Sunday, April 24, 2016

To Be or Not To Be...or to Always Be

“To be…or not to be”, those infamous words spoken by the befuddled prince of plays, weigh the pros and cons of living vs. dying;.  Here’s a translation of Hamlet's famed soliloquy from the Shakespeare:-) to remind you.

“The question is: is it better to be alive or dead? Is it nobler to put up with all the nasty things that luck throws your way, or to fight against all those troubles by simply putting an end to them once and for all? Dying, sleeping—that’s all dying is—a sleep that ends all the heartache and shocks that life on earth gives us—that’s an achievement to wish for. To die, to sleep—to sleep, maybe to dream. Ah, but there’s the catch: in death’s sleep who knows what kind of dreams might come, after we’ve put the noise and commotion of life behind us. That’s certainly something to worry about. That’s the consideration that makes us stretch out our sufferings so long.”

Shakespeare’s insight into death and dreaming in these famous lines is uncanny. Hamlet is caught up in the dualism that plagues patriarchal paradigms, you’re either this or that, dead or alive. Today, the doors of consciousness and inner space are blown wide open by gifted pioneers in every science and spirituality; the paradigms that bound our patriarchal ancestors don’t bind us now, unless we choose to be bound.  Belief in our time doesn't require "blind faith." Once when Carl Jung, that great pioneer of psyche, was asked about his belief in God, he replied,  "Believe? I don't believe.  I know."

How did he know? Through direct experience of his own consciousness outside the body, through dreaming, visions and his signature contribution, synchronicity.  He was raised a minister’s son and became a doctor in the pioneer field of psychology, as ruled then by Sigmund Freud.  He rebelled against SF’s materialistic dogma about the human psyche and spoke of the soul. Robert Moss dubs him a shaman of the west, or as Jung himself jested, he was a witch doctor for Europeans. 

Since Jung, many have continued to explore the inner realms, and many have come full circle, to acknowledge that much of what we’re discovering, we’re re-discovering.  History is the story as told by the conqueror and the conquerors were very, very wrong.  Many ancient and indigenous cultures were treated as primitive, savage, tribal, uncivilized, heathen and ungodly by white, patriarchal, western European "civilizations" who believed bloody conquest was their God given right, as they fought for Him.

Think of the bloodshed and cruelties in the name of righteous religions that still rain on the faithful and unfaithful alike.   Religious laws, strictures and competing divinities are responsible for such an unnatural percentage of the world’s pain that we ought to stop and think more about what we really want from our religions.  If it’s love and peace, religion might not be your best bet.  The us vs. them mentality that won’t back down and needs to win at all costs makes the human experience into a football match.  Ancient earth religions offered a much deeper spirituality, All is One. The divine which we call by different names can be experienced personally in dreams, visions, meditation and in nature.  Consciousness or soul or whatever we end up calling it, doesn’t die and may visit this earth plane many times, by choice, perhaps with some passion to fulfill.

The consciousness revolution of our time points to a new awareness of reality that is completely organic.  It’s like having a belly button to the inside where the cord is never cut.  There is no free fall forever. Gruesome as death can be in the physical, (birth is also an immense physical challenge), across the bridge of death, the gates of Love are open and we’re greeted and seen as we most need to be. 

This isn’t faith, this is the story told by innumerable women and men, in all walks of life, around the world, who’ve crossed the boundaries in some way.  The growing literature being produced by respected professionals in the fields of psychology and medicine, as well as by first-hand "experiencers" of near death, out of body travels, dreaming and after death communication leaves doubt of after death survival to only the most entrenched.

The implication for Hamlet, for instance, might then be that suicide or not, he will still have to deal with the circumstances and choices that are hanging him up, in the physical or in any dimension that follows the physical.  He might just want to be a regular guy, party with Horatio and marry Ophelia, but no, here’s his father’s ghost demanding revenge and telling him way more than he really wants to know.  So, he’s stuck thinking only he can solve this problem and that his only choice is to give up all his joy and fulfill what’s expected of him.

Let’s take Hamlet out of his torment and put him in a parallel universe, perhaps in the present, where his choice is much broader.  We live forever, Hamlet; your father and his brother will eventually face each other, so help your father find his way on the other side and ask yourself: what have I come to do in this life? Where is my joy? If my joy is in justice, then I will fight for it openly and call to account whom I choose. Joy isn’t always a belly laugh, it’s however it feels to be completely centered in your own being and purpose, sure of the great beyond without the wagging fingers of “god-betweens”. 

