October 30, 2020


Sanskrit Peace 03 — From my Symbols of Transformation Collection
The Hero's Journey is about
seeking the source of who we are
in the work of reclaiming our Original Nature
and uncovering what is deepest,
and best about us.

It is a psychological journey of discovery,
requiring us to work with our dreams,
engage our fears and desires,
and our obligations to our place in society,
our duty to our country
and to one another.

In completing the journey,
we will have to come to terms 
with our contradictions,
and polarities,
square up with the realities that restrict
and limit us, 
and deal with the difference between 
metaphorical truth and factual truth.

Our task is to bring ourselves back to life--
as in rebirth/resurrection/renewal-- 
by embracing the Self 
at the center of ourselves,
and returning to our place
in the world of ordinary, 
in full possession of the 
and harmony
that are ours to incarnate 
and to share
as a blessing and a grace
and a grounding presence
in the lives of others.

We are the treasure we find,
the boon we recover,
and are glad to offer ourselves
as healer,
and guide
to all who may benefit
from our experience
and our life.



Adventure Road 06 10/28/2020 — 22-Acre Woods, Indian Land, South Carolina, an iPhone Photo
The heroic task is living out 
of our own center
within the context 
and circumstances
of our life.

Jesus did that.
The Buddha did that.
Gandhi did that.
Eleanor Roosevelt did that.
Dolly Parton is doing that.
The list is long.
But not long enough.
It needs our names
among the others.

Angeles Arrien (Whose 
name is on the list),
said that all the people who have ever lived
have been/are distinguished,
and set apart from each other
by their fingerprints,
their voice frequencies,
and the color patterns of their eyes.

No two of us are alike.
Not even "identical" twins and triplets. 

What is with the homogenization of the species?
Why the push to be like everyone else?
To spend our life following the other cows
from the barn,
to the pasture
and back to the barn?
To think like everyone else,
believe like everyone else,
see like everyone else
and be a clone of the cultural ideal,
cut off from our heart
and stepping carefully 
in the black cutouts of shoe prints
laid down for us by Those Who Know Best? 

Who knows better than you and I
what is ours to do,
and when and how we need to do it?
Who can hear better than us
the quiet nudges and soft whispers
of our heart and soul?

We betray our genetic makeup 
when we fall in line
and march in step.

We violate our sacred summons
to come forth
and exhibit the 
that are unique to us
when we "conceal our light 
under a basket"
and refuse the challenge 
to "judge for ourselves what is right."

We have a role to play,
a place to fill,
that are unique to us,
and it is incumbent upon us
to find and live 
the life that is ours to live
within the context and circumstances
of our time upon the earth.



Lake Crandall 12 10/22/2020 — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Adventure Road Access, Fort Mill, South Carolina
We cannot allow ourselves to live
haphazard lives.
We have to "run a tight ship"
from start to finish--
from beginning to take up
the work of finding our life and living it,
to our last breath along the way.

A "tight ship"
is a disciplined life.
A life lived around,
and based on,
rituals and routines,
a specific "order of the day,"
and regular,
practices and procedures.

We don't fall into doing
what we feel like doing
when we feel like doing it.
We do what needs to be done
when it needs to be done
in light of the situations
and circumstances
that develop "of themselves"
in a day.

We live a structured life
within a fluid,
and unpredictable environment.

It is our way of maintaining
our balance and harmony,
our stability and security,
our vitality, life and spirit
in a world of clashing rocks
and heaving waves on wine dark seas.

And it is up to each of us
to ground ourselves in regular routines
that connect us with the Source of life and being
in ways that nothing can dislodge or threaten
throughout the time left for living.



Flying South — From my Symbols of Transformation Collection
We are constantly creating momentum,
forming Karma
by what we care about
and don't care about
in each moment as it unfolds before us.

We have to live as though we care
about what needs to be cared about
whether we care about it or not.

Living as though we care
is the most important skill
to develop and apply
throughout our life.

A.A.'s slogan captures the essence
of what we are about:
"Fake it until you make it!"
If you get living as though you care down,
no one can tell whether you care or not--
and it won't matter.

Caring shapes your life
around what matters most.
Living as though you care
shapes your life 
around what should matter most.
Either way, we are all better off
by the way you live your life.

Everybody should know by now
what a healthy lifestyle consists of:
No alcohol.
No tobacco.
No drug abuse.
A diet with enough nuts, fruit and vegetables,
low sugar and low fat.
Regular exercise.

Living as though we care about a healthy lifestyle
transforms the way we live.
Living as though we care about other people
transforms the way life is lived around us.
Before you know it,
the world is a better place
because we are relating to it
as though we care!

We don't have to be sincere
if we fake it well enough!

No one will ever know,
and everyone will benefit.

So, get in there and do your thing
as though doing so is the most important thing 
in your life!
Whether it's real or not 
won't matter at all,
and the impact will be both
real and everlasting!

Fake it like you mean it!
And all will be as well as possible,
which is a lot more than could 
otherwise be said!



Flying North — From my Symbols of Transformation Collection

Angeles Arrien said that if we pronounce "intimacy"
slowly, emphasizing each syllable,
we get:

How many people 
are we willing to
present ourselves to
on that basis?

Including ourselves?

We like the idea of intimacy
without vulnerability.
Which generally means having sex
with nothing on the line.
Because we don't want anyone
to know who we are,
especially ourselves.


It all begins with seeing 
what we look at
when we look in the mirror.

We cannot let an act
or an inclination
go by without examination,
and awareness,

We cannot be unknown unto ourselves!

The first law of spiritual development is
"Thou Shalt Be Transparent To Thy Self!"
Self-transparency is the foundation,
the impetus
and the goal
of the Hero's Journey.

Which comes as bad news to those
whose first line of defense
is to not-know what we are doing.

We have to look until we see,
listen until we hear,
inquire until we know and understand
what we are doing,
and what that reveals/expresses
about who we are.

We can complete the Hero's Journey
without ever leaving home.

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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