Love and Courage

Pete Seeger, now deceased celebrated his 100th birthday Friday. His wonderful songs, some his own and many from many cultures like Wimmiway (the Lion Sings) from Africa. Pete got us smiling and singing. Getting people to sing after he left Harvard, seems to be his main desire. He sees singing as a way of bringing us all together. I first encountered Pete at Buck’s Rock Work Camp. He sang to us all seated found him in a circle round, strumming his banjo and teaching us words. Everyone fell in love with him, with each other, with the world. Pete Seeger lived on in my heart.

Then one day a bunch of years later, when I was beginning to be an environmentalist and was discouraged about people in power sacrificing life to make more money, I found myself standing next to him waiting to cross a street. The traffic light was red.

As always, he had a banjo slung across his shoulder. I said, “Hello Pete,” and he said hello to me with a full and wonderful smile. I felt I needed to tell him of my lack of faith in change. I said how can we get anywhere against such powerful and greedy enemies.

He looked at me as the light changed, ready to stride across the street and said, “No Time for That.” I am reminded my whole life of his saying “Do it.” Do what you can and then do some more. Enjoy every minute of it.  Share your intentions.

Thankyou Pete who created “The Clearwater Organization,” to clean the Hudson. How many people joined him then and are doing it still? Thankyou Pete, whose wife Toshi would race to the phone to keep him from getting another invitation to play to a group to which he invariably said yes.

Thankyou Pete, who reminded that love and courage fuel us. To Peete, an enlightened human being, there is nothing else.

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Raised to Fail

 

Raised by parents who condemned you, their expectations became your belief. Now you cause it to happen. Belief pushes you over the cliff. Your parents had no respect for you. Now grown, you are happy when people act respectful. But let someone act as if you are unworthy and you throw yourself into a well of hopeless depression. You are a sponge for misery. You live to make your parents right. For you it is the cost of love.

You find friends who play a complimentary role to your self-hatred. Partners and friends steal from you and verbally put you down. A friend who is able to pick and choose her beliefs, tells you to ask a very egotistical man for advice. She is able to take what is good and discard the rest. You are not. You swallow the fact and poison whole. That man is an egotist. He tells you that now you got off the bus, you are doomed to fail and live in ever increasing misery. You believe it!

You love a man who robs you. You expect ill health, eat junk food, a lot of sugar and coffee and become sick. You dwell on all your experiences of failure and ignore all of success. You fall into the ditch your parents dug for you.

What must you do to change? Find friends who like and support you. Drop those who do the opposite. Simply say “busy” and leave with a smile and a wave. Do not try to win those who are out to get you. Do not apologize for leaving. Life offers you as many chances as you need. Feel compassion for yourself and others; Laugh after making the same mistake. Offer to help to people who need it. Not so worthless after all. Do wild things. Take off the constraining harness and do it your way. Feeling free is wonderful fun.

The Tremendous Joy of Friendship

So many years ago, I read Be Here Now by Ram Das, a one-time college professor who turned “seeker” after meeting, Nim Karoli Baba, an Indian spiritual man who responded to Ram Das’s recent loss of a dying mother without hearing Ram Das speak of it. Ram Das’s heart opened then. He had a friend.

About that time, I took my first and only acid trip and saw the aura surrounding trees. Well, that did it. I had to go to India myself and find people who also see what is. Once there after looking at this and that, I had a life-changing experience in a 3rd class bus station. You never know when miracles will happen. I saw an elderly man sleeping on a mat surrounded by a handful of people sitting cross-legged around him. I went over out of curiosity and saw an unimaginably beautiful man. My befuddled brain said he looks like a movie star. Then I saw his golden aura and felt his love. It blew through me like a hurricane. I sat down with them. That experience has been my guiding star, to feel what I felt then. Love is inter-me and you as Thich Nhat Hanh says. I and you are the same.

Then recently, I was terribly upset by a boyfriend who set me up to lend him money for his project which turned out to be a lie and left me broke. I even sold my most beloved possession to help him out. Then I was visited by my long time Indian friend. He saw my suffering and got very hurt and angry I could not stop myself when the tears flowed because he shared my grief. Before my friend arrived, I told him what I had been too ashamed to tell anyone, I had huddled alone in helpless sadness.

