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Finding Your Truth

I could have easily titled this blog “Finding MY Truth” but that’s not what this written effort is about.  This blog’s focus is to help others in finding their own truth.

In reality, your TRUTH might not be the same as MY truth; but what I’d like others to know is that I compassionately encourage you in your explorations to find your personal truth because I know how arduous that search can be—how rocky the terrain that lies ahead—how tedious the extended journey awaiting you, simply to uncover those deeply-hidden secrets of YOU. 

And I also know how life can change in an instant when the winding, mountainous path that you were so confidently traveling suddenly crumbles beneath your feet—tossing you screaming off the cliff and out into space.

Having faced some of that unexpected “air time” myself, I know how shocking it can be when your life suddenly falls apart, forcing you to see how quickly you either learn to fly, or how well you can bounce once you do hit the canyon floor.  

Also from my own experiences in personal TRUTH finding (as well as surviving LIFE’s challenges), I know how rare it is to find others willing to offer emotional support or encouragement to get you back on your feet again without a ‘profit motive’ involved.  True, we all have to make a living, but there are times when you should compassionately look to help others without first considering what they can offer you in return.   

So up front here: I don’t want your money—in fact I don’t want anything from you other than some deep soul-searching to determine what you really expect from LIFE and what LIFE expects from you in return.

If you can answer those two key questions to your own satisfaction, then that’s plenty reciprocal reward for me.

Remember, MY truth may not be YOUR truth, but I know MY truth better than I know yours, so that is likely what I will write about the most and hope you can see parallels or divergences by which to gauge your own truth. 

Life is an adventure—one we may never truly understand in this plane of existence—but one we have to navigate all the same.  So good luck!  As you journey ever forward, stay alert to avoid sudden pitfalls and just watch where you step in general, because it’s one big ‘cow pasture’ out there.*   

* (I’m from Iowa: If you think dogs leave an unappreciated ‘pile’ behind in walkways, imagine what a bunch of cows might leave behind during your pastoral wandering.)

Assessing the ‘Tapestry of Life’

Alberto Villoldo 

 “We have to become still in the midst of the turmoil so we can observe clearly how our actions and the actions of others, past and present, fit together in the tapestry of life. In the timeless instant when we stop moving and simply witness the moment, the dust settles and the big picture emerges.” ― Alberto Villoldo, PhD., One Spirit Medicine: Ancient Ways to Ultimate Wellness.

***

This morning I saw the Villoldo quote from his book mentioned above and this sentence stuck with me: “We have to become still in the midst of the turmoil so we can observe clearly how our actions and the actions of others, past and present, fit together in the tapestry of life….”

Had I not been diligently listening to ‘The Trauma Conference’ speakers since last Friday, I might have let this statement pass with a blip of conscious recognition, but with little correlation beyond that.

However after hearing so many psychologists/psychiatrists/therapists/spiritual-gurus daily discussing how traumatized we all are knowingly or not from our past, including our collective ancestral trauma; and how those deeply entrenched and repressed traumatic memories/energies that we ALL still hold at some level of our being are still affecting us individually and collectively every moment of our lives until we address their origins and release their emotional impacts on us—only after being immersed in that discussion for 5 days, did I better understand how Alberto’s comment on “how our actions and the actions of others, past and present, fit together in the tapestry of life….” actually applied to our current personal and world-wide environments.

In other words, our group “tapestry” is one HOT MESS right now. So what do we do about it?

The rest of the quote then follows: “…In the timeless instant when we stop moving and simply witness the moment, the dust settles and the big picture emerges.”

Okay.  Let me sit here for just a moment in silent contemplation….  What then is the “big picture” that will soon emerge for me to see so I can figure out this ‘hot mess?’

THAT is a really good question, isn’t it?  I’ve often considered this in my own puny way pertaining to that ‘1st all-important answer depends on the 1st all-defining question’ dilemma:    

So what is that 1st all-important question to ask that provides the ‘key answer’ that clarifies our personal/collective situations and defines the manner in which we resolve ALL of our individual and group problems?  

That is our current “big picture” isn’t it?  How do we ‘fix’ this huge mess we’ve created for ourselves—all 7.9 billion of us—and for our home planet?

How do we learn to “get along” with our neighbors, both near and far—when we can barely stand ourselves—just ask those trauma therapists I’ve been listening to for days—they’ll tell you that self-criticism and self-loathing are adversely influencing our every relationship. While we may not have initiated the traumatic experiences that we received at some point in our lives, we can’t seem to stop blaming ourselves for the fact that it happened to us. So we sit stewing in our own ‘victimhood’ until we finally decide to dig ourselves out of that self-imposed pit of exile.

Similar to how we view our current collective-presence situation here on Earth—do we scratch and dig our way out of this nasty pit that we’ve dug, or do we just wait patiently for the dirt to fall in on top of us?

