The Door Opens

The universe never ceases to amaze me in its unfolding of the principles of life. Just when you are on the prespice of change you can find yourself in the most doubt. As I alluded in the last post, change has been coming but it never seems to come at our preferred pace, whether that is slow or fast. The job in Seattle never materialized and that hit me pretty hard. I have been waiting for a door to open and it appeared to be opening only to slam closed in an instant.

My friends and family were very supportive and I heard the old chestnut about everything happening for a reason over and over. I protested that it was the reason I thought the Seattle situation presented itself, and now It had to be the reason it was gone. It seemed so trite and dismissive, but it was true.

There are nuances in the way things came about that could not be predicted under any circumstance. I had a plane ticket booked to Seattle and when that door closed I re-directed myself to San Jose to meet a group that had interviewed me on the phone. Did it make the difference and get me the job? I will never know, but it certainly made me stand out as a cadidate and I would not have bought a ticket to fly to California on the chance of a meeting. With the ticket in my hand and about to be lost, it was a no brainer. It wasnt the last interview with them but I’m sure it helped, and they hired me.

Now I have just completed my first two weeks of work. The company is called Presidio. This is a better job at a similar salary that will keep me in Colorado, working from a home office and doing things I enjoy more than what the other position would have called for. There will be lots of travel, but that is fine with me and always has been. The big thing is when I’m here I have no commute, so the mountain home is a reasonable situation. My book, “Spiritual Practicality” will be released in a couple of weeks and with this job to support my efforts and feed me, a load of pressure comes off. It will mean a longer ride to the airport but I am a step or two closer to my writer’s knook in the hills, and the next book.

The earth feels like it is turning again and the lesson in this case is “keep the faith.” Things do unfold in a perfect cosmic dance when we allow them to. I may have been forcing the situation in Seattle as I was wishing for things to change. The universe said no but just a couple of months later, I feel like I am moving forward again.

Letting Go

It’s been a while since I’ve written, and that happens to me sometimes. I’m still transitioning and my life is becoming a fairly clean slate for me to make into my next work of art. The idea of starting over is bittersweet because I liked my life the way it was. I had a nice home and what was a happy marriage. My garage was converted into a recording studio; a childhood dream come true. I was playing music with guys I had known for years and liked working with. I produced two of our CD’s right out of my garage and they were really good. Now all of that is gone and I miss it but I’m free now in a way that I guess I need to be for this next stage of my life – a stage that seems to have required that I let go of what I thought I had built.

It’s not just my marriage or my career that is changing. People seem to be falling away as well. I guess I’m not as clear a judge of people’s character and general state as I thought I was. Its not that I have been deceived or betrayed, because I have not. I just hear things coming back at me that make no sense given where I thought these relationships were. When I consider you a friend, it takes huge changes to take that away. Almost nothing rises to the level it would take for me to walk away from a friend. When this happens from the other side and someone walks away from me I tend to question whether it was a friendship in the first place.

For any of you who know me, or have read my blog for a period of time, you know that I have really had some struggles lately. I have not been at my best for some time now. I try really hard to make sure I am doing what I need to do and taking care of things to the best of my ability, but that best has not been up to what it could be. These changes will come and I will find myself in a more stable and happy place in the next few months but this has been tough; years of tough. I am strong, but I get tired sometimes. I am not complaining because I know we create and constantly re-create our own lives and as I alluded to above, I think all of this has been necessary preparation to what is coming. I just don’t understand how a friend walks away during a crisis like that because of a mis-step, or even a few of them. The answer is, he doesn’t. He was not your friend.

This is just another shattered illusion. An illusion that I am still subject to because in the particular case I am referencing, I thought we were becoming closer. He had helped me do something that was fun and I thought he did it to help. He just did it because it was fun. In his heart, our friendship had run its course, (his words) and I failed to recognize this in him. When you are dealing with someone who sees you on that level, it does just take a mis-step. It can poison other relationships and cause others to fall away as well. This is a painful but necessary reality and I don’t have time for relationships like that. What hurts the most is what he thought I thought of him. My actions, or failure to act, made him feel like he didn’t matter. It was never the case, but I’m letting go. Communication is a necessary part of any relationship and it was not there.

Krishnamurti said “all pain is due to clinging.” Letting go hurts until you have succeeded. Healing hurts until you are healed. It is a process, like all else in the universe. Sickness is a process. It is an alteration from natural process, but a process none the less. It becomes the new normal and then to alter the process again, rebalancing the physical, emotional or mental processes takes time, and it hurts like hell. When a new normal is achieved and in this case a healthy state, you don’t hurt anymore.

I’m still looking forward to that day, but every one of the illusions that break lead me closer to actuality. I would rather be alone than have false friends, a dysfunctional marriage, a Soul sucking job, or an addiction. I am letting go and I know that when I am done, when I have succeeded, I will be happy.

It’s already starting.

Crisis as Opportunity – Part 2

The first real crisis in my life came when I was 33, and my brother died. The ramifications of the downward spiral that ensued would carry on for years. He was my partner in crime, so to speak. We were going to be rock stars together and for a time I reverted to a very self-destructive version of myself. He was my big brother and he was supposed to be there for the rest of my life. I did become active again in music but it was in a very negative way at first. This represents a crisis of adjustment.

Over time his loss actually prompted me to learn to play on one of his guitars. This would seem more like a Soul response growing out of the originally personality based reaction. I wrote a song about him that touches people deeply. I have written others about the growth we all achieve in consciousness at our own pace, and the loneliness that can accompany this journey. Taking a deep life altering experience as an opportunity for growth and the sharing of our lives is much different from getting drunk to cover the pain of loss. We find a way through our own experience to help the next guy get past the need to mask that pain by putting him in touch with what is really going on. The Soul not only makes lemonade from the lemons, but shares it with the world. This could be seen as a change in polarization.

The loss of my father 11 years or so ago represented another most definite turning point in my life and I have come to see it as a gift rather than a loss. I rose to new heights of accomplishment and responsibility. It was a feeling of weight at first because one of my allies and protectors was gone. I felt responsibility to him to produce the books from his manuscripts. I completely re-oriented my life to make sure that this happened. I may have always been destined to this life but I had not taken any defined steps in this direction. This was a crisis of re-orientation.

As I move into my mid-fifties I see a growing contact with my Soul and feel its expression through my actions. I have a book to share and it will be published this year. I am still playing music and learning more about it all the time. My body functions better than it did when I was in my thirty’s because I feed it well, and tend to my mental and emotional state with a detached, interested, and observant awareness. I haven’t had a drink in more than 15 years and don’t do any of the self-destructive things that were habits in my past. I stopped eating meat over a decade ago and eat an almost strictly Vegan diet. I feel I am poised for tremendous spiritual growth because I know I am just getting started. The events of my life have been tumultuous but I have stayed steady as I could under conscious exertion of my will. The so called facts as they present in the outer appearance of the circumstances of my life could be considered negative, and even lamentable. Through all of it I feel not only the growth in my patience but the opening of my heart.

The Tibetan Master Djwahl Kuhl said that “if you are not living eventfully, dangerously, or even painfully, then it is up to you to see that something happens in your spiritual life that will enable you to share in the universal crisis.” I can certainly say that my life is eventful, providing ample opportunity for growth. I see no signs of withdrawal and I believe the most interesting part of my journey lies before me. I have had to let go of some things that seemed very important to me and still feel a sense of loss, and simultaneously, acceptance. I know the things I have lost were never really mine. They were never really real. What is real I take with me on my journey. I need much less than I thought I needed. My life is happy and sad, full and somehow empty. There is much work to do and I think that empty space must exist for us to continue to strive. Contentment can be immobilizing. I am striving, not to get back what I have lost, but to move into my next phase of growth and being.

Crises as opportunity – Part I

There are a number of crises in the life of the individual which reflect the overall development of the race. These are seminal moments when a change takes place with regard to the influence of the Soul on the personality of the individual concerned. The early crises are really concerned with the development of the personality. Later when the Soul has a level of control and influence we see the nature of these crises differently. We can all see how an individual has to re-trace the development of the race and re-learn in each incarnation the things necessary to using and training the new body in which the Soul has taken up residence, or more accurately, which it is in the process of appropriating. We must re-learn how to walk and talk, share, and understand the feelings of our friends and family. We are re-introduced to social order and responsibility which is carried from generation to generation as the whole of humanity develops. Each culture has its own way of relating these changes but as time passes we see that the race proceeds as a whole in its development and understanding based on this passing of values from one generation to the next just as the physical attributes are passed from one physical generation to the next through DNA.

There is little one can say about the early appropriation of the physical sheath. Memory does not serve well enough to detail any of those changes and I believe that we share more in this phase of our development than in any other. Some of us develop very definite control of our physical nature early on and become athletes, and some just competent enough to survive. I have very little recollection of the ages from four to seven when this is said to occur, but by the age of nine I began to express musical ability. My older brother bought a drum set from a neighbor and I took to it immediately. My brother later took up the guitar and we played together over many years with lots of different people. I still own a kit I bought at 16, and play with some regularity.

In my life, this musical expression actually bridges the first crisis with the second, in the teen years. It is at this time that the emotional body is appropriated by the Soul. I went through, as most do, very emotional turmoil when I was a teen. My family struggled financially and I could not have the things my friends had. We were not destitute, but could not afford the “right” jeans or other things my friends had and it made me angry and upset. Why was the world the way it was? Why the struggle? My emotion was very easily channeled into drumming because, while I was much smaller than other kids my age, and not able to compete effectively in sports, drumming is a very physical art. It gave me outlet for the anger to bang on them. I played my music loudly and aggressively and to at least a certain degree, I was able to let go.

The first true influence of the Soul comes into play at the third crisis; that of the appropriation of mind around the age of 25. This period of my life was marked by my acceptance of responsibility. I moved into management in my career. I married my first wife, and bought a house. I was drinking heavily but managed to balance many areas of my life. In hind sight I notice that music really took a back seat at this time. I had some friends I would play with on occasion, but there was no real effort. In my late teens and early twenties I thought it would be my career, but my brother and I were not mature enough to make it a business. Job and family became the focus and music a hobby.

These are all obviously personality based impressions, and I see that I operated as a personality through all of these times in my life. That is not how I would have seen it then, but looking back I don’t always like what I see and there has always been a “me” that I saw as better than my behavior. I have always strived to be a good person and operate with integrity. I always wanted to be the dependable guy, the good friend, good worker etc. This was an inkling of Soul influence but it was still a personal effort because it was based on how I wanted to be perceived, as a personality. It was your reputation that was at stake, so in anything that was outwardly apparent, you had to be seen in a certain way. I think that is why some behaviors that I am not at all proud of went on in the background. Desire was still hard to overcome and I did drugs and drank heavily. I felt like, as long as I got to work the next day it was nobody’s business what I was doing the night before. This, while I thought I was operating with integrity. It is interesting to look back at the things we have been able to justify in order to do what we “want.”

Settling in to Emotional Acceptance

I wrote about the breakthrough I had last week, and it was real, but I have to admit it took a while to really sink in once I got an offer on my house. Now all of the changes that I have been waiting for are coming fast. The realization that I had just signed away my place to live took about 24hours. My original plan was to buy a small place west of Denver and move out there immediately. This put a ton of pressure on me to find and pick a place and then I would likely have to either rent back my house or find an interim crash pad or couch surf until I could close the second deal.

I called my brother in the middle of the night completely freaking out and wondering if I had just made a huge mistake, if it has all been a series of mistakes, and I was destroying my life for no reason. I was literally hyper-ventilating. I am not prone to that kind of thing and usually have the ability to talk myself down before I get panicky. I didn’t know what I was going to do and it seemed the original idea was not very well thought through. As soon as the reality of the situation presented itself my approach had to change. No battle plan survives contact with the enemy…[i]

Right now it appears I’ll be staying with another friend who just lost his roommate and could really use my help. He is out of work and was helping me with my side business before that dried up. This takes a ton of pressure off of me, at the same time as it helps him stay in a place he has had almost as long as I was in my house. Symbiosis… And in the worst most vulnerable place in my life I have an opportunity to help a friend. It’s beautiful.

The offer came in right as I was writing the last post and it did shake me up. I had trouble sleeping for a couple of days including the night I woke up my brother. I am really lucky in the support system I have in my life. Some people don’t answer the phone, or the call, as the case may be. My family does. I’m settling in to the emotional acceptance of what I already knew intellectually. I don’t need that house and for the moment I don’t need to own a house at all. Rents are ridiculous right now but I’m safe, and I have always been safe, so why does the world seem so scary sometimes?

We look for prediction and control with regard to our environment and I am just as prone to this as anyone. I really like to know what is happening. I’m not nutso about it and I don’t consider myself a control freak but it’s nice to know what is coming so you can feel prepared, even though you are probably wrong about what is coming. It’s a human kind of paradox because we are the ones who torture ourselves over future woes or look forward to the possibility of happiness. We are usually not living in the present, even though we probably think we are. We are really re-living (the meaning of the word resentment) the past, or projecting into the future. We want the world to be what we want it to be instead of accepting it as it is and working with the tools we have on the opportunities before us in the now. Much of this seems so simple as I write it, because we all know these things. I am going through this right now and living it. That is not as easy but it is the only way to really understand. There was a sign up in my electronics classroom which I will never forget. “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”

May you live in interesting times.

 

 

[i] Originally stated by the Prussian General Helmuth Carl Bernard Graf von Moltke as “no plan of operations extends with any certainty beyond the first contact with the main hostile force.”

Living the Teaching – Crises

As many of you know, I study with The Arcane School in NY. I have been with them for about 9 years and there are no semester breaks or any of that stuff. It involves a steady effort in Meditation and study with monthly meditation reports and written papers at various stages. Many of these papers become the articles I have written for the Higher Ground Newsletter in some altered form to include the question in the answer. You can read them here if you are so inclined.

I have noticed my life turning along the lines of what I am being taught for some time now. It is amazing to me and yet should be expected that if what you are learning are universal truths they will be evident everywhere. If what you are learning is in fact a path of self development and discovery and you are following that path correctly, it too should be reflected in your life. If you are being guided by teachers who know what they are doing, than they should know what is happening to you based on what they are teaching you at any given stage. This seems an analogical necessity. If you are not “experiencing” this kind of teaching than something is missing. Either in the quality and accuracy of what is being taught, or your execution of the work presented. Would you not agree?

Obviously now I am going to tell you a story about how that is happening in my life, but I have done this before as well. It is true, and it does still strike me. We spent time on crises in the life of the disciple last year and we are looking at them again now. Don’t get scared of that word please. When I use the word Disciple in the title of an article, no one reads it. Being a disciple seems hard, but guess what? Life is a series of challenges that never stops until you don’t meet one. Some of this is hard so training for it is hard… Anyway I defined a crisis as a turning point. At least that is what I came up with. You can define it any way you like. You can have troubles of all kinds but unless it changes the way you do things, its not a crisis. Its probably leading to one, and that will be what you look back at and say “everything changed.”

If you have been reading this series on my journey you know that this is one of those times in my life. I am changing the way I am doing things, and I’m crazy enough to be basically reporting to you on it. I feel like there are plenty of other people going through this kind of thing and I wanted to share my experience. It has helped me get through some of this, so thank you for reading and commenting on what I have written.

Back to the Arcane School. I just finished a year long section of what is known as the “Weavers in the Light” degree, so new lessons and a new meditation just showed up earlier this month. I have been in this program for years now and these papers are all prearranged, The course has not likely changed dramatically in decades. Why am I bringing all of this up? It’s time to send in my first meditation report for this section and here is the first question:

In connection with your study of the crises (if you had any) in your life, would you consider that those with which you may have been confronted in the past month have been soul crises or personality crises?

I love that they ask if I am having any, as if they didn’t know.

 

A Welcome Distraction

So, we are still talking about a Journey because that is what life is, but I think it’s time that it becomes an implied headline. It seems silly to have it remain a prefix to every other thing I write, so sooner or later I knew it was going away. It just happened…

My posts have gotten farther apart but that’s not because there is nothing happening. I’m still trying to re-balance my life now that I’m working, and last week pas particularly nuts because River Road West was in town. I spent some key years with this band as the singer and even now long after we stopped playing together and even seeing each other we have somehow started doing a yearly re-union show. It feels really good to have been a part of something that lasts like that. The same six men that were the band in 1994 when re released the last album are getting together to celebrate that time and music every year. It is a maddening as it is fun and as my title implies, a welcome distraction.

It also represented the last time I needed my studio as a sound proof room for live rehearsals. The next day a friend and I took down the wall I had erected nine years ago in front of the garage door. I provided an extra barrier to sound, and may have been blocking the sale of the house. I had some notes on a whiteboard about the insulation and the electrical sub-panel and included an offer to take the wall down if the prospective buyer wanted but I think the uncertainty was too much. The wall is gone and the studio is a garage again. Now an exceptionally nice garage, rather than a borderline room. I hope it helps.

On other fronts the job is going pretty well, but the hunt for a spiritual center has hit a snag. The cabin rental place is not going to work. If I could find funding I think it would, but the people who were potential investors in it were unconvinced. The cabins are very rustic, and I like that. The problem is that people want them rustic on the outside and luxurious on the inside, and these are not. The reaction was the same as my wife’s was three years ago so I guess the best way to describe it is that the fisherman would be happy but his wife would not.

I met a couple who are selling another cabin place as well as an 11 room B&B but Liz and I could not make it back into the mountains to see it. That will be the next trip. Until then I have my fingers crossed about finding a buyer for the house and I’m feeling optimistic about it happening soon. Change brings change. Once in a while you have to stir up the milk to get the chocolate all up in there again… The universe is an interactive being. When you change something other things will change. Its the butterfly effect. The universe has no choice but to respond to the energy we direct, and that is always what we are doing. We think, feel, speak and move but those in them selves are effects and not causes. All is energy.

So this year’s show is done and I am always happy and sad when its over, but that is another thing that I don’t have to put my energy into right now. I am powering up for the changes and I will need every ounce of energy I can get. I can feel the tension building and there is a flood of activity coming.

The Journey – The Next Steps

I am very fortunate in the people I have in my life. A dear friend told me that she hopes I do transform my life and don’t fall into complacency because I have found work in my old field. It has been over a week now since I wrote but I am not becoming complacent. I am glad I have an income and that aspect of the urgency of my situation is gone, but this has never been just about getting a job. That was just the first step. I have stopped the bleeding, to an extent, but the universe has not given me so much that I can stop striving because I still need to sell my house to make it on my new income.

There is more. I spoke to my wife yesterday and she was different. She was a bit guarded and protective of herself. I felt for the first time that I was “outside the wire” in her mind and heart. She has had that place for me for some time now and I have felt like I had to manage our relationship from a different perspective. We are breaking up and it becomes more real with every passing day. I think its good that she is thinking and feeling that way but it did hit home. We were so close and shared so much and that part of our lives is over now. It is not easy, but I had to remind myself of the freedom into which we are both moving. It is good.

My friend Liz is headed this way this afternoon from Florida. We are going to take a look at a property in the mountains that is for sale. It is a Cabin rental place that I would like to use for spiritual retreats. That is what we were working on in Crestone as well at a place called the Temple of Consciousness, but that idea was not workable. This one is self sustaining and profitable as it is. I would like to add services and offer it to groups to come into the mountains to learn all forms of Yoga and Meditation. We can add musical events and I’m thinking about the possibilities of turning one of the cabins into a meeting place. This is a dream I have had for a really long time and I looked at this particular place a few years ago. It did not sell and now it is back on the market. I have some money but not enough and Liz an I are hoping to pull together a coalition to buy the place and I will move out there to run it. My wife was against this, but she, and the obstacle she represented in so many areas of my life are no longer relevant, at least in that regard. I will miss her in so  many ways, but that is not one of them.

I don’t know how I will pull this off, but weirder things have happened. I think it was Bob Proctor who said if you can articulate the hows at the same time you are formulating a goal, the goal is too small. This goal must be the right size because I have no idea how I am going to make it happen. I am staying in possibility mode. The house will sell. I will have enough money to be a serious participant with “skin in the game” so to speak. I am looking at this as a way to serve and I will do whatever it takes to make this happen, either here and now or some time in the future. Those are the ingredients of success.  If you study the most successful people in the world you will find that they have some things in common. Among them are a clear vision of what they wanted (needed) to accomplish, the courage to take the necessary steps and risks, and they would not be deterred. I am not going to be a sales engineer for the rest of my life. I am taking the necessary steps in order to ensure that as an outcome without being attached to any specific route or result. That is being open to possibilities and the guidance of my higher self.

 

The Journey – Getting Back to Work

I am writing this post for the second time, which is kind of frustrating. Creativity flows in certain ways at certain times and that flow means this post will not be the same as it was the first time I wrote it and subsequently lost it in cyberspace, despite multiple saves of the draft. If you don’t like this, I’ll have to hide behind the idea that it was better the first time I wrote it.

Anyway, I was finally offered, and did accept a job on Thursday and I will start Monday morning. This is a relief on certain levels and a disappointment on some others. It is in the line of work I was in prior to my last job, which I really loved and hoped to continue. I will be an engineer in a security systems integration company. It is the large company which interviewed me for the first time over 2-1/2 months ago. It happened in a very interesting way.

The universe has a way of letting you know when the time is right for a change. I have been looking for months and have not had a single offer despite a career in the field spanning more than 3 decades. I was still up for two positions here in the Denver area and didn’t know what was going to happen if I didn’t get either of these jobs. The big company wanted to see me one more time, and I figured it was just a formality and I would get an offer. The small company promised me an offer letter by Friday. So, I am ready for my meeting and waiting for them in the conference room and my rock climbing buddy Jason texts me. I gave him a quick answer and the gentleman who were to interview me walked in the room.

We had our conversation and there were a couple of minor concerns. I answered their questions sufficiently and  he pulled out a packet of information including an offer letter and some disclosure forms. I had the job. Somewhere right around then my phone had beeped from a message or email coming in. We were talking casually while he handed me paperwork we were going to go through and he asked me how many of Colorado’s 14ers (14,000′ peaks) I had climbed, it was something in “other interests” that was on my resume. I explained that I had done 23 of them but hadn’t done an ascent in a year or two and that I had been doing some rock climbing. I noted that the phone beeping a moment earlier was probably my rock climbing partner. It wasn’t.

We went over the paperwork and I walked out with a job. I was to head straight for my drug test around the corner and report for work Monday morning. I checked my phone and saw that the beep was from an email, not Jason texting me. It was the offer letter from the other company. Are you getting the significance of that? After more than 3 months of looking without a single offer, I get two simultaneously. I am literally in the meeting being offered a job when the other is offered at the same moment via email. I guess it’s time to get back to work… but not just on the JOB.

I have been given a break and some breathing room, but not a dream job. Working at the last dealer I mentioned in a post a week or so ago was crushing. I stopped teaching, the newsletter from Higher-Ground.com was abandoned, and I kind of receded from the world. It took away all of my energy like a psychic vampire. Getting the dream job took away that soul crushing influence, but it did not get me back to work. I did finish the book during that time, and that is an accomplishment, but hose final edits should not have taken me that long and I literally finished it as the job ended.

I am in a position now where rather than forwarding my career as the primary concern, I have a simple job I can do while I’m sleeping and I can once again turn my efforts to my writing and teaching, as well as music. The book is done and I have a graphic artist working on a cover, but that is really the beginning of the work. Getting that book into the hands of people who it can help is the real job, and its time to get back to work. The message is clear. This has never been a simple quest for a new job to replace the old one. I am re-inventing myself on many levels and this was a necessary first step.

My Soul guides my life and it has brought me to this point. What is guiding you?

The Journey – Baby Steps and Emotional Peace

On the job front, I still haven’t had an offer. Somehow, even though every day that passes makes the situation just a little more urgent, I have come to a place of peace inside the madness. I am still in the running for the two positions I thought I would have offers for as I type this so, nothing has changed. I had a second meeting with one, and the other company which I have been in communication with for over two months wants to meet with me one more time. Like in any other situation the quantum leap is often preceded by countless baby steps toward the goal.

I saw a Facebook post the other day attributed to J. Krishnamurti. It said something like “my secret, I am not bothered by what happens.” I don’t know if he said it or not but I have read a couple of his books and seen him speak, and it sounds like him. It also sounds like a good way to live. Eckard Tolle came up in the interview I had yesterday; yes it is odd, but it happened. One of his points is similar in tone. He said “Don’t confuse your life with your life circumstances.” The circumstances of my life could be seen as troubling but my life is not. I am healthy, strong, pretty well centered, and given the circumstances, pretty happy most of the time.

There is another old saying which I’d like to refute. “If you are not upset you don’t understand whats really going on.” Its funny, but the opposite is true. If you are upset, you don;t really know what is going on. Allowing circumstances which life presents as beyond your control (note those words) to dictate your emotional state, will diminish your ability to deal with those circumstances. I cannot control the happenings in the world, because I am not the only creative intelligent sentient being in the equation. What I do have the ultimate power to control is my own response because I can control the response mechanism, my personality. This consists of my physical, emotional and mental apparatus. The me that most people believe is “self.” The fact that I can control it, and the reason I can control it is because it is not the “self” but merely a tool (or combination of tools) of the self. The me that makes me, me, is my true self expressing through another mechanism which religious teachings call the Soul.

Once you are truly on the path to self realization (again, note those words), the Soul is the driving force in your unfoldment. You have taken your conscious evolution in to your own hands, so to speak, and while you may not always understand the “why” of it all, what is going on around you has a purpose. That purpose is in fact, your conscious evolution. Sometimes it hurts, as all healing does. If your emotional nature was driving your life then that would be the only thing that mattered. In my case it is not. That does not mean I don’t feel, or that I recommend that you become an un-feeling mental robot. Quite the opposite. You can feel fear and move forward into a situation anyway. We call that courage. You can feel hurt and do what is necessary. That can bee seen as anything from grace under pressure to nobility, and requires courage as well. The fearless leader is a fool. The one who knows the perils but does what needs to be done with conscious intent is a real leader.

I am not afraid in this situation because what is “me” is not in danger. The circumstances of my life are changing and I am hurting because of the loss of things to which I still have a tendency to cling. That is in line with another of Krishnamurti’s pronouncements, “all pain is due to clinging.” The Buddha gave similar advice. Letting go is hard and it hurts but there will be peace when the process hits a certain point. I am learning every day through this painful process but I have not let the pain overtake me. I have more than 14 years sober and have not turned back to that crutch. I am still in very good control of the anger that used to drive my life. I have allowed that to surface in moments of weakness, but just those moments. This too shall pass and on the other side of this deluge I will emerge and be a better man for having endured it. “That which does not destroy me only makes me stronger.” Nietzsche

I am going to be one strong son of a bitch when this does pass….