Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's History

This is it!  Tonight at midnight we all say goodbye to the old year and welcomed in the new. We've been celebrating endings and beginnings since ancient times.

The tradition of a New Years Eve celebration stems from old beliefs and superstitions. Noise making goes back to the ancient custom of using loud noises to drive evil spirits from a house during the times of festive celebration.

Many nationalities and cultures still use noise to celebrate. America has her ratchet rattles and noise makers.

Denmark smashes in the New year.  People go to friends houses and throw bits of broken pottery that they have collected throughout the year at the houses.  They also bang on the doors to make noise.

The Dutch love to celebrate New Years.  It was one of their favorite holidays when they settled New Amsterdam in the mid-17th century. When the English took over the city in 1674 and called it New York, the British custom at the time called for celebrating the New Year on the Vernal Equinox, March 25th.  The Dutch populace so loved the holiday on January 1st they convinced the British to move their New year celebration.

Traditions have to start somewhere. The ball dropping tradition at New York's Times Square began in 1904 when the Times Tower was constructed.  At the time it was the city's 2nd tallest building, rising to a height of 375 feet.

Adolph Ochs, the young publisher of the New York times, moved his paper into the new building on New Year's weekend and decided to celebrate the event with a New Year's eve rooftop fireworks display.

It was spectacular, but it was dangerous.  The following year the fireworks were replaced by the decending brightly-lit ball.

A tradition begun.  Have a Happy!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Expectations

Some thoughts on this coming New Year.

Beginnings always have an expectation. Where do we go from here? What happens next?

In 2010 there is hope these hard times for so many will end with a job and a decent wage for all who seek it.

The first decade of the new millennium is over and we are still searching for a global sanity. There are still over 32 regional wars infecting the planet as we struggle with the belief that security should come from common sense and not fear.

There is always hope in the litany of Pandora troubles that are part of our daily struggle, but let us not forget that hope without action is arrogance. We each have to work at finding harmony in chaos.

It's there, we can feel it when we give from empathy and not reward.

When we resolve not to be discouraged, not to speak in anger, not to blame, and not to judge without the truth of looking within first.

Maybe this is the year that unconditional love and appreciation will guide the hearts and wills of humankind.

Maybe!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Creative Thoughts

There is an old saying that says we attract to us what we fear the most. If that's true, then it is time to let go of our fear and acknowledge that within each of us is an immense creative energy that can fill the empty space where fear was and find a way out of its sadness, despair, and the negative conditions for which we often blame others.

Perhaps it is time we see ourselves as creators.  Not only the creator of things, but also of attitudes and personal conditions.

We often constrict our creative self by placing false limits.  We often inadvertantly deny those in need by believing security is having more or success is stuff.  Sometimes we delude those we say we love by only loving ourselves through them and not honoring their choice and sacred self.

Perhaps it is time to listen to the life force of our hearts, for it lets us hear the trees, the oceans, the plants and animals and even strangers when they speak to us.

That life force is unconditional love, which translates to respect, courtesy and kindness.

It has never been tried on a mass scale.

It seems to me we have nothing to lose.

Monday, December 28, 2009

It's Over

It’s not that the Holiday is over that pleases me, it’s that the Christmas preparation is over. It is an exciting, wonderful, special, and a welcomed time every year, but it also nice when it’s over.

The long preparations now become “put-a-ways” and clean-ups.

The kids and grandkids are gone, back to their youthful playmates, their comfortable beds, and things familiar to them. It is right. It is the way things are in this day and age of close distance.

I will soon let the air out of the second blow up double mattress in one of the guest rooms; that bedroom will look a lot bigger.

We grandparents had a magnificent time preparing for the feast, the day, the festivities, the noise, the clutter and the chaos. It was wonderful and infectious; teenagers and a nine year old attacked with parents in support, but the ramparts held and we are able to do it again.

It was amazing when everyone left. In an instant I could hear the refrigerator hum again. I could hear the heat pipes creak in the walls, night lights were no longer needed to find one’s way to the bathroom and the hot water returned to normal. AND the sink, we haven’t seen the bottom of the sink in four days and how about the living room floor? It’s no longer festooned with opened toys, abandoned games, old bows, discarded garments, stored gifts, plastic bags of used wrappings and half-empty paper cups.

I would not change it for anything. I can’t wait for next Christmas assuming everyone wants to come here again. We’ll ask if they want to, for we are really over the river and through the woods and it takes a lot of effort to get to this house.

The next holiday is next week, New Years. A wonderful alone time. No noise makers, no shouting “Happy New Year.” I’ll be in bed by ten and will welcome in the next decade by sleeping with expectant wishes, profound hopes for global peace and continued wonderment at the sacred joy of the universe.

Join me!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Time


Christmas Time
© Rolland G. Smith

Christmas time surprises as it
Jumps out from the cold
To warm the late December days with
Frankincense and gold,
It heralds in with music in the silent of
The night,
And when it wakes the child within, my
Memories are all bright.
Happy thoughts are set to play this darkest
Time of light
And brighten up the shortened days with
Friends who reunite.
Chums of old and pals of new, all wishing
Christmas cheer,
With cedar sparks from glowing logs to
Warm the midnight clear.
It’s wrapping hearts in holly green and
Rudolph red with bow
And standing ’neath a berried sprig of
Kissing mistletoe.
Dancing dreams of sugarplums and
Minted candy cane
Bring visions of a Christmas tree and a
Circling tooting train.
There’s spruce to cut and wreaths to make
In circles and in sprays
That decorates the doors and hearths on
Merry Noel days.
There are lights to string, and wood to
Bring, and ornaments to make
For packages beneath the tree, as snow
Begins to flake.
I hearken as the angels sing, with distant
Family near,
And I love to hear a child say the names
Of eight reindeer.
Patina thoughts of Christmas past and
Shiny ones of new
Remind me of the Magi three and a child
Named Jesu.
There’s jingle bells and icicles and
Packages to tie
With ribbons tight and wrappings bright,
Of sleighs up in the sky.
There’s hugs galore and candy more and
Kids with favorite toys
And shirts and socks and building blocks
For little girls and boys.
There are cards and calls and carols,
And candles fill the room,
And tins of sugar cookies shine by red
Poinsettia bloom.
Christmas time indeed surprises in a
Special wondrous way;
In winter and forever, it’s my favorite
Holiday.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Away Again

This is for all of you who are away from home this Christmas. It is a poem I wrote entitled, "Away Again."



I am away this Christmas,
   but I will send my heart
to ring each bell you hear
   when distance keeps us part.

I can’t be with you now
   to sit there by the fire
and hold your hand in mine
   and fill my heart’s desire.

When you awake my love
   You’ll feel my Christmas touch.
Know it is my message -
   I love you very much.

I can’t be home this year
   to hear the season sing
nor be with you to smile
   at every little thing.

I can’t be home this Christmas
   to decorate the tree
So hang a stocking too
   from heart at hearth for me?

When morning comes at dawn,
   with every breath I take
I'll hear your sweetened laugh
   to take away my ache.

I can’t be home this Christmas,
   if only it weren’t so.
Hear my special Christmas wish -
   never again to go.
  

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Myths

In England, it is still common to hear someone say "the cock crows for Christmas."  Legend has it that the crowing would scare off evil spirits from the holy season.

Other superstitions say that bees can sing at Christmas and sheep walk in procession in commemoration of the visit of the angel to the shepherds.

In an old book called " Sketches of Upper Canada" there is supposedly the true story of an Indian creeping cautiously through the woods on Christmas. When asked what he is doing, the Indian replies that he is watching to see the deer kneel and look up to the Great Spirit.

At one time in the German Alps it was believed that cattle had the gift of language on Christmas, but it was a sin for anyone to try to eavesdrop.

In Poland, the story is told that on Christmas the heavens are opened and the scene of Jacob's ladder is re-enacted, but only the saints could see it.

A hundred or so years ago in the rural life of Russia, the young and old of a village would gather and form a procession to visit the houses of the resident nobleman, the mayor and other dignitaries. They would sing carols and receive coins in return.

In perhaps no other land is Christmas more celebrated that in Scandinavian countries. Peace and goodwill is the order of the season. Old quarrels are adjusted and feuds are forgotten. In each household family members place their shoes in a row. It symbolizes that during the year the family will live together in peace and harmony.

Let us hope the world's shoes will be in a row this year.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Copenhagen's Climate

If we, as a world people, needed a sign that we mortals are often incapable of a global grace, of understanding nature, or reaching a collective agreement on how to coexist with nature, we have it from Copenhagen. The leadership actions of the past several days are indicative of our inability and our inaction to acknowledge we are the nature we abuse.

Copenhagen’s global warming summit was a dismal failure.

Politics, pride, greed and perceived need, as well as regional demands for reparations for past industrial abuse prevented 193 countries from reaching a sweeping agreement to protect the future of all of us.

What a shame. What a major disappointment in the deva realms of nature and in the angelic spheres of omniscience. What a letdown to those who acknowledge that the natural world and human world must co-exist as one or eventually not at all.

The native peoples of the world know this and have always been the ones to give honor and thanks to the spirits that balance and hold the potential and unseen forces of Mother Nature in check for the benefit of humanity.

What happens now will be up to the sentient consciousness of Gaia and the Divine plan.

We, as humanity were given the opportunity to come together, to use our scientific knowledge, our compassion, our cognition and our grace to convey to our world’s people that it is an imperative time for less so the future can be more.

Our representatives failed the future and us; in many ways we too failed ourselves.

I am sure there is a disappointment within the sentient awareness of Gaia. Her reaction in various conditions may forcefully bring us to our senses and to a non-negotiable consensus of global survival, not just a brokered deal between a few countries.

Paper notes will not change the climate nor will inaction. Intention is the only action that can change the outcome.

Watch the weather.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas History


Primitive Christianity regarded the birth of Jesus as a significant moment. It was important in the understanding of his personhood and the biblical stories of the events as told by Matthew and Luke in the new testament.  It is also interesting to note that Jesus' birth was not observed by the church until the 4th century and then it was chosen to counter some pagan festivals.

Santa Claus has quite a history. An ancient Teutonic festival had a person called, "the old man of the woods" dancing around a burning log;  a log that came to be known as the Yule log. The old man was characterized as having a red-nose, a white beard, and being a jolly old boozer who danced around the fire proposing toasts.

When Roman missionaries began to Christianize the lands to their north that Teutonic festival blended with the celebration of Christmas. The old man of the woods got a new name and became "Kriss Kringle.

Enter Nicholas, a 4th century bishop, noted for his kindness and gifts. He became Saint Nicholas and blended with Kriss Kringle. Eventually Dutch settlers brought his legend to the new world, but dialects distorted the Dutch name Sint Nicholas to Sinterclaas that in turn became Santa Claus.

 It was a Washington Irving story in 1809 that probably helped the legend develop even further. He had a jolly Saint Nicholas, smoking a pipe,  flying through the air in a wagon dropping presents down the chimneys.

 Several years later, in 1822, Clement C. Moore, wrote the poem "The Night Before Christmas".  The wagon became a sleigh and reindeer pulled it through the sky.




Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Origins


This may be the most festive time of the year, but it is also the darkest, meaning less daylight. The sun is the farthest from the earth than at any other time. It's what scientists call the winter solstice. Modern man understands why we have less daylight, but ancient man did not, so he created joyful festivals to lighten up the dark mystery.

The Christmas tree, originally German in custom and called the Tannenbaum was decorated with brightly colored objects and candles. It was symbolic of bright light in a dark time. Modern man, of course, has replaced the candle with LED bulbs. There is also the old Teutonic custom of hanging holly branches around the house to shelter the sylvan or air-spirits from the cold of the outdoor winter.

In Roman times the great feast of Saturn was held in December. People would exchange green boughs as a token of friendship and then decorate their homes and temples with them. That custom may have been transferred to the early Christians, who celebrated Christ's birth, to them the light of the world.

The Holly or Holy tree is called Christ's thorn in Germany and in Scandinavian countries. The evergreen branches became symbols that while all other plants and trees around us appear lifeless and leafless, the light of all that is will see to it that in the spring, life will return. 



Interesting how it all works.  A marvel!



Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Cards


Are you receiving your share of Seasons greeting and holiday wishes from family and friends this year? The greeting card people figure there are about ten thousand different Christmas Card designs and they expect over three billion cards to be sent this year.

Christmas cards probably descended from what was once called "school pieces" or "Christmas pieces" which were popular from the beginning to the middle of the 19th century.  They were sheets of writing paper, sometimes surrounded with elaborate pen flourishes and scrolls.  They were used to school children at the approach of the holidays for carefully written letters telling about their progress in composition and showing their penmanship.

The Christmas card itself had a tentative orgin in 1846.  Joseph Cundall, a London, England artist claims to being the publisher of the first Christmas Card, but he acknowledges the idea belonged to another.  Writing in the London Times of January 2nd, 1884, Cundall said the idea came from Sir Henry Cole.  He added that the Christmas Cards were printed in Lithography, and nearly a thousand were sold.

It was not until 1862 that the Christmas card custom started to gain popularity. To begin with the cards were small in size, a little larger than a business card of today, and they were inscribed simply with " A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year." Later the cards got a little more fancy adding art work of holly branches and landscapes.

Today not only are they works of art, but we have them with musical micro-chips that play a carol to go along with the season greetings or say Ho Ho Ho.

I love it.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Angels


The Christmas Holiday season is always a time to think about life and spirit. Life as in what we do every day, the pleasures we enjoy, the people we love, the compassion we give and the daily courtesies extended to us as unwrapped gifts.
Spirit as in what we believe or know to be true; that part of us, deep within that senses something more to life, to us, than what we do everyday.
Each of us embraces spirit in our unique way. Some see it in religion and religious ritual. Some find it Samaritan giving. Some feel it in meditation, prayer, and good works. All of us have a sentient spiritual component even though some choose to ignore it.
When I was growing up my Mother would say, “Your guardian angel will protect you.” As a child I thought that meant some angel spent my lifetime hovering over me to protect me from harm and/or guide my youthful choices. Even now, as an adult, I still like the idea of some entity looking after me and I do firmly know that angelic beings do exist and they interact with the physical world.
My concept of a “guardian angel” has changed. What I think now, after years of study and thought, is that my “guardian angel” is me looking out for me. The spiritual component of my being is in fact my “guardian angel.”
My Canadian friend and meta-philosopher, the late Kenneth George Mills put it this way in one of his many books.

Quote:
"The angel-hood of "you" is always claiming your attention to consider your Transcendent Nature, and that's what the angels always do.
They're always calling you to consider That which you aren't...crying.
Usually the one caught in the flesh needs to be cried unto in order for the angels to get his attention. That's why your son or your daughter would cry to you. They would cry to get your attention.
Well, that's what the angels do. They are that part of you which you have allowed to be etherized, therefore, not considered viable as your dressed-up situations. So, they're always crying unto you.
It's a great Force Field because it's uncontaminated by your mind, but it's known to exist by its pulling at your heartstrings."

Close quote.
Thank you Dr. Mills for the reminder and the confirmation.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Season


Some thoughts on this chilly Monday in the Northeast on the Christmas season and the needs of  community.

One of my favorite trees is the Redwood. The Sequoia. Magnificent standing monuments to the efficacy of family and a model of what a community can be.

