Category Archives: About the Mind

An Unexpected and very strange Dream

[as experienced by Sha’Tara]

There are those of us who are born dreamers. No, I don’t mean wishful thinkers but people who have unusual dreams that require serious interpretation. Is the dream a revelation? Is it for me of for some other person? Is it a “generic” prophecy, and if so, how to properly “download” the message file that it may then be presented to that lucky “generic” crowd?

Do I have to mention that I use the word “lucky” tongue in cheek? How many dreamers have had their dreaming career cut short when they kept saying things the lucky recipients did not want to hear, or which their leaders took exception to?

Water under the bridge and all that… but here’s a dream for you that should, perhaps, leave you scratching your head, as it did me, and continues to “do me”.

That was last night. I was having what must have been a peaceful sleep and the evening before was quite uneventful although I did try to watch a movie called “Captain Fantastic” which I could not finish. So what happened?

The dream. First, the scene: a steep hillside and it is quite dark though it is full daytime. I’m walking past a large black building on my left, climbing uphill, searching for some kind of path although the territory is not totally strange to me. Coming up behind me huffing and asking me to wait is…

You won’t believe this: none other than Donald Trump. To say that I’m shocked (in the dream) is an understatement. I don’t know what to say as he approaches. He puts his right hand on my shoulder and says, “Thanks for waiting, thanks a lot. Look, I know this will seem crazy but I want you to listen to me very, very carefully. First, I need you. I’ll explain why but let me just say that I know all about you, and your feelings towards me in particular, and all politicians. Also that you are no fan of America as an ideal. OK? Now please let me talk. I don’t have much time.”

“I’ve had a revelation (the word he used was different but it’s the best I can come up with) and I’m in terrible shock. All my life I’ve been a taker. I still can’t believe I’m saying this but it’s true. Now I’m in a position to reverse this. I want to be a giver, both in my politics and my personal life. I don’t know where that will leave me but I feel I have no choice in this. I repeat, I need you to help me because you understand what such a shift means.” He turns and motions to an individual I cannot see. “My assistant wants to speak to you. I’ll wait.”

A woman appears and approaches me. Is it KellyAnn Conway? It could be, looks like her but she does not introduce herself. She takes my arm and leads me into a dark brush-filled area, stops and looks straight in my eyes. She says words to the effect: “The president is in shock and I’m at a loss on how to handle this situation. We, I, have come to you because we, I, know I can trust you. If I can convince you to help us through this transition, I know you are essentially incorruptible and that you will do it, not for us and not for the opposition but for the people. This is all about people, not politicians, not elites, not anybody special. I, I mean we, no, the President (the way she said it makes me capitalize the title here) wants to turn everything around. He says he knows he has to, but has no idea how to proceed. Who would believe him? Who would trust him? I feel like I’m assistant to the Grinch who stole Christmas and is awakened on Christmas day by all the little Who singing happily as if nothing was missing. The President want to return Christmas to the people. He needs you understanding and your help. Will you help us? Long ago you wanted a chance like this but now that you no longer care we know you are trustworthy.”

I would have liked to be involved in more of this dream but I think the shock of it actually woke me up. I lay wide awake for a long time, forcing myself to remember the details in the dream and what they might mean. I got the symbolism of the “Black House” as how I would see the White House because of the corruption it houses. Also the entire sense of a very dark day is how I perceive the global situation we are in. The brushy area represents the political mess. Beyond that, having Donald Trump and KellyAnn Conway asking me for help even though, yes, I know what such a revelation as he explained having experienced, does entail, is a bit more than much. But then, what’s self empowerment for in the end?

Was my mind playing a really sick game, or is there something going on, even if in some altered reality? Is compassion challenging me to “love my enemy” in this scenario? What sort of personal power was I being offered?

Who is the message for? All bets are off but I’ll accept opinions!

Advertisements

[thoughts from   ~burning woman~   ]

“…and you realize this is where you live.” (last words from the movie, “Brooklyn”). How many times have I tried to tell myself that “this is where I live” only to have to face the fact that none of those places, countries, lands, towns, houses, families or circles of friends represented where I lived? If I ask myself, ‘Where do you live?’ the most honest answer must be, ‘Nowhere.’

 

I think that the cosmos is a very big place, almost as big, but not quite, as the inside of my heart. That is the biggest place of all because no matter where I go, it is already there waiting for me. I know this, and should I apologize for having such a perception? It’s true, no matter where I go, I need no introduction, no ID, nor do I need any ‘Welcome home’ parties.

Because I am nobody, I am everybody. That is a hard fact to get my small head around. Can such a concept mean anything? Maybe. If I am ‘everybody’ in my heart (inclusive) but in my mind I hate someone, or think of someone, anyone, in some lesser or derogatory way (exclusive) doesn’t that mean I’m hating myself, mocking myself?

While I’m preparing myself to engage another month-long volunteer excursion in that northern country I don’t much care for, I realize that life has erected this strange parabolic mirror for me to look into. Well, talk about an embarrassment! Looks like I’m a far cry from being what I’d imagined myself to be… by now, what with all that talk about living compassionately. Oh sure, for this one life, in comparison to where I’ve come from certainly I can say I am living compassionately, if I remember to add: incrementally.

I don’t make resolutions, too much like promises and I don’t do those either, but I do have to work from the mind at changing myself, and that means resolving to eschew certain though patterns I’ve grown quite fond of through the years.

Where do I live? I live in my mind. Where does my mind live? In the thought patterns that define my real, not imagined, philosophy; that define my real self. So, it isn’t what I do, or what I’m perceived as being I must focus my mind on, but the thought patterns that circumscribe the world I exist in. What is that like?

Imagine living in a place that has suffered some serious strafing and bombing: that’s what it’s like living here. Sure I can call it home, but not the kind of home I could ever be comfortable in, not until some equally serious reconstructing has been done.  OK, I live in a reconstruction zone. Only I’m the owner, and fully responsible for how that reconstructing is being done. I’m the architect, the designer, the contractor, and I also pay all the bills. That’s how it is. And, I need the wherewithal to pay those bills.

As humans; as mind beings, we are not poor. We do not lack any of the means to do the reconstructing in our minds. I don’t know how the resources got there but we have them: all the vices and all the virtues we will ever need or could ever use. All we need to do it pick and choose which ones we will use in the reconstructing.

That’s not rocket science but it does mean we need to teach ourselves how to put these things together properly so we can live with the end result. Who wants to live in some cobbled-up construct that could collapse at any time, or that was designed by some fly-by-night con artist we thought we could trust?

Another day of observing thought patterns to see if, and how, they add up to the kind of life I need, I must, have for myself before my smug life-long companion with his ever-present grin claims my body.

“The mind has many watchdogs; sometimes they bark unnecessarily, but a wise man never ignores their warning.” (A Fall of Moondust, Arthur C. Clark)

Life’s Treadmill-the name of the game: Repetition

[thoughts from   ~burning woman~   ]

We’re on Life’s treadmill and here, everything repeats. We know this is basically true, as far as our history reveals it. Helpless, we repeat ourselves; out mistakes, our stupidity, our ignorance; our dreams, our hopes, our certainty of better days ahead.

Time after time we seem able to latch on to our dreams, bootstrap ourselves out of some historical nightmare and lift ourselves up into a bit of new understanding. Take the Renaissance, for instance. Before that were many ages characterized by the empires they gave rise to. We know a bit about ancient Chinese dynasties, the Great Wall of China standing as a mute tribute to those times, good for some, terrible for the peasants and slaves who died on and in, that wall.

We can talk some about Greece and Mesopotamia. Egypt and Rome. Great civilizations, or so we like to think. But if there is one thing we should pay attention to; we should “remember”; it’s that everyone of those civilizations came to an end after they became empires and resorted to war against the rest of the known world to maintain their entropic power.

The war maker and war monger forgets that in the end, his wars kill him and the world he sought to control, own and enslave. The lesson seems ever fresh yet it is made of endless repetition, here on earth and before that wherever in the galaxy and the universe. We are nothing new, nor are we evolved or created: we are characters in an ever-repeating universal drama. That we choose not to remember changes nothing.

Whomever or whatever you are, this is your truth: naked you come into the world and naked you leave it. It may take a thousand years if you are an empire, but you will die in your illusion of completion. No one and nothing can save you from yourself and you are made of history and history repeats itself.

That being the case, naked you will return to this world again, in your time, or in a time that destiny has determined should include you. You return upon the stage but no one remembers you, or the parts you played in the past. Even if you are a main player in some pages of previous history, even you will not remember yourself. That is how the game is played, however sick it seems to a healthy mind.

This of course brings up a very interesting point: if everything repeats, then so do, so will, the characters of ancient myth. Angels and demons; werewolves and vampires; Gorgons and gargoyles; mermaids and Sirens, unicorns and satyrs… these were “noted” once, long ago, or not so long ago, ergo, they exist and must return to the stage.

My people have a saying: if you can imagine it, image it, describe it, write about it, think about it, then “it” of necessity exists. You cannot describe, either to yourself or to anyone else, something that isn’t. Fairy tale characters? Fantasies? Science fiction? Yes, all of that has reality in their own dimension. Some are still leaving while others in modern fantasies and science fiction, are returning.

Even a thing that “exists” but in imagination and as something of long ago is trapped in Life’s repeating cycle as it affects this universe. The creatures vanished so they could return upon a set time. That is how the drama is played out. No new characters are being added; they are simply being decked out in new costumes.

Some will shrug or mock. Some will say, ‘So what if it could be true, it wouldn’t change anything for me cause I wouldn’t believe in it anyway.’

Well, perhaps not. On the other hand a vampire in the shape of a well-known character, say one’s family doctor, may appear, and strange things may happen which, predictably, no one will believe. If it is a doctor accused of weird behaviour, they’ll say  he’s been sampling his drug cabinet after hours. We don’t like to engage the unthinkable so we rationalize and it’s much easier to live in collective denial than to use one’s personally honed mental abilities to access a broader reality not available to the “blue pill” people.

I don’t enjoy being labelled a “conspiracy theorist’ yet it’s a small price to pay to remain outside the corral where the sheeple mill about waiting upon the beneficent hand of farmer, shepherd, saviour, god, anything other than their own abilities. That is the guarantee that the treadmill, which pattern we were designed to break, will continue to grind away because we will continue to tramp the empty wine press and push the ropeless capstan, life after unremembered life.

Who are the dead; who are the living?

“And many are the dead men too silent… to be real” (Last line in: Canadian Railroad Trilogy – Gordon Lightfoot)

What’s it Like – a Lesson from the Anthill

[thoughts from   ~burning woman~   ]
 
What’s it like when an age-old and more-or-less trusted, definitely believed-in system begins to unravel, and as it does, it reveals that neither the emperor, nor those who bow before the august personage, have any clothes on despite having spent fortunes to convince themselves they had the best clothes any age, any society, any nation, any empire, ever wore? 
 
The system I’m talking about is capitalism. For most, capitalism is the best way if not the only way, to handle economies and satisfy the desires of the go-getters.  It’s bloody competition, but instead of lions in a savanna, or sharks in an ocean, this is done with money and the blood isn’t actually food, just collateral damage. For the believers, such damage is not only acceptable, but necessary to keep the system going. How else could it work? Capitalism’s first need is war, and it’s health depends entirely on perpetual war.
For those who doubt this, show me a true period of history that does not involve some form of war or conquest; an era concerned solely with the welfare of people and the planet during which there is no war at all. Please!
 
Capitalism, for those rare few in the know, aware, and sensitive to things that really don’t work, is a system designed solely to create the mass illusion of scarcity in a world of plenty.  The pretend competition is what gives meaning to the illusion of monetary motion between individuals and/or large collectives. Another word for manufactured scarcity is debt. 
 
According to the Gospel of Capitalism, every nation on the planet must, of necessity, be hopelessly indebted to organizations invented strictly to create the illusion of debt. International banking houses, organizations like the IMF, the Fed, (watch these replicate as time tightens the rope around the capitalists’ necks) these dictate who loses and who wins as they are forced to participate in gambling casinos they call international trade deals. First rule of gambling: the house always wins.
 
Think for one moment: why should those who sit on, and own by right, national, natural and labour (the only real resources), be indebted to institutions because these institutions say they are entitled to all of it, and entitled to distribute the spoils as they see fit?

Hello, out there?

“Beam me up Scotty, there’s no intelligent life down here!” 
 
Again, why should a native of El Salvador live in abject poverty, fear for his, or his family’s lives, or slave for some multinational corporation that has nothing to do with his country and is nothing but a vulture sitting on a carcass it claims for itself?  Can anyone explain the justice in that? If not, why not? If unjust, then why is it accepted as normal? Is injustice so ingrained in the Earthian brain that it no longer matters… maybe never has mattered until it slaps that brain across the face when it expected a handout and a silly and meaningless revolution results?  
 
“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves that we are underlings…” And yet it fascinates me to see, in the current times, reasonably intelligent underlings scatter about each time someone or something kicks the anthill of civilization, to repair and rebuild, despite the fact that each repair and rebuild leaves the edifice in less working order than before the first kick and the ants much worse off. 
 
I used to do that to anthills in the north, there were lots of them, and watch what happened, week after week, after each time I flattened their hill. They’d swarm out and immediately set about rebuilding. As long as there was a queen in there, the rebuilding happened, though it looked less and less like a “hill” as the ants were too busy rebuilding to seek out food and tired themselves out in their useless labour. If I got the queen, the anthill was abandoned and reverted to grass. 
 
I see “the economy” and “climate change” and increased population with associated disorders, kicking “the living shit” out of civilization’s anthill, and I see those frightened, angry, brainwashed ants immediately rushing about madly plugging, patching, repairing the worst holes. They live in the “hope that springeth eternal in the human breast” that a younger queen (say, alternative energy, a “green” government, even perpetual motion machines – call it what you will)  will be able to prevent the final disaster: the end of the collective, for ants, being ants, cannot imagine life without the anthill. 
 
Collective madness: that’s what it’s like at the moment on earth’s kicked anthill.

“Say, ants, have you thought that perhaps it’s high time to imagine and implement an entirely new type of interaction with the environment, with each other, one that doesn’t require the maintenance of an entropic anthill?”

Injustice is ingrained
in my Earthian brain.
I struggle in vain
hoping for some gain
but the system’s a bane
in which I but wane
to an end which is pain.  (File that one under truly bad poetry)

 
Quote: “War is the only true industry capitalism can produce.” (Comment by Sojourner on TubularSock, WordPress)
 
 
 

It begins but it doesn’t End

[thoughts from   ~burning woman~]

I’ve begun wondering if I’m finally getting old. I don’t mean physically, of course I’m getting old but that doesn’t seem to matter a lot; just wondering about in my head. Asking myself, am I mentally getting old?

For quite some time now I’ve begun writing these “gems” of thoughts, only to realize that not one of them was ever brought to any conclusion. That being a new thing for me, I’ve started wondering what causes that unfinished business.

Am I losing track of things, or is it that I don’t care anymore; that is, I don’t care enough to bring it to a conclusion? It’s not a pregnancy anymore, just a flirtation, or so it seems. I like the idea, but not enough to push it out completely. Dumb, right?

Here’s another thought, another possible reason. Yes, I am getting old. Suddenly very fast. I’m feeling it, everywhere, even as I go on pretending to myself that nothing is changing. Everything is changing. Climate change? The end of civilization? No, it’s more than that on a personal basis, though it may be related. What is happening is, I’ve grown up enough to consider having a serious date with death.

