The Last Hundred Pieces

pokey jig.jpgSomewhere in a blog, either this one or a previous, I’ve mentioned that I am a jig-saw puzzle fanatic.

Give me a thousand or fifteen-hundred tiny knobbed-bits that insert into other tiny knobbed-bits, and I am good for a few days of studying, comparing, assessing, and inserting them into some semblance of intended unity.

(Bare with me please, there is a philosophical point I will eventually make here.)

Once the straight-edged pieces which represent the framework of the intended picture, are separated from the mass and put into one pile, the re-joining process begins.  framework.jpg

With a framework soon established, the rest of the prospective pieces rely on color, tint, and hue for possible frame connection.

So with that basic info in mind, today I am now down to the last unattached, hundred pieces of a particularly difficult puzzle that has taken me well over a week of serious concentration.  And whenever I reach this point in a puzzle completion, it is usually a piece of cake to wrap it in an hour or two.

Jaguar puzzle.jpgBut as I was automatically sorting the last pieces into separate piles per their knob locations and particular shapes for easy selection and insertion attempt, I realized that I had changed my initial puzzle focus and strategy. I was simply filling open holes now in the puzzle and was making remaining-piece determination more so by the negative spaces left to fill rather than color similarities of the pictured image.

When I recognized my focus shift into the-last-hundred-pieces-strategy that I tend to resort to for completing any puzzle image, it dawned on me that there was something deeper to consider here than pitting positive images against negative spaces.

As we move throughout our lives from childhood onwards, we focus on building an early life framework for ourselves to help us determine who we are as individual beings, and to ferret out what we truly want from our lives. We often paint pictures in our minds to use as blueprints for creating those future realities from our fantasies; and then we go about amassing and inserting the assorted puzzle pieces necessary to get us to that completed ideal-life image we hold so dear.

For those of us who have been around quite a few decades, we may have tried to fit many random pieces into our life-puzzle depending on the positive image we always maintained of how we wanted our life to look at completion.face.jpg

Sometimes those knobby pieces fit into proper place just like we wanted them to do. And sometimes they didn’t. But that didn’t deter us, because we just kept working on our incomplete “life puzzle” trying to make something cohesive and beautiful from our unification attempts at life’s seemingly random events.

But similar to the nearly completed puzzle on my card-table at present, when we get down to the last hundred pieces left to complete the pretty picture of our lives—it is similar to the latter decades of our lives, where we are basically shifting strategy to fill in the negative spaces left for us rather than building an expansive future image centered between the framework of four established sides.

And to fill in that remaining negative space in our lives, we look for shapes that fit the boy.jpgholes that are left to fill. In effect, we likely change our life focus. We now focus on the details of filling in holes still left to complete our life picture that we had originally envisioned.

I also notice that with my puzzle completion so near, I tend to slow down and savor the remaining piece possibilities, because once that puzzle is done, it is DONE!  Nothing more will need my attention there.  At that point there is simply acceptance of the puzzle’s ending, my appreciation of the actual effort in that process, and allowing a day or two for simply admiring the completed image that had been so carefully reconstructed from all those random “life” pieces.

Then after the admiration stage, I just crumple the completed puzzle into random pieces once again, put it in the bag/box with the pretty picture on the front, and stash it away until next year.  (I actually have about 25 puzzle boxes I work through every winter. I know—obsessive.)

But wait a minute, one might think that if you have already put a puzzle together once that the second or third attempt to do so again is so much easier—right?  Well,….not so much.multiframes

Just like with having lived so many previous lives in so many different contexts and conditions, every present-life puzzle is just as difficult to complete as the one before it had been to construct. Our only advantage to recognizing that we have had many attempts at defining our life’s framework and completing our desired future image is that at some point in our spiritual progress, we stop and assess where those negative spaces are left in our soul’s evolution. We do this so we can determine what is necessary to complete the total picture of reconstructing our Wholeness—perfecting our reunification with the ONE.

And guess what?

THAT is the very puzzle we ALL are working on right now.

