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Saturday, May 28, 2011
"There are places I'll remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places had their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I've loved them all.'
Sometimes I can't help but feel as if life itself isn't worth the living. For all the lessons and all the purpose, just existing makes dying look easy. After all, in the end it doesn’t really matter. Nothing matters. As we strut about on this stage, it seems, that we mean little in relation to the vast universe and the God we believe to be within it.
We have little choice but to grasp to our own sense of creation in a sea of desolation. We realize how truly alone we are while swimming back to shore. Nothing is for sure and anything we think might be is only a reflection off the water, a vision of something outside what we can see and know. All the while, we are drowning in our own reality.
We find a puddle and make it into a sea of love.
We really do take what we can get.
Since we know nothing, we shape our limited world based on both the collective interpretation and the personal options we are afforded through the wisdom of the ages and the knowledge we borrow along the way. We formulate, contrive and create our own safe harbour. As we float in a salt ocean of all the things we believe to be true, the tidal wave comes. Events in our life can be like a tsunami; one motion strips our world away.
You start from nothing, you exist in nothing and then you see nothing in all its force.
Suddenly, the world we know is gone, lost without a trace to the random digressions of that same universe and the God we crown the master of it. We are left with less than we had before, a difficult feat since we really have nothing to begin with. We walk onto shore, dry ourselves off and try to go on as the rain starts to fall. We search for the safety and shelter we call our home and begin all over once more. We forget that the hardest part of ending is starting again.
'Drowning, in the sea of love
Where everyone would love to drown.
But now it's gone, it doesn't matter what for.
So when you build your house, then call me home.'
In the greater scheme of things, a year in time is not much time at all. This does nothing to lesson the affect a year can have on us. A year in the life of a human being can be complex, difficult and stifling. A year in the life of a human being can be rewarding, productive and fulfilling. Each person must face their finite amount of time with resolve or they must fear it with abandon. Either way, we are victims to the constant motion of the invisible clock around us as we count down to our doom.
A year may seem like nothing when we place it in the context of eternity but this does little to assure mankind. Our world is constantly changing, a flux, and it seems that nothing is safe, nothing is secure. We only have ourselves, in spite of thinking we have each other. We waste it all just to watch it go.
Time is a constant reminder that all things return to their Source. The circle we call life is really just a death we don't think of, at a time we don't count on. We toss away seconds like feathers to the wind with no regard for the wonder each contains. We rush and rush never noticing there is more to this world than we know. When it passes we complain as to where it all went. Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock.
When my mother died last year my world changed but I did not allow it to end. In spite of the enormous grief that washed over me, I never blamed the water. Instead of sinking into misery I rose above and sailed away. Few of us recognize a pinnacle when it happens. We barely notice anything so this comes as no surprise. The event of her passing could have turned my life inside out with pain and anger but I found a different way.
Instead of surrender, I captured both myself and her in time.
I sat down one day and I started to write. I started to express my feelings, and express my ideas, regarding the questions I had about life and death and about God.
In searching I found myself and, in so doing, became more aware.
I could have easily drifted out on the ocean, no shoreline in sight to point my way. Instead, I took all I've known, and all I have experienced, and I used it. I used it to help myself, to help my family (especially my father) and to help others. I turned to God in the hope that He would lead me and, in so doing, found mercy I could drink from and a freedom from the river of my despair. Still, the rains came down and the floods came up. I did not let the water come and carry me away, I let it wash me clean.
‘Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops?
What if Your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near?
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?'
If everything is nothing then nothing must be Everything.
This is much to explain but it is true none the less. This world around us is just an illusion, an illusion hiding a greater reality than our own. Some call this God, others call it heaven, some even call it oblivion, but it is there none the less. Our limitations restrict our ability to comprehend this other worldly force but it is constant, lingering, waiting for us just outside our dreams.
You cannot know the unknowable.
It flows in the wind and it comes with the rain. It is mercy and mayhem and light. It is there in the darkness and there in morning, as the mockingbird revels in the glory of all this creation. The silent whispers we hear in the night are echoes calling out to each one of us. We hear them all the same but we do not listen. We forget that if anything good happens in life it comes from this unknown. We find it in the things we know yet we forget that above all things, first comes love.
Nothing we know or ever will know can explain it. Nothing we do can make it greater than it already is. In the knowledge that we know nothing, we see It in everything. It is there like the river and the sea and the ocean, ever available should we care to take a swim. You can choose to float through this life or you can choose to sink because of life. You can swim or you can sink but either way, It is waiting for you in the water.
'When you cross that river
The trees they will bow down
The sky will open up to you
And the lark will sing your song
When you cross that river
The path will follow you
And the winds they will caress your lips
And the fires they will burn strong'
A year in the life of a heretic is much the same as a year in the life of any other person, minus the guarantees a faith structure can give you. Each moment we all spend trying to survive a God that demands more than He gives. We try to find some balance using what faith we have left and in this we find a most powerful tool. While we use faith, it serves no other purpose but to nurture our ideas about the existence of a deity beyond our understanding. We must reach for something or we fall for anything.
We need faith. It guides us and brings comfort in the storms. That is what faith is meant to do. It does not offer any answers but it connects us to something greater, something gone in the wind but lingering in a song. Therein the lesson.
From a song we express our sorrow as we tell tales from the highway we have travelled on. There is affirmation in the truth we have come to know. There is cause and effect in everything but we end up preaching to the choir, trying to convince ourselves that everything will be ok. Like an animal social we cling to each other but end up lost and found. Things we cherish like our favourite time of the year allow access to the presence surrounding us. We think we see but we do not know that all are one and that One is God.
As if a puzzle man, we build our lives from a collection, putting the pieces together with borrowed knowledge and hope. This soul music does nothing but to reveal we can't always get what we want but if we try sometimes we just might find we get what we need. All we really have are memories and the resolved sadness that comes with moving on and starting again. The best is yet to come.
This is not the end it is just the beginning.
Believing in something beyond ourselves is the key. Don't abandon God, abandon your ideas about Him. Search for Him in the warmth of a summer day or in a book if you so choose. All we have is faith, the rest is just an empty prayer.
The only way to survive God is to see God for what He really is. We must give up all our answers if we are to discover the truth. We must realize that the anthropomorphic expressions we cling to are but reflections of the unconditional love offered to everyone, not just those who believe one way or another. We are saved by love not words.
To survive God we must surrender.
We must surrender to the unknown and we must embrace each other.
'This world is made of yesterdays
All it gives it takes away
And leaves you in the rain
The fragile faith in what we see
Will merely be a memory
Like lightning when we turn away'
Some believe in what they are told and sit waiting for the flood. Others jump in the pool looking for a raindrop then curse the pond for its futility. Sometimes I dream that I'm caught in a stream and the water keeps pulling me down. I reach out for Him but He pushes me in and I wake just before I drown.
'God's love is like a river
At every turn and every bend
And faith in Him will turn your heart around
'Cause even though we sin,
There's forgiveness in the end
And the river's gonna keep on rolling on
Keep on rollin' to the ocean
Keep on rollin' to the sea
Keep on rollin' 'till the love we need
Washes over you and me'
In My Life, The Beatles (audio)
from 'Rubber Soul' / 1965
Sara, Fleetwood Mac (live)
from 'Tusk' / 1979
Blessings, Laura Story (audio)
from 'Blessings' / 2011
The River, Rankin Family (video)
from 'Endless Seasons' / 1995
Save Me, Michael English (live)
from 'Hope' / 1993
The River's Gonna Keep On Rollin', Amy Grant (live)
from " Legacy... Hymns and Faith' / 2002
The End (of the beginning).
Friday, May 27, 2011
It speaks to this heart of mine
More than anything
Underneath a blanket of snow
Cold and white
Something is stirring in the still of the night
And then the Sun comes up
Slowly with the dawn
This is the kind of feeling
I hang my hope upon
There is a love and beauty in all that I see
And no one, nobody is explaining
You to me …'
From the time we are born until the time we die, all we are is borrowed from something else. Whether it is a person, a piece of literature or even a snowy day in January, we absorb our outer reality and use it to try and understand.
We objectify the material world from early on and use this as a tool to relate to both our environment and ourselves. The only way we can comprehend the complex matrix of information delivered to us at an alarming rate, is to selectively access the information processed. This recognition is both conscious and subconscious. Our brain picks and chooses the information to be stored and how it will be used.
We are influenced by the world around us and the all the things contained within it. As each bite of information is absorbed we are shaped, conformed and conditioned. In many cases we are indoctrinated by birth into a pattern of living based on information relevant only to our group; we start out small and grow until we turn into everyone else.
Everything known becomes our makeup. How we feel, how we think and even how we love are all influenced, or created, by the exposure we have had to the outside world. Our socialization, our education and even our time to ourselves shifts our constantly moving identity. We are, in fact, a puzzle of all the things we know.
It is here we begin to discover God.
'Maybe my eyes can't see
But You are surrounding me
Here in the wind and rain
The things that I know
Tender and sweet
And strong as my need
I know the voice
I know the touch
Lover of my soul …'
Since reality is artificial my composition must be as well. I am, after all, only a vessel for my true self. At base, I am spirit. I am a soul in a body holding that spirit. Time, matter, even existence are all illusions. Any information we receive while in our mortal coil is filtered through our humanity. We can only understand within our definition. I cannot define reality any more than I should allow it to confine me.
All knowledge is corrupted. It is corrupted by observation, corrupted by infiltration, and , most certainly, corrupted by opinion. Things should influence us not make us.
Everything we need to know is invisible.
When you realize you know nothing then you know everything.
We cannot hope to understand something outside ourselves without a basis for relating. Mankind takes interpretations and turns them into truths. We know we are grasping at straws but sometimes something is better than nothing. We cannot function within the unknown so we shape reality so that we can.
When we recognize we cannot know we begin to find the Divine.
All the fabrications and notions we have about God disappear when we see them for what they are. Everything is nothing and there is nothing at all.
When we commence into the unknown we quickly realize there is freedom in the Nothing. We have our own freedom to think, our own freedom to create and our own freedom to believe. Every word, ever lyric, every thought which tried to define God was merely an attempt to commune with something beyond us. We should be paying more attention to the things around us if we want to find Him.
He speaks to us through the things we know.
'When the evening comes
The sunlight fades to red
And time and time and time again
I whisper in my head
"Give me strength
Give me faith to fully believe
That the Maker of this whole, wide world
Is a Father to me" …'
Realizing that truth is an illusion that leads nowhere is different than realizing the truth is nothing. When we surrender to the idea that what we know is not real we recognize what is. All we have is here and now. The rest is just guess work.
If I am to discover God in the reality I exist within I must look for Him. To see Him we must assume He is everywhere. If God is everywhere, if we can see Him, then all we need to do is pay attention.
All the things we know, from the birth to death, are part of God speaking to us. The Spirit flows through everything and suggests purpose and reason. The tiny voice inside yourself tells of meaning and movement but you must listen to learn. Everything you ever heard, every sunset that passed you by contains the Voice but we don't hear it.
I do not suggest that God is all things only. I suggest that God is in all things.
I also suggest there is much to learn when we think of life as a lesson rather than mere living. If He speaks to us through the things we know then there must be a message.
'Maybe my eyes can't see
But You are surrounding me
Here in the wind and rain
The things that I know
Tender and sweet
And strong as my need
I know the voice
I know the touch
Lover of my soul …'
If you've ever sat on a summer day and felt the heat of the sun blaze against your skin then you may well understand what I am trying to relay. If He is everywhere then He is everywhere we look. If you take the time to notice you will find what you are looking for. When you discover Eternity, words cannot even attempt to describe it. It is beyond word and beyond comprehension. The idea that we can define God's creation is as futile as attempting to explain the soul. Mere words are not enough.
He talks to us through His creation. Anyone who has felt déjà vu or had a coincidence, anyone one who has survived a Near Death Experience, anyone who has felt the presence of Love and Mercy knows they did not catch it from afar. It was right there, already waiting, they just had to claim it.
Everything we know in our lives, every joy and sorrow, all our borrowed knowledge comes from that which we call the Divine. His unrestricted Love, Grace and Spirit are all available to us if we care to embrace the light. When we are aware that He is all around us and cheering us on we discover the true purpose in goodness and right and joy. Life is to be lived fully not controlled and conditioned based on things we do not understand.
All the words of this world may help you survive God but they won't help you find God.
All borrowed knowledge, to the ends of the earth, cannot make us aware if we do not take notice. God is, after all, with us.
'In the wind and the rain
And the sun and the snow
Talking to me in the things I know
You are the Lover of my soul'
-from 'My Utmost for His Highest'
Lover of my Soul, Amy Grant / 1995
Thursday, May 26, 2011
'It’s amazing how you can speak right to my heart
Without saying a word you can light up the dark
Try as I may I could never explain
What I hear when you don’t say a thing'
-from ' Now That I've Found You: A Collection'
When You Say Nothing At All, Alison Krauss / 1995
The greatest things of my life are intangible.
Like a little star dust caught or a portion of the rainbow I have clutched, all soul music dancing towards the tunnel and the light.
I felt it first when I was younger, this strange connection to the light. I was told the light was Jesus so as a Christian I tried to satisfy the hunger but never got it right.
I was introduced to Christianity as a child. I was taught concepts about the Divine.
My culture used faith based practises to reinforce the ideas my primary relationships had already branded into my consciousness. The books I was given to read and the rituals I was exposed to, affirmed the lessons I so easily absorbed as true. I was conditioned to be a Christian. I was told I was a Christian.
I was turned into a Christian. It became my solace.
We all tend to adjust our thinking to what we feel comfortable with.
Our personality and character tend to influence our choices and decision making. Where we have come from, what we know and who we have been exposed to, dictates. We are brainwashed, in a sense, to believe or not believe. Our early childhood development through to age 6, will determine almost everything we do as an adult.
Everything we do and everything we believe.
As an adult this conditioning can become a safe place, something we embrace and trust. For others, this imbedding of ideas and notions can create great conflict. It can act like a
wedge between peace of mind and peace with God. It is often not a choice to seek answers beyond ourselves and what we know.
In many cases, we aren't left with a choice.
Although our innocence is taken, not everything is lost.
We can start thinking for ourselves.
We work out our own salvation. We stop depending on others to think for us.
We question, we disagree and most certainly, we doubt. It is human nature to examine the unknown, even if we have been told not to.
For those who find rejection there is little choice but to find a God that does love them.
When I realized that the real me was not acceptable to the Christian God, or fit for heaven, I pleaded. No matter what I did or what words I used I still would not find the light within the Biblical reality. I had glimpses but yet I was not acceptable.
I was not welcomed home.
So I moved out.
I started thinking differently and feeling differently about God. I used the borrowed knowledge I had accumulated in all my years and I discovered a better way, a way that leads to the light I knew as a child and the God yearned for throughout my days.
I was deemed weak for not conforming to established attitudes, doctrines or principles. Since I wilfully and persistently rejected articles of faith I was shunned, ostracized and sent on my way to hellfire and heresy.
We all have a heretic within us.
We are then introduced to new ways of being and believing, reshaped into something fitting for God as we see Him. Though a professed believer we maintain religious opinions contrary to those accepted by the Church and reject doctrine prescribed by that Church. We have no option but to turn away.
Heretics light a fire in the body of Christ and then burn at the feet of authority. Almost any sect, cult, or religion that acquires power will suppress opposition, subvert all contrary education and murder, lock up, or drive underground all heretics.
Heretics have always been condemned for their freethinking.
These voices from history rise again and again against the tyranny of an institution which still has not learned to follow its own rules.
They forget that a virtuous heretic will be saved before a wicked Christian.
If you want to know how to kill a wolf in sheep's clothing question established authority.
Go against established dogma. You don't have to be an apostate and formally denounce your religion, or even blasphemous with irreverence toward religion in general.
All you have to do is disagree and the Church will hunt you down.
I am not welcome in the kingdom of God.
I keep trying to get in because I did not choose to leave, but I am forced out. Although I have been rejected and punished at least they haven’t stoned me to death, yet.
We are all attacked and condemned by a Divine system of justice that apparently could not care less about innocence. It feels like something's wrong in heaven.
What about the love?
It hurt discovering that God has no place for me in His scheme of things.
I've tried, in every way, to mend my broken worth. I was exorcised, brutalized and even eulogized; left in ruin to the mercy of a God I believed already hated me. Persecuted and condemned by the very scriptures which have replaced Him. It was required of me to be different, feel different and especially, to urge different.
Good luck with that.
There is a freedom in not having boundaries. Sin after all, by it's very definition, is estrangement from god. Why should I follows the rules when He doesn't?
What hope is there for souls, lost like me?
The Christian God holds me accountable for the natural state I was born into.
Being homosexual is not like cherry picking.
I know I have not chosen to be gay and so does God.
Despite the Way, I had to find alternate routes and hope they led me home. I tried to enter by that narrow gate but entrance is restricted.
Sometimes, He isn't the way or the truth or the life.
Most often, we have to find our own way.
Regardless of our questions about fairness, mercy and unconditional love, we can not escape the hard, cold reality of the Christian faith. This God, the One we trust, He does play favourites. He does discern based on merits rather than substance.
If all Scripture is true and the word of God, I was screwed before I got outside of my mother. Infallibility is a mask for a monster behind the pages.
We must let go of ours ideas about God and His word and re-examine ideas about Love, Grace and Mercy. We must search for the "real" God or what, it seems, is impossible to define with human words. Skip the system and go straight to the top.
Rise above the noise and confusion and get a glimpse beyond this illusion.
You can soar ever higher but don't fly too high.
Do not abandon the faith of your forefathers.
Don't let a book separate you from Him.
Appearances can be deceiving.
He hides there too.
'Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten'
Unwritten, Natasha Bedingfield / 2004
God kills and kills some more.
God kills a lot of people in the Bible.
The fire breathing, sword wielding, fierce manifestation of judgment and doom rears its ugly head for to slaughter. He gets pleasure in the killing of earth bound men, like a good blood god should. He has struck down many nations and killed mighty kings.
The Lord does whatever pleases Him.
God can be more monstrous than humans.
Regardless of my trust in something, I no longer am secure in that trust when there is evidence to the contrary. Even when the transgressions of this deity seemed far greater than the sins of those being punished, He continued to wage war on mankind and the people bowed and prayed.
It would seem men of God have little trouble emulating Him, especially when sanctioned to wreck havoc on those deemed unworthy of His favour or their own.
I have always wondered why great men of faith don't see the dichotomy in serving something both saint and sinner.
How does the behaviour of the Hebrew God differ from the nature of man?
When do we get to hold that God accountable to that which He expects from us?
We imagine a God of power to serve rather than a God of love.
We are men of war for we serve a god of war.
That which we make Him to be He will be.
Even men in Christ believe that God is capable of the things revealed in Holy texts. Sunday service is washed, not with the blood of Jesus but with the blood of men.
Forget love, make war.
Love does no harm to a neighbour. Love is the fulfillment of the law. We must love one another, for love comes from God. If we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.
I don' believe God has ever instructed anyone to kill or slaughter. I don't believe for a moment that God has ever killed a single human being or ever will, whether Scripture tells me so or not. Any claim someone makes that God asked them to kill is delusion.
God cannot go against His own true nature.
He does not kill, He loves.
If the Bible is a human witness to the revelation of God, a testimony to Himself in our world, then such a witness is corrupted by human perspective and bias. An epitaph borne through the experiences of men and woman of a specific culture and certain history.
A god of war served their purposes, validated their actions and condoned their own wars against mankind. For them survival was the most important thing.
Survival of the individual comes second and of the tribe first.
Men shape God's will to validate, escalate and inundate their own platforms, their own way of thinking. They sculpt the words sent to them and turn them into reason; reason for killing, reason for hating and reason for war.
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
His word is a lamp for our feet, a light on the path not an arsenal of all the notions men make about God and each other.
Religion is an illusion and it derives its strength from the fact that it falls in with our instinctual desires. Illusions commend themselves to us because they save us pain and allow us to enjoy pleasure instead. We must therefore accept, without complaint, when these notions collide with a bit of reality against which they are dashed to pieces.
