Have you ever wondered about the difference between a spiritually grounded life versus a carnal (worldly) focused life? If you think of these two divergent response paths, what thoughts jump to mind? What mental pictures do you envision? Are they scenes of blended activity? Or do they appear to be at odds with each other?
A first thought surrounding the spiritual for many people is some form of peace or calm. Images of a spiritually grounded life often produce mental pictures of a serene or meditative lifestyle practitioner. It is interesting that with this mental picture in mind many don’t or won’t venture there. Those who equate spirituality with religion often imagine parochial purposed attachments filled with subservient ecumenical or fellowship obligations. It is no wonder that many who envision this path or who have traveled it, turn away and want nothing to do with it. In reality it is not hard to distinguish the spiritual from the religious, for one encompasses a connection between the individual and his/her belief enigma, while the other relies upon a man or men as intermediary conduits. The first has no intent except for peace and calm. The second has nothing except self-serving control and manipulation at its core.
By contrast a carnal focused, or world-view lifestyle is often thought of as nonstop on-the-go event seeking interactions (“fun” to some, demands to others). Those who are busy with work or family commitments , group involvements, participation in many or varied activities coupled with never ending pursuits of entertainment for relief, describes an assortment of time filling or time consuming choices. It is easy to see how these two lifestyles, the spiritual versus the carnal might appear to differ well beyond a point of mutual exclusivity.
Additional aspects of these contrasting investitures of time and energy can be realized by their effects on relationships. The spiritual person usually embraces a knowledge of God’s unconditional care and nurturing desire for them as individuals. This faith filled understanding is complimented by a respect for the core value that exists between God and mankind. As the spiritual bond between God and the individual (wo)man strengthens, the awareness of ‘self’ diminishes as one begins to forego the incessant focus of egotism and indulgence.
In either case, spiritual or world-view, with risk comes reward. Reward is most often perceived as a benefit gained, or loss abated. It’s been said, “The greater the risk, the greater the reward.” This adroit concept is typically embraced wholeheartedly as true by those wiling the world’s ways. The stronger one’s belief in the power of money and its accumulated possessions the more effectual its influence to besmirch the spiritual. Carnal desires honed and status levels achieved whereby one may prove his or her comparative worth, while validating a presence or contribution can become prime motivators in furtherance to grasp tight the world’s rewards, often however at the expense of balance. Competition produces the conquering of adversaries, a prime motivation since the beginning of mankind which has often offered either love or envy, or both as great rewards for the risk taker.
Some individuals find winning to be so compellingly and satisfying they can grow to thrive on the risk or gamble. This adrenaline rush becomes elevated to intense levels even in the face of potential or actualized loss. It is often the thrill of possible conquest which can drive one to risk beyond calculated measure. In the beginning risk is part of the process during the quest of winning. Eventually however, win or lose, it is the risk itself that for many becomes the “juice”. The chance of losing can become inconsequential compared to the appeal of the perceived risk taken.
At a sustained level, win or lose, a risk taker void of spirit may begin to ignore subsequent behavior consequences and outcomes of repeated downfalls. Winning or losing can become irrelevant as the cycles of adrenaline rushes ensue. Cascading spirals of defeat may take hold drafting the individual to experience emotions of unworthiness as doubts creep into the psyche. The culmination of this downward slide may lead to aberrant behaviors ending in abuses of self, or others. At this low point one may turn to a search for spiritual cognition, (or not).
Disregard for mental or physical health while burning the candle at both ends can be endured only so long. Those leading a life of imminent destruction eventually burn out or stumble. Age and relationship issues are often undeniable factors taking a toll and leading to ruinous outcomes. A balance brought about by spiritual grounding has the capability to help keep in check the spiraling effects described, but it can be an arduous road.
The world’s path promotes and reinforces reminders to the individual a litany of one’s insecurities at every opportunity. For the carnally disposed these are often prompted to be placated apparently only through the accumulation of possessions, acceptance by peers, or recognition and elevation in the eyes of superiors or the general public. This may invariably put pressure on the individual to be drawn to situations where such corporeal core values are consistently fed and fulfilled in spite of risks or detrimental outcomes.
There are many who view a spiritual lifestyle as simply boring. For the spiritually grounded this scene of boredom is a disguise, for balance. Balance which incorporates the humanism to participate in life, yet still have an active regard for a burgeoning spiritual connection. Within a spiritually grounded relationship ramifications go beyond recorded wins or losses. A realization of actions and consequences colored by spiritual intervention can lead to imperative forethought. Mature spiritual believers often find ‘loss’ has its own reward, for it is through loss that risk can be illuminated to have been a fool hearty undertaking not in one’s best interest. As such, loss may also be viewed as a blessing for it provides opportunities for future avoidance from similar past or new costly endeavors.
By our very nature we live a corrupted state of being. It is also in our nature to be looking for ways of embellishing or advancing our lives and lifestyles. The length and breadth of corruption permeates every nook and cranny of existence. Aspects of every one of mankind’s systems have become permanently stained with corruption, for that is the way of the world. Is this a new phenomenon of our time? By no means. Mankind has lived corrupted since its beginning. Today however, when more people fight each other instead of fighting for survival and more people possess more material goods and have access to a world of comparative information, no excessive level of grandiose ascension seems to be enough.
Our individual choice is one of lemming participation or, turn to a different course. This is easier said than done for are we not only participants in and victims of our socialization, our insatiable desires for immediate gratification without acknowledgment of consequence is commonplace and most often met by an acceptable bending or breaking of all moral and ethical rules. We acknowledge aberrations of law, code and decency all around us, and we are incensed. Yet we are conditioned to be ever on the prowl for an advantage, closely shadowed by an attitudinal inclination of “what’s in it for me?” When a decision appears to hold benefits for us and our perceived good or to our advantage, clarity to negative consequences is usually less than piqued.
We each must decide with every interaction what response will we choose and how we will live with the consequences thereof. This is the difficult stage upon which the essential struggles of life play out. As we transitioned from the needs of tribal and communal living for our survival to all out competition for consumption our focus on self has been refined and honed to fit choices we believe best for us in lieu of the costs or harm to others. As we soon discover, what is in our best interest, consistently isn’t. Our self-centered indulgence is the taproot of our problems. This is the single commonality at the heart of our carnal and worldly lifestyle choices.
Those desiring or choosing a spiritual guided inner compass must first come to grips with its reality to embrace, accept, and then to make changes. It is this desire to act upon a newness of self that predicates the pivotal difference in our journey as we prepare to move forward renewed instead of being mired in a continual confluence of issues and life relationship struggles. Our decisions become choices between the known, and the unknown. Between the relative positive or negative consequences. And yet deep within each of us exists a spark of recognition that we innately understand this causational relationship.
By our very existence we each possess a spiritual ‘pilot light’ burning within our soul. Somewhere along life’s journey, for some that light is extinguished. For some it burns, for many it flickers only to return to a dormant state. For a few, spirituality takes hold and the flame roars to life illuminating a new way of understanding, a new way of living and a renewed way of responding. Many guided by the resourcefulness of the spirit learn a new balance in the risk-reward equation. One which relies on faith filled confidence and trust.
There are vast numbers of people who are observing extensively repeated media coverage of a celebrated few and their bauble lifestyles. Most of these people are busy dealing with their daily activities perhaps with daydreams of a ‘cast to the winds’ lifestyle that the wealthy seem to enjoy endlessly.
We live in the world. As such we are exposed to the world’s ways and its material laden desires. It is only natural our goals and accomplishments tend to be measured by the world’s rewards. The trappings of fast lane living may entice, but within its pompous illusions comes risk, here and hereafter. Spiritual presence allows girded balance which promotes longevity of more peaceful and calm living.
Is there a difference between spiritual living and carnal living? Definitely!
Is one boring and the other thrilling? Perhaps but realize, each of us hears the sirens’ call as to which life path holds our reward, and at what risk.
What compels us to respond or behave in the ways we do? Of course it’s choice, but what motivates our choices? Choice is the lynch-pin between our thoughts and desires to respond, and our actions of doing so. In almost every case of voluntary decision our first inclination of response is most often to do what we want. That is, we proceed with a responsive action we think will bring us the result we desire or intend for ourselves. After years of commercial advertising bombardments and layers of socialization reinforcing a misconceived notion that we deserve everything we desire and we deserve to have it immediately, it is no wonder that our initial approach to every opportunity is to ‘get mine’ or ‘do what I want’ regardless of any potential negative fallout or harm to ourselves or others. We trust ourselves and our instincts implicitly concerning our situations and therefore propel ourselves forward often with abandon. In doing so, it’s possible to suffer consequences in both the short and long terms. It is when those consequences in fact turn out to be detrimental to our well being that we often turn to “God” for either consolation or as the object of disdain or disappointment upon which to place our blame, disgust and hatred for not allowing our heartfelt wish to become our realty. In a state of anger we may verbally or mentally reject God for having rejected our desire. And so we drift, farther from the omnipotent source which we think, believe, have been told, or taught exists and will be there for us.
With each opportunity or choice/decision we have before us we instinctively rely on three essential thoughts;
1. Past experience
2. An internal belief in a positive or negative outcome, and
3. A benefit to ourselves.
Before we actually decide and take action, choices play out (in split seconds) within the mind as possibilities related to these three are mentally examined. We desire and tend to see (decision) opportunities as a way of advancing ourselves in some manner or position with little to no regard for possible negative consequences. When decisions and choices are presented to us for a response we are usually focused on the outcome we desire. We often remain intent on that outcome at the expense of giving thought to any negative possibilities. A highly negativity consequence should immediately turn us away from proceeding further with our choice, but not always. An example would be “Driving Under the Influence.” If I am intoxicated enough to cause harm to myself or others by driving, three outcomes are possible; A. I may cause or be involved in a collision, B. I may be arrested by the authorities, or C. I make it home without either of the other two taking place. Innately I know that the odds are against me two-to-one and by the very nature of statistics if I continue to drive under the influence repeatedly the odds of a negative outcome increase. Based on my knowledge of the possible costs of the negatives I should have a designated driver, ride with a sober driver, or call a taxi if I am going to drink or imbibe controlled substances and require transportation. This is just one example. Perhaps you are familiar with others where life, limb, or even your general well being are or have been at risk by ignoring your three precursor thoughts when faced with a decision of active response.
As stated, our first instinct is to trust ourselves and our ability to control our own decisions. After all we each have a lifetime history of making choices (and we each know where that has led.) And yet, most of us continue down the same path relying on the same patterns of choice and decision we are comfortable with regardless of any ‘not-so-good’ outcomes we also may be familiar with. So why is it we implicitly trust our decision making process in the face of so many prior ill-advised choices? More bluntly, why do we keep making the same fateful choices and mistakes? Don’t we trust ourselves? Or perhaps more aptly put, why do we continue to trust others who persistently and continually influence or take advantage of us thereby doing us harm? If we no longer trust ourselves to make good decisions or choices, to whom or which of them do we turn?
Is God Real? Is Satan Real? Many believe so, others doubt it. If we are on our own in all of this are either of them influencing our choices and decisions? For the believer in God’s existence, He may (or may not) be an invited guest dwelling within. For the nonbeliever, God is a moot point.
When we act upon a choice, one of them may have had influential subconscious input at our precipice point of decision. It’s been said, ‘God tests, while Satan tempts’. The temptations and ways of the ‘prince of this world’ are ever present, prompted and promoted. It is within the bounds of self-indulgent achievements and motivations upon which the material world exists and moves ever forward. Keeping one’s focus on self-gratification at all times, in all ways and at all costs makes our choices and direction not only easy, it also relieves us of any responsibility for harm or disappointment we might cause in our quest for total self-fulfillment.
Given our historic pattern of ‘errors in judgment’ it’s no wonder we begin to doubt not only our choices and decisions but the active or inactive presence of an ‘omnipotent other source’ we know, or knew, or at one time trusted to guide and help us, instead of mock and punish us. Needless to say many of us have become ‘gun-shy’ and therefore hesitate to examine our options more fully prior to jumping into action. When we make a choice which leads to actions based on self-aggrandizement regardless of the means or outcome, we can rest assured there has been no interference from God and total support from the forces of evil in the world.
By not trusting God’s presence to be in our lives we absolve ourselves of moral and ethical imperatives toward ourselves and others. This is exactly what the wiles and wills of evil in the world under the tutelage of Satan desire, for he is always actively involved with influencing our every material and carnal desire. Abdicating moral or ethical adherence invites active indoctrination of distrust for ourselves and our choices/decisions. The dichotomy here is that God will neither interfere with our desire to disobey His moral and ethical guidance, nor will He punish us, or absolve us of the consequences by the choices we make. In a nutshell, we really are on our own until we decide to pursue God. For this reason we must learn to trust our choices/decisions and be assured that when we make and act upon them, they truly are in our own best interests. So how do we do this?
God may (or may not) be present, Satan may (or may not) be present, but in the end we are on our own. We must own our choices, decisions and actions. How do we go about trusting ourselves and in so doing trust God (if that is our relationship desire)? We must remember that as believers in His existence and Holiness, His desire for us is as a loving parent who wants only the best for His children. Again, for the nonbeliever, this is a non-issue. They trust themselves and their choices/decisions no matter the outcome. Their motto; “Win some, lose some.” But for us, the believers who have accepted His presence in our lives, either little or much, long ago or today, by trusting His Word and His Spiritual presence/guidance within, we can learn to truly, in every instance trust ourselves with each and every choice or decision we make.
How does this process work? First we must realize that God will not decide for us. That’s what the blessing of ‘Free Will’ is all about. Our choices must be ours to make. This is the fundamental upon which a relationship with God is established and continues, for if we choose to have (or not) a spiritual relationship with God, it must be of our own volition. Once we understand God will not interfere or attempt to coerce us in deciding; either about Him, about our relationship with Him, or about the daily options and opportunities we encounter, we will come to realize that if our efforts are aligned with His for us, then our choices and decisions will be truly in our own best interests. Through this spiritual nature they will then be morally and ethically grounded. Within such a framework each decision/choice and action will be in our best interest. With His spiritual presence and guidance to aide in our thought decisions and subsequent actions we will successfully build a new track record of good choices with positive outcomes, and good choices by avoiding ahead of time, negative producing outcomes. As we grow and experience more positive results in our choices and as we avoid the negative fallout from decisions that we now side-step instead of initiating, we will be aware of His presence more fully and know our spiritual relationship is strengthened. Through continued success in trusting ourselves to make better decisions and choices our confidence is bolstered to new levels where we decide, and He concurs.
If you have seen or read the news in recent days you may be familiar with the phrase “Je suis Charlie” meaning “I am Charlie” [Hebdo], referencing a public outpouring of support and recognition of a psychological solidarity movement in response to the terror attacks and killings by Islamist fundamental jihadists in Paris, France. More recently this same phraseology (Yo Soy Nisman; “I am Nisman”) has appeared in Argentina referencing the [apparent] suicide of prosecutor Alberto Nisman, although some believe he was murdered by Islamic agents of the Iranian government. In both cases the phrase “I AM” is employed and displayed prominently to bring attention and support to a consciousness of unity in confronting terrorist acts. In a unique dichotomy, different groups continue to clash along ethnic, racial and religious divides, yet the trouble seems exacerbated by responses of right wing groups and neo-conservative fundamentalist factions, such as the ‘Pegida’ in Germany, the right wing ‘National Front’ in France, the ‘Tea Party’ in America, and of course ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Boko Harem and others of their ilk in the middle east. While responses by western neo-conservatives has yet to reach a crescendo as blatantly abhorrent, deadly or destructive as some Islamic groups, those in the west can be just as bombastic in their inflammatory rhetoric and their ‘just beneath the surface’ fatal desires or perhaps, intentions. In America we see this clash exhibited primarily in racial or xenophobic responses to those not Caucasian or what once was anti-WASP in the early and mid-twentieth century, is now more skin color and ‘anti-Christian’ lifestyle directed. In parts of Europe and most of the Middle Eastern and/or North African countries confrontations often have a root cause between those of fundamental Islam and [sometimes] Jewish (religious) cultures. Most clashes in other countries or parts of the world are focused primarily on religious differences between Christians, Jews, Muslims and/or Buddhists populace combinations.
The response of most “I AM” participation is an attempt to draw together many who prefer the use of peace and cooperation to defy terrorist acts under banners of freedom, free speech, free expression to bolster political dissent and/or compromise as indeed stronger than violence. And that coexistence coupled with social cooperation, even if at odds at times, may still prevail in an ever changing world. Neo-Conservative Fascists in democratic, republic, and parliamentary countries often use programmed change through legislation, denial or elimination of public [assistance] programs (for those who often need them most), or police state tactics to ‘keep order’, whereas terrorists see only deadly force and acts of violence as both the ‘means and the ends’ methods to impose their fundamentalist doctrines and beliefs on others.
In our postmodern world the exclusionary didactics between different conservative extremist groups of like, yet oppositional fundamentalism come into contact and into conflict with each other’s bellowing expletives of superiority through both in oratory and actions. Likewise, the “I AM” of extreme right fundamentalism and left-leaning progressive reactionaries go at each other on every available opportunity and stage; political, economic, social, religious, sectarian, provincial and/or parochial, fighting each other as individuals and groups. It’s no mystery that this “I AM” identity and label within these different groups and interests who use as their declaration to others and to the world at large is so closely connected to the “It’s All About Me” syndrome purposed and propagated by twenty-first century social media technologies. We now live in a world of exhibitionists competing for time, space and attention in a world of voyeurs.
In this mix of ‘Always getting my way’ and ‘What’s in it for me?’ ‘My group, right or wrong’ and ‘My way or the highway’, there does exist one more “I AM”. The original “I AM”. The “I AM” of brotherhood and sisterhood, the “I AM” of Peace and Love and Truth.
When God described Himself for mankind He said simply, “I AM”.
He said to Moses, “I AM Who I AM” and “. . .say to them, ‘I AM’ has sent me” (Ex3:14).
It is through this and only this one, “I AM” that we who long for peace and love and truth should strive to identify with and emulate. It is when we as individuals, and group participants declare “I AM” as a reflection of God’s true nature and character that His spiritual strength and wisdom will defeat the enemies of truth and love. By making this one declarative and emulative statement of belief of truth our own, we can move forward against evil and terror in all its forms and incantations of racism, bigotry, misogyny, xenophobia, hatred.
The one and only “I AM”; (God, Allah, Adonai, Para Brahman) explained the action required to make
“I AM” your reality, my reality, our reality: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
As we draw closer to the mid-term elections of 2014 the importance of exercising your right and privilege to vote becomes more paramount to the possible outcome of your future. Let me begin this essay by saying, no matter which candidate(s) you support, without participating in the suffrage process you are empowering those with whom you politically and ideologically disagree to determine your legislative agendas.
In preparation for this vital event let’s look at some harsh political realities:
President Obama’s tenure in office has been somewhat of a disappointment. He has failed to live up to many of his campaign promises and has lacked the fortitude to be a vanguard of his party in accomplishing the change he had expressed, and that many voters counted upon in electing him to office not once, but twice. This is particularly evident in his failed leadership during his first two years in office when the Democrats held the majorities in Congress. Since the 2010 elections it has been oppositional obstructionism and lack of leadership, which has damaged and crippled the nation at every opportunity. The Democratic leadership in the Senate nor Democratic Congressional Representatives in general have done little to bring common sense or political persuasiveness to their colleagues on either side of the congressional aisles in order to do what is needed in the best interests of the American people.
