Holding On

What are we holding onto, and why? We’re holding onto a job, a home, any kind of spot we’re comfortable in and think meets our needs… well, we do have a few complaints. Of course, we’re holding on because people don’t like change. But as the saying goes, change is a constant. We can hold on all we like, yet change will raise its inevitable head. We can fight it, but let’s just don’t fight it too hard. We’re really only fighting ourselves.

I’m not talking about persistence or remaining constant to a pursuit. Staying true to an ambition or a possibility…if only…may be a good thing—sometimes. I mean holding on after the fat lady has already sung. Let’s listen to the music, guys. The ref has thrown us out of the game.

 I knew of a spiritual teacher—E. J. Gold—who took his students to Las Vegas to gamble, simply to see how long they could stay in a game and when the table would kick them out. I like to think of many situations in that way, that something overseeing who stays and who goes decides. Now maybe we can do x, y, or z to not get spurned—and those were the keys that E. J.’s students were trying to find.

 They weren’t holding on—they were trying to find a point of reciprocal maintenance, what they might do to feed the mechanism of the game, the spirit of the game, the entity governing the game, to let them stay. But once the game took their winnings, and they were out, they were out. The game was over.

 Maybe being spit out by a gambling game isn’t so serious that we need to hang on with desperation, and maybe we think losing a job, or a husband divorcing us, is something we can’t face—but when the game is over, generally speaking, time marches on, and we must, too.

 If we don’t go with the flow, no matter how terrible events may seem, we mess ourselves up emotionally—maybe we bring an assault rifle to the job and start shooting folks we’re angry at. How well does that end? Or maybe we simply hold a grudge for the next 30 or 40 years. How well does that serve us?

 At the very least we’re missing out on what could come next that might be wonderful. Don’t let’s  turn away from the opening door.

 But why do we take on this way? A lack of trust in both ourselves and the universe. We think the universe isn’t going to be there for us, and that we can’t make our way any further without THIS SPECIFIC thing.

 Look at it this way for a minute. The thing or the person or people who are banishing us from some game we’ve enjoyed briefly (or for years) aren’t what sustain us.

 That which sustains us is what we should look to, the source of our lives.

 Much of the troubles in our personal worlds come from looking to hold on to the wrong thing, looking to hold on to a thing. And humans aren’t meant to hold on to anything because we’re in the midst of life and life flows on.

 Let’s flow on, guys. It might not be easy. Goodness knows getting older, past our prime isn’t easy at all, and yet, people do get older sometimes. Change is always in the air. We can’t hold on because it’s impossible. To try to hold on is a futile bid and waste of energy.

 Let’s look ahead. Let’s experience the now, try to come to terms with whatever has been lost. Let’s not hang on to what no longer is ours. A particular game has come to a finish. Let’s try the other table over there.

 Still peddling my books though. A Murder in Harlem—a collection of my Miriam from Ghana short stories. Five of these were published in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine.


Damaged People

I looked up quotes on perfection, but none of them said what I wanted to express. They all told me that perfection is elusive, but we should seek it anyway. My sense of things at the moment I’m writing this is that we are, right now, absolutely perfect. I’m sorry you don’t think so, because perfection is exactly what we all inherently are. Perfection is what pervades us in every way.

 I’m not exaggerating. You just have to see who we are now, and always, in a spiritual light. Our perfection isn’t what we seem to be; our perfection is the inner essence that can never be changed or removed. But it’s also our entire being, every thought, every cell, every action.

 And yet we will go on in seemingly negative ways, doubting ourselves and condemning others. Though we are alight, as are those we deride, with perfection.

 Take that as the opening quote.

 A dear friend of mine told me she was a damaged person because of her poor psychological layer. She had been deeply hurt as a child, and this wound was also part of her inheritance from dysfunctional family dramas that had preceded her.

 I understand that very well. I, too, appear to myself to have been harmed in those ways by negative, uncaring upbringing, the type of uninformed parenting that was common when I was young.

 We seem to be this and that in some human sense—intensely imperfect. And we will be (not really though) as long as that’s what we emphasize in ourselves, as long as that’s what we keep in mind, look for, and affirm.

