Friday, December 7, 2012

Number Seventy Four

We learn by doing.  And failing.  The angels whisper to us, but in the end every soul is a scientist -- learning by seeing how things turn out.  Failure is completely acceptable because -- as with every experiment -- failure reveals what isn't true and what doesn't work.

We learn from failure. Our lives are rightly full of it. There is no other teacher whose lessons are so dear, so convincing. The guides and the masters are interpreters -- showing what happened and why.  But we are here for one reason: to learn to be the architects of the next universe.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Number Seventy Three

In the end, as each universe goes dark, all that has been learned turns into the next big bang. And at each inception, a little more of what was unconscious and hidden -- implicit knowledge that can only be felt but not seen -- becomes light.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Number Seventy Two

We are guided by light. The light comes in the form of a thought, a sentence spoken by passing angels.  The light ceaselessly bathes us, but we see it only in rare moments.  Our path, hidden usually by fear or desire, becomes at those times suddenly clear, as if seen in a full moon. But soon the words are gone; the thought disappears. And though the light still shines, we step blindly, knowing only the shadow of pleasure and pain.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Number Seventy One

Every conversation is driven by two things: the desire to be seen and the fear of being seen; the desire to connect against the fear of judgment.

In the life between lives, judgment is just recognition of whether something works.  What we do is either effective, or not; it achieves its purpose, or not.  There is no good/bad, no hierarchy of worth.  Here, judgment is dangerous, dismembering the self; tearing off parts that are called bad and get disowned.

So we are funny or polite.  We hide.  And what's judged in us is thrown away -- the rejected self.  In the quiet between bursts of laughter, between the small remarks, the disease of not belonging grows.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Number Seventy

The alarm sounds and we are afraid.  The alarm says, "run, protect yourself, stay alive."  The alarm rings in the body and the mind to make us zig-zag away from danger.  Avoiding danger is the work of the body.  Seeing danger is the work of the mind.

None of this has anything to do with us.  It is a place we live.  It is a house that will one day not survive the wind and weight of snow.  We are visitors, caught up and amazed by the customs, the way things work here.

This place runs on fear.  Fear creates the illusion of evil.  Fear makes invisible the strands that join us.  And it makes us forget why we came to visit in the first place.

The air raid and the fire alarm, the raised voice before a rejection, the darkness falling on an unfamiliar street  -- it is merely content obscuring meaning.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Number Sixty Nine

In the great emptiness before anything, before consciousness, there was only hunger, the craving a vacuum has to be filled.  Nothingness demanded something.  And in that hunger, in that demand, was the flint spark, the source of first energy.

Energy comes from nothing; energy is the inevitable outcome of absolute emptiness.

Inherent in energy is the drive to see, to observe.  Energy evolves toward thought, toward consciousness.  Consciousness is the inevitable outcome, the necessary consequence of energy.

Consciousness creates matter.  Just as there is no consciousness without energy, there is no matter without thought.  Thought is the portal through which energy becomes a cosmos.

The thought that creates is a thing called god.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Number Sixty Eight

Trees rise into the darkness, branches disappearing into night.  What was apparent by day now becomes hidden.  What we knew in the light is lost.

And this loss is the source of fear, where we begin to feel alone.  So to live this long night, the lightless time from birth to death, we rut paths for the blind.  Often they lead to cliffs, to last shouts before the fall.

The trees rise into darkness.  The purpose we arrived with, so clear in the moment before we came, is without illumination. The way now is not forward, but to be still.  To listen.  Without light there is only the sound of breath.  Of the heart.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Number Sixty Seven

As children, our days are made for us.  We react to what each moment brings, captive of the pleasure or the pain.  The development of a soul -- in the arc of a single life, and over many lives -- grows from choices.  Events don't matter.  The narrative does not matter.  The response to each event is what matters.  The moment of choice -- the path that forks toward love or compensatory acts, toward a sense of thou or mere pain management -- is what matters.  Choosing is the highest form of human consciousness.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Number Sixty Six

Moral judgment is the curse of human consciousness.  The evaluation of right-wrong, good-bad creates the illusion that each soul is on a mission to prove itself worthy.  To be saved.  To be granted entry to some heaven.

Moral judgment is the creation of those who seek to manipulate others.  From parents who declare a child bad in order to control behavior, to churches and governments that preach moral principles to control the flock or citizenry, the concept of morality is an invention of those who seek power.

The only judgment that is useful is this question -- What behavior is in alignment with life purpose?  Does what I am doing support or undermine the reason I came here?  In the end, whatever we do works or doesn't work to help us -- and the souls around us -- find the truth and wisdom we came to seek.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Number Sixty Five

Life purpose is the theme of every play we come here to perform.  In the same way this moment rests atop a thousand turns and choices, in the way it grows from each forgotten hour that taught us how to live, life purpose grows from the struggles and mistakes of past incarnations.  We can't remember them any more than we can remember the many bruises of childhood, of the moment we fist understood the power of the earth to make us fall.  But they are the text, the story that forms a reason to come back again.

In the calm between lives we make two choices -- what we are here to do and what we are here to learn.  A task and a lesson.  They arise from the same karma, the same lost chance, the same unfinished work.  The task may be to teach or protect, or soften the pain of others.  The learning may focus on patience or surmounting fear of letting go of the self.  The lesson and the task intertwine so the protector learns to accept loss, or the builder learns patience as things fall apart.

Life purpose is a direction; we move toward it or away.  Dark emotions -- anger, fear, numbness, boredom, shame -- are signs that we have set the wrong course, away from our purpose.  Sometimes we correct course, sometimes we cannot.  We will get there -- in this life or the ones succeeding.  There is no rush, no failure.  There is all the time in the world.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Number Sixty Four

The sun rises.  Children think of it as a person; they give it two dots for eyes, and a smile.  They understand something -- that consciousness can live in things.  It can animate matter -- any matter.  Consciousness learns from rocks -- from states of deep inactivity.  It learns from moving at the speed of light, from going in circles, from endlessly exploding.

The sun rises.  And in the child's drawing occupies a place in the sky. The child draws lines radiating from the sun, a symbol of heat, of the intention to warm and give life.  The child draws the eyes open -- because the sun is awake.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Number Sixty Three

The objects around us appear to exist in the moment.  But they contain all the elements of the future and the past.  They exist -- at the same time -- in every form they have taken, or will ever take.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Number Sixty Two

Thieves take our knowledge.  They come in the form of pain that makes us forget, that sweeps away the intentions we came with.  So we scream inside, and that sound makes hearing impossible.  The channel through which we listen for truth gets cluttered with anger and complaint.

The thieves show up in every life -- sometimes wearing garments of grief.  Or of fear.  Or of shame.  They come and we forget purpose.  We forget how we intended to love -- this time around.

Let them come.  Let them.  With whatever suffering.  They can take nothing from us -- no truth or knowledge -- if we don't resist the pain.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Number Sixty One

Each Tao has its time, and seekers ready for the path.  And for each seeker there is a time when a Tao is finished.  The discipline that once reaped wisdom lives on the other side of grace.  At some point the narrow corridor of truth leads to knowing death.  While the study of the breath leads to the moment, the study of the breath stopping is the portal of truth.

All around us are souls taking the last breath.  We are afraid of it.  But that is when we know what we are.  Meditate on the breath stopping, or on the place between breaths.  Through that doorway shines the light between lives.


Friday, June 22, 2012

Number Sixty

"I love you."  Words carry the idea of love, as if language made truth.  In the idea of love, loss has yet to happen.  In the idea of love, the form, the costume of connection is held up to the mirror -- perfect in every way.  But love lives in the intention, the commitment to reach across vast distances.  Love waits for word when word never comes, writes the letter that has nowhere to go, holds forever what is already gone.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Number Fifty Nine

Doubt is companion to the quest for certainty.  It never leaves because in this place absolute truth is hidden from us.  Mother Theresa spent most of her life with no sense of the presence of god.  And whether the god she thought exists is really there, this dialectic remains: the quest for truth and the uncertainty are inescabably one experience.

Is the struggle to find truth Quixotic, or do we get closer? We can observe the phenomena of consciousness; we can know the outcomes of choices; we can reason; we can collect data from the experiences of others.  And it all points somewhere, to some ineffable knowledge that comes for a moment into focus, and fades again.

We are like short-wave radios, tuned to a frequency of some distant voice, and through the static picking up a word or two.  And all the while we are sewing that into some coherence, knowing we only caught a little of the whole gestalt.  Knowing that, through desire or projection, we could supply the missing words and get most of it wrong.  And still...and still it is our work.  And we continue.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Number Fifty Eight

Let go of time.  It cannot help you: looking forward, looking back -- as if it was real.  The future causes the past as much as the past causes the future.  What you are about to do affects what you have already done.  Your death in each life leads to the day in that life when you were born.

The future is the story you have not yet told yourself, but still know.  The past is the story of what might happen if you choose to reenter this life.  Let go of time.  It carries you only if you believe in it.  The future and the past are here -- now.  They have always been. And they keep changing.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Number Fifty Seven

Wind moves the branches.  We have watched this near the Nile, in the forests of the steppe, in the high divides where trees bow down in the raging air.  The wind comforts us because it has always been there, in every life, pushing across prairie and sea.  It makes the white out where someone, walking between familiar landmarks, is lost; and small waves that rock the boat we doze in.

Wind has been with us, an icon of how the world moves: taking and giving.  Taking a life and promising breath.  Always.  As if we had come here to inspect time: to see wind wearing away mountains, and that still place between susurrant movements of air.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Number Fifty Six

The current of time appears constant.  We seem further from the source and more alone as one-by-one our loved ones leave the river. 

But time flows only within the banks.  The villages we live in between lives are above the river, outside of time.  We enter time -- to forget.  To believe the river is all there is, cold and deep and roiling.  We can enter the river anywhere -- from the headwaters to the mouth.  Time receives us, takes us, teaches us -- till we drown.  Over and over.

Time was invented by consciousness.  To measure change.  We enter time to change.  To grow wiser and stronger in the water.  Whatever we become is taken back to the village, to the place we are becoming god.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Number Fifty Five

Peace is not a legitimate goal of life.  Avoiding pain by avoiding attachment is not a workable life goal.  While attachment is the source of pain, it is also the source of love and beauty.  Beauty and love are attachments.  Rather than detaching, our goal is to struggle to learn, feel, and love in the face of pain.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Number Fifty Four

At the funeral, all eyes are on the coffin.  As if the one inside was the victim of misfortune.  As if he or she had been struck down by some random fate.  Something indifferent; violent.

Death isn't bad luck.  Because there is no difference between the living and the dead.  The one in the coffin is doing the same thing as the one grieving in the pew: loving; learning.

There is no difference between the living and the dead because the young have already been old, already taken a last breath, already watched planets die and galaxies collide.  In the end is the beginning.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Number Fifty Three

It is easy to see the darkness -- pain that cuts souls off from each other so they can feel only the "I," feel their aloneness. But the light, the slow movement of souls to point omega, is harder to recognize.  It is hidden by the illusion of detachment, our apparent separation from the whole. While the illusion is necessary for our lessons here, seeing that we are learning together growing together, is the first step toward spiritual liberation.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Number Fifty Two

In branches, on street corners, in familiar rooms are the ones watching over us.  They are visible and invisible.  They talk through the sounds of birds, they talk through falling water, through soft murmurs or an off-hand remark..

Yet we feel abandoned here, in the great silence of these dying, far-flung stars.  We feel alone in our bodies, in our death.  And we don't know our own angels, the ones who have loved us, the ones who surround us, both living and not.

We don't know our own angels.  We are deaf to their voice -- the wind in high granite, rain hitting the leaves, a sigh.  We can't see them when someone is waving, someone sleeps in a doorway, someone steps toward us for the embrace.

It's warmer and the birds arrive -- finally telling us everything.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Number Fifty One

Reality is nothing more than what exists in the present moment, what we are willing to see, to surrender to, as we take this one turn in the river of now.  Reality is the source of joy.

There is no joy outside of now; no joy without getting in the river and letting the current take us down whatever rapids, to whatever pool or eddy.

There is no joy outside of now -- what we see and feel and hear.  Joy is seeing and feeling it all without running away, without living in the past or future, without making up some story of our days.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Number Fifty

There is only one thing that works for remembering what love is.  That is to hold each other -- without hope or demand, without keeping track of what's taken or given, without any deliberate blindness to the pain.  Just holding to feel all of it -- the failure, the sweetness, the fear, the need.  Holding all of it -- the place from where the dark visions come, the place that gives, the place that runs away.

Holding until it is possible to hold without arms, hands, without touching chests.  Holding with mere breath -- felt across miles, years.  Holding with mere being.  Everything.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Number Forty Nine

Galaxies fly out, escaping the gravity that holds them.  There is no center.  In a while they will go dark as suns burn out, and all heat, all possibility of life is lost.

And another universe grows -- with new forms and new laws -- from all that was learned with this one.

The carpenter to be hammers his first nail.  Two boards are joined.  Everything he builds changes him, helps him learn.  And everything he learns changes the next thing he builds.  Makes it better, more beautiful.

Collective consciousness grows with the lessons of each new universe, just as the craftsman evolves with each new thing he makes.

Things fall apart.  But the lessons they give us last forever.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Number Forty Eight

If you walk into a hotel, you expect to be taken care of.  You expect to be safe.

The room surrounds you with silence.  No voice penetrates the walls and drapes.  The pain in the street, the angry running men, the shadows calling out for help cannot reach you.

You are safe.  You are contained.  The ones who wait for you to come, you cannot find.  The ones who have something to tell you, you cannot hear.

You are safe.  Comfortable.  You turn on the TV, watching a disaster too far away to imagine.  You have a drink.  And then sleep comes.

Now the sun is behind the curtain.  Bright but distant.  It is the same everywhere.  Death is the same everywhere.  Pain is the same everywhere.  The room protects you only from life.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Number Forty Seven

Loving the moment is embracing, with equal measure, the doubt and the certainty, the loss and the connection, the sin and the sacrifice, the fear and the courage.  Loving the flaws protects us from being the flaws.  Seeing the beautiful pain and opening to its perfection, keeps it from defining us.  The more we love the dark, the more we live in the light.

The pettiness, the anger, the selfishness, the cruelty must be seen and loved.  If these parts of the self are rejected and made "not me," they grow to envelop, to become the self.  The way to the divine always leads through what is wrong, what we are desperate not to be.

There is nothing at the end that wasn't at the beginning.  Each thought, each feeling that is banished becomes a monster that we feed.  We nourish them with fear, disgust, shame, and -- most of all -- avoidance.  The things we fear to think and feel grow large.  Haunting and powerful.  Until they become nearly everything there is.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Number Forty Six

Consciousness -- both of the individual self and the collective whole -- constantly evolves.  Because it must.  If your are awake, you learn.  You grow.

Consciousness uses what it gains.  To make things.  One definition of god is the ability to make something from nothing.  The collective whole -- the sum of all awareness, the combined light of all souls -- has already made this universe.  And perhaps others.  As it evolves, it will make new, unimaginable places with which to interact and grow.

When you shine a light -- the brilliant white beam of collective consciousness -- through truth, it refracts.  Into a new, suddenly visible spectrum.  So what is impossible at one level of truth becomes commonplace at another.  As consciousness evolves, it takes, for example, the truth of how a planet is made and turns it into unknown molecules with new laws of relationship. A new physics.

Consciousness is never complete.  It can only keep learning.  Growing.  Becoming.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Number Forty Five

The perfect day ends with a thought: will I have this tomorrow?  And the thought tears what the day was made of.  The fabric of the perfect day is made from the sounds of the outer and inner life -- like two notes of a chord.  And the chord exists not one moment before or one moment after.  When the mind enters before and after, it no longer hears the chord.

The chord is the source of joy.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Number Forty Four

Memory anchors our identity.  The garden with the straight, white paths; the rumbling streetcars that descend -- between dark storefronts -- to the sea: By those scenes I know my loneliness.

Memories make us.  And we return again and again to each familiar image, hoping it will reveal the truth of ourselves.

But we are amnesiacs, captive to the scenes of a single life.  The rest of us, felt in the movement of sun and shadow, known in the chill preceding dark, heard in wind and birdsong and falling water, dwells in a hundred forgotten lives.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Number Forty Three

Identity is to self as a cover is to a book.  It is the face of self.  We learn to recognize ourselves by our cover, by familiar patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving.  Identity is built on a sentence that starts, "I am a person who..."

Identity includes the emotions by which we know ourselves.  "I am a person who is...(angry, afraid, sad)."  And characteristic ways we cope.  "I am a person who...(shouts, avoids, gives up, drinks)."  Identity born of reacting to life is left behind when we leave the body.

Identity that grows from what we've learned becomes part of self.  Of soul.  It is an enduring core wisdom that evolves with each life.  "I am a person who has realized..." is the place where self and identity merge, and the reason we are here.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Number Forty Two

To understand what self is, we must first know the purpose of self.  Why are there seven billion "selves" on this planet?  They are all here for one reason: to learn.  To gather experience and wisdom for the whole.  The whole can only evolve and grow as each self observes, remembers, acts, and learns.

Just as bees have mandibles, wings, and legs for the sole purpose of gathering pollen, all the properties of self derive from its purpose.  To learn, each self must observe experience, remember experience, organize experience (into categories and higher order conclusions called wisdom), and choose mental and physical actions (focusing awareness and deciding what to do).

No learning can happen without engaging each property of the self.  No wisdom tradition can find truth through a single aspect of self.  As each self learns, the whole becomes god.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Number Forty One

The storms roll down, washing away what holds us.  What protects us.  Taking the walls and rooms of a world we counted on.  As clouds obscure the sky, storms of the spirit obscure the truth.  Hiding the knowledge that nothing is lost; that the self is constant, never broken.

Damage is an illusion.  The idea of safety or protection is an illusion.  There is nothing to be safe from.  Nothing we need to protect.  It is all safe -- everything we love.

The storm is mere forgetting.  A momentary blindness.  The truth waits, eternal and untouched, until we remember it again.