Friday, June 08, 2007

Turn Off Your Mind, Relax and Float Upstream

To remind you all, here's the little problem I'm having. If I were Lileks, I could turn it into an interesting post, but I won't even try. Normally I get up at about 5:00. That's been my secret to writing these posts for the past year or more. By waking up before everyone else, when the house is dark and silent, before the chaos starts, I find that I can just free-associate without any kind of pre-planned idea of what to write about. This period of timelessness, or temporal dilation, is absolutely critical to my omission. In a way, it's been my replacement for meditation -- which, by the way, I just started doing again yesterday. More on which below, I suppose.

At first, I tried to write my posts during the day, but that was unworkable. There's just too much going on. Plus, I began to think about it beforehand, so it dominated too much of my time. So the early morning writing proved to be ideal. It's something I never imagined I could even do, because I was never a morning person before. Nor a writer, for that matter.

As it is, I can hardly believe I was able to keep it up for so long, since we hope Future leader will make it until 7:00, but that doesn't always happen. So I often have to stop what I'm doing and feed and entertain him at the same time I'm trying to finish a post. On a good day, I would have a little window of two hours to get up, check my blood, eat something if my blood sugar is low, make some coffee, look at my email, and check out a few favorite websites while my brain comes on line -- e.g., American Thinker, Dr. Sanity, Powerline, LGF, Newsbusters -- just to get a rough idea of what's going on with the cosmic weather.

It's amazing how one little puppy can alter the delicate balance of the cosmos. Now I can't sneak out of bed without waking her up. And she doesn't just "wake up." Rather, like all puppies, she's either dead asleep or romping around like a maniac. First I have to let her out and try to get her to pee. No telling how long that might take. Then I have to feed her. Back outside to let her do her business again. Something about that particular business transaction gets her very excited, so she dashes back in the house as if it's chasing after her.

So now it's back to my office, but first we have to make it past Future Leader's room with Coondog tapping her feet on the wooden floor. Now we're in the office, where the last thing she wants to do is curl into a ball and settle down. Rather, they're like kittens at this age. She wants to play with every wire, every loose scrap of paper, every book. I give her toys to play with or something to chew on, but those only keep her occupied for so long.

Anyway, you get the picture. My entire seekosystem has been disrupted. Here's a fine example. Right now it's 5:36. I actually made it this far without Coondog waking up! But now I hear Future Leader stirring. There's no way he can get up this early. What to do? I'm trying to figure it out right now. He's sort of babbling. If that goes on long, it'll wake the puppy. Do I go in and try to settle him? Or do I let it go, at risk of waking her up?

I'm going in. Be right back.

"Baba Daddy?" There's another existential choice that no man should have to face at this hour. There's a school of thought that says if you give it to him, you just reinforce the early waking. But I tossed one in the crib like a hand grenade and ran out. Maybe that'll settle him for a bit longer.

I'm lucky. It's only 5:43, and the dog is still asleep.

This should be a temporary situation. We got the puppy at eight weeks. She's now, what, going on eleven weeks? I forgot the exact figure, but Mrs. G said that it won't be too many more weeks before her sleeping patterns are more like an adult dog, which will solve my immediate problem and restore some order to the cosmos.

Did I mention that I'm not a very fast or efficient typist? I just never learned. I took a typing class back in my sophomore year of high school, but I just blew it off. I mean, I went to classes, but I didn't even try to learn how to type without looking. I think I got a D the first semester and an F the second semester. The whole thing about typing struck me as kind of... I don't know, gay, I suppose. We didn't use that word, but there is no question that it didn't fall into the masculine sphere, and insecure adolescent boys have a compulsive need to devalue anything vaguely feminine. At least they did back then.

That's the actual source of so-called "homophobia." Ironically, while I suppose that some cases of male homosexuality may have genetic roots, I don't think there's any question that our ambivalence about homosexuality is genetic. There is a kind of more or less benign "homophobia" that reinforces sexual identity and guides the otherwise fluid hypersexuality of adolescents down the appropriate channel. This is not to excuse it, any more than one "excuses" other genetically based behaviors such as jealousy. Rather, it just is. Nor is it to ever excuse violent or abusive acting out -- even though that is sometimes going to happen, just as it is inevitable that jealous lovers are occasionally going to go Othello. You could make jealousy a "hate crime" (or "love crime"), but it wouldn't have any effect on the crazies.

Wait. Now I hear the puppy. Better let her out. 6:02. She pees without too much of a drawn out ritual. Excellent.

Back in the house. I'm looking for a treat. I turn my back for a second and she poops in the house.

Meanwhile, Future Leader is singing in his crib. That perks up Coondog's ears, and she starts barking in response. "Shhh!" She has no idea what "shh!" means. Now she's running around with a shoe.... Hold on....

Everything is a puppy-game to her. She has no conception of seriousness. Why should she?

Chaos. Just changed a diaper. Hoping to get him down for another 40 minutes or so. Not likely. Where's the dog?

Oh man. She's chewing a hole in my carptet.

So now, with the loss of my little morning Shangri-La, there's a big hole in my life. To be perfectly accurate, it's a missing hole -- the timeless hole I used to be able to jump through every morning. So yesterday I decided to start meditating again at the same time each day, come what may, at 4:00 PM. I'm going to make an appointment with myself -- which is actually an appointment with God. I find that if you meet at the same time and place each day, the space becomes "energized," like a sort of spiritual morphogenetc field.

Naturally, the same thing can happen around churches and other sacred places, but there's no reason at all why you can't do the same thing in your house. In fact, you must do so. You must have a room or corner of your house that you dedicate only to "higher things," so that when you're there, your mind already knows what to do. Eventually, you create a neural nouswork that interacts with the nonlocal field you're trying to access.

When I say "meditate," it's actually closer to prayer, or at the very least, trying to align yourself with an energy that surpasses yourself. For a number of years I tried various meditation "techniques," but without much success. For one thing, God is not something you access through a technique. A technique can be helpful, but you shouldn't confuse means with end.

I eventually evolved this technique where I repeat a mantra and try to focus above my head, above the crown chakra. As I inhale, I imagine that I am drawing this energy down the front of my body, and as I exhale, I imagine that it is traveling up the spine and back out the top of the head. At least for me, I find that this is effective in moving around various energy blockages, especially after a little yoga.

At the same time, I found it extremely helpful to employ what is in effect a mantra, although Christians may object to the term. For example, the Jesus prayer is in many ways ideal and is quite effective. On the inhale you silently say "Lord Jesus Christ" while imagining the force coming down, while on the exhale you say "have mercy on me" while offering the energy back upward. Naturally this cannot be done mechanically, but must be done with the heart.

I realize that some Orthodox will object to conflating the Jesus prayer with some kind of yoga, and it is true that this is not for everyone. But I believe we are dealing here with the "physics of spirit." There is a real energy and we can tap into it. It is actually the opposite of Kundalini yoga, in which one tries to rouse the energy at the base of the spine. Rather, the primary movement is the surrender to the higher energy which comes down, not up.

As I began practicing this method, I began to sense a subtle resonance with this spiritual energy, to such an extent that certain bodily movements would accompany it -- almost like a stringed instrument that will vibrate at the same frequency as a note from another instrument in its vicinity. Obviously, this energy is real. Countless believers have testified to its existence. Many people routinely feel it in church, which is one of the reasons people enjoy going to church, even if they are not consciously aware of it. It is very common for people to feel younger, lighter, more "flowing," and more energized when they leave church. This is why.

For example, in the past, I would occasionally attend services at the Vedanta temple in Hollywood. I wouldn't pay much attention to the sermon, which can often be sort of bland. Instead, I would simply "go within," concentrate above my head, and try to bring down the force. When this happens, my head usually spirals in a gentle clockwise direction. Always clockwise. I have no idea why. If I consciously try to do it in the other direction, it feels unnatural, sort of like I'm swimming upstream.

