QOTD Ken Wilber

QOTD Ken Wilber*Source

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The Real World: Attending To The Here And Now

This is the typical human problem. The object of dread may not be an operation in the immediate future. It may be the problem of next month’s rent, of a threatened war or social disaster, of being able to save enough for old age, or of death at the last. This ‘spoiler of the present’ may not even be a future dread. It may be something out of the past, some memory of an injury, some crime or indiscretion, which haunts the present with a sense of resentment or guilt. The power of memories and expectations is such that for most human beings the past and the future are not as real, but more real than the present. The present cannot be lived happily unless the past has been ‘cleared up’ and the future is bright with promise.

There can be no doubt that the power to remember and predict, to make an ordered sequence out of a helter-skelter chaos of disconnected moments, is a wonderful development of sensitivity. In a way it is the achievement of the human brain, giving man the most extraordinary powers of survival and adaptation to life. But the way in which we generally use this power is apt to destroy all its advantages. For it is of little use to us to be able to remember and predict if it makes us unable to live fully in the present.

What is the use of planning to be able to eat next week unless I can really enjoy the meals when they come? If I am so busy planning how to eat next week that I cannot fully enjoy what I am eating now, I will be in the same predicament when next week’s meals become ‘now.’

If my happiness at this moment consists largely in reviewing happy memories and expectations, I am but dimly aware of this present. I shall still be dimly aware of the present when the good things that I have been expecting come to pass. For I shall have formed a habit of looking behind and ahead, making it difficult for me to attend to the here and now. If, then, my awareness of the past and future makes me less aware of the present, I must begin to wonder whether I am actually living in the real world.

~Alan Watts

QOTD Sandra Kring

We work hard to disown the parts of our lives that were painful, difficult, or sad. But just as we can’t rip chapters out of a book and expect the story to still make sense, so we cannot rip chapters out of our past and expect our lives to still make sense. Keep every chapter of your life intact, and keep on turning the pages. Sooner or later you’ll understand why every scene, every chapter was needed. -Sandra Kring

Life*Image Credits (all artwork used with permission through CC license)–
“Life” by gfpeck
“Life Light” by Michael Taggart Photography

The Cost Of Living

The future is a dimension of possibilities–

Out Of Time The Realm Of MeditationI don’t think we think about cost anymore, which is ironic isn’t it? A socialized civilization that has as its sole means a standardized value measurement system (read: currency AKA money) regards any and everything through numerical denomination $1, $5, $10, $20, . . .  Dollars. Money. The green stuff. Money seems like a pantheon god at whose feet all gather for possession of the slightest farthing afforded them.

So cost. The price of goods and services, or as it also known human resources. Human resources. A system that creates the necessity of standing in line and occupying waiting rooms. Is this a waste of time only when the time could be spent spending it on some other civilized activity? Does our time cost? What costs time? Do we ever really stop to think about that question?

Often an idea, a concept, a prepackaged bit of data is surreptitiously installed into innocuous places. Benefits of the effort at being obvious. It goes unnoticed, like language. Any language. It doesn’t matter, data has no language built in, so it can be transacted into anyone. The process remains the same. A phrase like spending time. How do you spend your time? Don’t we also spend money? Is time expensive? Sometimes, we want to buy time. Can you use credit for that? Could you layaway time? What’s your monthly budget on time? It seems weird, doesn’t it, yet that is how we communicate.

So cost. When the sole exchange used for everyday transaction is used as a currency (think: flowing stream. Think: ocean current. Imagine an electrical circuit current), what is the cost of living? What is the cost of time? Should we measure cost in time rather than dollars? How much does time cost? And how much time does it cost? If we did measure cost in time, would we value time more? Would our whole system of values change? Would we spend less time doing things we hate for more time doing things we love?

Time keeps on slipping into the future. . .” ~Steve Miller, Fly Like An Eagle

Life is not measured in dollars it is measured by the consciousness, the mind, by nature. There is no price to pay with free living. It’s why I lived outside, why I slept on the ground in the woods beneath the starscape. To me, a conscious life is priceless. A consciousness needs it to exist healthy, to exist in union with the universe. From the quantum to the “edge” of the universe. I exist. I live consciously. I offer no excuse and ask for none.

How do you value you?

*Image credit: “Out of Time, The Realm of Meditation” by Cornelia Kopp

Thou Art God

Thou art God, and I am God and all that groks is God.” ~A Stranger In A Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein

Thou Art GodI was reading about chakras, and in doing so I come across the third eye crown chakra, which leads to the pineal gland which leads to melatonin . At melatonin, I find out that this is the chemical that regulates sleep patterns/cycles (circadian rhythms), which makes me wonder: What does that say about the waking state and the dream state? Give me your hand. Follow me, Alice, as we travel down the rabbit hole of a tangent….

We have wondered for millennia why do humans dream, yes? And we have wondered what is the dream state either in contrast to the waking state or in contrast to nothing. What is the dream state? And is that state when we are immersed in it, a reality? We, when we are asleep, seem to accept it as such (unless, of course, we are lucid dreaming, which is a whole other tangent, because we could say that the lucid state within the dream state is not unlike the waking state within reality, yes?). Melatonin also regulates the oscillations of the body, harmonizing with the surrounding environment so that the mind/brain can enter into the trance/dream state without any problems. How is this not unlike meditation, or even deep meditation?

Why do we still dream? Dreams as they are currently known could be residual memories, leftovers, remnants, perhaps fragments of a time when humans were fully consciousness. Downloading information from the cloud, or from the aether (in other words, whatever environment, your reality by which you are surrounded). It is effortless, I think, because the aether and you are one in the same. There is no boundary between the body and space. The skin is not a terminus…you know, at the end of my fingertip, I end. Boundaries are an illusion. I do not stop at my fingertip, I continue. My skin is not boundary betwixt I and space, skin is more like clothing. I am a protrusion into the third/fourth dimension, as such comprised of the fabric of the universe itself, same as the sun, the tree, a star, an insect, etc. Ultimately, there is no one I, nor is there a We, but only Is or This or That Which Can Be Called EveryOne. I don’t have a word in the language for this concept. That does not mean that there are no other Ones, I’m speaking merely for this universe, I have no certainty beyond that (or actually any at all, for that matter).

“Inside most people there’s a feeling of being separate — separated from everything. And they’re not. They’re part of absolutely everyone, and everything. [People have this] spot that [they] can’t see past…, the spot where they were taught they were disconnected from everything. [If they could they would see that they are connected] and how beautiful they really are. And that there’s no need to hide, or lie. And that it’s possible to talk to someone without any lies, with no sarcasms, no deceptions, no exaggerations or any of the things that people use to confuse the truth.” ~Powder

People are afraid to live in this way (reality as decoherent, as a quantum foam, or a non-solid state; reality can be as flexible as a dream) because they are afraid that they will shatter. These are all delusions, I think. There is no such thing as retribution; this is a human invented trait, not one of nature. There is no such thing as punishment; this is merely a legal term. People are afraid of condemnation or of excommunication. But humans do not have to live in this way, it is possible to be honest without worry of that.

It IS possible to live that way, but it can be scary on the way there. People are always looking for the jackboot and the oppression because in western society, that is the consequence. Human beings have forgotten how to treat one another as humans and most of all, they have forgotten that they ARE human beings, living organisms, who are children of the universe, and really have nothing to fear because death is not an afterlife or a hell/heaven, or an end, but another form of energy, just as life is a form of energy. We are not bound to life; therefore, we are not obligated in death. Immortality exists, just not in the way the movies describe.

 

*Image Credits (stock used with permission)–
“Thou Art God” (above image) is a photomanipulation created by NIKOtheOrb, using stock produced by:
EK Stock Photos, “Macro Eye I”
Luca Pedrotti, “Male Silhouette Pointing”
Funerium, “Cosmos8_0009”, distributed by Resurgere Stock
Inspired by a drawing on Reddit

Time To Pretend

“All the great empires of the future will be empires of the mind.” ~Winston Churchill

What I mean by hard-wiring caused by years and generations of socialization is that genetically humans are now predisposed to suffering. Suffering, in the social environment, has become normalized, and anyone who should deviate too far from this standard is considered “crazy” or abnormal.

