Our Stuff

“…If we don’t deal with our stuff, it deals with us. There is no way around it….”

Jeff Brown.

stuff

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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.

Manifestation of LOVE

There were a few things I wanted to accomplish this morning, including some tiger kit.jpgcomputer-related stuff, so I plopped down in front of the screen and began to type. Max, the 4-month old tiger kitten from the jungles of Sumatra (or perhaps the neighbor’s barn)—the tiny, orange baby that adopted us 3 months ago, was tearing around my room trying to engage me in play and mutual rough-housing.

I was having none of it. I wanted to write. I wanted to check the news site, Facebook, etc.

He was having none of my “none-of-it,” and began climbing up on everything in sight, including me. When he’d jump up onto my chest for nap-time, I’d put him back down tiger 4again because it’s hard to type one-handed and he’s getting heavier by the day. He must already weigh what our last adult female cat weighed before she died. He’s going to be a monster—a genuine mini-tiger!

He’s at the “look-at-me-I can-jump-as-high-as-the-counter” stage now, so after repeatedly yelling at him for his numerous incursions onto everything I did not want him disrupting, damaging, or pilfering, I finally just gave in to his last jump-to-my-chest assault and held him to me. He immediately quieted and began purring, then nestled gently into my arms and promptly went to sleep.

That’s all he wanted.

He just wanted to be held and loved. All the acting out—the naughtiness—the terrorizing—it was all because he wanted to be held in my arms and I had refused to allow it. So he made me regret my decision in any way that he could.

tiger face.jpgAs I listened to his deep-throated purr that vibrated against my body with a soothing reassurance that this little creature truly loved me in return, I realized that this fuzzy bundle of condensed, kinetic energy was exactly what I wanted, wasn’t it? Spirit gave me the very thing that I needed to fill that void from our last feline housemates passing away. S/he gave me LOVE.

We cuddled for as long as my arm could hold him; and he was ready to move on anyway as evidenced by the little nip to my other arm when I disrupted him. (We’re still working on that no-biting thing.)  Then he was content to sit on his own and watch out the window.

LOVE is not to be ignored. LOVE is not to be taken for granted.4 month old max.jpg

LOVE is to be gratefully enjoyed whenever it manifests.

If you doubt it, …I have LOVE’s Sumatran enforcer I can loan you.

Me, Against the World

me world.jpgI had someone say this to me once—something to the effect that I acted like it was ‘me, against the world.’

“So?” I asked him back, “You mean it isn’t?”

While I might be able to laugh about it now, he likely had a point that I couldn’t see at the time. However, he also didn’t live in my skin back then to know how the world and everyone in it actually appeared to me.

I think all of us have lived through difficulties either of our own making or we’ve been the recipients of the attempted manipulations or the ill will of others. Yes, there are some genuinely nice, caring people in the world—I do know some, but at the time, they either weren’t in my circle of intimacy or they had stepped back and decided it was up to me to sink or swim by myself.

Back then I felt that I had been betrayed by the people I had called my friends—that I’d even been abandoned by those I cared most about; that they left me to survive alone with little resources abandoned.jpgor options other than by my own indomitable will.

At the worst of the worst, all I knew was that some way, somehow, I had to make it through each day and night, and to do that I needed to muster my own inner fortitude to simply endure the horror of everything that I was experiencing and to keep pushing through the darkness until something in my life changed for the better—until I could actually see the light again and pull myself out of that underworld hell I’d unfortunately been touring.

I could give specifics, but they don’t really matter because it’s all about the lessons we learn along the way. Everyone has a story. Everyone has a challenge that pits them lifes challengesagainst the demons, real or imagined, in their lives. Everyone has the choice to fight for their own existence or to lie down and die, hoping death will free them from the torment (It won’t—don’t try it—your next-life challenge might be even worse.).

So sure, I might do the ‘me, against the world,’ thing at times. That’s fine. I’ve earned the right to do it if that’s what I want to do, because I did survive my personal ordeal to be here right now laughing about some aspects of it with the rest of you.

No one gets out of this life untested in some way, primarily because it’s why you came. You came to be tested. You came to be thrown into the blast furnace of your choosing and then be hammered into strong steel for whatever purpose your present life represents.

That’s why you are here: To learn, to experience the joys and sorrows of life on this dimension of existence.  Sometimes the joys are indescribable and sometimes the sorrows are nearly unbearable, but only YOU can choose to share them with others or face them alone.

myss quoteI know now that I’m not really alone here. I never was.

But those dark nights of the soul that we ALL must face sooner or later only strengthens our resolve to better appreciate the beauty of the light again, once we can pull ourselves out of that damn hole that we’ve stumbled (or jumped) into earlier.

That’s the real choice we make each day: the choice to whine and wallow away in the darkness, or to climb out of that stinking hole and come back into the light.

It’s a choice we ALL have to make.light.jpg

I made mine. I prefer the light.

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.

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 individuals.no 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.

JOY!

During this night of deepest darkness she heard a voice sayingjoy1.jpg: “Let there be JOY!”

“Joy?” she said to the emptiness around her, “Joy now? Joy after all of this—this loss—this sadness? This is NOT a time for JOY!”

The voice calmly said, “JOY for ALL time and ALL places.

JOY for the meek and the mild.

JOY for the downtrodden and the derelict.

JOY for the desperate and the despairing.

Let there be JOY!”

“But how?” she cried. “How can I feel JOY after all of this death and destruction?”

The voice was silent for a moment, and just when she began to question herself that she had ever heard the voice at all, it spoke again:

“JOY is the light in any darkened room. It is the rising of fallen spirits. joy3.jpgIt is the underlying laughter in each breath of life.

JOY is the music of your soul’s purest essence.

JOY is the child’s uncompromised innocence and the expectation of goodness with every new discovery.

JOY is the heart so clear and light that it bursts with happiness at the sun rising.

JOY is always there awaiting you. Open the door and let me in.”

Again she scanned the too familiar bedroom so full of memories and emotions, and again saw no one speaking. “Who are you?” she finally whispered.

“JOY!” the voice sang with exuberance. “I am JOY!   I exist!   I am here with you always. Let me in.”

By now she was certain that she’d already had too many drinks trying to kill the deepest pain and all else was hallucination, however, the tiny spark of curiosity within her disheveled mind sent her to the tarnished door handle; and she opened the bedroom door.

The darkened hallway looked the same as usual, and the long night’s silence was broken only by the ticking of her old analog clock beside the bed. After looking up and down the empty hallway, she closed the bedroom door again and turned to the window beside the bed.

She walked over to the window and parted the curtains to stare out into rising sun.jpgthe night. Beyond the barren trees of winter a distant horizon was appearing and the earliest rays of dawn were peeking through the darkness before her. She had successfully made it through the sleepless night once again. No matter how dark the moment or how difficult sleeping became, the new day was dawning before her now and she was watching it appear. As the growing light overpowered the receding night, she stood there for some time—longer than she could fathom, watching it all unfold before she heard the voice again saying:

“I am JOY! I am the beautiful sunrise after an endless night. I am the light ever-building across this land. I am here—right here—right now—waiting for you. Just open your heart and let me in.”

A tear began to slide down her cheek, and she let it run nearly to her chin before wiping it off with her sleeve.

“New day,” the voice said. “New sun on the rise.”

She nodded, “New day,” she repeated. “New sun, but….”

choose joy“I am JOY!” the voice crooned encouragingly. “I am JOY! Say it.”

Tears were streaming effortlessly now—sobs erupted from her chest, and as her knees began to buckle she sat back heavily onto the bed.

“Empty your heart of sadness to clear the space for me. Let the sun shine now into the darkness of your sorrow to light the way for your new day. …I am JOY!” it repeated with emphasis.

“I am JOY,” she mumbled unconvincingly. Then after a few more tissues and a deeper breath she said it again, “I am JOY.”

The night was fast giving way to the strength of the rising sun, and soon a golden ball of brightness appeared above the distant hills—a light so bright that eyes could not contain it, but her heart could feel it filling with a soothing warmth and a unusual sense of peace. She stood, parting the curtains again to view the new day birthing before her now.

“I am JOY,” she repeated to the window pane with greater hope than before. As the sun rose higher and higher in the sky she repeated it even louder, “I am JOY!”joy2.jpg

“I AM JOY!” she suddenly yelled and scared herself at the intensity of the lifeforce behind the statement. Where had that come from?

Again, she looked about the room void of a presence beyond her own and asked, “But what am I to do without him?”

A lilting laughter sang between her ears, and the voice said, “Just let there BE Joy!”