What value the human? (2) – The disassembly of consent

Part 2 of a series about the effects of present day technology on the individual and the group consciousness:

Source: What value the human? (2) – The disassembly of consent

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Where are we going?

A must read about the state of the human race and why we need to change they way we think and act:

Source: Where are we going?

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It could have been worse

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I had been looking forward to this week, in the middle of the summer, since the middle of winter. Not because I was going anywhere, but because my children were. It was to be my one week all to myself, if you don’t count four-leggeds who live with me, but the fates had a different plan.

I spent last week with my daughter when she wasn’t hanging out with friends, or at her twice-a-week soccer bootcamp. We had a few rare moments together, which included an outing to her favorite restaurant where she happily ate eggs bennie with a mug of forbidden coffee.

My son was at basketball camp.

Then, over the weekend, he went to his buddy’s birthday party where eight boys camped out in a tent and maybe got a combined two-hours of sleep.

I should have know by then things might not go according to plan…

After pick-up on Sunday morning, I drove my very tired, but happy, son home where promptly took a shower and went to bed.

Five hours later, the dog barked at the neighbor’s cat and woke him before I could. I didn’t want him to sleep the day, and then not the night.

Monday morning brought a cold rain, and I made breakfasts and packed lunches for my two children as they prepared for their days at camp. I knew my daughter would be fine, she’d had a relatively relaxing week and weekend, and her camp was going to be indoors. Based on the forecast, I was hoping for a good dose of common sense on the part of my son’s counselors, even though he was supposed to be playing baseball.

After dropping off six children (only two of them mine) to their respective camps, I made my way back home.  I had five hours before I needed to get back in the car for pick-up. The majority of which I spent staring at two computers, one containing my manuscript, the other YouTube tutorials on how to format it into a book. After three hours I started to get nauseous from turning my head back and forth from screen to screen, and holding my breath every time I made a change, so I put it aside. I ate lunch, puttered around the house, checked social media, and headed back out into the cold rain to pick up the six kids I had brought to camp.

While I drove, the nagging worry I held in my gut all day started to itch for release. I really hope they kept the kids inside, I kept telling myself, until I pulled into the driveway of the fields and realized there were no kids to be found.

“They’ve got them at the field house,” one parent revealed, “They’re walking down now.” In the pouring rain. My daughter was at the field house across campus, I knew how far a walk it was.

Five minutes later, the groups of boys started appearing. Some of them wore caps, some of them worse sweatshirts. Some of them were simply dripping rain over t-shirts. When I saw my son, he looked unhappy. Miserable might be a more apt word. His blue sweatshirt was hanging with the weight of water off his shoulders, and his red hat was leaking rain down his hair (from the inside). His summer skin was a ghostly white.

By the time I got him in the car, 10-15 minutes later, after the counselors had given out the two “camper of the day” awards, my son was shivering for warmth. I handed him the mug of hot chocolate I had bought on my way to get him, and turned the heater of his seat on. “I can’t get warm,” he kept telling me as he gulped his hot chocolate down. It turns out they had spent the morning outside, in the pouring, cold rain, the afternoon mostly indoors, where they never fully dried out, then walked across campus, in the pouring cold rain, back to the ballfields for pickup. Why they never thought to keep the kids inside, or to at least call the parents for pickup at the field-house at the end of the day, I can’t tell you. But it could have been worse. They could have kept them out all day.

And, my son could have come down with pneumonia or mono, instead of strep. But I didn’t know that until today.

Monday night brought a fever, and after picking at his dinner, my son went to bed. Tuesday morning he slept in, and when he woke his forehead still felt warm. The thermometer read 100.4. I breathed a sigh of relief. It could have been worse.

We spent the day inside, my son sleeping, not eating much, and playing a little on his PS4.  After a shower, it was another early-to-bed for him. When he woke this morning, he ate half a bagel with some juice and told me his stomach was bothering him, but his temperature was down to 99.7. It could have been worse, but I suspected strep.

At 11am the rapid test taken at the doctor’s office confirmed my suspicion, and I breathed a rather large sigh of relief. It could have been much worse.

It hardly mattered, after that, that my son threw up all over the living room floor, his socks and the bottom half of the (new) sofa after I got him home,  because I knew he would be feeling better soon enough, and that it could have been much worse.

He’s now napping upstairs, and I’m waiting for my daughter to be driven home from camp. All four bathrooms have been cleaned. Another load of laundry has been washed and hung outside to dry in the sun that decided to break apart two days of clouds, and I am feeling grateful because it could have been worse. Much worse. And, maybe by Friday, my son will be well enough to sneak out to our favorite restaurant for some french toast before his sister gets home from camp.

 

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The Climb of Life

I thought, naively, that it would get easier once I reached the teachings of the third-degree, but that of course was the wish of the fool. The path back to self is not for the faint of heart. One must sign-up for the long haul over treacherous terrain. The stumbles speak of resistance to the fall, yet who doesn’t stumble? This is not a dive off a cliff into icy waters to over-come fear in one brave leap. No, this is the walk of the conscious placement of feet while knowing that the ground may give way at any moment to quicksand. That at every bend in the road, one might find a monster from the past, reminding you of what you have not let go.

