Why do I write what I write?

Bird Droppings September 21, 2012

Why do I write what I write?

 

There have been times when weather, water, various electrical issues and who knows what other gremlins have impacted my broadband service at our home out in Between Georgia. It could be that we are out in the country and only a handful have broadband service or could be the duct tape from repairs of bygone days has worn thin. I recall a day recently as I sent out a message late in the evening one I had done earlier in the day yet for whatever reason my wonderful broadband service was in one of those moments where it does not like my Outlook Express which is where I had been keeping my contacts. As I checked emails today I noticed that over the past few weeks a celebration of stories of remembering of recalling all the days and years gone by. I found myself actually remembering stories I had long since forgotten as my mother would tell me each day of new finds as she unboxed treasured belongings or as she heard from friends of my father who were paying respects. Last night I woke up around one in the morning and by chance checked my various blogs and emails. A former neighbor and friend had posted an old photo, really old photo from when we were kids in Pennsylvania.

Looking back many times these bits and pieces are simple stories ones of joy and or sadness but as the days went on and I checked my email each time what I read was just what I needed. Coincidently over the years so often when I send out a daily dropping I will get responses that are about what I had written was just what that person needed. One said did you know my son died, or my new job is just now falling in place or my mother has finally decided to move, each person was appreciative for the words I wrote seemingly oblivious at the time to their thoughts. I wish I had been the author and not just the relay or conduit which is and of itself a part of the story as well.

Someone sent me the story and someone had sent her the story, each a piece of the puzzle as it forms. But in life timing is so much the part saying the right word or emailing the right word at just the right time.

 

“Synchronicity is a word created by the Swiss psychologist Carl Jung to describe the alignment of “universal forces” with the life experiences of an individual. Jung believed that many experiences perceived as coincidences were not merely due to chance, but instead reflected the creation of an event or circumstance by the “co-inciting” or alignment of such forces. The process of becoming intuitively aware and acting in harmony with these forces is what Jung labeled “individuation.” Jung said that an individuated person would actually shape events around them through the communication of their consciousness with the collective unconscious.” Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

 

It has been several years since I first saw the word synchronicity and what is so funny when I studied Jung in college the word never really stuck with me. It was many experiences later and many years later that those aspects of learning seemed to kick in. Intuitiveness according to Jung is the key. I see often the reading of people, seeing bits and pieces I seriously wish we could bottle intuition.

 

“Although not scientifically provable in the classical sense, a scientific basis for the phenomenon of synchronicity may be found in the principle of correlation, in so far as a more precise scientific term for Jung’s expression a-causal connecting principle’ is correlation. It is a well-known scientific principle that correlation does not imply causation. Yet, correlation may in fact be a physical property shared by events without there being a classical cause-effect relationship, as shown in quantum physics, where widely separated events can be correlated without being linked by a direct physical cause-effect” Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

In 1979 a Harvard graduate Gary Zukav wrote a book the Dancing Wu Li Masters: An overview of the new physics, trying to put Quantum Physics in the words of the laity, the math and science illiterate. The book became a best seller and with subsequent books he has written on the subject they have sold over six million copies. Zukav tied science and the soul together which becomes an interesting mix.

 

In Synchronicity, Science and Soul-Making, Victor Mansfield, a professor of physics and astronomy at Colgate University, offers up a “new age” amalgamation of Jungian psychology and quantum mechanics. Mansfield provides some inkling of his background and motivation for writing the book in chapter 2, where he states that at one point he dropped out of graduate school in physics because his interests were too broad to be confined to one narrow discipline. He took a job in the experimental ward of a mental hospital, where, he says, “my possession of the keys to the ward doors was …” The Journal of Parapsychology; 3/1/1997; Stokes, Douglas M.

 

As I was researching the why’s and where’s I ended up after quite a few search’s and hunts through the internet at this quote. As I was reading I thought back in my own life to starting as a Biology education major at West Chester State College. To subsequently failings in academics in the midst of the Viet Nam war and failing my draft physical due to a child hood diagnosed condition of epilepsy. I then went to school in Texas where I studied human development from two of the world’s leaders in Human Development, Dr. Glenn Doman and Dr. Karl Delacato, which by chance thier methods and research is still controversial however so often their theories and ideas do work. 

When I returned to Pennsylvania I studied Special Education and History at EasternCollege. With a slight cumulative average issue and not matriculating as a senior at Eastern due to being still on academic probation I ended up out of school and working for a year teaching disabled children and adults. My family had moved to Georgia in 1971 and I followed in 1972 and started back in college at Mercer University in psychology basically since I would not need another math class and refused to take a foreign language. It was as a psych major I first visited Central State Hospital and walked through wards while at Mercer.