These trees are often over a thousand years old and grow to 300 feet tall. Yet the root system of a single tree rarely extends below eight feet. Hardly enough strength to keep them from falling.

Community keeps them upright.

Their roots intertwine with other redwoods in a community called a grove. The roots of the grove interconnect to other groves and an exponential strength evolves as each tree helps the other stand erect in grace against fire and storm and time.

Our human species is similar to the Redwoods. Extended families and friends gather in people groves, and like the Redwoods, intertwine life with life, hopes with hopes, wishes with wishes and mutual celebrations in the simple beauty of being who we are.

Shared experience is the substance of hierarchical transformation. Empathy and service to others engender joy and helps create an immediate and an extended community.

This time of year we call that community the Christmas spirit.


Friday, December 11, 2009

War and the Peace Prize




Dichotomy is a wonderful word. It allows us to say one thing and do another. It supports two separate mutually exclusive parts with integrity. On one hand it is illogical and on the other it is the logic necessary to account for the difference between words and action.
President Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize. Even though he did not initiate the actions, he is the Commander in Chief of two wars being fought a half a world away.
The question is: How do you morally accept a peace award when you are fighting two wars? I know how he justified it. He made a strong argument for a just war. I also understand the criteria the Nobel Committee employs, but this is only a question for contemplation, not adjudication.
This is not a criticism of the Nobel Prize process nor of President Obama's acceptance of it. It is only a question. For some it is a rhetorical question. For others it is an essential component into the psyche of human thought, its logic, its philosophy and especially its ethics.
If you accept that “ethics” are sets of unenforceable values by which we choose to live, then “dichotomous” is the perfect out to say one thing and do and be another.
In this day and age I am happy that some are thinking “Peace” even though, as a global society, we do not have it or practice it. I would like us all to be honest in our definition of what real peace is and then be it individually and enact it as a global community. It starts by stopping the blaming of somebody for something and taking personal responsibility for our thoughts and actions.
According to the UN, there are ten major wars going on right now, with major wars being defined as wars with 1000 battlefield deaths per year or more. There are also 32 current civil or "intrastate" wars, with mostly civilian casualties.
In my thinking there should not be a single “Nobel Peace Prize” awarded to anyone when there is a war-like conflict going on anywhere in the world. I do understand the difference that trying to encourage peace is different from achieving peace. I still think none should be awarded until there is a global peace.
Alfred Nobel was the man who invented dynamite. The money accumulated from his invention funds the Nobel Prizes. Dynamite and its advance components are the ingredients of bombs. Bombs are part of war.
Mr. Nobel thought his invention was so powerful that it would put an end to war. How times have changed!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Random Thoughts

I sit here in my home office on a cold December night, six inches of snow on the ground today and a cold wind coming on the morrow.  I think about the significance of this moment in thought, as well as the monumental responsibility for it, if in fact “energy follows thought” as some disciplines espouse.

"Energy follows thought," means ultimately all thought is creative or creating and even continues once the thinker abandons responsibility for it. If intention is the yeast then the rising component has the potential to manifest into a creation on the canvas of time.

This kind of thinking gets a little convoluted in its possible consequences, but you get the principle of the idea. It’s a little weird too. I like weird thinking.

The idea is that once you think about something, what if that thought caroms around the universe bumping into and attracting like thought patterns that end up in mesh-mash ball at a junk yard of collective possibilities? Hopefully the thought trash heap is somewhere at the edge of the universe and away from any disorder the original thought could have created. It may be out of the way, but it’s still there.

I have no idea whether it could or could not happen, but I don’t want to take any chances with any errant or ill-conceived thoughts hanging out there with other like-minded energy thoughts down at the corner of space, so what do I do?

I have been told of two antidotes. One is all you have to do is say “cancel” and the thought energy dissipates and two, you can offer a prayer thought, the non-denominational variety, that basically says, “I release into the light any negativity created by my thought and ask that it be transformed into a useful energy for the good of the whole.” I like this one.

