The Hand of God

You know often I read that God, whoever or whatever it is, will not reach down and pull you out of the mess you have made of your life. But is this really true? Just outside my door I have a small plastic bowl of water I keep for the various animals that wander around here. Lately as I walk by, I see that the bees (yellow jackets I think) are actually learning to swim in it. I have watched them land on the water, and if I disturb the bowl at all, they fly off, right off the surface of the water. I have watched them land on the water too, and just drift there. Others that are not so brave cling to the side of the bowl and get their head as close to the water’s edge as they can. I know they are doing this because I can see their antenna are pushed back around their heads a little.

But every once and a while, as just happened a little bit ago, I will see a bee that is fully immersed in the water, unable to free itself. I don’t know if a bee can drown, but I assume so. So when I see this I use my foot to gently pour out some water, along with them, over the edge, into the grass and safety. Usually disturbing the swimmers and drinkers in the process. Today’s potential drowning victim was a bumble bee or hornet. I imagine that for this bee it is a lot like God helping it. I mean after all, physically compared to a bee I am enormous. Also I am either connected to, or a part of, or a physical manifestation of, God. And if I can do this for a bee, God can do it for me.

So when I am stuck and drowning in my own life, is it illogical for me to believe and hope that God, looking down, will take mercy on me and shift things just a little to help me get out of the mess I have gotten myself into?

Darkness Is A Choice

We are speaking of a denial of Light
not an absence of Light
The concept of God being in all things therefore
is not so irreconcilable.

From “Emmanuel’s Book” page 18, “Darkness is a choice.”
Compiled by Pat Rodegast and Judith Stanton

I think there is something we forget. Some of us, myself also in the past, talk about how evil the world is. How dark it is. How cruel it is. The phrase “The Real World” is bandied about, as if those of us who use it have any idea of what the real world actually is. But most of us that think of the world in this way, that use this phrase, have no idea how or what the real world is.

We say these things, we use this phrase and others like it, to basically set a sort of bar. We say these things to those that have not reached it. The bar is set to what we think is normal. It is defined by what we perceive to be reality. And indeed, to those who think along these terms, it is their reality.

Our reality is created by our perception. What we expect to see in the world, 9 times out of 10, that is what we see. What we expect to experience, we experience. So the phrase, “The Real World” seems to be true, and those of us who use it, say it with finality. That is our final word on it.

I see a few problems with this… First of all saying anything with finality is essentially closing the door in the face of anything that contradicts what we believe. That is the definition of close-mindedness. We become unable to see anything beyond or outside our beliefs and perceptions. We close ourselves off to ever really learning the real truth. We shut the door in the face of truth, lock it and leave him to stand outside our hearts. When Jesus said, “I stand at the door and knock” I wonder if this is what he was referring to.

Secondly we all have made (myself included), and most of us continue to make (myself excluded) an assumption that darkness = absence of Light. But Emmanuel’s words, as quoted above, remind us that this is not the only way darkness can come into our lives. Quite often, and I may even venture to say all of the time, darkness = denial of Light. In fact I will even go so far as to say this is the only real true definition of darkness. I do not think, for one moment, that there is an absence of light anywhere, even in the darkest corners of what you call the real world.

Darkness is a choice. Suffering is a choice. We are never powerless, we can always choose. We can accept or deny the Light. What is the Light? Let us define the undefinable in this way. It is that energy or force beyond the best humanity can offer. It is beyond the love of a mother for her child, the love of a man or woman for a man or woman. It is beyond the best of human lovingkindness. It is that which humanity has been looking for outside itself, but which has always been inside us all. It is what we are, when we leave our human bodies behind. It is that energy or force that gives life to everything, freely. You can give it any name you wish, for now Light will suffice.

The question is will you accept or deny that you have this energy inside you? Will you accept or deny that others have it inside them? Will you accept or deny that it is in your world, the world you live in, the world you believe in, the world you perceive? Can you find and open yourself to the Light that is in all things, even the darkest places you can think of right now? Can you find the Light in the drug dealer, the gang member, the murderer? It doesn’t matter who the darkness is for you, or where it is. The question remains, will this darkness continue to be a denial of Light? Will you continue to deny the Light?

Most humans live in a state of denial or non-acceptance. We isolate ourselves from each other. We isolate ourselves in shimmering towers of glass and steel, in layers of asphalt and concrete, from mother nature, from the earth. We are disconnected from each other and from the planet we live on. In our current, natural state the pattern of denying the Light is firmly ingrained into all of us.

It was for me as well. It is no longer. I choose to live connected to others and the world around me. I still have much growing to do. I still tend towards isolation, towards denial. The circumstances of my life must reflect this, as they do. But I am changing, I have made that choice, and you can as well.

If you want all the things that you think of as part of “The Real World” to go away, to change for the better, then you have to choose acceptance. You have to stop denying the Light. You have to stop isolating yourself. You have to be able to find the Light in anyone or anything. When humanity reaches this state in our growth as a species, and we will, there will be no more scarcity, no more war. There will no longer be any darkness, because we will, collectively, have stopped denying the Light.

So what is the darkness in your life? Is it your denial of Light? Or is it an absence of Light? Because if, for you, it is an absence of Light, you are living in denial, and will remain a victim of unwanted circumstances and situations. That is the consequence of your choice.

But if you are able to see it is your denial of Light that has brought this darkness, then you are free to choose to stop denying the light. When you stop denying the light, you will be free of unwanted circumstances and situations. That will be the consequence of your choice.

Choose wisely.

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.”

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.

Purpose

I have made such a big deal of this thing called purpose. Feeling it’s absence in my life, or simply having forgotten it, or having suppressed it – whatever the case may be – has left me feeling like something was missing in my life. That there was something wrong with me.

I defined purpose, when I started to look for one, as that thing I came to this world to do or to learn. But I am beginning to suspect I have bought into yet another illusion. Yet another belief structure of humanity and society.

If I do not believe in fate or destiny, what room could there be for a purpose? If I would not want to be confined to fate or destiny, why would I allow myself to wear the shackles of purpose? What if there is no purpose? No fate, no destiny – nothing.

Or what if the reason I am here, call it destiny, fate or purpose, is beyond physical understanding? Something I can only translate into insufficient physical terms, like Christians trying to define God, trying to stuff the creator of the entire fucking Universe into a box. Futile, pointless and potentially harmful. Certainly shortsighted.

Eckhart Tolle teaches me that this thing called purpose only exists in the future. It is a favorite ego fantasy. That my purpose is whatever I am doing in this moment, now. To put all my attention and awareness into whatever I am doing.

I just finished Millman’s “Peaceful Warrior.” The main character in that story learns a lesson so hard it literally kills him. Not sure how that works, the mind can not distinguish between an image it holds or something the physical body sees. He has a vision of his own death. Only I think it was more than  that. But ultimately, even that character found a purpose, to be a Warrior, a Teacher.

I am troubled by this, because if I go by what Tolle says, my purpose is to be here, living with my parents in their motorhome. To have no money, nobody to share my life with. To ultimately have no future. I see nothing on this path that leads me to believe it will carry me to a life I actually want to live. And I am to embrace this, accept it, and live each moment of this life as if whatever I am doing in that moment is my purpose.

Am I not allowed to define my life for myself? To choose a purpose the appeals to me and live that? Must I just accept things as they are, whether I like them or not? On the other hand, what good does it do me to complain, fight and struggle? To, as the Bible says,  “Kick against the goads?”

If I can not embrace my life as it is in this moment, if I can not accept it as it is, then I will suffer. Do I really want to add more suffering to a life that I consider to be far less than I want? No. So I will practice this, embracing each moment, accepting it, not wanting it to change or be anything else. I will continue to train myself through ACIM so that I may see things as they are. I will accept them a they are and see them as they are. This is my intention.

I am not sure if I believe this yet, but I will state it as fact and let it be weighed on the scales of personal experience. When you were born, it was without destiny, fate, karma or even purpose. Nobody was born to be a dancer, painter, teacher, or even a Warrior. You come into the world not only naked physically but also naked in every other aspect.