As Alberto claims above, do we only need to “…stop moving and simply witness the moment, the dust settles and the big picture emerges …” —is that what we do?

We stop. We witness the moment in all of its entirety and complexity. And as the chaos recedes and the anger diffuses, do we just take a deep breath and blow out all our frustration and annoyance at….?  At what?  At the greed?  At the cruelty?  At the stupidity?  At the self-interest?

What is our biggest problem as a collective group presence on this planet?  Give it a label that sticks. Identify the ‘key problem.’

Hard to do, isn’t it?

Evolution has shown us that all of LIFE is “survival-focused”—where only the “strong survive”—where only when you take away from others who have more than you do, can you keep yourself and your bloodline alive to live one more day.  

But what does that life entail? What is the cost you must pay to keep your physical being alive but deaden your soul in the process?  

THIS conundrum is the tapestry of our LIFE—our collective LIFE. We are all tiny woven filaments of the entire fabric of existence: past, present, and future. We create our own direction or pattern in the weave by how well we interconnect with other individual filaments, and that interweaving process is how that fabric pattern develops.

 “We have to become still in the midst of the turmoil so we can observe clearly how our actions and the actions of others, past and present, fit together in the tapestry of life….”

So become very still. 

How do YOU want that ‘tapestry’ pattern to look?

The American Transcendentalists

The Garden Of Pensiveness

“Life is a train of moods like a string of beads; and as we pass through them they prove to be many colored lenses, which paint the world their own hue, and each shows us only what lies in its own focus.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson    

      ~ Art by Tara Turner

***

A little background on RWE: 

Ralph Waldo Emerson —  1803-1882  (from  https://www.biography.com/writer/ralph-waldo-emerson)

“…Emerson became known as the central figure of his literary and philosophical group, now known as the American Transcendentalists. These writers shared a key belief that each individual could transcend, or move beyond, the physical world of the senses into deeper spiritual experience through free will and intuition. In this school of thought, God was not remote and unknowable; believers understood God and themselves by looking into their own souls and by feeling their own connection to nature. …

…Emerson’s later work, such as The Conduct of Life (1860), favored a more moderate balance between individual nonconformity and broader societal concerns. He advocated for the abolition of slavery and continued to lecture across the country throughout the 1860s.

By the 1870s the aging Emerson was known as “the sage of Concord.” Despite his failing health, he continued to write, publishing Society and Solitude in 1870 and a poetry collection titled Parnassus in 1874.

Emerson died on April 27, 1882, in Concord. His beliefs and his idealism were strong influences on the work of his protégé Henry David Thoreau and his contemporary Walt Whitman, as well as numerous others. His writings are considered major documents of 19th-century American literature, religion and thought.…

***

Those Emerson words and beautiful image lifted me up for a moment, then dropped me back into the desk seat of that first class of my Masters graduate studies where I found myself sitting uncomfortably with students much younger than I was at the time (my late 30’s), most of whom had far better backgrounds in English Literature than I had had back then with my BA in Art/minor in Music; and having to make up 24 English undergrad credits just to be ‘probationally admitted’ to their English Masters Program.  

The best thing about this particular ‘Graduate Center’ established at a local private college in conjunction with the major universities of both Iowa and Illinois, was that it accounted for and accommodated its “students” to be full-time employees at day jobs so that classes were offered at night, weekends, and in two-week blocks during the daytime summer months so most of us could squeeze in the class time without endangering our livelihoods. 

The bad thing was that this endeavor took my every waking hour, every work break and lunch, and all my accumulated vacation time to pull it off. Working fulltime as a Graphic Artist, I still accomplished the English Masters in two and a half years and did so with honors, proving that stubbornness and determination do pay off.  

But back to that first grad-class….for me it was the absolute perfect introduction to my NEW vocation: “The American Transcendentalists.”  It covered Emerson of course, but also Thoreau, Whitman, Dickinson, Melville, Hawthorne, Poe, …all the ones I truly loved—all naturalists and spiritually connected folks. It was the perfect welcoming intro to the English Masters program.

During those studies I found that Emerson was definitely the ‘philosophical statesman’ of his time—a scholar of both academic and theological training:

  “…He was the son of William and Ruth (Haskins) Emerson; his father was a clergyman, as many of his male ancestors had been. He attended the Boston Latin School, followed by Harvard University (from which he graduated in 1821) and the Harvard School of Divinity. He was licensed as a minister in 1826 and ordained to the Unitarian church in 1829. …

Emerson married Ellen Tucker in 1829. When she died of tuberculosis in 1831, he was grief-stricken. Her death, added to his own recent crisis of faith, caused him to resign from the clergy.

