January 18, 2022


Clouds in Molasses Creek 10/28/2006 Oil Paint Rendering — Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Ocracoke Island, North Carolina
We bring morality and ethics
to bear on nature and the psyche.
This is our role to play
in the evolution of the species.

Our specialty is knowing right from wrong,
good from evil,
and applying that to what is happening
in order to create something that was not there
before we came along,
namely a moral order.

Without us, it is only nature's way,
and that is the Law of the Fishes
at work in the world,
where the big fish eat the little fish
and the little fish hide,
or slip through the nets that haul
the big fish to the cannery.

We bring the high values to live in the world,
liberty, justice, equality, truth, compassion, etc.
We articulate the feelings already in play
in the lower mammals, 
Saying straight out what the whales and dolphins, 
porpoises, orcas and elephants know
and express as they are able--
and making laws that bring order to bear
upon the way of the jungle.

Ego is capable of knowing what is right
and doing it
in the service of the good of the whole.

And ego's relationship with psyche
completes the pattern
and forms a partnership
that is capable of knowing what time
is at hand,
and what is called for
in order to do what is right,
at the right time,
in the right place 
and the right way,
because it is right and we know it.

It is a perfectly matched collaboration
for the employment of good
as a counterweight to evil
throughout the universe.

Except that we allow what we want,
and don't want,
and what's in it for us 
to get in the way,
and we begin to play games
with the situations that arise,
negotiating our profit and gain 
at the expense of everyone, and everything, else,
and what could have been 
a perfect world,
becomes a wasteland
in no time at all on the geologic clock.

And here we are, 
trying to redeem what we have done,
and turn things around
before the climate collapses
and the sixth extinction leaves
only the life forms at the bottom
of the chain
to start over for the umpteenth time
in an effort to make it work
even yet, even so, even now.

Maybe it will, who knows? 
What we do know
is that we have work to do
in the time that is at hand.
Right here. Right now. 



Black Bayou 53 11/02/2015 Oil Paint Rendered — Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Monroe, Louisiana
Our place is to manage the extremes.
We are nature's thermostat,
restoring equilibrium
and maintaining balance and harmony
throughout the times and places
of our living.

We step into each situation as it arises
and make everything better
just by being there
as a calming, reassuring, presence,
living in accord with the Tao,
seeing what's what
and what needs to be done about it,
and doing the right thing,
at the right time,
in the right way--
seeing to it that all is well,
and moving into the next situation,
where we do the same things.

It is the way.
And it is our place
to serve the way,
through all times and places.

We do that 
by our engagement with
the right kind of emptiness,
stillness and silence,
in conjunction with integrity,
sincerity and spontaneity,
serving our original nature
and the gifts/genius/daemon/shtick/virtues/etc.
at our disposal
to counterbalance the forces of disruption and chaos
at work in the time and place of our living 
and bring balance and harmony to life
with spirit, energy and vitality,
as a blessing and grace upon the moment
and all gathered there.

It all happens naturally,
without force or planning,
simply as an expression 
of our alignment with the heart
of life and being
and what is being called for here and now--
which is enabled, not by thinking,
but by being in tune with the moment
and what is happening there.

It is like approaching an intersection
as the light changes
and stopping or speeding up
as the occasion requires.
Sometimes we do it one way,
and sometimes we do it the other way.

Just so, we live to make responses 
appropriate to every occasion,
knowing only what we know,
and trusting ourselves to do 
what needs to be done,
time after time.



Blue Ridge Pastoral 02 07/13/2011 Oil Paint Rendered — Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock, North Carolina
One of the 10,000 Laws of Photography states,
"The more equipment you have,
the fewer pictures you take."

It applies globally 
throughout our life.

The more of anything,
the less of something else.

Aim for just enough
of what is right for the occasion.
And trust yourself 
to do what is needed
with what you have on hand.

Or, with what came with you
from the womb.
We come packed with more than
we will ever use,
and are more than capable
of rising to meet any moment
just as we are,
as "one thus come,"
as a blessing and grace
to this time and place.

Trust that it is so,
and act as though it is.

Taking your cues from
The Mystery that is the source
of the best we have to offer.

And letting nature take its course.


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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: