On April 2nd, 2010, right around 3:23 pm EST, my life took a drastic turn. It was a Good Friday but there was nothing good about that day as far as I was concerned. That was the day I experienced what pain is for the very first time in my life and because of that experience, my father passing away, I sometimes feel like the worst has happened to me and I can never be hurt again. I could be right, I could be wrong; regardless, I will never forget that day.
For the next four years, five months and eight days, I would exist but I would not live. I call this period my zombie stage. I was alive on the outside, but inside, I was a soulless corpse. My psyche was in a place that I never want to be again in my life. Even though I thought I had returned to normal, I could not be any further from the truth. The life I led and the decisions I made during that time span were all influenced by a very fracture psyche that was my new normal. Unfortunately, I was suffering from the frog syndrome; I had become so accustomed to my pain and suffering that I did not even realize my personal state of affairs at the time was not a force to be reckoned with.
But then, on September 10th, 2014, right around 6:17 am EST, I woke up both literally and psychically. My personal sun had risen once again and a new life had begun for me. A culmination of events and decisions had contribution to my new awakening and for the first time in over four years, I could finally see clearly through my darkest period of my present lifetime. On that morning, I found my peace! Yes, I found my peace! I still miss my father, the greatest man who ever lived, but the pain no longer has a hold me like before. I could now see the pain and suffering and encase it in peace and solace. On Good Friday, 2010, I was burned to charcoal but on September 2014, I was reborn as diamond. After all, a diamond is just charcoal that has handled pressure really well.
So this blog piece is a special dedication to all my family, my friends (at home and internally) and my amazing partner. I would like to say THANK YOU for everything; for putting up with me during my darkest hours, for tolerating me and my errors and for celebrating the beauty of life with me during this new ongoing day. I can never be grateful enough. I may not yet be like a flawless piece of diamond, but thanks to you all, I am getting there. You are the beauty I seek, you are the love I have and you are the life I live. Thank you for a most amazing 2014, the Year of Peace, and for many more years to come!
I’d like to share with you an excerpt from a book by one of the most celebrated American Buddhist, Jack Kornfield and Daniel J. Siegel, MD, entitled Bringing Home the Dharma: Awakening Right Where You Are. It is my sincere wish for you to read this book or listen to the audio book. You will find their writing very inspiring and helpful in making you more aware of who you are. This blog is taken from sections, verbatim, from chapter seven of their book. I hope that as you read this excerpt, it may inspire you and open your heart and mind to become more tolerant and more forgiving of others as well as yourself. Enjoy!
Traditionally, the work of the heart begins with forgiveness. Forgiveness is the necessary ground for any healing. To begin with, we need a wise understanding of forgiveness. Then we can learn how it is practiced; how we can learn to forgive both ourselves and others. Forgiveness is the letting go of past suffering and betrayal; a release of the burden of pain and hate that we carry. Forgiveness honors the heart’s greatest dignity. Whenever we are lost, it brings us back to the ground of love. With forgiveness, we become unwilling to attack or wish harm to one another. Whenever we forgive, in small ways at home or in great ways between nations, we free ourselves from the past. It is hard to imagine a world without forgiveness. Without forgiveness, life would become unbearable. Without forgiveness, our lives would be chained, forced to carry the burden of the past and repeat them without release.
Consider the conversation between two prisoners of war.
“Have you forgiven your captors?”
“Well, they still have you in prison, don’t they?”
We begin the process of forgiveness primarily for ourselves. We may still be suffering terribly from the past, or those who have hurt us might be on vacation. It is painful to hate. Without forgiveness, we continue to perpetuate the illusion that hate can heal our pain and the pain of others. In forgiveness, we let go and find release in our heart. We must discover a way to move on from the past, no matter what traumas it held. The past is over. Forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past. Remember these truths. Forgiveness is neither weak nor naïve. Forgiveness requires courage and clarity.
Mistakenly people believe that to forgive simply means to forgive and forget once and for all. This is not the wisdom of forgiveness. Forgiveness does not happen quickly. For great injustice, coming to forgiveness may include great periods of grief, outrage, sadness, loss, suffering and pain. True forgiveness does not paper over what has happened in a superficial way. Neither is it a misguided effort to ignore or suppress our pain. It cannot be hurried. It is a deep process repeated over and over in our heart that honors the grief and betrayal and in its own time ripens into the freedom to truly forgive. Forgiveness does not forget, neither does it condone the past. Forgiveness sees wisely. It bravely sees the sufferings of the past and understands the conditions that brought them about. There is a strength to forgiveness. When we forgive, we can also say, “Never again will I allow these things to happen again to ourselves or to another!”
Forgiveness does not mean we have to continue to relate to those who have done us harm. In some cases, the best practice may be to end our connection; to never speak to or be with or be with the harmful person again. Sometimes in the process of forgiveness, the person who hurt or betrayed us may wish to make amends. But even this does not require us to put ourselves in the way of further harm. Forgiveness simply means never putting another person out of our heart.
Finding a way to extend forgiveness to ourselves is one of our most essential tasks. Just as others have been caught in suffering, so have we. If we look honestly at our life, we can see the sorry and pain that have led to our own wrongdoing. In this we can finally extend forgiveness to ourselves. We can hold the pain we have caused in compassion. Without such mercy, we will live our own lives in exile. We’ve all been blinded, we’ve all suffered…
When we clearly realize that the source of misery and disharmony in the world is ignorance, we can open the door of wisdom and compassion. In the temple of forgiveness, no matter what has happened, we can always return to the greatness of the heart. The heart is released whenever we forgive or are forgiven. Even in the most painful of circumstances. In the temple of forgiveness, we are reminded of our own goodness. If only we could help each other build temples of forgiveness instead of prisons. We can, in our own hearts. No matter how extreme the circumstances, a transformation of the heart is possible.
On a general basis, prayer could be defined simply as ‘communication with the divine’. The ‘divine’ is completely subjective; it could be a tree, the sun, the moon, the one called God, a saint, a deity, or whatever one considers ‘the divine’. However, this blog will address the topic of prayer in the light of communication with the Father-Mother, Timeless, Boundless, Nameless Oneness or Consciousness, from whom all things and no-thing hail and in whom all things and no-thing have their being. For the purpose of simplicity and efficiency with words, we will address this Consciousness as God.
So if prayer is communication with God, what does this really mean? Is prayer then simply a matter of saying a bunch of words out loud or in our hearts? Is it a matter of just being quiet and listening to our hearts, when our minds have stopped making noise? Is it a blend of both speaking and listening to the divine? Or is it something entirely different? Do we bow our heads, raise our eyes to the ‘heavens’, prostrate ourselves, close our eyes or do whatever we do during prayer because we are communicating with God, who lives in heaven? Just as in all my previous posts, this blog will consist simply of a compendium of phrases that may help trigger the need for further meditation and research into this topic. Here are some verses quotations from the Christian Bible and they do tie with some of the basic teachings of other religions such as Buddhism, Sufism, Hinduism, and Jainism amongst others.
“Neither shall they say ‘Lo here!’ or ‘Lo there!’ for behold, the Kingdom of God is within you!” Gospel of Luke 17:21
“For in Him we live and move and have our being…” Acts 17:28
So if the Kingdom of God is within us, then why do we pray as if God lives somewhere else like in ‘heaven’ or ‘his kingdom’ that is beyond our reach? Our very actions contradict what we are trying to achieve through prayer; that is communication with the divine, in this case God.
And if we are one and inseparable from God, ‘in whom we live and move and have our being’, why do we still profess a notion of separation by seeing ourselves as separate from God? Why do we dedicate a particular day for ‘worship’ or certain times of the day for ‘prayer’? Our very lives, at every single moment in the eternal present ought to be a prayer because our very lives are a constant communication with the God we are one with and inseparable from. If this is the case, therefore, our very lives are the prayer we pray. By our very existence, WE ARE A LIVING PRAYER. And if God is omniscient, it means that even before we go to our rooms, church, at the table about to eat a meal, in school, in our cars, anywhere and everywhere, to pray, God already aware of what our prayer will entail.
So what is prayer again? It is communication with God. And where does God live? God lives in all of creation, including you and I. I strongly believe that if we shift our consciousness from one of separation to one of oneness with the Nameless, Timeless and Boundless Father-Mother-All-That-Is, then we would become more aware of ourselves and our true identity, which is one of Consciousness itself. Prayer is a great method of uplifting one’s level of consciousness, but it ought to be done with the right degree of awareness; not one that is not steeped in the illusion of separation, but one that is open and embracing to the consciousness of oneness with the Father-Mother God, one that is a profession of the I AM…
My name is Humanity and I live on a small, blue planet we call Earth at the very edge of a galaxy we call The Milky Way. We epitomize the very quintessence of polarity because our very physical nature itself is based on polarity. We have a long way and here is a progress report and compendium of our status quo thus far.
Our ancient past was one of the greatest of glories, of peace, harmony and unity. Our ancient past was truly a golden era, but over the past two millennia, we have seen our kind at its worst. There have been more death and destruction, wars and pillages, crimes against ourselves and against our home, Mother Earth, than in all the other ages combined. Even the beasts of the land and sea, though they may be savages, have shown that they can maintain order amongst themselves. Humanity, however, cannot boast of the same. Our past is shameful, disgraceful, distasteful and disgusting.
Our present has been better and therein lies hope. Things like slavery, crimes against humanity, crimes, abuse of power, racism, homophobia and other inhumane tendencies towards our fellow kind is generally frowned upon now or met with the stiff hand of imperfect justice; imperfect only because it is forged from imperfect minds. Humanity just may have had some civility in this civilization after all. Today, unfortunately, we are deeply infected by a virus called greed. It is this greed that has caused Humanity to reduce its fellow kind to mere tools to an end, or mere numbers in the books, under the guise of economics, commerce and progress. Greed is now the biggest narcotic to Humanity’s ego!
As for our future, it is still in the making. We have made huge strides in science and technology, but not so much in spirituality. But there has been a general sense of awakening, a shift in consciousness on a planetary level. Perhaps, this is our next big leap; perhaps, this is the panacea to our ailments as a species; perhaps, this is a herald to greater times to come. A snapshot at our situation may seem dire, but we are Humanity and we are survivors. There is good in us and our goodness is lighting up and smothering out the darkness. It may be a slow process, but it is progress and we can only get better.
Please be mindful of the fact that this is merely a progress report and compendium of our status quo. It is not a cry for help. We can take care of ourselves. We may be considered children, but we are growing up. Eventually, we will become fully mature and awaken to our full potential and true identity, our divinity and rightful place in the grand scheme of things.
THE ALCHEMY OF LIFE
Alchemy is a notion extending into history, even as far back as ancient and mythological times, with beliefs which are very akin to both “rational” scientific theories as well as irrational sciences (mysticism included). Basically, alchemy has to do with transformation base metals like iron or copper into noble metals like gold and silver. There are fables in alchemy that include the Philosopher’s Stone, which is a piece of stone said to possess alchemical properties and magical powers that even alluded to this stone being an elixir of life, a fountain of youth or bringer of immortality. Unfortunately, like many other stories or accounts, the true meaning of alchemy has been lost in literacy.
In ancient times, people used the notion of alchemy not in literal terms, but in spiritual terms. Of course, the powers-that-were actually believed that their magicians could convert base metals to noble metals because they wanted to amass wealth as such. However, if one focuses on the symbolism behind the notion of alchemy, one realizes that alchemy has to do with the transformation and transcendence of human consciousness, from the base form of ignorance or dominance of the ego, to the golden form of enlightenment, supreme consciousness or divinity. Just as the Philosopher’s Stone symbolizes perfection at its finest, a transcended consciousness is one that is basically enlightened; it is consciousness that completely, unconditionally aware of its true identity, which is boundless, formless, timeless, pure and one. Alchemy, therefore, represents the transformation of human consciousness from the lie of an ego-based existence to the truth about who one really is.
Jesus, the Christ, said the following at one time:
“If you continue in my word, then you are truly disciples of mine; then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free,” John 8:31-32
What he meant actually meant by “continue in my word” was that we all should be alchemist, striving to transform our consciousness by our lives to a more deific form. Remember, diamond is just charcoal that has handled stress very well. In the end, it is our birth right and perhaps our ultimate purpose for existing. When we, as alchemists, have put worked on our spiritual evolution to the point that our consciousness has attained a golden form, we will become the truth and, indeed, this truth will definitely set us free.
This post is on here thanks to my very close and childhood from Roy Obi Dalton. He sent me an email that contained what has been posted below, without editing or redacting of any kind. I hope you will enjoy reading this as much as I very much enjoyed reading it.
MY EUREKA MOMENT
I just opened an email from an unsolicited Human Resource dept of a hospital seeking to staff their radiology department and for some reason, I had a eureka moment over the true meaning of Human Resources and it really got me thinking.
It’s so true that familiarity breeds contempt. We see people all around us all the time and take for granted the innate dignity that every human being has, regardless of status or creed. Our defining of people as “resources”, is what I have some qualms with. We have natural resources and so on, but the value of humans, transcends all that and reducing people to numbers, bottom lining them to means of generate profit, is truly reverse thinking. That explains continued slavery in countries like Afghanistan and China and the over working of citizens in most countries.
Education is now tailored towards job placement and qualifications in order to do a job and fall within a salary bracket. Education isn’t anymore geared towards freeing the mind and cultivating it for higher contemplation; the Greeks coined this liberal education (freeing education).
Work, education, spouses, friends and everything worth mentioning, must be carefully chosen being aware of the force they embody in making us the better or worst versions of ourselves. You only need to encounter someone who has missed or found their calling to understand this. Education and work should not be chosen in order to swell up our pockets while bankrupting our minds. This is the ethos of our times unfortunately and that explains the high levels of depression, anxiety, suicide and atheism as people carry on languidly everyday unfulfilled in what they do, who they are and what bleakness the future holds for their future selves. What can we as a society expect, when we enforce the lie that we are meant to run that rat race and accumulate more, of nothing really. That’s why “they” dangle that unattainable carrot to make us run faster to no where. The next years car model, next iPhone at the 6th months mark, that bigger house etc. Not saying we should abandon thrift all together, as that is clearly necessary to provide for ourselves and our loved ones. We should however be careful with these definitions and careers that reduce a human to a resource and means of generating profit. We are way too complex and God-bearing to be branded so.
What I find to help, is to read more and mostly books that elevate the mind lofty heights. Investing in worthy friendships, bc it’s not about numbers but quality. Friends are those you can call at 3 am in case of an emergency and they would pick up with empathy. Very importantly too is providing a service to my clients knowing their dignity as people and not $$ signs.
It’s time we become HUMAN BEINGS AND NOT HUMAN DOINGS!!