The Thought I Woke Up With #149

Getting Old

A man asks a farmer standing by the side of a field; “Sir, would you mind if I crossed your field instead of going around it? I really need to catch the 4:23 train.”

The farmer has a little think, and slowly replies; “Sure thing son, go right on ahead. And if my bull sees you you’ll catch the 4:11 one.”

Now what has that got to do with getting old?

Just this. If you’re inclined to fret about age and aging, go find yourself a filed with a big ugly bull, preferably with a nasty disposition to boot, in it and step on into that bad boys domain. Then, when he starts snorting and chasing after you you’ll forget all about your age and run for the safety of the fence for all you’re worth. Bet you’ll cover the 100 meters in a time that’ll make Usain Bolt proud.

Proving what? Proving that ageism is all in the mind. Trouble is, for the most part humans don’t think in terms of age being nothing but a mind game. That isn’t how the big dance is set up is it. The dance is about lies and illusions.

You hear it ad nauseum from within the entertainment industry. Once the youth is gone so are the roles, and so on. Well, maybe you weren’t such a great actor in the first place. If, once gravity becomes your greatest enemy, and your bits and pieces start hangin’ out by themselves, and work dries up maybe, just maybe it’s time to do something else anyway.

Everything is set up to make one afraid and miserable. When young we wish we were older, then, when we are old, we wish we could go back and be young. And in that simple expression, in that simple sounding phrase, is the answer to what is actually happening in life. We are not focusing on the now. Never the now, always the past or the future.

And the tragedy of it, or the glorious beauty of it, depending on ones state of understanding, is that we do it all to ourselves.

What is age? At what point does one pass from youthful to old? When a girl says, “Let’s go upstairs and make love,” and the man replies, “Pick one, I can’t do both!”

Or, when a friend compliments you on your new alligator shoes and you’re barefoot?

When you and your teeth no longer sleep together?

If you have the impression that I don’t take age and aging seriously, dear reader, you’re right. It’s not something I’ve worked on, I’ve never thought ageism anything but a ridiculous concept.

Age does not bring wisdom. I have seen wiser 16 year olds than a great many 40 year olds.

Nor does age mean one suddenly needs to fall in with expectations; start wearing cardigans, playing slow games of golf, and napping with the pets. Bugger that. Do what you want to do, as long as you want to do it. If you want to party till the break of dawn, get down baby!

If on the other hand you want to sit in the rocking chair and snooze the day away, more power to you. As long as that’s what turns you on, not because society says you should.

Your soul is immortal, ageless. This ego life is a big ole joke. Don’t let the marketing fools and societal dictates spoil your groove.

Until tomorrow,

Signiture4

The Thought I Woke Up With #149

The Thought I Woke Up With #148

Respect

An enormous amount is said about respect. Everyone wants it for starters. People have killed, and been killed, in its name. Even after death respect is thought of as an issue; Respect for the dead, is the big catch cry. Like the dead give two pineapples about respect.

It seems to me, this respect thing is an issue to those who don’t have it for themselves. A man who is said not to have respect for women, for example, really hasn’t an issue with women. The woman standing in front of him isn’t his problem. His problem is the ugliness and turmoil within his own mind.

All violence is an expression of self-hate. She / he disrespected me, is just a weak excuse.

Life isn’t that complex, to worry and think about respect. Don’t go swindling people, lying to them or harming them. Treat humanity the way you’d like to be treated, talk to them the way you enjoy being talked to and you’ll find that generally you’ll get by pretty well.

Show me a person who has spent time learning about, and getting to know themselves, through self examination and I’ll show you a person who could care less about respect. That’s because when that process has been completed there is no opinion. Opinion is after all but judgment; I respect this, but don’t respect that. I like you but I can’t stand her, and so on and so forth. All those things are replaced by understanding.

Seeking respect shows a distinct lack of understanding. Self-appreciation and Self-love negate the need to judge. Once the heart knows the way home, what anyone thinks ceases to make any difference whatsoever.

