Second Innocence

In my morning pondering I started to replay in my mind a part of a conversation I had with a friend yesterday.  I was wondering why this particular part of the conversation was rising up to be replayed.  What this usually means is there is something that was unsettling and I have a need to replay it, to catch what I might have missed in the original conversation.  Kind of like when a sports game keeps doing a replay so they can see what they might have missed and need to see more clearly in order to make the right call.

In my replay I could hear myself saying to my friend, “I am so naïve”.  I repeated this multiple times.  I believe I also said that I think I always have been and may always be “naïve” to one degree or another.  As I was saying this I was feeling like my naïveté somehow was a detriment.  But, what I realized in my replay is that my naïveté has also been my saving grace.  It has allowed me to be open-minded and open-hearted.  It has allowed me to stay softened through life’s challenges.  It has allowed grace to carry me through my darkest hours.

The following is an excerpt from a book I have been reading.  As synchronicity would have it, this is the page I opened up to after my replay and determining the right “call” for me.

As we leave magical thinking in the sandbox of our mind, we can find a deeper magic, the magic of awakening beyond what we think ourselves to be.  There is a remarkable innocence in this, not a naïve or gullible innocence but a second innocence, a deeply awakened innocence through which our intimacy with the Mystery of Being ripens ever further, leaving us not longing for Home but sitting at the hearth, resting in the magic of everyday, grateful to be here one more day.  ~ Spiritual Bypassing by Robert Masters ~

You can have anything you want

I’m holding on—holding human
Human thought—human need
I need it now—maybe sooner
Love keeps calling me

You can have anything you want

Love may hurt you
but love will teach you
when to flee and when to fight
when to roll the dice

There’s nothing new
but something’s changing deep inside me
I hear your voice
It’s almost ageless
changing what is real

You can have anything you want

Love may hurt you
but love will teach you
when to flee and when to fight
when to roll the dice

Roll the dice…

Coming in for a landing

As much as I love the “spiritual” life, I want to shift my focus to the “human” life.  Not that spiritual and human are separate things, of course they are not, but to create balance I want to give my attention to the human condition and the struggles we go through when we are trying to integrate our human self with our spiritual self.  I have created a blog titled, Close Encounters of the Human Kind.  My first post is, “There is no way out but through. Here is the link if you would like to visit  http://closeencountersofthehumankind.wordpress.com

I have said many times to safe people in my life that sometimes I feel we have created a world that is not safe for our souls to land.  But, we can all play our individual parts to make the world a safer place, one day at a time, one hug at a time, one heartbeat at a time.

In my new blog I will cover all kinds of topics regarding the human condition.  This is my way of coming in for a landing.  This is one of the many ways I am beginning to create a safe place for my soul to land.  My hope is to expand in my awareness of myself and share my journey.

Note:  The purpose of my blog is to create a journal of my thoughts, feelings and insights.  So my writing is really me talking to me.  If you read my blogs and find them interesting or beneficial for your own self growth… this is icing on the cake for me.  My willingness to share my personal insights and put them out into the universe is a symbolic act on my part.

Less is More

“It was as if I’d been entranced from birth into a collective nightmare of separate individuals struggling in an alien universe for survival, satisfaction and significance.”  One by Jerry Katz

It seems that for most the prime directives of their lives are to complete their education, get a job, own a home, cars, things, etc.  But sometimes these things end up owning you.  This defines the American dream, along with continued pursuits for happiness, which seem never-ending, especially if one is looking for happiness externally.  Our Western society sells us a bill of goods and most of us buy into it.  That bill of goods is what we strive for our whole lives, hoping to reach the American Dream.  This works out really well for the powers that be.  Most of us buy the bill of goods and take the bait, hook, line and sinker without thinking for ourselves.  We can easily spend our lives as trained robots feeding the machine of consumerism.  It can be difficult to go against the grain; the pull to fit in is a strong one.  The American Dream is very seductive, creating a trance like state and before we know it we have fallen fast asleep in order to dream the dream.

