November 12, 2011

I received a credit card receipt recently on which the patron wrote:  “Currency is Love. Thank you!”

This reminded me of of a point Robert Scheinfeld made in his book “Busting Loose From the Money Game.”

He explains that if money were taken out of the equation in the exchange of goods and services, what remains is gratitude for receiving a good or service.  If you’re not actually  bartering, paying, or exchanging any thing, you would still express appreciation for whatever you have received. Right?

I’m trying to be aware that when I write a check, charge a purchase, or hand over cash for something, that I’m not spending, wasting, giving away, or losing anything. The act of ‘paying’ money is in fact how we receive something we want or need. It is the symbolic way of saying ‘thank you’. Thank you, Pacific Power & Electric, for illuminating my home and keeping it warm. Thank you Chase, for loaning me funds for vacations, dinners, and other things. Thank you Comcast, for the entertaining and education programming you provide.

Perspective is everything. Spending money is receiving.

Receiving is providence.

Currency is Love.



127 Hours…and Counting

March 6, 2011

I finally  saw 127 hours, and it was as stirring as I had imagined. Only a few hours into his predicament, Aron Ralston (James Franco) had tried to free himself by scraping  away at the boulder which had pinned his arm against the rock wall.  It was an inferior tool engaged in a futile task, but it gave him hope in the moment that it might be the solution. He dropped the tool, and had some difficulty reaching it to resume his work. He now had to devise a way to retrieve the knife in order to continue to scrape away at the rock. With his foot, he lowered a branch, and after several attempts, finally hooked the knife. Franco conveyed a sense of accomplishment and joy that belied his character’s dire situation. His face lit up with excitement, like he had just won the lottery, he exclaims, “Sweet!”. His stay in the canyon would be marked by a number of minor triumphs, and dismal failures.

At the time, he couldn’t know how that knife would the instrument o f his liberation. But at the time, he had an idea about how he could extricate himself with the knife by chipping the stone. Then he had an idea about using a pulley. Then got an idea about how to stay hydrated without fresh water. All these things were tiny victories throughout his ordeal.

What am I pinning my hopes on? What is my salvation? Is there a tool within my reach that will eventually set me free, but in a way I cannot, or dare not imagine?

He realized at one point that his whole life had been pulling him toward this rock, and that this rock had emerged in all of creation, placed on a trajectory  moving towards this meeting as well. This was Ralston’s destiny. This was the boulder’s destiny. He understood that he had arrived at this place from choices he had made. He never blamed anyone. He got there by himself, and was determined to get out under his own steam.

In the end, he wasn’t freed from the rock. He had never been pinned by the rock. His arm was pinned. He wasn’t. He chose to leave that part of him behind. His arm wasn’t him, and wasn’t necessary in his moving forward.

Ralston’s story compels me to wonder what do I need to leave behind? Is there a part of me that is more detrimental to me as long as it’s attached, than it is useful?  Cutting this thing away is never easy or painless, but it is always an option. Ralston’s willingness to experience pain is what ultimately released him.

No matter how things appear, there is a way out.

Dangling Part-Disciple

September 27, 2010

This isn’t the return of the prodigal blogger, by any means. I’m just trying to make a token effort in fulfilling my mission, which is to transmit information to whomever is listening (reading), and receptive. None of my ideas are mine, purely. They are little bits of of a bigger picture that my receiver is picking up.  Much of it pertains to my particular experience. Some of it is information I will never put to use- even though it sounds like I’ve actually done it.

For instance, the issue of faith. I tell people all the time that the universe will support them in their endeavors. They just have to step off the edge and see what happens. The universe is a friendly place, and why wouldn’t things turn out ok?  Stop living in fear, and follow your heart.

Sounds good, right?

I have no intention of stepping off that ledge. Do I look stupid? There are no guarantees. There are better, purer, more deserving souls on this planet who will never catch a break.  So I will not be tempting fate, not with my shitty karma.

Here is my dilemma. And truly,  it’s only a dilemma if I entertain the possibility of actually choosing one option over the other, and I’ve made my decision, but the thing is, I hate my job, and should have quit two years ago.

I have no respect for my bosses, and my workplace is a source of tremendous and overwhelming stress, frustration, rage, and fear.

All indications – making mistakes at work, adrenal burnout, nausea, contempt and that scoured-out empty feeling one gets when one’s soul has been filleted from their being–all are signs that I need to vacate the premises.

But I’ve stayed and put up with being treated poorly, having my modest raise taken away, enduring insults and condescending remarks, having to work under impossible scrutiny, and wondering if I’m going to be fired.

I’ve realized this year that the fewer things I have, the fewer things I have to worry about losing, this includes my job. But this is a hard economy, I don’t have a college degree, I’m 40 something, and have lots of debt. Without a solid backup plan, it would be imprudent to just walk away from a job that at least pays my bills.

As a pilgrim whose job and mission it is to test the friendliness and resources of the so-called Source, I just can’t bring myself to follow through on this assignment. I understand, wholly, that this is the point of my arriving at this juncture. But I’m so fearful that if I follow my heart and just depart from this situation I would be left dangling – jobless, penniless, and would lose my home, belongings –everything.

