Cosmic Train

Kindile book cover OHBThis is the first chapter from my book “On Human Being – Loving and Living Without Purpose.”  I apologize for it’s length but hope you enjoy it in any case.

Earth life is a vacation from the cosmic train we all ride on through our infinite existence.  It is a unique experience all of us who choose to visit get to enjoy, if we accept that the only reason we are here is to enjoy.  It may seem erroneous to consider that we are here to experience three dimensional reality as a vacation or as something we should enjoy when we see so much pain, suffering and sorrow in the world.  The reality of existence here on earth is that it is nothing in comparison to our existence in eternity.  We are no less infinite on earth than we are in eternity.

While aboard the cosmic train, a few of us have gotten off here at earth and as we pass through the gates of birth, we enter a new kind of awareness that overwhelms everything else we once knew.  The old awareness gets tucked away but is always there.  We sense that there is more to us, but in the new earthly awareness, it is difficult to hold onto and pull it into this reality.  Some do and we see them as mysterious and unique, but never allow that, we too, are just as they are.  Earthly awareness is so tactile and sensory. The stimuli we take in through our earthly senses overwhelms us in a sea of experience and richness that is difficult to separate from the reality of who we truly are.  So we are driven to find answers in this reality to that mysterious knowing we have about ourselves that is bigger than our means of communication can express.  We look for meaning and purpose in terms of what we see and in the expressions we communicate, but even with all of that, we are sometimes left empty.  The search continues.  The purposes of life are explored and examined but the answers we seek lay hidden.

There really is no purpose in this life other than to experience reality as only humans can.  Every aspect of life should be embraced and we should revel in every minute of it regardless of whether we judge the experience good or bad.  Our purpose, if there is any purpose, is to live and live abundantly in the richness of sensory experiences our human existence allows.  Our existence “is” the meaning of life!  Living “it” is its only purpose.  However, it is ours to choose how we let the sensory awareness of this life be measured.  We can choose to embrace it and enjoy all its ups and downs, or we can be miserable as we slog our way through it to our death, or the entrance back on the cosmic train we disembarked from.  We make it what it is and we can blame no one for our experience.  Sure, our innate nature has been masked, but it is not unknowable.  We live according to our awareness and that is as it should be.  That is what we came here for; therefore, every minute of earthly awareness should be basked in for its wonderful and delicious sensory experience.

The search for a greater meaning or purpose to life is in some ways its own problem.  It suggests that we cannot be here for any other reason than to embrace and enjoy everything about life.  It leads us to question our lives and the experience we have as meaningful in ways that they are not meant to be.  It adds seriousness to our existence that drives us to meanings that can only make sense in this reality but do not begin to address our own innate knowing that we are so much more than what we sense in this existence, or than what language will allow us to describe.  That is a lot about what this existence is about – coming to grips with the limitations of awareness and communication we otherwise have as gods.  There is no way we can describe our divine nature in the languages of humans, but we are not supposed to.  Remember we are on vacation and compared to our divine nature, the pace here on earth is slowed down considerably.  Our infinite state is a quickened state in which our awareness is of things incomprehensible in this life…  earth life is seriously slowed down.  In fact, our own human-ness slows us down even more.

For instance, it has been proven scientifically that our bodies, including what we call our physical senses, take in sensory input, several billion bits of information every second, and yet what we are capable of being conscious of is in the range of twenty to thirty bits per second.  Something about this experience as humans filters out so much of what goes on that what we are conscious of is infinitesimal to what is really happening.  When we consider our divine or spiritual natures, the information we receive is even greater than what we experience on the human level.  In fact, our spiritual sensitivity is so finely tuned it is barely detectable and in most scientific circles, it is nonexistent simply because we do not have the three dimensional means to detect it.  What is not detectable in this reality is usually left to speculation, theory or is just relegated as non-existent.  Even though most of us at one time or another have felt something in ourselves that is more far-reaching than we can articulate, if we cannot define it, or measure it, it cannot be, or so says our science.

Human consciousness or sub consciousness is not the extent of our experience.  We have built in conditions and filters that sift through the enormous amount of information, bombarding us every second, which screen out the majority of our experience.  This is what I mean when I refer to life as an illusion in my book On Being God.  What makes it into our conscious awareness is what we have been conditioned or programmed to know and accept.  Most of us have heard that when the Spanish ships appeared on the horizon upon discovering the “New World”, the inhabitants could not see them.  There was nothing in their conditioning that could explain what they saw and yet intuitively they saw something.  Their programming simply could not identify it and nothing in their experience, other than clouds, could the ships on the horizon be compared to.

We know it took the shamans of those native people several days to come up with a description they could then convey to the rest of the people.  Only then could they identify this new phenomenon and only then could they put this new description into their own language and make it part of their experience.  Consider how much is going by us if in every second of life, billions and billions of images, sounds, smells, tastes, touches and any number of sensory inputs we can’t possibly remember get discarded by processes we barely understand.  Life goes on around us at light speed but we only sense it at a snail’s pace.  And the civilizing of ourselves, as we refer to it, is only slowing it down even more.  Think about what is passing us by.

In the early 1990’s, I worked for a telecommunications company whose products helped optimize the available bandwidth of copper phone lines around the world.  Cellular technology was in its infancy as was fiber optics, so maximizing the available telephone bandwidth was of major importance because there were only so many copper lines available to an ever increasing population of telephone users.  The product we developed was a device that would convert an analog voice signal to a digital signal, remove any extraneous noise such as the static or ambient noise one often heard on a telephone land line, and then packetize the cleaned up digital signal into small packets that would be sent across the line to another device that would assemble the packets, convert the digital signal to an analog signal and, wonder of wonder, a voice was heard speaking just as on any phone call.

What was so unique about this product, for the time, was that in processing calls in such a way and by eliminating all the extraneous noise, we could put sixteen voice conversations across a telephone line that up to that time could only carry one, representing a huge savings to businesses who were paying for multiple lines at great cost as well as a serious improvement to the usage of the available bandwidth. One of the interesting facets of developing this technology was the idea that the extraneous noise in normal telephone conversations carried no useful information and could be removed without any affect to those speaking and those listening.  Little did our developers know that the noise did provide one very important piece of information.

