Elegant Simplicity

May 7, 2020
In elegant simplicity lies the beauty of living: attention, focused, intimately aware of the present moment and its happenings.  Conscious motion, self-reflection, deep contemplation, mindfulness, the ever-present witnessing of one’s own existence.
Permanence within impermanence, the fleeting crossing-the-screen of what is.  A diamond in the rough, surrounded by coal.  Magic.  Music.  Romance.

That upon which attention is focused becomes the focus of attention.  The more focused the attention, the greater the quality of the experience.  The more quality, the more awareness.  The more awareness, the more elegance.  The more awareness, the more simplicity.

Sublime life energy turns into experience.    Richness follows, then poverty, then richness again.  The corpse becomes living, and then dies again, only to revive and live.  All focused, elegant, simple, happening.

A dancer doing a pirouette.  A skater lifting another on ice.  Boxers dodging, weaving.  A director’s eye for the light.  The teacher honing his craft.  A doctor checking for disease.  Fishermen, fishing.  Elegance.  Simplicity.  Focus.  Awareness.

Waiting for the buck to clear the brush.  Breathing lover’s tender breath.  Coaxing off a rusted bolt.  Crying in the hopeless night.  Intensity.  Focus.  Simplicity.  Totality.

In timeless moments of depth and brevity, self is lost in experiencing the moment.  Torture.  Pain.  Heartbreak. Terror.  Amazement.  Astonishment.  Revelation.  Complete and simple.  Full.  Elegant and total.

Wind bristling leaves.  Waves lapping rocks.  Painters painting paintings.  Sacred geometry.  Elegance.  Simplicity.

The stuff of life: total moments, complete experiences, full happenings, perfect executions.  Elegant simplicity.

Written on May 6, 2013 and freshly formatted on May 6, 2020.


A Note from the Bridge over the Chasm Between Darkness and Light

May 5, 2020

“Ignorance is bliss.”

–“They”

Ignorance is not bliss. He knew that. And awareness is not suffering, as the old saying seems to imply. And yet both can be seen as either, through the magick of language. Ignorance can seem to be bliss, and awareness can seem to be suffering…for awhile.

He thought thoughts such as these from time to time–more frequently than most other things, anyway. He was not ignorant, but of course he had been, as most everyone is at one time or another. Though his ignorance had lessened in the light of understanding of himself and The Way The World Works, his awareness of his ignorance had grown, and so his ignorance seemed greater than it had been before.

The tide of ignorance hadn’t crept farther in; the inner lighthouse had simply revealed more of it. There’s always a trade-off, always a balance to be struck by human nature, by the flow of Life in a human being, by the forces of Nature within and without, and by the oft-shifting currents of the Divine Urge that flow just beneath the visible All and are detectable to the sensitive.

Give and take. Give ignorance and take awareness. Give suffering and take bliss. Or vice versa.

There is, of course, a paradox among it all, as there tends to be when life is viewed from more than merely a first-person point of view. Things seem one way from one angle and another way from another angle. One angle is not right and the other wrong, at least not most of the time. When divergences appear, they reveal the existence–somewhere above or beyond or in between–of a convergence, a unity, of which the seemingly opposing points of view both partake.

A truth to be uncovered, in other words, and then understood: a truth severed in half and taken hostage by two opposing human camps.

So there he was, aware of his condition–trapped between awareness and ignorance, far enough from ignorance to be untouched by some of its more common sufferings, and yet still deep enough in suffering himself to be unaware of certain things of whose existence he did not yet know, but which called softly to him in quiet moments.

In other words, he was a member of two worlds: the free and the slave, the wise and the foolish, the light and the dark. To tell the truth, he enjoyed the fruits of both–and at all times was aware of which side of the line he was dancing on.

He was an apparent contradiction, to many on both sides of the fence.

(He did not believe in the fence.)

In his limited awareness, he saw the suffering that his actions even now still caused from time to time. Even so, he was able to shift his perspective to a much broader view and see the eventual bliss that his actions would bring–not to himself, but to the All.

Over and over again came the lesson, spoken at certain times from somewhere deep within:

“Trust.”

In some ways, this one word was the key to all understanding. It hinted at the interconnectedness of the All, including his apparently separate personality. It was a clue to the mystery of the importance of individual human experience to the All. It was a word that echoed, although sometimes twisted beyond understanding, in spiritual messages throughout history.

“Trust.”

So he trusted. Time and time again he failed, but he sought with straining ear to hear the lesson gained each time he failed. He mistrusted. He un-trusted. He resisted. He battled for days. He fought passionately–to see what he could not see. Eventually, the vision always became clear.

There is much that happens on the surface of things that doesn’t reveal right away the great improvements being made underneath. That’s where trust comes in.

What’s underneath is infinitely more complex, rich, and complicated than what we see from day to day. “There,” moments of time are not measured in days or weeks but in years, centuries, and eons. A moment of pain and suffering can bring years of bliss and freedom. A slight happenstance can reverberate for centuries in humanly unpredictable ways.

In our hubris, we “important” humans desire to control, believing that we know and understand enough to decide the fate of the world around us. We exert ourselves in our effort to make things happen. We calculate the future and decide our actions based on that mental blueprint. All the while, life is happening as life happens, and we are either its pawns, its victims, or its messengers.

What he wanted was simple: greater good for the All and a clear and peaceful mind to understand and enjoy life. He didn’t know why the Universe had spawned him for the purpose he was living, except that he was the best candidate for the job. Maybe the others were sleeping in or dancing around a fire.

After hearing the call, he had responded in his own broken way–and then resisted every step of the way, like a dumb puppy who ends up with shit on his nose over and over again. He had learned. He had learned to listen. To trust. To move with courage and confidence when he heard the call from within. It had not been easy.

And still he fucked it up sometimes.

Not any time had it been easy to look at the face of experience, listen to the voice inside, and believe what he knew instead of what he saw with his eyes. Every succeeding chance to exercise trust brought with it a greater apparent reason to resist and control with his earthy self. Even so, he could not avoid the lessons (and opportunities to learn them) that came.

Once the light is on, it stays on.

He was being used, he was aware, as a surgical tool for the hand of the All. Why? Because he had proved himself to be worthy of the Voice. He had risked, and lost, and learned, and been restored because of his willingness to obey. He was willing to be (that is, to look like) a fool–for “God.” He was willing to give up, to lose, to trade, to give away, to shed, or to appear evil or wrong or misguided or stupid.

And at times he did, or was, any or all of these–but mostly he was not. He knew he was not. And yet sometimes he felt that he was these things after all.

He was not perfect, but at least he could see. At least he could see well enough to know that things are not always–not ever–as they seem to human eyes. In that, he could trust and feel bliss.

And suffer, a little bit.

He knew he wouldn’t cross the bridge while in this life. (He did believe in the bridge.) He would remain forever on it, one foot in each world, bridging some gap that no one else had claimed.

And he knew that this certainty would one day change. Maybe even while in this life. But, for now, it was right, whether he liked it or not.

“Trust.”

Written on May 4, 2010 and freshly formatted on May 5, 2020.


How to Use Music to Drag Negativity out of Your Soul

April 22, 2020

Okay, you’re not exactly dragging negativity “out of your soul” when you do this or any other technique for self-improvement. The soul lies on the other side (so to speak) of the negativity within us, and when we clear out the negative junk we’re:

1) more able to see clearly the soul, or inner being, that’s always there and always has been there,

2) less burdened by the pain and wrong thinking that has obscured our own deepest self from our view,

3) lighter (in emotional “weight”) because we’re no longer carrying negative junk from the past,

4) lighter (in inner “vision”) because the soul shines light from inside us, and we can see more clearly in our everyday experience because of this inner light, and

5) more able to think clearly, respond appropriately, and be reasonable and loving everywhere, to everyone, at every time.

So, the process of removing negativity is a rather important one. The risks are few and light (though they might seem to be many or heavy), and the benefits are unlimited.

Unlimited!

The advantages of living without our mental-emotional processes being messed up by past mental conditioning and unexpressed emotional baggage are many, and the effects of reducing our negative load can be astonishing to us.

Astonishing!

I’m not selling snake oil here. I’m helping my fellow humans to empower themselves–quickly, easily, freely, and permanently.

Virtually all adults are aware that a present-time sensory perception (like a smell or a song) can “take us back” to a moment in the past when that sensory impression carried meaning. For example, kissing in the front seat to “Unchained Melody” as a teenager might result in that memory–AND THE FEELINGS ASSOCIATED WITH IT–coming back into present awareness when that song plays when we’re 30, or 40, or 50.

Time has no meaning with regard to the strong memory-bonds that link together past and present experiences, when those experiences are cemented into place by strong (positive or negative) emotion.

I call these bonds “attachments”. Attachments hold us in place to events in the past that were strongly powerful or meaningful or emotional or traumatic to us when they happened. Attachments also can hold us back from GOOD,  and they limit our FREEDOM in the present.

They can cripple us as truly as physical paralysis.

A song can be a powerful way to access the past, through memory, and at the same time to TAP INTO THE NEGATIVE EMOTION THAT WE WISH TO REMOVE. Removal of negativity, again, results in many good things for us and for our loved ones.

Here’s how it’s done:

If you feel burdened by a negative emotion or event in the past, and there’s a song associated with the event or emotion, get by yourself with plenty of time and space to dive into your emotional being. For example, when my last marriage was ending, there was a song that I associated with the pain of that break.

(I’ve woken up in the morning with such a song in my mind during times of emotional distress. I trust this direction from my inner being–which is more active when we’re asleep–and I follow it.)

THE SONG MUST BE MEANINGFUL AND POWERFUL ENOUGH THAT IT MOVES YOU NEAR TEARS WHEN YOU HEAR IT.

Again, get alone. Sit down with plenty of tissues and a pen and paper or word processor. Turn the music up enough that you can begin to feel the emotion well up within you.

As the song plays and you feel the emotion, and you remember the person or event that the song activates in your memory, begin to give voice to your thoughts. Write them down. Speak them if you want. The goal is to give them expression.

Accept whatever comes up, without judgment or censorship. Allow. Let go. Surrender.

If you begin to start to cry, do not resist it. STIFLING OUR TEARS IS ONE OF THE WORST THINGS WE CAN DO–EVEN WORSE THAN SMOKING CIGARETTES (which, incidentally, helps us to stifle our emotions).

The goal here is to open ourselves and allow emotion to flow through us without hindrance. Let it out.

Emotional blockage is the cause of many, many, MANY problems in life!

Cry. Follow your thoughts and give them voice in an unbroken flow if you can. Your thoughts will lead you to the emotions that are waiting to come out.

Do not be afraid.

Cry as deeply as you can. You want to tap into your emotional “oil well” and let whatever is in there ravage your mind and body. You want to surrender to whatever comes, without censoring yourself.

This can be scary, but with practice you will see that there’s absolutely NO danger here. If you end up on the floor in the fetal position, flopping around like a fish, with snot running down your face, this is EXCELLENT.

If you end up in laughter when the negative stuff is done coming out and your “oil well” is empty, you’ve hit bottom and CLEARED OUT THE NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF THIS PARTICULAR NEGATIVITY ON YOUR CURRENT DAILY EXPERIENCE!

This is a wonderful victory in your life, with immediate results.

Finally, rest. This process is a tremendous expenditure of energy from yourself. Take a nap if you feel like it. Stay away from contrary people for a few hours if you can. You will be tender, like a new seedling that has just sprung from fertile soil.

Like a butterfly that has just emerged from a cocoon.

Do not call anyone. They will not be in the same place as you. They will not understand. Wait until later to talk to others about it, if you feel like sharing what you learned and experienced.

I’ve used this technique, even while someone else was in the room with me. A good friend happened to come in while I was in the middle of it. He silently sat and allowed me to finish. I say this to remove fear from you.

There is nothing to fear.

There is everything to gain.

Much love to you.


The Adversary: The “God” of This World

September 4, 2018

The adversary. Ho satanus, in Greek: Satan—the “god” of this world.

Adversity—“adversary-ness”—is built into the “program” that runs the world we live in.

Trials, tribulations, tests, and temptations are signs of something in the world actively opposing people. Our response, the lesson learned, determines our victory…or defeat.

Defeat always means at least one more round with that particular “fighter,” though the “matches” go on without reprieve. Beat one and another challenger comes. This is not because you’re “Number One,” but because you’re human.

Adversity is the god of this world, this world in which we are, but of which we are not: our flesh is born of this world, a mix of energy and matter, but the Spirit that animates our flesh is not of this world.

It is this Spirit against which the adversary throws its tricks, meant to sabotage right feeling and thinking—meant to confuse, confound, confine, and convince (that unreality is reality, that surface is depth, that temporary is eternal and eternal is temporary).

Adversity itself is built into the machine: life happening against your intentions. The adversary throws curveballs—the only kind of pitch that a crooked pitcher can throw.

Adversity is the tendency of life to offer you something quite different than you expect or hope for, something that requires you to “take care of” or “handle” it before you can continue. (This does build character.)

The essence of this tendency is corruption, just as the essence of the ego/false self is corruption: things not working as they’re “supposed” to. A glitch in the program.

“Gremlins.”

The adversary is not entropy, the tendency of mass toward equilibrium. That is a quality of matter itself, left without the infusion of energy to move it. The adversary is energy that moves in opposition to the energy of Spirit.

Life is like a big chess game—like playing many chess games at once!—and the adversary is the opponent: that which opposes us, the black pieces, a mirror image of one’s own.

The adversary is supposed to be here, in this world of relative darkness. This is “his world,” so to speak, or at least “he” has dominion here—dominion, but not absolute power—and we are apparently unwelcome visitors who threaten that dominion. (Otherwise, why bother to oppose, to throw curveballs, to bring trials, tribulations, tests, and temptations?)

It’s as if we had a mission and purpose here that an opposing intelligent energy was trying to thwart.

The adversary works through the ego/false self of human beings. The ego/false self creates man in “his” image: corrupt, deceitful, and greedy.

The world is not evil; the human world is evil. Mankind’s presence in this otherwise perfect world (imbued with the graceful brutality of the Life Force in Nature) brings “evil” into the world. And so we oppose each other: we become adversaries ourselves.

People corrupted by the adversary become deceitful, greedy people who “fuck with” other people. “Fucking with” is the active opposite of helping people. Not content simply to leave someone else alone, or to allow others to suffer in peace, these people instead cause their neighbors unnecessary grief, hardship, or difficulty.

This attitude fosters competition among people, rather than a spirit of cooperation. The competition fostered here is not the same as the “spirit of competition” seen in many fields of human endeavor, such as professional sports. This negative sort of competition reveals itself in greed, hoarding, condemnation, trickery, violence, murder, and war.

That which fosters these tendencies is also of the “evil one”—the adversary, the god of this world, the tendency toward corruption, the symbolic embodiment of a (purposefully?) corrupted human nature.

Those who follow this dark influence worship what is seen: the densest, most crude and solid parts of the reality we occupy: material objects. They chase shadows and rejoice in illusions. The essence of evil is the lack of insight into the deepest parts of things—a preoccupation with the surface and its apparent-ness.

The essence of evil is viewing that which is temporary as eternal; giving up depth for shallowness (and not even breadth).

The god of this world appears to be “evil,” focusing the minds of men on the fleeting and the superficial, so that they trade quiet reflection for flashing lights and intense noises. Fleeing toward these outer charms, corrupted people even fear being alone with themselves.

The god of this world seeks to make human endeavor for naught, ineffective—a waste of time. The goal seems to be to make people give up in the face of unrelenting, constant, and continual opposition to their noble aims and deeds—or to exert continual effort to overcome adversity.

The god of this world rewards those who follow “his” materialistic creed. They receive the sum of their lot: an extra helping of this world, with more of this world to follow.

Thus the adversary entraps the souls of men and binds them to the human world of flesh and corruption. Until their eyes become free, until they are able to see with deeper vision, their hearts and minds will remain captive to the god of this world.

Written on September 4, 2012, and freshly edited on September 4, 2018.


On Soul and Spirit in Animals and Humans

August 2, 2018

Soul is inherent in organisms. Where there is life–Nature–there is Soul.
All creatures and humans (even brain-dead humans) have Soul.

Spirit arises in organisms–animals–as a consequence of the brain and nervous system. The brain is a “house” in which Spirit can reside in an animal or human.

Spirit “saves” the Soul, so to speak. That is, Soul (which “arises” in matter as life) and Spirit (which “descends” into life as intelligence) MEET within an organism to complete, as it were, the purpose of life:

The “Divine Marriage” of Soul and Spirit.

This can only happen within a human being, as a consequence of our highly developed brain’s receptivity to Spirit–through the faculty of intelligence, by means of INSPIRATION.

The “Soul” counterpart to intelligence is instinct–again, found throughout Nature–and its counterpart to INSPIRATION is INTUITION.

Just as INSPIRATION is the doorway to Spirit through intelligence, so INTUITION is the doorway to Soul through instinct.

In Christian terms, Christ became a man in order to save the souls of all people–paving the way for the personal indwelling and guidance of the Holy Spirit for all who believe and are willing to receive this free gift of (and from) God.


10 Questions to Help Crack the Nut of Life

August 2, 2018

These are some questions I’ve asked myself and sought the answers to, through study and experience. The search for answers to these questions has brought me much good. Maybe one or more of them would interest someone else who “wonders”.

I’ve shared my own answers to some of these questions throughout my posts on this site.

1) What’s the difference between people and animals? (Do animals think like we do? Do they have feelings? Do they experience them like we do? What do they remember? Do they “love” their offspring like we do? Do we?)

2) What’s the difference between children and adults? (Are adults really just “big kids” with mature bodies? Are kids just “little adults” in kid bodies? When does a “child” become an “adult”? Are kids “better” than adults, or are adults “better” than kids? Or neither? What constitutes “child abuse”? Can its effects be “fixed”? What are its effects?)

3) Why do I experience and remember things? (What is “I”? Is “I” different from “me” somehow? Why don’t I remember my earliest years? Or the time before I was born? Did I exist before I was conceived? If so, where was I? In my parents’ bodies? Somewhere else? Nowhere?)

4) Why isn’t there just “nothing” instead of “something”? (How? Why does anything exist at all? If “God” exists, where? Everywhere? Somewhere else? Did nothing exist at some point? Why don’t I know? Can I know? If so, how?)

5) Do other people experience life like I do? (Could they be imaginary, like the people in my dreams? Can I trust other people’s words, thoughts, feelings, and experiences? Can I trust my own? Why or why not, and to what extent? What if my experiences contradict someone else’s? Is there really a contradiction?)

6) Why do we (have to) sleep? (Can I somehow stay “awake” while I go to sleep? What’s the “body” that I move around in dreams? Why is it different from my “real” body? (Is it?) Are the people in my dreams imaginary, or are they “real” like I am in dreams? Do I “create” them somehow? If so, what else do I “create”? Can (or do) I do this while awake?)

7) How are people the same, and how are we different from each other? (What’s the difference between men and women? Boys and girls? Male and female? What are the similarities? Where do these differences and similarities come from? Nature or Nurture? Both? Neither?)

8) Is it okay to defend myself if someone attacks me? (What if they attack my kids? Why or why not? How far can I go to defend myself? Is it ever okay to kill somebody else? If so, when and why? Is it okay to kill myself? Why do some people do that? If someone were to kill my child, could I rightfully kill that person? Why or why not?)

9) Where do my thoughts come from? (Can I trust them? Do they come from me or somewhere/someone else? Are they right or wrong? Is there a “right” or “wrong”? Can I know it? Do I already know it, or do I just repeat what I was taught as a kid? Was my family right in what they taught me? To what extent? How can I know? What about my feelings? What are they? Are they okay to have?)

10) Why do scary movies “scare” me? (Are there invisible beings who (can) interact with me and others? Are they good or bad? Can they be contacted? Why am I usually not aware of them, if they do exist? Are demons real? Ghosts? Poltergeists? Angels? What are they, if they do? What do they do?)

Bonus) Does anyone else already have this stuff figured out? (How do I know? Which one(s) of the many people and groups who claim to know can I trust? Can I be assured of anything at all without figuring it out myself? What are the limits of knowing? Who’s the judge? Who’s my judge? How do I know how to judge my own judge? Why am I asking? Why isn’t everybody else asking? Or are they?)

Originally written on March 10, 2014.


A Quick Note on “Subconscious” vs “Unconscious”

July 28, 2018

The Subconscious is instinct in animals and intuition in humans. Think of it as the “Soul of Life”.

It isn’t “unconscious,” though. It’s alive, but not AWARE of being alive. (That’s Consciousness.) Subconsciousness, basically, is FEELING.

Consciousness is AWARENESS (of being alive).

The unconscious is the dark, hidden repository of emotional pain and false beliefs that Jung called the “Shadow”. Many people call it the “ego” that must be overcome to bring Enlightenment (Consciousness).

Emotional pain is unconscious Subconsciousness. False beliefs are unconscious Consciousness.

Unconsciousness consists of part Consciousness and part Subconsciousness, but in it both are “inverted” or “corrupted”.

As only animals (with nervous systems) possess Consciousness (in addition to Subconsciousness, which ALL life forms have), so only animals (especially humans) have unconsciousness.

Unconsciousness is really “inverted” Consciousness that can (theoretically, but not always) be made Conscious again. This is what “spirituality” is all about: “turning dark into light”.

The occult frequently focuses on using the “power” of the unconscious–which is really “inverted” power (derived from something else), not real power.

Consciousness is God/Spirit/Mind. Subconsciousness is Goddess/Soul/Heart. Unconsciousness is Devil/Demon/Shadow (ego).

Narcissism is unconsciousness in an otherwise mature human being.


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