Tag Archives: spirituality

Rattled

photo by Lianne
photo by Sean

I hope sharing this story doesn’t put you off, but I had some trouble last Friday…

It started okay… Went to lunch with my son and then went shopping in a warehouse hardware store for solar panel skylights to brighten the dark spots in the windowless central kitchen of my home.

All went well until I decided to get a cold drink from a stall outside while my son was still chatting to someone in the store, and the mature woman behind the counter saw fit to tell me I should be getting a diet drink because too much sugar was bad for me… So I had a small and uncomfortable interaction with her, as I explained that I could not drink diet drinks as the chemicals in them were bad for my fibromyalgia and attacked my muscles.

She instantly replied that sugar drinks were not good for diabetes, too – to which I retorted (a little annoyed) that I may be fat but I do not have diabetes, and sugar is all about moderation… And then my eyes wanted to roll back in my head when her response was to get upset that I was questioning her knowledge, and felt she had to declare that she taught the subject of sugar intake to teenagers.

(I held my tongue, then, because I have had years of study and working with nutrition, myself, and did not want to get into an argument on that level… but later I also remembered that people with diabetes should never drink diet drinks, anyway, because aspartame stuffs up the insulin cycle… For those who think I should have got water, by the way, there was none available).

That was the first rattle of the day, and I went to my car wondering how the heck someone could be so arrogant as to lecture a stray stranger that way, without any knowledge about them at all (and not even listening to the tidbits supplied)?

The drum rolls of the day were not finished, though, and later, as I was backing out of my carpark space I heard a massive ‘crunch‘.  Another car had met the rear corner of my car, backing out at the same time I was.

I’d barely been able to register what had happened when a woman was at my passenger window, yelling past the surprised face of my disabled son, saying that I wasn’t looking where I was going.

Well, I disagreed with that.  I am always extremely careful in shop carparks, because people don’t seem to care for their own welfare these days, and anyone can walk behind your car just as you’re moving.  So I’d been very careful to check before slowly backing out.

I thought it was completely clear, and was thoroughly surprised that an accident had happened – but immediately put it down to ‘missing something‘, because hey, I’m a fallible human being… But the woman did not even stop to take a breath as she continued to castigate me through the window.

I wound the window down, which allowed her to almost poke her head in, making her tirade worse – but I needed to ask her to move her car away from mine, because I’d tried to move back into my carpark, until I felt the extreme grab of her car in my bumper and knew more damage would be done if I pushed it.

The woman did not listen and kept claiming that the police needed to come, and that she would not move her car until they did.

Well, our cars were blocking both lanes of the entry and exit to front of the warehouse, so I explained to her that it was not a police matter because no one had been injured.

She kept ranting and raving, and it was quite obvious that she was a foreigner living in Australia because of her accent, and her attitude was extremely poor toward Australians, who she thought were all idiots.

This put my back up.  I have come across this sort of racism before from Europeans living in my country and it always pisses me off when I see or hear it (though I usually try not to respond to it).

I tend to wonder at people who think our country and services are good enough to come live in and use, but then abuse the people who have built it all up so they can enjoy them.  For me, you don’t go to another person’s ‘house‘ to stay and treat them like they are idiots in being generous enough to let you in.

(Plus, there is a bit of history in my reactions to this, as I married into a ‘foreign’ family, where my husband’s parents initially treated me as an inferior because I was Australian – third generation from immigrant Irish-Scottish-English-German farmers who were never convicts, actually – but born here, so my sire line apparently doesn’t count).

Despite my best efforts, I began to raise my own voice, (which was probably helped along by the previous ‘poking’ from the woman at the stall).

So, there were these two older women (me and her) in the carpark, blocking the traffic and yelling at each other across their cars… And into the fray came a young woman from the hardware store, trying to calm things down.

At first, I was happy with the intercession since she did tell the other woman that it was not a police matter, too… But the other woman continued to run me down, (not even knowing anything about me other than that our cars had connected), so I called her a ‘goon‘ in a fit of pique.  (I don’t know what ‘goon’ means elsewhere, but here it is slang for an idiot…)

For that, the young woman (who was barely the age of my grand-daughter) saw fit to harshly condemn and lecture me for calling the other woman names, and even for ‘yelling‘… And, boy, did that rile me, especially since she didn’t say a word against the absolute yelling from the other woman.

I told the young woman that I was not yelling… I was raising my voice and my tone was vehement, which was a natural reaction to being upset at the tirade plied against me and a normal expression of human nature …and if she wanted to hear yelling I could go a lot louder.

(Let’s face it, I come from a different generation, where people were allowed to show they were upset when they were upset, and where today’s attitudes of not being allowed to show it were not the rule.  When I was young, the idea was about curbing extremes and not being violent, not suppressing my human nature altogether…  My crowd grew up with a right to be pissed off, so long as you didn’t hurt anyone).

She rolled her eyes and looked stony as I added that ‘If you want to calm things down you don’t lecture people because that is always going to escalate things’.  After which, she walked off, and I went back to my car to get my phone to call my husband, muttering ‘lectured by a 20 year old!’

Now, I wasn’t happy with having ‘lost the plot‘ a bit, myself.  It wasn’t how I’d wanted my day to go.  I just wanted to get the insurance details and go home, but the other woman refused to give me anything, despite my writing all my own details down for her and handing her the piece of paper.

At every step she was in my face, abusive and degrading with her language and attitude, and it was all I could do to get the job that needed to be done, done… and in the end, my mouth let rip the unthinkable, as I told her to go back to Germany !

Her instant reply was that she did not come from Germany, and so (on a roll by then) I shot back – well, Lithuania, Sedetenland, Czechoslovakia, take your pick! (And got some slight satisfaction from seeing the smiles on the faces of some nearby observers as I did that)… It was not a moment to be proud of.

I’ve spent a lifetime hating bigotry and criticizing people who speak like that to others, and in one fell swoop I joined the ranks of those I had previously condemned.

I did try to calm things down a bit toward the end of our meeting, by saying to her that we were both quite obviously extremely upset because this sort of thing didn’t happen very often for us, and we were struggling to figure out how to deal with it.

I had never had an accident like this before, and said so… but her immediate response was to say that she had never had an accident before, but I had obviously had plenty.  It was such an aggressively negative stance and a ‘below the belt shot in the dark’, (probably based in hurt, and maybe I was to blame for that).

When I did finally get her written details, I had to immediately question the letters and numbers she’d written, because there were unreadable squiggles in parts, and where she had written the numbers 9 and 4 in one way, she had written them backwards in another section.

I fixed the mistakes but kept wondering throughout the day thereafter just how a person can do that ?  If she had written all her numbers the same way, or all letters as the same squiggles, I could understand it – but to change them like that was extremely odd.  I wondered then if perhaps she was having a medical crisis which I hadn’t been aware of.

She may have had a minor stroke… It would have explained her instant road rage, too.

When I finally left the carpark, I was on one hand happy that I had put two aggressive and demeaning older women in their ‘place‘ (blame my celtic warrior ancestors for that), and on the other hand my gut was churning because I had not been able to keep my cool as I usually do and maintain enough detachment to stay objective.

By ‘spitting chips‘ of racism, myself, telling her to ‘go back to where she came from‘, the words of some of the bigoted people I grew up associating with had poured from my mouth, after years of not wanting to be associated with that type of bigotry as an adult…  It was not a high point in my history, and certainly did the reputation of my Australian peers no good.

I have to admit that I am human enough to have had other episodes of upset in my life, especially when my pride was hurt or I was under attack.  It’s not a regular occurrence, but it has happened, and there are those who always look for potholes in your road and make sure you’re condemned for having them… (I’m sensitive enough to self-castigate.  I don’t need anyone else to do it for me).

With the modes I’ve developed all my life, I strive to be a more calm and spiritually oriented being, these days, and it really hurts my heart when I fall down.

I would much rather have found a way to deal with either of those women with calm and soothing so that they interacted better, and I have actually done so with others many times in the past… (You can’t deal effectively with the large groups of people in the organizations I was associated with back then by being that volatile and personally invested)… But on this day, my responses didn’t even let me really put my brain ‘in gear.

