This whole phenomenon of fellowshipping with my heart borders on freaky sometimes. I truly wasn’t sure what to write about this morning, but as I wrote yesterday, I just let the words leap off the point of my pen and watched them coalesce into sentences. I resisted when I realized the topic that I was headed towards: relationships.
“No, not that because so many superior, brilliant people have already dealt with that topic in depth.” However, there is no denying the heart, is there? I had other excuses, but no reason. Then, I thought about my Grand Unified Theory of Humanity (GUTH), and yes, there it was.
If I am looking at a common topic, I am going to approach it in an uncommon way — if one exists. GUTH says that the starting point for each individual, no matter which path, direction, or way they choose, is located in our hearts. We must choose to have a relationship with the heart if we are going to connect in a genuine, meaningful way to anyone or anything else. Know ourselves, first and foremost. Fellowship with the heart. Heed the counsel, because after all, it is you.
When I hear and see the multitude of maladies in relationships today with individuals, groups, governments, and nations, I can’t help coming back to the same question: What happens if we all start with the proper relationship with ourselves? If we do that, then we discover core Self.
If this discovery is a true heart movement, it drives us to express that Self in life purpose to the rest of this world — a channel to express love and establish connections, relationships, and the only way to experience significance, fulfillment, joy, and peace. Sounds like so much, but I know that this is the outflow of that inward relationship.
When we don’t establish this most basic relationship of heart and whole being, then we will move through life always seeking fulfillment through others of those things that our own heart is offering to us in those soft but continuous whispers. When others don’t supply the subconscious needs that we seek, then it screws up the relationship, doesn’t it?
While it sounds very romantic to speak about someone else in a love relationship completing one another or fulfilling one or being the reason for one’s existence, to me, that is a troubled relationship because those things are really Heart functions, Heart that connects us to and establishes a relationship with Spirit, with the Universe. Another person can’t do that sufficiently; only Heart can.
When that happens, then we are free to engage in relationships that are truly mutually edifying, beneficial, and profitable — in any capacity. Love should be the basic bond of relationships with anyone. Now, love takes on various colors and intensities, but love makes relationships real, every sort. If we shy away from that, shun relationships, or continually destroy them, then we can be pretty sure that we have never established that most basic, personal, eternal relationship with Heart. We sometimes subconsciously sense that relationship is lacking, which is why we won’t enter into deep relationships with others because within we know that we have rejected our own heart.
My old buddy Walt Whitman deals with this in very real expressions in his epic “Song of Myself.” He says this at the very outset: “I celebrate myself, and sing myself” — he had joy in his relationship with his own heart! — “And what I assume you shall assume, / For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.” He uses assume in the sense of taking on and adopting, so he is saying that whatever process and realities he experiences will be experienced by the rest of us, because he says that we all need to be able to sing a song of Self.
In that same poem, Whitman urges the reader to “Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the origin of all poems… // You shall not look through my eyes, either, nor take things frome me, / You shall listen to all sides and filter them from your self.” What a great foundation for a relationship, which is possible when we know ourselves. He invites the one he would like to be with in a relationship to share in part of his life, and he makes it clear that they will not need to think like him and see things the way he sees them. No control. No believing, thinking, seeing the exact same thing or need to. It’s a good basis of a healthy connection, isn’t it?
What about it; do you have a song of yourself? Do you have such a strong relationship with your own heart, an established and real life purpose, a vision and mission which you are taking action towards every single day? Do you enjoy your life so much that joy spills over into your relationships with others — friends, family, lovers? Can you share yourself without insisting on controlling what the other thinks, says, or believes and still love that other one?
Oh, yes, love. Walt presents that in “Song of Myself,” too: “Swiftly arose and spread around me the peace and knowledge that pass all the argument of the earth…/ And that all the men ever born are also my brothers, and women my sisters and lovers, / And that a kelson [a part of a ship that holds all the basic floorboards together] of the creation is love…” A person who has established that relationship with their heart knows peace that surpasses all the turmoil, and peace is necessary in relationships. A connection with all people is possible.
Oh, and what is the basis of all of those connections, relationships? Love, love cements it all together, holds it in place. If you don’t love yourself, you cannot honestly love another, not without a screwed up relationship. We are wired to love self and love others. When either one of those conditions are lacking, an settled soul will result. Knowledge, peace, love — I wish those on all of us.
Occasionally, I come back to this idea of simple things, because sometimes it’s just what I need. Simple things that keep us centered, like spending a minute focusing on our own steady, rhythmic breathing.
Many times, though, like today, simple things seem to vie for my attention, the Spirit’s reminder that simplicity is the essence of life, that common, everyday things, procedures, events, people, animals, plants, or any of the other myriad possibilities offer us a connection with the Universe.
This is part of the way of the heart, one area in which those who are in the fellowship of the heart can rejoice together, one that can even produce at least temporary peace for those who have not awakened to their own hearts.
Today, my simple pleasure, the one, the “it,” truly is simple, very simple in one way, yet as so often happens, a simple thing that is incredibly complex. We could say that just noticing and focusing on a flower is simple, and it is. However, if we begin to really examine it, we see the structural and functional complexity in something like a sunflower and come to understand the ripples of complexity flowing from the simple thing. However, to see something so incredibly complex and just view it as simple and giving pleasure is the way of the Universe to spread beauty.
Now, I’m not only talking about things; we might realize something that just never quite struck us in the same way before, never quite caught our attention. Today, for me, it was an idea that I had thought about, but something about it just hit me this time, connected with me. I likened it to an idea that might grab my mind, my thoughts, by the metaphorical front of the collar, twist it just short of choking, and give a gentle “Hey, pay attention” shake. So, I did.
My simple idea this morning, the one that made me smile, was the point of my pen on the page of my little journal. It’s just as relevant here, with my fingers hitting keys; in fact, maybe it’s more relevant because a nerve impulse signal needs to be sent from my brain to my fingers to press the right key, similar to the letters leaping off the end of my pen when writing by hand. It’s just a joy to me to see words forming, and in one sense not knowing how the drops of the spring of thoughts in my mind will come splashing out onto the page. It’s takes only milliseconds for this to happen; it intrigues me, makes me smile, satisfies me, enriches me.
I think of how those thought drops coalesce into streams of sentences and into a flow of paragraphs, which eventually lead to coherent rivers of thoughts in the form of articles, books, or novels. I never considered this simple thing of putting down words on the page until I started writing this much. I thought I wrote a fair amount before, but to do this every day for almost six months now has created a whole new dimension for me, one in which I appreciate each letter and each word rushing towards complete, more complex thoughts. Simple yet complex — seems to be a theme today.
Sometimes, as I suggested at the start of this, we need to just close all else out and focus on our own breath, our own life rhythm, and get a sense of the simplicity around us, and glom onto one specific thing. Consider it, translate it into words, and give thanks for it. This can for a little while put us in the flow of the complexity of the Universe, but in a simple way. We don’t have to know philosophy, follow a procedure, or get a degree to connect with Life, Nature, or the Universe on our own terms, and this can be helped by deliberately setting out to notice the simple things around us that are pleasing, fulfilling, reassuring, and smile-producing.
Give yourself a break like this, anytime, anywhere, and let that smile spread. Hey, maybe it’s your smile that is the simple thing. What is “it” for you today?
Sometimes, it may be that your “it” is the very thing that leads to awakening or insight into a life purpose of your own design. Go for “it.”
Since I’m all about discovery, I would like to share a little bit about the experience that my wife, mother-in-law, and I had last night. We went to St. Charles, Missouri, for a ghost tour given by Dr. Michael Henry, a very interesting, entertaining, and knowledgable man, his history summaries as valuable but not as fun as his acquaintances and brushes with the paranormal.
One of the most intriguing stops to me was at the tiny St. Borromeo Catholic Church, which has been reconstructed based on the best information that could be gathered. The original church was dedicated in 1791, and it was surrounded by a cemetery, in essence. Last night two people from the group, not “plants” because one was my mother-in-law, had readings on special and very sensitive meters, indicating one spirit who has been seen on several occasions, corroborated by independent, unassociated witnesses. It was fun, and a bit spooky to hear the meters go off in the dark night, outside an ancient-looking church, on top of a number of unmarked graves, in the very muggy 90 degree temperature with a 100+ degree heat index. Are there ghosts?
While I do not have the historical information integrated into my stories, I do have some awesome ones. I love to share them at Halloween, or Samhain as the Celts knew the day after, but more about that later. I will be sharing some of these during around Halloween, but our experience last night reminded me of an account that my dad shared with me on a number of occasions. I give it more validity than some I know because my dad was not very convinced of paranormal occurrences.
My dad’s family lived in south St. Louis, Missouri, on Hickory Street. His father, my grandfather, worked at St. Louis Transfer Company, a trucking company where he held a job all through the Depression. The company had a trained guard dog that no one could handle or approach except for my grandfather. They were going to put the dog down, so my grandfather brought him home, rescued him.
It turned out that my dad was like his dad; the dog was only responsive to him and no one else in the house, including his mom and his younger sisters. Dad, being somewhere around twelve years old, thought it quite funny to let the dog into the house when his parents visited relatives up the street. Of course, his sisters were terrorized.
However, they had a defense. They would run upstairs. The dog would begin the chase, but after he went up the first few steps to a landing that turned up to the second floor, his haunches would hit the floor. He would stare wild-eyed up the stairs, hair raised from his tail to the top of his head and growling with teeth bared. He never went past that point.
Animals seem to sense things that we often cannot. Their ability to see a wider section of the electromagnetic spectrum is known, as well as being able to detect smells and sound waves much more acutely. What did the German shepherd sense at the top of those stairs?
My dad dismissed it, thought it was funny, even though he admitted that he had no explanation for the event that transpired when he had been an infant in the first room up there. My grandmother and her sister, who lived up the street, would gather in that room to sew and quilt during their pregnancies. My dad had a cousin who was just three months older than him. Grandma and my great aunt continued meeting and caring for the infant boys in the room after they were born.
One day as my grandmother changed my dad’s diaper, her sister gasped, staring with horror at the wall over my dad’s crib. They both saw a child’s arm protruding from the wall. My aunt thought that it was an omen that my dad was going to die. Three months later, as she changed her child’s shirt, with his arms over his head, it was my grandmother’s turn to gasp. My dad’s cousin’s arm looked exactly like the arm that the ladies had seen suspended over my dad’s crib three months previous. Within three weeks, the child died from complications of an infection.
That was the room that the German shepherd, about twelve years later, would stare into with wild eyes. Neither my dad nor my grandpa could force that dog up those stairs. What was there? Was he just scared of stairs?
Besides an interesting story that I can tell really well when the only light in the room is a black light, it brings up several thoughts. What does our life energy do after it leaves the body? What is that new dimension like? Is it possible that some actually hang around instead of embarking on new journeys? I don’t know, really, but I do know this.
Death has been relegated to the category of dreaded horrors by us. Walt Whitman understood that it wasn’t so for him, and he wrote often about it. He knew that the standard definition of death was the cessation of everything, but he didn’t believe that, at least not as expressed in his poetry: “All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses, / And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.” And then, to make sure that his reader understands his conception, he says, “The smallest sprout shows there is really no death.” Not horrors. Not to be feared.
The ancient Celts speak of the Otherworld, which I in part visualize as the dimension that my dad’s dog could sense all those years ago. On Samhain, which is November 1, the possibilities are increased to commune with those who have gone “onward and outward.” It’s a little scary, and the fact that All Hallow’s Eve, Halloween, is at the same time of year, as well as other cultures with celebrations then — Day of the Dead — says to me that we have a desire to know about that other realm. What can it teach us? Can we communicate with those who have gone on? Why do we want to learn?
Ultimately, I think that it is perfectly fine to be mystified and even a little scared. We need not fear being afraid! We can, in part, celebrate life by valuing other realms and looking into them. At least it’s fun!
Let’s talk personal growth and development today. Volumes of books have been written about this, so it’s pretty obvious this can be complex. Some extensive examination based on an individual’s personality and stage of life could be beneficial. I’m KISS’ing it here, though — Keeping It Short and Simple — by using my little topic in reference to my own life.
I began thinking about spirals as I wrote in my personal morning pages, which are about four times longer than my published, focused page. Specifically, I realized that one of my favorite salutations is Onward and Upward! creates a picture in my mind as a vortex-type spiral.
I considered how I have grown over the years. I came to a point of awakening to myself, to a conscious awareness of the essence and entity of my own heart over the past years, but even looking back, that core was there. While specifics of my beliefs have changed, the faith that there was some force propelling me, urging me, encouraging me, guiding me forward in an evolutionary-type way has not changed. That is because the core is my heart, and my heart has ever been carrying out those functions. Ego interfered with the messages many times, but I kept moving forward — onward — and understanding more — upward. Ego becomes less of a conscious motivation as I move onward and upward.
In the past, I have taken on a number of jobs. I always wanted to learn and grow. That was a heart impulse. I was never content with motivations of safety and security, so I kept moving on. In every job I had, I was driven to become as good as I could be. Ego interfered in that sometimes when I felt in competition with others, wanted to be better. That didn’t always happen, and when it did I at least recognized it as a problem, even if I didn’t deal very effectively with it. My point about this is that as I grew in skills and recognition, my heart urged me forward, not to rest in mediocrity.
Why? I don’t think we are meant to stagnate. It doesn’t mean we jump from job to job all our lives, though. I believe that we are meant to open ourselves to our hearts and discover who we truly are as core Self and then create a vision for expressing that Self. Now, it could be working for someone else or it might be entrepreneurial in nature. I don’t know for you. I do know that being an educator for twenty years allowed me to grow in many ways, but I still didn’t have that self-awareness of a discussion with my own heart — close, hearing whispers at times, being partly there, but not quite fully.
And even though I wasn’t quite there, it doesn’t mean that I did not lead a growing, significant, meaningful life. I did, especially as a teacher. However — and this is key to me — I was not content BECAUSE I didn’t have that self-identity nailed down in order to be creating ways to consciously express that Self in vision and mission, which brings me back to the spiral.
My heart has ever been the core of my spiraling life. Sometimes people talk about “spiraling out of control.” That’s because when someone is spiraling downward, there is a loss of energy and the spiral is not being held in a pattern by a central force or object. My heart has been the force, and in my earlier years, I was kept tight, close to it, because I didn’t know or access its power. I couldn’t let myself get far away, or I would have gone on a downward spiral. My process of moving onward and upward was very slow, but it was happening because my heart, as well as your heart, continues to speak to us. We must direct our conscious attention to the heart, though, if we are to experience an upward spiral of growth.
Engaging in the fellowship of my heart, now, I have been able to move into an ever-widening, ever-ascending spiral because that relationship with my unseen essence, a very real force, grows and allows a pattern to be maintained that keeps me centered. It is not chaos. It is like the patterns of Fibonacci sequence spirals in things like sunflowers, in which the genetic coding acts as the organizing, operational force, resulting in growth that is ordered. Make sense?
My life purpose of expressing core Self, Discovery, expands day by day, even as I write these. Of course, I am still waiting on my novel from my editor. I will admit, the longer I wait, the more scared I get. Is it horrible? I don’t know, but I know I am moving onward and upward.
I hope this analogy of my life to a spiraling vortex helps you discover the powerful core of our lives that our hearts form. Together, we can all be moving, Onward and Upward!
My Grand Unified Theory of Humanity holds that awakening to our hearts holds the key to personally and societally significant, fulfilling, and beneficial lives. This is directly tied to education and the importance of that to a democratic society. America has yet to understand this in reality.
Educators would give lip service to it, but they are so focused on programs and data that they have neglected philosophy. We seem to seek a systemization that will make us look good in comparison to other nations and that will accomplish what every red-blooded American wants — a great job with minimal thought or effort required that will make them rich. What bullshit!
A Facebook friend shared the following article with me, knowing my interest in what is going on in our culture: “The cult of ignorance in the United States: Anti-intellectualism and the ‘dumbing down’ of America” ( https://www.sott.net/article/313177-The-cult-of-ignorance-in-the-United-States-Anti-intellectualism-and-the-dumbing-down-of-America) (And I am giving the reference here because I have no works cited page nor am I going to do an internal citation every time). It briefly chronicles the decline in intellectual, thoughtful responses to social issues and discussions around those. Ray Williams, the original author, deals with the contribution of social media to the anti-intellectual development in America, and then he really engages with the decline of education. Enough of this — I didn’t intend to do an annotation or complete review here.
I do, however, want to deal with education, because when I peruse and engage in social media, I see so many folks who believe what they are saying based on their inability to think through an issue or to do research, which involves starting with a hypothesis, finding information, analyzing it in reference to the question, and synthesizing and creating new knowledge. I will say that I am in favor of freedom of speech in almost every circumstance, and social media has given a voice to those that perhaps felt unheard in the past. How much greater would it be if they had been educated, though, to be able to think?
