The Ego, The Present Moment and Some Unexpected Revelations!

More and more I think Eckhart Tolle is right. I think there is definitely something good, a worthy practice or pursuit, in staying in the present moment. As I continue to plow through ACIM and learn about the intricacies of the ego, I am coming to understand some things, some past experiences.

I first “met” or encountered or even experienced Tolle I think back when I was living in my grandma’s attic. Man I really miss those days! There I was, all this space to myself, places where I could go outside and do yoga or meditate, and I never really appreciated it! I guess the fact that my mother and my grandmother were constantly arguing, and I felt like I had to play referee may have contributed to my not seeing the blessings I had been given. Also I was far away from town and other people – no social opportunities. But I had a bed, my own relatively warm room (warmer than the RV anyway!) and plenty of space and time to do something with my life. If I had been intelligent at all I would have started to be serious about YouTube, back in 2009, BEFORE all their restrictions and censorship. Who knows? Maybe if I had I would now have my own huge channel and thousands of subscribers, enough that I could relocate anywhere I like.

In any case, some folks were going to repair our bathroom and remove mold, so my grandmother’s insurance company moved us all out into hotels until everything was finished. While I enjoyed my time at the Staybridge, I read Tolle, Basho and Ryokan. That’s when I started to write these shorter, Haiku-like poems. It just fit me, felt right. In immersing myself in Tolle’s teachings, I found myself in that space where poetry flows effortlessly through me. It is the exact same space I am in when I am in the natural flow of my life instead of struggling against the current. One way you, the readers, know that I am not in the present moment, not in the flow, is that there are no new poems being shared here. The few I have shared these last few months were written last year, or during some brief time when I was in a happier state. When I am angry, depressed or suffering from cabin fever, like now, the stream of poetry finds no access through me, and I can no longer be a channel for it. Or anything of a loving or spiritual nature. I am sure you can see that from the things I have written these last few months.

I think I understand a few things about this now… It occurs to me that a truly enlightened person is permanently focused on the present moment. They have to be, and this is important because, the ego does not have any influence or power in the present moment. I am certain this is true. Nobody who is fully aware, fully present, gets caught up in other people’s BS. This must be how I was able to stay at my brother’s the last time I was there, and when he blew up, I did not engage. I was able to just walk away. I am sure I wrote about this here some years ago. When you are fully aware, fully present, fully IN your present moment experience, you are happier, you are more inspired, you are more loving and you are more of a conduit for true spiritual energy, that might manifest through you in the form of writing, or art, or some other creative endeavor. In other words, if you are blocked creatively, it seems to me the most effortless fix would be to find a way to get into the present moment. Meditate, accept your feelings about your art as they are, embracing them, feeling through them, then releasing them and letting them go. If you can get into the present moment, and practice staying there even for a few days, my guess is that the ability to create will come flowing back.

From what I can understand of ACIM, the ego is past-focused, and it uses the past as a reference for the future. But it NEVER, EVER dwells in the present moment. Someone in the sway of their ego will find themselves easily caught up in the ego BS of others around them. They are easily influenced by the actions of others. They experience anger, discontent, frustration, unhappiness, stress and a host of other negative emotions. Why is that? Lost a train of thought here, but will type in in faith and knowing the words will come if important…

Why is it that someone being driven or influenced by their ego is unable to experience more joyful, spiritual states? Simple… Because there is this idea (I guess it comes from the ego) that the present moment experience should be something other than what it is. It is that simple. It really is. If you are angry it is because you are in denial of how things are. You want things to be different, you believe and really feel they should be different. But reality doesn’t bend to your will like that. Actually, as long as you are angry and struggling against reality, you will continue to create a reality that seems to be fighting against you, that seems to be in some struggle with you. It’s that rowing against the current state. Caught up in your ego, you never realize, it never occurs to you, that you can simply accept reality as it is, get back into the current, and determine to create a better experience for yourself.

