potter, yet at the same time does not want them. The marketplace is too crowded. Nobody buys books anymore, there is no money in it as an author, agent or publisher.

All I have to do is write a good VS evil story that captures the imagination of young and old, or at least has the potential to do so, and eventually, if I am persistent, if I have edited it enough, if I am lucky enough, someone, somewhere, will read it, be moved by it, and publish it. I am like a young man in high school playing football, hoping the man over there, hiding behind a tree, is a scout for a local professional team. Or a dancer hoping that she has moved gracefully enough to get a position in the company. As a society we make these things far more difficult than they should be. We should be able to pursue or dreams and passion without limitation. We should see a clear open path ahead of us, not a bunch of fucking hoops we have to jump through. It’s almost as if we have to pay a price to be anything other than some wage slave at some menial job somewhere.

When we tell others we want to be artists, authors, dancers, musicians or singers mostly they just laugh. Some may only shake their heads. A handful may actually silently encourage us while doing so. Even less may openly encourage us. We are treated as if what we want to do is too easy, therefore it is childish, foolish and immature to pursue it. But it is actually easier to get a job at your local McDonalad’s than it is to write a book, much less become a published author, and even less become a successful published author. We should be pushed to pursue or dreams and passions, not some unwanted position at an unwanted job, working for someone else.

I am fortunate that I have no naysaying voices surrounding me. Just a few I encounter in the written word. I struggle enough just to write something, just to find an idea and pursue it to its conclusion. This is where I find myself even now, in this moment, as I write this. I have started another story. And I will include the good VS evil duality. I will include conflict. Copious amounts of it. But still there is this fear, this worry, that this story, like all the other seemingly healthy babies before it, will die in its crib, never growing to maturity, a completed story.

Also my heart is not entirely in it, because this is not the way I want to write a story. But I have at least come to understand that it is the way it must be written, because I have to complete at least one take of publishable length, in order to have that experience of completing something, which will forever silence the whispering voices inside of me. Once I have done it I will always know I can. Nothing can shake that faith. But I have to do it first.

Then maybe, someday, I can tell the tale I want to tell. Maybe. But I doubt it. Why does the one thing I have any penchant for at all have to be so hard? Why do I dislike so much this one thing I can do so well? I don’t know. I have no answers. Maybe I will find them someday. Maybe they will be waiting for me at the end of the story my heart wants to write. If I live to see that day, maybe then I will finally understand.

 

Branching Off

My dad said something to me tonight that made it clear, it seemed to me, that he feels in some way responsible for my life. The subject of my birthday came up, just a few days away now, and he mentioned I would be the same age as Dale Earnhardt Jr. 41. After that he corrected himself, seems Mr. Earnhardt is actually 42. But anyway I commented that at least he has done something with his life, and my dad said his dad was famous, and that probably helped. I think I have read between the lines here fairly accurately.

As I prepared for bed tonight I asked myself how I could remove this guilt my father feels. I know that I am solely responsible for my life, its circumstances and situations. I decided that the only thing I could do was succeed. This brings up another  subject I will return to. In any case I figured if my dad could feel responsible for my failure he could also take credit for my success, and furthermore, I could credit him. I actually do have legitimate reasons to say that any success I have is because of him.

In my mind I was going over a speech I would give, and something occurred to me… No parents can ever produce anything else other than copies of themselves in their children. All parents are limited to the extent of their view of reality, the things they believe, the things they have learned. No father can ever teach his son or daughter to drive without first having learned to drive themselves, for example. Families are factories that perpetuate all that has been passed down from previous generations.

The only way any child can become different is by breaking away from the reproduction line, as it were. I had a choice in my own life. I could have stayed within the safe confines of my parent’s belief systems, and my fate would likely be to get married, have children and work all my life to support my family. That is my dad’s fate, and was his dad’s fate. But I didn’t do that. I broke off from that and am now on my own path.

However this is co-creative, to use Abraham’s terminology. If my parents had interfered with my investigations outside of what they believed, then I would have been trapped in my former faith. They did protect me from what they believed was satan’s influence, or worldly, when I was little. they did interfere then. But for whatever reason they took their hands off of me sometime around when I became a teenager, or maybe it was a combination of I was outside their influence and their habit of interfering was broken.

Whatever the case may have been the fact remains that no baby will ever learn how to walk if you carry them all the time, or if they come to depend on your hands being there. As a parent you know you have to let go, even when your baby is falling flat on their face, and this same scene is replayed many times in many different forms throughout our lives. There just comes a time when parent’s have to be hand’s off so their child can develop, grow and learn.

It also occurred to me that all the heroes of the Bible are children that broke away from their parents. I can’t think of a single instance where a child of someone like Moses or David simply inherited greatness from their parents. Jesus was nothing at all like his human mother and father! Feel free to correct me if I am wrong here.

