Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Practicing Awareness

<<<<< Volume 1. Vol. 2.>>>>> 1. The Weirdness Within, 2. The Uncomfortable Consumer, 
3. Technology, Me and Programs, 4. When will we ever learn?, 5. Sex, drugs and smoking,
6. Suppression Equals Depression, 7. Practicing Awareness, 8. Long Distance Friendships During War, 9.  Away we go, 10. Children and Pit Bulls at Christmas, 11. The other side of the story...I & II, 12. The things that divide us, 13. Getting a plan together and a Garden, Click the links within the post to see the relevant stories, pictures or videos and thanks for stopping by!

Being aware of your surroundings and yourself is so very important to everyday life and many people who believe they are aware are misleading themselves and usually others too.  While volume 1 was a highlight of the struggles with the outside world, this volume of work is trying to describe the struggles from within the inside.  This is by far very hard to put into words so please bare with me.  I am only partially aware or awake but I also know that it is a hard state to maintain for long periods of time.  For lack of a better word or phrase it's like being on guard at all times, which is clearly impossible because we've got to sleep.  For me to sleep, I have to relax my guard and try to process the informational input of the day.  It takes energy to stay on guard and I've noticed the longer I try to maintain it, the more mistakes I make which also leaves me frustrated.  And this is after years of practice but when I was growing up I was just as naive as a turnip fresh off the truck.   

I can remember being young and bored of course, laying in my bed at night looking up at the ceiling and zoning out, but thinking the entire time... I can't believe I'm really here.  As in on earth, not so much being in the house then I would fall asleep and off to never never land.  In the morning, I would wake up and it was more like... okay now what?  The possibilities seemed endless and those were the years when the optimist was not so in the closet and ruled my thoughts regularly.  Then the disappointments were the constant companion to the optimist, which caused me to rethink the whole thing eventually.  I finally accepted the fact that life wasn't fair because enough people told me over the years, that I got the point... but not without a fight called experience.  And I could never find an explanation for why life wasn't fair for everyone that suited me.  Yes I was young but I have written before that a lot of kids understand simple life rules of fairness, which adults tend to forget...especially when times get tense.  

While I know that sounds like a petulant child's view, it started with watching a teacher punish a whole class when only one person misbehaved.  I know it's a silly thing but still felt it was so wrong especially if I was the one misbehaving.  It was small things like this I have detailed off and on through out my posts that would set off a light bulb... sometimes much later down the line... but still it was a piece to the puzzle.  Once I learned of cliches and why they came about it was sort of a guide line but still very lacking about specifics or reasons and that's what I wanted to know... why things happened.  I had almost given up on the why of things because there was never a clear answer.  Even with my growing curiosity about psychology over the years, the best answer to why things happen was... because it could.  If you've been hurt, lost, tired or scared at any time in your life, you'll understand when I say I really wanted to find a way to keep these things from happening again... as if that was possible.  It really is what you learn from the experience that can help the next time you face it.  

But knowing what to look for takes time, effort and the will to see it, with a true understanding of what you see, hear, feel, touch or taste.  It is watching body language, listening to tone of voice and being able to read between the lines or translating the real meanings of certain key phrases, especially if they are repeated often enough.  And most importantly looking at the clues that are available and understanding what they mean by doing your own research can help you determine if what is being presented is real or fake.  While I learned a lot, I can't say I trusted myself or even the information I had as being real.  If enough people tell you, you're crazy then it has the ability to make you doubt every decision you make.   But I eventually understood that perceptions played a big part in peoples views and that always depended on experience, intellect, emotional intelligence, motivation or agenda and environment.  Persistence and practice pays off too when you are trying to learn how to anything.  It was the only thing I had when I first started out and even my friend Sherri stated one time... you aren't the smartest person I've ever met but you are determined when you make your mind up.  Considering that Sherri was brilliant, I didn't take offense and was really kind of flattered.     

I have known for a long time that we can only make decisions with whatever information is available at that time.  The problems arise when that critical piece of information is withheld, not for self protection but for self advancement.  Strategic enclosure is for external and internal considerations and is to be employed when trying to wake up from the illusions that surround us.  Like the relationship or endeavors that we have high hopes for verses the dead end that it is.  Sometimes when the signs are all around they are misinterpreted or flat out ignored because it is just too unpleasant to think about.  I call that willful ignorance and it surrounded me all too often.  Before Trey's death it was somewhat easier to deal with but now I find I have even less tolerance for willful ignorance because it translates to I don't care.  I've been around far too many people who just don't care and wanted to find more people who do, but never took the time to get out of my comfort zone.  The eternal optimist was sure that more people were out there who understood the basics and were working toward the advanced lessons in life, but found out.. that just isn't so.   

That is the hard part for me because I have to wait for the honeymoon to be over before I meet the real people.  Later when I realize that things in any situation are changing for the worse, it is time to move on... I am still debating as to whether this is a program or not because it implies I am a fair weather friend, when sometimes I realize the relationships have just traveled as far as they can go.  I also knew that enabling people to continue on a destructive path was not helping them in the long run and didn't want to stick around and watch the train wrecks that were bound to happen.  So, I understand commitment phobia and I understand that people want different things but I didn't understand why they can't be honest with themselves until I realized that very few people can really do it.  It is terribly hard to look at ones life with a brutal honesty and understanding of the machinations that lie just beneath the surface.  I think they call that seeing the invisible 3rd man or force and now I understand that so much more than I did when I first read the term.  The important part is being able to realize your own part in the whole thing buy knowing yourself and owning your beliefs, choices and actions in life. 
For me being even semi aware was so frustrating because I didn't have a clue what to do with the information to actually be effective in my decisions and still struggle with this daily.  When you are forced to read between the lines even with the ones you care about, you're still going to be wrong from time to time... no matter what action you take.  For me that was worse because I was aware of my failings sometimes even while they were happening.  There were times I wished I could unsee some of the things I've seen or experienced in life and I had wondered if ignorance wasn't bliss because they do seem so happy.  Since I had the gift of friends and family that loved to push hot buttons, I've learned a lot about what really pushes mine.  I mean, I do understand that we all have issues and I give people the room to either deal with them or not... because I need room to deal with mine.  The problems come when they make their issue my problem without reason, logic or effort on their parts to solve it.  I noticed that some people brought out things in me like creativity, competitiveness, anger, sympathy, sadness, guilt or even gentleness and contentment depending on the person and situation.  It made me ask myself why was I controlled by my emotions and why did I care so much about things that were happening at any given time?      

Little did I know that working to get rid of and at least identify as many of my issues as I could, it helped me see that others weren't willing to put forth the efforts to do the same.  Sometimes I still prickle when people use strategic disclosure for self advancement, offer false hope or have undeserved entitlement issues.  Lots of people like to keep their options open that make my commitment phobia look tame.  So what I would do in an attempt to over come both of those issues, I would take a step forward and then wait.  If the other person was serious in their commitment to whatever it is, then they will take the step as well.  If not then, there you are... waiting... again.  Waiting for other people to do anything is one of my stubborn programs that I still need to work on.  I have also grappled with why I want certain things and debate if it is self important to desire them.  Things like peace and quiet when needed or to be heard by the ones I love about matters important to me and wanting people to say what they mean and mean what they say. 

If anything I simply gave some people too much credit because I couldn't get that closet optimist to shut up for anything... not even with duck tape.  The closet optimist in me holds the eternal flame of hope.  But I did realize at some point that I was projecting deeper qualities in certain people who were shallow pools with a reflective surface.  I think that a lot of us have an eternal flame of hope within ourselves and while that shouldn't be a problem... it often is, when what is hoped for is unobtainable.  To me that is the epitome of false hope and for me it is a black hole of nothingness.  Also during the eternal debates within myself when I let doubt about what I'm seeing creep in, it kept me from being able to take action that would have helped so much more.  Looking back I have a little better understanding of the grip the illusions and the emotions that held me firmly in place.  But my semi awareness is still only at a micro level and I'll keep nurturing it while it  continues to grow until it's time to go.  

It was seeing the manipulations between all types of people on my level that allowed me to understand the phrase "As above, so below," if only a tiny bit at first.  In fact, until I heard that phrase and explored the deeper meaning of it, I had hit the wall so to speak, when it came to understanding the whole point of existence and if we are all connected then why are some so tuned out?  Maybe we're all puppets in this little drama we call life.  If the same things that happen on a micro level also happen on a macro level... which makes sense to me because it describes projections of cycles within cycles within cycles... then the same manipulations must be going on in the universe above... to a point at least but if I had to guess I'd say it would be a much greater level.  In fact it was studying this type of material that finally answered... why.  Not all of it mind you because of my own limitations but enough to satisfy some of that eternal question to give me a little peace and even hope.  All there is, is lessons and we must learn them through and through.  Ask questions, do experiments and be prepared in everything you do.

Again this journey isn't about being right and I have been wrong on many things in my life.  I did say it has been an exercise in trial and error... repeat.  It's about understanding the many variables in any situation, the degrees in between wrong and right, intent, timing, action and the ability to balance between the two worlds... for starters.  Most of my life, I have rejected other peoples expectations in favor of living up to my own which was simply to be a better person than I was the day before.  Also I've never really considered myself lucky in any part of my life, but again I may have been wrong about that too.  There have been things I have done correctly but I am not sure that counts if it's done unknowingly... so that leans more toward luck.  I guess it depends on the rules of the universe... are we playing by APA rules in pool where slop counts or are we playing bar rules where we must call each shot?     

Most of the things that people sweep under the rug, I had a tendency to file it away along with everything else, in a small cabinet in my mind.  Over the years that cabinet grew into a closet and then finally into a file room.  I filed things by the yes, no, maybe and "what the hell do I do with that !?!" categories under the major tabs of life but wasn't married to that final placement because I figured out that as new things are uncovered, it could change everything.  It also helped to be skeptical about many things but I have always hesitated to put limits on the universe and when I did it showed me how wrong I was.  I'm sure I did enough of that by my own limitations but it wasn't my intention.  Anticipation itself is a form of limitation because it discounts all that could be and it is the one of the hardest things to let go of... in my opinion.  

I think the idea's I embraced earlier on in life such as understanding that nothing is free in this world, which caused me to not be swayed by offers of such, saved me a whole lot of trouble.  Although not impossible it is tough to con someone who isn't interested in whatever it is they're selling, especially if I can provide it myself and if not... then I'll gladly pay for the service.  I learned that pro action was better than reaction in most cases and tried to live with a purpose in life by setting goals for myself.  I still have knee jerk reactions from time to time or I provoke them and need to work on those too.  But there was a problem with focusing on pro action too much because when I'd get a plan together and start to gather the info and the materials to complete whatever it was, it was harder to pay attention to outside factors.  The more I completed, the more steam I felt like I was gathering to finish the projects... then if something happened... and something almost always happens... I'd get blindsided, then would have to pick myself up off the floor.  I learned from many of those experiences that you must sit with the pain and embrace it as it comes to be able to release it when the time comes.     

Also understanding death is a part of this world whether we like it or not helped me get a handle on some of my fears in life. Now that my worst fear has been realized, most of the rest seem so small and quite useless at this time in my life.  But as I write these jumbled thoughts I realize that's not completely true.  I still fear for humanity even though I am pulling for it to wake up to it's full potential.  I had inadvertently given way too much of my power over the years to dark side when I became silent about things that really mattered most or believed in lies and this is why I share my story with you.  Or maybe the better term would be lazy because I can't say I spent a lot of time researching much on spiritual matters... but I had thoughts on them which are useless without actions based on facts.  Being custom or original in a one size fits all world is a difficult but rewarding way of life in and of itself.  To me now life is the true religion and earth is our school.               

I've been thinking about the mind, body and soul connections more lately.  In my minds eye I can see our bodies were meant to be like generators, the soul is like the gas and once the mind is fired up like an engine, the three combined have the ability to generate electricity to power... anything.  But the rulers of this world have restricted the generators and now it seems that our bodies are more like cars.  Again the soul is the gas, the mind the engine but the abilities are limited in just going forward, backwards, right or left.  Useful in their own right but oh so limited in the long run.  Most everyone is limited in one way or another and the world is becoming more like a prison everyday. Paying attention to the real world as it truly is... is the most important thing you can do in overcoming your limitations.  I try to understand and work around, over and under my limitations but sometimes you just have to go through them.  And those are just the ones I know about... the ones I don't know of or understand are next on the list because I truly want to break free of the restrictions of this world... before moving on to the next one.                     

Quote by Gurdjieff,

“We must strive for freedom if we strive for self-knowledge. The task of self-knowledge and of further self-development is of such importance and seriousness, it demands such intensity of effort, that to attempt it any old way and amongst other things is impossible. The person who undertakes this task must put it first in his life, which is not so long that he can afford to squander it on trifles.”

Quotes from The Adventures with Cassiopaea,

We began to realize, slowly at first, that a person could have psychological issues, and still be oriented to service to others. They could also be oriented to serving self. By the same token, a person could appear to have no disabling psychological issues at all, and be completely oriented to serving the self. We began to learn that closing our ears to the words that other people use to beguile us, and observing only the actions was the key to discernment. LKJ

These terms, "Service to Others" and "Service to Self" are inextricably mixed up with the idea of "love." On an individual basis, we may say that we Love this or that person, and want to Serve them, but then the question arises: WHICH PART OF THEM are we serving? The higher part that seeks spiritual growth and Union with God, or the Lower part that seeks survival in the Flesh? When we help someone who keeps making the same mistakes over and over again, we are clearly interfering in their lessons. What, then, are we serving? Most likely ourselves because we are then able to "feel good" that we are so "long suffering" and "patient" and "self-sacrificing," because we can certainly see, from the evidence of our eyes, that the other person isn't making any progress by virtue of our efforts. And, it may be a far more difficult thing to deny assistance, to refuse association with them, particularly when it is someone we love, because it "hurts us to see them hurt." Yet, that may be the very thing needed in order for them to grow - to be left to their own suffering until they have had enough so that they will begin to see their own way out of the difficulty, thereby building soul strength and accessing their own powers and inner potentials. LJK