New Year's Resolution Solution

The idea of "re-solving" sounds exhausting to me. If the problem has been solved already why bother re-solving it again. That's the kind of thing the ego mind does to justify its existence. Fixing things that don't really need fixing.

The word "solve" is from the Latin word solvere which means to loosen or release. This calls to mind the release of energy that is blocked and constricted. That would be a good thing if that's what we actually did when we make a resolution. But it isn't.

What we really do is exert more energy toward a goal which focuses our attention on an elusive ideal that we dangle in front of ourselves like a carrot. Meanwhile we continue to pass judgment on ourselves in the present, causing more blocked energy and pain. It rarely dawns on us that a) we choose how we define ourselves, and b) we can choose to accept ourselves as we are.

Blasphemy you say? Hardly. Who says you have to lose weight? Or quit smoking? Or spend more time with family? Or whatever you hate yourself for when you look in the mirror? Those things are great, but they will do nothing to change the infinite worth of who you are right now.

I dare you to believe that.


Selfish Esteem

When Thoreau said "To thine own self be true" I bet he didn't realize how widespread a mantra it would become. The self-esteem movement of the last few decades has certainly changed the way we see ourselves, and created a broader sense of personal freedom in our culture - but not without some confusion.

I've always taken issue with the notion that "you can be anything you want to be if you just put your mind to it." It's a nice idea on the surface, but it's rooted in the mindset that you must become something else to be whole and fulfilled as a person, and betrays the very value it is supposed to promote. If we base our self-esteem on a future situation, we must always be waiting to feel whole. This makes it impossible to find inner peace in the present moment which is the only place that peace can be felt.

That kind of flawed strategy comes from an egocentric mind held hostage by its addiction to thinking and striving and solving hypothetical problems that aren't even real. We can easily get swept away into mindlessness while trying to construct a healthy self image and never recognize that a self image is still just imaginary.

But Thoreau wasn't talking about a fabricated self image anyway. The "self" he was talking about is the Universal self that transcends our egocentric mind. The mind is only a part of the whole being just as the body is only a part. Being controlled by your mind is like having your legs decide to take over and start telling the rest of you what to do. It's silly, but that's exactly what our minds are doing. Most of us don't realize our egocentric minds have run amok and are continuously causing all sorts of problems.

Our "true self" is complete and whole in every moment and doesn't need to "do" anything except remain still and know itself without judgement. With this awareness we are finally free to exist and act with authentic integrity towards ourselves and others.

Ironically, the most self-less thing you can do often feels the most selfish - nurturing your true Universal self.


The Meaning of Pain

I like to get to the bottom of things. I have always found life much easier when I can boil it all down to the essential point of stuff, and then make decisions from there. I find the process of doing this mentally exhilarating, but exhausting as well. Right now I am at the exhausted part, but the insights I've recently come by are astounding and life changing.

What I am learning if that the point of it all is pain - more specifically the cause and effect of pain. As a therapist this will be the very essence of my daily activities; helping people identify their pain, the source of that pain and their response to that pain. Sounds simple.... huh. Maybe not.

This is a spectacular thing to grasp. I know makes total sense when you think about it, which may make it seem like no big deal. But it is a big deal because most people don't pay attention to their pain, even when it is the obvious point of their difficulties.

And what's even better is that I have also identified the source of pain. Yes, all of it. All pain is the result of change. Change which is constant, inevitable and universal. Change is the very meaning of life. Change is the definition of life.

If we dig deeper we see that life itself is defined by the movement of energy. At the most microscopic scale the movement of energy makes things real. Energy is never found in a static form. The nature of energy is to move. If it is contained for too long it will find a way to get out - either slowly over time or violently in an explosion of force.

So energy is the source of change. And change is the source of pain. None of this is a good thing or a bad thing. It is simply the way the Universe runs. When pain is present it is merely an indicator of change and a need for growth.

After all, you are made up of energy as well, and so is everything else. To maintain your existence you must adapt to changes caused by the flow of energy. If you resist it will naturally result in pain. If you persist in ignoring the internal "energy crisis" it will inevitably cause you harm or death.

But pain is not the enemy. It is simply a beacon to capture your awareness. But awareness alone cannot bring health. What really counts is what you do next.

More later!


Where Does Love Come From?

I work in a call center. Every day I find myself invigorated and inspired to help my callers on a deeper level. This is abnormal I am told. Many who do my job don't share this same level of passion.

Where does this come from?

My experience of it feels like love. I genuinely love these people, and I am aware that my ability to do this comes from years of honing that skill. What I am thinking as I embrace them for that brief time on the phone is that I am the one person in the Universe that can do for them what they can't do for themselves. This may seem dramatic, but it's still very true. And if I am willing to take on a Universal Consiousness I must bear the responsibility that comes with it.

As a Christian I am inclined to attribute this "love" to an endowment of the Holy Spirit. Fundamentalists are taught that only those who have "accepted" this endowment are able to love in a transcendent manner. I have done this.

Jesus said to Nicodemus you must be born of both water and spirit. Initially it appears he meant baptismal waters, but later decided it must have meant the waters of the womb (after experiencing my child's birth firsthand.) Either way it must mean an earthly physical birth, and another of transcendence.

Genuine compassion is truly transcendent. Loving others with a Universal Consciousness must certainly require some sort of initiation into a higher level of existence - a rebirth I must assume. Within the process, there is a point of no return. Eventually you can no longer be the primitive caveman who cares about no one but yourself. You have reached a crisis and must choose to accept transcendent consciousness in order to grow further and avoid further pain. You then exist as a new creation, in the same way that a baby is no longer an embryo. You are made of the same stuff, but you have been reconfigured and can never be that creature again.

Love must certainly come from rebirth, but what's most important is that the Universal Consciousness that brings it is already in us. We are all capable of loving at the most transcendent levels, or at least we will be when we are ready to be born of spirit. But we all have to grow there which means facing the cycle of crisis and resolution as many times as needed to reconfigure our consciousness.

I am quite sure I could never un-learn the love I feel for those callers. I could only suppress it or ignore it in some way, which I sometimes do. But even on the worst days there is always one whose need is so great and plight so dire that I cannot ignore it. In that moment I am the only one in their world given a chance to help. To act differently would be a step in the wrong direction - the opposite of love is the opposite of life.


Stream of Consciousness

This blog has new meaning for me now. I've spent the last year going through profound changes in philosophy and awareness. Countless epiphanies. Astounding revelations. And even better.... blessed validation.

Rather than dumping all of my old belief systems I have learned to not only embrace all my painful memories and decades of self-doubt, but to actually celebrate them. They are my foundation. I am whole because of them. In fact, now I see I was always whole. I Am all of me in this moment and always have been.

In case you're wondering where all this new age junk is coming from it's simply a reflection of a "new" stream of consciousness I am now experiencing. I will tell more later but suffice it to say I grew up in a full-on fundamentalist home that was in no way repressive, but made me ask a lot of questions and think about some pretty heavy things. After struggling with a lifetime of internal conflict between absolutism and enlightenment I now feel gratitude for the fruit of so much personal crisis.

So this blog, which I started last year as a part of this awakening, has come back to me as an outlet for the abundance of insight that comes so rapidly. Everyday I get new stuff, and I used to pretend I would write it down somewhere, but I never did. But that's what a web log is for, right? To keep track of the flashes of inspiration that come our way.

I used to worry about making it perfect. Trying to impress someone. But I don't have time for that now. There's too much flying by that I want to share. And now more than ever I recognize that my inspirations belong to everyone. I am responsible for giving them life. And by doing so I am awakening the co-creator in me.

What an awesome journey!


I'm Back

Just checking in to say I will start blogging again.

I have a whole new world of stuff to talk about.

See you soon.


Humilty vs Hubris

It seems clear that Nixon knew Ford would eventually be President when he appointed him Vice President in 1973. The two appear to be polar opposites in retrospect. One the symbol of corruption and graft, the other a symbol of statesmanship. But their contributions to the office confirm what we all suspect and want to believe... that humility, in the end, is a greater force than hubris in the hands of a leader.

Now looking back on that time, and on our own, we can see that the greatest disasters of the American drama are the product of narcissistic personalities that have squandered their position. Scandals, Wars, The Great Depression - disasters which inevitably had to be healed by the warm humilty of a compassionate leader. We seem to have this yin/yang balance between the proud and the prudent, and until we learn that we will continuously repeat that cycle.

The paradox of our competitive culture is that it creates Narcissists by simultaneously promoting self-worth while restricting opportunities for achievement. This puts millions teetering on the fulcrum of their dreams plagued by a false perception of personal failure. Young people with a healthy and balanced sense of self-worth have been on the endangered list for decades.

A broken self-esteem must be replaced with a false sense of self-worth. This makes narcissists seem plastic and shallow which is appropriate since the word comes from the Greek word "narke" which means numb (as in narcotic.) It is no secret then that Narcissists have the worst self-esteem and are the first to deny it when confronted. It is at once their greatest weakness and greatest strength.

The other extreme is a dysfunctional abundance of humilty that prevents many from taking action in the face of abusive leadership, or from taking on roles of leadership leaving a vaccuum that will be filled by narcissists and dictators. We cannot fully blame the dictators when we pave the way for them and then reward them with the power we should have kept for ourselves.

We leave ourselves the only option of waiting for the inevitible crisis to make way for the healing leadership we should have had the courage to promote in the first place.