| 10 Apr 2008 @ 18:38, by David Bartholomew|
[upon releasing the "I am a Blank Slate..." article in DoingIt!, in September, 2006, I realized it was the culmination of a number of pieces intended to rally artists of every sort (with each of us being the artist crafting our own life)...
...to raise the bar of their work, beyond what I have coined "The Age of Commisseration"-- similar to what Caroline Myss termed "woundology", not unlike the "Four Yorkshiremen" skit from Monty Python-- where we function more from a place of competing for the saddest story prize, and embracing and creating from the "illusion" of the misery of life...
... over the more spiritually enlightened perspective and place of accumulated wisdom, where we can each support and inspire us all on to the Truth beyond the illusion.
As a self-proclaimed "Cheerleader for Humanity", Pollyanna, seeker on the path for 47+ years, I have always felt I cried out for such from the wilderness, waiting for more people to climb on board. In past articles I have urged activists to be FOR more... than they are AGAINST. And with each successive year under our belts, I believe this is the same awareness that more and more of us are coming to.
Toward this end, please enjoy:
including A Challenge to Artists
Healing the Tortured Artist
You're Only as Good as Your Last Day
- I am a Blank Slate on Which God is Painting my Life
I am a Blank Canvas On Which God is Painting my Life
[excerpted from DoingIt!, September, 2006]
“Okay. So, that means that our whole solar system could be, like,
one tiny atom, in the fingernail of some other giant being...
... That means... that one tiny atom in my fingernail could be...”
“... could be one tiny, little universe.”
“Could I buy some pot from you?”
-- the character of Pinto, connecting the dots
from within the experience of his first “high”, in “Animal House”
This piece could feel like it is picking up where Pinto, quoted above, left off. But if you hang with me I believe it could take you to a fun place. If nothing else, DoingIt! tries to use any number of tools at our disposal to shake loose the cobwebs and our fuddy-duddy, same-ole-same way of think- ing. So please play along and let’s see where this goes. As always, your name for the Creative Force can and should be substituted for any of the terms used here.
I once wrote on these pages of a meditation where I shifted from focusing on my breathing to allowing, inviting Spirit to instead… breathe me; having acknowledged that that is what is happening all the time anyway, and decided to try and work to release into it.
Recently I took that to another level as I got the next piece, the next natural progression of this concept— allow Spirit to think you.
If we are all Godstuff, if we have been created, if we allow that all we are is being allowed to be, then as sure as we are being breathed, our thoughts and all of our experience are being given to us as well, perhaps? And what if this train of thought was followed… with the specific intention of just being with each unfolding layer, from a place of non-judgment? Only what if’s, with no at-stakeness?
What follows is some of the stream of consciousness that came out of this exercise.
P.S. I was straight when this happened!
I am a Blank Canvas On Which God is Painting My Life.
A goal to strive for. To be that clear. Receptive. Open.
Extending beyond letting Spirit breathe you… to letting God think you… meditating on all of it. I am ok with not being ok with it; I am ok with being ok with it. I am a witness to that which Creator Energy is unfolding in the experiment that is me. At least for the time being.
Maybe part of what enlightenment is, is being clear enough, open enough, to be … with… and… in… the process of witnessing God unfold ourselves?
So tenuous… to be in this moment and not do anything and be present to what is coming next.
Just loving the increase in understanding and awareness… enjoying how much comes out of this humble position of being the vessel. How we give back for all we receive as a vessel… is in simple gratitude and appreciation of all we are shown and given.
It is sometimes easier to witness Spirit working through others as mirrors and representations of concepts and ideas to us… but to then take it further… inward… and to be with this same working through us.
We are each a work of Divine art, and the appreciators of that Inspired art, that is us, at the same time. At least we can be.
It can almost become overwhelming to start down this road, as we come up against—just how much of it all are we able to comprehend in a given moment?
I have been aware in my life of my need to take things in manageable chunks, and then take periods of time to assimilate each new awareness… and lately, I have been working on blowing my comfort zone out of the water… my perception that there need to be manageable chunks, and to be more and more present to… more and more… more and more often.
Why do things look like they do? Why am I laying on the ground in a place, with my feet touching a tv stand, and feeling/sensing the wall next to me, hundreds of miles away from what I perceive to be home? I chuckle. I don’t know. It is unfolding. Why am I touching my hand to my forehead in thought of this? I don’t know.
I don’t know, we don’t know… if we are honest…
at any level… why anything is happening.
We could be being shown cause and effect at a given time,
and we could be shown exceptions to this, or both. We don’t know.
