Friday, 11 December 2015

Soul Food

Great Spirit
A love as complete as yours
Words unable to shape
Lest they confine
Calls then not the need for
Petitions seeking your forgiveness 
You know in advance
Me as the doer
Deeds misguided
Seeded in the pain born
Of a wounded heart -
Your compassion complete
Absolution readily available
Delivered upon a quantum laced arrow
The world provides a multitude of mirrors
Offering a reflection
Of the one
Capable of impeding love absolute
Resolute eyes return my gaze
A self-deceptive piousness
Hence fashioned the spear
To lance my prideful posture
I sought to build
A fortress of knowledge
Rather than invite
My heart as the temple
Prepared for
A lifetime of knowing you
I seek then an emptiness
To be filled
With your grandeur
Glory is yours - not mine
I can only express to another
How I too yearned in my heart
To know you
No recognition is my due
Nor can I presume
To direct
For anyone
The journey of their heart.

Monday, 7 December 2015

Truth in Resilence

How then to love
From innocence in exile
Sensitivity a plenty
Bartered for safe passage
Upon a world intent
To beat the song from my heart
Long lived the crooked smile
That made a mockery
Of a torrent of tears
Held at bay
By shrouds of darkness
And silent rage
The sum total
Of a prison built of self-deception
Through silence rings
A voice tender yet sure
"Defend not
Lest you dam the river
From which you yearn to drink
To avail yourself of life's sweetest nectar
 Is to live audaciously
The truth of who you are
 Betrayal's falsehood, then banished
As when the sun warms
The mist soaked bog
Love never fails

You can only fail to love"


Sunday, 15 November 2015

More to be Found - Each time You Go Round

"To everything, turn, turn, turn.
There is a season, turn, turn, turn.
And a time to every purpose under heaven.
- The Byrds

Stone circles, talking circles, "we've come full circle", medicine wheels. Inhalation contains the seeds of exhalation as the dissolution of one becomes the other - cyclically then, no separation. The math escapes me - while I walk in circles measurable and those imperceptible and infinite in scope. Time in spheres of influence that have some form of orientation real or imagined, continue to keep the question alive within me - "have I cast, the circle widely enough?" "Can my personal sphere become and be maintained, as permeable; or in what ways, is there any continued rigidity that excludes in the name of protection?" Each step seen to be linear, is occurring within a revolving sequence of seasons while upon a world, that spins upon its own axis while circling the sun, a cyclical relationship without end and influence - all revolving in a solar system, within a galaxy, itself a "cell" in an infinite universe. The body I call home is equally comprised of endless concentric circles, cycles (birth, death, rebirth) all part of an evolution that is occurring within - but that has influence upon and is influenced by, all of it. It occurs to me that given the confluence of inter-related circles, it is really not possible to be "excluded." Certainly at one level it can be seen to be occurring and even the experience of it, can seem "real" - at other levels (which I get the impression only exist abstractly, symbolically, in order to convey them in mind-friendly terms) which might be seen more multi-dimensional, so then interdependent and not possible to be defined in terms of isolation - there is no exclusion. Everything then is happening inclusively - without and within, influenced by seasons, cycles and circles seen and unseen. Bearing witness to anything occurring anywhere upon the "perimeter" of the infinite mesh of interwoven circles, could easily be misjudged as it might not be clear what is to be born based on the current view; nor can a more localized occurrence immediately reveal what is held within and that will have an influence on the fabric of the greater matrix.

I present these musings with no claim of ultimate panacea - though for me personally, I find peace in considering that what appears to be going on at any given point - could be described as a "snapshot" of a point "in time" upon an endless circular journey, that is not defined in it's entirety, by that picture.
From the day we arrive on the planet
And blinking, step into the sun
There's more to see than can ever be seen
More to do than can ever be done
There's far too much to take in here
More to find than can ever be found
But the sun rolling high
Through the sapphire sky
Keeps great and small on the endless round  - Tim Rice ("Circle of Life")

Friday, 6 November 2015

Each Season is the Reason.

The tree outside my window appears to brighten its dazzling display on a daily basis. Autumn has it in its full loving embrace while it breathes its techni-colour presence then reflected through the tissue-thin membrane of its leaves; each with its individual splendor. A season of celebration is upon us, the abundance of the preceding season pours forth for all to acknowledge. The leaves with-hold nothing, knowing theirs is the prequel of the coming long, dark slumber of winter. Row upon row the trees, will then stand stripped of their ceremonial frocks. Without their collective canopy, they face naked and seemingly more vulnerable, the approaching tempests of winter storms. Meanwhile, the leaves form a quilted mosaic, soft and giving below the trees while gradually giving of their base elements back to life's cyclical call.

How easy it is to delight in the wonders and mystery of nature. How easy is it to forget that those same wonders and mystery exist within me and me within it. What will it feel like to deepen that knowing and connection, to a consistent and more stable presence - that of my very "nature?" I want to know! Not, like I might know the contents of a book, but rather intimately and personally like a friend that has experienced many seasons along with me; and though there is a glow of familiarity, a wink and a nod which speak instantaneous volumes, which could be reduced to "I know, I was there."

Even still untold mystery continually invites a further exploration as each "friend" can discover more about themselves and therefore, the other. A life long dance of familiarity and intrigue. Just enough creative tension so that familiarity doesn't become stifling and the unknown is not given such stature that it is a source of terror. A gentle incremental courting of the mystery can entice and reveal blends of previously unknown attributes, opportunities and gifts. It will be a constant companion, no amount of energy directed toward it will subdue or "defeat" it, yet it is not necessary to yard the carpet completely from under my feet in order to "challenge myself" or in order to entertain the charade that I will champion "against" the unknown "adversary." Control, not relinquished readily the illusion of predictability however becomes a limiting influence that can dash the best of friendships upon the rocks and is equally damning if turned upon myself.

How then, to turn the fear of the unknown to playful curiosity. Right relationship with self first and then with the mystery, would follow by extension. To know yourself is of great value, however, to conclude there remains nothing further to know bleeds the sweet nectar of life, to leave in its stead a barren resignation soaked landscape, a sight seen through sore eyes, that know not from whence they might be soothed. Mystery then, can be a life long ally or, a scourge lying in hiding, it becomes a choice.

Perhaps life represents then, the courtship dance which facilitates moving between these extremes, ideally, in a positive generally peace inducing direction. Though a mindset of resistance and adversarial relating would best be released altogether, perhaps a beginning can be made through consideration of such ideas as "better to know your enemy" or even "love your enemy" the former may reveal there is more to love about your enemy than fear (or further still, whom you consider your enemy was in truth, your friend. The latter then, has power to transform, thereby allowing those qualities that present as impediments to soften and transmutate into expansive attributes that continue to move mountains to reveal new doors and to swing them wide open.

A season of darkness approaches, one that fans fears flame of death and despair. However never throughout the course of light's "absence"has it vanished completely. Silently and invisibly light's infinite reach and influence continues to orchestrate what will one day appear as the magnificent spontaneous blooming of the next season. While inordinate amounts of time and energy can be directed to doubt or the certainty of finality, futility and inevitability, a debut has been in the works all along. A stunning metamorphosis lay concealed in the low light - no light. Seeds lying in wait to be germinated and incubated pre-existed even the shoulder season before the "dark." Each contains a rhythm of its own, within a rhythm co-joining them all. Each operates in infinite macrocosm and the micro-equivalent. All are inevitable and more important necessary.

Celebrate them each or collectively, for in all is the time to be in-joy!

Monday, 26 October 2015

Jack Out of the Box

I believe it safe to say that if I was granted an audience long enough, and without a specific theme just jammed (I know of spoken word performances peripherally, but have no idea if what I'm about to propose, is already contained within that oral form), I'm pre-supposing that the current voiced expressions are rehearsed, mine would not be, I suppose it could be called a spoken stream of consciousness - eventually most everyone would have me pigeon-holed in a variety of "ism's" and "archy's." I'm not suggesting I'm exempt from their influence - as all humanity is in the the same stew-pot, I'm not sure that anyone comes out without having been marinated in all of it. I further suppose it is then up to each to examine for themselves how they hold themselves in relation to any of it, at any given time.

I've never been a card carrying member of any of these paradigms in as much as I am not inclined to use any of these labels as a means of introducing myself. I suppose this is partially true because a significant portion of my life was lacking in an solid sense of identity, at least that was my story, later I would come to realize - "one with no identity" was part of my identity, or at least part of what I identified with. My adolescence was spent drifting throughout the various sub-categories of the student population: "jocks," "heads" (a semantically modified label for the more stigmatized "druggie") "geeks," I'm not sure there was specifically a "popular" group that existed independently of the other groups - I perceived that some from each of the other categories seemed to hold varying degrees of "popularity," in my mind I had the unique distinction of being rejected across the board). Believe me when I tell you I am reticent to label anyone, knowing the pain this exclusion and intolerance creates - for the sake of this continued reminiscing metaphor, I will continue emphasizing that my perception was that I was a "geek" a social outcast, a teenage pariah even among the geeks. How the hell is that even possible?

I wish to muse upon the paradigm of patriarchy - but first another anecdote from my "formative years" at high school (though I guess many schools of though suggest the die is cast significantly earlier than that). It was during P.E. class. Ironic that there is any inference to wellness bestowed upon this class given the emotional carnage it piles in its wake. The activity du jour was to be "wrestling." The sadist of a gym teacher was "in charge" of pairing us off for the subsequent "bouts."
"Bouts" was a stupid word - what "about" interest, what "about" experience/skill-level, what "about" attending the next class? I was "matched" with this orangutan that wrestled on the school team, the sum total of my experience was trying daily, to wrestle my dignity out of the sewer. Seriously what the hell can possibly be gained in such activities? Anyway, the whistle blows signifying the beginning of the end. Very few options exist in the ensuing moments, though completely contrary to any rational thought, facing this dude head on occurs like less agony than just running right out of the circle and out the door. Okay "Tarzan" let's do this. Maybe this was a classic living representation of yin and yang, him seemingly intent on dishing out some serious pain and me more embodying something of the quest for survival. In very short order he has me in this rib-cage demolishing bear hug and my "flight" is soon proved to succumb inevitably to his "fight" - literally. Close as I can remember, it's difficult to accurately assess such eventualities from the perspective of the "throw cushion." I believe, he picked me straight up and then dove with the two of us adjoined, me becoming increasingly aware of what a rodent in the grips of a python must feel like, the impact instantaneously accordioned what remained of any air in my lungs and I'm sure most effectively broke his fall, leaving him unscathed. Not that the "bout" to that point was very taxing on Godzilla just the same, I'm sure at that point, the requisite three count pinning of me to the mat, didn't cause him any excessive energy expenditure. The whistle blows and the teacher yells next bout. I'm lying there dazed wondering where the next breath is coming from and this asshole wants more blood?