These are just a few of the mystical mental wanderings that come to mind on a cold night when a mesmerizing fire frees thoughts from the “what if” file in the back of my mind.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Emphathy

In my tiny sphere of awareness in the rural community within which I live, there is a microcosm of life.

Of course, this is similar throughout the world; there are billions of microcosms, but most of us do not take the creative mind thought of awareness into the heart. We take it into the ego emotion of what isn’t, what could be, what hopes and wishes we desire and what we fear we will not experience.

In my neighborhood there are the young and their families. There are the elders and their children and grand children.

The elderly that were here, for nearly 60 years in the same home,  just transitioned to another community for greater care and they will be missed. A young family has purchased their home and is about to move in. The cycle continues.

That makes me and mine the elder by age default. A role I am not too anxious to assume. Then too, not to far away, there are the alone ones. Alone is OK for some. Lonely is different. There is a profound difference between alone and the lonely. The lonely struggle to be connected to anything this time of year without seeming to be needy.

It’s not easy especially when everyone else is overtly happy.  Life is hard.  Hearts are soft and wanting and there is the pain of want and hope in between the two. We all know the ache of unfulfilled feelings.

So what are we to do?

There is only one balm, one assuagement, and one sweetness to the acidic illusion of life. It’s LOVE. Be it! Give it!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Health Care?


I am wondering today if there is sometimes a motivation far below the higher calling of healing from some of America’s medical professionals and institutions.
Here’s my thought.
An elderly neighbor of mine was diagnosed with ovarian cancer about a year ago. She initially had trouble finding an oncologist who was part of her health care system.
Eventually she found one and her new doctor recommended chemotherapy. My neighbor did that and was told they got it all, but “a little bit.”
A short time later, in follow-ups, she was told they would have to operate to remove the “little bit.”
They did. She had a slow recovery as most 87 year olds would have. Then the doctors did more chemotherapy to make sure they got it all.
Now my neighbor is entering hospice. She does not have long to live.
I did not ask this question to my neighbor, but I wonder if she was told all the implications of her disease and the truth about her diagnosis and prognosis? Was quality of life ever in the discussion?
I don’t think she was told everything based on a limited conversation with her.  I also wonder if she was told the whole truth, would she have chosen to go through all the pain, all the discomfort for a tiny bit more of life.
The desire for life, the struggle to survive is an immutable instinct endemic within each of us. We all think we can be the one. We can beat it. We can be cured. It does happen and when it does we call it a miracle.
But for most, it does not.
Cancer treatment is very expensive. The doctors, the hospital, the drug companies, all got paid. My neighbor got very little for the cost.


Monday, December 7, 2009

It's Begun


It’s Begun
© 2009 Rolland G. Smith

It has begun, the grasp of snow
That ushers in a winter clime.
It comes in white to set the glow
For creatures all at Christmastime.

The trees no more in silhouette
Against a sky of gray and blue.
They’re bright in white as statuette
Before the sun bids snow adieu.


Rejoice my friends the cold is here
To last for just a moment’s time.
For next is when the spring appears.
Nature’s cycle is most sublime.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Christmas Season


The essence of the human heart is wonderful.  It can, by choice, expand and embrace both the suffering and the celebrations of the world, but every once in awhile it needs to connect to the human spirit, so that tragedy and pain is softened with compassion and caring.

            Christmas is one of those special times for the heart to re-energize and become enlightened again. Christmas is an energy,  a good feeling, a warm glow, that recharges the heart when we do something nice for someone else.

            You can't see it, you just feel it.  It comes from the little gifts:  a courtesy, a gesture, a smile, a hug, a handshake, a kind remark, a willingness, however momentary, to place oneself in another's shoes and share the struggle and sanctity of life from a different perspective. 

            It happens when we choose to give what we seek the most.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Universal Thought

This is one of my favorite Sonnets, hence its reprive.

