Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Quotable Quotes

My relative use, though replete with rudimentary fluency, of "social media" which as it turns out was initiated by a desire to stay connected with some newly found members of my biological family/relatives (but that's a story for another time) has given rise to my pondering the high volume of quotes, prophecy and wisdom of sages,mystics,holy men & women,activists,writers, philosophers, saints, poets, (many in the proceeding list have long since vacated planet earth) & from more recent history and in many cases still living among us, are the quips,truths and experiences of celebrities from the sports and entertainment fields, as well as motivational speakers, marketing professionals,social scientists, pioneers in quantum physics etc. Primarily I have come to observe this exchange on Facebook (which as I said, I became involved with as a "late-bloomer" I couldn't for the life of me understand why I would want to use this platform when I could just email someone - of course I didn't see the need to relinquish my mobile "flip-phone" either, until the pre-pubescent sales rep informed me that replacement batteries were no longer available (or even produced except perhaps by some after - market source. Come to think of it I didn't want a cell phone at all, until - while working "on-call" people junior to me on the call list were getting more work because they had cell phones. So I begrudgingly bought my first cell phone, which was eventually replaced by a "smart phone" which presently given it is an early generation iPhone, is so far managing to outlive it's planned redundancy. As far as I'm concerned the only "smart" aspect of these devices is that by the time one has paid out their contract they have shelled out far more for "service" than the retail cost of the phone. Just another conduit of revenue - perhaps the knowing of which places me one baby step closer to enlightenment. Now before I go much further I have been known to post said quotes (and likely will continue). I often find inspiration - even the answer to a current quandary, still I find it intriguing this swapping of material. It's a bit like the old days trading bubble gum cards - I'll give you a couple of ancient prophecies and a scripture and three proverbs, for a verse of Rumi, some dharma, a quote from the Upanishads, and a YouTube clip of a sound bite from a Martin Luther King speech. Is it possible that those that exchange said quotes etc. believe that by extension they embody the wisdom held within? I know this to be a far cry from the truth in my case - but what do I know of the journey of others, maybe they have achieved mastery. Of course according to some schools of thought we all have access to this wisdom, that it is more a case of remembering than learning. Which leaves me to wonder of my chances when I consider every time I access the site to write to my blog I seem to have an issue with what the current password might be - maybe it's different "remembering" universal truths. It is with great curiosity that I wonder did the people we are quoting and trafficking through cyberspace quote their contemporaries or even their predecessors? This might have been problematic with respect to awareness of each other and what was being said. Of course this assumes that we are at the pinnacle of communication with all the afore mentioned gadgetry - I for one doubt that, given I have witnessed multiple people sitting around a table in a coffee shop each with a device of some sort of their own - which they are deeply engaged with - none of said people are conversing with each other? So maybe we in the twenty-first century are still stumbling and bumbling with the equivalent of soup cans and waxed string (compared to ancient civilizations) but even if some of these past masters,shamans,oracles and avatars could have communicated with each other from far reaches of the planet - would they? Did they? Without question rivalries exist between subsequent followers, but did these individuals require verification or validation from anything or anybody beyond their own "source?" If indeed they were so deeply centered and grounded in the pathway of their pursuit - how is it that they were so "self-assured" fewer examples of one quoting another in their dissertations seem to circulate - or perhaps my "research" is not extensive enough? Why then is it necessary for "us" to continue to draw on the lives and experiences of those long since departed. I'll grant you some is beautifully written and I mean no disrespect to the wisdom of the elders or lessons from history. But I can get quotes from the Dalai Lama,Rumi, Will Smith and George Carlin all on the same page! Now I'm not suggesting that Will's journey has not afforded him some wisdom and I spent hours as a teen listening to George Carlin albums and appreciate his unique perspective and must acknowledge his often brutal honesty. Still is our society so wired to entertainment that we look to it's celebrities to map our destiny? Conversely I'm not saying that one must be the Buddha, Gandhi, Mother Teresa etc. to connect to Universal Intelligence, God, Creator (whatever) - I believe it does require one to be prepared to refine the art of listening (and not to "Entertainment Tonight" for Great Spirit's sake!) I am a writer - not by virtue of being known - achieving public acclaim (or notoriety - at least not yet) through my writing - rather I write because I have discovered for me it is something that completely absorbs me - I am engaged heart & soul. Having spent considerable years completely disconnected, disenfranchised and out of integrity I know the difference. Therefore I write - I blog, I comment, I post, I create (poetry and a book underway)Eventually I submit, I will clear "my vessel" to a large enough extent that I will indeed become an instrument (perhaps only for a short window of time) nonetheless at that moment, through me, will come something worthy of quoting - but in truth it is not about the scribe - it is about the message. Wisdom of the ages is relevant today - it is equally likely that the same universal source that spoke to (through) the masters of yesterday - is trying to speak right here, right now. Yes we quote some extraordinary individuals but if one took the time to listen there are pearls of wisdom flowing from sources that are often seen as ordinary or sadly in some cases, not worth listening to (thereby dismissing someone that might have offered something that would be life-changing). So why not unplug from the media - reconnect with each other, self, nature and then speak up, you might be surprised by someone replying "can I quote you on that?"

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

And the Winner Is?

So the election results now in, south of the border I feel inspired to offer my reflections. Without question, from many vantage points mine might be the least sought after perspective. After all, I've not attended any "Ivy League" college or University, I think there was some ivy growing on the building at the Community College I attended and I did walk through a patch of stinging nettles once in shorts so I've done some living. Perhaps I'll begin my musings by wondering aloud - would the afore mention education better qualify me to weigh in or, by the time I completed an undergraduate degree, followed by a Masters, then perhaps I reach for the "pinnacle" and attain a Phd. ("Piled high and deep") am I more or less able to think for myself? Given the need to operate and become "educated" within a particular set of parameters and criteria, well, suffice to say that's many layers of dogma undergone to shape my world view. Now I'll grant you even so, I don't have an absolute objective view - I've got dogma of my own that I'm wading through (doing my utmost to release that which doesn't serve as I become aware of it - still "it's a process") I attended a group workshop last evening (in my home town of Victoria - Canada) where the "check-in" was, for most in attendance, very impersonal in that there was commentary after commentary on the U.S. election) now granted "our" country is impacted by the government there and it's policies (as are many other countries in the world) still I can't help wonder if the whole "presidential race" is a well orchestrated (extremely expensive) diversion and "reality-esque"form of t.v. entertainment that distracts people from what actually matters in their own life, their community, their country and the world. Really will there be a significant difference between the leadership of one party over the other? Those campaigns cost millions of dollars both parties are being bankrolled by corporate concerns that don't have anything but their profit margins as their reason for being - does it really make any difference if those agendas are being represented by the guy that isn't concerned about making any pretense that he (or she) is there for anything but their corporate allies or the guy that smiles and speaks eloquently while bending you over and stripping you of all your rights and freedoms while telling you your best interest is at heart. It's a bit like "Coke" or "Pepsi" doesn't matter which way you go, they will both rot your teeth and are not good for you. From what little I've paid attention, with respect to media "coverage" (seriously what's the point - what sort of true discourse can be attained from sound bites, slanderous bi-partisan ads and the other methods of mass manipulation and slight of hand employed - from what I've heard more than once, is that never has the population been so polarized than throughout this election - that division remains, I don't believe it just vanishes because a victor has been declared. So what now then, for the "United States" I'm hearing, there is significant division in the "Union,"the same divisive energy seems to exist from what I can glean, with the "United Nations"There seems to be some disparity in existence in the languaging of these institutions. A bit like called the American baseball play-offs the "World Series" it doesn't ring true for me. I can appreciate those that love their country and their game and even though the collective salaries of the athletes, the take at the gates the monies exchanged in advertising and endorsement might equal or exceed the GDP of some small countries - it is not the "World" series. So how do "we" get back to a conversation (or maybe more accurately start one) that reminds those in the continental U.S. that they are in it all together. Before I'm accused of asserting some sort of Nationalist self-righteousness - first of all have you ever heard of an "assertive Canadian" it's an oxymoron isn't it? Or could be just more of that "dogma."Secondly we are no strangers to divisiveness north of the border, politically there might be a few more parties, that actually manage to get seats at the table, but so far as the governing party goes (Nationally) it's one or the other. So maybe an extra couple of shells in our game - but not unlike the sideshow version, though one swears they never took their eye off "the shell" it comes up empty and continuing to play, sends you home with your pockets cleaned out. Canada likes to think of itself as this "multi-cultural mosaic" that's the buzz - meanwhile I've been privy to many a lunchroom