Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A Manifesto

Created on a computer and printed on a dot matrix printer, this final note from the late 1980s was folded up and tucked into the back of the little binder. On the outside was written: 
"Contains one manifesto. Open in times of confusion or pain."

God is. And ever has been.

We are. And ever have been. 

We live in the Universe that is God's Thought.

There is no evil. There is only love. That which we call evil is an absence of understanding.

There is no death.

We choose our lives as one chooses a television program to watch. Sometimes we want to be entertained. Sometimes we need to learn. Mostly we do a bit of both. Not all programs are happy. Sometimes we watch horror stories or soap operas where people are cruel to one another. There is nothing wrong with anything we do, when we are doing what we want.

There is no need to be nice, or kind to others. They are free to leave us or remove us as they wish. If we live, free in the knowledge that the thing we call death is only a change of the channel, a change of focus, then love will come easily, and respect for others will follow as we respect ourselves. There will be no need to judge others or to judge ourselves. 

We have the power to live and love as we choose.

We can change the script of the program at any time.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

What a miracle we are

This post is the beginning of new content. Those writings from over twenty years ago having been transcribed in their entirety. What I will add here are thoughts that are sustaining me now, or intriguing me now, or anything else that I fancy because it is my blog after all. 

What does one do with a life regained? I have been given the most wonderful gift of rebirth. As a child I spent hours wondering about the darnedest things (my Grandfather's words at the time) and now I feel inclined to explore those darnedest things with the help of the most marvellous technology for exploration ever created.

Have you ever wondered about how the brain of any creature on the planet manages to do everything we think of as normal? We have biological receivers and processors for the five senses, and they do their job flawlessly. Nerve ends in our inner ear are stimulated, messages are sent to the brain by a relay system, and we think "that is a car; oh no, it is a truck and a heavy one, with a load in it".

What is sound anyway, but the compression and release of air molecules that is detected by our eardrum; a mechanical device sensitive enough to let us tell the difference between the roar of a truck on the road and the gentle sigh of contentment of a loved one nearby, and all sounds in-between.

Hearing is something we learn to interpret so early in life that it is hardly fair to call it learning at all. One day at the swimming pool, standing by the side and watching the waves lap up on the deck, it occurred to me that those waves carried enough information, that with training, I should be able to tell how many people are in the pool, whether anyone jumped in and how many are doing the front crawl, and so forth, just by carefully observing those wave patterns; that is what our ears do after all.

Today in an article in the New York Times Magazine online, I found out that humans do indeed have the ability if trained properly to use the same techniques for very practical purposes. It is called wave-piloting:

"Swells generated by distant storms near Alaska, Antarctica, California and Indonesia travel thousands of miles to these low-lying spits of sand (in the Marshall Islands). When they hit, part of their energy is reflected back out to sea in arcs, like sound waves emanating from a speaker; another part curls around the atoll or island and creates a confused chop in its lee. Wave-piloting is the art of reading — by feel and by sight — these and other patterns. Detecting the minute differences in what, to an untutored eye, looks no more meaningful than a washing-machine cycle allows a ri-meto, a person of the sea in Marshallese, to determine where the nearest solid ground is — and how far off it lies — long before it is visible."*

Perhaps our preoccupations with the mundane are somehow useful, too, but there are times I wonder how much more we could do if we applied our amazing brains to learn and do more.

*The Secrets of the Wave Pilots: Kim Tingley, New York Times Magazine, March 17, 2016

Friday, June 24, 2016

Personal Growth and Relationships

How beautiful is the support that we give each other when there is no competitive element. 

Maybe this is, in its opposite, the explanation for the seeming lack of support between married couples. As they see the growth or change of the other as a threat to security, they withdraw support for it. 

Alternately, when we court another, we see growth in terms of movement closer, so we are supportive in a way that we seem to lose as we establish some permanence in the relationship. 

