Archive | May 2014

Posting Issues

“You > your brains > the space around you > your family and friends > society > state > media > so-called world affairs” http://taotechingdecoded.com/01to10/0500b.html

This snippet comes from a weird, little website that I have long found intriguing about the Tao. I don’t really understand it, but I resonate with it.

I like how the article’s emphasis is on taking responsibility for your thoughts.  Thich Nhat Hanh is so right about how an un-peaceful person cannot create peace. Take whatever you think and multiply it by millions of people and you quickly see how an ugly thought pattern can create chaos rippling out in every direction.

I like how Zen is a marriage of Taoism, Buddhism, and Japanese culture. Taoism gives Zen its balanced, holistic nature. Buddhism gives Zen its Bodhisattva generosity, and Japanese culture gives Zen its minimalism (funny how minimalist one can be living with a gazillion others on the same rinky-dink island).

After all, what we see depends on what we have been programmed to see. Put any two people in the same situation and they will walk out with completely different impressions and conclusions. The minute you try to change others in this self-selected version of reality, you will encounter their resistance coming from their own projections.

Harmony comes from taking responsibility for one’s own projections and meeting one’s own needs, not looking for solutions “out there” because there is no “out there.” Those unmet needs are “in here”, come from the past, and can’t be met today because we are foisting them subconsciously upon unsuspecting others. Been there, done that. You end up playing a game with yourself. The solution comes from dealing with the unresolved feelings within yourself. You can play out the situation and complete those incomplete actions (by yourself or with a therapist) because your subconscious doesn’t know the difference between the past and current “reality.”

In a world that continually demands more, Zen/the Tao says, “For what?” What need are you trying to meet? How will having a physical object scratch this psychic itch? Consumerism is endless because it is ultimately pre-defeated. It has no ability to address the needs it claims to fulfill. The argument and its resolution are all within.

I once heard this definition of addiction: creating a fantasy world and then trying to live there. That is consumerism. It is so tempting…and empty.

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“You > your brains > the space around you > your family and friends > society > state > media > so-called world affairs” http://taotechingdecoded.com/01to10/0500b.html

This snippet comes from a weird, little website that I have long found intriguing about the Tao. I don’t really understand it, but I resonate with it.

I like how the article’s emphasis is on taking responsibility for your thoughts.  Thich Nhat Hanh is so right about how an un-peaceful person cannot create peace. Take whatever you think and multiply it by millions of people and you quickly see how an ugly thought pattern can create chaos rippling out in every direction.

I like how Zen is a marriage of Taoism, Buddhism, and Japanese culture. Taoism gives Zen its balanced, holistic nature. Buddhism gives Zen its Bodhisattva generosity, and Japanese culture gives Zen its minimalism (funny how minimalist one can be living with a gazillion others on the same rinky-dink island).

After all, what we see depends on what we have been programmed to see. Put any two people in the same situation and they will walk out with completely different impressions and conclusions. The minute you try to change others in this self-selected version of reality, you will encounter their resistance coming from their own projections.

Harmony comes from taking responsibility for one’s own projections and meeting one’s own needs, not looking for solutions “out there” because there is no “out there.” Those unmet needs are “in here”, come from the past, and can’t be met today because we are foisting them subconsciously upon unsuspecting others. Been there, done that. You end up playing a game with yourself. The solution comes from dealing with the unresolved feelings within yourself. You can play out the situation and complete those incomplete actions (by yourself or with a therapist) because your subconscious doesn’t know the difference between the past and current “reality.”

In a world that continually demands more, Zen/the Tao says, “For what?” What need are you trying to meet? How will having a physical object scratch this psychic itch? Consumerism is endless because it is ultimately pre-defeated. It has no ability to address the needs it claims to fulfill. The argument and its resolution are all within.

I once heard this definition of addiction: creating a fantasy world and then trying to live there. That is consumerism. It is so tempting…and empty.

