Tuesday, November 24, 2009

IS GOD TWO-FACED? Part 2 "Let's Face It"

Let's face it, it's nice to share a meal with someone you can relate to.

When I want heartfelt comfort and soul nourishment…it really is immensely satisfying to know that I am in a relationship with a very intimate "Other"…and indeed, the more I surrender (snuggle up) to that Other-ness, the more I recognize that the other enjoys companionship just as much as I do. The meal just tastes better when we're sharing the same grass.


But just to keep the scales balanced (I am a Libra), I love grazing in the open fields of un-endingness and non-distinction…it's relaxing, it's satisfying, there's no resistance and there's more than enough to go around.


So let's face it...it's good to abide in "both/and".. which calls me to be a compassionate "other" when life needs "me-othering" and as permeating presence in the pastures of consciousness when distinction just gets in the way.


So, thanks Jesus and thanks Buddha. Even though you are of the same fertile "Ground of Being," by showing up in different guises, its make sharing the meal more flavorful and standing together... a treat for the infinite be-holder.


Think on't!





Epilogue:

"On a Walk" by Errol Strider

On a walk…or pacing…

when I really want to focus in…to perceive Essence…
I stare down into grass, dirt or concrete,

for in that focus…mesmerized…
the sweet inner gaze of the "Unfathamobile" filters up to me
And I stare…as into nothing…the ground within…
to walk in the experience
of knowing
that I am…accompanied.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

IS GOD TWO-FACED? Part 1

"When you make the person of God your significant other, every other person you meet becomes…… significant." ES


I live in Buddhist Country…there are a lot of Buddhists around here in West Marin, S.F. Bay area. I'm not sure whether Buddhists believe in a personal God…a God that can be known as "Other". I don't think so. After all, how can there actually be an "other" in a non-dualistic universe…and yet…there is obviously personality distinction. I deal with others all the time…and if I forget or deny them their "other-ness," they are quick to remind me just how not them I am.

Is God "Other? Is there just Being (and non-being)? How important is it to even make a distinction? And more importantly, how does one concept or the other affect our lives? ("Who's on first?")

I'm kind of a both/and kind of guy. I like it that at the sub-atomic level…sometimes energy appears as particle and in other circumstances, as a wave (and even more recently as string. What's next? A chord?) I guess it depends on the problem we're trying to solve. (see Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle)

I went to a conference in Boulder on science and spirituality a couple of years ago and heard one speaker say that recognizing each of us as "the sacred other stimulated compassion in him, while a Buddhist scientist found that believing we are all one evoked compassion in him. What I find helpful is to know that the universe is imminently personal…self-aware and volitional. To know that I am both housed and permeated by a Self-aware presence of living love is very comforting. And I need to be comforted…there's a lot of being jostled and irritated by "the others" going on.

Yes , a comforting face is welcome.

Indeed, Jesus referred to the Spirit of Truth (evidently a new and improved spiritual energy that he was able to liberate into the stream of human consciousness by virtue of his life, death and resurrection)…as "The Comforter."

Jesus in fact said, "You have seen me, you have seen the Father." Now, while I can accept the notion that God is much much more than a personality, personality is still one of the faces that God presents to us…along with Infinity of Being, evolution, and even 'non-being…oh… and the face on the cover of "Mad".

And in the faces of people, if you look closely enough, you'll see that while each face is decidedly different...there is another face in there that you recognize as...

your own. ("How did that get there?")

I think I would not appreciate existence quite as much if there weren't such diversity...so many faces on the countenance of the Infinite. You might even stumble into the paradox that, somehow the infinite gets bigger because of all the distinctive faces it makes. (You could even criticize the Infinite for mugging...it makes so many silly faces.)

When these "separate" faces behold each other, something in the unique-ness of each cross- fertilizes with that which is unique to the other and both experience "putting a new face on it."

Each is suddenly expanded by the other and that is how the Infinite (already a face full) gets…bigger. Some (facial) "expression" passes from one to another that neither had in the first "face."

And those moments give birth to "smiling faces."


Think on't.

Next blog, "Is God Two-faced?" Part II, "So let's face it!"

Looking at the faces of Jesus and the Buddha in your mirror.





Sunday, November 15, 2009

WHO IS THE ENEMY?

