Aftermath

Similar to afterthought except as applied to actions, aftermath describes the consequences of causal events.quart arm

While afterthought can be considered more benign, cerebral, and sort of “arm-chair, quarterback”-ish on 3rd down plays; …aftermath can be more like “sacked quarterback goes out for the season with broken arm—team in turmoil”-ish.

Afterthought can be second-guessing and reconsidering one’s better options afterwards instead of beforehand.

Aftermath can be the seconds, minutes, hours, days, years, even decades following a questionable decision or wide-spread disaster that can irrevocably change the course of lives forever.

Afterthoughts of what we might have done better, rather than what we did do at the time, may haunt us indefinitely.

bombingAftermath is the inevitable result of our bad decisions, choices, or actions that adversely affect (and keep affecting) others besides ourselves long after the initial action occurred.

Where we as global citizens are right now is caught in the aftermath of decisions made by unscrupulous leaders throughout the world many decades and even centuries prior—decisions made by those who were trusted and depended upon at the time, to put humanity’s welfare above their own personal greed and self-focus.

What does this mean to all of us in the NOW?

We are presently living in the aftermath of bad decisions—decisions traditionally based on fear and hatredintegrity—decisions based on self-interest and bids for power and control of resources, finances, and real estate—decisions based on short-term, more immediate benefits and gratuities, rather than long-term sustainable values that help raise people from crushing poverty and provide a solid chance at self-determination.

So with the American election season presently underway, as these latest supposedsaviors of family values and middle-class economic stability trot out their inflammatory one-liners and slash-and-trash campaign tactics, please keep in mind that any afterthoughts you might United States presidential election, 2016have the day after the election for NOT voting in primaries and in November 2016, mean nothing to the rest of us; because we will be too busy dealing with the aftermath of voter apathy and irresponsibility to even consider it.

Listen, …and I mean REALLY listen to what ALL candidates say and claim as his or her platform of beliefs; and then ask if he/she can provide verifiable records of action taken in that same regard before making a decision to give that person your valuable approval.

I think most of us are tired of living in the aftermath of a power-person’s bad decisions made through self-interest and adhesion to conventional party-politics.wisdom integrity

Actions, like wars, have consequences.

Let’s make sure that we all aren’t someone else’s afterthought this time.

Let’s be their primary consideration for a change.

Let’s stop living in the aftermath of someone else’s personal ambition.

Shifting Timelines

RCWAgain, been reading lately and have another Robert Charles Wilson book in process. Evidently I enjoy his writing style and skills.

I won’t mention which book it is at this point, but it is one of his earlier ones where he isn’t quite as subtle dipping into his extensive bag of tricks. It’s much easier to see how he’s introducing the characters, settings, and scenarios then interweaving them into the storyline.

Mid-way through this one I realized what an excellent teaching tool his books can be to frog disectcreative writing students—no matter the age. It just takes a little extra time, a few margin notes and a coil notebook to trace all the components as you read through it. Lay the gathered info out like an old-school frog dissection if you want to see what’s inside it—pinning those guts out onto the matrix-cardboard, gore everywhere—all over your desk—all over your shirt—all over the notebook.

Then using a white board to display each chapter (represented by small sheets of paper spaced evenly across and down the board), and using some colored yarn for each significant character, one can track character introductions, interactions, and crescendos across the entire whiteboard—which represents the entirety of the novel. This can be very revealing of an author’s intentions and message.

stephen kingIn novels where the narrator (voice and tone) is the main character, it is easier to follow character timelines—because you basically have one point of reference, but when the perspective is more omniscient or limited omniscient, it is more difficult to effectively regulate the writer’s tone and tempo. Then more obvious time descriptors are often used as headers, such as: “a day later”, “the year after this”, “two years prior,” etc.

Exposing too much information too soon makes for clichéd writing; but offering toodark night little information during early chapters creates reader confusion and lack of interest. So it becomes a balancing act of what and who is introduced when and where.

The big question the writer must always answer is the WHY of what, who, when, and where.

WHY is this character appearing early, middle or late in the story? What makes that character significant to the situation as well as to the integrity of the book itself? There are many ways to tell a story—why is the writer using this method? What’s his rationale?

For instance, right now the Wilson book I’m reading is a story about time-travelers, and as one might imagine, scenes switch all over the proposed timeline represented: present, past, future, past, present,…until you start to wonder aloud: “Wait,….which present am I in? The present in the past or the present in the future, or IS THERE ahere and now PRESENT at all?”

I think that might have been one of his themes for this particular novel: “Is there really a PRESENT?”

It’s interesting to me, because that is the same question that I’m sometimes asked when conducting hypnosis Past-Life Explorations with my own clients.

Mid-journey, the client can be describing to me the events and feelings that she is experiencing during a particular past-life situation in a different time and place—a different body—a different setting—a different country, while I sit in PPFthe chair beside her in the NOW. And to the client who is effectively bi-locating in two places at the same time, she may be asking herself or me, “Which PRESENT am I really in? Am I there? Am I here? …..Where is the present?

Well, as the narrator of this story and my client’s tour-guide through her then-current Past-Life Exploration, I simply tell her: We are right here, right now …wherever that is in your timeline because the PRESENT is a constantly moving target.

It comes. It goes. Yet it still remains…the PRESENT, ….at least as we know it.

The POINT

After a difficult night’s sleep, who hasn’t raised a drooping head to look bleary-eyed into the bathroom mirror and said, “What’s the point?”

“The point” could mean the point of going to work, or the point of a troubled relationship, orpoint watts even the point of life itself. No matter what subject we are referring to, there often comes a time during the course of our lives when we have asked those simple words: “What’s the point?”

So to this existential question I say: “YOU are the point!”

Your soul’s continuing evolution required that YOU incarnate upon this earth-plane to expand your limited consciousness and awareness of oprahyour interconnectedness with all other beings. Your work and relationships and life itself all fall into line with that same premise. The point is that YOU are here for YOU, and for your soul’s expansion and progress.

In Spirit World prior to your incarnation on earth, you heard the theories of what love, fear, anger, envy, excitement, and heart-felt connectedness meant, but you have to be a physical presence on some type of testing grounds to actually experience those feelings for yourself.

THAT’S the entire point of why you are here: for 1st-hand experiencing of all that you are capable of handling: emotionally, psychologically, and physically.

So when you check out your disheveled self in the morning mirror and shake your head at the sight, please keep in mind that you chose to be here to see what this whole “living” thing was about, and it’s up to you to make the life experience a good one (happiness) or a bad one (unhappiness).

You can do the “victim” thing if you want—it is your choice—but in truth only YOU can determine ythour attitude and activity during the time you are here, so choose wisely—choose love-based activities—and make your time on earth the best possible experience for yourself.

That morning mirror only reveals what you expect to see in it. If you are so busy living your life, who needs the mirror?

Collective Wisdom

This is a subject that both fascinates and puzzles me: collective wisdom.

collect consciousnessIn some ways it refers to the Emile Durkheim concept of the Collective Consciousness—that each of us in our own tiny spheres of awareness is actually connected into a far greater ocean of awareness by those frequencies within the “human range” that are available for our reception.

“The totality of beliefs and sentiments common to the average members of a society forms a determinate system with a life of its own. It can be termed the collective or creative consciousness.—Emile Durkheim[6]

But collective consciousness and collective wisdom are not quite the same.

Collective consciousness may contain the collective ignorance, attitudes, and judgmental biases of the masses, whereas collective wisdom contains the mature-thinking, accumulation of smaAsimovrt choices for human evolvement amassed only after determining the difference between those and the immature, not-so-smart ones that can get you killed.

One could call collective wisdom the inherent survival kit of a species.

Collective wisdom tends to be ancestral-based as it is often the tribe’s or a culture’s acquired wisdom handed down to a younger generation by the elders of the previous one.

So collective wisdom is commonly considered the learning-from-your-mistakes and not-doing-that-atiger easting grassgain tales that are retold generation after generation, such as: despite their lean and mean appearance, tigers aren’t really vegetarians so don’t try to offer one a handful of grass. It would probably be the last time you tried it.

It’s the sort of thing that your grandparents and parents tried to instill in your psyche before you ventured out the door of the house for the very first time: “Be careful of strangers—look both ways when crossing the street—walk to school, don’t run—and don’t pet the dog next door because HE BITES.”

The puzzling thing to me about collective wisdom is that it isn’t held in as high esteem as it should be because despite what our surviving elders tell us, we just keep doing those same things we know that we shouldn’t do:

  • We try to convince the hungry tiger that nutritious kale is far better for his colon than is our leg or arm. (Please let go!)
  • We try to be nice to strangers because we know that even perverts need friends. (And who doesn’t want to help a lonely pervert?)
  • We are simply too busy looking at our iphones and ipads while driving because no one walks anywhere anymore, so who needs to look both ways no matter where you go? (Besides, I’m sure they’ll see me and stop.)
  • And we know that the neighbor’s dog is just the sweetest, little, misunderstood poochie you ever laid eyes on, despite his frothing, snarly face and warning growls. (Oh he surely won’t bite ME.)

Yes, those previous examples were more so the logic of the “moronic” collective consciousness, NOT the collective wisdom.not so google glass

But still you counter: “Hey….I mean, if collective wisdom was so important to us, why didn’t they put a ‘collective wisdom’ button on my Google Glass?” (Like “duh!”)

Well ….maybe next upgrade.

Lemons, Limes, and Grapefruits

“When life hands you a bunch of lemons….”   make a citrus daiquiri—that’s what Cuba did.raising the flag

I’m not an alcohol imbiber but I believe that daiquiris are made with rum, reminiscent of the Caribbean, where we are now re-hoisting the American flag today at our newly re-opened embassy in Cuba.

Therefore in essence, when life hands you a 53-year economic and social embargo from the United States, you basically ignore it and keep plugging away in the manner that you’ve always known—subsistence living. Then one day 53 years later, both countries’ leaders look at each other and ask, “Now tell me again, why is it that we are doing this?”

havanaThis is not an easy topic of discussion for any side, especially during election-season mania because there were some genuinely serious issues involved: long-standing violations of human rights, political incarcerations, attempts at assassination (Bay of Pigs)….. oh, and Cuba did some bad things also—pretty much the same things except there were no safe guards in place for the Cuban people such as due process of law, demands for social justice, and freedom of expression guaranteed by the US Constitution.

So when Cuban political dissidents were sent to jail, they stayed and often died there. Cuba was a very bad place in which to be unhappy about your personal situation. That’s why so many Cubans left the restricted island by any means possible—by air or sea. And that’s also why there are so many Cuban-American people who have such mixed feelings on the normalization of relationship with the country that has the same Communist/Socialist rulers still in power.

After all, Cuba is still a Communist country under rule of a dictator (he calls it Prime Minister), who is the brother of the former ruthless dictator (Prime Minister), who took over Cuba in the late 1950’s during a military coup that Fidel Castro referred to as “The Revolution” or “The Liberation” of the Cuban people.

And at 89, despite his predicted demise in every decade since 1960, Fidel Castro is still alive and still making a fuss castro and Napolianthat America now owes the Cuban people millions of dollars for creating decades of economic hardship for them. What chutzpah!

Castro has outlived American Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford; and has thumbed his nose at Presidents Carter, two Bushes, Clinton, and Obama. That’s longevity at its finest or worst, depending on your perspective.

mapSo upon this auspicious occasion of the American flag once again flying 106 miles southwest of Key West, Florida, may we give pause for silence and contemplation of what was really accomplished during those five decades of pretending that Cuba and its governing forces were dead to us.

One could wax philosophical on the folly of allowing extreme ideologies to dominate clear thinking and prevent practical solutions to serious disagreements; but on the other hand, the world was in such a different place 50-years ago, and we know that today’s clarity lasts only as long as the sun continues to shine upon it.

So may the clouds continue to part for all of us in our unified endeavors, and let that sun shine in.

Beingness

Not sure that I can do this subject justice, but I do have some thoughts on it.

Feeling a sense of higher-purpose for living and imagining a future that draws you eagerly toward it are aspirations that we all share.

Some folks might even be certain that acquiring a good education and having strong career ambitions are one and the same as living purposefully and maintaining an optimistic outlook on future endeavors.

From my point of view now from having done both with education quote from Tolleand career, I know they are not the same as living purposefully and being excited about tomorrow’s unfolding.

I also know now that my present state of beingness is every bit as valid and important to my personal/spiritual evolution as any of the doings that I’ve done in my past, if not more so. Some recent reading material substantiates that belief.

There are two books that I’m slowly wading through, and both are like eating a 5-pound hamburger…you can only get through it by taking one bite at a time and allowing for digestion to do its thing.

One book is Eckhardt Tolle’s The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment; and the other is Dr. David power of nowR. Hawkins’ The EYE of the I, from Which Nothing Is Hidden.

Both authors are said to have achieved enlightenment or what we could refer to as an “enlightened state of consciousness.” And both describe what they experienced and intuited/learned through the mind-expanding experience and the subsequent mind-state following the initial ALL-ness connection.

I’ve certainly invested a lot of pencil-lead in both books; and essentially both say the same thing: It isn’t all the doingness that clears your path to wisdom and unity consciousness (which also equates to success and happiness for spiritual seekers).

It is the beingness—the allowing yourself to simply reconnect to the massive source of energy from which you came—the Source that provides all the answers you desire to every question you could ever conceive.

In other words, the path to enlightenment is NOT a doing path. It is a being path.

The doings that occupy so much of our precious lifetime are simply distractions from finding our true life-purpose and basking in that deep sense of inner happiness. No doubt you can learn a lot from doings, but only being takes you where you truly desire to reach for that sense of inner peace.

eye of II would provide a few appropriate quotes from each to substantiate this point, but Tolle’s entire book is on that very subject of the importance of simply Being; and Hawkins has some great quotes but focuses on tying all awareness into light frequencies and calibrating the consciousness levels between the general masses and the great avatars/teachers who reached that state of extreme expanded awareness. It’s a “numbers” thing with him.

Muscle testing for Hawkins was equivalent to finding the Holy Grail, and is the standard that he used to calibrate all acquired knowledge.5 lb burger challenge

Well, as I mentioned earlier, …lots of reading left to do in both books and I won’t be hungry for some time until after I’ve finished this 5-pound burger on my plate.