Search This Blog

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Is There A Spiritual Solution For Every Negative Emotion?

At one time in my life, I would have thought that question was ridiculous. Of course not. I practiced contempt prior to investigation. Quite simply, I thought I knew everything. I meet lots of people like that now.

Today I realize I was wrong. Just because you don't currently know the solution to (y) doesn't mean that a solution does not exist.

One of the greatest tricks of the human brain is that it convinces us that things are permanent. That emotions are permanent, that an inability to find a solution is permanent, that death is permanent. Depressed people who commit suicide are people without an ability or who lack the capacity to understand that there is a spiritual solution to their emotional problems. Not that I think suicide is an eternal death sentence. I rejected that fear based dogma years ago.

Imagine a negative emotion. Let's use anger. Can we dis-assemble anger like a non functioning engine or a clock and look at the parts? Can we figure out how the parts came to be, how they inter-relate, and how they fit back together? Can we fix anger like a mechanic rebuilds a 350 ci engine or a watchmaker fixes a mantle clock?

Of course we can. In fact, I have a spiritual solution for every negative emotion in my life. In the case of anger, I realize it is always fear based. When I root out the cause, which in my life usually meant that someone didn't do something the way I wanted or expected, I became angry. I find that emotion to be quite rare today. I stripped anger bare years ago, I dissected and evaluated all my fears, and I rebuilt my emotional brain. I don't take things personally. Do I still get angry once in awhile? Sure, but it happens with great infrequency.

There are also situations that exist which by themselves are not negative in and of themselves but always seem to generate negative emotions. Unmet or unrealized expectations. It happens all the time.

Here is the process I use. I take nothing personally, ever. If someone says they will call and they don't- that has nothing to do with me. If I am relying on somebody for anything in my life and they fail to meet the agreed upon terms, I accept my role and responsibility for relying on the unreliable. I also accept that people are simply living their lives and that sometimes- they do not meet their obligations or expectations. That has nothing to do with me. Those situations no longer anger me or generate negative emotions because I have a spiritual solution that is applied long before some expectation goes unmet. I risk manage in advance.

Once your expectations are un met, all that is required is communication and an internal dialogue about whether you want to subject yourself to or endure the same potential outcome again. Usually I do. I don't beat myself up if I am wrong twice. There is no rule regarding that, just a cliche' here or there.

With regard to expectations, I make plans. I do my best. I do not plan the outcome. I am always satisfied with the outcome as long as I have fulfilled my agreed upon role and due diligence. I control my actions and words. I cannot control the actions and words of others therefore I feel no need to manipulate others or try to persuade them if things don't go the way I'd like them to. I agree to those terms in the workplace, in the family, at the coffee shop.

People will always fail you. That's what people do and that is ok.

Today, I have discovered a peace that I would never have thought possible. I don't allow negative emotions to get into my head nor do I allow them to expand which they have a habit of doing. I am risk managed to such a degree that only rarely and fleetingly do negative emotions pop up, perhaps a couple of times a week. In the old days, this happened multiple times- every day. Once they do pop up, negative emotions are processed and eliminated quickly without further damage to myself or others by applying spiritual principles.

I sure could have used that spiritual blueprint as a younger man, but things never got bad enough...well... until they did. Perhaps that's what it takes.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

I Never Really Got Ok With Dying

In my past life, I dealt with a lot of death. Traumatic death and accidents. Homicide and suicide, chronic disease. So what I'd like to do here is embed one of my all time favorite music pieces from a beautiful story about death and loss. I think you'll like it.





Death is an odd thing. We are never really ever prepared for it- even when we think we are. The circumstances of death can leave us feeling helpless, sometimes hopeless. Nobody wants to feel that emotional pain.

I may have come to terms with my own death- which we will see. But...

I have never really gotten "ok" with the loss of others. Sometimes the loss of people leaves a void that you can never fill. Sometimes you just pray for relief. The answer of course, is in preparation and acceptance. And even though I know all of those things, I simply can't reconcile loss. I don't feel guilt as though some intervention on my behalf could have stopped it. I accept that some people will die in accidents or by their own hand. And sometimes, loss doesn't get easier with time. It gets harder.

There is some comfort in knowing that I am not unique in the world. That thousands of people struggle with loss every day. Sometimes I am able to draw strength from them. Sometimes I am not.

Sometimes I just don't want to. And I know that's wrong. There is no solution in that.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Logical Fatalism

Today I visited with a friend of mine who shares a lot of things in common with me. One of the things we share is a belief in a power greater than ourselves although both of us would be quite reluctant to call that being God. We do call that being God, I suppose, because it is easier to say when we are conversing. God we think, is just too simplistic.

Another thing we both agree on is acceptance. The only way to over come the fear of death is with faith, courage, and acceptance. With a belief, faith, and acceptance...courage seems un-neccessary.

All great men of faith have courage.

One of the things I absolutely marvel at, is the atheistic approach to life. I know a number of atheists and agnostics. Very often atheists are so convinced that there is no afterlife or hereafter that they do everything imaginable to extend their lives. Recently I read where Larry King wants his body suspended in some hope that one day they can find a cure to whatever killed him and bring him back. As soon as I read that, I immediately suspected that King was an atheist. Men of faith do not speak that way. Atheists and agnostics fear death to such an extent that their lives become some compilation of learned behaviors and safety precautions. Even retroactive precautions like suspended animation. Here is the worst part.

They believe that there is no greater power than themselves. Think about that. If you are an atheist, that has to be true does it not? You are the center of the universe. That is scary. It has to be lonely, being an atheist.

What happens when you practice faith, courage, and acceptance? You begin to see a process much larger than your own tiny and lonely existence. You begin to trust in a much larger community. You feel intuitive truth. You begin to believe in a process. It is the cycle of things. There is the planting time, the growing time, the harvest time, and the dying time. The process resets and starts anew. Over and over again and virtually everywhere- we see this. We see this in the daily and seasonal rotation of our planet. We see it in all life forms. We begin to think, maybe I'll just accept and embrace this death process when it comes. Our fears are removed. We have let go. We are going to trust in powers far greater than we are. We are going to believe that somehow a spark of life was delivered here- for some reason that we cannot comprehend. We just know everything is going to be alright. Fear is going to have to burden someone else.

I would not have been ready for this years ago. There is something to be said about consciousness and timing.

I think it was Nietsche who asked why we would fear something that we cannot feel or comprehend anyway. Did we fear being born? Though Nietsche was an atheist, I understand what he was saying even though we have divergent views of what that might entail. He is processing what makes sense to him, I tend to process and envision something a whole lot different.

I hate to call my friend and I fatalists. But we probably are. We are Aristotelian logical fatalists. We believe that we are going to die on some predetermined date. Perhaps we could intervene and change dates, but that is not particularly necessary as the outcome remains the same. Nor would we know whether we had impacted or effected any date change. The difference between our atheistic counterparts and ourselves is that we have embraced the idea of death and accepted it. Perhaps the atheists, despite all of their precautions, don't wield any more control over their deaths than we do. Perhaps what is, is already predetermined according to logical fatalism. The only difference is the level of fear attached to it.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A "Normal Life" and the Last Renaissance

Tonight I had a chance to listen to a young man speak about his life. He reminded me so much of me that it actually sent chills up my spine. The similarities are remarkable.

We had a chance to speak after the meeting. This is what he said as near as I can remember it.

We talked about a "normal" life. I asked him to define "normal." This is what he said. "I want to be peaceful and happy. I want to be involved in a relationship where both parties love themselves before they attempt to love another. I want operating instructions that work so that when I run into problems and things that baffle me in life, I can quickly resolve them without causing anyone or myself any emotional damage. I just want to be happy, like I said."

I was in a state of awe. This guy is me. I didn't say a word to him.

You see, I have a problem. I can't help anyone. Why? Because this is what I would have had to tell him.

Initially, your life must get so miserable, terrible, lonely and depressed, that it forces you to capitulate. If you cannot find that place- you will not be given the motivation to get well. Secondly, you must be unflinchingly honest with yourself, admitting every character flaw that you possess and become willing to work on and eliminate all of them. You must become willing to throw out every belief system that you have acquired. You can no longer behave like a victim or wallow in self pity. Every time you feel emotionally distraught- you are the problem and you must find the solution from within. Very often that is simply acceptance. You must unconditionally attempt to love anyone and everyone- even child sexual predators, murderers. The people you resent the most. You must let people be who they are. And perhaps most importantly...

You must become aware of your false sense of self- ego- and be willing to destroy those pieces of your ego which damage and injure others. 

These are all choices. These were the choices I made in order to become calm and peaceful. Happy. Had I done anything less, the recipe would not have worked. It is an all or nothing proposition. You cannot cling to fear. Or any negative emotions. They are processed and eliminated quickly. The hardest thing I have had to deal with is intermittent bouts of depression. I am aware of it, I process it and eliminate it, and sometimes it comes back. No wonder people people see shrinks, get prescriptions, drink and drug. They want to alter how they feel. They do not have any way of doing that- and certainly nothing as quick and effective as swallowing some Xanax or drinking some whiskey. Or whining to a shrink that nods and enables them to keep on making the same mistakes over and over again.

The problem with the quick and easy way is that it is only temporary. The underlying illness remains. Sometimes forever. Sometimes it kills you.

So how am I going to explain any of that to some guy I just met? How I am going to explain that I have found a healthy way to process all of those emotions, including depression, without sedatives? I have a very normal and happy life. Not perfect, but pretty damn close- sans a depression here or there.

The sad truth is, I can't. If someone had told me that they had- I wouldn't believe them. I'd think they were some deluded and ego driven maniac. This is what I think will happen one day.

There will be another renaissance in this country. People have quit smoking. They are eating healthier, living longer. They are exercising. The last frontier to be conquered will be the one that we are all still clinging to. The mood altering, I want to feel better now mentality, facilitated by mind and mood altering substances happily supplied by six figure doctors, shrinks, and big pharma. Sometimes drug dealers. Big business in the form of beer, wine, and alcohol makers and distributors. There will come a day when people examine the damage that these things cause and they will seek better, healthier ways of processing emotions. There will be a cultural shift and it will take all of the work I have described above. People will begin to alter their moods through positive lifestyle changes and they will begin to process emotions internally and rapidly- arriving at logical conclusions that include not taking things personally. Or not making assumptions, judgments, or conclusions until they have heard every side of the issue. No more contempt prior to investigation. Acceptance when alternatives are non existent.

I believe this conscious shift, the last emotional (and physical) health conscious renaissance will occur one day- just not any day soon. One day we may all be handing our children entirely new operating instructions and tools, teaching them how to behave responsibly and emotionally correct. No booze or drugs. Resolving issues quickly and internally- finding a happy and normal life.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Living In the Unconscious World While Trying To Write For the Conscious Few

Four years ago, in a little coffee shop on Magazine St. in New Orleans, I found magic. I would carry my computer in my backpack and either walk or drive to that coffee shop nearly every day. In the back of that coffee shop I tried to put together a book while sorting out my life. That's how it was for nearly 6 months. I only made it a third of the way through that book before I gave up on the project.

I'd like to tell you why I stopped but I can't. I had to resolve some issues and at that very moment in my life, I did not know how I was going to do that. In the intervening years, I resolved those issues.

If you seek the answers, they will be provided. 

I write on two sites. My popular site gets a few hundred page views a day. This one gets around ten. The truth is, I'm not sure where those ten hits come from.

You want to hear the best part? I'd rather write here than there. The solution to every problem I have ever had in life is right here. Conscious thought was the greatest gift I have been given. I didn't get that gift until I was 47 years old.

The problem is that I still dwell in an ego driven world. I am part of that ego driven world. I blog in that ego driven world where everyone seeks attention, everyone wants to be smart and clever, and where all of the faults of human beings are always on display. And in that unconscious place, I am still part of the problem. Blogging away. Nobody has anointed me the leader of the free world and as such, I am just one of the hoi polloi. One of billions. Hardly a novelty. Worth a few hundred hits a day whether what I write is really good or really bad.

Real emotional freedom is where I come to get conscious. This is where the solution is. This site represents the possibilities if humanity is ever to emotionally evolve out of these ridiculous belief systems that our teachers have passed down through the dark ages. These belief systems which we believe are true. We have to break this cycle of bad information. Really.

Every emotion and solution worth having is right here. Somewhere. For years, I suffered through bouts of depression, guilt for not having accomplished this or that, and anger. I resolved all of those issues. Honestly. And I have written about them and others on this site.

I want to say one last thing to all of those people who believe that they can simply turn their desperate lives over to the care of God and that somehow God will make it all good for you. That premise is ridiculous and preposterous. I say that as a true believer in Christ.

This is not some Deus Ex Machina blog where the answer to every negative emotion or depression is "God out of the box." God will save us. Or God will make it all right. Just pray. I have friends who maintain that those beliefs work for them. I am not here to diminish them but that is a glass of kool-aid that I will never drink. It is too irrational for my newly acquired belief systems and smacks of those frail belief systems that I have found do not work for me. The ones I over hauled right here. Interestingly enough and as a foot note, my most respected Pastor as a child did not believe in the Deus Ex Machina theory either. We are here to learn something.

So I am writing the book. I have resolved my issues. The material I am using comes from this blog, the unpopular one. Because this is the way of the future. The optimism that I have is that one day in the world, people will start to wake up and begin to emotionally evolve. To realize there is a better way to live than the way we've been living.

I hope to keep you posted. All ten of you. *wink

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Given the Right Set of Circumstances, Anything Becomes Possible

I saw this quote today and had to clip it.

Along the same lines, Frank Oppenheimer (brother of Robert and creator of the Exploratorium in San Francisco) once said: "Just as present technology had to await the explanations of physics, so one might expect that social invention will follow growing sociological understanding. We are desperately in the need of such invention, for man is still very much at the mercy of man."

That sociological invention exists. The problem is that people enslaved to a false sense of self (ego) can't see it. Very often, the more intelligent you are- the more difficult it is to find.

We live in a world of narrow minds, skeptics, false selves, and ego. Most people think that if they have not personally discovered something- it cannot or does not exist. And yet they yearn for something better. They yearn for something that they cannot find because they have not been given the gift of desperation. They cling to those old faulty beliefs that the planet gave them. The ones that don't work.

Instead they seek short term solutions that pay off now, distractions, emotional pain killers. That's reality as they see it. The only viable emotional solution currently available to more than half of our society either comes in a can, a bottle, a capsule or a pill. Maybe a joint. Or they whine and act like victims- find some enablers to commiserate with. That's not acceptance- that's avoidance.

I became comfortable with the world and everyone in it- right here on these pages. This was my journey. Calm, serene, day after day- years worth. It's not all perfect. But bouts of depression or negative emotions are processed quickly and dispelled. I am comfortable in my skin- and the journey is not impossible. But the path is only available to those who refuse to practice contempt prior to investigation. Very often I find that everyone wants to be a teacher rather than a student.

In my desperate days, I was a student. I was willing to find anything that would help me resolve all of the issues in my mind. Isolation, fear, rejection, anger, loneliness, financial insecurity. I found a solution for all of those things. That solution would never have become available to me until I accepted the role of student. To this day, I consider that my primary role.

I am not kidding when I say this. I have often thought that if Christ were ever to return to this planet, the end result would not be much different. His credibility would be attacked. He would be castigated, ridiculed, and ignored. Perhaps he would be spared some tortured death here, but I cannot say how he would fare in other places. Emotional evolution at a glacial pace.

Odd, that something so simple has always been available, tangible. Yours to find given the right set of circumstances.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

My First Instinct Is Usually Wrong

As I was arriving at the conclusion of my first year of consciousness, I became aware of something that made a great deal of sense.

Imagine being indoctrinated with all of the faulty belief systems of our planet and accepting them as true. For example, when somebody cheats on us- very often we feel diminished. We are less than. We are hurt. We become angry, depressed. We are isolated and alone. Are all of these feelings common? Yes of course they are. But please allow me to ask another question.

Are those feelings mandatory or even necessary? We think that they are but in reality that is an illusion, an opinion. A belief that we were taught was true. We have seen it in others who were similarly instructed. It is hardly a statement of fact although the planet would have us believe it is so. We have always had a choice even when "conventional" wisdom says that we don't. Sometimes we have to tell conventional wisdom to take a hike. And that is one of the healthiest things I have ever learned.

If we have been indoctrinated with a bunch of faulty belief systems- doesn't it stand to reason that very often our first instinct is wrong? Doesn't it stand to reason that we judge others on their actions, and yet we give ourselves the luxury of judging ourselves on our intentions? When we react to someone without knowing their true intentions, could we possibly be wrong? When somebody does something that we have been taught should diminish us- do we not in fact feel diminished? Sometimes hurt and angry? In fact, don't we feel all of those negative emotions long before we know the intentions of others?

Throughout this blog, I have talked about the importance of letting people live their lives and absolutely refusing to take anything they do or say personally. Under any circumstances. That is absolutely mandatory. This is something I practice every day. I practice this everyday because of one steadfast and universal truth that will never change.

I simply cannot understand what motivates anybody to do anything at any given time. Most of the time behavior is somewhat predictable. Sometimes it is not. I cannot assume under any circumstances that I know what has prompted someone to behave a certain way. This is what I know for sure. People are living their lives. They are making decisions and choices based on a set of internal controls, truths, and experiences that they will never be able to fully identify or communicate to me. I must simply accept that they are making the best decisions that they can within their capacity. And sometimes as they make these decisions, others diminish or anger me. What do I do?

In the past, I would simply react in a way that the planet or my teachers had taught me was acceptable. That old faulty belief system. And when I reacted the same old way, I kept getting the same miserable results. Conflict, one ups man ship, hostile remarks. Sometimes physical assaults. All of these reactions are choices. They were taught to us- given to us as beliefs. They are very hard to break free of. But that is precisely why we are here. We are trying to shed these beliefs that do not work. Beliefs that keep us emotional hostages.

Today, I am conscious and aware. When somebody or something is bothering me- I am the problem. I try to identify what is wrong with me. I can identify what is wrong with me. I never have to make an assumption about that. I understand that my first reaction toward others is almost always wrong. I am assuming I know what motivates them. That is a faulty belief.

We don't have to be perfect and process all of this in a nanosecond. Sometimes, we can cure all of this by not acting at all. Very often we do have the luxury of time if we choose to exercise it. By allowing people to be who they are, which includes saying off color and poorly thought out things from time to time, we show patience and tolerance. We do not make assumptions or hasty judgments. By simply accepting that our first instincts are usually wrong, we can avoid many of the pitfalls that cause us emotional distress. We are not required to keep selecting the same choices that "conventional" wisdom would have us select. That is the thinking that perpetuates the faulty belief systems of the planet.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Greatest Barrier To Eliminating Depression May Be The Acquired Idea That You Are Unique

It might be the biggest learning disability ever bestowed on a loved one.

You are unique and wonderful. An opinion, a myth, born out of love that we tell our children. Why shouldn't we say that? Because the false sense of self, the ego, attaches itself to that statement. It wants to believe that this is true. And so it does. Perhaps forever.

There is a huge problem with that. Generally speaking and with respect to timing, every human life has great moments of desperation, loneliness, fear, loss, and bouts of depression. How is an individual going to respond to those types of adversities particularly if they have bought into the concept that they are unique?

What happens to them if they believe nothing will really work for them, that there is no solution, because what they are going through is far worse than what anyone can imagine because they are unique? Of course they are wrong- but because they have bought into the premise that they are unique or special- they do not believe that solutions exist for them.

In later life, this false sense of uniqueness might possibly be the greatest barrier to emotional freedom and eliminating depression and hopelessness. Why? Because you may very well believe that you are unique. As a result of that foolishness, many of us, if not all of us, begin to practice contempt prior to investigation. We are convinced nothing will work. There is no tangible solution. It doesn't exist.

Contempt prior to investigation can work through a couple of different conduits or mind sets. One route is the belief that I am unique and special- there is no solution for what I am dealing with. Therefore other people cannot possibly understand how I feel nor can they help me. Very often this false sense of self is coupled with another false sense of self... I am very intelligent and if there was a solution I would have been told what it is or discovered it by now. When these two types of mindsets are at work, there is very little chance of getting through to someone in emotional distress. They are blocked from an external solution quite simply because of a false sense of self that says I am unique and intelligent. Your solution will not work for me.

I am focused almost completely on depression here.

The standard solution today for people who cannot break free of that false sense of self...is to run to the doctors office and get some medication which will cure how I feel. Alter my state of consciousness. Millions upon millions of people do that. Millions more self medicate with alcohol and pot. In fact, I believe the majority of our culture does this.

It's not a solution, is it?

I have met many people who simply have such severe states of depression that medications are really the only way they can function at the levels that they do. However, I have met hundreds of people who quite simply do not need medication. They are not unique, they are not special, yet because they are slaves to this false sense of self that practices contempt prior to investigation- they believe drugs are the only way to deal with their problems. In a world that stands to profit from that type of thinking- the producers have no incentive to help. They want you to believe that their product is the only solution.  I exited that world four years ago. I found a healthy spiritual solution.

One of the first things I did was eliminate this ridiculous notion that somehow I was unique. That did not come about quickly. My ego desperately wanted to cling to that falsehood. Doesn't everyone think they are unique and special? Aren't we all told that? Perhaps. Does that make it true?

The next thing I did was eliminate this false idea that I was intelligent and far superior to other people who had found the solution I was seeking.

Once I had eliminated those two faulty belief systems I was on my way. I became willing and found  a healthy way to process and eliminate depression without mind altering substances and without wandering around numb for days or weeks at a time. I simply do not believe that I would have been able to accomplish and rid myself of depression had I allowed my ego to cling to the ridiculous belief that I was unique, special, or too intelligent to receive a solution.

There isn't an anti-depressant manufacturing drug company operating within our culture that wants to lose their customer base.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Are We Here To Change The World or Are We Here To Let the World Change Us?

Tolle said that ego could never be removed. That it simply changes form. I am living proof of that.

The reason I like writing here is because this blog is the solution for unconsciousness. I seek awareness here. Why do I have the feelings I do and if they are negative feelings- can I process them quickly and stay emotionally healthy?

Yes.

What is it about human ego, particularly grossly inflated egos, that causes what otherwise might be very intelligent people- into becoming emotionally self absorbed and unconscious people? Very often, it may be the absence of intrapersonal intelligence.





I know quite a few people who possess large degrees of the other types of intelligence- but possess little or no intrapersonal intelligence. They feel emotions but they cannot readily identify or process them. They have no  means to really dispose of those feelings. Having no capacity for that, they don't understand those of us who do.

In other words, how can a human being that has been taught the planetary and universal rule that "cheating" (as it applies to intimate relationships) is bad- accept people in their lives who cheat on them? And be ok with it? Who does that? Isn't everyone required to feel the pain and hurt?

The answer to that is no. There is no requirement to feel bad when someone cheats on us. Even though our teachers have taught us that this is normal. There are people who will never understand this. They have made an agreement. A faulty agreement that says when someone cheats on us- we are supposed to take that personally. We have been betrayed. And that worthless agreement we have made will most certainly doom us to some future emotional prison. I watched my very own mother dwell in that prison for years. In fact, I am not sure she has escaped from Alcatraz yet. And although my mother is sufficiently intelligent in a number of areas, I do not believe my mother is capable of the intrapersonal intelligence that it takes to escape all of those bad feelings that somehow my father's actions had something to do with her. She will never process those feelings in any kind of healthy way.

Ego, this false sense of self that we all have, is the single biggest barrier there is to happiness. Ego is successful in blocking happiness because it operates in the darkness. The subconscious. Mostly, we are not aware of it. It tells us that we must pretend to be extremely intelligent, flashy, successful, better than and certainly not less than...others. We must project whatever false opinion we have of ourselves onto the people around us. They in turn project their false sense of selves onto us.

And that is why Vonnegut says "We are who we pretend to be." Or Shakespeare's, "All the worlds a stage and the men and women- merely players." Clearly both of those men identified that false sense of self that humans possess. They were aware of it- what did they do about it? Anything?

