You don’t know what you got until it’s gone or something like that. You don’t appreciate what you have until you have to go without it. We take a lot of things for granted, chief among them health. I haven’t had as bad a flu as what I just recovered from in over a decade. Suffering through the body aches, chills, and fever for four plus days and then the aftermath of low energy and fatigue left me with the sentiment that yes health is everything. All that I like to do was put on hold for a week while I fought and then tried to recover from this malady. In such a short time I was able to witness a low level of depression sink in over the futility of my situation. The fifth night of the body aches and chills left me curled up in the fetal position wondering if I’d ever shake this thing. Getting past that hurdle galvanized me into going for a walk in the woods only to have to prop myself up against a tree to avoid collapsing from exhaustion. The lessons learned are plentiful and obvious, so obvious that it is crazy we don’t think about them until we are faced with the loss of what we take for granted. It’s like my body having a pre-emptive discussion with me, preparing for old age when I can’t take health for granted anymore, “Hey dumb ass! While you are in relatively good health and shape it’s time to take advantage of it and get to fulfilling all your intentions for this life while the going is still good.” I don’t want to get this flu again and I don’t wish it upon anyone else but there did come a pretty good lesson out of it.
Not being at full health really emphasizes the self in that it all starts from the fundamental wholeness of what we call self before we can heal others. The ‘others’ are an extension of self as we are all in this together. It really underscores the concept that in order to heal the world, first start with yourself.
Another calendar year is coming to a close and with it the decade. It’s a cultural marker, the significance of it is highly questionable and dubious, but anyways it provides an opportunity to look back and examine where you are in terms of where you once were in your life and see if that is a positive or a negative. The one thing for sure is we are all older and closer to the grave! I view that as a positive as I have found the more I age and slow down the easier it is to see through the world and into the game and thus have understanding. I am a knowledge junkie and with age comes rewards. The biggest takeaways from this past year have been intention, beliefs, dreams, and self-discipline. I learned that when you connect with the divine and obfuscated parts of self, set an intention, and are sincere about making a reciprocal offering then things will start happening for you. It may be part of a long game and you may have to reach back and gather in some much needed self-discipline but you’ll be walking that path and it’s going to happen for you. I also learned the role of beliefs in the fundamental way we see things and how it shapes our worldview. The truth is slippery and it is beliefs that ultimately create the world we live in and how we want it to be. Ultimately there is suffering in the world because we want there to be suffering. Our work driven society views life as hard and you have to work for your rewards and stresses if you are in an unfortunate situation that’s your fault. It’s clear we created the mess and we can collectively get us out of the quagmire if the will is present. Such responsibility is ours to use and steward wisely, instead of for personal gain at the expense of others. Reciprocity teaches many lessons, chief among them that not giving back causes the divide, the haves and the have nots, and all the strife in the world. It’s pretty simple this reciprocity challenge and as a whole we seem to have developed quite the ability to look the other way, maybe throw the downtrodden in society a bone once in a while but that’s it. I mean we who live comfortable lives work hard for it and damn it I’m going to enjoy the fruits of my toil. To change the world change yourself and envision how you want the world to be. If there is enough of a change in consciousness then we will reach a tipping point. Lastly this was a huge year for understanding dreams. I shed the notion that they are fanciful and nonsensical and saw them for what they are. I’m reflecting my psyche into a world of my own making, using this world to self reflect and to try and come to terms with all that. Because I tend to examine everything, this led down the rabbit hole to the realization that the world we are in now is the product of a dreamer and we are aspects of their psyche. Our world at its core is mental energy. There are a myriad of ways you can try to convince me this is not true and they will all have merit. That’s not how I see it though. To me it is crystal clear!
How about this past decade? Ten years ago I had returned from a trip to Egypt and I was ensconced in learning everything I could about that culture. I was about two years into my obsessive search for the origin of beliefs and I cast a wide net. It would be about another three years until I found traditional plant based shamanism and that opened the floodgates that defined the rest of the decade and gave me all the answers I was determined and had full intention to discover. I was resolute in my searching and this led me to shamanism almost as if the universe was saying okay you’re pretty sincere about this, here you go, walk this path and it will all be revealed. My foray into shamanism gave me the answer to my original question and that plunged me head long into the mystery of self and who I ultimately was. This blog space is a testament to that voyage and the discoveries made along the way. It is by no means over and this decade to come promises as much discovery as I have gained so far. Really big things are just around the corner. Bring it on!