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"Free and critical minds can emerge only by a return to the source-the primary sources. A free and critical mind takes nothing for granted and is not intimidated by "authorities" who frequently may be more confused than the general public. Free and critical minds seek truth without chauvinism or shame." - Dr. Asa G. Hilliard III (1)

“One single bit of information, if missing, incomplete, out of order or just plain wrong, has the potential to significantly alter thought processes, conclusions, decisions and behaviors, even when that one single logic entry exists in a sea of accuracy.”

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Pleasures of Nature

Nature is not just for the pleasure and contemplation of poets. Anyone can spend more time doing fewer things to allow room for the healthy pleasure of peaceful, unwinding moments. Restoration and appreciation can come from being very active with nature or from low-key relaxing. Either way it gives our spirit time to talk to us. Nature rejuvenates the spirit. It feeds the spirit. With this energy and downtime from the daily grind, our spirit is able to sort through the notes posted in our subconscious and provide clarity and guidance.

When it comes to benefiting more from nature, our haste has made us waste a vast amount of easy opportunities. Our tendency to hurry, along with our tendency to notice the same things over and over has caused us to pay more of our limited attention to birds, flowers and trees to the neglect of so much more of the readily available pleasures of nature.

Seeing the sun and moon is one thing but watching light and darkness switch places is witnessing the spiritual storytelling of rest and renewal. Each new night and each new morning another generation takes the exchange - never once dropping the baton.

Enjoying the transformation at dusk and dawn requires a slower gear and another level of awareness. Establishing a rapport with the wind is no different. If I weren't so busy I could prepare to learn from the wind instead of entreating it to tell me where it has been. I wouldn't lament it either when the wind seems heavy-handed. I'd thank the wind for its importance to every kind of weather. I'd mimic its constancy and change paces with the easygoing breezes, breaths and wisps. Each time it passed by, I'd welcome it as a natural reminder to the plentiful pleasures of nature.

Related Posts: Definitions: Communing, Sustainability, Descendent, Family Values & Spiritual Genetics Context And So Continues The Meaning Of Life & Existence (Part 7d)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Don't April Fools' Yourself

Sometimes fear can be funny when it's a reaction to a playful surprise on April Fools' Day. A harmless trick might provide a momentary laugh or two but tricking yourself ain't funny at all, especially when you allow fear to outsmart you.

Fear twists things around until it makes sense. Fear makes opposites exactly what they are not. Because fear is a trickster, it intentionally confuses right with wrong, good with bad, best with worst and risk with danger. For instance, fear can make something right seem seem stupid and something wrong seem intelligent. This is the exact opposite.

What's truly amazing is this. Were it not for the “apostrophe t,” the fearful and the brave would live the same lives.

The “apostrophe t” makes all the difference. One can, the other can't. One learns they should, the other knows they shouldn't. One will, the other won't. To one, there is a choice. To the other there isn't. When it comes to making important decisions, one must and will have. The other mustn't and will have not. Peace that is.

Removing the “apostrophe t” from just one of the statements above gives us this: One can, the other can. Both the brave and the fearful can. What's the difference?

Don't be fooled. The brave know fear. They just prepare themselves to resist it daily. They use awareness to resist the infectious, comforting, contagious nature of fear. So can you. The brave know all about fear. They just understand it in its entirety.

The brave understand fear is more of an obstacle to opportunity than anything else. The brave understand this: Nothing we have that fear tells us we could lose, is ours. The brave have learned that what is achieved through bravery can only be maintained through bravery and what is achieved through fear can only be maintained through fear.

The simple story of life has two sides. One where we take hold of life with power and the other where we are held back and we cower. Fear infiltrates belief until you are unable to tell which choices lead to triumph and which ones lead to personal tragedy.

No one wants to be fooled on April Fools' Day even if it's just for fun.
When the trick is self-imposed and fear becomes the default choice come decision time, then April fears can occur anytime of the year. That kind of fear ain't no joke.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Belief versus Fear: Who Wins?

I'm just trying to get to the heart of the matter. What helps us most? Analyzing our beliefs or managing our fears?

It's gotta be belief. Belief is the only reason we are able to choose between action and inaction. We don't have to agree with the belief. We only have to believe that the belief is necessary. Belief has nothing to do with the truth which is why antelopes run for their lives instead of fight for their lives. An antelope stampede against an attacker is a powerful thing yet antelopes run because they believe running is their only choice. Likewise, a stampede of beliefs such as, I am strong, I have value, I am special, I can do this, I should do this, I can learn to do this, etc. can turn away the strongest fear. Belief is what controls us, not fear.

It's gotta be fear. No matter what we believe, fear is either a motivator or demotivator. We remember fear most. We consult with fear most. Fear is more powerful and important because it is what surfaces first and imposes its own belief upon us. Fear is a master of disguise. It presents itself as all the things that seem right and sound good. It presents itself as logic, reason, caution, safety, security, protection, self-preservation and so on. Fear is what controls us, not belief.

Which one is it really? If it all came down to belief and fear, which one would be the deciding component of our life? Which one is most important to our personal growth? Which one is most important to our personal defeats or victories? Belief or Fear? Are we better off analyzing our beliefs or managing our fears?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Listening For Understanding

My quest for understanding is about things in part and things in entirety. I desire to understand my self, my spirit, the highest powers and hopefully one or two other people over the course of a lifetime. The understanding I speak of is not merely an intellectual, mental acknowledgement. It is an understanding which encompasses the spirit, nature or purpose of something. This understanding causes me to appreciate, respect, learn, improve and connect.

Often my quest involves devoting thoughts, time, reading, discussions, writing and observing to obtain understanding. This is a process and takes a lot of time so on occasion, I'll ”just put it out there” and have a frustrated-type conversation when I need some understanding right now yesterday.

Help me understand! I need to! I want to! Why all the secrecy? It could just as easily be a glass clearly instead of a glass darkly! Let me see everything and live to tell it and even longer to show it! Share understanding the way a knowing and loving parent forms the foundation in their infant. If I don't understand more, then what more is there? What I'm trying to say is, what's the point? I need to know more about what you're doing and what I should be up to so I'm not doing a good job but not doing any good. I need you to work with me and trust me on this one. Have faith in me! I just wanna understand something. If you control the big picture, and I am my own individual brushstroke, how is that supposed to work, especially when we all have free will but limited understanding? How can the big picture not be an abstraction when puposely-placed bold strokes of clarity are met with purposefully-placed fresh strokes of disparity? Give me something! You've got the power! Surely you can teach me something without sending me through another trial, tribulation or waiting period! You said ask! All that, “you have to go through something” mess is for nonbelievers. Please! If you can open heavens, earth and hearts, certainly you can open plain me to understanding in an instant. I'm telling ya, me not tryin' ta resist nuthin! Here me now. If you're the one putting images of Jesus and angels in places and causing statues to cry, please stop. That stuff don't matter none. It's time for another clear-cut miracle. Something simple, powerful, revealing, convincing and everyday. A miracle witnessed and understandable by millions and either caught on tape and put on the Internet or that spreads quicker than words from lying lips. It could be as simple as, the next time those lips part and speak, shut them for a season so the last lie spoken creates the type of fear that halts destructive behavior instead of helps it. But why waste it on fools. Interrupt regularly scheduled programming and bring back some folks who never should have been taken from us. Let's see some babies saved, some quality of lives raised and a physical sickness or two erased. Some tangible stuff, not the promise of blessings and paradise. That's all I'm saying. Make one of the things among all that are possible, true, now, and make it evident. I know that with just another peek at the things I seek with the light cast by your lamp, understanding will glisten. If it does already and my vision is blighted and my brush misguided, teach me to listen with a renewed sight.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Torture Chambers, Freedom & Obligation

Here's another perspective from

EthioBlog reports on the release of Binyam Mohammed who was finally released from Guantanamo Bay and allowed to return to the UK.

I have been through an experience that I never thought to encounter in my darkest nightmares. Before this ordeal, "torture" was an abstract word to me. I could never have imagined that I would be its victim.

It is still difficult for me to believe that I was abducted, hauled from one country to the next, and tortured in medieval ways -- all orchestrated by the United States government.

"While I want to recover, and put it all as far in my past as I can, I also know I have an obligation to the people who still remain in those torture chambers."

From Usiku: There are several similarities to be drawn from this for life in general and for me specifically but for now, is sufficient to know that clearly there are far worse things that take place than losing a job. The sad part is this. Many of us live our lives in self-imposed torture chambers. Those chambers we could walk away from whenever we get ready to but don't. Some of us would rather be in jail and stay on the plantation, nuff said.

To shadow Binyam Mohammed's thoughts, before we experience an event, it is nothing more than an abstract thing. So no matter how much sympathy we have we are limited in our understanding. Even our empathy is limited due to the varying nature of our collective experiences.

This blog and this book address a way out by going back to the beginning and the basics and simplify our way to satisfaction.

Much has been given to me in my lifetime, therefore my responsibility is great. In the small and grand scheme of things, I feel I have been spared and am therefore obligated. If anything has changed over the past few days it's that the responsibility has become even greater.

My pressing desire is to fully recover my direction. There is no time to waste for anyone to do what needs to be done. This reminds me of Dr. King's book, “Why We Can't Wait,” written over 40 years ago. My safari has begun anew and you may find me at the Marathon on 95th two blocks east of Stony or the Citgo at 75th & Yates or eating Jerk Chicken someplace but you will always find me somewhere along your own path. In all places I'll be either stocking or stocking up.

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Sunday, March 1, 2009

Job Lost? Don't Lose Spirituality

“We're going to have to let you go.” This is probably the most common phrase used. What we think and tell ourselves immediately revolves around financial considerations. What we feel can take on different proportions often leaving us feeling helpless, hopeless and sucked towards a swirling vortex of fear, loss of worth and separation.

Though losing a job comes with a plethora of unavoidable real life considerations, we can avoid allowing our thoughts and emotions to become devastating. We don't have to lose it by feeding into self-produced negativity, the fears and unproductive concerns others have for us and most importantly, things we can't control, especially the attitudes and actions of others.

Life happens to all of us and there's no use immediately trying to figure it all out. When there is a loss we experience, in order to keep from losing it spiritually, thus emotionally, simplify as much as possible. Don't get caught up in the job itself and the reasons why you don't have it and how you or others feel about it. You don't have a job, now what? Manage income and expenses. Do what you can each day and have peace in knowing that that is enough. Don't worry about all the things that did, could or might happen. Make a plan and review it frequently. That's the financial consideration part.

Dealing with our thoughts and emotions requires drawing upon our philosophies, beliefs and foundations that are at the core of our character. No one is immune from life happening. When life happens, and it will, to keep from being sucked into the vortex, we must remind ourselves that many things and anything can happen. When we feel life has let us go because we hear “we have to let you go,” hold on to your beginning and your beliefs. For me, it is simply this: I started life with something and when all else this life adds is removed, I still have something. I remember it well because I cried. This is powerful. It is my legacy and history. That something I started with and still have despite any loss that can occur in life is the spirit of endurance, creativity, survival and renewal. It is a legacy that looked back at me and through me as I passed a bathroom mirror at the job.

Looking in the mirror and seeing yourself is one thing. Looking in the mirror and feeling yourself is another. Looking in the mirror on the morning of February 27th, I finally remembered and understood how some feel when they see me. Some people see nature and they disconnect, become afraid. Others see nature and they connect, are awed. Both shudder. I felt me again for the first time and I shuddered twice. This told me, in one moment of spiritual lovingkindness, that even thunder and lightning, though mostly misunderstood, continue to be thunder and lightning whether living in the skies over the USA or Uganda.

We are going to lose things in life. Some things will no longer be where they were in the time it takes to turn around. Not having a job should not have the same effect as no longer having a loved one. If it does and your job is the key and the glue to life, you've already lost. You're an accident that's already happened, waiting to be discovered by you. You are spiritually dead waiting on physical death to let you go.

Spiritually is perspective. Millions have lost jobs, never had jobs, have jobs but inadequate income and still live life. Millions with jobs have lost what's most important. Even in what we believe to be the best of times, there are no certainties. We must stay mindful of who we are, what we consist of and what we are made of. Are you strong or weak? Are you like Antwone Fisher and the pyramids, still standing? Are your beliefs like the teachings of Imhotep and Yeshua Ben Yosef, still intact today?

Know that despite your circumstances, you can be a tree in the bayou rising out of water, transforming and reestablishing yourself because as you grow you continue to see the expansiveness of the spirit. While you grow towards the light and allow others to reach heights, alligators swim at your feet but are limited because their growth depends on predatory behavior. Consider them with a dispassionate view when they do what they do because just the other day, I saw a simple woman eating alligator. Its albino heart she tossed back into the bayou and it settled near the roots of the cypress.

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Two Steps:
1.Finances are one of the easiest things to control. Start saving.
2.Spirituality is a process and is more than going to church. Consider nature, even if you must start with a houseplant or a pet.