When it comes to thinking about our world (almost all day every day for me), why am I so dumbfounded by my own emotion that I can only think of paragraphs to post on facebook? I seem to only go as far as composing a superficial woe-begotten mini-rant, asking rhetorical questions and rehashing sentimental platitudes. Perhaps I shouldn't be so hard on myself with this observation. Paragraphs are better than nothing. Or are they just babble? Emotional purging for the sake of not much else.
So many of us think and speak and write of how we fear the world in which we're raising our children. Fear it and question it and pray for it and... dread it. It's like we just dread the future, how much more horrific it can get, the way it seems to be going.
Many of us pray and write hopeful things. And take hopeful actions. And get things done and change the world and save lives and create inventions and discoveries. I do have faith in us.
But... but but but. Something's missing. Something's terribly wrong. I know it is, because I used to think I carried the weight of the world on my shoulders needlessly - and now I think I do it with no other choice.
I suppose that's because I'm a mother now, and I feel like I just can't let myself off the hook. I feel as if a buried speck of knowledge and ability lies somewhere within me that I am not allowing to surface. If I don't light the way into that abyss with my own feelings and emotion, how will I ever unearth it?
My old philosophy of living my joy is exactly that - it's old. I don't feel pure joy anymore in this world except when I'm with my son... And that isn't fair to him. I must not use him as my therapeutic solace. I wish to build a world for him where real joy is possible - not at the expense of barbaric wars and wasted resources. No, I can't live with all this blood on my hands. That of innocent people lost in the name of a fictitious cause... "fighting terror" and all this bullshit. The fight is the terror. The FIGHT.
We stick play swords in our kids' hands and let them pretend to stab each other. We buy them plastic guns and let them shoot each other as they run through the park, shouting "I'm gonna kill you!"
I know this observation isn't a new one, and it goes right along with my usual status-paragraph complaints. I just want to reaffirm it to myself - to challenge myself to raise my son with perspective, with awareness. To speak to him realistically about the effects of violence. To not instill in him that it is something in our nature. It may have been so in the past, as a means of survival; but it need not be so now.
Unfortunately my ideal doesn't sit with the real "now." Sure there are statistics for how less violent and poverty-stricken the world is now than in the past. But that doesn't mean it ISN'T violent and poverty-stricken. And I think it's a shame that it is, considering all of our evolutionary advancements. It's a shame that huge wars are waged for the sake of questionable motives. It's a shame that there are stories and explanations and wool over everyone's eyes. It's a shame that we aren't able to solve our problems. Put as simply as I can - I think it's a damn shame.
So I am challenging myself to think differently. Think of what hasn't occurred to me yet. Think of what I've been missing.
There isn't really a simple answer. Or is there? Is it just staring me in the face, a quantum degree away? What is real power? Do we possess it? How can we harness it? How can it have any effect? Here are my rhetorical questions again. Well, Yanika. Start thinking.
They say that overthinking is useless and even dangerous... I've definitely over-thought before to the point of feeling stagnated, or to taking unnecessary action...
But to think differently isn't to think too much. It's literally that - different. It's different. What does that mean? I think it is both forgiving and holding evil accountable at the same time. It's acknowledging what's wrong, not bypassing it with explanations and theories. It's.... Oh I don't know. It's beyond words. It's a simple prayer, it's a rhythmic heartbeat. It's a dying star inside a supermassive black hole inside a supernova birthing a new star. It's truth. And indeed it's out there somewhere. All the way out there, right in here. *points to brain*
I hope I can get nearer to it. Create it if I must.
This Leo new moon is drawing from within me
a tangle of self-confrontation.
Lynx-spirit sits beneath my consciousness,
drives me slowly through these dark woods -
we see very little
for the blur
swallowing up my brain.
It is a neutral darkness, however,
from which I can create.
But I don't feel clean. Not in thought. Perhaps in physical form and even spirit,
but not in thought.
Self-judgement never serves.
I am not served.
Self-blame never serves.
I am not served.
Self-pity never serves.
I am not served.
Can pray now -
oh almighty flames -
to the fire of benevolence
I throw my worries. Take them, consume.
Allow me to refresh
Before the torturous thoughts multiply too far,
please find again the dawn of a good mood, a better stance
between the worlds,
within my happiness.
In the clean, dark, neutral void of moon in newness-phase,
these intents I set:
Strengthen the heart's desire for and manifestation of the radiant health of my family, starting with my child.
Calm the nervous throes of imbalances within my mental, emotional, etheric selves.
Download concise knowledge of which actions to take in the direction of my dreams, be it simply sitting and drawing, writing, dancing in my room, planning the birth experience, finding a home for Eric-me-and-baby, opening a studio/family business, applying to graduate school, etc.
Anchor my [our/everyone's] prayers for RELIEF in the world. Solidify them within the crystal chambers of Earth Mother. Vibrate them throughout all molecules upon her and around her. Shoot them up into infinitudes where they will be amplified by Angels and carried throughout all time, space, and dimensions. Set them into BEING.
Dear dark goddess Moon, I thank you for the choices you've illuminated for me to see, by your previous wholeness in my pragmatic sign of Capricorn, across from the Sun which sat in Cancer, configuring the energy of home. I opened my heart, and continue to, so that blessings may enter and also be emitted. At times, it has not been an easy summer for me, having met with many ideas to let go of, and while I can acknowledge that I've done so mostly with grace, I also acknowledge that it has taken a toll on my soul. I need reinforcements now. I no longer turn to the plant medicine which had so deeply helped me in times past. I turn to the whole glory of all nature, all living things, all breath and elements. I turn to my own heart. I turn and turn and turn, to be still. The child within me turns as well, and together, our hearts beat these intentions into being.
With Jupiter also being in Leo, only one degree away from New Moon, may these intentions be blessed with the EXPANSION so beautifully empowered by that magical planet.
"The Quest Degree (degree after) of the new Moon is Leo 5: Rock Formations Towering Over A Deep Canyon. We may be pushed to jump into the void, to take a big step, a big risk, or to figure out where we may have painted ourselves into a corner." ~ from Lynda Hill's Sabian Symbols
Taken at Moab, on way back from Colorado with my Eric. April, 2014
I open myself to this quest. May I either take the big step to begin applying for graduate school, if my intent [to download concise knowledge of action to take in direction of my dreams] is legitimate, true in my heart, and aligned with my destiny. Or may I understand where I might have put myself in a corner. i.e., is a "corner" something like only 10% chance of being accepted, then the task of getting funding, then the task of doing all the grad work while raising a child, then the task of, then the task of, etc etc, but wouldn't it be worth it, if it is truly in my heart? What will be my concentration of study and research? What will be the ultimate outcome and career move? Shall I also beseech the beautiful New Moon goddess for this information? Can it formulate better within me?
The idea is the department of World Arts and Cultures at UCLA.
You sort of create your own concentration.
Here is the brainstorm I have thus far:
Place of origin - diaspora - community
Imprint - inner world - magnetizing to interests
Mysticism - folkdance - "belly"dance unveiled as birth dance
Psychological 'need' for expression - art and poetry as pulse
Undefined instinctual leanings - psychosis
Visual Art - Russian language and heritage - "gypsy"
Becoming what one imagines
And much more, but trying to keep it simple... yeah right!
Please oh magic Moon add these questions of mine to your powerful void beyond our earthly comprehension. Help me to stir their vibrations within my soul and understand if I must leap,
or if I must retreat -
and work on the mysteries within my own realms, without branching out into academia ?
Further thinking on this question, I'd like to incude a bit more from Lynda Hill regarding the Quest degree of this New Moon. I often resonate with Sabian Astrology, and the "Quest" degree is of interest because it is directly what we are heading into:
"Keywords [for Leo 5: Rock Formations Towering Over A Deep Canyon]: Old structures and deep hazards. The choice: taking chances or standing still. Walking very close to the edge. Extreme sports. Risk taking. New takes on old situations. Additions to things long established. Masada.* Mountains. Valleys and gorges. Fortifications. Isolation. The grandeur of nature. The forces of evolution. Rock. Geology. Layers of permanence. Landscapes. Canyons. Vertigo. No going back. Stability behind - the unknown in front. Great heights. Monuments.
The Caution: Painting oneself into a corner. Not being able to retrace one’s steps. Instability. Erosion. Jumping into the void without a safety net. Cracks appearing. Doing a “Geronimo.” Being right on the edge. Feeling like life is impossibly hard."
I accept the caution of feeling life is hard… I summon all my strength so as not to give in to this tempting self-wallowing. I do not wish to even think this way in regards to the people I know are suffering in the world. Of course life is "hard' for them. "Impossibly" so. And yet, I would bet anyone that you can find open, loving, tender hearts in any war-torn region upon the Earth. You can find beautiful smiles, selfless acts, honest expressions. Perhaps even the ugliest of crimes which I judge as wrong and unfair, are merely honest expressions. Honest expressions of, unfortunately, the extreme imbalance in our world. I've spent the previous couple blog entries complaining of how our spirituality is not enough to lift up the injustices… and I am still sitting with this discomfort, this yearning for something deeper and greater than what we've so far "figured out." But I also know that I must continue to soften my heart, even in the face of the fear I feel regarding horrific things that are happening. They've always been happening, just with all our social media and immediate information these days, they are much more in our face. We must rise to the occasion of being able to see it, digest it, and do something about it. How exactly will a Masters degree in "World Arts and Cultures" help me to do something about it? That is my deepest question for this New Moon's loving darkness. As a child grows within me (five and a half months along at this point), I grow each day, with each heartbeat. I dedicate each breath to my own understanding of how to best serve the world, so that my son may grow up respecting it, thriving within it, and contributing to its wonder.
* Masada - an ancient fortification in Israel, atop a rock plateau. I send my prayers there, along with the prayers of billions of our human hearts, wishing for RELIEF for the conflict in Gaza, which of course is a distance away from this landmark (one of Israel's top tourist destinations), but close enough to feel the Weight of our hearts' efforts. I mean, look at all the open expansive space! It can hold our kindness, our love, our truth, not to mention the actual humans who can't figure out how to share geographically abundant territory! There is room for us all, without the need to slaughter each other! I know there are conflicts happening elsewhere. Gaza is hot on our American news ticket, but represents an ancient and fundamental rift in our civilization's entire essence. I hope that with the amount of healing energy being emitted from truth-seeking, peace-loving hearts - all intense, unjust, unstable, deadly conflicts and miscommunications can be brought to resolution. My perhaps-naive little prayer on this dark new moon night, as the lion roars in the recessed cave of our conscience, is that we may know what to do, what action to take, what words to speak, what energy to transmit. May the vibration be raised to such a degree that the low frequencies of disaster abate. Rrrroar!!! Stand off!!!
My heart now feels purified by this cathartic process of writing all these words, per the beginning of this post, my mention of feeling unclean in thought due to self-judgement… self-blame - no more! I declare my heart pure. A child grows within me. I have a new gift, of a Mother's power. I say, stand off! Low vibes of nastiness and ignorance, stand off! Oh Moon above us, you must have observed so much by now, with your ongoing orbit, seeing the same shit down here centuries after centuries. Please clue us in, what can we do differently? Please help us raise our consciousness. I call to you, and to your celestial cohorts, infinite realms of guides available to us if we only reach out and call… I call. Hear me, for the sake of my growing child yet to be born into this spinning theater. For the sake of the children born not long before him. And for those born soon after. For us all. Born. To Live!
The thing with dead ends
is when you reach one,
you have to turn around.
I find certain practices of mine
still attempting themselves.
I find myriad angles of viewpoints,
yet no throughway beyond the maze.
I complain of spiritual complacency,
yet the new moon approaches
and I scribble again in my hemp-paper hippie journal
The planet does its spin and the wars continue to confuse,
and still I pray,
not knowing what else to do.
I yearn for a solution from outside the frame of thinking which created the problem. But am I still thinking within this realm anyway? I complain that we retreat into meditation and bliss ourselves out, while children die daily… But then if I don't retreat into some form of meditation, my heart aches. How can I make my meditations more succinct in their purpose? Not just to lighten myself and raise myself, but to anchor such processes for the sake of our world?
I beseech the heavens to hear my pleas for peace, within myself and within the world.
I close my eyes and see endless movements of whirling possibilities of blissfulness, or nothing at all, just stillness and calm, just darkness, the void.
Hot light from the Leo Sun blasts through the numbness,
a prismatic little rainbow shows itself at the tip of a cloud on my evening walk,
if only it weren't a chem-trail cloud, my inner monologue reminds me - teasing, taunting, jaded, dulled.
If only I weren't dulled
to the beauty before me,
while smog fills my airways and I grumble at the congestion within me, and the congestion wihin my city, my town, my beautiful inner and outer worlds… There is hope for us yet. More than hope. We're just stumbling towards it. It's not ahead or behind. It's a quantum degree away. So close. So far. No space, no distance. Love. A salve applicable to everything, but how exactly? I see it in the everyday minutiae, I see it in every epic grandness that can be epic and grand. And still, I pine for something a step beyond it, a seat beside it, an understanding deeper within it, a point of view from its very shadow.
It was a hard thing to see. We would have crossed the street to avoid it but there were too many cars coming too fast. Looked like perhaps just an abandoned backpack at first, laying on the sidewalk, but it was a dog. A carcass. We passed it quickly and I didn't mean to look at it directly, but I did. The bloody bites all over its body were scary, but the scariest part was its position - rigid, face-down in its moment of futile self-protection, shoulder blades reaching its ears. Surrender. Frozen in its moment of death, still laying upon the concrete. A mountain lion had most likely come down from the nearby hill. We tried to keep a cheerful pace onward, spoke of other things, and only after descending from our hike and walking home, this time on the north side of the street, did I find myself making a comment. Nature can be so gruesome.
Yet we don't blame the mountain lion. We accept the forces of nature. If the beautiful beast was hungry and its survival depended on finding flesh, it did what it needed to do. Maybe that's why the poor dog's body looked so complacent, like it knew it was giving itself over to greater forces. Still, it was a hard thing to see, and to wonder, who would come clean it up? Did it have a human companion, will they learn what happened, will they be heartbroken? Thoughts I had to let go of, that very day, so as not to allow my imagination to render the scene an omen.
But today, two months later, the image of the dog materialized in my meditation, of all things. The bloody circular bite wounds all over its body, the way we skirted around it, the sensational reminder of Mother Nature's mostly-understandable violence.
And then a new thought slithered in. A comparison of a sort. The mountain lion transformed itself beneath my closed eyelids into a human being, firing a missile, shooting a machine-gun, carrying out destruction of various kinds. This human being was hungry for something. And its survival, so sadly, somehow depended on this destruction. This human being then morphed into a mass of human beings, and their survival also depended on something. But then this vision in my headspace could only go so far, the analogy started to slip away.
My belief (or assumption?) is that human beings can (must?) feel compassion, something that perhaps a mountain lion can feel at times, like for its young, but mostly overrides such sentiment when it chooses to tear its teeth into the body of another living thing. Its choice perhaps is not "conscious," like a human being's is. Like a human being's is supposed to be? We're still doing too many things too unconsciously. We are no different from the predators with whom we share this world. We are products of our Mother. And She can be vicious.