Well, I could go on being ashamed of myself and self-castigating, and I could wallow in that to the degree that I eventually undermine all the past beauty and light I have truly established, and perhaps I could undermine all I may have established in the future, too, if I let such castigation go on too long…

Which brings me to the unassailable fact that no matter how ‘spiritual‘ any of us are, in truth spirituality is an aspiration and an ever-evolving life path, and is not set in stone… And such moments happen to even the most enlightened beings. (Read my comments in a previous post, ‘Reality).   We are human, too, and we all have ‘off‘ days.

Nevertheless, I spent a very disturbed night on Friday, and again all day and night on Saturday, going over my own actions and responses.

It wasn’t so much that I felt wrong in being upset or offended by the behavior of those two women, but that I was upset at myself that I could not hold it so well together and maintain my own calm under such attacks.

Maybe I didn’t get physical but words do hurt, and I was as guilty as they were, in doing that, that day.

For me, too, knowing the power of words, it was almost a sin –  because my words were like an idle curse.

My son took many photos on the day, of the damage to the cars and the position of the accident connection. It was only after I saw those photos that I realized I was not in the wrong (as a driver) at all.

The other woman had come from a carpark diagonally opposite to mine and instead of swinging backward into the exit lane behind her car, had zoomed way across the dividing line into the entry lane behind my car.

My first thought was ‘She’s going to get one heck of a shock when she finds out she’ll be the one paying for all this‘.

My second thought was to wonder if she was okay, because maybe she had had a medical crisis that caused that weird event.

My third thought was to actually relent a little in forgiveness toward those I had grown up with, for their bigotry, because maybe they, too, had been ‘letting rip‘ from a point of wounding (though theirs was more of a constant throughout their lives).

We are human, and I’m sorry that I did not behave so well in the face of fire that day, but now I need to let it go and remember who I am and what I really stand for.

It was, after all, only a moment in a lifetime of much different behavior… This is what I often find it hard to explain to some who say that if I behave like an errant human being at times, then I am not living up to my spiritual aspirations – or, actually, as they have deemed, being the spiritual being I portray myself as.

When I aspire to be spiritual, I never think of myself as perfect.   Indeed, I don’t think of any part of life as perfect, apart from in the idylls of my mind, because for me we were never made to be perfect.

We were made as artworks in the mind of the divine, and most artworks are flawed and even assymetrical.  Artworks have personality, and are not taken piecemeal, but as the whole.  In that whole, they are beautiful, attractive, and inspiring – but if you were to pick them apart, you’d find enough flaws, if you wanted to look for them.

To me, life is Art, and I am part of an artwork.  Maybe I am flawed and not as beautiful as I aspire to be all the time, but in general I think I hold up pretty well.  As do most of us.

That day held some lessons for me, taken from insights and thoughtful dwelling.

Every time anyone slips up, that sort of opportunity is there to help us grow, to expand in awareness, and to at least have some compassion for ourselves as we try to cope with the less salubrious elements of life, at the minimum.

From another point of view, as an astrologer, it was ultimately interesting to realize that transiting Mars is conjunct transiting Pluto in my Third House in Capricorn right now, bringing about possible aggression in my local environment, communications, and commercial interactions, and triggering my birth chart Pluto opposite the Moon position that has always caused me some trouble with women whose nature is a tad dominating and overpersonal.

On the positive side, that same air of aggravation is blowing sparks in an extremely wonderful way in the romance department with my hubby of late… (Both he and I are highly ruled by Pluto, since he has a Scorpio Midheaven and I have Scorpio Rising).

There are always two sides to everything. 🙂

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Reality

metaphor for allowing yourself to be imperfect
metaphor for allowing yourself to be imperfect

I’ve written before about my take on ‘reality‘.  In my belief system, ‘reality‘ is illusory – a dream or thought process from the mind of god, where we are the players that bring the story to life.

This belief ilk is called being ‘aware‘, and the ‘aware‘ are classed as being ‘spiritual‘ – and being ‘spiritual‘ comes with a whole set of expectations, not from god but from the other players in ‘reality‘ and even from ourselves, when we believe we are processing life in a ‘spiritual‘ way.

In christian spirituality, especially, there is an extreme condemnation of those who do not live what is considered to be a ‘pure‘ life if one has chosen a ‘spiritual‘ path.  That ‘pure‘ life comes with a whole set of rules of behavior which are supposed to be disciplines to the spirit, to keep one true to that ‘spiritual‘ path – and if the aspirant strays from their ‘spiritual‘ path, according to those rules they must be punished, either by themselves or by others.

Martyrs of all types abound in the history of christianity and, in the past, monks wore hair shirts (to create a constant itch to test their temper) and whipped themselves till their backs bled, while living in tiny and grim cells for bedrooms, in order to persistently remind themselves to behave ‘better‘ and to be humble.

I think it is such modes of condemnation that almost immediately set others against you, today, if you appear to be a ‘spiritual‘ person and stray in even the slightest from what they consider ‘spirituality‘ to be.  Thousands of years of such expectations have become embedded in the mind of the populace to such an extent that even those who do not class themselves as ‘spiritual‘ in any way will attack someone who follows a ‘spiritual‘ path but then appears to be straying from it.

This happened to myself, (again), not long ago, when  I made a fair and objective comment on a Facebook site about a prize home that was being offered in a charity raffle.

I’d visited the home with my family as we like to support such causes, since my son became disabled in a traffic accident many years ago and this charity was one which gave him some help in recovery.   The home was lovely, but the traffic noise from a nearby busy road was so awful I couldn’t imagine living there without being driven batty by it, so I made a comment about that in the guest book.

That is the sort of thing human beings do.  We live life, we make comments, we interact with each other, we pour out ideas and opinions…  But there were those who sought to take me to task publicly, on the charity’s Facebook page, for writing my comment in that guest book, and I was irked enough by the attack to reply.

My reply was objective and to the point.  Where the attacker claimed that the road was not well used, I pointed out (as a local) that it was a very well used and main road.  In fact, it was an arterial road between many seaside towns.

I thought that was the end of it, but later on another took up the thread and claimed how silly I was and that I should just ‘shut up and put up‘.

Now, that also irked me, because I believe in the right to have an opinion, and my opinion harmed no one – but these people seemed to think that because this was a charity event, it should brook no criticism.  So I replied to that comment, too, pointing out that these events are sold as dreams, where people are expected to imagine a new lifestyle for themselves living in such places, so my opinion was simply a reflection on that.

For that reply, I was immediately called a ‘wanker‘, which is a derogatory epithet in our Australian slang language that basically called me ‘crazy‘, and that was followed by a long tirade claiming that I was over-intellectual and egotistical, and basically liked the ‘sound of my own voice‘.

I apologized for stepping on toes and upsetting anyone who thought the charity was sacrosanct, but upheld my right to my opinion.

As far as I could tell, the main reason why this second person felt so pissed off at me was because I wrote more words than you get in a ‘tweet‘ and in today’s society that seems to often be taken for being arrogant.

I thought that was the end of it, but that person then checked out my Facebook profile and saw my spiritual modes on display.  They then attacked my spirituality, claiming that I was anything but ‘spiritual‘ if I could speak the way I did.  (It was then that I realized this person was not of the ilk of the youth of today, who often seem to lack verbal eloquence, as this last tirade was full of great vocabulary and strafed me with a full paragraph of it).

My reply was a thank you for being thought of as ‘spiritual‘ and I pointed out that ‘spirituality‘ is a worthy aim and aspiration but I am also a human being who has a right to express valid opinions.

I also pointed out that even the Dalai Lama tells us to stick up for ourselves against bullies.

Which brings me to a historical event where the Dalai Lama got severe condemnation and was considered to have strayed from his ‘spiritual‘ path many years ago when there was a Tibetan uprising that ended up killing several Chinese shopkeepers based in Tibet.  Because his response to that event was not quick, and he took time as a human being to consider the facts of what had happened, and only eventually gave advice to his fellow Tibetans to remember their ‘spiritual‘ path, many Western ‘followers‘ (not necessarily buddhists) became disillusioned at his ‘spiritual‘ leadership.

