What is natural

A favourite lecturer of mine once asked why we are surprised about anything we find humans doing - because anything we find them doing is only natural.

It is culture that inhibits, applying imaginary boundaries to what is natural. Sometimes this is beneficial, sometimes this is harmful, often what is perceived as beneficial and harmful will change over time.

We have basic biological needs and constraints. Anything outside of this we have the ability to create, shape and give meaning to.

I think I am falling in love

I am reading two amazing books at the moment. Sapiens and Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs 

As I read them something is happening inside me that I don't quite understand. It feels important, like I am about to comprehend something brand new. 

This new thing seems to be about understanding at a deeper level the context within which I live. The context of my planet in space; of my species in the evolution of life; of my context in the grand scheme of time.  

And what seems to be flowing from this understanding is a new sense of purpose, and of love for the life I have, the life that is all around me, and the universe that holds it all in place. 

I have wondered recently if I truely love; if I can love again. Somehow through reading books of science I am becoming more spiritual, more loving.  

Laundry List Item 12: It's a random universe to which we bring meaning

I create meaning by organising an event for my birthday.

I create meaning by giving my kids space to be.

I create meaning by taking care of myself every day.

I create meaning by nurturing friendships.

I create meaning by aligning my actions with my heart.

Meaning comes from within me. Without my ability to create, my life is without meaning. It is a conscious decision I make. My life is meaningful because I choose to be deliberate in my actions. It is not my job to say how meaningful, or whether it is successful, or whether it is valuable. It is meaning that is worthy of expression because it comes from the deepest and truest place within me.

Disjointed commitment

I have made a commitment to myself to write a blog post every day until further notice. Today that means I am struggling for a topic I consider worthy of writing about. That is not to say I have not had anything interesting happening in the past 24 hours. There has been plenty.

For example, I have felt like my exercise in trying to develop a new food product is destined to be too hard and expensive. I have felt like my new life as a single, part-time dad who is trying to live with meaning and purpose is unrealistic and naive. And then for all those feelings to reverse again, and me thinking that just maybe those things I yearn for and feel in my guts are possible.

As I meditated last night I wept. Grief is catching up with me today.

I will continue in my commitment to write a blog post every day, even if it is disjointed and lacking in profound truth.

Laundry List, Item 2: There are no hidden meanings

I grew up in a Pentecostal church which bordered on being a cult. There was so much going on in that place that it look me years afterwards to sort between reality and fantasy, through awareness and delusion.

An underlying presumption was that you had to work out what God's plan for you was, and that if you didn't you were destined to be unhappy. Another was the idea that you were born bad, that you were sinful and guilty, and that only Jesus could make you whole.

These two ideas in particular perplexed me, and also had a profound impact on my life. The meaning of my life was hidden behind strange practices and ideas.

I find it ironic now that I am coming back to some sense of spirituality, even embracing some of my Christian heritage, albeit from a completely different angle. I am reconnecting with my inner self, and allowing that to guide me on a daily basis. I understand that I have the agency to respond to life's circumstances as they arise, to create meaning (or live my life's plan if you will) on a moment by moment basis.

I also know that there is the capacity within me for great harm, and also for great love and joy and overcoming. I am given the responsibility and freedom to choose how I respond, and it is not dependant upon another or an external force.

This is one of the most exciting times in my life to this point. For the first time perhaps I am seeing life as it actually is, not wishing something to be there that is not, or turning away from what I know is there.

Laundry List, Item 1: This is it.

When you are able to slow yourself down, stop the incessant self-distraction, you can get moments where you appreciate just how much is happening at any one moment. Sounds, smells, sights, bodily sensations, tastes.

Big Data is common term in business today, defining the vast amounts of data that are produced and available for analysis and insight generation. Our bodies are also producing vast amounts of data from the outside world, and I think that most of the time we flinch at the idea of sitting with that data, perhaps because we are afraid of what it may reveal.

We would much rather notice a bigger, louder, generated thing (like a fireworks display) that the smaller, subtler, perhaps more uncomfortable thing (like the buzz on your back when you feel angry). 

We are here, and this is it, and I posit that being as aware as possible of all our bodies are telling us will help us to be more present and sit into the 'it' that is now.

"...work out your own salvation..."

The more days that pass, the more Sheldop Kopp's words ring true. I think I will write a post on each item in his Eschatological Laundry List

Another quote from his book:

Love is more than simply being open to experiencing the anguish of another person's suffering. It is the willingness to live with the helpless knowing that we can do nothing to save the other from his (their) pain.

We cannot work out the salvation of anybody else. We cannot take their pain away for them, force them to process things in a particular way because they seem so clear to us. Each person needs to own their own journey, and work it out as best they know how.

Choosing to work out my own salvation, and freeing others to do the same seems scary, uncertain, and probably liberating in the long run. Sometimes I just want to know that outcome, but in the end knowing the outcome would breed apathy.