Who is the Enemy?
(From Servant Leadership by Robert Greenleaf (c) 1970-1991



(I may not have written it, but I certainly have pondered it)...Love to get your comments. How does this affect you? How can you step up and be and/or follow the Servant Leader. (If you haven't been exposed to Robert Greenleaf's work on "Servant Leadership" well worth checking it out, that is if quality leadership for our society is important to you)


Who is the enemy? Who is holding back more rapid movement to the better society that is reasonable and possible with available resources? Who is responsible for the mediocre performance of so many of our institutions? Who is standing in the way of a larger consensus on the definition of the better society and paths to reaching it?



Not evil people. Not stupid people. Not apathetic people. Not the "system." Not the protesters, the disrupters, the revolutionaries, the reactionaries.



Granting that fewer evil, stupid or apathetic people or a better "system" might make the job easier, their removal would not change matters, not for long.
The better society will come, if it comes, with plenty of evil, stupid, apathetic people around and with an imperfect, ponderous, inertia-charged "system" as the vehicle for change.
Liquidate the offending people, radically alter or destroy the system, and in less than a generation they will all be back.
It is not the nature of things that society can be cleaned up once and for all according to an ideal plan. And even if it were possible, who would want to live in an aseptic world?
Evil, stupidity, apathy, the "system" are not the enemy even though society building forces will be contending with them all the time.
The healthy society, like the healthy body, is not the one that has taken the most medicine. It is the one in which the internal health building forces are in the best shape.



The real enemy is fuzzy thinking on the part of good, intelligent vital people, and their failure to lead, and to follow servants as leaders. (bold, Errol)
Too many settle for being critics and experts. There is too much intellectual wheel spinning, too much retreating into "research," too little preparation for and willingness to undertake the hard and high risk tasks of building better institutions in an imperfect world, too little disposition to see "the problem" as residing in here and not out there.



In short, the enemy is strong natural servants who have the potential to lead but do not lead, or who choose to follow a non-servant. (bold, Errol) They suffer. Society suffers. And so it may be in the future.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

"SO, YOU THOUGHT YOU HAD IT ALL FIGURED OUT?"


What do do when, "So you thought you had it all figured out." shows up in your face...like, no matter how much you think you want it, what you want is wagging its thumb at you.'

Like when you bump up against your capacity to control your life and make it feel the way you want it to make you feel...

Yeah, I'm talkin' to you, bozo!"
"The inevitable confrotation," my brother-in-law Phil used to call it.
And when we asked him to translate it, he smacked us a good one... "Pain buoyo, pain." And indeed the pain that he precipated reverberated in my head. "Oh That."
"Yes, that."

As the Buddha pointed out so well to us, "Yeah, there's suffering. Yeah, suffering sucks. But wait! There's an end to suffering Don't let your suffering suck you."

Withdraw your attention from the world of thought and perception as long as you possibly can and as often as possible... and while your there abide in total wonder and unknowing...willing to "not know shit."
In other words, leave everything behind when you step into the NOW...
as a matter of fact, that is
how you step into the Now.

That's pretty much it.
Except...what Jesus added to the picture...

A terrific way to access and harness the Power to drive you into awareness.

So it's like Buddha charts the course and Jesus fuels your passion for the mission.
But you get to take the steering wheel and send your pedal toward the metal...and put whomever you'd like in the seat beside you.
Make friends with your unknowing, you'll find out that it gets more and more fun not to know.

Think on't

go to littletastetreatsfromjesus.come

Errol P. Strider



Thursday, November 5, 2009

WHAT’S WRONG…AT THE VERY CORE OF IT ALL?


AND HOW DO YOU FIX IT?

I asked myself the question…is there a specific, even single impetus for the mass amount of dysfunctionality experienced by humankind?

"Yes," came the reply from the digitized burning bush, "Just type in the following letters in this particular sequence (not case sensitive) and you'll have your answer."


"Okay."


"B-E-T-R-A-W-A-L"



"Well, when you put it like that…" was my almost first response when the "AWAL" at the end of the word jumped out at me. Then the digitized burning bush continued, anticipating my next, inevitable question…


"Here's how it works."


"It is the accumulated experience of life not responding to you the ways you'd like or expect it to, and, depending on the severity or the quantities of the pain, you will tend to respond to these betrayals with one of or a combination of the following five reaction states: ANGER, CYNICISM, DENIAL, SELF-BETRAYAL, PARANOIA, as articulated by James Hillman in his definitive essay on "Betrayal."


"Eventually these attitudes become chronic orientations to life…your default template basic judgment screen, as it were, through which you filter all that life sends your way. (And you're not limited to one…oh, no, they work better in combination, and if they're used effectively, they will deprive you of the primary rights of your existence. (oh, that Pesky ol' existence again)… which colors all your perceptions and in consequence of that, all your decisions…from which your life experience evolves…and which predictably determines your "Next."



