Sunday, July 29, 2018

FINDING BALANCE IN A WARPED WORLD

I’m thrilled to see that recently rare honeybees are back and they are buzzing around the flowers on the patio and near the sidewalk. Then I notice there are almost no grasshoppers. That flock of magpies that landed in the Cottonwood tree a few days ago must have had a feast. This is very encouraging. For me, it means that nature is still working toward a balance despite official human efforts to suppress and overwhelm everything natural. Bees, grasshoppers and magpies are a source of information that we seldom notice, especially in the city. Significantly, they are all participants in one system.

Habitat for Humanity is building again in our neighborhood. We are losing our last clear view of the mountains behind us, so I am planning to plant another vine on the fence for more privacy now that there is no use in preserving the view. So, that is the way life is on the micro level. It is in constant movement and readjustment, just as it is on the macro level.

Angel Approaching Mother Earth
We are still grieving our inability to visit Cottonwood/Sedona several times a year. I haven’t given up. It served an excellent purpose for us. It was a wonderful balance for the suffocating psychic walls sometimes enclosing us in Taos. I suspect I feel this more than PQ. This is his hometown and he has many old friends and some regular new friends. I am grateful for the new friends. Many of the people I once connected with have moved onto other horizons. Although many people my age have settled in with family and old homies, I actually feel that my soul has moved onward and outward.

 Locationally, my wings are clipped. This free-range chick has a small pen. Early in my Taos days, I was amazed that many old-timers seemed to know so little about what was going on in Town. Now I’m guilty of the same. The post office, grocery stores, Walmart, art supply store and a few restaurants, most of them on the same main street are all we see most of the year.  

We are involved in two more documentaries, Man of Many Colors about PQ and his art, and Third Act about creative women over fifty. In addition, Awakening in Taos is expected to air on PBS this fall. We have met some wonderful people who have become special friends in the process of making these films. This would not have happened if we were not in Taos, or at least Northern New Mexico. Yes, this area is the solid earth beneath our feet, both literally and soulfully, and seems to be starting a new phase, but I want to fly over the fence now and then. Not to get away, but to spread my wings and look at the world with a wider more comprehensive scope.  Who is stopping me? I’m not sure. Of course, we have been challenged materially the past few years, but I suspect that is partially a result of the same confusion and lack of focus on my part. Whenever there seems to be an invisible impediment, past experience tells me I am on the threshhold of an expanding view. I am reminded of one of my first trips to Taos. I was coming from Ojo Caliente and decided to take a shortcut. It was a beautiful day and I became more excited as the mountain grew larger. Suddenly the gorge plunged down in front of me, I couldn't see if the road continued for awhile and then saw fisherman far below and a pickup winding up the other side. The unplanned diversion to Taos became an exciting discovery.

I’ve been painting and re-painting a leafless tree in a harsh but beautiful landscape for several years. I am stuck. I can’t seem to get beyond this image. I look at my past work that seemed good until recently and now I realize I am different and those themes are of the past. The leafless tree is a self-portrait. It is dormant just as I have been. I feel something .unkown  is coming in—that is a good thing.


To destroy an undesirable rate of mental vibration, put into operation the Principle of Polarity and concentrate upon the opposite pole to that which you desire to suppress. Kill out the undesirable by changing its polarity.—The Kybalion

Friday, June 1, 2018

The Whirling Ball


“Your state of consciousness will determine the outcome of any situation. Let the forces do you. It is not you living your life. It is you witnessing your life." - Brugh Joy.


“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, 604BC – 531BC

I’m lonely. It’s been a long time since I’ve been present in my own company. That is, the person that holds the memory and directions to the most beautiful and significant experiences, has been completely out of reach. I’m not proud of this, yet it is also a learning experience. I am redefining peace in a more inclusive dynamic way. In our cultural environment, typically we define peace as the opposite of conflict. I’m now seeing it as balance; that is the ability to maintain one’s place at the quite center of a world that swirls around me with great speed and force.

