Mystic Lands series . . .

One of the things my wife and I have been watching lately is a documentary series (available on disc through Netflix) titled Mystic Lands.

It was conceived rather ambitiously for a network TV series (originally airing on the Learning Chanel).  The idea was a 13 episode series looking at numerous different locations of the world, and the spiritual practices that were (or, in some cases, are) practiced there, without cultural bias or prejudice as to the views of the practices being shown.

We’ve seen 4 episodes so far, and I have to say that I think they succeed.  Series director Chip Duncan (who is interviewed about the project in an extra feature on Disc 2) wanted to show spirituality as a potential unifying force of humanity despite the diversity of beliefs, and I respect that view tremendously.

I would choose to phrase it this way: WHAT you practice is not so important as IF that practice means something to you. On the other hand, something being successful as a faith for you is no indicator of it’s rightness for anyone else.  You have a right, and obligation, to do what is right for you, but you have no right or authority to enforce it on anyone else.

Ultimately, your decision to make someplace a spiritual place for you is the only thing that is necessary.  You can make it spiritual just by setting up an altar in a room in your basement.

Painful Intuition

I’m still dealing with a migraine, but this needs to be shared.

I have believed for several years now that intuition, for lack of a better term, is a skill that can be developed.  Oh, and I’ve been actively trying to develop mine, by looking for those times when my “gut feeling” told me one thing was right, and then seeing how things turned out.  Over time, I’ve been learning to trust my instinct, even when the facts of a situation appear to go against it.  That isn’t easy for someone who once (and to some degree still does) venerated SPOCK from Star Trek.

However, the problem with intuition is that when you get one of those feelings, it is tough to explain the idea to someone else, as my little narrative is about to demonstrate.

Re-wind to about 0300 hrs Sunday morning.  I was sitting there playing a video game when I felt a migraine kick in.  It was a real hum dinger, too.  When my wife got up, I had all the lights off except for a table lamp 15 feet away from me, and the TV volume was turned down so low you couldn’t hear the sound at all if you were 10 feet from the TV.  Even with all of that, I was wearing sunglasses.  I’d taken Imitrex AND Excedrin, and still couldn’t relax.  It was THAT bad.  I normally would go to bed at around 0700, but I was up until 1330.

I mostly tossed and turned, not getting any real rest, until my bladder needed relief at almost 2100.  When I got up, one of the first things I noticed was that odd “gut feeling” that something was off.  I couldn’t tell you what it was, but something was wrong.  By the time I got to the living room, I noticed that my wife was about a half-hour into the most recent BATMAN movie (with Christian Bale as BATMAN).  If she’d stayed up to watch the whole thing, it would have been almost 2300 when she went to sleep.  I did a bad job of pointing that out to her, and we had a small spat and then ironed it out.  She went to bed, and I sat there wondering how I could have expressed my concern better.  On went the sunglasses, and I did a bit more gaming.

Then, at about 2345 I noticed what the problem was that had plagued me hours earlier when I got up.

My wife’s bedside alarm clock went off at 0600 Monday morning, and when she sat up I handed her a single AA battery.  She put her glasses on, looked it over, and asked why she needed that.  I whispered that she needed to follow me.

In the living room, her chair sits closest to the wall clock AND the TV.  Due to it’s orientation, her natural habit is to look up at the clock whenever she wants to know the time, even when she’s currently using her laptop.  At 0600 Monday morning, that wall clock still said it was 2048 of the night before, and the second hand was still struggling mightily to complete it’s climb to 2049.  Suddenly she was very glad I’d made an issue of her getting to bed the night before, even if we both still acknowledged that I had done a poor job of it.

After a quick action of replacing the battery, the clock resumed working perfectly.

Spirituality newsletters?

I’ve been reading about spiritual growth, and doing a lot of other “self help” activities, for many years now.  I look back at who and what I was when I started this journey, and I can see some real changes.  I laugh a lot more than I used to, for starters.

However, I’ve noted something recently that really bugs me.  In the last week, I have unsubscribed from at least a dozen different internet newsletters that were pitching themselves as “spiritual growth” or “seekers” newsletters, but were in fact “get rich quick” schemes.  I have no idea how I got on their radar – I’m not interested in becoming an overnight millionaire by taking money from others without a fair exchange.  And I certainly do not see any connection between fast profits and spiritual growth.  IMHO the people advertising such things are con artists and attention whores who know NOTHING about real spiritual growth.

Oh, and just in case you are finding a lot of the same type of stuff in your email in-box, here is a tip.  You can unsubscribe, block, “mark as spam”, or just delete anything that asks you for money as a part of finding spiritual growth.  They never work, and the proof is that the person offering it needs money from you.  Someone who is really enlightened doesn’t need to charge anyone for anything – from their point of view, the universe meets their needs without them having to put any attention on money at all.

More about yesterday’s astrology post . . .

The reading said:

“You’ve also been blessed with Sagittarius rising, which makes you gregarious in nature… or at least, that’s how others see you. You’re a guy who’s well set to outflow, perhaps too well, and inflow may be where you need to focus.

“A whole lot hinges on your communications in the upcoming year especially. The free forecast for you at astro.com goes into this in detail.

“Interestingly, the third house is also about communications. So, in light of this being your “Pisces house”, it’s time to examine how you communicate with the outside world. If you haven’t considered a career in writing, look at this carefully. Something in how you communicate needs to change, and it will transform your life for the better. The sooner you begin these changes, and the more aggressively you go after your (new? recent?) goals in this area, the better. Life will force you to change if you don’t do this self-determinedly… that’s what this Pisces dance is all about.”

My thoughts:

This is a very significant portion of the reading, to me at least. It is true that I’m almost stuck in “outflow” mode – especially when it comes to “Help”. I’m always willing to be of help to others, but not always willing to receive help from others. That latter is particularly true when I’m not able to see some way to give back to the person who is offering help to me. For example, my wife (when we were still dating) quite litterally saved my life by giving me somewhere to move to get away from my mother, who had already caused me one heart attack and had said she would rather me be dead than practicing my chosen religion. However, when Barbara (my wife) offered to let me move in with her, as badly as I needed to get away from my mother, I know I wouldn’t have done it if there wasn’t some way Barbara was going to benefit from the arrangement also.

But, back to the point. I think this may be indicating that I need to spend some time working on helping “ME” over the next 6 – 12 months. I know Fiona Broome didn’t say as much, but since I’m a non-church Scientologist, I feel this means that this year needs to be about me “going up the Bridge” – as any Scientologist would say – which means becoming more spiritually aware and free. To be able to make that happen, I am going to have to make some radical changes, beginning with decreasing the number of activities I’m participating in so that I have time available every day to spend “helping myself.”

Another point that Fiona made was about this coming year being a time to focus on how I communicate, and she said she saw me becoming a writer. Well, I’d say that, within this lifetime, I’ve been a writer for over 37 years (by that, I mean that I know how to write). But, despite always making good grades in creative writing, book reports, speaches & speach writing, and more, I’ve never made even one cent from writing. I’ve tried – sending short stories to official competitions and such, but I’ve never gotten paid in any way. At this point, with so many failures built up, I’m not sure where I would start to even try to go in that direction. I saw that Aisling recommended a couple of resources for writers in a recent post, but I’ve used them before without success. Perhaps it’s just what I’m trying to say, and the editors/judges don’t want to hear it. I don’t know – I’ve never been given any feedback, either.

Well, that’s my 1 cent worth. I know, the old saying is 2 cents, but right now I don’t think this post is worth that much.

Growing pains . . . . . . .

I had a rough night last night, but the results were well worth the lack of sleep. Read on.

I think I said in the post about my purif that I was far from being the most popular kid in my class. At 16 (when my parents divorced and my family moved away) I was still around 5’2″ and perhaps 100#. I was insecure, rebelious, a loner – oh, and let’s not forget that I had spent about 8-10 years making a total fool of myself over a female classmate. Just one.

She was the only member of my class who was smaller than me, and she was beautiful even as a 2nd grader (in my opinion, anyway). When we reached junior high school, she became one of our cheerleaders, and was always either Captain or #2 of the squad. She also never gave me the time of day. I was an annoyance, a pest. If she could have sprayed me with DDT, I think she would have. And I didn’t care.

Now, I’ve had several intimate relationships since I left Lebo. Each was always very dear and special to me, but last night I realized why they all (up to this one I’m in now) ultimately failed.

I had never given up on that first girl who never said a kind word to me.

So, about last night. It started with a dream. Now, I know that LRH doesn’t speak very highly of dreams, but please hold onto your hat and read through this. In the dream, I’m in the locker room back in Lebo, showering alone. I’m tired and sore, like I’ve had a tough workout. I’m also my current (real time) age of 41.

In walks this old flame, wearing exactly what you’d expect her to wear in her home shower. She’s looking pretty good for 42 and being a mom of teenagers, too. Somehow, though, this didn’t turn into an erotic dream. Instead, I’m standing there in a half panic thinking to myself – “Barbara would shoot me if she could see this.” That was when I woke up, still feeling the typical symptoms of a panic. Barbara is my current wife.

LRH once described a dream as the resting mind’s efforts to solve a current problem. So, I had to spend some time trying to figure out what problem that dream was trying to solve.

About a month ago, Barbara and I took a trip back to Lebo, and this old flame was one of two of my old class mates that I talked with while I was there. For the first time that I can remember, she seemed genuinely glad to see me.

So, after waking from that dream, I had to sort out how I felt. It came down to this – I had finally let go of that hope that I would find a way to get the old flame to want me. More importantly, I didn’t want her anymore, because my current marriage means more to me than the childhood fantasy did.

After reaching that cognition, I realized something else. Why she was so friendly. 20+ years ago, I had her on a pedestal, and she was a cheerleader. Now she is a housewife with teenage kids. A soccer mom.  Seeing me, I think, brought back for a moment, the memory of how if felt to her to be on that pedestal. Oh, she’s still shorter than me, too, but now between 4-6 inches shorter. And I probably weigh twice what she does.

Well, that is my story for today.