I think they have identified nine different types of intelligences. I don't possess enough of four them to even decorate my house or pass a math class without an army of tutors. I understand all of that now and I am ok with it. For the first time in my life, I am completely comfortable in my own skin. I don't have to be faster, smarter, wiser, richer, than you. In fact, all I want to be is happy. And my happiness does not require me to be better than anyone or possess a bunch of worthless crap. Tolle was right. My ego has changed. From a competitive, nasty, I am better than you... false sense of self...to an ego that has morphed into something that just wants to be happy.

I used to think I was here to change the world, now I realize I had it all backwards.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Telling It Like It Is

In response to my blog, "Do Some People Simply Enjoy Being Negative? The Shame and Guilt Cycle"... I received the following comment: Anonymous said...I'm negative, I'm highly critical. It's not because of a guilt, shame, criticism cycle. I have a hard time looking on the bright side and i want everyone to feel as miserable as i do. I'm slightly guilty, but i don't feel shame. I'm shameless.

I cannot tell you how happy I was to see this comment. Not only could I have written that very comment myself in 2007, but I had always hoped that this blog could turn into a type of personal online support vehicle. I believe anonymous' comment to be honest and sincere.
In 2007, I was in a terrible state of depression. I was drinking too much, daily and heavily, and I hid my depression as much as possible when I wasn't drinking- but it began to leak through. I was incredibly critical of my real and perceived adversaries- this is not to say that I was wrong about them. Very often, my judgments and conclusions about them were dead on and correct. Had you asked me at that time, I would have told you I was a realist. I would have told you that my "insightful and intelligent" observations did not have a damn thing to do with shame and guilt- which was not entirely true. I am also ashamed to say- that I actually enjoyed being that way. Critical, depressed, and running other people down to make myself feel better. I did not feel any guilt or shame (at that time) because I believed those opinions to be true. I did not feel any shame until I became aware.

I did not realize how spiritually sick I had become. This blog really chronicles what happened to me, my observations, and how I was able to fix myself. I could do that for two reasons. I knew for sure that what I was doing was not working. I became willing to find any way that would work.

The first thing I did was quit drinking. I attended AA and I read the book cover to cover. Alcoholics Anonymous is a spiritual program that is a living design. I paid attention. I desperately wanted to get well. During that time, I was given a copy of the "Four Agreements." That book was absolutely critical to my emotional makeover. Particularly important was agreement two. To this day, I do not let anything anybody says or does, effect me personally. I let people be just as crazy as they want to be and I'll be damned if I lift one finger to change that. I don't. If someone has upset me to the extent that I am required to make some sort of take it or leave it decision- I do that. I harbor no ill will and I go peacefully without explanation.
 
Tolle's, "A New Earth" sealed my resurrection. I felt as though Tolle wrote that book about me. I was completely insane, allowing my ego to absolutely run and then later, ruin my life. I am not my ego. For the first time in my life, I became aware of my false sense of self. My ego. I separated myself from ego and all that takes is awareness. That's it.  I read a great quote from Kurt Vonnegut once. "We are who we pretend to be."
 
I put together a design for living that works. Of the nine types of intelligence, it doesn't hurt that I score highest in intrapersonal intelligence. I am keenly aware of my emotions and now I am able to process them rapidly, internally, and constructively.
 
So let's get back to anonymous' comment. The shame and guilt cycle is handed down for generations. Constant criticism, judgments, and conclusions directed at children- become the tools of those children. Parents deliver those tools. Not only will their children likely pick those tools up later in life- but they will direct the same criticisms, judgments, and conclusions at their children and the people they interact with. They believe that type of behavior is true and acceptable. And so they engage in it and perpetuate it. People that are critical of others are often intelligent. Their belief systems are bolstered by reinforcing that intelligence via grades, awards, work accomplishments, and inter actions with others. They begin to believe they are smarter than many. And they may be.

When we talk about the shame and guilt cycle- those emotions are given to us. They result from someone elses's perception of us. Mostly parents. My father was shameless while delivering criticism to others which he did frequently. Therefore, I too, was shameless when delivering criticism of others. Did I want others to feel as miserable as me? Well, sure...I want them to agree with me and that way we could both be miserable. And we were.
 
What happened to me was a miracle. I found a permanent way out of all those negative emotions. Prior to that- I would have simply said- this is who I am. I have no choice in the matter. I am screwed, hopeless. That is perhaps the greatest lie of all. I now know that all of those belief systems were wrong. In order to get well, I had to develop a road map and a solution for everything that life throws at you. Can you prepare for death, disability and disfigurement, illness, divorce, loss? Sure. Can you eliminate self pity, anger, bad belief systems, lack of self esteem? Sure. 
 
Here's why this design works. It's like installing an entirely new operating system where every decision defaults to the decision that will make you happy. That doesn't mean the system can't crash from time to time- but it is rare.
 
Life offers us a myriad of choices all of the time. Often we practice contempt prior to investigation. We make choices thinking that there are no alternatives. Surely we would have found a way out, wouldn't we? Today I look on the bright side because it's all bright side. Four years ago- I would have thought anybody writing what I've written here- was full of shit. That's the truth. That's my ego telling me I am smarter than anyone else, practicing contempt prior to investigation.
 
All that, for that? Yes. Thanks anonymous.


 
 






Deus Ex Machina, (Mah-kee-na)

A deus ex machina (play /ˈd.əs ɛks ˈmɑːknə/ or /ˈdəs ɛks ˈmækɨnə/ day-əs eks mah-kee-nə;[1] Latin: "god out of the machine"; plural: dei ex machina) is a plot device whereby a seemingly inextricable problem is suddenly and abruptly solved with the contrived and unexpected intervention of some new event, character, ability, or object.

So today's question is an interesting one. Can a God of your understanding solve your emotional problems?

Very often, in the circles I travel, I hear people say they have turned their will and their lives over to the care of God as they understand him. Ok, I think. Time and time again these people state hence believe, God solves their problems. They simply get out of the way. They refuse to exercise free will and it all works out. That is the claim.

Here is an interesting question. If free will causes problems, can free will also solve problems? Of course it can. In fact, that might indeed- be the whole point of the exercise. Can life resolve itself constructively using free will without invoking God? Yes, I think so.

Deus ex machina refers to the inability of mankind to find a solution to an inextricable problem until something new is introduced to the equation. In fact, this is how all problems are eventually solved. Emotional problems are no different. If you are experiencing emotional problems, you cannot find the solution for "x" until you try something new.

Today, I understand that my God does not solve my problems for me. There would be no struggle, no lessons to be learned, no personal growth nor evolution if God simply did all of those things for me. My God is a facilitator. It is that immense pain, the gift of desperation that caused me to seek a solution. Today, it matters not, whether that was solved or facilitated by God or a deus ex machina, myself, or a combination thereof. What matters is that it works. Flayed and scarred badly enough, we find a solution for x. I am extremely grateful. This is how Nietzsche saw it.

Now, once tragedy had lost the genius of music, tragedy in the strictest sense was dead: for where was that metaphysical consolation now to be found? Hence an earthly resolution for tragic dissonance was sought; the hero, having been adequately tormented by fate, won his well-earned reward in a stately marriage and tokens of divine honour. The hero had become a gladiator, granted freedom once he had been satisfactorily flayed and scarred. Metaphysical consolation had been ousted by the deus ex machina.
—Friedrich Nietzsche

Monday, September 5, 2011

Can You Be Happy Every Day For The Rest of Your Life? Of Course You Can- It's a Conscious or Unconscious Choice That You Will Make

However, if you don't have a solution for everything that life throws at you each day- you probably cannot maintain happiness in any kind of long term or consistent way.

Imagine being given a unique wish. You get to choose. You are guaranteed one of the following things but not any of the others. Would you want to be beautiful, famous, rich, or happy?

I am one of those people who picked happy.

I can't tell you how to become beautiful. I don't know a damn thing about being famous and I don't ever want to know. I don't want to be rich because all of that money comes with great responsibility and angst over losing it. I know a little something about that. But happy. Now that's interesting. I know a little bit about happy because I knew his evil twin- unhappy.

