Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Courage to Disobey

What happens when the present paradigm and power structure no longer makes sense?

What happens when laws become so complex and full of special exceptions and loopholes and ambiguous language that they can be interpreted however anybody decides to, providing they can afford a lawyer to argue their point of view?

What happens to everybody else?

What happens when laws meant to protect us wind up creating a police state and a crackdown on individual freedoms?

Civil disobedience. You show your actual respect for the rule of law by refusing to follow those that make no sense.

A caveat: civil disobedience NEVER includes harming another person's body or property. Civil disobedience is a peaceful method of protest. Anything else turns you into one of the entities you are protesting against. You do not fight fire with fire. You fight fire with dignity, integrity, and love.

It take courage to stick your neck out. But, sometimes it is necessary.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Ode to Aunt Flo

Foul, ancient Twat,
Why doth thou thus torment me?
I heralded thy absent flow
With much rejoicing.
Now Thy returnst,
With such a venom and fury
That even Maxi-Pads doth soaketh
And needs must be changed
When’ere the clock strik’st th’hour.
I will not wear Depends!
Though am grateful for paddes
with wings.
Cease Thou thy torture--
For I am past
Th’age of bearing Childe.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Everything You Need to Know about Me

Yesterday, I did the following:

1. wrote a blog post about honesty and self-deception
2. read the article "Egypt: Temple of All the World" in a Rosicrucian Digest
3. finished a chapter in Tom Campbell's My Big TOE trilogy
4. did a 40-minute meditation
5. read several pages of Othello
6. watched a BBC documentary on the life of Jesus the Christ

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Going for Broke

Chelle and I spent Friday evening in Half Moon Bay celebrating Valentine's Day, and yesterday we went for an hour-long walk along Miramar Beach, beachcombing and laughing at the sand pipers running away from the waves. And, of course, just talking and reconnecting with each other. It's funny how, after so many years together, you learn so well how your partner thinks and feels about things that you don't even have to talk often anymore--and we're both introverts and can spend hours with each other, not even saying a word, contentedly so. Lately, sometimes she'll open her mouth to say something, and we'll both finish the sentence together. It's a marvel--she is such a gift to me.

When we returned from our walk, I found I'd gotten texts from a handful of friends, and--no lie--two of them were both in the midst of "fights" with their partners. Well, not exactly fights. They were expressing to me anger and frustration about their partners that they were keeping to themselves, and they were venting to me instead. Now, I understand the need to vent. It's healthy. And I understand that sometimes just popping off at the mouth is not wise, especially if the other person is in a completely emotional place and unable to listen at the moment. But then one friend, someone I care about very much so I'd answered her with a great deal of concern because she rarely texts me anymore unless she has something to bitch about regarding her girlfriend, started in with the second guessing, guessing at her girlfriend's motivations and agenda and all this other stuff, which immediately ran a huge red flag up my mental flagpole. I texted her back, "If you suspect her of all these manipulations, why don't you just express that concern to her?" Boom, end of conversation. (I love you, my friend--you know who you are.)

Well, it's true relationships are complicated things. Until I got sober at 47, I sabotaged quite a few of them myself--and here's how. I let fear and "what ifs" constantly rule my decision to NOT speak up ("If I say this, she'll just get pissed" or "If I ask this, she'll hit the ceiling"). I constantly felt stifled by my partner even though it was ME doing all the stifling. It didn't even occur to me that I wasn't giving my own partner a fair shake and that most of the time I was projecting my own unresolved baggage onto her. Here's the truth. Particularly if you're in a newish relationship or if you're in one where real communication is at a minimum, you can't know what your partner is actually thinking and feeling. You can't, until you muster the courage to articulate what you're thinking. When you have the balls to be honest, unless you're with a total nutbag, your honesty will be rewarded with their honesty. It's the only way to genuinely communicate, and the only way trust is built over time is with genuine communication.

So that's the lesson I personally learned, and when I got home yesterday, it's as if the Universe wanted to be sure I was reminded of it because I went on Facebook to catch up on a game I play. Instead, the first thing I was hit with, crossing my news feed, was this quote from Steve Pavlina: "Speak the truth. If honesty is a challenge for you, it’s because you aren’t being honest enough with yourself. Lies you tell others are shadowed by lies you tell yourself. Take note of those areas where you feel incapable of genuine honesty, and dig deep enough to find out why. You’ll find that you uncover a part of yourself you’ve been unwilling to accept. You don’t lie about the parts of yourself that you accept 100%."

Does that make sense? The deeper lesson I learned, and continue to learn, is that we tell the biggest lies to ourselves to avoid feeling shame about something. So if I'm tempted to clam up about something, or if I'm tempted to reveal only half the story, or to allow a misleading impression to stand firm, or am doing anything that doesn't reveal what I'm actually thinking and feeling, I'm telling lies because I'm probably hiding something from ME. It takes guts to look in the mirror and tell yourself "yeah, I have this nasty impulse" or "yeah, I'm having this awful thought" or "oh my god, I feel horribly jealous" or whatever it is I'm not wanting to accept about myself. God, how I used to think owning up to my own garbage would totally destroy me.

