Saturday, July 29, 2023

ON BEING AN OUTSIDER

Much to my surprise, I have been participating in a Zoom church for a number of months. The path to that group was both unusual and for me, as easy as water trickling down a hill. It is actually made up of individuals who floated down many different streams to pour into this little pool of sparkling water. That is among the factors that stimulated my interest.

I was raised in a fundamentalist Baptist family, and I grew up with the belief that my parents were so dependent on their connection to the dogma and form of this fundamentalist belief system that they would disintegrate without it, and my survival mandated that I keep their pieces assembled in the proper order. However, I was never totally convinced that I could be included, and there were always questions in my heart, even though my mind tried to overpower those questions, I never entirely succeeded.

I remember the day I decided to undergo baptism. I was seven years old. Although our branch of the church did not believe one was automatically placed on the downward shoot to hell if not baptized, yet it was still an important life contract with God and a confirmation that one publicly acknowledged Jesus as one’s “personal savior.” Those were words that never congealed into meaning. What are we being saved from, and why must there be a personal savior? God and Jesus also had a very strange relationship. Because we humans are imperfect and God is perfect, he has to condemn us, even though he made us, but he has a human son who is also a God in flesh, he will sacrifice this beloved son in place of us who deserve it.  Now, that always seemed like a major guilt trip to me. I secretly resented being in that situation. One can certainly fear such a God, but never honestly love him, but we had to pretend, and of course, God is male and has a big ego. I came to believe all love was a pretense for survival.

Baptists don’t believe in infant baptism because infants can’t make the conscious choice to follow Jesus as their savior. That made sense to me, but many words were as dry as dust and I could never soak them in enough baptismal water to infuse them with conviction or plump them up like soaking dried fruit. If I had been honest with myself, I would have accepted that the dogma was indigestible and no matter how hard I tried, or how sincerely I prayed for God’s help to explain it in a convincing manner, I remained remorsefully doubtful.  I didn’t believe I would go to hell, because I had made a commitment in action if not by faith, but heaven was dismal. It would be like church every day forever. Oh, why was I ever born into such a rigged situation?

I could never bring myself to participate in the Pastor’s rallies to attract followers to Christ, but nevertheless, I felt guilty for my lack of commitment to a faith that I felt duty bound to believe in. Apparently, I was born on the outer margins of the book of life. In my early teens all pretenses collapsed. I lost faith in every social construct I knew about. My conceptual reality imploded, dissolved into dust, and blew away in the wind. I tried desperately to keep this from happening, prayed until I overheated, and instead of feeling confident that my prayers went to the right office, I knew they never made it through the ceiling of my bedroom where I prayed in secret each night. Then one day, the Devil laughed out loud at me and made it clear that all my prayers would just bounce off the ceiling because he had surrounded me with an invisible net and would never let them get through. Since then, I’ve come to regard the devil as god’s shadow, in the Jungian sense of the word, and both are concepts incased in a culturally generated belief system. 

I’ve told this story before from various angles, but it has taken many years to accept two basic facts about myself. I’m afraid of exposure, and I’ll never escape exposure. It actually is my fate. I’m ashamed to say that I’ve had to live a long time before accepting that struggling through contradictions is the engine that drives me.  This is my karma that must be repurposed into dharma. I’ve also come to believe that determining the basic conflict in one’s life and accepting it as one’s life work is the engine of creative progress. That is why we are in this mud ball again and again and again until our personal dilemma is resolved, and we can graduate to the next level.  Along with that recognition comes the concept that God is continuously creating the universe, and we humans exist as products, tools, and organs of the master. We are important in the creation of our world, and perhaps our little world and its siblings comprise an atom in the cosmos. A crude image perhaps, but a starting point that worked for me.

The me who cries out in pain, frustration, and fear, is God within me generating the will and impetus to progress through the many broken pieces crushed along the road to a better model and more encompassing reality. It is the birthing pains of the next reiteration of Gaia, and Gaia is a cell in the great cosmic body. On that note, I’m going to propose that atheism is a necessary step in the process of God’s evolution in the human soul. Our version of God is never God, but much less, can only be less. The only problem with atheism is the human propensity to make of it another belief system with an orthodoxy encased in tight wrappings. Right now, that orthodoxy is called Scientific Materialism. In academia, it is dangerous to go against the tenets of membership in this religion in which the old-time religion of the regressive masses is the devil. There is always a devil. He (usually he in our tradition) is necessary for a proper drama. After all, duality is the engine of creation.

I’m proposing that we are religious because we as humans are in a difficult stage of our evolution that places us between two (possibly more) levels of influence. We are influenced by an expanding experience of existence that connects us to trans-dimensional cosmic frequencies pushing us toward greater conceptual complexity on our evolutionary journey.  And yet, we still have one foot in gross matter as we are being compelled toward a more multidimensional state of being. Perhaps, another way of conceptualizing God is as a cosmic force that exists within everything but can be hypothesized as willful intention. What I’m trying to say is that creation is an endless process.