And what about those Republicans? If one would but read and reread about the obtrusive actions and detrimental inaction they have rallied and fought for to thwart any positive movement forward on behalf of the American people, It becomes obvious that as a group they are a viral cancer, not only to their adversaries, but also to their own constituents and party faithful. 'Liars' is too kind a descriptor. As a whole Republican Congress members have totally abandoned any moral sense or ethical fiduciary obligation, which they ascribed to as their oath of office.
Their individual and party agenda since Nov. 2008 has been predicated and focused on three items;
1. Make sure Barack Obama fails.
2. Make sure their wealthy cronies, cohorts and overlords continue to avail themselves every opportunity to drain the public financial coffers at the expense of the American people.
3. Do only those things which indemnify their self-indulgence and fill their personal pockets and bank accounts.
Treasonous activities? Perhaps. Moral and ethical injustices? Definitely.
The answer to tyranny, oppression and corruption is ultimately always the same; Revolution. History has shown time and again that when people are pushed to their limit, they will strike back. Whether through violence and destruction or through change at the ballot box revolt can take place and be eventful. The first is very costly, the second more effective.
If you are of voting age, you are deemed an adult. This November on Election Day act like one. Go out and vote. Follow your heart, follow your party, follow your instincts. Or follow the truth you know to be in your best interests and vote out of office those who continue to lie, cheat, and steal from you.
Don’t take politicians ‘at their word’ take them at their record. If they don’t represent you, they have no right to ask for, or expect endorsement as your Congressional Representative.
Like many other events and effects in life, voting takes but a few minutes but the consequences can last a lifetime.
We are each bombarded and besieged every minute of every hour of every day, year after year by people and events vying for our attention and response. No wonder it’s so easy to fall prey to those with power, money and influence. Not only are we willing victims of unethical and amoral avarice, we are socialized from our earliest interactions to believe and agree to this struggle of commercial success versus condemnation. As a result many of the world’s people turn to one of mankind’s religions, only to find even their religion has been co-opted and is part of a ‘rigged game’. Where do they go then to find relief or hope? For God seems to have turned His back on both believers and non alike.
We crave His presence and deny His existence when it suits us depending on our needs and wants of the moment. We want to believe, but not really. We would like to listen to what He has to say to us, but only if and when it fits into our personal goals and desires. We cry out for His help when we have dug a hole so deep that despair reigns in our hearts, minds and souls. Then we curse His name when He fails to hear or respond immediately.
Into this massive mix of vicious contention and consternation we are inoculated with the trappings of the world; fame, celebrity, excess, and all the fruits of disobedience, rebellion and self-indulgence.
At issue is the fact that no matter how many others we cohabitate or interact with, we are alone with ourselves and our choices twenty-four hours each day. We each must face and be responsible for the decisions and choices we make, thereby suffering or benefitting from the outcomes or fallout. It’s easy to see how we can become mired in the muck of our own making, or seemingly caught in a continuous chain of ‘two steps forward, three steps back’.
How does one end this behavioral insanity? How does one make ‘a course correction’? How do you ‘start fresh’ given your history and litany of mistakes, or “errors in judgment”?
First; You must want to change.
Next; You must be willing to accept ‘the new you’.
Third; You must find the worthiness that lives in the core of your being, which permeates your soul.
Fourth; You must understand that only you know what is in your best interest, that others are out to use or abuse you for their own interests, and that you can know the difference between the two in every instance starting today.
Fifth; You have made mistakes and choices of inappropriate behavior in the past, which do not control or dictate your future choices and decisions.
Sixth; You must forgive yourself, knowing that you were who you were then and choose to be a different person now and in the future.
Seven; You must understand that although this path is easy to stay on, it’s easier to fall off and remain off. It will not seem or feel easy at first, and then it will appear to be even more difficult once you have started your journey.
Eight; You are not alone. Thousands of people over millennia have struggled and been where you are now, but found the inner strength and fortitude to persevere to overcome their pasts and the circumstances which held them hostage.
Nine; You are not alone. Millions of people in your world today live with and in circumstances far worse than yours.
Ten; You are not alone. There exists a universal spiritual power which will abide within you and guide you every step of the way, should you choose to blossom into the ‘New You’.
Think about and reflect on these as you begin your journey:
You must believe that God exists.
Then you must understand His desire is that we each be like Him in Nature and Character; (Love & Truth, exhibited by Ethics & Morals)
The most powerful evidence for God’s love for us are His gifts of creation, followed by Free Will.
God wants us to think and respond globally (universally). Realizing that we are one, despite our differences. The antithesis of this is, thought and behavior focused primarily on self.
‘Good and Evil’ is not about being good or bad, it’s about doing what is right (ethically & morally) or not, and responding to others’ (inappropriate) choices as God responds to us; with compassion to forgive.
Once we understand our decisions feed and dictate the outcomes of our choices, we must accept responsibility for the results.
The world’s troubles are born of covertness fueled by greed and the opportunities to blame others using tools of hatred; racism, xenophobia, misogyny.
We must understand and accept that the world will not change. We must change our choices, responses, actions and reactions in ourselves, in our life, and in our small sphere of influence. This is the only way to make ‘our world’ better, and different from what it has been.
We have both the capacity and the impetus to live with, or without correction. That choice is grounded in spirituality, or the lack thereof.
Like it or not we all are, and will be held accountable for our ethical and moral turpitude. That’s the essence of life’s contract.
Each experience by way of choice envelops a lesson to be learned and subsequently applied in the future. This is the fundamental of growth, or maturation, enabling each of us the opportunity to choose differently, and more wisely in the future.
Questions or Comments? Write to me.
Want more growth? Read my books; paperback or eBook versions available.
If you see, hear, or read the news either daily or on occasion you might agree the majority of what is deemed ‘news-worthy’ today deals with or represents the negative, criminal, ‘celebrity’ nonsense, scandal or personal amoral behavior. Sadly, this is the state of our current existence even in ‘civilized’ societies. We should not however be surprised or dismayed, for this kind of behavior is and has been in evidence since mankind’s beginnings.
For many it is only a matter of time before they grow weary of the constant media coverage bombardment of (wo)man-on-(wo)man, man-on-woman, nation upon nation, or society upon society disrespect, violence and mayhem. For those who no longer wish to, or are no longer compelled to feed on the general state of despair among people condoning bad behaviors of our world the questions arise, “How do I refocus on my tiny sphere of existence and make my life better?” How can I stop the invasion of my privacy by continued cries of drama and victimization, which really have little or no effect on my life and for which I have no remedy or solution? Where do I turn for peace and quiet?
Well, first you have to desire to extricate yourself from this daily incursion. Can you feel remorse and pity for those suffering? By all means. Can you feel disdain for those persistently taking advantage of others less fortunate? By all means. Can you wonder about the barrage of inane speech, behaviors and inappropriate actions perpetrated on so many, so regularly? By all means. Withdrawal may bring about an onset of psychological angst initially, but once you start to wean yourself off the comedic and at the same time sad state of affairs, which garner most news headlines you will begin to find a peaceful separation. Remember, we can only control our responses to the people and events in our immediacy of life (the ones we actually come into contact with.) Everyone and everything outside of our sphere of existence is beyond any and all control we may want to exert or claim. In addition those people and events must also choose to interact with us in order for there to be an interchange and exchange of energy, ideas and actions.
The first step to address is giving your time to news or stories which have a direct or profound physical, emotional or psychological effect on you. So even though you may think Kim Kardashian’s latest bikini selfie is inseparably essential to your being, the truth may be, it may not be. Isn't that small amount of time worth more spent elsewhere producing positivity in your life? How many small moments are you spending/wasting on media coverage of people or news events which are in reality worthless to you?
So, once we start on this path of reallocation of time and energy by avoiding the invasion thrust upon us, with what do we fill our new found expanses of time? That’s the key question we each must ask and answer for ourselves. What is important to you? And where will you now invest that time in people and arenas where you may effect positive change or outcomes that benefit you, or those you care for most?
This is how and where we become active participants in our own growth instead of being passive receivers of nonsense or inconsequential trivia that can suck the life energy from us without even realizing it. You have the power if you choose to exercise it. Do you really care what the Wests did last night? Really?
This effort is like most 'twelve step' programs, it is accomplished one day at a time until it becomes our new habit. First, look at or track the amount(s) of time you spend in a given period (one day, one week, one weekend) spent on “news” of little or no actual consequence to you. Next, make a list of other areas or people you could invest and/or share that time with. This is an important step for without it ‘complacent backsliding’ becomes a comfortable place to be once again (such as checking up on Kim).
By our very nature we must be stimulated and rewarded. It is the ‘cause and effect’ of our behavioral responses. It’s like that old motivational poster, “Garbage In, Garbage Out”. Whether it’s psychological food or physical food, when we are fed well we are more positively productive. Invested time is a valuable asset which can produce much, or little.
Now that we have a goal and desire with an accompanied list of new interests or sharing opportunities, we need to find new resources which can unlock and help promote our new growth. To help you get started I invite you to explore our Thought for Today and Open Mic Poem postings on this web site. Each of these features is updated daily with new and different content. Take a moment and check them out and come back as often as you can.
Remember your time is valuable and should be productive for you in your life.
A friend turned me on to your daily twitter posting of your ‘Thought for Today’ which of course led to my reading your daily poem posting as well. From there I ended up at your website reading the different ‘Reading Room’ posts and your blog page. The more I read, the more I noticed that much of your work seem to talk directly to me. That’s different from a lot of the things I see. I am wondering what’s behind the topics you choose to write about?
Jennifer P., Little Rock, AR
Greetings Jennifer. Thanks for your comment and question. Most of my topics and themes revolve around experiences we each have at some point in our lives. For this reason different readers are attracted to my works at different times because they may, or may not have experienced a particular issue or emotion. Any number of people may be ‘in that place’ at any given moment in time. The topics or themes I write about address the interests of individual readers when and where they are in life.
There are two underpinnings in my short stories; one being acceptance and application of truth in one’s life, the second being a balance of mind and spirit. By their very nature these themes may be limited to only readers desirous of reflective inquisition. We each grow with or through the challenges and obstacles we face in life. One constant is that we all experience at different times and in a variety of manifested ways the lessons of life through these challenges. Some are ready, others are not. In this way my themes appeal universally, but perhaps at different moments on the continuum for different individuals. The focus therefore is for reach readers in aiding discovery of truth, love, and spirit in different lives.
As you say, my pieces are directed at the individual reader. The reader who is ready to gaze inward to see who really lives there. We are each alone yet we all have others in our lives to help combat the loneliness. Our soul and spirit exist in the shadows behind many layers of the socialized humanism we grapple with and display through our daily interactions. We interact on social, political, spiritual, and commercial levels with those of our sphere of influence as we each experience a constant ebb and flow of life’s intricacies while trying to discover who we are. It’s easy to lose our new found focus while trying to survive the onslaught of daily living but understanding is a flame that can be ignited and fed to flourish. The intent and design of my work is to provide readers with thoughts and opportunities to overcome some of the harsh realities of life and to plant seeds of support for growth.
At various points in life we each face the realities of this world and the possibilities of the next. How does one cope with the current and prepare for the future? We can put our heads in the sand and become victims or we can grow stronger and more aware of our particular place and purpose. Only when we are strong in our self-worth can when flex new ‘muscles’ and make a difference in our families and our communities. To gain that strength and grow those muscles I invite your continued your daily visits to read our postings either on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or here at the web site. I hope you will continue to be edified to make positive changes in your life from our meager seed sowing.
Thanks again for you interest and support,
Struggle and Emotional Stress.
‘Why’ it exists, and ‘How’ to reduce or eliminate it?
People often ask me how it is I write about divergent (and according to many; oppositional) topics such as sex and spirituality. The answer is quite simple.
First, both topics are integral parts of who we (each of us) are. Both crisscross our ‘being’ physiologically and psychologically while influencing and impacting each of our lives.
More importantly though the focus of my writing, be it through fictional short stories of poetics, the search for a spiritual connection, revealing sexual expositions, or self-help/self-improvement subject matters of my nonfiction works, all exist on a platform to express the possibilities of reducing one’s struggle; within self and from the effects (or fallout) from the people and events we experience in daily life.
There exists a commonality of ‘life themes’ as it were, which we all encounter during our lives. These ‘lessons’ of life are both the catalysts and the outcomes of our choices. There are a finite number of emotions to be birthed, but the manifestations of our actions through which these emotions may be encountered or experienced are as varied as our decisions in terms of their timing and intensity. Think of it this way, with every choice we make we are responding to one or more, five motivators; Love, Want, Need, Status, or, Fear of Loss. These are the emotional ‘sparks’ for every decision we make. One or more of these five must be fulfilled (or attempted to be fulfilled) through and by our actions. We never simply decide to do something without a motivation of measurable effect. These five represent the innate core of our desires.
The fundamental teaching of Buddhism centers and revolves around the concept of ‘suffering’. Suffering is the one constant of human life regardless of all potential influences. The degrees of suffering may vary widely, but ‘no one gets out alive’ and along the path there exists and is experienced; suffering. Suffering is the fallout or result of our struggles, which are manifested from the choice or decision precursors within the emotional motivators described above. The other three major religions of contemporary life; Judaism, Islam, and Christianity (all being foundationally ‘Abrahamic’) offer a remedy for suffering through a ’savior’; one who is yet to come, one who is, and one who came and is coming again.
