November 02, 2020


Peaks of Otter 02 10/29/2019 — Blue Ridge Parkway, Bedford, Virginia
Sincerity and non-contrivance are one thing,
and combine with compassion
to produce an environment conducive to
and being alive.

There are not enough sources
of sincerity/non-contrivance and compassion
in my life or yours,
or in the entire world.

It is more like
snatch and grab
and to hell with you
wherever we look.

Plop sincerity/non-contrivance and compassion down
in the middle of that
and you get the Buddha,
and Jesus,
Gandhi and the Dali Lama,
and all of the people
who have kept hope alive
in the darkest nights
we have lived through 
in all the years of our living.

You get people who are remembered
and revered 
for making all the difference
in our lives.
It is our calling
to be one of those people.

All it takes 
is dedication to the task,
and practice,



Nation Ford Road 11/01/2020 — The Nation Ford was a ford across the Catawba River and this is a portion of the road that led to it. First a Native American footpath, it became the highway for all west-bound traffic during the early American expansion years. — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Lake Haigler Access, Fort Mill, South Carolina
Take what you get
and do what you can with it--
in light of all things considered, 
particularly what needs to be done
in each situation as it arises.

Don't let your chances stop you
or even slow you down!

"Get in there and do your thing"
no matter what--
in light of what "your thing"
has to offer the present moment.

Our only interest/concern is to be
true to ourselves
within the time and place,
conditions and circumstances,
of our living.

Do not think of achievement,
or winning.

Live to be who you are,
doing what you do best
with what you have to work with,
right here, right now.

No one can do more than that ever!
And we can always do it.
Don't let anything stop you 
from doing it!



Pink Camellia 01 11/01/2020 — Indian Land, South Carolina
I do not know if life was invented
to facilitate/enable/assist/speed up seeing,
I am quite confident
that if we live long enough
we all will see all there is to see at last.

Everything becomes clear in time.
We all see what is to be seen eventually.
If we live long enough.

This is a safe hypothesis 
because no one can live long enough 
to test its validity.
We all die--no matter how long we live--
before we see even half
(Okay one half of one percent)
of all there is to see.

Yet, we all parade around,
thinking we see what we look at,
thinking we know what we are doing.
We don't even see ourselves seeing!
We don't even see what we are doing!

A lot of us will not live long enough
to see that we don't see!
Much less, to see what there is to see!
Much less, to see all there is to see!

So, if life was invented to facilitate seeing,
you gotta believe that that before life
things were dark indeed.
Gives me pause to consider
what that means for after life.

If life is the place of seeing,
we better be sitting quietly more often
for longer periods of time,
looking within,
because that is were seeing begins.



Steele Creek 01 11/01/2020 Panorama, an iPhone Photo — I took this handheld with the Spectre Long Exposure App — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Lake Haigler Access, Fort Mill, South Carolina
There are no shortcuts to eternal life.

"The shortest way through
is the long way around!"

The "circumambulation of the self"
is what Carl Jung called 
the Hero's Journey.

We are all on the path 
to the Truth at the heart of who we are.
to the "face that was ours
before our parents were born."

As we approach the point 
of full realization,
and quite some time before we arrive,
we will understand that
the Truth at the heart of who we are
is also the Mystery at the heart
of who we are.

Truth is Mystery.
Mystery is Truth.
And that's the Truth.

And we cannot hurry things along.
Things plod along as though
they have all the time in the world.
They do.

Everyone who knows 
knows the same thing
in every generation.

Lao Tzu said a thousand years
before Jesus was born,
"The Tao that can be said/told/explained
is not the eternal Tao."
He was saying "Truth is Mystery,
Mystery is Truth."

500 years later, the Buddha said the same thing.

500 years later, Jesus said the same thing.

The Christ is born in every generation
and says the same thing--
and this has been going on from the first generation,
and will go on to the last generation.

Things plod along as though they have
all the time in the world.
They do.
They must.
Because they are taking us 
where we do not want to go,
and we resist and oppose,
snarl and snort,
buck and bite
all along the way.

The only way to speed up the process
would be to see from the start,
but that's the reason for the process.
We refuse to see from the start,
saying, "What's to see that I don't already see?"

Trump (and his ken) thinks he sees.
But he doesn't see what I see.
I think I see, but I don't see what the Buddha saw.
The Buddha thought he saw...
The Christ thought he saw...
There is always more to be seen 
than is seen,
that is why it is called
"The Mystery at the Heart of Life and Being."

The Mystery is unending and everlasting,
and we will never get to the end of the journey.
There is always more to see
than has been seen.
More to know than has been known.
And always something calling us to do it
in each situation as it arises.

And all we have to work with is
right here, right now.

"So get in there and do your thing,
without looking for profit, recognition,
or reward!"

After all, what's beyond seeing to want?
There is only more seeing
for as far as we can see.


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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