February 11, 2021


Blue Ridge Morning 04 05/20/2014 Oil Paint Rendered — Blue Ridge Parkway, Boone, North Carolina
We have to develop and maintain
our relationship with our core--
the old Taoists referred to it as
our original nature.
It's our essence,
our essential self,
who we are



At the Dock 01 Oil Paint Rendered — Silver Lake Mooring, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Ocracoke Island, North Carolina
We think in terms of freedom from all the things
that keep us from being free
to do what we want--
as though having what we want
is the solution to all of our problems ever.

Here is the irony:
We talk about "freedom from want,"
but we do not mean from wanting,
but from going without,
from being without the things we want!

We need to be free from wanting!

What does wanting know?
When has wanting ever been satisfied?
When has anyone ever been at the place
of having nothing else to want?

Wanting is insatiable,
forever and always.

We can never have enough
to not want more.

We have it right,
though we do not know what we are saying.
We are desperately seeking
freedom from want!

We get their by being mindfully,
compassionately, aware
of our situation,
knowing what's what
and what needs to be done about it
and doing it.

What needs to be done about it
is shifting our perspective from
having/getting to
shifting our perspective from
freedom from to
freedom for.

Freedom is for 
(in the words of Joseph Campbell)
"For something--
something fresh and new:
a spontaneous act"!

The old Taoists have talked about this
from the beginning,
and have lived as models of what
they were talking about,
incarnating opposites
and exhibiting their original nature
in responding to what is called for
in the present moment,
in each situation as it arises
all their life long.

They have danced before us
from 5,000 years before Christ,
who took up the dance 2,000 years ago,
calling us to be free for doing 
what is called for here and now,
no, here and now,
no, here and now...forever.

They all call us to do what is called for,
and live as children at play,
doing what the play requires
in the spirit of those who take
not being serious seriously
and give themselves to the part
they are playing in the play,
and play it to the hilt,
being what is called for,
doing what is needed,
living spontaneously in response
to here and now,
no, here and now, 
no, here and now...
inventing new-and-appropriate responses
to fit every occasion,
without worrying about Thou Shalt
in doing what needs to be done,
anyway, nevertheless, even so,
doing what needs to be done,
when it needs to be done,
where it needs to be done,
the way it needs to be done,
because it needs to be done

Or, as Campbell put it:

"We are to carry the point of view and spirit of humans-the-players (Homo ludens) back into life--as in the play of children, where, undaunted by the banal actualities of life's meager possibilities, the spontaneous impulse of the spirit to identify itself with something other than itself for the sheer delight of play, transubstantiates the world, in which, actually, after all, things are not quite as real or permanent, terrible, important, or logical as they seem" (Primitive Mythology (The Masks of God, Book One).

If we live to get that down,
we will be the Christ,
the Buddha,
and all the Taoists before them,
and after them,
and what a world it will be then!

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.

One thought on “February 11, 2021

  1. Love you, brother.  I used to think you would be the perfect A.A. speaker. However,  now I see though it is the same message, it is a different language. I predict a future soul will discover your writings and make a thesis out of them. Thanks, best, good luck, & may you continue to go with God! ✌🙏💕 e$

    Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android


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