Commitment to Love

“When we commit to love in our daily life, habits are shattered. We are necessarily working to end domination. Because we no longer are playing by the safe rules of the status quo, rules that if we obey guarantee us a specific outcome, love moves us to a new ground of being. This movement is what most people fear. If we are to galvanize the collective longing for spiritual well-being that is found in the practice of love, we must be more willing to identify the forms that longing will take in daily life.”Toward a Worldwide Culture of Love, bell hooks, Shambhala Sun, July 2006

http://www.shambhalasun.com/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=2940&Itemid=0&limit=1&limitstart=0

 

I am learning the power of love. The idea is interesting that committing to love is not “safe.” What could be less safe than living in a world not committed to love?

As people grow tired of being abused by those in power, I am seeing a letting go of the abusers. People are done arguing or intellectually debating; they’re just not consenting to their own abuse any longer. Those in power look around and panic as they realize they are ruling over fewer and fewer people.

I have stayed in bad situations many times, out of a blue-collar sensibility that “commitment” is necessarily a good thing. After complaining about being treated poorly, some rational friend will always ask me, “Then why do you stay?” At the age of 46, I am finally out of good-sounding answers.

Love must start with oneself. If you can justify abuse against yourself, you will be justifying it against others post-haste. I don’t ever want to be the person that encouraged someone to stay in an abusive situation and then that person is permanently injured or even killed. I don’t want to be the voice saying, “Stay just a little longer…Just a little longer.” Living in an abusive situation makes life not worth living. Been there, done that.

Balance

My friends seek me out for advice, including career advice. I let them know the irony of going to someone unemployed for career advice. “Are you sure you want me to critique your resume?” I ask.

How did my words become so valuable? I’m sure my education has something to do with it, but there are lots of educated people whose advice they do not seek. I believe my words have value due to my education and an even more important factor: I dispense them sparingly.

How do you make something valuable? Ensure its rarity. DeBeers gets it. They go to great lengths to maintain the illusion of diamond scarcity. Diamonds are not rare and they know it. Humans can even manufacture diamonds that the world’s best gemologists cannot distinguish from the natural version.

I have always had a fascination with monasticism (Christian, Buddhist, or otherwise) and the Desert Fathers and Mothers. Lay people sought them out. The same with Roshis. Imagine knowing that the only way you could see so-and-so would be to hang around a particular cactus for a week or two. Or if you saw your guru or roshi every three years for two minutes. You would be examining every nuance of their words and gestures for meaning.

People seek balance and sanity. I know I do. That’s part of why I don’t go to church anymore. GAP (Gays, Abortion, Porn/Politics) sermons are a dime a dozen. Hearing about the same topics all the time makes paying attention extremely difficult. How do you not tune out? I’ve seen congregations obsessed with these issues, which is an indication of an extreme lack of balance. When I would see this, I would know instantly that I had no desire to emulate their actions/attitudes.

I have been learning about Aikido lately. I cannot take classes or do anything that takes me away from Barry for too long, so I am starting real small. I have doing the “Horse Stance” for a few minutes at a time. It’s too soon to tell, but I noticed last evening that I did not have restless leg syndrome. Are the two related? I don’t know, but it would make sense. Using my leg muscles more just might eliminate the need for my legs to release energy through twitching. It’s all about balance: increasing those things I don’t have enough of (exercise) and eliminating things I have too much of.

As I get older, balance becomes more mandatory. Wherever I have been out of balance in the past now kicks my butt. My lifestyle choices now show in my life. Excesses now demand abstinence and the forsaken parts of myself now demand my attention. I couldn’t get people to listen to me when I was younger. Now that I don’t talk as much, people are hunting me down for advice. Balance rules.

Human Evolution

I think (but am not sure) I want to be part of the next phase of human evolution. Everything in my life seems to point in this direction: MBA, obsession with leadership, desire to be part of a solution, systems thinking, and fascination with change. I seem maladapted to any environment I find, which hints that I need to create my own (as opposed to looking for one ready made).

Change is so inevitable, but is accelerating. My desire to understand the Tao comes from its relationship to change. The Tao is about balance and harmony. Who doesn’t want that? I see people/organizations traumatized by change they were not prepared for. Their solution? Pretend the change is not real and question the loyalty of those kooky people (like myself) who are insubordinate enough to say or even imply that the pretenders should change. Seeing the inexorable nature of change, I am only looking for ways to make change less traumatic for us all.

