Wednesday, October 22, 2014

God Bless the Animals - Angels Unaware

Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. ~Hebrews 13:1,2

My blog today is very different from most.This morning I felt compelled to write about my dog, Maggie. I have dogs. I love dogs. I studied Veterinary Medicine because I love dogs, and other animals. Animals have always been my teachers. They don't have nearly the capacity that we do to objectify the self, and that keeps them grounded in the natural order of life...a benevolent and honorable posture. I have great reverence for that quality in animals. .

This morning at o’dark thirty I was checking my mail on the phone in my big easy chair. My tried and true buddy, Maggie, a black Shar Pei  cross loyally lay at my feet. I started to get up and glanced down to mark my step over her sleeping body and she looked up at me. Now, I am just in love with this little dog. So I immediately began to pet her and speak to her in my lovey-dovey voice about how thankful I am that she stopped by my house 4 years ago. In my mind, I go to this place of deep gratitude and wonder at the mystery of how so many of the dogs we’ve owned simply show up in our life, seemingly from nowhere. Such blessed gifts from God.

It was four years ago on an Ash Wed evening, that I came home to find my big dog, Spot, Security Central, had trapped something in a corner of the outside of our house. Thinking it would be an opossum or a ‘coon, or something of that nature, I went immediately over to see what Spot was guarding. It was a small black puppy, the size of a basketball, about 3 months old…Maggie. She was just petrified with fear, growling and snarling and all kinds of mean. Well, yeah! Spot is a gangster of a big dog and can be very intimidating. Suffice to say, we kept Maggie, as we do so many of the dogs and puppies that appear on our doorstep.

It’s bit of magic, I think, that these sweet animals come to us. Divine intervention, if you will. They have to have a mama and siblings somewhere, a place of origination. But that remains a mystery. We do have a dog whose mama was a wild stray that could not be caught. When she had puppies, my friend managed to corral the pups and find homes for them, but the mama dog remained feral. Most of the time, we don’t know where our dogs come from. But I feel they are supposed to find us. And they make incredibly loving pets.

So, this morning, I loved all over little Maggie, telling her how grateful I was that she chose to stay with us and how I loved her. I kissed the top of her soft black head, rose to standing, and strode toward my study. She, anticipating my movement, jumped up and ran for the kitchen (the treats). Half way between my study and the chair I looked back at her. She stood poised at the kitchen door looking at me with a shocked expression that said, “After all that lovey-dovey talk you aren’t going to give me a treat?”  Oh okay, I turned and went to appease her complete obsession with the “snaps.” My days of rationing treats are waning….dog lives, and my own, are too short for such nonsense. In the dog world, if you really want to profess your love, you pet, talk lovey-dovey and you treat. And so it is….

God bless the animals...may we remember that we share this planet with them and they depend on us to make good choices for them. Go love on your pet today and don't forget the treat! (NOT people food!)


Friday, October 10, 2014

The Kingdom of God & The Inward World of Intuition

The Blue, by Billy Collins*

You can have Egypt and Nantucket.
The only place I want to visit is The Blue,
not the Wild Blue Yonder that seduces pilots,
but that zone where the unexpected dwells,
waiting to come out of it in the shape of bolts.
I want to walk its azure perimeter
where the unanticipated is coiled, on the mark,
ready to spring into the predicttable homes of earth.
I want to stroll through the pale indigo light
examining all the accidents about to rocket into time,
all the forgotten names about to fly from tongues.
I will scrutinize all the surprises of the future
and watch the brainstorms gathering darkly,
ready to hit the heads of inventors
laboring in their crackpot shacks.
A jaded traveler with an invisible passport,
I am at home with this heaven of the unforeseen,
waiting for the next whoosh of sudden departure
when, with no advance warning, to tiny augery,
the unpredictable plummets into our lives
from somewhere that looks like sky.
*Thank you John March!

I love to watch how people perceive/think. Here are some thoughts this poem stirred up. In the end, it is all about the Kingdom of God (and self knowledge) 

You know how, when we chat about our lives in the world, we compare destinations? You may say, "I went to Paris last year." And, if I had gone to Paris, I would say, "I did too!!" And we'd have this common ground for conversations about our experiences in Paris. This is widely and well-accepted practice.
Do you know that we also do that with our inward universe? Say, I read a poem, or a beautiful quote that incorporates a metaphor or simile such as, "I strolled through a pale indigo sky..." My inward experience recognizes that - I remember how it feels to be there. I may even have written a poem at one time about my presence in an indigo sky. I can feel and remember my experience in the implications of those words, just as if I were in that place.
The first scenario is a "Sensor" experience - we all have those. The second is an "Intuitive" experience. We all have those too....if we pay attention to them, we realize there is an inward universe just as vast and beautiful and intriguing, but still very much wilderness. And it is an advantage to have some understanding of this amazing, undiscovered land. In fact, there are gifts here that significantly enrich our travels in the physical world....

I  find it interesting that, because the sensor experience is something we all must have and use collectively, we find it to be a more valid and acceptable platform for socialization. Our culture is more extrovert than introvert, more sensor-biased (77%) than intuitor (23%). The introverts and the intuitor-biased folks have to conform to that - they have to abandon their natural energetic needs and perception gifts to fit in. And it truly causes difficulties for some of them, because they are, in essence, denying them self.
So if we understand the ways we bring perceptive experience to our circumstances, that is, that we BOTH sense the facts (outward) and intuit through memory and feeling (inward) to create the entire experience we are having, we understand our self much better. And we understand those who are majorly introverts and/or intuitors in the ways they approach the world.When it comes to spirituality it is essential that we understand the inward universe.
Here are a couple quotes that illustrate the importance of this point:

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” 
~Carl Jung

"If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you." 
~Gospel of Thomas

What these refer to is subjective experience - intuition and feeling - present in every experience whether recognized or not.

Contemplative practices - meditation and prayer - will cultivate subjective experience. When we eliminate the distractions - the noise - of our outer perceiving, we can tune in (literally) to the inner universe of Self, and get to know who we really are. We realize the Kingdom of God because we are at One, reconciled, with all that is. We reconcile (or "re--friend") our outer:inner person, our sensing:intuiting and thinking:feeling, and bring that balanced person to a more reconciled world experience. 

“If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself, if you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself. Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.”
~ Attributed to Lao Tzu ( more likely Hua Hu Ching, Wang Fou, ca. 300 CE)

Peace and "Be Still" to you, Peggy _/\_

Further reading on the Kingdom of God within you and self knowledge: