Monday, June 6, 2011

On the matter of Ruthless Truth

There are some things that I would like to elaborate on.  I've had a lot of contact from people about my last post on Ruthless Truth.  Their responses have run the gambit from contempt to agreement.  There've been a lot of questions.  First, let me be clear:  I am not enlightened--I don't for a second believe that I am.  I am on their list because they believe knowing an insight makes you enlightened.  The knowing is not the important part.  They're lost in their fixation, cannot even see how it consumes their thoughts.  It is a very nice insight.  But there are more powerful insights, there is more to explore.

The idea of no self can be downright damaging.  Some may be fine with damaging others for some unattainable goal of world enlightenment, but their view on humanity is rather skewed.  It is not a dangerous insight.  But when the idea is clung to, it can become dangerous.  RT may wish to deny it, but just look at how many people have left (they consider anyone who leaves to be abandoning humanity--rather than embracing humanity), the "endarkenment" so many have described, destructive and dangerous behaviors, the loss of motivation, etc. 

This single insight does not untangle the webs of human suffering.  It is not liberation; it is not utter freedom.  You are not handing people some prize long sought-after.  You are not enlightening them.  You are passing a flashlight over the webs, perhaps.  But without further searching and finding and then everything that comes after that (accepting?), the insight will sink a person into despair.  The illusion of self is still right there.  You know it's not real, but how easy to buy into everything again!  A person is still trapped--they just know it now.

I have connected no you to lack of separation--you and I being the same, since the beginning.  I'm still not sure on this, not positive.  I try to pinpoint where I end and you begin, and I cannot.  I feel the connection, I sense it.  We are expressions of the same thing.

Something that someone early on said to me that struck me was: 
Now you know what you are not; what are you?

It confused the hell out of me and as my ego was still running rampant when I was asked, I responded as any intellectual would:  I scoffed at it and ignored it.  I didn't understand, so I shoved it aside.  It was obviously so wrong.  What a question!  Pfft.

But it wouldn't leave me alone.  It crept into my thoughts, and I'd find myself puzzling over it.  And the same egoic reasoning which squelched discovery and deemed the inquiry an unworthy endeavor--that same ego rose up again and demanded the question be puzzled out.  In some capacity, I had long been trying to make sense of it--before the question had ever been asked of me.

I know there is no separation.  This was the first clue to the path I journeyed down.  That I still continue exploring.

I think I have the first inkling of what I am-and I am somewhat shamed in that I was derisive of people who had already pointed me in that direction.  I am an expression of the Divine.  Manifestation of awareness.  One teacher I spoke with told me, "You became the World to enter Experience so you could meet yourself."

I'm not clear on any of this.  Wading through the bullshit to get to the substance.  Ruthless Truth sought to be the ending of a path people had long been on.  But I had never been on any such path at all, had indeed no knowledge or really interest in any of this stuff.  Yet RT started my journey.  All things begin somewhere.  I am just saddened so many think it is the end, or that it is so powerful.  It is not.  It is just an insight, amid a plethora of much deeper and much more beneficial insights.

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Soul Purging

I did have a lot of very personal things on here, but I deleted them months and months ago, mostly out of fear of who might read it.  I didn't pull punches with what happened to me--I just laid it out bare.  I still don't know if it was the right decision to pull it from wandering about on the internet.  I may post it back up.  Why not be honest?  My past is a mess, but I shouldn't let it haunt me so.  Admitting to it, facing it . . .

I also went on a trip down memory lane and glanced through my livejournals.  I must say I am proud to be where I am, even if I know "I" didn't make that journey.  :)  It's been a helluva ride, and I am glad to still be here.

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What do I want?

I wrote this in November.  It was my attempt to make a list of what I want in a relationship, under the suggestion of my marriage counselor.  I think more attention might be beneficial, and I would like input on what you think you need in a relationship to be happy.


Love
Want best for each other
Place importance on relationship-demonstrate by making choices to show its priority
That excitement when about to see each other
Butterflies and all
Happiness in each others presence
Hugs and kisses regularly
Holding hands
Cuddling
Willingness to make sacrifices



Companionship / Friendship
Talk freely
Interest in same things
Think the same things are important/ interesting—share them
Walking path together
Share
Explore
Shared sense of humor
Enjoy spending time together doing things
Pursue common interests together yet still have individual activities
Support each other in pursuing things
Ability to talk candidly
Can say things without the other person pouting about it or acting negatively
Go out and have fun
Have dates together
Have common friends—enjoy the same people together
Do things on own and not feel guilt about it
Listen with interest-not just listening for a pause to speak in


Trust
Believe in what the other says
Know that the other will follow through
No empty promises
Faith
Security in own person
Not needing the other person to define or complete you


Common Goals
Going in same direction
Want same things: children, lifestyle, job
Open to new experiences
Want to live life—experience for sake of experience
Share same values
Willingness to stand up for values; conviction
Have same ideas about raising children
Value hard work
Share and build up dreams

Passion
Excitement
Joy, direction
Lust for life
Sex
Physical attraction
Not using sex manipulatively
Emotional needs met, not just sexual



~

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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Where Am I Going?

It's been a while since I had a blog/online journal.  I remember the days of livejournal and how cathartic that was.  How enjoyable.  The introspection was good, I think. 

And now I stand upon a great divide:  Do I go this way or do I go that way?  I'm not sure; I wish someone else could make a foolproof decision for me.  But only I can decide which way to go is the right way.  I am so tired of being in this limbo. 

But I see nothing to gain from making a decision right now.  I will be on vacation in a week, spending almost a month away.  A chance to clear my mind, to dream again, to not feel encumbered or pressured.  This previous schoolyear has been especially trying; my intention is to indulge in my vacation--have a lot of fun, relax.  The time away will tell me what I need to know.  I know I shall return with an answer about my marriage, but I also hope to have answers for other things as well.

Toward this end, I think I will use this website for my thoughts while on vacation.

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Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Path

Wow, I have had so many people pop out of the woodwork!  I am glad to hear from you, and I make this post in an attempt to hear more from you good people.

I'm reminded of "It's a Small World."  How true.

Where are you on your journey?  Where have you gone?  What have you found?  Please share any words or links that show where your thoughts and emotions have wandered--even if something proved to be a dead-end for you.

My email for private messages:  dreamerawakened1 at gmail dot com .  Ah, hubris.  :)

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Hi, Atheists!!

Wow, not posted in here in a long time.  But seeing as how there are some new readers:

Hello, (semi-fellow) atheists!  I'm not truly an atheist, as I do believe in God--but God is not some deity to me.  God is me, you, my dog, the grass, the air, love, peace, hate, everything.  I usually don't wanna get into all that, and since most people don't regard God as such--I just tend to say I'm an atheist.  But the truth is, I fit into no-man's land.

I could "defend" myself here, but I truly have nothing to defend.  Did I come with less-than-stellar reasons?  Sure.  But I was not the first--nope, I followed the path.  I stayed because I enjoyed the people there, and I found many to be knowledgeable.  I wasn't looking for targets or any such--and I certain wasn't some sleeper cell, but I did get a really big laugh out of that.  I never requested to be banned; not sure where that came from. 

So, just thought I would say hello since you're looking.  And this wasn't a secret.  I had it as a link in my signature for a long time.

Also:  The only post where I was anything less than honest or myself was the one about ghosts, but that was because a member told me their idea which sounded fun at the time.  Turned out not to be.  Oh, well.  But everything else?  The truth.  I've embraced the necessity to be honest, and I wasn't feeding "personal" stories to gain trust or whatever.  I was just being honest.  Probably too honest.  But that is me now, who I have chosen to be.  So I am messy and dramatic and sometimes annoying.  I am honest, and I don't care for posturing.  So I just wanted to let whoever reads this know:  I never lied.

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Compassion


Compassion is my weapon. Compassion is connecting to another person's plight, so that it leads to helping. Compassion is often lumped with pity. And this is not an unfair lumping because compassion can often be twisted into a person just pitying another. Compassion's Latin root means "suffer with."

Pity meanwhile means sorrow for another's suffering. Pity requires no involvement. It is a layering added to what is seen.

Pity makes a person think, "Poor dear," and feel bad when they see a homeless man sleeping under newspaper on a park bench. Compassion makes a person give that man a blanket, offer him food--compassion leads to action. It is massively different from pity, which relies on a self concept.

Compassion is not an easy weapon to wield. It is easy to fall to pity-the thought process to travel between compassion and pity is not long or convoluted-it's a hop, skip, and a jump. There is a great difference between suffering with another and suffering because you see another suffering. One (pity) makes it all about you; compassion obliterates the distinction between me and you. Compassion is actually knowing the experience-having it, too.

There are many pitfalls surrounding compassion.  It is not a tool that many can properly use.  Compassion can trap the other person in it—you feel for them, you share with them, and they become enmeshed with you.  They come to rely on you. 

Compassion is not the same thing as forgiveness.  From compassion, there may be forgiveness—but withholding forgiveness does not make a person uncompassionate.  In fact, not forgiving a person when they have not changed anything may be the most compassionate thing to be done.  Accountability is important, and most people snake away from any responsibility these days. 

It is easy to look at compassion and lump it along with kindness.  But that is to miss what compassion is-to overlook the power there.  Kindness is just doing things to make the other person feel good.  Compassion doesn’t have an end goal of how the person should feel.  Compassion may manifest itself as kindness or harshness or anything inbetween.  Compassion seeks to help-in whatever way it may.

Sympathy is also a trap near to compassion It is sharing and understanding sorrow. There is some overlap here. Compassion encompasses more than just sorrow, though--it applies to the totality of emotions, the whole range. It is connecting to the person-not just in sorrow, but in joy and terror as well.

Sympathy is certainly human-and it is a step above pity. But sympathy still has the fault of separation: you are separate from the one who's in sorrow.

But, ah, compassion! Compassion is commiserating-it is not just observing; it is knowing and experiencing. Compassion without action is useless. In fact, compassion does not exist without action--compassion without action is perhaps sympathy, pity. Compassion is action. Compassion is the embodiment that there is no separation between you or I.

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Precious Little Dumplings

                “Oh, it’s okay.  It’s only one F.  it doesn’t mean you’re stupid or dumb.  You just need to work harder; that’s all.  You can do it; you’re so *smart*!”
                There is a serious problem with the approach taken with children.  We tell them that they are inherently beyond value.  It does not matter what they think, say, or do—it has no bearing on that untouchable, immeasurable value.  We tell them that they are brilliant and wonderful-not because of anything they do but just because we don’t want them to feel *BAD* about themselves!
                A little background:  I am a natural teacher; everywhere I go, I teach.  I have a lot of experience with special needs students—those people who have mental, physical, emotional difficulties.  My mother ran a special needs daycare when I was four, so I grew up with a sense of comfort around people that most young children stared at in disgust or confusion.  My entire life I have been sought out to teach—I cannot tell you how many times I have been told “You *have* to be a teacher; you just have to.  We need you.”  I am drawn to teaching; I’m not a teacher now-rather, I work to integrate special education students (from very mild needs to more complex and demanding issues) into mainstream classrooms.  Sometimes I will pull them out and have a completely independent class, but most of the time I aim to keep them within the classroom.  These kids don’t like to be singled out, and I do my best to respect that.  Anyway, the point is I have a lot of experience with teaching, and what I see is so very disheartening.  The American education system is a complete joke, but the problems begin at home long before we get 'em.
                There are students who will openly declare their brilliance, right after receiving multiple graded papers—all Fs –and being told they’re failing.  But they think that they are wonderful little monkeys.  They think they are smart.  And I am not supposed to tell them otherwise.  The workplace culture is that we must nurture the students by bolstering their self-esteem; we must tell them how wonderful they are.  I wonder how many of my coworkers realize the utter absurdity.  Why would I tell a student he or she is smart when he or she is lazy, incompetent, and willfully stupid?
                It has become so bad that we no longer even challenge the students to FIND the answers.  No, finding the answers—learning how to discover the answer on your own—this is a skill wholly beyond my students.  Rather, the challenge is to copy down the right answer—we give it to them now; we say it aloud, we write it on the board, sometimes we even give them a handout with the answers RIGHT THERE.  You would be AMAZED how many can’t even copy down the right answer when it’s given to them.
                Life doesn’t hand you the answer.  You have to work for it.  You have to search for it, often—or at the very least pay enough attention that you get it when it’s handed to you on a silver platter.  But there are so many students who are so lazy and indolent that they can’t even copy down the right answer when it’s given to them.  I think we’re cheating the intelligent students.  We should be making everyone search for the answers.  I don’t think that the students are so stupid that they are unable to find the answers.  I think they’ve been told they’re brilliant so often that they have no clue what that word even means—they have no idea what excellence is.  They don’t even aim for mediocrity anymore—they are happy enough just to scrape by the day and return home to indulge in Jersey Shore and dream of how that’s the life they truly want and deserve. 
                Until we start telling children, “Wow, that was really stupid.” or “You’re lazy.” or “You can do better and so you must,” things will continue on as they have.  I will be surrounded by a sea of stupidity, with no chance of breaking free of it.  Because if you’re stupid but think yourself brilliant, then you will never move beyond your stupidity.  Instead, you will bask in it, thinking it something worthwhile.  And that is what happens with my students:  They think their thoughts and actions worthwhile, and they drown in ignorance.

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