A year hiatus - a year apart from myself and the written word. I was compelled to write about the things that I have found meaning in, the things which not only caught my attention , but also held my mind for parts of most every day.
My last entry was about the 2nd annual Dreamland festival in Nashville. It was a magical time, and the magic though distant is still felt a little most every week. I returned this year with a different attitude somewhat. The year has brought about much change for me. The year has changed me.
At some point if we are lucky or unlucky , as some may view it, we come squarely up against ourselves. If it is the a less enlightened view in the mirror or a more enlightened one we smack into it matters little. What does matter is that the image we have of ourselves is simply inaccurate. It is the nature of the mind to project an illusion called the ego. If you hear someone tell you they are not ruled by ego try not to laugh ( it will be the ego laughing ). True, there are some who see themselves more clearly than others. By clearly I mean they see themselves as those who love them see them. As Robert Burns so eloquently put it
“O would some power the gift to give us to see ourselves as others see us”
Our strengths or weaknesses compassionately and clearly laid out before our eyes is a gift. Those who see themselves as much better than that “gift” are easy to spot in day to day interactions. Those who think they are much less than that gift would desperately be told by those close to them “ You ARE wonderful- why can’t you see it?” Well, almost none of us can see it. That is the curse of being human. It is the teaching of Jesus, and Buddha, and the old lady or neighbor you knew as a kid who paid attendant you for a reason you could not fathom - you weren’t special, after all…or were you ?.
Would you call yourself special ( worthy ) as an adult? Yet how many people can you think of who you would refer to lovingly as special or worthy? It has been my experience that people tent to think everyone else is worthy of everything but themselves. The ironic exception being the humans so caught up in ego , that false image of self, that they spend most of their energy attaining by force what worthy are supposed people outwardly have.
How does this relate to he blog? Well first I want to thank all of you whose kind encouragement gave me the courage to write down a few thoughts and share a few experiences. The reason I stopped writing was because my insecurities about being able to write were empowered by some criticism about my writing. It was a huge leap of faith to write what little I did here. As an artist craftsman in the visual arts I am fairly secure in my abilities to sculpt and draw. But when it comes to writing I am just the opposite. Funny enough, like most folks, I can talk about these things without the same fear of rejection that writing brings. Speaking is spontaneous and in the present whereas writing can be judges and scrutinized.
I wrote a blog entry about Philip K Dick last year as I had been reading much about his experiences with the Other realities that so many of you are drawn to. I decided to send a copy of the blog to his last wife Tessa Dick who herself is a science fiction author. What I wanted was some input concerning the accuracy of the information or some comment on whether I was myself out in left field with my assumptions.
What I got back was a severely corrected copy of my entry and a note saying “sorry..I was an English teacher and can’t get it out of my system” - GULP! Thus ended my short writing career. I felt like a kid who showed his drawing to an adult and was reprimanded for drawing outside the lines so many times and using the inappropriate color.
A friend I met this year in Nashville urged me to pick up my crayons and try again. For those of you who were at the Dreamland Festival 3 in Nashville in June 2010, you might remember this man. In the Q & A session a the end of the weekend he summed up the answer to the big question of the festival. It was not the official theme , however it was at the core of everything that was said there. It was the main point of William Henry’s talk in which he asked us all the question that was asked of him at one point in his life - “ what would you do if you weren’t afraid?” That is, how would you live your life differently if you weren’t afraid, afraid of criticism, afraid of failure, afraid of death. etc. For most of us fear is a part of day to day decision making. We either made decisions based on what we fear might happen, or what might not happen if we don’t decide correctly.
Well this guy stood up in front of Whitley William Anne, Jim , Linda, and Marla and with some apparent hesitation he spoke about his own overcoming of some fears. When asked that question himself “ what would you do if you weren’t afraid?” He said “ I’d be up there with you guys“. Everyone laughed at the frank obviousness of the answer. It did sum up what everyone was feeling. It is the reason we were all there, to be part of something greater than our individual selves, stronger than our individual fears.
What would I do ( besides Danny‘s bulls eye answer above of course) ? I would look at that image of myself reflected in the eyes of those closest to me and try to believe it as true, then act accordingly. I would try not to doubt myself and be more compassionate of my shortcomings. In that I might just find the hope that always seems out of reach.
This man, and others I met at the last two festivals and have kept in touch with, are the reason for all of it. Another guy I really enjoyed hanging out with again this year at the festival heard the 9 knock Whitley experiences and was compelled to find answers. They all have amazing experiences and live seemingly normal lives. There is a deeper level to life that drives them. It is not exclusive to the UFO or Fortean crowd . It is a force in all who seek - whatever that might mean. Seek and ye shall find. Knock and the door shall be opened unto you…or on this Path perhaps use 9 knocks.