Poetry, Reflections

“The Glass Prison…”

Trapped in a prison of glass…

Free to see…

Free to feel…

But unable to touch those outside.

Watching as they self-destruct,

dragging along as many Others

as each can touch…

Only windows here,

but no doors I can find.

Bearing witness to the fury that consumes…

Nothing more.

Or less.

There are airholes high above me,

allowing me to breathe.

The stench of death and rotten things

nearly suffocating me…

“It’s only glass!,” you point out,

your tone a measured mix of disdain and disgust.

“If you feel trapped by it, you can only blame yourself!”

“True,” I think, knowing you are right.

“But if the only weapons I have are my hands, and feet and head…

“If I can only turn within this space, but not take a single step…

“Then how do I escape without also destroying my Self?”

And do I really want to?

***

Standing in a sanctuary made of glass…

Free to see…

Free to feel…

But unable to be touched by those outside.

Advertisements
Standard
Conversations, Reflections, Stories..., Visions

“A Lesson on the Evolution of Rocks… and things.”

The Teacher led us to a rocky ledge, basking in the early morning sun, and bade us sit and make ourselves comfortable.  “Steady your breathing and claim your space,” she instructed us.

After some time had passed, she sighed deeply, and began to speak…

This stone I’m sitting upon is warming beneath me…,” she said.  “It’s almost as if it’s absorbing my own heat energy and reflecting it back to me.  Why do you suppose that is?”

No one responded…

Hmm…,” she mused aloud.  “Rocks evolve in a crucible of heat and pressure.  When the proper levels of each are achieved, they transform themselves into entirely different form.  Same matter, maybe (?), but a totally different expression of it, with different qualities, different strengths, different weaknesses…  The same, but different…”

She paused a moment, seemingly lost in thought.  Silence reigned upon the rocky knoll…

So the question then becomes, for me anyway… [a smile tugged at the corner of her mouth] … are the rocks then feeding me (by warming me), or are they feeding off me (by draining off my heat energy in the first place)?  Is the growing heat beneath me reflective of my healing or my weakening?”

Silence held the listeners’ tongues…  Laughing, she turned to look at each of us in turn…

Did you all follow me up here to listen to me talk to myself?”

One seeker spoke up, hesitating and awkward…  “I feel only good coming from the rock I’m with.  The experience is pleasant, comforting, blissful…  I feel more grounded, more centered, more… whole somehow…  I think the rock is helping, rather than hurting me,” he concluded quietly.

Ok, then,” the Teacher responded.  “From your perspective the rock is serving you…  Beautiful!  Wonderful!  How empowering and validating it must be to be loved in this manner!…”  She turned and looked sharply at the speaker.  “But why do you suppose the rock should choose to serve you this way?  Does it gain nothing from its interaction with you?”

Another seeker spoke up…  “Perhaps the good feelings are merely a side effect of the draining of energy…?  Some predators drug their victims so they don’t realize they’re in danger until they are too weak to respond,” she suggested.

Ahhh…,” responded the Teacher.  “In which case, the very rocks upon this Earth may be our enemies, draining us, enslaving us to fuel their evolution…?”

The student did not respond…

Seems curious to me,” mused the Teacher, “that we have so many ‘stone masters’ in our collective human history, if we are indeed their slaves.  Perhaps that is part of the shared delusion the stones create to bend us to their will…?”

Silence settled once more upon the small group.  The sun warmed as it rose higher in the morning sky.  The humans warmed,  absorbing its heat and light.  The rocks warmed, creating a haven of peace and serenity, soothing city souls…

“It seems to me,” a third seeker began, “that everything in the Universe, in Nature, revolves around the principle of exchange…  From the grossest planetary matter, to the tiniest sub-atomic particles, all forms freely exchange energy.  Each expression of matter may use that energy differently, but we are all using the same energy…  Why, then, would this be any different?  Why cast it as an either/or question?”

He looked directly at the Teacher…  And continued.

“Can we not suppose, perhaps, that the exchange of heat energy between us and the rocks is of mutual benefit somehow?”

Interesting question,” the Teacher responded.  “Perhaps we could explore that a bit…?”

When no objections were voiced, she began to speculate aloud…

So, the rock absorbs my heat energy to use for some internal process, and then returns that heat energy to me, making me feel good…?”

No one in the small gathering responded…

But is there then a purpose to this exchange, beyond the mere cycling, or recycling, of energy…?”  Chuckling softly, she continued, mostly to herself.  “Talk about the proverbial waste of time…”

“Unless…,” the third seeker began.  “Unless the rocks transform my heat energy in some manner before returning it to me…?  In which case, it’s not precisely the same energy…?”

Smiling broadly, the Teacher looked directly at the third seeker…  “From which we might conclude that we also transform such energy before passing it back to the stones…?  Or other beings we might encounter along our way?”

“Like bees!,” another seeker exclaimed.  “We, as humans, have mobility that the stones do not innately possess.  I mean, they move, of course, but not nearly as easily as we do.  Perhaps our mutual exchange allows us to carry the stone-transformed energy elsewhere, while leaving some residue of our travels behind!  Such an exchange would benefit both parties, empowering, informing, even directing the evolution of all matter…”

Another seeker jumped in, excitedly… “Gently pushing us all in the same general direction…”

And yet another seeker found her voice…  “Both pushing us forward while reigning us in, so no one form alters too dramatically in a single step!”

All eyes focused on the Teacher…

She sighed deeply, drawing in the early summer morning, then lay back upon her warmed rock.  The seekers waited, expectantly, though none could voice their need.

The same… but different,” she murmured softly.

Soon the Teacher’s gentle snoring became part of the ambient summer soundscape…

 

Standard
Reflections, Stories...

Drowning…

“Fire looked at Water blankly, completely unprepared to answer. Laughing merrily at his sudden discomposure, Water reached out to embrace Fire. But Fire jumped back quickly, avoiding the contact.

“Are you nuts, Water?! What are you trying to do, kill me?” Responding to Water’s deep and disheartened confusion, Fire added more gently. “Water puts out fire, remember?”

Nodding sadly, Water concurred. “And fire destroys water… I remember.” “

(An excerpt from a short story entitled “Fire and Water: The Search for Life” I wrote many years ago…)

***

Relevant now, again, because I feel as if I am drowning…

Lately I seem to be inundated with water issues, from flooding to our most recent household disaster where the aforementioned flooding took out the hot water heater’s pilot, and we cannot get it lit again.  There are other minor issues, too, of course, like leaky sinks, and shower hoses suddenly spurting where they’re not supposed to, all of which lead my friends to believe that we are being overcome by emotions.  At least symbolically…

But I am more intrigued with the water’s effect on fire in our home, and my inability to keep the home fires burning.  Literally!  There was the power outage that left us without heat for five days during a wicked cold snap.  And even though we have a woodburning stove, I could not keep the fire going for any length of time because the wood was wet, and so reluctant to burn.  For 5 days I lived here, with internal household temps never getting above 40 degrees.  And then I finally got dry wood!  And the power came back on…

That was followed by a record breaking snowfall (within hours, no less) made so much more difficult to handle by rising temps throughout.  The snow was incredibly heavy and wet, with the sun shining brilliantly after the storm, making the shovelling out process a 3 day nightmare for the physically challenged, like myself…

All that snow melted quickly in the spring-like weather that followed, bringing on the first floods…  And so April arrived with steady, constant rain for days, until the whole world seemed to be drowning in it.  Everything was under water…  Until finally, this past weekend brought a taste of early summer, and we could finally assess the damage all that water caused.  And it was then we lost the hot water heater…

So… clearly my fire is being overwhelmed by my water!  My passion, creativity, motivation, even action, snuffed out, made impotent and ineffectual by the flood of emotions drowning me…

Just last night I came home late after spending some valuable time with a respected friend.  She left me with much to think about; intrigued, and moving in new directions at last.  I spent time alone after coming home basking in the light of a full moon shining from a nearly cloudless sky.  The cool rays of moonlight contrasted sharply with the unusually warm temperature, and it was a balm to my restless and disheartened spirit.  I let down my guard, as I usually do, and opened myself to the healing that only time alone at night can bring.  And so the feelings came…

Heart-wrenching, gut-twisting, rage-inducing pain from so very many sources, I could not begin to identify them all.  So much suffering happening in the world…  The tears came unbidden, as they do every night recently; impotent and pointless, but flowing nonetheless.  And this time I found I couldn’t actually breathe anymore, as the flood assaulted me.  I was, metaphorically and literally, drowning in sorrow!  The weight on my chest was so heavy, I seriously wondered if I was having genuine medical issues.  But no, not really, at least not the “fixable” kind…

And then it began to rain, softly at first, before becoming a deluge.  Lightning flashed and thunder rolled; an unexpected storm drenching me.  I just stood there on the deck, my tears still falling, and looked up at the brightness of the moon.  And there she sat in all her glory… in a completely cloudless sky.

A full blown thunderstorm raging from a cloudless sky?!

And my first and only thought was to question, “did I do that?”

The storm ended as quickly as it began, before I could pull myself together enough to seek shelter in the house.  But my soaked clothes and skin were proof enough for me to accept the storm was not my imagination…

And when I woke this morning with that same weight upon my chest, I recognized it clearly for what it was – anxiety.  Not fear.  Anxiety…

The world I live in makes no sense to me today.  I cannot understand what is happening anymore.  At all!  Rationality has left the building, and everything around me is in complete chaos.  And I do not know how to maneuver effectively through it.  Hence my anxiety.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not so naive as to believe that life should be fair; I know better, based upon only my own experience.  And I cannot deny that there are good people out there doing great things, even if it’s not reported with the same enthusiasm as all the bad.  I see good moments in every day… But there is no balance occurring, no matter how much I widen my view or broaden my perspective.  There is no way to justify, explain, or empathize with the purely destructive acts occurring all around me!  I am beyond bewildered…

These few people, bringing so much suffering down upon the rest, for their own tiny glorification are determined to destroy everything, including that which would serve their own interests!  I literally cannot comprehend the motives of such self-destructiveness; it goes so far beyond the limits of my vision and experience!  Even in the darkest moments of my life, in the very depths of my insanity (the antithesis of rationality), I retained a remote and distant sense of balance.  But there is none of that in evidence today.  Hatred rules, and people rush headlong into battle with no other goal than to destroy as much as possible before impaling themselves upon their own weapons!

And I am driven back, into my own past, looking for something… anything!… that will restore a sense of balance…  A life preserver of some sort to save me from drowning…

***

Warily, Water faced him. “But nothing can come of my love for you, Fire. You know that; you pointed it out.”

Thoughtfully, Fire responded. “Yet the Creator spoke to us of Love. We were left here together to find Life… Maybe if we joined forces?” Hopefully Fire looked to Water.

“But we would destroy each other,” Water reminded him, confused.

“I know,” Fire agreed. Then smiling at Water, he added. “But at least we wouldn’t be alone anymore in a vast, lifeless universe… And we would be together. Is that so bad a destiny?” Lowering his voice, he spoke once more. “I love you, too, Water. I know that now.”

Unable to contain her joy, Water rushed to Fire and embraced him, all thoughts of consequences lost in her love for him… The Creator of All-That-Is smiled at long last, marking this moment in a timeless eternity, and a miracle occurred. For out of the union of Fire and Water arose Life, not death; in the wake of that union, there were four in the universe, rather than two…

Where Water embraced Fire, Fire cooled, leaving in his place a solid element – Earth; so daughter was borne of the father’s essence. Where Fire warmed Water, steam arose, creating yet another element – Air; and son was borne of the mother’s flesh. From the love of Fire and Water came the twin elements Earth and Air. And a family existed where only emptiness had been…”

(The entire story can be found at the following links…  maybe… if you’re interested:

Part 1: https://theotherhoodofone.wordpress.com/2016/01/24/fire-and-water-the-search-for-life/

Part 2: https://theotherhoodofone.wordpress.com/2016/01/24/fire-and-water-part-2/ )

Standard
Essay, Reflections

“Wake Up, America!!”

This post has been sitting in my Draft folder for about 10 days, but I was unwilling to publish it, waiting instead for something more inspirational to arise.  Nothing has.  And while this essay is angry, sarcastic, and self-centered in the extreme, it appears to be how I really feel these days.  Go figure…

So I’m sharing it now.  Perhaps by doing so, and by owning this crappiness, I will be able to move beyond it.  Or perhaps not.  We shall see soon enough…

 

Wake up, America!!

Stand up!  Be brave!  Exercise your freedom!  Unite!…

Vote!  Don’t vote!  Vote for him!  Vote for her!  Vote for neither of them!  Vote for another!

Protest!  Resist!  Boycott!  Donate!

Protect the environment!  Stop climate change!  Save the rainforest!  Save the children!  Save the bees!

Change your life!  Empower yourself!  Save the world!  Be the Light!

Speak up, America!  Own your flaws!  Admit your racism!  Stop the lies!

You’re all narcissists, obsessed with entertainment!  You’re all slaves of the Matrix system!  Turn off your TV’s; turn on your brains!  Look up from your phones!  Get involved!  Do something, America!  Act now, before it’s too late!

Head spinning, bugles ringing, drums beating in my veins.  Battle cries shoring up my broken heart, the need to act driving every step with urgency and power.  I reach for the door, ready to go, and…

Stop…

Stuck…

“Where exactly am I going?,” I ask myself.  “What exactly am I planning to do?!”

I am poor, but I am white, and somehow that should make a difference.  I am crippled, but I am educated, and somehow that should matter.  I am empowered, self-aware, and empathic, and all of this somehow uniquely qualifies me to act at this time…  And I chose this life, this time to be born, so there’s that as well…

But what exactly am I supposed to do?!

And there is the crux of the problem…

For there are a lot of people “out there” with a lot to say, a lot of opinions, a lot of rhetoric.  But very few who offer real and practical advice about what we should actually do!

I have no extra money to donate, no matter how great the cause.  Besides, I cannot avoid the screaming implications that the pursuit of more (money) makes me a part of the problem, even though those claiming to be working to resolve the problems keep soliciting more…

I could go join a “march for…” something, I suppose, but 5 blocks at a time is about my limit these days.  Do you suppose my hobbling 5 blocks will change the course of history, no matter how much such marching might cost me physically and personally?  I’ll do it, of course, if it will help, because I live to serve.  But someone please explain to me how this is supposed to work…  I hobble along, at great personal sacrifice, and hope that someone, somewhere, in some corporate office, will be so impressed with my effort that they will call an immediate board meeting to rescind their evil ways…?

I could go join the front lines in North Dakota (or anywhere else that peaceful prayer is standing up to corporate greed).  But the police and soldiers there are armed with clubs, guns, dogs and pepper spray, and they are using them with immunity.  Suppose I could afford to get there.  Suppose I could get my lame ass on the cold earth to sit in a prayer circle.  Chances are, I could not get up by myself when we were through.  And if those militarized forces ordered us to go, I could not physically comply.  So then what?  I get beat up, bitten, broken or bulldozed over?  And what have I accomplished now?  It might be “noble,” I admit, but ultimately futile in the end…

Enough whining, Lisa!  Focus!

Ok, so here’s my thing.  I cannot “fix” what’s wrong with my country, and what’s wrong with my world.  I have no power, at least not in a broader context.  I can only exercise control over my own life, priorities and actions.  So what am I going to do?

Someone mentioned to me recently that blaming “Americans” for all that is wrong is a lot like blaming the victim for the crimes committed against them.  I resisted that thought, knowing as I do, that we “can’t be victims unless we choose to be.”  It’s been my mantra for many years.  And yet…

And yet, we are all “victims” of the same system in a sense.  We are so deeply indoctrinated into it that even if we see its limitations, we cannot see a way out.  We have no power.  And its not just the powerful preying upon us, but our fellow powerless neighbors seeking some control over their lives.

