Similarities

Hi.  I’m a spirit, in the body of a white American male. It doesn’t matter to me if you are a them/they, him/her, he/it/she…Black/White/Yellow/Brown…be happy that I am looking past that anyway.  I’m a spirit in a body, aren’t you too?  I’m a spirit in the body of a straight guy.  Are you?  Yes?  No?  Either we, we’re good in my book.  When we make it matter so damn much how all of these variances and differences define us all, all that we are doing is increasing the amount of time it’s going to take before we see us all as one family.  I don’t know how to fix or repair what’s going on out there right now.  But this is my declaration of affirmation that I don’t believe PEOPLE will generally be kinder to other PEOPLE until we all see that we are ONE.  We’ve got ONE planet.  We’ve got ONE life to live.  We’ve got ONE chance to make it a better place  every time we wake up and all day long.

We need to see each person as a figurehead of ONE instead a representation of an entire species, or gender, or religion.  Haven’t PEOPLE  been at this long enough to reflect and see that division is our collective enemy?   When a PERSON does something that you or our society consider “wrong”… hold that person accountable, but can we all graduate to understanding that each person is an individual, not a spokesperson for an entire class of persons or people or religion?  And know that you too-on a different scale-are also doing and have done MANY things “wrong”.  We can look at any single person’s life and we will find reasons that would make us not wish to associate with that person.  We can find something that will make us want to disassociate ourselves.  Who here is totally innocent?  Besides children and animals?  NOBODY.

We have entered into a dangerous place where being human, having foibles, doing something wrong, is handled from such a state of extreme correctness that the person accused is viewed as less than worthwhile.  Yet, every person sitting at home judging has unclean hands.  Yeah, you know what I am talking about and if you don’t you just aren’t thinking hard enough.  There isn’t one among us who isn’t a spirit in a body doing other things that they are equally justifiably guilty of-it all depends on who is doing the looking.  Environmentally, socially, morally-every one of us is guilty of something on a daily basis in which we do less than we would consider moral, or less than another person would consider moral.  Should we be judged?  Who is equipped to judge us?  By what standard?

A society’s eagerness to judge another and pull them down without weighing the merit of the good that they have done is a most dangerous place to live in.  It’s a symptom of fear.  In a place where the court of public opinion will be enough to condemn a person, anyone can then accuse anyone…make it public enough and the publicity is the weapon itself.  The harm is done before the accused even can read the headlines.  Ethics occurs in tides of moral relativity.  Which way is it going?  All we can do is apply our ethics in a world that does everything it can to lead us astray from morality.  And we can’t just say that people made it that way.  Being in a body, at its most base level is still about survival.  We come here and we can be born into situations that make us thrive, and know no discomfort, but still we are all here surviving, going day to day.  We are all living in times that are more confusing than ever, environmentally, financially, socially…this causes fear and fear leads to the desire to survive. And survival instincts lead to base behaviors: violence, greed, pack mentality, tribalism.

If we want to get past surviving, we need to approach one world/one people thinking.  We can be from an identified gender or religion but eventually we are going to have to give up seeing ourselves as being a part of that because it is still divisive.  Same goes for Black or White, Brown or Yellow. Am I a white man just because I was born this way?  If God wanted me to be born black and you to be born white, then what were we before we got here…and did we just come here to see one another as so very very different?  Do you really think we were put here in different looking bodies just so we could conflate our differences into hatred?  Does that really ring true?  It’s what has happened, but are we not wise enough to do better yet?  Can’t we all be smart enough to subvert the obvious fallacy of difference?  Can’t we all agree that “BEING A HUMAN  IS HARD”?

To me, every person I meet is me, in a different circumstance.  And the only time I catch myself not loving another person is when I forget that…and believe that they are not like me.  If I forget that they are struggling like I have.  If I forget that they have been hated like I have been.  If I forget that they are have a mom or dad or brother or sister or friends.  If I forget that they seek love and safety and food.  If I forget that they are here doing their best to make it through this life.

If I forget all those things, then what I see is: labels and differences

If I forget all those things, then what I see is someone I can pretend I don’t know.

If I forget all those things then I have forgotten how to love.

Our similarities will unite us and the blunt truth is that we have nearly all the same similarities…and the differences are something of the magnitude of one flower being  a different color than another.

 

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About Seekers

What’s the value in saying something about something when you know that you’ll never ever come close to explaining the fullness of what you are speaking about?  That’s a run on sentence AND it’s the reason I quit saying something.  Recently some folks posted something related to me on their FB page.  It was flattering of them to do so. I read what they posted and reflected on what they posted for a number of days now.  The gentleman had posted something I wrote back in 2010 I believe.  Back when I was more actively “teaching” and sharing.  As I read it I was like “who the hell wrote this?”  I didn’t realize it was a quote from me at first…not at all.  To live my life, to be grounded, to join my friends and children in a shared world view, I consciously took another path.  Am I still that same person that wrote those things, with access and connection with all those insights? Yep.  What do I do with it now?  It’s not that it’s buried, just inside.  It’s my inside view now only and I don’t really share it any longer and here’s why, in part, of why…it actually has everything to do with a fellow named Bentinho Massaro, or a lady named Teal Swan or Jeannie Zandi…or many of the other “teachers” whom I came to hear about, email with or watched as people enjoined them back when I was actively teaching.  I began teaching, after my awakening in 2008, close to the same time that many neo western teachers were kicking off.  I began working with people as a healer and counselor in 1993 but it wasn’t until my near death experience in 2008 that I began something that looked quite different.  Shortly though after I began offering retreats, I retreated from teaching. I mostly quit writing as well.  I deleted my old website.

Generalizations, sadly, are sometimes the only way we can tell a story.  We  have to start somewhere.  And my generalization is that I quit teaching because of the seekers.  The power dynamic that happens when I teach or when someone else offers a sort of unstructured teaching, began to stupefy, frustrate and scare me.  What I observed, early on is that the majority of teachers were nearly sociopathic in their inability to truly feel empathy or true caring.  Guilt and remorse takes a backseat to the hope to lead.  To be out front felt like their goal, though not even known to themselves.  They said things that had truth to it, but these truths were also sullied because the person saying them wasn’t living them, hadn’t tested them…it was information, yet delivered like it was love, believed by unquestioning faithful followers.  When the person telling you how you need to live your life doesn’t actually genuinely care about you, and you trust them, then two people are lost, not just one.  I saw so many things about these teachers and I was also plugged into the communities of folks that loved and began to revere these teachers.  I felt like I needed to know how to not become like one of those teachers, because I could feel early on how the manner in which potential students were approaching me in the same fashion…was not going to go well for anyone.

I could blame the teachers for not knowing better I suppose.  But there isn’t anyone to blame.  I didn’t quit because of the teachers though.  It was the students.  The devotees.  The people that filled the rooms without questioning.  What I ran into, even in my own smaller ways of teaching was this truth…people want to give you their power.  Desperately.

If you are tired of reading and want to know my point…that’s it.  People want to give you their power and I wanted them to keep it.  But the paradox was the more I tried to convince them of their own value and to NOT give up their free will to another, the more they’d feel that I was someone that they wanted to throw it onto.

I’ll say it again…people want to find someone to whom they can give control over to.  And yes, that’s a generalization.  Not everyone does.  I sure as hell don’t.  But I can say that there is something about the mindset of a spiritual seeker that is deeply troubling to me in the sense that they seem particularly desperate to partake in this giving away.  And I get it….the longing to feel like you belong, the search for home, absolution, feeling that someone else can carry the burden for you.  But honestly no one alive in a human body can fulfill all those tasks.

I know that  many scandals and cults have arisen and it’s natural to want to lay blame at the feet of the leader.  But think about this…are we really saying that just one person holds all that together?  They don’t.  I have stood or sat in a room and felt it.  Waves of love and adoration and what I could almost call “worship” flooding in my direction.  And honestly, over time, it horrified me.  When I watch people go up to certain gurus after waiting in line for hours just for a hug, it horrifies me.  A person’s willingness to believe that someone is greater than them, more advanced than them, more enlightened, more or just…more…it scares me.  Because what it says about the people is that it could really be anyone up there in front of that room.  It says that the crowd needs a figurehead.  It says that there are people who need the crowd so that they can be the crowds figurehead.

