So it’s been a while since we’ve done one of these recordings recorded chats, but we’ve been chatting a lot throughout the last few months as I have settled here now down in Texas Hill country. And you are there up in Portland, Oregon where it’s rainy and wet. And treesy, as I see behind you. And we have been, and continue to try to understand how’d you put it, this accelerated journey that we’re, we all seem to be on the lesson that we’re all supposed to, or the opportunity to learn. And it has brought us to this concept of charity.
I was asking you and, and Drake, your son home from college is there, is in the house. I was asking what’s, you know, what’s the opposite of, of judgment, condemnation, criticism, and he threw out charity, true charity, the highest love. And that resonates with me because I was trying, I was talking to you a little bit about this, this journey that I’ve been on in terms of, you know over the last year and a half or more having concerns, anxieties, focus that has shifted where I am not feeling so caught up in the chaos out there. And I was trying to put some language on it and explaining that I’m attempting, striving to transcend that duality, because I think that’s where the answer lies somewhere for us all to kind of keep moving forward to, evolve. And you, you know, rightly took a little issue with that term because that almost suggests not being here in this, and committed in this present moment.
Right. So we found a better word for it, I think. And I’ll just throw a few thoughts out there, but I think the answer has to do with definitely charity of spirit and, and understanding. That’s what we keep coming back to. What are we trying to do here? What does the answer often seem to be? And let me give a very very mundane example. We adopted these lovely cats, once we got the house and quickly in–– I mean, things have been busy. There’s been a lot of, busyness and movement. And in the past when we’ve had cats before, we’ve always used crystal cat litter, silica, and we pretty quickly transitioned the cats to that. When we first got them, it was a last minute thing, we had just grabbed some of that clay litter and a pan.
Everything was fine. They were trained already. But we moved them to the silica cat litter and long story short, there’s been some, some difficulty for the last month with the male cat who keeps peeing areas that he shouldn’t, and I’ve been racking my brain with it. And, and long story short is I realized I was trying everything except the litter, the type of litter. Changed it back to the clay litter and it solved it immediately. And there was this, like, just this sense of something, kind of like just clarity, right? I mean, it was so.
<Laugh> He wanted that clay litter. He wanted the clay. It was so simple, but it was so for some reason, challenging to figure it out and, you know, I just kind of am seeing this as an example, <laugh>…
…don’t go for the crystal folks, go for the clay.
<laugh> Well, it’s just that, it’s all so simple. What we, he, and I couldn’t understand each other. You know, and I, I had other issues with other cats with that, you know, and I’m like conflating it all. In the past with peeing and litter boxes and like, what were the issues? And this one was very simple. And I think that’s the case with all of us, for all of us, with our, certainly our disagreements and this polarization that’s happened and continuing to happen. And I think that, you know, a whole other part of it––to get a little woo woo––you know, I’m really grocking that we are, we really are creating our own reality. We manifest our reality with, with, with our thoughts, our mind, our intentions, and that suggests if we are manifesting our realities, and each of us are manifesting that, that suggests that that person’s fear or concern is just as valid as my fear or concern, that that person’s reality is just as valid as mine. And, you know, if we accept that, that we are manifesting our own realities, then obviously it seems the next thing to, to shine some light on is, is perhaps you know, even letting go of those fears so that we don’t, neither of us, none of us manifest them, but there’s charity simply in the understanding that their, everything is as valid as mine,
I’m gonna chime in. I think that within all of that is one, interest. Even if it’s not one you must pursue, but when we are faced with another’s perspective or experience, is that there’s a space of interest and that then creates a pathway, a connection from them to you, and you to them. And when you are speaking about these polarizing experiences, that many of us are having it’s, it’s about interest. It’s about creating the pathways. It’s about rounding out our individual perspectives and therefore making a space or allowing a space that we can be connected, that we can be connected and interested and create pathways together. Because as you’re speaking of communication with your cats, you know, if you are holding one idea so firmly, there’s no space or room for anything else to come. And so if we can find our own way, and that’s where charity is, is a practice. Rounding ourselves out to be softer, to be perceiving without holding our own torch so strong.