To be, to really, really be…as much as I can, as loving as I can, with gentleness and kindness for all, is the quest that brought my soul to this plane of existence.  To each, his or her own quest, but all quests lead to Home and dreaming is a sure road back and forth, a gift to explore.  Religion asks you to follow blindly.  Your dreams offer you experience of “spiritual” realities before you cross into them again at death.  If you fear your dreams, a common experience in our toxic psychic and physical environments, there are many ways to find your way back in them. 

The question of our times is not to be or not to be.  It’s what should I do while I’m still here? What made me want to come here in the first place?  What do I want to take with me?  What can I do better? What will make me happiest as I look back on my life? What do I want to happen in the thought responsive realms I will be living in next? What do I want to happen here? What matters most to me?

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The American Dream...again

Back in June, when Donald (Drumpf) Trump announced with  unprecedented vitriol, racist hate against Mexicans, and with his  noxious self-aggrandizement, that he would once again, run for POTUS, my favorite political satirists like Jon Stewart, believed his bid a joke.  So, it got me to wondering about the people and the ethos in this country that would happily see him succeed; I asked what is the American Dream?

Now, after ten months of freak show, I have to ask it again. What is the American dream - to you?  It's a question I think each American has to answer.  The consensus answer will create our future and impact the entire planet for generations to come. But before we answer, let's remember that what brought the Pilgrims here was a search for sanctuary from religious tyranny in England.  Unfortunately, they themselves projected that huge shadow of theocratic cruelty on the indigenous peoples they met in this "sanctuary," claimed for the white-skins of Europe by the  explorer, Christopher you know who.

By way of historical correction, I thought about calling Christopher a son of a bitch, because as his historians say, he was a cruel man, but it's misogynist, as the bitch here is to blame. Then I thought to use the word, bastard, but same thing.  Bastard is an illegitimate child under many patriarchal laws around the world.  Any woman who dares have a child on her own, give it her name, dooms not only herself to social disgrace, but also her child, to varying degree, depending on the strictness of the patriarchy.  So, why should I perpetuate this subtle, psychic brainwashing by using the language that these laws have coined? I'll come up with something new: let's see; what fits?  Ah, yes.  Devil; one who worships evil, i.e., himself, and perpetuates unspeakable, unbearable and unnecessary cruelty on everything that thwarts him. 

Back to my American Dream.  You see, America, today, is a place where one is free to grow; rich is only one avenue, a rather temporal, though popular one.  However,  we live in the Age of Consciousness, the age of inner-space exploration and new quantum paradigms.  Why dream the same old dream?  

We also live in a time of great crisis and great opportunity as the wise ones have said.  We will create the reality we give our energy to, our inward and outward allegiance.  "The world is as we dream it", is at once ancient shamanic knowledge and the title of a great book by John Perkins about shamanic wisdom.

As a woman, who is also an American citizen, I'm appalled that the rights our grandmothers fought for, a fight in which they sacrificed a great deal, (as did the brave men who fought with them) should be again jeopardized by religious extremists seeking to rule. Women fought a literal war with men who denied them, who governed them, in order to win the right to vote. TO VOTE for holiness sake!  (As historical review, I recommend two recent films, "Suffragette" and "Iron Winged Angels.")  It was no tea party for our women ancestors; they had no acknowledged voice or choice in government or in society. 

Voting was just one battle; they also had to fight for reproductive freedom, for rights and protection against laws that prevent her from exercising stewardship over her own body. The battle continues to this day, in this election and around the world. Patriarchal theocracies are still seeking to control her.
How can the grand daughters and sons, the great grand daughters and sons, of those brave freedom fighting forebears, (quite literally) allow this country to once again be ruled publicly and personally by authoritarian and patriarchal theocracy and corporatacracies?

Here's my dream.  In this difficult election season that has people in conflict and on edge, we take a moment to breathe, to center and realize that Never will there be as important a time as NOW.  (Just ask one of my favorite contemporary teachers in the Consciousness Movement, Eckhart Tolle.)