This is the last of the documents written in the late 1980s and early 1990s that will be transcribed here. In the future I will add posts in the same vein as these posts, but written in the present, as they come to mind.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Learning when and what you are ready to learn

One of the difficulties with regular classroom teaching comes out as you teach independent learners. 

When people are learning independently, they get answers to questions as they are ready to assimilate the answers. 

We only learn what we feel a need to.

It is amazingly similar to real life. As a soul force, we take lessons of life at whatever level we are prepared for. 

The same set of events will teach as many lessons as there are participants!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Where is home?

It is a puzzle for me to find ways to truly live the new philosophy. I know that this life is only one of many I have lived and will live. I accept that the reality of this life is what I have made, and what I need for personal growth. The question now is, "so what?" As a teacher, my attitude can influence my ability to rely on my higher self for guidance. I can also let others live their lives more easily, since I trust them to do what is 'best' for them even if I do not understand. 

Is it possible, I wonder, that I could be doing something totally different with my life, so that my beliefs can really lead me forward? Could I be doing more to develop friendships that would bring my feelings more into line with my lifestyle (or vice versa)?

Most of my working hours are filled with a feeling of longing for ... I don't know what! It is as if there was a door that should be opened. Where is it? Where does it lead?

Why should a life seemingly filled with accomplishment, love and pleasures of possession seem so unfulfilled, sad and empty? 

When I was a child, I would ask "are we home yet?" and Grandad would say, "no, home is just over the next hill."

I've been looking over the crest of each hill. 

Where is home?

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Fear of compromise

The fact that my life seems to be on shaky ground is obviously not a temporary condition in my own situation. It is apparent that these uneasy feelings about my life are a symptom of a mid-life re-evaluation, common in most males.

It is necessary and right to become aware of those aspects of ourselves that no longer suit us. As much as they seemed right in the past, their existence in the present is inappropriate and if they represent a wall that threatens to prevent future growth, they must be given up.

To mourn their passing is natural. To fear change is also natural.

The consequences of moving on are unpredictable but not to be feared. We must trust the products of our deepest convictions. If our thoughts are consistent in their source, the nature that will derive from them will also be consistent with that idea.

We should only fear compromise and the inherent inconsistencies it will allow.

As usual, the impediment to change is the pain it can cause for others as the foundation of their plans shakes in sympathy with my own.

This is a formidable impediment, too. Can I carry out the needed alterations alone?

At the same time, it would be prudent to recall that others change too!

If I were to give up some opportunity to grow because of a fear that it might hurt someone else, could that come back on me?

At this time, it is hard to believe that over twenty years ago, I actually wrote "We must trust the products of our deepest convictions", with such conviction, unless I also believe that my deepest conviction of that time was very strongly linked with maintaining our family, no matter what the cost.

Monday, June 20, 2016

The Game of Life

“That’s what learning is, after all; not whether we lose the game, but how we lose and how we’ve changed because of it, and what we take away from it that we never had before, to apply to other games. Losing, in a curious way is winning.”

Richard Bach, The Bridge Across Forever: A True Love Story; 1984

If there is no game to play, we are unsettled. That's why the Garden of Eden was a short-lived episode. There were no games - nothing to win or lose. Most significantly, in the garden there is nothing to learn. 

Whatever perfection is, I cannot possibly imagine it, for an existence without learning is inconceivable to me. 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Happiness or Joy?

Perhaps an important realization is the difference between happiness and joy. 

My life is a pleasant series of events. "I can't complain" as they used to say. 

"I am happy", in a sense of saying "I am content with my life". 

What is missing from my life is an element of spontaneity; that unpredictable something done by, or said by someone who cares for fun, and is intelligent and friendly enough to want to share joy. 

Joy is spontaneous. Joy cannot coexist with boredom, but happiness can. 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Find the magic

"If you want magic, let go of your armour. Magic is so much stronger than steel!"
Richard Bach

The life of a magician appears to be a very lonely one. Armour is so much safer; even if it lacks strength, it is solid. Magic lacks solidity. It requires faith, especially in the magician. 

On the other hand, armour is static and boring. Magic might be so much fun!

I wish there was a bit of magic around to help me to decide. 

Friday, June 17, 2016

Being Here

I wonder how often when we think we are learning something we are in reality remembering something!?

Perhaps life is not lived for the actual knowledge "gained" but for the actual process of being alive. 

Maybe "being here" is the reason we are here!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Learning vs Education

Education is an area in which institutionalization is greatly felt, despite the ministerial meddling that is much publicized. 

Learning, on the other hand, must be ongoing and spontaneous. 

Ideally, we should learn when we are interested and have a need for it. 

The struggle for creation of a school where learning can be achieved in a natural way is far away. We must first disenthrall ourselves with our current way of doing things. 

Teachers must be lovers of learning. 

School is a great institution, but who can learn and enjoy themselves in an institution?

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Note to self

MISSING: One Wookie*

Last Seen: Weeks ago

It would seem that it is hard to be an alien visitor for long without losing your identity - a bit like an accent that you lose until you go back home. 

If I ever want to find that part of me that was called 'Wookie', I will have to seek out other Wookies to remind me how to live that way (maybe it isn't really a part of me worth remembering!?). 

Where have all the Wookies gone?

*A good friend of the time used Wookie as a nickname for me, suggesting I was like an alien being.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

What I knew but never acted upon

We create problems to learn their lessons; these are their gifts to us. 

Recently I had a series of experiences in which I was forced to learn (or relearn) lessons (in no particular order):

Lesson 1:
I still do not love myself enough to act on what I deeply want. I profess belief in love of self first but I act in compassion and pity instead, still truly believing that it is my responsibility to live up to someone else's image of me. This is hypocrisy.*

Lesson 2:
I still need approval from others even though I profess to need some one person to share the ideas that I have and am still very confused over. This person must be extremely wise and caring. 

Lessons 1 and 2 are tied together very tightly for if I ever manage to "learn" and not simply acknowledge number 1, the solution to number 2 might come. If I could be sure of that, it would probably give the energy to make me less hypocritical. 

Lesson 3: 
The rest of the world is also busy with their struggles. Unless I have something to offer in return, I can expect to spend a great deal of this lifetime being lonely. 

Lesson 4:
Apropos of 1 and 2, it is necessary for me to develop the confidence to share again. When going out on a limb, one must be prepared to fall. If we lie on the ground too long, we will not have the confidence to climb back up the tree. I need to find a way to move on from this situation I was in, otherwise fear of falling and failing will make continued living a waste of the love the creator gave me.** 

*The amazing irony of this understanding twenty-five years ago startles and saddens me so much. Rule one of life however is 'you cannot go back'.

**It seems in this I was trying to teach myself what Brené Brown has to say about living whole-heartedly and showing vulnerability.

Monday, June 13, 2016

The Model Parent

I will never forget how important and pleasurable it was to walk with my Grandfather. 

We would walk for at least an hour, sometimes for two, always at a brisk pace ... the ideas that would come to my mind!! Grandad would listen to me; I never had to worry about how crazy the idea was. When I recall that time, is it clear to me why I love him: it is because he never put up barriers to me in any way. 

He listened well, he told me what he thought, and never expected me to think his way. 

What a fine human he is! 

Grandad lived into his 97th year, passing away in 2006.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

A Dream of Reality

I have a dim memory of a dream that came to me when I was very young. It is impossible to recall truly whether it was a dream or a memory of a still earlier time:

"I am not in any place of the earth. In an instant all of my worries about life and all of my questions on how to live are removed. I am suddenly in possession of all the answers to any question that comes to mind. At the same time that I am empowered to solve any problem, I am also immensely carefree, as though I do not care any more to even ask questions. It is as though I am the wisest entity, and in my wisdom care nothing for worldly things. Empowered to gain everything, I desire to have nothing."

If this was a dream, I can only hope it was not a delusion. I believe now that this is our natural state; without knowledge of good or evil, without desire for any earthly object or passion. 

I believe that we suspend that reality in order to create this one that we play at being human in. 

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Family Responsibility and Personal Growth

No matter what subject we choose to study, there is always a point in that study where we must decide whether to integrate the study into our lifestyle. Without this integration and the commitment it implies, we will not be able to continue to progress. 

In matters of the spirit, this is especially true. It is impossible to live one sort of life while believing in another. This is not only hypocrisy, but psychically impossible. Surviving that tug of war with your soul can become a major life challenge. 

So many of the values of society are challenged in a spiritual philosophy. 

To forsake possessions and the domesticated life that is needed to maintain them is a hard enough decision when only your own comforts are at risk. In the case where those dependent upon you will also risk losing their comforts it makes the decision nearly impossible. 

Possessions are only a visible aspect of the "sacrifice".  Attitude toward conflict is also a part of your life that must change. For an individual to accept isolation from a society they have withdrawn from is not nearly as difficult as attempting to withdraw a family of growing children from society's influences. 

These considerations are the tip of the iceberg. 

Friday, June 10, 2016

Own it all

We all seem to crave external approval. 

Implied, of course, is the reverse - a dislike for disapproval. 

We spend a great deal of time and energy disowning problems. 

"That is not my fault".

"That is not my problem".

There are psychic penalties to pay for such evasion. Accepting responsibility or shunning it is an internal activity. 

By accepting responsibility for our reality, we take an active position. 

By taking a responsible, active attitude, we avoid guilt. 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

In the Age of the Individual

Social critics spoke loathingly at times of the "Me Generation" of the 1970s. They imply in this way that such a swing toward individualism is a brief abnormality or a spell of temporary insanity that came over their safe collectivized world. In truth, the Me Generation was the bow wave of the Age of the Individual.

Alvin Toffler describes this as The Third Wave*; the age of industrialization and collective being the second wave.

The need for adaptation to a time when the only productive people will be self-starters is causing terrible disruption comparable to that at the Industrial Revolution.

In this new age, external guidance will be less obvious; self motivation will become the only authority. Because society can financially provide for those who are non-productive, two separate classes will emerge; producers and non-producers. The producer will not necessarily be part of any company, but will be an individual of sufficient vision and purpose to happily "sacrifice" a life of leisure to take on the stimulation and challenge of productivity. 

In order to survive, the individual will need to trust their inner self for motivation and inspiration, since by definition, the system can provide neither. Those who rely on the system will have jobs of a repetitive "uninspiring" nature, or will have no job at all.

*New York: Wm. Morrow, 1980

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Can you come and play?

The reason you have the knowledge you do is simple; you wanted it. What you do now with it will be individual, both because you get to choose, and you will be the only judge as to whether you might have made a better choice when you are done choosing. 

This knowledge brings no comfort to me personally - I wish the path was well-marked, or there was someone else on the road with me. Since there is neither friend nor landmark, I will strike out into the haze, hoping at least that the journey will be pleasant from time to time, trying to keep my senses sharpened, so that the lessons do not elude me. 

At this point, I feel convinced that I can recognize the traps of domestication. By this I mean social convention that forces most humans to be their own jailor - power, sophistication, possessions, etc. These seem to be natural targets to be desired and acquired. They are traps. Although some people become truly happy who are wealthy, it is not money that made them happy. There is - there must -be more

This more is cloaked by the mist that surrounds the future for me. I see shadows of its smile from time to time; it must be there. There is a tingling in my spine when I see a child laugh; I shall search first in childhood. 

Perhaps the love was left there. If I don't return, look for me there, if you can find the time. 

Better still, make time. Abandon your power, lose your sophistication, and stop worrying over what you own long enough to become a child again. Laugh more, cry harder, dream your dreams, and build castles that you know you will take down and rebuild a hundred times just because it's fun. 

