-----------"NOTES TO MYSELF" ( New sections (5) added as of January 23rd 2004 )
" It is 9:58 and it is now. - Tomorrow at 3:00 it will be now. - On my deathbed it will still be now.
Since it will always be now, learning to respond to now, is the only thing there is to learn".
"If love is at the core of us, we can then add love to any misery we feel...can we not?"
--------STEPPING BACK INTO THE PAST .... ( Section - 1, added January 23rd 2004 )
Today, we had an extraordinary experience when we visited the home of Harry and Caroline Guggenheim, (The Guggenheim Castle Estates), and took a glimpse of an elegant past of Long Island's Gold Coast Era.
We had driven to Sands Point Preserve early in the afternoon, parked the car at the Castlegould estate museum's parking lot, stepped into a bus and took the guided tour.
The guide was a well spoken elderly lady,...short snow-white hair,.. with a name tag of "Jeanne Neumann", who reminded me a lot of Katherine Hepburn in both, her speech and mannerisms,..complete with the Alzheimer's shaking of the head.
She must have been well into her late seventies ~ if not somewhat older, she had an air of distinction about her, and she looked as if she was one of the characters of the long gone past, that graced the mansion she was describing.
I was totally fascinated by her.
The year was 1910, and we are now at the "Falaise" (Cliff in French)..the majestic castle-like home of the Guggenheims which was overlooking the breathtaking view of Long Island Sound.
For someone who's imagination can actually transport him to that epoch, the experience was immensely exciting.
As you enter, you gaze at the imposing vaulted ceiling, and imagine the grand lifestyle of this Gold Coast estate,..which reveals a taste of extravagance.
Decorative features of stained and leaded glass,..red velvet draperies,..Flemish tapestries,...artwork by Rembrandt, Van Dyck, and Rubens,...hand tooled leather wall coverings, and carved oak woodwork from a 17th century Spanish Palace.
Medieval banners hung on the walls,..and in the main living room, a huge fireplace with two very comfortable looking couches facing each other separated by an unusual in design coffee table,...with two ashtrays, which gave evidence that the Guggenheims were smokers.
Family photos graced an oak table next to the wall. Among them the unmistakable photo of Charles Lindburgh in his flight suit, who -we were told, was a very close family friend.
The hour-long tour, felt a lot longer to me,...and as we got back into the bus, I felt that I had ~for at least an hour, stepped back in time and took a glimpse of an elegant past.
-----------THE CHANGES OF AGING....
One of the disquieting things about the changes that come with aging, is how our images of ourselves contradict the reality. However much we might feel like teenagers, or aggressive younger adults inside, our bodies oftentimes contradict us at every turn with the passing years. The older we get, the more likely we are to experience these moments of "cognitive dissonance", when self-image and reality start to contradict each other.
"Why can't I jog twice the length of the Lake like I used to 2 years ago, and I'm minimized to a slower pace of one length with stop - overs in the interim, being out of breath and pretending I'm fixing my sneakers laces now? Who am I kidding"? Though this conflict is uncomfortable, it is a clear window into the place where we are clinging, and where we need to pay attention. Just as physical pain alerts us to troubles in the body, mental pain on the other hand, alerts us to where we need to be more conscious in our Spiritual Path.
And only in aging this process of mental alertness becomes more intensified. It all goes with the territory.
-----------PERSONAL TRANSFORMATION .... ( Section - 2, added January 23rd 2004 )
Thought originates with you. Life is your own creation. Your form will pass along but you cannot kill thought,..so you cannot really kill who you are. There is an infinite world beyond the world of changing. There is some kind of an existence that is in the back of, or suffusing this physical world which we find ourselves in.
All the greatest minds, believe that there is some kind of infinite and eternal world, an endless world that is beneath, or above, or beyond, or something other than the world we are in, and that this infinite world is a part of every single personality.
Every age and every civilization has believed this, and that the purpose of being here is to discover God, or to discover that invisible world which we call God.
-----------THE RELATIONSHIP MIRROR....
Only in relationship the process of what I am unfolds, does it not? Relationship is a mirror in which I see myself as I am; but as most of us on occasion do not like what we are, we begin to discipline, either positively or negatively, what we perceive in the mirror of relationship. That is, I discover something in a relationship, and I do not like it. So, I begin to modify what I don't like, ..what I perceive as being uncalled for or unpleasant. I want to change it--which means I already have a pattern of what I should be. The moment there is a pattern of what I should be, there is no comprehension of what I am. The moment I have a picture of what I want to be, or what I should be, or what I ought to be--a standard according to which I want to change myself--then there is no comprehension of what I am at the moment of relationship. I think it's important to understand this,...for I think this is where most of us go astray. As harsh as it may sound, we do not want to know what we actually are at a given moment in a relationship. If we're concerned with self-improvement, there is no comprehension of ourselves, of w h a t i s !
-----------CREATING YOUR OWN EXPERIENCE....
In "weighing" life as one gets older, one finds all the errors and misjudgments one has made while "growing". It all comes suddenly in a form of enlightenment. You suddenly start "getting it" and you want to store it away in your mind's computer and are eager to begin practicing what you blindly missed while you were "growing". The fact that you create your own experience, you acknowledge and accept accountability in your life. You understand your role in creating the results that are your life. You learn how to choose better, so you have better.
