Just A Thought

The wise realise that the road to true freedom is an illusion manifested to comfort the material mind but respects the wondrous journey

The foolish willingly relinquishes all freedom for the illusion of material gain and comfort ignoring the lessons on the path to true enlightenment

 

Wisdom II

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Just a Thought

Tip of the finger

Sometimes that which is so small can find the greatest place in your heart!

 

Wisdom I

Uber Conscience of Reflection

Woman Looking at Reflection

Woman Looking at Reflection — Image by © Elisa Lazo de Valdez/Corbis

Through manipulation and intimidation was the war waged

Subjugation and fear must its desired end be!

Against the snare of Loki’s mastery did I grapple

and from the might of Ares’ sword did I flee

But with enormous arrogance I denied my fragility

falling ever deeper within the confines of my hubris

I became lost and was no longer recognisable to myself

As I paused in the midst of chaos to reflect upon the murkiness of the mire

Did I discern with certain clarity, that the tormentor in chase was created by mine own reasoning

And with mine own reflection did stare back without cause or compassion

Stated grimly yet curiously sanguine, “With you I will always be.”

uber II

PAUSE

Pause III

When the light of days dim and the shadows doth consume

When the air that surrounds grow thin and thy vision impaired

For a moment be still and be comforted in thine own expanse

When truly forsaken and the once mighty stones that encircled  have Pause Icrumbled

When hope seems but a fleeting memory and despair  the only mantle

Pause, be still and in solitude feel the terra firma beneath thy feet and the nurturing embrace of the Divine

The path will manifest and light once dim, now illuminates the darkness

 

Wisdom I

Digital Age Disconnection

Technology VI

As I am out an about traveling today, I have logged a few observations with respect Technology IIto this digital/techno age we find ourselves immersed in and the decline of human interaction.  It is quite odd to note the sheer number of social animals mesmerised by their toys instead of engaged in interaction with one another. Especially in a setting which is conducive to collective gathering and chatter, the preference is to consult with ones personal companion – i.e. mobile phone, laptop or other so-called “smart” gadget to occupy their idle time and dull their senses.

Technology VI was also quite amazed by the fact that the private mobile phone is not-so private as we would like it to be. Just recall how often you have been privy to a private, personal and often uncomfortable conversation by a number of individuals in a rather public place – such as an airport, movie theatre or a train station. If you should ever find yourself in a very populated location whether it be in one of the aforementioned or any busy thoroughfare, take 10 to 20 minutes and make note of exactly how many social animals you note on their personal mobile phones.  My count, in a populated and busy shopping area in one European city came to 100 in roughly 25 minutes. I would not be shocked if you could surpass that number.

It wasn’t so long ago when these items were just novelty and human interaction meant talking to one another or taking the time to chat with someone you were not very familiar with.  That took courage by today’s standards. Something that seems to be in drastic decline today.  I mean how much courage can it take to live on the internet communicating with others in a sterile manner without having to subject yourself to the frightening aspect of having to speak face to face.  And if you have some unpleasant news to convey such as your displeasure with someone or Technology VIIperhaps to end a relationship, why not send an email or better yet a quick text – “It’s been nice spending time with you the last couple of weeks but I think I need some me time now. Perhaps we’ll meet up some other time. :)”  Have any of you been the victim of one of these courageous communicates or perhaps aware of someone who has?

Technology VIII

It seems as though our lives are becoming so sterile and that society is on this unyielding spiral downward as technology becomes more intrusive in our lives.  The most disturbing aspect of that statement is that we are happily riding the train to that very destruction.  I have stated before that it is great to connect with someone over vast distances that we would not otherwise be able to stay in close contact with. However, when does the use of devices for that purpose become excessive? To what degree do we remove the human element from our lives?  How much of ourselves must we sacrifice for the sake of innovation and technology? The next time you find yourself alone in a populated location with nothing to do don’t be Technology IXso quick to pull out your laptop or reach for that mobile companion with its mind-numbing apps. Take out a book or even a magazine and read it or better yet take the time to get to know someone around you. You may be pleasantly surprised and your social skills can only benefit from the experience.