After that wonderful, centering deep breath, we each connect with the heart, with what your heart truly loves.  If it's money, okay, but there's so much more!  Whatever you learn and how ever greatly you love, that goes with you; the money, property and power stays.  I dream that we dare to dream a new dream, one where losing our fear of death, we see life with new eyes and find meaning through inner as well as outer riches.  I dare to dream that amassing riches will never again be literal, ugly and world destructive, just the opposite.  We'll dream ourselves into a future we want instead of waking up in one we fear.

The story we tell ourselves is supremely important.  There's the communal patriarchal story we've been immersed in for so long which promotes fear and separation, and there's the deeper story, one that promotes hope.  I AM immortal NOW.  I'm an immortal having this experience.  I've volunteered for this stint on earth, this physical reality.  (I love how when I say say, "Sheesh, what a world, my life partner, Jim responds; "It's not the world, it's the people in it.  The world is a beautiful place.") 

The world is as we dream it; life is as we dream it.  What is our dream, collectively as Americans?  What is our vision for "the future?" Perhaps, we've all got a mission to accomplish and a lesson to learn in this present reality that we can take Home with us when we die. How should that color our collective dream?

Fear of death, of what we believe about death is another hot topic in the New Consciousness movement.  For the sake of brevity, we live in a time of exploring that final frontier. It behooves a person to come out from the fug of patriarchal paradigms, especially as they envelop spirituality, and smell the coffee; we have delicious opportunities for personal and collective growth.  Dreams are our organic spirituality and our passkey to where we came from an where we're going; both sleep dreams and waking dreams.  We can learn to use them to heal ourselves, each other and our relationship to this beautiful planet.

To dream awake is to imagine from the heart; to come from the heart is very different than to come from the wallet.  To come from fear and hate is very different than to come from love and trust.  Depending on where you come from, you'll do different things, make different choices.  Each choice matters.  If you know that you'll live after death, just the way you're living now and beyond, then it colors your choices. 

As a woman on this physical plane, I don't know about you, but I don't want to go through the shit great-grand mama did, or that generations of suffering, confined, mistreated and beleaguered women before her did, ever again.  NEVER AGAIN!  I also count on other men and women, sisters and brothers, lovers and parents, not to allow fear and mistrust to obscure the dream we create for ourselves.  For me, that dream includes freedoms that go way beyond the nearsighted grab for money that doesn't see beyond these borders, these mind forged manacles, as Blake put it. 

I dream freedom to grow as my heart tells me to grow.  It's freedom to do the job I was sent here to do in the most loving, creative way I can.  If I'm a woman, in a temporal paradigm, I want to make sure ridiculous, confining and sadistic laws don't keep me from being free.

Women, some women, have only recently enjoyed, in the patriarchal 6 thousand year global paradigm we've endured, the freedom from the legal, social and moral restraints that theocratic male rule has inflicted on them.  Case in point, I think of how one of my favorite mystery authors recently wrote  about witch burning in such a way that I know she never would have done of the more well known Jewish genocide of the mid-twentieth century: jokingly.  "Witch" was an accusation in Medieval patriarchy; it was and often, it still is. Back then, it meant death to be called a witch; you remember Salem.  What made all this unnecessary cruelty to women possible?  Religious patriarchal theocracies.

It doesn't matter if that theocracy is Christian, Muslim or Judaic, the Big Three Traditions.  If a woman is not legally, socially and personally free to do, say and be as she pleases, she is a slave.  Our great-grandmas fought bitterly to give us the right JUST TO VOTE!

My American Dream is of a land where most people are waking up to the great New Reality that includes immortality NOW.  The violence that is so prevalent, and has always been in patriarchies, will give way to kindness and creativity. We'll collectively dream ways to live that aren't the way we're living now.  We'll continue to support the basic rights of sisters and brothers to not be like us; respecting each other, we'll create new communities.  We'll open our doors to what it's possible to achieve through fearless love and wisdom; we'll support each other in our best efforts and in living our best dreams.

So dream big and vote carefully! Abigail Adams once requested of her loving, Father of Independence, husband, "Remember the ladies" when you draft your legislation.  Though her request fell on mostly deaf and mocking ears among the ruling elite, let her voice ring clearly in our vote, NOW. And let's dream a world without end, forever and ever.  Amen and Awomen.