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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Thar Be Dragons!

On ancient nautical maps, beyond the edge of the known world, mapmakers would write “thar be dragons.” It seems to be human nature to first project fear into uncharted realms before considering expanding the map.  

Even when some individuals begin to push the boundaries, the collective culture often pushes back. When Copernicus and Galileo dared suggest that the world was round, they were ridiculed and severely punished by the powers that be.

We each hold our own map of reality – our certainties about how things work. This map is necessary. It allows us to move through our days without having to relearn every single thing. It’s also exponentially smaller than the whole of reality – and often quite wrong. While Columbus believed that the world was round and set out to prove it, he still thought he’d found the East Indies, not a new continent, because that’s what his map told him he would find. We filter everything through our own very limited map and tend to disregard anything that doesn’t match up.

The ego-self is the keeper of the current map of reality. And let’s not bash the ego as something we need to get rid of. The ego-self is indispensible; it is what allows us to get things done and to maintain order in our lives. Doing those things is easier with a fixed map, and so the ego has a vested interest in not letting the map change.  When your map and my map disagree, the ego-self declares your map “wrong” and my map “right.” It is the ego-self who ridicules and punishes when the status quo is challenged. It is the ego-self who sees dragons in the dark unknown.

The essential-self is the bridge to larger possibilities. It is the part of you that remains connected to deeper realities and truths that lie beyond individual perception. When your map and my map disagree, the essential-self looks for new possibilities and deeper connections. It creates synergy where there were differences and pushes for growth and transformation. The essential-self is not only willing to expand the map, but even to completely redesign it – to recognize when a 2-dimensional flat map will no longer do because a 3-dimensional  globe comes closer to depicting what’s true.

The constant tension between the essential-self and the ego-self is what drives the course of our personal and collective evolution. The essential-self, recognizing the map is too small, pushes forward. The ego-self, fearing dragons, pushes back. As more and more new territory is revealed, a new map emerges and the ego-self is now able to comfortably navigate a much wider territory.

We seem to be living in a time when our collective sense of “how things are” has become painfully dysfunctional. We are recognizing, I think, that the map is too small. Our essential-selves are pushing for a quantum leap – a change on the scale of flat map to spherical globe. Our ego-selves can’t quite wrap their heads around that, so they do what they do: hold tight to the status quo, polarize right and wrong, ridicule and punish the pioneers of new thinking, and project dragons into every dark corner.

It is only temporary ignorance and fear. The new map is emerging. I can’t quite see it yet, but my essential-self can. Beyond the dragons, thar be light!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Imprinting the Universal Field

Seeding the Universal Field by Artful Alchemist on Polyvore

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I'll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.

There is a field called consciousness. It is a communal field. Each of us seeds that field with every thought, choice and action we take. Our challenges, failures and successes are recorded there. Each of us also harvests from that field, reaping the benefits (or detriments) of what we and others have sown.

Through a phenomenon biologist Rupert Sheldrake calls morphic resonance (also known as the hundredth monkey effect), when a new skill is mastered by enough of us, it becomes easier for the rest of us to master.  Just watch a 4-year-old with no official training intuitively use a computer or play a video game. These technological skills have been seeded into the field. Our little ones are born technologically savvy. Unfortunately, fear and violence and greed have also been seeded into the field over eons of time, and our little ones inherit this as well. But we can continue to plant seeds of peace and hope and when enough of us do, we will shift the pattern of collective consciousness.

Butterfly Crop Circle, Aug 2009, Holland
If we literally envision collective consciousness as a field, we can imagine that our individual thoughts and actions leave an imprint upon it, like a footprint in wet grass. A thought or act of peace might bend the blades in one direction, a thought or act of violence might bend them in another. All of our thoughts and actions, taken together, create a pattern of imprints, like a crop circle in a field of wheat. We can leave an imprint of chaos and ugliness, or we can create an intricate and beautiful pattern.

Regardless of whether the crop circles that appear in fields all over the planet are man-made or other-worldly, the imprints left in the field of consciousness ARE man-made, by you and me. It can sometimes feel overwhelming to think about changing the world. Yet we are doing so, every minute of every day with every thought, choice and action.

