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Realization of Self


Prestige, awards, honors, titles, saint-hoods; These are all things that cannot be taken with us into death. Recognition bestowed by other men serve no purpose except to buoy the confidence and egos of those lacking in self-understanding. They in turn are recognized and propagated by those also lacking in understanding of self. They rely on others to confer worth and validation, none of which can be given. The self can only be realized. Validation is but an illusion.

Once realized, everything becomes an illusion. The title or award becomes a symbol, not of achievement, but of values placed on hold. The recognition becomes a symbol not of good deeds done but of a past gone, and a present and future forgotten.

With the true realization of self, faults are no longer faults. Hate is no longer hate. Joy is no longer joy. Anger is no longer anger. Resentment is no longer resentment. That is not to say that these no longer exist. It is to say that the illusions that have defined these emotions fall aside.

These emotions are no longer at the forefront of what defines our existence and by extension, our thoughts and behaviors. When the self is realized it no longer needs to define others nor seeks validation from others, for in defining others and seeking recognition from others it is the self that is projecting its current understanding of its place within all that exists, which again is the self.

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Millions of Pieces


When looking at life, it seems intrinsic that we should know our life and know ourselves well. Even without much effort it is reasonable to assume that we know who we are and yet for many it is a struggle. To know ourselves requires not only that we know the individual but also the individual parts by itself and as part of the whole.

The struggle does not come from lack of memory but from lack of identity. To be part of a whole does not mean to destroy oneself beyond recognition, and to be an individual does not mean to forsake the rest of existence.

Some bandy around the word “balance”. On the surface this appears to make sense until we ask ourselves what is this balance. Is balance an even divide between what is right versus what we want to be right? Is balance defined by each individual depending on their understanding of self? Is balance simply the “struggle,” but in terms more palatable to our current beliefs? Perhaps balance is none of these and is simply the constant flux and process of understanding.

A pillar in a sea of waves understands that it is not the waves that must stop, but instead our struggle to fight them that must cede.

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Bipartite


The body and soul are often seen as separate, one as a vessel, and the other as our essence. But in truth is there such a difference? That is, does it matter? We discriminate ourselves at every level possible, taking a fine tooth comb to our very being but does this bring us greater understanding? Does it bring us closer to knowing ourselves and the role we play in this life or the next?

We identify ourselves by our body, our affiliations, religious or otherwise, our name, our occupation and a myriad of other distinctions. But do these things truly define us? Do they make us who we are, or do we in the end, define ourselves? Perhaps none of these things are true, and a thought given, is a reality created.

Put your uniform or the costume you wear daily in a box, and who do you become? Strip away your religion, your country and even those immediately close to you and who do you become? That is not to say isolate yourself or become someone else, but to truly look within. Do you become someone else, or are you what you have always been? Spirit, soul, mind, body, are all words to give meaning and understanding, but at the same time cause one to compartmentalize their existence. We are all these things all the time and yet it does not matter, at least not as much as we would suppose.

Perhaps in brining distinction, we understand in pieces, but sometimes we must look at the greater picture, not necessarily ourselves, but the whole. We are the whole, never divided, except but in our minds. We feel. We experience. We love. We hate. We do all of these things, not realizing every bit of it is Us.

Bipartite or multipartite, the only agreement is the one we have made, will make and continue to make.

3

Planting a Seed


green light

This is dedicated to my mom who inspired this thought.

Several years ago while meditating I decided to ask God to show me Himself. I asked Him to show me what God is, and to remove any of my preconceived thoughts of God and of existence itself. I asked that any internal and external biases be removed so that I may come to understand.

As I asked this through my heart, I attempted to quiet my mind. What I experienced and what I saw I could not expect. With my eyes opened, I became blind. I could not see anything. Slowly my vision went, and everything became black. There was not even a hint of light. With my ears straining to hear any voice or sound, I could hear nothing. The buzzing of the street lights disappeared and the distant traffic became non-existent to my ears. I had become deaf. Next my racing mind seemed to pause. All thoughts sank away. Not even an image or random thought had crossed my mind. It was quiet, yet at the same time I was all too aware that it was quiet. It was not overwhelming. I was peace.

Not a worry had occupied me. As I became aware of this emptiness, this lack of sensation, I began to see a tunnel in my mind’s eye. At the end or perhaps it was the beginning, I saw what appeared to be a green light, beckoning, almost like a cocoon. With that, I began to hear again and I began to see again. The image had disappeared and thoughts came flooding back.

At the time this occurred, I thought I had understood what happened. I thought I knew what God or perhaps my inner self was trying to tell me. I found solace in this quietness, this communion of sorts. And yet today I found myself seeing more understanding in this experience. I found God to be everything, and at the same time I found God to be nothing. I found God to be peace, inner peace, a choice seemingly made by me, but not entirely by me. Perhaps like a seed in our heart, God is there waiting to be nurtured, waiting to show us our true selves, our true potential.

