Monday, 27 June 2011

Nature

Bolivia is about to pass a law through Congress recognising Mother Earth rights. The law also gives all living things the same rights as human beings have. The law's main goal is to find other ways for economic and social development while being environmental friendly while assuring the possibilities for life regeneration, pure air and water and avoid artificial genetic modification. It is a law similar to the changes made in Ecuador in 2008 where nature has the right to regenerate according to its vital cycles in the process of evolution.
How are these two countries going to deal with pressure from the international mining industry, the banking and financial sector (you know all those nice guys), and international investment will be interesting to see. Very likely both countries will be labelled as out dated socialist idealist or simply as a very risky country to invest (and exploit their natural resources). The first manoeuvre to choke their economies. The banks that had to be rescue by what can be describe as the average citizen, will try to make their way understood (or imposed) on those “third world countries” (euphemism that has substituted the tag of “underdeveloped countries”), even though they make great amount of money from precisely the fact that there are third world countries.
Both Bolivia and Ecuador have a large native indian population that has never been part or benefited from main stream economic thought and practices. Now, based on their traditional believes they are trying to give Mother Earth the opportunity other “advanced systems” have not.
Two different world views facing one another with their different ideas of what development and evolution should be.
At the core we have two different ideas of the humanity and its relationship with nature. One sees nature as sacred, and alive. It should change according to its natural laws and human beings should protect nature from the abuse it has gone through. The other sees natural resources as something to be used by humanity. The best of them care and acknowledge some responsibility too. On the extreme are those that believe that at the end, the market will balance it all out. For example; by buying carbon emission rights from countries that don't reach the CO2 emission quota.

Regardless of the many ecological, economical, social or political debates that may arise from these issues, it would be of benefit to consider what is our personal relationship with nature. Are resources there to be used, abused or protected at any cost?
Are we as human beings' something different, even alien to nature and Mother Earth? The question is not naïve. Recently a TV documentary showed how the majority of kids in kindergarten believed that milk came from the refrigerator. Well, that is totally natural and right, if we consider that a large number of city dwelling toddlers have never seen a cow, much less have experienced the milking process. Of course they know cows exist but that doesn't mean they know that they are milked. From their experience, milk comes from the fridge.
Following that line of thought: what is our relationship with nature?
The answer will depend on our experiences, knowledge and awareness. According to them, natural resources are to be used (even abused), or they could be sacred and have the same rights as human beings do. We know that in some countries due to their traditions, cows can be holier than girls.
So again, what is our personal relationship with nature? are we alien to it or part of it?
Maybe when we consider that there is no difference between nature and human beings, for we are also nature, and that fossil fuel, minerals, vegetables, forest, animals and people have a specific role to play will give us a more balance outlook. Responsibility goes hand in hand with awareness and a good conscious.
Time to be aware, responsible, to have a good conscious and to enjoy what we really are: nature.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Summer Solstice and the Eclipse

The longest day of the year is here. It is not only the beginning of Summer, a season for joy, fun and some more sun light (always welcome). This is also a time for reviewing our the first half of the year. This Solstice is also the messenger of the eclipse that is just days away!

In many ancient traditions the Summer solstice was a turning point, after it the days began their slow motion to become shorter. Darkness will be a little more present every coming day from the Summer solstice on. A time of maturity and a symbol of death. Death not necessary as destruction and extinction, but of the old that is fading to give way to the new. (Just as the Winter solstice occurring in the shorter and darker day of the year is a time to celebrate the slow coming of longer days where light would promote life).

The skies are full of energy and the time is right to have fun and view our lives with humour. We need true healthy laughter that allows us to acknowledge that our shortcomings are of no importance they just give us our particular colouring and a gentle lesson to be learned.

Also this is a good time for renewal. A time to be selective. A time to leave behind what hinders and burdens us. Ghost form the past, fears, emotional and mental patterns that keep us stagnant may melt in the Summer sun with the energy provided by the eclipse!

New opportunities are there for everyone. Think of what you need to do, and what the Universe is offering you. Release what needs to be left behind and search for inner light to create and recognise what we really are and can do for ourselves and others. So, get your sun shades, smile, and look at the horizon to see what is coming ahead and what options are shining in the dim light of the eclipse in a Summer afternoon. At least, take the time to show your love to all those that you love. What you put into life will come back to you!

Cheers.

P.S. I'm going to put some sunscreen on the dragon. Big job ahead of me!

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Healer Heal Thy Self

I have recently  read two books by Stephanie Sorrell: “Nature as Mirror” and “Depression as a Spiritual Journey”. Both are highly recommended and I am glad I have discovered such clear easy to read books on complex issues. Stephanie, in my opinion, is a great author because she has that rare ability to communicate the complex in a simple manner.
On reflecting upon her books I found myself agree with something she points out, (probably said or worded different to what I am saying, but the idea is the same).

