Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Squirrel Mentality

So much hustling about, acquiring anything that isn't nailed down. So goes much of our world. People willing to snatch anything they can get their hands on. Trying desperately to get the almighty dollar, or to cheat someone out of something.
It seems too often we are dominated by our animal passions. We are driven by the selfish desire to collect. We place our own wants ahead, even, of the needs of others.

Human Nature

What an odd world we live in! People isolate themselves. When a stranger speaks to us, we see this friendly act as something strange and unexpected. People set space barriers around themselves -- a distance no one should invade. Paranoia rules. People fear a curious glance, a gentle touch, a helping hand. There is no room for compassion -- no reward for the meek!
Even in their music, people no longer listen to things which move their spirits. Instead, they listen to anything with a heavy beat -- anything, so long as it lets them feel something.
They are so wrapped up in anger. They spend their lives spending their lives. They can't see beyond themselves. And yet they wonder why they are so unhappy.
Selfish concern and lip service to the charitable. Life out of balance. Lack of love. Lack of compassion. Lack of connection. They live their lives without purpose. When they give, they give as little as possible. And they expect to receive back so much more.
They are full of evolutionary hold-overs. They work like animals to deprive the weak, or the poor. They are driven to get more by genetic promises of survival.
They scurry about like squirrels -- frantically getting more things in an attempt to fill the void within. But they reach the ends of their lives unfulfilled. Their quest for more is like a bottomless pail -- no matter how much it is filled it is still empty. Their thirst goes un-quenched. And they wonder why their lives seem so pointless.
They hide in such small, safe places -- always looking for an escape. They don't seem to realize that the escape lies within them. Nothing outside can fill the empty place inside them. Deep within them is a purpose -- a meaning for their meaningless lives. And peace is there as well.
Survival is no longer difficult. We have the resources to feed, house, and clothe everyone. Compassion is a human virtue. We have the ability to leap beyond our genetic programming. We can escape our evolutionary heritage.
It can be as simple as reaching out. Showing concern for others. Giving a little change to those who have none. Helping the old woman with her groceries. Giving the gift of time. Even simply listening to those who need a gentle ear.
Must we carry the heart of the world upon our shoulders? Must we cry for the miserable? Must we have courage for the down-trodden?

People these days are so obsessed with living longer -- preserving their bodies -- as the quality of life escapes them. They work on living longer -- as if quantity of life is more important than quality. And when they die they pump their bodies with preservatives so that their bodies, at least, will continue on . . .
But they miss the point of living entirely. They try to occupy their time with distractions when they should be concentrating on living.. When they die they should instead have their bodies cremated and their ashes scattered as fertilizer -- death becoming new life.
The purpose of life is to live it -- to find our function in the greater whole and to fulfill it. And when we no longer require our bodies we should give them up for new life. This obsession with the body must cease -- once we have left this life, caring for the body is like so much window-dressing. When we no longer need our body we should allow it to be recycled by other life. This is life after death -- something continues, whether or not it is our soul. The Web of Life must be protected and nurtured, and if we take our bodies out of it, we risk upsetting the entire Web!


People these days have no sense of the Sacred. They throw their cigarette butts wherever they please. They destroy the land, the skies, and the seas. They disrespect each other, treating their children and pets as property.
They have lost the ability to respect themselves. They simply go through the motions of life, having forgotten how to LIVE. And so they go from meaningless moment to meaningless moment in spiritual agony.
They are so empty of respect for others that they believe they can decide for others. They build their oppressive societies full of restrictions based on their dis respectfulness.
Daily we read the stories in our newspapers. Another shoot-out in a school. More dead children. Killed by people who don't hold a respect for the sacredness of life -- not even their own.
And so we live in a disposable society: where we believe nothing is sacred. We destroy our environment, our enemies, our friends, and ourselves. And so we miss the whole point of living.
We must rekindle the age-old idea that all life is sacred. And we must find that sacredness in everything around us: the people, the animals, the trees, the rocks, the stars! We must understand that this sacredness, both within us and without, connects all things together. And so you are a part of me, and I of you, and we connect to the environment, and the stars... Only when we rediscover this sacredness will we return to the harmony we've lost.