In 1832 Emerson traveled to Europe, where he met with literary figures Thomas Carlyle, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth. When he returned home in 1833, he began to lecture on topics of spiritual experience and ethical living. He moved to Concord, Massachusetts, in 1834 and married Lydia Jackson in 1835.

Emerson’s early preaching had often touched on the personal nature of spirituality. Now he found kindred spirits in a circle of writers and thinkers who lived in Concord, including Margaret Fuller, Henry David Thoreau and Amos Bronson Alcott (father of Louisa May Alcott)….”

***

So today seeing that kaleidoscopic image with his words beneath it, made me smile and nod my head in recognition that RWE really had it together back in the 1800’s—he knew his stuff, both intellectually and spiritually.

***

“Life is a train of moods like a string of beads; and as we pass through them they prove to be many colored lenses, which paint the world their own hue, and each shows us only what lies in its own focus.”

 ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson 

           

‘The Way of the Hero’ per Joseph Campbell

One of my gifts or flaws depending on how you view it, is that I’m always searching for a logical context/framework to better understanding all aspects of LIFE in general; and how we humans interpret/make-sense-of all the ‘beings’ and ‘doings’ of this world that we experience in our somewhat unique way—or as ‘unique’ as 7.9 billion people co-existing at the same time can possibly be.

Alberto’s prior attempt at defining ‘The Four Insights’ of the Andean Laika (Earthkeepers) for outlining his approach to teaching their philosophy, resonated a bit within me, but it also hit some discord  with the older Joseph Campbell’s books on the world’s ‘mythic hero stories’. So I reviewed some of Campbell’s writing to clear my thoughts.

Once considered to be the popular ‘godfather of modern comparative religions and documented mythology research,’ Campbell wrote many books on all aspects of the COLLECTIVE MYTHS subject matter, one of which was his best known:  The Hero with a Thousand Faces (The Collected Works of Joseph Campbell)  by Joseph Campbell .  Here are a few quotes from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Campbell :

“Joseph Campbell (1904–1987) was an American author and teacher best known for his work in the field of comparative mythology….”

“…As a strong believer in the psychic unity of mankind and its poetic expression through mythology, Campbell made use of the concept to express the idea that the whole of the human race can be seen as engaged in the effort of making the world ‘transparent to transcendence’ by showing that underneath the world of phenomena lies an eternal source which is constantly pouring its energies into this world of time, suffering, and ultimately death. To achieve this task one needs to speak about things that existed before and beyond words, a seemingly impossible task, the solution to which lies in the metaphors found in myths. These metaphors are statements that point beyond themselves into the transcendent. The Hero’s Journey was the story of the man or woman who, through great suffering, reached an experience of the eternal source and returned with gifts powerful enough to set their society free….”

… “In the 2000 documentary Joseph Campbell: A Hero’s Journey, he explains God in terms of a metaphor: ‘God is a metaphor for a mystery that absolutely transcends all human categories of thought, even the categories of being and non-being’.…” [47]

***

The HERO or HEROINE of each ‘collective myth story,’ by enduring nearly-unbearable experiences during their life journey found inner strength enough to transcend the personal pain and hardships to discover LIFE’s truest meaning—the transcendent experience—then returned back to the rest of us to both describe it and establish ‘the path’ for us to follow so that we may do the same.

That is the basic criteria for most of the world religions ‘Hero-myth’ stories, like for Jesus, Buddha, Mohammad, Moses, and many others… “If you follow the path of ____________ (insert a name), you will eventually reach God/Allah, or enlightenment, or salvation, or the ‘promised land’.”  

In other words, if you modify your current abhorrent behavior in this particular way and believe these particular things that are defined for you to believe or do, then you will eventually reap the full rewards for your efforts, because it has already been done in the past!  Simple as that; because these ‘HERO/HEROINE models of appropriate belief and behavior’ have already done it, and have established a path for you. “Just believe what we tell you to believe and do, and YOU can do the same!”

That is/was the function of ‘collective religion’ since most of humanity moved out of the ‘animism phase,’ long before the Egyptians and Sumerians.  But with Alberto and the Laika that he follows, they have not left ‘animism’ behind, in fact they have clarified and elevated it to be less about the individual—the HERO—and more about transcendence in general.  Having never lost touch with the Spirit and energies of the Land itself, one doesn’t need to ‘follow’ someone to reach transcendence—just allow yourself to be more fully a part of the environment in which you operate, and that total immersion with the land and the Spirit IS the Transcendence experience.

Religions and Myth Stories in general had their practical functions in fast-growing early societies as behavior modifiers and large-group controllers. They were useful to gaining collective agreement on group goals and common basic-survival focus, besides establishing a standard of human behavior that allowed larger tribes of people to live in closer proximity with each other without vying for resources or partnership.

