Living our lives as blessings bestowed

[Saturday, January 14, 2006]

7 a.m. Always, it seems, I wake up with a slight sense of depression. Can’t blame that on having to go to work! Can’t blame it on having to live with someone else that I’m out of harmony with! Probably could blame it on the usual apprehension that is the background to my life – but that doesn’t solve or even explain anything.

Yesterday, entering into the computer notes on health and healing, I came to that stretch where I recorded being sick. The only time I’ve ever done so here, probably. It does have a cumulative impact, just reading it! It makes me aware that I wake up today, for instance, not sick and not having been sick. And it puts light on my whole life.

Well, I’d like a companionable chat. Which of my friends shall I talk with today?

You call me Joseph. [The Egyptian.]

Yes. Welcome, friend. You know that one of my friends this life was startled that I was so respectful of you.

This is because he does not understand what he observes, in this case. Your reverence, I am well aware, is not for me as an individual – as your civilization always puts it – but for what my state of being represents for you. In reverencing me you are reverencing that part of yourself, and this is as it should be. I recognize this, of course, having the advantage of the inside position (if you will forgive a mild joke). Like Gordon, I would not approve of your giving reverence to an individual rather than to the qualities and to the achievement of embodying those qualities. Not all will understand these words, but some will.

I lived long before the time of Jesus, but of course I see Jesus as in the same line of being – does he not follow in our line of thought and practice? Did he not learn our secrets and participate in our secret communities of the like-minded? “Like-minded” might be better said “like-ensouled,” or even “like-idealed.” You don’t really have an equivalent in your time and place, or if you do, you don’t have it handy.

Anent that –

Perhaps I may assist you in the question to access to specific knowledge. You are aware that we on this side are in the habit of using what you know, in expressing our thought. It would do little good for me to come through to you in Egyptian thought-patterns, let alone Egyptian individual words, let alone Egyptian language.

But it is not merely for your ease of understanding. It is also because we use what is at hand. Thus, you have a vocabulary; you have accustomed lines of thought; you have specialized knowledge; you have your own life-experiences; in short, you have– that is, you are – a bundle of qualities and experiences that resonate more closely to some things than to others. Why should we not use what is closest and works easiest?

There may be specific reasons why not, at any particular time. But in general – by default, as you say – we use what is at hand. You know history and have very definite ideas, insights, prejudices, preferences. Why should we attempt to speak to you in terms of engineering or physics? If there is a specific reason, it may be done, well or badly – but in the absence of a specific reason to go far afield, why would we do it, when our purpose is to communicate?

Consider at its simplest the question of words. You have an extensive vocabulary, and you employ it not as display but as a precision tool and sometimes as an aesthetically pleasing expression of who and what you are. If you had no such command of words, do you think we would be unable to communicate? Conversely, since you do have such a command of words – in other words since this is part of your essence – why should we not speak to where you are? Or should we spit tobacco juice and employ grunts?

I am well aware that you don’t expect to discuss communication when you talk to me, but after all communication is part of everyone’s life.

Yes. I see that. Thank you for that. I got, too, that you were saying (without saying) that you use what is nearest before moving to what is not so near, even within the same person’s range.

Of course. I’m not particularly interested in finding examples at the moment, given that you understand, but could if you wish, for the sake of others who may read this.

No, I agree with you – there are other things I am more interested in talking about.

Joseph, I often awaken with a sense of depression. Why is that? I remember as a boy that every day was a new day. If a school day perhaps it wasn’t anything I was particularly looking forward to, but a day was a day, almost a new gift to be opened. Sometimes I have that attitude still, and sometimes I face each day with – well, not with dread, and not even with guilt at wasting the previous day (although that is closer to it, I guess) but – well, with some depression. It takes a slight effort to begin. What is that about, and, naturally, what do you suggest?

It would be easier for your people if people in general did not prettify and posture and pretend. As you were somewhat relieved to see that Thomas Merton’s life was hard, so others would be relieved to see the problems people have. Your morning depression is not unique to you! Any more than excessive sleeping or lack of enough sleep is unique to those who suffer them. Even what seem to be “individual” problems – there is that word again – common to a given thread or combination of threads. Thus, the more honest anyone is, the less isolated feel all those who come into contact with the expression of being.

You want to be a saint. Is not this ambition at the heart of the comparisons you draw? To put it more neutrally, you want to encourage certain developments and discourage others; you wish to “set your scale” entirely at virtue and nowhere concede to nature’s opposite which is not vice but lack of that virtue. (Side-trail: In short, lack of thrift needn’t be extravagance or even waste but perhaps mere carelessness. Thrift is a virtue; having your attention elsewhere is not necessarily a vice. A big subject, perhaps for some other time – unless you particularly want to follow this.)

No.

If you let the sense of the unaccomplished weigh down your mornings, you poison your days and do no thing to make more likely a day of better achievement. This, regarding achievement in kind, in deed. It holds even for thought, in so far as thought is a creation rather than a free gift. And if you allow yourself to be crushed by the weight of your knowledge of your shortcomings in your own eyes, how does this encourage you to make greater efforts?

Judge not! Lest ye be judged. This applies not merely to judging others – though that is its initial application – but to judging oneself, for – as you say regarding others, and truly – “you never have the data.” You do not have that data regarding yourself any more than regarding others.

Startling idea? Well, consider. Others you judge from appearance plus your conjectures as to their motives, their inner being, their inner composition. Yourself you judge from your observation of your inner being, and conjecture as to effects and other appearance. You are not equipped to adequately judge your own being any better than you are to judge others – and you are not equipped to judge them, at all! Of course in practice a lot of rough estimating goes on, and needs to go on – but calculating forces and effects is not the same thing as weighing souls. No one is capable of doing that while operating blinded on your side of the veil.

Leave judgments to Anubis, or the recording angel, or St. Peter, or however you conceive the function. In actual fact you will find no harsher judges than each of you on yourself. And that judgment is totally misplaced. It is, shall we say, a misguided attempt to steer an airplane by approving or disapproving of its motion in any particular direction. It is not a matter of approving but of deciding and deciding and deciding. If you don’t like where you are going, move the stick! Don’t wail over your sins (we are not here implying that you do) and don’t despair that you are not better (and here we are not implying, but observing, that this you do).

Every new day is a gift. Yes, and every night. Do you think the gift was given by mistake to the wrong recipient? Do you think you are wasting something that another could make better use of? It isn’t a question of scarcity, nor of comparison. This is your day, for your use; the whole universe in effect is held in existence so that you may choose.

Since you cannot help but choose, even if only by default – why not choose gladly and thankfully? There is no one who is not an integral part of the scheme to things – and no one would could not be seen (with eyes sufficiently discerning) as specially blessed. The beggar in the street is blessed. The sick are blessed – how many times have you experienced the truth of this! The crippled, the dammed, the imprisoned – even those imprisoned in their own hells of hatred and rage and ferocious self-seeking – are blessed. Those who cannot understand this should not strain themselves attempting to do so. Those who already know it may shrug and agree. It is said for those to whom it will be a revolution, an new day.

So do you always talk merely of trivia?

We smile. Now, let us connect a couple of dots. When is it Joseph and when is it “the guys” and what makes for the shift and what if anything does the shift imply.

Yes. Now my attention just wandered. Fatigue merely, or something else?

Sometimes you just get tired. Nothing to worry about. If you get tired, stop. Nothing much is lost.

Well, it is an important question and I’d like to get the answer, but I’ve been doing this for more than an hour and I think I need a break. Maybe I’ll type this in and come back after a while. Joseph – my brother – thank you for the communication.

In your efforts to bring more light, we are still serving Ra. Thank you for continuing the work.

2 p.m. All right, friends, I move the previous question. What’s up?

The question was one of identity and choice. When is it one, when another, and what causes the shift?

Well now, you see – as always it as at least partly a matter of definition. When you came to this work – “in another century” as you like to say – you had vague ideas but strong ones. Indeed, strong partly because vague. The less conscious, the less control, of course. Now as you have more time to experience and reflect, you see that some perplexities are overcome and perhaps others added or substituted.

5 thoughts on “Living our lives as blessings bestowed

  1. That was a very interesting piece, Frank! And you’re not alone!
    For many years my own waking up felt like being hit over the head with a hammer as the instant questions popped up: What looms ahead today, what appointments, what assignments, and no least, what omissions or neglect am I facing today?

    As I retired from work, it should have become easier, but it didn’t. Now that supposedy all time was sparetime, morning “depression” got worse, as I had no legitimate reason to not do all thos things looming on the horizon, let alone those from yesterday and the week before. And being retired, at least where I live, you get involved in all kinds of community events and are elected to committee boards, and….the list is endless.

    And all I wanted was to feel free and at ease!

    I have got somewhat better at facing a new day, the mind still incessantly firing thoughts like shotgun pellets about what, where, when, but now at least I’m able to observe them as a mother would a child’s mild tantrums. I don’t feel the same panic as before. Perhaps one morning before I die, I’ll have the wonderful experience of greeting the new day as a gift about to be opened, who knows. I’m not dead yet.

    Before retirement, I had someone/something to blame: the requirements of the job and all the demands of people and decisions associated with it. Now, nobody and nothing can take away blame from myself, and I live a life of stress juggling my expectation of total relaxation and ease in my “new” life (that has been going on for 13 years now) and the many stressful obligations I have gotten involved in.

    Knowing full well what Joseph stated, that we’re all blessed and everything is well, only makes my stress more ridiculous and uncalled for, and worse.

    I think my problem is being a perfectionist not living up to my own demands, and Joseph hints at that in your case, too.

    So, today’s text is over 10 years “old”, but still valid for you, I bet. We should accept others, love them and forgive their shortcomings, but not forget to accept and forgive ourselves. I don’t at all live up to my own expectations, but am I going to set the bar lower? No, of course not 🙂

    Christel

  2. I would have to ‘echo’ what Christel said above, being retired since age 60, now 76, hard to fathom what a new day brings, in my case mostly depression as Frank says, wondering what I should do as I have plenty planned but then not feeling well enough to tackle them head on for the most part. I started a hobby for lack of a better term, rebuilding computers and new ones …now its just not as fulfilling as it once was.

  3. I did a quick look up on Anubis, having been interested in ancient Egyptology. Anubis is the god of the afterlife, serving as a guide for those crossing over. He was often portrayed as a man wearing a jackal headed mask. Anubis weighed the hearts of the dead on a balance scale against Ma’at (or the goddess of truth) which was represented as an ostrich feather. One wanted to keep a pure heart by following truth so one could ascend into the heavens.

    The “hit” I got while looking this up was the heart is not kept light by being all positive and sunshine — thank God that’s not the point! My heart is kept light by feeling my feelings, the grief, the pain, the hurts, and letting them pass on. Not holding on, but letting it pass through. And leaving judgement to the gods.

    My friend, Dot, has buried a son and two grandsons. I asked her once how she was even able to get out of bed, given what she had lived through. She said that she’d had to make a choice. She choose to start each day writing down 3 things that she was grateful for, every day, without fail, still doing so. She called it her blessings book. It helped her get through the pain, and I could see it in her life.

    1. I once quoted Rose Kennedy from her book about her life, an extensive quote, expressive of how a strong faith can get one through anything, but I can’t find it.
      [Later]
      Found it, but I can’t find out how to paste the scan here. It is from Times to Remember.
      [Later still]
      It will post tomorrow.

  4. My TGU reminded me, after all my high and mighty words yesterday, that it’s real easy to be mildly depressed in the morning when I don’t sleep well the night before and I’m tired because of it. Oh, yeah. The old body thing. And whether it’s cloudy, dreary day or sunny one also makes a difference. My computer and reading chair are in a south room that gets the morning light. TGU also mentioned that though I do my best thinking in the AM, I am not a morning person. Ya, guys, I feel your pain. Getting old ain’t for sissies.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *