Explaining to God how I feel a bit let down.
Two Parts to Life
(I jotted down some notes to do with this realization. I've written about it before but each writing comes from a slightly different place.)
There are two parts to life. The first involves time and moving through it, a journey of sorts forming a history with a story to be told. What one experiences, learns, and wills into action turns into an timeline of action which becomes this history. All manner of being comes into play. Street smarts, conceptual thinking, crafting, logic, passion, all form the soil from which this emerges. A particular string of events tied together in one person going through their life is one portion of this. They travel from somewhere to somewhere. The story of this journey is first conceived in concept and later described by words.
The second part of life actually leads nowhere. The first part keeps you busy and occupied and surviving while the second part plays out while traveling through the journey, although it has no journey inherent in itself. It is made up of unrelated moments that speak for and stand for themselves. The senses might be perked, or a flash of realization might strike the person, or some experience with a person, place or thing just happens. The moment stands out but the reason is not clear. You just know you experienced it. It doesn't point to a direction, help form an opinion or conclusion, or resolve anything. It just stands on its own, no explanation is needed, and stands independent from all analysis. The only observation one can make about it is that it happens throughout life at unexpected times with for no rationale reason. Even so, its effect is plentiful and profound even though one cannot say why.
Both are the two parts of life.
Back to the start
(This writing is fully complete if one has a belief in God, that is a personified entity. However, if one's belief is more ethereal, such as in a source, the writing still applies.)
In reading the Five Books of Moses and the onto Joshua I was struck by the strictness of right and wrong and the consequences thereof. This comes after God flooded the world for its iniquities and then stated he will no longer wipe out man for his wrongdoings. In other words he'll ease up and not expect too much. Adam spoke directly to God and when briefly deceived lost his purity and immortality and had to earn his living. That is the most direct punishment for disobedience there is. I suppose the closer you are to a power source, oneness, unity, whatever you want to call it, the slightest of deviations has drastic effects. The farther you are from this source, God, the less severe the consequences of each action. The divisions have mutated and multiplied until unity is barely possible.
Along with this severity of consequence came closeness to God. Moses did speak to God, and yet because of one disobedience was not allowed to enter the new land. An entire group of Levites were destroyed because of their arrogance. The land opened up right beneath them. Still, they were closer to God then we are today. Our actions are so diluted and unresolved and confused punishments such as these would make no sense. So we are given tolerance and shown patience. The price is that we are not as close to God. We have a private 'still small voice' which can help us ease through time and space, but it is not a clear, loud, coherent voice. Indeed, it is probably for our own protection. If we were given a directive loud and clear and booming, and we didn't keep it, or broke our word, that wouldn't work too well either. If you said I'll keep my word or let me die you and lot of others would be no more. So everything has become mushier, our 'wrongdoings' and our relating to God.
I think we will get to the point where we will be so far from our source that what we hear will be barely audible and actions taken by God will be so inconsequential because of this distance that we will yearn for a new closeness. We will search and still be wanting for answers and some relief and it won't be found easily. Hence, the road will lead back to a direct communication back to God. I believe it's what happened to Abraham and will happen again for those of us who seek and yearn again for a more direct connection.
Blessing more than forgiveness
For years in the psychological world and in the spiritual world I would hear one has to forgive, maybe not forget, but forgive to move on. I believed this and tried to practice it in varying degrees. Results were not always apparent and hard to read. Sometimes it cleared the air. Often the underlying tensions still existed. It's complex to say the least.
Growing up I found out I was a Cohanan, ie a title passed down from father to son allegedly beginning with Moses' brother Aaron. Cohanan's give blessings at the temple. This was something I noted even though how it fit into my life I was not sure. I do know when being blessed it did seem to lift me if not done mechanically by someone For a couple of years now I've observed subtly when I bless a certain situation it seems to ease the circumstances and dim the edginess. Recently I've blessed a couple of situations that were rough and there did seem to be an uplifting result, a kind of bubbling upwards effect. Forgiveness was feeling mechanical and too related to 'cause and effect.' Blessing something seemed to leave the full understanding to the above while remaining a mystery as to how it worked, but it did. One was not required to know how.
My neighbor Jack, a good Catholic, seemed to bless different people and it seemed to ease acceptance of them, even if their actions were not fully acceptable or made sense. In a conversation with my ex, Maggie, over some situation that I don't remember, she said 'just bless it.' Hearing that right away I felt some relief. So, when able or it seems appropriate and I remember, I'll bless a tough situation and it does seem to lift the whole thing. Let's face it. If one believes in God, it connects you to that source. If if one doesn't, there still might be magic in the act.
Now if one finds a cyst in your prostrate and needs a controversial biopsy to find out if it is the big 'C,' it's hard to bless that. We are human and pain and suffering is part of this whole thing and there is no way to skirt that. Somethings one has to bear. However, just being aware of what it is to 'bless' even such a situation is a good awareness to have. Down the road it might be able to be worked in.
Blessing also makes forgiveness work. As stated before forgiveness can be dead end or mechanical. However, when you bless something, you add endless power to forgiveness. It connects the tension to the above in unforeseen ways and there is something special in that.
So Many Sides
There are so many sides to me that I've observed lately. One minute I think one way and another minute I think another. My mind goes from the macro scale to the micro scale in a blink of an eye. It goes from being rationale to irrational, from balanced to shaky, from philosophical to primitive, from transcendental to petty. All I can say is I'm a bunch of these pieces, held together in this body and spirit but barely. I would burst open if this glue didn't hold it all together.
