Commune With Nature To Feel The Throb Of The Ages

If keeping silent is that hard then communing with nature could not be easier. Since we are surrounded by nature everywhere we go how could we do anything but commune with nature. One would think. But alas, just like with be silent, communing with nature takes more than just being around nature.

I feel that it is not as hard as being silent and it is easier once we have mastered being silent. Oh gee we are back to that again, simple but hard.

To commune with nature: I remember taking my sons on my walks and they wanted to see what I saw and talked about; the birds and animals and everything. Of course they would not be quiet and everything, for kilometers around, knew my boys and me where in those environs. I think even the fish fled at times.

It is like that when we commune with nature, if we are noisy, internally, the gifts that nature would like to show us; the throb of the ages, cannot be seen. Only by being silent while in nature. Again silent being an emotional or spiritual attribute not physical.

Why should we be interested in communing with nature? Think of it this way, everything we have, everything we will ever need comes from nature. It does not matter whether we are religious, spiritual or purely secular the truth of the statement cannot be looked on lightly. Everything comes from the garden of earthly delights. If it is not there we cannot make it. Everything even the worst of our commercial goods first starts out however changed in this garden.

The energy of everything that has ever been in all creation till now has left its mark on the nature that surrounds us today. We can, if we will listen, discern the very essence of our history. Thus in knowing what was and what is we can define for ourselves what is yet to be.

More to come.

Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much. Smile!

Take a hour everyday to be silent so you may touch the universe that engulfs you.

The first of my pledges, to be silent, how easy is that. If only it were the case. What should be the easiest for any takes years of practice. It fools you in its simplicity for it is the hardest of all the pledges, I now think.

Well at least the hardest of those attributes I am trying to develop in myself. This, to be silent. What does it mean? If it was simply just not talking then my wife would say I have mastered silence time and time again and it is now it is time to not to be silent. But this is not what it means.

More than being quiet of voice it means to be quiet in yourself, both externally and internally. To stop thinking, stop talking in your mind, to make your mind go silent. I have read that in so doing we can achieve an understanding of the universal ways. It is only when we are truly silent that the universe, god; however you see him, speaks to our soul.

Can you stop thinking? For a minute, ten minutes, an hour? Start small it is truly an art and it will drive you crazy at first, at least I have read this. I have not master it even in a small way.

Have you tried it? How long were you able to go? Did you hear god? Let me know.

Coincidences Do Happen, Right?

When Our Paths Cross

I read a great post from a blog I have been following for a short while. The premise is that “whenever our life path crosses someone else’s, whether it be for a few minutes or an extended period of time, we have something to learn from the person and something to give them” It goes on to say that our meeting is no accident.

It sounds too much like fate for my liking, to be fair the blog author states something similar. Karuna goes on to describe a time when she meets three people that if not fate what would the chances of them meeting be.

The one that blew my mind is she met a young lady who was born in the same hospital that she worked as a nurse in the maternity ward at time the other person was born. The possibility that Karuna actually held this woman on the day she was born. Now if you read the post, which you should, you will come to know the most amazing part of this story is that the two came together not in same city, state, nation, but while travelling thousands of kilometers away from the birthing hospital.

Fate no. Coincidence, everyone from the great Jethro Gibbs on down says they do not believe in coincidences. Yet coincidences happen, do they not?

Well I believe there is a connection between everything. Being a man of science, well alright a man who likes science and a spiritual man, well all right, a man who likes spiritual things I am trying to explore this connection. Which field does this connection belong in, science or the spiritual? Could it be both? Well just under a hundred years ago Einstein made a disturbing discovery while researching the theory of relativity. He referred to it as “spooky action at a distance” and it has become known as Quantum Entanglement.

Quantum entanglement is a physical phenomenon that occurs when pairs or groups of particles are generated or interact in ways such that the quantum state of each particle cannot be described independently – instead, a quantum state may be given for the system as a whole.

Quantum entanglement is an area of extremely active research by the physics community, and its effects have been demonstrated experimentally with photons, electrons, molecules the size of buckyballs,[11][12] and even small diamonds.[13][14] Research is also focused on the utilization of entanglement effects in communication and computation.

