Thought


You Don’t Seem Yourself

There is a phrase i hate “you don’t seem yourself’.  Ok Ok I take things seriously, too seriously, but that one presses my buttons, ALL of my buttons…ALL my buttons AT THE SAME TIME. 

I have spent years trying to find a way to express my self and not be too grating on others, I have engaged in therapy and offering therapy to others, sometimes i think, perhaps imagine I am really together, everythings cool and then someone says that phrase……arrrggghhh!

May be its that they have spotted that I am just pretending to be myself and I hate to be found out! Is my self so fragile, probably not!

Who you are can be a life long search for something that is staring you in the face, in the end its what you do with it that matters.  I walked away from the conflict with the person that said this, because i trusted myself and the other person. I have learnt from past mistakes that it is better to walk away and ”time-out“….with a little space and recovery time you can find that the self is a lot stronger than you thought and that most arguments are really about nothing much at all, or because you are tired or didn’t say what you wanted or needed in the first place in a way that the other could hear, but hey thats just my experience.


Think of it this way, when Primo levi talked about the man (”If This Is a Man / The Truce“ (Primo Levi)) at Auschwitz who after the first day had buttons on his jacket and wire to hold up his trousers and seemed to have got a shave, he was talking about something important, this man he reckoned was acting like a survivor, looking like a survivor, and therefore he felt was much more likely to survive than many others who just gave up, he was programming him self and others to see him in a particular way.  When Louise hay writes about say ”I approve of myself“ 200 times a day or more or that our thoughts and feelings paint the canvas of our lives, she is talking about a reprogramming.

These two examples show how we can effect others view of ourselves and change our own inner view.  However there is a lot to undo, in a camp where you are marked for death, or in alife where as children we are often programmed with negative phrases handed down through generations, without anyone thinking about it.

For me one of these phrases is ”you don’t appear to be yourself today“, or ” you are not looking yourself“, or ”thats not like you“ and so on, these appear to me to all be simple subtle denials (very often from really concerned/caring people) of your real self.  Its not obvious but it has a drip drip effect.  My experience has been that in the end these statements are really directions on how to deny aspects of yourself that others find uncomfortable.  You are upset….comment oh dear, you really aren’t yourself today, as if you..your self, could not be upset, so it must be someone else, or a part of you that does not belong to the self, that you are therefore not responsible for??

The Emerald Tablet of Hermes - Love

Love

This is a reworking of part of an ancient text and is part of what is known as:

The Emerald Tablet of Hermes

If then you do not make yourself equal to Love, you cannot apprehend Love: for like is known by like. Leap clear of all that is corporeal, and make yourself grow to a like expanse with that greatness which is beyond all measure; rise up above all time and become eternal; then you will apprehend Love.

Think that for you too nothing is impossible;deem that you too are immortal, and that you are able to grasp all things in your thought, to know every craft and science; find yourself home in the haunts of every living creature; make yourself higher than all heights, and lower than all depths; bring together in yourself all opposites of quality, heat and cold, dryness and fluidity; think that you are everywhere at once, on land, at sea, in heaven; think that you are not yet begotten, that you are in the womb, that you are young, that you are old, that you have died, that you are in the world beyond the grave: grasp in your thought all this at once, all times and places, all substances and qualities and magnitudes together; then you can apprehend Love.

But if you shut up your soul in your body and abase yourself and say, ‘I know nothing, I can do nothing, I am afraid of earth and sea, I cannot mount to heaven; I do no know what I was, nor what I shall be’; then what have you to do with Love?Your thought can grasp nothing beautiful or good, if you cleave to the body, and are evil. For it is the height of evil not to know Love; but to be capable of knowing Love, and to wish and hope to know Love, is the road which leads straight to the Good and it is an easy road to travel.

Everywhere Love will come to meet you, everywhere Love will appear to you, at places and times which you look not for it, in your waking hours and in your sleep, when you are journeying by water and land, in the night time and in the day time, when you are speaking and when you are silent: for there is nothing which is not Love. And do you say “Love is invisible’? Speak not so. Who or what is more manifest than Love.

Ways of Seeing - John Berger

Ways of Seeing

I first saw this in a one of repeat of BBC classic series, it was a TV series and a book by John Berger about art and art history but from a radical perspective, the most profound piece for me was when…

In one of the episodes of Ways of Seeing Berger shows us a landscape of a cornfield with birds fliying over it and asks us to look at it for a moment

A Vincent Van Gogh


Then…

He tells us THIS WAS THE LAST PAINTING THAT VAN GOGH PAINTED BEFORE KILLING HIMSELF, and this changes the image, the image becomes an illustration of this sentence in the programme then some music is played and he suggests that the painting changes again.

The effect of this and later reading the book of the same name which had originally accompanied the program, changed my life. I was lucky my mother was an artist and had encouraged this critical eye in me at an early age and I was dragged round exhibitions from Bridget Riley to Turner and Picasso, with her loud ringing tones, saying that this or that painter had probably managed a discount on a job lot of paint that week , which was why all his paintings were blue or red, or whatever.

Seeing this picture again, some while ago now i wrote this

Black Bird Fire

Big Black Bird
Moving out of a burning sun
Big Black Bird
Flying over a burning cornfield
The raging flames of golden grain
The world is crackling
Big Black Bird
Wings unfurled, gulls wings
In a flaming pastel world
Heat Haze, lifting
Thermals drifting
Big Black Bird
Caught between the suns fierce rays
And fields of flame
turning and turning…
No falcon here
No roost that will not roast
Big Black Bird
We must leave you flying
Not drowning but dieing.

Author -Jonathan spencer-

What is interesting from a spiritual and psychological point of view, at the beginning of his book Berger says in a direct counterpoint to In the beginning was the word…”seeing comes before words, the child looks and recognizes before it can speak.”

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Children of the 50s, 60s and 70s - Rose tinted

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Children of the 50s 60s and 70s

Some of this stuff on facebook reminds me however of a line from A Gil Scott Heron Song: “Everyone wants to go back, even if its only as far as last week,…they don’t know if they want to be Matt Dillon or Bob Dylan…” Things were always better in the past, we have lost our desire for the future, look around you at all the retro styling, the stripped pine and victorian fireplaces…but what the heck what do you think or are you too young to remember According to today’s regulators and bureaucrats, those of us who were kids in the 50s, 60s, and 70s probably shouldn’t have survived, because……

…When we rode our bikes, we wore no helmets, just flip flops and fluorescent ‘clackers’ on our wheels.As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags.

…We shared one drink with four friends from one bottle or can and no one actually died from this…. We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and ate live stuff, and although we were told it would happen, we did not have very many eyes out, nor did the live stuff live inside us forever.

This is pretty much plagiarised from something I saw on facebook and originally I saw in an email back in 2004, so if its your work, please tell me. It reminds me however of a line from A Gil Scott Heron Song: “Everyone wants to go back, even if its only as far as last week,…they don’t know if they want to be Matt Dillon or Bob Dylan…” Things were always better in the past, we have lost our desire for the future, look around you at all the retro styling, the stripped pine and victorian fireplaces…but what the heck what do you think or are you too young to remember
According to today’s regulators and bureaucrats, those of us who were
kids in the 50s, 60s, and 70s probably shouldn’t have survived,
because……

Our baby cots were covered with brightly coloured lead-based paint
which
was promptly chewed and licked.
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, or latches on doors or
cabinets and it was fine to play with pans. When we rode our bikes, we wore no helmets, just flip flops and
fluorescent ‘clackers’ on our wheels.As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Riding in the passenger seat was a treat. We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle – tasted
the same.
We ate dripping sandwiches, bread and butter pudding and drank fizzy
pop with sugar in it, but we were never overweight because we were always
outside playing.

We shared one drink with four friends from one bottle or can and no
one actually died from this.
We would spend hours building go-carts out of scraps and then went
top speed down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After
running into stinging nettles a few times, we learned to solve the problem. We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we
were back before it got dark. No one was able to reach us all day and no
one minded. We did not have Playstations or X-Boxes, no video games at all. No
99channels on TV, no videotape movies, no surround sound, no mobile
phones,no personal computers, no Internet chat rooms. We had friends – we
went outside and found them.
We played street rounders and cricket without helmets and face masks
and sometimes that ball really hurt.
We fell out of trees, got cut and broke bones and teeth, and there
were no lawsuits. They were accidents. We learnt not to do the same thing
again.
We had fights, punched each other hard and got black and blue – we
learned to get over it.
We walked to friend’s homes. We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and ate live stuff, and although we were told it would happen, we did not have very many eyes out, nor did the live stuff live inside us forever.
We rode bikes in packs of 7 and wore our coats by only the hood. Our actions were our own. Consequences were expected. The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard of. They
actually sided with the law. Imagine that!

This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers and problem
solvers and inventors, ever.

Some of that stuff is true, but I was just getting to the bit where I thought they’d be writing about how it was always sunny and snowed every winter. Of course those were the days when you get away with molesting children, making parents give up children ‘born out of wedlock’, when a caning by a teacher, did you 'the world of good' and we had National Service. I wouldn’t want to go back, not to this kind of world, anyhow I doubt I would see my way around coz those rose tinted glasses are so damn thick……..

9/11: why allow 19 people to change our world

Why have we allowed 19 murderers to change our world?

