A 2359 Word Post On Standing Before The Flag

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I recognize that every human is free.  Free to their own choice.  Free to their own perception.  Free to their own expression of that perception and choice.

I recognize that perception is limited and any interpretation of perception can be described as a story of what happened.  Each who perceives will tell a different story in their attempt to share their perception.

I recognize that your perception will almost certainly be different than mine.

I perceived the symbol captured here occurring much larger, much more vivid, and much more active in the wind this evening than these small photo representations will ever portray (sort of like my words – limited in conveying experience).  I invite you to zoom into the photos to give yourself a sense of the bombast of it, blazing before you.  If that doesn’t work, go to any Perkins at night, with the wind blowing in off Lake Erie and experience it for yourself – man, they fly a glorious Old Glory.

Sorrow was what I experienced for those who don’t stand before this symbol and experience anything other than the awe that I felt, standing below and before it waving wildly in the wind.

Shall I give up my experience in favor of yours?  Shall I attempt to empathize with your plight?  The plight of your creation, your perception, and your choice of story to tell?  Shall I listen and experience you?  Kneel with you?  Risk losing my Old Glory to understand yours?  Stand next to you and look down, ashamed for myself of what it means to you?  Or shall I stand?  Clear about who I am and who you are?  Standing for who we were born to be – free and mighty and in love.

As I stood before it I was immediately taken in, quickly distracted (enacted) into being with it. This symbol; this story; I was compelled to capture it.  To tell you that in it I saw the future – yours and mine – unlimited by our limited perception of space and time.  In it I saw Truth, Beauty, Freedom and above all things Love.

Truth and Love and Aletheia will set you free,

Ed

 

Are We All Stuck (or is it just me (or is it just Truth/Love/Aletheia concealed (as usual)))

This post began, as most of them do.  After that “perfect” amount of coffee, a little time to reflect, and some observations based on things that have been occurring in my reflection of the world.

I was driving, as I often am, when it came to me.  And I was driving somewhere new.  Not that I hadn’t been where I was driving before, but I hadn’t been driving where I was driving while having that blog-able moment come into my existence.

So much has “changed” since I last wrote.  Sitting at the keyboard is like an explosion of all there is to say and making any sense of it, the process of refining it to one of my already lengthy essays on nothing (Truth/Love/Aletheia), is interesting to observe.

I’ve had moments in the past 3 years (has it really been 3 years? – I just checked, it’s only been 2.5 years) but the opportunity to just sit and type wasn’t made.  There was that brief entry more than a year ago, an experience that was never completed by telling the story of it.

And that is the thought which provoked this entry. Telling a story, one’s story, to another creates an experience of who you are with that person.  It creates an experience of who you are as an identity at least.  Who we are cannot really be told, can it?

Despite the tangible gains I’ve made in becoming independent and free, I’ve been “feeling” awfully stuck.  Stuck with my own creations, stuck with the stories I’ve told about who/what I am, stuck with who/what I’m creating myself to be.  Stuck is an occurring when Truth/Love/Aletheia is concealed.

What does that even mean?  It’s like wearing gold plated diapers, babies.

I’m stuck with blogging about a topic that rarely makes any sense to anybody other than me.  It occurs that way at least.

My sense is that we’re all stuck.  If you’re paying attention you can feel it.  We’ve been stuck for quite some time. We seem to have a new medium for our stuckness as well.  This online presence business, these feeds and articles that come and go.

They never go anymore though, do they?  You used to be able to throw away the newspaper and it would biodegrade and you’d have to go to the library to find the microfiche of the old stories and nobody ever did that.  They wouldn’t go get that microfiche and reissue the old paper to show you, prove to you who you used to be and stick you with it.  Well, maybe sometimes, for the really “important” stuff.  Now, you’re getting microfiched all the time.  The old stories, they rarely go away.  You’re stuck with them.  Say it once.  You said it.  It will always be who you are.

Listening.  It’s challenging, day to day, hour by hour, moment by moment.  To hear and receive and be in the presence of another without assigning an identity to them.  To hear and receive and be in the presence of one’s Self without getting stuck to the stories we tell.

Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone is the current audio book I’m reading.  My wife laughed at me recently, paradoxically, because I’m such a crappy listener.  She laughed because she knows that I’ve spent more time, effort and money attempting to “get better” at listening than most people you’ll ever meet.  It’s just that, with all that listening I’ve “tried” to do I’ve heard some things.  Some things that I really want everybody to know.  If you’d all just shut up and listen.

This is where this blog entry, and the others, come into play. I’m going to tell you what I’ve heard.  And I’m clear that this blog about things that are nearly impossible to communicate will be read scarcely.  In blogging, I hear myself.  I look back on these entries and know myself, if I’m listening.  When I articulate clearly to myself and truth/love/aletheia is unconcealed it is a reference for me.  I’m stuck with it.

Ironically, when it is not clearly articulated and I’m not present that becomes a reference for me as well and truth/love/aletheia becomes concealed and less present.

Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone is an interesting title.  I’m listening to it more to Discover the Secret to Having Anybody Get Through To Me.  It’s probably a sales title to sell more books.  Just Listen.  That’s all that really needs to be said.  That may not sell as many books though.  Because we just want to get through to absolutely anyone.  In the book, Mark discusses techniques to put aside what you think, feel, want to say, to give the other the experience of Being listened to.

