This one gets a little “out there.” Continue reading Writer’s block
[Note, 08/15/13: Releasing this now as I will have another post on similar topics in the very near future.]
Wednesday afternoon 07/03/13 I stepped into the shower and said, “OK, what will I think about?” The answer came, “Think about nothing. Give yourself completely to this activity, this experience.”
And at once, for the first time in weeks, I felt the boost that comes from conserving one’s energies, when they are no longer being drained by attention to things distant from here and now and what I myself can do.
This is the power of presence.
[Notes to follow up on in the future:
– Scott Morrison
– Brother Lawrence: silence; feelings
– Forgive us our trespasses
– Take no thought
– The needle’s eye
– Just for today
– Serenity prayer
– Be here now
– Wherever you go, there you are
– Conspiracy Theorists: America’s Lost Sheep?
– Was There a Jesus? If So, What Was He Like?]
From a previous post:
One may find one’s mind focused on an idea, person or situation, and one’s feelings toward that focus untoward. The practical needs of the moment may mean one can’t just “get your mind off it,” but one can possibly choose more desirable feelings.
One possible option sometimes is “flipping.” If I find I’ve just cursed someone, I can begin thinking and feeling the exact opposite, thinking, “God bless him,” and sending the person love, light and prayers. Thus usually entails a lot of chagrin for the sin I committed to start with.
Other times, the change — sublimation — may take more time and effort.
Feelings one may find objectionable — may not necessarily have to be so. It is hard for me to discuss or name some of the feelings involved, since for most of my life I never voluntarily let myself feel them, and I have only lately become willing to manage these limbs of my soul.
Feeling mean, being mean; being or wanting to be “hard;” “getting your game face on;” being aggressive: these are some of the feelings in question. To me, determination feels a lot like anger. But these feelings have their God-given uses, when one faces hard physical exertion or has to overcome obstacles. One like me, who wants to rise out of poverty, faces a ton of hard work and many obstacles to overcome. So I’m coming to accept, even welcome such feelings — and when they come, set my mind on situations where they may be useful. One example is to see myself climbing the ladder, up out from the pit of poverty, to the level ground of the social mainstream. It’s hard, and it’s OK to feel hard.
A very common situation: untoward sexual lusts. If one is in a presumptively exclusive relationship, lusts directed towards another need not be denied, repressed or sublimated, but instead merely redirected towards one’s partner. For single women and men, attraction to an inappropriate person can be redirected towards one or more appropriate persons — even if the object of one’s fantasy can only be purely imaginary.
It took me years to accept that these do, in fact, occur, and that they are what they are.
Unpleasant feelings may come out of nowhere, not in response to any event, and hang on for minutes or hours, unable to be sublimated.
Just as the physical body produces various wastes, including gaseous farts; it stands to reason that the soul also produces spiritual (emotional) wastes, including farts of its own.
One handles a soul fart the same as a bodily fart: just let it go, though the “smell” may inescapably abide for a while.
In the midst of a soul fart, it’s essential to know that this has no rational basis and is not in response to any event. One needs to step back from one’s feelings — put in the clutch, so to speak — and determine not to take anything too seriously, anything anyone says, anything that may happen. Hold off on any major decisions until after the gas passes, when one will have better judgment.
The most troublesome soul fart for me has been what I call “the Itch:” the desire for turmoil, the desire to find (or create) trouble, to be angry, even to possibly hurt others, and so on. I am coming more and more to accept it as a soul fart, and to stop beating myself up just because it happens. The chapter “About organized religion” will deal at length with a man who has an especially bad case of it; the possible karmic bases; and what he must do to be free.
Thursday, May 1, 2014. For several days, I’ve sought a sign as to whether presence is, indeed, the way to go. No answer could be clearer than my experience this afternoon. I’ve gone through exactly the transition described in “Chaos overwhelms the poor.” I have power and competence to deal with my current circumstances, with the resources at hand. I perceive the universe as a well-ordered place. This cosmic harmony provides the foundation for hope. I may soon be able to face with confidence the unknown, uncertain future.
That I did all this on my own raises the question of whether there exists, in the end, the unseen world. I have that answer already; I’ve been in this place before.
———— ♦ ————
From “Chaos overwhelms the poor:”
Jesus and others have taught an approach to life that enables one to learn to care for oneself and begin to establish harmony in one’s immediate situation.
Continue reading The path of presence
A week ago today I had a highly successful interview at a dollar store. There may be one obstacle that, if it’s there, cannot be overcome; but if it’s not there, I’ll have to take a drug test and go for a second interview at which the actual job offer will be made. In the days since, there have been some communications glitches. Meanwhile, time goes on.
This morning in my last five minutes at Lenny’s, I prayed about this, reflecting on (1) my disappointment to have had no word so far and (2) the path by which I got here.
I just completed a two-month “job readiness” program … not as if I needed any program to make me “ready” for a job, but this one is unique in that while one is taking classes, they have scouts hunting down specific job opportunities that well match each candidate. That is the big factor I see missing for most people in the big picture.
Was the class a waste of time? Continue reading Job search status: Pep talk
Positions applied to in April 2014:
Administrative Secretary – Johns Hopkins University – Req. No. 60760
Secretary II – Salvation Army – Pos. No. 179010
Administrative Secretary – Johns Hopkins University Welch Center – Req. No. 60914
Casual dining busperson – Horseshoe Casino
Countroom representative – Horseshoe Casino
Kitchen worker – Horseshoe Casino
Steakhouse busperson – Horseshoe Casino
Steward – Horseshoe Casino
Valet cashier – Horseshoe Casino
Administrative Assistant – Service Corporation International
Tuesday, 04/29/14. Disliking the fact that I’m dependent is the exact opposite of wanting to become independent. By virtue of attention as gravity, the former is actually likely to keep me dependent. It also just plain feels bad, and diverts the energies I need to do the latter. Being happy, in contrast, will make life easier for me and the men around me.
Monday night in the line going up from the basement to supper, we passed the laundry room, and this guy working there called hi to me, and then said, “He’s always happy.” On the one hand, if he only knew. On the other hand, if that’s indeed how I come off to people, that’s a blessing.
(Originally posted 05/05/14.)
… can make a hard situation easy, or make an easy situation hard.
To enter the shelter, you walk across this parking lot to an iron gate, and then down these steps to the “smoke pit,” an 8 x 20′ area with benches where we sit until they call us in, in groups of six, to register for this night. One does this every day.
I have been wary of telling this, because the thing hinges on an abstraction that not everyone may be in a position to grasp. But in recent weeks, it’s been really prominent to me. And one can tell from recent posts that I don’t much care for abstractions.
Friday 06/01/12 we were working on the assembly line, and the music they had on the PA was WQSR 102.7 “Jack.” I didn’t mind; it was an interesting change of pace.
At mid-afternoon this one song came on that made me feel tense. What song, I don’t recall and it doesn’t matter. The music made me feel tense. That’s what this post is all about.
The earlier post entitled “Change your diet” was all about words. One needs also to be aware of the feelings and attitudes music itself brings out in you, and choose accordingly.
Continue reading Change your diet, chapter 2