Can we change things?

Bird Droppings March 13, 2011
Can we change things?

It has been a rather long day with a drive to Colombia South Carolina to look at snakes and lizards and such at a reptile show with two of my sons. Eight hours in the car and taking pictures of King Cobras and Eye lash vipers made for an exciting day. My youngest son nonstop nearly six hundred miles cracking jokes or at least getting the joke started and reminiscing over old times was fantastic. I would not have changed anything today.

“We cannot change anything unless we accept it.” Carl Jung, 1875-1961, Swiss psychiatrist

Change is something we are faced with daily and often it is change we do not want to bear. Perhaps I should consult my Jung texts on my dream of a red tailed hawk in my old back yard from my childhood. Jung was a great believer in dreams and dream analysis. I have been torn on the idea of change, what part we can play in this great cosmic drama, can we alter our minute part. What if we redirect the lines and switch characters in midstream.

“Whatever the universal nature assigns to any man at any time is for the good of that man at that time.” Marcus Aurelius

There are two basic premises in reality one we are the center of the universe that each of us is a focal point and many people do feel that way. The other is we are simple a small piece of a large puzzle, one insignificant little piece yet without it the whole is not complete.

“The men and woman who make the best boon companions seem to have given up hope of doing something else…some defect of talent or opportunity has cut them off from their pet ambition and has thus left them with leisure to take an interest in their lives of others. Your ambition may be, it makes him keep his thoughts at home. But the heartbroken people — if I may use the word in a mild, benevolent sense — the people, whose wills are subdued to fate, give us consolation, recognition, and welcome.” John Jay Chapman

A deep thought though I would beg to differ. Maybe it is how I read the passage yet I cannot help but think of Albert Switzer and Mother Theresa who gave up promising careers to help others. To me this far supersedes any success that might have been met in their other possible pathways. Giving in to fate I do not see these two great humanitarians as such but as embracing life and leaving self aside so they can help others. Perhaps it is our own definition of what is real and significant that matters.

“Whatever limits us we call fate.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

I do think we become limited by semantics by words that try and define and offer parameters to perhaps limitless ideas and thoughts. We all seem to want parameters to whatever we do. I watch teenagers setting boundaries and limits and barriers everyday. Some will be cultural and societal, others closer to home perhaps religious and spiritual. We want definition in our lives we want to be able to say well this person is this or that. We like stratifying and categorizing in our lives. I was working with a student on test scores trying to explain two people could have tested exactly the same on a personality test and still be totally different people. While a test is normed and validated it still has limitations that change with each person taking that test.
Some people see far more in a Rorschach inkblot test and details while a less artistic person may only see a face or a rabbit. Picasso saw myriads of color and shapes and we see a hodge podge of paint and call it abstract or cubist for lack of better terminology to define and delineate his work. Maybe we should simply say it is Picassian unique to an artist who saw differently than we other mortals.
Even in writing as I enjoy reading Edgar Allan Poe and had the experience of talking with and assisting in publishing an author’s work years ago who confessed to being the incarnation of Poe, ridiculous as it may sound. It was a bizarre period in my own life as I spent many hours on the phone and in reading his work. First of all he looked like Poe and he was an idiot savant. He could spin words and phrases instantly. When he would meet you he would literally immediately give you a poem often handwritten in beautiful calligraphy of the acronym of your name. He would write a poem each line starting with a letter from your name spelling out your name and literally analyzing your personality. While working with this fellow as weird as this sounds crows would literally flock to my yard hundred of crows, all day at my house which was in a pasture. When I sent the last of his work to him the birds went away.

“When an inner situation is not made conscious, it appears outside as fate.” Carl Jung

Reading over the years I came literally by accident one day upon a book, I was floundering business wise and saw an ad for a free business analysis. I called and was assured it was free and would I sign to use this consulting firm if all went well in the analysis. I signed and for two days a gentlemen came and informed me I should close my doors. Not really a shock since my largest customer had changed from print to software and was a major part of my business. After submitting his business thoughts he told me about a book he thought I should read “The Celestine Prophecy” by James Redfield. It is sort of a new age book he said.
He wrote the name and author on a piece of paper which I stuck in my wallet for my next trip to Borders. It was several Borders trips later and I forgotten about the book and while walking down an aisle a book fell and hit me in the head literally. Surprisingly enough guess which book. The book contains nine supposed insights recorded in ancient times and written in an archaic ancient language not used in 3000 years. Anyhow the point is here is the fourth insight from Redfield’s book.

“The Struggle for Power – Too often humans cut themselves off from the greater source of this energy and so feel weak and insecure. To gain energy we tend to manipulate or force others to give us attention and thus energy. When we successfully dominate others in this way, we feel more powerful, but they are left weakened and often fight back. Competition for scarce, human energy is the cause of all conflict between people.” James Redfield, The Celestine Prophecy

As I read this earlier all the struggles and attention seeking of students versus teachers, and of Carl Jung teachings sort of fell into place. We draw energy from others to replace energy we are lacking. We are lacking because we are not generating but simply using sort of a parasitic relationship. I have over the years developed a chart on student teacher feedback which could as easily be people to people feedback. One the lowest most primordial level is parasitism, where we feed off others energy. The second level is symbiosis and this is where each one needs the other independently of each other and yet inseparable. The third level is osmosis, where energy is freely given and exchanged back and forth. I have been using bits and pieces of this idea as I develop my dissertation.
Albert Switzer and Mother Teresa worked in this way, they never sought energy but received in the giving an ongoing exchange. I see daily students and teachers who exhibit bits and pieces of each of these forms of human interaction. Going back to my starting quote, understanding where you are and why is paramount to changing, and the ability to growth and truly being able to help others and yourself. I went out into the rain a few days back, a drizzle of sorts and cold. Rain has a way of quieting the air and forest. It was literally silent, muffled by the rain and heavy air. Our dog does not like the rain and scurried back inside, curling up on her blankets as soon as she was back in her room. I sat down unsure of which direction I would go today and wandering as I do often. But perhaps my point is we need each other, we do need interaction and we can change. We are not at the mercy of fate and or some cosmic puzzle unless we choose to be, yet we are all part of that puzzle as well. A paradox of sorts as is so much of life. Today please keep all in harms way on your mind and in your hearts.

