I lived Alfred Tennyson’s words before I read them. My need to enlist in the Army while the Vietnam War painfully unfolded, volunteer for airborne training, and then for the Special Forces (Green Berets) was moved by the same impulse they describe – to demonstrate my nobility, courage, and worthiness by blind adherence to authority. I did not question my authority (Lyndon Johnson was President and Robert McNamara was Secretary of Defense). I did not question anything. I was too much in need of validation, admiration, and a sense of value. I held it to be my responsibility to carry out the orders of others, and the responsibility of others to carry out mine. The military gave me a sense of belonging and pride and they were so important to me that the price of blind obedience did not seem repugnant. On the contrary, it seemed necessary.
I do not see myself or understand responsibility the same way now that I did then, but the power of allegiance to a collective cause that validates the individual who gives it is still very much a live energy current – a powerful dynamic – that continues to motivate millions. That dynamic had its place and purpose in our past but not in our present or future. It is the remnant of an evolutionary modality that required the control and manipulation of external circumstances (including people) to insure survival. Survival is no longer sufficient for our evolution. We are changing dramatically and the pursuit of external power has become counterproductive.
Our evolution now requires emotional awareness, responsible choice, intuition, and cocreation. Our deepest hunger, even in the most difficult times, is for a different food. Millions of individuals are awakening – sometimes to their surprise – to a hunger for harmony, cooperation, sharing, and reverence for Life. Their challenge is to create those things in a world of discord, competition, hoarding, and exploitation, a world in which life is a cheap commodity.
The dynamic that sent the soldiers of the Light Brigade on their charge cannot help these people. It can no longer help anyone, anywhere, at any time. Even outside of the military this dynamic continues to exist. Every collective experience of rigidity, righteousness, and common purpose expresses it, for example, the environmental movement with its heroes (us) and villains (Forest Service, lumber industry, mining industry, etc.).
When the underlying, bedrock, can’t-get-any-deeper intention is to manipulate and control in order to feel valuable and secure (for example, to feel superior to people who are not environmentalists/white/black/women/in the military, etc.), the individuals who hold it are in pursuit of external power. When it is to create harmony, cooperate, share, revere Life, and act with an empowered heart without attachment to the outcome, the individuals who hold it are in pursuit of authentic power. Choosing intentions that create consequences for which the chooser is willing to assume responsibility is a responsible choice. Responsible choice was not part of the consciousness of the Light Brigade any more than it was a part of mine when I joined the Army but without it our future, if we have one, is bleak – the continual creation of the painful consequences of intentions to manipulate and control.
Now a new dawn is lighting our sky. This is good news. Soldiers can become co-creators and millions of them are (I am one). “Duty, Honor, Country,” the noble motto of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point that served our survival as a nation in a world that evolved through the pursuit of external power is being replaced with “Responsible Choice, Authentic Power, Life,” a new credo that gives voice to a new human species that evolves by developing spiritually. In this time of transition from the old species into the new, old expressions of responsibility, such as “Duty, Honor, Country,” frequently obscure the emerging understanding – the creation of consequences for which the chooser is willing to assume responsibility. For each of us, distinguishing between the two in the intimacy of our personal experiences (no Priests, Peers, Parents, or President) is a fundamental first step on our new evolutionary path.
In other words, ours is not to do or die, ours is to choose and know why.
I remember years ago, I worked in a factory job where I would literally count the hours, minutes and seconds to the end of the working day. I spent much of my day watching the clock.
The money I earned, I felt I was entitled to...and that it was my right to spend this money on whatever I chose...but especially on myself.
And in those days...I had plenty of money to spend. But it was often spent indulging in unfulfilling, addictive behaviours.
These days, I have much less money...but what I do have, I love to spend in a way that enables me to connect with others in a sharing, joyful way.
I don't have a home computer, so I love going to the library or to internet cafes to participate in forums and blogs such as this one.
The funny thing is...even though I have much less money than I used to...I no longer "count my pennies" or "watch the clock" in the same way I did when I had more money to spend.
I tend to "lose myself" in the enjoyment of participating (in a meaningful way) with others online...and often, I don't even realise how long or how much I've spent until I've finished.
I can afford to live this way, because my life has become much more simple. I don't even have a car anymore.
Moving from a fear filled life, to a life filled with purpose and meaning is at the heart of the transition from the old to the new.
We are moving off the heartless highway, and beginning a new journey down the Path with Heart.
Our guide is no longer the street directory...it is our intuition.
What is it like to discover something new using our intuition?
This is what it is like for me...
It is like playing a game of "hide and seek" where something beautiful has been hidden, awaiting my discovery.
Part of me already knows where this beautiful thing is hidden...but many other, more dominant parts of me do not.
As I tune in to the "voice" of the part that knows...I can feel it guiding me via my emotions.
It is like listening to the child who knows where the treasure is hidden in the game of "hide and seek"
They say "You are getting warmer, warmer, cooler, cold, warm, warmer, hotter, hot!"
When I am looking for my treasure, I keep an open mind, drop all expectations, and pay attention to my inner emotions. As I begin to feel warmer...I keep going in that direction. When I finally find the treasure, my inner being lights up "HOT" with the fire of joy and love!
It is a GREAT feeling!
posted by ...being here, doing this...: December 10, 2008 at 9:26 PM Delete:
"Now a new dawn is lighting our sky. This is good news. Soldiers can become co-creators and millions of them are (I am one). “Duty, Honor, Country,” the noble motto of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point that served our survival as a nation in a world that evolved through the pursuit of external power is being replaced with “Responsible Choice, Authentic Power, Life,” a new credo that gives voice to a new human species that evolves by developing spiritually. In this time of transition from the old species into the new, old expressions of responsibility, such as “Duty, Honor, Country,” frequently obscure the emerging understanding – the creation of consequences for which the chooser is willing to assume responsibility. For each of us, distinguishing between the two in the intimacy of our personal experiences (no Priests, Peers, Parents, or President) is a fundamental first step on our new evolutionary path.
In other words, ours is not to do or die, ours is to choose and know why."
I am all for harmony, cooperation, sharing and reverence for life but I find it extremely hard to have the first three when being a member of a political party in Ireland Fine Gael I see glaring incompetence, disinterest, disregard and corruption coming generally from the Government- and a good few others I have to say.
posted by Darren J Prior: December 11, 2008 at 8:10 AM Delete:
I'd like to share what I believe to be an experience of authentic power.
I am prompted to share this after reading the name "McNamara" in Gary's post.
My late mother's maiden name was McNamara!
Mum passed away in 1978. She suffered with cancer from the age of 45 until her death at age 55.
I was 5 when she was diagnosed, and 15 when she died.
I wrote a poem/song about her when I was 16 called "Remembering All They've Shared"
Many years later in 2001, during a visit with a holistic healer, I was guided to revisit that poem/song, and re-write it as part of my healing.
I felt I had gotten over the death of my mother, but I discovered these words written by David Kessler that helped explain why I had not been able, until this later point in my life, to release the earlier grief of the 5 year old boy who had "lost" his mother to the illness:-
"We will feel our feelings when it's time. Meanwhile, they are being held for us safely until we're ready. This is often true for children or teenagers who lose parents: they may not experience much grief until they become adults and can handle it."
On the site below, you can read the lyrics to both versions of the poem/song, as well as listen to me sing and play acoustic guitar on the new version.
It was a wonderful experience to use creativity in this healing way...and it is a privilege for me to be able to share this healing song here with you now.
Please feel free to download and/or share the song with anyone you think may find it helpful in getting in touch with their own grief.
The song is a free gift to the world.
Here is the link to the song. It is called...
posted by : December 11, 2008 at 8:42 PM Delete:
I find all of your writings thought provoking and inspirational.