Sometimes in an attempt to clarify and simplify complex subject matter, we may lose the point of it entirely. But again, that’s just my opinion.

“A New Theory of Intelligence”

Never knowing what will show up in my morning email, this was one of those surprising, “That’s right,…I DID  sign up for these,” notices that I found.

Months ago, after seeing a Netflix documentary on the latest-and-greatest humanitarian-related concepts that Bill Gates was now into [He’s constantly reading the newest theories on basically everything eco-scientists/medical-specialists are attempting, to decide where best to plug in his philanthropic money], I thought I’d like to know more about what he reads because some of the same documentary-mentioned subject matter that he had read also interested me, meaning I wanted to hear more of what he thought might be worth future reading, and I signed up for his newsletter describing those same topics.

“Of all the subjects I’ve been learning about lately, one stands out for its mind-boggling complexity: understanding how the cells and connections in our brains give rise to consciousness and our ability to learn….”  Bill Gates from his blog “GatesNotes”  https://www.gatesnotes.com/Books/A-Thousand-Brains

***

Okay, now that subject definitely peaks my interest: defining consciousness and hearing about ‘a new theory of intelligence’.  The problem being that I am writing about this NOT from having read this book, but only having done background research on Hawkins’ book mentioned, and on his previous one that many reviewers were more enthralled with, called ON INTELLIGENCE:

“Hawkins develops a powerful theory of how the human brain works, explaining why computers are not intelligent and how, based on this new theory, we can finally build intelligent machines.

The brain is not a computer, but a memory system that stores experiences in a way that reflects the true structure of the world, remembering sequences of events and their nested relationships and making predictions based on those memories. It is this memory-prediction system that forms the basis of intelligence, perception, creativity, and even consciousness.

***

Now to me—THAT would be interesting to read.  I’m not sure that I agree with all said by the reviewer, because I think “consciousness” is the ‘ocean in which we swim,’ and we are only “receivers/imbibers” of it to the degree that we open ourselves to it; but I can agree that “intelligence” per se is the ‘building of that reception’ or by birth the ‘natural receptivity’ to larger amounts of that vast ‘ocean of consciousness’ available to us.  

However beyond all my personal opinions expressed here, I just wanted to generally mention that those two Hawkins’ books are available to peruse as possibly helping us better understand how the mind functions and how we interpret our world, our relationships/interactions, and our surrounding environments.  

Too bad my library doesn’t yet have them.  (Sigh.)

Becoming a Spiritual Warrior

I really didn’t want to blatantly rip off Alberto Villoldo’s latest newsletter, but what he mentions here is worth sharing in its entirety with others who might have some interest in the subject matter discussed.

In some ways this does remind me of Buddhism’s “Eight-fold Path”—or “The Way to Enlightenment,” complete with the “Four Noble Truths,” and the “Precepts,” etc.; but each culture has a particular way of outlining wisdom/enlightenment concepts—or defining the path to enlightenment per se, and this is Villoldo’s interpretation of the Peruvian/Andes shaman’s (the Laika or Earthkeepers) version. I’ll keep my comments to a minimum until the end as he’s very thorough in his assessment.

***

Nov. 15, 2021 Newsletter from The Four Winds (Alberto Villoldo’s organization):

“November is a great month to be a spiritual warrior and look inward toward the self and personal development.  Meditating on the sixteen practices that are part of the Four Insights is the theme this month. 

The Four Insights are wisdom teachings that have been protected by secret societies of Earthkeepers, the medicine men and women of the Americas. The Insights state that all creation — humans, whales, and even stars — are made from light manifest through the power of intention. The Four Insights reveal ancient technologies to become beings of light with the ability to perceive the energy and vibration that make up the physical universe at a much higher level. The ancients used their mastery of the insights to heal disease, eliminate emotional suffering, and grow new bodies that age and die differently. 

The First Insight, The Way of the Hero, is associated with the physical body, the material world, and sensory perception. As you master it, you’ll start to see beyond the most simplistic, literal level of reality. You’ll begin to recognize the events from your early life that shaped and molded you, as well as how your parents and culture affected who you’ve become. And then, when you outlive that story, you can craft a new one that’s better suited to a hero’s journey. You can let go of the tedious tale of a middle-aged man reliving his adolescence, or a woman in her 40s trying to look and act as if she were in her 20s, and write a far more original story for yourself. You will recognize the divine choreography of events in your past that have propelled you on your journey of healing, learning, and discovery.

By meditating on the four practices associated with the way of the hero you can create new and better stories.  Those practices are:  Non-judgment, Non-suffering, Non-Attachment, and Practice of Beauty.  You can find more in the first November blog.

