Remembering Infinity

Spirituality | Metaphysics | Consciousness | Life


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Remembering Infinity: All Lives Matter


All are loved beyond measure--even the tiniest house finch.

All are loved beyond measure–even the tiniest house finch.

Several days ago, I had the privilege of rescuing a tiny young house finch whose feet and legs had become tightly bound together by several strands from her own nest. She had been flapping her wings in a desperate attempt to escape for quite some time and was hopelessly trapped, a dozen or so feet above the ground, under some solar panels where I work.

As soon as I heard about the bird’s predicament, I knew I had to help. I borrowed a tall ladder and soon found myself perched rather shakily at the top, sweating in near 100-degree heat. It was no easy task—trying to free her gently without causing her further injury.  Her little legs were crusted with dried blood and a part of one of her wings was rubbed raw by her struggles, but she fought bravely against her unforgiving bonds and me as well.

Working to free her, I was impressed by her incredible will to survive.  As I felt her frantic heart pounding wildly against my hand, I suddenly felt an intense Love and Compassion for this small, seemingly insignificant creature.  I was instantly and profoundly humbled, for she had reminded me that the gift of life should be cherished—in all its many forms.  It occurred to me that this is an important lesson many human beings must still not understand, for so many of us still continue to harm one another (and so many other of Nature’s creatures too).

While I carefully pulled the nest apart and gazed into this little bird’s frightened black eyes, I thought about the reasons so many humans seem to have such little respect for life. I came to realize that, in many ways, this callous disregard is just a dark shadow from some very old and clearly outdated ways of thinking and reacting. For thousands of years, mankind has somehow come to see itself as being completely separate from everything else. Like this little bird, from our earliest roots the drive to survive has taught us to be suspicious or even hostile to those who are not familiar to us.

In our troubled human history, it hasn’t been unusual at all to see new neighbors fear, compete with, and even kill one another—simply because they perceived themselves as being different from one another. Unfortunately, even those with close familial ties had (and still have) no guarantees. Those who’ve had disabilities, behaved differently, or somehow failed to meet “cultural standards” were often ridiculed, beaten, shunned from society, or even killed. In some situations, this habit of discrimination may have been seen as a way to limit the spread of illness or disease, but in far more cases these primitive fears and their resulting brutality were completely unnecessary and utterly baseless.

As shards of glass will scatter when a window pane is dropped upon a hard surface, humanity itself has become shattered. And, while the human population has grown, so it seems have our differences.  Tribes became clans, clans became villages, villages became cities, and cities became states and nations.  Instead of seeing our differences as beautiful and unique expressions of Creation and accepting them as such, we continued to cling to our old, familiar biases.  Today, people allow themselves to be eternally divided by their own beliefs and allegiances.  When we aren’t divided by national origin, language, or culture, then we’re divided by race, skin color, religious belief, or political philosophy. If these differences aren’t enough, we divide ourselves by age, physical appearance, sexual orientation, and gender.  We’re even judged and segregated by the kind of cars we drive, the brands of clothing we wear, the sports teams and celebrities we worship, and the type of “smart phones” or technology over which we obsess.  And the lists of things that separate us just goes on and on…

To make matters worse, recent tensions between some members of our community and the police have led to even greater divisiveness.  Resulting slogans of “Black Lives Matter” and “Blue Lives Matter” seem only to have fanned the flames of conflict, as do claims that the phrase, “All Lives Matter” somehow disrespects or minimizes the feelings of those who are suffering from the violence on both sides of the issue.

Seriously, has it come to that? Have things gotten so bad that even those with the utmost respect for life are now vilified and attacked for their Compassion?

I would suggest that if we are to evolve as a species, we must stop looking at one another through the myopic lenses of ignorance, prejudice, and fear.  At some point we must begin seeing each other as fellow travelers, all sharing a life together on this beautiful Earth home of ours.

