Monday, January 25, 2016

HEART STRINGS AND GUILT - DYNAMIC HARMONY

WHO AM I?
    When children played with wooden toys, one of my favorites was the spinning top. A top is wound with a piece of string and then tossed so that when the top lands on the sharp end, it is spinning because the string is pulled.
    The dynamic center of a top is a point at the top of the top (or apex) where the centrifugal forces of spin appear to be most concentrated – they come from the center, outwards. If we are the central point – the actor – then this situation is like a Lawn Sprinkler. We think about output, coverage. Keeping the spin of the top going, not falling over, what we have to put into our system.  This is GOAL ORIENTED.
 



     







But, life as we live it is not only what we do (output), it requires input – receiving and processing centripetal factors which come from outside us – from the periphery. The behaviors of others, the circumstances, of situations, our resources of health or wealth, the weather, etc. – lots of things are factors that come into play in our lives which we must process.  Our thinking, feelings and intentions (willing). A lot.
 











WHY AM I HERE?
     We receive more from the outside than we are able to generate from the inside. We are inspired in order to do things on the outside.
     These flows are built into our physiology as well. Our hearts operate on systole and diastole. We take blood in and blood is drawn out by our bodies. We breathe in (inhale) and breathe out (exhale).
  Our hearts sense what our bodies need. And our hearts sense feelings of one another. These feelings flow into and out of us all the time. We give to one another what we sense the other desires and we sense one another adjust to each other. It is this drawing in of senses that sets up our response.
     We start spinning because our heart strings are wound tight and we start to spin when the dynamics of lover or situation brings a response from us, and we spins, voluntarily or not.  

WHAT DO I WANT?
We are not free within physiological systems. We die if our hearts do not beat. These are closed systems. They are self-directed. But, our consciousness and our love, is based on an open system. We can choose to spin, or not.
     What we a human beings have over closed systems is consciousness.
     Dynamic Harmony means being conscious of the situation and choosing whether or not to be spun by our heart strings, guilt, passions or other forces. With consciousness comes freedom. And, with freedom comes isolation and loneliness. So, between relationship and isolation, between open systems we can change and closed systems we cannot, we live. This is paradox. This is love – loose and tight.

© Copyright 2016, Jean W. Yeager
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Sunday, January 24, 2016

INNOCENCE SLAIN BY POWER – THE THREE WISE MEN AND KING HEROD



An arrogant re-telling of the slaughter of the innocents. January 28 is the traditional, liturgical feast-day.


WHO AM I?
  The crowd of High Priests and Scribes cowered in a small group as Herod slipped off his throne and made his way to them.
  “Friends!” he said with arms out wide, “You know me! I am Herod, your Ruler, The KING of your People and I ASK, nicely, that you tell me WHERE this boy-child, this so-called KING of your people, has been born.”
  “Oh, Herod, the scriptures tell us he will be born in
Bethlehem.”
  “Beth-le-hem,” said Herod puzzled. “Are you telling me the truth?” he grew suspicious. “Bethlehem is a little bump-in-the-road!” Then he grew angry and stepped back to his throne.
  “You people have no great temple in Bethlehem! Not even a decent inn! You are lying to me! The King of your People would not be born THERE in that poor place! You keep this HIDDEN FROM ME! You TELL ME or your people suffer the consequences!”
  “We know – and fear – your wrath, oh Herod!” said one.
  “You have starved us! Brutalized us.” said another.
  “You put your armies in our neighborhoods.” said the third.
  “We can hide nothing from you!” said the fourth.
  “My spies say, that here, in Jerusalem are three Magi searching for this King. Where is this King? You claim to be the leaders of your people, the Chief Priests and Scribes – tell me! That I may. . . WORSHIP him!”
  “We don’t know.” said the first.
  “Ask the Magi.” said the second.
  “Yes, ask the Magi!” said the lot together.
  “Cowards.” Said Herod. “Get out!”