They are the greatest stories ever told but they are just stories.
From the book of Genesis to the Apocalypse of John, our ability to comprehend the message gets caught up in the unattainable. We are looking in the wrong places.
Mankind holds onto myths and fables and strange predictions to help explain the unexplainable. We rationalize that which we cannot come to terms with or fully understand. We explain away, creating anthropomorphic expressions of our deepest hopes and fears. Our universal obsessional neurosis manifests whatever our nature embraces. It is the best we can do or hope for.
We create what we need.
We create what we wish for.
The more that knowledge becomes accessible to men, the more widespread is the decline of religious belief. We analyze, scrutinize and separate reality from fiction. We teach our kids to use their imagination but only when it suits those things we get comfort from.
If one believes in God it is difficult to over look the incredible things such an entity could do; with God all things are possible. The requirement of belief or forced faith does not recognize that the Godhead is a self-contained explanation.
Unknowable is a noun.
Omnipotence tends to cancel out most people's assumptions about the Divine.
When salvation becomes so contrived that we have an obligation to think like one another and like God then God's love becomes conditional.
It always ends up that we believe we are doing something wrong.
When you flood the spiritual market with ideas or images, the effect familiarizes those exposed. The use of these images, icons and art pacifies the spiritual experience.
It becomes something benign and stagnant.
We are not supposed to make for ourselves an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. We are not to worship anything but God and God alone. It is pure idolatry to make the messenger greater than the god.
Man's mind is stored with idolatry and superstition.
If a man believes his own mind it is certain, he will forsake his own god and forge some idol in his own head. Idolatry is in a man's own thought, not in the opinion of another.
It is, after all, just a picture, just an image.
An image, or anything used as an object of worship in place of God, is considered an idol. Idolatry denotes the worship of any deity in a visible form.
Whether the image is a symbolical representation of the true God or a false divinity, we are not to worship anything in His place.
Venerating Jesus is idolatry.
Instead of God, we call on Christ.
We have stopped looking for the Father and started relying on the Son.
We spend all our time screaming at the stars.
We forget to notice the moon.
American Christian fundamentalists don't worship God, they worship Jesus.
Jesus is God. There are no questions because He is the answer.
For them it is okay to have an intermediate as long as we believe it is God in another form. The Lord is One.
They turn the invisible Hebrew God into a bearded, white Aryan male but for all the words, attributed to wise men, I cannot find it.
In every letter from the New Testament, it failed to form.
Not one sentence from any page has confirmed it to be true.
Nowhere at all did Jesus, or anyone else, tell us to think of Him as God.
It's all just American idol worship.
"The greatest thing you'll ever learn
Is just to love and be loved in return."'
-from the film 'The Boy with Green Hair'
Nature Boy, Nat King Cole / 1948
For me, God is private.
Prayer is private.
The substance of the interaction is between only God and I.
It's one on One, like the Bible tells me is so.
When we pray we are supposed to go into our room, close the door and pray to God, who is unseen. Then God, who sees what is done in secret, will reward us.
Instead , we are hypocrites. We think we will be heard because of our many words when God already knows what you need before you ask Him.
I think people really believe they can talk God into taking an action, so long as a large group of people demand it at the same time or we whine loud enough.
Sometimes it seems like we do more praying than living.
All we do is pray. We pray for almost anything one could imagine we could.
We should do away with words.
Do my prayers outweigh the cries of a family starving to death? Was going hungry, for them, God's answer? What makes my prayer worthy and theirs deniable?
Accordingly, God only interacts with those acceptable based on Scripture. Some do not merit God's assistance. They don't merit God's help.
Prayer can be a trap.
The problem with prayer isn't in the doing so much as it is in the receiving.
All the good intentions in the world will not spare someone who is denied their prayer. All those unanswered prayers add up in the conscious mind, especially when it appears God grants wishes to other people and not us. We take it personally and we never forget when God demonstrates how we think He feels towards us. When Jesus doesn't answer the door, where the hell else are you supposed to go?
We should consider the possibility that prayers are never answered.
Not that God isn't there or that He doesn't care, but perhaps He doesn't show favouritism in the face of 7 billion people calling out for assistance.
Perhaps He don't answer because He can't.
Perhaps He won't.
I do not believe God is listening.
I don't think He has to.
Omnipotence is an inclusive state of being. When one is all-powerful, anything which will occur or has occurred is already known. Time has no relevance in eternity. As Einstein theorized, time in linear. Anything which has already happened, anything that is happening and anything that will happen exists already.
The separation between past, present, and future is only an illusion.
Before we call out He will answer and while we are still speaking He will hear.
Prayer is like psychotherapy for the soul.
It acts as communion through the expression of our desires, needs and hopes. It allows us to interact with a deity we view as significant and convinces us that we are intimate with that deity. Just like any good psychotherapist, God just sits quietly. He already has your history. He already knows your path, and while the pretense of Him listening is implied, He simply nods and says, "I see."
So why does it seem that God answers some people's prayers and not others?
Perhaps the burden of all those prayers is on us.
Perhaps we are the manifestation of God's mercy and grace. Will you ever have the chance to be the answer to a prayer if you don't engage in His kingdom here on earth?
People really do believe that God is only for them yet they end up crying and pleading and bargaining, just like the rest of us sinners.
All the while, nothing gets accomplished.
Maybe, if we spent less time praying, someone might get off their ass and actually do something. For all our words, we are of little action. Perhaps that's why we pray so much. We are too lazy to just do things ourselves
These incantations take the onus off us and put it onto God.
Prayer can give us permission not to act.
So what makes one prayer worthy and another deniable?
We are the ones who justify ourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows our hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.
We think we know God because scripture leads us to believe we know God. This does not invalidate what scripture can teach us, but we think because a book of pages from the past says so, it is so. This is the way of man, not the way of God.
Jesus was a man fully, and expressed His theocracy through that human experience. If the words of the New Testament are true, then no one will receive salvation. It is impossible to follow the expectations placed upon mankind throughout these texts.
In turn, scripture becomes like the Sabbath.
Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.
The idea that salvation occurs only through Christ is preposterous. It is because of Christ that forgiveness is for everyone. This nonsense goes against the very nature of the God people claim Jesus is. Salvation is for all, as Christ died for all. He secured for everyone a measure of common grace whereby all are able to believe if they will.
We need to talk to the hands.
The archaic implications of formulaic salvation leaves a bitter taste in my mouth and an ache in my soul. To think that heaven is only for the few. How human.
Human beings have always structured their faith on exclusivity.
This claim gives them permission to speak for God.
Dating back as far as history can take us, we see tribes like the Hebrews claiming God is only for them. These exclusive sects have journeyed to our day where we find Muslim, Christian and Jew, all sitting on a hillside in Jerusalem waiting for God to show up and kill everyone else. That's working out real well.
Instead of heeding the commandments of Love, we follow all the commentary.
We can't find the Truth because we search in all the words.
We don't like unanswered questions any more than unanswered prayers.
Semantics do not determine salvation.
Marriage, is not only a heterosexual manifestation.
Love does not only serve procreation.
God doesn't make mistakes so there must be purpose in His creation. A creation, one must note, that includes gays, lesbians and the transgendered.
Gay characters exist within the pages of both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Including in the early Church, these personas have been banished to the back burner, all the while heterosexuals have claimed that God does not recognize "queer love" as valid, moral or embraced by the Divine, particularly Jesus.
There are voices from the past which do not condemn the homosexual as a creature of impulse or a demon of lust. Great writers and greater institutions have sanctioned our right to exist and love.
They have revealed our love to be just as strong, and valid, as any heterosexual's.
From Ruth and Naomi to David and Jonathan, same sex love, in scripture, exists in spite of what modern man would consider grave implications for the offenders. While the modern concept of sexual orientation would be foreign to cultures of the past it's apparent that, to at least some degree, homosexual love was viewed with more Christian charity in yesteryear. From St. Sergius and St. Bacchus, who were two Christian martyrs, to the Byzantine Warrior-Emperor Basil the First and his companion John, same sex marriages were an embraced expression in the Church,
In addition to heterosexual marriage ceremonies in ancient Christian church liturgy, there were also noted ceremonies called the 'Office of Same-Sex Union' (10th and 11th century), and the 'Order for Uniting Two Men' (11th and 12th century).
While some homosexuals took benefit in the Church others remained hidden due to fear and social castration. In spite of being relegated as the love that dare not speak its name, homosexuals from history did not plea for inclusion.
The idea of an identity based on sexual practises is a modern construct.
Whether we marry is another story. It's a personal choice.
Some people do not require a sanction to commit in love, others do. This in no way should limit our right as a human being to choose either option.
Marriage should a choice for Adam and Steve, as well as, Anna and Eve.
'I know you haven't made your mind up yet
But I would never do you wrong
I've known it from the moment that we met
There's no doubt in my mind where you belong
I'd go hungry Id go black and blue
I'd go crawling down the avenue
There ain't nothing I wouldn't do
To make you feel my love'
-from 'Hope Floats Soundtrack'
To Make You Feel My Love, Trisha Yearwood / 1998
We see light or darkness.
We see life or death, peace or war, order or chaos.
There is good or evil. You are either for God or for the devil.
Mankind has always understood the nature of the beast in terms of dualism.
This idea transcends modern rational thinking, yet still millions of Christians, Muslims or even Atheists cower in the corner at the thought of a malevolent entity with the power to possess and debase your very being.
The view of good and evil spirits prevail among all the peoples of the earth.
From the very beginning, at the earliest stages of human development, dualistic conceptions of good and evil became necessary for human evolution.
Purely monistic views aside, ideas regarding negative energy or evil predate Biblical history. The Ancient Egyptians, the Accad and the Early Semites and the Persian concepts of dualism all point to a developing archetype we would later call Satan.
It was the Israelites who gave evil his face.
From the serpent in the garden of Eden to the book of Revelation, Satan has evolved into a great deceiver of men. The demonstration personifies our limitations.