I won’t lie.  Being a figurehead, for anyone, is quite a lovely experience.  Having people hang on your every word, quote you, love you…is temporarily transportive.  It removes you from recognized paths.  It makes you feel that you are special, different, amazing, and many other lofty superlatives.  I am fortunate though in that I seem to love suffering…my own.  The more I taught and extroverted my teaching and insights, the less I could feel the reality of living in a body.  Having devotees and students and people following my words and emailing me from around the world for support…could be a place where I could live inside of.  What were my troubles worth when I was helping so many and revered?  When people referred to me as God Like…and yes, the certainly did, what did that do to me after I climbed down out of the clouds?  It made me feel sick.  Because more than anything what I wanted was for people to see how we are all part of a greater whole.  How together, supporting one another, we are God Like.  True Christianity can happen when there is true community, where there are no higher ups or those in power…but students wanted me to be in power.  What keeps me up at night is how long will it take us, as a species to have sovereignty over ourselves, to have the agency to not have to want to be better than another or less than another?  All suffering stems from that struggle.  So when I read this article https://medium.com/@bescofield/tech-bro-guru-inside-the-sedona-cult-of-bentinho-massaro-a56314f830ef

…I understand it from the perspective that the author didn’t intend.  I am looking at the  photos of all those people holding hands and wondering how we will ever be free of the desire to not see clearly.  It’s a desire to not look, to not know, in exchange for the experience of having no responsibility for our actions.

So when I  hear about just how deeply lost Bentinho Massaro has become, along with others, I am saddened and not surprised.  I am just glad that I regrounded my life.  Bentinho has his own path to walk, his own things to recover from.  Not being a teacher isn’t likely to be one of them though.  Getting that high, is a hard thing to desire to return from.  But we have to also consider that alone in a room he is no one different.  Alone in a field he has only himself to contend with.  Alone with his thoughts, he must find out someday how to live with them when no one is listening any longer.  It’s the crowd that makes his life what it is.  They are in a dance for two….he and them.  I am just glad that it’s a dance I am no longer dancing.

I still do work with people sure.  That’s true.  But what is it like now?  One or two sessions  a year…maybe?  And I love it that way.  Usually it’s someone who is physically dying and just wants to know someone cares, that someone is listening.  No big speeches, no big anythings.  Just two people talking about life at the end of this crazy life.

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You Must Stand

You won’t be able to change.
Not them
or you.
Neither.
It’s all magnets
molecular bonding
adhesive.
As long as you want
them to know the truth
you are lost.
You are nothing
but an orbit
around a lie.
If you need someone
else
to know they are wrong
about your world
you exist
in their world
already.

And I get it.
because what if they are right?
We know it’s wrong.
But when they believe it’s true…
And we care about them,
we doubt ourselves.
How do we fight against
something we can’t hit?
Oh, how we will point to something
they can’t see…
and for how many years?
I think it’s measured
in how well
you thought
you knew them,
and how much
you wish
they could love you
as you love them.
These kinds of losses
are measured in long minutes
all day
in years
that stretch into decades.

Trusting someone
you want to trust…
expecting someone
can look at you and see
who you really are
is second nature
to breathing.
Which is why
when they can’t
you can’t
breathe.

Being invisible
to another…
it’s a one way mirror.
They
are only seeing
their reflection.
They are always speaking
to themselves.
Listen to their accusations
and you’ll hear
the voices they can’t stop hearing.
Look at how they look at you…
as they look at someone
they cast aside
like a forgotten toy
like girl who’s mom
never remembers to pick her up
after school.
Remember this….
they can’t carry it.
When you know
that what they say about you
is false
that’s when you know
that they
can’t
carry it…
they are, without meaning to,
hoping that you will.
And if you do
you are both lost forever.

You have to know
where you stand
even when their
wildest stories
about you
make the sane you
doubt your sanity
even then…
especially then,
you have to stand.

If for no other reason
than to have something positive
come out
of how someone you loved
lost how to love themselves
and told you
it was your fault….
you must stand
even if you
are the only one
who sees it.

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All You Gotta Do

Mostly
it’s like this….
you can’t learn
anything
until you’ve unlearned
just about everything.

I mean, it’s like this…
you can’t fly
when your feet are on the ground.
Everyone knows that.
Why do they keep trying?

What’s in your pockets?
You gonna write
with the pencil you can’t find
or reach out with your feelings
into the universal  mind?

There’s a thrum
and a hop
there’s a beat
that won’t drop
there’s a hammer
that won’t stop
like rain on a mountain of mud
flowing into the creek
looking like blood
the Earth’s drenching in a mortal flood
of people who
won’t
can’t
don’t
wouldn’t
shouldn’t
do a damn right thing
if it hit them on the head
like a Bible book
dropped from the sky,
like a commandment
falling from up on  high
saying “all you gotta do
to not die
is continue
to try”

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Blade

There isn’t a word for it
but I’ll try…

-how was that?

There isn’t a name
that doesn’t separate us…
So, I’m going to quit using them.
It’s okay,
I’ve memorized who we are
and who we were going to be
before I was born.
I just forgot it all
the moment I got here.

The direction
you are going in
is also
going in to you,
changing you from the outside
in
the way square rooms
makes humans
nature’s strangers.

Speaking of cutting the chords…
your knife is dull.
What will you slice with
when you
don’t dare
excise the tethers to
all those well meaning experts
on how you
must be
you?
They are only here
like pumice
and honing oil
asking you
to defend
to push
against the claimless
and unwarranted…
they will be the blocks
to either bludgeon
your mind
or sharpen
your blade.

And your blade
need hurt
no one.
Yet, what also doesn’t hurt
is for them to see
that you have one.

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Through Glass

She waves at him
through glass
and turns.
Not a word
nor gesture more.
An ersatz mother
a world away
seeing her aquarium
son.

As more come to know
and love him
they
come to know
how unkindly
forgotten
he is.

If you believe
that life is beautiful
and fair
you are correct.
If you believe
that life is ugly
and haunting
you are correct…

For I know a good soul
who lost in herself
all that was good
and taught herself
how to pretend
not to notice
and in that necessary
not noticing
forgot her children
her family
her roots…
she’s a stringless kite
a bird that can’t land
legs that won’t stand
a beach with no sand.

I’ve saw her become
a ghost
and haunt the lives
of those she loved.
Through the glass
she sees us
and never questions
why it is
that she can never touch us.

How do you tell
a ghost
they are a ghost
when they are sure
you are not real?

Through the glass
we watch her
not notice us.
To her,
we never were.
It never was.
She’s dreaming
of how it’s all
someone else’s past,
even as we are all
awake…wondering
if it’s humane
to move on
without her.

Do you look over
your shoulder
for your mom
if you know
that she’s
not ever
going to be looking?

I’ve watched the children
roam the castle of our life
following the leftover voice,
the memories of how
things were once sweetly said,
they are thinking,
“surely she too is looking for us”
but up on the parapet,
I see them see
she’s walked off into the woods
she’s on the edge of the moor
blurred
white
ephemeral
floating
in her necessary dream…

Helpfully,
people advise
to turn away
to live with our backs
to it…
but it is the glass through which
we three
see
the world
and nothing ever changes
that.
No matter which direction
we look in…
this loss is not something to
overcome,
but something to be
survived.

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Free

I want to have words.
I want keys
for the locked door,
to
the blocked staircase
to
the tower top
where the stars
wait for their observers
to ask questions.

When the sky wants
to have words
it makes people
like us
with questions
like water
in an Earth shaped bowl
spilling
over
with wisdom
that evaporates
when it strikes
the hot pan of
what we don’t understand
and falls again
rains again
on an unsuspecting
populace.

How few are we?
How many others rest
in this…absurd pretense
of peace,
that is built upon
the backs of strangers
they’ll never meet?

Show me a hand
filled with keys.
The doors must fail.
The people must be free.

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