Like my mornings.

42 Comments:

Blogger James said...

Bob,

I feel the same way about my prayer time after work. It isn't possible for me to "keep the sabbath holy." Something always seems to come up. This may be the next best thing.

Van,

Regarding the economics discussion on Wednesday. The market is a complex system and like all complex systems it is impossible to modal completely and predict. Trusting the free market is like trusting God. You can't see the market anymore then you can see God although you can see it's all pervasive effects. Trusting in God or anyone for that matter requires faith. Therefore, trusting in the market requires faith in the unknown and unseen. Raccoons already know that some folks wouldn't know what faith was if it hit them on the head. It is an interesting idea. Those would have trouble with God are going to have trouble with the free market. The two problems have the same cause, lack of faith.

6/08/2007 08:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bobs early morning pup and enlightened ones stirrings remind one of what Hemingway wrote about writing in the dewy dawn.He too had the sleeping hostage to posterity and the saw mill workers coming to work downstairs to factor in .I believe it was in "The moveable feast" . Excellent post!

6/08/2007 08:12:00 AM  
Blogger Fausta said...

Wonderful post.

I always pray a Rosary every morning when I wake up, in thanks, also doing the rythmic breathing.

For the blood sugars, I highly recommend a high-protein breakfast with no added sugar, juice or sugary cereals.

6/08/2007 08:23:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

I can agree about the caring-for-stuff disrupting mornings... since I got my garden, I now have to get up every morning and go and inspect all of the plants, inc. the potted ones, to make sure they are doing okay, test the soil with my hand to make sure it isn't dry beneath, maybe stake the plant if its leaning all undisciplined-like, pull out threatening weeds (less needed as the plants grow) or actually re-pot a plant that is suffocating.

That plus my new duties at work, and difficulty with discipline on that since I'm now responsible for being among other things an example to my subordinates, has thrown things out of whack.

I find the 'ma ra na tha' mantra very effective, and I find I get the most out of meditation when I can lay entirely supine and get to a state of complete muscle relaxation. The neck is the toughest one, since it always wants to make sure my head is properly supported. When I started taking voice lessons the first thing they had to do was loosen up my neck.

I've also lost the discipline - or rather the naturalness of it, of my morning exercises & bible reading of Psalms. I have to re-figure that one out.

6/08/2007 08:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't make sense of this: people I know who are good, kind people in ordinary daily life, become something else entirely when the subject of politics comes up. A few days ago a woman at work, who just recently collected $$ for the brother of a co-worker whose child is ill, made a completely gratuitous (and vicious) remark about Ronald Reagan. Another time, when I mentioned that Rudy Guiliani was coming to New Mexico, she reacted as if I had said Hannibal Lector was coming for dinner, calling Guiliani a madman.
So are people like this good sometimes and deranged other times?
Care to comment?

Bob F.

6/08/2007 09:16:00 AM  
Blogger CrypticLife said...

"Those would have trouble with God are going to have trouble with the free market. The two problems have the same cause, lack of faith. "

I don't think that's actually true, though I guess it would depend what you mean by "trouble with God".

I don't think god exists, but have no problems with the free market. I see it as the most efficient way to allocate resources. While there's room for argument, I don't think one needs to claim they believe in the free market as a matter of "faith". We have enough examples of free and non-free markets to simply look at the results.

6/08/2007 09:25:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Thanks Bob, for your candor and generosity.

6/08/2007 09:43:00 AM  
Anonymous geckofeeder said...

Love it, Gagdad, when you get in your way shower mode as many rah coonfidels wonder how on earth you do it. I impress. You rock.

6/08/2007 09:49:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

>>my head usually spirals in a gentle clockwise direction.<<

O.C. readers should be aware, of course, that Bob's head is not actually doing a Linda Blair 360 degree rotate . . .

Hmm, the news of Bob's morning routine disruption got me to thinking - how does a ritual differ from a routine? In one sense I suppose a ritual is a routine performed with extreme self-awareness. By that reckoning, all routines are cruise control rituals. We can't expect to have the same heightened consciousness and self-awareness when engaged in, say, the morning routine of feeding the cat. Or can we? Should we?

Maybe feeding the cat wasn't the best example.

6/08/2007 10:00:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

No, feeding the cat should be a ritual, a holy ritual.

You benefit because the ritual expands your consciousness. I benefit because the ritual expands my girth.

It's a win/win all the way.

6/08/2007 10:21:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

That last comment was Fergus the Cat's, obviously.

6/08/2007 10:22:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

I think Fergus haxxored your account, Will.

6/08/2007 10:24:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Memories! LOL!
When our daughter was born, it was 6 years since we'd dealt with a baby, and of course, trauma having such affects, we'd forgotten most of the negatives, and since the boys were going to be sidelined a bit for attention, we thought 'ah, good idea, lets get a puppy!' Well, you pretty much described the result - good description of the handgrenade lob too.

Glad OC & we still are able to rate some of your time. And Will, thanks for clearing up the DL's rotational issue, I read the twirling line and the Linda Blair spin was the first image that popped into mind. (careful feeding Fergus in the morning, I've a feeling he'll be sharpening & polishing the ol' fangs & claws to impress on you the importance of ritual over routine, in the morning.)

6/08/2007 10:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Johan (cosmic swede) said...

Will:
"O.C. readers should be aware, of course, that Bob's head is not actually doing a Linda Blair 360 degree rotate . . ."

What?!

If he can't even do simple stuff like THAT, then I don't think Bob knows anything about God! He's just a fake!!!

Oh... was that a troll typing? Ah, no just an ironic, but still cosmic, swede.

But I have a question... If I want to try meditation, are there any do's and dont's? Anyone with some good links for reading on the matter? Maybe I should't try this at home, but do it with some proffessional mastering?

(great, now I'm late for friends birthday party too, gotta run...)

6/08/2007 10:43:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

River, never misunderestimate the perversity of a cat.

6/08/2007 10:56:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

johan - there are so many reading sources re: meditation, I wouldn't know where to begin.

Personally, I wouldn't advise anything too "Eastern" with concentration on the breath and things like that. Meditation is basically taking the time to sit still, relax, and while holding an ideal of holiness, purity, etc., in your mind, remaining self-aware. Eventually one then becomes aware of *something else*, a Presence that is within and without. It's really pretty simple, but meditation should be very deliberate, should be undertaken as exercise for the soul. You know how people set aside time for physical exercise, take it very seriously. That's how it should be with meditation.

6/08/2007 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

James said "The market is a complex system and like all complex systems it is impossible to modal completely and predict. Trusting the free market is like trusting God."

cryptlife said "I see it as the most efficient way to allocate resources. While there's room for argument, I don't think one needs to claim they believe in the free market as a matter of "faith". We have enough examples of free and non-free markets to simply look at the results."

Hmm... interesting comments so close together.

While I suspect my idea of faith is somewhat different than many others... I sort of agree with you and cryptlife on this(though just because the free market is "the most efficient way to allocate resources" would in and of itself in no way justify a market that didn't respect Free Will and Individual Rights. Rather, it is, because They Are, and that because, "I AM").

To my understanding, our Individual Rights are discoverable, verifiable and understandable completely by way of this worldly horizontal & vertical knowledge. Of course the this worldly horizontal & vertical knowledge, is derived from the One Cosmos we inhabit, and the One Truth which is absolutely the source of it all, and is reflected in all we see and do.

By the development of our very nature, we are endowed with and have Free Will, Individual & Property Rights. To avoid violating these, a free market, and a gov't based upon constitutionally protected political rights with the strong legal and military which are necessary to protect them, are themselves necessary in order to enable us (should you make the proper choices) to live good and proper lives.

After long study and consideration, these are things I (k)now, and through examination and contemplation of that (k)nowledge, I've been drawn into a deeper gn(O)wledge of the Vertical as well.

