May 03, 2021

01

Camden Harbor Morning 09/23/2006 Oil Paint Rendered–Camden, Maine
When we embrace our fate,
we unite with our destiny.

We are born into our fate--
our DNA is fated.
We couldn't do anything about it.
It is a given.

So are our parents
and our point of origin
in space and time.

So are our loves and our hates,
our preferences and our disinclinations.

And all the things about us
that we cannot help.

Our destiny is what becomes of us,
because and in spite of,
the things we can't help.

Our destiny is what we do with our fate.

Our destiny is what we might yet be--
anyway, nevertheless, even so.

Our destiny is what is ours to do
with the gifts/proclivities/interests/
genius/daemon (sounds like "diamond")/virtues/
character/spirit/etc.
that came with us from the womb,
in the time and place,
the context and circumstances,
the here and now,
of our living.

Our destiny and our fate are bound together,
and join to produce us and the life we live.

Our dreams may have nothing to do with either.
And may have everything to do with both.

This is where The Silence enters the frame.

We find our way amid fate, destiny and dreams
by tuning to The Silence,
and waiting for "the mud to settle
and the water to clear."

By "cultivating stillness,"
and watching/listening
for what arises/emerges/occurs/appears 
unbidden within,
to beckon and call us to action.

Judgment and opinion have no place
on the road to what is ours to do,
or, their place on the road
is to provide the excursions necessary
to learn they have no place on the road.

Balance and harmony are essential guides.
We "feel" more than we "know."
And must learn to know what we feel,
and to trust it to lead us along the way.

The rule of thumb is:
"We feel our way to What,
we think our way to How,"
though where feeling stops
and thinking starts 
is a point to faint to find.

"We know when we are on the beam
and when we are off it"
(Joseph Campbell).
And so, the trick is to know what we know,
to attend our feelings,
and honor The Silence
with regular returns to the stillness
of mindful awareness.

(The Jon Kabat-Zinn YouTube videos
are excellent resources here--
the shortest ones first)

With these instructions in hand,
all that is left
is being quiet
and seeing what happens.

Happy trails,
with one thing leading to another
all along the way!

–0–

02

Dockside 11/14/2017 07 — Port Royal, South Carolina
All religion is grounded 
upon the principle
of the accumulation of merit.

If you want to get to heaven
and avoid hell
either before or after you die,
you have to do it 
the way the religion in question
tells you to do it,
there-by earning your reward
by the way you believe and live your life.

It is the same way 
with what I have to offer.
With my approach,
you earn merit by having no interest
whatsoever in earning merit.

The heart-felt position
of "No merit! No gain! No contrivance!"
of "Only sincerity! Only spontaneity!
Only living with nothing in it for you!"
is the key to awakening,
realization,
illumination,
enlightenment,
and the glories of "the Farther Shore,"
and "The Pure Land"
of happiness and glory everlasting.

Nothing to be gained
is the way of infinite gain.

And merit-based religion
is the only kind of religion.
And "unconditional love"
is the best joke of all
(Because if you don't believe 
love is unconditional,
you go straight to hell).

–0–

03

Evening Path 09/06/2007 Oil Paint Rendered — Bass Lake, Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock, North Carolina
There is no straight path
from here to there.

Carl Jung talks about the journey
from outer to inner
as "The circumambulation of the self"--
a spiral inward from the widest base
to the still point at the axis mundi,
where we arrive to join all others
at the heart of who we are.

There are no shortcuts on the way
from our head to our heart,
and everyone faces the same
hardships and ordeals,
makes the same discoveries,
uncovers the same truth,
realizes the same revelations,
comes to the same conclusions,
and knows what has been known
by all who have known
through the ages:
Be Who You Are!
The I and the We are One!
Thou Art That!

"At the end of all our exploring,
will be to arrive where we started,
and to know the place for the first time"
(T.S. Eliot).

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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