Whether we believe or adhere to one of these or not, suffering in this human life is universal for mankind has yet to fully understand and embrace that our existence is dependent and co-dependent on us working together as a community of men and women to solve and resolve the issues we produce and face as a species. Cooperative resolution we have never been able to do willingly. Our very existence is defined by our differences as well as our independence and the interdependence of those differences. Taken into account the individual, his or her emotions as related to life’s five motivators, his or her interdependent community of scale, and the ingrained inherited biases of families within communities and only an end to life as we know it will succeed in a cessation of these emotionally rooted differences.
Differences, hand-in-hand with technology, is what ‘makes the world go round’ and keeps civilizations moving forward. In the universe there is always a balance, so too it is with life on this small planet. The pangs of birth are counterbalanced by the scope and structure of successive progress.
Do we have pain and suffering? Yes.
We will always? Yes.
Why? It is in our nature to strive for success and survival. In doing so we produce manifested actions that result in our differences by choice and decision. That’s a global view, but what about you and me? What about each of us in our individual lives. In lives where we only have effective control over how we will respond to the events and people we come into contact with on a daily basis. In our small ‘sphere of influence’ that we identify as ‘our life’ how can we reduce the daily struggles within those lives? This is the focus of my works for the reader. Again, whether it is through short stories of interest and identity, or the search for a more spiritual connection, or topics of sexuality, or self-acknowledgement and self-improvement, the goal is to clarify and then reduce the struggles associated with the decision making process by and for the individual reader. In this vein and to this end my works are not autobiographical. That is, they are not about me and my journey. I write about the commonalities of our human condition that each reader can identify with in his or her own life.
We have all know pain and suffering. What we often don’t realize or admit is how much of our suffering, especially as adults, can be eliminated or ‘side-stepped’ all together. The questions as always becomes ‘Why and How?’ Although the answers are relatively easy to address, the ‘Why’ is more easily understood than the ‘How’ is achieved. ‘Why’ we encounter adversity, which is then manifested as pain and suffering, is the precursor directly related to our choices and decisions. We have the power (in most instances within a free society) to decide. We have a choice as to what our responses will be. By experience or (often) upbringing we know innately one or more possible outcomes of our action’s choice. We know any ‘suffering’ caused or experienced by our previous decisions in similar situations. “Why did I choose that response and what were its consequences?” (Joy, elation, peace, or pain and suffering?) The ‘Why’ question is both prompted and answered by our expectations of a specific result. The ‘How’ is more complex.
Understanding the ‘Why’ (the expected or anticipated outcome) of our decision(s) we are better prepared to tackle the ‘How’ of actually reducing or eliminating struggle from our lives.
At this point it is important we remember that ‘pain and suffering’ are generally encapsulated in the emotional stress and discomfort associated with the manifestations of the reality outcomes of our actions by choice and decision. The ‘Why’ determines our action of choice, the ‘How’ is its implementation, which then will result in the outcomes we generate as response. Ultimately this process either contributes to additional struggle and stress, or it puts on a path of reduction and possible elimination of said struggle and stress. The difference is in ‘How’ we cope with and/or adjust each future decision making process in light of the outcomes we now experience. Are we growing and moving forward? (Less stress and fewer struggles) Or, merely repeating past behaviors and choices? (Exacerbating our emotional issues while hoping for new or different outcomes.)
So ‘How’ do we reduce and/or eliminate struggle in our daily lives? First, by making better choices. More informed decisions based on our past experiences and their associated outcomes. It’s been said, “Experience is the best teacher” but only if we have actually learned from the experience. By ‘learning’ have we assimilated enough outcome information and emotional fortitude to make a better or more positive choice or decision in any and every future similar situations? By NOT repeating behaviors and choices which we know from our own prior activities will (most likely) result in negative, harmful, or hurtful outcomes or results. First comes the choice, then comes the action, then comes the result.
We know the ‘Why’; our expectation. We know the ‘How’; our choice and action equals results. The difference between a positive or negative outcome either dissipates or exacerbates our struggle and therefore its associated emotional stress. Make positive choices in future situations based on prior firsthand knowledge of previous outcomes. When we do this throughout life, in each of the corresponding ‘lessons’ life throws at us, with each succeeding step or lesson, we will avoid the negative by accepting and adjusting to the positive known results.
It sounds easy, it seems hard, but in actuality it is easier than we think. It’s an exercise in mental gymnastics prior to taking action. Recall and remembrance tempered with a dose of new possible reality puts us in charge of deciding and choosing. It is our choice and responsibility to choose more wisely than we might have in the past. Did our prior choice result in pain and suffering, heartache or heartbreak, costly or divisive ramifications? Do we want to experience those outcomes and results again? Or do we desire a different, more positive result of our pending decision?
When we know and understand the ‘Why’ we are better prepared to implement and accept the ‘How’. With those two in combination the process will result in fewer struggles and less emotional stress, and the more often we apply this systematic process the more profoundly simple life becomes in avoiding struggle.
Readers will find opportunities for reflective identity surrounding issues and emotions often experienced, but not always voiced in my writings. Each story, topic, subject or emotion described is designed to plant a seed for personal growth or understanding and thereby help reduce or eliminate struggle in the reader’s life.
I invite you to make changes in your life today by reducing or eliminating struggle and stress.
A Spiritual Road Map From God...i believe
The universe operates on the forces of opposition.
Life and death. Light and dark. Positive and negative. Good and evil. Right and wrong. Obedience and rebellion. You get the picture. The same is true for living beings.
The animal kingdom exists in a constant cycle of survival. For mankind the exception to this unending pattern is the evolution of civility. However, the duality of oppositional living is made real for each of us as evidenced by the struggles, fallout, outcomes and emotional or psychological baggage we each carry with us throughout life resulting from our choices and actions.
It is the desire and quest of many people to reach a balance which allows enjoyment, or at least a modicum of peace.
The questions become; ‘How can this balance be established and experienced?’
‘Where does one go to get it?’
‘How does one change future choices and decisions to positively impact one’s ability to produce appropriate responses?’
Perhaps this sounds familiar
If you can be described as ‘fallen away’ you might be one who had exposure to, or experienced ‘religion’;
Do you ever hear yourself saying, or thinking?
I haven't been motivated to investigate spirituality because of my negative feelings, my time limitations or my situation but I would like to find a way of attaining more peace in my life. I would like to reduce or eliminate the struggles that pull at me and often drag me down. The truth is, there is an inordinate amount of pain associated with living this way.
