Tag Archives: forgiveness

A Beautiful Life

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I see God as a Creator entity and, as such, one that is reflected somewhat in myself, since I, also, am a creator.

After I create things, I am often fascinated by how they take on a life of their own.

As a creator, I have a nebulous idea of what it is I want to create, and as I work with that idea I can see where things are going and how they will pan out.

As you may know from previous essays I’ve written with a subject of God in them, I view all Creation as having been thought of and emerged from God’s Mind.  For me, God dreams, or God thinks, the Cosmos into being.  And we, as elements of those Cosmos, are also thought into being.

Using the ‘As Above, So Below‘ motto, and its vice versa – God is a Creator like me, and I am a creator, too – it’s moot to think that God also only has a nebulous idea about what It wants to create, and just works with ideas and sees how they pan out.

I believe that God, too, is absolutely fascinated in how what It creates takes on a life of it’s own.

If you’re wondering how such a thing would manifest, then think on how we humans each assess artworks differently, or read novels with widely varying points of view or assumptions.

Often, the artist or writer doesn’t even have the observer’s ideas or feelings about their work, but will still be fascinated to know these interesting results, which represent how the work has taken on a life of it’s own.

When I am creating a work, and still have my hand on it, the work can begin to take on a life of it’s own even before I have finished – and that is not always a ‘good‘ thing.

Sometimes, that is not a direction I really want my work to be taking.  Or perhaps it is just not ‘coming to life‘ in the way I wanted it to.

This is also how ‘bad‘ things can happen in a Universe that God created – not because God intentionally made them that way, but because once the work was created, it took on a life of it’s own.

For me, then, if the piece I am working on does not feel quite right, I tend to add a bit more (rather than ‘take away’) and suddenly the piece feels ‘good’.  

This can be as simple as placing a couple of dots near the corner of a person’s eye in their portrait, that turn a flat stare into a character ‘twinkle‘.  Or it can be the addition of a few words to a written paragraph, that turns an obscure thought into a clarified one.

Taking away and cleaning up are not always the solutions to a brilliant outcome.  Sometimes, addition is the key.  You just have to consider what it is that needs to be added.

Perhaps, like myself, when things don’t seem to be working for God, It also adds elements in the hope of a better result.

I think God adds elements far more often than it ever ‘cleans up‘ or ‘takes away‘, though of course those modes are also possible.  Let’s face it, God is not only the Creator but also the Destroyer.  What God brings into being, God can take away, as the saying goes.  But if you look at the extreme variety of creatures manifested on Earth, alone, and then consider that this extreme variety is probably manifested in the many layers of dimensions and the multiple realities of world upon world, then God appears to have been very busy at adding elements.

Now, as an artist, I know that there are times when an artwork doesn’t seem to be working out, no matter what I do to it – especially with certain types of materials.  Like an oil painting – there is only so much you can do to fix an oil painting before it becomes obvious that you just have to give up on what you were trying to ‘bring through‘ and paint over the whole shebang.

It’s possible, even probable, that God has painted over shebangs many times in It’s existence.  But if you consider that It is a Being who really likes to fix things, and has aeons long history of adding elements, far more than taking them away, then this poses a picture where God is working like mad as a Creator to make ‘bad‘ things ‘good‘ right now.

In our lives, there are often times when ‘bad‘ things don’t seem ever able to be made ‘good‘.  You do everything you can, just so you have covered every possible action or mode, and they still don’t seem to work out.

In modern times, the common mode in such cases is to ‘walk away‘ from such things and begin again without them.  But in my case, and I believe this is God‘s case, too, even as I feel I have to put up with such scenarios while I am unable to do much about them, my mind and heart is constantly working behind the scenes on possible solutions, and waiting for an opportunity to arise to try them out.

For God, this has precedence.  In many spiritual scriptures of varying faiths, there are often stories related to ‘dark times’ or times when nothing could be done against what seemed to be a surge of ‘evil‘ in the world – but God knew that the laws of physical reality meant that all moves in cycles, and that change was inevitable.  So all God had to do was wait things out and eventually things would change enough so that God could insert those solution elements and move It’s Creation into happier states of existence.

You can tell that I don’t align with a God force as defined in some scriptures, that feels a need to destroy the world as payback to an erring human race.

My God simply doesn’t need to do that.  It knows very well that humankind is a blink in the reality of Time, and all It needs is to wait and something else will eventually replace them, if It really felt that way about them.  Which I also don’t believe since, as a Creator, God loves all Its creations.  And that is something I know of, too, as an artist.

Good‘ or ‘bad‘, maybe I don’t like some pieces as much as others, but every piece I create has an element of me in it and a piece of my heart.  Which is why when one doesn’t work out, I try so hard to fix it.

When it comes to life situations, especially with other people, I have long had similar modes.  I invest a piece of my heart in every relationship I have been intimate with.

(That intimacy is just the closeness I felt, and the modes of opening up that I had with those people, not necessarily sexual).

And when those relationships become ‘troubled‘ or go ‘up end‘, my artist self tries very hard to fix things (sometimes with more passion and noise than people can take, but that’s the artist in me – my ‘force of nature’).

The trouble is that in some relationships, or in some circumstances, the fixing seems so impossible that a sense of suffering sets in.

I find myself wondering why the other person can’t see things differently, or is not willing to try different modes – because I can clearly see solutions and possibilities, and I don’t understand why they are giving up – especially when the heart has been involved.

I find it hard to understand how people can ‘hurt your heart’ so much, when they said and showed they cared.

So when such things happen, I go through extreme ‘gut churns’, sometimes for a very long time.

My mind finds it hard to let go, and I re-examine every ince of the circumstances, over and over, to try to find out why and what exactly happened.

That mode, again, is the artist in me, trying to make things better.  But it’s a painful experience, and if I dwell in those modes too long they can undermine me – especially where no solutions are possible at the time, or even in the forseeable future.

Sometimes, all you can do is let go and move on with your life.

I know this seems to be easy for modern humans, especially those of younger generations, these days, but this mode has never been easy for me, nor for others of my generation who were brought up to believe in making the best of things, in recycling things rather than throwing them out, and in taking pride in the craftsmanship of making things work.

Ultimately, if I dwell in such modes for too long, it is I who needs healing.  My spirit becomes assailed by the sense of hopelessness, ostracization, and rejection, even when there is so much else going on in my life and so many others who bring blessings with them.  The artist in me just hates letting go.

Luckily, I am also a healer, and I can heal myself.  It does take focus and effort, though, because these painful modes of not giving up are well embedded.  But with greater effort and some ritual, I am able to realign.

You can probably tell at this stage that I have been undergoing some very painful experiences in my life for a while now.

Like God, I have not been still whilst such things are going on, but have continued to ply my life and be creative, as always.

Fact is, as pain became more resident, my creativity has stepped up.  That creator part of me has been madly trying to restore beauty and wonder and magic in my life, and to fix the ongoing problems causing the pain, even if certain elements are still not ‘coming to the party‘ any more.  But despite my best efforts and an outflow of creative manifestation, the ‘gut churns’ kept coming, and I kept having moments of utter misery.

Now, looking at God, again, imagine that this Creator is also feeling utterly miserable because no matter what It does to try to fix things, or how much artistic creation is added to the equation, what It wants to fix is simply unable to be fixed at this stage.

God being miserable?  That’s a new concept, isn’t it?  But it’s a thought that popped into my mind as I was doing my special rituals to help myself, recently.

I have been intensifying my mantras and prayers, and doing deep meditation and ‘sending‘ in order to heal others and the world around me – because I really seemed unable to heal what was happening in my own life, with others I was once close to.

So I thought, I will just create my own world, bring the type of world I enjoy living in into being, and will send out joy into the world to make it a happier place, and will send out love and compassion into the world to help all beings be happy.

These are, of course, bottom line tenets of buddhism, taoism, and vedism.  But my prayers have intensified, and the results felt very good.

I’m not sure what is happening in the greater world, or with the others who caused so much pain but are no longer in my life, but in my immediate environment things have become lighter and more joyful, and the people I live and work with are happier.

There are some who visit me in spirit when I do these mantras and meditations, including some who died this year, who were part of the pain and trouble.  I realized that they came because of the intensity of love and healing being emitted, and because that emission encompassed all beings, everywhere, and on every level of reality, including theirs.  And I hope that they will be healed and can move on to a better state of existence.

While I cannot honestly forgive what they did, I am aware that all beings are fallible.  In a creative universe, how could that not be so?  Because flaws are part of the beauty of all Art.

So I am able to move on, and even while I may not forgive what happened I can put it in context and thereby put it aside as just being part of the processes of existence.

What surprised me during these rituals was that I found myself not only taking in the world and it’s creatures, and humankind, but also the supernatural levels, the gods, goddesses, and angels.

It struck me that forgiveness and mercy is not something that can ever be fully resident anywhere so long as people so completely classify and categorize and outcast those who have erred – and the supernatural ‘fallen‘ have been classified thus for aeons.

