March 22, 2022


Springer’s Point Oak 10/17/2013 Oil Paint Rendered — Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Ocracoke Island, North Carolina
What are the destabilizing influences
in your life?

How do you balance your contradictions?

Harmonize your opposites?

Integrate your polarities?

How conscious are you
of the importance
of living from the center?

What do you do to reduce the noise,
diminish the complexity,
decrease the clutter,
minimize the drama,
increase the emptiness,
and silence in your life?

Marianne Moor said,
"The cure for loneliness is solitude."
Being alone,
being isolated,
being shut off, 
shut out,
are not the same things
as being in solitude.

We have to learn the difference
for ourselves--
just like we have to learn the difference
between the right kind of emptiness,
and silence,
and the wrong kinds of those experiences.

No one can tell us the important stuff.
We find that out for ourselves.

What is your original nature?
How apparent is it in your life?
What are the virtues that came with you at birth?
How often to you bring them forth in your life?

We cannot live at odds with ourselves
and be happily at peace with our life.

If that's you (Out of sorts with yourself),
you have to get back on speaking terms with you,
and then work on being best buds.

Asking yourself, "Is this me or not-me?",
and living to answer "Me," more often than "Not-me"
(With "Me," being not what I want but who I am
[Not wanting to be who we are is the source
of much that ails us]),
is the path.

We think it is about doing what we want.
It is about being who we are--
original nature and virtues, you know.

Nothing good happens until that does.

And balance and harmony,
emptiness, stillness and silence
are tools for the journey.

Mind how you go.



Beulah Land 23 Oil Paint Rendered
Living out of our original nature,
serving as sharing the virtues
that come with us from the womb,
is Buddha-hood,
is Christ-centered,
is being who we are.

Babies come out of the delivery room
being who they are,
and spend the rest of their lives
trying to get what they want.

Ask any guru worthy of the title
and they will tell you 
that leaving what we want at the door
is the price we pay
to be who we are.

The way back to Eden 
is guarded by an angel with a flaming sword.
To get back in,
we have to die.

Dying here is metaphorical,
just like dying with Christ on the cross
is metaphorical,
and the death/resurrection motif
around Jesus
is also metaphorical.

We "die" to having our way
in order to be "resurrected"
in being who we are.

All good religion is grounded
on metaphor.
All bad religion is grounded
on facts.

And so, we have to be saved
from those who would save us
in order to be restored to ourselves,
living out of our original nature
and serving/sharing the virtues
that come with us from the womb.

The path to doing that
is the path to life,
is the Way of Life,
is all there is.

Turn the light around!
Enter through the Gateless Gate!
Transform your perspective!
Transcend the way you think is the way,
and take up the way that is the Way.

By being who you are
at the expense of what you want.


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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