Remember the View

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” ~ Augustine of Hippo

I’m often reminded of the places I’ve lived. I revisit them in my mind, through stories they’ve written and within the experience they’ve imparted. I can’t help but to think how a certain place leaves its mark upon the heart and mind. Subtle beauty, nuance, the smell of the air and the taste of the wind all breathe drops of life into mine. These places are never forgotten, no matter how far we travel from them. Whether they’ve written good stories or bad, we all take them with us in our book of life.

I can vividly recall growing up in the plains of Oklahoma, near the rolling hills of the east. The green lands were all around me and I was the explorer. Numerous streams, ponds and large creeks were always a part of my backyard. They gave me my first glance at the natural world, though most of them have been hidden under concrete now, or overgrown from time. The great Arkansas river we crossed often, high above the current formed sandbars that showed its force. This place was my kingdom for many years.

I then remember as I placed my eyes on the Gulf of Mexico for the first time, the Mississippi sound. I recall easily the smell of salt and brine in the air; the smell of shrimp and spiced crab boil. The live oaks lurched from the beach, and hung their hearty branches low near antebellum homes. The Spanish moss hung from large boughs, drooping to the ground, waving in the wind among the scent of Magnolia blossoms. This land I explored for many years, and though scarred from Katrina, it still waives a friendly hello every time I return.

I recall many places.. The cold waters of the Pacific along the Oregon and California coast; the smell of the Manzanita trees; the crisp morning air of San Diego and the song of its resident parrots. I remember the humid air along the coast of North and South Carolina, it’s southern charm just as welcoming. I still feel the heat of the high desert plateau and my many travels to Arizona and New Mexico; The scent of the juniper wood as it burns under blankets of stars, chilled by the high desert winds. My love for these places never wains, these are my pictures; the decorations of my heart and mind.

I miss places often as well.. The cold nights of Upstate New York, the white blanket of constant snow, and the milky way cloud that I could see from my porch every night. I miss the St. Regis river that flowed behind our home, and the fields of dandelion that sprang forth in the spring. I miss the stench of New Orleans, the French Quarter and the garden district. I miss the bumpy roads, and the street fairing precession of tourists and locals along St. Charles Avenue. I miss the Tickfaw river of Southeastern Louisiana, the brackish bayous and salt laden lakes, the strawberry festival of Ponchatoula and all the unique folk that make the south home.

Today I sit with a new view, near the base of Pike’s Peak. Red Mountain stands proudly outside my window. I dwell among the soda springs, a place where the natives of centuries past came to refresh and replenish their weary, traveled bodies. I sit among a mound of history, rich in culture and steeped in mystery. This is where I am, but all of these places are a part of me, my gestalt.

In our lives we travel far, we live fast and we rarely look back. We should all take the time to reflect on the places we’ve visited, to reacquire the harmony of these lands as they’ve been given gracefully to us. Our home is all around, and it should be loved, remembered and cherished.

Go forth and discover your backyard. Take in more than just the view… Remember your homes of past days, and sit in peace with life. These are the decorations of our hearts, and when placed upon the wall of the mind they will remain forever a part of our time here.

8 Billion

Image“The soul becomes dyed with the colour of its thoughts.” ~ Marcus Aurelius

People.. According to people who “know,” apparently over eight billion human beings–people–are living and breathing, waking and feeling, suffering and loving on this little blue sphere of ours. Billions of sentient creatures all scurrying about, staking their claims on the world and in life. With these billions of souls comes not only billions, but trillions of thoughts and ideas. Where do these thoughts come from, from what well do they spring up? From within? From above? From beyond that which lies beyond the boundaries of human thought? This seems worthy of exploration.

It amazes me to know that I can create, that everyone can create. We are all creators, innately divine yet not realized. All a part of the grandness of the universe. We are created to create, to learn and feel harmony, love, anger, hardship and all other sensations which breath life into an otherwise inanimate sack of flesh. We are eight billion creators, intertwined with one another, yet unknown of this most often. We should strive to think, feel and bless our world and each other by making it more beautiful, by harmonizing with all life.

Of all thoughts swirling around, above the firmament, what is a thought without action? What is action without being? Life begins before thoughts are known, so it begs to question where they originate. 

Perhaps born into us are our own personal thoughts.. Perhaps these thoughts find us on their own. Perhaps all thought is known, shared by all eight billion souls; just one soul fragmented, thinking one thought, fragmented. We may just be a fractal of one, a sliver of divinity.

Thought solves riddles and saves lives. It creates new and useful tools, games and art. Thought generates the world; a silent engine of sentient life. Thought may be truly born as we are born, and live longer than any of our finite bodies may imagine. Thought is powerful. It is truth, it is lies, it is our world, our conscious and waking perception of reality. Thought manifests, and creates.

What if all eight billion had the same thought, at exactly the same moment? Imagine.. A resounding bell ringing in unison; one of consciousness, shifting our paradigm to new heights, to a new definition of living. This thought would change the world forever.

For now, as time moves in its illusory way, thought remains. It was there before time, and exists forever.. in unison with eight billion souls.

Know there is One.. Know there are Many. One soul, one fractal, one sliver.. Eight billion thoughts.

Better Late than Never!

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“If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it.” ~ Anais Nin

It’s funny how we all can tend to lose sight and forget our ventures at times. This seems to happen at random intervals for some, for others it may appear to happen all too frequently. Like this blog for example. I originally started this blog in the summer of 2012 as a companion page to my main blog “Knowthesphere.” Well.. things quickly began to change for me right around the same time, and several ventures had to be put on hold. However, now things have come full circle once again… Now, I’m BACK!

** Just a simple thought and update:

This page is still in its experimental phase.. meaning that the layout will probably change a few times before I’m satisfied with the appearance and feel. This I find to be an important factor in the blog world. The words we choose as well as the imagery we use to convey our messages are crucial to the success and overall experience of sharing thoughts with the world. What we project from our desks tucked away in whatever corner of the world we live has lasting effects and impacts on many others around us. We should all do our part to “get it right” and to project our innermost thoughts and feelings in a positive light, through our own due diligence we can perfect this craft and make sharing a much more friendly and pleasant experience. This may seem like just a digital page on a screen, but this is so much more than that.

The words have to fit into a space, the space has to be just right to fit the words. The colors must match the tone, and the tone must match the image of the message.

Here, my message is simply to say hello again and that I hope to see much more interaction, comments and followers in the coming months. I’m currently working on my second (and third) book, and with my writing and research I find that sharing thoughts helps to create muse within myself and for others as well. The more I share, the more I write. The more I write, the more feedback I read, and correspondingly the productive I am with my work.. So I invite all of you to share with me as I enter the halfway point of my writing process. It’s been a long road, and I’m glad to be back here once again. All the best to everyone. :)

Namaste

Ungrip, Unplug and Relax

“The more ways we have to connect, the more many of us seem desperate to unplug.” ~Pico Iyer

We all can easily see the “connectivity” that exists through all of our technology. We have the computer and the cell phone. These tools give us access to our friends, family, colleagues and of course access to Twitter, Facebook, various blog sites, Youtube, Instagram, Pinterest, and the list continues to grow. These devices and networks connect people on a global scale, far exceeding anything before the past decade.

With all of our connection, we also inadvertently have become very dependent and “plugged in” whether we realize it or not. Studies show that when a person forgets his or her cell-phone and suddenly realizes it, whether at work or school or at the grocery store, a sudden anxiety sets in. Some people respond to this anxiety with ease, for others it can become sure panic, and a feeling of helplessness. A remarkable effect of the technology that we rely on more and more every day.

Other independent research suggests that social networks are addictive because of the voyeuristic elements that they contain. They are a window into other lives, other places and many other things. They have the capability of temporarily replacing one’s physical reality with a safer, virtual existence. Some studies suggest this can also lead to mild stages of agoraphobia and social anxiety, or toward more pronounced problems such as complete social withdrawal or the development of predatory qualities. Hopefully it’s not that serious..

But think about this.. Purposely turn off your cell phone and leave the house, or go without turning it on for two days. You may find that you’re pulled to turn it back on within hours or even minutes. You might be afraid that you’re missing something, or maybe you have to be connected because that’s what this technological conditioning has done to you and the rest of western culture.

I find that I must unplug every now and then. I must completely leave my computer and my phone for at least a day or two, just to breathe, just to relax and clear away the noise; to remember that my true connection is within my natural environment. I do this among the natural world and recommend it to anyone feeling stifled by “connectivity.”

