Tag Archives: culture

Growth toward less judgement

We must grow towards a place of less judgement. This is the natural and inevitable result of of spiritual maturing… and perhaps one of the reasons why those less mature might think those farther along the journey are morally relative or “losing their faith.” A “slippery slope” they call it. I shake my head at the face-palm madness of the nostalgic-type, religious-type, fundamentalist-type idea that we have to hunker down even farther into our bunker of what is “right and good,” sticking to our guns of right or wrong, in or out, better or worse.

To hold more tightly to our framework is to uphold increased judgement. It is smaller picture and it is retreat into smaller mind and heart. As we welcome all of Life into our Being, our Being is welcomed into Life. The same could be said of our hearts, our minds, our souls, or our spirits. Whatever word you choose, the reality is the same. The eyes with which we look out upon the world are the eyes that will look back upon us. How we receive others is how they will receive us . It’s why Jesus said, “Do not judge, or you yourself will be judged.” His words also: “Knock and the door will be opened to you.” In other words, you are going to find what you are looking for.

The bondage that occurs with increased judgement (and pre-judgement to be certain) is all around us. Shame towards our beautiful and precious selves, bitterness, stone-walled denial of the reality in front of our very noses, entitlement, vicious competition, the need to perform, progress, and protect. There is not freedom in this and it is a wonder that so many of our culture’s biggest advocates for this type of bondage are found in religious circles. Bondage sculpted as freedom (for we are nothing, we are separated from God, and only OUR beliefs will give you the freedom you are seeking) is one of the most mind-bending confusing hooks of lower-level spiritual development. Ironically, or maybe not so ironically, much of this same bondage is offered to us from our government, media, and western culture. It’s a trap and many write it off as the “rat race.”

Spiritual or psychological maturing is always towards a bigger mind, a more expansive heart, a worldview where “everything belongs.” All peoples, all of nature, all of ourselves. We must see the bigger picture, recognizing that our current moral high ground and restrictive dualism is a flash in the pan, dust in the wind. That tree across the field is 200 years older than you and will see your grandchildren die. Those stones have been there since before your people were even using language.

There are many ways to grow and to release our dualistic judgement of the world around us, but most of them include leaning into ALL of Life, each changing season all the way unto death. There must be, at some point, a recognition that we can’t know everything and we can’t know the whole story while at the same time recognizing that the story we are given is far from the whole story. Each path towards maturity will include some way of finding silence and settledness while including all of ourselves – our breaths, our bodies, our shadows, our limits, our aging, and our dying. Be skeptical of anything that does include these things. Pursue freedom for all things. Look upon all of nature and surely each and every human being with eyes of pure adoration and love. Use words of affirmation and belonging to counter the spells that so many believe about themselves and the world. Healing, not judgement, is the way.


Balance is the Foundation

“This cannot wait,” I am told.

We inhale it in the air we breath. Continue to improve upon the past. We drink it in the water. Tomorrow can be better than today. It is our daily diet, the food we binge on. Be all you can be. It is the IV drip that is fed to us in our advertising, catalogs, news coverage, social media, and education. Progress. Advancement. You can have what you put your mind to. Give your children more than what you had when you were young.

It is not the only way. 

It is a hard truth to look at the many problems in the world, the imbalance of resource distribution, the violence, the oppression and consider that fixing it might not be the best way forward. Fixing it is probably the best solution, but what our Earth and all her beings may need is not a solution. As Einstein said, “We cannot fix our problems with the same thinking that created them.” To find the technology that will save us is the same crazy thinking that got us in this place. To push cash at a problem or send in the military is more of the same insanity that got us here. To vote, while perhaps is needed, is a minimal action that ultimately amounts to playing the same political game that created this clown show. 

But isn’t it human nature to try to make things better for the future? Hasn’t it always been this way, that people want to make tomorrow better than today? Isn’t this the name of the game for every teacher, doctor, scientist, engineer, and probably religious leader? I would say NO! For centuries, politics, science, economics, and religion has worked together to push for a vision of a better future, whether it be here on Earth or in streets paved with gold. For this better future, we have created technology, established ideologies and theologies, written laws, destroyed cultures, and ravaged our land, the ground that sustains us. Much good has come out of this, I see that, and many will consider that the mark of our success. But things have gotten out of balance and it has gotten us where we are, which many would likely agree is not a sustainable or healthy place. 

This quest for progress is not human nature, has not always been this way, and is not the only way to move forward. There was a time when people saw that everything was perfect the way that it was. Human beings didn’t have a mandate to progress or make things better, but rather, it was their purpose to do everything possible to maintain the harmony, balance, and right relations with all that was. Being in right relationship to the land, to each other, to those who came before and those that will come after them – this is what they lived for. They didn’t believe they had a right to live, a right to not die, or a right to take for themselves. Every day, every meal, every child and elder was a gift. And because they received so many gifts, they therefore had to give in return. They were indebted to Life and gratitude was expected. To maintain the balance, to restore harmony. This was the Foundation. 

Our home is out of balance. For those that live in gratitude and do not take for themselves and their own, they cannot hold up to the onslaught of greed and consumption. This is a beast that will never be satisfied. Until it consumes everything. The Wild is a fragile thing and it doesn’t “get back” at the two-legged creatures that destroy it daily. It is not like us and will likely be destroyed wildly, maintaining it’s wildness. 

It is the land that will teach us. It is the wild ones that will show us the way forward.

It is a time for heart-brokenness. It is a time for sadness, for grief. To know that in many ways, we are too far gone and that there is no turning back. This has to be the only first response. And then we must learn. Learning does not inherently lead one to fix. Sometimes learning is thorough enough to convince us we need to withhold our hand. To jump to a solution may be part of the problem that got us here. Solving comes from knowing and the way forward seems to be mostly unknown. 

We must do what is needed, which may not yet be known. We must learn from our land. Not control our land, direct our land, or manage our land. We must learn. It is the land that will teach us. It is the wild ones that will show us the way forward. Because they live for balance… and also die for balance. 

Why I do what I do and why I like trees

tree rootsQuote from Gurus, Ashrams and Christians – Vanyana

“Individual Christians in Iran [or Bend] should not think of themselves as television antennae or sets, tuned to receive and to reproduce exactly what comes to them from the sending station abroad. We out to think of ourselves as trees with our roots within the soil of our own ethnicism and culture, receiving the water of life through our own soil and breathing the Holy Spirit through our own skies. Antennae and television sets are mechanical, imported, and only good to reproduce a programme set by others. They will be broken by storms and their use could be limited or directed by others. from above. Trees, on the other hand, have their roots within the soil of their locality. They are creative and they grow. Because they have roots, they can often stand up to storms…”