This page holds all the past journal entries that first appear on the home page of the Wracklineblog. Each
will have the date on which they appeared on the blog, as well as the original date on which I made the entry in the journals.
The most recent ones are at the top.
Many of the insights and thoughts in my journals - which started in the 70s - were inspired by the writings of Ernest Holmes, a spiritual leader in the 50s and 60s, who founded the "Science of Mind". This is essentially a life philosophy of being positive, and making use of the Universal Consciousness, the power of the Cosmos, the Great Spirit. We make statements and affirmations upon this Universal "Mind" with the confidence and belief that our words will bring about prosperity, success, and health, because we are invoking the Universal Law ("Science").
A link to purchase Holmes "365 Daily Meditations" is provided at the bottom of this page.
The Christmas Cards
Blog date: 12/19/2019 Journal Entry: 12/2012
Alas, I no longer do Christmas cards, but I did back in 2012, and made this entry in my journal:
I decided to do Christmas cards yesterday, probably for the last time. Almost talked myself out of it: “Aw, they're just gonna' be briefly perused, possibly perched up on a shelf for a bit, then pitched.”
So that afternoon I checked my stash of unused cards and found them to be depleted, so. . . off to the store to get a pack of cards.
My first stop was Target, usually a purveyor of cards that meet my preferences – a nice nature scene on the front and a “sentiment” inside that is somewhere between “Happy Holidays” and “Jesus Loves You for Remembering His Birthday” – usually something that has a scene on the front which might represent a Spiritual Place to somebody. But Target’s own stash of cards had already been raided, leaving me with nothing but the two above-mentioned extremes.
So Fred Meyers was my next stop. Freddies came through with a nice deck of cards with foil-lined envelopes and a beautiful Oregon mountain scene on the front. But wait. The text inside was “To thank you for your business. . .”
Holy humbug! Business Christmas cards!
There was simply nothing else, except a box of small cards with a pleasant sketch of a tree with lights on a snowy hill with a fence in the foreground, and a “sentiment” that suited me just fine. But they were still a bit small. But wait. I could glue one of those cards right on top of the “Thank you for your business” lines on the bigger card.
I bought both packs of cards.
I sat down at my desk that Wednesday evening. "Oh wait. This will not do. I need something to to sip that will help me be the Claus for a while". So I went downstairs and procured a glass of wine.
So there I sat, writing notes on bits of paper with the Christmas music tinkling from the speakers, ignoring the occasional voice in my head that said "people don't do this anymore", and yet noticing that the list of recipients was growing - my kids, my sisters, my aunts, the long-time dentist back in Dallas, my chiropractor, a couple of work colleagues from the past, the software reps at work - and soon the stack of new cards began to get smaller while the addresses began to get sloppier as the evening (and the wine) progressed, and for a while - with the Christmas music dripping from the ceiling and the dessicated memory serotonin becoming more moist - I was the Claus.
What do We Mean by "means"
Blog date: 11/22/2019 Journal Entry: 10/30/2010
The morning began with a gorgeous sunrise, with orange clouds and azure sky on the horizon, fading to bright
red clouds and cobalt sky above my head. I imagined being asked by the neighbor's kid "Why is the sunrise
like this on some days?"
"Well, it means there is more moisture in the atmosphere. . ." That is, my first thoughts were the scientific explanation about sunlight reflecting on the higher moisture content before an approaching storm. "Red skies in the morning, sailor take warning."
But then I found myself thinking:
"I don’t know what we mean by ‘means’. All we do when we say ‘it means. . .’ is to use some other words to explain something. Philosophy is a lot like that. It goes even further and makes up words to help create meaning.
And once created, the new words acquire a life of their own.
The ceramic of the coffee cup is the material cause of its existing. The shape of the cup is its formal cause. The image in the consciousness of the sculpter is the final cause.
Blah, blah, blah, blah. . .
And then the philosopher says he/she has explained something.
If I don’t know what I am talking about, I will use bigger or fancier words.
If I do know what I am talking about – like the Budda or a Zen Master – I will use fewer words, or perhaps no words at all. I might invite the listener to simply observe the sunrise."
Appearance vs Reality
Blog date: 11/11/2019 Journal Entry: 4/13/2010
I was to have a minor operation on my shoulder, and as part of the preparation had an MRI of the area. The
results, however, showed some unusual anomolies, and the surgeon asked me to obtain an analysis from an
oncology specialist prior to operating - "just to be sure".
Well, I made the mistake of popping the image CD into my computer and taking a look for myself.
Big Mistake. The images of my bones looked like slices of an iron pipe that had been subject to years of rust.
So this was the material "reality" that I observed with my eyes.
I reminded myself of the words of Spiritual writers like Ernest Holmes, who speak of "Appearance" vs "Reality". As an example, when I was approaching retirement, Appearance was apparent lack of funds due to investments that have gone sour, bad financial decisions in the past, and the like. There was "no way" I could afford a decent house near the Pacific Ocean because my house in Texas was only worth $115,000.
Reality is the Guidance I received from the Universe to purchase a "short sale" 1600 sq ft home for $165,000 in 2011, close to an incredibly high growth technology area in Hillsboro, Oregon. By 2014 I was able to sell that same home for $325,000!
So there I was, back in 2010, asking "What is the really real?" Was it the appalling images of devastation in my arm shown in the MRI, showing a bone being eaten away by some apparent process? How could I, in the face of these visual images, say that my belief is in another reality in which I trust the same Universe for a benign outcome?
I walked into the oncologist's office, painfully aware that "oncology" means the "C" word.
"Oh yeah. That's an Enchondroma. We see those all the time. It may have even been there when you were a kid, but becomes dormant in adulthood."
I had to compose myself for a minute or two - and the vision failed.
So, after four days of waiting for Medical Science’s analysis of these images (and alternating between feelings of confidence and nervous gnawing in the gut), the report was benign: there is a non-aggressive, stable, "lesion" from a past process.
I forgot about Spirit’s best tool, which is Time. This is something that has happened in the past, not something that is. Like all other conditions that we do not want, it has passed.
And "lesion" sounds like a much better term than "tumor", "cancer" and similar words.
So perhaps the words that I had spoken and the affirmations that I made – even if they were spoken along with the words "Help Thou mine unbelief" – had in fact tapped into the power of that Consciousness.
I made another journal entry on 5/20/2010 which perhaps is related:
I was (in an imagined reverie) saying that "life is fragile, and the merest abberation of cells can take it down." But having said that in my imagination, it immediately ocurred to me that such words are "standard speaking", Perhaps I would call it "theatrical speaking" - the stuff of movies and novels.
That is not the correct way to speak, if we say that we are Consciousness that controls our physical form rather than is controlled by that physical form.
I have often said in the past that we do not have a body, but that we are a body-soul. Now perhaps the reason for this intuition is finally clear. We do not have a body any more than we have this or that disease. We are Spirit interpreting the Earth as us, and our physical form is the Incarnation of that Spirit.
Turning Food into Energy
Blog date: 10/11/2019 Journal Entry: 10/9/2019
The little magazine started an article with the words "Our cell mitochondria are responsible for turning food into
energy. . ." I paused, looked out the window, and thought:
I suppose that is what happens when we eat. One of the remarkable things that our physical form does is to turn our food into thought, words, ideas, and other forms of energy.
I look around the room. The electrical parts spread out on the table for my next project were created as a result of concepts from the energy of scientists and inventors in the past. The words that I am writing in this journal have in part come from the cheese, the whole grains, and the spinach that I ate for lunch.
The food I have eaten today and in the past has become the energy of activity, good cheer, excellent health, and indeed the exuberance of life for me.
If this is the case, then it would make sense that I eat the best food I can. The organic fruits and vegetables, the grass-fed milk, and the wholesome grains have produced calm, balance, patience, and peace for me. They have brought about well-being and great depth of feeling.
But what then what would I expect from the products that the Food Industry has produced?
Would I expect peace and calm from the meat of chickens and cows that have known fear and force from birth?
Would I expect good health from the same chickens and cows who are so sick they have to be feed antibiotics every day?
Would I expect to energize that health from vegetables and grains that have been grown so fast they haven't even had time to draw up minerals and nutrients from the soil (which is itself exhausted and overextended)? Can plants whose health has been elicited by chemicals and pesticides confer immunity to me when they haven't needed to provide it for themselves?
