A Sunday Chat with Myself—the importance of Music in My life

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”  —Friedrich Nietzsche

Here’s my (added) version of Genesis: sometime after the “Sixth Day,” when God saw that all His creation was good, He did note that mankind easily fell into negative states of being. Man could become frustrated and make himself sick from worrying. Man could procrastinate and not mind some of the necessary chores in life. Man could also experience fits of disgruntlement, impatience and have just an every day lackluster day that didn’t let him enjoy the wonderful creation around him.

So, in order to let man enjoy his life again, God gave man the ability to appreciate music!

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Music has always played a big role in my life. If I had a rather difficult day and need to escape  for a a while, I put on my headphones, escape to my bedroom and spend an hour listening to such favorites as Mozart’s Requiem. It’s deep, it’s heavy, and requires full concentration to appreciate it. That’s what I need to forget my worldly cares!

On the other hand, if I feel more like just letting my mind relax a bit and re energize myself, I might try Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.

But, classical music isn’t my only like in music. When I exercise, there’s nothing as fitting as Indi Pop music, or a Latin beat to get me moving energetically . In other words, I’m quite eclectic in my music taste and I like that because, in my life, there’s music for every state of mind I’m in.

“Without music, life would be a mistake.” —Friedrich Nietzsche

Music can also feed my nostalgia. As I’ve said in some of my previous posts, when I was a kid living on a Saskatchewan farm, my only ambition was to be a cowboy, and I was completely—without reservation—involved in cowboy music. Even today, nothing can make me stop working and turn me into a nostalgic dreamer faster than listening to some scratchy old vinyl records by Wilf Carter,  like, “There’s a Bluebird on Your Windowsill,” or “Red River Valley Blues.”

Music can also be healing. It is a known  fact that some ‘out-of-sorts‘ feelings can be made to completely vanish by listening to appropriate music. With so much quality—and free—music available on the Internet—Youtube comes to mind as a good source of free music. It is so easy to chose some quiet, healing music—Reiki music is my favorite, put on my headphones, get comfortable in my recliner or lay on my bed, and wake up an hour later feeling much refreshed.

There are other benefits that music can provide. For example,

  • music can ease pain. Music can distract me from my pain and let my body naturally heal itself and keep me from getting too negatively attached to my pain.
  • It can motivate me. A bit of lively jazz can get me up and out of my lethargy and free me to do  some of the things I’ve meant to do all morning, but was just procrastinating.
  • Improve sleep quality. When I’ve had a busy or frustrating day I really look forward to getting into my pajamas and relaxing in my easychair for a bit, turn on some classical piece of music and before long, my frustrations are history, and I’m ready for a sound sleep.
  • Music is also great for relieving depression. A lively bit of jazz or pop and I’m feeling much better.

“Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.”  —Maya Angelou

A Sunday Chat with Myself—Opposition in life

“And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness”  —Genesis 1: 3-4

Right from the beginning, our Creator—”God”—made it plain that His third dimensional (third density ) created universe we live in at present had to have its opposites in order to manifest. Light-dark; cold-heat; good-bad; love-hate. Can we comprehend joy without knowing what it’s like to have felt glume?

I firmly believe that there is an Intelligent Mind behind all this sophisticated, complicated universe. Only intelligence can create: unintelligence—ignorance—cannot create; it can only destroy, because it’s the opposite of intelligence that can and does create!

I also  believe that, among God’s other creations, He created us—humankind—loved us very dearly, and wanted us to grow up and be gods in our own right. To accomplish this, Intelligence had to create a ‘school’ for us to learn in. Then, we—our souls— had to ‘fall’ from the higher densities that we originally lived in,  to live in this lower, third density, so that we could experience ‘good’ from ‘evil,’ and eventually grow into being gods ourselves.

By the way, this ‘school’ we’re in was created complete in every detail: water, land, sea animals, land animals—everything—before we were finally allowed to ‘attend’—born—into our school, not much different than a modern, earthly school division would first lay out the plans and needs for the students, then build that school according to those specifications before admitting a single student into its classrooms.

“And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” —Genesis 1:31

The so-called “fall” that we took from the higher realms was a choice—a gift from our Father to His children that we were free to accept.  Our brand new school would be a tool so that we could learn the destined “good from evil.”

Few men and women that I know of who have reached their greatness in the world have reached it without having first suffered their share of setbacks. To some, their birth into poverty and low status was their springboard to riches and fame.  To others, personal sickness, or the death of a close family member may have been the springboard that made them become outstanding doctors in the field in which they had experienced that earlier emotional or physical setback.

It takes dedication and determination to earn a college degree. Partying all night, skipping classes and general irresponsibility will not get me that degree that I would like to have! Glancing around, I see where irresponsibility has had a negative effect on a former college classmate: I can learn from his mistakes; I am free to choose a better path for myself. God has given me that choice in my continuing spiritual development! And, in that understanding of choice, He has shown me the responsibility that each choice carries with it. I can continue to destroy myself, or I can reach for the stars!

Children do not always appreciate what parents do for them. It takes patience, long-suffering and love to raise a child; the opposite of impatience, intolerance and indifference. And yet, without understanding impatience, intolerance and indifference, I would not be able to exercise my will and devote myself to raising my children to be responsible adults. and to understand, I must know the difference between ignorance and intelligence: good from evil.

I may be working at a mundane job that involves a lot of physical routine. I get an idea: I know a way improve on this physical routine and make the job completion faster, and less boring. Should I keep the idea to myself, thinking that, why should I tell my boss about it? He probably wouldn’t appreciate the idea anyway? Or should I explain the idea to my boss and, even if he wouldn’t appreciate the improvement—forget about a possible raise, explain the idea? The choice is mine. God has given me the freedom to make a choice—a chance to grow, spiritually—a gift that He has not bestowed on many other of His earthly creatures!

“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.”   — Albert Einstein

A Sunday Chat with Myself—Craftsmanship

“Craftsmanship names an enduring, basic human impulse, the desire to do a job well for its own sake.”   — Richard Sennet

There is an ancient story about a craftsman who was assigned a job to finishing some detail carpentry work located behind and out of sight place of a very ornate alter in a medieval Christian chapel.  At best, it would be seen only in dim light. A “quickie job” by normal standards. But the craftsman  laboured painstakingly for several days, concentrating on even the closest measurement and finest detail until it met his high standard of perfection.

A passerby, watching the craftsman and the attention he was paying to his work was puzzled, and finally commented, “Kind sir, why do you take such pains with something that will be hidden and won’t even be seen by the public?

The craftsman paused from his work and looked up at the passerby. “You are correct, sir. No public person may see my work that I do here—but God will see it—and I will know that I have done the very best job that I am capable of doing.”

I’m sure that this craftsman’s standards, and hundreds like him, is the reason why so many ancient medieval architectural marvels still stand today, even after hundreds of years of natural weathering, plus the abuse they must have suffered during the first and second World Wars.

Part of my time in the military was spent overseas in Germany just after the second World War. We were stationed near a small, very medieval town called Soest. During my free time I loved walking along its cobblestoned, narrow, winding streets and marvel at its antiquity. No one knew exactly how old the town was. Some of its chapels even predated Christianity, and I was told that Julius Caesar once stood with his mighty army at its stone-fortressed wall, parts of which are still standing to this day.

Here, in Canada, we consider a residential home over 50 years of age to be old with many owners considering tearing it down and building a new one. Yet in Europe where many of these magnificent shops and homes have stood as comfortable, useful dwellings and businesses, they still stand as solid as the day they were built.

What is the difference between these majestic old structures that seem eternal, and our modern buildings that hardly last a person’s lifetime?

“Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of intelligent effort.”  — John Ruskin

I recently did a small screen printing job for a firm in town. I’m a screen printer and sign painter—retired—by trade. Because of its complexity, it took more than the usual allotted time to complete, and only charged a few dollars for my efforts. I was asked, “Shouldn’t I be charging according to time spent, rather than the value of the piece?” The concern was, how did I expect to make a decent wage if I didn’t charge according to time spent on a job?

The job wasn’t for a new client who might not have reordered again. This was a long-time customer who had been using my services for over 30 years, and I gambled that he’d be back another day with an order that would be profitable for me; or maybe just present him with a small thank you invoice for the many years of service I had received from this client. Loyalty and an assurance of reliable, quality of service was at play here. It was something like me going to Home Hardware to buy a screw. The shop owner has to take the time to find the screw, place it in a bag, then print out a receipt of purchase. His time and material value for this transaction would hardly compensate for the fifty cents that I ended up paying for the screw.

“Real craftsmanship, regardless of the skill involved, reflects real caring, and real caring reflects our attitude about ourselves, about our fellowmen, and about life.”                            — Spencer W. Kimball

A Sunday Chat with Myself — 11 February, 2018

“No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination; never put off until tomorrow what you can do today” — Lord Chesterfield

Life can have its boring moments if I don’t keep busy, but, to me, that raises  a question: is the idea of boredom a penalty for idleness, controlled by societal forces that have instilled in me the idea that I must always be busy? As the proverb says, “Idleness is the root of all evil.” Therefore, can I assume that idleness I sin, as many of our preachers try to convince us? .” We’re taught that “idle hands create mischief for the devil.” There are a whole bunch more sayings like this so, to me, it’s obvious, society has a serious concern that we citizens don’t fall into idleness, and furthermore, what is boredom? Is one the consequence of the other?

I have noticed mild forms of boredom in higher forms of animals, but not as intense as in humans. For example, my cat can lay on its soft blanket by the window all day long, stirring only when it’s hungry or needs the litter box, and not get bored at all. Life seems peaceful for my cat, but when I get bored, I become restless, and life is anything but peaceful! My mind, my fingers, are itching for something to do!

I also see yogas sitting cross-legged for hours on their mats and not be bored.  The only conclusion that I can come to that my boredom is conditioned; purely a state of mind. Boredom does not necessarily have to be a product of idleness.

In an article that I recently read by Jessica Leber, she claims that there are five types of boredom. I was especially interested in her first three categories of boredom. The first is Indifference. If I understand her correctly, indifference is when I watch the entire evening news hour while eating my sandwich, and come away feeling unmoved by all the negative events that took place in the world this day. In a sense, my mind was idle, but I wasn’t bored: my passive mind was being entertained to a point of indifference.

The next is calibrating. Calibrating is an unpleasant situation one might find himself in,”characterized by wandering thoughts unrelated to the present situation.” It’s like in my youthful days when I still went to school. The scene: an algebra lesson. My teacher would drone on in his monotone voice something about “a” plus “b” minus “c” equals”d” (unpleasant situation) while my mind was dreamily gazing out the window, preoccupied by imagining animal forms in the fluffy summer clouds above.

The third type of boredom Jessica Leber defines as Searching. Searching is like a “person might do to ease the discomfort of a situation one find himself in.” like, I remember once when I was still in the military standing guard in front of our Captain’s office where he was conducting an important training meeting. To relieve my boredom, I counted, then recounted, every one of the hundred plus (I forget the exact amount) of ceiling tiles that ran the entire length of the corridor! I was searching for something better to do, but military discipline demanded that my mind stay in the present moment of being ‘on  guard.’

Boredom: God’s way of telling me that what I’m doing is not interesting. I should occupy my mind with interesting, constructive “stuff.” 

During that military time I was condition not to think: just obey, that all my thinking will be done for me. “Hurry up and wait” was another common military conditioning, while not trying to be bored in the process–not having interesting, personal thoughts–was all part of that routine.

But all that was in the past; they were my life’s experiences. So, is that it? is idleness that causes boredom given to us as a gift that we inherit along with birthright, so that we’re guaranteed to move forward and have experiences?

The yogas have an interesting practice that addresses idleness. It’s sort of a yoga conundrum!  They ask you to try and make your mind blank and still so that you have no thought in in at all. It can’t be done, because, even if you should accomplish that impossible feat of not thinking, the very act of forcing your mind not to think, is a thought! Plainly stated, my God did not create me to have an idle mind, and boredom is the ‘kick in the pants’ for me to find something to do.

For all creation, thinking is mandatory! Contrary to the hum-drum experiences in the military, or what I didn’t learn in school, life forces one to think!

But, I do have a choice: I can fritter away my time in daydreaming, or tightly center my thoughts on a specific topic or action and accomplish something that I’m desirous of doing. Act positive, as work ethicist’s might call it.

Which raises another interesting thought. Many companies have a special department, usually headed by their CEO, called a “Think Tank.” The purpose of the Think Tank is to come up with new or innovative ideas that the company can use in giving it an edge over its competitors. I’ve known people who had pleasure and honor of being part of a company’s Think Tank and one thing that’s decidedly absent during a session is concentrated thinking! Everyone seems just idly doodling and exploring all the possible “what-ifs” centered around the problem/topic of the day. It seems that our subconscious mind works best when our objective, conscious mind stays out of its way, and great ideas—solutions to vexing problems—often pop up seemingly out of nowhere when the mind is idle.

In conclusion, both an idle mind and an active mind are special attributes that we inherited  from our Creator. It is wise for me to know the difference of when to be idle, and when to be active!

“Focus on being productive, not busy.” — Tim Ferris

 

 

A Sunday Chat with Myself — 14 January, 2018

Health is not valued until sickness comes. 

For a good many years of my life I’ve had an interest in sound–body healing sound, that is. I believe that sound is what created our universe; sound is energy, and energy is sound. Our earth has a vibrational frequency–7.82 herz, our bodies each have their own unique vibration, and to complicate things even more, all our organs within our body each vibrate at their own frequency!

” You can look at disease as a form of disharmony. And there’s no organ system in the body that’s not affected by sound and music and vibration.” — Mitchell Gaynor, M.D., Sounds of Healing 

I have absolutely no issue with doctors, or visiting a doctor’s office when necessary, but I also believe that God gave me a body and part of my responsibility during my stay here on earth is to care and look after it. In other words, if I get sick, my first thought is to see if I can find a cure for what ails me. If the sickness, or injury, is beyond my capability, then will I seek professional medical help.

During my many years of searching for self-cures, I found that, by using proper frequencies of sound, coupled with a healthy diet, I’ve confirmed that I can do a pretty good job of healing most of my minor ailments.