Explain to me, for example, why thieves would break into my home in a poor city neighborhood to steal a $400 TV that took me 18 months to pay for?  Why are they tempted to break into my 9 year old car that I’m still going to be paying for 3 years from now?  The garage just down the street (where I spent another $600 this year to get my car through a state inspection again) is empty at night.  Why break in here??

Why not go stand on the side of the expressway, or in the grocery store parking lot, and bum a dollar for a bus ride to the rich part of town?  There you could steal a car, break into a home and take whatever you want, knowing they have the resources to replace said items before the insurance check (from their good coverage/low deductible insurance) even comes in the mail?  Why do poor people steal from poor people instead of from rich people?

Why do those gun toting, mad bomber types prefer to kill “innocent” people in a shopping mall, school or nightclub, rather than targeting politicians, corporate executives and bankers?  Do they honestly believe that killing myself and my grandkids before getting themselves killed is going to change anything? Or punish anyone who truly needs punishing?!  How does that serve any purpose?

I’m not talking about terrorist organizations which are no more than fronts for those already in power.  I’m talking about individuals acting out of rage and frustration.  Think about it!  If you took out a few corporate executives, or bankers responsible for fleecing you, destroying the environment and enslaving you, you’d actually be serving your fellow citizens!

If you chose to target the actual “bad” cops, rather than all cops, most of whom take their oath to “protect and serve” their communities seriously, you would be much more likely to end corruption and police brutality.  It’s not like the names of the “guilty” cops aren’t out there.  Target them, and so discourage other cops from becoming like them, rather than discouraging all cops from protecting we the people…

I understand that “revolution” without a plan for what comes after invites even more power hungry, tyrannical overlords into power, but sitting here whining about how bad things are accomplishes nothing!  And yet…

And yet I honestly cannot see what is expected of me at this time!  I try to speak truth as I understand it, but the only ones who hear me are those who already believe what I say.  I look for ways to take action, but those actions accomplish little to nothing in the big picture scenarios.  I am NOT powerless, and yet I cannot seem to change the current course of history as it unravels before my disbelieving eyes!…

And so…

Head spinning, bugles ringing, drums beating in my veins.  Battle cries shoring up my broken heart, the need to act driving every step with urgency and power.  I reach for the door, ready to go, and…

Head off to work for someone else, to collect my paycheck and pay my bills.  Gotta keep the fossil fuel hog car running so I can earn that money, so I can eat, live indoors with heat and electric, so I can continue to support the system that enslaves me.

And when it all gets to be too much, I will turn on that TV I just finished paying for, or watch some cat videos on my phone, or read a good fantasy novel on my e-reader…  And for a few minutes, at least, maybe I can forget that I’m supposed to be doing something…

Go back to sleep, America; it was just another false alarm…

Standard
Essay, Reflections

“Choosing Cruelty…?”

I had an interesting discussion with my roommate yesterday that I feel compelled to share for some reason, even though the post I planned for today is almost complete.  Please accept it as offered, an impulse without explanation, though it be a difficult topic to explore…

The discussion centered on Karma, and the soul’s choice to incarnate into certain situations for the purpose of learning lessons.  It is not a concept that everyone believes, even here among my friends at WordPress.  I understand that we of the Otherhood come from a variety of backgrounds, and hold diverse sets of beliefs and convictions; it is one of my fondest goals achieved and the one I am most grateful for. I count among the followers of this blog people from many faiths and perspectives, and I value each of them immensely!

It is for that reason that I am identifying the subject matter clearly in advance, for I do not wish to offend those who believe differently than myself.  But if you are open to outside ideas, this post may engage your interest nonetheless, as it deals with “evil” expressed in human affairs.  If such does not appeal to you, feel free to move along now… 🙂

So the question we were considering was this: why would a soul choose to live a life which centered on being cruel to others?

It is not hard to understand the lessons associated with victimhood, as they range the spectrum from self-empowerment to forgiveness; there is much of value to be gained by being a victim.

But the lessons of victimage (scapegoating, the act of victimizing others) seem less accessible to me.  It is almost incomprehensible to me that someone would choose to harm others.  And yet, without victimizers, we would have no victims, and no opportunity to learn such virtues as forgiveness, tolerance, patience, compassion and grace…

Could it be that simple?  Could a soul choose such a path for the primary purpose of aiding other souls in their development?  Or are there lessons to be gained by being the perpetrator of such acts?

I’ve heard it said that “evil is as evil does,” though I have no idea from where it comes.  Still, its message seems clear enough.  No soul is born good or evil; rather it is the choices we make that determine our character.  So evil is, at some level anyway, a choice that someone makes.  So why choose evil?

The easiest answer, perhaps, is that someone is driven to such a choice by their own experience as victim.  If you’ve been traumatized by events in your life, you choose how to integrate them into your experience.  One obvious path is to become the traumatizer, thus insulating yourself from further abuse.  Or perhaps you are merely “acting out” your rage against such injustice.  This explanation may suffice for much of what we see happening in the world today, from “legacy of abuse” stories, to random acts of mass violence against others, but it does not explain those who simply seem “born to be bad.”  (Can’t help thinking of George Thorogood here…)  What then motivates them?

If you believe that such is possible, you might be tempted to explain evil in terms of possession by outside forces; “the devil made them do it.”  Or perhaps an interest in scientific/psychological studies might lead you to believe the brain of these individuals is miswired or defective; certainly there have been scientific breakthroughs in brain mapping that show what is different in sociopathic and psychopathic brains.  But neither of these possible explanations for cruelty explain why a soul would choose to experience such a path.

One could fall back on sociological explanations as well, I suppose, blaming society itself for fostering such power-over relationships.  Certainly humanity’s propensity toward being alpha predators aids those choosing to be cruel by providing a framework upon which to justify many incomprehensible acts.  From slavery to slaughter, society institutionalizes acts of extreme cruelty, creating a world in which such acts are expected.  But aside from pointing out the prevalence of such life-paths, these explanations do little to explain why they are necessary for a soul’s evolution…

And from my own professed perspective, I am further confounded by the need to understand the role of cruelty in the expression of Love, for I have frequently avowed that All of creation is Divine and manifested from Love.  Even cruelty.  Even evil.  How can I embrace that conviction??

There are certainly occasions when honest acts of love are perceived as cruel.  Consider medical attention for a beloved pet or child too young to comprehend that inflicting greater pain now is necessary to aid healing later.  Setting broken bones, for example, is excruciating, yet the long-term consequences of not doing so may be worse.  And discipline is often perceived as being cruel by those disciplined, though it will likely yield positive results in the future of that disciplined soul’s evolution…

But no such logic can be applied to those who are cruel simply for the sake of being cruel.  To torture animals, or children, or neighbors, or strangers…?  How can such acts be justified in a world created of, and by, Love?

Were I to take a more philosophical approach, I might suggest that such acts create balance and wholeness in the universe.  But if my soul is Whole and created of Love prior to my incarnation in a dualistic world, then why would I choose the darker path?  It seems to me that such a choice these days only further destroys any inherent balance, as more and more souls choose a destructive life path.  And yet…

And yet, the sheer numbers of souls choosing such a path these days would seem to imply that some vital lesson must be learned, and soon, if we are to salvage anything from this planet.  For my understanding of the Karmic cycle is that one will encounter lessons in ever-increasing intensity until the soul grasps the truths it came seeking, and integrates them into an evolved perspective.  That being the case, we surely have reached a crisis point, as so many souls seek to comprehend the expression of evil simultaneously…

I have no answers here, only questions, I’m afraid.  So if you read through this entire post expecting me to offer some words of wisdom and comfort that would make this topic “feel” better, I am sorry to disappoint you.  What can I say?  Life is cruel sometimes, and so is Love; this I can say with certainty.  But the why behind that truth remains for wiser souls to figure out…

Perhaps that soul is you…?

Standard