"Come on Mason clear the mat!" 
"Yes of course, by all means, let's not let my massacred physical form clutter the friggin' mat!" I got up and moved to the periphery of the circle to the chorus of snickers and outright guffaws! Once I could breath and subsequently talk, I managed an attempted face-saving smart-ass retort, "ya had him right where I wanted him!" If only that was to be the last of the humiliation I was to be dished up that day!

After a series of other matches, much to my surprise/disgust I hear my name being called again this time I'm matched with a fellow that might possibly have absorbed more abuse through school than me - in that cess-pool of "dog-eat-dog," I likely kicked him when he was down on some occasion rather than be the target myself. At any rate, I thought -"well at least I can vindicate myself!" That would turn out to be one of the more fateful erroneous assumptions I would make. The whistle blew and the two of us collided in a frenzy of arms and hands, grasping for a useful purchase with which one of us could use to topple the other. We both hit the mat and continued to grapple for the upper hand. I soon began to realize this "geek" was friggin' strong - he either was "fighting for his life" or right at this point, all the collective ridicule gelled and created the perfect storm of power, aimed at vengeance. For the love of God why now? Our tussling resulted in him pretzeling me in some fashion and much to my horror I couldn't break free. I knew nothing of energy conservation in such scenarios at this point, so I just panicked and gave my all, in one last attempt to escape the three count and much more gravely, the absolute mortification of being bested by the class "geek." Clearly on that day fate had spoken, the kingdom of Geekdom had a new monarch!

Not necessarily an incident that was of itself a standout experience - it and any number of others were the sort of self-image influencing fodder that prepared me to step out into the world where as the years rolled on I was to hear with increasing regularity -"it's a man's world." Though I didn't chose to engage the debate - I often went away thinking, how in God's name do you figure that?

Now eventually - through insight and self-education I began to realize that there certainly existed conditions where I could be afforded various "advantages" based on my gender. I'm certainly not saying that's right, it had nothing to do with merit and though I might have believed at some points in time, that I never really "capitalized" on it, I would also have to say that there are untold numbers of things that I wouldn't have been aware of due to absolutely never, having to fight for them or experiencing the denial of them based on my gender.

Needless to say there are endless treatise on "patriarchy" I don't imagine that I will necessarily break any new ground, other than to share my experience of living in it, contributing to it and walking a healing path, despite the continued influence of it on the world around me. I don't know if the stereo-typical male persona created partriarchy or vice versa. All I can say is that it damned near was the death of me (well before my time) or at least well before the time that I have subsequently been afforded.

It seems to me that by and large there is a widely held assumption that women are the only ones negatively impacted - without question this impact is widespread, misguided, and unacceptable. I just watched a brave young women from Ireland on a YouTube post share her story of violence at the hand of her spouse, her choice to get herself to safety which results in her now being a single mother of two young children - I know this story is far too common. Violence is not something anyone should have to experience. How then to introduce the reality that statistically, men are more likely to die of violent causes than women? I am not trying to position one over the other - it is not a competition. I just don't happen to believe that any solutions can be found in further divisiveness. My personal experience is that mindsets and continued behaviour that operates along, "us and them" lines (whatever the sub-categories are comprised of) leads to violence, they are in their divisiveness, intolerance and exclusion - violent! In order to hold this to be true one would need to broaden the definition of violence to include collective oppression and generalized acceptance of "role" expectations that severely compromise people emotionally, mentally and spiritually (not just physically).

I'm not suggesting that I'm about to advance the solution to the whole matter nor do I wish to over-simplify and thereby leave any vital elements unaddressed. I am just adding to the conversation. Neither gender has the monopoly on perpetuating stereotypes. Given the suggested broadened definition of violence previously mentioned, no one gender can claim to have the sole ownership on victim or perpetrator. These are conditions that are prevalent at the very least in part, because of a collective lack of personal responsibility resulting in continued entrenched blaming and reinforcement of the walls of divisiveness. If as Einstein suggested "a problem cannot be solved at the same level it is created" then the "growing pains" of humanity will not be resolved at the consciousness level they were created and are proliferated, which suggests to me the sooner a tipping point is reached in realizing "we" are all in this together the better.

Returning to my own story - I consider the negative reinforcement of anything viewed to be remotely feminine as a young man, the indoctrination begins early. Breaching these "social agreements" can and does, have severe consequences. So pray tell how does a young boy grow to embody such qualities as empathy, compassion and intuition (all of which are numbered as feminine qualities) when to do so can invite social and emotional crucifixion. Even though each gender embodies a blend of both masculine and feminine - trust me when I tell you, I can't say how others weathered it, but I saw no choice but to deeply repress, vilify and hate anything about myself that would seemingly incite the kind of rejection visited upon a boy that doesn't measure up and "Man up!" To spin this scenario further - if it is true that in order to love another, one must love themselves first (that would be both the masculine and the feminine within) then how does anyone suppose that if we accept to be true, my hetereosexuality - therefore an "attraction" to women, how well is that really going to go with all this unhealed disdain for the feminine within me, which until it (if ever) is recognized I would project outwardly.

I am presenting as one that is in the process of taking personal responsibility which affords me the relative comfort to allow transparency of my process and insights along the way. I have no idea where it is all going - I am not suggesting my experience specifically mirrors those of all men. As I suggested earlier humanity is in the same collective stew pot but the variants to that human experience, are apt to be located diversely, represented by various positions on gradients of responses and variations in consciousness (if such things could be measured).

Additional variables in my story include adoption, being placed in a home where there was a mother with overt and covert anger toward men, which, prompted me to learn to compromise myself further to try and win approval in that environment as well. If one embarks into the world and has made decisions that both the masculine and the feminine are what continue to invite the pain of rejection upon him - let me tell ya, it doesn't leave much of a leg to stand on. I have read some of the post-mortem analysis on some of those mass-shootings and not for a moment, do I condone, or wish to dismiss, the pain and suffering brought to the families of the victims, or for that matter, the family of the individual responsible - but I do understand. For better or for worse my anger and self-contempt were more frequently turned inward, which is not to say that my temper hasn't been the cause of violence directed outward. That it almost exclusively has taken the form of raging diatribe neither diminishes it's impact or makes it any less a form of violence.  I'm not trying to quantify my pain or even suggest my story is unique, surely over the millennium the themes have been repeated countless times. The narratives of human consciousness I believe are what uphold suffering. If it was more consistently recognized that suffering is suffering - it is not more or less in terms of intensity, it is not more or less acceptable based on the stories that suggest, one group of humanity over another, "deserve" to suffer more greatly.

Maybe my life contribution will be not much more than an end to my own suffering - but whose to say what the ripple effect of that might be? There is no particular virtue in my coming to know myself - nor the paths I have walked in order to do so. I wanted the pain to stop and I have enjoyed incremental and expanding grace that increasingly raises my belief that it is possible.

I take responsibility for my healing I don't take credit for it. I take responsibility for my part of the collective suffering of humanity, but I no longer take credit for all it.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Through Me or Not Through Me (that is the question)

It baffles me at times, that various people undergo some form of journey that seemingly bestows on   them insights into the very "mysteries" of life and that they then go on to continually impart with such clarity and certainty. Consequently hundreds even thousands of people seeking direction for their own lives, refer to the work of these few individuals. I have been that person seeking truth and certainly I suppose, have been so convinced of my inability to connect to any form of metaphysical source, that I sought the answers instead, from a fairly far-reaching variety of these "leaders," "teachers," and gurus and while their work and perspectives certainly have contributed to wherever it is I am now, It hasn't been until somewhere along the line that I deepened my own connection to my own experience that I began to court more frequently, who I might more authentically be, at least, potentially! I can say that it continually places me in terms of orientation on relatively unfamiliar ground.

I don't wish to dismiss or devalue the life work & path of others, at the same time I don't want to depend on it either. Somehow I need to be more certain of the road I have walked and that the ensuing experience can be and is, of value to others. I cannot have been compelled for so long upon this continual seeking path, without there being some purpose that reaches beyond self-soothing. Though I recently, (today) revisited the idea of service and questions around the balance of self care and the care and concern for others; where does the responsibility begin and end for me as an "individual" and me as one of "we are all one?" I'm not sure what the answers are for me having just been re-presented with the questions, but given my habituated inclination to employ "either/or" thinking, it occurs to me that I may engage this as well with extremes that might look like either too much concern for the needs of others at the cost of my own; or swinging to the other end of the spectrum and not giving any consideration to the needs of others. I'm guessing I will find my answers somewhere upon the Buddha's middle road or the grey between the black and white.

I get that the energy with which I serve makes a difference. There is very little benefit to doing so from a place of guilt or obligation; serving with resentment while perhaps not entirely fruitless, in as much as the task is completed, just the same energetically people know if your heart is not in it and you are begrudgingly going through the motions.

I think the reflections of these various spiritual mentors and pioneers are of great value. To me, they expand my mind as to the existence of further possibilities and how that has presented to them, from initially viewing from an extremely limited perspective, when I have considered the musings of others, even while at same time becoming further acquainted with my own skepticism - I gradually began to "wonder if" about more and more (while becoming less sure about my belief in so little).

So in effect, the wide range of teachers and teachings I have visited and in some cases continue to revisit, have harnessed my natural curiosity and continue to hone and refine my ability to "ask a better question." What I believe to be the natural evolution of my path will be the sharing of my experience with the answers to those questions, even when the answers come in the form of more questions - they will be derived from my direct experience, lessening the need to cite and recite the experience of others.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Do You Hear What I Hear?

There are times when a coffee tastes particularly good! Naturally one would first need to agree the flavour of coffee was generally enjoyable - if not, sustitute your beverage of choice and perhaps the remainder of these musings won't be held suspect due to their association with the bean rendered ambrosia, that alternatively might for some represent instead, a scourge.

To begin with I have the luxury and the leisure to be sitting mid-day and enjoying said coffee. I walked to the mall after the recreation centre to have brunch. How opulent is that? I have the good fortune to access the center (having had a light snack first) after walking there, I continued around half the golf course trail and then sat in the woods adjacent to the course. While sitting and contemplating among other things "exercising," I realized both what doing weights and other calisthenics would ask of me and I was hearing from my body "forget about it" - if it helps, hear that as though spoken off the set of the Sapranos. In truth, there is likely little to be gained by demanding of my body a known physical "cost" when it (my body) is attempting to convey an alternative message.

An altogether different paradigm exists whereby a conversation with the body ("checking in") entails a dialogue that invites its participation and brings awareness to what level (if at all) it cares to engage a particular activity. Certainly the concept of "listen to your body" is familiar enough to render it trite and cliche. However I believe that frequently the conversation takes the form of a premise of checking in, but the mind like some sort of despot tyrant, drives the body devoid of anything a kin to "mindfulness" and entirely devoid of compassion.

To be clear I am not employing semantics in order to explain away a "fitness commitment" that might involve various forms of self-sabotage and self deception. The latter is entirely different energy(s) and underlying motivation. I am talking about if one is doing various activities under the guise of being "good for their body" would it not seem reasonable to ask "the body" where it is at and what it feels would currently be of most benefit? A symbiotic cycle of expression/absorption, action/yielding, effort/release, inhale/exhale, talk/listen, contraction/extension exists throughout nature. The culture I'm influenced by puts more emphasis on "doing" than "being," listening can be nothing more than waiting for another to finish speaking, in order to now invalidate what they just said. Given that orientation is it any wonder we learn to ignore the gentle yearning of our own body which can escalate to attention getting circumstances of ever increasing magnitude, which become harder and harder to ignore.

 I find it ironic that even "so close to home" i.e. my own body, I can be employing a relationship based in dominance rather than collaboration. In this exists another version of the chicken or the egg conundrum: did "we" (I) first buy into the idea that we were to dominate nature and by extension drive ourselves (myself) further toward "dis-ease" in the form of devaluing and self exploitation or did it begin with the self (and therefore the collective) and then become projected on the world and all its inhabitants? If we are in the universe and the universe is within us, then destruction of any part is destructive to the whole, though I don't believer the utter destruction is enevitable.

From where I sat in the woods on the perimeter of the golf course I considered it was a walk to get home, it was a walk to the gym. I could have easily justified the rigors of a workout with any number of viable notions that range from pep-talks to those that are nothing short of abusive. I chose to listen, really listen and opted for some stretching and active relaxation, my body was pleased and responded favourably.

If you are one that appreciates a good sign to affirm and validate then let it be known that directly across from my sidewalk table, where I sat to scribble this story, is a "sign" that reads "Time to Relax." "See you Soon" (emphasis mine).

A sun warmed seat outside the mall (I had sat inside initially while I ate, but the drone of the mall made it difficult to hear any else but) blue sky, a dollar store journal, pens that bleed ink superfluous to the printed word and the opportunity to indulge myself in all of it, how prosperous am I?

As a final confirmation of the value of listening and trusting what you hear, when I first sat down and began to write I "thought" I heard the cry of an eagle - my mind reflexively was quick to dismiss this given the predominance of asphalt, concrete and adobe patio tiles. I "heard" it again , stopped and looked up, sure enough there was an eagle engaged in flight being "chased" around by four crows. I watched the air show while having my first sip of coffee, a Timmy's dark-roast transformed to nectar of the Gods, listen first, next, a story is born. I resume my writing and once again was called to the song of the eagle, overhead two eagles circled  - coffee now becomes a sacramental communion beverage.

And so it is - Amen!

Saturday, 17 October 2015

A "Flood" of Relief

As I'm walking I am guided/inspired to great heights by the intricate, bold and creative solo as expressed on the track "Texas Flood" by Stevie Ray Vaughn. Perhaps not the first artist or genre that one thinks of when referring to "inspirational music" if even they hold to be true the existence of it. Just the same this was the experience for me in the moment. Who is to say what defines such contributions to moments of inspiration - perhaps more widely accepted sources might be  a choir such as that featured in the Mormon Tabernacle - or Mongolian throat singers, Aaron Neville or the Webb sisters (that sing with Leonard Cohen and the rest of the musical magicians that appear with him). I've done what I can to select random examples - of course I have experienced then all, have been touched, moved and inspired at different times by all of them - my point is the source of inspiration can allow the net to be cast much further. Who can say that Stevie Ray Vaughn wasn't or isn't an avatar, a unique expression of the divinity of creation through his music - regardless of whether you "approve" of his life, his genre - Texas etc. I'll grant you - the same song on a different occasion might do little more than irritate me, however, to be fair I'm apt to be non-receptive to any input on such occasions or I'm seeking to connect nonetheless, but perhaps through a different vehicle. Fortunately creation is virtually (perhaps more accurately) limitless, in the ways it can express, which would then suggest that if I'm looking for the limiting factor to experiencing creation I need look no further than in the mirror.

In contrast I have had many deeply "connected" experiences that haven't had as vehicles of transport any form of sound per se, they were encouraged through a focus on getting increasingly more quiet. I'm certainly aware of the inherent challenge of "stillness/silence" as one that has been influenced by our western world orientation to all things external. As it happens I am naturally inclined to go "inward" - however that doesn't mean that in the ongoing quest to deepen that practice and relationship I haven't been faced with various noise of my own creation and sought in various ways an alternative to being in the company of the various ways I show up along the path to silence. Ironic wouldn't you say, that there is so much racket present while one searches for "inner peace."

The imagery I received while walking on this day was profoundly different than my orientation has likely ever been - in no small part as I felt it along with seeing it.  Contrary to my lifelong inclination to look outside myself for the source of my pain and angst (naturally with the corresponding supposition that in order for my pain to cease, the external source, quite frankly, must be extinguished along with the pain being anesthetized) - to be clear I have not "eliminated" anyone over the course of my life.  I've also not historically been successful at any ongoing relief of my pain. I most certainly have justified my behaviour in effect, as though I had no choice but to act as I did based on what occurred outside of myself.

My point is that "collective discomfort" with the silence has correlations to the individuals that comprise that collective and what they hear in the silence. In the silence I heard my own screaming - a call for my attention, a scream that could only and can only, be soothed by my own unconditional love and acceptance. No amount of attack directed toward "forces" outside myself has or will, soothe this inner scream. No one else is responsible for it. Slaying others mentally, emotionally, spiritually or physically won't bring about peace, as the scream will live on.

How is it that I can make such suppositions? Well as one song suggested "the answer my friend is blowing in the wind." May I expand my capacity to listen rather than "blow-hard." As another song invites: "Let There Be Peace on Earth" ..... "and let it begin with me."

Let it be done!

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

The "Knows" Have it.

Yesterday seemed to be a day of, shall we say, recalibration - of me within me, but perhaps not entirely of me. For my part, It would seem that what was required was for me to become aware of some "system" of beliefs that were present within me, operating as truth though entirely erroneous. This goes beyond a laundry list mental recognition (as a new intellectualized veneer would merely be like new carpet laid upon rotten floor boards- although, even that analogy is only partially accurate, as there is nothing "rotten" within me) because, energetically I embodied them - i.e. "your biography becomes your biology." Beyond that, uncharacteristically I don't have a comprehensive explanation, which as it turns out, might be one of the necessary elements of this internalized reset - "I don't know" (I am saying I don't know with regard to what just stated? - No, I am actually saying the element I'm describing is, "I don't know.") Not necessarily my go to mental framework, "knowing" largely has been for me, a long-standing oasis of perceived control and safety.

So, what if you don't know and you know, you don't know (maybe you once knew and then later determined what you knew was nothing, or at least, when it came time to "apply" what you thought you knew upon deep-seated fear, which was also the creation of that which believed itself to know, the result was nil.

Suffice to say, a significant crisis of belief results! A false claim of knowing is an ineffective form of relief when brought to bear on such forms of soul angst even when the source of the angst isn't "real" even though the ensuing experience of it certainly feels real enough. It would seem that imagined knowing leaves much to be desired when summoned to respond, to the perfect storm of imagined fears; as imagining relief will be brought about by what you don't know, will very quickly demand of you: "let's get real!"

Of course the one experiencing the "dilemma" was me (not just waxing philosophically for its own sake) the knowing I refer to, is God (or if you will, that which is sometimes "known" as "God." Obviously there are no shortage of systems and adherents that claim, in no uncertain terms, to "know God" and the will of God.

In the interest of brevity, suffice to say, that a personal spiritual journey that claims to have more answers than merited, is no less problematic when "it," hits the fan! I was convinced I had to "understand" God in order to "know God." Of course even using the term "God" already places the framework upon "it" that comes from the tenets of systems that speak in terms of a "God." My experience would seem to indicate, the more I think "I know," the more limitations I place on whatever one decides they want to call, "all that is." Couple this with my earlier described "need to know"safety net, and I literally could be upon an endless quest of knowingness - which as I've indicated, doesn't necessarily provide ongoing inner peace.

The "new" not knowing perspective for me looks like this: I do my best to maintain the conditions whereby, I invite God to continually introduce itself, to me.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Nothing from Nothing yields Something?

The nothing
 I have tried to build something,
Is of unfathomable depth,
A chasm through which runs
A current so powerful,
Establishing any lasting foundation
Is denied.
A wind swept
Barren wasteland,
Replete of daylight's reprieve,
An insatiable timeless oceanic void
Which devoured the stars.
The swiftest feet
Along with
Evasion most cunning,
Have fallen emphatically short of concealing
My reflection upon the infinite darkness.
The unexamined heart concealed terror's reign,
"It is not where I am - it is who I am!"
After a lifetime procession of failed earthly pursuit.
A "self" preserving notion
Born of desperation
"Oh by the way - I know God"
Spawned of irony,
"I'll be someone & mean something" via
The ultimate in name dropping.
I deeply regret my charade
Submitting humbly,
I wish I knew him now.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Resistance is - Futile

Conformity has been on my mind, naturally if it's on my mind I am considering it with regard to the various ways it has impacted me and what underlies that. Much of what I currently seek in my life is a more authentic relationship with myself and greater expression of that in the world. I don't know that makes me unique, but as it's not necessarily a frequent topic of discussion in my day to day life, I can't say how many others consciously are in pursuit of this same thing and for those that are, how they are experiencing that walk of life. For now I'm working (so to speak) toward deeper clarity regarding the motivating energies that drive my behaviour. As what might be dressed up as altruism could be driven by a mistaken belief like for example, "I don't belong" and so I align with a cause looking for acceptance from those others with the group that might extend the illusion of community and connection as we are "united" by this common ground. It is also possible that this group is inclined to glorify angry opposition then I can find an apt battlefield to keep alive the various forms of inner conflict, pain and unhealed energy without ever resolving it and very likely not bringing anything even close to my "A-game" to the situation I have unconsciously chosen as my diversion.