It has always been easy to place the blame for our faults on an external force which manipulates and compels us into unrighteousness before God. We do it with each other, we do it with voices from the unknown and we do it with the devil.
We have given him way more power than he should have.
He has become our excuse and a way to defend our righteousness despite our actions.
The devil is in the details.
To suppose the devil does exist implies the very nature of God as unfair. We do not ask to be born nor do we wish to be separated from the Divine by our mere existence.
With all this life brings us, from pain, hunger and suffering, we don't stand a chance on our own. Instead of helping, God hinders.
He creates a being who develops from a phallic symbol of corruption into a beast who preys on the very beings that the Holy claims to love more than anything. It is like God has done what He could to test our will and allegiance. We watch our world fall apart, all the while a monster stalks us in the recesses of our soul. It's not enough that our loved ones drop all around us, but we have to worry what happens afterward.
Sometimes it seems God is more slimy than the serpent.
It's not that we even need the devil. We have each other.
Perhaps that is the point in giving life to a creature that thrives on our folly. We don't have to take credit for our own destruction, we can blame Satan. We don't have to understand why others act the way they do, since the devil made them do it.
The fiend in his own shape is less hideous than when he rages in the breast of man.
It says a lot about who we are as a people when our rejection is fused with our negations.
Each person contains an element of iniquity within them.
Speak of the devil and he will appear.
In fundamentalist thinking, people can be creations of the devil himself and are
pre-destined to subservience and hellfire.
The devil made them. The devil made me too.
Demons do not exist any more than gods do, being only the products of the psychic activity of man. Jesus talked in parables but, of course, Satan is real.
Evil manifests as a comprehendible form before God crushes His own creation.
It turns out that Satan is just a big loser like the species that defines him.
We fumble about in our misery, the blind leading the blind.
All of us hoping and praying to fill the void we know exists.
It is impossible, no matter how we hunt, to satisfy this hunger.
We need a place to belong, a place were we feel safe. We are never filled because we never acquire the sustenance we seek. Something is always missing . We often feel like we don’t belong here so we spend our entire adult life trying to go home again in spite of being told that we can't. Home is an important concept to human beings.
We create a home for ourselves.
We produce a substitute for what is a safer place.
Home is not here. All this is illusion. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.
Although Heaven lent you a soul, all the earth will lend you is a grave.
Heaven, some say, is a spiritual realm in which the glory of God's presence is manifest, and in which dwell the angels of God, and all believers who have departed this world. Heaven is also a cultural smorgasbord of human expectation and formulation. Primitive ideas about heaven are simply anthropomorphic expressions describing a place that human words are inadequate to fully describe.
I know from experience that words cannot express.
We just aren't made to process that kind of information.
These inventions are mere portals which carry the mortal condition.
Home is so much than we can ever know from this lifetime.
We will be grateful for the home we have now when we realize that what we have is all we need. We are such stuff as dreams are made of.
The dream acts as the guardian of sleep.
When we sleep we are attempting to disconnect from our reality by extinguishing all external stimuli.. We draw the curtains, turn out the lights and repel all sight and sound. We, in essence, are attempting to escape this reality in exchange for another.
As if, we sleep to dream in altered states.
Dreams have meaning.
Dreams are a valid psychological phenomenon.
They are a mental state. They are constructed through highly complicated intellectual activity. They are the fulfillment of wishes. These wishes are the result of repressed or frustrated sexual desires and anxiety surrounding these desires turns some dreams into nightmares. Some dreams are mere dreams.
They are an expression of deep-seeded issues that materialize in the sleeping mind. Perhaps they are only expressions of our conscious mind, once freed they manifest and take form. A dream is just that, a dream. There is something else beyond just dreams.
A place outside mere neuron; an outer force that takes you to an outer place. In our altered state, we migrate from the unreal constructions of a resting mind. These dreams are not dreams.
They are real. They occur.
Some of us just don't recognize them as such.
We see things more clearly in these dreams than in the imagination when we are awake.
To exist in such a dream is to exist. Proof by proxy, one could say.
As creatures consisting of energy, it is not that far of a stretch to believe our energy can interact with other energies. The unconscious mind is fertile for such matters.
We must embrace our dreams, for in them is hidden the way to eternity.
Dreams impart information, precognition, solution and warning but they also let us travel.
We all have our time machines.
Some take us back, they're called memories.
Some take us forward, they're called dreams.
"These dreams go on when I close my eyes
Every second of the night I live another life
These dreams that sleep when it's cold outside
Every moment I'm awake the further I'm away'
These Dreams, Heart / 1985
Imagination is more important than knowledge.
Knowledge is limited only to what we know and understand at this present moment. Imagination embraces the entire world and all that there ever will be to know and understand. We need to dream of things that never were.
This life is but a dream through which we seek answers.
None of this is real. Anything we believe is real is only the collective consciousness which we are part of. We don't know shit.
For thousands of years, men have told themselves how it was, and in turn, commanded everybody else how it will be. It's all just wild fiction.
We don't know a millionth of one percent about anything.
None of us have answers and anyone who tells you they do is deceived.
There aren't any answers, just more questions.
It is the questions that shape who we will become. We create our reality and we shape it to that which can be identified easily. We are creations of ourselves. Little men and women floating about, thinking they know anything.
We don't see this is illusion. We don't understand.
We do not recognize that everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact.
Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.
The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.
Each of us exists within our own little world.
We gather the things which cross our path, and form them together believing they are the answers, but they aren't. We reality is composed from borrowed knowledge. Selectively, we choose what we will fabricate into something still unknown to us. We tie ourselves down in those things which we can see and touch.
You can’t perceive truth. Truth is a relative thing.
To find truth, to discover God, you must make your own truth. You must think for yourself. You must act for yourself and, in so doing, discover the kingdom within yourself. There really is something to the idea of a spirit which allows us to rise above and rest in something more than this place. It is soul music.
God is the same and never changes despite the names given to Him by people throughout history. Even if we gave Him no name at all, He would still be there, within us, waiting to give us good things.
If you want to find God, you must abandon what you have learned.
Silence the borrowed knowledge and get your own.
Why settle for mere dirt when you can have stardust?
'And now the purple dusk of twilight time
Steals across the meadows of my heart
High up in the sky the little stars climb
Always reminding me that we're apart
You wander down the lane and far away
Leaving me a song that will not die
Love is now the stardust of yesterday
The music of the years gone by'
-from 'Love is the Thing'
Stardust, Nat King Cole / 1957
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
"To relate is to react. To react is to understand oneself. To understand oneself is to be enlightened. Relationships are schools for enlightenment." (Anthony De Mello)
Our lives are riddled with others. A puzzle of people.
Whether in a small or grand way, a constructive or a destructive way, many have shaped us, instructed us and acted as an example of how to or not to behave.
Another's story can teach us. We can learn many things from it. People make a lasting impression and our emulation of them defines their effect on us.
They give direction and inspire. We become an extension of their values and beliefs.
From their error we correct our own. Wise men learn from the mistakes of others but fools learn from themselves. We are who we meet.
The exposure we have to other people impacts the way we think and feel about the world. This influence can last a lifetime. There is power in this influence.
We cannot see the wind but it scars the hill side just the same.
Others help mould us into who we become and can reinforce who we are.
They are who we wish we could be.
Those we admire, inspire. As models of excellence, or corruption, they reinforce who we think we are. Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.
If you can’t be a good example, then you’ll just have to be a horrible warning.
This sphere of influence exposes us to new ideas, greater thinking and lesser ways.
We modify in bits and pieces.
We are a complex weave of all those things we know, constantly shaped by these outside forces. As if we carry all those bits and pieces of other people with us. We become an amalgam of all we have known. A testimony to each story. A mirror reflecting back.
In turn, we affect many. We never really know how far that affect goes.
Our role models, heroes and mentors are meant for individual sway. Each one designed simply for us. They make themselves known to others as well, but what we receive is given to us alone. This would not be so if it had not been.
We must also measure another person's limitations or we will be stuck within their boundaries. Be influenced, but set your own standards and develop your own principles.
Teach yourself to defy gravity.
Remember, the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
I firmly believed this as a child.
Jesus was my friend. He dwelt within me and was a safe harbour I could turn to when times got tough. My entire existence sings of His influence. How I think, how I act and who I have become all link to those early conceptions of His character.
What I absorbed as a child still dwells within me.
The ideas I formulated then were not filtered by perspective, circumstance and bias.
There was no preconceived notion for me to follow.
I saw as a child because I was a child.
The freedom to question we all have as children is stolen from us as we learn to follow orders. The message we hear when young becomes lost to doctrine and dogma.
All the theocracy does little when defying gravity.
With so many different versions of Jesus, stemming from so many different people, it is hard to stand firm on any convictions we have about Him.
He is everywhere, literally.
From the fabric of Western culture and civilization to the definition of God Himself, Jesus is. He has been misrepresented, however, by the very followers who claim Him as Lord. The being of Jesus I claim to know is not the interpretation of Jesus they claim I must follow. I am to emulate the nature of God, revealed in the Christ, so that others may see His light within me.
I am not to make myself that light.
I should not take scripture literally.
There are deeper, more important, truths to be discerned in the texts.
We discover in every expression the hidden splendour of the doctrines veiled in common and unattractive phraseology. We see greater meaning in a non-literal interpretation of scripture. We learn as if from parable. Whatever knowledge we are able to obtain of God, either by perception or reflection, we must of necessity believe that He is by many degrees far better than what we perceive Him to be.
Origen Adamantius, (185–254) was an early Christian scholar and theologian, and one of the most distinguished writers of the early Church despite not being considered a Church father by most Christians who recognize this distinction. Although condemned as a heretic for his teachings, his desire was not to impose his own mental reconstruction of the faith upon the Church: he was a man seeking to use his intellectual abilities to offer possible solutions to questions which in his day had not been answered.
He believed in the pre-existence of the soul. He believed that there were other worlds than our own which God had created and would continue to create. He believed that life after death was not a physical but rather, spiritual state.
Salvation is slow and gradual.
He believed a process of amendment and correction occurred during and after life.
Man is to be restored to God through discipline and chastisement.
