Sunday, September 28, 2014

Had to edit Podcast, new link

Sorry folks, had to edit the original blog for time constraints and changed the Cave story to Plato, I said aristotle. Geez....

Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday, August 30, 2013

The propagation of fear - What love can do

It was Sunday August 25th 2013 and Arlene and I were driving back on Route 52 coming from St. Stephen, SC.  We had just come from the canal on the Santee river which empties into lake Moultrie.  It’s one of our favorite walks although you have to be careful the dogs don’t go in the water without supervision…there’s many an alligator just waiting for a snarky border Collie and Wily Lab to just come passing by to make them brunch.

I was in a conversation with Arlene about New Mexico and whether her Aunt and Uncle’s stores they have there were doing well.  I was passing a large pickup truck, correctly I might add which was going a bit slower than my pace.  The speed limit on 52 in that rural part of Berkeley county is 60mph…but everyone does an average of 70+.  I must have been doing about 70 passing the truck very slowly.  Upcoming from the rear was a person in a white car taling me.  You know the type…no matter how fast you go they are easily going to outdo you by 10mph minimum.  Sometimes I will marvel at people sitting in a stiff position with a sort of a disconnected stare on their faces as they race past me at what appears to me crazy speeds.  I should talk…I used to be one of them. 

Apparently I was not passing the truck fast enough for the person in the white car so I sped up to pass the truck.  I learned (mostly from riding with my friend T.M. on motorcycles to just let people by.  He would always let cars by no matter what if they got too close. Thereby letting go of pride and the need to be "right").  It’s a great practice on a motorcycle and a great spiritual principle no matter what you drive….just let go.  So I sped up quite a bit and finally passed the truck, in making that pass I got up to appr. 80mph. 

Now this is where it gets interesting.  Usually the person races past you in the left lane and life is back to normal.  But sometimes you get someone that feels it is your responsibility to make their world go the way they want and think they need it to go.  So he does it…he slows down to confront me.  My window is open…it was a picture perfect day and one of those rare days the temperature was cool enough to keep the windows down in my wifes 2003 Rav 4. 

The interaction went something like this:

“Hey motherfucker, don’t you know what the fucking left lane is for?!  It’s for passing motherfucker!”  I retort:  “Yup, did you see the giant piece of metal right behind me I PASSED, they call that a TRUCK!” 

This is when he got really irate, it was as if I switched some “My dad made me feel like a fool and not good enough and what you just said is the exact way he did it" look.  He flipped out: 

“Fuck you!  I’ll kick your ass!” 

In which I retorded:  "We’re done!” 

And I turned and faced forward realizing to fuel this was not going to be a good thing.  He started yelling again in a car moving at 75 MPH right next to me. Why the hell was he so damn angry?  WTF?  I'm glad I don't feel that way much anymore.

…I glanced over and he reached down and pulled out a handgun and pointed it at my head...

  I swerved intuitively (A huge thanks goes out to Steven Jucks here.  My father in law who being a retired Police officer taught me that when your car swerves like that out of control always steer INTO the slide and not away from it.  I am not sure why but I remembered it flawlessly.  I hit the brakes as a second thought and he passed on.  But that was when I made the instantaneous decision to go after him.  It was not debated…I just knew it was the right thing to do.

Arlene being terrified was screaming “Stay away from him!  Don’t get close!”  I said to her…”This is just the right thing!”

And off I went, at first to just get his license plate but then turning into much more of an insight for me.  We were doing speeds of up to and over 100 mph, much of the time in 25mph zones.  I don’t know Goose Creek at all, we were driving at breakneck speeds through ;little neighborhoods with people out mowing lawns and kids playing.  By this time I was on the phone with 911 calling in every street we passed while he drove up on those same lawns people were mowing.  I had gotten his license plate but the 911 operator wanted me to keep going and let me know the major part of the Goose Creek police dept was converging on the area trying to block him off.  But at one point I glanced up and saw the 25mph sign and looked down at my speedometer.  I was doing 107mph…whoa.  I said it to her:  “He’s doing almost 110mph in a 25mph zone!”  She said slow DOWN sir!  I did and eventually lost him, only guessing as to where he went at the end of that road and the next. 

From there much happened and is still happening.  But the takeway for me is huge.  Here is a man who was engaging in fear (He had a gun ready to grab in the seat next to him).  He pointed it at me to scare me.  And I was the one chasing HIM!

Reap and sew
Judged, be judged
Measure it shall be measured unto you
Reap sparingly, sew sparingly
Reap abundantly. Sew abundantly
Living by sword, dying by sword
Speck in eye, log in eye

These teachings all came to mind plus many others afterwards.

I went home after the “ordeal” and took a nap.  Yup, I realized that every second after the reaction to swerve I felt no fear whatsoever.  I was calm (I want to see if I can obtain the 911 call but just found out I would need a subpoena) and he was contrastingly crazy in his actions and words.  In the world, you would have thought the one with the gun would have been the “powerful” one.  But here I was chasing him in my small Rav 4 on many deserted roads where he “could” have stopped and shot me or even scared me away.  But he ran…and oh did he run.  He lived in fear and his plan reaped what he lived in.  Karma means “action,”  you play in shit…you smell and look like shit.  You become shit.  I became more that just the man who was in the now or the guy whose mind wandered.  I was the observer watching it all occur.  This was huge for me, I saw the 3rd person we only become aware of in crisis situations and usually we are so traumatized we are not aware of that entity.

I am not saying this to toot my horn, for in fact I feel it is within all of us to find out with proof there is NOTHING to truly fear.  Yes we experience fear, but that is always a concept of future...but we do not HAVE to experience fear at all.  Since the truth is, there really is nothing to be afraid of "out there."

Arlene’s words before I took a nap were…”You’re going to take a nap.  He probably won’t sleep for a month.”

And I slept like a baby.  I actually forgot the incident until the sherrif called me 2 days later.  Wow, what Love can do.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

I am Overcome

Holy Water in my Lungs.

Here we are only a couple of weeks past my Mom dying.  Arlene just called me 5 minutes ago to tell me that my brother in Law Albert just died today.

I am overcome...

Everyone up there is in shock.

I realize how useless it is.  If we are not in the now, we are not.  I feel a strange anxiety, like a pins and needles in my upper torso.

I know what to say, I know what to do.  I can't convey it, since you cannot speak through insanity.

It's useless.

Temporary, fleeting, yet eternal.  Endings, always endings and beginnings and endings.  Start and never finish.

What am I saying?

THIS, is the first 20 minutes.  A snapshot of the insanity of grief.  The ego speaking it's lies and my knowing speaking my truth.  I am in what "shock" would be for me.

Albert and I sort of grew up together...he was with my sister since 16 years old and he was like an older brother. I know on a deep level why and how this occurred.  I know why this happened.

A battle between philosophies.  Then will come my decision.  My decision to be happy.  But today is just a little more "so what" than hour ago...five minutes ago.

I am overcome....

There is absolutely nothing for me to do.  I can only deny the lie.  The stories that the ego tells me are just plain stupid at this point.  I am seeing this differently.  The hardest part is thinking about what someone else (My sister) is experiencing.  The loss, the horror, the emptiness...without knowing anything that I do.

I feel sadness for that.

But I always go back to my great beloved...My God.  I can feel a gentle stroke on my forehead.  It would be far too much, far too much without Him.  It also would make no sense.  Everything is going to be okay.

Funny.  I just thought of him Yesterday. For that, I am overcome.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I am prepared

I have always somehow been “prepared.”  I don’t know how to explain that really, I just know I have.

I was 24 years old and I had this new girlfriend.  Her name was Nina and at the time I thought she was the most beautiful girl on the planet, she was my Phoebe Cates look alike and I was going to take her out that night.

I stopped at home (My parent’s house) first and while walking in I was told to sit down.  My Mom had a cold look on her face like I had seen before.  Like something so overwhelming had happened to her that it was impossible to convey.  She began to convey to me how my Brother Scott had just shot himself and died.  This look on her face (and my Dad) was telling and something I would become more familiar with as I would see it not only on their faces for the rest of their lives but on many of my clients.  This look, this calibratory collection of signals has come to mean: “I am in crisis and am in the process of shoving everything into my unconscious mind right now” signal.  Only to have it rise up throughout your life to deal with it later. 

That night was strange for me and I cannot help but feel that even though I cried and acted quite crazy I was holding off the real pain (or the thoughts that create it) for a time I could deal with it. My Sister in Law was drugged to the hilt to desensitize her from the pain, for me it was completely surreal and would remain that way for many years.  Even though I didn’t “know” he was going to die that night, it is interesting to note I was the only one to contact him before hand, I made my peace with him, I had time to ponder him not being here, I had tied up any loose ends I could without even being aware of it…and this is a pattern that would hold true from there on.  When my Father died, when Arlene’s Grandfather died, When my Aunt died, when my pets died it was like I knew.  I would take strange and unexpected trips to see them before hand.  I find Arlene and I saying, “It’s amazing we went on that unplanned visit” or “Something was telling me this was going to happen.” I was always ready even if not in form.

So it is no surprise then that yesterday April 23rd 2013 I had clear thoughts of my Mom and brother and my niece.  They pop up once in a blue moon in my mind, but seriously, I am mostly in the now and this is a quite rare occurrence.

I found out my Mom passed away last night. 

I remember the last conversation I had with her.  She said to call a little more.  I was thinking what it would be like if she passed and I had not called.  It was like I was covering bases…working it all out before it happened.  I took an “unplanned” trip to NJ in late January (after not going home for Christmas) to see her specifically, I felt strongly I need to do that.  That trip was momentous even though at first I whined about going at all.  I made my peace with her on some level I cannot quite explain.  I said to Arlene after the visit: “I really feel good about this, I’m ready now.”  I was referring to the conclusion of some story that we both shared.  Some drama a person has with another that can play out for lifetimes.  Mine was complete with her somehow…

Besides for the weather (Are the clouds going to leave this year?) I feel good today.  Of course the ego is trying to have its say in all this.  Last night I remember thinking to one of its ridiculous diatribes: “I am going to feel wonderful in a month, 6 months and a year from now.  This will pass, so why not feel wonderful right now?”  It was almost as if I was supposed to be devastated about all of it and found myself about to play the role. I counsel my clients in all this…here I was walking the walk now.

In the book: The Denial of Death” by Ernest Becker he attributes all Psychosomatic illness to our denial of death. Jesus would agree stating” Die not Son of God in which the dark dance of death delights you, die not…” The Buddhists spend a LOT of time on the concept of death and dying. There is something to this.

They are pointing something out.  Death is something we try to avoid our whole lives.  But in form it seems that it is inevitable so the key is to die before you die.  To realize you are not that which seems to die through that knowledge…to REALLY KNOW it. 

I feel I’m on the right path with this.  My life has been surrounded by death (I was fortunate to have older parents and be the youngest of 6).  I used to think that was a curse, I realize the blessing it is now.  How it is playing a significant role in helping me to deal with this crazy concept of death here and now.  Not wait until the “great cold surrounds my bones.” –Shakespeare’s Prospero

I realize this post is a bit scattered.  I have much along these lines to convey but these are my initial thoughts:

We do not die
There is no opposite to life
To believe it somehow means the God of life has an opposite and can end
This is not possible
Yet somehow it seems we end
So it must be that what we “see” is not necessarily life
It is something to pass itself off as life that seemingly can end
Thereby making the creator “wrong.”

I will not fold.
I will not budge.
I will not give a single inch on this matter.
It is a lie.

“The only correct use of denial is denial of the ego…” – ACIM

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

I wake up to the sound of music...

Below are some quotes about my feelings on music.  I have come to realize very powerfully recently that I have always been and will always be a musician.  I have shed so much within the last 10 years...but music I just cannot shake.  When I went to research the connection I found these.  Some funny and some deadly serious...enjoy. - Keith Sudano


“Without music, life would be a mistake.” - Friedrich Nietzsche

“If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.”― Albert Einstein

“If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED

“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent”
 ― Victor Hugo

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination
and life to everything.” ― Plato.

“Music is to the soul what words are to the mind.” ― Modest Mouse

“The only truth is music.” ― Jack Kerouac

“Music is ... A higher revelation than all Wisdom & Philosophy” ― Ludwig van Beethoven

“If music be the food of love, play on, Give me excess of it; that surfeiting, The appetite may sicken, and so die.” ― William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”Friedrich Nietzsche

“Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.”Maya Angelou

“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” ― Aldous Huxley, Music At Night: And Other Essays

“Life is for the living.
Death is for the dead.
Let life be like music.
And death a note unsaid.”
 Langston Hughes, The Collected Poems

“And I thought about how many people have loved those songs. And how many people got through a lot of bad times because of those songs. And how many people enjoyed good times with those songs. And how much those songs really mean. I think it would be great to have written one of those songs. I bet if I wrote one of them, I would be very proud. I hope the people who wrote those songs are happy. I hope they feel it's enough. I really do because they've made me happy. And I'm only one person.”
 Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

“Some people have lives; some people have music.” ― John Green, Will Grayson

“The only escape from the miseries of life are music and cats...”Albert Schweitzer

To stop the flow of music would be like the stopping of time itself, incredible and inconceivable.” ― Aaron Copland

“Music . . . can name the unnamable and communicate the unknowable.” ― Leonard Bernstein

“A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.” ― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Because when he sings...even the birds stop to listen.” ― Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games

“A painter paints pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures on silence.” ― Leopold Stokowski

“Who hears music, feels his solitude peopled at once.” ― Robert Browning

“I just can't listen to any more Wagner, you know...I'm starting to get the urge to conquer Poland.”Woody Allen

“Ah, music," he said, wiping his eyes. "A magic beyond all we do here!” ― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

“I don't stand for black man's side, I don't stand for white man's side, I stand for God's side.” ― Bob Marley

“Music touches us emotionally, where words alone can't.”  Johnny Depp

“I Wanna Hold Your Hand.’ First single. Fucking brilliant. Perhaps the most fucking brilliant song ever written. Because they nailed it. That’s what everyone wants. Not 24-7 hot wet sex. Not a marriage that lasts a hundred years. Not a Porsche or a blow job or a million-dollar crib. No. They wanna hold your hand. They have a feeling that they can’t hide.” ― Rachel Cohn, Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist

“Music is the universal language of mankind.”  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“For those of you in the cheap seats I'd like ya to clap your hands to this one; the rest of you can just rattle your jewelry!”  John Lennon

“When you make music or write or create, it's really your job to have mind-blowing, irresponsible, condomless sex with whatever idea it is you're writing about at the time. ”  Lady Gaga

“If being an egomaniac means I believe in what I do and in my art or music, then in that respect you can call me that... I believe in what I do, and I'll say it.” ― John Lennon

“I've always thought people would find a lot more pleasure in their routines if they burst into song at significant moments.” ― John Barrowman

“A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people to whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them; then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one's neighbor — such is my idea of happiness.”
  Leo Tolstoy

“Have you ever heard somebody sing some lyrics that you've never sung before, and you realize you've never sung the right words in that song? You hear them and all of a sudden you say to yourself, 'Life in the Fast Lane?' That's what they're saying right there? You think, 'why have I been singing 'wipe in the vaseline?' how many people have heard me sing 'wipe in the vaseline?' I am an idiot.”  Ellen DeGeneres

“Music is the great uniter. An incredible force. Something that people who differ on everything and anything else can have in common.” ― Sarah Dessen, Just Listen

“Where words fail, music speaks.” ― Hans Christian Andersen

“So don't you worry your pretty little mind because people throw rocks at things that shine. “ ― Taylor Swift

“Music is the wine that fills the cup of silence.” ― Robert Fripp

“I love the relationship that anyone has with music ... because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. ... It's the best part of us probably ...”  Nick Hornby

“There ain't no devil, only God when he's drunk.” ― Tom Waits

“The music is not in the notes,but in the silence between.” ― Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

“Beethoven tells you what it's like to be Beethoven and Mozart tells you what it's like to be human. Bach tells you what it's like to be the universe.”  Douglas Adams

“Music is an agreeable harmony for the honor of God and the permissible delights of the soul.”
 Johann Sebastian Bach

“Music acts like a magic key, to which the most tightly closed heart opens.”  Maria von Trapp

“Music is the language of the spirit. It opens the secret of life bringing peace, abolishing strife.”
 Kahlil Gibran

“You have to, take a deep breath. and allow the music to flow through you. Revel in it, allow yourself to awe. When you play allow the music to break your heart with its beauty.”  Kelly White

“Music is everybody's business. It's only the publishers who think people own it” ― John Lennon

“Men profess to be lovers of music, but for the most part they give no evidence in their opinions and lives that they have heard it.”  Henry David Thoreau

“If you cannot teach me to fly, teach me to sing.”  J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

“If it weren't for music, I would think that love is mortal.”  Mark Helprin, A Soldier of the Great War

“Music is an outburst of the soul.”  Frederick Delius

“My heart, which is so full to overflowing, has often been solaced and refreshed by music when sick and weary.”  Martin Luther

“Music is crucial. Beyond no way can I overstress this fact. Let's say you're southbound on the interstate, cruising alone in the middle lane, listening to AM radio. Up alongside comes a tractor trailer of logs or concrete pipe, a tie-down strap breaks, and the load dumps on top of your little sheetmetal ride. Crushed under a world of concrete, you're sandwiched like so much meat salad between layers of steel and glass. In that last, fast flutter of your eyelids, you looking down that long tunnel toward the bright God Light and your dead grandma walking up to hug you--do you want to be hearing another radio commercial for a mega, clearance, closeout, blow-out liquidation car-stereo sale?” ― Chuck Palahniuk, Rant

“Joy, sorrow, tears, lamentation, laughter -- to all these music gives voice, but in such a way that we are transported from the world of unrest to a world of peace, and see reality in a new way, as if we were sitting by a mountain lake and contemplating hills and woods and clouds in the tranquil and fathomless water.”Albert Schweitzer

“I never liked jazz music because jazz music doesn't resolve. But I was outside the Bagdad Theater in Portland one night when I saw a man playing the saxophone. I stood there for fifteen minutes, and he never opened his eyes.

After that I liked jazz music.

Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. It is as if they are showing you the way.

I used to not like God because God didn't resolve. But that was before any of this happened.”
 Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality

“We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams.
World-losers and world-forsakers,
Upon whom the pale moon gleams;
Yet we are the movers and shakers,
Of the world forever, it seems.”
 Arthur O'Shaughnessy, Poems of Arthur O'Shaughnessy

“I wake up to the sound of music, Mother Mary comes to me
 Speaking words of wisdom, let it be”― Paul McCartney

Yet when that dance becomes destructive, it does not mean that I am guilty, that I have corrupted my being. For the outer universe may dance to my music, but my inner being dances only to my Father's music, and He only sings of innocence. - Jesus/ACIM