If that had happened, then maybe we wouldn’t have folks so convinced that they are so indisputably right that by yelling the loudest, most frequently, and most crudely that they think anyone who doesn’t agree with them is an avowed enemy, worthy of destruction. And I see this on social media — how utterly stupid, educated well or not. (Side note: for many faults, politicians who have diametrically opposed views on many things are still friends!).
The article makes this point: There are many people “who feel they have the right, the authority and the need not only to comment on everything, but to make sure their voice is heard above the rest, and to drag down any opposing views through personal attacks, loud repetition and confrontation.” The alternative would be to research what others say, engage in discussion, and make your point. Don’t try to egoically FORCE others to give you the credit and believe everything you say — unchecked and unmerited.
The article says that America is a population that is “directed towards trivia, towards the inconsequential, towards unquestioning and blatant consumerism.” In other words, youth, especially today, have been sold, even through education, that the most important things are acquisition of wealth, and those with the most toys, fame, beauty, and money are the ideal — rather than those who can think well, communicate cogently, and contribute to society’s knowledge base.
What is the result of a program-formatted, money-making educational endeavor? “This results in intellectual complacency.” In a formal school structure organized according to my philosophy, students and their interests come first, teachers second, and administrators and consultants, paraprofessionals, whatever come LAST. Teachers must know the skills and concepts that lead to an education of discovery and creativity, not dependent on a hard-wired curriculum built around data-mongers and textbooks.
Oh, most of the people in America have been educated, but according to whose agenda and for what purposes? “People accept without questioning, believe without weighing the choices, join the pack because in a culture where convenience rules, real individualism is too hard work. Thinking takes too much time: it gets in the way of the immediacy of the online experience.” (I might add that it gets in the way of standardized test questions and times, too). I see the standard educational model of today represented in this, with the high-stakes testing mentality being a major contributing component.
Educators know what’s best, it’s been formulated into programs and curriculums, and students should gratefully, quietly, and numbly accept it all. BULL to the capital SHIT. If any educator believes this, quit. Quit now. Please. OR know that there is another way, another philosophy.
I have dealt with this before, but I will briefly say it here. Education is built on collecting knowledge, connecting that knowledge with other knowledge, and creating new knowledge. Student motivation is primary in that and NO curriculum that is pre-printed can deliver this. Intrinsic motivation initiates and carries this through.
Students, then, are primary in determining the course of curriculum. Educators are instrumental in ensuring that all the skills necessary for students to learn what they want to learn and to learn how to learn are employed. Of course, educators need to be passionate and enthusiastic in order to expand the intellectual horizons of students. These crucial roles of both students and educators, if they are true and effective, can only arise from an organizational structure that encourages self-awakening, coming to know core Self — which principle was inherent in the very beginnings of our nation and stated so in the Declaration of Independence.
Perhaps you, if you are an educator, think those principles don’t apply to teachers or education. Then quit. Or maybe even go to another nation that would support your philosophy — like Cold War USSR where the students were directly programmed. We are providing our own programming today, just different messages.
Ultimately, the need is this: Know yourself, whether current student, former student, or educational professional. Hear your heart. Know that the heart insists on an intellectual honesty and doesn’t force others to believe our conclusions. We need to know our truth, live it, and apply it to whatever issue, thought, or controversy we encounter. And by the way, knowing your truth doesn’t mean loud-mouthing “This is what I believe so I’m right.” It means knowing who you are, like I’m Discovery, and I’m all about discovering for myself and helping others to discover whatever they need to know.
That doesn’t mean me saying “This is who I am and because I know that, whatever I say about everything else is right.” Nope, doesn’t work like that. If I’m true to myself, when I encounter ideas or issues, I search in accord with who I am. The educational process is the same. Get it?
Let me end with this. These ideas are more crucial than ever considering the political, governmental, and global issues we all face right now. The way of Heart and core Self, no matter who we are personally, will ultimately revolve around love and acceptance. Because we can accept and love self, we can accept and love others. Those who try to force us to do otherwise are those enslaved by ego. I will stand in the fellowship of the heart, and the many corollaries implied in that.
How about you?
Questions to consider:
How many times have you asked yourself or simply thought about the following questions?
Who am I, really?
What is my truth?
How do my actions reveal what I really feel and believe?
What would I do with my life if I could do anything?
What is my passion?
Why am I here?
How can I discover answers to any of these questions?
If you have considered any of these questions, I hope that my experiences and writing will give you some guidance. Please read my blog and comment and share your thoughts. I would love to hear from you!