Monday, May 30, 2005 11:50:24 AM What is intelligence? If Romeo chooses to take his own life because he finds Juliet apparently dead in a tomb, is that intelligent? If a hummingbird hovers behind a stand of chive, peering through the French door to see whether I am home, is that intelligent? If my right hand lifts a cup of coffee, am I not lifting that cup of coffee? If my heart and blood and skin are healthy, am I not healthy? As each part of the Universe exhibits intelligence, then is the Universe itself not intelligent? It is. This intelligent Universe, all that is, is a system, a pattern, a whole of which I am but one part, and yet each part of a whole is also the whole itself. Yet if the good ship Argonaut pulls into drydock every year, and parts are replaced each year, and all these parts reassembled in a copy, once the Argonaut has had all its parts replaced, which ship is the Argonaut? The original, with all new parts, or the copy, with all the original parts? The question confuses only if we determine what is actually a part of the Argonaut, and what entity we call the Argonaut.1 When we call an entity the Universe, nothing is excluded. I know that I am part of all that is, that I am part of the Universe, that the Universe and I are one. And as an intelligent being, the Universe acts consistently through the Law, the structure of which does not change through time or space. The law of attraction, the law of circulation, the law of cause and effect, and the law of grace are all part of the Law. As these laws govern the Universe, they also govern me. I know that whatever I pay attention to grows more abundant, that what I focus on expands. Therefore I choose to focus on perfect health. I am a healthy, happy person. All that is in my reach is abundant, joyful, and perfectly harmonious. I live in a clean, happy house, with a beautiful, happy spouse, and I am full of compassion and gratitude for the perfection of my existence today. My life is wonderful. Each and every part of my body is moving in harmony toward greater perfection in every moment, feels more relaxed, comfortable, and pleasurable than the moment before. I am a happy camper! Since I have written and spoken these thoughts and words, the Universe moves to fulfill my declaration. I have set a new cause into motion, and it manifests in my life now. The very act of making the declaration has been sufficient. I release these thoughts and words into the Universe, knowing that it hears me, that it is merciful and compassionate and loving, and knowing that what I have declared is mine by right of consciousness. I have perfect health, my health is perfect now, and so it is. --------------- 1 Recall the first phrase of the question, "the good ship Argonaut pulls into drydock every year."
Monday, May 30, 2005 10:36:33 AM Secrecy and shame do not serve anyone. Last night Margaret and I watched The Aviator, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, and directed by Martin Scorsese. In the story, Senator Brewster took Howard Hughes into the Congressional hearing rooms, in an attempt to defame the billionaire. Before doing so, the Senator privately threatened Hughes with public defamation unless he would concede the overseas air routes to a competing airline. Hughes took the challenge, and in the Senator's own hearing chambers deposed him as a puppet of the competing airline. Actually, Sen. Brewster was a controversial figure to begin with, and Hughes pursued his revenge after the incident was over. But the rebuttal that Hughes gave in the Senate hearing rooms was enough to defeat the investigation and to defeat a bill that favored a competing airline, and that was enough for Hughes to accomplish his goal. Had Hughes chosen to retreat as he was famed to do in his later years, the outcome could have been quite different.
Monday, May 16, 2005 Time heals all wounds. After all the forgiveness work is done, nothing remains but the pure love. In the keepsake locket of my memory are left only the joy, the romance, the playful friendship that inspired the initial courage to reach out and take that terrible risk, that leap of faith, that another would love me as I loved her. Long ages did we pass together, and many more have passed since we parted. At first all was love, and the world was alive with song and dance. Every street, every garden, every hillside was ours to relish, an array of settings that would frame our adoring vision of each other. Time passed, and other, more poisonous feelings and behaviors rose to destroy that love and take it to oblivion. Now, after the purifying fire of time has burned away those noxious elements, only the sweet, nourishing memory of love remains. Now I live in the arms of a new love, one who has seen me in every mood, who knows me better than myself. She, too, inspired that passion that took me past the bubble of fear and into the embrace of infinite intimacy. And now I watch, sometimes well and sometimes not, for the little poisons that could drive us, too, into oblivion, and I act to bring the passion to the fore. Only good shall be spoken in my house, only love expressed on the holy altar. I have with me each morning, every night, at supper and for every weekend, living inspiration, a goddess who brings to life the passion that I feel deep inside. She is the sapphire in the crown of my success. And in my little locket, still by my heart, are the distilled pure crystals of loves past, loves that live today. God is Love. Life is Love. I am Love. And so it is.