A few weeks ago, or maybe it was a month, I plunged into a strange grey stasis in which I couldn’t remember things I know well, although I remembered certain mundane routines and places. In other words, the higher mind departed to an unknown galaxy, leaving me alone with the grocery list, bills and the old furniture in this small house. All imagination and insight left on the wings of butterflies. This is what my inner witness experienced and now wishes to explore.
I’m attempting to describe this experience without judgement while admitting that I didn’t want to spend any time there beyond what both inner and outer teachers foisted on me. I now suspect that some significant internal alterations are in process. I’ll simply observe the unfoldment with faith that all will be revealed at the right time.

For several years now, I’ve had one peculiar experience after another. Two years ago, I found myself moving in and out of the normal 3D experience, often hearing conversations in the next room between people who are no longer among the incarnated. Sometimes it would take several minutes before it occurred to me that these individuals had been dead to this dimension for several years. I wasn’t listening in on anything profound, which is probably why it didn’t grab my immediate attention. It was often everyday mundane chitchat. Only later did it occur to me that the normal course of time was confused, and past present and future were scrambled like whites and yokes.

Also, memories of times and places buried for years would suddenly crash through the present with such intensity that they took my breath away. It was as if I could step out the front door and be in various locations that are now completely out of reach or nonexistent in the 3D world. Without warning Time would stop being consecutive. Now I’m wondering if I was getting a preview of coming changes in the proficiency of time.

Those experiences were curiously interesting even though I couldn’t then nor can I now think of any advantage they lent toward enlightenment or insight, and no, I never doubted a reality that isn’t nearly as stable or predictable as we usually assume. I’ve come to believe the familiar house of mind with its neatly organized rooms was a convenient illusion, although necessary for everyday functions. There are other strange rooms I haven’t visited although they have always existed.

I suspect that my higher mind is trying to give me a heads up on something important although I don’t see the big picture yet. A few times this past winter I experienced the opposite of the dimensional expansion described above, a total lapse of my normal intuition and memory. This was a disconcerting yet curious comparison. I’ve always taken continuous intuitive lucidity for granted and its absence caused me to feel blank and confused. My mental GPS wasn’t working and I felt lost and directionless without it.

I’ve been aware for some time that the patriarchal world we have lived in for thousands of years is giving way to a more balanced energy. Although there is much emphasis on the feminine lately, (women’s rights, equal pay for equal work and the Me Too movement) as we enter the Age of Aquarius balance between the genders is the shifting trend. Women can’t further their cause with militant male tactics, but by strengthening the heart chakra. Even conventional science is learning that the heart does much more than pumping blood and actually has an intelligence of its own. It communicates with the other organs and guides our instincts and intuitions.

This seeming setback was disappointing after keeping a peaceful and centered state of mind through recent challenges to find myself perceiving the surrounding environment with exhausted senses. Even the vigas on the ceiling seemed ugly and oppressive, my garden was drab, and my beloved Cottonwood tree seems to be dying. On the way to the post office, the whole town seemed to be collapsing in on itself. The usually familiar environment seemed stuffy, and unbearably confining. I craved a fresh breath of air and rushed outside, but there was no outside. Then, I knew that the suffocating confinement wasn’t about the surroundings. It was a state of spirit. It reminded me of Carl Jung’s experience in the weeks following his near death experience after a heart attack. His family said he was disappointed and grumpy for weeks and resented being yanked back down to this cramped drab world.

A number of spiritual teachers have indicated that this planet, as a whole is moving from a third density world into a forth density world, and I’m wondering if these odd experiences and states are the spasmodic results of transitioning conditions of being. Just because something seems strange doesn’t mean it isn’t natural. Perhaps we are being bumped up a notch in creation. Integrating the heart chakra that mediates between impersonal reason, self-centered instinct and ego driven ambition is a key to success of the process. Without heart, we become clever rapacious robots. Confirmation of this warning is the goal of some artificial intelligence innovators to create a human replacement that won’t die, as we humans must. This would be a machine with a complex brain, and indestructible or at least renewable body and a perceiving intuitive heart would be unnecessary. Thus, it would take unmodified masculine values to their extreme conclusion.

