Saturday, January 18, 2014

Causes Not Symptoms

I work with a large number of recovering addicts and alcoholics by helping them with the underlying causes of their turning to addictive use, rather than approaching their addictive use directly, which, to me, would be addressing the symptom, not the cause.  In addition to addressing drug and alcohol use directly, I work with the recovering addict on things like individuation, love and/or social and spiritual connection .  This approach helps them to lead a happy life, stay away from drugs, and is relatively successful.  On the other hand, the “war on drugs” approaches primarily the symptoms and is relatively unsuccessful.

Friday, January 17, 2014


The conscious mind, as spiritual leaders describe it, is wonderful, but limited and often fear based.  The mind can design computers, judge right and wrong, perform job functions, tell us to brush our teeth, perform scientific studies, provide us with an endless source of entertain-ment, remember the alphabet and tell us to keep our hand off of a hot stove. In short it can tell us how to get along in the physical world.  The conscious mind is also often fear based, so it is important for me to balance it with the absolute, which is love based.  If I balance them, I can be aware that the fears are often totally illusory and due to very transient attachments.
The absolute is also wonderful, it can show us that things like growth, compassion and love have eternal/universal significance and that many other things are important only in that they teach us about things like compassion, love and understanding. Otherwise, as many people have pointed out, things in the created order have little meaning. Existence in the absolute is a meaningful way to spend an eternity with occasional periods of being in physical form. Mystics and many healers get to experience the absolute directly.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Being Right Sized

When I looked up “humility” in the dictionary, the definition that stood out to me was “the lack of pretense”, meaning being right sized with no pretending to be something I am not.  I now work at being right sized, since that seems to work best for myself and those around me.  I am certainly capable of being overly confident or even arrogant, on one extreme, or self-deprecating on the other extreme.  Either extreme reduces my functionality in the world.  I am frequently reminded of the words in the song by Joan Baez that “I’m less than the song I am singing and more than I thought I could be”.  I am clearly less than the power of love, but my capabilities and influence are greater than I thought.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Spiritual Growth

One of the books I am currently reading, The Tibetan Book Of Living And Dying, by Sogyal Rinpoche, makes a big deal out of the importance of having a devotional relationship with some sort of teacher/master/enlightened being/saint/guru, if one is to achieve any sort of advanced spiritual condition.  I have encountered much the same belief in my investigations of other spiritual and religious traditions.  This belief has bothered me some since I have no current earthly teacher or master who is the object of my devotion.  I do receive very clear and precise support and guidance from the Source that I call God, and my devotion to that Source is total.  My teacher/master/enlightened being/saint/guru does not merely represent the Source, for some reason that I do not understand he/she/it is the Source.  That fact scares me and fills me with awe and gratitude.

Monday, January 13, 2014

White Crows

My tendency, what I have learned, is to pay close attention to the exceptions, since the exceptions frequently provide keys to learning.  As a scientist, I was trained to pay closest attention to the central part of the bell curve, the average or normal, an approach that I certainly understand.  However, in order to become aware of human potential, I am better off looking at the exceptions, the mystics, shamans, spiritual leaders, healers, etc.  More recently, I attended a workshop about people doing well and living with AIDS using attitudinal healing techniques, certainly not the norm, but very illustrative of the power of love and human potential. A question that I learned at that workshop is “How many white crows do you have to see before you know that all crows are not black”.  White crows are the exception to the norm, but they show human potential.  I strive to be a white crow.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

A Simple Choice

This morning, I celebrated twenty-nine years of being clean and sober by telling parts of my story at a recovery meeting.  During that meeting, it was pointed out, and it was quite apparent that acts of love and kindness had a cascading effect, meaning that a single act on my part resulted in more than one act of love by the recipient and those acts led to more, etc.  That was nice to hear about, and be a part of.  It feels good to be a channel for that energy (it is clear to me that I am not the source).  Of course, the same cascading effect would be true for acts of anger and aggression, a simple choice.