My Least Favourite Life

The station pulls away from the train
The blue pulls away from the sky
The whisper of two broken wings
May be they’re yours, maybe they’re mine
This is my least favorite life
The one where I am out of my mind
The one where you are just out of reach
The one where I stay and you fly

I’m wandering in the shade
And the rustle of fallen leaves
A bird on the edge of the blade
Lost now forever, my love, in a sweet memory

What We Dream In

That which occurs in our lives we have, in one way or another, intended. We have dreamed it in or called it forth. It is not that we kneel and pray or ask for something, it is through our attitude and actions that we call forth. The universe watches, it observes us and then sends us that which we need. It may not be what we want or like, but the universe wants us to learn and evolve, so it cooperates with us. It may send us pleasant things, or it may send us nightmare scenarios. This is another way of speaking about cause and effect or karma. If we have a control-freak nature it may send us situations totally out of our control so that we can learn to ease off on the reigns a little. If we are arrogant it may send us situations which teach us humility. That which we dream in may indeed seem nightmarish for us.

We manifest things and situations in our lives. We can manifest shed loads of dramas, bucketsful of intrigue or we can manifest simplicity. If we keep doing the same thing over the universe may have to switch the lessons from light and easy to hard and severe. It is up to us in so many ways, if we are eager to learn the universe gives us a light touch, if we are not so eager it can whack us and whack us hard.

Nearly always the lessons the universe offers are in proportion to need and fit for purpose. We may not however see the lesson and assume that the bastard universe is out to get us. But should we look we can always find something to learn. If we feel ourselves victim, then the universe may sense our need to feel further victimised and send us plenty to feel sorry for ourselves about. It will only stop when we have had enough of that draught, we have drunk our fill. It is up to us to change our attitude and thus change the contents of that which we dream in or call forth.

We can change the nature of the waking dream, just as we can in dreams at night.

Having cued this up:

What am I manifesting now and around now?

Is it a pleasant dream?

Or is it nightmarish?

Have I ever been whacked by the universe?

If I took responsibility for the contents of my dream might I be able to change them?

Fate and Control

Whilst I am on the subject of fate; what exactly has brought you here to this blog? What chain of circumstances had you stumble upon it? Or if you are here for less benign reasons, are you in control of all the minutiae that led you here?

Do you perhaps think that you had any choice in the matter?

Or were you led here by your karma, yours and mine?

Do we have joint karma to work out? Might we have an overlapping fate? Am I a part of your evolving fate? And if so, how might we evolve that fate together?

Perhaps it was fated that I should sit here this snowy evening with an open can of Stella and ask you these profound questions?

Or maybe it is all just coincidence?

Who can say for sure?

Are you really in control of your fate, your destiny?

Those Pivotal Moments

One of the benefits of having done a thorough whole-life recapitulation is that you get to see those pivotal moments around which life changes or rather starts to change dramatically. This makes you more alert and generally less complacent. It also shows just what a huge role selective perception plays in all of our lives.

Life can change totally around things that take only seconds or minutes to do. We may in those moments plant a seed which later grows into something, or a tiny thing can be the straw which broke the camel’s back. We might chance our hand and get into something dodgy, we might find God. We could meet someone who changes our outlook, or a book could fall off a bookshelf in front of us in a book shop. {This actually happened to me with the I Ching, it “jumped” off the shelf and onto the floor.} We cannot know beforehand the extent of change started at these pivotal moments, it might be very large and fast, or slow and evolving. Life can change with a single ‘phone call or blood in the stools. That certainty we imagine is not so certain. If I had gotten two more marks in my degree I would not have taken the Ph.D. place I did, and my entire life would have been different. There may have been thematic similarities as per fate, but the players, the actors on the stage of my life, would have been different.

Many do not like this notion of fate, it implies that we are not in control and that there is no choice. But somehow all those pivotal moments point us, they nudge us, they are a hand on our tillers. If we need to tack, we get tacked. If this notion of fate be true, then we cannot avoid it. We can either surf with our fate or struggle against it. One of these is more comfortable and intelligent that the other.

These pivotal moments are the points, the fulcrum around which the force of fate is brought to bear. There is an applied torque and things change. Our life direction is altered around the pivot.

