August 2020 Archives



When he (Jesus) tells his closest friends over a last meal to remember whenever they gather around the table together (Luke 22:7-23), he is inviting them to notice the holy in the mundane, to acknowledge his presence in the unremarkable, to make acknowledging him part of the normal rhythm of life.  This is perhaps the greatest challenge we experience along the spiritual journey:  remembering.”  John Pavlovitz
Multidimensional Thinking

Multidimensional Thinking

I messaged the below to my cousin .  He was moved to reply with what follows. More of his writings can be found Here.

As I re-read my “Puzzled” blog post it occurred to me that a great many people, particularly those to whom that post was directed, do not see Trump’s FB posts, tweets, actions, etc. as I was describing them.

An example is a young man who was once close to my sons, and who thought I was “mad” at Mr. Trump after reading something I wrote on my FB timeline. We both agreed that neither of us would see Mr. Trump as the other does, so our respectful exchange was brief.

I still find myself astonished by this kind of blindness, because as I wrote it all seems so “Obvious” to me.

A lot of it is because most all they ever see, for most all their lives is rightwing, fundamentalist and Fox News type “news,” lies and “alternate facts,” including these days all the crap on Facebook and other social media platforms that their own conditioned tendencies and cherished and fearful illusions keep drawing them ever deeper into. Deeper into the beliefs of darkness in other words. All of it together these days being some highly refined, programed, and manipulated ignorance.

It is in essence a collective and mutually reinforcing activity based most of all in fear, and is always accompanied with blind ignorance and extreme beliefs in separation, and nearly always results, unless it is quickly seen through, in hate and violence.

All of which is presently being used by the rightwing dominant, egoistic, pathological, sociopathic, narcissistic and ignorant “world” view Trump has in the last few years become the most prominent symbolic focal point for, as well as its most highly visible expression and example. He is representative of so many other “alternative facts” type folks and similarly aligned sociopathic world views and alliances of alienated and alienating belief, and all the many ways social and mainstream media is being manipulated and distorted by rightwing, extremist, ruling class, criminal, greedy and otherwise nefarious interests.

Trump’s Secretary of Education Betsy Devos’s efforts to destroy public education, in other words turn education and especially early education over to private, corporate and ruling class interests, in the same way the people they are aligned with have been privatizing the prison systems and are attempting to privatize the US Postal Service, is merely another part and example of their joined (as in organized criminal) efforts to make this ignorance and alienation even more widespread, under control, rightwing, and two dimensional.

All the efforts by Facebook and social media, and all seeming “contrary” efforts to control Facebook and social media in general, and the many combined and combining efforts to manipulate and centralize all the individual data that is accumulating from so many social, media and online platforms, is exactly the same, that is efforts to control the minds and thinking of people lost in the beliefs of separation everywhere.

Liberal and “left” ruling class interests are not at all innocent in any of this, but at the moment it is the greed, ignorance and reactionary activities of an organized rightwing criminal fundamentalism that is deeply identified with and therefore mostly instigating, aggravating and determining the extremes we are now seeing everywhere, on every level, and in nearly every sphere.

A metaphor for this manipulated ignorance – it is as if someone is born in “New York City” and has never even seen Central Park let alone experienced upstate NY, farms, forests, the natural world, wilderness, etc. They only know how to get around via subways, taxis, buses and crowded commercial sidewalks, and in a sense go only where all these “manufactured means” go, and even more limitedly, only on those routes they have been taught since childhood to believe is the whole of their own world and therefore all of the “good” world that there is.

In this metaphor these “someones” acquire all their information, beliefs, symbols and language, and therefore their means of “thinking,” from all the corporate owned signs and advertisements in the stations, on the routes and buildings, and on the sides of the buses and taxis they both take and live in the midst of.  Here we can insert Fox News, extreme right wing media, Facebook, Google, oppressive and divisive economic, political and educational systems,  etc., etc.