The world, he taught, was created for this purpose and pre-existing souls are incarnated into human bodies. This process of purification does not end with death. The soul remains able to choose between good and evil. He saw any punishment as remedial rather than corporal. God is all good and punishment serves nothing other than bringing every soul back unto Himself. Origen believed both earth and hell are part of the soul's long progress towards God. Man controls his fate after death and hell is no one's final destiny. Our rise and fall shapes us.
Hell is not eternal as the soul is always free to repent.
When evil no longer exists anywhere and when there is no longer the sting of death, God will be One. We are then all in all.
It's the Origen of this species.
It's okay to question. It was okay to think differently.
Only man casts upon us condemnation.
When you seek the world, you get misery.
When you want to find the way out of misery, you find the Divine.
"Obedience keeps the rules. Love knows when to break them.” (Anthony De Mello)
The people who have the greatest effect on our lives tend to leave quickly.
Our relationship with others is finite. Some come and go while others leave forever.
Most of the people who help shape us don't even know they have.
In a moment they are gone with but a glimmer lasting.
A prudent man should always follow in the path travelled by great men and imitate those who are most excellent. Very few men are wise by their own doing, or learned by their own teaching. Those who follow only themselves have a fool as a master.
Those we follow might be men of God. A man of God does not lead he reveals.
Anyone who has the grace of intelligence should fear that, because of it, they will be judged more heavily if they are negligent in its use.
When what we know about God becomes painted over by the futility of extremes and the old tapes which repeat over and over in our head linger on, we must recognize the need for deprogramming. We must rebuild our identity through the freedom to question.
Faith can be reconstructed
The coercive persuasion of fundamentalism has chiselled away at our faith structures and the foundations of Love and the nature of God we are taught as a child.
We become trapped within ourselves with no glimmer of hope to be found.
We must discern the truth or the truth will deceive us.
Judgement can be acquired only by acute observation, by actual experience in the school of life, by ceaseless alertness to learn from others, by study of the activities of men who have made notable marks, by striving to analyze the everyday play of causes and effects, by constant study of human nature.
We don't always realize the effect another has on us. We can go through our entire life not recognizing what someone else brought to our table. This silent impact can still shape us and mould us, even without our permission. Whether for the greater good or for something else, the influences we do not see can have as great an effect as anything noticeable or acknowledged. This invisible effort becomes clear with hindsight.
What we once cursed becomes mercy in review.
As we once called for justice we now see it was not needed.
Sometimes the things we think need fixed were never broken to begin with.
A wheelchair becomes a chariot of fire when you believe you can.
Things like perseverance and achievement redefine themselves with example.
Anyone can reach, strive and rise above, no matter the challenge.
Some see impossible things but all things are possible.
Some men try to catch the sun but learn too late the impossibility and send it on its way. Dying men see the possible and rage against the dying of their light.
When people die, we put them away in a place that is safe from constant sadness. It is through re-examination that we see some purpose in their living and the greater connection they had to us. We can look back and realize how blessed we are to have found such distinct examples to look to for guidance on our journey.
Death becomes a lesson on our innocence.
It should reveal the depth of this innocence and that we know nothing at all. Instead, it reveals the dirty little secret that quite often we just don’t care.
We are a painter without brushes or a sculptor without clay.
We do not have the tools to form a valid opinion about others or ourselves.
We all hold a beast, an angel and a madman in us. We want to know how they work but the problem is their subjugation and our effort their expression.
These three men and a maybe become our reality.
Just leave me the sweet illusions; faith and hope and truth.
Leave me my sweet illusions until there's never no more me and you.
We do not walk this path alone. We are shaped by so many.
We are contrived, formed through others. We are moulded to the places and faces we have come to know. Who we are we cannot tell ourselves.
We are all the puzzle pieces that have flowed together like shifting sands.
Our hands are not our own. On someone's wings we have flown.
How can I ever hope to be not knowing who's inside of me?
If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people.
When you teach your son, you teach your son's son.
If at first you don't succeed, blame your parents.
Parents can only give good advice or put one on the right path.
Often we feel like a defective model that came off the assembly line flat out fucked.
Our parents should have taken us back for repairs before the warranty ran out.
If your parents didn't have any children, there's a good chance that you won't develop.
It's not only children who grow. Parents do too.
As much as you watch to see what your children do with their lives, they are watching you to see what you do with yours. You can't tell children to reach for the sun.
All you can do is reach for it, yourself.
Feelings of worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open, and rules are flexible - the kind of atmosphere that is found in a nurturing family.
There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved.
There are two things we must give children. One is roots. The other is wings.
The final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands.
Chance makes our parents, but choice makes them our friends.
It's the fifth commandment.
I miss my Mommy.
My Mom wasn't just my Mom, she was my friend.
We had an appropriate relation. I never forgot she was my Mother.
Her death deeply changed me. Even then she had an affect.
The first time I realized what love was my Mother was the centre.
It was her greatest gift to me. I never had to wonder, no matter what, that she would continue to love me. Everything I know about forgiveness and acceptance I know from her. She gave me my appreciation of music and art. She lifted me up.
She taught me to cook and imbedded the survival skills I would need to get by.
She gave me the permission I needed to explore my talents.
She often was my reason to go on.
I would not be here now if not for her then. She was an anchor to a life tossed about on stormy seas. She gave me laughter after I'd cried all my tears. She heard my dreams
while the rest of the world just closed its ears.
She demonstrated the simple, complex manner of love.
Her death was expected for years, and while I may have been prepared, I was nowhere near ready. When reality came around and cut me into little pieces I began to doubt all about God and His mercy. If He really does exist why did He desert her?
There was clear mercy in the manner of her death. She did not linger or suffer.
She is free from the burdens this life often brought her.
This does nothing to ease my weary soul. This does nothing to pass the time without her.
She loved in spite of everything.
She was a relentless willow which stood firm and strong against the sun and the earth and the wind. She danced with the rain and whispered to the snow. She thrived and she grew.
Only time could end the weeping.
Down into the ground the mighty tree lies sleeping.
My heart is happy, my mind is free. I had a father who talked with me.
When I was a boy, I thought my Dad could do anything.
We don't always see our father clearly.
We only see the outer person without realizing what lies within. It turns out what I thought of my Dad as a child was pretty damn close to the truth about the man.
Children just know, I'm told.
He defines for me what a man is. The inner quality of who we are is what counts, not the external stereotypes of a biased society. Ideas like standing on your responsibilities, never giving up and loving one another are embedded into my very fibre through the example of my father. He didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.
I, for one, am glad to have had the chance to get to know my Dad as an adult.
My father reflects the Father.
In most simple of ways he is a true expression of the nature of god.
His light shines. A foundation laid.
He is constant reminder to me that love is all that matters and the rest is just noise.
As a Christian, he could have easily turned on me when I revealed my sexual orientation.
For all I know, he was bruised by this revelation, but he never indicated so. He did not reject me with word or action. He accepted me.
Even Jesus couldn't stand between this man and his family.
He loves because of God not in spite of God.
All these years, all his sacrifice and it seems little to him now, without a reason. All us kids have grown and my Mother has passed away and he struggles through each day with promises made which he intends to keep in the name of.
When I look at a photograph of myself I see him.
I find I'm more and more like him each day.
I notice I walk the way he walks.
I notice I talk the way he talks.
I'm starting to see my father in me.
"You see persons and things not as they are but as you are. " (Anthony De Mello)
Spirituality means waking up.
Most people, even though they don't know it, are asleep.
We are born asleep, we live asleep, we die in our sleep without ever waking up.
We never understand the beauty contained in this thing that we call human existence.
No matter what the theology, no matter what the religion, great men of faith are unanimous on one thing: all is well, all is well.
Although everything is a mess, all is well.
A strange paradox, to be sure.
Tragically, most people never get to see that all is well because they are asleep.
They are having a nightmare
Change can occur, in its own way and in its own time.
We must yield to the current of life unencumbered by our baggage.
The genius of a composer is found in the notes of his music but analyzing the notes will not reveal his genius. The poet's greatness is contained in his words yet the study of his words will not disclose his inspiration. God reveals himself in creation but scrutinize creation as minutely as you wish, you will not find God, any more than you will find the soul through careful examination of your body.
To discover God, one only need look.
The answer is within each of us. We must wake up!
We can use another's art, their exertion to help revive us.
Their extension becomes our alarm clock.
The Song of the Bird, written by Anthony De Mello, is a collection of 124 stories from a variety of traditions, both ancient and modern. The collection uses the art of parable as if the bird from the song. De Mello illustrates through fable and proverb, inspiring a journey of sorts. The song is meant to awaken our heart and soul.
It alerts the reader to the presence of God in our midst.
We need not just observe God, we can see Him.
The notion of God surrounding us only takes a change in our point of view.
Notice. See the wonderment that surrounds you.
Profound realities about our everyday concerns and spiritual matters can be approached from a new perspective if we are willing to allow our mental evaluation of reality to shift into the here and now. Ideas about good and evil are simply mental evaluations imposed upon us in this reality.
An elephant will sooner fit into the skin of a rat than God into our notions of Him.
You should not cage the bird from the song.
Just like those who influence us with positive reinforcement and admirable qualities, there are those who bring with them chaos and darker times.
While there are those who bring out the best in us, so too can someone bring out the worst in us. We harbour deep resentment for these now strangers, with whom we crossed paths on our journey. The walls are to high to jump.
For better or worst, there is a bitter hard reality found in those we hate.
It is irrelevant whether we know how wrong this is.
People will use any excuse to get what they want and it's difficult to get past what they did to us and those we love so we trust no one. Therein lies the lesson.
We carry the ways of this mortal coil in spite of all our study and awareness. We cannot forgive the lament and anguish they brought to our lives.
It is not in us to let go, yet. We get to forgiving, all in due time.
I carry this burden. I still hold to old ways.
Maybe it is too fresh in my mind and I can't separate my emotions from my centre.
Maybe I'm just being human.
We cannot change things anyway and I would not want to play with the carefully placed pieces of the puzzle which pictures my life.
Time is a valuable thing and I watch it fly by as the pendulum swings. I watch it count down to the end of the day, the clock ticks life away but in the end it doesn’t even matter.