Universal Thought
© 2007 Rolland G. Smith

Would that we could see far beyond the eye
To where the mind oft goes to be alone.
Where mystery blends with thoughts that never die
And magic melts the ice of what’s unknown.
The miracle of mind is what’s not seen
Except when artist’s hands can clearly show
The Universe and time set in-between
The silence and the thought; a vast tableau.
What greater gift is there, but to create
And greet imagination at its core.
It is in bringing forth that we await
The opening of wonder at the door.
The mind is just the hook to hold the thought
Before we let it go and what it’s wrought.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

NDE


A friend of mine recently had a serious accident and was in that space between life and death. He knew it and in his mind invoked the names of the archangels.
He also said he felt the prayers of those attending him from the air ambulance to friends who prayed as he went through several days of touch and go.
This in some ways is the classic experience of an NDE, a Near Death Experience.
When one has lost conscious thought and balance within the illusion of earthly life there is an awareness of comforting light and love that descends and then transcends the density of our creation. It brings our etheric being into the NOW in a singular moment of being.
In some disciplines this is called Nirvana, in others it is called “living in the moment,” still others use the words “rapture” and “atonement”, (at-one-ment.) Certain types and kinds of meditation, hallucinogenics, music, chants, and drumming will also bring one to this enlightened brink of choice.
There are many ways to get to the precipice of NOW, but the most common is a surprise accident, as in a spontaneous trauma to the physical body where knowing consciousness is ripped from the intellectual mind and awareness is then manipulated by the divinity within us. We are then confronted with a profound choice. Do we stay or do we go?
Sometimes the answer is made for us by angelic beings and we are sent back to finish the life cycle we choose only a moment ago in another realm, but years and years ago in this illusion of time and reality.
Sometimes, it is us who chooses to return to this density when powerful images of unaware possibilities and unattended consequences are presented to our divine nature. We then choose for unconditional love and finish our pre-life choise.
The caveat in all this is the phenomenal power of prayer. Prayer can pull you back into life. It can heal. It can bring you from the addictive attraction of the loving light to the knowing individuation of spiritual promise.
Prayer is the freeing essence of unconditional love and the most misunderstood anecdotes of all bodily traumas.
As Spock says, “live long and prosper”.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Walden Pond


Henry David Thoreau was an American writer, essayist, naturalist and renowned author of “Walden,” an account of his two years and two months living in the then Walden Pond semi wilderness.
Thoreau went there, built a small, ten by fifteen foot sideboard cabin on land owned by his friend and teacher Ralph Waldo Emerson. Thoreau wanted to experience nature at its simplest. He was not a hermit, but he did live and write in a solitary environment some of the time. Most the book was collated and edited by him after he left the woods.
Thoreau sets his criteria. “How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live” and he adds, “"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."
There is probably much more to Thoreau’s life there than is accounted for in his writings on Walden or in scholarly research of his life and times. His parents lived about a mile away and one would suspect he visited for an occasional meal and probably laundry. It was also an easy walk of a couple of miles into the town of Concord.
I mention this history because I walked around the pond recently and visited the site where Thoreau’s cabin existed.
I have one negative comment, but I do understand its necessity given the 600-thousand visitors to Walden’s shores each year. The path for visitors to circle the pond is a narrow four-foot channel, fenced in on both sides with barbless wire.  There are a few places where you can stray up a hill, but never near the water accept at the beach entrance to the park.
My walk with family was at a moderate to slow pace, pensive at times and conversationally wondering at other moments about why Thoreau did it and what this life experience accomplished for him?
I suspect Thoreau was looking for life’s meaning and its kinship with nature. He spent a lot of time thinking and writing about the social conditions of the time and elevating his spiritual transcendence to blend with his seasonal observations. He rarely condemned his fellow beings, but he did condition their worth with succinct and erudite prose. I enjoyed the book and the walk.
Even today most people have never experienced raw nature. Perhaps that’s the legacy and value of Walden. 150-plus years later Thoreau lets us live it vicariously without the commitment to do so.

 
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