Reflections

Distractions…

Ever get the feeling, the sense, that you’re trying to distract yourself from something you do not want to know?  I believe that’s where I’m at today…

Feeling very low energy, very low key; body tired with a restless mind.  I cannot concentrate on anything for very long.  I cannot rouse enough motivation to face what “threatens” me.  But it is not a threat of danger, but rather a threat of knowing…

It’s my day off, the first such day off for myself alone that I’ve had in a couple weeks.  And there was much I hoped to accomplish today.  But while it has not been a wasted day, I have yet to address that which directly weighs down on me…

I am reading countless things, many of which do not even interest me.  I am watching videos I do not wish to see.  I seek companionship (distraction) from others, without truly wanting to engage.  I follow otherwise intriguing paths, knowing they are not the ones truly calling me.  I engage in everyday mundane activities (laundry, paying bills, completing delayed projects, etc.), all “essential” to keeping up my chosen role here, but none truly compelling to my well-being in the moment…

And then I review, acknowledge all of this, and make a commitment to face the “truth.”  I meditate.  I sleep to dream, then push the memory of the dreams aside before they can be retained.  I reach out to the Others calling me, acknowledging the growing sense of urgency in their demeanors, only to pull back roughly and immediately when I realize they are pulling me all the way into their lives, rather than to the Center where we can simply converse, as others…

I am clearly avoiding something…

And I can make a thousand reasonable excuses for what I’m feeling and doing.  I can tell myself that whatever it is is just eluding me, not quite ready to fully expose or express itself.  But even that feels like I’m just lying to myself…

To myself.

Not to you, or anyone else.  Nor can I blame anyone else for the distractions leading me astray.  For I am distracting my self…

And it slowly dawns on me that perhaps I should stop looking at the things I’m willing to do to find this “truth,” and focus instead on what I’m not willing to do.  And do that instead…

Hmm…

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Flashback...

“The Covenant” (Revisited)

As I explain below, this is one of those pieces that occasionally calls out to me for reinterpretation.  Now residing in my “Pages” folder, I found it calling to me yet again in my morning meditation – replaying over and over again, and so blocking any other info from entering.  With such demanding force expressed, I cannot ignore it.  Perhaps it is in response to my recent interactions with Sha’Tara and rawgod, or perhaps it is relevant again for some other reason entirely.  In any event, it is the first compelling “lead” I’ve received in days, so I offer it to you once again…

***  ***   ***

Originally published as a regular post, I have chosen to move it here [Pages folder] for more permanent, easily accessible status.  This poem (?) originally came to me as a “flow of consciousness” piece that bordered on an unplanned case of automatic writing.  It came with such force that it drove everything else out of my mind until it was captured in writing.  Unedited, except for spelling and formatting issues, it has become one of those “go-to” works that repeatedly becomes relevant in different situations and times in my life.  Almost prophetic, it has not only explained and corrected my path from time to time, but I have been driven to share it with others occasionally to similar results.  I share it here, now, because I find references (both obvious and subtle) appearing in many other works of mine, even new ones, forcing me to acknowledge its ongoing influence in my life today…

“The Covenant”

Come…

Sit…

Listen…

and you, T.O.O. shall know

what I have come to learn.

It begins with This,

for this is what I know:

The time is Now…

time now to learn what each Other knows.

Why we are…

Who we are…

Now…

as before…

let us Be…

One.

As it was in the Beginning.

For in the beginning,

there was One.

And One spoke in the Silence:

“I Am…

Alone am I…

I would be Other…

So I am.”

And as each Word was,

so it Was,

and so it was,

that One became Other –

Twelve Others.

But with Otherhood

came Different-ness.

And from different-ness

came War.

So it was through war

that each Other came to know:

Sorrow…

Suffering…

Shame…

And Regret.

And with regret,

came a Desire

for One.

So it was that a Council of Twelve

gathered in the presence of One

seeking Peace,

instead of War.

And a Great Covenant was sealed:

“Beyond Time and Space,

there is Truth.

Within each Heart,

there is Power.

Through each Life,

there is Hope.

Between the Lessons of History,

and the Promise of Tomorrow,

Lie the Meaning and Purpose of Today:

Peace resides where Love reigns.”

And from this Great Covenant

sprang Three Sacred States,

each a world of Four,

with Four each to guide and protect the Three.

All…

in the Name of One…

in the Spirit of Other…

in search of Peace.

So…

Here we are – three

in a world of four.

Our world of four

but one of three.

And the message of the Pyramids

is on the Surface

for all to clearly see:

Four Sacred Children

gather as One

to learn of What Was.

Three times they come,

and through them, we come

to know of what Will Be.

The Promise of All…

The Lesson of One.

And one is asked,

“Who are you?”

And the Answer comes:

“I am Nobody…

But because I am nobody,

I am the same as Everybody.

And being everybody,

I am the voice of All.

As All…

I am…

One.

So who I am

is irrelevant.

All That Matters

Is

that I AM.”

And the Truth is this:

There is no Other!

 

© Lisa R. Palmer, 1995

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Poetry, Reflections

“The Pillar…”

A pillar stands before me –

plain, white stone.

Unremarkable in every way,

except for the attention it has drawn.

No markings, no decorations,

not holding anything up;

just standing there, alone,

upon an unremarkable bluff.

I can see the top, easily enough.

I can wrap my arms around it.

But when I try to move it,

the pillar does not budge.

I count this as significant,

the only thing it does –

standing like a pillar

upon a lonely bluff…

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Essay, Reflections

“The snakes are coming!! Step away from the road!”…

“Knowledge” is a peculiar thing, really.  I mean, if you think about it.  There are different ways of “knowing” and different levels of “what is known” (aka knowledge).  At some point (and I can’t say when or where with any consistency or accuracy), hunches, intuitions, dreams, prophecies, facts, data, and wisdom somehow combine and/or crystallize into “knowledge.”  And by doing so, said hunches, intuitions, dreams, prophecies, facts, data and/or wisdom become something else entirely.  They become real…

Perhaps that’s all there is to it, then.  Maybe.  Maybe it’s as simple as becoming “real,” and “knowledge” (that which is known) is the accumulation of what has become real.  In which case the transformation between supposition and belief into knowledge occurs entirely at the quantum level, when an actual path is “chosen” and made real…

What intrigues me about this possibility is that all true “knowledge” becomes past tense the instant it transforms into said knowledge; no longer a possibility or a choice, but a path already taken.  Hmm…

Why does any of this matter now anyway (other than to amuse my self)?  Because this is the time of year when prophecies abound, when speculation looms heavy in the public mind, when everyone looks forward to what may be coming, and tries to position themselves accordingly.  We are a forward looking species, who make decisions and resolutions based on past occurances.  Trusting, somehow, that there is a consistency or pattern to reality such that there will be similarities between how things happened before, and how they are developing now.

It’s not our fault, really; it’s simply how our minds work.  We (humans, anyway) reason by analogy.  We see “patterns,” and those patterns allow us to extrapolate, to draw conclusions.  Not always accurate, of course, but accurate enough to allow us to learn.  And we are not the only species capable of such learning, though we often credit ourselves with being the “best” at it.  Higher order thinking.  Cause and effect.  Symbolic representation.  These are hallmarks of human existence, though not limited to human use exclusively.

There is a saying (I have no idea who to credit with it) that says “insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.”  And “insanity” is, by definition, irrational; it does not make “sense,” it does not pass “go” or collect $200.  “Insanity” is the antithesis of reason and/or knowledge.

Or is it?

Because if reason is based on analogy, then it is, in fact, learning gained by mimicking past maneuvers.  Knowledge itself may be a past tense phenomenon.  So perpetuating “bad” ideas, habits of thought and action, and mistaken assumptions would be par for the course.