It’s now well past time for us to wake up!  It’s time for us to end this insanity! It’s time for us to see that generations of insecurity, competition, and conflict have left us all struggling to find common ground and the understanding that, when it all comes down to it, we are all one race.  Differences are wonderful, of course, for they make us each stand out from one another–just as the individual grains of sand appear different upon a tropical beach. But in the end, we are One Tribe.  One world.   One people.  One Spirit.

It took a chance encounter with a small bird for me to fully understand that all are important.  All are equal.  And all are loved beyond measure—even the tiniest house finch.

So please…let’s learn something from the struggle of this little feathered creature.  Let us remember that all life is precious and irreplaceable, all life is sacred, and all lives truly matter.

With Love,

stargazericon

PS:  In the end, I was finally able to free this little bird and take her to a local wildlife facility for treatment.  Several days later, I was disappointed to learn that she didn’t survive her difficult ordeal. While I am saddened by her loss, I’m profoundly grateful to her for reminding me how wonderful, fleeting, and precious life is. And I’ll continue to honor her gift every each and every day by appreciating the Life Spirit in all things—no matter how great or small they may be.

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“Motherly” Love


Happy Mother’s Day to all who unselfishly nurture and care for others—just as any mother would.

Happy Mother’s Day to all who unselfishly nurture and care for others—just as any mother would.

On this Mother’s Day, as we think about, acknowledge, and honor all the beautiful souls who have brought life into the world, I’d like to express my gratitude and appreciation to all women—and indeed, the sacred aspects of femininity that exist everywhere!

Whether or not they have physically conceived, carried, or given birth to a child, there have been countless examples of blessed beings (both men and women) who have embraced what many perceive to be expressly feminine or so-called “motherly” traits. These often include such virtues as empathy, compassion, acceptance, and creativity. We see examples of this every day—when people (and even animals) care for, nurture, and share unconditional love with others.

I’m reminded of a pond near my home where a large goose has, for several years now, taken on a role as protector of many young ducklings. The goose, who is clearly not the progenitor of these youngsters, follows them and their mothers around, keeping a wary eye out for would-be predators and fearlessly warding them off. Although the goose is not a mother herself, it has quite unselfishly taken on such a role. To me, this exemplifies the finest qualities of motherhood and unconditional love.

It’s important for us to understand that, although our physical bodies may reflect a certain gender, we humans are most spiritually balanced when we embrace and honor both our Divine Masculine and our Divine Feminine sides. This simply means that we can allow ourselves to freely express whichever aspect is needed and most appropriate for a given situation, regardless of any preconceived notions about gender or any perceived societal role.

For far too many millennia, humankind has denied, persecuted, subjugated, and suppressed the feminine. This has resulted in a patriarchal modern society where women and the Divine Feminine must struggle to find equality in religion, government, industry, community, and even family. Although much progress has been made, particularly in the past few decades, it’s high time for all women—indeed, all human beings, to step forward in their power as Divine, Sovereign Individuals. All must be free to become the highest expression of themselves, regardless of gender.

So on this “Mother’s” Day, I’d like to recognize and honor not just all the moms out there, but the beautiful spirit of “Motherhood” that beats powerfully in the hearts of so many others. Whether you’re a grandparent, parent, aunt, uncle, or any other caregiver, it doesn’t matter if you are male, female, or someone’s biological mother. If you’re caring for someone as any mother would, you serve as a shining light and nurturing example of all that is right in the world.

Motherly Love. It isn’t just for mothers anymore!

Respectfully,

stargazericon

P.S.: Thanks, Mom!

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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: Grandma’s House


We may find that "Heaven" is within ourselves—by simply opening our minds and hearts to its presence.

We may find that “Heaven” is within ourselves—by simply opening our minds and hearts to its presence.

This post is dedicated to my good friend Grace, at Amethyst Road and The Earth Plan.