The Second Insight, The Way of the Luminous Warrior, is associated with fearlessness.  When we become luminous warriors, we recognize that our job is to use love to vanquish its opposite – and its opposite is not hate, but fear.  Fear is the absence of love in the way that darkness is the absence of light.  Fear disconnects us from Spirit, from nature, and from our own inner selves.  Our challenge is to exorcise fear and its darkness within by embracing love and its light.  The second insight teaches us to wield a sword of light and dispel fear forever. 

By meditating on the four practices associated with the way of the luminous warrior, you can dispel fear.  The four practices are:  Fearlessness, Non-Doing, Certainty, and Non-Engagement.  You can find out more in the second November blog.

The Third Insight, The Way of the Seer, is to walk softly on the earth and dream

In this modern world, dreamtime has been consigned to the domain of sleep. To experience it, you have to lie down, close your eyes, and enter that deep reverie where images appear to you. Yet for an Earthkeeper, there’s little difference between the sleeping and the waking dreams of everyday life. Earthkeepers try to be fully awake even while asleep, and, when awake, they are able to dream a world of grace and beauty into being.

By meditating on the four practices of The Way of the Seer, you will learn how to create with your eyes wide open.  Those practices are: Beginner’s Mind, Transparency, Integrity, and Living Consequently.  You can find more in the third November blog.

The Fourth Insight, the Way of the sage, means you look around and see only beauty.  The sage understands that everything they experience is a projection of their inner landscape, or dream. This means that because we are the creators of each event and incident in our life, nothing ever happens to us. We never need to fix anything in the outer world—if we want to transform some circumstance that appears to be outside of ourselves, we need only to own it and change it within.

The world is a screen that we project our movie onto. This doesn’t mean that the world isn’t real . . . the world is very real. We simply confuse the image we project with reality, trying to change the action on the screen when what we really need to do is edit the movie or change the script. Once you understand that you can do this whenever you want, you’ll forever cease to be a helpless victim or an innocent bystander.

By meditating on the four practices of the Ways of the Sage, you learn how to forever cease to be a helpless victim or an innocent bystander.  Those practices are:  No Mind, No Time, Owning Your Own Projections, and Indigenous Alchemy.  You can find out more in the fourth November blog. …”

***

Again, not much I can say here other than originally Alberto trained as a psychologist/anthropologist, and then he like many of us at the time, became enthralled by anthropologist Carlos Castaneda’s recently published, multi-part saga of The Teachings of Don Juan, the Yaqui native sorcerer—or the northern Mexico “Man of Knowledge,” as Castaneda often referred to him. 

Thus anthropologically inspired, Villoldo then went in search of his own native-shaman mentors still occupying the Amazon and the Andes, and likely got more than he had bargained for; but he hung in there to glean all he could from the quickly-dying keepers of this ancient knowledge, and in doing so, inspired eager northerners to flock far southward in search of their own spiritual awakenings.

In truth he’s been at this personal exploration and native-shaman education for many decades, and has written numerous books on it—of which I likely have most of them as he’s a good writer and easy to read.

While Carlos Castaneda was later proven to be a questionable reference to actual Yaqui sorcery/shamanism, Villoldo always stayed true to his source material and to his native mentors.  

If you are interested, the BLOG itself is on The Four Winds main page.

*Alberto Villoldo’s BLOG page on The Four Winds website.  https://thefourwinds.com/blog/

Sudoku Revelation

I was journaling a few days ago and mentioned that I’d just had a minor revelation while working a more challenging Sudoku puzzle, which was to “Keep working it,” until the correct number for that square became obvious (‘can be this number, but can’t be that one’, etc.).

That one breakthrough puzzle piece then became the tipping domino that triggered the remainder of blank number slots to fall into place; to which I then thought likewise that ‘if you can just find that first answer to your life questions, then all the other answers will fall into place.’

Then I asked myself ‘But what is the QUESTION to which the first answer is so influential?’

Now to me the first question would be, “What is the meaning or purpose of LIFE?”  Or more personally, “What is the meaning and purpose of MY life?”

In my opinion, the first answer to that general question would be, “LIFE is a training ground.”  And then the answer to the more personal question would be, “The meaning and purpose of my LIFE is to engage with and learn from my surroundings, because it is ‘training me’ in some way—FOR WHAT I have no idea.”

So to follow through with that somewhat revelatory logic above, whenever I hit a snag in my life path or encounter a difficult patch of road that I’m currently traveling, the best strategy would be to simply “Keep working it,” until a solution to the problem is revealed, because if you work it long enough, the multitude of options fall away until you only have one or two choices available.

And a binary choice is simpler than multiple choices, even if it’s a hard one to make, like whether you “Stay or Go?”

Healing Our Collective Trauma

Because I’ve signed up for other FREE online psychology/spirituality conferences, I now receive numerous offers for additional conferences; and this is one I will definitely be registering for as I recognize a few speakers from other summits, etc. 