We can break out of the original mold of the American Dream. We can wake up from the dream realizing that truly the best things in life are free…. A bird’s song, a child’s laughter, the wind, sun, rain, the breath of life, love, touch, relationships. We can set aside things that don’t really matter and create lives that express our individualism, depth, connection and meaning.

We are of no lesser worth if we don’t own a massive house full of stuff, a big polluting car, the finest clothes, college degrees, all the newest technology ….on and on ad nauseam.

We can create a new dream by taking a more minimalist approach to life when it comes to things.  We can open up space for presence in our lives when we come to understand that less is more.

(please excuse John’s language…)

You only see the world You make

Living our lives moving away from pain and towards pleasure (unconscious reactions based on fear) we are without conscious choice.  When we consciously choose we are no longer controlled by unconscious reactions to external circumstances, giving our internal power away to perceived pain and perceived pleasure.  When we are reacting unconsciously we give away our energy to the constant movement of trying to move away from pain and towards pleasure.  It controls us as much as any addiction.  I believe it is the “main” addiction.  We can consciously make a choice to live in love and peace.  When we become still and our soul aligns with our personality we become one within ourselves and therefore we experience life as one.  Judgment ceases and we no longer seek fulfillment in the external world.  We are not judging life as good or bad.  We no longer seek pleasure and avoid pain.  We live in acceptance of all that is, without judgment.  We recognize that our eternal being is not controlled by external circumstances.  So no matter what the external appearances may be if our eternal being is at peace and in love that will be our experience. As Bonnie says in her song, “Whether your sunglasses are off or on You only see the world You make”.

Don’t have to humble yourself to me,

I ain’t your judge or your king
Baby, you know I ain’t no Queen of Sheba
We may not even have our dignity,
this could be just a powerful thing
Baby we can choose you know we ain’t no amoeba

CHORUS:

Are you ready for the thing called love
Don’t come from me and you,
it comes from up above
I ain’t no porcupine,
take off your kid gloves
Are you ready for the thing called love
I ain’t some icon carved out of soap
Sent here to clean up your reputation
Baby, you know you ain’t no Prince Charming
We can live in fear or act out of hope
For some kind of peaceful situation
Baby, how come the cry of love is so alarming …CHORUS

BRIDGE:

Ugly ducklings don’t turn into swans
And glide off down the lake
Whether your sunglasses are off or on
You only see the world you make

CHORUS OUTRO:
Are you ready for the thing called love
Don’t come from me and you,
it comes from up above
I ain’t no porcupine,
take off your kid gloves

Are you ready for it
Are you ready for the thing called love
Don’t come from me and you,
it comes from up above
I ain’t no porcupine,
take off your kid gloves

Are you ready for it
Are you ready for love, baby
Oooh yeah babe
Are you ready for love

Nothing is mine by nature

When you give yourself away you find that a new and more real self has somehow been given to you. When you are a donor you mysteriously find yourself a recipient-of the very gift you gave away. Nothing else is really yours. Your health, your works, your intelligence, your possessions-these are not what they seem. They are all hostage to fortune, on loan, insubstantial. So the saints are right. If I am nothing, nothing that is mine is anything. Nothing is mine by nature. But one thing is mine by my free choice: the self I give away in love. That is the thing even God cannot do for me. It is my choice.

Four Loves ~ C. S. Lewis 

Don’t Fence Me In

How do we keep our spirit (strength, courage, character, guts, fortitude, determination, heart) in a society that requires domestication (to become tame, broken, disciplined, trained)?  Another way to put this is, “how can we be in the world but not of the world”?  Can we be free in spirit and domesticated?  Can we be wild and tame?  Is it either or?  Do we have to choose one or the other?  Of course these questions are rhetorical and given as something to ponder on.

