Lack of Love

Lack of love is 
a shaking fever, 

an aching spine, 

weak limbs, 

let downs of supportive nourishment.

Lack of love is 

inequality, bias, 

indifference,

failure of remedy.

Lack of love is 

her atrophying heart, 

weary eyes, 

suicidal ideation, 

this plethora of pain.

Lack of love is

 her corporeal insignificance,

 emotional stupidity, 

harsh, unnamable anguish.

Learning to love lack of love…

Learning to love her failure…

Learning to feel at ease 

with suffering, isolation,

unhealed wounds of moral horror, 

gashes of terrorizing trauma…

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Works of Progress

We are all works in progress–

perfectly imperfect unfinished masterpieces.

We are cracked panes of proportional magnificence

born to perceive, learn, understand,

create, work, and release

all of our shattered imperfections

onto planes of perception, knowledge,

comprehension, artistry, and livelihood

within others.

We are bodily expressions

of our parents,

of our experiences,

of our ideas.

We are a spirit of Nature

whom has birthed

a spirit all our own.

We are bipedal metaphors

of moss, twigs, pebbles,

leaves, pinecones, flowers,

bubbles, and snail shells.

A creative mind can create

a path to anywhere.

A persevering mind will follow

the path made.

The pioneer is who preserves

the creation at the end of the path,

and furthermore– substantiates

the creation onto progressions

of congregated congruent novelty.

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As I was writing in my composition book, I noticed the fluttering of a shadow through the crimson wrinkles in the curtain of my living room. I pushed the curtain to the side, and there, fluttering between the window and the window screen was a butterfly. She must have flown in through a narrow lift in the screen. I grabbed my camera, opened the window, and began capturing the sunlit orange hues of this butterfly’s fragile wings. This butterfly was not the slightest bit afraid of me. She let me zoom in on her with my camera lens as close as I possibly could. It even appeared she was intrigued by the sound of the camera’s shutter, as she stood completely still staring straight into the lens as I snapped pictures.

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After several minutes, while I began recording a brief video, she flew inside and fluttered under my couch. I moved my couch away from the wall and tried to guide her back to the window. Instead, she flew onto my area carpet. I began recording video again and tried to get little bug to walk onto my finger. She did not seem interested in climbing onto me. She kept her wings closed, but when I touched the very end of one antenna, she opened her wings, then closed them. When I touched the end of the other antenna, she repeated opening her wings.

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I grabbed an empty jar and a piece of paper, wedged the paper under her feet with the jar over her to transport her outside. I couldn’t help but catch a few more pics of her with my camera lens poking into the jar.

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Upon butterfly’s exit from the jar, she climbed onto my camera, then my fingers, flew into my right eye, then fluttered away through the air. This whole experience reminded me of a sketch I saw a while back in a book about love:

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The world is in pain from a lack of love, what can also be called *indifference.*

Everything and everyone who loves and is loved creates change in the world. Everything and everyone who hates and is hated creates more indifference. Love is nurturing someone or something difficult so potential can become success. When we neglect, stifle and criticize (nonconstructively) we damage, or traumatize, potential from becoming success. Anyone who is successful with anything is only able to succeed because they’re appropriately nurtured and nourished by the correct foundation to transform their potential into success.

 

A moment in time with a butterfly

Existence’s Complaint Form

At some point or another, we all can’t help but complain about something, someone, somewhere, somehow: politicians & politics, the mass media, sports, society, rich people, taxes, the cost of living, employment, coworkers, bosses, education, loans, money, mortgages, rent,  landlords, tenants, police, the law, defendants, plaintiffs, Windows 7,8,10, technology, business, the military, wars, authorities, our families, boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, siblings, exes, kids, responsibilities, bills, houses, doctors, drugs, illness, insurance, cars, religion, the state of affairs, death and even living breathing existence itself. Sometimes, it is a release to vent out everything pissing us off. Often, the release of venting sends the complaining bug onto someone else, hurts their feelings, and begins a combative retaliatory effort to piss off and complicate more people, who will then continue spreading the same dissatisfied epidemic until, before you know it, complaining is a pandemic of the third degree. This has been happening since the dawn of humanity. There’s no way to stop it and there’s no way to immunize your emotions from feeling it, preventing it, or experiencing it yourself. Sometimes it is the hardest thing to accept that all the variations of darkness in the world will someday be yours in their due time in their due form to challenge your character, your willpower, your intelligence, your understanding, and your reaction/response to working through all of it on your own with no help whatsoever. When a person previously unacquainted with actual reality accepts this, the planet gains a new wholesome complainer. And this cycle keeps repeating through the facet of a new life everyday. Welcome to Earth.

