I\’m finally accepting it….

I live in Texas. I live in this house and work at this place and there is no escape. I\’ve always escaped or somehow been moved on. So much so that I didn\’t realize how I was taking Texas as a temporary thing.

But yesterday, I bought a bookshelf for my upstairs bedroom and moved books from boxes onto the shelves. Somehow, this lent an air of permanence to my residence. People who move might leave the stuff in the boxes. People planning on staying some place will unpack and settle in.

The new bookcase tells me what I have decided.

This weekend was almost my first private multi-day since foot surgery. I jog/ walked for 5 hours and 20.5 miles on Friday. I cross trained for 2h47min on Saturday. Today, Sunday, I did another 3.5 hours and 15.35 miles of jog/ walk. I don\’t really plan all this. When I go out for a long run, I just go until I run out of time or it starts to hurt real bad. So yes I am training for a marathon. But no, I am not following a training plan. I just go out and if all is well, I keep going.

I don\’t know why I like to do miles. If I lived in the mountains, it might not seem so strange to spend a day hiking. But, it is very boring where I live. The deep reason for why I do this have not been discerned. But dreaming of endurance has been in my brain since a very young age. But like silence, my brain does not speak of why this must be so.

I have to quit asking questions of silence. I should quit expecting it to make me wise. Silence just is and must be enjoyed without demands.

To be in the world but not of it: At the practical level, it means not participating. Like not eating the food of the masses, or watching their TV, or doing a family, or … get the point? But one level down it means thinking different. This is possible if you train your synapses to respond differently. Another level down it means a focus in another direction. This means that life and all of its purposes and awarenesses and desires are in a direction not of this world. This is possible but not easy since distractions come along continuously.

They built monasteries to help this process. Men went to the desert to help this process. Had I stayed in the monastery, I\’d have to be \”of this world.\” A small enclosed world different from society; but a world none the less. I\’d have to conform to them and their religion. The knowledge that makes this world an illusion would not have been obtained. The deeper thinking is possible for one allowed intellectual and spiritual freedom; but not one confined in a religious prison.

I live as a solitary. I study spiritual material. I don\’t eat the meat or watch the TV. I don\’t have any ear worms except those from the 60s and 70s which are triggered frequently but not that often.

Jesus in not Lord. Christ just is.

Well, it happened again

Yes, another 20 miles.

Why do I do this?

Today, I first went for an 11.5 mile slow run/walk in El Lago. Then I came home for lunch. Then I changed shoes and went over to the park for another 8.9 mile walk. I just wanted to keep going for as long as my foot felt \”not too bad.\” Pair of shoes number 2 was far better than the first pair I used. Shoes that don\’t hurt has been an ongoing issue since my foot surgery 5 months ago. Some issues have gone away. Others linger and drive me crazy.

The whole time, I was repeating my Course in Miracles lesson: Truth will correct all errors in my mind. Did I think about anything else? Yes. Like how fast/slow was I going. And what are the possibilities for completing 100 miles in 3 days.

I like walking for hours. I hope to be able to do private multi-days on an ongoing basis. As it is, I\’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see how my foot is.

Tomorrow\’s Lesson has been reviewed already. Part of it is: It is True Light that makes True Vision sure.

I have home made beans and rice just getting done. My own beans are much better than whats in a can.

It takes a great deal of discipline to walk and not run.

Today was an experience of some inner inexplicable drive. I let it drive me. I cannot explain it still.

A short but viscous line of thunder storms in moving through. I am not the weather.

Boycott Boston

A radical idea. What I mean is, dear runner, the bombing was not about you. So leave the hype and sensationalism. Don\’t watch it vicariously for bombing news. Pay attention only to an actual runner who is gutting it out for himself; not some stupid bomber.

It is just a marathon; nothing more but also nothing less. Go for a simple run as you usually would. Go to work. It is Easter Monday. What about that bigger picture?

I have qualified for Boston twice (even within this decade). But never gone. Why? To me it is just a way to leave a couple thousand dollars in someone else\’s pocket, do a slow marathon with 30,000 other people, be annoyed with people all along the course and lines at porta potties, be hassled with logistics for 3 or 4 days, then later, tell people about how I ran Boston and wasn\’t it great.

It is a ridiculous idea.

Just go out and run. Marathons are awesome. Do one for yourself. Boston has nothing to do with it. The media is going to make a big deal out of the bombing. This is actually a corruption. Step aside from the hype; even everywhere you see it about whatever subject. Life is not about the sensations, the hype, the programming.

Dear runner, I am a runner. I\’ve been a runner for more than 40 years. In the early morning darkness, my feet slap the pavement. This is it. Nothing more but also nothing less. Reach quietly down into the guts of who you are: a marathoner. The meaning of this is more than what some announcer on the radio says. Be more. You CAN be more than Boston. Greatness is beyond that.

Don\’t buy into hype. Be a real person here and now in your own being.

Adoration

Sitting in silence yields nothing. The ego gets no rewards. The ego cannot steal any inspiration. No dopamine reward cycle. This is the hard part of solitude and silence: it is not an emotional reward. There is no drama. Nothing to say.

But as I type, I realize I am in adoration of the Great Silent Altar within. I\’m not sure if I have felt such adoration before. I feel the power.

No specialness. That is what is at this altar. Silence offers no specialness. Anyone willing to leave their specialness behind can come and adore.

Societal programming is about teaching children to seek specialness. Religions are about specialness. Religious professions, ordination, sacraments are all specialness. The requirement of a guru is specialness.

What if you could just come and adore? No sacrifices required of you or anyone else. What if Jesus was not the epitome of specialness but just a man in total adoration.

Anyone at any time can be in total adoration. It is very quiet in total adoration.

This is the purpose of the Lenten desert. Adoration.

I like A Course in Miracles because it is open to all. We all have access to The Teacher.

I have had one of my best running weekends in years. 17 miles of jogging on Saturday and 11 miles of sprint/ walk today. It is true that I had some big mileage last year, but none so well carried out. Today\’s big miracle, beside doing miles the day after a big long run was that the Nimbus 15s are back to feeling good.

My heel is 4.5 months after 6 weeks of non-weight bearing. Slowly, annoying random pains are going away. My arch doesn\’t feel like the inside of a shoe bears a sharp knife edge pointing up. The forward heel spur is manageable. The scar doesn\’t have so many random sharp pains.

Inklings – I have died but Christ lives in me

God is my life; hidden with Christ in God.

I have inklings, glimmers, of knowing this is true. It is not that the world misunderstands me; but that the real I is hidden in God with Christ. I can\’t grasp myself using a worldly frame of reference. I can only sit in silence and then I understand.

I have died. Not I that lives but Christ liveth in me. (ref: Galatians 2:20)

I wrote the above on Tuesday. It was the first time I really felt the wonderful truth of it.

Now it is Wednesday. During my morning meditation, I couldn\’t remember the self hate. That is the first time ever I\’ve been neutral. I could easily believe it was Christ living in me. What makes this ok though is my perspective on this information which is separate from The Church, any denominational Christianity or any modern day catechesis of Jesus.

I totally get get the ground level truth without anyone else\’s bs.

Plotinus 3.1.4 – 10, Universal Determination

Yesterday, I went to a half marathon race. I was aware as my car turned out of my street that I was making myself go to the race. I became aware of how I make myself do everything. Getting out of bed each and every day is something I make myself do.

Who are these people who love getting up in the morning?

But I need to frame my life in spirituality. The material world, American society and past times, no longer hold interest and haven\’t for many years. Pondering of ideas is what I do.

Plotinus\’ third Ennead starts off providing several theories of self and direction of the universe. Of course, human seekers are mainly concerned with their own self determination. Plotinus arrives at the individual Soul and the Principle. \”But when our Soul holds to its Reason-Principle, to the guide, pure and detached and native to itself, only then can we speak of personal operation, of voluntary act.\”

He has already explained what could be voluntary in terms of noble souls and poorer souls. The poorer soul defers to bodily temperament in unreflective acceptance of stimulus. The nobler soul holds good against its surroundings.

In this life, my soul has been remarkably resistant to the less noble, has sought the noble and attempted to carry it out. Along the line, reflection occurred and determination to abstain formed in place.

This doesn\’t bring dopamine rewards or the temporary ecstasy found in candy, thrills and copulation. I believe American society seeks greater and greater material world thrills because it doesn\’t have the capacity to reflect or to look beyond. There is only the rushing forward for more and more, with no degree of noble action carried out. Noble actions don\’t pay off usually.

Somehow, Universal Determination gets me out of bed. I resist numerous daily onslaughts of food and entertainment. I just stand determined in my behavior. Some lack of wisdom is suffered, but the overall pattern holds and increases in it determination.

Just now I realize: I don\’t want to transcend this self. This self is evidence of my Soul and its connection to Spirit.

Train for marathons or eat cookies. What is your choice to be? I\’ll take the marathon. The idea of marathon is noble compared to obesity. I am determined and plan to stay that way. I will reflect and deny the stimulus. Mindfulness? Fuck yeah!

The Way – Integration

There are 3 philosophies which I regularly: Conscious Contact spirituality of 12 Steps, A Course in Miracles, and now, Plotinus Enneads. Integration is about melding the various words into one truth. The truth is true; there can\’t be several of them. I\’m excited to be putting together Plotinus and ACIM. The words are incredibly diverse, but the truth in constant.

