Reflections

Notes to “self” (including all Other selves choosing to read them as well)…

Crawling forward on bloody hands and bruised knees, I fall inward through the door to Center Space again.  It is all I can do to just breathe once more, safely reaching this Timeless haven…

“Whew!  That was a rough trip ’round this time,” I vocalize aloud.

I understand the necessity for going out there, and the limitations imposed by doing so, but sometimes…  I don’t know…  sometimes it’s good just to get home again…

I peer out the windows at the other loops visible from here, checking in on what might be happening in places where my consciousness has not been, then settle in to rest a while, recuperate, and consider what this latest effort has taught me.

From here I can see it All, but I can do nothing to affect it.  I must leave this sanctuary and travel the loops of Time, if I would act at all.  But out there I am so limited (and vulnerable), restricted to what lies before and behind me, in rigid order, with real consequences.  Useful for short jaunts, but always heavy with the risk of getting lost, of forgetting this Timeless place where experience can be transfigured into Knowledge.  Had it not been for the whales guiding me with their Song, I might not have made it back this time at all…

So…  what did I learn on my latest adventure into the trenches of 21st century America?

Reaching for my journal, I begin to write…

I think the Paradoxes I encountered this time around really threw me off balance, for I could not reconcile them out there.  That, in itself, was unusual, but the consequences of not being able to were devastating to both my psyche and my soul…

There was the web, for example.  It was the trees who taught me of the “underlying” community, the root structure that supports Life and Otherhood.  And perhaps it was their long sleep, leaving me without the wisdom they had so easily shared, that left me vulnerable and unaware of the changes taking place.  But as the roots awaken, and the sap begins to flow, two things have become clear to me, though explanation still escapes my troubled heart…

First, the web beneath my feet feels stronger than it ever has, but the world I interact with seems shakier and less certain than ever before.  If the web is strengthening, should we not be seeing positive results in the world around us?  Or has it truly all been for naught?  Must we accept that Life cannot survive all the damage we have done, or are my senses merely reeling under the assault of evil so blatantly exposed abroad?

Second, the non-human beings entwined in the web seem to be connecting on a deeper, more productive level.  Will they do away with predation as a way of life?  I think probably not, as sacrifice has always been a choice that some will make, and what lesson can be learned if no one/thing accepts said sacrifice?

But what is worth noting is that the boundaries between non-human species seem to be fading.  They are much more willing to accept, support, and live together in peaceful communities.  A living example for humans to follow, or a necessary survival instinct?  I do not know…

Also worth noting is the willingness of non-human beings to interact with humanity these days.  Are they reaching out in an effort to save themselves, or are they merely demonstrating what is possible when we choose to work together?  I admit struggling to “understand” their speech, but there is no mistaking their support, their generosity, and their courage in reaching out to those of us responsible for so much destruction in their world…

I also had the good fortune this time around to meet some non-humans who chose to wear human forms.  The Fey, in particular, nature spirits of many kinds, have chosen to live among us humans, as humans!  It’s fascinating to meet them, for they remember some of what they are within, especially when they are young.  To encounter them, to see that familiar spark in ancient eyes looking out from such young faces, to feel the joy of Life restricted by a very human body in a depressingly human society… well, it was both awe-inspiring and debilitating at the same time.  To want to protect them, while not wanting to interfere with their purpose here was quite the conundrum for me…

It’s almost as if all of the Earth’s true beings were reaching out to help us humans in our time of crisis, and yet we still have not made significant progress toward joining them!  Which is not to deny the work and effort of many individual people out there.  There are many doing their part to rectify things.  But none of it seems to be enough…

Laying down my journal, I allow my thoughts to drift, pondering these observations and their significance.  Lazily I let my eyes wander, looking out the windows, and wondering what my Others may be experiencing out there.  I consider heading out again, but in a totally different direction, needing to experience something a little less oppressive than where (or when) I’ve been…

“Not yet, I think,” I answer myself.  “I need to recover first.  I lost too much on this last venture, I hurt too much to want to rush back out again.  I think I’d rather read a while, catch up on others’ stories, and see what I can learn…”

And so, reaching for the journal once more, I flip back through the pages to see what entries I might have missed…

 

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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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Unquotables

Unquotable Quotes #25

[Begin rant…]

Please don’t stand on the other side of my retail counter spending money you don’t have on gifts that aren’t needed, and lecture me about how the “true” meaning of the holiday season has been lost because us retail folk refuse to greet everyone with the words “Merry Christmas!”

Your glaring hypocrisy makes a mockery of both your argument, and the offense you’ve taken!

Enough said!

[End rant!]

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Reflections

Dis-Engaged…

Dis-gusted…       Dis-eased…     Dis-gruntled…     Dis-empowered…     Dis-placed…     Dis-enfranchised…   Dis-pleased…     Dis-traught…     Dis(orDys)-functional…    Dis-interested…     Dis-obedient…     Dis-approve…     Dis-entangled…     Dis-like…     Dis-advantaged…     Dis-believing…     Dis-ordered…    Dis-affected…   Dis-agree…  Dis-assembling…     Dis-aster…     Dis-allowed…     Dis-associated…     Dis-abused!

Anyone else feeling “dis-sed” these days?

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Essay

If Ever There Was a Time…

…when violence might be justified, this time might just qualify.

Stark, real, heavy are those words, and to hear them oozing from me like puss from an infected wound is disgusting!  But honesty compels me to face them, acknowledge and respect them, for they have a place in my vocabulary, and today they seem fitting.  But let’s be clear here…

I do not endorse violence, ever, in any circumstance; I am merely addressing the shadow that rises within in response to such acts of violence in the world outside.  I cannot condone what has happened in Charlottesville and around the world; I cannot remain silent, when such silence equates with complicity.  But it physically hurts to say such words aloud – there may be times when violence is the only reasonable response to violence.

