Friday, December 24, 2010
CHRISTMAS IN TAOS
I’ve often explained to newbees and visitors that this place is the most beautiful and dangerous place I’ve ever been. Most casual visitors and even long time visitors who haven’t actually lived here can’t understand this description. First, there is a rawness about Taos that even new sidewalks and traffic lights haven’t touched. It leaks up from the earth and flows over the top of all modern improvements. The old adobes, homemade wiring and leaky roofs always win in the end. I once saw it as quaint but that is an insult to this place with attitude. When I came back from Arizona this summer, I lost patience with the Taos attitude of, “don’t bother me I’m talking to my cousin” from the clerk at the checkout line of our forever understocked WalMart. I used to just flow with the slow and inept. Now I’m not as patient with the glitches. Much of it seems like an attitude of imbedded hatred toward the outside world. Taos fancies itself to be a kind of low key, homemade Shangri-La that can’t be fathomed or understood by outsiders.
Things don’t run very smoothly here, but it all works out in the end. It is organic and it is old, and impatience isn’t tolerated. You don’t push Grandma around, not here anyway. All the same an apologetic attitude doesn’t work either. Although there is something different about this town that pulls in visitors from more American places such as Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado and Arizona, places that are next door neighbors, Taos tests its visitors, the way an old horse tests an inexperienced rider.
When I came back from Arizona this summer, I began to realize that you mustn’t let an old horse get away with its tricks either. If you do it begins to lose its spirit and becomes spoiled. You can’t coddle it, but you let it know that you know its tricks, won’t participate, but love it anyway.
My partner, PQ, is happy to be back this Christmas. We had a great time in Arizona, grew very close to each other and Cottonwood/Sedona, and made wonderful friends. It was truly a second home. However, family is family and you can’t divorce them. Taos is like that. PQ is a Taos Pueblo native, so the tie is forever. Since we lost his mom and dad holidays have not been the same. Since he is now the family elder it has been nagging at him to continue the holiday tradition. So we are having a potluck at his rez house. The old pueblo house still needs some work to bring it back into shape for feast days. He’s been very frustrated that with his lung problems he can’t participate in the kiva ceremonies or do the physical repair work needed by the old house. One son is supporting a family while going to school and helps here and there as he can but the house needs some concentrated work. The other son is in Denver trying to make a living, not easy here in Taos.
I spent the last three days making biscachitos, prune pies, green chili stew, and other traditional goodies. One of the Pueblo ladies is making red chili and he acquired some traditional horno bread from another. An horno is the traditional outdoor adobe oven introduced to the Pueblos by the Spanish who got it from the Moors. It was important that the menu be traditional to honor Frances (mom). He is so happy putting this together and wrapping presents for his grandchildren by himself (with a little coaching from an experienced wrapper). This year on Christmas day the Pueblo is going to have the Matachines Dance instead of the Deer Dance. We love the Deer Dance most of all. We both carry deer energy. While all the Pueblos have a Deer Dance, the one at Taos conveys the power of life, death and rebirth in the rawest form. Much of its power comes from the simplicity of presentation. The deer men wear the skins of recently killed deer on their backs. The ongoing passion of life becomes cosmic in this dance. But the Matachines is quite mysterious in its own right. Although the Spanish introduced this dance and used as a morality play, it has taken on a mystery that is neither completely Spanish/Moorish nor Indian. It expresses much of the emotionally laden historic journey of the Spanish Moors, through Spain to Mexico and finally New Mexico.
I feel better having written this. Like with a marriage, after you’ve been in it almost 20 years there is a need to re-evaluate. Yes, I still love Taos, but I’m no longer in love with Taos. It can’t schmooze my independent viewpoint away anymore. In fact I think I’m a better family member by not being enchanted by the “Land of Enchantment” as I was so long ago. Now I’m remembering my first Christmas in Taos, but I don’t have time to get into that right now.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
FRACTAL GEOMETRY AND THE UNSEEN WORLD
Recently there was a program on the PBS station about Benoit Mandelbrot and the discovery of Fractal Geometry. It seems that everything we know is a branch of a branch, etc., of a core shape. It is based on the concept of self-similarity multiplied until it fills space. This concept really seized my attention recently even though it’s certainly not the first time this idea was presented to me. All the way to Santa Fe the other day, I saw endless fractals in trees, rocks, and clouds. On the way home it snowed and I thought of the shapes of snowflakes. But something kept nagging at me. I knew a new insight was coming in although I couldn’t pin it down. Then just as we were nearing Espanola, the light bulb came on.
