Aristotle believed everything that existed had a purpose. For instance, a knife exists to cut things; an apple exists to be eaten; a cat exists to offer human companionship (or to kill mice).
I'm about to go to bed, and I've just wondered what Aristotle believed humans' purpose to be. If you know, feel free to comment here and I'll read them in the morning. Otherwise, maybe the book I'm reading will tell me. If not, I'll Google the question tomorrow.
This book makes me think.
Oh, by the way - what do you think the purpose of the human is?
Aristotle believed everything that existed had a purpose. For instance, a knife exists to cut things; an apple exists to be eaten; a cat exists to offer human companionship (or to kill mice).
Yesterday, a group of six co-workers and myself went to lunch. They started talking about someone. I joined-in. The kindest things weren't quite said. Why am I still participating in such behavior? Haven't I developed enough spiritually to not give in to such temptations? Just when I thought I loved everyone, here I am doing wrong, talking about someone behind their back. I feel guilty.
(Note: In real life my dad and stepmom always go to bed around 9:00pm, even though both of them are retired and don't have to work the next day. Therefore, it's kind of a given that phone calls after 9:00pm shouldn't be made. I wouldn't call someone after 9:00pm anyway, unless it's someone like my mom who goes to bed later.)
In the dream I look at my watch. It's 10:48pm. I pick-up the cordless phone with the intention of calling my mom. I accidentally dial my dad's phone number. I don't realize it until it's too late. He answers, groggily, "Hello?" I speak into the phone, "Oh, Dad, I'm so so sorry." I make-up a lie, "I was using the memory dial on the phone and hit the wrong button." He replies in his sleepy voice, "You've really done it now, Sophia." I continue to apologize.
(Note: In real life my dad would be a little more forgiving than that.)
It's been around five or six months, but here is another synchronistic occurence that happened to me.
I was taught briefly by a past mentor how to listen for messages in music. One day, I had just learned what astral projection was on the internet. That same day, when I got into my car after work, I turned on the radio and a song I had never heard before was on the radio. It was called "Astral Plane" by The Modern Lovers. I haven't heard it since.
Tonight I'm all alone in my room
I'll go insane if you won't sleep with me
I'll still be with you
I'm gonna meet you on the astral plane
The astral plane for dark at night
The astral plane or I'll go insane
Well I don't see you and it's getting dark
Today we should have gone to Central Park
Well don't you want to see me ever again?
If not I'll meet you on the astral plane
The astral plane for late at night
The astral plane or I'd go insane
Well we've known each other from other lives
I want to see you today
But I'll prove my knowledge of what's inside
When I intercept you on the astral plane
The astral plane for late at night
The astral plane or I'll go insane
Well I don't see you and it's getting dark
I'd have a lot to say
But you're not the one that I can say it to
At least not today
Oh, well I don't remember it afterwords
I don't yet know the words!
But I know we've been together just this week
We've been together on the astral plane
The astral plane for late at night
The astral plane or I'd go insane
Another class I wish I had taken in college is logic. It was part of the philosophy program at Indiana University Southeast. I took boolean algebra as part of the computer science department, but somehow that's just not the same. There is still so much of me that needs to be educated. But you know what? That's what's fun about life. There will always be something new to learn. That's the beauty of it all.
Do you exist? You can say that you exist, but it could just be my mind having you say you exist.
You can click on this image to see a larger version which will be much easier on your eyes.
Your name, as well as other aspects of life involving letters, sentences and numbers, has an essence. This essence can be determined by using what is known as Numerology.
To give you an example of what I'm referring to, let's find out the essence of the name Jane Doe. We will use the modern numerology column for this exercise.
1. First we must substitute each letter with a number.
J A N E D O E
1 1 5 5 4 6 5
2. Then you add the numbers together to get a sum.
1+1+5+5+4+6+5 = 27
If the sum is larger than one number, add the numbers of the sum until you get a number that has one number.
27 = 2+7 = 9
3. Find the meaning of the number using this chart:
1. Unity, oneness, extensions, spirit, self
2. Duality, divine-will, ego
3. Matter, manifestation, intelligence, space, soul, unfolding of events
4. Solidity, firmness, time, memory, reason
5. Spirit and matter mixed, man, motion, will, religion, human personality, meditation
6. Animation, life, mind, imagination, beauty, balance, love, harmony
7. Completeness, satisfaction, wholeness, desire, victory
8. Cycles, spirals, creativity, intellect, reason, infinity, magick
9. Stability in change, animal being, consciousness
Jane Doe = 9 = Stability in change, animal being, consciousness
You can find out the essence of just about anything using these steps.
If you use the Enochian or Crowley columns of the chart, notice that the letters T and Z have two numbers. Perform these twice for those columns. There will be two different essences.
If you have any questions, post a comment or send me an email.
Today has been a day of synchronicity as far as blogs are concerned. Just last post I mentioned that there were two blogs who questioned why we are here. I have just landed on another blog that asks the same question. That now makes three. (The blog is Solitary Buddhist.) As if that isn't enough, today Mark's blog has a post on lucid dreaming. I then went over to There's No Such Thing as "the Ultimate Truth" blog and it had a post on lucid dreaming!
You may be saying, "So what?" Well, these just happen to be blogs that I visit every day that are listed on the side of my blog. And these blogs are multi-topic blogs. Out of any subject they could have picked, it had to be on lucid dreaming and the big question.
A little while ago I was reading Sadiq's blog. He asked the question, "What is the meaning of life?" I commented, "The meaning of life is to figure out the meaning of life." Then, I visited the Qubikuity blog. The most recent post questioned, "Why are we here?" To which the blogger said his best answer was, "To figure out why we are here!" Both are very similar responses to similar questions.
