They Just Don’t Understand Me

B4C0A454-579E-47EC-B306-E76CD25BDF24I am an Aries in Western astrology. A triple fire sign with sun in Aries, moon in Leo, and rising sign in Sagittarius. There is very little earth and no water in my chart, mostly fire and air. Therefore there are no conficting elements.

In Chinese astrology, I am the Rat. A creature who enjoys being on the outside looking in, as the outside acords me a clearer view into the inner workings of a particular situation or problem.

On the Meyers-Briggs Personality chart I am an INFP, roughly three percent of the population at large. I am introverted, quiet and reserved, intuitive, feeling, and perceptive. I prefer being alone or interacting with a select group of close friends to large groups. I rely upon intuition, and I am generally focused on the big picture more than the minor details. I am meticulous about the things and people I care about.

My choices in life are made based upon my personal feelings more than what might be called objective information, and although I was a philosophy major in college, my decisions are based on personal values and experiences more so than logic.

In tarot, I am the Fool, the card without a number or in some decks the zero card. I am a soul in search of experience.

So in summary, I am an Aries Rat INFP Zero Fool. Does not sound too great does it and yet these interpretations summarize to some extent my personality, who I am only by definition using these tools.

The closest I have ever come to a tribal identity were the two years I lived at Esalen. There was a connection with the people with whom I worked and lived that I had not previously encountered nor have I experienced since. And yet I left Esalen because I felt my individual identity suffered there.

I have no national identity. I no longer identify with America as my homeland because of its racist policies and practices toward Black Americans and other minority groups around the world. I no longer have a family identity and although I am Black, I no longer have an identity based upon race as I did during my rebellious years in college. The only identity I still process is my identity as an individual. This quality denies all the tools used to establish personality traits which by their very nature are general at best.

I do not know that I will ever be understood. My extroverted friends throw surprise parties for me when I would rather spend the day in silent retreat. They want to surround me with people when I would rather be alone. They try to make me like themselves rather than accepting the stark reality that I am different. They are energized by groups while I find groups draining of my energy because they require too much attention. They find it diffcult to accept the fact I love my solitude because they are unable to spend time alone. They require almost constant entertainment. They want to fix or change me when I require neither fixing or changing. I have accepted the truth that as an Aries Rat INFP Zero Fool, I may never be understood by my fellow humans except for those who share similar traits, and that to me is perfectly okay.

I Am Selfish

B4C0A454-579E-47EC-B306-E76CD25BDF24I am selfish. I stand alone from the crowd and guard that aloneness and love for solitude with my very existence. I do this to preserve me, myself. Without it, a different me comes into being. A being that placates to the wishes and desires of others before my own. I know this other person as well as I know myself because he existed as a strong part of who I was for a long time. Like me, he is a good person too. Unlike me, he gives his precious time upon this earth freely to others. He does what they want him to do rather than doing what I want to do. 

People generally like him more than me because he goes along with the crowd. I on the other hand am only appreciated by a few, but those few are dear to me. Those, who like myself, thrive in their individual solitude. O’ we have friends but generally prefer our own company to that of others. These are the individuals I chose to share time with and can do so without a feeling of sacrifice. They understand my need for solitude. Others think of me as aloof and I am, but by choice, not circumstance.

When I let my guard down around the mote of my solitude and join the crowd in some undesired adventure, not always, but usually I end up resenting that decision. Resentment is a rather strong word because it is founded in the past and I cannot reclaim lost time. Time is only present, but if I am going to waste my time, I want to waste it doing something I want to do. Then it is not wasted time at all. It is creative time. When I sit at a window starring at the world, I am using this time creatively. There is always something going on inside this head on mine. For me, it is just as active an activity as going shopping at the local mall or on line is for the crowd.

Creative people use time differently than most, and our creativeness is best served by solitude. At least this is how it works for me. There are socially creative people who thrive in the center of the crowd and move along with it at the crowd’s pace. Those of us who love our solitude move along at our own pace. Time is a gift to be appreciated and not a commodity to be exhausted.

So there I am in a nutshell. I am selfish with my time because I so love my solitude, and I protect this gift for my creative existence in the same manner a mother of any species protects her young as best I can.

