I and Love

In solitude, in prayer, there is nothing wrong with stopping at the idea of love. Nothing more is needed than the simple remembrance. From there it is easy to attach to the generalized subtle presence of love. Just make sure not to add anything to it. Leave love as a no-thing.

This morning as I thought of my apparently meaningless and useless life, I also thought: The meaning of life is not out there but in here. Who I am is in the silence. \”I\” do not have a context. I want to know this \”I\” which is my truth.

My essence, the truth within me is the non-contexted \”I\” which I want to know. This \”I\” is no different than the generalized presence of love which I find in simple remembrance. If I was at all to agree with the concept of oneness, then it would be this. My truth and love are the same.

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Anniversary

The eighth of August was the date I quit drinking alcohol 26 years ago. I don\’t drink now because the thought of poisoning my brain is totally repulsive. I do believe that this drug cuts you off from your spiritual connection (if there is one, haha).

The ninth of August was the date I left the monastery 8 years ago. Driving away was the first time I realized my ego had been in total control of my monastic ambition while I was in formation. It was a defensive necessity of formation to use the ego to please 58 other nuns so they\’ll vote you in; but a travesty of spiritual growth.

These are probably the two biggest events of my life. And that\’s how I got here: sober, engineer, semi-hermit, athlete, spiritualist without a purpose.

I was hoping to hear today if I am moving, but I found out that no news is good news.

Short and sweet, I went for a 1h44 min run on the hills this morning. Went to work at my job herding cats around a chemical plant (ie – process safety engineering), went to the grocery store, came home and ate. this evening, I\’ll do my core exercises and a little Nordic track.

Purpose and Belief

I realize that I, and humans I know, believe we have a higher/divine purpose for our lives. We think that we are better at thinking than those animals, so \”God\” must have created us for some purpose. I realize I totally believe this: there is some reason why I am alive. And I think there is some soul or inner higher divine consciousness which will tell me my purpose.

Unfortunately, I have utterly failed to hear anything from this soul. If I say I have, I am actually just making up a story. But as of yesterday, I realize that I am just being. I have said in the past that my goal was to just be. I have in a sense achieved that. As soon as I accept \”just being\”, I am almost willing to accept \”nothing\” as my purpose. Logically speaking, God does not need anyone to have a purpose. In fact, to be only love means that you have no purpose. Purposes make that person special. They add a coloring of belief that we are special to God. So in a sense, purposes negate love because they make us special, therefore not love alone.

My condition of \”just being\” means that I have reduced my activity in the world. The type of creativity of a person just being is different because it has less physical interference. I hope that just being leads me away from specialness and closer to understanding my life at its most fundamental concept.

I continue my study of the brain (reading two books at the moment). From \”The Believing Brain\” (Shermer) I have learned of patternicity and agenticity as behavior controlling modes. Patternicity is the tendency to find meaningful patterns in BOTH meaningful and meaningless noise (experience). Patternicity is association learning. The implication is that we run our lives by pattern recognition and habit, not real thought. Agenticity is the tendency to infuse patterns with meaning, intention and agency. That is, we often impart patterns we find with agency and intention and believe that these intentional agents control the world, sometime invisibly from the top down; instead of bottom-up causal laws and randomness that makes up much of our world. In agenticity, we naturally think there is a \”god\” controlling everything. Reflect on the implications of this evolutionarily developed capacity for assigning experiences to god and not randomness. Astounding.

So I have been trying to buck the system. If you wonder why I have emotional difficulties, its because I am bucking the system.

I just started reading \”The Master and His Emissary\” (McGilcrist). His book is starting out exploring the asymmetry of the brain and how the different operating modes of each hemisphere affect our experience of the world. The hemispheres attend to the world in two completely different ways. Knowing these differences, I can begin to use them to change my experience of the world. And then I have to return over and over to the essentially chemical nature. One side responds more to dopamine and the other more to noradrenaline. I do participate in the dopamine reward cycle and the effects of other hormones.

Honestly, I think it is improper to say \”there is a God\” or \”my life is for a purpose\” until after I understand something about the brain and how I experience the world (react to it, believe in it, make decisions about it).

So when I sit alone in my apartment in utter confusion about soul or God, its because I\’ve allowed these questions to be raised. I don\’t accept divine presence or divine life at face value. I have to account for evolutionarily evolved thinking patterns and the biochemistry of the dopamine reward cycle.

Whatever I think is pretty much not true.

But I can burn calories if I want. Today, I slept in; meaning its too hot to do a long run. But working out on ex-machines is actually a more effective endurance workout that struggling slowly along in the heat would be. So now I will face the machines for several hours and deal with forces in my brain wanting to quit. Running outside is mentally easy. Running on a treadmill is mentally difficult; but worth the experience for its reflective value. Why should I care what I am doing?

Personal Power

I can make a right/healthy decision in the moment. But, maybe that desire doesn\’t go away, just underground to come back later. Then the only way I am ultimately powerful is to do something that eliminates that thought, develop a habit which becomes stronger than that thought, or ask for a higher power to remove that thought. Otherwise, I\’m doomed to eventually do that thing.

I need to change my momentum and keep it changed.

I want a different ruler in my mind than the one I have been allowing. I need to strengthen the consciousness which brings me success, peace, productivity, self love. That consciousness which is positive is there; I just don\’t choose it as my ruler. But I think I could. I am aware enough of my thoughts to begin a different conscious sorting process.

I went for a long run as usual for a Saturday morning (4h25 min). I thought that I want my life to be an experience of soul. What ever I do and however I think, I want it to be an experience of soul.

I learned how to just be today! I realized that I am.

That\’s it.

The Candle and the Heartbeat

I can sit quietly, eyes closed and look inside: I see a candle burning. I listen to my heart beat. This take my mind off the world and roaming around.

Or also, I can imagine I am sitting in the mouth of a desert cave and watch the moon.

Using my ex-bike or nordic track, I shut my eyes and listen to my breathing.

I live in a very unnatural world. I work in a chemical plant, drive back and forth, and never come out of my apartment while at home. I come out to run in the early morning darkness. Otherwise, I pretty much hate being outside in Missouri.

God is Love

ummmm……..of course you\’ve heard this before.

But what I\’d really like to say is forget everything you\’ve ever heard about God anywhere. Just reflect on the idea of love. Love is all there is to God; nothing more. Love does not need to be prayed to and shouldn\’t be asked for anything since all has already been given. Let the idea of love be abstract, not attached to a person or event in this world. You\’ll have more success with it that way.

Here is my Spiritual Creed as it has evolved over the past couple of months:

If I am afraid, I am deceived.
I am spirit, grace means most to me.
Fear is lack of love. Atonement heals.
Expanding love is my reality.

In the holy instant, thou I see.
Thou art miracles come forth as love.
I am not alone. My love is here.
My love is the undoing of the dream.
The voice of love comes from deep within me.
I hear love speak quietly in my mind.

Giving and receiving are the same.
Full appreciation is my gift.
The innocent see perfection truly.
Love vision is where they put all their faith.
My mind holds only light and it shines out.
I see love\’s majesty in all others.

God is not symbolic. He is love.
Love\’s peace is always firm. On it I stand.
Into love\’s hands I commend my spirit.
And so my mind awakens from the dream.
Truth is my commitment. Joy I am.
Love is my intention. Silence seen.

Love based thinking is my one desire.
Inner peace is what I really want.