17 April 2009

The Last Stand of Patriarchy

The following is my response to the article "Dude, You’ve Got Problems" by Judith Warner.

Awareness is the best defense and the first step to change. Labels and name calling, historically, have been about creating some kind of power in one's powerless life. Domination. Control. Fear.

With the spread and domination of religions that continue to suppress women and give all the power to a single male god, the dominating fearful father figure, it is not a wonder that 'manhood' is so important.

Tribal societies lived in total equality worshiping a goddess. From an unknown research paper on linguistics: "The Saharan language was so dominant within the Goddess religion, its tribal organization and in its worldwide coverage that around 2,000 BCE the decision was made to destroy it, the oral tradition and its tribal system by any means possible. This order was repeated much later in Genesis 11:7 "Let us confuse their language so they may no longer understand each other's speech".

That was the big riff between Peter and Mary Magdalene. Mary wanted to follow what Jesus truly taught and what the true Nazarenes stood for which was an egalitarian society. Peter, on the other hand, believed that women should be seen and not heard and took the male dominated route. You can read about this in the Gospel of Mary Magdalene.

American indigenous tribes called people that were androgynous Two Spirited People, whether or not they sexually preferred someone of the same gender because some did and some didn't. They believed that the Two Spirited Person received a gift from the Creator, which was the privilege to house both male and female spirits in their bodies. They were seen as being closer to the Creator and to be better capable of channeling the messages from the spirit world. They were blessed and revered.

As the male dominated religions took hold in America and Native Americans became in control of the US government and their way of life destroyed, they too came to punish their homosexual members. There has since been a change. The Two Spirits are changing perceptions.

The Kuna Yala indigenous people of Panama still believe that people of their tribe that are born homosexual are blessed. The Maori of New Zealand are a matriarchal society. These folks don't seem to have any problems with name calling and labeling.

We are living in a time of disorder, commotion and dismay. Governments, financial institutions and capitalism are failing. Mother Nature is in an upheaval. Humans' souls are shredded, confused, misled and misguided. Humans are completely out of touch with what our true meaning is. Even the sacred words of Jesus are used out of context to manipulate and control. This is all reflected in our children who are ever so sensitive to these disruptions.

I believe that this is the last ditch effort…this utter chaos…to keep control, to keep the fight alive, but the tides are changing. As we reach out and through compassion allow our feminine natures to cultivate, change is inevitable. We see it in our literature, art, music. We see it with the increase of gardens…the return to the dirt. Some people may claim that growing their own food is a survival mechanism to save money, but in truth, the power of the soil brings the return to nature. The collective consciousness grows as someone new awakens.

Remember the panic and fear that Jesus stirred in people just for speaking the truth? People hold on to what can be totally sucky simply for the fear of change.

Read this interview of Mac Ruka of the Maori by Jim Yellow Horse Man of the Cherokee in 1997.

15 April 2009

The Thinks I Think?

IN the course of my life, like the Dr. Seuss book, "Oh, The Thinks You Can Think", I wonder many thinks.

I have been thinking recently about Christianity wondering all the questions who and what and why and where and how. I view modern day Christianity and wonder, "Is this really what Jesus had in mind?"

I have been thinking about the Original Christians and what they may have really been like. I have read the New Testament which has only four gospels that don't even coincide. Since the New Testament was written 400 years after Christ walked this planet, I imagine much was lost. Tracing back to 200 CE, there was much conflict within the different schools of thought. I read and all I keep thinking is, "I want to go deeper."

In my search, I found an interesting article entitled, "Unchristian! Have we Become So Heaven Bound That We’ve Become No Earthly Good?". The author, Coach Byron, believes that we are at a crossroads in time. I happen to agree.

I believe the crossroad is either for Christianity to continue on its current misguided course or to return to its true basic roots and this means letting go of fundamental belief and literal translations.

If Christianity has become misguided, what are the true basic roots? What are the true basic roots of humanity?

In asking questions, I google many interesting word combinations with the most recent being "agriculture religion". This search led me to the fantastic article, "Hunter-Gatherers, Farmers, Gods and Human Sacrifice". It is one of the best reads that I have had in a long time. It puts a fantastic mood on how humans, agriculture and religion evolved.

I have no place to go with this right now, but that's not really surprising for me as I continue, like a child, to think the thinks I think.

