Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Integrated Blog




Today I integrated four blogs into one. I've deleted the old blogs. I guess I can feel the New Year coming up. I like the symbolism of bringing the pieces together under one umbrella.

There's a lot more in the archives, and I've enabled the new editor blogspot are offering. Its almost like I've got a  brand new computer!

This will be my last post of 2009.

Thank you all for your interest and support. Wishing you much love for the coming year.

The Death of Me (part IV)






Expectations (9th of August 2008)

The stone of expectation

What is expectation?

Expectation is the projection of an idea that will effect (or be the outcome) of what you believe will occur in the future.

Expectation, as I intend it here, is not events that we will term ‘concrete reality’. Events like death, or hitting your head on a wall if you bump into it.

Expectations are of our own making, and are created by real or imagined events of the past.

How expectations hinder us


No expectations, no disappointments.

This famous quotation sounds distinctly Taoist, and explains part of why expectations are a negative stone to hold upon.

To begin with, expectations blind you from the reality that is present. If you wish to see Spring, but there is snow on the ground, not only will you constantly feel the weight of disappointment as you look at the snow, but you will be unable to appreciate or see the snow for what it offers.

This can be applied to all expectations, especially with regards to relationships with partners, friends and our relationship with other entities such as work, marriage, family, leisure.

If our expectations are modest, perhaps they can be met, but even then, holding onto an expectation hinders our ability to see what is actually there.

Expectations are a barricade to communication and understanding between people.

If we expect our partner to fulfill certain roles in the relationship, and they do not fulfill them, there is a danger of seeing our partner in a negative light and also being put into the position of not being able to see the real positives our partner brings to the relationship. Admittedly they may not be the positives we ‘expected’, but then, our partner is not a figment of our imagination that needs to perform to our ‘perfect list’. Our partner is an individual with talents, skills and positives for us to enjoy, but only if we can see them.

Some of the expectations we have are the cause of a lot of our sorrow.

Expectations to do with age and success, to do with our parent’s wishes, our ideals for the future, with how much money we should have, and what kind of partner we need.

Expectations lead to sorrow, dissatisfaction and blindness towards the very things we hold so dear. Our families, our friends and ourselves.

How to stop

I believe in little steps. One expectation at a time. Tentatively feeling through your mind’s projections and gently loosening the hold expectations have on your life.

With them, you are not free. You will never see the truth. You are chained by your ideas and your view of the world as it ‘should be’.

Without them, its possible to come a little closer to the truth. Its possible to learn. Its possible to discover the miracle of what is.



The Black Pit is the Void (16th of December 2008)

The black pit – this emptiness, is an essential stepping stone in our spiritual development.

Its only after the emptiness, its only after falling into what seems nothing, that we can, finally, be.

All of the stones – all of the ego’s desires and torments – each and every one of them need to fall away, or we need to let go of them, for the next step to be reached.

People discussing spiritual emergence, or kundalini rising, or the flowering of the human consciousness, what ever you’d like to call it, express this void, this black pit of despair as a necessary movement of development.

So be it. Let it be known.





Images (12th June 2009)


Movie Stars hire people to help create their off stage image.

Princess Diana is famous for hiring a publicist who helped keep her public image appealing.

Some people know how to walk the walk with full confidence. You see them strutting their stuff.

Most people don’t know how to effectively use their image, and most people don’t know why (or take any responsibility for) other people’s images affecting them positively or negatively.

One of my past students recognised in themselves an irrational respect for wealth. For wealth displayed in expensive cars and houses. When I questioned her on it, she said she knew that it was irrational, but she felt strong respect for wealth.

Images are created by a person’s behaviour, their accessories, their friends and our own preconceptions.

Knowing our responses to another’s image helps us not be a victim to feeling subordinate and helpless while meeting our doctor, or when shaking hands with the mayor, or when meeting someone of the opposite sex.

If you have trouble meeting some type of people, I’ve heard of popular psychologists suggest picturing these people on the toilet, or naked. By doing this you remove them of their powerful accessories. Their magic is gone, and they are a human being, just like you.

