July 15, 2020


Living at the Edge of the Woods 07/14 2020 01 — Red Shouldered Hawk, Indian Land, South Carolina, July 14, 2020
98 degrees and two weeks with 1/2 inch of rain brings wild things to water wherever it may be found.
Be careful what you believe--
and conscious of it--
because beliefs are self-validating,
and will be confirmed by our experience
as being true beyond question.

This is the foundation of horoscopes,
and Black Magic.

Belief/faith elicits corroborating evidence
from our environment and our "felt sense."
"You ask me how I know--
I know because my heart declares it is so!" 
And our experience authenticates it
at every turn.

Brainwashing/mind-control is as commonplace
as advertising promotions
and political propaganda.

Nothing convinces like conviction,
and we can be "carried away"
by personal testimony, 
and anecdotes
delivered with passion and certainty.

The nature of our life
and the quality of our living
depend on the beliefs
that direct our decisions and choices
regarding how we spend our time
and exhibit our character and values.

How do we fill up a day?
How do our beliefs determine--
and restrict--
what we do?

What beliefs guide and direct our lives?
To what extent are we conscious
of being guided and directed?
To what extent are we conscious
of being conscious?
To what extent do we see our seeing
and think about our thinking?

How mindfully do we live?

"Fair winds and following seas"
are helpful only if we know where we are going
and what we are doing--
 following a program,
intent on being guided and directed,
on track and in accord with the path
as it unfolds before us.

What is your work?
What is your Way?
How do your beliefs flow from and lead to--
form and shape--
your work and your Way?

Sit still.
Be quiet.
Breathe youself into the Silence.
Listen and look.
Follow the reflections that arise
to recognition and realization.
And see where it goes.



Silence 01 — Eighth Rest Note and Quarter Rest Note
I am interested in why we see things as we do.
Why we respond to our environment the way we do.
Why we believe what we believe.
How we decide what is important.
How we change our mind about what is important.

What makes us think
that the way we think
is the way to think?

Who says so?
How do we know they know
what they are talking about?

What is the unshakeable,
for the way we live?

How do we validate the validity
of that authority?

How do we know
that what we say is so
is so?

What leads us to live the way we do?

Why aren't these questions
at the heart of everyone's life?



Silence 02 — Eighth Note Rest and Quarter Note Rest
Another of the Little Rules of Life:

Don't decide--KNOW!!!
(Or, one of its infinite variations,
Don't think--KNOW!!!)

We over-think everything.

Sincerity just is.

Spontaneity just is.

Knowing just is.

You could spend your entire life
(Overstatement is what I do best)
standing before the orange juice section
or wandering up and down the cereal isle--
or the bread isle--
thinking it out.

Don't think! KNOW!!!

Wake up to your daily struggles to decide.

They are everywhere.
We want to be right about everything
(And being right has nothing to do
with being right--
it is all about being above reproach,
beyond criticism,
having a quick and well-considered reason
for doing what we do,
so that no one can find fault with us ever)
because to be criticized is to be lacking,
and lacking is one thing not one of us
can allow ourselves to be
(Here's another Little Rule of Life--
they are everywhere
once you start looking for them--
Let Yourself Be Lacking!!!
No kidding.
It is the most freeing thing
you will ever do
[Back to overstating my case]).

As I was saying,
Wake up to your daily struggles to decide,
and stop it.

Just stand not-knowing before whatever it is,
the blue one or the yellow one,
and simply wait to know.
Take your time.
Where does the pressure to "hurry up and make up your mind"
come from?
Who are you trying to please?
Stop it!
Remember your breathing.
Breathe deeply,
exhale slowly.
Wait to know.

Wait to know about everything worth knowing.

Knowing what the Knower knows
is our surest guide
to where the Goer is going.

Stop deciding
and begin knowing.

Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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