Within the Differences

I woke up this morning to a dark, cloudy day though there was no evidence that any rain had fallen. About an hour later the clouds parted to reveal a beautiful, cool Spring day.

Though I woke up with no desire to go out, primarily to go grocery shopping, which I needed to do else I would regret it later in the week, once the sun came out I felt a little more motivated to do so. So I did.

Like usual, I put on my bluetooth ear buds and after they finally connected with my phone, tapped play on my Agnes Obel playlist. Beautiful instrumental music filled my ears as it entered my mind, filling my body with the great, intense peace that her music gives to me.

I thought about how her music is as passionate and intense as heavy metal music without all the adrenaline that heavy metal music causes as it fills the mind and body. It does the exact opposite. It brings a deeply passionate peace through the intense precision that doesn’t seem like precision at all but flows fluidly causing me to feel something that no other music can bring to me. It basically causes my mind and body to flow fluidly and peacefully also.

I thought about watching her live, as she is both the pianist and the conductor of the group. She seems so authoritarian as she conducts, sings and plays the piano. I watch her closely and it seems she is listening intently to every note that the others are playing.

What I find interesting is that the two cellists who play with her, who are brilliant, are also somewhat submissive to her, truly wishing to please her. It is so beautiful. It’s not like she is cruel to them but that they revere her brilliance and are honored to play with such a brilliant and strong woman.

Even when she is asked about the inspiration for a particular song or album, she might start to say, “We did much research into different instruments.” Then she will correct herself and say, “I did much research into different instruments.”

I can’t say that this is ego as much as her desire to create the most beautiful and precise music and in this, she is very controlling and demanding but, because the music is truly the image that she seeks to create, those who play with her are willing to be subordinate to her brilliance as a composer.

I walked to the store, enjoying the sunshine. I came upon the first group of goslings near the sidewalk, one of the parents standing close and protective. I walked out onto the road, giving them about 20 feet distance between me and them so as to not upset them or give reason to them that I’m a threat. They remained peaceful though the goose watched me very closely.

I enjoy this time of year when the goslings are out and about with their parents. Soon the ducklings will appear also, tinier than the goslings. I love watching them grow up, which happens so quickly as the Spring turns into Summer and by the end of the Summer they are taking flight. It is so amazing to me.

As I walked into the parking lot of the store there were two young boys on skateboards coming toward me, each of them holding a bag. The first one stared at me as he approached, a helmet on his head. I smiled. He then made some Ninja pose or something with his hands, making him seem larger than he was, and made a squawking noise. This just caused me to smile again to him as he passed, enjoying the animal within him expressing itself.

I’ve come to observe some humans as I would the geese and ducklings. It was much like what happened as I was leaving the store with bags in hand. I was walking across the parking lot and above the music I heard the vicious bark and growl of a large dog. I found it interesting that I wasn’t startled or did it even affect my peace, even though at the time I didn’t notice where it was coming from.

I then turned a little to see two very large dogs alone in the back of an old truck. Because I didn’t react to the barks the dog had gone on to other things. I thought of how this viciousness is based on protectiveness which is often stimulated by a possible threat in the area, a threatening feeling that is caused by fear. Anything that is different from what is common to their environment is a threat to them.

It made me think that not all dogs are like this. Some are very friendly and even seem happy as they dance around and play. Some will come up to me at the dismay of their masters, thinking I will be offended in some way. But I simply place my hand on their heads and smile to them and their playful ways. The younger dogs might lightly bite on my hand, which doesn’t bother me since I was raised with big dogs and was very used to having slobber and scratches on my arms and legs from wrestling with them.

Earlier I had been thinking about a video I watched. I think it was a Muslim cleric talking about division. He talked about how religion, even the Muslim religion was based on and caused division. It first pointed out the Christian religion, the video going to an image of this city, pointing out all the different Christian churches, all formed from breaking off the original or universal Christian Church known as the Catholic Church.

Each had disagreements with the universal church and then later others had disagreements with those splinters causing them to splinter even more into new sects.

He pointed out that this is true, maybe not to the same extent, with Muslims and also Jews.

He pointed out the Jews saying that there are Jews, even Rabbis, who don’t believe in “god.” They still go on about the cultural expectations, they go to the synagogue and perform the rituals just as any Jew.

If this is true, which I believe it to be true because I’ve read directly from Jews that they don’t believe in “god,” it is interesting that they can still be included within the Jewish society.

It is more difficult when it comes to the Christian culture. I have often desired to be a part of the Christian culture even though I don’t believe as they do. Really, there are so many churches, it would simply be more for the feeling of community than for the belief.

I would go to church on Sundays and also come to the extra things, like the dinners, bible studies and everything. I would help and participate in the church. Yet, if I told them that I don’t believe in “god” as they do, I would be seen as a threat. A threat because they believe I might teach the others in the congregation my blasphemous thoughts.

This would be true also in the Muslim religion.

Here, the Christian religions are more like a business. They need the tithing payments of the members to exist. If someone were to come in and upset this balance by preaching blasphemous things to the members, possibly causing them to stop coming to church, which is very fragile in this day and age, the church might simply fail to be able to exist.

Well, I wouldn’t do such a thing. Unlike them, I have no desire to change their beliefs. In fact, just as with the young children I saw today on skateboards, I have come to be able to look beyond differences yet see them as they really are and have no qualms with who they are. Some might easily feel threatened by the least differences in others while others are more playful and open with others.

Again, I can’t help but see them as I do other animals, as most of them haven’t been awakened and aren’t truly aware of their conscious awareness, else they wouldn’t do such things and would be able to rise above without seeking to destroy the animal within them. The animal becomes just one of the instruments of their expression, not their expression as a whole. To rise above the animal is merely rising above the ego.

You see, I get to see all of this and more. I truly love the periods of great expansion that often come after periods of turmoil within me. Right now I’m in one of those periods of great expansion after a period of much turmoil. I see this as a natural process, much like how the Earth often stirs within itself, causing turmoil to the environment around until it explodes and releases all the energy, then peace again rests upon the land for a period of time, a land that has expanded do to the material that was cast off from the inner Earth to the outer or crust of the Earth. Yes, much life dies in this process but more life will come because of it.

It is the same with the spiritual journey. A times comes when things begin to stir inside and then the pressure builds up only to come to a point where it explodes and from this explosion comes great expansion. Happening over and over again, but thankfully not every day. There are beautiful periods of peace where I am able to roam about the newly formed land until I come to a place where again, I must expand and thus the process begins again.

It does get easier even though it seems the more I expand the more difficult these processes become. I think this is more because what is happening now is affecting very deep things that affect the very foundations of who I’ve always been. Things that could be easily overlooked but were actually the very core of what caused me to be as I was.

The deepest aspects of the ego self, so it is often like ripping tar off the skin, it is a bit painful and what is revealed in the awareness is much more deep and personal, making it difficult at first to be able to see such things. But as time goes on those feeling disappear along with those images which, in all truth, were nothing more than illusionary images of self, not the true self in the least.

The most fascinating part of this process is that, as I become more aware of these things within me, I also become more aware of them in others and, well, it allows me more compassion and empathy for them which I would term more as a deepening of my love for them, their true selves.