July 19, 2020


Cedar Island Ferry Sunset 10/26/2011 01 — Pamlico Sound, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Ocracoke Island, North Carolina, October 26, 2011
It is possible to live from the center of knowing what to do
in response to the situation as it arises,
just as tennis players (etc.) respond spontaneously 
to situations as they develop on the court,
knowing what to do,
without knowing how they know.

It is possible to live like we are playing tennis (etc.).
There is a catch.
We have to quit living 
in the service of contrivance
and insincerity.

Living from the Center means
giving up our attachment to the outcome,
and serving an outcome 
that is good for the situation as a whole--
and that is an expression of the integrity
of us as a whole.

We live as an integrated whole
in relationship with other selves
living with us as integrated wholes 

This is possible when everyone 
within the community
(The Community of Innocence
in which everyone is seeking 
the best for all concerned,
with no agenda or plans
for themselves alone--
or for anyone else in the community)
is living "transparent to transcendence"
(Joseph Campbell),
so that everyone is reflecting/exhibiting/incarnating
the ineffable wonder at the heart of our life together.

This is the experience
of That Which Has Always Been Called God
and is present whenever two or three, or more, 
people live truthfully together from the heart.

Living truthfully together from the heart
is a lost art
that can be revived simply by living from our center
in relationship with others living from their center.

Doing that is merely a matter 
of being still and quiet
and waiting in the silence
for all the bluster to fall away,
and getting to know what remains.
Then stepping back into our life
with the truth of who we are now
as a very present companion,
enjoying our company
and glad to be with us knowingly at last.



Atlantic Dawn 10/26/2008 02 — Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Ocracoke Island, North Carolina, October 26, 2008
Our circumstances evoke our character
when we rise to meet them on their terms,
understanding them to be 
exactly what we need 
at this point in our life
to come forth
and be born again.

Death and resurrection, Kid.
Death and resurrection.

Trials and revelations, Kid.
Trials and revelations.

Ordeals and realizations, Kid.
Ordeals and realizations.

Consciousness is transformed--
we change our minds--
only through the death experience
of our trials and ordeals.

Getting up and doing the thing 
that most needs to be done,
the way it needs to be done-
even so,
in each situation as it arises
can be like dying.
And it can be the doorway,
the threshold,
to a new way of seeing,
a new way of being
a new way of life.

How we meet our circumstances
is the crucial element
in influencing our circumstances
toward life, away from death,
or toward death, away from life.

"The bird is in our hands."

We grow through the very things
that appear to be the absolute end
of all things good--
if we meet them in a way
that takes what is given
and looks for the hidden passage
to what also is there.

Joseph Campbell said,
"Where we stumble and fall,
there lies the treasure."

And the old Taoist tale
"The Lost Horse Returns"
reminds us that things have a way
of turning over time
if we give them time
to show us what else may be coming--
to see what other doors may be opening--
for those who wait,

The stone the builders reject
becomes the chief cornerstone.
The junk jewelry conceals
the priceless gem.
And these circumstances
are the very thing we need
to take the next step
toward whom we are yet to be.

It only takes believing it is so
for it to be so.

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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