What if the concept applies to the unseen world just as it applies to the physical dimension that we can perceive with our senses. What if there is only one world and the dimensions that we are able to perceive are divided from the unperceived world only by the fact that we don’t have the equipment to perceive beyond the five senses. Wouldn’t this be an easy way to explain synchronicity, psychic perception and even astrology? Our physical senses are, after all, very limited. We see the results of Fractal Geometry in the physical world visible to the eye but it seems that the underlying principle would exist in the space we can’t see or hear as well. This might explain the realm of spiritual and intuitive perceptions and psychic phenomena, as well as magic. Of course the limit of the physical senses is to some degree a cultural bias. We all know that young children that are still not seriously indoctrinated with what they can and can’t perceive often have a connection to realities not recognized by Scientific Materialism. This thought is just a beginning. I’ll be thinking about this for awhile.
Many things are related across time as well as space. There are even patterns in history that seem to reoccur over and over with slight variations. Is it possible that this too is an aspect of fractal patterning?
When I was a child I loved Kaleidoscopes. I remember spending hours playing with these fractal mandalas. They were like snowflakes, there were no two alike. Later as a teenager I would be able to close my eyes and see intricate geometric patterns, and no, I wasn’t taking anything. It was just something that happened and I assumed it worked this way for everybody until it quit happening for me. Psychedelic art back in the 70’s also used fractal patterns quite a bit.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
OK, some people believe their origins are on other planets. Actually so do many indigenous people. The Plieides and Serius are among the most common star roots. But in reality our ancestors have moved around on this earth for hundreds of thousands of years. Geneticists and archaeologists believe that Africa is the ancestral homeland of all of us. But we have cultural connections and spiritual connections with certain places on the earth and usually there is a creation story that spiritually honors that connection. It’s a kind of sacred cultural marriage to the place you have come to love and depend upon for life.
Indigenous peoples have emerged into public consciousness in recent years. The whole concept of indigenous people has brought awareness to the fact that the dominant cultures of this period in history disown their origins. In fact in many ways they are not a culture, just a kind of cancer that grows independent of its hosts ability to integrate it and threatens death to its own source of life. When the host dies so does the cancer. But when things become too massive and impersonal individuals experience their personal impact as so insignificant that instead of experiencing themselves as beings who have the power to make a difference in their society and the planet that hosts it they feel they are like a raindrop in the ocean. It is tempting to focus on bettering one’s personal life and immediate environment and forget about the bigger picture.
So much attention has been directed to the date 2012, the end of a Mayan great year. Some look toward it as the end of the world in a catastrophic sense and some expect salvation and renewal. Either way it seems that people are hoping for and yet dreading the inevitable collapse of the world as we now experience it. But actually nothing changes completely. On the tree of life there are always roots back into the previous condition and branches up to a new situation. We each will have to be responsible for what comes after the end/beginning. The main thing is that a new paradigm is inevitable but shouldn’t be mistaken for paradise. Einstein said, “it is impossible to solve a problem within the system of the problem.” This is one of my favorite quotes because it is an obvious truth that is usually unrecognized.
The big world of spin, greed, unlimited growth and busy-ness is running out of fuel, literally and figuratively. Some want to carry on by finding another planet to wear out and a few others want to rise beyond the system that is wearing out this one, and yet others want to cling to a previous time. But if you acknowledge your membership as a child of this planet and a grandchild of the universe you allow the story of creation to unfold and recognize that everything you do is cosmic and part of a development beyond anything you could possibly imagine. Creation is always happening and you are an indigenous person.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Halloween? Thoughts About the "My Son is Gay” Blog Post
Most of the responses are about whether the mom in question did the right thing or the wrong thing by supporting her five year old son in his wish to wear a Daphne costume to a Halloween party. I won’t take that on right now. There were several categories of response repeated over and over. Some where supportive, some were critical and a few were insightful. However, it got me to thinking about Halloween in itself. Why is Halloween such a big deal?
For one thing it is a chance for people to be something they could not be in every day life. Whether they are angels, demons, glam queens, super heroes, the grizzly dead, aliens, or monsters it’s all about being something not encountered in everyday life. The crack between worlds or dimensions that Halloween supposedly represents is also a crack between what is socially OK and what is beyond the boundaries of conscientious reality. Why do people get so much enjoyment in going beyond these boundaries? It is obviously great fun. It’s even fun to be scared, if it’s not overdone to the point that we can’t return to the ordinary reality. We can indulge certain behaviors and desires not allowed in their undisguised form. But is this all there is to it? I suspect there is more.
For a little while we can exist in an alternative reality. It is not a reality that the current orthodoxy of Scientific Materialism supports but it obviously has an attraction that is, well, more attractive. The blog post that got me started here is not really about this issue. I believe it has drawn so much reaction because of the sensitive topic’s of gender identity, social positioning of the sexes and potential religious threats. But there is the hidden issue of Halloween itself that also includes these topics. What is it and what is it not? Especially why does it get so much attention in this modern post religious society? Of course very few people attach any religious significance to it either pro or con unless they are practicing pagans or extreme fundamentalists.
The door between worlds is supposed to be especially thin at Halloween. There is something very intriguing about a door between worlds. The concept of a door is itself powerful. We go through doors to change where we are to something else. A literal door opens to indoors from outdoors and vice verse, or into a public building, someone else’s house, a different room, etc., but always a different environment. That is what doors do whether literal or figurative. Is there a door opening from this well known (at least we believe we know it) reality to a place of mystery? And, is the mystery about all the scary things we can imagine, and hope not to meet in our familiar reality, or is it about those who no longer exist in this reality? When they die where do they go? Is it just poof! And that is the end. Or does all that life force come from someplace we can’t experience with our senses, and then return when it’s physical container is destroyed? Death itself is intriguing because we can't touch the world of the dead from the side of life as we know it. It scares, repels, and fascinates.
Fear is an indication of energy invested in the object feared. Sometimes it’s justified but it is also frequently an indication of something valuable that is seen as a threat to an identity that has become too small. After all we don’t fear the unknown, we fear what we think we know about the unknown. It is the fear of something we don’t want to identify with or incorporate into our world. Sometimes this kind of fearsome topic appears in dreams as thresholds we are afraid to cross or monsters that can’t be stopped or outwitted. But always it indicates something that threatens reality as we believe it is. That is the source of titillation, repulsion and fear.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
My intuitive judgements have a similar history. Certain intuitive perceptions come easily and are completely trustworthy because they don’t have much to do with personal issues either pro or con. It is all about the clarity of the system.
This is a new awareness that makes it much easier to hone in on the problem. We are talking about magic here. My definition of magic is the ability to move energy through focused intention to a specific goal. Much of the magic we experience is unconscious. In reality much of our life force goes into this unconscious magic. In other words we live in a situation that has been unconsciously programmed to achieve certain results. Often these results are very uncomfortable and self-defeating, not to mention entirely opposite of our conscious intention.
Techniques of manifestation so often fail because they don’t take into account those semi-hidden personalities that have another point of view. Do we all want to be rich, successful in our careers and happily mated? There are several levels of operatives here. One is the conflicting opinion inside of one individual. The other is the voice of the higher self that doesn’t believe that all of these results will necessarily advance the wellbeing of the soul or the planet. There are higher agendas than the individual ego. To achieve certain kinds of success and yet become unbalanced in relationship with the Higher Self, the welfare of other beings and Mother Earth often has a severe backlash waiting in ambush at the end of the trail. Thus success in manifestation is not always positive in the long run.
All of this talk about conscious vs. unconscious is in need of definition. I believe that what I’m really dealing with here is a less obvious type of multiple personality. Who am I really? This is the root of the issue. Just who is doing the manifesting? There is the child person who is programmed to believe certain things about life and self, some that are no longer in anyone’s best interest, and then a shy person who doesn’t really want to know the details of her inner workings. Also there are those shadowy beings that each have a secret agenda and can be very conniving. To simplify this issue I’ll conclude the list with that person I want to be and have come to understand as the outer image of my soul. This is a work in process.
This is the person I wish to put in charge of manifestation. To do that some of the other selves need to grow up and allow this to happen.
Frequently the desire to be rich, at the top of one’s field, and loved by the ideal mate is an attempt to override the fear of the concealed mojo of low expectations, i.e., a curse. The reason for bringing in these different facets of self that live within one body (the visible one) is that they all manifest different results and these different results are frequently in contradiction and conflict with each other.
I use dreams among the indicators of what my various selves are up to. It’s especially useful to take note of the things that seem really off-the-wall. Also, anything that embarrasses or disgusts me is likely to be rich territory. After I develop some familiarity with some of these themes I begin to notice that they have correspondences to so called waking life, if there really is such a thing. I don’t recommend taking on the really difficult, scary dream events all by yourself unless you have practice in dream work. It’s too easy to get paranoid and allow fear to put on a monster coat and go chasing after you. If your alienation from your hidden selves (or someone else’s) has gone that far you probably need to work on it in the company of someone with solid experience such as a therapist or support group.
A few years ago I would never have put this kind of rumination out into public display. I had a kind of emotional agoraphobia. This is one of my deliberate manifestations. I’ve learned that whenever I discover an inner truth it is important to give it a physical form. Being in the world is my primary work. Everything in life is connected to everything else.
My mother almost abandoned me, not in her heart but in her fear of life. First, her husband and her mother both thought she should have an abortion because they considered her frail, and because there was a war going on and my father was about to be drafted and she would be on her own. She went ahead and had me, which was what she wanted but she was never able to totally acknowledge my existence. It was a type of superstition on her part. The intimidated child in her was afraid she would lose me if she fully acknowledged my existence. When my baby sister was born three years later, she came in with a damaged heart and died within six months. This brought my mother to a nervous breakdown. She went into a dark place that covered much of my childhood. Much later she confessed that she had cut off many of her feelings for me because she believed that God was punishing her for her inadequacies and would take away her children.
I’ve had a recurring dream/memory since those days. There were Monkey Bars in the playground near our apartment during my first three years. I struggled to reach the first bar and looked up to the older children on the tiers above with enormous longing and determination to actually climb to the top. We moved away before I was able to accomplish this. Several times I ran away from home and went back to the old neighborhood. But each time I was caught and brought back before I was able to accomplish my goal. Eventually we moved to a different state, and that was that. But this pattern has stayed with me. I continue to symbolically pursue the monkey bars and over and over some outward event prevents me from accomplishing the goal. Only a few years ago I recognized this as a life pattern that unconsciously ruled from the shadows of my memory. I won’t go into the details but I now have a powerful tool. Sometimes things come very easily when the obstructions are removed and manifestation becomes an organic development.
There are layers upon layers in these stories and it continues to guide me as I learn to identify the components. I’ve had teachers along the way, also; Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell, Carlos Castaneda, Arny Mindell, and so on along with some of my personal friends. Learning astrology was also helpful. For those of you interested in astrology I have a Gemini Sun in the 12th house, Moon conjunct Jupiter rising in Cancer (also in the 12th house, all of these squaring Neptune in the 4th house, and much of my strength comes from Mars conjunct Pluto late in the first house, Venus in Taurus and Uranus conjunct Saturn in the 11th house. It is a cosmic snapshot brought down to the personal level. Some folks can’t accept the idea that the position of the planets at a certain time can apply to anything personal. That assumes that we are totally personal. It may well be that everything in the universe partakes of an overall pattern if we knew how to read it. Humans have narrowed the field in certain ways for millenniums. They read numbers, stars, sheep’s innards and so on but were functioning on the assumption of holography long before it was a
concept. Somehow external patterns stimulates awareness of an internal reflection.