There is a field. I'll meet you there. What imprint shall we leave?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Imagining a New World

Remember the nursery song about old MacDonald and his farm? For some reason every time I watch the news or read a headline, that song comes to mind. Here a crisis, there a crisis, everywhere a crisis, crisis. Eee Eye Eee Eye Oh!

But here's the good news. According to Barbara Marx Hubbard, futurist and conscious evolution advocate, if we study the 13.7 billion year history of the Universe, we will see that major crises preceded every quantum leap in the evolution of life. Crises stimulate innovation, synergy, coherence and transformation. They are evolutionary drivers.
Becoming Universal by Artful Alchemist on Polyvore
We are in the chrysalis stage of the next turn on the evolutionary wheel. No longer caterpillar, not yet butterfly. An amazing thing happens inside that chrysalis -- as the old form of the caterpillar slowly dissolves, the new butterfly DNA begins to emerge in the form of "imaginal cells."

The caterpillar, thinking it's dying, fights against these imaginal cells. But the imaginal cells continue to multiply and connect in new and more beautiful ways, eventually transforming the caterpillar despite its resistance. The chrysalis breaks open and the butterfly emerges.

WE ARE the imaginal cells - you and me and each one of us who is choosing a better way of living and being. We are literally imagining a new world into existence.

The old caterpillar form is fighting back with resurgences of fundamentalism on many levels as unstable, dysfunctional systems try to defend the status quo. It is perhaps the surest sign that the transformation has already begun.

We are the first species on this planet to become aware of the patterns of evolution AND to be aware that our own choices have the power to affect the course of future evolution (for better or for worse).

In order to succeed, we must recognize our role as conscious co-creators. We must recognize our interconnectedness to each other, to all life on the planet, and to all life in the cosmos. At this moment in time, we are the faces and hands of evolution on this planet. Let us choose wisely and claim our wings.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Udderly Ridiculous

Sung to the tune of "The Way It Is" by Bruce Hornsby 
and inspired by the cow-costumed milk shoplifter

The Ballad of Jonathan Payton
(parody by Claire Perkins)

I'm down in the WalMart wasting time
Standing in the checkout line
(My God, I hate this store)
When a man in a cow suit strolls on by
Twenty-six milk jugs and a gleam in his eye
Just for fun he walks right out the door

Well that's just the way it is
Some cows are very strange
Claims there's no milk at home
But I don't believe him

They said, hey little cow you can't go
Stealin' milk that way
You gotta pay like they do
Was it your plan, you silly man
To get away
Did you really think about it
Before you broke the rules
He said, Look

This is the way it is
There ain't no milk at home
Udderly empty fridge
But I don't believe him

Well they passed a law in '64
To give guys who shoplift a little more
Than a slap on the rump
Cause the law won't change another's mind
Unless we brand all their big behinds
We'll have milk stampedes in the stores

And that's just the way it is
Some cows are very strange
Claim there's no milk at home
But don't you believe them

Monday, May 2, 2011

Ding Dong the Witch is Dead (reflection on the death of Bin Laden)

The celebration I'm seeing about the death of Bin Laden puts me in mind of the opening scene when Dorothy lands in Oz and all the little Munchkins burst into song: Ding Dong the Witch is Dead / Which Old Witch? / The Wicked Witch

Trouble is, the death of the witch was only the beginning of Dorothy's adventure. There was, of course, another witch to deal with. And her flying monkey minions, too. And in the end, those were only momentary distractions within Dorothy's larger journey of discovering that all her fears/questions/answers/powers were within HER all along.

We've given Bin Laden WAY too much credit and the politico/media have spun him into a single-handed villain the likes of which we've not seen since Darth Vader. But I mix my movie metaphors.

There are a number of problems with this spin, not the least of which being that politico/media spin rarely holds more than the tiniest grain of truth. Did Bin Laden really single-handedly mastermind 9/11? Or was he the mastermind in the same way that Iraq was stockpiling Weapons of Mass Destruction?

Of course, it IS quite convenient to have a single person to hang the entire terrorist scenario upon. Now that we've got him, we can just pack up and get all our troops out of all those other places, right? If the Bin Laden/Wicked Witch delusion is all it takes to bring our troops home, then I am all for believing, believe me!