Yeah, exactly. And right, you’ve, you’ve talked a lot about gentleness too. You’ve brought that up when we’ve discussed these concepts and my experiences. You know, we can’t really go wrong by being gentle in our reactions or responses to people, to beings, to animals…
And to ourselves, right. To be gentle. Yeah. Because in the fact that we’re all, we’re each having our own reality, unique to each of us
And unique to what we are wanting to learn and experience.
Yeah, right. I mean, we, we are each on an individual path that converges with others and in one form or another assists others on their paths, but it it’s unique to each of us. And so we are basically, we’re, we’re doing the best we can, we’re each doing the best we can, you know? I mean, there are levels, I think, of muckiness or clarity in our intentions. Hopefully we can grow past mean spiritedness. But even if we’ve grown past conscious mean spiritedness, it doesn’t mean we’re going to avoid unconscious mean spiritedness, you know, so you can take it pretty far with that, recognizing that each person’s triggers that may result in a very negative response or seeming offense is, is just, you know, it’s just them doing the best they can with where they’ve gotten, you know, how they’ve gotten here to this point. So, yeah, generosity of spirit and, and love. I mean, it keeps coming back to––love is the answer, love is the way.
So, okay. So, you know, the other part is we all know that these are things to strive for––charity, compassion love, love and understanding. I think the journey that, you know, we struggle with is how to do it, ’cause it’s easy to say, but sure is hard to do in our reactions.
And it shows up in, in numerous ways and we may discover this is how I find it here. And then we get a new opportunity to find it in a new place. I think one of the things, I don’t know if this is a place you wanna go, but we had been discussing a little bit, I mean, and where I am. I see it so vividly this culture of finding offense. In so many places. And it’s so easy to be critical to, to have a critical perspective. And it’s easy to find what’s wrong with things. And we were kind of talking a little bit it’s the holiday season and people celebrate many different holidays and our conversation had been a little bit, you know, if I can say this, a joy in being able to say “Merry Christmas” to people. And, and I simply commented that, yeah, we all know that the, the impulse in these sharing of celebratory gestures to people, greetings, of honoring this holiday time is good. So it doesn’t really even matter what we say, in a certain way. Because let’s, let’s take the good and move on, move along, rather than this space of getting stuck on how we’re being offended by someone not saying to us what we want to be said.
Yeah, right. Certainly let’s be charitable in spirit in how we receive folks’ intentions, right?
And, and let’s not cut ourselves short. Let’s not minimize our capacity to perceive what is being offered. The words are one of the pathways and words are important, but we can frequently sense what’s behind or around the words. And if we allow ourselves to be that big and that perceptive, we’re very rarely gonna be truly offended by anyone! Because most often, people are not trying to offend. Most often. I mean, there are other times, but that was another part we had talked about.
Exactly. And I’d say that extends further. And let me just make one quick note, I’m choosing to, to, to avoid certain terms as I’m discussing things, just because there are some restrictions in terms of what, you know, how visible this video can be. <Laugh>, you know, depending on the terms and, and some of the language I use. So if I seem a little vague it’s for that reason, but I think people can get the idea if they’re following along. But so back to offense, you know, back to honoring ourselves as humans, honoring others, as human beings, in the greatness and glory of being human, by being larger than maybe we have been led or misguided to believe we are, rather than reduce our perceptions to the word itself, “Merry Christmas.”
I mean, for example, right? There’s, this trend of saying “Happy Holidays,” right? To avoid offending someone who’s not Christian. The reality is, if somebody’s saying Merry Christmas, they’re just wishing you love. Right? So so let’s not reduce ourselves just to the, the words themselves. We can perceive their spirit, we can perceive the emotion behind it. We can perceive the intention behind it. Right? And, then same goes, I think for––let’s go from offense to fear, cuz they’re a bit related in, in terms of our triggers.
They’re contracting. They’re a contraction.
Yeah, exactly. And so we can practice that same charity in how we receive news, in how we receive other people’s gestures and their own responses. If we are more charitable with that, it will probably help moderate our own fear responses and triggers. And the more we can do this regularly, I think the more we find ourselves not caught up in…just to, to kind of get above the duality, if, if, if I can call it that. I’m trying to not say transcend the duality, but just, or get outside the duality. How about that? Not above it, but outside the duality.