You see YOU create the current of your life! How’s that for mind-blowing? All the energy you have focused and invested in whatever or wherever you have focused or invested it over the years you have been alive has created a stream, a natural state, in which your life flows. The only way to change that flow is to place all your energy and focus in the new direction you wish to go. And you start RIGHT NOW, in this moment. Then you practice placing your energy and focus in this new direction, every day, until the new current is established. Then you flow in that direction. The current CURRENT you’re are in is very powerful. Or at least it seems to be very powerful, and in your perception it is very strong. You have put YEARS of energy and focus into it. So don’t expect overnight miracles. They can happen – “Anything Is Possible, All Possibilities Exist” (the author), but it is more likely you will have to continue to ride them as you slowly shift things and change their direction.

What does this entail? ACCEPTING THINGS AS THEY ARE, IN THIS MOMENT! Yup, that is what you have to do. The ego has likely influenced the current flow of your life, and that is why your life sucks big, giant hairy goat balls right now! The ego does not have your best interests at heart, only its own. It doesn’t care about you at all. In fact it hates you. That is essentially what ACIM says, and for all I know it is true. The good news is that each moment brings a chance for you to change where you put your energy and focus, an opportunity to begin the most likely (but not necessarily) slow, tedious process of creating a better present moment experience for yourself. But you always, ALWAYS, have to accept the present moment experience as it is. You made it after all! It is YOUR creation!

Teal swan has several videos on anger, and I forget now what she said to do. Something about asking yourself what needs are not being met? In any case, if you are angry, I would perhaps follow her advice, because if nothing else that causes you to pause. It is a good interrupt. You need an interrupt so you can become aware and initiate any change. The next thing I advise is asking yourself, what is it you are denying? What is it you are attempting to deny the reality of in this moment? What is it you feel should not have happened, or should be different? What is the “should story” running in the background here? You need the interrupt to get a chance to become aware of that “should story.” Once you have become aware of it, THEN you have to accept it.

That first step, BTW, I think of as ACKNOWLEDGEMENT, AKA, “It is what it is.” That leads, naturally to acceptance, because it is how it is. It will not change by you being angry at it. Actually, your anger will ensure you keep reliving that same state, over and over again. You will keep having that undesirable and unwanted present moment experience. ALL RESISTANCE EMPOWERS (gives power to) WHATEVER YOU ARE RESISTING! I am sure I have said this before, and that is what I mean. Your denial, your “should story”, is a form of resistance, and you resistance provides the power that creates, drives and perpetuates the experience making you angry. So you have to ACCEPT it, because it is there, you can’t deny it away.

Next you have to feel your way through it. This is where Susan Jeffers, “Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway” comes in. You have to feel what you feel. You have to allow yourself to feel. You have to embrace these feelings, allow yourself to feel them as long as you need to feel them, then when you are ready, you have to release them and let them go. LETTING GO is another egoless state. LETTING GO is antithetical to the ego, just as acknowledgement and acceptance of things the way they are is. These things are directly opposite to the egoic state.

The ego wants to retain. It wants to be angry, it wants to hold grudges, it wants to hate, it wants to be bitter, it wants to be resentful. So it drives you, as long as you are under is influence, held in its sway, to be angry, bitter, hateful and resentful. If you think you are a religious or spiritual person, and yet you have any energy invested in, or focus invested on, any of these states, anything that is the opposite, at its root, to love, you are not truly religious or spiritual. Because a truly religious or spiritual state is one where the individual is influenced by love, not their ego, PERIOD. There are no exceptions!

Any investment in your identity as a religious or spiritual person – as Christian and part of the Christian group, or a Muslim and part of the Muslim group, or a Buddhist and part of the Buddhist group or even as a spiritual, not religious person (this is me) – this is a sure sign the ego is behind the wheel of your life. I am in the same boat as the rest of you in this. Anything we would make as part of identity, and invest all our energy and focus into who we believe, feel or think we are (BLM, LGBTQ – I am looking at you!) is sheer ego. And as long as our egos are in control, there will be war, there will be disease, death and destruction, because our egos hate us, and want to destroy us. It seems odd and counter-intuitive, because once we are dead, our ego is also dead. But our egos are insane. You can not apply logic to insanity. You can not apply reason to the unreasonable.

