What I Believe: The Spirit of Things

September 20, 2010 at 9:55 pm (The Spirit of Things)

I have been playing around lately with certain themes and topics, and with the idea of using them as journaling tools—such as “Who I Am” in the Walking Between Worlds category. This is the first of the “What I Believe” topic. Clearly, there will be more entries. This is a list of the things that came to mind in this sitting with the topic. As always, I hope you enjoy it. If not, that is fine too—at the least, I enjoyed it.

I believe that being known for being kind, fair-minded, and caring is the best legacy I can leave. And I hope I am able to do so.
I believe that the following things [to name only a few] are evidence of an intelligent and benevolent universe: the sound of saccades and crickets; the sight of black-capped chickadees at the bird feeders; the taste of fresh peaches; the tart snap of a chilled, crisp Granny Smith apple; the appearance of an orange-pink sunrise; Chopin played on a lone piano; the feel of a woman’s soft nipple against calloused skin and the gentle hardening caused by the contrast; an evening fire in the barely-cool night air and the smell of smoke and fresh dew.
I believe in the One-God which is so vast, so complete, so omni-everything as to be All-Gods: the One-God so ever-and-all-present and incomprehensible that it takes a many-cultured, many-named, multi-conceptualized view for us to even begin to grasp a small understanding of any aspect of It; the One-God whose names and faces are many so that all races, cultures and individuals might be given a point of departure for meeting Her/Him/It wherever they are. I believe in the panentheistic nature of God: God in all things; all things in God. I believe in God at the level of molecules, order and chaos…at the core of all things seen and unseen. I believe in a God so beyond us—and yet, so present, so much a part of us and our world—that It can never fully be named or fully known…much in the same way that we experience air but do not fully know it, experience our skin but do not fully know it.

I believe in the sweet spot on a golf club and a ball bat. And, that hitting it is a feeling that is good and satisfactory to the whole self. [If, that is, one likes golf or baseball.]

I believe in the creative spirit of human beings. I believe that it is this that will save us from our own tendency toward self-importance—it is the one thing that binds us and communicates universally without need for suffering or tragedy as a catalyst.
I believe in the laughter of children.
I believe in a good game of gin rummy.

I believe that there few things as peaceful as sitting on the screened in porch with a cup of strong, robust coffee, my dog at my feet, and my lover’s bright intelligent conversation bringing the day to a long-awaited close.

I believe in monogamy—that the ongoing sharing and cultivation of the natural ebbing and flowing of mutual love, admiration, and passion is the full expression of our selves as humans being and doing, that this continuation of connection in right relationship actually grows us, increases our ability to actualize ourselves, love ourselves, our lover, and others, and teaches us about love, ourselves, our patterns of being and makes us, generally, better people. Many disagree. I believe they have the right to their opinions about this and anything else. I believe, however, that it is in making choices, committing to a thing, and putting ourselves behind that commitment that we become more than we are otherwise. I believe this is true for relationships, personal endeavors and just about everything.

I believe that facing our fears, walking through them, and making it to the other side teaches us, increases us, and often teaches others as well. In any case, it makes us stronger. I believe that embracing our joys, looking for the happiness in every day life, actually creates happiness—we get what we seek—and that, too, increases us.

I believe that every act of becoming is good, that we were fearfully and wonderfully made and we deserve our own trust, love and respect. That people teach us how to treat them and, conversely, they treat us as we treat ourselves as much or more than they will treat us as we treat others.

I do believe in rock and roll, that music saves our mortal souls, and I can teach you how to dance real slow…

NOTE: This work is published here as proprietary and may not be reproduced, distributed, sold, or otherwise utilized outside the posting on this site without the express permission of the author; these works are the sole property of the author writing as Androgynonamous or DreadPirateRobert.

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The Spirit of Things

April 4, 2010 at 11:40 am (The Spirit of Things) (, , )

A Matter of Faith:

It is Spring.  All around us, there are the signs of a world in regeneration–a coming alive of all things after the winter waiting time, a resurrection of all that lay in slumber during the dying time.  We feel it too.  Our awareness and experience of this rebirth varies from person to person, yet the need to feel connected to the process, to the coming alive within and without, is present in all of us.  We reach into the dirt, cultivate and plant. Or, we buy cut flowers.  We tend our yards.  We go to the park and walk. Or, we pull the motorcycles–or bicycles, or both–out of the winter storage and we ride.  We open our windows.  We sit on the porch and drink in the growing sun, the blooming around us, the birds and squirrels and, yes, the rabbits.  Whatever we do, we are on some level aware that the change has come, that we too are waking and are renewed.

This is an ancient process–the basis of all ancient religions that celebrate a way of life based upon the belief that all things are connected, that we and the earth, its cycles and processes, are essentially tied to one another in an endless turning of generation, birth, death, regeneration and rebirth.  It is no accident that the believed resurrection of the Christ occurs in the Spring.  It is all literal, metaphoric, allegoric and psychologically powerful stuff.  No matter what else is happening in our lives, most all of us feel the instinctive, subconscious pull of the process of rebirth.  We feel lighter, more energized and tend to be better able to cope with and move through the other things in our daily lives in the presence of all that is Spring.  For many people, this is the basis of their faith.  It is for me as well, but not in the conventional ways you might expect.