Even someone as ‘enlightened‘ as the Dalai Lama is a human being, encased in human form, and prone to the same laws that shape the rest of us at times – meaning that difficult decisions are not an instant process, and care had to be taken to assess all aspects of the situation so that he did not upset things further by interference in what was essentially an uprising against local politics and oppression by pissed off human beings.

My belief about spirituality revolves around this idea that when we incarnate as spirit into a solid form, (whether that be a human one, animal, vegetable, or mineral), in this world, we become prone to the laws of ‘reality‘ that form us.

So dogs, even though they are basically the same ‘spirit‘ as we humans are, will still sniff each others bums, lick their balls, and bark at cats, no matter how advanced their personalities appear to be.

Humans, too, are prone to the same laws that hold the roleplays of their destinies together – so even though they may be ‘spiritual,’ they can still get pissed off at impositions caused by other human beings.

I have lost count of the times when others have decided I am being quite ‘unspiritual‘ because I got angry and upset at a situation that had gone on long after every avenue toward peace and resolution had been tried.  People tend to point that out in a very smug way, as if to prove that because you have temporarily and apparently ‘lost the plot‘, you were never really ‘spiritual‘ in the first place.

That is so wrong an assumption, it’s not funny.  Was Christ considered to be ‘unspiritual‘ because he got so angry at the peddlars selling religious wares on the steps of his local temple that he upturned their stalls?  Was he considered to be ‘unspiritual‘ when he cried out on the cross, wondering if God had deserted him in his last hours?  No, because ‘spirituality‘ is more than temporary human passions and aberrations.  Spirituality is a life long mode that is so persistent that it crosses all the apparent ‘strays‘ of feeling and action.

I know that there are those who say that you should always ‘turn the other cheek‘ when someone slaps you, always ‘love your enemy’, or ‘walk away or say no‘ when faced with confrontations or altercations, but life is not so black and white.  There are many shades of grey…  And running away or shutting off is not always a solution, especially when you are dealing with people you want to stay in your life.

Sometimes, you really do have to do battle to bring about resolution – even if that is just holding fast to a valid opinion against condemnatory opposition.

When we try to be ‘perfect‘ in order to be ‘spiritual‘ we set ourselves up for a fall, because we are also human.  As human beings, we live a dichotomous life, a schism, or a pairing.

We are both a spiritual being and a human being, and the two don’t always gel if we go about setting rules for how ‘spirituality‘ should be expressed in order to be valid.

I was watching a television show with my husband, recently, which is about a competition between renovators of apartments.  Like many ‘reality‘ shows these days, it is full of product placements, and the scripting is quite obvious at times to me, because I worked in the film and television industry for over ten years in my youth.

Most people may not be so aware that seeing the participants talking about themselves going through their processes and tribulations as they are apparently still going through them on screen means that they have been pulled aside (during what is apparently a crisis) to give comment – and that to do that a whole new camera set up has to be put in place to record those comments, and any such withdrawal would certainly take the edge off any crisis.

In fact, every time you get a new camera point of view means that whatever these players are doing has to be interrupted so that a new camera setup can be put in place, necessitating a lot of waiting around by the participants while that setup is erected.  (During that break in proceedings is when the participants are most likely taken aside to another area to give their comments to another camera.  It certainly does not actually happen while the crises events are going on).

What you see on the screen at the end is the result of a lot of editing and splicing of these separate films taken from so many different views, each clip repeating the same words.   Reality television is therefore rarely ‘reality‘.  At best it is a rendition of ‘reality‘.

Even if the players are ‘ordinary‘ people roped in for the competition, and not actually actors or ‘improvisational‘ extras, they are still being highly directed and are following scripted guidelines (including asides for product placements, which are advertisements for goods shown in a ‘normal’ usage setting).

I mean, what ‘ordinary‘ person is so garrulous about how to do the things these people do in their renovations, going through each step as if they are teaching us all how to do it, and speaking out loud the whole time about their processes?  If most of us kept talking all the time about what we were doing, in such detail, we’d be considered crazy.

An overwhelm of words tends to overwhelm people (which is apparently what set my critics off when I made my comment on the charity prize house) – unless, of course, it is during a ‘reality‘ television show…

Now, even knowing all this, and having a good ‘heads up‘ on the above because of my experience with the industry, and even after discussing these points in detail with my husband, we still find ourselves watching the show at times and assessing the competitors and their shenanigans, and even find ourselves getting pissed off at the rudeness or coldness of some, or feel pity for the way others have been apparently abused or treated unfairly.

We get caught up in the story of the show, and we end up reacting like any other ‘ordinary‘ human being watching it.

Which makes us laugh at ourselves, in the end – and we do have to keep reminding ourselves that it is a show, and these are players, and most likely the whole thing is very much scripted, and even the crises are simply set up to make what would have been a bland show about renovating into something more interesting…

And that’s where ‘reality‘ kicks us all in the guts at times – because it doesn’t matter how ‘enlightened‘ or ‘spiritual‘ you are, you are also a human being, and you have birthed into a ‘reality‘ that is full of plots and storylines that suck you in, no matter how much you know it is basically an ‘illusion‘ or a ‘gameplay‘.

We all get sucked in by life at times, and that is what is supposed to happen.

Even the most ‘spiritual‘ among us are supposed to be human beings, too.  If they aren’t, they are quickly condemned as being cold, aloof, and ‘out of touch‘ with ‘reality‘.

Life is an adventure and an experience of investment.

It doesn’t matter how much knowledge or skill you have about the ‘bones behind reality‘ or the ‘modes of spiritual evolution‘ or what aspirations you have toward being the ‘best type of human being‘ you can be, you are human at the bottom line, and until the day you shed your body and return fully to spirit, life will always catch up with you.

Even the Pope has to go to the toilet.  Even the Dalai Lama has admitted to getting annoyed when someone changed the radio station he was listening to, or to jealousy of his brother riding a bicycle when he was a child while he had to stay inside and read scriptures.

Life itself is a ‘reality‘ show and we are all the players.  Destiny is the script.

You can play a board game or card game over and over, always knowing the rules and how things work, but still get invested in the competition, or pissed off at the other players, and even let out a resounding whoop when you win.

That’s life.  That’s living…  And that is ‘spirituality‘, which in truth means ‘living life with the fullness of spirit‘…

So what is this ‘spirit‘ we should live in fullness with?

It is investment.  It is passion.  It is heart and care.  It is life force energy that urges us toward creation.  It is our emotions, our worries, our cares, and every state of connection that manifests the divine force in ‘reality‘.

God dreams us into Being, and ‘spirituality‘ exists wherever we are aware of this.

It is not reliant on rules or expectations.  It is present in any appreciation of the magnificence of existence, even in the smallest of moments.

It is present in even our darkest moments, when we call on our energetic life source… and it exists even when others call us to task for apparently not really having it, because God is the dreamer and all that exists is God – even the aberrations.

Heck, even those who have no religion or ‘spirituality‘ can be called ‘spirited’, because ‘spirit‘ is a pure expression of itself.  It is the ‘life force‘ at work (and play)… And ‘spirit‘ is what makes ‘reality‘.

Spirit reality = spirituality.

The Power of Prayer

Praying Hands by Albrecht Durer - altered by Lilipily Spirit
Praying Hands by Albrecht Durer – altered by Lilipily Spirit

I have an eclectic spirituality.  My modes of connecting with the divine are mainly pagan and include self-styled forms of neo-druidism, buddhism, yogic tantrism, and new age philosophies that I have followed for nigh on forty years, though I was brought up as a non-practicing christian.

Each of these paths has elements that align to what I believe about the divine cosmos, deep inside myself.

Mostly, though, of late, I have been pragmatically accepting that life can be an extremely challenging event, with so much that is outside my control going on.

So, I’ve been pondering the actual effect of prayer and it’s validity.  Which is a bit of a crossroads situation, given that I am a fervent believer in the power of prayer and divine assistance.

This points to my eclectic spirituality.  There are always cross checks and balances to be accommodated, that ensure that what I believe in really fits with me and how I want to operate.  That way, I keep my spiritual integrity.

