After the Memories

comments 54
Christ / Course Ideas

Our pain is bound up in our memories.  We don’t see what’s in front of us, we just see strange reenactments of our past.  It’s not really our past even, just the things we concluded from our past.  Our conclusions travel with us wherever we go.  This is what Jesus calls learning.  It’s our loyalty to all the stuff we made up.  We keep these little statues woven to the inside of our coats to remind us.  We place them under the bed and deep in the closet corners.  Up on the shelf, behind the pots and pans, there’s a memory we put there.  They’re everywhere.

We think we hid them away, not realizing they’re all in plain sight for those who can see.  Plain sight is all there truly is.

Partly we don’t understand the power that we are.  We don’t understand the implications of locking something away inside.  We think it’s a dark and silent space in which we chose to hide things away, an empty place no one could find.  But we only have one type of room in us, and it’s a projector room.  Everything we’ve ever learned—everything we’ve ever hidden away—swims past in the world around us, in symbol form, over and over and over again.

The remedy of course is brightly colored dreams of the future.  We write them constantly and throw them down the well.  Up ahead somewhere, the brilliance that awaits us will neutralize the misunderstandings that haunt us.  Then we’ll be free.  We have projector rooms beside and inside of projector rooms, and so we play our future over our past.  We neutralize one with the other.  We’re experts at noise cancellation.  It’s a shouting match to produce silence, a game of tuning the colors just right, but still…  The picture is all mixed up.  Our smiles are sometimes strained.  Our trust is something we give or withhold depending on what we see.

Or perhaps we’re tired of authoring pretty pictures, of painting things over with the ideas we like, and tuning lamps and sampling colors.  It’s a lot of work, and we’ve grown tired.  Perhaps our conclusions are all that remain, all that we see.  We sink into them, and everything becomes a vote of confidence for what we have learned.  The evidence is conclusive.  It’s everywhere.  It’s obvious.

But it’s a dream…  If only we could trust that for the merest instant…

We forget everything we know or carry is connected directly to the stars, to the sea, to the warp of space.  The projection room is unbelievable.  The depth and subtlety arising from the seeds we carry inside is astonishing.  It’s so beguiling we can hardly trace the thread of cause and effect.  Most of us conclude it’s not even there…  What I see has nothing to do with me.  It is objective, independent, and hardly so sentimental in its workings.  It’s vast and elusive.

Then the moon rises, the light shifts, and the future we were writing on top of our past fades a little.  A tear forms in the corner of the eye.  The past shines through the future, in the present.  Everything is tarnished.  Rosy cheeks are replaced with skeletons.  We buckle.  Because the light shifted.  Because a cloud drifted across the sun, or we passed into the sodium glow of a street lamp.  The construct we fabricated to give us hope has disappeared.

We’re all quite convinced of ourselves, of our learning, of the symbols that dash across our lives.  Who would we be without them?  That’s the scariest question of all, the one we all must ask.

My favorite de-constructionist spiritual texts suggest that with healing comes the end of time.  Some have interpreted this to mean the end of stars and seas, the end of tree and stone, the end of winged-flight and furry hibernation.  A return to nothing but unified light.  So people dream of a time of uninterrupted bliss, and no light bulbs to change, or groceries to grow or buy.  I think such a return is certainly possible in an ultimate cosmic sense, but I also think maybe the end of time just means the end of our efforts to cancel the past with our future.  Maybe it just means we call our own bluff.  We see the pain is our own idea come back to haunt us.  We collect our statues and hidden memories and place them into the fire.

We make our way bit by bit.  If I hadn’t felt some pain of late, for reasons neither here nor there, I wouldn’t have written this.  I wouldn’t have walked on the beach with Jesus for a little while, outside of time, in this gentle light, and let a few memories dissolve completely.  There is a quote from A Course in Miracles that I found recently that speaks to this I think…  I will rest there for now…

“And when the memory of God has come to you in the holy place of forgiveness you will remember nothing else, and memory will be as useless as learning, for your only purpose will be creating.” (T-18.IX.14)

54 Comments

  1. I can’t begin to tell you how much I resonate with this writing, Michael! I understand energy has ebbs and flow…it just seems particularly hard to sink in frequency when we are aware of how the higher frequency energy feels. And for me it is very hard to just relax and allow it…I get bottled up in fear and think I can squeeze it between my fingers…hold on to it tightly! When in reality what I need to do is just BE with it. Ah! I send you so much love and light and kinship!! ♡♡ May your pain not cause too much trouble 😉

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you, Lorrie.

