Remembering Infinity

Spirituality | Metaphysics | Consciousness | Life


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Remembering Infinity: Traveling Light


Don’t let yesterday’s suffering, worries, or regrets keep you from soaring among the stars!

Rise above the past.  Don’t let yesterday’s suffering, worries, or regrets keep you from soaring among the stars!

I think it’s interesting how our childhood experiences have such an impact on how we perceive and react to things so much later in life, don’t you? The state of our environment in those early years has so much to do with our perspectives, our temperament, and our ways of dealing and coping with life.

In a recent post I wrote about how “different” I felt from other kids growing up. One of the differences seemed to be that I was always quite sensitive to the feelings of others—as well as my own. If one of my classmates was angry, sad, or afraid of something, I immediately related myself to their situation and almost felt their emotions myself. If I saw someone who was ill or injured, I seemed to feel at least some of their depression or pain. And if I saw someone suffering from abuse or the loss of a loved one, I somehow felt I was experiencing their suffering or grief—whether they were a stranger or not.

Whenever I felt emotions of my own, I’ve always tended to feel those quite deeply too. Growing up rather unhappily as an only child in a dysfunctional family (until a new sibling arrived some years later), I would often wallow in my own miserable silence for hours—or sometimes even days. With few constructive examples available to help teach me otherwise, I eventually learned to develop and rely on my own inner strengths to carry me through such challenging times.

I never fully realized that these feelings were so much of a problem or made such a difference until quite recently, when I began my journey of spiritual discovery in earnest. After reading a number of articles from other “sensitive” people who shared similar experiences, many things finally began to make sense to me. Like me, many of these people not only naturally “picked up on” others’ emotions and state of mind, they actually felt them in some manner. I even found out that there is a term used to describe those who have such experiences—they are said to be “empathic”.

To some, this may not be such an important revelation, but it made a great deal of difference to me. I realized that many of the feelings or stresses I had felt for years may not have even been entirely my own! I suddenly understood that, with some diligent effort at changing my own habits, I could eventually learn to separate my own emotional “baggage” from that of the people around me. This new understanding and a newfound ability to resolve and release my own stresses has allowed me to find much greater personal freedom, a growing sense of self-acceptance, and much needed inner peace.

So if you find yourself suddenly feeling a growing sense of tension, anger, fear, or any other strong emotion for no apparent reason, it could very well be that you are “empathic”. And if that’s the case, it means that you can learn to lighten your emotional load too. All it really takes is an understanding of the dynamics, a willingness to identify the possible sources of disharmony in your life, and an intention to let go of the emotions that don’t really belong to you. In this way it becomes much, much easier to focus on and resolve the issues that really are yours!

It’s amazing to see how much emotional baggage we can wind up carrying through the years. Sadly, many never truly understand quite how much—and they are burdened with it their entire lives. I’ve decided that, when my time comes to depart this world for the next, I’ll be traveling light.

After all, how can one’s soul ever hope to soar among the stars when it’s held down by the weight of yesterday’s suffering, worries, and regrets?

Love Always,

stargazericon

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Remembering Infinity: Caution…Egos at Work!


Everyone would benefit we practiced more tolerance in our lives.

Everyone would benefit if we practiced even a little  more tolerance in our lives!

I’ve been reading quite a bit lately about “ego”, its effect upon us, and how it influences the way we interact with one another.  Ego, as that part of self that sees us as being separate from everyone and everything else, often manifests itself as the need to be “right”, in charge or control of a situation, or defend our pride against a perceived offense. While the ego may have developed as a primitive way to ensure one’s survival, it’s quite clear that a great many of mankind’s difficulties and conflicts have been sparked or enflamed by the egos of the individuals involved!

Interestingly enough, I had an opportunity to see a perfect demonstration of this played out in front of me recently. In this situation, a confrontation erupted between two people when their paths inadvertently crossed at my workplace. One found himself in the way of the other and both, in their rush to get things done, were apparently less than respectful to one another. One took offense at the other’s brusqueness and, when a similar encounter between the two occurred several minutes later, tempers flared. When the two approached one another rudely and exchanged angry words, the entire scene reminded me of two angry wolves, circling one another and snarling over territory, simply because one wished to pass by the other in the forest!