Ignoring Clifford, Feeding the Wolf

Spiritual ascension  is an interesting subject. Many people feel, if their connection is centered, that they are indeed moving onto a higher sense of being; a higher vibrational plane, or closer to God; closer to the divine. What often goes unsaid is the opposing force that accompanies a high spiritual awareness; this is the pull toward the destructive, chaotic side of life.

I’ve often noticed that when I feel centered, just one move can make all the difference between moving forward in my pursuits or becoming stagnant. Of course then comes the consequence of remaining static if the feelings go unchecked or unnoticed. We must be aware of both pulls of this force, otherwise friction seeps in through the guard. If this happens, then we feel a constant tug toward both polarities of life. This can introduce torment and chaos if not properly monitored.

We can view this force as the hungry wolves, as taught in many Native American teachings. Both, the good wolf and the bad wolf are alive inside all human beings. It is the wolf that is fed the most that rises to the surface, invigorated and in charge. We become the wolf that we feed. But, more importantly we must be aware of both presences. Ignoring one will only lead to a further, more damaging embodiment of reality.

Consider the story of Clifford, the big red dog as in the child’s story books. A small puppy is ignored for too long… after a while the dog begins eating and growing. His owners pay little attention still, yet the dog continues to grow. He grows and grows until he is the size of the entire house. Then he is finally noticed and the owners have to figure out how to deal with such a large problem… Or, Clifford grew so large because of love.. either way, you see the message here.

Pay attention to the wolves in your life. The signs are everywhere. Once one is fed too much, it will grow too large and possibly become too big to handle. This is a vital lesson for anyone attempting a spiritual path. Be aware the pull and hunger of the dark wolf, he waits silently until you ignore his cries.. All people must at times recognize and consider both entities in order to attain personal growth and transformation.. This is part of natural law.

But… fear not, the dark wolf can be pacified, through constant observation and living mindfully we all can transcend the boundary of destructive behavior. It is through acceptance of the unacceptable and by recognition of the true nature of ourselves that we can attain this goal. Your true reflection can be your friend, and place you onto the path of true self realization.

I’ve Been Bible Thumped Before…

“One should examine oneself for a very long time before thinking of condemning others.” ~ Moliere

For quite a long time in my life I’ve felt drawn toward the hidden truths and underlying beauty of all things mysterious. I’ve questioned everything more than once, and have yet to come upon any certainties in life, other than birth and death of course. Somewhere along the line I learned to relax this quest and enjoy the path. By becoming aware of the journey I find less restlessness than that which comes when searching for ultimate perfection or the answers to life’s many riddles.

This is my path, and only I can walk it. In doing so, I give respect to all travelers no matter the road they take. I would love to have this respect returned, and though many times it has been I do not expect it. This was made abundantly clear to me the other day.

As I walked to my car from the grocery store I was approached by a man handing out flyers. He began to speak and asked me about Jesus. I politely said no thank you and opened my door. He stared at me with an odd look then said, “Enjoy the heat.”

I assume this platitude meant “Go to hell.” I also assume that the man wanted me to respond as he stood there staring, nevertheless I smiled, waved and wished him all the best. He then extended his middle finger. I then laughed.

This occurrence also reminded me of a time when I was at my college campus and a man was handing out Bibles. My Muslim friend was offered one and he politely said “No thank you, I’m a Muslim.” The man then replied and said, ‘Well, then you need this more than anyone.” Again, another lovely platitude.

I always find it incredibly ridiculous that those who seemed to be so devout to their religion are the very people that are, in fact, so far from its true essence. To so quickly judge and condemn another because of his belief is part of no religion, it is only a part of human arrogance and ignorance.

For me, these men symbolize the underlying problem with humanity and the reasons why so many are lost in this world. They seek vanity and indulgence and hide behind the cross or the pulpit. They talk only to hear their own voice, and have no fruitful message to spread. They are quick to judge and condemn, and have no interest in spreading peace. When has condemning another ever been considered to be spreading peace? Despite all this I know inside they weep, and they are lost.

Seeking peace is noble, loving God is noble, loving neighbors as they are is noble, yet these virtues are hardly practiced by the vast majority of supposedly devout religious followers. I digress….

In the end, no matter the path, we must have respect for all travelers. Travel well everyone.

