Tuesday, July 21, 2020

MOVING ON



This morning I stood in the cool morning air gazing at the weeping willow which I have been trying to save from drought this summer, then suddenly I was in another time and place like a double exposure. This experience is not new but I’m curious about the trigger. The location isn’t important. The place of this morning’s intrusion was my old home on Upper Ranchitos. There was no weeping willow at that location and in fact, everything, except the light and time of day was different. Nevertheless, I became for a few minutes the person I was 16 years ago.  I don’t want to be that person again. It was a difficult time, and that person was several steps back from the person I am now. Was this confrontation with the past a marker, reminder, or a connecter?

These flashes from the past are not just memories. In fact, they are fragments of life that I have no conscious reason to remember. They are totally mundane snapshots of a previous time, place, and state of mind. Time traveling is usually presented as a far more dramatic and life-changing event. And why that time and place now? A few days ago, I was suddenly in the backyard of my childhood home in Denver, in my late teens. What triggers these pieces of the past that are suddenly layered over the present?

These memories are quite different than the usual facts and pictures that the mind presents in a faded and remote manner like old photos. They are complete in every way except for the actual location of the time. It is as if the current location is experienced now by the person I was at a time in the past.

West View Last Night
The few weeks externally dominated by the Corona Virus have been more reflective than usual. Our life doesn’t change very much externally since we are retired. We go to the grocery store and the post office. When we have friends visiting, we go to one of the restaurants open to outside seating and as it is summer, we would sit outside anyway.  Most of the day I do chores and work at keeping my outdoor garden alive. It is a very dry summer, and while the clouds gather every afternoon, they tease, flirt, then


pass on.

When the social isolation began, I thought it would be a time when I could get things done around the house and artistically that I don’t normally have the time or will for. But it has been the opposite. Although I’m actually busy, I have neglected painting and writing. I haven’t done anything in the last month to make more room in the garage so that we could paint. I’ve been feeling a bit confused and guilty of losing focus. Then It occurred to me that instead of focus, I needed to allow thoughts and feelings to move and mix at random. The past experiences are aligning themselves outside my ego consciousness. There are changes coming that my higher self perceives, and the familiar habits are out of date.

Yes, I could have been writing or painting, or maybe clearing out the garage, but my internal slave driver has been placed in lockdown, and it isn’t just me. The world beyond my own little world must also be undergoing preparation for some major changes. During this Pandemic there are the obvious changes; businesses that will not be able to reopen, changes in relationships as jobs move home and children can’t go to school, shopping habits are changing, the list could go on and on, above all the loss of lives and lifestyles, disrupted plans for the future and all the things we took for granted a few months ago. Life will never be as it would have been if the pandemic had never existed. 

Things change, our lives move toward an end whether we like it or not. But endings are also preparation for beginnings. It’s what we do with the potential beginning that matters, although the ability to recognize a beginning isn’t guaranteed. Transcending the small self is the key to graduating from constant repetition and that often requires an experience that knocks us off the rails. Perhaps that is what the virus is doing on multiple levels. 

I look back at my “failures.”  So many goals ended in futile struggles, heartbreaking disappointment, defeat, and self-doubt. Nothing seemed to work except the boring things I did between attempts to “follow my bliss”, to use Joseph Campbell’s words. However, judgments are usually based on our perception rather than reality. Or, more accurately; there are qualities of meaning that lay hidden beneath our obvious pursuits. The higher self sometimes has a completely different outlook than the little ego struggling against the demands of the tough teacher called life. The longer I’m on this planet and this third level (3D) school, the more amazed I am by how little I know of the hidden agendas of being on this spaceship called Earth. 