While the two did manage to calm down, discuss the issue, and resolve things in a mutually acceptable manner, I somehow felt that the entire situation could have been avoided if either one had simply chosen to “take The High Road”.

  • Are we so sensitive that we demand respect before we offer it to others?
  • Once we’ve given respect, do we become angry if we don’t immediately receive it in return?
  • Are we in so much of a hurry that we no longer care about the needs of our fellow human beings?
  • Have we become so stressed by our own lives that we feel the need to push our stress onto others?

If we find ourselves saying “yes” to any of these questions, I think it may be time to lighten up just a bit!

As I make my way through the many challenges of life, I’m finding that it’s much easier to let others’ indiscretions pass than it is to “throw fuel on the fire”, so to speak. There may be a thousand reasons why people behave the way they do and, in all likelihood, they don’t have anything to with me. It doesn’t serve me, them, or anyone else well to react angrily to their confrontation. I’m also finding that, by not taking things personally, I’m able to remain calm and react in a more detached, rational manner.

I’m thinking that all of us might benefit from practicing a bit more tolerance and understanding in our lives. The brief moment it takes to take a deep breath and mentally step back from a tense situation might be all it takes to ensure that our reaction doesn’t become an over-reaction. Just imagine how our world might change if everyone were to try that. And if that doesn’t work, I suppose we could always wrap some bright yellow “CAUTION” tape around us when we’re in an unfriendly mood and just want to be left alone.

Hmmmm. Now that’s a fashion statement for these turbulent times!

With Love,

stargazericon

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The Christmas Truce (1914)


angel

Let there be Peace on Earth!

For many, it is difficult to imagine the unspeakable horrors of war.  The bitter stench of cordite, explosive rending of earth, air, and sea; and indiscriminate destruction of all that would stand in the way of victory are just the beginning.  There is the inconsolable and heart-wrenching ache of homesickness.   There are the inescapable miseries of Spartan living and the tempestuous wrath of nature.  There is an arrogant fury, fueled by an illusory sense of righteousness that drives combatants to commit unspeakable acts.  There are the lies, manipulations, and raw determination of the brutal and ruthless powers on both sides of the conflict.  Finally, there is the bare and abject fear that shivers through the veins of all who witness its atrocities.  While the horrors of war are experienced to some extent by all, they are disproportionately reflected in the blank faces of the young–for it is most often they who must bear the burden of orders to fight and kill, suffer, or die.

While the costs of war are many, there is little doubt that its highest wages are paid through the wholesale slaughter of humanity.  Fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, friends and neighbors; all, regardless of guilt or innocence, are ground under the wheels of martial advancement.  Many lose their homes and livelihoods.  Many must live the remainder of their lives with debilitating injuries of mind, body, and soul.  And many will die.  But in the end, all suffer horribly.  It is this carnage, the wanton waste of human blood, muscle, organ, and bone–indeed, the callous disregard of Life itself, that is the greatest transgression of war.

In our modern world of instant communication and artificial imagery, it is difficult to imagine how thousands of young men must have felt, just over 100 years ago in 1914.  At that time, what was thought to be “The War to End All Wars” (World War I) was being waged on the front lines between France and Germany.  While most of the world lay warm in their beds on that Christmas Eve, two determined armies huddled miserably in muddy trenches, facing one another across a dark and battered stretch of no-man’s land.  Much as pawns in a violent game of chess, these men were trapped between a wet and bitterly cold winter and the relentless grinding of their countries’ military machines.  But in a moment of silence, just when the hour must have seemed darkest, a Christmas Miracle occurred.  Despite incredible odds and the stubborn efforts of the leaders on both sides to stop it, The Spirit of Peace prevailed.

