Archive for the 'worldview' Category

Up on the roof

February 19, 2015

I went up to my study a few minutes ago and I saw something moving on the roof next door.  A snow rake?  From someone up on a ladder?  Bob does that from time to time.

This time Bob was up on the top roof himself, removing snow from up there while walking on the surface.  I couldn’t watch, I came downstairs.  A neighbor further down the street died after a fall from a ladder at his home.  It happens, even if it doesn’t happen often.

Whenever I see people walking a high roof (usually they are professional roofers on a dry roof in good weather), I have a sense that there’s a lesson in there for me, especially in my aversion to watching (even professional roofers).  It’s something like, “Well, that’s what you do (or did) and it was hard to watch you, too.”

And then I draw a blank about what that could be and usually end up doubting the entire messaging incident itself.  But these incidents come up fairly often, so I conclude that I haven’t yet understood something yet that would be helpful for me to understand.

The only thing that I can come up with is that I have gone in and looked at the world through the perspective of narcissists who have a severely underdeveloped capacity for connecting their conscious self with their subconscious self, and maintained (not without a struggle) my own bearing that this is just their point of view and that i [this is what I typed without realizing it, and I’m going to leave it] have been able to step out of it ultimately.  Maybe “the fall” would have been to have become completely swept up in it and forgotten my own perspective or not been able to get back to experiencing the world from it — I am certainly aware that those are hazards.  In fact some of them happened to me as a child and did not become fully resolved until I was in my early forties.  Perhaps experiencing that journey was the hazard, perhaps it was not a foregone conclusion that I would ever emerge and come back to my own worldview.

And what would have been the point of such a journey?  I don’t think I in particular did it because I had a personal desire to do it.  Maybe it provided something needed by the people whose point of view I looked out through temporarily, I guess they would be in a better position to speak to that.  Or maybe the point of the exercise can only be understood from a loftier perch with a bird’s eye view, I don’t know.  I do know that i am more comfortable in my own skin, even if it has its drawbacks.  Maybe that is the task the narcissists I have interacted with are working on, maybe I have merely mirrored their own task.  (It’s a tough one.)  Maybe that’s what this has been all about.


February 25, 2013

When I listen to the radio, I am aware of listening to another person’s (or a machine’s) playlist.  When I choose a CD to listen to, often I choose it for a particular song.  There are CDs which I love from start to finish (and can listen to over and over again as I drive a long distance).  Then there are more modern ways of choosing individual songs and making our own particular compilations of songs.

But today it occurred to me that I can be in the mood to listen to an album that I think I don’t really like all the tracks on, and listen with an open mind to being surprised, and pleasantly surprised, at what I hear and its effect on me.

I think that could be used as analogy to going along with God’s will (to use one set of vocabulary — surfing the waves of the universe might be another) or insisting on our own:  listening to the album as is , or exercising our free will and, for example, playing one song repeatedly and skipping over others.

Some days maybe we’re more open to accepting letting the play list be chosen by someone else, not by us.  And not by an equally flawed human being with their own issues, either.  That makes a difference for me, at least — the same thing understood as serving a greater good I have an easier time accepting than accepting it because some other person is trying to force me to agree with them.

And that brings me back to worldview.  I can see helpful results from difficult experiences which other people might dismiss in purely negative terms.  The continuing challenge for me is maintaining my own perspective while listening to theirs.

The limitations of explanations (and of their sources)

January 6, 2013

I have encountered a pattern among people who see situations only from one perspective, the perspective of a self so closed off from itself, and hence from others, that it cannot put itself in the shoes of others:  the person promises to do something important for my welfare and then finds it inconvenient or difficult to do and so doesn’t do it, I pipe up with some sort of protest, and the person then explains why they said what they said originally and why they’re doing what they’re doing now (occasionally they also re-promise, but it is even clearer that that promise is not going to be kept).

The part I am continually amazed at is that they really don’t comprehend that their explanation does not meet the need that is also not being met by not doing that which was promised.  To put it somewhat rudely, do I really care why they’re not following through?  In one case it was a forgotten theater ticket; “Yes, I made plans over weeks to drive you home from surgery but I just realized I have a ticket to a theater matinee performance,” he said the day before my surgery.   That’s the easiest example for me to write about, but there are half a dozen more, at least, in my life.  The promises are equally explicit and about significant matters, and the person just doesn’t do it.

What I’m writing about here is Stage 2:  the explanation.  Because sometimes the person does feel compelled to explain, especially if I pipe up and ask for what I need and what they said they would do.

It’s sort of the “That and 50 cents will get you a ride on the subway” kind of issue:  just what am I supposed to do with the explanation?  Wrap it around my naked self like a torn blanket that does not cover?  Use it to produce magically another person to drive me home from the surgery?  Take it to mean the person does care and that should be enough, even though they do not come to grips with the difficulty to me from the situation they have left me in?  They have induced me to extend myself and then not come through with the support to make that extension work — where do they think that support will come from if they bow out?

My own take on this is that it is a path towards a fuller relationship with God:  to quote Dave Carter, “in praise or lamentation, peace or desperation / any way I do, I come into the presence of the lord” (from “any way I do”).  God is the dance teacher who will dance with me when my date who brought me to the dance won’t, and this is a blessing.

The catch is getting hung up in an argument with the human partner who won’t dance with me.  They want me to see it their way and assure them it’s okay in a way that it’s not.  It is okay in the great scheme of things; it’s by their own system of values and view of the world that it’s not okay.  I don’t have to subscribe to their system of values and view of the world, and I don’t, but I also can’t get them to subscribe to my system of values, view of the world, or view of the particular situation and my (unmet) needs, any better than they can get me to subscribe to theirs.  If I get hung up on getting an acknowledgement, I create difficulty for myself.

To go back to my surgery example, I needed the ride then, I would have chosen a different appointment and/or made arrangements with someone else for a ride, had they not promised.

In the other situations, a way to regroup has actually been less clear.  They have involved things others could not provide for me, or me for myself (or children).  There has been real damage as a result.  I have learned enough to know that those are my issues now to deal with, and I have learned enough to know that no one has to make amends to me or that such amends will meet the original needs.  What I am still struggling with is acceptance, the “How could you?” part of my reaction.  One of the tools that has helped me here is thinking about the meaning of “No room at the inn” in the telling of the story of the birth of Jesus — it helps me to know that this is a part of what is encountered on a spiritual journey.

The person will never see themselves as I see them, is what I can get stuck on, especially if they want to have some kind of on-going connection with me.  It’s like the tunnel constructed by drilling in from both sides of the mountain that doesn’t meet in the middle.

For me, the lesson seems to be, “It happens, it’s not the end of the world, it’s painful, difficult, etc., etc., but there are always forces greater than I who can guide me through and through whom I can feel sustained.”

I know others have foundered trying to land this airplane, that is, trying to play out an ending to this script that doesn’t look like the end of a grand or soap opera (with bodies strewn all over the stage).  Their difficulties finding a way through inform how I handle my turn.  And I know that the more mature age at which I have encountered this scenario has helped, as has my having been happily married for a reasonably long period of time before this.

But it’s still a rough landing, I don’t deny it.  Some of the folks who have gone before me have said that it has helped them come to terms with their own attempt to hear me learn from their experience, to hear me point out what helps I have had that they did not, and to hear me point out how hard I find this.

In the end, some of this story is about self-forgiveness, forgiving the self for trusting another human being and having that trust have been unsuitable for the person and situation, and forgiving the self for having had the need to trust that other human being at all in the first place.

The other part, for me, is about learning to recognize the difference between expectations I can have of God and expectations I can have of people, even people who want me to see them otherwise.

Writers seem to preach that writing about things helps expiate them or accept them or see them in a new light.  Maybe it’s testimony to the fact that I am not a writer that I don’t find that to be true, or maybe it’s just that I haven’t written about these things thoroughly enough or precisely enough yet.


June 1, 2012

A couple of the other issues Gita and I discussed yesterday were what other people consider “fantasies” and other people’s worldviews.

The fantasies issue I’ve already mentioned in the context of talking about how different people consider their relationships on the astral plane.  Gita was rather more forceful about the harm people can cause through what they think are harmless fantasies, how thought forms projected outward have consequences.

We also talked about bandwidth issues — how some of us can pick up a lot of chatter out there and how we need to develop a spiritual practice that allows us to discern and tune out the noise.  It’s tricky for an empath, because the other person’s reality becomes mine, temporarily, and I need to be able to “spot” myself, to have a point of reference to my reality as a healer in order to maintain a more helpful worldview.  So for a while I may be experiencing the noise as the only signal if that’s what the person I’m interacting with does. I have met people who clearly prefer listening to the noise and interacting with it in ways to gratify themselves in a way that I find dangerous — like cruising or voyeurism or crank phone calls, to take a few examples.  It’s easier for these people to hide what they’re doing, but for people like me, there’s no significant difference between what they’re doing on the astral plane and if they were standing on street corners or planting bugs or placing calls with a telephone.

Then there’s the issue of different worldviews.  My own worldview allows me to travel much lighter than the worldviews of most of the people I interact with.  It’s not about happy and sad, optimism or depression, it’s along another axis.  This is where the problem of not having physical help enters in: if I have to get my help through going higher up into the cloud, then I need to travel very light.  If I’m interrelating and interpenetrating with people who have a worldview I experience as heaviness (a lot of ego issues, a lack of getting the self out of the way; often manifesting as a lot of defensiveness, bitterness, or judgmentalness), that makes my going up into the cloud more difficult.  To those people I want to say, “Either lighten up at your end or help me out here on the physical plane, if that turns out to be an acceptable option for both of us, or let’s agree to disengage — this isn’t working for me as things are.”

Gita pointed out that relationships can be conditional even when (my) love for the other person is unconditional.  I think I needed to hear that.