We are where we need to be

Bird Droppings February 17, 2011
We are where we need to be
I was outside for nearly thirty minutes sitting in the dark watching some smoke waft off of some sage as tree frogs for the first time broke the silence. The ambient temperature must be right I heard them last night as well. There are no crickets as of yet only the chorus frogs chirping away. I have said many times I am where I need to be now as I reference my teaching at the high school. The people I come in contact with and talk with for each of us it is part of the great mystery of life we share. Perhaps it is seeing the ads for James Redfield’s latest book that got me wandering this morning but for years I have discussed my world view as one of intertwining of the pieces.
“We are discovering again that we live in a deeply mysterious world,
full of sudden coincidences and synchronistic encounters that seem destined.” James Redfield
I was approached about the idea of fate and offered that there are unquestionably interactions going on that seem to lead in a direction. I have used many times the concept of a puzzle, of the pieces falling into place. In life these pieces are very intricate and complex yet when we stand back we can see the interlocking and interconnection not the whole. I often wonder at my own life’s journeys and how I ended up where I am. I am where I need to be right at this moment to interact with people I come into contact with here now and tomorrow is another day and another piece to the puzzle.
“A new spiritual awakening is occurring in human culture, an awakening brought about by a critical mass of individuals who experience their lives as a spiritual unfolding, a journey in which we are led forward by mysterious coincidences.” James Redfield, The Celestine Prophecy, insight one
When I first read James Redfield’s book I was amazed at how it seemed to fit many things going on within myself, was that a great marketing ploy or a reality I am still not sure. Even to the extent I was told about the book by a consultant who came to work with my company for two days and review business plans etc. Basically he told me to close up and move on which I did shortly there after. But he also was married to a girl from Peru and was in process of moving to Peru to start an import export company. He mentioned I should read a book coincidently; The Celestine Prophecy takes place in Peru. I wrote the name of the book on a sheet of paper and stuck in my wallet for a Borders or Barnes and Noble trip when ever that may come. Several months later walking in Borders, guess what book fell off the shelf and hit me in the head.
“This awakening represents the creation of a new, more complete worldview, which replaces a five-hundred-year-old preoccupation with secular survival and comfort. While this technological preoccupation was an important step; our awakening to life’s coincidences is opening us up to the real purpose of human life on this planet, and the real nature of our universe.” James Redfield, Insight two
It was in the early 1900’s Dr. Carl Jung came up with the word synchronicity which relates to and ties into Redfield’s book. Jung found this concept as he interviewed patients and retraced these interrelated meaningful happenings these puzzle pieces falling in place. Quantum Physics is addressing many of the ideas in science that Redfield mentions in fiction the ideas of energy and a bond we all have to this flow of energy.
“We now experience that we live not in a material universe, but in a universe of dynamic energy. Everything extant is a field of sacred energy that we can sense and intuit. Moreover, we humans can project our energy by focusing our attention in the desired direction…where attention goes, energy flows…influencing other energy systems and increasing the pace of coincidences in our lives.” James Redfield, Insight three
Yesterday as I read a science article on how a double helix shaped mass of space dust was found near the center of our galaxy I recalled several passages from Redfield and Gary Zukov’s writings. This cloud had the form of what appeared to be DNA. The massive magnetic forces of the black hole at the center of the galaxy appear to be what has created this cloud in this shape. As I read it became apparent how literally insignificant we are in the total scheme of things floundering about trying to understand literally infinite understanding with a finite mind. Many times I look for reality in my place of existence and today a short poem by a young man at the time of writing he was eight years old.
By Mattie J.T. Stepanek

I really miss
Having a brother
I miss my
Two brothers and my sister
And I don’t
Why they died
It’s so sad
To not have
A brother, and
Another brother, and
A sister
When I should have them.
And I know that
Will make me
Happy again
But right now,
I don’t know what, and
I don’t know when

Mattie Stepanek died at thirteen from a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy, along with his brothers and sister. He was able to share though briefly his heart felt understanding of life and all around him. As I looked through one of his poetry books “Hope through Heartsongs,” I was caught up in his words but also a forward by Gary Zukav author of numerous bestsellers.

“Chapters begin and end, but the book continues. Five sensory humans mistake their lives for the book. A multisensory human sees his life as a chapter in the book. He sees the lives of others in the same way. A multisensory human does not think of herself as beginning with her birth and ending with her death and more than she thinks a book ends when one of its chapters comes to a conclusion. The unfolding history of the book becomes more visible in each chapter – in each life.” Gary Zukav, Foreword to Hope through Heart songs by Mattie Stepanak

As I plan my day today the moon was setting through the clouds even if I can not see it clearly I know from days past this week and the sun is rising across the other side of my existence. On one side in black and white with clouds framing a nearly full moon and on the other brilliant purples and reds as the sun is rising through many of the same numerous clouds. We exist much in this same manner seeing brilliance in black and white at times in settings conclusions and in beginnings with all their brilliant colors. Each day our pieces fall in to place one at a time each integral to the next each a page as Zukav views as a book each a piece of the puzzle. I wonder where today will lead and where the pieces will fall as I finish my morning writing I would ask as I do each day for peace and please keep all in harms way on your mind and in your hearts.