One of my favorite places growing up was my paternal grandparents’ house.  One of many boxy row houses squeezed alongside one another in San Francisco’s Miraloma Park neighborhood, most of the homes were built there in the post-war 1940’s.  Their uniform stucco walls weathered the infamous San Francisco fog well and from their flat tar and gravel roofs or upstairs bedroom windows, the views of the Bay were absolutely spectacular—at least on those seemingly rare days when the sun actually broke through the gray.

Whenever my parents and I would come by for a visit or a weekend stay, I’d race down the walk between closely trimmed hedges, race up the painted concrete steps, and ring the doorbell next to the dark wooden door.  Grandma, plump and rosy-cheeked in her apron, would often be working in the kitchen when we’d arrive.  She’d greet us at the door with a delighted laugh, and as she dried her softly-lined hands on a faded tea towel, I’d rush in for one of the warmest and best hugs—ever!

The door would shut tight behind us with a solid thump and click, shutting out all the worries and cares of the outside world.  We’d cross the worn hardwood floor, pass through the dim, book-cluttered living room, and head straight for the kitchen. With its large windows, pale yellow paint, and bright vinyl tablecloth, the room was always warm, cheerful, and inviting.  On warmer days, the fragrance from Grandma’s favorite “Cecile Brunner” rose bushes would drift in through the open windows, along with the joyful song of her many backyard birds.

Grandma would put a pot of water on the stove to boil for the adults’ coffee or tea and bring down a package or two of cookies from the high cupboard above the oven.  Sugar cookies, iced raisin cookies, or chocolate chip “Angel” cookies—all were well-appreciated, especially when dunked in a glass of cold milk which, in those days, was still delivered to their doorstep in heavy glass bottles with little pop-out cardboard caps.

While the adults were catching up on the latest news and gossip, I’d usually excuse myself and go explore.  Sometimes I’d sneak down the squeaky wooden stairs and into the dark, cave-like basement, full of its electronics equipment and power tools.  Grandad, in addition to being an amateur radio operator, was well-regarded as an electronics “whiz”.  He took pride in being able to repair just about anything that had wires, transistors, or glass vacuum tubes in it—and every nook and cranny in the basement reflected it.  Every square inch, including the overhead rafters, was crammed full of saved parts and pieces from disassembled appliances or communications equipment.  Even though his work kept him away from home for long periods of time, his well-organized workbench always smelled pleasantly of melted solder, shoe polish, and his lingering aftershave.  Sometimes I’d just sit on the tall stool at his workbench and spin round and round, dizzily watching the basement rush by in a blur.

Since both my grandparents had experienced the difficult and “lean” times of the Great Depression and World War II, neither one threw much of anything away.  They saved just about everything, for they had learned that to throw something away was only to have need of it later.  And if the basement of the house was a collection of goods for posterity’s sake, the remainder of the house was much the same.  It was replete with dusty stacks of papers, books, magazines, and every manner of box and container.  Most of the rooms were stacked, floor to ceiling, with such treasures—all of them just waiting to be rediscovered by a snoopy youngster.  Closets, drawers, and creaky-hinged trunks were adventures in the making and, thanks to a rather active imagination, I had a grand time exploring undersea caves, jungles, and centuries-buried tombs.

But in addition to all my imagined adventures, there was another, even more important thing that I’ll never forget about Grandma’s house.  It was a truly special place that was filled with love. I always knew that, no matter what I had done or what might have happened since my last visit, at Grandma’s I was always forgiven and loved—completely and unconditionally.  I always knew that I was free to be, fully and unabashedly, me.

Now, many decades later, I know that in life—just like at Grandma’s house, we are always forgiven and loved by Our Creator.  And there’s no need to go anywhere or search afar to find our Home or connection with this Source either.  One only needs to look about with a sense of awareness, spiritual connection, and gratitude to realize that “Heaven” isn’t somewhere else.  It’s already here.  We simply need to open our minds and hearts to discover that it’s hidden deep within ourselves—right where it’s always been!

With Very Much Love,

stargazericon

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Remembering Infinity: The Keys to Spiritual Freedom


I’m convinced that Forgiveness and Unconditional Love are the keys to our Spiritual Freedom.

Are Forgiveness and Unconditional Love the keys to Spiritual Freedom?

Several months ago I wrote about Forgiveness as a helpful practice for day-to-day living.  Since then, I’ve done a lot of thinking about Spiritual Evolution—and I’ve come to think of Forgiveness in a much more expansive way.  As a result of this deeper consideration, I’ve become convinced that Forgiveness is actually one of the most important keys to Spiritual Freedom.

To help understand why Forgiveness is such an important concept, one must first gain a general understanding of “karma” (as derived from ancient Hindu and Buddhist traditions).  The idea of karma (also referred to by some as the Universal Law of Cause and Effect) is that the sum of a person’s actions decides the nature of their destiny and future experience.  I sometimes think of karma as energy, but perhaps money may be something that’s easier to visualize.

So let’s imagine that we all go through life accumulating karma in the form of money.  For every kind, loving, or compassionate thing we do, we receive a dollar that goes into our karmic “bank account”.  For every mean, judgmental, or hateful thing we do, we lose a dollar and incur a karmic debt that must be paid back.  Conversely, if someone does us harm, they now owe us a karmic debt that must eventually be paid back.  If either party is unable to repay their karmic debts in a given lifetime, then both must reincarnate in a future life in an effort to balance things out.  If this is truly the case, it’s quite easy to see how a soul could quickly become entangled in a “karmic wheel” that may continue spinning for lifetime after lifetime.

To further complicate things, some even suggest that we accumulate a form of “collective” karma.  That is, our individual souls must take some responsibility for the actions of our species.  Human beings, for example, must all share some responsibility for wars, social injustices, and the exploitation and pollution of our Earth and its natural resources.  It has also been suggested that we may even inherit a bit of “residual” karma from our ancestors.  In other words, some of the negative energy from their karmic deeds may imprint itself on our DNA—or perhaps it’s merely a case of some negative habits and actions being passed down from our grandparents to our parents, and so on.  I definitely understand the feelings of consternation that arise with this.  After all, why should we have to pay for something that someone else did in our family tree—or something that another human being has done halfway across the globe?  What does that have to do with us?  Be that as it may, in many ways these ideas make sense and I’m inclined to believe they’re true.

On the face of it, this all seems rather complex and quite a difficult challenge to overcome. If we are to ever have hope of “balancing our books” and advancing spiritually, what’s a soul to do?

For me, the answer is actually quite simple.

First, do your best to build up a “positive” karmic bank account.  Follow “The Golden Rule” by treating others as you would like to be treated.  Be kind.  Be respectful. Love others without expecting anything in return.  Love them unconditionally. Why unconditionally, you may ask? Because—if you treat someone well or love them with the expectation that they repay you in some way, you generate a karmic debt for them.  If they aren’t able to repay that debt in this lifetime, then they—and you will need another chance to even things out.  Then you’re both right back on that karmic wheel again. But if you Love someone unconditionally, there are no debts to repay!

Second, just forgive. According to the scriptures, Jesus taught Forgiveness—and I believe this is one of the main reasons why.  Think about it.  If you forgive yourself for any misdeeds, then work hard to Love others unconditionally, you’ll eventually pay off any karmic debt you may have accumulated without building up more.  If you also forgive others—that is, absolve them of their karmic debts to you, you will have set them free from having to repay you.  Therefore, by practicing forgiveness, you set everyone free—including yourself.

Now, any time someone does something that negatively affects me, I immediately forgive them and let their “transgression” go.  Then I silently offer them Unconditional Love.  I must admit that this is rather difficult to do at times for, like many, I tend to take things too personally—and “relive” events over and over, every time I think of them.  I’ve learned however, that each time I think about a perceived transgression, I can simply choose to forgive and let go again. In so doing, I know I’ll eventually train my mind to respond in an entirely different way.  My expectation is that, one day, I’ll be able to process an event once—and not have to revisit it again at all.

When it comes to our Spiritual Advancement, whether it’s considered individually or collectively, I’ve become a firm believer that Forgiveness and Unconditional Love are essential.  I’m convinced they’re the keys that unlock the Higher Realms of Spirit—and if we learn to use them well, we’ll all one day be able to set ourselves free from the ties that seem to limit and bind us so strongly to the past.

Respectfully,

stargazericon

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Remembering Infinity: Love…Is.


Love…is.  Love will always be.

Love…is. Love will always be.

This post is dedicated in deepest gratitude to my wife and closest friend—and to all who Love, everywhere.

A s I sat thinking about something special to write for Valentine’s Day, I naturally began to think about “love” and what the word really means. I supposed I could look up the word in the dictionary, but would a clinical dissection of those four little letters help me understand and express what “love” truly is? Hardly.

It occurred to me that “love” is something that’s quite different for everyone—and, indeed, there are many kinds of love. I was delightfully reminded of that (love)able character, “Bubba” in the movie “Forrest Gump”, when he begins listing all the different kinds of shrimp and ways to prepare them. “They’s, um, shrimp kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo, pan-fried, deep-fried, stir-fried, pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp…”, and so many others.

Just as there’re all kinds of ways to cook and enjoy shrimp, there’re all kinds of love. There’s brotherly love, sisterly love, love of country, love for certain foods, things, or activities, Divine Love (the kind we receive from our Creator), unconditional love, compassionate love, romantic love, unrequited love, and so on.

Since love is such a deeply personal and circumstantial thing, I decided to write about what “love” means to me. Quite obviously, it’s an emotion. It’s an intense feeling of warmth, joy, attraction, and contentment—all rolled into one. It’s a profound attraction, desire, or even yearning to completely engage or embrace someone or something. It’s a feeling that makes us want to freely and fully experience that which is the focus of our attention at that very moment. And it’s a feeling that seems to touch us on so many levels, all at once. It tugs at our hearts. It soothes our souls. It heals. It comforts. It fulfills. It brings excitement and happiness. To me, love is all these things—and so much more.

Love is the mother cradling her newborn child in her arms. As she basks in the glow of her accomplishment, Love soothes her pain, eases her exhaustion, and lifts her spirits.

Love is the quiet hand extended in friendship, forgiveness, or apology.

Love is the tearful hug shared by two souls suddenly reunited—when each thought the other had been lost forever.

Love is a playful puppy, bouncing across the lawn in pursuit of a shrieking, delighted toddler.

Love is the compassionate, cooling touch of a damp cloth upon a fevered brow or a mother’s tender kiss upon a child’s injured finger.

Love is the strength of a father, lifting his child up high to peek in wonder at the soft blue eggs in a robin’s nest.

Love is the shy, blushing excitement of youth’s first kiss.

Love is the tender embrace of two wayward souls, each desperately seeking—and finding, blessed completion in one another’s arms.

Love is the warmth of two hands, joined together in the promise of home, family, and lifelong companionship.

Love is the peace that two share, their bodies entwined in passion’s blissful afterglow.

Love is in the last thundering beats of a heart—as one life willfully, selflessly, and fiercely sacrifices itself for another.

Love is in the soft lines, wrinkles, and unsteady steps of one who has lived long and well.

Love is in the gentle tears that fall as we hold a dear one tight in final embrace.

Love is beautiful, love is blind.

Love is respectful, selfless, and kind.

Love is perfectly felt by the soul when, suddenly released from earthen bonds, it remembers that it is indeed infinite and immortal. Soaring blissfully free among the stars, it finally returns to The One who has always been and will always be—Home.

Love…is.  Love will always be.

May you and yours find all the Love that is you, this Valentine’s Day—and always!

With profound Respect and very much Love,

stargazericon

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