Shutting down . . .

Well, having accomplished what I set out to do with this blog, I think it is time to shut it down.

The reason I’m doing this now it simple:  I had 90 days to renew my domain registration when they informed me that WordPress has decided to force a 2-stage authentication process that requires a form of verification that I literally can’t provide – a cell phone number.  Since I do not have a cell phone, and wouldn’t tie it to my blog even if I did, it is time to quit WordPress.  Besides, I’ve done what I set out to do with  this blog, by laying personal claim to ideas that were hugely influential in the outcome of the 2016 election for the USA.  Everything else was gravy.

So, I’m transferring all of my files and blog posts to my original blog at:  http://mr-spock.livejournal.com/ and asking that if you want to continue to follow my journey of self discovery, you’ll bookmark that page or subscribe to it.  I’ve been blogging on that page since 2004.

Thank you, one and all, for making this page feel like a resounding success.

Thinking about dreaming…

I know – I have way too much time on my hands if I have time to waste thinking about what goes on in our heads while we sleep.  Still, I am in a rather unique position to do so, and motivated by one particular dream that I have so often it has become a welcome friend.  I’ve blogged about this friend before – the “Superman” dream where I fly, have perfect health, and no disability.  Between that and my reading of spiritual self-help guides like Joseph Campbell, I think I’m getting some insight.

First, let me be the first to tell you that there is no “mystical” component to dreams.  The fact of dreaming something does not mean that the event is likely to happen.  It is my considered opinion – at this time, at least – that dreams are ONLY useful for getting to know ourselves better.  What makes us tick, so to speak.

With that in mind, let me tell you what a dream really is.  There are three types of dreams: wishes, fears, and solutions.  Solutions are VERY rare.  Most dreams are our subconscious mind trying to express our deepest fears or wishes in ways that we can relate to.  Take my “Superman” dream – in the first 16 years of my life, I was a fairly normal kid.  I played outside, got sprained ankles and bruises.  I gathered some unhealthy and unwanted negative attention because I did not fit in with my peers – my spiritual leanings were much stronger and more focused than theirs.  I’d venture to guess they still are.  However, just before I turned 18, I had my first real, personal, brush with mortality, in the form of the bone tumor in my left leg.  I was on active duty in the US Army, and progressing through a development regimen that was contracted to culminate in Special Forces training.  On the day of the surgery, I went from being as close to an ideal man as I could hope to be, to being someone who would never again be physically exceptional in any way.  I’ve struggled long and hard with that, and still do.  This is expressed by the frequent dream of being Superman – it is my innermost greatest dream to reclaim what was lost in the surgery suite that day.

Let me share something from Joseph Campbell’s book “The Power of Myth”.  This book is a running transcript of an interview between Bill Moyers and Joseph Campbell, and I wholeheartedly recommend reading it – again if you’ve read it before.  I’m on my 4th reading.

Moyers:  A man once told me that he didn’t remember dreaming until he retired.  Suddenly, having no place to focus his energy, he began to dream, and dream, and dream.  Do you think that we tend to overlook the significance of dreaming in our modern society?

Campbell:  Ever since Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams was published, there has been a recognition of the importance of dreams. But even before that there were dream interpretations.  People had superstitious notions about dreams – for example, “Something is going to happen because I dreamed it is going to happen.”

Moyers:  Why is myth different from a dream?

Campbell: Oh, because a dream is a personal experience of that deep, dark ground that is the support of our conscious lives, and a myth is the society’s dream.  The myth is the public dream and the dream is the private myth.  If your private myth, your dream, happens to coincide with that of the society, you are in good accord with your group.  If it isn’t, you’ve got an adventure in the dark forest ahead of you.

Moyers:  So if my private dreams are in accord with the public mythology, I’m more likely to live healthily in that society.  But if my private dreams are out of step with the public –

Campbell:  — you’ll be in trouble.  If you’re forced to live in that system, you’ll be a neurotic.

Moyers:  But aren’t many visionaries and even leaders close to the edge of neuroticism?

Campbell:  Yes, they are.

Moyers:  How do you explain that?

Campbell:  They’ve moved out of the society that would have protected them, and into the dark forest, into the world of fire, of original experience.  Original experience has not been interpreted for you, and so you’ve to work out your life for yourself.  Either you can take it or you can’t.  You don’t have to go far off the interpreted path to find yourself in very difficult situations.  The courage to face the trials and to bring a whole new body of possibilities into the field of interpreted experience for other people to experience —- that is the hero’s deed.

I’m not trying to say that I’m some sort of hero, just because I’m out of step with mainstream society.  Nor am I saying that I should be a leader.  But, mainstream society is not built out of leaders and heroes – it is built out of sheep.  Followers.  People who prefer conformity to adventure because it is safe.

Incidentally, that is why Hollywood makes hundreds of millions of dollars for mass producing epic adventure stories on film.  It gives the sheep the experience of adventure without the risk or the societal estrangement.  For sheep, it is the perfect escape.

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Saturday Posts . . .

WARNING:

No matter what you’re political ideas are,

unless you are actively engaged in dismantling the Status Quo

AND the Powers-That-Be,

You are already a part of the collective.

borg-queenImage available at: http://www.startrekdesktopwallpaper.com/new_wallpaper/Star_Trek_BorgQueen_freecomputerdesktopwallpaper_1920.shtml

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

New Year Resolutions?

During this last week of 2016, many people’s thoughts are turning towards the annual “New Year Resolution” ritual.  Millions will make anywhere from a few to dozens of decisions about how to change their lives for the better – and if history is any indication, 98% of all resolutions will be in the waste bin before the new POTUS is sworn in.

So, I have been thinking about life itself for some time, and I’ve noticed something.  Ever since the early ’80’s there has been a trend of people demanding ever more of themselves, and businesses demanding ever more of their employees.  This inevitably results in people multi-tasking (trying to do several things at once, like a woman driving her car while eating breakfast and using the rear-view mirror to put on her makeup).  I’ve even seen people BRAG about how much they can get done by trying to multi-task.

I have news for you.  NOTHING in this world is designed to help you become a better version of yourself.  Nowhere is that more true than the pressure to multitask, because every self-help and spiritual growth guide I’ve ever read said that the key to growth is being ever-present in NOW.  You absolutely must focus on ONLY what you are now doing.  That means if you are eating breakfast, you are only eating breakfast.  Your mind can’t be on the business meeting you have scheduled for 1330 hrs., or reminding yourself of the parent/teacher conference you have tomorrow morning, or Aunt Bigear’s birthday next week.

So, if there is only room in your NYR’s for one resolution that you might have a chance to actually keep – I’d challenge you to start learning to focus.  Do ONLY one thing at a time, do it to your very best, and do it completely so that when you move to your next task, you have no reason to continue thinking about the one just completed.  Use a list or computer scheduler to keep track of what needs done, so you don’t have to keep thinking about what else you could be trying to do. Who knows, you might even learn that you are getting more done, and doing better work could even get you that promotion at your job!

My bear to cross . . .

When I was growing up as a child in a small Kansas town where EVERYONE was a member of one or the other of two churches, one thing I heard people say from time to time was, “This is my cross to bear” – by which I understood them to be saying that some burden was theirs to deal with.  Nobody could help, and the problem might never go away.  Much like Jesus on his way to Calvary.

Well, in circles of those who seek spiritual growth, there is a similar notion – that the universe seeks balance, and those who seek spiritual growth may be “balanced” by physical limitations or self-imposed restrictions.

I’m facing a growing awareness that this may be exactly the description of my own physical limits since the bone tumor in my leg back in 1980.  The arthritis (which the No Grain, No Pain book describes as an auto-immune disorder caused by intestinal leaking after prolonged NSAID pain killer use) is going systemic, my migraines are taking on extra symptoms (by which I mean that the 3 classic symptoms that earn a headache the term “migraine” are now arriving in pairs) and my physical strength is declining despite my workout program.  No, not the strength – the endurance.  I have no energy reserves.

I’m not saying all of this to wave a white-flag, or imply that I’m giving up.  I fully intend to keep trying to heal my body. It just seems that every time I take one action to fix one area of my health, it throws another out of balance and my health in that area declines.