According to most accounts, the uncertain cease-fire began with a song.  German soldiers, apparently overcome by homesickness, began singing Christmas carols.  Allied soldiers on the other side of the lines, fearing a trick of some kind, listened and watched with surprise and suspicion.  Before too long however, someone on their side joined in.   Others soon followed and it wasn’t long before voices rose on both sides of the trenches.  One can scarcely imagine the surreal nature of that moment, for here were two bitterly opposed armies that had been wounding and killing each other for months.  Now, instead of destroying each other in the cold darkness, each side was singing the same song in its own language.  Somehow, and in some miraculous way, these men were connecting to a sense of something–something that was quickly bridging the gap created by the broken bodies of their fallen comrades, the torn earth, and the rigid doctrines that seemed to separate them.

As the night progressed and Christmas dawned the next day, both sides of the conflict came together in a strange new way.  Enemies looked directly into each others’ faces, shook hands, and respected one another as equals.  Each came to understood that his enemy was a human being, much the same as he was–and that each had his own hopes and dreams, a home, and family.  These men, wearing different uniforms, speaking different languages, and representing violently opposing views, found a way to lay down their arms and share something that transcended their differences.  For at least a few hours it seems, humanity returned to the front lines.  All that day, after burying and honoring the dead on both sides, the men shared stories, food, and photos of home. They played soccer and traded keepsakes.  They laughed.  They sang.  Together, in the midst of a war, they found a way to celebrate the season that reminds us that Love and Peace are among the most cherished of all things to blessed with in this life.

Unfortunately, as Christmas passed and the glowing spirit of this spontaneous armistice faded away, the ugliness of war returned.  The peaceful space that had briefly existed between to armies was torn asunder.  It wasn’t long before the crack of small arms fire, thud of artillery, and screams of the dying drowned out the echoes of songs and joyful laughter–but the fact that, for a time at least, songs and laughter could be heard at all among the trenches on that cold, dark Christmas Eve was clearly a miracle.  And it’s one that should always be remembered.

As we look forward to spending this Holiday Season with our own friends and loved ones, perhaps we may find a moment to reflect on this event and look within.  Perhaps we may find a way to overcome some of our own prejudices, the ones that make us feel so different and separate from other human beings.  Instead of seeing only differences and gaps to be bridged between us, perhaps we may begin to see and embrace our commonalities–that is, the things that we share, and begin to accept all fellow beings as our brothers and sisters.  While we may have been taught to see unfamiliar beliefs, geo-political borders, and cultural traditions as differences to resolve or challenges to be overcome, are they not simply opportunities to learn fresh, new ways of experiencing our beautiful world?  And what if we were to begin learning to accept them as such?

If human beings were always able to seek common ground and respect one another as individuals, perhaps conflicts like those surrounding the Christmas Armistice of 1914 would never again be necessary.  I, for one, know that it can be done.  After all, if the power of a Season and a song stopped a war once, it can certainly do so again!

May all the Joy, Wonder, and Peace of the Holiday Season be yours–not just today, but always. 

With Love,

stargazericon

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Remembering Infinity: Brighter World Press


Brighter World Press:

       Brighter World Press:
“Inspiring your flight to a Brighter World!”

I just wanted to briefly share that I’ve started a new blog called “Brighter World Press”.  While “Remembering Infinity” is more of a personal blog that features my own original writings, I wanted to start a blog that would appeal to nearly anyone–and one through which I could share positive, heartwarming, and inspiring photos, stories, and videos from all over the Internet.

Here’s the address and link to the new blog:

https://brighterworldpress.wordpress.com/

Rest assured that I’m not planning any major changes for “Remembering Infinity” but I hope you’ll enjoy this new venture too.  If you do appreciate the new blog, please feel free to share the positive “vibes” with others!

With Love,

stargazericon

Please feel free to redistribute, repost, or otherwise share this post, providing it is credited to https://rememberinginfinity.wordpress.com.


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Remembering Infinity: Born to Fly!


One day, we too may be surprised to find that we were born to fly!

Like a caterpillar, one day, we too may be surprised to find that we were born to fly!

I‘ll never forget one of my grandmother’s favorite stories–one she would often tell us grandkids when we were small.  We’d usually be in the park or her rather overgrown backyard when she’d spy a wooly caterpillar on a bush or a butterfly flitting by.

“Oh,” she’d exclaim excitedly,”look at that!  How beautiful!”  Then she’d laugh to herself and say to us, “That reminds me of one of my favorite little stories.”

As we’d gather around to watch the little creature going about its business, she would begin.

“Once upon a time, there was a little caterpillar.  Every day, he’d wake up, creep out from under the shelter of his little home among the rosebuds, and begin munching away at the leaves.  Soon he’d be joined by several other caterpillars and they’d all enjoy each other’s company as they ate.  Weeks went by and, one by one, the plump and happy caterpillars would each spin a chrysalis to begin their transition into a butterfly.

Before too long, there were only two little caterpillars left.  One day, as the two chatted and ate, a beautiful butterfly floated by, gracefully fluttering its wings in the warm sunshine.  One of the caterpillars stopped eating and stared in awe at the glittering, brilliant flashes of color on its wings.

‘Wow…would you look at that?’ He stared in amazement.

His friend glanced up briefly and returned to his meal, unimpressed.  ‘That’s nice,’ he replied, ‘but you’ll never get me up in one of those things!'”

It was at this point that Grandma would always break out in laughter–and all of us would too, for we all well knew that the silly caterpillar was destined to one day spin his own chrysalis and become a butterfly himself!

As I’ve grown older, I’ve grown to appreciate Grandma’s caterpillar story even more–for it reminds me that, in order for us to truly grow, we must expand our thinking and open our minds and hearts to new possibilities and change.  One of the important things to remember about the nature of Life is that things will change, whether we want them to or not.  If we let our doubts, worries, or fears stop us from trying new things, we may never know how many of Life’s greatest adventures we might miss.  It is only through looking past our fears, opening ourselves to new opportunities, and embracing the idea of change that we may discover these experiences are actually wonderful!

So the next time you see a caterpillar or a butterfly, why not take a moment to appreciate the mystery and magic of Nature?  If you keep your mind open to all kinds of new and exciting ideas and energies, you may one day discover that your own metamorphosis has been just as miraculous as theirs!

With Love,

stargazericon

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Remembering Infinity: “Let It Begin With Me…”


Let there be Peace on Earth.

        Let there be Peace on Earth.

Ever since I was young, I’ve always felt that I was somehow a little different from others my age. I was shy and withdrawn growing up, never quite fitting in with others—and I still have a tendency to be that way, even some decades later as an adult.

By all outward appearances, I was a typical tow-headed, spindly-legged kid. What made me stand out the most however, were the rather obvious facts that my mom cut my hair herself and that I was dressed quite a bit differently than anyone else. While most kids my age were sporting t-shirts, jeans, and sneakers, I had to wear more conservative button-down shirts, slacks, and leather dress shoes with brass buckles. Unfortunately, these differences and my quiet nature seemed to make me the perfect target for bullies.

Since both my parents needed to work to make ends meet, I grew up  as a “latch-key kid” in a working-class neighborhood in San Francisco.  Often left to manage on my own, I’d walk the several blocks to and from our 1920’s brick apartment building to school.  Most afternoons after school let out, I’d let myself into our empty apartment using a key my parents had hidden near the back kitchen stairs. Unfortunately, my daily travels took me past a smaller stucco duplex where a classmate named “Raymond” lived. Raymond and I had been friends in kindergarten, but somehow the passage of the next grade or two found us bitter enemies. As the result of some undoubtedly childish disagreement—the details of which completely escape me now, Raymond apparently made it his personal mission to taunt and threaten me any time he could. Most days, I would try to avoid crossing paths with him by racing out of school as quickly as I could or by unpredictably changing my route home.

Sometimes however, these efforts didn’t work—and on those days, Raymond and his friends would follow me home from school, shouting insults and even throwing things at me the entire way. Then, when I was almost home, they would quickly surround me like a pack of snarling wolves. Raymond, who was a full head shorter than me, had small scars on his face from previous altercations with others. He’d ball up his fists and glare contemptuously at me. “Come on, pussy!” He’d shout angrily. “Come on…do something! Fight me! You know you want to!”

Rumors around school were that Raymond and his friends carried pocket knives, so I had no desire whatsoever to be involved with any of them. And, truth be told, I was terrified. Most of the time, they would simply knock my textbooks out of my hands and laugh as they walked away. Sometimes they would push me down and jostle each other roughly as I picked myself and my books up and ran home in tears. And, if things weren’t bad enough, it was even more humiliating when there were other kids (especially girls) around.

I couldn’t understand what I had done to deserve the kind of treatment I received and, to make matters even worse, my own household wasn’t immune to discord either. I remember many nights, lying in my closet-like bedroom with my hands over my ears, crying myself to sleep because my parents were screaming at each other on the other side of our thin apartment walls.

In the end, my parents’ temporary “cease-fire” and the city’s new policies on mandatory interschool busing (where troubled kids were sent to different schools in an effort to curb school violence) forced my parents to move. They bought a comfortable home in the suburbs, where things were much better. I still had trouble fitting in as “the new kid”, but at least the kids in my new school were a bit more tolerant of those who were different—that and the fact that I’d finally had enough of being a victim. When I finally began standing up for myself, the few bruises and black eyes I received thereafter were but a small price to pay for the peace I eventually found in knowing I that would be left alone.

In recent years as I’ve looked back on these experiences, I’ve come to understand and see things a bit differently. One of the things I now recall was that Raymond had come from a troubled home himself. With an abusive father and older brother, he had learned to fight—not just for survival, but for his own self-esteem. And, in being bullied himself, he had learned to become a bully. Another personal revelation was the discovery that these episodes were important catalysts for my eventual growth. While I would not want to relive them, nor would I wish these kinds of situations upon anyone else, I’m nonetheless grateful for their bitter lessons.

Through these and other new understandings, I’ve been able to find forgiveness for Raymond—and indeed, for all the others who seemed to find pleasure in my pain. And I take great satisfaction in knowing that I’ve done everything I can to stop the ripples of conflict, hatred, and retribution that such violence often perpetuates. I’m quite thankful that I’ve been able to let these kinds of behavior stop with me.

It struck me as being rather strange, but as I was writing the last few lines of this post I suddenly remembered a song I learned for a holiday performance in the 4th or 5th grade. The song, written by Jill Jackson Miller and Sy Miller and popular in the early 1970’s, was called, “Let There Be Peace on Earth”. It begins and ends with the words, “Let there be Peace on Earth, and let it begin with me.” These are important words, for if we were all to live them, no more children would have to run home in fear—and no more mothers or fathers would have to bury a child killed in violence or war.

So why don’t we all agree to take a stand for Peace? Right now—and in every new moment, let it begin with us.

With Love,

stargazericon

Note:

I had an unusual dream last night and, while I hadn’t intended to publish this for a week or two, something about the dream prompted me to post it today instead. In my dream, it seemed as if the world had descended into utter chaos. Parts of the city were burning around me and large numbers of people were fighting one another in the streets. Others, terrified, were fleeing the violence and their homes.

In the midst of all this destruction, one person stopped. He stood in the middle of the street and looked about with tears in his eyes. Quietly at first, but with growing strength and compassion for those around him, he began to sing the words of the song mentioned above. Soon, his powerful voice was carried with the wind—and others, touched and inspired by his courage, stopped to join him. The wave of emotion from their heartfelt song drifted through the urban canyons, soared to the heavens, and gently touched the hearts of all could hear.

And then, something wonderful happened.