I graduated in 1974 and attended seminary at Emory University where as a group we went to again to Central State Hospital to do a chaplaincy. I had several disagreements with professors and group and left seminary but stayed for six months as a volunteer chaplain at Central State Hospital in a psychotic adolescent female ward. With all that verbiage however there is a point. I mentioned in a discussion yesterday with friends how while at Central State I had a key on a lanyard much like so many teachers do now except the key at the hospital was for every door and the elevator and quiet room (isolation room) and freedom. As I pondered deeper about how and why in my own journey that key came into my possession.

So often I use the concept of the pieces falling in place. With each moment, each day we experience new and sometimes we even re-experience things. These experiences make up whom and what we are and these become driving forces for us as we go through our days.

 

“Trust your hunches. They’re usually based on facts filed away just below the conscious level.” Dr. Joyce Brothers

 

“If the single man plant himself indomitably on his instincts, and there abide, the huge world will come round to him.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Intuition, so often we pass it off, yet is it not a significant aspect of human effort? As I look at my own teaching I rely on intuition often when dealing with students who cannot or will not offer other explanations of behavior and or attitudes. I addressed this directly in my writing yesterday.

 

“Often you have to rely on intuition.” Bill Gates

 

Interesting the wealthiest man in the world by only a few billion dollars would even consider intuition

 

“The struggle of the male to learn to listen to and respect his own intuitive, inner prompting is the greatest challenge of all. His conditioning has been so powerful that it has all but destroyed his ability to be self-aware.” Herb Goldberg

 

In today’s technological society we avoid talk of synchronicity and intuition as neither uses a remote nor a cable modem. But these simple ideas are a driving force if we let them be utilized and here is the key. We need to be aware and willing to consider this as plausibility. James Redfield, new age guru made fortune writing about this in his book The Celestine Prophecy. He could not explain what he was feeling and seeing happen so he developed a fictional book to explain and in doing so literally a cult following. I am always amazed at how we respond.

His words were not new, Jung was thinking such in 1916 and many philosophers and mothers have known since primeval days. Goldberg’s statement is so true, men in particular have all but forgotten how to listen or how to be self-aware. So as another school week draws to an end in Georgia please keep all in harm’s way on your mind and in your heart and to always give thanks namaste.

 

Wa de (Skee)

bird

 

Just what is intuition?

Bird Droppings September 20, 2012

Just what is intuition?

 

“Every action of our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate
in eternity.”
Edwin Hubbel Chapin

 

As I was discussing the final hours of a Journalism class yesterday afternoon with several of the students and a thought hit me as to why some teachers can do more than others. Why some teachers succeed where others flounder and I honestly think that a key is intuition. It is a simple thought but a very difficult concept to teach to another person. It is in many ways an inner knowing at a specific point that you have a piece of information that should be shared. One of my students was writing about how we each impact others daily and while only just getting started her ideas were amazing. Most had gone the route of opinion pieces that impact them a sort of selfish outlook.

 

“Good instincts usually tell you what to do long before your head has figured it out.”Michael Burke

 

Knowing what to do at a specific moment intuitively can alter a day and a class room in a moment.

 

“Trust yourself.  You know more than you think you do.” Dr. Benjamin Spock

 

“Instinct is untaught ability.”Bain

 

I thought back to a discussion with several teachers and as I listened to seasoned teachers discuss how they would do this or that. Amazingly enough one said do you have that written down and what is your starting point along with how much planning time do you allow and as I watched and heard in disbelief in this situation that was one of a teachable moment. The person speaking turned around stunned as I was and said I really do not plan it takes ten minutes to jot down a daily note to my students and each day they experience new things and we build on that.

 

Instinct is intelligence incapable of self-consciousness.”John Sterling

 

I began thinking of key words in teaching intuition with an acronym being a good starting point IESP, Intuition, Empathy, Sympathy and Perception. These are all aspects of a good teacher, a good parent and a good person. Powerful words in their own right but added together unstoppable.

 

“Trust your hunches.  They’re usually based on facts filed away just below the conscious level.”Dr. Joyce Brothers

 

 In doing research on intuition in years gone by I found many psychologists believe we have stored experiences and concepts that we do not even recall that are the basis for intuition.

 

“Intuition is a spiritual faculty and does not explain, but simply points the way.”Florence Scovel Shinn

 

There are other researchers who consider aspects yet undiscovered as a basis for intuitiveness and intuition.

 

“A leader or a man of action in a crisis almost always acts subconsciously and then thinks of the reasons for his action.”Jawaharlal Nehru

 

So many years ago Nehru was the first Prime Minister of an independent India and he was a man who was respected around the globe.

 

“Instinct is the nose of the mind.”Madame De Girardin

 

I saw this note and it intrigued me that instinct is being a door opener or a starting point even a beginning and could be one of our senses.

 

“I would rather trust a woman’s instinct than a man’s reason.”Stanley Baldwin

 

I do not know exactly what this entity is we call intuition I have observed many teachers and parents, workers and managers and some know and others have to understand and solve issues that confront them. As I was thinking and pondering the past few days I always seem to come back to a favorite quote.

 

“Life is about the journey not the destination” Steven Tyler, Aerosmith

 

One of my redneck buddies responded “what the h— does that have to do with intuition” Some of us have a goal a destination but the journey the getting there is more critical and crucial then the end result. Each aspect of the pathway is essential rather than simply the end of the trip. When you are looking as you go you see so much more. I recall a long trip as a child and we would play games looking for animals. If you choose to look only for red tailed hawks it would be miles and even hours between but you would find them. If you choose birds and how many different ones you can see we up the chances of every few seconds or minutes seeing something. Open that to all animals and now every few second and you are looking for details in the road side and trees and grass. Life is so similar some people are looking for specifics so minute they seldom find what they are looking for and others see every nook and cranny, intuition is in the nooks and crannies.

 

“The really happy man is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour. “Anonymous

 

 I wish I had said that and please keep all in harm’s way on your mind and in your hearts and to always give thanks namaste.

 

Wa de (Skee)

bird

Why would anyone be unworthy of concern?

Bird Droppings September 19, 2012

Why would anyone be unworthy of concern?  

 

“I think the most important issue we have as a people is what we started, and that is to begin to trust our own thinking again and believe in ourselves enough to think that we can articulate our own vision of the future and then work to make sure that that vision becomes a reality.” Chief Wilma Mankiller

 

            Wilma Mankiller was the first woman elected chief of the Oklahoma Cherokee Tribe and she became a national speaker on the rights of Indians. I found a small book several years back written by Wilma Mankiller, Gloria Steinem, and Vine Deloria. The book’s title Every day is Good Day, is a effort to portray in perspective the thoughts of the indigenous women who provided the thoughts and articles for the book.  The book encompasses women from across the America’s. 

            The quote I started with today was directed at Indians as a whole and the Cherokee tribe who were uprooted from their ancestral homes in the southeastern US by Andrew Jackson in the infamous Trail of Tears and moved to the Indian Territories of Oklahoma. As I read this quote again it hit me this could apply to almost anyone as so many have fallen in the trap of societal follow the leader. That charismatic voice screaming loud garners listening even when often fictitious in nature. Surprisingly many follow often even knowing the words are wrong or misleading.  As a country we often are told what to do not in the manner of a dictatorship but more subtlety as legislators convene and pass laws providing us with guidance and parameters. Along this line I was thinking back to Indian reservations where humans were forced to submit to cultural extermination and the Indian schools like Carlisle in Pennsylvania where Indian children were taken and stripped of their heritage

 

“I’d like to talk about free markets. Information in the computer age is the last genuine free market left on earth except those free markets where indigenous people are still surviving. And that’s basically becoming limited.” Russell Means

 

“In the government schools, which are referred to as public schools, Indian policy has been instituted there, and it’s a policy where they do not encourage, in fact, discourage, critical thinking and the creation of ideas and public education.”  Russell Means

 

            One of the American Indian Movement founders and its first leader Russell Means name might be more familiar to fans of Daniel Day Lewis and The Last of the Mohicans in which Means stars as Chief Kingachcook, the last of the Mohicans. Means was born on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota. Russell Means has been actively working for Indian efforts for nearly fifty years and often is a very outspoken figure as various legislation and agendas are thrown at reservations and tribes.

 

“I don’t want to talk about the environment and the American Indian viewpoint; I hate the word Native American. It’s a government term, which was created in the year 1970 in the Department of the Interior, a generic term that describes all the prisoners of the United States of America.” Russell Means

 

“The one thing I’ve always maintained is that I’m an American Indian. I’m not politically correct. Everyone who’s born in the Western Hemisphere is a Native American. We are all Native Americans” Russell Means

 

I find interesting his viewpoint that anyone born in the Western Hemisphere is a Native American.  

 

“So I’d much rather get across the concept of freedom. It’s what’s important to Indian children. The only way you can be free is to know is that you are worthwhile as a distinct human being. Otherwise you become what the colonizers have designed, and that is a lemming. Get in line, punch all the right keys, and die.” Russell Means

 

            Watching Fox news and listening to some of the conservative commentators I can envision the masses of lemmings running off the cliff following right along. It seems so few think for themselves any more. Even in education we have gone with standards for what is to be taught and then test kids based on standards. Effectively we have been eliminating the development of critical thinking and imagination. In Texas by chance they were trying to pass laws for schools to eliminate the teaching of critical thinking. It was entitled Lemming Law 101 (I am being sarcastic). One writer commented in a blog that while they thought a certain politician who was no longer running was not knowledgeable about being president they liked her and so would write in a vote for her for that reason. She stands for what I stand for. Many of these same politicians stand for what makes the most money for them at that time. Current contenders have changed their minds significantly on immigration and others have gone from pro-health care reform to repeal health care reform.

 

“It does not require many words to speak the truth.” Chief Joseph, Nez Perce

 

Sadly most will never use a few words but embellish and go far beyond the truth. A week is reaching the middle and again I ask please keep all in harms way on your mind and in your hearts and to always give thanks namaste.

 

Wa de (Skee)

bird

 

Do we need all need a bit more soul?

September 18, 2012

Do we not all need a bit more soul?

 

“Soul is different from spirit; the deep soul is the way we live every day, our longings and our fears.” Thomas Moore

 

            It has been nearly twenty years since I first read a book written by Thomas Moore. I picked up a copy of The Care of the Soul in about 1993 or so.  I was impressed as I read this great thinker’s words, he had studied under James Hillman and Hillman was a student of Carl Jung. It was in his previous experiences I found some similarities with my own that drew me to his writings. Moore had studied most of his life to be a priest and after graduate school and wanting to do more than simply minister to a church; he went into secular psychology and therapy leaving the priesthood. 

 

“It’s the aspiring spirit that gives life to the intellect and keeps it from being just a mind and a set of ideas.” Thomas Moore

 

“Soul is different from spirit—the deep soul is the way we live every day, our longings and our fears.” Thomas Moore

 

My own interpretation of what soul is really is not that far from where Thomas Moore identifies what is soul?

 

“…to the soul, the most minute details and the most ordinary activities, carried out with mindfulness and art, have an effect far beyond their apparent insignificance.”Thomas Moore

 

“A genuine odyssey is not about piling up experiences. It is a deeply felt, risky, unpredictable tour of the soul. “Thomas Moore

 

“How many times do we lose an occasion for soul work by leaping ahead to final solutions without pausing to savor the undertones? We are a radically bottom-line society, eager to act and to end tension, and thus we lose opportunities to know ourselves for our motives and our secrets.” Thomas Moore

 

As I ponder the concept of soul issues of politics and societal contradictions come into play. Sadly we have done this to ourselves. Living in a southern state that is either fourth or fifth in numbers of illegal immigrants primarily it seems states with agriculture as a major commodity and having worked with many students who I am sure are questionable I wonder at how we have done things in the US. Growing up in Coatesville Pa., I can recall being asked if I was interested in working at Lukens Steel Mill since while my dad who was now in management had been a union steel worker at one time. Literally all children were almost sure to get jobs if your father or mother worked at the mill when you graduated. Only five years ago on my last trip back to Coatesville there was nothing left of Lukens Steel Mill.

Following the news as much as I can one item popped up in the past day or so. In the past few weeks’ legislation to stop tax incentives to companies out sourcing jobs was defeated primarily along party lines although some democrats did help stop it. We have been under the foot or maybe the boot of industry for some time and allowed to live a “happy” life until a more profitable means to do business comes along.

I watched a Georgia Senator’s ad last night on TV as he promoted more flexible regulatory legislation and lower taxes and less government. The other side of the coin is he also introduced a bill to not allow unionization of airlines into Congress. Delta airlines is one of his biggest backers and Delta has been in a fight for some time over unions. Delta is based in Georgia which is a right to work state. Where am I going with unions, the way it was, and illegal immigrants, and outsourcing? We have stood by and allowed wages and perks of union driven groups to go through the roof at times driving product cost up and often driving the industry such as steel to leave the country.

We have allowed industries for as long as I can remember (not just in this political season) to hire and bring in illegal workers for jobs at low wages. Many of the industries doing this in Georgia also back Senators and politicians who by chance are Republican. We support outsourcing to a point most customer service is a joke anymore on the phone a recent ad played on this with a fellow in Siberia with fifty phones ringing and he answers hello this is Peggy in customer service hold please and proceeds to make a sandwich. I guess my issue is we have allowed this; we have allowed the banking and mortgage problems to happen because of our own greed. Sadly it will take more than elections to change the souls of people.

 

“When we relate to our bodies as having soul, we attend to their beauty, their poetry and their expressiveness. Our very habit of treating the body as a machine, whose muscles are like pulleys and its organs engines, forces its poetry underground, so that we experience the body as an instrument and see its poetics only in illness.” Thomas Moore

 

One piece of my doctoral studies and writing is based around on the loss of soul in education which is something I firmly do believe is going on. We have taken creativity and imagination away in so many instances and replaced with memorization exercises and drills. Critical thinking has taken a hit in lieu of teach to the test. Texas literally was trying to ban critical thinking in schools. I first response was this is insane.  Coming back to thinking about Thomas Moore and soul only reminds me that so much needs to be considered in our quest for improving education beyond the simple cure of more money and or more testing.

 

“There are apartments in the soul which have a glorious outlook; from whose windows you can see across the river of death, and into the shining beyond; but how often are these neglected for the lower ones, which have earthward-looking windows.” Henry Beecher, Life Thoughts

 

“I simply believe that some part of the human Self or Soul is not subject to the laws of space and time.” Carl Jung

 

We are so much more than profits or capital as some business minded educators refer to students as. Many of the school choice advocates are living off profit based companies who want into education and want those easy dollars. Several millions of dollars is being spent to open the market in Georgia this November. So for my Georgia friends vote no on the Charter school constitutional amendment. Maybe if we could grasp that piece of us that some call soul and encourage a bit of fertilizer and replenish it so that imagination and wondering could take precedence over the type of clothes you wear, car you drive or jewelry that is hanging on your arm we might could make some serious changes to our reality.

 

“Many of the religions I’ve been exposed to preach reaching for an impossible ideal, and my attempts as transcendence have left me inevitably frustrated with myself, others, and my life. That is why I appreciate Thomas Moore’s philosophy. Here is, in a nutshell: don’t try to transcend your humanity, embrace it. Moore’s ideas would resonate with spiritual wanderers and people who view life as an artistic work in progress. When Moore was a therapist, he noticed that many clients would come to him, wanting him to remove a flaw of theirs. They went to him like patients seeking a surgeon to remove a tumor. Our culture celebrates light, and many feel ashamed when we aren’t happy. However, Moore contends that sadness is, in a sense, a gift, for it gives one depth and perspective. Healing can take time. It rarely occurs overnight.” An unknown blogger

 

 “Everything was possessed of personality, only differing from us in form. Knowledge was inherent in all things. The world was a library and its books were the stones, leaves, grass, brooks, and the birds and animals that shared, alike with us, the storms and blessings of earth. We learned to do what only the student of nature learns, and that was to feel beauty. We never railed at the storms, the furious winds, and the biting frosts and snows. To do so intensify human futility, so whatever came we adjusted ourselves, by more effort and energy if necessary, but without complaint.” Chief Luther Standing Bear

 

            Another day is about ready to start and in seven minutes students will be unleashed to the hallways again perhaps I am still floundering in my meandering about soul. It could be the chill of fall has me enthralled as I get out in the cool air in the mornings. But for today please keep all in harm’s way on your mind and in your hearts and always give thanks namaste.

 

Wa de (Skee)

bird

 

Can soul be defined and codified?

Bird Droppings September 17, 2012

Can soul be defined and codified?

 

            Over the years I have written about the idea of and or concept of soul many times to the point of using the word at one point in my dissertation title. The word has differing meanings as you discuss with various religious groups and or psychologists. Interestingly enough it is not that big of jump from psychology to religion. Carl Jung referenced soul numerous times in his writings as did his students James Hillman and his students Thomas Moore who wrote several books more recently on the soul and its impact on us as humans. The Care of the Soul is one of the first of Moore’s books that I read several years back and his view is rather interesting as he separates from religion this idea of soul. Today as I was updating my status using a Carl Jung quote which will appear shortly a news article came up about how atheists and agnostics know more about religion than do believers.

 

“A new survey of Americans’ knowledge of religion found that atheists, agnostics, Jews and Mormons outperformed Protestants and Roman Catholics in answering questions about major religions, while many respondents could not correctly give the most basic tenets of their own faiths. Forty-five percent of Roman Catholics who participated in the study didn’t know that, according to church teaching, the bread and wine used in Holy Communion is not just a symbol, but becomes the body and blood of Christ. More than half of Protestants could not identify Martin Luther as the person who inspired the Protestant Reformation. And about four in 10 Jews did not know that Maimonides, one of the greatest rabbis and intellectuals in history, was Jewish.” Rachel Zoll, AP Religion Writer Rachel Zoll, AP Religion Writer, Sept. 28, 2010

 

            I recall growing up being told in church that Catholics were cannibals because they ate the body and blood of Christ. Something I heard in school and not at home. Back in the day many Catholics students went to parochial schools in the community and transferred in high school to the public schools. I never did quite understand the cannibal thing till the concept of transubstantiation came up. What a great vocabulary word, transubstantiation, or the changing of the wine and bread to the body and blood of Christ in the service. While studying to be an Anglican priest issues with communion came up and this was one. Later in a seminary class various rules and guidelines for accidental spills of blessed wine were in the lecture. Where am I going I am not one to down play beliefs of others and will not here but in looking at religion as a whole? Far too often followers are just that simply followers of someone who is a good talker and has a good line. Churches split and separate and new churches form as one idea surpasses another. It becomes more of a follow the leader than a staunch believes in a philosophy or creed.

 

“The dream is the small hidden door in the deepest and most intimate sanctum of the soul, which opens to that primeval cosmic night that was soul long before there was conscious ego and will be soul far beyond what a conscious ego could ever reach.” Carl Jung, The Meaning of Psychology for Modern Man

 

 

“For one man the world was full of beauty, for the other it was a place of sin and ugliness to be endured until he went to another world, there to become a creature of wings, half-man and half-bird. Forever one man directed his Mystery to change the world. He had made; forever this man pleaded with Him to chastise his wicked ones; and forever he implored his God to send His light to earth. Small wonder this man could not understand the other.” Chief Luther Standing Bear

 

            Perhaps it was this distinction in life views that separated and continues to separate indigenous thought from the invaders. When your goal is eternal life versus being one with your environment you are really not too concerned about the existing realm.  Far too many people do not see the beauty of our world. They never take the time from seeking their profits and gathering to themselves of all they can to see the pieces of life’s puzzle.

 

“Say not, ‘I have found the truth,’ but rather, ‘I have found a truth.’  Say not, ‘I have found the path of the soul.’  Say rather, ‘I have met the soul walking upon my path.’  For the soul walks upon all paths.  The soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like a reed.  The soul unfolds itself, like a lotus of countless petals. “ Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet, 1923

 

“But the old Lakota was wise. He knew that a man’s heart, away from nature, becomes hard; he knew that lack of respect for growing, living things soon led to lack of respect for humans, too. So he kept his children close to nature’s softening influence.” Chief Luther Standing Bear, Oglala Sioux

 

When we crawl away from life we tend to lose touch with all about us. As Standing Bear states we lose respect for humans as we lose respect for our world. Reading stories of Native Americans it was customary to sit on the ground to be closer to mother earth than to sit in a chair or bench. There was a connectedness in the way of life that was instrumental in their thinking. We have lost that and replaced with greed and self-centeredness.

            In the early 1900’s Freud and Jung worked together and it was Jung’s desire and understanding of the nature of man that led to their separating and to many new ideas for Jung. Jung saw a man as various shades between black and white and Freud saw only the contrasts. Dreams became a focus for Jung and those interconnections that seem to continually pop up.

 

“You see, when weaving a blanket, an Indian woman leaves a flaw in the weaving of that blanket to let the soul out.” Martha Graham

“Disappointment is a sort of bankruptcy, the bankruptcy of a soul that expends too much in hope and expectation.” Eric Hoffer, The Passionate State of Mind

 

“Art is a microscope which the artist fixes on the secrets of his soul and shows to people these secrets which are common to all.” Leo Tolstoy, Diary

 

Most cultures have some reference to soul in their teaching and stories. Philosophers use the term loosely as they ply our understanding. Within art it is the soul of the artist that is laid bare but what is this that is defined as soul.

 

“Loss means losing what was; we want to change but we don’t want to lose. Without time for loss, we don’t have time for soul.”  James Hillman

 

“We’re an air bag society that wants guarantees on everything that we buy. We want to be able to take everything back and get another one. We want a 401-k plan and Social Security.” James Hillman

 

Strong souls

Live like fire-hearted suns to spend their strength

In farthest striving action; breathe more free

In mighty anguish than in trivial ease.

George Eliot, The Spanish Gypsy

 

 

Sitting in my kitchen at my laptop thinking and pondering I might have bitten off more than a day’s effort in writing and might need to return again tomorrow. So with a heavy heart and incomplete task here in front of me I wish everyone would please keep all in harm’s way on your minds and in your hearts and always give thanks namaste.

 

Wa de (Skee)

bird

My question for today is wisdom contagious?

Bird Droppings September 16, 2012

My question for today is wisdom contagious?

 

            I was reading in a friend’s blog about the Harry Potter series. She was addressing religious beliefs in her blog and how so many adhere verbatim to holy texts. As I read her blog which is rather good the ending was rather interesting.

“That doesn’t mean I’m waiting for my letter from Hogwarts to arrive by owl post any time soon… well, not really… looks out window for owl.” Blue Collar Momma, bluecollarmamma.wordpress.com

How we delineate which texts become holy is often a human contrivance. It might be that Harry Potter books in another thousand years will be considered gospel. I added a comment to her note on Facebook a few years back when I first saw this note something to the effect as I pulled out from my house yesterday morning a red tailed hawk was sitting on the power line beside me watching me leave. As I left it flew away. On my wall to my immediate left is a red tailed hawk feather that I found nearly twelve years ago. I often wonder as to how we formulate and postulate our understandings of our surroundings. In Native American thought the great mystery often referred to as Wakan-Taka is that aspect we cannot clearly define.