Alas, there are all those Arab nations with all that black gold, and we ARE in the midst of an oil crisis after all. I'm sure there will be plenty of new spin to keep us embroiled in foreign wars until kingdom come. (Which, by the way, IS the agenda of some - the hurrying up of Kingdom Come - but that's an apocalyptic horse of a different color.)

Meanwhile, the witch is dead and all we little Munchkins can dance and sing in the golden paved streets. Oh, wait, the potholed asphalt streets, but close enough. We ARE, after all, in the midst of an economic crisis so there's not much gold to be had. But dance and sing we will, for the witch is dead.

But as we dance, let's not forget that we'll need to avoid all those flying monkeys who answer to another witch, a witch who is really, really pissed about the death of her sister and who would really, really like to get her hands on our ruby slippers. What's a Munchkin to do?

Hmmm. Perhaps all we really need is a Wonderful Wizard who can fix all these pesky problems like Global Warming, Economic Meltdown, Brainless/Heartless Politicians, terrorism and FEAR. Yes, let's not forget about FEAR. Oh, silly me. Not to worry! If the politico/media has any say, they'll NEVER let us forget about FEAR.

Soon enough, the dancing and singing will wind down and we'll all once again be tugging on our own tails and shouting out, "Who did that?! Who's there?!"

Unless and until we finally realize that wisdom, courage, compassion and peace are all inside jobs. All together now, click your heels . . .

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Dream: Hungry Lions

Hungry Lions by Artful Alchemist on Polyvore

Dream: 1/18/2011
Hungry Lions

I am exploring ancient grounds – an abandoned estate of some kind. It is not in ruins, but is overgrown and neglected as well as deserted. I discover there are feeding stations in some locations. There are monkeys and there are lions. I go to one feeding station near the front of the house (it looks a bit like a metal water pump). I can read a label on it that indicates it’s for the lions. I give it a pump, out of curiosity, and a few old cheese puffs come out. The monkeys stay back and a lion comes and sniffs at the cheese puffs. I feel sad for the lions – they can’t eat food like this. It reminds me of a zoo where people come to gawk and make caged pets of these glorious animals. I’m a bit frightened to be so close to the lions, but feel it is up to me to feed them.

To me, the message of this dream is so clear. The monkeys are the monkey-mind - all that chatter, inner critic, false beliefs, distractions. It is clear that I'm not to feed them. (In waking life, I feed them all too often.) The lions represent my authentic inner power (connections to the goddess Sekhmet and also to the Alsan Christ-consciousness figure from the Narnia tales). They are hungry. It's my job to feed them. And cheetos (my ultimate junk food!) are not going to cut it. My inner lioness needs real meat, something to sink her teeth into, something that will sustain her. It's my job to find what that is and provide it. It IS frightening to think of really owning my inner power. Yet in the dream, I seem determined despite my fear. That's what the dream is asking of me in waking life - to brave up and feed my inner power what it needs.

What inner power do you choose to feed? And how do you tame the monkey-mind?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Dream: Vacationing on the Moon

Dream 1/1/2011
Vacationing on the Moon

I have taken a trip to the moon. It is like a vacation adventure. Not unheard of or entirely unusual, but a first for me. It is exciting and filled with beauty and the unexpected. For one, I can see all the planets of our solar system strung out like a ribbon along the horizon, looking much like I recall from science books. Logically, I know they wouldn't look like this or be aligned so, but at the same time I feel a rush of excitement, as if I've made a new discovery. It is so breathtakingly beautiful. The ground is covered with a cold, frosty substance that kicks up like snow with every step. I feel at once alien and totally at home. Completely out of my element, a pioneer, an adventurer. I revel in the wonder and excitement of it all.
As the first dream of the year, for me this portends a year of exploration beyond the boundaries of my current experience. The planets have aligned to support my new endeavors. Things that I thought I knew and understood come together in a different way. As I created the art for this dream, a companion (someone I was only vaguely aware of in the dream) emerged more solidly. I think this represents a guide who will accompany and support me on this exciting adventure.

What have YOU been dreaming about as this new year begins? Post your dream stories here.