Sometimes it's like being a teacher in a classroom, with unruly students and good ones, and everything inbetween and more. I'm both the teacher and the students.
I suppose the good is that's this all humbles the spirit, although I wish it was in an easier way.
Am I one with my quest?
Am I one
with my quest?
Can I merge
with a concept
that is big
but still a concept?
Can I embrace
until it blossoms
'It's just tennis.'
Years ago I recall reading or hearing an interview with Andre Aggasi and he was being asked about his moodiness, or isolation, or not speaking to press, or something I don't remember. His character and actions were being questioned.
His answer to it all was 'It's just tennis.'
After all these years I find often my mood or feeling of well being depends on how I did with my art. I thought I could be more removed, detached, more zen about the whole thing at this point. I am not the results is my mantra. But art is a jealous beast and wants all of you even if you set limits. Definitely if I am struggling something feels wrong inside me. And if I do well I feel light hearted. Often if I have a good session, or a good fifteen minutes, or even a good thought about an approach or problem, I:ll leave the work just so I can feel good for a while. Sometimes I'll stay away for a day and savor it.
I wish it were different. I wish I could be 'cooler' about the whole thing. But part of maturity is acceptance of what is. If I was able to change these dynamics fundamentally a lot of things would be different. But I haven't been able to. So I accommodate, see it for what it is, and see myself for what I am.
It's just art.\
Sections of life
Just a flash note here. It seems as if in life there is your involvement with your place in the environment and your activities, and responsibilities. Your interactions with your neighbors are one example.
Then there is the wider scope of the time and historical setting you live within. It's where you are placed in the evolution of mankind and all the political, economic and social pressures that influence you. Seeing how things turn out is of interest. An example is how political actions have economic consequences. There is some fascination in this, and it confirms your sense of judgement. It exists outside of your immediate needs so also takes you away from yourself and your own problems and challenges. It also allows for the opportunity to confirm or deny your judgments on various issues of the day which focuses your reasoning and intuition beyond just yourself. This allows you to test your presumptions and conceptions in a wider arean.
It can help you to see how on or off course you are. It's another guidepost.
Finally, there is the section in life of life itself, on its own terms, just living and experiencing what comes before you. These experiences are almost history independent. Seeing a bird scamper on the beach or a wave retreat or having a pull towards a friend you knew 40 years ago are examples. If the bird was sick due to pollution that would be part of history. Otherwise just experiencing life without a oontext is part of what we are here for. These core life expereinces are universal to the human life experience.
I'm not bringing in the spiritual dimension here. I'm letting just what we see and experience speak for itself. In this discussion no larger context is called for. In a sense its kept clean that way. Concept doesn't pollute. These sections exist in the material world and emanate from what we can observe.
No patience for meandering
I was speaking on the phone to my ex wife Maggie and we were talking about the environment and tornadoes and the diminishing bee population. I said we should be all on our knees asking for help, as in my first painting. She then said check out the writer John Michael Greer whom her daughter, a millennial, was into as others in that age group. Curious, I did and learned he was 66, hippyish looking and had founded recenty an occultist druid organization. Ho hum I thought. He was also a strong environmetnalist. I thought the tie in should be interesting.
I then turned to a blog page he had and read a four page essay that was crafted well and carefully and was very engaging and involving. He was a good observer, for example noting many hippies had become Jesus freaks and then moderate Christians. Okay. His basic critique was of positive thinking and preferred to let reality speak to us as it is. He saw many of us as having stories in our minds that we applied to what we saw, instead of just honestly seeing what we saw. True. He saw many well off environmentalists as doing harm rather than good in their approaches to help the earth. I forget hhis reasoning. He also saw his own dichotomy in that in being an occultist he favored imagination here on earth which seemingly contradicts his endorsing objective observation. He kept on writing and built his case gradually.
However, it just became clear to me in writing the previous paragraph I don't remember really waht his case was. I just was left with a general impression that whatever he was for or against and wrote about it was professional and done well but what was he really saying? It became clearer to me he was just stroking himself, luxurating in his own clevreness.
I relayed this briefly to Maggie and said I did not research him after this.. I had lost some patience. She also said that she was losing patience reading certain interpretations, or analysis, or explanations of things. I said maybe some of it has to do with his still being 66. Sounds old to some but around 70 certain things become clearer and patience runs a little thin, contrary to what I thought it would be like. Maggie concurred.
I ended the conversation by speaking brashly and saying I lost patience with his writing. Basically I wanted his conclusion, where he landed, what he understood life to be. I wanted to know 'did he believe in God or not' number one and if he did how does he work that in with how 'sh....t' life has become. I think that covers it all. I wanted to hear his belief and his pain. That's all I was really interested in. Unforetunately, he was still plaiying around.
Dancing with God
Dancing with God
5" by 8"
Oil on Linen
(Some history.....after the Painting Empathy i worked on a painting of the maker creating the universe in spheres. The drawing was developed and anatomy all there. somehow it felt wrong. that took a month.
Then I worked on an interior of a hospice room with my dad dying and me present. Details and objects were all there. Somehow that felt wrong. That took another month.
then i thought return to direct figures, have them say what they have to say directly and simply. And so 'Dancing with God' came about which took another 6 weeks. So far it feels right and back on course. And so goes the journey.)
Steven B. Nussdorf records his lifelong search to find meaning outside of the normal channels. He uses writing, poetry, and drawing to document this effort.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.