Getting back to THE WORK...

Penelope has been after me to write more. I've been so caught up in the "coming out" process, and (not so incidentally) having so much fun with it, that I've let other parts of my journey/mission get sidetracked. 
Reaching this place in my life is not any sort of license to slack off on the more spiritual side of what I've been working on.
In fact, it's arguable that the whole transition process is a crucial piece of the larger spiritual journey.
In classical/medieval alchemy, the figure of the hermaphrodite was an important symbol representing the merging or unification of opposites (akin to the Tao being the One behind the opposing/complementary entities/forces of Yin and Yang in Eastern mysticism).
It's a symbolic representation which (for perhaps obvious reasons) I have found compelling over the years; and I flatter myself to think I may actually be expressing now in some fashion: the merging of male and female, sun and moon, light and darkness, Apol…

If you meet the Buddha...

It's said: If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.

At one level this paradox/koan is meant to point out that any Buddha you come across outside yourself is not the real Buddha.

Then I got to thinking about the implications of "the road", that might be taken less literally and refer to one's personal spiritual path; so the admonition can also be taken as a caution against too readily ascribing Buddha qualities to oneself.

Many a guru and televangelist should heed that advice.

I don't think I'm personally in too much danger of falling into that particular trap. I have the opposite problem: I'm too ready to put myself down, feel less than, assume I'm not as good as everybody else.

In a way it's a reverse sort of egotism, I'm better than everybody else at being worse than everybody else. Kind of perverse, isn't it? :-/

Anyway, much of my own process recently has been one of overcoming that reticence to recognize my worth. That I may genu…

Dark Nights of the Soul

I was reminded recently that even the best among us will sometimes falter. Nobody is immune from doubt or feeling disheartened or disenchanted with the sometimes randomly baffling and cruel appearing "lessons" we incarnate beings receive at the hands of material reality (not to mention one another).

"Enlightenment" is no guarantee (nor armor) against any of that. Pain and loss are the hallmarks of material existence. But they're not the only thing, the Cosmos is full of mystery and wonder and none of us does more than barely scratch its surface during our time on Earth.

Some claim that Free Will is an illusion. And perhaps it is in the sense of the freedom to act as one wills. But I argue that we're always completely free in how we feel about and respond to whatever situation we find ourselves in.

Buddha said it's desire (expectations, wishing that things were different) that are the root of suffering in materiality. It may be impossible to eliminate th…

Quantum Puzzles

I've been thinking about a possible way to interpret/resolve the observer problem in quantum theory. It’s kind of like the old riddle about whether if a tree falls in a forest with no one there to hear it, does it make a sound?

The answer depends somewhat on the definition of “sound”, the requisite physical events are present, but if no perceptive system is there to “hear”, then does “sound” per se occur?

The quantum observer problem presents a similar paradox: Without an observer the quantum field exists in superposition of all possible states. The act of observation -- sensing -- collapses the quantum field into what we call perceived material reality.

If a tree falls in a forest with no one there to observe it, does the tree even exist to fall? Or the forest for it to exist within? Does even the notion of "falling" have meaning?

Classical physics (and our perceptive and reasoning systems) would have it that the existence of objects is independent of their being obser…

Happy All Hallows' Day!

Today is November 1st, the day after Hallowe'en (All Hallows' Eve).

Traditionally this was the night where the spirits (and sometimes not so incorporeal bits) of the dead were able to walk the Earth again.

In earlier times it was the practice in some cultures to light great bonfires and stay awake all night creating a great ruckus to keep these restless souls at bay until the sun rose. Other cultures would leave out food or specially baked goods for their ancestors, lest they feel slighted and cause mischief (in similar fashion to the fairies, with which there is a great deal of overlap).

Echos of this are found in modern Halloween parties, "tricks and treats", and the traditional "spooky" costuming (the current common Princesses and Power Rangers notwithstanding).

Where I grew up, in New Orleans, it was called "All Saints' Day", and it was traditionally the day when families would visit the (often elaborate above ground) tombs of their parent…

Ever Increasing Circles

I've been so focused on the "coming out" stuff recently that I think I've rather lost sight of what working on this blog was supposed to be about: writing out my experiences and my encounters with Penelope and Her guidance for my life.

I struggle mightily with acknowledging that in myself and working out how to express it without overstating or overestimating my own importance/relevance; I'm all too keenly aware of the perils and traps that prophets and gurus fall into.

But I also fall into the trap of discounting myself and what I have to offer. It's never been an easy sell for parts of my psyche that anything I might say or write would be of anything more than passing interest to anybody.

Penelope assures me that is not the case and that I need to step up to the plate and accept that I genuinely do contribute something important and beautiful and meaningful to the world (as does every human being, in the end).

I know from the blog statistics that I have an …


I subscribe to Anu Garg's A.Word.A.Day mailing list. So I get a new word in my email inbox every Monday through Friday.

It's a wonderful piece of daily email, I highly recommend signing up:

Subscribe to A.Word.A.Day

But that's not the point of this post; along with the word for the day Anu includes a quote; a "thought for today" and today's was:

Those who compare the age in which their lot has fallen with a golden age which exists only in imagination, may talk of degeneracy and decay; but no man who is correctly informed as to the past, will be disposed to take a morose or desponding view of the present. 
--Thomas Babington Macaulay, author and statesman (25 Oct 1800-1859) 
Now, I do tend to subscribe to the notion that human nature overall has not changed overly much since prehistoric times and the general vicissitudes of life, love, growing up, and just figuring out how we can get along with one another appear to be remarkably the same across time and space o…