14 April 2009

Dream Lessons and Cultivating Will

I'm a firm believer in dreams and the messages they carry. Recently, I have felt rutted, detached, and annoyed. I chalked it up to my constant headaches. It's challenging to enjoy the subtleties of life when a constant throb takes of residence in my head. I have looked into the physical outer world reasons that may lead to this, but I also can't ignore my inner goings-on as well.

The DNA in our bodies carries lifetimes of memory past from generation to generation. We also carry cell memories of past lives. Some of this DNA or cell memory is good giving us natural features that enhance our lives or gifts and talents that seem to come to us naturally. Some of it isn't so good.

It is possible that this is the true meaning of original sin? It's not that the bad stuff is, in itself, a sin, but it can be a hindrance that we must work through during a lifetime, like Karma. Is it a dark spot in the mind or body?

In Paramahansa Yogananda's collection of talks and essays entitled Journey to Self-Realization Discovering the Gifts of the Soul, he discusses that in past lives we have established thoughts in our consciousness that affect us in this life...we have planted little seeds. and we carry those established thoughts, or Karmic seed tendencies, into this present existence.

In my dream last night, my baggage burdened me. I couldn't continue on my journey due to the excessive baggage that I carried. I kept trying to consolidate and repack items to make taking along all this stuff more efficient, but every time I turned around, there was another bag to carry. I felt such strife in my dream, not unlike the strife I feel in this worldly realm.

How appropriate a dream. The luggage and all the crap in it represented all my established thoughts, cell memory and DNA that weighs me down and affects my life in a negative way.

Paramahansa Yogananda states that the way to change is to WILL it away. We WILL change. He says that upon awakening in the morning and going to sleep at night to affirm the thought, "I can change. I have the will to change. I WILL change." Will in this aspect is not used in the context of, "I will cook dinner" or the future tense, but as the present tense verb "to will" as in to will something. I will myself or under my will. The power, strength and endurance is within me.

I mentally see all the baggage that is hindering me in my dream. I don't even want to rummage through it. I see myself putting all the baggage down and simply walking away. I sever it from my present existence. I will a new day, a bright and lighter day. I will health and strength. I will peace of mind.

The practice is to continue this thought process in the morning, at night and through-out the day.

Is it really that simple? There's only one way to find out.