Images.

What images make your heart beat a bit faster?

What vision makes your stomach curl up?

What images bore you?

Whose image do you ignore?

Who taught you how to read people? Who said wealth was positive or negative? Images.






Yoga is a Tool (9th of July 2009)

Yoga is a tool. It’s a system created by those who came before us. It’s a stone, like all of the other ‘things’ – that we can hold on to as a support to lower ourselves safely into the pit, or it blocks our path

Yoga, qigong, tai chi, pilates. Stones to help us, and stones to hinder us. But we’re all going to end up in the pit, regardless.

Let it go. Hold on. Let it go. Hold on.

Breathe in, breath out. Relax, hold tight. Struggle and release.

Yoga is not an end in itself.

Tools are to be taken care of, to be appreciated, and to be put back where you found them once they’ve done their job.

Yoga. Another concept.


The Death of Me (part III)




Contemplation from the Pit (16th of July 2008)

In the blackness, despair invades the heart.
Flashes of folly tantalize the senses.

Resolutely I stay on the floor,
Determined to see it through.

The despair, I understand, is part of the loss.
I am grieving for the ties that had bound me.
My freedom is bleak in this moment.

I feel alone, afraid to let go –
and the temptation of hope, of light, of love is present.

But I’ve fallen too many times.
I’m tired of getting back up.
I know too much.
I know too little.

Come then, I call, do your worst.

And all becomes quiet.
The noise drops away.
The sadness, the loss, the feeling of death leaves me.

There is silence.
Silence inside my head.

I can see. Clearly.

My breath is soft and slow.

The weight falls away.

And then the springing, leaping awareness sings through my body.

I’ve arrived.





The Stones (17th July 2008)

Above the black pit

The stones are the things we hold on to to stop falling into the black pit.

They include desires, fears, wants, dreams, hopes, beliefs, prejudices, judgments, ideas, thoughts, concepts, inspirations, revelations, urges.

They are the things we feed off. They are the things we stand upon to forge our characters. They are the things we live and die for. They are the things that make us miserable.

Their importance in our lives is the root cause of our misery – of our human condition. Its their importance in our lives that caused the Buddha to say that Life is Suffering.

The stones do exist.

Their existence does not cause misery.

The misery comes from the importance the self, the family, the society, the government, the world puts upon them. In this, is the only source of misery in the world.

The stones forge our personalities. They forge our values. They forge our very being.

Their substance is often undergoing metamorphosis. It shifts beneath our hands. Experience teaches us that with time, the rocks we build our self on turns to sand. Circumstances change. Desires change. We let go of one disintegrating rock, for the apparent safely of another.

If we do let go, for an instant, if life serves a curved ball and the rock suddenly falls away from beneath us – we feel a free fall. There seems to be nothing. We panic and grab onto another rock on the way down, sometimes drugs, sometimes a different face, sometimes a different value – but hardly ever do we fall and fall and fall and see what there is when we hit rock bottom.







Who's Afraid of The Big Bad Pit? (17th July 2008)

Every one.

If one of your stones has disintegrated slowly or just suddenly spontaneously combusted, there is often a sensation of accompanying fear.

The fear is based on loss.

The stones we hold onto so dearly become, sometimes, indivisible from our selves. We think we are the stones. There are mother’s who live through their children. There are men who live for their work. There are children who live for the TV. There are teenagers who live for music. There are people who live for their religion. There are people who will die for their flag. There are people who will willingly starve to death rather than put up with injustice.

Each and everyone one of us has our feet on some stones and our arms carrying others.

We think our choices are the best choices. We build up elaborate stories why the existence of each stone is necessary for our wellbeing. We are frustrated and unhappy and tighten our grip on the stone until, until, until…. Until we change stones, or until we die.

We can not let go of the stones, because they are our very identity.

Sometimes, we get lucky. Sometimes our spouse leaves us and mingled in with the fear of loss, we get a sneaking sensation of freedom and sudden liberty.
Sometimes we get fired and gain a new chance of doing what we always wanted to do. It’s the stuff movies are made of.

