oracle

I’ve been using the I Ching along with the Wisdom of the Oracle for many years. I ask a question (even though I recognize that within myself the answer is already there) and then surrender my linear mind’s knowing to allow the deeper Divine Knowing to reveal itself to me.

It is quite miraculous to witness that the answer revealed to me is ALWAYS exactly what I already know, but it’s symbolized and shown to me in a way that is crystal clear for my linear mind to understand.

It always feels most urgent to access spiritual wisdom when life challenges arise and our path is unclear.

At those times, despite my inner knowing that no matter what path I take, it will always be the correct path for me; nevertheless, I find myself wanting to ask the question. Something about the affirmation allows me to feel, ahhh, see, I was right!

Here in northeastern PA, it’s been a long winter. Spring has just revealed its precious light in the last two days, and I am resonating with nature’s calling to be NEW again. With that, comes change, big decisions, deep introspective reassessment of my life.

And so I turn to my beloved Oracle, and I ask the question:

Am I listening to the true voice of my heart?

I shuffle the card deck. I choose the card. The Oracle answers:

Card #21, upside down (a protection message):

CLEAN IT UP!

“Is it possible you may be focusing too much on other people right now?

Trying too hard to be helpful?

Perhaps you think its your calling to relieve people of their burdens, but what is the cost to you, and to them?

Don’t clean up someone else’s side of the street. You’re not helping by freeing him or her of responsibility. You’re also not doing yourself any favors, and you might just be adding an even greater strain.

You are loved as you are. You don’t need to be needed to be loved.”

Whack! Just what I needed to be told, to really hear, to own. I know all this. Yet, its message is one I continue to struggle with.

It says, Janet, you know exactly what you have to do.

wisdom-based culture

Traditional American Indian Leadership

Traditional American Indian leadership displayed several distinct characteristics that developed out of a longstanding history of cultural traditions and values. American Indians lived holistically. They understood themselves to be interconnected with all physical and spiritual forms of life, and they did not compartmentalize their physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual lives. Spirituality was a fundamental cornerstone of American Indian culture, and leadership was one of the ways the culture was sustained and nurtured.

Because spirituality was a core element of American Indian life, all leadership possessed spiritual significance. Strong leaders were those who had a strong spiritual core. Some leaders were elders who, because of their age, possessed knowledge and had earned the respect of the people. Elders had a close relationship with spirituality. Ojibwe elders, for example, had a special kinship with manitous, or spirits, that validated their status as elders and leaders (Johnston, 1982).

Full elder status was earned by those who displayed care for future generations and honored responsibilities of cultural traditions and tribal relations. Elders demonstrated generosity and kindness, and honored all living things including people, plants, animals and the earth. They were deeply respected and valued for the wisdom and experience they accumulated over time. Elders were the source of information for younger generations, and passed on knowledge through oral traditions. American Indians depended on this transfer of knowledge for their cultural survival.

The oral transfer of cultural traditions, spirituality and experience served to protect the existence of the tribe. Oral tradition also provided education and entertainment. Elders shared their knowledge with those who demonstrated respect for the cultural and spiritual traditions. In this way elders cultivated the leadership of future tribal generations. Ojibwe elders, for example, had nightly winter lessons for those considered gifted and caring of the cultural and spiritual heritage. Johnston (1995) tells how Ojibwe “young men and women who were chosen to receive special tutelage would be the learned elders when their time came, accredited to interpret and to adjudicate” (Introductory Pages). Winter lessons were special sessions where tribal customs and traditions were passed on through sacred teachings.

American Indian leaders were humble servants to the community.

Individual American Indians did not seek leadership or promote themselves for it.

Rather, persons with strong traditional values and persons who contributed to the community emerged as leaders. The community recognized and sought leadership from persons perceived as having the knowledge, wisdom, skills and experience to act as a leader for the tribe.

No one person in an American Indian tribe was always a leader, and many were leaders at different times. Leadership was distributed among capable and respected persons. The people chose an individual to lead a particular project which, when concluded, ended his or her leadership. The Ojibwe word for this person was ogimauh, which meant the foremost person for the one project (Johnston, 1995). Dan explains the process of choosing this person:

In the past when we needed a warrior we made a warrior our leader. But when the war was over and we needed a healer to lead us, he became our leader. Or maybe we needed a great speaker or a deep thinker. The warrior knew his time had passed and he didn’t pretend to be our leader beyond the time he was needed. He was proud to serve his people and he knew when it was time to step aside. (Nerburn, 1994, p. 175).
Just as the community recognized leaders it could also cease to recognize leaders. If tribal members did not like or trust the actions of a leader, or if they felt that the leader had violated their trust or acted inappropriately, they simply did not follow him or her.

As Dan states:
When our leaders don’t lead, we walk away from them. When they lead well, we stay with them….A leader is a leader as long as the people believe in him and as long as he is the best person to lead us. You can only lead as long as people will follow (Nerburn, 1994, p. 175).

American Indian leaders never ordered people to do anything because they strictly adhered to the principle that people have a right to self-determination. American Indians believe that people have a right to their own beliefs, and as a sign of respect do not attempt to impose their beliefs on others. According to Good Tracks (1976), in American Indian societies “no interference or meddling of any kind is allowed or tolerated, even when it is to keep the other person from doing something foolish or dangerous” (p. 497).

American Indians led by example rather than by authority or holding power over others.

Only those leaders who had a special bond with the spirits could invoke an imperative command. In this way, American Indian leadership was neither coercive nor hierarchical.

In American Indian culture, all people were treated with respect regardless of their position within the tribe. Certain persons were recognized as having special gifts, but those gifts did not make them “better than” another person. Ironically, Europeans viewed this as a flaw in the system of American Indian life. A French fur-trader who lived with the Ojibwe and Ottawa during the 17th century was shocked to find that “the chiefs who are most influential…are on an equal footing with the poorest, and even with the boys” (Smith, 1979, p. 311).

American Indian respect for all people regardless of their tribal status is derived from their belief in the circle of life and the interconnectedness it represents. Like the circle of life, natural growth and change, the pace of American Indian life was slow, patient, deliberate and unhurried (Johnston, 1982).

American Indian culture distrusted haste and urgency. American Indian leaders, therefore, were patient, and took their time when making a decision. The Ojibwe, for example, often took days, weeks, or even months to contemplate a matter before giving an answer. They always considered it better to take time when making a decision (Johnston, 1982).

Johnston (1982) explains the moral reasons behind this deliberate decision making. He states, “there were many practical reasons for ‘taking time’, but dominating them all was a reverence for ‘the word’. To be asked to make a decision was to be asked to give ‘word’, an awesome request” (p. 80). The ‘word’ was viewed as a final answer or decision. It was an irrevocable pledge, binding upon those who pronounced and agreed to it.

It was for this reason that American Indians believed that keeping one’s word was a measure of integrity.

When making a decision, American Indian leaders carefully considered the welfare of the tribe and future generations and did not make decisions lightly.

When tribal leaders met to make a decision, they would deliberate by pondering the question from many different perspectives. Different points of view were welcomed and respected.

Leaders did not argue for their points of view, and there was no debate. They sought understanding and consensus through mutual inquiry.

They stated their words as new interpretations on the matter and prefaced their remarks with statements such as ‘I have yet another understanding’ and ‘our brother or sister has provided us with an idea’ (Johnston, 1982). Ideas were put forth in this manner until a resolution presented itself to everyone involved. Dan explains: …no real Indian leader would try to speak for everybody before hearing from everybody. He might get the elders together, or the council of chiefs. It depended on the tribe. Then they listened to everyone. Everyone could speak. If someone didn’t like the decision that was made, they could leave. If the chief made a decision enough people disagreed with, they could make another chief (Nerburn, 1994, p. 178). In this way, decisions were the consensus of the tribe and not individual decisions made by any one leader. The process of consensus was central to the way in which decision-making was made and it assured that leadership was authentic to the community.

Only decisions reached by consensus were honored and followed by members of the tribe.

An important part of American Indian culture was the significance of spiritual ceremonies which helped to provide guidance and knowledge in decision-making. Once a decision had been made and agreed upon by the participating parties, there was often a spiritual ceremony to make the decision official. For example, when Ojibwe leaders gave their promise, they lit the sacred pipe. Smoking of the pipe sealed a pact and acknowledged their pledge was not given lightly, but was binding. As Johnston (1982) explains:

The ritual smoking of the pipe was an essential part of every conference, performed before deliberations began in order to induce temperance in speech and wisdom in decision (p. 160).

As with leadership, American Indian tribes also had their own ways of resolving social conflict. American Indian methods of resolving social conflict were based on the concept of restitution instead of retribution. Tribal restitution reconciled the people involved in a conflict and restored respectful relationships. The Supreme Court case, Ex parte Crow Dog (1883), which involved the murder of one American Indian by another, concerned one of the most widely known examples of this process. The interaction between traditional American Indian reconciliation and the U.S. system of retribution exemplified in the case of Ex parte Crow Dog will be discussed in more detail later in this report.

This is a summary description of some of the main characteristics of traditional American Indian leadership. It is not meant to comprehensively describe the leadership of all American Indian nations, although many aspects are inter-tribal in nature. We also emphasize that while we describe traditional American Indian leadership in the past tense, traditional American Indian leadership practices continue to influence American Indian people today.

