This section of the web site is dedicated to philosophical considerations. Many of the topics and subsequent explanations stem from discussions between Michael and his close friend, Jeff Dillon.
Each topic begins with a simple quote. Jeff and Michael feel there is great power in a short, succinct and evocative statement. If you are satisfied with what you take away from it… great. However, if it piques your interest and you would like to delve deeper, simply click on the “more” button and there you will find a second level of detail. For some quotes there will be additional levels of depth as well.
Do yourself a favor… slow down for a moment… read the quote slowly and let it be absorbed before delving deeper. Allow it to bring thoughts, ideas, questions or even silence to your mind. There is no need to hurry, we are not going anywhere. It is much better to confront one completely than to rush through them.
Jeff and Michael hope you enjoy the perspectives herein presented. As always, please send us your comments and insights.
Questions are more important than answers.
The more clearly we can define our questions… the more obvious the answers become.
Forgiveness is not “You have done something wrong and I have decided to not care about it any more.”
True forgiveness means that we see that there was no wrong done at all.
Everyone is on his or her own personal path. It is specific to exactly what is required for growth. Even the most horrendous events can be realized as growth opportunities for all involved. We must follow our paths, we cannot avoid it, and in so doing we find another piece to the ongoing puzzle of who we are. Seeing this, no one has done anything against us. They have simply followed the path they need to follow… and in interacting with them, everyone involved does the same.
Condemnation and regret are opposite sides of the same coin… the former is an action against others and the latter is an action against our selves. As we grow and learn to truly forgive others by seeing they have done nothing wrong… we can do the same for our selves.
There is no box!
In the current time continuum, when someone is attempting to evoke creative thinking, the analogy of “thinking outside the box” is often mentioned. Presumably, the “box” refers to the usual way of thinking. However, thinking outside the box is still thinking in relation to the box and so it is no different than thinking within the box. It is the opposite side of the same coin. Nothing is accomplished by thinking outside the box.
Transcending the conditioned mind, which is required for creativity to exist, requires an alert presence, one that is free of the mental activity that clouds all perceptions. When one quiets the mind, there is an instant energy that occurs enabling sight beyond the barriers created by instilling faith in a process that is by its very nature limited and limiting… thought.
It comes as a surprise when one realizes that thinking is not requisite to action. Quite the contrary, it is an action inhibitor. The thinking mind is self-perpetuating in that thought states that one must think in order to survive. This is very reasonable, born of the reasoning center. Certainly, most of our educational systems promote this perspective and creative minds that acquiesce to this conditioning are relegated to acting as minuscule representations of the available potential.
The “box” is an illusion we naively accept. There is no box!
We can be created by the world or we can create the world.
When we allow the world to create us we are in a constant state of reaction. When we create the world we are in a constant state of action.
Our human society perpetuates an ever-changing range of perspectives from which we can choose to view ourselves. This is how the vast majority of us have been taught to live. From the beginning we allow the world to contribute to our choice of who and what we think we are. Often, this self-image is developed but rarely altered over the course of a lifetime. This self-image tells us how to respond to the ebb and flow of the changes and experiences that occur throughout our lives. Further, we seem to derive a great sense of security by holding on to a certain persona and will fight to preserve it, often at high cost.
If, however, we come to the realization that we, whether we are aware of it or not, create the world we experience, our lives take on a new meaning and our experiences become entirely different. We become deliberate creators. This begins with accepting responsibility for our experiences. We are not merely leaves being blown around by an overpowering wind. We are not required to choose a persona and become it. Every one of us is a powerfully creative and infinite being capable of creating unimaginable experiences. When we let our lifelong view of ourselves fall away, which can at first be a frightening experience, we become as a blank page upon which anything can be written. Beyond that, we realize that even the idea of being a page upon which to write is a notion that we are not required to continue. As we grow in freedom from what we think we are, we create in such beautiful ways there are not words to describe it.
Fear is a set of thoughts we have become emotionally attached to.
Human beings seem to be predisposed to living within countless layers of thoughts. They are interwoven in that they are interdependent. One thought is predicated by others and then the others upon others until there is such a complex and confused state of mind that there is no way to unravel it all.
Thoughts are combinations of symbols representing that, which can be experienced and expressed. As such they are twice removed from awareness. Almost exclusively, human beings live lives based upon thought… based upon layers of symbolic perspectives. Fear, guilt, greed, lust… etc. are all based upon symbolic views of our experiences. From such a perspective, our feelings only serve to feed our symbols.
A quiet mind is the cure for a symbol-based reality. From silence we act in unity through awareness. A silent mind is one that is aware and watching… not condemning or judging, naming or categorizing… even one’s own actions. This silent watcher can move in unity with this awareness. From such a perspective our feelings are our guide.
The present is a gift.
The young man said, “Some day I will free my mind”. The old man replied, “The only time during which you can free your mind is now”.
To think that there is a process to freeing the mind is simply another brick that we concrete into place to prevent it. There is no process… no set of actions… that will eventually bring the mind to a state of freedom. It is processes and thoughts and thoughts about processes that are the basis of a mind that is not free. Thinking about freeing the mind is adding fuel to the fire. The shackles we create consist of the little thoughts we let pile up until we are overwhelmed by them and they rule our lives. They tie us to a certain time and place and they limit us to a certain perspective.