The law is simple: You are accountable for your life,...good or bad, successful or unsuccessful, happy or sad, fair or unfair, you own your life. You are plainly accountable; you have always been accountable; you will always be accountable. That's how it is. You do this, not some of the time, but all of the time. If you don't like your job, you are accountable. If your relationships are on the rocks, you are accountable. If you are overweight, you are accountable. If you are unhappy, you are accountable. Whatever your life circumstance is, accepting this truth means that you can no longer dodge responsibility for how and why your life is the way it is.
This is very important for one to see. It's crystal clear. It's important, because if you don't accept accountability, you will misdiagnose every problem you have. If you misdiagnose, you will mistreat. If you mistreat, things won't get better,...plain and simple. Even if you think there can't possibly be a link between your problems and yourself, keep digging for your role in the problems. It's there!!
That's how the world works, like it or not,- then, your resisting or denying this fact keeps you stuck in an...unreal realm.
By convincing yourself that you are a victim, you are guaranteed to have no progress, no healing, and no victory.
Not acknowledging responsibility, will prevent you from taking the bull by the horns, and going to work on controlling your life.
Then if you do acknowledge accountability and the fact that you create your own experience, that means that you should be willing to ask yourself some questions, like....
What did I do to contribute to the situation, so that it happened the way it did?
Did I miss important warning signs?
Did I con myself because of my ego?
Did I fail to take needed action? If so, what was it?
Did I fail to treat myself with dignity and respect?
Did I overreact?
Do I need to stop certain behaviors and start using a new approach? or....uhhh....did I fail to tell somebody to go jump in the lake?
The first woman in my life.
She was a lady of ladies.
Always loving, always well dressed...with "the roaring twenties" style of attire from hair style to high heel booties, always lovingly warm, and giving, always sacrificing...she was a tender soft individual with a heart of gold. The quality of her love was overwhelming...and my memory of her is like an eternally burning candle in my heart. My parents were financially comfortable in the old days, and they could afford to spoil me. I was the only kid sent to school in a hired horse drawn carriage,...and I remember having toys spread all over my room. We lived in Famagusta until I was about 8 years old.
My father owned a Tourist Agency called "Faros". He was a kind soft spoken gentleman, well educated,..and his close friends were mostly members of "aristocratic" families...reminding one of the..."Great Gatsby" era of lifestyle. (He was the first person to own the first imported "Fiat" convertible car on the island, and my memory of him is just as warm and loving as is of my mother's.
There was not the slightest doubt that they were a perfectly matched couple. He was a good father,...although stern and strict when my mother's spoiling was getting me out of hand,..so there was definitely an awareness of "balance" in my upbringing.
Suddenly....the 2nd world war broke out..and I remember seeing dog fights between British and German fighter planes in the skies of Famagusta,... and explosions going off all over the main harbor and at British military supply depots and installations around town. (Cyprus was occupied by the British at the time). I remember sirens going off, and I remember running into underground shelters filled with people until the air raid was called off. I remember hurriedly having to evacuate the city in the middle of the night, in a cow drawn carriage with a lantern underneath, rocking to and fro...and projecting moving shadows that in my young mind were scary.
I remember my mother crying in my father's arms, during the long trip, and I remember me crying also,...because she was. We were headed toward "Saint Elias" --the village in Famagusta district where my father was born and brought up--. The trip lasted all night long, and parts of the early morn. We arrived at my father's family's old village house-- which was vacant --as his parents passed away 3-4 years prior....and it was scarcely being taken care of by my father's two older widow sisters in the village. It was a huge house made of cement and clay on the outside,.with carob and orange tree orchards in the back, and with an empty chicken coop on the right side. I remember an "all men coffee shop" in the village square, where men gathered, drinking turkish coffee and smoking "nargile" from a Turkish glass cantor with charcoal on top, and talking mostly about the daily events of the war. I remember that life in the village was a lot different than what I was used to in the big City. The people were a lot simpler, there were no cars, to speak of, and transportation consisted of mule, or cow drawn carriages --very much like the one we evacuated in--There was no electricity and there were oil lamps and lanterns at night fall. Sugar and some other foods were rationed. I was enrolled in the village elementary school. The village kids were poorly dressed and their mannerisms I thought of being unpolished. I remember, reluctantly making new friends that were "rustic" and rougher than the kids I hung out with in Famagusta,...and they played games like.... putting a fork on the end of a long bamboo stick, and "forking" baby sparrows in the nests high on the clay walls of their houses,.. and they tortured the little wild animals that were caught in their home made traps by poring methylated spirit on them, lighting them up with a match and letting them run loose until they shriveled up to a little still ball.
I remember having bad nightmares at night,...dreaming of Germans invading....lining up and killing people in the village square, and capturing my parents as prisoners, and I'd wake up screaming in the middle of the night. I remember my father caressing my forehead when I was sick in bed with fever. I remember going hunting with him and couldn't keep up with his long steps, and had to run out of breath behind him. I remember milking my aunt's goat straight into my mouth because I loved goat's milk.
I remember my mother making "pig's feet gelatin", cooking it in the back yard in a huge pot --for hours--on an open fire. I remember her kneading dough and making fresh bread that I loved eating the crusty edges all around the round loaves.