Caressing Language

​How to dress more raw than sushi, 

Act spicier than habaneros, 

Think louder than the Saturn V, 

Speak brighter than a petawatt laser, 

Attract more pungently than ecstatic sex…

How to know you need, 

what to do when you need,

where you need it, 

and how to wonder why…

Where to find what you need, 

who you need, 

why you need, 

and when it’s okay to want it, 

wear it, wash it, let it go…

When wanting is needy

 and needing is wanted…

When too honest is honest truth,

When truth is stranger than fiction, 

When devotion matters worth a damn of your emotion…

Where words go, escape, remember, forget, and release stigma…

How to cope, adjust, maneuver, compensate, contemplate, and feel the essence of acceptance…

Hold me in sunshine,

amongst dewdrops, raindrops, misty air… 

Hug me through starry moonlight, gentle breezes, seafoam beaches…

Wipe away my tears & eye crustaceans, 

Sand my coarseness,

Strengthen my brittle beams,

massage the ache out 

of my spine, shoulders, feet, heart…

Love me, cherish me—

 So few can. 

I’m love rejected, banned,  despised. 

I’m love enough –refined, revised. 

If I’m acquired, I’m taste enough.

If I’m kept, I’m your carressing touch.

Empirical Insights of Spirituality

by m.i.schellhaas

 

 

“Ideology is a profound impediment.”
-Terence McKenna

Across the sphere, humanity experiences the skewed stances religious doctrine’s multicentury havoc has wreaked upon global culture down to the very conditioning of the individual. At the same time, we experience reclaiming our identities and innate truths of being. This is a personal essay composed around the interpretative and speculative aspects of God, heaven, hell, mankind, and religion.

History proves that when individuals claim belief in religious doctrine they cease to be individuals. Often, devotion to ideological beliefs hinders a person’s own *connection* to and *acceptance* of one’s own *being* of humanness. We observe mass genocides throughout history up to the present day as both direct effects and indirect by-products succeeded in the name of GOD. Fanatical believers of God (in all varied nomenclatural forms) prove nothing more than that their belief in God has severed their identification with humanity: the pure fact that everyone slain and persecuted in the name of God is also, like the persecutor, a human being with breathing lungs, a pumping heart, and a thinking brain. The “Wrath of God” appears more so as “The wrath of the inhumane, disconnected human mind” which is not from “sin,” but rather from brainwashed cultural conditioning (the “Fall” of man) upon the developing impressionable mind (“Eden”). There is also the debate heaven and hell are otherworldly kingdoms reigned by God and Satan, respectively. Yet, the truth of experience deduces heaven and hell are right here, right now, all the time in the subjectivity of one’s own mind. John Milton articulated it best in Paradise Lost:

“The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.”

worlds of mind
Psychologist Sir William James clarifies in The Varieties of Religious Experience “The whole force of the Christian religion, so far as belief in the divine personages determines the prevalent attitude of the believer, is in general exerted by the instrumentality of pure ideas, of which nothing in the individual’s past experience directly serves as a model.”
In other words, when someone who has undergone life-changing experiences and suffering seeks healing and understanding of their experiences outside of his/her self to personified ideas (i.e. Jesus Christ, God, redemption, forgiveness from sin), the individual is completely overlooking the deeper magnitude of their own conditioning. Reiterating prayers to God and attending church (or likewise structure of affiliation) may bring consolation, momentary relief, new encounters, and even mild hope, but ultimately, these abstract concepts will not heal a person.
True healing comes when one disengages from personified abstract ideas that Jesus/Allah/Yahweh is “The Way” and will “Redeem” one’s soul. True redemption comes when one redeems self from their own self, accepting in heart and mind the reality of one’s undergone experiences and past modeling, current circumstances, alongside realistically set goals and befitting hopes for their future. Carl Jung, founder of analytical psychology, is attributed to saying:

“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”

This boils down to a person changing self by recognizing their own dark qualities,  understanding how those dark qualities became conditioned/were modeled to their person, and harnessing compassion in self for the sake of one’s own well-being.

On paraphrasing the analytical doctrines of Immanuel Kant, William James further connects the coherency between beliefs and actions:

“Our conceptions always require a sense-content to work with, and as the words ‘soul,’ ‘God,’ ‘immortality’ cover no distinctive sense-content whatever, it follows that theoretically speaking they are words devoid of any significance. Yet, strangely enough they have a definite meaning for our practice. We can act as if there were a God; feel as if we were free; consider Nature as if she were full of special designs; lay plans as if we were to be immortal; and we find then that these words do make a genuine difference in our moral life. Our faith that these unintelligible objects actually exist proves thus to be a full equivalent in praktischer Hinsicht, as Kant calls it, or from the point of view of our action, for a knowledge of what they might be, in case we were permitted positively to conceive them.”

In The Presence of Other Worlds: The Findings of Emanuel Swedenborg, Wilson Van Dusen distinguishes the aspects of our human life in relation to our human spirituality:
“Man’s own functioning is one of the most concrete and immediate examples of correspondence. Our lives are a bridge between the spiritual within and the material without. Our movements, gestures, speech, etc., correspond to the inner life. Inwardly we participate in a spiritual world. Outwardly, in our bodies, we are in the spiritual world of things. ”
This significance corresponds with James’ pragmatism in The Varieties of Religious Experience where “As time, space, and ether soak through all things, so (we feel) do abstract and essential goodness, beauty, strength, significance, justice, soak through all things good, strong, significant, and just. Such ideas, and others equally abstract, form the background for all our facts, the fountain-head of all the possibilities we conceive of. They give its ‘nature,’ as we call it, to every special thing. Everything we know is ‘what’ it is by sharing in the nature of one of these abstractions. We can never look directly at them, for they are bodiless and featureless and footless, but we grasp all other things by their means, and in handling the real world we should be stricken with helplessness in just so far forth as we might lose these mental objects, these adjectives and adverbs and predicates and heads of classification and conception. This absolute determinability of our mind by abstractions is one of the cardinal facts in our human constitution.”

The Bible

The Holy Bible is a unique work of history, the only of its kind, which has been seldom explained in such a way that it is understood and utilized appropriately. The enigmatic, allegorical, and metaphorical usage of language in the Bible is confusing for many to grasp. We may attribute this in the western world partially to America’s failure of an educational system, but also to inappropriate attitude, interpretation, and approach of religious leaders and affiliates.
Van Dusen elucidates in The Presence of Other Worlds: The Findings of Emanuel Swedenborg, “The secret of unlocking the Bible lays in the spirit with which it is approached. Those who love truth for its own sake (not to show off their knowledge) and apply it in their lives will be shown… Swedenborg mostly elaborates upon the spiritual sense because men can partly see and understand it. But the celestial sense “can be explained only with great difficulty, for it does not fall so much into the thought of the understanding as into the affection of the will.” In other words, the celestial sense is in feeling and doing. It rises above words.”
Since this celestial sense, or ‘affection of the will’ is paramount in the attitude of interpretation of the Bible, one cannot convert someone to Jesus or force someone to see the errors of their ways through persecuting scrutiny or repetitive relay of Bible verses. This very act is itself an error of opinionated ignorance of what the truth is of a person’s subjective nature and experiences and nothing more than a monumental deterrent disinclining a “lost soul” from finding “Jesus.” This is a prime reason why Christians are decreasing in number everyday:

“Back in 1990, about 8 percent of the U.S. population had no religious preference. By 2010, this percentage had more than doubled to 18 percent. That’s a difference of about 25 million people, all of whom have somehow lost their religion.
That raises an obvious question: how come? Why are Americans losing their faith?
Today, we get a possible answer thanks to the work of Allen Downey, a computer scientist at the Olin College of Engineering in Massachusetts, who has analyzed the data in detail. He says that the demise is the result of several factors but the most controversial of these is the rise of the Internet. He concludes that the increase in Internet use in the last two decades has caused a significant drop in religious affiliation.”

*Source: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/526111/how-the-internet-is-taking-away-americas-religion/

The futuretimeline.net predicts by 2240 the Christian religion will be almost nonexistent:

“After centuries of decline, Christianity is on the verge of disappearing from American culture. The vast majority of the US population is now atheist or agnostic.* This same trend was witnessed in Europe at a far earlier date. However, religion was so deeply embedded in the American psyche that it took substantially longer to reach this stage.”

*Source: http://www.futuretimeline.net/23rdcentury/2200-2249.htm#.V53FfskpDqA

Old churches are continuing to be renovated and repurposed for other livelihoods. People are wising up and seeking knowledge which is comprehensible to them. While useful guidance and insight can begotten from the Holy Bible, one does not have to believe in Jesus or literal fundamentalism to utilize it. The Bible is equivalent to a philosophical work, like those of Nietzsche, Kant, Plato, Aristotle, Kierkegaard, etc… Really, if one is open-minded enough, anything can be one’s Bible, whether it’s Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass or Greg Hill’s Principia Discordia. One could even creatively fancy the Bible for atheists and men of biology, like Richard Dawkins, is Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species.
By reading the Holy Bible or corresponding with religious persons does not automatically make one religious. As well, one does not need claim faith to pursue acts of altruism and benevolency. Good deeds are deeds which are good in and of themselves out of human heart, whether a good deed is done on behalf of Christians, Muslims,  one’s neighbor, or the local law office. It doesn’t take devoting oneself to religion to be a decent human being.
Whatever you choose to believe, worship, or devote yourself to is up to you, but it is insightful to keep in mind the effect and impact your belief has on the people around you and whether or not your belief is actually helpful for your own good and the collective good of society. Less impediments would behad if more people identified with being their own individual human and our responsibilities toward one another and the planet.

IMG_4073 (2)Masks of Innocence by Martin Stensaas

*The author is a student of philosophia, a recovering Catholic, and correspondent with believers of multiple faiths.

 

 

Empirical Insights of Spirituality

The Present

​The Present is

past and future

–combined–

in one moment.

The Present is

recalling the past 

–simultaneously–

calling the future.

The future is listening 

–as much as–

the past is out of touch.

The past is healing 

–as much as–

the future is generating.

The future is beginning

as the past is ending.