WHY AM I HERE?
  So, Herod sent his men to bring in the Magi. Three quite different men, clearly of wealth, wisdom and power appeared.
  “Why are you here?” asked Herod.
  “Oh King Herod, we are here because unto us a star appeared that foretold that the King of his People would be born.” Said Melchior, the Persian scholar.
  “Yes. To each of us the star appeared.” Said Caspar, the Indian Scholar.
  “We have been watching he heavens for years because this was foretold.” Said Balthasar, the Arabian Scholar.
  “Tell me where I should go to worship him?” said Herod.
  “We are not exactly sure,” said Melchior. “We follow our charts and our celestial instruments. But, the heavens are vast and our tools not so precise.”
  “We cannot verify the ancient scriptures.” Said Caspar. “Ancient revelations are subject to verifications.” Said Balthasar.
  “Why not let us go and find this King and then return and tell you where you may find him.” Said Melchior.
  “Yes! Yes! That’s it. You go find him and come and tell me!” said Herod. “Be gone! And, don’t try to betray me! I am watching you.”
  The three bowed deeply as they backed out of the throne room.

WHAT DO I WANT?
  The three Magi journeyed following the star. Then an Angelic being appeared in light and fire and led them to the stable in Bethlehem where they fell to their knees as the Shepherds before them had done.
  “Greetings to thee, Child most Rare, I bring thee Myrrh, as to a mortal.” Said the first.
  “Greetings to thee, Child most Sweet, I bring thee Gold as to a King.” Said the second
“Greetings to thee, Child from On High, I bring thee Frankincense as to a God.” Said the third.
They gave their gifts and kissed the Child.
And the Child’s mother said, “Oh Kings, we thank you.”
“And, Sir,” said Melchior to Joseph, “I also give you the light of insight: you and we three, must flee because Herod will come to kill the Child and us as well.”
“We will guide you for a distance, but each of us will leave the country by a different direction.” Said Balthsar.
“And, we should go tonight, now.” Said Caspar[JY1] .
  And so, the little family and the three groups of Magi left Judea, each by a different route.
Herod’s spies brought him the news that the Magi had departed.
As soon as he heard, he filled with rage and assembled the leaders of his armies: “I command that every boy-child two years old or under in the Bethlehem area be killed IMMEDIATELY!”
And so it is that Innocence is, once again and always, slain by Power.
“Then was fulfilled that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet, saying, 'A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because her children are no more.'"[1]

© Copyright 2015, Jean W. Yeager
All Rights Reserved

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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

TAMIR, HUCK FINN AND THE SENSE OF ADVENTURE

WHO AM I?
What part of the human spirit sends the Tamirs to the most dangerous place near where they live, a small city park, so they can be alone and play and dream and imagine with a toy gun beneath a hard, bare, concrete picnic canopy littered with heroin needles? What sends Tamir into such a place where adults would not go alone?
Young boys, the Tamirs, like the Hucks of previous generations, have an indefatigable sense of adventure up until the time grown-ups shame it, blame it, or otherwise constrain it out of them. Adventure is the air which children breathe, they “sense” adventure like people with eyes can see or people with ears can hear. Children are a receptor for the spiritual medium of adventure which exists around us all.
Grown-ups sense the danger in adventure.
Grown ups know the reality. Grown ups have grown into reality, have created reality in which they live. Grown ups try to numb ourselves to adventure because life has damaged us, beaten us down, told us we can’t win or covered up our adventure senses.
Grown ups are jealous of kids who still walk hand-in-hand with Dame Adventure. Grown ups warn children against small cottages made of candy in the dark woods and the old people who live there, of dealers in old houses with broken windows, of the wild beasts who lurk and wish to devour them, of black sedans or squad cars; and always, always grown ups tell stories of young children who were never clever enough, never strong enough, never brave enough because grown ups want the child to be what? Cowardly and fearful like ourselves? To avoid risk like us? To not get involved?

WHY AM I HERE?
Young boys, like Tamir and Huck believe themselves brave enough, clever enough, strong enough to overcome an addicted Pappy, a lack of privilege like our friend Tom, a lousy education from a poor school, a heartless community of auntie Pollys and the dangers of the River. Like Tamir and Huck, we started our journey breathing adventure floating on a raft down a big, big river with deadly currents and dangers. We loved it.
We are now grown-ups who breathe anxiety. We are afraid to look upstream. We know what we will see. Our River has been dammed and diverted. The water of our lives is now used for watering golf courses, McMansion suburbs and factories whose technologies transform the living into plumes of acrid, killing smoke into the air and dumping toxic effluent back into our lives.
     Education for what? For a maintenance job which kills the soul and pays so little we have to get a second job or a third? How did we become fearful Aunties or absentee Paps drunk on our self-importance?
Adventure in our neighborhoods has been transformed into racial profiling sludge, Army-style cops, soul pollution and community doubt; far deeper and more treacherous currents than ever ran in the River before.
Why can’t we grown ups be brave enough, clever enough and strong enough? We live on the River of life, too.

WHY AM I HERE?
We grown ups can breathe adventure again, too. And, when we do, our spirits will light up. We have arrived at a place downstream from where we started that we never imagined, at a future we now dread. In a strange land with which we must cope. But, why?
We can put the past we could not imagine, our fears we wished we could avoid, our shame, our blame, our failures, scars and weaknesses into the soles of our Nike’s and walk, like Tamir into the park, the garden, the dark woods, away from our homes, in our ’hoods, away from the self-made prisons in which we have locked ourselves away. Give away our privilege. Go where it is not safe. Go meet the danger we have created, you know it well – it matches up perfectly with our personal short-comings.
Go for adventure. When you feel fear, you will know you are close. You have hidden long-comings to transform the fear. Be a lonely Huck on a raft, floating away from un-civil civilization. Be a Tamir and take a walk into the park.
Things will be different when Tamir, like Huck, has a companion to journey with him. He needs a powerful individual, once enslaved, but now free - you. Tamir would not be dead if he had not been alone.

© Copyright 2016, Jean W. Yeager
All Rights Reserved
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Saturday, January 16, 2016

PAST PRESENT FUTURE – THINGS ARE TENSE

WHO AM I?
When I step up to the mirror, I can see who I am. I think, or presume, I know who I am. I ought to know who I am, right? That image is I a reflection of my past. The grey hair. The scars. The furrows on the face. The beady dark eyes. The crooked teeth. Except for the teeth, I earned each of those dings. They’re marks on my soul calendar. My ugly mug is not the present or the future. Can’t see the future in a mirror. The “present” is, at my age, not on the trajectory toward growth. Maybe a rejuvenation cycle, and it’s not overly active for growth. Maintenance? Naw. Declining these days.
     So, who we are when we’re livin’ the dream is a sum of our past. Our default action-set is based on past experiences. We default to what we know we’re gonna do. We are fixed. Okay, I am fixed. I live in habits. The sum of what felt good. What worked. The expedient. The proven. Click, bang. Social psychological research shows that we – okay I - am twice as likely to choose something familiar when I take a risk – even when I know that the result will be a losing proposition – “better the Devil you know than...” We work from the sphere of “effect”, we don’t work from the sphere of “cause”.
     I live now in the past tense. What’s up with that? How could you be so stupid, Jean-o? Destined to repeat mistakes because it’s easier? As the Great WC Fields used to sneer, “Never give a sucker an even break or smarten up a chump!” This is why Fields never carried much cash. He worked vaudeville theaters throughout the country and always deposited his earnings in a local bank under a newly created, outrageous assumed name. They gave him receipts which he carefully burned so no thief could steal his money. Did he write things down? Heck no. Did he remember? No. But, he felt real good about this clever solution to his fear of being robbed. And, he thought, he’d come back some day and they’re remember him –after all, he was a celebrity! Right?
     Past successes. Celebrity status. Big fish in a little pond. The past is quicker. Impulsively losing (again) is much easier than making the effort to think, plan and decide to do something else. Even on insignificant things like breakfast cereal, why do you buy that cereal? Think that’s connected to your diabetes? Effort. Who’s got time for effort? Not somebody as important as me! I’ve got things to do. I’m busy. Easier. No decisions. We feel comfortable with our comfy house-slipper decisions. Even if we’ve wound up in jail. Or sleeping in a cardboard box. Even at the bottom, the very bottom of the bottom, the power of the known, the familiar, the predictable is huge. The past tense makes us less emotionally tense.
So, I simply look at what is going on around me and project from the experiences I’m comfortable with onto the situation and act as if that is that old event, even if this newly unfolding experience is actually totally different. Or I see something, anything, that looks familiar, and that non-conscious cue is a trigger to an old memory and I flee the present with wings on my feet. Neat, huh? I do this because I am lazy. Change is hard. If you change, then I gotta change. So, I exert my unconscious authority and act without thinking and respond to “the way it is”. And, am I gonna doubt me? No way! It’s the rules.
     That’s when things get really tense. Most of these kind of decisions are wrong.

WHY AM I HERE?
At least we should be able to move into the present, right? But, to do that means not basing decisions on the whole mass of past results we have carefully gathered. Is living in the present even at all possible? Are we are wearing our past like a suit of body-armor – to protect us?
     Not at all. You can step out of the body-armor into the present. You get there through creativity – creating something which has never been created before. A painting. A smile. A cake. A friendship. A kiss on the cheek of a child. A visit to a person who is ill. Something you’ve never done before is a creation. Creations only happen in the present. Small or large, they are the new. Never done before. Never exactly ever done again.
     Once you are in the present, where will you go? Now that you have stopped aging, because the present only exists in this moment, it is age-free living.