I just have to accept – in advance – that it may be a fools errand, and be prepared to live with that.  With my family genetics, it is entirely possible that I have another 30-50 years to live, so accepting this “as it is” while seeking ways to make my life and this world better are key ideas to balance against each other for inner peace.  I think.

Repeating dream . . .

The first time I had this dream was last Friday.  I’ve had it 3 times since.

Honestly, I am not sure if it should be classed as a dream or a nightmare.  The emotions it invokes are intense, but nothing that is actually bad happens, and part of it is pretty cool.

First off – there is NO WAY it could happen in the life I have now.  In the dream, I’m between 8-12 years old, and in a public school.  Since, as I write this, I am less than a month away from turning 54, that just isn’t going to happen.  I suppose it “could” be a peek at my next life – with a half-dozen caveats to the laws of physics.  Oh, and then there is the whole gender thing – in the dream I’m a girl.

Ok, I’ll share the dream.

I’m sitting at my desk, in the middle of the classroom.  There are about 20-30 other kids in the class, and the teacher is a woman in her 40’s.  There is a lot of excitement in the room, as today is the last day of school for the term, and we’re about to take our final exams.  One entire wall has windows along the full length, and all are open about half way, with no screens covering them.  There are large black boards at the front and back of the classroom.

The teacher stands from her desk and announces that the finals will be taken one-at-a-time, and will be oral.  Then she tells everyone to file into the coat closet – except me.  I’m to report to the principal’s office.

I’m completely unaware of having done anything wrong, so I ask why I’m being sent to the principal’s office.  She states that it is to prevent cheating, and I pop a gasket. “Cheating?  ME?  You’re worried about ME cheating?  I’ve never once cheated, nor helped anyone else cheat, and you’re worried about me?  I go to Sunday School with them (indicating the other kids)  – I know what they believe and are capable of.  I AM NOT THE ONE TO WORRY ABOUT!”

Not only does my voice slowly increase in volume throughout that short speech, but I’m unaware until it is through that I’ve been gaining altitude as well.  By the end, my feet are level with the top of my desk, but I’m not standing on anything.  I’m floating.  Weirdly, when I realize this, my reaction is that it is as natural as breathing.  I look at all the kids, back to the teacher, and just accept it as what is – then I tell the teacher one last thing.  “I don’t care what grade you give me, because I’m NEVER coming back here.”  Then I fly out the window.

Saturday Posts . . .

Today I’m doing something a little different.  Instead of one of my usual graphics about something thought-provoking or humorous, I’ve opted to actually write something.  One of my recent posts (7/16) had the honor of a dear friend telling me that it “shifted my viewpoint” – and this is, in my humble opinion, the ultimate goal of every person who shares spiritual ideas or life insights with others.  Each and every one of us who is on a life path to grow as a being cares first about making our own growth continue, but when we can succeed in helping another who is also trying to grow it is awesome!

Anyhow, one of the places that I look to for helpful ideas and products to further my self-help practice is Mindvalley.com.  They are totally focused on individual spiritual growth products, and some of their blogs do shift MY viewpoints.  I recently got an email from one of their staff – you and I would call her a “customer service representative” – and something jumped out and wouldn’t let go of my attention until I acknowledged it.

When she signed off on the email, she gave her name and job title.  It was the job title that got my attention.  Chief Happiness Manager – that was her title.

Wouldn’t it be great if we were all “Happiness Managers” – and we all stopped “doing jobs” and started making it our job, no matter what it was, about ensuring the happiness of those we encounter?  Not just putting our own best foot forward, but helping others to put their own forward as well?  I know my friend does this – everything about her job (and her husband’s, for that matter) is about finding ways to make the lives of other people better.  Not in her opinion, but THEIRS.  She is so good at doing this that you begin to feel more at peace just by being in the same room with her.

This world needs a LOT more of that.  Let’s all be “Happiness Managers”.  Stop trying to be at the front of the line – at the checkout or the traffic light.  Stop trying to force others to see that we’re right, and try making them feel secure that they are right FOR THEM.  Make it your daily mission to put a genuine, heart-felt smile on other people’s faces, or find a way to make the burden they carry lighter.