The Politics of Acceptance

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Course Ideas

It’s that time again here in the US.

I’m increasingly confronted by discussions of politics.  They’re coming into the home, the office, the car.  Through the heating system, the mail slot, and the grocery bags.  And why not?  We’re saturated by it right now.  The incredible hype of the hero and the villain, the opportunity and the impasse, the failures and the victories.  The righteous, the confused, the willing, and the maligned.  The pasts, the futures, the confessions and the exposures.  It’s a difficult conversation for me because it so often comes with a certain scorn, or contempt perhaps, for the other tribe.  I don’t like watching anyone speak of others in derisive or dismissive tones, even the anonymous, though I am not totally naive to the impact human beings are making on the planet and one another.  Often the most difficult part of my day is dealing with other humans.

What we know is a trifle as compared to what sustains us, and yet we act as though our opinions are perfectly obvious.  It’s a brilliant strategy, because who can argue with the obvious?  We act as though we don’t have fallible perceptions at all, but knowledge, as if the little baskets of magazine clippings we carry around on our shoulders are definitive.  We are opinionated, wounded, vindictive, entitled, outspoken, and profoundly ignorant creatures.  What other type of being would think it obvious that Love was actually ours to give or withhold as we pleased?  This is the bottom line of our madness.  The worst part of it.  We don’t even know we believe this, it’s so deeply engrained.  But we wield this would-be super-power before we even know we took offense.

I have a tendency to view politics as a reflection of our collectively held fears and judgments, and to feel that a great deal of what is happening is a fairly accurate reenactment of our inner perceptions.  We’re swimming in them.  I especially feel this way when I see people snicker in disgust about other people.  We get emotional about it.  We turn colors.  We swear.  How could people ever, ever, ever in a million years think that way?  And our problems are always “out there” somewhere.  I recognize this sensation is almost impossible to avoid or escape, because the mathematics are ineluctable.  Get the other ones out of the way, and perhaps we could get on with living the good life.  It’s insanity of course.  When have they ever gone away, for starters?  Never mind that, the strategy is sheer and intoxicating.

I encountered a line from A Course of Love this morning that I felt mattered to all of this.  It said, “All time is included in the spacious Self.  Acceptance is necessary because escape is not possible.  Everything that is, is with us, which is why we are the accomplished as well as the void, the healed as well as the sick, the chaos and the peace.  Thus we heal now by calling on wholeness, accepting the healed self’s ability to be chosen while not encountering resistance or any attempts at rejection of the sick or wounded self.” (Dialogues, 14.1)

This recognition is a game changer for me.  There is no escape.  There is no ability to set particular persons or ideas aside.  All of this is who we are, and yet even as this is true, it does not mean that suffering is necessary.  Escape is impossible, but transformation is not.  The fact that sickness is within us does not mean that it must be expressed and given form, but the fact that we try to push all that we dislike away from us, and make it “over there” does engender its expression.  It divides us.  It inhibits the flow of what is natural.  It distorts and manipulates.  The fact that we think a distance can be sustained between here and there creates the type of experience we are having– with sides, with winners and losers, with insufficient means.

It is strange to consider that sickness can be “included”, but not expressed.  It doesn’t really make sense that it can be joined with, and Loved, and dissolved.  Isn’t there like a Conservation of Mass or Energy or something???  Doesn’t what seems so real have to go somewhere?  It’s hard to imagine even walking down such a road.  Think what we’ll have to contact.  Think what we’ll have to encounter, and touch, and become.  This is the way we think when we don’t understand wholeness, when we think it’s an either-or game we’re playing.  We think accepting sickness and chaos means eating rotten scraps out of dumpsters for breakfast, going swan diving into toxic waste, or becoming a full-time lobbyist for the rights of inside traders.  We think it means losing, in short, the things we love, to become the things we don’t.

Of course it’s not like that at all.  What we hunger for in our insulated worlds, is the feeling that comes from truly accepting what is.  The majesty of it.  There’s a real depth to forgiveness, a holiness that rushes in when the inside traders are taken in to our hearts, when the greedy are taken into our hearts, when the addicts are taken into our hearts, when the lazy are taken into our hearts, when the fanatics are taken into our hearts.  When we have become a refuge for them all, then we are complete, and invulnerable, and transformed.  We yield to the expression of what is whole and healed.

This is my vote.  This is the policy I would recommend, that I would encourage myself to move more deeply into.  Until I disappear altogether perhaps, and rediscover myself sitting next to you, playing Go Fish in the Void.

Do you have any lepers?

What about kings, spice merchants, gurus or lawyers?

(…)

What turns?  There’s no turns here…!

53 Comments

    • Hi Ruth,

      No, I hadn’t read your posts at the time when I wrote this, but I have done now. I am not entirely sure what you are asking here, but I see the choice for “minimalism” that you have described to be a perfectly valid means of reducing the extent of influence to which these political shenanigans expose us. It is interesting to consider as I write, but in a way this choice could be construed as the flipside of the desire to be rich, in the sense that both may be choices that provide one with a de-coupling from the influence of the herd, so to speak. Contentedness with what one has, at any income level, seems a noble path.

      I was more reacting here to experiences with people in my immediate circle in which I felt a projected anger with/distrust of whole sectors of people who think differently. Or perhaps who think insufficiently in our eyes. Whenever we view ourselves as “better” than another because of choices that we make, or become disgusted with the choices of others as if they are the primary causes of a broken world (but we’re not), I see us widening the gap that I think we need to bridge to truly forge a world that works better for all of us.

      It’s certainly a tricky topic. This was written more for the level of the heart, and the importance of accepting people from all walks and thought-forms into the sphere of that which one holds sacred, and with which one identifies, rather than focusing on the merits of any particular stance or argument.

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 3 people

      • I was considering that you were speaking to those of us who might be coming across as less than magnanimous towards others…..my theme, of late, has been betrayal and disappointment, and your piece suggested that I aim higher!

        Liked by 1 person

        • These are the trickiest topics to discuss on-line I think. I’m sorry to hear of your recent themes, and know how difficult and infuriating they can be to navigate. Aiming for forgiveness and acceptance is a noble intention in my opinion, and a necessary one if we are to have a more collective healing. But also I have found that if we can actually break through the clouds with these practices, the resulting experience is quite beautiful and becomes self-sustaining. They are one path to genuine peace and happiness in my opinion. So there’s that. Aim high my friend! The choice is yours!

          Peace
          Michael

          Liked by 1 person

  1. Hey Michael,
    Funny I was going to name one of my future posts Insular World and decided against it. I agree that all we witness outside of ourselves is living inside the collective. One could say that the political madness is cathartic. I don’t know. I tend to shy away from the Election negativity and listen to the optimistic voices. There is no escape here on this plane. But when we enter the stillness, that does not matter.

    peace,
    Linda

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Linda,

      It is a really interesting topic I think. I know I have at times withdrawn from people and circumstances and retreated to “peace”, as if it were possible to step away from chaos and make a choice to create a bubble of peace around my life. But this can produce a situation in which we find ourselves increasingly out of circulation, depending on the nuances of our choices and our inner stance with things. The Love is in the details!

      I came across a line in A Course in Miracles yesterday on one of those random openings of the book. It said, “Yet even forgiveness is not the end. Forgiveness does make lovely, but it does not create.” These statements out of context can always be a little challenging to delve into, but when I look at the sections of A Course of Love related to “withholding” and “acceptance”, which I somewhat intertwined in my article here, what arises for me is the notion that there’s this “sweet spot” possible where we’re engaged in our lives– whatever that means to each of us– but without a divisive stance in our hearts. The acceptance of all of it as part of who we are somehow makes the root of transformation accessible to the creative processes alive within us.

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks for sharingy your insightful post. Seeing problems ‘out there’ is a phenomenon which has its root in the core error of assumed separation. And politics is one of the fields where that plays out.

    I like the ACOL quote and your statement “Escape is impossible, but transformation is not.”
    Acceptance (because escape is impossible) is staying in inner peace, for me. Shit happens, but I try not to get upset about it. And THEN there can be an appropriate action from that.
    This insight that escape is not possible is a game changer for me, too. We are always consciousness with some content in it. Even after death, there is consciousness with some content in it (- that is what I assume from having read NDEs). We just cannot get away from being consciousness with some content in it even if we would go for suicide. We are not the being which is located in our brain between our ears. We are rather the entire consciousness-with-content thing, including our brain as well as the wall over there.
    I try to remember this every time I have to deal with a bitchy teenager…
    Peace,
    Karin

    Liked by 3 people

    • Ha! Yes, a good opportunity for the practices of witnessing and acceptance! I like your observation that even death is not an escape from the sensations of separation that lead to our suffering. That kind of cements this realization, doesn’t it!?

      There’s a subtle thought experiment I do at times, which is the closest I’m able to come to understanding the power of acceptance upon the transformation of our collective experience of the world. And it’s an experiment that comes out of my direct experience of being in conversation with another person who is disgusted with other groups of people, and looking at how I feel when I get carried away in the same perception. It feels limiting most of all. The projection of discontent onto anything external comes with an almost immediate sensation of powerlessness. Have you noticed this? As soon as we start to complain about the lines at the driver’s license renewal bureau, or the government policy on such and such, or the people who think this or that, we are setting up the stance of separation, and I always feel shrunken by that. Isolated.

      But as we hold more and more in our heart, it comes with a feeling of expansion. And I’m simply intuiting that somehow that subtle feeling of expansion and peace, which is the product or the partner of acceptance, is related to our expressing ways of being that lead to transformation. But the feeling of it can be sampled almost immediately in our inner experiments of thought and feeling I think.

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 3 people

      • Discontent and the feeling of powerlessness, I’d say yes and no.
        If it is a situation I cannot change, then discontent is useless.
        But if my shoes have become too small because my feet have grown, I can feel the discontent with the too small shoes, and then buy bigger ones. Of course, you did not refer to something like too small shoes.

        I had trouble how exactly to apply this acceptance stuff in everyday life. That’s why I am making this point here again. It is something which can easily be misunderstood.

        Here is a powerful Raj channeling about the topic of misunderstood acceptance. It has nothing to do with politics, but I still share it here because it shows how easily one may be misled to accept and be nice when a firm No would be more appropriate.
        https://nwffacim.wordpress.com/2016/02/18/the-holy-spirit-is-not-a-place-to-hide/
        Peace,
        Karin

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hi Karin,

          There is a line in the linked article that jumped out at me, and that was this one, “it means more to you to fulfill a concept of what it means to ‘be caring’ than it does to ‘meet the need.’ ” I think this is an important element of what acceptance in A Course of Love is all about, which is that we are encouraged to stop trying to live up to a concept of what it means to be “good” or “caring” or “spiritual” and be willing to respond from the truth we feel alive within us. This, as the article you sent suggests, means that “Love” doesn’t always conform to certain expectations we commonly have as to how it is expressed.

          This is really a challenging topic. I agree. It is important to note that in the cases I was thinking about that led to my article here, the topics of discussion were not quite like the bullying example in the article you posted. Meaning, so much of what we allow to serve as a vehicle for division is a case in which there’s not always an obvious “right answer”. There are competing ideologies and views, perhaps, but that is not the same as the example in the article. To let an ideological view interfere with the ability to hold the world in our heart is problematic I think. Some might interpret the article you sent me to mean that if you feel the “right” answer is to raise taxes, you damn well better stand up for what you believe and do something about that. And you can see that a question like raising taxes, while it can get us all turning colors quickly, is sort of not the point at all, or even the level of the issue I’m trying to contact. The bullying example is different because it says we have to be willing to be perceived unfavorably at times, if it means making the healthiest decision we can make at the time. We shouldn’t compromise what is true and beautiful inside of us, because we are scared to ruffle a feather or two. We shouldn’t be beholden to a concept, because we remain ghost-like if we are not authentic.

          I agree with that of course. The difficulty to the mind is that there is quite simply no one right way. There’s not a patent to follow. There’s no recipe. We can’t have a concept in mind of what it means to be good or loving. We have to respond with integrity and Love, and be true to ourselves. I think in Love we are free… free to decide to take the blow and turn the other cheek… or free to make a stand… or free to walk away… or free to engage… Free to hold all of it and not be beholden to meanings on which others insist…

          Peace
          Michael

          Liked by 1 person

          • I agree completely with what you wrote. And, yes, Love does not always conform to certain expectations, as you stated. That is exactly the point.
            Peace,
            Karin

            Liked by 1 person

  3. This is excellent Michael, yet so wide-ranging it’s difficult to comment upon as a whole. One thing that strikes me as an afterthought, is this notion of what many are suggestive of in seemingly positive terms like ‘globalisation’ and ‘the global village’, and how what’s alluded to may in fact be proving something of a double-edged sword. In one sense we have a healthy cross-pollination of cultural mores – though some would speak of an America’s cultural hegemony – and of grand ideas like Democracy, Capitalism, The Sovereignty of the Nation State, Free Speech and International Law. Yet despite this, what we see is an increasing polarisation of personal ideologies as knowledge of ‘the other’ is assimilated – they’ve come too close to my doorstep (competition in trade), challenged my beliefs (religion and secularism), made me feel uncertain and guarded (geo-political ambitions), and increasingly are palpably threatening me and those I hold dear (terrorism). What is missing? One could say it is love, yet that doesn’t help the afflicted-yet-rational mind, caught as it is in its cranial shenanigans far moreso than the tender feelings of the heart, of empathic understanding. What reason can accept – with some considerable work – is that we are indeed “the chaos and the peace” all at once, and so as you say “there is no escape”, for I cannot escape what I am. Michael – you are Donald Trump, and I am Sarah Palin! Damn.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you, Sarah.

      I have noticed in myself, over the course of my life, an interesting shift to the ideas of globalization. There was a time when the concept of a single planetary government or council seemed in my mind it might be just the thing to help us avoid war and tyranny, but as I matured it seemed that diversity and the distribution of power and influence is really key to lasting peace. And then it became obvious that whatever the system, it is the root values in our hearts and minds that obtain expression in the world. So long as we react to the sensations of fear and anxiety that arise within our own lives and propel us into certain choices, which is what we do when our minds are split and our hearts withdrawn, then the structure of it all is irrelevant. Government itself could be construed as the attempt to make systematic various ideas we carry and project into our experience about our lack of safety, our need for an external support structure, etc.

      Perhaps an article like this is too vague to be helpful, and too far-reaching to be meaningful. I wouldn’t disagree with that. I just find this subtlety of inner feeling to be something of an unexplored choice in the collective. I’m curious where it could lead.

      Peace
      Donald

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t watch the news. I prefer to live life in an awkward sense of being instead and I almost, and I say almost stopped reading when I saw politics were involved, I walked away and came back when I could give it the proper attention. Perhaps it was Hafiz whispering, give it a chance, you know there will be magic here, don’t be afraid. And so I read, and then reread and the only way I could describe it is when I have a fever, as a child I felt like this big black Indiana Jones type round stone was trying to crush me, I would hide yet it kept coming. After reading this, I felt that big round stone, and then saw it in a new way. That it is only as dark as you make it, there is a light side and a dark and they are both the same. What is to fear from something that is both and everything, as we in better or worse able to grasp and embrace both sides to the whole. I don’t know if this makes any sense but I came away a little more awakened to the possibilities of everything and nothing and it was all the same, and all good…..you can call the men in their little white coats now, okay? Peace and love,
    Always,
    Kim

    Liked by 6 people

    • Hi Kim,

      This was for me a really beautiful response to what I was feeling at the time I wrote this. Something clicked for me reading your line “I came away a little more awakened to the possibilities of everything and nothing and it was all the same, and all good…” I’ll be riding in the back of the van right beside you, escorted by the white coats.

      A Course of Love takes a fair amount of time helping us understand how creation is in a certain respect the extension and differentiation of the everything and the nothing. And separation, which as Karin pointed out lies at the root of so much that manifests in our world as division and conflict, is an ineffective means of differentiation. It doesn’t work, and it can’t work, because differentiation is a movement rooted in wholeness, of giving the whole a unique life, a unique view. But separation is rooted in trying to set up completely on one’s own, as if an altogether new kingdom could be started, isolated from all the rest. I think this is why isolation, particularly as it resides in the heart space, simply doesn’t work…

      Glad you came back to read this, as I have certainly benefited from your reply!

      Peace and gratitude!
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

      • Welcome to the van my friend, I am laughing today only five minutes after the bounding pups decided it was time to get up and play. I went to buy a course in love but they had to order it in and I wasn’t sure how long it would be before moving so I shall buy it instead at the new home. We were discussing last night how everything we’ve asked the universe for, has manifested and then So much more. All of our dreams are coming true and except for the stress of being under a time crunch, we are giddy. I am always more at home by water, and our pond fits the bill but I need to feel the tides, to stand at the edge of the horizon and feel the sun as it goes down. It is there where I feel all of this life, the everything and nothing, in the big scheme it doesn’t matter where you are, just how you feel, and it’s funny t when I went there the first time, I felt so whole, we don’t know anyone in the immediate area and the idea of meeting a whole new flock of people just makes me happy, new sights, new smiles and new adventures. It’s funny, everyone keeps sending me pics of snakes and alligators, things I fear, as if their fear instilled in me will keep me here, if you don’t face fear, you curl up and die, you let the big dark ball roll over you but when you embrace the fear, it dissolves into a million diamonds that shine, you look at it and realize what seemed so scary was just a story in your head, and by accepting it, holding it close, it dissipates into something new, a part of you in a way. Gotta buy me that course, although still working on Miracles. You do inspire me my friend, truly. Now for a first sip of coffee…you took precedence💜
        Peace and love,
        K

        Liked by 2 people

        • Kim, I love hearing about the transition you are making, and the feelings of joy that come with realizing grace has opened up a path to a new adventure. I hope it brings many moments of tear- and laughter-filled wonder, and I wouldn’t worry too terribly much about snakes and gators. They don’t have white-outs and blizzards after all. You kinda’ gotta’ pick your poison, right!? You’re transformation of the big dark ball into the a field of sparkling diamonds is the most beautiful trick! Hope you have a great journey and many stories to tell in the coming years.

          Blessings
          Michael

          Liked by 1 person

          • I often wonder if we are nudged along the way by the universe, we put it out there and it puts us in those spots where we stop for a moment, relax and make the time to become happy and we say yes, more please, and it keeps coming and coming and the transformation is almost as magical as the seed thought that was originally planted. As we bloom, we grow and spread more of the magic around. We are one big happy magic flower field waiting for others to open up their minds and heart and see the sparkles. The look upon our face as the abundant blessings keep rolling in, wow, life is amazing and good and I am blessed to be on the journey outrunning he ball that is nothing into the light of each new day😊 thanks for being along on my journey my friend,
            Peace and love,
            Kim

            Liked by 2 people

            • Kim, I think we are totally nudged. Sometimes hung right over the edge… 🙂

              I love your description of the process of collaborating with that universal impulse within us, the way it calls and we respond, and things move and shift as a result. Life is amazing and good. Thank you for holding that light so strongly…

              Peace and Love
              Michael

              Liked by 2 people

  5. I was giggling for a second picturing Michael with a Trump wig and Hariod with a Palin wig. 🙂 Maybe would make a good Monty Python skit.

    My grandfather did not talk to his own son for years, his son, who married a Russian girl. Being a very strong Lithuanian patriot and injured WWII vet, grandpa had difficult time accepting love and humanness of someone from a ‘race of occupiers’.

    As I was reading this article, Michael, I could not help but go back to the previous Hafiz poem you posted and the thought that resonated:

    “Sometimes I think
    we’re saying the same thing–
    just in different ways”

    This helps me every time I encounter something where I start feeling my blood pressure rise. It helps to stop and admit, that yes, as ‘you’ scream or insist someone should be killed, deported, as ‘you’ classify people by color, scream at a child, hurt someone, hurt yourself, blame the whole world, ‘you’ are saying the same thing I am, ‘you’ are desperately screaming for love and wholeness. Then my anger falls away, and I start feeling that we can meet in the space beyond ideas and wrongdoing and right doing, like Rumi said.

    Deep acceptance is one of the hardest but perhaps most liberating feelings I encountered. I am lucky to live with people who challenge me to acceptance on a daily basis (don’t we all) and some days, like Kim points out above, I just want to run away from it, I want to hide from it all, I want to go find my own tribe where I can be in total agreement with everyone. Or to jump in and defend the views that I attached myself to. And then I realize that by doing all that, I miss the whole point. The point of turning the other cheek. Not as a weakness (hiding, shrinking or defending), but as a strength (compassion and gratitude).

    I do not believe we can fix things on the big scale until we learn to love and accept in our little worlds. In our inside worlds. Like you said, without pushing the garbage over the fence and pretending it does not exist.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hi Katrina,

      I have little to add to this reply, which hit many great points for me… The impact of war on our psyches is profound, and I can understand why people end up in particular mindsets following periods of such trauma and difficulty. It is like you say, a way of crying out for love and wholeness. The ability to see in views that possess such ‘hardness’, the crying out for love, is a beautiful practice I must continue to revitalize in myself. The liberating experience that comes from the moments of breakthrough provide the deep desire to continue. But of course we all wish for and need the time with friends of like-mind, where we can rest and be vulnerable and be ourselves. Perhaps healing is simply the expansion and extension of this circle, where it is appropriate, at least as an inner awareness that encircles all we meet.

      We share many similar views. See you in the space beyond ideas!

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 4 people

  6. i’ve not been paying
    too much attention,
    but i’m now drawn
    to your campaign, Micheal!
    if possible i’ll stuff the ballot
    box in your favor.
    all we collective do
    is political 🙂

    Liked by 7 people

    • Hi David,

      You’re cracking me up again… Stuffing the ballot box. I think being a politician is one of the most difficult jobs imaginable in the present state of affairs, and have decided they deserve compassion as well… 🙂

      Yes, all we do is collective and political…

      Blessings
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

      • And I’m sure you have better hair too…although Trumps looks like a bird ready to take flight at times and anything that brings smiles is a good thing….bad hair scare😊

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Michael,

    Your article here had me thinking back to a part in the Harry Potter story where Harry wasn’t receiving his acceptance letter to Hogwarts school of magic, due to “Muggles blocking the pass.” Eventually several hundreds of letters of delivery were attempted, but it wasn’t until Hagrid delivered the letter in person to Harry that he did finally “get the official notice of his acceptance.” So, what would the official notice of acceptance be here? How do we pay attention to politics while not paying attention at all? Are you now running for office? If you do, I hope you find a position with the Ministry of Magic.

    Love, Ka

    P.S. Such a superbly well-written rant. Also, I know your heart is in it. Acceptance doesn’t mean what we tend to think it means: “We think accepting sickness and chaos means eating rotten scraps out of dumpsters for breakfast, going swan diving into toxic waste, or becoming a full-time lobbyist for the rights of inside traders. We think it means losing, in short, the things we love, to become the things we don’t.” What does the acceptance of magic mean?

    Liked by 6 people

    • Hi Ka,

      Your closing question is a stunner! I got knocked over by it. It seems to my recovering heart and mind that the acceptance of magic is how we might express complete acceptance of Love. And I can only speak in terms of inklings and dreams, but it feels like such a widening out of our thinking that it becomes a river of awareness flowing through us. A river of awareness that is as close and familiar as the deepest Friend within us. A trust and ease in a field of flowing possibility. Jokes and coffee and music. Ideas to put into motion. And the discovery of stunning comments on your blog, left by friends… 🙂

      Love Resounding
      Michael

      Liked by 3 people

  8. I love this whole thing. It is the beautifully expressed philosophy of my life. At a retreat years ago Adyashanti, one of our favourite teachers, said that if you can accept yourself fully (and he meant *fully*) then you will be free. So I set that as my goal. I have quite frequently over the years reminded myself that there is no escape. I remember how horrified I was when I first encountered the absolute truth of this. It’s a little easier these days. Also I remember a time when I saw a person I’ve known all my life standing a little off in the distance and it was as if a veil was lifted. I knew without a doubt the perfection of that person and that it would be completely impossible for them to be any other way than exactly the way they are. This helps me when dealing with , um, more difficult people, even from a distance. What can we do but love it all, since that’s all there is anyway? Like you, I hope to move more deeply into taking it ALL into my heart.
    with love, Alison

    Liked by 7 people

    • Hi Alison,

      I really loved your description of glimpsing your friend in all their perfection and wholeness. This is for me the heart of the practices described in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, and these moments speak directly to what I think of and experience as healed perception. You also struck a chord I have loved ever since I came across it in A Course of Love, and that is the notion that we wouldn’t be other than we truly are… In other words, when we accept all of ourselves, we discover that we really don’t want or desire to be other than we are, and we simultaneously discover how important and meaningful to the whole of Life it is that we are precisely who we are! It is stunning!

      Trekking more deeply into the heart of it…
      Much Love
      Michael

      Liked by 3 people

  9. Michael …This post of yours I read on the first morning in a new place far from home … I don’t want to reject my wounded self and I can barely hold back the tears feeling what you wrote …thank you , thank you for this meditation , this love …..megxxx

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Meg,

      Thank you for holding that wounded self safe. I feel it is the world’s self we hold, though we don’t realize it. It is one another we hold. It is the mystery we hold. We are all on the frontier of this healing together somehow, holding safe all that arises within us.

      Sending Love,
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature says

    This is a really important piece, Michael, and I thank you for writing it. I have a hard time with this insanity. It’s all soooo 4th grade! I can’t help but get involved sometimes, especially when talking about the environment. It is hard for me to get into the big picture. I want to take it all into my heart, but I’m not quite there yet. I do view politics as a reflection of our collectively held fears and judgments, and feel that a great deal of what is happening is a fairly accurate reenactment of our inner perceptions. I just can’t get past what “they” are doing to the planet. Sometimes I can get to that place of observing it all from a higher place and just sort of smile at It IS WHAT IT IS, and sometimes I get emotional, I turn colors, I swear. Acceptance for me is often a double edged sword as my resistance surfaces. I can’t stand the polluting of our waters and air, and ridding of all things good, watching beautiful species disappear one by one. I have to be an activist in some ways. I have to stand up and step up. The trick is to be in acceptance and love too. So…yeah, this is a challenge for me.
    Peace for all of us
    Mary

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Mary,

      I completely get it. I turn colors, too, believe me. In reading and reflecting on your comment here I came back into contact with the insight that helped me to access peace initially in my life, during difficult periods. It was this realization– hard to put into words– that I return to from time to time, in which everything arising is viewed as this flickering and temporary offshoot of an enduring, invisible, timeless wholeness. If I lose a finger or a limb in an injury, clearly there is a change in experience, but there isn’t necessarily a change in that underlying experience of timeless wholeness “within” me. The importance of this realization I think is that we can’t truly forgive (or accept), if we’re unable to recognize the distinction between the loss of the finger, and the sustenance of the immutable presence within us. If we focus on the loss of the finger as being a “permanent” loss in goodness, then we can’t forgive. Because we can’t look past what we insist is meaningful, in the way we define the meaning.

      This is a view of things I feel is often misused by the “ego”. If the visible phenomena are viewed as transitory, and thus not of the same level as the enduring presence at the heart of all things, which is invulnerable, then people sometimes say, “what does it matter?” I wish we could take that question off the table, because it is the kind of question that comes from this idea of “what is the minimum I must do to comply?” The “ego” thinks this way. How do I check the box? But of course there is no compliance in Love. No box-checking. There is simply freedom! Freedom!

      So, I find I can’t be at peace if I insist on assigning particular meanings to events. But if I loosen those interpretations, and inhabit this forgiving space knowing that all that arises is the extension of the invulnerable, then I can find the ability to desire to create/transform as an extension of that Love, without starting from the initiating emotion of tragedy and loss.

      I have no idea if this makes any sense! Ha!

      Thank you for your caring heart.
      Much Love
      Michael

      Liked by 3 people

      • Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature says

        Yes, Michael, what you say makes total sense. I am tearing up as I write this, though, because in most areas of life in these strange times I can get there. But I just can’t with this…at least so far. You say, “If I lose a finger or a limb in an injury, clearly there is a change in experience, but there isn’t necessarily a change in that underlying experience of timeless wholeness “within” me.” I get that. “The sustenance of the immutable presence within us.” I love that. What I can’t seem to do when the planet is being raped..is get to a place of not assigning a certain meaning to it. I do start from the emotion of tragedy and loss. If it were temporary, that would be one thing. But it keeps going on and on and on. I love Her so much, Michael. I know you are not talking about putting our heads in the sand. I know you are talking about the deep presence within us that is invulnerable. But the meaning I assign to this has deep deep meaning to me. Sometimes I can get to that place of Cosmic Big Picture but it falls all to pieces the next time I see dead bees from pesticides, hundreds of dead birds from the same, pictures of hundreds of acres of fracking wells where trees once were, dead elephants with their tusks cut off so they bled to death in pain. I can’t bear it. The meaning for me is just too deep and too loving. I am willing to sacrifice my life for it. She is where I find my peace. Take all my fingers. Just don’t kill her! It’s just too much for me. I know I need to find some way of loosening my interpretation because I know I could be more creative in finding solutions and transform things as an extension of that Love, but right now….just not there. She will be better off when we are all gone – unless we all change in the next 24 hours. And I know part of that change would involve my participation in loving Monsanto because we are all Monsanto. I don’t want to be “us and them.” But, alas…I am a work in progress. And even though there is no such thing as time – we are running out of it.
        Not in peace at the moment, but loving you,
        Mary

        Liked by 4 people

        • Hello Mary,

          I ran out of time at my computer yesterday afternoon before I could respond, but your thoughts and feelings here stayed with me all evening. What is there to do but welcome your heart feelings in, and give them the silence we share in which to safely roam? While this is a difficult topic to discuss in writing, I trust you understand I wouldn’t deny you these feelings. They are like precious cargo, and I am humbled whenever people share so genuinely here.

          Before I think you discovered my blog I wrote a series of posts exploring the idea that we truly could be free of suffering, and it is essentially the same point as we are wrestling with here. I have found that topic to be one that cuts right to the quick with so many of us. It seems to be the topic that brings our deepest disappointments and wounds and our highest dreams into an uneasy, stalking proximity. And knowing of our human tendency to offer our own particular vantage points on “what to do” when faced with such difficulty– as if we need to convince others to see it our way, or else our way is inherently called into question and we realize we’ll be faced with an abyss of difficulty once again– I am simply going to sit and hold these feelings with you.

          I think these are the flash points of the New within us, the skirmish line of our faith and our fear, the moments in which the cost seems too great to bear and our Love is so deeply bound up with our pain. There is something profoundly human about these feelings and forces meet and tumble within us, and something divine in the offing as well.

          I wish you peace, Mary, from one work in progress to another!

          Love
          Michael

          Liked by 2 people

          • Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature says

            Michael,
            Thank you for your comforting words and heartfelt energy. I felt badly last night that I had sort of spewed onto your site, especially since it was about your discomfort with people talking about politics and the “us and them-ness” in the first place!

            There is so much I know, and aspire to…and yet this is where I fall, where Love and pain are paired. The loss hurts. I try to do what I can, but in the end all I can really do is Love Her, and see her whole and well. Loving myself and others, and compassionate forgiveness is also forefront, but I feel I came here for Her.

            Thanks again, Michael, for your understanding.
            Love,
            Mary

            Liked by 2 people

        • Genie says

          Hi, sweet loving Mary,
          I don’t blog anymore, for the very reasons that are within your deep and profound comment.

          The chances of humans (and most sentient beings) surviving the violent onslaught and rape of Mother Earth, are Slim and next to none — and, Slim just left the building.

          What is left to say? Witnessing the Matricde of our dear Mother, is beyond comprehension — that humans would collectively choose such a violent and destructive road, leaves me speechless.

          I don’t believe that “we are all Monsanto”, nope, there are people who have hijacked, stolen, usurped, etc., that I have nothing to do with, nor do I love them, their souls (if they have any), yes, but not their actions.

          Love to you, dearest Mary,
          Genie

          Liked by 2 people

          • Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature says

            Aw Genie. I don’t know if you will see this if you aren’t blogging anymore, but thank you. I know what you mean. Yeah, I think slim just left the building too. I think our only chance is Love and Oneness, and if I really believe in that kind of unity, then there is no separation between any of us. It is ego woundedness expressing all this greed, rape, violence and deceit. I do mean on a soul level that we are everyone. No, definitely not their actions!!! I despise their actions.
            Love to you too, dear Genie. I miss you.
            Mary

            Liked by 1 person

  11. Dear Michael, your line that “sickness can be “included”, but not expressed. It doesn’t really make sense that it can be joined with, and Loved, and dissolved.” was mighty powerful for me. What we consider healthy is something that is self-evaluated and self-processed whereas the healing comes much from the expression which allows it to be loved and thereafter dissolved. And then there is another very salient statement “Escape is impossible, but transformation is not.” – that element applies to me from a wellness perspective at a very holistic level. Gosh, this posting was like a box of Frosted Charms – all magically delicious. Peace, Harlon

    Liked by 5 people

    • Hi Harlon,

      Frosted Charms is very high praise indeed! Ha! Thank you!

      I agree that what we consider healthy is so often a conformance to a target pattern that is conceptual, and not always applicable to our present. If we become caught in that conflict, we can become stuck and unable to express authentically as we are in the present. You said it perfectly– the way healing comes from the expression, which is itself a form of acceptance, and then the pattern may be dissolved and truly healed.

      The authentic pattern of Harlon is magically delicious as well. Your wisdom shines through in this comment.

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  12. I’ve heard that to accept something doesn’t mean you have to like it, which reminds me of that other old cereal commercial, if anyone else is old enough to remember it, in which Mikey, who “hates everything”, tries the new “Life” cereal, and he likes it! I think it takes courage, to try the cereal of acceptance when we have been pushing it away so long. But then there is that possibility of transformation!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Genie says

      I believe that, it is not a requirement for spiritual growth to “accept everything”, in fact, it can be a form of complicity.
      No one “accepts” the rape and cold blooded murder of a baby, to do so would be morally deranged and participatory in a violent act (silence is complicity).
      Love is a choice, those who refuse to hear Love’s calling are on their own.
      Jesus spoke about God separating the sheep from the goats, here is an example from scripture: [Mathew 25: 31-46]

      Like

      • Hi Genie,

        I think you and I are speaking of two different types of acceptance perhaps, because I would agree with you there is nothing loving or noble about such violent acts as you describe. The genesis of this post was regarding another phenomenon altogether, which is the way people have a tendency to look askew at people who think or believe differently than they do. The acceptance I’m speaking of is acceptance of all beings, regardless of their beliefs about what a “good person” is or the “right thing to do” is. it is the acceptance that all such beings are of the same order– e.g. have been given life by the same Love. And in that we can come to understand the ways in which we are all the same, regardless of our actions.

        Peace
        Michael

        Liked by 2 people

        • Genie says

          Hi Michael,

          I do understand the nature of the message that you were/are trying to convey, that being: love all, hate what they do, but love everyone, irrespective of their actions.
          And as I said to Mary: love their souls (if they have any), yes, but not their actions. So we do agree on this point, however, the point that I am making is this: why advocate for the industrialists, fascists, racists, parasitic bankers, etc.?
          I save my compassion and love for their victims.

          A good friend of mine wrote a poem that speaks to this issue — which I still find very moving — I’ll include below:

          White robes,
          Soulless and Black.
          You don your best carp hat,
          To cast your line.

          You speak in tongue twisted & oblique,
          Emphasis on inverted syllable,
          Inverting phrase,
          Inverse logic.

          Weaving vomitous discography to emanate
          Spells you calculated in Babylon.
          Gesture confusion to the flock.
          Mock the beloved.

          Now we see.
          Now we know,
          Your sanctum no longer disguises, nor protects you.
          We save our tears for your victims…

          by Not Yur Gramma

          Like

          • Hi Genie,

            I could have put anyone in those lines, but I intentionally picked a few descriptors that applied to people we might at first glance think were undeserving of Love. The point being, if acceptance is to be at all, it must be an acceptance of all beings. I understand this is a hard pill to swallow, and it is okay (with me) if we do not see this the same way. I have thought a lot about these ideas, and I do not feel the Love I have come to know in my heart, from the path I have walked, would withhold itself from anyone. Nor do I believe we humans are qualified or capable of determining in any ultimate sense who is worthy of love and who is not. I don’t advocate for any subset of beings over any other, and this is the closest I can come to explaining why I chose the words that I chose.

            I think our hearts– yours and mine– are in greatest alignment when considering the challenges we face. I think we both desire a world with less suffering, less violence, less usurpation of power, less manipulation and greed, and less illness and disease. I think from our interactions that we care about these things deeply. But where we may diverge is in our chosen responses to what we see. One of the things we humans often do is wish everyone responded the way that we would respond, for various reasons. It is kind of instinctual. But I don’t think that makes sense, necessarily. Our responses are our own to give. I can’t tell you or anyone else how to respond, and I think the world needs all the passionate voices it can carry right now. I simply know the response I feel within me.

            My heart is a domain I wouldn’t even consider my own. It enfolds and transcends “me”. I certainly can’t control it, and don’t feel I really own it. It is a tiny view into the infinite, wherein I dissolve and all else connects, and where I have the chance to discover peace and love and meaning. And I have found that to keep that view open, I must include everyone in it’s view. I can’t be selective about that. I don’t feel that Love need be earned, or has anything to do with being worthy. If it did, it wouldn’t be able to stand at the end of every road, to wash them all clean, and wipe away the tears.

            Peace
            Michael

            Liked by 1 person

    • Hi JoAnna,

      Thinking of that old cereal commercial cracked me up! It does take courage to try this thing called acceptance, for the very reason you described. It can be really hard. But yes, without it there can be no real transformation. I think that is so. Because ultimately what I believe we are transforming are the factors that underlie our experience, and when they shift, our experience shifts with it. And the shift from separation to unity consciousness is quite substantial I think– the mountain-moving one. We seldom give credit to the depth of the thought systems in which we abide, and how extensive they are. They are so profoundly faithful in returning the evidence of what lies at their root. It is always amazing for me to consider how extensive our shifts in experience can be, when separation gives way to unity…

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 3 people

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