But its always someone else’s movie.

What would happen if we let go of the stones? What would happen if we stepped off the stones that held us up?

Some people become depressed. They mourn the loss of the stones. They wish they had the stones back again. They are so busy grieving for what was, that they don’t see the miracle of what is.

We are afraid. Afraid of a lot of things. It seems normal to most of us. To feel afraid.

I was afraid. I was letting go of stones, grabbing wildly at one, and another, and discovering that they were disintegrating before I could get a proper grip. I felt the loss of my self. I felt the fear that I was becoming nothing. I had built my life on the stones… I had thought I was built of stone.

And I fell, and I fell… and I landed in the black pit. The very first post of this blog tells of how it felt to be in the black pit on the first day.

I was afraid.





The Purpose of the Stones (23rd of July 2008)

Remember, the stone is a symbol that includes our desires, fears, wants, dreams, hopes, beliefs, prejudices, judgments, ideas, thoughts, concepts, inspirations, revelations, urges.

They hold a dual purpose.

They lift us up and they hold us down.

We have already discussed what happens if you let go of the stones. If you see through them, and they lose their importance and relevance in your life, then you are in ‘the black pit’.

However, the stones still exist. Even if you can see through them. As long as other people see ‘real’ stones and hold on to them, then they exist as far as our contact and communication with other humans is valuable to us. (Valuing authentic communication with other humans is, in its way, also a stone of sorts.)

How do we usually use stones?

The fact is, most of us are used by the stones. The stones drive us. The belief in something (to be a good mother, to be a bread winner), our emotions (jealousy, rage), our idealism (the way society ought to work) are the stones that use us.

They hold us down and define our existence.

The stones can have a positive effect upon us, or a negative effect.

The positive effect increases our health and wellbeing as individuals, as a society, and as the world.

The negative effects decrease our wellbeing and our health as individuals, as a society and as the world.

The stones mainly use us to hold us down. Sometimes we use the stones to fulfil one of our main stone theories that we are just not good enough. We add smaller stones to our big stone and then we are destined never to be good enough or worth anything to be able to make a difference.

The stones stop us doing the things we really want to do. They stop us from existing.

On the other hand, the stones have an amazing ability to be used for the benefit of human kind also. To lift us out of the black pit.

However, this is an interpretation and not the strictest use of the black pit.

For people not yet willing to go into the black pit and to exist, then there is a positive option. Probably the option that has the most validity and accessibility for this day and age in the year 2008.

How can the stones lift us up?

By agreeing on clear common goals for a sustainable future for all peoples and then creating the stones for people to live by.

This is what we need to talk about. As a people with a common concern for the future of the planet. This is not for one person to decide alone. There are manifestos written by civil societies and by concerned groups that cater to what needs to be done… however, it means a total overhauling of the stones of our society.

Stones can get us through. They can create a means for people to come together and forge a sustainable future for the planet.

First of all we need to understand what the function of the stones have been before, how we use them now, and how they can help us in the future. These topics will be addressed in future posts.





A Closer Look at the Large Belief Stone (24th of July 2008)

Remember, the stone is a symbol that includes our desires, fears, wants, dreams, hopes, beliefs, prejudices, judgments, ideas, thoughts, concepts, inspirations, revelations, urges.

Our beliefs.

Each and every one of us have held beliefs at different aspects of our life. Let’s take a closer look at some of our beliefs, and how the are formed.

The origins of beliefs is a complex path with junctions and crossroads along the way.

There is one defining factor. We were not born with beliefs.

Beliefs are developed from a mixture of contact with family, society, culture, experience and contemplation.

Therefore, we can say, that our beliefs are a product of our history and circumstances.

If that is so, then there is no right or wrong in beliefs. Beliefs may be conductive to other beliefs that we hold, like race superiority or the importance of national identity, or they may be at odds to other belief systems that we hold, like ‘I believe people should get along’ or ‘drinking from a special glass enhances the wine tasting experience’.

Sometimes the feeling of confusion we have is because our mind knows that there are discrepancies in our belief systems. Some people call this discrepancy the human condition. That is, it is the human condition to be at odds with its existence.

Again, this is another belief. Or, if you will, another interpretation of how we live and our purpose of existence.

Some beliefs help us. Like the belief that we should brush out teeth after meals. This advice from dental hygiene experts is a recommendation from their studies of tooth decay. But, its still a belief based on the assumptions that we all want clean and healthy teeth. Clean and healthy teeth are not just clean and healthy teeth. They are indicators of success with the opposite sex, of a beautiful smile, of fresh breath, of wealth in some countries.

The history of brushing our teeth, and brushing them after meals is relatively new. Many of us accept it as true because it helps us. Its even difficult to imagine that once we didn’t brush our teeth with such regularity. What were we thinking? Exactly. We were thinking something different. And this implies that our belief system, with regard to teeth, has changed.

There are many examples of our beliefs changing.

Therefore, if beliefs change, if their very development is subject to our circumstances, then why do we defend them so heatedly? Why do we hold onto our beliefs as if they were our very self? The self is only a mirror of circumstances. Can we see through our beliefs? Is it possible? Do we want to? What are the benefits?


Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Death of Me (part II)


part II (16th of July 2008)


In the Black Pit

There is observation without judgment.

Emotion is suspended.

There is clarity.

There is existence.

There is every thing and no thing.

It is.

There is activity.

Activity follows the laws of polarity.

Positive.

Negative.

Life enhancing.

Life retarding.


Once Fallen Into the Black Pit

Death of the self.

The stones above the black pit disintegrate.

The clothes of the self fall away, leaving a naked observer.

The sudden realization of a nakedness can be difficult to understand.

At once you are vulnerable.

At once you are liberated.

At once you know – and at once you are cut off from the world.

The price of realization is alienation.



Return to the World of Stones

One then leaves the black pit –
Only to return in meditation or contemplation.
On return to the world of stones, we encounter people.

There has been a choice made, by the three I see.

The prophet who wrote the beginning of the bible has been to the black pit. The writer, (or compiler of accounts), saw the opposing energies in play and interpreted their action as one against the other. Good against evil. And in this, lies the misery of the Abrahamic religions.

Buddha also saw the interplay of opposites and the constant change. He understood clearly the stones of our existence created suffering. But, he wanted to interpret what he had seen, in a way people could understand. He wanted to teach what he had discovered about the suffering of human kind. His mission, it is said, was to discover the cause of our misery. And he found the answer.

There is one who has come before who went into the pit and expressed the reality of the pit. He saw the nature of reality and did not wish to interpret it. He is the founder of The Way – the Tao. Historically, this man is named Lao Tzu.

One pole of energy was not placed above another. Lao Tzu saw the balance of the universe and accepted it. He submitted his will. He became it. He is the uncorrupted embodiment of the truth.

The purpose of life is to exist.

There is one and the other in all things. It is so. The one can be strong. The other can be weak. But it is. Judgment, or preference of one over the other, leads to imbalance, lies and the misery of the human race.

We are not designed to be happy or good. We are designed to exist. To be. And once you are, then your existence is, and there is no struggle any more.


The Acceptance of the Black Pit

Acceptance and submission of the self to the two reigning principles of positive and negative energy.

Observation leads to clarity and sureness.

Submission leads to peace, health and … funnily enough, the zing zing of ultimate existence.

The ultimate study is undertaken with the understanding of the law of unity in one hand and understanding the balance and interplay of opposites in the other hand.

The study of balance. Of relationship. Of exchange. Of communication. Of life. Of existence. Of being.



The Purpose of Life?

The purpose of life is to be an expression of the All.

We express ourselves and its being by the interplay of opposites.

Every one and every thing, willing or not, is a part of the expression.

In recognition of the nature of the universe, then the scales fall away and we are left with existence.

The purpose of life is to exist.

Existence is our purpose.

Acceptance of the black pit.

The pieces pull together.

The universe becomes integrated.

The observer, the accepter, the submitter –
feels the creative life force surge through their body.

Tingling awareness in every cell form the centre to the extremities.

It is.

The Death of Me



The 'Death of Me' posts were written mostly in 2008 on another blog. I am currently closing off the blog and placing the pieces 'On Being Human'.


Part One

The Death of Me (11th of July 2008)

I’ll draw a picture of it one day. How it looks to me.

But just now, I need to get it onto paper.

I’
ve been here before. Lying on a cold floor. Snot and saliva mixing in my hair. Tears wetting the floor boards and puffing up my eyes. I’ve screamed into the pillow. I’ve felt despondent afterwards. Sometimes relieved.

Today I punched the pillow and my right shoulder blade still aches. I hit my head, not too violently, against the wall and the floor. I rubbed my face and eyes till it stopped relieving the stress of being inside of my body.

I screamed into the pillow some more. I lay in fetal position and closed my eyes. I vomited up swallowed saliva.

I’m mourning the death of me. And, because this is the information age – I want it here. I want it visible. I want it exposed and raw and real and – I want it to make a difference.

So you can see, I’m still here. The 'do-gooder' still needs to die. But I’m working on it.




This Blog (11th of July 2008)


What are the Stones?


The stones are a symbol for the systems of thought we have built up to stop us falling into the black hole. They include ethics, morals, god, desire, wants, ego, entertainment, relationships, beliefs, values, principles, the self, systems in themselves, wants, labels and so forth.


What’s the Black Pit?


The black pit is the ‘something’ we sense at the bottom if we give up standing on any one of the stones.


This blog is about exploring the stones, as they come into my life, and as I review the stones I have stood on before, and my journey into the black pit.




An artist's depiction of the black pit (16th of July 2008)


Jett, an accomplished artist, helped to put my ideas onto paper.


This is his interpretation of what I had explained to him.





Jett has just turned 9. The letters and the colours are his own choosing.





The black pit (16th July 2008)

There is nothing.

It’s a non-place –
before the expression of existence.

Before life as we perceive it.

Before thoughts and desires.

Its black – or rather – there is an absence of light.

It’s the black pit.

It is, at all moments.

It has no past or future.

It is.

It is neither good nor bad.

It has no value or preference.

It is.

Emotion is suspended.

There is, light without heat.

There is, colour without interpretation.

There are, sounds without meaning.

There is, a body without sensation,

There are two expressions.

There are no divisions.






Expressions from out of the Black Pit (16th July 2008)

The first page of the Bible comes from the black pit.

There is creation. There is vision of the black pit.

The human interpretation begins when there is a choice made for good, or for evil.

God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.

This is not the truth of the black pit. Its an account from one who already believes that the two forces of nature symbolize good and bad.



The Buddha reached the black pit.

Life means suffering.(clutching the stones to us).

The origin of suffering is attachment. (to the stones)

The cessation of suffering is possible by following the eightfold path.

The eightfold path guides the practitioner into recommended behavior. Though these guidelines are exceptional advice for a quality life, if the devotee of Buddhism understood the significance of the First three noble truths, then the fourth truth would be a matter of course.

Buddhism has created another system that puts one action above another, ‘right’ action above ‘wrong’ action. There again, exists, the struggle. The lack of acceptance of the two opposing forces. The pitting of one against the other.

The point of realization is not to have to struggle to be ‘right’ in thought and action. If a Buddhist practitioner struggles with the eightfold path, they are still attached, and have not reached the black pit and let go of all the stones.

The cessation to life is possible, just by entering the pit.


The Tao is written from the black pit.

Before choice and action are engaged.

It understands the necessity of every thing.

There is no fight between one and the other.

There is.

And no more.

Creation and destruction.

Summer and winter.

Day and Night.

Life and death.

Man and woman.

Youth and maturity.

Ignorance and wisdom.

Each exists side by side.