To be free, quiet the mind that binds you to its tyranny.
To fear is to avoid.
When we are afraid we want more than anything to end the fear and subsequent pain that comes from it instead of becoming open to what is wrong.
Being in the grip of fear, we tend to create hierarchies of thought patterns in order to build structures that guard against the effects of it… thus we are (insanely) avoiding the truth. We can, and do, spend lifetimes supporting and expanding such structures… yet they are all eventually doomed to collapse under the weight of their own mass.
Knowledge is a poor substitute for awareness.
The human race is currently focused upon acquiring knowledge. It seems that we feel that more knowledge is the answer to any problem. We worship knowledge as can be witnessed by the place of honor academia holds in our society. However, it is the assertion here that the sum of all knowing and everything beyond is available to us in any moment… awareness is the key to accessing it.
Instead of spending our time memorizing “facts,” developing awareness is a far more worthy pursuit. Especially now that the Internet nearly instantly places access to the sum of human knowledge within our grasp, there is little reason to pursue knowledge for its own sake. We may add to the repertoire of knowledge as it continues to be amassed without it being singularly focused upon… thus allowing awareness to guide us.
Knowledge is a tool to assist awareness in its activities.
A quiet mind is a creative mind.
When the mind is silent, all action that follows, including thought, is creative.
It has been a promoted perspective that everything has already happened; there is nothing new that can be made or created. Ecclesiastes 1:4 -11 “There is nothing new under the sun…” But this frame of mind has long been of concern to the author. It seems to come from a very limited and dark perspective and it seems to have its roots in a sort of laziness… as if one has acquiesced to mediocrity. It is the assertion here that this statement could not be further from the truth. Every moment of every day presents a completely new combination of all that is. Never, before this very instant, has everything been in this current configuration. From stars and quantum particles… to the people who are alive and acting… from the birds and the trees… to the movement of the air and clouds in the sky… everything we can sense is in a different configuration than it ever has been before. Ultimately, life is this constant state of flux. So everything is constantly new… Everything is always new… So to remake an ancient misnomer… “There is nothing not new under the sun.”
Creativity is not a result of thought but new thought can spring forth from a creative mind…
Let go of fear.
Fear may be the most destructive force known to mankind.
Fear is at the root of all human suffering. It may be unavoidable that we will at times feel pain. It can occur in a myriad of forms. Yet, suffering is a reaction to the pain. Fear is a construct of thought, which is an extremely powerful force. So silence then, the quiet mind, is rightfully the opposite of fear and is its offsetting counterbalance.
As we study fear acting within our minds, we begin to see patterns to its inception. Since we know it will lead us to a place we do not want to go, it is wise and loving for us to be mindful of this. As soon as we see the first spark of fear arise, we quench it with the cool waters of silence.
Cultivate an inner silence.
Knowledge is not the pinnacle of human achievement. It is instead a tool to be used by consciousness, which is.
We could say that there are three levels of awareness. The first is below the level of knowledge. Ignorance may be bliss but it soon becomes a hindrance to growth. In order to continue to develop as a human being one must acquire a certain level of knowledge. Certainly the many achievements that are the result of human knowledge are everywhere to be seen and experienced. In our society knowledge is often worshiped.
The second level of awareness is that of knowledge. Knowledge is often the cure for a life that is bound in ignorance. Through it we learn not only to take care of ourselves but also to contribute to our society. In order to accomplish any goal, one must come to an understanding of how to do so. It is obvious that we put our most learned citizens upon a pedestal. College professors are a good example of this.
Yet, as one ascends to greater heights of awareness, the knowledge that saved us from our ignorance can turn into a limitation. As an analogy, when we are ill with an infection the doctor might prescribe an antibiotic which then cures us. Yet, after we are well if we take that same antibiotic it would make us ill. So it is with knowledge.
There is a state of mind, a state of being, beyond knowledge. This might be considered a third level. We transcend knowledge in lieu of awareness. This state is one in which consciousness motivates our activities. In a human sense this consciousness is tempered by our knowledge and yet filtered by it as well. For a time this too is a great step forward but soon we see that filtering awareness through knowledge is a hindrance and move on to the next step… What is beyond the grip of knowledge?
In consciousness we see knowledge as a tool for us to use as we experience our creations. We are not motivated by knowledge but instead it is used by us as a tool. There is nothing inherently wrong with learning as long as knowledge is seen as such. It is when knowledge is allowed to be our guide or our dictator that we get into trouble. In this world of infinite possibility, it is truly impossible to know anything except from a very limited perspective. The perspective we most often ascribe to is the human one, which is not all-inclusive.
Realizing that we do not, and cannot, know anything is the beginning of consciousness.
Questions are Answers.
When we know the right question, the answer is obvious.
Often it is difficult to understand precisely what the question is. When our will and our consciousness is conflicted our creativity is confused. Conversely, when our will and our consciousness are in unity we move effortlessly through the world we are creating… always onward in a constant outpouring of our deepest intent. In such a state of mind the question is simultaneously (spontaneously) the answer.
It is becoming a prevalent understanding that observation effects that which is experienced. We are, after all, creating our own version of reality in every moment. It might be deduced by this that state of mind alone is the cure for every malady. All other attempts are merely a continuance of the cause. Our mind or our body might be the most overt reflection of that which is our question (our pain) and, just like the question of the chicken or the egg… which came first, it is insignificant as to where it seems to have originated.