However, on another channel cutting edge science is itself discovering and exploring the holism of the universe and the ever-shifting relationships among the cosmic celestial inhabitants. “As above, so below” and “As below, so above” is the alchemical principle expounded by Hermes Trismegistus, the first Atlantian, then Egyptian, (Thoth) and finally Greek (Hermes) sage responsible for the a hidden Mystery tradition that has gone underground and come to the surface during the many key transitional times in human history. It is a hidden knowledge that sometimes hides in plain sight in the sacred works of the world’s great spiritual traditions fitting itself to times and circumstances in mythic symbols. It birthed the great philosophers of Greece, the post-medieval Renaissance of art and science and yet resulted in many great minds and hearts being burned at the stake or losing their heads for uncovering divine secrets that threatened to free humans from the robotic spell placed on them by minions of the dark forces of fear and ignorance.

Meanwhile, anyone committed to the spiritual path will inevitably go through alchemical stages of transformation and this will involve direct encounters with those who attempt to control the gates of freedom. This process happens on all levels cosmic, galactic, planetary, national, social and personal. Science indoctrinates us about the age of our planet and the changes it has undergone on the way to its present condition. We typically assume that creation is something that happened in the past yet Science also tells us that the universe is expanding and dynamic. Why would the process of creation end with now?

On this earth ball, light and dark, life and death role end over end through the ages. However, there are tiny deaths, midsized deaths and great deaths and if we pay attention, they are simultaneous with coinciding births of the same proportions. The gestations are often subtle and protected by hidden forces. Transformation is another way of describing the process. Our universe is a dynamic pot of stew. So, why would I always be at peace in such a system? I’m just another of the little rolling balls. Our world is a mess and yet, it is an under construction mess. If only we know to clear the personal and social debris of construction as we go and make it easier for the next generation. After all, our karma both collective and personal may be to clear the mess we left on our previous visit to this planet. For those who have some budding wisdom and whose heart is strong clear and nurturing, we can meet the future on the light side.

I have been writing this while intermittingly watering the garden. It brings back memories of sitting in the shade of an apple tree as a teenager reading some esoteric book or other while managing the water flowing down rows of strawberries and corn. May we continue to move toward life even through the mud.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

HOW IS THE NOVEL GOING?


I was recently thinking about novelists such as J. D. Salinger, who write their big story like The Catcher in the Rye and then retreat from the public. I suppose it’s like one of those naked dreams, where you the dreamer are the only one naked and you (I) am trying to be normal while overwhelmed by the inequality of exposure. Of course, everybody is actually naked much of the time but its good manners to pretend otherwise. Most of us agree on that.

I’ve never tried to write fiction. Good fiction puts me in awe because it is truly the creation of an alternative world and that seems godlike.  Then I recall how most of us play god much of the time. We take it for granted until we are challenged personally by a circumstance beyond our control threatening life and home and then we cry out for the Big Guy’s help.  It seems that personal power is like a feather in the wind. 

Considering how hard humans try to play God it is hard to believe they would do so without an archetypal model with the qualities they seek. If there were no God, why would we try to be like God? Apparently, there is a missing archetype that we are covering for. It’s different but similar to saying that humans and animals are really biological machines when it should be obvious that machines are attempts to replicate the functions of biological entities. 

First Sign that Spring is coming. The world still works!
On the other side of the issue there is a part of us that is a minuscule fractal image of God. Even the Bible says that God created us in his (her?) own image. We create our world to our own image as well. This is often a disaster and that is part of learning that we may be co-creators but we are also an unfinished work in progress resembling “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”. I’m a believer in the concept that God’s staff is made up of many lesser gods that work as a team most of the time but they are also students of the creative process. It seems to me that God and the subordinate demiurge(s) use our mistakes as they tussle with the creative process. Sure, this is anthropomorphizing the Creative intelligence of the universe but since I can’t think up to God’s level it works better to simplify down to my level.  