With my belief that all that exists comes from ‘God’s mind’ – manifesting from ‘God’s thoughts and dreams’ – and is what it is only because these are the ‘threads of exploration’  God is focusing on – it sometimes seems that I have no real power over what happens to me.

For me, in those instances, fate or destiny (which is the thread from God’s mind)  is at work.

This idea can be very confronting.

In  that idea, I have no value beyond what God deems is necessary in its explorations.

The buddhists call this the ‘nothing.’

It is the acceptance that, in truth, nothing exists because we are all just ‘figments of God’s imagination’.

That concept can be helpful to pragmatically align your place in the universe, to understand that there’s no point getting too upset about what happens to you or others because you are not actually ‘real‘ but just think you are ‘real.’

Vedists call this the ‘maya‘ – the ‘illusion of reality’.

In both buddhist and vedic modes, this concept sets up the scenario of compassion  for their fellow beings – for those who are caught up in the woes of their lives or the tragedies inflicted by the natural world because they do not have the enlightened awareness  of the ‘nothing‘, and can therefore suffer unnecessary pain and emotional conflict.

Such compassion comes from different roots for buddhists than for vedists (e.g, hinduism).

Vedic compassion is about fostering a better understanding of the state of life so that spiritual evolution can occur.  For them, spiritual evolution is about attaining eventual cosmic ‘Nirvana‘ or ‘heaven’.

For buddhists, having compassion is more about feeling sorry that those who are suffering don’t realize they are Gods who can inherently control how much they suffer, and giving them practical sympathy.

(When buddhists say that they are Gods, they are simply stating the cosmic facts as they know them – that, as ‘figments of God’s imagination’, they are ‘elements of God’ and are therefore ‘aspects of God’).

By aligning themselves to the concept that they are God (in its aspects), they give value to their existence and find a reason for being.

(In buddhism, everyone has an inherent ability to become a ‘buddha’ – by remembering the ‘divine truth’ of life).

For other spiritual modes, such as tantra and vedism, the challenges of life present an evolutionary classroom  that enables them to graduate to become a God, or at least attain the right to live with the Gods (in Nirvana).

Again, this gives ‘mere human beings’ something to hold on to as they face the challenges of life – that if they do the ‘right things‘ and act the ‘right way‘, they may earn their place in ‘higher levels of the cosmos‘.

It is a way of making spiritual sense of existence, too.

My own spiritual modes, being so eclectic, took some time to settle into what I believe, today.

I actually don’t believe so much in spiritual evolution as in an ‘unfolding of awareness.

Because I do believe that we are ‘figments of God’s imagination’ and only exist so long as God thinks of us, then I believe that being ‘part of God’s mind’ means we already know all there is to know.

If I am God  and God  is me, then I also have God’s inherent knowledge – (at least, when I merge into the ‘divine pool of God’s mind’, and stop consciously separating my ‘figment’ by applying it only to the tasks of my ‘reality’).

That belief is inherent with the idea that we are born into the world with challenges that must be met in order to peel away the layers of ‘forgetting’ to slowly reveal our ‘true cosmic knowledge’.

For me, God  enters into roleplays through manifesting our lives in its thoughts and dreams, and deliberately puts aside who and what it is so it can manifest those roleplays.

I believe this is how God  experiences itself, and how it explores the relationships and ramifications of its thought processes.

As it explores the ramifications, it attains new insights, and with each insight it realigns itself.  Which is when we become more connected and aware.

So, for me, I don’t believe it is necessary to spiritually evolve, because God is, was, and will be all it needs to be, and already has all the knowledge to do that.

(I mean this on philosophical levels, not physical or mental ones.  Spiritual evolvement in the world, that enables us to be better people during life, is different to the ‘cosmic levels’ of spiritual evolution known in buddhist, vedic or even christian lore, for instance.  It is more about working better on the ‘path of life’ than about advancing to higher stages of ‘cosmic existence’ once our bodies are no longer ‘vehicles for our spirit’.  I certainly believe in learning to be nicer people.  It makes the world a better place to live in).

On the other hand, it can be hard to be as pragmatic as buddhism  declares correct when so many challenging aspects keep arising in life that do upset and disturb the human psyche (and the very ‘real’ sensation of being solid and alive).

It’s not so easy, then, to align the knowledge of the ‘wider cosmos’ emanating from ‘God’s mind’ and it’s ‘threads of thought’, to the existence we know, living as ‘mere human beings‘ on a volatile planet.

Until those layers of ignorance peel away, we can do fierce battle with ‘reality.

That’s why christianity, islam, and more western types of spirituality made such headway into the human psyche, because they offered a different option – that we are not God, though we are physical creations of God – that as physical creations of God, we are like God’s children – and that, as God’s children, we can pray or ask for some better consideration than just having to ‘put up with our lot’.

That takes responsibility for our own lives and evolution out of our hands, and gives it over to a higher supervising force.

Western paganism, such as druidism and wicca, or even magick, also offer different options – such as that we are not Gods, but we can apply to the Gods for assistance because we are servants of the Gods and therefore accrue some rights for good service.

I’m not on par in my personal belief system with those options – but nor do I believe we are completely helpless against the vicissitudes of life, even if we are mere ‘figments of God’s imagination’.

The conclusion I reached was that, if all that exists is God, and we are ‘elements manifested by God’s thoughts and dreams’, then whatever we are, do, or say actually stems from God – good or bad.

(Yes, I did write ‘or bad’ but do remember I believe that for God we are just ‘figments of its imagination’, so you need to put that on the same level as you put errant ‘bad thoughts’.  In my mind, they are simply ‘explorations’ to God).

On the positive side, this means for me that, if we can pray and believe in prayer – if we can beseech and believe we have a right to beseech – and if we can ask for and occasionally receive miracles – then these modes are accepted elements in the ‘mind of the Divine’.

The fact that we can believe in and do the above – and that these things can happen in our ‘worldly reality‘ – means that they are ‘within the realm of possibility.’

That also means that there is a precedent for interaction with ‘God’s mind’  in such modes.

It means that prayer and magic and positive thinking, amulets and talismans and all such metaphysical things, may actually have some grounding as avenues for good results, so long as we really do believe in them or what we are doing with them.

For me, it means that, even though I am a ‘figment of God’s imagination’, if I can focus on my plights and ask for divine help to assuage them, then these are within my realm of possibility – just because I can do them, because I can pray and ask, and hopefully expect a response…

The fact that I can do these things means that some part of ‘God’s mind’ is focusing on them and manifesting their ability in my life.

Thus, results from the asking are also inherently within my ‘realm of possibility’.

While I may be part of the ‘nothing‘, as an ‘aspect of God’  I am ‘something‘ and do have import and energy that can create a better future for myself,  those I care for,  or things I care about.

This is also the measure whereby meditation has true effect.

By connecting with the ‘Divine source’ inside each of us, we can remove the focus on the ‘individual fragment of the Divine’ that we and our lives represent, and can refresh and renew our life paths by simply remembering that every cell of the ‘Pool of God’s mind’ is God – and God can do or be anything.

The key is in the ‘power of belief’ – and its persistent assertion.

That does, however, take effort.

Blessings!
Lianne

Lilipily Spirit – Empower Your Life, Connect with the Divine

Law of Attraction

LS-law-of-attractionz
Digital Art by Lianne, of Lilipily Spirit

There are a lot of people who ply the concept of the ‘Law of Attraction‘ today. For many, this law includes the ‘Power of Positive Thinking‘ and the ‘Threefold Law(e.g., the energy you send out comes back to you threefold).

I’m all for empowerment and self-empowerment. These are the modes I helped found our business with and which underlie much of what I do, today. However, I often find myself shaking my head about the way some people enact this empowerment, and how little it really empowers them because of a lack of understanding of the metaphysics behind the concept.

While many of my own concepts may seem to belong to ‘New Age‘ modes, I was educated via many different streams of metaphysical lore. Among those streams were ‘Tantra‘ and ‘Vedism‘, and other spiritual modes that not only include the ‘Law of Attraction‘ but also an awareness of the harsher facts of life in our cosmos.

I am therefore often blunt and forthright in the way I speak or write about these things, and don’t always use the ‘flowery sweet‘ words that others seem to want today when being addressed about such matters. I’m not very good at such social niceties because my interest lies in the ‘nitty gritty‘ and that sometimes means not sweetening how people take their dose of it.