I’ll admit that I am one of the most ‘dangerous of beasts’: an armchair psychologist with no certifications in the field whatsoever—just an intense interest in many of the subjects discussed as it all deals with consciousness in general and how we interpret that individually and collectively.

So if anyone is interested in these subjects, I suggest that you at least go to the registration page shown below and check out the speakers and the subject matter, because there are 70 scheduled speakers and I found numerous subjects of interest to me, particularly the “Healing Our Collective Trauma” session which first caught my eye in the original notice. Here are a few details if you might be interested in this:

“Trauma Super Conference:  December 3rd -9th  (online FREE if you register for it)

“Have you experienced trauma?
Do you have chronic stress or anxiety and don’t know why?
Exposure to trauma, can have long-term effects on your health and wellbeing.

Join the Trauma Super Conference where we’ll explore the impacts of trauma, share tools and strategies to help support healing, and much more!…”

“What makes this a Super conference?

We are not only bringing together in-depth interviews with 70+ of the world’s top experts in trauma, but we are also offering extra resources, including tools, techniques and practices you can start to help you become aware of your own trauma, understand the impact it has on your daily life, and begin to start the healing process….

  • Healing our collective trauma
  • Understanding and healing relational trauma
  • The relationship between trauma, substance use, and addiction
  • Recovering from narcissistic abuse
  • Stress and burnout as a symptom of trauma
  • The future of psychedelics for healing trauma
  • Hip hop as a form of therapy
  • Navigating the journey of grief
  • The power of functional medicine for healing
  • Trauma as a lens to understand cultural mistrust
  • And much more…”

 Sign up at: https://traumasuperconference.com/?fid=fb&fbclid=IwAR1HFzPizieGKvSQptdmsvn5aOztJ0C3qB1OZCsM81KuXjk3y_RYtJCHlDU

Hold A Hand

The Universal Creative Force

(Sometimes a post is so spot-on appropriate, I only have to share it so that others can also absorb the higher energy from it.)

Tao & Zen

 “There is a Universal Creative Force connecting all beings and things, a source of love and wisdom that can be drawn from (and revealed through the creation of works of art).

[Indigenous cultures teach that] ‘spiritual healing’ begins with respect for the Great Spirit—the life and love that can be found in all of nature’s creations. Each element of creation has its own will, its own way, and its own purpose. These ways need to be respected, not exploited, by human beings.

I have learned that all knowledge is available to us. We don’t have to create it; we have only to access it. Simply ask in the right way—not with pride in your accomplishment, but with an open heart. Don’t think about yourself at all, nor about your ability or lack of it. Concentrate, rather, on attuning yourself to Infinite Consciousness and ask for guidance in what you want to do.

We are all surrounded by an ocean of abundance: knowledge, wisdom, ability, opportunities, material plenty. What a pity it is that people close themselves off from that spiritual environment. Keeping their gaze fixed on the ground, they trudge through a life burdened with worries, fears, and self-doubts.

To effect large-scale changes in our lives and in the world, we need to hold large-scale visions in our minds and consciously pour our energy into them.

As the Hindu sages who fashioned the Akashic concept realized, there are aspects of the human mind that are unlimited in space, therefore omnipresent, and that are also boundless in time, therefore eternal and immortal. Omnipresence and eternality are qualities that have always been attributed to the Divine—thus the Hindu aphorism ‘Thou art that,’ which affirms that we share qualities with the Absolute, however named.”

~Ervin Laszlo

“Cosmos -Return to Oneness-” – Ervin Laszlo

Shvetashvatara Upanishad – Advaita Vedānta https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1xw8LxopiM

Reset

Tao & Zen

“To the Taoist mentality, the aimless, empty life does not suggest anything depressing. On the contrary, it suggests the freedom of clouds and mountain streams, wandering nowhere, of flowers in impenetrable canyons, beautiful for no one to see, and of the ocean surf forever washing the sand, no end.”  ~Alan Watts  

—  Photo by Mohamed Nohassi

Perhaps I’ve mentioned before that Alan Watts helped to westernize Eastern philosophies in the 1960’s and 70’s.  Never dull and often controversial, he became a clarion voice for spiritual awakening among eager young-adult seekers.

He’s always worth a listen on YouTube as his post-hummus fan base seems to grow larger by the day which amazes me in one sense. But in another, people now seem more needy of his jocular, tell-it-straight version of how to find yourself and your purpose in life, which for him to sum it up in minimal words would have been: “Shut up. Open your eyes and your mind, and just breathe into life.”

I like his quote above because it soothes my inner restlessness when I feel like I’m not ‘doing enough’ or ‘making a difference for others,’ or whenever I just plain feel purposeless at the moment.

An “…aimless, empty life does not suggest anything depressing. On the contrary, it suggests the freedom of clouds and mountain streams, wandering nowhere, of flowers in impenetrable canyons, beautiful for no one to see, and of the ocean surf forever washing the sand, no end.”   

When you take the ‘ego’ out of this world—the narcissistic ‘ME-ness’ out of life’s equation, you realize that the tree does fall in the forest whether anyone hears it or not, but it matters only to egoic us that we DO hear it.  

In truth the clouds and mountain streams still meander wherever they wish, whether we are there or not to witness it; and wildflowers still bloom in places we may never see, while the rolling surf endlessly slips in and out of the shoreline oblivious to human observation.  They have as much ‘purpose’ in the overall life process as we will ever have, but they don’t question why they are doing what they are—they just do it.

So as Watts might advise: Just BE.  Just breathe.  Just appreciate the moment. You are here.

Isn’t that enough?

Telling Our Stories

I’m using myself as example here, but maybe you also have noticed this: Sometimes at night when trying to shut off my mind, it’s hard to know where one intruding thought ends and another begins. I mean they just seem to explode tangentially in first one direction and then another.

So as I’m lying there trying to relax and clear my mind, I start to wonder if any of those distracting, annoying thoughts stand alone as originators of the ‘can’t shut it off’ problem, or are they all connected at a deeper level so that they all just spew out randomly like pressurized waste because my unconscious mind is trying to clear its cache of collected debris?

Wide awake now, the next question I asked myself was WHY am I telling myself these particular things—not just rehashing the day’s interactions, etc., but also creating a running monolog to accompany them—like who did what and how it affected me, and what I did or didn’t do, or WHAT PART I played in those mock daily dramas—such as, what was my ROLE in what happened at the time—was I the victim of another’s ill intentions or was I the aggressor in a testy interaction, or was I the rescuer/hero of the oppressed underdog—meaning the one who stepped into someone else’s conflict to ‘save the day’ for all involved because I couldn’t keep my nose out of it, or was I a total and absolute mute bystander observing all with no sense of concern whatsoever?  (I might later wish that I were, but I am NEVER a mute bystander.)

In those ‘tell-myself’ stories, it would seem that each possible self-perceived role is revealing HOW I truly think of myself. As Don Juan in Carlos Castaneda’s epic story series would ask Carlos, “Are you a leaf at the mercy of the wind? Is that how you see yourself? Are you always at the mercy of fate and your surrounding environment? Are you never responsible for your own actions or reactions to whatever presents itself at the moment?”

All good questions. So as my mind tried unsuccessfully again to shut down for the night, I asked myself exactly HOW was I retelling that story of this eventful day of my life?  That ‘HOW’ is important here, because I’m actually telling it to myself in this particular way for a deeper reason—there’s a NEED to view myself as whomever I believe myself to be: victim, perpetrator/aggressor, or rescuer/hero.

Now part of this ‘retelling’ problem might be in HOW I viewed the affecting situation as it was actually happening: Was I an active participant in the interaction—a passive one—an unwilling recipient/victim to the actions of others—an instigator myself of conflict that lead to further hostility? If I were being honest here, what part did I really play in that situation, because the world spins on day to day and interactions with others regularly come and go?  

And truthfully everybody you meet is in their own version of the world’s events happening to them on whatever level they are engaging with it; meaning that each person has their own ongoing interpretation of what is happening to them at any moment in time with or without others involved.

We all live in our own worlds, safely tucked into our own headspace; and in that headspace we are telling ourselves OUR VERSION of what is or was happening to us: We are telling OUR STORY as we understand it through whatever “perception filters” that we applied at the time.

Some filters may be bright and rosy-pink so our world view is always soft and warm and never threatening. But other ‘perception filters’ may be cloudy or darkened to allow little light to penetrate them, which means that they may obscure the clarity of the view and darken any possible brighter aspects that might have actually occurred.

Another consideration is that in the telling of our now ‘epic life saga’ to ourselves, where does one ‘story version’ end for us and the next one begin, or are they all ‘variations on the same basic theme,’ like: “I’m always the victim here—everybody is against me,” or “I’m always defending myself from everyone else—they won’t leave me be so I’ll give it right back to them,” or “I’m always having to defend those who can’t seem to defend themselves”?

Also keep in mind that reassessing and retelling our personal history is a tough recollection because it’s fraught with such factual subjectivity, lingering emotional residues, and sometimes faltering early memories of what actually occurred. In truth childhood is one of the most influential time periods of our primary psyche development, and one of the least reliable memory storehouses of our early life because we were so limited in overall situational comprehension back then.

For certain I know that my first impressions of life surrounding me as a four or five-year-old compared to my adult interpretations of the same situations and life experiences might be quite different. How could they not be?  (That is NOT accounting for barbaric, abusive, life-threatening, childhood living conditions which are hard to forget at any age.  But that was not MY personal experience.)

