April 07, 2022

01

Solitude Oil Paint Rendered — Blue Ridge Parkway, Boone, North Carolina
The old Taoists (And Carl Jung, and Joseph Campbell,
and others) would say,
"Get out of your thinking brain
and into your instinctive/intuitive brain!
You are never going to think your way 
into living in accord with the Tao!"

They wouldn't mean that we can live 
separated from our thinking brain.
They would mean we have to live in sync
with both brains to have a chance
in this world.

Getting out of our thinking brain
is a stark reminder of the work that is ours to do
in seeking to harmonize yin and yang
by getting our two brains--the rational, logical, analytical,
thinking brain,
and the metaphorical, symbolic, mythological, sensing, feeling,
instinctive/intuitive brain--
to come together in collaboration
with all of the tasks of life,
particularly in finding and living
the life that is ours to live,
incorporating the virtues/gifts/daemon/abilities/genius/etc.
that came with us from the womb
within the context and circumstances of our life
in the world, as tightly structured and resistant
to non-sense as this world is.

In order to do it,
we are going to have to take up
the practice of emptiness (the right kind),
stillness
and silence--
sitting quietly on a regular basis,
waiting for the mud to settle and the water to clear,
to see and hear
what might arise unbidden "out of nowhere"
to inspire our action in the field of action
and opening paths we never would have Thought
to take.

We have put it off long enough!
Our other brain wants very much
to commune with us now! 

–0–

02

Beulah Land 39 Oil Paint Rendered — The Miller Barn, Appalachian Farm, Roan Mountain State Park, Tennessee
We are here to make the best of it--
and, in so doing,
to make where we are better
than it would be without us.

Any situation can be improved
or made worse
by the way we respond to it.

That's where we come in.
We make the call.
We choose the response
that makes each situation as it arises
better or worse
by the quality of our participation in it,
by the way we respond to it.

We were born with a nature
as unique to us as our fingerprints
or the structure of our irises. 

No one has ever been capable
of doing what we are capable of doing.
Or ever will be.

No one has ever been capable
of being who we are capable of being,
or ever will be.

Life is our one shot at being
who we are capable of being,
of doing what we are capable of doing.

Don't tell me we are going to blow it
on "rye and little darlin's"!

–0–

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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