In other words the factory model at work in the majority of families in our modern society is unable to produce anything exceptional. That is why we have no Jesus or Moses in our modern times. Because almost every child in America has followed in the footsteps of his or her parents. The last few great figures I can think of are perhaps John Carmack, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Einstein, Nikola Tesla. All nothing at all like their parents, all broken away from the family production line. But far, far to few, and the number of these special individuals looks, to me anyway, as if it is decreasing.

Exceptional people grow from ordinary soil. It applies not only to those who, on some physical level, have exceeded others. It also applies to the spiritual dimension. This breaking off is necessary in order for any person to experience that which is called God, Source, Universe or Higher Self, as well as many other names, for themselves. You Christians! Do you realize the Biblical heroes you admire and on which you base the lessons you teach, are all children who broke away from their parents, and in many cases, their peers, religions and society? Do you understand that your child will never be like these men and women as long as they do not break away from you?

For every parent out there, the best thing you can do for your child is support them in breaking away from you. By that I mean breaking away from what you believe and define as reality. If you want them to truly excel and succeed, you have to take your hands off, just as you did when they first learned how to walk. They can not stand on their own as individuals if they are depending on the crutches of your worldview. They can not experience God for themselves within the confines of any religion

When it comes down to it, you only know a tiny piece of all there is to know about the world or whatever energy created it. You know only one definition of the thousands that attempt to define that which is indefinable. Share these fragments with your children, and let them go into the world to find the pieces that fit for them. Let them construct their own view of the world and the energy that created it from these.

When the day comes that I am standing in from of others with a life worthy of sharing credit, I can give credit to my parents, because I was allowed to break off on my own. I have fallen on my face a number of times, and may many times more. But we all do that when we first learn to walk. As it has been said, the number of times you fall is not important. What is important is that you keep getting back up. Otherwise you will never learn to stand on your own, to walk.

For me the result is that I have a much bigger fragment to share with my own children, and they will have a bigger fragment still. Eventually, once every human has a big enough fragment the completed whole will be revealed.

In the words of Gorden Matthew Sumner (Sting), “If you love someone, set them free.”

Everything Happens for a Reason

You may have heard someone say this, may have even nodded your head, unthinking. It is unlikely that you understand the full ramifications of this statement, what it really means.

We will work off a number of premises today… First, as Abraham teaches through Esther Hicks, this thing called your conscience is actually just a collection of adopted beliefs about what is right or wrong, good or bad.

Second that nothing happens that should not have happened, without exception. If something happens, no matter how terrible or tragic it is perceived to be, the fact that it happened proves that it should have happened, because it did happen. On the flip side, if something has not happened that you feel should have happened, the fact that it has not happened proves it should not happen, because it has not happened, yet. No is not a permanent state, every no is a potential yes.

Third everything that happens is asked for or drawn to, without exception. Likely it is not conscious the majority of the time. Occasionally it is conscious. That thing you dread, that you fear, that you obsess over, that is the thing that will come to you, because you are calling it by strongly to you focusing on it.

In the shower today I started thinking about my brother. The holidays are coming up and we really do not get along. We have had some terrible fights around this time of year. I was thinking about how I asked for a brother, how I was so lonely as a kid and so desperately wanted someone to play with that I asked for a brother, and it wasn’t long after that that he was born. I am not sure I directly remember much of this. It is more like an old story I have told myself for many years, based in part off what my parents told me.

Up until today I have felt guilty for how I treated my brother in the past. We had some violent confrontations as kids. I spilled boiling water on him from a water distiller, not on purpose, when we were both small. In later years when he and a friend were picking on me I kicked him, hard, in the butt with a steel toed boot. I remember these things readily, I only just now remembered how he shoved a vacuum cleaner pipe into my face, leaving a scar on my nose I have today. I beat myself up over what I did for so long. Not anymore.

How many years would I go on punishing myself for these things I did in the past, knowing now that I only feel they are bad because I was literally programmed, through my conscience, which as I said is an inherited belief system about what is right or wrong, good or bad, to feel that way? Knowing also that my brother could only be hurt by me if he was, at some level, asking for it or drawing that experience to himself? Knowing also that I could only hurt him in that way if I was asking for that experience, or drawing it to me? The fact that it happened means it was supposed to

If something is supposed to happen it can not be felt or thought of as bad or wrong. Bad or wrong implies that something has happened that was not supposed to. It is at odds with what is. Being at odds with what is, this is the source of most, if not all, of our suffering. Everyone out there upset that Donald Trump is our president is only hurting themselves. The fact is that he is our president. That is what is, in this moment. That is the reality, in this moment. When you argue with what is, you argue with reality, and you only end up hurting yourself and others.

Everything I have done in the past, everything I have beat myself up over all these years, causing me to bind myself, oppress myself, repress myself and ultimately, hurt myself, every single thing that happened, was exactly what was supposed to happen. Let me repeat that. Everything that has happened was supposed to happen. End of story. That is reality. That is what, at each of those times, is.

