THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM

 

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It’s hard to ignore. It’s always there. Lately, it seems to have taken on its own individual consciousness, become a self-aware, self-determined entity. Race. The idea that we are somehow inherently, and completely separated by the hue of our skin, our culture or religion. This soon led to the idea that we are genetically predisposed to a life with or without privilege, rights or dignity allotted to others of “normal” predisposition. Then came the belief that some are “human” while others are “less than human”. Even the term, “race” implies competition or a subsequent hierarchy inherent in the human species. Is the idea of “Race” a form of consciousness? Is it something that arose of itself or something that we breathed life into? Perhaps it is both. Perhaps it is a consciousness or an aberration thereof that we have allowed to flourish. In light of recent news events perhaps its prevalence is yet another alarm bell, an awakening siren, beckoning us to evolve a consciousness that has been stagnant for a millennia. What if the day comes when we finally realize that race is an idea that we created and in the grand scheme of things really does not exist? What if we finally realized that the only race is human, and that we have been killing ourselves all along? What if we developed true empathy, which extended beyond the idea of race, culture and religion? How would the world change?

 

For centuries, it seems, man has found one reason or another to annihilate himself. Land, money, power, fueled all sorts of horrors for the corporeal pursuits that lead to the elevation of self and ego. Later the pursuit of money became the virtue of the centuries. Empathy, however, could never be a part of this process. If you truly saw yourself in someone else, much like you see yourself in your child’s eyes, you could not destroy their way of life. One could not kill another’s child if they too had a child, right?. How could they? Well, I guess they could if their empathy bubble only extended to their child. If I were a sociopath my respect for life would only extend to my nose. You would be no more than a walking piece of meat, one that I mastered interacting with but could kill with no emotion. Sounds psychopathic? I guess it would depend on the extent of my empathy. What if my empathy extended past my nose to my family, kids, husband, but only that far? Is everyone else a piece of meat? Ok, then, how about extending it out to everyone that looks similar to me? That would mean I only valued another’s life if they looked similar in some way  to me. Is that psychopathic, or is it only psychopathic when it extends to just me? Are there degrees of crazy?

 

Maybe it’s not degrees of crazy but degrees of evolution. Maybe at one time in my evolution I was only able to extend my bubble to myself. Then later to my family. Then later to those that looked similar to me. But, what’s after that? Perhaps it would extend to those that are human. Then to all entities that are consciously, (no matter the degree), aware.  Then maybe go even further, to that which does not even resemble my idea of a life form, say the planet. How would the world look to one such as me? Would I be cool, with say, a zoo? Would oil spills concern me? Could I discern between a criminal and a bikini clad 15-year-old girl? Would I rush to shoot an unarmed teenager to death if first I saw myself in him? My child in him? Would I applaud the curing of a dog with Ebola while others were dying awaiting that cure? Would I allow Ebola to be a problem at all if I had the means to prevent it?  This lack of empathy appears to play a central role in most of the planets ills. This inability to connect, to see the connection to everything passed our noses is more than a psychosis; it’s an evolutionary stumbling block.

 

It seems to me that all the eco systems of the world survive by relying on their components cooperation.  Each member of that system works in harmony with the next.  It is only when something comes in and dominates the resources, hoarding them from the rest of the system, that the system suffers and dies. It’s as if the eco system is aware of its existence and the species within it are innately aware of their connection. When I look at the world today I see a lack of this connection, mostly on the side of the humans. I see a planet once teaming with species suddenly in the grips of an extinction.  I see a blatant disregard for our place in the ecosystem, or maybe an unrealized place.  I see an ever-present blindness to the lives of other people by people for no other reason than “those people” sit way outside of their empathy bubble.  I see an inability to discern, based in this blindness, that leads to the death of innocent children, unarmed men, and helpless homeless people.  I see a preponderance of fear generated by the inability to see ourselves in ourselves.  I see  spiritually un-evolved man.

Consciousness evolution, I believe, is mans next evolutionary step.  In order to achieve this, however, we must first realize that we are un-evolved, making us unaware of our unified consciousness.  Race, sex, and religion are all carefully manufactured labels, giving us the illusion of separateness.  We are each other, and  we are a part of a living entity;  the planet we occupy. It is easy to see that we have not evolved in this way for thousands of years and the planet and its inhabitants have suffered greatly because of it. Our technology is evolving much more rapidly.  Perhaps it was not diverted from its evolutionary path. Some say in the future our technology will become consciously aware. I wonder what that will be like. It’s already connected.