All of us who have used the old land line telephones always had a sense that our call was viable because we could hear the noise of the connection during breaks in the conversation.  The information carried by the noise was that the call was still connected.  Even though the noise adds nothing to the words spoken or heard, it did add to the assurance that in between words spoken and words heard the line was still connected.  When we removed that assurance, sure enough, people who used the new technology complained that during the breaks in a conversation, the line went so silent they couldn’t tell if the connection was still intact.  The familiar noise of land line conversations was a carrier of information that, like so much in our reality, is taken for granted but missed if it is gone.

We are missing more and more in our reality due to the stripping away of the noise of life that civilization, culture, and upbringing filters out, and the absence of it is causing us to be aware of less but to seek more.  In other words, we are starving ourselves of the richness of life in all its forms and replacing it with the illusions of culture and civilization that have been drained of nutrients necessary to the soul.  Our aloneness in the world stems not from the isolation we feel from our brothers and sisters.  It stems from the filtering of life that has isolated us from our own god-ness and that of everyone else.  That is what we seek in life – not human connection, but divine connection.    Individually and societally, we are crying out more and more for something to fill our satiated souls, and more and more civilization devises empty stimulation to keep us in control – in check from venturing away from the illusion we know.

The illusion we live, like the processed foods we eat, have been stripped of those things that would enrich and nourish us and replaced with fillers and synthetic nutrients that satisfy temporarily but do not fill us.  Our connections to nature have been replaced with television, radio, internet and other civilized forms of media that have been carefully engineered to play to an illusory beat we have all been taken in by.  Like the packetizing of small pieces of digitized voice from a telephone call, information is carefully fed to us at a rate not to exceed our ability to pay attention.  So much of the information is stripped away that we only get teased with what is really happening and before we have a chance to try to figure out what information has been stripped away, we are hit with another perfectly timed, perfectly sized packet of seriously reduced information.

The illusion is so complete that we, as participators in it, have accepted slogans such as “give them what they want” believing that what we want is what we are being given.  Meanwhile, for those who search for greater awareness, getting outside of the illusion is extremely difficult and so they search in vain among the institutions of civilization for the soul nourishment they crave.

What was intended to be a stopping off point, a vacation from other awareness has now become a desperate struggle to somehow survive natural forces that, while once were so much a part of us, have now become the enemy.  Our illusion of what this reality is has become so synthesized that we have replaced what was always intended – enjoyment, enrichment, tranquility and nourishment – with a struggle fraught with peril, tragedy and synthetic stimulation.  Our cosmic vacation has become so empty, so stressful that we now look for ways to vacation from the vacation!  And where do we go?  To those places with as little civilization as possible.  We go to those places where we can rest, soak up the sun, or be inspired by the beauty of a natural wonder such as a mountain, a river, the ocean or a canyon.  We sometimes go to the civilized, manmade attractions but, while fun and stimulating; they often leave us empty and un-refreshed.

The oldest among us recall fondly the quieter and less hectic times they grew up in and the freedoms they enjoyed then that are so distant now.  The youngest of us cannot even conceive of these things they describe.  The sterilizing manner of civilization removes the adventure and connectedness to the world whose intention it was all along to enrich us and enliven us from an infinite “other world” reality.  Our souls came here for enrichment, not our bodies, and yet it is our bodies that our civilized world caters to.  The experience of life has become a race, a competition to find purpose and meaning by indulging the senses in every possible way, such that the soul is lost completely to the gratification of the physical or three dimensional aspect of our lives.  We hear the statement that “we are spiritual beings having a physical experience”.  Yes, we are having a physical experience, but not to the extent that we completely overshadow our spiritual nature.

In the Old Testament, there is a story of the man Job whom most have heard of in some form or another.  The story of Job is the story of a man who has everything this life can offer.  He is a man of great wealth, influence and notable character.  He is God-fearing and righteous and is blessed with a large family, creature comforts, as we call them and the respect of everyone in his country.  Job’s story takes a bizarre twist as Satan convinces God to let him break Job and show God that if he were to lose all the things in life he possesses, that Job would lose his faith and curse God.  God allows Satan to literally take everything from Job including his family, wealth, and good fortune.  Satan is even allowed to cause great scourges and illness to come upon Job, but Job, while physically broken in every way, never forsakes his faith, nor does he turn against God.  Job does, however, question why one as righteous as he, is treated so poorly by the God he worships.  He even asks God to take his life and end his misery.  Job suffers all that is thrown at him, but never accepts that he is evil or that God is punishing him for some act he has committed.  Job does seek for answers to his suffering and requests to speak to God face to face.  God grants Job’s request and appears to him as a whirlwind.

It is extremely interesting God’s response to Job and very relevant to our experience here in this life.  Instead of speaking in any way to Job about his suffering, God directs Job to look all around and take in all the beauty and wonder he is surrounded by.  God covers every aspect of creation and life on this earth and not once addresses Job as a sinful man or in a way Job desires.  All manner of creatures are mentioned as well as the wind, rain, water, snow, hail and frost.  It can be taken that God rules over everything and is greater than all things but it is as if God is trying to show Job that the things that are naturally here on earth are what is important in life.  All of it is here for the good of our souls and yet our so called civilizing or taming of nature is not unlike that of Job questioning God why he is made to suffer.

How is it that we can suppose that the egoic cravings of humans can nourish our starving souls when any of it has no comparison, whatsoever, to the beauty, majesty and abundance of this earth?  The treasures of life are not found in the creations of man.  They are found in the raw creative beauty of which we are all a part.  When we see that eagle soar high above and we gasp for breath as we watch, “we” are every bit as breath-taking and none of it is because we have created our cities, monuments, and wonders.  It is because our souls, like the eagles, soar above everything we believe important and look down on something so vast and wonderful.  Nothing in our creative imagining comes close to its splendor.

We are the recipients of this splendor.  No act or outcome in this life will change the nature of our soul in the eternities.  Nothing we do here matters, so all that we need do here is embrace everything that goes on, every experience, every accomplishment, and every aspect of the life we live should be embraced in every possible way as another part of our vacation. None of us should ever feel we are victims of circumstance when we step back on to that cosmic train.  We should be refreshed, invigorated, uplifted and alive from a richness of experience we may never know again, and while in infinite terms the experience is a blip on the cosmic screen, every part of this experience should leave us absolutely vibrating.  What a gift it is to be here and to experience the incredible highs and lows of humankind.  We should relish every moment of it.

Too many can’t wait, like Job of old, to get out of life and back on board the train.  Life has not been the pleasure trip it was meant to be, but that is only because in the egoic life we live and try to fit into, we lose sight of why we are here.  As God spoke to Job and asked him to identify one thing in his experience that remotely compared to the splendor of this planet and everything on it, Job shrank before Him and could not.  The reason is that there is no manmade thing that compares to anything on earth and in infinite terms, nothing on earth including earth itself compares to our lives in eternity.

In the last chapter of Job, the epitaph, Job is restored to his health, position, and stature that he knew before Satan physically broke him.  In fact, it was greater than before.  The story of Job is a metaphor for us here on earth living life that regardless of our circumstances or how we view our life experience, in the end we are restored to our unique and divine situation.  If we learn to see this life, our experience, as God instructed Job to view it, nothing else matters.  Nothing we do or accomplish in this life will ever surpass just being a part of life here on earth in whatever form it takes.  The cosmic train leaves no one behind regardless of how the earth experience went for them.  Like Job, we are all restored back to that infinite reality we all exist in.  We won’t be looking back as in infinity, all things blend together into one big whole, and it is wondrous.  All of it is wondrous!

Life and living are the only reason we are here and all of it is to be enjoyed, but only as you choose.  We cannot fail at life! There really are no illusions, only the ones we choose to accept as our condition.  We can change everything in our experience here in this life and we should because we get back onboard the cosmic train all too soon.

Stream of Life

This is the last chapter in my book: “On Human Being – Loving & Living without Purpose.”

 

Follow a stream from its highest point, whether it is a spring releasing water from an unknown source or from the snows of winter melting and giving their life giving waters to everything below.  As the stream finds its way down from its heights, it passes by or over many obstacles along its way, but it always seems to find a way.  Its course often seems impossible, but as it runs into obstacles, it finds the path of least resistance which sometimes means going around obstacles or perhaps it waits patiently to fill a certain low spot that will allow its waters to eventually flow over its would-be obstruction.  As we follow the stream, it will sometimes rush in great torrents down steep hillsides or spill over high cliffs into pristine pools below.  Sometimes it will meander through large open meadows where beautiful alpine flowers bloom and fill the landscape with color, fragrance and brilliance.  Perhaps the stream splits off and fills the meadow with small tributaries that merge back together.

 

The sounds of the stream also tell us something about its travels in that it will gurgle as it meanders through unobstructed fields and meadows, but it rushes and roars as it surges over cliffs, down steep canyons filled with large boulders and other obstructions.  As we continue our journey following the waters, we might see another stream joining ours, increasing its size and power.  Still, the waters push forward, twisting and turning as needed to work its way around the landscape as effortlessly as possible.  In fact, as we observe this stream, it never occurs to us that the waters are fighting their way downward.  It all seems so effortless and easy.  Even in those places where the river has cut its way through rocks and cliffs that, when looking at, simply does not look possible.

 

The stream weaves its way through a tapestry of life introducing us to all manner of trees, shrubs, plant life, and animal and insect life of all kinds.  Some of the places the stream takes us are shaded from the sunlight and are cool and dark, even forbidding, while other places are sunlit and brilliant and the shadows cast on the moving water make it look different, even mesmerizing.  There are places on its journey where it shoots through cracks in the rock and we see rainbows cast so close, we can touch them or we feel the cool mist on our faces.  Everything about this journey is peaceful and calm and the constant rushing of the river soothes us and at times we may even find ourselves talking to the waters as if they could hear.  They can! Never do we sense, as we journey alongside the stream, that it struggles to get where it is going.  It moves effortlessly, inexorably passing by all the wonders of its long journey to get to its destination which, by the way, does not exist.  As it passes by life, it gives life by giving of itself so that all is refreshed, nourished and uplifted.  It is a relaxed life that looks for peace wherever it goes, and it goes where it goes simply because that is where it goes.  We may find evidence along the way when it changed course or with the help of natural forces it moves out of one bed and into another.  Still, it matters not.  The stream is not choosing a path to follow.  It is simply flowing and as it flows, the path opens up, and with each new opening, new adventure, new beauty and wonder lies before it and it brushes up against all of it, content to take it all in and give back what it can in the form of life giving water.   Onward, ever onward, it moves through hills and valleys, forest and fields.  Taking in but giving back.

 

The stream gives life, but is given to life as life is given to it.  Its course is never straight nor is it narrow or wide.  We cannot map its exact course because a map of the stream’s journey could never account for every detail the stream encounters on its way down the mountain. The stream does not choose this way or that.  It simply flows where the grade of the mountain (life) takes it and it embraces and gives back to everything it encounters on its way.  Every aspect of the journey is just that – part of the journey. There is no purpose other than to serve as that part of the journey.  That incredible moment is as the water passes by all that matters and all is uplifted and better for the experience.  No great crossroads or turning points in this encounter or that one.  Just life giving of itself for all to marvel at and enjoy.  The stream moves on, as do we.

 

There are no perfect geometric patterns in life as we all would like to believe there is, or as our math and science teachers say.  The straight path does not exist except in our imagined lives.  There is no straight way to any purpose we consider to be our very own.  Life is a stream!  We are taught from a very early age that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, but no part of our life on earth is a straight line.  In life, the shortest distance between two points is the one that took you from point A to point B regardless of what distance you traveled or the time it took. Ego looks at life in a finite way, and in so doing, it must find order and structure that was never intended to be there.   Our true life is an infinite experience and every twist and turn, the ebbs and flows, as we call them, are never consistent with what our egos expect.  This is the cause of suffering in individuals as well as in society.  Ego constructs a true and ordered life and even uses sacred writings and ancient wisdom to reason with us that if we follow the prescribed path it reasons is the correct one, life will work out and flow effortlessly to the end.

 

Those who rigidly follow their ego’s prescribed course often find themselves in turmoil and needless suffering because they followed the rules and they didn’t get where they were supposed to.   Life is full of Monday morning quarterbacks looking back at what went wrong with their plan or what they could have done differently to achieve the pre-planned outcome.  We see this second guessing, questioning in every aspect of our lives including religion, academics, and occupations.  We might hear someone exclaim, “I followed God’s laws as I have been taught them”, or “I worked hard and did everything I was supposed to, but why was I not protected or spared an outcome I was sure could not happen if I obeyed all the rules.”   Unlike the natural flow of the stream which always finds its way, many will push against the natural course of life.  They will push against it and question their misfortune.  You can almost see them standing in the stream facing upward with clenched fist defying the direction of flow as if challenging it to reverse its direction and go where they command it.  All it does, however, is move forward, following its natural course, either moving around you as you fight against it, or sweeping you up in its current.  Life does not care about the choices we make.  Life, like the river, flows on, embracing everything in its path, and giving back every step of the way. If we could see our lives as a river or stream and simply flow with it, our journey would be so much more pleasant and our expectations would not get mixed up or confused with the twists and turns in life we could not see coming.

 

The grand part of life we can all enjoy is the pure experience of it.  A river has no purpose other than to flow where it will, and it is the same for us.  Life flows on whether we resist it or not.  Why not enjoy it? Human ego is so busy finding or giving meaning to the process of life and finding justification and cause for everything that happens that we miss much of its inherent beauty.  We pass by the works of man or nature and never see them because our focus is on understanding life rather than living it.  In trying to understand it or analyze it, we miss it or it passes us by.  Every bend in the stream, every change in direction is an opportunity to experience life in a new and incredible way, and particularly from our own unique perspective.   Maybe we won’t experience things as others might, but what we do experience is uniquely ours and the only enrichment we need take from any experience is our own to appreciate and fully embrace.  “What happens; happens.”  Not because we have control over life by the choices we make, but because there are no wrong choices, which is the same as saying there are no choices at all.  If we participate in life without the mental anguish of deciding the better of all our various choices then anything we do, any path we follow will be good and right and un-judge-worthy. This type of participation in life removes the resistance we feel as well.

 

I used to tell my daughter, who would work so hard to get cast in school plays, or achieve academic success only to be disappointed over and over, that life was not fair.  I would tell her that she would encounter situations throughout her life that would prove that life was unfair and that she would be mistreated along the way, even though she worked harder and harder to achieve her objectives.  How naïve I was and, unfortunately, the message I imparted to her was completely wrong.  Not only is life fair, but it is completely honest.  Life is truth therefore it cannot be dishonest.  The only dishonesty in life is our own dishonesty which culminates deep within the egoic structures of the mind.   Our egoic identity is the only thing on this planet that resists the natural flow of life, to the point that what we have come to believe about ourselves and what we are is the only dishonest thing in life.  Ego-constructed reality and reality are diametrically opposed to each other and we get caught up in the game of life that convinces us that life is hard and not always just or fair.  Ego is always swimming against the current of life, trying to offer another kind of reasoning for the ebb and flow that doesn’t always seem so pleasant.   Life is always honest and it always finds the way to bear that out.  How hard we sometimes struggle to keep what we know about ourselves from ever seeing the light of day, and so we bring dishonesty to the light of life.  Our lies, our dishonesty dims the light of life, and compounds our struggle against the stream that, if we would only let go of everything we hold so tightly to, would all drift out of sight and our lives would freely and effortlessly blend together with the flow of life never to be consumed in worry, doubt or the endless game of making ourselves “other” than ourselves.

 

Nothing in our three dimensional awareness can account for what is really happening and therein lies the greatest lie we tell ourselves.  The more precise and defined we become, the less aware we are; and the more we convince ourselves that we are precise and defined, the more of our true selves we trample under foot, and the greater our lie becomes. The lack of awareness culminates in the denial of the stream of life we all follow.  It is to convince ourselves that we can make the stream of life straight and exact according to geometric rules that only hold in a manmade reality.  We convince ourselves that within the sterile structure of manmade forms is the answer to who we are if we but push science to find the one simple equation that defines everything we will ever need to know.   Only the ego could have created such a lie.  Only ego could convince us that straight lines can be found in nature and that a formula can be derived that will be able to predict everything we can expect for the future and give an explanation for everything that has happened in the past.  Conscious awareness is a very limited awareness because of its ability to dump so much information so quickly we cannot even sense that it is happening.

 

As we meander or tumble through life, we tend to miss the incredible sights along the way as they are happening, but we know they were there because we think back upon them. Sometimes we look forward to the horizon out yonder and think that when we get there, things will be so much better, or all our questions will be answered.  We easily look forward and backward because those are the places we can most freely and successfully lie about.  In the conversation we have with ourselves, we can reminisce how much better things were “back then” or how much better they will be in some future “when”.   Now, the present moment we exist in right now, is an honest moment that is pure and untainted by any thought for yesterday or tomorrow until our egoic reaction to it poisons it with untruth.  Facing the present is our most daunting challenge because of its purity.  In our un-pure state, we have difficulty facing the purity of present reality because being present forces us to look at ourselves without the ideological masks that we have created to shield us from the glare of present reality.  Being present strips us clean of all the false definition we use to demonstrate ourselves to the world.  It is a scary place for the ego.  In fact, it is a place the ego cannot exist in because ego is anything but honest.   Ego needs identity.  That is why it always reminds us and everyone else of its past accomplishments or projected future achievements.  These are its cover; a safe haven from something that cannot be explained in its terms, its language.