Let us boil down what this mumbo gumbo is. It means that any group of atoms, molecules or atomic systems separated by distance, even great distances will rotate in the same direction. If one changes the other immediately changes. This change happens so fast that no known communication could happen. That is because all known communications are thought to be bound by the theory of relativity. It cannot go faster than the speed of light. However these groups of cells act like they are communicating.

This is something that rests on the outside of our known scientific reality but at the same time it has been known for centuries by many sages. When I say rests on the outside I mean that while a lot of scientific experimentation and work is being performed on this it little understood by the general public. The above quote is from Wikipedia, not the greatest of scientific papers however enough that we can at least see there is a semblance of normality to this post. But I do want to go a little farther. When we push beyond the known we at some point start asking the questions of science that we have till now asked only of religion. Why are we here and is there something more?

Spooky action at a distance, is what coincidence is, is it not? And if so what does it mean? What about déjà vu, mental telepathy, and knowing when one of god’s little creatures hits the ground.  It just might answer why we meet a stranger half way round the world and find out they are not a stranger after all.

I do not intend to have a scientific debate on this. I could not hold my own against all the people who will try to prove me wrong or feel the need to prove their knowledge or theory more correct. I just find it astonishing that on the summit of scientific achievement that science may yet prove that the theologians were correct in the first place. All these things become possible. All of sudden science and spirituality may just find themselves friends.

What a world that will be, and we will be here to see it happen.

More to come.

Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much. Smile!

When the Walls Come Down

Sorrow in Gaza

I located another of us.  A fellow person with a life story to tell.  A blogger who starts from her own life and from there changes the lives of those she touches with her words.  Please take a gander at her site and read some of her posts, Nicola Kirk.

Nicola reminded me of an idea, well not so much reminded me of it but prompted me to look at something in a differing light.  “What happens after the walls come down?”  She can speak of the events after the end of apartheid in South Africa and draws parallel thoughts to what may happen between Israel and Palestine.

It made me think of the Berlin Wall, and the greater issue of what happens when long-held beliefs or ways of life change in what appears a blink of an eye.  I am often told that my ideas are too simple for the complex problems of this world.  That stopping fear, creating more love, changing beliefs are the solutions to the world problems is too simplistic.  And maybe so.  But I will not back down from this solving complex problems by breaking them down into the simplest terms and then solving these appears right to me.

I digress.  What Nicola made me think about is the time between the simple solution and the complex problem to be worked out.  I do not know if there is a term for this period.  There should be.  For me this is the time between the simple solution and the realities to set in.  People removing the bricks from the wall, toppling the wall, bring down the barrier this was easy.  However more than a quarter century later and unified Germany is only now starting to show true renewal from those days.

South Africa after apartheid.  Again more than a quarter century has passed.  I can not answer if there was a complex answer what I saw on my life monitor box was simple enough, and then there was the vote, and then apartheid was over.  South Africa did not, has not, reached its final solution.  It still suffers from brain drain and other woes of economy that were started in those simple days.  This is the complex issues being worked out after the simple solution.

What do I mean in the end?  Well.  I do not know.  Think of it like this.  If we waited for the complex solution to take form and be implemented we would still be waiting.  The simple solution is easy to implement and has at its greatest strength what could be said to be a very low “tipping point”, or a higher center of gravity making the process more unstable and more workable at the same time.

The period of adjustment after the simple solution is, for some, enough reason why the solution should not have been tried in the first place but this is not true.  This adjustment period would still be needed in a complex solution however without the energy that is inherent in the simple solution it would take more time to implement and typically would be done prior to the end being realized. 

What did the simple solution offer?  In reality it provides the impetus to move forward without the need to resolve every known issue prior to the start of the new order of things.  

One last thought on this.  The time and effort needed to push through the difficulties after the walls come down is related to the feelings of being out of our comfort zone.  When we chose to move ourselves out of this zone we can more easily recognize these feeling for what they are and move more quickly through them.   When we are forced to change our way of thinking by outside forces then we tend to resist these changes and feelings and this can create hostilities, fears, and even a wanting to return to the things lost. 

More to come

Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much. Smile!

You Do Not Write Like a Muslim

The brain is a pattern finding machine.  No, really, that is what it is and it is really good at it.  It finds patterns in everything.  That is why people love music, art, the stars, and even clouds.  We find the pattern and it makes us feel good.  Now what does this have to do with the title of this post?  Not much you might think but then I have not given your brain enough data to find the pattern.

Like most of my posts I receive the inspiration in the blogs I follow or stumble across and this is true with this one, except that the inspiration did not come from one but two blogs.  That is not were the pattern theme ends, but begins.

The first post is from a blog that I have visited many times and gotten inspiration from “A Worried Student and a post titled “Budgeting Woes are Turning My 18 Year Old Hairs White!”.  In this post it comes out he is a Muslim.  The second post is from a blog I just started following “Kendall F. Person, thepublicblogger” and his post, “The Religious Exemption”.  The two posts would seem to have little in common.  Both are serious one drips with ethical, moral, and societal norms pushing the boundaries of polite talk, in mixed company.  The other is more laid back and is about growing pains and struggling to get on with what ever life is to become. 

“The Religious Exemption” tells a troubling story, the worst kind of nightmare and could or might have made a good two-hour mind numbing, for TV, true to life movie.  I will not reëxamine the story just the highlight.   A young couple make a health decision for their child based upon religious beliefs, and the child dies.  I have left out everything else on purpose.  That is the full extent of the story.  The question the blogger poses is this,

“There is no denying the United States of America was founded in the belief of a deity called God, the pledge of allegiance clearly defines that ‘….one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.’ * But the constitution is clear on its separation of church and state. How do we balance the two, when each of us are free to pursue the religious or scientific doctrine of our choice, before we have gone too far? When does The Religious Exemption exclude the pursuit of happiness for all?” 

Now let me simplify the question.  Anyone who spends time with me knows I am a big fan of simple solutions to simple questions.  Hopefully Mr. Person approves or at least thinks my question has similar merit.

Can we not all just get along?

Onto “The Worried Student” –  prior to his latest, or then his latest, post I did not know either is age or his religion.  Neither matters, well not in the sense that it would have changed my reading, liking and commenting on his blog.  I would have guessed his age to be in his mid twenties or so given the title of his blog etc.  His writing is more advanced than most people his age, maybe even myself.  Him being Muslim though, well, that is just not right.  I mean he did not come across as Muslim.  Now I know I am being prejudice here, I have my pre-conceptions of what a Muslim should sound/write like.  Now before you judge me to unfairly, I do not mean I believe Muslim men to be fanatical fundamentalist whom we should be careful to associate with, I just mean he did not sound like a Muslim and he should have.

It makes me remember hearing an East Indian man, I had just met, speak for the first time, I nearly fell over.  I do not know if physically my chin hit my chest but it felt like it did.  He had an English accent!  That is not how East Indian’s sound!  Really it is not I know a lot of native East Indian’s and they sound nothing like that!

Do you understand my title and theme better now?  No.  Well it is coming.

The basic issue is that we believe we perceive the truth of the matter.  Seeing is believing and all that.  Well I am sorry to tell you that it is not so.  Our brains are wired, “in the neurons of our brain” as one of my great inspirations says, to stop our mind from being overwhelmed by outside stimuli, it is a safety valve for our conscious mind.    The conscious mind does not get to see the actual events, the great pattern finder, the sub-conscious mind does.   Everything is about patterns; math, science, music, love, art, and yes, pre-conceptions.  Our pre-conceptions, made by our sub-conscious without our consent or knowing,  are used to color, mask and filter the mental picture of the our world, our reality.  This more palatable whitewashed picture is what is passed to the conscious mind for our enjoyment and reaction.   While we can control how we react to this aspect of our brain/mind we cannot stop it from happening.

An important point about pattern finding is that they are found in the differences not in the similarities.  To illustrate hold up a piece of blank white writing, printing, paper and try to find the pattern.  Non, nothing, blank, yep that’s it, no pattern, boring.  Now hold up the same piece of paper after say printing this post.  Now we have patterns for the mind to grasp and interpret.  The paper is not full of differences actually the printing takes less than, lets say, 15% of the paper.  So the paper is 85% the same and only 15% different but our brain ignores the similarities and focuses on the differences.

Wow.  That is a lot to take in.  If you are still with me, thank you.  If you are disbelieving that is ok just keep that open mind.  Stop your sub-conscious from blocking out and try to ignore the gut feeling that I am trying to lead you down the garden path.  Take three deeps breaths and keep reading.  I could bring up all types of cognitive science articles but you can look all that up yourselves.  Typically if you are going to believe me you will and if not you will not.

There are many things most of us, all really, (but since I will have to defend that statement from others saying they are not like this, I will be gracious upfront and say most and they can exclude themselves in the few who are not) are prejudices against.  Now if we take a peak at the story that Mr. Person brings forth what might we have pre-conceptions about; religion, god, Christian Science, church, state, medical care, prayer, child, beliefs, healer, death, resurrection, motherhood, fatherhood.

If we read the post by “the public blogger” and remove the judgmental words from the original author and find not the differences between us and these people but the larger part, the part that is the same.  All the people not just the infant but the mother, father, and the others who tried to help.   Can we not feel their pain, their sense of loss?  Does not our compassion go out to all of them?  A young couple has lost their son, are we yet not moved to open our hearts to them and allow their tears to stain our souls?

Why is it that we find their actions a threat to our way of life?  Why is it that their suffering is of no importance?  Why do we need to find fault with their belief and say yes that is the cause of our discontent?

Maybe we need to find the guilty maybe they need punishment.  Oh wait, is that punishment meant to change their pre-conceptions, the thought patterns of the story’s characters  so they match ours.  Is not that what punishment is meant to do, rehabilitate, to make people who are not fit for our society more like us?  The things that make us the same need no judgment no punishment.

Let you without sin, without blame, without prejudices; let you that are pure in heart, pure in spirit, pure in intent throw the first negative comment.

When we choose not to judge we can then choose to show compassion and love to these two young people in their time of deepest need.  Can we not just get along?  Yes we can, if we so choose to.

More to come

Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much. Smile!

Who Am I?

 

I recently found this great blog “Cold” it is definitely worth strolling through.  Within two minutes and without reading a line I knew I would like it but did not have the time to read it that day.  I clicked ‘Follow’ so that it would keep showing up in my reader and later went back to read a couple of articles and this entry, blew me away. 

State of Grace: A Short Explanation of a (former) Atheist’s Faith

I believe in God because I believe in love.

Now if you read my blog which few people actual do, even though I see more and more people all the time, you will understand that I have a Buddhist type of bent to my life.  This is strange I was raised an unknown, truly.  Religion was less than, not talked about.  And that is a full thought.  I found Christianity in senior high school on my own, by accident.  I did not want it just came at me and sounded good, plus it gave me a place to go.  This was a more modern type of spiritual awakening, meaning it was not staid, conformal, traditional but a place of joyous meeting where you ate, laughed, and played with the people who gave the sermons.  It was a nice place but I could not be held, I did not lose my way I just moved on.

Next came a more traditional religion, Jehovah’s Witnesses.  Please no cat calls, no one put it down especially those whom have never sat in my pants.  I spent many an hour listening to and giving talks.  I grew in patience for people and found out more about my personal spirituality than most, while under their guidance.  But they could not hold me either.  I found God was both personable and unapproachable at the same time.  I grew weary of trying to achieve something that I had been taught was not achievable.  So again I moved on.

Then came the arid years of my discontent.  Where my spirit wanted but I could not sate it.  No other religion appealed and nothing fell into my lap.  I wandered, I thought, and here I stayed and here I am.  I have grown in my thinking even though many would wonder about that.  Some of even said I had some kind of mental break.  And maybe that is true, is becoming self-aware, is finding your own understanding, is making a break from the societal norm, not a form of ‘mental break’?

I will leave you with this.  I now believe in science but I do not believe in evolution, I believe in creation but not in the afterlife.  Now tell me, what am I?

More to come

Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much. Smile

the problem lies in the labels

 

Love this from “A Worried Student”. 

The Value Of A Human Life

You would think that by virtue of being human, every person’s life is worth the same. That if one person was to be murdered on one side of the world and another on the other, then the significance is the same.

Like a professor, Mathematics PhD, talking to us about how he knows when his solution is wrong, “if it is complicated”.  I strive to find the simple solutions to things, when we can narrow things down to the very simplest of terms in regards to both the question and the answer we can usually locate an answer.  If in the case presented in the blog article, were humanity is involved, maybe it is only the start of the solution.  But for me the problem lies in the labels.

If we can remove the labels every life becomes the same, does it not?  Try it and see.  Remove the labels and try to write a paragraph on a death of person and make it sound of greater importance than another.  Yes I know that many of you are writers who can make words sing praise but when we really want to reach out and touch another person’s heart most of us need to use words that they already have a sensitivity to.  LABELS are just that.  

