I’ve been absent from this site for a couple of days while setting up my other site where I enjoy doing doodles and spiritual humor. It’s so easy to take our beliefs so serious that we lose sight of the value of humor.
I had a good friend many years ago who traveled to Indonesia to attend a four day spiritual retreat. The master had many profound things to teach but he spent a lot of time telling jokes. When questioned about this he replied that it was one of his teaching techniques. It’s impossible to laugh and think at the same time which clears the mind.
The great Zen master Seung Sahn said not to attach to ideas, throw them away. Ideas are created by thinking which takes us out of the moment and only the present moment is infinite time and space.
I’ve pondered that for years. When we think, we become the thought which insists on taking us along it’s narrow confines. We become the belief and behave accordingly.
Only the moment allows us to become madmen/women and go wherever we please and live like a lion, completely free from all fear.
Humor allows me to let go of the rudder and simply sail with the mystical winds that take us into the forever’s of infinite being.
I’m a spiritual wisdom thief, I’ll steal wisdom anywhere I find it. I’ve taken it from the esoteric Christians, Sufis, Buddhist, Taoists, Hindus, Native Americans and Aborigines. When I received my doctor of divinity in esoteric belief systems I became the James Bond of solitary monks with a license to steal. I do have my principles however, I only steal the ancient stuff who’s copyrights have long since expired.
Esoteric refers to something less known or understood, the mysticism in spirituality is a good example. Mysticism is abstruse and obscure, two things that human nature is uncomfortable with. Most people prefer the exoteric beliefs that are easily understood with literal meaning. A good example is John 3:16, one of the most favored passages in the bible, “For God so loved the world…” it’s comforting and that’s the whole point behind beliefs. Spiritual beliefs should bring you comfort in living which brings comfort in death.
For myself I derive comfort from understanding. In the Tao The Ching, believed to be written in the 4th century BC by the Chinese Taoist mystic- Lao Tzu, he writes; “Heaven-and-Earth is not sentimental; It treats all thing as straw dogs.” may seem blasphemous and not very comforting but it explains a lot about the workings of life and the world.
If your going to believe in a supernatural power and supreme being, a divine deity whose nature and power is independent and transcends the material universe, it would stand to reason that sentiment (a human emotion) wouldn’t or couldn’t have a factor in why things happen. This keeps me from blaming or finding fault with the Divine Deity and ever asking “How could God let this happen.” When I was two I contracted polio in the orphanage and barely escaped an iron lung. I didn’t ask “Why me.” The logical response was why not me? During the polio wars of the 1950’s there were 350,000 casualties, I just happened to be one of them. Behind every seemingly misfortune is an underlying good fortune. I’ve never had to slow down and smell the roses because I’m not capable of moving fast enough to have to slow down. I worked with enough paraplegic and quadriplegics daredevils in my career to appreciate the fact that polio limited my options for self destruction. From age 9 to 16 the state social services department didn’t have any place else to send me so I wound up in a work house and went days without eating. Sure it was a bitch but I learned early on how hard I was capable of working which is why I was able to accomplish what I have. I eventually jumped out the bedroom window and ran away and lived on the streets but continued to go to school. School was so much easier than the work house that I graduated with a full scholarship to the university of my choice.
The Divine workings operate on a scale that is beyond our comprehension. Acts of nature like hurricanes, earthquakes, floods and forest fires are difficult to understand in the eyes of man but in the eyes of the divine I refrain from judgement. The actions of humanity can be similarly viewed. People have a wide behavioral variant, we run the gamut from saint to sadist and thankfully there are more of the former than the latter. The day may come when that changes and this glorious planet shakes us off it’s surface like a dog does water after a bath. I trust that my belief in the workings of Divine continuance sends me sailing into space on mystical winds with a smile.
If you look closely you’ll see the Lynx which stopped by the other day for a little water and a nap. In the summer we get a variety of guest seeking the shade and cool concrete of the gazebo. From rabbits to rattle snakes they all seem to know about the gazebo at Hermits Rest. And yes I know, rattlesnakes? Well it’s quite the experience to be working in the gazebo, notice some movement in your peripheral vision, and discover an adult rattlesnake simply passing by you on its way to its favorite napping corner. It’s quintessential mutual acceptance, absent of prejudice and fear. It’s one of the best ‘spiritual experiences’ I’ve ever had. I’ll take being totally accepted by the critters in nature over ‘enlightenment’ any day.
I think these events are the result of having been here for so long (since 1997) that when the local wildlife see me they think, “oh, it’s just him.”
Now my wife is a whole other story and I’m posting this to give you and my long-term reader friends a glimpse of the woman who not only tolerates but actually loves my company along with the composting toilet, the 230 square foot wilderness hermitage that’s powered by two golf cart batteries via the sun and that using a total of six gallons of water a day isn’t conserving, it’s all that’s necessary. In fact she spends more time telling me what we don’t need than what we do because she says we have everything.
Lori is a wizard of nature, a natural naturalist. The other day I saw her going for a walk and chatting with one of her favorite tarantulas who was literally walking alongside her. No kidding, she not only knows this particular tarantula she knows where it lives and that it had babies last year. Golden eagles swoop down on occasion and give her a wing wave and ravens hang out with her in the gazebo. The wildlife may think ‘oh it’s just him’ when they see me but when she steps outside you can almost hear them say ” hey there’s Lori let’s stop by and say hi.” She’s even a doggone barometer. She can step outside, look at the sky and then tell me there’s a storm circling around from the south but it will come in from the west in about an hour. If she tells me this at 2 p.m. you’ll find me closing the windows at 3 because sure enough..
When I first notice and remarked on these uncanny abilities she simply replied, “I believe in being aware of my surroundings and all that’s occurring in them. All you have to do is hide (meaning be still in an almost invisible way) and watch.”
Now while I spent years reading the ancient teachings and got the doctorate, Lori simply ‘got it’ at the moment she blessed this earth with her presence.
If she ever comes across one of those expounding new age gurus who fancy themselves as teachers of life…I’m just going to ‘hide and watch.’