It's a mad world, after all.
We are not alone in our suffering.
The experiences we have ourselves are not the only experiences which can shape us. We can look past the individual and can look to our collective and what the whole has experienced.
Mankind has much to say.
The experience of us all reveals that we all are screaming. Sometimes it seems we have all gone insane. The vicious circle of life often reveals a sense of nihilism and reckless abandon. There is little reason in anything. There is no safe place.
We do not see that someone else's pain is our pain.
We do not realize that they are laughing at us as we laugh at them.
We do not stop to understand how connected we are. We see the painter and forget the painting. We hear the singer and give little to the song.
We do not see the lessons.
We have abandoned purpose for pleasure, to fill the emptiness with tears of more.
Each one of us feeling and hurting and thinking the very same things.
Our perspective is different but the reactions are the same.
Our pain is identical. We do not see that what happens to my neighbour happens to me. We do not gain from others those lessons which, if we took them to us, could save us from those experiences. We do not realize we are all equal.
There is little difference in you and me. Therefore but by the grace of God go us all.
Our differences may define us but they do little to explain us as we battle for mercy in this world gone mad. We find it kind of funny and we find it kind of sad when the dreams in which we're dying are the best we've ever had.
We can learn so much from each other. If you are going to learn, you have to listen. Something can not teach you if you do not pay attention.
Another can shape us, but we can all shape each other.
Someone we don't even know can still shape us.
They gain entrance without our permission.
These strangers can have more of an effect on our lives than those with whom we share real time. We really do spend our lives collecting other people.
These faces we will never touch, these voices we can only know from a distance, they too become a part of us, and in so doing become part of who we are as a person. We observe their struggle, and in so doing, see our struggle. We identify with their human condition and this makes us more aware of our own. We absorb these others.
We do not have to know a person for them to influence us.
Sometimes we spend our life walking alongside a stranger.
We follow their life as we follow our own. Eventually, we become like a weave with the essence of who we believe they are. Often, we know them better than we know ourselves.
We look at their journey and find comfort in the common chaos which comes from living. We can read and hear their words and in them find strength and truth and wisdom.
Little words can bring great meaning.
We accumulate and borrow knowledge and it becomes part of us.
All the music, all the movies, all the television, all the books, all the travels, all the conversation and all the contact you have had with strangers will change you.
One word from a completely unknown person can stay with you your entire life and shape you more than someone who you see and talk to every day. The measure of a man is not his effect on himself but the effect he has on others.
"Most people don't live aware lives. They live mechanical lives, mechanical thoughts - generally somebody else's - mechanical emotions, mechanical actions, mechanical reactions." (Anthony De Mello)
We spend our entire lives looking for someone to love.
Some of us find comfort in another and our life becomes our lives.
Time it goes so fast like a river running past and you're lucky if you find at last
just one faithful heart. When we don't find our better half we settle.
We settle because we cannot bear to be alone. We settle because we believe we are getting what we deserve. We settle because we have nothing else.
It is the most wonderful of things to know you are loved and to love in return. True love completes you. Without the safety of being loved, most would be lost. Love grounds you and, in its purest form, instructs us how to love others and God.
You do your best, you do all this stuff, but the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. Nothing but love can stand in the way.
Love will find a way.
It always does.
When it does you can't argue with destiny. Twin hearts do exist.
The idea of the soul mate has long held mystical connotations. From antiquity to modern science, the concept of two separate entities bound together by Divine providence and mortal love has always been seen through romantic notions and the eyes of inspiration.
It may not be likely and we may only be wishing on dreams but when another completes you there is nothing but love.
Love is not instant and it does not come in waves or like shooting stars.
Love at first sight is but a flash in the pan on a useless element. It holds no heat.
Love takes time . We discover each other over that time. You may think you fell, you may imagine you have but, it is the long haul which determines the heart.
So tell me how you know when true love really starts?
True love never ends. It is an ethereal connection which drives us to go on.
We don’t need a connection to be influenced by another but the very thing we hate can end up mattering the most. For every white there is a black.
As we look back on the beaten path someone we could not have envisioned stands out.
We get stuck together like rice cakes. They leave both a lasting impression and influence us in ways we could never have imagined.
Their counsel makes a difference. They connect with us in secret, expressing an invisible ray of hope. In hindsight, that which we despise can end up shaping us more than all the other articulations from that period put together.
It is strange that some voices are like cages but some cages set us free.
Some voices cry out in the night echoing for more. They are no mere reverberation but the voices, all the voices of those who got to go first.
They do not understand why we do not hear.
The dead can talk to us but we pay them no mind. They are less than a whisper.
They linger about.
They are the silent shadows of things now lost and they haunt us whether we hear them or not. Invisible hands twist and mould the clay before them.
We forget they were once here, but they don't.
The dead offer lessons which can guide us on our way; the anatomy of a traveller who once was here. If we study their history, the lesson is already planted within their example. It is when we hear their voice and understand what they are saying that the ghosts of those we knew begin their haunting.
They are a warning of things once done. They remind us of things to come. They are an ode to a love then captured. They are singing songs about sadness and songs about joy. Telling tales of grave mistakes once made and the bitter sting of consequence laid.
We can use them, allow them to help us beyond their grave.
They are often our hope, a kindred spirit to pull us through when we too greet the light they exist within. They are a gentle assurance, as the dark approaches, they wait for us just beyond the night. They flaunt their freedom.
They can teach us, enlighten us or hamper us on our journey.
They never stay long, but they always come back.
They are the voices of those lost to us, but we can find them still.
The tales they tell and the life they lived are as good as gold when we let them be.
They plead we remember what happened to them.
History itself is a message from the past, chanted by the voices of the dead.
The journey we all travel is paved with the faces of all who have gone before us. We can use them to move along as they smile at us fiercely. We consign their lesser qualities to oblivion and cherish the nobler and imperishable nature of their lives.
Death cancels everything but truth. It strips them of everything but their genius and virtue. It is a sort of natural canonization. It makes the meanest of us sacred and it grants immortality. Death ends a life, not a relationship.
While the dead speak to us I am also convinced we can talk to the dead.
We can talk to the wind should we choose, but does it listen?
It's like when you drink scotch with milk.
You can combine the two all you wish but they still don't mix well.
Each portion is forced to stand alone.
"You have within yourself the answer to every question you propose - if you only knew how to look for it. In the land of the spirit, you cannot walk by the light of someone else's lamp. You want to borrow mine. I'd rather teach you how to make your own"
(Anthony De Mello)
The journey I have taken has made me.
Faults and all, I have been shaped into this being.
I am the sum of all the good and bad and bitter things that have passed before me but it is
my own self to whom I must be true. I got me here, no one else.
I have no greater influence than myself. I travelled to this destination solo.
The chorus of other which has helped determine my approach did not make the landing.
I did. If there is one person I can look up to, one person who really commands my respect, it is me. I can count on me when others fail. I am my own hero.
I am satisfied that I have paid attention, learnt my lessons and arrived where I am supposed to be. I am free from the man I was so I can be the man I want to be.
I never gave up. I battled on, in spite of the occasional surrender.
Every day, stepping forward, I carried on regardless of the weight life placed upon my back. What a heavy load. All the others with whom I have given credit still stand beside me and shape me the same, but I am the only one who can claim to have foraged through all the borrowed knowledge and come out the other side better than before.
It started with the man in the mirror.
I asked him to change his ways.
In this reflection I see so much clearer. To make the world a better place I need to look at myself and then make alterations. Pay attention or die confused.
So many options, so many choices which only you yourself can make.
Only you can change you. You are the only one responsible for your decisions, no one else. The devils and gods you listen to are your own creation, no one else's. We are all things through Grace, but it is my face in this place. When I die I die alone.
We die alone but we also survive alone.
We think in surviving that we are learning how to live but we are really learning how to die. Live deliberately. Confront the essential facts of life and learn what they have to teach. Don't discover too late that you have not lived. There is more to this life and you can never stop growing or you'll start to die.
In the long run it matters little how you got here and it matters little where you've been.
All that matters is that you are here, now, carrying on and growing.
Pay homage to yourself for a change.
Most of the world's problems come from people not knowing themselves. Most of us go almost all the way through life as complete strangers to ourselves.
How then can we know anyone else?
Be around the people you want to be like, because you will be like the people you are around. Realizing just how much others have affected you can come as a big shock. I don't think most people catch on to the accumulation of those influences within themselves. They do matter; little pieces of all the souls that have blended with our own.
They accumulate. We all take different paths in life, but no matter where we go, we take a little of each other with us.
We are the sum of our experiences but it is the people who leave the lasting impressions.
Everything we say and do is the length and shadow of our own souls and our influence is determined by the quality of our being.
We are created, we grow and sometimes we even blossom.
We cannot expect ourselves to be more than what we were made to be or less than we should be. When you make a puzzle man you start with the edges first.
"When the sage points to the moon, all the idiot sees is the finger." (Anthony De Mello)
Anthony De Mello
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And you are the one who'll decide where to go!" (Dr. Seuss)
The one thing I am sure of is the chaos and noise life brings to one's sense of peace.
As if God is testing me. Testing all of us.
It often feels like He is checking to make sure you're doing what you're supposed to be doing. Making sure you are complying with the rules laid out by your contract with Him.
A sense of separation from God comes through this Divine examination.
Whether we pass or fail, we believe any consequence to be karma or reaping what we sow. So we cheat. Scripture becomes a cheat sheet.
We dissect it, hoping for a passing grade.
We selectively literalize, comprising context and relation.
Pick and choose.
One fish. Two fish. Red fish. Blue fish.
We forget about relativity and perspective not realizing that if you hold even one line of scripture as divine assistance, then either the rest are, and I mean every one, or you concede none are. Sacred intervention does not guarantee that passing grade.
Scripture is a study guide not a tool for excellence in some elysian class.
When you skip the answers all you are left with is questions.
When you have no questions there is no need for education.
In spite of a failing grade we use what we believe to be Divine insight as a tool to separate, discriminate, victimize and sanitize. We take our truth from class to class believing our cheat sheet contains the answers to every examination.
There is no need to study because we already know it all.
Eventually, we form our own school and teach our own truth.
This reaction reflects on our understanding of God but those who cannot find the answers are condemned to repeat the test.
We have to redo until we get it right. No mistakes.
We run from test to test using the same responses over and over.
When we don't understand we start tripping.
We forget some things can only be known.
We don't understand that sometimes our faith can only grow when we can't see.
There are the places we believe we will find Him; in pages and down on our knees.
We look with expectation but the sun refuses to shine because sometimes He comes in the clouds. Clouds block our ability to see clearly.
So many questions with little promise of answers.
It is all just a guessing game.
We never learn anything without a mistake.
All I’ve really ever found were more questions.
All I’ve come to be sure of is less than I started out with.
We all feel blessed somehow when the world treats us fairly and our lives move in sync with the ideas we have about righteousness and salvation but in hard times our faith turns to fear. This does nothing to calm the uneasiness I feel leaving my eternal soul with an entity I don’t particularly like.
I make it a point to question God. It is our nature to question.
I even question whether I can survive God.
We all have the same questions and someone who hasn’t questioned does not know.
Even if you fall sometimes you will have the strength to rise.
We don't know our own strength.
Each person is unique,so to is the quality of their strength.
Strength is not measured through adversity, but rather how you react to adversity. Strength is much more than physical power, rather it is also internal and defined by reaction over action. Physical strength does not make one strong.
Having life does not mean you are living in the moments.
Looking at me now you might not know it but I've had my moments, days in the sun. Moments, I was second to none. Moments, when I knew I did what I thought I couldn't do. I’ve started living in my moments. This moment contains all moments.
Sometimes I get tired of these moments and different moments can’t get here fast enough. I should be paying attention to those moments.
To move within the moments; sing and play and chance.
Walk don't run. Fly if when you have the chance. Breathe to live, don't live to breathe and feel the rhythm of romance. Laugh until it hurts. Sing like no one’s listening. When the music starts to play don't turn and walk away, dance.
These moments make us feel alive and that's what faith can do.
To trust in something beyond ourselves is to have faith.
The word itself is derived from the Latin fīdere, meaning to trust.
Faith is an instinct which does not rest on material evidence. Faith is not constant. It ebbs and flows with experience and exposure to other ideas and precepts. All faith is different. It may be a derivative of a prescribed belief system but it is primarily a personal philosophy, with foundations influenced by individual interpretations.
Intellectually speaking, faith is spiritualized imagination. It is an ideology practised to secure a foundation which maintains a sense of reality that is improvable and without surety. We only hope to find it through an internal dialogue.
What you put into your faith it will manifest. What we believe God to be, He will become. Imagine all the innocents of history that may have been spared if the Christian God did not possess traits of hostility, warmongering and Electivism; when you are God’s Chosen People, everyone else is irrelevant.
We only speak of faith when we wish to substitute emotion for evidence. We need the safety of our unquestioned beliefs but those who know do not say and those who say do not know. One cannot be told.
Compassion has no ideology. Silence holds no secrets.
God is not an elevated human being.
This is an epiphany.
Let go of your conditioning. Be washed clean not brain washed.
Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. Know what it takes to move on and don't give into lies. If all you want to do is trade your life for something new keep on rolling to the ocean. Keep on rolling to the sea. Keep on rolling until the love you need
washes over the fear of death.
We live at the mercy of all this death and this fear, constantly trying to find answers in the hope that some peace may find us. All this living to die only to live again. As with faith, it’s a guessing game. We never really do find out until we die.
I cannot help but wish somehow the rules were different and this unknown was not necessary for all of us to learn and grow and search.
Why doesn’t God just cut out the middle man?
For those who have returned from a Near Death Experience (NDE), the answer is in the evidence. There was an experience so there is something to experience. Since there was a return, the person is here now, and very much alive, that experience must have been filtered through their humanity. Passed through what one can identify and comprehend. Anyone who has ever returned from such an experience always returned alive.
No one has ever woken up dead.
Eschatology, the branch of theology that is concerned with final things like death, is a web of philosophy, history and insanity. Ideology can be unclear.
In science, Law of Conservation of Energy states that energy cannot be created or destroyed, but can change its form. The total quantity of matter and energy available in the universe is a fixed amount and never any more or less.
No one who has ever died woke up alive and yet we live.
We look for proof but only on our terms.
Most times proof is right in front of our faces.
If energy cannot die then you’re never really gone because your memory remains.
Although we will die, we will live once again.
"If you'd never been born, then you might be an Isn't!
An Isn't has no fun at all. No, he disn't." (Dr. Seuss)
We are things.
All things appear and disappear because of the concurrence of causes and conditions. Nothing ever exists entirely alone; everything is in relation to everything else.
Some things just are.
We wish we had handled things differently in order to escape those things that are, in the end, just things. We don’t like the way things are and we wish that things were better. There are things we wish we had not known and things we cannot live without.
Sometimes we just have to let things go.
There are some things, no things and every things.
Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things. Funny now the big things seem so small.
All these things make each one of us the things that we are.
All things are with us, with us until the end of things.
Memory is one of those things.
True and false things. Unknown things.
All things are one thing.
I do not feel the same things.
There is something odd within me for I am no more the person I was.
Is this madness or intent?
Some quicksilver switch of the finer sensibilities?
It builds within.
Like some slowly rising flood of anxiety and panic and anger it takes you over, directing, forcing until you are no longer in control. Me is me no more.
There is a beast beneath the surface, lurking for a way to get out. Then, in that quicksilver moment it finds fruition. It leads against will, wandering into the unknown.
Nothing means anything and anything is now nothing.
We become rabid and reckless and doomed.
We are so lost that we don't recognize when we aren't.
Who we are becomes a matter of who we aren't.
How do you take away from a man his madness without also taking away his identity?
It’s the devil you know.
Tomorrow will be better than before.
Tomorrow becomes now.
Tomorrow, today is yesterday and tomorrow is today.
Tomorrow is a tool, a primary force in our will to carry on. It is the promise of a new beginning. It is essential in hope. It is unspoiled by mistake and regret. Tomorrow is a chance. We can make our tomorrows when there is nothing we can do about our yesterdays. Gone today, here tomorrow.
Tomorrow can be a trap. Like an empty jar, holding nothing but the chance things might be better. Always in between the now and the not yet.
Always wishing for wings but forgetting to fly.
Without tomorrow we have no possibilities.
It is here that tomorrow serves it purpose. It gives us a reason to continue, a method to this madness. It is outside of our condition and offers hope for something better on another day. Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.
Each day has enough trouble of its own
Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.
Tomorrow nurtures fear and courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."
Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.
When you least expect it love will come to you.
Sweet love comes to our lives.
Two worlds collide and we find our best friend.
You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams. True love, like the Spirit, is a godsend and the combination of both within any person is a sanction that God is with you. Something wanted or needed that comes or happens unexpectedly is not chance, it is providence.
Hindsight allows us to view, view with clarity rather than emotion.
I am confident that God is with me. I could not be more sure of anything.
He has brought me through, filled me with His presence and he has given me a life filled with love. Life is black or white.
You can’t have it both ways or everything turns to grey. You have to make a decision, which master to serve. We have free will because the freedom to decide is ours.
We have to balance in the monochrome.
Surviving God leaves little room for moderation.
It is a slippery slope that leads to confusion. It’s human nature.
It is important for us to understand not only why we did something but the lesson we may have missed had our course been different. We are defined by our experiences. We are shaped by them. Would we be the person we are now if we had travelled a different path? Is it worth trading your identity in the hopes of a better life?
Don't we all fall short?
If God loves me so much then why do I need to be born again? I thought He didn't make mistakes? The rebirth experience can work but they forget to tell you what dies in the transformation. Still, I'd rather be a bore than abominable.
Rebirth needs a little time sometimes.
Being born again refers to a spiritual transformation or regeneration but we think we can change our way in. We are all just guessing our way through life, hoping the choices we make and the way ahead are cohesive. Anything that requires a formula for resolution with God is archaic. Mandates placed upon me are sent by man, not Him.
I was lost when He found me and broken beyond compare. I wasn't looking for something more than what I had yesterday. He came along and sang a song over me.
I can only embrace that which I have experienced.
It is through experience and observation that we can determine if God is with us. From the experience of realizing God did not come because He didn’t want me, I relive, in my mind, all the factors which reanimate the agony all over again.
Through the year I recognize events and dates that have significance.
They taunt me. The constant bellows of memory and angst and destruction find me once again as some date draws near.
We must bury the past to get past, but it is always with us.
This matters little in the greater scheme of things; it does little having dealt with these issues long ago. They transport us to that time and that place.
They chase us like a shadow and haunt us like a ghost; to hate you some and to love you some but to miss you most. This all leaves a hallow place.
There is no stone to mark the missing part so we try to keep them alive. We forget, the things which give us the most pleasure cause the most pain. That which brings the greatest joy will bring the darkest sorrow. Like some sick joke.
If life is a joke then I don't get it.
I don't find amusement in anything I have experienced and any pleasure I have gained is overshadowed by the dank misery which follows each punch line.
I am heckling from a distance and challenging the moon.
Every life has its challenges. For many of us life is the challenge. Sometimes things can get so bad that we turn to forms of escapism, hoping for a moments rest from the constant hammering of the misery. The way through is to become numb.
Giving in is a way out. Every trip and you slip just a little farther into the rabbit hole.
You don’t stop because you don’t want to stop.
All thoughts are in another head, going round and round and round. There is no pain all is receding. You are only coming through in waves.
What better way to end your trip then a preview of the one to come.
Death is in the eye of the needle when there is no other choice to get through.
Despite my scars, I have learned to turn that need for abandon into country walks and sweet surrender. I walk in quiet solitude among the forest and the stream. I seek grace in every step I take. I turn to look inside myself and try and understand.
I cannot put my finger on it now. No longer who I am.
The silence carries me away. The opiates of life get me high. The Spirit is my drug.
A different comfortably numb.
Dr. Seuss smart from Dr. Seuss dumb.
