December 16, 2020


Circle 5-A — from my Symbols of Transformation Collection
Circles are among the most ancient symbols “transparent to transcendence,” and have been honored, recognized, understood through the ages as a metaphor of wholeness, completion, realization, awakening, enlightenment, awareness, presence, being here/now, being grounded, being immovable and untouchable…the list is long. What does a circle mean to you?
We are not living to have our way.
We are not living to do what we want.

We are living to serve our destiny,
to be who we are capable of being,
to realize our potentiality,
in doing what is calling us to do it--
aligned with our original nature,
in accord with the Tao
(The Mystery),
the mystical flow of time and place--
in each situation as it arises
all our life long.

This puts us in the position of Luke Skywalker
in relation to Obi-wan Kenobi
and Yoda,
as we take up the work
of finding our life and living it,
of discovering our original nature--
our gifts,
our virtues,
our spirit,
our vitality,
our balance and harmony,
our energy--
and incarnating it,
exhibiting it,
expressing it,
serving it,
throughout the time left for living.



Wetlands Geese Panorama 01/11/2013 — Guilford County, North Carolina
We are not free to chose our choices.
Or to chose our preferences.
Or our disinclinations.
Or our desires.
Or our fears...
The list is long.
Forever long.

Freedom is the greatest illusion ever.

We have to see the way we see,
until we no longer see the way we see,
and we do not determine when that will be.

We have to feel the way we feel...

Think the way we think...

Enjoy what we enjoy...

Be the way we are...

And we talk about freedom.
We should expand it 
to be clear about what we mean.

We mean freedom from oppression.
Freedom from somebody else's religion.
Freedom from somebody else
telling us what to do.
Freedom from unwarranted intrusion
into our lives.
Freedom from invasion,
from the demolition of our boundaries,
from someone else's idea 
of how our life should be lived.

We want our bondage to be natural,
and not artificially imposed.

But freedom as a way of being in the world
is not ours to possess.

I recall the investment firm's commercial
of a mighty bull trotting along 
an endless beach at water's edge,
while the theme song played in the background,
"To know no boundaries,
to let ourselves roam free..."

The bull was bound to run on the sand.
Not swim in the ocean,
or fly in the air.

Our bondage is absolute and inescapable.
Being clear about that
relieves us of the burden
of thinking we can will ourselves
to happily ever after
with just a bit more effort.

And then, there is Snoopy,
reminiscing about his days
at the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm,
lamenting, "Once we got over the fence,
we were still in the world."

It's called the fallacy 
of the Garden of Eden.
"One bite of the right fruit
and we are free as the breeze,
blowing where it will."

Another way to think of the breeze
is to say it doesn't know what to do next,
looking as it is,
for the way out of here.  

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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