When the other is heard Truth/Love/Aletheia is present.  Mark doesn’t say that.  Another way to say it is that when the other is heard what “needs” to be said “disappears”.  Somebody else said that.  I listened.  And got it. The experience of meaning having been made occurs.  The other is known, for that moment, in that instant, to another.  To you.  If you’re lucky enough to listen.  Mark doesn’t say those things either.  That’s what I want you to know.

Now our most recent invention or medium for communicating is very good at getting the story told, widely.  It is not very good at getting the story heard.  It doesn’t disappear.

We’re all stuck.  With it.

Or, is it just me?

With Listening for your Truth/Love/Aletheia,

Ed

Sometimes Truth/Love/Aletheia Looks Like A Punch In The Throat

“The biggest danger, that of losing oneself, can pass off as quietly as if it were nothing; every other loss, an arm, a leg, five dollars, a wife, etc. is bound to be noticed.” – Soren Kierkegaard

Fascinating weekend in the stream of life.  Beyond questioning “What exactly am I manifesting in the world?”, I’ve sorted some random items together to put some perspective on the current, streaming-by, over the always unseen undercurrent of Aletheia.

First, a story.  I was greeted at my front door Friday evening by a heavily tattooed unsavory looking fellow (the tattoos alone did not indicate he was unsavory – it was visible in who he was being) who showed up to do me physical harm for verbally accosting his son who’d participated in some bullying, intimidation tactics toward my son the previous week at the playground next door to our house.  He punched me in the throat.  I was being at the moment of truth as I ran down the street to avoid getting punched again.

It was fascinating and unexpected.

Now I was certainly over the top in my confrontation with his son, 14 or 15 in age, not slight and not the least intimidated by my requests to know who his friend was that ran off (a resident of the development) so I could speak to his parents about their bullying of my not slight 12 year old.  Nor was he intimidated by my loud, rude and obnoxious requests to speak to his parents since he wouldn’t give me his friend’s information.  Rather, he informed me that his father would be over that night to beat my pussy bitch ass.  He waited a week – it definitely threw me off guard.

This kid didn’t even live in my development, but was a guest in my common area.  He and his friends had been admonished two days prior by my wife for throwing around F bombs, racial slurs and derogatory language about the feminine form and I’d considered blogging about that occurrence, coming weeks after the Trayvon Martin ruling and my inability to make any kind of meaningful sense of that whole affair.  I thought about writing how we needed to deal with racism at the parks where young teen men (Black, White, Hispanic, etc. – or how is it they put it on those EEO forms? – so correct politically, but so incorrect all around) grow up and learn to share what they’ve already learned at home about race and women.  My wife dealt with these kids that day because I passed by with our baby in the stroller, willing to let it go since nobody was getting hurt and I’d been one of those boys at one point in my life.  My blogging suffered the same effect – the baby has thrown a wrench lately in any meaningful production.

Great story right? which stands at this point with my waiting to hear from the police and waiting to hear back from the results of any conversation that the president of our homeowners association will have with the board of trustees next week.  I don’t have much faith that any “real” change will come of it…as he said, the teen problem will just manifest itself in them vandalizing the signs as they’ve vandalized our community center. Who are they though?  And who are we?

Along with that I was voraciously finishing reading “The Life and Death of Adolph Hitler” published in 2002 by James Cross Giblin, a book laying around the house that my wife picked up from the library for my son’s assigned summer reading.  I’d always been interested in understanding how all of that happened since the days of my youth watching “In Search of…” with Leonard Nimoy where my memory tells me I saw my first glimpses of life (and death) in a concentration camp.  It may have been some other show as my Mother always had a bit of a Hitler “obsession” – perhaps to better understand how my Father came to be or maybe for other reasons.

I found the following passage to be most worth sharing:

In Germany itself, a group of students at a university in Munich dared in 1942 to criticize Hitler’s conduct of the war.  The group adopted the name the White Rose, symbolizing purity, and, with the aid of one of their professors, wrote, duplicated, and distributed leaflets attacking the Fuhrer.  A typical leaflet, headed “an Appeal to All Germans,” stated boldly that the war was lost and urged its readers to part company with Hitler and his fellow Nazis.

“Prove by your actions that you think differently,” the leaflet said.  “Tear off the cover of indifference which you have put around your hearts. Make your decision before it is too late. Do not believe that Germany’s future is associated for better or worse with the victory of National Socialism. Criminal actions can never obtain a German victory.”  The leaflet concluded with a vision of the future.  “Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, protection of the individual citizen from the arbitrary actions of criminal terror states – those are the foundations for a new Germany, a new Europe.  Support the resistance movement and pass on the leaflets.”

At first White Rose members distributed the leaflets only to their fellow students within the university.  Then they branched out, stuffing the pamphlets into mailboxes throughout Munich and even traveling to other cities, such as Stuttgart, Frankfurt, and Vienna, with the leaflets concealed in their suitcases.  Back in Munich, they were distributing a fresh batch at the university when a janitor spotted them and notified the police.