 

The stream of life is infinite.  The egoic life is finite.  The two cannot co-exist.  They cancel each other out.  Either we are in the flow and completely truthful or we are in illusion and living a lie.  The stream of life is enjoined with the world and nothing is missed along the way.  The largest of egos and the highest degrees of knowledge and education cannot describe what the stream knows.   Its world is the whole world and it is one with it.  It knows the terrain, the hills, valley and rocks along the way and is never fooled by images condensed and printed on a map that the ego provides.   It feels everything and reaches out to everything, as it gives to life, its “own” life. Consciousness cuts away so much of life while ego tries so hard to convince us that what we are conscious of is the real nuts and bolts of life.  It works hard to convince us that its view of the world “is” the world.  Its view is always looking backward or forward, but never does it acknowledge the present with its billions and billions of pieces of information discernible right now to a quiet non-egoic soul.

 

We are in the stream of life whether the egoic self believes it or not, and the stream always moves ahead, even if we fight against the current.  Our experience is an unfolding. The more we flow with life, the more a part of us life becomes. Every aspect of the terrain we pass through is our guide, our map and our journey becomes an infinite stream of intuition and awareness that consciousness no longer blots out.   Our intuition and our wonderful bodies are sensory instruments available to all of us to navigate and enjoy our life experience here on planet earth.   We step off the cosmic train for a short time and we can enjoy the experience or fight against it.  We choose.  The ego created world is calculated and sterile and does everything it can to reduce the stimulation we all are equipped to comprehend.  Granted, the comprehension is not in the language of ego, which has also been stripped away of the greater part of knowing.  Our intuitive abilities need to be at the forefront of our awareness, not in the background as they often are.  Tune them in and turn on the truth of real life. Real existence! Destiny is unknown, therefore, non-existent.

 

The possibilities available to us along our journey through life are endless.  Ego wants to see and plan for the end.  It seeks a goal, an end that, when reached, is somehow a utopic conclusion to a well-planned life strategy. I was speaking with a friend one evening who was looking for a catalyst of perhaps thought or an individual such as Buddha or Jesus, who by their words and deeds could change the hearts and minds of people to live in peace.  He shared his thoughts about how the so-called age of enlightenment some 500 years earlier, which was ushered in by such great minds as Newton, Descartes, Pascal and others, had failed to provide the predicted “know how” to change a dark world into an enlightened one.  The age of enlightenment was supposed to find “mind made” solutions to all the ills of human existence, including war, poverty, education, government, and every other aspect of life.  My friend recognized the failure of the intellectual mind or so-called “enlightened mind” to accomplish anything other than to increase suffering and the carnage of war on a greater, more massive scale.   While he lamented this failure of enlightened minds to solve complex world issues, he asked me, “If the age of enlightenment is not the answer, what is the catalyst, event or individual that brings about changes the enlightenment sought but could not produce?”

 

My answer was not what he wanted to hear.  I told him that to look, in any way, to an outward cause, to an individual, or event would never bring about the changes in human existence he sought.  The only change or catalyst he could ever affect was his own.  I told him that we, as humans, are all a part of the stream of life, but that we each are our own stream as well.  Individually, we affect the larger stream, but with human reasoning, we will likely never see it.   When we become our own catalyst, our change, we become the larger stream and it becomes us and our outlook on the conditions of the world we wish were different becomes part of a compassionate whole.  When such a change takes place in us individually, everything else changes as well.  My friend listened thoughtfully, but was unable to see it.  His mind was convinced that something big and extraordinary was needed to alter things in the world as we know it.  My response to him was that an individual transformation to higher awareness is big and extraordinary, but he would not accept that as an answer.  “There must be something,” he mused. I could not help him.

 

The majority of us look for the same thing.  We look to our gods, our leaders, our parents, someone, anyone or anything that will reverse the way things are in a massive and dramatic way.  We are conditioned to be this way.  Heaven forbid we allow ourselves control of our own lives.  That is how it was in the so-called enlightenment, when highly sophisticated and educated men determined that they could figure out anything intellectually.  It continues to be a myth in the present day, yet the stream flows onward, ever onward and as long as we look for the utopic conclusion, the life strategy or catalyst that changes in a massive way those things we have determined must change we swim against the current of life.  Life is, at that point, a struggle and we will never win against it.  Despite our struggle and good intentions, we will be washed away in the inexorable flow of life that always moves forward.

 

Everyone is eventually swept away in the current of life.  Some hang on until the very end while others stop resisting and glimpse the beauty and splendor that is always there if we simply let ourselves get caught up in the flow. The stream of life simply is!  So too is life.  Life is about being in the flow, not having or fighting for or against it.  Regardless of the things we determine to be important, or the causes we choose, we struggle against or go with the stream of life but it always flows onward to an infinite destination we will never know.   But we need not know because such knowing will not add one thing to the incredible beauty, abundance and wonder of our existence.  We need only breathe life as it breathes us and go where it takes us. There is no end in infinity!  The stream of life is eternal life; so are you!

What do you do to be enlightened?

I was asked these two questions about enlightnment recently and wanted to share my thoughts with each of you as well. Here is the Question:

Do you think that we can all one day become enlightened? If so, what do we need to do?

My Response:    There is no “day” in some future time that we become enlightened. There is no future at all. Each of us already is enlightened and at various points in our lives we see it. Those who do get a glimpse of it are usually pulled into it by some event, such as the death of a loved one, or something else that causes deep reflection in which no “answer” comes.  Most people who have such an experience can always recount the emotional state they felt in such times but they almost always revert back to the egoic need to explain what is going on.  Most come to some conclusion that their “prayer” was answered or that an Ahhhh Haaa came to them and they understood in a way they hadn’t before.  What gets lost in these conclusions is that in that moment where no answer existed is the only place that enlightenment occurred.

In other words, enlightenment is not some magical, mystical awareness of all the, so called, “Big Questions.”  Enlightenment is the “nothing” that
existed before the “ego” needed an explanation.  It is the sweetness of being in the presence of absolute silence and not needing an explanation
for everything.  In that place there is no fear, love, happiness, sadness or any other emotional state. There is nothing but silence and it is in that
“not knowing” that “all” is known and none of it needs definition.

