I went for a great run today: 13.3 miles in a Texas style down pour. It was awesome because the temps were coolish and my foot was feeling better than it has in years.

I run and work out so I can go on expeditions. I lift the weights at least to get over mental lethargy. This lethargy is what stops many people from exercising at all.

After my run today, while I was in the shower, I was thinking about cancer. I was thinking about my belief that cancer has metaphysical causes; at a minimum, a cry for love. But I think that cry is another way of saying I think disease starts from soul sickness.

At that point, I looked in my soul. I felt totally well. Really. This might be one of the first times ever that I could say I felt totally well on the inside.

Here is what my month of working out looked like:

(July was ridiculously big because of my 10 day race).

Long Run

Here is what my day looked like:

That is an 18.2 mile run, plus the rest of my day. Well, jog walk. For Texas, it was cool. There was a massive pile of clouds off the coast. So while 100% humid, the temps were only in the 80s. So, I was able to keep going up until I ran out of drink after 4.5 hours.

I saw Clara today in the park, plus a number of other regulars. The pink birds were there. The water level in the bayou was about a foot higher than normal.

I hate Accelerade. But I do feel better after I drink it.

Then, this evening, I was sitting here thinking I should go lift weights. Another voice wanted to know why. But soon, I completed another 30 minutes of weight lifting. I tried to remember why I had a couple of years ago regularly put in more than an hour of cross training on Saturday evenings. This evening, I wondered why not go for a walk instead of lift weights. The weights got lifted. It is life itself that I allowed to drive me.

Moorings shift.

For a Labor Day weekend, mine is pretty tame this year. 11 years ago, I had recently been kicked out of a convent and was about to start my new job as a cashier and barista. Ten years ago, I was about to start a new job in my old field of environmental engineer at an ethanol plant. Five years ago, I was starting my new job with an old employer, having been laid off from the ethanol plant. Three years ago, I was in Silverton Colorado running my first multi-day race on a mountain at 10,000 feet. Two years ago and last year, I was running a 12 hour race in St Louis.

This year, I\’m running in Texas. Texas has enveloped me. It is quiet here in my house even though it is in the middle of other houses. While I am not doing anything spectacular this year, Labor day is yet an anniversary. I have been with my current employer five years. Yesterday, I finished another complete reading of A Course in Miracles Text. I\’ll start again soon.

Tomorrow is another day for running. For sweating. For watching the tiny crabs with the one big claw. For looking at birds. For dreaming about my expedition. I already have vision and it pleases me.

Vision Quest 2015

When I was young, I heard about Outward Bound, but no opportunity presented itself. Later, I heard of vision quests, but I wasn\’t a young native American boy; or didn\’t want to go on some New Age guru\’s program. Or maybe I was working but didn\’t have enough vacation to go someplace.

In 2015, that changes. I will be 56 when I go on my most difficult adventure. Completely outside the box. I\’ll spend 6 days on an expedition. I\’m already signed up.

I can get in the best shape possible for me. I can do as much each day as time and course rules allow. I have to put on my mental. There will be pain, soul searching, despair, elation. But I look at it like this: I can so why not. I already have a week off with no pay approved.

On Life

I spend much time wondering why I am alive. When I observe others, they seem to have responsibilities or purposes or accomplishments which point to their reasons for living. My seeming lack of success is paired with my general feelings of competitiveness, and the friction of not wanting to play the corporate get ahead games at work.

Reading Plotinus on Essence.

There came on integration. I have the life force within me. What I have thought of as competitiveness is really the life force which cannot be contained. Ever notice how a weed will break through concrete? The life in me cannot be contained. Instead of fear and anger at others, just see the life force.

While running, I thought about the Course in Miracles teaching that this world originates from a tiny mad idea. And the Genesis creation mythology about Adam and Eve. I decided that in order to know The Good, you must not believe you are bad. As long as I think I am bad, then the life force will seem evil. this seeming evil is what we call ego. Ego is just the life force either misdirected or misperceived.

I don\’t need to be alive for a reason. I am simply life itself. My most recent running mantra is built on Plotinus: One, Being, Soul, Now.  These are emanations. I am Now. Life is now.

Is there a God to pray to? Is there a Love to surrender to? These are questions not to be answered. And please stop reading books and memorizing answers. Or going to church and following some authority figure.

Let go of human badness. See only life. this is both a contemplation of Essence and a looking beyond this world.


Many people write about the purpose of life. And they say that we are here for a reason. I can read these books and adopt one of the reasons for my life. But of myself, I can not invent or discern a reason for my life. It is purposeless. Even as I tried to be a Christian and adopt Jesus as my reason, I didn\’t really feel that in my soul.

But clearly, my life has topics. The main topic is spirituality. Running and eating and solitary home life have all morphed into that one thing. My life is designed to support the topic of the spirit.

I was sitting quietly this evening. I am taking a rest evening from working out. I live in a densely populated area but it is quiet in my house. Quite is good for contemplation.

What ever is beyond me has gifted me this week in surprising ways. Situations were magically resolved. My workouts have been going great. Yet I face another hot weekend where it won\’t be that easy to run outside. I still live in freaking Texas!

Plotinus 5.1.10

I picked up Plotinus again today; right where I left off, 5.1.10. For a few week, I was reading \”A History of God\” by Karen Armstrong, along with my ongoing A Course in Miracles study.

I have to say, I immediately felt inspired and seemed to understand what I was reading. At least, I felt the hope in inspiration and the value of a life of contemplation without any worldly ambition or achievement. Since I live partially in the world, I continually feel the pull towards achievement instead. I fight the draw towards \”more\” but am not always successful.

But Plotinus gives me again the idea of contemplation of The One (first), Being (second), Soul (third). And then I right now achieve inner peace.

Why is it such trouble to turn inward? I struggle at work because the company is always wanting people to have a \”career ladder\” and to be achieving. I see others being promoted and feel jealousy. No really. I see that I don\’t want to do those things but I need to give my ego something instead. So accepting hope from Plotinus allows me to rest. Surprisingly, spirituality is one thing I have control over.

It is Sunday and I stubbornly and rebelliously stayed in bed a long time, even though I more or less woke up quite early. I loathe going outside and I fooled myself into saying I would stay inside for my workout. But as I type this, I have on my heat gear shirt and am planning to go for a walk. The walk will be in some trees and be a slow as necessary; but I know I am going outside. Selah!

10. We have shown the inevitability of certain convictions as to the scheme of things:

There exists a Principle which transcends Being; this is The One, whose nature we have sought to establish in so far as such matters lend themselves to proof. Upon The One follows immediately the Principle which is at once Being and the Intellectual-Principle. Third comes the Principle, Soul.

Now just as these three exist for the system of Nature, so, we must hold, they exist for ourselves. I am not speaking of the material order- all that is separable- but of what lies beyond the sense realm in the same way as the Primals are beyond all the heavens; I mean the corresponding aspect of man, what Plato calls the Interior Man.

Thus our soul, too, is a divine thing, belonging to another order than sense; such is all that holds the rank of soul, but [above the life-principle] there is the soul perfected as containing Intellectual-Principle with its double phase, reasoning and giving the power to reason. The reasoning phase of the soul, needing no bodily organ for its thinking but maintaining, in purity, its distinctive Act that its thought may be uncontaminated- this we cannot err in placing, separate and not mingled into body, within the first Intellectual. We may not seek any point of space in which to seat it; it must be set outside of all space: its distinct quality, its separateness, its immateriality, demand that it be a thing alone, untouched by all of the bodily order. This is why we read of the universe that the Demiurge cast the soul around it from without- understand that phase of soul which is permanently seated in the Intellectual- and of ourselves that the charioteer\’s head reaches upwards towards the heights.

The admonition to sever soul from body is not, of course, to be understood spatially- that separation stands made in Nature- the reference is to holding our rank, to use of our thinking, to an attitude of alienation from the body in the effort to lead up and attach to the over-world, equally with the other, that phase of soul seated here and, alone, having to do with body, creating, moulding, spending its care upon it.

If your thirst is whetted, here is 5.1.12:

12. Possessed of such powers, how does it happen that we do not lay hold of them, but for the most part, let these high activities go idle- some, even, of us never bringing them in any degree to effect?

The answer is that all the Divine Beings are unceasingly about their own act, the Intellectual-Principle and its Prior always self-intent; and so, too, the soul maintains its unfailing movement; for not all that passes in the soul is, by that fact, perceptible; we know just as much as impinges upon the faculty of sense. Any activity not transmitted to the sensitive faculty has not traversed the entire soul: we remain unaware because the human being includes sense-perception; man is not merely a part [the higher part] of the soul but the total.

None the less every being of the order of soul is in continuous activity as long as life holds, continuously executing to itself its characteristic act: knowledge of the act depends upon transmission and perception. If there is to be perception of what is thus present, we must turn the perceptive faculty inward and hold it to attention there. Hoping to hear a desired voice, we let all others pass and are alert for the coming at last of that most welcome of sounds: so here, we must let the hearings of sense go by, save for sheer necessity, and keep the soul\’s perception bright and quick to the sounds from above.

The Green Box

Last night I was sitting in an AA meeting. Here, during the month of your anniversary, you write your name and date on the board at the beginning of the month; and at the end of every meeting, they hand out chips. Chips are stored in blue and green boxes. The blue box is handed out to someone at the beginning of the meeting and they do the chips at the end of the meeting.
Last night, at the end of the meeting, the lady with the blue box was looking at the board and said something to the lady next to her. That lady looked at the board and looked at me and said something to the lady with the blue box. Then the lady doing the chips whispered to the meeting leader who went and got the green box for her.
Yup, you guessed it. Yesterday was my 29th sobriety anniversary. 29 year chips are in the green box. And everyone in the meeting this morning was talking about who had enough sobriety to need the green box.
I\’m terribly grateful for a sober life. It is an amazing thing.
I still live in freaking Texas.

Death by Sweat

This evening was yet one more installment of Death by Sweat jogging. Runners in Houston know that no matter what time of day you jog, it will be hot and humid. Yet, we do it anyway. It may feel like 100F out there but none of us are dying. We are just jogging along.

The 3,100 Mile Self Transcendence Race may be over for this year, but my miles continue. In the 5 weekdays this week, I piled up 39 miles and 10.5 hours of workout. I don\’t know what I\’ll get done on Saturday and Sunday.

I prefer to be alone with my thoughts. My thoughts were about my professional life. I continue to face my general attitude that most 50 something professionals face: we are so done with corporate competitions. We are realizing that just going to work and doing a fantastic job is good for integrity but not so good for promotion. But, we are done competing. Despite my inner ego driven need to beat the others, some other part of my only seeks performance for the sake of character.

I also was pondering the fact that I live in Texas. Really? Really! Texas. (wtf) Texas. God!

Today is my sobriety anniversary. 29 years. I\’ve not given it a great deal of thought this year. But I have lived a sober adult life, except for a few brief effed-up years in my early twenties. What this really means is I have been working the 12 steps and seeking to improve my conscious contact with a power greater than myself, an unsuspected inner resource.

Running and peace

I have loved the 3,100 Mile Self Transcendence Race this year for a unique thing this year. In this picture are the finishers so far. The Australian woman (blue shorts) just finished. The other finishers are a mix of Russian and Ukrainian people. Look, we don\’t have to fight.

Also in the race are a Scott, an American and an Austrian.

Running brings us together.