conversation that contains such inflammatory observations as "they" are taking all of "our jobs"Aren't all of "us" entitled to be gainfully employed? (if we so choose). I did some travelling abroad last year - through some countries where English is not the first language - it gave me some idea of what it's like to be a "minority" - it really heightened for me, a sense of disconnection through my inability to effectively communicate (of course I could have learned the language - well, some of those countries were visited somewhat spontaneously, once I was over there, so there was no "preparation"- the other thing is as may become more apparent as you read this, I'm still endeavouring to master English - first things first! Even still the lack of even rudimentary language in the Balkan countries and my self-image of reasonable intelligence and ability to articulate is reduced to waving my arms around and making sounds that I'm sure don't convey intelligence. My point being, when people muster the courage to leave the life they know behind (often under duress) doesn't that merit some compassion and acknowledgement for what they have undertaken? Oh ya "it's a free country" here - you're free to pay taxes here and support the local economy, even go to war if called upon to do so, "this is Canada" you best start doing things "our way" I have news for those that think along these lines, "we" don't have a way "we are a rag-tag group of descendants, from mass immigration, from multiple lands and cultures. Many don't know their ancestors beyond a generation or two and if they know further of their lineage, they may well know very little of their ways. Canada is not old enough to actually have a way! Could be a golden opportunity to be a leader - more or less from the ground up become a model to the world of enlightened co-existence, however......... Presently the tenuous Canadian identity is being usurped by a government that once again represent corporate interests, Lets face it if this whole trickle down theory had any validity it would have worked by now - nobody "downstream" is any better off. Our reputation as a "peace-keeping" nation is being seriously compromised (if it exists any more at all) and the fall back position of having the best hockey is overshadowed by a strike - more divisiveness. That would leave the beer - do we really want to have that the only remaining pillar of the Canadian identity? (I'm almost afraid to pose the question) It requires colossal energy to maintain these entrenched positions - back and forth we swing across political spectrums, from pole to pole - now can we listen to Rodney King - "Can't we all just get along?" In fairness the politicians are scapegoated "we" scream for change and elect the same people, not even by default, there are alternatives, with fresh ideas and inspiration, but they are over-looked scoffed at frequently. "They have no experience." Exactly how much of the status quo experience will it take in order to make attractive a new experience? So let's be clear, you can't demand change and vote for the same one or two parties they don't represent "change" - they don't even want change, they want to just keep on doing what they've already been doing - they are just waiting for the green light granted post election day. So don't claim you want change unless you're prepared to have things get different - really, truly different, otherwise just say what you mean, that you don't want anything to change including, complaining about that nothing is changing! Let us consider our own bodies, do the liver and kidneys decide "we're" part of the purifying, detoxifying team surely you can't expect us to cooperate with the elimination team - they're foul, we can not ally ourselves with the likes of bladder or bowel! Or the lungs deciding, well yes we do serve primarily the same function however that additional lobe - really quite unseemly - I think we must separate and though it may be argued the head and heart have been opposed for all time, they really are on the same team. Usually rogue entities in this system are cancerous. Are not these deeply venerated ideologies, mind-sets, and agendas every bit as invasive to the human race and ultimately the planet? Nature abounds with examples of symbiosis and interdependence - instead of learning from that and recognizing we as humans are part of that we are led down the garden path by our "leaders" - amused to no end by the follie of their quite possibly staged engagement. Did I say to "no end" lest we forget, there was a precedent set quite some time ago which involved humans being misled in a garden, as I recall it didn't "end" well.