Monday, October 12, 2009

Stern Jets On! On! On!

You can find some of the principles of life (including self-esteem, pride, and confidence) in the literature of spirituality. This shouldn't be any big secret, because it's in spirituality that "it's all happening" as far as the individual being enfolded in and the witness to all existence.

It's not cheapening it a bit to ask how this can work for me. If you take away your perspective in life, as far as you're concerned, what do you have left? Well, perhaps you have it all in one lump sum, but the actual truth is you have it all in one lump sum now.

My theme in the last few days has been to be stern with yourself. Because ... why? Because our tendency formed through dread habit has been to live cream puff lives. Our lack of strictness as to our attention and active pursuits has given us a mental beer belly, and if news cameras are anywhere near us they'll be taping us from the neck down, lest they (and we) be embarrassed when they present a clipboard asking our permission to show us on the news. If they leave out the head they can do anything they want with your body.

But if we're reasonably stern with ourselves, that's where we're not just on schedule, we're on track. So much of the discomfort of low self-esteem, confidence, pride actually comes in because we disrespect ourselves first, by engaging in a life of ease, being inattentive to what will give us the deeper fulfillment. But attention trains the mind, sharpens the focus, kicks everything in gear.

I've got an illustration, snippets from the artwork of Hildegard of Bingen. Probably used inappropriately, but hey. All I want is the trim, the wind blowing on her scenes of cosmic wholeness. That's you in the middle, the part left out. It's the wind blowing on it that I wanted to highlight. That's the dynamism. Speaking of the Spirit. It's like the mental environment. It's not dissipating its energies blowing out there somewhere, it's blowing toward you.

It's good to be made of sterner stuff!

OK, so we picture ourselves in the middle, the ideal picture. And our mentality is busy thinking of the winds blowing. Let's pretend we have the works around the edges, the machine works, jets, stern jets that blow out stern wind, and we have cream puff jets blowing out cream puff wind.

You want to have a balance, a good balance. Not all stern, not all cream puff.

So you're going along, with strict attention to your inner life, your abilities to cope (and prevail) in the course of life, building on your self-esteem, confidence, and pride, as well as deeper things. A part of your attention is on the nature of the jets that are blowing stern wind and cream puff wind.

If it gets stern enough, you pipe in some cream puff. It gets too stern, you cry out, "Stern jets off! Off! Off!" (The excited tone there suggests the stern jets were blowing way too hard, like let's say you turned them on and dozed off. You wake up to find nothing but stern fumes choking you, but fortunately you still have enough breath to cry out for them to be turned off.)

In the same manner, "Cream puff jets on! On! On!" Or off, as the case may be. Only you can determine the balance needed at any given time.

No comments: