Thursday, July 19, 2012

Jiddu Krishnamurti: A Reminder

During this lecture, or rather conversation, Jiddu Krishnamurti was 90 years old.  He quickly admonishes the audience not to applaud him.  The Year was 1985, the first night of a two-night speaking engagement in Washington DC.  They were the Reagan years and I was only 19 years old.  The heart beat of our nation was concerned with Communism, nuclear war, and we felt, at the time, that we were not crazy enough to push the button to destroy the earth.  The greatest fear was the cold war with Russia. 

It was still the "spy-versus-spy" days and we had felt, with incredible certainty that we were the ones wearing the "white" hats.  We were good, loved peace and were not in the business of creating war.  We had fought for those who could not speak. 

That was our self perception.  What is our concern?  What is our desire?  There is a saying that where your heart is, there lies your treasure.

As I think about the nature of the days, where we tried not to think about the threat of living under a nation where weapons were pointed at each other, and we tried to understand, as young people, how our parents generation had allowed the bomb contest to grow to such insanity.  At the time we had an inventory that could have destroyed the world several times over, and that was just OUR inventory. 

Like most Americans, I didn't pay attention to the Iran-Contra scandal.  It was "their" problem and we didn't want any part of it.  However, the war in Afghanistan had resulted in the bankruptcy of the former Soviet Union.  It also resulted in the collapse of the Berlin Wall.  It resulted in nuclear draw-down, that I had thought was a miracle.

The world came together and watched with tears as the wall came down and yet, the old Europe was still terrified of a "unified" Germany instead of hoping for a unified world.

At the time, I had thought to myself that I actually could have a family, during the age of one nation pointing weapons at another in some sort of Mexican stand-off, I was not about to bring a child into this drama.

Unfortunately, the drumbeat of war began and continues since 2 August 1990.  When one group tries to dominate another group to do its will, we have terms that have changed our language and our mentality.  To objectify humanity has crippled our hearts and consciousness with bitter seeds of hate and revenge.

Not all are as such, but individually and collectively; we are responsible for the world we want to see reflected in each other.  Is peace really so controversial?   Is freedom without a real meaning when we use the freedom to inflict control over each other.  To rule each other?  Over each other?  To treat each other like cattle?  Our competitive spirit serves not to better each other, but to destroy each other.  What is this carrot we are chasing?  A plaque?  A bit of recognition? 

For a moment, consider what is driving you in this life.  Consider your motivation.  Is it to be free from need, just to preserve your mortal body for as long as possible because life is so much more preferable to death? 

How much more is learned when we collaborate and share with each other instead of chasing little slips of green paper that we exchange with each other for wants more than needs.  So, perhaps we need to realign our thinking.  To face our fears of each other.  To realize this is not an ugly world, but one that has an enormous amount of potential instead of just passively and blindly accepting that we "have to" be divided through beliefs, race, creed, culture, language or nationality. 

Ponder carefully...why are we afraid of peace?  What wouldn't be needed anymore?  What could that energy be put into.  We live.  We die.  The next generations come and the ancestors hope their knowledge and experience is passed down. 

No matter what is feared, which is the unknown; have the courage to make the unknown...the known. What follows is the second night of his dialogue in Washington DC. If we can ever hope to have peace within the world, we must restore the intention of the word.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Into the Night

Another sunset comes and the night was adorned with a full moon and mosquitoes as I went for a long walk with no particular destination in mind.  Tonight my heart is heavy, my stomach is in anxious knots, and there is a part of me that just can't wait to go out into the world again, but that is my own battle with my desires.  Usually, I have found that when I have my sojourns into a quiet space or place, it is a prelude to a lot of sifting.  It's more stuff that I have to come to terms with in this school of human experience.  Often, the lessons have been about thinking too much or not enough.  Sometimes they have been lessons about trust and how to actually listen to my instincts. 

