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Lost in our own stories

Greetings from here, a stunning autumnal day in the south of France.

In my last post, I talked about freeing ourselves from the need of regular selfish desires and transforming our thoughts and desires to the needs of others.

I didn’t expect those comments to raise such a wonderful rush of chatter on various social media forums and I am pleased they did.

One person said, “Thank you so much Steve for bringing up that which stops us from experiencing constant, intrinsic and unconditional love – the illusion of individual needs and desires. The illusion of individuals.”

While another said, “When we get out of our own head our attention immediately turns to others (or donuts). The question to ask is “how can I help?”

I love that reference to donuts (even though it should be doughnuts! Ha ha) but it is rather sad, like, ‘my works’ done for the day so that person who seems lonely, lost . . . can wait until another day, I don’t have time for that right now.’

Not a day goes by without a tag being added; today (10 October 2017) is World Mental Health Day. A few years ago, I was diagnosed with ‘depression’ a label that was difficult to come to terms with, and then add the other odd things that kept surfacing. Thank heavens’ for the person who noticed, she pulled me out of the mire.

How often do we take the time to look around at our fellow humans? Sometimes they can’t reach out when they need to because they don’t have the capacity or, nobody is listening.

“Is seeking pleasure what is hindering us from realizing who we are, or is it just a matter of mistaking transient pleasure (TP) for authentic pleasure (AP), which is inherent in consciousness?”

I wonder if seeking pleasure through the various aspects of our lives can be a hindrance, especially if an element of risk or fear is involved. Consider the confidence it takes to ask somebody you don’t know too well if they are okay. The ego steps in and raises doubts while our intuition gently asks for attention when it tells us it’s a good idea to say hello or offer a coffee to someone within our radar.

We have to love the ego, it can lead us astray, it often protects us but we must also listen to our intuition. The TP, such has having the latest phones aren’t AP.

TP = Ego, AP = Intuition, soul . . . If we only know authentic pleasure, we have stepped into the light and whilst still there, our ego and intuition are as one, looking after and guiding us as we travel along our paths.

Here’s what another commentator had to say,

“Good Morning varying versions of shared Self:

Sitting here observing and experiencing the miracle that is the freely gifted daily morning waves, sunrise, birds, dolphins and all…all thought seems superfluous to optimal being.

I am intrigued and guided by the latest neuro science from the Max Planck Institute where by connecting individuals to a new type of brain scanner and giving them a series of multiple choice questions…they could accurately forecast each thought 6-7 seconds before the thinker had it.

What they were unable to do is to say accurately where each thought originates yet the tests do point to the strong possibility that there is something invisible at play.

From this human perspective the only way is to view life as one ‘qualia program’ being directed, written, produced, experienced and ongoingly informed by the Only One Formless Being – and holding the knowing that I am that Being….feels all that is needed to be known.

It feels that we confuse & reduce via distractive thought when there are birdsongs, waves, breezes through the trees, children’s laughter, Mozart, Bach, sharing, caring, tender, playful, creative, inclusive, compassionate & wondrous other unlimited experiences to be lived and felt.”

Each day I learn and grow, through life, meditation other studies and leisure activities.

Is it through meditation that we can take great strides forward? Can meditation affect the thoughts of people not meditating? There are arguments we are connected in such a way. Put like that it sounds so simple. Of course it’s not but getting people to the same page is part of our journey and to do that, we have to notice them.

Despite the darkness that all too often drifts into the light, we were born in love and our universal love is something to be cherished and shared.

If you would like to join the debate, try one of these forums at Discovering Your Cosmic Self where you can discuss these issues in a supportive and challenging environment.

I will leave you for now (or maybe not) with a poem by David Whyte

The Bell Ringer

Consider the bell
ringer as an image
of the human soul,
he stands foursquare
on the stone flagged
ground, and surrounded
by a circle of communal
concentration
searches in his fixed
aloneness
for a world
beyond straight,
human,
eye to eye
discourse,
in this case
above him,
the collision of metal
worlds chiming
to each bend and lift
of the knees,
letting his weight bear down
on the rope,
creating out of the heave
and upward pull,
a hollowed out
brass utterance,
a resonant
on-going argument
for his continued presence,
independent
of daily mood
or the necessities
for a verbal
proclamation.

***

Let him stand there
then
for the human soul,
let his weight
come true on the rope,
the way we want to lean
into the center of things,
the way we want to
fall with the gravity
of the situation
and then afterwards
laugh and
defy it
with an upward
ultimately untraceable
flight,
a great ungovernable
ringing
announcement
to the world
that something, somewhere,
has changed.

Consider
the bell ringer
as one of us,
attempting some
unachieved,
magnificent
difference in the world,
far above
and far beyond
the stone-closed
space we seem
to occupy.

Below
we’re all
effort, listening
and willful concentration,
above,
like a moving sea,
another power
shoulders
just
for a moment
the whole burden,
lifts us
against our will,
lets us find
in the skyward pull
a needed antidote
to surface noise,
a gravity against gravity,
another way to hear
amid
the clamor of the heavens.

(Everything Is Waiting For You)

Namasté dear people of Las Vegas

I’ve just finished editing a difficult chapter of my work in progress (wip). Four central characters diverted from their road-trip route by a fictional road traffic accident with loss of life. There was a sound reason for this and it may be a difficult scene for anybody with real-life experience of similar events. Editing the chapter contributed to my current spiritual low-ebb.

From fiction to fact, my characters visited a place called Oradour Sur Glane in France. Toward the end of the Second World War the population of the entire village was massacred. Possibly because of one man, kidnapped by the local resistance. Nobody really knows the truth except that 642 men, women and children were murdered.

If you visit Oradour Sur Glane, the old village is preserved as it was on 10 June 1944. The doctors’ car is still in its parking space. There is a sewing machine, babies’ pram and evidence of unnatural destruction.

Not for the first time yesterday (02/10/2017), I spotted a news alert on my computer. Intuition told me not to go there but something over-rode it and I opened a news page on my browser to discover the latest tragedy in The USA. Las Vegas, at least fifty dead, hundreds physically wounded and I dread to think how many psychologically damaged following the actions of one individual.

Something drove that man to that point, we may never know what, but one thing is certain, a range of powerful weapons were at his disposal. He may have had licence to own them and he put them to devastating use.

There is but one road to peace in this world and it does not involve mass-murder whether government sanctioned or not. Power will never bring peace. Only the internal peace of individuals who share their inner-strength can do that. It’s a matter of choice to seek internal peace; it takes courage and confrontation with many of the things we thought we knew. The potential for greatness is within all of us, it comes pre-installed and I don’t mean in a way that nourishes the ego.

Image result for namasté meaning

#SynopsisThursday 14/09/2015

A Sorry Affair is a romantic novel by Kirsten Nairn which examines the complexities of relationships and the heartache which can often accompany love. The story is told from the perspective of the three main characters, Mack and Jen, the archetypical golden couple, together since they were students and Abbi, who Mack finds himself drawn to, and eventually falling in love with. He ends up unintentionally in love with two women.

The idea for the story began as a simple question. What does it feel like to be the adulteress? To be the other woman? The sympathy, understandably, is always directed at the innocent party but what if there are two innocent parties? What if you are the ‘other woman’ and are completely unaware that you’re involved in an affair?

The story is considered initially from the view point of Abbi, the ‘other woman’ and focuses on how she feels. She meets Mack by chance and is immediately drawn to him. There is an innocence and naivety to her and the possibility that Mack is in a serious, long term relationship would never have occurred to her. Abbi would never consider having an affair with anyone, married or otherwise and because of this she feels utterly wronged. Everyone, including her own family and friends blame her and they can’t understand or believe that she had no idea that Mack has another girlfriend, another life. The most difficult thing for Abbi though is that she’s in love with Mack. She saw a future for them which has now been destroyed. She’s heartbroken and suffering the pain and loss of a failed relationship, but has no one to speak to, no one to support her.

Mack’s side of the story is perhaps more difficult to understand and to empathise with. He’s in love with Jen. She’s perfect. They’re engaged, they’re happy and it has never occurred to him that they wouldn’t be together for the rest of their lives, and yet for no reason he can fathom, he enters into an affair with Abbi. He realises, too late, that he has risked everything.

Mack’s immediate loss and helplessness are apparent, but ultimately the story examines the long term and wider reaching consequences of his actions. The impact on Abbi and Jen, on Jen’s family and his own family and the loss they all experience.

Later, as the story concludes with a twist, it becomes apparent how much hurt he has caused and the monumental mess he’s made of everyone’s lives. Not only has the future life they all imagined for themselves been changed forever, but he has a child, who may never be a part of his life unless he can prove he will never make the same mistake again.

My hope is that the reader will connect with all the characters and in doing so, be faced with the dilemma as to where their sympathies lie and to ask themselves what they would do in a similar situation.

Kirsten lives in Scotland with her husband, two young children and the usual array of pets that seem to accompany small children. She studied science at Edinburgh University when dungarees were in fashion and Dexy’s Midnight Runners could still cut it with the young ones. She should have studied Art and English and blames her guidance teacher whose words ‘what career would you have?’ still wring in her ears.

http://www.austinmacauley.com/book/sorry-affair

Why not share the synopsis for your current or next book? It’s entirely free and the first one received each week will be promoted each day for a week on my social media sites.

Try to stay within 500 words (although I am not too picky) and send your #SynopsisThursday post to authorstevecostello@gmail.com

 

What Inspires You?

If inspiration is the engine, motivation is the fuel that powers it. Yes, of course there are potential arguments in that opening sentence. Every reader might interpret it in a slightly different way. But, if something inspires me, it also motivates me to do something about it.

Personally, I don’t support any religeous dogma because I believe for one that dogmatism denies development and two, we are children of the universe and we are born to follow the path of the soul and share the love we came with.

Hang on, I hear the blank slate argument raising its head. On that, I only agree that we are born as blank slates in the ways of the world and then, unfortunately, race disconnects us, religeon separates, politics divides and wealth classifies.

In response to the question; what surprises you most? HH the Dalai Lama said, “Man because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices his wealth to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”

Lots of philosophical debate starting to generate here but rather that, allow yourself to relax and take a look at the pictures in my Facebook ‘Motivate’ album. In my life, in one way or another, they are all relevant. What do you think? I would love to know and I welcome additions to the family. Post links in the comments and I will tag you in when I add them.

We all come across challenges that threaten our motivation so re-motivate with some great motivational photos

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