If we create energy from food, then maybe we should ask if the food that permeates our supply has the right kind of energy to provide us. And maybe it is that very food which contributes to high incidence of "degenerative" (lacking energy) diseases that affect our society.
Everybody Wants to be a Superhero – Except Superheros
Blog date: 10/6/2019 Journal Entry: 8/15/2019
We all have probably secretly wanted to be a superhero, at least at some time in our lives.
Watch any kid as he/she runs around adorned with some sort of cape, zapping "bad guys" with imaginary weapons. And how many of the rest of us have at least briefly wanted some sort of super power to allow us to change something beyond our control.
What if I could just point my finger toward the neighbor's barking dog and temporarily lower its core temperature (Just enough to get it to go inside)
What bullied kid has not had vivid daydreams of slinging their arm out in a big arc to slam some bully into a wall?
What if I could just temporarily stop the breathing of the cranky clerk who is sending me back home for an unnecessary form after I just spent 2 hours in line – just long enough to get him to change his mind?
And yet the irony of today's superhero movies is that often superheros themselves don't want to be superheros anymore. For one thing, they're getting blamed too often for the collateral damage that ocurrs during battle with the arch-enemies. Or maybe they screw it up trying to help someone.
And what's worse, the arch-enemies seem to be getting too bad-ass. The superheros are starting to find themselves right back in the same boat as all us common folk:
And what is that? It's that the superheros can't change things beyond their control either.
Our Consciousness and the Consciousness of the Cosmos
Blog date: 8/27/2019 Journal Entry: 12/6/2009
In the Science of Mind "Year of Daily Wisdom", for 12/5: "Hermes tells us that Spirit
has everything in Itself as thought, that the whole cosmos itself is a thing of consciousness".
Then on the 12/6 lecture we have: "As consciousness extends its vision it extends the possibility of its objective experience" (this "meditation" is talking about expanding our life and accomplishments by envisioning more, by "pushing out the horizons" of our previous experience).
So two thoughts arise from this chance juxtaposition of insights:
We create by our consciousness, in the same manner as the Spirit of the Cosmos creates by Its consciousness. That is, if we say that we are participants in the Universal Consciousness, that we are Spirit interpreting the Earth as us, then the words and we state about our lives are spoken with the same authority as the words of the Timeless Formless One when it spoke the words of Creation.
Spirit’s self-awareness and consciousness constantly expands, and this expansion is creation. The Cosmos is the result of the Consciousness of Spirit.
OK. Maybe three thoughts:
We are the means by which the Great Spirit expands its Consciousness in Space/Time. That is, Spirit creates form (paintings, stories, architecture, music, and the like) through each of us. We are the aperture of the Cosmos.
Flowers and Weeds
Blog date: 7/31/2019 Journal Entry: 5/24/2019
I’m out in the back yard digging up some weeds growing in my raised beds and some more
that were poking up among my river rocks.
I Just did some more of the same a few weeks ago.
But somehow his time it ocurred to me that this was a bit silly: I’m pulling up this lovely low growing plant with clover-shaped leaves and which was recently covered with cute little yellow flowers.
Why? Well, because I’m calling it a “weed”.
Right next to the "weed" I am trying to remove is a plant which is a mound of cute little white flowers. So why am I arbitrarily watering and caring for the mounded plant with white flowers and digging up the one with yellow flowers? Well it’s partly because those plants are prolific and might soon take over much of my garden.
But it’s mainly because I didn’t choose the yellow-flowered plant. I chose the white-flowered plant. I didn’t plan for the yellow plant which I got for free; I did plan for the white plant, which cost me $5.00 each.
So I find myself irritated because I’m spending all this time eradicating the yellow-flowered plant – it forms a dense mat and is so difficult to remove that I resorted to spraying it with some isopropyl alcohol. I’ll have to come back later and remove the desiccated remains.
It ocurred to me that the Buddha would have something to say about fiddling with weeds.
He might suggest that this is yet another example of my “mind” needling me because I won’t accept a situation that I do not want.
Another Road Trip and Mindfullness
Blog date: 7/1/2019 Journal Entry: 4/29/2019
I was dealing with my computer in the morning, on some aspect of transitioning to
Windows 10. “Transitioning to Windows 10” should give you some idea of the difficulty of what I was doing!
I decided to drive into town to get some groceries.
During the first part of the trip, my mind was racing with things to try when I get back. “What was that command-line program that might help me to do this? Maybe I could try. . .”
Somewhere down the road I began to notice that I wasn’t noticing.
“Do what?”, you say. Since I live outside of a small town on the Oregon coast, The drive takes me though a heavily forested countryside, with scenery that most folks don’t see unless they’re on vacation – and I wasn’t aware of a bit of it. My “mind” was concentrated on the Task-at-Hand, the Purpose, so that I wasn’t being “mindful” of the things going on around me.
To be mindful means you are paying attention to the forest, the mist rising out of the ground, the tips of the trees made bronze by the sunrise.
In the audio tape Buddhism Plain and Simple by Steve Hagen, he suggests that you might consider the words of Thich Nhat Hanh, who suggests that you might imagine that you were an astronaut who was stranded on the moon, your lunar lander damaged on landing. You would stand there on the dusty rocks and gaze upon the distant blue Earth with no hope of returning. Then you might imagine further that you managed to repair the craft and return home.
Imagine the intense awareness you would then have of walking in the green forest with the wind whirring in the trees and the clouds drifting overhead as if they were the air breathing into the sky.
Guilty Until Proven Innocent
Blog date: 5/31/2019 Journal Entry: 5/26/2019
I remember the phrase "Innocent until proven guilty" from past times. I took that to mean that people are innocent
until someone/something proves them guilty. This used to mean that the "burden of proof" was on the
"prosecution". The prosecuting lawyer was the one on the "offensive", and had to present evidence proving that the
defendent was in fact guilty.
If it were the other way around - if people are "guilty until proven innocent" - the defending lawyer would have to be the one on the "offensive": they would have to locate and present proof, such as DNA samples or witnesses, that the "guilty" defendent was in fact innocent.
Several years ago I began to sense that in certain instances nowadays it is the other
way around: In some common everyday scenarios, we are guilty until proven innocent.
First example, drug tests at work:
At the chip house where I worked, each of us were periodically tested for drugs. The tests were random and ocurred about once a year. I came home one day and told my kids, "Well, there's a bottle of your daddy's pee on some plane up there on the way to a lab on the East coast."
So, in other words, all employees in certain jobs are users of drugs until the machines prove otherwise.
Second example, travel on airplanes:
Doesn't take much imagination here. Before entering the main section of the airport, You are scanned. Your clothes and shoes are scanned. Your carry-on bags are scanned and subject to inspection. Your checked luggage is also scrutinized. For example, I find that I can no longer brings boxes of my favorite tea because they consistently trigger an open-bag inspection, presumably because they might contain drugs.
So everybody on the planet who wants to fly on an airplane is considered a criminal/terrorist/drug user until the machines prove that they are not.
Corollary: There is a corollary regarding our physical health and well being.
I remember that in earlier years (the 50s, 60s, 70s) most of us thought of ourselves as healthy. It was suggested that we all get physical check-ups from time to time, but these check-ups were mostly non-specific and routine. We were healthy until proven unhealthy.
Nowadays, we all have hypertension, diabetes, iron deficiency, and the like until the blood test machine proves otherwise.
Men all have possible prostate cancer until the machine says our PSA count is “normal”.
Women all have breast cancer until the mammography machine says otherwise.
We all have possible colon cancer until the colonoscopy machine says we don’t.
In other words, as far as Medical Science is concerned (especially as we get older) we are all diseased until the machines prove otherwise.
We are urged from all media to get specialized tests - magazines, TV, the Internet, even ads. One has to wonder how much of the proliferation of "modern" diseases is due to the constant warnings that we may already have them.
From the journal entry on 2/5/2019: Additional note on "You don't have a body":
Blog date: 5/20/2019 Journal Entry: 2/5/2019
Excerpt from Richer Living (another Ernest Holmes book), the Feb 3 entry:
"We are not under the law of material problems and world beliefs. We are under the law of the Spirit, which maintains us in freedom and in peace."
And the feb 4 entry:
"Those who live without spiritual vision and understanding are forever trying to solve their problems by manipulating (with) their human minds and exerting their human wills. . . The recognition of Spirit as Cause and as the creative Power of this world brings victory to the soul. It does this because all problems begin and end within the individual’s own consciousness. As we realize that Spirit’s Mind is in us as the basis of our individual Consciousness, we begin to solve our problems at their origin, which is within ourselves."
That is, if we do not say we "have" a material body, or that we are a "spirit" or "soul" imprisoned in a
material body, we can then begin to use our Consciousness to control the cells of our existence.
"consciousness" vs "Consciousness":
"consciousness" with a little "c" is how we refer to our daily self-awareness. It is usually what we think of as separating us human big shots from what we call non-aware things like trees, animals, and the like. It is also the activity of our "mind" when we worry about sickness, failure, or lack of monetary supply.
But "Consciousness" with a big "C" is that ability that we have as participants in the Universal Consciousness. With this Consciousness we speak the words of health, success, supply with the same authority that the Timeless Formless One has when It spoke the Words of Creation (bearing in mind that our language is often flawed: we really don't say the Great Spirit "spoke" the Creative Words at some time in the distant past - the "Big Bang" perhaps - but rather that the Great Spirit speaks the Words of Creation.)
Our physical form itself speaks the word of health
Blog date: 5/16/2019 Journal Entry: 2/12/2019
From the Feb 12 entry in 365 Science of Mind:
"Some part of you exists as pure, unmanifest Spirit. This side of your nature has never been troubled. Since you are fashioned from the stuff of the Invisible, its nature is incarnated in you. Because of this, your word has the power in your world of localizing itself, of manifesting itself in concrete form. . .
There is something involved in a sunflower seed that acts upon the creative energy of nature in such a way as to produce a sunflower and not a cabbage or potato."
I penciled in a comment near the last sentence: "(not the other way around)". That is, the seed speaks
the word of its own creation: "I wish to become a sunflower", or "I wish to become a blueberry plant".
Sounds goofy, doesn’t it?
But not if we understand that everything is alive, that everything is part of the Universal Consciousness. The sunflower seed speaks the word of sunflower creation. The creation of the sunflower is somehow not a process of Nature, or an act of Nature’s God. It is an act of the sunflower seed as Spirit interpreting the Earth as a sunflower seed.
And if we say that the nature of the Invisible is incarnated in us, that we are Spirit interpreting the Earth as us, that we are participants in the Universal Consciousness, then our word is spoken with the same authority as the Word of the Timeless Formless One when It "spoke" the words of creation.
And if we say that our physical form is the incarnation of this Spirit, then this physical form speaks its word with the same authority. Our physical form, then, wants to speak the words of health, not sickness. We were born with perfection of physical form. We become sick only if we (or Medical Science) speak the words of sickness.
Just listen and observe
Blog date: 3/8/2019 Journal Entry: ??/??/2009
My wife and I were hiking at Beaver's Bend, a State Park in Eastern Oklahoma - our sacred space.
These words came to me during that hike:
And when the footsteps stopped, there would be nothing but the birds singing and the distant waves speaking to us from the shoreline, each wave a word spoken by a vastly articulate Existence . . . until it gradually became apparent that the simple request of the forest was that we listen and look – that we just observe.
There was nothing else asked of us in the silence between the footsteps.
Billy’s software (A Ditty on Windows)
Blog Date:2/25/2019 Journal Entry: 9/10/2009
(Time for some humor):
For some time now, I have used the "appointment" tool in Microsoft Outlook to set alerts for upcoming appointments, such as visits to the chiropractor. But once I create the appointment, I have never been able to figure out where it went! So I could never edit an appointment once it has been created.
Finally one day a tech-oriented "Power User" of the tool said "Oh, they go to your calendar." Since I had never used the calendar, I never knew that.
"How do these people learn about this stuff?", I said to myself. After some thought I figured that it must have gone like this:
In the beginning Bill created the Software. He looked at it and said "This is good."
He gave the Software to Adam and Eve, but they were seduced by an Apple, so they were banished.
After Adam and Eve, Bill gave the Software to his chosen people, but they wandered lost for years and soon began to worship false OS’s.
So Bill sent his Rep to Earth. The Rep gathered the 12 Anointed Ones, and told them "Go forth and spread the word about the Software, so that the Infidels will be saved."
Thus it is told in the Holy Documentation, both the Old Version and the New Version.
So Power Users are decendents of the original 12 Anointed Ones.
The Crickets, The Birds, and Purpose
Blog date: 2/15/2019 Journal Entry: Various
9/17/2004: The Crickets
After I arrived to the company parking lot in the early morning darkness, I turned off the engine and rolled down my window. Although I was vaguely aware of the sounds in the past, this morning the insect noises impressed themselves on my consciousness.
Chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp.
It was the steady beat of the crickets (or cicadas), quite loud despite the equipment humming and groaning, and the car tires fanning the pavement on the nearby highway. I found myself wondering how they managed to make this sound in unison, apparently all night long.
I imagined asking some scientist how this could be, and then immediately retracting my question. "No. maybe I don’t want the scientific explanation for this phenomenon, compelling though it may be. I’ll settle for another type of understanding."
"Life, in its simplest organisms just wants to sing. It’s just part of life’s natural exuberance. We, on the other hand, inured of all our activities and strivings, have forgotten how."
7/12/2004: The birds and I
I am standing in my neighborhood listening to the usual noise, barking dogs, distant lawn mowers, and the occasional under-muffled truck. Up in the trees was a bird chirping. I looked at the bird and said "Stupid bird. You can fly. Why are you here in this noisy neighborhood?
If I were you, I would have long since flown to the countryside. Maybe that park in Southeastern Oklahoma. No, maybe even to the Oregon coast."
On the other hand, there I was, dissatisfied and wanting to be able to move to a quiet place by a stream or by the ocean, and there was that bird, up in the tree singing in pure delight.
So who’s the stupid one? Me or the bird up in the tree singing?
4/4/2009: What is It All About?/Who Am I?
It’s not about my work (writing software for chip design). The work is just a dream. I have spent hours writing a program to move a piece of metal in a chip one micron further away from another piece of metal – and likely all because of a design rule that is probably not necessary.
So what is it about?
I will drive to the Sacred Place that I have gone to many times in the past – a quiet state park in Oklahoma. I will get up early in the morning to photograph the sunrise, There I might become aware of a bird singing up in a tree.
Why is that bird singing?
It is singing because it can fly; it is singing because the cool morning wind is caressing the tree whose branch it rests on; it is singing because the sun is about to come up and the colors will be beautiful. The bird easily creates an endless variety of tunes that would make any composer jealous – simply because it is attuned to the creativity of the cosmos.
And that bird is what is all about. And my observing the bird is what it is all about, for by observing it I see that it is savoring the bright warm moist Earth, and that is all I am asked to do myself.
So I am the person observing the bird. I am not the person who has had the career, nor even the person who has nutured two kids and provided them and my wife a home with many creative touches.
I am simply the person who has observed the bird singing in the tree, for that is what Spirit intends to convey:
The whole business is a gift.
Two Entries on What It is All About
Blog date: 1/25/2019 Journal Entry: Various
(From 4/4/2009) Afterlife is here
I have just listened to some delightful music, and I imagine a small conversation with my 80-year old aunt about it:
"If there were an afterlife of bliss, I would imagine that is what it sounds like."
"You don't believe in an afterlife?", she asked.
"I suppose I believe that it is not elsewhere but here," I imagine myself replying, knowing she isn't going to buy any of it - having been bgought up in the traditional Catholic Education. "We have been taught all our lives that heaven is something that happens after this life. This life has trials and tribulations; it is a veil of tears; we all have our cross to bear. And heaven is our reward for putting up with it all.
Is that really what it is all about?
We do have problems, problems with physical health, issues with work, financial problems, but might it be that we have them because we can't believe that we are physical perfection or that we can create with the ingenuity of the cosmos or that we are worthy of the abundance that Spirit is trying to give us.
We have problems because we are unwilling to believe in ourselves, to believe that we are Spirit interpreting the Earth as us, to believe that there is a Giver of Gifts who will not punish us like we punish each other.
And if we could believe these things, this could be heaven, if we would let it. Spirit just wants us to savor the bright, colorful, and lively Earth just as It does."
(From 7/25/2005): Our Lives as Being Loved
OR: Our lives as Being
Wouldn't our lives be so much easier if we accepted that the Spirit of existence is benign? The Spirit creates the warm bright moist green planet out of the eternal cold and wishes to participate in its richness - and the only way It can do so is to give Itself form as us. Spirit creates each one of us so that It can interpret the Earth, so that It can experience Time.
Spirit is creating us as a way of experiencing the opulence of Its material creation.
So Spirit says to each one of us (if we will listen):
"I have created your existence for your enjoyment and Mine. Your existence is not a test. It is a gift.
And do not be afraid.
I will not punish you for anything that you did.
I will not punish you for anything that you did not do."
Two musings on Spirit, Time, and Us
Blog date: 1/22/2019 Journal Entry: Various
1/4/2006: On the "Omnipresent" and "Eternal" Business
If we say that Spirit is, that Spirit is the Great “I am”, that Spirit is beyond Time, then we’re going to have trouble with statements like “Spirit created the Universe”.
From the viewpoint of the material universe, we say that it had a beginning sometime in the distant past – or at least we think it had a beginning.
But from the viewpoint of the Timeless One, if we can’t say that Spirit created the Universe at any given time, then perhaps we then say that Spirit is creating the universe.
And if we say that Spirit is omnipresent, that Spirit is everywhere, then we can not say that Spirit is here and not there.
So you are Spirit. And you, and I, and each of us.
We are consciousness that has learned to become a physical organism – the Eastern statement. It's different from
the Western statement that we are a physical organism that hae evolved over time to become consciousness.
We are an incarnation of Spirit that has learned how to be in Time.
(From 5/8/2006) Me and the Universe (Thoughts on incarnation):
I am Spirit interpreting the Earth as me. The Great Formless One experiences form through me. The great Timeless One experiences time through me. (You can substitute any word for Spirit that you like. Some may prefer God. Others may prefer The Great Spirit. After all, language is just a collection of symbols that try to describe Reality.)
Conversely, this physical form of mine (my “body”) is my interpretation of Spirit.
I participate in the perfection of the Great Universal One.
I am Earth interpreting Spirit – I am the Fractal Boundary between Earth and the Cosmos.
The mediator between Earth and Spirit is this physical form of mine.
Four Christmas Reveries
Blog date: 12/16/2018 Journal Entry: Various
11/25/1988: Spirit Becomes the Gift
If we say that Spirit is infinite, would that possibly mean that It is the sum total of our finiteness?
If we say that Spirit is timeless, might we say that means It is the sum of all of our times?
And if we say that Spirit is the Word, would that possibly mean that It is all the words spoken by us?
Do we say then that Spirit does not give gifts, but that Spirit becomes the gift?
We celebrate the day of Spirit becoming incarnate. Years ago, Spirit, did You visit us? How did You experience this life of ours?
How did You understand time - so foreign a concept for a Timeless Being? How was Your life, knowing as you did the time and manner of your death, knowing that you had come to interpret the Tree?
Was it You that became incarnate, or was it the rest of us that became Spiritual?
12/2003: Christmas Thoughts
This is the season of Christmas beliefs. This is the season of Santa Claus. But do we just believe in Santa Claus, or health, or opulence?
Or do we create these things?
You visited our planet, Spirit. You allowed Yourself to become manifest in time and place and we celebrate this Incarnation every year at this time.
And how did you find this planet of ours? And how did you find our propensity toward violence toward one another? But of course You would understand, being perfect love. You love us despite ourselves – indeed “despite” is a human term.
Perhaps You find it harder to understand why we cannot love each other.
“The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away” Was this really in the Bible? Maybe it should be “The Lord giveth and we taketh away.”
12/25/2008: Christmas Prayers
Thank you, Spirit, for your visit – and how did you experience Time while you were here? Thank you for having visited us and participating in our time and space on this bright green planet you created. Thank you for your Incarnation.
And yet if we say you are the Timeless Formless One, then you did not experience time in the past – for that would be finite human words.
The words should be: “You are experiencing time, and this is the planet that you create.
The words that we should speak, then, are: “We are the incarnation, and each of us is Christmas.”
It’s the fear of the relapse that extends the disease
Blog date: 11/13/2018 Journal Entry: 1/4/2015
And here's yet another related entry:
This is regarding “colds”. I still have not fully recovered from the respiratory issues that I encountered during our November/December Texas trip. There is the slight congestion, the slight runniness, the dry cough (from time to time – still can’t add pepper to food sometimes!).
So yesterday there was an apparent – or at least a perceived – slight sore throat with an attendent increase in throat “tickling”. I imagined myself saying to my wife “I just can’t get rid of this congestion and cough”.
That’s how I felt during the day yesterday. I thought I had yet another relapse, and I ran with it, saying the words that solidify into the form, the words that change the cells: “I just can’t . . .”
I did the same thing a week ago when I had the first couple of days of well-being and confidently took the car out to a car wash despite the cold temperatures, as well as going to a couple of stores. The next day I had (or created) a slight relapse because I was worried that I acted too soon after my apparent recovery, just like I acted too soon on muscle exercises after a shoulder operation.
So one might ask “How many diseases are extended because we take a slight perceived relapse and run with it, saying the negative, disease-promoting words”.
On the Power of Ideas
Blog date: 11/13/2018 Journal Entry: 2/5/2008
The following entry, made 2 months later, is related to the 12/2007 entry above.
Earlier in the week I missed an exit on the way to a distant store. This put me on a stretch of freeway with no quick exit or turnaround. After I was finally able to turn around, I made a bad decision about which way to go, and ended up going back on yet another long stretch of freeway. Needless to say I was fuming on my way back - leg-slapping fuming. I had to calm myself when I finally arrived at the store.
2018 note: At least this was in Texas, where the roads are flat and have many turnaround exits, even if some of them are somewhat far apart. Here in Oregon, if you miss a turn, you may just have to drive to Idaho to turn around!!
Another morning, after getting in my car, I misplaced a cassette tape and had to unfasten the seat belt and go back inside to look for it, only
to remember that I had absentmindedly placed the tape in an unusual place in the car. I then became quite irritated at this –
running instead of walking back out to the car and fumbling with the seatbelt and other items.
On the way to work I began to think that these two instances of “flying off the handle” might be related to the recent change in my life (releasing the “old crutches”, embarking on new intellectual activity, and the like).
As this idea began to take form, I found myself anticipating more times of quick anger and wondering how I would deal with this. “Well I’d better watch myself and not do this around my wife or kids. Well, how am I going to handle these fits”, and so on.
But then suddenly it occurred to me that two isolated events have just become an “idea”, and that the idea was rapidly acquiring more strength than the two events had. Immediately after formulating the idea, the explanation, I was about to establish a reality in my life that wasn’t there before. Instead of just observing these events in my life, I was moving to defining my life, making it more probable that future similar events would occur.
In such fashion is "madness" created.
Well, there really are a couple points to the above possibly petty sounding ramblings:
That's why the Buddha suggests we just observe.
It's important to understand that the Universe is a neutral entity. By the power of our thoughts
(as participants in the Universal Consciousness) we can create health; we can create prosperity; we can create success.
But we can also by our thoughts create sickness, lack, or failure.
On Not Lettting Fear become Reality
Blog date: 11/6/2018 Journal Entry: 12/19/2007
In the early morning, I noticed some pain in my upper back, a tightness of muscles around a
vertebra or two, that had a familiar “ring” to it, a familiar “tone”. (Why do we use sound-type words to describe familiar
or “deja-vu” sensations?)
"Oh no, not again", I found myself thinking, having spent the last half of 2006 and a good portion of 2007 dealing with severe muscle pain following a shoulder operation. Were the problems coming back – after a period of absense? I even found myself “gnashing” the teeth and working the jaw while these thoughts occupied my mind.
Perhaps this is how fears are actualized - made manifest. The fear of something persists in the back of our mind, slowly converting to physical tension, first in the jaw, then in the gut, and finally in the muscles themselves - perhaps adding to any muscle pain or soreness that we might already have.
So, being mindful of Ernest Holmes’ suggestions to watch the mind-chatter, I stopped and made a quick affirmation: "I speak the words of release from tension and contraction in muscles." Then I went about my business, after working the sore area with my Theracane (a tool that let's one reach muscles in the back). After a while the whole incident was forgotten.