Namaste

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NOT TWO….ONE

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Aware. Despite our scientific, technological, and intellectual advances, this state regarding our very existence appears to have eluded us. Being ‘unaware’ has led us on a path of self-destruction for thousands of years. Not knowing, has led to the destruction of our lives, our planet, and ourselves. I must say this permeating, all-encompassing blindness still leaves me in awe of something that is phenomenally multidimensional and intricate beyond all comprehension. It too is the manifestation of something incredibly complex and beautiful. That being said, our blindness does and will lead to our destruction unless somehow checked. Opening our eyes may prove to be a monstrous feat of strength and will, but the way things are going it must be done soon, and it has to include all of us as we return to the one.

chained angel

I hate movies about man’s inhumanity to man, so it stood to reason that I tried whole heartedly to avoid the recent Oscar award-winning film, “12 Years a Slave”. I knew I could no more stomach this film than I could “Schindlers List” or “Hotel Rwanda”, but a friend of mine convinced me to view it with her. I acquiesced, preparing myself for the depression and anguish I would feel in response to mans brutality and lack of empathy for himself. (I wonder what Jesus meant when He said He was “The Son of Man?”). Anyway, I nestled into my seat and stuffed my face with popcorn and unhealthy food stuffs to deaden the blow.

As I watched, however, something odd happened; my perception shifted. Usually I was brought to tears by the plight of the victims, but now I cried for the victims and the perpetrators. I don’t know if it was the film itself, (the brutality was no different from any other), or the direction or cinematography, but for some reason I saw something different, something that was much more pervasive than the emotions it evoked. I saw a consciousness, one that had inundated the world for time in millennia. An egoic mindset so destructive that it has led us all on a journey of self annihilation. I saw it in the actions of the slave holders as well as in the fear and hopelessness of the slaves. I remembered it from the brutal deeds of the Hutu rebels and the mindless killings of the German soldiers. For the first time, I saw its effect not only on the victims, but also on the perpetrators. Both, you see, lost their humanity; the slaves in obvious ways, but the slave owners in ways more subtle to the eye, but just as destructive. The purposeful and accepted disregard for one life breeds an equally accepted disregard for all life, leading to a well manufactured spiritual blindness. A stark, mechanical emptiness that loomed on their faces as if their consciousness had been “removed”.  No matter where they looked, they could not see themselves.ego

Since we are all life, this egoic, material based mindset that has been created breeds a disregard for ourselves that devalues our existence and the existence of a planet which too is alive. We watch as men become such monsters, with a kind of illusory distance, unable to see their universal effect. We watch as the planet is destroyed, being regarded as yet another “non- life form” to be exploited and cut up into pieces. We regard ourselves as separate from all that is; insulated in a suit of material flesh, when in reality, we are all that is. This lack of awareness, which I have dubbed “spiritual stagnancy” seems to be at the center of the worlds conflicts. The idea of “the other” is engrained in our egoic psyche, conveniently paired with fear, want and lack. The truth is that there is no ‘fear’ where love is present, neither is their ‘lack’. In fact, there is no “other.” There is only one of us here.  “Other” is the illusion.

birds

Now, I don’t think it is a mistake that we are individualized consciousness entities, for this is how we experience this existence. The mistake is our stagnation of growth, perpetuated by an obsession with the material and the creation of a manufactured egoic “other” that keeps us bound to a lower spiritual reality. We cannot spiritually evolve in our present state unless we relinquish this thought of the insulated self. We know when we cause suffering. We know what suffering is. We know deep within our gut when we are wrong. It’s like the immune system in our bodies sounding an alarm when there is a threat. But, when we ignore this feeling and move on without acknowledging its whisper, we allow the disease to flourish. In doing so, we retard severely our spiritual evolution.  We eventually become blind to who we are, and our world falls into darkness.

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We have got to wake up. We must realize we are not ‘killing them’; we are ‘killing us’. Look at our planet. It is alive! A life unlike our own, but alive. (Isn’t it like the egoic self to believe that it is the only form of life!). We are surrounded by life forms that work in unison to create an eco system that perpetuates life. We are part of that system, caretakers of it, not slave owners to it.  This consciousness aberration that we have allowed to pervade us, that we have created as the result of our obsession with the material “ether” must be transcended. How? With all of us. Gone are the days when some of us are saved and others are not. It’s an all or nothing game. We must foster awareness everyday. We must look at our neighbor, look at the trees, the sea, and the wind and repeat it to ourselves as often as it takes. Repeat it until we feel it. Repeat it until we see ourselves in ourselves…

”Not two…One”

Namaste

earth

QUANTUM POSSIBILITIES

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I admit, I’m no mathematical whiz kid, or even a scientific genius, but I do have the hobby (if you could call it that) of reading and studying the theories of quantum physics.  I guess my interest stems from my need to know the truth about the reality we live in, particularly since most of my life I have not quite looked at things the way I was taught to look at them.  I have always thought, for lack of a better phrase, “outside of the box”, as it were.  For example, many scientists have said that aliens visiting our planet was an impossibility due the vast distances and amount of fuel they would have to expend to get here.  Most people agreed, but I thought of it quite differently.  Why couldn’t they travel vast distances? Perhaps they know of a way to shorten the distance, or perhaps propulsion is not their means of travel.  Maybe fuel, at least the kind we use, is not even a consideration.  Maybe they glide on gravity much like our airplanes glide on air, carrying them the vast distances and allowing them to hover like magic over our planet’s surface.  I mean, look, we live on a gigantic orb hovering in an ocean of nothing!  That, by definition, makes anything  possible, right? To say that something isn’t possible because I cannot conceive of it is an insult to my very existence.  Quantum physics for that reason fascinates me, as it opens a door to possibilities and dimensions that are not readily seen ‘inside the box’.

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One particular theory is my favorite.  It’s the one involving the two slit experiment.  Yeah, I know.  Countless scientists, metaphysicians and, spiritual gurus have pondered this enigma arguing over the validity of their inferences calling them ‘pseudoscience’ or ignored spiritual epiphanies.  I make no such inferences here.  I merely offer up a laymen’s possibility, which considering that everything seems to exist as possibility, makes it a quite possible-possibility.  I mean, if the sun just hangs in nothing, then nothing should be discounted as impossibility—right?

Anyway, in the two slit experiment scientist found that a particle of matter could act as both particle and wave.  How the particle behaved seemed dependent on one thing; a conscious observer.  It seems that the conscious observer collapsed the wave into a particle, causing it to behave as such.  When not observed it behaved as a wave.  This intrigued me, because I have ideas about reality myself that alludes to this finding.  I believe that everything is in vibration.  Whether we can interact with an object it or see it depends on whether or not we are vibrating at or about the same range of the object.  We can see smoke, we can interact with it, but rarely can we feel it. We can feel wind, but not see it. We can see the rapidly vibrating molecules of water in vapor,  we can also interact with it and feel it. The degree to which we can do these things depends on our own vibration, and whether or not it resonates with the vibration of the object.  We also have many dimensions that we can and cannot see or interact with.  Perhaps they too are grounded somehow in vibration. Some say that the varying dimensions hold varying possibilities; perhaps in one dimension I am this and in  another I am that, but I exist in all, as do all possibilities. We are therefore multidimensional. If all this is true perhaps in the two slit experiment we collapse the wave by our consciousness vibration.  Whatever level or range we are vibrating at is what we see; that which is vibrating within our range of discernment. All else are possibilities that exist in other dimensions or vibratory levels.  Thus, the observer would in fact collapse the wave in his or her vibrational range or dimension.  Look away and all possibilities are present as they always have been.

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What does this mean to us as lay people?  To me it means our level of consciousness, which may correspond to the rate at which it vibrates, dictates what we see.  Look out at the world, what do you see?  You see where you are. Can you discern beauty, love, or do you see something else all together.  What of the ‘wave’ of vibration?  Scientists say they have been trying to connect quantum physics with the physics of the large in a kind of unifying theory,  but this is apparently difficult to do since physics and quantum physics work by different laws.  Perhaps not.  Perhaps consciousness is a wave.  Perhaps our group consciousness is a wave moving in one direction. On closer inspection we appear as individuals with individual choices varying in possibility. Step back and look from a higher perspective and we too act as a wave, contributing to the overall movement of the whole….consciousness.  Which one of us does the observer resonate with?

Cool food for thought.  For me, quantum physics encompasses a combination of both science and spirituality.  Maybe they were never meant to be separate.  I hope more thought goes into quantum physics, unbridled thought.  I hope they are bold in their discoveries, forgoing trends and prescribed patterns of thinking.  Outside of the box, though, can be lonely at times, but I feel there is no other way to see the true reality unless your willing to step out of this limited one. What if we could change what we see by changing our consciousness?  What if what we see right now is the result of our collective consciousness?  What if our collective consciousness was manipulated? Would we be forced to see what our manipulators wanted us to see?

And Down the rabbit hole I go…

Namaste

The Wink

God the Father 01Who is God, or better yet, (and even more profound), ‘what’ is He?  The other day as I sat on my deck contemplating the meaning of the present moment, I thought about my first glimpse at ‘something’ that unbeknownst to me at the time, would be the starting point of my spiritual journey in later years.  I didn’t know it then but what I experienced was a ‘wink’, a hint of things to come, things that at that time I had not even begun to contemplate.  That one moment changed the way I viewed my existence, and over the years validated my latent awe at something, which prior to that seemed so trivial.  Why I received the ‘wink’ then I am not sure, but I remember it often when I find myself caught in the drudgery of a material based existence, and frustrated with my identification with it.

I was young.  Not that I am old now, but younger at that time.  My son was maybe 3 years old and I was living in a small 2 bedroom house with my mother in the city.  Our lives were hectic.  I worked ungodly shifts at the hospital while my mom tried to make a comfortable home for me and my son.  Money wasn’t a problem since our expenses were relatively low, but time was a commodity.  Mom sometimes worked as a substitute teacher and tutor for math so she kept a lot of math materials around the house.  One day she brought home this gigantic poster of numbers; the multiplication table, starting with 1 x1 and ending with 12 x12.  The numbers were a bright orange on a black background of tiny stars.  She hung it on the wall of our computer room, which was more like an unused hallway lined with book shelves, a tiny desk, and of course a computer.  At night when I couldn’t sleep, I would go into the tiny darkened room and web surf.

Multiplication

One night, I got up to do my usual surfing when the computer suddenly went down, (the blue screen of death they called it), so I turned it off to reboot.  Awaiting the reboot I swung around my chair and stared up at the wall behind me.  There, in the darkness stood the bright orange numbers of the table, appearing to hover in space.  As I looked at them, I noticed immediately the pattern that emerged. The numbers complemented each other in every direction; up, down, left, right, they seemed to add up and form a pattern no matter how I looked at them.  I forgot about the computer and stared at the table in awe of the patterns and how the numbers interacted so logically.  Now, I know I had seen this many times before, but this time I saw something different.  This time I saw intelligence.  My mind shifted.

You see, the numbers weren’t really what I was looking at.  It was the “that” behind them.  The numbers themselves were not ‘things’. Sure they could apply to things; cars, apples, oranges, but they themselves were not ‘things’.  Yet, they had a pattern, a direction, and a ‘formlessness’ that I had never seen before.  Though they applied to everything, they weren’t anything.  My body went numb. Wink!

I think of that moment often, and search for it even more.  I saw something, something real, yet not a ‘thing’ at all.  Something unimaginable for me at the time, but a little closer to me now.  The labels we apply to ‘It’ may be our way of relating to ‘It’, or pointing to ‘It’ from where we are. We even try to personify ‘It’, quantify ‘It’, and attribute things to ‘It’, but what ‘It’ is still eludes us.  All I know is that ‘It’, ‘God’, ‘Consciousness’ only points the way, never describes. You cannot name, describe, or quantify that which is not a thing, yet how then can we know ‘It’?  I guess we have to look closely, step outside this material box, and recognize the wink.  Trick is, you can’t always see it  just by looking with your eyes.  The formless you intuitively glimpse, then feel, like a breeze brushing your soul.

Namaste

A Nod and a Wink

As Above, So Below…

Image detail of the Mandelbrot set.

Image detail of the Mandelbrot set. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was on the phone the other day talking with a friend. We were discussing the pitfalls of our jobs, (we are both nurses), and how we would love to do something different, being thoroughly disillusioned over the years. My son overheard this conversation, and after I got off the phone with my friend, asked me why I became a nurse in the first place. I told him because I didn’t want to be a stock broker. Now, before I get any angry comments about the virtues of a stock broker, I just want to say that I am sure there are some virtuous stock brokers out there whose goal is to work for the common good. However, during the time when I was choosing my career, I felt that I wanted to do something that was innately ‘altruistic’ that helped people during a difficult time in their lives. Appearing as the Kings and Queens of materialism, I thought a stock broker’s goal was to make money at all cost, sacrificing ethics and morality for the bottom line. Seeing the many documentaries on the subject, I concluded that success at such a cost was not success at all, but an illusion propagated on greed and short shortsightedness. Nursing, on the other hand, would ensure that most if not all of my colleagues would be like minded, filled with the desire to express compassion to strangers, being free of that type of self-serving inhumanity. Needless to say, I was very naive.

Group of nurses, Base Hospital #45

I’ve worked as a nurse for many years, at large state of the art hospitals, and small community ones.  I have taken care of the rich, the poor, the old and the not too young, (babies are not my thing), the sick and the dying.  I’ve accumulated a variety of skills and met even more people, but one thing has stood out to me all these years regarding a profession I somehow deemed as virtuous: nurses are mean as hell to other nurses!  Now, that may not sound like an issue, but believe me it is.  There have even been task forces established to eliminate what they are calling ‘on the job bullying’ or ‘lateral violence’.  I have seen nurses leave the job crying.  I have seen what they refer to as ‘cliques’, who totally devalue a nurse’s worth.  I have seen nurses lose their jobs over vicious gossip and be maliciously ‘discredited’ to others because of jealousy or position.  How then can a profession whose cornerstone is compassion and altruism, who was founded by the likes of Florence Nightingale and Mother Theresa, be filled with such malice and unethical behavior?  The same reason fire fighters, postal workers, doctors, cashiers, waitresses, teachers, church officials, and ultimately, stock brokers are; the culture is unethical, not the professions.

