January 1, 2009
©marty klevapermanent url
∞ Happy New Year to you all.
To ring in this New Year of 2009, I would like to share a collection of some of my favorite stories and quotes that follow a theme of shifting perspectives. Perhaps these can lend a guide and help us to move through this coming year with a bit of grace.
We so often hear about shifting paradigms, and I have often wondered to myself would we recognize a new paradigm once we are in it? How can we possibly choose to move into a new paradigm when we are so comfortably set in the old one? Who in their right mind wants to abandon what has worked for so many for so long?
Well it seems that we are witnessing the answers to all these questions. In fact we don’t willingly enter a new paradigm, it gets hoisted upon us and we get thrust into it regardless, and as we enter 2009, it appears that we are at the crucial intersection between an old and new paradigm.
Many people around the world are in the midst of a most horrendous place of violence, some of it is a result of violent weather, and in other cases the violence is from weapons of war being hurled against neighbors.
Hatred is a violent emotion. After generation upon generation of fostered hatred against perceived enemies, what can be expected to change? What possible remedy will create an opening for a peace to be settled upon numerous adversaries?
Not to be simplistic about this, however, if we are ever to know PEACE in our time, then all the issues of violence and hatred that seem to have immense meaning to us and our adversaries will need to become like water flowing beneath the bridge, carrying away all those things that stand between us, the stones of violence, the words of hatred, the paper that they are written upon, and the retribution that we seek for all the wrongs that have been done to us for generation upon generation. These are the things that impose invisible barriers between neighbors, family, friends and countries, and eventually they become visible walls of concrete and steel.
Paradigm shifting sometimes (or maybe every-time) is prefaced with a challenge to the status quo, and the status quo is more about clinging to the familiar and less about fearlessly bounding into the unknown.
There are a few very good tools to help us make the switch of changing perspectives. They have names like forgiveness, and love. Their application is non-selective. It is in forgiving anyone and everyone without exception that creates the transcendent forms of Absolute Forgiveness and Absolute Love. This begins with forgiving ourselves.
In forgiveness, everything is let go of any attachment to keep it in its old and over-worn place. With forgiveness we free ourselves of bonds and shackles that stifle our creativity to love and by releasing these destructive forces that are attached to us we are open to receiving the ability to interact in a constructive way through a new paradigm of our own vision.
Ironically, destructive and violent actions are like an outward desperate cry for help in a distorted attempt to fill wounded and empty hearts with Love.
It is in the achievement of the transcendent function where perspectives suddenly change for no apparent reason that the seemingly impossible transforms to a level where everything is possible, even WORLD PEACE.
My wish for you this New Year of 2009, is to embrace and roll with the waves of changing perspectives that are upon us.
May each of us seed the Love of PEACE
May our neighbors Sow PEACE upon fertile grounds
May our families cultivate and water in the Gardens of PEACE
May our friends reap and rejoice in the Harvest of PEACE
May ALL our adversaries discover the Wonder of PEACE filling their hearts
con molto amore,
∞ Reflection:"To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns,
To surrender to too many demands,
To commit oneself to too many projects,
To want to help everyone with everything Is to succumb to violence."
- Thomas Merton
∞ Here’s a great story that illustrates that sometimes we need to go the long way around to get to the beginning.A boat docked in a tiny Mexican village. An American tourist complimented the Mexican fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them. "Not very long," answered the Mexican."But then, why didn't you stay out longer and catch more?" asked the American. The Mexican explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family. The American asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"
"I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my wife. In the evenings I go into the village to see my friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs. I have a full life."
The American interrupted, "I have a MBA from Harvard and I can help you.
You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the revenue, you can buy a bigger boat. With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middle-man, you can negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico City, Los Angeles, or even New York City! From there you can direct your huge enterprise.
"How long would that take?" asked the Mexican.
"Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years," replied the American.
"And after that?"
"Afterwards?" That's when it gets really interesting," answered the American, laughing. When your business gets really big, you can start selling stocks and make millions!"
"Millions? Really?" "And after that?" asked the fisherman.
"After that you'll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta with your wife, and spend your evenings drinking and playing the guitar with your friends!"
∞ Such Wonders as the ones below should never ceaseA group of students were asked to list what they thought were the present "Seven Wonders of the World." Though there were some disagreements, the following received the most votes:
1. Egypt's Great Pyramids
2. Taj Mahal
3. Grand Canyon
4. Panama Canal
5. Empire State Building6. St. Peter's Basilica
7. China's Great Wall
While gathering the votes, the teacher noted that one student had not finished her paper yet. So she asked the girl if she was having trouble with her list. The girl replied, "Yes, a little. I couldn't quite make up my mind because there were so many."
The teacher said, "Well, tell us what you have, and maybe we can help." The girl hesitated, then read, "I think the 'Seven Wonders of the World' are:
1. To See
2. To Hear
3. To Touch
4. To Taste
5. To Feel
6. To Laugh
7. And to Love.The room was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop. The things we overlook as simple and ordinary and that we take for granted are truly wondrous! A gentle reminder -- that the most precious things in life cannot be built by hand or bought by man.
∞ Here is a very poignant reminder of our originsThe Wooden BowlA frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year old grandson. The old man's hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered.The family ate together at the table. But the elderly grandfather's shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth.The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess."We must do something about Grandfather," said the son. I've had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor.So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner. Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl.When the family glanced in Grandfather's direction, sometime he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food.The four-year-old watched it all in silence. One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly, "What are you making?" Just as sweetly, the boy responded, "Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Mama to eat your food in when I grow up." The four-year-old smiled and went back to work.The words so struck the parents so that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done.That evening the husband took Grandfather's hand and gently led him back to the family table. For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.∞ Three ways to handle adversity — or if you’re hungry, fill your belly!A Carrot, An Egg and a Cup of CoffeeA young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners.She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl.She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me, what you see?""Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied. Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots.She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it.After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg. Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, "What does it mean, mother?"Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity ... boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water."Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond?
""Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?"Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength? Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?— www.hapkido.com/deepthoughts/coffee.htm
∞ Children are our best teachers when it comes to changing perspectives — of course they have less to give-up, nevertheless, it could be remarkable to remember that we all have a child within us.
First Grade Students’ Answers to ProverbsA first grade teacher had twenty-five students in her class and she presented each child in her class the first half of a well known proverb and asked them to come up with the remainder of the proverb.
It's hard to believe these were actually done by first graders. Their insight may surprise you.1. Don't change horses .......................... until they stop running.2. Strike while the ....................................... bug is close.3. It's always darkest before ..................... Daylight Saving Time.4. Never underestimate the power of ....... termites.5. You can lead a horse to water but ....... how?6. Don't bite the hand that ....................... looks dirty!7. No news is ..................................... impossible.8. A miss is as good as a ........................... Mr.9. You can't teach an old dog new ............ math.10. If you lie down with dogs, you'll ......... stink in the morning.11. Love all, trust ……………………… me.12. The pen is mightier than the ……………….. pigs.13. An idle mind is ............................ the best way to relax.14. Where there's smoke there's ................ pollution.15. Happy the bride who ......................... gets all the presents.16. A penny saved is .................... not much.17. Two's company, three's ....................... the Musketeers.18. Don't put off till tomorrow what ........ you put on to go to bed.19. Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and ..... you have to blow your nose.20. There are none so blind as ................. Stevie Wonder.21. Children should be seen and not ......... spanked or grounded.22. If at first you don't succeed ............... get new batteries.23. You get out of something only what you ..... see in the picture on the box.24. When the blind lead the blind ............ get out of the way.
∞ Professional healing Sessions In Times of transition — contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Labels: adversaries, conflicts, forgiveness, hatred, Love, new paradigm, New Year 2009, Seeds of Peace, shifting perspectives, violence, vision of world peace
Series on Fear-III: Fear As Allymarty kleva
February 13, 2008
About 10 years ago I read a news account of a very savvy elementary school teacher in Boulder, Colorado who taught a science lesson to his class involving the planets and their place in the galaxy. He had the students make mock-up planets in scale and then took them to a large outside yard to demonstrate the lesson where he had the students set up our heliocentric galaxy and figure where each of the planets would be accordingly located within the parameters of the yard.
When the planet positions were all in place, and the students discussed the different aspects, there was one overwhelming point that came to the forefront. The teacher said that what he could vividly realize by this elementary yet inspired demonstration is how little of our entire galaxy is made up of hard physical matter— both seeable and touchable. The flip side of that is that he, and eventually his students, also realized how much of our galaxy world is made up of something else which seems to be purely non-tangible empty space.
Given this model it could be said that in the entire universe of all matter, the percentage we usually believe to be reality can be represented by a number of infinite (0.00000’s+1%) — I’ll call this Reality #1 — and the remaining reality by the number 99. + an infinite number of 9’s (99.99999+%) which may actually be reality — but regardless of that near unbelievable statement, I’ll call this Reality #2.
Almost the entire amount of the Reality #1 is concentrated upon how one person/group can overpower another and impinge their beliefs and value systems upon the other, including the so-called religious righteous.
Out of Reality #1, in what we now call America, over 85% of the $2.7 trillion 2006 federal budget was allotted to 1) War: $580.5 billion; 2) Disease: $614.1 billion; & 3) Debt held against the American people: 1,115.4 billion.
These three top expenditures make a gigantic statement within the infinitesimal Reality #1; they are all founded upon FEAR—FEAR of other nations and people, FEAR of dying, the FEAR of not being able to make enough money if one is poor or struggling, and in the case of the wealthy, the FEAR is of a) not being able to manage their money, and b) of someone else taking it away.
Not to be simplistic, but this is Reality #1 in a nutshell, and if it is anywhere near the Truth of things, then one must wonder about the make-up of the remaining 99.999+%!
What is Reality #2, the 99.999+% of all that is, in relationship to Reality #1, the infinite number of 0.00000’s+1%? The comparison between the two is startling.
Now think of all that is in Reality #1 that we believe is important; those physical so-called needs we spend the majority of our energy in the form of time, money and worry, trying to acquire, or create. Think of the 2.7 trillion dollars within this context, and think of the FEAR that is related to that 2.7 trillion.
Stop reading and get the entire picture clear in your mind before continuing. Get the galaxy model set up in a large park and cordon it off as if it is the entire galaxy and work within this framework. All that you see of the physical planetary models is the only hard matter that exists. All the rest of the space around and between the planets in three dimension is empty — at least it appears so to our untrained eyes and senses. Science calls this remaining empty space ‘dark matter’. (See article here)
What we are concerned with here for the purposes of this article is what we call Reality #1, and its make-up of FEAR.
In today’s culture we are taught to not be afraid as we bluster through scenarios that appear to be dangerous. We are cosseted and kept safe by laws, ordinances, and decrees that are only the cover for the reality that escapes most of us.
We live in the Piscean Age that has its own repercussions by its Neptunian nature that translates to watery, and at its best, is illusory. This is the reality that we live in and the challenge is to understand that this is what we deal with daily — an illusion of the reality #1—so that even the print on the newspaper can be an illusion, as can the sounds of speech that we hear from those who represent the financial/political scene and those that report for them to us. The problem comes from believing without question that it is all-true.
Those who are familiar with this site know that my one stipulation to bottom-line thinking is that it leads to a quest toward the next one. Perfectly okay to reach bottom lines — it is in believing that they are the end of the road that shuts down all further inquiry.
Certainly we can take rests to enjoy the destination that we have reached, to explore it further and become familiar with the terrain there, but to live out the belief that this is all there is truly bespeaks of fear that is stuck where it first erupted — in the Root Chakra.
We depend on our survival-based root chakra to invoke our fear for good reason. This is an innate system of warning for us to be alert about what endangers our living, which can be anything, to knowing that we cannot simply walk out onto a busy highway, to someone holding a dangerous weapon on us, or that our health is threatened by the misuse of chemicals.
Healthy fear is when we can get angry enough to move the 1st chakra fear into our 2nd chakra and onward to engage our power in the 3rd chakra to action. Then over time, unless we move this raw unconscious knee-jerk reaction into the 4th heart chakra we remain forever on the wheel of karma, perfectly oblivious to everything else that the universe represents except for that one day when we wake up to find that we are powerless to have any say in our lives.
In order to be conscious, Fear moved forward by Anger and engaged in action of our Power center must also be ingested and integrated with the 4th chakra element of Love — the Universal Dispassionate Love for both ourselves and others where decisions are not made based on anger, hatred, etc., but upon an unbiased equanimity simply because we can also see ourselves standing in the other person’s position. We can recognize the hologram that reflects the raw unbiased Truth that we are no more, no less than that person we face, whether it is in an embrace or with a difference of opinion.
The point that our total health may rest upon is the foundation of balance. Fear is an extreme — so is bliss! We are meant to find the point of positive balance between them. They both will become negative influences if we stay on the exponential curve of either one too long without seeking the remedy. The remedy of balance is brought about not by simply tossing aside our fear or bliss, but learning to recognize them and giving them our conscious awareness.
Both fight & flight can be productive as there is a time to engage in each. The key is to know when we are engaged in either one that we are in an exponential curve to pull together and heighten our body’s defenses. It is important to not stay on that exponential curve, for if our body continually stays at full alert we are like a loaded dump truck going down the interstate with the engines at full throttle but in first gear.
The negative aspect is getting stuck in the upward curve and not coming off the mountain. Here is where Mindfulness practice is a way to rock the stressors by using breath awareness — observing the breath as it moves in and out of our body, feeling the air as it rushes past our nostrils, sense its temperature and velocity, then notice how that action coincides with the movement of our chest, how it expands and stretches the spaces between the ribs, and the fact that it also expands the belly as the diaphragm drops to accommodate our expanded lungs. Using these awareness practices allows the body’s wisdom to take over — and it will — to bring the hormones of fight or flight back to a normal reading.
Accumulated stress is a product of our reaction to fear that never finds resolve.
In the Buddha of Fear, in the time before I realized that my black haze was my fear, I was on that curve; so was the year that I spent every Sunday at the Cathedral in the throes of bliss. Once I acknowledged my fear and began to work with it using Mindfulness practice I began to ameliorate the exponential curve of negativity. I used the same practice with my ecstatic experiences in the Cathedral, but I neglected to monitor the amount of time there and thus became addicted to the bliss without realizing the pitfalls and possible dangers to the amount and power of Light I ingested.
Fear is such a complex emotion. I learned that my anger was fueled by my fear and that beneath that fear was also excitement, but most of all impacting upon me was to discover that by slowly walking step-by-step through and with my fear, I walked in to pure Love. Never before in all my life when I walked away from fear, or denied it, or got over it, or put it aside, or conquered it, did I encounter love like I felt and experienced when I walked with my Buddha of Fear.
Fear is out of the base chakra; bliss is from the 7th and beyond. The most powerful use of either is when they meet in the middle 4th, or heart chakra. This is where the most powerful experience of the love orgasm springs from, the union of these two extreme chakras at the heart.
Were we to push away all fear in our lives we would also miss out on excitement and a good healthy adrenalin rush, like that which occurs in the ultimate expression of sexual orgasm where our entire being — all our physical and energy bodies are thoroughly engaged. This does not necessarily need to be experienced with another person or with one of the opposite gender, but I do believe that if solo then we will also have had to do a lot of masculine/feminine integration of our subtle energy bodies.
This brings us closest to what the experience of death can be. Petite mort is simply an experience we achieve with all things in balance at the moment. It is a signpost for us to follow and explore in greater observation. For when a person fully surrenders to their own true self — the will of the soul — then life becomes centered in the heart chakra — not alone by itself, but with the streams of all emotions from the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd rising up to meet the downward streams from the 5th, 6th, and above chakras. When they meet and mingle in the heart chakra, then a wisdom arises out of the mix to determine our actions, not out of fear alone, nor from bliss alone, but connected and integrated in what we know as Universal Love or Non-Conditional Love.
To reach Love one must also come to know Fear.
Love is the full spectrum of emotions that streams through the center of the apex to merge into the Light. Fear may be the emotional spectrum that mirrors Love, similar to the phenomena of the mirrored light spectrum being reflected in a double rainbow.
I know enough now to not ignore my fear, not to allow my critical ego-self to say “I’ve been there, done that.”, because I’ve also learned that fear is not some linear emotion that picks that same criteria or set of circumstances to express itself — the next time. Fear is not a two-dimensional or even possibly a three dimensional emotion. I find it to be the mother/father of all emotions within the lower three chakras and find it to have a multidimensional spectrum that could appear to be spherical or holographic. It is connected to the root of our very existence and therefore may also be the connection to the transcendent.
Fear is no wimp to ignore or try to put off because being imprinted into our DNA, it is always present, at least for as long as mankind exists. So we must learn to ID it and then to acknowledge that it is ours and not project it onto others. Until we shift our relationship toward fear, it will rule our lives as it now does in this modern world of 2008.
We have devoted all science and technology to creating a world that appears to make us safe and protected from everything under the sun. We have lawyers and insurance to protect us from lawsuits. There is a medical world that has developed ways to artificially alter the body with implants and machines so that we achieve longevity.
We have gone so far in all our developed external technological systems of safety and progress that we are at the ultimate stretch of use/misuse of technology, and it has now turned in on us and instead of protecting us its use has become the very danger it was initially designed to protect us against.
We may in actuality be no further ahead in any form of enlightenment. Instead, we may be in decline since we have signed over all our power out of the 3rd chakra to something that exists outside of ourselves. We are no longer safe. All that which we believe to be in place to keep us safe is an illusion that’s been created and paid for dearly from our own pockets and with our own lives. We have no one else to blame for it as we take the hook every time the issue of safety arises and have given someone else the power to deal with it. We no longer believe that we ourselves can keep us safe. We look to buy our safety on the merits of someone else’s say so.
Fear has become the world’s greatest commodity. The sale of everything from war to identification is based on how much fear can be induced into the public to buy the product that promises protection or security. The irony of it all is that the very thing that was sold as protection has led to a massive invasion of further technology that threatens our safety and ability to lead a private, independent, and self-advised life.
The products that demand us to provide further information and disclose deeper layers of our unique features such as fingerprints and iris scans are the very ones that are now attached to our birth records, work history, medical history, our purchasing preferences, places we have visited and lived, and with the use of cell phones our exact physical location within fifty feet.
