February 23, 2022


Swan Quarter Mooring 10/27/2012 B&W Oil Paint Rendered — Swan Quarter, Hyde County, North Carolina
Our life elicits our original nature
if we let it.

We interfere with the natural process
at work in the unfolding of ourselves
within the life we are living
by having desires that are at cross purposes
with the flow of life and being
in accord with the Tao,
the Way of Life and Being.

We can live in the service of our wants,
of what we perceive to be our advantage,
our merit,
our gain,
our benefit,
when our actual benefit, etc.,
is realized through the process of maturation
resulting in the alignment of ourselves
with our original nature,
producing wisdom, integrity, compassion, grace,
kindness, gentleness, generosity, etc.
which are the marks of original, authentic,
genuine, natural human beings--
which was the mark of the Buddha,
and the Christ,
and many others who have preceded us along the way.

Our life calls for our original nature to be displayed
through the gifts, shtick, daemon, genius, etc.
that came with us from the womb
for us to serve and to share
in doing what needs to be done in each situation 
as it arises.

But we see each situation as a place for us to exploit
for what we take to be our own good--
and don't we see that going on everywhere we look, though?

We have to turn the light around,
and realize that we are here for the good 
of our situations.
Our situations are not here for the good of us.

Once we get things in the right order,
they fall into place
and life becomes what it is capable of being,
the place of the realization of ourselves
in the work that is ours to do
for the good of one another
and every living thing.

But, like Adam and Even in the Garden of Eden,
we have our own ideas of how things ought to be,
and spend our time chasing fame and fortune
while the time for our becoming and being
ticks away.



Round-lobed Hepatica 05 02-18-2022 Oil Paint Rendered — 22-Acre Woods, Indian Land, South Carolina
Wait, what?

That's all it takes to turn things around.

Turning around turns things around.

Wait, what? Turns things around.

Just stopping.
Just looking.
Just seeing.
Just hearing.
Just comprehending.
Just understanding.
Just knowing.
Turns things around.

Wait, what?
Brings us face-to-face
with the situation as it arises,
as it is.
Here and now.

And that includes ourselves
as witness
and as participant.

Seeing ourselves as witness
and as participant
in this here, this now,
removes us ever so slightly
from the situation
and invites us to examine
what's what
with ourselves
and with our situation.

It is called getting to the bottom of things.

At the bottom is the grounding foundation
of ourselves
and of the situation.

What's up with that?

What has become of our foundation?

Of the foundational assumptions
undergirding the situation?
Holding things up?
Keeping things in place?

What is our ground?
Our foundation?
The adamantine source
of our life and being?
Our original nature?
The things that make us us?
Who are we?
What are we about?
What do we know to be so about us?
Who do we live to be in the world,
in ever situation as it arises?

What do we turn to 
when we have nowhere to turn?
What can we count on from us?
From ourselves?
The truest truth about us is what?
At the rock-solid ground of you is what?

Wait, what?
Grounds you in you.
And enables you to be what the situation
needs and is calling for,
the foundation of the sutation
depends on our being grounded upon 
our own foundation,
the dependable, trustworthy, reliable
aspects of ourselves
that have been with us--
that have been us--
from the start.

Return to your gifts,
your shtick,
your knacks,
your genius,
your daemon,
your "you."

Live from there.

Drop into the right kind of emptiness--
emptying yourself of all the complexity and noise
that interferes with you being you
here and now.

Be with you here and now.
Live from there.
Trusting yourself to be who you are.
Listening, looking, seeing, hearing,
knowing, doing, being.
Here and now.
Moment to moment.
In each situation as it arises.

Turning the light around,
and living from your own center,
ground, foundation.
Exhibiting your original nature.
Calming the world.
By your response to the moment,
here and now.



Walnut Tree in the Fog 10/13/2003 Oil Paint Rendered — Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Townsend, Tennessee
The United States Government 
is not who it pretends to be.

It is not for liberty and justice for all.
It is not for democracy
if that be a government
of the people,
by the people,
for the people.

It is a government 
of the wealthy people
by the wealthy people
for the wealthy people.

Of the white people,
by the white people,
for the white people.

Of the conservative people,
by the conservative people,
for the conservative people.

The rest of the people
can get by however they can.
The government is not here
to empower them.
They are on their own there.
And the deck is stacked against them.

We are left with finding ways
to make our life work
with the government making that difficult
at every turn.

Our work is to find ways
to make our life work.
It won't be easy,
but it must be done.

We have to know what our work is,
what the work is that we are here to do,
and find ways of being true to our work,
of doing our work,
throughout the time left for living.

We empower ourselves
by believing in our work,
and doing it
"with every fiber of our being,"
including heart and soul,
every day,
all the way.

Create your support community
and as "Red Redding" would say,
"Get busy living or get busy dying."

We are all we have,
and it is up to us.


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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