Tuesday, May 10, 2005 Today Dave's Blog is 4 years old! Walk with the little white man. I am inclined to wait at the sidewalk for the light to change. I don't walk with the red hand, I walk with the little white man, although a red hand is on my family crest, which might mean that Scots freedom fighters should cross against the traffic. I'll stay alive and, like the Japanese, wait for the light regardless of how clear the cross traffic appears. I keep to the speed limit, too. If I can choose how fast to drive, and my decision is arbitrary, the speed limit is as good a speed as any. After all, I can claim I am driving as fast as the law allows, and the CHP will agree with me. I don't drink alcohol, although I have no problem with other people drinking it. I am looking for a different entertainment experience. So I have become the little white man, following the rules, and living way beyond the life span I imagined when I was in my 20s. Somehow I believed back then that my life would end at 30, and that hasn't happened. Now I'm shooting for 100. How did I become the little white man? Luck was on my side. I was born an American "white majority male," as I was redundantly labeled in school. This has had quite a few advantages for me; nationality, racism, and sexism have worked in my favor. I feel that I have led a privileged life. Ultimately there are no secrets, and secrets serve nobody but detectives and archaeologists. Officially there have been no mistakes in my life, because my society smiles on the little white man. I can tell you there were, but to record them on the web would be foolish. Suffice it to say the little white man has had a few scrapes, and luck and grace have allowed him to survive and become the success he is today. So I have stayed out of jail, out of the hospital, out of the grave. I have behaved as well as I could, and have apologized when I slipped up. I have taken advantage of the rules; played with them instead of fighting them. Only in the last five years have I realized, through meeting new friends and seeing the world through new eyes, that being American, white, and male were not the real keys to my success. I created my own Universe, and you can do the same. Actually, you already do, and it can be a safe, prosperous Universe just like mine. Live long and prosper!
Monday, May 09, 2005 Long walks have a way of bringing clarity and insight into my life. Perhaps it's just the circulation and the silence, but taking a walk is a form of meditation for me. So, here are my latest insights. They are very different thoughts, sprung from the void, but serving me now. People who are peacefully working for change are actually creating change, even if they appear to be ineffective. I went to Unity San Francisco on Sunday, and one of Rev. Maureene's rituals is to send healing energy through the Universe. She points out that if we send the energy out and the person we intend it for is not willing to receive it, that since it is pure energy it will heal anyone who is asking for it and is open to receive it. I recognize that "sending healing energy" is also known as "blessing," and that the simple definition of "blessing" is "to wish happiness upon." In my childhood someone gave me the proverb, "wishing doesn't make it so," but my belief -- which works for me, by the way -- is that wishing does make it so. All creation begins with wishing. I sent healing energy to my family and friends, and then to those people who have taken it upon themselves to lead the world, and then to all who are fighting to change the world, and then to all who are acting peacefully to change the world. At the point that I was blessing those who are acting peacefully to change the world I realized that the ushers at the service, the singer, the pianist, the person caring for the children, Rev. Maureene, and all the board members were doing exactly that -- acting peacefully to change the world. Regardless of what I might have seen and judged in the past, the fact remained that they were taking peaceful action, and because of that the world has changed, is changing, and will change to more perfectly reflect their vision. So my motto on my front page, "Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me," was also changing the world, because as I acted in my personal life to change the world peacefully, it changed to fit my filters. My ego can hardly understand how peaceful my life has become. My life is perfect just the way it is. In the personal peace department, I have reached the point where I am paid for what I know, not for what I do. I live my life effortlessly. My ego hasn't caught up to this reality, but I am adjusting to the fact that I am not required to spend all my time in my cubicle actually doing something that looks like work. For a while I felt like I was living in a cell, and I went through an adjustment process as if I were a prisoner in solitary confinement. But monks also use cells, and the longer I sit in this cubicle the more like a monk I become. I have now found useful ways to express myself while I fulfill my contract to exchange time for money. I don't need an excuse to be alive. "What is the meaning of life?" Clergy, teachers, and even parents traumatize teenage children with this, and I believe a good number of teenage suicides can be traced to being browbeaten with this question. Wittgenstein has already pointed out the question is nonsense. Douglas Adams' answer, 42, is just as good as anyone's, for he has responded with non sequitur for non sequitur. When I was a teenager this was a frightening question. As a senior in high school all the adults around me were pressing me to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. Unfortunately, all the alternatives that I was given sounded unattractive, and I had the feeling that my life would amount to nothing. A big fat zero, a cipher, a holding place for the next generation to come forth, that was all I could envision. As a person who has survived more than adulthood, who has gone through the whole career and success thing, I would like to reassure today's children that the whole question of "what do you want to do with your life" is pure bullshit. Yes, I have tasted success. I served some time in the U.S. Armed Forces, used my V.A. benefits to earn a bachelors degree in engineering and went on to earn a masters degree in business. The first year out the gate I was making more money than I had ever imagined. I learned a specialty, taught others what I knew, revolutionized a customer support system at a major computer manufacturer, made and spent my first million dollars by my 47th birthday, bought property, blah blah blah ad nauseam and found no reason for living per se. I have succeeded and I have no apology for anyone in that regard. None of this success had anything to do with the world I knew my senior year in high school. Nobody, and I mean nobody, asks a dog or a cat or an amoeba what is the meaning of their life. Why do people ask people this question, half a century after Wittgenstein explained its folly? I have as much right to live as a tree, as much right to breathe the air as a sparrow, as much right to a caffe latte as any other person on the planet. Whether I lead a great nation or live in my parents' basement is irrelevant. Whether I am admired in my industry or think nobody likes me is irrelevant. The basic fact is, I am alive, and that gives me the meaning of life right there. I am. That's it. Maybe a little more meaningful might be the question, "What does my life mean to me?" Hedonism becomes a valid point of view, or as the great philosopher and restaurateur S.E. Rykoff said, "Enjoy life, eat out more often." If I bless others in my meditation, I also bless myself. If I bless myself, then I am wishing happiness upon myself, and there is no one who can take the moral high ground and tell me how to find my happiness. As a living human, I have the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Those are revolutionary ideas, good enough for declaring secession from an empire, but somehow not good enough to make it into the Constitution. Although our nation has failed to honor them consistently, they are inalienable nonetheless.
Monday, May 02, 2005 8:38:17 AM At Saturday night's firewalk Margaret invited me to say a few words about May Day. I described Beltaine as I knew it, a festival that celebrated the Union of the Sun God and the Earth Goddess, a fusion of male and female energy for the purpose of greater creation. I described Fasching and how it related to the return to the village and the dance of the May pole. I described fairies, and alerted the participants to watch for them in the twilight. We all noticed a black cat walking past as we built the pyre, and I observed that there were a number of supernatural creatures that preferred to shape-shift into black cats. I wasn't certain that we had seen a fairy at that point. We built the pyre with wood that had dried for over two years, and we added the kindling that had been collecting over past firewalks. The wind was up, and Margaret built a round chimney stack. When we lit the fire, it was ferocious! It blew out the side of the stack instead of jetting upwards. A wall of flame higher than a human blew out the side, swirling with tornadoes and devils, reaching to the fields. Margaret saw a fireball form out past the tongue of the main blaze. The fire reached out past the pit and touched the ground again, and the green grass started to burn. As we watched the spreading grass fire Margaret and I decided to bring in the hose. Margaret topped the pyre with some spray, and I soaked the ground where the green grass was burning. Steam rose from the spot as the fire continued to lick the ground. Four feet away from the stack, the green grass was still burning. I crouched down and moved in under the flame to get more water onto the spot. Then I decided to take a different approach. I moved downwind past the end of the firestorm, and watched it for a moment. The wind abated a little, and the flames pulled back. I moved in until I could feel the heat all around me, and soaked the ground. The participants saw me walk into the fire. After I pulled back and the participants had gone inside for more of the seminar, I kept watching the fire. The wind picked up, the tornadoes came back, and inside the sheet of fire, like a projection on a fountain at Disney World, I saw a figure dancing in the flame. The fury of the fire reminded me of a mother bear, but here was a dancer in the fire. I wondered, could this fire be a female? It didn't make sense. The Sun God was male, the Earth Goddess female. Yet I had just lectured on the Union of Male and Female Energy. "Good girl," I said. "You're a good girl. I understand. Good girl." The fire tamed down instantly. Suddenly there was no fury, only peace. The wood burned evenly. On an inspiration I raked the flaming heap of coals into a heart, which was the way we greeted the participants when they came out from the seminar. The coals were perfect. We had, for the first time in my memory, enough bright coal to keep the participants fascinated all the way through the firewalk. As Margaret and I raked layer after layer of bright sparkly coals across the bed, I felt no anxiety at all about having all the fireworks we needed. After the walk was over and the participants had left for the evening, I made my final pit check. I like to know the condition of the coals, as fires often smolder and keep burning until dawn. In the dark at midnight, this one had burned itself out. The ashes were cold to the touch. There was no steam, no smoke. It was cold as if it had burned out the day before. I have never seen a fire turn itself off so neatly. It had turned out to be a good girl to the end. I wondered who the figure in the fire had been. Could it have been a witch, come back to work out her karma? Would such a one have responded so well to kind words? Perhaps this was the fairy I had been watching for. I had watched for fairies in the meadow, among the trees, and in the vineyard, and I had seen none. Perhaps the fairy had come to us through the fire itself.