We don't blame the mountain lion. We don't blame the mountain lion…
But this vision creeped into my mind and I can't lay blame off of our human species, for the destruction we constantly wreak upon our home. Survival is starting to fall away as an excuse, because the destruction is not actually leading towards survival. If it is a transformative purging in order to usher in "the new," well, I don't know if that's an excuse I can accept either. If we are growing in consciousness, if the "new" energy is filled with less gruesomeness, then the path towards that balance does not necessarily need to be so violent. We are just telling ourselves that it does, because we still see no other way. We will continue to not see another way as long as we stay in this frame of mind. Einstein wisely said that we cannot come up with a solution from the same level of thinking which created the problem. I've been kind of stuck at this juncture for while. How do we think anew?
I think teaching "acceptance" has gotten us into a dead end. We are too complacent. We tried to rebel a little bit and stand up a little bit (i.e., "Occupy" movement), but that was quickly quieted by the powers that be. I personally prefer to live a peaceful life than be protesting anything anyway, even though it breaks my heart everyday to see what is going on. And everyday I mend this heart of mine, with soothing imaginings of beauty and love permeating every cell of every being and structure… And it's still not enough. We forget that chaos is necessary, or, we don't know how to understand it and let it do its creative thing. So we are still learning. I just wish this process of growth didn't have to include so many bloody flesh wounds.
Let's say this mountain lion represents an entire army of battling humans. As it sits upon the hunched dog's back, could it pause for a moment and realize, if I step away from this "meal," I can go create for myself another, less destructive one? I have a brain (and heart!) with a capacity to explore my survival needs and resources. This capacity can increase if I nurture it - by letting living things remain living. I need not be an automatic soldier, fulfilling an empty destiny of defending an invisible border. I need to bond with my fellow beings and understand that there is actually enough for all of us. If we stop killing each other, maybe we can begin to understand.
Maybe I'm too much of an idealist. But someone's gotta be!
May every living thing, with the capacity to understand how to improve itself and our world - or with the capacity to be improved by benevolent forces - continue living and learning. I know that these terms are subjective, and perhaps a life ended early by rocket-fire is a "lesson" and just part of "just how it is." But my heart cannot accept this. My heart longs for the peace which we have not yet achieved in our world, and will not achieve if we keep chalking it all up to "that's just how it is."
Shared my previous post, "Quantum Leaping to a Better Place," as a facebook status. Got several responses from friends which were supportive and understanding. One comment, however, really made me think. Noticed myself feel defensive at the first part of the statement, and then noticed myself flood with reactions to the second part of the statement. Here it is:
"What you see around you is nothing but the manifestation of yourself, and all there can be is love, fear only appears when you forget this."
I started typing up a storm. Then decided to just post a short comment:
I mostly agree, but if I were to look at our world and NOT feel fear regarding the death of children, or regarding the secretive motives driving injustice, I would be alarmed at such a manifestation of self. Without acknowledging fear's effects, I couldn't feel compassion. And without compassion, I'd be missing a very important building block towards love being all there can be.
But my essay-long rant stayed on my mind for the whole next day. I didn't want to be overbearing with it in facebook-land. But I decided I'd copy paste it here into my blog, so that I can express my reaction. Even if no one reads it, it's out in the ether, and it represents a new idea formulating in my mind. That all our best intentions at spiritual thinking are leading us astray and keeping the world all screwed up and out of balance. So, here it is:
I mostly agree, but if I were to look at our world and not feel fear regarding the death of children, or regarding the secretive motives driving injustice, I would be ashamed of such a self manifestation. It would be like choosing to accept one's own cancer cells and letting them multiply, rather than employing the energy of "fearing" them to motivate oneself to heal and allow the body to thrive. It would be taking away the molecular force of will to generate the process of re-aligning what's come out of balance. And appeasing oneself with a surface understanding of love, rather than the muddy chaotic void-space it would require to actually learn and grow.
The world is a living organism, sustained by a balance of growth and decay. I am not the only soul living here, so it doesn't quite all depend on what I forget or not. I remember and treasure love at all times. But it doesn't make me able to brush off bad news about other people's suffering. No amount of esoteric or spiritual logic can take away my human emotional response. Call it ego, or ignorance, or un-enlightenment, but I meant it when I asked, wouldn't our prayers have healed us by now if they worked?
