Change Gonna Come!

As we look toward the coming week, the soul sustenance all good folks need is to have faith in the timelessly proven adage, “a change is going to come.”  Nothing in this universe, no phenomenon, even what so many call God, is inherently unchanging.

Our mission this week, as the last and all those ahead, is to put our prayers and shoulders into adding to the slow momentum that carries morality arching toward the positive.  If all good people push at the same time, it does make a difference!

So today let us gather our wisdom, organize our spiritual energy, and recommit to affecting positive change ahead.

All that is happening as a result of those who are ignorant, those who hate, and those who are confused, will move on down the river, albeit slowly, and will be dissolved in the mighty sea.  There is only one ocean, and there is only one humanity.

Best we all began to learn that.

I leave you with Sam Cooke’s immortal song,

The Unique Burden Humans Bear

Maybe one day we humans will be able to actually communicate with some other species, perhaps primates, or whales; or what about ravens, or octopuses, highly intelligent creatures themselves?  If I had the chance, one question I would want to ask any of these is “Do you feel complete?”

One unique thing that we humans universally carry, regardless of who or where we are, is a sense that there is something missing in our lives.  Our very existence needs more – and that more is not to be found materially, or in our relationships or environs.  Of course such a thought or inner voice may not arise until one is mature, or should I say, one’s consciousness is mature…..it’s not an age thing necessarily.  But eventually, I would think we each, who ever we are on the Earth, have at least a fleeting question, “Isn’t there more?”

Likely each person of sufficient intelligence will have their personal speculative answer to that question.  When one considers how many belief systems there are in the world, and then considers the diversity of interpretations of even recognized religions and paths, why the number of different beliefs must approach the same number of people alive at any one time. Is is assured that if we ask anyone of we humans about her or his  beliefs about matters pertaining to spirituality and religion, inclusive of those who are agnostic or atheist, each will have a unique answer to the question “Why do you believe that?” although the question may need repeating a few times to reach the essence of their sense of awareness of more.

Our consciousness ask, “Is this all I am?” Deep within us all is the awareness, embedded within our self-awareness, this wondering, a pondering of how did we and all this come to be.  Since this question has been with us since early humankind began to develop consciousness, we can assume it is innate, not phenomenal.  Was the “apple” Eve offered Adam as told in the Bible possibly a metaphor for consciousness?  With a bite from the apple Adam became aware, and with that awareness surely came the question that we humans have borne through the ages, “Is there more?”  Of course in the Bible then God was pretty straight forward with the answer, which makes for a great story for believers of the Judeo-Christian faiths.

Within each of us is this question, in many it is perhaps latent, but it is there.  It may be the one thing that makes us unique here on Earth.

What do you believe, and why?  If you believe within some major religion, why? Do you just accept that answer as a given? Why? What is your basis of such acceptance, blind allegiance called “faith,” or historical/scientific proof?  If you opt for a humanist perspective, how do you explain this position to yourself?  I mean, don’t we owe it to ourselves to understand what we say we believe?

Personally, my belief is in continuing to search for the ground of being where my consciousness is one with the perceived and hidden universe.  To accept a finite answer to the question I have posed today would be an attempt to circumscribe the infinite.  Therefore, I choose to continue my Tao, where ever it may lead.

Finding Inner Peace in Troubled Times

Being a retired man, and a cerebral one at that, I have a lot of time on my hands to just think about life.  I see now why a lot of people have hobbies, for hobbies can take the mind away from thinking for those who think, and for those who do not think, it’s something to do besides watching the tube or the wall.

I enjoy thinking, in fact it is probably my hobby, as all the things that fall into the class of activities called hobbies by most, I have done in my life and never found any I wanted to be stuck with.  So I think.

But thinking too much comes with the real risk of becoming frustrated with a world that is now so troubled.  Is it my perception that it is troubled more, or is it really as bad as it seems?  Carefully considering the matter, I conclude it’s the latter.  I did not see WW2 like my parents did, but everything after that last world war I have seen, at least as a distant spectator.  And things are really bad now.

