Zaadz

Andrew did it, Zach did it, Julie did it, and I did it. We all joined Zaadz.com, a new online community created for people who want to “change the world,” and especially those with a spiritual bent or an interest in health, healing, the environment, etc.

If you’re not yet blogging, but have thought about starting, Zaadz might be just right for you. If you are already blogging, you’ll probably want to use the excellent profile and interest-sharing tools to make more friends and bring more people to your site. In addition, Zaadz has a large number of moderated forums, called pods, for further discussion.

I’m quite enthusiastic about it. Where else can you find over 300 people who say they LOVED the movie I Heart Huckabees? Zaadz looks to be a safe and supporting environment to develop wider connections and further your vision.

Nonduality and Healing

Steve Pavlina’s excellent blog brought this story, The World’s Most Unusual Therapist, to my attention. It’s about a Hawaiian psychologist, Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len, who successfully treats criminally insane patients in the penitentiary, without seeing them. He uses a technique called ho’oponopono, which seems to be similar to reiki, but directed internally, not externally. Dr. Len says in the article “I was simply healing the part of me that created them.”

Even for folks who have had a glimpse of nonduality, this is a bit wild. Nonduality is wild. And for those who haven’t had a glimpse, its either foolishness or madness.

Yet I recognize a flicker of familiarity here. My friend Katherine, spoke of the “back door” way of praying for troubled or difficult people by visualizing them and extending love and peace to them. My teacher speaks elliptically about the effect of the enlightened mind upon the problems in the real world (elliptically to keep my non-enlightened awareness from thinking it’s got the answer when its beyond thought).

And earlier this weekend, I was pondering how to write more (even if I should write more) about the nondual perspective, where everything is not only “connected,” but is simply part of the great projection we call “Creation.” Well, it seems there’s no going back. I have to keep moving on, and it feels like I need to keep moving on in this blog, too.

Yet, I’ve always wanted my site to serve as an “entry-level” door into the interior way, for those just beginning to feel the Spirit’s call to go deeper. I wonder if my site can still fulfill that function if I go deeper? Will I leave others behind? All I know, is that I, too, have seen that there’s no “out” there. (And I used to wonder why spiritual director urged me to go within!)

Blog Update

Just a short update: I’m still removing Textile code—its going to take a while, and until that’s finished, there will still be some strange line-breaks and paragraphing issues. Meanwhile, though, I’ve added a few new categories: “Music,” “Bible/Sacred Texts”, and “Nonduality.” I eliminated “Current Events”—all those posts are found under “Peace and Justice.” I’m re-categorizing some of the posts as I go back through them.

What Tarot card am I?

I Am (description) Which tarot card are you?

Okay, I’m not one to litter my very, very proper blog with a lot of silly personality quizzes, like “What Tropical Fish are You?” or “Which Spice Girl are You?” or “Are You Igneous, Sedimentary, or Metamorphic?,” or whatever is out there now.

Yet this one made me laugh out loud for being spot-on. There are “types” among spiritual seekers and mystics, just as anywhere else; some would be: the sage, the crone, the warrior, the priest, the holy fool, the oracle, the wounded healer, the blind prophet. I’m drawn to several of these, but none more than the holy fool, with his openness, innocence, and courage to leave everything behind and strike out on the path. I use the term “holy fool” a bit loosely, though. My picture of the fool is more like St. Francis rather than the Russian yurodivy.

Just ten days ago, a visitor to Kitabu’s satsang asked me “What are you?” and I answered, “I’m a holy fool.” It was cool to see this archetype pop up as the answer to the quiz.

Whew. Time for a break

Five six posts in five in six days. I need to take a break. Not because I’m tired or am running out of things to say, but I need to do some serious housekeeping on the blog here. It’s a little technical, but WordPress users and interested geeks should keep reading.

I love WordPress. I can’t imagine switching to any other publishing engine, unless I build one myself sometime . (Yeah, right). But WP has a serious problem: Neither of its Textile plug-ins work.

Jim Rigg’s plugin hasn’t had any new development for a long time. It works decently for most of the stuff I want it to do, but lately, with the newest version of WP, is wrecking havoc with my paragraphs, line breaks, and blockquotes, and even editing in HTML doesn’t fix it as long as the plugin is enabled. Since it’s based on Brad Choate’s excellent version of Textile for Movable Type, which I used for well over a year, its features are what I think of when I think of Textile.

Then there’s Joel Bennett’s excellent TextileWrapper for WP. Although this was updated and released just a few days ago, It’s even less acceptable to me. Bennett says that this truly is Dean Allen’s Textile for WP, no core code or features changed at all. Perhaps it does work just like that for Textpattern, but that doesn’t seem to be happening, and if it is the case, it’s Choate-style Textile I need.

For instance, one of the things I found most convenient about Choate’s Textile, is how easy it was to add a class to virtually any element, without going into the HTML. I use a class for indicating which links are external and producing a little “offsite” symbol, for instance. Not only is that not working in this build of of WP and Bennett’s release, but it doesn’t insert classes for a tags, inline styles for anything that I can tell, and freaks out when Textile markup is nested within other markup.

I have but one solution: Get rid of all the Textile markup, since I don’t know how any future release of WP or ported-over versions of Textile will play with together. This will not be fun. I have over two hundred 230 posts now, probably 160 or so with Textile code. But I need to do this now before it gets worse.

See ya.

Meditation on “Imagine,” conclusion

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world…You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

No possessions. This is easier for me. For several years, I considered joining a Catholic religious order. I looked forward to the prospect of making lifelong vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience. (Well, poverty and chastity, at least! Obedience? Say what?) The modern life of monks and nuns in religious orders isn’t completely free of possessions, but it comes close. It’s definitely a refutation of consumerism and greed. The Paulist Fathers more accurately call it a promise of Gospel simplicity rather than “poverty.”
After much “discernment” (the work that both the inquirer and the order do to find God’s will in the matter), it became clear to me that my mission is to live in the world, with all of its challenges, not in a monastery or friary designed to help me cultivate my interior spiritual life.

Well, the fact is I’m not a monk, and I no longer seek to have no possessions. In fact, I’m looking forward to upgrading the RAM in my PC and probably replacing my ailing DVD player. But I try to live relatively simply. I am very conscious of greed in our society, and its effect upon the soul and upon the world. “Freedom from want” is nigh impossible when nearly every marketing dollar goes is spent to increase wanting. And meanwhile, often because the very definition of the consumer society is that it can never have enough, the other kind of wanting—lack, deprivation, hunger ensues.

Idealistic top-down efforts have tried and failed to change this. Communism was a spectacular failure of idealism, which created horrific suffering for the world. What I can do, is work on the bottom-up approach. I can control my wanting. If I destroy the wanting engine within myself, someone else can have more. Imagine if more of us did the same, we would be doing the one of most revolutionary things possible.

Imagine!

Posts in this series: pt. 1, pt. 2, pt. 3, interlude, conclusion.

One Day at a Time

It’s been a long time since I first came across Peter Russell’s excellent site. However, one of the more trivial-seeming items on it has been the one that has intrigued me most: he keeps track of his “(ext)age in days”:http://peterussell.com/age.html. Russell notes that “The day is the natural cycle of our lives. The cycle of light and dark, wakefulness and sleep, has more significance than the cycle of the seasons.” Who can argue with that?

I was interested in tracking days for the same reason he was, to think about time differently, and to encourage myself to see each day as a new event, full of all the possibility it contains. But it’s not easy to make that work without having frequent reminders of the number. So, I adapted his Javascript for my own site and have a reminder for myself in the very header of the page. (I also added calculations for how many lunar cycles I have lived, and what percentage of this cycle is complete.) If you’d like to calculate your age in days, go to http://peterussell.com/age.html.

Drag

Aerodynamic forces
Isaiah recently commented about how persistent the illusion is. It’s a constant. Except for those who live in a state of enlightenment or theosis, the instant you take your eyes off of the goal, off of the divine reality, the world returns.

Or another way of putting it is that the moment you stop pressing forward with your simple, unconditional, loving awareness, you experience something pushing you back, whether you notice it or not. I remember when I was taught about aerodynamics in junior high, that there are four “forces” acting on a airplane: weight, lift, thrust and drag.

What I’m talking about is spiritual drag. The very experience (or environment or phrase or thought) that helps us to see God better at one point, often hinders us from going on to the next. The instant I stop “letting the mind of Christ” be in me, “my” own mind fills me, with conflict, egoic fears, and all the rest. Jesus called the Path “the narrow Way.” The Katha Upanishad amplifies that narrowness, and calls it “walking the razor’s edge.”

So what keeps the illusion in place? Why am I always “me?” The language we were taught about “The enemy” seems so apropos. Mara, Maya, Tempter, Satan, Devil, Demiurge. Drag. In every moment, Drag seems to be an invisible force, pushing us back, in every place, ready to thwart, diminish, skew or cover up our awareness of God’s reality. Everywhere we are, the enemy seems to be, too. Yin matches Yang.

Or so it seems. The fact is, physicists laugh at the “four forces” of aerodynamics. With their higher level of understanding, where others see weight, thrust, lift and drag, they only see one: Inertia, the tendency of an object to resist change—whether being put into motion, or to change its motion.

Drag is just one more part of the illusion. And the source is simply our little selves.

And they aren’t even here, either.