These safety features have turned a free country into a prison all under the auspices of wars waged on our multiple fears. As a collective we find ourselves acting out when we buy insurance of all kinds including life insurance, renter’s insurance and travel insurance to name the obvious. Then there are the more subtle products like cell phones for children and our elderly parents. These very systems that we believe and rely upon to keep us safe have failed to do so, and what ensues is that these systems go further to convince us that we now need to inject an ID module under the skin so we can keep track of our children and pets in case they are taken. The move is always to up the ante with the onus on us.
GPS features in the more recent vehicles are commercialized as the latest gadget to acquire, and we are sold the Madison Avenue line that they will also help anyone who is stranded on the road. All you need to do is call the GPS monitoring system and they can tell exactly where you are. Whatever happened to the good Samaritans along the road? Whatever happened to us taking care of us?
Our entire infrastructure of community has been infiltrated by the discount brokering of fear.
The foundation of our entire monetary system is also run on the emotion of fear. The stock market totally exudes fear — watch as moment by moment the NASDAQ & DOW figures go up and down according to what the President, the head of the Federal Reserve, the Treasury Secretary, or CEO of the largest bank and brokerage house happen to mention out loud or write about or hint about to be announced in the next two days time.
Religions of the world — I can speak to the Judeo-Christian religions in particular — are based on the fear of God and all actions are geared toward acting the perfect Christian because if a person does not, he/she will go to hell and Christians are taught to fear hell.
No matter where we go fear is used to sell us on whatever product the commercial world wishes us to buy. Remember too that our government here in America is no longer a republic, nor is it a constitutional democracy; now it is a commercial corporation just like ENRON, HALIBURTON, CITIBANK, MORGAN STANLEY, WALMART, etc.
It is this unconscious collective fear that adds to the collective stress that activates the fight or flight syndrome and refuses to let go. Fear does not need to be eradicated from our life, that’s impossible to do. What needs to happen to turn this entire package of fear that is being sold to an entire culture is for us to shift our perspective and attitudes toward fear itself.
Fear is a true teacher of values. To recognize it in all its subtle aspects demands savage honesty, and to face it demands an intrepid heart. To deny it is like turning our back on a cobra, a position much more dangerous than facing it, even as that might be terrifying.
It was easy for me to relate to my Buddha of Fear after the fact of discovering what it was — but prior to that moment of discovery, I had no idea what I was facing and it was terrifying.
It is never my recommendation to approach fear head on or with hubris. To approach with gentle caution is much more workable and is more likely to produce positive effects. It is also more preferable to approach without the usual ego-driven agenda of specific results; here I could almost guarantee that at its best this will backfire and at the worst it will look like a cure that later manifests to a discovery that our fear has only been buried deeper than before, and down the line apiece it will act up and act out in our personality and even in the form of dis-ease.
All of this I am describing is inside of Reality #1! Can you even fathom what Reality #2 is about? If anything we can use just the comparison of magnitude and size to help us keep a perspective.
Collective Addiction To Hype
In this culture of more is better and best, where our today’s performance is never enough and we are forced in our jobs and thinking to constantly strive for a higher level of everything — we have become addicted to the feeling of hype — the sound media especially bombards us with commercials that are too loud, where overtly brash actors must yell at each other and us at a speed that defies nature, to get it all in a 30 second sound bite.
TV news shows look and sound more like a shouting match in a bar. This is violence at its most subtle execution that serves as a model for collective behavior. These same high profile talk show hosts display abominable behavior denigrating guests who may disagree with the host’s views.
The level of stress on such shows is at the extreme — guests must not only compete with each other for their points of view, they must also compete with the host for the time to speak it. This type of display on public TV bleeds into the collective angst and raises the stress curve around the world. It incites higher levels of stress in both the the participants and the viewers alike. Evidently this is the intent of the producers because it seems that this is what gets the attention of the masses that watch TV. Little do the masses seem to understand what they are participating in and how it ultimately is affecting their health.
Stress: The Phantom Menace
Around my Buddha of fear there was this shroud of darkness. I could have tried to ignore it, wished it to go away, to get over it and get on with life. I decided rather to further investigate it. I knew it was a cloud of energy that had been opened by the accident fracturing my aura — unleashing all the past fears I had so well ignored and gotten over. This time it would have to be different.
Those other times when I have known fear and climbed over it to act fearless, I am aware that my actions were truly fueled by the very fear I denied, and those actions were like a man running from a tiger oblivious to all that is in front of him, only knowing the fear of being hunted, chased, to be outrun and caught by the tiger. That is the purest form of 1st chakra ‘survival’ energy in action.
One of the underlying causes for collective stress is that we do not know how to protect ourselves from those who convince us that they have jurisdiction over us. When we give over personal information to people we are not even acquainted with, it is at great cost to the subtle systems of our physical body. The cost over time may be much greater than the advertised rewards. This is an insidious element in our world today that on one hand promises protection and security, yet on the other erodes the very protection and security we thought we were buying.
The body’s systems when constantly barraged by such attacks go into the exponential stress curve, and without relief begin to break down creating greater number of dis-orders and dis-eases.
What to do about it?
First notice there is always 1) a cost up-front & center — the cost that we pay for our base desires — like the latest car model, latest designer jeans, newest computer, cell-phone electronic gadget, or the bars, clubs and memberships that promise exciting yet impersonal sexual encounters.
Behind all the merchandising of these base products is also 2) a hidden cost to our present and future existence.
We know and feel something is not quite so when “Energy In” is NOT EQUAL to or greater than “Energy Out!”
When we figure out what that cost is, not only in dollars, but also in the decreasing quality of life, then we can see that the disparate equation of energy is a negative cost to us personally and/or our family and community.
It is the complexity of fear that makes it difficult to understand, difficult to distinguish which end of the spectrum one is experiencing and knowing which feature of fear is the true catalyst behind our actions.
Different degrees and layers of fear evoke degrees and intensity of the emotion. There are also the different sources of it that incorporate different degrees of risk and danger with varying degrees of consequences.
All the symptoms of fight or flight can also be evoked by meeting someone of attraction, ratcheting up the pulse & heartbeat with blood rushing through our vessels, or merely by the anticipation of skydiving, preparing to go onstage, or entering into a sporting contest.
Like people, emotions are never what they seem — especially fear. Emotions can be so powerful that we are afraid of experiencing and expressing them. When our emotions are buried we act tired, dull, bored, sophisticated and politically correct. We feel dead and weak inside. We are empty, insensible, feel hopeless, and have no direction from within. Hidden feelings can be described in words such as afraid, scared, terrorized, raw, having a feral need to survive, and find us sucking in air with desperate pants.
Fear can be painful as it forces us to feel something — to feel alive— and gives us purpose. However, if we do not understand what is driving our actions then we are no longer at the reins, but are now in the harness.
What is it like to seize the reins and learn to handle them for our benefit? To do so in the face of fear, we need to get down into the base chakra and root out the information of what is running the fear. We need to learn how to pay attention to the emotions that are in reality in perpetual motion. The executive function of our brain is only the receptor and perceptive identifier of the rush of emotions through this gateway.
Emotions, specifically fear in this context, that initiate from the mind of the body, are the molecules of communication between that and the mind of the brain. They are like the wellspring of a river’s source. It is up to us to investigate, locate and begin to know them for the sustenance they provide.
Like our attention caught upon a colorful, flamboyant silk scarf being drawn out by a sleight-of-hand artist at a magic show — all the while reality is hidden elsewhere.
Sending the LOVE of 'hayam’ to illuminate the way.
Labels: Addiction To Fear, American Debt, Bliss, Brokering Fear, Chakras, Fear As Ally, Illusion, Love, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Reality, Root Chakra, Stress Syndrom, Stress: The Phantom Menace
Gem Fire Air
Illusions Of Love: Jeremy Irons & Andrea Bocelli
February 12, 2007
This article celebrates the completion of the first year of GemFireAir. Given all the odds and circumstances, I am both thrilled and humbled that we have made it to this mark.
What I originally thought would be a small group of interested individuals has turned into an international Affaire de Coeur — so fitting to be celebrating it near Valentines Day and during February, the Month of The Heart.
My gratitude and love go out to all of you around the world who come here regularly to see what we’re up to.
Illusions Of Love: Jeremy Irons And Andrea Bocelli
What is love if not the state of being transported to the ultimate expression of our godlike nature. Of feeling as if we are full of ourselves and closer to the experience of knowing bliss, rapture, and ecstasy. It is here that our experience takes on the extra dimension of pleasure, where we see the world through captivated eyes and hear it through enchanted ears, where all looks and sounds expand the very magnitude of our being — a world that is ours to own.
Far be it from me to burst anyone’s illusory bubble, including my own, but so few of us believe that such a world is available to us personally, and therefore we seek it within the sphere of beauty inspired by another’s imagination — in the nebulous creations on the screen, in the written word of books, works of photography, music, and art.
There are two such persons among those I turn to for such inspiration — actor Jeremy Irons and singer Andrea Bocelli. They are my muses, albeit of the male gender. Both have a beautiful repertoire of work. Both inspire me — from the very first moment I saw Jeremy perform and heard Andrea sing. They have a transcendental quality that speaks to the heart and the soul.
Andrea has a voice that draws at the universal core of people. When he sings, his audience glows, their eyes shine bright, like the stars of the night. Everyone breathes together and willingly allows themselves to be transported into a world of fantasy.
He is classically trained and is well known as being the fourth voice invited to sing in concert with the famous “Three Tenors”, José Carreras, Placido Domingo, and Luciano Pavarotti. Bocelli sings equally well, Verdi, Puccini, and Massenet, sacred arias, and in his CD albums ‘romanza’, and ‘amore’, love songs in the language of love.
Andrea touchingly has a familial story that rests in his birthplace of Italy and in his relationship with his father. On his CD ‘Sogno’ (Dream) the selections of love songs span the realm of the imaginary to the real. Lyrics in the title song, ‘Sogno’, speak to the dreamer of love as Andrea sings, “This is where I will wait for you, stealing imaginary kisses as time goes by —Dream”.
Bocelli then moves into the immense sea of expanded awareness in which lovers know each other merely by their presence with ‘Immenso’. The last song of Sogno, ‘A Mio Padre’ is written by Bocelli where he sends his father a very personal message, “I want to make it on my own.”
His recent DVD, “Under The Desert Sky”, is especially poignant. In a desert community of the southwest near Las Vegas, Nevada, the backdrop of Italian architecture creates the ethereal feeling of Italy transported into the heart of the desert. Add Andrea’s incredible voice to the Italian and Spanish-sung love songs, and you feel like you are in heaven. Then he sings Elvis’s, “Can’t Help Falling In Love” and the audience sinks into the lush sounds of his voice with a collective sigh.
Our experience of Love can be limiting as well as limitless within many scenarios, the most frequent being when we meet that person who triggers such a glorious response within us; and subsequently experience the disappointment on the down line when we feel the restrictions put into place by the myriad interruptions produced out of our psyche and a mind which has a tendency to grasp onto pleasure, not wanting to let go of it, not able to ride out the ebb of its wave.
One thing about Love is that we think of it as being a well-laid out plan, like a pre-patterned template that will happen to us. We fall in-Love and live happily ever after according to the well-ordered mythical version. I often wonder who it was that created the myth in the first place—who created the source of so much drive in the hearts of humanity to achieve such an ideal as this, and where did it get distorted into such pain that we shy away from committing ourselves to it.
The ideal of love encompasses the Christian template of Christ’s sacrifice for the sins of mankind, adding mankind’s own religiously induced restrictions on the subject. And let us not forget that if we love, we believe and look for a reciprocating experience, one that most people never get to experience and which becomes the jading factor. Then there is the universal mix-up of love and sex, not to say that the two are not meant to go together, but to implicate the fact that there are any number of scenarios in which these two elements combine with the confusion of mistaken identity between the sexes.
Which brings me to the romantic notions of men and women in love &/or lust, and actor Jeremy Irons. If there is one actor who epitomizes the many facets of love onscreen, Jeremy Irons does. Throughout his screen career, he typically fills romantic roles, none of which are simple or straightforward.
Trained as an actor at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, it is not a surprise that he would win a Tony Award for his 1984 Broadway performance opposite Glenn Close in The Real Thing, a play about male/female relationships. In 1990, he added an Oscar to his accolades for his role as Claus von Bulow in Reversal Of Fortune.
Jeremy brings a mercurial quality to his characters, which always keeps me on the edge of wanting to know all that his subject is about. Just when I think I have the character down, he adds another aspect, which although seems to run counter to all that has been laid down before, is simply another layer of the character’s personality. There is everything complex about his acting that goes very deep into a well-honed repertoire to extract every skill available.
Recently I did a Jeremy Irons video-thon and began with Brideshead Revisited, a BBC Masterpiece Theatre 1981 production that ran weekly for about three months on American TV. In it we are given a glimpse of the male bonding process via the English aristocracy in the adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's novel by the same name. Jeremy plays the role of Charles Ryder from his time as a young university student to the mature man during WWI. His character develops as a successful artist throughout the timeline, yet he is thwarted in establishing any lasting love life. Casting Irons in this role is what catapulted him onto the American screen to begin a most successful acting career.
Of the many roles he is cast in, most include the portrayal of lust and love, with either one likely to show up first. In the movie Damage, he portrays a happily married executive in English Parliament, opposite actress Jeanette Binoche. It is a story of a man meeting his Fate, the ever intriguing karmic love affair that in the end has the scorpion’s sting to it.
Knowing that, don’t let yourself be put off, because what happens in between is sheer compelling sex exhibited in the most well-presented scenes you will ever see. Both characters are swept into the inferno of lust where nary a word is spoken in their first sexual encounter as she slips off the edge of the bed onto her knees with her arms outstretched in a mudra of sacrifice to his purely lustful possession. He tells her, “I can’t seem to see past you.” and, “I’ve never had feelings like this before.”
In the numerous sex scenes in Damage, he is totally run by his obsession with her, and throughout the movie, maneuvers back and forth from this sexual conflagration to his family and burgeoning political career. Irons is the master of displaying subtle facial and vocal nuances. It is no wonder that he thinks sex symbols are "pretty mindless objects." But, quoting him, "If I am to be anybody's, I think probably I would prefer to be the thinking woman's because it's always better to think about it."
He has a speaking voice to match the power of Andrea Bocelli’s singing voice. Even that it resounds with a British accent, his voice is wonderfully lyrical and seductive. His natural charm is so unaffected that even when he plays the villainous role, such as the one of a seducer of his young stepdaughter in Lolita, the audience is also seduced to see the wounded male at his most vulnerable. In this role we get to see how his unhealed childhood love-wound named Annabelle turns up one fateful day in the future, in the person of Lolita. It only takes a glance at her and he is hooked into the past.
Of Lolita, Iron’s character says,
“She was Lo, plain Lo in the morning, standing 4’10” in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Delores on the dotted line. But in my arms, she was always Lolita. Light of my life, fire of my loin, my sin, my soul — Lolita!”
Regardless of the lecherous nature with which our culture views such a man, Irons never fails to inform us of the fact that it is not in his character’s makeup to go about seducing young girls. It is this one particular girl who catapults him back into his own past and who subconsciously reminds him of his one first love, the one he has tragically lost.
Irons is also famous for the voice of Scar in The Lion King. In one of his most recent roles, he plays the Earl of Leicester in the BBC production for HBO, Elizabeth I, opposite actress Helen Mirren as Elizabeth. He won both an Emmy award and the Golden Globe for this supporting role. The relationship between Elizabeth and Leicester is legendary, stormy, and filled with unfulfilled sexual desire.
In his movie M Butterfly, I found Irons at his most daunting self in the role of a French Diplomat assigned to Beijuing in 1964 at a time where the French were facing the defeat of their occupation of Indochina and during the American invasion of Viet Nam. It is a story that symbolizes the ultimate differences between the western world and oriental culture of China, a movie that touches upon main perceptual problems whose existence we as westerners still cannot understand today.
Irons is poignantly tender as he delivers exquisite first kisses to an oriental opera singer. He is introduced by her to the opera in the tragic figure of Puccini’s, Madame Butterfly, and instantly finds himself wrapped up in her cocoon of sumptuous silks and oriental intrigue. The relationship unfolds in the world of love, lust, danger, and mystery.
Inherent in the script is the fascination western men have for the submissive oriental woman. She calls him an “adventurous imperialist’ and the “white devil’. It is fascinating to watch Madame Butterfly come alive in the modern world of the 60’s and be named M Butterfly beneath the mastery of Jeremy Irons.
As an actor, Jeremy Irons is hauntingly fragile in the vulnerability he is willing to bring to his characters. In his intimacy with his characters, we are not denied the depths and layers of emotions that move through his eyes and features. He can convey intense sexual passion in one moment and shift to a childlike wonderment in the next, something that very few actors can bring to the theatre and screen, not only today but also throughout the history of acting.
In the end of course, there may never be one answer to the quest that all of us seek — that of finding True Love. Perhaps there is such a large and overpowering answer that we cannot comprehend the experience of it except in small doses. Perhaps also, when we know the experience of loving ourselves, know the essence of our cosmic creation, then we may actually Know True Love and be able to touch others with it.
It is with great love that I reprint the words of Andaf Soueif to feed the desire of the body as well as the longing of the soul.
al-Imam Jalal al-Din al-Sayuti, Cairo, 1495 AD
The Map of Love, Andaf Soueif
“In the act of love there is decreed for every part a portion of pleasure: so the eyes are for the pleasure of looking, and the nostrils are to smell sweet perfume. The pleasure of the lips lies in kissing, and the tongue in sipping and sucking and licking. The teeth find their pleasure in biting, and the penis in penetration. The hands love to feel and explore. The lower half of the body is for touching and caressing and the upper half is for holding and embracing – and as for the ears, their pleasure is in listening to the words and sounds of love.”
The Map of Love, by Andaf Soueif
1 January 1902 (journal entry)
‘Hubb’ is love, ‘ishq’ is love that entwines two people together, ‘shaghaf’ is love that nests in the chambers of the heart, ‘hayam’ is love that wanders the earth, ‘teeh’ is love in which you lose yourself, ‘walah’ is love that carries sorrow within it, ‘sabbah’ is love that exudes from your pores, ‘hawa’ is love that shares its name with ‘air’ and with ‘falling’, ‘gharam’ is love that is willing to pay the price.
Con Molto Amore,
Labels: Affaire de Coeur, Andrea Bocelli, Damage, GemFireAir, Heart, Jeremy Irons, Love, M Butterfly, Under The Desert Sky, Valentines Day