After we have developed the habit of making positive affirmations, we find that we can "de-fuse" fears before they become part of our physicality, before they are "internalized" - before the fear settles into muscular tension or tension in the gut.
The Appearance is "I've got chronic muscle pain", This is "reality" with a little "r". We replace this with Reality - "As a participant in the Universal Consciousness, I can change the very cells of my physical form."
Some Humor on Telephone "Menus"
Blog date: 9/26/2018 Journal Entry: 4/3//2010
To hold for 5 minutes and then be disconnected, press 1
To hold for 30 minutes and possibly speak to an actual human, press 2
To listen to nice music for a while and then be disconnected, press 3
To actually hear a live human breathe, press 4
To listen to the 23rd psalm, press 5
To hear an assortment of other caller’s 4-letter words about us, press 6
To hear our staff rolling on the floor in raucous laughter, press 7
If you feel that our phone service is too slow, and want to get frustrated faster, try our web site. www.we-care.com
Jimmie's Version of ISO 9001
Blog date: 9/16/2018 Journal Entry: N/A
It's time for a little humor: Here's Jimmie's Version of ISO 9001
Back in my high-tech job working days, I noticed how the typical company really implements ISO 9001 certification: The ISO 9001 inspector typically visits the company once a year. When the inspector is scheduled to visit, management sends out an email to all employees involved in production. What it says is essentially this:
"Everybody is to hide all the printed documents that they have in their possession. These are to be put away and instead you should be prepared to show the inspector that you can easily find our online System Documents from the Quality Control Department."
Translation: Stash all the printed docs and all the hand-written notes that you "really" use to do your work.
And what are these "System Documents"? These are highly precise procedures that have the word "shall" repeated no less than 50 times:
"The green and red wires shall be attached as per System Document W-2501, and shall be wrapped in
sheathing #345. . .
. . .blah-blah-blah-shall-blah-blah-blah. . .
When printed, this becomes an uncontrolled document." (They all ended with this phrase.)
The pre-visit email also urges all employees to "shut up"! That is, they are to answer the
inspector's questions only, and not to offer any extra information (lest they slip up and reveal how they really do their work)!
So what does all this mean? It means that everybody in the plant has a desk drawer full of "uncontrolled documents" - dog-eared, covered with hand-written notes. Why is this? Because the System Documents have been written by somebody in QC who doesn't have a clue about the real steps necessary to do the given task.
Corollary: All System Documents have "Rev D" (or a higher letter) as a part of the Document number. Why? So it will look like the QC person who wrote the document actually did keep up with the actual procedure that everybody used!
So on ISO 9001 Inspection Day, I don't know about everybody else, but when I saw a stranger in my area carrying a clipboard or laptop, I would quietly slip out of my area to go check the air in my tires, take an early lunch, or go for a walk (having already hidden all my scribbled notes).
So there you have it - "Jimmies Procedure on the real procedure to attain ISO 9001 certification. Use this document to make YOUR company ISO 9001 certified."
When printed, this becomes an uncontrolled document.
Blaming External (or Internal) Things
Blog date: 8/30/2018 Journal Entry: 8/7/2007
(While listening to the Rig Veda). I notice in the Hindu Rig Veda many “externalizations”: the writers and story tellers would speak of
“bad” gods and demons as being the cause of ignorance, sadness, poverty, and other negative things.
There were the Rochesas, the “malignant, manevolent Miriti”, and other nasty beings.
And the “good” gods were constantly beseeched for protection against them. These were Indra, Agni, The Additias, Saraspati, Sivistri, The Maruts, and others.
So this tendency to blame other causes apparently goes back a long way.
And we have the same thing today.
Today it’s Seasonal Affective Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Bipolar Depression, Cholesterol, and a host of other demons of modernity that we seek to blame for our ills – physical and mental.
And indeed we are encouraged to seek help from the gods of Medical Science to protect us against them – Prozac, Paxil, Librium, Valium, The Statins, ACE Inhibitors, Alpha Blockers, Beta Blockers, and countless other medications.
The 'Secret' to Digging up Grass
Blog date: 8/3/2018 Journal Entry: 6/12/2018
Over the course of several months, I have been digging up the grass in the back yard, in preparation for replacing it with gravel or rocks.
The grass was one big thick, impenetrable mat, and I had finally evolved a way to dig it up after trying many methods over the last few
“Well”, I said, “I’ve finally found the secret to digging up grass.”
‘Secret’? Why do we call these sorts of things ‘secrets’? A secret is something that someone knows and is witholding it from others.”
“I know a secret about John and I’m not telling”, says one child to another.
So is a secret then something that the Universe knows and is making us figure it out? Or instead maybe I should just say that the technique of digging up grass is simply something that I haven’t yet learned to do or found a solution for, prior to today.
And what about the big one? “What is the secret to Life?”
Is it really a secret or is is it something we haven’t tried hard enough to learn?
Better yet, is it something we have tried too hard to learn?
The best answer I have ever heard for Life’s secret is this quote from The Martian Chronicles. It's from the screenplay version of Martian Chronicles. (I looked in Ray Bradbury’s book and did not find these words, so they must be the inspiration of the screenplay writer.)
Colonel Lander (Charleton Heston), has just driven to a place of concrete ruins and has encountered a Martian for the first time.
Lander states that he has “waited so long for this meeting…to learn the secret of your life on Mars”.
The Martian (an actor with an opulent “Shakespearean” accent) replies:
“Secret? There is no secret. Anyone with eyes can see the way to live.”
“How?” (asks Lander)
“By watching life, observing nature and cooperating with it. Making common cause with the process of Existence.”
“By living life for itself, don’t you see. Deriving pleasure from the gift of pure being.”
“The gift of pure being.” (Lander repeats slowly)
“Life is its own answer. Accept it and enjoy it day by day. Live as well as possible. Expect no more. Destroy nothing. Humble nothing. Look for fault in nothing. Leave unsullied and untouched all that is beautiful. Hold that which lives in all reverence, for life is given by the Sovereign of the Universe, given to be savored, to be luxuriated in, to be…respected.
But that’s no secret. You’re intelligent. You know as well as I what has to be done.
Now I must go.”
Evolution as a Reaction to Events
Blog date: 7/4/2018 Journal Entry: 7/21/2006
OR: Eastern vs Western thoughts on Evolution
In the July 2006 National Geographic is an article about the upright stance. “Our bodies are a mosiac of features shaped by natural selection over vast periods of time – both exquisitely capable and deeply flawed…many of the flaws in our ‘design’ have a common theme: They arise primarily from evolutionary compromises that came about when our ancestors stood upright.”
This passage is interesting because it reminds us that our favorite theory of our existence is based on a reaction to events. The way we are today is due to countless reactions to life. There is no hint of Consciousness as active.
In other words, the Western way says that not only are we physical organisms that have evolved, but that we have not evolved in a particularly intelligent manner.
So, if I speak in the "Western way", I would say that we are all physical organisms that have learned over countless years to become conscious. (This is consciousness with a little "c" - being "self-aware".)
But if I speak after the manner of Eastern Philosophy, I would say instead that we are Consciousness that has learned over countless years to become a physical organism. (This is Consciousness with a big "C".
This manner of speaking puts us in control: We are not some sort of self-aware being which is imprisoned in a physical organism. Instead we, as participants in the Universal Consciousness - the Consciousness of the Cosmos - can speak the words of healing and can change the cells of our physicality.
In other words, we can be as healthy or as ageless as we create ourselves to be. . .)
Absence Rather than Presence
Blog date: 6/12/2018 Journal Entry: 6/1/2006
During my morning “meditation” (or what passes for meditation for those of us with little discipline),
it occurred to me that there could be a different way of expressing life issues, and that this way would speak to the absence of
something that should be there rather than the presence of of some “negative” condition.
For example, We don't have poverty/lack – we are experiencing the temporary absence of supply.
We do not "have" disease – we are experiencing the temporary absence of health.
We do not have fears – we have the absence of confidence, the absence of trust, the absence of wholeness.
We do not "have" depression. Instead we say that we are experiencing a temporary absence of Life.
So, by emphasizing a temporary absense, we do not give the negative condition a life of its own.