It's really amazing how far from humane much of humanity is. Above all, we value compassion as one of the most humane things we profess. Yet, so many in our world live by the credo: "survival of the fittest." So many are so tightly wrapped up in themselves.
Why is the Sacredness within others so difficult for us to see? Why do we value ourselves so much more than them? Why do our religious teachers hand out lists of compassionate actions to perform, as though we are all void of feeling. And, judging by the actions of most of us, perhaps we are.
So often people are simply "looking out for themselves." They never stop to do even the simplest act of kindness for somebody else. Instead, they let other people "fend for themselves."
And people always expect the worst from one another. They are constantly suspicious of anything that seems out of the ordinary. Often, they make assumptions, branding others "guilty until proven innocent!" In fact, the crime lies in their hostility and paranoia.


Our modern world is set up perfectly to nurture anger, for it focuses on the dehumanizing element of greed. Everyone follows his self-preservation instincts. Everyone acquires. No one sacrifices. No one shares.
If we but show a glimmer of compassion, people regard it as extraordinary or suspect. Our corporations grow by cutting workers' hours and numbers; expecting their workforce to give more than is humanly possible, just to reach a bottom line goal.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Pattern Living

Our lives are governed by patterns. We understand the ways of the seasons and know when to plant and harvest our crops. And we know when to dress warmly and when to prepare for the summer heat. We know when a storm is coming because we've seen certain patterns in the clouds before. And we begin to understand the patterns of our lives, perhaps too late to do anything about them.
We study the patterns of our bodies and so are able to treat our illnesses. We can watch our weight for changes and adjust our diet accordingly. We can be prepared when our bodily rhythms change with time. And we can be prepared for growing old.
We can study the basic building blocks of all matter in the universe. We are better able to create new things, transform older things, and destroy obsolete things.
Patterns are everywhere in our lives. We can learn a great deal from them.

Patterns can tell us a great deal about the nature of the universe in which we live. And yet so often we simply rely on the earlier understandings of our forebears. Those who went before us, centuries ago, could only see the patterns in their immediate surroundings. And so their answers were incomplete. Today, we can see things on a much more global scale. And hopefully we can learn more about the nature of the universe by seeing the patterns with a much broader view.
For example, persons who lived in a harsh climate may have perceived God as a strict deity: easy to punish, and slow to appease. Yet, those who lived in a more lush environment may have seen numerous deities controlling the many life-giving forces of the world. But today we understand that the world has many different types of climate in every sort of range. The pattern is much broader than our ancestors could have ever imagined!

Every bit of understanding in the universe comes from seeing and understanding patterns. And some of the patterns are so clear.
The "birth, life, death, and silence" cycle is repeated throughout the universe everywhere. It plays itself out in our lives, and in the lives of stars. It governs the behavior of all elemental particles. And it also signals the recycling of raw materials from one life to the next.

Friday, October 26, 2007


Breathe in slowly...
Feel what you take in. Feel the air slowly entering your body.
Now hold your breath for a moment. Feel the weight of it.
Then, gently breath out. Give back what was taken in...
Continue to breathe in slowly, and just as slowly breathe out. Feel the balance between what is taken in and what is given back.
And know that, throughout life, every breath taken in is given back in full...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

"Hymn to the Divine"

(note: I wrote this as my beliefs were coming together at the end of my college years)

There is Something present in nature
some force which cannot be explained
It shapes and drives,
It sings and dances,
and through it all things are made Complete!

Where is this First Power?
It is all around us!
It shines and draws us near,
It sings and dances before us,
and to those who see and hear it, it gives substance.

When did It begin?
It has always been!
Why did It begin?
only It knows!

How did It begin?
with a Bang and a Whimper!

Which God is this Something?
"I am all that have been,
I am the Father,
the Mother,
the Son,
and the Daughter,
I am the East,
the West,
the North,
and the South,
I am the pool of water,
and the immovable mover,
I am That Which Is'!"

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


For so many centuries people have tried to make sense of the seeming chaos of the changing world around them. And they have shaped their views by the way the world has shaped them. As a result today we have a world full of many different interpretations.
Yet only in the modern world do we have the interaction necessary to see so many varied points of view. And to many of us, secure in the notion that we have those definitive answers, this may come as a rude awakening.
This "brave new world" of interaction allows us to see a wider point of view: to perhaps see the whole picture. We are only now able to look through the eyes of so many others. And from their perspectives perhaps we get a bit closer to the whole truth.
We live our lives confident that our answers are correct -- confident that we understand the way the universe works. Yet, when tragedy strikes we discover just how fragile that way of thinking can be.
Our faith carries us through the storms of life. But it can also be a hindrance if it is misplaced or if we have faith based on our own short-sightedness. True, it is arguably impossible to see the ''whole picture." Yet can we see through the eyes of others to understand our world better? Can we use the perception of strangers to see much further than our own small neighborhood?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

My Beliefs

A good place to start is at the beginning...

How do I define my beliefs?
This is a question that tends to plague me very often. Many times people will come up to me and ask, “So what is it that you believe?” And so I am often left wondering how best to explain it to them.
Perhaps the easiest way to explain it is like this:

I believe that God is the Living Universe. I believe that It is continuously growing and changing and that, perhaps, It is conscious at a level very different than what we understand.
As each one of us is a part of the Living Universe I therefore believe that each one of us has a piece of that Divine Sacredness within us. Therefore I believe in the inherent worth and dignity of each person and every thing. I believe there are no useless or worthless people. Rather there are people who simply fail to live up to their potential.

There are many faiths around the globe. Many people have created their faiths based on their perceptions of the world. Today our world is filled with so many different beliefs. And they all seem so contradictory.
But the tools of our modern world help us understand where these beliefs come from. We can call someone with our cell phone and discuss these things. Or we can search the World Wide Web to understand the feelings and perceptions of people a world away. And perhaps we can begin to understand the broader picture.
For we each see only in part. But perhaps together we can make sense of it all.

Welcome to Pathwalks!

I've been writing for over 20 years now, what I expected to be a different sort of book on spirituality. From the more-conservative and traditional views I had as a college undergraduate to the more inclusive beliefs I now hold, the book has been the biggest constant. At times I've hoped the book would be a meal-ticket and lead to greater audiences, and at times I've stopped to consider that knowledge should be free, and freeing knowledge more so.
When I came to the beliefs I now hold dear, I began writing a book I still hope to someday publish, if only here in the pages on this blog. Some of my writings were circulated around among friends a few years back. And a couple friends of mine began to form a spiritual group, and then church, largely based on them. After several meetings and writings I discovered that we were on the same page (strangely, I hadn't realized how close our beliefs were. I was a bit thin-skinned at the time and I was too concerned with what I was doing to notice anything else).
And so, after a great deal of board (read: boring, technical, and sometimes downright scary with regards to synchronicity) meetings, we decided to lock one of our founders in the local Law Library for the greater part of a year. When she came out, she led us through the process of legal recognition, and thus was born Path of the Personal Divine!
A video ministry has been a pet project I've considered for a good deal of time as well. That is where I first came up with the name "Pathwalks". I even came up with a theme song!
But, more recently, I find that a blog is perhaps the route I wish to take with this project. After all, most of my writings are small articles and difficult to edit into a proper book. Also, my writing goes in cycles, much from observations I make during the day. Often, I find myself shaking my head at how people waste their lives concerned with the things we create in our lives that don't matter. I despair at the level of unproductive instincts people follow (things I often refer to as "evolutionary holdovers"). And I end up shaking my head at the sorry way people treat each other.
But my beliefs are not based on any dogmatic approach to the human condition. Rather I have examined the patterns of life, existence, and belief that occur and recur throughout the world, and I've sought to understand our relationship to all this.
And so what follows is what I've found...