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.
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.
Memory is a wonderful tool. Helps me navigate life. When I use it well, I get things done on time, don’t miss important appointments, and celebrate when I intend to. Yes…it sometimes fails me, and I resort to post-it notes and strings around my fingers as dubiously effective aids.
For me, two important aspects of memory can be elusive.
I use memory in everyday ways, but I also choose it, or rather, I choose what memories to dwell on. Memories seep up from my subconscious and I get to choose whether I spend time with them, or whether I turn away from them. Consciously, I select memories to savor. The memories that I choose to dwell on have impact. Experiences similar to them proliferate in my life. It is my intention to spend most of my time with memories that excite me, that nurture me and that lift me up. Diligence required.
And then there is what I don’t remember. It is hard to imagine how greatly this may affect me. It takes some exploring to uncover these memories. But here’s what I’ve discovered about me. Nothing about me merits shame. I am always doing the best that I can, given what I have to work with. My mistakes are guardrails to get me back on track. I am a perfect creation, divine, in the process of unfoldment. All is possible for me.
Memory…I use it, I choose it, I unveil it.
I’ve been musing on the egg lately. Maybe it’s my desire for spring to unfold that points me to the egg. Perhaps it’s because Easter approaches. Maybe it’s the memory of my grandfather’s chicken farm; in that memory, I approach the nest, little boy-scared, wanting to gather the eggs, afraid of a peck on my hand as I reach under the hen for the prize.
I’ve always liked eating eggs. They seem like such a complete food. Cracking them as they go in the frying pan is fun if sometimes messy. The sunny yolk is uplifting.
But seriously…eggs have significance for me. That they are laid is a miracle of life. When fertile, another miracle proceeds…one requiring nurture, and when the time is full, the shell is cracked open by new life insisting on being in the world.
There is a simple lesson for me in that. Seeding precedes growth. Growth needs nurturing. Life must break out when the time is right. Reminds me of me. I didn’t have a role in my genesis. I am eternally grateful for my nurturing, by so many for so long. Now it’s time to break out. So, break out, Neal, break out! It’s time to know the world; time to be known by the world.
unity CHURCH of payson
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