Sunday, 28 June 2020 19:34

All That We Are Not

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The below is from a book written by Mark Nepo titled The Book of Awakening. Mark is a cancer survivor and has a perspective like so many of us who have been through hell only to emerge stronger and better in some way. His book has daily bits of wisdom that he lovingly shares with the reader. This entry on June 28th is so on point as each and every one of us is here to be chiseled upon as we grow and evolve. Our trials and tribulations are not random, although it may seem as such.

June 28th

All That We are Not

Discernment is a process of letting go of what we are not.

Father Thomas Keating

“I can easily over-identify with my emotions and roles, becoming what I feel: I am angry… I am divorced… I am depressed… I am nothing but my confusion and my sadness…

 

“No matter how we feel in any one moment, we are not just our feelings, our roles, our traumas, our prescription of values, or our obligations or ambitions. It is so easy to define ourselves or our obligations or ambitions. It is so easy to define ourselves by the moment of struggle we are wrestling with. It is a very human way, to be consumed by what moves through us.

 

“In contrast, I often think of how Michelangelo sculpted, how he saw the sculpture waiting, already complete, in the uncut stone. He would often say that his job was to carve away the excess freeing the thing of beauty just waiting to be released.

 

“It helps me to think of spiritual discernment in this way. Facing ourselves, uncovering the meaning in our hard experiences, the entire work of consciousness speaks to a process by which we sculpt away the excess, all that we are not; finding and releasing the gesture of soul that is already waiting, complete, within us. Self-actualization is the process applied to our life on Earth. The many ways we suffer, both inwardly and outwardly, are the chisels of God freeing the thing of beauty that we have carried within since birth.”

Our time here has meaning in ways we may understand and in ways that we haven’t conceived just yet. Maybe the quote from Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying shared by an acquaintance can add some perspective:

“Without any real or authentic faith in the afterlife, most people live lives deprived of any ultimate meaning.”

In imploring you as I have over the past eleven years to Know There is More, understand the More I refer to, is so much more than even I can conceive. We are certainly more that our pain and the forces that are so intent on dividing us from each other. Yet still, our pain and the turmoil in the world today do have a purpose of a sort; they provide a rocky and slippery slope for us to plant our feet, take a stand and endeavor to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem. Even more to point, it is in this stance, we not only find our moral strength, we further evolve toward “the thing of beauty we have carried within since birth.”

In Knowing There is More, appreciate it goes beyond understanding each of us is more similar to one another than not. Recognize that we are the same, part of a greater whole. We are all on the same path, just at different points along the path. What does this mean you may ask? For one, we are eternal; Quinton showed me this, as have all those who have shared with me their experiences of their transitioned loved ones connecting with them. This is what Sogyal Rinpoche’s quote above refers to. Second, all that we allow ourselves to be divided by (color, race, sexuality, political party, religion and the list goes on), none of it exists when we go home; none of it really matters. As we each grow and evolve, we see the truth and realize the drama of trying to make us fear one another is a lie.

Can we solve and conditions that have plagued human kind since inception? No, but we can take a stand as individuals working together to make progress toward that goal.

Peace and Love unto you,

Quinton’s Dad

 

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