Each exists because of the other.

The balance of the Tao occurs when there is no judgment.

When one exists.

When one is.

The balance of the Tao does not exists when we seek balance.

By seeking, we are not balanced.

The secret of the Tao is being.

Not seeking.

Once one has given up, it is only in that moment that the Tao reveals itself.

And then, you are human. And we have the cache syndrome to address.

(The cache syndrome is yet to be written and addressed. This post is under construction. Comments welcome)


The First Law (16th of July 2008)

We are One.

One is All.
All is One.

One is an expression of the All.
All expresses its being through the one.

All is all.
One is one.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The flow of life

For a moment, as I stood under an olive tree in the centre of town, I was awash with how times must have changed. How trees, fields, birds, animals once roamed where there was now concrete, cars, bricks and glass.
And then I heard the wind in the leaves, and I felt the movement of life passing through me, and it I heard, its still here, the flow of life is still here, don't let your eyes fool you, the flow of life is still here.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Rumi's Chalice



Father, to Thee I raise my whole being, a vessel emptied of self. Accept Lord, this my emptiness, and so fill me with Thyself - Thy light, Thy love, Thy life, that these, Thy precious gifts may radiate through me and overflow the chalice of my heart into the hearts of all with whom I come in contact this day, revealing unto them the beauty of Thy joy and wholeness and the serenity of Thy peace which nothing can destroy.


Love Said To Me


I worship the moon.
Tell me of the soft glow of a
candle light
and the sweetness of my moon.

Don't talk about sorrow,
tell me of that treasure,
hidden if it is to you,
then just remain silent.

Last night
I lost my grip on reality
and welcomed insanity.
Love
saw me and said,
I showed up.
Wipe you tears
and be silent.

I said, O Love
I am frightened,
but it's not you.
Love said to me,
there is nothing that is not me.
be silent.

I will whisper secrets in your ear
just nod yes
and be silent.

A soul moon
appeared in the path of my heart.
How precious is this journey.

I said, O Love
what kind of moon is this?
Love said to me,
this is not for you to question.
be silent.

I said, O Love
what kind of face is this,
angelic, or human?
Love said to me,
this is beyond anything that you know.
Be silent.

I said, please reveal this to me
I am dying in anticipation.
Love said to me,
that is where I want you:
Always on the edge,
be silent.
You dwell in this hall of
images and illusions,
leave this house now
and be silent.

I said, O Love,
tell me this:
Does the Lord know you are
treating me this way?
Love said to me,
yes He does,
just be totally…
totally… silent


Rumi Network


Monday, November 16, 2009

Some Kiss We Want




There is some kiss we want
with our whole lives,
the touch of Spirit on the body.
Seawater begs the pearl
to break its shell.
And the lily, how passionately
it needs some wild Darling!
At night, I open the window
and ask the moon to come
and press its face into mine.
Breathe into me.
Close the language-door,
and open the love-window.
The moon won't use the door,
only the window.
sufi mystic - jelaluddin rumi - 13th century


Photo: Tiffany Jones   Cyprus

Friday, November 6, 2009

Your face



I swear, since seeing Your face,

the whole world is fraud and fantasy

The garden is bewildered as to what is leaf

or blossom. The distracted birds

can't distinguish the birdseed from the snare.

A house of love with no limits,

a presence more beautiful than venus or the moon,

a beauty whose image fills the mirror of the heart.


~Rumi

Monday, November 2, 2009

Spiritual High

Sounds like a signal from you 
Bring me to meet your sound 
And I will bring you to my heart  
Love like a signal you call 
Touching my body my soul 
Bring to me, you to meet me here  

Home be the temple of your heart 
Home be the body of your love 
Just like Holy water to my lips  

Yes I do know how I survive 
Yes I do know why I'm alive 
To love and be with you 
Day by day by day by day  

Time, time again, it is said 
We will hear, we will see 
See it all-in His wisdom-hear 
His truth will abound the land 
This truth will abound the land 
This State of independence shall be 
This State of independence shall be