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The Fool card in The Rider Tarot Deck

We are birthed to experience separation, but life is not actually about the survival of the fittest. No, Darwin had it wrong. This is not about whose genes are superior, for no one is selected out. We can pretend we are immune to the darkness that haunts us as we walk through life. We can pretend we have control over our steps, which are always one step ahead of our shadows, but that too is the walk of the fool.

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The Five of Pentacles card in The Rider Tarot Deck

Shadows lurk until we shine the light of awareness upon them. They feed on our thoughts and our dreams, draining the light within until the darkness dims the soul’s truth. Eventually we must surrender.

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The Nine of Swords in The Rider Tarot Deck

The demon is always within. All else is an illusion. You can pretend it wears the face of the other, but you can only lie to the soul for so long. Growth withers in darkness, yet somehow most of us learn to shun the light. We forget that the light without is also within. That there is, in fact, no separation. After we are birthed into the world we fall prey to pride, telling ourselves, “Ahaha, I can do this alone. Look at me!”

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The Five of Swords in The Rider Tarot Deck

We look at each other and say, “Look at me. Look at you. We are not the same.” Inside our minds we draw up comparisons and place ranks. Yet the soul knows no division. It knows only unity.

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The Sun card in The Rider Tarot Deck

You’d think it would be easy, this coming back home to the core. To the truth. Who doesn’t want to experience the harmonious state of oneness. Of a state that is of joy, peace, and grace? Yet we cling to the past. To what we have learned through separation. We cling to the hurts and the perceived injustices. To the what-ifs and have-nots. We cling to the not-good-enough and the I-want-more. We believe life is a struggle for survival, a constant climb to get to the top, not realizing that once we get to the “top,” we must fall back down.

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The Tower card in The Rider Tarot Deck

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The Moon-Child

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The moon-child forgot who she was before she turned three suns. In her time of  forgetting, she mapped the stars with rocks in the dirt below her feet, and played with the rainbow of light around her growing body. When the birds flew down to watch her, the moon-child hummed their songs deep within her throat. Sometimes she would even sing.

One day, when she was playing with the trees’ broken fingers, drawing spirals in the Earth’s brown body, the moon-child learned about silence. The rays of solar light were too glorious to ignore, and the moon-child rose from her crouch, threw the tree-fingers to the side, and began to dance. Her orange dress caught the waves of the wind as the moon-child wove the golden light around her. She raised her face to the sky and opened the mirrors of her eyes to absorb the endless blue. Laughter bubbled up from her belly and tipped the flap of her throat until it released her air.

The moon-child, too absorbed with the sky, didn’t see the tree-finger next to her dancing feet, and when she twirled, one last time, she stumbled her tender body over the rough limb. Down the moon-child fell, like a tiny comet, rolling into a ball over her bleeding skin.

It was the first time the moon-child saw her body release a red river and she became filled with fear. Her small lips opened in a cry to her Earth-mother. Over and over she cried out her name, until her voice grew faint with frustration. Before she gave up her voice, the moon-child grew angry, and stamped her bare feet on the hard ground until her wounded toe bled a small stream of red into the dirt. “Ouch,” she cried out, remembering her pain.

Once again, the moon-child began calling out for her Earth-mother to help her. She wanted to be held. To be loved. To be told everything was going to be okay. She wanted her Earth-mother to cradle her in her arms and make the hurt disappear along with the red stream leaking from her body. When she again paused to listen for a response, her ears heard only silence. Even the birds had stopped singing.

The moon-child didn’t know that her Earth-mother had chosen to sleep away the day, and heard her cries only as a dream. And so, the moon-child also learned about abandonment.

Days passed into troubled nights, and the moon-child stopped dancing in the golden light of the sun. When she traced shapes in the dirt with tree-fingers, she began to forget their origins. Although the birds still settled nearby to watch, and to sing to her, the moon-child stopped singing back. They are not singing for me, she told herself. They are singing for each other. They do not see me. No one does. Not even my Earth-mother who is always asleep when I need her most. 

At night, when her Earth-mother left their cabin and it was her turn to sleep, the moon-child gazed at the white light in the sky that slowly grew from nothing into a large white circle, then back down to nothing, as though it was playing peek-a-boo with her.  Where do you go? she wondered when the body of light disappeared behind the veil of darkness. Take me with you! she whispered into the inky air as she imagined her body sailing through the dark sea on a path of stars to get to back home.

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Finding Magic in the Land: Mt. Cardigan

At the ancient stone circles in the United Kingdom, the shape of the stones often mirrors the surrounding land. It’s both awe-inspiring and eerie. The magic held inside the sacred structures, which extend far, far beyond the more widely visited circles, is quite something to behold. I have written of this before in posts that speak of the magic, and also of the deep longing and sense of home I feel in these sacred places. Living in New Hampshire, where the land, itself, is no less ancient, but the magic has always felt more illusive and gentle, at best, I have recently made a vow with myself to find it. It seems necessary, vital almost.