There are those who know little or nothing about spirituality as part of life and daily living, and although they desire to know more they do not want to be ‘forced, coerced, converted or tricked’ into following or believing something because someone else says so, cajoles, convinces, or attempts to make them feel guilty, embarrassed, bad or ashamed. Most likely they have had plenty of that. Whether ‘fallen away’, or one with little or no religious experience who might be described as ‘searching, seeking or disbelieving’ when presented with spirituality, many ask; “What’s in it for me?”
Perhaps you have wondered or question the role of religion in your life.
Every person who is about to start on a path of spiritual exploration needs to understand one basic fact; It is possible for you to have a personal spiritual relationship with the Lord God, without interference or influence of priest, pastor, pope, rabbi, imam or any self-described or recognized ecclesiastical leader.
In addition one must realize that religions are ‘man-made’. They exist most often to force ‘a square peg into a round hole’ using scriptural interpretation, dissemination and control. Religions’ purpose is to guide and aid the spiritual sojourner on their path to a relationship with God. Sadly, most if not all religions have morphed into entities which control, admonish, and coerce the individuals in their care and charge through administration and admonishment of fear, rather than the embrace of God’s words.
The process of confession used by the Roman Catholic Church is a perfect example of religious manipulation. The parishioner has engaged in (what is deemed) 'sinful' behavior. He or she (the sinner) is then prompted to confess these behaviors to a church clergyman. As a penance for the transgression(s), the parishioner in question is to ‘repent’ and pronounce contrition through ‘prayers (to) and petitions (of) in the name of (the Virgin) Mother Mary. Upon completion of these requests the parishioner is (to be) cleansed and (receive) forgiven(ess). This offer of relief is repeated weekly (or as needed), for those who have ‘sinned’ (or continue to sin).
This pomp and circumstance activity is well known to practicing (and non-practicing) Catholics. There are two controlling issues within this activity. First it involves an intermediary the clergyman (or two, if you count Mother Mary) between the ‘sinner’ and God (be that God the father, or Son) and Trinitarian forgiveness of sin by God (Father, Son, and/or Spirit). The process of penance, the repentance part, (which is often left out by the sinner) in this act of confession, is the seventh step required in the seven steps of action on the part of the individual for actual forgiveness (by God).
One non-religious example of this failed process can be seen, and is played out daily the world over in abusive relationships. The 'perpetrator' abuses the 'victim' and each time then apologizes and begs 'forgiveness'. The victim relents and in-so-doing perpetuates the opportunity and availability that the behavior of abuse will be repeated again in the future.
These steps to/of forgiveness are:
Without these seven steps true forgiveness is neither obtained nor granted. By its very nature a continued and repetitive need for confession is evidence these steps have not been fully assimilated by the heart and mind of the transgressor. Neither has any ‘future changed behavior’ been adhered to.
This is particularly evident by those who participate in the same ‘sinful' or abusive behaviors repeatedly.
Let me emphasize that; without a change in future's (repeated past) behavior Repentance cannot be fulfilled, either by God (for us as individuals), or as given or received by us in our relations with others.
Heartfelt repentance results in changed behavior by secession of prior ‘sin filled’ activities.
Secession takes place by a desire to cease and desist old behavior patterns and subsequently live renewed.
For those affected by new behaviors the reward is changed behavior toward others.
For the repentant Christian the blessing is the reward, by responding more Christ-like.
Options to keep one moving forward and staying on target
We all have choices in life. Choices everyday as to how we will respond the events, people and circumstances that come our way requiring our personal decisions. In each and every instance of response we must determine if we will act and react; the world’s way? Or in a spiritual way?
Balance within the universe hinges and operates on oppositions. So too it is with each of us.
As such, the question becomes, “Will we respond according to our human interests, or our spiritual interest?”
The first aligns our egos and desires for perceived self-advancements and fulfillment.
The second allows us to become recipients of guidance, both in this life and any postmortem existence to come.
If you have ever suffered the consequences of a decision gone wrong or the negative outcome of a choice, and then had the opportunity to contrast it to the peace and understanding associated with a spirit led decision, the difference can be like night and day.
The questions become;
How does one repeat the patterns of positive outcomes in lieu of negative experiences?
What is it that can make the difference at the moment of decision?
What act or point of reference and reflection can ignite a spark of decision?
The answer is: change in thought.
How does one initiate that singular change in thought?
By asking; What is in my best interest in regard to this particular choice before me?
The grace of God as creator is found in the inimitable ways He has designed humans and given their brains the power and ability to think and process numerous thoughts or ideas. However, it is only possible to have one cogent thought within any given moment of time. That is, we can only process to completion one thought at a time. If you are entertaining a thought of action by which you question, or more importantly, innately know the outcome of your action/reaction to be adverse or in opposition to your best interest, you simply have but to change or eliminate that thought, by its replacement of another, in order to alter your potential choice or decision.
Seeing through different eyes allows one to move beyond what was thought possible
Many years ago there was a movement (more correctly, a marketing campaign) among Christians, whereby the fundamental idea was of extreme value for those who wanted or needed a first step toward Christian spiritual enlightenment and practice. This marketing effort or fad like so many others ran its course, never to be heard from again. It was advertised as “WWJD?” Or, What Would Jesus Do? The individual was to ask this question prior to or whenever a choice or decision needed to be made in any particular situation. In short; to emulate the thoughts, words and deeds of Jesus (as their master spiritual teacher) by guiding their pending action(s).
Missed in the sales campaign was the benefit of an answer.
For the believer and follower of Christ the answer was believed to originate with and from God, by the very nature of our human consciousness through faith.
For those seeking, searching, wandering or questioning, guidance is also provided for we are each a product of God’s creation and His love and respond to each no matter our circumstances.
This process of turning to the Lord in times of need always proves to be fruitful whether we oblige or not, for his answer is always true. God cannot, nor will he ever advise or lead one astray. He allows the outcomes of our decisions and the weight of our choices to rest with us not him, should we choose to ignore his guidance or deny his response to our current dilemma.
The secrets of value received
With every expenditure of self you expect a return, whether you are on a spiritual path or not.
If you have had any significant life experiences you know that you “get what you pay for” in time, energy, or effort. You may have heard it said, ‘you reap what you sow.’ In reality, it can’t be any other way. Nothing in, nothing out.
The question becomes, How to get more and better results for the amount you've invested?
The way to do this is NOT to attempt and force a square peg into a round hole. If an action or response seems inappropriate, it probably is. (No matter how much we may desire it to be otherwise.)
Remember, there is a balance in life and the closer we come to maintaining that balance the less resistance or oppositional friction we produce or endure.
The key to understanding and applying this concept is in recalling our past choices and their outcomes. If we have made a decision or choice in a previous or similar situation that was problematic, why would we want to experience that negative outcome again? Why would we continue to attempt to drive that square peg (our inappropriate response) into a round hole (producing an outcome we know by innate understanding and experiential learning not to be in our best interests.)
This example represents the essence of growth filled learning and changed patterns in behavior.
Square peg, round hole equals tension, turmoil and resistance. Round peg, round hole equals smooth transitions and rewarding outcomes.
Discovering how to anticipate, understand, and resolve issues that have been holding one back
Ignorance may be bliss, but not often.
For many people a decision to examine and/or test a spiritual path is often delayed or avoided because of indecision as to which one may best match their anticipated desires or expectations.
The caveat of this statement may be many know so little about the tenets and practices of any particular spiritual path as to be unable to answer the question.
The two major premises of God...i believe are:
The two sides of this coin make different spiritual paths similar, but more importantly, make them different. When you know the basics of each, spiritual growth, discernment and choice becomes easier, while practice can become more effective.
The primary goal of a spiritual growth is to help one understand the concept and value of worthiness, which is essential for respect, appreciation and love. If you fail to respect and appreciate yourself, you will fail to respect and appreciate others. If you find yourself in situations where you are struggling or battling with others in relationships, it’s time to stop! Most instances of relationship disillusionment or frustration are separate because they are between the humanist you, and spiritual you. Not you and the other person. Spirituality reaches beyond and outside self, for spirituality is the foundation of applications in relationships; first with God as creator and then to others in your family, community, society and world.
So what’s in it for you? What is your benefit, your reward, for navigating a spiritual road map that will work for you, in your daily choices? More peaceful, harmonious living.
The focus of the world is on self. The focus of Satan as an archangel in God’s hierarchy was ‘self.' His fall from grace and heaven was a result of his desire to be equal with God, to be as God. And if he could not be on par with God, he was willing to be cast out of God’s presence forever to become the god of this world. Original sin had nothing to do with sex, it was about pride. Pride of self; the psychology of what we call ego. The making of ourselves as a god, with the focus (on the little god in our life) by way of us and our selfish desires.
Do you really have your own best interests at heart and in mind? Do you?
Have you made decisions and choices which caused, harm, frustration, despair or despondency?
Have you said and done things you wish you hadn't, but you did them anyway? Time and time again.
If you already have a base of experiential learning as a result of previous activities and responses and you repeat those actions again in the future, have you learned? Have you changed?
Do you have your best interests at heart and in mind?
Or does your self-centeredness disrupt you from learning and growing?
Does your desire to control and possess keep you from realizing God is greater than you are?
That only He knows what is truly best for you. That He is willing to guide and protect you every step along the path.
So what’s in it for you? What do you want? Do you want a life of selfishness, or selflessness?
The choice is yours. You can have one, or the other, but not both simultaneously. We either serve ourselves in the world’s ways, or we serve spiritually in the Lord’s ways.
If you want to reduce or eliminate the struggles of your life in the world, live a life guided by spirit, not by things of the world.
Every person who walks a spiritually guided path has fallen off, turned away, been discouraged and cursed God. If we didn't have free will to choose whether or not we would walk the path or stay on the path, what would be the point? Only by having the choice to walk, and subsequently stay on the path, or not, does spiritual guidance make any sense.
‘The Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow’ is you get to walk away with the tools and knowledge to gain more than you knew was there, but didn't know how to find. There is no punishment from God for not being or staying spiritually committed. The challenge of spiritual commitment comes from faith. Faith that God’s word is true and what he has said or says to us is true as well.
God is like a loving parent and his spiritual guidance is sometimes easy to hear and obey, while at other times is more difficult to hear and obey. The evidence is in the results which can only be seen and realized by doing and experiencing.
The joy and reward of surrender to his guidance and obedience to his word is the reduction and/or elimination of struggle in one’s daily life by conscious and continuous decisions to make better choices when presented with options.
For in depth exploration of spirituality you are welcome to discover more in God...i believe available in paperback or eBook editions here, or at Amazon, B&N, Apple Store, others.
As an avid fan I’ve read with interest many of the posts on your web site, however just when I think I see a pattern, you throw a curve ball. Your themes and subjects cover a lot of ground. While I enjoy being surprised, I am wondering if you can sum up for me in a few words your direction of purpose.
Jeremy, thanks for the compliment and question. One “rule of thumb” often used or quoted in writing workshops is “Write what you know.” With this in mind many fiction writers and practically all nonfiction authors write what they are familiar with or have learned, explored and in their writing attempt to express or explain.
Perhaps the three words that might best describe the ‘roots’ of my writing are; entertain, educate, and edify. Unlike many authors my works are not autobiographical and don’t express an “all or nothing” connotation for the reader. A constancy of balance and authenticity is of foremost importance when conveying to my readers the themes and subjects in my stories. Life is not always filled with ‘right or wrong’ scenarios. Additionally, the reflective nature of emotions and issues presented are designed to allow and encourage the reader to identify the commonality of the subject matter as it relates to their own experiences.
In this age of instant communication, one thread among people is a desire to compare and contrast first hand experiences with those of others. Doing so takes place on virtually every conceivable interest level, range and category from the physical, mental, emotional, psychological, social, political, religious, economic, or status classification. Every possible comparison is used by someone to contrast themselves and their efforts with others. Competitive behavior and self-evaluation is standard practice with not only individuals, but also within families, groups, companies, communities and societies worldwide, as never before.
While an emphasis on ‘self’ achievement and expression ingrained and promoted beginning with our earliest inoculations as members of our own society, what may be lost is the innate base of our worthiness simply for who we are, not who we aspire to be in the eyes of others. Approval is a prime motivator our humanity but excessive anticipated approval from others can be isolating and damaging if we have avoided accepting analysis within of our efforts both the successes and failures.
If you have perused my titles you’ve seen a variety of subject areas offered through different presentations and formats. Whether nonfiction topics of spirituality, sexuality and publishing, or the short stories of poetics, my selections tell complete stories of interest to particular readers. In this vein my writing is brief and concise for today’s busy reader. Using a ‘conversational style’ my works are easy to read, easy to follow and understand with identifiable themes.
I write for both secular and spiritual audiences. With those readers in mind my works are designed to aid the first group in the reduction or elimination of daily struggle, while the second assists those interested in better understanding or attaining a spiritual connection. The goal is an attempt to plant seeds of personal growth for each reader’s ‘self’ approval and improvement.
In three words; entertain, educate, edify.
In the Hawaiian language, "Mana'o" (ma na o) is the word used to describe 'thoughts, ideas, and opinions'.
All works of literature posted herein are copyrighted and may not be used or reproduced in part or in whole, either in print or electronically without written
permission of the author and publisher.
Please be advised that works by Branch Isole are written for adults, containing adult material and language, some of which is sexual in nature. All works are
intended for mature audiences.