Just the other day Utenzi came to my blog and mentioned the Cartesian Mind-Body Problem. Then later, as he was reading a novel called _The Rule of Four_, the Cartesian Mind-Body Problem was briefly mentioned.
September 24, 2005
life, slipping away,
never knowing who I am
or why I am here
S. Nice haiku, Mark. Maybe at that very moment we die we'll know who we were and why we were here.
M. OMG... let's not wait that long, okay? Whew. We gotta know now. That's the game. That's the greatest obsession... to become aware. What a wonderful obsession. :-) !! To live in awareness. May that happen to you, very soon, in this lifetime. I hope you experience that.
S. I hope I do, too! It's a deep longing, Mark. Wow! I can't even tell you. :) I feel like I'm going out of my mind because of it, but I've heard that that is a common feeling in those who are starting out on their journey.
M. That's because it isn't centered in the mind, hence the expression and feeling. You have to center in a different spot.
S. How does one find that spot? Through meditation? Do you meditate often?
M. Well, I don't think I meditate all that traditionally. Sometimes I lay down to relax. That's not meditation. Sometimes I will focus on helping someone or think about solving a problem. I suppose that is a form of meditation, but also prayer. You know? It is inhaling and receiving (meditation), and exhaling and giving (prayer).
I often go into "the zone", the so-called mushin state, or empty mind... to receive direction. That definitely is a form of meditation. I am trying to be in that spot more and more. I don't live in it constantly.
Sensei once told me the best way to learn to meditate is to do so in everyday life. I took his advice. He wasn't debunking traditional mediation, he was simply saying, "Here is the best practice for meditation – application in everyday life."
S. I was taught "driving meditation" by a Buddhist monk. I can't say I've practiced it all that much because sometimes I get a little angry behind the wheel, mostly when someone gets on my tail. And I really dislike that I get like that, but I don't notice it until after it happens. That must show the real me - that I can actually get angered. I'm not supposed to be like that.
I kind of do like you - lay down to relax. I try to use it as a form of meditation but I always fall asleep. :D I'd like to practice more of the sitting in lotus position kind of meditation.
But Sensei sounds right. We can use our everyday life as a form of meditation.
M. Well, we are like that though (getting angry, etc.). Sensei states that we have to accept the reality that we live in world of right and wrong. No one is all right, and no one is all wrong. So each of us are right and wrong. No exceptions. Perfection in this world, he states, is learning to balance ourselves in a world of right and wrong. It takes some of the pressure off ;-)
S. That makes me feel a little better. I guess we can't be perfect after all, no matter how hard we try. Sensei is a man of wisdom. So are you. :)
M. That whole perfection thing is a huge crock of ***t. It is (imo) one of the greatest misconceptions ever put on people. In Christianity, they serve up Jesus as perfect. He committed zero sin. He never did wrong.
That is such a huge pile of s***. To say he never did wrong or to say he was perfect is to build a model that is unattainable. And it lets the priests, ministers, and teachers off the hook for not being able to give their followers the teachings that bring people to the actual inner experience that we are all craving. They can't do it! So much for their standard of perfection.
Jesus was an imperfect being. It is so simple to see: He breathed polluted air, and ate food that wasn't 100% pure. He had bowel movements and pissed... showing that he had waste. He was imperfect. Yet, he carved the Way and a Path in spite of his burdens and imperfections. That’s "the good news" to me!
It is impossible for God, God's only Son, or the greatest of all Teachers to be perfect. Imperfection is part of the universe, part of God's creation. If God is in all things (which he is), and at the center of all things, than he is certainly in the center of imperfection.
This is a subject that really upsets me and gets me going, because we all live under these impossible expectations of perfection. Such expectations put the experience out of our reach. And that’s wrong! It’s a sin!
S. I've read some passages from The Gospel of Thomas, and one of those passages tells of Jesus killing a boy? Funny how the Gospel of Thomas didn't make it into the canon.
I'm not intolerant of the Christian faith, but one thing I disagree with is that Jesus was God's only son. If there is a God, then we are *all* God's children.
M. It says, "God's only begotten Son".
S. But what if we look at it from a different perspective? In the view that we are all part of God? Then we are all begotten by God. If my mother and father have part of God in them, when they conceived me, I am therefore part of God and hence begotten by God.
M. Oh yes, I completely agree. And having a firstborn doesn't negate the existence of other children. But the first Soul, the Prime Creator, the Master Soul came out of the emptiness, and had awareness.
I actually remember being born as a soul. I recall the experience of coming into awareness. But there was someone looking into my eyes when I first opened them. The firstborn, the Master Soul, didn't have anyone looking into his/her eyes.
With respect to Buddha, who's to say that wasn't an incarnation of 'the only begotten Son'? Awareness is not the domain of only that Soul. Awareness is the 'objective' of that soul... to spread it, to help others experience and realize it.
S. I see what you're saying now. Buddha and Jesus could both have been incarnates of the same soul. But if we all originate from the same source, we are all part of that same soul. It's just that we're all trying to realize it. That brings us back to we're all God's children. We are God, therefore we are the parents, therefore we are the children. We are the seed and the tree and the ground from which the tree grows. (I had an anonymous visitor who started me thinking about seeds and trees.)
There is a formlessness that is the highest "God"; and that out of that void emerged awareness. And once awareness came into Being, that awareness became the first Soul, the elder brother, the Creator of form and of all things... who is very aware that he came out of the formless, that there is a precursor to him, an energy that powers all things. But I know that I am not that Soul; I know that I came from that Soul. That Soul, that Being, is senior to me.
The expression "my Father in heaven" means several things to me. First, it is my Higher Self, the self that I am when I am in dream state, or when I die and go back to the other side; the self that is powering up this body called Mark. But my highest Father in heaven is my spiritual birth Father, my creator. But I could have a higher Father than that if my creator is not the highest of the highest. Follow?
S. Yes, I follow. It sounds kind of like a dualist view.
My question, is what is the highest of the highest? Where did it all begin? These are some of the greatest philosophical questions ever asked.
M. I am not qualified to answer these two questions. Yes, it is a dualist view. It is also a view of being One, that we are all One. Both are true. And, it is in between both. Centered. It's all about the center.
S. I'd like to be Awake and Aware like you. Eternally Aware.
M. I hope you can be better at it than me. :-)
S. I don't think that will ever happen!
M. Be careful what you wish for. :-)
In my opinion you have the ability to realize far more, in this lifetime, than you are giving yourself credit for. Why not give yourself some credit?
Don't you already have an inner 'knowing' or sense of the truth of this?
S. I feel like I have a knowing, but I haven't truly experienced it. Aren't I supposed to feel or see something? I guess I'm expecting to see lights or images when I close my eyes at night. Perhaps it's my expectations getting in the way.
M. Awareness and center lie in the direction of that feeling, that knowing. That's the direction.
Here is some advice I have received about this:
2. Stop thinking so much
3. Don't expect; just let whatever happens, happen
(This advice is very good, and truly works.)
But the thing is (here is my broken record running at full speed)... you have to have a teacher for the deeper experiences. They are the guide that says, "yes, that's the way" or "no, come back over this way", or "why are you getting so upset?" And so on. Are you despairing or hopeful?
S. Thanks for the steps. I am going to try to put them into use. I just have to remember them instead of being lazy and doing what seems to come natural, and unfortunately it's laziness that seems to come natural for me. And by laziness I mean that I might not relax right away, and I might be tempted to keep on thinking and expecting. But if only I can remember these steps I might be headed in the right direction.
Oh, to answer your question: I'm very hopeful.
M. Another recommendation is:
4. Don't put so much pressure on your self.
It's just a matter of repetitions. Just practice and chip away at it.
I don't want to make it sound like if you do these four things, that's the way to go about it. No, they are just mental/emotional attributes. Principles are the key.
S. It's just like with dream recall: Practice and sooner or later it will come natural to you.
Were you ever despairing? I have to tell you that I was despairing before... maybe a few months ago. But all that's changed now. I am hopeful and emotionally I don't think I could be any healthier.
M. Yes, I have been deeply despairing. And it still happens at times. Especially when I look at where I am, compared to what I am out to do; or when I look at what I’ve done. As Sensei says, it is only the hardest, most difficult thing in the world that you are wanting to do. There is nothing harder.
S. I think that despair might cause the hopefulness, which in turn drives us. It's just like what you said about having to be good and bad. It's part of the balance of things.
M. Yes it is. To be successful in overcoming despair, I reach for hopefulness. Hopefulness brings higher values into focus. Once I can see a higher value, I can start to transcend and overcome despair.
S. Like Yin and Yang. I think Hopefulness is like Yang. Despair is the Yin. You can't have one without the other. At first there is despair, then hopefulness. And with hopefulness comes expectations, and when those expectations aren't met, despair introduces itself again. But hopefulness always comes back. It's like a sine wave.
M. Exactly. Perfectly stated.
The spot you are looking for is in between the yin and yang, between hopefulness and despair, between right and wrong. That spot is the center.
S. Ah... I see now. :) So that's what you meant by being "centered". I like it when everything becomes clear. :)
M. It’s a great feeling. So how does the term 'centered' take on a new meaning for you?
S. I'm not going to look too far to the left or too far to the right. I won't despair too much or hope for too much, and the same goes with expectations. I will be more relaxed in my approach. I won't think too much on things but I'll think just enough.
M. Yes, and sometimes I will have to think a lot about things, and there will be times where I will have to go all the way to the left, or all the way to the right. Sometimes I will need a lot of hope or even a ton of despair, but in all that I do I will strive to do what is balanced and centered for the situation and for me. And I will strive to be balanced and centered within my self.
S. That sounds better than what I said. In order to have balance you have to have equal weight on both sides. :)
M. Sometimes. Sometimes I have to lean to one side to catch my balance. Sometimes I have to move way over to the left so a car won't hit me. Everything is relative to the center and being balanced, and everything has a center no matter where you are in the relative sense.
I'm driving a car. All along the side of the road are gas stations. The price signs all say the gas costs around nine or ten dollars a gallon. The road I'm driving on, which is usually full of cars, is like a ghost town. Hardly anyone is out because of the price of gas.
I'm playing a version of Super Mario Brothers on a handheld gaming device. I haven't quite got used to the new device so I'm playing a little clumsily.
Tonight's dreams weren't very, um, enlightening. However, since I like to keep track of all my dreams I'm putting them here.
Before I go into this dream, let me explain myself. At work I've been researching bars and nightclubs, and this requires that I sometimes go to the business' web page to find out what they do, and if they are indeed a bar or nightclub. As we all know, some of these nightclubs are actually "gentlemen's clubs". Therefore, when I end-up on their webpage, sometimes images of nude people come-up. That brings us to the dream:
I'm on the computer late at night/early in the morning. I'm looking at these webpages which feature undressed people. By the window is a pool, and by the pool is a wooden privacy fence. I am unaware of it, but the images from my computer screen are reflected onto the pool's surface, which end-up being somehow projected on the privacy fence. The next door neighbor calls on the phone. (We'll call him "G".) He says, "Would you mind getting rid of the images?" I reply, "What images?" (I still am unaware that my computer screen is being projected on the fence like a movie!) He says, "You know... the images." I respond, "I don't know what you're talking about." He says, "The ones that are showing on your fence." I look out the window and feel my heart in my throat. I am more than embarrassed. I am petrified. I speak into the phone, "Um... sure." I then hang-up. I go to the computer and go to some other webpage, a blog of some sort. Something normal.
I try to think of some excuse as to why I was looking at such things. I need to call "G" and explain. He comes over and sits at the table. I look seriously into his eyes and say, "Listen up. I wasn't purposefully looking at those webpages. I made a mistake and ended-up on the wrong webpage. That caused lots of unwanted pop-ups to appear on the screen. That's what you were seeing - the pop-ups."
(I've been having several dreams recently where I'm very angry. I wake myself up yelling at someone. Usually I haven't been remembering these dreams, but here is one I do remember.)
I'm at the customer service section of a store. I'm supposed to be picking something up that I've ordered. It's the second time I've been there to pick it up, because the first time I went it wasn't there. This time it's still not there. I grab a pen and throw it at the desk. I yell, "This is the second time I've been here to pick this thing up!" I get ready to say I'll come back, but then I say, "You know what? I'm through. I don't want the thing anymore!"
I don't know what these dreams mean. I think the first dream is just residue from what I've been doing at work. The second dream I have no clue. As I've said before I'm not normally an angry person. (Unless my anger goes into auto pilot when someone drives their car on my tail.)
These dreams just prove that we don't always have spiritual or insightful dreams. We are human and since we're human we have human dreams. They might not always be flattering.
My friend from India, Vino, is writing a book on dreams. He is seeking information on the concept known as "dream-sharing", where two people meet in dreams, either lucid or otherwise. If anyone has any information on this phenomenon or has actually experienced it, please get back to me so I can pass the information on to him.
I've already come across two good links, so far:
Thanks for your help!
I sometimes keep track of synchronistic occurrences. I have a written account of some of my recent synchronicities. This is one that just happened a few hours ago.
Another blogger had reported that they had been on the ocean for a while. I commented that I'm about to go to the ocean, too. Then I went to read a page or two in a book and noticed the little globe on the cover had the word "ocean" on it. I hadn't noticed that word on there before tonight.
Synchronicity, when it happens, is something that makes me smile and take note.
I took a nap, today. In doing so I had a few dreams. I don't remember them in their entirety, but I recall a few scenes which are presented here. Actually, it is quite possible that they are all from the same dream, but as they are of different subjects, I'm not so sure.
There are lots of plants. I touch them.
I think I'm living at home again. I have three or four aquariums. I haven't been taking very good care of the fish, and they're dying.
A relative (not a real relative, a dream relative) is taking me shopping for a protective talisman. It's a cameo. She wants to buy me one with Jesus' face on it, but I don't want that one. Later, when we are at home, I am pleased to find out she bought me one with a woman on it. (Strangely I found a picture of one on the internet that looks almost exactly like the one in my dream.)
What do I think these dreams mean?
I had just bought some Calla Lilies for my stepmother, today, so that might have carried over into my dreamworld.
I'm not sure what this means. I have three cats and two dogs and take exceptional care of them. When I was a kid I had an aquarium and maybe I didn't take as good of care of them as I could have. Maybe this is lingering guilt.
Even though I am not a Christian, I do believe Jesus was one of the great spiritual teachers. By not accepting the Jesus cameo, I am not accepting the Christian faith. (Although I am very tolerant of Christianity.)
I love Shaman Hamid David Dashti's blog. He speaks in a way that makes me feel like he is a spirit father.
I said "wow" last night after closing a book I've been reading. I haven't said "wow" to a book in ages. I had almost forgotten how it felt.
I'm still at the beginning of _Sophie's World_, mainly because I spend so little time reading. Perhaps I should blog less and do more reading? Anyway, while reading this book I feel as though I am looking at things again through the curious eyes of a young girl. It is such a rejuvinating experience to be reading this book! I've always enjoyed learning, but Mr. Gaarder takes an educational subject and makes it fun to explore. He makes me think. Ah! How I've missed really thinking!
I wonder if I am anything like Socrates? As you well know, Socrates was a great philosopher. If you don't remember him, you can probably at least remember him by the tragic way he died, being poisoned to death by Hemlock because he stood by what he believed all the way to the very end. Not many people would do that. I'm not saying I would have the courage to do such a thing. That is not how I am like him. But, I do feel as if I know so little and that does trouble me, so much so that I'm constantly seeking answers. That was how Socrates lived. As it says in _Sophie's World_, "A philosopher is someone who recognizes that there is a lot he does not understand, and is troubled by it." In that sense I can say I'm like Socrates. Of course I'm not as great as he was, and I probably won't be remembered thousands of years after my death like he was. Actually, the spirit of Socrates is in many of us. Those who look at life with great curiosity and seek answers have his spirit.
Can you see him now? Socrates, the portly bearded man wandering around the city square of Athens engaging his latest victim in a discussion of philosophy.... But what made him different from the Sophists of the day? He didn't pretend to know everything. He didn't lecture or preach or even teach for that matter. He simply helped others form reasonable conclusions on their own through their discussion with him.
I've run into many Sophists in my time, but I am lucky to have run into a few Socrateses, too. Those are the ones who cause me to think.
Dream fragment 1:
An eight year-old boy shows me his coin collection.
Dream fragments 2:
There is a math teacher. I am trying to impress him. I get picked by him to help the other students with their math homework.
Later on we're washing dishes. He accepts one as being clean, but I tell him it still needs to be scrubbed further.
Anab, over at Sufi Amanesis, has written a beautiful analogy. It's one of the best spiritual writings I've found in a blog to date. He writes it so eloquently, and at a level everyone can understand. Read the journey of the traveler (the student) and the veteran diver (the teacher) as they take a dive worth remembering in the deep ocean. You can read spirituality all you want, but it's when you really experience it that it matters. Here is a link to his blog post:
I took a break from work and played One Word, again. This time my word was "influence". These writings are not meant to be great. They're meant to get the mind off other things. When you write these things, you're not supposed to think, you're just supposed to write. Consider it to be a form of meditation.
Here is my paragraph on "influence":
"Many people have had influence on me in my life. From the very beginning, my parents were a major factor on who I would become. Then my school teachers, and later friends. Now my internet friends are a major influence on me. "
There's a new "game" I've found online through another blog. It's called "One Word". It flashes a word on the screen and you have one minute to write something about that word. My word was "feathered", and while it might not be the greatest paragraph on the planet, I thought it was fun being forced to think. Here is my writing on "feathered":
"My little feathered friends fly across the sky, staring down at the humans that walk and drive below. Even though they may deficate on your car, they're still creatures worth loving and appreciating. Their eyes see all. Their hearts beat for all. They fly."
(OK, don't laugh!)
(I had this dream while taking a nap today.)
I'm in a movie theater. The whole theater is packed. We're supposed to watch a movie. It's not voluntary. We *have* to watch the movie. The screen is blank as the movie hasn't started yet. Strangely there is a red truck parked in the left aisle. A man comes up and gives me the keys. He selects two other people to get in the truck with me. We're the lucky three. He's letting us out; we don't have to watch the movie.
I start driving the truck. I'm not certain where I'm heading, but at a stop sign three dragon's heads appear before the truck. They're not malevolent. They're just there. I take a right at the stop sign instead of going in the direction where the three dragon's heads are. I tell the other two in the truck with me that I have somewhere I need to stop at real quick. I'm going to a guru's house.
At the guru's house is a book I had never seen before. It shows a drawing of me and the two others. The caption states that we are the three chosen ones. I feel special. To be selected by the guru is an exceptional feeling.
The next thing I remember in this dream, is that I am laying on a floor with a blanket around me. Underneath the blanket I have no clothes on. The guru comes in and sees me sleeping. He doesn't seem to happy about this. He wants me to get up. But I am too afraid to stand up because I do not want him to see me naked. I stay on the floor using the blanket as a covering. I hear him tell me that I can use my mind to create clothes. So, I concentrate hard and magically conjure-up a pair of underwear on my body.
What do I think this dream means? First of all, is it possible this guru could be my spirit guide in the dream world? I have never seen him before. Will I ever see him again? And what did he teach me? Why was I one of the chosen ones? I think that my nakedness was a sign that before a guru I am emotionally naked. He can see through me. He knows the real me; there is nothing I can hide. And, the creation of the underwear might be the way my mind creates my own reality, the reality that hides the true me.
What do you think?
I'm in the hallway of a hospital. The floors are carpeted in a blue-ish color with a pattern of a little bit of other colors, like turquoise and purple. I have cats with me, and they're standing in the hall, too. I take note that they are being good because they are staying with me instead of running off. Another thing I take note of is how strange it is that I have cats with me in a hospital. (I should have realized I was dreaming, at which point I could have gone lucid!) I see someone else's cat walking up the hall towards me. It is a turquoise-blue color with other colored markings on it. I see its owner also walking up behind it and I say to the owner, "Your cat reminds me of a peacock."
I'm looking down into an open washing machine that is washing clothes. It's a load of whites with bleach. I notice that one of my blue shirts somehow got in there.
Note: There was a lot of blue in my dreams this night. I wonder what that means?
I'm learning about astrology from Star Man, and I've just got my birth chart from the webpage he recommended. There are so many symbols that it all looks like Greek to me! At the time being I have no idea what any of it means, but I hope after following his blog I'll be able to get some idea. I think this will be a lot of fun.
Do you remember the two raccoons that I hit three days ago? The ones I couldn't find when I got out of the car? Well... my father and stepmother live very close to the location where I hit them. They keep a backyard natural habitat complete with pond and other things for deer and other animals, and it is just a short way to the road where I hit them. I went to visit my father and stepmother today and my stepmother, who has no formal knowledge of my hitting the raccoons, tells me that she was outside cutting grass in broad daylight, when a plump raccoon starts walking toward her. She was suprised that in daylight a raccoon would be so bold! Then, even more astonishing and amusing, its little buddy was right behind it. I am convinced this is the pair of raccoons I hit that I thought I killed! I was so relieved when she told me this. All the grief that had built-up since Tuesday just vanished. Those were my two little raccoon buddies.
I'm running from zombies. I come to a right-yielding curve in the road, and instead of taking the curve on the road, I take a shortcut by just running through the grass to the right of the road, only it goes down deep into a valley, which means that running back up the hill to the road will slow me down and thus the zombies will be even closer.
I come to a village of houses that has their own defense army that watches over the village, protecting it from the zombies. I'm in the backyard of a house. There is snow all over the ground. Suddenly I'm wearing a pretty pink dress that has three-dimensional roses on it. As I wander around the backyard, some of the frilly roses come off and lay in the snow.
All over the yard there are high mounds of snow and deep valleys between them. I jump from the mounds into the valleys, feeling the soft thud of snow beneath my feet. It's almost a feeling of free falling.