This Excerpt from:
A report prepared for the American Indian Research and Policy Institute by Tracy Becker, supervised by John Poupart, President of AIRPI. Technical Assistance by Cecilia Martinez, Ph.D. September 1997.
This paper is the result of a collaboration between the American Indian Research and Policy Institute and the Building Communities Across Cultures initiative. Building Communities Across Cultures is an effort, sponsored by the University of Minnesota Extension Service, to support projects developed by American Indian organizations that are addressing current issues of concern.
Special thanks to Brian Klopotek, Jessica Kramer, Tammy Lauer and Carl Johnson for their editorial assistance, and to Dawn Blanchard for her computer expertise.
Copyright © 1997, American Indian Research and Policy Institute. All rights reserved. This document may be reproduced without permission. References must cite the American Indian Research and Policy Institute

photo: Kirby Sattler

single eye meditation

Bless me, Father *, that I behold the Eastern star of wisdom. May it shine before my human eyes as much in daylight as in darkness.

Long my eyes were blinded by the tinsel-glitter of materiality. Seeing things always outwardly, I saw not the Spirit behind and within them. I saw the mustard-seed of matter, but spied not the oil of Spirit that it contained.

My third eye (single eye) of wisdom is now opened. Oh, may it always be so! Let the gaze of my single eye of realization penetrate through every veil of matter to behold the infinite presence of Christ (consciousness), everywhere.

Bless me, that my sacred, wise thoughts, following this star of knowledge, lead me to the Christ (consciousness) in everything.

By Paramhansa Yogananda
(*Saturn is the father of Zeus)

A flower story

There were so many flowers.

They were like an infinite carpet of color.

In the Age of All Colors, the flowers were every color of the rainbow. Not only the full spectrum of rainbow colors, but also every imaginable shade of each color! Some flowers were multi-colored with spots, some with straight lines, some with curved lines, some with abstract shapes, some with geometric shapes.

The rainbow-colored flowers were very wise in this ancient Age of All Colors. Their perception was as vast as the scope of their palates, and they knew that reality was as unlimited as their potential to be beautifully colored.
Because of their all-encompassing vastness and infinite potential, they were fully aware that ALL possibilities existed. Even the possibility of limiting their own perspectives and narrowing their own perception. They knew anything was possible, even forgetting the Truth.

In time, the Age of Forgetfulness began to flourish, and the flowers began to divide into two different groups. What distinguished one group from the other was their vision (perspective, point of view).

One group evolved as the YELLOW flowers. It came to be that they began to look similar (yellow-colored) because they all saw through a lens that filtered out the ability to see all of the other colors of the rainbow.

The YELLOWS believed that everything True was yellow, and they saw the world of yellow as the only right and intelligent way to Be.

The other group of flowers similarly began to look and think alike – MAROON was their color, and they saw everything through a maroon-colored lens. Any other point of view/perspective that was not MAROON was shunned as ridiculous and absurd.

The MAROONS fully believed that the YELLOWS were wrong in their perception of what Life should Be.

MAROONS could not “See” YELLOWS,
And YELLOWS could not “See” MAROONS.

Both groups truly believed that ONLY their beliefs were “right” and that the other group was “wrong”.

The individual flowers of each group began to think so much alike that one flower could no longer think for Itself. They became so comfortable blending into the YELLOWS or MAROONS that they were indistinguishable from each other – blending into a sea of yellow color or a sea of maroon color, being ignorant of the possibility of looking through another colored lens. It was an innocent misunderstanding.

On a remote island, there still existed some of the ancient rainbow-colored flowers.

One day some of the rainbow-colored flowers had an idea that they would attempt to mingle and socialize with the YELLOWS and the MAROONS, allowing their seeds to be carried into those communities.

Both the YELLOWS and the MAROONS thought that these rainbow-colored flowers must be insane!

They appeared to be spiraling out of control with their absurdity of multi-colored-ness!

The YELLOWS and the MAROONS rejected and feared the rainbow-colored flowers.

But the rainbow-colored flowers did not force their seeds to be accepted, and trusted that whatever seed might succeed in growing could potentially inspire even one of the YELLOWS or MAROONS to remember how to see outside their limited colored view.

The rainbow-colored flowers understood the challenges the YELLOWS and the MAROONS were facing. Neither group could remember that opinions can’t be TRUTH and that their PERCEPTIONS were only personal distortions of the TRUTH.

The rainbow-colored flowers knew that the YELLOWS and MAROONS had to find their own way through the myriad of their own beliefs until they re-cognized their own color-blindness.

If only the YELLOWS could see that their view was just as limited as the MAROONS, and vise verse! That their ideas were just two sides of the same flower!

If only they could remember that in the Circle of the Flowers their opinions are simultaneously right AND wrong, and neither right OR wrong and see how silly they appear from the all-encompassing rainbow flowers’ aerial view.

But until the YELLOWS and MAROONS came to this understanding, one individual flower at a time, each in their own time, the rainbow-colored flowers remained neutrally tolerant, patient, compassionate, loving and wise.

This rainbow-colored neutrality was NOT passive, it was full of the innate power of wisdom> they took action by allowing their seeds to drop without manipulating where the seeds would fall or attaching to the outcome.

In their infinite wisdom, rainbow-colored flowers knew that TIME was only a creation of the color-blind flowers in order to work through their evolution of reconnecting with the rainbow of colors.

THE END

Salutation to the Sun

a poem:

sunrise, inspiration

pause here, contemplation

set an intention, make it real

touch the earth, how does it FEEL?

midday noon, take a REST

awaken now to be your best

touch the earth, how does it FEEL?

it bears the fruit that helps us heal

the sun has set, goodnight my friend

there’s NO BEGINNING AND NO END.

I wrote this poem many years ago to match the movements of the sun salutation yoga movements.

My sleep last night deeply informed my insight today and delivered the following words of wisdom to my inbox:

“It should be evident that the nature of problem solving, so much of which is rooted in unconscious thought, is holistic and beyond the blunt tools of written assessment.” Junaid Mubeen

“So the first step in solving a puzzle is to figure out what’s the basis for a puzzle. This basis (the universal puzzle) is not that hard to figure out.
It turns out…
Everything’s a puzzle, because, everything’s a circle: the pieces in a puzzle make up a whole. So what is the relationship between the piece and the whole? The puzzle and the whole? The puzzle as a whole? The circular relationship between the pieces (puzzle) and the whole.
An individual always shares a circle with a group, no matter what you call it. Swarm. Network. Market. The basis is a whole (in a circle with at least one other whole).
Within a circle, two pieces (complementarity) always make a whole (an identity). So the imaginary circle between (and around) any unit is the basis for a unit, and, therefore, the most basic number (conserving both technology and economics) is the whole (two-not-one). (50–50 everything.)
No one wants to hear this because circular reasoning is, perhaps, pre-maturely, still, taboo.
Correction.
Half will want to hear this.
Half already understand: there are no problems to solve. It’s a matter of perspective (if you want or need problems to solve, then, for you, the problem-solver, there will have to be problems). Non-problem solvers are comfortable with problems. As is. Accept it.
The relative is absolute, and the constant is a variable.
No coincidence. (Like any background-foreground relationship, relationships in general, life articulates a circle). Likewise, the digits zero and one. Absolute zero and perpetual motion. Circumference and diameter (nothing more).
A circle as a (universal) whole. A (symbolic) circuit, cycle, switch (Y-N, T-F, M-F). The informational state. Everything changes because nothing changes.
So, thus a puzzle, that is not a puzzle, after all. It’s conservation of the circle that gives us all the whole. The universe. A universe. A unit — any scale.
The circular relationship between what’s ideal and what is real. The abstract and concrete. The informational state and the physical state.” Ilexa Yardley, Author: The Circular Theory

 

crazily radical in a conservative way

The idea of EMBODIMENT is so creatively expressed here.
For me, these were the highlights of this particular interview (video below):

On embodiment

we’re at our best when we’re INTEGRATED completely ….
Real intimacy ….. literally COMING together!

On INCARNATION …..

a symbolic representation – in which the SPIRIT has to become fully embodied

The FULLY incarnate BEING is the messiah, which means embracing the horrors (evil) of the world …..(take the sins of the world unto yourself)

i.e., recognizing satanic tendencies that are YOU (your shadow)

On socialization ….

Integrating our competitive nature into fair play. Not as a morality of restrictions on yourself, not reducing yourself to a domesticated moral being, but taking everything you’ve got to move forward.

More on the SHADOW SELF….. (and I really GET this):

Understanding how Auschwitz was about ME ….how that understanding re-orients you
A deep part of the shadow idea is taking the sins of the world unto yourself.
This is pre-requisite for true knowledge/understanding,
One of the motivations is existential terror – (knowing what I am capable of in the most negative way)

On Power…..

Is there something higher than tyrannical power?

Christ’s encounter with Satan in the desert – The offer is tyrannical power over everything.

Christ’s response is “there’s something better”

That is WISDOM

So why not work for the betterment of BEING?
Do what you can do to make it better.
Or at least FIND OUT what you can do ….. not in a moralistic way but in a
Forthright
Noble
Courageous
EMBODIED
Manner…

Enjoy the interview …..