You know what happens when you start getting serious with death: he’s a very serious character and doesn’t take fooling around lightly. ‘If you want to date me’ says the handsome and thoroughly desirable character, ‘you will have to marry me and I don’t care how easy it is in your world to get a divorce, in mine that is not an option. Date me now and you are mine, for eternity.’

Is that it? Have I fallen in love with my own very last lover? Is that why nothing gets finished anymore? How romantically sick that idea is! It’s fine in a movie, like “Meet Joe Black” but it’s not reality, is it.

No. I think the problem, if it is a problem, is the picture has grown so big in my mind that I don’t have the language to encompass it all anymore. As soon as I sit down to write it, it inflates like the craziest balloon imaginable until all I can do is let it go and just watch it rise into the night sky and disappear.

Some years ago as I sat alone in the dark pondering “stuff” and crying, for no reason but that it made me feel better to cry, I said to myself, “I know too much and it’s killing me.”

I didn’t die from an overdose of knowing, but it got me staring into that infinity telescope and the more I looked, the farther I saw and the more confused I got. It may be that there are limits to what we should dare look into. Limits to how much future we should try to absorb. It may be that wisdom calls to say, “Enough now, just go out and play with what you already know. Stop stuffing yourself or you will make yourself sick.”

I understand that death is that last door into my chosen slice of future. What I have yet to learn is that my chosen slice of future is all that I am designed to handle. It’s all I can be. It is my future, not yours, not anyone else’s. It’s my dowry and I need to own it.

Well, I got this one done. A good movie, a glass of wine and some ‘nasty’ salty chips… and it’s thundering outside. That’s a bonus: we don’t get much in terms of thunder storms down here. It’s a rather placid kind of a place, this Lower Mainland. When it comes to weather, we get the left-overs.

Ciao, everyone. Thanks for reading; thanks for the likes; thanks for being who you are, wish I could meet and get to know all of you personally. That would be so wonderful…

~me… Sha’Tara as    ~burning woman~

 

Suicide, Near Death and Looking Back

[thoughts from    ~burning woman~   ]

It’s good, sometimes, to just look back. If nothing else, it’s exercise, even if the neck complains and desperately wants to crick and push the head to face forward again. The thing is, is there something to look forward to? Mind and head disagree, but mind wins. Head is but a physical appendage after all, some sort of contraption stuck on a poorly designed swivel joint above the body.

Let’s never mind that, it’s not what I’m interested in at the moment. I’m looking back, some way back, at something that puzzles me sometimes.

Have you ever attempted suicide? Or even seriously thought about it? Have you had what they call a “near death” experience?

I’ve tried to explain “death” to my self, but my self isn’t interested seeing as it doesn’t die, it just morphs, ever and anon and takes it for granted. This, that, the other thing, whatever: life goes on, chameleon-wise.

Sure, life goes on, of course it goes on. If it didn’t we wouldn’t be here. The thing is, hardly any of us have the least idea what we’re here for, or where here is, for that matter. Some of us (many of us, too many) resolve the question by putting faith in something, usually a god. Then they play with their mind toy, imagining that it says and does all sorts of things it never does, of course, but it doesn’t matter. Dolls, stuffed toys, a favourite blanket, a dog, a pet god, it all serves the same purpose: it fills a desperate need within the Earthian creature; a need with no bottom. It answers the “death” question by making the believer-fondler forget the question.

If you haven’t, try to imagine what it’s like to come out from under an attempt at suicide. You went to all that trouble only to discover that, as in most things in your life, you muffed it. You’re not only alive but in the same body you were going to get rid of. Oh well…?

Well, no, not ‘oh well’ because you have a revelation. You think: I was dead and I’m resurrected. That means I can be a different person than I was. I can change anything about myself that I want because now I’m a mutant. I don’t have to try to fit anymore, and I don’t have to give a flying you-know-what about what anyone else thinks of me because, well, I’m dead. I’m a ghost to those who see me. To myself I’m very much alive, but this self is not what that self was. That self is dead. This is a new self, or at least the mindset is new, even if the body isn’t.

So I look back and remember: that’s how it came about that I became a totally different person. I died. Then I came back so I could be a different person; so I could choose who me was going to be. When one is no longer bound by the old rules (especially the ones that make little girls cry!) there is a lot of choice and a lot of freedom at the head of that path. The old rules still make me cry, but I don’t cry for myself anymore, I cry for the victims of the rules.

“The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” (from the gospel according to John, the New Testament)

Week Two of the Williams Lake MDS Caper

[Thoughts from ~burning woman~ by Sha’Tara]

How appropriate, I think, that baleful sobriquet, title, alternate “me” called ~burning woman~ at the end of week two in Williams Lake in process of rebuilding some of the homes lost in last Summer’s wild fires that swept through this small town of approximately 10,000 people.

The devastation left behind by the fires is still very much in evidence. The city proper was spared as it did not provide the kind of fuel such fires require to sweep ahead as they jump from tree top to tree top, race through dry grasses, jump across small lakes and even wide rivers pushed by high afternoon winds, some generated by the fires’ own heat.

Though many homes and animals, both domestic and wild, were lost in the fires, no human life was lost that I know of. The evacuation done by various government departments, backed up by some military presence (that mostly to prevent looting) made sure everybody was accounted for. Not all “survivors” who lost their homes are happy with the heavy-handed presence of law enforcement. Many know  had they been allowed to remain on their properties, using their Canadian farming and ranching common sense, they would have saved their homes and animals. Power may have failed but generators were available to pump the deep wells and roofs as well as grounds could have been watered. It never fails to amaze me how well totalitarianism works in a democracy!

What to say: am I happy to be here, doing this volunteering to help essentially homeless people get a home back they could not otherwise ever have again? Let’s say I’m satisfied. The work is hard and dirty – this is King of the Gumbo country and if there is as little as one rain shower, your feet are immediately clotted with a compound that would shame LePage’s Premium glue. Gumbo, i.e., the world’s most persistent mud can add 3 to 5 pounds of clumping mud to your foot in four steps.

Plus, it is both, stifling hot and freezing cold in turn, on the same day. Three days ago we arrived at our work site in 3 inches of sleet deposited during the night. It didn’t melt until late in the afternoon.  Good thing was, it severely slowed down the swarms of mosquitoes ever on the prowl for blood. 

Nevertheless, our house, which was footing and Styrofoam forms when I arrived is now standing proud, awaiting the delivery of the roofing trusses. Not bad for on average 2 to 4 volunteers a day. And no: it wasn’t prefab!

As I said before, these volunteers are Christian people, mostly Mennonites. As for me, well, let’s say I’m acceptable because of skills, providing my own truck (GMC 3/4 ton van) and a LOT of tools. Plus I was baptized in a Mennonite church many decades past. As I said jokingly, “I don’t know what happened, folks, but it didn’t take.” I guess you have to be born in it, not just born again.

Anyway, yes, they mostly support Donald Trump and believe he’s doing a wonderful job- to be expected. They wish Canada would become part of the States – to be expected. They hate our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau – to be expected. And they hate labour unions, also to be expected. In other words, they are right-winged to the core and it isn’t a matter of thought but a matter of faith cum brain washing. Except for Justin Trudeau, of whom I have no opinion, he being a liberal means it’s pointless to have an opinion of him, I’m basically opposed to everything these people stand for or believe in… yet here we are, drawn to this part of the map to do the same thing, with the same purpose in mind. What does that say but that as human beings we are united in the only thing that matters?

Imagine a world in which people (all the people!), though they disagree on every aspect of religion, politics, economics, and social norms see a desperate need and come together, working their asses off responding, rebuilding, restoring and in the process bringing hope where there is either none or it is badly shattered.

Next week is next week,  the show must go on!