We say that it is simply a lack of something “positive”.
On the other hand, we do give life and form to the "positive" things we want by our affirmations:
"Thank You for supply."
"Thank You for health and youth."
"Thank You for articulation and confidence."
"Thank You for well being and great depth of feeling"
And don't forget to get the direction right! We are not thanking some Being "out there" or "up there". Instead we are thanking the Spirit within, for we are all participants in the Universal Consciousness.
Lastly, we give deference to our Eastern friends who remind us that the Universe is neutral, that terms like “good” and “evil”, or "positive" and "negative" are from our human standpoint.
From the Tao Te Ching:
"Nameing is the root of particular things.
If we say that some things are 'good', then we must immediately say that other things are 'evil' ".
Words, body, and mind
Blog date: 5/26/2018 Journal Entry: 5/4/2006
Our language really should be watched, for our words hold us in thrall. Words, after all, have great power.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God…”
So we might find ourselves saying something like “My shoulders really hurt, and I’m anxious about this.”
In other words, “something is wrong with my body, and I’m anxious.”
There are significant problems with that statement.
“Something is wrong.” That makes the problem a physical “thing” over which I have no control.
“Something is wrong with my body.” That now casts both the problem and my body as physical things. My body is a separate, biological entity, and “I” am stuck inside, subject to anything that might happen to this physical object.
“I’m anxious.” Even that is wrong. Does that mean “my mind is anxious?” Or, should I associate the mind with the brain? Is my brain anxious?
“Anxious” is a scrunching up of the muscles in the gut. “Anxious” is a needle-like sensation over all my skin. “Anxious” is sweating when it is not hot or shivering when it is not cold – an inability to control the temperature of my existence.
In other words, if “my body” is anxious, “I” am anxious.
There is no separation between body and mind, or body and soul. I am Body-Soul. I am Spirit interpreting form as me.
What this means is that the part of me that is conscious, the part of me that is Spirit, can understand “things that are wrong” in a different way. “I am the thing that is wrong, and I can change that lack of order in my existence.”
So the words that I say to myself about these thoughts are:
“You will not explain.
Instead you will understand.
Medical Science explains.”
Blog date: 5/21/2018 Journal Entry: 5/6/2005
For reasons that I may never understand, my college studies were cut short by "mental issues". So I missed
out on the succesful career in science or engineering.
So for a long time now I have been trying to create something, some body of work, that is valued.
But what is this “value”? I am finally coming to believe that a person’s value is not dependent on whether or not they have been a success. I have value even if I am a “failure”, or a “loser”.
And I would even ask further, “value to whom”?
Am I of value to the Spirit of Existence? I have long since come to believe that we are all of infinite value to Spirit. Why? Because the Spirit creates this warm bright moist green planet out of the eternal cold and wishes to participate in its richness – and the only way It can do so is to give Itself form as us. So Spirit creates each one of us so that It can interpret the Earth, so that It can experience Time.
Am I of value to others? This is the one that I have been most concerned about, and lately the one that I am beginning to care the least about.
So there is only one person whose approval I have really been seeking all my life.
Maybe, sometime before I die, I will finally believe that I am valueable to myself.
The Six Powers
Blog date: 5/15/2018 Journal Entry: 4/1/2005
At the time I had just been listening to "Black Elk's Vision"- an audiotape. The narrator is describing the "6 Powers"
in the Lakota Indian Tribe tradition. I have always found it relaxing to hear someone talk about simple beliefs like this,
on the the part of people who used to see more magic in the earth than we ever will in our modern society.
So may the Six Powers guide you.
Father Sky (mak-pia-ha-te)
Mother Earth (e-na-ma-ka)
And the Four Directions (ta-te-to-pa):
The West Power (we-ok-pay-ata) – The source of rain but also storms. Source of the Spirits (from the darkness when the sun goes down). The color black.
The East Power (we-ok-hay-ya-pa-ta) – The source of peace, knowledge from the red dawn. The color red.
The North Power (wa-zay-ya-ta) – The source of cleanliness, truth, strength, and rest. The color white.
The South Power (ato-ka-ga). – The source of medicine from roots, stems, herbs, and fruits. Father sky and mother earth come into communion and the plants grow. The color green.
This is the way the Great Spirit (Wo-ka-ta-ka) intended it to be.
(It might be noted that other references give different colors for these directions.)
The Oregon Move
Blog date: 4/11/2018 Journal Entry: 3/5/2011
(Background: After many years of drooling over the Pacific Northwest, I was finally offered a position
in the Hillsboro, Oregon headquarters of the company I was working for. We were living in Garland, Texas at the time,
and this represented the achievement of a 40-year dream.)
We invited our kids over today for lunch and dinner, so that we could tell them since the events are now more “firmed up” (i.e. more believable to us of incomplete faith).
I pulled out our four big DeLorme state maps.
“You can always tell where we are wanting to go by the collection of DeLorma topo maps. Here’s Arkansas. Here’s Washington. And here’s Maine. Remember Maine, an early heartthrob.
And here’s Oregon.” I held the map up for them to see.
“So now it’s Oregon, eh, dad.”
I felt a shiver go through me as I replied:
“Well, this time it’s different.”
After some jaws dropped for a bit, my oldest daughter said “I knew there was some reason you invited us over!” A bit later I was talking about our recent trip - the last one - to the Sacred Place (a state park in Oklahoma). “What a memorable and emotional trip this was." I told them. "There were no people – we had it to ourselves. You remember that place we drove to over the rough road, hoping each time that when we reached the peninsula, there would be no cars already there. That's where we were, by ourselves.
Suzie asked me if I wanted to say a prayer. For a while I couldn’t do it.. . ."
That’s about all I got out with a normal voice.
At that point I had to leave the room and walk into the kitchen, ostensibly to fiddle with some dishes.
Well, that tipped my two daughters over the edge. As I left the room I could see that their vision failed, too.
On a humorous note, I made note of some things that went on while prepping our house for show:
Cleaning the bathroom walls: "How do all those white spots get on the wall?" I imagined myself asking my wife in mock irritation, “Whaddya brush your teeth facing the door or something?”
I think “Wait. I’ve got an idea.
You could get it in colors to match your walls.
I can retire on this one.”
My wife said that she had read somewhere that you should “Make it look fun”, referring to staging the house.
“Make it look fun”, I thought. Well that’s easy. We’ll just put a box of condoms in each bedroom.
My wife and daughter shopped most of the day looking for staging props for the two bathrooms. We had put up the shower curtain and towel in one bathroom. “You like my towel?” she asked.
“It cost $50”
“$50?!? For $50 you can stage your ass right on out of here”
That brought a laugh.
“You want to know what moving is? it’s fixing all the s_ _ _ that you have put up with all these years so the house will look good, and so that someone else won't have to put up with it.
The crack between the front sidewalk and the garage.
The scratched bathtub.
The shower faucet that is hard to pull.
The mildew in the corner below the washer water outlets where they leaked a long time ago."
The Toll Tag Experience
Blog date: 4/7/2018 Journal Entry: 2/16/2005
After years of fumbling for change to toss in the toll booth, I finally decided to make the move from the Rotary
Phone of tollway driving to the Touchtone Phone – I ordered an RFID tolltag.
So there I was, the first morning, approaching the toll booth with my new beacon freshly installed on my windshield. I had just noticed that the classical music station was playing a lively piece of music – Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring I believe.
I coasted toward the funneled opening with the music stirring to its climax, feeling distinctly odd because I had no money ready to satisfy the official requirement. There was even a slight panic in the pit of my stomach because I was about to pass right by the coin basket with my window closed, the red light glaring right at me, the radio cranked up with Stravinsky’s music at its peak.
I looked over at the attendent watching me from the adjacent booth. Was I not going to stop and pay? Was this really going to work?
Bink. The light turns green.
Blat. The trumphets and kettle drums are at their finest.
In slo-mo, I slide past the empty coin basket and brightly-lit passageway, into the early morning darkness beyond.
Blog date: 3/27/2018 Journal Entry: 9/17/2004
When I arrived to the company parking lot in the early morning darkness, I turned off the engine and rolled
down my window. Although I was vaguely aware of the sounds in the past, this morning the insect noises impressed
themselves on my consciousness.
Chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp.
