Today is the first day of my 77th year. It has taken me 76 years to get this far-- and everything I have experienced, felt, done, believed, thought, etc. was essential to my being here, now. What I want you to know is that what is becoming of us is the most important thing. And we have to assist in the process of our own development by not saying "NO!" to any of it, but saying, "Okay, now what?" to all of it! What is happening is the matrix of our own becoming-- and that is what we are about! We are birthing ourselves by the way we respond to what is happening, and what we do with it, and what we allow it to do with us. There are no dead ends that we don't make so by the way we respond to what appears to be a dead end! We are never more than a slight shift in perspective away from seeing doors where before there were no doors-- from seeing exactly what we need where before there was only nothing at all that could be of any use to us. What I'm saying is, Stop! Look! Listen! See what you look at! Know what you know! What are you assuming to be so that isn't so? What are you not seeing that is right there? Sit still, be quiet, and wait-- "for the mud to settle and the water to clear." And pay attention to all that occurs to you in the silence, looking for what is new, for what is calling your name, again, still. And give the right things a chance. We have to be born anew again and again, and every birthing is a dying. Death and resurrection, Kid-- death and resurrection! All the way down! Don't quit too soon. Don't quit at all. See what's next. See where it goes. Believe in yourself. Trust in what got you here, now. Give yourself to the journey with all your heart, and soul, and mind, and spirit. There is more to us, and to all of it, than meets the eye. Any eye. So what if we are making it all up as we go? Keep going! Keep going! We owe it to ourselves to find out if it is as hopeless as we are afraid it is! Keep on having birthdays and asking questions! There are things that haven't been thought yet! Make it one of your goals to think them! The only way to do that is to live your way there with your eyes open all the way. To the Journey! To the Way! Come on! Come on! Let's go!
We are born into a cultural context that is our second womb, which serves for many of us as a death shroud, keeping us forever from the life that is ours to live by insisting that we live the life our context requires us to live. No one tells us about our other life, the one that came with us from the womb, they only talk to us about the life that was waiting for us upon exit. Except that everyone waiting for us, in and just outside of, the delivery room is caught in the same web that catches us, fighting for life within a cultural context that is death itself. Not knowing what they are doing, or what the problem is, or why they can't just fit in like everyone else seems to be doing, when everyone else is having the same fight for life, and nobody knows what is going on. And so, the symptoms. The psychosis, the neurosis, the alcoholism, the drug abuse, the affairs, the escapes/diversions/distractions/ denial that forms the cultural sheath as much as it screams in protest against it. It is one crazy damn world we are born into. And no one is there to help us with our second birth, and everyone treats us as though something is wrong with us, while the same thing is wrong with them. Joseph Campbell called the cultural mask "The Primary Mask." That is the Death Mask those who wear well are dead wearing because it has cut them off from their inner identity/truth that they were born to realize/incarnate/ exhibit/express/serve/be/become-- which Campbell called "The Antithetical Mask," because it is antithetical/contrary/opposite to all that is expected of us by the culture. We are born the first time as Yin cast into Yang. We are wet, warm and wild, and Yang is bright with light and right ways of doing everything-- a desert world, a wasteland, that we enter as a child of darkness and life. What chance do we have? The odds are not favorable from the start, but, there is the secret knowledge within that is our hope and our salvation. We are all born knowing "This ain't right!" What we do about it tells the tale. What are you doing about it? The path of doing about it what needs to be done about it is the Hero's Journey. It is the journey from our head to our heart, along the path of reflection, observation, experimentation, awareness, inquiry, curiosity, imagination, determination that leads to new realizations and more searching/seeking/questing all the way to the truth of who we are and what we are about. It is a path of metaphorical death and resurrection, of growing up and growing beyond and growing into and growing on that is never completed, never done. How are you coming? Along your path from death to life-- dying and being born again, to die and be born again, all along the way? However it is going, I am glad to be a part of it with you, offering what I have found to be helpful, "as one beggar tells another where they have found food"-- and look forward to seeing what is next for all of us, and where that leads, and where we going...