That said, I’ve processed a lot of problems and difficulties on many different levels throughout my own life, and I am not just a spiritual being but inhabit a human body that is conformed by the laws that shape the world I live in.

Ergo, like any other human being I sometimes overreact to the judgement calls of others, and only later spring back into spiritual shape. On the other hand, I do have a great compassion and empathy for those who are also prone to the human condition.

I was recently contacted by someone who saw fit to accuse me of behaving badly because I responded vehemently to their uninvited and unfounded attacks upon me. I was told to beware of what would come my way because of my emotional responses, and this person then preached to me that they had good grounding to vindicate their attacks because they followed the ‘Law of Attraction‘.

It never once occurred to this person that my responses to their errant assaults might also be due to the ‘Law of Attraction‘.  It never occurred to them that their responses to my responses were not in order, either.

In the course of my correspondence with them, I was suddenly complained to, and told that I did not care about them or their life, and was only concerned with my own. (Remember, this was a stranger to me).  I was then given details of the problems besetting them, (in a way that said I should have already known them because I claim to have some psychic ability).

I found that astonishing because being psychic doesn’t work that way. I don’t go around with my ‘radar‘ on all the time, ‘sussing out‘ people and their problems, because I live in a human body that is naturally prone to emotions and the ideas that sometimes come from emotional reactions. If I kept myself fully open all the time, I’d just be making myself vulnerable to overload and break down.

So unless something important ‘rings a warning bell‘ inside me, or a message arrives via dream or meditation, or I am asked to focus on something in particular to examine, I act as any other human being does.  I live a fairly ordinary life, like most people, most of the time.

As soon as this person revealed the problems underlying their attack upon me, I did focus on those problems and gave them an answer which, hopefully, will soothe them in time. The assault did, however, make me consider the ‘Law of Attraction‘ and how people process that law.

Let me say this. The ‘Law of Attraction‘ and the ‘Law of Karma‘ are exactly the same thing. However, I process those laws differently to what some others, (and even some of the spiritual streams I was educated in), do.

I do not believe in such laws existing simply to punish us when we ‘are wrong.’ I do not believe that such laws follow us from lifetime to lifetime, throughout reincarnational cycles, to punish us because we ‘were wrong.’

For me, such laws are simply guidance measures.  As I understand it, both of these laws are simply the ‘Law of Consequences.’ This law has no agenda. It is simply an in-built mechanism programmed by the universe, (or the cosmos, or divinity), to enable us to learn and to stay on path to follow the destinies we set ourselves (or the cosmos set for us) prior to birth.

The ‘Law of Consequences‘ is put more simply in psychological terms as being the cumulative responses and returns from what we do, think, say, or act.  In other words, we ‘reap what we sow.’

Just thinking positively, smiling a lot, trying to be serene, or enacting rituals or prayers to encourage divine attention to bless us, in my belief does not automatically give us the high ground of any ‘Law of Attraction.’

If you put your hand onto a hot stove, it may be burnt. If you try to swim without learning how to swim, you may drown. If you go out in the rain without an umbrella, you are likely to get wet.  If you build your home at the base of a volcano, (which never really die), there is always a risk of being around when it erupts. I do not believe that any amount of smiling or trying to be serene in such circumstances is going to prevent or stop these facts from manifesting (though such modes can help you manage the results). These are simply the physical laws embedded in the cosmos you live in.

(It doesn’t mean bad things are always bound to happen, but it does mean there is a great likelihood of them happening because these are features of life in our cosmos).

Our business is based on empowerment. We do believe in activating similar modes of serenity, peace, and adaptable attitudes toward the extreme vicissitudes of life. However, we are also honest in facing the facts that often the best that can be done is to be adaptable in attitude when it becomes apparent that some events are not able to be changed.

That is not being negative.  It is not bad to think that way.  It is just facing up to the facts inherent in all life.

I can think in such ways and still be the spiritually oriented person I am.  I can think in such ways and still enact my own prayers, rituals, and healing modes. Thinking in such ways does not make me in error.  I am simply trying to be in tune with the truth of the universe, where both good and bad can happen.

To accommodate this, think of the physical universe we live in.  Beautiful and fascinating though it is, marvelously creating life and nurturing it, this universe is also an extremely volatile and destructive place.  Planets collide.  Galaxies get swallowed in black holes.  Meteors apparently caused the dinosaurs to become extinct.

None of this makes our cosmos any less wonderful.  None of it needs to shatter our faith in it or belief in divinity (unless we let it).  We can face the facts about the harsh reality of being alive in our universe and still be in loving awe of it.

In our own world, all life is beset by difficulties at some time. No life gets by totally unscathed. Natural disasters and predators are ‘par for the course‘ for life on Earth.  Even if we do nothing wrong to others or to the world for the whole time we are alive, bad things can happen to us, simply because we exist in vulnerable human bodies. I do not believe that this is a devil attacking us. I do not believe that this is evidence of evil in the world.  For me, it is simply the ‘Law of Balance‘ being enacted.

In my view, just as (in Vedic and Buddhist faiths) every god has his goddess, every light has its shadow, and every male/active force has a female/passive balance, so does it mean that even the best human lives are beset with problems and challenges to deal with.

In my estimation, this does not mean that the humans thus beset are ‘bad people‘ or have been ‘behaving badly‘ and are therefore being punished. I believe it is just part of what happens when we incarnate into the ‘Game of Life.’

The bottom line for me in all existence is that we are not just human beings, not just animals, not just plants, trees or mountains, and not just water or sky.  I believe that we are all spirit, and the manifesting elements of the divine… and that we are all immortal, so that when our bodies die we return to the ‘truth of spirit’ and merge with the ‘pool of creation(or god’s mind) again.

For me, this means that it honestly does not matter what happens to our bodies or how we feel affected during our physical life, even if it does seem to hurt or damage us, or creates changes in our behavior from traumatic assaults, because we are not who we think we are.

(This does not mean I don’t care about people or don’t care what happens to me as a human being, or to those I love. I can be caught up in the pain and damage that comes from such events as much as any other person can be – but my perspective at a wholistic point of view is more detached).

What it means, in my view, is that our human lives are a ‘cosmic roleplay‘, that we are characters on the ‘stage of life,‘ and figments of ‘god’s dream,’ which all comes to an end when our bodies die – when we return to who and what we really are, and go on living our lives as spirit.

(I was once an actor and know well how you can bring to life a character in a play, who is affected by terrible things during the course of the play, yet at the end of the play my real self always walked away and I kept on living my own life after the play was over. That is how I view life in the human body. Spirit is to me our ‘real self’, and when the body dies, it goes on living its ‘true life’).

I believe that we are made to think and believe that our human selves are ‘real’ and that all we see and feel around us is ‘real‘. For me, the truth is that the cosmos has embedded some very powerful codes to ensure that our every sensory perception and thought acknowledges that ‘reality‘. (This type of coding is well known to astrologers).

I think that this is so embedded that even spiritually oriented people like myself get involved in that ‘reality’ when we behave like many other human beings and react to assaults upon us (like I did to my recent correspondent).

I’m not saying detach yourself from life and stop being a human being so you can avoid such pain and difficulty.  (I do not believe in avoiding the difficulties of life, because I think we incarnated to experience certain things, and those things may come from processing such difficulties).  Nor am I saying ‘reach for nirvana or heaven’ and try to transcend these worldly difficulties.

I know there are plenty of people who try to do that, today, and others who have done that in one form or another for the whole time humanity has been on Earth.  (It’s what often happens in the spiritual streams I was educated in). Ascetics are taught to detach themselves from the world, to make themselves ‘pure,‘  and to ensure that they are ‘good enough‘ to be accepted by divinity and thereby earn their place in ‘heaven‘ or ‘nirvana(or wherever else they believe their spirit goes when their body dies).

I don’t believe in such things. I don’t believe that we have to ‘make ourselves pure‘ or ‘earn our place‘ in divinity, though I do believe in a sort of ‘heaven‘ or ‘nirvana.’ (Which for me is just a dimensional shift, not really a place – but that’s another story).

