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Friday, March 25, 2011

There's No Such Thing As Supernatural: Everything Is Miracle!

Dark Night of the Soul

Things have felt a bit difficult since being back in Moab - not so much outwardly, but in my body, mind, and spirit.  I just got over a bad case of bronchitis that's been going around Moab.  And inwardly, it's incredible the times of intense doubt I was catching myself going through the past few weeks, nothing like I've felt since giving up money.  But I sit with those times, and they pass, and I then find that something grand has been growing in me in those times like a baby in the womb.  I have a pregnant cousin who is describing a similar intensity within her.

Snail-Mail Synchronicity

Outwardly, perfect synchronicities keep happening.  I forgot to mention one that happened in Phoenix months ago.  I'd left Slab City and forgot to return a poetry book (written by a former Moabite) to my friend, Jon, there.  He emailed me and I told him I'd mail it back to him.  Then I remembered snail-mailing takes money.  One time I had to mail a package some 9  years ago, and I found a pile of coins in the street, just enough to mail it that day.  But this time I didn't want to use money.  I'd rather this time send it with somebody or something already going to Slab City.  But what are the chances of that?  A silent voice deep inside me kept saying, "just you watch, it'll work out," so I ceased worrying about it.  I was staying at Claire's house, never having mentioned this to her, and one day she asked me, "I am going to the post office to mail a package to some friends in Slab City.  Would you like me to mail anything anywhere for you? My mouth dropped open. We simply included the little book in her package and she sent it off.  Then she asked me, "So if you don't use money, how on earth did you intend to get that back to Slab City?"  I said, "I didn't have a clue.  But it's happening right now, and you're part of the mysterious process, huh?"

Sleeping-Bag Synchronicity

Now, back in Moab, I've stayed mostly up at the cave, but decided to also set up a camp near town for when I can't make it up the canyon at night.  I still had the sleeping bag Gregory and Beth had lent me last autumn for the California trip.  But I still wanted to use it at the town camp, since it was still too cold at night for a blanket, and return it when it got warmer.  I wanted to see Gregory and Beth, but, I must confess, I was avoiding it because I didn't want to deal with the sleeping bag.
 
Meanwhile, Carolyn and I have been brainstorming about things we could do to cultivate sustainability in Moab, to break people's dependence on money.  We had both seen the film, "The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil" at about the same time last winter, her back east and me in LA, which got us both inspired to want to do something back in Moab.  I kept talking about how we should start mobilizing people to convert their yards to vegetable gardens, among other things.  Last week, she said, "Why don't we get something going right now, schedule a gathering and show the film?"  I agreed, so we scheduled the "Sustainable Moab Project and Potluck".  We were wondering where we would get seeds, and if people would step up to provide yards to garden, so we'd have something to start with.

That night I crawled back into Gregory and Beth's sleeping bag, thinking how I needed to return it to them.  That silent voice spoke to me again: "Where is your faith?  Just return it to them tomorrow and you just watch something work out!"  I knew they would actually give the bag to me if I asked, but I wanted to return it to them, especially after that silent voice.  So the next day I packed up the bag, ready to take back to them, but first decided to ride over to my friend Pete's house, near the storage unit, before I brought them the bag.  There on the ground was a really nice sleeping bag laid out (I've lost count, but I think this is the fourth or fifth time I've had a sleeping-bag miracle happen like this exactly at the right time over the last 15 years).  Then I took Gregory and Beth's bag back to them. 

Sustainable Moab Project Synchronicity

Little did I know as I returned the sleeping bag, Gregory and Beth had heard about our Sustainable Moab Project and said they really wanted to participate, though they didn't have time to work but had a yard we could maybe use, plus they had two boxes of all kinds of seeds they wanted to give us, along with a good gardening book!  I had no idea they would be interested or had those things!

So we had our Sustainable Moab Project Potluck, showed the movie, and had a pretty good brainstorm discussion afterward.  Even with our last-minute notice, over 15 people showed up.  I feel so grateful Carolyn is here.  She's lighting a fire under me and we're doing things I don't think I have the gumption to initiate on my own.  But it sometimes hits Carolyn and me that we wonder what we're getting ourselves into.  Sometime this seems a daunting commitment, and naturally we have felt scared.  But she just read something very wise about fear (maybe I can put the reference here later) and shared it with me.  We think of fear as a bad thing, it said, but, if we use it right, fear is actually the source of exciting energy that takes us out of our listlessness, giving us the power to perform and build our project. I'm realizing that's so true.  People who do risky sports like rock-climbing or tight-rope walking know this. Everything in the universe is good, in its proper place and timing, including fear.

In Tent Synchronicity

Meanwhile, back at the camp, I slept cozy in the new bag.  A couple nights it was really windy, and my tarps and plastic coverings were whipping around like crazy, tearing the plastic.  Rainclouds were blowing in with a few showers.  I've always preferred tarps or plastic to a tent, because they're simpler, but this time I thought, "I think I now need a tent - this is getting a bit out of hand."  Then next day I rode back to that storage unit and decided to peak in the dumpster and saw what I thought was a rolled up tarp.  I took it, thinking it would be good reinforcement.  I unrolled it back at the camp and discovered it was a pup tent, in perfect condition, with stakes!  So now I'm all bourgeoisie at my townhouse with a sleek sleeping bag and tent.

