“Get up, walk across the room and come back. Where are your footprints? They’re gone. So where are you? Who are you? When we try explaining who we are we sort of give recitation of our history. Forget it. That’s not you. It’s some story that’s already gone. We don’t know ourselves except by listening to our echos and consulting our memories.”
— Alan Watts
I am of the moment
I exist apart from time
not who I was
nor who I’ll be.
An eternal flash in eternity
fully expressed and expressive
then fractally wiped away
by the future selves
Drops in a bucket that
form a tidal wave
sinking back into the void
— G A Rosenberg
“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”
― Maya Angelou
Fear in becoming
the ever changing
Who am I and What will I become?
Uncertainty yet in the moment
Roll with it and let it happen
for it will
no matter how much we sweat it
Moth or Butterfly
we are still yet embryos of what is to come
of an unknown future.
— G A Rosenberg
“I don’t feel that it is necessary to know exactly what I am. The main interest in life and work is to become someone else that you were not in the beginning.”
— Michel Foucault
Every so often in my search for quotes that might inspire a posting, I come across one like this where I agree with the basic idea but the wording seems off to me. I believe that we definitely change, sometimes by the day and definitely by the decision but we don’t become merely something different than we were when we started. I believe that we become more and more ourselves. Perhaps it happens as we discard the ideas and circumstances that do not truly reflect our identities. Perhaps we meet our inner selves part way on life’s journey. Indeed the goal of most spiritual paths seems to be connecting with our true inner beings and reflecting them more and more. To some extent we are all on a spiritual journey, some of us are more aware of it than others.
I was reminded tho that Foucault would see things a bit more cynically. He would say that most of us don’t even realize the social chains and goads that we struggle under and are led by those as much as by any higher awareness. In a typical day as I browse social media I can see his point. So many of us seem to choose a position or a polemic and reiterate their views of their lives through the lenses of the polemic rather than critically looking at things with awareness of context or much self-reflection. I don’t attribute this to a single party, class or race as it seems to cross all lines.
We live in a blame society. Everyone else holds the blame for society’s ills and it is another someone else’s job to fix it. If only we started living in the way we believe is optimal and shared that, taking full responsibility and consequence for our own activities and statements. Perhaps then we would grow to become more deeply ourselves.
“Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.”
— Rainer Maria Rilke
Flowing through the emotional stream
floating along in ecstatic dream
or is it terror I feel?
In this place It all seems real
tho the illusions dance and sing
they play my heart strings
with wonder and stirrings
of eroticism reoccurring
as their fingers slowly caress
tender parts that may be stressed
of fragile psyche and ego bold
no emotion left untold
Caught in endless reverie
can there be escape for me?
No so I will see it through
nothing left for me to do
but ride the ever present strange
and realize this too will change.
— G A Rosenberg
“Write a little every day, without hope, without despair.”
— Isak Dinesen
Hope is easy. We all dream of what we may accomplish one day or what we would like to have in our lives that may not be there as yet. Yet hope is just a vision. We have to be willing to work to make the hopes happen or at least to provide space in our lives for their fulfilment. All too often we become so busy hoping for things to get better that we forget to do anything else.
When our hopes don’t become immediately gratified or when they get dashed too many times, it is all too easy to give way to despair. We fear that our dreams will never come true and that things will stay as they are without improvement. That too is an illusion for change is a constant and things (or at least how we feel about them) will improve and worsen in their cycle. Yet when despair has us by the neck it becomes all too easy to give up on life and spend our time wallowing in it.
If we could give up on both hope and despair then we can actually live our lives, doing what we can to improve them or other things that oft if they are interesting enough keep us too busy to either aimlessly hope or mindlessly despair. Who knows maybe without the emotional roller coaster that these two horses take us on, we can actually start making our dreams come true.
“I’ve shed my skin so many times, the graveyards are full of all the people I used to be.”
– Richard Cassaro
Do you mourn your past? Do you visit that yard in your mind where all of the past yous (some passed as recently as the previous day or even hour) reside and lay flowers on the graves of those brothers or sisters that will never live again except for their echoes? Do you perhaps pay tribute to them with the knowledge that without them you would not be the person you are now? I love each of my fallen soldiers all of whom in one way or another gave up their lives for the present me as I will give up mine one day soon for the person I will become. It’s amazing how much affection I have for even the most unlikable versions of myself (and there were some who really sucked). Yet still what we have in common is knowledge of our transience. Each day brings changes in outlook and experience and there is no going back. Still, there are some amazing parties that I host in my mind where we converse and each one gives me some pretty good advice. Especially the younger ones who had all the hope and optimism in the world that they share gladly with me. I’d invite you to the party except that it would probably resemble a hall of mirrors to you and you probably host your own from time to time.
“Dance, when you’re broken open. Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you’re perfectly free.”
The dance continues. Each day a new step and a new movement. One section comes to a close now and a new one starts with new themes. To fear the dance is to fear the endless stream of life and its constant change. To resist change is to resist the dance and to become stagnant for even when we stand still, the dance continues and we can either direct our movement or be pulled along helpless in its stream. When we participate, we get a say in what our steps are and may even control the dance for a bit or we can without care or fear allow the dance to take us wherever it may.
“Express yourself fearlessly. Grow and indulge shamelessly. Exist to the fullest of your potential. Those demanding you to repress your innate gifts, ask that you take the burden of their personal inadequacies, on behalf of their own insecurities. To consent to this dynamic is not an example of compassion, it is an example of dishonesty and self destruction.”
— Paul John Moscatello
What is the point of living unless we are expressing our true being? This does not mean that we disregard the feelings of others but that we realize true integrity in ourselves. The worst kind of emotional blackmail is when one person says to another “If you love me you wouldn’t act like that / think like that / believe that / do that thing” If it is a true expression of our being than they are basically telling us that there are parts of us that they cannot accept and if we truly loved them than we would be something other than who we are. If someone says that to you then it is clear that they don’t love the person you are, they love the person that they would have you be. If that’s not you then it is time to tell them as clearly and gently as possible that you won’t change even tho you do love them (if you do) and they need to either accept that or a new relationship needs to be established. Anything else is living half a life at best. The only person to change for is ourselves as we gain knowledge of who we are.
“You cannot carry out fundamental change without a certain amount of madness. In this case, it comes from nonconformity, the courage to turn your back on the old formulas, the courage to invent the future.”
— Thomas Sankara
I can think of no better time to talk about magick than in this space of Samhain, All-Hallows and Día de Meurtos. A definition of magick that I like is causing changes to happen in conformity with will. From the viewpoint of this definition, an act as simple as walking to the store or eating can be considered an act of magick. The ritual in ritual magick is a way of preparing both one’s conscious and unconsciousness with triggers that awaken one’s focus on the objective. In other words if you want to become more organized, you would surround yourself with symbols of logic and order. If there is a deity or saint that symbolizes that desire, you may call on them. Ultimately what is involved is the manipulation of symbols. The fact that many of these same symbols are hard-wired into our psyche by means of our collective unconsciousness brings more force to the ritual. There is nothing in it that is inherently evil or satanic. Anyone who has gone to synagogue or church has participated in rituals all of their life. It’s a matter of making symbols work for you and learning which ones will work the best for any given endeavour.