ILLUMINATION: Out of the Storm

(originally posted 8.29.2012)

“When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”
~ Haruki Murakami


When I first saw this picture, it affected me on many levels.

Strong symbolism suggests powerful forces at work between earth and sky…with the ocean or sea representing the great unconscious mind radiantly illuminated by cross-currents of electricity passing between the higher cosmos and the land surface (the super-conscious and the conscious mind).

It evokes multiple mental images and even stirs some emotions of fear and awe, of danger and yet witnessing Great Mystery’s jaw-dropping brilliance in super-kinetic motion. Anyone who has ever been through an electrical storm with minimal personal protection from it, knows the excitement and uncertainty of where the next lightning strike may land…near you or not, …always unsure if you will soon become the lightning rod to charge the air molecules around you in one huge burst of unbridled energy or just a smoldering cinder left in its wake.

To me, this picture is a symbol for ENLIGHTENMENT—where the earth-based vehicle (that’s you and me) is suddenly “illuminated” with total consciousness—with total awareness—and super-saturated with Divine Light and energy.

Total awareness and total destruction are both possible aspects of being “struck by lightning” through our direct contact with the Divine. It can be that unbelievably beautiful and that personally devastating at the same time.

So, as Haruki Murakami says, after undergoing such a storm, you will not be the same person that you were prior to it. Because you will have been illuminated,….enlightened beyond your immediate comprehension. You will not see the same or be the same, or think the same, or feel the same,…because enlightenment is direct connection with something so powerful that our small earth vessels cannot contain it—it blows our circuits—it fuses us like copper wire melting during an electrical-current overload.

It forces us to rewire internally: how we think, how we see our lives in relation to others and to the world around us, how we act and react to the daily dramas, to facing down our fears and examining our aspirations under a different context than we had used previously.

When you go through any major storm in life, you come out the other side with a different attitude and shift in perspective on “life storms” in general, and it forces reexamination of yourself on how well you may have handled the situation—what you learned in the process—how perhaps you could have handled it better; or it may give a deeper appreciation for simply having survived the devastatiolightening.jpgn. Major life storms can make you re-evaluate yourself on many levels.

No doubt about it, big storms in life can change you; and yes, as Haruki Murakami states: that IS what they are meant to do.

But with actual illumination and enlightenment, you won’t just be “changed” from the person that you once were, ….you will be recreated completely.  Completely re-worked, completely re-wired. You will see with different eyes, and hear in different ways. You will know that which you never knew before, and with a certainty—an assuredness—that did not previously exist. TRUTH is ever present, wherever you go, whatever you do, whomever you encounter. You will know TRUTH, like you’ve never felt it before the storm.

And you will immediately recognize that you are NOT the same person walking out of it, as the one who had walked in.

You’ve EVOLVED in understanding and awareness because of it.

Only Words

(originally posted 8.3.12 in my previous blog)

As a writer, words are my craft, my mode of expression, my connection to the masses who share these common symbols and meanings, my attempt to explain the unexplainable; and yes, even more,…it’s the only way I can share my subjective experience with others in some mutual form of empathic resonance.

As an energy therapist, I know the importance of light frequency and sound vibration. I know the power of words and their intended (as well as subtle) meanings on others, whether read or spoken.

Words are why you are here today perusing this blog. Words can touch your heart, they can inspire, and they can do far more: words can shift your energy lower or higher.

Long ago on my  Facebook page, the Tao and Zen folks had a great graphic of the Yin/Yang symbol that often represents the Tao. On the dark side were all the “shadow” words that instill fear and sadness in our hearts; and on the white side, were all the “love and light” words that instill joy, contentment, and that “feel good, safe and secure, hugged by a loved-one” inner peace we all strive to find in our lives.yinyangwords.jpg

I don’t think I’ve ever seen another graphic or image that better conveys a sense of what a low-frequency focus (darkness) and a high-frequency focus (light) really look and sound like in our culture—in everything we read, view, and hear around us, 24/7/365.