What or who is God to you?

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Echo Chamber


In the echo chamber, when all you hear is yourself, quiet your thoughts.
In the echo chamber, when all whom you have to argue with is yourself, quiet your mind.
In the echo chamber, when all you have to run away from is yourself, stop shouting into the wind.

In the echo chamber, stop running.
Stop chasing your past.
Stop chasing your regrets.
Stop trying to undo what cannot be undone.

In the echo chamber, see yourself.
See who you have become.
See who you have always been.
See who you can be.

In the echo chamber, when all is still, and the silence becomes deafening, realize your fullest self.

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Walking Through Your Reflection


With each step and each floor you move up, can you see your reflection?
Can you see the consequences in each direction?

When your foot hits the ground and meets your shadow,
can you remove all the pain and harrow?

When you walk forward and meet your reflection, can you stand in place and accept what you see?
Can you accept all the reflections you set free?

Before you utter a sound, can you hear the thoughts fall asunder?
When walking pass yourself, do you see yourself a stranger?

Can you see their eyes pierce your soul?
Can you walk a naked truth, and pay no toll?

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Zero Sum


What if love was self-awareness?

If love is unconditional then there is no hate? Then one might ask, what is hate? Perhaps it is the lack of understanding love, or the denial of it, though hate doesn’t preclude loves existence.

Perhaps there is a need to move away from the net zero idea. It assumes one cancels the other out. Maybe love cannot be canceled out? It just is? That is not to say hate doesn’t exist. It’s a label we’ve created. It’s a judgment on ourselves and others. We’ve all felt its outcomes. Perhaps when we really understand love, we understand what also drives others to do horrendous things. It doesn’t mean we approve of those acts. It simply means we understand why a person is driven to do the things they do. Despite those acts, or the outcomes of them, there is still love. Love allows for the freedom of making choices, even if those choices lead us down dark paths. Love is also the embrace that comes when we want to return after having turned our backs. Love is the compassion in knowing that although some of those choices have caused hurt, there is understanding. Love is unification.

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Defining Moments


When you meet someone how do you introduce yourself? Do you give them your name? Do you give them your age and astrological sign? Do you share your occupation or from what schools you graduated? Do you share your marital status or how many children you have? What defines you? Who defines you? Is it your family, your co-workers, friends, church, or activities and associations you belong to? Where does it end? Where does it begin? How far do you go? How many questions do you need to answer before you are satisfied?

Do you give enough to paint the picture just the way you like it? Do you share your fears and worries? Do you share your joys and aspirations? When does it serve you? There are so many things we do to portray ourselves in the best light, or hide ourselves all together that we often forget who we really are. We are more than the hollow shell we’ve created. We’re more than we’re sometimes willing to accept. And though we might not think others can see right through us, our souls are bare for all to see.

Hide as we may, the only question that matters is, “Who am I,” or perhaps it’s, “Who are We?”

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I Am


I am a contradiction.
I am an oxymoron.
I am a paradox.

I am the light.
I am the dark.
I am the in-between.

I am you and yet you are me.
I am the loving joy.
I am the angry snake.
I am everything and I am nothing.

4

End Your Suffering


There is so much suffering in the world and the worst part of it all is that we all do it to ourselves. Brother is pitted against brother, sister against sister and family against family. Whether out of jealousy, or perceived slights, we hold our anger above the heads of others. As if to use our emotions as pity strings, they are used as weapons in a game of manipulation and hurt. Instead of speaking kindly, our words are used to slander. Instead of loving thoughts, anger and hate are born out of frustration. Instead of calm action, we succumb to the weight of all the pain that has been stored from events long since passed.

Frustration begets anger. Anger begets hate. Hate begets suffering. And yet, all of it could be prevented. Born out of expectations, our frustrations fester. Our anger begins to boil and as each moment passes; our assumptions lead us closer to the edge. Continue to feed the anger, and we will be met with more anger. Feed the spirit love, and it will know no anger. Feed the spirit love, and it will know understanding. Fill the spirit with love and there will be no need for forgiveness. Fill the spirit with love, and watch the pain subside.

depression; photo by: Mindy Ricketts
Photo by Mindy Rickett
Suffering is not in the control of others, but is only given strength by our own choices. We can choose how we feel. We can choose to accept, or we can choose to deny. We can choose a path of calm seas, or we can choose a path of raging waters. The choice to suffer is ours. The choice to live in peace is also ours. Although we may think others hold us captive by their thoughts and their actions, we have no one to blame but ourselves. End your suffering. Choose to feel Love.

   

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