Wednesday, 20 July 2011

JOURNEY TO HELL


I've been to hell.
Not the biggest news you will come across today. If you think about it, I am sure you have made the journey to hell (and back) many times too. You know what I'm talking about.

Yes, I have been to hell, but what is relevant about it is that I came back from it (or I am doing so). Hell has no burning flames and hot fire. Who ever imagined it like that is wrong, hasn’t been there. Hell is a dark, cold place. There you are mostly surrounded by loneliness. Reality as we usually know it disappears and instead we find a deep dark grey fog that presses down and suffocates us. We are left to our own devises. Sooner or later we learn that fighting the sense of loneliness and revelling against the dark grey fog is futile. A tiresome effort that leads nowhere. During the experience I have always been able to find a very deep and hidden “light” that lets me know I will overcome this journey. A sense of “everything will be all right” manages to shyly shine regardless of the suffocation and dark fog. It may not be present all the time, but then and again, its glows, like a distant candle light bringing the ability to accept and endure. It is thorough acceptance and observation that things begin to change in our hell journey. It may take time, but things do start to evolve.

Hell's fire is not of burning flames, if so, we would quickly reach liberation by becoming smoke. No, the fire in hell is a destructing energy. It acts slowly and often fills us with fear. The fire doesn't stop until it leaves us totally naked and exposed. Vulnerable. Reduced to our minimum.
It is from that point that reconstruction may begin. The fire
has taken away what was in our way and places us in a state that allows us to recognise what we truly are and thus, sets us free to restart a new self to begin a new journey. It is then when we start to return from hell.
So viewed, hell is not a punishment. Questions like: What is this happening to me?, are meaningless. Hell is about purification and renewal. It only hurts and freights because we fear the loss of what we thought we were, or had. We are placed in a situation from which we can learn what we really are and find new paths and destinies. When hell is overcome we gain a new vision, a new beginning, a new future.

The journey to hell is an individual journey, nobody can do it for us, for nobody can live our life. Yet, we don't travel and go through it alone. There are friends, relatives and maybe other entities that are witness and at times journey mates. We may be to busy and immerse in our journey as to notice them, but they are there, doing their share. Has to be so, for even if our life is our own, we don't live merely for ourselves. Life has a deeper meaning, it goes beyond ourselves. Life, to be purposeful has to be a shared endeavour. My life is mine and for others. No contradiction in that statement.
The journey to hell is a lesson, an opportunity for renewal and the building of a better today and tomorrow. That is good news, probably the best news we may come across in a long time.


Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Being Economical with the Truth

We may all be economical with the truth sometimes and that is understandable. Because there is people that we like to keep at a distance of 15 meters, other at 5 meters, and some other at a meter or even closer. There are people that we are comfortable to be around and up close and others that we rather keep at a distance. The way we deal with each kind of person is different according to where they are placed in my example of the meter distance.
So, I understand that we may be economical with the truth with people that we don't trust or know. Nobody will treat a drunken stranger in a pub the same way we treat a close friend when we are talking one on one in peace and tranquillity. Therefore, the way we handle the truth with the stranger in a pub or with a close friend is different. I am not dealing here with people that are strangers or that are beyond the 1 meter comfort zone. I am talking about the relationship we have with people we are close with.
I don't believe in truth economy among close friends or more so among partners/lovers. There is no such thing as a “white lie” that is admissible. No matter how or what we want to call it, it is still a lie. Why would we want to lie to a close friend or partner? What do we fear or what are we trying to avoid? The most common answer is that we are doing so in order to “protect them”. Really? How patronising. Protect them from what? The truth? Now, do we believe that the truth will set us free or not? Because if we do, why do we protect or love ones; friend or partner from it?
It sound to me as an excuse and what we are really protecting is ourself. We are the ones that are not willing to deal with the truth and its consequences therefore we give it a glossy coat that we can live with and say that we are protecting our friend or lover. Bullocks! If we can not be truthful with the people we say we trust and love something is wrong here. More than likely, the wrong is in ourself, regardless of the excuses we may put across to avoid the responsibility of being truthful.

Of course the truth should be handle with the same care we have for friends and loved ones. Being truthful does not mean a licence to be blunt, rude, or brutal. Quite the contrary, the truth must be spoken with kind words and understanding. With empathy.
Suppose your partner asks you if they are a good lover, and you lie, you even fake things in intimacy. Then you come and say that you do so to protect them, not to hurt their self esteem. There is something wrong here and it should be obvious. Any one may have a bad day, anyone may not be the best lover or the best cook, but the truth could be say in a caring loving way. It always can. The problem is that if our partner is a bad lover (or a bad cook) and we tell him/her so, we also have to stretch out our hand and heart and help them become a better one. It takes two to tango. There is commitment (scary word to many) and responsibility that flow from love. Telling the true involves us too. Bingo! That is what we are protecting ourselves from! It is when we want to avoid or dodge this involvement and still live with ourself that we come across with the excuse that we are “protecting” the other. How kind and honest is that. How good we are, how easy has live become. For us. Forging our friendship or love seems to be a small, convenient price to pay.
Now, isn't this building on shaky ground? How strong would the relationship feel to a friend or partner if they know that we tell little white lies to protect them? Or when we just can't be bothered? Most will feel as if standing on quick sand.

This worries me. We know that the truth is often a scarce resource. We all dream with a world where people would be true. It would be such a better place. We would like to know that others will not deceive us, will not lie to us, specially those very close to us. That more than protection if needed, we would appreciate help, commitment, support. That regardless of what the truth may be, our friends and partners will be there, standing by us, being true friends. That is what we want, and we get hurt if friends or partners don't act that way, we don't want to white merciful lies, we are with them because we believe they care enough to be truthful.
I firmly think that society will improve according to the quality of the relationships that are established among people. (and with nature). It is within the quality of relationships where many answers are. We have to work and build these quality relationships. But the panorama looks grim if we endeavour to do this and still maintain that pretending or telling little white lies when it is convenient (for us), is admissible. It isn't.
Buddhism talks about right speech, Jesus said that the truth will set us free. They both knew that the truth can demand from us action and involvement, precisely why we sometimes avoid saying the truth.
Like Michael Jackson sang: “If you wanna make the world
a better place, take a look at yourself, and then make a change.”
Enough said. Now I'm going to look in the mirror.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Inclusive Creations and Collaboration

Now that the eclipse is over and the New Moon is beginning to shyly glow above the horizon we are in the thresh hold of bright new ways and ideas.

The eclipse and the waning moon gave away energies that allowed for us to release the past, to do away with all the ballast that could condition the way we viewed ourself and the paths we thought open. Now, since the release of those past patterns of thought and behaviour we may become aware of the opportunities to create a better, freer self that has many new paths to take.
The eclipse and moon energies are still there and their influence will continue to be present for a long time. Awareness of this process is there, if we only take time to look inwards and listen to our deeper self.

With such energies, a new initiative has been born. The idea behind it is to help artists and creators of all walks of life to have a “space”, a site to display their art, and ideas. A showcase open to everyone. A place or site where creativity may find ways to grow and flourish. There is nothing exclusive about it, the idea is to make it as inclusive as possible. With such goals www.creativecollaborators.co.uk was recently born. A group of artists from the textile, painting, photography, poetry and literature launched the web page and welcome you to enjoy their work, share your thoughts, or become a member if you wish too.

The Dragon whispered some ideas to me and thus a short story has been my first collaboration with the site. I'm glad to be there, in cyberspace, surrounded by such talented artists and creators. A good place to be due to the positive energies and collective impulse behind the site that has come about at the right time.

So come and visit, share, and enjoy, for life is a lovely creative process!

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