The VICTIM or the WORLD

“So the question is fundamentally, do you define yourself as a victim of the world, or the world?”  – Alan Watts watts meaing oflife56.jpg

Here in this short video narrated by Alan Watts,  he asks “What does it mean to spiritually awaken?”

video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7blUYJm6i-c

“So then, here’s the drama. My metaphysics, let me be perfectly frank with you, are that there is the central Self, you could call it God you could call it anything you like. And it’s all of us. It’s playing all the parts of all beings whatsoever everywhere and anywhere. And it’s playing the game of hide and seek with itself. It gets lost, it gets involved in the farthest out adventures but in the end it always wakes up, and comes back to itself. And when you’re ready to wake up, you’re gonna wake up. And if you’re not ready, you’re gonna stay pretending that you’re poor little me.”   – Alan Watts

Alan Watts is always interesting to hear; and his take on enlightenment is more direct and sometimes more cutting than the often gentle approaches of Eckhart Tolle or Deepak Chopra.  But Watts is usually pretty clear and concise in his talks.

watts univers quote.jpgHe gets to the point quickly, but with more ‘attitude,’ I guess you could call it, than the others. (Some might call it an ‘entertainer’s ego’. Others might say he simply loved to poke fun at others who claimed to be “enlightened,” as well as poking fun at himself for his “polished spokesmanship” on the many subjects that he discussed.)

His online biography is interesting and quite colorful. He died in 1973 at the age of 58, but his influence lives on in all the YouTube videos that are broadly shared throughout social media. He has presently entered a resurgence of popularity for his sharp frankness and critique of religious institutions in general.

His second video listed here is called “How to Wake Up”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAQ4FuKlY9g

I personally find it helpful to sample all the flavors of enlightenment that others offer to us. Perhaps our own personalities respond best to one over the others.

To me as an energy worker, the feel of listening to Watts is not as peace-inducing as Tolle’s more soft and gentle approach.  Watts affect is more like stepping naked onto the shower floor and then turning on the water—where the first blast sprayed from the showerhead is cold and shocking before the warmer water rises through the pipes.

But in the 1960’s and 70’s—during the rise of the ‘Flower Children,’ he was the man to hear.

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On the Nature of Consciousness

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In this video Deepak Chopra, MD, and Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD., were discussing “the Nature of Consciousness” in front of a large in-house audience. https://www.facebook.com/1975293189394717/videos/2006140909643278/

Kabat-Zinn was talking about his parents who, through their own careers and pursuits, kabatzinnport.jpgboth held very separate views of what reality meant to them, and how he, as a child and then a man, used his parents’ disparate reality views to steer his own late-adolescent life into the subjects that he pursued during his academic endeavors.

If you are into meditation or meditative philosophy, you are familiar with Jon Kabat-Zinn, whose first book that I read way-back-when was Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life.

These two were talking about many of their early-academia influences such as quantum physicist David Bohm and religious scholar Huston Smith, and the Indian mystic/intellectual/philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti whose subject matter included psychological revolution, the nature of mind, meditation, and how the group psyche must evolve to meet the needs of this world now awakening. “I maintain that Truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect. … The moment you follow someone you cease to follow Truth.” Jiddu Krishnamurti

So basically during this conversation between Chopra and Kabat-Zinn, I’m chopradialog.jpgcomprehending that all these previous influential thinkers mentioned by them provided the scaffolding from which each of them constructed their own personal views on life in general, and showed them how best to perceive and interpret this reality experience for themselves.  They each created their version of reality through the influence of others who had previously affected them in some way—a newly shared perspective perhaps—a new way of thinking or considering the world around us.

And while I’m writing this, I realize that I’m doing the very same thing in my blog posts—I’m charting the history of my early influences and how my personal philosophy now reflects those influences and the thoughts first expressed long ago by others. Perhaps most of us are mere synthesizers of other’s original thought.  Possible, I suppose.  Or there is NO original thought, just periods of time in which that thought surfaces for consideration from various humanpreceiverconscious.jpgreceptors of consciousness who interpret it in their own ways.

So back to the nature of reality and consciousness: Here you have two meditation masters discussing the process and benefits of meditation, but also how reality is a personal creationan intention of how you focus your consciousness.  Okay but…..

 So what is consciousness?  (I thought that’s what they were suppose to discuss but didn’t.)

What is consciousness?  Wow—that’s a tough one (which must be why they didn’t get into specifics), other than to say consciousness is awareness of self and the greater surroundings.

Awareness is simply sentience—the ability to feel, perceive, or experience.

But interpretation of that awareness is what shifts the perception to judgment or opinion, and makes for subjective reality, which is how each of us interprets the reality experience for ourselves.

the-nature-of-human-consciousness.jpgSo then does that mean that the nature of consciousness is simply the aware observer observing that whatever is, IS? 

Or is consciousness an infinite ocean of Allness from which our meager perceptive abilities can sample only droplets at a time without flooding our sensing mechanisms (blowing our minds)?

I think Eckhart Tolle referred to this previously somewhere, that consciousness is NOT a “thing”—it is EVERYTHING—ALLNESS—the Source of us individually and ALL other possibilities.

Consciousness is that infinite, ever-present ocean—ever churning, ever pulsing, ever being, wave after wave, in indescribable vastness and indeterminable immensity—substance, void, material and non, presence, imfiniteocean56.jpgessence, simply ALL possibilities both imaginable and inconceivable.  

For humans, consciousness refers to our material processes of being alive and aware of our surroundings, including the awareness of ourselves.

But consciousness in general is indefinable and indistinguishable from what we refer to as God or Source.

No wonder Chopra and Kabat-Zinn avoided the details on the nature of consciousness in that hour discussion.

 

On Being Positive

If folks think that maintaining a positive attitude in today’s world comes easily, I can posemotibunch.jpgassure them that it isn’t.

When we are enveloped in such blatant cruelty to other human beings—strafed daily with offensive, verbal assaults on our person and our differing ideas—staying positive through all of THAT is quite a trick.

Every morning we have to armor up and set our defense shields to “DEFLECT” just tosupersademotri.png make it through the day. That’s a little sad, don’t you think? (Insert SAD- face emoji here for emphasis.)

Yesterday I watched a lovely, gentle person I know try to defend her immigration/child separation Facebook posts against cruel, heartless comments that countered her message.  I offered my simple “HEART-LIKE” (insert HEART emoji here) to her just to let her know that I stand hearteoti9with her, if only from a distance; but at the same time I know that when we engage on social media with people who strongly disagree with us and disagree with who we are as loving individuals, then they are NOT really our friends, even though they might be on our FRIENDS list.

And if we can’t handle their unkind comments, then we must either remove them as our FRIENDS or stay off the PUBLIC airwaves—it’s that simple.  But then it isn’t really simple, is it?  In fact, it’s a large, complex issue that isn’t going away anytime soon.

Unfortunately the level of venom in today’s public discussion has reached such fever ick emoti8.pngpitch that it’s like watching a foot-long hotdog being torn apart by two ravenous dogs. Something’s gonna give there—and within seconds that once-whole hotdog will never be seen again—at least in the same form that it previously was. (Insert “ICK!” emoji here.)

How can we be positive about the present state of our declining human condition?

A couple days ago I heard someone on a news show discussing what was happening to our sense of civility in general; and this person said something that I agree with: We are in an unmasking period in human interaction where the “shadow-side” of human nature is dislikeemoti84.jpgrising to the surface for all to view and assess.  No more pretending to “tolerate” others. (Never did like that word “tolerate”)

I agree.  Clearly we don’t tolerate dissension now. We don’t tolerate views that differ from our own. We don’t tolerate people who do not look like us or act like us, or talk like us. We don’t rise above our prejudices or biases—we embrace them, right? We remove the mask and say “Hey those of YOU who do not look or think, or act like me, … I hate you! And I’m proud of hating you!  So there!  Deal with it!”

As we now look closely at that unmasking of our deepest and darkest human natures, we say, “Yes, bigotry and prejudice, and racism, and homophobia, and xenophobia, etc….YES, …these all exist in our present world society and in each of us to some degree; and we are not as culturally and consciously advanced as the civilized people that we once believed our nation and the people who compose it, were thought to be.  We are barbarians still—pure and simple—we are still immersed in our primal fears of scarcity and fears of personal annihilation, and we are incapable of rising above those fears!”

We fear “otherness” in general, and in today’s permissive environment we act out those fears in the most putrefying and nauseating ways imaginable.horrifying emoti5

And that’s not just emoji “SAD-face” folks—that is emoji horrifying!    (Insert that nasty thing here.)

 

But yet, ….the POSITIVE from this great unmasking is that people can no longer hide behind who they once pretended to be—because they have been unmasked–unmasked by themselves in all their acrimonious glory–they have all exposed themselves for their true feelings on just about every imaginable subject—whether you wanted to know them or not.

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(Insert big “SMILEY-face” here.) ……

 

No, …that’s the “GAG-me” emoji.

New Sources of Information Flooding In Now

Over the last three weeks in my own little myopic world, I’ve been treated to SO many new sources of interesting information that I’m practically buzzing as it processes through me.

What are these new sources? p&s summit2

I’ve previously mentioned the online “Psychotherapy and Spirituality Summit” that was very interesting and hopeful for the future of psychology in general. Then there were a few Facebook posts that caught my eye and interest, as mentioned in the Dr. Joe Dispenza Ted Talk that I posted previously, plus a few other short Facebook vlogs that I didn’t mention here such as Lee Harris’s monthly energy report ( November 2017 Energy Update – Lee Harris ) or my favorite layperson’s astrologer, Kaypache Lescher’s weekly energy report.

web of bto.jpgBut besides those things, in approximately that same timeframe as the “P & S Summit” I had also signed up to listen to the “Beyond the Ordinary Show” (https://www.beyondtheordinaryshow.com/ ) led by John Burgos where another 30-plus online interviews were held with various presenters pertaining to energy-related subjects, spirituality, and creating higher-frequency consciousness.  Those are available for replay by signing up for his show’s newsletters (if anyone is interested—I’m not pushing it).

So…evidently my info tastes are eclectic, educational, and usually involve learning more about the human experience whether by standard methods or non-standard. I’d say Dr. Joe on Ted Talk was probably the bridge between those two methods this past month.

And I, like just about everyone else I know, like to think of myself as fairly sane and well-adjusted despite the challenging, daily-life situations we all encounter, and also in spite of the news media’s deluge of horrific and toxic subjects that are aired 24/7/365.

But for me to shift my listening back and forth between the “P & S Summit” and John Burgos show “Beyond the Ordinary” – now THAT is quite a set of auditory bookends, even for me. Talk about competing brain hemispheres.Beyond the ordin.jpg

Many of John’s interviewees are energy-sensitive folks like myself who can feel the nuances of the energy ocean we normally swim in; and many are considered healers, psychics, and/or trainers of others to likewise participate in the energy-experience (or the consciousness matrix) in some way.  Many of these folks are channelers of some other dimensional being (or many beings), and some are just directly intuitive and knowing of higher intentions due to natural and developed abilities to decipher them.

I personally am more so in the later group, and am also a bit more skeptical of the channeled stuff depending on the person doing it and how the energy of what they are claiming as truth feels to me, which means my gauge of truth is more along the line of a kinesthetic feeling in my body.

infinity.jpgThe only thing I know for certain on any of this standard or non-standard information is that there is little we know for certain. The rest is speculation and personal belief. All modalities are evolving in understanding—even the psychiatric profession. Look at Freud’s theories from a hundred years ago. How many psychoanalysts today are following the exact same guidelines that he set back then? So who is to say what is relevant and what is non?

ALSO, as if that online acoustic flood wasn’t enough, I had been reading an NLP (neurolinguistic programming) book (because I am a certified hypnotist and a studied NLPer) that was amazingly pertinent to shifting a client’s restrictive perspective and/or attitude. The book is called The Rainbow Machine: Tales from a Neurolinguist‘s Journal by the RM Austin.jpgAndrew T. Austin. To say his treatment with clients is unorthodox is like the consideration of how easy it is to turn water into wine with a single sweep of his hand, although he claims it’s far easier to turn wine back to water—says he does it all the time. (Little Austin humor.)

Irreverent is hardly the word for Austin’s NLP therapy theories and practice—illegal probably comes closer, and I doubt he can even get liability insurance if he actually does what he states in the book. But it was interesting—VERY interesting in how he approached client treatment—reminiscent of Milton Erickson’s early forays into clinical hypnosis, and Richard Bandler’s documented NLP experiences, because it’s all about reprogramming (neurolingually retraining) ourselves and those around us to perceive things the way we want them perceived, rather than how the client sees them which has led to their current life dysfunction.

To me there are many ways to treat the disarrayed human condition—many methods, many approaches, and many possibilities to better framing the troubling situation for the client in some respect—with lots of information sources available to us at any time to establish those new borders of life’s context.

sign post infoInformation-wise this month was particularly fertile for me in that respect, so there will be lots of subjects to explore further—just as soon as they all finally settle down in my noggin. I’m already seeing correlations in approach that might have been otherwise overlooked because that’s what usually happens when counter currents merge midstream. Hopefully once the whirlpools dissipate and disperse I can elaborate on them further in the near future.

Just not right now. My head is still swirling.whirlpool

The OPEN Mind

Limitation is so unnecessary.

open.jpgWhen we focus so tightly on a single issue or a single viewpoint, we limit ourselves and our outcomes.

You don’t need to do just “one thing” in your life when you can do many things. You needn’t “specialize” in a certain subject or a course of study unless you feel that “one thing” is the single guiding force of your life. Specialists in nature are often a rare, isolated species, and are the ones most prone to extinction because they limit their food sources.

While there are advantages to a tight mental focus, there are disadvantages to limiting your frame of reference so severely that you exclude other possibilities. When you zero in so tightly on a concept or even an ideology, you restrict any other explanation from penetrating your mind set.einstein quote.png

I don’t mean to be the judgmental finger-pointer here but in today’s world, being able to keep your mind OPEN to a problem’s solutions is an attribute, not a detriment.

Not only are we, the residents of this world we all share, still ignorant to the answers to all the world’s problems; we aren’t even aware of the best questions to ask pertaining to those problems.

That might sound critical of what is presently occurring in the world’s greatest problem spots, but world problem-solving depends on increasing your base knowledge of the issues, not restricting it; and single-point perspectives with limited options only create the same scenarios we’re trying to dig ourselves out from now.

Case in point: If you ever have the opportunity to go through Mediation Training please mediationtake it. Mediation is where a mediator helps two or more parties define their key problem issues; then she helps them to successfully resolve their problems in a mutually beneficial manner.  That training will help you realize how difficult it is to help two very different viewpoints find and accept common ground to build a better future outcome based on mutually beneficial goals.toddlers.jpg

It’s a lot like getting toddlers to share a slurpy even if they have two straws.

What you usually encounter in Mediation is that combatants are often like the two primary political parties mid-election year mayhem: There is the standard stalemate caused by “my way or the highway” thinking or the “you are so WRONG how could you ever be that stupid” viewpoint expressed by one or both participants in the mediation.

Emotion rules the disagreements, not rational thinking.

common groundBut the mediator’s goal is to find common ground between the two deadlocked camps, which means that if you are the mediator you have to dig deeper into each combatant’s wants/don’t wants to find out what the REAL issues are behind their immovable stances.

You’d be surprised what deeper wounds and hidden agendas are revealed in this process.

Sometimes the disagreement has nothing to do with the subject in question. The acrimony between the two camps is often pure, raw woundedness raging on whatever ground it can find to take its stand.  Those are tough situations to resolve amicably. A good mediator (not the same thing as a negotiator) earns every dollar s/he makes.

And the single most difficult task at hand for any mediator is to encourage the participants to come to the table with an OPEN mind—a mind willing to consider an option not previously proposed.

An OPEN mind recognizes that the “highway” is meant for two-way travel, and being “wrong” is often just a shift in perspective to being considered “not so wrong.”backyard.jpg

Common ground is the single unifier most sought by a good mediator. Once that is established then a mutually beneficial outcome can be defined for both parties. And once the emotional aspects of the arguments have dissipated, the warring parties are more willing to consider rational solutions to the dilemma.

But the key component to any problem resolution is that all participants must somehow achieve and maintain an OPEN mind state that is willing to simply consider ALL possibilities.kids.jpg

As dedicated as we are to our own viewpoints, stubbornness and intractability are less productive outside the nursery-school playground.

The Couples Counselor

One day, the constantly-bickering Beebo and Boopikins decided that there was only one thing left to try before going their separate ways: couples counseling. So the sleek and fastidious Boopikins made the appointment marriage_counselor_all_alike_246055for them because if she had left it up to Beebo to do, it would never have been done.

In his defense, it wasn’t that Beebo didn’t want to make the appointment. It’s just that there were so many distractions in his life (squirrels, cars, and annoying kids) that he just couldn’t keep his focus long enough to remember to do it.

So the following week, they arrived together at the appointed time, and entered the counselor’s office with Boopikins coolly sauntering in first, and of course, that left Beebo trailing behind.

Boopikins immediately scanned the therapist’s messy room for possible items of interest to her before settling into the soft, cushy side-chair; while Beebo simply plopped down beside the other chair, with his muzzle on his paws.

The counselor, a middle-aged man of sizable girth with low-slung reading glasses saddled above his nostrils, welcomed them both and introduced himself as Mr. Mahler. He told them how happy he was to provide a controlled setting to discuss these “lingering disagreements” that they were experiencing between them; and if allowed, he would guide them in feeling comfortable enough to express what was really on their minds.Dog and cat on white background

Boopikins nodded with nose to the air catching the scent of Mr. Mahler’s corned beef lunch-breath; while Beebo sighed heavily. He knew where a crotch-sniffing-greeting would get him—a lightning-fast scratch on the nose from Boopikins for embarrassing them both, so he might as well just lie there and pass wind—one way or another.

“So, Ms. Boopikins,” the counselor began slowly then cleared his throat before continuing, “ah-h-h ….would you like to start the discussion by telling us what bothers you the most about Mr. Beebo?”

It was always wise to start with the female, as she would be the most anxious to be heard—REALLY heard by someone—anyone. Boopikins, gave a quick tail-flick which in cat body-language meant, “Of course, I’d be the first to start. I’m the one who has to put up with all of his …..WAYS!” And she wailed out a long “Yee-o-o-w-w-w.” (Have you ever noticed that cats never really say, “Meow”? They always say “Yeow.”)

Mr. Mahler nodded, wrote a few words on the legal pad in front of him, and said to Boopikins, “Is there more, or can we ask Mr. Beebo how he’d like to respond to that?”

An uninterested Boopikins yawned at him. This man was as boring as most men were. Same story, just a different day.

Mr. Mahler evidently understood “CAT,” and took that lack of interest as it was intended: “Like whatever, man…I could care less what you do.” So he bent far over his desk, with belly sliding atop it, and asked Beebo lying on the floor: “Would you like to respond to that ‘Yeow’ Mr. Beebo?”dogs and cats image

Beebo, seeing that suddenly everyone’s attention was on him—or at least Mr. Mahler’s attention was, began to pant open-mouthed, drooling a bit on the rug, and kind of grunted out a “boof.” (And dogs don’t “ruff” either.)

Then Beebo looked over to Boopikins, the love of his life who he could never understand in a million years—Boopikins, who was intently watching a pigeon prancing on the outside window sill of the counselor’s office. And seeing that once again, he couldn’t hold her attention even while at the therapist, he sighed heavily and dropped his muzzle back onto his hairy paws.

The counselor nodded, and wrote a few more words on his notepad before taking off his nose glasses to use as a flailing pointer between the differing pair before him.

“It’s unfortunate,” he began then deliberately paused for full effect, because that’s what counselors do—they pause for that dramatic impact. “Yes, I’ve seen this many times before, and I’m afraid it’s happening here between you two. The differences are too great, and the similarities are too few. I’m sorry. I think you’d be better off going your separate ways.”

Beebo lifted his head, hearing the dreaded words he feared the most—rejection and a tinge of sadness in the man’s voice. It was over. All done. They would part ways and never again would he sleep beside her on the cold floor while she claimed his dog pillow as her own. He was devastated. He slowly looked over to Boopikins who by now was preening her satiny fur, since she had all this down time and a soft chair to sit in, and the man was clearly as dumb as the stupid dog that she lived with, so why should she pay any attention to what he said anyway. If she wanted to keep that dumb dog around just to have something to annoy, she would. So there!

cat_and_dog_23And with that thought, she jumped down from the chair, teasingly bopped Beebo on the nose on the way by him, and invited him to chase her out. He jumped to his feet and off they dashed, back home together, to live unharmoniously ever after.

Moral to therapists: You never tell a cat what to do. You should know that by now Mr. Mahler.

Or …perhaps you already do!   Bravo sir!