Within this artificial and all encompassing ideological and becoming ever more digital environment, to continue the metaphor, it is very difficult and even impossible for anyone lost in what I’ll call here the meta belief in the illusion of separation, to actually understand and believe in a fundamentally different, larger, interconnected and interdependent, wholistic and much more natural world, a world in which communal and familial existence is an integral part of all life, and a world where this very earth itself is our larger and very real, collective, interdependent, living body.  A body we are participant in, rather than the rulers of.

Yet we must keep trying to encourage and extend possibilities, for all the many who are lost in alienated and alienating belief systems, to first become aware of, and then discover their own need to act as if they are an integral part of this common world we share with all of life’s expressions, simply because they and we ARE a part of it.

In other words, still within the metaphor, a whole, larger, more natural and Life centered world– a world in which “New York City,” even in all its apparent self centered hugeness and dominance, is just one small, distorted, alienated, conflicted, and actually poisonous to all that is alive, natural and real, part of.

Most people are soooo identified with and woven into that poisonous, conflicted and alienated world that they simply cannot help but believe (feel, fear) that anyone who offers any alternative to it, or who questions it in any sort of persuasive way, must be a very “real” threat to their very own existence.

And so all they can do is respond with fear, anger and hate, because the very idea of a more natural, community centered and interdependent life based social order which is not alienated from its larger environment seems to threaten everything they have been taught to believe they are.

What you and I and others similar, even in the midst of all our so many variable ways, individually as well as in some of our various collective expressions of larger dimensional realities, see and think and know, and most importantly are choosing to believe and join together in recognition of, through so many uniquely different ways, by simply holding it to be true, is a direct, extreme, existential threat to all such identities of separation and alienation.

Identities of separation to the extremes we are now seeing all over the U.S. and the world simply do not and cannot grasp that what they are believing to be true is actually the illusions of a highly conditioned and alienated pseudo-mind deeply lost in its own delusional beliefs in separation.

In other words they cannot grasp that they are imagining themselves to be parts of a larger alienated and deeply conflicted “mind of separation,” a mind that is “made up” out of a collection of separate and deeply conflicted ideologies cemented together, in a sense, by their one universally common agreement, that they are separate. 

And yet that larger human-imagined zeitgeist which is based in the meta belief of separation can only continue for as long as a large majority of humans remain identified with it.

It is being seen now world-wide in increasingly larger and deeper detail, through all the many ways of digital and internet media, that people will fight, kill and even die rather than allow their beliefs to be challenged, let alone change or be changed.

Those who are caught up in the extremes of this alienation have become unable to open their minds and hearts to anything that questions what they have come to believe is the totality of both who and what they are, what and how the world is, and how much they just “must” conflict with and oppose what they see as a hugely hostile and threatening existence.

Yet that “world” they oppose and are in conflict with is paradoxically, hugely, and unconsciously, being projected, reinforced and energized, in all its most extreme illusional and frightening appearances and ways, by their very own beliefs. By their own delusional minds, in other words.

The belief in death being the ultimate and final illusion, delusion, and yet it is the final refuge of every identity of separation.  In other words death seems to “prove” their beliefs that they are a finite, separate and temporary bodies, apart from all others, all bodies, and all things, as well as apart from their environment, the earth, and the whole universe.

There are no “bad” people, only mistaken beliefs and people who have lost themselves in their beliefs.  Sometimes in some rather extreme ways. But mistakes can be corrected.  And yet, as it were, people can be very, very lost in their beliefs, and have no idea that they and their beliefs are not the same.

Some people, because of life circumstances and what I’ll call previous life karma, have a huge lot of extreme belief to work through, before they can even begin to experience themselves as not their beliefs.

“Bad” or more correctly mistaken beliefs are founded in unconscious attachments to the illusions of separation.  Good beliefs, that is beliefs aligned with what is true, are founded in awakening consciousness and what I will call alive, aware, fluid interconnection.

All beliefs will increase and extend and/or become denser or lighter most easily and simply by our acting them out, whichever kinds of beliefs they are.  Good beliefs or “bad” beliefs.  Another way of saying this is we create the world we believe in.

The only way someone conditioned like that, and to the degree we are taking about here, will ever begin to see and think differently will be when the very real pain of the conflicts, contradictions, limitations and alienating ways of their world views becomes both conscious enough and acute enough that they will actually begin on their own to try to find somewhere or something “else” to believe in or join with.  In other words something “other” than what they have been taught and learned to believe is the world.

Yet even then their only hope, and all of our only hopes as earthlings, because there are now so many humans lost in deeply alienated separation identities, will be that, in the process of seeking to escape what is now becoming unavoidably conscious everywhere, all the pain and loneliness (alienation) in other words, is that people don’t get totally lost in alcohol, drugs, myriad commercialized and digitized forms of escapism, and so many other extreme reactionary addictions, via technologies, ideologies, fundamentalism, violence, terrorism, substances, hate, suicide, etc.

And then of course the best hope of all, that they actually come upon something they can relate to and that resonates with their heart of original awareness (Buddhism’s original nature) which is now lost in such deep, profound, and now no longer possible to successfully rationalize, insanity and pain.

Some one, ones, thing or things that will begin to show them little bits and pieces (to begin with) of their own original nature, that which their heart of hearts, however unconsciously at this point, is no longer able to accept what has now become the extreme pain of being separate from. And which the alienated world they were taught to believe they somehow ‘are’ denies even the possibility of, let alone its actual here and now existence, or reality.

Using different metaphors – folks like the person you describe in your message have never learned how to actually think. 

Rather, they have learned only how to “take” the kinds of conditioning and extremely limited and degraded symbols, images, beliefs, ideas, concepts and ideological constructs the fragmented “world” of separation has given them, pretty much since they were born, and use all of that, which they feel and believe is the sum total of both who and what they are and what (and who) the world is, and by moving all the various bits of that chaos around in their heads (imagination), in the form of images, feelings, emotions, words and contracted body sensations, always in deeply conditioned, prescribed and proscribed ways, all the while reaching for what seem to be familiar and comfortable patterns.  This is what most people call thinking.

No one in that two-dimensional world of subjects and masters actually knows how to think. Neither the subjects nor the masters. All of them are lost in the collective identity of separation’s fragmented reality of beliefs, symbols, memories and sensations, with the masters attempting with every power they can muster to control the organization and flow of all the myriad conflicted and conflicting interactive bits and fragments that masquerade as thinking for most people.

What is astonishing is that even today, people young enough to be our kids and grandkids, and with all the alternative views and deeply thoughtful, heart felt things and worlds and ideas accessible and even at times readily available on the internet, still do not have any idea or experience of what actual thinking as an expression of true freedom, or real heart based intelligence, is.

Google and Amazon have also, along with so many other major corporate entities, become a huge part of the problem, competing with each other in the centralization of this global effort to control people’s minds by controlling their fragmented symbols, language, images, beliefs, thoughts, desires, fears, hates, anger, and concepts, equal to FB and all rightwing media in similar and different ways.

To use another metaphor now, it is like all these extreme identities of separation have become devolved two-dimensional beings, their so called “thinking” now limited to the flatland of their conditioned symbols, emotions, fears and beliefs, and all of which is now being shaped and controlled by the masters of two-dimensional “reality.” Yet the “masters” themselves are even more deeply caught in (identified with) the same fear determined and defined flatland ideologies and images that can only react, resist and refuse all real, alive and love-based (inclusive) multidimensional approaches to existence.

All such flatlanders as I am now calling them will, whenever they believe it necessary, attempt to destroy anything or anyone who suggests there is a larger existence very much more real and true than the very flat and narrow existences they are sooo fearfully and desperately attached to and identified with.

