The Pagan Path

Those who wonder are not lost; they are trying to awaken! 'The Sleeper must awaken!'

Friday, May 06, 2022

A Dark Reality, or The Reality of Shadows

Each & every one of us has skeletons in our closet! There is something about us that we want to keep hidden from those in our little world, even from the world at large. From our friends & loved ones to business associates & those we'd really rather not associate with at all, most people, except those we feel we can be vulnerable ( intimate? ) with never see that side of us. Most of us hide it - some better than others - but at the height of our emotions, it usually, somehow leaks out. When it does, it usually ain't very pretty either!

What IS Reality?! The easy answer, especially coming, as I do, from a Christian background, is that Reality is what we see all around us. "Yes", you might hear, "there is such a thing as a Spiritual Reality, but in the greatest sense, that is neither here nor there, for it only manifests - comes to light - when we die, or in essence, when this physical existence is over." On the other hand, some may acknowledge that this Spiritual Reality often ventures into our own, both beneficially & adversely, but again, it is not till we pass from this existence that it becomes what we call Reality. In fact of the matter, when we pass from this existence, how are we to say anymore what is Real or not?

Simply stated, the principle of Yin & Yang is that Dark & Light are two sides of the same coin. In other words even, aside from our dual natures ( human & Divine ), there are two aspects to every one of us. 'As above, so below'; there is usually a part of us that rarely comes out from under its rock. This is often called our Shadow Self. It is usually a part of our personality, neither good nor bad -' it is what it is' - that Society & our Culture has conditioned us to think is somehow 'bad' or 'evil'. Our Dark side - everyone has one - is not 'evil', per se, though it certainly can be. Often, our Dark Side proves to be that part of us that is most truthful, painfully & brutally honest, even. It is usually the first to smell bullshit & call it for what it is. Speaking of the Dark Side being 'evil' - thanks 'Star Wars' - it is often those who most fear the Truth that call it 'evil'!

In the greatest sense then, Reality 'is what it is', though it DOES involve our individual perceptions. In a way, this concept is not too far removed from the Four Gospels, or more particularly the Three Synoptic Gospels of the Greek Scriptures. Though the Story remains the same, the several different perspectives made it sound somewhat differently, even a bit dissonant. So with Reality; same Story, different perspectives. Yet, on the other hand, there are different realities for each individual. Take one who is colorblind: the grass may indeed be green to one who can see the colors, but to the one who cannot distinguish colors, it may as well be pink, or even black. The sky may be blue to the one that can see it, though in reality, it is not too different from the air that we breathe. Then, there are blind people; what is THEIR Reality? Is it any different than ours? Why or why not?

Does Reality depend on our individual perception? Some might immediately perceive that to be a ridiculously ignorant question, while others might perceive the Truth in it! Can we change Reality simply by thinking/perceiving differently?  If by thinking/perceiving differently, we begin to manifest differently; yes, in that sense, if that sense alone, we DO change Reality. Further, as more & more people begin to think/perceive differently, the Collective Reality will Change!

Simple Change is not necessarily a good thing, though usually it is for the better! For the purposes of this line of reasoning, we may assume that Change IS for the better, as much of Reality has been defined in a way that is lugubrious, at best. In order to bring that lasting, Collective Change, we must, as a wise man once said, start with 'the man in the mirror' ( or 'woman', as the case may be ). We must rediscover our Shadow Selves. More importantly, we must embrace our Dark Side. It is not 'evil', as Society & Culture has hammered into our skulls. It is simply a necessary part of us that we need to bring out of the Shadows. Too many, in the not too distant past, have been relegated to the loony bin ( or worse ), simply because they saw Reality in a different Light. Others have been burned at the stake because they dared to challenge what their Society & Culture deemed acceptable. ( In most cases, 'Society & Culture' could as well read 'Religion' )

The Reality that surrounds us on a daily basis - for example, 2 + 2 ALWAYS equals 4 ( there ARE those who would challenge even THAT ), the concept of solid matter remaining solid, so on & so forth - is fluid. I'm not into the Common Core math or any kind of mathematics for that matter, but speaking of solid matter, such as a tree: a tree may be fashioned into a chair, a table. It is Real, it is solid; we may depend upon it to hold us up when we rest upon it, right?! The Reality, however, is that if a fire breaks out, that table or chair will no longer hold us up. The same thing goes if someone is too heavy, or if a sledge hammer is applied to it legs. Reality, as so many concepts, is subject to change! 'As above, so below'; to borrow a phrase that is growing in popularity, "change your thinking; change your life"!

Two things, we are told, of which we may be certain in this Life are Death & Taxes. Really?! Most people perceive these two concepts as Reality & honestly, the majority of those who challenged this notion ended up finding that, physically speaking, Death was/is very Real! Others have found that both Death & Taxes, far from being unavoidable, are both simply concepts. Death, as we've explored previously, is an illusion! The death, or expiration of the Body does not mean that Body ceases to exist; it simply means that its form changes: "Energy does not die"! On the other hand, though the Body's usual form DOES, for all intents & purposes, cease to exist, We are not the Body! As for the Taxes part of the equation, one can only surmise where this discussion might be going...........................

So, while there are those who would beg to differ about the Reality of Death & Taxes, one thing should be fairly clear by now; Reality is not immutable, it can be changed! Now, if one is blind, for example, can that one, simply by changing their thinking, recover from their blindness? There are many variables, but I will be the first to acknowledge that, yes, it IS possible! How probable, especially in this day & age of blinding fear? Sadly, not very! With Science, you might have heard, great inroads have been made in this area, but again, with so many variables, how probable is it that it would be a lasting cure, without the continued aid of Technology? 

Our Darkness cannot be ignored!  Even when we try to hide our Dark Side - which most of us tend to do -  it will present itself at the most inopportune times, leading, at the very least, to embarrassment for us & quite possibly harm to ourselves or others! However, embracing our Dark Side saves us from such embarrassment. It can also help us to exercise more responsibility as well, with the understanding that just because we have this Darker Nature, we should not immediately define ourselves as 'evil'. Rather, whether Society deems our actions 'evil' or not, we can trust to our Divine Nature to guide us, including our Dark Side, into the Light! 

'The Shadow KNOWS!' To use a familiar but well-nigh forgotten phrase from an old radio show, it is our Shadow Self which holds the key to our self-knowledge.  Not only does our Shadow hide what we fear most, it also contains the Truth, painful though it might be ( usually is ) to reveal. Most often, these two are one & the same! The phrase which proceeds the quote above reveals to us that our job, after we have dealt with our own Shadow, is to help others find & embrace theirs. This is by no means to say that we should ignore past wrongs done in ignorance, just that by embracing our Dark Side, realizing that it is a necessary part of us, as human beings, we can be at peace within ourselves!

Namaste' & Blessed Be,

Sage Charles

Sunday, April 17, 2022

The Importance & Danger of Ritual

As I type these words, it is Sunday morning, the 17th of April, 2022. Christians celebrate this day, along with many others, as Easter Sunday, the day when their Savior/God rose from the dead, according to the Greek Scriptures. Most will celebrate this day, with a varying focus on their Risen Lord, while others treat it like Christmas 2.0, where it's all about the children, with Easter baskets for the young ones & a feast of epic proportions later, where you're almost guaranteed to squirm uncomfortably in your tight jeans, unless you remembered to wear your sweats. But seriously, this might be one of the few days per year that you attend Mass at your local Roman Catholic church. If so, you've engaged in one of the oldest rituals in the history of Christendom. This ritual is by no means original to the Roman Catholic Church or even to Christianity itself. It is almost purely Pagan in its genesis!

On this Day of Days, I was led to ponder how "Life is all about Choice"! The choices we make are manifested in the actions we take, or obversely, in the actions we neglect to take. For instance, "as above, so below", one may choose to do this ritual or that, attend this service or that, even not to celebrate at all. We choose to do this instead of that, sometimes with no regard for the possible consequences & sometimes in spite of them. Some choices are harder than others ( to the Nth degree ), while others are as simple as, "I'll wear my green t-shirt today". Often, the consequences of our choices hurt like hell: sometimes we make these choices, knowing they're going to hurt like hell & make them anyway, either because we know they're for our own good, or just because we're ignorant; gluttons for punishment!  Whatever our choices, they determine how we will manifest in this thing we call Life!

Ritual, whether we realize it or not, IS a necessary part of our daily life! While it may be true that ritual is most often defined religiously, it need not be confined to that box. At its base, a ritual, at least individually speaking, can be as simple as one that I observe on an almost daily basis. I get up, I get dressed, I go make coffee. And actually, my morning ritual usually starts before I get dressed ( after I go pee ); I usually spend anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes in meditation, before I start my day with the Nectar of the Gods. To reiterate; Ritual is an important part of our daily lives, for if we miss starting our day with anything as important as coffee or breakfast, or as relatively unimportant ( inconsequential? ) as our daily meditation, it tends to affect the rest of our day & then of course, we usually experience a sort of 'trickle-down' effect on the rest of our week, or even our entire Life, if we're not careful!

In some sense, it could be said, Ritual is our Life-blood! Not only as societies, for most societies run on some kind of ritualized system, but as individuals; without the normality of Ritual, we would be almost at a loss: "What now?" Individual choice, of course, is a factor here as well, for there are mornings that I just don't feel like doing what I usually do ( sometimes you  just gotta mix it up a bit ), or, in other words, we're faced with, "should I do this, that, or the other thing?" Personally, I'm trying to get away from such terminology, so it's more like, "do I WANT to do this, that, or the other thing?"!

Whatever the case may be, the choices we make & the rituals we follow are what define us as both individuals & societies. This is not necessarily a good thing! In some sense, it IS all relative, as in , "what's good for one might be evil for another & what's wrong for this person ( or group ) might be right for that ( person or group )." This is not to say that there are NO Absolutes, that EVERYTHING is relative, for where WOULD we be if everyone did what was right in their own eyes, not taking into account the possible implications of their actions toward others? The best mantra I have found in such cases is, "And ye harm none, do what ye will"! Not as simple as it sounds.