There is a brown horse. I mount it. I give it a little kick to get it moving, but it walks slowly back to the house, not quick enough for me. I start saying, "Hee-yah!" and it begins to softly run back towards the house.
Back at the house, for some reason the horse now stands upright on its two back feet. It is standing and talking like a human, its body is more like a human with brown fur. I hug it, rub its chest and start kissing it.
[In real life, D. got $350 cash award from work a few days ago.]
In this dream, D. wants to buy a $350 electric razor. I tell him that he is crazy, and of course he can't spend that much money on a razor. Later I remember that he won the cash award and tell him that he can spend his award money on the razor.
Buddha told a parable in sutra:
A man traveling across a field encountered a tiger. He fled, the tiger after him. Coming to a precipice, he caught hold of the root of a wild vine and swung himself down over the edge. The tiger sniffed at him from above. Trembling, the man looked down to where, far below, another tiger was waiting to eat him. Only the vine sustained him.
Two mice, one white and one black, little by little started to gnaw away the vine. The man saw a luscious strawberry near him. Grasping the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other. How sweet it tasted!
My take on this parable:
Do not take life for granted. Enjoy every minute of it, for that minute may be your last.
What do you think the moral of this koan is?
Last night I had a discussion with Mark Walter from the Eternal Awareness blog. Here is a transcript of what was said. Mark's been on the spiritual journey for some time now, and he provides wonderful insight and guidance to everyone who visits his blog. When you've finished reading, be sure to check out his page!
13 September 2005
In so many ways you seem to be wide open... in the sense of being highly expressive. That is a wonderful attribute. You also come across as having the kind of enthusiasm that can be infectious, that can inspire others. You have very strong determination. You also have a lot of depth. You have obsessive qualities that are being directed into positive forms, which is very hard to tame and do. These are easy things to say about someone, and can come across as generalities. But, your blogs and older websites are revealing. And I get a strong sense that you have gone about consciously developing your self in past lives. To me, it is very apparent, just as apparent as how you are going about doing the same thing right now.
You know, I have a question (or 3 or 4) for you. Your new blog header says, "I long to be enlightened. On my journey I seek a Spiritual Teacher who can help me find my way."
What are you looking for? What do you want to know or realize? What is your question? Your heart's desire?
I don't mean to intrude, so please understand that. But... you are kinda putting it out there, you know? I think heaven is hearing you.
You can ask any question you want to. I'll be totally honest.
Well, I want to know who I am. I want to know what will happen to me when I die. I want to know what the world consists of. I want to know why there are bad things that happen in this world.
These things are do-able. I've experienced them myself.
Do you mean you've experienced wanting to know the answers to these questions? Or you've experienced the answers themselves?
I've experienced the answers.
Well that's what I'm looking for. That's what I want to do - experience the answers. I hope that doesn't seem selfish. I guess there is such a thing as spiritual selfishness?
I see something like this as spiritual aspiration. We will need to do some talking about this stuff. It isn't a one-two-three thing.
I've slowly come to realize a lot of this stuff takes work. I can't even tell you how many books I've had recommended to me. I'm a slow reader and it would take me a lifetime to read all the recommended books!
It's not something you can learn in books. I guess that's good news.
A sigh of relief! It's very good news, actually.
These things are the domain of the so-called mystery schools.
Like the Nine Gates Mystery School?
I don't know what that is. I mean it in a traditional sense, like the esoteric schools, the rare schools that really do understand, and can truly teach the inner path and understandings.
Ah I see now. Well, I didn't know what the Nine Gates Mystery School was anyway. :)
You know, I'm curious, too, about previous lives. It is entirely possible that we've run into each other in the past, and that is why we have something in common now, something that drew us together.
I think it is interesting too. Very interesting, actually. Maybe someday it will reveal itself. It's not really all that hard to do.
There are some past life regressionists out there. Maybe one of them can tell us the answer. I wish I was trained in reading past lives.
Some regressionists are trained to take you into the past of this life. Some have deeper skills and can take you into former lives. It is very rare to find someone who can take you into the time between lives. And the rarest is the one who can take you over to the other side in real time.
I definitely want to pursue it.
If this is something you want to pursue, try to find a transpersonal hypnotherapist, and then ask them the depth of their skills, i.e., how far in or back can you guide me? Also, the hypnotherapist is not able to bring you deeper than they are developed (as a soul) their self.
Does one have to be in the same room as the hypnotherapist or can it be done over space and time?
It can be experienced either way. Best if you are together though. It takes a very experienced and seasoned practitioner to do something this deep in the first place, so you really need a quality hypnotherapist to do past life over the phone. I would recommend it in person. You don't really want to be holding a phone in your hand while you are soaring into heaven and eternal realization.
There are other ways, too. One is a method that we call ‘morphing’. It involves looking at each other, looking into the eyes with a particular gaze. You begin to learn it by concentrating on the forehead, just above and between the eyes. It works best when the novice is with someone experienced, because there is a narrow band of frequencies that this resonates on, and it helps to have someone that can hold that for you, kind of like a setpoint to zero in on.
It can also happen in group meditations. It just depends on what it is. I have found that I am able to do some of this spontaneously and in dreams, but some of my deepest experiences have been in group therapies/meditations or in clinical hypnotherapy.
I'll probably post more of our conversations as they continue. Check back for more!