It is for us to be with, and enjoy the show.
I believe our only work is to reach the place where we are accepting
of all we are witnessing. Being with it. Beyond mind.
Not getting hooked by the one or two or finite number of things
that mind can juggle at once; rather, to allow all of the hundreds, thousands,
millions of things that Spirit can share with us simultaneously, to wash over us.
“Pure energy,” as Mr. Spock once said. “To boldly go…” Well, I hope we all go, or strive to go, where no one, not even ourselves… have gone… every microsecond.
Humbleness overtakes thought in these moments. And not false humility… at all. We cannot comprehend a blade of grass. One could begin writing about a blade of grass right now, and write 24 hours a day for a thousand years… and not comprehend it… how it got here: what it is?, what (if anything) it means?, why grass?, why green?…
How open can we work ourselves into being? How much may we one day be able to take in at a time? It is so exciting to me to contemplate this. This is what possibility has always been/meant to me. This is so much more interesting than smallness and conflict and personal problems.
A Cure for Writer’s Block, free for the taking: If I begin to believe I am writing these words I can reach a block, all kinds of blocks. I can run all kinds of stuff up against what is being written— is it good, is it worth anything, is it crafted, is it coherent, what if the ideas stop, what if I get a block? If I make it about me I am doomed. But as I work to clear myself, to become more and more of the hollow bone… to let Spirit reveal the thoughts… the epiphanies seem to be more and more limitless.
I think of Paramahansa Yogananda opening and releasing to the will of Spirit, and being able to speak in a language he hadn’t known any or much of prior: to give an amazing lecture, in English, in Boston in 1920 (Autobiography of a Yogi, Ch. 37, I Go To America). I think of other stories of stuff, knowledge, being downloaded, in full, to people...I pray for some chances at receiving such downloads—to be jolted with direct chunks of new information straight from the Akashic records. To be deemed worthy or prepared enough or whatever, and to get to receive directly, without any filters of my own to interrupt the flow. I stand for this possibility.
It is coming, for all of us. I feel it. I feel I am working to be ready. If it takes hundreds of years or lifetimes I still feel it coming. All the preparation, healing, strengthening, clearing, growing we have to do, I believe, boils down to mastery in these arenas.
Just the concept of the blank canvas… wow… amazing… pure potential… to be anything.
It is for certain numbers of people of any time to hold the vision for… way down the road. These have been our futurists, our mystics, our seers. We had them—drawing us forward, urging us on toward overcoming obstacles, disregarding limitations. And this is who we need to be for others.
But, the fearful and doubting mind, pipes up, “What if we aren’t it, don’t have it, are average and not gifted…”
The simple and encouraging answer is—What if you are? What if it is not about traits passed through the genes, rather a simple desire to clear oneself, and listen, long enough, dedicatedly enough, to begin to receive?
To become an empty vessel… limitless… unlimited… unhindered… uninterrupting… simply awaiting and observing and anticipating… whatever it is… that God/Spirit/the Universe wishes to fill us with… to create… to alter… at any moment… to blow us away in breadth and scope, to enlighten, to illustrate, illuminate, to shuck and jive, spin, and stop on a dime.
I have come to a place where I sit to write for DoingIt! just like this— attempting to draw from this place. The words that appear here… hope to speak what you need to hear, at each given time you read them.
The exercise, for me, for us, is to achieve that place where the flow comes uninterrupted, without need of editing. And there are days when we see approximations of this that fuel and excite us enough to continue the process.
I am aware of more and more people channeling beings or energy or art these days. This seems to be the way it is going-- for more of us to clearly channel more and more, higher and higher quality info… on the way up to… nameless, incomprehensible possibilities such as we have been envisioning here.
Here I issue—
A Challenge to Artists:
(And I consider each of artists of our own lives)
Create now only from this space.
Feeling/hearing/sensing/seeing Spirit moving the pens in our hands, moving the fingers on our keyboards, downloading more and more thoughts faster than mind alone can process, but not so overwhelming that a clear, open, non-resistant vessel/channel… can’t get it down… appreciate it… capture it… as it is happening.
We no longer need the evil twins and murders and sordid details of fictional and faulted people. We no longer need such conflict building, so as to allow the audience/receivers their catharsis. The songs we sing, the words we pen, the expressions we put forth must no longer lament that which we see and no longer wish for. Only visions of that for which we stand shall feed our souls henceforth.
Create out of the allowing that you will receive, and channel that which the Universe believes is needed by those you shall reach and uplift. Wisdom. Truth. Trust. Connection. These are the themes our spirits are yearning for.
