Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Number One Hundred and One

Aloneness has a Janus character. One face seems grounded and content; the other full of fear, watching the specter of an empty universe. Being alone -- strong and content -- depends on being able to hear the oceanic connection to "the whole."  When we hear only silence, or the thrumming of an inchoate world, the aloneness is empty and frightening.

It's as if we were out to sea, trying to catch the sounds of a ship-to-shore radio.  At times voices can be heard, and we know we are somehow connected.  Then we get nothing but squeals and static.  In truth we choose what we listen to.

Number One Hundred

There are three kinds of desire: Authentic desire is any wish or seeking that is in alignment with spiritual values -- particularly connectedness and universal consciousness. Authentic desire leads the soul toward the work it came here to do.

Venial desire is the pursuit of simple pleasures -- without significant negative consequences.  It's enjoyment for the sake of enjoyment, a sweet indulgence in what our senses give us.

Compensatory desire seeks experiences that mask, numb, suppress, or control pain.  It often takes the form of addiction or compulsion.  Its role in suppression makes it reinforcing and hard to give up.  This desire seeks without concern for outcomes.-- the damage to body, spirit, and relationships.

Identifying the type of desire is critical to mindful decision making.

Number Ninety Nine

A personal god is a concept, a human invention. Consciousness is god. All of it. Consciousness creates  conditions to provide for its own learning and growth. It creates each universe so that universe can, in turn, shape and advance consciousness.

Number Ninety Eight

The highest spiritual purpose is not insight, not letting go of the body or things of this world.  It is not piercing the amnesia inherent in each return to physical life.  It is, rather, the awareness of the spiritual choices built into each moment.  The choice to listen, to have compassion, to attend, to be open, to know and feel the pain, to do what connects, to say the deepest truth, to do good. Mindfulness, at the most practical level, is about paying attention to now so the spiritual choice can be recognized, and sometimes taken.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Number Ninety Seven

In the place we gather after each life, no one is missing.  Through the long night of an incarnation, we look for each other.  We enter and leave each other's lives in ways that were foreseen and arranged.

When the play is finished, we go home.  We take what we have learned back to "the whole," back to the light.  We greet the one who was our brother in one life, and a father, daughter, friend in others.  We greet a lover who left early, and in another play survived us.

When the play is finished, we enter the circle of those who taught us, learned from us, fought for us, killed us.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Number Ninety Six

Pain is a path to truth.  It refracts light to reveal things not otherwise seen.  Pain reveals the invisible ties, the vast network of energy that connects everything.  In the heart of pain and loss is love.  By running from pain, we run from love.  By avoiding pain, we lose the pathways to connection.  In the heart of pain is a moment when the universe -- and our place within it -- finally becomes visible.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Number Ninety Five

Beauty has one purpose: to dissolve whatever holds us separate -- from each other, from every fractured rock that makes the earth, from every star in the sky. Beauty is the breath that joins us. Beauty is the dream -- in this dark sleep -- of a place where every rock, every planet, every star, every soul collides to make the next, more true and perfect version of itself.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Number Ninety Four

Joy teaches as much as pain.  Joy -- the passionate living of this moment -- is the window through which can be glipsed a soul's essence; a soul's purpose.

Joy is not bought, and there is no price to pay later.  Joy is not found; it is entered as one enters the moment.  It is held as one holds a child.

Joy is a path made of the now that leads to a center -- a center that always holds, always is there, always tells the truth.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Number Ninety Three

We especially must love our flaws. But loving the flaw is not living the flaw.  Loving the impulse to hurt isn't the act of hurting. What we do matters.  It is how we love everything outside ourselves. Choosing to be kind -- when everything inside demands cruelty -- is an act of love toward another.  Accepting the desire to be cruel is an act of love toward the self.

Number Ninety Two

Each incarnation requires the soul to struggle with a key flaw -- addiction, shame, fear, hubris, narcissism -- which in fact is a gift. It is the illness we have chosen, the work we have selected to do.  The flaw both drives us to catastrophe, and lights a path toward the learning we came here for.

Our virtues, which we celebrate, and weave into our identity, are less important than the flaw.  Our virtues are the toolbox we were given for this struggle.  And it's the struggle that matters above all.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Number Ninety One

The lessons of loss begin early.  A child's favorite toy is left somewhere and never found.  A parent turns angry or disappears, striking at a child's feelings of safety or worth.  Over time the losses mount -- people, places, things that were loved -- sometimes losing even faith or trust or sense of self.

There is nothing we have that can't be taken away.

The lesson of loss is not surrender, not detachment.  It is not to prepare for the worst, not to numb or rid the self of desire.  The lesson of loss is a more perfect form of love; a love that requires nothing, that depends on nothing -- not even the presence of the beloved.

The lesson is to love the essence and not the object.  The object can be lost, changed, eroded by time.  The essence exists always in consciousness -- outside of space and time -- and is the true, immutable core of what and who we love.