I remember loving to eat home made noodles with carob syrup every Sunday morning after coming back from the village church. I finally remember the end of the war where everybody was kissing everybody else, and there were celebrations and Greek patriotic songs sang by everyone,...and we finally moved back to "civilization" in Famagusta.
I had unsuccessfully attempted "Astral Projection" several times in the past, via the disciplines of self hypnosis through subliminal tapes only to come to the conclusion that it may after all, not work for everyone, until the experience I have had at around 2:30 am during a sleepless night, when in my desperation to finally get some sleep, I had decided to listen to Ludwig Beethoven's Appasionata Piano Sonata". (This was one of his famous work which had a strong influence on many composers of his time, such as Liszt, Mahler, Bruckner and Wagner, back in 1805).
Astral Projection is an OBE (out of body experience), and the work of the awesome power of the subconscious mind, when one is in an alpha state of consciousness, either when immediately after meditation, or when one is "emptying out" of the daily concerns of life's routine, and is totally consumed by listening to a favorite arrangement of musical composition -such as I was doing at the time.
The subconscious mind is closely monitored and commanded by the soul. The OBE literally moves and transports your awareness to unimaginable realms. There is no "body" involvement whatsoever. It is just your "I" being transported out of body and to territories oftentimes totally unknown to you, varying from past life glimpses, flash backs, and encounters, to present time scenarios that are attached to your paradigm's experiences. The final destination of your out of body experience, is totally unexpected. You are just an awareness travelling somewhere.
One cannot consciously engage the subconscious mind for purposes of being "entertained" with an OBE in other realms of altered state of consciousness. Marijuana won't cut it either! It has it's time and place and it only reveals itself when one least expects it, depending on what messages it wants to deliver to the personality's individuality. It works hand in hand with the soul, and the sensibilities it delivers are always insightful and have a direct effect on the intellect and the will of one's individuality. It may give you glimpses of your past lives, or direct you to certain experiences of your present life's past and/or present, that need to be aligned with the soul, for purposes of "balance" and of more peaceful and harmonious co-existence with the "self".
While being totally oblivious of the present and absorbed in listening to "Appasionata"... I gradually find my awareness being in an epoch of the French revolution during the Napoleonic wars. I see myself as a new kind of artist who believes passionately in the French revolutionary ideals of "Liberty Equality, and Brotherhood". One who painted not just for the church and aristocracy of the time, as most artists did before me, but for people everywhere. It was the renaissance and I was playing an active part of it.
It was a poetic and romantic period. The music composers of that era, had a sense of refinement and clarity which had an awesome cultural evolutionary effect on the entire global society.
I live in what appears to be a modest country home in the suburbs of Paris. I am not of young age, and I have an elderly looking wife with indistinct facial characteristics. There are chickens and other livestock in the huge treed yard, There is also a well nearby the stable, which indicates that we must have owned a farm of some kind.
Beethoven's composition is now subliminally creating certain sad emotions within myself. I feel that there must have been some kind of a tragedy in my household, although I am not quite sure whether it was a loss of a loved one, or a mega disappointment of something gone wrong. I am sitting next to a window which overlooks a pond or a lake, and there is an overwhelming feeling of helplessness within. The sky looks gloomy and gray with heavy clouds forming rapidly. There is a strong wind which bends the trees back and forth. It seems like heavy rain is about to downpour any minute. The thoughts and the feelings are there but I am not aware of the body, as there is totally no physical sensation. It resembles to a dream, although I am somehow convinced I was not dreaming.
Suddenly there is a distant background noise. Something like dishes rattling ....................................
I had awaken at 8:00am...with some noise my wife was making in the kitchen while making breakfast. Beethoven's cd was silenced, and the here and now was as familiar as it always is on any given day in the movie of my reality.
Was it really an OBE? .... or just a dream produced and directed by the old subconscious mind and projected on my dream-state screen of awareness?
For the being of love, the process of memory must come to an end. Memory comes into being only when experience is not fully and completely understood. Memory is only the residue of experience; it's the result of a challenge which is not fully comprehended. Life is a process of challenge and response. Challenge is always new, but the response is ever old. This response, which is conditioning, which is the result of the past, has to be understood and not disciplined or condemned away. It means living each day anew, fully and completely. This complete living is possible only when there is love. When your heart is full, not with the words, nor with the things made by the mind. Only where there is love, memory ceases;...then there is a rebirth!.
-----------TO THERE AND BACK....
11.57:pm. I'm not on pot, I don't do drugs. I had just finished my nightly meditation. I am in an alpha state, where I can tap into my
subconscious with very little effort. I am tuned to a rhythm of Universal harmony. I imagine that I hear a clock chiming softly far away in the background. It chimes twelve times and then fades. As it fades, I see forming before me, a large ancient wooden door...the year of the door is carved on the upper part. 1833. (These threes come a lot in my life). I am standing before the door. I'm wearing a loose white shirt with baggy long sleeves, black faded baggy pants, and pointed shoes with buckles. My geographic location puts me somewhere on a Mediterranean Island. Cyprus? Crete? Corfu? The door opens softly outward, spilling, beautiful purple and blue misty lights, out and around me. I am surrounded by the colors of rich deep blues and purples. The intense light, spirals around and around, drawing me through the doorway.
My awareness is at it's highest peak.
I know I'm not dead or having an out of body experience. Again I hear a distant clock chiming softly. As I step through the threshold, the door closes slowly behind me. I am standing in a sea of blue and purple spirals. Against the backdrop of spirals, I see a sun shining upon a tree. As I look at that tree, I see how it reflects the passing of the seasons. As the sun moves across the sky, the leaves begin to bud. Then they turn a rich green, only to be painted with the colors of autumn, and then fall to the ground. The bare branches of the tree are then covered with snow. Then the snow melts, revealing the first buds of the spring. Spring...summer...autumn...and winter. One season passes into another. One year after another. They all follow the same pattern. They all have the same rhythm and cycle....over and over again. Then the image of the sun and tree fade in the mist of blue, violet, and purple spirals of energy. In the place where the sun used to be, the moon rises. It shifts from new to full, and back to new. Then the moon also is lost within the purple spirals of light. It feels like I am a cell of energy moving into a painting still being in process...or that I have found a void in which everything upon the earth rests in limbo. Above me now, are both the sun and the moon. All around me are clocks of all shapes and sizes....they hang upon trees and they are encased in stone. The entire landscape is surreal. I move closer to the clocks. On some, the hands turn clockwise, clicking off the minutes with great speed. I step toward one, and I see myself aging. I can feel my wrinkles forming. I step back quickly, feeling my face...my beard.. reassuring myself that I am no older than I was before.
On some clocks, the hands spin counter-clockwise. I step toward them, and I feel my energy growing. I feel younger, stronger, more vibrant. My skin is smooth, and my hand, as I hold it up to my face is soft and childlike. I feel myself growing smaller, becoming a child again. I jump back touching myself, and examining my hands, to make sure I am the 67 year old man I was before. Some of the clocks spin round and round never stopping. Some seem not to move at all. As I look upon them, I see that episodes of my life are shown in the face of each clock. Some reflect the seasons of learning. Some reflect the patterns of relationships. Some reflect moments of joy, and others reflect agonizing, long minutes of sadness and worry. Some reflect scenes that are strange and exotic and yet somehow familiar. Am I getting glimpses of past incarnations? I begin to touch the clocks and, with my fingertips I force the hands to move in unison. I guide the hands, slowing some down, and speeding others up. As I do, a breath of fresh air blows softly on my face, acknowledging a new harmony. I look around me. So many clocks!...so many rhythms...there is so much to do...so many paintings to be done.. so much life to be lived!. Then I realize that, as I learn to harmonize my rhythms with those of the universe, I will have all the time in the world. The images of the clocks fade, and the misty blue and purple spirals dance strongly. I turn and see that the door which I entered is open again. I step through, aware that time is open to me, and hoping it will stay that way for a while longer. The door closes softly and gently, closing off the spirals of energy. I can now see that I truly entered the wheel of life.
I breathe deeply, I am totally relaxed. Wanted to record the experience.
I will sleep peacefully.
-----------EXPANDED CONSCIOUSNESS ... ( Section - 3, added January 23rd 2004 )
The theory of metaphysics is at times being called a "cult" by anyone who is afraid to expand his consciousness to unrecognized dimensions. Some people seem to immobilize themselves to blinded religious doctrines that disallows them to speculate on expanded consciousness. Were time and space so overwhelmingly infinite that they served to make one realize the preciousness on each and every moment on earth. One's mind at times needs to take quantum leaps of imagination into other possible realities in order to fully appreciate the joy of reality now.
One needn't trade in an old consciousness for a new one. One could simply expand and raise the consciousness one already has, without drugs, simply recognizing the existence of previously unrecognized dimensions. Dimensions of space, time, color, sound, taste, joy,..and on and on. I could get expanded consciousness by listening to certain sounds. The sound of the waves bursting furiously on the rocks,..the sound of the wind whishing through the trees,..the sound of a Rachmaninoff piano concerto intermingled with the gentle sounds of the surf on a sandy beach charges me with an unprecedented mental energy which could project me to unimaginable heights.
I was once told by a friend psychologist that this supercharge of mental energy not being released effectively is a viable factor in turning my nights into torments of insomnia. Evidently the release of tension through physical exertion did not prove quite effective. The release of mental energy is undoubtedly an integral part of the mechanics in acquiring tranquility.
Self confrontation has me confused with certain facets of my psyche. Is it possible that one could go through a lifetime without realizing one's full identity of one's individuality?
Self confrontation is, to me, another form of expanded consciousness. You get a good glimpse of your failures and it gives you a chance to make amends,..provided that self confrontation is honest and sincere in critical assessment.
It could be a good tool for recovery toward a richer and more fulfilling world of hope.
A triumph over adversity.
The dream.........I see myself at the top of a long white marble staircase. It spirals gently down into a mist below. I am not afraid. In fact I feel a sense of anticipation about that which I am going to uncover.
I begin to descent. With each step, I find myself to be more relaxed. It feels good to step down this staircase. The further I descent the lighter I seem to become. It is as if I am barely touching each step. Soon the mist is all about me. It is beautiful and soothing, and I can't remember ever feeling so light and loose. I'm literally floating down the stairs. Below, I see the bottom of the stairwell. The mist begins to dissipate, and very gently my feet touch the floor. I see that I am in a circular room. Across the room from me is that old familiar large oak door that appeared in my "To There And Back". I feel myself drawn to it. As I step closer, below the engraved year "1833" on the top, I also see a name engraved in a language that is foreign to me. I reach out gently with my hand and trace the letters with my fingers.
