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Stillness at the Heart of a Busy Mandala by G A Rosenberg
Curved Mandala by G A Rosenberg
Spin Cycle by G A Rosenberg
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
― Richard Buckminster Fuller
OK the systems (political, economical and spiritual) in place now are pretty unworkable. More and more people are seeing naked Emperors (The Emperor’s New Clothes – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). What do most want to do? Tear down the wall, forcibly rip apart the old systems and leave in their place…well…surely almost anything must be better than this, right?
I like R Buckminster Fuller’s idea of building a newer better model but I believe we better get working on it because the old ones built on lies and greed and paranoia are falling apart quickly.)
Of course many people are working on new perspectives and new ways of being (Thrive Movie Going Free | Thrive among others). Tearing down old ways is relatively easy, building something new, now that’s a challenge. One I believe we’re all up for.
I hope everyone had an amazing Earth Day and got the chance to be out in nature for a bit today. I attended an amazing meditation group meditation workshop here in Vancouver run by Brad Morris of Cowabunga Meditations (http://cowabungalife.com/). Of course any day that starts with me walking the dogs out in the backyard barefoot by the garden tends to be pretty great. Much gratitude.
Tunnels under ground
Wealth we’ve uncovered by sweat
belongs to others
Sorry I guess I meant miner haiku 🙂
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Flowers and Flame Abstract by G A Rosenberg
Emerald Glass Mandala by G A Rosenberg
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
— Ernest Hemingway
If writing is akin to bleeding, then what if I fear to see my blood? How do I show what I fear to see myself. I talk a lot about facing up to my fears yet this one, looking at the events in my life both the painful and inspiring may be a difficult one. Oh listing the highlights of my life is easy enough, yet looking at them enough to make them real, reliving them in a way that will set me free, seems ever so much harder. Chatting with you the way I do is kind of a halfway step. Maybe that’s it. Maybe now that I’ve reached halfway, i can go halfway again and be even closer, then half of that and eventually I may have reached true written communication, faced my fears and exorcised a demon or two along the way..
In the paradox of Achilles and the Tortoise, Achilles is in a footrace with the tortoise. Achilles allows the tortoise a head start of 100 metres, for example. If we suppose that each racer starts running at some constant speed (one very fast and one very slow), then after some finite time, Achilles will have run 100 metres, bringing him to the tortoise’s starting point. During this time, the tortoise has run a much shorter distance, say, 10 metres. It will then take Achilles some further time to run that distance, by which time the tortoise will have advanced farther; and then more time still to reach this third point, while the tortoise moves ahead. Thus, whenever Achilles reaches somewhere the tortoise has been, he still has farther to go. Therefore, because there are an infinite number of points Achilles must reach where the tortoise has already been, he can never overtake the tortoise.
…or maybe not. I feel determined tho that I can face this. What blocks to communication do you face?
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Illumination by G A Rosenberg
Honeycombed Tree Maze by G A Rosenberg
“In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart.”
Maybe I’ve been going at this all wrong. For the past couple of weeks I’ve been working up towards expressing some thoughts on this blog that are difficult. I’ve been reaching for words only to feel my mind pull back that it is not time yet, reaching and finding that my sentences lacked clarity and things that I could articulate in my head moments before were now twisting and bending on their way to the screen. Perhaps it hasn’t been time for me to express them yet, perhaps I need to know my heart before it can find its way to words. I’m not sure but reading Gandhi’s words, I have more confidence that if my heart is there then the words will come
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Flame Man’s Vision by G A Rosenberg
“Remember where you came from, where you’re going, and why you created this mess you got yourself into in the first place.”
― Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah
Y’know, sometimes the mess isn’t that bad. Somehow of late I’ve managed to manifest elements of a pretty great existence one for which I have no problem being grateful but I stay fairly certain that I don’t appreciate to its full extent. I have a pretty great (and understanding) partner, a son entering his teenage years who at the very least is never boring and is teaching me daily what it means to grow. Friends, family and even things that give me purpose (even this blog). I find myself pretty thankful for all that I have. By all of this I am not saying that my life has no rough edges, oh boy does it ever. Lots of shall we say growth opportunities and often frustrations but hey that’s why I’ve created the mess in the first place.
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Gold Disk Mandala by G A Rosenberg
Horus Sun by G A Rosenberg
“Re-examine all you have been told. Dismiss what insults your soul”
In this blog I’ve talked a lot about truth. I’ve discussed truth that is objective and truth that is subjective and truth that is too big to understand. But what about that that doesn’t ring true? Many of us discover at a fairly young age that our government, teachers, religious leaders have lied to us. As we grow older, we start to learn just how extensively we’ve been lied to and sadder yet how many continue to believe the lies and deliberately expose themselves uncritically to a culture that encourages us to stop thinking, go along with things, Pursue things that are meaningless and perpetuate the corrupt system. Eventually we reach the point where we have to say “STOP!” We dismiss the bullshit and try to clean up our own. As nice as it would be to think that by thinking critically, we can remain untouched by the corruption, I know better. However we can clean ourselves up, live the highest truth we can and expose the lies to those willing to listen. All it takes is clarity and courage. I’m sure I have those around here somewhere 🙂
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Yearning by G A Rosenberg
Patterning Red, Black White and Green by G A Rosenberg
THese quotes all seem to belong together and they all relate to my thought processes over the last couple of days:
“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”
― Hannah Arendt
“History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.”
–Martin Luther King Jr.
“All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing”
— Edmund Burke
“Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do”
Yesterday I rectified for basic first-aid. I need to do that every three years in order to have our foster daughter living here. It’s fairly interesting and I always end the day wishing I knew a bit more. Each time I take the course (this was my third) the teachers tend to emphasize different things based on the changing course requirements and whatever regulations had been passed in the last few years and to some extent the teacher’s personality. Yesterday the thing that the teacher emphasized the most was protecting ourselves not only against liability but against any risk. She kept saying that a first aider had to put their needs above those of the people we are supposed to be helping. This troubled me a bit and seems to speak to an ingrained selfishness in our culture. Now I can understand minimizing risk but not the spin that was put on it. If it means I can save lives or help isn’t that worth some risk?
Transcript of a conversation on Facebook with my friend Vajra :
Vajra Krishna: How do we open the way for compassion in others?
First step is always opening them up to step into other people’s shoes….
Many people only empathize with the suffering of others… so to them, there is the victim, and the perpetrator.
The victim and the evildoer.
They empathize with the victim, but not the evildoer, so in that case, it is about opening them up to step into the shoes of the evildoer.
Because otherwise the “good and evil” dichotomy again becomes a stereotype.
Most people are too afraid (for one reason or another) to empathize with the evildoer, and that is one of the big challenges… to learn to step into their shoes and have compassion for them too.
Gary Johannes-Rosenberg: Do you feel that perhaps we fear that once we empathize with the evildoer we may find we like it?
”There but for grace go I” has more than one connotation for sure
Vajra Krishna: Some reasons for being afraid to empathize with the evildoer;
1. It is a place of darkness… murky, desolate, alienating, lonely… all the shadowy corners of our own selves come to surface…
2. The fear of desiring power and control. Of abusing power. We have all done it in life, and we didn’t like that part of ourselves very much.
(If you take an example such as George Bush and why he would be comfortable with abusing power, it is because in a sense he is indoctrinated OUTSIDE of the social norm by his family tradition. Many rulers are conditioned to believe that mind-controlling people is simply for their own good.
But another example is a person who has risen to power by his own efforts – such a person often has the pressure to conform or perish. That is, conform to the ways of the elite, or lose his power. Such a person conditions himself or herself to believe that “playing their game” is a necessary process.
Then there is the clear example of Hitler. He also rose to power, but he is a sociopath. In that sense, I suppose it is important to even step into the shoes of a sociopath… that is a frightening ordeal because what makes a sociopath function is the inability to forgive, and a “state of mind” that doesn’t forgive is a painful state to be in… a hardened heart… it is not easy to step into such an uncomfortable state.)
3. As you said, being afraid that we might actually like it. We are all too aware of how there is a thin veil between the socially accepted norm of “good behavior” and our own indulgences. Many don’t like to look too deep into that.
I would add
4. Sometimes when we empathize with those whom we have perceived as evil, we start perceiving ourselves as the real evildoers and realize that what looked like an insurmountable border was really the mirror’s edge
Vajra Krishna: This brings up something else for me –
Question 2: Is it possible to know someone better than they know themselves? If so, how?
There is tremendous misconception surrounding this. No, people DO NOT KNOW THEMSELVES. This is a fact.
They would like to believe that they know themselves… but here’s the thing:
They are largely unaware of why they feel depressed for no reason at times, unaware of the way advertising functions to entice hidden desires (‘hidden’ being the key word – and this was clearly established by Sigmund Freud and shown to actually work in getting people to do what you want, buy what you want, by transcending their conscious state and making suggestions to their unconscious).
How many people do you know who really try to look into this stuff?
Instead, people know what flavor of ice cream they like, they know when and in what situation they get angry, they know what situations melt their heart (to a point, usually this stuff surprises even them), they know which qualities they value, and for what reason… then they think that means that they actually KNOW THEMSELVES.
It’s bullshit, pure and simple.
“To thine own self be true” but first, KNOW THYSELF. This has been said over the ages, and now it gets lipservice.
The reality of the situation is that anyone who has stiven to know himself will also know the inner motives of the MASS POPULATION, as well as the individuals he meets in general, better than they know themselves simply because they have not made that introspection.That is also uncomfortable to accept. People’s usual argument against this is that we are all different.
We are also all HUMAN, and that has an essential nature that requires DISCOVERY.
Gary Johannes-Rosenberg: ”This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.”
— William Shakespeare
Obviously WS agrees with you that once you know yourself, can be true to yourself then you can know others as well
Vajra Krishna And it stands to reason, for one who seeks himself, there are no strangers.
Gary Johannes-Rosenberg “Of every hue and caste am I, of every rank and religion”
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Green-Space Mandala by G A Rosenberg
“Inevitably anyone with an independent mind must become ‘one who resists or opposes authority or established conventions’: a rebel. If enough people come to agree with, and follow, the Rebel, we now have a Devil. Until, of course, still more people agree. And then, finally, we have — Greatness.”
― Aleister Crowley
I’ve always questioned. It’s in my nature. Friends and relatives use to laugh at me jumping between beliefs and systems. Really I wanted to experience each one. Part of it was a desire to understand both myself and the universe better. What I call now pursuit of the elephant and what others call Integral Thinking. One of the things I’ve come to realize tho is that whenever I reach a point where I feel sure I have found the answer or even an answer, that’s the time to question the most. Even if I continue with more questions than answers they make the journey a lot more interesting.
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Cry Me a River by G A Rosenberg
Containing Worlds by G A Rosenberg
“Those who give you a serpent when you ask for a fish, may have nothing but serpents to give. It is then generosity on their part.”
Sometimes we expect so much from one another. We forget that as we have been wounded, others bear wounds also. Perhaps we don’t have them in the same place but of this I am sure. Noone has come through life unscathed. I have learned so much from what others have had to deal with and the courage with which they dealt with it. I have seen single mothers of Kids with severe disabilities working to bring out that extra smile for their child at the end of the day. I have seen survivors of so much pain looking and finding joy and sometimes not. Sometimes we do reach a part of our cycle where we don’t have it to give anymore or to use Gibran’s metaphor when we’re out of fish. We may then, in trying to have the interaction communicate our frustration or our weariness because that is what we have. I have been learning to appreciate honest communication even when it is that of pain. Because once that is gone, healing can happen. Call it a restocking of the river.
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Lizardart by G A Rosenberg