Monday, April 30, 2007

That's A Very Good Question

I have found that questions are far more valuable than answers.

Often, after having a significant conversation with someone, I review the conversation in my head. And inevitably, I have found that many of my comments fell short of what I would have hoped to express. However, that is not the case with the questions I asked.

I am far more effective in conversation when asking pertinent, insightful questions than I am when I'm running my mouth in a loud stream of exuberance (not that there is anything wrong with exuberance, but it can certainly sidetrack a conversation).

From this observation, I have drawn the conclusion that we are operating at a higher level when we are asking questions (meaningful ones) then when we are answering them.

Asking questions - ones that stimulate - is a higher expression, at least for me. It results in more fulfilling conversations with others, and it results in more valuable insights from within myself.

So perhaps if we are looking for all the right answers, we're on the wrong track. We ought to be looking for the right questions.

Ask the right questions, and the right answers may just fall into place. Often out of nowhere.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Shift

How does one explain to others that each of us creates our own reality? It intrigues me to consider how many people have asked themselves that question through the ages.

Granted, there have been times when such a fact was common knowledge. Yet the further we have wandered from that knowledge in our exploration of objective reality, the more distorted (though quite creative!) we have become in explaining it.

Streams of esoteric wisdom have trickled down through history, quenching the thirst of seekers the world over. In more isolated communities, the natural world and the dream world have furnished many answers to the questions that have been asked. Whenever one has asked to be shown truth, their request has been granted. The universe has responded, every time.

So what happens when millions of people ask for answers, all at the same time?

That will be one of the many developments to watch and enjoy as this exciting new century unfolds.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

VA Tech Mass Event

I was interested in, but not surprised by, how quickly the media began to question the action, or lack of action, taken by the police and other "authority figures" in Virgina yesterday.

It is quite telling that the blame game began almost before the final shots were fired.

Lord, help us to see what there is to see, learn what there is to learn, forgive what there is to forgive.

And for God's sake, shut those talking heads up, will ya?!

(no, no, let them speak - they are as instrumental as anyone in bringing these things to the surface...)

Friday, April 13, 2007

Not So Low

If we're striving for peace, we're aiming too low.

We should be striving for joy.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Imus In the Mourning

To me, the importance of the recent Don Imus incident lies in the exposure of individually held beliefs and insecurities.

Mr. Imus clearly expressed a great deal of ignorance, insensitivity, and bad judgment in his comments. But it seems fairly clear that he was trying, at least in part, to be funny, as misguided as his attempt at humor was.

But the reaction to his comments by individuals, the media, etc. has far exceeded the importance of the comments themselves.

In their reaction to his comments, people are bringing to the surface their own intolerance, their own judgment, their own beliefs regarding victimhood, prejudice, discrimination, etc.

The way people react to Don Imus' comments says nothing about Don Imus and everything about those individuals, the way they view themselves, the way they view others, etc.

An enlightened individual would have no emotional reaction to his comments whatsoever, regardless of their race or gender. An enlightened response may go something like this:

"That was an interesting comment that Don Imus made. It certainly betrays his limiting beliefs regarding black women. I don't agree with him, but I am not the least bit offended by him or his limiting beliefs. They do not pertain to me in any way."

But we are not seeing such a reaction. All we are hearing is how offensive his remarks were, and how he should be fired for his words. Ironically, those who are screaming the loudest about the insensitivity of Don Imus are far exceeding his own intolerance in their reaction to him. Don is guilty of ignorance and insensitivity, but he does not appear to be trying to ruin anyone's life or career the way many people are trying to do in response.

Those who are reacting strongly and pointing fingers and vilifying Don Imus would benefit greatly from the realization that their reactions to his words are not being cause by his words but by their own limiting beliefs about themselves. If they really knew and accepted themselves, then the words of a foolish radio personality could IN NO WAY threaten them, cause them to doubt themselves, or induce them to invest their time and energy in trying to prove that his words are wrong.

His words are not wrong: they are his words, they express his beliefs and opinions, and they apply to him and to his own perception. There is no need to feel offended by them, unless one is PREDISPOSED to such offense, which is coming from inside of themself, not from the words of some guy on the radio.

A little self-awareness would go a long way here, and perhaps this whole event is taking place in order to bring all of this to the surface so that individuals can examine themselves, their own beliefs, their own reactions to ignorance and insensitivity.

The anger that people feel in reaction to the words of Don Imus is coming from inside of themselves, and if some people are able to finally see that and take responsibility for their own reaction and their own feelings, then they have benefited greatly from this experience.

That is the value I see in this story. It is stimulating people to examine their reactions and their beliefs, and to learn more about themselves.

So it's not really about Don Imus, or his ignorance and insensitivity, though he played the role of the catalyst. It is about examining ourselves, our beliefs, and our own intolerance. For those who are wise enough to see that, there is much to gain from this story. Much indeed.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Thank You, Middle Easter Bunny!

It's interesting to ponder the statement made by the leader of Iran yesterday that the release of their British "visitors" was an Easter gift.

I'm not referring to the "Easter" aspect, but to the word "gift".

When one gives someone a gift, that gift is typically a thing, or a service of some sort. To refer to the release of these soldiers as a gift brings to light the fact that these 15 people were used as objects, pawns perhaps, in a high-stakes chess game played by the leaders of the two countries involved.

I find it telling that the word "gift" was used, because it epitomizes the way many leaders view their soldiers, and indeed their citizens. They are often seen as resources to be used in the execution of their plans, their policies.

An appropriate image for this week might be those 15 soldiers sitting in an Easter basket, surrounded by chocolate eggs and cruise missiles, in colorful aluminum wrapping.

Happy Easter!

Monday, April 02, 2007


Every choice that a human being has made or will ever make is quite understandable, given the beliefs and perception of that person at that time. All choices are understandable. Not necessarily desirable or preferable, but understandable.

If what you are trying to do is maintain an image of some sort, either in your own eyes or in the eyes of others, then perhaps attacking someone - physically or verbally - makes perfect sense.

When self-preservation or ego-preservation is your priority, it is very difficult to choose love. Love is not, generally speaking, an enticing option in such cases. There is little obvious benefit in trying to love someone who is angry at you, in looking for love in a situation involving fear or anger or judgment. If, in such situations, the defense of the self is the first priority, then reacting defensively or even aggressively is quite understandable.

The questions worth asking in such situations include: What are you defending? What is it that is actually being threatened? Why do you feel the need to react to something someone else has done or said?

If you can take a step back and assess the situation, you can perhaps realize that there is nothing to defend, no need to battle a perceived foe. It is simply a game, and you don't have to play that game if you don't want to. It is simply a choice.

But if you, at that moment, are incapable of seeing things clearly, and are unable to extract your ego and your self-image from that situation, then perhaps you must become defensive, and maybe even lash out in anger and aggression.

Which is quite understandable.

Not necessarily desirable or preferable, but understandable.