09 April 2009

Stillwater Farm


This is the third installment, you may need to catch up HERE

The nice thing about sitting in silence, even in a moving car, is that it gives you plenty of time to think or reflect or plan. Travis wasn't doing too much of the latter since he didn't quite know where he was to end up, but he was doing plenty of reflecting. Travis let his mind drift and daydream. Different moments of his life would pop into his mind like pictures in a slide show or like a viewfinder that kids play with. A memory would float into view, and the story would unfold like an out-of-control dream. He mainly thought about his college years, since up to this point, college was the singular biggest accomplishment of his life.
He graduated with decent grades. Of course they could have been better if Travis had applied himself more and focused on academics instead of attending college bars or hanging out with the guys. He thought of a typical random night out with the guys which usually ended up in a predawn return home to his apartment. He wondered, "How did I even get home?"
Travis recalled the beginning of an atypical night; drinking some beers at happy hour with his buddies and some live music playing just a little too loud in the background. Sometime, a little later into the night, someone would pull out a joint. They would take a walk out back, smoke it then return to the bar to listen to the music. They would see some cute girls and one of them would go over and break the ice. They would intermingle and all start talking to each other. About one in the morning, someone would have told someone about a party at someone's house or apartment. They would head over there. Sometimes by this point, they would walk and smoke another joint or drive and smoke. There would always be instruments at the party. The musicians in the group would start strumming a guitar and playing a drum. The drunken budding singers would sing along, and they would think that they sounded pretty good till a neighbor knocked on the door to ask them to keep it down. They would say, "Okay," but eventually the noise would steadily increase till there was a police officer knocking telling them that the neighbors called in a noise complaint and that they would have to quiet down or break up the party. At that point, the loud people would usually leave, or as the beer dwindled, people left. If they had a car, someone might drive to the closest breakfast place. Someone usually passed out on the sofa. That person, sometimes Travis, would just crash at the party while everyone else made their way home without trying to rouse the passed out person. If they had left a car at the bar, no one worried, or even cared. In the morning, when the drunken pot haze lifted, someone would remember where they left the car, and the owner would go fetch it.
Travis guessed that he made it to class more often then not. One day, he was stopped on campus by one of his professors, a psychology professor. Travis had missed class that day due to a late night out. The professor approached Travis and asked why he wasn't in class. Travis’ pores oozed the scent of alcohol and marijuana. Travis made up a lie that he was called in to work. The professor said, "You need to decide when you are going to get serious about your life and about the choices you make. You need to decide what you want." The professor shocked Travis who wished he could say that the professor had helped him see the light. The professor didn't assist Travis in maturing, but he did shock him and pissed him off. He pissed off Travis enough that Travis felt challenged and finished with a B+ in the class.
His grades were good enough to appease his parents who were paying the bill. He knew that he could have done better, and he knew that he couldn't change the past. He felt crappy about it. He allowed himself to get locked down in the morose memory instead of the good time. He didn't hurt anybody along the way, but he felt guilt and shame from putting substances into his body and cheating himself out of a better education. Then Travis flipped his emotions feeling righteous that he earned his degree and not worrying about GPA because he knew that it was never checked by a potential employer. Someone once told him, "The A students end up as professors. The C students end up going into business for themselves, and the B students end up working for the C students." As a B student, he refused to resign himself to his potential fate. He wondered what category Karen fell into.
Karen exited the Walterborough exit in South Carolina. When she spoke, her voice cracked from not being used. She coughed a little to clear her throat.
"Do you want out here? I'm going on to the ocean." Travis hadn't been to the beach since his parents made him attend a family reunion right before he went into college. Since he had no cousins his own age, he had wanted to stay home and spend the time with his high school friends who were all going to different schools. He moped the entire week while his aunts tried to cheer him up and his uncles made fun of him. The idea of going to the beach now thrilled him, but he remained calm.
"No, the beach sounds good. As long as there's camping, I can hang out there for a while." he responded.
"Alright then," she said as she focused on the road. A car cut in front of her causing her to tap her brakes. "Asshole."
She continued, "The beach is still a ways on. I'm pretty sure that this is the last big town to get a quick bite to eat. Even if it isn't, I mean, there's probably other food on the way, but it's not worth chancing. Besides, I need to pee and look at the map. Unless you have special dietary requests, I'm going to stop at the most convenient place I see. I refuse to stop at a fast food place, though. I'm sure we'll pass a local deli or something." Her refusal took him by surprise.
"Really, anything is okay with me," he responded.
"Okay. Keep your eyes peeled for something good while I maneuver this traffic."
They made it to the outskirts of town and a local BBQ joint loomed.
"How about there?" Travis asked.
"Looks fine to me," she said.
Travis hadn't realized how hungry he was till he stepped inside and the delicious aroma of BBQ and fried hush puppies wafted towards him. Karen went towards the bathroom mouthing, "Get it to go." He ordered a pulled pork sandwich Carolina style with the slaw on the burger, pinto beans, the world famous hush puppies and a large sweet tea to drink. When Karen came out, he asked, "Would you like anything?"
"No. I'm not hungry. I'll just get a lemonade, but thanks." After she filled her cup, she said over her shoulder, "I'll be in the car reading the map."


08 April 2009

Stillwater Farm

This is the second installment. The story began HERE


Not knowing too much about hitchhiking etiquette, he thought that he should at least introduce himself. The fellow that took him the twenty miles from Asheville to this point was a talker. He knew the driver’s name and about his entire family in those twenty minutes. The only thing the hitchhiker got to tell the driver was his name. As he fitted himself comfortably in the Volvo he said, "My name is Travis. Travis Davis." She didn't say anything. "I'm traveling the U.S."
"You should travel, but you know that hitchhiking can be dangerous. Probably not as dangerous as the trains, though. I wouldn't normally pick up a hitchhiker. I've only done it once before." He didn't quite know what to say so he asked the obvious.
"Oh. When was that?"
"I was on my way to Charlotte. There were these two young, very young, hippie looking kids, a couple. It wasn't too far out of Shieldstown. I could see that they were just trying to get somewhere. They wanted to go to Asheville. They had heard it was a cool place. I think they were from the west. I don't remember."
"Where did you drop them off?"
"I took them right into the heart of Asheville. It's not too far off the highway." Travis started to relax a little bit when she added, "With your Gilligan style hat and that big pack, I pegged you for a backpacker. It’s a give-away. My name is Karen."
"Well thanks for stopping."
"M-hmm," and that's all she said. Thinking she might talk since she had opened with some dialogue, Travis pressed on.
"Where are you going? I saw your sleeping bag in the back and…" but he trailed off. Two big tears rolled from beneath her sunglasses and dropped to her chest. The conversation ended there.