I know what I’m supposed to do.  I just  don’t believe that I’ll be ok.

The Tenuous Law of Gravity

June 19, 2008

I touched on this subject briefly in my post Galaxme: Part I, but I think the subject deserves a little more exploration, and since I’m not an astrophysicist, or any other kind of phsyicist or scientist, I’ll enthusiastically welcome ideas and edification on this subject from readers.

Scientifically speaking, gravity is what makes the world go ’round. Literally. Gasses, debris, molecules, all the stuff of life in this universe appears, moves, and disappears because of gravity. What I want to know is how this force factors into our lives, beyond the obvious effects. Is gravity behind the unseen phenomena? Is gravity the momentum driving the patterns in our lives, or our personal orbits?  Take a look at your patterns: Tendencies toward recurring periodic experiences or events  seem to indicate a circular movement of life. I’m not talking about birth, life, death, rebirth, but the actual day to day and year to year experiences of a lifetime.

 If gravity is in fact driving this movement, then changing the experiences of our lives means changing our orbits. And as the title of this post states, the force of gravity can be reisited. Standing, walking, typing. These are accomplished by the alternate allowing and resisting of gravity. So can god be reduced to the principles of gravity and free will the resistance of that force?

I don’t have a clue about how to do this. Ideas?



Hello…Is This Thing On?

May 22, 2008

Thought I’d write about a little experiment I conducted a few weeks ago as I was coming to the difficult conclusion that there is no Cosmic Daddy, Mommy, or even a Cosmic Customer Service Rep up/out yonder.

I was reading another blogster’s posts about signs. He’s really gung ho about how the Universe communicates with us, answering our questions, so that one does not have to resort to eeny-meeny-miny-mo, coming to a decision in such a random fashion.

Following his advice, I thought of a question I needed an answer to, and gave a 24 hour time limit for receiving the sign. I dialed up the Cosmic 411 and asked, “Should I sell my car?” Over the next 24 hours nothing jumped out at me. I didn’t see “For Sale” signs on cars, I didn’t hear any songs or announcments on the radio or TV that seemed pointed at my question. Nothing.

A week later, I asked again, this time I asked for a specific sign: a white feather. “If it’s a good idea to sell my car right now, please indicate with a white feather within 24 hours.”

No white feather. No gray, black, speckled or any other kind of feather. No real feathers, no pictures of feathers or songs about feathers. Nothing.

According to Berlitz’s Angelic Signs to English traveler’s dictionary, No sign means a “No” answer. The answer was ‘No, don’t sell your car right now.’ Really? Hmmm….

I wanted to verify the ‘answer’, so I posed the question in reverse: If I should NOT sell my car right now, please send a white feather as a sign over the next 24 hours.”

No feather or any other indication that the Universe was entertaining my enquiry appeared.

Conclusion: Nobody’s home. Angels/God/ To Whom It May Concern–all busted.  It seems then that the decision, as it always has been, is up to me.

About Sides and Signs

May 9, 2008

I stayed up late the other night watching The Messenger, one of the many versions of the Jeanne D’Arc story.
Dustin Hoffman played her Conscience, and the dialouge between his character and Milla Jovovich’s Joan was a revealing, naked account of what Catholics and Christians would certainly interpret as the sin of doubt, and dwindling faith, and what I would call critical thinking.

Joan was trying to justify the events that had led to her circumstances, second-guessing her defense to the tribunal’s interrogation. Of course she had done the right things, of course she was on the correct path, she had seen the signs, and obeyed the divine directives.

“The signs? What signs?” presses her Conscience. “The wind; the clouds, the bells!” says Joan. You can see doubt darken her expression as she realizes how nebulous these phenomena are as signs.

“…the sword! The sword in the field–surely that’s a sign!” She’s found her irrefutible sign from God…she thinks.

“A sword in a field a sign from God?” her Conscience disparages. “It’s a sword in a field.” Hoffman goes on, postulating some of the different ways the sword could have wound up in that field. “For every action there is a cause; nothing exists in a vacuum.” Of course, this would be terribly sophisticated reasoning for a 15th century illiterate peasant girl. But at least in this film, she couldn’t refute the logic; her bubble was burst.

And the whole Joan of Arc story is about bursting bubbles. The English needed to find her guilty of heresy to restore morale and faith to its Catholic soldiers. If God is on France’s side, how can we, the English faithful, believe that he hears our righteous prayers? This conundrum might cause one to question how many side God can take, and if he would choose one faithful adversary over another, what then is the point of belief? And if one cannot make sense of religion as a team sport, then maybe the rest fails in reason also. Here is the slippery slope of doubt that the Church and England wished to avoid with Joan’s trial and execution.

If you find a sword in a field, it’s just a sword in a field.

…and waiting

April 30, 2008

I prayed to God, asking for a sign one way or another about my decision to become an atheist.

I’m still waiting for an answer.