And even as an older child or a teenager comparing to a forty-plus-year-old interpretation of those same life events, they might not match up—meaning someone with some age behind them who has had some experience in how life actually works rather than how ideally it should work, might view a personal life crisis quite differently because even our early pleasure/pain evaluators of a personal experience can evolve as we enter life phases with ripening understandings of ourselves and the world around us.

Pertaining to our personal stories, in one sense you can say that “We tell it like we see it;” but in another sense you can also say that “We tell it like we PERCEIVE it to be,” and that perception may be tainted by our past histories and still festering emotional residues, including previous severe trauma.

Sometimes I think it’s amazing that any of us can perform well at all with everything that we are continually inputting through our multiple senses, instantly evaluating in our minds against known threats, and automatically reacting to in the most self-protecting and self-preserving manner possible.

No wonder we can’t get along as a fully-functioning society with agreed-upon group goals, when we can’t even get our stories straight.

Tilling Her Soul

(When I run across something that really needs to be shared with others, I give it respect and try to provide the viewing opportunity for anyone that the words or the image may touch. So here is the powerful proclamation from Sacred Wild Woman Medicine, with the author listed below.  If I knew the image artist, I’d list her.)

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Sacred Wild Woman Medicine

(Poster based in Canada)

~The Soil of Her Soul Has Been Tilled~

She does not need anyone to help her transcend her pain. Her pain is hers to heal. She is the only one who can choose when she is ready to travel deep down inside and harness her medicine.

She doesn’t need anyone to tell her that she needs to release her past.

Her past is hers to own. Her past is a landscape that is only hers. And only she can decide the meaning she gives to all her life’s experiences.

She doesn’t need anyone to transmit wisdom to her. She is her own guru. Her own sage. Her wisdom has been gathered through the ages and her Soul knows what she needs. She has full access to the fountain of Collective Intelligence where she can quench her thirst of knowledge.

She doesn’t need anyone to tell her who she is. She just has to remember. Commune with her ancestors and ask them where she is coming from. Ask her ancestors about the struggles of her great great grandmothers. Thank them for paving the way to have the opportunity to shine her light. She stands on the shoulders of giants and this truth brings her to the values that guide her life.

She doesn’t need anyone to sort her feelings. She is not mentally ill. She is not a statistic that needs to be labeled and medicated. Instead, she tells the world that she owns her feelings and emotions. They are not to be discarded and rejected. Her feelings are guiding posts that lead her to her truth. To what needs her attention.

She doesn’t need anyone to tell her that her unhappiness and sadness can be fixed with a pill. She rejects the status quo. The mainstream understanding of what it means to be human. A feeling human. Instead, she follows the threads of her story and goes to the source of unease in her life.

She doesn’t allow herself to be defined by what they call ‘anxiety’. She knows that the main source of her feeling restless is perhaps because she allowed life to take her away from living her truth and being true to her values.

She doesn’t need to follow anyone’s vision. She has been gifted with the ability to dream. Dream big. Or not dream at all, if she doesn’t want to. When she is ready, the Universe will open the gates of desire to share her vision of the world and her Soul will guide her to her mission.

She doesn’t need anyone to plant the seed of creativity. She is her own teacher that just has to touch the seed that was planted in her at birth. All she has to do is allow it to wake up, to sprout, and to grow. She has within the rain and the sunshine the seeds needs to blossom.

She doesn’t need to pray harder. Meditate more. Speak in tongues. Or deprive herself of nourishment. What she needs is to believe that she is enough. She is worthy. She is ready. She is loved.

She doesn’t need to give her power away anymore. What she needs is to stand in her own truth. Discover her own truth. Dig deep. Ask questions and wait for the answers to come from within.

And as she inquires within, she understands that she lives inside her inner world. Yes, she walks among humankind, but in truth, she lives within the landscape of her own feelings and emotions.

She now knows that there is nothing outside of herself that can add anything to who she is. Who she really is, is already there. Who she is becoming is already there. And she is the only one that has full access to her story, her truth, her values, her mission and vision…

Her Holy Calling is waiting patiently for her to be ready… Ready to step in her own power… ready to reframe her wounds…

Ready to give a new meaning to her story of survival… her story of resilience…

Her story of how adversity forged her… her gifts, her talents, her inner treasures, her medicine she is called to offer the world…

The Soil of Her Soul has been tilled…

She is ready to LIVE HER TRUTH and LIVE IT FULLY…

She is now on a mission to ENNOBLE HUMANITY with all that she is, with her gifts and talents, with her VOICE…

And she is no longer holding back…

Words by ‘Archaeology for the Woman’s Soul’ — Corina Luna Dea

🌀Nicole — Sacred Wild Woman Medicine

— Artist~ Unknown”

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