Stock Market

We live in the society of ‘me’, a kind of malignant duality or separateness.  We would like to think that we are compassionate, but in reality our compassion is relative.  Our culture teaches us that in order to survive we must ‘one-up’ the next guy, discredit them, compete with them, be they a friend or unknown.  It becomes necessary that we ‘win’ at all cost reaping the benefits for all to see and admire.  How we do this is not important, though treachery is acceptable and often respected. This is success.   The other guy is of no consequence.  Material gain is the ultimate goal; the house, the car, the kid’s education, all of these being legitimate reasons to use unethical means to obtain what is wanted or needed.  Of course we don’t say it or even think it, but we do it with without hesitance.  This behavior has been modeled to us time and again, until we have adopted it.   If you look closely, things have been done this way on a larger scale for millennia.  People pushed out of their lands, their resources stolen, medical care denied, all for the profit of a group of individuals.  Big businesses doing what they want, despite the outcries of the people they are negatively affecting.  A country has something of value, we go in and take it, and then we use all manner of excuses as to why it was ‘a good thing’ as oppose to unethical and immoral.   We live in an unethical culture, one that has been so for some time.  We see it on a larger scale and cry out how bad it is, but we mimic it on our jobs, on the playground, in the grocery store.  That’s why, in a job built on compassion you see the characteristics of a culture whose goal is anything but.  Stockbroking isn’t an unethical job, no more than a gun can kill a person, but in the wrong hands even nursing can be dangerous.

New York City

It took me some 20 years and 5 hospitals to realize this.  I also realize what Jesus was trying to tell us when he said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  Makes sense to me now. Our hearts become as cold and presumably lifeless as the things we long to possess. The fear of not having or achieving the material stuff that brings no real joy, is temporary, and fragile, leads to unethical actions, the destruction of peoples, and ultimately the earth. Enlightenment, on the other hand, cannot be touched, and the whole world benefits, even the guy next to you. Man’s enlightenment is going to mean the breakdown and dissolution of a culture that perpetuates this malignant type of separateness and duality which breeds immoral and unethical behavior.  One has to look closely at one’s life to see the influences of this culture—very close.  Where does our inner allegiance lie?  Do we extol the aggressive jerk, or the spiritual passavist?  Do we get joy from watching someone fail, or do we try and help them?  Do we applaud someone’s success, or do we find ways to discredit what they did?  These things happen everywhere, regardless of profession. It is not unlike a cancer, affecting every aspect of the bodies functioning until death.  I have come to believe it is systemic, replicating itself from top to bottom not unlike the Mandelbrot Set. As above so below.

I don’t know how long I will be in nursing, but I think I will attempt to help people, on some level, for a lifetime. Perhaps I will find a profession which is not so influenced by the culture, perhaps not. It does help that I am at least aware of what I am dealing with, as awareness acutely changes your perspective. Once you are aware you cannot take offence with the sleeping cultural giant. After all, that’s ultimately what it is—-asleep.

“There’s only one of us here…”

Namaste

The central endpoint of the "seahorse tai...

 

Blood Cell Mediation

Seven Chakras

I was talking to a friend the other day about the current state of affairs regarding human conflict, the big ones, that have lasted generations.  She appeared quite upset, sighting a more recent event that belied her faith in humanity as a whole.  She wanted to vent to me about it, and after revealing both sides of the dispute, asked my opinion, or rather, which side I would most likely take.  I thought on this a moment ‘cause I knew my answer could be misconstrued by one so passionate.  Then I told her that I would take neither side of the dispute, as to me both arguments were mute.  She didn’t take that very well.  She began to argue the point from the perspective of the victim and challenged me to find any argument that would justify my ambivalence.  She felt I had to see the wrong that was done regardless of my spiritual beliefs, and she couldn’t believe that this did not upset me.  I told her that though it appeared so, I was not ambivalent at all. I was upset, but not for the reason she thought.  I saw the wrong and the right in the conflict, I just found their points to be mute in the larger context.  Her dubious look told me I had to explain another way, so I told her what I felt was a kind of joke, though I’m not sure if it helped…

There was this guy who went to the doctor’s office after a long period of illness.

“Hey, Doc,” the guy says. “I’ve been sick for a long while and can’t seem to shake it.  Can you help me out?”

Doc says, “Sure.  We’ll run some tests and find out what the problem is.”

Guy says, “Fine”.  He goes to the lab and they run some tests.

Later the Doc calls him back into the office.  “Well,” the doc says, “it seems your red blood cells are attacking your white blood cells.”

The guy looks at him a minute, then smiles.  “Really? Is that all?”

“Well…yes” the doc says, a little bemused.  “Why are you smiling?”

“Because!” he says, “The problem is solved!  All we have to do is get rid of the red blood cells, right?”

“Well, no”, the doctor says, “You can’t do that.  You see, the red blood cells are a part of the body and have a specific function.  Without them the body dies”.

Consciousness Awakening on Vimeo by Ralph Buckley

Consciousness Awakening

The guy looks a little confused, then smiles again. “No problem, then Doc!” he says. “We just get rid of the white blood cells and again, problem solved!”

The doc starts to become a little annoyed. “Absolutely not!” he says. “The white blood cells are a part of the body too.  Why, without them, and their specific function, the body will also die!”

“Can we mediate?”

“Between who?”

“The cells of course!”

