May 23, 2022


Steele Creek Trestle 02/13/2014 Oil Paint Rendered — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Fort Mill, South Carolina
Friedrich Nietzsche said the goal of maturity
is to live as one who is directed from within,
"like a wheel rolling out of its own center"
(Joseph Campbell).

I prefer the metaphor of a gyroscope turning
out of its own center,
maintaining its own balance and harmony
amid the chaos and upheaval 
of its circumstances.
Remaining true to itself
through all of the trials and ordeals
of the journey.

At the end of the DVD Sukhavati, 
which is The Pure Land in Mahayana Buddhism,
and which Campbell says is right here,
right now,
and that becomes so when we see that it IS so!
Just by changing the way we see things,
changing the way we think about things,
changing the way we feel about things,
we change our perspective about things 
and that changes everything!

At the end of the DVD, Campbell says,
"All you have to do to transform your hell
into a paradise
is to turn your freefall in to a voluntary act.
Joyfully participating in the sorrows of the world
changes everything!"

In order to do this, he says, "You find 
the immovable center,
and you can survive anything."

It is the place of perfect freedom,
letting things come and go as they will,
without expectation,
without agenda,
without opinion,
but with compassion 
for all things 
and for the experience 
of life just as it is.



A Dusting of Snow 02/11/2014 Oil Paint Rendered — Springs Farm Orchard, Fort Mill, South Carolina
The days don't live themselves.
They need us for that.
Each day calls us to step into it
offering our best
to the day and its possibilities.

We make the day better or worse
than the day before
by the quality of our response
to the circumstances
as they unfold before us.

Something happens
and we do something in response.
Our response matters.
Our response to the first thing
that happens 
shapes/forms everything that happens
from that point.

We live to redeem
in the next moment
what we did or failed to do
in the last moment.

The day's momentum
can get quite out of hand
in just a few situations,
so it helps to stay on top of things
with responses 
that are tuned into the moment
from the start.

"What is happening here?
What it is ain't exactly clear..."
And we have to bring ourselves fully 
into play,
listening, looking, hearing, seeing
in each here/now
that comes along
in order to know--not think about,
but KNOW--what's what
and what is called for in response
in every one.

We do that by meeting the situation
just as it is,
without expectation, agenda, opinion,
seeing and doing what needs to be done
as the need arises
in the moment of its arising,
moment by moment.

It's like bronco riding.
We settle into the saddle
and they open the gate.
From then on, no thinking,
only knowing/doing
in response to the aliveness
of the moment we are riding--
for a lot longer 
than the eight seconds
at the rodeo.

Ride 'um Cowboy!
Moment by moment.
Every day.


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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