Who is this man?

Men (and women) who wake from the slumber of humanity, progress to a spiritual consciousness of all that is good. They traverse the hero's journey, deal with the dross of their character and personality, formulate a mission to serve their fellow travelers in this realm, and dedicate their lives to spiritual progress. They leave behind the baggage of hate, discontent, judgment, resentment, addiction, anger, depression, and fear. They lessen the hold of ego. They infuse their souls and their lives with love, acceptance, integrity, humility, positive values, and the spiritual virtues. They come to know who they are and why they are here. They awaken!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


I have looked into your eyes with my eyes.  I have put my heart near your heart.
-- Pope John XXIII

The awakening man comes to a realization that all people and all things are connected in some way.  He feels a connection with the earth when he plunges his trowel and hands into its derma.  Often, he feels at one with his mate, his family, or a close friend. As his consciousness expands, he feels a greater bond with all people, all animals, all of nature, all of the universe.

Connection is a fundamental property of the universe.  Scientists tell us that all matter in the universe is connected via a force not yet comprehended, although we have several models for it.  Perhaps its essence is the graviton, the Higgs boson, “dark” energy, or, for those spiritually inclined, what we might term God.  Pictures can clarify our models.
The universe pulsates as a living network
The awakening man feels a deep relationship with others that peaks in times of deep sharing from the heart.  Some may call that compassion, love, humanity, or it may be explained by the Jungian concept of the collective unconscious.  He understands not only that there are only six degrees of separation between any two people, but also that we are all directly linked with each other at a deeper level.  He looks into the eyes of each person, and he encounters their soul.  
You are separated from an other person only by four other people
Often, we feel a closeness with animals and nature.  My own experience includes dogs and horses who seem to have their own sense of relationship with humans.  They seem to know intuitively when we are in pain or ill or peaceful, and they often move close us in gentleness and comfort.

Finally, the awakening man reflects on inner unity, getting in touch with his emotions, mind, body, and spirit.  He takes the hero’s  journey inward to his core, that which has been variously called the inner child, true self, inner self, center, inner goddess, and spirit.

Our connectedness increases as we seek enlightenment.  Our hearts fill with awe, we feel the energy of the universe, perhaps name it God, ever reaching toward us, surrounding us, embracing our souls.

How have you connected today? What connections give your life meaning and joy? What will you do to become more intimate with the whole?

I look into your eyes and 
see the whole universe not yet born
-- Rumi 

Photo credits:

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Better Place

"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.  This is to have succeeded.”  -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

I do not know if it was my mother’s love of Emerson that brought this quote into my life, or if I heard it from someone I have long forgotten, or if I read it on a coffee mug.  This was one of my early lessons that I somehow took to heart as a young boy and worked it into my life.  It drove me to make my own surroundings better, to do a better job on whatever I undertook, and, more recently, to help people in their struggle to get better or have a better life or make a better world.  And we all know what better means!

The awakening man looks deeply into his soul for a vision of what he can be.  His constant companion must be that greater vision, for it drives him to surrender himself to achieving a better life for, first, himself, and for others.  He learns that better means discarding his childish ways, addictions, selfishness, grandiosity, and meanness.  It means dealing with his shadows that haunt and ruin his life purpose. 

He cries, screams, rages, and strides into the fire of his hero’s journey, through the inferno of his heart, to burn away the dross of his soul.  He steeps his ego in the boiling pot of humility and brews wholeness for his cup.  He learns to rise from the ashes of his wounds and proclaims a mission for his life, a mission filled with love, compassion, peace, value, the fulfillment of which is the offering of his own unique gold to the world.

He yearns to leave better wherever he goes, whatever his situation, for his family, his friends, and others.  His contributions may be small, but no matter.  They give his life joy and meaning, and that is enough!

What is your vision?  Your mission?  Your gold?  How will you follow Emerson’s call to true success today?  How will you leave the world a better place?

Photo credit: Credit: Austin Malleolo