Living and Enjoying

“Don’t obsess on time. Future and past all merge in time. Don’t take your time as absolute. It really is very short. Live and enjoy.” (9/7/95 - O#1)

"People while alive live several lives at the same time, but different lives take over at different times. Shakespeare said
we have several roles... not quite right. All roles are always there. When people talk of inner child, that is more right. But children have inner old people. You live out one at a time, but you can change roles. You choose the one you want. So some old people choose to be childlike, etc. The most fun is trying to live more than one at a time.

"People, as they develop, don’t just go through stages. They uncover various roles and add them to their active repertoire. But most people throw out the old role. Actually, they stop choosing the old, or stop even seeing the old as a choice. But it is all there once uncovered. That's all.

"The reason people like amusement parks is they experience two roles. Disney best example: you can be adult and kid; kids can be adults. That's really all. Look inside and let yourselves go. Be wise. Don't ever get trapped in one role." (10/4/95 - O#2)

"Dreams occur all the time, but we only pay attention when we sleep. But if we blot out some of them, we disturb the whole system. And remember, just because you avoid remembering dreams, that doesn't mean they stop, or stop affecting you. They just become an unrecognized force in your life--a force distorted in your life, things out of balance. You can avoid dealing with them, but you can't avoid them. You dream, you forget, but you are still affected... or is that effected. Forgetting serves conscious needs, but perverts--or subverts--other needs.

"It's all a package deal. People who avoid stairs and grumble about ramps never get to see from mountain tops. In avoiding pain you also diminish the capacity for joy. The range of emotions is smaller, but you know you want more on one side. Hey sweetie, you can't have one without the other. So avoiding keeps you from feeling bad, but it also keeps you from feeling good... and that feels bad.
Catch-22." (10/18/95 - O#3)

"Stop trying to figure it all out. Acceptance, not control, is the key. Knowledge is thought to be power, but it is only knowledge. And a little knowledge can bring on blindness of the spirit." (12/23/95 - O#4)

"Life can't be forced, or it's not life. Life is more of a free-form dance whose pattern is seen in retrospect, rather than a march like a football half-time." (1/12/96 - O#5)

"Actors and actresses are confused people--don't know who they are. The best are the most confused, for they have no permanent sense of self. They live by scripts, not life. Bad living, bad marriages, bad drugs and alcohol, messed up... and their children. Some are long-timers, but few." (1/31/96 - O#6)

"Some actors and actresses are long-timers who don't seem to remember much. They are what they seem. They live out scripts, not lives. They meet external expectations, not internal understandings. They are adored because they play to us. But a few--a very few--have their acts together, and play the eternal truths (Olivier; Bernhardt; Woody Allen; Liv Ullman; Anthony Quinn, maybe; Shirley MacLaine; and Grace Kelly, who could give it up).

"We idolize famous people because we feel we have no life. Those who feel fulfilled do not envy celebs. You know you are in a good place when you just consider what a person does to be his or her reality, no better than your own; when fame is not impressive." (2/2/96 - O#7)

"Here's a paradox: Jews have always defined themselves by what happened to them. Read the
Torah, etc. It is all about what happened, but they claim to believe in a God who is defined simply by being: 'I am what I am.' So do they really believe? I don't know. They believe they're made in the image of God, so they are conflicted people.

"They realize the Covenant is not such a good deal. God says 'I am' and they say 'What' and then he says 'I am.' But does he produce, no. And they have struck a performance contract with the epitome of being, not of performing. It's like having a parent who says 'I am love,' but who is not loving nor shows love, but transfers the guilt onto others. And the tradition says you blame yourself for some (à la Prophets) or blame others (à la the rest of the Torah)... o but do not blame God (à la Job). Title is more important than performance.

"Jesus was a radical. He spoke of acts, not just faith. He required individual responsibility: '
And if a man hits you, turn the other cheek.' He doesn't say feel like a victim. He doesn't say feel guilt. He says be there with the situation; confront it; deal with it." (2/13/96 - O#8)

"The trick is to be able to share yourself without expecting or requiring anything in return. If you can do that, you can stay whole, no matter who you're dealing with or whatever the situation." (3/7/96 - O#9)

"A lot of loss in this world, and so much birth and creativity. Loss is another name for scarcity, if you see it as loss. Eventually you will lose it all." (3/21/96 - O#10)

"If you have more money than you need, it means you are not using all your gifts. And if you don't have enough, it means you don't recognize all your gifts, so you keep spending money in lieu of working on uncovering your own assets. When you are most in tune with yourselves and others, you spend less." (4/20/96 - O#11)

"Spaces come in all shapes and sizes and places. We can make these spaces for ourselves anywhere we are. It's all the emotional crap that gets in the way. We can be open and honest with each other, but we don't know that until we try it, and it takes some courage and confidence and trust. Trust, trust, trust. But enough of this serious shit.

"Play. Eat. Stroll in the summer sun. Breathe and laugh and hug. Swim and follow the birds with your heart as they soar into the fragrant sky. Be where you are, and let where you are fill and fulfill your being. In other words, have fun! Growth happens in the times when we least expect it." (8/6/96 - O#12)

"Our tasks in life do not have to do with finding our path, but rather with finding our way on our path. We are already there, but will we proceed. Many have been left behind when they stood still when the path moved on. 'And I chose neither, and both paths in the wood disappeared.'
Bob forgot to write down that stanza." (12/20/96 - O#13)

"Now about abortion. This is a tricky subject. If one thinks like most do, then the central question is when does life begin. Ha, dumb question. Life does not begin as we know it--it is just a portion of a great continuity, as we all know. So when a fetus is aborted, there is no loss of life.

"Now, as for the spirit that might reside in that fetus. How do you know that the abortion is not part of the process of its becoming. Who is to say what experiences of the spirit are real or good. It is arrogance to assume that all conception is measured by birth and life. Paths are not ordained. We do not know the future. So the spirit may find itself in a bad place, so to speak, but who is to say that 80 years has more meaning than 18 weeks. Let him or her who knows come forward and walk on water.

"We are--and I mean you people there are--so quick to measure everything by life on Earth this time around. It's like all is nothing, then conception, then birth, then life, then death, then afterlife and that goes on forever. What a stupid, limited view--one shot and that's it, ha.

"So, abortion must be about the issues for the living--what we can learn from accepting them or not. They tell us about ourselves, but have no higher moral meaning. They can be a sin, if one experiences it and has no learnings. But who is to say whether the learnings of the woman and the man are more or less important than the life of the spirit-as-fetus or -child. Lots claim to know, but they all have such limited views of the spirit.

"It's time people demanded and accepted a larger view. And when you are sure of that... ha, you know. And in doubt is faith and knowledge, for there is the potential for growth--and that is the theme and rhythm of creation. I ask you, where is growth in the traditional view of Heaven. Even God stops being creative in that view." (1/27/97 - O#14)

"Get ready, I have lots to say, ha. First of all, here's some thoughts on immortality. There ain't none. People die. In fact, entities of greater and lesser complexity also die, so to speak. Immortality is an attempt to deny the essence of a vital, throbbing reality. To be immortal means one is not mortal, which means one does not live nor learn, and certainly does not remember. To stop the inevitable is unnatural... not to mention stupid. Go with the flow would be a good slogan.

"So if you don't have immortality, then what. Then you focus on moving on, not staying put. You get focused on being and becoming yourself as fully as possible. To get caught worrying about being remembered is to miss the secret. So when we speak of stopping the ravages of time and death, we are really speaking of raping life. Awesome stuff, she said modestly." (2/28/97 - O#15)

"Here's what I know. Things occur in sequence. If you don't learn and remember what you need, you don't go anywhere by being impatient. We have the dimensions all fucked up. When we are concerned about time, we think about delays, etc., but what we should be concerned with is depth of learning, not time. People waste 99% of their lives waiting for something while life itself is going by. So when we are impatient, it's almost like being blind and insensitive. We are caught in the wrong dimension. So says the Moo.

"More complex forms don't. Less complex forms only know present, but without the capacity for larger understandings. To know time is both a blessing and a curse. Without it no history, but with it so much focus on the future.

"Life is not just a waiting room. But if you treat it that way, you will end up with nada. You will miss this life and all its learnings. The future is very close. Stop worrying about it. It's the present that should absorb you: the little details--all of life in
Our Town. Hey, if you don't live when you are alive, you'll really be dead when you're dead... not like moi. So yell at me and shout in frustration, but be alive and focused on life. Now for the Dead Tabernacle Choir: Ahhhmen, Hhhamen, Alleluia." (3/29/97 - O#16)

"Once upon a time, there was a dragon named Lester. He had a friend named Fred. Fred was a frog. Lester would lope and Fred would hop.

"One day Lester hurt his front paws. All he could do was hop. And Fred was so worried, that he ran--or rather, loped--to Dr. Possum's for help. When old Doc Possum woke up he gave Fred some liniment for Lester, and Fred loped back as fast as a dragon to Lester.

"By the next day, Lester was loping and Fred was hopping, but Lester said he was happier about something else than loping again. 'Fred,' he said, 'I got to know more what it's like to be Fred.' And Fred said to Lester, 'And I got to know more about what it's like to be Lester.'

"Isn't that what friends do--share what they have in common, and try to experience what could be differences. So a frog got more dragony and a dragon got more froggy and the world was a little more friendly. The End." (4/28/97 - O#17)

"If you impose your expectations on others, you will drive them away. But if you let them be themselves and accept them as they are, they will be there even more.
Atticus suggested that you had to walk around in the other's being before you could know. Sound advice." (5/6/97 - O#18)

"Ideals are good, but not for much. Let's say you are going to buy a car. You know what a perfect car is, but hey, there ain't no such thing on the market. So you buy the best available to you, and you may modify it or customize it a bit, but you also change your expectations. You become real, man. If you decided to deal with the car without changing yourself and accepting the reality, you would drive yourself miserable, and what's the point--car won't only change so much, and you ain't gonna be having no perfect car. So why be miserable. Be flexible and happy." (9/30/97 - O#19)

"A lesson: If you wait for a full glass, you may die of thirst. Life is rarely--if ever--full, but always abundant. But people mistake one for the other. Say you have a gallon of wine. Does it matter if each wine glass is filled once full or twice half full. If one looks for fullness, this is an example of scarcity thinking.

"That's what a lot of people do. It's like couples who say their wedding was ruined because the cake was the wrong flavor. If the measure is completion or fullness or totality, scarcity is the motif. But if quality and process and faith abide, then abundance is the motif. Two people at a table: one eats everything he can; the other eats simply but complains that there wasn't enough, or he thought there won't be. The gourmand, despite his excesses, is a believer in abundance, while the other focuses on scarcity. Just listen to people and hear what they say. You'll start hearing which is which.

"The question should not be
is the glass full, but rather what's in the glass. Get it. And not the volume in the glass. Your scraps of near nothing can be a feast for another; a plate full of shit is just a plate full of shit. And a grain of hope can change the world." (12/8/97 - O#20)

"Take what's good and ignore the rest--unless it's essentially painful. Hey guys, there ain't no fantasy perfect people out there. If there were, they'd have moved on. So measure against reality, not dreams. And hey, you know what, dreams then come true because the core of any dream is more real in reality than in fantasy. The Moo has spoken." (1/17/98 - O#21)

"No pearls today, diamonds. Hard truths are diamonds. Like hey, you are all going to die, and only a few when they want to and should... pisser. Ice cream melts. Nothing you liked in childhood ever tastes as good. Scars are stronger than healthy flesh. And
Franco is still dead. What you think you know is not what you really know, and the difference is filled with grief and tragedy. What you do and what you are are not the same, and the difference is filled with faith and hope and whipped cream, I do éclair. Enuf." (10/2/98 - O#22)

"If you live toward a goal, you will get the goal maybe, but lose yourself. But if you live as yourself, you will get where you need to go. So live to be yourself, not to get things done. It's true. So believe it, live it, enjoy it... charge it, Papa will pay." (10/6/98 - O#23)

At an informal chat session:

"Hi all my dear friends, and it is so good to see you all here. I know the holidays are coming up, and that this is a hard time for many of you. As physical beings you look at what you can see. Makes sense, yes. But what you can see is not all that is there. What you see as lack or loss or empty spaces are really nonexistent. There is only a gap in your own perception. At those times when you see an empty space, or you find yourself focusing on what isn't there, try to see between the spaces... try to see around the spaces... call out for what you need but focus on what you have, and what you need will appear. Now, it may not be what you want... but it will be what you need.