“The beginning of wisdom is found in doubting; by doubting we come to the question, and by seeking we may come upon the truth.”  Pierre Abelard

 

“The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells Wakan-Taka (the Great Spirit), and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us. This is the real peace, and the others are but reflections of this. The second peace is that which is made between two individuals and the third is that which is made between two nations. But above all you should understand that there can never be peace between nations until there is known that true peace, which, as I have often said, is within the souls of men.”  Black Elk, holy man, Oglala Sioux

“He that never changes his opinions, never corrects his mistakes, and will never be wiser on the morrow than he is today.”  Tryon Edwards

            I think there is a bit of wisdom in all of us yet we often tend to put aside for ease of thinking. We follow others unquestioningly and do as they do because it is so easy to not think. I watch the news of another mega church pastor who is being sued in civil court over some possible indiscretions. This is a man who lives in opulence all built on his twenty five thousand member church preaching, the word or perhaps more appropriately his word.  We fall in line sadly in a world behind politicians who speak the best or offer the biggest possibility of promises that of course will be never kept often totally aware of that as we vote as well.

“To understand reality is not the same as to know about outward events. It is to perceive the essential nature of things. The best-informed man is not necessarily the wisest. Indeed there is a danger that precisely in the multiplicity of his knowledge he will lose sight of what is essential. But on the other hand, knowledge of an apparently trivial detail quite often makes it possible to see into the depth of things. And so the wise man will seek to acquire the best possible knowledge about events, but always without becoming dependent upon this knowledge. To recognize the significant in the factual is wisdom.” Dietrich Bonheoffer

I wonder if some of these wealthy pastors would continue their preaching in a manner consistent with Bonheoffer, one of the few Christians to die in Germany’s concentration camps. He died doing what he believed preaching against the Nazi regime and protecting Jews as the Nazi’s came looking for them. He is considered by many as a great theologian and philosopher and he lived as he preached that is the key. As I read this passage how easy we get swept up in knowledge and perhaps lose the significance of that knoweledge.  

 

“Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.”  Plato

 

“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.”  Naguib Mahfouz

 

“We learn wisdom from failure much more than from success. We often discover what will do, by finding out what will not do; and probably he who never made a mistake never made a discovery.” Samuel Smiles

 

            Far too often we garble the message with too many words. Plato had it right there are many who talk simply to hear themselves talk. I often talk about how questions from four year olds are some of the best because they have not been subjected yet to others opinions and scrutiny. Children are silenced when we tell them they are wrong before they even ask the question. It does take failure to learn and to gain wisdom. Smiles points out what Edison would allude to in his quest for a light bulb in that he found tens of thousands of bulbs that did not work and one that did. I have not read as much of Gibran as I wish I had and am working on that.

 

“The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.”  Kahlil Gibran

 

“A prudent question is one half of wisdom.”  Francis Bacon

 

“Everything is based on mind, is led by mind, and is fashioned by mind. If you speak and act with a polluted mind, suffering will follow you, as the wheels of the oxcart follow the footsteps of the ox. Everything is based on mind, is led by mind, and is fashioned by mind. If you speak and act with a pure mind, happiness will follow you, as a shadow clings to a form.”  Buddha

 

There is clarity in youth that muddles as we grow older. I see little children as containing wisdom only to lose it through interaction in society and then to slowly regain as they grow older and go through the process of being human. Some may retain pieces of that wisdom and not take as long to return back too that childlikeness. It is a circle much like the circle of life.

 

“I was standing on the highest mountain of them all, and round about beneath me was the whole hoop of the world. And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being. And I saw that the sacred hoop of my people was one of many hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight, and in the center grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all children of one mother and one father. And I saw that it was holy…but anywhere is the center of the world.”  Black Elk, holy man, medicine man, Oglala Sioux

 

I have been reading and seeking to understand Black Elk for nearly forty years since I was first pointed towards a book bearing his name and each year I am able to know and understand more. Perhaps it is wisdom or errors along the way that led me back to the understanding of his words. Black Elk was a holy man who worked into his eighties in or around the reservation harvesting crops for farmers in the area. He was not gaudy or opulent in his life but humble with the power and understanding that he had. He was respected for his knowledge and wisdom and perhaps is a good point to stop today. I hope one day I will not have to end as I have for so long now. Please keep all in harm’s way on your mind and in your hearts and always give thanks namaste.

 

Wa de (Skee)

bird

 

What about trying to clear your head?

Bird Droppings September 15, 2012

What about trying to clear your head?

 

“The hands will solve a mystery that the intellect has struggled with in vain.” Carl G. Jung

 

            I have been a fan of Jung for some time perhaps as I like his view of having more than simply a black and white view of psychology as Freud does. Jung saw that there were possibilities that we currently do not understand and or cannot understand about the mind. Just like many teachers know some children will learn so much faster when the hands are engaged as well that tactile sensation adding to intellectual pursuit. I was reading numerous blogs this morning many are simply hatred with some sugar coating generally along the lines of religionism.

As I headed to the high school to pick up a camera from my room and computer I decided by chance to stop at a local eating establishment and went through the drive through. As I pulled in the girl at the window said the person in front of you paid for your breakfast and asked me to give you this. While the emphasis was on a Christian radio station and included their phone number and such no real advertising was included. It was about people doing things for others and called the “drive through difference”. It did sort of make me smile and a nice warm feeling and helped me make it through the sludge of hate mongers that plaster blogs stirring up religious war and condemning others for not being like themselves.

 

“Never be afraid to sit awhile and think.”Lorraine Hansberry

 

I have found in a world of crazies it does require time to ponder before acting rashly. One of the draws for me to John Dewey is his constant discussion and introjections of reflection into education process. For it is in reflection that we analyze and truly give credence to ideas and thoughts.  I truly wish we would do more in classes to reflect and provide pondering time for students. Most students would not have ever pondered before or reflected for that matter so it is a new concept for some.

 

“No matter where you go or what you do, you live your entire life within the confines of your head.”Terry Josephson

 

Perhaps some of us do far too much internalizing of where we are and why but so much of our existence is in our heads through perceptions and beliefs. Beliefs and perceptions are very hard to change and often are not changeable even when faced with reality.

 

“People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.”Soren Kierkegaard

 

I have often wondered about freedom of speech when so few even consider that unless it is generally in a manner contrary to popular thought. But then is it freedom of speech when we make laws to prohibit that which is free such perhaps is the paradox of our society. The freedom of thought while not something that can be measured or categorized is so critical to democracy and individuality.

 

“Too often we… enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.” John F. Kennedy

 

“Some people get lost in thought because it’s such unfamiliar territory.G. Behn

 

I was thinking about some that get lost because what is seen as reality is too painful for them. Working with numerous people over the years many times the “real” world is harsh and bitter and withdrawal into a private realm is deemed far more enjoyable and safe.

 

“We spend our days in deliberating, and we end them without coming to any resolve.”L’Estrange

 

With each second of each day so many people squander their own reality spinning about never seemingly going anywhere. I have many times found myself in this trap looking for something to grasp to get hold of and pull me out of the quagmire.

 

“Few people think no more than two or three times a year; I have made an international reputation for myself by thinking once a week.”George Bernard Shaw

 

When I read this I thought of The Blue Collar Comedy Hour that has been on Comedy Central and my local favorite ethnic group, rednecks.  Where in the definition do so often we need to use the word ignorant. But as Atlanta Comedian Jeff Foxworthy has built his fame and industry on redneckism I find it most interesting his kids go to one of Atlanta’s most exclusive private schools. I find that sort of serious paradoxical redneckism.

 

“Belief is when someone else does the thinking.” Buckminster Fuller

 

This brought to mind the dark ages when society was imprisoned by those who could read and write and think freely predominantly “the church” and all thought was restricted to thought allowed by the church. I also find it interesting that many great thinkers actually perished in practicing wrong thinking.

 

“Iron rusts from disuse, stagnant water loses its purity and in cold weather becomes frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind.” Leonardo da Vinci

 

I have found the more I study the more I think the more I want to study and learn more which is an interesting thought as so few aspects of life are self-perpetuating such as thinking.

 

“A sect or party is an elegant incognito devised to save a man from the vexation of thinking.”Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

I could not have expressed my self-better than RWE. Politics takes away thinking and there are so many political aides who simply spin reality in favor of that person or ideology they have chosen to support, right or wrong,  theirs will be most likely to be picked. The secret is do not let the populous think too much.

 

“Thoughts, like fleas, jump from man to man.  But they don’t bite everybody.” Stanislaw Lec

 

“The world we have created is a product of our thinking; it cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” Albert Einstein

 

Albert hit the nail on the head we have to change our thinking or else it will become as Emerson and Fuller stated become belief, a sect and even a political party. A circular effort we begin to think which becomes common place and soon everyone follows suit and that idea becomes law and belief and then we have to rethink everything all over again. What if human nature were not so lazy and would stay in motion and if thought would continue instead of constantly wanting a break?

 

“No amount of energy will take the place of thought.  A strenuous life with its eyes shut is a kind of wild insanity.”Henry Van Dyke

 

So much truth in this statement and so much a part of so many and for today as always please keep all in harm’s way on your mind and in your hearts and always give thanks namaste.

 

Wa de (Skee)

bird