Now, before I continue, let us come to an agreement about what constitutes suffering? Not a definition of suffering but what can be called suffering in the human condition (as we exist in a societal environment). In what form does suffering come? Suffering can be called an intangible state of being, that is, one’s being exists in a state of suffering. Suffering, once had a definite and easily determined cause, i.e., racism (but let us not veer off into efforts of indoctrination or further observations at this movement through sociology’s eyes just yet), womanizing, immigration (and by immigration, I mean, in the early days of Europeans arriving in America and their efforts at rising out of poverty), etc. [NOTE: I purposefully chose social movements, that is large acts of deliberate oppression enacted upon other groups of humans by other humans within a society. I could not go to an indigenous culture for several reasons, but mainly, because I don’t consider myself well-versed enough in indigenous culture to do so and I think much of human suffering that we are talking about stems from western culture and western society constructs. Further note: I am looking at human suffering solely from an anthropological perspective]. Okay, these kinds of mass suffering no longer effects western society as deeply, save only in a mass destructive way, i.e. Hurricane Sandy, and human suffering suddenly comes to the forefront.

Sociology says that natural disasters are usually the times in which human beings will come together and forget about all the differences that the day before loomed so important as to cause neighbor to fight with neighbor and realize that “We are all human beings” that we bleed the same blood, etc. etc. Well, why is that? Why is it that humans only understand suffering following a natural disaster (there is a whole other element about this that disturbs me when I think upon it. In what I have been reading of late (anthropology, molecular biology, organic chemistry, which are naturally intermarried and naturally lead to consciousness) it seems as if humans do not unite because suddenly they caught a glimpse of what is really important, but out of fear and a unity in loss. Everybody understands loss)? It is as if humans require a disaster, some cataclysmic event, in order to set aside our petty differences. I think this is part of the reason why these unified acts of kindness are only temporary. Once enough time has passed, or that the event is forgotten or that some other kind of remedy has occurred, that time of bonding falls away, and we return to our “normally” suffering selves. This is a fundamental problem, I think.

I reason that there must be some deeper cause for humans’ [current] inability to understand human suffering or the suffering of others. I mean, if you believe in Kohlberg’s scale of Moral Development, there is more than one dimension, more than one scale of existence, and some humans exist on different scales. We are not all equal, in other words. Now, here is an element of reality that some are reluctant to discuss or even entertain the notion that it is true. We are not all equal. Equality can only be an extrinsic quality offered to humans in society; meaning, equal protection from police, equal representation in court, equal opportunity at law, you know, this kind of philosophy. However, it is not true biologically, psychologically, physiologically, culturally, or genetically, you know? I think we don’t fully understand this, as humans. There is a distinction in some things. It is only so on a certain level. It’s like humans try to create a unified theory of everything in everything. This would create a homogenous existence, what could be learnt from this? What use is a homogenous existence? That would be like playing the game not to lose. Risk is not necessarily a negating property, nor is chance, and I think that playing the game not to lose is to surrender risk and chance.

But, don’t get me wrong, I acknowledge that there is potential and probability that the world can be different. I think fear is a powerful obstacle. But, this too, will end. As in chaos theory and entropy, randomness slows down to order, and order slowly breaks down [entropy] and then transforms to something else, some other unrecognized pattern (what we then call chaos). We, as a race of humans, are learning that the once archetypal ways of living are outdated and obsolete. We are realizing that the acts we have and are committing upon ourselves, upon our consciences, upon our environment, upon the planet; we are now comprehending that every act has an equal and [sometimes] opposite reaction. We are learning to love what we are and then live that way. The times are changing and the time to pretend ends like a clock slowly winding down until it stops on high noon.

*Digital Art by Jeanne Masar.