The Choice Is Yours: Part 2
By Christine Ford
While cleaning out old files from my struggling, wheezing computer, I was “sorting the wheat from the chaff” in determining what to save to download onto our new Spiritual Climate computer. (Thanks again, Patty!) I found the beginning of an article from way back in March 2004 that never came to be finished, and was amazed at the appropriateness it held in light of that which I am experiencing right now. Interesting, how ideas pop in and begin to heat up, are put on the back burner to simmer for a while, then start boiling enough to catch our attention and end up being an enhanced version of what was originally begun, isn’t it? This article was prompted by my contemplation of the words “shallow and fragile” in relation to the seeking of “knowledge” as used by Dr. Strickler in the Interview he gave to Spiritual Climate regarding healing in “A Short Interview with Dr. David Strickler November 29, 2003”, published January 31st, 2004 (please note, this interview is unpublished on the blog as of yet). I found myself pondering those words and how they interplay in my path and in the journey of those around me. Dr. Strickler’s words which prompted this article are as follows:
“Simplicity unaided by knowledge renders an individual fragile.
People who are imbedded in the shallowness of their perception have pronation and vivid acumen towards simplistic answers. But simple answers don’t take us out of the platonic cave of shadows.
One must admit that there is a problem and that they are powerless over that problem due to the current level of knowledge they are able to exercise.”
I have come to the conclusion that the SHALLOWNESS and FRAGILITY of faith, love, understanding, communication, reasoning, dialogue, sincerity, and honesty that exist in this world have indeed created a society of lemmings rushing to the sea who DO, in fact, ceaselessly “ask, seek and knock”, as was also discussed in Dr. Strickler’s interview. The question is, however, the methods the masses employ as they “ask, seek and knock”, the danger and SHALLOWNESS of the “information only” answers with which they are pacified and placated instead of the pursuit of genuine KNOWLEDGE and the resulting FRAGILITY of that which is held in regard to be Spiritual by our society.
The shallowness and fragility of that which the generic metaphysical community presents as Spiritual certainly does lead their “consumers” to questions (asking) and a search (seeking), and a frenzy of running from place to place throwing away money and time on the latest fad technique in hopes of obtaining enlightenment (knocking). Generic metaphysics, in all its trappings and feel good techniques, masquerading as true Spirituality has created a body of horrifically shallow and fragile consumers for their products, just as the trend has gone in numerous areas of our twisted societal economy, engineered by the cunning analysts who view us all as “consumers” and nothing more. The shallowness and fragility of that which society at large and the metaphysical community specifically are asking, seeking and knocking in hopes of discovering, however, is a sad commentary that runs rampant, in an ever spiraling avalanche of confusion, depression and instant gratification of sensation. Their blissfully optimistic “Let Go and Let God” attitude, coupled now with the revelation of the so-called “”Secret” for all to know is just plain a blasphemy of Spirituality.
The way I am feeling right now, this could easily turn into a rant that could go for pages, but somehow, that isn’t what needs to be written. This goes far deeper than merely spouting off about what we have become and pointing out to you, the reader, that which you most likely are already aware of if you are honest with yourself, even if you are unable to admit it consciously or speak the words aloud. No, this discovery carries with it an intense sadness and sorrow that I cannot shake, a knowing that the masses are totally missing the mark, that they are living out the greatest of sins that could ever be committed. The gulf of disconnectedness from the Soul and Spirit which we were intended by the One Creator to explore within this negative plane of existence has grown in direct proportion to the insanity of our consumer driven mentality, being continually embellished upon and gleefully taken advantage of by those dangling the plastic carrot of “Spiritual Truth”.
The beauty and agape of participating in the ongoing Genesis that we have been granted by the One to create, discover and grow within has been bastardized and sacrificed. What was meant to be the exuberant, dynamic experience of LIFE has become an empty experience of living DEATH, a shallow, fragile shell of an existence, the Platonic cave of shadows as referred to in Dr. Strickler’s interview. We don’t need to be concerned about going to Hell after we die. We are living Hell each and every day through the illusions, lies and fantasies we create right here on Earth by misappropriating the power of choice and use of Free Will given to us so lovingly by The One God. As Dr. Strickler has pointed out, over and over, the answers are within the simple formula: ask, seek and knock.