Rant Over!

 

 

Wisdom I

Adiuva me verterem figuram mundi  Thoth II

 

 

Before My Journey’s End

Falling I

Descending helplessly through air so still

Grasping for branch, vine, or twig

Often in desperation, sometimes without care

To hold, be held, and validated in existence

For nothing can prevent the eventuality that awaits

But prior to that surcease of pain and sorrow, the companion of my seasons

I want to breathe the air divinely

I want to pause to observe the flutter of humming birds wings

I want to view the Transit of Venus across the sun

I want to leave sign and symbol of my diminishing descent from which there is no return

Hear me great hand that designs both fortune and fate

I want to live! I want to live!

If only for a fleeting moment before my journey’s end

Wisdom I

 

Adiuva me verterem figuram mundi  Thoth II

An Unwanted Sight

Unwanted Sight II

I See, I See!

I wander aimlessly in a world of dreams unfulfilled

Truth, hope and faith have been replaced with apathy, despair and ignorance

The shadows that hide within the confines of the light consumes the integrity and justice of promises long since vanquished

I See, I See!

How eagerly the herd adapts to life in the darkness

No courage inhabits their souls, no wisdom to enlighten their minds, no angels walk among them and no God to save them!

Only death and the pain of the departed to serve as their faithful companion

I See, I See!

I should have remained asleep, blissfully in a dream with my eyes closed

Concealed comfortably within the confines of the fold

Wisdom I

How Do You Face Life’s Challenges?

Here is a story conveyed to me some time ago. I have been reflecting on it a great deal recently and I sincerely hope that it will be of benefit to you as difficulties arise in your life.

Challenges IIIOn a migratory journey down south, a bird decided to leave his flock believing that he could reach their intended destination quicker. While in flight through a cold winter spell his wings became stiff and started to ice over.  He noticed a peaceful patch of land near a farmhouse and decided to land to de-ice his wings.  Shortly after landing in the field, a very large and somewhat unimpressive cow wandered over.  She asked the bird what was he doing to which he sarcastically replied, “I am trying to thaw my feathers so that I can continue on my journey south. Why else would I be here in winter?”  He went on to convey to the curious cow that he should have never left his flock because he has done nothing but waste time especially speaking with her.  The cow, with very little expression, told him that she understood not bothered at all by his sarcasm. She then turned around and proceeded to drop a large amount of “dung” on top of him then walked away very casually.  The bird was both shocked and angry.  The odorous, hot manure dumped Challenge IVon him was an awful thing to do he lamented.  What a worthless, miserable old cow to do such a thing. The emotion consumed him as he now had to clean the smelly dung from his wings.

Shortly there after, a cat wandered over to him. He stated to the bird that he had observed everything that had transpired.  He also stated that it was an incredibly mean-spirited thing for the cow to do. The bird agreed and expressed how much difficult the cow had made life for him.  The cat then offered his assistance in cleaning the dung off of him. He stated that he could lick that off of him in no time at all and he would be free to be on his way.  The bird accepted the cat’s assistance with very little thought at all. He felt that he had wasted enough time in that field and could not stop thinking about the choice he had made with respect to leaving the flock.  The cat promptly kept to his word and cleaned every bit of the manure from Challenges Ihis wings. The bird was elated, and could not thank him enough.  He then prepared to take flight again to get back on his journey. It was in that moment the cat displayed all of his teeth dripping with saliva. He grabbed hold of the bird and swallowed him whole.

You may have heard of this fable before or some variation there of.   I am sure that the meaning of it is quite clear to you.