Until tomorrow,

Signiture4

The Thought I Woke Up With #148

The Thought I Woke Up With #147

Is Life Important?

Everyone thinks himself or herself special, important, unique, the center of the universe it has been expressed as. And that’s fine, normal in fact. Ego’s version of normal anyway. That’s what ego does, that’s what ego is, end of story. Ego is about specialness, which really translates into separateness.

Everyone also knows the truth- although pretending otherwise is an art form- no one is special. Everyone ends up in the same place. Living the ego life is no different to watching a fish out of water; the fish hits the alien environment in shock and fear. It struggles and thrashes and flails about for a while, until the end finally comes.

Bleak and depressing description? An even bleaker analogy, of human life? Would it be more comforting to pretend and say instead; Life is a wondrous gift from god; a beautiful comedy-drama, like that Italian movie, La vita è bella- Life Is Beautiful? The film uses the atrociousness of a Nazi concentration camp for comedy purposes. Vile? No more vile than it was to allow Hitler to get as far as he did. No more vile than it is to allow similar minded evil monkeys to rise to power almost on a daily bases. Look at what is going on in the Middle East. In Zimbabwe, North Korea and the rest.

Everyone may well be special. But it just so happens that some are clearly more special than others, with bigger guns and an even bigger thirst for blood and tyranny.

So what can you do about all this, dear reader?

Two things. One, understand what ego is all about. No rose coloured glasses. See the setup for what it truly is.

And two, dedicate yourself to finding love, joy and happiness. None of which are in ego.

Life IS what we make it. That’s a fact. Chasing ego rewards of silver rings and shiny bobbles renders life worthless. What do silver rings and golden bobbles matter when it’s over? When life has been wasted on such trivialities?

Used for the betterment of Self, for joy and happiness and helping others, life becomes a road to salvation. A joyous celebration.

An even simpler way to look at it is that we’re here anyway, right? There’s no getting around that. You’re here. May as well use the time for something that feels nice and is healthy, which as it happens will also liberate you.

Isn’t it better to give the time to beautiful things, lovely things, as opposed to ugly and negative ones. There really isn’t that much time to play with, much energy to squander upon wrath and vengeance, hatred and jealousy, meanness and pessimism.

Until tomorrow,

Signiture4

The Thought I Woke Up With #147

The Thought I Woke Up With #146

Meditation

I have been asked several times about meditation; how it works, why it’s effective, how to do it and so on. In my book, Him & Me I talk about it in some detail, and will outline the basics below.

The key to meditation is to keep it simple. As it happens, I’m a believer that everything should be kept simple, relative to the subject matter obviously.

In the book, and in an effort to stick to the aforementioned simple approach, I don’t even use the word “meditation,” I call the exercise Being in Silence. As an aside, if you are someone who tends complicate things, take a look at that, because, whenever you complicate things you are in fact creating diversions.

Being in Silence:

†   Dedicate regular morning and evening Being in Silence times.

   Find a specific place that is comfortable, quiet and private.

†   Sit comfortably in a straight back chair. Do not lie down. Keep the back straight and hands resting in your lap. Close the eyes and slowly inhale and exhale several times. Relax.

†   Focus on clearing the mind of chatter and letting go of anxiety, fear and random thoughts. 

†   Become an observer. That is the goal. Watch the mind and how it operates. Chatter and random thoughts will come and go. Do not worry about this. When it happens do not judge or engage, gently return to silence.

†   Doing nothing is the goal here. Thinking is doing. Trying to push and force things out of mind is doing. Getting annoyed is doing. Stop doing. Just relax and observe. Look at mind’s subtle, and the not-so-subtle, shifts. Watch it present stuff for you to become distracted by. The idea is to get you distracted. Anger, sadness, fear, lust, planning, love, these are just some of the things mind presents. That’s what mind does. It isn’t anything personal. Mind is not an adversary; it’s not there to fight you. Mind is just doing what mind does. Do you get angry at or frustrated by a bird flying, a fish swimming, a horse galloping or even a dog sniffing unpleasant objects? No, because those things are natural, right? So is what mind does natural for mind to do. Observe it. Get to know it. And once you know what, the how will come. You will observe mind spending its time in two modes, the past mode and the future mode. It will never be in the now. Why? Because in the now the mind doesn’t exist. Keep watching. Like the guitar player learning to play, watching mind will become easier and easier until all you will be hearing are but the sweet sounds of silence.

Another question I’m asked is “How long should I meditate?” If you’ve never done it, start with five minutes at a time. As time passes adjust the duration as feels best to you. And don’t look on meditation as something mystical, something only the special ones can do.

There is nothing special or mystical about meditating. Nor do you need to spend large amounts of money being thought and guided. It has been used by everyone, forever. The only guide you truly need is the one you’ll find in your times of meditative quietness.

The key to it is:   1. Do it. And 2. Don’t get frustrated. Easy does it.

Until tomorrow,

Signiture4

The Thought I Woke Up With #146

The Thought I Woke Up With #145

There’s No Way Around It

I watched an interview with an Indian guru one time. The man was talking about his spiritual journey. Part of his journey involved withdrawing into a cave where he thought he was going to find enlightenment through isolation and meditation. He spent months in that cave meditating, emerging only to replenish his supplies. Then, one day it came to him- enlightenment wasn’t going to happen in the cave. He came to understand that he had to get back into the world, rejoin life and the living.

Our lives revolve around decisions. Indeed lives are run on decisions. Wherever you find yourself right this second, like it or hate it, is a direct result of decisions you made. That’s just the way it is.

There are two key points to know about decisions. Firstly, decisions are made. They can therefore be “unmade.” That’s another way of defining the undoing process. In order to attain enlightenment everyone has errors to undo/rectify. No matter who you are, you’ve made some mistakes that need to be attended to before peace and Love return.

Secondly, undoing cannot happen in some remote cave or other suchlike place through meditation and reflection only. As much as I applaud and advise regular periods of meditation and quiet time in general the actual rectifying of errors that keep one in the ego frame must be done through living life.

The enlightenment pathway entails facing errors and making different, correct choices. You can’t cook a meal by imagining yourself in a kitchen.

Author Rabindranath Tagore puts it this way: “You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.”

Consider this also; every decision made, seemingly good, bad or indifferent is an opportunity to undo and heal. There are no exceptions to this rule. It’s one of those immutable cosmic ones.

As is immutable the fact that there is no way around it— Life is to be lived, situations are to be rectified, enlightenment is to be attained. It’s all about living and choosing.

To many of us the simple process I have just described is terrifying. I know it is. But you know, it is only terrifying until you wade in. What do you do when you’re standing at the edge of a swimming pool and you know the water feels cold? You shut your eyes and jump in.

Do the same with an uncomfortable scenario that you need to attend to. Close your eyes and blurt it out; say what you have to say; do what you have to do. As the add says, Just do it.

What have you got to lose? That you’ll get it wrong? So what? Whenever you do something from the heart and straight up, even when you get it wrong, you’ll be right.

Until tomorrow,

Signiture4

The Thought I Woke Up With #145

The Thought I Woke Up With #144

God and Art

Does life imitate art, or, does art imitate life? Whether you find that question interesting or a bit of a yawn depends on you, the individual. You can however apply that very same question to a more interesting topic- god and life.

Does god imitate life or does life imitate god?

Proposed within that context, the question becomes more than interesting, it can in fact become a vehicle that takes one directly into the heart of the god v man relationship.

When addressing the art imitating life or vise versa question, writer Robert Louis Stevenson wrote: Life is monstrous, infinite, illogical, abrupt and poignant.