To be fair, of course, the key word in the saying is not “insanity” but “same.”  It acknowledges that true learning occurs when subtle changes are introduced, prompting different outcomes.  Sometimes those changes are not subtle at all, revolutionizing both our thoughts and our actions, and creating a whole “new” system of belief, action, choice and knowledge.  People (and their circumstances) can change…

Maybe…

***     ***     ***

So I’m wandering through this world today, observing Others (as I tend to do), and I notice things.  I notice, for example, that people are swinging on vines of belief between extreme certainty and extreme confusion.  The world we live in has become so adept at denying “reality” and sowing doubt that humans cannot seem to accumulate anything resembling knowledge.  They vacillate between shrugging their shoulders and shaking their heads in defeat, and defending, vociferously, that which directly opposes the observable.  Red is not blue, and blue is not red, no matter how much you want to believe, or how loudly (or meanly) you defend your point of view; it simply isn’t -period.

But the real confusion and chaos arises from the “fact” that it isn’t any one group or individual swinging between these extremes, but everyone!  Every single human I meet today exhibits these symptoms – one minute totally confused and unsure of what to expect, and the next minute defending the indefensible belief most currently guiding their actions!  Myself included, as I recently heard myself explaining to someone that my words, however confidently they were presented, should be taken as my opinion only; I don’t know anything, but I have lots of beliefs and opinions…

“Fake news.” “False flags.” “Doubt everything!”  “Research yourself.” “Ulterior motives.”  “Trust no one!”  Clarion calls and slogans for the “new age” of enlightenment.  And impossible to implement.  How do you truly research anything, when all data, all information, is merely an expression of someone’s beliefs?  How can knowledge exist if no one can make a decision about what is “real,” or if we cannot agree on those basic assumptions?  We can’t.  We can only create and defend our own little worlds.  But we cannot change others’ without some willingness or ability to achieve consensus.  And that would entail accepting belief and opinion over knowledge.  Until that belief and opinion transformed into knowledge…

But then, knowledge would not equal Truth…

So be it…  And change, if it is to be achieved, must occur pre-knowledge, proliferating only in the realm of supposition, belief and opinion.  Hunches, intuitions, dreams, prophecies become seeds of potential change; when acted upon they find resonance and connection in the “real” world, creating facts and data, acceptance of which mimics “wisdom.”  And when all of that combines into a quantum choice, “knowledge” is born…

***     ***     ***

I had a series of dreams today, all vaguely connected, though dreamed seperately.  They seem relevant to this discussion somehow…

Dream 1:  I am at some sort of huge gathering of people with my “group” (family, friends, tribe or clan).  Everyone is excited about what is about to transpire; hope, love and happiness infect the crowds like drugs or disease.  I’m wandering around, observing, but not engaging.  Eventually I arrive at where my group is gathered, unpacking for the upcoming events…

I notice at once that they are annoyed with me, even angry.  They tell me my role, my purpose within the group, is to speak (the/my) truth, to “inform” them about what is happening, and what is coming.  They are angry about my continued silence…

I try to explain that no one is listening, that no one wants to hear what I have to say, that I am simply wasting my breath when I try… but that does not appease them.  So I give in, I capitulate, I begin to speak of what I “know.”

And they completely ignore me, refusing to acknowledge even the sound of my voice, much less what I’m saying.  I carry on, valiantly trying to speak and be heard over the crowd and their personal chatter, but I fail.  So I wander off, to be woken by my cat entering my dream to get my attention; I wake to find my cat waiting expectantly, as it’s my normal time to arise…

Dream 2: (only vaguely remembered, as it was sandwiched between the other two)  I am somewhere with a small group of people, in proximity, if not in thought.  I am coloring, filling in patterns with colors that please me, not worried at all if they reflect reality.  Others around me are doing the same.  We occasionally glance at each others’ pictures, commenting on color choices and such, but none are affected by the others’ opinions, content to carry on in our own creations.  I am very happy…

