Archive for October, 2010
We must begin all our thoughts~conversations somewhere.
We must have at least a reasonably firm ground upon which to balance our ideas.
We must start with something.
And not just any old something, but the something. The ultimate something. The something that is not just something, but also is everything!
It’s the one thing that we also must agree on before anything else can be said or thought of, because everything, quite literally, depends upon it. (Even the concept of nothing depends upon the concept of everything, since no thing is precisely the “negation of thing”, for which at least some thing has to exist in at least some sense, so that it can be negated).
All of us who are blessed with the ability to think about new ideas and communicate them with other thinking individuals agree that something does indeed exist (or we couldn’t experience these somethings called ideas, and we certainly couldn’t share those idea-somethings with these other thinking-individual-somethings!). We also seem to agree that that ultimate something appears to have parts that are different (such as the ideas and other thinkers).
So when we begin to think, and communicate, we start out by giving a word/name/symbol to represent that largest something, and then we can go about naming the parts, and looking at their relationships within the whole. Some people (some of the parts!) have come up with the term God for the whole thing. (While some consider God to be one of the larger parts, but not necessarily the whole thing.) Others have different words for the whole grand something, such as the Universe, the Multiverse, 宇宙, Вселенный, Θεός, Dios, and so on.
Once a group of people agree on the name for the whole, they can more solidly get into thinking and talking more in detail about all the smaller parts. They can then spend the rest of their lives talking about and thinking about all the seemingly infinite parts, of all shapes and sizes, and how they relate to each other!
Of course, if people can’t even agree on a word to use for the whole of everything, then it’s going to be extremely difficult to have any kind of useful conversation, which is a big part of why we have wars… And it’s why when someone uses the word “God”, my first reaction is to ask what they mean by the term. Is it the whole of existence? Or just one of the parts, and if so, which part? The answer usually ends up being some fuzzy idea relating to some kind of highest level of nature/forces/laws, and, upon closer inquiry, often involves positive, creative forces more so than destructive, negative forces, though not always.
Ultimately, none of us parts will likely ever know the whole story of everything, but the more we combine our knowledge of things – the parts – and how they relate to other things, the more we will at least get closer to understanding the whole.
So, are you ready to begin? And if so, what would you like to call it all?
I challenge you to spend some time today coming up with one way to improve the quality of water in your life.
I’m guessing that the majority of you reading this get what you might call “industrial water”, that is, water that has been intentionally modified in some way through some factory process. And they have convinced most people that this is necessary, to the point where if they don’t give us their manufactured water, there is a mass panic, or at least a mass of people hording bottled water from stores, and having soda and beer bottlers come in to “rescue” us from our plight. (And I say this from experience, as the greater Boston area had a “water main break” last spring, and millions of people were ordered not to drink the tap water.)
But this is insane, of course. Water is a natural resource that is abundant in the world. And don’t you agree that it’s up to us to free ourselves from the dependency on industry to “make” our water for us?
How about a rain water catchment system? How about finding a spring nearby your house? How about learning how best to filter water cheaply through rocks or ceramics? Or maybe learning to test water for industrial chemicals?
Perhaps the simplest thing you can do to improve the quality of water in your life is to start drinking your water out of glass containers, or non-corrosive metal, rather than plastic, so that you’re sure to keep the water you already have from getting any more toxic from plastic leaching into it. Also, it’s pretty simple to collect rainwater in a large bowl or pot, and filter it a little (for debris, mostly) through a clean cloth, to drink. And, of course, getting your water from fresh, organic fruits and vegetables is both ideal and very, very simple!
It’s up to you what you want to do to improve the element that makes up the largest percentage of your own body, so that you can indeed have the best chance of being your best self!
Life is all about inequality, as change (a primary element of life) can’t happen if everything is balanced (equal). But sometimes the changes in life, caused by highly unequal forces of power, are simply too stressful for reality to withstand without breaking, so opposing forces naturally come in to counteract the imbalance.
If you are exerting too much power, even if you don’t realize it, sooner or later something will show up that either takes your power away, or neutralizes it. Which is why it’s useful to pay attention to your own power, and how you are using it, so you don’t get shocked by sudden surges of power knocking you off your feet.
As long as you are using your resources to empower those who have less power, you will be serving reality’s need for reasonable equality, and you will be rewarded by reality. Go against that reasonable balance by trying to use your power against those who are less powerful than you, even if you believe you’re “justified”, and eventually you will feel the backlash of reality returning things to a more even keel.
In other words, rather than trying to harm those who you feel are “beneath” you and rather than trying to get more power for yourself, use your power to take care of the little guy, and your life will be longer and easier, and much more rewarding. And if you must pick on someone, pick on someone your own size, so you’re chances are around 50-50, the way reality likes them. :-)
An exploration of the most effective approaches to supporting mental health include the following elements:
1. Insuring that the individual has access to the resources they need to be physically healthy (basic input and output needs).
2. Insuring that the individual understands that the world needs them to be healthy because they are a valuable part of their environment (family, community, world, universe).
3. Insuring that the individual has access to participation in some form of work/play/education which is valued by the world and is interesting to them.
4. Insuring that the individual has access to some form of open-ended exploration of philosophy, for when they are ready to explore the deeper questions they have about life, meaning, and reality.
Anything else (clown noses, drugs, telling me about your mother, etc.) is either extraneous, at best, or harmful, at worst.
The question is, where is the change to this more effective and efficient structure of mental health care going to happen first? Are there any working organizations that have more than two of these already as their mission statement?
Do you think it will be easier to bring this structure into the health care field through the educational field, via politics and activism, through religion/philosophy, or in some other way?
Ideally, your parents and other close friends and family would have given you the answer to this when you were a baby and toddler. But many times even the adults who cared for you as a child didn’t even know the answer to why they, themselves, deserved to be loved. So many people spend much of their lives not being sure, and sometimes even doubting that they DO deserve to be loved.
These young people we hear about in the news, who committed suicide after being teased and bullied about their sexuality, most likely didn’t get the message about why they deserved to be loved. And hearing about these young people, one is reminded that the only education that is absolutely crucial, which a lack of renders all other education utterly useless, is indeed teaching people the answer to this question.
And it’s never too late. This is a lesson that can always be learned. It might not be as easy to learn as it was when our brains were completely absorbent and malleable as they were during our very first few years of life, but as long as we still have the capacity to learn anything as adults, then this is the single most valuable thing to focus on learning.
So what have you learned about the answer to…
Why do you deserve to be loved?
And for a follow up, and my best answer, see my newer post: the reason why you deserve to be loved
And to my beloved DPM…
I love you!
I gave you all of myself, and that was the best thing I’ve ever done because it’s made me a far better woman than I ever dreamed possible.
Thank you for loving me, thinking about me, and challenging me.
I am yours. I am for you. Here to help you in reaching your own dreams for yourself.
You are my 42.
A couple years ago I was encouraged to look into my future, as my mind imagined it, to see what I was heading towards. What did I see? Nothing. Blackness. Emptiness.
That wasn’t what I wanted. But it was what I imagined was likely to happen. It was the only possible reality that I could see at the time.
And while it is true – at some point in my future there will most likely be blackness, as space is mostly empty and black and all my atoms and electromagnetic energy will eventually be going out into space – it’s not the entirety of the truth. My future was also most likely involve many, many other experiences (including the rather mundane one I’m having right now of biting into crispy and gelatinous, chia seeds and typing on my computer).
But at the time, all I saw was blackness, and it made me ill, literally, to look at it. It was terrifying to me.
But then, during a training program that I was participating in, I was given the exercise to share my experience with someone else, to take them with me as I went into the blackness. And their experience of it was so very different from mine. My virtual traveling companion felt peace in the black empty space of my mind. This allowed me to see the possibility that my fears of the blackness were at least partially due to my particular approach to it, rather than something inherent in the reality of the blackness itself. The blackness was really just neutral territory, no more, no less.
But I was still not comfortable with the fact that this was all that I could see when I looked into my mind’s idea of my future. So I asked someone else to help.
Interestingly, I don’t remember what he said to me in response.
But later on, he gave the whole training group an exercise where, instead of asking us to look into our own minds to imagine our future, he asked us to imagine that we are heading towards a beautiful, warm light.
Usually, when hearing something like that, my defenses would shoot up and reject it as being too silly, and I’d refuse to even try to go there. But at the time, it was exactly what I needed, and I allowed myself to go. It was so simple, and so clearly right.
Now I can look back and realize that I’d previously been so obsessed with finding some very specific vision of the future for myself that I’d lost sight of the bigger picture. I’d been trying to look at the future in way too much detail – like trying to use a telescope to look at the night sky and ending up with the viewfinder pointing at nothing. Using a broader view, and aiming my mind in a different direction, I suddenly saw the sun, a star of brilliance and power and magnificence. Duh!
There are many, many, many futures in store for us. Always. And that’s because what makes you you are a vast number of different particles and waves, and all those different particles and waves will eventually expand outwards to reach from one edge of the universe to the other – placing your whole life throughout the entire awesome picture that is space and time.
So, if the view of your future that you’ve been looking at hasn’t quite been sitting well with you, then simply move your focus around – zoom out, side to side, up and down, and maybe in – until you find the part of your future that you feel most inspired by right now. Because sometimes black emptiness helps you feel peaceful, and other times the stars are where you most want to be.