Namaste

Originally posted on knowthesphere:

“All our knowledge merely helps us to die a more painful death than animals that know nothing.” ~ Maurice Maeterlinck

Humans have great capacity for good, for love, for incredible acts of valor and courage; yet the friction remains. Our race also has the unyielding capacity for horror. Our consciousness makes us immortal; a consciousness that the Gods of the Greek culture were envious of. A man is immortal, and when he dies he becomes something else. When Gods die, they become Oblivion… Here, in this sphere of oblivion, we see what human beings have become.

The Bhagavad Gita; an ancient philosophical Sanscrit Hindu teaching is one of mention. This scripture chronicles a meeting, a conversation between a prince and Krishna. After an interview upon successfully creating and witnessing the first testing of the Atomic bomb in 1945, Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer–the hand in charge of creating the weapon–referred to…

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Dark Aurora

Aurora Colorado, in the early morning, became a place of darkness that soon spread across the face of North America. The Dark Knight, became the Dark Morning for an entire nation.

I am saddened… and a heavy heart hangs in the balance today as the lives of nearly 80 people will forever be changed by torment. It saddens me even more to know how far and away the human race continues to travel from morality, and from the respect for life. We live in a world where violence is glorified and permeates our culture at every glance; in the media, on the stage and in the households and back alleys of every nation.

Not many know the traumatic fog that violent actions create. As a former Marine, I have choked on tear gas, been blinded by pepper spray and have had bullets flying near my head. I’ve seen people die violently and know the numbness that ensues when the walls are painted with human blood. The events of early morning in Colorado have yet again awakened the American public to the harsh reality that many countries around the world deal with on a daily basis. As free and proud as this country is, we still remained sheltered to the pang of violence that wraps its ugly hand around most of the world.

My thoughts are with all of those who must now walk through life having lost a loved one and who will be forever changed by the horrific tragedy that struck the heart of the country. I only wish that human beings would once again look upon life as being so full of value, kindness and love, instead of turning the cheek to the blanket of darkness that pervades today’s world.

Even more hurtful are the distasteful and disrespectful jokes that are being posted on various social networks regarding today’s events. What a display of human nature this has become. To laugh in the face of tragedy when lives are lost is disgraceful of the human race. Eyes must be opened as much as hearts today. Our future certainly looks bleak if this becomes the normal reaction to the loss of life.

We are all here for such a short time. As the flow of life moves us forward at such an unknown yet incredibly fast speed, we must all strive to realize that what we do here will forever impact our brothers and sisters across the globe, and many actions will ring in the ears of generations yet to be born.

Life is fragile, life is precious and life is short. Be alive, but be mindful of all that lives.

Jump

“Sometimes, if you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge and lean over to watch the river slipping slowly away beneath you, you will suddenly know everything there is to be known.”  ~Winnie the Pooh

The river has long been a symbol of life, as it moves continuously, bending, twisting, rising and falling over the land that it travels through. Without this constant flow, this constant change, we would have static; a life of void.

What is to be known about life? Is there even an answer to the mystery that causes men to go mad with endless questions? Is there a paradox within the many questions that we ask? Stand on the low rail and you’ll begin to see the simplicity.

To perform a constant search for the truth is just the same as thinking you’ve found the answer. Both are futile acts at best. Though searching for answers, finding insight and witnessing synchronicities are amazing ventures, we must never focus on a final goal. We are born into a circle of life, an infinite loop of being and spirit, ultimately connected to the very Earth on which we stand. Even more, we’re connected to the air that we breathe, and to the empty space that we occupy. This is the goal, to live, to be alive and realize it. Water moves through its channel in the river, ever flowing towards where? It doesn’t matter and the river certainly doesn’t question itself or its direction… it’s the only place it’s ever been and it’s heading to the only place it will ever go… just like you.

Basically, there is nothing to figure out. You already know how to live. You don’t need to know where you’re going because you’ll eventually be there one day. Simply enjoy the journey.

In life, two things remain clear: It is the erratic ebb and flow of life that moves us all around and over the rocks and mud of the world. We have only choices to make on how we handle this ebb and flow; how we steer through the pitch of waves and how we part the thickness of foam.

You can be the cork bobbing up and down, or you can be the man swimming with the current. We can flow with life or struggle against it; but you must be in the river to be alive. You must engage in life. You’ll only watch the river go by from standing near either shore. The river bank remains still as life goes by.

Choose to jump into the swift moving river; choose to jump into life; and you’ll soon realize many truths.