A couple of weeks ago, I hiked Mt. Cardigan with a friend of mine. Being a long distance runner, who regularly runs 50 miles through mountainous terrain for pleasure, she does not adhere to a leisurely walking pace. Not that walking up a mountain is all that leisurely, but you can understand that it would not be particularly easy to pause and look. To really take in the surroundings, and the feel of land. Not that I had told her I wanted to. We were here to hike, and so we did. Besides, it was a beautiful day and the mountain trail was filled with people.

I would have to wait until we reached the summit to stop and take note. Although it was a beautiful, partly sunny day, it was very windy on the top of the mountain, whose granite peak is exposed to the element in a way that leads one feeling uncomfortable and a bit raw. Like you could blow over the edge if you didn’t watch your step. There is also nowhere to really sit, comfortably. But we made do, finding a fairly sheltered cove where we could eat our sandwiches and chat while our behinds gradually went numb against the granite ledge.

I noticed the tiny bird from the corner of my eye almost immediately. It looked like a junco, with its white breast and gray-black over-coat, but I could not be sure. It stayed just far enough away so that it could be sure I was aware. Looking over at us often. It was the only bird, as far as I could tell, on the mountaintop, and its attention was clearly focused our way.

Because I do not see this particular friend often, and we always have a lot of catching up to do, I tried to devote my focus primarily on her, and our conversation, but the bird kept its watch, and I noted its presence from the corner of my eye. When we rose to prepare our descent, I took a photograph of our winged friend, and noted only later, what the image exposed.

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Our winged friend looks out from the edge of the heart-shaped stone

A few more photographs were snapped as I tried to get a panoramic copy of the landscape around the mountain without, once again, really knowing what the images might later reveal.

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The heart-stone (to the left) mirrors a heart-lake in the land below (to the right)

The truth is, it took me a couple of flips through the uploaded photographs later, to realize I had captured an image of the heart-stone with a heart-shaped lake in the distance. They are almost mirror images. The bird, it seemed from the earlier photograph, had been pointing the way. If you read any of the posts by the directors of the Silent Eye School of Consciousness, this phenomenon of birds at sacred sites in the United Kingdom is not uncommon.

On the way down from Mt. Cardigan, my eye caught upon a large round boulder. “I need to take a picture,” I told my friend so she would pause.  I was pretty sure I had found the guardian of the mountain. A guardian, apparently, with a sense of humor.

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The guardian? 

Although I did not get a chance to do a thorough search of the mountaintop, this boulder appeared noticeably to stand alone amid the curved, flat surface of the peak. Upon closer study of the non-cropped photograph, I noticed it had some surrounding friends.

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The Guardian and Friends

They’re a little more challenging to see here, but one can make out faces in the raised stones, particularly the two in the foreground.

And, so it seems, I had found a bit of magic during my hike on Mt. Cardigan. To be continued, I hope…

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Labor Pains

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A Girl Named Truth is born into the world

Who would have thought it would be the formatting that would do me in. The simple, yet seemingly impossible task of placing page numbers on the pages as they should properly appear in books. You know, with the roman numerals grandly marking the preface, and the number 1 positioned neatly at the bottom of the first page of chapter 1. Not to mention the alternating headers, with every other page marking the author name and the book’s name. Yet, the melt-down was inevitable at some point. The feeling of being so close to birthing, after having labored for so long, but still having that final lip, or hurdle, removed is something I have experienced before. And, like this birthing, it felt like a failure.

It’s all coming back to me now. The memories of trying to birth my first child into the world without help are in so many ways mirrored in this birthing of my first book. But it goes back much further in time. To the five year old child who knew with a fierce, yet secret conviction that she was here to write books. And even further, to the fetus who knew rejection before birth, and held onto the feeling long after. She holds onto it now. When we hold onto a belief, it becomes our truth, and true to form, that fetus became a child, and later an adult, who experienced multiple forms of rejection. Or so that was her perception.

This birthing has taken, in essence, my lifetime to date. It is my story of truth and all the entanglements that have had to be unwoven, then rewoven in new form, to get there. It took me many years to write and rewrite. Over and over again, in an effort to birth a perfect form, while knowing that perfection is impossible to achieve. It took the acceptance of failure, or at least failure in the form I had always imagined. To set aside the dream of having one’s book accepted and published by a “real” publisher is something I’ve had to accept, only I realize now that I have not fully accept this, which feels like another huge form of rejection. It feels like a failure as a writer, especially perhaps, one who has an MFA. You see, we writers who have been trained to be writers, are conditioned to believe that you are not a real, credible writer, unless you obtain a “real” publisher to support your work.

So that is something else I need to let go of, along with the notion that I have no idea what will happen after I do get over the last, seemingly insurmountable, hurdle to self-publish my book. There is, of course, the possibility of another failure, or at least in my perception, of the book, once birthed, not making its way out into the world. I’m not going to lie, having only a couple of dozen copies of the book purchased will feel like a failure, if that is its fate. Yet, birth it I must. I know I have no choice. It is the fetus, now formed into a full-term baby, pushing its way out of the birthing canal. I can feel its pull to get out of me. It squirms with release, yet there is a lip that pushes against it, holding it back, for now.

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