No doubt I am just one of hundreds of millions just in this country who are at their wits end with the current president and what he is doing to the country and the world.  But even if he was out of the picture, we have the problems of climate change, violence, health, etc.  Oh my.

So in these times it is good for each of us to have place to go to as often as we need, to renew our strength and refresh spirit.  My place is the river in the photo.

The Nueces River outside Camp Wood, Texas, on State Highway 55.
The Nueces River outside Camp Wood, Texas, on State Highway 55.

I grew up on this river, pretty much literally.  Although I have not been there in years, I can easily access it fully in my mind, its spring fed waters, the sounds, the touch, the smells.  Our minds take us anywhere, but we must be aware that we our minds are not captive in places that sap our energy.  We must replenish our vital spiritual energy by maintaining connection with the one sweet spot in our lives that is the portal to the divine.

This is mine.  I am the river, and the river is me.

I pray you have or find your own place.

Neo-Nazis (Nazis) Claim to be ARYANS. Huummmm.

I watched an excellent documentary film two evenings ago, titled The Aryans, by Mo Asumang.  Mo is a German of mixed parentage, her father being from Ghana and her mother white German.  Her mother was in the Nazi “SS,” and her father was a German officer.  Mo decided she had had enough of neo-Nazi racists in her own land, so embarked on making a film about Nazis, Aryans and hate groups, including the KKK in the US.  She even went to Iran, in search of “real Aryans.”

Prior to watching this film, then doing some research on the web, I had always believed that yes, Aryans were “Caucasians” who at one time lived somewhere north of India, and many thousands of years ago had migrated into the Indian continent, eventually changing India’s complexion, religions and instituting the caste system.  From what I have read, although many Indians themselves cling to this theory, probably helped along by 19th Century British and other European “scholars,” the truth may be far from that.

Moreover, it appears that Iranians, Persians, have a claim on being the original Aryans, although that in itself appears to be very contentious.

Mo bought a ticket  and traveled to Iran, then went out in the countryside and found some folk to claim to be real Aryans.  Who am I to doubt them, nor did she.  Who really knows?  The real Aryans seem to be almost mythical, like so much of world history that we have been taught as fact.  We forget how old civilizations are, and each having its own origins story, which have been played over and over through time, rewritten, enhanced and offered up as nationalistic rhetoric each time the land passed into new powers.

So, basically Mo proved what she already knew: that the Nazi and “German fraternities” claims about being “real Germans” and rooted in “Aryan stock” was basically bullshit created by one little mustached, dark haired, dark eyed idiot (at least he could have bleached his hair to emulate what “Aryans” are supposed to look like, blue-eyed (as I am) blondes (I am not).

What was an eye opener in her film was just how pervasive these hate groups and quasi-hate group “fraternities” are around Germany.  There are even areas controlled by neo-Nazis…..small villages….where “non Whites” and Jews are told not to tread.  A bit scary, for sure.  I guess my father in his B-25 and his outfit of the 57th Bombardment Wing missed a few of these guys granddads when he was bombing their asses in Italy.  But then, you can’t kill an idea, good or evil, with bombs.

Mo boarded another airplane to wing the pond, to interview a creep whose name I shall not repeat, as he doesn’t deserve any mention, but his words were so vile and wrong that I cannot even find my own words to comment.

What Mo showed, as I already knew, is that generally these “Aryans” are nothing more than men (and sometimes women) who are losers in our society:  losers with getting friends who aren’t losers, getting girlfriends, ones who likely were bullied in school, ones who had poor parenting or none at all, generally guys looking to blame their shitty existence on.  So if you can do that and wear Halloween costumes, whoa, now that’s life, right?

As for the KKK, I will write about them another day.  The origins of the KKK are amusing, but not what they did over the next 100 years.  Aryans? No.  Scottish like me.  Yes.  Sadly.