Monday, October 25, 2010
HOW REAL IS TIME?
I'm also finding it difficult to remember the sequence of important events in my personal history. At one moment it seems as if I'm in the Denver of 20 years ago, or in Boulder on the mall with one of my friends from long ago. But the experience is not of long ago but as if its happening right now. I can feel the air, hear the breeze shuffling the leaves and smell the earth. These experiences come with a profound, almost unbearable nostalgia. At times I'm feeling crazy because the nostalgia can overtake me at anytime.
I take inventory in an attempt to get my life lined up again on the horizontal time line and discover that certain times mean very little to me and others are so loaded with emotion and yearning that I can hardly bear it. But what is the difference? As I go deeper I notice that the emotional times are attached to unfinished processes. They have to do with something significant to my sense of direction and of having lost the trail, usually by the interference of an external event.
Does this have to do with the fabled approach of the 2012 end of the Mayan time cycle? I don't trouble myself very much with prophecies and predictions. We are after all co-creators of our own future. But I'm puzzled by what I don't know about my own experience. I know that I have made some significant spiritual/emotional breakthroughs in the past month. This year is heading toward it's end and I'm sensing unknown chapter coming up. In preparation perhaps, I've been reliving unfinished parts and past passions. I'll cross metaphors here and say that I'm shedding the skin of my past and it feels very important to do it now. My 12th house intuition says its time to restock my toolbox. Most people my age are settling down to enjoy their senior years but I feel that my whole life has been preparation for something that is about to begin.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
SCIENTIFICALLY, WHAT IS WHAT? ARE WE LIKE GOD, OR IS GOD LIKE US?
I always have questions and musings about what lies behind everything we experience as inside or outside this entity we each call “me.”
Think about it. Power is a great motivator, perhaps the greatest motivator. People have been seeking power since forever began. To seek wealth is actually to seek the accumulation of power. Wealth allows one many options in the physical world. Also, it places one above the vulnerabilities and dangers that poverty exposes one to. Well, at least that is always the hope behind the acquisition of wealth. Nothing protects an individual or even a group against death or the possibility of loss of power that comes with an invasion by someone with more wealth and power. And then there is a greater power that defeats all other powers that we call death.
The power of the disenfranchised is generally the possibility of taking power away from those who hold it. To remove wealth, social standing, self value, and finally life itself from another is the dark power of death. Every child has at some time in a rage about not being able to master something destroyed it to demonstrate who was boss to him/her self if to no one else. In truth I have always suspected that suicide is motivated by the need to remain in control of ones life and personal power when faced with the indignity of an ultimate loss of power. It’s an “I’ll show you,” approach to the death of personal power.
Power isn’t really about survival beyond the basic need to find food shelter and fellow humans to live among mate with and share tasks and skills with. However, it does seem that as long as death exists humans will always find their pursuit of power ultimately futile. Is that why we invented religion? The religion that is the current orthodoxy, i.e., science says that this is the case.
As I think about the attraction of power it occurs to me that all people have a natural desire to be godlike even though it often comes out in a distorted and ugly form. Spirituality is hardwired into the human species, of this I am convinced, and it will emerge one way or another. If not in a creative and protective way, then it will come out as the power to destroy. By spirituality I mean the desire to be Godlike. It is the ultimate attraction that lies behind most other attractions. With this desire comes the affiliated response to that desire, worship. What a paradox! Worship is a response to a form of power one respects and desires and by its very essence acknowledges what one doesn’t have and yet wants to have. It often comes with mixed feelings of fear, love and envy.
Let’s put aside the whole argument of whether or not God or a higher power exists. I am sensing more intensely as I explore the whole issue that it doesn’t matter what we conceive mentally; we are nevertheless driven even on a cellular instinctive level to acknowledge a higher overarching intelligence and ultimate power that we might as well refer to as God. Certainly a belief in God eventually becomes a trip up because the part could never contain the whole by the very nature of its situation. For that reason what we refer to as God could never be either proven or disproven. That is entirely beyond our realm of operation considering the limits of our equipment.