A long time ago, when I was spending a lot of time in Boulder Colorado, I was in a group that began with tasking each participant to write an autobiography. The group had a Jungian emphasis but based on Joseph Campbell’s Hero with a Thousand Faces. Since Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell were heroes of mine, I thought this would be easy. The results were embarrassing. Most of our stories were about how life had given us a bad deal, and we were here to find recognition that we are actually heroes or heroines in process. In other words, we wanted to be special. Since then I’ve experienced that heroes or heroines are never special. They’re scared stiff until they learn to be nothing but the choice between two scary possibilities. It’s kind of like running from a tiger until you come to a cliff. The leap of faith is desperation. Special has nothing to do with it. In fact, they are often the least likely in the community to do anything special. By being a long way from feeling like gods, they allow the real god force to use them.

Anyway, the gist of what makes a story powerful is that great stories move us because they put us in a vulnerable state that moves us to jump off the cliff of the known world in desperation along with the protagonist. It stirs the emotions necessary to break a spell holding us inside a jail of deception. Really, emotion is where our development and powers are forged. Human emotion is awesome while also being very dangerous when ill directed. Anyone as destructive as we humans has a lot of power but we focus it willy-nilly like a baby with a gun. On the whole, that is what we are, very dangerous babies in the universal sense.  Our cleverness has far outrun our wisdom, which is another way of saying that the brain has become detached from the heart. Even science is beginning to recognize that the heart actually does have a distinct intelligence that seems to function independent from the ego. 

I believe that healing and cultivating the heart chakra is the only way we can save ourselves. The media culture of our time has a vested interest in a starved hungry heart and encourages all kinds of addictive fixes that bring us increasingly under the controllers thumb. Love is food for the heart. I don’t mean lust, craving, obsession or fantasy. None of these is love, just substitutes for its absence. 

The heart is at the center of life. This is physical, symbolic and emotional. When the heart goes bad, everything else is doomed.  For me, digging my heart from under many layers of shame, disappointment, false hopes, toxic cultural values and fear is my greatest challenge. Remember what I said in a blog about the Black Smoke Beings; they feed on negative emotions and they are real. They serve the bad guys and you and I are their food source. Your bad heart both physically and emotionally (think heart chakra) is their apple pie. Perhaps you’ve noticed that all your TV shows, especially the news is constantly feeding your hunger with crap. It may not look like crap at first but think about it. What is the message? Be thinner, be more beautiful, be noticed, find your perfect job, be healthier, feel better, find love, and prepare for a secure future. Then there is a barrage of mass shootings, bombings, murders, wars, killer storms, environmental disasters and political bad actors, interrupted by ads for fast food and automobiles. The message is always; whatever you need, you don’t have it.

You can only find God with your heart and that leaves out Scientific Materialism, Wall Street, the Federal Reserve and politics. God is love and love is the glue of the universe. A bit of that glue is sitting in your heart waiting to put you back together.



Tuesday, March 27, 2018

THE JOURNEY


All journeys have a secret destination of which the traveler is unaware.” ---Martin Buber  

This quote reminds me of the first card in the Major Arcana of the Tarot, “The Fool,” depicting a young man striding toward a steep cliff with his eyes focused upward, a bag of karma strapped to his stick and his excited dog running at his heels.  Behind him shines the Sun as master of life. This card at the very beginning sets the tone for the rest of the journey through life.  Its number is 0. He holds a white rose of beauty and innocence in his left hand. This is the beginning of a sacred journey.In the distance are high jagged peaks. These are a potential upgrade of his status if he makes it far enough to scale higher peaks. First, he will experience his first death almost at the beginning of this trek.

When he plunges, he will feel the victim of a cruel world that does not honor his high intentions and innocence.  The dog, his animal self will follow him out of loyalty and will howl in pain but take the fall  simply as natural phenomena.  It is white and pure. This is the animal instinct that can save him from wounded ideals and misapplied confidence in his sense of direction. His undershirt, the rose, the dog and looming high   behind the traveler is the White Sun.  They are all parts of one experience. This journey is an expression of the Sun, sustainer of life. The White Sun also has esoteric meanings I won’t explore just now.  The shock of every birth and death is enough, and there are many ahead for a sincere explorer. However, it is the secret that drives us over one cliff, and up another peak, again and again.  It isn’t that we never learn the secret, but each layer of the cosmic onion holds another ineffable mystery. And creation continues to unfold.

I am learning that inner piece is the true center of power in this journey. When I meditate, I see myself in the center of the world and everything else is spinning around me, but I don’t spin as long as I hold the center. This is a dangerous thing to write. As soon as I claim something, a test is delivered pronto.  However, losing the center is another exploration. Last night I found myself wondering how to cope with a future that is without any identifiable net anticipated at the base of the next approaching cliff. I have lived without any financial or health security most of my life, and common wisdom tells me that at my age this is a perilous situation.

When I was 12 years old, I had a small pinto horse named Shorty. He preferred to stay home but I liked to ride him around the neighborhood in the afternoon after school.  One day he decided he’d had enough of me and the snaffle bit on his bridle didn’t give me enough leverage to stop him. As he galloped toward the looming corral gate, I knew that he would come to a sudden stop and since I was riding bareback, I would end up draped over the gate.  There was nothing I could do about it and that realization caused my body to go from stiff and terrified to resigned and relaxed. When the inevitable happened, I was indeed draped over the gate but completely unharmed.  I won’t say this event cured me forever of worrying about approaching danger, but it was a powerful lesson and I never forget it. Actually, I repeat this lesson again and again in many different forms.  It seems to be a major life theme.

Worry about a future I have no recognized preparation to cope with is also an inherited theme.  Both of my parents came from poverty and day-to-day uncertainty as to where the next home or next meal would come from.  The world beneath their feet was in constant motion. My mother finished only one grade in the same school in which it began.  Dad had slightly more security but not much. His dad dropped dead when he was still in high school and he had to quit and become a family provider.  Those were the depression era circumstances.

The Major Arcana of the Tarot reveal archetypal steps on a life path. They are open to interpretation on many levels. I know only a few of these possible interpretations but find that they continue to teach even when I’m not trying to learn.  Each time I go through this routine it is different. Age is a blessing on this journey because experience aids recognition.   Besides, as one gets older, time moves at an incredible speed. It seems unfair. The less time you have in a body, the faster your remaining time moves. However, I notice that it also comes with perspective as if standing on a mountain looking down at all the places and situations you have experienced and a chance to recognize the “story “ as if life was a novel.  Well, maybe it is.

Life as a work of art! I like that idea. A good novelist creates a reality that has all the features of life and uncovers the core of human existence by focusing a laser beam on the essence of the protagonists, thus making a hole into another dimension in a way that only the most conscious of us achieve with our own life.

After all, perhaps we are creating our life as a novel moment by moment, including the interaction with the many other characters and their stories simultaneously unfolding. Watch how they dance in and out of your story. What an amazing cosmic drama we live in. Now, imagine opening the book, you are writing and begin reading from the beginning as if it was someone else’s story. Which chapter are you on now? How do you want it to end? Are you planning a sequel and is your story incomplete? Of course, that’s why you are still here in story writing school. Mistakes, wrong turns, deleted pages, yes, and all-important practice until you are ready for the great publisher of the cosmos.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

TAOS REMEMBERED AND TRANCENDED




In recent years, this town seems very trifling in life force and spirit. Its heart has weakened and its tongue has lapsed lazily into routine complaints and canned rhetoric. More and more of its once pristine property is “developed,” meaning that cookie cutter adobe pretenders dot the landscape from the mountains to the gorge.  Taos once drew attention because it was earthy, instinctive somewhat dangerous, in the manner a wild animal is dangerous and just as beautiful. It still nursed from the tits of the ultimate cougar, Mother Nature. Taos was a Third World Country surrounded by but unfettered to mainstream America. Perhaps a romantic wish as much as a reality. 