They drove in silence. Karen played a Neil Young CD. The song Sugar Mountain came on. The sunroof was open and the windows cracked. It was windy and noisy in the car which didn't bother Travis, and obviously didn't bother Karen because she didn’t close the car up to hear the song; she merely turned the song louder.
When the chorus came on, she started crying. First tears rolled down her face, and then she let out a graceful yet painful sound. Travis felt concern that she might have trouble seeing with her tears, but she was steady behind the wheel winding down out of the mountains. At the base of the mountain, an exit loomed. Suddenly, she exited the interstate. When Karen stopped, Travis thought it was time to get out so he went for his seatbelt, but Karen quickly jumped from the car, leaned over, and vomited. Not that Travis stared, but it was an odd sight. He noticed nothing came out, but she hurled again then again. When finished, she stood straight and said in a quiet, yet mournful voice, "Oh God." She wiped the snot from her nose with the back of her hand as a child would and walked to the front of the car. She stood there for a few minutes just gazing motionless at the unknown in front of her with her arms at her side. Karen then pulled her hair back from her face, turned toward me and stood there holding her hair like a headband with her elbows pointed in front of her. Travis noticed how silver the hair was that framed her face like the hidden shiny underside of a shell on the beach. With her head hanging low, her rings glistened in the sun. He noticed she wore a wedding band.
"Sorry about that," but offered no other explanation as she returned the driver's seat.
"Are you okay?"
"Yeah," she responded flatly and turned the engine over. They were soon back on the interstate with Neil Young's voice filling the car again.
Travis didn't know what else to say and soon figured out that Karen was just okay with my saying nothing at all.

He could have left at any time and could have simply said, "Oh this spot is good." Karen would have pulled over to let him out. Travis sat with his eyes on the road and though they drove with sometimes music playing and sometimes just silence filling the car, he didn't want to get out. Sitting bewildered was better then listening to someone's life story or trying to explain his own. So when Karen made the exit to south Interstate 95 and an exit marker announced the next stop, Travis only answered, "South is fine," when she asked him if he wanted her to let him out.
She wasn’t aggravated, annoyed, or bothered by his presence. It was more like he wasn't even there. She carried out all the normal driving tasks like changing CD's or radio stations on her own without a regards to Travis’ likes or dislikes. She drank water or cleaned the windshield as needed with the push of a button. She lit a cigarette, and leaned the pack toward him to offer him one. When he didn't take one, she still lit up blowing the smoke out the opened window. She knew he existed, but that was about it. She didn't stop for food, but had an extra bottle of water that she offered him, and he accepted.
Travis wasn't put off by her either. She was attractive with tanned skin and dark hair covering all that brilliant silver that he noticed when she pulled her hair from her face. He had to admit that she intrigued him just enough to keep him sitting in that car. Travis wanted to think that maybe she was comforted a little by his presence because she wasn't kicking him out. He was along for the ride which suited Travis for now.

To be continued...

06 April 2009

Through the Roof

I'm generally quite the optimistic realist. I see things for what they really are as I look forward. My mind works in such a way, "Okay, this may be the situation and what am I going to do about it? How am I going to move on from here? And how am I going to do it in a way that keeps me true towards my commitment to what I believe to be the morals and values of Earth, of nature?"

I also don't think it is realistic to stay optimistic all the time nor any of one way all the time. I enjoy letting myself experience the entire spectrum of emotion. And I don't believe in holding much of anything back.

But, wow. I just re-read my post from the other day in regards to greed. I was through the roof having a terrible temper tantrum. That's the beauty of being human. I don't have to be perfect, and I definitely don't try to pretend that I am perfect.

03 April 2009

Got Hope?

I saw a bumper sticker today, a remnant from President Obama's 2008 campaign. It read, "Got Hope?"

