A kaleidoscopic love for multiple paths

Regarding spirituality and personal growth, I have a kaleidoscopic love for multiple paths. 

Some people prefer the simplicity of the desert. Very little, very spare, very focused. Others like me revel in the fecundity of the tropics. That is expressed here on this site. I’m from Florida so it makes sense.

You’ll see Twyla Tharp referenced (bridging creativity into the next day and the next). You’ll see old and new mashed together (We Wei and the Law of Attraction).

You’ll find Minx Boren laughing at the absurdity of five-year plans, you’ll find out how I’m Hindu (and Christian and Native American and Muslim and Buddhist). 

Oh my god I love the swirl of thought currents mixing. What works for innovation works on a personal level too. 

We are richer because of Stephen Pressfield calling bullsh!t on the ways in which we avoid our calling. We are richer because of minimalists and joy workers showing us different ways of showing up in the world. 

There are resources beyond understanding. There is power in putting it out there. There is something raw and compelling wherever you look.

Viva la diferencia!

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Sometimes you need a little John Templeton (talking divinity)

We may find the Divine to be 3,000 times what we think it is now. It’s like asking the tulip there to explain you. The tulip is a beautiful creation, with millions of atoms cooperating with each other to produce great beauty, but ask that tulip to talk about you, and it can’t do it. It doesn’t have those perceptive abilities. Wouldn’t it be conceited to suggest that I had the abilities to describe the deity? 

~ John Templeton

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Jah-Woman: The unshackling

I think you’re going to relish this from my chat with Jeannine Perlman a few weeks back:

You don’t need a sophisticated spiritual practice to get through difficulty.

What you have at your fingertips is enough to get you through.

At the age of 37, going through blow-out turbulence in her first marriage, Jeannine sought assistance. As she tells it now, her spiritual practice then was rudimentary to nonexistent. Some praying, some insight provided by a spiritual counselor, lots of anguished thought.

Just cleansing myself took a lot of effort.

At one point she gazed at herself in the mirror and had the ground rumbling realization that a lifetime alone would be better than another day of the torment she was going through. 

Once she realized it was OK to leave a marriage that didn’t work (despite the therapy), she felt clarity and lightenment. Not enlightenment. She felt lightened, the way the hot-air balloon feels when the anchors are dropped away.

Instantly a peace and faith and confidence she hadn’t known before became hers.

After that, she said:

It was one of the most magical times I’ve ever experienced, the way things opened up just like stepping stones coming into view. 

One thing led to another led to another led to freedom led to that day a few weeks back when I’m chatting with a vibrant woman who makes you feel you’ve been given darshan* when she embraces you hello and goodbye.

* spiritual blessing received in the presence of the divine

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The originals didn’t necessarily seem so in their time

The modernist geometric painter Piet Mondrian dressed immaculately in formal attire. If you were to encounter free-ranging genius Buckminster Fuller on the street you might assume nothing, other than he dressed conventionally yet not spectacularly for the era. Yes Einstein was rumpled, though no more rumpled than many another citizen.


Originality is not to be found in mode of dress. 


Almost solely it is found in mode of expression. 

The expression itself can take innumerable forms: ideas, lifestyle, art, an ideal, commerce, creations of all sorts and types and varieties, the most subtle being the most spiritual — how one embraces others with one’s presence. 
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Excerpted from the forthcoming bookito Bohemia in Suburbia (and Beyond).
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Jah-Woman: After the challenge, bliss

Have you ever had light-hearted growth?

When Jeannine Perlman (Jah-Woman!) and I sat down to talk a few weeks back, I asked her that question. After laughing and saying what a great question it was the ultimate stalling technique  she thought a while and then said this:

My inspirations for growth have been challenges, but I can remember moments of bliss and joy that came from seeing those challenges from a new perspective, a higher or more evolved perspective, and being so incredibly grateful for the experience.

I wouldn’t have considered it even to have been possible to be grateful for the experience, yet I truly, truly am for what it’s brought.