Everything that happened to me I have asked for, I am solely responsible. Everything that I have done to others they have asked for, and they are solely responsible, with the exception that I could not have done any of that to them unless I was asking or drawing to myself the experience of doing that to them. It takes two, one to ask for an experience, one to deliver or hand out the experience, which is also asked for in some way. And as I said before the majority of this is not done at a conscious level.

Today I have decided to forgive myself. To issue myself a certificate of forgiveness for every perceived wrong I have done. I have admitted and accepted these things, embraced them, released them and let them go. I have decided that from this day forward, I will define what is right or wrong, good or bad, based on my feeling. My feelings will not lead me astray. I know I will not hurt anyone, even given opportunity to, because I am a sensitive person who does not want to hurt anyone. The idea of hurting anyone feels bad to me. Not because it is a sin and I will go to hell if I do it. Not because there will be consequences in the next life, or karma.

The only consequences we face for our actions are in this life, in the society where we live. There is no final judgement. We do not need the beliefs of others about what is right or wrong, good or bad, to control our behavior. Too often when we repress ourselves in certain areas of our lives they become twisted beyond natural, normal states. I truly believe, the rise of the LGBT community is solely due, as I have said before, to religious oppression and sexual repression. It is a rebellion against some ancient inherited part of our collection conscience that says what is right or wrong, bad or good, in a relationship. It is not our own personal beliefs. These are beliefs that have been passed down, generation after generation, that we have successively adopted.

I am certain the 60’s were mankind’s first collective cleanse, a shaking off of the old, adopted and inherited crap, and the LGBT movement is performing a similar function today. As a race we have collectively asked to be free from the strictures of our past, and now we are freeing ourselves. In the past we wanted the strict moral and religious code, that is what we collectively asked for or drew to us. Either we wanted it or we are all afraid of it. Either way there was a focus on that, and that is what we received. Now there is a focus away from morals and religion, and that is what we are receiving.

I think we are moving as a race into a future were there is less control over us and moral as well as religious flexibility. Honestly this is the way it should be. We should not have to be told to “…treat our neighbors as ourselves.” We should want to. We should not have to be told not to hurt others, we should have no desire to hurt others. We should not have to be told who or what God is. We should want to experience whatever or whoever God is for ourselves. If this is the future we are headed to, it is a bright one indeed!

But what I want you personally to take away from this, right now, in this moment, tossing aside everything else I have said, is that it is time to stop punishing yourself for the things you have done. Everything you perceive to be negative, bad or wrong that you have felt or thought, said or done in the course of your life. Whatever has happened was supposed to happen. Whatever you did was asked for and drawn to whoever you did it to. You also, in some way, asked for or drew to you these experiences. It is time to let them go, to admit and allow them, embrace them with love and acceptance, then release and let them go.

You are causing more harm to them, and yourself, by keeping these things alive in your memory. They can’t move on until you do. Move on. It’s done, it is in the past, no matter how horrible you perceive what you have felt or thought, said or done to be, that was then. You are not living there anymore. You are here, in this moment, reading these words. As long as you insist on revisiting the past you are denying the reality of what is, and your suffering, and their suffering, will continue.

Do everyone a favor and come back to this moment, right here, right now. To quote Ram Dass, “Be Here Now.” Where else can you be anyway? Can you go back to the past and change anything? No. But you can be here, in this moment, and from this moment on build a better future for yourself and others. I think that is a far better place to put your energy and focus, don’t you?

I don’t know about you, but I am done being a prisoner of the past. I am done letting others tell me what is right or wrong, bad or good, desirable or undesirable. I am done subscribing to any singular individual’s or group’s ideas about God and the afterlife. I want to learn from them all, be open to all viewpoints. Be open and receptive in general. Let peace and love rule my heart, openness and receptivity rule my mind. That’s what I want, and what I am doing right now, in this moment.

What do you want? Why do you believe what you believe? Why do you think certain things are wrong or bad, and others are right or good? I recently learned that the idea of earning, which I was long raised to believe was right and good, is actually not. Because it causes me to believe i have to earn everything I have, and so closes me off to receiving things without earning them.

Have you actually sat down and questioned some of your fundamental beliefs? Do so no, let go of those you are ready to release and let go. Keep those you still want to hold onto. But at least do yourself the favor of questioning them, because these beliefs of yours, whether they form your conscience, your religion, or both, are directing your life right now, in this moment.

Is your life, in this moment, headed in the direction you wish to go? If something feels off, it is. Honor your feelings. Follow them. Listen to them. You do not need others to control you, to make you behave. It can be natural to you. You do not need a conscience, and you do not need a religion. These are crutches, use them until you no longer need them, then learn to walk on your own.

This Unspoken Thing…

Why is it so hard
for you to see,
How your Christian religion
separates you and me?

It is divisive by nature
the opposite of love,
Yet you deign to tell me
About God above?

What can you know of Him
when you don’t know yourself?
How can you accept Him,
when you can’t accept everyone else?

I don’t know how
to say these words to you,
But I hope I show it
in everything I do.