Those engaged in violent struggle stopped. They dropped their weapons and fists, suddenly overcome by feelings of sadness and shame. Those in headlong flight no longer felt afraid, so they stopped running. In that brief moment, everyone finally understood that what they did to another human being, they ultimately did to themselves. In that brief moment, all their hate, anger and fear faded away. And instead of fighting and hurting one another, they began helping one another. They treated each others’ wounds. They shared food, clothing, and shelter. They helped put out fires and began to rebuild.

In my dream, all it took was one small miracle—in the form of one person and a song, to change the world. And things would never quite be the same again.

For those who don’t know the song, a wonderful version sung by Vince Gill may be found here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_DxNpW1kHQ

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Remembering Infinity: The Earth is our Home!


This beautiful field could be cluttered with trash, but it’s not. It’s beautiful because people chose to do the responsible thing—they didn’t litter here!

This beautiful field could be cluttered with trash, but it’s not. It’s beautiful because people chose to do the responsible thing—they didn’t litter here!

On this Earth Day, 2015, it’s critical that we all understand the effect we human beings have on our environment and do what we can, both individually and collectively, to support our Earth—for she is not just our home, she truly is our Mother.  Indeed, we too often lose sight of the fact that we depend upon her and her health for our very survival!  Our physical bodies are made from her natural elements, she provides us with oxygen to breathe, water to drink, and food to sustain us.  To deplete our natural resources and poison our own environment is ultimately to destroy ourselves.

That’s why I’m deeply grateful every time I see someone doing the right thing and acting responsibly instead of littering—that is, cleaning up after themselves, recycling, and depositing trash where it belongs, in a trash can. Unfortunately there are far too many people who don’t. They carelessly and selfishly toss their trash away anywhere, either leaving it for someone else to clean up or, even worse, just allowing it to pollute our environment and harm our wild neighbors.

I see irresponsible people dropping cigarette butts and wrappers everywhere, discarding their fast food containers in parking lots, allowing their plastic bags to blow away and collect on fences, and shoving piles of yard debris out onto our rural byways. Our waterways are clogged with clutter, our parks are defaced with graffiti, and our neighborhoods are plastered with signs promoting businesses, candidates for office, yard sales, and even rooting for teams in local sporting events.

It’s easy to feel angry, depressed, or disgusted when we see how little others care for or respect their neighbors and the world we all share but, in the end, that doesn’t solve anything. Instead, I’m learning to feel compassion for and forgive those who litter—for they don’t understand how their thoughtless acts and attitudes only harm themselves in the long run. They don’t understand that they will eventually learn, perhaps through karma, that their actions have consequences. Finally, they don’t understand how intertwined all life is—and that to harm others by littering or polluting is to ultimately harm oneself.

So now, when I start to feel disturbed by someone’s careless or disrespectful behavior, I try to remind myself that this life experience is only temporary. I try to remember that those responsible will one day be held to answer for their actions—and I’m grateful for the fact that I AM conscious enough that I may choose to behave differently. Then, if I’m able to help resolve the problem by picking up the trash and disposing of it properly myself, I do so. I consider it just one more opportunity to serve others and make a positive difference in the world. Otherwise, I offer the situation a silent blessing, forgive those responsible, and move on with a greater appreciation for the unique beauty of our Earth. Many times, I also envision myself in a more perfect world—one in which everyone truly appreciates one another and cares for our environment. It’s a world where nature is pure, unspoiled, and even more beautiful than it ever has been. And a dream like that really shouldn’t be that difficult to achieve if we are all willing to work together.

Now, if it just so happens that you are a “litterbug”, then please choose not to be! Just because we may be loved and forgiven by our Creator and others doesn’t mean there are no consequences for our choices and actions. In the end, we must all be held accountable for the things we do. So the next time we have a choice, let’s all make the best choice to do the right and responsible thing.  Let’s be sure to put trash where it belongs.  The Earth will thank you.  Your neighbors will thank you.  I will thank you.

There’s no doubt about it—when we take just a moment to make the right choices in life, everyone wins!

Respectfully,

stargazericon

Please feel free to redistribute, repost, or otherwise share this post, providing it is credited to https://rememberinginfinity.wordpress.com.