      Pain like I felt is never a source of trouble. Just a messenger– a reminder, an insistence. We move through phases for certain. The light dims, recedes, and returns. The miracle of Life is that it keeps shifting perspectives until they are all washed clean. Sometimes we experience the view as a tenderness, an uncertainty, a doubt. Pain is the sensation of healing, ultimately. The healing isn’t the removal of pain, but the process that brought it to light. Pain is how it feels to be loved by everything, and still think there is a reason to hide from some part of it…

      And while I suppose it is a matter of frequency, to stay in one frequency may not be what is best in the long haul. We move through summers and winters both. I find solace in every season. Thank you for your friendship and love! It is much appreciated.

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 3 people

      • Your words mean so very much to me, Michael. I know they speak in response to your post and my words to you…but on a much larger…much deeper level they leave me a profound comfort that I can only sit and wallow in …and say “thank you!” “The healing isn’t the removal of pain, but the process that brought it to light.” Yes…I would totally agree. I honor the day our cyber selves collided ❤ ❤

        Liked by 1 person

        • It was a good day indeed, Lorrie! I’m glad the words are helpful and your words mean a great deal to me as well, my friend. We’re bringing good things to light. Like that old commercial… 🙂

          Blessings
          Michael

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful truths my friend, I’m glad you had your time walking in the sand with Jesus, he always seems to have that way of releasing the calm, of letting us forgive ourselves and for letting each pain slip away like sand through the hourglass, but here, it is sand not enclosed but sand that moves back into itself, swirling in a dance on a wave, letting the water and tears become one and in feeling so free suddenly, the colors of the sunsets seem just that much more spectacular for we know the emotion, the feeling, and the release most of all that lifts us and carries us when we are too weak to do it ourselves. He is a beautiful friend indeed. Loved his piece Michael, peace and sand filled calm, Kim

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hi Kim,

      Yes, friends like that are an eternal gift. We deserve them so. Need them so. I like the image of the sand rinsing around in the water, being picked up and swooshed around by the great ocean water before scuttling down between the toes. Color can carry such feeling when we need it to. I think that is why I often write about sunrises and sunsets. The feeling of them is really remarkable. The day and the night simulate a kind of stasis– but the transitions reveal the perpetual movement of the cosmos, how deeply it is alive. Every animal and plant recognizes that transition. Maybe we are all releasing our worried dreams together into that fire…

      Peace and Love
      Michael

      Liked by 4 people

  3. Especially good. As I was reading I was thinking that the piece was a little more accessible than some of your work, and then I came to “some pain of late” and I understood why. Peace.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, Dennis. The peace you offer has worlds of trust and surrender behind it, and always brings a deepening to the waters passing through my heart. Understanding is such a simple thing to share, when we both know the flavor of tears.

      Peace to you also, my friend.
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Nostalgia, memories, and projection, all have purpose and liabilities. Attachment can bog down enlightenment and/or keep us from ending our lives prematurely. What to do?

    A moving piece Michael. These are challenging days energetically so many will feel shaky. Hopefully you can feel the feelings go through you, and then move on to what is next with Hafiz by your side, conjuring up yet anther cosmic riddle.

    love, Linda

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hi Linda,

      Yes, everything has purpose and liabilities depending on how we engage with it. While attachment can avoid a premature ending to our lives, there is the other view that life is eternal and we can only discover this in our release of attachments. There is a richness to the experience of all this that words and intellectual learning cannot touch. Reality as ever is in the middle, between the extremes, where colors soften and the light blurs, and the views we hold of things sort of melt away…

      Thank you for the kind words. I thought perhaps these were challenging days…! Ha! Hafiz is with me here in the waiting room, just outside the present moment. I’m waiting for my appointment, and we’re flipping through magazines, glancing at our watches, and growing a little rowdy… 🙂

      Love and Gratitude,
      Michael

      Liked by 5 people

  5. I’m glad your walk with Jesus sparked another cosmic commentary Michael. I enjoy your insights and perspectives. No doubt I spend too much time hiding the past under dreams of the future while forgetting to live in the present. Maybe I need a walk with Jesus. Thanks..

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I’ve read this and clicked on “Like” and have tried to come up with a reply other than clicking “Like,” something other than just “beautiful.” It is beautiful, this post and your writing. I find myself wanting to sit with the ideas rather than try to express a reply.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hi Robin,

      Thank you very much… I know this feeling… I’m really grateful you have shared that the piece touched you in some way, and the truth I think is that far more occurs in the silences we share than in what is actually said anyway… I like to think that when we have these moments of seeing and knowing, the words we share are the tip of a healing iceberg…

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Advanced Research Technology says

    Perhaps moving from time to eternity is not such a physical change, but rather from a physical perspective to a spiritual and eternal one.
    The physical life draws from the past and projects into the future. Oneness with Almighty just connects with Spirit, wherever it leads and moves in the never ending ebb and flow of any moment.
    We will then know that our living is conscious awareness and our conscious awareness in interaction with all things is an act of creation of what is and what is to come.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hello ART,

      I agree wholeheartedly that the movement from time to eternity involves a shift in perspective as opposed to a physical change. Otherwise, we are faced with waiting for the end of this life to taste the true one, and this makes no sense to me…

      Also agree– and love the way you have expressed it– that our interaction with all things is an act of creation. It is true I think. In fact I think we have very limited understanding of the reach of our simplest actions and inner gestures of the heart. We interact with everything in the invisible, and with a few in the visible… Again, it is a shift in perspective to understand the scope of ourselves it feels.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts and insights into this. They are helpful, and enriching.

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

      • Advanced Research Technology says

        Very few can grasp this. It is gratifying to see that you can and do. I believe it is the way ahead.
        Peace my friend.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. ‘We have projector rooms beside and inside of projector rooms, and so we play our future over our past.’ This section provides me with a measurement, I have an idea of scale; just how large it is in here. A whole new space opens up I hadn’t noticed before. Thank you Michael, there continues to be more and more…

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hi Tiramit,

      I am piggy-backing onto your realization and going along for the ride. Your awareness of the ‘more and more’ opens me up even further to the understanding of our limitlessness– the way we are that which is without boundary. I have wondered how life has flowed so perfectly sometimes– not perfect like our craving selves imagine it would be, but perfect in the way that a set of experiences can usher us gently into encounters with holiness and healing. It always blows my mind… And to think we are related to this perpetual dynamic of ripening and fading perfections… We need one another to start to see it…

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 3 people

  9. “Partly we don’t understand the power that we are. We don’t understand the implications of locking something away inside.”

    Yes, that is an important insight, I think. Suppressed emotions can cause trouble if they are not felt and released. And hidden beliefs show up in manfestation in the outside just in order to show us, “See? This is what you believe.”

    “My favorite de-constructionist spiritual texts suggest that with healing comes the end of time. Some have interpreted this to mean the end of stars and seas, the end of tree and stone, the end of winged-flight and furry hibernation. A return to nothing but unified light. So people dream of a time of uninterrupted bliss, and no light bulbs to change, or groceries to grow or buy. I think such a return is certainly possible in an ultimate cosmic sense, but I also think maybe the end of time just means the end of our efforts to cancel the past with our future.”

    Perhaps it is the end of our efforts to cancel the past with the future. Perhaps the end of delaying happiness to a future.

    I interpret this end-of-times thing like stepping out of a two-dimensional ant hill (or two-dimensional tapestry with lines on it) into the third dimension. Then, from the third dimension, it is seen that all of the time in the two-dimensional plane is there all at once. Like in one of these life review movie theaters which people experience in NDEs. All the time is there at once. Whereas, before in the 2D plane, all of time is there at once, but we cannot access it. We can only, like a little ant, crawl in this tiny tunnel step by step forward.

    This is mere theory for the most part of my life, of course, since I am not able to get the winning lottery numbers during meditation. But I did have some dreams of (insignificant) future events. These dreams seemed to teach me that this I AM presence (which can be accessed during meditation or sleep) knows the future.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughtful piece. And I hope your pain will ease soon.
    Peace,
    Karin

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Karin,

      Every pain somehow turns into a flower, no? This is the gift of compassion and mindfulness I think. Each time we emerge from an uncertainty and reconnect to the fullness of our hearts, it seems to gift us with an even deeper and fuller experience.

      I certainly agree on it being the end of delaying happiness to some future state or time. We are quite brilliant at introducing intermediaries, minor hindrances to overcome and bridges to cross between here and there. In this sense, time and space are of our “making” perhaps…

      I have thought often about this idea of all time existing at once, and I like the idea I read somewhere that even though it all exists at once, it also all changing at once. If the joy at the heart of Creation is to extend indefinitely, it must encounter that which is new, and if it encounters that which is new, then it must be the case that all of it is transforming all of the time. That feels like a great definition of life– a coherence that is perpetually transforming. Frontwards and backwards. Here and there. Always every part related to every other part…

      Peace and Joy
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

    • Right.

      I’ll take the bait, H. I’m feeling in need of a good soaking here.

      I agree… I think time is only experienced as a contrast between two moments, or two memories, and since we only experience the present, or the recalling of a memory in the present, we really can’t say we’ve experienced time itself. We experience the effects of what we call time, perhaps, but not the time itself. Would you agree? Is this what you mean? And of course we organize our experience of those effects into a narrative.

      Along these same lines, I would say we all believe in the universal presence of light, but none of us experiences light itself. We only register the effects of energy transformation events, and on the basis of those registered effects we surmise the ubiquitous presence of light. But light itself is untouchable… It can never be directly experienced itself…

      This place is unbelievable. You couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried…

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 3 people

      • Same with gravity too. I tell you Michael, it’s all a great conspiracy . . . and we’ve fallen for it hook, line and sinker. Time to get out the tin-foil hats my friend.

        “Change merely creates an illusion of time, with each individual moment existing in its own right, complete and whole.” – you know who said that, right?

        Liked by 3 people

        • I do not, though I feel as though I should all of a sudden. I can think of many possible candidates, including a few cartoon characters… 🙂 Who was it…?

          Liked by 1 person

            • Oh yes, I liked his book very much. I knew I should have known it! I could see any of a great many physicists and philosophers making such a claim, however. I just wonder about it… There is this notion that we can “take a slice” out of time– a frozen instant– at any given point and everything would be there. But I wonder about that assumption sometimes… The way particle physics has everything winking on and off all the day long, maybe only half of the molecules that are “me” would show up in any given “instant.” So it kind of begs the question… what does it mean for a moment to be complete and whole? It leads down this road similar to Buddhist thinking, similar to the notion that no object is truly separate, where we see that no moment can be an island either… They all are interwoven. You can’t get a discrete “moment” teased out of the whole the way it’s all tied up in knots, forwards and backwards, side to side…

              But I did like that book a lot!
              Michael

              Liked by 1 person

  10. Lovely piece and truly I may have to quote you in a piece of my own as my mind has just fired off a thousand ideas reading it. What I would note is the antidote to this dread past and hoped for future is mindfulness. Living in the now. When we’re mindful the past nor the future have much to say. In the present moment, we find the clues we’re seeking that show us how to forgive the past, as well as, the ones that lead us down the rabbit holes for adventure ahead that we’re seeking, too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Noelle,

      Quoth away, my friend! I agree with you of course on the antidote, though for myself I need to come into contact not only with the technicality of now, but the qualia of holiness that resides there also. Sometimes being present is downright no fun, and where else but in the present do we dream of the past and escape into the future? If I am feeling depressed or disconnected, the present seems hollow and empty. I am surrounded by a field of lifeless objects, dormant shapes and meaningless events. If I am full of life and connectedness, the present seems full and endless. All of these sensations occur in the present, do they not?

      I think what we really mean when we say to be present, is to be eternal. For me they are one and the same. The magic of the here and now is that it is our point of contact with eternity. Because I think the present you are talking about is dimensionless in a way. That’s what gives it that full feeling, that open-ended feeling of discovery and healing. It’s the incredible depth of aliveness we tap into in the present that turns the tables. It is unhinged and totally free. It is the space in which anything could happen. It is the space in which everything matters and carries meaning.

      The present can be this strange sort of all and nothing depending on what we bring to the table with our emotions and interpretations. The present is where we find what we bring to the table, and where I think we eventually find we’re best off setting our things down at the door to stay for a while… 🙂

      Peace
      Michael

      Liked by 4 people

      • Reading your post, I’m sure you are not surprised that Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now” came to mind. Curiously, when you were noting what we bring to the now is what we make of the now, I also thought about how it can also transform us. So even if we come depressed to this moment, if I shift my focus to say a dandelion growing at my feet and really focus on it, that dandelion’s beauty can begin to affect me so greatly, I lose some of my depression. That what we choose to focus navigates us, no matter what we arrived with from a point of view.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hi Noelle,

          I’m not surprised. I liked that book quite a lot when I read it as well. I agree with you completely on the transformative power of the now. What you describe reminds me of what ACIM describes as a “holy instant”. This type of sensation or experience is also often what I think of when I hear Hariod write about “ventilating the mind.” I think these are various descriptions of accessing what lies just beneath the everyday experience, which is what the now kind of is for me. Being present inherently leads to a seeing through. It’s not the dandelion per se, but the beauty of it implies the existence of a whole order of life we realize we’d forgotten, and been trying to limp along psychically without. My point in highlighting the “trap” we sometimes encounter is that suffering always seems to involve a Catch-22 when it arises. We’re to be present to experience grace and transformation. But sometimes being present is painful. At least it starts that way. We don’t just turn our attention to the now and snap our fingers and find that every half-baked thought and belief of our subconscious vanishes, taking all of its effects with it. At least I don’t. It helps to know it’s a willingness, as well. What begins as a great difficulty becomes something beautiful. I think we’re saying the two parts of what is truly a miracle– the bringing of our pain to the present, where grace meets it, and the miracle of healing is allowed to occur…

          Peace
          Michael

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  11. I often muse about the learning/unlearning dilemma. The learning, this blessed process that saves our tails from lions in the jungle and wolves in the woods, also puts us at risk of consuming us. Having kids, and more so, unschooled kids, I had been pondering and experimenting with this learning/unlearning process a bit. How much learning is there in the unlearning? How much unlearning is there in the learning? How deep is the attachment in the learning?

    And sometimes it perhaps just comes down to the natural cycle of life: building building building it up, our selves and egos and learned concepts, and colored future dreams, over the first half of life, and then taking them down down over the second half of life, bit by bit, getting closer to complete ultimate detachment. Peace is perhaps accepting that this process is natural and beautiful, and there is nothing wrong with it.

    Wishing you well Michael with the dealings with the statues on the fire, and the pain. Every time it hits me, I try to visualize pain as the small smiling child in the “Emperor’s New clothes” who shouts out: Emperor is naked! Then I know, I can get mad at this child and argue, and shout. Or just thank, accept it as is and take a better look at myself.

    Peace and thank you for sharing these thoughts. They are very interesting and helpful.
    Kristina

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Kristina,

      Wow, you bring up a really interesting point! In reading your first two paragraphs, I am left with a question: is it possible for beings to enter this realm in a way that is free of the seemingly natural and inevitable cycle of first accruing a false self (ego), then realizing the nature of suffering this engenders within us, and then unlearning or discharging it? And after a moment or two consideration, my answer is yes it is possible, but that it isn’t an experience with which we are very familiar at this time, if at all.

      I would say we are not at all familiar yet with the extents to which unity consciousness will remake our experience of the world. It perhaps sounds foolish to imagine a world in which our relationship to the lion would be one that expresses safety, but I suspect it is entirely possible. And in such a world, there are so many things that would go untaught, and unlearned, that would not later need to be undone. I think that because our world remains predominately rooted in a collective experience of separateness, the far-reaching implications of unity consciousness are scarcely on the radar.

      Let us know together, in the present, that these realities are so, and may be expressed as the work of this world continues to unfold…

      Very good point about the child who sees the obvious, and makes it plain to see…

      Peace and Love
      Michael

      Liked by 3 people

      • Michael, your words themselves are the healing rivers. For that, I am grateful.
        I love your notion that there is no ego, but light covered up by gunk, and that it is possible to be in harmony with all. Jesus, and Course in Miracles, and Ramana Maharshi, and Kabir, and thousands of others (in various places in various “times”!) had talked about the light. I trust, for the most part, harmony is possible, permaculture and its success does prove it on practical and beyond practical levels.

        I agree with you, we know very little of how to bypass the process of accruing the false self and then going through the pains to eventually to take it down, if ever.
        Bill Plotkin in his “Nature and the Human Soul” talks of ego as not something bad in itself. Instead, his point is the immature ego as it is all too common in western society, as egocentricism vs. the healthy mature ego which has gone through its natural growth cycles, becoming ecocentric. And in that process, the importance of elders guiding and mentoring the young through the life cycles, in challenging, supporting, etc, so that a person can cross the borders of each phase, and progress, instead of being stuck. And Plotkin, similar to you, believes, that as soon as enough people progress beyond adolescence (or you can say beyond separateness, because I see the adolescence as the peak of separateness), the whole consumer-driven economy and egocentric lifestyles will implode.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Hi Kristina,

          I haven’t heard of that book but it sounds like an interesting one. I have read 85% of Bill Mollison’s Permaculture book, and even though I don’t work much on the land, it feels like reading a holy book almost. I love the idea of working with nature as a network of relationships, rather than a factory system… It is inspiring and just contemplating it brings to mind a sensation of peace and possibility for me.

          If we refer to the “ego” as localized conscious awareness, I do think it will always be with us. But localized conscious awareness that never loses touch with the state of communion with all that is, is different from that conscious awareness that knows itself only in separation. It seems we’re still taking off the layers of separation to discover that unity is our basis for being. And I think as we create a world where unity is the central theme as opposed to separation, this will simply be natural. Effortless, as separation is effortless to embody today…

          It’s still an effort for me to be effortless most days… 🙂

          Peace
          Michael

          Liked by 1 person

  12. Yes, pain is good. It sends us seeking our way, our paths to God, within or without (on a beach with Jesus). Another beautiful piece, Michael. Love the way it describes our shrines to memories. Even bad ones. With love, Ellen

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Ellen,

      Thank you for the kind words, and I’m glad you enjoyed it. Difficulties certainly compel us to dig deeper into the heart of things… I think this is the way we purify our understanding of ourselves, and eventually we are left with that purified consciousness of which Mooji speaks…

      Much Love
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature says

    “We’re experts at noise cancellation. It’s a shouting match to produce silence” That about sums it up! Haha! It really is so important to take those painful wounds and faulty conclusions out of their hiding places, heal them and release them with love.

    “The depth and subtlety arising from the seeds we carry inside is astonishing. It’s so beguiling we can hardly trace the thread of cause and effect.” Yes, sometimes they are hidden so well, we hardly can figure them out. It is so rewarding, though, when we do so. Sometimes, I think people expect the process to be easy – like you said, covering everything over with lovely dreams of the future. In my experience, there is a lot of work involved. I think Grace and Jesus can provide a space for letting things go, but I think we have to bring the stuff out of the closets, tear out the statues in our coats and deal. “Throw them into the fire.” Maybe it is the therapist talking, but I think we would like to believe if we put ourselves in a higher place, old conclusions/pain will magically go away. But, to me, the heights and the depths are one. Our subconscious mind, or ego is very good at ignoring the wounds, but continue to act on the conclusions. We need to untangle all that mess that the ego learned and let go, let go, let go. Over and over again. It is the holding on that is painful, the letting go is freedom.

    Beautiful piece, Michael. As always, you blow me away with your imagery. How you take what is in your heart and create such beauty.

    Much love and quiet peace,
    Mary

    Liked by 5 people

    • Hi Mary,

      Yes I agree with you completely, as one who hoped a “higher place” would magically take care of all the rest, only to discover the higher place was in all the rest. We have to come into contact with it before we can let it go somehow. I don’t know quite how to describe it. I think the nature of things is such that any belief we carry that is not in accord with the truth of who we are will inevitably start to beep in the night like an aviation light. We’ll try to shut the curtains or whatever, but somehow it keeps coming closer until the curtains are revealed to be paper thin, and we realize we’ll never rest until we face it.

      I like the notion that the heights and depths are one, because I don’t necessarily think our subconscious is “ego”, but instead a reservoir of the deeply compassionate and intelligent light of which we are all a part. When our subconscious is clogged up with these beliefs that are not true, then it becomes an egoic stronghold if you will, but it all just depends on what is living in there. As we find what is in there, and let go of what is not ultimately true, the subconscious becomes a beautiful reservoir of inspiration and knowing I think. Do you agree?

      In this way, the heights and the depths are surely unified…

      Peace and Love
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

      • Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature says

        Hey Michael,
        I think we just have a difference in semantics. To me, or the theoretical framework that I work from, the subconscious is formed when we are pre-verbal. It is also called the lower unconscious. There are all kinds of beliefs formed early on that formed based on how we were treated by our early caregivers. There is very little that can actually change the “mind” of the subconscious except energy medicine and some kinds of meditation. It stays pretty unconscious. Even affirmations don’t effect that. The ego was formed then too, but has grown up with us. I feel sad that ego gets such bad press, because we really couldn’t grow without it. There is also the higher unconscious which becomes more conscious as we awaken. It has access to our Higher Self, Authentic Self or Actualized Self, which I believe is in touch with the Holy Spirit. The ego, is integral to our growth because it is the one that has protected us from hurt and tried to keep us safe, albeit in unhealthy ways with various defense mechanisms. When we do our “ego work,” we bring all the “statues” and all the hidden, protected wounds out into the open, we learn to stop fighting reality, forgive ourselves and others, stop being victims, and it actually matures. We still need it to show us what we are ignoring, to then love and heal whatever wound is showing up. Instead of it acting unconsciously, as previously, it now just needs to tap us on the shoulder and say, “hey….um….I’m hurt right now….fix please.” And so we do, like we are its parent. It is what lives in the duality of judging, blaming, right/wrong, good/bad, etc. We don’t need to “kill it.” We just need to be aware of it and teach it Love and Unity as it continues to help us be aware of our unhealed parts.

        So, yes I agree that ” our subconscious is clogged up with these beliefs that are not true.” It is filled with unhealed egoic wounds. I don’t agree with, “the subconscious becomes a beautiful reservoir of inspiration and knowing,” because from my point of view, that would be the higher unconscious awakening. Our knowingness is from a higher place. Also from our inner child, which is also from a higher place that awakens more and more as we let go of the wounds that suppressed it.

        Ok….so I better quit now or this will be another post!! I think we are saying the same thing, just different vocabulary.

        Peace and Love to you, Michael,
        Mary

        Liked by 3 people

        • Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature says

          PS Hahaha, I guess I wasn’t done. So then, as we awaken more and more and all our ego work is pretty much done, the ego sort of blends in to the bigger us, and is pretty much unnoticeable. Ok, done..I promise…unless you ask me another question and then look out! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • Hi Mary,

            I do think we are saying something similar. I realize looking back when I wrote my comment above I was viewing in my own mind anything we’re not immediately conscious of as subconscious, rather than unconscious perhaps. I have a hard time with the geometry of higher and lower when it comes to what is just out of sight within me, because in a creative space it gives rise to unexpected moments of beauty or insight, and in other times it gives rise to unexpected moments of grief or anger. I can feel the difference in the two, but they both feel like a depth inside of and/or through me to explore. The place I contact and work with them is the space of my own awareness.

            But I do understand what you are saying and I think for many the model of higher and lower consciousness is very helpful. I wouldn’t even disagree with it, just from a practical matter I only know how it feels. It’s a bit like getting into a discussion with a heart surgeon about how the heart works. He has a better model than I do, but I still get through my day despite a certain ignorance! I think what we lack in accurate mental understanding, holiness and grace always bridge if we are willing and of good heart. This is why I think it is so fruitless to argue and debate with one another the particulars, or the dogma… of any of it… When we come into our hearts, the particulars just don’t matter in a certain sense… What matters is that we are willing to make contact with these parts, whatever they are, and work with them in gentleness and compassion I think. I think we agree on this.

            Love
            Michael

            Liked by 3 people

            • Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature says

              Hey Michael,
              Yes, of course we do. Totally. 100%
              It’s just that when you asked if I agreed with, “the subconscious becomes a beautiful reservoir of inspiration and knowing,” I couldn’t. And our idea of ego is a little different. Other than that, we are totally on board with each other. Love your analogy of the heart surgeon. Like I said, it’s just semantics. I didn’t feel like I was arguing. Sorry if I came across that way.

              “When we come into our hearts, the particulars just don’t matter.” You are right, of course.

