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Living To Die ~ Dying To Live

Living To Die ~ Dying To Live

 

I’ve just been listening to Cat Steven’s new wee song, Dying To Live ~ Living To Die. It’s really sparked something within me, on this warm, Lincolnshire, blog-writing morning; so here goes.

Many of us are dying to live. We just feel like we haven’t got to a place that can be really called living. If only is the wee phrase that gives it away. If only I’d a better, bigger, whatever. You know how it goes. The advertising industry certainly do for it is their raison d’être. We feel like a glass half empty if we’re lucky. Some of feel drained dry on a permanent basis as we struggle for a drop of life to keep us going. Show me the one who claims to be living life to the full and I’ll show you a liar, be they a hedonistic playboy or a religious zealot. No, not even after some sublime spiritual experiences do we constantly feel fully alive. I reckon, it’s the way it’s been designed, a metaphysical carrot to keep us on the Way.

Our dying to live takes many forms. Ego suggests a whole selection of ways that we can kill ourselves during our earthly sojourn. Addictions, a stream of broken relationships, self-imposed lacks of all kinds appear to be sponsored by our wounded, shame orientated self who confidently declares that we deserve to die. We are often our own firing squad, lining up to fire an assortment of psycho-spiritual weapons that will put us out of our misery. Unfortunately though it doesn’t work. We rise again to go through the whole suicide attempt again.

Let’s face it we are addicted to dying, hoping to prove to ourselves and Other that we are heroes worthy of Love. The gloomy, morose among us are death junkies par excellence. Everything is seen through the lens of death. Trips to the doctor’s surgery a regular ritual, hoping to hear the worst – news that induce pity and some sense of self-worth as we teeter on the brink of space-time.

And yet there is a dying process, one not driven by ego, that does lead to life. It is the awakening process within that unties the bonds of psychological attachments. Let’s just say that ego doesn’t like it at all. It will rant and rave that it alone is the expert in the dying business. Yet, under the guidance and encouragement Spirit Breath, the Intelligent Energy of our Source life-giver, we are led into situations where we go through mini-deaths. Yet these mini-deaths are really portals into a new sense of freedom, not the totality of Life as it shall be, but as it can be here within the constraints of space-time.

If Spirit nudges for us to jump off our personal psycho-spiritual cliffs of attachment then my advice, based on painful experience, is to leap with all one’s might. Divine Presence is always there to work its wonders, to catch and restore those who trust. Letting go of addictive relationships or other psychological crutches is always the path to life, no matter how much ego protests.

The reality in which we find ourselves suggests that we are all living to die. What an absurd thought. We run around like headless chickens for a while before running out of steam and ending up as a cold corpse in the frozen earth or a little urn of ashes to be sprinkled onto a local beauty spot. Could Source really be so cruel. Life seems to be a school which rings the closing bell, sending us into nothingness where the lessons learned will be of no further earthly use. No wonder many great philosophers ended up mad or taking their own lives.

Of course religion weaves its pseudo magic and asks the faithful to embrace suffering and die a thousand deaths daily – all for Jesus. Such a warped mindset has milked death for all it’s worth. Many religious organisations are kept going by the sacrificial endeavours of their members, all in the name of God, though often resulting in manipulation, misery and control. Death cannot be used as a religious tool to keep the flock in line. The dying of ego is a more liberating process than the  numerous self-hating hoops through which we jump in our pursuit of religious reality.

The whole life thing seems to be one great Cosmic joke, a teaser of the cruellest kind. We live to die. Full stop. Some folk appear to accept this and just get on with it. ‘Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die’ is the wisdom of many. It certainly brings a measure of release for some, but niggling in the depths of being the question remains. ‘Is this really all that there is?’

