“It’s easy to blame, the media, our culture, or our community for perpetuating unrealistic images of what it expects of us. But at the very core of these expectations, there is no one to blame; because a commercial, like self-judgement, has no power over us unless we agree with its message. It is only when we willingly attach ourselves to these images and distortions that our happiness is compromised.
We do not need to take the blame for these self-judgements. We can simply become aware that they have been developing in our lives since childhood through the process of domestication.
Once we are aware of our self-judgements, we can regain our freedom by choosing for ourselves to transcend the reward and punishment model that has been imposed upon us and eventually arrive at a place of self-acceptance. We have a choice. That is our power.
Practice: How many of your ideas and beliefs about the world and yourself are results of domestication and outside influence? Do you assume things should be or look a certain way because that’s what you’ve seen on TV or in your community, and it seems normal? With awareness question those assumptions today. Ask yourself if things might be otherwise and if you could be happy without these rigid ideals of perfection.”
glitter like castles
of ribbons, the broad fields
smolder with light, a passing
heaped with shining hills;
and though the questions
that have assailed us all day
remain – not a single
answer has been found –
walking out now
into the silence and the light
under the trees,
and through the fields,
feels like one.”
–Mary Oliver, First Snow
Today is our Dr. Martin Luther King holiday and a time to honor all those who had the courage to stand up against injustices and fight for human rights. How dismaying that today — this very moment — freedom and justice are under threat again. Trump attacks anyone who disagrees with him and surrounds himself with others who reflect only his uninformed views.
It reminds me of when President Bush called “unpatriotic” anyone who did not support his Iraq war. Paul Krugman’s article defending John Lewis’s refusal to attend the inauguration because he does not view Trump as the “legitimate” president of a fair and free election is worth reading. He reminds us that speaking our truths, speaking out against injustice is patriotic.
We can refuse to be silenced. We must speak our truths. As Madeleine L’Engle says in the poster above, “Let us have the courage to go…
“The problem is that the self that you became convinced was the real you is a phantom that exists only as an abstraction in your mind – animated by the conflicted emotional energy of separation. It’s about as real as last night’s dream. And when you stop thinking it into existence, it has no existence at all. That’s why it is false – which begs the question, who or what is the real you?
At the core of the false self is a void of deficiency derived from an essential turning away from one’s own divinity, either out of natural development, despair, or simply by succumbing to the trance of the world with all its masks of deception and harsh obligation to conform to its insanity. The false self orbits around this vacuous abyss at its core, in silent terror of its nameless, faceless threat of oblivion.
The false self is both an obstacle and a doorway through which you must pass on your way to awakening to the dimension of being. As you pass through the void of self, the identification with self dies, either temporarily or permanently, and you are revealed (reborn) to be a presence. Presence is not a self in any conventional sense. It has no shape or form, no age or gender. It is an expression of universal being, the formless substance of existence. Presence is not subject to birth or death; it is not of the world of “things.” It is the light and radiance of consciousness in which entire worlds arise and pass away.”
–Adyashanti, wait – what?
“Sensations, from the beginning, involve a sort of doing. This means that, in an important sense, it is your doing self that brings your core self into being. You are responsible at the very deepest level for what it feels like to be you. But then, for your next trick, well, how about spreading some of that soul dust onto the things around you? Remember, too, that it is your mind that projects phenomenal qualities onto external objects. If you only knew it, you yourself are responsible for the feel of the world.”
–Nicholas Humphrey, Soul Dust: The Magic of Consciousness