Perhaps, as in my own feelings toward others who ‘did me wrong‘, forgiveness is not always possible, but accommodation is.

If we are All elements stemming from the One being, or God, then ignoring or making outcast of any other element so completely is like an amputation.

Even though amputations may sometimes seem the best solution to a physical body, amputees can attest that a ‘phantom‘ remains, that keeps connecting to the missing part.

If so, then so long as we simply try to cut out such unwanted people or entities from our lives, as if they no longer belong, we will always be ‘haunted‘ by their ‘phantoms.’

I believe that even if an entity does need to be permanently removed, it should still  be treated with respect and consideration, because it is still another natural element of God’s existence.

Associate that mode with body parts, and think of yourself as the mouth and the one you want to get rid of as the arsehole.  The mouth may not want to kiss the arsehole, but it acknowledges that the arsehole has a purpose and belongs to the same body.

The trouble, however, in most cases of exile, appears to come not from the separation so much as the ongoing propaganda and slander, that sends curses through the ether to the amputated.

This is how we cultivate rebounding effects.  Because just as there is power in positive thinking, there is also power in negative thinking.

Every time we focus on the ‘bad‘ things or people in our lives, or that were once in our lives, we align to ‘bad‘ feelings.  That is the same ‘phantom‘ effect, and it has consequences.

Those consequences leave us feeling ‘bad‘ even after we think we have moved on and claimed a better life for ourselves.

So, when it comes to the supernatural ‘fallen,’ the same goes.  While we may not want their modes in our lives any more, or feel they don’t fit with our existence, they still deserve respect and consideration as do any  other elements of God’s body.

It struck me that God seems to have been focusing on the ‘bad‘ for far too long, and that this focusing on the ‘bad‘ may have made It, too, feel miserable.

Now, when a human artist feels miserable, the tone of the creation can change, and they might start creating things that are ‘dark‘.  But as an ‘oddballcreator, myself, who never creates ‘dark‘ things from the ‘dark‘ feelings I may be undergoing, I don’t believe God is one of those types of creators, either.

Whenever I have created things after painful episodes in my life, (or during them), they were even more superb in outcome than usual, because I use my creative skills to re-establish what is important to mebeauty, magic and a sense of healing.

But as I said before, when painful things keep happening, the ‘gut churns’, nevertheless, and even as the beauty and magic shimmers from these creations, I can still end up feeling miserable.

So this thought came to me that God is an artist just like me, trying so hard to re-establish the beauty and magic and sense of healing in our world, and trying to balance out the ‘darkness‘ that seems to be becoming rife in so many places – but, because It’s efforts have not stopped that ‘darkness‘, the pain of that apparent failure and it’s accompanying sense of hopelessness is making God miserable.  And when God feels miserable, we begin to feel miserable, too.

What is that misery?  It is a sense of despair or hopelessness, or of self-doubt and worry, that overrides everything that is beautiful and wonderful in our lives, even when everything otherwise appears to be blessed and good.

It is that lack of appreciation for what we have, and for what we have the potential to do, and a lack of gratitude for life, itself.

It gets ‘under our skin‘ and ‘deep into our hearts‘, and stops progress, and creates obstacles that may not even really be there.  And, in this way, it affects all life on planet Earth – because, these ‘pebbles in the pond‘ create ripples that spread outward to contact everything and everyone.

That was when I included God as a particular focus in my prayers – and myself.

Because I rarely include myself in such things.  I just feel that if I make all others or the world around me feel better, then I will feel better, and that is often the way – but it is also the way that I neglect myself.  I neglect my own needs, or neglect my physical well-being, even as I send healing to others.

And so I believe that God has forgotten to send healing to itself, too.   I believe God needs some healing and care.   As the saying goes, who heals the healer?

So now I am focusing on God in my mantras in a very new way – and helping God, too, ‘be happy.’

There’s no point cleaning the pond to gain crystal clear water if the source of that water is compromised.

If what God thinks, God brings into being – and therefore, as elements of God’s mind, we can also bring our thoughts into being – then thinking God into a state of happiness should have a good result for all.

This is the Power of Positive Thinking at an archetypal level. This is refreshing the Source.

Let’s all focus on joy, happiness, mercy, kindness and compassion, and stop thinking about the bad things or bad elements so much.

Let’s trust our inner artistic skills for dealing with whatever crops up when it does crop up, and not think about ‘bad‘ things until they actually happen.

Let’s get on with living a beautiful life.

Whenever I find my mind dwelling on the ‘bad‘ elements in my life, today, I deliberately put them aside.

