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  • Jeffrey Bates

Finding our FULL-FILLMENT in life?

Updated: Mar 28


Since this is my first official blog post I want to talk about the "thing" that is driving me to blog, even though I am not comfortable calling it a "thing." Everyone has their "thing." But my thing you can't see. It's invisible. Well, sort of. Please read on...


Using words to describe something that is invisible, call it formless or spiritual if you want, is a precarious undertaking. That is what drives me. In order to be full-filled in life, we need to connect with our invisible side...with our essence. With the radiant being that we are.


I want to write so that the intangible becomes tangible, and so that the invisible becomes visible, the non-apparent apparent. This is what feeds us. This is not something outside of yourself...it is indeed the inside of you and inside of every person. No one is guiding us. We are all too focused on the tangible...it's emptiness...it's sucking the life out of us. I don't call this place god. I think of it as water. It is what the Greek's called "esse' " which means essence. It is the substance of you...and your being.


Lately, I have been giving out little blue marbles to people whom I 'see.' I see them. I feel them. I get them. This deeper part of us...is the essence that we radiate. The marbles are symbolic for me. One afternoon I was at the Blue Lagoon Kava Bar on Merritt Island and a young man, an entrepreneur, was just leaving. I had spoken to him a few days before. He told me that he had just paid rent on new retail space and was getting ready to open a hair salon. I saw him and said, "So, when are you opening?" He said, "I'm going there now to put the final touches in so that I can open tomorrow." He was beaming. I reached in my pocket and handed him a blue essence marble...I told him that this represents your courage, your creativity and your following your dream...of having your own salon. (He had cut hair for a few years for someone else) He got the biggest smile on his face and hugged me..."Thank you..." he said. His essence...taking this step. That is enacting the essence...the stepping out. Not that I am anyone...but it's what the marble represents that is significant I think.


Many people use their words to influence others in a direction they would like them to go in order to find happiness. Buy this. Use this. Try this. Invest in this... I heard a guy telling a TeDX crowd to read a book a day to find the successful life. The successful life he was talking about was an achieved materialistic one... I mean you gotta be careful. People aren't really interested in helping create space for serious critical thinking and recognizing "esse' "like I am. They want to offer "success" and tempt our ignorant lust. They want to sell you something...and lead you to a toxic watering hole.


The purpose of my BLOGGING will be to help you discover and excavate where it is that the universe is occurring to you NOW...but of which you are currently UNAWARE. You don't need anything "extra." It's not someplace you have to "get to." There's no going any place that is going to make a difference. It, the space, is with you now. You may not feel it, but you can realize it.


MY MISSION: IGNITE THE STAR STUFF. Or, to point out how it is functioning ALREADY in the psyche.' Eckhart Tolle' calls this the "inner spaciousness." Joseph Campbell once alluded to the fact (mythological fact) that what is "out there" in outer space is actually "inside of our bodies also." Astrophysicist ND Tyson says we are chemically and elementally made from "star stuff." "We are, each of us, a little universe." I say, yes, that is great, BUT.... in the long run many ask what does it matter? So what? What does it matter that we are made of "star stuff?" And it's kind of scary to think that "outer space" is within us!


BUT!


My concern has been in the last five years to wonder about and meditate on how to ignite the power of the stars and of the universe within us. How do we become aware of it? My opinion is that the renaissance that we are experiencing on the planet is related to the inner lights, the inner stars, coming back on. Many prefer to stay blind and retrench themselves in the old and "LITERAL" thought forms. We don't know how to take it, or begin the process of facilitating it because the lights have been off for so long. We've only functioned out of our need, or, out of another fundamental of the universe, the BLACK HOLE. We have been "consumers" and consuming the "happy life..." Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness doesn't lead us to contentment. Happiness is not achieved externally...never even though when you look outside of yourself you "perceive" that it is.


TO COPE with the missing inside awareness, many are led to substitute religious sentiments and "forms" for this inner space, but because of the labeling limitations of language, accessing this space via "thought forms" (Tolle') never works as it would seem. I think the culture of addiction is also a form substitute for not having had the guidance or permission to discover the inner space. I spent many years as a pastor on my knees and suddenly realized I was talking to myself and that no one else was listening. The stark reality hit me and at once I was terrified and also liberated. That was my experience and my conclusion. I had a burst of realization, kind of divine in itself, and heard my own "voice" as if for the first time. That helped me let go of an imaginary character in my life that for all practical purposes was non existent. I let go to find I wasn't alone.


Letting go of forms, of concretized thoughts, of insisting that others conform to what our particular thought forms are, is indispensable for the transformation happening on the planet and that for which evolution has been preparing us. These evolutionary ideas are not depending upon our cooperation, but in process are occurring regardless of our conscious participation.

Consciousness raising, storytelling, events to enable insight and participation

in this process are vital and essential.


HOW DOES ONE LET GO OF THOUGHT FORMS?


1. Become aware. Meditate. Become aware that thoughts are happening without your permission. This takes lots of practice. To get in touch with sabotaging thoughts and thought forms is really liberating. Be still and watch. These thoughts - that you are NOT good enough, or that you are BETTER than others. Both are two sides of the EGO shadow and both are related to what / who you perceive is outside of yourself. When you are not aware, something in you constantly gauges yourself by what/who is happening outside of yourself. This tendency is related to PTSD. People who are not aware tend to argue and get into one sided (their sided) discussions and dominate conversations. To become aware, one must do as CG Jung pointed out, one must "make the darkness conscious." Meditation allows for the "unconscious" to become "conscious." This is actually the goal of psychotherapy. I have ways and means of doing this with my clients and in my storytelling events. This is actually the fun part!


2. Participate in a Reflective Group Storytelling event. We are all just beginning to connect in the way in which the universe has been preparing the planet for years and years. When the ego takes over there are wars, suspicion, arguments, dysfunction, malfunction, toxicity...the deep part of us that sees that going on, and wants to find an alternative begins to imagine a new world. It's an inner battle at that point. Mental health comes at a high price. Because CPTSD clouds our thinking and perceptions, we aren't likely to take things deeply until we experience loss or illness. It's unfortunate. We hang on to worn out beliefs. We sell ourselves short. When we all get together, the war weary, in a space where the imagination can connect to a story that gives insight (aha's and uhoh's) and inspiration, somehow we see each other with new eyes, and we feel ourselves with an effervescence and connectivity. This makes for a synergistic connection. We get connected to something inside. That's what I call accessing our "star" power. We are made of "star stuff" and it is through art, poetry, mythology and storytelling that that part of ourselves, lying there dormant, gets awakened. For many this will be good news...like waking up a happy sleeping Giant. For others, this is bad news...like waking up a dragon who hasn't breathed fire for many years....plenty of fuel has built up. For many this is an ahah! But for others it is an uhoh!



3. Observe, like a scientist, your own reactivity and your own resistance. The key to growing deeply into the roots of your own experience is to observe your "reactivity" today. When are you tempted to call someone a jerk? When are you tempted to judge (to yourself) what someone else is saying? No one can observe my reactivity, but myself. It does no good for someone to point out that I am reacting...I must see it and then I must have support in becoming aware of and to what my reactivity is related (usually some trigger from a past experience that causes suffering). Is it to what I am doing/thinking, or is it to what someone else is doing or thinking? Many WON'T BE able to do this...they aren't down the road far enough yet. Still asleep with their reactivity and entertaining what Joseph Campbell name the "dragon." When we finally get in touch with this, it is like this is the last stitch in the time/space continuum and of knowing ourselves. It is what the Greeks admonished: GNOTHI SEAUTON (Know Yourself). Where do you start/stop and where do others start/stop? How I showed up in the past does not have any bearing on how I can show up, present, real, connected...in the now. I can grow in my awareness, in my sense of boundaries. This is, in our day, a mission critical character competency.


The freedom and power to do this inside of ourselves is really the gift that we give to ourselves as we mature as adults. It is the ultimate FULL-FILLMENT. It is a gift that we give to ourselves. Really, finally no one can help you but you. Bill Moyer's asked Joseph Campbell in The Power of Myth, "Well, Joe, is there anyone who can slay that dragon for me? Or do I have to go alone?" Campbell said, "You can have assistance, but the last trick has to be done by you." (paraphrased from memory). I find that the reactivity of people, of us to each other, is a barrier for going more in depth, not only with each other, but inside of ourselves. We get hung up in our reactions and never really see another person until we can become clear on just what the boundaries are. Another name for Moyer's dragon is the shadow. I like to also think of it ala' my book The Little Bucket as "the hole" in the bucket. This subject will appear regularly in my blogging.


To me having insight that is metaphorical and artistic is more important than anything else. I once had a t-shirt that said "Metaphors be with you." There really is power in being contacted by a powerful metaphor. Metaphorically, and scientifically I might add, we are made of star stuff, and are like a "little universe" complete with our own black hole. The problem that so many have is that they blame their "black hole" on others. And sometimes we give too much of our star power out to others. These people seem never to be be pleased by us. The more we pour out, the more they like it...and we're tired...So, after a star burns itself out it inverts, and becomes a black hole...humans, much like this exhibit behavior that suggests that at one time they were a star (like my illustration above) but got burned out by inadvertently expending all of their energy...and now they "act from" their own black hole as well...and now they drain other stars, the creative energy of the little universes, wherever they show up. They suck light, but don't give it out. They complain, but never compliment. They don't recognize beauty, but are judgmental. They take and don't really give. Their giving is conditional. They aren't grateful or thankful. They are afraid. They are afraid to be outdone by others. Eckhart Tolle' names this state: he calls it the "egoic" state. It is related to what he calls their "pain body." They are loud and bombastic. They don't listen, but want you to listen to and agree with them. They have to be right. If you say something that they disagree with them THEY REACT and will either argue with you (fight), change the subject (flight), ignore you (freeze), or just say, "uhuh, yea, uhuh, yea...." not really listening to a word you say! (fawn). You might be familiar with this kind of black hole behavior. It's right there inside of yourself! I am sure you can feel it if you haven't looked! To look inside oneself is another way of saying "be aware" of yourself. That's what looking inside means. This is naming the invisible. Your black hole wants your attention...when you don't look for it consciously, it acts to drain you..and make you feel a mild or severe depression. It's not someone else doing that by the way. It is happening inside of you.


Another point about the Black Hole. Everyone has one. It's right up there with death and taxes. It's a scientific fact that these suckers actually exist in the universe and if they do in the external space, then they do in our internal space also. Recently it's been discussed that there are black holes the size of pinheads. They aren't always these gigantic invisible gravity suckers. They are small. They are related to our egoic self. It may be why there is an ego. I invite you to get to know your black hole - if you want to find your full-fillment. You are only responsible for your own, no one else's. If you feel drained, it's hard to tell, at first, from where the "draining feeling" is coming from. If you're tempted to blame 100% of the black hole on the other person, chances are that you are at least 100% responsible for your mistake. It's never 100% either/or. Your perception, instead of it being turned outward, try turning inward. Painful, but powerful. If you've been in a relationship a number of years and are just getting used to this idea, and are starting to "understand how it works," and you wonder why you feel so "unappreciated and misunderstood." Look not into the black hole of the other person, but begin to be aware of your own...how it is that you have been sucked into your own emptiness. You're tempted to see it in someone else...but it is more courageous to see it inside of yourself and healthier too for all concerned. Other's might complain about you and what you aren't doing for them...well, that's their black hole talkin'... someday they might see it too.


Reach OUT to me here! Let me know... I may not be able to answer every person who leaves a msg or sends me an email (nowimagine2020@gmail.com), but I will do my best.


Remember when you could play and have fun for hours and hours? If not...I am sorry, but that doesn't mean you have to be sucked into your own black hole the rest of your life. Practice the three things above. Learn to pay attention to your reactions and be in the moment with yourself in meditation. Watch your thoughts. Write. Write about it. Write about the new found spaciousness. And I hope that you will pick up a copy (order) of The Little Bucket and let it sink deep down into your unconscious.


This bucket is deeper than it looks.


And...on an additional note, be watching out for a book I am currently writing around the myth of the Sword in the Stone. Lost your sharpness? Well, then it's time to find your sword...two edges of the sword leading to a point, a tip, the essence of it all. If you're asking "What is the point?" The point may be deeper than you think. The Arthurian legend will be our guide...into a new adventure. You are Royal in your essence...(just don't get a big head about it!)






--------> Next Blog Post: What does it mean to "Re-Invent" Myself?





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