I like to think about myself this way…I am two selves, a Master Self and a servant self. If they could both act in concert with their true roles, all would go smoothly, and serious progress would be made. But alas, it has not always been so.
My Master Self can direct, control, even take dominion over me and my affairs. That requires wisdom, strength, and initiative. I have regularly been lacking in those abilities, or at least I have not recognized them in myself and employed them. I have let my servant-self take the lead.
My servant-self pretends to mastery and ends up causing a mess. Though it has many skills, it is more than a bit selfish and not a bit wise.
The two are really one with different functions, of which they may or may not be aware. They are like horse and rider, the horse the servant, and the rider the master. If the rider doesn’t take control and dominate the horse, the horse (my servant-self) may run away leaving the rider (my Master Self) stranded.
When that happens, there is no telling when the horse will come back to the barn. It may cause all sorts of damage and amends may be required.
Better for rider to be rider and horse to be horse, Master Self and servant-self. The result is likable…smooth and productive.
(What is your take on this? I’d love to begin a conversation…please comment!)
First Reach In
It’s common parlance in 21st century conversation to promise a response by saying…’I’ll reach out to you soon.’ And indeed, the promise may be kept and the connection made…or not.
Outreach is an older term that indicates a planned connection, usually for the benefit of the person or entity doing the outreach. Whether it’s a sales call, a marketing pitch, an invitation, or an information blast, outreach and reaching out are most frequently a mental construct with a specific outcome in mind.
Nothing wrong with that, it just seems incomplete to me. I plan my outreach and hope for the best result possible. These days, I’m opting for another approach…reaching in before reaching out.
When I take the time to reach in, refresh my memory of who I am, and look for what is mine to say or do in the quiet of my soul, my reaching out is whole and authentic. It takes some time, requires some quiet and often involves some mystery.
I choose to live that way. It’s both exciting and calming to my mind. I get stellar results, if don’t judge too quickly, and the outcome is often surprising.
I say, reach in before you reach out! It’s a gratifying way to live.
And that’s the problem for me.
Real or Illusion?
Real is a strange word with varied significance to various people. What can you say is real? Real could mean actual, could mean genuine, could mean factual, could mean not imagined. These meanings are questionable to me.
I’m not keen on the idea that real is something perceived by the senses, though that is the measure by which real is most commonly understood. Real, understood in that way, is not big enough for me. After all, mirages exist that we seem to be seeing, I hear sounds that no one else hears, and phantom limbs may be felt though not seen.
Is a work of art real in the mind of the creator? She may be imagining it now, but is it less real now in the imagination of the artist than when the canvas is ready to be framed?
Since I believe that all that is created (made real) begins as thought-feeling, factual real, historical real, and empirically perceived real are not enough to account for creation. I find those criteria unreliable anyway.
What is most real for me is that which I see with eyes of faith, that which my whole being says is real. That real is found within me and not outside of me. The outside stuff must be verified by a well-functioning inner me. If it cannot be verified, it is illusion. I live in a world of illusion. I exist in a world that is real.
The Limitless Pool
I lie on the bank, daydreaming
How I got here I do not know
But the sun is warm and the water is cool.
More than just cool, the water’s alive,
Swift-purposeful, undriven by force,
Unstoppable, smooth and determined.
At the shoreline I effortlessly lie
Though it feels like I now am centered
In a vibrant pool of no limit.
Dipping my hand in the water to taste,
I find it is sweet
More like food than like drink
I thought myself to be all alone
No noise to disturb my solitude
No companion to share my peace
The dream took a turn unexpected
No longer alone, everything became company
Oneness and Allness the theme
Oneness reached out in perfection
From the center of the limitless pool
To all of the edges on every side.
Love and Life flowed powerfully forth
Gracious gifts, magnificent bequests
To me and all of creation
No longer do I dream for it’s real
As long as I stay in the flow
I’m here, it is now, I’m connected
To the All and the limitless pool.
Rev. Neal Worthington is the Minister at Unity of Payson.
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