“The Big Exhale”: Journey of Fulfillment 2.0 – Day 40

Copyright Tam Black 2014 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2014
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

I am light. My body is light. I am free. I know my fulfillment: I feel it rise within me, expand out from me.


Ahhhhhhh! Can you feel it? The light. The lightness! “I am free” takes on a whole ’nother meaning on day 40, doesn’t it? It’s a feeling of relief, completion, and “thank God I made it” all rolled into one big exhale.

What a beautiful day. What a beautiful Journey.

The thing about small steps is that progress or change happens almost un-noticeably. What did I do for the past 39 days? What was relevant? What was important? What moved me?

I don’t know the specifics. I can’t identify the what. But I am changed; I am fulfilled. How do I know? Because I love more. Because I am relaxed and enjoying my life, my friends, and my family. I am feeling deeply appreciative for everything. Because even with my car breaking down, several “high-intensity” interactions, several unexpected insertions (“there are no coincidences”), I have been open and flowing (buoyant!).

Life is beautiful. I am fulfilled. I am experiencing being fulfilled—through everything, with everything. This feeling is not coerced or imposed; it’s not affectation or the façade of an underlying desire. It “just is”. And that’s how I know it’s right and it’s real. I haven’t done anything to “make it happen” (except, of course, spend the last 40 days with some bit of attention focused on uncovering it, cultivating it).

This is the power of just a bit of attention every day: small changes which, in the end add up to a shift that is so gradual it’s practically unidentifiable, yet also amazing and powerful. Who I am, when I am being, is not noticeable. It’s like breathing—it’s so natural, you just do it, you just be it, be you. That’s why being is so powerful—you don’t even notice it, yet you live in such a way as that deep, strong, real part of you comes out simply, easily.

I hope that you experience this for yourself. I hope that you have placed some attention on your Inner-Self of Fulfillment, just a bit! these 40 days. I hope that you feel your Inner Self in a new way, in a way that is natural, in a way that is easy. I hope that you know yourself as buoyant, even as anything and everything unexpected comes up. I hope you have experienced the interconnectedness of coincidences. I hope that you love and live and be and know your freedom, your light, your fulfillment.


I’ll be back in just a few days with the Afterword!

The next Journey is Journey of REST. It could also be called Journey of Recuperating, Journey of Integration, Journey of Relaxing, Journey of Gearing-Up-For-The-Next-Journey. Take your pick. See this page under the header Step Back, Relax, and Rest for more information about why this is important.

Rest does not mean idle! I’ll be here, staying in touch, just probably not every day. If you are interested in guest-blogging over the next 2 months, let me know–here’s your opportunity. See this page for more information.


“Heroes Is as Heroes Does”: Journey of Fulfillment 2.0 – Day 39

Copyright Tam Black 2014 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2014
Designed for susanwithpearls.com


Guiding Thought

May those who seek help others find;

May those who sorrow be compassionate;

May those who are lost, light a path for another;

May those who question or doubt give guidance;

May those who worry lift the burden of another;

May those who hide see their own light in the eyes of a stranger;

May we all give peace, no matter what.



I made it home from work last night, no problem, like any other day—well, ok, there was more traffic than usual, it took me 90 minutes for a drive that usually only takes 50 minutes, and it was rainy—but other than that, no problem, like any other day. Realizing there was nothing for dinner, I had to run to the store—again, not so unusual, although not all that frequent.  About a mile away, the store normally takes about 20 minutes to get to and come home.

Not this time.

I make the turn to the store and accelerate to get up the incline…my car barely moves, and my engine revs. Come on, come on…what the hell… come on come on, make it up there. I barely make it to the parking lot. When I get there, I do some tests: car in Drive, press accelerator…NO GO. Car in Drive 2, press the accelerator…NO GO. Car in Drive 3, press the accelerator…NO GO. SHIT.  Car in reverse. GO! Ok. Back into a parking spot.  Turn engine off. Turn engine on. Car in drive.  GO! SLOWLY. BARELY. OK. Maybe I’ll be able to make it home. Turn car off, go in, get dinner, head home with a bit of trepidation. The drive home took 5 times as long as usual, going about 5 miles an hour with flashers on. At one point it stopped completely and I thought I would be walking the rest of the way home, but by some miracle, it went again, after I turned the car off and back on.

My mood bordered on cranky and annoyed…but I was doing my best to stay positive.

Then, I remembered. I talk sometimes about forgetting, and how I should know better, and why do I forget when I really know better… this time, thank my lucky stars and the god of All that is Good, I remembered: I said to myself, “This is all perfect. Everything is going exactly as it needs to go to put everything in place for exactly what needs to be right and perfect.” Which is good, because the next day (today) was a big day already.

The transmission going out threw me into a completely different mode of expectation. That is to say, the way I thought today was going to go, what I had planned, what I expected, was thrown completely OFF.  (and I have to say: I had some very important plans today).

In addition to getting done all that I had planned, I had to figure out how to get my car towed, get the rental car, find a transmission place that works with my warranty, and still get everything else done.

And everything turned out perfectly. Several scenarios that would never otherwise have happened, happened; I met new people who I never would have otherwise met, and engaged in conversations that would never have taken place—which unexpectedly prepared me for one of the very important points of my day. All the while, I maintained my thought from last night, “everything is perfect”.  Indeed, I recalled a dream that I had about 10 months ago, in which, in the midst of a flood I literally held onto a buoy, and floated heedlessly along, while lots of other stuff was swept away all around me.

I completely let go of how I thought I was going to approach today. Instead, I decided to “go with it”, and float as though atop a buoy in a flood.

It was amazing. Everything worked out synchronously, in a very unexpected but interconnected way—in a way that I could not have planned, in a way that I could not have orchestrated. And I realized…THIS is what Dirk Gently is talking about. He really is my hero.

“Bursting My Own Bubble”: Journey of Fulfillment 2.0 – Day 38

Guiding Thought

My motivation is my choice. My intention is my choice. My will is my choice. In Peace, I listen within for guidance so that my actions are motivated by joy, my intentions are love, and my Will is simply to share Joy and Love.


I’ve figured it out.

When I begin each Journey, I write down an intention, to (attempt to) get clear about what I hope to accomplish for the particular Journey. Then I spend about 35-40 days with that intention, that “goal”, working itself out in my subconscious. You have seen it: the path is not linear, it’s not obvious, and sometimes it seems like I am straying far away from the purpose, the path.

This is how I think of it (please note this is as much my imagination as it is “fact”, and probably more my imagination): My brain has been receiving sensory input since before I was born. All of that sensory input was translated into electronic impulses, which moved through my brain over synapses, creating “neural networks”. A “network” is a bundle of impulses. So, for example, I have a bundle of impulses that tells me how to type on a keyboard, a bundle that is associated with petting my cat; I have a bundle associated with doing the dishes. But, I also have a bundle that is associated with typing on a keyboard while listening to music. And I have a bundle for typing on the keyboard, while my cat is vying for my attention. And I even have a bundle for doing the dishes while listening to music, while my cat vies for my attention.

Each of these that have common elements which are all intertwined in these networks, tangled, entangled. When you throw the neural networks of emotions, beliefs, or subconscious impressions in there, you really get some tangled-ness, going back to all of the emotions, beliefs, and impressions I’ve had since before I was born.

For example, there was the time when I was doing dishes, with the cat underfoot vying for my attention while I was listening to REO Speed Wagon after having just broken up with my high school sweetheart when the dog came galloping in, chased by my brother who was shouting and carrying on, which scared the cat so that it jumped up and scratched my face, in turn, causing me to spill hot coffee down my front. After that, it took a long time to be nice to the cat, listen to REO, not be mad at my brother for chasing the dog, or even smell coffee. (This is all fiction, by the way, meant to entertain you while giving an example.)

Each of the neural associations had lasting conscious effects. While I may recover from this scenario consciously, there are still neural pathways, neural networks, that were created, which may still create some emotional stress from the trauma of it.

The individual Journeys unravel the neural networks that are associated with their topic (in this case, Fulfillment). Since most of my neural associations that are entangled are completely sub-conscious (or unconscious), the Journeys take me through a convoluted path to dis-entangle the networks in my brain. At least, the path seems convoluted, because I do not consciously have access to all of that disentanglement process.

This is what I figured out:

When I started the Journey, you may recall (WHY), I listed a bunch of affirmations that I have been working with regarding my purpose and its fulfillment.

At the beginning of the Journey, I was attached to the affirmations, and achieving their outcome.

You may be aware of some of the ideas regarding attachment (and non-attachment). If you are not, here is a lengthy, but easy-to-read essay by a source I trust. http://www.lamayeshe.com/article/chapter/chapter-six-every-problem-earth-comes-attachment

Most often attachment associated with enlightenment has to do with ego­-attachment. But people tend to be attached to things as well: families, friends, clothing, cars, good food, a job, etc., which of course is all just an expression of the attached ego.

I was attached to the affirmations: these will get me what I want. I want this particular outcome. If I just say these affirmations, I will get what I want. I want.  I want. I want. Do you see?

The Journey (and God knows…I don’t know how), showed me how my attachment to the affirmations was exactly what prevented their fulfillment, and what’s more, through the Journey, the attachment was released. For 37 days, the bubble rose; hitting the surface, it burst, releasing what was trapped within.

“Closer I am”: Journey of Fulfillment 2.0 – Day 37

Copyright Tam Black 2014 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2014
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

My joy unifies! Accepting my own joy—acknowledging it, sharing it, and expressing it—heals myself and others. To be wholly joyful means to be wholly love…means to be wholly my Self.


What do you love? What brings you joy? What is it that you need to accept within yourself that will allow you to express that quality/characteristic that brings you joy? Or are you doing it already? What is unique and original within you? What do you do with that?  Who are you?

In a way, today’s Guiding Thought is really about honesty. It’s about being deeply, truly, honestly your Self. It’s about releasing anything that prevents you from expressing your Self. It’s about the simple pleasure of knowing who you are (acknowledging), and sharing that part of you that only you contribute to the whole.

How close are you? How close are you to your Self? How much Truth do you tell yourself? How much Truth do you live?

For me, it feels like I have spent a lifetime uncovering, discovering, and striving to live as my real Self (that’s probably because I have…).   It started when I was around 9, with Plato’s quote of the Oracle at Delphi, “Know Thyself”. It progressed to Shakespeare’ s “This above all, to thine own self be true, and it must follow as the night the day, thou canst then not be false to any man.” One of my favorite books as a pre-teen was The Real Me by Betty Miles; in college I studied identity politics, authenticity, and alienation (among other things); after college I (basically, for all intents and purposes) “dropped out” of society to “find myself” (I know, it’s cliché, but that’s what I did—it worked!).

And here I am, doing Journeys, which I LOVE, which are unique to me, which I share, which bring me great joy.

And still I feel like I have so far to go, so much to learn about myself, so much to discover, so much to share.

The bucket is never full. Every drop matters, but the bucket is never full. There is always more to do! More to learn! More to share! Despite how far I go, how far I feel I have come, I look ahead and see how far I have yet to go.

Even though this might sound a bit defeatist, it’s not! It’s inspiring! It’s motivating!

To experience your Self as infinite, take an inner- step in every direction! How long will that take? FOREVER. Is it worth it? Absolutely.

“Dirk Gently Is My Hero”: Journey of Fulfillment 2.0 – Day 36

Copyright Tam Black 2014 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2014
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

Why would I choose to limit my Self? To limit my reality? All of reality is mine, and mine to give! In giving and sharing, my joy increases, expanding Love, expanding Life!



Last night I watched the first episode of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, a comedy based on the literary work of Douglas Adams. It was smattered with references to interconnectedness, quantum entanglement, and the broad purposefulness of everything, including coincidences (which means nothing is a coincidence, and everything is interconnected).

There were many profound ideas bandied about in comedic dialogue, but the most noteworthy was not one of the higher-mind, physics-spiritual-truths that are so often referenced these days (earlier in the week, Blunt Talk also referenced quantum entanglement).

The most interesting part of the dialogue for me was when Dirk (played by Samuel Barnett) said to Todd (played by Elijah Wood), “You’ve been making decisions out of desperation for far too long! Take control, make a real choice, and everything will change.” (This is a bit paraphrased as my memory of it may be flimsy).

Now that is an insight. “You’ve been making decisions out of desperation…” wow!  At the time I thought, “I can’t say that I’ve been making decisions out of desperation…I’ve done pretty well making conscious choices…but dang if that doesn’t speak to me.”

This morning I figured out why it spoke to me. Let me paraphrase Dirk Gently, using the Guiding Thought as a basis: “You’ve been making decisions out of limitation for far too long! Expand Love, Expand Life, make that choice, and everything will change.”

That I can relate to. I can see how my internal and external circumstances can (and have) limited the choices I am making. Wasn’t I just talking about “leaping” last week?

The thing is—and this is where I get hung up recently—how? I can see the limitations. I can see what I want beyond the limitation. How do I bridge those?

This, in my humble opinion, is a classic “hang up”. How do I do it? I don’t think I am the first, or only, person who has thought this.

There is the want, the desire, the vision, the goal, even the skill or ability—all of this is in hand, ready for that accomplishment. But…how? How do I get there? What do I do? How do I make something happen? There’s always the leap, but leaping is scary, and in the meantime, there are bills to pay and a roof and food to provide.

With all of this, I can—again—emphatically shout this Guiding Thought from a mountaintop: Why would I choose to limit my Self? To limit my reality? All of reality is mine, and mine to give! In giving and sharing, my joy increases, expanding Love, expanding Life!

I feel it; I agree with it, I claim it!

Except, when the shouting is done, although I agree with all of it…where does it get me? It still doesn’t answer my question, doesn’t show me the answer.

You know that’s why I love this stuff. I have to figure it out. I know I have the answer. I know I am figuring it out. I love the puzzle. I love putting pieces together. I love working at these questions from lots of different angles. In a way, Dirk Gently is my hero. He solves crimes by following his intuition, being aware of where he is and where he’s going, and doing nothing except what’s in front of him, just knowing that everything has a purpose, and everything is interconnected.

“Do You Understand?”: Journey of Fulfillment 2.0 – Day 35

Copyright Tam Black 2014 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2014
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

In Divine Mind, I am filled full! All are equally filled full. All are equal in Love. I fill my mind with thoughts of fulfillment and remember what I already know. I am determined to fulfill my purpose, to know my Self as Divine Love, and to share the fullness I am.



The feeling that I get from this Guiding Thought today is like picturing myself on a mountaintop shouting this to the world, proclaiming with lots of energy and emphasis these thoughts.

In Divine Mind, I am filled full! All are equally filled full! All are equal in Love! I fill my mind with thoughts of fulfillment and remember what I already know! I am determined to fulfill my purpose! To know my Self as Divine Love! To share the fullness I am!

 I particularly feel the emphasis on “I am determined to fulfill my purpose, to know my Self as Divine LOVE, and to share the fullness I am”.

I am determined. But I wonder what’s got me so riled up about this? Most of the time, I don’t need to do any proclaiming, or shouting, or any kind of vigorous assertion of intention. Generally speaking I am more in the category of quietly working toward something without drawing much attention.  “Just let me do what I do…” Shouting from a mountaintop is definitely uncharacteristic—and it’s the type of behavior that I would otherwise think, “Methinks thou dost protest too much”—“What are you hiding with all of that clamoring”? Not today! No, not today.

Today’s shouting from a mountaintop feels joyful. It feel enthusiastic, optimistic, full of excitement for Life, feeling like I want everyone to KNOW what it means to be filled full, to be One with Love fully and fully consciously. OF COURSE I want to be determined to do that. OF COURSE that excites me! OF COURSE I want to share it with everyone by shouting it to the world. (Again, that would be very uncharacteristic of me to actually do that, but it’s a nice image to have.)

Do you understand how important it is to work with Love, toward Love? Do you understand how fun it is? (…most of the time.) Do you understand how necessary you are? Do you understand that once everyone realizes the Love they are, and once everyone gives and shares the Love they are, that the world will be a completely different place? Do you understand that everyone in the world needs you?

When every person radiates Love to every other person, then you will be receiving the love of over 7 billion human beings, as you give Love to over 7 billion human beings. But you give it once, to All, and All returns it…over 7 billion times. What a world that would be. What a life that would be. All it takes is one moment, with everyone’s participation.

Of course, this will only happen in time, in space. In Divine mind, it’s already done.

“Pea-Shooter v. Iceberg”: Journey of Fulfillment 2.0 – Day 34

Copyright Tam Black 2014 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2014
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

My Self wills only to extend itself. Extending, sharing, and creating as Divine Love, through Divine Mind, is my sole (soul) purpose. My Self knows its fullness in Divine Love and wills only to liberate me to fulfill my purpose and my joy.


I think one reason that I am able to do “this work” and be honest about my doubts, skepticism, “negative” experiences, or struggles, is because at a deeper (much deeper) level, I feel assured that those doubtful, skeptical, “negative”  thoughts or struggles have absolutely no “real” basis. In other words, at that very deep level, I trust the Truth of Love, which cannot be diminished in any way, especially by my small doubts, etc.

For example, when I read the Guiding Thought, some part of my always knows that it gets at a Truth stronger than anything I can overcome or vanquish. My doubts, my insecurities, my small thoughts about me in my little life are like trying to chip away at an iceberg with a pea-shooter. It just won’t happen.

I’m safe. I can’t assail the Truth. There is nothing that I can do to the Truth which will overcome the Truth.

Since I am safe, I might as well just be honest. I might as well take hard looks. I might as well ask questions. I might as well throw every doubt, negative thought, worry, anxiety at the iceberg of Truth. Truth is not going to go anywhere. It’s not going to be impacted by my mushy pellets.

The only thing that will happen is that I will open myself to the Truth to teach me of itself.

Why is that? In using my pellet gun against the iceberg, I willingly expose what is going on within myself.

Or, to switch metaphors: I willingly open my hidden-places to transformation. I shine the flashlight in my own darkness.

You see, Knowing the Truth is as simple as allowing Truth’s light to shine within you. When you keep things hidden, you keep out the light. The hidden becomes less scary to face, when there is assurance that Divine Love is always with you. Divine Love always cares. Divine Love loves you always. Confident in this, I can willingly, at my own pace, in my own time, with my own intensity, shine the light, learn the Truth, reveal the Truth within me. Better that I do it willingly, of my own accord, because Divine Love will bring me to the Light. Better I use my choice, my free will to begin to approach Divine Love within me, to begin to allow Divine Love to be the Truth within me.  Better that I use my free will to go willingly; I can’t change the course of an iceberg, might as well join it or it will pull me in and carry me with it whether I like it or not.

“Going Deeper”: Journey of Fulfillment 2.0 – Day 33

Copyright Tam Black 2014 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2014
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

What is fulfillment but knowing my Self as an expression of Divine Love? My Self wills to create! My Self wills to share! My Self wills to extend itself! My fulfillment is creation; my joy is sharing; my peace is extension.


What is fulfillment but knowing my Self as an expression of Divine Love? I found myself thinking, “What IS fulfillment but knowing my Self as an expression of Divine Love?” Can you think of anything more that fulfillment could be? Is there anything that could even come close to the fulfillment of knowing oneself as an expression of Divine Love?

Imagine Divine Love. Think about it.

On the one hand, Divine Love is so enormous, there is no way that my little brain can conceive of what it could possibly mean to know myself as Divine Love. Words that come to mind, but that barely approach it are things like, “stillness”, “peace”, or “harmony”.

But on the other hand, I can feel myself able to touch the part of me that does know. This part of me is able to access something beyond the words, something so profound I can only sense its surface—and that alone is overwhelming.

Can you touch it? Can you go beyond the words and feel that part of you that knows its connection to the profound depths of Divine Love?

I believe this is where faith truly exists, in that space of knowing this connection, of knowing the Truth of Self, of knowing the embrace of all-surrounding, all-existing, all-permeating Divine Love.

I say, “I believe this is where faith truly exists”, because I have not experienced this knowing enough in my experience to be certain. But it makes sense to me: When I know my Self as an expression of Divine Love, when I can live in that space of beyond words which encompasses all stillness, all peace, all harmony, what more is there, but the conscious assuredness of the Truth of Love? Of True Fulfillment?

“Processing The Process”: Journey of Fulfillment 2.0 – Day 32

Copyright Tam Black 2014 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2014
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

I now invite, welcome, and receive the effects of Divine Love, and I am Truly grateful. I experience Divine Mind as I experience these effects, and Divine Presence confirms itself in my life, activities and affairs.



Sometimes you only realize how tough something was once you get through it. Then, with a feeling of accomplishment or freedom or relief, you can then admit how hard you worked, how you stuck with it, how you overcame, survived, or “made it”.

The three examples that come to mind are:

  • Going through an application or interview process and being selected
  • Finishing high school, college, or earning a Ph.D.
  • Leaving an abusive relationship. leaving any unhealthy relationship

This only comes to mind because now that we are in Round 4, I realize how hard Round 3 was. The “we” of Round 3 was virtually inaccessible to me. I was too steeped in “me” to think about “you” or “we”—and I apologize. I did the best I could with what I had, with “where I was”, but it was not nearly what I am capable of… I’m better now.

In some ways, the ease-or-difficulty of focusing on “we” is a barometer for me and where my mind-emotions are.

When I am high with Life, filled with Love and Joy, overflowing, and knowing my Oneness with ALL, focusing on “we” is SO easy. Of course you are included! I LOVE YOU! Why would I not want you to feel and know the beauty of Life and Love? ALL I WANT is for US to KNOW this JOY TOGETHER.

On the other hand, when I am steeped in my own self, when my emotions overwhelm me, when my body becomes painful and uncomfortable, when the minutia of daily life become stressful, I retract and constrict. I need to take care of myself. I feel like crap, how do I make it through this day? I can’t breathe, I’m being suffocated—survival dictates that I breathe before I can do anything else!

When I started writing this I was feeling a bit judgmental toward myself…just a bit (you can “hear” it when I said “I’m better now”—as though there was something wrong with what I had experienced, because I knew I was performing “less than” what I am capable of).

But now, through this reflection, I feel only that I am learning. This process is pointing something out, something I am now aware of, and something I can now pay attention to in a new way.

Much of the time I use words like, “expanding”, “growing”, “sharing”, “extending”, words that are BIG, and outward, and inclusive. But today, to describe how I felt during round three, I used words like, “retract” and “constrict”, words that decrease space, reduce involvement, exclude.

Do you see how I’m only going through a different part of the cycle? It’s all part of the process.

What’s more, I see the duality (“expansion” vs. “retraction”) in a new light, thanks to the book I mentioned yesterday:

To turn back from the multiplicity of relativity and return to our original unity we must center our awareness in that primal impulse to duality which is manifesting most objectively as the process of our physical inhaling and exhaling. These seemingly two movements are in reality one, inseparable from one another, and together are capable of leading us back to their – and our- source. Through our full attention focused on the entire process of inhalation and exhalation, we become immersed in the subtler levels of that alternating cycle, moving into deeper and deeper levels until we at last come to the originating point. Then transcending that dual movement, we regain our lost unity. By continual practice of that transcendence we will become established in that unity and freed forever from all forms of bondage. (Breath of Life, p. 8) http://ocoy.org/original-yoga/how-to-meditate/the-breath-of-life-the-practice-of-breath-meditation/

The quote frames “duality” as the inhale and exhale of the breath. But, as you well know, duality can be found pretty much anywhere in material reality. For my purposes, I am substituting my current experience of “expansion” vs. “restriction” as the duality to be aware of, to pay attention to. “We must center our awareness…in duality…which is manifesting…objectively”. Duality manifesting objectively shows us a path to return to our original unity. Wow. Thus, I can think of these two aspects of my process as “in reality one, inseparable from one another, and together capable of leading” me back to my source.

Everything I experience has the potential to lead me to Source, to “the originating point”. Everything is here to teach me transcendence, to lead me to awareness of Unity. Once we “arrive” at the point of Unity, our natural state, we will look back on this life of duality and wonder why we made it so hard.

“Remember Or Remember Not”: Journey of Fulfillment 2.0 – Day 31

Copyright Tam Black 2014 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2014
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

You’ve made it to Round 4, congrats!

We are back to using “I” as the subject of the Guiding Thoughts. If you are new to the Journeys, please see this page for information about how the rounds change.


Guiding Thought

Everywhere Fulfillment is, I am.  Fulfillment is everywhere.  Fulfillment is. I am.



You know how two of the most common metaphors for experiencing yourself as a spiritual being are “waking up” and “remembering”? In fact, just this morning, I was reading a book, which used both of these metaphors in the same paragraph:

Our real self, the spirit, is ever perfect and free, but we have forgotten that. So we identify with our present experience of bondage and consequently suffer in countless ways. Our situation is like someone who is asleep and dreaming that he is being tortured and beaten…He need not placate, overpower, or escape his torturers. He needs only to wake up. (The Breath of Life: The Practice of Breath Meditation According to Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist, Jewish, and Christian Traditions. By: Abbot George Burke, Light of Spirit Monastery, 2012. Page 6)

I get it. We have forgotten. We need to wake up. I use these analogies myself from time to time. But at the moment, I am having a problem with them.

Let me explain it this way:  Master Yoda to Luke Skywalker, “Do or do not, there is no try”.

Similarly, could we not say, “Remember or remember not” or “Wake or wake not”. The point is…there isn’t really an “in between” state. Either you do or do not, you remember or you do not, you wake or you do not. So what are we doing when we are “waking up” or “remembering”? What do these concepts even mean in a spiritual sense?

I understand the root of these metaphors is the premise or supposition that we are already enlightened. We are already what we strive to become. Our spirit-soul-Self is already perfect, already Divine, already Whole—we just need to wake up and remember who we “really” are. I conduct the Journeys on these premises, don’t I? Yes, I get it. Yet…yet… there is still a disconnect between knowing (intellectualizing) the Truth of my Being and Being it. There is no way I would make any claims about my own enlightenment, as though “I am already” …sometimes I feel “closer” than other times; sometimes I feel so clear and pure and loving that I just know I have achieved a new level of understanding; there are times when I feel so high I don’t think anything could shake me. And then I go to sleep and I wake up and it’s another day, with new things to learn.  And so it goes.

So what are people really saying when they use the analogy of waking or remembering? Are these metaphors even useful? What is the concept the metaphors are trying to explain? Let’s get at that, have a new conversation, and make up some new metaphors. For now, in my humble opinion, and from my personal standpoint about life being a journey, I would say that a metaphor that encompasses both being and becoming would work better than “waking” or “remembering”.  Life is a clock: we are every second, but the very next second…we’re a new one. How do you like that? Of course there is always the acorn-oak tree analogy…I’ll write that up and post it as it applies to this conversation. Do you have any ideas how we can express this? We can continue this conversation…

My second “problem” with these metaphors, particularly the metaphor of remembering, is that I feel like I can’t even remember consistently the things I think I’ve learned in this lifetime.  How am I supposed to remember things I’m supposed to know innately?

For example, I know when I get to a certain emotional state, I resist speaking, because I want to work it out, and work it out myself…so I go deeper within to work it out, and continue even more not speaking. I know this can cause severe communication misunderstandings with family, because when I go too far, I act very disconnected and aloof (or as it can be perceived, uncaring, unloving, and inattentive). I have learned to modify my behavior, and catch myself before I go too far, and speak before I go too far. I know this. I’ve figured this out. But I still forget, and I can still behave aloof and distracted.

A second example is that I can sense when my emotions are tipping toward being “lower” emotions, in which I become more frustrated, more impatient, or cranky more quickly. I also know what I need to do so I never approach tipping, so that if I do tip, I can get back into balance quickly, or so I walk just “this side” of tipping, keeping myself in a delicate balance. This is of course related to the first example above. But then, sometimes I don’t do the things I need to do to keep myself within the delicate balance, walking the “higher” side of my emotions. It’s like I forget I need to do certain things to keep my balance. I think I can get away with not doing them, I forget how essential they are, how much I like myself when I am doing my practices, and how much I dislike how I feel when I am not. How can I forget that?

What is it overall that I am remembering? How does “remembering I am a spiritual being” help me, if I can’t even remember to do the things that help me be a nice, kind, focused, loving human being?  Then it takes me longer, with more effort, to get back to feeling like myself. You would think that I have learned, but I still forget.

Sometimes I remember better. Sometimes I remember more quickly. Sometimes I don’t have to think about anything, and I am naturally in a state of harmony, balance, and peace. It’s this state of being in which I am “remembering”. I don’t have to think. I just am, being my highest self naturally. But then, I don’t call it “remembering”—it’s like there was nothing ever to remember because there was never forgetting. I am. Fulfillment is.