I was just listening to a podcast discussion between two famous atheists, Christopher Hitchens, and Richard Dawkins, about the problems with religion and how much safer and just the world would be without religion. I understand their wish, but of course, there is an intellectual and emotional imperative behind their concern that is based on the enormous damage done to our world and each other in the name of religion. Generally, these religious disputes are based on the absurdity of two groups who each believe the other is an abomination to God’s plan for humanity and must be converted or eliminated.  I can paraphrase a common saying as, “a miss is as good as an eternity”. All I can say about the argument that the world would be better off without religion is, it ain’t gon’na happen. The best we can do is look through religion as a conceptual process in the attempt to understand where we fit as a species in relationship to everything else. In that sense, even theoretical physics is a religion and mathematics is its language.  

When Nietzsche said, “God is dead” he was recognizing that God dies at the end of every evolutionary stage. The God inside the human mind must die again and again. God is also resurrected again and again. Was Jesus really God? Yes, and no!  I perceive the death of Jesus as the making of Christ. And those who understood recognized that the Christ within Jesus recognized that we are all sons and daughters of God, and we have the opportunity to be born again and again and again just as God is the trans cosmic force of creative evolution. Will this world come to an end? Probably, just as each end is like the cosmic snake Ouroboros always swallowing its tail. And is this just a tale? Of course, it is, all tales are part of the artistic urge of creative forces within, and all barely miss their goal which is constantly just beyond reach. These are merely my thoughts on the ineffable, which can never be pinned down. I will keep writing where I live, as comments on the margins of the book of life.   

Namaste

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                        

Friday, July 21, 2023

MOODS! EXPLORING LIFE’S SHIPWRECKS

  

I live alone with only a little contact via internet and phone with the outside world. I know I’m inwardly generating an upgraded version of me every day and every moment. I have never been in exactly this version of life before. Of course, there were similar conditions, but never in the unique environment I now inhabit. The outer world continues to change, different skills are required, and different weaknesses are exposed. But never at this time, nor between this particular day’s earth and sky before.

Rio Grande Angel Blessing the tare in Gaia

I just walked around outside. It is hot, but not as hot as it was yesterday. Today there are beautiful cumulus clouds against a dazzling blue Taos sky that I’ve never seen in just this way before. The grass is getting tall, but I feel no compulsion to mow it down on a hot day in July. As I watch the hollyhocks arriving at their peak beauty, each in its own time, the flying insects are busy doing their own business with the flowers, unaware of the busy ants on the ground, or the grasshoppers that seem to automatically know that I’m a potential danger. I assure them I won’t eat them, but I don’t like the way they strip a flower of leaves in a few hours. We all have our place and understand each other’s potential for good or ill concerning our own interests. This amazing being I call earth, or Gaia is full of dramas, wars, agreements, partnerships, and a ripple of brutal results when someone in nature’s core-de-ballet falls out of step with the music.

Yesterday I felt a strange unfettered dis-ease of apprehension about this same world that looks beautiful today. I’ve wondered many times how long I will be in this transitional state that resulted in my past memories and present situation thrown together in an alchemical stew pot.  I’m stretching to reach that new, as yet unknown version of me that challenges my thread bare ego version. Anything can change everything.

Perhaps coming into this lifetime with the Moon conjunct Jupiter rising in the sign of Cancer makes changing moods a major concern for me. It could be seen as a flaw, but that depends on how it’s used.  Moods are full of hidden content. They are generated by memory, but we seldom trace them back to their source. Often the situation that aroused the mood sank long ago to the dark bottom of our emotional sea to remain invisible until something stirs the quiet mud encasing them. However, we usually attribute the mood to something that stirs a surface ripple of emotion without reaching down to its source in the muddy bottom of our past. Instead, our imagination generates an ego approved substitute. Generally, it’s some version of “kicking the dog.”

 Living in this house and its surroundings by myself, without PQ’s presence and the buzz surrounding him, cast me into a confrontation between my pre-PQ self and post-PQ identity. In both I lived alone, except for a four-legged companion or two. However, much to my surprise, I’m not the same person I was before we became partners. In the time between, I not only added more years to my history, but my emotional living room had been refurnished piece by piece. It was so gradual I hadn’t noticed, and then he left, and both I and the house were strangers to each other. We are now building a new relationship.

Although I’m not proud of my darker moods, I’ve come to respect their source. Moods reveal the path to hidden resources. Taking my sea metaphor further, they are a sonar revelation of sunken treasures. The best stuff is often buried deep, and it’s covered in rust and barnacles, with scary critters swimming around the hull. Don’t be deceived by fear or pride, among the hidden treasures are utensils and tools you never knew you had.  Although it generates intense thoughts and fears it safe keeps a hidden treasure.

The two years since PQ left for his new assignment, a trickster has challenged most of my unexamined beliefs. I’ve tried to go easy on my very limited income, and unexpected expenses jumped out of the shadows. I tightened the belt, gave thanks for my good health and reliable car. Next, I lost an important piece of extra income. Strangely, I wasn’t particularly upset, and I actually wanted to be free of the attachment that went with it. However, it will have to be replaced somehow. This brings up the reason it happened now.

I’ve always felt like a reader’s comment on the margin of a book. There has never been a page or even paragraph for me in the text. I can do things for other people that I don’t feel authorized to do for myself. I didn’t go to high school, took a couple of years’ worth of college, but didn’t have the resources to go further and then talked my way into my first job working for an oil company. That gave me enough money for independence from the family home, but not much else. Since then, I’ve stumbled from one cliff hanger to the next, and always managed to survive. It now makes sense why I had so many dreams in childhood and adolescence of running from a torrent raging down what began as a bubbling stream. I am standing on the bank and suddenly it is being swallowed by a flood. I scramble with all the strength I can muster, and barely make it to solid ground. But of course, the ground never stays solid for very long.

I don’t want to do this anymore! In one sense, it’s the human condition, or just the condition of life on earth. However, I realize it’s about more than physical survival. Maybe it’s time to find the next step and do more than barely survive. I’m old enough to think about existence beyond this 3-D world. I want to use my remaining time wisely and I’d rather not come back with a bag of issues to correct. 

Today, I’m grateful that the world is very strange, but beautiful and I’m using this unfamiliar circumstance to prepare for whatever is on the way. None of my plans ever worked out the way I hoped for, so I’m turning it over to the Cosmic Planner and his/her staff.  (I may need to be reminded of this decision now and then).

Tuesday, July 4, 2023

CREATING A WORLD AND THOUGHTS ON GOD

I write in my journal every day, but it has been a struggle to leave the world of inner exploration to remake my place in the outer world.  Actually, one of my earlier identities is rising to the top after a long absence. So much to sort out, but my greatest desire is to find the bridge to my new life. It is rising out of another life time, and is surprising me.

I don’t believe God once created our world or its celestial environment. The longer I live and contemplate our earthly situation, the more obvious it seems that we are constantly bubbling in a pot of divine alchemical elixir. Perhaps the cosmos is expanding constantly, but what does that mean when we are just tiny electrons orbiting the nucleus of a minute atom, reiterated again and again and again. Our human beliefs and actions inspired by previous beliefs will change constantly as the cosmos expands both within and without. But how can we compare expansion when we earth beings continually expand in tandem with our evolving cosmos.  In a hologram, expansion is only revealed by the continuous display of more and finer details within the form. I believe that it is the multi-faceted details that reveal the infinite design of the cosmic artist.

Energy is a mysterious force that we experience and use every day, but we can’t see it, only witness its effects, and then trace it back to the event where we experienced the effect. God is a loaded word that elicits fear, fascination, hope, suspicion, and doubt, but I regard all of those experiences as the result of an effect that reveals itself to be as mysterious and ineffable as energy. Or could it be that energy is also a primary attribute of God. I’ll attempt to describe my current version of the God experience.

God occurs both within and without this entity we experience as self. God is the background, energy source, and mystery that exists on both sides of the boundary between knowing and yearning to know. God is a short word for the continuous process of becoming. Creation is continuous.  I’m not referring to the God in the Torah, the Bible, or the Koran. That God is something of a shape shifter due to his, (usually he but sometimes with the help of she) direct involvement in war, politics the acquisition of subjects, territory, and at other times, paradoxically a judge of human behavior, and misbehavior. That is God created in our own image and likeness (or was it the other way around in some distant past when we were na├»ve victims of a cosmic invader that we wrongly mistook for the big boss creator, and we haven’t outgrown the influence of this early version, God 1.0. Perhaps that is why we ended up separating God from the labels accompanying the image.  We may have made up both the good and bad ones, but we got the idea somewhere. Don’t say psychology because that just begs the question. However, it makes no sense to attribute the creation of our world let alone the Cosmos to this shifty God. While on some level, we may have been made in the image and likeness of God or inferior low-resolution gods, our ancestry seems confused and tainted. I think it is easier to sort out if we recognize that there are layers of reality and time moves in two directions.

We humans are surprisingly mysterious creatures who also live in a holographic universe. The meaning of God in the holographic sense, is that we are all interconnected multi-dimensional pieces of God. “We are all related” is a Lakota Indian principle and it contains everything. If we zoom our mind beyond this earth, this vibrational dimension we find ourselves at the crossroad between now and the infinite. I pray often and yet there is a difference between the “help me” prayers and the prayers of tuning into that sweet powerful knowing that happens when I step across the border of ego-self and find myself in the company of my trans-dimensional family. I am at those times having a family reunion with those before me and sharing them with the world I’m on my way to meet. It gives another level to “we are all related.”

Today is the Fourth of July and the fireworks are going off in all directions. It terrifies the dogs and cats, maybe the wild rabbits, prairie dogs and coyotes, also.  All the torture comes from something they don’t understand. Imagine the effects of human war if you were an animal living in Ukraine right now. A terrorizing god that doesn’t take our limitations into consideration is the experience of many.  My Native American husband never watched fireworks. Now I understand why. There is more than one kind of light and fire, and it all depends on whether you are dishing it out or having it forced on you. In order for creation to transcend the lower plains, we must take our place as cosmic waves in the lake of becoming.