I messaged the below to my cousin . He was moved to reply with what follows. Other 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
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 I suspect 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 darkness in other words. All of it together a highly refined, programed, and manipulated ignorance.
It is in essence a collective and mutually reinforcing activity based in fear and ignorance and resulting for the most part in hate and violence.
All of which is being used by the rightwing dominant, egoistic, pathological, sociopathic, narcissistic and ignorant “world” view Trump has in the last four years become the most prominent symbolic focal point for, as well as its most highly visible expression and example. Altogether 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.
The 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 she is aligned with have been privatizing the prison system and are attempting to privatize the US Postal Service, is merely another part 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 to control Facebook and social media in general, and the efforts to centralize all the individual data that is accumulating from so many social and media platforms, is exactly the same, efforts to control the minds and thinking of people 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 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 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 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 the routes they have been taught since childhood to believe is the whole of their 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 signs and advertisements in the stations, on the routes, and on the sides of the buses and taxis they take.
It is very difficult and even impossible for most of them to understand a larger and much more natural world and the earth itself that some of us are trying to encourage them to become aware of and begin to act as if they are an integral part of it, because they are.
In other words, a more natural and Life centered world which New York City is, even in its apparent hugeness and dominance, only a very small, extremely distorted, alienated and conflicted, and actually poisonous to what is alive and natural and real, part of.
But because they are so identified with and woven into that poisonous, conflicted alienated world, they find (and feel) anything alternative to it, or that questions it in any persuasive way, to be a very real threat to their own existence.
And so all they can do is respond with fear and anger and hate, because the very idea of a more natural, community and life based social order not alienated from its larger environment seems to threaten everything they have been taught to believe.
What you and I and others similar in so many variable ways, as collective expressions of some larger dimensional realities, see and think and know, and are choosing to believe and join in holding to be true, is actually and very much an existential threat to all such identities of separation and alienation.
Identities of separation in the extremes we are now seeing all over the U.S. and all over the world simply do not and cannot grasp that what they are believing is actually the illusions of an alienated mind lost in beliefs of separation. They will fight, kill and even die rather than allow their beliefs to be challenged, let alone be changed. They have become unable to open their minds and hearts to anything that questions what they have come to believe is the totality of who and what they are.
Death being the ultimate and final illusion of every identity of separation, the belief they are a finite separate body that is apart from others, the environment, the earth, and the universe.
There are no “bad” people, only bad (mistaken) beliefs, and people who have lost themselves in their beliefs. Some people are very, very lost in their beliefs, and have no idea that they and their beliefs are not the same.
And 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 begin to experience themselves as not their beliefs.
Bad beliefs are founded in unconsciousness and attachments to the illusions of separation. Good beliefs are founded in awakening consciousness and interconnection.
All beliefs increase and extend by acting them out, whichever kinds of beliefs they are. Another way of saying this is we create the world we believe in.
The only way someone conditioned like that and to that degree will ever begin to see and think differently is when the real pain of the conflicts, contradictions, limitations and alienating ways of their world view becomes both conscious enough and acute enough that they actually begin on their own to try to find somewhere or something “else.” In other words something “other” than what they have been taught to believe is the only real and true world.
But 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 that seeking to escape their now growing into consciousness pain and alienation they don’t get totally lost in alcohol, drugs, myriad commercialized forms of escapism, and so many extreme reactionary addictions via technologies, ideologies, fundamentalism, violence, terrorism, hate, 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 now lost in deep and profound 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, which their heart of hearts however unconsciously at this point can no longer accept the 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 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 and ideological constructs their fragmented “world” of separation has given them pretty much since they were born, and sort of like move all these fragments of beliefs they have come to believe is who they are around in their heads in deeply conditioned and prescribed ways, and to call that thinking.
No one at all in that two-dimensional world of subjects and masters actually knows how to think. Neither the subjects nor the masters.
What is astonishing is that even today, people young enough to be childhood friends with your kids, and with all the alternative views and actual deeply thoughtful things accessible even if not readily available on the internet, still do not have any idea or experience of what actual thinking or real intelligence is.
Google and Amazon along with so many other major corporate entities have 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 symbols, language, images, beliefs and concepts, equal to FB and rightwing media in similar and different ways.
To use another metaphor, it is like all these rightwing identities of separation have become extreme two-dimensional beings, their so called “thinking” now limited to the flatland of their conditioned symbols, emotions, fears and beliefs, all of which is being shaped and controlled by the masters of these two dimensional “realities.” The “masters” themselves are even more deeply caught in (identified with) the same fear determined flatland ideology that can only react, resist and refuse all real love-based (inclusive) approaches to existence.
All such flatlanders as I am calling them will, if they believe it necessary, attempt to destroy anything or anyone that suggests there is a larger existence than the very flat and narrow one they are so fearfully attached to and identified with.
Democrats and liberals could perhaps be compared to three-dimensional beings. 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 Trump and his cohorts.
And so of course three-dimensional (liberal) reality is presently the right direction. But it is only the right “direction” so to speak here now in the 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 and circumstances the flatland ruling class world view bases its identity upon. It can challenge things as they presently are only so far. It cannot challenge its own three dimensional limits because its whole identity and seeming existence is based on those limits or boundaries, or on its own limited dimensional consciousness in other words.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others like her are four dimensional beings in a sense, in this mingling of metaphors. And all women and men who are waking up.
You and I and others we know are beginning to know 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, because some aspects of our minds have become able to transcend some of the limits of our senses.
Fifth or multi-dimensional ways of being and apprehension include every earlier or preceding dimension as “aspects,” now changed or transformed, because all so-called previous dimensions are now no longer limited by any (of our) identification 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 stepless 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 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.
And doorways perhaps, also… Zen’s Gateless Gate, the end of separation, infinite uniqueness fully realized…
~ John Fridinger
“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 MSN.com 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.