I have never hit an animal before in my life. Last night, I was driving along a wooded route. It was the same road I rescued the two turtles off of a few days before. I was driving cautiously, thinking there might be more turtles to move off the road. Ironically, two raccoons quickly ran in front of my car. I heard a loud thump and felt the car go *bump*. My heart sank and immediately tears came to my eyes. The day I have always feared had come; I had hit an animal. I didn't care about other cars, so I got out of my car and went to look around for the raccoons. They were nowhere to be found. But I know the sound I heard as I ran over them was real. The thud I felt was real. I have no idea what happened to the raccoons and I went home a tearful mess, imagining the raccoons walking around in pain or going somewhere to hide and slowly die.
I don't believe in killing any living thing. Not even bugs. So this was a rather traumatizing experience. When I got home last night, I emailed my Shaman friend, Four Hawks, and asked him if he could journey and tell me what had happened to the raccoons. First off, he told me he believed it was possible that the raccoon was showing me that it was my Power Animal or Totem. Also, when Four Hawks is finished going on journeys for some sick people, he will look into my raccoons for me. I hope he comes back with good news, but if it turns out the raccoons are dead somewhere, Four Hawks assured me their consciousness leaves the body and enters a newborn body elsewhere.
As some of you know, I have begun reading _Sophie's World: A Novel About the History of Philosophy_, by Jostein Gaarder. I really envy the main character, Sophie, a lot. She's 14 years old and has a mysterious mentor sticking messages in her mailbox teaching her about philosophy. When I was 14 I only kept myself occupied with boys, math and video games. The word "philosophy" played no important role in my life. In other words, I was unaware. How nice it would have been to have had inspiration... motivation! Here Sophie is almost half my age and already is given insight into some of the most important and enigmatic questions of all of past and present. I'm just getting started. In high school and college it was computers and math. I never took a Philosophy course. I wish now that I had. Unlike Sophie, I didn't have anyone to guide me in the right direction.
I guess I should count my lucky stars. I suppose some people never take a look at philosophy. I might be late, but it's better to bloom late than never.
I was reminded today that I am still disillusioned by the ego. I felt I was being talked down-to by a store clerk. I visibly lost my patience. I wasn't rude, but still, I was a little vocal. No harsh words or anything, I just repeated what I was saying three or four times, and by the third or fourth time I was definitely accentuating a bit. I felt my temper swell-up from deep within. I wasn't really aware of it until after the effect, either. But the instant after, I felt guilty. I need to remember a page from Meher Baba's _Life At Its Best_:
"Keep your mind quiet, steady and firm. Do not submit to desires, but try to control them. One who cannot restrain his tongue cannot restrain his mind; one who cannot restrain his mind cannot restrain his action; one who cannot restrain his actions cannot restrain himself; and one who cannot restrain himself cannot attain his real Infinite Self."
I'm not usually a terribly angry person, but it's still good to keep this in mind, especially when driving on the road and someone cuts me off and I'm tempted to show my displeasure.
Be steady. Stay calm.
Before I go into the dreams I had today, I'd like to mention something related to the blue salamander dream I had recently. In a way, I believe it to be prophetic, for today there was found in my pool a dead salamander. I feel really sad about this loss of life. It's the first loss of animal life in my pool since I've lived here. I haven't seen a salamander for years, so this is not a frequent occurence to see a salamander, either.
Now on to the dreams. These aren't in any particular order as I can never seem to remember the order of my dreams.
I'm walking along a road. All over both sides of the road are turtles. But these don't look like regular box turtles. These are dream turtles, some kind of turtle that only my mind can conjure-up. They're brownish green, all the same color with no variations, and large heads that are up high above their shells. Their shells are rather large, but smooth-looking.
I think this is one of those dreams that Change would say is related to my five senses, since just two days prior I had rescued two turtles from the middle of the road.
Someone hits me over and over with a stick. (Maybe this is punishment for keeping that $250,000.00 bill in the dream I had the day before.)
There are two guys sitting on a couch. One gives to the other a nice rare set of "Magic: The Gathering" game cards. I say to one of them, "I'd like to learn how to play." (Note: I don't play the game in real life, although I started learning a long time ago when I was in high school.)
I've had this book sitting on my bookshelf. I've been meaning to read it, but other books keep coming up. Has anyone else read this book? It's gotten excellent reviews everywhere I've looked. Here's the synopsis:
One day when Sophie comes home from school, she finds two questions in her mail: Who are you? and Where does the world come from? Before she knows it, she is pondering all the great questions of Western philosophy (from the Greeks to Kant, to Marx and Freud) with a mysterious mentor. But Sophie is also receiving a separate batch of equally unusual letters. Who is Hilde? And why does her mail keep turning up in Sophie's world? To solve this riddle, Sophie uses her new knowledge of philosophy, but the truth is far stranger than she could have imagined.
"For me there is only the traveling on the paths that have a heart, on any path that may have a heart. There I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge for me is to traverse its full length. And there I travel--looking, looking, breathlessly."
--don Juan, from _The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge_, by Carlos Castaneda
A Zen koan to ponder:
"Our schoolmaster used to take a nap every afternoon," related a disciple of Soyen Shaku. "We children asked him why he did it and he told us: 'I go to dreamland to meet the old sages just as Confucius did.' When Confucius slept, he would dream of ancient sages and later tell his followers about them.
"It was extremely hot one day so some of us took a nap. Our schoolmaster scolded us. 'We went to dreamland to meet the ancient sages the same as Confucius did,' we explained. 'What was the message from those sages?' our schoolmaster demanded. One of us replied: 'We went to dreamland and met the sages and asked them if our schoolmaster came there every afternoon, but they said they had never seen any such fellow.'"
I wonder what the moral of this koan is. Any ideas?
I am so excited. From October 10th through the 14th I am going on vacation to Tulum, Mexico. As part of my adventure - aside from seeing ancient Mayan ruins - I will be swimming with the dolphins. I think this will be a very spiritual experience for me. I can't wait to feel a connection with them. I'll be able to glide on the water between two of them, and will even be able to kiss them!