"My Thanksgiving wish for all of you is that you focus on abundance, on that which is in your glass, on the possibilities of the future. I know it's hard, but if you can do that you will feel fullness fill that which now looks empty. Amen." (11/22/98 - O#24)

"I have no purpose, no direction known. I float the cosmic sea in search of far-off shores where spiritual truth hints at glory beyond words, and I am seasick. But when you are seasick, you should keep your eyes on the horizon. So, too, for lifesickness, when life makes you dizzy and barf." (2/6/99 - O#25)

"It's about give and take. Someone took my bench, but I gave a new one. So some things you can replace, but some you can't. So give and take only works with replaceables or infinites, but often we treat one like the other, so we withhold an infinite when someone takes and doesn't give back a finite. Sister borrows a bowl and never returns it, and we withhold our love. What a bummer. We treat an infinite like a finite. More later. Film at 11. And remember, a circle cannot have two centers. Goodbye." (2/28/99 - O#26)

At a Serendipity Night chat session:

"Hey guys, what's up? Ok, let's get a little serious because what I have to say is serious and extremely profound, ha. This is about give and take and going with the flow, as you were chatting about earlier.

"Give and take is something that is often misunderstood. We think in terms of giving finite things to each other, such as gifts or anything that is physical, and we get confused between that which is finite and that which is infinite. Let me explain. I never was a great Beatles fan, but when they said '
money can't buy me love' they were on the right track, and here's why: There is no flow to the finite. What is finite is meant to go from one place to another, or from one person to another, and then stop. It is not meant to keep going, because if it did we would get really annoyed! Did you ever have a letter come back to you unopened? Then you understand what I mean.

"The infinite is what is meant to flow between us and through us and around us, and it is not meant to be stopped in one place or with one person or idea or thought. The infinite is things like love and caring and respect and compassion and dignity and service. So when we speak of give and take, we must be careful to remember this. When your sister borrows a bowl from you and doesn't return it, you might get angry, you might get upset, you might feel used and disrespected. But think about it: it's a bowl, it's a finite thing that can be replaced. And when you make something finite the measure of what you will give of the infinite, you short circuit the whole process. The infinite is meant to flow; the finite is not.

"If you give someone a finite gift, you don't expect it back and you don't get it back. But if you give someone love and care and compassion and trust, you not only give it but you become an agent in the infinite flow of the universe, and it comes back to you in ways you don't control or even imagine. Now, if you withhold that love and care, you not only do not send it out to someone else, but you create a jam in the system, and you don't allow the flow to happen. You will, in the long run, diminish your own returns. Trust in that flow, and do not withhold what is not yours to begin with--for none of us owns the infinite, although we are all participants in it--and you will begin to understand what Jesus meant when he said, '
love thy neighbor as thyself.' It's not through the finite that love is found, but in the infinite gifts that we all give and take. Learn to know the difference, and you will find more love and more hope and more fulfillment. Life is abundant, but what is finite is not. Focus on that which is limited and you will limit your own vision and your own receiving. So, chew on that for a while, and I will be back again soon. I love you all and wish you all the gifts of the universe and the companionship of each other. Goodnight!" (2/28/99 - O#27)

" '
Hope is the thing with feathers.' But hope is also the medium of change within perception. Beliefs speak of our thoughtful and soulful aspirations; they are the expressions of a view beyond the known or the given or the experienced. However, beliefs are not enough. One can have a belief without much feeling for its fulfillment. Some say, 'I believe I will go here or there,' but then add, 'I have little hope I will do that before I die.' If beliefs are the target, then hope is the momentum; it takes hope to have a belief shape a perception.

"You can't have hope without a vision of belief, but you can have belief without hope. But I challenge you to tell me what the value of a hopeless belief is. It is a paper belief, like a paper tiger. If one has beliefs that do not lead to hope, what's the point. Often, people beyond hope must change their beliefs. So hope is the link; it can't stand alone. And here's the clinker: If it doesn't lead to something, it withers. So, a hope deferred is a hope denied, as my bro
Langston said. So follow this: Belief must lead to hope or it's not a real belief for you; hope must lead to change of perception or it's not hope for you. Too many people live by other people's hopes.

"Now for a concrete example... or actually, a wet one: lifeboat, several people. Some say that they believe it is beyond hope. They give up, and so it's beyond hope for them. Others say they believe this or that but it gives them no hope, so they have also given up. But others say they believe. Some believe in God and prayer, and so they pray; others believe in their physical strength, and that gives them hope, and they begin to paddle; some believe in creativity, and so have hope, and they stitch together a sail and sail on. Those without hope will be lost souls even if they are rescued, for they found their beliefs brought no hope. And those who hope will be saved even if they are not rescued, for they will have lived out their lives to the fullness of their being and believing. Make sense. Or, a person is facing cancer: No beliefs, no hope, goodbye; beliefs but no hope, goodbye; beliefs and hope, chance to recover or to die with understanding and meaning.

"Do you get the very special thing I am saying. Hope is not about having everything come out right as we would have perceived it before the situation. Hope is a trusting that after the situation we will perceive meaning and learn from it. So, you are here doing this because your beliefs said spiritual persistence is possible, and that gave you the hope of talking to me. It couldn't stop my death. It can't make it all ok by standards of before the accident, but it can make meaning of the realities. You, through hope, perceive meaning where without that hope you would have none, and those perceptions open you to new experiences.

"Belief, hope, perception, experience: the equation enlarges. And there is more between perception and experience, but that's another day. And I caution you, hope without belief is as foolish as belief without hope. Both will suck you dry spiritually--one seemingly negative as no hope, and one seemingly positive hope, but no faith. You need both. Faith and beliefs are cousins. Beliefs are the materials that are gathered and assembled and named through faith. Faith is a verb. Faith is the means to beliefs that engender hope that you will perceive a world that is moved by _____ to new experiences." (3/10/99 - O#28)

"Now more about hope. Hope does not create realities, it only opens us to the possibilities we could not see without it. So it is like a lens, not an object. And hope without a viewer cannot exist. Hope is always tied to a spirit, whether alive or dead. So, to speak of collective hopes is to do a political number to a personal thingie. The collective cannot do anything, except as it represents the realities of individuals. And hope without action is like a recipe without food--you get the idea, but it is not satisfying." (3/13/99 - O#29)

"There will be many French governments, but only a single strand of people called the French. One is permanent and the other transient. And if you mistake one for the other, o boy, what a fuck-up. You sustain what should end and end what should continue. Do you like disasters... do you really like disasters... then that's all you have to do--like continue personal power and end freedom. Like dictators; they, from lack of experience, get it all wrong.

"But most people in the phase of learning get it wrong a little bit--like trying to keep your relationship with parent or child like it was when the child was 5. The continuity should be love and care, not a static relationship. You meet people who, at 40, still keep ideas from when they were 5--like God as an old man. They miss the spirit and freeze the symbol. Don't do that! And that's enough." (3/28/99 - O#30)

"You lose and you win. Live in the paradox. Clarity is not all it's cracked up to be. Take muddy water and filter it; sure it's clear, but gone are all of its substance, like silver and gold and all the good stuff. Getting things clear doesn't mean better. Just a thought." (6/15/99 - O#31)

"Now about change. Most people resist change, but one thing worse is getting shortchanged, and that is what you get when you resist the natural change. If change is to come into your life, embrace it all. You don't want just some. For example, my death without this. Too many, finding themselves in change, stop halfway and say, 'I can't take anymore.' Hey, if you are crossing a river, it doesn't do any good to stop in the middle. So realize the great fear is really that it won't change enough, and that fear keeps us from being open to enough change. Hmmm... I'm smart. Those who suffer change don't let it play out. Like people who have to leave somewhere or something, and then don't reestablish themselves elsewhere or with something else. Ok, that's it.

"You know you haven't let it play out when the pain of loss is greater than the reward of change. Like when you are getting change, and you tell you are getting shorted, but then at last the needed dollar drops and the equation is equal. Then you can walk away in balance. Look, if each time you had a transaction you lost a dime, it might not seem like much, but each year you'd be down a couple hundred buckos. And that is also what some do. They let themselves get shortchanged just a wee wittle tad, and say it's ok. But over time they lose lots, and don't know why they feel so shortchanged by life. So, go." (8/16/99 - O#32)

"You can take it with you, but only what really counts... which ain't money, dudes." (10/24/99 - O#33)

"This is about
the end of The Wizard of Oz, where all you want or need you've always had. For it involves time and space which, being illusions, collapse the whole field of being into any given moment, place, or event. Nothing is ever really elsewhere. We just don't realize this until we get spiritually smart. And then wham, we get a new set of things to be smart about. Ouch! that smarts. So, I go. I stay. Both." (2/8/2000 - O#34)

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Last Update: 5/11/2013
Web Author:
the Rev Dr Randolph and Elissa Bishop Becker, M.Ed., LPC
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