The Overview

What’s the overview here? Day after day I keep asking myself that question.multi

Why are so many suffering in such horrendous conditions all over the world?

It’s easy to get caught up in the disasters occurring nationally and globally, especially when they directly affect you or the friends you care about in some way, but what is the overview of what is actually happening worldwide and WHY is it happening? Is that is even discernible?

There are many distinct possibilities to consider: climate change, nuclear testing, fracking, air and water pollution, over-populations, disruption of natural eco-systems, solar flares and excess solar activity, pole wobble, electromagnetic devastationfluctuations, mankind proliferating in general and all the corresponding havoc that creates, etc..

Then there are all the subheads under “mankind in general” like: stupidity, greed, self-interest, maliciousness, vindictiveness, fearfulness, fratricide, sociopathic and psychotic behavior, to name a few easily recognizable traits.

I haven’t even touched the theology-related excuses for reasons too onerous to god disastmention all basically claiming God’s displeasure over some aspect of our existence that doesn’t adhere to the doctrine being prescribed by a believer.

I don’t even want to go there!

BUT…at the same time a part of me says that to do an accurate overview you have to be able to VIEW the entirety of the situation from a perspective distant enough to allow random chaos to form patterns of coherence. And WHO/WHAT handles that type of perspective other than an omniscient/all powerful being or force that not only understands the logic of what is occurring but INITIATES the situations that create the aforementioned chaos for a reason we are not able to discern.

catch 22.jpgIt’s a Catch-22. The (book and movie) World War II scenario think-process: You’re claiming to be mentally unstable so you can’t serve in the military, but what is more mentally unstable than to want to be in the military serving combat duty? So you use saying you’re crazy as your defense for not-serving, but the military knows you’ll use it and therefore considers that you must be sane to try not to serve, so they ignore your insanity claim.

(Defined by Wikipedia as “A situation in which a desired outcome or solution is impossible to attain because of a set of inherently contradictory rules or conditions.”)

Which means that in this situation I do believe that there is an overview reason for all the chaos, but since I’m not privy to that level of knowing to declare what it is other than my guessing at it—which is what most religions do in their own unique ways, so any answer that I offer will sound eerily close to a theological argument—just slightly skewed because of my own beliefs.

Meaning my view of the OVERVIEW is not verifiable fact, it’s just a different flavor of belief.

And with that stated disclaimer, here goes:

To me it all comes down to whether or not you believe that life is intentional or accidental. Then that distills down into whether or not you believe there is such a thing as “an accident.”voltaire accident q.jpg

If there are no accidents, then everything is intentional and everything has a purpose and a reason for its existence and function in the world we recognize. We just may not know the purpose or reason for it.

Pardon me for this tangent, but I was just rereading some old Carlos Castaneda quotes this morning about the KNOWN, the UNKNOWN, and the UNKNOWABLE, time cc.jpgwhich tries to define the limits to our human comprehension ability. This description alludes to our limited ability to know or learn things that we previously did NOT know, which are represented by the UNKNOWN. Then there is the infinitely large category called the UNKNOWABLE, which is beyond our present human-existence context and our capability to comprehend.

We can’t get our arms around the UNKNOWABLE because it exists beyond our present frame of reference and mental capacity to make any sense of it or even to conceive of it.

To make my point here with no soothing reassurances what-so-ever: I do believe thatcastenada.jpg there is a reason for all the chaos and destruction happening in the world at present, as well as a reason for all the chaos and destruction that has ever occurred at any time in the recognizable history of the earth, BUT….it is likely a reason we cannot grasp with any certainty, or catalog definitively within the material-world parameters that we know.

So does my overview help to calm our fears and anxiety over the nasty situations many are experiencing world-wide?

Not in the slightest.

gods handWhich is the very real example of WHY religions grew in popularity over thousands and thousands of years of human existence—to make sense of the UNKNOWN and to speculate on the UNKNOWABLE, because it’s a pretty scary world out there if you’re on your own and you don’t have a group structure to support you.

Shared risk is shared relief.

And the knowledge we gain over the course of our lives only matters in how we use it.

I concede that some things are knowable, and to that I would say that the overview of catastrophic destruction is that it creates opportunity for change and revision—a clearing of the palate sort of thing for the next course of action.

The key point to consider is that the next course of action is truly up to each of us. How we react to chaos and devastation is how the next phase of our lives unfolds.

At present, whatever situation in which we find ourselves, no matter how horrific, simply IS. Our only choice is in how we acknowledge that fact and move forward to a better existence for ourselves and for everyone else in the world that we know, …if we can even define what that might be.

I’m not sure that I can define it other than it will likely be a shared goal, vilsack goals.jpgrather than a self-interested one.

I’ll go with that.

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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.