Monday Inspiration

I was trying (rather unsuccessfully) to explain to someone who doesn’t really believe in a soul, what I think it is. It is not very easy to put into words, but it has inspired my Monday inspiration post.

I don’t think this is all a soul is, but it’s a start.

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Feel free to share what you think a soul is, maybe you’ll be better at describing it than I am. All I will say is, I know I have one. And it is the only reason I behave.

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Monday Inspiration: Be a rascal!

 

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Inspired by the awesome Alan Watts and his book, ‘You’re It,’ today’s Monday inspiration is about embracing your inner rascal. Too many of us spend so much time trying to be righteous and good (myself included these days) that we forget that is not the true essence of what human beings are. There is absolutely nothing wrong with’the irreducible element of rascality’ present in any honest human being. Watts used it to describe Carl Jung after he met him. What it means is, don’t forget that we are flawed, and that that is absolutely ok – but be playful with it.

Monday Inspiration

I can breathe again

What you don’t realise is, I don’t write these things for you in the first instance, although I share them with you later,  I write them for myself.  The real me tries to be the voice of reason among a thousand other voices that  I know are all against me.  These voices echo of things I have been taught, things I have heard, fears, judgements, worries, pit of the stomach shame and they release a paralysing drug into my bloodstream.

Writing is my true voice finding a way to be heard louder than all the rest.  It won’t let me write down what is false.

My thoughts and feelings converse on these pages and somehow they work things out.  I am not even privy to their understanding, for it is not in words, but they make peace and I can breathe again.

Let me tell you a secret

Let me tell you a secret; human beings are incredible.  They have this miraculous talent to turn pain into beauty; sadness into joy; war into peace.  The universe takes everything that they love away from them and not only do they endure it, they remain capable of loving again.  Through great sorrow, they create music, literature and art.  They have an ability to create light in even the darkest of places and they show it to everyone around them.  Only through great adversity can they show how truly courageous they are.  Only through terrible injustice can they show selflessness and compassion.  Life is the dark matter and human souls are the stars, there would be no one without the other. It is the human heart that is the divine.

There are some things I believe and some things I know

There are some things in life I believe and some things I know. I know that there is pain and suffering in this world and I know that there always will be, for me, for you and for every other soul.  I know that I feel that pain and that suffering, but can never take it away, not from me or from you or from anyone else, but as long as my soul is aware I will want to.  I know that there is hate and greed and violence in the world and that time and time again there will be injustice.  I know that every time that happens I will feel anger and pain and I will struggle to accept why it happened.  I know that there will be loss, that there will be death and that every time I lose someone, I will suffer and feel pain, even when it is expected and even if I believe that death is not the end.  I know that no matter what I believe, whether I have faith in one god, ten gods, or none at all, I will feel that pain.  I know that every other being in the world feels that pain.

 

I know that I will survive that pain.   That other people will survive that pain.  I know that there are some things in life you can change and some things you can’t.  If you can’t change it you must accept that it is a part of your life and you must believe that there is a reason for it.  If you do not believe there is a reason for the pain, the pain will be all there ever is.

 

I believe we all feel the same pain and the same suffering because we are all the same.  We are all connected to the same particles of energy that make up everything in the world which is why I know what your suffering feels like, which is why I can feel compassion for you, not sympathy, compassion.  This is why I feel pain when I see another human being suffering, why I feel pain when I see an animal suffering, why I feel pain when I see plants and trees and wildlife suffering and why I feel my planet suffering.  I believe that everyone feels this but most people are not aware of it.

 

When you realise that all the suffering in the world is the same as your own, you realise that it is this bond that ties us all together, and that all that can be left is to feel compassion and understanding for yourself and for everyone and everything else in the world and that somehow when you realise that and you feel that, it makes the suffering different.  It stops being something that you try to escape, to run from or to fight.  It changes from suffering into love and it enables you to feel such love for your whole world and everyone in it that it turns something awful into something good.  It brings us together, and we are kinder to each other because of it.  It makes us do incredible selfless amazing things.  It makes us take risks and make sacrifices.  It makes us humble and caring.  It makes us good and decent.  There would be no opportunity to be any of these wonderful things if there was no pain and no suffering.  Stories would have no heroes.  No incredible beings who face adversity and death and loss and helplessness and keep going on along journeys so hard most people would not even have started.  They keep going because they know the pain and suffering, they push on because they have lost, not because they were born brave, but because they learned to be brave by facing another day after losing things they love.  These stories are no different than the journeys we all go through in life.  I know that facing all that pain and suffering in whatever form it takes in your life and still going on is heroic, is amazing.  I know that the only reason anyone would continue on and keep going is because whether they admit it or not, they believe in something other than nothing.

 

I believe in everything.  I believe in myself, in my fellow human beings, I believe in my planet and my universe and a divine presence of light that makes everything I perceive appear in front of my eyes.  I believe that my perception of life is defined by the choices I make every second of every day, starting with how I choose to see my thoughts, myself, my surroundings and the other people in my life.  My experience of my life is defined by my understanding of what is around and inside of me.  That changes and grows and lives and dies like the roots of a tree.  I believe that there is beauty all around me, and that there is ugliness all around me, that what I will see is a choice, like the choice between seeing the frightening black abyss of nothing encapsulating everything in the night sky or the infinite number of brilliant white dazzling lights of the stars that are more magical than the most delicate, prettiest fairy lights of my imagination.  I know that I would not see the stars if it were not for the dark matter, and I want to see the stars.  I would not see the love if I did not see the suffering.  I believe that you should accept this.  I believe that you should accept that there will always be both, good and bad, dark and light, love and suffering.  I believe that you should accept that there will always be both, but I also believe it is your duty to yourself as a human being to do whatever you can to ease suffering and to share love.  If you see the stars and someone does not, point them out, describe them the way you see them and remind the person of the light.  If you see someone who has had no love, remind them what that is, smile, be kind, be understanding.  Recognise someone who is suffering, know that you may not be able to help them, but try.  You may not help them instantly, but they will always remember the people who were kind to them, and if enough people show them love, they will start to believe it.  You cannot fix all the problems of the world, but you can learn to understand it, you can fix yourself and by example show other people how to do the same.

 

I know that I will carry on with my life despite that pain,  that all the other people in the world will keep living every day with that pain, one day after another, one step at a time.

 

I believe that there is something else after you die.  I believe that my life means something.  I believe that there is a divine power that is in everything and everyone from the stars to me.  I believe that my soul is something which can never die and that has never not existed.  I know that I have felt pain and I know that I will feel it again.  I know that in this life there is love, that I am loved, that I love, that I will be loved and that I will love again.

Mutants and Hybrids: What is the Human Part?

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/mutants-and-hybrids/

One part human.  What part is human?  What is the defining feature that makes a human being distinct from an animal, distinct from a living organism, distinct from an object made up of matter?

I guess everyone would have chosen either their mind or their head but is your mind really a part?  I am going to picture a hybrid with other human features, because the thought is deliciously funny and thought provoking.

What if I chose to be one part human hand and two parts Iphone?  I wonder what part of the Iphone would be missing, if one part was human hand.  There would be no need for the full human, the Iphone and hand could exist and function perfectly without any other human part.  It could text and search the internet, it could go on Facebook, it could write my posts on WordPress.  Would the hand have a mind though?  Would it be able to function?

What if I chose to be two parts chair and one part human head.  People could come and sit with me for dinner and we could have the most eloquent conversations and eat the most beautiful cooked meals.  I would never have to work, or earn money, or go to the supermarket, or cook.  I would simply wait at the table for someone to join me and they would be so fascinated by their talking chair that they would feed me food and drink and talk to me.  I wonder if they would take me on trips or to dinner at other people’s houses.  I wonder if sometimes we could sit in the garden and have lunch al fresco.  I wonder if they would wash my hair and if the hair would still grow.  Would my lips get chapped?  Would they put makeup on me if I asked kindly enough?  I wonder if anyone would sit on me and whether I would feel it, or if it would only be my nose that would hurt if it was squashed.

What if I chose to be two parts tree and one part human heart.  Would I feel love and sadness and pain and never be able to express it?  Would I mourn the branches that fell off and the leaves that died?  Would I appreciate the beauty of my leaves as they turn orange and dance in the air to the ground?  Would I feel the fresh wind and feel at peace?  Would I feel affection for my neighbouring trees and plants?  Would I be grateful for the wind and the rain that seeped into my bark and made me grow taller, would I be thankful for the sun for keeping me alive?  Would I wonder at the graceful flight of the birds all around me and marvel at the blue sky and fluffy clouds? Would I look at the tree growing next to me, spawned from my own seed, would I feel love for it, would I feel pride? Would I spend hours contemplating who made me and how I got to be a tree?

 

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What part is the human part of me?

When Will I Be Free?

“When will I, oh when will I, oh when will I be free?”

 

“Free from what?”  The wise man said smiling pleasantly.

 

“Free from myself, I suppose” I said, doubting even me.

 

“Then who is left my darling child if you are free from me?”

 

“Not you old man but me” I said, “It’s me who wants to be free.

 

“But I am you and you are me and I am gladly free, so who is me that isn’t free if I know it is not me?”

Daily Post Weekly Writing Challenge: Student, Teacher: Jo and Verity

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_writing_challenge/student-teacher/

 

An excerpt from “After the Lights Went Out”.  Verity talks to Jo.

 

The worst thing about it all was this kind of wave of hopeless despair took over the whole country. I have thought about this in some depth. I thought to myself, what if how you feel is not just something subjective? What if your feelings have a purpose other than to motivate you alone? What if how you feel is a frequency that you omit out into the universe that other people can feel? What if it can influence how other people feel?

Would that not explain why certain places have a feeling to them? Would it not explain why at places where something awful has happened like murder or suicide it feels eerie? Perhaps it is not ghosts. Perhaps you are feeling a frequency that was so strong and that unsettled that part of the universe so much that the feelings that resulted can still be felt years later?

I think first a wave of panic and chaos swept over the country and then a feeling of utter despair. People stopped hoping, they stopped believing in religion, they stopped believing in anything and a feeling of sheer hopelessness gripped everyone. No one knew what to do; we had collectively given up on our existence. It got to the point where everyone knew someone who had died; everyone had held someone dying in their arms; many people had lost their children, their parents, their sisters, their brothers, their lovers, their friends. The fires killed so much, so many people, so many animals. Many of the farmers were as devastated at the loss of their stock as they were of the people around them. Death seemed to be blowing over the country with the wind, leaving it in a dark shadow, the people left walking around like ghosts. Hope, Jo, is what keeps us surviving, hope and faith, without those we are a dying species. Oil doesn’t matter, electricity doesn’t matter, money doesn’t matter without hope. It is what made us the most progressive and wondrous of the creatures on earth. Without it we are left with empty buildings and deserted cities. We should have realised that we do not need the governments or wealth to survive and be happy. Money was an illusion. Money is actually worth nothing unless we all believe it means something. If we stop believing in money, we shatter the illusion and we put down the imaginary chains that we’re bound by. That is one thing I am not sorry for and I do not miss. Here we are surviving, living without money. We are finding food and shelter and existing, but we are dying out because we have lost hope. We have stopped reproducing because men and women have lost hope in the human race and there are no children. What a world without children. You, Jo, are among the youngest people in the country, trust me, we have looked and very soon you will be an adult. I do so hope that you get to hold a baby in your arms, to look at its face and see the beauty of human life in its simplest form, to hear children laughing and playing oblivious to everything except love and play.