Healer, Heal thy Self! This statement has always caught my mind. There was something in it that made me uncomfortable, but I never could pin point what it was. Now, I have a better understanding of what the statement was trying to tell me and that I did not understand before.

First of all, there is an acknowledgement that the healer, whom ever it could be (aren't we all healers in a sense too?), is not fully healed. The healer has an illness, a dis-ease. The statement tells him to take care of himself (or herself) first. That is sound advice. Nevertheless, the statement is said in a way that implies that the healer should take care of him/herself before trying to heal someone else. It is as if saying: healer mind your own business and leave me alone! There, that brings us to the core of the problem. Why should the healer heal himself first in order to be of help to somebody else? Come on, are we expecting perfection as a pre requisite? If so, it would be a long useless wait. As a matter of fact, I much rather deal with a healer that has the same or similar ailment as mine. The possibility of empathy is greater. We may meet in common ground, one we both have experience of. (Not saying that having the same experience is a must and all other possibilities are ruled out).

The problem is not really with the healers perfect state of health, but on how he/she lives and understands his/her ailment, the dis-ease. Do we feel the dis-ease is something that should be avoided at all cost? That it is a useless experience that we don't deserve? We just stand there shouting: Go away! Or asking: why me? If we expect the healer to move his/her magic wand and make the illness disappear we are in for a surprise. We don't need a healer then, but a miracle worker, and there are few of those.

I believe that a true healer is one that allows us to understand the reason for our dis-ease and accompanies, guides us, or helps us go through the experience and lesson(s) that the dis-ease is all about. The true healer may not do away with the dis-ease, but could very well help us find a sense of purpose to it. The healer may just walk or stand by us, non judgemental, trusting and thus being there with us and for us. No minor deed.

The healer could not be healed him/herself, but has the ability to see, to live, to understand and give purpose to his/hers dis-ease. Maybe the ailment won't go away, probably it isn't meant to. Probably there is nothing in his power to heal his/herself in the sense of getting rid of the dis-ease, of making it go away. Probably that is not in his power not needed to be. So, why would we expect for him to do unto us what he can not do upon his/herself?

In my understanding, a true healer is one that can help us see the light in the hours of darkness. One that can go down with us to the bottom of the pit and stay there with us. A companion on the journey, one that maybe can show us some of the milestones along the road that we would have missed if he/she wasn't there to point them.

It is not necessary to demand of the healer to first heal him/herself and be healthy and whole before we may profit from his experience for the enrichment of ours. I would just expect of a healer to be able to see and live thorough his wounds and ailments. To be a companion and a journey buddy, to the best of his/her abilities.

We all can and are healers in different ways and at different times. We should act as such and not wait for all our dis-eases to be done and away with before turning a helping hand full of understanding to those we may be of help. Maybe then, the healer will start to heal him/herself.

P.S. A friend recently pointed out to me: health has nothing to do with heart rate, fat percentage, or lung capacity, but with living according to our soul purpose.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Some More on Self Forgetfulness

Self forgetfulness does not come from the mind or the heart, it is achieved from the soul when unity is experienced.
It could be called “the esoteric vision”.
Mind and heart separate. They create subjectivity, objectivity and the relationship between subject and object. There is the subjective mind considering something; its object and the relationship between the object considered and the mind. The same happens with the heart. The heart loves a loved “object” and there is the relationship between the heart and the loved “object”. There fore unity is not achieved, we are dealing with a triad. The mind or heart create this triad and therefore the self is part of it, the creator of it. So, self forgetfulness is not possible, we are involved in the knowing or loving process.
The soul is a unit. Only when we live or view things from the soul is that unity is possible thus leaving the self out of the equation subjectivity-objectivity and engulfing all in one single reality. Therefore the separate self is non existent, so it may be “forgotten”.
When living or acting from the soul service or union with fellow men or with all there is may be achieved at another level. It is a different experience. There is oneness, a union of the soul with what there is, it is one and the same. This is life from the soul. It has to be experienced, not understood or felt.
All that said, service and union with fellow men or with any other thing may be experienced from the heart or mind, and that is fine. We usually experience life from the mind or the heart. Nothing wrong with doing so, but it is a different experience of the phenomena or the appearances and it is harder to penetrate into the real energy of forces that make reality. We work or live or experience form a specific point of view. This makes the experience partial, limited. When we have the same experience from the soul we are doing so from a higher reality that allows for unity. It is the difference of doing something for somebody because we think that is adequate and we want to, even if there is an effort involved, or doing the same thing with a greater understanding and with out the self getting in the way with its ideas of what should be done, its doubts, and its emotions. 
Working, experiencing, of living from the mind or heart has a different quality to the work, experience of life that comes from the soul. 
We all have had such experiences when we do something because it has to be done, because it is needed, because it is good,.... but it is an effort and only compromises part of us. A different experience to that of when we do something were we forget ourselves because we are so involved in what we are doing: listening to music or a conversation, reading, cooking, or connecting with other (person or any other reality) where we are totally absorbed by it loosing consciousness of time and space, of the self. A much richer, deeper experience. The we have some glimpse of what experiencing reality from the soul means and how much easier it is to achieve self forgetfulness.
Yes, as Robert commented on one of his posts; “self is a big word”. Indeed, it is a big reality and much has to be thought about it before we may consciously forget the self. The work is cut out for us. 

On another issue. I am trying a come back at writing. Short stories at the time. Hope they come from the soul. Let's see where the experience goes. 

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Self-forgetfulness

On a first analysis it seems that we are in front of a concept, a way of life, or a guide line to lead a better and richer life. At least from the spiritual point of view.

1) Forget yourself  (in order to serve and grow)

Self forgetfulness is a beguiling concept. No doubt it has a powerful influence on the emotional or mystical side. It could be something like this: If we only could forget ourselves we could be so generous, so self less, and thus live a richer spiritual life. There are even tons and tons of quotations and spiritual instructions that convey this idea. For instance: He who gives his life for me will have eternal life.
There is no question that this approach is right and it does set us in a path for spiritual development and growth. That is a fact.
Yet, it is only part of the truth, and only one way to walk the spiritual path. It has a powerful meaning, but it is geared to the emotional plane and probably the lower mind. When forgetfulness is taken on board from these two planes of knowledge it may be very appealing and at times, appalling. It may rise doubts and steer us into a “grey area” that we may believe it is right for there is so much in the mystic realm that we can not understand, so, if we can not understand, we often believe we are the ones with the short coming and we are the ones that need to grow and learn. True, but also misleading. Not all grey areas have a mystical side to them. They are not necessarily due to our incapacity to grasp reality and truth.
We all need to evolve and we all learn along the way, and things that were dark or grey become clear and illuminated. That is also a fact of life. But we can not confused and think of these two facts as one and the same.
We may be facing a particular kind of mystical experience were things are not fully understood, but not because we are in front of a bigger truth that we can not (yet) grasp. We may just be confused and in the middle of an illusion: Nothing more.
Self-forgetfulness may be one of these confusing illusions. While it is wise not to be egoistic and self centred. While true development comes from sacrifice (another word that needs analysis for it should be removed from the emotional plane of suffering and self neglect), and group consciousness, self-forgetfulness may have nothing to do with our spiritual growth and proper actions.
Self-forgetfulness is a truth that is worthwhile consideration from an emotional and lower mind outlook. It is there to prevent us from being egoistic and self centred. It opens us up to a different consideration of reality and our interaction with it and specially with fellow men. From that point of view, it is a very useful concept and guide line. It is a call for inclusive considerations and life endeavour.

2) Be Yourself! (don't forget it)

Nevertheless, if we consider Self-forgetfulness from a different perspective, it may seem pointless and an illusion. When we view reality form a different level, there is no real separateness between ourselves and “the rest”: the world, fellow men, plants, atoms,... We perceive that we are all One, regardless of the apparent differences. The self is no different than “the rest”. Therefore, there can be no real self-forgetfulness for, what are we going to “forget”? From an inclusive and uniting point of view all is one, all is unity. The self then has a different consideration, we are talking about a different entity and therefore it has a reality that may not be forsaken. This real self should be very present and we should remind ourselves of its existence, even endeavour to become one with it: Be yourself! So it doesn’t make sense to forget the self.
It may seem as a riddle, but it is not. It has to do with the level from which we consider what the self is and thus the need or not to forget it, to neglect it, to overcome it. When the self is an illusion, (mostly when it is consider form the emotional or lower mind plane), then we should forget about it in order to evolve. When the self is consider from another perspective and is view as unity, (as the uniting factor or quality), then we can not forget or dispose of this self. Only through this self better understanding and action may occur. We are ourselves, and to recognise this truth and live accordingly is one of the signs of spiritual growth and evolution.

In Summary:
a) Self-forgetfulness is a good guide line when considered from a purely emotional, lower mind perspective that gives way to separateness. The illusion that causes the separateness to appear as real has to go; the self has to be forgotten and place under soul guidance.
b) If we envision the self from a different perspective from where it reveals the unity of things and thus avoids separateness and illusion, that self should be sought. It is the real self. The self were true light, love and life emanate. We must not forget it!

PS. Could the same be said of desire?

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