Those who believe that there is no reality beyond the five senses and the rules of popular physics are essentially the cell trying to understand the body that contains it. All one has to do to blow that naïve assumption apart is to see how a fly’s eyes are structured. Ultimately it is not ours to believe or disbelieve reality, since being one of its products we can’t know what it is.
Authority is another aspect of power and godlikeness and it is often paired with tradition. Humans are by nature herd animals and seem to require a pecking order so that various functions don’t collide and things are kept moving effectively. To some degree this is a survival issue. But circumstances change and it seems that they change more rapidly than the authority of tradition and inevitably there is a collision between the way things have “always” been done, and current needs.
Since we haven’t been at it very long, we tend to assume that we are very advanced as a species. I remember my mom telling to me once, “when I was thirteen I thought about all the things I knew and decided that I knew everything I could think of.” Of course she thought it humorous that her thirteen year old self believed that all the things that she could think of was the same as all that was. But is that so far removed from taking our senses and current knowledge as ultimate guides to that which is real? All we have to do is read an old textbook or see a documentary based on outdated assumptions to recognize that what is called science is still tenuous.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Just Testing - Personal Demons
My Partner, Blue Spruce Standing Deer, was gifted with a beautiful
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Places of the Soul
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Questioning Scientific Materialism
February 21, 2008
There is a religious orthodoxy that is currently in power and as with other orthodoxies it intends to stay in power by controlling the way we think and believe. I call it Scientific Materialism.
Actually I believe it doesn’t follow its own rules about being objectively scientific. It has many core beliefs that are just that, beliefs. This orthodoxy has a powerful priestly class as well. They intend to stay in power.
They are against any kind of thinking that does not fall within their world view, although the elements of this world view were instigated by the fathers of this church, many of which would now be condemned by these people just as Jesus would likely be crucified all over again by the priestly class of the church that uses his name. Scientific Materialism has followed the path of all institutionalized religions. The inspired and creative geniuses who laid the foundation of this faith would probably be the first condemned in an inquisition.
All religions reach a place in which form and tradition becomes more important than the acquisition of new levels of knowledge. Although there are amazing developments in many scientific fields, the conceptual blue print must fall within the accepted beliefs and practices of the religion. Einstein said, "you cannot solve a problem within the system of the problem." This is the problem with Scientific Materialism and the basis of the decline of every other system. Although a system may be very complex and have a powerful effect within the area of its mentality, it is limited by that same mentality. That mentality may have been revolutionary and empowering at the point of its discovery but then it too becomes a system with limitations and taboos.
Science freed itself and the world of manipulation by fear of the unknown and those who promised to carry a higher truth. The irony is that Scientific Materialism is defended with the same tone of fear and close mindedness that is encountered in religious fundamentalism. Unfortunately universities are often the places where the faith is defended, rather than where consciousness is expanded beyond it’s present boundaries.
Another paradox is that for all the proclaimed need for objectivity in the pursuit of knowledge, it is emotion and loyalty to an ideal that prevails. The reactive fear provoked by any concept that lies outside the orthodox box has the same flavor as any other fundamentalist reaction. I suppose this kind of irrational, fear based reaction is an inevitable shadow side of those who elevate objectivity and pure reason to the highest level. It has a shadow side because it isn’t whole. The emotional loyalty and sense of control are under cover.
The fact that we are operating within the limits of our five senses and a physical brain inevitably makes it impossible to know all there is to know about the universe or even universes. It is amazing how far knowledge can go and yet we are always the part attempting to swallow the whole, and there is an absurdity in trying get our minds around their own source. And so there is always mystery and mystery, and mystery.
My Sacred Place, Or Is It?
Here is the entry I'm referring to:
December 8, 2008
I’m aware of the change occurring over the years here in Taos. I feel out of the loop. I no longer know people who are interesting to me and that I feel on a compatico path with. The people who used to show up at my friend's inn may be around somewhere but I have no way of finding them. Then there were the people who dropped by the shop where I workeed intuitively guided to find someone such as Joe J. or Standing Deer, and I could direct them to our friend's Inn. There they would probably have a synchronistic spiritual experience.
