September 8, 2020


Mile Post 244 08/13/2018 04– Blue Ridge Parkway, Doughton Park, Laurel Springs, North Carolina
Here we are.
Caught up in a pandemic,
at the mercy of a crazy (As in certifiably insane) President
and a GOP majority in the Senate,
aiding and abetting his every move,
with the world as we know it
going to hell as we watch,
and nothing more effective to offer
than protest marches
and rants on social media.

The situation has exposed our lack of a foundation--
the absence of a source of guidance and direction,
comfort and confidence,
security and stability,
balance and harmony...

We are in free fall
with nowhere to turn
and nothing to orient us
or assist us in finding our bearings,
in order to make our way through a wasteland
of lost hope
and demolished dreams
to a better perspective,
and a more trustworthy life.

Joseph Campbell would say
there is nothing wrong with us
that finding a valid myth to live by
won't fix.

He would also tell us not to look for someone
to tell us what our grounding myth is.
His two guidelines for discovering our myth are these:

"Where you stumble and fall, 
there lies the treasure."

"That which you seek
lies far to the rear,
in the darkest corner
of the cave you most 
don't want to enter."

He would likely add,
"The treasure you seek 
is nothing other than the self
you also are."

Free-falling is a symptom 
of being alienated from ourselves, 
out-of-sync with our heart's true purposes,
out of accord with the Tao
of our own spirit
and clueless as to who we also are
and what we are called (by ourselves)
to do with our life.

We have lost the way,
wandered away from the path,
and need to get back on track,
together with ourselves and our life.

The prescribed ritual for accomplishing
this return to ourselves/our life,
to find our myth and live it,
is to stop/look/listen.

To sit down,
be still,
and wait in the silence
"for the mud to settle
and the water to clear,"
and attend what arises/occurs to us/comes to mind there.

The silence connects us with the source
of our own Original Nature--
which is where we find all we need
to find what we need
to do what needs to be done
in the wasteland 
of lost hope
and demolished dreams.

It takes doing it
to know it is so.
And it takes trusting ourselves 
to the inclination/urge-to-action
that occurs to us in the silence.

We do not think our way to a myth worthy of us.
We live our way there.
By looking/listening within--
by looking/listening to our body
and what it is revealing to us.
And by working with our nighttime dreams
and our flights of fantasy,
to discover what we are saying to ourselves,
hoping that we will pay attention,
and follow where we are being led.



Goodale 11/04/2018 40 Panorama — Goodale State Park, Camden, South Carolina
With us:

Which will be the last to go?
Joy or sorrow?
Jocularity or despair?
Laughter or wailing?

Why one and not the other?

They are only a perspective shift apart.

Jovial or deathly serious depends upon what?

What leads us to see the way we see?
To ascribe meaning the way we ascribe meaning?
To say "This!" and not "That!"?

What stands between us
and "The icy winds howling up from the Void"?

What is our solace and our comfort?
Our source of resolve and resiliency?

The way we see things
keeps us going.
Or stops us from taking another step.

What governs the way we see things?

How will we approach 
"The end of the line"?

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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