No Sense of Identity

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Looking at my Facebook homepage this morning and seeing yet another of those “Who Are You?” quizzes (a potato chip or a Dorito?) being shared and taken by people who I actually know, I could make a broad non-judgmental comment like: “Human nature—go figure.”

But I think there is something deeper there to consider.

marketingAside from the on-line fun-quizzes being a marketing gimmick to further determine your buying habits or preferences for future products, they also show how gullible people can be and how willing many are to label themselves in some way for public acceptance.

 

I guess that aspect mystifies me the most.

The entirety of my life I have fought against the ready use of labels and judgments in labels.jpgdefining people—against me personally being grouped as a thoughtless commodity so easily shelved into a hierarchal genus or a colloquial catch-all phrase that disputes my individuality and unique qualities as a living, breathing, human being.

I refuse to be de-humanized.

While here, on my Facebook homepage—amidst people I actually know—they giggle and comment on which Saint they are, or which animal temperament they resemble, or which world leader they most emulate or which….snack food they seem to be.

identityI mean, ….seriously people? Do you have no sense of personal identity that you need to have a marketer try to group you onto some grocery shelf in the snack isle?

What’s wrong with you?????

 

So the best I can offer the people I actually DO know is to say: “Human nature—go figure.”

And leave it at that.crisis ident.jpg

Amendment 25

morning joe

Interesting morning on “Morning Joe”—the early-morning news show that I watch.

It’s kind of a-love/hate-relationship-with-politics show that praises/scours those who competently/incompetently play at politics.

This morning’s topic was the first I actually 25th amend.jpgheard the often verbacious commentators use the term, “Amendment 25” during a discussion on the latest lunacy sting of tweets from Trump (of which a couple more tweets came through during the show itself, which further made their point).

For myself, not knowing what Amendment 25 was (although I had a pretty good idea from what they were referring to), I had to look it up.

When these folks start talking “Amendment 25” you know things are serious.papers of pres

Amendment 25 is the “Presidential Disability and Succession” amendment to the Constitution.

Joe and others were saying it is now time to seriously consider this Amendment as the current President’s mental stability and competency are more frequently coming into question.  Here is the entire Amendment which speaks for itself:

25th Amendment to the US Constitution

(The 25th Amendment, proposed by Congress and ratified by the states in the aftermath of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, provides the procedures for replacing the president or vice president in the event of death, removal, resignation, or incapacitation.  The Watergate scandal of the 1970s saw the application of these procedures, first when Gerald Ford replaced Spiro Agnew as vice president, then when he replaced Richard Nixon as president, and then when Nelson Rockefeller filled the resulting vacancy to become the vice president.  Read more from the Congressional Research Service here….)

Amendment XXV

Section 1.

In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.

Section 2.

Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.

nixon.jpgSection 3.

Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.

Section 4.

Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.

Taken from Cornell University Law School (https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/amendmentxxv)

The End of Illusion

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Interesting vlog I listened to yesterday: my favorite layman’s astrologer for those of us who really aren’t that into astrology, Kaypacha Lescher ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQNUCWzfUs0&feature=share ) said some things about the affecting energies of this time period that really resonated with me.

I can legitimately call myself an energy worker since I’ve taught REIKI (a Japanese energy therapy/spiritual practice) for almost twenty years, so I know how personal, collective, and cosmic energies can affect us individually and as a group consciousness.

And as that 20-year REIKI practitioner, I’m also uncomfortably aware of how strong the current light head.jpgenergies are that are flowing through me 24/7/365, by how “woozy” I feel if I have my hands anywhere near my head for a short period of time. The energies flowing into us right now are potent and powerful. Sleep is often hard to come by when your entire body is constantly vibrating with the force of the energy flow pulsing through you.

Lescher was saying that the energies bombarding us all right now are intensely penetrating and are squeezing the remaining illusions right out of us. (I would concur to that because of the old memories suddenly surfacing in my mind-screen for reexamination for no apparent reason.) It’s a time for transformation—for dropping those unhealthy beliefs and removing the blinders from our eyes.

die thousand.jpgIt’s a time to see things not as we wished they were but as they truly were/are, both in the past and in the now.

Basically he says this is the time to GET REAL.

And getting real is not always a pleasant state of mind to inhabit because it forces us to reexamine our every motive and aspiration to see if they were or are in line with our inner TRUTH.

What is the “inner TRUTH” and is it the same TRUTH for everyone?eye.jpg

Inner truth is the “at peace” feeling we have when we do or say something that feels right to us. I’m using very kinesthetic descriptions because inner peace is a body-based truth detector.

When we feel at peace it is a deep sigh of relief from our very core—it taps the essence of us as loving beings enjoying harmonious situations and relationships.

Ruiz.jpgDoes everyone feel this same state of inner peace often called inner TRUTH?

Let’s say it is available to everyone because it simply involves allowing one’s higher soul connection to permeate the physical being that it governs, and in that sense it IS the same inner TRUTH for everyone.

But has everyone actually allowed that higher soul connection to penetrate their body and consciousness so that they can feel at peace to know what peacefulness feels like? I don’t think so.truth.jpg

Therein lies the problem. How do you know what inner peace feels like if you haven’t felt it?

I think Lescher would say we have to be willing to let go of what we’ve always done in difficult situations, or let go of how we’ve always thought about ourselves and our lives to be willing to release the old behavior patterns that are holding us back from realizing our innate abilities to rise above aggression and violence.

plumb line.jpgIt is time to shift out of the old thinking/being patterns and create new thinking/being patterns that bring us back to our inner TRUTH—back to our inner PEACE—back to the purity of our soul that is full of Divine Love and Grace because that’s who we really are.

It is the end of illusion in all forms, and the beginning of recognizing our true soul-essence.

Let go. Release all that does not serve you. And allow these powerful energies pouring into us now to purge the dissonant energies that once ruled your life.

Purging our illusions may not be a pleasant purge—as most purges aren’t pleasant, but they are necessary to remove the toxins from your being, whether physically or mentally.live truth.jpg

The end of illusion means it is actually the beginning of living your TRUTH, and that’s a far better state of being to occupy and to claim as your own.

Contemplating the Year Ahead

I suppose if one were truly in THE MOMENT, then one would NOT be contemplating year change.jpgthe future or rehashing the past, but when it comes to this time of year it is hard not to give both some thought.

About now in my journal, I do a year-end-review to summarize all that occurred (good and not so much) throughout the year just passing. There are usually personal triumphs and losses that have been absorbed and evolved through—noting whatever knowledge was gained or wisdom acquired in the process of living life day by day, 365.

But at year’s end when I do this summation, it is easier to tell which lingering aspects are contemplationstill affecting me in some way. I always ask myself was 2016 a “good year” for me overall, or was it a constant challenge?

Each of us has our own opinion on the personally transformative aspects of this past year. Each of us was affected by events that were directly related to our own efforts, as well as being affected by events beyond our personal control. How we handled those two affectations was individually felt by everyone on many levels of our being: physically, mentally, and spiritually.

For me, I knew 2016 was a purging year—purging old memories, old associations, and old behaviors.

One purges physically to clear out the old toxins and disruptive agents affecting the body.

One purges mentally to clear the old trauma energies and stagnant thoughts from the mind.

One purges spiritually to clear the old, unhealthy beliefs about life and ourselves from our energy fields.refill.jpg

All this lengthy purging creates considerable disruption in our status quo/feelings of normalcy. But it also allows for completely emptying the old vessel to refill it with freshness and new experiences.

As we begin anew in 2017, I’m sure that we all hope the year ahead is one of joy and laughter, peace and prosperity.

However, we will take what it actually is as it slowly transpires before us.

I wish each of you all the best life can offer, and I hope that our collective-vessel refilling is with the highest frequency and purest energies of Divine Love and Light.

sunshiningMay we all shine like little suns and light whatever darkness that we may encounter throughout the days and weeks ahead of us.

Believe in yourselves. Believe in your natural abilities and resilience. And simply shine your light wherever you can.

BE PEACE to spread peace, because whether 2017 is a good year or not, is up to each of us.

“American Crime” – Studies in Character

I love a good character study, whether enjoyed through reading a good book or a watching a dramatic presentation.charac quote.jpg

Nothing says “humanity” better than witnessing exposed human foibles and a character’s visually-recorded self-delusion.

It’s the mirror we all stare into but seldom realize who we see because we are so busy watching ourselves acting in different bodies with strange faces that sometimes appeal to or repel us.

This comes as no surprise to anyone who watches it, but our present television offering is the black hole of attention consumption. It sucks away our hours, our days, and our lives. We watch renditions of LIFE rather than actually living it.

And in return, television media gives us…….um,……I mean besides all the blatant money-grubbing advertising, …it basically gives us little other than being an insomniac’s last refuge or a 50-inch, rectangular pacifier.

I wouldn’t even call most viewing options “entertainment” as much as I would call it varied flavors of escapism—escapism geared to your favorite obsession or fear.

So when I, in my own escapist foray, ran across a really good dramatic series based mainly on character study utilizing creative character dissection, I took notice.american crime

I’ve trolled the Netflix options many times. Some series are so-so, some hard to get past the first 4 minutes, and some were fairly interesting. But if you are really into character studies, I would suggest the series called “American Crime.”

It’s certainly not what I expected it to be, and gladly so. The main actors are some of the best, and are well-known in their own rights, but combined together in this unusual format and artistic renditions of “life as it actually is, not as we project it to be” they are superb mirrors of human self-deception, self-destruction, and self/family annihilation.

And that is the ironic title’s claim: “American Crime” – it explores the cultural/societal/legal crimes we commit daily on ourselves, our families, muslim women.jpgand our communities.

Why on earth would that be interesting or entertaining to watch?

Because it is so revelatory in each unveiling episode. You relate to the de-masking of the characters—their proposed aspirations, their genuine woundedness, and seas 2.jpgtheir hidden weaknesses. Through each of their depictions, you see how easy it is to slide away just a little from your own integrity and end up in a complex situation with the sudden choice of now facing the evolved problem head on, or trying to bury it deeper in even greater deception coupled with harsher future consequences. (Hint: they all go for the latter one.)

What I liked most about the two season series other than showing the same actors in alternate character universes, was that there really were no clear good guys—no clear child protectbad guys depicted in the show. There were no easily distinguished heroes and no pure villains, although some were implied and assumed until proven not to be.

In each season’s dramatic character exposition, there were only flawed people like you and me, making one or two choices that led to violent repercussions and forever tainted lives because of their simple acts of greed, lust, loneliness or self-loathing.character are you

The most prevalent theme I took from both seasons was that all of us need love and acceptance, openness and understanding. But without those necessities, we live shallow, deceptive, and destructive lives that eventually implode.

It isn’t that our lives are fated to be that way—it’s that we choose our fates because of those unmet needs.

And that is the biggest crime.

Only Words

(originally posted 8.3.12 in my previous blog)

As a writer, words are my craft, my mode of expression, my connection to the masses who share these common symbols and meanings, my attempt to explain the unexplainable; and yes, even more,…it’s the only way I can share my subjective experience with others in some mutual form of empathic resonance.

As an energy therapist, I know the importance of light frequency and sound vibration. I know the power of words and their intended (as well as subtle) meanings on others, whether read or spoken.

Words are why you are here today perusing this blog. Words can touch your heart, they can inspire, and they can do far more: words can shift your energy lower or higher.

Long ago on my  Facebook page, the Tao and Zen folks had a great graphic of the Yin/Yang symbol that often represents the Tao. On the dark side were all the “shadow” words that instill fear and sadness in our hearts; and on the white side, were all the “love and light” words that instill joy, contentment, and that “feel good, safe and secure, hugged by a loved-one” inner peace we all strive to find in our lives.yinyangwords.jpg

I don’t think I’ve ever seen another graphic or image that better conveys a sense of what a low-frequency focus (darkness) and a high-frequency focus (light) really look and sound like in our culture—in everything we read, view, and hear around us, 24/7/365.

These “words” can make you feel bad about yourself and each other, or they can make you feel good about yourself and each other, because they represent what a fear-focus (darkness) means to us, and what a love-focus (light) means to us.

Whenever you speak, hear, or experience the darker side of this life, you know one of those fear-focused words all too well. So if your life is tinged or flooded with any of those darker word symbols that represent actual affects and emotions in your life, you are being adversely affected by fear in some form.

Likewise, if you speak, hear, or experience the lighter side of this life, you know the love-based words and make them your focus no matter what others say or do, because to live from those “light” word symbols, you truly have to shift your perspective higher and keep it there, no matter what the world around you implies or projects at you. High-frequency living is very much a choice and a goal for many of us, because it doesn’t necessarily come easily.

To attain that goal means we must reduce and eliminate, if possible, the “darker” words from our lives. We do this with intention and dedication to living in a high-frequency world because that’s the world we choose to live in.

If you choose “love and light” the white words represented here, are for you to shout from the hilltops and to emulate daily in all manner of human expression.

So, perhaps in one graphic image, you can conceive a personal road-map for raising your frequency and recognizing shadow-thoughts and behaviors when they arise or when they attempt to influence you; both in your own thoughts and behaviors, and in those of others around you.

Being aware of what low-frequency and high-frequency looks, sounds, and feels like, can be pivotal to recognizing your own feelings and choosing how you wish to spend your time—in the shadow or the light.

A Short Story Collection of Rick Bass

Rick Bass.jpgShort stories capture little vignettes of life as compared to a novel’s more-lengthy theme exposition and character development.  A good short story is every bit as difficult for a writer to master as is a good novel because you have far fewer pages to make your point and show your world view. It requires great clarity of vision and a high degree of literary skill. In other words, it takes discipline.

Do NOT consider short stories as the Reader’s Digest version of a novel. They are very different genre and as such offer a unique and rewarding reading experience. To me they are like browsing a buffet of favorite foods all stretched out before you to sample a bit of this, and then try a little of that until eventually you’ve sated your appetite. This book is the buffet grazer’s banquet.

And as mentioned previously, I really love a good writer—a word-magician who can string a few random syllables into multi-dimensional prose with such ease and grace that is effortless to read while being transformative in the process.For a LIttle While

This book I’m now exalting is called FOR A LITTLE WHILE: New and Selected Stories of Rick Bass.

As a short-story writer, Rick Bass could be the resultant love-child of Jack London coupled with Ernest Hemingway—birthed and nurtured by a Jungian midwife. His writing style is succinct, precise, sensory stimulating; and often depicts his characters’ intimate, dependent relationship with their environment.

Bass often shows how the environment has shaped each of the characters in his stories because the characters and the land itself often seem interchangeable with and indistinguishable from each other.

As a writer he subtly captures the depth of human interaction/emotions by describing actions (it’s what you DO, not what you SAY that counts). A character’s speech or dialogue might reveal conscious, flowing thought but actions reveal the unconscious motivations at work that drive the plot (and the life).

Overall I think Rick Bass really goes places that most writers never go—into the psychological core of basic human belief that drives their behavior—a spiritual connection to the land, which he often then parallels to animals of the same region.

tree tops.jpgIn fact in this collection of stories, there is an overwhelming oneness of every living thing interacting with their environment. That natural interdependency is often ignored in the prose of other writers—perhaps because of other writers not recognizing it. Bass, however, reveals the basic matrix of life itself—exposing the soft underbelly—with all its species interconnections and dependencies.

But more importantly is that as a really good writer he does it all so simply and elegantly—and that’s what just blows me away.

He doesn’t get salacious with his story line. He doesn’t go all horrific or deranged. He takes a rustic setting with simple born-of-the-earth people and examines each character’s internal machinations that translate into daily doings in such a way that it reveals WHO those characters are as human beings.

He shows the reader that WHAT his characters are swans on lake.jpgdoing in response to life’s challenges and grind are reflective of WHO they are; but it also helps us to see WHY that should matter to any of us. Bass deftly unveils how our simplest daily actions define our lives—it frames how we view each other, discloses how we treat each other, and clarifies what true life-lessons are learned during our journey here, whether separately or together.

rooted humanYou won’t read a Bass line claiming that life is fair or unfair; only that it is LIFE with all its beauty, tumbles, and bruises. He frequently shows how those strongly-rooted-to-the-land individuals derive their very life-essence from the land itself—how those “firmly planted humans” with feet to shuffle rather than burrowing filaments can more easily flow with and/or resist the life challenges that might test us lesser humans to the limit of our strength and stamina.

Anyway, I could go on and on here, but I think the book is a great short-story collection, especially for nature-lovers. The writer, Rick Bass is a phenomenal talent, and I’ll be reading more of his offerings soon.th

It comes as no surprise that he is an environmentalist.  He writes of nature and the land that supports us like an adulating lover extolling his beloved’s attributes.