What do “we” need to do?  “Be still and know that YOU are god.”  In other words, unmask who it is that occupies your body by silencing the mind.  In
this place you will experience the grand mystery of which we are all a part. It’s all you can do. There is no “we” in this unmasking. You’re own
enlightenment will enlighten others.  The “god” that you are is never invisible to the “god” that they are. Something inside us always sees the greater light but it is in the quiet of the mind.  Quiet your mind and discover the “everything” that is contained in the “nothing.”  This is your enlightenment.

This is what you can do.

How We Create Our Own Reality?

I was recently asked this question and wanted to share my answer which I believe is relevant to any spiritual search. Let me know what you think.

We do create our own experience. When the newborn child you mentioned enters this Earth existence, it is the result of, or creation by, the spiritual being (I call it god) who will occupy that body and grow with it into whatever. What happens for all newborns is that after the initial excitement of the birth the adults in the new baby’s life begin to reprogram the child into seeing things the way they were taught to see. After about ten to fifteen years of this, the child embarks on a life that confirms and reinforces what they were previously conditioned to see, accept and/or believe.
This is why I say we live in an illusion. It does not start out that way but all the experiences, training, etc. that go into making us who we are as “humans” cancels out what, in fact, we truly are and what we were when we first got here. Newborn babies have no egoic identity whatsoever, and therefore everything in and about life is wondrous and incredible to them.

Mind based thoughts are powerful but spirit based creative powers are much more so. In fact, the suffering of most humans can be tied directly to the struggle between “what” they are (or were when they got here) and what they have been conditioned to be after they arrived. Perhaps one of the best examples of this is that in the United States (true for other western countries as well) over 70% of the working population hate what they do as a career but for most who are unhappy in their career field they were conditioned to go down this path contrary to their nature which craves something else. How sad for us!

You mention the mind being all powerful (rhetorical) but let me be very specific. We are each two individuals. The “mind” created individual and the spiritual being, or what I call god, which dwells within us. Those first few years you mention are so critical in the development of a child’s mind because what we are conditioned to believe initially will mask what we really are for the rest of our lives. Very few will break free of the conditioning they undergo and return back to the “unidentified” being they were when they came here.

Our lives here should not be about finding purpose and meaning but rather about finding who we are. In finding that, and synching the mind to our spiritual nature, life unfolds in a very un-conflicted way. “We”, that is the real “We” we were before we got here, is made manifest and life, our creation, unfolds in a way that reveals that being. There is power in our thoughts but our thoughts, as rational as we like to think they are, are anything but.

From the moment of our birth, we are taught to want and have and possess to the point that when we “get”, we completely identify ourselves to all the things we have gotten. Life becomes, in essence, a continuous pursuit of things the getting of which is what we falsely believe, make us who we are. An example is I can be “me” after I get my college education or when I get this particular job or career or when I get this particular house, etc., etc. We literally identify with “what we are not” and determine that until we get (what we are not) we are not complete. This is craziness.

Until we re-access that divine being that dwells within us we create a reality that is as wild and crazy as the one we live in now.

The beauty of the un-identified newborn baby is that in their creation everything is simply WOW! (Good article on this at: https://cbozeman.wordpress.com/2009/11/22/the-frequency-of-wow/. There are no judgments about anything and the entry into life is incredible in every way. No judgment is the key. With a mind free of judgment or identity everything just simply is. Children “act” without thinking and do so until we, as adults, condition them to judge everything. Life slowly but surely loses its Wow-ness.

Bottom line is that when a newborn comes into this life, its body is occupied with a “god” who has already created the experience of being here for no other reason than just being here. That god is thrilled and everything about the experience is exhilarating until the “human” has been conditioned to judge good and evil and place every life experience from that point on into a good or bad range. Ego identity takes over and from that point life experience becomes confused and challenging. It was never meant to be so.

In a nutshell we create our experience but it is either a mind created experience or a “spiritual being” created experience. Unless the mind experience is in synch with the spiritual experience there will always be conflict. The two typically see things in very different ways and “identify” with reality accordingly. The mind has become powerful but it is not “all powerful”. The mind is finite. The spirit is infinite. We, individually, are the purpose we seek and try to create with the mind. All we have to do is turn off the mind, dis-identify with the things it (the mind) has determined are necessary for its identity and simply enjoy the richness and wonder of this life experience. When we let go of “mind” created identity, the wonder and spectacle of life opens up in a way I cannot possibly explain here. It truly is unexplainable.

The god that you are “created” this experience long before you arrived here on Earth. The mind identity fights against that original purpose. Find the inner self and you will begin to recognize the awesome power of your own creation. Pretty cool!

My Father Al; A Living Tribute

It may seem a bit odd to pay tribute to another human in the form of an obituary but what good are expressions about someone if they, for whom they are written, are unable to hear and know the depth of feeling a Son can have for his Father.

My Father Al came into my life after I had ruled out all adult humans as trustworthy and protective of those they were charged with caring for. My real father had left without having any contact and my life as I knew it then was forever over. I never even gave my Father Al a chance to be a friend let alone a father to whom I would look up to. He was just another Man, human if you will, who like so many others would find ways to hurt, abandon and abuse me and make my life a hell that would haunt me endlessly. I kept him at a distance but I never stopped observing his quiet, steady ways. Beyond that I never gave him much thought. He was not much more than an inconvenient intruder in my own already defective life.

As I grew older, I began to take upon myself, with great pride, the idea that having lost my biological father, I could pick and choose the men who passed through my life and take from them characteristics I admired and wanted to emulate. I prided myself on the great variety of virtues I was able to draw upon as well as the men from whom I would draw them. I threw my admiration at certain men from many walks of life and eagerly observed and adopted characteristics I felt were necessary to my own character building. Things like integrity, honesty, hard work, devotion to family, self-sacrifice, humor and love of life. As I sought these things, always, Al was in the background.