It is encouraging to see you feel our existence is transforming into all multi-sensory humans. While I do see some of that, I also see our younger generations acting in increasingly irresponsible ways. I loved your statement, "Choosing intentions that create consequences for which the chooser is willing to assume responsibility is a responsible choice." I will share this with my children and others.
As always, thank you for your love and wisdom.
posted by Kelly D.: December 12, 2008 at 6:10 AM Delete:
I just wanted to say thank you for such a nice entry. Though they are just words, but I feel my heart and head calmed by them. In a time of confusion and distress for me, they are fresh air. I will shortly be reading your books again and maybe, just maybe, I will be able to attend the Path to Authentic Power. If I am not able to, I wish you the best and to everyone else at the Seat of the Soul, as well as those reading this blog.
posted by : December 12, 2008 at 1:15 PM Delete:
This is what it is like for me...
When I am looking for my treasure, I keep an open mind, drop all expectations, and pay attention to my inner emotions. As I begin to feel warmer...I keep going in that direction. When I finally find the treasure, my inner being lights up "HOT" with the fire of joy and love!"
I'd like to expand on this comment by adding that gravitating to whatever seems "HOT" is not always the following of an intuitive calling.
For example, if I had applied this same principle several years ago...I may have felt "led" to the racecourse to gamble, or to the local bar to get drunk!!!
This would not have been following "intuition". This would have been giving into temptation.
There is a HUGE difference!
The type of intuition I was describing goes hand in hand with emotional awareness and responsible choice.
There is one paragraph in Gary's book "The Seat of the Soul" which describes for me what lay at the heart of responsible choice.
This paragraph, more than any other, has helped me to identify where my choices have been irresponsible...and has also provided me with the tools to enable me to make more responsible choices.
Here is the paragraph (from the chapter on Addiction)...
"Recognize that what you are doing when you fear that you will be tempted, and that you will not be able to resist the temptation, is creating a situation that will give you permission to act irresponsibly. Is it possible to create a test that you cannot pass? Yes. The experience of wanting to be tempted in order to test yourself is the act of creating an opportunity to act irresponsibly, to say to yourself, "I knew I couldn't do it, anyway," and give in to your addiction. The heart of making a temptation that is greater than you can resist is that you do not wish to be held responsible for your choice"
One of the ways I have applied this truth to my life was to make the decision and commitment not to have a computer with internet access at home. Because I live alone, and have a lot of free time on my hands, and with an awareness of my struggles in the past with compulsive and addictive behaviours...I foresaw that to have internet access at home would be creating for myself, an insurmountable temptation to act irresponsibly.
Whether that would be to gamble online, gravitate to unwholesome websites, or just shop compulsively for things I did not need...I felt that it was in my own best interests to not put this temptation in my path.
The consequences of this choice (for which I am happy to take full responsibility) are that:-
1. I am now exercising more (as I have to travel to a library or internet cafe to access the internet)
2. I feel much more a part of community life by sharing public computer facilities with others, and surrounding myself with people engaged in more wholesome activities.
3. By incorporating visits to the library as part of my daily routine, I feel I have created a healthy structure for that part of my day. This helps foster a sense of well being, and regularity - and helps me feel connected to the natural rhythmic patterns of life.
4. My life, and my activities are becoming more open, simple and transparent. My private life and public life are integrating into one. All my online communication is done in the open. There is no secrecy, or hidden aspects to the communication. It feels wholesome and healthy.
5. A sense of inner confidence is building to the point where I now value myself enough to feel that I can make worthwhile contributions to the world - by contributing to forums and blogs such as this one.
6. I feel a increasing closeness and kinship with others who are pursuing the same goals of developing a deeper emotional awareness, and making more responsible choices.
Had I not listened to my deepest "intuition" and followed this tougher path of challenging my addictions...the consequences would have been much different.
For one, I would not be here, doing this!
posted by ...being here, doing this...: December 13, 2008 at 5:50 PM Delete:
posted by Darren J Prior: December 16, 2008 at 2:28 PM Delete:
All the best with your move!
Here are some words of Gary's that appear under the Authentic Power heading in the right hand side column of this blog.
"The thoughts that you will read here will always support you in viewing our collective experiences and your personal experiences as opportunities to create authentic power – to become emotionally aware, choose responsibly, consult your intuition, and contribute the gifts that you were born to give to this new and unprecedented phase of human evolution."
Whenever I make comments in this blog, I like to apply this philosophy to whatever I write...so that I too can become a source of support for others.
In this way, I feel I am working alongside Gary, yourself and all the other commenters in this forum to co-create something that will be of benefit to all who visit here.
In our ME/CFS forum, the members worked together to co-create a welcoming message to inspire a similar philosophy...
WELCOME MESSAGE TO NEW MEMBERS
It's a great philosophy that can be applied to all parts of our lives...if we so choose!
posted by ...being here, doing this...: December 16, 2008 at 8:23 PM Delete:
BTW I tried to delete the one on the Government in Ireland having a psychosis but unfortunately often once you start a thread on that site you cannot delete it.
posted by Darren J Prior: December 17, 2008 at 9:15 AM Delete:
What wasn't clear to me, was that if I really wanted to contribute to the world, I had to start by sorting myself out. I had become wrapped up in injustice in the world, while ignoring what was wrong with me, and my life. I have come to believe that our first duty is finding Consciousness to whatever degree we are able. Until then, we are more than a hindrance than a help to everyone else.
Darren J and bhdt - I think you are very brave not hiding your addiction problems. I have lived much of my life as an 'oblivion junkie' - by which I mean I had no particular poison preference - whatever would do the job in distancing me from reality was fine with me.
I think that people with addictions that are not 'acceptable' (in the way being a workaholic is, for instance) are somewhat more inclined to find themselves - even if it is at the bottom of the barrel. If going through the many unpleasant events of my life were the necessary impetus it took to push me into Consciousness (still have a long, long way to go) then it was all worth it. I wouldn't change a thing.
Btw every single comment this blog entry has provoked was just magnificent - thanks to all of you who posted. Steve - I'm off to check out the song...
posted by Marie-Ora: December 23, 2008 at 3:20 AM Delete:
posted by Danny Lilithborne: December 24, 2008 at 1:30 PM Delete:
Yesterday, Christmas Eve (Australian time), I ran into an old friend named Joe. He shares the same first name as my late father. As I felt Joe gently grab my arm as we greeted, it reminded me of the touch of my father.
I walked alongside Joe, and his partner (who was carrying their one year old child) as we talked. I felt a sense of warmth and contentment exude from them.
Sometimes I'm a bit slow to sense "social cues"...so I lingered a while with them, not sure whether to move on or not. Joe again gently grabbed my arm, and wished me a Merry Christmas.
I felt two things at once.
One thing I felt was silly that I had not picked up on the initial cue, and had lingered too long. The second was that there was a more important dynamic happening here, from which I could learn a great deal.
Instead of focusing on the critical voice within me telling me I was silly, I chose to connect with and listen to the "slow" part of myself that lingered.
In doing so, I learned something wonderful that no Priest, Peer, Parent, or President could ever teach in words.
The touch from Joe seemed similar to my late father's...but for one thing. There was no clinging. It was a touch of encouragement, and release.
The "slow" part of me had guided me to stay present to FEEL the difference.
Through Joe's touch, I felt a connection where the spirit of my late father was also reaching out to encourage me forward, not hold me back.
I wished Joe and his partner well, and moved on to do some shopping.
Sometime later, I ran into them again. Joe's partner said "Don't worry - we're not following you". To which Joe added humorously..."Actually, we are"
In the early hours of this morning, Christmas morning, I awoke from a dream. I had dreamt of my late father. He was so happy and at peace. In the dream, he had a new partner - a quiet, gentle lady who beamed peace and love.
My father's past earthly partner was also there. She was no longer the angry person I had known. It seemed that her life had been transformed. She too had met someone new, and both her and her new partner were full of happiness and joy.
In the dream, I again felt that touch from my father...of encouragement and release.
I sensed that he and others had been quietly watching me in a supportive way.
He sensed my pondering and responded warmly with a smile..."You used to follow us. Now we are following you".
Had I listened to, and believed the critical voice, telling me I was silly for lingering...I would have begun a new pursuit for external power, by trying to manipulate the situation so as to avoid letting myself appear silly in front of others.
But by listening to the deeper, richer voice of my "slower" self...I gave myself an opportunity to experience the grace of authentic power...the inner support, encouragement, and joy that emanates from a place of Unconditional Love.
What a wonderful gift to awaken to on Christmas Day!
And now this story becomes my Christmas Day gift to you!
posted by ...being here, doing this...: December 25, 2008 at 12:00 AM Delete:
My parents are still alive and the only person close to me who has died was my Grandmother... and my dog who died only a few months ago. So while I have compassion and admiration for you it is hard/impossible for me to understand your pain or the pain that you had. I know though that if you have gone through the process though that you can at times feel your mothers presence in nonphysical reality as Gary correctly calls it. I only have felt my Grandmothers presence literally in the same room as me once about 6 years ago and that was just hours before my uncle (her son) was admitted to hospital where he later died due to the drink (yes it's in my family).
I'll tell you all a quick story. Nobody that knows me calls me Darren J. Most people that know me call me Darren or- although I don't meet them much- some people call me by my middle name Joe. That's why I usually sign my name so formally (it's the way my google account is set). This is one of those stories that you will have to have experience to understand and chances are will feel sorry for me more than have compassion (and there is a happy ending) but in my last couple of years in primary school in Ireland I got a serious speech impediment when it came to teachers (probably all authority figures but teachers were the only authority figures I knew) and reading in class. Saying my name was the hardest thing. I would have been consigned to a secondary school of misery if my mother did not suggest that I use my middle name (her father's name). At the time there was only one secondary school in my area and we all had to do entrance exams to get into there and other schools and I would have used my first name if I had have gotten in locally but considering that the school I ended up going to was a good bit away from me I followed my mothers advice. It took me about a year to settle into the school but I had the best days in my life in that school. The school although in a middle class area was two thirds working class and there are some people who would call a lot of the fellas (it was an all boys school) I went there with "characters"- but I don't like that description and it tells nothing about the people. They were wild mad cunts... and I had a great time there...
When I got into Reiki about 8 years ago I asked God where he had been in my life- and it was the first time I asked him a question that I said he HAD to answer. And he did. He didn't speak to me like he speaks to Neale Donald Walsh but he showed me through my past experiences the vast majority of which I had forgotten. And given that I was only 20 at the time and had been in that school up until fairly recently then for 5 years there were literally loads of times where I know that God/God's light was with us in that school. As I read somewhere before you will always find Jesus amongst the poor. That school was an oasis for most of if not all the students going there and it was a good one!!!
posted by Darren J Prior: December 27, 2008 at 8:58 AM Delete:
When I read this, it sent a shiver up my spine...as I had just been talking about my late father Joe in the previous comment.
What sent the shiver was the fact that Joe was my father's middle name, not his first!!
Also...my two siblings and myself share in common that we all have middle names that begin with the letter "J"!!
What a co-incidence that we also share this in common here in the comments section of Gary's blog!
Darren wrote: there were literally loads of times where I know that God/God's light was with us in that school.
I feel God is here with us in Gary's class in the Earth School too!
After all, "Coincidence", as Albert Einstein said "is God's way of remaining anonymous".
Which brings me to the "anonymous" name I use here. I chose this name after hearing a friend's reaction to my telling them about my experience of wonder and awe whilst gazing at the stars and Universe.
Their reaction was to say "been there, done that".
The name "...being here, doing this..." reminds me to never let die, or take for granted that sense of wonder within. It is my connection to the Soul, to the Universe...to the infinite Source of love and wisdom available to us all.
I was also deeply inspired by these words from Krishnamurti, to use anonymity in a joyful and creative way...
I've noticed another unusual co-icidence that has run through my life. It is to do with some of the street names of where I have lived at various stages of my life.
In Greek Mythology, the name of the street where I spent my childhood translates into "the river of woe". This translation is very appropriate and meaningful for me in many ways.
And in later years, when I was living in a challenging environment where there were often loud arguments and disputes...the first three letters of the street name were....WAR!!
Darren wrote: When I got into Reiki about 8 years ago I asked God where he had been in my life- and it was the first time I asked him a question that I said he HAD to answer. And he did. He didn't speak to me like he speaks to Neale Donald Walsh but he showed me through my past experiences the vast majority of which I had forgotten.
My current street name triggered a search that lead me to connect with what feels like a "past life experience" that I had "forgotten."
I have always been drawn to monasticism, but have never quite understood why. I have also experienced on many occasions (especially in dreams as a child) a sense of being hunted down, attacked and slain. When I see someone in pain, I often feel a sensation as if I am reliving a "past life experience" of being slaughtered with a weapon such as a sword.
When I found my current home, I felt as if I had arrived Home...and could begin to make sense of these feelings.
I researched the origins of the street name and found information that described and made sense of what I had been feeling and intuiting...
"A monastery was established at Bangor in about AD 560 by Saint Dunod and was an important religious centre in the 5th and 6th centuries. This monastery was destroyed in about AD 616 after Aethelfrith, the King of Northumbria, defeated the Welsh, led by Brocmail (Brochfael), at the Battle of Chester. The scholar Bede wrote that 1200 monks were slaughtered before the attack."
...and these words from the poem, "The Monks of Bangor's March"...
"Weltering amid warriors slain,
Spurned by steeds with bloody mane,
Slaughter'd down by heathen blade,
Bangor's peaceful monks are laid:
Word of parting rest unspoke,
Mass unsung, and bread unbroke;
For their souls for charity,
Sing, Miserere Domine!"
What all of this means to me now, is that my journey is now "back on track". I am now back where I am meant to be, doing what I'm meant to be doing.
posted by ...being here, doing this...: December 30, 2008 at 9:48 PM Delete:
Most significantly perhaps it was a small school. So everyone knew one another in every year. There were only around 80 people in my 5th and 6th years. Around 20 of those were very studious and they stuck together but the rest weren't.
In a lot of if not all or most working class areas there is a particularly bad element of trouble makers. They weren't in my school. There were other schools that they went to in the various areas around my school and needless to say I wouldn't have particularly enjoyed going there.
Like everyone that goes to school I had my bad days there but some of the people there were just so funny it is unfortunate that they didn't turn out as comedians. As our Year Head (who I didn't know at the time but now meet occasionally) said in our graduation book in 1998:
"It gives me great pleasure to wish the 6th Year students every success and happiness in their future educational endeavors, life and careers. I mustn't emphasise too much the element of pleasure too much as it could indicate a sense of relief in this parting. On the contrary most teachers, myself included, have very good memories or a spirited, vital and intelligent group of young men who never allowed the rigours or rigidities of education to come between them and a good laugh; sometimes shared with but frequently and occultly at the expense of the occasional teacher..."
I loved that school. There were a handful of things done there that were wrong but on balance it was a great school. There was no real bullying. A few things done as I said were wrong/OTT/very wrong but I loved it. It was the teachers who suffered most of the time but there was no nastiness to them at least among my year although I have been told that the school has gone down hill since I went there.
What a school and what a great time I had there...!!!
posted by Darren J Prior: January 4, 2009 at 1:57 PM Delete:
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