Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What is love?

I use the concept of “Love” a lot in my thoughts, equating it with All-That-Is, but I don’t know if many people share my definition of Love.  When I mean Love, I mean experiencing unconditional acceptance of that being, be it a person, a planet, a star, a universe—yourself. 

I mean fearless, open, free expression and joy that is ever-new because the Now presents the one constant within Time: Change.  Each moment is a fresh opportunity in which to Be, and nothing is ever exactly the same.  There is movement, constant movement, and where there is no movement, there is Nothing.

When there is no fear, this is where Love dwells.  And because that which exists can neither be created nor destroyed, there is nothing to fear.  The difference between fear and Love often is simply knowing.  When I am afraid, I remind myself that it is because I have forgotten what I am, and that is not the face I wear or the feelings I experience or the thoughts I think I think.  What I am is at once Experiencer and Experienced, and yet I am neither of these things because there is no true distinction between Self and Other. 

Quantum entanglement is a property of matter in which particles that were once close to one another share simultaneous reactions even if they are moved far apart.  If we believe in the Big Bang, all particles are entangled.  If we believe they are arising from a Unified Field, then we are literally One thing, pinches in the fabric of space-time.  This is why fear is so detrimental to us.  It traces lines of imagined separation between us when in reality we are a unified whole, perfectly balanced, lacking nothing.  What we fear are literally illusions, because we are a single, dancing That-Which-Is.

When we say, in bliss, “nothing matters,” it is not a expression of despair and the sense that the self can do nothing.  It is a statement of recognition that regardless of what appears to happen in this world, the Self remains unfettered and unconditionally accepting, looking upon everything as perfect expressions of That-Which-Is.  We only see things as imperfect when we see something as other than What-It-Is.  If a plate is broken, we see it as flawed because we are thinking of it as a plate rather than a broken plate, of which it is a perfect expression.

I once saw that Love meant never saying “no.”  This is not a statement made from a state of mind in which one saw its Self or any other Self with anything to lose, with the possibility of damage or end.  This was said knowing that while the particles that compose the rock are moving about, vibrating, never the same, the rock remained the same from the outside.  Outside of time, looking at the great sea of all possibilities of That-Which-Is, Ever Was, and Ever Could Be, there is the awareness that Change is also an illusion, because the foundation upon which all motion occurs is fundamentally unaltered.  From that perspective, there is no reason to ever say “no,” because everything is just as preferable as nothing else, and it ultimately has no effect on the self. This frees us to unconditionally accept and treasure each experience as a sacred one, whether the self watches itself experience great joy or great agony.

We often seek things that are actually side effects.  We seek true love, but often don’t know how to make ourselves truly loving.  If limitation is ever sought to be placed on another being, we fall short of being truly loving.  We often mourn our losses and experience deep emotional pain as a result of our expectation’s failure to be met.  Here is another part of love:  unattachment. This is different from detachment.  If love is dependent upon the meeting of your expectations, it is not unconditional, not free.  If we experience separation from those we love, it is due to our lack of awareness of our unity.  This doesn’t have anything to do with some separate God somewhere out there.  The only Divinity you will ever know is the Self within, the Self we misappropriate thoughts and feelings to, personalities and forms.  The Self and All-That-Is are One Perfect Be-ing, unlimited, eternal, infinite.

Why is nudity considered sexual?

I have finally figured out why it is strange to me that nudity is considered sexually arousing! Finally!

All right. Imagine a society where everyone is entirely naked all of the time. People never wear clothes except maybe if they want some protection from the environment or something, or if it gets a little chilly, throw a blanket on or something. In this sort of place, people aren’t going to make a big deal out of seeing some breasts or pubic hair, because they’d be constantly surrounded by them, and kids aren’t going to be tittering among one another that “boys have penises and girls have vaginas.”

It is precisely because we have been taught that our bodies and sexualities are shameful and sinful and that they should be hidden when one is past a certain age, that we have strip clubs and issues of People magazine where the best and worst bodies of 2008 are showcased. Fear and rejection have caused dysfunction to an enormous degree, but we are so used to it we think of the customs of our culture as being just fine. Imagine explaining the purpose of a strip joint to someone from a place where the women rarely wear anything but something to hold their hair back. Chances are, they will see such an establishment as ridiculous.

Now imagine this culture without mirrors, where a person doesn’t think about his or herself in terms of a face or a form but instead as a heart and mind, of one who loves and is loved, one who does things and is things that have nothing to do with the shape of one’s features or the clothing one wears. Would these people define themselves more by their interactions with others than by the clothing style one prefers?

We are a culture obsessed with appearances because we have been taught to hide so much. And when we do reveal ourselves, we hope and pray that it’s good enough for the other person to accept, where, in a culture that hides little, certainly not one’s natural form, we are already accepted and desired just as we are—body, mind, heart, whatever.

So many of us think small tribes halfway around the world are backwards and primitive when it is we who pass great immaturity on from generation to generation and do such damage to each other we spend large portions of our lives trying to undo what we learned as children as we grow into an uncomfortable adulthood. Does this make sense? Does this work well for us?

Why should we spend so much of our time trying to appear superficially attractive? Do we really want people to be superficially attracted to us? Why are we so busy trying to hide ourselves from one another? Why are we still clinging to customs that not only do not serve us but damage our psyches? Are we, who have been made to feel inadequate, less worthy or rejected by our society’scustoms going to continue to promulgate (holy crap that’s a word. It’s even the RIGHT word!) these entirely fictitious “truths” onto ourselves and others? Are we going to enforce the separations that keep us from experiencing great intimacy when that deep connection is what we really crave deep down beneath it all?

When we continue what we have been given, we are merely replicating, not creating. When we are given the answers to our questions, we cease to seek and find and grow as a result. Machines replicate with the information they are given. Only life can expand its former boundaries and extend into unexplored expressions of itself.

I’m not saying we should all become nudists or anything of the sort. It usually doesn’t work well to compensate for one thing by going to the opposite extreme. When I behold a human form without cloth draped about it, male or female, I do admire its shape, I do admire the flow of lines and the unique symmetries or asymmetries—the human form is pleasing to whatever aesthetic we have instilled within our senses. But I do not imagine that by this show of skin I have gained intimacy, and the person has not become objectified or sexualized in my imaginings because it’s not the body I wish to experience connection with.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Study of discontentment

Today, it’s time for an inner questioning exercise. This is something I do, usually just in my head, any time I catch myself experiencing a situation of my own creation that is not serving my highest goals.

Through the repeated processes of examination, I have taught myself how to consciously control my emotional reactions to all manner of unpleasantness. It’s easier to do with pleasurable emotions, because one thought can deflate jubilation. This is how I figured out how to control emotion in the first place. This, misused, can lead to suppression, so it’s important to really reflect upon yourself honestly. No one else can do inner work for you.

I’ve been feeling rather discontent lately, and, because discontentment is something I would consider stemming from ignorance of the perfection, I’ll work through the feeling until I understand it. So, why do I feel discontent?

The most basic answer to this is usually going to be because I feel separated from All-That-Is, cut off from Divine glory. I have been oscillating between feeling pleased and loving to feeling out of sorts and rather blah. This is because my preferences are being intruded upon, which is pretty rare, since I tend to be lacking in the preference department.

1. I feel like I don’t have enough time to do what I want to do.

I got a job a couple weeks ago after about nine months of unemployment, which was good, because I had about three dollars left in my bank account and I was temporarily deferred from plasma donating because my protein count was too low. I was unable to pay all of my bills by myself, but my mom and my roommate helped me out. While having enough money to pay for everything now is awesome, it creates a time, attention and energy suck that leaves me having to stay up late to write and get up without feeling fully rested, which isn’t good for remembering dreams or practicing astral projection. Alarm clocks are horrible, horrible inventions.

Part of feeling like there’s not enough time leads me to be really disinterested in being social, and when you live with someone it makes relating to them rather precarious. I have to feel as though there is enough time for everything in order to remain free from preoccupation, so when I get home and my roommate wants to hang out, I put aside what I want to do, which is write for twelve hours until I have to go back to work. Another issue having this job brings up is:

2. My life feels horribly mundane.

Jobs do not go anywhere. Unless you’re ambitious about some sort of work-related goal, I guess. The main thing I like about my job is that I help people find what they want. Seriously, that’s what I like about it. I move grocery inventory about a store, and the best part is helping people out. I also really like looking for things on the shelves and finding them. There’s a short moment of “ah! There it is!” every time I find something new. The other day I was stocking tea, and I looked at a particularly lovely box design and realized “oh, that’s me, pretending to be tea.” And the tea became a marvel to behold. That’s not mundane. I am constantly surrounded by opportunities to experience greater consciousness and awareness, so that’s something profound and enjoyable.

The reason I am working, however, is to pay my bills and save up to move. Living towards something in the future is decidedly uncomfortable for me. I really enjoy being in school, and I’m no longer in it. For the several months after I graduated and sought work, I grew enormously in leaps and bounds. My inner peace and understanding multiplied at a fantastic rate. It was awesome. Now, I read on my lunch breaks and write in all other free time that is not consumed with socializing.

It might actually be the socializing that makes my life seem mundane, actually. I do not share moments of amazement and wonder with other people, and it feels a bit empty. Socializing is full of distraction, from movies and video games to idle banter. The things I really enjoy is when we get into a conversation about spiritual stuffs, but it comes so very rarely, and at this point, I feel like I am constantly repeating myself. What else is there to say, though? We are one. We are a glorious ever shifting life-being. Not many people seem to get it. Or they understand it logically but haven’t experienced it to really grok the implications.

Perhaps it is not so much that life feels mundane as much as it feels lacking in something that isn’t vital, but it would revitalize me. I may live too much for other people, and I don’t mean that in a “oh I’m always volunteering and helping out etc. etc. etc.” because I don’t. But I do put down everything I feel is important to me at any moment to help someone else out, unless what feels important is another person, and I let other people interfere with my natural reactions.

For example, today a guy’s car stalled while he was trying to turn. My instinct was to run up and help him push his car back, out of the middle of the street, but my roommate was with me and I went with my roommate’s preference rather than my own, which was to keep walking on by. I think it was a valuable opportunity that I missed out on, and it illustrates for me all the other opportunities I’m missing because I defer to someone else’s preferences. To live for the One Self, expressing its unity, is quite extraordinary, and if I am alive, I wish for my life to be extraordinary.

3. I feel increasingly isolated.

This is mostly because I’ve shifted so much in such a short amount of time. Every person in my life is a truly wonderful being, but some conversations and “entertainments” have become rancid to my tongue. Talk of violence or disrespect of any kind, even meant in jest, actually disturb me, when not so long ago, I would have joined in. It’s just not who I am anymore, yet I can still see it as being perfect in each moment, as an expression of Infinity. This greatly increases my ability to accept it and love its existence without shunning its form. Without contrasts, we would be far less sure about Who/What we are at any given moment. We define ourselves by these comparisons.

By my feeling isolated (although I understand that I am never anything but Everything), it shows that I am not realizing my unity. It’s easier to see the divine in a stranger sometimes than it is in someone you know fairly well, because with someone you know well, the ego and “me-me-me” feeling takes up a lot of your perspective at any given time.

These three discontentments all come from the same feeling, that there isn’t enough of this or that, which is simply not true. Not enough time? I wrote over 50,000 words in the month of October, fifty of those seventy pages in the last two weeks alone. Not enough wonder? It’s up to me to seek the amazement, the wonder, and the sacredness in every moment. Not enough connection? There is nothing but connection. There is no use in focusing on how alone I sometimes feel, especially when I am doing nothing to alleviate that feeling. I’ve been kicking around the idea for a weekly meditation/discussion group oriented toward a Spirituality of Oneness, that instead of rejecting any religion, would embrace it, and I’ve been thinking about it for well over a year, but I’ve done nothing about this idea, and I don’t think the idea came from my conscious self. How better to meet those with similar interests than to create a space for them to gather?

It does not matter that in the past I have been quiet and introverted. The time for apathy has come to an end.