These are things I (k)now and gn(O) to trust to be proper and true. If blogger allowed such in the comment section, I'd type "O->k->" with the font curving into a circle with the last arrow pointing right back into the (O), in a self-reinforcing & continous circle (I'd say 'vicious circle' but it somehow seems inappropriate).

In that sense, I've got Faith in the free market, as the proper unfolding of Truth and for want of a better term, of God's will, among men.

For similar reasons, I have no problem with the development and evolution of the Universe, life and eventually Human Beings, through the unfolding of natural processes of physical laws and chemical processes, while also (k)nowing and gn(O)ing, that life and consciousness are not souly the result of those processes, but a pre-existing condition to them.

But we gather and accumulate (k)nowledge of particular facts and integrations, slowly step by step, and the slow nature of that accumulation, only enables us to (k)now what we gn(O), to be able to demonstrably verify what we gn(O) to be true, frustratingly slowly.

When Jefferson wrote 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.', he wasn't spinning fairy tales, but was stating what any thoughtful person can and should gn(o) to be true, and in short order, America, the industrial revolution and Capitalism have supplied the world with reams worth of facts and (k)nowledge with which to verify in the world, what the Founders had gn(O)n to be true 200+ years ago.

And thank God they weren't alone in that knowledge, which we remember with these last weeks commemerations of Memorial Day and D-Day. Thanks to them, and the rest of us as well, the Good, the Beautiful and the True have a home here, and I have faith in that as well.

6/08/2007 11:49:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

wo - been typing in snatches in a itty bitty notepad window, didn't realize I'd gone on that long, sorry.

6/08/2007 11:50:00 AM  
Blogger Teri said...

Your wife is right. The pup will settle down until she hits about 6-8 months when she goes through the "mad alligator" stage. That's when they cut their main teeth and chew on everything in sight.

Have you read Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster? A friend told me about that book and I think it does a pretty good job of pointing out some of the disciplines of the church that have fallen into disfavor. Has some good info on meditation. My morning routine is only slightly off due to having to bottle feed three kid goats. At least they aren't in the house with us! It's nothing like the rodeo in the evening when we try and get all the goat kids and mamas into the barn for the night.

6/08/2007 12:10:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Gagdad or Will (or others) I wonder if you've got any opinion or info about this The Hindu-Yogi Science Of Breath, by Yogi Ramacharaka. I got the print version from my Dad's bookshelf when I was about 13 (gasp! over 30 years ago!), and soon pulled out of it what works for me. What brought it to mind, was Gagdad's description of:

"...focus above my head, above the crown chakra. As I inhale, I imagine that I am drawing this energy down the front of my body, and as I exhale, I imagine that it is traveling up the spine and back out the top of the head. At least for me, I find that this is effective in moving around various energy blockages, especially after a little yoga."

, and that has been my experience of it since. Breath, relax, and there it is, a tingling energy flowing from the crown down the body, then up the back. In fact, that self demonstratable experience of being able to experience that tingly electrical like charge circulating about me with (now) a single focused breath, I think made it impossible for me to ever be a full Carl Sagan strident athiest, I had first hand (O)->(k) knowledge of there being more to the world than meets the eye.

6/08/2007 12:10:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

BTW, as Will noted, the breathing techniques and 'tinglies' shouldn't be confused with meditation - I can pop those on while typing here - they may accompany meditation, but they don't indicate it.

6/08/2007 12:17:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Betcha can tell I've got a slow day going here.

Ximeze! Wake up!

Honestly Joan, can't you keep your novices in line?

Sheesh.

wv:auydpgrm - hmm.

6/08/2007 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger juliec said...

On a more practical puppy note, I highly recommend "Puppies for Dummies" and a big supply of bitter apple spray. The spray was marvelous for dog #1; dog #2 was more stubborn, but it did help with her too. Especially important for dogs who like to chew on wires.

I feel for you, Bob - after the first dog I swore I'd never get another puppy. Of course, two years later we did, but it was easier that time, especially with an older dog in the house to help with training.

6/08/2007 01:57:00 PM  
Blogger juliec said...