Loss leads to a form of love that is unchanged by fading beauty or scars of time; a love that is unchanged even by destruction, by absence or death. Loss teaches how, eternally, we hold the beloved.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Number Ninety

Every soul is a witness.  We see at first our own life, where we can be the elemental observer without thought or emotion.  We witness through a cloud of feeling and cognition, but it obscures the simple river of experience, the flow of what can be seen and heard and touched.  We collect -- images, events, stories.  We hold, individually and collectively, light touching the Tigris at a wide bend, the feeling of wet clay spinning on the first flywheel, the sound of wind susurrant through an ancient corn field.

Every soul is a witness.  First for the self, and then for the other.  The other needs to be seen; the love and pain mirrored, known.  The soul is incomplete, untouched, its work caught in the limits of the "I" -- without a witness.

The witness sees every fall, every getting up -- deepening what's real because there's more than one of us who carries it.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Number Eighty Nine

Human emotion is central to our education on this planet.  To learn from fear and loss, to learn the work of love -- how to care while in pain.  How to see each other while bent with hurt or grief.

Emotions lie; we know that.  But they also hold truth.  Because there is an emotion of rightness: seeing the beautiful, the harmonious; seeing the opposites that belong together, the unseverable relationship between loss and hope, failure and discovery.

The emotion of rightness comes as a dancer moves in a certain way, as the sculptor chooses a certain shape.  It comes while reading the perfect lines of Steven's On Mere Being.  It comes as we finally say the truth that took so long to find.

The emotion of rightness is a sometimes dim, sometimes brilliant lantern -- lighting our way.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Number Eighty Eight

All human relationship takes one of two forms -- acceptance or control.  Acceptance is unconditional; it is seeing the other as a whole, with love.  Control always involves the use of force; control destroys love because it requires the other to give.

Whether control takes the form of small, coercive manipulations or complete enslavement, this is the same continuum of what Buber called the "I-It" relationship.  The other is not seen; the other exists only to serve the needs of self.

The verbs tell everything: One takes control; one gives love.  At the far extreme of control-based relationships lies sociopathy; at the far end of acceptance lies belonging -- to the whole, to all of consciousness.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Number Eighty Seven

The last sunrise illumines the east.  The last day begins.  Soon all plans will end; the hope for what the next day brings will end.

In the window a bird sings to no one.  It is over; this life.  The body's heavy burden is lifted; the last lesson either learned or unlearned.

Now is the gathering of moments, of every choice.  We listen to every uttered word, the truth and the deception, feeling what the words brought -- whatever pain or comfort.

Now is the gathering of every touch -- for violence, healing, or love.

And now, in the darkness at the end of the last day, the ones arrive who know us.  They have been there in a hundred lives.  Soon we begin again.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Number Eighty Six

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.

Soul consciousness can hold the past and the present.  And when not in human form, can extend backward through every incarnation.  Like rocks and suns, soul consciousness contains all future selves, all future development.  But this is hidden, compartmentalized to create the illusion of linearity.  Because all learning, all development happens simultaneously.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Number Eighty Five

Ultimately, we are here to create.  First one learns to love with a love that holds everything, every element, every facet of a particular "thou,"  Love is attention: seeing and knowing thoroughly.  Nothing can be created without love and attention. We create by loving and knowing something so deeply that we cause it to evolve, change, become.  We do that whether we are creating a story, a sculpture, or a universe.  Creating is the outcome of love. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Number Eighty Four

We build towns where there is water.  The water gives life.  Consciousness goes where there is something to learn.  Learning is the water that feeds consciousness. Consciousness becomes dormant -- sleeps -- when there is nothing to learn.  The cities of consciousness grow where souls learn together how to make a more perfect lawn, more perfect street, more beautiful song, more deeply felt embrace.

Number Eighty Three

"Dear god...Did you make mankind after we made you?"  XTC

Did consciousness create god or did god create consciousness?  Did some primordial awareness precede god, or did god kindle all of conscious knowing? Two syllogisms:

     1. All consciousness evolves and learns.  God is conscious.  Therefore god has evolved.
     2.  What evolves grows from a state of pre-existence (what it was before taking its current form) into higher and higher forms.  Therefore god did not always exist. God evolved from pre-existence into higher and higher forms.

If we define god as a level of consciousness that can create something out of nothing, then we might also say that consciousness grew from nothing into the creator of everything.  Therefore:

We are part of the whole -- the whole of all evolving consciousness.  We made god and god made us.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Number Eighty Two

Let it be.  There is no remedy for what cannot be healed.  No fixing what is broken beyond reconstuction.  No homecoming for the murdered and the lost.

Let it be, the witness says. Just watch.  Know what has happened.  And let everyone who's seen the damage being done take away the lesson of collapse. Of suffering.  Of the city being sacked and the children crying in cellars.