So, I guess if the Nazarene hadn’t turned up and gone through the whole gamut of human existence that I’d join the above club. No matter how wonderful the teaching of the Jewish prophet, it’s only half of the claimed story. Even in our scientific age we can’t get around the big one. Disheartened, fearful men and women, such as ourselves, came bursting out of a Jerusalem safe house to declare that their executed leader was alive and well. Not the kind of thing that disillusioned sect devotees usually get up to. How or what happened to the Nazarene isn’t the topic for this post but rather the answer to the ‘living to die’ downer. ‘Living to die to Live’ seems to be closer to the Divine Mystery. Our conscious Self appears to continue on after ditching this shell-like body. Rather than the end, death is only a beginning.

Try and get hold of Cat’s or Yusaf’s wee song.

❤ Dylan

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The Search For Wholeness

The Search For Wholeness

 

After we realise that we are a separate entity of sorts, following the awakening of infancy, we set off on a journey that lasts a lifetime. An inner angst that all is not quite right drives us along a path that searches for wholeness and completeness.

Of course our newly formed ego pulls out many tricks to try to get us there. For a young child popularity seems to be the golden chalice to return us to our original state. Yet this desire to be number one in the eyes of our playground others just initiates us into a path of conflict and competition, one that can last well into later life. No wholeness there then.

In our teenage years the wonders of sexuality and its promise of a deep union with another, preferably an attractive one, beckons. Sex is the new healer we are told by mass media and the advertising industry. Just find the right sexual partner and all will be well – a libido utopia that promises much but ultimately deceives. For in seeking an appropriate partner to complete us we are actually looking for one with the negatives and positives of our early carers, viz. our parents. Behind the hormonal urges we are looking for a replay of our early wounding and affirmation. Hoping to get it right the second time we project and transfer the memories of past events onto the one before us – our better half as we foolishly believe. Of course reality eventually kicks in and we either settle for separate lives, giving up the dream of marital wholeness, or continue on in a numbing illusion to our end of days.

Of course some of us were sold the god of a particular religion as the key to wholeness. If only we believe and receive the divinity of choice with its rules for right living then all would be well. It certainly works for a while, especially in the heady days of our 20s and 30s. Initiated into an instant family of fellow believers we once more set about the reconstruction job of our early family life. Often the leaders of our local religious brand become our parents in our dance of restitution and recovery with god smiling benignly upon our efforts. Eventually though the old sense of being half-filled returns as our projected parents let us down once more, revealing their fragile feet of clay. Indeed they too are searching for wholeness in their role of leading others. But that is a story for another day.

Of course the pharmaceutical industry jumps in to take the edge of our inner angst, this feeling of  being somehow flawed. Antidepressants, whilst initially helpful in treating our dark depressions can never take us to the place that we desire. Every alternative addiction is tried and found wanting. Initially, tobacco, alcohol, recreational drugs, money, career development etc all promise much but with a heavy price. We feel worse and less of a person than when we started.

So this sounds all rather depressing. Well, yes I guess it is, and yet that is our experience for much of our lives. There will be occasional highs of connectedness and well-being but generally we feel like half a person or three-quarters at best. A little hole resides deep within, one that many of us choose to ignore, for heading there only triggers past pain and rejection.

So can we find a level of wholeness. Well, I believe we can, but it takes courage and dare I say it a measure of madness, according to ego that is. For, rather than trying to move people and things into the missing jig-saw space within our sense of Self, we just let go. Finally getting the message that we just are, Something other moves in like a flood to fill our angst strewn caverns. In giving up, we find what we have always searched for, A Source Presence that holds us in the palm of its hands. The bigger picture that we’ve missed in our days of frantic search. In going through the pain of  fragmentation we come out on the Other side, the Reality behind the screen of isolation and despair. The Cosmic parent who has not cracked our sense of Self through rejection and judgement. Our carer par excellence.

The Nazarene knew what lies beyond and lies within. Our wholeness lies in the depths of spirit under the fear-fuelled world of ego and illusory relationships. It is ours to give; a gift to our space-time Self.

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The Day Love Comes Calling

The Day Love Comes Calling

 

Most of the time we wander through life in a sleepwalk of sorts, bouncing from person to person, desire to desire and our personal addictions, the places of relief where we can get our ego batteries recharged. Shockingly the spiritual or religious among us aren’t really that different. Please let me explain.