BTW - I like the new photo on the front page, Bob.

6/08/2007 01:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You folks on the Right seem to find a lot to hate about people who are enjoying life, especially those in other countries. Why are you so angry and hateful? I often wonder if many Righties (Bushies?) did't have very harsh childhoods and deep down feel unloved. Open your hearts, it may not be too late, even for you. Peace.

6/08/2007 02:05:00 PM  
Anonymous cousin dupree said...

Namaste!

6/08/2007 02:13:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"Pffffttt!" "Pffffttt!" "Pffffttt!"

6/08/2007 02:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Bluebird said...

I notice with pride that Will's anthem to Janesville [yep, my home town] seemed to serve as pretty good troll repellent [until that last one]. Encore!

6/08/2007 02:42:00 PM  
Anonymous maineman said...

I've thought for some time that capitalism is so successful because it mirrors natural selection, which implies that it's a component of a more universal evolutionary process.

As for the notion of having faith in the markets, I think that is all in the process of being tested. As globalization advances, anti-trust actions by nation states run up against restraint of trade concerns, don't they? If I'm right, then anti-trust action is out the window -- unless we want to have the U.N. in charge (shudder). In other words, we're about to see whether this baby will float on its own. My sense is that it will and that it will turn out that anti-trust actions were generated by anxiety about something that the marketplace would have taken care of eventually. Or perhaps they were necessary back in the day but are not any longer, as the complexity has increased.

So I guess I come down with James on the faith in the marketplace thing.

6/08/2007 03:10:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Well, nothing much happens here, but I'm gonna sit on the porch, look south, and watch the Space Shuttle get lit.

Prayers may be in order, too.

6/08/2007 04:31:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

Well, they hurtled into space right on time in a perfect blue sky. I was able to catch it with the binocs and see the booster rockets drop away. As it climed further north, I could make out the shuttle itself in some detail. Awesome!

Nothing like lighting off a bunch of dynomite under your butt and launching yourself into space. I'd bet they need some good Pilates and spinal readjustments after all that shakin' and bakin'.

6/08/2007 04:48:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

Bluebird . . . ah yes, I remember you from my Janesville dream. 6th one on the left, two rows back . .

Well, thanks for the good word. I should note, however, that a O.C. post that proves to be a troll *attracter*, as Bob's posts usually do - well, such a post is definitely doing something right. Otherwise trolls wouldn't want to attack it.

I think we can judge a post by the nature of its enemies.

6/08/2007 04:55:00 PM  
Blogger juliec said...

Joan,
you can see the Space Shuttle launch from your front porch? Awesome!

6/08/2007 05:07:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Van, I'm so proud of you.

Bob, your posts are starting to sound a little more like mine. Why does that make me feel a little better? :)

My toddler usually wakes up earlier than he should. I just ignore him and let him go back to sleep for an hour or so. Well, I actually managed to wake up the second time *before* him this morning! It was a miracle, because I had an appointment, definitely could not skip the shower, & was sneaking around on tiptoe trying to get *mostly* ready before setting off my little "alarm." Believe me, he is not a morning person and he's quite a handful when he gets going.

You are dedicated to get up at 4 a.m. to meditate.

"Have you read Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster?"

I was going to recommend this too, and Dallas Willard has written much along similar lines. Foster's book was really good. I should read it again. Definitely need to practice.

6/08/2007 05:17:00 PM  
Blogger Joan of Argghh! said...

From the back porch, looking south over the marshes of North Florida. It looks like a kick-ass Roman Candle even in the daylight.

Of course, the nuns used to march us out of our classrooms, rosaries in hand, to watch the Mercury launches. My first introduction to geekdom.

It's a holy rite, ritual, and tradition at this point. A glass of libation must be consumed, a prayer lifted, murmurs of "go, baby! fly!" must be chanted. Binocs are optional but greatly enhance the verticality of the experience.

Then, a quiet moment follows. A deep sigh. An envious, yet forgivable, sigh of longing.

Do astronauts feel that they, too, don't belong tethered to the gravity of this life?

Is weightlessness our destiny?

"Cast your burdens upon the Lord, and he shall sustain you."
"My yoke is easy, my burden is light."

6/08/2007 05:21:00 PM  
Anonymous walmart shopper said...

A masterstroke of poor timing, Anonymous.

Bob's post today centers on babies and puppies. The subject matter of the comments section ranges from tending the garden to nursing kid goats. If you're going to give us the canned whine about Righty "hate", you should at least wait for a day when Bob is cutting the Left into little particles of confetti (which is to say, describing the Left accurately). Even though the content won't be hateful, at least we'll understand why you found it upsetting.

And by the way, wasn't it Bill Clinton whose stepfather was an abusive alcoholic? His personal toxicity clearly has roots in a toxic childhood, and this is precisely man leftwingers chose as their leader. I wonder how that fits into your theory?

6/08/2007 06:04:00 PM  
Blogger Sal said...

I visualize a tiny golden threadclimbing up into the sky, kind of like a spider silk. Amd think of all the others all over the world doing likewise...

The downside of this is the occasional flashback to the old Universal logo, with the lights shooting out of the globe.

6/08/2007 07:09:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

I have long been in the habit of getting out of bed an hour or so before I need to- sometimes as early as four thirty, but usually closer to five. Hate to admit it here, but drugs play a serious part in my ritual morning prayer. I may have stumbled on the true entheogenic quality of Starbucks French Roast- (the big ass bags of it from Costco that still cost too damn much) It's very simple. Up too early. Sit on the sofa with a blanket. Hold a tall mug of strong coffee. Sip. Caffeine intake, plus the awareness of a cup of hot liquid balanced in your lap lets you fall almost all the way back to sleep. I find that I can hang perfectly suspended between sleep and wakefulness for as long as an hour. This is the hour when my thoughts run deepest. This is when I pray. My prayer is a long internal recitation that evolves with my spiritual growth. As my understanding deepens, the recitation changes to accompany the newfound depth. Some of it comes from AA, some from Emmet Fox (ducks and runs), some from the Psalms. Most of it comes to me from the voice.
The recitation is sort of an internal oral tradition. Once begun it must be completed. It must be done with perfect concentration. If I drift off, get distracted, or miss a verse, I begin again from the beginning:
Think about God
And think about God
And think everything that you know (gno) about God.
Think about God, and think...


(I'm not gonna' write the whole durn thing out. Too long.:P)

Anyway- all goofing aside. It is during that quiet hour before dawn that the spirit seems closest. I can empathise (not to mention sympathise) with your situation, Bob. Perhaps you could consider all this distraction as an accumulation of priceless anecdotal material. Sort of manuring the garden as The Bard would say.

wv: inydfyfq Is there any doubt that the thing has both a mind and a malevolent intent?

JWM

6/08/2007 09:25:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

...and after I wrote that wisecrack, the evil wv demon made me do four (4) hard ones before it posted my comment!

and now- uuxwu

(up yours too, wv)

JWM

6/08/2007 09:31:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Re: Prayer and Meditation -

"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God's people in accordance with the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27)

Whew.

g'nite.

6/08/2007 10:32:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

"Perhaps you could consider all this distraction as an accumulation of priceless anecdotal material."

Someday you'll laugh about all this, or so they tell me.

Actually, hubby and I do laugh a lot.

I suspect (and it's only a suspicion, mind you) that God has a little something to do with it too. He sure seems to like to shake up our comfy little routines and get us on a new upward track. Then there's the "ain't no mountain without the valley" truism, which probably applies to the small things in our life as well as the big ones. Nothing gets me seeking and crying out like a little frustration. Without the thirst, not as apt to seek the living water.

6/09/2007 06:26:00 AM  
Blogger Sal said...

Hey, everybody
Mizze's family just had a sudden death. Go on over to her place
http://gobsmackedagain.blogspot.com/
And send them some prayers.

6/09/2007 07:46:00 AM  

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