Yell up to the window "can you come out to play?" Someone is sure to want to play with you. If not, find my playground and play with me. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Self-fulfilling prophesies

The evidence shows that it is not what one believes, but the strength of the belief that matters when it comes to morality and spirit. There are saints in all religions. 

Good and evil can both exist if you believe strongly in either. God will exist or not for you, because you believe or not, and you can either be mortal or immortal. 

If you truly believe you will cease to exist at physical death, then the symptoms of your belief will manifest. 

Imagine row on row of 'immortals' lying 'dead' for eternity because they are filled with the conviction that nothing else is possible!

Monday, June 6, 2016

A personal growth cycle

Factors which contribute to the confusion/revelation/growth cycle:

1)  Observations of past
2)  Expectations of future
3)  Biases
4)  Fear, doubt
5)  Hypocrisy 
6)  Encounters with others

We might see this as a miniature "scientific method" where hypothesis is replaced through contrary evidence, and new hypotheses take their place.

I will fully admit that at this point in my life (June 2016) I have no clear idea what was on my mind when this was written, but who knows, it might make sense to someone or even to a future me.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Seeing through loving eyes

Pay attention to the way a person's outward appearance, even their face, will change as you progress in a relationship. 

With people you have loved for a length of time, you may not notice how your love for them colours the way they appear to you until someone forces you to try to look at them dispassionately. 

As an example, an acquaintance might comment on the physical resemblance a loved one bears to some famous person. 

It may be shocking to note that your loved one does look like someone whose appearance you never much cared for! 

What then are our eyes seeing when we look with love, that they do not see otherwise? 

Eyes of love see more, not less.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Follow the dictates of your own nature

"In the Chinese world view, the harmonious cooperation of all beings arose, not from the orders of a superior authority external to themselves, but from the fact that they were all parts in a hierarchy of wholes forming a cosmic pattern, and what they obeyed were the internal dictates of their own natures."*

This makes sense if you believe that each entity is capable of receiving guidance from an inner self with access to the "cosmic pattern".

As such, we should follow "the dictates of our own natures" and allow a natural interrelationship to occur - sorting itself out - not ever bowing to any "superior" authority. 

In a sense, this ideal condition would be "The Garden of Eden" in which no knowledge of good or evil impinges on consciousness.

*Science and Civilization in China, J. Needham, Cambridge University Press, 1956; Vol. II, p. 582, as quoted in The Tao of Physics, Fritjof Capra, Shambhala Publications, 1975, p. 320.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Alien Being

Sometimes, when you notice that your own ideas are not shared by others around you, you might feel like a visitor from another planet. 

Movies such as E.T. and Star Wars and television programs like ALF can make light of such difficult situations. 

We use the term alienation without truly considering its meaning. If you are alienated, you must choose one of two paths. Either abandon the behaviours that make you stand out (try to pass), or try to find some pleasure in your status as a Wookie and accept the stares you will get for your behaviour.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Who and why we love

The person you will choose to love will reflect, to some great extent, your vision of them as well as your vision of an idealized self. 

Hero worship is a good example of this. Your vision of this person is not necessarily an accurate one, and the image of yourself that has caused your designation of this other person as worthy of emulation, may not be accurate either. Thus, to the rest of the world, your decision to love is hard to understand. Even the object of your love will misinterpret your motives, and will certainly not share them. 

Do not expect reciprocal love. If love is reciprocal, do not ascribe your motives to your partner. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

No candy coating please

As my "self" changes and grows, you are my friend if you will react to what I say and do honestly. If we try too hard to be someone other than ourselves, the guidance we might give to another is confusing. The messages get garbled. 

I am rebuilding a world view. I don't want to steal yours, but as we talk to one another, I'm seeking the truth from your experience. The truth you offer may be given in many ways; not always pleasant. If it is truth, it will add to my world view. If you attempt to soften or temper your truth, it will be unclear in its meaning. It is then harder to renovate than rebuild.