I think something in our spiritual complacency is off balance and just continues to allow this shit to happen, as if we need this physical world to be hellish in order to get what we came for. If that's my inner self manifesting, then I have a lot of work to do, as does our world. I am not concerned with just my perception of it, but with how we can all better it together.
I believe it's time to step into a new model of thinking, rather than repeating what we've been taught and supposedly discovered for ourselves that 'all is love'… I haven't actually discovered this. Love has taught me that we wouldn't ever understand compassion if we didn't feel fear first. And without compassion, no amount of individualized love and even love for the rest of the world, while feeling holy, sacred, or uplifted by one's spiritual "practice," can positively contribute to the grid of spirit/energy within and surrounding us - it will just suck from it and feed itself if, it doesn't acknowledge that not everyone is able to uplift themselves in such ways. When the "self" is satisfied, let it take on the work of healing the rest of the cells of the organism, otherwise, what is the point? To begin another incarnation in the same "illusion" and attempt yet again to perfect oneself? To break out of the "cycle" and just float in love forever? Sounds boring and compassion-less, and like a very old myth about what actually "happens." The whole beautiful mystery is that we DON'T know, and the more that we pretend we DO, the more tangled up we make everything.
Our seeming progress makes us forget that we don't really know anything. Our experience-based discoveries feel like "direct knowledge," but those are actually influenced by this very world of which we are a part. I think it is the beauty of this world which seeps into our hearts and makes us think we're experiencing something divine. It is divine! And we are just confused!
Something is missing and I don't think we'll discover it if we just stay in the groove of all-is-love. What does any personal enlightenment matter if we don't leave the world a better place than we found it? It's not just about the self. There are many billions of us here, and not everyone has the luxury of pure-love-manifestation; it's often not even one's own fault if that's the case. We just call them "them" and don't feel, compassionately, that "they" actually are our very "self," and thus with all "their" pain, we each carry it within us. Just as they have our love within them. All I was asking is if that love of ours could be even stronger, so that the strong pain that we all carry could be balanced. Even if you've released all pain, and carry none, I still think we each carry some sort of distributed amount of it. Just as each beating heart is emitting the electromagnetic frequencies of the force you call "love." It's almost one and the same.
I think we need to open our hearts and minds to greater possibilities of how to see love all around us. I will not repeat a mantra that "all there can is be love" when I see that hatred, greed and corruption are clearly something that can also "be." Just closing my eyes to it is not going to make it magically go away.
Strong, weird energy today. Malaysian plane mysteriously shot down in Ukraine. Ground invasion in Gaza. Other things all over the world I'm sure, along with beautiful things of course too. Perhaps the bad news would be easier to chalk up to "duality," our need to experience the darkness of existence in addition to the light, or even to the destruction necessary for transformation. But the news isn't just bad… it's confusing, unclear, untrue, and manipulated by motives beyond our comprehension. It's overwhelming for a sensitive heart. It's too dark to augment with my usual new-agey optimism.
Something is too far out of balance. Wouldn't everyone's prayers and open hearts have healed it by now, if they were working? What are we missing? How much damn collective karma do we need to clear? Can we make our visualizations of peace more concrete so they can better manifest in reality? The molecular energy of hatred is so strong, and causes so much to happen… Where is the warrior energy of all our love molecules? I know it's here, and can be seen everywhere if one looks closely. But perhaps we're not generating enough of it? We shouldn't have to strain to look for love, while fear constantly bears its teeth into our face.
After typing up this rant and thinking no new-agey optimism could calm my heart, there actually is a positive notion which resurfaces inside me... that within non-linear time, our prayers have indeed already worked, and the balance ultimately has been restored. I believe in such a reality. Maybe it can't be "tomorrow," but it exists in the ether somewhere, a quantum degree away. I long for us to leap to it.
"Our world is in crisis because of the absence of consciousness. And so to whatever degree any one of us, can bring back a small piece of the picture and contribute it to the building of the new paradigm, then we participate in the redemption of the human spirit, and that after all is what it's really all about."
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