the home of my soul
I see signs at drug store, grocery store, around town about getting flu shots. Like everybody needs a flu shot. For several years, my adult life I'd not had flu shots. Flu came along every once in awhile. After several years of no flu, doctor tells me to get a flu shot or I'll get the flu. I wasn't so sure. I had the shot anyway. Paid for it. A few weeks later I was assaulted by the worst flu I'd ever had. It cost a great deal in medications to get over it. Next year I was told if I don't get the shot, I'll get the flu. Paid for a shot, then a few weeks later paid over $100 for medications to get over a horrible flu. I told the doctor the shot gives me the flu. He told me it does not do that. Next couple years I did not get the shot and did not get the flu. As far as I'm concerned, my experience constitutes a scientific study, an empirical examination, reasoned and rational. Last year a nurse congratulated me for not getting one. She said, "Hang in there." A few days ago I saw in news that 8 nurses at a medical university hospital in Nashville were fired for refusing to have the shot. Some gave religious reasons. My reasons are entirely practical. I don't want the flu. I wouldn't work for a place that required I have the shot. When it came to being told what to paint by a gallery owner, my response was I'd rather paint houses, the houses themselves. And did. Money is not a ring in my nose.
As far as I'm concerned, I know a flu shot will give me the flu the same as I know with less certainty I will not get the flu without the shot; it's maybe so / maybe not. With the shot it's a certainty, in my experience. Figure the odds. I like not having the flu and I like not having to pay $130 during lean winter months to be given the flu and then to get over it. When I don't get the flu, I don't have to spend my grocery money on financing some pharmaceutical CEO's Cayman Islands yacht. I object to that. I made a determination for myself years ago to be the change I want to see in the world. Be what I believe. When I came to realize that God indeed is, then I had to live accordingly. That does not mean go to church, wear polyester and never drink again. It means practicing love for the people around me, my "neighbors," the people in my life, the people I see in the course of a day, the people I think about. The best I can. It doesn't mean winning souls to the Lord, having a perfect Sunday school record, or never making a mistake. It means an intent in the heart, a guiding light. Mistakes are naturally made in a world of illusion. I trust church and preachers for spiritual guidance like I trust Ann Coulter to teach me history.
In the last months I've been looking at my life in a way I had never seen it before. It could not have been seen before. One, the first half of my life was lived in the Flatland, in city-mind, all my learning to then in city-mind interests. Half my life ago, I kind of bottomed out in that I saw I was going nowhere, had no forward momentum, no desire to join the world of career. I kind of went flat inside, like there was nothing to get up about. I'd been in the company of some pretty superficial people for a few years and that was nowhere. Like the Buddhist thing, nobody going nowhere. Then, in brief, I saw that God indeed is, convinced entirely to both my heart and mind. It was going to take me some time to get an understanding of love and get it opened in my heart. Love was shut down in me by age 10, thereabouts, if not several years before. It was several years in the making. Then at 10, shut down. Love wasn't a consideration in our house. We didn't do that. We went to church Sunday morning, Sunday night, Tuesday night Missionary Meeting, Wednesday night Prayer Meeting, Friday night Bible Study, and sometimes I'd have to go to Youth For Christ on Saturday nights. I hated it. No way around it. Get in the car and sit still.
Kids have no recourse. This is one reason I dread being a child again. Kids have no recourse. They learn to take what they get and that's all there is to it. I hated that time of life for having no recourse. Couldn't go to the police, to psychiatrists, to teachers, to anybody who would listen. Nobody would listen because it's a kid talking. Kids don't know what they're saying. And the grownups don't want to get involved with the parents, who are the problem, and they know it. But what can they do? Nothing. I wanted to be put into a foster home; it would feel like paradise. Probably it would not be paradise, but it was in my dream. What I'm looking at is the first half of my life had spots of love in it, but they went away as time went by and it never took up as a pattern in my life, didn't even know what it felt like. I learned what falling in heat felt like which eventually led to that place called nowhere. It really was a life that came to a dead end devoid of love inside. I had love coming to me from outside self that I didn't notice, because I didn't have it inside. It really can be described as darkness living without love. I don't mean without a love partner or a love interest. I mean without love inside oneself, love in one's own heart. I never learned that in all those years of church five times a week.
What I learned was, No, Don't, and You-Better-Not. I came to a stasis that kind of teaching leads to, like paralyzed from neck down. All I had of my own was my mind, which was utilized mostly in rebellion, resentment, hate, clinging jealously to my private self that nobody could have or take from me. I don't want to live like that again. I won't. It was the enactment of a particular horoscope. I think it had something to do with Saturn and Uranus conjunct my Sun in Taurus. I felt like they choked down my life spirit with a religious belief system that had no life in it. Kansas fundamentalism. There is no judgment in this world like fundamentalist judgment. This is why I find it amusing to see the fundamentalists taking to right wing politics, showing their hand out in the open, their hand of judgment, hate, intolerance, where it is seen for what it is instead of disguised inside the confines of the religion as the Word of God Sez. Since I found the spirit of God is love, I came out of the stasis in my life, wanted to work outdoors and live remotely. The opportunity came to live on a remote dirt road in the Blue Ridge Mountains of NC and work on a farm with some real life hillbillies, the real deal. The most beautiful people I'd ever known.
This was where the salt ran through the waist of the hour glass, the flow of my energy from a static belief system that formed my inner stasis and led me to dead end, to all the salt on the love side of the hourglass. I have found the home of my soul, the people of my soul, the mountains of my soul, and feel love inside myself in abundance. It directs my interractions with others and myself. I'm satisfied. If it took going through Kansas fundamentalism and rejecting it to get here, I'm all for it. Like becoming an alcoholic or junkie is the first step of the spiritual path for them that choose the path. Eventually, one must get over the addiction, which requires stepping onto the spiritual path. It's all to the good. Like yesterday, I repeated a phrase to myself reminding myself, Everything works out. I was a bit anxious, worrying. Then I took hold of my mind and said, Everything works out. I repeated that phrase to myself through much of the day, reminding mind the worry is agitation for no reason. I suppose when it gets down to what's real of what I have learned in this life time, this is it. I continue to live because things have worked out all along the way. To think that suddenly one day things are not going to work out is simply not practical.