It was the steady beat of the crickets (or cicadas), quite loud despite the equipment humming and groaning, and the car tires fanning the pavement on the nearby highway. I found myself wondering how the insects managed to make this sound in unison, apparently all night long. I imagined asking some scientist how this could be. “How do they do this, as if they were synchronized?" But immediately I wanted to retract my question. “No. maybe I don’t want the scientific explanation, compelling though it may be. I’ll settle for another type of understanding.”
“Life, in its simplest organisms just wants to sing. It’s just part of life’s natural exuberance. It’s the same with the birds; they’re always singing (I suppose I would be singing too if I could fly). And on a windy day Life wants to dance too; watch the trees sway in the moving air, their arms outstretched and embracing the flow. The grasses join in too, forming liquid, undulating seas.
We, on the other hand, inured of all our activities and strivings, have forgotten how.”
Imagined Conversation: "Well, why are we here?"
Blog date: 3/15//2018 Journal Entry: 3/8/2005
My imagined response:
“I suppose that the older I get, the less an answer I have for that one. There is no theory that can supply a satisfactory explanation of life.
Behaviorism is not it.
How about Freud or Jung’s ideas? Nope.
Any philosophy? Not found here either.
Maybe the closest anybody has come to an “answer” is the Budda, who said “I don't have any answers. You do. Don’t be listening to any authority or religion, including me.”
My own journal entry, written after some years of searching for the "cure" for "mental problems" was: There are no answers and it is asking questions that is the problem.
Perhaps it would be well to go out by the lake in the morning with the mist floating over the stainless steel waters and the clouds airbrushed to a bright orange iridescence, and just listen to the great universal ‘DUH’.”
The Birds and I
Blog date: 7/12/2004 Journal Entry: 3/9/2018
I am standing in my neighborhood listening to the usual noise, barking dogs, distant lawn mowers, and the
occasional under-muffled truck. Up in the trees was a bird chirping.
I looked at the bird and said “Stupid bird. You can fly. Why are you here in this noisy neighborhood? If I were you, I would have long since flown to the countryside. Maybe that park in Southeastern Oklahoma. No, maybe even to the Washington coast.”
On the other hand, there I was, dissatisfied with the place where I was living and wanting so much to be able to move to a quiet place by a stream or by the ocean, and there was that bird, up in the tree singing in pure delight.
So who’s the stupid one? Me or the bird up in the tree singing?
(During meditation) What are the Real Questions?
Blog date: 2/21/2018 Journal Entry: 12/4/1998
What are the real Questions?
One is “Who is the Spirit of Existence?” That’s a tough one, and always has been. And the I AM WHO AM business doesn’t really do much for the human imagination.
So how about “Where is the Spirit of Existence?” In Earth? In Air? Everywhere? Well the answer to that one is a place, and we all know that Spirit is placeless.
So if life is too mysterious for answers, then perhaps our search should be for something other than questions. . .
Maybe we should pay attention to the Buddha.
Prayer, Time, and Spirit
Blog date: 2/6/2018 Journal Entry: 3/28/1997 and 3/9/2001
It occurred to me (during meditation) that I was experiencing a morning of calm. My back soreness was gone,
and I was in a state of peace. I had asked for calm and received it. This is the usual protocol of our dealings
with Spirit. We ask for something and then there is the expectation of receiving it at some future time.
So it's the time business. We are Beings-in-Time. We arise, have breakfast, go to work, call someone and make a request, and then later the person responds. All of these things take time.
Yet in prayer we are dealing with a Being-Not-in-Time. We recall the saying "Put yourself in another person’s shoes”. Spirit is not in time. There is no before and after for the Timeless One. We often thank Spirit for something we received in the past, and yet in a sense it seems just as appropriate to thank Spirit for something in the future.
So we thank the Universe instead of making requests to It. Why? Because we have been given all the things we were given from time immemorial. We have a disease and then we have remission from the disease.
But the remission was granted billions of years ago...
No Big Signs
Blog date: 2/2/2018 Journal Entry: 2/12/2011
We keep looking for "big" signs from the Great Spirit, the Sovereign of the Universe.
In an earlier journal entry, I describe what I call the "return to life" after a period of profound absence of feeling.
There is no experience - no experience - more wild than to participate in the life of the world around you with all of the
feeling that you see others participate in it. If you feel something and say what you feel, and say all the words that you feel and
omit not one, then you are alive. Where life is there is speech, and the words are one with the life.
There is no more absurdity if you have lived the deepest absurdity - if you have died - for every event thereafter, every event, has meaning.
The whole business is a gift, and if it is, there must be a Giver of gifts.
So we do have some signs of the existence of some sort of Formless One, some Spirit who created and is creating Life.
There just aren’t any “big” signs.
Sometimes we imagine ourselves wanting to say “Could you give us just one ‘proof’? Throw us a Belief Bone, Spirit Guy. Take a cue from Hollywood. Watch some of our movies. You’ll get the idea.
OK. so You have already gotten the Idea, but You know what I mean.”
And the imagined answer might be:
“Now you know that’s not going to happen. That’s what Life is all about. Hello. That’s why it’s called ‘Belief’”
In a subsequent journal entry (2/23/2011):
Maybe it's because Spirit - the Great Oneness - can't Communicate.
From the Brihad Upanishad: “He who is One speaks without speaking, for there is nothing separate from him, hears without hearing, for there is nothing separate from him, sees without seeing, for there is nothing separate from him. . .
. . .Where there is separateness, one speaks to another, hears another, sees another. . .”
So is this the reason there are no “obvious” signs?
We keep wanting the Great Spirit to give us signs. “Show us some proof, Spirit. Throw us a Belief bone or something.” (We overlook all the miracles that happen all around us – the plant arising out of a tiny pot of soil which could not possibly hold all that raw material, the leaves of a fern unfolding out of a circular coil that can’t possibly hold all that mass.)
We want a “Hollywood sign”. “Come on, Spirit, if Industrial Light and Magic can do it, You certainly could."
But perhaps Spirit is stuck with that Oneness problem. The Great Oneness can’t communicate to others, because there are no “others” to communicate with – no separateness.
Perhaps the reason Spirit can’t give us a sign is that we ourselves are the sign.
Of Fires and Time
Blog date: 1/16/2018 Journal Entry: 2/25/2011
(This came to me during our last trip to Beaver's Bend, the Oklahome state park. We were about to leave
the Dallas, Texas area and move to Oregon.)
I had been warming myself by my small campfire for some time that morning, fiddling with twigs, breaking small branches on my knee, scrounging around for some more small tinder, fanning the fire to keep it from checking out on me.
It occurred to me to reflect that fires are not automatic – they are not like a thermostatically controlled heater that can be set with the twirl of a knob and then forgotten. Thermostats are a modern contrivance, one of many that allow us to easily adjust our environment so that we can pursue our other tasks.
No, fires prompt us to sit down and simply observe time itself, rather than have time be a forgotten background process while we are busy with our projects.
Observe time itself? How so?
I am talking about the time that is nothing but the forward progression of events.
The logs slowly melt to soft white ashes.
The fish breaks the surface of the water in the distance, seeking its meal for the day.
The clouds slide past, marking the end of an atmospheric system and the beginning of the next.
The plane droning in the distance makes its way from its departure to its destination.
We never get to savor time as simply the forward movement of events because we are always trying to stuff events into an arbitrary slice of time.
Driving to Beaver's Bend
Blog date: 1/11/2018 Journal Entry: 1994 and 1997
(While living in Dallas, Texas, our family took many memorable trips to an Oklahome State Park called
"Beaver's Bend". Here are some reveries that came to mind while driving along the country roads to the park.)
We drive at sunset through the countryside. The trees and the grasses are brilliantly lit by the setting sun. The plants and trees grow quietly and slowly. They await the change of seasons just as other plants and trees have here for thousands of years. Existence shows the infinite patience of its Creator.
For one who is out of Time, the whole thing is just a blink, I suppose.
Our passage through the fields is not noticed. We are just noise in the quiet modulation and rhythms of existence.
Are our lives that way too?
The loveliest time of the day is at its beginning and its end. Why is that? Are we that way as well?
It is said that the prettiest fall colors occur when it has been dry. When the trees are satiated with plenty of water through the summer, they do not produce the best colors of the fall. Also, it is said that pine trees produce more pine cones when they are stressed. Is it true that some of the brightest and most lively of things are produced when life is under stress?
And yet the quartz is produced by quiet, patient sifting...
The mist rises out of the ground, as if the Spirit of Earth was sifting itself through the grains of the soil, to be seen perhaps only by those whose eyes see magic. The Earth and the Spirit of Earth have been doing these kind of things for time utterly beyond our comprehension of time. Earth presents itself for us to view during our brief blink of existence.
We see these things and take them in; we internalize them, and in so doing become Earth.
Believing in the Visit
Blog date: 1/4/2018 Journal Entry: 12/12/2009
A recent (2009) National Geographic article “Are We Alone” describes the increasing possibility of other Earths –
other planets that could sustain life. “More than 370 planets outside our solar system have already been discovered….
our Milky Way gleams with more than 100 billion stars – and billions of those are likely to possess planetary systems of their own.”
So the first – and logical – reaction is to wonder “Was there a Christmas on each of these? Did Spirit become incarnate at some time on these countless planets during some period of their evolution? How can this be?”
Reason prompts us to disbelieve.
But then we get a prod from the Other Side, saying “Well but this is, after all, Spirit – the Timeless and Spaceless One. This is the same Spirit whose consciousness dreams about all those stars and created, no – is creating – them. So maybe all those other bright green rocks with their sensuous waters have – in their time – evolved to the point where they needed a Sign, and were blessed with a symbolic Incarnation.
It’s sort of like the Santa Claus business.
“Do you believe in Santa Claus?”
“No. Of course not, silly. I mean get real. How can one being bring gifts to 1 billion children in 24 hours? That’s 1 microsecond or less per house.”
And yet each of us did believe in Santa Claus before we learned how to reason.
Blog date: 12/18/2017 Journal Entry: 12/25/2008
Thank You, Spirit, for your visit - and how did You experience time while you were here?
Thank You for having visited us and having participated in our time and space on this bright green planet you created, and thank you for your incarnation at the time you visited us.
And yet if we say You are the Timeless Formless One, then perhaps our words should not be 'You experienced time in the past', but that 'You are experiencing time right now',
We should not say 'this is planet you created', but that 'this is the planet you are creating',
And not that 'You experienced incarnation at the time You visited us' but instead that 'we are the incarnation'.
Each of us, then, is Christmas.
Rain, Air, Clouds, and Words
Blog date: 12/6/2017 Journal Entry: 9/1980
It has just rained heavily, and the air is opulent with rich moisture and the heady fragrance of damp grass. The air seems
renewed - having caressed the Earth and the trees with its gift of life-giving water - and now is free to clear off after several days
But did the rain come only because of the air - or was it because the earth demanded the rain; all the plants and trees and insects and animals, and we who live in parched climates, desired the rain - insisting that the air bring the water. Are not the earth and the air one?
Or is the air perhaps part of the ocean? Go down to the seashore and hear the roar of the waves and then go up into the mountains and hear the roar of the wind - they are the same sound. The air brings the water up to the landlocked land and all its inhabitants who have moved too far away from the sea.
So the air is alive then, and the clouds are the air’s breath.
What are the clouds if they are not the air breathing into the sky?
Do we who sense the Life speak these words, or are they demanded of us, like the earth demands the rain? Existence is alive, and it draws the words out and demands that they be said...
The Seasons, Earth, Air, and the Tree
Blog date: 12/1/2017 Journal Entry: 3/1975
There are not 4 seasons. There are only 2: the season of the Earth and the season of the Air.
The season of Earth is Spring and Summer. During this time the Earth is predominant. It is alive and you can hear its riotous life out in the fields - the raucous insect party buzz.
During the season of Air, the air is alive, blowing cold over the land, sometimes covering it with a soft white blanket - as if in apology. Air is the quiet season.
Air, during its season, removes the leaves from the trees and gently gives them to Earth, later to become its food. During the season of Earth, the leaves on the trees give the air the gases it needs.
So the mediator between Earth and Air, then, is the Tree.
And in the Winter you can see the trees for what they are - blood vessels of the air.
We are of Earth and Air. The part of us that is of the air thinks, dreams, and occasionally soars. But the part of us that is of the earth understands...
Wind over the Water and in the Trees
Blog date: 12/1/2017 Journal Entry: 1/5/1975
The wind wanders over the earth and meets the water and sifts itself through the trees in its travels. There are no
strangers to the wind - all are its friends.
The wind spins the water and weaves the leaves, and both the sea and the leaves reply to the wind in the same language, so that the wind over the waves and the wind in the trees is the same sound.
He who hears the wind know this. He who walks in the forest hears the sea, and he who stands on the shores of seas hears the leaves in the trees. For he is no stranger to either, having memories from earlier lives in the water and in the forests.
The "Teepee Dreams" tea and the music
Blog date: 11/20/2017 Journal Entry: 11/23/2008
(Author's Note: "Teepee Dreams" tea was available back
then, and contained chamomile, valerian, and other calming herbs. It was similiar to Celestial Seasonings "Sleepytime
Extra". Update, 4/2018: It's still available! You can order it from "Native American Herbal Tea Company".)
I am sitting in my chair listening to Deuter’s exquisite music just before going to bed. But there is a nagging desire for some “Teepee Dreams” tea, which put me in a trance the night before.
“Don’t want to become dependent on it”, I said to myself.
“I’m just about ready go to bed”.
But the cells are insistent. They demand the tea – “No” won’t do for an answer – for they apparently wish to float again, to have another waking dream.
So I go brew a mug of the tea and sit back down to take in the tea and the music. The music drips from the ceiling in little tinkling drops that are felt as well as heard. I am reminded of T.S. Eliot’s words, “You are the music while the music lasts”.
Surely I am sitting not in my chair but by the shore of a quiet winter lake and each note from the various instruments is as a wave lapping on the shore, each wave a word spoken by a vastly articulate existence. The cells float out over the waves and into the sky toward the stars, where they mingle with the Quiet One.
More floating (this time after a Michelob “Bourbon Cask” beer)
Blog date: 11/20/2017 Journal Entry: 12/13/2008
Time stops while the music is playing.
There was time before the music, with the passing of events – I heated dinner, ate the dinner, put up the dishes, got my beer and turned on the computer. All these events can only go in one direction – I can’t unwash the dishes or reconstitute the food in its original form (it is already becoming “me”), and it is this forward direction that is time. The quiet ticking of the bedroom clock only goes along for the ride.
But as I sit in the chair, and as the music drips from the ceiling and dissolves the day’s thoughts and concerns – time-related concerns about what was done and what will be done – the shoulders drop, the cells float again and I become the music, and the clock stops ticking.
So there was the time before the music and there was the time after the music, but while the music plays, time stops.
Blog date: 11/16/2017 Journal Entry: 11/10/2017
I was waiting outside of the dressing room (while my wife was trying on clothes). The saleslady, who I would guess to
be in her 50s, passed by me, saying “I remember you two from other visits”. She touched my arm with two outstretched fingers -
just a simple little contact as she glided by - and I caught a glimpse of her slender fingers with tendons stretched under soft flesh.
Perhaps the background music playing was quiet for once, and I found myself deeply moved by this simple act, gently imagining how the bare bones of the hand would look after the passage of time and flesh. Old men do this, sometimes, being a bit more aware of mortality and time's passage.
My vision failed a bit as the force of the thoughts continued to move me. “You should take note of all those little touches, boy”, I sermonized to myself. “They should be acknowledged, if only in a small way, for this is how we give Life to each other during our days on Earth.” (Usually, if I have enough warning, I will clasp my hand over the hand which touches me – flesh upon flesh – but the saleslady crossed me up – she was too quick for me.)
The words continued: “This is how we support each other, one Compassion touching the other Compassion, and these are the things that somehow abide, drifting over the Earth and among the stars, beyond the time of the flesh on the bones.”
It is the spirit that quickens John 6:63
Ernest Holmes Daily Meditation Book
For years, I have used Ernest Holmes' Daily Meditation Book (my dog-eared copy shown on left).
It's titled "365 Science of Mind", and the writings inside it have inspired many of my journal entries
throughout the years. Indeed, there will be many quotes from it scattered throughout this page of
excerpts from those journals.
Copyright © 2020 J.A.