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by Mindy Meyers (© June 30, 1996)
Father, I am blind.
Illusions are so real to me
that I don't see reality.
This is not a philosophical statement
it is a description of what is.
When I remember that I am blind
I rely on you to guide me.
When i forget the blindness i get
lost in the illusion of sight and
stumble and bump into the world around me.
Let me trip and fall so that the ineptitude
of these sightless eyes will be real to me
and remind me to listen for
your vision and feel your response.
On my own -- another illusion -- I
In your heart I am all.
by Mindy Meyers (© June 30, 1996)
In blindness I identify with all that i see.
In your sight I am nothing
In describing the lies that
I experience your light has
room to permeate the fiction.
And how could I see shadows
without your light? How could
I experience substance
without being passive to your touch?
by Mindy Meyers (© August 11, 1996)
I can hurt
I am able
to feel this
I do not want your help
I do not need your suggestions
Blame no thank you
Accounts Receivable no thank you
Self Improvement and Defender of Rights
NO THANK YOU -- I do not desire your ``protection''
I can hurt
experience the disappointment
Yes i don't get everything i want
it's ok I am able to feel this
Thank you X for giving me the gift of feeling!
I do not need to know what this means
I do not need to attach anything to it
To feel the hurt
is a healing in and of itself
if there is more to be revealed
if there is more to be seen
I trust that it will be
I trust that it will be
Thank you X for teaching me the value of feeling
and the beauty of trusting your response!
The breath that taught the flower to value the Wind
by Mindy Meyers (© September 1, 1996)
Once upon a time there was a flower.
Throughout this flower's life she had been taught to fear the wind.
``It will uproot you,'' she had been told, ``and tear you from the security you have come to know.''
And the flower believed this. In spite of the fact that she had never come to know security. Indeed what she had come to know was the feeling of being stifled; she had come to know the feeling of being afraid to breathe.
One day a friend came to her. She invited this friend to speak to her. But when his breath fell upon her petals she would shrink back from him; for it was too much like the wind she had been taught to fear.
``Oh, please,'' she cried, ``do not blow on me. You will injure me and i am a delicate flower. Don't you see the wall i have built to protect myself from the wind?''
It was impossible, however, for the friend to talk to her without his breath touching her.
``I cannot talk to you without breathing,'' said the friend, ``and do you really believe that you are so weak that a bit of breath would harm you?''
The flower preferred the word delicate to weak, and her vanity would not permit her to admit weakness, and so she endured the breath although often she would wheeze and cough to show her displeasure. Eventually the flower began to see that under this breath dead petals that had been weighing her down would get blown away. Under the breath of the friend the air around her began to circulate and she began to learn there was more to life than being stifled. As the friend's breath grew stronger she remembered what it was to breathe.
And then there came a day when the flower realized that it was not only the breath of the friend she was feeling, but it was also the caress of the wind! The wind she saw was clearing away the haze that had clouded her view. The wind she saw connected her to all the other flowers in the field -- for it flowed through her petals as it did theirs.
The flower learned that what the wind tore away was that which was dead and that which was alive was strengthened by its force. The flower learned that the wind was not something to fear but that which brought clarity, challenge, and the opportunity to develop fortitude. The flower learned to cherish the wind in its gentle caressing and in its fierce strength.
And to this day, as the wind blows and as the flower feels the wind she remembers the breath of the friend who taught her to value the wind.
by Linda Solomon (© December 8, 1996)
He blazes beside me
Not like a wild fire
More like a slow burning tree --
Burning from the inside out.
His gentleness is maintained,
Through precision of effort
Like lava being funneled through a glass siphon.
His delicacy is at once impossible
by Linda Solomon (© January 13, 1997)
He found a chicken farm nearby and the farmer agreed to let him visit his chicken coup for awhile.
The most remarkable thing occurred when the farmer selected a chicken for his dinner one night. The chicken's neck was swiftly broken and chopped off by the farmer but the body of the chicken continued to walk around for a few minutes before it fell over dead. The event astounded the young man who had come to observe the chickens.
``Is this normal?'' he asked the farmer.
``You mean for the body to stumble around for a while after its head is chopped off?''
``Yes!'' said the young man. ``How can it be?''
The farmer smiled. ``Young man, I have been asking myself that same question about humanity for a long time now. I still don't know how it can be; but I can tell you that I have observed there are few differences between a headless chicken body walking around and humanity.''
The young man was greatly offended by the assertion that he, as humanity, was in any way like a headless chicken. So, of course, he reacted to the statement as if it were the most foolish thing he had ever heard.
``Oh come on!'' he laughed. ``How can you say such a thing!!!''
``Would you really like to know?'' the farmer asked.
``Yes!'' the young man said.
``Okay, study humanity for awhile and come and tell me where its head is at. And if you can even find one, a head I mean, much less tell me where it is, I'll give you my farm.''
Many years later, the young man returned to the chicken farm. The farmer greeted him warmly and was waiting to hear the story he had come to tell.
``I was so offended by your statement about chicken bodies and humanity that I at once set out to prove you absolutely wrong,'' the young man started grimly. ``But after all these years of looking at all our greatest deeds -- at the many achievements of scientists, artists, architects, engineers and politicians... I am at a loss. Humans appear to be struggling in a thousand different directions at once, occasionally coming together in some common goal and then struggling to move apart again. A body, as I know it, could not survive like this. It would soon be ripped apart and die of its struggles. Humanity is indeed, in many ways, like the body of a headless chicken.
``So, I tried to run from it, from humanity, terrified by the knowledge of its imminent death and mine with it. I did not want to be a part of it anymore. But humanity came with me, no matter how much time I spent alone and apart; it was impossible to escape it. All of it I saw in the way my own life is being lived. My friend, the only difference I have seen between headless chicken bodies and humanity is the time it takes for our bodies to hit the floor. Without a head, humanity and I are dead.''
``Good!'' the farmer replied. ``Now we can talk about something far more interesting than poultry. Like the part that is really missing may in fact, not be your head. It may be your heart. And this is one of the differences I have observed between chickens and humans...''
The young man and the farmer continued their discourse for some time. Eventually, the young man understood a lot about anatomy.
by Patrick Drysdale (© May 12, 1997)
Once upon a time there was a boy who raised butterflies.
He did this not only for scientific curiosity but also for the sheer pleasure of doing so.
One day he wanted to see if his caterpillars made any sounds when they communicated, so he put a tiny microphone inside their colony and this is what he recorded. Let's listen in.
``We should have an escalator in this place,'' said one.
``And a wider variety of leaves,'' mumbled another.
To his astonishment, the boy found that not only could the caterpillars talk but they had a limited number of things they talked about. He discovered that, even though all their physical needs were satisfied, their conversations reflected a feeling of boredom. This baffled him.
One day a butterfly landed on a flower near one of the caterpillars. He said hello but the caterpillar didn't answer. After a few sips of nectar, the butterfly recognized him as a former friend and asked if there was anything he would like to know about inner transformation.
``There is no such thing,'' the caterpillar replied. ``The way we're born is the way we oughtta stay.''
The butterfly was completely bewildered.
``Some of my friends changed,'' he continued, ``and nobody ever saw them again.'' He didn't realize that the winged creature was one of those friends.
The boy found it amazing that there was no two way recognition between them. With continued observation, however, he discovered that his caterpillars suffered from a very peculiar disease.
He found that they were afflicted with oughtism, a disorder that made them believe they oughtta stay the way they were and never change. This condition affected their oughtanomic nervous system and made them dreamily do what they thought they oughtta do without ever questioning anything. Their lives became mechanical.
This disorder also blocked their insight to see the connection between the way they thought and what they experienced. Their minds became so lazy that they virtually lost the ability to think for themselves.
But one caterpillar was different.
This one questioned things and the more he did, the more he was able to think for himself. This new way of using his wits reflected itself in his outer activities and his life took on a vitality that none of the other caterpillars had. What's more, he started producing silk on the inside. The boy knew it was only a matter of time before he had another butterfly.
It's the same with human beings. Without questioning our beliefs, we experience the same situations over and over again and don't realize it. Life loses its freshness and we start wondering where all the spontaneity went.
If you ever feel that your life is like a game of badminton and you're the birdie, you may be suffering from oughtism. Take this simple test:
If you answered Yes to any of the above questions, you may be living an oughtamatic life.
I suffered from oughtism for many years. It afflicted my whole family but we considered it so normal that we didn't even have a name for it. I did what I thought I oughtta do and never questioned anything. Eventually my mind became so listless from nonuse that I heard flapping sounds inside my head on breezy days.
Oughtism prevented me from seeing the connection between the way I thought and my recurring experiences. I spent years thinking that my beliefs were oughtamatically determined by external circumstances. Events came first, beliefs second. Right?
It's the other way around.
One disappointment after another made me realize that there was an invisible connection between what I believed and what happened to me. The puzzling thing about this is that I found it difficult to give up some of these convictions even though understanding their harm. They'd been a part of me for so long that it was tough to just drop them. It felt too much like leaving behind some old friends.
And guess which one I cherished the most?
It was the notion that I oughtta stay the way I was because inner change was scary.
Get this. I thought that if I tampered with my reactions in any way, like refusing to go along with anger, that I wouldn't be happy anymore. That's how distorted my beliefs had become because I never questioned them.
Somewhere along the way, though, I realized that oughtamatic thinking wasn't my real problem. Oughtism lingered in my life as long as it did because of another, very unsuspected, condition--my unawareness of it.
Picture a man standing inside a circle drawn on the ground. He's been hypnotized and told that he's unable to step outside that circle. He sees people walking around and enjoying life but never goes beyond what he believes are his limits. From his standpoint, he feels isolated and left out.
What's the cause of the man's feeling of isolation? Seeing the other people enjoy themselves? No.
It's his unawareness of his own imaginary boundaries. Nothing prevents him from stepping outside that circumference except his unconscious belief that he can't. His thinking mind has been dulled and gullibly accepts a mental impression as an external reality. He believes in imaginary limitations and experiences what he believes.
So if you find yourself wishing you could step outside your present psychological limits, question what you believe. Keep in mind that just as your physical body needs a regular cleansing, so does your belief system. Acquiring new viewpoints will turn your life in a new direction that will be just as real to you as driving down a new highway.
Remember that what you believe today will determined how you experience tomorrow.
by Patrick Drysdale (© July 17, 1997)
Once upon a time there was a man who traveled all over
the world looking for Truth but didn't find It anywhere.
One day a friend told him that Truth could be found in a secret monastery far away. He told him that the monastery wasn't easy to reach and that it took along time to get to and that only one monk who found Truth lived there. The news made the man very excited. The whole story about a secret monastery seemed shrouded in thrilling mystery.
``If only one wise monk lives there,'' he thought, ``then he can surely tell me how to find Truth.''
And he set off on his journey.
The way to the monastery was rougher than he thought. The streets were narrow and the people who promised to help him were unreliable.
A group of men who said they would carry his luggage for him turned out to be robbers who stole the suitcases along with his money. The local guides who said that they alone knew the way through the dense forest turned out to be so superstitious that they ran when a sudden storm occurred, shouting that the spirits were warning them to turn back. The man had to travel all alone.
One difficulty after another arose and after a while he grew very weary.
``It's just not worth it,'' he thought. ``Maybe the monastery doesn't really exist. Or maybe the whole thing was just made up.'' He sank into deep despair.
He stopped on a hillside to rest and thought about how gullible he was to believe such a story. After a few minutes he spotted a solitary building behind some trees and something in him knew that he had found his monastery. He ran toward it.
He reached the door catching his breath and knocked. It opened right away as if someone were standing behind it and what the man saw surprised him. He expected to see a bearded monk wearing a long robe but instead saw a short, clean shaven man wearing a wrinkled shirt and baggy pants.
``What do you want?'' the man said in a very matter-of-fact voice.
The visitor was dumbstruck because he wasn't sure whether this was the monk and wondered whether this was the monastery.
``If this is a monastery then I'm looking for the monk who lives here,'' he said.
``That's me,'' said the short man. ``How can I help you?''
The visitor had a hard time believing this.
Finally he said, ``I've traveled all over the world looking for Truth and heard that It could be found here and I've come to find It.''
Without missing a beat the monk said, ``When you were traveling all over the world looking for Truth, did you find It anywhere?''
``No, I didn't,'' replied the visitor.
``Then you won't find It here either,'' the monk said.
We think we have to travel to exotic places to find
something so close to us that we miss it.
It's like a man standing waist deep in water asking the people walking by to
please give him something to drink.
An old Hindu story says that God had something so precious to give to His creatures that He wanted to hide it in a very safe place so it wouldn't get trampled on by the masses. He looked around and realized that there was no safe place in the earth to hide it because His creatures had already explored every inch of the planet.
One day a small cherub was flying by and casually remarked, ``Why don't you hide it where most of them have never looked? Put it inside them. They're so busy with what's outside that only very few ever think of looking on the inside.''
And so He did. We don't have to travel to Tibet or Egypt or search out secret societies. If we don't find Truth right here, right now, then no matter how many monasteries we travel to, we won't find it there either.
Patrick Drysdale is an author of transpersonal
psychology and inner development.
He received his B.S. from the University of Illinois and his articles and short
stories have appeared in metaphysical publications throughout the world.
His present book, The Path to No Ego, is a personal account of the inner journey and includes insights and practical exercises for profound inner change.
Patrick resides in Medford, Oregon where he conducts informal meetings on fourth way disciplines. For more information about the author and his publications, visit his website.
Copyright © 1996, 1997 by inX Services. Compiled August 22, 1996.