How can I make anything happen when my life isn’t about me right now? I would love to take an aikido class, for example, but that would require too much time away from Barry. I assume I will do so when I escape Michigan.

Change is either occurring too fast for the people in my life or seemingly not at all for me. I get so frustrated. I am in this seemingly endless holding pattern.

I believe this in-between netherworld I reside in is why my emotions are right on the surface, subject to random TV shows triggering them. I got accustomed to a high level of intellectual stimulation in school that I no longer have. I find myself going onto controversial websites just to try to get a reaction from myself, even if it is just to stay awake. That strikes me as lame. I really feel stuck. But I also suspect that, when changes do start to occur for me, like an earthquake, I will move forward very quickly. That level of pent-up pressure is not sustainable and change is inevitable. When the tectonic plates of my life do start to move, watch out! I will need to be very careful at that point. Evolutionarily speaking, this is referred to as “punctuated equilibrium.” I may be part of the next phase of evolution, like it or not.

Dysfunctional Traumatized Energy

Everything is energy. Energy, movement, change, and heat are all the same concept applied differently. Everything is changing, so what’s the problem?

Things get stuck. I am currently reading about trauma. Waking the Tiger by Peter Levine is fascinating. In a world of fight-or-flight, I always freeze. The book is about how animals handle trauma and then release it. This is profoundly interesting because, in my experience, we are all traumatized to some degree. We humans positively suck at releasing trauma. We think our way into PTSD. We short-circuit the automatic emotional release mechanisms that would make us healthy. Unthinking animals simply let go in instinctive ways. We try to think our way into solutions, which is fabulous when we are not traumatized, but completely unsuccessful when threatened on a primitive level.

The energy we do not release wreaks havoc in our lives. Talk therapy only helps a small degree because the intellect isn’t the problem in the first place. The solution needs to be somatic. Thinking about traumatic events seems to only re-traumatize ourselves. I can vouch for that. I’ve had enough therapy to be acutely aware of what talking about a problem can and cannot accomplish. I have lost much of my faith in verbal communication due to its ineffectiveness for resolving deep issues. If talk fixed things, my life would have been perfect a good twenty years ago.

I see people re-enacting dysfunctional behaviors everywhere, all the time, including myself. It looks like we are all just working out our issues on each other. I am tired of watching myself and others go around in circles. There has to be a better way to use my energy. I want to help people and organizations to listen to each other, but how can they, if they are frozen in place with fear? I am looking for answers.

Energy Trauma

Everything is energy. Energy, movement, change, and heat are all the same concept applied differently. Everything is changing, so what’s the problem?

Things get stuck. I am currently reading about trauma. Waking the Tiger by Peter (?) Levine is fascinating. In a world of fight-or-flight, I always freeze. The book is about how animals handle trauma and then release it. This is profoundly interesting because, in my experience, we are all traumatized to some degree. We humans positively suck at releasing trauma. It looks like we think our way into PTSD. We short-circuit the automatic emotional release mechanisms that would make us healthy. Unthinking mammals simply let go in instinctive ways. Our intellects/brains are not equipped to think our way out of being literally scared stiff. We try to think our way into solutions, which is fabulous when we are not traumatized, but completely unsuccessful when threatened on a primitive level.

The energy we do not release wreaks havoc in our lives. Talk therapy only helps a small degree because the intellect isn’t the problem in the first place. The solution needs to be somatic. Thinking about traumatic events seems to only re-traumatize ourselves. I can vouch for that. I’ve had enough therapy to be acutely aware of what talking about a problem can and cannot accomplish. I have lost much of my faith in verbal communication due to its ineffectiveness for resolving deep issues. If talk fixed things, my life would have been perfect a good twenty years ago.

I see people re-enacting dysfunctional behaviors everywhere, all the time, including myself. It looks like we are all just working out our issues on each other. I am tired of watching myself and others go around in circles. There has to be a better way to use my energy. I want to help people and organizations to listen to each other, but how can they, if they are frozen in place with fear? I am looking for answers.