Nothing or Nobody is Special:
All the Universe is in Synchronicity

Yeah, this is stuff that keeps happening to me outwardly.  And it's not because I'm special.  Rain falls on everybody, good and bad, alike. Miracles happen to everybody, but most people don't notice them because too much stuff and thought accumulation closes their eyes to it. How else would life have evolved so miraculously and synchronistically million years after million years?  For me, it astonishes me that I forget these continual synchronicities so easily, and it scares me a bit that I can relate to the Pharaoh in the Torah legend, hardening his heart even after getting miracle after miracle thrown in front of  him.  Rationality is a good and natural thing, but when it gets out of balance, it becomes a bully and rationalizes away intuition, blinds us to miracles continually before our eyes. 

No Such Thing as Supernatural:

Everything is Miracle

But we must be clear what miracle really is.  When we become superstitious, we think miracles are super-natural, because our minds are strayed from the present, unable to see that every moment is total miracle.  What we think is "supernatural" is nothing more than natural that is somewhere else, that we can't explain.  If we saw "supernatural" occurrences here and now, we would get bored with them as natural.  Nature is miracle, and the mind removed from nature, discontent with nature, is searching for super-natural.  It's our
"adulterous" mind, our mind that cheats on the Present, that seeks after signs, seeks miracles other than what's before our face.  It's the marketing mind, which thinks imported products are better because they are from "exotic" places.  But to the pure, all things are pure.  To the miraculous, all things are miraculous. 

The very first chapter of the Bible says that everything in the universe is Good (Genesis 1:31).  According to the Gospels, Jesus says there is none Good but One God (Luke 18:19)  If you believe Genesis and Jesus don't contradict, you can draw only one conclusion. 

Death and Resurrection Ever Now
To the true Christian, a seed sprouting from the ground and a baby being born is exactly as miraculous as Jesus rising from the dead or Adam being formed from the dust of the ground, because they are all One Thing, all happening ever Now, and the same yesterday, today, and forever.  The Quran constantly states that the Death and Resurrection is ever happening before our eyes, and that the Day of Resurrection is the Eternal Today, and we all resurrect as One Soul (Quran 31:28).  The superstitious mind might think I am devaluing Jesus by saying his resurrection is no more significant than a fungus spore sprouting.  On the contrary, our superstitious mind is devaluing the Omnipresence of Christ by not recognizing that Jesus and the fungus spore resurrecting are one thing, Christ come in the flesh, right before our eyes, that Christ is all and in all (Colossians 3:11), Ever Here.  The Bhagavad Gita emphasizes this, that the enlightened mind sees the Holy in everything and everybody and regards dirt, stone, and gold as all equal (Gita 14:24).  The marketing mind sees one object more valuable than another, one person better than another, one thing, place, or person as sacred and another as profane, one event more favorable than another, one religion superior to others, unlike the Holy mind, which is no respecter of persons, as the Bible keeps saying .  The Tao of Heaven is impartial, Tao Te Ching 79 says. The Infant Mind is the Zen mind, and sees all things in perfect equanimity, the Buddhist sutras keep telling us. 

Persecuting the Holy

Is Persecuting Nature
Is Persecuting Our Own Natures

People crucify the Holy before their very eyes because they only see insignificance, common-ness.  They do not see that the way, the truth, and the life is Omnipresent, everywhere and right here, I am who I am. They think the Holy always comes as a crowned King in glorious robes and splendor in the sky, or in some miraculous time in past history, but never present (which is the only reality).  But the Holy is always right here, equally now as ever.  The only thing that changes is how we choose to perceive it.  In the Quran, the Holy says,

We are nearer to a person than his jugular vein.
(Quran 50:16)

and the Torah says

It is not in heaven, that you should say,
'Who will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us,
that we may hear it and do it?'
Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say,
'Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us,
that we may hear it and do it?'
But the word is very near you,
in your mouth and in your heart,
that you may do it.
(Deuteronomy 30:13-14)

Because our minds are not present, separate from nature, we think the Holy is also somewhere else, separate from nature, and we think the Holy in front of our eyes is insignificant and silly, so we continually condemn and trample the Holy.  We mistreat and reject each other, we mistreat and reject nature, not realizing we are mistreating and rejecting the Holy:

In the Tao Te Ching, the Holy speaks:

Because people do not understand,
they have no knowledge of me.
Those who know me are few;
Those who abuse me are honored.
Therefore the Sage wears rough clothing
And holds the jewel in his heart.
(Tao Te Ching 70)

Repeated in the Tao Te Ching:

He who takes upon himself the humiliation of the people
is fit to rule them.
He who takes upon himself the country's disasters
deserves to be King of the Universe.
(Tao Te Ching 78)

In the Christian Gospels, the Holy says:

I was a stranger and you did not take me in, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me. (Matthew 25:43)

and

The world did not know him.
He came unto his own,
and his own did not receive him.
(John 1:10-11)

The Jewish Tanach says the same about the Holy:

The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone. (Psalm 118:22)
   
The Divine says in the Bhagavad Gita:

Not knowing my transcendent nature as the sovereign Lord of all beings, fools condemn me incarnated as a human.  (Bhagavad Gita 9:11)

And the Dhammapada of Buddha says of this same Holy:

The world may hate  him
but good people love him. (Dhammapada 6)

The  master endures insults and ill treatment
without reacting. (Dhammapada 26)