I will deal with them when and if I have to confront them.  I have dealt with them before, so I know I have the gumption and skills to do it again, when necessary.

But for now, and for a better future, I will not think of them when I don’t have to.

I am going invest fully in my belief that life will get better, eventually, and that all I need to do right now is to live it with as much appreciation as I can.

I think God is going to do that, too.

Blessings!
Lianne

Lilipily Spirit – Empower Your Life, Connect with the Divine

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Nataraj

Photo courtesy of www,exoticindia.com
Photo courtesy of www,exoticindia.com

 

The vedic god, Shiva, is the god of creation and destruction.

I was once told (by my spirit mentor, the Rajadeva) that I am like Uma, who was Shiva’s second wife, (better known as Parvati), so I have made a special place for Shiva in my mind.

Most people in western society who aren’t familiar with the vedic gods tend to know the image of Shiva dancing the tandava or Nataraj (as shown in the picture, above), but even then may not fully understand what this image means.

Shiva is one of a triune of upper echelon gods and his cosmic task is to dance the cosmos into being, or into destruction.

In the Hindu view, Shiva is the god of yoga, who is able to transcend the human condition and the woes of the world, and it is believed that those who can meditate in the deepest trance-like states that Shiva attains can also achieve self-discipline and detachment, and therefore purity.

Shiva is one of the vedic gods who has had many worldly incarnations.  During one of his incarnations, he married a lovely demi-goddess named Sati.

Sati ended up by killing herself in a fire after attending a family gathering that her husband, Shiva, had not been invited to.

(This is where the ‘ sati ‘ ritual comes from, where a widow immolates herself in a fire at the funeral of her husband  – though the theme is not really related because Shiva was still alive when Sati killed herself).

She did so because she was ashamed of her family (who snubbed her when she came because she was married to someone they did not approve of) and distraught that despite her best efforts to prove Shiva’s worth to them, they continued to reject him just because he did not live his life according to their ways.

Sati mistakenly felt that she brought shame upon her husband because they were her relatives, so she killed herself in a gesture to honor him.  When Shiva found out what had happened, his rage and distress bubbled over.

Now, when you are a god and that happens, powerful forces come into play.  Shiva began to dance the tandava and under his stomping feet the whole universe began to disintegrate.

It wasn’t until the other gods came together in great force to plead with him that he finally saw sense and stopped dancing, allowing his grief and anger to settle.

Now, hearing this story, on one hand, you might commiserate with Shiva’s  grief at losing his beloved wife in such a senseless way.

On the other hand, you might question how and why a god might lose his sense of responsibility and presence to such a degree that he would almost blindly bring the universe to its knees under his tantrum – especially when that god is one who is capable of extreme asceticism and detachment from events.

So you need to know that Shiva didn’t get to such a position lightly, or even under some unhappy instant trigger.

Before Sati killed herself in shame, Shiva had counseled her many times about her family’s attitudes toward him.  He told her that he wasn’t really upset, that it had more to do with their character than it did with who he really was, and that she shouldn’t worry about it because it wasn’t affecting him at all.

Shiva was very wise and very cosmic in this attitude, and showed great generosity of spirit, as many do who follow spiritual paths and who do great deeds.  But despite his best efforts and intentions, and the wisdom he gave to others, he could not contain himself when pushed too far.

Even gods have a limit to how much they can take.  And even gods sometimes need a helping hand in realigning themselves to their inner truths once that ‘button‘ has been pushed.

Now,  we humans tend to forget that when we aspire to be ‘perfect’ or ‘better‘ than we suspect we are.  We rarely forgive others or even ourselves for throwing similar whammies or tantrums, no matter how relevant or with what justification they have.

People are often extremely judgmental about such things, possibly because, as Shiva’s tandava can be, such whammies can be dangerous.

When people feel threatened, they are extremely unlikely to put up with such modes, even if they are sympathetic to the reasons behind them.  No one likes menace.

You’d think that these modes of rejection of inappropriate or menacing behavior would be par for the course in the realm of responsibility inhabited by the gods, too, wouldn’t you?  But the fact is that gods and goddesses, whether multiple or singular, have far different agendas and viewpoints to the often ‘black and white‘ assumptions of human beings.

Read just about any story on the modes of a god or goddess, in any religion, modern or ancient, and at some stage you will find that they pretty well do as they please a lot of the time, even if that does hurt the humans they are apparently there to protect.