Plotinus 2.9.18 says: \”…those that have become good and are no longer body but embodied Soul and of a quality to inhabit the body in a mode very closely resembling the indwelling pf the All-Soul in the universal frame. And this means continence, self-restraint, holding staunch against outside pleasure and against outer spectacle, allowing no hardship to disturb the mind. The All-Soul is immune from shock, there is nothing that can affect it; but we, in our passage here, must call on virtue in repelling these assault, reduced for us from the beginning by a great conception of life, annulled by matured strength.

Attaining to something of this immunity, we begin to reproduce within ourselves the Soul of the vast All and of the heavenly bodies: when we are come to the very closest resemblance, all the effort of our fervid pursuit will be towards that goal to which they also tend, their contemplative vision becomes ours, prepared as we are, first by natural disposition and afterwards by all this training, for that state which is theirs by the Principle of their Being.\”

My ACIM workbook lesson for the day is: Light and joy and peace abide in me.

The lesson immediately lets me off the hook for all my expectations and struggles. And it gives me a way to change what I believe about myself in my mind. My innermost being is already the Sage, an embodied Soul. I don\’t have to work on that. I merely need to stop believing the surface chatter in my head.

It is not arrogant to become an embodied Soul. It is not evil to stop participating in society. I don\’t at all mind celibacy, simplicity, austerity, sobriety.

At an early age, I chose \”The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner.\” I haven\’t changed.

The Way of the Sage

As I\’ve mentioned before, I am reading Plotinus\’ Enneads. In 2.9.9, he mentions \”…the way of the Sage…\” \”…the Sage intent upon the sublimest, upon the realm above…\” There are seven Enneads and this reference to Sage appears less than one quarter of the way in the book. But that is all that is said in this location and seems the first reference to the way of the Sage in the Enneads so far.

In my life I have chased: divine union, enlightenment, God, He, and etc. You name it as it seems to go by various names.

Is the Sage wise? Does the Sage win the much sought after spiritual boon?

Maybe the Buddhist, one who chops wood and carries water, is the highest being.

Who is Heidegger\’s Dasein? How do I become aware of That? Unfallen? (A Heidegger term now, not a Biblical term).

I work for a living. Every weekend is a chance to be alone more fully. I get 3 days every other weekend. It is during these times that I turn my attention inward. Seeking. Listening. Even running or lifting weights.

For this I call myself a monk. A monos. One alone.

To be alone in thought is not a dopamine reward experience. So I never feel holy or enlightened. It is at best a battle with thought demons in the modern desert (a quiet suburb).

Whats going on in my mind, where my inner eyes gaze, defines whether I am a monk, or merely anti-social. A barrage of ego criticisms battering me. Waves of silence washing me. Both at once as I merely sit.

It is not a self improvement program. If you got nothing, you probably figured it out.

Spiritual Integration

If you come to a fork in the road, take it. I didn\’t make that up, but I like it.

I\’ve been reading a philosopher named Plotinus for 3 months now. He was a student of Plato in around 250 CE.

But my focus is necessarily on my own personal spiritual crisis: how do I connect with a higher power?

In Ennead 2.9.2, P discusses three parts of the Soul. One part standing high, in the presence of Beauty and The Divine Beings. One part concerned with this world. One part in the middle which is tugged higher and lower but never succumbs to the lowest. In this, I am instantly reminded of Freud. I have not studied Freud beyond some idea of ego, super ego and id; not knowing what Freud really meant.

From what is said, I will take in my own words. My soul can dwell in contemplation of the things above it and  \”establishing order by the marvelous efficacy of it contemplation…\” What the soul draws from the contemplation \”it communicates to the lower sphere, illuminated and illuminating always.\”

What I understand from that is the Course in Miracles explanation of \”the real world;\” or the AA Big Book discussion of \”the realm of the spirit;\” or even what Jesus said \”the kingdom of God is within.\” And so we know why I sit in silence, a bit withdrawn from the day to day world. It is to feel this soul above. So I want to direct my attention to the thing above, to gaze on the divine. Plotinus allows this to varying extents. To have a life that is spiritually directed, then I would contemplate higher things and allow divine order and illumination to come down of its own accord.

I still think that contemplation and establishing the order of my life from spirit rather than by my own plans and designs is best done with space between me and the general social order.

There is another call in my mentality, to more involvement in the world. If this call came to fruition, I\’d need to put greater effort into the contemplation despite the time needed to carry out any other worldly commissions. As of now, my only decision is I want God above all else. And I will gaze up in order to draw down.

This is the pearl of great price. I actually have it. But I still wonder what my daily life should be like. I still need money. I will still get old. I don\’t think middle class Americans, and I am one, are capable of saying \”enough.\” My dream is of a tiny cabin hermitage; but I don\’t think my brain would be able to stand it.

My brain won\’t stop competing unless I take charge of it. Like today, my ACIM Lesson is \”I am entitled to miracles.\” When I need to take charge of my brain, I think my lesson. The lesson reminds me of a spiritual picture of reality which I want.