So then there is a vast difference between my peacefully representing myself (without the need to defend) or going against the grain with a whole lot of "f-you" attitude and then coming off like a victim if my approach elicits an "unwanted response." The same unconsciousness would have me assert the "other" person, place or thing, was the aggressor when in truth, I set myself up in the first place. This might not be a one time interaction i.e. A+B=C (though it could be) just as likely, I've been setting the stage for quite sometime so the wheels are set in motion already.

There are ways to bring about change within and without. My desire is to master myself. I have been long enough, the "rebel without a cause," engaged in "a cause" as somewhere to indulge in gratuitous rebelliousness, I have made wrong: individuals, whole groups of people, and various beliefs and ways of being in the world; rather than face my own angry cover story and the unresolved pain and grief that it was designed to repress. How could there possibly be peace, how could the world ever occur to me safe, when I harboured so many attack thoughts directed at myself? I could not (until I could) begin a process where by I could take responsibility (albeit incrementally) for being the terrorist in my own life and at the same incremental rate, look toward myself to be a loving presence toward myself. 

The difference is, when I lovingly express myself as who I am I do so without attacking that which I don't align with. The "mythical" creature the hydra demonstrates the truth of my experience very well. When attacked, even cutting off any of its multiple heads simply resulted in it growing back two heads for every head cut off.

My experience is I can't do away with what I don't want through resistance or attacking it directly, doing so just hurts me and gives whatever it is more energy and then it has five heads (a more entrenched presence in my life). The answer lies in being able to love what is and lovingly create and express what I want.

Friday, 9 October 2015

To the Giving of Thanks

What if anything is the significance of these arbitrarily established holidays? Today (Friday) begins the "long weekend" of October - Thanksgiving. One of the many annual events that is treated as license for excess. A brief look at the history of the holiday informs me that there is nothing I align with in terms of its origins except, the theme of appreciation.

My observance of events that elicit a collective response throughout society has over the years drifted to an air of simplicity as I continue to search within myself for a meaningful relationship with life itself (not just these proclaimed "high days and holy days").

I renounce engagement in activities that revolve around elevating a "celebration" into a highly stressful event - where any number of people come together out of obligation and due to the nature of their relating year round the holiday pilgrimages are strained at best and can become rather volatile on many levels. Too much expectation is placed on these few days. Too much expense. Too much consumption. Too much unconsciousness. It is not my aim to cast myself as the scrutineer of holidays past, present and future - I can honour and bless for each their choice of observance.

For me there is a need to restore the sacred into the day, in other words put the "holy" back in the "holi-days." Having said that, I'm not an advocate for a particular religious observance nor am I suggesting this sacred resurgence be restricted to only certain days in the calendar year. If more sacred observance and appreciation were brought to everyday - it would be a different world. I know this as this is how I walk in the world. This is the change I wish to see in the world. This is, who I am.

I may or may not find myself in the company of anyone on this occasion, immediate family have transitioned "to the other side" so there will be no "family gathering." I can appreciate their absence and presence in my life and the ongoing impact upon the shaping of who I am becoming. Where there is sadness I can appreciate a heart that feels so deeply the "slings and arrows" of life along with elation for an experience of life that cannot be contained within a Hallmark greeting or upon the grandest dining room table.

I know I will not hunger, not on any level, for that I have the most profound appreciation. The food, the shopping, the football games, the parades etc. - none of it matters (unless you want to make it matter then, let it be so). It's all there for the taking, unimaginable abundance - therefore the only place scarcity could possible exist is in the form of imagination. I'm not about to debate whether the "fish and loaves" event actually occurred, but just as I wrote the previous I got that the parable most certainly could represent that where there appears to be inadequate resources, look again, deeply and completely, "miraculously" there is more than meets the eye - more than "enough."

For this I give thanks!

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Write-fully So!

Attention to the "craft" of writing has once again surpassed thirty consecutive days. Not of itself, unique for me - but it is part of an over all intention to keep right on writing. I wasn't born with a passion to write, at least not that I recall. As school subjects go "English" was one in which I achieved consistently good grades (without even trying) - which was a hallmark criteria for me while attending school, as for the most part, I wasn't interested in being there and certainly couldn't imagine why I would exert myself in the absence of said interest. I was an enthusiastic reader and no one ever had to hold my feet to the fire for this to occur - so perhaps these represent some natural proclivities and developmental means that have asserted themselves later in my life. Still there has been no "formal education - i.e. art's degree or journalism school (not that I haven't grasped at this very fact when in search for fodder to assail myself with to demonstrate just cause for certain failure). Nothing has changed regarding acquiring these credentials, the difference is I choose to ignore this and deepen my resolve to write.

I certainly can't predict where this intention to write will lead me, I'm sure it will be augmented by my natural curiosity about the world around me and a long-standing eye for introspection. I've also most of my life had what some might deem an intolerance for mystery. Even though this has softened some, truth compels me. Given these qualities I don't foresee ever running out of things to write about. I am therefore of the mind that as this has become my intention; I will let writing be my teacher, inspiration my invited and sacred guest. I have systematically or perhaps constitutionally run out of reasons "not to write."

The beautiful thing about this new mindset is that neither approval, "education" or even readers is necessary to write - minimally all I require is paper and a pen or pencil. In a pinch I could carve into any yielding surface, whatever it is I feel called to write. So far I've yet to encounter restricted access to writing tools From here on it is then up to me to provide the will and engage form relationship and establish harmony with, all that I encounter which interferes, erodes or disrupts that will. Am I guaranteed income, acclaim or awards? Most certainly not! Are any of the a fore mentioned reasons just cause to quit writing? Well, anything can be made to be justifiable - if my intention is to write and I derive joy and fulfillment in doing so, then these are the soul reason (pun intended) for continuance.

So far my lifestyle seems to require income so I have a need to attend to that in some fashion. As for its bearing on my choice or ability to write (along with those other factors already mentioned) - No, they are irrelevant! Even if I was to injure what is primarily my "writing hand" - "handedness" is not a deal-breaker, I am effectively ambidextrous so the show must go on!

I was born to write - through writing I can be reborn again and again. Where I once hid in reading, I am revealed newly upon the blank page, each a portal to vast new frontiers and exploration.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

What a Wonderful Life

I began my day reading a text message "that something wonderful will happen today." Well to begin with, I woke up to read the text, if that weren't the case then something wonderful might well happen (maybe that would have been it) however, I'm not sure at what level or if, I would be aware of the wondrous event. Beyond that I'm not sure that I the "I" I've grown accustomed to referencing everything from, would still exist? At that point I'm apt to have a different set of parameters with which to define "wonderful," or perhaps, there would be no parameters and this in itself, is the cause of wonder I can't even begin to grasp, as even when I catch a glimpse of more spaciousness, that part of my mind which is the self-proclaimed manager of defining, categorizing, analyzing, assigning, associating, rationalizing, misrepresenting, simplifying, dismissing, diminishing, minimizing, segregating, eliminating, proclaiming, guesstimating, asserting etc. attempts to rush in and just as space on this page was consumed by this description, so then is the vast space of the unknown reduced.

I came into town in part to complete a couple of errands and I considered that something wonderful might not knock at my door, I might need to take myself out into the world where I am more accessible. Not necessarily an absolute - I suppose my being accessible isn't strictly speaking, dictated by where I am, shall we say, geographically. Accessible (open) is more defined by a decision, not just a one time decision, though it could be, rather, a recognition of choice throughout the day that a decision can be made at any moment to be open, curious, willing to experience something unique.

It's interesting to notice that don't particularly need to let go of expectations about what shape this wonderful event might take, as I largely don't have any. I'm open, I consider myself of ample worth, I just don't know what to think. Truly something unforeseen has often been a source of wonder to me. How would I know exactly what might happen that would "blow my mind." If something were to happen outside my "experience" how could I preconceive of it?

Of course the wonderful something that was foretold to me might have nothing to do with me. Perhaps she that planted the seed in the first place is to be the recipient. Maybe this is to occur within her family circle, maybe this is to occur at the community level, nationally or internationally, interplanetary, intergalactically. It might have nothing to do with me or everything.

Maybe I was being baited to be on the "lookout" for something wonderful, in doing so, my awareness might be "tuned" to what is wonderful going on around me. I don't feel as though on this day I needed that prompting, I didn't feel low or unappreciative, however I didn't necessarily feel as though this day would be as good for something wonderful to happen to me as any other day. There didn't need to be some real or imagined criteria met first, that today could be the day!

All the preparations have been made - in fact in a way, there never were any, just let it be!

Monday, 5 October 2015

Live and Let Die (Easy?)

"He's such a die-hard!" - a comment I overheard while I was walking the chip trail around the golf course. It was a beautiful autumn morning, sunny with a stiff breeze, just enough to add a little to & fro of the trees and to entice some of the fallen leaves to dance.

The recipient of the title "die-hard" was a Jack Russell terrier - a tenacious breed to be sure. If you have ever played tug-o-war with one you know the truth of this.

The leaves in contrast, I would say were such "die-easy's" - when the time was right they simply detached from where they had been doing their photosynthesis thing (thank you for that, I presently continue to enjoy a regular oxygen indulgence) & float gently to the ground, transitioning from multi-coloured tapestry carpet until they decompose and yield further still, to provide their  composite elements.

So why does the title "die-hard" have implied and conditioned within it,  qualities of virtue? I suppose at the root of it is the fear of death. As an a side, maybe that could be subdivided to include fear of dying before actually really living?

Those that are "terminally ill" are often referred to as having "lost the battle" with whatever was ultimately their ticket to ride. Life I believe is a beautiful, miraculous gift, but I also don't believe that "death" need be indentured as "defeat." How is it that someone's "recovery" from some disease is "heroic" but their peaceful transition doesn't seem to merit the same heroism?

"Die-Hard" movies feature one person "evading death" while destroying innumerable lives, property and real estate - this is touted as admirable and is subsequently box-office magic. "Die-Hard" batteries are marketed as though they thwart the inevitable impermanence, as do those that created the "energizer bunny" - just keeps going and going and going.....

Real bunnies - otherwise known as rabbits actually stop sometimes! They sleep, some breeds hibernate and like leaves eventually die. I remember being on a farm I used to spend time at and the resident dog chased and caught a rabbit. I came on the scene seconds later and saw first hand the dog had not begun to "physically traumatize " the rabbit. When I got the rabbit away from the dog, there was no bleeding, it didn't feel as though anything was dislocated (it's limbs were functional) and there were no protrusions anywhere on it's body. It was still breathing, albeit rapidly and trembling, understandable given the shock of the event. Then as I held him, he just stopped breathing and that was it. Visually I'll grant it would have been more graphic had the dog mauled the rabbit "to death" - but it went "there" nonetheless though held and "comforted" by me? Easy really. Died easy.

If there weren't so much fear of death maybe more people could "die easy," with peace. If we weren't so convinced that death is to be avoided at all costs - maybe there would be more living brought to life.

"Old habits die hard" someone said - not a life enhancing mindset! Maybe if we fought less for our habits of behaviour and thinking, living and dying would be a whole lot easier.

Birth, death, rebirth - what could be more natural than that?

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Let It Begin With Me (I'll let it).

"Forgive them for they know not what they do." Words from the bible, claimed to have been proclaimed by Jesus while he was "dying" on the cross. I now know in my heart the power and truth of them (the words) - or perhaps better said, the power conveyed within the words. They came to me while reading something completely unrelated, although, the book is entitled "There is a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem" so though what I was reading didn't contain those specific words - a "spiritual" solution found it's way to the door of my heart. Rather than pulling the curtains shut and hiding in the basement, treating this visitation like a door to door solicitor, on this occasion the door was allowed to open and "out of nowhere" breezes in those words, I'm immediately filled with a sense of warmth, tears (of God know what...) flow freely and I am simultaneously struck with the staggering power of unconditional love, Jesus' ability to wield it (even under those circumstances) and that I could, can and will exercise that same power of love and forgiveness on the various characters in my story - "they knew not what they did." How simple, poignant, beautiful and freeing is that? Incidentally, I'm not leading up to a planned "flash-mob" event which includes a rendition of "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" - although "we" (which I will reduce to "I" for the purpose of ownership/responsibility) most certainly do, which is to say, have this friend/brother/teacher/rabbi - made all the more wondrous when one considers this claim in light of my not identifying as a Christian or of the Hebrew faith.

A Consciousness was represented, through example and presented, not to be feared, worshipped or denied, but for personal (& collective liberation) by the man Jesus (if that was his name) some sources claim "Yeshua" - "Jesus" the name resulting from multiple translations of the original writing of the bible. "Christ" used so routinely as to become something a kin to his last name, denotes the consciousness he was demonstrating (not the sole possessor of, though certainly one who attained "mastery" - "Christ consciousness.")

Along with this soul recognition of the power to free my heart from the torment of these "multitude of villainous characters" in my life, I realize I could extend this same love and forgiveness to all the various ages of myself within me that created a myriad of beliefs and stories which do nothing but created continued suffering. Once again, "forgive them, they know not what they do." (Well they knew very well what they did, when they originally did it) it's just that no one until now, has told them it's okay now, you are loved, you are safe, the war is actually over now. Of course it's up to me to offer this update. How could "they be convinced that within me exists a safe haven - if there continues to be "attack thoughts" - me upon me,  which then become projected outward rather than bringing a lasting amnesty/peace inward, the ushering in through my heart the divine love energy in order to heal my heart and subsequently all that I relate to and with is healed.

They didn't know - I didn't know, does that then call for vengeance or teaching/learning??

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

My Way - Neither "the Way" nor Cause for Apology!

After a brief sojourn on Facebook, a rather romanticized notion of my time spent there, I refocus my intention to write. I have nothing against Facebook, but more often than not for me, it has more to do with taking me away from anything valuable that I might contribute to the world. Certainly on occasion I read different articles that I find interesting and inspiring and it is an endless source of quotes on pretty much anything, by a wide variety of notable quotable individuals, some of which I choose to redirect back into the great Facebook continuum for distribution, to what end, I can't be sure. I suppose I would like to think it will create some butterfly effect stirring of consciousness and I have then somehow made a contribution. I suppose I also find it heartening at times to fire a volley of some nature into what occurs at times, to be a void of monumental proportions and receive some sort of reflection that there is someone out there. In truth though - Facebook is a testimonial to Mark Zuckerberg's creativity and ingenuity, my use of it doesn't escalate my journey of self-realization or meaningful contribution through association, nor does my regurgitating the words reflecting the life experience of others. I undoubtedly love to ponder these various perspectives and some of these enough that I push in those directions in my own life - in doing so it makes possible the gift of some form of experience of my own.

I am a great believer in the power of metaphor, parable and allegory to convey various truths and there certainly is nothing wrong with using the "sign-posts" created and recorded through the journey of others, as a means of selecting a fork in the road of life that otherwise may have remained obscured. Then again though following in the footsteps of another may well yield a perspective unique to any given individuals personal viewpoint - it is also possible, that it will not necessarily break any new ground. While those throughout history (for whom their words have achieved a longevity that exceeds their mortality) have certainly lived noteworthy lives - it was "their life." They may have been noted to quote someone else in something they said or wrote but those reflections that have lived on were invariably their own - which meant they "blazed their own trail" at some point.

I'm considering that such individuals were strongly anchored in their own curiosity, that they delighted in their own discoveries, maintained a strategy with which, to render manageable, fears of various ilks - minimizing immobilization. In other words a relationship that allowed them a transcendence over the juggernaut of conformity.

Now I suppose it is difficult to determine exactly where various ways of "expressing" have at their roots external or internal influence. Certainly various sub-groups of people can have as their common denominator, various externalized ways of presenting, that on one hand they might claim sets them a part from the "norm," but certainly doesn't make them unique within the given group. I don't claim to be uninfluenced by any number of a myriad of external factors - but I seem to be on a trajectory that is less identified with any of it. I am not looking to set myself above anyone else, I am also far less inclined to make my decisions solely based on a "fuck-you" basis. At first blush, that might not seem like an accomplishment worth noting or even an accomplishment. I have come to realize that seldom, perhaps never, does it serve me to act from this form of rebellion, invariably I hurt myself in the process. Now it might take all of that energy and then some (transmuted) into a usable form of energy that will propel through resistance (external or internal) a distinction that may well be unnecessary given it doesn't really matter what form the resistance takes externally - it would be that which exists internally, that ultimately stops me or triggers doubt or other forms of self-defeating energy. So the clarifying quality I'm moving toward describing is I'm no longer trying to define my life through "fuck you" or it (whatever "it" might be) but Yes to me.

It is my dream and vision to be a writer, specifically within the realms of spirituality/transformation. My own personal experience is vast - while at the same time being minuscule. I suspect I will never offer anyone "Seven Easy Steps to" .......... most probably anything I write could begin with the title "A Beginner's Guide to......" at the very least, I hope to continue to embrace an attitude that keeps me teachable - while acknowledging, I have walked a path that led most certainly to experience and beyond that, I suppose depending on the perspective of the receiver, it might be interpreted as either wisdom, folly or my own unique blend of both. I refuse to blindly follow anyone and I'm not posturing myself to recruit followers. I am not billing myself as an "enlightened being" in fact I have innumerably glorious pratfalls that elucidate my journey upon the long and winding road thus far. I don't aspire to the pedestal - but I vow I will create a foundation that I stand upon that will unassailable by anyone and before the sun sets on my earth walk, I will no longer be the one that keeps knocking me off. The beauty of this proposed path is that as I insist on being more like me and chronicling how that occurs and resonates along the way - there will never be a shortage of fodder to be consumed, integrated and expressed newly in continued living.

I am convinced extraordinary most certain cannot be found in conformity - recognizing those things that unite me and define my universal humanity may have provided some form of comfort at some point, now they just bore the hell out of me. Beyond these narrow definitions something beckons me, with a voice that won't be ignored. It speaks of radical approaches - I most certainly intend to express from a place of authenticity and living from where I speak; at the the same time, I will no longer wait for conditions and anyone outside myself, to determine my credibility.

"Build it and they will come!"
I am declaring the ribbon is cut - I am built!

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Exile on Mine Street

Though it might seem obvious: that as in the "Sound of Music" they sang: "Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start, when you read you begin with A..B..C, when you sing you begin with do, re, mi..." For my variety of story telling.... it is rather challenging to pin down "the beginning!" Part of the reason for that is that even when I'm preparing to relay a relatively current "experience" it can often have reference points from the past (by no means restricted to "negative" "traumatic" occurrences - though they could be, but also they can draw on some form of insight or connection experience that was intriguing at the time, and at the same time also appeared to be an isolated awareness that didn't have much ongoing relevance, so I file it in the "maybe this will make more sense another time" bin). Then I proceed to "Row row row my boat" (while occasionally reaching beyond the gunwale of my own canoe to grab someone else's oar) - have you ever tried to paddle a canoe your not sitting in? - suffice to say, less than effective!) all kinds of life experiences present themselves and then there may be one, or a series of experiences, that bring back into focus that "irrelevant revelation" from God knows how long ago, and it has brand new meaning and significance.

So - how about that? I began with an convoluted expression of lack of clarity with regard to offering a tangible "once upon a time" and in doing so, a beginning was created. How does that work - I can't say for sure - I can see that it has occurred and there has been established an introduction. To what? Well let's carry on and find out!

I was at a "spiritual gathering"today - I take a stab at providing some context for that statement, without it becoming a treatise on "spirituality." Overall I would say there is no time or place when I'm not on a leg of this spiritual journey - there are just sometimes, when part of the purpose & focus of the gathering - its raison d'etre, is explicitly: "spirituality." So what that means to me, is potentially there will be space for considering and expressing from anywhere within that rather large umbrella. Of course each individual is rather like the guard at the toll gate - nothing is going to come or go that isn't allowed by the guard - so I can neither assure a particular experience for anyone else nor will I impose any further "definition" on the subject matter. There naturally can be a wide range of allowance for range of exploratory discussion, as well as tolerances (an unfortunate word) for what one might call authentic personal expression, versus recitations of known theology without any contexual sharing of how that might actually be working (or not) in a given life experience.

Bears are once again in my consciousness - as is the reclamation (referred to in some schools of thought as "soul-retrieval.") of various "parts" of myself; it can involve a variety of processes that are purposed with "re-membering." My title refers to "exile." What am I referring to? Essentially aspects of myself that were exiled at various parts of my life when a variety of traumas occurred. I'm not here to discount or diminish any particular stream of consciousness because they have all contributed to the "body of knowledge" that is still unfolding. Having said that the remembering I speak of is not only encapsulated within the practices of "Psychology" with it various forms of "cognitive restructuring" - for sure, new belief systems can be advantageous and though I recognize that no process operates in isolation (given the multiple layers of our being) still, to act strictly upon the mind/intellect still leaves some "weeds in the garden." So then I'm talking about remembering for the purpose of restoring integrity within myself, by which I'm not speaking in terms of a "resolution" to become more "cash register honest." I'm suggesting that in order to truly reach and bring my full potentials into being a re-integration of all this fragmentation is required. Not talking perpetual victim stories or remaining stuck on scape-goating parents etc. All these pieces, are useful for information and as part of the remembering - but for the purpose of transforming these blocks, inner grievances and sources of ongoing suffering.

Through the lens of "animal medicine" long ago I discovered a resonance with the qualities attributed to bear. Powers of introspection - I had no trouble recognizing and claiming, it has been a further journey to lay claim to the qualities of massive strength and confidence. Further included are the power and importance of solitude and its connection to healing (self or others). Recent "introspection and current personal expansion has brought the very youngest, most tender young age of my being which had in effect, been "abandoned" by me; energetically, "he" held considerable trauma and at some point, placing in "exile," sort of a Walt Disney-esque self-cryogenic state, rather than deal with the pain he represented, was at the time, a survival tactic. The "problem" is that to judge such a young age as being inconsequential would be a gravely erroneous assumption. "He" embodies those very "bear-like" qualities among many others and his exile results in my being cut off from them, and a very integral part of myself and connection to all that is!

So the recognition of this began last week - a welcoming home, a declaration of undying unconditional love  - a reunion (if you will). The very next day as I was walking through the oak meadow in my neighborhood I bent over to stretch my low back and I discovered a "heart-shaped" stone with a image of a bear's head on it. It was then I was told this part of myself is indeed named "little bear" - I received confirmation of this in a way that is intimate and personal to me (which if you can accept this journey as being true - you might well agree, makes sense).

Today's presentation at the gathering I "felt" drawn to attend without "knowing why," was about the power and importance of the "village"in our journey - which among other things can be comprised of a community of inner guides, "higher" self, various archetypes or parts of ourselves, angels, ancestors - whatever you can allow to be held in your belief system) - naturally there are external representation of this village as well. We also did a short Qi Gong form which included a short set call "bear swimming across the stream" - just this very morning I was prompted to look a the "bear" card in a deck of "Druid" themed divination cards. The bear figures prominently in many ancient cultures as a powerful spiritual medicine talisman - including the ancient Celts/Druids that as it happened to align with a still largely unknown but nonetheless Irish ancestral lineage on my biological father's side (the "remembering of which has commenced but is by no means complete). There was references to a bear god and goddess both the names of which contain a root in the celtic language "art" for bear, is comprised in the name of the "legendary King Arthur" symbolic of a spiritual warrior and well as pointing out that the polar star located beyond the constellation of the "great bear" is there to guide travellers in the darkest of winter sky's when no other light can be seen. (an association that is ripe with metaphor meaning to me).

I am in awe at how Spirit works in my life and how the "pieces" are woven together; in time, over time, and very specifically relevant to me. Incidentally I didn't include the previous sentence to highlight my uniqueness - but to represent my belief that this is possible for anyone. I most certainly encourage each to prove it for themselves - in the ways that occur to you to be appropriate - if and when you choose.  All I know is that the more I go inward - which has long been impressed to me to be where each persons answers lie, the expansion results in expression that for some, will occur to be "out there." Don't allow that to dissuade you from your own journeying - I'm a story teller at heart, I'm merely sharing with anyone that might be willing to pull up a chair, the view I encounter as I walk the long and winding road. I neither insist you need see what I see - or even walk the same road. In fact I would love it if you see me on the road - you stop and share with me, what it is you see.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

The "Great One" endorses The less than great one?

I wasn't sure what I was going to write about - which isn't necessarily in and of itself a profoundly unique reality  when I square myself with the blank blog template. I indulged a brief foray into the black-hole of facebook and saw a post that "lit my fuse." Apparently Wayne Gretzky has let it be known he supports a continuance of Stephen Harper as the Prime Minister of Canada.

It's possible that the sum total of what I write from this point forward could be summed up with "So What!?" So I could either make this the shortest blog post I've ever conceived or flush out somewhat my unsolicited and un-comissioned albeit succinct editorial.

This is not to be a damning litany on the career, character or politics of Stephen Harper - by now, too cliche. It is also not my intention to cast doubt on the sophistication of the "electorate," the citizens of Canada. I certainly have concerns about a "system" that made it possible for the Conservatives to go from the first mandate as a minority to "winning" a "majority" for a second mandate and the on-going ability of the media to manipulate the truth and in doing so impact "public opinion." Clearly I don't have the monopoly on the truth and I don't spend endless hours listening to the "political pundits" - representatives from the various "think-tanks" or even watching the "debates" (truly what can be determined from a series of sound bite responses filled with pre-written "talking points" that are super-imposed upon a variety of questions and issues whether they directly relate to the question or ever provide an answer. Personally I don't give a shit how well someone articulates their answer, if it evades the matter raised in the question or diminishes the concern of those that asked it. Add to that the disallowing of participation by leaders of parties not portrayed in that same media as being viable options and the whole thing smacks of further manipulation.

Enter Mr. Gretzky! Given the widespread identification of so many Canadians with hockey needless to say he is afforded a coveted place in the folk-lore that comprises "our" national discourse. My question is WHY? Clearly was something a kin to a prodigy within the game of hockey (which then elevates him as is typical of "our" culture to celebrity status). Now I fully acknowledge that a significant focus, time, energy and dedication are required to go from the frozen ponds in the neighborhood to be selected in the professional ranks and then to have a career that stands out so significantly from those that comprise the crème de la crème. Many try and fall by the wayside. Of course it is argued that the sheer size of the current league means the entry requirement has been watered down just to get enough players to fill out the rosters. Not a reflection on Gretzky - just an aside. I also recognize that I've already committed the ultimate sacrilege in that I am desecrating the all Canadian sacred cow on multiple levels - it matters not. To be fair the a fore mention dedication etc. is nothing short of heroic, however I submit as one of any number of possible examples of heroism virtually any member of John/Jane Q. Public and what they face in their daily lives - be it currently or for years longstanding. Take some time to listen long enough to pretty much anyone and you will have right there in your midst a bona fide hero! So why - why - why is someone that attained great heights at a game given more credibility to "endorse" a political candidate than anyone else?

Now I will acknowledge that Wayne Gretzky is not just a former hockey player no more than I'm just anything specific to a thumb-nail view of any particular segment of my life, who now spews upon the written page - still for me the unsettling thing about this media contrived influence, is that a world that is nothing more than entertainment and artistic expression often portrayed within a container of fabrication, produces "celebrities" that have undo influence on the world stage. Which is more true, do we watch "Fantasy Island" or do we live on it? It seems to me the veil is thinning between the world of entertainment and the "real world." In our lifetime we have seen cowboy western actors hoisted to the white house, professional wrestlers and body-builders -  become governors, WTF? Before you go sideways wrapped in Maple Leaf nationalism and chime in with, "ya well that's the U.S.A couldn't happen here!" What do you call former athletes cum "national institutions" asserting their considerable influence on our "democratic" process - I know, I know, now it could be said I'm drinking the same Kool-aid I am espousing to illuminate to suggest there is a reality where true democracy exists.

Of course so far my writing and perspectives haven't reached such proportions that they pose any significant impact on the multi-media/corporate/political/entertainment/military/industrial complex - but when and if they do, I might be then penning my memoirs from with the Conservative party's equivalent to Stalag 13 - "Hogan's Heroes" that was real right?

Monday, 7 September 2015

All This Suffering is Insufferable!

Right of the gate I'm just going to come out and say - many people will fight to the death for their suffering. I ought to know, in the "war on peace" I have been an ardent mercenary. Of course I refer to "my peace" - inner peace. What have I accepted over a lifetime as the currency of exchange for this peace? It quite possibly would be a shorter list to innumerate what I haven't accepted. Certainly a wide variety of self-deception, which, one doesn't have to go very far from home to find commiseration with. If that is what you are looking for it might only cost you the time required to hear your listeners story in kind - which will typically begin with "ah shit that's nothing, wait until you hear what happened to me." A round of that and before long, both can conclude there is no end to suffering - "and that's the way it is!" 

Before coming to the coffee shop to write - I was briefly at the harbour in downtown Victoria the annual Labour Day weekend "Blues Bash" was on. During the day all the performances are free - I like live music every now and then, a good easy on the budget (if I had a budget, but that's another story) fun way to spend the afternoon - except it wasn't. I absolutely appreciate the musicianship and there is something about that drum kit and and bass laying down the beat that gets my blood stirring - especially on a live outdoor stage where they can bring it home at warp nine! A tight sound and stratocaster strings being caressed at times other times twisted into orbit, what's not to love? Well - except the genre in and of itself is soaked in the energy of suffering. Even when the lead singer is laying claim to original material, I suppose in order to be "true" to the form, the requisite lyrics must hover in the realm of heartbreak and for some variance a side of debauchery. It's not as though I haven't spent my share of time listening to, supporting the arts through cd purchases and listening to the electrified strains as an endless anthem to uphold my own tragic myopia - but right here, right now I wonder when did this form of painful expression become "entertainment" and shouldn't there be some sort of statute of limitations on my laying claim to the state of my mental/emotional/spiritual wellness being based on "my baby" and her decision to beat a path to somebody else's front door. On that note the whole matter could be addressed by being clear, that my happiness was never determined by "my baby" nor hers dependent on me.

I realize I have now taken this whole conversation into radical waters, just the same, I don't happen to believe anymore that ongoing suffering is required. There are plenty of existing pathways that elucidate the power of mindset to influence world view, so I don't need to further try and make a case for the truth (or at least the existence of the possibility it could be true). I stood in front of the stage for a while and listened to four or five songs and I was done. There was no shade - the only place to sit was in the direct sun or the "beer gardens." I wandered through the "merchandise" tents where they were hawking over-priced shirts and food that was in my estimation, guaranteed to give you something to be blue about, devoid of any nutrition, each char-broiled calorie poised to reek havoc on one's cellular village and unleash another spree of gastro-cidal suffering.  My solution to this seemingly innocuous situation - leave. This might seem self-evident - but I considered the power of story to run interference with what otherwise might occur as a simple solution. If I had engaged with this same situation at other times in my life there could be any number of story lines that would have me remain there - even though I wasn't enjoying myself. "I came all the way down here - this is my day off and I've earned the right to PARTY" "I can't leave early - what will everyone think?" "What if I miss something (seriously what could I possibly think I might miss?) The point is there are no end of story lines to uphold the collective and individual suffering many of which perpetuate far graver situations than overheating at a crowded loud outdoor music venue. My experience is starting to demonstrate that there might well be innate discomfort in some situations, however it is my choice to avoid the necessary steps to bring about the changes that would end the suffering.

All due respect for grieving processes and the unique divine timing and soul journey of each individual - and I can assure you, I'm not advocating the repression of feelings. I'm expressing as one who wishes to disengage from identifying myself and wearing as a badge of honour, my suffering. I don't wish to diminish the pain of others or their right to choose continued suffering. It was however drawn to my attention that as a writer or an artist that what I express would be brought into question, that I would be seen as less than trust worthy if I didn't express authentically. It seems to me that authentically was being presented synonymously with one who continues to suffer. To this I say bullshit!

I envision a world without suffering - it doesn't mean I will see it universally in my life time, but I'm not going to abandon this vision for the sake of conforming to some stereo-type mindset that as a writer and artist I must suffer endlessly "for my art" or that my truth is any less authentic because I don't endlessly express as the walking wounded or from within paradigms that though they wax eloquently, continue to reflect a "love" that is codependent which makes is something entirely different.

I seek a pathway for myself that is significant, in it's freedom from suffering - I happen to know that certainly involves the dismantling of many stories that continue to stoke the fires of suffering. I wish to be a stand for and an example of, an end to suffering - this is the "change I wish to see in the world." It is no secret that those in the world that "inflict" suffering are at their core, suffering themselves - this seems to me ample motivation to collectively create different social and societal agreements. It seems to me there is no variety of human suffering that someone hasn't demonstrated the ability to overcome and transform - often themselves becoming a powerful force for change. These people might well be unique in their choice to do so - but I don't believe they have the monopoly on the inner resources to transform, they serve to show what is possible.

I may have threads of stories that will need to be released in order to realize the inner peace I seek - but I fully intent to write and to express transformation as an art form. I will acknowledge that any given emotion or combination in the spectrum, can certainly be artfully expressed - shades on the palette as it were. I would also submit that a soul that continually seeks connection to it's source, will discover while they might currently be tuned into the blues channel, they can also change the station.

Monday, 31 August 2015

In Celebration - Wayne Dyer, "From Here to Eternity."

My intention on this occasion is to pay homage to a man, his teaching and presence in my life. Even though I never met him personally, this is a relationship that has outlived innumerable "real-time" connections - as I say that it raises the question for me, as to the nature of "relating" and whether it can only occur in physical proximity with they, with which, one relates.

Before I go any further - I speak of Wayne Dyer.

Over twenty-eights years ago I began what one might deem a more active quest regarding Spirituality first through the tenets of the "Twelve Steps." It of course could be said I began when I made my debut through the birth canal - some would say even before that. It wouldn't be long before what seemed to be a fair degree of license regarding the definition of "this God" was frequently reduced by many in attendance that continued pushing for one that was not far removed from the partriarchal rep from the "old testament," And even though in some cases, they indicated he could be good humoured - still when it came to smiting - "he" did so because "he" loved you, it was necessary and certainly you had it coming. I took full license with the "God as we (I) understood it...... consequently as there was little understanding at that point at all - my investigation led me to the works of sources outside "the program" this led to my introduction to Wayne Dyer, Dan Millman and Maryanne Williamson.

It would be years reconciling the spirituality spoken about in their work and the religiosity that was part of the imprinting upon me (from a variety of environments - which includes, how it has shaped attitudes and beliefs within our culture and society, even for those that claim no adherence to any variety of a "God.") I originally thought I would have had it all sorted out in relatively short order and then I could get on with my life, in case you hadn't guessed,  that vision, has undergone ongoing revision.

I can't say in the moment specifically what I have taken from the vast work and teaching Dr. Dyer made available. I remember he made reference to marketing his books out of the trunk of his car (obviously a reference to his early days of being an author) it inspired me to see realized greatness from humble beginnings. To me he is a "house-hold name" even though occasionally I mention in conversation a reference to him or another author and am surprised to discover no familiarity with the author. Even hearing some form of my explanation as to who he is - for some, via a quick sweeping dismissive statement can just reduce him to "just one of those touchy-feely self-help writers." My impression of him and his work leads me to believe he could allow each to be where they were at so that a position like that would leave him un-scathed - to me he was a shining example and advocate of doing what you loved to do and walking his talk while ignoring the "good opinions," well-meaning intentions or even the venomous diatribe of others.

I feel some sadness to hear of his passing - even though I'm sure that wouldn't be how he would suggest it be seen. It is possible "the loss" brings me more closely in touch with layers of my own grief of various origins. It is a call to action given that somewhere in the study of his work I began to nurse the idea that I might one day be a "spiritual author." I know for sure his work will live on as a form of ongoing inspiration and guidance. In this regard - he has been a significant factor in my incremental reclaiming of myself and a vision of being of service to others.

It was only a couple weeks ago that I scored a used copy of his book - "There is a Spiritual
Solution to Every Problem" It is a book I was inspired to revisit as within, in part, there is featured expanded interpretation (of Dr. Dyer's of course) of the tenets of the "Prayer of St. Francis" That provides me with the teachings of one of my teachers within the work of another. It's possible "Francis" has been influencing me far longer than Dr. Dyer.  I neither believe "Catholicism" has the monopoly on Francis or that his messages "died" along with him. On the contrary the words (as expressed through him) are part of a living stream of consciousness and he is no longer confined to the parameters of being an 12 century monk. There is then within these spiritual teaching very pragmatic living instructions. Dr. Dyer has helped me to discover the need to "translate" these principles and give them purpose and meaning in a modern day world.

Wayne Dyer's work has always expanded for me what is possible and called me to continue to seek the absolute best in myself. He has left a volume of work that can be seen as "bread-crumbs through the forest" and I would say reached the point where his "earthly garments' would just hinder his on going progress. Who then am I, to cling to anyone when the time has come for them to move on? My life is unquestionably and irrevocably changed through Dr. Dyer's work. As I eluded to in the opening, there is nothing to stop me from on-going relating - at the same time as I step more deeply into an expanded relating to myself.

Vaya Con Dios my friend!! (as if he needs that direction from me)

Friday, 28 August 2015

Play it Again - Sam!

So today, which as it happens, is the end of the eighth cycle of 7 year blocks  (to the day) and as far as I can determine from where I presently sit, the beginning of another one. At the beginning of that odyssey it is popular to coin references to elapsed time in months (up to I believe 24 and then for some reason years become the bench mark. So I opened this piece with a "age" reference that both encapsulated a chronological talisman and a reference to an entirely different measure of existential evolutionary paradigms. Though the latter implies certain "advancement" on a entirely linear schedule I will submit based on my experience, it doesn't necessarily go that way. This should come as no surprise to many (provided they aren't entirely adhered to reduce everything to some sort of specific framework - I believe one form of that is known as "reductionism") maybe I'm missing something, but it seems to me that if one employs a methodology that is tagged thus, that they ought to be open to, if not expecting, something to be missing in the explanation, but then again, maybe I'm over-simplifying.

Between getting to the gym this morning, being there and walking home I was tuned into a playlist of music on my iPod that was appropriately retrospective (which in no way should be taken to mean it was myopically maudlin or lacking in presence or vision). It was a multi-dimensional trek that might well be the envy of a radio station musical director - if indeed one of their "oldies" weekends could be able to conjure such a journey.

In no particular order as the downloading of these songs wasn't accomplished with any preconceived  design (well at least none I'm consciously aware of) these track were compiled at "random" times often as my attention was drawn to them. Perhaps it was all in preparation for this very day!

I was moved to tears as I was bathed in the young voice of Michael Jackson singing "Ben" I was close to age of the prodigy at the time of this song's frequent air time - I knew then, intimately the themes of that song. That rat and I were soul mates if not the young Michael's own projections embodied in the song.

My soul danced with delight to "Rock Lobster" and though I have an entirely different place of reference I pondered and honoured what it means to me to worship at the "Love Shack." There was time spent communing with Al Stewart during the "Year of the Cat" - admittedly I still haven't given my undivided attention to the lyrics - somehow the song made the list, so it spoke to me at some level. In general terms, with no intended offense to cat lovers, when isn't it the year of the cat?

I was stirred to depths of my soul listening to various tracks from the soundtrack of the movie "August Rush" for the most diverse of sonically assisted extravagza I favour the overture which is a layered blend of music that invariably conveys to me volumes and invites the full emotional spectrum as it unfolds.

I revisited the delightful harmonies of the Beach Boys which took me to a place in time that embraced their art long before I would ever set foot in "Cal- i- forn - i -a"  My "Deuce Coupe" was some sort of Mazda - never did get rubber in all four gears (not for lack of trying) but I certainly destroyed my share of clutches and was involved directly or indirectly with reducing a once sound automobile to scrap iron. I related profoundly to "my room" as that which was a safe haven for my secrets. My current relationship with truth has resulted in my not being as guarded with my secrets, I am I suppose, a story-teller, my canvas the blank screen, my palette, words and life's situations and experiences I simply can't relegate the telling to be strictly in black & white there for a more transparent techni-colour narration. Take it from me you don't even have to get wet to go on Surfin' Sarfari (oh I know, read a book about riding a horse versus riding a horse two vastly different realities) can you or will you entertain that these songs speak to so many realms of being that energetically, it's going on! If you really want to surf - then the option is available! I avow to more "Fun Fun Fun" though I don't feel compelled that it involve a T-Bird. Who knows maybe I'll rent sometime but I don't feel inspired to own one.

I was transported back in time to military "Sunset ceremonies" on the lawns of the Legislature buildings or the parade square at the former Royal Roads military college as I listened to a few selections of music performed by various military bands. My dad was a musician in the Naden band he never encouraged - nor did I ever aspire to follow in his footsteps and join the military however the snare drums which he played and the cadence of the music are indelibly etched upon my heart and apparently remain like cryogenic remains just awaiting to illicit a maelstrom of feelings. Even a rendition of the Canadian national anthem evokes a response that I'm sure is a multi-faceted as any other aspect of the psyche - I certainly don't consider myself a "nationalist" or likely wouldn't be easily contained within the accepted definition of "patriotic," yet there is no denying the response to the music.

The next selections were Scottish regiments performing "Auld Lang Syne" and "Amazing Grace" a totally different energy again featured in the style of snare drum they utilize and the pipes are almost other worldly. Well in fact they do hail from parts of the world and places in history that actually are part of my ancestral lineage, though I have largely been "steeped" in another culture, at another time. It defies logic that I should feel this connection given that there has been virtually no time nurturing it and very little time even having any "knowing" of it - just the same at some level, there is significant recognition - that I appreciate profoundly, within a container of mystification.

More than a "trip down memory lane" this musical saga is a goulash of sensations, awareness and will never again be experienced as it was on this occasion. I mentioned cycles as references to the passage of time - whether these are synonymous with trips around the "medicine wheel" - cycles of karma, rings around the fabled "rosie" I can assure you I've "been around the block" maybe that's what was being referenced in "I Get Around" (i.e. "round round get around.... I get around) and if or until the lyrics become "I Don't Get Round Much Anymore" even the seemingly familiar can be potentially experienced newly.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Inner Space - "The Final Frontier"

 A submission to a 30 day writing challenge I am currently participating in the guideline premise suggestion was an "hourly log" tracking exploration of another planet....... this is where I took it

Ominous clouds formed the back drop of our meeting it was as though the elements, the titans and the gods themselves were to be our witness. The intermittent din of thunder and heavenly electrical pyro-technics added an air of awe and mystique to the gathering.
I sat at the fire with my “guide” and listened as he outlined how I was to proceed if I chose to follow through now that this rendezvous of ours had come to be. I knew very little about this man, he is I’m told, a descendant from a lineage of medicine men, his ancestors have made their home in the Andean mountains of Peru. Beyond that I was told for my purposes I wouldn’t require any further information.

As we sat at the fire I watched as he ground various plants and herbs before adding them to a pot he was steeping over the fire. “What is that you are preparing?” I inquired.
This “tea” once it has reached the desired potency, is to provide the vehicle (if you will) which will enable you to embark on the journey you wish to experience."
“How is that even possible, how can tea take me anywhere?” I probed.
“I doubt very much if the answer would be satisfactory to you, all is not as it appears especially to you have been steeped in the western world with it’s proclivity to worship the mind (logic, rational thought and the world as it is experienced through the 5 basic senses). The properties of these plants when blended in the right proportions is very powerful medicine. It can open portals within time and space, as well as within the individual that uses them which in turn makes possible among other things astral travel.”

“You’re right – even having had it explained, I don’t have a clear understanding to say the least.”
“It is not necessary that you understand the mechanism, what is more important is that you are clear about whether you want to do this or not?” “Ambiguity can lead to some rather undesirable outcomes, there is no dishonour in opting out but once you begin there is no turning back!”

“I’m clear, let’s do this thing!” “How will I know where I am going?”
“Your request was to experience another world – beyond that the process is out of your control, their is an innate intelligence in the medicine which invokes powers that will ascertain exactly where you need to travel.”

“Alright then, I can’t say that leaves me feeling overwhelmingly assured but I’m ready………”

With that the medicine man handed me a cup and instructed me to drink the entire contents as quickly as I could. It was the most vile tasting concoction I had ever ingested (and I have been party to some particularly unique home brew beverages) still none even came close to rancid, earthy, putrid liquid that my wretching body threatened to expel as quickly as I was swallowing it.

As i finished the last of this jungle swill my a vortex twisting from inside myself soon spun any sense of perceptual separation into a maelstrom of colour, temperature and sensation. The fire became the rainfall, the lightning didn’t just cast light, it sent surges of energy through my whole being until I entirely lost awareness of that which previously represented my conscious experience of my surroundings.

To say when I awoke would not be accurate as to the best of my knowledge I wasn’t asleep. However once the intensity subsided the next thing I “saw” certainly left me no doubt I was no longer sitting by the fire (even if I was there was nothing familiar with the landscape that was coming into view now.

Hour 1: All that I can see around me is the hue of red ochre like the dirt on Prince Edward Island. Upon the horizon there are dozens of spires consisting of every imaginable geometric shape similar to those in Bryce Canyon. As I begin to walk around I notice the overall temperature to be warm without being oppressive.

Hour 2: I encounter bubbling pools of what looks somewhat like a entire weekend’s donation to the red cross brought to a slow boil. As I am breathing unhindered I presume the atmosphere to be life sustaining.

Hour 3: After continuous walking it is no longer clear if I have traversed any appreciable distance or I’m back where I started from. Some of the surroundings seem familiar however there is unquestionably new territory as well. Closer observation yields the realization that the pathways around this region are labyrinthine in nature.

Hour 4: I ask to myself (obviously not expecting an answer) “I wonder where it is that I am?” much to my surprise I receive an answer. “You will benefit much more from continual exploration – without the your specific location being revealed.” “Suffice to say – though visually you are being given a particular presentation, in truth this is entirely for your benefit.” " The “terrain” is being projected in a fashion that you are able to relate to."

Hour 5: Though the “landscape” is stunning I puzzle over the purpose of my being in this particular location. “How then am I to experience this journey to reap the full benefit of my being here?” “And by the way who am I speaking with?”
“It is good that you asked – we are pleased you are allowing your natural inquisitiveness to be expressed.” “You will do best to feel your way through this journey.” "As for who you’re speaking to – well… let’s just say that all that exists here has an innate consciousness unto itself and you are able to connect directly and experience what you describe as “conversation.”

Hour 6: Feel my way around…. hmm well now, where ever I am, it will be much like trying to converse piece meal with the locals using a phrase book. But wait…… what’s this then? This region “feels” inexplicably joyful – huh, imagine feeling spontaneous joy this is indeed an extraordinary place!

Hour 7: Is it an extraordinary place or are you allowing an extraordinary experience?" pipes up my anonymous roving narrator. Still I could swear of seen this before sometime.

Hour 8: The heaviness. the shear exhaustion. the mood eclipses everything. The darkness all consuming. I cannot possibly bare this alone. If only there was some way to lighten this load. “You could ask….” – “just saying”
“Alright ….. help?”
“It is so ….. let it be done!”
“Oh my God what a relief… I don’t think I could have lasted much longer”
“Oh chances are you could…. it’s been done, some for a life time!”

Hour 9: “It’s that easy?”
“What you mean getting help?”
“Yes” I’ve been convinced that I must struggle on & on & on……."
“well you could….. it’s your choice, however solutions are yours for the asking.”
“But I have…. I’m sure of it……”
“No you don’t ask…… you adhere to your way, as though there is no other possibility.” “You then may declare it’s impossible” “I give up” “I never wanted it anyway” – “none of which is I NEED HELP!”

Hour 10: I discover a series of caves – with the most intriguing reverberation qualities. The deeper I go into the blackness the more cacophonous the sound and I realize the feelings are a mixture all across the emotional spectrum. Impressions form in my mind as phrases are given to correspond with some of the feelings. “I want this more than anything I’ve ever wanted….” “How could they… I trusted with my entire being” “Of course I can do this… failure is not an option” What will I ever do without…….. I never conceived there would be time when they were not….. " “Why did you leave me?” “I am so alone….” “no one cares and no one would understand!”

Hour 11: Having run from the cave I sat catching my breath as a fog descended over me – it was warm and wonderful and it induced in me a feeling that everything was perfectly ok, anything and everything was possible.
“Just so you know what you are experiencing now one might say is the predominant “environmental conditions” of this entire region, however it is subject to what can best be described as “interference.”"

Hour 12: "Transmissions, reception, innovation, guidance ………. so much you rely and revere your technology to communicate and as the source of “information” and yet there exists a vast network so complex that it will never be duplicated by your scientists and you ignore it – though you are now being given the opportunity to see it first hand"

Hour 13: I am shaken from…. wait a minute can you awake from awake? What was all that about advanced communication?

Hour 14: This “place” is endless one pinnacle gives way to valleys so vast they bridge the horizons on to resume at the base of the next summit.
“Forgive me for interrupting your contemplation but do you want the answer to your question regarding communication?”

Hour 15: Strangely there is no fatigue, I have been going for hours? and feel as energized as when I started. “onward, to the next pinnacle” While I’m at it yes, do tell about these communication advancements"
“What you are experiencing as a phenomena – consistently feeling your way as you go is the way of this world and many advanced civilizations throughout the universe.”

Hour 16: As I sit and watch large bodies of crimson lake front pulsing and rhythmically creating geyser-like fountains tossed toward the heavens I feel a consuming sadness while considering this “feeling form of communication.”

Hour 17: The “natural laws” don’t apparently apply here so I can actually walk across the “lake” as I walk (or would that be wade) I ponder: “how is it that the best human kind has been able to muster is so primitive in scope?”

“Ahem….. rhetorical question or …….?”
“No please go ahead …. I really had no imagining that a place such as this could exist, I must admit I am quite shaken with the discovery.”
“To be expected…… when the very fabric you create your reality from is shown to be shall we say, rather porous you can expect to experience “instability.” “You and your kind have not been excluded from what you are realizing is a widely practiced way of being…… it is just that so far you chose not to develop the potentials within each of you.”

Hour 18: No that couldn’t be…… after all if that were true it would be an entirely different world we live in?" "That which is touted as conventions of “human nature” simply are not." "They are well worn paths to be sure….. popularly espoused and in many cases fervently upheld…. even enforced?

Hour 19: “Surely not…. that would mean…… no it can’t be!!” I’m high…. that tea….. has got me trippin’ ….. that’s what it is

Hour 20: Strangely comfortable this place ….. despite the hallucinations cum revelations, for a completely alien environment I feel strangely at home.

Hour 21: "How easily you reduce the experience you are having here to mere “hallucination” now perhaps you might begin to understand how ways of being remain entrenched in your world. It has nothing to do with what is possible, it is what you collectively decide to uphold as “truth.” “You will fight and die to uphold your stories rather than consider the seeds of your potential”

Hour 22: Twenty-two hours since I “arrived” here and I discover I didn’t need to climb the mountains – laws of gravity don’t apply here. “Better late than never?”

Hour 23: "Am I ever to know where I am? It’s nearly time to leave!
“You might consider more important than “where you are” to “who you are” (including who you have been, who you want to be and what you want to realize, while you can of the seeds of your potential.")

Hour 24: The ground beneath my feet turn from solid to a consistency much like day old oatmeal. The surroundings once again swirl and blend like cosmic almond roca. I am absorbed into the vortex all that has been presented to me becomes a quantum martini, when at last I am once again able to focus I am sitting back at the fire. There where I left him was the elder smoking his pipe.

“Now can I finally know what planet, in what galaxy, was it that I traveled to?”
The old man sat back laughing uproariously, blowing smoke rings before he answered. “You really believe you are ready to explore the far reaches of outer space?” “Before you and many like you concern yourself with journeying to other worlds – you might consider exploring a world much closer to home.” "You my friend were a “pioneer” of your own heart" Now there is a world that humanity could explore and discover newly for quite some time to come!"