October 25, 2020


Hickory Tree 03 10-24-2020 — 22-Acre Woods, Indian Land, South Carolina, an iPhone Photo
There is no place to get to,
nothing to achieve,
no destination or end point
of the process.

Enlightenment is not a steady state of being.
There are no steady states of being.
Whether even death is or is not
remains to be seen.

Enlightenment is a process.
Illumination is the realization
that enlightenment is a process.
Meister Eckhart said,
"The ultimate and highest leave-taking
is leaving God for God."

Even when we find God,
we have to leave God
for the God that transcends God!

God is not a steady state of being!
There is more to all of us 
than meets the eye!
There is more to everything 
than meets the eye!
"The Tao that can be realized
is not the eternal Tao!"

So, do not be trying 
to "get there!"
Just strive to be here, now!
There is never anywhere to be
that is not here, now!
So, just be here, now!

See what needs to happen.
Maybe nothing.
So, do nothing.
Just be here, now!

Sooner or later, 
something will come along
that needs to happen,
so do it,
being at one with the doing of it,
continuing to be here, now,
in the doing.

Just be here, now
like this forever!
That is all there is to it!
Waking up to here, now
is the only accomplishment.

Just be here, now
all the way to the end of the line.
(The line never ends!)



Goldenrod 01 10/22/2020 — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Adventure Road Access, Fort Mill, South Carolina
The culture is a system of denial
based on entertainment,
and addiction.

Money is the most obvious addiction.
Money isn't For anything
but taking our mind off our problems.
What does thinking about money
keep us from thinking about?

None of the things we think about
have any kind of life about them.
They do not offer us life, 

They just help us feel better
about the life we are living.
The closest we get to life
is when our team wins the current game,
or we are sitting on a beach
drinking beer,
or partying with people we want to like us.

We need experiences that will open us up
to life
and the wonder of just being alive--
that will evoke in us 
amazement and facination
with the mystery of life and being,
along with a never-fading memory
of "This" being "IT!"

Being stunned into silence
with what James Joyce called
"aesthetic arrest"
is quite different from 
the thrill of victory,
that we generally think of 
as "peak experiences."

We put ourselves on a path to being alive
with encounters with
and nature--
and by finding symbols and metaphors
which are meaningful to us
and can provide us with the questions
that fuel our inner search
for the source of that meaning.

Another exercise is that of 
"reclaiming our projections."
Whenever we are emotionally ensnared 
by another person--
either in attraction or repulsion--
we need to stop/look/listen
to what just happened.
What attracted us about the person?
What repulsed us about the person?
List all of the characteristics
we can think of,
and examine the lists.

The attractive list contains
characteristics we admire
and need to work at bringing forth
within us.
We need to "become the other"
in the sense of living in ways 
that we see the other living out.
And reflect on the list in a recurring way,
engaging in a "Meditation on Missing Virtues"
each time.

The repulsive list contains
characteristics we find to be abhorrent,
and lie concealed in us 
hidden from our conscious awareness
("We hate in others 
what we hide in ourselves").
So, we need to regularly engage in
the practice of self-examination,
becoming transparent to ourselves,
in finding evidence of our own abhorrence
in the ways we secretly feel about others,
or the resentments we harbor,
or the slights which slip out in word or deed.
This becomes a "Meditation on Hidden Defects,"
and opens us to the truth of who we also are,
providing a different path to self-awareness
and self-development.

Seeking life and living it
is on a different dimension
from denial/diversion/distraction/escape/addiction,
and "turns the light around"
by shifting out attention from things "out there"
to the things "in here,"
thereby giving us an entirely new orientation
and direction for our life.



Bog Stream Reflections 02 09/29/2014 — Adirondack Park, Tupper Lake, New York
Jesus said, "Why don't you judge for yourselves
what is right?"
It all comes down to that.

The Tao is knowing/doing what is right--
what needs to be done--
the way it should be done
in each situation as it arises,
one situation after another,
all our life long.

Jesus was a Taoist.
He was much more a Taoist 
than he was a Christian.

It is only knowing and doing what is right
time after time
throughout our life.

No theology,
no dogma,
no doctrine,
no creeds,
no catechisms--
just knowing and doing what is right.

Why don't we judge for ourselves what is right?

I'm serious here:
Why DON'T we???

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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