September 15, 2021


The Pelican 01 01/16/2015 Oil Paint Rendered — Brown Atlantic Pelican, Murrells Inlet, South Carolina
The forces at work in our lives
are like gravity
and love
in that they are always there
in the background
behind the scenes
holding things up,
keeping things going,
animating things,
directing things,
making possible
all that is possible,
and may yet be--
needing only cooperation
and assistance 
to make it so.

None of us knows 
what might become of us,
even now,
even yet,
even so,
just by befriending the forces
at work in our lives.

I call them "The Forces
of Life and Being,"
but no one knows what to call them,
although they have been recognized 
from the beginning.

The old Shamans all knew of them,
and visited them regularly
in their dreams and visions
and out-of-body experiences.

The Shamans were the spokespersons
of the forces,
keeping the ordinary people
in accord,
at one
and cooperating with the forces
in balancing and harmonizing
the interests,
and needs
of the physical world
with the ways,
the drift,
the flow,
the direction,
the way
of the spiritual world,
which is the world
of the forces of life and being.

From the Shamans came the predecessors
of the Hindus in India
and the Taoists in China.
Hindus talked of Atman.
The early Taoists talked of Tao
from which they said flowed
all of the forces of life and being:
The Source,
Yin and Yang,
and Human-being-hood
(With "human-being-hood
being what human beings
are ideally suited for
and capable of
when they are aligned,
in accord with,
the forces of life and being).

Hindus have maintained the sense
of how long this has been at work
over time--
how many "creations" there have been.
Suffice it to say that
this is all there ever has been,
universes upon universes coming and going,
with The Forces of Life and Being
flowing through them all.

The Atman,
the Tao,
the Forces of Life and Being,
are always "right there."
Right Here.
Right Now.
Needing only cooperation
and assistance
to produce wonders unimaginable
through the lives of those
living in accord,
at one with them--
even now,
even yet,
even so.



Yellowstone River Canyon 03 06/30/2011 Oil Paint Rendered — Canyons of Yellowstone, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
Along with gravity,
and all of the remaining forces
detectable in the physical cosmos,
I include Mind
as a primary force at work
within us and beyond us
to produce what we call reality.

We are products of Mind.
Evidence of Mind.
Vehicles of Mind.
At work within the other forces
and physical matter
to become what might yet be
during the time left for living
(And this is more than 
the time remaining in our lifetime--
it is what is left for life
in the current episode
of the existence of space and time).

What might yet be?
We have a say in that
as individual specks of protoplasm
within the vastness within vastness
of all that is.

What we do matters.

There is no greater absurdity
than saying,
acting as though
what we do matters.

And yet, and yet...
Nothing matters more
than living as though
what we do matters--
to us and those impacted
by what we do,
and to those impacted 
by what they do,
and so on...

And what difference
can that possibly make?

We answer that question best
by smiling and saying, 
"None whatsoever--and
I am going to live as though
it makes all the difference
in the cosmos!"

Then stepping, still smiling,
if not laughing,
into the next situation that arises,
and living there
to do what needs to be done,
when it needs to be done,
the way it needs to be done,
because it needs to be done,
for the simple joy of doing it
and the satisfaction of having done it,
situation by situation,
for the remainder of the time left for living.



The Woods at Springer’s Point Panorama 10/28/2008 Oil Paint Rendered — Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Ocracoke Island, North Carolina
Living as though it matters
how we live
puts us on a certain track,
and living as though it doesn't matter
how we live
puts us on a different track.

Living as though it matters
that we do the right thing
at the right time 
in the right way
because it matters,
and doing it
for the joy of doing it
and the satisfaction of having done it,
and not to get anything more than that
from doing it,
in each situation as it arises
all our life long,
creates a certain tone for our life.

And living as though it matters
what we get, own, amass, collect, possess,
attain, acquire, achieve, accomplish
through/from every situation that arises
creates a different tone for our life.

The track we take
and the tone we create
puts us in or out of accord
with the forces of life and being,
and that makes all the difference.

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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