One of the dangers of doing the same thing everyday, ritualistically speaking, should be obvious: We tend to get stuck in a rut. "As above, so below"; "Sometimes, you gotta mix it up a bit"! Religiously, of course, both individually & as a Society, the tendency is to focus overmuch on the actual ritual itself, rather than on the effectual consequences of said ritual. In Essence & here is where Choice enters the picture, 'Why are we doing this ( ritual ) instead of that?" Are we trying to accomplish something in particular through this ritual, or are we doing it because everyone else is doing it? "That's just the Way it is; always has been!"

In itself, Ritual need not be viewed as Dangerous ( though I've heard stories ); it depends on the Intention of the One performing the ritual! Again, "Why?" Whether out of Ignorance, which in itself is dangerous, or selfish purpose, Ritual can serve no other purpose than to stir some feeling, even though the practitioner may be ignorant of the true meaning of that feeling. On the other hand though & speaking of 'selfish purpose', Ritual can be used in ways which are intentionally harmful to others, even a specific individual. For example, when one is excluded from Communion ( to whatever extent ) simply because she or he does not 'tow the line', it may be seen as dangerous, not only to the general health of the excluded one but to those who practice exclusion as well!

"Can One live without Ritual?" Well, yes & no! It is possible to go through life without  consciously ritualizing our everyday needs ( such as eating, drinking, resting, etc. ), but seriously, how far would we make it in this Life if we didn't attend to those daily needs?! If, say, we didn't commune with ourselves ( meditate ) on a daily basis, how quickly would we forget Who We are? When we forget to eat or drink, it's not long before we're reminded how important those rituals are, to say almost nothing of the importance of the Ritual of Rest. Understanding the Rituals of Life, as perceiving the Sanctity of Life, is of utmost importance to the preservation of Life, at least, humanly speaking!

This being the Day set aside by the majority of the Christ-confessing world to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus, a few words about this Ritual will suffice. Whatever faith one chooses to place in the words of a transliterated, ancient Near Eastern document, the fact, as most Christians see it, that Jesus rose from the grave, thereby signifying the victory over death is of great importance! Whether this Story is entirely factual, or simply metaphorical of our rise in consciousness to that of the Christ, the Ritual that many observe on this Day of Days serves to implement that rise in consciousness, whether consciously or unconsciously.  

Namaste' & Blessed Be,

Sage Charles

Saturday, April 02, 2022

A Shift in Consciousness

The Apocalypse occurred a little over two years ago! Obviously, it wasn't the end of the world. Many people, when they hear the word 'apocalypse' immediately think ( negatively, BTW ) of the end of the world, if not the end of Time itself. As a former Christian, I'm quite familiar with the concept of some future cataclysmic event, based on John's Revelation, the last book of the Bible. John's Revelation, of course, is where we get the word 'apocalypse'. The meaning that most dictionaries ( to whatever extent ) assign to the Greek transliteration 'apokalypsis' indicates some form of final, future, destructive event. The actual meaning is 'an uncovering', or 'a revealing'. This actually makes a lot of sense, since a revelation is the end result of a revealing, 2020 revealed a lot of things that had been hidden in the shadows. It began in early 2020 with the masks and the social distancing, as well as the forced quarantines. 2020 came & went, bringing us into 2021; things only got worse, revealing, not only the lengths our government was prepared to go to in keeping us quiescent, but also the true colors of many we had considered friends. This is not to further the separation between us, of course, because there really is no separation except in our minds. However, as the case may be, the so-called 'pandemic' has been a blessing in disguise, for without it, the conspiracy theorists would still be crazy & the majority of the people would still be 'sheeple'. Don't get me wrong, though; there's STILL a lot of 'sheeple' out there!

All of this has transpired, of course, to bring about 'The Great Shift', a change in perception, a change in consciousness. In some sense, this might engender one of those 'chicken or egg' discussions, but it should be clear that a change in consciousness, whether conscious or unconscious, needs to come first, for unless one's consciousness is altered, however greatly or slightly, that one's perception will never change! In order for the necessary change to come, there MUST be a change in perception, or people will never see 'the monster behind the curtain'; they will continue to live out 'the American Dream' ( or European, or African, Asian, etc ), not understanding the implications of this 'law' or that & not really caring about anything but 'the good life', death & taxes.

Such a Shift requires education! No, not the sort of education one might receive at a college or university & certainly not from any seminary; this kind of education only leads to more of the same. By 'more of the same'; understand, 'The American Dream'. Now, I'm not by any means saying that one shouldn't go to college or university, or even attend seminary, although these can prove to be well-nigh useless or, in the case of the latter, dangerous. On the other hand though, it depends on the individual person, Which brings me to my next point...........

To truly garner anything from ANY sort of education, one must educate oneself! Not only must one WANT to learn, they must open their mind to truly LEARN, to understand what is being revealed. On top of this, one must first become conscious of the necessity of a change ( for the better ). "How do we alter our consciousness in such a way? one might ask; "are you saying we should all start tripping on psychedelics?"  No, of course I'm not advocating the use of illegal drugs, though something could be said................... There is a way to alter consciousness without the use of illegal drugs. Anything from simple meditation techniques to certain music, dancing, etc. have been proven an effective way of altering ( temporarily ) one's consciousness. Again though, this depends on the individual: obviously, if dancing, music & meditation were all there was to it, we'd all be in a better place!

"Intent is Key!" One could dance him or herself to death or meditate until they were blue in the face & it wouldn't do a damn bit of good unless the intention to accomplish positive change was present. "Yes, we are THAT powerful!" If we truly intend to do something, NOTHING can stop us! "Now, whoah there," you might be thinking, "are you telling us that if we intended to, we could fly ( like a bird )?" Actually, yes; to use an example I've used previously; " look at what the Wright Brothers did at Kitty Hawk, back in the day & now, where are we? Could we actually ( literally ) grow a set of wings & fly through the heavens? "Now who's getting ridiculous?" Birds are birds & human beings are human beings. While it remains to be seen whether Science will ever figure out how to merge the two, there ARE fairly simple contraptions, even clothing, that allow the user or wearer to glide through the air with the greatest of ease. 

Being that we are More than human; we all have the ability to fly, albeit, not to the 'normal' human perception & certainly not with wings, whether bird OR human!  The necessary Shift that must occur involves our breaking with tradition & unlearning all we 'know' about not just ourselves, but about Nature in general! Whether plants, animals, or human beings, even what we know as 'inanimate objects' to a degree; we ALL have a life of our own, a sentience if you will. It is known that plants communicate with each other. The largest living organism, for example, is an aspen grove on the side of a mountain in Colorado. Even rocks have some kind of life in them, or at least did at one point. The Life that is in the plants & animals, even the basic building blocks of Nature herself, its impetus, is the same Life that guides & motivates us, if only we would remember this!

"Education?" Don't we already know all we need to, being More than Human? Well, yes, as More than Human, we have all this Knowledge, or at least, access to it, but because we slowly ( over many lifetimes ) have forgotten Who & What We are, We must educate ourselves, mostly through introspection ( meditation ), although our memories may be triggered by things we read, see or hear. With the help of these aids, as well as our Highest Self, We will remember Who We are again & that We CAN fly!

Namaste' & Blessed Be,

 Sage Charles

Saturday, March 26, 2022

The Maternal Heartbeat

Rhea was ready. In her heart of hearts, she knew that her lifelong dream of bearing children for Her Lord was about to come to fruition. Cronus had been busy preparing Her a place for Them & now at last, that work was done. Though the preparations had been made, Cronus knew that His work was not finished. As any parent can attest to, the preparations are only the beginning; once the children emerge, blinking, into the Sunlight, the Work begins in earnest!

Rhea bore 3 male children & 4 female to Her Lord, 7 offspring in all. The first male child seemed to enjoy being immersed in water most of all, particularly in the largest bodies of water He could find. In fact, 'Siedon, as He came to be called, liked being in the water so much that it was hard for His Mother to keep Him out of it! 'Siedon became so good at holding His breath that He stayed underwater for longer & longer periods of time, till it was almost like He was born to it. Posiedon learned to actually breathe underwater, like the fish & finally He took up permanent Residence in the Sea. The second male child was a bit darker, though pleasant enough. Hades enjoyed being alone. He was not the social, active person that His older Brother was; in fact, He spent so much time in His room in the basement that His skin was almost a sickly shade of pale. His Mother & Father knew that this One was special, that He was meant for greater things, but what those greater things were could only be guessed at. When Zeus came along, being next to the last of the seven ( the number of perfection, by the way ), He emerged rather smaller than usual. For such a small Baby, He sure ate more than His share ( He REALLY liked to suckle ) & so, before too long, the baby Boy surpassed both His older Brothers in stature & was soon whipping them regularly, just as they had been used to doing to Him. In fact, you might say, it got to the point that He ruled over them!

Demeter, or 'Demi', as She was more affectionately known, was more like Her oldest Brother than anybody. The only difference was that, while He enjoyed the Water, She enjoyed working with Earth. The original 'Green Thumb', Demi loved living, growing things. The fact that She could take a dried up old seed & bring Life from it imbued Her with a sense of Power that would never die! Hestia took after Her Mother.  Like her older Sister, She too enjoyed the Earth & growing things, but rather than the feeling of Power it gave, She perceived these living, growing thing as Her children. Being the motherly type, Hessie was more apt to spend time just sitting with Her Children, watching over them as they grew. Being the fifth in line, Hera was the motherly type as well, though not quite to the extent of Her next older Sister. Though She was ready to do what needed to be done, even if it meant getting Her hands dirty in the good Earth, Hera was more of a Home-bound Spirit; She would rather cook & clean than spend time with Her Sister, tending the huge Garden. She also had Her repositories of Knowledge, Books. Finally, we come to the youngest Child, Persephone, or Perse for short. Perse always had a mind of Her own, which is not unusual for a youngest Child, a daughter no less. One might note that, to whatever extent, She embodied certain aspects of all of Her Sisters, as well as certain of Her Brothers. As the youngest Child ( also not unusual ), Persephone grew up with what some might call a sense of entitlement. So, as Fate would have it, Perse often found Herself the butt of Her older Sibling's cruel jokes. On one such occasion, for instance, Hades locked Her in His dungeon-like room in the basement, not allowing Her to leave until She agreed to be His personal slave.

Such were the offspring of Rhea & Cronus. As the Parents of such diverse Children, both Cronus & Rhea had their hands full & though Cronus may have spent more time working with Earth, bringing it under His subjugation, if you will; Rhea, in the greatest sense, spent more time with Her Mother, communing with Her, feeding Her, loving Her. Rhea, for example, though She loved to care for Her living, growing things, would just as soon just sit next to them while They silently grew, in silence Herself, simply allowing Them to Be, rather than impatiently trying to hurry them along as Cronus was wont to do. 

Cronus, or Kronos, as He is more familiarly called, knew, or at least thought He knew, that He had an allotted Time on Earth. One could almost understand, therefore, His impatience in wanting to 'get the job done'. Rhea, on the other hand, being more of an emotional, motherly Creature, knew that, no matter what She did, Her Children would grow as Fate had decreed. Fate was not some cruel Master Who decreed beforehand how everything would work; rather, Fate was a personal Choice, through which each of Her Children decreed Their own Fate!

The above might be called a parable based on a myth. At that, a myth however loosely based on a greater Myth. As a parable, the Story above points to a greater spiritual truth. What that greater spiritual truth is, I leave to the discernment of my readers. May the Fates be with you!

Sage Charles

Wednesday, March 02, 2022

Peace in ( the midst of ) Turmoil

 "It can't be helped!" Unless one is able to become a hermit in in the truest, loneliest sense of the word, one just can't seem to get away from it all! Even if one ( like me ) religiously DOESN'T watch the news, one cannot help but have heard at least an inkling of what is currently happening over in Asia & Europe. Whatever the Story might be, I'm sure we don't know everything behind Vladimir Putin's unconscionable decision to invade Ukraine, or maybe more correctly, THE Ukraine. This, of course, is simply the latest in a series of incidents that are manufactured to make us focus on this over here, or even that over there, rather than focusing on what's inside us, in our very heart of hearts.

Until Peace reigns supreme ( within the hearts of humanity ), there will never be Peace anywhere in this World, on this physical plane! Long have I said that, "there will never be a lasting Peace in the Middle East", at least, as long as humanity rules. If those in charge ( the Middle East & ALL involved are named for example ) would realize that they are More than human & NOT the Ego, we would begin to see Change all over the World. For example, the Ego says, "This is OUR Land; you cannot BE here!" The Ego says, "You don't believe like I/we do, therefore, you must leave or die ( usually, "die" ), the Ego says, "you don't live the way I/we think you should, so you deserve to die"! Is any of this true? Does one person deserve to be stigmatized or even euthanized, JUST because they don't believe or live like we?! Do we actually have a right to say, "Get off MY Land!"?!

Contrary to popular opinion, it is possible to live in the midst of all this, these wars & rumors of wars & still be at Peace. This does not mean that we never get swept up in the rush, because we all have those days; we are still human beings after all, dealing with, not only our own Ego, but with the Collective Ego. So yes, sometimes we just get tired, tired of all the bullshit. It's usually on these days ( I speak for myself here ), that we just wanna go Home; as I remarked to my best friend yesterday, "I just don't wanna be Here anymore"! On days like this, however, I need to remind myself  ( we ALL must ) that I AM Home, for as the saying goes, "Home is where the Heart is". The "Heart" in question is referring, not to our inmost desire, which was no doubt the point of the quote, but rather to our Inmost Being, our "Heart of Hearts", what has been called "the Spark of Divinity"!

It is this Divine Spark that enables us to be at Peace wherever we are, no matter what storms may rage around us. This is hard to say & even harder to believe for the overwhelming majority of human beings around the World, especially in this day & age, with, not only what has been mentioned already, "wars & rumors of wars", but the overwhelming mentality that seems to rule this age, "the Law of the Jungle, "dog eat dog", "kill or be killed" & so many other noxious, poisonous cliches'. These may swirl around us; they may even knock us down, but when we remember where our Strength lies, where True Peace resides, then we may be truly at Peace, for we are Home!

The Above is true, as well, for our personal situation, whatever that might be, though this might be almost harder to swallow than what was mentioned previously. Here too & maybe even moreso, the Ego is present. However, we ALWAYS have a Choice! We can choose to let our Ego ( humanity ) rule over us, or WE ( Divinity ) can overrule our Ego. "As above, so below"; the Ego might say, "This is MINE; I will KILL to defend it!" The Ego says, "I am right, YOU therefore are wrong & therefore do not have the same Rights as I do!" More often than not, it all goes downhill from there.........

To realize that Peace Within, One must first  remember Who they really are, What their True Nature is. Not to sound like a broken record, or bore you to tears, but "We are primarily spirit beings having a physical experience". In other words, We have a Body; We are not that Body: We are a Soul WITH a Body. Because We HAVE a Body, though We are NOT that Body, We often find ourselves subjected to the assaults of our physical, mundane constituents, the Ego, feelings, emotion, etc. "As above, so below", though, we always have the choice; must we be ruled by our emotions, feelings or Ego, or can we simply let them do their necessary work, then just move on from there? On the other hand, moving on then; BECAUSE We are not that Body, We CAN allow these necessary constituents to accomplish their intended work; be the Observer of that Work & simply walk on by. "Easier said than done?" But of course..................

Namaste' & Blessed Be!

 Sage Charles

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

"What IS Love?!' Ad Nauseam

 So, by this time, some among us are likely beginning to think, "this is getting old!" Admittedly, we HAVE been here before, but seriously, this Subject IS worth exploring, ad nauseam, as it were! Love, at least as most seem to know it in this day & age, IS 'A Many Splintered Thing'! Discussing this with a friend recently, I came to the unsettling conclusion that the object of what most people call 'love' is no more than a piece of meat, whether figuratively or sexually speaking. Objectively speaking, when we love something, whether it be our spouse, or our pet, it is considered normal to look at the object of our affection as if we own it. Thus, when someone other than the true owner pays attention to OUR spouse, pet, etc., jealousy, in its many different forms, tends to rear its ugly head. Love, when viewed in its verb form, causes other issues as well, for whether it's obligational ( conditional ) or what some call 'unconditional love', because it is based on feelings ( emotions ), it can change to hate in a split second. Love, however, is a noun, even a Proper Noun & thus, does not change!

I Corinthians 13 is known as 'the love chapter'. Though I no longer follow the Bible, per se, I still see in it many universal truths. The words, attributed to the apostle Paul, in verses 4 through 7, are some such. "Love suffers long [ and ] is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not [b]puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, [c]thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." Though Paul here does not necessarily tell us what exactly Love is, he seems to establish that love is primarily a noun, not a verb. In essence, this is what Love DOES, how It behaves! Another such universal truth in the Bible says that "God is Love" ( I John 4:8 ). Note that by using the term 'God' here, I'm referring, not to the Christian God, or the God of the Bible, necessarily, but to the Source of All Life. Being that the Source of All Life is Love, Personified or Objectified, you might say & we, in our Innermost Being, are a part of, though not apart from that Source, WE are Love as well; that is our true Nature!

'Love' is NOT synonymous with 'approval'! In its verbal form, even so-called 'unconditional love' does not mean that we approve of someone's or something's actions; it simply means that we choose to show them love in spite of however horrible or distasteful their actions might be to us, that we accept THEM, though not necessarily the way they're currently acting. Speaking of Unconditional Love; even humanly speaking, It DOES ( necessarily ) involve boundaries! This is because Unconditional Love, again, humanly speaking, starts with Self Love. You're familiar, no doubt, with the saying, "If you don't love yourself, you can't love anyone else": this is a universal truth which is hinted at in the biblical injunction to "love your neighbor as you love yourself". There IS, then, such a thing as 'Unconditional Love', but this Love is not a verb; It's a Noun!

The Universal Truth "God is Love" is reversible; "Love is God"! The question posed above, then, might better be, 'WHO is Love?' Again. the 'God' in  question here is NOT a reference to the God of the Bible, or even necessarily to the Christian God. Some, in fact, would say 'Goddess'! The Source of All Life, though, has no gender, as male or female, though for us humans, it is easier, or more convenient maybe, to imagine this 'God' or 'Goddess' so, made in OUR image, so to speak. ( It also gives us Someone else to blame ) So; "God is Love", "Love is God"; whatever: we're really no closer to discerning WHAT or WHO Love is? Or are we?

"Everything is Energy!" This handy little saying is usually blamed on Albert Einstein, who was arguably, one of the smartest human beings who ever lived. "Okay; given that Everything is Energy, does that include the Source of All Life?' Is 'God' simply Energy ( insert 'Goddess' there, if you will )? It would make so much sense if that was the case, because if everything is Energy, it would naturally follow that the Source of all that Energy was, well, Energy! 

One argument for the Source of All Life NOT being 'simply' Energy might be the case for 'Intelligent Design". I'm no scientist; I've never studied the heavens to much extent: I barely know anything about 'String Theory', but I know that the intricacies of this marvelous Universe, to say nothing of the Microverse that composes our bodies, our Avatar, if you will, requires a Greater Intelligence that we in our finite humanity can even begin to imagine! It could well be asked then, "Is Energy itself intelligent ( sentient? )?" This could open a can of worms that most are not ready to open, but if Energy requires a Director, them maybe we too, humanly speaking, require one as well!

As I've said before ( so really; I'm quoting myself here ); "Some cans of worms just need to be opened", some pots just NEED to be stirred, etc, etc., ad infinitum. So, here goes: maybe the reason that most religious people have a problem with the notion that God is Energy, is that, if Energy has its own Intelligence & thus has no need of a Director, than it could be construed to mean that we too, being Energy, have no such need either. In such a case then, as the song goes, "what would you have to complain about?", who would we blame for our misfortunes or misdeeds, if not a Director, like 'God' or 'the Devil'? In such a case, as the Scotsman said when a book fell on his head, "I can only blame my shelf"! 

We ARE energetic beings! Not only do we call our motivation ( or the lack thereof ) 'Energy', it is a scientific fact that the makeup of our physical body is Energy. It's a bunch of atoms dancing around ( vibrating ) at various speeds ( frequencies ). 'Is it really that simple?' Well, no; of course it's not that simple, though it might be noted that it's no more complex than, "the Lord God formed man [ of ] the dust of the ground" ( Genesis 2:7 ). This too, is a fact, because Science tells us that our physical bodies are composed of the same materials as the Earth Herself & indeed, our Energy, in some sense, comes from the Earth, in the food we eat & the water we drink.

Of course, we are not simply energetic beings because our bodies are motivated by Energy, because they are composed of Energy; as part & parcel with the Source of All Life, we ARE Energy! In the greatest sense, then & by extension, We are Life! Since Life, then Love; as the rest of the verse above says, "and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being". Again, as written in I John 4:8, one of the Universal Truths of the Bible, "God is Love". "Love is Life', it could well be said, just as "Life is Love". Love makes the world go 'round, so thus, Love can be equated with Energy. If Love is simply Energy, then where does that leave us? Where does that leave the World?

One doesn't need to have studied the metaphysical to be familiar with the phrases, "they just have bad energy" or "they have really good energy". This may be true enough, humanly speaking, or in actuality, but really, or spiritually speaking, there is no such thing. Energy is neither 'good' nor 'bad' ( kinda like 'God' is not male or female ); It just is. We encounter issues when human beings make the choice to manifest this Energy from their lower, instead of their Higher, or Highest Nature. The energy which manifests from this lower nature, at best, acts as if Love is a verb, while the Energy that manifests from our Highest, our True Nature portrays Its True Form, that of a Noun!

"God is Love"; "Love is God"; what does that mean?! While "God is Love" should be fairly easy for say, a Christian to understand; to say "Love is God" might not go over so well, because for most human beings, love is a verb, not a noun ( definitely not a Noun ). For the overwhelming majority, love is merely a conscious choice that we make ( or not ) in regards to another. While, humanly speaking, We DO make a conscious choice as to when, where, how & with whom we share that Love, not everyone understands or acknowledges where this Love truly comes from. To be honest, though most, if not all freely acknowledge where Love originates ( "God is Love" I John 4:8 ), there are but few, though this Number is growing, that have realized We are part of that Source. What then is Love? Or better, "Who is Love?" Love is Energy; Love is the Source: Love is Life!

By this time, maybe my readers, along with myself, of course, understand a little better what Unconditional Love is. Unconditional Love is not something we choose to do, for as my friend has pointed out, there is always a condition ( of whatever sort ) when we understand it in its verb form. However, since we ARE Love, the only condition here is whether or not to manifest from our lower nature, which does not realize this glorious fact, or from our Highest Nature, which helps us to embody It & that without condition.

Love does not change! As human beings with natural ( not good or bad ) feelings & emotions, we are subject to change, both from inside & outside forces, but from a spiritual standpoint, We are what ( Who ) We are; THAT will NEVER change! Even as human beings, though, we always have a choice: whether from outside influences or inner motivation, we must decide for ourselves if we will act or react, with Love or with Fear. As the Energetic Beings that We are, being primarily Spirit, or Love, We have no choice ( no condition there! ); We ARE Love, immutably so! 

Namaste' & Blessed Be,

Sage Charles

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Love Unbound

 Love never fails. - Paul ( I Corinthians 8a )

'Unconditional Love." I'll say it again; "Unconditional Love!" Does such a thing even exist? Without immediately referring to the dictionary, the notion of loving without any conditions is suspect, especially in this day & age. Another question comes to mind; "Is it even POSSIBLE for one to love without condition?!" To answer this question, much less the first, might prove easier said than done, however. One possible clue. we might note though, is that the former use of the word is a noun, while the latter is a verb. 'What difference does that make?' you might be asking yourself: "cannot love be both objective & subjective ( active )?" Well, yes, it could be well said that Love is both, for as has been written before in the pages of this blog, "love is an action ( a choice )!" 

The 5 Ws ( Who, What, When, Where and Why ) might prove a useful tool in determining whether we as human beings are capable of "unconditional love"! After that, maybe we'll have somewhat of a clearer picture of what exactly it is. Answering these questions will help us to decipher the answer to both of the questions we have been presented.

"Who? To answer this question, we need to ask ourselves. "To whom is this referring?" Are we the "who" in question, or does it refer to "the other"? Jesus said, quoting Leviticus 19:18, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." This is what I like to call one of the many "Universal Truths" of the Greek & Hebrew Scriptures. One: loving ones neighbor as one loves him or herself requires that one first love themselves. This though, itself might render us a clue as to why society in general is in the state of confusion it is; people ARE loving their neighbor as they love themselves: the problem IS, at least 9 out of 10 people don't love themselves! 

"What?" Moving on, one might well note, without having answered the question of "Who?", maybe "What?" will help to answer THAT question. "What IS love?" Is it a noun, something that defines what is otherwise indefinable, or is it a verb, something which can be directed, at will, at any given object? As a verb, it could well be said, love is always conditional. We may love a thing with all our heart, mind, soul & strength, but "God forbid", that 'thing', the object of our love, should turn its back on us, forsaking us: what person, in all honesty, is going to continue to actively love that thing?! One may continue to hold a love, of sorts, in their heart of hearts for that thing, be it a person or what, but if that person or thing continually repulses, or just plain ignores their pleas, their love will only fall on deaf ears for so long before it moves on.

However, if love is a noun describing a person, place, or thing, then maybe, just maybe, we're getting closer to figuring out what love really is! As a noun, Love being unconditional begins to make sense. A Tree is not a tree because it is healthy. If it is unhealthy, it is a sick tree, but it is still a tree. An animal, be it a bird or a cow, it what it is. Even if it is dead or dying; we do not see it and observe, "there lies something that used to be a bird or a cow". No, it is STILL a bird or a cow; it is simply a dead one ( or dying )! Speaking of the Greek & Hebrew Scriptures, one may read in them that "God is love" ( I John 4:8 ). As this is one of those "Universal Truths", we begin to see how Love could be considered unconditional. Furthering that Truth, however, we can gather from this that we ourselves are Love, for we radiate from that same Source, indeed, we are One with that Source!

"When?" This question, as "Who?", really relies on "What?" If love is simply a feeling, an active, emotional response to certain conditions, then it relies on the fulfillment of those conditions in order to be activated. When those conditions are not met; "as above, so below", that 'love', or the Holder thereof, is most likely going to move on to the next object of their affection. However, "When?" could also be posited thusly; 'When should we love?" Or, "When do we allow our love to rest on someone, be it an object, place or thing?" Obviously, if our love is emotionally based, our feelings, which change like the weather in Montana, are going to dictate when our love comes to rest.

The startling notion, however, that We are Love changes everything! "We, like God, do not change!" Aghast though you may be right now, this statement is true; just as my argument above about the sickly tree or the dead animal, even if we begin to act differently than we ever had previously, for good or ill, we are STILL human beings. Furthermore & more importantly, the statement above does not refer, at least not primarily, to our humanity! The statement in question refers to our inmost Being, our heart of hearts, so to speak, our Divinity, our Oneness with the Source!

"Where?' The possibilities are endless! This question might refer, in the verbal sense, to spreading that shit everywhere, so to speak. Of course, in the objective sense, it could be answered in the same exact way as we have answered the other questions; that Love resides within us, in our humanity, being an integral part of it, yet on a different level, you might say, our Higher or Highest Self, that part of us that is God. In this case then, our answer is much the same; "spread that shit everywhere!" However, the objective answer requires nothing of us, or of anyone else for that matter. In order to objectively "spread that shit everywhere", We must simply BE!

As a verb, love requires us to make a choice; "Where should we spread this shit?" Where the obvious answer is, "Everywhere!", it really isn't that simple, or easy! If this person or that triggers certain feelings, certain emotions, within us, we may well decide that they aren't really worth our time & energy, even that they are detrimental to us. Even when we can look objectively at the situation, we need to consider these feelings & emotions!

"Why?" Now we come to the Ultimate Question, "The Meaning of Life", you might say! Since we are here, both to love & AS Love, we might well ask "Why?"! Why ARE we here? We are here to love, it's been said. Damn right; "we are here to love", but what does that really mean? Does that really mean that we should spread that shit everywhere, indiscriminately pouring our love on good & evil alike, even if it means letting them walk all over us? This goes right back to what Jesus said earlier; "You shall love your neighbor as yourself"; if we don't love ourselves, respect ourselves enough NOT to allow people to walk all over us, then "Yes", that include us playing the part of a veritable doormat. If, however, we have the respect for ourselves that says, "I don't need this kind of negativity in my life", that is not refusing to love them: that is loving yourself. No, that is not being selfish, either; that is being kind to & loving yourself! It is necessary!

While these lines ( the 5 Ws ) may or may not satisfactorily answer the question ( s ) at hand, they may at least provide a base to begin your own search on. "IS it possible to love without condition?" For the overwhelming majority of human beings, the answer to this question is most likely a resounding "NO!" For those, however, who have realized & accepted that We are MORE than this humanity, that We ARE the Unconditional Love we've been looking for, the answer could be called "a moot point"!

While we ARE, as human beings anyway, "here to love": even more importantly, We are here to BE Love! Being More than Human, We ARE Love Itself, but too often, we allow our humanity to 'outshine' the Love that We are! With our Ego, an integral part of our humanity & so, not a necessarily bad thing, along with eons of conditioning, we have 'learned' that not everyone is worthy of our love, even of the Love We are. We have even been conditioned to believe, most of us in fact, that we ourselves are not worthy of our love!

The second part of our answer to the question, "To whom is this referring?' that was posed near the beginning of this post has been answered. As the saying goes, in other words maybe, "If you can't love yourself, you'll never be able to love anybody else". More importantly, when we don't realize the Love We ARE, we tend to get stuck in the endless cycle ( call it "Vicious Circle" ) of feelings. It could also be likened to a roller coaster. Loving ourselves is easy, though it's harder than it sounds, especially when it comes to loving ourselves without condition. Loving others without condition?! Well, that's damn near impossible, no matter how you spin it!

Namaste' & Blessed Be!

Sage Charles