June 26, 2020

02

Skeleton Trees of Graveyard Beach 04/03/2020 02
Improving our relationship with ourselves
improves our relationship with our life
and with the people in our life,
spontaneously,
automatically,
naturally.

Carl Jung said,
"There is within each of us,
another,
whom we do not know."

It is not too late
to begin getting to know
who we also are.

Getting to know who we also are
is getting to know who we are.

We begin by setting aside our opinions
about who we are.
We do that by not doing it.
We do all of the important things
by not doing them.
It's a curiosity
how to do something 
by not doing it.
It is the most important thing
to know how to do.
We do it
by not doing it.

The trick with doing things 
by not doing them
is getting out of the way
and letting them happen
in their own time,
in their own way.
Which means allowing them
to not happen at all
if that's what needs to happen.

The trick is simply being aware
of something that needs to happen
without doing anything about it
beyond being aware of it.

We set aside our opinions 
about who we are
by being aware of them
without engaging them.
By being aware of our thoughts and feelings
without being engaged by them,
without being hijacked by them.
Without being emotionally stirred by them.
Without taking them seriously.
Letting them be part of the envronment
without taking over the scene.

And, if we are emotionally stirred by them,
we become aware of that
without acting on it,
without doing anything about it
beyond being aware of it.
Not taking it seriously,
Not allowing it to take over the scene.
The situation.
The moment.

Hold it all in your awareness,
and let it be because it is,
and simply be with it,
unmoved and unmoving.

That's it.
That's all. 
Carry on with your life.
Doing what needs to be done,
while holding in your awareness
your opinions of yourself
and your reactions to your opinions
without permitting either to take control of your actions,
your life.

Go about your business
as though nothing is going on,
tucking everything into your awareness,
going about your life,
trusting that over time
your opinions of yourself
will lessen
and gradually disappear
by "just happening,"
without you doing anything 
to make it happen.

You are improving your relationship
with yourself
by not doing anything
to improve your relationship with yourself.

You may find yourself 
laughing for no apparent reason,
or smiling more,
or humming as you go about your day.
Signs, perhaps, that things are shifting.

–0–

01

Socked-in 10/28/2006 — Washington, North Carolina, October 28, 2006
Socked-in 10/28/2006 -- Washington, North Carolina, October 28, 2006

You can start with a game of Solitaire
and create scenarios
that could not have possibly
occurred by chance,
so that the ace of hearts
appears at the very moment
that the two of hearts is uncovered
by the nine of clubs
being moved to cover the ten of diamonds!

Things like that don’t just drop out of the sky!
There is a reason for everything!
Something had to arrange for the precise way
the cards were dealt!
How else can you explain it?

The explanation is that it is a game of chance.
And "chance" is our term 
for a course of events that were locked into place
from before we were born.

When did things have to be the way they are?
From the time our parents were born?
Or from the time we picked up the deck of cards?
Or from the time we shuffle them five times for luck?
Or from the time we cut the stack
and started dealing the hand?

When was "chance" determined 
by the "ordinary course of events"?

Grace works the same way.
The things that "fall into place,"
"for no reason,"
are the things that could not be 
any other way than they are,
given all that has gone before
to bring "grace" to bear on our lives
"out of the blue."

The way things are
is the way things happen to be
because they couldn't be any other way.
If they happen to be meaningful,
it is because we make it so--
because of the way we see things,
interpret things,
look at things,
consider things to be "meaningful"
and "meaningless."

We find meaning (or not) in the way
the cards are played.
In the way two people meet,
fall in love,
and marry,
and say, “It was meant to be!”

By whom?
Why, by God, of course!
(“God” is our way of saying,
“It just happens that way!”).
God arranges everything!
Nothing like love and marriage
could happen by chance!
"It had to be predestined
from all eternity!"
Just like the face that was ours
before our mother and father
were born.

We had rather believe in God
than in chance.
Or strict determination.
If we find meaning in something,
we have to find a reason for it.
We have to posit a long line
of cause and effect with the purpose
of the ace of hearts appearing
exactly when it did.

When it is all a game of chance
that was locked in from--
from when?
The beginning,
or before the beginning?

And what we make of it all
is up to us.
And for what,
or where it is going,
we do not know.
So, we have to keep playing the game,
to see what happens next!
And it all rearranges itself
according to what we do
on a whim,
out of the blue,
for no reason,
and pick up the deck of cards.


Where do whims come from?

What is guiding our boat
on its path through the sea?

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, three sons-in-law, and five granddaughters, and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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