I’m not saying that they are completely fallible or that they don’t aspire to do better or to serve those under their care – but let’s face it, Gods do have disagreements that lead to wars. Gods do fight wars.   Life on planet Earth often suffers under collateral damage caused by the modes of the gods.  Not even the christian god is exempt from causing suffering, or from sending plagues or destruction.  Gods and goddesses are often more ‘human’ than humans !

Why then are we humans so bent on raising ourselves up to become like gods ?  Why do we aspire to be so perfect when not even the gods are perfect, or even pretend to be ?

Gods believe they are perfect as they are.  Their family and friends also believe they are perfect as they are.  Or if they don’t, the same troubles can be inflicted on them in much the same way they are inflicted upon us (like in Shiva and Sati’s story of being outcast by her relatives simply because they didn’t really like who she married).

What does stand out when it comes to godhood is that gods are forgiving.  So Shiva nearly destroyed the whole universe?  Did it matter in the long run?  No, not so long as he got ‘back on track’ and entered into creative and nurturing modes again.

Maybe being nigh on immortal helps them to maintain those modes. Let’s face it, they don’t die as often as we humans do, and they’re not so fragile.  Perhaps they can feel more forgiving simply because they feel less under threat, and more able to accept the destruction of the universe because they know inside themselves that they are capable of reinventing it at any time…

I think there is much to be learned in the stories about the gods and goddesses for we human beings, though.

No one needs to be perfect to be acceptable.  If we do break down under a load of stress and pressure, and do ‘wrong’ things for a time, that does not mean we are ‘bad’ people, necessarily.

Trying to live up to extreme standards set by ourselves or others is a mode prone to breakdown at some stage, because these are part of the basic themes of the universe – creation and destruction are cycles that alternate in the cosmos.

This may seem bad to those who build their lives on the illusion of security and permanence, but the fact is that nothing in life is ever truly secure or permanent.  Change is a constant in the universe, on every level.  Sometimes, it processes slowly, and sometimes rapidly, but change is inevitable.

As human beings, we rail against anything that threatens our welfare.  It’s part of the law of survival that we protect our welfare, so we spend a heck of a lot of our lives trying to do just that, and despite the obstacles and challenges that often get in the way of truly establishing its security.

As elements of the mind of god, we, too, have a sense of power inside ourselves, including the power of destruction and creation.  Perhaps we fear that power when we or others ‘go off the rails’, and thus imagine that more destruction than we can class as an acceptable loss may occur if such behavior is not curtailed?

In the image of Shiva dancing the tandava, you can see that he is atop a crouching demon.  In Vedism, demons are not so much evil, as such, but are people who express extremes, where expressing extremes sets the cosmos to imbalance and chaos. 

Under those modes, Shiva, himself, could be said to have temporarily become demon-like, when his tandavaspan out of control‘, yet the other gods remained true to him.  They trusted all they knew of him and did not frame their reference on one incident, even if that incident was extreme.

In the view of the universe, chaos is a necessary element of creation, and most things need to go through some degree of breaking down before they can be reconstructed in new and creative ways.  So destruction is necessary for new forms of life to begin.  Chaos is just the intermediary states that happen between the modes of integration – destruction – creation.

In the icon of the tandava, the demon beneath Shiva’s feet is saying that yes, deconstruction needs to occur before reconstruction or creation can happen, but ‘keep a hat on it‘ and don’t let things ‘get out of control‘.

It’s a warning – a reminder that the power of creation naturally holds the power of destruction, of which we must always be mindful lest the unleashing of that power becomes ‘blind and senseless’.

I don’t know many people who set out to be deliberately destructive.  (I do know there are some in the world, but that’s another story).  I do know, however, many brilliant, sensitive, kind and generous souls who were doing okay and were well received  by others, until the moment when they ‘lost the plot’ momentarily (as Shiva did), and thereafter found their actions examined with a persistent element of caution, just in case they ever did it again.

Maybe that wariness goes with having ‘danced the tandava’ but for a human being, who does not have the generous mercy of the gods to uphold their spirit as Shiva did, that sort of wariness is undermining and degrades and disrespects the structure of all they built before the breakdown occurred.

I am in awe of the forgiveness and acceptance of gods when it comes to being merciful and kind to those who are, and have been, in all other ways magnificent beings.  Gods know where their priorities lie.

Why should we keep kicking ourselves over an occasional or rare ‘whammy’ that has happened under extreme duress, when we have been pretty good human beings until then?

I had my own tandava, recently.  It didn’t last long but it was a ‘sky rocket’.  I’m over it now.  Life goes on.

Blessings!
Lianne

Lilipily Spirit – Empower Your Life, Connect with the Divine