Blew my socks off and gave me chills. I’ll bet you can relate in some way to this too. Though not always first, lightness comes . . . .

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Jah-Woman: The evolution of a practice

Some of the most rewarding spiritual journeys come by degrees. Bit by bit by itty bit.

Stories of profound epiphanies excite us  the teenager who is healed overnight; the man who comes back from a near-death experience transformed; the despairing woman who has an insight so powerful the rest of her life is changed. 

In speaking with Jah-Woman (alter ego of Jeannine Perlman) you get how incredibly fortunate those of us are who find our way step by step. 

Each step is a new opening. Each step brings new teachers. Each step, a new way of being. Each step, a revelation and a blessing and a new-found joy. 

These long journeys tend to be idiosyncratic, as it has been for Jeannine, with many seemingly unrelated turns. Except for one thing, the trajectory is ever higher. These evolutionary journeys are life long.

They may not be easy to transpose into a movie, either  an easy narrative  because the moments are profoundly personal. It’s not as if you can depict it simply by saying, well, she went to India where she found God, then she went to Bali where she found love.

In these life-long spiritual evolutions, God and love are found by degrees in every step. Each step reveals a different name for the divine. 

In one step, the divine is Forgiveness
another step, Patience
another step, Surrender
another step, Emptiness
another step, Acceptance
another step, Appreciation
another step, Fullness
another step, Playfulness
another step, Magnificence
another step, Exuberance
another step, Love Baby Love!

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Piffle of the week: Eckhart Tolle’s to do list


Eckhart Tolle: To do

  • Now
  • Now
  • More now
  • Now, again
  • A little more now
  • Now
Barry Manilow: To sing

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Followers

A modified excerpt from the forthcoming bookito Bohemia in Suburbia (and Beyond):


I’d like to pause a moment here to suggest something radical in a book abounding with the themes of creativity and originality and living life for an ideal. 

It is this: It is OK to be a follower. 


It is most excellent and purposeful to be a follower.


It’s admirable to want to be part of the mainstream of an era, doing your part without seeking to take the lead. The world needs passionate followers as much as it needs path forgers.

Were it not for the masses of humanity doing their jobs well and as expected of them society would break down. 

I’m Gandhian in that way. Every job is a worthy contribution.

Maybe we can come up with a new term for followers. Here’s my suggestion: 

Contributors.
 

Because every job from garbage man to hostess to corporate denizen contributes in sometimes imperceptible yet necessary ways.

Also, passionate followers — contributors! — sometimes delve into the most interesting pursuits off-hours. 


You’ve probably noticed this too, it’s not the leaders that glue a community together. 


It wasn’t corporate titan Jack Welch personally helping make an after-school event happen. He worked obsessively and expected those under him to do the same. Or he fired them. So you didn’t see those guys at Tae Kwon Do practice.


Think back to the people who were there when you were growing up, whenever you needed someone, in the family or out of it. The people who were there for you as emotional support 
I can guarantee it wasn’t someone of great renown.

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You know what is coming?

Full-bodied spirituality.

Full-throated living, where sensuality and spirituality are twined.

Where the realm of the senses and the realm of the spirit are embraced together as one. 

No more giving up one for the other. No more denying one to enhance the other. Spirit embodies in the sense realm not as penance but as joy, joy afire with discovery. 

To Spirit, the human body is a joy toy.

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Life as illusion — Life as creation

I reject life as illusion

That construct doesn’t work for me, steeped as it is in the concept that all life is suffering (or disappointment or pain or anguish or angst or unreal or meaningless or insubstantial, take your pick, choose your own terms).

I accept life as creation

This works for me on many levels. Implied in this is that creating is going on at levels beyond my comprehension. Life as creation gives me a voice. I too get to play in the sandbox and mold as much as I wish, create as much as I dare.

(Of course a greater soul understands there is no duality; that both are true; that life is a substantial illusion for the enjoyment of creating.)

(Evan One understands this; Evan Two doesn’t care. Evan 1.5 is writing this . . . 😉

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