Monday, May 29, 2006

I'm Happy that You're Happy
I called my youngest niece Julia to wish her a happy 15th birthday today and we chatted wittily away. Finally I said, "I'm happy that you're happy," and she immediately followed with, "I'm happy that you're happy." We laughed. Later in the car, I thought: this cyclical, nonending commentary is the true talk of souls. I'm happy that you're happy. We cause each other's joy by our own joy because the other's joy IS our joy. Later in the day, I went to an outdoor meditation with a group, hiking down to a tiny beach looking up at the Golden Gate Bridge from the Marin Headlands. We sat in a row along a log, with me on the end, and practiced open-eye meditation, following along as one of the men guided us into a relaxed, allowing state. In spite of the fact that the sun was setting, turning the bridge a radiant red and glinting golden off the city's glass buildings, and gentle waves were lapping at our feet, I could feel through the surface mirage and experience the patience and love of pure space.

I closed my eyes, fell into a world of light particles, and felt the soul in everything. The world was playfully coming together to create millions of reality bubbles. A voice said, "This shining universe is yours." I felt the meaning loaded into the words. I was being reminded that our existence, this cooperation of soulforce, this warm love-light that makes us, IS our birthright. We can use it, enjoy it, splash in it to our heart's delight. It made me think that in spite of being busy and productive, I am only scratching the surface of what's possible to experience in a single lifetime. Suddenly, I began to feel that someone was coming onto our little private beach and might invade our sacred space. I opened my eyes, looked to my right, and found myself face to face with a large Canada goose, standing just feet away staring at me. l smiled at my cocreation, not knowing for a moment if the goose was real, not actually caring, just thrilled at life's imagination.

Monday, May 22, 2006

DaVinci Code Mania
I love movies! And in spite of how critics are panning this film, my friends and I thoroughly enjoyed it, and didn't feel either the casting or the length was inappropriate. In fact, it brought the images from the book to life in a way that greatly enriched my capacity for imagination. I think the messages in the movie/book are important: That there is a hidden history of mankind that is on the verge of being uncovered, and the missing pieces of Biblical history are a part of the overall saga. That the divine feminine is crucially important as a doorway into higher states of awareness, that it facilitates an experience of the divine in each person that need not be regulated and doled out by priests. That feminine awareness (intuition)—and women—have been suppressed by the patriarchy that has ruled religion and politics for generations as a way to maintain a power that has now become corrupt due to contraction, isolation, and imbalance. That the literal interpretation of the Bible and other sacred texts needs to shift to a more intuitive interpretation where we see the teachings pointing to processes that help us become enlightened, rather than to objects to be hoarded. That the Holy Grail is not a cup, but the feminine principle, which translates spirit into matter and vice versa (thus the inverted, tip-touching pyramid symbol from the film is highly accurate).

The material backslides a bit into materialism, in my opinion, in its depiction of the feminine principle as represented by one divine woman and a "special" blood lineage, when metaphysics tells us that all women, and the female part of all men, can act as this transformer of awareness, this bridge between realms. And that we are not limited by our ancestral heritage, but can draw from all beings at any time to create our life experience. The film does us a great service, though, by showing us how to interpret symbols, look below the surface of things, and how to think in more intuitive terms.

Monday, May 15, 2006

I'm in Atlanta, GA at my niece's graduation from Emory University and it has touched me in a couple ways. First, at the end of the high honors special ceremony, which my niece was part of, all the graduates stood up and applauded the faculty who, like them, took on the extra work in the 11th hour of going for the high honors award, to mentor them along and jury their oral defenses. I am so used to hearing the self-centered, hip, ugly, disrespectful, cynical street-style language from young people today that I almost forgot that there are still people who apply themselves willingly and work incredibly hard, with so much discipline, to achieve something that doesn't necessarily pay off immediately. And that these kids so highly valued the adults who helped them. Second, I was pleased to feel the international nature of the makeup of the students and how many disciplines were represented, how many kinds of minds and personal interests can be accommodated in the educational system and the professional world, and they all make our world a better place. It gives me a small glimpse of the incredible diversity that enriches our life on earth and makes me wonder why people hate each other. Do the biology graduates hate the theater and fine arts graduates, for example, because they are different? Certainly not! It doesn't compute in my mind, in this day and age of global media connection, that people aren't truly interested in each other as fascinating, perhaps unexplored, components of themselves.

Monday, May 8, 2006

Celebrity Worship
A friend who used to help organize programs for me recently said she is moving on to create conferences with A- and B-list speakers only, so she wouldn't have time to do much else now. Obviously, by implication, I was not in those categories. And after having also been immersed in studying how publishing has changed to be mainly about celebrities who have a national "platform," and who can buy thousands of copies of their own books and guarantee a large audience, I sat shaking my head. What has happened to our minds? Are we afraid of the unknown, and only want proven commodities: brand name products, People magazine regulars—and insist that any talented person be made into a celebrity to have continued success? Are we too lazy to do our own research, or trust our own intuition, about what or who will perfectly fill the need in us? Are we such fad-followers that we cannot think for ourselves, originally, and start our own trends, or be positive influences for those around us?

When marketing ourselves, we are constantly hit with this need to be a celebrity by acting like one. The humble offering of high quality does not stand out as it should. I'm thinking of the American Idol tryouts and all the people who want to write a book, who are blogging, or putting out podcasts. I hope celebrity isn't the way we are distinguishing what to pay attention to, as though what stands out the most has the most worth. To me, celebrity can breed shallowness, not allow innovation and evolution, and celebrities, who become archetypal models that are inhaled by masses of self-starved people, can become "possessed" by those people. If they don't perform their assigned function, their possessors turn on them. It's especially odd that we now have spiritual superstars, mega-money-makers with big personalities and publicity agents. It's not that "real" spiritual teachers need to be poor and unknown—I just tend to trust the quieter ones.

Monday, May 1, 2006

For My Father
It is 6 years today since my father died. I have taken to lighting a Guadalupe Virgin Easter candle on May 1 every year, as I did when I found out he had died suddenly and alone 3000 miles away. I talk to him and ask Her to look out for him, wherever he is and whatever form he is in now, and I let the candle burn all the way down. I sense he has incarnated again already, and I have thought much about the ethics of calling on a loved one in their old personality when they have begun to create a new life with a new name. I know the soul probably experiences living all its lives at once and has no problem orchestrating the logistics, probably doesn't even grasp the idea of overlaps like this. The linear definition of lives is just too narrow. But I want to be respectful. I think back to going into his home in Florida as executor of the estate, and sitting at his desk to begin to make sense of things. It was a couple weeks later, and the desk flip calendar was turned to May 1. He had paid all his bills that day, taken friends who had helped him out for an early dinner as a thank you, and everything was in order. His desk was neat. He came home and sat down in his chair and his heart gave out. They found him four days later.

I had no warnings, psychic as I am supposed to be. But that day I couldn't work on my book or concentrate, and just paced around the house. Finally I decided to go see a movie, and ended up watching "Frequency," about a man talking to his dead father across time. I think my father didn't want anyone to interfere with his exit, didn't want the flood of emotions that would come. So he blocked everyone. Being in that movie at the exact time he was dying was as close as I could get to him. After I finished in his office and house, and took possession of his ashes in their plain little cardboard box, which he wanted me to take care of, I wrote this:

Time to leave your home
for the last time
closing all the doors like a ritual
I take your ashes,
your little, simple, condensed self,
and I say out loud:
"Let's both go now.
Let's just go."