              Love,
              Mary

              Liked by 1 person

            • Hi Mary,

              My comment about arguing and debating wasn’t intended to describe our discussion here if it came across as such, but was a poorly placed reference to other conversations in the world at large. It was in reference to the larger conversation we humans so often get sidetracked in, where we lose contact with the heart of things by cutting them up into so many conceptual placeholders… I value very much the exchange of ideas and perspectives we share here… When we explore ideas without the need to be right or wrong about them, so much is revealed…

              Peace
              Michael

              Liked by 1 person

  14. A beautiful piece Michael. I have never heard it expressed in quite this way – that we are trying to cover over our experiences in the past with our hopes and ideas of the future, but of course that’s exactly how it is. “We collect our statues and hidden memories and place them into the fire.” This is what I’m doing in San Miguel. Looking forward to many memories dissolving.
    With love
    Alison

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Alison,

      Wishing you a blessed time in San Miguel. Sounds like a hearty blaze is underway, keeping a few friends warm!

      What I described is sort of how I experienced it in that moment– the realization that so often we swing from a hope of a bright future to the recollection of a carried pain, and they collide and we never quite know what to believe. We push to make one so, forcing one out of sight, and in this we ultimately lose. Better to set them all around the fire as companions for a while first, right? Then when we are done with them, set them free…

      Love to you and Don,
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

  15. Oh Michael,

    I love this, “It’s our loyalty to all the stuff we made up.” Well, for me these days, I cannot take anything too seriously, and yet, it’s all serious to someone somehow (projected by me?). You’re always looking at the big picture, and I know meanwhile you manage so many details. It’s just nice sharing space with you, and Hafiz! I think it’s so cool that you also know Hafiz and Jesus and all these characters.

    I wonder about how de-constructing can be a lot like constructing. Only we “think” it’s the opposite. How we think we are “doing” but we really aren’t “doing” anything at all…. We think we are “unlearning” but we’re just filling the hole with something else instead of just sitting in it – becoming it. Just some rambling thoughts…

    So much love to you my friend,
    Ka

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Ka,

      Thank you for this note so filled with recognition and connection…! It is a joy to share the space with you and your own entourage of creative genius.

      I’m not sure I fully understood your analogy about filling the hole with something else instead of sitting in it, but I love the feeling your rambling thoughts engender. We are traveling down this highway together… Sometimes the wind catches the words and sucks them into our wake before we catch them, but no matter, we are traveling down this highway together… And that is what matters…

      For myself the deconstructing is indeed like choosing to extend ourselves in new ways, taking the infinite choice of the emptiness that we inhabit and carrying it inside of us in a new direction. So in that sense it does feel like constructing. But since in a way we’re allowing new interpretations to arise so that we see the world with greater clarity and truth, what arises– this Love– does so without our bidding. It’s what is left when we are out of the way. So we are in fact doing so little, but it feels like an incredible new thing taking life through us…

      In gratitude for your friendship and light!
      Love
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Sorry to hear that you have been hurting, Michael. Even before you mentioned it, I could feel it in your words. Those of us who strive to clear out the skeletons and the clutter, tend to beat up on ourselves when we happen across a statue we forgot about in the dusty attic of our memory. Maybe they don’t always need to be discarded, but rather shined up and put on display. Peace to you, gentle soul.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Julie. You are as astute a reader as you are a writer. Thank you for the gift of peace, which I will keep close to me when I take out this little figurine and shine him up…

      Peace to you also,
      Michael

      Like

  17. Thank you, M. You have me on an adventure to ash paint those burned up statues onto my body for fun, after I skip out on the agreement I made to be loyal to my made up self, after I sit in the hole I excavated. I am in the land where I can’t help but notice that there are no dinner parties, no events, no happenings, and even if there were, I’m certain I would wander away from the talking and the food, off into the mushroom ring in the lower grassy field away from the dance floor jam. I wander in the same world, a ghost people half remember fondly, tuned into the hum no one acknowledges hearing. Your words are a starting pistol – and I’m off, my friend. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Marga,

      I like the ash painting idea. Like the badges that record our histories– their movements, the encounters, the debacles, the choices. We are all storied whether we like it or not, until we emerge from them. But I think the badges make sense, even then. You are doing sacred work, sitting in the hole you excavated, tuning into the radio of your heart which gets reception from all points that are needed, all points that exist. I have the image of you off to the races, soaring into being, even as you sit quite still in your creative silence…!

      Peace
      Michael

      Like

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