But ask for WHAT? Seek WHAT? Knock for WHAT?
One of the most difficult challenges I have faced in my years as a student, and, if I am going to be perfectly honest, in my years before having even met Dr. Strickler, is developing the fine art of asking. Be it asking for help, for advice, for money, for assistance… Be it asking a question or for further clarification of a statement… Be it asking for love, or a touch, or that my needs be met… Be it asking someone for guidance or just to have a little bit of patience with me please… Be it asking if I can help someone in need… Be it asking for the time and space to be MYSELF! I think you get the picture.
Though this has changed considerably over the past five years, I still find myself confused and frustrated with my inability to verbalize a question or a need, in other words, to ASK. My pattern, which is changing, has been to just hope and pray that someone will read my mind and fulfill my needs. Then I have merely accepted, often begrudgingly but silently, that which came to me, whether it was what I wanted or not, and been outwardly thankful for whatever it was. Oh my God! Sounds sickeningly passive-aggressive, doesn’t it!? Know what? It’s even worse than that. It is a total denial and misuse of the power of Choice and use of Free Will that was given to me, as was given to us all, by The Creator.
What do you ask for? How do you ask? Do you ask or question at all? Or do you simply surrender your right to ask and allow yourself to be tossed about by the whims and wiles of the illusions of the masses, never having those questions that burn within you answered? Do you get so caught up in the daily minute to minute grind that you don’t even allow those questions to surface, or, perhaps, are you afraid of what those questions might be and the answers and work (GREAT WORK) they might bring?
As the Ancient Mystery Schools so succinctly query, WHAT DO YOU WANT? This is such a seemingly simple question, yet such a difficult one to answer. Only after years of being a serious student of a Spiritual Teacher am I finally beginning to formulate my answer to that, and even THAT is constantly changing and reforming, and that answer remains between me and The One.
You have to start somewhere though! Just consider for a moment the question, WHAT DO YOU WANT? Do you have an answer? Take some time to search your heart and mind, and when you find an answer, ASK FOR IT! GO FOR IT! MAKE IT SO! Have the balls to go beyond your fears and seeming limitations and put it into words, into action, into reality. At least you then are exercising the power of choice and taking some volitional steps to take your want out of your head and heart and put it into your waking conscious life. That is your right and your privilege as a human consciousness. Experience the freedom of taking the matter into your hands and voicing! ASK!
And next we SEEK! Personally, this one has seemingly (she says ever so cautiously, waiting for the Big Shoe to kick her in the ass) been the easiest for me! I have always been a seeker, haunting bookstores and attending lectures, listening to tapes and looking for information, but it has not been until very recently that I realized what I was a seeker OF! To seek is to search for, similar in a sense to asking, but more of a nonverbal quest, a journey! With seeking comes the discovery of answers through growth of the awareness of paradox, the dialogue about that paradox, the beauty of agape, and most importantly, the acquisition of KNOWLEDGE, not information peddling, through the Spiritual discovery process.
The journey of discovery of Who and What I truly Am, the Enlightenment, the Illumination, The Truth, The Beauty and The Love, all this and more lies at the far distant but ever growing closer end of my journey and is an infinitely unfolding process of discernment and sorting. Seeking is the process of moving from day to day and living life fully within the moment; it is hard work and tears, as well as times of sheer joy and laughter, but I do know what I am seeking. I am seeking Myself, and I can now state that freely and openly, and though it may sound exceedingly narcissistic to some, I really don’t care! I have come to know through my exposing and exploring my “Martyrdom Poor Me Complex” that I can help no one until I have become true to Who and What I Am and have been constantly attempting, though not always perfectly, to surrender my misconstrued ideas of personal will to the Will of the One, in other words, to put my personality and ego in its place!
