I was Troubled. Now I am Astonished.

The other day I was participating in a discussion on Facebook. The theme of the topic was the supermarkets here in Brno and one person posted a very long tirade about empty shelves. I was amazed. Empty shelves? Where? When? This was such an opposite to my experience with Brno supermarkets that I responded rather too quickly. I said something like – you must live in a parallel universe…..

Of course, he took this as insulting, not knowing me. I think probably anyone would. But I actually meant it. It wasn’t an insult but an observational analysis that, as I grow older I more and more believe may be true. We all live in our own realities and we reflect back what we expect. It’s not quite that simple of course, but in a nutshell he sees the empty shelves of his own making and I see the full shelves of my making. It’s the glass half empty or half full thing isn’t it. Who would have thought I would be the half full person!?

You see people caught up in their self-constrained belief systems torturing themselves and those around them, whereas others live life full of expectation and optimism. You see people willingly being negative and walking around creating the little cloud above them. Of course, the Matrix is full of influencers and motivators that play on, feed, and drive these realities. The world is really more like that Star Trek episode where they land on a planet and are fed back what they expected, than it is like the Matrix.

It might be simple to manage if it were just me or you, but the real fun comes in how we interact and how our little realities impinge upon others. Your problems become mine and so on – if I let them. We create our own realities, but are influenced by the collective drivers (fear, sex, wealth, love, hate etc.) and, at the same time, interact with the realities of those around us. Surround yourself with happy people….. trust me. It’s the way to go.

How we create that reality is as much about our upbringing, cultural origins and so on – the collective we are a part of – as anything else. To see the world differently, we have to escape that collective for another and another and another, until suddenly it becomes clear…. I am having my creativity dictated to me. It is then that we look inwards for the truth. We get glimpses of that truth and what we see is truly shocking. Rather than purposeful, willful beings creating a meaningful reality, we are robots, slaves or sheep (pick your term) working to help others create their reality!

To get to this point, we have to go through some personal pain because we have to reject so many things that we once accepted, nay believed, to be the truth. Stripping away the chains of bondage and layers of control is painful both to us and to those around us; who just don’t get it and who see their comfortable reality threatened by ours. We end up alone, apart and isolated. But then we understand that we have to interact. We have to replace the collective drivers for everyone else as well as ourselves. The only way to do that is to interact, experience life, have compassion, be grateful and step forward in self-mastery. A very difficult if not impossible mandate.

Let him who seeks continue seeking until he finds. When he finds, he will become troubled. When he becomes troubled, he will be astonished, and he will rule over the All.”

“If those who lead you say to you, ‘See, the kingdom is in the sky,’ then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, ‘It is in the sea,’ then the fish will precede you. Rather, the kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty.”

“Recognize what is in your sight, and that which is hidden from you will become plain to you . For there is nothing hidden which will not become manifest.”

His disciples questioned him and said to him, “Do you want us to fast? How shall we pray? Shall we give alms? What diet shall we observe?” Jesus said, “Do not tell lies, and do not do what you hate, for all things are plain in the sight of heaven. For nothing hidden will not become manifest, and nothing covered will remain without being uncovered.”

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Gospel of Thomas source – The Gnostic Society Library

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Adam and Eve

I have the words
But perhaps I lack the wisdom
Exploration is an exciting game
Especially of those darkened inner regions
As I build my tortuous iron chain
Just like that of poor Mr. Marley
Seeking ever more worldly gain
To take along to my final party
But there are chinks in my armour
That steely shell that I built
To protect myself from me
Don’t need that silly psycho drama
Strutting on a worldly stage
Never to be heard no more
A fool full of his own import
But trapped in the guilded cage
Of his own idiotic nature
Nothing, nothing more to be
Life’s a package of candy
With sticky tangy centers
Pungent tastes in the chewing
Dissolves to nothing but tasty spit
As I fade into the glory
Of a life fell foul
I wonder if he knew
I wonder if he turned
The other cheek
Played hide and seek
In his inner garden
Eve and that bloody apple
Played out once more
Rotten to his very core
But redeemed
It seemed
At the very last bitter sweet
Moment.

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The Meaning of Christmas – A short Story

The scene was a familiar one. The street was filled with people hustling and bustling and jostling with each other from time to time. Their breaths hung in the freezing air like little trails of smoke. The street was lit in the darkness of the winter’s late afternoon by the colored christmas lights hanging from each lamp and in the shop windows. With just a few days left until the holiday, these were the last minuters – those who were ever increasingly desperate to grab their last few bargains and presents.

Phillip watched in silence. The scene had a surreal quality about it. The anxious faces of people who in some instances, could ill afford the presents and gifts they were trying to purchase. He watched with increasing understanding of each individual’s dilemmas. He felt sorry for the single mother, loaded down with two young children. He knew she had little money and little confidence and yet her kids eyes shone with excitement. It would be a meagre christmas for them, but they were excited anyway.

He observed an older man silently gazing into the window of a jewelry shop and he understood that he was crying. He was crying inside because he faced his first christmas alone in over 40-years and he had noticed a ladies watch that looked very much like the one he had bought his wife for christmas the previous year. She had been dead four months and the pain still wracked his heart. He hadn’t a clue how he would get through the holiday without her.

He watched the street entertainer playing the guitar and singing and understood how cold his fingers were in the freezing air. He was hoping that these shoppers could spare enough change for him to have a hot meal. There would be no Turkey and trimmings for him this year. No sitting in the warmth around a brightly lit tree. He would be lucky to find a warm place to sleep and maybe a small bottle of rum to keep him warm through the night.

And yet, in all of the mayhem and the personal stories of life – sadness, happiness, stress, worry and all of those other emotions, Phillip understood something else watching that scene play out in front of him that night. He understood the meaning of christmas. He understood that it wasn’t about gifts; the giving or receiving. It wasn’t about the lights, the trees or the big movie on TV. Christmas, he now knew, was about hope. It was about the hope and the faith that people could learn to love each other. It was about the little things then that came from love and hope and charity. It was about the humanity behind humanity and its potential for good.

He could see this now in the light of love that he could see glowing more strongly or weakly around those people in the street. The brightness of it gave him hope. Even now, the brightness was growing and in that light he could see his father smiling. It was time to go.

He took another look at his body, crushed and deformed by the tram that had hit him moments ago, and at the people gathered around it trying to revive him. Then, he moved towards the light. He grasped the hand of his father and was pulled into a hug as the light enveloped him and the scene faded for all eternity.

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