Guest Writers Category

Dear Cousin

Dear Cousin

Dear Cousin,

Right after I noted down the beginnings of the below, your Pastor Karen, who you have spoken of so well, popped into my mind, including your mention that she sometimes quotes Richard Rohr…

I wonder if you might pass this on to her, in case she might be interested in exploring what I’m attempting to say…? Realizing I’m probably being overly presumptuous, I’d really be interested in hearing Karen speak to where my words are trying to point to, perhaps even in one of her sermons…? If she were to do so, and I had some prior knowledge, I’d attempt to listen live, or for sure to a recording later…?

I’m more than a little curious how she might understand any of this, and, assuming she finds value, also how she might render some of these pointings to her congregation, who are almost certainly much more culturally mainstream and “Christian” than the sorts of people I generally hang out with in these ways…

It’s sorta synchronistic that while I was in the midst of editing this I watched “Chocolat”, which you told me Karen recently used as a teaching context, and that my sense of the movie kind of correlates with some of what is being suggested here…

Starting with Richard Rohr’s; “God loves us by becoming us…”

As beautiful as these words are in their most obvious meaning, I believe they also include some deeper dimensions of understanding that many people are not yet able (or prepared) to hear…?

I believe they are also saying that God, and therefore the actuality and power of God’s Love, which is not separate from or other than God, is all about becoming conscious of Herself through, and as, humans…

And because all of this ever extending, unfolding, multidimensional existence is circular as well as directional (think of an ever widening extending spiral that is not just of time and space but of larger dimensions as well), these words, that “God loves us by becoming us,” are also all about us, through God, becoming conscious participants in this very incredible and rather amazing play of life that we are all of us a part of, beginning right here on our very own planet we call Earth, revolving around a star we call the Sun, in a galaxy we call the Milky Way…

And that, by the very nature of what is an infinitely and eternally interconnected and interdependent manifest existence, all of life on Earth is actually also becoming conscious, with, as, and through us…. That this gift of God to us humans is actually God’s gift to all of life here on Earth…

Buddha said it this way; “I and ALL sentient existence has awakened…”

In other words, through each one of us, through all of us, and through all these infinitely unfolding ways that life on Earth is coming into and out of form, we are called to share, dance, play, sing, and in so many other myriad ways, collectively share the experience of what is actually a limitless, multidimensional journey of awakening into and as Love…

Not merely share it with each other, but also share it in consciousness with all living beings, all sentient existence, all form, all meaning, all expression, on every level and in every degree and detail, transforming all our made-up beliefs in separation into creation, love, relationship…

And even in the face of ALL the insanity we see all around us and in the world these days, THIS love or gift of God remains true……

Every individual, every relationship, and every collective expression of Goddess being unique in these ways, and yet it is always the same One God, loving Herself into a more and more inclusive awareness of the infinite diversity of what is all also the same One that we also are…

The biblical and Christian ideas of God having become human through Jesus and therefore the arisen Christ, that aspect of humanity that has never not been of Goddess, are all actually pointing to, in some form or another, exactly what is trying to be said here…

Though it seems very few of us here in this made-up world of separation really gets it…

And the great gift of God is that it is always our Choice, our very own Freedom, as extensions of God, Goddess, to allow it to happen, or not… Allow God to become us, become this that we always and already are, and have only forgotten…

God becomes our own becoming, in other words, in Goddess’s own time and ways… Each becoming, as I am calling it here, unique, yet we are always this same One becoming… Similarities, reflections and parallels overflowing, soooo many ways of recognizing each other, here in the midst of this journey of the many as One and the One as many…

My love of Goddess is God’s love of me…

THIS is really what Jesus meant when he told us to give it all away and follow him… Allow God to love us by becoming us…

Let go of everything we believe, be still, and wait forever, for this that we actually always and already are…

Reality is prior to all time and space… As in Jesus’s words, “I am before Abraham was…”

This became a lot more than what I shared with you over the phone… Hopefully not too much for your pastor maybe… No knowing…

I Failed the Test

I Failed the Test

A friend is grieving the loss of her mom.

Another friend just had to put her puppy to sleep.

And another friend is battling illness.

I find it somewhat easy to mourn with those who are mourning but when it comes to celebrating with those who celebrate, I’m not very good.

A neighbor passed me in the lobby and with great excitement declared, “My taxes are done and I’m so relieved.”

Being the good guy I am I replied, “Wow that’s awesome. Way to go!!”

But my inside voice really said…

“Way to go Mr. Goody-Two-Shoes. Rub it in!”

I was jealous.

Choosing to be mindful of my moments in life, this moment gave me an opportunity to sit in quietness and think.

What I discovered made me uncomfortable.

Why do I find it easier to mourn with those who are mourning but internally I fail at celebrating with those who celebrate?

Could it be that problems play so well with my “let me fix it” narrative?

Or could it be that when others are down I feel better about my life?

Maybe it’s really that I have a level of compassion for people.

But when people celebrate, sometimes I feel jealous.

Sometimes I want to one up the person with my own success story just to prove I have something to celebrate.

I’ve been learning that it’s ok to be present with my successes and my failures.

And because I’m learning to be ok with it, I’ve made it a goal to lean into my weaknesses and my failures, seeing them both as normal parts of my life.

Leaning into this moment of jealousy, I learned that I’m living out my subconscious programming.