The one who has a vested interest in our sleeping state is of course our wounded self or ego. Sworn to protect us from further pain and rejection ego often chooses the sedation of sleep to keep us from the risk of facing our inner pain and its authentic solution. Like zombies we bounce off others without much true feeling, the goal being to conserve our sanity at all costs. Of course, if we belong to a zombie tribe we enjoy the buzz of fellow travellers, the reinforcement of our sleeping state through the camaraderie of our fellow snoozers. We are masters at communal dreams, those roller coaster visions of  Divine moves just around the corner. These dreams make us think we  are bang in the centre of the Divine Will, soldiers in a religious-spiritual army that will soon bring the Kingdom to earth. Yet all is done in a state of sleep with ego smiling benignly on our nocturnal fantasies.

Of course, the depth of sleep is heightened by our subliminal absorption of the desires of others. Infused by the psychic energies of others we foolishly perceive ourselves to be filled with the Divine Spirit, that enthusiasm that drives our personal and communal adventures. Without this constant top up by external desires, we might lie down in a heap and eventually awaken, so ego makes sure we jump straight into the cauldron of our in crowd, those who provide our desire juice. Much religious and spiritual community involvement is the setting for such desire transfers. Our sleep identity within the group is established by the desires of others and if they are happy then so are we. Yet, shockingly desire transfer is the unconscious sleeping pill that keeps us locked into psychic slumbers.

When absorbed desires reach a certain level we are possessed by them. In the sleeping state there is no space between them and our felt identity. We are that desire. It has been incarnated in our psychic skin. This is the stage of addiction, ego’s final and most effective psycho-spiritual tool for keeping us under. As I sit here in my local coffee shop, watching the outside world pass by I see the face of addiction in the obese and smoking folk who stroll by oblivious to their condition. I see a street preacher, ranting and raving at those who quickly run by, avoiding eye contact with the tract distributing zealot. Another addiction, one that ego well and truly trusts to keep us in the hypnotic depths of sleep. These and the vast array of potential addictions just do enough to dull our psychic pain and keep us from awakening to Reality.

Sounds like we are well and truly trapped by the perceived reality around us, one that lulls us into the continual highs and lows of ego-scripted dreams. We are fast asleep and, it would appear, unable to waken ourselves from ego’s seductive sedation. What or perhaps more pertinently, who can awaken us? Well, let me make a somewhat bold assertion. Whilst self-help strategies and other religion-spiritual techniques are useful, I believe that they are only of benefit after a dramatic encounter with Love. In other words they belong to the realm of our post-operative care. No, I believe that Divine Love has an appointment for all of us – a day when it comes calling, whether we like it or not. Having politely knocked at the door of our pained psyche, it will use stronger measures if necessary, all flowing from the nature of its own Being. Many of us have had our psychic doors kicked in, before being hauled off into the Light. A Divine hijacking of sorts!

Initially this crisis event that pulls the mattress from under our sleeping frame is unwanted and perceived as a dark place. Yet, this shadow valley through which we are carried is a necessary stage in our Awakening. For in this place of fear and despair, ego is flushed out and dethroned from its place of control. Often in such a state we believe ourselves to be dying or losing our sanity. The reflex action of ego programmes want us to run or fight, yet we are powerless in the embrace of Divine Love. Like a caring counsellor walking an addict through cold turkey, Presence will be there, though we can’t sense it. Our day has come. We are on our way to a new psycho-spiritual place – a place of freedom and adjustment. A place of health and Self Awareness, the table spread before us in the midst of our psychic fragmentation.

Divine Love has been at this rescue game since time immemorial. It loves nothing as much as going after the ego lamb that has left the security of its flock. Re-centred around the spirit fire of our inner Self, we can rest easy without falling back into the delusions of our sleeping days. Once awakened we know things have changed. We’ve been through the hell of leaving addictive delusion, only to find a Silence in our inner Self, the meeting place of Source and man.

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