Sunday, August 19, 2012

Remember the Future

Remember the future. Not your future - THE future.

There's an unfolding that's bigger than the universe and older than eternity. It IS the universe; or more accurately, the dynamic impetus that manifests as time and space, happening and being. It's unimaginably vast, inconceivably ancient and will exist beyond all comprehension. It is, itself, “alive”. But in terms of the stuff of the universe, life, is the rarest element in all of existence.

To disrespect the sanctity of this wee bubble of life suspended in inhospitable emptiness (that we're infinitely blessed to be a part of), and to act in a harmful manner toward its well being – to discount, deface and destroy the most precious of ALL creations - is the most flagrant and violent moral offense that I can imagine. How can anyone possibly justify feelings of superiority toward that which enables his very existence? To imagine that one's personal drama is a higher priority than all else, is like the splash of a single raindrop thinking it's superior to all of human history.

It requires turning a deaf ear to the voice in/of one's soul to harbor such hubris. Once one's own ethical sensibilities have been dismissed in favor of self aggrandizing reasoning, his/her capacity to discern right from wrong is lost. And the disconnect doesn't remain isolated or turn itself on and off, depending on the situation. For those who have committed to rules or beliefs at the cost of muting their consciences, all perceptions are filtered through personal preconceptions, and judgments and decisions are motivated by selfish interests.

If we owe anything to something other than ourselves, we owe our lives, not merely to past generations, but to all life on earth, now and into the future - above all else. Please, in all your seeing and thinking and prioritizing and planning and acting and speaking and dreaming, respect the whole, seek to be (and live a life) of benefit for something bigger, and remember the future that you're creating.

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Machinery

There are, of course, no particular groups or individuals that are responsible for how the machinery works. Its been evolving, via the contributions of generations of people - and societies. But its grown up with inadequate supervision and guidance, and is now a self serving, short sighted, uncaring adolescent punk who's only concerned about meaningless nonsense that makes it happy, because that's what it's “supposed” to want. No concern for how its actions affect other, no thoughts of being intrinsically “better than yesterday”, no sense of obligation to history. It has no morals, no ethics, no sense of justice or virtue – it has no soul. It's machinery. Men just maintain it. The machine is the master - a self appointed master, at that.

Early on in our development, we lived hand to mouth. Our needs and possessions were simple and few. The first societies we formed were tribes or clans. Many experiments failed, but most that did, were done in by their more powerful neighbors. Initially, desires and conflicts were primarily about resources. But at some point, “things” became more important to us. “If things are good, then more things is more good.” Thus evolved the habit of acquiring more than one's needs.

It was soon learned that these “extras” could be used as commodities to bargain with. “I'll trade you this pregnant goat and three yak skins for your services/daughter/allegiance/... whatever” And the machinery slowly began to chug along. “More stuff, more leverage. More leverage, more stuff. More stuff, more leverage. More leverage, more stuff. More stuff, more leverage. More leverage, more stuff.”

Nowadays the “stuff” is mostly numbers in a computer and little intricately printed pieces of paper. But it's still the same chug – only, now, its screaming along, out of control, at breakneck speed. “Morestuffmoreleveragemoreleveragemorestuffmorestuffmoreleverage...”

And what, you might ask, powers this almighty machinery? Well, the answer is - you. You and me and all the other drones that tend to the bits and pieces of the hive. It's human a powered machine. The theory going in (in America, anyway) was that it was going to be controlled by humans. But it seems like the machinery has turned into Frankenstein's monster. It has no concern whatsoever for its reason for being or its creators needs. It feels no mercy for those who feed it, or remorse for all the wrongs it's done or is doing.

It appears as though those who we see through the windows, sitting inside of the machine, are to blame. But they're just obeying the system, too. The anger we direct at them is misguided. They're more hopelessly lost in the illusion than the rest of us. (It would be really, really hard to face the fact that one was partly to largely responsible for the miserable state of things; so, eyes remain tightly closed.) Granted, it'd be much easier to fix the gears from the inside, but those within are still just mindlessly serving the machinery's will. (And, enjoying the perks of being such obedient and conveniently located slaves.)

And like slaves with no means to take care of themselves (and their's) in the immediate future, people feel trapped in the paradigm created by the machinery's momentum. We were all born into cultures that were already hypnotized into submission. It's all we've ever known. Many can't even fathom the possibility of another way. The “world order” seems as irrefutable as the weather - but it's not.

We have to dis-empower and reinvent it, now. It's time ... past time.

For societies to function, there has to be some sort of stability and consistency. Some basic education, “monetary” system, guidelines for all to live by and means to deal with those who do harm. Basically, we need some kind of machinery. The process of fixing what's obviously broken is a highly daunting task. One that must begin with many questions:

What do we want the machine to do for us? How can we ensure transparency and avoid corruption? Is there any means to keep con men away from the tiller? Can we instill a heart into it? Which parts should be saved and which ones scrapped? Who will decide? How will decisions be made and operations guided? Would we be better off to keep many machines going and try to operate them sympathetically, or should there be only one machine? Will we be able to involve everyone in the process of recreation? Should it be reevaluated and/or recreated on a regular basis? And many more.

As with anything else in life, you can't get what you want until you define what that is. So, let's get started. What kind of machinery do you want governing humanity and caring for the planet? 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Dawning of an Old Day

Everyone will obviously have their own unique process leading to the acceptance their true nature. But this is a rough accounting of what seems to be a fairly typical progression.

It begins when one starts to get a sense that there's something missing in their life, some bigger meaning they need to find or some purpose that they need to fulfill. The spark may come from meeting someone inspirational, hearing tales from others or an intense personal experience.

“I want to be calm, happy, grounded, respected, commendable, empowered, balanced, inspired … and I've heard tales that meditation could be a way for me to de-stress, find inner peace, train my focus, hone my intentions, connect with others and life, achieve some extraordinary knowledge or power …”

So, the journey begins with the “little self”, wearing the “big Self's” shoes and fancying itself to be the big Self. Consequently, the motivation has to be something that the little self finds alluring. Practice begins. It's momentum may strengthen or stray, but some exploration takes place.

For some, this is about as far as they get, as they have an aversion to what they sense they will find, or haven't the patience to persevere long enough to make meaningful progress.

But if one continues, sooner or later, (s)he will begin to be surprised by fleeting moments of clarity, quietude and connectedness. These will be taken as proof of one's “greatness”, and an indication of one's nearing success or a source for personal gain.

This attitude is an impediment that can be too strong for some to penetrate. There's so much invested in one's character, world view and belief system that facing the notion of disempowering it, can seem unbearable/unimaginable/unthinkable. But if one presses on through that fear fueled near sightedness, attitudes slowly soften.

“When “I'm” gone, there remains a presence, which isn't the self professed “me”. In fact, it doesn't waste its time acknowledging “me”. It sees without any concern for “my” circumstances or personal whims. It's seems to be always there, watching, absorbing, knowing, caring. It's overwhelming in its simultaneous inspiration of awe and wonder (and fear).”

There's an awareness of this “greater than me” presence. Yet, the belief in the self's realness perpetuates an idea of separation that interferes with the full integration of the truth of one's full nature.

In time, the spaces of quiet get longer and more common place. As one learns to settle in, it becomes undeniably clear (as it always was) that “I'm” just a fairy tale that's been composing itself throughout the entire progression of this life. “I” am a child's role playing game that's grown into an overwhelming obsession. Superman, after having a kryptonite anvil land on his head, believing that he's Clark Kent. And this clarity of vision dispels the illusion of the conceived self, like a strong breeze to a puff of smoke.

Then, it's apparent that, that mysterious, un-graspable, ever-elusive, separate being from another realm that's been one's quarry for all these years, has been the “real me” all along. There's not something that has to be learned, done or achieved, it just needs to be seen, accepted and allowed.

There are those who feel lost without the structure that their habits provided for them, and do their best to continue to ignore what is plainly known. But for most, the illusion has been dispelled, understanding abounds, inspiration bubbles and momentum seems perpetual.

The irony is undeniable ... and irresistibly laughable, as one realizes the relative irrelevance of what set him/her on the path in the first place.

Then, living is practice, and success is as simple as a smile.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Little Nudges

It's easy to ignore the little happenings in life. You intend to go one way, but since there's an obstacle, you take a new route. You pause to hold the door open for others, and that little shift in timing shuffles the deck of the rest of your day. Do you make eye contact and say hello, or do you walk on by? Little insignificant things, with the potential to change a day, and a life.

When I was 16, I bought myself a motorcycle. If anything was to convince me of some beneficent overseeing power looking after my well being, it'd be that I survived that era. When my bike died, as a result of a blind eyed old lady (that I thought was going to die of a heart attack on the spot) pulling out in front of me, I decided that, with winter coming on, I'd better go for a car this time.

I was drooling over this Pinto that the guy had dropped a 302 small block into. But since he wouldn't allow this young whelp to drive his insanely overpowered machine, I passed on it. Then I took the 64 Falcon convertible out for a spin. 289, header pipes down the sides, 3 on the floor, kicked me back in the seat when I punched it at 90. If he'd o' come down a dew hundred, that would have been one sweet ride. Then my dad called. “I found you the perfect car.”

So he takes me to meet this little old lady and her 1964 Corvair Manza. 30,000 miles. Fashionably retro. Great condition. Now, some Corvairs were coupes with rag tops and turbo charged engines. Pretty sporty for their time, except for the whole flipping into the air at high speeds thing. But the Manza was a sedan with big wrap around windows and a whopping 90 horse power from the factory. (Hard to say how much that had dropped by the time I adopted it, as it was almost as old as me.) It was the complete opposite of what I was looking for, and I knew immediately that pops was right. It was the perfect car for me.

My whole attitude toward the road changed, over night. I became one of the pokeyodos. No hurry. No more video game inspired sporting about. No need for the rush, of the rush. Take in the sights. Enjoy the air. (That was a few years, and many cars less, ago.) Share some stories or do a little dharma dueling with some friends. A leisurely drive up the river to sit by the falls and get really zen, before tooling home, at what felt like a walking pace.

It was just a car - one small decision, “I'll take what's behind door number B”. But how much of an influence was that in my becoming the character that I am today?

Each choice, each action, each thought, each focus nudges your trajectory. Some a little, some drastically. Hence, the value of refining both one's intuitive skills, and one's greatest intentions.

The stronger ones sense of purpose, the truer the course. If you choose to let the winds blow you about, you'll have a lovely journey, but won't end anyplace in particular. If you feel that specific things are truly important, then setting and maintaining a course will more likely get you to your desires.

“But the goal is to be here, now”, I hear echoing in some readers' minds. And while this is true, we still have our lives to live, and not everyone is content to just let it happen to them. (The illusion of control/choice being an argument for another day)

Back on point: The clearer people are about their priorities, the clearer their intuitive “voice” will be, in guiding them toward their wishes. We can adopt teeny temporary priorities, mid range ones and aims beyond this life, too. And the list is always a work in progress – whether one's aware of it, or not. (That one bears repeating) They're a work in progress, all the time – whether one's aware of it, or not. Our attention subbing for our intention, whenever we're not minding our energies.

So, if you're not mindful about your goals, your guidance system will have no given guidelines to direct from, or to. So it's signals get murky, and it's largely dismissed and allowed to atrophy. Then, as it remains unused, it becomes ignored and forgotten.

Each choice, each action, each thought, each focus nudges your trajectory. The thinker is woefully inadequate to calculate all the variables. Fortunately, we can develop and use an “ESP”, if you will, that can help us to determine which little nudges will likely move us in the “right” direction.

Your choice … worlds consequences.

Calibrating my compass:

May my presence on this earth help to shift humanities communal consciousness toward a more compassionate and harmonious way of being, and encourage other individuals into actions that are more compassionate and harmonious toward the earth and all other living beings, now and into the future. And, may I pick the perfect papaya from the pile at the market place.

Om, shanti, shanti, shanti.

Trail Markers

Language is brilliant, but it often falls short. Police know full well that a crowd witnessing the same event will all have their own interpretations and descriptions of it. A sketch artist would wind up with as many faces as there were witnesses. And that's talking about a very tangible and shared experience. What does that say about worldly words describing personal ethereal experiences, when there's no basis for common comparison? “The color was crasple. It felt quite inglie, and was highly hraskish.” No? OK then, well use old words that label other things to describe the unknown. Will that work better for you? Right.

The teachings of the masters are not intended to be the lessons, in and of themselves. They're more like trail markers to let us know that we're on the right track. The words attempt to paint unknowns and indescribables, with an inadequate vocabulary in the wrong language. It's just not possible to understand some things through another's words, no matter how eloquent and inspiring they may be. Beyond the inherent short comings of words, some things simply can't be grappled with by the contemplative mind, at all. They can only be experienced.

If you've never been in a hot tub, I could try to explain what it's like to you. That would create a mental image for the thinker's appeasement - perhaps acurate-ish, perhaps not. If you'd never taken a warm bath or had someone massage you, the challenge would be even greater. But no matter how detailed the descriptions and how refined your images, they'd be no substitute for the actual experience, itself. A no brainer, eh? Of course. No one would seek to learn about hot tubbing through spending years studying other's recalling their hot tubbing experiences. They'd slip into one and have their own. Yet, people spend their entire lives reading about spiritual experiences and talking to others about how they might be, what it means, if it's real, whose version is right, … without ever settling into stillness, themselves.

This is partly due to the fact that others' recountings often sound like old seafarers tales, with gargantuan serpents, bottomless whirlpools and tidal wave tossing deities. Something that would require epic commitment and decades to undertake. It's also impossible to adequately communicate the full value of inner silence. And the inner dialog presents as many distractions as times square, in order to retain its illusion of superiority.

Face the fact. The cognitive mind is incapable of knowing true nature. Not to dismiss it or disregard its understanding. Just to acknowledge its limitations. To be open to other possibilities. To allow yourself to be greater than your thoughts would. To receive and understand in new ways. To be your Self. Not your preferred character, but your undefined and open ended authentic nature.

Let go of the words. Stop labeling and defining and explaining and judging and categorizing and speculating and calculating and regretting and worrying and fantasizing and all of it. Just let it be what it is. You may even spy a trail marker or three. The world is really quite capable of maintaining its integrity without your thoughts holding it together - as are you. ~~~ Shhhhh.

No. I said Shhhh. Don't do, don't try, just let go and allow.

Shhhh. It's right here.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Potential Incarnate

If I had to attempt to say what we are on our most basic level, I'd say that we're “potential incarnate”. I like to imagine, unlimited potential. Exactly how we came to be, how we're related to the whole and what happens when we die are issues of much conjecture, speculation, prosthelytization and belief. But many of the theories espoused have both self and universally limiting angles woven into their narratives.

 A widely embraced idea is that we are all segments/facets/windows of one consciousness. A consciousness that is solely responsible for manifesting us and all of existence. And, one that we (as “individual essences”) are destined to be fully reintegrated with, when our corporeal vessels have expired. With a little squinting, this generalization accommodates many pre-existing molds of religious and philosophical presumptions. But this assumption/philosophy/belief is based on a closed system theory – everything always self contained. As challenging as that may be to comprehend, it may be easier for the limited mind to grapple with, than what I'm postulating here.

 Consider this as a possible alternative:

We are of a “one consciousness”, in the same way that shoots, springing up from roots, are of their parent plants. Clones, in the image of our “maker”. Offshoots, with the potential to grow into universe spinners, with prolific root systems, ourselves. Not destined to grow back into the mother trunk; but, born with the potential to grow into our own unique specimens, standing alone, amid a forest of universes.

 As far as “spiritual” possibilities go, this one lends itself well to physic's, ever more popular, “multiverse” theories; whereas, most others clash with them. (without significant adaption) And, if it initially seems like an unreasonable possibility, consider that an infinite, entirely unlimited consciousness could easily spin off an infinite number of other unlimited consciousnesses from itself, on an ongoing basis. Ultimately, infinity is conceptually impossible to grasp, but that's the way it works. “God” could make a billion more equivalent gods out of itself in a snap, without being lessened, in the least.

Unlimited potential, incarnating, as potential incarnating, with the potential to manifest another unique everything, full of unlimited potentials, entirely from itself … ad infinitum.

You are not of god, as god. You are of god, as a sapling god, yourself.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Steeping in Spaces

When meditating on the breath,
it's helpful to bid your mind to pause in the spaces between the movements of the breath.
This acquaints one with a sense of quiet stillness.

When meditating on the mind,
it's helpful to invite your attention to rest in the spaces between the thoughts and feelings.
This acquaints one with a sense of unbiased observance.

When meditating on consciousness,
it's helpful to allow your awareness to linger in the spaces between inspiration and conceptualization.
This acquaints one with a sense of expansive awareness.

When meditating on awareness,
it's helpful to let your being abide in the spaces between perceiving and acknowledging.
This acquaints one with a sense of selfless space/time.

When suspended in selflessness,
meditation is no longer applicable.