He has a funny way of insisting on the full truth. How can you not tell? He held my shoulder and said we are friends for life. Can I believe him or is it another scam? He said when he visits me he will pay my office rent when, he uses it. He wants to evaporate my loss. He calls it “fixing your kitty.”  Not a you pay me first and then I will repay you “double” scam. I have started to breathe again.

Can someone pretend to love you? Yes. and often people do especially those with bad intentions. Some say “I love you” but do not know what love is. Love is not a shallow and passing state like drinking a Coke when you’re thirsty and needing another one soon after. True love does not go away. It is its own reward.

Do you feel manipulated by one who claims to love you? Don’t ignore it. Your heart is a compass whose needle aims at love. It is our own true north. Heart knows when love is absent, knows when there is no inter-I and you in it. Heart knows when you are being taken even if mind is confused. Do not let the frightened inner child surrender because it fears the punishing parent.

There is nothing more wonderful than love. The world opens-up and you are not alone.

 

 

Passionate but Lonely

Dear Citizens,

Am heart driven by the plan to set up green get-togethers in every community small and large in our world, eventually to speak together and become “one.” We will share how to preserve and save and recover from the ways we have been destroying our environment. This includes chopping down all the trees which create the oxygen we breathe as well as the sea plankton which do the same, our unceasing, careless and unnecessary use of fossil fuels, and its myriad of detrimental effects, eating all the fish we don’t throw back dead, releasing foul pollutants into land and sky and water, losing topsoil to the winds of drought and the necessity for everyone to have a royal acre to create a lawn rather than preserve our relationship to Mother Earth while growing only necessary foo, giving wildlife, our brothers and sisters, a place to live.

What I want us to do is bring together people all doing the “green thing” locally and nationally, to get together and show each other our work so that we can share and do and sell and teach. The few people, the very few absorbing the entire riches of the globe, are unimaginably short-sighted since a terrible death awaits them too. No air to breath. No water to drink. No food to eat since nothing grows in such pollution. How can these one-percenters rise above this situation with a mountain of cash?

Please write me at elangolomb@gmail.com to become part of this wonderful way to share our power and wisdom, to learn and share and teach. It will be a wonderful experience of a growing bunch of friends. I feel my heart warming and expanding awaiting to hear from you.   

Disaster Is a Teacher

A very good friend read my book Unloved Again and said he did not understand what changed me after such a long life of repetitive and self-inflicted misery in the ways of love.

There is a tendency to repeat. The brain never loses the memory of our compulsive hurtful choices although we like to think that it does. We push memory of bad love experience into a dark black closet of the mind thinking nothing will open that door again.

But opening happens without our noticing. Beset by the possibility of adventuring into the new, we unknowingly cling to well-known misery and childishly believe that some kind of magical force will change the outcome. Such repetition is supported by the inner child’s need to white wash our parent’s hate. The child holds onto the idea that surely love lies behind it. It clings to the belief that this time same will lead to difference.

That is where misery can be beneficial. You have-to reach the point of total despair. You have to give up the old, to be unwilling to drag your body through the same thorny emotional bush. That our love road goes nowhere cannot be denied. We argue with ourselves. Perhaps the inadequate love we’ve always “gotten” is all that can be had. But our misery has a Stop sign! Our mind declares I prefer the howling open wastes of Nowhere-Ville to the despair of doing the same. You must reach that place where repetition becomes undoable to let go of history. You have-to be so aching for real love that you step into the space of unknowing.

Only then will a person whose loving spirit can be felt by yours. People say love at first sight is only nonsense! Yes and no to that. With false love at first sight the repetition compulsion will happen. You are trapped in loveless repetition. True love at first sight is different experience since both of you are sending messages of love.

Those who confuse true love offered from one depicted with phony gestures have not suffered enough to know the difference. Those who sufficiently recognized the source of pain will move on.

 

 

Unrequited Love

While meditating, I had a moment of understanding a concept I had long ago read about. It involves the experience of the inner energy as the place of love. Love is not what we commonly call an “ego” experience, among other things, feeling frightened, aggressive and demanding. Ego is all about separation which is related to being on defense. It is about ownership rather than sharing.

Ego orientation keeps us away from our inner state. The feeling of “we are one” can only happen if ego is exiled. Some call this feeling of being so united insane, but, once you have dipped your toe in these waters of union, the aggressive, needy, protective ego state is clearly the one that is insane.