 But something else can also be allowed to arise, after much struggle, or spontaneously if we’re supremely lucky. That something else isn’t the erasure of our strange (called it flawed if you like) personalities.

 Study the lives of the saints or the spiritual masters and you’ll find out that oddities abound in the most enlightened beings. Their ideas can be abysmally peculiar, their habits conventional or lame—even their manners nonexistent. Yet they draw masses of people or a few select followers to themselves like iron to a magnet, moth to a flame.

 Those who come to such teachers imagine they must see perfection in the outer shell using eyes that haven’t been re-formed to see more than what’s materially in front of them. The dissonance between what they expect and what they see either leads to lying to themselves or disillusionment.

 And yet, the true saint, the real master, is decidedly perfect inch over inch in every weird notion, oddball act, because he/she has been subsumed by the radiance.

 Step one in getting to our perfection: gazing beyond the commonplace, a discontinuation of recognizing the damaged little self. This is what is generally called getting out of your own way.

 But saying all this is kind of ridiculous because perfection has to be experienced to be validated by each person, one at a time.

 Still, without the idea, the inspiration, we may simply feel that all is lost, which it truly isn’t—that we’re deeply damaged, which we actually are not.

 Transformation isn’t about changing into some vague notion of perfection, about being a saint. The real transformation is the spiritual vision, the understanding to the core of our being that we and everything around us is already sublime.

 Even a momentary vision may help. Someday, the entire world will accept this fact, and that time is coming closer than we think. We’re at a stage before the next upscale of humanity. Don’t you feel we’re on the cusp?

 Be ye therefore perfect. Forget about being a damaged human. Be divine.

 Punctuating a little bit better certainly won’t do you any harm. And the ebook is really inexpensive. https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/120620

A Scorecard From God

If only God would send us scorecards as to how we’re doing, fully marked up with what we need to work on next. That would make our lives pretty clear. Of course we’d complain and argue, and we wouldn’t believe him. “No, really, I didn’t… Really! I didn’t!”

But God doesn’t do that. You think he does, maybe. You think that everything around you is a confirmation of how you’re doing with God. You have a nice house, a husband, kids, a decent job. Or the opposite. You’re broke, broken down, you don’t have anything you want. 

Despite what you’ve heard from certain factions in the positive-thinking camp, these payoffs don’t tell you a thing about how you’re doing with God.

That’s why a scorecard would be nice. But we don’t get one.

 The soul is not only sacred, but it’s pretty well hidden in most ordinary human presentations. We get fragments from within, but much is secret. That’s sort of similar to a seed growing within the soil. We can’t take away the soil to see what’s happening down there, now can we?

 God isn’t like a corporate employer giving six-month reviews. We have to work in the dark and let that sense of needing to do more spur us on. Oh, yes, of course, we sometimes get glimpses that make us hungry to do better than we have. We get both the carrot and the lash. Often difficult times deepen our efforts. We need help. We need to go further, dig deeper, come nearer.

 I had a close friend who worked diligently on her spiritual growth, and she was a person different from anyone I’d ever met. To enter her presence was to become intoxicated by her essence. I mean genuinely intoxicated.

 My friend’s goal was to die in a good state. And I’m sure she did. That was her focus. That was almost the only thing important to her. But she also had a big responsibility in life—her husband, who seemed to have dementia. Perhaps the sole reward she asked for in this world was not to die before him, leaving him without some needed care. That wish was granted.

 God’s presence in her life was obvious, but that doesn’t mean her life was easy. Her life was difficult in her early years as well as toward the end. But in a way she did get her scorecard from God in her absorption in Him.

 And what more might she have actually wanted?

 Transformation happens under the soil. The process is a stealthy one, and we have no idea what’s going on down there.

 As I said, we do get glimpses. And then they fade. We feel as if we don’t have a spiritual bone in our bodies.

 Who we really are is hidden and simply a mystery.

 We keep working on it because we seem to have no choice.

 Have a read of my novel of the lost years of Jesus for about a dollar: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/91472 .