A friend reminded me of that today, asking me how I might “reasonably” react to violence directed my way.  What if someone broke into your room intent on harming you; would you defend yourself?  What if someone kidnapped your grandchild, intending to perpetrate some heinous crime; would violence then be appropriate?  What if people sought to terrorize others or destroy life in the name of money, power, religion, politics, or socio-pathological disturbance?  Would any of these acts warrant a violent response?

Yes, of course, but…

No.  No “buts.”  Own it, Lisa, for violence exists within you, as well as all those you wish to “stand against.”  Perhaps there are times when violence seems justified, and if there are, then now may be that time.  For though I do not currently face those personal attacks, the others are all too real.  Something must be done to stop such acts!  Something must be said to condemn such acts!  Something must… change!

And yet I resist…  Why?

Because the language we are using today, to make a point and take a stand, is as divisive as the rhetoric that spawns these acts of violence in the first place.  Because the words we are using do not heal, but only further and deepen the heartache that separates us.  Because love cannot win in an environment where the only response to hate is vitriol, violence, condemnation, segregation and rage…

We can no longer deny what is happening around us.  We can no longer depend upon privilege to protect us.  We must not rely upon silence to insulate us.  And yet, we should not add fuel to the fires that consume us…  Or should we?

I understand the impulse to violently recoil from any association with such vile examples of inhumanity as expressed by white nationalists, the KKK, the power brokers and politicians and preachers who have made hate and violence a viable path.  I grasp the need to express my natural antipathy towards such philosophies and acts.  But I find myself stepping back, hesitating, when those I wish to stand beside start speaking of “excising malignancies,” “denouncing,” “condemning,” “choosing sides,” etc, for these are not words of healing at all.

So, how do we condemn without judgment?  How do we stop these people without oppressing our “enemies”?  How do we respond definitively, purposefully, constructively, without imposing our will on others?  How do we “punish” these criminals without behaving criminally ourselves?!  Is it even possible?

History is written by the winners, they say, whomever they are.  But “winning” doesn’t make us “right”.  Or “good”.  It only makes us victorious.  And while we might claim the end justifies the means, I can’t find comfort in that, as such “holier than thou” rhetoric has always justified atrocities.  Someone always loses when lines are drawn, and crossed, and people are forced to “take sides.”

“They’re just words, Lisa, and now is no time for semantics!,” I hear myself say.  But I disagree, vehemently, with such a thought.  Because words have power when expressed; this I know, I believe!  Words guide and inform our reasoning, lead and justify our actions.  They empower our analogies which lead us to our conclusions.  They color our metaphors, which frame our realities, making our environments reflect back to us exactly what we expect to see.  So if I speak of “taking a stand against” something, I naturally divide the playing field.  If I think of “opposing” another, I naturally create an enemy.  And if I create an enemy, I justify the ensuing war.  Violence begets violence, ad infinitum…

I find myself contemplating the Yin/Yang symbol – a potent reminder that within the darkness, a seed of light may still exist, while within the light, darkness also thrives.  It leads me to consider that there may yet remain a spark of humanity within those who march and protest with violence; that our natural state, as humans, is not to hate, but to love.  Hate is learned behavior, as any young child can amply demonstrate.  If I focus on the darkness these haters express, rather than that potential glimmer of conscience that may yet remain, then I participate in fueling and reinforcing such hate.  I choose not to do that today, while simultaneously acknowledging that they are free to choose complete darkness, if that is the path that compels them…

But within the light, darkness also exists.  If I accept such words of violence from those I usually agree with, then I become complicit in feeding and fueling that darkness within them.  Continuing along such a path, in the name of “good intentions,” will not erase the damage done when such resistance becomes active violence.  And so the darkness overwhelms the light, as we become active mirrors of, and for, our “enemies”…  I choose not to do that today, while simultaneously accepting that all must act according to their own conscience…

So…  what do I choose to do today to face the rage, the violence, the hate?

First I accept and forgive myself for wanting to react.  I own that seed of darkness within me, and watch it carefully, so that it does not spread like cancer throughout my being…

Second, I reach out to those in need, without first asking (or attempting to divine) which side they represent.  I offer comfort, peace, acceptance, and the right to disagree.  I nurture their humanity…

Third, I embrace the innocent, the maligned, whichever side they’re on.  Only by truly embracing can I hope to minimize our divide…

Fourth, I stand my ground.  I do not stand with you or against you, but I stand fully in my truth.  If you wish to move me, you may try, but I know who and what I am about, and I will not be swayed by words of hate wherever they come from.  I do not wish to martyr myself, but I will not play this game of words and intents; words of battle are bathed in the blood of guilt and innocence, and so I shall not utter them, regardless of the consequence.

This is my response to this time of rampant violence…

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Poetry, Reflections

“Discombobulated…”

And confused…

Out of sync… or even time?

Some moments passing before I can grasp them,

while others simply refuse to move!

Spiritual whiplash… my body aches.

Caused by this stop and go act?

This heavy push forward, pulsing,

while something else holds me back?

I “fail” at everything normal I try,

but “feel” success haunting my steps.

I feel reluctance, resistance…

while the voices are all screaming, “YES!!”…

Frustration boils up, disturbing my peace,

while that deeply calm center still anchors me…

‘Tis no wonder I feel unbalanced these days…

uncertain, bemused and unsure.

Nothing makes sense in a world gone mad…

So I grasp for the truth in a Word:

“Dis-com-bob-u-lat-ed”…

Made up, created, to capture a moment,

comfort found in humor and sound…

 

 

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