With a gray sky above and a chill in the air, I sat at the red light watching cars whiz past and, not thinking of Obama's campaign, sincerely asked myself, "Got Hope?"

I have a gracious life, but do I have hope? It's getting harder and harder for me to keep hope. Let me tell you what I do have.

I have a sincere disgust for all the greed in this world. I have a sincere hatred for people's obsession with money. I have a deep desire to punch some people in their greedy ugly mugs. Do I have hope? I'm losing it real fast, but if I do, then those evil ugly mother fuckers win.

I have had the same dream or goal for the past 15 years of my life. I have held on to this dream with every shred of faith, hope and strength. I thik about it every day of my life. I envision it. I develop it. I work it through my mind like dental floss through my teeth. I keep it fresh. I keep it clear. I know what I want.

And I am sick of greedy stupid assholes who need no more, but are able to keep others from what they need.

The assholes do so well on this planet. The immoral just keep plugging away. I stick to my values and try to walk the right path, but it's getting harder and harder. I think, "If I acted like a greedy grubby asshole, I could have that dream." And I know that's not the solution.

So why stay on the straight and narrow? I can only hope for Karma. I can only hope that when this life is over, that I receive a long deserved rest in paradise and those other fuckers have to cycle right back down to Earth till they learn to be kind, honest and not so fucking greedy.

I don't mind paying for things, but I am sick of exorbitant price gauging. Sometimes I wish there was a hell so people could go rot in it.

So do I have hope, today? Yes, but probably the wrong kind...like the kind that hopes big stupid greedy jerks fall down and break a leg.

Free Will vs. Destiny...But Not Quite

Every week when I pick up Knoxville's free weekly entertainment rag, I immediately turn to Rob Brezsny's Free Will Astrology. I know. I know. Astrology. Hokey stuff. But I can't help myself. I often find a little inspiration.

This week, Rob recommends that I use my heightened intellectual level and strokes of genius to try and solve the mystery of the ages.

I have no doubt that I could address this mystery and maybe crack the door to allow some light to fall upon the answer. My challenge though, is not with the answer, but with the question. What is the mystery of the ages?

I'm not asking in a metaphorical or philosophical sense but in a practical sense. I don't know what the mystery is. What is the mystery?

So, I googled it.

And guess what? Someone has already written an answer. Herbert W. Armstrong, in his nineties, wrote Mystery of the Ages.

Now I haven't read it, so I can't condone, condemn, compliment or criticize his work. Maybe I'll get around to reading it someday so I can either condone, condemn, compliment or criticize.

For now though, I took Rob's outlook as a sign that I need to continue unraveling the mess in my own head and heart. He says that if I don't take on the the mystery of the ages, at least I might solve a few of my trickiest puzzles.

So for today, I'll take on the mystery of Free Will vs. Destiny. Do we have free choice or are our lives predetermined?

I think that both exists. Our lives are not unlike those novels where the outcomes are determined but the author gives choices through out the story.

My six year old son loves the Goosebumps books, and I read a few chapters to him at night at bedtime. For a while, he brought home the Goosebumps stories that he could choose the story. Often, the story rambled from random page to random page telling us where to go at the end of each page. Every once in a while though, it gave us a choice. Sometimes the story continued on another maze-like adventure and sometimes it ended quite abruptly. I think that the lives of humans are quite similar to the flow of those books.

Humans come to this Earth with a soul path, or the predestination, and the choices we make, or that are presented to us, have consequences that either lead us closer to our destination or lead us astray from the path.

Some paths are more complicated then others. This was a choice that each individual makes as a free soul on the other side. In order for us to feel fulfilled on this planet, we must follow our soul's path. There is no choice where that is concerned, but we have choices as to how we reach that goal.

And unlike those "choose your ending" books where you can go back to pick a different ending, while on this planet, we can't go back and change the story. That's why the choices that humans make are so critical. Bad choices, like degradation to Earth, can mess up a lot of lives and confuse others from their soul's path.

Life on Earth is a hard classroom. It's the AP course. If you get through it all remaining true to your soul's purpose, the grade is worth more. And if you fuck it up? Well, maybe that's Karma and you get shot back around again till you get it right. Haven't you noticed how some lessons keep hitting you in the face? Challenges are choices.

Got a Mystery of the Ages that you would like help with? Ask me and I'll try to put all this elevated intellectualism to good use by answering it.