April 11, 2017 — June 2, 2017

  1. 04/11/2017— Rue Anemone 2017 01 — McDowell Nature Center & Preserve, Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation, Charlotte, North Carolina, March 6, 2017

    God is hiding in our life
    and we are looking in the Bible.
    There aren’t enough Bible studies
    to lead us to the God
    that is hiding in our life.
    To find God,
    we have to look where God is hiding.
    Start by looking in the mirror.
    Start by studying who looks back
    when you look in the mirror.
    That person–
    the one reflected in the mirror–
    is concealing God from you.
    Throw all your Bibles away
    and buy more mirrors.
    What we seek is found
    in the life of the person
    looking back at us
    from the mirror.
    And where does that person stop
    and her, and his, life begin?
    We ARE our life–
    the life we have lived,
    and the life we have not lived.
    Both lives are reflected back to us
    from the mirror.
    The impact of both lives
    are there for those who have eyes to see.
    Everything is there to be seen
    by those who look with compassion and grace.
    Why would we look at ourselves
    with anything less?
    We have to look at ourselves looking
    to see all there is to see,
    to know all there is to know
    about the one who knows what we know.
    We look for God somewhere else
    because we cannot bear to know
    what we have to know
    to know God hiding
    in the one place we will never look.

  2. 04/12/2017— Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes 2006 11 — Death Valley National Park, California, April, 2006

    We live seeking
    the adamantine bedrock
    of our soul’s deep joy–
    thinking we are here
    to pass a good time.
    A perspective shift away
    from having it made.

04/13/2017 — The people in Kansas think things are fine

just as they are.

We will soon find out what the people

in Georgia think.

It is amazing,

bordering on astounding,

to me that as a country

we can be so divided over what

is right and wrong,

good and bad.

How can anyone think

that gay people have no right

to be married

(Or, if the truth be known, to be gay)?

That’s like thinking it is okay

if the air isn’t pure,

or the water isn’t clean.

How can anyone think

the way Republicans think?

I think it is because

most of the people who vote Republican

aren’t thinking at all.

They are voting their fear and resentment.

They are not voting their compassion

or their courage.

Arthur Schopenhauer said

compassion is only possible

for those who can override their will to live

in order to will their death

in the service of another’s life–

who can will their own bad

in the service of someone else’s good.

It takes a certain degree of maturity and grace

to be compassionate.

Republicans aren’t there yet.
 

  1. 04/10/2017— Black Birch Silhouette 2009 09 — Blue Ridge Parkway, Rocky Knob, Virginia, April 23, 2009

    We all have to have a place and a time
    where and when we can do what we do
    the way we would do it
    with no one but ourselves to please
    with our effort and outcome.
    Too many of us live to please someone else–
    even after they are long dead or gone.
    We cannot free ourselves from their influence,
    or find ourselves because of their interference.
    We need to write our own Emancipation Proclamation,
    and live to make it so
    in our lifetime.
    We have to have a place and a time
    in which we are free to be who we are,
    pursuing the things that are important to us,
    for their own sake,
    whether they matter to anyone else or not.
    Our life depends on it.
    What could life possibly be without it?

04/13/2017 — The complete absence of compassion,
kindness, graciousness,
generosity, gentleness,
warmth, good faith
and all values similar
in intent and expression
from the Republican Party
and its representatives
is the only thing
worthy of our attention,
scrutiny, investigation
and exploration.
Why are Republicans
so heartless,
uncaring,
merciless
and cruel?
04/13/2017 — Trump has effectively ended Planned Parenthood in states with Republican controlled legislatures.

Republicans have done not one good thing–not one thing for the good of the people they were elected to serve.

They have added immensely to the burdens the people carry.

And they do not care.

Yet, in their own eyes, they are wonderful beyond measure.

If they cannot see any better than that, why see at all?
 

  1. 04/14/2017— Twenty Mule Team Canyon 2006 01 — Death Valley National Park, Death Valley, California, April, 2006

    We have to find our path and walk it,
    find our work and do it,
    find our face and wear it,
    find our voice and speak it,
    find our foundation and stand on it,
    find our identity and exhibit it,
    find our art and express it,
    find our joy and relish it,
    find our life and live it,
    find our heart and let it dance and sing.

04/14/2017 — The role of government is whatever
Republicans say it is
in any moment,
but, basically it comes down to this:
“The role of government
is to NOT TELL ME WHAT TO DO!”
However, if Republicans don’t like
what YOU are doing,
the role of government then becomes
“to tell YOU what to do.”

Republicans have no grasp of
“the work of government.”
They want government to disappear
when it is in their way,
and to reappear when they need it
to force their way on everyone else.

Republicans think reducing the size of government
will diminish the government’s ability
to interfere with their life,
and will open the way to profiteering
and financial gain
at the expense of all other considerations.
Having more money today
than they had yesterday
is the central motive of the Republicans
who drive the Party.
“Profit at any price”
is the core motto of Republicans.
“Why should I pay for someone else’s
(fill in the blank)
healthcare,
education,
food,
shelter,
etc.?”
Is the question Republicans ask of government’s role
in health and human services,
and is the mainstay of Republican opposition to taxes,
and to Republican resistance
to the place of government in their life.

Republicans are certain
that everyone could be as independent
and as self-reliant as they are
if everyone were “disciplined” and “really tried.”
And that those who are dependent
and/or disadvantaged in any way
are only getting what they deserve
for refusing to be self-disciplined
and for not “trying.”

Republicans live in their own self-validating world,
and are incapable of grasping the concept
of another world at a variance with their own,
in a “let them eat cake (if they have no bread)”
kind of way.

  1. 04/14/2017— Reelfoot Lake 2015 57 — Reelfoot Lake State Park, Tiptonville, Tennessee, November 4, 2015

    It doesn’t matter why we dream,
    where dreams come from,
    or what dreams mean.
    What matters is how we work with them,
    what we do with them,
    how we understand them,
    how we honor them,
    how we listen to them.
    Approach dreams as though
    they are messages to you from you,
    whether they are,
    or not.
    Just pretend that they are,
    and set about the task of deciphering
    the metaphor,
    the parable,
    that comes to us as we sleep.
    Pretend each dream is saying,
    “This is how it is in your life at this point.
    What are you going to do about it?”
    What is the dream saying about our life situation?
    What is the dream calling us to do?
    Pretend that dreams are a Rorchach ink blot,
    and that it is our place to interpret them
    out of our present life experience,
    saying what they mean to us,
    and what they are asking of us.
    Keep a dream journal,
    writing the dream down
    each morning
    before it disappears
    in the rush of life.
    Think about it through the day.
    See what occurs to you.
    See where it goes.

  2. 04/15/2017— Carolina Jasmine 2017 02 — Indian Land, South Carolina, February, 2017

    Live until you die,
    that’s my best advice.
    Start by making a Life/Death Assessment
    twice a week.
    Sit quietly
    and decide if you are mostly alive,
    or mostly dead.
    Then ask yourself
    what you could do to be more alive
    and less dead.
    And do it.
    We live best
    when we live in the service of life.
    When we mean it.
    Intend it.
    Devote ourselves to it.
    Every day.
    Life is not what happens to us.
    Life is what we do
    with what happens to us.
    In spite of what happens to us.
    All our life long.

04/15/2017 — Being conscious
is knowing what we know.
Knowing what we know
is being self-transparent.
Being self-transparent
is not kidding ourselves.
Not kidding ourselves
is squaring up to
our contradictions,
dichotomies,
discrepancies,
and incompatibilities–
reconciling what can be reconciled,
and bearing the pain
of mutually exclusive polarities–
while being responsible
and holding ourselves accountable
for what we do
about being who we are,
where we are,
when we are,
how we are,
in each situation as it arises
all our life long.
You can see why we might want
to live unconscious
of most of what we know.
04/15/2017 — Republicans do not see it coming.
They actually believe the bad stuff on all levels isn’t real.
They are lost in denial
and live in service to the ideal of unlimited profits–
that is profits unrestricted by the regulations/protections
that increase costs and decrease profits.
Republicans are profit driven–
profit at any price driven–
and blind to the reality of that price,
which is to be paid by us all.
Republicans bear fully the weight
of their refusal to see, hear, or understand–
as much as did those about whom Jesus said,
“Father, forgive them, they don’t know what they are doing.”
They don’t know
and don’t know
that they don’t know,
because knowing
would require too much of them.
Let them wake up,
and let us see
if they can forgive themselves.
04/15/2017 — We spend a lot of our time
waiting it out.
Waiting for the door to open,
a door,
any door.
Waiting for the regime to change.
Waiting for something to shift,
to stir to life,
to call our name…
We wait sometimes
not knowing that we are waiting.
Luke Skywalker was waiting,
not knowing.
Obi-wan Kenobi was waiting,
knowng he was waiting.
When it is our time to wait,
it helps to know that we are waiting,
even if we don’t know what
we are waiting for.
It keeps us alert,
knowing that,
but not what.
“Are you the one who is to come?”
asked John the Baptist’s disciples.
“Or, shall we look for another?”
Would that we knew whom to ask.
Not knowing, we wait,
hoping to know what
when we see it.
In the meantime,
it is enough to know that
we are waiting,
and wait.
04/16/2017— Big Creek 2004 01 — Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Haywood County, North Carolina, November, 2004

Here’s my take on Easter Morning:

Your new life–the life that is yours to live–
will eat your old life alive–
the life you are living
AND the life you dream of living.
In order to live the life that is your life to live,
you have to sacrifice the life you are living
AND the life you dream of living.
Resurrection means death.
You don’t live without dying.
You can’t “put your hand to the plow
and look back.”
You can’t step through the door
and keep following the cows
from the barn to the pasture
and back to the barn.
You have to live the life that is YOURS to live
and stop living the life
you were handed and told to live.
It is like dying to be born anew.
What’s it going to be?
Death?
Or resurrection?
The catch is that we die
by refusing to die,
and that is death
with no resurrection attached:
“Leave the dead to bury the dead.”

Easter has nothing whatsoever to do
with what happened to Jesus
2,000+ years ago.
It is solely about you and me
and whether we have what it takes
to die the death we have to die
in order to live the life that is ours to live.
Simply put:
We die when we live transparent to ourselves.
Living transparent to ourselves
means knowing what we know.
It means bearing the agony of our contradictions
and polarities.
It means No Denial.
It means living straight up face to face
with how it is really with us–
in the strength and confidence
of our belief in the validity and truth
of how it is also with us.
If you are going to believe in someone,
believe in YOU.

Believe you have all you need
to face all that is yours to face
and to find your way
by “entering the woods where it is the thickest,
where there is no path,”
wearing only “the face that was yours
before your grandparents were born.”
If you are going to believe anything,
believe that.
And take your place as the irreplaceable
individual you are
in the great company of those
who can receive you
as one of them
by being who only you can be.

04/16/2017— Donald Trump and Republicans
are clueless.
They look, but they do not see.
They see their projection of their assumptions
about how things are.
They see the world as they understand it to be.
They do not see what they are seeing
or how they are seeing it.
They think that with enough power
they can make things as they want them to be.
They think they can adjust the world to their liking.
They think it is “Only a matter of buying or bullying
their agenda, plan, ideology,
preferred way for things to be,
in place.”
They do not listen, see, understand.
Trump is amazed to learn
that health care is complicated,
or that the Chinese relationship
with North Korea is complicated,
or that there are aspects
to everything he thinks
that he hasn’t taken into consideration.
As with Trump so with Scott Pruitt
and Betsy DeVos
and every cabinet member
and Republican office holder
on national, state, and local levels.
You cannot screw with this
without impacting that.
It isn’t about increasing corporate profits.
It is about improving the quality of life–
the civil and human rights–
of everyone.
It’s a tragedy that I cannot say that
in a way that Trump and Republicans
can understand.
04/16/2017 — To what extent are we
presenting ourselves
to ourselves and to others
in ways that conceal
who we are?

What are we denying about ourselves
to ourselves and/or to others?

All movement in our life
depends upon our moving
from self-deception
to self-realization
and self-transparency.

We cannot see anything
until we can see ourselves–
and hold everything
in compassionate,
non-judgmental,
awareness.
04/16/2017 — There are alcoholics
who deny they are alcoholics.
There are racists
who deny they are racists.
And so it goes
along the long line
of people who say they are not
who they are.
Our only task in life
is to know who we are
and to decide who we will be.
 

  1. 04/10/2017— Bass Harbor Lighthouse 2004 — Acadia National Park, Bass Harbor, Maine, September, 2004

    There is a reason people have affairs,
    and the reason is not sexual.
    The reason is their need
    for vulnerability, authenticity, and intimacy.
    Vulnerability, authenticity and intimacy
    easily lend themselves to sexual expression,
    but affairs need not be sexual.

    Everything we do is a mirror.
    We are all desperately seeking ourselves–
    and doing everything we can do
    to call ourselves to attend ourselves,
    seeing, hearing, knowing, caring, loving,
    accepting, looking, listening, inquiring…
    In a word, being the kind of safe,
    non-judgmental,
    place for ourselves
    that we seek in the arms of our lover.

    My bet is
    that the occupations/practices
    with the highest incidence
    of affairs
    are those with the lowest regard/tolerance
    for vulnerability, authenticity and intimacy.
    We will have what we need,
    and we need to be
    vulnerable, authentic and intimate.
    These things are the path,
    the way,
    to knowing who we are
    and being at one with ourselves.
    Integrity is at the heart of every affair.

    My bet is
    that the occupations/practices
    with the lowest incidence of affairs
    are those with the highest regard/tolerance
    for vulnerability, authenticity and intimacy–
    the ones that encourage/enable us
    to know ourselves
    and to be who we are.
    Integrity is at the heart
    of everything we do.

    Everything we do is a mirror,
    asking us to see who we are–
    with loving,
    accepting,
    compassionate,
    comprehending eyes:
    “Oh, Peter!
    There you are!”

04/18/2017— Every mirror “of the soul,”
“of the self,”
is a two-way mirror,
revealing and concealing,
concealing and revealing.
The catch determining
what we see
is the matter
of how we look,
of whether we look at all.
04/18/2017— What we see hinges on how we look.

We have to look at our looking

to see what’s what.

 

04/18/2017— Jesus did not come
to make Christians of everybody.
Jesus did not come
to make Christians of anybody.
Jesus, by his own words
(placed in his mouth
by the Gospel of John,
so whose words they are
is an open question),
“came that they might have life,
and have it abundantly.”

Christians, of course,
equate “having life”
with “being saved”
as they declare “salvation” to be,
and the is by being Christian–
and you can only be Christian
by adopting the doctrines
of the Christian religion as your own.
What that has to do with life,
much less “abundant life,”
is shifted to “heaven,”
where everyone will “really live”
after they really die,
which is how Christians base their case
for making everybody Christians.

It is ridiculous to suppose
that Jesus came to start a church
with doctrines and theology,
creeds and catechisms and ideology
as the way to life.
Jesus didn’t tell anybody what to think.
He told people what to do:
Be a neighbor!
Love one another as you love yourself!
Love your enemies!
Help those who need to be helped!
Be generous, kind, compassionate
and true to yourself!