“It is more Important to be of pure intention than of perfect action.”  ― Ilyas Kassam 

The problem with many MP3 soundtracks that I open, or download to use in my meditation and healing ceremonies is that, although they may be perfectly presented, they lack one major ingredient: Intent! Plainly stated, did the artist of that music intend to create a perfect piece of music, or was his intent to touch my soul with his musical creation? It may come as a surprise to many, but with music, as with any great work of art, you leave your signature–your soul–your meaning–your intent in your finished piece. You may have noticed this yourself when listening to music. The same song, played by two different artists: one falls flat, the other, you purchase the record. It is no different in the art world. Same scene, two different artists. One artist can’t give his work away, the other artist becomes famous for his work.

Intent plays an important role in how we present ourselves to the world.

I wonder. What was God’s intention when He created the world through sound?

If it hurts, learn from the experience!

Two days ago a scammer called me—I think he said he was from Microsoft, and said that he needed to get into my computer and clean out some corrupt files. It only took a minute’s conversation with him for me to realize that he was new at the game of scamming. In the scamming game, this guy was a “junior”–just learning the trade, the one who casts the bait by making a zillion random phone calls,  and as soon as he gets someone who will talk to him—a “sucker,” he would hand the phone over to the professional scammer to do the damage. I know the routine because I’ve had these guys call before, and I’ve come to understand their techniques. Now, most of the time I just hang up, or don’t even answer the phone,  but this time, decided to talk to him. Here’s roughly the conversation that we had:

Me: “You’re a scammer. Why would I let you into my computer?”

Scammer: “No, sir, you don’t understand. I’m from Microsoft and I need to get into your computer to clean out some bad files that are corrupting your hard drive and—”

Me, bluntly: “You’re a scammer. a parasite on society. Why don’t you get yourself a decent job and contribute to society, rather than scamming people out of their money?”

Scammer: “But, sir, I need to—”

Me, getting impatient: “You’re a scammer,” I repeated. “Get yourself a decent job!”

Scammer: “And how am I going to get a job, sir? Are you going to give me one?” (those were his exact words, and this is why I recognized him as a greenhorn at the scamming business). Professional scammers don’t ask dumb questions like that, so I admit, for the moment, his questions came as an unanticipated surprise.

Me, at this point, I completely lost my cool: “Now, why in hell am I responsible for  getting you a job?” Get your ass down to the employment office and see what’s available, like the rest of us have to do! Go back to school, if you have to! Get a trade . . .”

My  haranguing continued like that for a few more minutes. He listened in silence, then, finally, I hung up on him.

A bit later, after I calmed down to  a more human level of impiousness, I sort of felt sorry for the fellow. Life certainly had not been kind to him in order for him to have to resort to   scamming for a living, so I sent him a silent prayer, asking God to let someone come into his life and give him some proper guidance concerning the responsibilities of being human. Also, I needed him to forgive me for being so rude.

He obviously had some education—at least enough to know basic computer lingo, so,  at least to a point, he must have chosen, or easily been lead into the scammer’s way of life. Maybe, let’s assume he was raised in a good family that taught him right from wrong,  but he lacked moral principles.  Was his brain twisted enough to make him a sociopath, a person with an antisocial personality disorder who didn’t care whether he hurt another being? I’m not sure that he was a sociopath because, you will remember his question to me: “And how am I going to get a job, sir? Are you going to give me one?” A hard core sociopath—scammer, in this case, isn’t interested in your opinion nor how he can ‘improve’ himself.

On the other hand, if we—society are at least partially to blame for our “misfits,” where are we failing them? I’m a great fan of TVs Dr. Phil show. What I’ve observed so far by watching him is that, in many of his cases where people come to him for help, they’ve already been through at least one other professional source that failed them. Is there a factor in our attempted care to help the less fortunate that we’re leaving out of the equation? I think there is, and I’d like to turn our attention to our King James version of the Bible, Genesis 3:22, for a suggested answer: “And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil.” In other words,  Man can progress to eventual godhood, but, if he wants to continue his upward evolution, he had  best learn to benefit from the opposites in Creation!


The black nefarious agent and the white angel are both equally my teachers.


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Old Age

When an artist picks a tree as his subject to paint, he most likely will choose a gnarled and twisted one that has etched into its bark, trunk and branches, its years of weathering–patterns and memories of its winter, spring, summer fun and fall experiences.

An old tree.

The artist wants to capture  the ancient tree’s soul: its ruggedness, its determination to live in spite of adversity. There is a beauty in such a tree that younger trees do not yet possess.

The next time that you have a conversation with an old person–a senior, apply the same respect, thoughtfulness and reverence to him as an artist would in his appreciation of an old, weathered tree. See beauty and a hidden strength not common to the more flighty moments. Learn from it.