The doc stares at the guy a moment. thinking maybe he has a certified nut in his office, then he tries again.  “Look…” he says, “mediation is mute for obvious reasons.  What we like to do in this situation is to determine the disease or dysfunction that is causing the fight, then find ways to destroy that.”

The guy for once is speechless.  After a long moment of silence he says. “Gee doc, you’re a genius! But tell me, why didn’t the other docs tell me this in the beginning”

“Simple…,” The Doc says, “You have no insurance”.

 

Of course I found the joke a little funny.  My friend—not so much.  She said she was still a bit upset, though not for the reason she thought.

Namaste

Statuesque

A Spiritual Eye

Helix nebula

When I was a kid, I had a big problem, at least I thought it was.  You see, I thought that I lacked some innate ability to read people, that I could not adequately assess a person’s hidden motives like everyone else could.  People seemed to know who to trust, who to prefer, and who to punish  just on their initial observation or momentary interaction. I found this uncanny as I was always stumped.  It was not that I wasn’t told the things that the other neighborhood kids were told, or that I didn’t believe what I was told. It was just that I could not treat someone differently based on what I was told, especially once I met them.  Once I looked into their eyes, something there would immediately erase all the gossip, the warnings and the teachings told to me about their presumed disposition.  It was as if something familiar looked back at me, something that I connected with that would not allow me to treat them differently, regardless of what the neighborhood kids were saying.  Needless to say, this caused me a great deal of stress as I was expected to treat them with disdain as everyone else did. Eventually I would just avoid the situation all together and feign my disgust, ensuring that I wouldn’t be the next to be ostracized.  I felt a great deal of guilt for doing so, but the fear was too great for me to do otherwise.

As time went on my handicap continued.  Even if I knew that a person couldn’t be trusted, or perhaps didn’t like me too well, I still saw that familiar glint in their eyes, that “something”, that precluded me from launching a preemptive attack.  Of course, I wouldn’t put myself in harm’s way, but I also wouldn’t treat them with the common disdain that most people did.  What was it that I saw? What held me back from what most people deemed as quite normal behavior?  Only now am I beginning to realize what it is, and that perhaps I’m not handicapped after all.

In my lifetime, and due to my profession, I have met a great number of people from all walks of life;  different colors, multiple nationalities, all shapes, sizes, and ideologies, all at one time or another.  I have listened to preconceptions about them all, to their preconceptions, and to the media’s preconceptions.  I have gone into them with this information imbedded in my thoughts, only to be eclipsed by that familiar “glint” present in them all.  This “glint” I believe is so familiar to me because it is a glimpse of my true self.  I see me in everyone I meet.  I see the hopes, dreams, and ideals, but mostly I see life.  A living, breathing, intelligence that permeates all beings and is all beings, staring back at me from everyone I encounter. No matter what form it takes it is still the same everywhere I look, and being me, I simply cannot harm it.  I don’t know if I knew this as a child, but I felt it, and for some reason the eyes were my window.

Oscar, eyes aglow

In light of the recent events in the news, I wonder what would happen if people everywhere had this same sight or view?  Would many of the horrors witnessed now in our world be avoided?  If each of us could see themselves in the other, ( I mean, really see themselves), would they be so quick to harm or judge?  I tell you they would not.  I know, it sounds like hopeless guru rhetoric, but believe me, I see it and I’m no guru.  I look into the eyes of my dog and laugh because the “glint” stares back at me! (Different area of awareness, but the “glint” all the same).  We are, in fact, everywhere.

Again, as I have said, the media is a powerful tool.  There are others who see as I do–many of them.  Unfortunately their stories are never told.  They are not news worthy, as it were.  No one wants to hear about the Israeli-Palestinian peace marches; instead the conflict is foremost in our thoughts, dominating our collective consciousness. One tragic incident can be magnified, towering over the millions of other positive interactions, giving us the impression that the world, (our overall collective consciousness) is this way, when it is not.  Differences, (which on a universal scale are profoundly subtle) are magnified in our collective psyche and lauded as significant and ripe for disdain and division , when in actuality variation of form should be held in awe, and celebrated, but no one alludes to this.  Makes you wonder who’s in charge here.  Who benefits from the division and conflict?  Certainly not us.

Eye galaxy

I went for years thinking that I lacked something, that I should be able to see everybody as ‘other’.  Now as the years have passed I think maybe society lacks something, and has painstakingly taught us to forget it.  Given our technological evolution, we have to remember.  Our spiritual evolution has got to catch up.  Our survival depends on it.

I dont know why I see this so blatently, but I do know that it causes me pain.  Looking into the eyes  of another I can also see when they do not see me.  It’s as if a veil is pulled low, hiding me from view.

“There’s only one of us here…..”

Namaste

Manifesting Reality

Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls

Sounded really bazaar to me at first.  How a person could manifest their reality based on thought and intention.  I’ve read from countless spiritual gurus on how this was possible, and even researched the possibility scientifically.  Quantum physics points to the fact that reality is only real if a conscious observer is present to observe it.  Could this be true?  Are we, every day, manifesting our own reality?  Through thought and intention are we creating our experiences and our life on this planet?  If that is the case then reality is much more peculiar than we imagined.  Perhaps everything we see and experience is the product of our consciousness, or better yet, collective will.  Perhaps we do create, as we are born in the likeness of, as many religions state, our father.  I had an experience that caused me to look deeper into reality, seeing the obvious that was always there trying to reveal itself.

As I said in my last post, I had the opportunity to go on a nature trip on which I saw the most magnificent forms of nature this planet has to offer.  Before I went on the trip I researched it, coming across countless pictures of the area that I was to visit.  One picture held my attention.  It was the picture of a waterfall, and the paved path that led to it, giving the hiker an astounding view.  I was in awe of this picture hoping to someday stand on that path and feel the spray of the water.  I would walk on my treadmill for 30 minutes every day anticipating the hike to the waterfall and picturing it in my mind.  As I pictured it, a particular song would come into queue on my headphones lulling me into the cascading water, the picture taking on a kind of life.  I thought of being happy and with my family as we walked the path.

A month passed and we were finally on our way.  I didn’t know the name of the water fall I had pictured, nor did I know the name of the one I was beginning my hike to.  It turns out we hiked up the back road through a forested area that ended with the falls.  They were two tiered, emerging first from high in the cliff then again from a lower point.  It was spectacular.  After viewing them for some time, we descended the front trail taking us to a paved path leading away from the falls.  My headphones on, they began playing the song.  It was then I turned.  I stood exactly where I had imagined on the treadmill a month ago, the song lulling me into the spectacular cascading view I longed for.  I was there, with my family, happy and laughing.

Did I manifest this reality?  One could say, of course. You planned the trip and made it possible. However, it wasn’t that easy.  Many events took place prior to the trip that belied my going.  My choice to go despite what appeared insurmountable made the trip possible.  I chose to see myself and my family there.  As one of my favorite songs says “..like it was made for you”.

English: The Antennae Galaxies in Collision, H...

What if it’s all made for us?  What if we manifest all that we experience and see, that nothing exists without our conscious observation?  Many a guru has alluded to this and so does quantum physics.  What if together, as a collective consciousness, we made that waterfall or perhaps perpetuated it based on the initial conscious viewers perspective?  If this is true, then the world does not have to be as it is now. We do not have to be victims of a world outside of us, for we can change at any time what we see.  The media, then, is a strong tool.

I stepped outside of myself for a moment, and saw something miraculous.  I stood there at the base of the waterfall and sensed that I had somehow created it.  My perspective, intention, and choice working together to create that moment.  What other things in my life could I create, or have created?  We are more than what we think we are.  We are more than outsiders to this reality.  We are more than reactionary beings responding to a world disconnected from us.  We are creators, very much a part of what we create.  A shudder struck my body as if a door opened, just a crack.  The song continued to play in my ear;

”…I can show you how many moves to checkmate, right now”

One Republic

Namaste

meditation

THE JOURNEY HOME

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I recently took a trip, a vacation to a distant part of the country.  It was a long awaited respite that I needed to rejuvenate my spirit and reconnect with nature.  Oddly enough everything seemed to come into play to keep me from this trip, literally hindering me from going.  I had been called, you see, by many a serendipitous occasions to go, leading me to believe that the trip was meant for my spiritual development.  I was then determined to make the trip regardless of the seemingly unyielding circumstances that belied my going.  I soon realized that circumstances are merely that, and that one’s choice despite the seemingly insurmountable can change the course of one’s life.

Two days before the trip, a loved one, my grandmother, passed away quietly in her sleep.  Being the only living family member it was my duty to make the appropriate arrangements, which seemed daunting at best.  In addition my job was requiring only just recently that I attend some training sessions and there seemed to be a position being made for a “person in charge” that everyone was vying for.  Needless to say, personalities where beginning to emerge themselves from their ego hideaways to slash and gnaw at anyone who was thought to be considered.  My trip, however, had been preplanned and requested.  Everything was paid for with no hope of a refund.  I felt trapped and annoyed by circumstances well out of my control, but was determined, despite my grief and anxiety to make the venture.  So I made the arrangements, timing them for my return, and scheduled my sessions for then as well.  I didn’t care much about the position, as the mechanics of politics often eluded me, and the idea of lauding myself at the expense of others, though considered an acceptable practice, has never set well in my stomach.  Thus, off I went to see what the universe had in store for me.

IMG_0083It was a nature trip.  I had dreamed of seeing the magnificent “sequoia giganteum”, a mountainous tree of epic height and unfathomable girth.  The first thing I did was to find these majestic beings and stand in awe at their feet.  Some 300 feet high and 40 feet in diameter, these majestic beings live for over 2000 years, impervious to rot or bug infestation.  They have limbs as large as 6 feet in diameter and if they don’t fall, which appears to be the only thing that can kill them, they continue to grow, climbing to dizzying heights.  Their roots are shallow and spread maybe a mere 100 feet from their base, anchoring them to the soil.  Even if they do fall they are indestructible, never rotting or succumbing to insects, they just remain for another thousand years in repose.  Fire is even a necessary caveat to their survival, releasing their seedlings, allowing them to reproduce.  Few succumb completely to fire as their somewhat fire retardant bark hinders this, although neighboring trees whose tops skirt their lower branches can set aflame their leaves and rarely their demise.  Deep within the forest nestled in the bosom of God they grow, quiet, austere and majestic.

I saw nature in all its glory; granite peaks jutting out from mountain ranges cut by glaciers hundreds of years ago; deep winding valleys bordered by towering pines and graceful waterfalls; narrow rivers and streams trickling through dense rock to become a tumult of white rapid spray soon swirling into large expansive lakes high in the mountain valley, and each creature large and small, an intricate part of this magnificent dance of nature.   All just being.  I watched as people clamored from all over the world to see that which was neither manufactured or mimicked.  Snapping pictures in awe of the planet that they lived on, but was disconnected from.  All soon to return, like myself, to the manufactured, metal and cement lives that we live.

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I stood at the base of the majestic sequoias and thought, “why do I live as a caged bird?”  Why do i live a life that I have never felt was my own but dictated by the circumstances and expectations heaped on me by society?  Unlike the mighty sequoia, I can choose which of the neighboring trees skirt my branches and like the sequoia I can grow and grow until the day I topple over and even then I will continue.  I guess I don’t want nature to be a novelty that I take pictures of once a year,  I want to join the dance that I have always been a part of.  Perhaps therein lies my disconcertion.  Perhaps I was meant to live among the beauty that is nature, foregoing the manufactured facade that I was conditioned to strive for.   The mountain ranges, the waterfalls, and the mighty sequoia all beckon me home.

On my return, I took care of the funeral, went to my training sessions, eventually, and watched abjectly as my colleagues positioned themselves for a couple of more dollars an hour.  Deep within me the sequoia stood, waiting and watching, silently beckoning me to return to myself.  I have decided that I will.  I know it will be a daunting task to uproot a life so well manufactured, (mental chains included), but I think it well worth the effort.  What is life if not lived?  I have no way of knowing what’s in store for me, but I know what lies behind me.  That in itself is a catalyst for change.  I have learned that if you listen closely the universe will speak.  How you respond is your choice.  What a wonderful gift.

Namaste

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My Noisy Meditation

Sometimes I yell at myself.

Meditation has always been a problem for me.  Finding a quiet   place. Sitting comfortably.  Breathing and quieting the mind of all the days clutter.  Big problem.  Not the finding a quiet place part, the freeing or quieting of the mind part.  It seems my mind is always moving.  I think of the days triumphs and disasters, (more so the latter), and the up and coming issues that have not yet revealed themselves.  I hear the sounds of my environment that normally do not invade my senses like a herd of cattle.  My mind behaves much like a monkey, dancing and screaming, calling attention to every nuance, never allowing me to experience that quiet solace so often talked about.  Until just the other day, and oddly following what I believed to be a fruitless attempt, I realized that the noise and clammer that so distracted me was actually part of the meditation itself.

As I sat there and contemplated the noise that raged through my environment, a thought arose; how could I know the silence without the noise?  I pondered that for a moment, almost relinquishing it to as yet another distraction.  Then I realized that all of this existence comes from the silence.   All the noise, the children on the playground down the street, the birds chirping above my head, the knock of a woodpecker on the face of the tree in front of me, all emerge from the same silence that, to my surprise, sits just beneath the clammer.  There, just after the passing car, sits the silence, the place from which all things emerge, even the space through which they travel.  I turned my attention to that space, that place of quiet awareness.  No thing was there, you see, only the awareness of being, the silent watcher that allowed it all to be.  I waited each time I heard a sound for the silence to reveal itself.  There, in the blade of grass.  There, in the calm behind the wind.  There, in the space behind my thoughts.  For at once, all of it manifested from nothing, or something, that only existed as awareness.

My attempt at meditation ceased as I looked deeper for that which existed even behind the attempt.  There I found what could not be described. That which was also myself without the trappings of form and sound.  That which permeates all things and is all things.  My heart exploded into a joy that I cannot explain.

Meditation

Now when I meditate I do not fear the sound, the noise, or the distraction, for they help me to experience that from which they come.  Perhaps my life also mirrors this.  To see, one must first be blind.  To know, one must first be ignorant.  To feel, one must first be without sensation.  To be, one must first not be.   I think from now on I will keep my cup empty and be glad and excited.  As for meditation, I can’t wait.  Bring on the noise.

Namaste

Flower photo

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