Living in a United State (Metaphorically Speaking)
My thoughts often toward a metaphysical and spiritual slant which can sometimes lead to musings that venture into what, for me, is untried territory. One of these thoughts which lingers is that I was born into a united state, not just the United States, but a united state in a different way. From a philosophical perspective, I wonder how this effects my natural urge to move into union with my fellow Americans, and then even further, into a united state with the other inhabitants of the world. If you want to push boundaries even further, how much my search for inner peace has to do with establishing this united state within myself.
Today I was listening to NPR and I have no idea what they said that triggered it, but the theme was the land of the free. I remember going through a stage of self discovery when if you had asked me what I wanted most, I would have said that I wanted to be free. I was in search of freedom in a country where freedom was one of the cornerstones of its established credo. And yet, how many of us truly feel free.
I question how much of my search for inner truth rises up out of the place I was born. Here in the “Heartland” of the United States, home of brave, land of the free. What rises up in me because of my birth place. The tenets we speak so freely yet rarely feel inside ourselves. We have the same issues, one presumes, as many of the rest of the world. Perhaps, it shows its face in a different way. We aren’t the only United States in the world, there are several and I wonder if they grasp their united nature within themselves to a greater degree that I have yet to learn.
I have thought about my given name as well and how it represents “Bridging”, as in bridging aspects within myself, between opposites, between cultures, and races, and gender. I hold black and white up to the light, and the dark, and I find the middle ground. Back into the heart, and the heartland, I find myself seeking places and spaces that bring stability. On the flip side, I take into account my alter ego of Chaos. A chosen name I took in the late 90’s when the internet started to become a fad.
Where do my names of Chaos and the Bridge merge and become one? Do I bridge the gaps in understanding as well as have the capability to create the chaos which spews forth misunderstanding? I have watched as part of a scene that was chaotic became calm and smooth with the projected insight from my understanding and I have watch as something which appeared smooth and serene erupted into the chaos of buried energy bubbling to the surface. I have watched them both and have wondered how much of either was caused simply by my observance of the events. Was there something within me that was itching to break out of the stable routine and become something more, something a little more noticeable, some thing excitable? Is it possible when it gets all too much for me that my energy collapses into inertia and the still depths of pond-like reflections? How much do I contribute to the happenings which occur around me?
I have been contemplating ritual lately. Small rituals like bathing and brushing of the teeth. Or other such rituals like lighting of candles and acknowledging the four directions, east, west, north, south. I understand the need for ritual as it tends to focus our energy and direct it where we would most like it to be channeled. And, a part of me falls apart and says, Phooey. The rituals may be good and a strong focal point, but they are not necessary. The only thing really necessary is placing your attention and focus on the desired end and then allowing the natural energy to draw you toward your desire. I think that but then I wonder how much more I would accomplish if I would simply focus and perform a small ritual to set my intention.
I know I ramble around in my own thoughts. The only thing that gives me direction half the time is that I have spent years journaling my own dreams and somehow trying to make sense out of the chaos of dreamscapes, lends itself to making sense out of a rambling of thoughts that run through my mind. I can’t even claim all the thoughts as my own since half the time I find those thoughts elsewhere being thought by thousands of others whom I have never met.
Which brings me fairly full of circle…how much of my thoughts are really my own and how much are simply reflections of other parts of this united state I live in that I seem completely unaware of 90% of the time. Metaphorically speaking, could we all be living in our own form of united state or in the process of struggling to reach that united state? And would we, possibly, reach that place faster if we understood what we were all reaching tentatively through the ethers trying to achieve. Would awareness alone be enough to bring us into this state of being?
Perhaps none of this is important to anyone but me. It is just simply too hard for me to imagine that I am not one with everyone and thing on this planet on some level, even if only energetically. When I was a teenager, I heard someone ask if I was a spiritual being having a human experience or a human being having a spiritual experience. I thought that the most odd of questions I guess because I never questioned the validity of either aspect of self. Today, if I had to choose, then I would say I unfortunately drift into the spiritual so often that I neglect the physical parts of my being simply through forgetfulness. I forget sometimes that I must nurture the physical aspect of being alive as well.
That seems like a place I need more practice, the embracing of this state of union. When the spirit neglects the physical in search of loftier ideas, the physical gets left behind literally. Yet the opposite is also true. When we strive for all things physical, the pursuit of monetary goals or other physical desires, we lose sight of the spiritual essence of all of nature. Lately, the practice has been for me to simply notice when I am starting to drift out of a state of balance with this. Entering a state of stress is a gradual process. One moment of awareness you are calm and centered. Then, hours later, you find you have become tense and stressed over a deadline, crisis, or other unfolding drama. I have been paying attention to where this energy becomes disruptive. Noticing as it is beginning to creep up on me instead of when I am thrown full bodied into the tension.
Becoming aware, for me, is my power. It is the only place where I have the freedom to make a choice and to decide, what energy am I following right now. Can I let go of my expectations and move into acceptance so that I am more aligned with what is becoming so now? I can, the question is, will I? How often do I need to ask this question before I can choose to be in a united state all the time, and not just when I wake up in the morning and realize that it is also a country that I live in? Don’t I also have a responsibility to live in this state consciously and with directed awareness all the time?