November 11, 2021

01

Aho Valley 05 11/05/2021 Oil Paint Rendered — Blue Ridge Mountains, Boone, North Carolina
What needs to happen now?
Is our guide for life.
What needs to happen now in light of what?
Narrows our options down
to a final few choices.

In light of what do we live?

The Democratic quadrangle
enclosing democracy works for me:
Liberty!
Justice!
Equality!
Truth!

These four cornerstone values
give rise to the rest of the guides:

Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Compassion,
Generosity, Gratitude, Graciousness,
Mercy, Noble, Right, Pure, Lovely,
Decent, Admirable, Excellent, Praiseworthy...

Living in the service of these 
guiding lights
leads the way through 
the dilemmas, quandaries,
and predicaments of the day. 

And when any of these values
are clouded by circumstances
to the point where doing good here
results in bad there
in a damned if we do
and damned if we don't
kind of way,
we wait in stillness
to intuit the choice
which creates another situation
in which we have to decide
what needs to happen then, there.

One choice leads to another,
with "What needs to happen now?"
leading us all the way.

It is the only important question,
and we answer it all of the time.
Being aware of it being asked
and of how we are responding
makes all the difference.

If we are going to be right
about anything, 
let it be that question,
always
(Knowing that what is right
in one moment may be wrong in the next, 
and vice versa)!

–0–

02

Beech Woods 06 11/10/2021 Oil Paint Rendered — 22-acre Woods, Indian Land, South Carolina
We do what we determine needs to be done
and see how it plays out,
doing what we determine needs to be done
at each stage of each situation as it arises
all along the way.

"Do your work," said Lao Tse,
"and step back.
Let nature take its course."

"Let the outcome be the outcome."
"See how it plays out."

Vaxers and anti-vaxers face off,
reading the facts and the evidence
in light of different evaluations
of the validity of the other side's
view of what is a reliable fact,
what is reliable evidence,
and step back
to see how it plays out.

Time will tell.
Truth will out.
It is only a matter 
of waiting and seeing
who is right 
and who is wrong.

Answer the core question,
"What needs to be done now?"
as only you can,
and see how it plays out.

–0–

03

Road Through the Woods 02 11/10/2021 Oil Paint Rendered — 22-acre Woods, Indian Land, South Carolina
Nurturing/nourishing our relationship
with Heart/Soul/Mind--
with our Psyche Self--
with The Invisible World,
the Spirit World,
the Spiritual World--
with The Other Within
Carl Jung spoke of when he said,
"There is within each of us
another whom we do not know"--
provides us with ready access
to an Inner Guide, 
with whom collaboration and respect
provide us with all we need
to find what we need
in living aligned with our original nature
through all of the circumstances of life.

Our original nature 
and The Other Within
are our contact points 
with spiritual reality--
the source of instinct, 
intuition,
imagination,
insight,
awareness,
vision,
creativity,
inspiration,
realization
and all those "sixth-sense" functions
that are the essential aspects of Mythos
that are required to balance
the input of Logos,
reason,
logic,
rationality,
intellect,
analytics...
and enable us to live 
as a fully integrated whole person,
with Psyche and Soma combining
to guide and direct us
through the choices and decisions and responses
of life within the here and now
context and circumstances
of day-to-day life
throughout our physical existence. 

Bringing Psyche/Mythos to life in our life
as a full partner with Soma/Logos
is the work of the Hero's Journey
in the time left for living.

–0–

04

Goshen Creek 11/06/2021 Oil Paint Rendered — Aho Valley, Blue Ridge Parkway, Boone, North Carolina
The Tao is like this: 
It took everywhere I’ve been to be where I am. 
I regret that but. There is no other way. 
It is so with all of us, 
and is an allegory of the way life 
is throughout the Cosmos. 

There is no plan. 
Everything is working its way to where it will be 
on a path that stops but never ends.

The Tao is like this:An Irish pub serves the public
with a staff of six servers
and a bartender,
two cooks
and a host/hostess.
There is no manager,
and the staff is trusted
by the owner
to do what needs to be done,
when it needs to be done,
the way it needs to be done,
in each situation as it arises,
daily.

The servers take care of their own tables,
and keep an eye on each other.
If one server has a party of 6 or 8,
other servers help out with drink refills.

If the bartender needs a restroom break,
the server with the fewest customers
takes over the bar.
During lulls in the action,
a cook may tend the bar.

The flow of food and drink
is steady
and everybody assumes their role,
and helps others as needed with their role.

The floor is concrete
and hard on the feet and legs 
of everyone who works there.
The pay is reasonable
and the tips are what might be expected,
and turnover is low but regular.
New hires fit into the system,
or not--depending on their personality,
their maturity, grace, generosity
and awareness,
and people who do not belong there
do not stay around long.

The pub is an example of the Tao at work in the world,
as is an emergency room,
or an intensive care ward,
or a hospital,
or an elementary (etc.) school,
an airliner,
an airport...

Any place where needs are served
in a particular way
toward a particular end
in a particular manner
and within a particular time--
the what, when, where and how
that have to be right
according to custom and expectation,
is a place where Tao can be experienced
in each situation as it arises
on a daily basis.

Applying this kind of attitude and presence
within our life
throughout our life
transforms the world.

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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