The Zen of Keeping Score

January 19, 2009

The common use of the concept of Zen is that we do something without “really” doing it.  In that sense we will look at the idea of how to keep score without really paying so close attention to the score that we take ourselves out of the moment.

 

Welcome back

I hope that everyone had a happy and safe weekend.  This part of the northeastern US was very cold (for us) on Friday and Saturday.  I hope that wherever you were that you managed to stay warm.

 

It’s in the balance

We have been talking about the idea of keeping score for a couple of days now.  We have seen that it can take us out of the moment and complicate our relationships.  The question is “How do we keep score appropriately?”

 

What I have found as the answer to that question is to understand the concept of balance.  When we are operating from our false self we think that the balance needs to be completely in our favor.  Remember – false self is very fearful.  It gets very upset when the balance appears to be anything but favorable to what it thinks the balance should be.

 

As we learn to operate more from our true self we learn that the balance can be shifted so that we share much more completely with those around us.  True self is always in the moment and does not care about who is giving and who is taking on an immediate basis.

 

True self recognizes that all situations and relationships ebb and flow.  Sometimes one is putting more in than they are taking.  Other times we need to take a bit more than we give.

 

True self looks for two things when we decide it is time to “keep score.”  First – we look at the sense of balance.  Over time does the balance seem to be appropriate?  Although the balance may be off at times or imbalances may persist for awhile, do things usually get back to a balance?

 

Second – true self looks at the intentions and actions of those concerned.  Does everyone sincerely want to keep things balanced and moving forward?  Is everyone taking what actions they can to work towards keeping things in balance?

 

These are very subjective questions.  When we are in the moment the correct answers always come when we ask these questions.  Also, this idea of balance takes a bit of practice.  It goes hand in hand with learning to be in the moment.  The more we are in the moment the more we are able to keep score without “really” keeping score.

 

Tomorrow will be more practical

Today we were a little on the theoretical side.  Tomorrow we will conclude our series about keeping score with a discussion that is a little more practical.

 

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

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It’s Not a Gift – It Is Your Ability

November 26, 2008

In the last week I have found myself talking about the difference between a gift and an ability.  I figured that I should write about it and help everyone else to understand how I see the difference.

 

Happy Thanksgiving

Today is the start of the Thanksgiving Day weekend for many of us here in the US.  I have written some special columns for the next two days.  I hope you enjoy them.  I hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday.

 

We think it is a gift

I have noticed that many times people look at something that happens to them and do not believe it was they who directed the situation.  Many times we are in the moment and do something that we did not think we could.  We say we received a “gift.”

 

We are struggling with a situation and we get an insight into how to resolve the situation.  We think we have received a “gift.”  Sometimes we think it is a gift from God.  Sometimes we think it is a gift from the Holy Spirit.  Sometimes we think it is a gift from a guide or a teacher.

 

It really is your ability

I look at these situations and I view them as examples of our ability.  We have all heard about how powerful we are when we are being our true self, source, spirit.  Choose your term, but the power remains.

 

When we are in the moment there is no such thing as a gift.  When we are in the moment everything that happens comes from our abilities.  Our true self is so powerful that our false self cannot comprehend that power.  False self cannot imagine that it could be associated so closely with such power – so it goes into denial and views that power as a gift.

 

Gifts give us plausible deniability

As long as we can claim that the power of our true self is a gift we think we have a reasonable claim for an excuse to not exercise that power all the time.  If it is a gift then we can blame the capriciousness of the giver for our reason to not have the power.  After all, if God, the Holy Spirit, or my guides did not give me the gift then I cannot be expected to exhibit my abilities.

 

False self relishes this manner of thinking.  It can hide behind the fact that it did not receive the gift.  Remember, false self is afraid.  It does not want to be different.  Having the gift forces it to face the responsibility of being true self.  On this planet at this time, using all of our abilities causes us to be different.  False self does not want to be different so it will hide behind anything that it can to avoid facing this responsibility.

 

Above or below

Another way to see this behavior as false self based is to recall something from Eckhart Tolle.  We have written several times about the idea expressed by Eckhart Tolle that false self always wants to see itself above or below those around it.

 

In our example today false self is claiming that it is below others because it has not received the gift.  Or, if it has received a “gift” it refuses to accept it as an ability.  Let’s look closer at these two cases.

 

In the first case, false self can claim lesser ability because it did not receive the gift that others have received.  This puts it below others who have received the gift and eliminates any expectations that false self use its abilities.

 

In the second case, false self has received the “gift” but will not accept that it is an ability.  Once again, this takes false self off the hook because a gift can be temporary.  An ability is permanent and we expect to increase our abilities over time. If it is a gift, then we received it for the one situation and we cannot be expected to use the gift more than once.

 

Being in the moment

When we are in the moment there is no such thing as a gift.  We exercise our true self abilities when we are in the moment.  If a guide does happen along and gives us an insight it is because we asked for the insight.  Therefore it is no longer a gift.

 

As we discovered in our post “Ask and You Will be Answered”, when we ask a question of guidance we always get many answers.  Our guides do not give us answers for which we have not asked questions.  They are very busy.  They know that our Creator does not allow us to get into situations that we cannot handle.

 

When we are not asking questions our guides figure that we are doing just fine.  Once we ask a question, the answers are not gifts.  The answers are the Process of Existence helping us on our path.  There is no magic to this – that is the way the Process of Existence works.   It gives no gifts – only answers.

 

When we receive those answers we are not receiving gifts.  We are using our true self ability to exemplify the reason that we exist.  We exist to learn and grow and share that learning and growth with each other.  As we learn the tremendous power of true self we also learn our unimaginable ability.

 

Please stop limiting your confidence in your ability by calling it a gift.  God, the Holy Spirit, our guides want nothing more than for us to empower our self.  That will help them in their work more than anything else we could do.  Let’s help the Holy Spirit by accepting that our “gifts” are really our abilities.  The Holy Spirit wants us to use those abilities to help others realize their abilities.

 

And on it goes, each one helping the other to empower themselves.  Eventually you have an entire planet of empowered people.  But it begins by empowering our self first.

 

The gift from our Creator is our Life.  Our gift to our Creator is what we do with that Life.  As far as I am concerned, these are the only gifts.

 

That’s all for today.  Don’t eat too much tomorrow!

 

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

 

Discuss & Comment

We do not want this blog to be a fountain of words from one view point.  We welcome comments and questions.  Please feel free to ask a question or make a comment when the mood strikes you.

 

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© Copyright 2008 by KanDu Associates, LLC 

 

The content of this blog is copyrighted by KanDu Associates.  All rights are reserved by the owner.  For reprint information please email:

 

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Ask and You Will be Answered

November 21, 2008

All of us have asked the universe for an answer.  We might have been searching for guidance.  We might have been in prayer.  We might have been in pain and looking for peace.  Today we will look at what happens when we ask our questions.

 

Thankful Friday

We always begin our Friday post by thanking those around us.  Last week we spent a lot of time talking about Barack Obama and spirituality.  I neglected to give my thanks to Thom Hartmann for providing the inspiration for some of what was said.

 

Thom Hartmann broadcasts a radio talk show for three hours a day on Air America.  He provides the best ongoing civics lesson that I have ever found.  He explains how our country was founded and run for over 200 years by and for “we the people.”  Thanks Thom for all of your thoughtful insights regarding our current political situation.

 

We also thank WordPress and FeedBurner for providing the free tools that make writing and distributing this site possible.  Thanks WordPress and FeedBurner!

 

We All Ask

At some point in our life we have all asked for guidance, insight, a better way.  We have all been in enough pain that we realized that we must look outside of our self for an answer to relieve that pain.  We all know that we are supposed to be happy – so we ask for a path to that happiness.

 

It does not matter if we ask while we are in prayer, meditating, practicing yoga, or walking down the street.  At some point we see that we are not happy with our lives and we want to change our life.  The manner that we ask is not important – only that we do ask.

 

We want specific answers

As we first begin our path we have yet to learn that we must be open to the answers we receive.  We ask a question and expect a specific answer.  We also ask for a specific thing.  We may need a car – but we ask for a car that is not appropriate for us.  We may need a few extra dollars to pay our bills so we ask for a million dollars.

 

These are examples of false self getting in the way.  We have discussed at length how false self is very fearful and insecure.  It is the one that wants a million dollars when we only need a few hundred.  It is the one that wants a Lexus when a Honda is all we need.

 

Gradually we learn that we cannot let false self get in the way of how we ask questions.  We discover how to ask questions without hidden assumptions or extremely specific parameters.  We also learn to be open to the answers.  Gradually we learn to be an observer in the process and allow our self to be guided by true self as we ask our questions and receive our answers.

 

We are always answered

How many times have we asked a question and then we do not think we have been answered?  An interesting thing about the Process of Existence is that it always answers us.

 

Do you remember our discussion about the reason we exist?  The reason we exist is to learn and grow and share that learning and growth with each other.  When we ask a question the Process of Existence must answer us.  We want to learn so we ask the question.  The process of existence must answer because it is there to help us learn.

 

So why don’t we think we receive answers?  The main reason is the false self.  We mentioned earlier that false self asks for very specific things.  It also asks for inappropriate things.  When it does not get the specific and inappropriate answers it was looking for – it thinks it has not been answered.

 

Actually, false self has received an answer.  The Process of Existence has told false self that its questions are either too specific or inappropriate.  False self does not want to hear those answers so it rejects them and claims that it was not answered.  This is what we learn to work through as we learn to ask questions from true self.  We learn that false self cannot understand this entire process and we learn to ignore its inappropriate questions.

 

We get a lot of answers

The Process of Existence is very magnanimous.  When we ask a question we do not get just one answer.  We get a lot of answers.  It is up to us to choose the best answer for our situation.  That is how we learn.

 

If the Process of Existence gave us only one answer we would not have any choice, therefore we would have no free will.  The Process must give us a lot of answers so that there is the maximum opportunity for learning.

 

To illustrate how this principle of multiple answers works let’s imagine that true self has asked a question.  The question is immaterial – we are looking at the process.  Let’s say that we receive twenty answers to our question.  We always receive a lot of answers.  Sometimes it is more than twenty – sometimes it is less.  We will use twenty for our example.

 

We receive twenty answers.  Ten of those we will not even hear.  We don’t hear them because we are not ready for them yet.  The Process always offers us the opportunity to advance our learning.  We receive ten answers that give us that opportunity.  However, we are not yet ready for that advancement so we most likely do not even see those answers.

 

Of the remaining ten answers we see that five of them are not appropriate for our purposes.  We hear these five answers but we also see that they are not taking us down the path that we want to travel right now.  They may be appropriate at a later date, but they are not what we want now.

 

Finally, we are down to five answers that we view as possible courses of action.  We may wind up choosing one of the answers.  We may create an additional answer that is a combination of two or more of the answers.

 

It does not matter which answer we choose.  We have asked our question.  We have received multiple answers.  We have chosen our path based on those answers.  We start down the new part of the path and learn from the experience.  Soon we will have another question and we will repeat this process again.

 

And that is why and how we exist.  We want to learn so we ask a question.  The Process of Existence provides multiple answers.  We choose an answer, apply it, and learn from it.  Thus has it ever been and thus shall it always be.

 

That is all for today.  Have a great weekend!  If you are so inclined please submit a comment and tell us about your weekend.

 

Until Monday –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

 

Discuss & Comment

We do not want this blog to be a fountain of words from one view point.  We welcome comments and questions.  Please feel free to ask a question or make a comment when the mood strikes you.

 

WordPress forces all comments to be moderated.  We usually check for comments at least twice a day.  So do not be surprised if it takes a few hours for you to see your comment.

 

Talk to us!  Post a comment or a question!

 

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Email

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Copyright

© Copyright 2008 by KanDu Associates, LLC 

 

The content of this blog is copyrighted by KanDu Associates.  All rights are reserved by the owner.  For reprint information please email:

 

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Don’t Bother the Tiger

November 20, 2008

During the last week I have been asked to explain a metaphor about a tiger.  This has happened several times.  I finally got the message that maybe I should write a post about it.  To quote that great American hero, Homer Simpson: Doh!

 

The source

I readily admit that I have not read a lot of books on spirituality.  My preferred method has been to learn a few principles and then learn to utilize them in my daily life.  Then repeat.  Then repeat.

 

However, one of the best books that I have read was “The Mystic Path to Cosmic Power” by Vernon Howard.  I read this book almost thirty years ago and several times since then.  The vividness and practicality of the examples and metaphors that he used still resonate with me.  The book has been hard to find, but most people eventually obtain a copy.  You might try this link.  I have no financial or any other relationship with the seller of the book.

 

The metaphor of the tiger comes from this book.  Vernon Howard wrote about many more examples that can help illuminate our path.  If there is a good response to this post, I will write about some of the other examples that have helped me on my path.

 

Disturbing the tiger

Remember our discussion a few weeks ago about observation?  This metaphor assumes you are familiar with the concept of observation.  Please read the articles about observation if you are not familiar with the concept.

 

The metaphor of the tiger starts by observing our thoughts.  We see thoughts of anger, unhappiness, hate, fear, and many more.  Those painful thoughts become the tiger.

 

We watch the tiger (painful thoughts) appear and walk through our mind.  We are fearful of the tiger so we strike it.  Or we grab it.  Somehow we arouse the tiger and make it aware of us.

 

Once the tiger is aware of us we must wrestle with it.  Remember – the tiger is our negative and unhappy thoughts.  When we are wrestling with the tiger we are wrestling with our own thoughts, our self.

 

Who wins this battle with the tiger (our self)?  No one.  Who loses the battle with our self?  We do.  We always lose when we fight with our self.  In fighting with the tiger we are fighting with our self – a battle we cannot win.

 

Learning to ignore the tiger

It takes awhile, but eventually we learn that if we ignore the tiger it will not bother us.  Just because we see the tiger does not mean we have to do something about it.  When we are still, observant, and fearless, all we need to do is watch the tiger walk through our mind.

 

When we learn to just let the tiger walk on through our mind we learn that it cannot have any effect on us unless we disturb it.  Eventually we learn to have many tigers walking through our mind at the same time.  We gradually learn to  ignore the tigers and go about our business.  The tigers will take care of themselves and we are happier when we do not disturb them.

 

In other words

Let’s break this metaphor down again.  The tiger represents our negative thoughts, our false self.  As we learn to observe, we learn to watch the tiger, our negative thoughts, our false self, from a separate place.  That separate place is our true self.  We learn that when we are enmeshed in the false self we lose objectivity and are in pain.

 

At first when we see our painful thoughts (the tiger, false self) we think we have to do something about them.  We think we have to lash out at them.  We think we have to change them.  All this does is causes us to fight with our self (false self, tiger).  When we fight our self we always lose.

 

It seems counter intuitive, but when we see our false self (painful thoughts, tiger) all we have to do is ignore it.  We let it go.  We allow the thoughts to go through our mind and we learn not to act on them.  We learn that every time we act from false self (painful thoughts, tiger) we become more unhappy.

 

Gradually we realize that as long as we remain in our place of observation true self will know what to do.  When we stop listening to false self the only voice remaining is that of true self.

 

We learn to trust that true self always has the best answer.  We learn that true self is always happy.  We learn that there is nothing more important in life than to be operating from our true self, no matter the apparent “cost” in physical terms.

 

We learn that there is no substitute for the peace and happiness that come from true self.

 

That is all for today.  Please submit your comments or experiences of when you realized that you had disturbed the tiger.  Our readers would like to hear your experiences.

 

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

 

Discuss & Comment

We do not want this blog to be a fountain of words from one view point.  We welcome comments and questions.  Please feel free to ask a question or make a comment when the mood strikes you.

 

WordPress forces all comments to be moderated.  We usually check for comments at least twice a day.  So do not be surprised if it takes a few hours for you to see your comment.

 

Talk to us!  Post a comment or a question!

 

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Don’t miss any updates.  Get daily posts by email.  Subscribe to this blog by clicking here: SUBSCRIBE

 

This email list is maintained by FeedBurner, a subsidiary of Google.  I hate to receive spam and advertisements in my email.  I will never sell your email address for such purposes.

 

Email

You can email us directly at:  noahnow@yahoo.com

 

Copyright

© Copyright 2008 by KanDu Associates, LLC 

 

The content of this blog is copyrighted by KanDu Associates.  All rights are reserved by the owner.  For reprint information please email:

 

noahnow@yahoo.com

 


What Are You Observing?

November 3, 2008

In previous posts we have mentioned the technique of observation.  Today we will take a closer look at how to learn that technique.  We will also see how our mastery of false self starts with observation.

 

Welcome back!

Here is an enthusiastic “welcome back” from the weekend to all of our readers.  We had some great weather here in the northeastern US.  I hope you enjoyed your weekend as much as I enjoyed mine.

 

What is observation?

Observation is a technique or behavior that is taught by many spiritual and philosophical disciplines.  Believe it or not, it is very common in other areas of our life.

 

When athletes talk about “being in the zone” they are talking about observing their behavior as if they were another person.  When a musician is playing and loses all sense of time they are observing themselves.

 

Observation is relatively common but it also usually accidental.  Today we will take a look at a simple technique that has helped many people to learn to practice observation on purpose.

 

The balcony

The easiest technique that I have ever found to learn observation is the balcony.  All you have to do is imagine yourself standing on a balcony.  Now you place this balcony just slightly behind and slightly above you head.

 

See yourself standing on that balcony observing what is happening to your body.  If you are watching TV, observe yourself watching TV.  If you are on the phone, observe yourself having that conversation.

 

For now, please do not try this technique when you are doing anything that is potentially dangerous, like driving a car.  As you learn this technique in small ways you will gradually begin to apply it to all aspects of your life.

 

Don’t get involved

As you practice your observation you will want to jump off the balcony and get involved with the body that you are observing.  Don’t do that!  The reason that you are observing is to learn to separate yourself from the drama of your life.

 

The goal is to learn to stay above and separate from that drama.  It takes a bit of practice, but if you persevere you will achieve the goal.  Some people have done this in a few weeks or months.  Some people (like me) have taken years to learn this technique.  The length of time is not important.

 

The important thing is to start to see that you are separate from the drama.  You are standing on your balcony in your quiet and happy place watching the drama.  You are not the drama.

 

True self

What is happening here is that you are learning to be your true self.  The person standing on the balcony is your true self.  The person you are observing is your false self.

 

As we have discussed previously, false self is all of our fears, anger, and unhappiness.  Your false self is the person you are observing.  Watch that person go through the drama of its unhappy life.  Watch it experience the fear.  Watch it cling to its attachments and experience the unhappiness.  Watch it get angry because it feels like it.  As you watch this drama, ask yourself “Is that who I want to be?”

 

Hopefully you will answer “No. That is not who I want to be.”  At that point you have your direction.  You realize that all you need to do is learn to stand on your balcony.  You learn to watch the drama and not jump off the balcony to get involved in the fear and unhappiness.  You learn that the only time you are truly happy is when you are on the balcony.

 

Get back up there

As you learn to observe from your balcony, you will also learn that you frequently jump back into the drama.  At first you will not even realize that you have jumped into the drama.  The drama is so familiar that you do not even realize that you have jumped back in.  Unfortunately, pain is such a common state that you do not recognize when you are in pain.

 

Eventually you do recognize that you are in pain.  Eventually you remember that quiet, happy, and peaceful spot on the balcony.  Gradually you realize that you need to get back to that spot to end your pain.  You learn how to get back on the balcony after you have jumped into the middle of the drama.

 

It all starts with observation

We started this blog with some explanations about the Crystal, Indigo, and Star Children.  In our post “Quo Vadis” on August 1 we stated that the most important thing those in the mission could be doing is learning to be spiritual and then exemplifying that spirituality.

 

Then we wrote a series of posts that discussed the concepts of true self and false self.  In those posts we showed how our true happiness and our spirituality come from our true self.

 

Any time we want to change something we need to observe it.  This is no different with learning to be happy by being our true self.  As we stand on our balcony observing our false self we learn that we no longer want that unhappiness.

 

By observing the false self we realize that there is no longer any reason to be unhappy.  We realize that all we have to do is stand on our balcony, watch the passing drama, and gradually change our life to eliminate most of the drama.

 

We still jump off

There will always be challenges.  Even after long periods of standing on the balcony and observing we will occasionally jump off the balcony and land in the middle of the drama.

 

That is fine.  Do not worry.  This only serves to show us the things we have yet to learn.  All we need to do is accept that there was something that we have not learned that caused us to jump off the balcony.  Just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back on the balcony.  You now have something new to learn – go for it!  Commit to learning and resolving why you jumped back into the drama.

 

Vote!

That’s all for today.  Tomorrow is the presidential election in the US.  The most important thing that you can do is to express your free will by choosing the national and local candidates that you think will lead to greater freedom in this country.  Remember, it all starts with learning and the free will to learn and share that learning as you choose.  Vote tomorrow!

 

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

 

Discuss & Comment

We do not want this blog to be a fountain of words from one view point.  We welcome comments and questions.  Please feel free to ask a question or make a comment when the mood strikes you.

 

WordPress forces all comments to be moderated.  We usually check for comments at least twice a day.  So do not be surprised if it takes a few hours for you to see your comment.

 

Talk to us!  Post a comment or a question!

 

Subscribe

 

Don’t miss any updates.  Get daily posts by email.  Subscribe to this blog by clicking here: SUBSCRIBE

 

This email list is maintained by FeedBurner, a subsidiary of Google.  I hate to receive spam and advertisements in my email.  I will never sell your email address for such purposes.

 

Email

You can email us directly at:  noahnow@yahoo.com

 

Copyright

© Copyright 2008 by KanDu Associates, LLC 

 

The content of this blog is copyrighted by KanDu Associates.  All rights are reserved by the owner.  For reprint information please email:

 

noahnow@yahoo.com

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

 

Discuss & Comment

We do not want this blog to be a fountain of words from one view point.  We welcome comments and questions.  Please feel free to ask a question or make a comment when the mood strikes you.

 

WordPress forces all comments to be moderated.  We usually check for comments at least twice a day.  So do not be surprised if it takes a few hours for you to see your comment.

 

Talk to us!  Post a comment or a question!

 

Subscribe

 

Don’t miss any updates.  Get daily posts by email.  Subscribe to this blog by clicking here: SUBSCRIBE

 

This email list is maintained by FeedBurner, a subsidiary of Google.  I hate to receive spam and advertisements in my email.  I will never sell your email address for such purposes.

 

Email

You can email us directly at:  noahnow@yahoo.com

 

Copyright

© Copyright 2008 by KanDu Associates, LLC 

 

The content of this blog is copyrighted by KanDu Associates.  All rights are reserved by the owner.  For reprint information please email:

 

noahnow@yahoo.com

 


Relationships – Putting It All Together

October 31, 2008

How do all of these ideas apply to how we live our relationships?  Today we will attempt to bring some of the theory into practice.  Let’s see how all these ideas can be used in our daily life.

 

Thankful Friday

As is our custom on this site we take a minute on Friday to thank those around us.  Today I would like to thank all of my friends who have been supportive of me over the years.  I also would like to thank all of our readers who make the effort to read this column.  You readership is what keeps us going.

 

As always we thank WordPress and FeedBurner for making this site possible.  They make the web space available and distribute the content for free. Thanks WordPress and FeedBurner!

 

True self and relationships

Yesterday we took a look at a few of the links between being in the moment, acceptance, and unconditional love.  Today we will look at true self and how we approach relationships when we are being our true self.

 

In August we spent a lot of time talking about the differences between true self and false self.  Please go to the blog archives for August of 2008 to find these articles.  They will provide a great deal of background.  You can find them in the column just to the right of this post.  Look for “Blog Archives”, click the arrow, and select “August 2008.”

 

True self does not need a relationship

One of the points we made about true self is that true self is very comfortable being independent.  When we are living from true self we do not feel dependent on anyone else.  We do not “need” anyone else.

 

It is nice to have other people around.  It is nice to share with others, but true self never feels that we need anyone else.  True self knows that if we need something we can go and get that something by ourself.

 

Let’s look at some of the reasons that are commonly accepted for why we have relationships:

 

  1. We need someone to complete us.  Sorry – true self knows that we are fine all by ourself.  We do not need anyone to fill in any imagined holes in who we think we are.
  2. We need someone to love us.  Sorry again.  As we showed yesterday, until we learn to accept and love ourself unconditionally we cannot fully love anyone else unconditionally.  The interesting thing is that when we learn to love ourself we realize that we “need” no other love.  It is nice for someone else to love us, but we do not “need” it.
  3. We need someone to share our life with.  Once again, not so.  When we are living as our true self we are complete.  We also accept ourself.  If we find someone to share that with – fine.  If not – fine also.  True self looks at a relationship as an extra for that lifetime, not a requirement.
  4. We need someone because we can’t do it all by ourself.  As we have stated in previous discussions of true self – true self can do what ever it decides to do.  True self does not “need” anyone else.  False self does not have much confidence.  It is the one that thinks it needs a relationship so that it has someone to do things for it.
  5. We need a relationship to bring children into the world.  True self quickly recognizes that this idea is backwards.  We must build the relationship first.  Once that is solid then we can think about bringing children into the world.  If you really want to raise children there are many alternate choices such as adoption or volunteering with a group that works with children.

 

Just a few

These are just a few of the reasons why we think we need to have a relationship.  They are all false self behaviors.  The bottom line is that true self realizes that this is just one of countless physical lifetimes.  True self realizes that having a personal relationship in this lifetime is not the reason that we came to this planet in the first place.

 

Unfortunately, we do not see that having a relationship frequently keeps us from doing what we came here for.  Too often we get involved with the drama of a relationship. We wind up spending most of our life attempting to maintain that or another relationship.  In the end, we never understand we way came here in the first place.

 

The social pressure

So far, most of the things that I have said in today’s column fly in the face of all the social pressures about relationships.  Let’s take a look at a few of those pressures.

 

You are somehow inferior if you do not have a relationship.  I look at this one as the unhappy wanting to drag the happy down to their level.  This is clearly a false self idea because we know that true self needs no one else.

 

You are not doing your part if you are not having children.  Our parents want us to have children so that they can have grandchildren.  Yet they never think about what we really want.  Once more, a false self way of thinking.  Besides, aren’t there enough children on the planet already?

 

You are not happy unless someone loves you.  This is true, but not in the way this idea is usually expressed.  We are not happy unless we love ourself.  Once we have that, we do not care if someone else loves us.  When we go looking for that love from someone else we are on a doomed mission.  We are trying to make false self happy by proving that someone loves it.  As we have said before, we can never prove anything to false self.

 

Dealing with the social pressure

We all understand the difficulty of dealing with social pressures.  Our society has become so focused on relationship issues that we come under great pressure to conform our ideas about relationships to societal norms.

 

I have one question that I ask myself when I experience that conflict.  “Do you want to be like everyone else or do you want to be happy?”  It is really that simple.

 

We are constantly faced with the choice between living as true self and the social pressure towards living as false self.  Gradually we learn that making the choice to live as false self always brings unhappiness.

 

We may not yet understand it, but there are many other people who have faced this choice and chosen for true self.  As we make our choice for true self we gradually find those others who have made the same choice.  We realize that we are not alone.  Once this happens it becomes much easier to make the choice for true self.

 

That’s all for this week.  I wish everyone a safe and happy weekend.

 

Until Monday –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

 

Discuss & Comment

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Simplify Our Life – Non-Supportive Family

September 23, 2008

I am sure some of you have been scratching your head and wondering what the last two posts have had to do with simplifying your life.  When I started writing about family I thought that I would be able to explain it in one or two posts.  Surprise!  It is going to take a total of five.

 

Simplify your blood family

In the last two posts we talked about our blood families.  We first talked about the idea of functional and nonfunctional families.  Then we learned about the need to examine our family.  If you have not read those posts please do so.  Reading them is pretty much a prerequisite for understanding this post.

 

Today we will look at a strategy for dealing with the results of our examination of our family.  This strategy is used when we need to get out of a non-supportive relationship.

 

We are accepted

As in all of our relationships we generally have different relationships with the different members of our blood family.  Some will totally accept us for who we are.  These are good relationships that we should attempt to maintain and nurture.  We need to accept these family members unconditionally in the same way they accept us.

 

When acceptance is conditional

Other family members will want to put conditions on their acceptance of us.  These relationships can be summarized with the phrase “if you were really my daughter and loved me you would call me more often.”   Substitute “daughter” for whatever relationship is appropriate for you.  Substitute “call me more often” for any behavior that fits the relationship.

 

These relationships based on conditional acceptance are always painful for us.  The base cause of the pain is that we are not being accepted for who we are.  We usually do not see that.  What we see is that someone is attempting to force us to do things that we do not want to do.

 

We don’t want to call our mother more often.  We don’t want to play baseball but we do so because it will make dad happy.  We don’t want to buy flowers for our sister’s birthday to prove to her that we love her.  We want to express our acceptance in our own way, but they force us to do it their way.  Then, if we do express our acceptance and caring in our own way, they conclude that we do not love them and blame us for hurting them.