Not too long ago I had a dream where a diamond ring was found by others. I took the ring with the intention of turning it in, while the others were wanting to keep it. I thought this was a good sign of my own character - a sign of honesty.
Today, however, I've had a completely different dream. I can't say I'm too proud of it.
In this dream, I buy food from an outdoor fast-food restaurant. I give the person at the register my money. She gives me back my change. As I'm walking away from the window, I look at the bills in my hand and see that she made a mistake. Hidden underneath the small one dollar bills is a bill for $250,000.00 and more bills of large value. I fold the money up and tell myself I won't return it. That I'll keep it and use it.
How can one have an honest dream one week and a dishonest dream the next?
The next dream I had I can only remember a fragment of. I saw a blue salamander.
Before I knew it, I came upon a turtle. I didn't see it in time, so I drove over it in a way that the turtle wouldn't be harmed - he was directly under the center of the car. I stopped the car, got out, and picked-up the turtle, taking him across the road in the direction he was heading. I got back in the car and drove-off. Five hundred feet later, I happened upon another turtle. This time I saw it in advance, so I stopped the car and did the same thing.
I feel good about saving turtles. They're at a disadvantage. They're terribly slow while cars are very fast. They can't get out of the way fast enough for a car. I've always stopped for turtles. They need all the help they can get.
If you see a turtle - unless it's a snapping turtle - give it a helping hand. If it's a snapping turtle, find a big 2x4 or a large stick or branch, put it before the mouth of the turtle and let it attach its mouth to the wood. Its grip is strong enough that you can pick it up using the wood. Just don't let your hand or arm get too close to the snapping turtle's mouth! Box turtles won't hurt you, though. Do not be afraid. :)
Last week I ordered a CD from Amazon.com. It was Steven Halpern's "Chakra Suite" album. It arrived in the mail yesterday. The purpose of the CD is to balance the seven chakras and to create an overall sense of well-being. It is a "healing" CD. Immediately upon playing it, I could feel the energy cycling through the centers, starting first with the root chakra, then to the navel chakra, up to the solar plexus, to the heart chakra, throat chakra, third eye chakra and finally to the crown chakra. As the CD continued to play, I noticed my breathing slowed down immensely. My body seemed to melt into the bed. Before long, I lost my sense of gravity and it felt as if I had forgotten my body. That is how relaxed I became.
I posted a message on the Spiritual Friends Locator webpage stating that I have started keeping this blog. A person named "PJ" asked an excellent question:
"I checked out your blog and I am curious as to why you are doing it. What do you hope to get from it? Also what teachers or teachings do you think have influenced you the most? "
This was my response:
I think first of all and most of all, I wish to make a friend who shares an interest in all things spiritual. At the same time, I hope to learn from them. Perhaps they can learn from me, too. I've found that by keeping a blog I can judge my progress. It is sort of like a journal or diary of sorts. It's a place to keep my thoughts as I progress along the path. Someday I can look back on them and see how I've grown.
I haven't had much experience with many teachers, yet, but I've enjoyed reading the Dalai Lama as well as a few sayings from Meher Baba. I am open to all sources. Believe it or not, I'd say the teacher who's had the greatest influence on me so far was my college professor who taught "Religions of the East". She taught me quite a bit, I think without her realizing it - because it opened the door to a whole new world to me. I was spiritually blind before that class.
I hope this answers your questions. I hope you have a good day.
Because I believe dreams are an important part of my life, I will start posting my dreams on this blog. I have many more in a dream journal. I may post some of my older dreams, but for now I'll just start with dreams I've had the past two days.
Dream from September 3, 2005 -
The nail on my left forefinger broke-off almost down to the cuticle.
Dreams from September 4, 2005 -
This dream is in third-person. I see myself in a crowd of people. I think we're sitting on bleachers outdoors. I am naked. My left nipple has been cut-off and is laying on top of my left breast. Someone takes it away.
I'm laying in a bed among many other beds. I think it is a type of dorm in a hospital or mental institution. There is some excitement in the room. A group of people have found a diamond ring. I ask to see it. They show it to me. They say they are going to keep it. I tell them that we should turn it in. I hold on to it so they don't keep it. I mean to see that the right thing is done with it - turning it in.
This is the first post in a blog that I intend to use as a journal of my spiritual journey. I'm not talking about religion, just spirituality. I also hope to meet others through this blog.
For about eight months now I've been - and I hate to use this word - struggling to find something to fill the empty space I've been feeling within myself. I've been looking for spirituality. I've skimmed web pages of everything from Buddhism to Astral Projection to Tarot Cards and beyond. I've also looked into Shamanism.
Since December of 2001 I've felt a particular "Oneness" with everything and everyone, but I've been looking for a way to experience enlightenment. I've been trying small doses of meditation, even. Most nights, I play soothing New Age music to put me to sleep while I let my mind wander off into nothingness. (Sometimes I admit I try to reach the so-called "astral plane". But I can't say I've had any success yet.)
I have a strong fascination with dreams. For a few years now I've kept a dream journal. Sometimes I try to interpret their meanings, and other times I simply let them be. I've gone lucid a few times, even once I thought I had an out-of-body experience, but I'm not completely certain.
My main goal right now is to find a spiritual teacher, guru, master, mentor or just someone who can help me feel around. I really hope that I can be blessed with such a person. I've been looking high and low, but haven't found who or what I'm looking for yet. I don't know if I should go looking for them, or if in time they will find me. I just hope that someday that time will come.