Put on trial for treason in February 1943, the three leaders of the White Rose – Hans Scholl, his sister, Sophie, and their good friend Christoph Probst – were all sentenced to death by beheading.  The trio remained defiant to the end.  Sophie walked to the guillotine with a smile on her face, and her brother Hans shouted, “Long live liberty!” before he died.

Yesterday I came across the short story Dialetheia* – by Anil Menon which just happened to be set in pre-World War Two Germany and amazingly and eloquently shares a “view” or “taste” of this phenomenon which I attempt to explain while attempting to catch glimpses of it out of the corner of my eye.  Perhaps I’ll have to investigate this notion of “inconsistent mathematics” that he mentions.

In reading this book, and this short story I see that we are very much still living in a world vastly shaped by the charisma and actions of this one very determined person.  The state of the world today, shaped by the past yesterday – “Time is a partial order!” indeed.

Linking that, one of my facebook friends posted a link to this video.  It says a lot, it’s worth watching and it’s worth questioning everything through the video as a lens.  Life isn’t clear cut, especially when Love is concealed and your righteousness clouds the view.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsqwErd6sPg&feature=share

Finally, this excerpt from a link from the above interviewee Glenn Greenwald’s page puts a final lens on my thoughts for the weekend and really for the last few months.  “Civil rights hero John Lewis, in an interview with the Guardian today, praised Snowden for engaging in “civil disobedience” in the tradition of Thoreau, Gandhi and the Civil Rights movement.”  – Read the full article here.

I’ve had a lot of thoughts brewing, for a long time, a lot of unrest – apparently like the rest of us.  I thought I’d better start blogging again to begin unconcealing.  Perhaps if I can return to, or get closer to, Truth/Love/Aletheia I’ll open my front door next time with open arms and a smile or admonish a bully with a gentle, loving approach.  Either way, living life is clear cut.  I may get punched and I still love us all.

Wounded with love,

Ed

I Live A Charmed Life – By Design

“… sound doctrines are all useless… you have to change your life. (Or the
direction of your life.)… wisdom is all cold… you can no more use it for
setting your life to rights than you can forge iron when it is cold… The
point is that a sound doctrine need not take hold of you; you can follow it
as you would a doctor’s prescription. – But here you need something to
move you and turn you in a new direction… Once you have
been turned around, you must stay turned around. Wisdom is passionless.
But faith is what Kierkegaard calls a passion” (Wittgenstein, L. (1980) Culture and Value, introduction by G. Von Wright, and translated by P. Winch. Oxford: Blackwell, p.53).

Yesterday was my first official day running the daddy day care, as the experience has been called. More formally I began a twelve week “family medical leave act” leave of absence from my traditional work to continue the care of my now 4 month old son.  Just to clarify, I was off throughout most of the month of December using vacation time performing the same task and assisting him in his journey from around three months to four months.  The difference now is the amount of “at cause-ness” that went into taking three months off from a day job that I’ve held for over ten years.  The difference is the value that I’m noticing in trading my not too shabby salary for an irreplaceable experience.  Isn’t this really what defines value – what you’re willing to give up for one thing in order to experience another thing?

From what I’ve been told, I am part of the 3% of American men who take the incredible oppoortunity that the FMLA provides. Would I say that I’m special for being part of such an elite number? Is that the point of this post, to indicate what a great American man I am, what a dedicated father, what a groundbreaking thinker and life live-er?  Well, I am still housing this ego so maybe partially.

Sharing this story is also partially a tribute to “my old man” (as Springsteen may have said).  It’s an acknowledgement of the context in which he, and many of us fathers, live our lives as the provider, the bread winner, income earner.  Trading these experiences of being there with our children who we love so much that we would trade the time that we would have with them to go out day after day and provide for their survival.  The money that buys the food, water, shelter that allows our species to continue on.  As a child I had a sense that was how it was for my father, sensed that he didn’t particularly care for the 6 am to 3 pm, five days per week for 35 years blue collar life.  But I was clear that he did it for his family and for that I knew I was loved even if it wasn’t verbalized.

It’s also an acknowledgement of the shifting context that enables women to work (for equal pay, maybe?), be the primary income producer in a family, and provide value and meaning into a working world equal to what it is that they’re giving up to fight that fight and endure that struggle, and equal to what they’re leaving behind.  I see my joining the 3% as the seldom noticed back of the hand of that struggle.  Yet, you can also hear the “speaking from” the current paradigm exhibited here and that’s the real point.

The intended value of this post – you trading your time to read it for what you may get out of it – is in noticing the privilege that this opportunity is for me, and then noticing that it’s part of a carefully laid out plan for producing results consistent with living a life equal to the opportunity that living life is.  A once in a lifetime shot to live fully in the one and only life that I have.  Living a life that is equal to the opportunity that living life is does not just happen.  I like to say that I live a charmed life, which I do.  It isn’t charmed in that it just “magically” happens however.  I live a charmed life because I take the stand that I live a charmed life.  I say that I live a charmed life and then I produce results consistent with living a charmed life (or I don’t).