The opposite of tame is wild and wildness seems to scare the heaven (bliss, rapture, ecstasy) out of most of us….which would land us in hell (torture, misery, torment, agony, nightmare)?  I am guided this morning to look wildness in the face and make friends with it.  It is fortunate and unfortunate that I have not lost complete contact with the part of my spirit that is ……shall I say untameable: (of an animal or person) not capable of being tamed, subdued, or made obedient. 

Fortunate for me and sometimes unfortunate for those who attempt to dampen, squash, control what is untameable in me. I am still learning not to buck too hard as to scare anyone but instead I am learning to gallop away and take my wildness out for a ride, then I can return (still with my wildness in me but kept somewhat self contained).

I said somewhat….not completely!!!!!

Another way to look at this is through the concepts of conditioned and unconditioned, the conditioned self (broken in, habituated, hardened, accustomed) versus the authentic self (genuine, real, valid).  If we do not honor the authentic in ourselves can we honor it in another?  ….again rhetorical… Can we learn to love the wildness in each other?  Can we learn to honor each other’s freedom?

It seems to me that wild horses are able to do what we as humans seem to find impossible. They can run together, in harmony, in wildness, in freedom, not one leaning on another but each in their wholeness.  What beauty!

In Silence

A poem found me this morning and struck a chord so strongly I wanted to record my thoughts around it.  As synchronicity has it a friend mentioned Thomas Merton, she was looking for a book of his autobiography.  I did not say anything at the time but I felt a sort of resonance (kind of like an echoing in the ethers).  In a strange way I felt a resonance with his spirit and felt a kind of recognition, kinship or knowing.  When my friend mentioned his name I did not know who he was.  I kept feeling this strange resonating, not with the name so much but a feeling of being watched, guided or visited by him through spirit, even though I did not know who he was.  I almost called my friend to share what I was feeling because it was so strong and I wanted to try to understand what it was.  But instead I just allowed the experience to continue.  This morning in doing a search on the internet for something else, I saw his name and it was connected to a poem.

Briefly sharing some of my thoughts and feelings from my morning contemplation (this was before the poem found me). ……Who am I?  Where do I go in silence?  Who am I without words?  Who am I without all that is supposed to define me, yet in silence holds no meaning?  Where do I go when silence is allowed to lead?  Ahhhh… to bathe in silence, a liberation from self, to be absorbed in silence, to be held and loved by silence, to drift in eternity becoming the silence itself.

I now understand what the experience was about.

In Silence

Be still.
Listen to the stones of the wall.
Be silent, they try to speak your name.
Listen to the living walls.

Who are you? Who are you? Whose silence are you?

Who (be quiet) are you (as these stones are quiet). Do not think of what you are still less of what you may one day be.

Rather be what you are, be the unthinkable one you do not know.

O be still, while you are still alive, and all things live around you speaking to your own being, speaking by the unknown that is in you and in themselves.

“I will try, like them to be my own silence: and this is difficult. The whole world is secretly on fire. The stones burn, even the stones they burn me. How can a man be still or listen to all things burning? How can he dare to sit with them when all their silence is on fire?”

~Thomas Merton~

Thomas Merton, O.C.S.O. (January 31, 1915 – December 10, 1968) was an Anglo-American Catholic writer and mystic. A Trappist monk of the Abbey of Gethsemani, Kentucky, he was a poet, social activist, and student of comparative religion. In 1949, he was ordained to the priesthood and given the name Father Louis.[1][2][3]

Merton wrote more than 70 books, mostly on spirituality, social justice and a quiet pacifism, as well as scores of essays and reviews, including his best-selling autobiography, The Seven Storey Mountain (1948), which sent scores of disillusioned World War II veterans, students, and even teen-agers flocking to monasteries across the US,[4][5] and was also featured in National Reviews list of the 100 best non-fiction books of the century.[6] Merton was a keen proponent of interfaith understanding. He pioneered dialogue with prominent Asian spiritual figures, including the Dalai Lama, the Japanese writer D.T. Suzuki, and the Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh. Merton has also been the subject of several biographies.