In 2007, I was the most unhappy and depressed person on the planet. I was spiritually sick. My life got so bad that ultimately, I was given the gift of desperation. I was suicidal, too cowardly to pull the trigger.

I want to tell you how significant the gift of desperation is. Without that utter despair and loneliness- loneliness like no other loneliness I have ever known- I could not have gotten better. In fact, I would have been stuck in that ethereal plane between unconsciousness and consciousness forever. I believe that is where the vast majority of all humanity dwells. In a state of unconsciousness. Some are given the gift of desperation and many actually kill themselves believing that life is just some vicious or cruel hoax. Others just walk about rare earth, angry and depressed, living quiet lives of desperation. Did they get shorted in the emotional equipment line? What happened to them and why didn't that happen to me?

Why was I given the road map to happiness and just who can I give that to? The brightest minds in the world couldn't fix me. Those bright minds hand out prescriptions for psychotropic medications and boot people out of the office week after week. They make gobs of money but don't effect one significant change. They know they aren't really helping anybody- because they don't even know what ails them. The unconscious cannot treat the unconscious. They don't teach spirituality and the solution in college. They don't know what it is. So how was it that an untrained, unskilled, dumb ass like me figured out one of life's greatest mysteries? How did I find happiness every day and how do I manage to keep it everyday?

And how do I describe this without coming off like some lunatic, smug guy?

I started with one question. Can I unconditionally love anyone or everyone that I choose? And if I choose to do this- and stick to that task- can I change who and what I am? Can I change all of the antiquated belief systems that were installed by my teachers and can I install entirely different and useful belief systems?

Of course I could. I knew what didn't work. That was everything I had been doing up until 2007. I simply had to do the opposite of what I had been doing. Mostly. I did manage to get a few things right.

What if I told you that I once heard a gal state that if you have nothing useful to do, nobody to love, and nothing to look forward to- chances are you will be depressed. What if I told you that not only do I believe that statement to be generally true as defined in 2008- but that now I can have all three of those things at once and they do not affect my happiness. I have found the solution for x. I don't have to be doing anything "useful" (as defined in old beliefs) to be happy. I don't have to be in love to love everyone and I find something to look forward to every day. It can be any number of things- simple acts, in and of themselves- acts that the unconscious don't even recognize. Today, I was happy to mow the lawn, take out the trash, wash my motorcycle. To write this piece. I relish every moment. I feel absolutely no guilt (old beliefs again) if I do nothing all day but watch football. Guilt is no longer a part of my chemistry. I have eliminated it. I have exorcised that negative emotion along with a number of other demons.

I suppose some people have found the solutions for beauty, wealth, and fame. I haven't. But I did find the solution for happiness and I know what it is. If you are not consistently happy nearly all of the time and I mean 99% of the time, you do not have the solution. You may be wandering in that ethereal plane between desperation and ok. You may spend your lifetime there and never receive the gift of desperation.

What happened to me was divine intervention. It had to be. Of myself, I am just a knucklehead- completely incapable of finding a solution like this. I know that. Millions of people, perhaps billions of people, have failed to find happiness. People a lot brighter than me. Maybe one day- I can find one person to give this to. That would be nice.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Playing Nice With My Alter(native) Ego

I have a secret. I love writing on this blog. I had to edit this. It was just too smug sounding. I apologize for that.

I don't write here much because unfortunately, I don't see people who recognize that life can be peaceful and serene. That there are very adaptive ways to achieve happiness. When depressing news strikes- you are able to receive it, recognize it, adapt, apply the solution, and get well in short order.

The problem for many or most, including myself once, is that you might not believe this is possible.

I think a lot of people would rather be mired in conflict and negative feelings. I see it all the time. It's a lie your alter ego tells you. You do in fact have a choice. You make decisions every day. I like this piece because I see it all the time. http://thecivillibertarian.blogspot.com/2011/08/angry-class.html


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Finding A Power (Gasp, God) Of Your Own Understanding

I am not sure how I landed so many friends that are agnostic or atheist. Perhaps I attract those types or perhaps that is the evolution of things. I'm not sure.

If you've landed here, or if you struggle with the God concept, I have great news! That human punishing God- is a fable. A complete wives' tale. He doesn't send anyone to hell. Intuitively, I know this has to be true.

Unconditional love. To acquire unconditional love means that you are going to have to throw all of your earthly and unfortunately- human programming away. This time around, you are no longer going to hate or dislike anyone, you are not going to take anything personally, and you will let people be who they are. If a knucklehead like me can accomplish that, do you think a God might do a little better?

Imagine if you will, a highly evolved form of life that loves unconditionally. Do you think he or she might have an understanding of the limitations of a fear driven human mind? A human mind that can only understand what it senses. Tangible things? If you have a daughter are you going to punish her unmercifully because she doesn't understand the concept of gravity?

I used to buy into all of that human rhetoric about what God was. Then I realized something. I found that I began to have the capacity to love everyone. That I became extremely understanding and tolerant. That I no longer felt threatened by things others said- even those things directed at me. I knew I was just scratching the surface. And I also began to realize that God, in whatever form that is, would be far more advanced than I was. Then it hit me. There is simply no way that an unconditionally and loving God arbitrarily punishes people for what they don't understand. Like gravity. That cannot be the concept of an evolved life form. That is a concept of fear driven, control everything, human beings. That if I had the capacity to understand an atheist- so did God.

I used to say that if the God we have is a judgmental, punishing God, I don't want him. I still don't.

To this day, I don't get angry at people for their beliefs. It's not my job. In fact, I don't think it's God's job either. I no longer worry when a loved one tells me she is an atheist. I understand and I no longer feel threatened or scared. I figure if a knucklehead like me can understand that concept, I gotta think a power greater than I am- has figured that out too.


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Being There

About the time I wrote, "My Ship Has Come In" my life starting becoming very calm and serene. In fact, the prospect of my own death leaves me calm and serene. I am convinced I can do what others claim. I believe I can trust the death process and accept it. Bold words now... so we'll see what happens when the time comes.

Today, I had an occasion to listen to a gal that is completely self centered and ego driven. I always have the feeling when I see her- that she just wants a little attention.

I had a goal this week. Every where I went, I was present and listening. Minimal talking. I focused on what people were saying and what they were really trying to say. This has always been hard for me. As I have gotten older... I really suspect that I have a touch of adult attention deficit disorder. It's not something I have had my whole life. I have just noticed it recently and others have noticed it as well.

"Being there" means that I am listening fully to what other people have to say. That is not always good. I've found that some people tend to repeat themselves. I've learned to let them know that I heard what they said the first time. Being nice and saying this once, will let people know you are listening. It will prevent a lot of this reoccurring type speech. This has been a problem with this particular gal I am referring to...not to mention myself.

Today, I listened intently to what she had to say. I have the solution. Why is it, that ego driven people who love to talk- cannot listen? Or more precisely- comprehend. Why is it that they practice contempt prior to investigation" Often they think, if they do not know the solution- a solution does not exist. They are prevented by their very ego from accepting the solution. In fact, they don't even really want to hear a solution. They just want attention and for you to listen to them.

I simply listened and smiled today. You cannot give people something which they cannot recognize or define. In fact, I do not go out of my way to try and help people. I would but quite honestly they would rather live their lives mired in craziness and ego. Very often I see desperate people who would benefit remarkably from the work I've done. They remind me of me. Like me- they don't have a road map that tells them where they are or how to get where they want to be- nor do they think one exists. That's too bad. The tools are out there. They are here. All you have to do is pick them up and get to work.

The hardest part is watching the people we love suffer. Especially when we have found a better way. I am beginning to believe- in fact I do- that we are all on an individual journey. Some people will not find any peace or serenity on this visit to earth. In fact, some will find hell on earth. They will never be at peace with themselves. They will always want something, worry about something else.

I am so grateful. I enjoy being here. Or being there.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Value of Adversity and the Struggle

As I look back on the last 50 years of my life and recount the good times- I simply can't neglect the value of adversity. Of struggle. Without adversity and the struggle- you cannot know what is good in life. Very often, it is the struggle itself. From wiki on yin yang...

In Taoist philosophy, yin and yang (☯) arise together from an initial quiescence or emptiness (wuji, sometimes symbolized by an empty circle), and continue moving in tandem until quiescence is reached again. For instance, dropping a stone in a calm pool of water will simultaneously raise waves and lower troughs between them, and this alternation of high and low points in the water will radiate outward until the movement dissipates and the pool is calm once more. Yin and yang thus are always opposite and equal qualities. Further, whenever one quality reaches its peak, it will naturally begin to transform into the opposite quality: for example, grain that reaches its full height in summer (fully yang) will produce seeds and die back in winter (fully yin) in an endless cycle.

It is impossible to talk about yin or yang without some reference to the opposite, since yin and yang are bound together as parts of a mutual whole (i.e. you cannot have the back of a hand without the front).

When we are living through adversity and the struggle we have no idea of it's value. In fact- we think it has no value or that it is detrimental. We label it as negative. We try to avoid the struggle at all costs. We fight and resist it. Yet it is that very struggle that will define the high points in our lives. Adversity and the struggle and the extent of it- may very well define what type of life we will have. It will define the perimeters. And we will look back at the struggle and very often we will say- that times of great adversity were the most valuable times in our lives.

What happens to those that never taste significant adversity? Their lives are narrowly defined. The lows are higher, the highs are lower. The good and the bad get blurred. People that have not tasted substantial adversity are cheated in life. They have no reference point. They lack understanding. They never taste the fear of spending a night under the park bench or in the mission. They take life for granted. A life without fear, without struggle or sacrifice, has diminished value. Without yang there can be no yin. They define each other. They exist in complete harmony- unless of course humans interfere with that process.

I have seen people who have tasted little or no adversity. I know of a couple enduring tremendous adversity right now. I look with confidence upon the latter...they will grow quite strong. I feel sorry for the former. They will have no way of measuring what is good or bad in life. They will not be forced to fear, to fight, to struggle mightily, to improve. It will all just be mediocre for them. Their life's yin will lack luster. They will not understand.

As I look back on the greatest times in my life- there were times of success, of adversity, and of struggle. I am grateful for the lowest lows in my life for without them- I could not define how valuable and wonderful life can be. I want to feel the good and the bad. I don't want some mediocre existence shielded by well meaning people trying to make my life easier. I like it hard sometimes. I am ok with that. I am grateful for every ache in my body. To feel those aches- aches that I earned in the struggle. I see the value of those things- I can't imagine life being any other way.

Friday, April 1, 2011

A Daily Commitment

The month of March has been fantastic. In terms of personal, emotional, and spiritual growth- I'm not sure it could get any better.

With an absolute and unwavering commitment to not take anything personally, life just gets better all of the time. Letting people be who they are, and that can include a lot of unconsciousness and dysfunction, is not a suggestion. It is mandatory. In fact, I would not have been able to get the level of serenity and calmness that I have achieved- without an unflinching commitment to this process.

It has evolved into a daily commitment and meditation. For me, it goes like this...

I am going to be the best person I can be today.

I am in charge of all of my emotions- I will make all of those emotional choices today. I am going to let people be just as crazy and insane as they want to be. I will not take any of their actions personally. Nor will I try to control or change any of their actions. When in doubt, I will ask WWGD? (what would God do) That is the choice I will make.

When I let people be who they are and I refuse to try and control their behavior (or become upset at differing opinions)- I find that about 80% of my problems disappear. The other 20% of my angst occurs when others try to control me or failing there- say something diminishing in frustration. I recognize those things now and I simply don't participate. Retaliation is failure.

As a side note, the people who purport to love us the most are the ones who often try to claim the moral high ground or who push buttons. Recognizing this is difficult but not impossible. If the people who purport to love us the most are causing us the most emotional distress- it is simply time to re-evaluate whether we want to continue to subject ourselves to this brand of "love."

I can honestly say, that except for one unavoidable exchange, I cannot recall a better month for me emotionally. By practicing spiritual principles, and adhering to them under difficult circumstances, we really can get to a place where unnecessary conflict is avoidable. Where necessary conflict can be addressed intelligently and as rationally as possible.

How many people commit to this type of daily process? The truth is, I don't know of any one. That's a shame- it's been an excellent daily plan for me.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

1241 Days

This is my 100th post here.

About 1241 days ago, I was sitting in a beautiful backyard. I had consumed 6 or 7 beers and 1/2 of a bottle of Irish Whiskey. Completely mired in self pity, bitter memories, isolation and depression, I came up with a solution.

I was going to blow my brains out. That was my solution. And as I thought about it, I couldn't do it. Perhaps I was just too fearful. Or perhaps, a power greater than myself intervened. I call that day- the best day of my life. It was Oct. 9, 2007. The day I was given the gift of desperation.

I'd like to think that what has happened to me since then was a miracle. If in fact the rules of physics apply and indeed I do believe that they do- that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction- then my writing here is symbolic. A testament to the deepest depression I have ever seen and felt. My equal and opposite reaction has been real emotional freedom.

You know what worries me the most? That people cannot find that level of despair sufficient enough to catapult them out of emotional hell. That somehow, many of them wander in some netherworld between heaven and hell- never getting too bad nor getting too good. Lost. Just ok. Surviving. I heard one of those searchers last night. He was talking about how life sucked. I flashed on my journey. Gawd I want to help people like this. I want to scream out to them and shake them. I have the solution. It works. I found it- not because I am brilliant or smug. I was rescued. I was able to examine the very real possibility that the biggest problem in my life is me. It is always me. And that exit is shrouded and blocked off by ego. Your ego will do anything and everything in it's power to prevent your escape. Make no mistake about it. You will have to kill your ego, that false of sense of self, to get to the exit. There is no other way.

That concept is difficult to convey to anyone. In fact, it is borderline impossible. I am beginning to accept that. This is a giant classroom with just a couple of students in it.

So today, I am celebrating my 100th piece here. I don't have "days" in the conventional sense. I have life in the unconventional sense. I recognize this. I would have missed all of this had I pulled that trigger. I have found a way to change all of my perceptions to something that I can't define as good or bad. It's a peace and serenity that defies all description and just loving some guy that says life sucks. Laughing about his perceptions, his reality. Remembering how that felt.

What a difference 1241 days can make. Humbled and grateful. Like a four year winning streak.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Death Doesn't Have To Be a Four Letter Word

A few weeks ago, one of my best friends was killed. I have often thought (and reasonably so) that the single greatest fear we all share- is that of our own death.

Imagine being an atheist. You have zero belief in any power greater than yourself. You have no hope for any life beyond what you are experiencing here. You think we are swamp creatures, delivered here in some cosmic strike 4.7 billion years ago. What brought that first living cell? Where did it come from? What sparked that first cell to begin it's glacial march through evolution to life as we know it?

Proof of life. Proof of a power greater than ourselves, is all around you. It is you. You don't need anything else. You don't really need a Bible or a religion to establish proof. You don't even really need the historic account. Your existence here is proof that life was delivered here. So what are we debating? Who made the delivery?

We fear. We fear the unknown and we don't trust it. And when we fear what appears to be a vast unknown, we can't intelligently grasp it. We struggle mightily. We have nagging doubts. Now what I am about to post here has a political theme. Please ignore that. The political angle is not what I am focused on. I am focused on the fear driven coping mechanism of a human being that cannot trust the life-death-life cycle. This comment was in response to an offered premise that the fear of death is what drives people to do what they do. Although the comment doesn't deal directly with that subject, it attempts to expand what motivates people to make sense of their lives because and I assume here- that the writer is speaking of those people with no sense of a power greater than themselves. The writer may be right. I clipped this comment for that very reason.

From the leftist site Alternet in 2007:

“People who want to see the world bettered — made more just and honest and kind — often set their gaze on the farthest horizon. Our instinct, as progressives with global perspectives, is to obsess over situations far afield of our own backyards — Indonesia, Sudan, the Middle East. These situations stir a sort of Peace Corp romance within us, a love affair with that which might make us feel gallant and extraordinary for caring.

I am as guilty as the next bleeding heart of focusing the majority of my energies on problems I see as compelling in large part because of their strangeness to me. But when I sit with myself, quiet my righteous indignation, my whiny white guilt, my attachment to the idea that I am a humble truth teller among powerful fibbers, I realize that it is not the world outside of me that is in most desperate need of my world-changing instincts. It is the world inside of me, the world between me and my beloved.”

I used to be able to stomach leftist rhetoric, as a way of knowing what they are thinking and expressing amongst themselves. 4 yrs ago when I read this confession of projection, I waited a few days to allow a leftist poster to disagree and defend the concrete and objective benefits of their activism. No one did so…so I have no conclusion to draw other than that leftists project their flaws and problems onto the entire world and into the situations of distant strangers as a way of avoiding the hard work of self-betterment in their own lives and communities. Truly scary and sick people, to be shunned by all of us with a healthy instinct of self-preservation.

-I cut this comment for two reasons. The writer is just beginning to scratch the surface of personal awareness. The world isn't the problem, I am. I am always the problem. This is an absolute. The second thing I'd take away here is that clearly there is a lot of spiritual growth left here. That blaming others to make myself feel better theme. I note that level of ego attachment and unconsciousness because I could have written this very thing a few years ago. I was very adept at recognizing everyone else's flaws while ignoring the vastness of my very own. Conscious thought now can only lead me to the following truth.

The only way to conquer fear is acceptance. In order to conquer fear, I must accept the process of death. I must let go of a rock that I have been clinging to my entire life. I must trust that when I let go, that a power greater than myself has arranged the journey and that I will not get dashed on a rock by the current.

It is by trust and love that I achieve acceptance. In other words, if you fear death- you are by default- denying the existence of your Creator. Or you have identified the Creator as being hate filled or punishing. If you believe in a hate filled and punishing Creator you are in fear. You cannot come to terms with the idea of the unknown. It scares you. You are relegated to the hordes that cannot grasp the idea that a Creator or God must practice unconditional love. That the Creator will take care of you. That is the promise that came with that first living cell.

Show me a human being that is not afraid to die and I will show you someone that believes in the universal language of unconditional love.

Today, I choose not to live in fear. When I am fearful, I am the problem. It is my perceptions, limited as they may be, that prevent me from trusting a process that was designed and delivered long ago. And if I am to truly practice unconditional love in a power greater than myself, then I have to believe that very love will be reciprocated and practiced by a Creator far greater than myself. I have to trust the death process. And if I can't- I am just a fearful and practicing agnostic or atheist, aren't I?

Today, I see things in a way that I never thought was possible. I am grateful and somewhat humbled for a remarkable journey that was facilitated by a power far greater than I. Left to my unconscious belief systems, my arrival and journey here, might have been fun but void of spiritual growth. I am able to understand and to trust a process that will visit the ones that I know and love- and it will visit me. I can either accept, trust, and love that process or I can be fearful, untrusting, and dread it. These are the choices I make today.




Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Religious Insanity of Human Beings

Imagine being born into a world where the existing teachers have learned to do things the wrong way. The collective ego.

Where hating and killing other people is acceptable. Where anybody can be a threat as long as they have raised some fear level in you-real or imagined. Where there are only a limited amount of seats in first class and everyone is fighting to get one of those seats. And if you don't get one- you learn to view those who do with jealousy and contempt, maybe even hate.

That is the planet you were born into. A planet full of people who if they are denied what they want, or denied what they think they are entitled to...learn to hate. One of the absolute finest breeding grounds for fear and contempt is religion. Many religions are based on some idiotic theory that each holds the only keys to the kingdom of God. That somehow, if you do not believe what they believe- you are denied entry. You are not one of us and therefore you are lost. You are banished, isolated. I can think of any number of religions that practice this contemptible theory. It is designed by human beings to control through the use of fear.

It has no basis in unconditional love, therefore I know it is wrong and flawed. I know it is of human design and origin. How can I say that so confidently?

Can you imagine a Creator of some sort, creating men shaped in his image, and then getting so mad at them that he kills them all in floods? Or kills them all in some biblical fiery Revelation? Hmmm...let's see. I will give you all free will and if you choose unwisely, you will spend all of eternity burning in hell. Or dwelling in the cheap seats. Away from me. Does that sound like unconditional love? Is that God? If your daughter wrecks your car, or makes a series of bad decisions, are you going to kill her?

I can't buy into that theory. But rather than reject the Creator, I reject the interpretations of a planet that is motivated to control others with fear and thus hate. That is not God's way. That is the way of a bunch of fearful human beings that have been indoctrinated by a collective ego, an ego that got it all wrong a long time ago and has been passing that garbage on as though it is fact ever since. Trying to shape God into their image. That's what fearful, controlling people do. They try to subject the exterior world to their crazy belief systems and control them and if you reject them- you are banished by that herd. Islam comes to mind.

If the Creator is not an unconditional loving, all inclusive Creator, I don't want him. I say that with the utmost confidence. Why? I don't want to practice contempt, anger, and hatred. I don't think any God worth having- would either.

Mother Theresa is an interesting gal. I have snipped this piece from her online wiki bio. What I would like you to do, is read this and pay particular attention to how her life was seen by the collective human ego. I think you will giggle as I do. In fact, at one point in her declining years- the Vatican even sent an exorcist to her. Such insanity is remarkable. But that is the collective ego of fallible human beings- each trying to control the other. This piece illustrates that nicely.

Christopher Hitchens was the only witness called by the Vatican to give evidence against Mother Teresa's beatification and canonization process,[99] because the Vatican had abolished the traditional "devil's advocate" role, which fulfilled a similar purpose.[100] Hitchens has argued that "her intention was not to help people," and he alleged that she lied to donors about the use of their contributions. “It was by talking to her that I discovered, and she assured me, that she wasn't working to alleviate poverty,” says Hitchens. “She was working to expand the number of Catholics. She said, ‘I'm not a social worker. I don't do it for this reason. I do it for Christ. I do it for the church.’”[101]

In the process of examining Teresa's suitability for beatification and canonization, the Roman Curia (the Vatican) pored over a great deal of documentation of published and unpublished criticism of her life and work. Vatican officials say Hitchens's allegations have been investigated by the agency charged with such matters, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, and they found no obstacle to Mother Teresa's beatification. Because of the attacks she has received, some Catholic writers have called her a sign of contradiction.[102] The beatification of Mother Teresa took place on 19 October 2003, thereby bestowing on her the title "Blessed."[103]

A second miracle is required for her to proceed to canonization.

Almost four years ago, I was given the task of finding a God of my understanding. As I mulled that over for about 6 months, I rejected all of the teachings of fear driven men. I looked for a common denominator. A universal language. There was one. It is called unconditional love. This was a conscious thought.

Unconditional love was brought here by Christ. That was the message. I might have missed that message had it not been for his statement- "Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do." Christ was asking forgiveness for unconscious idiots. A bunch of fear driven human beings that were banishing him from the herd by killing him. Isolating him.

Do you see that very theme today? I sure do. Not much has changed since Christ's time. I am not going to name specific religions- but virtually all of them practice that same "believe as we do, or be banished forever theme." Fortunately, most religions, save one or two, don't believe in killing as a form of isolation or banishment.

Well, if you've made it this far, let me tell you where I am at. I am trying to practice unconditional love for all religions. That I understand that if I attack them, I isolate them. I will be practicing the very insanity that they do. There is a Creator and a purpose. I am absolutely unwilling to reject any notion of God simply because a bunch of crazy human beings missed the message and continue to practice the fears of their forefather teachers. I am in awe that for the brief time that I will be on this planet, that it took me so long to get this. Today, I reject fear and control. I am approaching that point in my life that when my time comes, that perhaps I can simply trust the current to take me where it will. That I can be free of all fear at that very moment. Maybe, I can do it. All you have to do is reject virtually all of the accepted beliefs of a world gone nuts and practice unconditional love. It is a daunting task. We will be the minority, I am sure of that.




Sunday, February 6, 2011

Grieving

This week, one of my best-lifelong friends was killed in an explosion. After the initial disbelief and anger periods wore off, I became reflective.

http://thecivillibertarian.blogspot.com/2011/02/when-we-were-kings.html


When I am disturbed, there is a problem with me. The question is, is grief fear based? Is it self centered thinking? Probably. But like other negative emotions, this one wasn't as easy to strip bare. I simply couldn't label it, place it in a box, and store it. I realized that when you truly love and admire someone, that losing them- losing that availability- seems difficult. Because deep down you know that they were special. That you shared common bonds and thinking and that is very difficult to replace.

In Craig's case, we shared the struggle. Personal courage. The willingness to engage in something we believed in and suffer the consequences. That happened to us.

We didn't just share the trauma of gawd knows how many tragedies in the field. We shared a personal and emotional experience. We might have made a big mistake. In the annals of my life, that period of time we shared cost us our jobs. It took an emotional toll on us. The backlash was more severe than we would have imagined. But we took our beatings like men. In fact, neither of us ever whined about the incident or blamed each other. It simply wasn't useful.

So we never talked about that incident much. What it did do- was reshape our lives. That struggle created our bonds and cemented our loyalty to each other. It elevated our friendship beyond that of mere acquaintances and permanently bound us. That's why, even after 20 years or so, of a hit and miss friendship- I felt certain that at any future time we would simply pick up where we left off. That's how easy it was. We didn't apologize for lost time.

I realized that grieving a loss such as Craig's is necessary. That is the relativity of life. That if you are going to love somebody then you are potentially going to suffer the consequences of losing them and vice versa. Would you rather love and potentially grieve...or not love at all?

My emotional awareness and my ability to process all of this- mostly alone this week was a magnificent thing. I am fortunate that I did not have any distractions nor did I find it necessary to alter my consciousness with a bottle of booze or a few pills. I spent Wednesday through Saturday isolated. Not in a bad sense. I spent it processing my thoughts and examining my feelings- I did not have to spew it out to everyone that would listen.

I am grateful for this experience. Not that I would wish for such a terrible thing for anyone or anybody...but for recognizing that it is just life. It's nobody's fault. There is nobody to blame. That all of those good times were more significant than this terrible time. It is certainly better in my mind- to have loved and lost- than to never have loved at all.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Emotional Vampires

I've changed my mind.

It is difficult trying to keep up with two websites. I simply found it too difficult to write on both sites. At first blush, they appear to be polar opposites. Upon reflection, that is simply not true. In some intricate way, like almost all things, they are interconnected. The daily realities of life and success- are heavily dependent on our spiritual and emotional health. There would be no need for emotional health- without the harsh realities of life.

Have you ever heard the term, "emotional vampire?" This is an "M.D.'s" version of what that is. I'd like you to read her link. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/judith-orloff-md/how-to-deal-with-draining_b_807069.html

Within this blog, many times, I have warned against the dangers of assumptions. I have also warned against this idea that we are "victims" and that somehow- someone else's behavior damages us. That we can never take what others do personally. They are simply unconscious.

Within the context of this blog, I am about to tell you that every thing that the good doctor says is based on faulty beliefs- the indoctrination of the planet. The pretext of her piece, coherently written, will appeal to any myriad of wanna be victims. It addresses the symptoms and what an emotional vampire is. It assumes that you are a victim. It also assumes that somehow your emotional health is at the mercy of someone else. Does it not? More importantly, is that true?

Now what I am going to do here is fast track you to "My Ship Has Come In." http://realemotionalfreedom.blogspot.com/2011/01/my-ship-has-come-in.html

Or more specifically to this statement. " I am to blame for all of my emotional disturbances, conscious or unconscious. Nobody else is to blame ever- in any situation. No exceptions."

So who is right? Am I spiritually correct in assuming that my poor emotional health is at the mercy of someone else? That if I am feeling bad, that I am somehow a victim or hostage? That some emotional vampire is causing me stress? That it is ok to blame someone else?

View the doctors comments as you would an enabler. What she says is false. Now let me run this by you.

It is not always easy to examine some indoctrinated and unconscious belief system- but if you choose to and you practice rigorous honesty, I think you will find that it is your perceptions and not life, that cause all of your emotional disturbances."

Therefore, we are the problem. We CHOOSE how we feel- nobody else. That is great news! We can control our perceptions and our beliefs. We do not have to blame anybody. We do not have to whine, complain, or be victims. In fact, that is the responsible thing to do. When we focus on ourselves we have taken back our perception of control. Those alleged vampires no longer exist. In fact, it was the logic of folks' like this doctor- that prevent this planet from getting emotionally healthy. There is nothing new here. Blaming others is not a solution. It is part of the indoctrination of the planet. I. AM. ALWAYS. THE. PROBLEM. My ego hates it when I do this. It wants to argue. I keep my boot on it's throat.

We can't get well if we swallow the doctor's medicine. She is treating a symptom. We are after the underlying disease.

Tonight I was sitting in the movie theater, all alone. Couple after couple walked in. My whiny ass ego, the victim, whispered into my ear. Look at all those happy people. If your ex-was halfway normal- you could be like them. It's her fault, if only she was this or that. Feel sorry for yourself. But guess what? I recognized it. I put my boot on it's throat. I changed that perception. In fact, I became happy for those people. I watched the movie without a bunch of emotional garbage swirling around in my head.

Do emotional vampires exist for me? They can't. Because if I believe in them- I ignore the solution. I am responsible for my choices, my perceptions, and thus my reality. I am never a hostage unless that is my choice. And don't let these unconscious people blame you either. People have to start taking responsibility for their emotions. The only one that can do that is you.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

My Ship Has Come In

About five days ago, last Wednesday to be precise, I found the solution to a nagging problem that I simply have not been able to over come. What I heard almost instantly resolved the last roadblock in my emotional health. It started with an unconscious belief that I carry...

It was an indoctrination to be sure. In fact, I don't know of anyone that hasn't received the same indoctrination. But what I heard last Wednesday, stopped me dead in my tracks. I was forced to instantly re-evaluate. It was a game changer. I won't soon forget it.

Somewhere, somehow, I acquired a very faulty belief. I acquired a belief system that said anytime I am feeling bad- someone else is to blame for that. You will hear that same theme repeated perhaps hundreds of times every month of your life. By virtually everyone you know. This idea that someone else is to blame anytime you feel bad. It is so common that virtually nobody stops to question it. Anytime someone is feeling bad, they will find someone, something, or God to blame. They adamantly believe that someone else is responsible for the way that they feel. Whether they verbalize it or not. Whether that is conscious or unconscious thinking does not matter. We all do it. I have not met anyone that doesn't.

I cannot remember what was said verbatim. But the following paragraph catches the essence of what was said.

"As I grow older, my experience is- that life has become harder and not easier. Family members have died and my own body is breaking down. There is nothing to blame for these things. It is life. It is no longer necessary for me to find someone or something to blame for those things, things that I have known all along would happen. If I choose to feel bad about anything, I make the choice whether to simply accept life or blame someone or some thing. I am ultimately responsible for those choices. If I choose life and if I steadfastly refuse to believe that anyone or anything other than myself is responsible for how I perceive things- my life is calm and serene. I am no longer bound by the indoctrination of the planet. It is not necessary to find something to blame. It is not always easy to examine some indoctrinated and unconscious belief system- but if you choose to and you practice rigorous honesty, I think you will find that it is your perceptions and not life, that cause all of your emotional disturbances."

He used the word all.

And there it was. I am to blame for all of my emotional disturbances, conscious or unconscious. Nobody else is to blame ever- in any situation. No exceptions. There will be people who read this who will never understand this. In fact, they might try to rationalize why this is wrong and assert some exception. That is the same tar pit I wallowed in until five days ago. The vast emotional freedom that comes when you achieve the awareness of recognizing and examining a belief system that everyone of us holds and somehow we all accepted it as true. It was never true. In fact it was the polar opposite of the actual truth. A truth that does not care whether you believe it or not.

I have had a fabulous emotional journey over the past four years. It has only been five days since I found this missing piece. So far, I have never been this emotionally calm or serene given the circumstances I find myself in. It's as though all of the heavy lifting in my life is over with. So it seems like a good place to end this blog. I want to thank all of my friends who have found this place over the past couple of years. If you ever want to bounce something off of me- please feel free to write. I'll check back every now and then...

Brian