That, my dear friends, is a lifetime after lifetime process which is by no means complete! I sincerely thank Dr. Strickler and Dianne for all that they have given and conveyed which has at least allowed me to be cognizant of what it is I seek within this lifetime! Now I ask a question of you, and I ask you to ponder for a moment.
What is it you seek? How do you seek it? Do you seek it at all? Or have you squandered your right to the attainment of that for which you were destined to the shallow and fragile insanity of the daily rat race? Are you going to be the gnarly old rat seeking only the generic metaphysical moldy old hunk of cheese when it is your birthright to be feasting upon the most succulent delicacies of the Elixir of Life in true Spiritual seeking? The choice, my friend, is yours, and, I remind you, so is the Karma.
Finally, this brings us to KNOCK, associated once more with asking! I’ve learned from experience, and am learning more clearly every day, that when you knock, you better damn well be ready to ASK when that door is opened! No mincing of words, stuttering, or DUH moments! You get to the point of knocking, and you better damn well be ready to open up your mouth!
OH MY GOD! While writing this I just had this gigantic AH-HA as to the realization of how crucial the skill of asking is: it not only precedes but is the foundation and fuel for the seeking and the knocking. I can just see Dr. Strickler laughing his ass off as he reads this part, because I just clicked into the fact that this has been an underlying current of my whole process since I arrived here in Phoenix five years ago on May 18, 2002, indeed, since I began this journey under Dr. Strickler’s guidance in February, 1992! Is this my gift of insight this year resulting from the energies of the Holy Season of Sirius? Well, Dr. Strickler, it may not make it any easier for me to actually voice those questions, I may still stutter and stammer looking for the appropriate words, but at last I’ve finally apprehended the SPIRIT of ASKING! It just never ceases to amaze me, the way in which knowing unfolds, opens and sometimes comes up and smacks you out of seeming nowhere in those moments when you are looking the other way! You all just witnessed an unedited glimmer of the joy of agape! Thank you Dr. Strickler!
Remember, you must SEEK the door assiduously, and be sure you have a question ready to ASK when it opens! But again, you must get up the gumption to KNOCK or your asking and seeking has been in vain!
Why did you knock? What were you hoping to find? Did you knock at all? Or did you pass by the door without even noticing that it was open a bit, that there was a dazzling light shining on the other side seeping through the cracks, and that the REAL YOU was on the other side, waiting for YOURSELF? Did you by pass the possibility of the exploration and opening to the reality of life and the ongoing creation of Genesis and choose instead the door of the masses of humanity who remain in the shallow and fragile existence of a living Hell? Again, the choice is yours.
I have lived my entire life, until quite recently, piously suffering under the self proclaimed illusion that I wanted to make the world a better place, to save the suffering masses, to help create world peace! I have taught handicapped kids for over 30 years now as a part of that “reality” that I created, and though I have seen some kids grow, I surely haven’t made the mark I set out to on the world! Geeze, I sounded like a fucking contestant for the Ms America Pageant! GET REAL!
I have finally come to know that the only person I can help is myself and everything I do is for ME! The only way I can hope to have even the smallest hand in aiding the “world” situation is to keep asking, seeking and knocking as I move along the path of Truth and Knowledge which I have chosen and then applying those truths and principles to my world. By growing in light and living those truths and principles to the best of my ability at any given moment, perhaps I may act as a catalyst for the growth of those I come into contact with. They may or may not choose to accept that which I have grown to be as I continue my process of “becoming”, and they may or may not choose to grow as well. That CHOICE belongs to each person, as does the freedom to exercise their God given use of Free Will to ask, seek and knock, in their quest for the knowledge that is their birth right.
ASK, SEEK and KNOCK! WHAT DO YOU WANT? Do you want the shallow, fragile life of information gathering, the illusion of the shadows dancing on the wall in Plato’s Cave created by those whose goal is to peddle a product and consider you nothing more than a consumer? Do you want the profoundly deep, powerfully strong life of knowledge, the truth and reality of that which only a Spiritual Teacher can reveal, whose goal is to guide you through the rough as well as smooth waters as you move closer to becoming Who and What you truly are? WHAT DO YOU WANT?
. . .May you choose wisely. . .