 

I saw all of this happening before me. I could understand what was happening to the world. I am not sure why Jo, but I see things other people don’t see. There are moments when I feel like my awareness of my experience of life is slightly in front of the reality if it, like I am looking back and remembering it. Like I am dreaming, or reminiscing. It is like my mind is ahead of time itself and I am looking back as a third person – watching the story play out. I can also very succinctly feel what other people are feeling. I feel feelings from other people that they are not aware of themselves. So I could see all of this happening before me and while most people were terrified of their uncertain future, I could feel the hope, the human experience floating away up to the sky, drifting into the dark with the ashes from the fires. I have tried to capture that feeling of hope and faith and keep it here, but I am only one person and I find it difficult enough to convince myself sometimes, particularly when I realised that women had stopped becoming pregnant. That realization was aching to me, I felt afraid. I truly thought to myself that we were doomed. I knew and understood that this was happening because of the loss of hope but I could see no way to reverse that, because we had stopped believing in ourselves. I cried for a long time in a way I had not done in years. I felt so utterly alone. When I had cried all the tears I had, I lay down and slept and when I awoke I meditated for a long time and I accepted the situation. I was still alive and I was a part of a universe that I knew existed for its own purpose. I still believed that. I still believe that now. I had stopped believing in God in the Christian sense when I was 10 years old and although I had lived many years not believing in anything and living the way people do when they don’t believe in anything, I had learned another way to believe in God. I believe in something I call the universe and that there is a divinity in everything in that universe including myself. I believe we are all connected, every person, every animal, every plant, every particle of energy and that the universe exists in a perfect state of harmony. I still believe that and at that point I had to remind myself of it. Whatever was happening was happening to regain balance in the world. I do not believe that when a person dies that is the end of their energy or their spirit. I have a feeling that we are born again. I am not sure whether it is into this world or another one, but my brain cannot reason that the energy that comprises living creatures simply disappears and becomes nothing. I do not actually believe there is any such thing as nothing, even the air and the space in between is something, has gases and particles of energy. I believe that when we die we just become something else.  I did not believe that it was possible for the earth to die.   I reminded myself that there are things I have control over and things I do not and that I cannot worry about things I have no control over. If the earth was changing, I had no control over that, but I had control over my own thoughts and actions and I while I was alive I had to make sure that what I choose to think and do mattered in some way. I decided that more than ever I had to keep going with what I had started, I had to convince everyone around me that there was still hope. Then something happened.

 

We heard a story. It came as a kind of Chinese whisper, passed from person to person and I am sure it was being spread all over the country. There was talk of a child who was born the day the last light went out . They said that this girl was going to save us. They said that she was the last pure, good innocent thing left in the world and that she would return the lost children to the world. They said she was here in Australia and soon she would be coming to return our faith in ourselves. They said she was a child of divinity and that she had the power of the universe in her. People started writing things on the sides of buildings everywhere around the city. When I heard people talking about her I was inspired. When people asked if I had heard about her or if I knew anything about it, for a long time I simply smiled and walked away. You see Jo, people think I have some kind of special power, that I can see the future and see into human souls. I can’t see the future in the sense that people think I can, but I understand the nature of the universe and the way it works and I can guess what will happen a lot of the time. I cannot see through skin, but I do see who people really are because I truly understand myself and therefore most other people. The only people I cannot see are truly evil people, because my mind cannot comprehend that and I will tell you, I have only come across one such person in my lifetime, and you have seen him Jo; the cowboy but we have to leave that one for later.

 

I knew that people believed I had some kind of special powers, which I usually just laughed about and denied, but I had an idea. I thought that if I encourage people to believe in this girl, this “saviour” if they truly began to believe in her then people might begin to hope again and believe. I started to encourage the rumour. I have to admit Jo, I may have written some things on some walls myself. I may have even written some notes and put them in bottles. I may have asked someone to spread the rumour. Well, it grew arms and legs this rumour. People started to believe that this person actually existed and that she would save their souls and the earth. The people around me had a renewed energy. They started to progress in their projects. They were coming to me all the time with new ideas and they were getting things finished. They built a boat Jo, a solar powered boat. They sailed it to Sydney and brought more people back. They were coming to me with thoughts on where we should go, on where this girl might be and they travelled around Australia meeting all of the people who were left and asked about the girl and if the people hadn’t heard about the girl, they told them about it.