There was a great deal of build up, tension, uncertainty and ambiguity in getting to this point, living a charmed life does not mean living an easy life by any stretch.  Which is why I write this post today, rather than a few weeks ago.  I will occasionally share the massive failures in not producing the results consistent with living a charmed life – the ratio of 3:1 – 5:1 positive to negative must be maintained in this blog as a matter of maintaining the authenticity of it.  The results have been tallied in this exercise and it looks like we’ve made it.  The build up began over a year ago while I was still in the MPOD program, in the early stages of executing the formal plan, which has all been part of the overall plan, the sound doctrine.

While one is in the midst of any major change initiative it is often difficult to measure whether any change is really happening.  Changing the course of one’s life toward a previously unimagined future is often the most challenging of all change initiatives to measure.  When it is your life that is changing you’re just too close to it to know if it is “turning out” as envisioned.  Following a path that is being created as each step is taken is like navigating a thick forest on a moonless night.  You have your compass and you use it, but until you emerge from the brush as the sun rises above the clearing you’ve “entered”, created really, you can not know if you’ve navigated rightly.  Attempting to measure in the midst of the trees and darkness is a futile endeavor, orienting your steps with presence and purpose and letting your physical intuition be your guide is useful yet mis-steps are likely to occur.  It is only in looking back at that forest in the daylight that you can fully appreciate the steps that had been taken, the risk that was navigated.

Building some competence through practical application of causing intentional change allows your muscles of intuition to strengthen, your resolve to walk your own path is refined, and your willingness to trust yourself, to have faith when the common, everybody knows the way it’s supposed to work, wisdom of the world is butting up against the stand that you are.

Look, I know that I’m just taking time off to stay home.  Millions, billions of people have done this.  For me, it’s not something that I’d ever considered, not because I didn’t consider it like I thought I couldn’t do it but because it never even showed up for me as a possible option that life could present to me.  In the spectrum of possibilities that life presents it was always there.  I didn’t see it.  I wasn’t open to looking to see what I wasn’t able to see.  It was concealed.  Then, along my path of continuing to question everything, to be a space where truth can show up, it revealed itself, unconcealed itself.  Aletheia.

My son caught a cold over the holidays.  He was a snotty, moaning, sickly mess on my first two days of daddy day care.  I’ve had sick babies in the past but I’ve never experienced them the way I did my son today.  In the past, these things were my wife’s concern, my mother-in-law’s, the baby sitter’s – I didn’t have a clue how to comfort a sick baby and I was going to be at work anyway.  That was the way it occurred within that context.  Yesterday and today, I experienced the complete privilege and satisfaction that goes along with being only of service to a sick little baby, even when all that service can be is to hold them and comfort them as they moan with that raspy sick little baby voice.  No room for my petty concerns, just room for being the space for comfort.  Charmed – by design.

From Love,

Ed

Being Time

Occasionally, if you’re paying attention, you’ll come across people that seem to have an effect on the flow of time.  Time is a rare commodity or so we think, so we relate to it and so it occurs.  Ironically, you have all the time you’ll ever need.  Spending some time with one of these people who “shift time” is an excellent way to significantly impact your life and allow you to experience the true nature of time.  If you’re paying attention.

I’ve had the opportunity over the past three weeks to take some vacation from work and spend my days with one of these people.  Being with him has allowed me to experience a flow of time that is both slower than what I’m used to in normal day to day life and makes the world outside and its passing of time seem much faster.  The days have flown by while at the same time I’ve found myself laboring to slow down, slow down my mind, slow down my desire to Do and just Be in time with this master of being.  At the same time, I can hardly believe that three weeks have gone by in the outside world from my view here inside this sanctuary.

The background image that I currently have plastered on my phone to snap me back to reality is a quote attributed to Buddha.  The quote is, “The trouble is, you think you have time”.  Quotes are useless in and of themselves.  You have to live the quote to experience it’s wisdom and power.  The full picture of this one in particular, like the visual image of the old woman/young woman, is easy to miss.  Easy to get caught up in the idea that the trouble is, you think you have time to do those things you’d rather put off until tomorrow.  Make that bucket list, get to it, what are you waiting for.  Certainly that is a valid interpretation. 

After spending a few weeks with the Master, the time shifter, what I see is that the trouble is, I think I have time.  <–Period.  It’s so easy to get caught up in the mind made construct of time.  I have a past, a present, a future and if I create this magnificent vision of “future” and live into it I can drastically alter my present and the way it occurs for me.   Or, I have this past, present and future and the reason my present looks the way it does is that I know I’ve incorrectly put my past in my future, so everything that I can hope to do will most likely turn out very much like it has in the past.

Time-shifter disagrees.  He has no past.  He has no future.  And what of his present?  He is present certainly.  But he doesn’t have a present either.  He doesn’t have to “get himself” into the present.  He is the present.  It alters who I am and my experience of time.  It radically points out when I’m somewhere else, not present.  It cracks me across the back with his swift stick when I’m somewhere other than here, now.

Sometime soon, in his future that I can speak about, he will gain that dual edged sword of language.  He will someday soon begin to relate to himself as an entity I, separate from me, separate from the world, separate from time and he will cease to be Time.  He will become concerned with me, and mine, and I.  He will believe that you are distinct from he.  Time-shifter will become ordinary.

With conversation, reflection, and time spent with other time-shifters he may regain what has been lost.  Don’t be confused that this occurring of being a time-shifter is relegated only to those with no language.  I’ve met some of these “enlightened” ones, consistently being.  I’ve also met some of these “enlightened” ones (we all are, aren’t we?) who shift time consistently doing.  You’ll notice these time-shifters as those who leave you “less than whole”, incomplete, causing you stress between what “should be” and “what is”. This space between being and doing is what we seek when we look for balance. 

Master has a complete support system in place for himself that allows for his wordly survival concerns to be taken care of.  Many of the other enlightened ones do as well.  This allows them to exist in a space of being, exist outside of time really.  When I’m hungry, I eat.  When I’m tired, I sleep.  When I cry, I cry.

When I have to poop, I poop.  This is where Truth/Love/Aletheia is experienced – out of Time, as Being Time.

Me and the Teacher

Me and the Teacher

With Love,

Ed

The Moment of Truth (Right Now)

When you’re being at the moment of truth, really just being the moment of truth, the experience of time’s passing slows dramatically.  The wisdom aspect of it is a knowing everything and a knowing nothing all at the same time.  Present.  To everything.  And Nothing.

It was a grey 1978 Ford Fairmont.  It had the sweet, dashed, between-the-windows stripe but that had been painted over by an Earl Sheib $89.95 special.  They used a matching grey but painted right over that sweet stripe…unbelievable.  That’s probably why it was so cheap.  Tony says we paid $50 bucks to Dave for it …I’m thinking it was a little more like $50 bucks each, but the certainty of that memory is lost to time.  I probably wasn’t present at that moment of truth.

Either way, the Fairmont wasn’t running.  Tony said he heard that Fairmont’s made great sleeper cars and that this one with the straight six under the hood could be a beast – not The Beast – that’s another moment of truth, but a beast.  The plan was that we would work on it in the neighbor’s garage, and when we were done with it we’d race it…Quigley Avenue or something.  Nothing like Norwalk or anything like that…at the time my ability to dream was a little stifled and suppressed by the stories I’d made up in the past.

It was supposed to turn out like this Fairmont.

That Ford Fairmont would have been really bad-a$$…not to mention that we sawed out the steel plate behind the backseat (I think Tony did all the work) so it would also be an incredible camping machine. Picture it – just pop out that back seat and two people could easily sleep in the trunk (and backseat) with nothing more than a sleeping bag.  It was like a Chevy Avalanche but in 1987 – we were way ahead of our time.  And it would have been an incredible racing machine – hah!  I just thought of this – not only was it a sleeper*, it was also a sleeper.  Visionaries.

The only problem with the plan was that neither of us really had enough money to sink into this car to turn it around.  It was Tony’s neighbor with the garage right next door so he spent some time over there messing with it, but I just don’t remember being over there all that often.  I remember feeling powerless to do anything because I didn’t know very much about cars at all, I had no money, and I was too worried about looking bad to admit any of that to anybody that may be able to assist us.  I recall highlights such as getting that steel cut out, and actually getting the thing running with tons of starter fluid directly into the opened up carburetor.  That was mostly what was wrong with it, the carburetor, and Tony tinkered away enough with it that we got it running.  We were so psyched, we had the hood off but we just had to take it out for a ride.  That was the only ride I ever had in our bad-a$$ Ford Fairmont.

Eventually the neighbor got sick of that heap sitting in her garage.  Something happened to the transmission…I wasn’t around when it did and I don’t know that I ever really understood what…exactly…happened.  I didn’t care. I was busy having other powerful life altering learning events. Eventually that car ended up sitting on a gravel lot at Pearl and Bader outside of a friend of ours’ house, a house he was renting I think.  It sat there for a few months.  It seemed like forever when I’d drive by and still see that car sitting there.  Time moved a lot slower even normally then…a few months seems like years when you just turned 18.

Seeing that lost dream sitting there for ALL THAT TIME eventually made me start asking Tony what exactly happened to the transmission.  Was there anyway to fix it? Did you even get underneath there to check it out?  What happened when it stopped working?  We stopped there to reveal the answers to these questions, maybe it was just so I’d stop asking questions and I could find out for myself.

Tony was there, Bob was there, Ed was there, maybe Chris from inside the house was there (he wanted it out of there by then too).  I don’t remember how we got there, or too much on either side of the moment of truth.  We took the factory jack out of the trunk and put it under the car and started jacking it up.  It was one of those uni-body cars or whatever they called them at the time…they were making cars lighter to get better gas mileage so the days of a big heavy frame were over.  And the jack was one of those expanding diamonds…starts out flat and raises up just enough at the very top so you can get a tire off.

When I was a kid I was always warned about getting under cars on a jack.  I only heard the story once about the friend of the family whose son got crushed by a car.  That kind of story only needed to be heard once and I didn’t even have any of the details.  The only thing I really knew about the story was that it happened the same day he was playing with a Ouija board with his friends.  It was an effective story – I was left fearful of getting under cars and playing with Ouija boards.

For whatever reason, that fear was not there that day (probably so I could someday write this story and alter the course of somebody’s life by revealing the distinction “being present”).  I must have really been messing with Tony, pressing him about the transmission.  I got down on my back and slid myself in there.  Once I started looking at that transmission I realized where I was.  I didn’t see any major leaks, but it looked quite a mess around the bell housing with greasy gloppy stuff all around.