Rollo Del Tomebamba VIII

One of the activities I engage in everyday when possible is a walk along the Tomebamba River near my home in Cuenca, Ecuador. During this walking meditation my mind wonders along with that of the river. I love the sound of water. When the river is high, it blocks out the sounds of the city and my mind transcends to other worlds while my feet remain firmly in contact with the cobblestoned path. This path for a little while becomes a Yellow Brick Road into my own thoughts and life.

d6ad4d51-30a4-4ae6-a93a-f2c61125a3f6Balance

Our lives, our countries, our earth is out of balance. The ego centered, some elected, some appointed, and some self proclaimed leaders of this globe are out of balance with the needs of this planet’s inhabitants and the needs of life on this planet itself.

Each day I strive to maintain balance in my life as I feel the pendulum swing more and more toward imbalance in the world. Maintaining balance in one’s life is not easy as each day presents its own challenges. It is necessary, I suppose, that the pendulum of time swings. What would happen if it stopped? 

I do not believe history has to continue along its same path just because it is such a familiar one. History only tells us how things have changed and by what means, but how does one change the repetition of history?

How many revolutions, civil uprisings, wars, and genocides are necessary before these leaders see the plight of their own ego centric dreams. This planet is not available for domination by any existing inhabitant other than perhaps viruses or insects. We have proven this through how many wars for whatever the cause of the era and continuing wars today in the Middle East and Afghanistan?

When will we wake up to the realization that we are all human and all life on this earth is precious? We humans are the caretakers of this sphere and our planet and life as we know it is swirling out of balance…

6D37AA0C-8CB6-4CC9-BC72-BF7B3D47E1E9.jpeg

Random thoughts while I walk to The Roll of the Tomebamba.

Dream Of Execution

FCF38573-2929-4C13-B491-12CD9E788FD0I saw in a dream…

That was me standing there in front of the firing squad,
my hands tied behind me, an unlit cigarette dangling from my lips,
reliving the story of a life which truly I did not know I had lived.
Was I the General who lead the people’s revolt on this island
so small it does not appear on a map of the world?
Pondering the possible reasons for being here in this dream
hoping only that whatever my crime, I lived up to my expectations.
I could feel the light breeze cooling the sweat beneath my silk shirt,
still heavy with the perfume of the woman who betrayed me that night.
They could not miss me, I thought, from only twenty feet away
and yet the wall behind me was riddled with holes from stray bullets.
Maybe guilt or a grain of sand blurred the sight of some executioners.
I watch the men get “ready” and shoulder their rifles to take “aim.”
I take one last drag of the still unlit cigarette and prepare myself to die.

Suddenly, I awake from this dream when I hear the word “fire.”

Entelechy

vcxa8286entelechy |en?tel?k?|noun ( pl. -chies) Philosophy – the realization of potential.• the supposed vital principle that guides the development and functioning of an organism or other system or organization.• Philosophy – the soul. ORIGIN late Middle English : via late Latin from Greek entelekheia (used by Aristotle), from en- ‘within’ + telos ‘end, perfection’ + ekhein ‘be in a certain state.’ —Blackburn, Simon. The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy. Walton Street, Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 1994.

It is inside of you, like the butterfly is inside of the caterpillar. He then used a word that I heard for the first time, a word that became essential to my later work…A great word, a Greek word, entelechy. It means the dynamic purpose that is coded in you. It is the entelechy of this acorn on the ground to be an oak tree. It is the entelechy of the caterpillar to undergo metamorphosis and become a butterfly. So what is the butterfly, the entelechy of…? — Jean Houston

I first came across the word ‘entelechy’ while reading the above passage in Jean Houston’s enlightening autobiography, A Mythic Life during the mid-nineties. Being the lover of words I am, I sought out its root and origin.

As best as I could determine, entelechy is akin to the soul of an organism. It is the energy which drives one to fulfill his purpose in life. It is not growth of an organism, a child becoming an adult. That is a life process. Entelechy, is more connected with the spiritual process. It is the soul’s energy, the hidden key to all that is contained within and to all the possibilities without.

In addition to being the coded drive of a single organism, entelechy is the flow of consciousness between organisms. Have you ever stood overlooking water and watched as a flock of shore birds performed as one single unit. Flying, turning, twisting, reflecting the sunlight, diving and landing as a single bird. There is a force greater than trust allowing the movement to occur in perfect symmetry without crashing into one another. This is entelechy extended beyond the single organism into a group consciousness. Entelechy is the core of the morphogenetic field existing between all of life.

Acedia

B4C0A454-579E-47EC-B306-E76CD25BDF24There are times when I have not wanted to be of this planet. In truth, I have grown weary with the world, the politics, and the unending changelessness of things. A presidential campaign lasting for more than two years. The power and wealth of the few and the continued suppression of the many. The continuing wars in Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq still mounting in their toll of innocent lives. World famine and financial greed all increasing at alarming rates even when the tools to bring about change exist but are not implemented. The return of once eradicated diseases like cholera, scarlet fever, yellow fever, and polio now indifferent to the drugs previously used in their demise.

I do not want to be with friends nor do I seek to engage in new friendships. Phone calls and emails go unanswered or unreturned. I get through each day as another day of life doing the things I love, but somehow doing these things brings a different kind of satisfaction. It feels as if a completion of life to this point is being made. I find myself waiting for activities of the day to end so I can enjoy the blissful solitude of my own surroundings and wait for nightfall without interruptions. The darkness somehow feels safer for me now. There is nowhere, except for here, where I have to venture. I fall into the void of sleep with no thoughts of waking until the morning sun forcefully opens my eyes.

I am on a journey. It is not unlike journeys I have taken before except for the absence of a fixed timetable but this journey is internal, not external. Whenever I take journeys out into the world, I always come back with stories and experiences to share with friends. Small tokens commemorating the places to which I traveled. Pictures, postcards, etc.  I always come back a different person than the one who started the adventure initially but this journey is proving to be much different from those  I have taken before.

At first I thought I might be in a state of depression except for the fact that my feelings are not out of hopelessness or inadequacy nor are they out of synchronization with the events taking place in the outside world. It is more of a transition. A transformation of sorts. A transformation which takes me to my depths, rattles my brain, and challenges all my beliefs once again. I could blame these feelings on my aging and the facing of my impending death but I think it is more than a sense of doom. It is in a word, “acedia.” I know acedia is defined as “spiritual or mental sloth; apathy” in today’s English dictionary, but I prefer the medieval Latin and more philosophical spelling and definition to the modern psychological one. In Latin, accidie, as it was spelled, is a state that inhibits pleasure and prompts the rejection of life.* Thomas Aquinas associated it with the turning of one’s back on things, a torpor of spirit. Acedia is often translated as sloth, which is actually quite different.

The conditions of such a journey make it difficult to share with friends. I cannot explain something I am in the middle of experiencing myself. I have no photographs of pristine mountains covered with glistening white snow and no stories to share from fellow travelers met along the way. What I can share is this. The journey of transformation is one to be taken on numerous occasions throughout our lives. As soon as you finish with one, another waits on the sidelines to grab you and wisps you away. This type of journey requires a strength of belief. Not in a religious sense, as in a god, but a belief in oneself. A strength you may not even know was possible until you experience it firsthand and like those journeys taken into the outside world, you will return a much different person than when you entered. You will return with a greater truth and belief in yourself and your place in the world. Your awareness, acceptance, and understanding of life will be enhanced by the discoveries you learn about yourself. There is no preparation you can make ahead of time. There is no gear to pack and no magic wand can assist you along this journey. One does not take such a journey with plans to return to where one started nor do you know where or when it will end.

This life, in the end, is but a preparation for our final journey toward death. I believe the real journey starts when our essence or spirit is free of this body. I have loved and I have been loved. I do not ask for anything more.

I wish you well.

 

*Blackburn, Simon. The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy. Walton Street, Oxford, England OX2 6DP: Oxford University Press, 1994.

What Matters?

vcxa8286Ten things that matter most to me in this life are:

Love — It is the most precious of gift of all.

Nourishment — Air, Water, and Food — These are necessities. Life must have access to clean air, clean water and food to sustain itself.

Free Speech — Ideas must never be censored whether one agrees with them or not.

A Belief In Yourself — No one is more deserving of your trust and love than you.

Solitude — Solitude is refuge for the soul. Learn to incorporate it into your life.

Dreams — They are the windows into your life. Dreams do not always lead to reality, but they always lead to possibilities. Welcome them, even your nightmares have something to tell you.

Promises — Keep the ones you make. They are the foundation of trust.

Creativity — When you realize you are more than a creation — Create!

Freedom — To believe whatever you choose to believe and not be punished for that belief as long as no one is harmed because of it.

Death — It is inevitable for every living creature. Learn to accept and to live with its reality.