The long list of things I’ve struggled passionately with great dedication to accomplish but failed at for one reason or another, sometimes because of bad timing, running out of funds, some crisis or another, etc. were in fact not failures. I often fell into despair, believed I must be cursed, and eventually picked myself up and started again only to walk into another wall by my own judgment.  But those failures and heartbreaks have borne fruit although not as I intended. The higher self has its own agenda. It was grooming and instructing for qualities and a way of being that I could not possibly understand during the times of failure and frustration. The true value and meaning were hidden in plain sight by desires and expectations blinded me to a different kind of value. I didn’t have “eyes to see or ears to hear” Proverbs 20:12, an old Bible verse that has meaning at many depths. What I couldn’t know in my younger years was the concealed multi-dimensional education behind my pursuits. I explored horsemanship, music, dance, art, psychology, history, anthropology, comparative religion to name a few, and now I see that nothing was in vain or a failure, and all were related in a way that I couldn’t see back then, even though I never became an adept or gained a degree in any of those pursuits.

Those selves that rise out of the past and overlay the present are never far away. They need to catch up and find their current place in an ever-changing identity.

I used to feel inferior to the artists, writers, creative scholars, and performers that I admired. Now they please and stimulate me but I have no need to envy them or grieve because I missed my chance. I am grateful for the beauty, insight, and stimulus they instill but recognize that I have more than enough to do in following the path I’ve been given. all that I need is being revealed step by step and outward success is of optional importance on this earth journey. 

 Each endeavor is infused with many layers of depth. Judging the success or failure of an endeavor depends upon the quality of outcome, and the wisdom of the one who is judging. Value and thus success does change with perception and experience. Streaming from the source will connect one with open eyes to the multi-faceted world (hidden in plain sight) of beauty, light, and power. That was always the true goal however shrouded under social judgments and ego desires. Whether we are main arteries or tiny capillaries of many sizes and locations throughout the cosmic body we occupy, preparing to carry the golden fluid of experience throughout the world, we are all connected.

nature and experience dictate. I notice myself one day off balance another with aches and pains and then a day when I feel like my thirty-year-old self.  Even our cat, Shadow is surprising us with new behaviors. She has discovered the hunter in herself this past week. Although I have mixed feelings about it, I can’t deny a major evolution in her personality. This week she caught three young rabbits, a mouse, and this morning a lizard. She is very self-pleased and carries herself like a tiger, with self-confidence oozing in every stride and through her gaze. I used to call her a woosy cat. Now in her seventh year, she becomes a hunter and brings her catches into the house as her contribution. 

Unfortunately, I have a lizard and a mouse running wild somewhere in the house but thankfully managed to catch one of the rabbits before it was fatally damaged and sent it on its way outside. I suppose this is her housecat response to the unknown future. Or, perhaps she senses the need to be more proactive. We each respond to the incoming changes as we can.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

WAITING IT OUT


Sunday:

The Corona Virus is the big surprise of the New Year. I’m not shocked that many ignore it as something that isn’t supposed to happen in our modern world, and I’m not shocked that it has tweaked the conspiracy theorists. Humans usually try to confine the uncontrollable unknown in a mental corral they feel familiar with and thus falsely believe they have some control over. However, there is now a lot of time to fill in the small space of this little adobe home while I look out the window toward the great sky beyond our neighbor’s house.

Something must knock the habitually adjusted everyday mind off its rails to make space for the brilliance of the higher mind. Any shock will do, but the quality of the results depend on the developmental level of the mind in question. Here we enter unexplored depths and paradoxes. While some minds soar upwards, others fall through the decaying floor of an outdated structure into a dank underworld. Wars generate much creativity. This is a sad reality; many of our highest and deepest mind stretches are infused with mental adrenaline induced by fear and competition.

An emotional/physical crisis, if profound enough can thrust one beyond the gates of known reality and call in the angels but beware they can be both the light and dark kind. A new world becomes visible from a stratospheric perspective by those who don’t go mad. It is not necessarily emotional stability that saves one from madness. There are other minds for other dimensions that lie dormant until they are called forth by the failure of ordinary operations. We don’t know why some are endowed with the strength to travel mentally and spiritually into unknown dimensions and others are not. Some, for whatever reason are equipped with a lamp that can light a path through dense forests and dark nights while others become lost in fear and confusion.
Sending Prayers Over the Moon

I’ve been speculating: are we unsuspecting diffused holograms of God, to be activated when some event thrusts us into mindless emptiness—knocked into a space we could not have imagined? Fear alone is not enough and usually evokes the dark angels who have a ready-made sales pitch for the false god of the moment. Perhaps emptiness is precisely necessary for enlightenment. Anything else is dense electrical interference that brings a confusingly mixed signal. Do we activate awareness of our essence by shattered explanations? So many creation stories involve vivified mud. The image of the Golem comes to mind. But the Golem issues from shadow powers soiled by the lesser mind, the one with dark motives in place of enlightenment. I have always seen black magic as the use of higher powers for lower ends.

Monday:

Red and Blue do not exist for the color blind, but that does not mean that they are not real. Culture unites and gives a collective approach to perception, yet it also blinds us to the things it inevitably leaves out. It is not easy to see something you never thought of or don’t believe exists. However, as soon as you see it, due to some event that has interfered with your habits of perception, its almost impossible to imagine that not everyone else sees it. This goes equally for thinking outside the social box, political box or even the scientific box. From time to time, some event, even if it is experienced by only one person is so powerful that it breaks through the collective skin and after that the skin seems thinner to another and another until more burst through or until it becomes more flexible.

There are religious people for whom the church is a comforting container decorated in only the colors they are habituated to perceive. There are others who see colors in the full range and for whom the church walls have become opaque blinders. They are regarded as heretics by those of restricted perception. In truth we all have limits to our perception, even as the limits have expanded at various times. perception of let us say, blue, red and yellow yet still falls short of comprehending that there are lines leading to infinite perception along the color spectrum.

It becomes more complicated as the human herd instinct becomes entangled with one's perception thus the need to belong in a club. True holiness is always a distant goal, yet humans are want to seek it as an image projected on some tribal hero of legend. However, even the tribal legends must eventually be seen with extended color perception to retain their power.

Tuesday:

There is always great life and death tension between the confinement and safety of belonging and the compulsion to evolve and grow. These Dynamic opposites are a part of nature that is in continuous interface. They are not enemies but natural elements of evolving creation. Religions and political parties carry on as if only one is good and the others evil, but neither will ever die or be permanently overcome by the other. The icons of God morph but never die and the whole in holy is forever becoming. Identification with the past even if masquerading in a favorite fantasy of an imagined future will always be challenged by the real Lords of creation. Those who try to protect God may find that they are in denial and will be buried in the waves of creation.

However, in some ways the past is as real as the present in the face of eternity. Thus, important pieces of knowledge lost in the past are often just the ticket to the future. Perhaps its best not to think in terms of time and just use whatever works best. In the meantime, which is the constant time, PQ has Tina Turner and Rod Stewart on Netflix and I'm compelled to dance with them. Staying busy has been no problem for me. I’ve been painting new work, tweaking old paintings and doing ballet bar exercises. Oh yes, I’m also writing. I have to go now, PQ has Dwight Yoakam on, Mr. tight jeans. I have a great collection of classical records, especially piano concertos, I may try to introduce PQ to classical music. This indulgence in music of the past is pulling us forward and that is the mystery of time. Now Paul Simon is coming on.

Monday, March 9, 2020

DEMOCRACY OR CAPITALISM: WHICH ONE ARE WE?


Listening to Michael Moore talk on YouTube this morning about Trump’s leadership style I realized that America is operating on an unconscious two-party system that has much greater power than the acknowledged two parties. While he essentially said that Trump is a caricature of the narcissistic CEO in his manner of running the country, I realized that our entire country is based on an unconscious internal dissonance. Of course, the opposites in life are the source of movement and change but they are destructive rather than creative if there is no attempt to resolve them by moving to a higher resolution.