Now compare those words with the “Bible god,” let’s call him. When the Bible was written the world was all of those things, as well as primitive. It operated on brute and monstrous deeds, cruel laws and illogical beliefs. And does not the Bible god reflect those very things? Yes he does, and in very non-mysterious ways: And I will execute great vengeance upon them with furious rebukes; and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall lay my vengeance upon them. The Ezekiel 25:17 verse says it all, bluntly and clearly.

And so it’s been from the dawn of time. Man always using god to excuse and justify every evil deed committed. They used to pray and chant and carry on a pious treat whilst burning people alive, disemboweling and torturing. Gods have been responsible for everything from the black plague and every deadly disease you care to mention through to chickens not laying eggs.

God has most definitely imitated society.

You can see this spectacle of duplicity and ignorance in action right now, dear reader. Simply observe the different societies throughout the world. The more evolved and advanced a society the greater its level of enlightenment, and the kinder, gentler, more loving its gods.

If anyone has ever wondered what enlightenment was all about never has the correlation between it, and ignorance been as clear and obvious; there are no god-sanctioned beheadings in civilised and enlightened societies.

A developed and enlightened society understands that a god that punishes harshly, sanctions a child marrying a man old enough to be her grandfather, validates the suppression of women and generally behaves like a war-pig is no god at all but a cartoon character from an evil comic strip.

It is beyond all logic and reason as to why human beings would behave like bloodthirsty savages in this day and age. It is downright perverse justifying such wicked and vicious behaviors on the bases of carefully selected, out of context, verses, prayers and chants allegedly uttered by some archaic god. Basically they believe in everything that God isn’t.

God is Love. God is peace. God is purity. God is non-religious. God IS.

There IS a little bit of God in all of us, it’s just that some are more asleep than others.

Until tomorrow,

Signiture4

The Thought I Woke Up With #144

The Thought I Woke Up With #143

Equality

We are all equal! Hallelujah! Yes indeed! It seems the moment mankind set foot on planet Earth the argument about equality began. That is to say all humans are proclaimed equal, above all in rights, status and opportunities.

What a load of donkey dung that is. There has never been equality nor will there ever be equality. Ever.

It does sound lovely though. All warm and fuzzy, and noble: All men are created equal, an ‘immortal declaration,’ some call it. In reality though it is nothing more than, at best, a well-meaning jingoism and at worst a brazen lie trotted out by the deceitful and corrupt to try and keep the masses in line.

In far too many scenarios around the world when someone gets to feeling the pangs of equality, they very quickly realize only one option becomes available to them- rebellion. They need to take up arms in order to achieve equality. There’s something obscene about that. Even in so called developed countries where logic and reason and laws govern the state of daily living, equality is non existent. Take a drive through a ghetto some time.

But there’s an even greater obscenity. If the rebel doesn’t end up dead or in jail for a very long time, if in fact they win the fight for equality, all that happens is a role change; the former equality oppressors become the oppressed; they become the new “unequal” and the former rebel becomes the new “more equal.” Funny isn’t it, equality never seems to work downwards.

Equality is one of the big lies. Right up there with love being king and justice being available to all. Just think, in the last worldwide skirmish, when a man demonized and tried ethically cleansing an entire population, over 60 million people were killed. Some estimate the figure to be over 70 million. That was the World War 2 and the idea was to exterminate Jews and establish a master race.

There is a very simple and basic reason why there will never be equality in ego. Ego operates on separateness and specialness. If there came a moment the entire human race came to a realization that everyone was equal in that moment ego would cease to exist. And that cannot be allowed to happen.

There is another aspect to this equation. All men are not created equal. Not in ego.

Everyone arrives with their own agenda and a dream to dream. There’s a reason for the numerous personalities, traits, likes, dislikes, hates, repugnance and so on. It’s like a cast of a huge, weird, Z class movie with copious twisted subplots.

In Creation, yes, we are all one and the same. In ego no. As the Yiddish proverb says:

Everyone is kneaded out of the same dough but not baked in the same oven.

Until tomorrow,

Signiture4

The Thought I Woke Up With #143