September 20, 2020

04

November Maples 11/06/2005
The fulcrum--the pivot point--from past to future
is to live with nothing at stake in the outcome.

Giving our best to the moment
with nothing to gain and nothing to lose,
intent only on honoring the situation
as it unfolds around us
by responding to what is called for
with the gifts we have to offer
to each here and now,
and letting what happens
just be what happens
to create the next moment
in which we respond to what is called for
with the gifts we have to offer...

So that our life unfolds
situation-by-situation,
with us getting better
at being who we are
offering what we have to give
to each time and place of our living,
with nothing ever to gain,
and nothing ever to lose,
but always with another moment to shine
and show our stuff
by being who we are
to the best of our ability
just for the hell of it,
day in and day out.

What a life this is!

–0–

03

Monument Valley Sunrise 09/25/2007 — Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, Arizona
I transplanted an Oak Leaf Hydrangea
and a Pink Hydrangea,
and planted a Southern Wood Fern
this morning,
and Jesus couldn't have done it better.
Jesus and I are one in that regard.

When Jesus said,
"The Father and I are one,"
he was saying,
"The Father couldn't do it better 
than I'm doing it."

We do a lot of things as well 
as Jesus and the Father could do them--
and that's the idea with all that we do.
The only thing standing in our way 
is us.

We get in our way 
when we allow our preferences
and opinions
to interfere with our judgment
about what needs to be done
and how to do it.

When we are on the beam,
in the flow,
at one with the Tao,
centered on the path
and in tune with the moment
and what needs to happen there,
no one could do it better than we are doing it.

Jesus is a symbol for being conscious
of what is called for
in each situation as it arises,
and for stepping forward to meet the situation
with exactly what is appropriate 
for the occasion,
in all times and places of our living.

When we are on,
nobody could do us better
than we are doing us.
We just need to be better
at getting out of the way.

–0–

02

Lower Falls 04/25/2007 — Hanging Rock State Park, Danbury, North Carolina
Can you take "No" for an answer?

It comes down to that.

When is the last time you took "No" for an answer?

How often have you taken "No" for an answer?

Hold that thought,
and consider this:

Here's the way Howard Thurman said it: 
“Don’t ask what the world needs. 
Ask what makes you come alive, 
and go do it. 
Because what the world needs 
is people who have come alive.” 

It can't be said better. 

It's what those who know 
have been saying 
since the first one knew. 

It's what people have been waking up to 
for as long as people have been waking up. 

Life.
Living. 
Being Alive. 
That's it. 

Where is life found? 
What does it take to be alive? 
Where does your heart tell you "This is IT?" 

You have to spend more time there, 
doing that. 
The future of the world depends on it.

And within that frame work
of you doing what brings you to life,
you have to know what you are going 
to say "No" to
and what you are going to say "Yes" to--
and when you are going 
to take "No" for an answer,
and when you are not going to be stopped,
or moved away from your own truth,
by anything in the world 
or beyond it.

–0–

01

Curtis Island Headlight 09/19/2006 — Camden, Maine

James Joyce said, "Any object, 
intensely regarded, may be a gate
of access to the incorruptible
eon of the gods." (Buck Mulligan, Ulysses)

Joseph Campbell said, "Take, for example,
a pencil, ashtray, anything,
and holding it before you in both hands,
regard it for a while.
Forgetting its use and name,
yet continuing to regard it,
ask yourself seriously,
'What is it'
('What is it good for?
What is its purpose?
Why is it here?'
What was it before it became what it is?')...

Cut off from use,
relieved of nomenclature,
its dimension of wonder opens;
for the mystery of the being of that thing
is identical with the mystery
of the being of the universe--
and of yourself."
(A Joseph Campbell Companion).

It is a simple meditative exercise
that takes you to the heart of the matter
"as straight as a Martin to its gourd."

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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