The journalist ROBERT FISK said about 9/11…”We should not have allowed 19 murderers to change our world”

I was musing on this on sunday while the septemeber sun, moved behind a beautiful laburnum tree I was looking at and as it did I was transported to the laburnum tree that stood in the front garden Of the E*****K family who had been neighbours of my family in the street where I grew up.

They were an extended family, Grandad E*****K sat on the garden wall and watched the kids play, he spent most of his pension on chocolate bars for them and had a special tin in his little garden workshop filled with penny bars. His love of children, and desire to give were all perfectly innocent and done in the spirit of good family and innocence. Grandma E*****K taught me to play Cards, especially Cribbage and I spent alot of time in the evenings battling my wits against her skills. Mrs E*****K taught me a love of gardening, growing and the earth, her garden was fantastic, and i carry the skills she taught me and this love with me today in my own garden.

My sunday lunch included beans, potatoes, carrots and courgettes all of which i had grown myself.

You can nether fully destroy or create this kind of love, care and neighbourliness by war and violence, I hope and give thanks that will always survive. I have no doubt it survives in the towns of Iraq and Afghanistan, just as it does in the USA, Europe, Russia, Chechenya and elsewhere.

Killing people does not inspire me nor protect this way of life, whether it is the murderous acts of 9/11, the murderous acts of the armies in Iraq, or the school in Ossetia.

I want to give thanks for this for the inspiration the E*****K family gave me and the protection of my innocence.

Giving thanks is one of the most positive and constructive things you can do, what sort of giving thanks is killing??

Can Joy Make War Impossible?


Joy Makes War Impossible

Please don’t forget fun, work, spirituality is meant to bring a smile to our faces, religion, church, temple, synagogue, these are things that are meant to help us focus our celebration of our blessings. Life is meant to be fun, are you enjoying yours? Do you have enough or are you always seeking something else, working for something else, praying for something else, preaching for something else, grabbing something else, do you glory in the things you possess …what you have, or do you celebrate who you are?

13 years ago I spent this week walking around saying to myself, “I am blessed” “I accept all that God/The Universe has to offer me”. And you know what it put a smile on my face, some things just seemed easier….no really they did. Even tonight as I prepared for my kids coming this weekend, by going shopping for things I had already..I mean here I was in this house living the single life again and I am still buying food like I was stocking up for the 7 years of famine, until i stopped criticising myself and realised i just wanted to give my kids a treat

Every single negative has a positive and vice versa, I am going to be careful not to waste whats been given and next time to realise i already have enough.

And this is the point of my entry in the blog, when am i going to realise i am already blessed, I have already been given everything I need, when are you going to realise it for your self too, or may be you are ahead of me and know it already, well tell everyone you see, we have enough for everyone.

Now I reckon I have said all this before, but sometimes the way it comes home to me is in the simple things like grocery shopping, its become a habit to think I don’t have enough and must buy some more. Think about it.

Maybe some people really don’t have enough because we have been greedy or over needy, and taken more than our share, we took two because of our insecurities and they were left with nothing. think about it.

Why No Desire to Be Ordinary?

Ordinary Celebrity

In the past I have found myself in a job which although I enjoy it and is in a creative environment it lacks that element of creativity that is so important. Why did I do this job? because like for many of us it pays the mortgage and I could do it with the minimum of fuss and stress…however its got me thinking about my own humanity and ordinariness and gratitude.  Celebrating the jobs I have had however ordinary or everyday has allowed me to recognise the good things and seek more of them so i have had better jobs and now really enjoy the job I have.

Sometimes we have to deal with the practicalities of life, ones that restrict us no matter how much positive thinking and personal growth/development we engage with. Often these times are seen in a negative way, not as a point of learning and understanding that we need to grasp, but as something which ways us down, leads us from the right path or is a betrayal of our ‘real’ selves. This may well all be true. All of us are made up of many aspects. Therapy, self-help and growth can often create a level of the hyper critical in ourselves as we seek the supraman in our selves, as we attempt to pefect ourselves by reaching for a model that has been formed from a defintion that really is about someone else and not us.

It is said that Jung claimed there were only two types of people that came to see him, the ordinary that wished they were extraordinary and the extraordinary that wished they were ordinary. Me I seem to be both and neither.

Gurdjieff as written about by Ousspensky, claimed there was a fourth way, a sort of way to spiritual enlightenment and personal development through our ordinaryness and with it.

Much of our lives could not go on with out a great many amazing people who work hard to serve society and the public. Not just nurses and doctors but cleaners and carers, refuse collectors and park keepers, civil servants and even tax collectors. I know its a bit patronising, but in a climate where public service has been put down and degraded I would hope that all of us that although our jobs may be ordinary we can celebrate them, that being ordinary is these days something to celebrate…making us the true celebrities


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