Does that mean your life is meaningless? Does your life have to have meaning? It seems to me that this is heavy burden to carry. If you have not found any meaning in your life, you will feel somehow lacking or missing something. I am not so sure things have to have meaning, and whatever meaning we assign them is a limited definition at best.

You were not born with a meaning, any more than you were born with clothes, or a destiny, fate, karma, purpose or sin. Yet you were born complete and perfect. Whatever your physical condition, you came into the world complete. It may not look that way on the surface, but every human comes into the world a complete package, lacking nothing and yet having nothing more than a physical body and that energy that gives it life, call it what you will.

Maybe this is a tough pill to swallow. But I am right there with you, trying to choke it down. Because I have come to understand that of all the things I understand, I know little, and all the things I know I understand little. But I am learning and coming to know these things that have, so far, remained merely intellectual constructs.

Embrace Uncertainty, Question Everything.

 

The Cage of Judgement

Since my return many things, including myself, have changed. I remember how I complained, how I looked down on my little room in what I thought of as Grandma’s Attic. I even wrote a short horror story inspired by it.

But since then I have come to understand how valuable space really is. The real estate market, at least here in Washington, has it all wrong. It is not the house that adds value to a property. I would rather live in a tiny cabin on an acre of land than in a mansion jammed in with other fancy houses, with only a strip of grass between each place.

Here, temporarily in my parent’s RV, I have no space, or rather shared space, and its probably smaller than my old bedroom where I lived for the last 8 years. I have few of the things I had then, and I no longer have piles of books I never seem to finish stacked by my bed.

Instead I have a few books that I read daily, and these are currently A Course In Miracles, Dan Millman’s, “The Peaceful Warrior” David Swartz’s, “The Magic of Thinking Big” and a big book of Kahlil Gibran’s poetry. I have a couple Seth books, two books of Japanese poetry, Shatki Gawain’s, “Creative Visualization” and “Psycho Cybernetics”, both of which I have barely cracked. I also have two fiction stories I am struggling with reading. Also Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden.”

For the rest of this month I will be drawing primarily from ACIM and Peaceful Warrior. It is from ACIM I have learned about the Cage of Judgment most of us are trapped in, and it is from “Peaceful Warrior” I have just learned I need something I can immerse myself in to the point of Satori. This is the same space every artist or athlete enters where the “I” or sense of self fades, if not completely disappears, and there is art being created, or movements being performed.

I am in a bit of a quandary when it comes to that thing I can do that would bring me to Satori. Writing should be that for me, but some part of me would prefer to do something visual, like paint. Photography is my next best option, I think that is what Zen Photography may be all about. I don’t know how to deal with this schism in me, so I will pursue painting if I can, and gently, ever so gently, try to do the same with painting.

The Cage of Judgement is much harder to address. It influences the world we see and the reality we experience. To free ourselves of it is to take whatever happens as it is. I think this is what the Advaitist’s  refer to when they say becoming the ocean. It occurred to me that the waves are local, confined to a location and direction. But the ocean is everywhere, all at once. Fear and our judgements act like flotation devices that keep us on top of the water, tossed about by the waves. Releasing judgement means a release of fear, and a sinking into the ocean, to become one with it.

I guess this is what enlightenment must be. Be coming filled with light, free of judgments, able to experience the world as it is, not as it is believed to be. But I ask myself, what about personal preference? For example, will I really be happier seeing a skinny attractive or overweight ugly potential mate the same? Will I really be happier seeing a nice bed in a hotel or another icy cold night in a church side lot the same? There are things I do not understand, and could not understand, until I am in that state. But this is a case of jumping in and hoping there is water, because there is no going back once you have taken that leap.

My last journal entry may have left some of you concerned. But I am not finished yet! Working on getting a job, getting my own space, and if I can’t do that, better equipping myself and heading down the coast. I just hope to have a solid handle on what I want to do, that I have untangled some of the things that made my last trip so unenjoyable. But at the very least I understand some of the things I need to address at this point on my life.