You Are Here

YOU ARE HERE.

How many times have we seen those words – usually on maps – and almost always accompanied by a large red X (with or without an arrow pointing to it) so that you know that THIS X, not some other random X, is the one you need to be paying attention to?

But be honest here, how much attention do you actually ever pay to the X?

I know exactly what happens because I’ve done it myself.

You pull into the rest area and run up to the map.  “Okay, we’re here” you say, pointing to the X “and this is where we need to go,” you add, pointing to a place that is where the X is not. “So if we turn left…” and off you go, determined to get to your location to “do” whatever it is that you’re supposed to be doing or to get to where it is that you think you should be going.

The poor X never stands a chance.

But do you want to hear the really sad thing? Once you get to your destination, most people don’t pay any attention to it either – even though it’s a completely different X!  Once they get to where it is they think they should be going, they are so busy doing what they think they should be doing; or planning out another leg of the journey, that they never stop to look around them and see just where it is that they ARE.

I still remember the first time I actually paid attention to the X.

We’d stopped at a roadside rest area (the kind with the lean-to of snack and soda machines and the big area map standing alone with its own small roof and helpful spotlights so that you can’t miss it – and a BIG RED X – with an arrow pointing to it.

In bold black words written beside it, this one said: YOU ARE HERE

and underneath, scribbled in messy black marker was one additional word: WHY?

It made me chuckle, but it also made me think.

You ARE here. Now. For good or bad, for better or worse. THIS is where you are at this present moment in time.  I don’t care if the place where you currently are is a good place and everything seems to be going swimmingly, or a bad place where one more day is going to send you over the edge, or a place that is non-descript and really rather boring.  The point is, YOU ARE HERE, and I bet you haven’t even taken the time to really look around you and appreciate the view much less to see if there is anything interesting going on.

Why?

Perhaps it IS just a stopping point, a rest area; a red X on the map of your soul journey, but it is still a part of your journey, and if you’re going make the trip, you might as well enjoy the scenery, because who knows, maybe there IS no destination.

For all we know, experiencing each moment of now; each moment in which we find ourselves; may be all the purpose there is.  If so, we’re messing it up big time.

So the next time you find yourself looking at that big map comparing how far you’ve come and how far there is yet to go, take a moment to stop and look around you.  Are there other people at your rest area?  What are they doing?  How’s the view?  Is that maharachi music coming from the other side of the kiosk?

Yes, I know, you don’t want to linger too long.  After all, you have a journey to undertake and you want to get there as soon as possible, but take a few moments to appreciate where you are; the HERE that you are currently standing at, and the churros at that little stand on the other side of the map.
So….are we there yet?

Of Pins and Angels

Did you know that the term “How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?” was actually a derogatory phrase? It was used to discredit scholastic philosophy at a time when it still played a significant role in university education.

Well, that’s what some people believe.

There are others that teach that this question is unfairly attributed and originally comes from medieval epistemology: that the question was not how many angels could dance on the head of a pin, but instead was used to determine whether the nature of the human mind precluded the ability to know how many angels could dance on the head of a pin.

But of course a serious discussion of the phrase “How many angels can dance on the head of a pin” would assume a belief in angels…and dancing…and pins.

Maybe I don’t believe in pins!

Pins are sharp, they draw blood, and while some argue that pins are useful, that they help hold things together and can give structure to otherwise random and unrelated objects, I would have to argue that the same applies to Velcro, and superglue, and ticky tack. And neither Velcro or superglue or even ticky tack have the annoying habit of coming loose from what it is they’re supposed to be holding together at inopportune times and poking unwary victims with its pointy end.

That isn’t to say that Velcro and superglue and ticky tack don’t have their problems as well, after all, Velcro not only sticks to anything fuzzy including fuzzy things you would really rather it didn’t stick to, and superglue can stick TOO well -and not always to those things you had in mind. As to ticky tack, as incredibly useful as it is, it has a limit for the amount weight that it will hold. But still, so do pins.

So I say PACK UP THE PINS! Send them to those philosophers that are still debating the question of how many angels can dance on the head of one.

Of course it helps to remember that when the expression was coined, pins had flat heads. Today they make pins with rounded little multi-colored spherical heads, does the concept still apply? I mean, can ANYTHING dance on a sphere?

(…pauses for a facepalm…)

Yes, I know, we do. We dance on a sphere. At least those of us that dance, dance on a sphere, and a sphere that is simultaneously whirling around the sun and rocketing through space at unbelievably fast speeds.
If you take it a step further, all of life is a dance; a dance that is taking place on the head of this spherical, blue and green pin that glitters all by itself out here in the vastness of space.
Life dance on this sphere; we dance on it. We laugh on it. We live. We love, and we contemplate the metaphysical properties of angels…and the sticking power and properties of pins.

So does the fact that we dance on it make the world the head of a pin?
Better yet, does that make us angels?

And So It Begins

I have a story to tell you; a story that needs to be told. I will not tell you if it is truth or fiction – that is something which you will have to decide for yourself.

So listen closely.

Listen well.

If my story rings true for you, then truth it is. If it does not, then there is no harm done. You have wasted a few minutes of your time, nothing more.

If, however, you find what I have to say disturbing, you may want to ask yourself why – and to answer yourself truthfully.

And so it begins…

 

Once Upon A Very Long Time Ago – so long ago that even the rocks that make up the earth’s foundations don’t remember it – there were energies that were set loose in the universe.

These were not random, chaotic energies however, no. These were energies with purpose, and each of them made their way to a specific set of coordinates, coordinates which, oddly enough, intersected with planets – planets on which life was destined to evolve.

One of these energies was assigned to Earth – and its purpose was singular and simple: To bring about and advance the evolution of life on earth.

And so it was that the energy did as it had been directed – it brought about the beginning of life, and, having done so, it faded into the background, waiting patiently as change after change occurred, as eon after eon rolled slowly by, bringing with it plant life and aquatic life, amphibian and avian life.

And each time that it seemed that life had reached a stalemate – an evolutionary dead-end – the energy would re-awaken, each time taking a new and different form through which to act, through which to serve its purpose: serving as a catalyst to re-activate the evolutionary process.

It has come as fire and it has come as ice. It has come as the breath of life and the agent of destruction, each time rearranging energies and circumstances in such a way as to fulfill its original mission. And even though it can sometimes appear to be causing great suffering and upheaval, it knows what it is doing – fulfilling its original mission – and it will not be deterred.

It is an energy with a mission….and that mission is even now not yet complete.
And so it was that for millennia this oldest of earth energies, this energy containing the Breath of Life, the mind of change and threat of Chaos, laid dormant for a very VERY long time.

But once again its time has come. Once again it is time for the next step in the evolutionary path to be taken, and this time it has targeted humanity as a whole as the means to unlocking the next cycle in the evolutionary process.

And this time it has chosen a much more subtle means of evolutionary advancement, for this time fire and ice, flood, climate change, none of these will work, none CAN work, for while this is an evolutionary change of momentous proportions, its work – its change – cannot be accomplished purely on the physical level. For this is a change of the mind, an evolution of the spirit.

This time it is choosing to propel humanity past its own mental blocks and into an era of spiritual evolution that will unlock the potential of mind, body and spirit: potential that humanity has been sitting on for millennia.

And in order to accomplish this….this most ancient of energies had to do something very unusual indeed.

It had to be born.

But it was not born, as you might expect, into a physical body. Rather, since it is the mind and spirit that will be doing the changing, it had to be born into the human psyche.

This is not a future event. This is not something that WILL take place days or months or years down the road. IT HAS ALREADY HAPPENED. It happened while you were sleeping; while you were working; while you were laughing; while you were making love.

It is in your mind, right now, and there is nothing you can do about it.
One day you will wake up and find yourself looking out through its eyes, but they won’t be the eyes of a stranger. Somehow you will know that you have finally woken up to the person; to the potential that has been inside of you all along.

Looking at the world through eyes made fresh by understanding; life will once more be a marvelous place where every day is a gift and dreams are not impossible but loom on the horizon like the shores of distant but not unobtainable countries.

These eyes will see a world where wonder and mystery still abound and peace is the order of the day.
And these eyes; these eyes will cry for joy that once more, in the heart, love reigns supreme.

Spirituality by Picasso

I find it amusing when someone claims to have THE truth. Don’t get me wrong, I admire their ability to stick to their guns and defend their viewpoint, but to insist that there is only one way to look at things – only one truth – makes me shake my head.

It’s like looking at a photograph of a person – or a painting – and making assumptions about where they were and what they were doing from the angle the photo was taken or the painting was painted. How on earth would you know – from a head shot – what type of shoes the person was wearing (unless you were there) or what was happening to make the Mona Lisa smile?

The painting style known as Cubism began in the early 1900’s with the work of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. This style was based on the idea of incorporating multiple points of view in a painted image, as if to simulate the visual experience of being physically in the presence of the subject, and seeing it from different angles – all the different angles – all at the same time.

I’ll grant you that it makes for some confusing paintings (until you can wrap your brain around what you are looking at), but I think that the same concept can, in effect, be applied to spirituality.

Each religion and spiritual movement has a point of origin; a founder or founders who viewed the world around them, and their own and their followers place in it and saw it all in relation to god from a certain angle – from a certain perspective. They felt the truth of what they taught – felt it to their bones – but they all made one very big mistake, and that was to assume that their view, their perspective, was the correct one. Or more to the point, that their view was the ONLY one.

In fact, if you take a step back, and view the different spiritual movements, the different religions, you can see how each of them had a perspective of truth – as if each was/is looking at the same object, only from a slightly different angle.

It would seem – upon reflection – that the logical outcome of this would be to piece together the puzzle using the different perspectives to get a lock on the truth that each of them was perceiving from its own perspective in time and culture; to choose those parts of each “truth” that were accurate in order to construct your own view of the “truth.”

Of course there are those who would say that this dilutes the truth – that to pick and choose what one feels or believes are right from different movements lessens the impact of the message.

And indeed, that is the problem.

So why not try this; instead of picking and choosing what one “likes” or feels comfortable with from the different movements and religions, why not leave them all exactly as they are?

This does not mean to not study them; to not come to understand them, how they came to be and how they were viewing the world around them.  Instead it means to not try to pull a truth from here and a truth from there, but to leave the movements and religions alone; to leave them as they are and instead to take a step back from them so that they all fit onto the same canvass so that they will provide a three-dimensional view (when taken all together) of the truth(s) which they were/are trying to convey.

Only then; when you have seen the totality of them all, instead of choosing one (or several concepts from each and making something new for yourself), why not embrace them all; the totality of truth as seen from your new, fourth dimensional vantage point?  I can almost guarantee that it will be a far more comprehensive view than any you have had before, including aspects of humanity, and of your own self, that you may not even have bothered to consider before.

It may be a bit difficult to take in, and at first it may seem like having one’s spirituality defined by a Picasso – but if you can manage it, it may end up lending a depth and understanding to your overall perspective that might otherwise be missing.

The Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge

Full Moon Meditation; The Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge

You come to me; filtered through the branches of my apple tree; a silvery orb of forbidden fruit that fills my soul with wonder and leaves her clarity on my tongue. Fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil could not be sweeter or more energizing and, some would say; more dangerous.

Just look at some of the names that you have been given; Mictecacuiatl; Man-Eater; The Queen of the Living and the Dead; as if you would bring danger into the lives of those you touch. Danger? Really? I don’t see danger. I see introspection maybe; introspection that leads to self-awareness and self-understanding perhaps, but danger?

Ah yes – I see. I suppose that sort of knowledge and understanding could be considered dangerous; especially if it threatens to upset one’s status quo; to pull the rug of complacency out from under one’s feet; to make one realize that all of our best laid plans and hopes and dreams are nothing if we do not submit to the pull of that tide that would have us be who and what we really are.

To some, I suppose, that insidious pull could be a threat; a malicious plot to strip us of everything that we hold dear and leave us naked and bleeding at the feet of the Dark Queen; subject to your mercy and the beck and call of your commands as you makes demands on us that we are unable or unwilling to comply with; demands that go unfulfilled and so leave our soul stained with the fear of retribution.

To others you may very well be a goddess figure; divine protector who offers up her care, asking only that we meet those conditions that she asks as an acknowledgement of our gratitude for all that she has done. But is this any better than the Dark Queen? Does Agea or Andromeda or Artemis or Hekate ask less than the Dark Queen, or do they only ask differently?

The lengths to which humanity will go in order to avoid what is right in front of their eyes is truly amazing, for if you strip away the layers of myth and controlling fears and expectations; if you slip past the Dark Queen and the Divine Goddess, you find that they were only a shell; only a projected image; for at the center of the fruit you will find only your heart; bare and unadorned and vulnerable.

And when you see what resides there; at the center of the fruit of knowledge, you will understand that there were no demands; no expectations to be met in order to fulfill your end of the bargain. You will see that those things that are asked of you were asked BY you; by your heart, and your heart would never ask us to give anything that we are not willing and able and ready to give. She would ask nothing else. She CAN ask nothing else.

Any perception of demand and expectations and demands of acknowledgement are simply illusions; illusions generated by the all-too-human ego-self in order to keep us from opening ourselves up to the seeds of the fruit; to the possibilities that come with introspection and self-awareness and self-understanding; qualities which, when swallowed, take root in our soul and fill our lives with the kind of peace and awe and wonder that most can only dream of.

For Such a Time as This

All around us the world is changing; its energy is changing; moving; shifting; preparing for an upheaval of unimaginable proportions.

You are aware of these changes. You can feel them. Everyone is aware of them at some level. Everyone can feel them whether they realize it or not.

Even for those who deny it, the energy will out. It makes itself known; felt; understood, and it will use whatever means; whatever emotions and feelings it has available. It may make itself known as a nagging annoyance; as an insatiable restlessness; as a need to find something (though you may not know what it is you are looking for); as a persistent and underlying anger; as moments of uncontrolled rage against the injustice of it all (though you may not be entirely sure what you are raging against); as a low grade apprehension that keeps your insides churning with the knowledge that something is about to happen; or even as outright fear.

Human nature being what it is most people will try to find reason for these emotions; someone or something that they can point to and say “Look – they are to blame!” or “Here is the reason that everything is falling apart!” Then they proceed to find a way to reason it out; to justify it for themselves. They can’t help the way that they feel because they are being controlled/manipulated/influenced by outside persons or forces.

But all it amounts to is YOUR reaction to the changes in energy that you feel; the result of your fighting the changes in the energy that you feel; and it is not even energy that you have any control over. It simply IS.

This change in Earth’s energy simply IS.

It is time.

That is all.

And we happen to be living here in one of the most monumental times of Earth’s history; standing on the brink of an evolutionary shift so profound that it cannot be described; only felt and experienced.

It cannot be avoided.

It cannot be ‘fixed.’

This is exactly what is supposed to be happening and you can’t ‘fix’ it because this IS the fix. These changes in energy are what is going to set things right. The upheavals in everything from societal standards to plate tectonics are part of the cure; as is your being here.

You being here; you being here now – at this particular moment in time – is part of the cure.

You chose to be here during one of the greatest evolutionary shifts in earth’s history. Yes. You chose it. You may not remember doing the choosing, but you did or you would not be here.

Some of you chose to be here because you were curious and wanted a ringside seat; others because they wanted to experience it for themselves – wanted to get in on the action – take the ride if you will; and some few because they wanted to contribute in some way, shape or form to this restructuring. Then of course there are those who are contributing to the changes in ways that have been building over many lifetimes with the knowledge that it would come to this in the end.

But it isn’t the end, and that is the whole point.

No matter how scared you may be; no matter how angry you may feel at your life being turned upside down or inside out; no matter that you have forgotten as to why you are here, and how this is part of what is supposed to happen right here and now; it doesn’t matter.

It’s time to take a step back from the anger.

It’s time to take a step back from the fear.

It’s time to take a step back from the emotional upheavals and remember that this is part of something much bigger; YOU are part of something much bigger.
Take a step back, and then take a deep breath.

Stop fighting the changes – even if you feel that they are changing you. Let them. This is part of the process.

Stop fighting the emotions that these changes are generating and LET THEM GO.
Let go of the anger. Let go of the fear. Let go of the hatred and the rage and the irritation and the restlessness. Let it all go.

Feel the changes as they occur; observe them; let them move through you, but don’t become attached to them; don’t let your emotions get stirred up by them. Let them do what they are here to do, even if what they are doing is inside of you.

These changes are going to happen, no matter if we fight them or not, and resisting them will only cause us pain. We knew this was going to happen. In fact, we’ve been planning on it.

So relax and let it be.

You came here for such a time as this.

The Spaces In Between

Between the idea

And the reality

Between the motion

And the act

Falls the Shadow

~T.S. Eliot

Have you ever noticed that as humans we tend to focus on the tangible; the object, the sound, the smell, the taste, the texture and never the spaces in between that give the objects their shape?

My eyes read the lines of text in a book or on a computer screen, but what lies in the spaces in between the text? For it is only by including those spaces that we can form words and sentences.

My ears hear the drum beats in the music playing on the radio – but what is it that is not heard in the silences; those spaces in between; those pauses in the music without which there would be no music, just a continual cacophony of noise?

My mouth tastes the food that is placed into it; it chews and swallows, but there is a moment, just before I swallow when I am neither chewing nor swallowing, and without that pause there would be no differential between the two.

And when it comes to breathing, what exists in the instant between the exhalation and the inhalation; that pause where I am not breathing but transitioning from one to the other?

Perhaps, once upon a time, mankind actually paid attention to the spaces in between.  Perhaps we listened to the silences and read between the lines.  Perhaps we once saw the beauty in emptiness; in the space where something could be, but was not; and felt with our hearts the pure power of potentiality.

But somewhere along the line we became obsessed with filling up the spaces.  I don’t care if it’s in traffic or in conversation; in home decorating or in our belief systems; for some reason we feel that those spaces just have to be filled.

Maybe we feel that by filling up the spaces we can reassure ourselves of our own solidity (when in truth, physics dictates that we are anything but).

Perhaps it is because in filling the silences we no longer have to listen to that inner voice that tells us that we are more than this shell of a body; that there is more to life than this physical reality.

And perhaps the true mystery of life lies not in the knowing and the becoming – but in the spacesin between; in the silences of the symphony; in the darkness behind our eyes when we blink; in the blinding moment of sexual release when the world shrinks away to a pinpoint and everything else ceases to exist; in the pauses between heartbeats when we can feel the true nature of who and what we really are.

Consider that it may be in the not-doing that the secrets of the universe lay; in the non-tangible that the truth of reality waits patiently to be discovered.

And perhaps, just perhaps in learning how to read between the lines; in learning how to listen to the silences between the sounds, in pausing between heartbeats to appreciate those moments when we don’t exist; perhaps then and there we will find what we’ve been looking for and in so doing become so much more than we could ever have imagined.