Exploring the Human Condition: altered states of consciousness

Looking Back

Nobody’s perfect, right? But some things are just deal breakers, no way around it. Everything looked great on paper. The pictures he sent of his family were real and beautiful. Young people are strong and able, their features smooth, and their movements reliable. But only a sparse few possess any true wisdom. Problem is, life and it’s unpredictability can scar you. Cody was a wonderful young man, with all the enthusiasm and promise you might expect. With one glaring exception. He had no heart. His feelings were shallow, his smile was not genuine. What he portrayed and what he was thinking, were two entirely different things. The life he knew as a child was so raw and so brutal, he had learned quickly just not to care. He would cooperate and do good things, but deep down, his heart was cold. He knew if he felt anything, it most likely would not be good.
We like to keep things orderly. Put everything where it goes. Have a proper name, a label for everything. We want to know that what we are doing now will be of benefit later on down the road. But life isn’t exactly like that. It is brutal and it is raw. We are like snowflakes really, here for one moment in time and then gone. In every thing, there is a certain degree of randomness. Scientists like to erase that factor, I think, like to quantify and make sense of all things. It’s a learning process, with a huge learning curve. It’s part and parcel of our human evolution.
It was my own mother who first spoke to me about evolution. She had that look about her again, that strange squinty-eyed expression of serious intent, that she got whenever I asked a question not becoming of a child. Children were supposed to simply accept things, be obedient, not ask questions. At least not questions about evolution. So she told me about the man called Darwin and how he had basically told the world that we were descended from monkeys and apes. How that whole idea totally ignored the word of God, and how I should never even talk about such things. Maybe I just wanted to really understand things. Somehow that was important. Because people crave routine. They crave words set in stone, in a very literal sense.
Whether a magical gift from God, or the product of time itself, we come into this life clueless. Our family and our environment shape us right away for seven decades or more of learning, growing, and ultimately, making a difference for the greater good of all. Always having the last word does not make you right. It only means that nobody is listening anymore. Remember that a healthy life is one of balance. We can’t be all prim and proper every second. Maybe the sweet and kind lady with the amazing home and perfect life can, but most of us are not taken care of, we have to work very hard for basic survival. Instead of man and wife, now it’s more like woman against man, man against woman, for the best job, the highest salary, the best apartment, and the most accolades. To some, maybe that’s all life is supposed to be about. Having the prettiest girlfriend(s), driving the fastest car. Being smooth and cool, careless and brash. Maybe that is what evolution has done to us. Some of the younger ones coming in have a beating heart, only it is ice cold and unwavering. Maybe that sort of mind-set makes for a strong survivor, but what does it say about love, and life, this God-given gift of limitless adventures, limitless potential…
In the past few years, I’ve had every single thing I held to be true, bashed on the rocks as if some laughing entity took great pleasure in my agony. No longer were things predictable at all, if indeed they ever were. Nothing made sense, nothing added up. It was all totally random, totally brutal. All we ever have is this tiny thread of sanity to try and hold onto. And the present moment. Sure, we all want our family to grow up safe and protected. We work hard at our jobs and our life every day for that. If only we could try and imagine how very quickly it can be over, perhaps we would re-consider having a little more heart. I don’t think the dead ever consider the idea of a dollar, nope, not even once. Being a spiritual being would have no need of such a thing. Money is only a means of control. A way to nail everything down. Keep order in a senseless world. But it is hollow and meaningless unless you use it for good. For your own good, for those you love, and also for others, for the world.
We hear all the time, we are not supposed to judge. It is not our place to judge others. But we do it all the time. It is how we navigate through each day. Every thing is calculated, every decision carefully thought out. It is how we find our friends, and how we assign our loyalties, it determines who we admire and respect. But truly, I say this in a bare and humble way. Arrogance is a most unattractive trait. Different from having confidence born of practice and hard work, arrogance is hollow, it has no basis in fact. It is an air of importance undeserved.
We watched an interesting movie last night called Zoo. It was about how the animals finally stood up to the atrocities of mankind. How they began to communicate and let us know it would stand no longer. They were not afraid of us anymore. No more circus lions, no more animals in a lab. It reminded me of us. How things are all wrong now, how everything we believed in has been replaced by unbelievable stuff, the real stuff of nightmares. Nothing is predictable. Everything is impermanent. There are real monsters out there! However you may try to scramble, they always have a bigger stick.
Whether Karma is real or not, it might be a good idea to just consider a little more flexibility in our thinking, a brave attempt at having a little more heart. It is a truly wonderful and amazing thing, when you cross that threshold of innocence over into understanding and acceptance of all things. It’s not pretty, and it is never easy, but in the end, your heart, your true soul, will take you places you never imagined were possible. You will find people who don’t have to dominate or have the last word. Good people just have a way of finding each other. It’s beautiful and amazing. Love is an ever-expanding thing. It has an effect that can last the test of time and all things.
Abi

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen we were little, going to my grandfather’s house was all about playing outside, in the trees.  The area around the house was landscaped with nandina bushes around the front porch and a pink azalea under my grandmother’s front living room window.  Growing up there was a small mimosa tree at the edge of the yard by the road that we climbed in.  I remember the pink blossoms and the strange leaves it had, like something prehistoric, and beautiful.

But in the side yard grew a young sycamore tree that always amazed me by its size.  I remember holding the giant leaves in my small hands and feeling so much wonderment…  and looking up into the high reaches made me feel dizzy.  I could hear the wind up there.

My grandfather went to Germany during the first world war.  I have no idea exactly where or in what capacity he served.  Long after he was able to come home, and had already raised his own family, I was born.  He never spoke about that experience, that time of great sadness and war.  But I remember my grandfather’s eyes more than anything else.  They held a solemn stillness that covered so much.

So many wars later, the idea that humanity still wants to live in this way, well it shocks me more than anything.  We’ve all seen the pictures now, whether we wanted to or not.  It seemed that since Viet Nam the attrocities of war became somehow sensationalized and our warring nature only escalated.

I wonder how it would be, if I could once again sit beside my grandfather, and tell him about high technology, and super-sonic jets, about warfare in space, and how desperate mankind has become.  I wonder what he’d think if I told him that culture had changed so much that music was now comprised of hundreds of different genres and styles, sounds from all over the world are available to us now.  Would he cry a little bit, would his eyes become glassy as I did notice before, when we might just sit together quietly.

He had a stroke one day when he was 71, and it erased all of his present memories.  He thought he was back in Germany, and he did not even know who my grandmother was.  He found an old faded picture of a girl he knew in Germany back then, and some old letters, and he carried them around in his old shakey hands, and would try to show me if I would sit still long enough.

We didn’t see him much after that.  Going out there just wasn’t the same at all.  Sadness covered everything, and my grandmother seemed lost.  I can’t even remember her voice now, because at the end, she hardly ever spoke, at least that I can remember.  She passed away three months after my grandfather.  She just gave up.

When I asked my mother what happened, she told me that Papa had disobeyed the orders of the doctor, and had left his sleeping porch and gone out to the old tall sycamore tree, and started to rake and burn a pile of leaves.  He was just too old, and it was his time to go, and she told me that my grandmother had found him laying in the grass, rake still in his hands.

Many years passed, and after we had Google Earth, I googled my grandfather’s house.  It looked so small to me, and beside the house in the side-yard, was what was left of the giant old sycamore tree.  There it stood for the world to see, an immense tall spire that looked so surreal, so out of place, so bare, and so wrong…

I’m an old woman myself now, and last time I googled the old homestead, the old tree was completely gone.  Like it was never there.  And the old mimosa by the road looked broken and bent, as if it too, was very sad.  The old front porch, with the big cement steps, was sinking into the ground, and the front porch that I played on all my life seemed broken as well.

I wish I could tell my grandfather that everything’s okay.  That he doesn’t need to worry, not about me, or anybody.  That there are good people that will restore our lands, and our waters.   There are people that do not care about money and they will put the precious creatures of the earth before any monetary gain.  I wish I could tell him that people had forgiven each other and that now no child ever went hungry.  That people didn’t have to freeze in the winter, or work hard as children.  That hungry angry men were not killing the wild animals and burning the jungles, but I can’t.

But I can tell him that we can still look up.  And that we know a lot more about what’s out there than ever before.  And it is true.  We are just simple cave men, living on top of a crazy swirling ball of something…  some people think it could be flat, and others wonder if its even real at all, only some crazy experiment gone wrong…  I really don’t think that even matters, because once we get to leave this place, all the sadness and all the suffering can just float away, far far away.

I hope I get to see my grandfather again!  And I hope we can walk together under a whole forest of sycamores.  And my grandmother’s azalea bush is just enormous with huge magenta blooms, like giant feathers.  Maybe it could be like that.  We just start over.  Wouldn’t that be funny…

 

Goosebumps!

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Live the Life you Prefer

This one is for Terry.

in the life and mind of an artist...

Channeling info re: dimensions:  Thursday morning, 11:16 am

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Imagine the layers of the onion.  Yet this is only our tangible material 3-D version.  It is actually an energy field reaching out in a holographic effect perhaps like the spokes of a great wheel, same being repeated over and over again in ever increasing growth.  Such as it always shall be.

Like the petals of a new flower, life is repeated, then taken away.  But our vision is anchored in this earth plane of the senses so we harbor fears and aggression to ward off any vulnerability.   If you imagine the energy fields that exist all around you, and most astoundingly, within you as well, it is easy to grasp that the perceptions we hold so dear that become habits and opinions are merely the mechanisms of the mind being reflected around, and really nothing more.  In our deliberate scrambling…

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Happy Birthday Kiddo is Right! WOW! Happy Day! Yum!

Sum Total of All Things

Born in 1955, and being shocked by the images and words that were coming off the tiny black and white television in my parents’ bedroom, mixed with the generalized anxiety always present in my first home, peaking to all out panic at least running on a monthly basis, my curiosity and heart was trained on any slight vestige of reason for it all…

Shoot forward to the present, where the overall tone of mistrust and denial rages on, and I find myself inward looking out.  It’s as if to shed all doubt, guilt or opinions, one must also stem the tide of never-ending information and stimulus, not a selfish act, but rather one of self-preservation, I think…

If I had a child, here’s what I might try to say to her…  I can’t make the sunshine break the clouds, I can’t even tell you how long it has been…  I’m not sure why we are here, but for the life of me, I think we best make good of it, in any case…  A terrifying proposition, but the best path to take.  So you suit up, and put your game face on, and you expend no extra energy that is not focused, with at least some direct intent.  Because up in here, up in this almost 60 year old human being, is something much greater than all of that.  It is indeed a great power, a gateway, if you will…

One of my favorite movies shows a great Buddhist Monk sitting in meditation, actually, his death meditation.  All his attending knew what was happening.  And you’d have thought the scene would have been most heart-wrenching.  But, that was not the case.  There was such love and compassion for this great spiritual leader, that they honored his process — a most graceful departure.

I had this stupid idea that things would be easier.  I have done all the prep work to finish things in good time…  The gardens, the house, the animals…  all things…  but truly, Nothing.Is.Easier.  I walk alone here, wondering why I find myself alone? Even the little red bird sings out a pretty song…  There are times when I really like it.  Times when the peace and the trees and the breeze are all one thing and I am just a fleck of dust in this huge picture.  That image really gets your goat, right?

I’m skeered beyond any reason, beyond thinking, because I know what lies ahead and even with the best of education and intention, it feels so terribly difficult to be a “land dweller.”  I live above-ground, eeking out an existence within the framework of what I have been given.  And all I dream of is oceans, wide loud beautiful oceans…  water for days…

While everyone else out here moves along doing their normal thing, I seem to be like a pinball bouncing from idea to idea, the only one here that is really awake and aware.  There is a crazy dance going on out there, I am thankfully not a part of.  I prefer my handful of interesting friends, my familiar trees and birds.  I may be alone, but only in terms of being the only human here most times.  There are multitudes of creatures with eyes, all looking, all busy, all trying to stay alive.  Just like me.

All I want for my 60th birthday is a swimming pool.  Any kind will do.

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