March 12, 2022


Beulah Land 13 04/18/2007 Oil Paint Rendered — Mesquite Dunes, Death Valley National Park, California
No one can do me better than I can.
Jesus couldn't do me better than I can.
The same things go for you.

You know all the people
who think they could do you better
than you are doing you?
And try to all the time?
Giving you tips and pointers,
making suggestions,
offering directions and guidance?
Give them the Ukrainian Blessing,
maybe under your breath,
and walk away,
if only in your mind.

They could not do you better than you can,
and would mess you up beyond untangling
if you allowed them to.
Call them out!
Tell them what the Good Book says
about removing someone's landmark
(It says don't do it!).
And invite them to turn their attention
in some other direction,
like restoring decency, kindness and compassion
to the world as we know it.

And turn your own attention back to doing you
as well as you can imagine doing you.
It all comes out of our imagination,
how to do us.
We come right out of our own imagination.
We imagine a way of being some way,
of doing some thing,
and try it out.
See how it fits.
How we like it.

I tried fishing,
and canoeing, 
and bicycling,
and they worked for a while.

Dancing didn't last long at all.
Singing never got out of the shower.
Board games and card games, not.

I'm great at looking out windows,
and walking in woods,
stalking photographs
and making bread pudding.

Take yourself out and give yourself spins
on a regular basis,
practicing doing you in unique and creative ways.
There is more to us all than meets any eye,
and we live to find out who we are
and who we are not,
and what we do best
and love with all our hearts.

We don't want to die not knowing
who we are,
not doing what we love to do!
Not being who we are built to be!



Adam’s Mill Pond 02 11/09/2014 Oil Paint Rendered — Goodale State Park, Camden, South Carolina
Who are you built to be?
How much of you is apparent 
in the way you live your life?
How much of you sees the light of day
on any given day?
How much of you stays under wraps
because it isn't safe for you to risk being seen?
How much of you do you have to hide?
How many people do you have in your life
who are safe places for you to be you around?

These are bad times
and are getting worse by the day.
We make it through bad times
in the company of a good community.
I call them "communities of innocence"--
innocent in that they have nothing at stake
in one another.

The community is not trying to get something
from its members.
No dues, for instance.
No having to be in attendance at every meeting.
No officers.
No obligations or responsibilities.
Yet everyone is a naturally good place to be.
No one "puts on a face" "to go to church"
(for instance).
People are just who they are,
as "those thus come,"
like the Buddha and the Christ.

Everybody is the Buddha and the Christ.

We all need communities like that
to keep us connected with our Buddha-Christ side.

We are all Buddha-Christ's
but we are so divorced from our Buddha-Christ side
that we are more like Satan-Demon-Devil-Child,
consuming everyone in sight
at our pleasure.

We get back to our Buddha-Christ side 
by being with people who are "thus come,"
Buddha-Christ just as they are,
in their natural state of being.

We draw Buddha-Christ people to us
by being Buddha-Christ ourselves,
by being true to who we are,
by exhibiting ourselves in all of our relationships,
by being our original selves,
our natural self
at all times, in all places.

We are forming communities of innocence 
as we live our life in this way
without knowing what we are doing,
or intending to be doing anything
other than being who we are
as the occasion allows and calls for.

In bad times, we have to be conscious
of who the Buddha-Christ's are among us,
and deliberately, intentionally,
gather with one another
to console, encourage, sustain and maintain
our place in the world
as ourselves, individually and collective.

The collective protects and develops the individual,
the individual creates and develops the collective.
We walk two paths at the same time.

Walking two paths at the same time
is what we do on every level.
It helps to do it consciously,
with compassionate awareness of what we are doing.
We are walking one path
with an eye always on the other path,
never losing sight of the two paths we are walking
at any point.

We know who we are,
where we are,
when we are,
how we are,
why we are,
and what we are doing
at all times.

It is called being transparent to ourselves.
When we are transparent to ourselves,
we are "transparent to transcendence,"
and the ineffable (the Buddha-Christ-Divine)
is apparent in us and through us.

It is a miracle.
And we all have the potential
of participating in the miracle 
of "the one thus come"
at any time,
all the time.

It only takes being aware of what we are doing,
and doing it with intention and purpose,
living to be who we are
in the company of those 
who are living to be who they are,
in each situation as it arises,
no matter what.

These are the times 
that require us to be "one thus come,"
the Buddha-Christ,
being true to ourselves
all of the time,
in a community of innocence
with others being themselves
for the true good of all.



The Gateless Gate
The Gateless Gate is what we step through
in engaging our other side,
our spirit side,
our spiritual self,
our psyche-self,
in being who Carl Jung
was describing when he said,
"A hermit is a primitive person
(An original person, a natural person,
"as one thus come"--
the Buddha-Christ we are all capable of being,
and called to be
by consciously, deliberately, intentionally
"turning the light around,"
and stepping through the gateless gate).

"A hermit is a primitive person
who trusts his/her unconscious."

When we step through the Gateless Gate,
we become who we are,
who we also are,
in being intuitive,
just so,
open to knowing what we know,
knowing what's what,
knowing what is called for
in each situation as it arises,
and rising to the occasion
on every occasion,
by doing what needs to be done
in the right way
at the right time
and letting that be that
without "letting the left hand
know what the right hand is doing."

We live in times that call for us
to use the gateless gate in
turning the light around
and responding to the moment
in the strength of our eternally present
in doing what is needed
because it is needed
no matter what
time after time.

The more we do that,
the better we get at it,
and the times need us to be
really good at it
all the time.


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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