Take the comment by  “amaothman”  , in the quoted blog entry, (sorry your comment is perfect for my point) if you remove the word “Palestinian”, which is a label, the comment is not lessened, it does not become any more true or for that matter false, it remains the same.  Only now it makes all the lives that have been lost worth the same.  Unlike the comment as is that places more value on one nation’s lost souls over another.

More to come,

Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much. Smile

Your Philosophy of Life – an e-mail from the Pacific Institue.

Your Philosophy of Life

I have spent the last several years trying to decide what my life philosophy is.  Not knowing that the search would take the turns it did getting to my present position is striking, not for the changes in my attitude towards ideas that once would have arouse my disdain but more because I now see that my earlier beliefs were on less stable ground than I first thought.

Read the letter below from the Pacific Institute UK and let me know what you think.

 

Do you have a philosophy of life for yourself? Could you describe your philosophy to someone else in 25 words or less?

Pete Carroll, head coach of the Seattle Seahawks, is a big fan of everyone having a personal philosophy of life. As relayed in his book, Pete spent a lot of time – and notebooks – putting his philosophy into words and then condensing it into 25 words or less. Could you?

While each of us probably does have a core philosophy to live by, very few of us could describe it to another person. We don’t take the time to write it down. Words, whether on paper or in an electronic file, put substance to our beliefs. The words provide a touchstone that we can go back to when life presents us with difficulties.

Our behaviour every day is a reflection of our beliefs. It is the way human beings are built. No matter what we might say, it is our actions that reflect our core beliefs, our philosophy of living. Everything that we do flows from this philosophy. If it doesn’t, that is where stress and anxiety can be found.

Now you may ask, “If I write down my philosophy, what happens if things change, if I change? Do I doggedly follow my ‘philosophy’?” That’s the beauty of writing things down – the words can be crossed out, erased and re-written! We are all going to change over time, as we learn the lessons that living teaches us.

Again, do you have a philosophy of life? Can you describe it in 25 words or less? Over the next week or so, find some quiet time for yourself and create your own philosophy – and write it down.

 

The Pacific Institute

For myself the idea of creating a life philosophy, and I mean creating, is that it forces me to rethink all my old ideology.  Most of the HAB(Habits, Attitudes, and Beliefs) we have are inherited from our parents, teachers, friends, society in general.  So what do you believe and why.  Examine everything your thoughts on religion, spirituality, sexuality, violence, money and determine why you believe what you believe.  Maybe your beliefs are holding you back, stopping you from becoming more self-aware.

Do we need to have a personal philosophy?  And if so do we need to state it simply to others?  I have never tried to write my philosophy down so have never condense it to 25 words or less.  This now intrigues me and I will take the next week or so to do this.  Challenge Thrown!  Any else up to taking up the challenge.  Determine who you are and what you believe.  Writing it down makes it real.  Yes you can change it.  It is a work in progress just like you.

More to come, I hope.

Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much. Smile!

“Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” Mother Teresa

“Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.”
Mother Teresa 

What a wonderful line of thought.

Now I have never read or heard anything else that was stated by Mother Teresa, but when I saw this today I knew it was to be my blog of the day.

I have now read a little of her speeches given to audiences that most of us would stammer through.  And while I am not disposed to give the Catholic church any merit it has to stated that Mother Teresa is not the typically Catholic.  I think the Pope should take lessons from her.

The quote is a message taken from scripture that states along the same lines that, “he who is faithful in the small things will also be faithful in the large things”.  paraphrased.   This made me think about what are small things that we could be faithful in but might let them slide.  This of course is a list for me but maybe you can see yourself in this list or maybe your can add some more items in comments section.

Obeying Traffic Laws. Speeding etc.

Taxes, disclosing income etc.

Picking up after our four-legged friends.

Taking office supplies home.

Telling the cashier that an item scanned or charged incorrectly (lower).

Lying about why we are late not coming into work.

Taking a sick day to go play, etc.

Not listening to your children after a hard days work.

Getting mad at your spouse when you are really mad at yourself.

All these and many more are the small things.  If we cannot bring ourselves to be faithful in these what does it really say about us?

More to come….

Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much. Smile!