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Reflections on the Sound of Rain

When the world around you is shaking or on fire, …when shrill screams and cries of rage disrupt your peace, …..when your inner acrimony out-paces any positive thoughts, there is a solution to the dilemma: sit in quiet meditation listening to gentle rain tapping softly on your conscious mind.

If you don’t have the real thing, there are recordings of gentle patter against window drops on leaves.jpgpanes and roof tops; cascading droplets slapping out-stretched leaves and dark, bare soil with crystal-clear, liquid nourishment.

It is quite soothing.

We need soothing.

A Confluence of Events

Nothing invites chaos faster than proclaiming certainties.

No, the USA elections result isn’t because of a superstitious curse—the Cubs winningc-goat the World Series didn’t simply pass their “curse-goat” to the Democrats.

Last night (or early this morning), national news pundits began the election autopsy even before the critical battleground states were ceded. Something just wasn’t falling into line in every state’s rural-area voting totals; and all puzzled over what they were trump 2.jpgseeing until a deeper realization set in—Trump really was going to win.

The joke that we thought was his bid for the presidency, was actually on everyone else.

I can honestly say that this particular joke didn’t seem very funny last night—nor does it this morning.  But it is what it is. And you simply move forward from this day on just like I mentioned in my October 25th post. No matter who would be elected, it only mattered that it “makes life safer, better and happier for everyone.”

Time will tell, I guess.

Then I noticed that after listening to a few stunned morning-news people, I sighed and actually felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. Yes. I could now pull out and gwbreuse my old response to every whining criticism I ever heard about President George W. Bush’s antics and actions from 2000-2008:

“Don’t tell ME about it—I didn’t vote for him!”

There……  I feel better already.

Karma and Dharma

Bobbsey.jpeg

No, Karma and Dharma aren’t the Bobbsey Twins (Oh Lord,…how old am I?).

olsensHow about the Olsen twins—is that more relatable?

For those of us who wish we better understood the relationship between the two hard-to-comprehend Sanskrit terms, I ran across a good comparative description in a blog entry called “Understanding Karma and Dharma” by John Burgos at  https://www.beyondtheordinaryshow.com/spiritual-dictionary/karma-dharma/ .

In that posting, this subject matter is explained by him in a “makes sense” manner that had me nodding in agreement.

When I write about living your true life purpose—being authentic—living a purposeful life, etc., I am actually describing DHARMA—a Hindu concept attempting to put a label on living in the natural, harmonious flow of life. Proper labeling is not easily done in any language. But for all practical purposes to better understanding it, that is what DHARMA means.dharma k.jpg

In that posting, according to Burgos: “So when we speak about you living your dharma, we are referring to you living your truth, living your highest potential, and living in a way that is supported by the Divine in a manner that is in accordance to your soul’s desire.”

And when I write about facing/resolving our personal and collective karma, I’m in essence writing about the boomeranging reciprocity of any action’s intentions for lovingness or harmfulness to others. Or as Burgos explained it: “Karma, put simply, is the Buddhist and Hindu manifestation of cosmic justice. It is the conglomeration of all your actions or deeds, both good and bad, in this life or past lives, that determine your future.”

As Burgos explained, when the two major life processes actually come into alignment with each other, life is good.chart.png

We feel deeply at peace and are riding the Divine Flow of Universal Lovingness.

But when we are out of alignment with either or both life processes, our negative Karma can prevent fulfilling our true Dharma; and/or not recognizing and living our true Dharma can add to the blow-back-in-your-face effects of our bad Karma.

So how do you clean up this possible calamity before it reaches critical mass in your life?

He has a suggestion of a 5-Step Karmic Cleanse technique to keep us from falling5 step.jpg into the bottomless pit of our own ignorance, paraphrased by me as:

  • Think before you act,
  • When emotions/memories surface and you start to react to them, pause and breathe through it to simply release them from your being,
  • Forgiveness is key to mending disputes with others and within yourself,
  • Be kind—don’t be cruel—we know Elvis wouldn’t want that,
  • Share the goodness of your heart and soul with others—uplift others, don’t degrade or belittle them.

Overall, I think his posting is worth a read-through, and his suggestions are well-worth considering.

Namaste.