One rarely knows the “hows” of our experiences. Most of us come to a place in our lives where our own retrospection looks back on “what changed” or on “what just happened” and in silence we marvel at what we missed for so long. For me, like John Bunyan’s “Pilgrim” I travelled a long and desperate road only to circle around back to where I had started. In a moment of stark recognition I had made my way back to my original home and to that place where in my youth I had judged so harshly. The journey took me in countless directions and all that I ever sought was always right there where I had begun. The greatest of all men was there in my own backyard. He had not changed but I had. I now had eyes that could see that where I began, and where I had ended was at his feet. And in a silent moment of recognition, at one so great, I am humbled in his presence.

The light has never shined so bright as when I have been with him. My Father Al was everything I ever sought and even with the passage of time being so long before my own recognition I feel as though I have never “not” known. This is because of Him, as well. In all my travels he has never judged. He has loved as only a father could and I have felt that love and it is inexpressible. What was once the “least” to me, is the greatest!

My Father Al has gone home to a place we all know and from whence we have all come. He is with his “greatest of all possessions,” as he referred to my Mother, whom he adored every moment of his life. Another great quality of the man! We are forever drawn to the place he now enjoys but more importantly we are drawn to him. Like a fortress or a stand of trees or the inexorable pull of the moon upon the waters he will always be the force that draws us ever closer to eternity. The light in a dark place, never looking back but always looking forward. He is our guide, a sentinel, not guarding the way but protecting us along the way.

My Father holds many places in our hearts. To some he is “Al,” while to others he is “Dad,” while to some he is “Brother Yates” or “Grandpa” or just “Yates.” Some even know him as “Handsome.” Whatever the name we knew him as or the description of him we hold we are all united in our love for him and he always reciprocated by loving us. Not in grand and showy ways but quietly, completely and most of all purely.

Rest well my Father and know that in this place we celebrate the life of one so good we are all humbled to have been a part of the vast universe you created. Go in peace and know that we all love you.

I love you. God bless you my sweet Dad.

Your Son,

Image

Awesome Man!

Carl

You Are Not Your Body

Jesus, dying on the cross was not about giving his life as a demonstration of power nor was it to save us from our so called sins. It was a demonstration that He was not his body or mind or anything else we all tend to identify ourselves with.

His closest disciples did not understand this either. This is why Peter came to his defense in the garden of Gethsemane and cut off the ear of the Roman soldier who was trying to apprehend Jesus. Peter wanted to defend the  “man” He thought Jesus was, not who Jesus actually was. Peter, and so many others then and now, could not see who Jesus was outside the “man” he thought him to be. He only saw the “man” and thought the “man” was endowed with special powers and that he must defend Jesus, as “the man” Peter “thought” him to be.

Jesus was never able to convince anyone that He was not his body; that He was not the “object” others had created him to be. His whole ministry was a demonstration of his own awareness that he was completely unidentified with anything in the world. His crucifixion was a profound and vivid example of that. Death did not matter to him. Not because we “rise again,” but because what WE truly are never dies! Who we are never dies and Jesus imparted that message one last time by allowing himself to be killed as a demonstration that he would continue on just as each of us will continue on.

We will never “fail” in this life because this life is not anywhere near what we are in eternity. Detach from the body, discover who resides within and nothing in human experience will ever be able to take from you anything that actually does matter.

A Rift in Illusion – My Father

Few of us ever escape the chains of our reality and see beyond the forms before us.  We mire in our knowledge and all the things we gather to us, forming a shell that hardens with time.  For me I have seen past it only a few times and always in the strangest of ways.

He came to me so subtly and he was hardened by a life of struggle and hardship that was so developed his own mind no longer doubted the truth of anything he said.  His was a life of total fantasy and yet it was through this hardness and fantasy that I would see far beyond this earthly view.  He was the catalyst for a rift that broke through all my illusions and perhaps, his own.  I think he knew it himself but any expression of it had to pass through the shell of his imagination of which little if anything was believable.  It would be his secret, but not without first finding a way to peer out into horizons which are rarely known but always there.

We all walk alone through this life even though we are surrounded by others on every side.  They, too, harbor the depths of loneliness and fear we all feel but neatly tuck away inside us.  We wear our masks and wrap ourselves tightly in the things that best cover us from exposure to a brighter light.  It is the nature of humans.  Beasts of the field who walk stoically into life afraid to show how truly scared and alone they are.  We are taught to survive no matter the cost.  Spare no one or thing in preserving that which you are.  The strong survive and the cost to the weak is of no consequence.  This we must do and yet in some there arises the awesome awareness that it is not just the “man” that is important, but that life, all of life, is.  For some, the rift allows just enough light to shine through that we sense something greater than mere survival.  We turn to the light and see that we can survive without the “need” to survive.  We no longer need to run to or from life gathering as we go.  All we need is to walk with it and life itself becomes the giver.

I saw this rift in a hospital room with a man, my Father, whose hardened life would take pause and see something far beyond the things and forms of normal life.  Most of my time with him was spent listening to his illusion of the events of his life.  Even in my own illusion his life, his illusion, was incomprehensible.  He was an enigma of the highest order.  Some might say crazy.  Yet he could not be more certain or proud of the life he lived.  I envied him.  It was, like most of us, the unexamined life.  Safe, but edgy.  Dramatic but fun.  Full in every way, even if it was imaginary.  I resigned myself to never knowing any of his history that began when I last saw him as a boy and when I met him a year ago. A history that would span over fifty years, now buried in the recesses of an imagined life. That part of him is and always will be a mystery. A parenthesis in time with no explanation.

I didn’t know just how short his time would be in that hospital room.  Nothing indicated he was about to go.  But I should have known, I guess, because he did a most unusual thing.  He lifted his left hand upon which he wore a ring. In the short time that I knew him, I had never seen him without it.  He wore it on his ring finger even though he had been divorced and single most of his life.