There is another type of pivotal moment which is door-like. Suddenly out of nowhere a door opens and we are beckoned to walk through to a new chapter or a corridor we are walking along has a door at the end which slams shut. If we don’t walk through the open-door type, we may never know, and the door only stays open for so long. Failure to take the door-possibility leads to a sense of loss. If it is a door slamming case, then we have to look around for another door whilst acknowledging that the universe does not want us heading along that corridor any longer. This happened in the mark situation I mentioned earlier. I would have stayed at UCL and done a Ph.D. there but the universe pointed me elsewhere.

Unless we are alert we may miss these pivotal moments time and again or make the wrong choices at the pivot. If we are fated the same or similar situation occurs again until such time as we gather sufficient courage to do what we are fated to do. The more we struggle against our fate the harder it becomes, we learn irrespective of cooperation with or struggle against our fate. The method of learning is different. Some of these pivots are once in a lifetime and the choice never comes again. Failure at these has a very long and far-reaching impact ongoing.

Fate, in my eyes, is the lesson-plan for each given life. It is the true curriculum which we have intended for ourselves. Fate is the sum or integral over all our karma.

Having cued this up:

How many pivotal moments have there been in my life?

Was the resultant change wholesale?

How many of these moments might I have missed?

What would I say my overarching fate in this lifetime is?

What does it look like and how is it evolving?

What are the key life lessons that I need to learn?

Dependent Arising and Karma

Perhaps the most debateable aspect of karma pertains to who or what is the cause and who or what is the effect. Yah and of course we all like to lay the blame at somebody else’s door. We may try to do this even when we have an inkling that is our own actions and thinking that has been causal. We may protest outwardly yet kind of know inwardly. If you think about it refusing to accept responsibility is generative of more karma. It is saying to the universe; “prove it to me”. And the universe, if karma exists, may well respond to our request. Now this isn’t a game of bluff that I personally would want to engage in, but it takes all sorts.

A single action, a few words, can initiate very wide-ranging effects that propagate forward in time. We might call such a nexus, a point of origination, a causal genesis for an arising event flow. All the subsequent events depend upon that arising. They are of course interdependent. The complexity is substantial, but without the genesis event none of it would have happened.

I am aware of events still unfolding now that had their causal origination many years ago.

Once things have been set in motion the only hope of interacting in a meaningful way is to catch them early on. This is because an event flow, once it has gathered sufficient momentum, is unstoppable. The consequences, bifurcate and unfold, they may continue to ripple out for a very long time indeed. There is a short period of time for remedial action, which if avoided or unused, will never manifest again. Whilst we are arguing the toss, that time window passes.

Although I can see this kind of event flow, I suspect that many can’t or are unwilling to, least of all if they have responsibility within the chain of dependent arising, a responsibility that they are unwilling and unready to accept.

Karma allows for a certain naïve ignorance and karmic impact is reduced. Karma however does not permit deliberate and wilful ignorance, because that is not lack of understanding it is pretending not to know of the potential consequences. If one does something dodgy, one knows and thinks, “what the fuck, let’s see if I can get away with this.” This kind of event can often prove to be a genesis for a whole new chain of dependent arising. It kicks off, it generates. It can get out of hand very quickly and its impact on many lives can be very wide and profound. These “important” originations accrue large karmic debts.

Earlier on I asked, “do you have karma to work off?”

So here is a related question:

Has any action or words of mine kicked off an entire chain of events?

If so, how quickly did that get out of hand?

Working Off Karma

The first thing to say is that making a half-hearted attempt to work off karma, does not work, it tends to cause more problems than it was meant to solve. And if you are doing this for PR purposes it is disingenuous, so it generates even more karma.

The second thing to say is that, even if like Earl, you make a list of all your bad things, you cannot simply tip up back in the lives of those you “wronged” and expect to fix it. Why? Well let’s ask Bob.

What you can do is learn from your mistakes and not repeat them. If you have taken, you can give. If you make others miserable, you can be cheery and uplifting. You can reverse previous behaviours to balance the books, so to speak.

If you do make a list, how will you assess what is generative of karma and what not? Chances are that you are still deep in denial about all your bad or otherwise dodgy stuff. That list will be incomplete. You will bullshit yourself.

When you have done significant damage, the first thing you have to do is to come to terms with the extent of the damage you caused. This starts to work off the karma.

It is a strange thing this karma. It starts with acknowledgement.

Having cued this up there is one question:

Have I got karma to work off?