Wednesday, September 24, 2008

work while you wait

Life is a process. I have heard that before but today i took a while to ponder that statement. I have been diligently working to build a small leather business and today i had some amazing ideas as to how i can continue to contribute to making it more efficient. As i added more things on my list of goals i realized how far from some of them i actually was...like having a store where i sell leather stuff as well as other hand made products. Anyway it was a bit overwhelming and then it clicked. Vegetables!
I started thinking about the process of farming and all the waiting involved before a harvest is realized and the side work that has to be done in support of reaching that harvest day. Weeding, watering, fertilizing, all fairly mundane things but necessary to produce a desired result.
I only understand instant. So much of my frustration is born from an unrealistic outlook on the time that needs to be invested in order to accomplish certain things. Obviously each goal requires its own amount of time and has its detailed steps in the process. But the key is...it is a process. Nature is such a great example. It does not stress. It takes its time through seasons and enjoys each one fully before moving on. It understands there is no hurry. Where are you going?
I have a trail i walk from my house to town. For weeks the grass was really tall and finally the owner saw fit to give it a trim. Piles of grass were left. Over the weeks i have noticed the piles shrinking as they break down. They are turning back into dirt as the sun bakes them...wind scatters them...and i step on them. Soon they will be gone. The grass will grow again and the owner will cut it making new piles. Its a process and the more i pay attention to nature the more confident i become that i should follow suit.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Faith

Lately i have been pondering the idea of faith. It is so interesting. I have completely disregarded its importance in my life. I have always viewed faith like a wispy cloud. It has been feathery and distant, almost transparent so that i could never quite make out its shape.
Now the concept of faith is fairly general in nature, but i have been focusing particularly on human origins. Where did we come from? What was the story? Is the story consistent with the present...that is...can it explain why we are so f#$*ed up? In my mind the story has to be consistent with basic observation for me to even consider it.
I am fond of the Genesis story. I have very little internal conflict believing that was the way humanity came about. Granted it is just a sketch of what happened. We have filled in the blanks with some pretty silly stuff created by our own imagination. We have definitely taken liberties with the story if only in our minds. However i truly believe we are in our present state as a result of actions taken by a single human. I believe in a past glory...we were super humans at one point. I think one mans decision to disconnect from the Creator cost us a vast amount of knowledge. We literally unplugged ourselves from the mainframe. We forfeited our purpose, our value, and our standing. We created an endless amount of questions that we have been trying thousands of years to answer. It seems every generation has its turn at the attempt, yet only a handful get what they are truly seeking.
I think the biggest barrier in believing the Genesis account is its simplicity. We are so far removed from the innocence those first humans experienced. We have layers of generational complexity built up on us the moment we leave the womb. Not to mention the complexity our parents place on us, our peers, our culture, and last but not least.....the complexity we place on ourselves. It makes perfect sense that the enormous gigantic weed that we are constantly staring at in our lives began as a tiny little seed...one rebellious decision as simple as eating a piece of fruit.
This is not the whole picture...there are so many tangents that i could easily trace back to this origin and i have spent many a hour doing just that....i have to get to the most basic "WHY" before i can go to sleep at night. Yet i will never reach the end in my life time 1) because i am so far removed from the beginning, 2) i am physically disconnected from the creator.
Humanity has a broken receptor. The first man had a perfect relationship with the creator, so much that they walked and talked together. When he disconnected himself the relationship was severely damaged...irreparable. No more walks and no more talks...it cost him lots more than that but basically the shit hit the fan and the contact was never the same. This is easily observed today. At the root of every single action we take we are attempting to regain the security that relationship brought. This is a bold statement but i am willing to stand by it.
So here is where i think J√ęsus comes in. He is the mediator between the injured parties. It is the best explanation offered in my opinion because it is the only one i have found were my pride (source of disconnect) cannot claim any involvement in the reconnection. No merit on my part will help get me back in connection.
Now we are getting to my original point...i needed some background to make the shift. It seems to me that Jesus fulfilled his role. He set up a way to reconnect. Wonderful!! Now what...things still suck! I still have questions, i still piss my pants, i am anxious most of the time... did he really do anything????!!! Well we are here finally to the idea of faith. I think we will never experience what the first humans experienced naturally. They didn't need faith because "it" was tangible. Everything was tangible for them. I am convinced our tangible today comes in the form of faith. Forget all the crap that comes with Christianity...i am talking about a faith that lets us regain our superhuman status. The Faith is being convinced that Jesus actually created a way for us to know our creator...a way to return to the flow of truth. Thats all. No need to organize a comittie for that, just enjoy it. Know it is possible to be free. Free from the disconnect.
The results are not different from the ones claimed by Christianity...purpose, peace, health, love, joy...but Christianity has sold itself to religion and now the holistic fruit is reduced to mere words. We have substituted a relationship for a formula...Christianity even says the formula is a relationship but we cant get past the formula part of it. We are bound by allegiance to a system and the worship of the organization. We left our first love.
It has been so hard for me to separate what i view as facts from the religion of Christianity. It is sad we have made an exclusive religion out of some of the best ideas that offer a great explanation of origin...but people cant accept them not because of lack of evidence, its all the extra requirements religion piles on top. I cant accept the theories on Christianity's terms either. So i am doing my best to salvage what i can from my encounter with christianity...this faith thing is just one of them.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Negative thoughts on black tree ants

Recently i have been pondering the idea of why we tend to gravitate toward negative thinking. By negative thinking i mean...expecting the worst possible outcome from things. Why is it when a situation presents itself we assume the outcome will not be in our favor? Obviously if it looks like we are going to "benefit" there are less worries, but if there is the slightest indication that we might be adversely affected we run with it.
I have this thing i do when i become obsessed with an idea. I start with the thought and begin to layer up around it my perception of where i think it will end up. I have had those things carry me thru an entire day of worry and self loathing, sometimes several days, until the true outcome steps in and it all goes away with less than a ripple. I got cut once in the gym and thought for several days i might have AIDS. My imagination raced with who might have gotten cut on the same weight as me and i was certain they had AIDS.
No one wants anything bad for their lives. I dont want pain, suffering, worry, doubt, etc. But i wonder if i dont bring a lot of those characters my way by simply focusing on how much i dont want them to be in my life. I was talking with a friend recently about a book called "The Secret". It is an ok book with a powerful message. I say just ok because i think there is some capitalistic influence mingled in it, but the concept is solid." WE attract into out lives the things we think about most. " Literally we draw the things we focus on toward us...or another way of looking at it is, we gravitate together. I think we actually move as well...not just the thing. Thoughts are the motivations for actions. Without them there is no action. This is nothing profound unless we actually take the time to consciously use it instead of reacting after the fact.
That said i believe this concept is only at half strength alone. By itself it can bring about radical change, revolutions, romance, money, corporations, Olympic gold medals, and the list goes on, but it is still lacking in realizing its full potential. My friend Andy and i are constantly talking about something we have named the "flow". Now we did not discover the flow, it has been around for a really long time. In the beginning there was God and his friend flow. Now the flow is just a current of established truth and order, sometimes disguised as disorder. I say disorder because it appears that way in comparison to our perception of how things work. In this flow all things are at peace. Questions cease, anxiety dies, worry crumbles, and problems have drowned. In the flow there is healing, knowledge, precision timing, wonder, bewilderment (sell your cleverness), and an overall sense of well-being, all needs are met. Now it all sounds too good to be true and the reason why we arent all just chilling out in this place is because we are not the ones who get to determine what peace is, or healing, or needs met.......the flow establishes all that. We get to partake thru surrendering to the current not fighting it or stepping out on the bank. There lies our plight as humans. We are powerful! Our mind is powerful! We get what we think about most! This is where the secret and the flow marry. Think about being in the flow and that is precisely where you will find yourself.
I wish religion was pure enough to catch this, but by definition it cannot be. Religion has created its own flow and encourages the masses to join. I think Jesus was in the flow. I believe all that was said about him is true, but i do not see the link between who he was and who we have made him to be. So i am not into organized religion, but that is a whole other thing, maybe it needs a book instead of a blog. This one is getting long too so i think next week i will write about ways i have found to enter the flow and maybe other theories...oh yeah this is just my theory on how things work. i like it and have found it to be somewhat accurate. Take it for what it is please

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

employment

The world of employment is a tricky one. On the one hand it is nice to get swept away by the dream of making lots of money and the seemingly endless opportunities it affords, but it isnt long before the undertow of that current grabs your ankles and pulls you down into the depths of busyness, materialism, and disillusion. However, the worry from having no money is just as deadly.
I have really been pondering on the whole idea of work here lately. I am currently "unemployed", meaning i have no boss or official job. I am working but on my own time and at my own pace. Its great, but i am not far enough along in my work to be able to sustain maybe a family or something. So i am still figuring things out. I have observed a few things as i continue to explore possibilities. I guess i have just formed certain criteria that a job must possess in order to bring me the most satisfaction. My disclaimers are i am very low maintenance, i dont have any debt, and i need very little material stuff to feel satisfied. These are huge factors in determining what kind of job satisfies. These things really restrict the selection of jobs depending on where you fall in the spectrum.
All that to say...my job needs to be balanced. I dont want it to take away from personal development, relationships, or just overall needed rest. If anything i think it could possibly contribute to those things depending on the nature of the job. It could be a family owned and operated something. Of course it should provide for the basic needs of life...food, clothing, shelter, trips to foreign countries. I guess basic can be relative depending on the person, but for me i am fairly basic by United States standards (which is extremely extravagant by world standards). I think the stress level should be almost non-existent, a small commute preferably by bicycle and working with people who are of like mind. The fruit of the labor needs to be something that is an expression of me, that contributes on some level to benefiting others, and is moderately fun at some point in the process. By fun i mean...selling, making, or anything in between needs to be somewhat enjoyable. Probably most people would say this is a dream job and it is actually, but i think a dream job isnt found it is created. It is created by our values. There are tons of decisions or responsibilities that steer us away from having the job we want...debt, child support, sickness, gambling problems, love for sports cars, meth habit, crazy wife/husband, and the list goes on. Really the dream job starts way before its time to start looking for $.
These are my observations and desires...so here we go. I will keep you updated on the progress.