He said in 10,000 ways,
“It doesn’t matter what you believe!
It matters what you do and how you do it!”
And,
“Believe whatever it takes
to do what needs you to do it
the way it needs to be done!”
That’s the way to having life,
and having it abundantly–
doing what needs us to do it,
the way it needs to be done:
with all our heart, and soul, and mind and strength–
in each situation as it arises,
all our life long.
04/18/2017 — It is too much to ask, or to expect,
of the church of our experience
that it transform itself
into the church as it ought to be,
but it might be replaced
by an organization
of psychological/spiritual
(And were does that line lie?)
gatherings for the purpose
of enhancing, enabling, encouraging
the self-development of persons
on all levels.

This would include life-long learning
in at least three areas:
Mindfulness Meditation and Practice
A Montessori-like approach
to life experience for children.
A Jungian-like approach
to life experience for youth/adults.
There would be a core element
of universally recognized truths
reflected in all three areas,
but no doctrine,
no theology,
no creed,
no ideology
beyond the emphasis
upon the individual’s experience
and expression of herself, of himself,
through all of the stages
of human development.
It is well past time
to begin implementing
this approach to life experience
for all people world wide.

04/10/2017— We need communities of innocence–
innocent in the sense of having
nothing at stake in us,
and no interest in using us
to its advantage,
or enhancing itself
at our expense–
to help us live grounded
in the truth of who we are,
trusting the truth of our own
life experience,
the strength, wisdom and intelligence
of our creative imagination,
and the sustaining, guiding, presence
of the Invisible Other within.
Those communities are composed
of people like us,
seeking to find their life and live it
within the conditions and circumstances
of their life,
in accord with themselves
and their life,
and in service to the gifts that are theirs
to share as a boon for all.
We live together
in a “One for all, all for one”
kind of way–
individuals served by the collective
for the good of the whole.
It is simple enough
that a child can grasp it,
and difficult enough
to bring grown people to tears.

  1. 04/19/2017— After Sunset 2004 — Price Lake and Grandfather Mountain, Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock, North Carolina, June, 2004

    Our circumstances grow us up,
    if we can grow up.
    They are the only thing that can.
    When we run from our circumstances,
    deny our circumstances,
    hate our circumstances,
    blame our circumstances
    for all that is wrong about us and our life,
    we refuse the gauntlet
    that stands between us
    and all that we are capable
    of being and becoming,
    and settle into the slow rot
    of discontent
    and terminal resentment
    over the sorry lot we were given–
    never getting beyond
    the poor-me-why-me stage
    of development,
    which is to say that
    we never develop at all.

    04/19/2017— What makes Trump great
    in Republican eyes
    is that things would be
    soooooo much worse
    if Democrats were in control.
    Trump could do anything
    (and will)–
    it won’t matter.
    Democrats would be worse by far.
    That’s the reasoning
    that keeps the terrible mess in place.
    It isn’t as bad as it could be.
    We are dealing with people
    who are irrational,
    illogical
    and beyond reason.
    Yet, they make perfectly good sense
    once we realize they are crazy.

04/19/2017 — “Growing up” means
placing ourselves in accord
with our life
and placing ourselves in accord
with ourselves.
“Growing up” is being in accord
with our life and with ourselves.
“That we might grow up”
is the sole meaning of life,
and the whole purpose
of our existence.
It is why we are here.

  1. 04/20/2017— Black Birch 2007 08 — Blue Ridge Parkway, Rocky Knob, Virginia, April 2007

    Our life experience provides us with all we need
    for the reflection required
    to form new realizations
    and transform our life,
    creating different life experience
    resulting in additional reflection,
    generating further realization
    producing an increasing variation of life experience.
    We change our world,
    and impact THE world
    by the quality
    of our relationship
    with our life experience.
    Our life experience is the matrix of creation
    unfolding,
    ongoing,

    We have all the tools we need
    to be the agent of change
    and transformation
    our life needs us to be.
    We only have to practice
    the mindful art
    of sitting quietly,
    holding everything in awareness,
    and watching for the shifts to happen.
    So simple a child could do it.
    And so the saying,
    “Unless you turn and become as children,
    you will never enter the kingdom of heaven
    (which is the realization and service of life
    here and now
    upon the earth
    of our days and nights).”

04/20/2017 — The Aristocracy has no business
tending the affairs of the people,
yet, the people, enamored
by the Aristocracy,
and vicariously lifted
to imaginary heights
through their identification
with the Aristocracy
as “MY President,”
are glad to hand the responsibility
for their own good
over to someone who
cares nothing for it–
and blame their loss of freedom
upon the enemies of the Aristocracy,
which the Aristocracy encourages,
by blaming its enemies
for every abuse of power
and failure to govern
in ways that serve the good of the people,
but increase its own fortune,
and guard its own interests.
An awake,
informed,
and politically involved population
is the only champion
democracy ever has.
04/20/2017 — Republicans think Trump is not
poisoning their water,
or pumping toxins
into their air.
Removing EPA protections
has nothing to do with their health
or that of their children.
Trump would not harm them,
and anyone else doesn’t matter.
Building detention centers
for undocumented immigrants
is no concern of theirs.
Restricting freedom for some
will have no impact
on the freedom of others–
particularly others like them.
Republicans are so innocent,
so trusting,
so complicit,
at fault,
and to blame.
04/20/2017 — Republicans in congress and in state legislatures
do not do a thing in the service
of the best interest of their constituents.
Republican politicians everywhere
live to serve,
not the people,
but their ideology–
no government large enough to interfere with
unrestricted profits for corporations and industry.
And in every election,
no Republican office-seeker
can point to the goods and services
he or she helped, or pledges, to effect
during his or her term of office,
because that is clearly not the case,
but can only promise
to not raise taxes.
Not raising taxes is the only thing
Republicans do.
They do it by reducing the goods and services
that are helpful to the people
(which they call “reducing the size of government”).
The declare themselves to be
the champions of the people,
when, in fact, they are the Liege Lords of the people,
profiting mightily from the vote of the people,
while the people trudge through their life
beneath the weight of their neglect and abuse,
thankful for their deliverance
from the hands of those who would
most certainly, absolutely, without question or doubt,
raise their taxes.

 

04/20/2017 — Donald Trump has failed
the American people
at every opportunity,
lost in the world
of making government
profitable to corporations–
to their owners and stockholders.
The people are an inconvenience.
He knows he has to make it appear
that he is trying to make them happy,
but, they do not make the top 100
in his list of priorities.

This is what Joseph Campbell said
about the funerals of those noble
in life and death during the Middle Ages:
There were recounted “the virtues
of loyalty and courage,
pride in the performance of duty,
and, for a king, his selfless,
fatherly care for his people’s good.”
Trump may aspire to nobility,
but he does not bring
one noble quality to the chase.

Trump spends millions on his
golf vacations at his own property,
which should cost nothing.
His joke of a wall will be a billion
(and counting) more,
and he has take away
rights, freedoms and protections
past counting.

The only thing Republicans can say
in his support is
“At least he isn’t Democrat,”
as though being a Democrat
is being Satan’s personal servant.
Ask them what they don’ like
about Democrats,
and they will say,
“Abortion, Gun Control, and Gay Marriage!”
And, if they were honest,
they would add
“Rights to women, blacks, LGBTQs, Muslims,
Latinos and immigrants.”
These are the causes and groups
Republicans hate most,
and hate Democrats for supporting.
And that will change not over time.

So, we don’t talk to Republicans.
We talk to those near-Republicans
who can hear what we have to say
about the value of human rights,
and the importance for governmental support
for people who need help
with finding their life and living it–
including education and worker-rights–
and the crucial necessity
environmental and financial protections
for all people,
in all times and places.

Ours is the task of keeping the focus
where the focus belongs
by remembering and being those
who live strong in the service of
the essential values at the heart
of being human,
“with liberty and justice for all.”

  1. 04/21/2017— Lake Haigler 36 Panorama — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Lake Haigler Access, Fort Mill, South Carolina, November, 2016

    Sin is the refusal/failure to be who we
    It has nothing to do with morality.
    It has everything to do with courage
    and identity,
    and faithfulness to our Self–
    the invisible Other whom Jung was talking about:
    “There is in each of us,
    another,
    whom we do not know.”
    Sin is knowing better than the Other knows
    who and what and how
    we are to be.
    Arrogance and cowardliness
    are the primary guises of sin,
    but denial and rejection have their place as well.
    And no one can save us
    from the impact
    of our failure/refusal
    to be true to ourselves,
    our Self at the center of ourselves.
    What could possibly stand as recompense to our Self?
    What could “make it up to” our Self
    that we did not have what it takes
    to live the life that is/was our joint venture?
    A life unlived is a life forever unlived.
    For. Ever. Un. Lived.
    Who can make that right?
    There is no forgiveness for our failure/refusal
    to be who we are.
    There is only BEING WHO WE ARE
    now,
    and in all the moments following this one.
    Forever.
    We have waited long enough.
    And it is the role of both the church
    and the government
    to help us assume our role
    and take up our task.
    Helping the people find what they need
    to be who they are
    is the task of church and state.
    We are not alone with the work of being human.
    We need all of the help we can get.
    Where are they?
    Where have they been?
    In becoming ourselves,
    we have to insist on the help we have to have
    from both church and state,
    and refuse to take “No” for an answer.
    This is the “three cord opera,”
    the Holy Trinity,
    the Triune Dialogue,
    that comprises the rest of our life.
    We have a part to play.
    The church has a part to play.
    The state has a part to play.
    There can be no play without the players.
    Open the curtains–
    its Showtime!

04/21/2017 — When the world tilts on its axis,
and roles become not what they need to be–
when the cab drivers begin selling tacos,
and the dentists begin playing harps,
and the dancers begin building high rises,
and the president’s daughter begins acting
like a stand-in for her dad,
it becomes an essential requirement
for each of us to find
“the face that was ours before we were born,”
and be who we are.
04/21/2017 — All the fairy tales,
fables
and stories about
the hero’s journey
are filled with unpretentious
helpers and guides.
So is your life and mine.
We did not get here alone.
And we will not
progress beyond here alone.

The Psychopomp is a mythological guide
for souls to the place of the dead
past the trials and ordeals of the Underworld–
and can be understood
as any helper or guide who comes to our aid
on our journey to our Self
and the life that is our joint life to live
on this side of the grave.
There is a Psychopomp (or more)
for every developmental stage of life,
unrecognizable and unpredictable,
yet exactly what we need
at the time and place we need it.

Take the time
from time to time
to remember your Psychopomps,
and to recall the times
you have served others as a Psychopomp.
And celebrate the wonder
of how things work
in ways beyond imagining,
explaining,
or understanding

  1. 04/22/2017— Lake Haigler 2016 15 — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Lake Haigler Access, Fort Mill, South Carolina, November 11, 2016

    We live in the service of our identity–
    we live to serve our identity–
    we live to be who we are,
    to express who we are,
    exhibit who we are,
    make known who we are.
    If we don’t know who we are,
    or don’t care who we are,
    or never think about who we are–
    engrossed as we are
    in buying, spending, amassing, consuming
    and immersing ourselves
    in entertaining pastimes,
    we live haunted by the sense
    of something missing,
    with no idea of what
    it might be.

04/22/2017 — Our highest allegiance
belongs to our Self–
the one about whom Jung said,
“There lives in each of us,
another whom we do not know.”
It is our work to know
“whom we do not know,”
and to live a joint life
in collaboration with
the Other within–
being who we are
and who we also are.
Being true to ourselves–
both of them:
our conscious ego-self,
and the psyche-self
of whom we are unconscious–
bringing ourselves forth
in a manner appropriate to the occasion
in each situation as it arises,
for the good of each individual
and for the good of the whole.
It is a noble task
worthy of a god,
or those godlike enough
to be taken for a god.
That being the case,
why would we devote ourselves
to anything else?

  1. 04/23/2017— Black Birch 2011 06 Silhouette — Blue Ridge Parkway, Rocky Knob, Virginia, April, 2011

    Focus and concentration, Kid.
    Focus and concentration.
    Distractions abound.
    If it doesn’t help us
    realize,
    reveal,
    express,
    exhibit,
    manifest,
    know and make known
    who we are,
    it is concealing,
    obscuring,
    denying,
    suppressing,
    repressing
    who we are.
    How clearly are you
    coming forth in your life?
    How are you helping
    others come forth in their life?
    If it isn’t revealing,
    it is concealing.
    Focus and concentration, Kid.
    Focus and concentration.

    (A note on the photograph—comparing this image with the one posted immediately prior to it gives you a “picture” of the difference two years makes. Ice storms and the weight of time and gravity took their toll with the loss of limbs and branches. My last visit, in 2013, shocked me with the degree of destruction since this photo was made, and I doubt that much of it remains by now.)

04/23/2017 — Hillary Clinton will always be
a ready diversion,
excuse,
and subject-shifter
Trump’s supporters use
to ignore his blatant obscenities.
“Hillary would be worse by far!”
“Hillary would have done the same!”
“At least he isn’t Hillary!”
Hillary is history.
Trump is present and unaccounted for.
And the future hangs
by a raveling thread.
If you are not against Trump,
you are with him.
And that is an indictment
without defense.

  1. 04/24/2017— Red-bellied Woodpecker 2017 03 — Zen Glen, Indian Land, South Carolina, April 13, 2017

    Alt-truth is a lie

    It is preferred
    by those who
    wish it were true.
    Too many people
    live in an Alt-universe,
    one of their own making,
    as though it is the real thing,
    where climate change doesn’t happen,
    and choices don’t have untoward consequences,
    and we can make all the money we want
    without paying any price,
    or creating any resistance,
    or worrying about Karma at all.
    Alt-truth is a lie
    and.
    The truth will out.

  2. 04/25/2017— Pelican Silhouette 2007 01 — Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Ocracoke Island, Silver Lake, October 2007

    We make up whatever we “take on faith.”
    That being the case,
    you might think
    we would make up something
    helpful to ourselves and others,
    and not something harmful
    to anyone.
    But no.
    We “take it on faith”
    that God hates homosexuals,
    for example (but the list is long),
    and will send them all to hell,
    and us with them
    if we don’t hate them, too,
    and make their life a living hell
    on earth before they die.
    We “take it on faith”
    that if you don’t do it like we do,
    we should punish you
    to wake you up,
    enlighten you as to
    the error of your ways,
    so that you might repent,
    and become as we are.
    We take the damnedest things “on faith.”
    It used to be that we
    “took it on faith”
    that we were to sacrifice
    our virgin daughters
    and first born sons
    to keep God on our side.
    Why would we want to be
    on the side of a God like that?
    It’s time we stopped
    taking just anything “on faith,”
    and started being responsible
    for the things we “take on faith,”
    making sure they are good for everybody.
    (That’s EVERYBODY!)
    Things like science, for instance,
    and mindfulness,
    and art,
    and music…

04/25/2017 — It comes down to

knowing who you are

and doing what is

yours to do.

Having something

to show for it

doesn’t enter into it.

Refusing,

or hiding from,

the responsibility

to know and to do

leaves us

with a lot of

time on our hands.
04/25/2017 —

 

The truth is the bed
you will sleep in tonight,
and the world
you will wake up to
in the morning.
The truth is who you are
and what you do–
and who you refuse,
or fail,
to be,
and what you refuse,
or fail,
to do.
We don’t define truth.
We live it.
We are the truth we seek.
We cannot help but live
truthful lives.
Whether we can face it
or not,
is another matter.
 

04/25/2017 — We are not old enough

to understand some things.

If you can’t make sense

of something,

stop trying.

Put it in a bin

called “Things To Think About Later,”

and they will come to mind

in their own time.
04/25/2017 — It is the mindful experience

of lived-experience

that wakes us up

over time.

We have to be aware

of what is happening,

and then what happens–

within ourselves

and within the situation.

And we have to hold

all of this in our awareness

in order to make connections,

which may call into questions

previous convictions

and favorite assumptions.

We don’t grow up

apart from the pain

of realization

at every stage

of the journey.
 

04/26/2017— Dogwood Stream 2005 01 — Great Smoky Mountains National Park, near Tremont, Tennessee, April, 2005

Who are we when nobody is watching?
How different is our Public Face
from our Private Face?
What are we hiding?
Why?
04/26/2017 — We are made up of
the I,
the Not I,
and the Also I.
It is the role of the I
(our conscious ego)
to get the I together
with the Also I
and to reduce the influence
of the Not I.
How much of our
Not I
is actually our
Also I?
How much of our I
is actually our Not I?
Where do those lines lie?
Finding them
and drawing them
and honoring/enforcing them
is our role
for the rest of our life.
04/26/2017 — I talked with a MRI technologist once who told me, “Jim, all the organs in our body, all the blood and muscles, are sending out different signals. We are a range of frequencies held together by a range of frequencies.”

Which led me to wonder in several directions at once.

Could we invent a weapon to jam or scramble a person’s frequencies, and kill people more efficiently than with bullets and bombs?

Could we invent a redemptive device to realign a person’s frequencies, and heal people of diseases? Cure people of emotional trauma? Turn our enemies into friends?

Could we learn to read, decipher, discern a person’s frequencies and know whether that person would be a good employer, employee, spouse/partner/friend?

Could it be that we already do something along these lines when we “resonate” with a particular person, place, or thing?

Does that which has always been called “God” have a certain frequency range? And could that be what we sense when we talk of “being in the center of God’s will,” or “being in the flow,” or “being with the Force,” or “being in the groove,” of “being at one with the Tao,” of “having Buddha mind.” of things “being harmonious,” of things “humming right along”?

Perhaps we should develop the field of Octave Medicine in addition to Nuclear Medicine, or Octave Therapy alongside Psychotherapy, transforming frequencies, changing lives.

The entire universe is a range of frequencies held together by a range of frequencies.

Is a frequency physical or spiritual? A wave or a particle?

Do ideas and dreams have frequencies separate from the frequencies of the person who “has” them?

When we “tune out” and “tune in,” are we changing frequencies?

That was a conversation worth the price of a cup of coffee.

  1. 04/27/2017— If we don’t have time to sit quietly
    and be still,
    we are doing too much.
    All of our doing
    must flow from,
    and lead to,
    our not-doing.
    It is how much,
    and how often,
    we do nothing
    that produces
    the quality
    and depth
    of what we do.
    We cannot do
    until we are able
    to do not
    frequently
    and well.
  2. 04/27/2017 — Drifting back to the idea that
    we are a collection of frequencies
    in search of a tuning fork,
    I will point out that
    Joseph Campbell said
    (on the last page of the final chapter
    of “The Power of Myth,”
    the Bill Moyers’ interview on PBS
    made into a book):

    “When you realize the sound ‘AUM’
    is the sound of the mystery
    of the world everywhere,
    you don’t have to go looking for it
    because it is right here all around.
    Just sit still and it,
    and experience it,
    and know it (or words to that effect).”

    He follows that with:
    “‘AUM’ is a word
    that represents to our ears
    the sound of the energy
    of the universe
    of which all things
    are manifestations…
    If you listen to Tibetan monks
    chanting ‘AUM,’ you begin
    to sense what that word means,
    and perhaps resonate with the frequency
    that vibrates eternally
    through all things
    (or words to that effect).”

    We are never far
    from that which we seek–
    only a perception shift away
    from making The Find,
    and knowing
    what we have always known.

    04/28/2017— Wood Sorrel 2017 01 — 22 Acre Woods, Indian Land, South Carolina, April 16, 2017

    Too many people think that
    doing what they love to do
    means doing what they like to do,
    and they don’t do anything
    they don’t like to do,
    which means they don’t
    do what they love.
    Doing what we love to do
    will grow us up
    by requiring us to
    do what we don’t like to do.
    We will have to sacrifice everything
    in the service of what we love.
    Doing what we love
    makes liege servants of us all.
    We swear our allegiance,
    fidelity
    and loyalty
    to the service of our love,
    forsaking all other interests
    and enthusiasms
    for the sake of our heart’s
    true devotion,
    as long as life shall last.
    We rise early,
    and drive long distances,
    and fight through large clouds of mosquitoes
    to take a photograph of a sunrise
    or something equally difficult
    to justify.
    It’s the Hero’s Journey,
    lived gallantly for love.
    If you don’t know
    what I’m talking about,
    I can’t explain it to you.

04/28/2017 — Alexis Carrel said “We cannot remake ourselves without suffering because we are the marble and the sculptor.”
We are the chisel and the stone.
The treasure and the dragon–
and the hero come to claim the boon.
We are the princess and the frog.
Beauty and the Beast.
Jekyll and Hyde.
The light and the shadow…
It’s time we realized
the truth of the matter
and called a parley.
We have to talk.
We all have to talk.
All of us have to talk.
It out.
It through.
It over.
How can we all work together
for the good of the whole?
How can we take the interests
of all sides
into consideration?
Use the assets of all sides
in the work that needs us (all)
to do it?
How might we each
sacrifice ourselves
in the service of the ALL?
How might we each
honor the others
in gratitude and appreciation
for the gifts and strengths
they bring to life
that is ours to fashion,
the work that is ours to do?
As an individual,
we are a collective,
and listening
with understanding
and compassion
is required
for the integration
and integrity
of our disparate parts.

  1. 04/29/2017— Carolina Thread Trail 2016 50 — Union County, North Carolina and Lancaster County, South Carolina, 12 Mile Creek, November 18, 2016

    Look in the mirror!
    That’s my best advice.
    Mirrors are everywhere.
    Everything about us is a mirror
    reflecting us back to us
    (and to anyone else
    with eyes to see):
    Our loves and our lovers,
    our hates and our fears,
    our likes and our dislikes,
    our actions and our in-actions,
    our dreams and our day-dreams,
    our life and our other life
    (the one we are living
    and the one we are refusing to live)…
    It is all “right there” before our eyes
    at all times.
    Are we looking,
    is the question.
    Are we mindfully aware
    of what we look at,
    is the more important question.
    We are the answer to both questions.
    Our life is trying
    to get us together
    with our other life–
    showing us how things are,
    calling us to realize
    how things need to be,
    wondering what it will take
    to wake us up
    and turn us around
    so that we might
    live at last
    at one with ourselves.

04/29/2017 — Nothing is more important
than taking seriously
the fact
of the Other within us
“whom (said Carl Jung) we do not know.”
The Invisible Other,
of whom we are unconscious,
is the psychic core
of our existence,
the foundation
of our life and being–
who we are built to be–
“the face that was ours
before we were born.”
And it is our place
to learn the language
of the unconscious,
and to collaborate
with in living the life
that is ours together to live.
04/30/2017 — The Republican Party

is the political arm

of Business,

an extension

of the Chamber of Commerce,

only needing the people

to elect its

corporate clones,

and ignoring them,

their interest

and their needs

between elections.

  1. 04/20/2017— Dwarf Crested Iris 2017 01 — Zen Glen, Indian Land, South Carolina, April 16, 2017
  2. All things come—
    in their own time—
    to those who
    are quiet enough
    long enough
    often enough
    mindfully enough.
    We cannot
    hope to be anything
    until we can be quiet.

04/30/2017 — Climate change is not happening
because it would be
bad for business.
If we treat something
as though it is not happening
it will go away.
Except that Miami
will be under six feet of water.
And New York.
And by the time it goes away
everything else will be gone
as well.
04/30/2017 — What needs to happen
in a situation
takes precedent
over every other matter
in that situation.
To ignore the things
that cry out to be done
in the service of things
that enhance our own personal good,
or our idea of the good,
or the good of those we revere
or admire,
is to do grave
and irreparable
damage
to the essence
of life and being,
and creates
really bad karma.
04/302017 — I think it could be clinically established
that Trump is delusional
and lives in denial.
This has to be a mental gestalt
that is a threat
to our national security.
Who is responsible
for making that determination
and acting to protect the country
and the world?
What is the protocol here?
This is as non-partisan a problem
as we hope we will ever live to see.
04/30/2017 — There is some radical Christian extremism
inside of what would be The Wall.
They have bombed day care centers
and abortion clinics,
burned churches,
killed innocents…
How are we going to get them
outside The Wall
that is going to protect us all?
Who is “us”?
Nobody has ever said
who “us” is.
Everybody acts like it’s obvious.
It isn’t clear at all to me.
If we are going to build a wall,
we ought to at least
know who belongs inside.
What are the standards
for determining who is “us”?
How are we going to agree
as to what constitutes
an “us marker”?
And, once we know who “us” are,
how are we going to get
“them” to leave?

  1. 05/01/2017— Lake Haigler 2016 16 — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Lake Haigler Access, Fort Mill, South Carolina, November 11, 2016

    “What a slippery slope this is!”
    “It is like a razor’s edge!”
    We walk two paths at the same time.
    One path is The Good Of Ourselves–
    The Self of our conscious ego,
    and The Self of our inner psyche
    (of which we are mostly unconscious)–
    and the other path is The Good Of The Whole.
    We owe it to ourselves
    to be the individual we are
    in each situation as it arises.
    AND we owe it to the whole–
    the others in the situation,
    and beyond the situation
    to the all-ness of all
    that is to be considered–
    to be what the situation
    needs us to be for its good
    as well as for our own.
    But, our good is often
    in direct opposition
    to the good of the situation,
    and the good of the situation
    is often in direct opposition
    to the good of all
    that is beyond the situation.
    So, whose good do we serve
    in any situation?
    How much for me?
    How much for you?
    How much for the rest of them?
    Whose good is served
    by the good we call good
    in each situation as it arises?
    And how good is that good
    when it is served at the expense
    of the others’ bad?
    And how good is refusing
    to serve someone’s good
    because “it wouldn’t be fair”
    to the others?
    “To do or to do not,
    when, where, why and how?”
    is the question.
    And answering the question
    is the sheerest agony
    in the experience of being human,
    and the one that must be paid,
    again and again,
    in being human.
    “Working it out,”
    how much for me,
    how much for you,
    how much for them,
    in each situation,
    is the work of being human.
    The Hero’s Journey–
    which no hero manages
    in a spirit of triumph and glory.
    Jesus on the cross
    is the image
    of every hero
    at the end of the Journey.
    If you don’t understand that,
    you have no business
    wearing a cross
    or talking about
    “what Jesus did for us.”
    What Jesus did
    has to be done
    by each of us
    in each situation as it arises,
    all our life long.

05/01/2017 — We need two countries with open borders
so that those who can’t
make up their minds
can move back and forth.
Or better, we need to issue
Red and Blue Cards
and create two governing bodies.
They could share the White House,
each working every other week.
Actually, the one that is “working” now,
could just work every four years,
maybe longer.
No one on their side
would notice if they never worked at all.

  1. 05/02/2017— A Walk in the Woods 2016 12 — 22 Acre Woods, Indian Land, South Carolina, November 14, 2016

    We are defined
    by our options and choices.
    We would be different
    with different options,
    or different choices.
    We would certainly be different
    with better options
    and better choices.

    We don’t get to choose our choices.
    The options we get
    to choose from
    are determined,
    in part,
    by the choices we have made.
    The choices we will make
    will tell the tale
    that remains to be told.
    What guides our boat
    on its path through the sea?
    What leads us to make
    the choices we make?
    What part do fear and desire
    play in shaping our life?
    How free are we
    to choose the choice
    that needs to be chosen?
    How aware are we of
    “the needs to be”?
    How much are we controlled by
    “the want to be” or
    “the has to be”?
    How strong is our sense of
    what needs to be done,
    or or what needs us to do it?
    What is the difference
    in terms of its impact
    on our body
    between what has to be done
    and what needs us to do it?
    How free are we to choose
    the choices we make?
    In light of what do we choose?
    In light of what do we live?
    How we answer the questions
    will tell the tale
    that remains to be told.

05/02/2017 — Your relationship with yourself
and your life
is your primary relationship.
Everything else falls into place
around that.
The quality of your life
is a reflection of the quality
of your relationship
with yourself and your life.
Self and Life are one thing.
The better the alignment,
so that Life reflects,
expresses,
exhibits,
displays,
IS
Self–
In Gerad Manley Hopkins’:
“What I do is me,
for that I came”–
the greater the blessing
for ourselves
and the world around us.

  1. 05/03/2017— Boone Fork 2016 23 — Julian Price Memorial Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock, North Carolina, October 16, 2016

    We all have our own burdens.
    Bear the pain, I say.
    There is no greater honor,
    no greater necessity,
    than bearing the pain
    of our own burdens.
    There is no greater joy.
    “For the joy of what was sat before him…”
    Goes the old text,
    “…he endured the cross…”
    Christians through the centuries
    have missed the meaning
    of the words.
    “…scorning its shame,
    and is seated at the
    right hand of God.”
    As though the “joy of the cross”
    was “heaven on the other side,
    seated at the right hand of God.”
    Nothing could be further from the truth.
    The joy of our pain,
    of our burdens,
    is the experience of our pain,
    of our burdens.
    Is. One. Thing.
    Bittersweet.
    Life is pain.
    Is joy.
    All at once.
    Oxymoron all the way.
    Truth is an oxymoron.
    The truth that sets us free
    is an oxymoron.
    Darkness/light is one thing.
    Understanding
    is understanding
    that we do not understand.
    Seeing is seeing
    that we do not see.
    The Gateless Gate
    stands open/shut
    before us all
    at every turn,
    particularly at the point
    of the joy of our burdens/
    the burden of our joy.
    The burdens of life
    is the joy of life, living, being alive.
    There is no life removed
    from the burdens of living.
    Bearing the pain
    with understanding,
    realization,
    compassion,
    acceptance,
    and joy
    does not remove the pain.
    It bears the pain well.
    Bear your pain well.
    Carry lightly the burdens
    of your life.
    And laugh at every opportunity
    along the way.

  2. 05/04/2017 — Grandfather Mountain 2016 09 — Grandfather Mountain State Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, Banner Elk, North Carolina, October 17, 2016

    Money requires a place to put it
    and something to buy with it.
    Money isn’t everything.
    Everything hangs by a thin thread.
    Everything depends on
    such a few things–
    Mutual Respect,
    Honesty,
    Self-transparency,
    Compassion,
    Mindfulness,
    ..
    Integrity is living in ways
    that are integral
    with who we are,
    with what is
    deepest,
    best,
    and truest
    about us.
    Money cannot buy integrity,
    but it does,
    just about every time.

05/04/2017 — I am dumbfounded
by Republicans
who want a job
they don’t want to do.
 

05/04/2017 — The people who vote
for Republicans
have never been helped
by Republicans.
They have been helped
by Democrats
who Republicans say
are Evil incarnate.
They hate Democrats
who help them,
and love Republicans
who have never helped them.
And you won’t live long enough
to see them change their mind.
05/05/2017 — What people who like Donald Trump
like about Donald Trump
is that he doesn’t give a damn.
They don’t get
that he doesn’t give a damn
about them.
They think he only
doesn’t give a damn
about the people
they don’t give a damn about.
As the realization slowly dawns,
it comes as shock, betrayal, disbelief and rage.
He. Doesn’t. Give. A. Damn.
He. Is. Incapable. Of. Compassion.
It. Is. All. About. Getting. What. He. Wants.
Publicity. Money. Fame. Glory. Attention. Attention. Attention.
Donald Trump tells his people
what they want to hear
and treats them like
they are dust in the wind,
and they love it
because they believe he is
who they believe he is.
Co-dependency gone to the extreme.
They have to have a Savior.
He has to be The Savior Of Saviors.
It is a marriage made for hell–
which is how the rest of us experience it.
05/05/2017 — Democrats and Republicans
speak nonsense to each other.
AM talking to FM.
Words conveying values and perspectives
beyond the others’ experience
and ability to understand.
Heads banging into walls,
together the way ice cubes
are together
in the same refrigerator.
We are two countries
pretending to be
“the United States of America,”
with nothing united about us.
05/05/2017 — Here’s my take on abortion.
1) Everybody, back up!
2) This isn’t like setting a speed limit.
3) There are women right now who are pregnant and cannot carry their pregnancy to term.
4) Nobody—not even God—has the right to force a woman to be pregnant!
5) Even God asked Mary’s permission to bring Bebe Jesus into the world.
6) Everybody, mind your own business!
7) Everybody, support an environment supportive of everybody’s right to conduct their own affairs in a way that they determine needs to be done!
8) Do not make laws that are burdensome to some people because of the religious scruples of other people!
9) Make sure your business is not tending other people’s business!

 

 

05/05/2017 — People who have scruples against abortion don’t want any of their taxes paying for abortions, even of pregnancies caused by incest or rape, or those which threaten the mother’s life.
I have scruples against a border wall and a nuclear arsenal a thousand times larger than necessary to obliterate the world, and don’t want my taxes going toward paying for them.
How do anti-abortion scruples get a platform and politicians rallying around them, and anti-wall and anti-nuclear arsenal beyond all reason scruples get dismissed as ridiculous and absurd?

  1. 05/05/2017— Leaving Swan Quarter — Pamlico Sound, Swan Quarter, North Carolina, October, 2005

    It has taken all these years
    to understand that life is about
    growing up,
    paying attention,
    being mindful,
    seeing what we look at,
    hearing what we listen to,
    perceiving what is before us,
    receiving what is given to us,
    responding to life-in-the-moment-of-our-living
    out of our integrity-of-being
    by being what the moment needs us to be
    in ways that express
    and exhibit
    who we are and what is ours to give.
    We rise to every occasion
    in this way,
    forcing nothing,
    imposing nothing,
    demanding nothing,
    insisting on nothing,
    simply seeing/being/doing/living
    in ways that are appropriate
    to the occasion
    in every occasion–
    realizing depths about ourselves
    we have no idea are there,
    and would never know
    without being pulled beyond ourselves
    in each moment
    by the circumstances of our life
    which have come to us
    to show us who we are
    and grow us up
    into who we are capable of becoming.

  2. 05/06/2017— Around Price Lake 2016 09 — Julian Price Memorial Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock, North Carolina, October 17, 2016

    In the beginning we had no personal identity at all.

    Each one of us was an extension of the whole lot of us.
    We were identified with,
    and by,
    the tribe of our origin.

    For over 10,000 years, Native American tribesmen
    made arrowheads that were exact duplicates
    because no variation was allowed.
    The way to make arrowheads
    was prescribed by the Ancestors
    from the beginning.
    And as with arrowheads,
    so with every other aspect of tribal life.
    No one though for himself, for herself.
    Everyone did it like it was supposed to be done.
    No improvements were permitted.
    None were even imagined.
    The slightest deviation
    was proven to unleash
    the punishment of the gods.

    Even now, in some places of the world,
    people are told to rid themselves
    of their egos
    and let The Way of the Ancestors (or Gurus)
    lead them through their life.

    The story of human evolution
    is the story of coming to consciousness,
    the story of waking up the individual within
    so that we each stand apart
    from the Tribal Whole of our origin,
    and say, “NO! MY do it!”
    The story of human evolution
    is the long tale
    of our individuality,
    our individuation,
    coming forth,
    taking hold.

    The Hero’s Journey is the trek to ME,
    to I AM!
    It is made tricky by having to take the needs
    of everyone else into account.
    The society,
    the State,
    has a claim upon the individuals
    making up the society,
    the State.
    And our life is lived on two paths
    at the same time.
    We have to be true to ourselves
    and we have to submit
    to the requirements of life in the culture
    of our origin.
    This is the gauntlet
    we must pass through
    on our way to being fully human.
    This is the Hero’s Journey,
    working it out between
    the ME and the WE.

05/06/2017 — My Take On Abortion, Part 2
If I have a stroke that leaves me with zero brain wave activity, most of the thinking, reasoning, rational, logical population of the world would not think that I am alive.
The Catholic Church can say that I am alive, and all of the Evangelical Christian churches can chime in on the chorus, “That Jim is alive! Oh, he is so alive! He will order off the menu any minute now!” but the rest of us know I am not alive, and will be fed by a feeding tube unless some good soul unhooks me from all life-sustaining devices, an act for which no person described so astutely in the first paragraph upon doing would be called a “Murderer!” or “Killer!”
Flash back in time to my mother’s womb with me attached to all of those life-sustaining devices through one umbilical tube. Up until about the 23rd week of her pregnancy I have no brain wave activity. I am no more alive then than I am hooked up to some mechanical mother in some emergency room somewhere.

23 weeks is a bit over 5 months.
The only difference between Jim then and Jim with a stroke now is that then Jim had more potential for life than Jim with a stroke now has. But. Potential for life is not life as we understand being alive. And. If someone is going to make a case for me being alive based on my potential for life, then we all have to go Full Catholic Monty and say that to interfere with Jim’s conception is murder because preventing an egg’s chances of getting together with a sperm cell is sharply reducing Jim’s chances of being alive and is murder In Utero as surely as an abortion would be fifteen minutes or two days later.
And no person described so astutely in the first paragraph would be guilty of thinking that.
 

05/06/2017 — Follow the symptoms!
They will lead you to the truth!
To the perpetrators!
The predators!
The abusers!
The bullies!
The self-righteous sources
of the pain their family bears.
The controlling manipulators
and white-gloved curators
of hell-on-earth,
disguised as angels of light
and oblivious to the damage
they do.
Symptoms read well
tell stories
grown men and women
cannot hear told.
All of the ills that plague humanity
can be traced
to the untold stories
of symptoms dismissed and denied.
 

05/06/2017 — The most heroic decision/act/deed
ever made or done
is getting up
and doing the thing
that needs to be done–
that needs us to do it–
the thing that we most do not
want to do.
That is the deed
that transforms the world
and saves the day
for countless days to come.
 

05/06/2017 — The next time you have nothing to do,
with no pressing urgencies to attend,
and no guiding passions to follow,
simply sit quietly
and be mindful of the moment
on all levels.
Consciousness evolves by being conscious.
We grow from one realization to another
through reflecting on our experience,
and holding all things together
in our awareness.
Shifts in perspective happen that way.
And nothing is the same ever after.

05/06/2017 — Being aware of things as they are
changes our relationship with them,
which changes things as they are,
but not necessarily in the way
we would like for them to change.
Being aware of how we would like
things to be
changes how we would like
things to be.
Awareness changes things,
but not according to our plans
and agenda.
Our plans and agenda
are among the things changed.
When we realize how much
we want changed about our life
requires us to change,
we change our minds
about wanting things
to be different.
We want things to be different
with everything else
staying the same.
05/06/2017 — How can Chechnya’s treatment of gays go
without being denounced?
Without sanctions being imposed?
Without outcry and opposition?
Will witch hunts,
drowning’s,
and burnings at the stake
be next?
How does inhumanity
take over
and flaunt its insanity?
 

  1. 05/07/2017— Grandfather Mountain 2016 02 — Grandfather Mountain State Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, Banner Elk, North Carolina, October 17, 2016

    The heart of the matter
    is how we treat the people
    we don’t like–
    how we treat the people
    who are not like us.
    Brutality and ruthlessness
    have no place at the table.
    Enjoyment in inflicting
    pain, suffering and death
    is inhumanity at its worst–
    and shines through
    the shiniest facades,
    tarnishing the legacy
    of the time and place
    of its expression
    over all time forever.
    Incivility calls out the pretense
    of “civilization,”
    and reveals the truth
    of barbaric evil
    at the gates
    of every age.
    It comes down to
    each person doing the work
    of being human–
    living to serve and express
    the best we are capable of
    through all of the conditions
    and circumstances
    of our life.
    The obligation
    to Be Human First
    falls upon us all,
    particularly upon those in power,
    with the authority and means
    to lead toward the good
    and away from evil
    in each generation.
    How well do we treat the people
    we don’t like?
    How well do we treat the people
    who are not like us?
    Civilization stands or falls
    on our answers to these questions.

05/07/2017 — Perspective determines perception.
How we see determines what we see.
We will see what we have always seen
until we change the way we look at it.
If we are unwilling to see things differently
everything will be what it has been
forever.
Gays.
Blacks.
Hispanics.
Muslims.
Women.
Immigrants.
The Poor.
The Disabled.

A new world begins with new ways of seeing the old one.
 

05/07/2017 — Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden have slammed Trump in the past couple of weeks for being silent on Chechnya’s brutalization of gays. That’s two Democrat voices. And there have been others as well. Where are the Republican voices?

Who on the Republican side of the isle speaks for the disenfranchised, the marginalized, the fringe dwellers, the voiceless, the powerless, the ones of every nation who are like “a root out of dry ground” to the privileged and wealthy beyond imagining.
05/07/2017 — Our life is always waiting
for us to live it.
The good news about that
is that we don’t have to
think up what to do.
It is not on us.
The burden is not ours
to conceive and to do.
Our place is simply
that of listening.
We listen with our body.
It is like falling in love.
What knows first?
Not our head!
Our body knows.
When we tune into our body,
so that we know what it knows,
we know all we need to know
to do the thing that needs
us to do it now.
We don’t have to know why.
We only have to know what.
And do it.
Without knowing were it will lead,
or what will happen next,
or how we can explain
what we are doing
in order to justify/excuse/defend it
in someone else’s eyes,
or even our own.
Our life unfolds one choice at a time.
Listening for
and knowing what
needs us to do it now
in each now that comes along
adds up to a life well-lived
over time.
It is in looking back
and following the thread to here
that we get a sense
of movement and flow,
and direction, purpose and meaning.
We find our life in living it.
Head figuring out what body knows.
 

05/07/2017 — I operate out of a number
of mindsets,
of mental/emotional
(And were does that line lie?)
states of being.
I spend most of my driving time
on back roads and residential streets
with speed limits between 35 and 45.
The back roads occasionally merge
with interstate highways
with speed limits at 70
and real time traffic speed at 80 or so.
It helps to be ready to make the shift.
Back road mentality
will get you killed on the interstate.
Our mental state has to match
our physical circumstances.
Mindful awareness enables
smooth transitions.
Knowing what I am doing
and what that calls for
in terms of presence and attention
makes all the difference
in my being able
to plug into the situation
and be what it is needed.
When I’m cooking,
it matters if I am fully there,
present,
cooking.
I cannot grocery shop
and chat with anybody.
When I’m reading,
I have to read.
When I’m writing,
I have to write.
My mindset has to be
engaged with whatever
I’m doing.
There is no multitasking
on the freeways of life.
 

05/07/2017 — Free will is a joke
calling up peals of regaling laughter
from those smitten by True Love.
There is nothing free about being in love.
“Doing whatever I want to do”
is out of the question.
We are not free to choose our wants.
Our wants are thrust upon us
by forces beyond our control.
That is the motivation
that moves us to action!
It comes from somewhere
other than us.
We don’t do it.
We couldn’t conjure it up
any more than we could
decide what we will dream tonight.
We are not free to will
any of the important things.
Or we can will them
without effect.
The best we can hope for
is to surrender to the smite
when smitten,
and follow willingly
(not willfully)
along the way.
This is the relationship
of moved with mover,
experienced in the arms of a lover,
but also in the devotion,
loyalty, allegiance and duty
to our life’s calling
and our heart’s true work.
The urgency of an urge unbidden
stirs us to life
and leads us through life
as those who belong to another
“whom we do not know.”

 

 

  1. 05/08/2017— Lake Haigler 2016 42 — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Lake Haigler Access, Fort Mill, South Carolina, November 17, 2016

    We are the shepherd and the sheep.
    How we relate to ourselves
    makes all the difference.
    We waste our time
    looking for in others
    what is found within.
    All the time,
    we are what
    we are looking for.
    We reject,
    ignore,
    dismiss,
    discount,
    despise
    the treasure we seek.
    The stone the builders reject,
    is the pearl of great price,
    overlooked again and again
    by those who are like sheep
    without a shepherd,
    spending their days
    waiting for Godot.

05/08/2016 — There is a percentage of gay people in every population over time.
And a percentage of transgender people.
And a percentage of Down syndrome people.
And a percentage of people over 6 feet tall.
And a percentage of people under 4 feet tall.
And a percentage of people who are left-handed.
And a percentage of people with green eyes.
And a percentage of people with red hair.
And a percentage of people with green eyes and red hair.
And on it goes…
There is even a percentage of people in every population
who think they are normal.
And a percentage of people who think that being “normal”
makes them somehow “better”
and “more like you ought to be”
than anyone else.
And a percentage of people who treat everyone
not like they are
as though they don’t belong
and have no business being alive.
There is a bell-shaped curve
(That would be a “normal distribution” curve–
the ONLY normal thing about the species
is the WIDE DISTRIBUTION
of characteristics,
traits,
tics,
and proclivities
that reside in every population
in every generation
in every age)
for every possible condition of life.
So what?
We all have to do the best we can
with what we have to work with,
and we all need all the help we can get.
So what’s with not being helpful,
across the board, around the table
and around the world?
 

05/08/2017 — How can every Republican office holder–and by extension everyone who voted for them–have no interest in, or concern for, the well-being of all people (And nothing but disdain and contempt for those who need help the most)?

And if they say, “Oh, we care!” where is the evidence? If people cannot see any difference between being cared for and being despised, they may as well be despised–as they, in fact, are.
 

05/08/2017 — A church that offers scriptural proofs
of the validity of its doctrine
and scriptural support
for the value of its political ideology
(And to say, “God isn’t a Democrat or a Republican,”
begs the question,
“Who would God have you vote for?”
And God would always have us vote for
the politician who best espouses
our political ideology
which we support with
scriptural references),
is a church that is behind the times,
preaching a sermon
with no referents in a world
that knows more than the Bible knows
about all of the things–
social, cultural, medical, scientific and religious–
the Bible is said to have the last word on.
For the church to have
foundational place in this world,
and a salvific impact upon it,
it must focus its efforts
on creating an environment
that fosters individual reflection,
examination,
exploration,
realization,
expression
and maturation–
providing the ground
for an experience of God
that serves the individual
as a guiding impulse
and a supporting presence
in the work of finding
and living
the life that is best suited
to bring forth the unique gifts
and qualities
that are her, or his,
physical manifestations
of her, or his,
spiritual essence.
That would be a church
worthy of our time
and commitment.
 

05/08/2017 — If I were to help you
connect with yourself,
I would ask you
to become mindfully aware
(Google Jon Kabat-Zinn
and watch all of his YouTube videos)
of all that works
to disconnect you from yourself,
and then I would leave the room.
You could take it from there.

  1. 05/04/2017— Emerald Lake 2005 01 — Yoho National Park, British Columbia, Canada, September 2005

    See how long you can sit quietly.
    No music.
    No TV.
    No conversation.
    No writing.
    No reading.
    Just you and the silence.
    Just you paying attention
    to the silence.
    Just you watching and listening
    to what happens
    in the silence.
    What do you think?
    Where do your thoughts go?
    What do you feel?
    Where do your feelings come from?
    What are you aware of?
    What is your level of comfort
    with what you are doing?
    What causes you to break it off?
    How long did you last?
    Repeat the experiment
    once a day
    for a month.

05/09/2017 — We don’t know how bad things will get
but.
The Silence is the source
of all that we need
to find what we need,
If.
We approach it
with a Noble Heart.
A Noble Heart is
a Kind Heart,
a Brave Heart,
a Faithful Heart,
a Loyal Heart,
a Compassionate Heart,
a Patient Heart,
a Generous Heart,
a Tender Heart,
a Courageous Heart,
a Perceptive Heart,
a Gallant Heart,
a Heart that is Transparent to itself,
a Heart that Knows itself,
a Heart that Keeps Faith with itself,
a Heart that Keeps Company with itself,
a Heart that is at home with the Silence.
The eyes and ears of a Noble Heart
see and hear what is happening
and what the Silence has to say
about what is happening.
A Noble Heart takes its direction,
not from what is happening,
but from what the Silence has to say
about what is happening.
From the perspective of a Noble Heart
we have the right frame of mind
to deal with all that comes our way.
As we wait to see how things
will fall out,
we can do no better than spend the time
developing a Noble Heart,
and learning to listen to the Silence
and to see what we find there
with the ears and eyes of that Heart.
And all will be truly well
no matter how bad it gets.

  1. 05/04/2017— Grandfather Mountain 2016 11 — Grandfather Mountain State Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, Banner Elk, North Carolina, October 17, 2016

    What exciting times we live in.
    Everything is on the line.
    Everybody has to declare who they are
    and what is important to them.
    Everybody has to be known
    for what they stand for.
    No one gets a choice in the matter
    of having to choose.
    Everybody has to make a choice
    among those offered:
    For Democracy or against Democracy?
    For Justice or against Justice?
    For Transparency or against Transparency?
    For Equal Rights or against Equal Rights?
    For the Constitution or against the Constitution?
    For the Truth The Whole Truth And NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH
    or against everything that has the odor of TRUTH about it?

05/10/2017 — There is only one sin.
Not knowing what we are doing.
Which is the same
as thinking we know what we are doing.
Hubris,
Pride,
Arrogance
thinks it knows,
but doesn’t know what it knows,
and doesn’t know what
it doesn’t know.
Not knowing what we are doing
is the same thing
as not knowing who we are.
If we know what we are doing,
we know who we are.
We are the person who does _____.
We are what we do.
And what we do not.
There is no being
apart from doing.
We are brought forth in,
made apparent in,
given shape and form in
realized in,
expressed in,
exhibited in,
acted out in,
what we do with our life.
Our shame is our failure
to live up to what we are capable
of doing–
who we are capable of being.
Of not knowing what we are doing
or of what all we might be able to do.
We box ourselves into a life
that doesn’t fit us.
And think it is the best we can do.
We owe it to ourselves
to find out
if what we think is so.

  1. 05/11/2017 — Goodale 2013 17 — Goodale State Park, Camden, South Carolina, November 2013

    There are two kinds of religion:
    good and bad.
    Good religion speaks to our heart,
    bad religion speaks to our head.
    Good religion springs from what we know,
    bad religion springs from what we think.
    Good religion connects us with all people everywhere.
    bad religion creates division, alienation, estrangement.
    Good religion resonates with us,
    bad religion has to convert us.
    Good religion elicits an immediate “Yes!”
    bad religion has to overcome automatic “No!”
    Good religion is content with how things are,
    bad religion concentrates on how things ought to be.
    Good religion talks about what is good,
    bad religion talks about what is bad.
    Good religion just walks away from bad religion,
    bad religion has to persecute and destroy good religion.
    How good is the religion we call good?
    How bad is the religion we call bad?
    How bad is the religion we call good?
    How good is the religion we call bad?
    Questions never asked in Sunday School.
    Or in Seminary.

05/11/2017 — Remember those poignant recommendations:
“Get over it!
Let it go!
Give Trump a chance!”?
Well.
What say they now?
Hmm?

  1. 05/12/2017— Two Rocks 2004 01 — Jordan Pond, Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, Maine, September, 2004

    We are the source
    of our own stability.
    We have to be able
    to center,
    ground,
    establish
    ourselves
    on the bedrock
    of our core identity,
    and stand on the values
    principles,
    ideals
    and character
    which exhibit the heart/soul
    of our deepest,
    best,
    truest,

    What is unmoving
    and unmovable
    about us?
    Solidly,
    dependably,
    reliably
    US?
    Go there!
    Be that!
    In season
    and out of season,
    in every situation,
    in all circumstances
    throughout the time
    that is left to us.
    And if you don’t have
    any idea of what
    I am talking about,
    begin taking a
    Me/Not Me inventory.
    Ask of every choice,
    option,
    decision
    that comes your way:
    “Is this ME or NOT ME?”
    And listen in the silence
    of not-knowing,
    of being unsure
    about the answer,
    for “the still small voice”
    of YOU
    to guide the way.

  2. 05/13/2017— Appalachian Pond 2011 01 — Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia, April, 2011

    If you vote Republican,
    you are saying
    you like the way Republicans
    treat women,
    and gay people,
    and transgender people,
    and black people,
    and poor people,
    and people with special needs,
    and Muslims,
    and Latinos,
    and immigrants,
    and you are cheering them on,
    never minding that Jesus said,
    “In as much as you have done it,
    or not done it,
    to the very least
    of my brothers and sisters,
    you have done it,
    or not done it,
    unto me.”
    Stop spitting on Jesus!
    Stop voting for
    and supporting Republicans!
    Demand that they take up the cause
    of those they are spitting on!
    And become yourself
    the advocate
    of those who have no voice–
    speaking for those
    who are ignored,
    dismissed
    and abandoned
    when they cry out
    and there is no one who cares
    what happens to them!
    How you live every day
    has an impact upon
    how life is lived around you
    and around the world.
    Start living for the good
    of people you don’t know!
    And vote for people
    who will do the same!

  3. 05/14/2017 — Grandfather Mountain 2016 12 — Grandfather Mountain State Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, Banner Elk, North Carolina, October 17, 2016

    Awareness is our only weapon.
    Awareness is the Elder Wand.
    Seeing/hearing,
    knowing/understanding,
    are the ground and foundation
    of doing/being.
    Mindfulness leads the way.

    Joseph Campbell said
    the idea is to live to be in,
    and live out of,
    “a zone to which tracks do not lead,
    only a spiritual leap” will suffice
    (or words to that effect).

    The “leap of faith,”
    is not as we have been told,
    a “leap” from a rational,
    logical,
    factual orientation
    to a belief in what we are told
    to believe
    in spite of its incomprehensibility
    from the standpoint
    of all we know about
    the difference between
    sense and nonsense
    (The Fall, Sacrifice, Redemption
    and Salvation
    as proclaimed by The Church),
    but the “leap” from
    “head-knowing” to
    “heart-knowing.”

    Carl Jung said,
    “Most of our difficulties
    come from losing contact
    with our instincts,
    with the age-old forgotten wisdom
    stored up in us.”
    Knowing what we know
    on all levels
    is knowing at its best,
    and leads the way
    through the deepest darkness
    for those willing
    to risk everything
    in trusting what we know
    to the exclusion of what we think.

    “What a dangerous path this is!
    It is a slippery slope!
    Like the edge of a razor!”
    The Hero’s Journey.

05/14/2017 — We want someone
to make it all better.
We can make it instantly
all better
just by changing
the way we look at it.
We are never more
than a perspective shift away
from better.
See how many different
ways you can see
what you look at.
See which way
works the best
for you
and the situation
as a whole.
Choose that one.

  1. 05/15/2017— Goodale 2013 06 — Goodale State Park, Camden, South Carolina, November, 2013

    The only reality that matters right now
    is the moment of our being–
    our being in the moment of our living–
    which includes our being open
    to our needs of the moment
    along with the needs of all the others
    in the moment with us.
    Then,
    what to do about it?

05/15/2017 — We have to experiment with our life–
play with our life–
in order to discover
what is Me and Not Me.
We do not find our way
to the life
that is our life to live
by thinking about it.
We live our way there
by making wrong turns
and mindless choices
and waking ourselves up
and paying attention
to where we belong
and where we have
no business being,
and what we do
that is life,
and what we do
that is death,
and die to live
rather than
living to die.

  1. 05/16/2017— Black Birch 2011 05 — Rocky Knob, Blue Ridge Parkway, Rocky Knob, Virginia, April, 2011

    Integrity is the highest value.
    The primary goal.
    The whole point.
    The only reason we do it.
    Integrity has nothing to do
    with being aligned
    with someone else’s idea–
    some cultural or religious
    standard, say–
    of how it is to be done.
    It has only to do with
    being aligned with–
    being at one with–
    the unconscious
    (because we are not conscious of it)
    truth of who we are
    at the bedrock level
    of our own heart and soul.
    It is what Jesus meant
    when he said,
    “The Father and I are one.”
    Our experience
    of our Bedrock Self
    is what has always
    been said to be “of God.”
    “God” is who we are
    capable of being–
    who we ARE being–
    when we are living
    in ways that are integral
    with who we
    at the level
    of our Bedrock Self.
    It is what Rumi had in mind
    when he said,
    “One glimpse of a true human being
    and we are in love.”
    Because a true human being,
    at one with “the Father,”
    shows us who we
    are capable of being,
    and we see in her,
    in him,
    who we are,
    and know it at the deepest level,
    and fall in love–
    not with her or him–
    but with the idea of ourselves
    that has yet to be realized
    in the world of normal,
    apparent,
    reality–
    but exists as a potential
    for us all
    throughout the time
    left for living.
    Mindfulness leads the way.
    Integrity is the goal.
    The Hero’s Journey.
    To the heart of who we are.
    Waiting for us even now.

05/16/2017 — Our life consists of distractions.
Everything there is there
to take our mind off
what we are there to do:
To bring ourselves forth,
utilizing the gifts,
the art,
that is ours to use
in the service of self expression,
as we tend the developmental tasks,
and incarnate or inner self
in ways appropriate to the occasion.
The condition and circumstances
of our life
constitute the matrix
with which,
and within which,
we work to produce ourselves.
We become who we are
by coming up against
the contemporary manifestations
of the Cyclops (and all of his friends)
as we go about the business
of body AND soul–
working out the ratios
between the two
that are one.
But then come the distractions
(the Cyclops’ favorite form)–
entertaining pastimes,
duties and obligations,
responsibilities and commitments–
and we lose the way,
wander off the path,
become untracked
and settle for
just getting through the day.
We have to transcend
the distractions,
holding them in our awareness
as part of the conditions and circumstances
within which we become who we are
by remembering what we are here to do
and doing it.
 

  1. 05/17/2017— Boone Fork 2016 10 Panorama — Julian Price Memorial Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock, North Carolina, October 16, 2016

    We have to give ourselves
    to the developmental tasks–
    to the tasks of life–
    appropriate to
    each stage of development
    from birth to death.
    “There is a time
    for every purpose under heaven,”
    and we are servants
    of the time
    that is upon us
    at any period in our life.
    The requirements
    and obligations of life
    are different at 75
    than at 6 months.
    We cannot live as though
    we are 15
    or 18
    or 25

    Yet, we are forever
    ignoring,
    denying,
    dismissing,
    disregarding,
    discarding,
    declining
    eschewing,
    renouncing,
    shunning,
    evading,
    ostracizing,
    and refusing
    the things that are incumbent
    upon us in the
    time and place of our living.
    Star Wars was written
    and produced
    with 12-year-olds in mind.
    If we miss the path
    when we are 12,
    we do not outlive
    its attraction when we are 70,
    but we have to know
    what we are missing
    and how to incorporate it
    into our life here and now.
    We cannot just watch a movie.
    And watching a movie
    keeps us from thinking about
    what we need to be thinking about
    as 70-year-olds.
    Getting behind
    in the developmental tasks
    means we miss
    something crucial
    either then or now.

05/17/2017 — Truth requires justice.
Justice demands truth.
Some lies beg to be exposed.
Some lies serve a truth beyond the question.
All lies lead to truth and justice.
The point cannot be explained,
only experienced.
Seeing is a matter of looking
to the point of transcendence.
“Aha!” awaits further reflection.
Truth is willing out
all of the time.

05/17/2017— The Voice of Authority
would be exactly whose voice?
Who guides your boat
on its path through the sea?
Who decides what you will do?
Where you will go?
How you will spend your time?
What is the source
of your motivation and direction?
How do you know
that what you are doing
is the right thing to do–
is the right thing for YOU to do?
Is right for YOU?
The Dangerous Path,
the Slippery Slope,
the Razor’s Edge
is the boundary line
between our Conscious Ego
and our Unconscious Impulses,
Instincts, Intuition and
all that is involved in that mystical term
“Resonance.”
Something “resonates” with us,
or does not at all.
And we read that with our
Conscious Ego,
or not,
and decide what to do about it,
or not.
But.
It is essential that the Conscious Ego
“wear the pants”
in its relationship with the Unconscious components.
WE are the Authority over our life!
WE guide our boat on its path through the sea–
in collaboration with the Unconscious
and all it has to offer.
And WE have to play our part well–
attending the Unconscious
and bearing consciously
the responsibility
for seeing, hearing, and understanding–
for being mindfully aware of–
all that is presenting itself to us
in the external situation
and in our internal response to it,
and deciding in partnership
with the Unconscious
what to do about it
in each situation as it arises.
How equipped do you feel
to broker the deal?
Are you open
to searching out the equivalents
of Obi-wan Kenobi and Yoda,
and getting to work?

05/17/2017 — Looking at the Trump health care and budget proposals
makes it easy to conclude
that Trump wants to kill poor Americans,
prevent poor Americans from voting,
dry up sources of education for poor Americans,
and keep poor Americans poor
by maintaining an unlivable minimum wage
and offering nothing in the way of job training and placement.
Going to Make America Great Again
for those have no need of that kind of assistance in their lives.
And not even pity for those who do.

  1. 05/18/2017— Lake Haigler 2016 17 — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Lake Haigler Access, Fort Mill, South Carolina, November 17, 2016

    Everything depends upon our Conscious Ego
    entering into a right relationship
    with our Unconscious Mind/Self/Soul/Psyche.
    Our Conscious Ego
    is a full, responsible, essential partner
    with the Unconscious,
    and has the final word
    on what is, and is not, done.
    The first move–
    and all that follow–
    hinge upon what we
    as Conscious Egos
    do in relation to,
    in relationship with,
    our Unconscious.
    The Unconscious cannot force
    cooperation,
    or veto choices.
    Our Conscious Ego
    has the final word.
    Our life can be as fully,
    or as faintly,
    lived in conjunction
    with the wisdom
    of the Unconscious
    as our Conscious Ego
    is interested in,
    and willing for,
    that to happen.

05/19/2017— The Republicans are taking health care in the form of Planned Parenthood and the Affordable Care Act away from millions of people.

The Republicans who are casually flipping those switches from On to Off have never lived on the edge, do not know the gripping agony of having nowhere to turn, cannot imagine the aloneness and aching grief of being unable to meet their own basic needs and the needs of their family.

They don’t know what they are doing, or what the implications of their actions are for the people they have never met and do not care to meet. They have other concerns and issues that only the wealthy and privileged can fret over.

Republican is a class of having it made, and a lower class of wanting to have it made, which are far removed from the much, much lower class of trying to survive one day, one week, one month at a time.

Republicans are taking health care away from that class on the edge of not surviving. Republicans do not care if they don’t survive.

Republicans are a class of humanity with nothing humane about them. Making laws that destroy hope for millions of people they feel nothing for. Padding their own futures while leaving others with no future at all.

05/19/2017— Carolina Thread Trail 2016 49 — Twelve Mile Creek, Union County, North Carolina, Lancaster County, South Carolina, November 19, 2016

When we wake up, we wake up to our responsibility
for aligning ourselves with our Self–
the Self that is our
bedrock-
foundation-
ground-
center-
core-
essence-
self.
Knowing that,
and doing that,
puts us in the company
of those who
have known that,
who have done that,
throughout the ages–
and have blessed the world
with the grace and goodness
that flow from that
since the beginning of time.

05/19/2017 — It’s interesting, to me,
the moods that come upon us.
I am certain they have an element
of unknown and mysterious composition
about them,
as though Something
we are not conscious of
is feeling its feelings through us…
I wonder if it may be ancestral,
genetic,
a part of our DNA–
and I wonder how much of “us”
is unknown to us,
out of the “frequency range” of consciousness,
yet, “there” in the background,
a part of the matrix,
the gestalt,
that comprises our “all-ness.”
And, how we might learn
to share ourselves
with What We Do Not Know,
trusting it to its business,
and asking it to not take more
than its fair share of the time
left to us on this “hither shore.”
There is more to us than meets the eye,
and some of it comes with its own interests,
needs and priorities.
We are not in charge of—
or responsible for—
a good bit that “goes on” within us!

05/19/2017 — What something means is found
in how we respond to it—
in how someone responds to it.
In how it shapes and forms our life,
or someone’s life.
In what we do with it,
about it,
or someone does.
In what impact it has upon us,
or upon someone.
If it doesn’t have any impact on anyone,
or anything,
it means nothing.
To talk about meaning
apart from impact and response
is to make meaningless noise.
Why do that?

05/19/2017— If I have nothing to hide,
I will fully cooperate with the investigation.
If I have something to hide,
I will hide it any way I can.
I expect I’m rather much like Donald Trump
in that regard.

  1. 05/20/2017— Grandfather Mountain 2016 14 — Grandfather Mountain State Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, Banner Elk, North Carolina, October 17, 2016

    Our contradictions,
    our ambivalence,
    our dichotomies
    are all doorways
    to integrity,
    oneness
    and wholeness.
    We come together
    in sharp focus
    through the contemplation
    of our opposites,
    of our polarities.
    Instead of engaging in
    self-condemnation
    and recrimination,
    we extend olive branches
    to ourselves
    in a “This, too! This, too!”
    kind of way.
    Compassion and grace
    heal the divisions within
    (and without),
    and open the way
    to peace and goodwill.
    The ground of our solidarity
    is the acceptance–
    the celebration–
    of our different-ness.
    As we accept ourselves
    as we are,
    and as we also are,
    lay the foundation
    for treating others
    with the same benevolent regard–
    and the shift is felt world-wide.

  2. 05/21/2017— King Snakes Courting — Backyard in Indian Land, South Carolina, May 19, 2017

    Reading our body’s signals,
    trusting our body’s wisdom,
    and following our body’s inclinations
    allow us to “stay close to home”
    in picking our way
    through the decisions and choices
    that comprise our days.
    When we begin
    to allow our head
    to take the lead,
    with its agendas,
    plans
    and schemes,
    we complicate matters
    well beyond
    the usual and customary.
    Our head is good
    for thinking.
    Our body is good
    for knowing.

05/21/2017— Under Trump’s Administration,
the phrase “War on Poverty”
means “War on the Poor.”

  1. 05/22/2017— Big Creek Spring 2004 01 — Big Creek Campground (entrance at Newport, North Carolina) Great Smoky Mountains National Park, April, 20004

    If we live long enough,
    we run out of options.
    If you can make your peace
    with that,
    you have it made,
    if you call that
    having it made.
    What I’m saying is
    eventually,
    sooner or later,
    our life is going
    to require us to grow up.
    Why put it off?
    All we gain
    is more time
    in which to kid ourselves.
    Stand up right now!
    Is what I’m saying.
    We are going to have to do
    what we don’t want to do.
    Why wait?
    Why don’t we start dong the thing
    that needs to be done
    exactly as we would do it
    if it were the thing
    we most wanted to do
    in all the world?
    We’re going to have to do it anyway.
    May as well be grown up about it.
    The world would be a better place
    with more people in it
    who are grown up.
    If you want to do something
    that would make the greatest difference,
    grow up!
    Or act like you’re grown up,
    whether you are or not.
    It’s all the same to everybody else.

  2. 05/23/2017— Grandfather Mountain 2016 06 — Grandfather Mountain State Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, Banner Elk, North Carolina, October 17, 2016

    When things are out of sync we know it.
    Getting the sync back means
    seeking the silence,
    attending the Unconscious
    minding–and mining–our business
    for clues regarding where
    we got off track
    and what we need to do
    to get back on.
    Distraction will be the culprit.
    Too much attention in one area
    means not enough in others.
    Contradiction running unchecked,
    living unnoticed,
    unnoted,
    keeps us from walking two paths
    at the same time–
    a sine qua non for
    balance and sanity,
    centering and peace.
    Knowing what we know
    is the sure track to sync.
    Failing to be mindful of everything
    keeps something unknown.
    Find that–
    name the thing–
    and it all falls into place
    until the next time forgetting
    reminds us to be attentive
    to the one forgotten thing.

05/23/2017 — Mick Mulvaney and his Republican pals are going to “help” people off of programs they need to survive by defunding the programs. Not only has Mulvaney redefined “compassion,” he has also redefined “help.” Talking to him and the Republican Bubble Heads nodding in full agreement with him is an exercise in futility and absurdity.

Republicans are redistricting voting precincts so that only Bubble Heads get to vote. Heaven for Republicans is a Bubble Head world.

05/24/2017 — Trump is the master of the overstatement.
The Grandstander par excellence.
Mr. Hey-Look-At-Me without peer.
The way he talks,
you would think
there would be something there.
It is only talk.
The worst kind of talk.
From the worst kind of person.
Trump is by far
the worst person
to hold the office of President of the United States
in my lifetime.
Money cannot buy class.
And it is no substitute for class.
Trump is the wrong way
to “the classless society.”

05/24/2017 — Trump is the Champion of Inequity.
The Destroyer of Human Rights.
The Grand Architect of the Wasteland.
The Great Enemy of the People Worldwide.
The Wrecking Ball of Civilization.
If you are on Trump’s side,
please note for the record
that he is not on yours.

05/24/2017— Boone Fork 2016 09 Panorama — Julian Price Memorial Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock, North Carolina, October 16, 2016

Carl Jung said, “I have frequently seen people become neurotic
when they content themselves
with inadequate answers to the questions of life.”
Narcissistic Personality Disorder qualifies as a neurosis.
The things we make too little of,
and the things we make too much of,
limit the quality of life we live.
What do the things we think about
keep us from thinking about?
What makes us think they are not
worth thinking about?
How exclusively do we think about
the things we think about?
What makes us think they are
worth thinking about?
What are the questions of life
we have not answered,
or have answered inadequately?
What are the questions of life
that we persistently ignore
or put aside?
What makes us good company?
What makes us worth talking to?
How do you like to spend your money?
How do you like to spend your time?

  1. 05/25/2017— Around Price Lake 2016 28 — Julian Price Memorial Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock, North Carolina, October 17, 2016

    Grace is a two-way street.
    Or better:
    Grace-and-kindness is a two-way street.
    You can’t have one without the other.
    Grace is kindness.
    Kindness is grace.
    “Unmerited benevolence,”
    said the old theologian,
    which is the only kind of benevolence.
    What is benevolence that is earned,
    deserved?
    “Hey! Where’s my benevolence here?”
    It isn’t benevolence if it is earned,

    That’s payment.
    There is no grace or kindness
    in being given what we’ve earned.
    That’s just good business.
    It takes more than good business
    to make the world run.
    It takes grace-and-kindness.
    We are saved by grace-and-kindness.
    So is the savior.
    “Grace-and-kindness, kid,
    grace-and-kindness.”
    Moved and mover save/serve each other
    with grace-and-kindness.
    They bless each other
    with grace-and-kindness
    for no reason.
    Moved becomes mover,
    mover becomes moved,
    through grace-and-kindness.
    There is no “unmoved mover.”
    We are all moved.
    To be incapable of being moved
    is to be dead.
    Beyond the reach of grace-and-kindness.
    The parent graces the child with kindness.
    The child graces the parent with kindness.
    Nobody escapes the wonder of grace-and-kindness.
    Except those who are dead.
    To be alive is to be alive to–
    and moved by–
    the wonder of
    grace-and-kindness.
    As we extend it and receive it.
    To be incapable of extending
    grace-and-kindness
    is to be incapable of receiving it.
    That is to be dead
    in the worst sense of the term.
    Dead beyond hope of resurrection.
    Alive without the hope of life.
    Where does grace-and-kindness end
    and love begin?
    You cannot find that line,
    though you search for it
    with microscope and tweezers.
    People who say, “I love you,”
    without being gracious and kind
    are people who want the words
    to produce the magic
    they are incapable of giving
    or receiving.
    Being loved and being loving
    are the same thing,
    brought to life by grace-and-kindness–
    a miracle of life and being.
    If you are going to be anything
    be gracious and kind.
    Even to those who cannot return the favor.
    And will hate you for it.
    Some people are beyond
    being helped.
    We can extend grace-and-kindness to them
    but we cannot receive it for them.
    They have to do some things
    for themselves.
    We separate ourselves
    by our capacity for,
    and response to,
    grace-and-kindness.
    It is what makes us human,
    or not.

05/25/2017— I had arthroscopic surgery on both knees a week ago today. Things are going fine. “Fine” means different things at different points in our life. “Fine” at 72 is not worth a damn at 25. At both points it is “within the normal range.” “In the center of the bell-shaped curve.” “About what one can expect.” But, the expectations are different for each point. With age come different expectations, and different requirements for “fine.” Taking that shift into account, things are fine. I am doing well. Exactly as one might expect.

Everything has to be readjusted to fit our circumstances, to put us in accord with the time and place of our living. This is the constant adjustment to the nature and conditions of our life that is required by continuing maturation. As we age, our expectations change to fit our life. We make allowances. We grant concessions. We accept conditions that would not have made the cut twenty years before. We put up with things that would have been intolerable fifty years before. We draw our lines differently. And some lines not at all.

It all becomes acceptable at some point. “That’s just the way it is.” You can howl about it if you want to, and squall. But, when you get done, you are still going to have to get up and do the thing that needs to be done, protests not withstanding. May as well do it with an attitude and demeanor fitting to the occasion. Why growl at the surgeon, or snarl at the physical therapist? Or take it out on the nurses and the receptionists? The husband or the wife? Here we are! This is the way it is! We have no right to expect things to be any different than they are! Stand up insofar as you are able! Meet the day on its terms! Do what is asked of you! Without rancor, resentment or rage! Grace and kindness, Kid, grace and kindness. It is the solution to all of your problems today, every day.

“There are two rules for writing,” she said. “Write what wants to be written without knowing or caring where it is going.” “That’s crazy,” he said. “If that’s all there is to it, any fool could be a writer.” She said, “Fools can’t keep the rules.”

05/25/2017— “Now look what you made me do!”
is becoming Republicans’ go to defense.
It is right up there with
“It’s people like you
who make people like me
hate people like you!”
Members of Congress
and Congressional wanna-be’s
are channeling
elementary school playgrounds
at recess.
Voters have to demand
maturity and accountability.
Smooth talking double talk
has to be replaced
with people who
tell you what they are going to do
and do what they say.
It isn’t health care
when it removes 23 million people
from the insured rolls.
But, ask them about it
and they throw you to the ground
and tell you they are sick
of hearing about it.
They may be sick,
but they have insurance
provided by the government,
but you can’t have it
because they say so.
The moral is clear:
Vote for the Democrat
every chance you get

  1. 05/26/2017— Blue Ridge Fall 2016 07 Panorama — Sim’s Pond, Blowing Rock, North Carolina, October 16, 2016

    Power is useless if it doesn’t make things better.
    Better for whom, is the question.
    A lot of people–
    suicide bombers, for instance–
    are willing to make things worse
    for themselves
    if it will make thing worse for others.
    They take the tack of,
    “It will make things better for me
    if it makes things worse for you,
    even if it makes things worse for me.”
    Worse is better for them.
    They use whatever power
    is available to them
    to make things worse for others,
    and they think that is better.
    In this way Republicans
    are similar to suicide bombers.
    They sacrifice themselves
    to prevent other classes of people
    whom they do not like,
    despise,
    can’t stand,
    would see in hell
    before they would share paradise with,
    from having advantages,
    pleasures,
    joys,
    or anything resembling a good life.
    Abortionists,
    Muslims,
    Blacks,
    LGBTQ’s,
    Women,
    Immigrants,
    Latinos,
    Jews,
    The Poor,
    Disabled,
    Disadvantaged,
    The list is long…
    Are people they would
    make things worse for
    even if it meant making things
    worse for themselves.
    This is raw hatred at work in the world.
    They will vote for fewer benefits
    for themselves
    if it means fewer benefits
    for THEM.
    Suffering to make others suffer
    is their idea of better.
    Those of us who are appalled
    at the very idea
    that there could be those
    of that persuasion
    in large enough numbers
    to elect people
    who will gladly make things worse
    for them and the people they hate
    have to wake up to the truth
    of how things are.
    Hatred works well as a political lever.
    Dilute the vote with a Libertarian candidate.
    Restrict voting rights.
    Vote on weekdays, not weekends,
    and have few polling places to reduce turnout.
    And you have a recipe for winning
    with Hatred as your base.
    Those of us who are horrified
    by this reality
    have to realize what we are up against
    and prepare for the task at hand:
    Calling out Hatred for what it is,
    and making people conscious
    of their role as suicide-like-bombers
    in the destruction of the values
    at the heart of democracy,
    and force them to be accountable
    for who they are–
    to see themselves as they are–
    and work to out-vote them
    in every election great and small
    for the rest of time,
    working to make things better
    for the whole,
    even if there are those
    who cannot enjoy the good
    if they have to share it with
    those they hate.

05/26/2017 — Changing minds is not the issue.
Confirming minds is the issue.
Encouraging minds to be resolute is the issue.
Helping minds toward clarity and conviction is the issue.
I’m not here to have you think like I think.
I am here to have you think like you think–
to have you think about your thinking
and think what you think deliberately,
with awareness, determination and dedication–
to think what you think out loud
and put what you think into action,
into how you live
and what you do
and how you vote.
If all people were consciously, intentionally,
thinking what they are thinking
and living in light of what they determine for themselves
to be good, and lovely, and decent, and worthy to be done,
I would say, “Well. That’s as much as we can ask of ourselves.”
And would be square with what the day brings.
Too many people are thinking what they think they are supposed to think,
without thinking about what they are thinking–
without being aware of the contradictions among their thoughts–
without thinking through what needs to be thought through
in order to live the life that is as good as they can make it be.
They settle for someone else telling them
they are doing what they are supposed to be doing,
shirking the responsibility of determining for themselves
what that is.
Shameful.
Bad.
Terrible.
Think for yourself.
Be responsible for your own thoughts and actions.
Live from your own heart–
not from what someone else tells you should be your heart.
Be willing to go to hell
for what YOU say is good.

  1. 05/27/2017— Around Bass Lake 2016 33 — Moses H. Cone Memorial Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock, North Carolina, October 16, 2016

    Here’s a mantra for you:
    “Nevertheless, It is well,”
    which may also be phrased,
    “Nevertheless, all is well.”
    Here’s how it works:
    “We are all (fill in the blank)
    a missed step,
    a phone call,
    a tornado,
    a heart attack,
    a terrorist attack,
    a car crash,

    away from the complete loss of everything.
    Nevertheless, it is well.”
    This goes hand-in-hand
    with the foundational realization,
    “It is all useless, pointless, hopeless, absurd
    and coming to a very bad end
    (we are all going to die)–
    and how we live in the meantime
    makes all the difference!–
    and nevertheless, it is well!”
    The key to being able to say this
    and mean it
    lies with our being in right relationship
    with our soul,
    with our psyche,
    with the part of ourselves
    that is unconscious to us.
    We have to be aligned with our soul.
    Everything flows from there.
    Everything falls into place around that.
    Our work
    is learning to live aligned with our soul.
    All is truly, absolutely, fundamentally, well
    when we are at-one with our soul.
    And this has nothing to do with theology.
    It doesn’t matter what we believe
    or do not believe.
    It has solely to do with living soulfully,
    as our soul would have us live,
    as our soul needs us to live
    in order to express itself and come forth
    in our life.
    Our soul is the living aspect of our life.
    We are more alive the closer to our soul we live.
    We are less alive the farther from soul we live.
    Live to be alive!
    Let your sense of vitality, passion, enthusiasm–
    being at one with what is right for you,
    in sync with what IS you,
    in the service of what, who, and how
    you are to be–
    be your guide to your soul,
    to your soul’s need of you
    and the life it needs you to live.
    Do what resonates with you.
    Do not do what causes you to recoil,
    gives you the hives,
    or the dry heaves,
    or the cold sweats…
    Live to be the champion of your soul,
    your soul’s best friend,
    your soul’s true mate.
    And it will be well.
    No matter what.

05/27/2017— To live at-one with our soul
is to see every “hour”
as our finest hour–
the place where
our light shines brightest and best.
Every moment is
the moment we have lived for,
the moment we are built for,
the reason we have come.
We are here to be alive, now!
To do what needs us to do it, now!
Let there be no shrinking back!
Standing on the ground
that is who we are–
that is our bedrock identity–
our purest value,
our truest loyalty,
our deepest love,
we step forth to meet
the day,
the hour,
the moment
of our living,
and do there what is ours to do,
and be there who we are!
And so, when the dog
throws up on the carpet,
we clean up the mess.
And when our children are distressed,
we comfort them.
And when we are sick,
we do what a return to health requires.
We allow things to be as they are,
and do what needs to be done about them,
out of the ground of our being,
the heart of what is truest and best
about us–
to our soul’s vibrant joy and delight.

05/27/2017— Grocery shopping can be a meditative exercise.
Walking through a grocery store
is as meditative as walking the labyrinth.
The aisles invite us to experience the world,
and all of life,
and the wonder of food production–
planting, growing, harvesting, marketing, transportation, presentation…
A grocery trip is a trek to a holy place,
a pilgrimage made by all people of every age
in one way or another.

05/27/2017 — The fix for isolation and alienation
is solitude.
No kidding.
Solitude is the practice
of the art
of being with ourselves.
Until we can be with ourselves,
we are not fit company for anyone.
The world will never be
a softer,
kinder,
gentler,
more gracious place
until we can treat ourselves
like we want others to treat us.
In the silence of solitude,
we meet ourselves.
Everything that comes up
in the silence,
comes up from within,
comes up from us.
We practice receiving
with mindful,
compassionate,
awareness
all that meets us in the silence–
in a “This, too. This, too,” kind of way.
Once we get that down with ourselves,
we are ready to extend it to everyone–
holding all in our awareness,
letting all things be
as they are,
surrounded by our grace and compassion,
blessed by our presence,
transformed,
or not,
by our acceptance
and our love.
Poof!
No more isolation.
No more alienation.
Because of solitude!

05/27/2017 — The Will to Life that propels the Dandelion through the asphalt,
is at work with us all
to bring forth “the face that was ours before we were born”
into the time and place,
conditions and circumstances,
of our life in the world.
If the Conscious Ego is cooperative
with the Unconscious Urge to Be at our core,
our life will exhibit a vitality and a grace
incapable of being impersonated.
And if our Unconscious Ego has a better idea
for a life of its own,
and no time for the beckonings within,
we will never escape the nagging sense
that things are not right somehow,
that something is missing,
that this isn’t it,
no matter how glossy, gleaming
and picture perfect it all appears to be.
To say “No!” to the voice of our soul,
is to “sin against the Holy Ghost,”
and forever seek redemption
for opportunities lost
and chances too long gone.

05/27/2017 — Ah, but it is such a “slippery slope,”
“a dangerous path,”
“like a razor’s edge,”
that we cross with each choice,
every decision.
Do we stay or go?
Act or wait?
Take the right turn or the left?
Buy the house?
Move to town?
Sell the farm?
Settle for what we have
or strive for unequaled wealth?
Marry this one or that one?
Take this job or the other one?
Go to that school or a different one?
Pursue this major or another one?
Everything hangs in the balance each time,
and we have no idea where we will be better off,
and have no way of knowing.
“Look before you leap,”
is no help because
“Whoever hesitates is lost!”
We are given a life
with no User’s Manual,
and are here, now
by Fortune and Grace.
Yet, in looking back,
it often seems as though
an invisible hand was guiding our way.
We see a purpose at work
where we stumbled and fell,
meaning where we were bereft and hopeless,
and here we are
as though by design.
May we take comfort
in the appearance of those
invisible means of support–
without theology or explanation,
doctrine or dogma,
just the comfort of knowing
we are not alone,
that “Within each of us is another whom we do not know” (Carl Jung),
and step into the darkness
confident that the darkness
is home to our soul.

05/27/2017 — Don’t have to know why!
Don’t have to explain experience!
Don’t have to make sense of things!
Live with wonder!
Play like a child in a marvelous universe
without needing to know
what makes it work,
or how to get it to work
in our behalf,
to your advantage,
benefit,
profit
and good.
Free yourself from
theology,
doctrine,
dogma,
and all Rube Goldberg constructions
that take the fun out of mystery,
and rob awe of its soul!

05/27/2017 — We can’t be chasing wealth and glory!
We have to do the work!
We only have so much life energy,
only so much time!
We have to be deliberate and decisive,
conscious and mindfully aware!
We have to separate the shiny beads and silver mirrors
from the ground of heart and soul,
and let our fond wishes for life go
in the service of our life’s wishes for its own secret pleasure.
We have to say no to what looks inviting,
and yes to what calls our name.

  1. 05/28/2017— Around Price Lake 2016 14 — Julian Price Memorial Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock, North Carolina, October 16, 2016

    Falling in love requires us to do the work of love.
    The work of love is walking two paths at the same time.
    Along the slippery slope,
    the dangerous path,
    the razor’s edge.
    We go slip-sliding away
    when we lose sight of the other
    as a metaphor of the heart
    for ourselves,
    sent to us by the heart
    to open our eyes
    to the truth
    of what needs to come forth in–
    to be brought forth by–
    ourselves,
    working on ourselves
    with the other in mind.
    What attracts us to the other
    lies latent in ourselves,
    and shows itself to us
    in the form and substance
    of the other,
    winks at us,
    and says, “How about me, Sweetie?”
    We get to ourselves through the other,
    by way of the other.
    WE are our soul’s mate!
    And find our soul reaching for us
    in the arms of the other.
    The work of love
    is knowing what’s what
    and who’s who.
    Carl Jung’s thoughts on the Anima/Animus
    is about the Me in Thee,
    and the Thee in Me,
    with each of us being the threshold of life eternal
    for the other.
    We see in the other
    what is to be found within ourselves,
    and must not forget
    that the mirror
    is reflecting
    our projection
    of where we need to look
    and what we need to do:
    bring ourselves forth
    as the other’s gift to us!
    Our lover is an ever present
    subject of meditation,
    revealing us to ourselves,
    calling us to depths perceived only
    through the eyes of our heart.

05/28/2017 — What keeps Trump from doing the right thing?
With him money is the Bottom Line.
Profit At Any Price is his operating principle.
If he can make more money doing the wrong thing
that, for him, IS the right thing to do!
Trump has sold his soul–
again and again–
to the highest bidder,
blind to the true value
of all the values
higher than fame and fortune.

05/28/2017 — Trump’s absence of forethought, insight, realization and compassion points to a complete lack of humanity. He would not score on a scale rating the positive qualities that make us human. But he would rank high on negative qualities. Whales, dolphins, porpoises, and elephants are more human-like than Trump is.

05/28/2017 — Our life takes shape around
what we care about,
what we love,
what we value with our deepest affection,
our highest passion.
What we care about
is the heart, ground, foundation, bedrock
of our existence.
People who are adrift, isolated, cutoff, alienated
from one another and from themselves
do not have a central, core, concern
around which they coalesce
as a viable, well-defined and self-directed
human being.
We have to have something in our life
more important than our own ease and comfort
that we serve with loyalty and allegiance
all our life long.
Jesus said it best:
“Those who would save their life will lose it,
but those who lose their life in the service
of that which is greater than they are
will find it” (or words to that effect).

05/28/2017 — I think “making disciples” ranks among

the dumbest of all ideas ever.

Taking someone as they are

and turning them into YOU

is wrong.

Taking someone as they are

and showing them how to

become aware of themselves,

responsible for,

and accountable to themselves,

and telling them,

“Now, get out there and do your thing–

and don’t worry about the outcome!”

is my idea of what we are all

called to do.

 

Here is a link that will help you with the

awareness part…

 

https://www.mindfulnesscds.com/pages/videos-of-jon-teaching

05/28/2017 —   Putin certainly knew what he was doing–but, he could not have known how easy it would be.
The complete collapse of American Democracy, morals and values in 5 months, without a shot being fired.
The Republican Party willingly, even eagerly, serving as an extension of the Communist Party, gleefully dancing on the tombs of the Founders of the Republic. Laughing, applauding one another, smug, arrogant, ruthless, cruel, and without regret in their role as the Destroyers of Liberty and Justice For All.
The Star-Spangled Banner waves no more o’re the land of the free and the home of the brave.

05/28/2017 — If the Russians had come with guns, bombs and missiles they wouldn’t have had a chance. But they came with loans and investments, and carried the day.

The first rule of war is Know Your Enemy. The Russians knew exactly who they were dealing with, and how to close the deal.

Trump thinks the free press is his Enemy. He has no idea of what he is up against, or to what extent he has been taken in. He is so good at declaring victory, and so bad at winning.

If the British had landed with some investment bankers and a couple of boat loads of money, do you think the Continental Congress would have said, “Well, Okay! Now we’re DEALING!” And called the whole thing off?

  1. 05/29/2017— King Snakes Courting Panorama 2017 02 — Indian Land, South Carolina, May 19, 2017

    All of this started 241 years ago
    with two groups of people
    with radically different ideas
    of how America should be.
    Freedom, Justice, Truth and Equality
    have not had an easy time of it
    over the years.
    The Patriotic Dream has prevailed
    due to the spirit of those
    who refuse to give it up to
    appearance, impression, facade, pretense–
    knowing that it depends upon
    who we ARE,
    not who we say we are.
    Republicans pay lip service
    to Freedom, Justice, Truth and Equality
    but they are reticent
    about serving them with their life–
    and refuse to see that they apply
    fully and completely
    to all people everywhere.
    Patriotism requires
    life in the service of the true good of all.

05/29/2017 — Individual, personal, authority–
grounded upon and living out of
our own experience,
standards,
values
and ideals–
is strictly dependent upon
silence and solitude.
No one can tell us who we are,
or what is important to us,
or how we need to live
in each situation,
in each moment,
as it arises,
to bring ourselves forth,
exhibit/express/incarnate/reveal
the truth we have come to serve
in ways that are appropriate
to the occasion.
All of that comes to us from within
as an urge to life
shaped and formed by our unique vision
of what is Me and Not Me
and how that needs to be presented
in the time and place of our living.
And THAT is dependent upon our
devotion to and practice of
mindful, compassionate, awareness
in regular returns to silence and solitude.
Silence and solitude
are the sine qua non
of imagination and creativity,
the source of life and being.
Without them,
we can only be mock-ups,
cut-outs,
standees,
and standups,
with no mind or life of our own.

05/29/2017 — When the forces at work in a situation
have the momentum
and control the play of possibilities,
the situation will remain in their hands
until a shift happens.
The shift is at the direction
of the fullness of time.
“The fullness of time”
is a phrase that is equivalent to
“the movement of the Tao.”
Nobody knows what they mean,
but everyone knows the reality
of a tomato going from not quite ready
to ready,
or of a banana going from ripe
to over-ripe.
Our place is to put ourselves in accord
with the drift of time
and the movement of the Tao,
remain clear about what is happening,
and wait.
And when the door opens,
walk through.

05/30/2017 — Theology is what is wrong with religion.
Strip religion of its theology
and you are left with the wonder
of experience.
Put theology in religion
and you do not need experience.
Theology is a substitute for experience.
Theology evaluates/judges/dismisses/disregards/rejects/denies
experience.
Religion grounded in theology
is worse than no religion at all.
Good religion is grounded upon experience
without/beyond the need of explanation.
Explanations of experience become theology.
Experience without explanation
forms the religious core
of a life well-lived.
Live for the experience of being alive.
Eschew explanations,
doctrines,
dogma,
beliefs,
theology.
Experience is self-validating
and is beyond debate.
Theology is infinitely debatable–
and exists only in the head.
Religion is a matter of the heart.

  1. 05/30/2017— Around Bass Lake 2016 04 — Moses H. Cone Memorial Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock, North Carolina, October 16, 2016

    Take Paul’s statement in Philippians,
    “It is God who works in you
    to will and to do
    for his good purpose,”
    and place it in any holy book
    outside of the Bible,
    and you have a completely different feel
    for what is being said.
    Or take the statement,
    “God is working his purpose out,
    as year succeeds to year,”
    from the Christian hymn
    by Arthur Campbell Aigner,
    and place it in a book
    of Taoist poems,
    and you transform the possibilities
    for understanding what is being said.
    Theology screws with truth,
    and a statement becomes only true
    from the standpoint of the theology
    surrounding the statement.
    “God” can only mean
    “the triune father God
    of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,”
    or (and a lot of people would say “and”),
    “the Father Almighty,
    Creator of heaven and earth”
    and “the Father of Jesus Christ His
    only Son, Our Lord…”
    And nothing can be said
    that hasn’t been said,
    and everything has to be understood
    in light of the way everything has been understood,
    and religion is divorced from life,
    and life is lived devoid of an experiential connection
    with the heart of life,
    and everyone sits around waiting to die
    so they can then enjoy life
    “on the yonder shore,”
    missing the wonder and joy all about them
    on this, “the hither shore.”
    It is completely absurd,
    and undeniable.
    Assumptions form expectations
    and discount experience to the contrary.
    And we have to find our way back
    to “the uncarved block,”
    to “the face that was ours before we were born,”
    by refusing to take anything “on faith,”
    and knowing only what we know
    in light of our on-going reflection
    on experience
    in order to form new realizations
    and have new experiences
    all our life long.

05/30/2017 — We remember:
Emmett Till,
James Chaney,
Michael Schwerner,
Andrew Goodman,
Medgar Evers,
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Viola Gregg Liuzzo,
Jimmie Lee Jackson
George Lee,
Lamar Smith,
John Earl Reese,
Willie Edwards, Jr.
Mack Charles Parker,
Herbert Lee,
Louis Allen,
Roman Ducksworth, Jr.
Paul Guihard
William Lewis Moore,
Addie Mae Collins,
Denise McNair,
Carole Robertson,
Cynthia Wesley
Virgil Lamar Ware,
Bruce Klunder,
Henry Hezekiah Dee,
Charles Eddie Moore,
Lemuel Penn,
Jimmie Lee Jackson,
James Reeb,
Oneal Moore,
Willie Brewster,
Jonathan Myrick Daniels,
Samuel Leamon Younge, Jr.
Vernon Ferdinand Dahmer,
Ben Chester White,
Clarence Triggs,
Warlest Jackson,
Benjamin Brown,
Samuel Ephesians Hammond Jr.,
Delano Herman Middleton,
Henry Ezekial Smith,
and all the others who have lost their life
at the hands of racism expressing itself
in the form of White Supremacy.
And all those who have lost their life
at the hands of homophobia and/or White Supremacy.
And here we are, still waiting for all people
to be free to be who they are,
honored, respected and recognized as persons of worth and value,
around the table,
across the board
regardless of race,
religion,
gender,
sexual orientation,
age,
physical or mental ability
or any other basis for discrimination and bigotry.
Republican voters cannot begin to realize
what they have unleashed
by failing to see what they were looking at,
by failing to hear what they were listening to,
by refusing to be aware of what they were doing–
giving us all a leader who is a clandestine White Supremacist,

and Republican members of the House and Senate who have
mastered the art of standing for nothing and doing less.
We cannot cease to be vigilant and passionate
in the service of voting/civil/equal/human rights!
Those who would relax laws governing discrimination and bigotry
have to be opposed swiftly and ardently
at every turn.
We owe it to ourselves and to each other
to be strong in the service of
Liberty, Justice, Compassion, Equality
for as long as life shall last.

  1. 05/31/2017— Around Price Lake 2016 17 — Julian Price Memorial Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock, North Carolina, October 17, 2016

    There is knowing what is happening
    and what needs to happen
    and what needs to be done about it
    and what we can do about it
    with the gifts that are ours to give
    for the good of the situation as a whole.
    And there is knowing what keeps
    us from doing any of this.
    And there is knowing what enables
    us to do all of it.
    And that is all of the knowing
    we need to know.

05/31/2017 —

Carl Jung said, “Most people confuse ‘self-knowledge’
with knowledge of their conscious ego personalities.”
There is more to us than meets the eye.
The place of our “conscious ego personality”
is to exercise its authority
for knowing where to draw the line
between the polarities/opposites/dichotomies
that separate conscious from unconscious.
The unconscious doesn’t know anything
about drawing lines.
It’s all one big swirling mess in there.
The unconscious invented consciousness
to help it sort things out,
organize and order
the whirl of blurring truth.
The unconscious knows way more
than consciousness, but,
consciousness is responsible
for drawing the lines
required to make things work.
Never mind if they are proper or improper.
Just draw them
and then redraw them
when it becomes obvious
that they need to be adjusted.
The unconscious can’t do that.
The unconscious depends upon consciousness
to enable it to be mindfully aware
of itself in relation to itself.
Consciousness has to assume its role
as Structural Engineer
in setting limits
and deciding who, what, when, where, why and how.
The catch is
that consciousness can carry out its duties
only in steady,
deliberate,
conscious
consultation with the unconscious.
Consciousness must commune with the unconscious
for things to hum like a choir in tune with itself.
That’s where things begin to fall apart.
We have lost the art of communion with our soul.
Recovery and restoration
are all that stand between us
and harmony, peace, wellness and well-being.
You would think we would make that a priority.
Wouldn’t you?

05/31/2017 — We cannot talk to Donald Trump
or to racist, bigoted, hate-filled white supremacists
he has emboldened.
There is nothing to say to stem their rage.
We can only work to out-vote them
and enforce laws that reduce their impact
on civility,
good will
and well-being
word-wide.
They will be with us always
to the end of the age.
A Native American anecdote applies:
When young people from the tribe
left to seek their fortune in the world,
they were told
“As you go on your way throughout your life,
the birds of the air will shit on you.
Do not even pause to wipe it off.”

05/31/2017 — We have a clandestine White Supremacist
in the White House,
and others on the Cabinet,
and Republican enablers
in the House and Senate
supporting racism, bigotry, discrimination
and White Supremacy
with their deafening silence on these matters.
The people who voted for them cannot be silent as well.
If you voted for Donald Trump
and Republican members of the House and Senate,
you must stand strong against them now!
Make at least weekly phone calls to their offices
registering your disgust at their failure
to come out strong against the racist bigots
of our times,
and demand enforcement of laws protecting
citizens from being victimized by hatred.
Write them all at least one post card a week
stressing the same things.
Do. Not. Let. This. Go.
Do. Not. Let. Opposing. Racism. Rest.
YOU put these people in their place of leadership.
YOU must assume responsibility
for calling their hand
and insisting upon them standing
against hatred and for justice and equal rights
for all people.
Do not be slow to respond!
And to those of you who did not vote for Trump
or for a Republican member of Congress,
your responsibility is clear as well.
Make your phone calls,
write your post cards,
insist upon an atmosphere/environment
in which people are safe,
respected,
honored,
and treated well
regardless of their religion,
race,
physical or mental ability,
sexual orientation,
gender or gender preference.
Be a strong voice for compassion,
equality
and justice for all.
Beginning tonight.

  1. 6/01/2017— Around Price Lake 2016 26 — Julian Price Memorial Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock, North Carolina, October 17, 2016

    “The Situation is Hopeless,
    but Not Serious”
    Is the title of one of Paul Watzlawick’s books.
    It is true with every situation.
    We take every thing too seriously.
    We have to live at the fulcrum
    between Serious and Without Consequence.
    Of course, there are consequences,
    but they are Not Serious.
    Of course, they cannot be ignored
    or treated lightly
    as though they are trivial
    or insignificant.
    Nor can they be allowed to distract
    us from the counter-truth:
    All is well!
    Matter. What.
    We are never without the guiding presence
    of who Carl Jung was talking about
    when he said,
    “Within each of us there is another,
    whom we do not know.”
    Nothing can happen to destroy
    that relationship,
    or to keep us from being grounded upon
    the bedrock of our own identity
    and purpose.
    We can be who we are,
    and do what is ours to do
    in every situation that comes along.
    Victor Frankl came out of
    Hitler’s death camps
    having witnessed the fact
    that meaning lives anywhere, everywhere.
    It only takes those with eyes to see
    to find it, live it.
    The only reason to despair
    is when we lose sight of the truth
    that there is no reason to despair,
    only more work to be done.
    We hand over our idea
    of how things ought to be,
    and step into doing what
    needs to be done
    about how things are–
    in a “Here we are, now what?”
    kind of way.
    When you don’t know what to do,
    do the thing that needs to be done
    here and now.
    And then, the thing after that.
    The way it needs to be done.
    The way only you can do it.
    Out of the bedrock of who you are.
    Doing what is good
    whether it does any good or not.
    Being truly, eternally, continually,
    good for nothing!
    And see where it goes.

06/01/2017 — Confirmation,
affirmation,
validation,
authentication,
verification
are all forms
of authorization
that ground us
in the truth
of our own truth,
and encourage us
in the work
of living out
of our own sense
of what needs to be done
in the strength
of our own conviction,
and our own sense
of how to do it.
It takes a community
to produce individuals–
but it has to be the
right kind of community:
A “we” who know they
are in the service of the “I.”
“We” help each other
find the ground under
our own feet,
stand up,
and be who we are,
in facing what must be faced,
and doing what must be done
as only we can do that
as the individual we are.

  1. 06/02/2017— Around Price Lake 2016 27 Panorama– Julian Price Memorial Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock, North Carolina, October 17, 2017

    Clarity and focus are the foundational elements
    of a life worth living.
    We can lose the way
    in 10,000 ways.
    There is a different manifestation
    of the Cyclops
    at every turn–
    new reasons to
    leave the path
    and abandon
    the life that calls us to live it
    saunter up to us each day
    asking, “Who cares?
    Why try?
    What difference does it make
    what you do?”
    To be answered each time with,
    “Who cares if nobody cares?
    Why NOT try?
    What difference does it make
    if nothing makes any difference?
    I’m going to do right
    by my life
    whether you like it or not!”
    Clarity and focus, Kid.
    Clarity and focus.
    In the early days of my photography apprenticeship,
    I would wake up in the early hours
    and wrestle with whether to get up
    and drive into the mountains
    to wait in the cold for a sunrise
    that might not appear
    because of fog or clouds,
    and from within would come the question
    “Are you a photographer or not?”
    And,
    “Are you going to be who you are or not?”
    We have to be clear about who we are–
    and who we are not–
    and focused on doing what is required
    to bring that forth
    in the time and place
    of our living,
    no matter what.

06/02/2017 — We have to be able to transcend
a situation
in order to be able to act there
for the good of the situation
as a whole–
in order to be able to offer there
what the situation needs
out of the gifts
we have to offer.
To be able to rise to meet
any occasion
means to be able
to rise above it.

06/02/2017 — Carl Jung said,
“If I want to understand
an individual human being,
I must . . . adopt a completely new
and unprejudiced attitude.”
This applies also
to situations and circumstances.
We cannot have an emotional stake
in the relationship,
or the situation,
or the circumstance
and hope to understand it
and respond appropriately to it.
We have to be able
to not care about it
in order to deal with it
in caring, loving, ways.
This is how emergency room personnel
have to respond to every
person and situation
that comes in the door.
In order to see/understand
the person/situation
and respond in ways
appropriate to the occasion,
they have to achieve
and maintain
“working distance”
between themselves and the situation.
If they are too close
or too distant
they are no help.
We have to find the “sweet spot”
between ourselves and our life,
and live out of that position
in relation to everything
that comes our way.

06/02/2017 — How do we wake people up?

How do we get them to care about

what they don’t care about?

How do we change their mind?

 

Facts won’t do it.

We cannot give them a fact

they cannot dismiss, discount, disregard, deny and ignore.

Any theory or belief can be expanded

to take all facts to the contrary into account,

so that the fossil record

and continental drift

become tests of the faith of the faithful

in the Eternal Truth of the Holy Scriptures

in order to validate their merit on the Day of Judgment.

“Alternative facts” exist for every actual fact,

and facts are wasted on True Believers

of every age.

So, what to do with the Fact Deniers of any age?

 

The first thing is to

separate the die-hards from the downcast.

Every movement is composed of people

who are there,

not because they are true believers,

but because they have no real convictions

of any sort.

They have little foundation,

are easily swayed,

have nothing to live for,

and do what they are told

without thinking about the outcome.

Our work is to wake them up

to the consequences of their actions,

and to give them something to live for—

a cause they can believe in—

beyond the one they have been handed

and told to follow.

We have to know who we are talking to—

who we can talk to,

and who we have no hope of ever reaching.

And talk to those

who can hear what we have to say.

 

The second thing is to tell them a story,

or better,

a series of stories.

Jesus talked in parables.

Nathan nailed David with an allegory

about a man stealing a sheep.

Scientists are used to letting the facts

do all of the work.

The facts are just the starting point.

We have to drape the facts with meaning,

and purpose,

and hope,

and drama.

We have to become storytellers of truth.

The future of time depends upon it.

 

The third thing is like unto the second:

We have to sing them a song.

Where are the songs of protest?

Where are the poets of this age?

Is everybody trying to figure out

how to get rich and buy an island?

Where are the singers and songwriters

with a stake in life here-and-now?

With a heart for life-as-it-is-and-yet-can-be?

 

The fourth thing is we have to do the work,

day in and day out,

around the clock,

in all weather conditions,

whether we feel like it or not,

whether we want to or not,

whether we are in the mood for it or not,

for the rest of our life.

We cannot say the truth

and say, “Well, we said it.

We tried.

We did our bit.

And that’s it for us!”

There is no quitting when everything

hangs in the balance!

Any moment might be the one

that matters the most.