He removed the ring from his finger and handed it to me with the admonition to “make sure you give this to the boy.”  I asked “Which boy are you talking about?”  He replied earnestly, “You know the boy… Oh, what’s his name…?  Oh Carl.”  I asked, “Carl who?”  My father many times would speak directly to me about me which was one of many things about him I found so charming and fun.  I often would remind myself that his memories of me must have been of that 7 year old boy he left just as my memories of him were of a younger, more vibrant, beautiful man.  We both retained our earlier images of each other and in one sense, he was talking to that little boy by way of the man he had become.  These were always sweet exchanges.

He responded “You know…. Carl.”  “But I’m Carl,” I replied and he said, “I know.”  He added, “Make sure the boy wears that ring, it’s magic.  It will protect him and he will never want of anything.  Just make sure he gets it.”  I responded, “Okay, I’ve got it.”  He again reiterated the ring was special and would protect the boy.  I should’ve known he was telling me good-bye and passing along to me something he cherished and wanted his boy to have.  It was a tender moment. It was also a profound telling of what was to come that I should have recognized but missed completely.

It was also in this moment that I saw him as he was before his shell had formed.  Sweet, kind, gentle.  That is what showed through that rift.  Then almost inexplicably, he spoke softly and solemnly.  “I’m so sorry for what I did to you kids.”  He shook his head and looked as if he would cry.  “I’m so, so sorry,” he said again.  I looked at him and he at me and that’s when he cracked wide open.  The light shined through and the mask of his life fell away. I saw him not as man but as God.  There were others there with him but his light reached out and grabbed me, filled me, and then lifted me – and then it was gone as suddenly as it had appeared.  He looked at me and smiled as if he knew just how much he had opened up.  Through his smile and with a glint in his eye, he winked and said simply, “That’s enough.”  I wanted to shake him but I knew the rift had closed.  That was the last time I saw him alive.  He passed quietly, shell and all.

I returned to the hospital after the call came in and as I sat beside his lifeless but still warm body, I filled again, only this time with a rush of emotion and sadness.  He had left again as he had before.  It was sudden, unexpected, and without explanation.  This time, however, I saw into him in a way I could not as a boy.  As I sat there holding him in that quiet room I saw him flying, as it were, on the wings of Eagles soaring free, at last, from the darkness of his mind. He was at peace and wore the expression on his lifeless face. Looking back just a few hours earlier his smile said it all and I know, even now, he is not gone.  He, in fact, surrounds me in every way, only now it is pure light without the dreams and fantasy.  It is a brilliant light indeed.

Life is sometimes perceived as desolation.  A hard journey through a maze of missteps, broken dreams, struggle and sadness.  It is like a maze through which we struggle to get through.  In time we become the maze and it becomes us, but all the while we move on.  We choose life in spite of the troubles along the way.   That is life’s relentless pull on all of us. We are life’s creators. We uphold it as we have learned to perceive it. It never is as we think it is even if we see its awesomeness. Life is always more grand and wonderful then the physical eyes through which we view it. It took knowing him before I knew this.

I had waited as a boy first, then an adolescent, and then as an adult, for my Father to appear.  But when he did, it was unlike anything I imagined it would be.  I created my own illusion of what this visitor, must be when he did appear and the weight of it pressed down on me inexorably.  My illusion of him was a grand one. When he did appear, he was simple, broken, and feeble but he carried an unseen power that put into question everything I thought I knew and most certainly everything I had imagined.  He was indeed grand but in his way, not mine. The small was made great, the weak strong.  He was unafraid of the immensity of the universe and in showing me, I too became unafraid.

My father stepped across a great abyss and in the grandeur of those last few moments, he simply turned his head toward me and smiled.  The rift between what he was and what he became had been breached.  With a smile and a wink, I looked into eternity and saw again the worth of souls.  Together, for just that moment, we looked out into infinity and his light became one with my own.  I am not the same.

Confession

The idea of confession is another device that causes us to look outward for inward solutions. To confess ones sins, as it were, to someone we consider to have the ability to absolve us is contrary to what Jesus taught us. No one can forgive save God and the only confessing we need do is to Him or Her. As we are the gods we seek. The creator of our own experience, then true confession must be directed inward to ourselves.

True confession is owning up to the reality that our condition, our reality is different, distant and out of sync with who we really are. We are divine beings, gods, having a human experience. Our only confession should be to the inner knowing god, that in our petty reality, that what we have let ourselves become, is not the divine beings we truly are. When we recognize the difference between our earthly state and the “god” that we are then we look no more to outside sources to absolve us. Instead we connect to the true source of power that exists individually within us and with new eyes we look outward only to see how different we are from the rest of those who continue to look outward for solutions to the state they find themselves in.

Confessing ones sins to a priest, friend, doctor or family member is a shallow release compared to looking at ourselves as the identity we have created versus our true divine nature. Who can absolve God? The question is not meant to imply there is a God out somewhere in the heavens waiting to judge us. It is meant to point each of to look inwardly to the god that we are. When we recognize our divine nature the question becomes more poignant because it is a question that can only be asked of that divine being who dwells within each of us individually. Maybe the contrast is too great to acknowledge.

In the judgment that is spoken of in the New Testament and by Christians the world over no one will be looking at us and with pointing finger telling us where we sinned and where we did well. We, as gods, will look at ourselves in the full light of day and contemplate how we were so easily led away by the pettiness of our three dimensional reality, from the divine nature of our true selves. That is the only day of reckoning there will ever be and it will not cause us to be cast in or out of anywhere. We will move on unaffected by the experience and no better or worse than we ever were and without suffering any consequences devised by the pettiness of our egoic selves.

In the grand scheme of things existence will continue without ramifications and our sojourn here on earth will just be one of an infinite number of them we will experience in one form or another. When you find the god that you are you will rise above the need to judge others and yourself and you will find that any idea of sin vanishes. Life is about experiences regardless of how our reality judges them. There is never a need to second guess anything you do, have done or will do. Find that inner you that knows all and life will open up in ways you never conceived of before. In that knowing the idea of sin, judgment and confession will no longer take form in your experience. You will simply live!