May 13, 2021


Trumpeter Swans 11/27/2019 Oil Paint Rendered — Swan Lake Iris Gardens, Sumter, South Carolina
If we had someone to listen to us,
it would be easier for us
to hear what we have to say.

We aren't taught how to listen to ourselves,
and we grow up strangers
with "the other"
Carl Jung was talking about 
when he said,
"There is, in each of us,
another whom we do not know."

This "other" has much to offer us
in terms of insight and guidance,
and enabling us to look at things
from all sides,
listening to ourselves,
and waiting for ourselves
to "speak,"
perhaps with words
that arise in our mind, 
or with images that appear unbeckoned,
or with feelings or moods
that come upon us out of nowhere. 

I see the other within
as an aspect of our Psyche,
and evidence of depths,
or worlds, beyond comprehension.

We are connected with more than we can know,
and carry the DNA of the species
packed away within.

Communing with the "Collective Unconscious"
(Jung's term),
opens up possibilities for reflection
that are as endless as they are inviting.
And we would do well to acknowledge that,
and take the time to explore
what is "right here, right now"
all the time.

Practice sitting still,
being quiet,
and seeing, hearing,
what the silence has to offer--
no thinking,
just watching, listening,



Rocky Shoals Spider Lilies 05/09/2015 Oil Paint Rendered — Catawba River, Landsford Canal State Park, Catawba, South Carolina
I take it to be a commonplace
to say we all need help with our life--
and I see that primarily 
as a matter of helping us 
to engage and rely upon 
the guidance and direction
of the Knower who resides within.

There is a catch, however.
The Knower is not a Genie
with magical powers
waiting for us to ask
in order to make our dreams 
come true.

The Knower has a better sense
than we do
of the life we are best suited to live,
and that life may not be 
what we have in mind.

Our place is to collaborate with the Knower
in living the best life 
we are capable of living
in serving our original (true) nature
within the conditions and circumstances
that are ours to navigate.

We have to grow up
and put ourselves in the service 
of the life we are capable of living--
of the life that needs us to live it--
in a "Thy will, not mine, be done"
kind of way.

If we are not there,
perhaps we will be
while there is still light to live by.

If not,
well, every Knower takes its chances,
and that's just how it is,
for the one who came packed in with us.



Currituck Lighthouse 04 10/25/2009 Looking Up Oil Paint Rendered — Corolla, North Carolina
We cannot order our life
in ways that are pleasing to us,
we can live in the service of 
what needs to happen in each situation,
in light of our preferences 
and interests
and see where it goes.

The attention goes to what is called for.
To what is crying out to be done.
Beseeching us to do it.
With what we bring to the moment.

We are to life for the moment.
We are to live for our life.
Our life is not here to serve us.
We are here to serve our life.

What does our life need of us,
from us?
Let that be our focus.
Not, what do we want from our life,
but, what does our life need from us?

Asked of the silence.
With us waiting and watching/listening
for what emerges,
occurs to us,
from the silence
to beckon, call, compel us to action
in its service.

Perhaps, against our wishes,
and will.

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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