 

“Verity, I am not a saviour or a daughter of god” Jo stated, worried she was going to let everyone down.

 

Verity smiled “Oh but you are both Jo, in the same sense that we all are. You are a human being who is not hopeless. You are not a daughter of God, you are life itself – we all are, but every now and again we humans need to be reminded of that. You are the light in the dark, the stars in the sky, the sunlight on the sea, sun in the sky, the rain in the air, the reason for existence. We all are. We were not created by a force that is separate from ourselves. We are life, we are creation, there is no difference. What we have lost is simply hope and whether you are real or a metaphor personified, you give us that. You have already given us that. Even just imagining that you exist gives everyone hope. Don’t you see that? Whatever you believe or know about yourself, the way I see it, we have two choices here, we either tell people that you are not the saviour and that in fact she does not exist and the hope dies and kills us all, or we let them believe that you are the saviour, because in a way, in the way that I am explaining to you, you are our saviour. You are youth, you are the future, what you decide to do will affect us all.

And Jo, there is something in the way this has all happened that is strange, don’t you think? I did not start the rumour about you, someone else did. I just ran with it. I did not expect that Tori would find you, but she did and don’t you see you are exactly the kind of person the story describes. Don’t you think there is something in that? You are good and loving and beautiful in the way every person should aspire to be. All you want is to be happy and for other people to be happy, that is all any of us should want. By being you, you inspire other people how to be, you inspire them to be better, to be more like you, because they can see that it is possible. Don’t you see? When you create a story, when you tell it to other people: that makes the story real, imaginations are spoken and let out into the world and come into existence. Don’t you see? People know what an angel is, they know what it looks like, they know its characteristics, not because they have ever seen one in real life, but because someone described it and wrote about it and then other people drew it and painted it and portrayed it and now everyone knows what it is and what it looks like and in that sense, it exists.

 

“But what will l do? Won’t they expect me to walk on water or turn water into wine or something? I can’t do anything like that. I can’t really do anything special”.

 

“You just have to be you Jo, you just have to smile and talk to people and make them feel loved and tell them what they need to hear. You will know what that is. I am not telling you to lie about anything. You don’t have to say “Yes I am the daughter of the universe” say what you believe, say what I have said, that we are all sons and daughters of the universe, that we are all divine. Say what you honestly believe, just don’t say all of the things that you are not. If you say you are not divine, you are lying anyway. How can you really know what you are and what you are not? How can you know any of this is what you think it is? This life, how do you know it is real? How do you know it is not a dream? How do you know you are human? There is no real way of knowing these things in this lifetime, so how can you say they are true or not true? Now, it won’t matter what you say. Everyone knows that I sent Tori to find you and that she has brought you here and now everyone believes that you are going to save us”.

 

“So what now? What do we do?”

 

“What is it that you want from your life?”

 

“I want to be happy”.

 

“And what do you think will make you happy?”

 

“Mmmm. I guess I want it all to be a big adventure”.

 

“How does sailing to the other side of the world sound for an adventure?”

 

Jo’s eyes lit up and widened. “Oooh. Yes please”.

 

“Let’s do it then”.

Daily Prompt: Que Sera Sera

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/26/prompt-que-sera-sera/

I wish I could say that I have it all figured out, that I have a definite, solid belief in fate, or faith, but the truth is, everything I know I have to reteach myself every day; everything I think I know I question nearly every day; every time I read or hear a new way of thinking about it, I think to myself “That is also completely possible”.