Your beliefs, religious, spiritual, scientific or anything else, your racial identity, your gender, your sexual preferences – all of this BS does not go with you when you die. Understand that. It all dies with your physical body and your ego. Who you really are is none of that shit. To get more in tune with who you really are, hold your beliefs loosely, let them go when they no longer serve you, and practice being in the present moment. Accept things as they are, and if you want a better present moment experience, invest the energy, effort and focus in the direction you wish to go. But always say in the flow, in a state of acknowledgement, acceptance, allowing then releasing and letting go. If you want to be happy, if you want to be effortlessly creative, that is the state you need to be in, If you want to experience true joy, that is the state you have to be in, and I suspect, that if you want to manifest desirable, wonderful things in your life, that is the state you have to be in. You have to let all the other BS go.

Somehow, someway, I am determined to change the current course of my life to one of abundance and joy. I will get out from under the influence of the ego and get into the present moment, with full awareness. And I will practice staying there, until it becomes the natural current of my life. And I will know I am in that state when all my creative endeavors flow effortlessly through me, just as they did when I dipped my toe into the waters of this experience all those years ago. I keep forgetting all the things I have learned. All the lessons I went through. It is not easy to create such a drastic change in one’s nature, ones state or natural way of being. Or at least it seems as if there is a lot that gets in between me and the intention to change. Thankfully this is a journey we can take together, we can support each other and help each other. Actually I have created a place for that here:
https://www.reddit.com/r/M_A_S_T/

I think change seems difficult, seems hard, because so much energy and focus has created a current state that seems to resist change. The current is very strong, if it has been created while under the influence of our ego. We have invested a lot of energy and focus into our current life experience. But ACIM may be right, this may all be an illusion, “albeit a very strong, persistent one.” (Albert Einstein) The ego is just an illusion. It is not real. It’s like we put the VR glasses on, and now are struggling to take them off. But they can easily come off, allowing us to see things as they really are. We just have to raise up are arms and take them off. It seems harder than it really is. Maybe there is no current dragging us along at all, maybe the currents are just our beliefs, and when we let them go, we come to see that we are not being carried or driven anywhere. We can just start walking in whatever direction we choose. Maybe that’s how things really are. I don’t know, but I will apply and remember what I have learned, and shared with you here.

Here’s to making our experience of this world exactly what we want it to be!

Message to the Monster

You use darkness
to persecute that which
you call darkness,
because you are unable
to face the darkness
deep within yourself.

You try to control
everything outside you
because you are unable
to control yourself.

You are weak,
but want to appear strong,
you think that strength
comes from power,
that if you can force your will
on others you must be powerful,
but you are weak
because true strength
comes from inside.

Deep inside, deep down inside
you are rotten and corrupted,
you look for demons outside you,
but you are the real demon
and with your every act,
your every evil deed,
you feed the demon
and make it stronger.

You are not merely a flawed human,
you are a flaw, dressed as a human.
You are not worth saving,
Your only value lies in your death,
so that your stinking frame
will no longer haunt this world.

We will all be better off
without you here,
the day you die
will be the happiest,
most joyous day
in human history.

Status Report – A Few Insights and Truths To Share

This will be one of those unpolished blog entries I seem to do every now and again. Going through a lot of stuff, working through it, learning a lot. Getting lost in a game or sleeping or whatever even when I have an idea of something to write about, failing to honor my inner writer this last week or so when he popped up with something to write about. The result is a bunch of fragments that I share in the hopes that they will still be of use to you. This is also my belated attempt to honor my inner writer. I am learning to embrace him, accept him, his truth, and ultimately be one of the things I am – a writer.

So to start with I have been dealing with anger. I found Teal Swan as a result of looking for material on this after breaking my phone. I have learned that rage, such as what I displayed when I destroyed my phone over my knee before Christmas, is actually a cover or mask for powerlessness. Anyone who has ever read anything of mine posted here probably is aware that I certainly feel powerless a large portion of the time.

One of the insights I had about this, and the memory is faded now, has to do with water. Water flows down a channel, and it never gets angry when the channel is blocked by an obstacle. Instead it flows over, around, or under it. If it is unable to flow around it, it builds up, gathering strength, until it pushes it out of the way or flows over the top of it.

This is how I need to be with the things, the obstacles in my life, that cause me to get angry. They are what they are, and part of the process I have been practicing these last few years is to accept that. Accept what is, acknowledge it and stop resisting it. Resistance comes in the form of trying to change it or wishing it would be something else. My anger, in short, is resistance to the way a thing is. Or to sum it up – anger is resistance to isness.

Instead of resisting, being attached to the outcome in this way, wanting things to be other than what they are, I need to be like water. No emotion, no attachment to outcome. Just flow around, under or over the thing, accepting it as it is. If I am unable to move past it, then I have to be willing to be with it, gathering my strength, until I am able to move past it.

I had a far more eloquent way of stating these things when I first thought of this. But I have since lost that because I did not sit down to write. When we avoid things, when we fail to honor something, some aspect of ourselves, well we are not honoring ourselves, or this aspect. We are not loving and accepting ourselves. The end result will, without fail, not be our best work. Learn from my failure here. If you have an urge to draw something, or write something, or do something – put your awareness into that, acknowledge it, accept it, and then express it however it needs, no matter what others think. Be true to yourself, all aspects of yourself.

Thankfully the other thought still has some freshness to it. I have been reading Narnia, and have just read through the chapter where the Tisroc is having a secret meeting with his son and vizier. In their conversation the Tisroc reveals how he feels about the free country of Narnia, how he essentially wishes to control it. I wondered what would drive a man, or rather a person, to feel that way. What is the point here?

I ran through a few things and finally settled on this… The Tisroc has a set of beliefs about how the world should be. The Narnians represent a challenge to those beliefs. As a result he finds himself wanting to control them, to not only protect his beliefs but also to, by controlling outer circumstances, but ultimately to be happy. As it stands he could not be described as happy, because there is this Narnia country near his borders that is not conforming to his vision of how things should be.

I wonder if this is the same for military-minded conquers throughout history. I know the fanaticism of some in religions circles (this includes science) is driven by similar beliefs, feelings, ideology, etc. Ultimately the desire to feel in control by controlling outer circumstances. Just something I was thinking about it. I wanted to know why the Tisroc wanted to control Narnia. There is a little more to it than that, again I did wait a little long to honor my inner writer so this is a little rough.

I guess the last thing I want to talk about is fear. Just yesterday my mom was talking to me about these two AI that argued and ultimately decided the solution was to destroy the human race. I heard or read something about that. Maybe you know what I am referring to. Also how some people in some country somewhere have received chips in themselves, and use these chips to pay for things. The whole, “Mark of the Beast” that Christians fear.

I wanted to say this to her, but have not brought myself to do so. I wanted to point out to her that fear is how they control us. It is through fear, after the 9/11 attacks that we now have to go through a bunch of security protocols if we want to fly anywhere, and guess what? According to Adam Ruins Everything (a show on Netflix you need to watch) they really don’t do anything other than take away our freedom and cause us inconvenience.

It is through fear of masturbation and sex that the Puritans decided to slice off the foreskins of their male children (you don’t want to know what they planned to do to women) and we still do this in America today even though there is no reason to do so.

They use fear through the media, through the news, through fear-mongering to stir us up, cause us to panic, and then we accept whatever the hell they want to do. We would sacrifice the freedom our forefathers bled and died for on the alter of safety and security, just so we could feel safe and secure. It is through fear that the Nazis controlled the German people and it is through fear that German soldiers were able to do what they did.

Ultimately this drive to control us is also powered by fear, a quest for happiness by seeking to control exterior circumstances. Of course those doing this wouldn’t phrase it like that. Instead, for example, if someone like myself were to challenge the laws of society one of these people, or anyone else under the controlling thumb of fear, would counter by asking, “Well what’s the alternative, chaos?” Yes, exactly. That which is not controlled is perceived to be chaotic. But there is nothing wrong with that. There is an assumption here that chaos is somehow bad, and control is somehow good. But the opposite its true.

Are your feelings ordered, logical? No, they are chaotic. Yet you have to be with them, feel them, and let them be what they are. They are your compass to your truth. In your attempt to stuff them down you disconnect yourself from your truth. Which means you are living a lie. Which means you are not heading in the best direction for you, which your feelings, if you would have allowed yourself to feel them, would have taken you.

I propose something radical, and I want you to be with it. Feel whatever you feel as I state this. Do not run away from your feelings. Be honest and true to yourself, all aspects if yourself.

Imagine a society without rules. No religion or science to control everyone. No laws or law makers. No consequences. Everyone can do whatever the heck they want. At first yes, there would be chaos and violence. Because everyone has been in a pressure cooker of laws, religion, rules and science. You can’t take the lid off without expect it to blow up a little. But then things will settle. Stress will vanish. Peace will take over. Why?

Because all the terrible things men and women have done to each other over the years is a DIRECT RESULT of them not honoring their personal truth, and being constrained by laws, religion, rules and science telling them how they should behave, be or feel. Trying to control them. So the individual strikes out, sometimes violently, and is punished. They are like a sore thumb sticking out that must be put back in its place. Yet nobody knows or has ever known anyone else’s “place.” Nobody, not even parents, know what is best for anyone else. It all boils down to control again. trying to make people and things fit, even when they do not, and if they do not, constraining them, punishing them, hammering them in until they do.

You think America is a free country? WRONG! Look at all the laws and rules, all the “societal norms” and all the other mechanisms in place to control you. Look at what happens when you challenge any of these laws and rules, or break them. The pressure of the court and jail systems is to make you conform, and if you will not conform, you risk being imprisoned for life or killed. Or living in this country will be very hard for you, and there will be a lack of support.

The cure here is two-fold. First you need to question everything. And I mean everything.┬áSecond you must not give into fear. No matter what others tell you, what you hear on the news, what you see on TV, what you read in the paper – doesn’t matter. The instant you allow yourself to yield to fear, you yield to those who presented you with it and you give them control over you. A better response when presented with something that is obviously meant to inspire fear is to question it. Honor whatever you are feeling, release and let these feelings go when you are ready, but do not act on your feelings of fear. Do not let your feelings of fear drive you.

Only when you are not afraid, are you are truly free.

Hell

This body
is too old,
this life,
is too long

for this young spirit.

My soul
may be old,
my heart
is lined with scars,

but my spirit is young.

It belongs to a man
who never really enjoyed
his childhood
and the process

of growing older.

I want to carve into
this aging flesh,
let the life-blood flow out
into the ancient earth,

releasing my young spirit.

I want to teach
my soul a lesson,
that pain should never
be inevitable,

that suffering should never
be prolonged,
that by the time the flesh,
has reached its middle years,

some happiness
must have been found,
some enjoyment of life
must have been experienced.

You can not scare me
with threats of hell,
I am in hell,
with every breath I take.

I yearn to be happy,
I yearn to be free.

If i can release this pain
with something sharp,
a blade, a piece of glass,
draining it from me…

Maybe
when it is finished,
I shall finally find
happiness and freedom.

Hope is dream
of the pitiful,
the dirt a starving man eats
to fill his empty belly.

To dream
is to be delusional.
Better to accept
your awful fate

then to fight it.

Anger…

I am angry, and I can not find the source. I have little patience and find myself increasingly and easily frustrated. I do not know what has disturbed me so.

Considering what I have been through it may not be surprising. But I do not think this is the cause. Yes, I am in pain. My world, built of these glass-like illusions, has been shattered. I have no love, no wife, no child coming. Everyone was right, she was only, in essence, a figment of my imagination. It does not matter that they were not right in the way they thought. The end result is the same. I had someone and am no alone. I had a purpose, temporary as it was, and now have none. I climbed so high, but this last step failed me and now I find myself at the bottom, without any strength, reason, desire or drive to climb up again. But there is nowhere else to go. I may not be trapped in a maze of confusion, but I am still trapped. There is only back and forward, and as I know where back leads, having no desire to go there, I must climb again. There is no choice. I am without teacher, guide, direction, consolation, anyone to talk to. I am utterly and completely alone.

On top of that the date of my departure looms ever nearer. Again I have no choice. I can stay here and all I have to do is sacrifice dream, purpose, freedom – in short life. I will get a roof over my head, clothes on my back, and food in my belly. I can read and learn any subject of interest. But I will be unable to apply much of what I have learned. I will remain ignorant of the world outside. I will never find my way, my dream, even my identity. What have I to identify myself with?

Or I can go. In leaving I will be free. I can find my dream, my purpose, a guide, teacher, friends, someone to spend my life with. I can learn about the world and experience things for myself. I can apply all I have learned so far. I may learn more but I will not have access to the resources I have here. There is no guarantee of clothes on my back, food in my belly, and roof over my head. There’s no guarantee of anything really. All I have is a chance.

When I weigh the two I know what I must do. I have always known since she revealed this truth to me. I must take the chance and be free. This is the ultimate way to cast myself into the flow and find the ideal course for my life. Not destiny nor fate, just the best course of action for me at this time of my life. The course of action that in doing I will find happiness. Not that I am looking for happiness. This is not the reason I am leaving home. Happiness comes naturally to one who is in the natural course of their life, finding a way, meaningful to them, to use the gifts, abilities and talents they were blessed with. If you seek happiness you will more than likely never find it. Happiness comes naturally when you are on the right track. It is a gift. At least that is what I currently believe, with as open a belief as I believe in anything.

So I am troubled by what has happened and I can not help but worry about what awaits me ahead. It is hard to live in the present moment when such strong draws from the past and future pull on me. But I am trying, really trying, to trust that things will be OK.

I started with a simple thing. I wanted a guitar to take with me. My mindset was simply if it was meant to be it will be. I traded my receiver, which was not functioning properly, for a Gibson Epiphone. Much nicer then what I paid $50.00 for, and as a bonus the receiver went to an engineering student, who would enjoy the challenge of fixing it. They never took to the guitar. I have, and the guitar is only worth about $100.00, so if it is stolen I’m not loosing anything of real value. Just an instrument that I enjoy playing. My only real creative outlet on the road.

The next things I wish to get are a tent, sleeping bag, and a yoga mat that can double for my mattress. As with the guitar I am trusting that these will be provided to me. If not I will somehow make do without them.

So I am slowly removing my worried gaze from the future. I know it is impermanent, not set in stone, intangible. Anything can happen, and anything will. The best course of action for me is to simply glide along this river of time, letting the current take me where it will, and never dwelling on anything that lies ahead of the boat.

But what of the past, this pain? I don’t know. It seems a likely suspect as the source of my anger, but I’m not sure. My Sadhana has been affected as a result of this. I can;t meditate as long as I used to, and I have been meditating for far shorter periods of time than I should as it is. I’m having trouble reading the spiritual teachings I have checked out. Can’t seem to get away from, “Samskara” by “Randy Butler.” Trying to read Thich Nhat Hanh again, his words always sooth at a deep level. I imagine that when Buddha spoke others felt much the same way about his words. Hanh is as close as I’ve gotten to the teachings of any true master. Well maybe Richard Rohr too. In any case I have stuck with the 5 Tibetans since I started. But have been unable to do much else. The occasional Qi Gong Fire or Water. But no energy dance, and I find it hard to visit the one I used to think of as my love, my wife.

I don’t know why I am angry. It seems likely it is due to my suffering. But I truly believe that it is coming from another source hidden to me, and I am troubled. Unless I truly know the source, how can I deal with it? How can I let go of this anger? I don’t know. I write these words in the hope that help will come. The answer will come to me from the writing, or perhaps someone will be able to help me. I make no assumptions either way. I just hope I can get through this. That I can move on, find peace. That I can find my desire, drive and hunger for spiritual growth. That I can find reason, cause, and strength to grab the first rung of that ladder once again, and begin to climb.

As always I am left with only hope, belief and trust. This time may it be invested in the right sources.