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!"