October 15, 2020

02

Goldenrod 04 10/08/2020 — 22-Acre Woods, Indian Land, South Carolina
What isn't working for you?
Where did you get off the track?
What are you seeking?
What would make things right?
How are you kidding yourself?
What would it take to stop?

There has to be a reckoning.
A coming to terms with how things are.
An owning up.
A turning.

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

He was talking about the Atman,
the Self,
"the face that was ours before we were born."
The One Who Knows
who we are
and who we were born to be.

Taking up the work
of developing a collaborative partnership
with the one whom we do not know
would put us on course
to realize the fullness
of all that might yet be.

We have all the help we need at hand.
All it takes is asking
to turn things around.

–0–

01

Sumac 10/09/2020 01 Panorama — 22-Acre Woods, Indian Land, South Carolina
The Atman (A Hindu term meaning True Self,
the essence,
the is-ness of every living thing--
and I prefer to think of it as everything--
vital or inert)
is the connective tissue of the Universe
and beyond.
The atmosphere/environment
in which we live 
and move
and have our being.

It is our place to develop,
deepen,
demonstrate
our connection--
our relationship--
with the Atman
through the way 
we live our life,
seeking in every moment
to be who we truly are
within the context and circumstances
of our existence.

This is no problem for rocks and trees,
lions and grey hounds,
bald eagles and hummingbirds.
Only people come with the option
of not being who they are.

Joseph Campbell talks about our situation
in terms of the masks we wear.
The Primary Mask is handed to us
by the culture/society into which we are born.
Our parents tell us who we are
and how we are to behave. 

When the authorities of Jesus' day
called him "a glutton and a wine-bibber,"
they were using a term that meant
"beyond parental control."
Jesus wasn't doing what he was supposed to do.
He wasn't being who his culture expected him to be.
He was wearing his Antithetical Mask.

That is Campbell's term for who we are really.
Our True Self,
The Atman,
shinning through.

But we have more than one option.
There is an Antisocial Mask.
A Sociopathic Mask.
A Psychopathic Mask...
All representing different ways of being in the world.
There is a different face for every occasion.

The old Taoists had the ideal:
"Show us the face that was yours 
before you were born!"
"Show us your version of The Atman!"
"Who you are 'Thus Come'!"
"Before your Ideas got a hold of you!"

That is difficult because our Ideas are many,
and in the way.
We want to be anything but who we are.
We have aspirations.
Desires.
Ambitions.
Ideas.

And there is only one way with our name on it.
It is our place to find that way and walk it,
and in so doing,
exhibit the radiance of God,
of The Atman,
living within us
to all the world.

How do you think that's going?

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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