The answer is on the level of awareness… in this way the question begins with the answer.
To know God is to listen.
A supremeness of being is revealed in all we experience if we are the state of mind that is awake and alive.
We are not discussing the God of religions here, which seems to be the manifestation of a belief system… a fantasy. Instead we are concerned with the state of mind that is alive and alert to the movement in all that is around us. In this no belief is necessary and in fact belief is a deterrent from this state of keen awareness. This state of mind might be described as one of intense listening… listening with all of ones senses, with one’s whole being… a listening beyond the senses.
One cannot listen when one is knowing. Knowing precludes our ability to perceive clearly. So in a state of inner stillness, that could be described as an alert meditation, one can know a supremeness of being. This state of meditation… of stillness… is one that we take along with us as we walk the path of our daily lives. It is not a requirement that one be sitting still, in a certain position. It is a living, acting state of mind.
As we become alert to that which our inner stillness reveals we literally see things differently and that is a sure sign that we are headed the right direction. Colors become more vibrant, light begins to move and undulate with the ebb and flow of energetic activity… We see the utter beauty in the simplest of things… things that to our noisy, chaotic state of mind seem mundane and dull. As we go deeper the veil that is the world of form begins to melt away as if it were but something we imagined existed and placed between us and something much broader… something that escapes description… a supremeness of being.
Is there a supreme being?
Yes, it is the state of being within us all that is supreme. We only need listen to know it.
The pendulum swings both ways.
The ego, as we are using the word here, can be described as the thought based sense of self… the thinker within. It is not really separate from our whole being but to the mind that is entrenched in the egoic mode of operation, as the majority of the human race is, it sees itself as separate from every thing and every one. Always it is working to be better, in one way or another, than everyone else… for that is its primary goal… self perpetuation. The pendulum swing is powered by this negative energy… the happiness of the success of being wonderful and the despair of failure in being unworthy… then there are the doldrums between the extremes. None of these judgments are true, they are only thoughts imagining… All positions of the pendulum are equal in futility… in their lack of reality… but we prefer some positions to others in its path.
The pendulum is the cyclical movement of ego driven emotions.
To the ego, or the thinker within, our lives consist of a pendulum swing from hope to despair, from love to hate, up to down, happiness to unhappiness, life to death… ad infinitum. This almost complete lack of awareness requires great energy to maintain and project outwards. The ego functions on the premise of providing just enough satisfaction to keep the mind in its game but it also balances this satisfaction with an equal and often greater amount of pain, anxiety, fear and despair. When caught in the egos web of deceit and desire, we human beings tend to swing emotionally from one extreme to the other. From an emotional high in one moment, when everything seems to be going our way, to an emotional low in the next when nothing seems right. This swing may be extreme at times and we experience wild shifts in our emotional state… and more often the swing is much more subtle and life seems “normal”. The extent of its swing is of no consequence though because in any case we are playing the ego’s game and the price we pay is a lack of awareness of our existence as the infinite beings we are. This takes a huge toll on our bodies and on our minds… but cannot effect our essence.
Each thought is a single perspective.
Every thought we have represents a singular way of seeing whatever it happens to pertain to. Yet it is clear that everything within our sphere of experience can be seen from a multitude of perspectives. Seeing this, does it seem at all odd that we tend to be completely consumed by whatever our current set of thoughts happens to be and by what this being demands of us?
Seeing that any given perspective or set of thoughts represents only one of a multitude of perspectives we can begin to surmise the equality in all thought. Thought, by its very nature, is limited and limiting and ultimately it constricts and distorts the natural flow of our essence… of our being. For example, because of our bent towards allowing thought to rule us, the human body must endure immense stress born of the conflict that arises in stipulating that a certain perspective is singularly correct and by defending it and yet all the while knowing that all perspectives are equal in being a singular slice of the reality they represent.
This is not to infer that thought is in itself evil or corrupt. One could compare it to money, which is not evil or corrupt… or to a gun that is not evil or corrupt. It is the function we ascribe to thought, money or the gun that determines its purpose and so the effects it elicits. Thought has been a very useful aspect in the evolution of human consciousness. Yet we are at a crossroad that urges us to move beyond thought in order to transcend its inherent limitations. As a master, thought is often cruel and harsh causing pain and suffering in the wake of its forceful nature. We will not be able to continue, as a species, while allowing it to run our lives. Like the medicine that we took when we were ill, now that we are healed the same substance that once saved our lives becomes a poison to us… It no longer serves us to be the result of the thinker within; we can and must do much more.
You might be feeling that this may all be significantly true but if so, how is one to transcend this human era of thought based action? One could correctly state that thinking is all we know, which is true because all “knowing”, as we currently define it, is thought based. Their may be a knowing that is beyond all this but that is mere speculation at this point. Surely, more thinking, through theories, philosophies, rituals, religions, science, industry, commerce, education and etc are simply the continuance of this age old thought dominated paradigm. The simplest assertion would be that the lack of thought, or at least the de-throning of thought as the master is a good place to begin.
Do you feel that you would be completely incapable of acting unless you are thinking through everything you do? Most of us have had the experience of working intensely on something we love to do only to find that we have lost track of time… maybe several hours… Most of us have had the experience of knowing something that we should not have been able to know. It just came to us without any conscious thought or volition. These are hints of what we are able to do when we are free of thought. So find out what happens when you consciously allow thought to end, if even for a moment. This will be the beginning of a movement in a new direction in your life. As you begin to unfold it and allow it to develop you will begin to see everything differently. Instead of seeing from a singular perspective born of thought you will see from a much broader perspective… thus changing, in inconceivable ways, your life experience and that of those around you.
There are as many pluses as minuses in every situation.
There will always be aspects of our lives that we would not have chosen if we had the choice. Interestingly, it seems that in every situation in which we find ourselves there is a consistent balance of that which we consider to be desirable and that which is not. Have you ever noticed this? For instance, being a parent… having children is one of the most beautiful experiences a human being can have. The love we have for our children is such a wonderful feeling. Yet at the same time that love can be a burden of worry… and children require constant attention and so a parent often sets aside much of their time in caring for them.
We often think that if we change the situation in which we find ourselves, we would be happier. This may be true for a short time but soon afterwards the old patterns set in and we find that once again we have focused upon the negatives in the current situation… often to the exclusion of the positives. Only in understanding that every situation has this balance of positives and negatives can we gain the perspective we need in order to be objective. An old adage is the story of the goat who wanted to go to the greener pasture and finds that it was not what he thought it was when he finally got there. The grass may be greener but you still have to mow it.
It is a delusion to think that by changing our life situation we can be happy. In extreme cases this may be true but in general we find that our happiness depends not upon the current situation but instead upon how we are looking at the current situation. Our thoughts and subsequent emotional reactions to them are the determining factor.
It is through becoming aware of the thoughts we are holding about our life situation that we lessen the grip they have upon our well being. It is by simply listening to our thoughts and then seeing how they effect us… the way we react to these fixated perspectives on a moment by moment basis… that we can become free of them. In this freedom we find a joyfulness in each experience. Suddenly our perspective changes and we see and appreciate the beautiful light that our children are. We find that our job is a perfect opportunity for us to interact with one another. We find that our lives are not the miserable prisons we thought they were and that the grass in our pasture is quite tasty. In this freedom we find the power to truly love… in it we find ourselves.
We may be having fun and do not even realize it.
If you live to be very old and find yourself sitting in a rocking chair… perhaps finding it difficult to move or do many of the things that you took for granted in your youth… you might think back, remembering today and think… I had the world in my hand and did not even know it. The world was my oyster and I had my eyes closed to it.
What will you do with today, which is such an amazing gift to you? Right this minute you can do anything you want given the situation you find yourself in… so what are you going to do? You might choose to just go with the flow. Doing what you are being told… You might choose to sit and complain about all that you cannot do because of this or that. Perhaps you would prefer to blame everyone around you for your feelings of inadequacy… You might lash out because of your feelings of frustration due to perceived personal or social limitations… there are many ways you you could not live up to the amazing potential that each of us has. You may even be afraid to succeed.
You may decide that to live up to what other people expect or demand of you is not the only choice. You also might see that the ideals you hold in your thoughts are also imagined limitations you set for yourself. Instead of trying to emulate behaviors of others whom you admire… trying to be something or someone you are not… you might begin to study yourself… to find out what you are all about and then to develop it. Learn to be the best “you” that you can be. Make it your daily mantra… Cultivate a daily life dedicated to becoming better and better in every moment and help others to do the same.
Each of us brings a uniquely dynamic personage to the table of life. When we learn to develop, nurture and love who we are, we begin to enjoy life to its fullest… we begin to contribute to the world in a way only we can… we begin to realize the full potential of who we are and what we can do… we become a positive influence for everyone we come into contact with.
Imagine how different the world would be if we each realized who we are and what we are uniquely capable of and then developed that potential. On the same plane, imagine how different the world would be if we encouraged each other to be who we truly are instead of always forcing our children, friends, family and etc into being what we expect of them through judgmentalism, criticism, contempt and even more severe actions.
What are you here to do? How will you go about doing it given the situation you find yourself in at this very moment? How will you proceed towards your life’s true potential? Find out who you are… you will likely be very pleasantly surprised… and always…
Be the best you that you can be!!
Love what you hate.
This is a very counter-intuitive statement. You might well say “How, or better, why should I do that?” Yet it is the very things that most challenge and disturb us that are also motivating us… opening us… So rather than trying to avoid them, forget about them or fighting with them, try looking into these situations with a calm, un-judgmental eye and instead try to work with them. Find a way to delve more deeply into whatever it is that you are hating. You will likely find that it is some aspect of yourself that is at the root of the problem.
Nearly universally human beings act from a position of thought based knowledge as a means for success. It is through brute force determination based upon the acquisition of knowledge that all gain is achieved… yet it is a hollow victory. This ego based success always leaves one wanting more. The entire premise is based upon a desire to get more for “me”… and it is never enough.
However, since you are reading this, you may have discovered that this approach does not work for you. In fact this approach often backfires in that the more you want something the more you push it away. For you, only awareness will provide you with the power you need to succeed. It is not by thinking and knowing, but by pure conscious doing, that you will achieve your goals. In getting to the point in your growth that you can realize this, you must have also realized that you do not completely believe in the dream we all seem to be experiencing. Therefore, much of the sense of identity that the ego must have… at all costs… has been lost. This loss, the stripping away of this identity, can cause quite a disturbance within us until we realize it is the seed of consciousness. From such a position we find that our perspective about success changes from one of being ego driven, where personal gain is all that matters, to one where the benefit of all is the only goal one could imagine might be worthwhile. Benefit here, as we have seen, is based upon state of mind… an ever increasing awareness born of the quiet mind… a raising of consciousness… it is based upon love…
Salutations to you my friend.
Begin with optimism.
Begin each day and every moment of each day with optimism. Let that optimism grow into love. Let that love develop into peace. Let that peace turn into joy. Always remember, though, to begin first with optimism.
Everything is as it should be. Thinking in terms of ideals will ultimately lead to negativity. The entire multiverse (multi-dimensional universe) is moving in exact precision… how could we think otherwise about our lives? If we are being honest with ourselves we do not understand the source of it, but we are in each moment being presented the optimal set of circumstances for our personal growth and development… We only need choose to see it and then to work with it. In observing this how could we not be optimistic?
Optimism means optimal approach. It serves no purpose to seek anything that does not make you happy. Your happiness is a sure signal that you are heading the right direction. Cultivate an efficiency towards recognizing that which makes you happy and focusing upon it. Focus on the light in your experience; it is the only truth you will find.
Feelings of negativity will bring negativity into your experience. That which you put out will always reflect back to you. Negativity is very draining and is a downward spiral, not only for your self but for all around you. The more you see things from a negative perspective the more difficult it becomes to lift your self out of this trend in thinking.
The butterfly effect hypothesizes that the beating wings of a single butterfly has an effect on the weather on the other side of the world. Think of the effect a negative perspective has on the world. Even more profoundly, think about the effect an optimistic attitude has on the world. The positive, being based upon truth, is much stronger than the negative.
Soar with beating wings of optimism.
Waste not / Want not
Focusing now on how much we seem to be tied to results; upon the slight slip of the mind that continues the lifestyle, we accept without question, of “wanting”. This slip sets up the paradigm of fear in our minds… fear of success and failure… having and not having… seeing and not seeing… whatever… worrying in general. This slight, subtle, slip is self-perpetuating and is a primary negative downward spiral against which we struggle on a moment by moment basis.
Instead of spending (wasting?) our energy “wanting”, with all its offshoots and branches, we might better spend our time working to more clearly, deeply, actively perceive the “now”… what is happening right this very instant. There is such immense beauty before our eyes in this and every instant that if we saw but a glimpse of it tears of joy would flow from our eyes. This seeing is quite the opposite to wanting, which ultimately is nothing more than meaningless, ineffectual, mental action. This seeing is an energy building action not only for ourselves but for those within our field of influence both direct and indirect.
This is not to say one should dismiss goals but instead that perhaps we should smell the wild flowers that are growing beside the road… see the beautiful golden light that undulates the perfection in all… replace innocuous mental activity with clarity of vision. This slight shift in living provides a profound and wide ranging impact in our lives.
Always do your best but do not become emotionally attached to any certain results.
We are beings of light.
The experience was a triptych. The first week I was very ill with the Influenza. The body temperature was around 103 for five days during which time I barely drank and literally ate nothing. The second week the illness had become the worst case of pneumonia the radiologist who read my X-Ray had ever seen. At the beginning of the third week, still weak and ill from the pneumonia, I received a call from my brother-in-law. He said my step-father, who had experienced several strokes over the past two years, was on his deathbed and that I needed to come right away. The problem was that it was a two hour drive and I felt unable to make the trip so I said I was not going to be able to make it.
A couple of hours later, while sleeping, I suddenly bolted straight up into a sitting position and the voice clearly said, “Go to your step-father now”. So I got into the car and began driving. During the trip I was extremely connected with my dying step-father, which was a surprise because I had never been close with him. I realized that he was waiting for me to arrive; he wanted to die with all his family around him. At that moment any differences we had were meaningless to him.
I walked in the door and was quickly shuffled to the back bedroom where all the members of my family were sitting around his bed. Most were weeping. I had called him “young man” for the past several years mainly because I was trying to convey that no matter what his age or apparent health he was in every moment beginning a new journey. So I walked to his side and said, “Are you still with us young man?”. In that instant he let out his last breath and was dead.
Someone had called the coroner’s office and a little while later an officer came to pick up the “remains”. My mother did not want to let them. Suddenly inspired, these words came from my mouth:
Do not worship the dust that is the body but instead revel in the light that is who we truly are.
Belief is signpost worship.
|There was a man walking on a path.
He came upon a signpost.
On the signpost was written
“Heaven Five Feet –>”.
Weeping he fell to his knees
hugging and kissing the signpost.
He dug it up and drug it home.
He prayed to it and worshiped it
for the rest of his life.
He never realized that Heaven was five feet away.
awareness with belief
listening with thinking
learning with knowing
quietness with distraction
love with desire
We can think anything we want.
We can believe anything we think… and call it real…
The time between change and acceptance is pain.
Life is constant change. In fact the words “life” and “change” could be considered synonymous. Yet it is interesting to observe that more often than not we all resist the changes that occur in our lives. During the interval of resistance and ensuing conflict with the change that has occurred we feel pain. It is only in the acceptance of the change and the decision to assimilate it into our life view, is this pain alleviated.
