Sometimes I try and make sense of it all. The way I fell apart, bit by bit, until there was nothing left but a naked despair that felt something like staring down a deep dank well. But it never coalesces into a rationally cohesive string of memories that I could then dissect to gain a total understanding. Instead I am left to sift through the scattered shards of a life lost, obliterated by an awakening. It was like awakening from a dream. The dreamscape quickly fading as each second passed, replaced by a waking lucidity that remains steadfast and true. I cannot make sense of my past, I can only understand myself here and now.
Deception was the hallmark of my past life. I buried the truth of my being as I was indoctrinated into a role the world wanted me to play. I learned the culturally acceptable way a man should act. As an American, a New Yorker, and an Italian I was expected to behave in certain ways still. In all of these roles I was given set parameters. I could only move so far in any direction. My thoughts and behaviors became limited by my identity which in turn was limited by the worldview I had adopted. The strangest part of my prior self-deception is just how unknowable it had been.
I wonder sometimes when it began; my act of being something other than what I was. I have memories where I was shamed and scolded because of my behavior, and I can distinctly remember how important I felt it was to please my family. At some point I began to suppress my true feelings and thoughts. I was an inquisitive, creative, passionate and extremely empathetic young boy. My sensitivity was the first thing I remember being scolded for. I was repeatedly told I was too sensitive. I also remember getting in trouble for asking certain questions. The kind of questions that bring to light the inconsistencies in how things are perceived by the willfully ignorant. The whole time I was growing up I was perfecting an act. Like a schizophrenic split I was both the actor and the audience. I performed day in and day out to a sold out crowd of one. My subconscious mind always watching, always responding. My conscious mind nothing more than the tick-tock of a clock wound by another.
We all start out with the pure emotional drives of our sovereign beings as the cause to our effect. The effect being our thoughts and actions, the cause is our hearts true intent. I severed from my true cause. I replaced it with an attention to developing an ego that could stand as a representative to the world because my true self just wasn’t good enough. As my ego grew it sustained itself on worldly praise by fitting within the status quo. My patterns of thought and behavior were dictated by my ego. The complete disregard of my true self and my innate feeling nature caused me to suffer in ever increasing ways. I believe this was the cause of my afflictions, because once I removed the deception they all vanished.
I cannot make sense of my past because it was non-sense. Today I am driven by the emotional cauldron that is me. I act from my heart and I know exactly why. The mind easily understands the logical and rational truth of acting with emotional honesty. It doesn’t need to contrive deceptive and complex reasoning or stretch the truth or tell a few white lies. That is why I’ve learned to let my heart lead. My mind is unburdened and at ease. I feel that I am at peace and that is a beautiful thing.
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Is it possible to know the will of God. Is it possible to transcend the mortal, the physical, the entrenching experience of being human. Is it possible to know what it is that the Divine would want us to do or say, to think or be? Plenty of people think so. I hear time and time again the denouncement of certain actions and behaviors. People are quick to judge and even quicker to pull out their ace when defending their positions. “God doesn’t like…[add personal judgement here.]”, or a similar statement is often used to validate a very mortal and a very limited perspective.
God is a powerful word. It can of course be limited by our own limitations, but in concept it is exactly the opposite of limitation. God is all things. The infinite depths that exist in infinite directions is only a fraction of what God is. For the purpose of this article I will be using the word God to represent this concept of the unlimited, the unknowable; the all encompassing grandeur of all things.
This does not mean that we cannot know of or understand God in any way. Our careful and observant study of the experience of life can yield many fruitful insights that turn us toward God instead of away. When we study life in any way we see how it unfolds before us in very predictable and cyclical ways. We see the beauty in the cycle of life all around us. From conception to death life unfolds in very predictable ways. It plays out over and over again. All it takes is a little observation to see Gods work all around us. Our natural surroundings reveal an ever changing and dynamic earth which for our microcosmic point in time appears frozen. Mountain ranges, rivers, plateaus, ocean shores and forests are all ever changing. Drastically and on a scale larger than we can comprehend life is animating all things. Life carries on all around us and in all things, even the things we do not consider “alive”. Every thing is going through the cycle of birth, of life, of death, and eventual resurrection. Even Granite is birthed through the immense pressures and the perfect environmental conditions deep within the earth. In its prime it is solid and strong, but it will be ground to dust one day. Even the Earth will ‘pass away’ one day, but the cycle will continue. All things unfold in Gods time, not mans.
We should all study the world around us that is not of man if we want to claim to understand the will of God. If we do not, if we study the work of men, we will inevitably reason according to men- not of God. In Gods plan our life plays out according to choice, as it does for all of the creatures on earth. It is a cause and effect game that plays out with the rules set. Everything from gravity, to the fact that we breath air and not water, lead us to make rational choices that bring us through life as we live, and love, and socialize with each other. God has made it quite easy for us. We have the blueprint all around us, and within us lies the ability to comprehend and learn as we gain knowledge and the wisdom to apply it. Even before our minds develop this wisdom, our hearts steer us in the right direction.
The confusion, I believe, comes in when we listen to what men claim that God wants. The only way to separate those who speak the truth and those who deceive is to discern if it matches what we’ve observed unfolding all around us in the natural world. Do animals gather together and decide to murder another animal for being different? Does the alpha male in a wolf pac convince the others to hate the squirrels? It sounds ridiculous because it is. God is not doing any of the horrible things men do. God is not to blame in any way.
I am not against any religion. I stand firmly against the men and women who misrepresent God and call it religion. Many of the worlds religions, I believe, at their core are intended to lead us toward a greater understanding of God. Any religious leader that calls for action that contradicts the observable natural order is clearly not for God but for himself. Personally, I believe the best way we can live in accordance to Gods will is to stand up for Life, Love, and Truth. We cannot do this if we cause any death, any hate, or any deceit. To many leaders in religion and in Government claim to lead the charge for God- be careful to observe what it is exactly they are saying, because the results of every action either reenforce or contradict the Life, Love and Truth that is the inherent in nature. The cycle of Gods will is unfolding naturally all around us. It happens in Gods time and not our own. When men stand up and disrupt this cycle while declaring that they are acting according to Gods will they not only make fools of themselves they insult everything that God is by being the polar opposite.
Lao Tzu (c. 600 B.C.)
There is a thing confusedly formed Born before heaven and earth Silent and void
It stands alone and does not change, Goes round and does not weary. It is capable of being the mother of the world. I know not its name So I style it “the way.”
The way that can be told Is not the constant way The name that can be named Is not the constant name…
Tao Te Ching (c. 600 B.C.)
Man models himself on earth, Earth on heaven Heaven on the way, And the way on that which is naturally so.
1 John 4:8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
“Give to everyone who begs from you; and of him who takes away your goods do not ask them again. And as you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.” -Jesus Christ
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