It has been a while since I have sat down to write anything. The pressure is terrific. I haven’t left enough space to create. I have too many competing ideas. I am blocked and overwhelmed to bursting.
I am not sure where to start so I’ll start at the beginning. I have been doing a lot of soul-searching lately. I have spent a lot of time outside in nature. Thinking about it now I spend a lot of time talking (whether out loud, on paper, in thought) but not a lot of time listening.
Some months ago I made an impassioned prayer to the universe. I don’t want to live in a world without magic. In other words I don’t want to live my whole life limited by the perceptions of my ego. I never imagined what that would actually mean. I realized that reality has many layers/dimensions. What we usually take for reality is derived from our senses, experiences, values, beliefs etc. This is the reality which is more or less agreed upon by the society we live in and yet each person still possesses a reality unique to them. You will never find two identical versions of reality. But there is more to reality than the content of our senses and our upbringing. Technology allows us to see some of that unseen world. Education expands imagination/awareness but it can also block our intuition when we use it to confirm the limited views of our egos (think of all the outdated/debunked information you learned in school!). The best minds are flexible, open, curious, and humble. So much still remains unknown to us. The universe is full of mysteries, of unanswerable questions, of flux. Unknown and unreal are two very different things and yet we often allow our limited and limiting ego to fill in these gaps with fear and doubt. The ego insists that there can be only one right answer to a question/only one right of being/doing/seeing. The ego requires confirmation even at the expense of other people. The ego cannot live and let live. The ego manipulates, separates, and judges. Lizard-brain. Little god. Child.
Often we forget that dreams constitute a huge portion of our reality. We spend around ⅓ of our lives asleep, part of that time we are dreaming. We also dream when we are awake. Dreams are vital and they too are reality.
It said that we have a second brain in our stomach. “The enteric nervous system is often referred to as our body’s second brain. There are hundreds of millions of neurons connecting the brain to the enteric nervous system, the part of the nervous system that is tasked with controlling the gastrointestinal system. This vast web of connections monitors the entire digestive tract from the esophagus to the anus. The enteric nervous system is so extensive that it can operate as an independent entity without input from our central nervous system, although they are in regular communication.”
The bacteria in our gut can actually send signals to our brains! We can’t see bacteria with the naked eye and when all is properly working we don’t even think much about them. Yet there they are alive within us, communicating with us, essential to our life/health. If we abuse ourselves they can even make us sick. Nature too has a delicate balance. We’ve seen what happens when we try to beat nature into submission. We often forget that we are a part of nature. We are connected to every living thing on the planet. The planet/our planet is alive. I believe in a collective unconscious. This is why so many of our philosophies and religions end up saying essentially the same thing even though the creators of the original stories had no “ego to ego” interaction.
I have been fascinated lately by the unseen world as you can see. There is an anime called Mushishi that I am currently rewatching. Here is a basic plot summary.
Mushi are the most primitive form of life. They have no goals/no agenda aside from being. They are neither good or bad. They can exist in countless forms and are capable of mimicking things in the natural world. They can even mimic disease. Most people cannot see them in their original form but they do have the ability to affect humans (altered perception, disease, unusual abilities). They appear in the show as ethereal, sort of like floaters, except that they are light instead of dark.
“Floaters are little “cobwebs” or specks that float about in your field of vision. They are small, dark, shadowy shapes that can look like spots, thread-like strands, or squiggly lines. They move as your eyes move and seem to dart away when you try to look at them directly.”
I am not trying to convince you that mushi exist (we didn’t always know about viruses and bacteria haha). The point is I believe there is much unseen in this world. Just because something is unknown or unseen doesn’t make it inconsequential. Just because we don’t know how something works doesn’t mean it is broken. Just because we don’t understand someone’s point of view doesn’t mean that they are disposable, wrong, a threat, an obstacle to our success/happiness. Why give someone else all your power? Life is sacred.
I haven’t even begun to touch upon my beliefs on the afterlife, spirits and such but I will save it for another time.
I wanted to share a story with you.
“There was once a stonecutter who was dissatisfied with himself and with his position in life.
One day he passed a wealthy merchant’s house. Through the open gateway, he saw many fine possessions and important visitors. “How powerful that merchant must be!” thought the stonecutter. He became very envious and wished that he could be like the merchant.
To his great surprise, he suddenly became the merchant, enjoying more luxuries and power than he had ever imagined, but envied and detested by those less wealthy than himself. Soon a high official passed by, carried in a sedan chair, accompanied by attendants and escorted by soldiers beating gongs. Everyone, no matter how wealthy, had to bow low before the procession. “How powerful that official is!” he thought. “I wish that I could be a high official!”
Then he became the high official, carried everywhere in his embroidered sedan chair, feared and hated by the people all around. It was a hot summer day, so the official felt very uncomfortable in the sticky sedan chair. He looked up at the sun. It shone proudly in the sky, unaffected by his presence. “How powerful the sun is!” he thought. “I wish that I could be the sun!”
Then he became the sun, shining fiercely down on everyone, scorching the fields, cursed by the farmers and laborers. But a huge black cloud moved between him and the earth, so that his light could no longer shine on everything below. “How powerful that storm cloud is!” he thought. “I wish that I could be a cloud!”
Then he became the cloud, flooding the fields and villages, shouted at by everyone. But soon he found that he was being pushed away by some great force, and realized that it was the wind. “How powerful it is!” he thought. “I wish that I could be the wind!”
Then he became the wind, blowing tiles off the roofs of houses, uprooting trees, feared and hated by all below him. But after a while, he ran up against something that would not move, no matter how forcefully he blew against it – a huge, towering rock. “How powerful that rock is!” he thought. “I wish that I could be a rock!”
Then he became the rock, more powerful than anything else on earth. But as he stood there, he heard the sound of a hammer pounding a chisel into the hard surface, and felt himself being changed. “What could be more powerful than I, the rock?” he thought.
He looked down and saw far below him the figure of a stonecutter.”
Sometimes we forget how powerful we are. Reality is shaped by our perception which means it can be changed. We are actively creating the world we live in, let your beliefs reflect the type of world you want to live in and reality will follow. When we act from a place of gratitude and abundance there is always enough. Enough time. Enough love. Enough money. Enough resources. The ego’s constant sense of scarcity is what leads us to the selfish actions that deplete the earth and our relationships with other people. The ego will never feel whole, full, or connected. Honor the ego’s service (it has a function, it is after all connected to our survival instinct!), honor your emotions (knowing that like weather they pass), but don’t buy into the story line, don’t cling to outcomes which are a small part of our experience (the journey is the vast majority of our experience). Imagine if you chose to enjoy the embarkation, the journey, and the destination? Your life would be so much more rewarding then if you allow yourself only the few seconds of ecstasy you get from the completion of a task/goal. Remember how good anticipation feels. How exciting life is when you allow it to flow. Write your own story. Dare to be a mystery, to go a day without needing to define everything. Dare to look inside of yourself, even at the darkness within, dare to love the places that hurt. When you look out at the ocean or up in the sky, at the vastness of it all you see potential, power, beauty, and enigma. Our bodies may be small/finite but the spirit is infinite, beautiful, mysterious, and full of potential. We create truth by becoming expressions of truth, by honoring our inner cycles, by following our intuitive knowing. Choose freedom.