Dream 3:  Another huge gathering on a beautiful day, only this one is not organized.  This is small groups – families, couples, individuals – out enjoying lovely weather in a pretty city park and surrounding streets.  Everyone is focused on who they are with, though pleasantly acknowledging others who cross their path.  The weather begins to change, skies darkening and wind rising…

I hear a distant announcement, barely audible above the sounds of crowd and wind, warning people. “The snakes are coming; step away from the road!”  Most people around me seem not to hear it, or react to it…

In my mind’s eye I see a water containment system (a dam, levee or water tank) let go, and a flood of water rushes down the main street, washing away everything in its path.  I realize the announcement is attempting to save lives, though most are oblivious.  A few random individuals have picked up the message and are attempting to pass it on, telling everyone they pass that the snakes are coming, as they, themselves, move away from the street.  But the strangers do not understand the message, first staring at the messengers, confused, then shaking off their warnings as irrelevant to them.

So I pick up the call, yelling at maximum volume: “The snakes are coming!!  Step away from the road!  For your own safety, move away from the road!”  I walk along the road, shouting, trying to reach as many as possible.  Some move away, if only to avoid the crazy lady walking down the sidewalk yelling about snakes…

Suddenly I see the water coming, rushing down the street, overwhelming all in its path.  As it passes me, I notice the foam in front looks distinctly like two snake heads roaring at all they pass.  Their fangs and their eyes flash in the fading light, while their intertwined bodies eventually merge into a single body of water.  And suddenly I understand the warning…

I smile as I move away from the road, unhurried…

***     ***     ***

Higher order thinking.  Cause and effect.  Symbolic representation.  All hallmarks of human existence…

Depending on your beliefs, snakes can represent healing, transformation, or knowledge.  And depending on your opinion, they can represent “good” or “evil.”

Knowledge is, after all, a peculiar thing…

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Reflections

Fight, Flight or Surrender…? (Or a Whole New “Level” of Empathy?)

I’m sitting here this morning, experiencing…  something.  Knowing words (even my vast and deep aquaintance-ship with them) will fail to adequately capture, yet compelled to express what I can…  Restless.  Unable to sit still long enough to seek comfort in meditation or other focused activities.  Too grounded in “what is” to escape, too flighty to “act” in any coherent or productive manner, too lost to feel secure, too beaten down to want to try, and yet…

And yet “I” still exist – empowered, connected, secure in my Self, certain of my ability to navigate and survive.  Questioning, but not truly seeking answers, for the rhetorical seems to suffice.  For behind the experience of everyday living is the echoing timbre, the consistent, measured heartbeat of single, simple words…  What?  Why?  Where?  Who?  When?  But not one of them sticks around long enough for a reply to form.  It’s as if the answers themselves are pointless, and the questions a habit carried over from some other time…

I used to play a game at times like these (I started very young, my earliest memories of it around three years of age).  I would sit quietly on the sidelines of life and watch others, then “make up” stories about their lives, based on what I “felt” when I looked at them.  The stories took on more nuance and advanced plots as I aged, but the process was always the same.  I would mostly never know if my “stories” reflected any truth about the people I observed, but the process itself helped me fine tune both my ability to identify and name feelings, and my understanding of people, relationships, and life in general.  It also taught me a great deal about compassion, about putting myself in someone else’s shoes, about real “needs” versus stated “wants,” and about my self, as every such experience was tainted by my own expectations and desires…

Over the past few weeks, I have delved deeper into my emotional cauldron than I have in recent years; there has not been the option of skating across the surface of things, simply naming, ruminating, and letting go.  I find myself immersed, drowning, yet easily able to breathe when the panic subsides.  I have known a rage so real (my own, no less), that the “beast” within me quivers with the need to lash out and devour all within range – friend, foe and stranger indistinguishable in the red haze.  I find myself commiserating with those who act out in seemingly senseless acts of violence, wishing that I, too, could find some relief that way.  But I cannot separate myself enough from the victims of such acts to make such an outcry possible for me…

I have felt so completely defeated that I wished for nothing more than to curl up in a ball and cease to exist in this present time and place.  But I cannot “give up” on my Self, or abandon those others with whom I have so deeply bonded (people, animals, and trees alike)…

So I walk through each day, head spinning, feet stumbling forward, simply trying to acknowledge each new wave or experience as it happens, reeling from the onslaught of sensory and emotional data.  Shielding does not appeal to me, as dulling the experience does not nullify it or erase it; it merely minimizes its intellectual impact, driving my thoughts ever further from my feelings about life.  Such distancing is not true detachment, after all, just a dilution of the poison that will allow me to “suffer” longer…

A few days ago my 17 month old granddaughter visited me in my dreams, just as we were both awakening.  She stood there as her baby self (not the spirit self with whom I have so far interacted), and babbled baby talk at me.  When I acknowledged her by name, and asked if she had come to visit Grandma Lisa, she smiled.  I told her I loved her, and she giggled.  And when I mentioned I needed to wake up, and waved good-bye to her, she waved back…

I found this encounter significant for a couple reasons.  One, it was the first time she projected into my dreams, and she did so as her current, chosen form; that seemed huge to me, that she now has such a strongly developed sense of self.  Two, it seems to take our bond to a whole new level.  If she is expressing such an ability in dreamwalking, at this age, I can only feel excitement about where it might lead…

Yesterday I attended a kids Halloween party with my daughter and grandchildren.  It was noisy, chaotic… frantic almost, as if the need to “celebrate” something, anything had long since overwhelmed the significance of form; it didn’t matter why we were all there, just that we were.  My granddaughter appeared shell-shocked through most of it, her usual curiosity and fearlessness swamped by the immensity of the experience.  I could relate, and yet I found myself eager to engage.

We wandered around, aimlessly, while my grandson played, and I found the “stories” seeking me, rather than the other way around.  I saw smiles and laughter, intense enjoyment, plastered on faces beneath vacant eyes, as though the masks on everyday faces had long since lost touch with the reality of individual lives.  I saw surprise, and glimpses of presence, when I reached out to acknowledge individual beings, complimenting costumes, praising performances, or thanking them for being there.  That first moment of shock in those vacant eyes when they realized I was speaking to them was… I don’t know…  heartwarming and heartbreaking, all at the same time…

There was a young boy who no doubt practiced for weeks to get on that stage and sing for a crowd that never even looked his way.  He and his father walked away dejectedly from the stage.  When I caught up to them to shake the boy’s hand, and tell him I thought his performance was amazing and to thank him for performing, neither he nor his father knew how to respond…

Then there was the man I was suspicious of.  No reason, no overt acts that appeared irregular, inappropriate, or threatening, and still…  I actually warned my daughter to be aware of him.  I found myself stalking his presence through the crowd.  I even had my daughter pose for a picture so I could capture his image in the background, just in case…  In case of what?  I have no idea.  But my feelings were real.  And whenever my eyes crossed paths with him, I felt this tension, this certainty that a breaking point was near, and that certainty triggered fear…  More than once he locked eyes with me, and though I “felt” calm, nonjudgmental peace toward him, I could not deny the desperation that shone back at me.  His eyes were not vacant, and he was clearly in pain…

A friend recently suggested that perhaps this is just the way things are now.  The past is no longer an adequate map for navigating the present, because its rules no longer apply.  The future can no longer guide us because our goals cannot align with the way things are developing; it is too unpredictable, unstable and unstoppable to shift.  There is only now – fight or flight in each moment, and radical “surrender” to what is, forfeiting all hope of wants being met, and most cases of need…

But I cannot help but wonder if this is all just a reflection of a whole new level of empathy…  Which would actually represent “progress” would it not?

Hmm…

 

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self-discovery, Stories..., Visions

The Embrace…

I am walking down a forest path, at peace, contemplating all that has been happening near me.  Something moves in front of me, though what it is at first eludes me.  Gradually my eyes focus enough to “discover” a being hiding in the gloom behind a tree…

I stop walking, not wanting to intrude on or frighten this stranger before me…

“It’s ok,” I softly say.  “I’m not here to harm you or disturb you in any way.  I’m just passing through…  Would you mind if I passed by, or would you prefer me to turn around and leave?  After all, you were here first, weren’t you?”  I smile to reinforce my words…

The being leans forward a bit, looking up and down the path.  I see now its humanoid form.  I notice also its wariness, its vigilence.  I sense no fear coming from the being, just profound awareness, and caution…  And strength, unlike anything I have encountered before!  This being is in its element, and knows it; if anyone should be afraid, it should be me…

But I am not afraid…

I wait, patiently, wondering if (and how) this being may communicate with me.  After several minutes, the sense of threat, of possible dire consequence, begins to fade.  The being checks the path once more, before stepping out to face me…

At first I am bewildered by what I see, questioning if it’s a trick of light, or some sort of mirrored shield being held up in front of me; for standing on the path ahead is a younger, darker version of me.  She is cloaked and hooded in forest greens, well camouflaged in this environment.  Her posture is alert, but relaxed, raw power emanating from every pore of her being.  She simply looks at me, expectantly, waiting for my reaction…

It is then I realize it is my Shadow facing me, the one who’s call has been leading me for days.  And slowly, the odd dynamics of our current status begin revealing themselves to me…

For clearly, she has the power for now; her strength, purpose, presence are palpable.  But I am in control; my consciousness must decide what happens next…  I stand there, rooted like the trees surrounding me, held in this timeless moment by the sense of import, the sheer significance of this encounter!  Finally, I take a small, almost involuntary, stumbling step forward.  She stands straighter, somehow creating a less threatening posture in spite of growing taller…

“May I approach?,” I think to ask, falling back on familiar civilities, while seeking to convey respect.

She nods, but says nothing…

I approach slowly, soaking up every detail, mesmerized by all I see…  “You are truly magnificent!,” I breathe aloud as I get close enough to truly see her.  And she is!  All the things that I am not – confident, secure, balanced – and so, so, so much more; I have difficulty grasping that she is me, given how different we appear.

“I have been looking for you,” I explain to her.  “Everywhere.  In the forests mostly, but also in the lakes and oceans, in the sunlight that warms my skin, and the moonlight that guides my dreams.  I have searched for you in my sanctuary spaces, and travelled to the crossroads hoping to encounter you.  I have even dipped into the river of time seeking just a moment with you…”

“I have been waiting for you,” she finally speaks.  “And now you have come…”

I chuckle nervously, unsure about what to do next, so I ask…  “Now what?  We have met.  What happens next?”

“That’s up to you,” she softly answers.  I am captivated by her calm, her lack of urgency, anxiety, or need…  “What do you want?,” she whispers…

Echoes of that question reverberate in my mind, remembering other places, other times this question was asked of me.  But this time, I know immediately what I want!

“I want to embrace you, to hug you, to hold you close to me,” I answer, before shyness can prevent the words from escaping…

She smiles fully, holding open her arms wide, offering herself in perfect trust.  I step forward eagerly, carefully placing my left arm above her shoulder, and my right arm beneath hers.  Leaning slightly right, I hug her tightly, heart to heart, and let myself go completely in this moment…

I become aware of our heartbeats, separate, but the same.  I feel them merging into one resounding, rhythmic, beat.  I sense the boundary between us dissolving, with neither absorbing the other, but each becoming One…  Each cell that defines us, each strand of energy, every memory, experience, hope, doubt and triumph merges smoothly, leaving us distinctly present while still being Whole…

I (we) breathe deeply, the scents of the forest accompanied now with a deeper understanding, identifying “what’s” and “who’s” in a way I could not do just moments before.  As my mind automatically begins to process the significance of each scent identified, I feel my own (other’s) surprise at how efficiently it does so.

There is bliss in this experience of union, and excitement of what we can learn, do and create together!  I (we) are complete, and the whole Universe is our home…  And playground…

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