Don’t get me wrong, there are days when I do see things in a clear way, on those days, I would say I believe in the universe.  In fact, actually on every day I believe in what I call the universe and that “it” (“it/the universe” being something that I believe is actually impossible for humans to define or articulate, in the same way that people may believe that you would never be able to comprehend seeing God.  I just choose not to personify God, because I believe that in some way that takes some of the power and the magic away from it and leaves it more open for people to challenge its existence, but I do not know that I am right and others are wrong) … anyway I believe that it exists in a perfect state of balance between all forces of life, matter and spirit.  I do not believe that there is someone per se making all the decisions or that it is written in a book like in The Adjustment Bureau (although I love that film) but I believe there is a symmetry, a pattern to existence and to the universe which connects all things.  I believe this energy connects everything, from gases, to molecules, to mass, to dark matter, to stars, to light, time, speed, to plants, to the earth to every “thing” in existence.  The universe is a massive living entity that we are all a very intrinsic part of.

That is how I explain life to myself.  What it does not explain is “why”.

It does not explain the reasons for it all and this is where I have never really found any theory that truly satisfies me.  I believe that life has some ultimate purpose and that my soul is on a journey and that somehow my personal journey is connected to the journey of the earth and the journey of the universe.  When I am on my true path, I feel it, my soul is lighter, I move fluidly, I experience such satisfaction and happiness; when I am on the wrong path, I feel desolate and sad and alone.  These gut feelings are some of the only things I can ever truly know.  I know that my journey is very important to me, and that it affects the other people who come into my life.

 

There is a part of me that thinks that it is possible that the only reason people have this awareness of life is purely scientific, perhaps the universe evolved in such a way to create human beings with this “sense of self”, this reasoning and belief system so that as a species we can live longer, in turn enabling the earth and the universe to survive longer also.  However I don’t think human beings are anywhere near as powerful in this regard as we tend to believe.  I do not believe that something as miniscule to the universe as human beings have any serious effect on it.  I think as I said before that the universe exists the way it does exactly the way it should, and that humans are a part of that existence.  That also still leaves a hell of a lot unexplained and if you have ever read about the scientific theories of existence and the big bang theory, then you will know they can only ever explain things to a certain extent – they only know what happened 10−37 seconds after the big bang, not what caused it and to me that is the crux – who cares if a big bang caused the universe to come into existence – if it did not exist before, how and why did it come into existence?  This is where spiritual or religious beliefs have some merit – unless of course you believe that the universe always existed in a state of never ending change and expansion (I tend to like that idea).

In terms of the events that happen in your life.  I think really many westerners have a very distorted view of what we do and do not have control over in life.  A lot of things that we think happen to us in fact do not happen to us at all, they happen to other people and we then feel something about it, for instance when and how people you care about die or leave your life.  I also think that most things in our lives that we think happen to us only happen because of the decisions we have made, right down to what we choose to think.  I believe that everything we think, feel, say and do is a choice, not being aware of making the choices does not mean we are not making them, it just means we are making decisions blindly and I believe you can learn to consciously make the decisions to live the kind of life you want to live.

So when people talk about fate, they are generally talking about the things that happen to you in life, but actually there is very little that happens to you in life that is not a result of decisions you have made.  I do not however believe in coincidence, I believe that everything that happens in your life and everything that comes into your life comes to teach you something, for your evolution, to make you grow as a spiritual being.  I think the people who come into your life are also there to teach you about life and love and I think you are drawn to people that you know will either help you or teach you.  Sometimes you meet people in life and you know that this person is a part of your life for a reason, something has connected you to them, this could again be fate, divinity, or simply these particles of energy doing the work of the universe.

Perhaps the whole point is to learn to love your life and your universe and everyone in it and then it really doesn’t matter why or how or who made it, or whether everything is happening for a reason or not, if you learn to live in each moment and to love it becomes less important whether it is you who is responsible or some divine force or entity.  I believe that everything is possible,  but that you have to believe in something.  I think if you learn to love and take care of yourself and others with every thought, word and action, then whatever the reason is and whatever happens when you die, you cannot go wrong.

Or in other words – “I don’t have a bloody clue, but what a blast considering all the possibilities”.