Treatise on Integrity

integrit paper.jpg“Integrity: That which shall be humanly borne and displayed as an essential aspect of truth.”

Well that’s my definition of integrity if no one else’s.

“To live with integrity is to be intimately aligned to one’s truth and core values.”

Again, that’s my take on it.

But I do know from personal experience that if you live your life with integrity and truthfulness, you will never be disappointed in yourself.

There will be others who might not be very happy with you at times, especially when your integrity blocks their intentions, but you will stay true to your own ideals if you maintain your sense of personal integrity and right-action focus.

So what does this mean in today’s integrity-starved world?

For one thing, you will definitely stand out from the crowd—you might even be the focal point of the crowd’s anger, which isn’t the most enjoyable place to be.integrit 2

For another, you will find yourself reaching very deep within for the strength and courage to keep your integrity untarnished amidst the constant deluge of complaints and insults slung in your direction.

Another possibility? You might lose a friend or two during the process of staying true to your own beliefs on the rightness of a situation or an action.

But the really strange thing about personal integrity is that nearly everyone believes that THEIR core beliefs and the courage of THEIR convictions are the only TRUE ones possible, which makes the rest of our efforts to maintain personal integrity questionable to them.

integrit 3As much as I value integrity and truth, and I definitely do value them, I also know that what I believe to be the ultimate TRUTH may not be the same as what others believe it to be. We don’t all think and feel the same.

Furthermore, in my rational mind I know that truth is often the perspective of whoever is holding that viewpoint.

But also in my being I know that what I stand for as a loving and compassionate human being is as strong and unwavering as any army’s professed allegiance to any person, place or belief.

Stubbornness is my finest trait or so I’ve been told, because to me integrity is a core value that is worthy of staking one’s integrit 1personal reputation on and/or career future. Holding one’s personal integrity firm and unbending can define us as compassionate human beings when others around us flutter in the winds of political change and collective opinion.

In the largest sense, our Nation was built on certain fundamental assumptions on rightness and fairness, on equity and justice; and when the integrity of any democratically elected official is in question or fluctuating toward non-democratic ideals, then further exposition and assessment of possible wrong-doing must be allowed to happen. The democracy that supports us depends on the integrity of those who lead it.

If we can’t at least rely on a leader’s integrity to do what is lawful and right as guaranteed to us by our U.S. constitution, then we have little firm ground on which to take a stand.

integ world

As I mentioned previously, maintaining one’s integrity is often a tough and lonely stance to take in the face of tumultuous, self-serving opposition, but sometimes it is the only stand we truly have before we are driven to our knees.

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.

Moving Forward

2016.jpg

I’ve time-warped to Wednesday, November 9, 2016 and we have elected a new president to lead the nation for at least four years.

The task of that leadership is daunting—not easily accomplished by a single figure, male or female.

duties.jpg

In truth, the success of a nation and its people is never determined by one person, but that one individual known as The President of the United States of America has immense power to change millions of lives for the better or the worse, i.e.:

  • The use of nuclear weapons offensively or defensively, is a president’s prerogative.
  • Détente among world leaders is a determiner of cooperation and support for global policies.
  • Supportive alliances and multi-nation unity provide firm negotiating tactics for hot-spots around the world. NATO may not be perfect, but at present, it is the best we have.

Yes, on November 9th we will all be praying that change for all of us will be for the better.

We know by now there are no assurances that any policy or stance for or against an issue of importance will reap the benefits portrayed in an election campaign. Life just doesn’t play out that way.3 brances 2.png

And no matter what changes any President suggests or requests, it requires a Congress willing to support it, so there are things a President can do alone, but the majority of major changes need congressional support to enact and fund them. That’s just how federal governance is set up.

So when we all open our sleepy eyes on Wednesday, November 9th, there will be some very happy United States citizens and some not-too-happy ones. The largest challenge from November 9th onward is helping everyone to feel some degree of comfort with the election results and to find a way to make life better for everyone—even those who didn’t support the winning candidate.

That’s what it’s all about—how to make life safer, better and happier for everyone.

crayon2There are a lot more colors in the crayon box besides RED or BLUE. Let’s focus on the beauty of a multicolored pallet to paint a better and brighter future for all Americans.

I’m really tired of all the HATE lingo.

 

How about you?

The World We Know

How do you describe the world you know? world map.jpg

Is it a safe place? A good place?

Do people care and share with others in your world, or are they focused on staying alive and trying to keep their families together no matter the horror of their present situation?

There is such inadequacy in words.

Words dance about, from one mouth to another.

No matter how loud they are spoken, we don’t really hear them. We don’t really feel them.

We can see them occasionally, but they have no meaning to us. No REAL meaning.

aleppoWords aren’t stomach fillers.

Words aren’t warm blankets on cold nights.

Words don’t keep the rain or snow off our bodies, unless you build your shelter with useless books that no one reads because no one can.

Words mean little when you have little left to lose.

* **

Actions shift the balance between life and death.

Actions do the sharing. Actions do the protecting.actions.jpg

Actions make the difference in the world.

We don’t need self-serving rhetoric or bombastic narcissism.

We need ACTION.

And we need it NOW.

Creating a New Life Story

How do you write a better story for yourself—a better life narrative?

How do you conceive of a future far different from the one you/we seem destined to face?

These are interesting questions.  I was (am still) listening to the Shamanism Global Summit live webcasts—discussions with numerous well-known shamanic teachers/writers about the focus of their own visions and world-views, highlighting each one’s particular teaching focus for the online listening audience.summit_logo.jpg

The speaker I’m hearing at present is Alberto Villoldo. He and the interviewer Michael Stone are discussing one of Alberto’s books on the subject matter “We Are Our Dreams.” alberto.jpegThis discussion was similar to “the narrative” quotes I posted a few months earlier where Alberto stated that “You are not your history” sort of thing when you are still capable of writing a NEW narrative for yourself—while you are still able to create a NEW story to first envision and then to live.

So coming back to the subject matter of creating a new life story, I’m actually listening to the recording from Alberto’s yesterday session that I missed, while I’m mentally comparing it to watching a Tony Robbins’ Netflix documentary yesterday called Robbins“I Am Not Your Guru” which also was interesting to me in a round-about way—not for the over-powering personality of Tony Robbins, but for the exposition of what he actually does for/and to the people who attend his extremely expensive and psyche-striping, 6-day workshops.  He helps them rebirth/ recreate themselves by using different techniques for the different personalities that he encounters in the workshops.

What I found amazingly with both Alberto and Tony, is that they were both talking about reclaiming your own power—by setting your true life goals—by defining who you really are and relearning how to live your life in an authentic manner.

Or in essence, both were defining the soul-nurturing importance of living an authentic life.authentic life

But what does an authentic life entail?

Good question.

Alberto finished and I clicked on the next webcast that I wished to hear, which was Lynn Andrews with her topic “Love and Power—The Fine Art of Shamanic Living” and she begins talking about a common shamanic subject: the sacred wheel of life—the Medicine Wheel, or as shamanic practitioners might call it symbolically “Following the Four Directions.”

Lynn_V_Andrews.jpgShe started her discussion by describing the attributes of the South where we are most grounded into this existence as the South represents the physical manifestation aspect of your life.  She asked the question we must ask ourselves:  “Am I proud of myself”—proud of my physical presence on this earth and proud of what I represent in that presence?

Then she moved to the West, and asked “Do my emotions rule me and how?” and “What is my dream in life?”  The West Direction represents life, death, and rebirth—it is called the Sacred Dream. “It is where you learn to order your dreams (by importance) so you can manifest them in life,” she said.

In the North she asks: “Do I bring Spirit into my everyday life, and if so HOW do I do that? Am I really connected to the Divine Source? …How do you connect into Spirit/Inspiration in the North Direction and then take that inspiration down to the South to manifest it into your life?”medicine-wheel

Continuing the circle she said, “Then you move to the East and ask, Do I think I AM my mind, and WHY?” (are you ruled by egoic goals?) Or why is my life a result of HOW I think about it?  Is my life a result of WHAT I think is meaningful and how I perceive it to be?  ….Am I merely a product of my (conscious or unconscious) thoughts?

It was fascinating in a way because I think that Lynn Andrews helped to define the roadmap to authenticity, while Alberto and Tony Robbins displayed the process more so in metaphor (Alberto) and direct experiencing (Tony), respectfully.

So for the short time I sat here to listen to the recorded Shamanic web broadcasts, this posting wrote itself.

I think it shows how Spirit flows easily and effortlessly through us when you simply connect into it and allow it to use you as a vessel of genuine meaning, rather than as an instrument of hate.

Where to Start?

meditate.jpgBreathe…..just breathe.

Close your eyes (after reading this and the next sentence of course) and bring your focus back to your navel area and simply hold it there for a full ten seconds.

Now breathe slowly in to a count of four, …. and then exhale slowly out to a count of four…….

Okay, ….now that you’ve re-centered yourself for the remainder of this posting, I’m sure that you like all of us are wondering ‘what the heck is going on in the world?’

peace.jpgIf you are almost afraid to turn on the television or watch news alerts on your phone, you are not alone. Not that the last two years have been that great, but this has been one horrific 2-month time period for humanity in general everywhere.

And today in America, the Republican National Convention starts spewing more bigoted, inflammatory rhetoric over the airwaves to fan the flames of hatred throughout the world.

So, ……what do we do?

Individually, we refocus, re-center, and pull our energies back to recharge them with the purest and highest frequencies of Divine Love and Light that we can call upon, and then we push those recharged energies back out into the world around us.  We hold our own space!Divine Love.jpg

We literally hold the Light so strongly and powerfully that no darkness can dim us. And there are enough of us now to make a genuine difference in the world’s energies.

This is WHY we came…to do this very thing:  To HOLD THE LIGHT FOR THE WORLD at this tumultuous changeover from the patriarchal, authoritarian rule to the matriarchal, democratic rule.

But it’s not going to be pretty while that change is happening because those in positions of power never let go of that closely-kept powerbase easily or gently—or gracefully.

prayer.jpgHowever, that is what is happening and will continue to happen throughout the world because it is simply the TIME for it to happen.

So don’t despair, …and don’t be afraid. You are a very important part of this major change in humanity.  Most of us won’t even have to fight for the change.  We simply need to hold the frequencies of Divine Love and Divine Light and let those energies create the necessary change around us.

Love always conquers fear. It always has and it always will.

You are okay. We all are.

 

Independence Day for All People

Patriotic music sets the backdrop, with eager crowds growing more restless by the minute, fireworks.jpguntil the first “whoosh” launches upward spraying sparks and colored contrails into the night sky.  After the initial blast, more rocketing whooshes split the night, followed by more booming and banging, and intertwining fingers of phosphorous flame cascade everywhere. The audience’s “ooohs”  and “ahhh’s” to each explosive burst above followed by the squeals of children’s glee.

Happy Birthday America!

While we aren’t alone in celebrating a national day of independence, yesterday happened to be our day. And it was loud and noisy as usual where families gathered together, friends laughingly reunited amidst smoking grills—it was a hot-dog scented afternoon with milling people and lawn tables full of food and beverages.

Yesterday individually, and as a nation, Americans celebrated our hard-won freedom from autocracy; and I do believe that most Americans wish that same privilege for every people of every land.

statue of lib.jpgWe as a group of freedom-loving people wish for ALL people to be able to celebrate their own freedom from oppression and tyranny, because freedom doesn’t come freely—it never has and probably never will be freely offered to the masses.

It requires the sacrifice and the dedication of one generation for the future one to initiate the movement; then it requires that the future generation do the same for the next generation following them. In essence, it’s a continuing process of constantly paying it forward.

I also think that most Americans do understand this generational compact, and that is one reason that most of us are willing to fight to maintain our national liberties and personal freedoms at any cost—even the ultimate cost—by giving our lives to keep ourselves and others free.

But the most important thing about this hard-won freedom is that it requires us to be respectful of those who have sacrificed prior so that we may enjoy this present. That respect should never be taken for granted or lightly cast aside for personal advancement.camus.jpg

ALL people have the right to be free. ALL people have the right to gather in common cause for support of common goals and societal advancement.

And ALL people have the right to live as free beings with equal and just consideration for their welfare and the welfare of all others.

It isn’t about fighting for the sake of fighting. It’s about fighting for the right to celebrate who we are as people and why we join together in common cause—for the sake of personal liberties and the right to determine our own fates.

Terrorism doesn’t stop freedom-lovers. Nelson-Mandela-Freedom-Quotes.jpgIn fact it is the very reason that FREEDOM-LOVING PEOPLE exist. 

Too bad anarchists and extremists don’t understand that simple key fact. All they are doing with their feeble attempts to destabilize our societies is to substantiate our resolve to maintain them.

Freedom doesn’t come freely—but it burns in your heart forever.

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“All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree (the Tree of Knowledge). flag skyAll these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man’s life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom.”
~ Albert Einstein

~ Art “Our Banner in the Sky”  by Frederic Edwin Church