 

You can see where this kind of relationship goes.  Over time we are more and more constricted in our behavior towards this relative.  We become more and more unhappy but do not want to hurt them.  This is how nonfunctional families perpetuate themselves.

 

The separation strategy

The first strategy that we will look at is the separation strategy.  This is the more drastic and more final solution.  The way this strategy works is that we commit to attempting to explain to the relative who is placing conditions on their acceptance of us that they are limiting us.

 

If at all possible we should avoid talking about how we are being hurt by them.  There are two reasons for this.  The first goes back to the idea that only the false self can be hurt.  When we talk about being hurt then we are exhibiting false self behavior.

 

The second reason that we do not talk about being hurt is that our relative will frequently respond by telling us how much we are hurting them.  “You think I hurt you? Let me tell you how much you hurt me!”  This conversation rarely is progressive or has a happy ending.

 

In the separation strategy we talk to our relative about how a relationship is limited when we accept someone only if they pass certain conditions.  We talk about how when we are more open with our acceptance we can more truly understand and like each other.

 

We also make a long term commitment to taking whatever time is required to make sure we have tried every possible way to explain ourselves to this relative.  What we are really doing is telling them that we cannot continue our relationship with them if they continue to put conditions on their acceptance of us.  Usually we do not actually say this to our restricting relative.  This is viewed as an ultimatum and detracts from the discussion.

 

We know that the relationship is too painful for us to continue unchanged.  We take whatever time we can devote and have as many discussions as we can before we choose to separate ourselves from the overly restricting relative.

 

As we separate ourselves we acknowledge to ourselves that we have done everything we can to explain our desire to build a healthy relationship with our relative.  We accept that at this time this relative is more interested in their false self behavior than in building a healthy relationship with us.  We accept them for where they are right now and vow to revisit the relationship whenever we think there might be an opening for us to continue our discussions about acceptance.

 

This can be very devastating to us when we determine that we must go forward with our lives.  We have to recognize that we did everything that we could to help our non-supportive relative to understand why we had to break off the relationship.  We have to understand that if they were coming from their true self then they would have no problem with the break up.  The fact that we had to temporarily break the relationship means that we could no longer allow their false self behavior to control what our true self needs to do.

 

All this can be very difficult to sort through while we are in the middle of it.  These are very emotionally charged situations.  This is precisely why we need to be training false self to listen to true self.  True self understands the importance of each of our relationships and is always able to determine which we need to maintain and which we need to suspend.  By listening to true self we can simplify our family relationships.

 

How is this simplifying our life?

Think about how much time and emotional energy we expend on our blood family relationships.  How much of that is in the mutually accepting and supportive category?  How much is in the dealing with conditional acceptance category?

 

Most of us spend a lot of time and emotional energy dealing with the conditional acceptance placed on us by our blood family.  Should we not turn this around and be spending more time and energy on the mutually accepting and supportive relationships?

 

By recognizing the non-supportive relationships we are simplifying our lives.  True self is determining to relate more frequently with those in our family who support us.  These supportive relationships rejuvenate us.  The non-supportive relationships only drain us.

 

We simplify our lives by first understanding the nature of our blood family relationships.  Next we learn to choose for the supportive relationships because they are beneficial to us and help us to simplify our lives.  No unnecessary time or energy is wasted on them.

 

That is all for today.  Tomorrow we will look at another strategy.  That one is called the “accept but cauterize” strategy.

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

 

Discuss & Comment

We do not want this blog to be a fountain of words from one view point.  We welcome comments and questions.  Please feel free to ask a question or make a comment when the mood strikes you.

 

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Simplify Our Life – Functional Families

September 19, 2008

Yesterday we looked at simplifying our lives by choosing our friends carefully.  Family is a bit different matter and much more emotional.  However, many of us choose family over our true happiness.  Today we will look at some ideas to help us understand this choice.

 

But first…

 

Thankful Friday

As is our custom here we take a moment each Friday to thank those around us.  This week I would like to thank those who have given me encouraging feedback about what I am writing.  I thank you for taking the time to read this site and to offer your feedback.

 

As always we thank WordPress and FeedBurner.  They provide the free tools that make this site possible.  Thanks!

 

The nonfunctional family

To start our understanding of why false self is so attached to its family we must first look at the structure of the family.  When we look at most families we do not find a strong influence of true self.  There are many signs of this.  We see issues like a controlling and authoritative parent, a required strong commitment to a religious or political ideology, physical or psychological abuse, and substance abuse.

 

All of these behaviors come from false self.  This is by no means a definitive list, but it covers the most common issues that face families.

 

The way the family adjusts to these issues determines whether not it is a functional family.  In a nonfunctional family it is usually only a few members who have any one of the behaviors listed above.  The others learn to cope with the extreme false self behavior.  Rather than bring it to the attention of the one exhibiting the behavior they keep quiet and try to get along.

 

Let’s take the case of a domineering, controlling, and authoritative parent.  In this example only one of the parents exhibits this behavior.  The spouse most likely began to cope with this type of behavior before there were any children in the family.  The children learned to cope with the behavior as they grew up.

 

Is everybody happy?

Is anyone in this family really happy?  I would suggest that they are not.  The authoritative parent is not.  They are clearly coming from false self and as we have repeated, that is never a happy place.  The spouse and the children are not happy because they must repress their true self so that they do not anger the controlling parent.  Every time they strongly express any true self behavior the false self of the controlling parent views this as a threat and punishes the behavior.  Eventually everyone learns to live in fear of the controlling parent.

 

The final test of a nonfunctional family is what happens when someone needs to leave the family.  Over time the spouse and children of the nonfunctional family have learned to balance each other to keep a sense of stability in the family.  This is not true stability because it is coming from the balancing of their false self behaviors against the false self behavior of the controlling parent.

 

This apparent stability is more like a house of cards that is in a delicate stasis.  Because all the false self behaviors are linked to each other, if one person decides they need to get away from the situation to understand themselves – the whole house of cards comes down.  As it comes down everyone in the family blames the one who chose for their true self as the cause of all the pain.

 

This is not a pretty picture, but how many of us encountered a similar situation as we chose to pursue our spiritual path?  That is why I have felt the need to write about this.  Choosing for the false self based family is one of the most common reasons people never choose to listen to their true self.  At least it is that way in my experience.

 

The functional family

The functional family may not recognize that they are making choices for their true self.  They probably don’t see this.  What they understand is that they are truly happy.

 

Here are some of their behaviors that are different from the nonfunctional family.  They encourage each person in the family to learn what is important to them.  They actively support what each person wants to do as much as is possible.  The functional family wants each person to travel their own path of discovery.  In a functional family you hear “I don’t understand why you want to do that, but I will help you in whatever way I can.”  This is said with utter sincerity.

 

In a functional family the children are not told to be doctors, lawyers, or whatever the parents think they should be.  Children are not forced to participate in sports in which they have no interest.  No one cares.  As long as the child is happy, not destructive of themselves or others, and is passionate about learning – nothing else is really important.

 

A functional family does not force any religious or political ideologies on its members.  The family is strong enough to have any and all beliefs questioned.  The family understands that all ideas need to be examined on a regular basis.  If our understanding evolves, then our ideas should evolve.  A lively discussion of opposing ideas without personal rancor is a sure sign of an open minded family.

 

Finally, the functional family only wants happiness for each of the members.  The functional family does not push its members into unwanted personal relationships.  It does not determine the race, social stature, financial stature, or sexual orientation of its member’s personal relationships.  They know that happiness is more important than any of these.  If the person is not happy in the relationship then we help them understand their choice and help them back towards their true happiness.  We do not condemn them for choosing the wrong relationship with the wrong person.

 

Breaking up a functional family

Unlike the nonfunctional family that breaks up with much pain, the functional family breaks up and reassembles itself very easily.  A functional family is less likely to have interlocking false self dependencies.  The members of a functional family are much more likely to be acting from true self.  Remember, true self knows that it is complete in itself and does not need anyone else.  What do we care if a family member chooses to leave to pursue their goals?  All we want is for them to be happy in that pursuit.

 

The continuum

How many families are fully functional?  Not many.  How many families are totally nonfunctional?  Not many but more than those that are fully functional.  It is more like a continuum where most families exhibit some characteristics of a functional family as well as some from the nonfunctional family.

 

It all depends on which characteristics come into play for us as we relate to our family.  Other family members will have different experiences than ours.  Each family member experiences a different family.  We need to learn about how the family that we experience is affecting our choice for true self.  Not our sister’s choice, not our mother’s choice – our choice.

 

More on Monday

Today we have written the background for Monday’s post.  On Monday we will look at how to use these concepts of functional and nonfunctional families to simplify our relationships with our families.  Have a great weekend!

 

Until Monday –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

 

Discuss & Comment

We do not want this blog to be a fountain of words from one view point.  We welcome comments and questions.  Please feel free to ask a question or make a comment when the mood strikes you.

 

WordPress forces all comments to be moderated.  We usually check for comments at least twice a day.  So do not be surprised if it takes a few hours for you to see your comment.

 

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Email

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Don’t Dwell on What You Don’t Have

September 17, 2008

Today I will explain a very valuable technique that I use to clarify my thinking.  When I need to attain something it is easy to say “if I only had…” as a means of resolving the issue.  Today we will look at a positive way to use the perspective of our true self to attain an objective.

 

Are you ready?  Let’s go!

 

Taking inventory

Have you ever noticed that when you want to achieve or attain something you get discouraged?  There are many reasons that cause this discouragement.  Today we will look at one, and hopefully start to learn to overcome it.

 

Watch your thinking process the next time you decide to do something difficult.  See if this happens to you.

 

Let’s say we deicide to buy a car.  For some of us this may be a simple process.  For others this can be a daunting task.  False self may immediately start taking inventory.  However, watch the inventory that false self discovers.

 

It will come up with things like you don’t have enough money for the down payment, you don’t have enough money for the monthly payment, and you don’t have enough money for the insurance.  The problem is that you haven’t even decided on which car you want.  False self has already given you a bunch of “problems” that you have to overcome.  You don’t want this inventory.

 

False self gives us more unwanted inventory as we proceed down the path of getting a car.  How long will we have to wait for the car?  Do they have it in our favorite color?

 

Those are borderline negatives.  However, one of the ones false self is sure of is that we have to buy a used car.  False self cannot stand the loss through depreciation that happens to a new car.

 

True self looks for ways to accomplish

When we take a look at the false self inventory described in the previous section we find that the items are mostly ways to keep from accomplishing our goal of buying a car.  For some reason that I do not understand, false self is always looking for the ways that we “can’t” get something done.

 

We can’t buy a car because we don’t have the money.  We can’t buy a car because they do not have it in our favorite color.  We can’t buy a new car because we will lose “a lot of money” through depreciation.

True self is not interested in the ways that something “can’t” be done.  We know that there are infinitely more ways that something “can’t” be done then there are ways to do something.  True self concentrates only on the ways to do something.  There is no need to waste our time convincing ourselves with reasons that do not lead towards our goal.

 

Let’s apply that idea to the false self inventory we created about buying a car.  Before we have even chosen a car false self thinks it does not have enough money.  It uses three ways to convince itself – money for the monthly payment, the down payment, and the insurance.

 

True self lumps all the money issues together and looks at them as one issue with three separate parts.  True self waits until after we have chosen and negotiated for the car to look at the money because the specifics are not available until that point.

 

False self is worried about the availability and the color of the car.  True self does not care that much about these “problems”.  True self knows that if there is one car that is the best solution, then waiting for that car to be available is appropriate.  True self may be able to live with a less than optimal color.  However, if the only color choices are absolutely hideous, then true self realizes that this just was not the appropriate car and continues the search process.

 

Finally, true self is not that concerned about losing money by the depreciation that happens when we drive a new car off the lot.  True self may prefer to pay the extra in advance so we can control the mechanical condition of the car. 

 

True self knows that the expensive things like engine, brake, and transmission repairs can be controlled through careful driving.  True self may prefer to control the way the car is operated than to take a chance on the unknown history of a used car.  True self may look at the big picture and decide that we will save on repairs later if we buy a new car now and then maintain it properly.

 

Use this skill

Remember to look at what you do have, not what you don’t have.  I cannot stress to you how important it is to learn this skill and use it in your daily life.  This could be one of the easiest ways to learn to have true self influence many aspects of your life.  As a project manager in the corporate world I used this concept to simplify my tasks.

 

I could accomplish a lot more than my fellow managers because I spent very little time on ideas that did not lead to our goals.  When I ran meetings I would not let the conversation turn to how we “can’t do it” or what we “didn’t have.”  I would turn the discussion towards what we did have and what we could do.

 

Try this technique for a few months.  I think you will see that it can make a difference in your attitude.  For an in depth discussion about how false self views possessions and how true self uses possessions please read the blog entries for August 18 and August 19 of 2008.

 

That’s all for today.

 

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

 

Discuss & Comment

We do not want this blog to be a fountain of words from one view point.  We welcome comments and questions.  Please feel free to ask a question or make a comment when the mood strikes you.

 

WordPress forces all comments to be moderated.  We usually check for comments at least twice a day.  So do not be surprised if it takes a few hours for you to see your comment.

 

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To Thine Own Self be True

September 15, 2008

I was watching a movie this weekend and this famous quotation from Hamlet was used.  It started me thinking about how this might mean that we should listen to our true self and not our false self.  But first –

 

Welcome Back

I trust that everyone had a great weekend.  Over the weekend another major hurricane struck the gulf coast of the US.  Our thoughts are with those who are affected by this storm.  If we can be of any help please let us know how we can do so.

 

Another movie

As many of you know I am a cineaste – a movie enthusiast.  One of my great joys is to find a movie that I have not seen before that also contains a great message.  This weekend I found the movie “All That Heaven Allows”.

 

This movie was made in 1955 and among other things examines the conformist nature of society in that era.  The widowed female lead (Cary) begins an affair with a younger man (Ron).  Cary is from the country club set and Ron runs a tree nursery.  All of her friends belong to the country club.  She eventually finds that his friends come from all walks of life.

 

Cary knows that there is something unusual about her lover, but has not yet understood what that is.  The couple gets invited to a party hosted by Ron’s best friends.  These friends, a married couple, have known Ron for many years.  It is the woman of this couple who finally explains what is different about Ron.

 

To thine own self be true

As the two women are preparing for the other party guests they start to talk about the men.  The hostess explains to Cary that Ron lives by the phrase “to thine own self be true.”  The hostess went on to say that Ron finds his security from inside of him, not through his job or money.

 

This discussion triggered a deeper understanding in me.  I realized that Shakespeare must have been talking about finding true self.  Shakespeare was saying that we must be true to true self, not false self.

 

I admit that I have heard this phrase countless times and never made the connection.  When you talk about being true to yourself and finding your security within – what else can you be talking about?

 

On this site, how many times have we written about finding our happiness within?  How many times have we said that false self thinks it can find happiness through attachments to external objects, ideas, or people?  How many times have we talked about true self finding happiness by being in the moment?

 

When I find this type of connection I realize how many people have said similar things.  History, the arts, and spiritual teachings are each full of similar examples.  I guess we discover these insights as we are ready for them.

 

The important stuff

Let’s go back to our movie for a minute.  The hostess went on to tell Cary that Ron only paid attention to the important stuff.  “Ron absolutely refuses to allow the unimportant things to become important.”

 

What a wonderful description of true self.  True self knows that all the things that false self wants to get caught in are truly unimportant.  You know – things like attachments to objects, fears, and the general pettiness that is false self.

 

We have not spent much time on the idea of simplifying our lives.  That is an oversight on my part.  I plan to write on this idea soon, but here are a few ideas about simplifying our lives.

 

To put it briefly, false self makes a lot more out of things than is necessary.  It makes mountains out of mole hills.  Because it has such a dislike for itself it has to aggrandize things to prove that it is important.  It justifies its stature by comparing itself to things that are big, important, influential, and generally of great magnitude.  It thinks that it will bask in the glory of these things and prove it is worthy of respect.

 

True self does not need complicated or grandiose things.  True self does what is necessary and does not care what any one thinks.  True self knows that by making something complicated we only take time and energy from another important task that needs to be accomplished.  True self will do whatever necessary to perform a required task, but has no desire to make the effort greater than necessary.

 

See the movie

I have provided a link to an online synopsis of the movie “All That Heaven Allows”.  It is an interesting study of a relationship wherein the individuals are at different levels of understanding the concepts of true self and false self.  They encounter many experiences that we all bump into as we travel our spiritual paths.  Please post your thoughts about this movie after you have seen it.  I am very interested in your insights.

 

The movie is available through Netflix.  You can also find it on cable TV.  Set your TiVo to record it.  I have no affiliation with TiVo or Netflix.  I just find them to be very useful.

 

That’s all for today.

 

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

 

Discuss & Comment

We do not want this blog to be a fountain of words from one view point.  We welcome comments and questions.  Please feel free to ask a question or make a comment when the mood strikes you.

 

WordPress forces all comments to be moderated.  We usually check for comments at least twice a day.  So do not be surprised if it takes a few hours for you to see your comment.

 

Talk to us!  Post a comment or a question!

 

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Email

You can email us directly at:  noahnow@yahoo.com

 

Copyright

© Copyright 2008 by KanDu Associates, LLC 

 

The content of this blog is copyrighted by KanDu Associates.  All rights are reserved by the owner.  For reprint information please email:

 

noahnow@yahoo.com