The Road to Hell

I’ve never much liked the word ‘intention.’ 

Like…

‘What are your intentions for this week/month/year?’  ‘Let’s set our intention for this meeting.’  ‘My intention is to be loving to my family this holiday.’ 

Blech.

But I’ve felt like an asshole for not liking the word, because it is such a part of psychology, spirituality and self help.

I’ve been reflecting on my dislike. Here is the crux of why I think we should toss this word out:  The word ‘intention’ is mental. It’s not embodied. 

And therefore it is a movement of fear.

The Strangest Pleasure

Pain’s got a bad reputation, no?

The worst, maybe.

No one wants this dude at the party; he’s the thief of pleasure, joy, & peace—not welcome to hang out, even for a little while.

But let’s—just for the length of this blog post—let’s consider that this bad reputation may be unfair. And let’s notice that we haven’t really found out for ourselves. We’ve just assumed pain was no good.

A Healing Estuary

This process, along with caterpillars turning into butterflies and frogs regrowing legs (and a billion other mysteries in our biological reality) doesn’t make sense from a materialist worldview—the worldview that says things are separate, operate themselves, and are disconnected from the rest of Life, with one DNA packet code per separate, solid life form. 

But major internal change—this kind of smoltification process—including completely new shapes & operating systems, is more the norm than the exception in Nature. And it is actually the norm for us humans (though we are taught the materialist worldview—that we are nouns instead of verbs). 

It is the natural process of evolution—a radical transformation in which our whole Being alters, finding a much bigger space to occupy, as we drop old constrictions (limiting beliefs) in our system. And this evolutionary process is built into us, just like the salmon. 

But it takes some healing, some time in the brackish waters—letting go of old patterns, old internal systems…eating some salt, as it were. 

You Can't Get Here From There

If we look around here on earth, it seems totally reasonable that there should be another, aspirational world. I mean, what a mess this place is. It sure can’t be heaven. It can’t be right. It very obviously needs fixing. An ideal (better) world seems a good idea. It could be pretty depressing to think that this is all there is.

However, once the concept of two worlds is accepted, it logically follows that the path of mental, emotional, & spiritual development means to (somehow) gain access to this other realm—to earn our way to spiritual or secular heaven—to this perfect, peaceful, balanced state of ‘bliss’ or ‘mindfulness,’ promised to us by the many honorees of this other world (priests, shamans, psychologists etc).

I see the idea of two worlds as causing so much of our confusion and heartache—so much searching & self violence. To spill the beans:  I am profoundly averse to the idea of two worlds. 

When You Open

Recently, walking in the Tennessee mountains on retreat, a grasshopper leapt across my path and I exclaimed “You’re so pretty when you open!,” dazzled by the yellow & green of its wings.

And I thought—Isn’t this true about the natural world?  

Butterflies. Birds.

A full Lion’s mane. 

Every flower ever.

A puppy’s pink tongue. 

A luminous geode (looking like a dumb ol rock before it’s cracked open). 

Lolling cats, upside down with their underbellies showing. 

The more open, the more enticing. 

I & She (not Me)

I & She (not Me)

A definition of terms:

“I”: The vast, formless, conscious awareness that looks out of our eyes and permeates all forms. The ‘ground of being,’ ‘fundamental consciousness,’ ‘what’s looking’ or your ‘true nature.’

“She” (and “He”) : The body, including the energy body. The form—the unique shape that awareness sees and feels through. The hands and organs and heart and guts and blood and  brain, etc.

“Me”: The separate self. The self concept. The illusory ‘me’ that lives in the body and has a story. The Doer. The Thinker. The apparently separate subject that’s having the experience. The one who is seemingly operating things. 

The Annoying Moviegoer

I have a friend who talks in the movie theater. I don’t enjoy going to the movies with her (bless her), because her commentary takes me out of the film. I am crying, or otherwise totally immersed, and she is opining about an actor’s performance or the musical score. It’s just not fun.

But really I’m talking about myself here.

Because we all have this judgmental ‘friend’ inside our psyches—it’s the same ‘friend’ for all of us—the armchair critic of our lives, sitting in sorta-like the top row of the theater—above your left shoulder—and attempting to rewrite this perfectly good drama, this perfectly embarrassing comedy that is my life, your life. 

Non-Zero Sum Game

My favorite movie in 2016 was 'Arrival'--the one with the squid-like aliens and Amy Adams. One of the aliens' message is my message for this post. This is your spoiler alert.

The aliens don't quite 'land' on earth. Their oblong (weird?) spaceships float (menacingly hover?) just above the ground, in several spots all over the globe (ready for a global attack?). Things don't go smoothly. We assume that the gift/tool they are offering is a weapon---we project the idea that there is a zero-sum game happening, that the aliens are here to destroy us, to go to war (the aliens' written language even looks like a circular Rorshach--a perfect metaphor for a whole planets' projections).

Your Life is Your Life

Excerpt:

The real truth is that you are your own authority, your own light. Align with that, with the authentic and alive spirit that is moving you, right now, effortlessly. It goes by many names, this inner light:  the quiet voice, intuition, inner knowing, flow, your 'yes', inner awareness, spirit, the force (Star Wars fans--it's real!).  This light beats the darkness, the heavy conditioning we are burdened by—it is bright and light and easy. It feels effortless. And it is right here, inside of you--not out there, in their eyes, in their approval.

Knowledge of Good and Evil

Excerpt:

I am stupidly confident that the biblical story of our fall from grace/heaven being 'knowledge of good and evil' is literally true---that the story is an actual description of the creation of human suffering. And I think tossing out concepts of good & evil, right & wrong, good & bad is an actual path to salvation/peace/heaven. I know, major hubris. Probably a terrible idea---but here goes.