WHAT DO I WANT?
Time is a funny place. There is time when you look back – memory. But, when you look forward, what do you see? A non-specific potential. An expectation of something that might happen.  Plans. Hopes. Wishes.  Have you ever traveled into the soul realm of Wishes?
     It’s somewhere near the Neighborhood of Fear.
Man in the Mirror
I'm gonna make a change
For once in my life
It's gonna feel real good
Gonna make a difference
Gonna make it right

As I, turn up the collar on
My favorite winter coat
This wind is blowing my mind
I see the kids in the streets
With not enough to eat
Who am I to be blind?
Pretending not to see their needs

A summer disregard, a broken bottle top
And a one man soul
They follow each other on the wind ya' know
'Cause they got nowhere to go
That's why I want you to know

I'm starting with the man in the mirror
I'm asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you want to make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change


*PMA – Positive Mental Attitude
When I was a practitioner of PMA* I used to say, “Everyday in every way I’m getting better and better!”

© Copyright 2016, Jean W. Yeager
All Rights Reserved
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Friday, January 15, 2016

LOSERS ON WINNING AND WINNERS ON LOSING

LOSERS ON WINNING
Donald Trump on winning:


Charlie Sheen on Winning


Ayatolah Khamenei on Winning

Glen Beck and God on winning.

Kim Davis and the GOP on Winning

Barry Goldwater on Winning (“Counting Daisies”)


WINNERS ON LOSING

Michael Jordan on Failure (Nike Ad)

Joe Biden on Not Running (Stephen Colbert)

Serena Williams after Failure
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENOiYJkPvw0




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KISS YOUR YET UNBORN GRAND-BABIES

WHO AM I?
     Today’s waves in my life have been made in the depths and the heights, both unseen. They both move the waters, and the waters move me. Here are the forces:
     The emancipatory and the imprisoning. The evolutionary and the revolutionary. The participatory and the isolating. The violent and the peaceful. The Platonic love and the erotic.
The disruptive, destabilizing and the foundational launch-pads of my future. The cosmic from above and the tectonic from below.
     These make the cultural and personal winds and weather that blow me about today – they shape my future. They blow from behind and ahead. They make my life easy and a struggle.

WHAT DO I WANT?
     I want to kiss my yet unborn grand-babies. So, I want the tools to harness the cosmic and the tectonic, to be able to predict the weather, understand the currents, manage the doldrums, to know when volcanoes will erupt and how to surf the crest of the tidal waves.
     We all want to be worthy of the challenges in our lives. But, who is it that prepares us for the unseen in our lives? Who knows the unfathomable in our hearts? Where do I get forces for myself? What is new for me is old for you. Who plans our lives BEYOND their term? Who leaves MY legacy?

WHY AM I HERE?
     I am here to stretch your time window. To encourage you to see into generations. To see today as only a step in the path trod by yourself as you are today. But, the path is much bigger than you think.  It actually leads back to your long dead great-grandmothers and their long dead great-grandmothers and further. It leads forward to your yet unborn great-grandchildren and their yet unborn great-grandchildren and further.
     If the path is so much longer, you and I will need to be stronger than we are today, much stronger.
     We will need to fish deeply in our depths for the deep running, gigantic parts of ourselves which we fear. We need the power of the unseen leviathans we have thought were only nice literary devices. I have lived my life hoping never to meet this fierce, wild part of your myself and pretending it is not there.  You?
     I have been satisfied with the small steps on today’s path, but to kiss my great-grandbabies, I need Time and Strength to withstand the forces from the cosmos and the tectonic. Shall we fish for that part of ourselves which can feed generations or kill us? Have we that kind of courage?
     To find it we need our Captain – the one who plans our lives beyond their term, and our destiny. The Captain stands ready to take us in hunt for ourselves.
     So, let’s pull our big girl (or boy) panties up, climb into the chair, strap ourselves in. Let’s grab the stout rod the Captain hands us, watch them bait up the hook as big as our hand. The Captain knows where to troll – over the currents which confront us, into the wind which buffets us.
Stalk yourself.

© Copyright 2016 Jean W. Yeager
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