For me, we are always ‘pure and innocent‘ as spirit, just as the universe is ‘pure and innocent‘ despite the volatility and violence that is sometimes enacted in it.

For me, we never have to earn our place in divinity because I believe we never stopped being divine. I believe we never left god and god never left us.

I also believe that we simply have been programmed to believe we are separate and experiencing things as a single human being in a world inherent with similar separations.

I think of these separations as only illusions that divinity has created in order to experience relationships. Without relationships, I believe that divinity could not examine itself or its theories effectively. Just as our dreams separate elements into characters, I believe so does the mind of the divine separate the elements of its dreams into us.

In my belief system, the way to transcend the pain and difficulties of life is not to leave it or aspire to leave it. Nor is it to pretend that everything will be okay if we just ask the cosmos to ‘make it all right‘, or to put our ‘heads in the sand‘ and try to ignore the ‘bad stuff’.

Sometimes, asking the cosmos for help does work, which is why metaphysical or spiritual healing can work, and why prayers can manifest results, but I don’t believe it is because we have asked something outside of ourselves to manifest ‘rightness‘. I believe it is because something inside ourselves (our own element of divinity, or higher self) recognizes that we have been holding ourselves back and that it is time to move into better manifestations, or because our connection with someone else stimulates the same in them.

(This does not mean that I do not believe in cosmic helpers of any kind, or that I do not believe in angels and guides and supernatural entities. I do, but in my experience each of these are limited in their ability to help us until we open ourselves to receiving. It is our selves that hold us back, and until we can move past those inner blocks, the supernatural entities outside us can do little but give support and comfort),

I believe we are divine. As elements of the divine, I believe we are always able to ‘spark a new thread in god’s mind’, to focus in a new way and manifest a new beginning –  but first we have to overcome our own embedded programs that have set us on certain paths of manifestation, including what we believe are necessary challenges and obstacles.

If those challenges and obstacles are deemed by us as necessary to complete what we incarnated as human beings to examine, then I do not believe that any amount of praying will change them.  That is no different to the metaphor of someone who is set on climbing a dangerous mountain, despite knowing that many others have died trying, or despite their friends and relatives speaking sensibly about the risks, because they really want to meet that challenge.

In such instances, when things are so well embedded, all we can do is adjust our attitudes, and to be flexible and accommodating toward the modes of existence, despite its challenges, obstacles, pain and tragedies.

That said, thinking positively can be a wonderful thing. Thinking about attracting good and positivity is also a superb action, in the main. These modes are not wrong, but they can be in error when those who use them believe that by thinking that way they will avoid all bad things in life.

I know that it really is possible to bluntly face the facts and darker aspects of existence, and accept them as ‘par for the course‘, and yet live a good life and be spiritual. These modes are the basis of Tantrism.

That brings me to those who consider themselves to be ‘lightworkers‘, ‘healers‘, etc.

I have often seen people who are spiritually advanced in every other way fall into a mess because they are being assailed by problems (as I did when my correspondent attacked me). I have heard them flail and question why such things were happening to them. (I’ve done it myself, for a brief time, on occasion).

Well, in my summation, (apart from acknowledging that they are incarnate in a human body, undergoing the human condition in a pre-programmed world of sensation), I believe that the reason why they are assailed is because they are healers. (That is the revelation that came to me from my recent correspondence).

Just as a doctor is sought out in a hospital by those who are sick, when someone follows the path of ‘light work‘ or ‘metaphysical or spiritual healing’, or even of ‘psychic counseling‘, they are opening up the ‘Law of Attraction‘,  and those who need their help will come to meet them, even if their needs are not immediately obvious.

If you are on a ‘path of higher aspiration‘, you will be challenged along the way, to ensure that it remains the ‘right path‘ for you. This is no different to sitting examinations in school, the results of which determine what career you may actually be suitable for.

If you are on a path of manifesting a ‘call to healing‘ or a ‘call to counseling‘, those who need healing or counseling will be in contact, one way or another.

It happens that when such people come into our lives, they are not always obvious. When such conditions challenge us, we don’t always recognize them for what they are straight away – but they have arrived in answer to the ‘call’ we put out. They arrive in answer to the ‘energy we emit‘.

Those who live spiritual lives are not excused from the laws manifesting in the world. Great spiritual leaders have often made mistakes, (albeit temporary ones), on their path to progress.  They also got sick, sometimes, and eventually died. They were not exempt from the conditions of life.

Those who follow ‘paths of light‘ today are also going to be challenged by the physical world, and its by-products of emotion and thoughts. That’s just what happens to anyone manifesting in a human body. Hey, it is said that even Jesus cried out on the cross in an anguished moment, believing that god had abandoned him.

I do not believe that, just by declaring you are ‘following the Law of Attraction‘, manifesting ‘positive thoughts’, doing all the ‘right things‘, or enacting all the ‘right prayers or rituals‘, it will make one iota of difference if any part of what you expect to ensue from these are ‘just not meant to be‘ for you, right now.

What makes sense for me through all of these conditions is not an attitude of ‘ignorance is bliss‘ or of ‘empowering yourself by magic or prayer or positivity‘, alone  Those who have ever used those modes will know they don’t always work (although it doesn’t hurt to try, because it is difficult sometimes to tell if it’s the right time or not).

Nor do I think that the reason such forms of empowerment don’t work sometimes is because some ‘malign entity is doing dirty work’ against the people trying to use them, or because those people are ‘in error‘ or have ‘behaved badly‘. What I believe is that those people need to find the correct way through the problems besetting them, and that this is usually by learning or finding the skills inherent in themselves to deal with them.

If you think of life as an extremely elaborate computer game and yourself as the hero within it, you may understand that every hero is either born with innate skills or finds treasure and knowledge along the way, to meet whatever comes.

(That’s the nature of magic – the mage gains knowledge and acquires skills to achieve wisdom and self-mastery).

In my view, the greatest skill each and every human being is born with is an ability to adapt. Even those who are highly disabled and extremely limited in life seem to be born with this inherent ability, which enables them to cope despite what assails them.

Therefore, I don’t see facing and acknowledging the flaws and challenges in life or in the lives of those we interact with as bad.

I believe that every healer needs to know the problems that must be healed. I believe that every healing must come from revealing what needs to be healed. I think that by facing and confronting such conditions, we are not condemning or rejecting them but viewing and admitting their need for healing – and I feel that this is the same truth whether the need for healing and refreshment is physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual.

I feel that, by centering yourself in the idea that you are divine spirit using the avatar of a human body to interact with a pre-programmed world of challenges, you can meet whatever comes until ‘game over‘ is declared.

You can call that the ‘power of positive thinking‘, or ‘engaging the law of attraction‘ to manifest self-empowerment, or whatever you like.  I call it truth.

Blessings!
Lianne

Lilipily Spirit – Empower your Life, Connect with the Divine

Brain

Picture courtesy of AbsurdWordPreferred
Picture courtesy of AbsurdWordPreferred

When I was a teenager, a lot was going on in my home life that left me super tired. I absolutely loved school and would head off each morning but was soon having trouble keeping my eyes open. So I began wagging afternoon classes to go home, where I would hide under my bed with a pillow and go to sleep.

(I hid under the bed so that, if anyone came home, they wouldn’t know I was there).

At the end of the school day, I would come out from under my bed, still in my uniform, and act as if I had just got home from school. This went on for a while, because the nightly events of domestic friction that lost me sleep continued for some time.

I felt guilty about missing so much school, though, so I went to enough classes to get by.  I also attended tests and exams, and was so surprised that I passed with high scores.  It seemed that I had got away with these ‘time out‘ periods until the regular parent/teacher interviews called my parents’ attention.

I felt even more guilty after that, because my teachers expressed disappointment in me.  I had always been a good student and well mannered, but I had been missing so many classes throughout the year…

(I didn’t blame them. No one knew what was going on in my home life. I was too embarrassed to talk to anyone about what happened, there. I felt that people would think I came from a bad family, if they knew. I didn’t think my family was bad, just that it had lots of problems).

It was what my teachers added to their summations that was astonishing. They said that since I had passed all my exams with such high scores and with such little actual class attendance, they believed I was possibly a genius.

(No, I did not cheat on my exams, and my answers were usually very unique, which are hard to duplicate).

That assessment surprised me. My parents got a bit shocked, not only by the news that I had been wagging school but that I might be a genius.  I think they actually felt confronted by that. (Hell, I felt confronted by it!)  At home, when things went wrong, afterwards, more was expected from me because I ‘should have known better‘.

I didn’t really always know better, though. I may have been smart but I was still a kid. I was still learning about how the world worked. I was still processing information, not just about things but about people and life.

Once the word got out at school, I was ostracized and abused by some, or used by others who called me ‘Brain‘.  I realized that (in the outer world, at least) I didn’t like being smart. I didn’t like feeling that I was the odd one out. So I dumbed myself down. I stopped interacting with my teachers so much. I stopped being the one to pipe up in class with answers. I even stopped contributing to the school magazine. I diverted my attention away from schooling.

I met my future husband when I was sixteen and that was the end of my childhood schooling. (I did go back, later, as a mature age student). I ran away and set up a new life with him because he gave me what I was missing, then – affection, love, and acceptance.

People asked me if I would ever go back. They shook their heads that so much potential was lost in me. They couldn’t believe that such a ‘bright spark‘ was now working as a ‘checkout chick‘ and had aligned herself to a mere apprentice television technician. They didn’t believe we would last as a couple. They thought we were a mis-match, and they thought I had wasted my skills and talents.

I was just happy to be living life as me, not as someone’s expectations of me. On a deep inner level, though, the teachers’ words found home. I actually liked being smart. I just didn’t like people picking on me or expecting me to be their ‘walking dictionary or encyclopedia‘ or ‘automatic answer to everything‘ just because they thought I was smarter than they were.

Long ago, I did some Mensa (high IQ) tests to see how smart I really was. While I’ve lost those scores, now, they were in the top IQ range, then – but an interesting thing happened over time and through the long processes of life – I redid a Mensa test in recent years and did not come off so well. Still intelligent, no longer high IQ level…

What happened?  I never stopped using my brain.  I’d always expressed it in one way or another.  I’d been an artist, a writer, a dramatist – was it because my focus drew away from technical issues and became more creative?  Yet I’d also been a business woman by then.  I’d run my own theater group.  I’d gone back to school and sat further exams.  I’d earned myself diplomas.  Surely, dealing with the technicalities of those modes kept using those parts of my brain?

It is said that the brain has an endless capacity to absorb information. On the other hand, most people have a limit to how much can be recalled. There’s not much use having knowledge stored if it isn’t accessible.

Maybe that is a way the brain prioritizes. Just as we archive information on computers, so that what isn’t absolutely necessary is not taking up too much energy, our brains archive old knowledge, which can get harder to find again as we get older or find ourselves under stress.

(When I started to forget things, my grand-daughter told me that I had a leaky brain. She said that my head was so full that there was no room left in it, so things had begun leaking out… ).

I believe that not being able to access the information in your head can also happen when life makes you tired. When you are dealing with mundane problems all the time, and especially draining ones, your brain can begin to shut down because of overload.

I’ve seen movies and read books where the theme of social deterioration was examined, like “Lord of the Flies.” People question how sensitive, kind, intelligent humans can become so bestial, gross, and lacking in forethought or decency.

I think it is because the brain is selective. Just as it does when archiving old knowledge, I believe it prioritizes the necessities. When we are in survival mode, the brain does not think about good manners and decency any more. It thinks about how best to make it through the challenging moments.

That’s why stories about normal, sane, intelligent people being put into highly challenging and dangerous situations, and having to fight for their lives, are so rife today.

In a society where intelligence has become an aspiration, where the ‘used to be nerds‘ are now heroes, and where even pre-school children are expected to develop advanced intelligence, it is confronting to realize that human nature overrides all the concepts that go with intelligence in any situation of survival.  Instinct often seems to overrule intelligence in that state.

I’ve been through a lot of very challenging circumstances during the course of my life. These were emotional, physical, and fiscal, but not often intellectual. (Well, there were intellectual challenges, but I had a knack for dealing with them… It was the other modes that rattled me). They also came at me from many directions and in different ways, so it wasn’t like I could learn a method of coping and then relax.

While I have amassed quite a history of achievements, I am very aware of how much more I could have done if I had not felt so tired or drained by the personal circumstances I was in, sometimes.

It is not surprising to me at all to learn that highly intelligent people can become so depressed that they take their own lives. When emotion and energy gets so low, not even the most acute intelligence can break through to give them a boost.

One of the diplomas I earned was in method acting. Through that, I learned that people are not born to particular roles or modes in life but have many different potentials inside of them.

The premise of method acting is that roles are not different characters but are the same person who is being affected by different circumstances and challenges.

It seems. for instance, that if the same person is born into poverty and hardship in one life stream, and into wealth and ease in another, they will behave according to the circumstances they find themselves in, the environmental conditions surrounding them, and the physical, intellectual, and emotional stimulations upon them.

So, from that premise, there really is a point to make that character is not embedded but lies in how and where you are brought up, and how and where you enact your life thereafter.

Sometimes character, or the way you interact with the world, has nothing to do with any of these, though. In my family tree, there are members who have the brain disease of bipolarism (which used to be called manic depression).

My mother had episodes of bipolarism when I was a girl (it is not always a life long condition) and tried to kill herself a couple of times. (Shock therapy did make life smoother for her but also blanked out large chunks of her memory. I suppose that might help for someone who is troubled by their memories but it also took away good memories. She then became distant from those she had once loved).

I also have an aunt with this condition, who has talked me through the problems that arose from other affected family members.

Her doctor treats it as a life long disease and told her to think of it as though she has diabetes. That helped her to realize that her medication was not something that she could stop taking just because she was feeling better.

When affected by her bipolar disease, she did not behave badly because of behavioral or character traits. It was because there was an inherent physical condition of chemical imbalance in her brain, that triggered errant words and actions.

Therapy does not help people with bipolar disease because the problem is physical not mental.

People with the disease can talk to a therapist and see the truth and validity of every therapeutic suggestion, and may try to enact this advice in their lives, but when the chemical imbalance trips off they can’t stop themselves behaving weirdly because they need medication to remedy that imbalance.

My aunt told me that she can remember every time she thought or said or did weird things quite clearly. During those phases, it was like her body and actions were driven by some outside force that she had no control over. She could see and hear what she was saying and doing. She just couldn’t stop herself.

Apparently, certain life phases trigger bipolarism in susceptible people. Those are usually puberty, or during other highly hormonal stages such as pregnancy and after childbirth, and also during highly stressful life conditions such as unemployment, fiscal destitution, or difficult and ongoing emotional wranglings.

My grandfather (my mother’s father) had his bipolar phases triggered during an era when ‘mad‘ people were sent to institutions, so when he had psychotic phases (which can be part of bipolar disease) and began hurting his wife and children after his long search for employment failed (it was a time when there were no social services or government handouts, and his farm had become non-profitable), he was put into an asylum.

(That’s when my Nanna moved on with her life and became a single mother. People didn’t know that much about ‘madness’ then and many thought it was for life).

I watched a documentary about the human brain and bipolar disease some time ago. There have been many famous people in history who had it, yet they also had highly productive or creative lives. You can live a fairly normal life either side of bipolar episodes, apparently.

What struck me, though, was that scientists believe that people with such conditions of ‘madness‘ also have the ‘genius‘ gene.

Most people with bipolar disease are extremely intelligent but also extremely sensitive in their perceptions, (which is what eventually brings them down).

Apparently, this all stems from a genetic condition, and the people who have it ‘sit on the fence‘ between ‘madness‘ and ‘genius‘ until something comes along to push them to one side or the other.

So I’m no longer investing in the idea of being a genius. With my family history, I’d rather be ordinary.

I also no longer fret so much about taking after my ‘starcrossed‘ relatives, since I realized that with all I have been through in my life, if I had the disease it would well and truly have triggered off by now… (So, those who still call me ‘bonkers’, take note).