This is the direction we are heading. Mind-boggling… and our minds want and need to be boggled. So thrilling to imagine what might come as we stay in the intention… of staying in alignment… with the highest we can imagine… and that which is yet higher than we can imagine.
Look only to those creations and expressions that have inspired and encouraged you, and those people who are accessing that which you ultimately wish to access, and you will know where the expressions that come through you fit into this whole.
I feel that— with this exercise, this meditation, this stream of consciousness— I have stepped over a threshold, crossed a line that cannot be uncrossed. How fun is that? To be able to know, in the moment, that you are changing in a way that you wouldn’t ever wish to be changed back from.
Learn now, and trust that Spirit by whatever name you choose, appears in the asking. So ask--
God, what will you unfold, in and out of me, today?
As we learn to play with God-- gods, goddesses, avatars, mentors, angels, guides, any and all permutations of Spirit shown to us-- in this way, surely, obviously, we are given more to play with.
They show us a way, and we must work to learn what they teach us and to emulate them… in our own unique ways.
This can be considered trance. And as our desire to be in spirit for longer and longer controlled periods increases, we begin to achieve the status of all prior yogis and masters who would enter these states at will.
Beyond this, who knows? But there must always be a beyond. This is how we—simple drops—begin working ourselves back… to the ocean.
There is no “method”, no practice, no path, that is better than another on the way to this goal. There is only the readiness, the clear statement, to God, that “I am ready”. Paths, methods, processes, are individual ways that others have used to get there, and may serve useful in guiding one to his or her own way, or appreciating that there are infinite ways, but that is all.
Once the clarity that one is ready… to be still… to receive… to witness… to acknowledge that I am a Blank Canvas… On Which God is Painting My Life… is achieved…
… one truly begins to experience oneself as that unique piece of divine art.
As you have the __________, the what? The courage? to stop that next thought, to refrain from asking that next question… to simply allow God to breathe and think you… to trust, to release into that breathing, that state… to put away any concern, of any illusion, of any need, or any concern of concern… it will happen.
The opening has always been this close—a breath, a blink, not even that far.
I accept this moment. I am getting it. We are getting it
Healing the Tortured Artist
[excerpted from DoingIt!, February, 2006]
Writers, artists and healers of all kinds, can be martyrs to a degree. I think it comes out of putting out such an authentic piece of oneself for scrutiny, open to be toyed with or rejected by others. Our real work-- the work behind the work, the spirituality within the work if you will-- is to open our ability to have ourselves and our work, received.
As we become aware of and recognize all we receive from Source... and come to be able to experience greater and greater degrees of gratitude for this... we do our part by giving up all of our talents, abilities, creativity and expression as pure acts of thanks and love in return.
This is how the circuit stays open and continues to flow.
Recognition of this alters the work we choose to do, and alters and increases its ability to affect others, which is the second reason we create. As we have been inspired, we look to inspire others. We work "in Spirit", to leave our own trail of breadcrumbs for the next to follow, where those previous have left theirs for us.
One who plants seeds isn't always present as flowers burst forth from the ground. We just have to trust that they do.
So create in the moment, and give up the work to whatever is its highest purpose, whether you understand what that is or not. We have been vessels through which projects have been birthed. Their lives, like ours, are sacred, and have their own destinies. We can have love and compassion for them, but we cannot do their living for them.
You're Only as Good as Your Last Day
[excerpted from DoingIt!, February, 2006]
I'm catching part of a movie with Robert Downey Jr. in it. I just figured out that he reminds me of the dark side of my long-lost friend Josh. I think that is why I have always clued into the demons and inability of him to kick his drug habit that had him in the news for so many years. It seems he might be past that, and is happily married and back on track. I'm glad for that.
More and more I am holding the intention that wounded people don't have to work out their stuff in art for the rest of us to commiserate with. These people who have to wear their pain on their sleeves. This is yet another thing I am working on in myself-- another thing I don't need to see in the world anymore. People working out their pain for the benefit of others. We need to find a new way.
I see so many other ways we can be in celebration without the pain and the shit.
I think it was Jamie Lee Curtis I read as saying a few years back, "The more I grow to love myself, the less I feel the need to play other people." Amen to that.
And so the work of each of us is to correct or reframe inside of ourselves, what we no longer wish to see… outside.
“It is not what we do in life that is important,
it is the love we put into the doing that matters.”
-- Mother Teresa
So, how much love are your putting into what you do each day?
Amp it up a bit and watch what will appear.
Love is the healing balm for miracles.