Let it be, the witness says.  Peer into the slaying heart that makes such brokenness.  Learn how it forgets.  How it rages.  How it lost everything.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Number Eighty One

At a certain point, as a universe expands, the distances become too great for relationship, for cohesion and connection, for objects to have influence on each other. In that environment, cause and effect dies, and consciousness cannot grow.

The distance between incarnate souls, as that between stars, is subject to strict laws of entropy. The distance between souls will expand, due to cruelty and damage, until there is a complete loss of relationship, of connection, of influence.  Each soul is then alone, flying like some lost planet through the dark.

The distance between souls expands as cruelty breaks attachment, as it destroys emotional gravity.  In that environment, consciousness can no longer grow because love is impossible.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Number Eighty

We are lost inside our bodies.  Alone, exiled from true belonging.  Everything we talk about is driven by a hope for connection.  We are caught in the chemistry and nervous system of a creature who fights and runs, whose brain evolved to foresee danger and separate experience into good and bad.  Our minds, judging and predicting, trap us in a binary world -- safe/dangerous, right/wrong, good for me/bad for me, lose/keep.

We do what we know how to do.  We reach with words, we hit, we hurt, we run.  We try -- with only our eyes and minds -- to see, to find the "whole."

Friday, February 1, 2013

Number Seventy Nine

Each universe leaves its mark on consciousness.  And on god, the sum of all consciousness.  Each universe is a step in god's evolution, as consciousness collects what was learned in order to create the next big bang.

What is awake, learns.  God is awake.  God is every conscious soul learning.  God is not perfect because we aren't perfect.  God will never be perfect.  God creates in order to learn.  Each universe is inhabited by a bigger, more conscious god.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Number Seventy Eight

There are two kinds of knowledge -- explicit and implicit, what is seen and what is sensed.  We know a tree has green leaves.  We sense a principle of life, a form of consciousness in the spreading limbs. If we listen, we sense the possibility of relationship to the tree.

Implicit knowledge is the whispering of our own wisdom, gleaned from many lives.  Implicit knowledge also comes from listening to the twitter of the Noosphere, the sound of all souls conversing.

A gun is blue steel.  A hand touching your face is soft and warm.  We know this, with explicit clarity.  Beyond what the senses tell, the mind enters a world of shadows.  The implicit world.  In this world concepts and ideas collapse.  They become like Styrofoam, brittle and insubstantial. Implicit knowledge comes from listening without sound.  To the deepest truth of the relationship between things.  Meditation was invented to learn the implicit truth.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Number Seventy Seven

Time doesn't contain anything.  The dates of a lifespan do not hold that life.  The years of a particular war, or even an empire, cannot contain the conflict or a civilization.  Everything that has happened continues to happen.  It goes on outside of time, in a form that can be reentered at any moment.

The lowest, least authentic form of reentry is memory.  More powerful is dissociation, which brings the past into the present so seamlessly that the current moment is obscured.

At some level, the tape of every cruelty, every conversation, every creative moment, every helpless scream is still playing.  It is going on, exactly as it occurred, waiting to be revisited.  Time can't touch it.

The whip cracking on a slave stone mason, building the pyramids, can be felt right now.  The lesson is waiting.  The wisdom in knowing each form that pain takes -- is waiting.  Each moment of hope, of arrogance, of love, of running away is still alive.  Waiting.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Number Seventy Six

We are here to choose.  Every hour, every minute.  Our bodies and minds are a vessel in which decisions are formed so action can be taken.  What happens after each choice is then observed, and becomes the source of our personal wisdom.

A baby chooses to crawl from a high step.  And falls.  The outcome -- a first awareness of gravity -- will influence other choices.  And will expand to a deeper knowledge: that support can prevent so many kinds of falling.

Every outcome observed creates wisdom -- whether the choice is made freely or unconsciously, coerced by pain and pleasure.  But free choice is only possible with full awareness: completely facing and knowing an experience; the willingness to see and feel all there is.  Free choice is the source of wise action -- what we came here to learn.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Number Seventy Five

The mind does four things to protect the life of the body: it predicts, explains, judges, and chooses.  These are its tools for solving problems, the clear and temporary threats that arrive daily in our lives.

But in the face of continuous uncertainty -- the actual fabric of life -- the mind tries to solve the unsolvable.  The mind predicts catastrophe, shuttles from theory to theory, makes searing judgments about what's wrong or right -- and becomes paralyzed.  Thoughts race, but no truth can be found.

The tools of the mind become a plague when we try to solve the core uncertainty of planetary living.  Problem solving mind becomes, inevitably, monkey mind.  The the only way forward, toward truth or knowing, lies just beneath the breath. In that stillness lives all that we've learned, in hundreds of lives, and the conversations -- loud and continuous -- of all the souls who love us.