Then time went all slow motion on me.  My senses were already heightened because I had just realized where I was, and at the same time the voice was chattering as it does about not wanting to look like a big wuss, freaking out and pulling myself out from under that car.  It didn’t matter.

While those two things were happening, another simultaneous sound was happening, and I was hearing it at the same time the voice was telling me that you wouldn’t want to look like a wuss.  Hearing a cheap, piece of crap, yet still solid steel Ford factory tire jack break through the rusted out, unibody, not-frame of a 1978 Ford Fairmont sounds exactly the way you would expect it to sound.  When you’re under that Ford Fairmont it sounds like the sound of chewing Peanut Butter Captain Crunch recorded and played in slow motion at a really high volume.

There is where the moment of truth began.  Like I said in my last post the moment of truth is happening every moment, every second, of every minute of every hour, of every day.  The Truth/Love/Aletheia about it is that those seconds, minutes, hours, days don’t actually exist – they’re something we’ve made up, and agreed that they exist.  All there is are moments of truth (right now).  It’s useful to be able to relay the stories of things that have happened in the seconds, and minutes, and hours, and days gone by or the plans of the seconds, and minutes, and hours, and days ahead but they are not to be confused with truth.

Aletheia.  An immediate unconcealing.  A revealing of Truth.  Love, present, and experienced.

During the slow motion crunching sound, while looking at the greasy bell housing, the instinct to turn my head happened.  During the slow motion crunching sound, while my head was turning I saw the car getting lower.  There was no voice in my head.  There was only that slow motion crunching sound, the car getting lower, the increased pressure on my pectoral muscles where the welded seam of the unibody not-frame met the floor boards of the more fuel efficient-than-my-father’s-old-blue-1970-Ford-Galaxy-500-that-my-brother-wrecked 1978 Ford Fairmont.

Wide-awake.  Aware. Not enough experience around it to know that’s what I was, not like being light aware and wide-awake.  Hearing everything, not loudly but clearly and crisply.  Seeing that the car had stopped moving, feeling my chest pinned yet still able to take in and let out breath, lightly yet heavily.  Seeing out of the periphery vision the feet scurrying by my feet outside from under the lightning fast sleeper Ford Fairmont.  The gasps.  The oh no’s, the oh-my-God, oh-my-Gods, leading to the Ed, Ed, are you alrights.  Situation assessed here under the car…not the “voices in my head” assessment…a silent knowing assessment without language – a Self assessment.  Without words.  Head’s not smashed, breathing heavy but good, no send me into unconsciousness pains, not laughing either – but feeling good.  Feeling grateful, and appreciative, and I can say it now as a story – loved.  Dodged a bullet loved, though, got lucky loved…not intentional and not having caused it.  Not willfully present and mindful and Wise.

Wisdom it was nonetheless.  The second time I’d felt it.  A time in slow motion oneness with the moment.  A knowing, sensing everything while knowing nothing at all.  Not dodging death, but just not yet time to die.  Under that car, one of the things I most feared happened and I was not dead (good thing I hadn’t been using a Ouija board).

That was how the experience was for me – drawn out in story here for sure, and I want you to understand that talking about the moments that fill a 15 second time span as a watch ticks – telling the story about those moments is not those moments.  Most of the time we’re missing those moments with the dialogue we’re filling the space with.  But life occurs in those moments, those moments of truth (right now).  And it is possible to  intentionally experience moments right now without all of the noise and distraction and consideration about how you look and what they’ll think and just be grateful and appreciative of them scurrying about acting astonished about what just happened even though what just happened always happens and when you’re present you’re not surprised that it just happened.  We can be present and wise right now.

As my friends like to tell the story…everybody’s freaking out and saying are you alright, Ed are you alright?  Then there’s a silence and they wait for the answer. As calm as can be, Ed says, “Pick….the….car….up.”  And that was how it was for me – calm as can be.  They picked the car up, I slid out and the moments carried on.  I grinned as I do.

With Love,

Ed

* A sleeper is a car that looks to be ordinary, nothing special…until you pull up next to it to race and only then is its Truth/Love/Aletheia revealed.

Un-Enlightened

In my last post I made the proposition that we’re all englightened, that we just forgot about it or something happened to cloud over it, conceal it.  Consider little babies, they’re so cute and wonderful and even the most hardened people start cooing and googoo gagaing all over the place when they’re holding a little baby.  They’re like little Buddha’s, making us all bigger and better people than we normally know ourselves to be.  I used to be that cute and that much of an opening, calling out for only the best another human being could give me.  You did too.  The truth/love/aletheia about it just may be that we still are.

What happened?  How did I end up this way when I started out with so much promise.  People used to love being around me and want to care for me, and be the best they could be around me (when I say me, you could be thinking about your me too).  Dare I say, people used to just love me.  That’s all there was – an inexpressible love that people wanted to dote on me, that I drew out of them.  It’s that inexpressible, insatiable feeling that makes you just want to chew on a little baby’s leg and just eat them up (like that will somehow turn out well). They’re so adorable though that you just don’t know what to do with yourself when you’re with them…yet we’re driven to express “something” to them.  It usually ends up with us gooing and gaaing and looking mad, bad, and wrong to others.  But then the others notice you’re with a baby, and they say, “Oh, well, he’s with a baby so it’s okay.”