Here in our own country some (not many unfortunately) present day democrats and liberals could perhaps be compared to three-dimensional beings in this continuing metaphor. And the conflict between these two-dimensional and three-dimensional realities has been going on for a long, long time. With the flatlanders seeming for the moment to be dominant, via what I’ll call, for the moment, Trump based identities and their similar cohorts.

And so of course three-dimensional (liberal) reality is presently the right direction so to speak.  But it is only the right “direction” here now in these very early 2020s.  It is hugely not enough, because the three-dimensional liberal ruling class world view continues to base far too much of its identity (as in “existence”) upon many of the very same things, circumstances and relative values the flatlander or Republican ruling class world view bases its identity upon. Because they are still invested in two dimensional values in many ways, liberals can challenge things as they presently are only so far.  They cannot challenge their own three dimensional limits because their whole identity and seeming existence is based on some of the same old limits or boundaries, or in other words on the liberal world view’s own still very limited dimensional awareness.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others like her are beginning to discover themselves as four dimensional beings in a sense, to continue to play within this mingling of metaphors. And any and all women and men who are actually waking up.

You and I, and so many others we are beginning to see more and more evidence of everywhere, are beginning to know (and experience) ourselves (and each other) as four and five (or multi) dimensional beings, so to speak.

“Time,” in this mix of metaphor and analogy, is the fourth dimension perceived through three-dimensional (body) senses and concepts, because some aspects of our conscious minds have become able to transcend some of the limits of our body senses.

Every third, fourth or“fifth,” or in other words all multi-dimensional ways of being and apprehension in this metaphor, by necessity and nature, include every earlier or preceding dimension as “aspects,” yet now changed or transformed because they are now part of something larger, and also because all so-called previous dimensions are no longer limited by any serious identifications with them.

Every dimensional shift or lifting of consciousness into the light, in essence awareness realizing itself ever more fully, in the ways I am using these word-concept-metaphors here, is essentially what might be called our step-less steps upon a non-journey of awakening.

We could perhaps say that these multi-dimensional ways, as presented in this writing, is an attempt to describe some of the additional ways of communication you and I have been sharing for a while now. All in the context of an understanding that the Whole of the Universe including each human birth is a conversation most of all, a conversation of Consciousness, or some might say God, with Herself.

And of course, as you know and which I keep reminding us, all this writing here is only pointings, a mingling of metaphors and analogy, windows to see through, with this kind of seeing through these kinds of windows not ever separate from the seen or the seer.

And doorways perhaps, also…  Zen’s Gateless Gate, the end of separation, infinite uniqueness, eventually and fully realized…

~ John Fridinger
Summer/Fall, 2020
Talent, OR



“Both North and South looked to God for meaning, and each side believed—with equal fervor and certitude—that God was on its side.“ Harry S. Stout

Feeling rather plucky, I took the link to an article by The Hill, entitled “Billy Graham’s Granddaughter: Evangelical Leaders are Failing Us by Supporting Trump,” and copy/pasted it in the comment section of one of Mr. Trump’s posts on his FB page.

This is not the first time I have stepped out of my comfort zone, of flying under the radar, and making a ‘controversial’ comment. A person responded by writing one word, “Deceived.” I did think of replying, “yes, you certainly are” but thought my snarkiness was best left unsaid.

Who is deceived? Is she deceived or am I deceived? Or are we both deceived? If there had been social media during the Civil War, would Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Ulysses S. Grant, or Robert E. Lee have been accused of being deceived? I wonder.

But more importantly, if someone is deceived, what is the deception?

“Jesus said repeatedly to defend the poor and show kindness and compassion to those in need. Our president continues to perpetuate an us-versus-them narrative, yet almost all of our church leaders say nothing,” Jerushah Duford

This statement seems perfectly reasonable to me. Where is the duplicity?

According to Mr. Stout and other historians, both the North and South believed God was on their side. Does God even take sides? If so, how does She decide who is right and who is wrong? If not, then why are we as a nation so divided?

“Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not survive.” Matthew 12:25

God does NOT take sides, we do.

We may not be divided geographically—north and south–for this upcoming election, but it certainly appears we are extremely divided religiously and/or politically. If Mr. Trump is to be believed, everything wrong with the country is the Democrats’ fault. From the Government sites I researched, it seems the failure is with the Republican led Senate, namely Mitch McConnell. Have I been deceived by reliable and trustworthy sites, or have others been deceived by the “completely unbiased” Fox News, Breitbart or Prager University?

Back to my original question, who is deceived?

All of us, unless we remember otherwise!

Because “in the beginning” humanity believed the lie that we are alienated/separate from God. As long as we continue to believe in this illusion, the more deluded we will become and the “us-versus-them narrative” will continue unabated.

“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8: 38-29

There is no ‘us’ or ‘them,’ there is only God.

“The orphan is not a cause. The orphan is not an issue. The orphan has a human face, and that face is Galilean. Jesus tells us that when we see the poor, the weak, the vulnerable, the tossed aside, we see Him there.” Henry Harry Duke of Sussex

… or everyone else, for that matter.

“We believe that God sees us from above, but He actually sees us from the inside.” Shams Tabrizi

Shouldn’t this knowing be the fundamental justification for all our decisions?



“Doubt isn’t the sign of a dead faith, not necessarily even of a sickly one.  It’s often the sign of a faith that is allowing itself to be tested, one that is brave enough to see if it can hold up under stress.  God is more than big enough to withstand the weight of your vacillating belief, your part-time skepticism, and even your full-blown faith crises.”  John Pavlovitz, A Bigger Table:  Building Messy, Authentic, and Hopeful Spiritual Community



“We are human beings not human doings.” Dalai Lama

Had it not been for the pandemic, I might not have taken the opportunity to genuinely watch and listen to the seasons change. Living on the east coast of the United States, I have been observant of and awed by the distinct seasonal shifts over time. However, the noticing is more subtle and acute.

For much of the last 40+ years, I have been preoccupied with consumerism—doing and consuming, rather than mindful contemplation. Careers, materialism, raising a family, clubs, volunteering, church, school, sports—none of which are wrong in and of themselves, but can be when we allow any or all to become all-consuming.

Since moving in with my father towards the end of winter, I have been keenly aware of the sights and sounds of cyclical variations. The relative silence of winter beautifully contrasts the birdsongs of Spring. Have you noticed how loud tweeting birds are as they sing to attract their mates? Then as Spring gave way to Summer, the chirping of grasshoppers, crickets and cicadas picked up the melody. What will the sounds of fall be, I wonder?

My mother loved flowers and I would not be surprised if the following was by design on her part–since spring there is always some plant blooming. First to erupt were Hyacinths and Irises; yellow, lavender, and purple blossoms bursting forth. Some of the purple Irises were so dark, they looked iridescently black—absolutely gorgeous.

After the Irises faded pink Cora Bells, White Lilacs, Peonies and various lilies cascaded through her flower beds. As they began to pass, Snapdragons and Resurrection Lilies flowered and have now given way here in late summer to the flowering Butterfly and Crepe Myrtle bushes.

The family of Robins that nested under the porch have flown the coop as well as two broods of cute Carolina Wrens. Delighted by their antics, I miss their winged presence. But I now find myself keeping company with graceful Monarch Butterflies and hovering Dragonflies that frequent the yard.

Gone for four years, my mother left a true living legacy for me and others to enjoy.

“The quote, “Stop and smell the roses,” is often attributed to golfer Walter Hagen in the 1956 book “The Walter Hagen Story” but he didn’t mention roses. The quote: “You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry. Don’t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.

In these days and times, there is much that one could worry about. Perhaps the idea of stopping to smell the roses is not just about “being” but about receiving a gift, whatever the gift may be.

Furthermore, we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called in accordance with his purpose … Romans 8:28

“You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry. Don’t worry.  And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.”

Open your heart.  Receive.  Be.