Anyway, I am still looking to find the real Aryans, and if I do, I will let you all know.

A Purposeful Life

Last evening I watched a film titled, “Find Me.”  It was, I suppose, what might be called a “chick flick,” but of course that moniker is, I suspect, not “PC” today, so forgive me, let’s just say it was a movie dealing with feelings; moreover, it deals with giving unconditionally – and finding purpose in one’s life.  It is a cute movie, funny, sad and yet very redeeming.  But, I am not here to review the film, only to borrow from its theme, to talk about living a purposeful life.

What does it even mean, “purposeful life?”  So we can come at this many ways really.  The term is a corollary of “the meaning of life.”  Why am I here, on this particular planet, right now?  Surely there must be a reason!  There is,  but unfortunately many of us around the world may not even have the luxury of creating a space for that question to arise in our mind.  This, in my mind, gives credence to the concept of reincarnation:  I believe each sentient being, humans and animals with some level of consciousness, are on a journey of seeking their ultimate purpose for existence.  For those beings not yet human, the cycles will be countless, as they return again and again to learn and advance, with their consciousness evolving more and more with each coming and going.  For humans who are not able due to the hardships of life, for the incipient thought of “why” to blossom, they in time will reach that potential.  It is a “potential” only, the potential for the question to arise as to “why am I here?” But at some point, in each person’s mind, eventually that thought will push through.

Regardless of whether you subscribe to reincarnation as a description of our existence now, or infinitely, depending on your present beliefs, I know that eventually your spirit energy will reach the edge of the vast void, where you are forced to look deep into that chasm of the unknown – call it God if you wish – and ask, “Why?”  It is the most beautiful question one can ask of the “Universe,” for the reason that the answer contains profundities that are infinitely simple, yet infinitely affirming.

Perhaps for those who believe in a Judeo-Christian or Islamic heavens (funny, are these different?), they will assert that all they need to do is “follow God’s law” and believe, and there is no need to try and attempt answering the question I have posed, for it will be “revealed” at the end of one’s life on Earth.  Perhaps.

There are many identifiable man-made religions and paths, and within those each adherent charts his or  her own course.  Others of us are like leaves falling to the ground in autumn, subject to all the shifting of the fall breeze, blowing in the wind.  Others of us have arrived at the point, the juncture in that place that is at the intersection of love and non-self awareness, beyond the intersections of the planes of time, space and gravity, where we are open to all the possibilities of Life, the manifest universe and the non-manifest universe, and are asking “Why?”

I do not yet know the answer, and if I did perhaps one vow I had made with the Universe was not to reveal it, for each person has their own answer, that is just for them only, that must be searched for as long as it takes, but with the certainty that it will be found.

So, let’s continue on our journeys, but Spirit informs that if we all hold hands, our collective Light on the road ahead will be so much brighter through the synergy of Love.

“Life” after “Death”: What do you believe?

My mind often has wandered back to that night years ago when my wife transcended, slipping “over.”  She passed with me on her bedside holding her hands, as we held eye contact.  We were alone, as she was terminal and there was nothing any doctor or nurse could do, except turn up her oxygen feed, which had max’d out.  I won’t bother you with the poignant hours leading up to this moment, but I want to share her very last words with you:  “I see God.  I am God.”  A few minutes later her heart stopped, and she left me, eyes wide, with a beautiful relaxed smile on her face, and with Venus shining into our room.

That moment set me off on what was a year long journey of mourning, and searching for what I could believe in.  The night she passed we were visited by a chaplain, who was Christian.  He asked us a few basic questions, and to the one regarding if we had an affiliation with a religion, we both replied “No,” after looking at one another, answering’ “We are spiritual but not religious.”  She had grown up in an African American CME church, and I had some exposure within a Southern Baptist church as a child, but neither of us had been to church except for funerals since.  Yet she was a studious seeker of guidance from many sources.  She practiced fasting with a Muslim friend during Ramadan, read from her Bible, read many books on African-centered spiritual paths, and Theosophy; however, her real path was her love, “Jazz.”  Her music was everything to her, the voice of the Muses singing the Alpha Omega.

For the year after she passed I was a devout student of world religions and spirituality, reading everything I could get my hands on, studying from the beginning, the Bibles, their history, religious archaeology, Judaism, the beliefs of KMT (Kemit….Egypt), Mayans, Christianity with all its twists and turns, Islam with its own twist and turns, Eastern religions, and finally I found a growing affinity for Buddhism.  One day I saw that a Buddhist monk was giving a talk, and the location was three blocks from where my wife’s grandmother’s home had been where we had spent many fun hours visiting.  I saw it as a sign, and went.  I accepted Buddhism that very day, and through Buddhism arrived at my beliefs of today.  My journey and quest is far from over, but I know I have a path to walk on.

When my wife died, a close lady friend, younger, became pregnant.  I had never known the lady well, just at a distance, but some months after becoming a widower, I found myself interested in this lady, even though she was pregnant.  A few weeks before she was to give birth, one morning at the crack of dawn, I was sound asleep, when BAM, there was an electric shock that went through my body, following the route of kundalini, and i suddenly was just sitting straight up in bed, seeing in my mind a marquee across my third eye, that read: “_______’s baby is Shirley(my late wife’s name).”  I kid you not! This happened exactly as I state.

So I became very friendly and helpful to this lady, and while I wasn’t there for the moment of birth, I was there just a few hours later, the two of us in her recovery room, when the baby was brought to her for her first nursing.  That baby and I just connected, I mean to tell you!  I became her Godfather (along with her siblings and even another wonderful girl), and today that baby is a beautiful 24 year old pursuing her music career.  Oddly it may seem, but the girl is so very much like my wife was, even physically, her own mother has remarked so many times about all the similarities.  Of course we believe in reincarnation, but the mother and I do have differing views to a large extent.  That is the joy of spirituality in my way of thinking, that it truly is personal.  I truly believe that which my wife saw clearly at her transcending, that we each are the manifestation of our own God.  Every religion that seeks to bind people to one belief system to me is nothing more than slavery of the Mind.

For myself, God is unknowable, but definitely not an old white guy with a beard.  God to me is the Void from which all emanates, the great Mind of which each of our minds is a part in the grand scheme.  We must remember the enormity of life as we know it, in all its varieties on Earth, and at the same time know that we are infinitely small in the overall scheme of the Universe, its space, gravity, constituency, energy and dynamics.  God to me is a vast information store, and our own minds are part of the processor.  What we think is brought into “reality” (samsara).  Buddha is said to have said, “All is Mind.”  As our telescopes and probes go further into space itself, perhaps that space  manifest only in our Mind, because we observe it, just like quantum experiments are affected by the observation of the physicists conducting the experiment (this is true if you don’t know).

So I ask you what you believe?  Do you believe you go to “Heaven,” and if so what will it be like?  What body will you have, the body you die with, or one 16 years old? and what mind will you have?  Will you not have any sexuality?  Or will you enjoy 16 virgins if you are a man, or hopefully 16 young men if a woman?  Or do you believe the bodies will be resurrected from the soil?  What about those that are cremated or otherwise vaporized over millennia?

I think it is important to use the mind that your God gave you, and not merely be a religious pawn, blindly following stuff written by monks or holy men who were as lost and confused as most of us. Know the real history of any religion you follow, do not just blindly accept it.  Know the Truth and the Truth Shall Set You Free.  Someone said, I think the musical artist George Clinton, “free your mind, and your ass will follow.”  I take those words literally.