Consider this scene.  Remove all the people and fast forward a few years.  I was eight years old-ish.  Right there in front of Peaches Records and Tapes.  I was walking toward that spot where the mob is, down one of the aisles of cars with my brother who is about 8 years older than I am.  I’d just come off a rough patch of run-ins with bums as I called them…thugs that liked to beat up or just otherwise mess with little kids for no apparent reason.  They were just kids like me though.  I still thought you could count on grown-ups.

Dark green.  That was the color of the big boat of a car he was driving.  It was a Chrysler New Yorker, or an Imperial, or a Plymouth Fury.  Rusted already though it couldn’t have been more than a few years old.

These people were not at Peaches in 1978

Courtesy of HotFudgeDetroit.Com

He was probably mid-20’s, mid-length curly hair, mustache, jeans jacket, a little rough around the edges but not evil looking or anything.  I watched him the whole way from where he started coming through the stop sign at the end of the strip plaza, just waiting for the traffic to pass so we could cross.  But, I guess I was looking right at him the whole time…or I wasn’t.  I must have been a threat to him (I can reason now), or maybe I was too happy (for him) because I was going to Peaches with my older brother…again, a threat.

Then he was right in front of us.  Window height even with my head as he rolled by and me still looking at him.  Alive.  Experiencing.  Being.  Not afraid…just loving.  Enlightened.

“What are you looking at?”  It was all he said.

Taken back.  Confused.  Threat response.  Is this guy a bum?  Is he going to get out of the car and beat me up?  I looked away.  I looked down.  I looked at my brother.  He was no more eager to get in a fight than I was to get beat up.

I’ve done a lot of work to “find myself”, notice what was lost, or what I invented and I re-invent myself every moment when I’m present to the moment.  I still notice that sometimes I look at people away from their eyes…their mouths, their nose, off somewhere else…anywhere to keep them from asking, “What are you looking at?”

Aware of the source of my un-enlightenment now.  This being the last event.  The one that closed the door and had me really forget anything about the non-sense I knew when I was three…that all there is is love.  All around us, part of us, us.  Our source and our being and who we’ve always been.  Who he was.  This guy I’ll never meet.

We develop these ways of being to compensate, to protect ourselves from these threats.  But we forget about it.  Forget that we created them and we’re left unsatisfied, concerned, restless…looking for something that we already have, something that we are.  Truth.  Love. Unconcealed.  Aletheia.

I love you.  Even if you’re the guy in the Dark Green Chrysler.  You’ll know it, and experience it when I’m allowing myself to be vulnerable by looking at you, seeing you ala Avatar, being with you.  Afraid that you’ll punch me if I see something that you don’t want me to see, but willing to risk and love you anyway.

With Love,

Ed

A Technology Conversation About Lifting The Veil and Revealing Aletheia

Yesterday was a beautiful day and I had an enthusiastic conversation over lunch with a colleague who has read my blog.  We shared conversation about our “most enlightened” experiences and our interest and desire to have enlightened being occur “more often”.

Conversation is a fun, if not limiting, way to presence shared experience or the separate experience that comes from that shared place of who we all are.  We set off to lunch with an anticipated shared sense of commonality, an anticipation that we each mentally knew some of the same things and even that we had individually experienced some type of heightened state of being or being present.

Common language allows for a common way of describing the same things and knowing that another “gets” what you’re saying.  Often it’s the lack of shared language that freaks people out in conversations that are fear inducing such as the ones that  confront your ego.  In a powerful three part series of papers on rhetoric, Dave Logan from USC goes into great depth about these “terministic screens” and the way dual degree MD and MBA candidates were able to translate their medical practice into results in the financial world because of their ability to distinguish these two very distinct language vocabularies.  Having these dual terministic screens gave them the ability to powerfully distinguish things from each realm and tie the two together to make the other more useful.  http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=915321

During lunch with this “dual track” colleague of mine, who is both a long time network engineer in the Cisco Systems sense of the term, and a student of transformation/enlightenment/Buddhism/etc., I was pleased to have him suggest a model of viewing our existence in the exact same way as I was recently thinking and viewing it – through my similar dual terministic screen of vocabulary and modeling.  It’s not that it really IS this way, but it’s a way of viewing it that allowed each of us to share the idea and the experience in a way that each of us understood.

Understanding networks and the way they work requires knowing the OSI model.  If you’ve ever studied networking or ever wanted to one of the first things you’ll need to learn is the OSI model – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OSI_model.  In simple terms, the model defines 7 layers of the network beginning at the lowest level with the “Physical” layer and moving up through the other six layers to the highest level which is the “Application” layer.  This model defines and allows various distinctions and interpretations to occur at the various layers – each within its own bounds but each complying to various rules that allow the other layers to interact in an expected way.  Certain flexibility but very specific rules.  Each with it’s own protocols and ways of interacting with the layer both directly above and directly below it.