Why do we resist the changes that our lives bring? The inevitability of these changes is obvious, so why are we surprised when they occur? Why do we do everything in our power to avoid them, whether we are conscious of it or not?
We all are delusional in feeling that we are in control… in control of our lives, of our destinies, of our relationships and all that. There are far too many factors and variables involved, some known many more unknown, for us to be able to control anything. Yet we derive a deep sense of security in feeling that we are in control and that, basically, things will remain as they are as long as we stay the course. This is true even if our life situation is less than what we would choose it to be, which is usually the case.
For us, this delusional sense of security is one of our most important and most guarded feelings. Our sense of well-being is derived from it. So we feed it and nurture it in everything we do, in every interaction we experience, in every relationship… Though we are often unaware of it, we derive our sense of happiness, accomplishment and satisfaction from this delusion. Have you ever noticed this?
At a certain level of our development we may benefit by holding this delusion in order to achieve a sense of balance and a center from which to function. Yet it requires a mature mind to be able to be comfortable in knowing from moment to moment that we are indeed not in control. It requires a deliberate, moment by moment, leap of faith to act from such a perspective. We are moving into the unknown in every step we take. An even more mature mind might even love the understanding that we are always moving into the unknown. What a great mystery our lives are! In this understanding is an immense sense of freedom. In this understanding we find we can move with every change effortlessly. We feel no pain because there is no resistance to the ebb and flow of changes that are constantly happening before our eyes and on many levels simultaneously. In this release from the pain of resistance we find peace and joy.
Paradoxically, we find that we have somehow become the master of our own destiny when we fully realize that we control nothing.
In order to be happy anywhere one must be happy everywhere.
True and lasting happiness cannot be derived from any circumstance in which we find ourselves… it must come from within.
This is evidenced by observing that sometimes those who have accumulated wealth and status are amongst the most unhappy and miserable creatures alive. Conversely it is sometimes those who have the least reason to be happy that are. So happiness is not based upon worldly gain or loss. Another example of this is of people with terminal illnesses. The state of dying can be a dynamic awakening for some people. Many report that they have become truly happy for the first time in their lives when faced with their imminent death.
To be happy, begin each moment with acceptance. Clearly see each circumstance for what it is, as much as is possible, and embrace it… nurture it. You may find that by looking with the openness of acceptance the situation will change before your eyes in a completely unexpected way without any conscious volition on your part. Certainly you will at the very least feel much better about it. Yes, change what you are inspired and able to change but do so remembering to accept each moment along the way.
Interestingly, any grievance held against any person or any circumstance is truly a grievance held against oneself. To be happy, allow all things to be as they are, without judgement or condemnation, knowing that everything is exactly as it needs to be. Nothing is lacking and nothing is wrong… each step in every moment of every day is a dance of growth… love the dance. Interestingly, any love held for any person or any circumstance is truly love held for oneself.
Wanting blinds us to having.
The Buddha is said to have taught that desire is the root of all human suffering. When we look at the world through eyes that are always looking for our desires to be fulfilled we see everything in relation to whether or not what we are experiencing is taking us closer to that fulfillment or away from it. If it is the former we are happier and if it is the later we are sadder.
Wanting, even the most noble of desires, is literally wearing blinders to life. When we allow desires in any form to run our lives… as almost everyone does every moment of every day… whether they are aware of it or not… we see everything is relation to them. Does this situation get us closer to what we want or further from it? In so wearing these blinders we obfuscate all else that is happening all around us. Our desires are all that matter and nothing else has any significance for us. This limits, on an immeasurable scale, what we experience.
Have you ever noticed that when you obtain something that you wanted you are happy for a brief period of time but soon some other desire comes into focus. This is classic “and then what” syndrome. This is the perfect way to notice this constant cycle of desire… it is a cycle of conflict.
If for a moment we let loose the hold that the habitual desiring has on our minds, an entirely new world of perception opens for us. There is so much beauty within our immediate grasp that we could experience and it is so much better than anything we could think of to want. But first we have to drop this conditioned human action of the desire cycle.
One might well ask, “if I have no desire, how can progress be made. We all would just sit around and do nothing”. Nothing could be further from the truth. For in letting go of desire we free ourselves to act with great power due to being able to see from a broader perspective… this freedom gives us incredible energy to act with love, compassion, intuition and creativity. The cycle of desire is a constant drain on our life energy and is responsible for much illness and disease (dis-ease).
Yet in seeing this it is all to easy to begin a cycle of desire intended to end desire… as we said earlier, no matter how noble the desire… it is still a continuance of the same action and so is destined to fail and inflict more pain on ourselves and all around us.
So how do we end this cycle of tyranny that the conditioned mind constantly forces us back into? It is no small wonder that this conditioning consumes us because it does so from several levels of our existence. We have the conditioning that we have learned from our friends and family… everyone we ever come in contact with… expected (and unquestioned) responses to most every type of stimuli we can imagine. In turn they have learned it from the previous generations, who also learned it from previous generations… ad infinitum. Then there is the cultural conditioning that influences us in the form of social interaction in all of its guises both overt and hidden. There is also the physiological/psychological conditioning that has been passed to us through the ancient evolution of our genetic structures. So is it possible for one to be free of all this?
The very act of seeing desire for what it is… is the freedom from it. Seeing clearly that you do want and that wanting is causing you to make decisions… to take action. Seeing the complete action of desire on all levels is its cessation. For when we clearly see that it is causing us pain and never ending anguish, we naturally end the action without efforting. Resistance in this matter is not only futile but is a deepening of desire’s apparent reality in our lives. So with a quiet mind we watch the whole movement of desire in all its facets without condemnation or judgement of any sort… simply watch. To the extent we can see… to that extent can we be free.
Being ill is good for you.
Yes, this statement goes against the grain of the common sense that one should avoid illness at all costs. How could being ill be good for you? “I don’t like being ill.” But being ill forces us to slow down. It forces a us to stop thinking the way we have been… If only for a brief period of time it stops the momentum.
We become fixated upon seeing and experiencing things from a certain perspective… we create a sense of self based upon that view. It is a common human propensity to cling to this self-contrived identity and, as a matter of daily… moment by moment practice, to expend much energy defending and supporting it. Throughout history we have seen that we will literally kill to defend our ideas of who we are. This movement is quite unfortunate in many ways but primarily because it precludes our being able to see what we are truly capable of… we are too wrapped up in being and perpetuating this mere facade… this mere shadow of all we are…
No single view of yourself could possibly encompass everything you are. Further, you are an ever changing and infinite being of light. How could such a limitless being be compressed into the very limited image the human race typically has of itself except in imaginings? What is the gain in doing so? Ironically, in expending so much energy in defending a particular set of thoughts of who and what we are we find that we are ill more often… Because we are constantly functioning from such a low level of energy life’s counter balance to our propensity to undermine our selves engages and we become ill.
Being ill, if even for a short time, frees us from all of this. We cannot be ill and continue thinking as we have been because it causes us more pain to do so. When we are very ill, we finally have to relinquish our thoughts in lieu of very basic aspects of dealing with the illness. In this relinquishment is an opening. It allows us to see ourselves in a different light and, if we are aware of it, to become aware we are the light.
If we use being ill as a springboard into an expanded view of ourselves and our lives we are turning sickness into a benefit… illness into health… water into wine… When life gives you lemons you make lemonade… Have you ever noticed how really great you feel after recovering from an illness? In being forced into letting go of our mental fixations, again if only for a short time, we come back fresh and alive. Being ill is indeed good for you… it is a vacation.
As we realize this we begin to understand that we can deliberately stop ourselves without having to be ill. If we take the time to slow down, to watch and listen as we are forming, supporting and defending a self image we can avoid being forced into stopping it by becoming ill. In the end we realize that we need to stop our thoughts and not allow them to become who we think we are… and fortunately if we cannot do it ourselves life will intervene on our behalf.
Be well my friend.
If you can handle the ‘nos’…the ‘yeses’ will come.
Often in life we don’t get what we think we want and it appears to us that we have received a ‘no’. The basis for the feeling of being denied the object of our affection (the thing we wanted) is time… the immediate recognition of having received it. Things are not how they appear though. Many times focusing desire in an area starts an unseen chain of events and makes connections that will be perhaps closer to the heart of what is truly wanted. How one handles or ‘fields’ this apparent ‘no’ will have an effect on what comes further down the road. One can turn from an apparent ‘no’ as if they had just put their hand into a flame and got burned (turning away never going back) or one can simply watch and listen to their own reaction and allow the circumstances to unfold as part of the process. The unveiling or discovery of what is truly wanted will be revealed based on how watchful or attentive one can be in the midst of what seems to be a failure.
Say ‘yes’ to the thing that appears as ‘no’…know that your interaction with ‘no’ is a form of communication and that given enough time and exposure in communication with the person, place, thing, idea, etc. that a relationship has developed. In that relationship there is already a ‘yes’ just waiting for the right mix of feelings, circumstance, or other contributing factors to allow it to blossom.
Given a adequate amount of ‘nos’ the ‘yeses’ will start to emerge from the background.
All thought/concept/form/judgement offers no intrinsic value.
This movement changes with every shift in perception thus denoting its unreality. We make it up as we go along to suit the perceived needs of the moment… in the next it becomes something else…
Thick as a Brick
= Success at the cost of Consciousness
Human beings are very similar to icebergs.
For most of us, our lives as human beings are like a tiny sliver of the very tip of the iceberg, which reveals only an extremely small part of our totality as an iceberg. Yet, we think that miniscule portion of ourselves to be everything.
To become human beings we freeze or lock ourselves into a certain form that is ultimately melting and will dissolve into the sea from whence it came.
There is a massive part of ourselves that is hidden below the surface. From that tiny sliver at the tip of the iceberg we can look out and see the sea below us. We see our reflections in the sea as well as the reflections of the other icebergs around us. These reflections are distorted by the swells and waves around us. From there we cannot see ourselves truly.
We feel that everything we are is wrapped up in this thought contrived self that is the tiniest sliver of the tip of the iceberg. We are instead the entire tip, the much more massive underside and ultimately the water in which we reside. That water is pure consciousness.
Silence stops time and puts emphasis on the infinite.
Silence, as used here, is referring to quietness of mind… the ending of thought. We experience everything in our world within the understanding of our thoughts. So we can see that by ending them we are in many ways stopping the world. In so doing, we open ourselves to an entirely new world… an entirely different way of experiencing life.