"You see, when your "Next" triggers pain and resistance to it, that's what we're calling, "Betrayal." It happens from the git-go…being thrust out of a very pleasant watery environment into one in which you're going to have to work for a living. Whoa!


But wait…there's more…you are thrust out into circumstances that are demanding, confusing, frustrating, etc. (you fill in your word that denotes "expletive-ing) and that you're sure you... did not order.



"Then you go to one of the default responses, or you mix and match as needed.



Question: Your preferred response to betrawal?
A. Anger


B. Cynicism


C. Denial


D. Self-betrayal


E. Paranoia


F. All of the above


G. A unique mixture of all of the above depending on what triggers the memory of the pain of betrayal.




"So… it's kind of like you create this swimming pool and you fill it with one of the above, (anger, denial, cynicism, self-betrayal, paranoia). Basically, you swim around in this stuff, breathing it and looking out at life through the distorted picture that it necessarily gives you. That gooey mixture becomes the interface between you and life.


"As the irritant in the oyster triggers the creation of a pearl, the one of great price perhaps, the irritance of betrawal creates the equivalent of the chaos of cancer cells trying their best to not get with the program.


"Since we swim about in this mental slush (your own patented combo of anger, denial, cynicism, self-betrayal, paranoia du jour) it will ultimately deprive you of innocent point of view and you could very well end up living a soul-less life.


"(While you can't really completely obliterate your soul, you certainly can handicap it, and deprive it of your awareness…not realizing that your awareness of your soul and it's awareness of you provide the equivalent of the ever-spontaneous-power-generating system of Being otherwise called, "Life."


"So, there you have it. What's to be done?


Three R's:



  • Re-cognize: Start by learning to catch yourself in the act

  • Re-frame: Pick out a point of view that you'd like to have even though you cannot justify in any way having that point of view…(go to our web site, ww.betterpointsofview.com aka www.sexmoneygod.com for options)

  • Re-solve: Make a commitment to yourself to live your life as if this "superior" (or at least preferable) point of view IS valid for YOU, and keep choosing/making up your life according to that perspective (practice, perservere, ask for support...from me for instance)

Oh, and by the way…leave your expectations at the door of the next… "Next."


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

DO YOU SQUIRM IN THE FACE OF FULL SERVICE LOVE?


Be honest now. Are you hiding from love? How would you know? Why would you do that? What is so threatening about love? Did you even ever consider that you may be hiding out from love? What do we mean by love?



For many of us the closest we get to love is in ecstatic embrace, whether it be with a lover, with the child that can often emerge from that embrace, a beautiful sunset, riding down the rapids of the Colorado River, either catching an impossible-to-catch ball or someone you care about catching it, (or even someone you don't). These phenomena are saturated with love and demand our full attention, which we are usually delighted to give. You might even say... like the commercial, "I'm lovin' it."



That's the love that I am referring to. The take-your-breath-away kind of love. The kind of love that leaves you saying, "If it all ended right now, this would have made my life worth while... (But I'll gladly take seconds.")



The great paradox of humanity is that what we seek the most, we most resist, like two magnets turning this way and that because they can't make up their mind.



Hmmmm... shall I separate or congeal? Shall I push off or cohere? Shall I move out or move in?



Well, if you look closely at the activity of lovemaking, popularly called "fucking," you'll notice,... it's both. You have to go out in order to come in to keep the sensation going, and in that moment all that counts is the sensation. (We'll deal with responsibility, another time.)



The issue is knowing when to do which... come out, go in. You can take a hint from breath. Once you've expelled all your breath, you would naturally have an urge to inhale... you'd think.


It's pretty much the same with sex. When you come out, it's time to go back in, that is, if you're a plunger. And even if you're not a plunger, but a receptor, you're happy to keep it moving.



But it seems that when it comes the interface between the self that you think you are... over here... and that which appears to be over there, like the environment, or something distasteful or incomprehensible, there often can be hesitation, when to move toward... when to move away. For instance, when to try and get as much for yourself with complete disregard for the consequences to others, or when sharing yourself with life in the most efficacious way possible becomes more attractive.



So where did we leave you? Maybe asking yourself, "Am I hiding out from love?"


The answer is easy... because love is all-consuming; it could veritably eat you up and spit you out, or even worse... not spit you out. And there you'd be...


...permanently affixed to love.


Bummer...


No wonder we hesitate to surrender to the complete immersion in the...


... Infinite Allness of Existence.


Talk about all-consuming...


you bet we're squirmin'...



Think on't!


(I'm lovin' it.)

Monday, November 2, 2009

DOES SOMETHING NEED TO CHANGE IN YOUR LIFE?


DOES SOMETHING NEED TO CHANGE IN YOUR LIFE?


WELL, GUESS WHAT? CHANGE MEANS CHANGING HABITS.



Okay, you want to change? Something needs to change? Someone? Our recently elected president came to office on a commitment to change. Any honest observer knows that we need to change. If you're experiencing any kind of frustration, obviously, you want things to be different than they are. That's change.


Options for change…


Change the circumstances


Change your mind/perception/self



While we may desire change and feel we need it, we often overlook the fact that change involves changing a habit. Habits by their very nature resist change. But unless you're willing to recognize that you need to actually change a habit for change to occur, forget it, change ain't going to happen, including the habit of not wanting to change—(after all, if it changes…it just might get worse).


Did you ever notice, you'll get this great urge to change something in your life…in the world…and yet…as much as you think it should happen, it doesn't? You read the right books, you're inspired by them. You take a workshop that seems to actually change you, and yet the change doesn't stick. Whether it's changing your diet, different ways of relating/reacting to others, starting a new exercise program, changing the world…things that you think you should do to make life better for you, for others, for society, and for nature... the call for change is very compelling but often very difficult.


Well, guess what…it's not enough to change your conscious mind. For change to happen, you have to engage your subconscious.. After all, what part of the mind is currently controlling your habits?

Not your conscious mind. No…whether it's as simple as putting food on a fork and guiding it into your mouth, or as complex as re-visioning and reordering society, it necessarily involves working not only with the conscious mind, but also with the subconscious mind.

This requires understanding how the subconscious works, how habits are formed, and how they're broken and how new habits are established. Beyond this understanding, it also requires the tools, training and the support to make it happen.
I envision the conscious mind as like a scout of a wagon train. The scout can get on his horse and gallop off to parts unknown, find game, check out the countryside, even take a look over the crest and see the vista of the sought after destination…but then there's the wagon train…wagons, oxen, feuding families, breakdowns, disease, chaos…much harder to get moving than the unencumbered scout. Well, in some ways, that's what the subconscious is like.


So once your conscious mind has determined to change something about you (we'll deal with needed societal changes later), you will need to re-program your sub-conscious accordingly.


Your sub-conscious, the part of your mind that controls your habits--is doing a very good job of maintaining the habits you've already set up…like going to the refrigerator and eating a pint of chocolate milky sugary frozen goo instead of the 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise your body really needs.


Your sub-conscious is going to require a great deal of persuasion in order to change that habit. Not only is it programmed to go for the frozen milky gooey stuff, but it and you really enjoy that sweet comfort food. It's much more fun than 30 minutes of intense, sweat producing exercise.


This also holds true when you want to change things like your habit of judging yourself for eating the goo and not doing the exercise…and your automatic shame when someone catches you eating the goo.


Now, just imagine how difficult it is to get the people that don't agree with you who are doing bad things to society to change their habits. They are habituated to doing the things that piss you off…that they need to change. What they're doing obviously feels good to them, or, while they might recognize that change is needed, they will inevitably confront the same subconscious resistance to change that you do... and you're motivated.


This is why it's good to practice changing yourself as it allows you to appreciate just how difficult it is going to be to change anyione else. And who knows…maybe when you've changed yourself, the changes "out there" might not even be necessary.

And by the way, in case you hadn't noticed, you probably don't want to actually change, unless you're desperate or in pain. Or, if you're a rare bird, you recognize the positive attributes that will result from the change that you know in your heart need to happen and that will in turn motivate you to go through the necessary focus and effort that the transition of change requires.



So it's good to start with little things just to get you into the "habit" of making change. Here is an outline of the steps for making change...especially change that improves the quality of your life.


1. Determine what change needs to happen.


2. Strengthen the motivation to make that change.


3. Learn the tools and techniques of change


4. Reprogram the subconscious to make the change.


5. Get support, be patient with yourself, and persevere..



We'll get more into the details of the steps once you have persuaded yourself that change really needs to happen and have accessed the motivation. I look forward to hearing from you, and I'm eager to support you in making whatever changes you feel are necessary for your life and that which you care about.