Yeah. Like, so if the duality is this <hands facing each other>, we can exist and embrace it all.
Yeah. Yeah. Because the duality requires this perspective facing this way, this perspective facing this way <hands facing each other>, pretty much only.
Precisely. And I was thinking about you know, friction, right? We need a little friction to become something, but if you’re only existing in the space of “against,” then you don’t see very much. And so if, if you think of, I don’t know if I have a good analogy, but it’s like, it gets pressed so finely that it now has to go outside of it and exist all around and include it. So if it’s smash, smash, smash, smash, smash, it goes so small. It turns inside out. And it’s now bigger than that little space in here.
Like the torus.
Precisely. Yeah. It’s an inverted sphere.
So if we think of––there’s a need for this coming together, pressing against, forming, distilling even, and then it becomes vast as well. And when we were speaking about this sort of accelerated time we’re in that’s––I think I know I’ve definitely felt these moments where it’s like, ugh, uncomfortable. And then when I can remember that I don’t have to only exist in that, I can be bigger and include all of it and embrace it all. Then you can breathe again and you can see a little more fully all of the colors around you and not just this space of despair or the space of challenge.
Right. So you’re suggesting that it’s necessary as part of the process for us to get kind of myopic in that perspective until it gets so a small, we go inward and it comes…<encompassing hand gesture>
It’s a thought, I mean, I hope that we don’t always have to get there, but maybe that’s, I mean, we all have heard this, the eye of the needle. Yeah. That’s the birth, it’s a birth. So if, if there’s a birthing into functioning, becoming in a new way, it’s not always gonna be easy going, you know? You come through a channel, you come through something that’s pressing upon you, and then you can expand.
Well, you know, as has been discussed, the light needs the dark to reflect itself. We need reference. So that’s a–– and that friction that you’re talking about too––but that’s an easy way to explore one perspective is to go against another’s perspective. And to really kinda, really get in this experience of this one particular perspective. And maybe we do that, exhaust this, and then it’s time to move on, widen, widen our scope and try another perspective.
Well, the thing I want to interject, or add, is that I think my goal <laugh> I’ll say is to be able to come into that without only existing in that. So one can go into this discussion, this pressing against, but not be only there. To not lose the roundness of objectivity. I wonder if, if one cannot connect with that broader sphere, when coming against something, you do simply stay in this against, against, against? This is a question, because it appears sometimes there’s not the evolution into a broader seeing.
Well, maybe without charity, you can get stuck there. But, but, you know, charity is, is also related to our oneness, our connection. It recognizes that I am you and you are me. And that makes it easy to maybe a little more fluidly step into your shoes. And switch my perspective up and not get so stuck in mine.
So in the end, and I know this has been a mishmosh of, of thoughts and ideas, but what I will simply say is that I appreciate the journey that it has been this last year and a half––almost two years now––that has been challenging and grueling at times. Because personally I do feel––and I think when we think we’ve gone through the eye of the needle, we’re like, oh yeah, we went through like one of those big ones and now we got a teeny one to go through, you know––just another state, I do feel there’s been a shift. I’ve had my own shift that has been in rewarding to, to peer from this perspective, even, at my journey this last year and a half or so. And I do not feel, like I said, so so caught up in, in the chaos. And obviously all of the cliches are true––I mean, you know, we spent a year in the most remote area, with no distraction. That kind of gives you some time to go inward.
And that’s a, that’s a good thing to do as well. Meditation, prayer helps all of this process. But I think another part of it that’s been a key for me, is getting in touch with this understanding that I am having––just my own perspective right now<laughs>––but the perspective I’m having that we really create our reality. And so what we choose to focus on is the reality we’re going to probably be experiencing to one degree or another going forward. When we truly know this, it becomes a little easier to very consciously not feed a reality that we are not wanting to see in our future and, and to control, I guess, our reaction to those who may be dwelling in a reality that we are not wanting to see, by forgiving them, by loving them, because they’re just on their own journey.
By being charitable. So for whatever it’s worth.
Merry Christmas. <Laugh> Happy Hanukah. And just, you know, love to all. Love to all.
Love to you.
Yep. Love to you. Love you.
Love you too.