The Sad Truth About Art

Apparently there seems this ideal, prevalent among artists, of some space or time where they could safely pursue their creativity. Melville called, “The Calm” or something like that. Well there is a problem with this, that I shall demonstrate simply with these words, “With no sand, the oyster makes no pearl.

According to my understanding, a pearl is made inside an oyster when a grain of sand gets in, causing the pearl to secrete a substance around it, which over time (I have no idea how long) becomes a pearl. I assume the more time it spends in the oyster, and the older the oyster gets, the more beautiful the pearl.

There is one rule relevant to the artist, and I advise you write this down: “Art does not exist in a vacuum.” In other words, the irritants in the world and, more specifically, in your life, are those things that, when worked over and smoothed through art, become the masterpieces all artists secretly long to create.

Also there is no perfect way, technology currently notwithstanding, to draw from your head the exact, beautiful ideal you have in your mind. All you can do is tease it out as best you can, and you have to try, or it will come to life, take a few breaths, then die right there inside your noggin’.

So toss out both of these foolish ideals. There is no artist’s heaven in our sometimes heavily censored and materialistic modern society. Even though wonderful things like Netflix and YouTube exist because of artists, how the world works is generally without acknowledgement or appreciation of our work. Why do you think you encounter so many wonderful musicians along the sidewalks, standing or sitting as they preform with an opened instrument case or upturned hat close by?

So stop looking for that perfect space in which to create – even if you were to find it no creativity would be possible inside it. Likewise quit seeking to support yourself with your creativity. It is antithetical to all muses to be the provider in the relationship. That, unfortunately, is your job! But be thankful, because your annoying boss or coworker are just more grist for the mill. Turn everything you dislike or outright hate into a beautiful pearl!

I am not just writing this advise for you. I am writing it for myself also. I have struggled with writing, specifically having no interest in being a “professional writer”, despite my gifted understanding and use of the English language. In other words, I am a Poet and a Writer, but I would rather play video games and make content for YouTube.

Also I hate the “daily grind”, even the idea of it, even more passionately than most. But it has become clear to me that it is time to embrace this unwanted part of myself, and in order to pursue writing in any form, I will have to find a way to earn some money to clothe and feed myself. That is just how it is. I can wish all I want that it would be different or easier. But, as they say, “It Is What It Is.

Embrace the irritants, the negativity and the struggle. Acknowledge it, come to terms with it, make peace with it, accept it. Don’t try to spit the particle of sand out, or you will never make a beautiful pearl! Work it in your mind, secrete your secret desires and longings around it. Express yourself in whatever creative medium that most draws you. Create and transform all your undesirable experiences or situations into beautiful works of art. You can do it, I know you can.

Believe in yourself.

Remember

A song plays, and I remember
what I consider to be my greatest work.
A masterpiece, born of passion, born of love.

An ember in my heart burns bright, flames anew, flickers, dies,
leaving this warm afterglow deep inside me,
leaving a yearning, a desire to create this again!

The highway continues on, seeming forever,
I am carried forward, always moving on,
I have not yet reached my destination.

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!

An Untenable Judgment

Years ago when I was a child (and as I have probably said many times before, I may have said this before) a teacher took me aside at Hudson Park Elementary (I think I even remember exactly where this happened) and told me that the world did not revolve around me. I think at the time I had been stealing or something. Not sure exactly all the effects this had on me, but I think I stopped stealing and created the foundation for a Nice Guy persona. Here is a book to explain that:

Now I can not be sure of the teacher’s motivations here. Everyone is raised within the confines of their family belief systems. Maybe the teacher was trying to help, maybe they were trying to hurt me, maybe they were trying to shake me up a little. But ultimately the labels “selfishness” and “self-centeredness” are applied to an individual as a way of controlling behavior that is believed to be, or is seen to be, undesirable in some way or wrong.

I am only going to say this once… The world, even the entire universe, does revolve around you. Or more accurately, your world, your universe revolves around you. Everyone that can look up and see the moon will see the moon. But everyone will have a different way of interpreting and perceiving the same object, and all of them will not be seeing the object as it really is, outside of all those associations, beliefs, interpretations and judgments. An enlightened person, meaning one who can see things as they are, will see the moon as it is. I have no reference to draw from here. They probably wouldn’t even assign a name or label to it.

The point is, no two people experience reality in exactly the same way. We all live inside the orbits of our own belief systems, habitual patterns of thought and perceptions. This is why one person can pick up a penny and joyously thank the Universe for its provision, while another may walk on past or kick it into the gutter. Guess which person likely has more money in their life?

Also being selfish or self-centered doesn’t necessarily mean you also believe the earth and the universe rotate about you. In fact I doubt if anyone labeled normal would believe that. And even if someone did, what makes that wrong? You can throw all the science you want at me, that still doesn’t make one person’s unique viewpoint any more or less valid than any other.

It also doesn’t necessarily follow that being selfish or self-centered is wrong. A baby is selfish, does that mean you punish him or her every time they demand you feed them or clean their diaper? Maybe some parents do, and god help them when their children grow up. Because when those parents are in diapers, baby-like and in need of care, what do you think the children will do? They can draw from what they have learned. They will only repeat the lessons their parents taught them. Are you in a nursing home, with children who never visit and don’t seem to care about you? Ask yourself, how did you treat them when they were helpless and dependant on you? Be brutally honest, you are far too mature not to face the truth.

We have to be selfish, because we have to take care of ourselves. If we fall into the Nice Guy (or Good Girl) trap, we will put the needs of others ahead of our own, looking for all the world incredibly selfless, but our motivations will not be pure. We will not really want to be doing the things we want to do. Our heart will not be in it, and if our heart is not in what we do, doesn’t that make us heartless? Aren’t we acting heartlessly? Think about that for a moment.

If we are self-centered I guess that means we act like, and truly believe, that only we matter. We may be arrogant and conceited. But the issue is not whether or not we are self-centered. The issue is why we are acting this way. Could it be that we have an over-inflated idea of ourselves because ultimately, we feel we are full of hot air? That we don’t matter, that nobody cares about us? Isn’t a low self-esteem why we don the role of self-centeredness?

The solution is not to criticize and judge others for behavior we do not agree with. Fuck that. And fuck trying to control the behavior of others. Anyone on that quest is acting like Don Quixote, chasing windmills. The solution is to be motivated by love, for ourselves and for others. Period.

So to that long-ago teacher, you screwed up. You were not motivated by love in what you did. You were motivated by the desire to dominate a child and control their behavior. This was very irresponsible of you. The end result is that child, now a grown man, has an incredible amount of crap to clean out that he inherited from his family, their religion, and society. He became a Nice Guy, meaning he wasn’t really nice at all. He has since begun to address these and other issues. But at the root of every issue he has are the things the adults in his life did and said to him when he was a child.

You were one of those adults. If you knew how to motivate the children in your care with love, that is how you should have proceeded. But chances are you didn’t know better. So while you are partly responsible, I do not blame you. I hold no grudge towards you. I understand, all too clearly, how we are all prisoners of our beliefs, adopted, inherited and picked up by ourselves.

Instead I will point out to you, and every other adult in any position of authority, the incredible responsibility we have. Adolf Hitler is thought to be one of humanity’s greatest monsters. But this is an incorrect point of view. The real monsters are the adults who contributed to raising Hitler to be who he became. Without those adult influences, there would be no Adolf Hitler, except maybe as a painter. Imagine if he had been raised by those motivated purely by love. People who loved him and supported him. People who encouraged his artistic ambitions. We would have seen more of this:

And less of this:

And none of your bullshit about, “Oh poor Hitler, he wasn’t loved enough!” in some sarcastic tone of voice. You are damn right he wasn’t loved enough, and this is just one blatant historical example of what happens to a child who is raised by adults that would rather control their child’s behavior than actually be motivated by love in their parenting! Maybe Hitler’s parents didn’t know any better, so couldn’t do any better. I don’t know. I am not a historian. I just know that all monsters are created, or rather raised, not born. I don’t care what proof you have to the contrary. Any exception proves the rule.

It’s time to stop fucking around and face the truth. Raise your children with love, motivated by love, or don’t bother having them at all. Give them away to adoption, send them to live with relatives, do whatever you have to do. But don’t try raising them unless you can do so motivated by love. If you are yelling at them, telling them they are bad or wrong, that they shouldn’t do this or that, you are trying to control their behavior and are not motivated by love. Your children are not your slaves, nor your dogs to be whipped into obedience and submission. Your religious beliefs are no excuse. You are responsible for the adult this child will become. Ask yourself honestly what kind of adult are you raising?

I don’t know about you but I would rather see more beautiful paintings and less episodes of genocide, holocausts and war. The kind of future we will have is not in the hands of our children, but those who are raising them. Our children will only repeat the behaviors they learned from us, or that were beaten into them. Not everyone will be imprisoned this way, there are a few who escape. But none of us escape undamaged. We all bear the scars of being raised by those who were not motivated by love.

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┬áto 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.

 

What Was Forgotten

All manifested form, all energy given form, is a creation of the formless, the energetic. As the energetic in its purest state is love, it naturally seeks to express itself. The most natural means of expression is through creation. We are the creative expression of the formless, the energetic.It is as if an artist is painting a scene, wondering what it would be like to be there, so they enter the painting. But they forget that they are not the painting, that they are not the painted scene. That in reality they are the one painting the scene. They are the artist, not what the artist is painting.

This world is the playground of the formless, the energetic. It has entered into the world it has created through us. It experiences the world it created through us. It does so out of unconditional love and joy. It is unconditionally loving, naturally joyous, creative and adventurous. Our lives are its adventure, our world is its creative expression.

We are both the artist painting the scene, and the adventurer exploring it. But so many of us forget that we are connected to, one with, and in fact are the artist. In forgetting we are the artist, we forget that this life is supposed to be an adventure. In this forgetting most of us loose our joy, although a few find it in their creative expression.

The formless, the energetic, is having fun. When it enters its creation to experience it through us it is playing. Very much like an actor playing a role. But many of us forget we are playing a role and instead become identified with it. The true cause of suffering is twofold:

1. We forget we are the artist exploring their creation.
2. We forget we are playing a role, and instead become identified with that role.

We could sum it up by saying that all suffering is the result of our forgetfulness. Because it is only in our forgetfulness that we harm this world and each other. This is why we are not punished for what we do in our lives. Could you, while being loving, punish a child for forgetting something? No, of course not. Not out of love. It is even more so for the formless, the energetic, as it is unconditionally loving.

When motivated by love you would not punish another for being forgetful or unaware. You might be able to do so from a place outside of love. But in the formless, the energetic, there is no place outside of love. Love is all there is. It is complete, total and unconditional. You could say, in fact, that the formless, the energetic, is nothing but love. Love in its purest, undistilled, undiluted formless state.

Any form is made from the formless, the energetic, and all form returns to its natural formless state. All things come from formlessness to form, to return to formlessness. As the canvas of a artist is the focus for their creative expression through painting, so all form is the canvas of the formless, the energetic, through which it focuses its creative expression. Unlike the artist, where the canvas, paint, paint brushes and scenery are all separate from them, all form is made of the stuff of the formless, the energetic.

That is why it is accurate to say you are connected to God, one with God, and God. God is just an idea you have about the formless, the energetic. It is just a label, a name, you give to that which has no name and can not be labeled. Whatever name or label you use for the formless, the energetic, you are that. You are made of that, you are connected to that, you are one with that, you are that. You are the creative expression of that, and you are that which is creatively expressing itself.

It is pointless to argue over what it is, because the formless, the energetic, is not only your idea of it, it is also, at the same time, the ideas of everyone else. There is nothing contradictory here. Because all ideas come from the formless, the energetic. There is no one way to remembering what has been forgotten. There are infinite ways to remembering. Each individual expression of the formless, the energetic, will find its own.

You can not describe or know the energetic, the formless, any more than you could describe or know a distant mountain that you have never seen. Even if someone were to describe it to you, perfectly, without the bias of their perception (which is impossible), you still would not be able to truly describe or know the mountain. Even if you were to see a picture of it in a book, or to read about it, you still would not be able to authentically, truly describe it or know it. The only way you could ever authentically, truly describe it or know it is to go there and see it for yourself.

If you can not authentically, truly describe or know something in the world of form that you have never experienced with your physical form or seen with your physical eyes, how would you ever be able to authentically, truly describe or know something in the formless, the energetic? You can not. The only way to truly describe or know the formless, the energetic is to experience it for yourself. The descriptions of others, the experiences of others, are not enough.

That is why it is so pointless to fight over what are considered to be holy books. The experiences of others are meaningless to your experience. A holy book may bring you to where you experience the formless, the energetic for yourself. But at best it is a guide. At worst you substitute the experiences of others for the Truth of the formless, the energetic. But it is not the Truth, because it is not your truth. The closest to the Truth any of us will ever come is when we experience the formless, the energetic, for ourselves. But that will only ever be our truth, and not the Truth.

It is time to remember what has been forgotten. You are not only a creative expression of the formless, the energetic. You are not only the role that you play. You are formless, the energetic, creatively expressing itself through you, and experiencing its creative expression through you. You are the artist, the canvas, the painting, the paint brushes and that which is being painted. There is no separation between the formless, the energetic, its creative expression, and you. Only in your forgetfulness do you experience the illusion of separation. Only in your forgetfulness do you suffer.

It is time to remember.

Follow Your Bliss

I have a few things I would like to do here. First of all a huge thank you and blessing for all that helped my body heal from whatever it was it was fighting.

Secondly I am excited to report that I have had a breakthrough today! This morning I woke up and started on my three morning pages as assigned by Julie Cameron in her book, “The Sound of Paper” I realized something. That I Am An Artist.

I guess I have always denied this. I remember seeing the drawings of my cousin Shadow, and the work of his brother Chris. I remember seeing work by a friend and mentor named Jepson. I remember my mom’s work on her piece of music. Maybe I thought there was no room for me, or that I wasn’t a good as them, or something.

I have also been at war with myself. Obviously I have the ability to write. I did try to get published, but when I discovered the 80,000 word minimum for fiction, and after I received rejection letters for everything I submitted, I sort of gave up. I guess I like telling stories. I like sharing things that I have learned. But I never really saw myself as a writer. Maybe I thought that life wasn’t exciting enough or special enough or something? I think also with the whole artist thing in general I was plagued with doubts. You read how few artists are ever wealthy or successful. I have this other dream in my mind to design and help build my own house. Obviously I have to have a lot of money to do that.

It has been a struggled. I was raised by and am surrounded by limit-minded people. That is my parents, as much as I love them. have built-in poorness programming, installed in them from their own parents, at least on my dad’s side. I am not sure they even want to be rich. But I do. They also believe in limits and lack. I do not. But I received the same programming they did, and I have been in the process, especially during the last few years, started with ACN, of changing those internal instructions. Still it is very hard to have a mindset that runs contrary to everyone else’s around you. It’s especially difficult when you go to a Sangha after yoga class and the instructor asks you essentially what you’re doing with your life.

But finally a breakthrough this morning. The peace I had afterwards, and the immediate effect it has had on me, words don’t really do justice. Suffice it to say I dug out an old computer carrying case and made my own artist portfolio, complete with handmade cardboard pencil holders. Even I was impressed by the unusually good engineering I was able to do. It’s as if a huge dam has broken and crumbled. I have decided to, “Follow my bliss…”, do what I enjoy doing, and trust the Source to provide. I released all the old beliefs I had, mindsets, everything. No worries about making enough money to have the life I want to have. All things are possible and I am connected to the source of all resources, wealth included. How can I ever be poor?

Now I am looking forward to my next drawing time. Spending what funds I have for my artistic needs. Just got a cheap little Sumi brush collection so I can play with automatic, expressive drawing. I know that rendering is not my specialty, but I am OK with that. Working at any art will strengthen all artistic muscles. I Am a computer artist (level design, modeling, textures), and a sketch/drawing artist, and a writer (poetry, non-fiction instructional articles, short stories.) I find my niche, wherever it is. I Am Awake to who I truly am, hence the saying I posted before this.

Do not deny who you really are. You truly do know, just as I did. It was not so much a realization but a ceasing of hiding the truth from, of deceiving myself. I knew I was an artist. I have said I Am an Artist before. But my heart was not in it. Even now I picture that dragon Shadow drew years ago and I am tempted to compare. I ignore the evidence hanging here on my wall that I can draw just as well. The only thing I lack is patience. But that is OK too. It will also come with the practice of what I enjoy doing, my art. Find what you enjoy doing and do it. Even if you have a family make that priority number 1.

But you have to be sure that it is truly your thing. I distracted myself by buying a guitar telling myself I always wanted to play it. But I am a lyricist and possibly a singer. Not a guitar player. I have more fun with my packing tape frame drum. Once you wake up to the truth, once you allow yourself to do that, once you know for sure, go after it. It may impact your family and dependents negative in the short run. But if you trust whatever you call God to provide for you, if you are doing what you love to do, things will work out, and it will be better for you and your loved ones in the long run.

I can’t claim that things will be easy. But they will be worth working hard for. Can you say that about what you are doing right now? If not you are living a lie. You really are violating one of the 10 commandments. You are bearing false witness. To yourself and to whatever or whoever you call God. You were not made to fall in love, get married, and have a family. Nor were you made to flip hamburgers, wash toilets, runs items across a scanner, lug boxes around, or drive all over the country.

There is something that speaks to you. You ignored this voice for so long you can’t hear it any more. But it is still there, waiting for you to hear it again. That voice is telling you what you love to do, what you most enjoy, and if there is any dream, any purpose to anyone’s life, it is to pursue that thing, whatever it is, with reckless abandonment. No excuses, no exceptions, I don’t care what your life circumstances may be! It is in ignoring that voice that you slowly destroy yourself and suffer the consequences of your actions. It is not karma, justice or punishment. It is just cause and effect. If you are not doing what you enjoy, what you are passionate about, if you are not “following your bliss”, then your life will remain unfulfilled and no matter how rich or poor you are you will know it.

For my part that means I have to teach, because I am good at it and as much as I used to deny it I enjoy it. I love to be able to help others in this way. For the same reason I have to write, because I secretly do enjoy this as well, even though I have denied that fact for so long when I write it is as if I don’t feel anything. But the feelings are there. Obviously I am passionate about writing, just look at this post! And finally I have to sketch, draw or scribble, design levels, models and textures, maybe even sing. But I can’t do these to anyone else’s standards. I must do these things my own way, the way that works for me, the way I am happiest doing them. If I can find training that fits with this great. If not then I am on my own, but that’s OK. I can trust the Source that if and when I need a teacher one will come. What is there to worry about?

It is time to wake up. You have been asleep for so long. You are a bud and the winter has long passed. It is time to open to the warmth of the sun and let people see who you truly are inside! You have so much beauty to share with the world, for your own enjoyment and the enjoyment of others. I look forward to the sweet perfume of you doing whatever it is that you are passionate about!