  1. Everyone who dumps on you is not necessarily your enemy or are hurting you
  2. Everyone who helps you is not necessarily your friend

For me, it was quite profound as it helped me to see life in a different light.  The problems that I had in my life were not necessarily a bad thing. Like the ice on the bird’s wings they provided the means for me to learn from and grow wiser.  Also everyone who has made my life difficult or I believed made my life difficult, whether intentionally or not, had actually provided me with an opportunity to learn, grow stronger and mature.  Much like the bird, we don’t recognise the benefits of something done to us (or for us) because of the stench or pain associated with it.  Conversely, everyone (or everything) that seemed great and beautiful that wanted to make my life easier wasn’t necessarily helping me. “All that glitters is not gold” as they say.  Wisdom and knowledge are derived from our struggles and our ability to accept “what is” and move on from it.  Looking back and regretting the choices we have made can be an exercise in futility and a waste of much needed energy.

We may lose faith, stumble and fall from the overwhelming weight of our situations at times but we must continue on. Success and happy endings are never guaranteed but the journey itself is what’s important and how we conduct ourselves along the way.  As for the problems we face?  There will always be problems but in difficult times I try to reflect on the words of Shakespeare’s Hamlet – “There is nothing neither good nor bad but thinking makes it so”.   How you view an event is what determines the reality of it to you. I realise that these are merely words and can seem useless to someone who is “walking through fire” so to speak. But in them one may find hope and faith.  For without either of these we truly are doomed and we condemn the world around us as well.

I wish everyone good health, strength to overcome difficult challenges and the wisdom to grow and learn from them.

Same Old Song Different Musician

Election 2016 III

In the United States we are gearing up for another election.  Once again it is time for the two-party system to place their candidates on show to fight it out amongst one another before engaging in a competition for what they perceive as the ultimate prize – the presidency of the United States.  Don’t be concerned if you’re not familiar with the process or various candidates on display because no matter who or which party wins, you can expect the same old song to be played by a different musician or should that be the same old show by a different magician.

Election 2016 IVWe begin the election process with a certain optimism and enthusiasm believing in someone who will do things differently or bring about social cohesion and an integrity to their office and the country only to find ourselves disappointed again and again.  And if by some miracle there was such an individual of conscience, courage, conviction and integrity to bring back a sense of justice and cohesion to the nation as president or other elected official, you can believe that they wouldn’t last long in that job. You can’t understand why there is so much pessimism on my part?  Well, with history as a teacher; the lack of engagement by individuals in the country; prevalent corruption at nearly every level of government; and the ever strengthening evolution of special interest groups and institutions, believe me that it’s not that difficult to understand.

Election 2016 VIIIt has been some time since the citizens of the United States have been made to feel that they truly matter or have felt collectively and socially engaged about what is taking place both at home and abroad.  Please understand that this is not another rant about the government or politicians because it isn’t. We as citizens must assume our fair share of responsibility with regard to what has been taking place over the past several decades.  We buy into the “dog and pony show” hook line and sinker instead of educating ourselves on the significant issues that affects us and what’s in our best interests not just as individuals but as a society or nation.  That in-turn allows the best entertainer to come along and promise much but deliver very little where it really matters which in-turn results in disappointment, apathy, flawed officials, government and policies that seem to be self serving or highly ineffectual.

Regardless of where you find yourself on the political spectrum, allowing yourself to be dazzled by empty or superficial promises and sweet words to your ears will always result in disappointment or worse!  Why does this perpetual and destructive cycle continue?  I believe that we allow our emotions to be tapped at the expense of our logical reasoning capabilities.  So the important factor then becomes whether or not the candidate embodies certain identifiable characteristics that we can relate to (race, gender, religion, etc.) or how our buttons are pushed on certain hot topic issues such as immigration, abortion, gun control, and so on.  Regardless of which party you identify with, you just need to hear those right words spoken with just the right tone at the right time to be sold. And the politicians, sensing the blood in the water like a great white shark, will take full advantage.

The election process is one that hinges on individual self-absorption instead of one contingent on what is best for the nation collectively whether that benefits  our personal desires and circumstances or not.  When was the last time you observed an elected official acting contrary to his/her own personal interests or that of their constituents to do what is right and just for all concerned?  I believe you would have a difficult time answering that one because typically we act in a way that will consistently benefit our own ideal interests.  This is true no matter what the issue is, who you are or what country you live in. So then how can we not expect to experience the same old disappoint as well as the same old conflicts over and over again? I believe we can accomplish this by setting aside our selfish desires and taking a more altruistic stance.