We, as human beings, nearly exclusively, emphasize our thinking selves and so deny the infinite. The world we experience, and call life, is nothing more than an ancient human agreement to see everything from within a certain set of perspectives, which we call reality. This is the way we share the human experience. One example of this agreement is time. Time is completely unreal. One could reduce time to being the synchronization of mechanical and digital devices we have built with the movements of the cosmos. Yet we use time as a way for us all to agree upon our movements and really we base everything we do around this illusory paradigm giving it great importance in our lives.
Though we are seldom if ever aware of it, this agreement and subsequent set of perspectives is very firmly held into place by our thoughts. Everything we experience is understood by what we think about it and we are all taught in everything we do that this is not only right but that it is the only possible way to live. Yet, is there another way? Is it possible to end this movement of thought?
We can easily see that the thinker within us is a demanding dictator and is the cause for all human suffering. War, greed, envy, jealousy are all a result of the thinking mind. So although this agreement we all share to see reality within the common view of our thoughts has done much for unifying us as a species it has also caused us to come very close to destroying ourselves and the entire planet we inhabit not to mention making our lives here but a pittance of what they could be. So if there is another way to live and experience life, it seems a worthwhile endeavor to investigate it.
Fear of the unknown is a result of an overwhelming number of possibilities as opposed to the known (after diving into the abyss) which limits those possibilities to a far smaller (more manageable) number of possibilities.
At first glance this seems to be so true but diving deeper into the question we see that the limit we impose upon the “known” is simply a perspective we project in order to feel secure. It is more accurate to say that in every moment we are diving into the unknown no matter what the circumstances. This is evidenced by experiences we have all had. We feel we are going along through our life knowing the path we are on and then suddenly something changes. The identity we derived from feeling that we knew who, what, when and where we were is completely obliterated. This can be caused by a breakup in a relationship, an illness, a drug or a tremendous success or achievement… Suddenly we find we are not who we thought we were and the world looks very different to us. Whenever something happens that is outside of our limited view of our world, we realize, if even momentarily, that we did not exist where we thought we did at all… we were not who we thought we were at all… These times are perfect openings or doorways for our growth if we are not mired in the fear and self-pity that often accompanies such changes.
As we come to accept that we could never know who, what, when or where we are… we can be at peace and experience the freedom that allows us to move untethered by that which we erroneously think we know. We accept the changes and oscillations of our life as they occur with no resistance and so flow effortlessly through the dream. It may seem impossible that one could go through life in a state of not knowing and not concluding. Yet when we see that our thoughts, conditioning and conceptions tie us to a certain perspective and allow this paradigm to fall away from our minds, we find a tremendous strength that is not effected by pomp and circumstance… At this point in your life you have graduated into the next world… Rejoice!! my friend.
You can’t read the label from inside the bottle.
It is often difficult to see that which is closest to us. Such is the dilemma when creating. It is a leap of faith that may be fathomed only in retrospect when one has become detached and moved on. Is it possible to attain detachment while in the process of being so intimately involved? It certainly could be a goal. Yet this action of holding and letting go is such a beautiful movement. A certain fluidity develops in this, born of comprehending the self-inflicted pain of resisting it. Allowing the seed that is planted to grow… assisting and nurturing when possible… letting the life we catalyze take its own course… this is the spice in our own life… this movement to and from infinity…
Loosen your grip on your current perspective… there are other possibilities.
Where are you sitting right now? Are you sure that is where you are? Is it possible you have constructed an entire world view about where you think you are and what you think you are doing and what it all is and what it all means? Human conditioning, not just habitual response but the way the human mind and body are formed, is such that whenever things become difficult or challenging the immediate reaction is to engage the thinking mind… the thinker, which could be equated with being the ego. Most people seem to be living a life of constant reaction… as events and situations, moment by moment, are presented to us we are conditioned, through centuries of evolution, to react. But my friend there are other ways to live. There is a quietness within us that is capable of helping us see any situation differently thus altering its content and effect on us. We become so locked in to a certain view of any situation that it becomes like concrete that hardens every time we look at it and accept it… often we accept without even the slightest question as to its reality.
The counter measure to this is to first realize that it is possible to see the event or situation in which you currently find yourself differently. Quiet your thinking. Allow yourself to see from a different perspective. This shift may seem as though it would be ineffectual from a concreted, solid world view but it is the complete opposite. It frees you to alter the content of your experience. We spend so much energy fighting to hold on to a particular perspective. We protect and preserve it at all costs. This causes all forms of problems for us because our life energy is spent in a manner that is not reciprocal. We exert all effort into supporting whatever exact world view we have created… put all of our energy into it and get nothing in return. If we can quiet this thinker, that holds so dearly on to a certain perspective of itself, and see things differently, we suddenly become fluid and able to shift and move with the flow of the life that we are involved in. Suddenly our immune system is strong, we become content and even joyous in understanding that the way we have been seeing and experiencing the world has been limited and limiting and that there is another way. It is another way of saying that there is another world.
It is time for you to become the vital, energetic, dynamic and conscious creator that you truly are and let go of the idea that you are a dying, lifeless, hopeless being waiting for death to overtake you… this is an ugly limited imitation of who you truly are… reacting but not awake… Awaken to the knowledge that you are a beautiful being of light… a constant creator of a beautiful and ever changing world.
We learn through correction not perfection.
Learning and change are synonymous.
We change through consciousness not through struggle.