Exploring the Human Condition: altered states of consciousness

Archive for December, 2015

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.

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