Our government has been idealistically if frequently not functionally based on democratic values. As a nation, we are also in an adolescent state of development and think in unresolved opposites of black and white. Our pioneering spirit is also very extroverted and not inclined to self-reflection. A high IQ is valued over a sensitive and intuitive heart. Perhaps, on a side this is the reason there is so much heart disease even among those who eat right and exercise regularly. Our culture is not kind to the body which is often seen as another part of nature that must be conquered and exploited. But the body is not just a complex machine. In fact, the comparison of body and machine is an unwittingly reversal of the reality that machines are fashioned after various body functions to enhance their innate functions with greater speed and power. There are, of course those who would replace us all with machines and others who are terrified that we will be replaced with machines. Neither thinks in terms of a soul and its emotional responses in association with well being. The mind is more than a mechanical calculator and even science is beginning to recognize that the body in both heart and muscle has an intelligence of its own separate from brain cognition.

The democracy we assume seems to be a thin layer of paint covering a voracious oligarchy. The hungry wolf has been scratching at the door of the Capital for a long time. Trump is raising much consternation because he invited the wolf in without rationalizing or attempting to hide it. In this sense, he is a different kind of politician because he exaggerates this act as leader and makes no attempt to hide it.

Does unfettered capitalism truthfully result in a better way of life. It is supposed to encourage creativity and increased quality, but while encouraging competition it also encourages greed and exploitation. How are we to enable the good aspects of competition while controlling self-serving greed. We must approach capitalism with a sense of relatedness, or it becomes exploitation.

In the 19th century the Darwinian concept of natural selection of the fittest as a justification for exploitation of the poor by the wealthy became embedded in the capitalistic system. Socialism was judged as a reversal of the natural order and the sure way to breed a weak society. I suppose the subject must be how to encourage creativity and healthy competition without going to a self-destructive extreme. Somehow, head (literally capital) and heart must be balanced.

The current scare about the Corona virus outbreak brings the imbalance of self service and communal membership into direct confrontation by threatening to shut down businesses and jobs, the circulatory system of our world economy and therefore society. The virus isn’t political. As an act of nature, it is pushing the reality of global membership in our face. The individual is also a member of a society and society is made up of individuals. One cannot exist very long in denial of that reality.

The ultimate fear seems to be the end of the world as we know it, and this is the fear, as they say in Washington, “on both sides of the aisle”. However, creation is a continuous process and the entrance and exit signs exist on the same wall. The difference depends on whether you’re coming in or going out. The end of one world is always approaching as another is coming in. As individuals we always have the choice of celebrating or mourning. I usually mourn and then celebrate, but everyone has their own sequence. Nature doesn’t care because its always in process. If you have a superior ability you can benefit the world but if you attempt to hold your place forever you will become a disease.

I’ll use the concept of God as an intelligence principle in the cosmos that includes all functions of the creative/destructive/re-creative process. In the astrological model there is creative fire, nurturing water, solidifying earth and distributing air and they are all in constant interaction, but we humans usually don’t notice when “the times they are a changin”. Carl Jung said, “...fundamental problems cannot be solved, only outgrown”. Belonging and competition are always in conflict. Creation is a process of finding a resolution on a higher level. The breakdown in a system reveals its weaknesses. The world in balance is always a tight rope walk. Eventually there will be a fall and the people of the world will go on by getting up and trying again or recognizing that someone else must walk the rope.

On a seemingly unrelated and possibly trivial note, I have been watching YouTube videos of the current generation of professional dancers. As a child, my first desire was to be a dancer. I was not allowed to dance because of my parent’s religious restrictions and thus began lessons hopelessly late  in my twenties. However, in my usual style, I went in for total immersion for several years. I got to see the Bolshoi Ballet with Maya Plisetskaya, Balanchine’s New York City Ballet and The Royal Ballet with Margot Fonteyn and Rudolph Nureyev. Now comparing that generation with the current generation (also on YouTube), the virtuoso techniques of that past generation have been absorbed and transcended by the current generation. Someday, the current generation will have taken certain steps and postures to an absurd level, (some have almost arrived there now) and there will be a reaction back to classicism. And so our planet spins and the poles continually wobble.


Thursday, January 30, 2020

January 2020, I AM A TRIBE DANCING AROUND THE FIRE


 Tired winter snow melts and refreezes outside. Its only January yet time seems to be creeping at the imperceptible but deceptive speed of ancient glaciers. That’s okay, I needed to be in this frozen retreat from the outside world right now. PQ has the impeachment trials on TV droning in the background and history in motion it seems part of the winter weather that hasn’t penetrated to my hideout.  In fact, it resembles the furniture, books on the shelf and pictures on the wall, just background stuff. Any conclusion will probably be as deceptive in shape as an object half hidden beneath the snow.

Instead of digging myself out of the winter drabs I’ve gone deeper inward and arrived at an unexpected family reunion with some relatives I didn’t know I had. I have a Mercurial nature, as Mercury is the ruler of my Gemini Sun. I think most of the time I keep this fact subtle. However, with so much rare introspective time available, I’ve been exploring the different parts I once identified as me—many were almost erased from conscious memory. It resembles a family reunion but more revealing. These mini-selves all work for a common Tribal Boss directing from behind a curtain and has just now emerged from hiding, or perhaps I was just not looking.

I first met this hidden director when I started writing my life story a few months ago. I’m not sure why I did that. It began one day when it came to my attention that many pivotal events, characters and locations from the past were fading like old clothes. This led to the discovery that my personal memory was filtered according to whatever seemed important at the time and this brought up the question; why? Also, what important things have I lost from the past that I might find useful now? I didn’t have the insight to notice this when I started writing the story. As I continued along the backwards trail, I found much more than evaporating memories. Writing an autobiography sounds like an act of vanity and is certainly hard work, but in truth it is an ego deflator if you are being honest. However, if you drill deep it will bring up the things you didn’t know about yourself.

Much to my surprise, I discovered this invisible Tribal Boss overseeing the different selves who ruled distinct segments of my lives, and this boss appears to represent the final picture. It reminds me of a high-flying drone recording the whole journey from an elevated perspective. The motivation to review everything that happened before now came about because that boss had decided the tribe of me was losing some important parts along the way. I see this guiding overseer in a masculine sense although I’m not sure why. Perhaps he is my animus in the Jungian sense, but that title is too small. This guy is much wiser because he is guiding the part of me outside of time—the whole loop. All beginnings and endings. This one hides behind riddles, camouflages and my own habituated expectations in plain sight while overseeing all the alternate selves and tries to guide the various Mes to the crucial experiences of life that will take the to the agreed upon destination. However, my ability to cooperate is always limited by ground vision that sees only as far as the next curve in the trail. I’m sure this boss doesn’t have it easy trying to guide me.

For one thing, I used to be extreme and obsessive about any goal I pursued. In hindsight, and from an increasingly temperate perspective I recognize that the obsessiveness was an attempt to overcome the fear that whatever I pursued I didn’t deserve and probably wouldn’t be allowed to achieve. There are too many of these unrequited loves for a full list right now, but I’m aware that my life is divided into time segments defined around these pursuits. A limited list of these passions is dancer, horsewoman, artist, anthropologist, psychotherapist, pianist, ethno-musicologist, astrologer and back to dancer. Now I’m in my seventies and understand that I’m not going to be a master of any of those pursuits. 

Perhaps I was supposed to explore each partial self for a season so that I would understand the various perspectives in the tribe of me. The spirit dancer moves rhythmically in time and space among them all and it is now revealing itself as the invisible guide that I followed with blind intuition. My greatest accomplishment isn’t expressed in any outward form but in my fascination with where the next turn in the trail would lead. 

When I was much younger, I felt abandoned in a dangerous world hostile to my kind. I believed myself exiled to a place that would forever be beyond the bounds and out of notice to other humans. I dreamed and envisioned the kind of wise guide who might find me lost in the dense woods, and teach me how to navigate the trails back to the human world and who would share secret knowledge and powers to offer others experiencing the same alienation from the normal human world. While staying alive in hurricane force winds, dodging flying objects or starving for heart food, the miraculous helper was guiding the tribe of me all along.

There is also a scribe who has been recording the whole trip under the guidance of The Big Boss, I’ll call it my Higher Self.