Saturday 27 June 2009


How many of us recognise the tribes of which we are a part? Or for that matter apart? Gay men are often aware of tribe initially from the not fitting point of view; those childhood years. Then coming out we associate with the tribe of gay men in all its shapes, sizes and styles. The need to belong is strong in humans; we want to be rid of our aloneness however illusory it may be. We are all connected but it isn't always clear to us, or available in the ways we seem to want or need. The more life is to be lived, expanded, the more connection is needed and the possible range of tribes extend. This all points to formation of self and thus to Self. Even the monastic in searching for Self, paring away at self, is identified with a tribe and thus part of an identity formation. It must take some paring that one way. Our lives are made by the tribes to which we relate either as insiders or outsiders; the co-creation of selves.

Wednesday 17 June 2009

Happy Birthday

It's my birthday today. I am forty two. It seems like yesterday it was new year and now it's June! And how did it get to be my forty second birthday so soon?! And with the feeling of the sands of time running ever faster through the glass and the realisation of the years spent asleep or feeling that 'this is not what I should be making of my life' and visions of what might be, comes anxiety. All thoughts of course and a counter call might be to seek out and empty the attachments causing the anxiety and to become fully present in the moment. A period of transition is underway that is all. But there is still the call to act, to live. The basic desire. All life a process of transition.

And having dismantled certain defenses (or so it seems) which have become redundant, become more a prison than a fortress, having let back in the life, comes life's contradictions. It's a mixed bag life. Which of course is why we build those defenses in the first place. So in some ways this birthday I am more open, relaxed and balanced than ever, in other ways I am scared, lonely, anxious, unsure which way to turn and desperate to get a move on. A move on? Where does that sit with practice? Form in emptiness I guess.

Alertness, awareness, freedom; scary stuff! And it isn't possible to have one's cake and eat it, choices have to be made. I recall 'The road not taken'. Yet I remain convinced that everyone is doing their best to square the circle of their own life at a deep level. Nothing has been or is wrong, all is well.

Sunday 14 June 2009

Sewing with care

The past few months
Depths of interconnection and sanctity
Yet isolation, spread all ways and no way
In the garden today in DC's shoes
I note a spot of green paint on them
More than ten years since we left the house where that paint was applied
Our efforts woven through each other's these seventeen years
Three fabrics we have woven in to all those others
One each and a shared
And each one shared again
And where now is the loom taking our threads
All the threads not just ours
What warp and weft
As we each look to the threads of our own life
And those of others

Sunday 7 June 2009


Yesterday I was chatting to our new next door but one neighbour, a single woman about my age with a four year old daughter. I'd previously offered my help if she needed any furniture moving and the offer was taken up. She has just been updating the house having just moved in. Nothing to drastic just replacing the 1960's wood wallboard and tiled ceilings with plasterboard, rewiring and making the ground floor study area into an open plan kitchen family room together with redecoration. Generally keeping the 1960's feel but bringing a new fresh air to the place. I really liked the energy as we walked around; the original 1960's concept brought back to life. Fresh young energy in the place is good.

I guess it is in part the four year old that brings the young energy but her mother also has this quality. I am aware of my own mixed aged sub-personalities and think it's good to keep a youthful outlook; I have been too old too soon in the past.

Our conversation turned to sub-personalities and I was granted the complement of seeming to be very calm! I am however, fairly duck like at present; under the surface there is turbulence. I need to find a creative purposeful direction to move into; I need to be much more yang, I feel I am wasting my life just now and I am torn between some difficult choices. I'll just have to keep listening out for what I already know to become more clear. The calmer the water the easier it should be but it's difficult when one feels stuck in a back water and wanting to move with the tide.

Some interesting posts on and
relating to mind. I think Dan Dennett misses the point that we only have our own phenomenal experience; we can't access an Archimedean point. The argument that consciousness is an illusion arising out of material substance misses the point that the only experience any of us have of the material is through our phenomenal experience, our conscious mind. And there is a lot more meaning to be found looking at the mind as it appears to one's self (or should that be the other way around) than might be found by trying to reduce experience down to an emergent property of mater. Certainly our need to relate to each other is at the level of our experience, the flow of energy that forms our world(s).

Each life a manifestation of the one life, the Tao flows on, the changing forms of emptiness.

Monday 1 June 2009


It comes down to this, I must have meaning. It is the will to meaning. I acknowledge that we poor humans are deluded but I believe I am right to insist on meaning. Form in emptiness. A day without work is a day without food as they say. And I must have the company of like minded people. The second point leads to the question of intimacy of all kinds and is very complex; my needs for connection at various levels and depths. These seem to be at the root of spirituality for me; I need to be living in tune with the life force that flows though me, I must not dam this up, pervert it or deny it. I need to share, to feel the interconnectedness that we are. And we share in a space of doing. And all this with compassion not tight ego shell. To work towards being a transcending self actualiser. Is this to go with the flow, the way to follow the Way? This is the stuff of the form one feels one's life should take. What bigger question is there? The meaning of life is that which we give it. It is a huge responsibility, we hold our own salvation. Well, it seems that way today... Life throws up issues for us to deal with. Rooting through the thoughts and emotions to find the attachments, to work out what is the 'right' thing to do, even if that is just to do nothing, is not so simple. And that's probably much to do with knowing that there are many attachments that I just ain't ready to give up, and they are in conflict.