October 19, 2020


Sourwood 03 10/09/2020 — 22-Acre Woods, Indian Land, South Carolina, an iPhone Photo
Allowing our life to take its own shape
around our interests
and our involvement with things that evoke
our vitality, zeal and enthusiasm
is a track different
from going where the money is--
and we have to make a decision
at some point
about what is going t0 be the central concern
that directs our choices
and rules our life.

We can have a "cookie cutter life,"
with the shape being determined
by our social group,
or by the group we would like to be our social group,
and we do all the things 
members of our group do,
going the same movies,
eating at the same restaurants,
watching the same TV shows,
living the same life.

And we can live "a life apart,"
in the sense of not minding
that we are on the outside
of all social circles,
letting our direction in life
be determined by the things we like to do
regardless of whether anyone else cares
that they exist.

What guides our boat on its path through the sea?
What kind of boat are we riding in?
Whose idea is it that this is the boat we ought to be riding in?
What gives us our sense of direction?
Our idea about what is good and what is not?
Who are we living to please?
What do we need to be happy with the life we are living?
What kind of life do we need to be living
in order to be pleased with how things are?

The idea that "this boat won't take us there,"
gives us some sense of how our life needs to change
to get us "there"
if "there" is some place we would like to be.

Or, if we like "this boat" so much
that wherever it takes us is perfectly fine with us.

Living the life that fits our idea of how life should be,
and what needs to change to have a better fit--
the life we are living,
or idea of how life should be--
gives us something to consider
as we work to blend happiness with our life
and how we are living it.

What is important?
How do we decide?
How do we know when we are right
and when we are wrong?



Peyto Lake In the Snow 09/20/2004 — Banff National Park, Alberta
The future is fluid,
capable of being shaped
and molded.
We create it in every moment
by the way we respond to
what is happening
and to what is being called for.

We bring the future on ourselves
by the way we live,
by the choices we make,
in each situation as it arises.

We influence, 
create the next situation,
and all those following it,
by the way we act in this situation.

The present moment is a fulcrum,
and we lever the future into place
one moment at a time.

In every moment we make choices
that form the matrix
for all the choices we will be able to make
in all future moments.

Here is the organizing idea for ordering 
your response to every choice you are offered
in all of your moments yet to be:

Ask of what is before you,
"What is the life-quotient for me
and/or others in the options before me?

What is the level of vitality,
joy and delight
in each of them?

What is their degree of radiance,

Go with what has life for you/others.
And if it comes down to a choice 
between you and others,
be clear about the sacrifice
you are being asked to make,
and choose carefully.

Sometimes it will be you that is sacrificed
for the sake of others,
and sometimes it will be others 
that are sacrificed
for the sake of you.

Do not hesitate to choose in your favor!
Just be clear of the choice you are making.
Sometimes you will "die" either way,
just "die" in the service of life every time!



The Atman 03 — From my Symbols of Transformation collection
Four statements say it all: 
Promote the General Welfare,
Provide the Common Defense,
Insure Domestic Tranquility, 
Preserve, protect and defend...
against All Enemies Foreign and Domestic.

These are not only in the Constitution,
but are either stated or implied 
in all the oaths of office
taken by people holding office
as US Government officials.

These four statements provide the foundational
Constitutional authority
for declaring every act of the US Government
from its inception
that violates any of the four
to be unconstitutional
and therefore illegal.

Making the forthcoming appointment
to the Supreme Court
unconstitutional and illegal.

Making canceling the Voting Rights Act
unconstitutional and illegal.

Making Citizens United 
unconstitutional and illegal.


Making lobbyists
unconstitutional and illegal.


Making all of Trump's executive orders
and all of Congress' actions
that violate any of the four statements
unconstitutional and illegal.


Everything the US Government does
has to meet the standards
set forth by the four statements.

Environmental protection
is guaranteed by the four statements.

Individual human rights
are guaranteed by the four statements
(And where abortion is concerned,
life begins at birth with the first breath,
and has been held to be so
since the beginning of time,
so we celebrate birth days
and not conception days).

Health care, etc
are guaranteed by the four statements.


These four statements provide 
all the grounds needed
to oppose and invalidate
all US Governmental acts
that violate any of the four.

The Atman has been recognized
from the beginning of human history
as the Essential Self,
the True Nature,
the Original Nature,
Universally across all time and space
of every living thing,
and is violated,
and destroyed
when any of these four statements
are so treated.

Therefore, not only the Constitution,
but also the very essence of life,
are done grave damage
by the flippant disregard
of the sacred foundation
constituting our life together
as citizens of the United States of America.

And we are called forth
to resist,
and repel 
all attacks upon us
and our holy bond
with all living things,
now and forever.

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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