My son got ‘acquired brain injury‘ (ABI) after his head bounced on the asphalt a few times after being hit by a van as he ran across a busy road at age 13. That was how I discovered that the human brain is a relatively unknown continent, even today.

They used to say that brain cells never regenerate, that when you lose them they are gone forever. That’s why conditions like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s are so frightening.

At least now science has begun to admit its lack of understanding of how the human brain works. I mean, there is much that is known, but also much, much more that remains unknown. That’s why coma patients who have been asleep for decades can sometimes wake up, long after the doctors gave up on them completely.

It’s just as well that we never gave up on our son, as a major neurologist did at the time. He told me that my son would most likely be a ‘vegetable‘ and remain in a coma for the rest of his life.

Admittedly, I enacted some powerful healing elements of my own, after that, including spiritual and metaphysical modes, and perhaps those actions got my son back on track… but, while the results were nothing short of miraculous, I still wonder why he wasn’t completely healed and hope that, deep inside his brain, slow healing work is still going on.

It’s been over 20 years since his accident and his condition is now stable in disability, so even the smallest change is something to be grateful for.

Today, he lives a fairly normal life and has children of his own, but needs constant supervision.

Having been his carer for so long, I’ve studied as much about the brain as I could to give me insight into what can be done. His brain is affected like that of an Alzheimer’s patient, in that cells have died and pathways have become dead ends. It’s like swiss cheese with holes in it – many thoughts get through perfectly okay, some fall into the holes and get totally lost.

In the end, there’s not much that a lay person like myself can do. I have to wait for scientists and medical researchers to come up with solutions, and time is against anything changing for my son.

I may get hopeful when I read of new results, like how they can now get rats with severed spinal cords to walk again, but these are not humans and they are not to do with brains. My son’s nerve endings work very well. They just lost their connections in the brain, so certain muscle systems no longer work well.

It is frustrating when some people think I don’t care any more because I’ve run out of energy to keep doing high doses of therapy with him every day.

They tell me that there are things that can be done, but they expect me to do them all. They tell me that I need to up the ante, but I am already dealing with a multitude of other tasks and I cannot focus solely on my son any more.

I still give him healing, sometimes, and it improves his moods and clears his thinking but there is little change in his physical paralysis, his inability to speak without blocking, or his short term memory problems.

What has helped him the most in life has been the lesson of spirituality.

When people pick on him or are too impatient to try to understand his condition, he has been able to shrug that off and forgive them.

When his marriage broke up and he no longer saw his daughters every day, he was able to put that into the perspective of his immortal spiritual self, with his physical life being just a phase in it’s eternal one.

When he got depressed about being lonely or missing his daughters, even though other family are still around him, he used the same references to touch his soul and rise up from the mire that would bog him down.

No matter the physical problems that assail him, he manages to smile and engage in life with the fullness of his being.

For me, that is truly living.

Spirit has always been the key for me, too, in overriding the ‘bog down’ elements of life.  This mode is encapsulated in the metaphor of the lotus lily plant (we use a blue lotus lily flower in our business logo).

In vedic spirituality and buddhism, there is a great focus on the lotus as a flower embodying spirit and transcendence.

The lotus plant is embedded in the mud beneath the water, representing how our roots are embedded in physical life with all its problems.  Its leaves float broadly on the surface of the water to soak in the sunlight, representing the energy we can achieve from accepting our emotional state as just being part of the human condition.  Its flower buds rise up on long stalks above the mud, the water, and all else, to open their delicate beauty for divinity to rest upon.

(If you look at statues or pictures of buddhist and vedic gods and goddesses, they often sit on lotus lilies).

For in these spiritual streams, it is believed that by transcending the worldly ‘bogs‘, and our reactions to physical life, we become more than we are as just human beings, and reconnect with the divine.

While my first touch with spirit came through psychic feelings and manifestations as a child, I explored much further by dedicated choice and found many helpful modes to rise above the physical condition.

There are certain modes that can be instilled through spirit that seem to overcome the limitations of the brain. For instance, I can realign myself in spirit when I am tired and clear my thoughts to enable great focus.

This is not a choice or a mental viewpoint, it is a realignment of the spiritual self by realizing that spirit is actually unaffected by the physical condition, that spirit is the rider within the vehicle of my physical form, and that being tired is just a sensory condition affecting my body and its brain, not my true spirit self.

It’s easy to forget these modes in the course of daily human life. Even though I know these modes, I often forget them as I ply my life. That is just the physical realm asserting itself.

The physical world that forms our mortal destiny has many programmed laws that shape every sensation and reaction. So I am often assailed by one ailment or another, and so is my husband, as we grow older.

These are the modes of the physical realm, that has many challenges embedded into it as par for the course. Even buddha got old and ill and died at the end of his incarnation. Being spirit or spiritual does not bring full escape from the laws that come with life, nor should it.

(For me, there is a reason why I chose to incarnate in a physical body, and overcoming all the natural problems that are embedded with life by using such overrides may wreck my original intentions).

Even as I know these modes, though, the laws that shape my thoughts and body caused me to doubt when I was inspired to try something out, recently.

My arthritis was so bad that I was aching and hobbling around, just waiting for the phase to pass, which it wasn’t doing too quickly. My husband was in much the same shape, and his posture looked as if the world was sitting on his shoulders.

Such inspiration comes on me, occasionally, so I just stood in stillness for a moment and realigned my spirit.  (This is something that many people do amid deep meditation but I find that it is possible to connect anywhere, at any time, so long as you know what you are doing).

So I stopped amid my hobbling pace, stood on my aching feet and ‘adjusted‘ myself. I found that quiet center of peace and energy, deep inside, and remembered ‘who I really was‘ and that my body was the vehicle I was driving, not vice versa… Then I stepped forward again.  I felt graceful. I moved gently and without pain. It was as if my body had remembered how to move in a way to avoid pain, (or maybe it was me remembering that I was the driver). The pain was still there but just niggling, not inflamed.

I decided to try it on my husband, (who has carried with me through many years of spiritual education. So it didn’t take much for him to understand what I asked of him). He stood up, looking old and bowed, and as I watched I could see him find his center, remember who he, too, was, and realign. Or so I thought.  It actually took a little longer for him than it did for me. The first time he tried to walk, his shoulders were thrown back and he forced a strut. I said, “No, that’s not it. You haven’t done it yet.”

(When you have it, it’s a visible serenity).

I left him to it, wondering if he was going to be able to do as I had done, but only moments later he entered the room I’d gone to, smoothly striding like a young man with a glow in his eyes.  His ‘chooky‘ neck had disappeared, his stoop had gone and he walked straight and sure, with smooth relaxation. I said, “You did it!”

(He suddenly looked much younger).

Was this our brains, thinking ourselves into a new mode, or was this the spiritual alignment I believed it was? That’s the doubt I had, for a moment.

(Such doubts for me are always passing. I am always a believer).

To be honest, the realignment did not last all night and we had to keep reminding ourselves – (and our son is also still disabled) – but that’s what you get for being incarnate in a physical realm. It will keep reasserting itself!

So if life makes you feel so tired that your brain doesn’t seem to be working, try realigning your spirit.  Even if, (like us), you have to keep making adjustments, it’s better than giving in to the physical world completely.  (I’m not saying don’t be alive in the physical realm.  I’m just saying you don’t have to let it get to you…)

I’ve often noticed something amazing about those who are aligned in spirit. Despite the fact that their physical bodies get old, they do not look so old.  Despite the problems of life that naturally afflict them, too, they do not look afflicted. Instead, what is immediately noticeable is their ‘glow‘ – an emanation of their life force in the fullness of its being, that you cannot miss as being ‘truly alive‘.

When we allow the assaults that come from the high challenges of physical life to affect our spirit, we get lost in the physical condition.  This causes us to look older than we are, to become frailer, and to be more affected by our bodily conditions.  When that happens, our brains go into overload mode and we begin to forget things, too.

Despite the bombardment that may come from the challenges of life, we can choose to align ourselves differently. That is what having a brain does for us.  Even as we can’t change some things that  happen to our physical condition in the world, we can select what attitudes we take toward them.

Blessings!
Lianne

Lilipily Spirit – Empower Your Life, Connect with the Divine