It didn't. It is actually the most freeing thing in the world. When I finally did, so many doors opened right up for me, and Chelle turned into the sweetest, most open-minded, even tempered, patient, uncontrolling person. (Actually she didn't change at all. I'm the one who changed.) It can actually be pretty funny to open up and admit to all your insecurities and fears and non-noble desires and nasty little demons. The marvel is to find that you're still loved despite them. And you learn to accept yourself even though (gasp!) you're wonderfully, humanly imperfect.

And I think that's everyone's biggest fear. "If they knew me for the real me, they wouldn't love me."

Guess what? You'll never know until you know.

Go all in.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


This is really more or less just an ad, a teaser, but I couldn't find any really great performances of "Defying Gravity" on Youtube--Irina Mendel's Tony awards version is off because she had a cold then. I've seen Wicked before, but I saw it again this past weekend and enjoyed it even more. I think it's because the woman playing Glinda was a bigger ham and really played up the ditzy blonde part of the role.

Anyway, sorry I haven't been posting much lately--so much is going on, what with school, an hourly daily meditation practice, and reading books on Egyptian mysticism in preparation for my trip in May. But, I'm still here.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Belief Systems

One of the biggest blessings of getting sober three years ago was the personal revelation that even something I deeply believed, felt in my bones, was 100% sure of because of various proofs, could still be dead wrong. When I was drinking, my brain would lie to me all the time, and I clung to all sorts of false beliefs--the main one being that I wasn't an alcoholic. But I also thought some things about various people that, after my brain chemistry normalized and as I was able to speak with people and sort certain issues out, simply turned out to not be so. It is pretty ego-deflating to realize my own intellect, my own eyes, things I'd thought I'd heard, were bullshit.

Ironically, that wound up being very good for me.

Here's a truth: no matter your worldview, you don't have the whole picture. Everything is based on belief systems. If you're religious, that's your paradigm. If you are a scientific materialist, that's every bit a belief system, and that's your paradigm. (It is, perhaps, simply more intellectually palatable since you get "proofs"--repeatable data, measurements, things you can see, hear, feel, smell, or touch.) Big whoop. There was a time scientists didn't believe in bacteria or viruses, either, until these could plainly be seen under the microscope. We can't see radio waves, either, but we know they're there. In fact scientists have measured magnetic fields around human beings, but I admit I can't see auras. Just because I can't doesn't mean I summarily reject the idea that someone else can.

I guess what I'm saying is this: whenever you automatically dismiss something as being impossible, crazy, demented, woo-woo, or delusional, all you're doing is allowing your mind to be snapped shut by whatever belief system you happen to hold.

So nowadays I am a walking question mark, open to numerous possibilities, not super-quick to accept, but not super-quick to reject, either. All I can say with any certainty is that I am darn sure I don't have the complete picture.

I'm pretty comfortable with the world of material reality and the limitations of our physical bodies. I can't fly. At least, not in this body I can't. I can if I put it on an airplane.

But I am becoming pretty certain that we are more than our physical bodies. The only way to state it is to say that we seem to be able to do things with our consciousness that reach beyond the physical body. There is too much of a mound of evidence from science that shows us this. And some of the greatest thinkers--Carl Jung leaps to mind--came to believe this. He plumbed the depths of the subconscious in ways Westerners had never seen. (Mystics of all religious traditions have always taken journeys with their consciousness.) Yeah, yeah, I know. Crazy talk, right? And yet... and yet.... in deep meditation or in a lucid dream, I sometimes have useful information imparted to me. Twice now I've had short out-of-body experiences and outright seen things I can't explain. Even when wide awake, I'm starting to sense (not see yet) entities near at hand. There's one hanging constantly just behind my left shoulder all the time now. I'll ask, "Who are you?" and never get an answer. Yet I kinda like having him or her there. Perhaps it's a guide or a helper, or maybe just an observer.

I don't know if I believe in ghosts, per se, but perhaps those are entities that exist on a nearby plane and sometimes our plane and their plane bump into each other every now and then.

I'm surmising that there's Earth, and we are spiritual beings inhabiting the human physical reality for a time--for what purpose, I don't yet know, and for how long, I don't yet know, and I may never know. But I don't think our physical material reality is the ONLY reality. And I don't think we die. Our body does. But not our consciousness. We reincarnate--I've now recalled two past lives--or, when done here, we move on and continue our spiritual quests. We continue to exist in other planes and when consciousness is focused laser-like on someone who has passed from this realm, sometimes they'll hear you and pop by to say hello.

You don't have to believe me. Really, to believe me, you'd have to experience it for yourself. But I'm pretty sure I'm not nuts. And like I said, I'm not even sure anymore what I believe. I'm just open. The less ego-driven I am, the more open I become. The more open I become, the more aware I am of how much we don't actually know.

I'm using the word "impossible" much less often.  And my own mind has become a laboratory. It's an exciting journey!