His suggestion (had he thought of it this way before, or did my listening allow for and create it in the moment in conversation?) that there is an OSI model for our existence as human beings was fantastic.  We talked about our moments of enlightenment and how these occurred almost “below” the physical layer that we believe we interact with and we talked about how our allowing ourselves to come from and interact with more power from this Being layer allowed our applications or our Doing in the world to produce different results.  We also talked about people we’ve read or experienced and their unattachment to the various “higher” layers and that this unattachment allowed them to virtually shift the way “reality” occurred for those in their presence.

Mostly though I was just pleased that I was drawing out people around me that were willing to share their experience.  It is only through this conversation of network nodes that further realization of our human potential will occur.  Connected by dark matter, or being, or presence, or time and space, or whatever it is that we don’t yet know how to describe because we’re way up at the application layer, so far removed from the physical layer that we don’t speak in the same protocols, shouldn’t prohibit us from experimenting and reaching out to converse with each other openly and admitting that we may not really understand how it all works.  We know that there’s something there, connecting us all, maybe it’s Truth and Love or whatever words your terministic screens allow for, yet for now it’s mostly concealed behind the veil.  We get glimpses of it out of the corner of our eye or when we’re letting go of attachment to things. Join me in unconcealing, leave a comment, send me a note, have a conversation to explore – maybe you’ll expose the next human facebook riding at the application layer.  Maybe you’ll just experience Light and Beauty, Freedom, Truth and above all things Love.

With Nothing And Love,

Ed

If We’d Met Previously

There are many people that I’ve met in life prior to knowing “who I am” and as a result I may not have been true to myself and very likely, not true to you.  Now, there are many people, those that I hold closest to my heart who were able to get to who I am anyway.  These people are generally my family, my closest friends, and even others who’ve known me even though I didn’t know myself.  This entry is not about them, it’s about all the others who I haven’t spent enough time with for you to get to know me and me to know you.

For those people, the first order of business is most likely an apology.  Now, I wasn’t always a jerk to you prior to my knowing who I am, but the odds were increased considerably that at one point I may have been.  So, I apologize.  I hope that you’ll consider this apology deeply and accept it with my promise to be true to myself, to uphold my word regarding who I am, and to begin again with you.  After all, I know now that I love you.  That you’re perfect exactly the way that you are and exactly the way that you are not.  Even if you don’t forgive me.

However, if you’ve read my apology and you’ve gotten all your questions answered about it, and who I may have been that had me being the way I was in our relationship previously, and you understand who I am now and that I can say with utmost integrity that it is who I am, and you can’t or won’t accept my apology we may be better off parting ways.  To maintain the relationship in that state is to hold the past in place, to not allow me to be who I am in the eternal now (and now, and now, and now).  I can be ok with that.  But what I can’t be ok with, is you continuing to be who you were for me when I was who I was.  Not forgiving and not letting that go holds who you were in place as much as it holds me in place.  I know that you’re much more than that.

There are some of you out there and we’d only “met” in passing.  There’s the guy in the parking lot at Peaches Record Store in Old Brooklyn when I was about 8 years old who drove by and asked me, “What are you looking at”?  Or those kids that asked me if I wanted to go to Jim’s house because, as you said, you were going to go beat him up. There are also countless people I’ve passed in the hallways at work, or high school, or just out on the street.  We had the opportunity, for one brief moment, to really be together.  To take just a second out of what I was reflecting about and be with you, and share some space, and some time, and some love…that’s what I apologize for.  That I wasn’t present enough to create that for the both of us to share.  Me in your world and you in mine.  Just for a moment.

There are others that I’ve met where no apology may be necessary.  I may have been known to you as “that funny guy”, or that “really smart guy”, or that really persistent boyfriend who just couldn’t let it go, or that kid who was so competitive that even when you won you felt like you lost.  But I was never really mean to you, not really. To you, the apology is still offered but it’s more of an apology for not really and fully getting to be with you.  I was, essentially, a front or a mask or a facade.  I mean, parts of the real me may have come out, but mostly I was pretty busy protecting myself (from what now, I don’t know).  I wasn’t really authentic with you.  Sure, I was funny and I told you the truth as I knew it, but it wasn’t coming from the place where truth comes from.  It was coming from the place where people come from when they’re trying to protect themselves and survive.

I’m over that now.  And I’d like to reintroduce myself to you.

Hi, my name is Ed Malinowski, I have 3 kids and an amazing wife, and I work as an organizational consultant and coach.  But what I really want you to know about me is that I just love people.  So I want you to know that you don’t have to be any particular way with me, and that I already love you.  I love you exactly the way you are and exactly the way you’re not.  And, I want you to know that I know that you love me too, whether you know it or not, and it’s ok either way.”

It may be a little strange interacting with me now since some of the “ways of being” I’ll be won’t be what you’re used to or expecting.  But I’d like you to consider that those weren’t me anyway and from how I was being you weren’t you either. 

And if we pass in the hall, you may wonder what I’m so happy about, or you may get the feeling that I know something that you don’t know or that I’m up to no good.  That’s just me present to love, with you.  Strange as it may seem.

The true gift that comes from me being who I am is that you get to be who you are.  I can’t wait to meet you.

With Love,

Ed