A long time ago, I spent several nights a week at the Taos Inn, which I once referred to as the Living Room of Taos, a nickname that now appears on travel brochures and online ads for the Inn. All the local characters, their kids and dogs congregated there in the afternoons and into the evening. It was the place to unite in spirit, meet one’s fellow fallouts from the outer dimensions, and rejoice in our escape from toxic life depleting environments. After the Taos Inn, the hard-core drinkers made their way to El Patio, now known as the Alley Cantina. If they wanted to dance, they migrated south to the Sagebrush Inn. If for some reason a regular member misbehaved too pugnaciously to the point of being 86st, this person could be found the next night and however many ensuing nights at El Patio or Ogilvie’s bar (now The Gorge), until the sin was forgiven.  
Chamisa Moon

On non-working days there was the Taos Coffee Shop and before that Café Tazza. There was a community in each of these spots and often people stayed there all day. Someone would be writing a book, or sketching other clientele. In the evenings, there were poetry readings, belly dancers and plays. There were also more bookstores in this pre amazon and smartphone world. It seems that people must now arrange to get together. We used to expect our friends to be at the coffee shops like a kitchen in the house of an intimate friend.

It’s possible that I’ve simply outgrown the Taos I just described. People still move here and have a great time in this tri cultural town with a tinge of sophistication in trendy contrast to its small town intimacy. It still has many Art Galleries, several fine museums, great restaurants and proximity to the Taos Ski Valley. The ancient Pueblo is still at the base of New Mexico’s tallest, possibly handsomest mountain turning its nose up at its own popularity just as it always has. Yet even there much of the life force has gone underground.

At some point, the balance shifted and the page turned. It just might be that I’m the one that changed.  No, we’ve both changed. A long time ago I saw a cartoon in the New Yorker (they have great cartoons) of a chick that had just broken out of its shell. The caption said, “whew! I’m glad that’s over, but in the larger picture, which the poor chick couldn’t see was a bigger shell and then another and another. 

For a long time I’ve been aware that there are people dwelling in various sizes of shell--but sometimes I forget. It seems that it usually requires a shock of some kind to break our shell and send us to the next lifecycle. Perhaps like the chick some people feel the need to break through but more often, the shell is broken due to some external blow. Maybe there is also a time in between developmental eggshells when everything is calm and we are gathering strength, or maybe we are just living in a false sense of well-being.   

All of us live encased in layers of shells, and enlightenment seems to be the recognition that we just broke through one of them.  If we have done this before, we often look back on the now broken shell once vexing our development and feel either vulnerable or proud. We can look down on other little eggs with smaller shells still lost in the illusion that their shell encompasses the only reality there is. 

Some individuals panic and try desperately to put the only home they have ever known back together. If that doesn’t work, they live in denial. Sometimes they connect with others in a similar state of panic and make a belief system out of denial.

When the shell has obviously shattered, one may be floating in space without any orientation, at least so it seems for a while. If a person has enough faith or even curiosity, the fear will subside and exploration begins. I notice that baby animals have curiosity and not fear on finding themselves outside the shell or the womb. Fear isn’t really about the unknown but about what we believe we know about the unknown—thus, dangerous expectations. For this reason, it is common for first time spiritual hatchlings to attempt to bring old beliefs into the new condition. This happens too often with spiritual experiences. You can’t successfully mend a broken shell and crawl back inside.  

The things we can see are the same things that exist within us. There is no reality except the one contained inside. This is why many people live in delusion. They take images outside as sole reality, never realizing that they are linked to internal causes. Hermann Hesse

If a person is able to surrender to the shock of creation in action, another level of awareness reveals itself. Finally, (but never the final finally) the accidental space traveler notices that he/she is in another shell even though a much larger one. 

We hope the person is now getting the recognition that breaking through shells is the essence of creation. This journey progresses not via talent, education or personal charm, but by breaking through shell after shell after shell and thus participating in the surge of progress. Oh yes, I have never believed there was one creation and that’s the end. Creation is endless like the expanding universe. “As above, so below.”

A few years ago, I might have explored all this in a coffee shop but I’m even more curious than nostalgic so I’ll leave the outcome to cosmic powers. Taos like all of its inhabitants exists in the expanding universe. One of these days, it may wake up and break through its current shell. I will probably discover that it is even better than it was before--or, is it me changing. Maybe we are both ready to pop through another shell. “We are all related.”

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Alchemical Retort



I’ve given up depression, my favorite addiction. The revolutionary insight that brought this about was an unexpected and astonishing recognition that there is a choice. I recently discovered that happiness is an immense creative power both personally and as a cell in the body of earth---and that we can choose it.  For most of my life, I’ve allowed outer circumstances and their personal influence to set my moods. How is it possible to be happy in a world full of suffering, violence and injustice? Isn’t it even a justification of evil to be happy under such conditions?

The kind of happiness I’m referring to is the vibrant aspect of peace. In our current world culture, peace seems to be an empty and powerless state and frequently its only dynamic quality is the tension produced by holding disintegrative forces at bay. 

Closely related to happiness is beauty. Our world, and for that matter the universe is a glory of fractal splendor from the sub atomic level to the solar system outward to infinite universes. This is the truth of creation. Our world of struggle, corruption, death and taxes in the tradition of PQ’s tribe and in many esoteric teachings is the middle world.  In this middle world, we have the stimulation of dark versus light, destruction versus creation. It’s so easy to forget (or never know) that dark is the absence of light not it’s energetic equal, yet the tension of contrast is the dynamic of evolution.

I have all the material I would ever need to defend depression as an existential perspective. On sleepless nights, I can inventory all the inherited disadvantages, bad experiences, difficult circumstances, bad schools, oppressive religious background, family dysfunction, relationship heartbreaks and lost hopes.  After many false starts,   I have arrived at old age with nothing tangible to show for a lifetime of struggles and ineffective attempts to extricate myself from the situations and reactions that placed me in a bad starting position on this racetrack called life. I tried many times to turn lead into gold but the alchemical formula was a secret I never discovered—but perhaps it was never a secret but merely unrecognizable in the gloom.  Then I learned that sadness and depression were the very dynamic that kept the alchemical magic from working. Negative produces negative, not gold. 

I no longer feel depressed about the state of the world or the state of the country. I know I can’t change these things that play out over large swaths of time and involve the karma of nations over millennia. I can’t change the massive social storms brought on by this karma known as history, or the weather storms that physically act out our planets troubles. However, I can quit contributing to each hapless drama by succumbing to its mood. It is all too easy to be sucked into a black hole.  

As one must realistically expect with all addictions, I fall off the wagon now and then but there is amazing freedom in the discovery that there is a choice and I’m not just a victim of circumstances with the unfortunate position of being born into this world that is currently unfolding in an extremely dysfunctional manner.

Not only is happiness a life enhancing power, it has a healing effect on the personal environment that then radiates outward in all directions. There are many tragic, horrendous, cruel and stupid things going on around us, and they seem to be increasing exponentially. People without any mooring doing crazy things, corrupt governments, wars, confused and narcissistic leaders, human predators, “fake news”, all contribute to and seem to justify downward mood swings.

Some people respond to both irritants and defeats with anger rather than depression. However, it’s all depression in essence. Men often prefer anger while women more frequently prefer depression but they are both negative moods that lead to more negativity. There is already too much negativity. The reaction to negative experiences with negative responses doubles the negative power base until it is dense, dark sticky goo that entraps everyone who places a foot in it. It brings forth a mental image of the La Brea Tar Pits.  

Along with this discovery, is the revelation that real power uplifts. It isn’t power over someone or something, which weakens and degrades a victim. True power permeates the life force with creativity and healing. This world we live in is the middle world engaged in an eternal battle between dark and light and we are grist for creations mill.   We get a detailed view of our situation when the inner lights are turned on.  There is always the choice of offering ourselves to the illusions of false power or pointing our attention toward an enlightened world.  Whether we know it or not we are involved in creating this world.  Now and then, I remember that our world and the universe are still in the process of creation, and we as cells in the body of earth can be healthy or diseased and thus influence the outcome. 

Depression often hides under other emotions. It can shelter judgement, unfulfilled expectations, loneliness, resentment and unexpressed desires, among others.  Depression is static at best and otherwise a downward spiral. Many people in our manic culture deny that they are depressed and take pills and illegal drugs or alcohol to self-medicate. Others stay frantically busy, or perhaps overeat and oversex. I think in retrospect that I’m thankful that I didn’t deny being sad and sometimes in despair, it drove me to keep searching for the cure rather than a cover up. Behind sadness, pain, despair and rage is an unacknowledged drive to find peace and wholeness.