As I do, I know that this is my name as it was at some other past time I was here. The door opens inward, and blue and gold light streams forth. It encircles me. It passes through me....it surrounds and embraces me. It invites me across the threshold. I close my eyes and feel the joy of the light. I open my eyes and step carefully through the open doorway. The blue and gold light, gently fades, and I find myself in what looks like an old store-house for an Art Gallery. Surrounding me are artifacts from every part of the world. There are sculptures, and a lot of paintings that look quite familiar to me as if I had painted them myself. Each and everyone of these paintings tells a story. There are lots of books, carvings, and articles of clothing. Every time period of what seems to be like a past lifetime, is represented. I recognize some periods and artifacts, but others are alien and confusing. The room is divided into different sections, and each area reflects a specific time and place in the history of the world.
A realization hits me as I look in the closest section. There are articles of clothing that I recognize from childhood. There's that sweater my mother had knitted.....here's my favorite toy!!
This is not a Gallery of the world,...this is a Gallery of my life. These artifacts are the traces of the past, that help form the person that I am now! With this realization, the Gallery darkens except for a small area to my left. There, a divider, a free standing wall, is illuminated with a flood light. As I step around to the front face of this wall, I see a life size portrait hanging, in a large gold antique frame. The image in the portrait is indistinct, but somehow I know that, when it shows itself, it will be an image of myself. Then within my mind I hear a soft clear voice: "This is the Gallery Of Your Life. Within it are the remnants of everything and everyone in your past. Within this Gallery is all you will ever need to uncover the rhythms of the past as they play within the present. You can choose to see, or not to see, as you desire."
The voice stops, and I stare at the portrait. I take a few moments and study it. I notice the clothes.....the colors. Suddenly I seem to know about this person. I can feel when this person was happy or sad, although the face reveals knowledge that I had forgotten. I touch the small brass plate on the right-hand side on bottom of the frame. It is engraved with a name of a place. It could be a city, a town, a country! As I raise my eyes back to the face of the image in the portrait, I begin to see two other images forming in the background. One is male and the other female. As I study their faces I realize what their relationship was to me in that life. I remember the emotions that were associated with them. As I realize who these figures were in my past, their faces blur,...they become indistinct, and finally disappear!.
There is so much that I still do not understand! There is so much yet to figure out. There is so much to learn...so much to remember.
I turn toward the door. As I pause before it, I have a sense of conviction that, this is my Gallery. The door will never close to me. I can go through the threshold, back across the ages, and explore any other lifetime that I choose, and as I remember the lessons of the past,...I will be able to reshape my future.
I am relaxed, peaceful and filled with a new sense of wonder. As I ascend the stairs lightly and easily through the mist, back to the here and now, I take with me a newfound self realization...in an awakened life.
-----------A BALANCED MIND ... ( Section - 4, added January 23rd 2004 )
One gets out of life only what one puts into it; everything must be seeded in different degrees. Always express happy thoughts and keep an uncomplaining mind. A complaining mind is a destructive one...destructive to health and happiness. How easily we may be made unhappy depends upon the weakness and ignorance of our own minds.
Happy thoughts expressed are like the sunbeams that create warmth...that stimulate one's sense of well being and make us feel happy.
Give happiness and you will receive it in return: it is a natural phenomenon of a balanced and well-ordered mind.
Do not complain; instead seek the solution to the problem, and then you can do something constructive about it. This can best be accomplished by forgetting self. Too much false value is placed upon self and personality, thus developing an overrated and inflated ego that sees all things in proportion to its own ignorance.
There is no greater gift we can bestow upon others than a happy smile and a constructive thought of well being.
To be happy means that one must first have happiness within, and this comes only through a balanced mind and wisdom.
-----------THE DOMAIN OF THE SOUL....
Is the source of my personal awareness my body? No. From where then does the source of my personal awareness arise from? The search for that center of awareness is definitely what constitutes the spiritual journey, and it manifests itself so clearly during a meditative state. As one moves deeper and deeper into the location of this source from where the personal awareness arises,...when you go back as far as you can,.. b i n g o! you hit the source. When you literally step outside of space and time, you are stepping into the "domain" of the soul. You have found where your soul resides, because the soul is not in space and time. The mind is nothing but this... space-time continuum. The mind is nothing but the "name" for events that are occurring in space and time. It's the "black box" of the history of your life that come in a picture form into your awareness. When you shut down your mind, notice that you have no experience of space and time.
When we hit the sack at night, and the mind shuts down when we go to sleep,...when we're in that deep dreamless state, notice that you don't even know where you are. There is no body, no bed, no world. There is none of this stuff, but you exist right? There is no space and time when we're in that stage.
Even in a wakeful level of consciousness, when we're having the experience of intense beauty, time-space drops away. Whenever we're having the experience of love, time-space drops out, because these are no mind experiences. That's beautiful....is it not? These are all experiences outside of the mind, which is why you can never "fall in love" if you approach love "rationally". That "rational approach" is bound to destroy any love. How can you experience love with the mind?
That's why we call it "falling in love".
You fall out of the rational, because love is really...an irrational act!.
2:pm on a beautiful August day.
I'm sitting in Belmont Lake Park after my jog. This is my hangout here. I'm retired. I'm an artist, and I get most of my inspiration right here. 3 Years ago, I had cancer of the prostate. I got rid of it. I was sitting on this very same bench when I had a vision of Jesus.