Without getting too involved, let me say that my concept of God is…well…nearly heretical in the eyes of some.  No doubt there will be more about that as I write here.  But for now, I will simply say that my view of God is bigger than dogma, religion, or the common anthropomorphic ideas of God.  My view of God is living and breathing and rooted in physics, the commonalities of all religions, the cycles and processes of the universe around us, and some basic universal truths about the human experience.  And, it is rooted in my personal experience. Things others would view as synchronicity, serendipity or plain old happenstance.  My experience of God changes as I change.  While I do not believe in the currently popular view of God as some puppet-like magician simply waiting to give us whatever we ask for, I do believe that God moves in our lives.  Within us.  In cocreativity with us.  I am panentheistic.  And, I believe the action is internal.  I also believe that what we think about and turn our mental energy to, we manifest.

These are things that have come up in discussion of late between my friends and I, and between Scin and I.  People wonder how I can continue to have faith that all will be well, that forces are moving around and within us, that God is active, and that more will be revealed when I am dealing with such difficult circumstances.  As are the people close to me.  People ask:  how can you believe that a loving God is taking care of you when you have been job-hunting for over two years, your health concerns are unresolved, your mom’s house still has not sold, and the things you need do not seem to be appearing?  These observations are correct.  There has been struggle and uncertainty.  In addition, Scin and I are struggling with significant circumstances:  financial concerns, securing housing for them so they can move, difficulties related to being apart–for now–and trying to plan, while also trying to keep faith that somehow all will be well.  Struggle abounds.

So, my response to all of this is simple, really.  My entire life has provided me with examples of the care I receive from a benevolent universe and an active, present power greater than myself.  Greater than our conceptions.  Greater than doctrines.  If I look back on events that at first seem to be bad, not what I thought I needed or, for that matter, wanted, I can see how I was saved from something worse by things not going as I thought they should.  I can see how events were unfolding in ways that led to other things, that were better in the long run, that–once more was revealed–carried greater gifts for me than what I expected.  Also, good things happen every day.  My reunion with Scin is an example.

This, to me, is the action of God in communion and cocreation with us.  This, to me, is like the metaphor of Spring.  All seems dark, dead and stagnant until Spring comes and we see that things were at work, doing wonderous things, unseen and in their own time.  Spring is the point in the year when what was unseen becomes revealed.  Much of the action in our lives is this way:  internal, unseen, connected to other forces and processes, and is obvious only at the moment of its flowering.

Now, you could say that what you have read here is simply the expression of the obvious influence of perspective, of how one chooses to view things over which one has no control and how one mentally processes events and daily life.  And, to that I exclaim a resounding: yes; you are correct.  And, isn’t that what faith is–belief without tangible evidence, conviction without immediate proof, a set of beliefs to which one is committed, a mindset?  The issue is not simply the mindset, but how one comes to have this perspective and to be committed to it.  Experience, in conjunction with willingness to examine and interpret the experience, is the origin of the mindset.  I believe we are, indeed, transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2).  By the way, this kind of thinking–as some of you know–is the basis of Eastern traditions, Pagan traditions, and, interestingly, behavioral science and the majority of physics.  In fact, there is a vast compilation of science to suggest that “mindset” or expectation–that is thought–is a physical force.  So, perhaps, faith is not conviction without evidence.

For example, if we study light as particles, that is how it behaves; if we study it as waves, that, too, is how it behaves.  Expectation, or the perspective of the experimenter, influences the thing being studied.  Thus, how we view our lives influences the unfolding of our lives.  Similarly, how we view God, or view our spirituality, determines how we experience our spiritual selves and our lives.  This perspective, like Spring, is a turning–a shifting of our view, an expectation from which is birthed the evidence. 

So, yes.  I have faith the things are going to be, both, as they should be in the scheme of things, and OK as well.  I believe that I will continue to have what I need, if not always what I want.  I believe that, like the bulbs that were lying in wait, there will be important gifts and growth in my struggles.  I believe that this time of uncertainty carries within it the seeds of the new, as yet unseen, budding of myself, others and our lives.  I believe that Scin and I will have the things we need to build our lives together.  I believe our reunion and the growing thing that is our relationship is a gift.  I receive it gladly.  I believe that things move and unfold in our lives in ways that work toward what is suitable to our individual selves and provides us with opportunities for our best interest.  And, I believe more will be revealed.

Finally, I believe that my role in my spiritual walk is simple.  It is mine to do what is in front of me, to tend to what I can and take responsibility for my choices, actions and my life.  It is also mine to tend the garden of my thinking–to be mindful of my life, my thoughts and perspectives, my actions and my participation in my relationships to my spiritual self, others, and my God.  It is mine to tend to the turning of my sight.  It is also mine to view myself as a valuable and to believe in myself as I am and as I am becoming.  If I believe that God is in all things and all things are in God, then God is in me as well and I need to trust the tools, talents, and abilities I have been given–and trust they have purpose.  I view others in the same way.  We are all connected, all part of the spirit of things.  We are all waking, slumbering, and waking again.  Each day, we are all being reborn, resurrected.  It is Spring, eternal.  That is enough for me.

NOTE:  This work is published here as proprietary and may not be reproduced, distributed, sold, or otherwise utilized outside the posting on this site without the express permission of the author; these works are the sole property of the author writing as Androgynonamous or DreadPirateRobert.

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