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

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

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

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

A light at the end of the tunnel, September 2012

A light at the end of the tunnel, September 2012 (Photo credit: DaveOnFlickr)

When I graduated college I found my first job working for an insurance company.  I guess I was excited.  The pay was nominal even for those days, but it was a job, something I was taught was necessary for my survival and ultimately my independence.   Many people worked in the same nominally paid position with homes, cars, and families.  I remember thinking that it would be a bit precarious of me to get an apartment and a car based on my ability to maintain this job and the favor of my boss.  After all, to do this would leave my modest lifestyle and me vulnerable to the whim of my superiors.  My mother of course was excited and encouraged me to buy a car with my new found providence, and to save up for an apartment of my own.  The goal, you see, was for me to someday own my own home and find a good life for myself.  I understood her, but I did not understand.  How can one live a free, independent life at the whim of another?  Hard work wasn’t the only thing that kept a job, even in those days.   Be that as it may, I obtained an apartment and a car and went to work every day.

Years have passed since that first real job, yet still the idea of freedom eludes me.  I often wonder if this system of survival is what was meant for us on this planet.   I see daily how many suffer because they cannot find someone to work for, or they cannot find a suitable place to live even if they did.  I watch as people struggle to feed their families on meager salaries and fight amongst their coworkers who also feel the pressure of survival.  Even on jobs where the pay is good, people scratch and claw their way to a better salary or perceived way of life at the expense of others.  This is viewed as achievement, but many times it results in the momentary achievement of one to the detriment of another.

The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Means is over looked, with the end being the primary judgment of our efforts.  Unethical behavior is lauded as genius and cunning as a value.  This negative way of being is inherent in a system which rewards only that which is most often obtained through scheming and manipulation.   It is understood that nothing is free, and in order to obtain anything one has to place the self above all else. “Be number one” is the mantra of a system that depends on ones lack of meaningful connection to others.   Without this connection we are free to pursue all things without regard for another and even at their expense.  Ultimately, however, our efforts are never fully rewarded, as the end result always leaves us even more dependent on the whim of others.

Why then do we persist in a system designed to keep us enslaved to ideals?  Why do we insist on placing ourselves in debt for half our lifetimes, losing our passion for our jobs, and turning them into a means to a 30 year end?  Why do we allow some to go without a home on a planet that is made of land?  Why do children go thirsty on a planet whose mountains spew fresh water, and rain falls freely from the sky?  Why are families hungry on a planet that sprouts food from its soil?  Why did we create a system that bars the magnificent landscapes and beautiful vistas of this planet from the majority of its inhabitants?  And most importantly– and probably the most impossible for many of us to even consider— why is the system of money even necessary, when starvation and poor health is the result of poverty rather than a lack of resources?  (Try explaining money to a visitor of our planet!)

My mother didn’t realize it, but I did those early years after college.  Working for another and being in debt to another for the rest of your life, is not independence.  It’s just another form, though apparently a more palatable form, of slavery.  This kind of slavery, however, is much more difficult to eradicate.  The chains have us firmly tethered to our ideas of success, lifestyle, and illusory self, thus we refuse to see them.  They have literally become a part of us, so much so, that we cannot imagine any other way of living.

Chains

As I drive the highway on the way to work and catch glimpses of the true reality, I realize that the planet was created for us to experience it.  Relegating ourselves to such a limited existence based on indoctrinated ideas that severely constrict our experience and growth, also stagnates our spiritual evolution by virtue of its nature.  The system cannot survive in the light, and as light beings at our core, we too cannot survive.  What of the light at the end of the tunnel that we so often pray for?   It has to be us.

“Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds…”

Bob Marley

Namaste

Light at the end of the tunnel

Unattachment vs Love

Attachment

I‘ve read much on attachments and how they are the essential root of suffering.  Though, I intellectualized the meaning of this concept, again one must experience it in order to fully appreciate it.  The usual culprits of material possessions, appearance, position, I thought I understood.  But what of relationships, hopes and dreams?  This, though I accepted as attachment, I could not fully conceive.   I mean after all, how can one not be attached to such things as a child, a lover, or even ones lifelong vocation?  I found, (quite painfully, as mirrors usually are), that it was not only ones attachment to such things that will inevitably cause suffering, but the value placed on them in relation to ones presumed identity, particularly at the threat of their loss.  Therein lies the pain and suffering spoken about.  Suffering not only inflicted on the self, but on others as well.  The trick is observing its subtlety.

Joy-roseshamrockthistle

It’s difficult not to take pride in ones profession. Years and years of practice and experience finally culminating in the extensive knowledge and respect that you feel you have earned. Of course this identity that you have procured is not your true self. Who you have become is never who you are. Even so, if this self is threatened,– say by one more advanced, sharper, or just ‘new’,– what would you do to protect the self you have procured? I have seen many go far; spreading rumors, dropping innuendo, even discouraging others in the pursuit of their illusory self. The damage caused can be witnessed in the toxic work environment, where all denigrate the other for no other reason than to prevent the relinquishment of their idea of self.  All Suffer.

A lover grips one in a whirlwind of possibility for the illusory self. They tell us of our worth and meaning, who we are as a man or woman, the magic we have on the emotions of another. We fall deeply into this state of being, breathing in fully the pleasures of being the focus of someone’s life and emotion. We quickly self identify. Attachment— for the self. Then, as if moved by the wind, your paths diverge. Their interests change or they move on to pursue another “life lesson”. How far would you go to prevent this pursuit, or deny this disinterest to maintain the illusory self? Again, many have gone far. And even after their efforts were to no avail, they remain trapped by the loss of the illusory self they created. Suffering.

"The mother"

A mother will be forever possessed by her child, and rightly so. Can it be possible to experience suffering on a subtle level by something so innate and selfless as the love of a mother and child? Only if we attach for the self– the identity that we expect to be fulfilled. I have suffered this in the form of guilt, blame, feelings of inadequacy. All illusory. All Suffering.

What then can we do? Maybe, instead of trying to find out who we can become or should be, we should look instead for who we already are. We are what is necessary. We are what is sublime. We are that which we search for, not our jobs, our possessions, or our relationships. Our situations are our lessons, but they are not us. Every now and then, as a Fledgling Mystic, I detach, releasing all of it just to observe. The situations quickly fade away, obliterated by the beauty, complexity and wonder that embodies each unique expression of a supreme consciousness, and I know that all of it, every moving, breathing piece of it, is me.
Un-attachment is not being without love. It is love at its most sublime.

Namaste

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