"Paint me" he said...."I love you".
You love ME?...what did I ever do to deserve that?
"Nothing much" He said but..I love you anyway!
Gee...thanks JC....just for that I will paint you.
So,...I did. I titled it ... "I am The Way". He "was the way" to me in more ways than one. He still IS.
He is LOVE and my cup...runneth over with it. He said He loved me..and He proved it.
-----------JUST ONE MORE PASSING SHOW....
This is a strategy that I have recently adopted into my own life,..and I thought of passing it over to you also, because it really works. It's a subtle reminder that everything--the good and bad, pleasure and pain, approval and disapproval, achievements and mistakes,..rights and wrongs--all come and go. Everything has a beginning and an ending,..and that's the way it's supposed to be.
Every experience you have ever had is over. Every thought you've ever had, started and finished. Every emotion and mood you've experienced has been replaced by another. You've been happy, sad, jealous, depressed, angry, in love, shamed, proud, and every other conceivable human feeling. Where did they all go? The answer is, no one really knows. All we know is that, eventually, everything disappears into nothingness. Welcoming this truth into your life is the beginning of being liberated. Our disappointment comes about in essentially two ways. When we're experiencing pleasure, we want it to last forever. It never does. When we're experiencing pain, we want it to go away now. It usually doesn't.
Unhappiness is the result of struggling against the natural flow of experience. It's enormously helpful to experiment with the awareness that life is just one thing after another. One present moment, followed by another present moment. When something is happening that we enjoy, know that while it's wonderful to experience the happiness it brings, it will eventually be replaced by something else,..a different type of moment. If that's okay with you, you'll feel peace even when the moment changes. And if you're experiencing some type of pain or displeasure, know that this too shall pass. Nothing stays the same. Keeping this awareness close to your heart is a good way to maintain perspective, even in the face of adversity. It's not always easy,..but it is usually helpful.
-----------HOLDING ON TO POWER....
The Ego derives it's identity from the roles it plays as an actor in it's world. One of it's primary motivations for playing these roles is power. For these reasons it is essential that we become mindful of where our attachment to power lies, in order to relieve the sense of loss and suffering as we age. I personally tried to hold on to this power more intensely since I had retired in 1995 and having removed myself from main stream America.
It was a major change in my life and I still feel the residuals of it's effect, but frankly, I would never trade my present mental and emotional disposition with the one I had in the past. There is more clarity in my life now than I ever had before, and in spite of the fact that certain statistics proclaim older age as the beginning of mental decline, I personally find exactly the contrary is happening in my case. I find that the older I get, the sharper I get in my mental output - at least - thus far, and I refuse to cling to general statistics which claim otherwise.
There is a kind of "power" that does not give rise to fear. It is the spiritual power which for some reason comes automatically as we age. Don't look for it during your twenties or thirties, but expect it to knock on your door and introduce itself when you hit your forties. Let it in and make it feel at home, because it's the starting point of your "getting the bigger picture" in your life, something you totally missed a little earlier when you were too busy trying to make your physical life as comfortable as possible with "acquisitions" and general material things. Now , it's a different ball game altogether. Now you started thinking of how effectively you will make it through your old age, complete with the energies and mental powers which you had in your younger years,.. when all you thought of what all your priorities were was "how to get more" and pile it up, so you don't suffer with older age shortages, and you measured power by criteria such as: how much money you have in the bank, how many shares of stock you own, how physically attractive you are, how much authority you wield over how many people, and how much you are in control of your own destiny. But regardless of the object of attachment, these "power signs, all contain the ability to entrap us. As we get older, and the external proofs of power begin to slip away, we become aware of the degree of our entrapment, and of the futility of trying to cling to these worldly assurances.
As we begin to emphasize Soul power over wordly power, our perception of the alterations brought on by aging changes proportionately. Trust me on that. I would never trade my present age with any part of my previous one. When the body begins to give one signs of declining from the vigour of youth and starts to break down here and there, it makes up by enhancing whatever intelligence one has in between his ears at the same time. We all want to age with wisdom and peace...do we not?
I decided that I want to keep track of the way I feel on a daily basis,.. both physically, and mentally, and witness the "changes"- if any- from day to day, until I get to a point, where I would no longer be able to physically or mentally be fit to continue with this "self research", when 2 things may happen.
1. Being placed in a nursing home waiting for my turn to cross over to the other side, and 2. There won't be any waiting, because I would already be there. If and when I start getting demented, it will be recorded. (Perhaps I already started being afflicted with ..dementia.. and don't even realize it).
How do I feel today? Let's put it this way. I think I'll skip my plans for skiing in the Adirondacks. Being that I'm sport minded, though, I have serious thoughts of taking up "sky diving "..where...even if I'm already struck with dementia ..and I.. forget to open the parachute ,..it would be just fine with me! I just hope they find all the parts of my body, this way I don't show up upstairs being a ..half ass.