"In my world,
Everyone's a pony and they all eat rainbows
And poop butterflies."
I'm letting go.
I'm tired of stitching up my dreams with a thread of hope.
I'm still a believer of twin hearts and timeless love and all I ever wanted was the feeling I had. Why does the feeling never go or stay?
Another morning, feels like yesterday.
We do not wish it so but we find it just the same. We are triggered.
For some it is a song, and for others it is a location. It might be a phrase or a picture or the smell of a flower or the day, but regardless, they bring much pain. As if someone has taken a river of nails and propelled each one into the skull.
Then we sit and watch the pendulum sway.
Sometimes we get so done with feeling that the damage is revealed.
No pill can cure you. Things only get worse and then are gone. Time seems to put such things in the proper place, so one may carry on with the chore of living. The walls we build and all the resolve are methods for survival. We need them with us so we find a place that is all theirs and always will be. They have a reservation in our earth bound being. They become part of us despite the million things we never said and didn’t even try. After all, our words are cheap and sometimes cruel.
You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You are the same decaying organic matter as everyone else, and we are all part of the same compost pile. This life is about a beginning and an end, the middle is the shit we carry with us. Life is a pile of shit most times. A pile that continues to grow and increase in mass. One thing after another builds upon itself as we stand before a mountain of excrement too high to flush.
This wonderful, individual, corruptible, senseless, smelly mortal coil will never be enough to keep us in this life but it will take us to the next. There is uniqueness in who we are, to both the universe and the gods we discover within it. Each one of us is beautiful, no matter what some may say. There are no ordinary people.
Only dead fish swim with the stream.
Who we are cannot be taken away from us.
Our experiences, the truths we have come to know, our inner self, these cannot be destroyed. They make up our anatomy.
The wad of crap we must conquer is the mountain we must climb. After all, it is through our trials and tribulations that we are shaped by something greater, into something better.
Our suffering produces perseverance and that perseverance produces character and character produces hope; the Lord said "Let there be shit" and there came piles of it.
Shit happens so we make God responsible for our hardships in life.
As if we need Him to make it worse, when it couldn't get any worse.
So where does all this shit comes from? Is the dark matter which makes up the bulk of our universe really just invisible shit?
Between falsehood and useless truth there is little difference.
Anything beyond the limits and grasp of the human mind is either illusion or futility. The futility of the hopes and aspirations that most men pursue throughout their lives will make no man wise unless he can apply that knowledge.
We want to see changes but we don't know how to start.
If there's one thing I know, the blues sent to meet me won't defeat me. It won't be long till happiness steps up to greet me. Apparently, that’s all he wrote.
Apparently, you can't write anything anymore.
The difference between the right word and the almost right word is a significant matter.
Censorship is power. When you control words you control people.
Language impacts learning and the nature of censorship misses the context. Only through context can we fully comprehend a point. If we strive to comprehend we communicate.
Censorship limits dialogue. Dialogue promotes understanding.
To limit access limits awareness. We should educate not insulate.
When we restrict education it becomes a tool of dominance. What we say and what we read eventually turns into what we think. All approved by the powers that be.
Like with any good diatribe if you give enough matches to people everything will burn.
After any good burning all that remains are ashes.
Ashes choke and block the sun.
For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven.
Sometimes we simply remember. An eulogy played over and over on some mental VCR.
We should not let our hearts be troubled.
We know that He was with us and will come again.
There is room in heaven.
Once you enter the tunnel, all is lost.
Suicidal thoughts and plans are frequently associated with a rigid and narrow pattern of cognitive activity that is comparable to tunnel vision. Those who commit suicide seek the end of the conscious experience. This cessation of consciousness represents a literal halting of the endless misery which preoccupies those who journey this path. There is a desire to die, but there is a wish to find another way. Internal and external elements wage war until one side or the other takes hold. The way we cope with our lives forms patterns which we mimic when in states of extreme emotion. We fight or we surrender.
Suicide can become the only way out.
It offers oblivion.
The act itself seems better than all other options. Even the dark is friendlier than no light.
This intolerable psychological pain and the sense of complete defeat becomes more significant than all other emotions. Suicide offers closure to that which appears insoluble.
It becomes a choice.
Get busy living or get busy dying.
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
We generate our own environment. We get exactly what we deserve.
How can we resent a life we've created ourselves?
Who's to blame, who's to credit but us?
Who can change it, anytime we wish, but us?
People spend too much time finding other people to blame, too much energy finding excuses for not being what they are capable of being, and not enough energy putting themselves on the line, growing out of the past, and getting on with their lives.
A man can fail many times, but he isn't a failure until he begins to blame somebody else. When you blame others, you give up your power to change. We do not have to question or challenge, for we did nothing wrong. We don't have to see our self when we are pointing to everybody else in the room.
It's easy to deflect responsibility when there is someone else to blame.
We blame people, we deflect on situation and we even accuse God.
Better them than me.
To err is human, to blame is sublime. It is easier to believe it was someone else.
We avoid so we don't have to deal. We even blame it on the rain.
You only see what your eyes want to see. How can life be what you want it to be if you're frozen? There's no point in placing the blame. Don't swim in stagnant water.
The quality of your life is your own. You are responsible.
You paint the picture. You picked the tune.
It may take two to tango, but in life you dance alone.
"Today you are You, that is truer than true.
There is no one alive who is Youer than You."
(Happy Birthday to You, Dr. Seuss)
You cannot teach a man anything.
You can only help him discover it in himself.
Hindsight is to understand the nature of an event after it has happened.
Hindsight is a time machine but the second time around will be more painful than the first. We claim hindsight is 20/20 but it's more like 50/50.
Hindsight is of little value in the decision making process.
It distorts our memory of events that occurred at the time of the decision so that the actual consequence seems to have been a foregone conclusion.
It becomes difficult to learn from our mistakes. We get locked into a cycle of repeating the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.
This is the definition of insanity.
The past is often as distorted by hindsight as it is clarified by insight. A moment's insight is sometimes worth a life's experience. This feeling of understanding allows one to glimpse the inner nature of things intuitively.
It is only with the heart that one can see rightly.
The essential is invisible to the eye.
Don't accept your pet's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.
Look ahead. Know in advance. Use foresight to foresee.
Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window. If a man has no thought about what is distant, he will find sorrow near at hand or, at least, a big tree.
This oversight is an unintentional omission resulting from failure to notice.
We look where we leap and we see where we go but we land as we will.
If you're drowning you don't pause, you just scream.
We are bemused and crazed creatures, strangers to our true selves, to one another, and to the spiritual and material world - mad, even, from an ideal standpoint we can glimpse but not adopt. We shut our eyes in order to see.
We need the hindsight to know where we've been. The foresight to know where we are going and the insight to know when we have gone too far.
This state of elementary or undifferentiated consciousness we label awareness.
Those with the greatest awareness have the greatest nightmares.
What if there’s a bigger picture? What if you're missing out?
What if there’s a greater purpose you could be living right now?
Step outside your own little world.
Be aware and moderate. Find stability and balance.
Discover a state of psychological normality.
No longer be euphoric, that high degree of happiness, or dystymic, that high degree of depression, but rather be euthymic. Euthymia is the absence of these extremes. It is a normal mood in which the range of emotions is neither depressed nor highly elevated.
Long term it allows for a state of being in which the soul is freed from all desire and unified with all its parts. We become complete.
Long term behaviour modification is key in achieving a lasting sense of euthymia.
One must let go and no longer be a slave to impulse.
Those who throw moderation to the wind do not realize that the greatest pleasures bring the greatest pains. Happiness resides not in earthly things, not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul. To find balance and stability and an easier way will mean nothing without a greater purpose. You don't wanna miss what matters. Try reaching out.
This is the greater purpose you should be living right now.
It is hard to focus on a greater purpose with a bloody nose. When everything one knows is about mere survival often surviving is not even enough.
Abuse is the improper usage or treatment for a bad purpose, often to unfairly or improperly gain benefit, physical or verbal maltreatment, injury, sexual assault, violation, rape, unjust practices; wrongful practice or custom; offense; crime, or otherwise verbal aggression. It involves the dehumanization of the victim and in turn the objectification the victim. It keeps woman in chains.
Forms of abuse can be used to pathologize the victim.
Ambient abuse is considered the worst kind of abuse. Also called Gas lighting, it can go unnoticed by the victim until it is too late. It is an underlying maltreatment.
It fosters fear. Sometimes fear won't let you leave.
We all deal with fear differently. We all cope differently. We all have reasons.
Whether it is guilt or shame that cripples us or lack of money that restricts us, these could be reasons. Things practical and financial might be reasons. If we have children or pets and fear for them, this is reason.
Whether we fear reprisal from man or God, here is a reason.
Some things are apples while some things are oranges but it is all just rotten fruit.
All things happen by virtue of necessity.
Necessity leaves you wide awake in dreamland.
"I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!" (Dr. Seuss)
Most of our lives we spend afraid.
Afraid of pain, afraid of death and afraid of God.
Sometimes we just fear each other. Most times we should.
Fear will end when you look beyond. Look beyond what you read. Look beyond what others do and say. Notice what you already know.
If you don't know how will you ever believe?
We do believe. We want to shine.
Whether we believe in something or in nothing, we still believe.
We choose to believe. We should choose to believe in the best about God but we choose to believe in the worst about God. We do not trust Him.
Why should we? Does He trust us? Does He think we cannot see?
We are designed for the subjective journey.
Whoever said that time goes by slowly was sleeping when they snored it.
It just goes by so fast. A flash.
These years it seems are only a moment. One blink in time.
Some say that time has been a godsend but it seems to me somehow they don't see the full picture. There is always purpose in everything. Good in everything is there, if you look for it. We try to understand but we are limited by our position in the scheme of things. We are merely one voice in all this chorus.
The experiences we have are ours alone.
We all float through our own time. Here today, lost tomorrows.
What a shame to let even one moment go by.
Perhaps the most important lesson one may come to know is not to blink.
Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.
"Thank goodness for all of the things you are not! Thank goodness you're not something someone forgot and left all alone in some punkerish place like a rusty tin coat hanger hanging in space." (Dr. Seuss)