I’m reacting to people and situations with little to no thought.

I want to be a better person and better starts with an honest recognition of where I am in life.

Better calls me to forgive myself for those moments of jealousy.

Better reminds that I must think, act, and live like I’ve forgiven myself.

Better invites me to form new habits.

Out of my awareness, I’m choosing to seek out people who are mourning as well as people who are celebrating.

And when I find them, I’m choosing to listen carefully to their stories.

I’m forming the habit of seeing the situation through their eyes.

And when they celebrate, I’m going to put my heart into honestly celebrating with them.

Oh, and if I don’t get all this right the first time, I’m going to have enough patience and grace with myself to move on until I get better at my new habit.

I’m forming this new habit because when I got quiet, this idea came to my mind.

By forming new habits, I change.

When I change, life gets better for everyone around me.

You’re reading this message because you want to be inspired to live a life that makes a difference.

Be quiet.

Listen to what your heart and mind tell you.

Forgive yourself.

Be gracious with yourself.

Let your past be forever in your review mirror and let your eyes be always on the goal of living your best life today.


Living My Best Today

Benefits of Self Care

Benefits of Self Care

I recently wrote an email that encouraged you to BE.

I encouraged you to take care of yourself.
Within 30 minutes of sending that email, these words arrived in my inbox,
“Consider self-care as a way to insist that you matter and are worthy of care.  Make a declaration to practice self-love.  When you tend to yourself you become a person who is vibrant, healthy, passionate and loving.  This state of being encourages relationships to thrive, your health to improve, and creates a sense of purpose.  The ripple effect of this type of action positively impacts those closest to you on many levels.
– CommonHealthy Weekly Update
When I made the decision to BE, encouragement, inspiration, hope, energy and positive people began showing up everywhere I went.
I started attracting the very things I set out to build into my life.
My decision to BE kind, compassionate, courteous, happy, enough attracted some exceptional people into my life.
As a result, my life is rich.  The more inspired I become, the more positive people I attract.
The more people I attract, the bigger the difference I make in the world.
Our world really needs us to make a difference right now.
Our world needs us to care for ourselves so we bring our best to the world.
We need you to know that you are worthy of greatness.
You’re like a sleeping giant, full of love, grace, compassion and potential.  You can change our world one person at a time!
When you live to be kind, compassionate, courteous, loving, and happy, you exponentially attract those things into your life.

Living My Best Today

Making a Difference

Making a Difference

I watched as a young guy with long hair and work clothes talked with a homeless man on the side of the street.

I couldn’t believe a twenty something guy would bother. Everything I’ve heard about this generation tells me they ain’t got it in them.

But what happened next moved me.

The young guy walked across the street and into McDonalds before reappearing with a bag full of food and a drink for the homeless guy.

With a smile on his face, the homeless guy looked like he’d just received a prize. Someone noticed him.

When I get too preoccupied with life, I fail to notice the people and opportunities around me.

Something as simple as a smile, a thank you, an email, a text, a phone call, or a gesture that says, “You go first” makes a difference.

Yet we’re quick to discount these as too small to matter so we don’t bother. But that’s an excuse.

The last few years have proven that we’re lonely. We’re scared. Things are consuming our minds to the point we feel like giving up.

Then comes the email.

The text arrives.

The phone rings.

The invite comes in the mail.

The friend shows up.

Our spirit is lifted and for a second, we feel alive. Someone thought of us and we feel valued.

The next time you think it’s only the big things that matter in life, think again.

You have what it takes to make a difference in someone’s life today.

This is your opportunity to walk across the street and make someone’s day.

I’m glad I witnessed that young man making a difference. I hope to hear that you make a difference as well.

Go For It!!

Living My Best Day

Environments Matter

Environments Matter

I went to the auto repair shop to have my car looked at for a possible repair. I’d had my car at this place several times before.

I walked in on a situation.

The owner was publicly berating three of his employees with no concern for anyone in the building.

Several months ago I decided to take my environments seriously.

If the environment isn’t positively adding to my life, I change my environment.

This repair shop was an ongoing negative environment.

So I changed environments. I never went back.

Environments either energize you and build you up or they pull you down and drain you.

You live, sleep and work in an environment.

Too much chaos, clutter and disorganization and you’ll find yourself exhausted just looking at it.

You associate with people who make up environments.

Too many negative attitudes, complaints, fault-finding and you’ll find yourself sinking into despair.

Communities are environments because they take on personalities and mindsets that are obvious if you pay attention.

Some people and some communities are competitive, negative and operate from a scarcity mindset.

Others are full of energy and see the possibilities all around them.

If you find yourself sinking emotionally, check your environments.

Two days ago I took my car to a new location within the same company I had left.

The guy who checked in my car was friendly, pleasant, and seemed to actually like his job.

The owner was behind the counter noticeably encouraging his employees.

I actually heard him tell two different employees, “Thanks for a great job today. I’m glad you’re here!”

When the pizza and subs arrived, I found out this was a regular occurrence. The owner takes care of his employees.

When I was handed my keys, the owner asked how satisfied I was with the time it took to work on my car.

By changing this one environment, my life is less stressful.

Overwhelmed by stress, clutter, negativity, and demanding people?

Check your environments and see what needs to change.

Take care of yourself so you can make a difference.

Be kind.

Be happy.

The world needs the best of you right now.


Living My Best Today

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