----------- THIS PLAY CALLED..."LIFE". .. ( Section - 5, added January 23rd 2004 )
There is the act of doing,..and there is the you..the witness...always being the observer, who is watching yourself going through the motions. When you begin to cultivate the witness, which is one of the keys to higher awareness, if you become that witness, and place your attention where you want to be, rather than what you have always done, you can see yourself shifting, and be able to do anything you want to do. You are not your relationships. You are something that is observing the relationship...someone that is in a relationship,..but you are not the relationship itself,...which means that when a relationship fails,..it does not make you a failure. You are uniquely the "observer",..not who you relate to, or who you are in a particular relationship within any given moment. It is like a great play in which we are all a part of..and there are some entrances,..and there are some exits. Some people are in for some very short parts, and some have very long roles to play in this play of life. It is like a dream.
Whatever characters you need for the dream YOU create,..then when you wake up,..you don't get mad at the characters of your dream. The same thing you do with this dream of LIFE. Whatever characters you need to act out this play of life, you create,..but that is not who you are. Other things you are not,...you are not an "American" you are not a "Caucasian" you are not a "Christian" or a Budhist,...you are that which is an eternal,..you are a devine extension of God,..you are changeless,..and you are also here in this particular country, practicing this particular religion, with this particular color of body, with different facial and physical characteristics,..but who you actually are, is something independent of all that,..something that is observing all that, and there is nothing about you and your racial or ethnic or citizenship qualities or characteristics that make you better than everybody else on this planet you found yourself on.
Your body is just a garage where you park your soul for a little while. Pleasure and pain are aspects of the mind. Only our essential nature is happiness. It is that wrong perception of your identity that gives rise to misery. Some of the things of the past we MUST let go! We shouldn't be just the dancer any more,..but the choreographer, as well as the dancer...and we better enjoy that dance,..as the curtain of life's play will soon drop..and we must,..like a good actor, do the last bow with grace before that curtain falls.
-----------THE TEACHERS IN OUR LIVES....
The way to the Big Picture, often is through seeing the problems in your own life from different perspective, and seeing how difficult other people have it. When you are wondering how troubled you are, look at the old timers patience who's mind is slowly slipping away from them, and they're even aware that is happening, and they don't know what to do about it. When one sees things like that it gives one time to see the Big Picture.
We have to know that whatever comes our way, has a purpose in it, that there is order and chaos, and underneath that chaos, you got to look for that order,..you got to look for the blessing! One of the things you got to learn is how to get off of pity, and feeling sorry for yourself, and one of the ways to do that is to start focusing on doing something new, doing something different, keeping yourself occupied. Experience more compassion for yourself. I have a strong belief that, everyone that comes into our life, ...from the stranger sitting next to us on the bus, to the person driving next to us on the highway, to our children, to our wives and parents and all that, they all come to us as teachers, and that the key to being effective in awakening our lives, is to be students. To see them all as someone to teach us, otherwise they wouldn't be there. Some of these "teachers", come in our lives to test our ability to deal with them effectively.....so as to provide us with a chance to evolve ourselves, and in turn live an effective and happy life. Let us start paying a little more attention to these "teachers".
-----------FINDING THE REAL YOU....
Self knowledge is elusive. Just when you believe you finally know who you are, something surprises you. A strong emotional reaction seems to come from out of nowhere. A forgotten part of yourself, pops up in a dream. You find yourself thinking exactly the opposite of the way you used to think about the same subject.
You are suddenly an enigma to yourself. The sheer complexity of the human soul makes genuine self-knowledge a real accomplishment. You are a jumble of attitudes, feelings, beliefs, and behaviors, in your many sub-personalities that enter the "stage" of your reality whenever they decide to take over the show. Caught up in all the competing demands of life, it's hard to get the big picture of who you really are. One moment you feel like you are a certain person with clearly defined values, plans, and ways of acting in the world; an hour later you may feel like you are someone else. Let us not feel embarrassed or inadequate if we sometimes get confused about our identity. It goes with the territory - especially if you are no longer in the mainstream of life, having to hop in the car early in the morning, fight the traffic and go to work to make the buck so you can pay your mortgage and put the food on the table.
That's the human condition. Unless a person is self-realized and somehow enlightened, he is only kidding himself to pretend that he never experiences these moments of bewilderment...so whoever hasn't as yet experienced this syndrome of not "knowing thyself" as much as you thought you did,...expect it. It's around the corner, and it will make it's point loud and clear.
-----------PERSONALITY, SUB PERSONALITIES VERSUS...INDIVIDUALITY.
In self analysis at the age of 62, I can safely say that I recognize-atleast-12 sub-personalities incorporated into my main personality,-which is a highly significant step in discovering who I really am, and which hopefully will lead to the discovery of my soul's purpose in this lifetime. It is academic, that one's real identity is not through one's personality. Our main personality is generally being shaped by our parents, our schools, teachers, religious institutions, and the general culture we live.
The "personality" is what we want people to know us as. It is a mask we put on daily to interact with society. The personality's sense of identity, shifts frequently in the course of a day, with sub-personalities. Each sub-personality, has it's own set of habitual ways of thinking, feeling, and acting. Each one also thinks of itself as "the whole show", whenever it is on stage. Each sub-personality may try to be sincere, but because of the constantly shifting sense of which "I" we are, it is difficult for us to be consistent in life. However, our INDIVIDUALITY is who we really are. One's personality becomes a critical obstacle to one's individuality, because it covers the real "you". First, it is to deeply realize what is going on. It is to clearly see the nature of your many sub-personalities, and how they control you in a mechanical way. Such recognition, is the first step toward liberating ourselves from the negative effects of our sub-personalities' actions that may interfere with our pursue of happiness. In the constitution of my own personality I can identify with the following sub-personalities:
1. The "Self critical" sub.
This one usually involves self criticism, and more often than not, self condemnation. Negative and/or unpleasant events that occurred in the past, where another sub-personality of mine had acted irrationally toward a person-often a loved one-.
If the contributing events are not cleared and resolved soon after they occur, it plunges me into a vortex of regret and self condemnation, causing feelings of negativity and unjust behavior. Melancholy and sadness set in for the duration of not achieving corrected positive results.
(In other words, I...stew in my own juice)!.
2. The "irritable" sub.
Where everyone is criticized during daily activities.(It causes feelings of irritability, and this one is usually a by-product of the first sub). This normally is of a brief duration, but it is positively a deterrent to my beliefs of "acceptance".
3. The "spiritual seeker" sub.
Where I fall into a fit of reading, and examining spirituality, for the purpose of enhancing self-improving attitudes. (A very pleasant and desirable sub-personality, and incredibly satisfying). It is always a joy whenever it takes over the show!.
4. The "impatient sub"
Being overwhelmed with eagerness to achieve immediate ,-tailor made- results to my needs. This one creeps up when I least expect it, in spite of my rhetoric that patience is a virtue. (The supreme test of self improving attitudes, when one discovers certain handicaps that do not work for one, is to remember to correct these handicaps immediately as the situation arises, and apply self restrain right there and then. Remembering later, the damage is already done, and one simply misses the chance to apply whatever spiritualistic disciplines one has evolved with over the years. Remembering to "kick in" one's self improving theories, at the time of the challenge, is indeed a challenge in itself.
5. The "withdrawing" sub.
Where I avoid interacting with people and are overly concerned with my own internal world.(This does not necessarily have to be subsequent to having any major problems or internal conflicts. I just want to be left in my own company,...I enjoy my own company, it has nothing to do with whatever someone did or said,.. I'm merely self recharging, and re-aligning my "psyche". I do not consider this to be a negative sub. I think I need it, and consider it as a spring board to my overall wellness. This is normally of brief duration--unless I'm loaded with negative events and happenings in my personal life. If so, this sub-personality is of a more extended duration.
6. The " I love everybody" sub.
Where I just simply do that!. I want to interact with everyone, and express feelings of love and compassion, for people, animals, insects, nature,.. everything!! (Even my ex-wives!.. everyone is forgiven, and loved unconditionally. I have an incredible capacity of tolerance and understanding, and I'm happy to be alive. The world is simply beautiful!. Most of my inspirations and successful paintings are happening when this sub takes over. I simply wish it comes and stays with me for very long durations,--and it usually does--.
7. The "Self observing" sub-personality.
--which is just what I'm doing now--. I just step aside, and examine myself as a whole person. I examine the essence of my being. Who I am, what I am, why "I am", and.. what am I doing here. What is exactly my individuality, minus all my sub-personalities? And if I did find out, would I be getting a glimpse of my soul? Would I ever get to know the real "me" while I'm still in my physical body in this lifetime?...or would this be a "bonus" or a reward for when I encounter that white light at the end of the tunnel, and my whole life will be revealed to me in a play back fashion, and see, and feel, all of the "rights" and "wrongs" I did? Will all my questions be answered then? Will I ever know,.. instead of just hope and believe?
8. The "creative sub".
Where I fall into an overwhelming desire to paint, and usually keep on painting ignoring time, eating timetables, and/or breaks. I just get intoxicated with the smell of turp. and oils, and everything else is secondary. This sub comes in conjunction with the.." I love everybody" sub. I love it! It is definitely an outburst of my higher self, and I'm convinced that it came with me from previous incarnations.
9. The "ego boasting" sub.
Here we have a sub-personality that overruns humility. The.." I have a superior intelligence" sub. The.." I'm holier than thou" ...and the.. "you can't tell me anything I don't already know baby...I'm "all that you know"! This sub is usually expelled on the spot, when I realize that it tries to hold foot. It is actually what it is trying to overrun that overruns it. H u m i l i t y !.
10. The "sexual personality".
The core of intimate self expression that everyone values to the max. The biological identity that emotions and all other sub-personalities revolve around. (I very often thought of myself of possessing an over dose of this thing, and I would like to carry it until the age of 103). This is quite a troublesome sub at times, but I'd never think of leaving home without it, or making any changes. I'll take it as is. .for as long as I can!.
11. The "humorous" sub.
This is undoubtedly my favorite. Whenever it takes over the show, the most insignificant aspect of life is funny. The whole world is hilarious....how could I ever think of being sad.. or sweat the small stuff? Life is all small stuff!. I laugh at my own jokes, and even in the middle of my sleep something funny wakes me up, and I just.. crack up. I crack myself up back to sleep,.. hoping that whatever it was that woke me up laughing,.. continues to entertain me further. I want this sub on a daily basis. It's like looking at the world from the view point of stand up comedy. It is certainly self propelling and rewarding. I can never imagine a life without humor!.
12. The "I want to be left alone" sub.
Here, I'm overcome with an intense desire to be totally left alone, to indulge in self analysis, self re-appraisal, and dig into past , present and future scenarios, and get in touch with deeper thoughts and feelings.
I usually emerge fresh and renewed after it's conclusion.
Yesss...I'm still sane after all!!!