Then there were the visitors from other countries such as England, Switzerland, Germany, and even Egypt. We almost took the magic for granted. But it stopped. Even the Taos Inn is bereft of interesting people lately. Very few local people go there anymore unless they just want to drink and listen to music. The coffee shops are no longer places to congregate and share. What happened to cause this draught? We are now covered over by skiers, tourists and real estate agents. The shops no longer have the local flavor. It is an environment that is taking on more of the homogeneous nature of modern cities. The essence is hidden. No one local goes to the plaza anymore unless they work there. I remember high schoolers hanging out there after school, and going to the coffee shops and even Michael’s Kitchen.
Some people didn’t like the teenagers to be there and thought it would scare off the tourists, but when you think about it, that’s what happened all over town. Now it isn’t so interesting for tourists. They don’t come here just to see each other. The Taos Inn is no longer the living room of Taos, although it still bills itself that way. There was probably a time when Taos peaked in its essence. That time was probably before my time but evidence of it was still easy to find.
I don’t think coffee shops are full of local artist and artist wannabes as they once were. There are business people and tourists mostly. Taos was very poor when I first arrived. There were no Land Rovers, Mercedes or hot sports cars. If there was a Lincoln or Cadillac it was probably from Texas. Taosenos drove beat up pick-ups and old cars. Many of them walked. There was no bus service here and not even in Santa Fe. However, for a long time it was possible to get the Denver Post every Sunday, and Indian Country Today could be found all over town. Taos was left, counter-culture but not truly hippie at that time. The hippies were getting old and they were more low-keyed. They had settled into Taosness so that they blended in with the Spanish and Indians. Yes there were many spiritual seekers and most people had a mystical bent but the yuppie flavor of well off Buddhism hadn’t yet arrived. That was more likely to be found in Boulder. Taos spirituality was earthier. People usually wore cowboy boots rather than Birkenstocks. It wasn’t unusual to see someone dressed like a mountain man, a fur trapper, or cowboy, and bootcuffs and concho belts were everyday attire.
At the time it suited me perfectly, or so I thought. Now I'm wondering if I'm just going through a natural change and don't see this place I've loved so long through the same lens.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Prayer is not about telling God what you want, or asking God how to solve a problem. Prayer is about aligning yourself with the direction and process of Creation. When we pray effectively we are allowing ourselves to be guided into a state of mind that is receptive to what is beyond our imagining and conditioning.
Whether you relate to God as a supernatural all knowing being, the unseen and unknown force of creation, or a mythic figure of human hope, you are still attempting to put yourself within the energy field of creation and renewal when you pray.
Examine carefully the personal relationship you have with your concept of the creator or generator of all that is. Are you still carrying baggage from long ago that inhibits you from aligning with a more inclusive power? Do you believe that God is a crutch for cowards afraid to face the realities of the lonely dilemma and intellectual challenges as humans? It doesn’t matter. It works just as well to tell the unknown all that you don’t believe in as well as what you do believe. Perhaps you were raised with a cozy, very personal God who has become too small to deal with the complexities of the planetary and interplanetary condition. I have found prayer to be as much an adventure into the unknown as it is a cry for help with situations beyond our control.
Remember that emotion drives all human decisions and actions even though it is sometimes disguised. Our motives and processes are driven by emotion, so it is emotion that we use in prayer. It is not desperate emotion or fear driven emotion necessarily that is effective in prayer, however, but the emotion driving commitment and courage. It is the willingness to take a chance and move into an unknown state.
Meditation differs from prayer. Some folks believe that meditation is superior to prayer because it attempts to align us with the processes of higher consciousness and is not driven (hopefully) by egoistic motives and often prayer is. But I believe prayer puts what we learn in meditation and reflection into practical application in our lives. It gives us the opportunity to become co-creators of the reality we must live in. However, there is ultimately a crossover between meditation and prayer that is fuzzy and best left that way.