Awareness is the Answer

A simple seeker of enlightenment was, or almost believed she was

Unprepared for the lesson that Spirit seemed intent on her learning;

That the pillars of form, consciousness, and force that provided

The basic structure, or the built environment, of The Tree of Life

Did not exist as anything more or less than mental concepts

To express the lived world of continuous experience and response,

That necessarily causes an expansion of consciousness, or awareness,

As a result of this evolutionary process.

But, she protested, consciousness rises.

Everything rises as it expands. Density of matter, or mind, moves up

As it reaches out.

It isn’t fair.

What isn’t fair.

I’ve spent countless hours learning to relate to specific centers

Of energy on the separate pillars of form, consciousness, and force.

And their specific interactions with other energies.

There are no other energies.

Archetypes as Symbols of Roles We Choose to Play

A simple seeker was meditating on Stage 16 of The Tree of Life.

Her chosen text calls this particular meditation, “I AM THAT I AM”.

Earlier meditations had as their focus, the question,. “Who am I”.

But, she kept asking herself – If I am that I am, then who or what?

You were never anything other than what you are, now.

Physical live serves to help us understand that simple reality.

Whatever we have experienced; whatever we now experience,

Whatever we will experience, the simple fact remains,

We are what we are, whomever we choose to be,

While we choose to be.

If I’m playing life as an actor, then why does it seem so real?

An actor is an actor regardless of the role she plays, but,

Each role we play; each relationship we experience,

Can serve to help us develop insight into why

We have chosen to live the roles, or archetypes we have,

But, we are not the roles or archetypes we express.

We simply are. an individual aspect or ray of Life.

Case closed.

Innocence as a Beginning

A simple seeker was lost in thought. What thought? She was meditating
on The Fool, the Tarot’s anti-hero, or so he seems to be, at least as
he begins his journey through Life. He isn’t even given a number, unless
zero can be considered as such.

Like herself, or as she sometimes is, he seems to be full of high hopes
and self-confidence. But, again, as she once was …

How are you any different, now?

I don’t quite fit the picture any more, if I ever did.

In what way?

The Fool, at the beginning of his journey, has no real life experience
and is totally unaware of personal dangers, let alone those that are
waiting for him, somewhere down the line. He’s lost in thought, enjoying
the perfume of the rose in his hand. He doesn’t see the cliff he is
about to step off, into a high altitude. Even his small, four-legged
companion seems unable to warn him. But, perhaps we were all innocent
at some time in our past.

What would it look like?

The Fool, I guess.

Yes, and yet, as the Tarot’s Fool will discover through experience,
innocence is a beginning – the only possible beginning, of our life’s
journey; our mission to discover who and what we each are.

Only a beginning?

Yes, but an important one.

In the sense that we have to start somewhere?

Yes, or something like that.

Experience as a Teacher

This simple seeker was admiring, in her mind (but, where else
could she admire anything), a beautiful pink rose that someone
had generously shared on Twitter. But, as beautiful as the flower
was, there was something else going on. Envy was slipping into
the picture.

What’s wrong with envy?

I want to be able to appreciate the skills of others without
wishing that I also possessed them.

Do you envy everyone’s skills?

No, just the ones that I wish I, too, possessed.

Why don’t you possess the skills you admire?

Some people may have more natural talent than do others.

Some people may be unaware of what so-called natural talents
they do possess.

It isn’t possible for me to develop all the talents I admire
in others.

Have you tried?

There would never be enough time for that, and …

Yes, it would pull your focus from what you now are doing
well, or might, with a little more effort.

How would that protect me from envy?

Nothing can protect you from envy.

Why?

Envy, in its most sincere form is a recognition of and
inspiration toward excellence. We all, at least to some
extent, aspire towards higher levels of personal skills.
Envy is seeing the qualities in others that we want for
ourselves. It can encourage us.

Or discourage us.

No. An unhealthy mind would feel resentment, not
discouragement.

How can we know the difference?

Experience teaches us. We know because we have experienced
it, if we have.

And, if we haven’t

Then we will, all in good time.

Choosing Doesn’t Create Value

A simple seeker of enlightenment was meditating
on the Tarot Eight of cups, comparing different
interpretations. But, the emotional results were
always the same; a sense of excitement and distress
at one and the same time, or of one mood rapidly
Replacing the other in her mind. Why?

Are you asking me?

No. I was thinking to myself, but according to some,
it’s the same thing.

Is it?

No. I would know.

What does it mean to know?

I would have experience and I would have learned
from it.

Perhaps you have.

Regarding choosing change rather than it choosing me?

Yes.

But, I never choose lightly.

The choice would have no value if you did.

But, does choosing necessarily create value?

That depends.

On what?

On how much is at stake in the choice.

How can we know for sure?

There is no knowing for sure.

But, the choice must still be made?

The choice has been made, in your mind, whether
you dare to act on it or not.

Yes.

What does that mean?

You know it means that I accept that you’re
right, again.

Will that knowing determine your choice?

No.

Yes.

Relationship Is All There Is

A simple seeker was meditating on the concept
of resisting what seemed to be …

Why?

To protect myself from attachment

How?

By accepting that any pleasure or possession
is no more than a temporary experience.

Some might cling all the more, to enjoy
what they do while they can.

So, acceptance is not enough?

Enough what?

We need more than awareness?

To what?

To resolve the problem.

What problem?

The problem of how to let go.

Or what?

Of whatever seems to need to be let go of.

A two-way street?

Yes, and yet more.

Yes, a pressure gradient.

Please explain.

Whatever or whomever we cling to is also
clinging to us.

How?

Everything and everyone is energy, in relationship
with everything and everyone else.

So, it is the relationships and not the temporary
forms that need to be released from each other.

No.

Then, what?

Everything and everyone relates to everything
and everyone else.

Then, how to let go of a relationship?

We cannot.

What can we do?

We can, with practice, learn to accept
the existence of relationship and its power,
and its immunity to our will; individual or
collective.

To focus on the relationship and not the who
or what?

Yes.

And then what?

To meditate from as detached a mental perspective
as we can while remaining calm and non-judgmental
of ourselves or whatever relationship we seek
to understand.

Can we learn to understand the why and how of
relationships?

Yes.

And then they dissolve?

No.

What does happen as a result of our understanding?

Acceptance.

And then?

Tensions relax

Without detachment?

Detachment to what?

Whatever or whomever we were attached to.

We never were attached to anyone or anything.

Other than relationship itself?

Yes.

How are we attached to relationship?

We are relationship.

How?

Female Personification of Eastern Wisdom

Our simple seeker was deeply engrossed in reading
Terah Kathryn Collins’ The Three Sisters of the Tao.

It is possible to read with much less intensity.

Perhaps, for some, if what they are reading
is for casual entertainment.

Even some serious students allow themselves
a certain distance from the subject of the text.

Yes, it is as a text, with an important difference.

And the difference is?

Personal experience.

How can you be sure?

My own personal experience supports the author’s
general conception of bringing otherwise dry
ancient wisdom …

Can ancient wisdom be dry?

Yes, if it is presented in an overly intellectual
manner.

So, ancient wisdom needs an infusion of emotion?

I think so.

And your own personal experience confirms the
author’s truth?

What does that term mean?

What term?

The author’s truth.

What does it mean to you?

To me it means the author is expressing
her understanding of the subject she has
chosen to share with her readers;
an understanding she has developed from
personal experience as well as from
dedicated study.

Is that all?

Is it possible for her truth to mean more?

Yes.

What?

His truth.

The author is female.

Yes.

Are Bad Guys Necessary?

Our simple seeker was recalling a confusing dream
of being lost in traffic and intensive construction
on her way to Church to celebrate a festival of
harvest.

She could hear the service begin. A loudspeaker
was being used, and yet it didn’t seem to cause
her to wonder why, even though it had never
been part of any previous experience.

Perhaps, during a dream, we are unaware of
any previous experience.

Then why was I aware of where I was trying
to go, to a church that I once attended?

Yes. There is always a blend of the reality
we are familiar with and that we are not.

Anyway, I was lost.

Where you alone?

No. I was lost, together with a friend.
But, I was not totally lost. I was aware
of being close to our destination.

But something was different with the
landscape?

Yes. Traffic was incredibly intensive,
as was the density of new buildings
under construction all about.

What happened next?

I was almost hit by an expensive-
looking car attempting to make a
left turn at an intersection, in
it’s chase of another car that had
now sped away. I must have crossed
the street before the car shrieked
to a stop, close to me.

What did it mean?

What did what mean?

My dream.

What makes you think it meant anything?

I know it meant something.

How?

I experienced it.

What did you experience.

The possibly bad guys were very polite.

Would they have been polite to whomever
they were chasing?

No. He’d be dead.

But, you were impressed with their
behaviour toward you?

Yes. They were very well-mannered
and seemed sincere.

And yet they might be killers?

Perhaps whomever they were hunting
was the bad guy.

Are bad guys necessary?

It’s easier to think of conflicting
sides as having opposite values.

Yes.

Deep Breathing as a Delicious Indulgence

Our simple seeker was enjoying, or might have
been enjoying a glorious summer afternoon on
her precious patio.

A late bluish-purple clematis blossom was
stretching as open as she could go –
determined to absorb the gently moving air
It seemed to sense, as did the lavender,
which also was blooming later than usual,
that their time was running out, at least
for this season.

A second blooming, or was it a third, of
pink and yellow – a name – how could she
have forgotten? But, of course, she had not.
It had merely slipped away, for now.
However, the beautiful blossoms had not
slipped away, yet.

Fuchsias and geraniums seemed also to know
that these lazy days of summer were coming
quickly to an end.

The light-filtered green canopy above her
would soon dry to glorious reds and golds
and the leaves would flutter down, or
be torn loose and blown down or away.

It was inevitable. Nothing could change
what destiny had planned and what fate
seemed only too willing to help bring about.

Aren’t we getting a bit morbid?

But, it is going to happen and nothing
can prevent it.

Why would you want to prevent Nature doing
what Nature does every year at this time?

The slow dance of light and shadow
is as silent music that the eyes alone
can hear; and the perfume of
the gently moving air feels so good
to inhale that deep breathing is
more as a delicious indulgence than
a required meditation practice.
It seems to connect me to and within
this precious setting.

Then, why are you sad?

It isn’t enough to have it now.
I want and need to experience it
tomorrow, next week, …

And you have no control over the deadline.

It’s a helpless feeling.

Do your loved plants share your sorrow?

No. They seem to have accepted whatever
will be, and are happy to be enjoying
what now is, a glorious afternoon.

What lesson could they teach you,
if you were willing to learn it?

To enjoy what we have, while we have it,
even while accepting that it isn’t ours,
forever.

Yes. Not only is it not ours forever,
as far as this pleasant weather
is concerned, it may be gone tomorrow.

Are you predicting stormy weather?

There will always be stormy weather,
somewhere.

We Each Have Our Own Style

Our simple seeker was meditating on the lesson
Krishna gave to Arjuna on Karma Yoga.

Can you accept that all output of time and
energy is an investment in some future event?

Yes. I’ve recently been there and done that.

Was it worth it?

Very much so, looking back from a safe
distance from the disastrous outcome.

Krishna spoke of sacrificing the results.
Was that part of your experience.

Krishna would have meant in advance.
I didn’t do that. I’m not that noble.
Besides, I think in today’s world,
the very concept of sacrifice is
considered sanctimonious and exhibiting
a holier than thou attitude.

Or, in simple terms, an ego trip?

Yes.

Then, in today’s language, how would you
describe the final outcome?

I was able to let go.

Of the outcome?

Much more than that.

Then, what?

Are we reversing roles?

We have no iron-clad roles.

That realization was part of
the unexpected outcome.

After your recovery?

Perhaps I was never very graceful in
situations of emotional crisis. But,
it was as if a time bomb blew up
in my mind. It was a wake-up call
such as I have rarely experienced.
A cherished illusion had burst.

But, later;?

I’m now able to accept personal
responsibility for setting myself up.

For inevitability?

Yes. My cherished illusion exploded.

And the others?

No big deal. They were pretending to be
in a relationship that didn’t exist.
I was pretending to pretend, while
at some level knowing it wasn’t real.

You needed the relationship more
than they did.

I guess.

They didn’t have a balloon that burst?

That was the tragic comedy part of
the ending that even Shakespeare
didn’t think of. My guests went home with
all the beautiful balloons. I was left
with the exploded illusion.

Do you have regrets?

Not now, now that I have recovered, but,
I suspect that you set me up, in a much less
gentle manner than Krishna would have.

We each have our own style.