Thursday, December 29, 2016

If I could go back

This is the first time someone else's words have appeared here, but if I could go back to 1988, I would take this and read it to my children, and then we would talk about it. 
Perhaps my granddaughter might need this someday. 

I definitely could have used it when I was 11 or 12. 

You know what breaks me, when someone is visibly excited about a feeling or an idea or a hope or a risk taken, and they tell you about it but preface it with: 

"Sorry, this is dumb but-".

Don't do that.

I don't know who came here before me, or who conditioned you to think you had to apologize or feel obtuse. But not here. 

Dream so big it's silly. 
Laugh so hard it's obnoxious. 
Love so much it's impossible.

And don't you ever feel unintelligent. And don't you ever apologize. And don't you ever shrink so you can squeeze yourself into small places and small minds.

Grow. 
It's a big world. 
You fit. 
I promise.


Owen Lindley

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.