I was thinking about a man who presented himself as potential friend and lover. But I deduced from our conversation that this brilliant man lacks a connection with his inner state of mind, the energy we call spirit. He spoke of death as removing his body and since that is all there is who cares. To him, life is merely a series of experiences, a kind of living movie once seen and soon forgotten.

He wanders aimlessly from experience to experience, takes interest for a while, then gets bored and moves on. Many of us live this way.

For me, to seek the love of such a person is repeating my childhood experience with two on–the-move parents, mentally and affectionately unavailable. You find yourself always seeking what you don’t have with such a person, or clinging to the little you do have. Your mind is swept away by grief and longing. Rather than find yourself in union, you lose yourself in emptiness.

What are you to do if your mind raises its arms in helplessness, over your compulsion to find and hold onto such people? The Buddhists call the mind the sixth sense, a great distraction. Rather than an ego product to get/hold/impress/conquer…, love needs to be the center of your life. Another’s love not given to you need not be your problem. Do not plead for love. Do not twist yourself into a hopefully pleasing pretzel to seduce for it.

Be your loving self and if another responds with love, you will know/feel it, something to be shared as the loving energy of spirit rather than two competing egos. If love is not reciprocated, move on.

Get the Losers to Fight

Political statements which support depriving middle and lower classes while holding onto wealth and power are repeated by the writing of corporate funded news. These stir up hatred by stating that one group steals the ever fewer jobs from the other. Those with their hands in the till (of our tax money and their investments) tell us that we are endangered by ….. Muslims, blacks, Jews, women, Indians trying to protect our water, ….  anyone who wants to protect those with power from being accused and punished for their life destructive incursions.

The 1 percent goes up and the 99 percent goes down, down, down. Let us look at Trump’s pick for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, who has zero experience, understanding and interest in public schools. She said that public education “is a poor investment.” Part of her family’s great wealth comes from collecting student loans. She stated that she wants to offer vouchers to poor people so that their children can go to the assumed superior charter schools. This stated intention is a scam. After receiving the voucher, poor people still cannot afford to send their child to a charter school so the child does not attend. Children in charter schools are there from the start because their parents have money to pay. Voucher money is taken from the public school kitty for the sole goal of impoverishing it. Look where the money goes when assigning responsibility.

The Trump group is talking about closing the Department of Education (i.e. public schools) in 2018.  Education when effective, creates a thinking person. DeVos has stated her intention is to have the schools endorse religious principles. She called it God’s Kingdom, presumably a Christian enclave. Remember the separation of church and state? Now forget it. Such restricted schooling gets students to submit to the propaganda of millionaires and billionaires who enhance their wealth by getting rid of public services; to end Medicare and Medicaid; to privatize the Social Security they call an “entitlement, a misnomer which is a euphemism for a lie. Social Security is a lifetime investment taken from your “pay check”; Teachers increasingly “teach to the exam” which means suppressing thought. The controlling 1 percent has got its claws in creative teaching. Passing a test does not mean you can think.

We are inundated with the false understanding about what threaten us instead of how we are actually being robbed. Panicked by an imagined history, we ignore the threat of EOs (Executive Orders) one after the other. Recently an EO proposed to end the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) which reveals money-making environmental damage, the EO canceling the CPB (Committee for Public Broadcasting) which supports air time for small and public supported voices. Day after day, on and on and on. All the basic stuff of life is being turned into money. They are pulling up the sidewalks.

I was quite depressed and fearful last night, even of the consequences of my being noticed for writing this. Then I had this dream.

I saw a group of children, perhaps about 50 of them standing together and not of the “same” racial group. One of them did or was said to have said something negative against another. It was stated by the teacher as if being a criminal act. The teacher asked, “…who did it” to the crowd. Asked them to expose that child so that the others would get angry and attack. “Speak up. Talk. What is your reaction to this behavior?” But no one spoke. She tried to up the ante by characterizing the unknown child as “a bad one.” But still, there was no speech. The teacher could not stir up fear and hatred. She was defeated, silenced.

At the end of my dream, there was happiness in the children’s eyes. Also in my own eyes as I awakened. I felt the spirit of love shared by all the children. Love sustains life.