Working for the liberation of all beings everywhere. Bringing higher consciousness to the planet, one eternal moment at a time.
THE SACRIFICE OF ORDINARY LIFE
Life of the Unclean
One sacrifices ordinary life, only to return to it after having become changed. But although one returns to it, one sacrifices ordinary life forever, because having become changed, one has transcended everything which makes the world powerful. One can say that the world no longer has authority over one's essence nature. It loses its power of fascination.
To sacrifice one's ordinary life, one must dress badly -- even stupidly -- and keep a slovenly, yet clean, appearance. One wears torn clothing, walks with a shuffle, appears to be lazy and incompetent -- even dangerously so.
But while one seems stupid to others, one performs all tasks with attention, and powerful intention, and one remembers one's aim to work on oneself, attaching that idea to all manifestations, decisions and relationships.
In short, one becomes "unclean" only in appearance, but not in one's inner life or duties to the community of work.
One is restricted from attending all Sacred Observances and Obligatories. One may not read, study or discuss the Sacred Scriptures or efforts for work with others. One is isolated from the work community and treated as if unclean. One is not permitted to perform household tasks or temple duties either for the work community or for an outside community. One becomes a complete outsider.
One may not eat at the table with others, walk into or through the kitchen area, dining areas or temple, handle food or eating utensils used by others, clean eating areas or walk through places used for the carrying on of work in assimilating or studying.
One may not handle food substances used by others, or make offerings of any kind during or between obligatories. One must, in fact, be literally spoon-fed by another who is now in the stage of service, so that the utensil will not be touched by one's hands.
One may only be addressed by one's teacher or by one's server during this stage. Even the coach or assistant to the teacher are forbidden to communicate with one who is unclean.
to be continued...
Image: Two Sisters; Acrylic on canvas by E.J. Gold
For quite a while, I have been contemplating intention because I have found following through on an intention can be difficult. This seems to be especially true in relation to spiritual exercises. We are really, really blessed in that we have E.J.
who has given us exercises that will assist us in our spiritual path. As a matter of fact, you could say we have a plethora of just such exercises. I noticed over time that I would intend to do one of the exercises he had given us and I might be successful for a while, but then the exercise would fall by the wayside.
When "practicing the guitar for five minutes" was introduced, I had resistance to it because it hurts to play the guitar -- it hurts my fingers, and I said, "You aren't going to find me doing something that hurts." Well, I kept hearing about "the five minutes a day on the guitar," so I finally said OK. I got a guitar with non-steel strings. I began doing the exercise, but as has happened so many times before, it fell by the wayside. E.J. continued to encourage and show how the five minutes a day exercise was a useful exercise to incorporate into our daily lives. So, I would start the exercise again. I would fail and then start again. I continued this start and fail until I now do "the guitar exercise of five minutes a day" consistently. It moved from being an intention to do the exercise to being a practice. A part of my daily routine.
Recently, I had an "Aha" moment about intention, practice and habit. I realized practicing the guitar for five minutes a day has taken on the characteristic of being a habit. I no longer think about it. I no longer have any considerations about it. I simply do it. It has become a habit.
I have moved from having the intention to practicing the guitar for five minutes a day, with all my considerations and objections -- which would cause me to stop -- to continuing to persist and succeeding with my intention to practice five minutes a day. I continued intending to do the exercise and failing many times until it became "Ok, I'm intending to do the exercise and I am doing it. I'm intending to do the exercise and I am doing it." Then without recognition, without fanfare, practicing the guitar for five minutes a day had become a habit.
I asked E.J. recently "Where does intention come into our spiritual life? Because following an intention has been difficult for me." What I understood from his reply was that when you begin with an intention and you fail, then that is your intention -- you intend to do the practice and you fail. So now you intend to do the practice and you fail -- that is your intention. You move along with that until you can go beyond it. E.J. also stressed that once my five minutes a day guitar practice had become a habit, that is not the time to decide to put that practice aside. That's the time to add to the practice.
His response resonated with me. What I know from observing my intending and failing is that continuing to persist and failing until I didn't fail with the intention of practicing the guitar for five minutes a day has increased my ability to use intention and will. Persisting with the intending and failing until I succeeded in being consistent with following my intention has increased my confidence in being able to follow through with an intention. I have confidence that I can set an intention with another practice and follow through. I know that even with the "intend and fail, intend and fail," when I persist with my intention, the will strengthens and it becomes a practice, and then, if I continue, it becomes a habit. And considering the fact that "Your habits will carry you through." I find this to be a wonderful and liberating discovery.
"Remembering to invoke presence and then actually taking a moment to invisibly invoke presence is the beginning of work-discipline.
"Remembering can also refer to any sensation which produces negative emotion, which, in turn, should, by its automatic force, arouse your sleeping or wandering attention, which reminds you to invoke presence; the invocation of presence reminds you to do the popcorn exercise; the popcorn exercise reminds you to clarify the unveiled vision, which in turn, reminds you to diffuse vision; which in turn, reminds you to walk between raindrops; which in turn reminds you to do the last hour of life exercise; which in turn, reminds you to observe your pulse, which reminds you to do the pulse prayer "¦....."
"Because we have an associative brain, anything could remind us to work. This idea, using our ordinary habits and weaknesses for our work, and especially for self-invocation, is the fulcrum by which we gain evolutionary authority over the machine and suck our own blood, which is to say, drawing alchemical substances from the ordinary chemical factory of the organic functions, for the benefit of the Work and for our work-life.
we are concentrating our effort into just five minutes at the same time
each day, without fail, we increase the potency of our effort. After
all, we have a full twenty-three hours, fifty-five minutes and four
seconds remaining to us each day to gather
our energy for this single five-minute effort, if we do not waste our
energy in fidgeting, nervous activity, worry, anxieties, insecurities,
vanities, exhilarating sports, and other forms of negativity. It is the potency of effort that we are interested in.
"Of course, during this annoying five-minute work obligation, we will miss many of our habits of life, but we must ask ourselves which life is more important -- where our true priorities are -- and whichever is highest, be it our work or our ordinary habits, we must do the one and give up the other from then on.
"We must also find a way to pay for -- to value -- those precious five minutes of work each day. After all, we intend to allow ourselves only five minutes each day and no longer to work to awaken the machine.
"Because we are attempting to increase the potency of our effort, we must respect each other's storage battery, each other's storage capacitor. We are accumulating energy for a five-minute work period for the following day. We are not to deplete each other's work force."
From the Drippy Clock series by E.J. Gold -- acrylic on canvas
A motivator, but at what cost?
Binds one in locks and chains to the known and predictable.
A crusher of creativity,
A prison of my own design,
I am encircled within a bubble of illusion.
All phenomena is illusion.
However fear is transient,
This too shall pass.
One day a realization percolates to the surface of awareness.
I am perpetuating the victimization of myself.
There are other paths to walk for living one's life.
Intention is the first step to a practice.
Practices can design a conscious spiritual lifestyle.
Performing one's practice can develop a habit.
I"ˆstart with addressing what I am most immediately trying to avoid.
The trigger that pushed me to this precipice from which I sink or swim.
Sensing I am here, I constate my intention to successfully navigate the specific journey I have not been confronting.
Choosing trust in my guide and clarity of focus, I sense and visualize myself relaxing,
I"ˆsee the dissolution of one binding reality and accept the rebuilding process of another reality.
I remain neither attracted nor repelled, all the while creating the new intended reality.
Not making any sudden moves, I do not let temporary obstacles throw me into panic.
Not succumbing to uncertainty or doubt, my habits will carry me through.
So I have been wondering about this Unity we all are a part of. I get it, intellectually. I even sometimes get it feelingly, enough that I know. However, the gates of my perception are more or less narrow, as per society and conditioning. I wonder how it would be to live in a state of feeling-connection with ability to perceive the whirls and filaments of light...at will. It isn't a question of whether or not it is possible, but how, without resorting to mind altering drugs. How to become consciously open, without becoming psychotic ro dysfunctional.
Would that help to become more compassionate? Would it help to be present and do what needs to be done, just because it is the "right" thing to do, the thing to be done? What if don't like what plants are communicating?
Meanwhile, it is: be kind and do your work, and as much as I may fail, I am keeping at it. The universe is presenting me with lots of opportunity. These days I remember to smile when I wake up in the morning, grateful for another day of this being in the mystery of Life. What if humanity is just incubating? The children born today may be living in ways of felt and perceived Unity which is almost impossible for us older folks to comprehend. Oh, I am looking forward to the: "What is Love? - Really" workshop this month.
Graphic Design image created by Gailyn Porter
Sci-Fi Radio Theater troupe begins their second podcast work project
portraying the headspace of the author, Fritz Leiber. On Zoom, a group
of eight readers synchronize their attention to invoke a palpable
picture of existence outside time and space.
Centered in what's called "The Place," a scenario drawn with the words, thoughts and observations of a large cast of characters, opens a doorway to understanding reality beyond ordinary consensus reality. Ordinarily one assembles all events of life on a timeline of a lifetime within the rigid framework of cause and effect.
Leiber's story, The Big Time, explodes this reality framework by exploring the supposition that all events in creation are malleable and the timeline in which they occur is flexible. Essentially, all history, past and future, is reshapable and plays out as different gaming strategies. In this story, it is called fighting the Change War.
Not only is this a work project for the readers, it's also a work opportunity for the listeners, particularly those assembled for the live bi-monthly Zoom presentations. We invite one and all to voluntarily step inside the headspace of The Big Time. Sense the effects on your perception of who you are, and on your interpretation of how you are operating in the perceived reality, to the depths of your apperception.
Prosperity Poets met soon after the winter solstice and decided
to compose a seasonally appropriate song. Here it is with verses by
Loralilah, Myra Ravenwolf, Llara 34, Grokkey, and Agenbite. This is the
full song with words slightly adjusted to fit an old tune--"The Wagoner's
Lad." Any reader who has another suggestion for a tune, please let the
Ballad for Winter Solstice 2020
As I grow old"¦ my back is bent
My rheumy eyes need help to see
but still my heart with good intent
will sing a tune so full of glee.
Now the winter"¦ night is here
And I may have dreams to fear
But planets burning all so bright
will get me through this darkest night
Time is passing every day
My life is going away away"¦
Where I follow I am lost
My friend is telling to me"¦ the cost
I see stars"¦ so bright but chilling
Oh God of Love, warm the night you're filling
Oh love Oh love my bones are cold
I am growing growing daily old
Sands"¦ slipping through the glass
All our days soon will pass
Fall asleep and lose your way
What can God or Guru say?
Time is passing every day
My life is going away away"¦
Where I follow I am lost
My friend is telling to me the cost
Out among the stars tonight
An Inner glow ignites my sight
And alone I sense this night
As my avatar comes awake to life
Time is passing every day
My life is going away away"¦
Where I follow I"˜m still lost
My friend is telling"¦ to me the cost
From the book:
"We recognize our obligation to make
ourselves available to people after their use of the tank, whether we
provide silence, another appointment, good listening and good
responding, or something we haven't thought of. We are there to listen
and help them explore their experience, if that's what they're
interested in doing. We realize that we best serve our customers and
ourselves by reflecting truthfully, in our own behavior, the
fundamental, positive qualities of the tank experience itself. Our job
is to remain open-minded, unbiased, centered, supportive, relaxed,
personally responsible and energetically aware. Really working in this
way keeps our work a source of personal growth and evolution.
The tank is a general-purpose tool, not a design for something in particular. It is nothing and it is a powerful instrument for change. It is an environment for learning about oneself, in whatever way one wishes, without distraction. It does not tell us what to do, and neither should we presume to tell others what their experience should be, either before or after their float. We trust in the inherent capacity of the individual to discover what is best for themselves. We believe that the most effective experience occurs when initiative and power is left with the person and we are there to encourage that. After floating, people are often in the present moment, and emit the glow of present time unfolding, a sense of peace and wellbeing. When we welcome this state, it may be eager to make a return visit on following floats."
Floating In Quiet Darkness
How the Floatation Tank Has Changed Our Lives and Is Changing the World
Glenn and Lee Perry