Election 2016 VIIICurrently in the US one of the hot button issues is gun control. After several mass shootings the interest is in controlling the ease in which one can purchase a weapon. At least that is the stance taken on the liberal left while the conservative right resists further controls perhaps spurred on by the National Riffle Association (NRA).  Instead of taking an objective look at the incidents, the knee jerk reaction is to enact legislation that will quickly satisfy emotional needs for a solution and perhaps gain some political capital as well in the process.  Very few that I have observed, in my opinion, have cared about investigating the actual root cause – “why are there so many emotionally and mentally disturbed individuals in this country?”  For those that are saddled with deep emotional and mental issues and want to kill a large number of people, I believe that they will find a way regardless of whether or not they can obtain a legal fire arm. To be fair guns are a significantly easy way to carry out mass destruction. Enacting legislation to make it more difficult to obtain them may reduce the violence that has occurred but where Election 2016 IXthere is a will there is a way regardless of whether you have legal access to a gun or not.  I am of the opinion that our current society is producing these types of individuals be it due to the environment, social/government actions (or inaction) or some other factors. I am not advocating for one side or the other in this debate but merely pointing out that we tend to take the emotionally easy way out in finding a solution instead of diligently searching for a root cause. This in turn results in a superficial quick-fix to satisfy the masses and which then perpetuates the same old reactions to the problems that we face.

Election 2016 XAnother challenging issue is of course illegal immigration. No matter where you stand on this issue you can bet that there is a politician or official waiting to pounce to garner attention and votes by suggesting a course of action that will satisfy their core-base of supporters or to acquire new followers even it is the wrong action to take.  Obviously this is a very complex and emotional issue but again the knee-jerk reaction is to do what will serve selfish personal interests instead of what will be legally and morally in the best interests of the nation as a whole balancing that with the individual needs of those affected.  There are other issues that ignite very emotional responses such as funding Planned Parenthood Clinics; abuse of power by local and government agencies; same-sex marriage; personal civil liberties; mounting personal debt and the shrinking middle class not to mention the international issues concerning ISIS, Syria, Iran, Russia, ad nauseam. Once again you can rely on the fact that the course of action taken (or inaction) will be based on what’s in the best political/personal interests of those making the decisions spurred on by the desires or wishes of their constituency rather than what is the right and just course of action to take with the best interests of “all” in mind.

Now the intention of this post is not to take sides on an issue one way or another but to point out that the apathy, corruption, and unethical practices will continue in government and our society as a whole because we allow it to.  We either influence  OUR representatives, political party, candidates etc. by our emotional reactions, attachments and relationships into initiating some ill-action or allow the aforementioned to do that which will be personally and politically beneficial for them by our lack of attention or engagement.  Indeed we either want personal satisfaction regardless of best interests or we simply don’t care because it has no bearing on our personal lives.

As alluded to in past posts, what is needed is thoughtful, unbiased engagement on our part.  We have to want and desire that which will benefit us all and not what will personally satisfy our own needs and interests.  Sometimes our interests and needs will not conflict with what we desire or with what must be done. When there is a conflict, we have to implore wisdom and realise that selfishness and a lack of understanding on our part will continue to result in a degradation of our society and our lives to a point of no return. That is if we haven’t gotten to that point already. Effective change begins with each one of us reflecting honestly upon ourselves.  We need to place our desires and expectations in proper perspective and ensure that they are just and compatible with the needs of the society in which we live.  We then need to charge those elective officials with carrying out that which is in the best interests of the nation as a whole and vigilantly hold them accountable. Only then can we expect a new type of politician to emerge. One that is actually focused on the significant issues at hand without prejudice and that knows he/she is serving a wise and informed constituency that respects honesty, integrity and expects results from their civil servants and not the same old song.