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!”

 

The Beauty of Dharma

I thought I understood the term “dharma” until I researched a bit and discovered that my assumed meaning was only one of many—depending on the religion that espoused it.

duty dharmaAfter hearing someone’s online spiritual discussion of dharma and how that person interpreted it, I took his meaning as “dharma refers to living your sense of life-purpose and fulfilling your personal duty to your own soul’s evolvement as well as to the evolvement of the collective consciousness.”

In a sense, that’s still fairly true, but depending on whether the interpreter is Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, or Sikh, the word bears greater variance and meaning, and for those variances I’ll include a few quotes from Wikipedia which is hardly the last word in total accuracy, but for this posting it is close enough.

Hindu dharma

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dharma

  • “In Hinduism, dharma signifies behaviors that are considered to be in accord with rta, the order that makes life and universe possible,[10][note 1] and includes duties, rights, laws, conduct, virtues and ‘‘right way of living’’.[7]
  • In Buddhism dharma means “cosmic law and order”,[10] but is also applied to the teachings of the Buddha.[10] In Buddhist philosophy, dhamma/dharma is also the term for “phenomena“.[11][note 2]
  • In Jainism dharma refers to the teachings of the Jinas[10] and the body of doctrine pertaining to the purification and moral transformation of human beings.
  • For Sikhs, the word dharm means the “path of righteousness”.

In comdharma wheelmon parlance, dharma means ‘right way of living’ and ‘path of righteousness’.[23]

Dharma, according to Van Buitenen,[42] is that which all existing beings must accept and respect to sustain harmony and order in the world.

In Hinduism, it is the dharma of the bee to make honey, of cow to give milk, of sun to radiate sunshine, of river to flow.[42]

In terms of humanity, dharma is the need for, the effect of and essence of service and interconnectedness of all life.[23][34]

So in essence, as I now understand the term, when I contemplate MY dharma, I am considering my sense of purpose for personal existence as well as my service to the whole of humanity, …which makes me then ponder this:

  • What do we really owe each other?def dharma
  • How responsible are each of us to the greater good and to the betterment of our human condition?
  • What roles do we play in the drama unfolding all around us? Are we active participants or passive observers?
  • Do we make change happen for the betterment of all, or do we sit back and let others determine our fates for us?
  • What is our collective dharma at this pivotal moment in humanity’s evolvement?
  • Are we all here in this life together to help each other, or are we only here individually to advance ourselves by whatever means that we can?

As usual, I have more questions than answers.

So what do YOU think?  …What is YOUR dharma?

Making Meaning

If there were a recipe for living successfully and there were willing cooks to concoct it, how many fragrant loaves of “meaningful lives” would there be?breads

(It’s a trick question really.)

In essence I’m asking does living successfully equate to living a meaningful life?

Perhaps the answer might vary and lie more in the eye, mind, and body of the perceiver.

ordinaryI mention this here because I discovered long ago that I could write about any topic that flitted between my ears, and that each one would be EQUALLY important to me since every aspect of our existence on this earth is ripe with miracles and meaning. It’s just that some of the more mundane things that we experience daily are simply too familiar for us to recognize their genuine significance.

To me, meaning is something that shouts “IMPORTANT” to us in some way; but meaning by its very nature also implies that it might be more of an aesthetic/spiritual importance than a material one.

So the next question might be: Does living successfully imply a spiritual or a material standard of success?

Again for that answer, I think it would be up to the perceiver who would consider what “success” means to him or her.

Personally, time has shown me that material success and monetary pursuits are enticing challenges that can indeed offer greater opportunities for experiencing a variety of “things” that money makes possible.meaningful life quotes

But creating a meaningful life has little to do with material/financial success. In fact, a money-based focus usually obstructs feeling genuine meaning in our lives and often pits our higher intentions against egoic pleasure.

To a deeply-spiritual person (and I’m not saying deeply-religious as it’s not the same thing), spirituality is a connection to a source of energy and inner nourishment far greater than earthly confines can provide us. Material items and possessions simply cannot rival that depth of inner satisfaction.

To a deeply spiritual person who feels that intense connection to a power far greater than his earthly presence—who feels his spirit’s transcendence far beyond the body it inhabits—to THAT person, a meaningful life will be viewed as a successfully lived life, and vice versa—a successfully lived life will be a meaningful life.

To all others who do not feel that amazing higher connection to something far greater than themselves, I do not know whcartoon on meaning-Calvin and Hobbsat their answers would be, but I am thankful that mine would be considered one and the same.

So if all of life is considered a miracle, then all aspects of our lives are mini-miracles, and they should be considered as such—all are equal in value and equal of consideration.

All are fair game for meaning exposition. The quest is to simply uncover it.

What IS This Feeling?

Many days in early morning I sit quietly and simply tune in to the feel of the energies that are affecting me. Being kinesthetically energy-sensitive to what is happening within me, to me, or near me is an important first step to deciphering the external energy sources that might be affecting me; example being: It helps to first determine if a grumpy mood is me brooding on my stuff or if it might be something external affecting me in that manner.good feeling

Likewise this morning after opening my eyes, I immediately noticed this amazingly good feeling and thought: What IS that, and WHY do I feel this way?

To be alive in this plane of existence means that we are continually bombarded with sensory stimuli from all sides, and even more so, we are constantly engulfed in oceans of energies from the cosmos, to the earth’s magnetic field, to the variable emotional states of those around us, and to the public media with whatever focus they project that day, which are usually laden with fear and disasters.

We, in our own small energy spheres, are like little islands of stability amid seas of continual turbulence. The rougher the surrounding seas, the harder it is to keep our heads above water.

So as I sat here this morning I took just a minute to tune in to this unusual and amazing feeling of calmness, so soothing and tranquil, like floating on a crystal clear lake, gently rocking back and forth in my little boat. Not a care in the world.

What happened overnight? Did I wake up into a different world this morning?

How can I feel these wonderful, high-frequency, love and peace energies all around me that weren’t there yesterday?

Hopefully others are noticing it as well. I don’t know what happened in the night, but I believe that something shifted higher for us all.

Not knowing how long this will last or the broadness of its effect on others, I guess I’ll just sit back and enjoy it.

As counter-intuitive as it may seem in today’s chaotic world-situations, wherever you are, I hope you also are feeling these wonderful, loving energies flowing through our world right now. It’s probably the reason that I feel so optimistic about our world outcomes.

love peace symbolsI can hear a voice calling out: “May all beings be blessed with love for themselves and for all others; and may all who exist here and forevermore, know peace within their own hearts.”

May you also feel that peace within and ride these gentle waves of love and compassion flowing beneath us at present.

It feels good for a change. That’s probably why I didn’t recognize it.