It is very important that we live in the moment, savoring each moment, and doing our best to practice what sages have taught going back to early Judaism, Confucius, the Greek philosophers, the Kemetian principles of Ma’at (which cover everything in the Ten Commandments, and all other “good books.”), and the spiritual realizations of all tribal and “pagan” religions.  The only one I ascribe to is the One that is the Totality of All.

My wife’s mother and I became great friends after she lost her only child.  She was a Christian woman, and I never attempted to argue religion with her, but made it clear to her I was a Buddhist.  But she was not interested in that, and one day said to me, “Well Joe, you are a good man, you do good things…….so, you are a Christian.”  To her that was what Christianity was, simply living life as the Jew who was crucified lived it.  I miss her.

Do you really know your history?

“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture, is like a tree without roots.” – Marcus Garvey

 

WHITEY’s, do you know your own history? Your family history?  The history of the area where you are now, where you spent your childhood?  Your school, your university?  If the answer is “not really,” or “I think I do,” then you really need to do some research, for without that knowledge, you are chaff caught in the shifting breeze of life.

For those who do not know who Marcus Garvey was, I will just say, “Go look him up.”  I will say he was one of he wisest men of the 20th Century.  Note that I didn’t say “black man.”  The quotation above applies to any and all people, and today – and this year, the 400th since Africans were brought to Jamestown, Virginia, establishing the vile economic foundation of America and also creating “white people,”  it is especially cogent in the domain of “whiteness.”

The search for your own history I realize may be sketchy.  Many family lineages are pretty tenuous, at best; however, one can often just research the history of the area or locale that you claim as home, assuming you have one of course.  If not, just for “fun,” I suggest picking one or two locales that are familiar, and do a deep dive on their history.

Now when I say history in this post, I mean racist history.  Did you have ancestors who were slave owners? I did.  Did you live in the South? Then, do you have ancestors who were KKK members, or Citizens Council members?  You might be surprised.  Of course in the South a lot of this history many upstanding families now cover up as best they can, but believe me, if you dig deep you may find something surprising.

I grew up around a small town in Texas, Uvalde.  Only this week did I learn that there was a very active “chapter” of the KKK in the town during the early 1920’s.  My father was born in 1920, as a reference.  During those years the KKK had a strangle hold on some major cities in Texas, and lynchings, beatings and other atrocities committed against Blacks, and some Whites who “got out of line,” was very common.  One of the worst cases of lynchings occurred in Waco, Texas; and in Dallas, another lynching, celebrated on picture postcards and witnessed even by women and children took place.  Today people eat burgers at outdoor tables at that very spot, totally unaware of the ghost.

As of right now, I do not know for sure that my own father’s father and his father may have been members of the Uvalde KKK.  Knowing what I know, I do not believe so, although I know my grandfather, who was raised in Louisiana, was typically Southern.  I think I heard the word N_____ maybe twice from any family members my entire life (which is nothing to be proud of.)

So what I am saying, is that for this Nation to even begin to heal the chasm between Blacks and Whites, it is not up to Blacks to do a damn thing, ok.  We Whites must first come to terms with our own histories, as personalized as possible, and ask ourselves, “How did I get to be the way I am today?” and “Am I passing on my status quo to my children and others?”

Many of us believe we are not in any way racist.  Granted our hearts may be in the best place possible, but often our minds are not, because we lack knowledge of our history, and the history of the societal fabric of America.  All of us suffer from “whiteness,” whether we know it or not, and all of us benefit from such privileges.  So I ask, is this fair?  If not, begin to change it by learning and gathering wisdom.

Of course, there are many in America who have no interest in learning the truth.  It is easier to hate.  I even had a reader comment indicating he does not believe in the Jewish holocaust.  Yes, there are such people, even those who believe man did not walk on the moon, that the Earth is flat, and all that.  It is actually pretty easy to deny truth when you refuse to look in the direction of Light.

I pray these people are a dying breed, but the Silver Bullet we must mold and aim at our own hearts, to release the divine love that flows within each person.

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