Blogging has been a good thing for me. Social media, although quite controversial in some circles, in general, has also been of great benefit to me these past two years. I've mentioned before, prior to becoming sick, I was probably one of the tallest on the box - the soap box, that is. I believed that time spent socializing on the internet was what people did when they - well, didn't have enough real stuff to do. Beyond email, once I left work, sitting in front of a computer screen was the last thing I wanted to do. I voiced my opinion rather self-righteously, I'm sure. That is another story.
Not only is blogging extremely beneficial from a cognitive exercise point of view, but it has become a place of healing, both for me and for many of those that take a moment in their day to read what I write. Quite often my writing is inspired not only by my experiences, but by the books that I read. I'm sure, if you were to know what book I am reading, you might be able to take a pretty good stab at what's next on the docket for posting. And if you're my family, by the time you read the blog, you've heard the general idea more times than I'm sure you would wish for. That's all fine and dandy if you're my family, or if you are one of those tried and true that follows my every post. But what if you're not?
Because I have made my email public, many of you have chosen to write me directly rather than to post comments at the end of the blog. I do this primarily because quite often the conversations that arise are deeply personal. For me, and for you. And often times, it is during these conversations that I realize that not everyone is my family, not everyone is reading the same book I am reading, not everyone has been following my train of thought since day one - and so, sometimes, not everyone "gets" what I am trying to convey. I'm cool with that. I hope, by this point in the journey, I've learned a few lessons about pleasing everyone. But it does make me stop and think.
I recently had the most AWESOME pleasure of experiencing the movie I AM. I say "experiencing" because this is not a movie you "go and see" - you experience it. It's not actually a movie at all, it's a documentary. And right now, unfortunately, it is showing for limited times in theaters that feature primarily independent films. I saw it at the Uptown in Minneapolis, and not only did I experience the film, I met and spoke to the man that wrote and directed it, Tom Shadyac. I can not say enough good about this film. It's the first thing - actually a movement of sorts - that brings me great hope about the future of our planet. But I'm not going to take up space here trying to convince you of all the reasons you should go see this film - or buy it when it becomes available. What I want to relate, and what seems pertinent to what I am writing to you, is one of the questions that was asked of Mr. Shadyac in the Q&A following the film. The experience of this film leads you on a journey, that in the end, leaves you with an amazing gift. An awakening of sorts, that in it's simplicity, becomes transcendental. And the viewer is left with the ardent desire to share what has been learned. So the question was asked, "How, without experiencing a life changing event like you have experienced, do we pass this message on and help our children to understand it?"
I was very eager to hear Mr. Shadyac's response to this question. For one, we both experienced a life altering event - almost losing our lives. Two, this event has lead us down a very similar path spiritually and philosophically, with much in common in our "end result". And this end result, this gift, is so capacious, so transforming, so inspiring that the desire to give it away - to share it - consumes me with a tenacious persistence that I can not ignore. I have never wanted the people I love to have something so desperately.
But there is a legitimate question here. And this was his answer...
So much of what the world hears, so much of what our children hear, comes from words spoken by a society more concerned with perception than with truth. And believe me, no one knows hypocrisy more than our children do. The disparity between what we say and what we do, even in it's most minute and camouflaged form, glares so brightly in the face of our youth that their only recourse is to turn away. It's a simple answer really. Gandhi knew it when he so eloquently said, "Be the change you want to see in the world." Every day we make choices. Big ones, little ones and millions lie in between. And you vote - do I base this choice on perception or do I make a choice based on the truth that arises from experiencing life conscious and aware - awake to this moment - right here, right now. Hence, Jesus said, "The Kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say,'Lo, here it is!' or 'There! for behold, the Kingdom of God is in the midst of you ." And we can not see that to which we are not awake to or conscious of. So busy, living our lives in the past or in the future. Waiting for life to happen. Live it.
It's funny, when Tom Shadyac set out to create this documentary, he wanted to answer the question, "What's wrong with our world." In the end, he found out everything that was right in this world. What changed? The world sure didn't. When I gave up my soapbox and found healing and comfort in the world wide web, what changed? The world wide web sure didn't.
So I guess it's not so much about the words that I write, the eloquence with which they are written or their grammatical correctness. Or even my ability to cultivate a particular train of thought (which can sometimes be a difficult task for me!). It's about the choices that I make every day. It's about being that change. I know that not everyone is going to "get" what I write. Good grief, sometimes when I go back a week or two and read what I have written I don't get it! But maybe what you do "get" is the new and improved me. Ironic that the better version is the one with Lupus and a multitude of other maladies.
There is a lot GOOD with this earth. If you truly believe that the Kingdom of God is in the midst of you - and I do - then heaven is right here, right now. In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says, "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." In some translations, "meek" is translated as humble. If you are meek and humble, there is no room for perception fed ego. The meek are "egoless". They are the people, that through consciousness, have been awakened to their essential true nature. They live in a surrendered state of Being completely conscious of the interconnectedness of All that makes up this planet. They are free.
This is what I want for you. Not some futuristic idea of things to come. No one becomes "free" in the future. The only place we are free is Now.
“When all your desires are distilled
You will cast just two votes
To love more
And be happy”
“I wish I could show you,
When you are lonely or in darkness,
The Astonishing Light
Of your own Being.”
“Why go to sleep each night,
Exhausted from the folly of ignorance.”
So much from God
That I can no longer
A Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim,
a Buddhist, a Jew.”
great religions are the
poets the Life
Every sane person I know has jumped
“Every child has known God,
Not the God of names,
Not the God of don’ts…
But the God who only knows four words…
“Come dance with me.”"
“Even after all this time
The Sun has never told the Earth
“You owe me,”
look what happens
with a love like that,
it lights the whole sky.”
“Die before you die,
Then do whatever you want.
It’s all good.”