I have a whirlwind of ideas, thoughts and emotions swirling around in my brain today. I am caught in a storm of possibilities and responsibilities. I am trying to mental map my way through, but today, I need to stop and put it all down literally on paper, well light lit paper. I rarely use actual paper anymore unless I am drawing or not around a computer. I like seeing the words as they appear on the computer screen. It is more comforting than reading the natural scrawl of my messy penmanship. I had a deaf classmate in college that asked to use my notes to better understand what the teacher was saying. I did not think it was a good idea because I know my style of note taking is only for me. It is designed by me for me. To someone else it is total chaos. But, to me it works. I actually draw pictures and scribble lines and write upside down and backwards. I guess it is how my brain works. Somehow, I do not need that when I type with a keypad. The classmate was confused when she returned my notes to me. She said it made no sense to her. She was not being mean; she was honestly concerned for me. I told her that I was certain it would be difficult for her to figure it out, but I wanted to help her if I could. I apologized for the confusion. We parted in a friendly manner. We actually had a good laugh from it. I guess she was surprised that I was actually acing the class with flying colors. When I am in my Zen, I am all the way in. Sometimes, I have to step out of the mess of my mind.
I struggle with things like the names of the founding fathers of different techniques and the dates that are important to those historical moments. I guess I have a problem accepting that an entire concept can come from one persons mind. I really feel that these moments in which these people became known for their culmination of thoughts are ego driven when they take or allow others to put them in a position to take the credit for entire lifetimes of experiences and conversations that led them to become the lucky ones to actually put it down on paper and get a publisher to print it with their name on it. Rarely do people live in such a bubble that they think solely their own thoughts.We generally are a blend of all that we experience even if we do not remember exactly how we came to a certain way of thinking. I get that their effort is to be commended.
In over thinking all the time I also see that a lot of topics like Psychology are based in Buddhism as well as other religious concepts. These people really sat down and mapped it all out, putting it together in a way that made it easier for others to kind of understand. Often, we are at conflict with new concepts even if they mirror the ideas we had all along because we give it a new name like Psychology. Many would never even consider new concepts if they knew where the idea sprang from.
I meet a lot of people that refuse to educate themselves out of fear of being tricked or a fear that they are somehow going against Holy Scripture if they explore other ideas. What they do not realize is that those pages are also a culmination of the thoughts of many people that were joined together to create a specific concept. I am not saying that they are wrong or right. I am saying that, if we look at things realistically, we can see that it is a history of a people. It is also specific concepts that groups of people have sat down and put together as universal truths, the way to achieve an ideal state of mind and body. That is a big deal. The fact that many will give their lives to protect their sacred scriptures says so much. However, it still remains true that it is a blending of information from many places and people. When we get so caught up in a particular way of thinking that we see no value in other thoughts, we really miss out on the very foundation that was laid for the formation of the scriptures themselves.
For me, exploring cross cultural approaches to living helps me see that many of the leaders teaching these concepts to entire communities do not bother to venture outside of the teachings they were taught. It can be dangerous. It builds walls that people think are protecting them. The political turmoil in the air right now is a result of this fear that is taught to us from early childhood. I have been strongly criticized for desiring and participating in higher education period. I struggle with the idea that people are so afraid to even consider anything outside of their basic beliefs. Any work that is a collection of the thoughts of people will have faults and flaws. It is the very nature of being human.
In furthering my education in life, I find that it proves that the struggles we face every day are not new. They have been around as long as people have been. The struggles are as real today as they were hundreds and thousands of years ago. That in itself is highly valued information. We are not horrible people if we think or act within the nature of our roles as humans. The basis for the Ten Commandments is not an end all set of rules that we are expected to follow or be damned. I think that is only teaching fear. It shows that people have been doing these things for a long, long time. It is a guide for us to know that we can chose to live a better way and make better choices.
Learning the teachings of many cultures has taught me that cultures like Christians and Buddhists are not as alien to each other as I was taught that they are. They teach many of the same concepts. I have met good and bad people from many walks of life. I am learning that my God is bigger and more awesome than I was taught in Sunday School. He is more forgiving and understanding than I ever imagined. It is very powerful. To teach our children to only think a certain way actually harms them and limits what they can accomplish in the world. Truth, Love, and Compassion are the greatest truths to me. These scriptures are maps for how to find our way to a higher self and that helps us become better humans.
It is okay if you find a teaching and way of thinking that resonates with your soul, but it is wrong to expect others to conform to your own understanding. It is not right to teach children to bend on knees in fear of God. God wants us to Love. There is no greater truth than that. How can we find our way through the darkness that can come when we realize that bad things happen to us no matter how good we are if we are taught so strongly to live in fear of who we really are in our natural state of being? As you grow greed, lust, anger, etc. find us no matter what path we take. How we deal with them is the key to working through the feelings and emotions that come with it. Fear makes us punish our children and make them go onto their knees begging God for forgiveness for not following the rules. What are we really afraid of when we are doing this? Fear drives us to tear our own families apart thinking that one way of thinking is the only way.
My way of thinking is at times, broken and upside down and scribbled and scrawled onto the margins of my life. But, I see that there is so much more to learn and to know. I seek to find greater truths that make me want to do more to help people that are drowning inside the beliefs that were drilled into them all of their lives. This is not limited to scripture. It is the same for laws, etc. They are a foundation for what we should do to live and be better humans.
In reality, we can publish a million books that teach positivity, law, fear and damnation; and, people will still reject it because as humans we have a natural desire to do things our own way. If we do not decide to follow the rules, they simply cease to apply to us. Each generation seems to want to do things their own way. History keeps repeating itself because we are not learning the true lessons of life in the right ways. Often, we go from being too strict to our teachings to being too lenient. There is so much in the middle of it all that is missed when we stay within the limits of a single way of thinking. If we never step outside of the limits of what we know, how do we really know where we stand or what we really think? I have been the person standing in judgment and anger telling others that the way I see things is right. Time and continued learning has taught me that I was wrong. There is always more to learn. There are truths that can be found in seeking real answers. I understand that my views will continue to evolve with the experiences I chose for myself.
I sometimes fall back onto more comfortable ways of thinking, but whenever I take a risk and look deeper into things asking bigger questions, I continue to see that life is so much greater than anyone can imagine in a single moment with a single way of thinking. I feel Blessed that I have a gypsy heart that keeps me wandering and searching for more. If we think of it all in the form of food and not holy scripture, we can understand that living only on rice and beans is no longer fulfilling once you have tasted other foods. Babies rarely eat baby food for very long once they are introduced to table food. Exploring other cultures and flavors of living increases our pallet and open us to deeper truths. They can actually teach us that we have more appreciation for the culture we were raised in than we ever imagined. If you only drink water then you miss the joy of tea or coffee, it is as simple as that. Yes, we can survive on water alone, but life is much more interesting when we blend in the other sensations that come with the aroma, taste, sound, sights and textures that come with the addition of new experiences. Oh no, some of us will be brave enough to add a little milk and sugar to our adventures taking the experience to greater heights or lows if you find it does not suit your taste. But, if you find that you do not like it, hey, no harm, no foul you went there living dangerously, and you now know that you did not like the new experience and you are still free to return to your original practice.
Take notes the best way you can pen, paper, sand, sticks, keypads, mental mapping it does not matter if you choose all or one way of getting to the answers you need just do the work. Blend many styles into how you approach life and accept that life is good because we make it so. We each write our own story. No one sees it the same way. It is okay to choose to have pure water and coffee in the same day, and it is makes the day so much more interesting to mix things up instead of hiding in fear of new experiences because of a fear of failing at being a naturally flawed human being.