Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Archaic Revival: Evolving through the Survivalist Mentality to the Unity Mentality

For the sake of our own collective survival let us all give our full attention to the following questions:  Is it possible to thrive in this survivalist society, where one most become ambitions and competitive, where one is trying to out do the next person all to secure what they fear they cannot do without?  Or can we begin to feel how much more harmonious and productive we could be, how much more peaceful we could be, if we secured the needs of the community first as opposed to securing what we need as individuals?  I am definitely not talking about communism and I am not talking about any type of government intervention either.

When we, as a human society, come to know what trust is to its highest degree, we will no longer need governments dictating the way society operates.  Essentially the concept of property rights, the imaginary lines we place around each other to separate one another, is an example of how we do not trust each other.  But trust is the backbone to the social evolution needed to create harmony on this planet.  If we trust each other we will develop a society from that trust.

The number of people who want to build a more harmonious society with each other and with the Earth is growing.  But only when the majority of people see that humanity is one organism will we move closer to thriving on this planet.

Observe and question the main stream avenues of social influence.  Observe the main stream media, observe government, observe religion, and observe big business.  Do these institutions disseminate views and objectives that support unity and harmony or do they keep the illusion alive that we, above anything else, are different and separate from each other?

Be observant as to what you watch and listen to, your mind is registering everything, even those things which it can not readily discern.  Be careful to see that maybe the major avenues of social dissemination are subliminally telling you that you are an individual who is not good enough, not pretty enough, not strong enough, and not rich enough to be labeled a "success."  What is a success anyway?  Is something a success when it proves that you are "better" than another person at something?  What was that magazine trying to tell you about beauty and how you relate to it, what is the hollywood star telling you about how wonderful it is to be rich, popular, and influential?  Are these people really better than you?  Better yet, are these people fundamentally different than you?

There is no such thing as "better" only as far as you believe something or someone can be better.  Do you fear you must be better than someone else in order to secure your piece of the pie?  Is there not something fundamentally wrong with this way of life?

How are we to move from the survivalist mentality that has us competing against each other in a race to the bottom of consuming Earth's last resources to a more harmonious society that thrives and allows the Earth to function optimally?

I will leave you with one hint...in nomadic tribes there is no mental illness, rape, or hideous activity.  People depend upon each other because they know that even in their individuality they are a part of a greater functioning organism...the clan...Their individual survival is dependent upon the collection intentions of the group.

Yes, we live alone in our apartments and homes.  Yes, we commute alone.  Yes, we eat alone.  But aren't we just a clan inhabiting this planet?  We are humanity.  And only when we act to bolster and support each other will come to thrive on this planet.  Until then our fearful and individualistic nature will have us consuming the remaining resources of the Earth in pursuit of securing this resource for that country or this resource for that person.  What humanity needs now more than ever is an a archaic revival.  We will thrive upon this planet when we combine the ingenuity of the technological era with the intuitive knowing of the eras past that had us knowing without question...that we are one.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Simple Things

The last six months I have been working in a group home for developmentally disabled adults.  This job has had a tremendous impact on me.  I have been through some very tough challenges.  Yet I have learned so much about life by observing the joy that these folks take in the simple things.  For example, just last night one of my favorite residents waved goodbye and blew a goodnight kiss to the basketball hoop in the backyard.  Despite his inability to walk on his own he nonetheless feels alive and powerful when we shoot hoops together.
I have been working in this house 32 hrs every week.  There are six full time residents in their late twenties to late thirties.  They display a wide range of diagnosis.  Some are severely mentally retarded, some have profound autistic tendencies, and one person, on top of being mentally retarded has the physical limitations that come with having cerebral palsy.

Simply put, these guys, at times of course, are some of the most grateful human beings I have ever come across.  They absorb themselves in the simple things that bring them joy.  While we tend to over complicate our lives with things that usually do not have much importance we tend to miss out on the profoundness that comes with fully enjoying the simple things in life.  I do not attribute their "absorption into the simple things" as being part of their condition, but rather I see it as their innate ability to be fully present in each moment [even if they cannot reflect on the situation the way you or I can]. 

Could you imagine being completely content by staring out the window for hours and hours, watching the cars go by, or by making a basketball shot, or by simply taking a car ride to put gas in the house van?  Believe me, these guys are no angels.  They get in fights with each other, they at times become defiant in response to staff recommendations, and they have me cleaning up things that you would rather me not talk about.  But here me out when I say this; I believe these guys are brave spirits that have walked into this life with these severe limitations to experience a life of profound challenge thus automatically enhancing their rapid self evolution. 

Imagine how much you would grow if you were "forced" to make peace with life if you couldn't even speak normally [even if you knew exactly what was going on around you], or if you couldn't walk without the assistance of a staff member while all that you wanted to do was be an independent and self-sufficient man, or if you had to have someone wipe your butt because you could not do it on your own?

In a bittersweet moment this weekend I gave the house manager my resignation letter.  In 4 weeks I leave New York in search for a new life in Berkeley California.  But now I will take a sense of perspective and gratefulness that I could have only acquired though living with these brave individuals.  Throughout my time working in this house as a direct care counselor I have learned to be grateful for the amazing abilities life has granted me with.  I can see!  I can walk!  I can think!  And oh yes, I can wipe my own butt!  Oh the simple yet profound joy of being able to roam this beautiful world...and to take in the sights and sounds of this amazing life....

Joy is as simple as that; Perceptual absorption, a moment to moment awareness, on the what is that is occurring all around you.  This could be the most joyful and liberating experience any person could ever have.  I have to thank these brave spirits for teaching me this in a whole new light.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Role of Relationship

The reward of any successful relationship is the experience of love, joy, trust and comfort, but the greatest reward is the experience of coming to know yourself in a whole new light.  Think of relationships as reflective mirrors into your own self awareness.

Wether we become aware of it or not, intimate relationships give us the ability to understand ourselves in a deeper way, in a way that accentuates our current self understanding.  But keep in mind: a successful relationship requires a focused attention within and the willingness to be humble during the times that challenge your perspective.

I was having a discussion with my girlfriend about something that reflects this process.  She stated that "each and every person understands and experiences you in a different way, so therefore there no definite version of who you are."  This got me really thinking.  My first thought, a defensive one at that, was that maybe people just do not fully understand who we are and that their different experiences of who we are cannot touch the absoluteness of who we are.  Yet, in the awareness of my reactive defiance I attempted to see that I often become reactive and defensive when my girlfriend's perspective challenges my world view.  This is what I mean that relationships can become mirrors into our own self awareness.

[*All relationships offer this gift, even relationships to non-persons {for everything is in constant relationship}, but I believe that within the context of an intimate relationship the reflective mirror becomes potent, because a successful relationships requires that we become vulnerable to a degree that no other relationship requires.  Thus our emotional body is most highly sensitive within this type of relationship].

As our conversation continued, I wanted hold onto the notion that I already knew myself and that others just could not understand me in the way I know myself.  But then I realized I needed to humble myself with the same type of medicinal perspective that I write about in these posts...

Yes, I may declare to have a solid defined existence within my own self understanding, but can I really know exactly who I am?  Could the very declaration of "knowing who I am" keep me within this definition and thus keep me from experiencing myself in the realm of deep experiential understanding?  Could this declaration of "knowing myself" only stagnate my own personal evolution?

In my humbleness I stated back to her, "maybe you are right, but what is it that unites people in intimate relationship if everyone you know knows you differently and thus could bring you something unique and different?"  She wisely stated, as she always does, that "you stay with that person because they not only push you to become a better you, but you enjoy those aspects of yourself that become illuminated throughout the course of the relationship.  You enjoy the person you grow into with the aid of that partnership."  I smiled, and in that moment I realized that maybe I have been unconsciously holding onto ideas about myself that I have attached to as opposed to letting life evolve through me.

If you do not believe your relationship is pushing you to grow into the person you want to be, into the person you want to come to know and experience, than I suggest you look deeply into this.  What is going on within you and within the relationship that is stagnating your own evolution?  Maybe your own psychological defenses are disabling you and your partner from seeing how the two of you make each other better people.  We all become defensive from time to time.  I know I do this at times.

Maybe we don't have all the answers, maybe we will never know exactly who we are, but maybe there is someone out there who cares to come to know and experience who you are beyond all the ideas you have about yourself.  Maybe there is someone who simply wants to be with you because of how you make them feel, not because of "who you are" [who you think you are].   If you are currently with someone who pushes you to become a better person, who pushes you to go beyond your fears, and who feels and appreciates the greatness that you are [and are perpetually evolving into], be bold, and tell them you love them...if you don't feel love this person, I suggest you look within.  Something may be blocking you from feeling this love, the love that is inherently there.

We need to be humble to realize how another makes us better because in this understanding we need to see ourselves for what we really are...as a person that still needs to evolve...  This is the path of life.  Realize that any defensiveness that may arise does so because we unconsciously believe that there is nothing about us that needs to change.  Remember, the path is all about changing and evolving. This is how nature works, and you my friend, are as natural and pristine as mother nature herself.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Desiring Something New

There comes a time in one's life when the same patterns of your life simply make you feel dull.  A feeling brews within you that seems to drag on and everyday seems to be as repetitive as the last.  The cast and crew of your life revolves, but the feeling within you stays the same.  The same struggles, the same strife, the same internal response.  Do you yearn to be free from the monotony of every day living?

You may want to escape into some new endeavor.  Yet, regardless of what you are doing on the outside of your life you can truly never run away from yourself.  No matter where you are you will always be here, within yourself.  The feeling of you will always sit within you.

Although I believe that a new relationship, a new location, a new job, or a new hobby could reinvigorate life, the same sense of dullness becomes of us when our new endeavors become ritualistic.  So then how do we create our lives without the need to appease compulsory ritual?  For me, even writing this blog at times becomes ritualistic and dull.   So I must look within, I must challenge myself...how do I write new material if I myself do not become "new?"  The artist, the musician, the  homemaker, the builder, etc., only come to reinvent their work, their creations, when they themselves change on the inside.

Do you want to live day after day distracting yourself from that dull feeling within that screams..."I need something different!?"

It seems that there must come a time when you must seek something extraordinarily new.  To reinvigorate your life you must challenge yourself.  The challenge is beneficial to you because it teaches you to expand the boundaries of who you thought you were and what you thought you could handle.  This challenge does not require that you change something about your life, but it asks that you change the way you relate to yourself and to the things you do in relation to this inner feeling of who you are.

Doing something new may indeed force you to grow and reinvent yourself...but watch that these new endeavors do not become your escapes.  Identifying yourself within one particular change will keep you stuck in that change and block you from knowing more about yourself [the act of evolving]. Ground yourself in knowing that life presents you with opportunities to grow and that these growth periods happen within cycles. You will know when a cycle is complete, but it is up to you to intend for something that builds on these cycles as opposed to identifying with the changes that occur within that cycle.

A refreshing internal awakening comes about by pushing ourselves into something new, something that builds upon the foundations of who you are and who you continue to become.  Life is a perpetual practice of becoming...within the cycles we become, we grow, and we come to know and feel this growth.  So to finnish a particular life cycle we challenge ourselves by letting go of what we became and we consciously move into something new.  This is the art of living in the now.  Flowing...

Of course life from time to time can feel boring.  This is only natural.  But take time to reflect on this.  Seek what it is that is making you feel stagnant.  This is your inner self saying that a change is necessary, but do not force this change, allow it to flow into your life naturally.  Patience helps it all develop.  Look for the signs and signals that direct you to the next step along the path...

If you feel your life lacks purpose then question that possibility that the reason is your intentions are not pushing you to evolve.   How do you choose to live?  It is the toughest question anyone could impose upon themselves. Personal evolution is a subjective experience so I cannot tell you how you can change or what you should do.  What I can say though is that if you feel dullness, if you feel stagnant, it is time to do something about it.

Before you go on and make changes on the outside of your life seek what it is within you that desires change.  Sit with it.  Be patient.  Make changes with the awareness of knowing that you desire to experience a new aspect of yourself.  Consciously direct this.  This will enable you to come across something truly new and exciting.  This is how you move into deeper elements of who you are.

I am not going to sit here and profess how exciting and invigorating my life is, it is boring at times just like yours, maybe more so now than ever.  But what I will attempt to do for myself now in this moment of restlessness is attempt to become still and to let new intentions come into me as opposed to forcing it.

If you are feeling restless, bored, and the rest of it...give yourself space to be still and to become aware of what it is that is brewing within you.  Move towards whatever feels light and right.  Discover clarity through sensation.  Bodily awareness is a source of knowledge and insight in and of itself.  Could understanding yourself through your body evolve how you live within your environment?  Could understanding yourself this way direct you into something new?  Would you change your approach to life?

This is your journey and only you will both direct and witness as to how your life proceeds....But why not go forth with the yearning to know what it is that you want at the deepest level of your soul.  Why not move into that...