This lesson was a familiar one, one about the human heart.  Do we often listen to ourselves when we are in our periods of seclusion?  Do we even know what to listen for when we have well meaning people telling us what they want for us and what they would love to see for our lives?
This week I came to terms with something that isn't easy for many people to talk about, independence.  Ironic, because this week was the celebration of our Independence Day and many other nations celebrate the establishment of their countries, more correctly, their governments as well.  Actually, we are globally evolving into Interdependence, but I am running away from my original line of self questioning.

At issue is my lack of interest in establishing relationships.  I, realized that it's a peculiar thing for many people to want to help me, because I keep hearing how I am attractive and shouldn't be alone.  This isn't about giving 'love' a chance, it's realizing I have no desire for that kind of relationship with men.  A friend of mine had once told me, "you know it's right when you can't live without them."  However, the truth is, do I even want that kind of relationship?  The answer is a resounding "NO". 
As I looked up into the night sky, I realized that what I wanted most was to view people the way I had when I was a young person.  I was content to be myself.  I was content with however many people were around me.  I was focused on my dreams and I wasn't focused on 'finding' someone.  Many people get addicted to the dramas that are created, the emotions and passions that get stirred and they call that "being alive'.  Sure, there are people that get excited by others. 

I have known that feeling, but too often we focus on the things that fade out in people.  I have come to a place in my life where I realized what my real desires are.  That is the real pursuit of happiness by finding out that in order to be independent, you must realize that no one can make you happy.  You are the only one in charge of your own emotions.

There are many people out in the world looking for someone to complete them.  The truth is, we were all born complete.  It's just our relationships, at times, we forget it's really a partnership, and the only way partnerships really work is if they travel together.

Nothing in this life works if it is forced.

The greatest fear people have is being alone.  The truth is, I am not alone, not lonely, but that most important part of my life is this journey.  What that will fully entail isn't even important.  What is important is the willingness to learn from it all.

The anxious knot in my stomach finally untied itself the moment I realized that I needed to stop conforming to what other people wanted for me.  It didn't have to make sense to them, it only needed to make sense to me.

Passion is an imitation of living that smolders with an intensity that is often misleading.  Love is consistent and when you follow your soul, it keeps you truthful.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Some Things Old Are New

I have found a strange new obsession with old things and within the past week, the Twin Cities area had a back to the '50s car show.  For some reason it made me remember a place in New Mexico, a small town called Clovis, where there really wasn't too much for the kids to do on Saturday nights except drive their cars up and down Main Street and shout out to the girls.  The guys with the flashy rides, souped up with their hard working hands, would perform this slow crawling ride, that the town just accepted on Saturday nights.  We dubbed it "Happy Days." so for that night, none of the adults drove downtown, "The whole 2.5 miles of it", would be bumper to bumper in a town where there were only 30,000 people.  We had rattlesnakes, tumbleweeds, and "Happy Days".  I used to think Stephen King had based his book, "Desperation" on that little sleepy town, where the weather barely changed during the year.  There was only one thing that set Clovis apart, and that was the need for the young men to show their worthiness by the care and pride they showed in their vehicles, and the girls would smile and wave to the boys. 
Some of the Twin Cities locals loaded up their folding chairs and tailgated in a shopping center parking lot last weekend to see the cars drive by instead of going to a show to see them on display.  They would extend their hand in the parade style wave and cheering when they saw or heard a car they liked.  The deeper the throaty rumble, the louder the cheers from the young boys at the stop light, begging them to 'punch it" when the light turned green.  Some drivers humored the boys by revving up their engines, which only made them scream louder.  
I was just amazed by how many cars seemed to survive long past their 'expiration' dates.  The bodies seemed to have new life breathed into them.  Many of these vehicles were on the road long before I was even thought of, let alone my mother being legal to drive. 
And I thought to myself, wouldn't it be wonderful to convert these cars to alternative energy?  That's a kind of repurposing that I would have the heart to be a part of.

There is a strange love affair I have with old things, and I think it's because people used to love making things.  That's the signature I am looking for.  I also believe many look for that signature...some spend a lifetime looking for it, but when you find it, you know.

It's rare.