Friday, July 11, 2008

Forgetting and Finding

There are times when I forget.

I forget that my parents have died. I forget they even existed. I forget the current circumstances, financial and otherwise. I forget the fears, the anxieties, the worries. I forget what year—what decade—it is. I forget my own age.

I don't mean "forget" in an amnesia, Alzheimer's or senility sense—rather, it's like I lose touch with all of it for awhile. It ceases to exist. My focus shifts to the moment.

Usually the shift occurs when I am writing music and recording new songs, or playing with my horse. (Once in awhile I'll get lost in a chore like trimming bushes and kind of get there.) For that moment, all is right with the world. Nothing bad exists. Life is AMAZING. Wonderful. Peaceful. Perfect. I'm... somewhere else. Not sure where. SomeWHEN else... not sure when. All I know is, I'm somewhere and somewhen in which all possibility exists again, when life is easily and effortlessly sustained, when all is well, where I am happy and filled with joy, where I am safe.

In these moments, I am OK. Life is OK.

It is startling and painful beyond words to come out of it, look around, and be slapped with the reminder that it isn't OK at all (according to what we term general "rational" thought).

But I wonder—IS it really not OK? If I CAN be, in those moments, OK and full of possibility and optimism—is it possible that if I can stay focused on how I feel in THOSE moments, perhaps I can wind my way back around to a place where reality (externality) aligns with and matches consciousness (internality) as it is in THOSE moments?

Does the external create the internal... or is it the other way around? Does the external physical "reality" take shape AFTER the thoughts and feelings have occurred, rather than occurring as an event that results in how we think/feel? Is our current "reality"—that is, what we see and experience—simply a mirror image reflection of the current condition of what we're going through on the inside?

Which came first—physical chaos, or internal chaos?

As you know, I've been studying the LOA for a good year as well as the Bible recently. Much of the philosophy teaches that in order to change our lives, we must know the desired end result/outcome/new reality first. Then, it is altered by dredging up, identifying and changing limiting beliefs; or by changing how you think about/perceive something; or by generating positive feelings (emotions) toward what you want (the result). Supposedly this all leads to bringing oneself into alignment with the desired outcome which produces actions and insights to guide us there.

Apparently, once this is accomplished, the soul is happier.

But I'm beginning to think they're all missing something. I've recently begun Eckhart Tolle's "A New Earth" and it's opened up an awareness in me.

I think change begins with the soul.

It's the core of our being. It IS our being. It is the awareness that precedes thought, feeling, belief.

This is what I see happening in my life: I work on changing beliefs. I take actions designed to fix things. If the problem is "need money", I take actions to change that: get a job (in the band), sell stuff. It starts out great, then it subsequently collapses. EVERY TIME. I have a house to sell, it burns. I have stuff to sell, nobody buys it. I look for jobs, there are none. I apply to jobs when I find them, then don't get hired. I get a job, I get fired before I even get settled in. I trim something, it grows back like a cancer.

All of these things sort of work (changing limiting beliefs, feelings, thought processes) or they work partway, but they don't stick.

This insight came to me before starting Tolle—what struck me profoundly was looking at the living room mess. The boxes. It began two years ago when I moved in. Sudden chaos entered. Then slowly I addressed it and carted it out. It got moved into storage. Things became cleaner. Then... it collapsed. Imploded. No longer able to afford storage, everything came back. Now, it's worse than before.

And it occurred to me that the mess I see, the chaotic disorganized scattered clutter before me, is much the way I feel inside. I looked at the circumstances of my life, and it startled me to see that they basically mirror everything going on inside of me. My life is chaotic? I am chaotic inside! There is no focus to my life? There is no focus to me! I've lost my vision for my life, my dream, my very sense of self (the ego, as Tolle would say).

The things that I used to identify myself (ego again) have all been taken from me (or could soon be): parents, independence, job, dream/vision, material things, money... it's all been in a sort of free-fall collapse since 2006 and my attempts to prevent or restore things have failed. It's gotten to the point where all I can do is stand by helplessly and watch because anything I try to do will only make it worse, or make such a small dent that it'll quickly be undone.

It's been CYA time. Cover Your A$$. It's been like being on a plane that's crashing. You have no control anymore. All you can do is tuck your head down and kiss your @$$ goodbye, and pray for a softer landing than you're anticipating.

Except in those moments when I forget. Those blissful moments when I forget I'm even on the plane.

Feng Shui would tell you that by changing your environment you change YOU. The LOA says change begins with thought, feeling and beliefs. But neither has had a lasting effect.

I think it's because although I've taken steps toward change, I've not gone deep enough.

I think it's because at the core, my SOUL is what needs to be fixed. I think—feel, believe, intuit, am aware that—if the cracks in my soul get fixed, the world will right itself accordingly.

Let me repeat a sentence, slightly altered with this new perspective in mind:

Is our current "reality"—that is, what we see and experience—simply a mirror image reflection of the current condition of our soul?

I think we can become soul-sick. I'm only just starting Tolle, so maybe this is where he winds up going, too. We'll see. But my insight is this: if the soul is our foundation, all the other stuff is basically surface. By changing thoughts, feelings, beliefs and actions, we're doing patch-up work and putting band-aids on the real problem. But if we address the foundation and change IT...

Perhaps the process of change moves more like this:
soul --> thought --> belief --> feeling --> action --> result/reality

As I've delved more deeply into my spiritual journey, I've noticed that I've developed more inner peace, less stress, the ability to laugh in the face of enormous catastrophes, and I've begun writing more songs. The more I write and record... the more improvements are occurring in my life. The improvements are small in comparison to the entire circumstance (such as finding out from the photos that the fire damage is nowhere near as bad as what other people's descriptions had me envisioning), but it seems that those moments of being "lost" are very significant in the ability to attract better outcomes.

Perhaps in those forgetful moments where I think of myself as "lost" in relation to the world, instead I am truly "found". Perhaps in those moments, I am connecting with—and healing—my soul.

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