These “words” can make you feel bad about yourself and each other, or they can make you feel good about yourself and each other, because they represent what a fear-focus (darkness) means to us, and what a love-focus (light) means to us.

Whenever you speak, hear, or experience the darker side of this life, you know one of those fear-focused words all too well. So if your life is tinged or flooded with any of those darker word symbols that represent actual affects and emotions in your life, you are being adversely affected by fear in some form.

Likewise, if you speak, hear, or experience the lighter side of this life, you know the love-based words and make them your focus no matter what others say or do, because to live from those “light” word symbols, you truly have to shift your perspective higher and keep it there, no matter what the world around you implies or projects at you. High-frequency living is very much a choice and a goal for many of us, because it doesn’t necessarily come easily.

To attain that goal means we must reduce and eliminate, if possible, the “darker” words from our lives. We do this with intention and dedication to living in a high-frequency world because that’s the world we choose to live in.

If you choose “love and light” the white words represented here, are for you to shout from the hilltops and to emulate daily in all manner of human expression.

So, perhaps in one graphic image, you can conceive a personal road-map for raising your frequency and recognizing shadow-thoughts and behaviors when they arise or when they attempt to influence you; both in your own thoughts and behaviors, and in those of others around you.

Being aware of what low-frequency and high-frequency looks, sounds, and feels like, can be pivotal to recognizing your own feelings and choosing how you wish to spend your time—in the shadow or the light.

A Short Story Collection of Rick Bass

Rick Bass.jpgShort stories capture little vignettes of life as compared to a novel’s more-lengthy theme exposition and character development.  A good short story is every bit as difficult for a writer to master as is a good novel because you have far fewer pages to make your point and show your world view. It requires great clarity of vision and a high degree of literary skill. In other words, it takes discipline.

Do NOT consider short stories as the Reader’s Digest version of a novel. They are very different genre and as such offer a unique and rewarding reading experience. To me they are like browsing a buffet of favorite foods all stretched out before you to sample a bit of this, and then try a little of that until eventually you’ve sated your appetite. This book is the buffet grazer’s banquet.

And as mentioned previously, I really love a good writer—a word-magician who can string a few random syllables into multi-dimensional prose with such ease and grace that is effortless to read while being transformative in the process.For a LIttle While

This book I’m now exalting is called FOR A LITTLE WHILE: New and Selected Stories of Rick Bass.

As a short-story writer, Rick Bass could be the resultant love-child of Jack London coupled with Ernest Hemingway—birthed and nurtured by a Jungian midwife. His writing style is succinct, precise, sensory stimulating; and often depicts his characters’ intimate, dependent relationship with their environment.

Bass often shows how the environment has shaped each of the characters in his stories because the characters and the land itself often seem interchangeable with and indistinguishable from each other.

As a writer he subtly captures the depth of human interaction/emotions by describing actions (it’s what you DO, not what you SAY that counts). A character’s speech or dialogue might reveal conscious, flowing thought but actions reveal the unconscious motivations at work that drive the plot (and the life).

Overall I think Rick Bass really goes places that most writers never go—into the psychological core of basic human belief that drives their behavior—a spiritual connection to the land, which he often then parallels to animals of the same region.

tree tops.jpgIn fact in this collection of stories, there is an overwhelming oneness of every living thing interacting with their environment. That natural interdependency is often ignored in the prose of other writers—perhaps because of other writers not recognizing it. Bass, however, reveals the basic matrix of life itself—exposing the soft underbelly—with all its species interconnections and dependencies.

But more importantly is that as a really good writer he does it all so simply and elegantly—and that’s what just blows me away.

He doesn’t get salacious with his story line. He doesn’t go all horrific or deranged. He takes a rustic setting with simple born-of-the-earth people and examines each character’s internal machinations that translate into daily doings in such a way that it reveals WHO those characters are as human beings.

He shows the reader that WHAT his characters are swans on lake.jpgdoing in response to life’s challenges and grind are reflective of WHO they are; but it also helps us to see WHY that should matter to any of us. Bass deftly unveils how our simplest daily actions define our lives—it frames how we view each other, discloses how we treat each other, and clarifies what true life-lessons are learned during our journey here, whether separately or together.

rooted humanYou won’t read a Bass line claiming that life is fair or unfair; only that it is LIFE with all its beauty, tumbles, and bruises. He frequently shows how those strongly-rooted-to-the-land individuals derive their very life-essence from the land itself—how those “firmly planted humans” with feet to shuffle rather than burrowing filaments can more easily flow with and/or resist the life challenges that might test us lesser humans to the limit of our strength and stamina.

Anyway, I could go on and on here, but I think the book is a great short-story collection, especially for nature-lovers. The writer, Rick Bass is a phenomenal talent, and I’ll be reading more of his offerings

It comes as no surprise that he is an environmentalist.  He writes of nature and the land that supports us like an adulating lover extolling his beloved’s attributes.

Taming the Ego

tamer.jpgI’ve never been a passive person.  Even my earliest childhood shyness was often countered by an innate confidence in my abilities, talents, and determination to achieve whatever I truly desired; and I’ve done fairly well over the course of my life. I’ve always had a healthy ego from childhood onward, and I can recognize that it probably helped me through some of the more difficult years, while hindering me through some of the “could have been more enlightened” ones.

EGO had/has its purpose—for me and for all of us—that’s why we are here in earth’s experiential testing ground—to be the individual perceiver/receiver/transmitter of a greater awareness—to be individual satellite sensors of a much Higher Consciousness.

Why EGO matters for this particular post is that I can also recognize how EGO has shaped our perceptions—perhaps even kept us safe in questionable situations, but it has often been the primary driver of our individual actions ego mind.jpgthroughout our lives.

Unfortunately it has also been the chief determiner of many a nation’s political policy and foreign affairs. People in power positions have ruled by EGO far too often. Ego-driven actions means actions focused on personal gain—personal power—and using purely personal concern as the guiding point to any decision.

When people talk about the need to tame our EGOs, they are referring to eliminating the hubris from our interactions—that obnoxious degree of arrogance and self-focus exhibited in trying to reach agreement between two or more ego

When it pertains to a nation’s isolationist stance and counter-actions towards other nations, it can be a dangerous determinant because political EGO has no place in world affairs, especially in high-power positions.

But I don’t have to caution anyone against believing the prattle of narcissists or megalomaniacs since those folks usually self-destruct when over-exposed to their own tainted image. It just takes a little time to see it all develop and then run its course.

I merely wish to say that EGO can be a tricky motivator even in Spiritual circles where a few “enlightened” people share thoughts and inspirational guidance with others who are supposedly “less enlightened.”

thActually it’s pretty hard to get the EGO out of everything we say and do even when we think we are being selfless and humble. And it’s hard to not react to others who give us their unsolicited opinions based on their own tainted perspectives and unresolved issues.

So I can easily say that EGO is alive and kicking almost everywhere in today’s world.

Can it really be tamed–one might ask?  I guess you’ll have to decide that for yourself.

I think there is a tremendous amount of self-delusion out there, especially in those who feel they are simply speaking the desires of a Higher Power. And that is a problem.

It’s a problem because there are other, perhaps more-naïve folks who want to believe that someone else might have the answers to their life questions instead of finding them within their own inner counsel.

It’s also a problem because we want so much to trust others and to believe what they say.high self.jpg

But as has been proven to me many times that even those with the Spiritual “IN” are themselves in danger of interpreting and judging rather than providing unbiased information. So who is it you can really trust to give you accurate answers to those issues of greatest importance?

Your own Higher Self.  Just ask.