At the moment I am going through tremendous personal transitions and it is my practice to see this not only in personal terms but also in universal terms. Following are some notes for my PG 101 manual, which can be seen on this website
As far as I can tell at this point the secrets of life lie in
1 Our subconscious; becoming aware of what is there and replacing “negative” programming, especially negative attitudes and beliefs, especially negativity about ourselves and our own abilities, potentials and deservedness, with positive, life affirming and life supporting attitudes and beliefs.
To use computer terms, essentially our subconscious is the program running that determines what we can and can’t do. We think our conscious minds are in control. Wrong. There are a few rare people whose willpower is so strong that it can override anything but even that willpower is the result of a program that says they can do it.
If i had to single out the most important idea in all that i have learned and am sharing this is it, the paramount importance of the subconscious. The greatest key to improving my life that i have found is work with the subconscious.
There are many books on this topic. I suggest starting with Marilyn Jenett, who has written a book ostensibly about prosperity but really the single best summation and explanation of subconscious laws that i have found as well as giving tools to work with it.
2 Cleansing ourselves of “negative” attitudes and beliefs such as hatred, jealousy, fear, anger, etc.
2a Learning the skill of taking control of our mind, our thoughts, so that it is not filled with or in a loop of “negative” thoughts. Let it at least be neutral.
All work on the physical plane flows from these.
3 Just as in a regular job if you want the paycheck you need to do the work.
Work on the physical plane is important but if our subconscious, thoughts and emotions have issues, work on the physical plane is like trying to carry water in a bucket with large holes in it and any goals we may have such as prosperity, health or good relationships will be much more difficult to achieve.
I am saying nothing about our energy bodies or chakras because many people are not aware of these, but if you are this is where to start.
Scepticism, Proof, Information or Transformation
There are many teachers and writings that give elaborate systems of how the Universe works. Personally all i care about is what i can use to help myself to be happier and healthier in every way.
As a very wise man i knew once told me, information is very often just a more sophisticated form of entertainment unless it leads to transformation. I agree. There’s nothing wrong with entertainment, but even if someone describes to you all the levels and details of the Universe, so what unless you can use it.
Open minded scepticism is a very good place to operate from. Too many people believe unquestioningly. There is a lot of BS out there. Open minded scepticism means you are willing to give ideas a fair examination and are willing to accept them if they hold up. Unlike what is often called skepticism but is really fear of change and a closed mind.
But what is proof? When we speak of subconscious beliefs and attitudes, chakras and energy bodies, metaphysical laws like karma and reincarnation, how do we prove any of that? Or disprove? What sorts of proof do we accept or not accept? The very nature of the subject makes it something we may not be able to measure with machines or in a laboratory. How then do we judge for ourselves what is valid?
(actually the work of Ian Stevenson, Rupert Sheldrake, Dean Radin and others is quite scientific).
- As Heisenberg pointed out in physics, the observer matters. No one is objective and our own attitudes and beliefs actually affect what happens. See the work of Lynn Mctaggart. That means that if you start out thinking it’s all Bs that’s probably what you will end up finding because your thoughts have actually affected results. See the work of Marilyn Jenett.
- The Buddha said don’t accept anything because he said it, try his ideas in your own life and see if they work for you. Our right brain feelings and intuitions matter, are real, and can be just as valid modes of knowing as the logical mind. Most people who profess to be rational realists live in and accept as valid only their left brains. On the other hand many people live the opposite, a right brain mush of feelings with little logic or precision. I am advocating balance. If you yourself “feel it to be true” that is a valid proof but only for you.
ALL CONNECTED (written 11/26)
The whole world is connected
Three men talking about women and sports
Sitting at a table on a black and white kitchen floor in Berlin
are connected with
a Masai woman who has gone back to her home village
to give birth to the child she conceived from a one night stand
with a man she met at a nightclub in Nairobi
and they are connected with
a Ku Klux Klansman in Mobile, Alabama
who has lost his job and is filled with hate
never thinking that he is connected with
a 25 year old dark skinned advertising executive in London
born of Jamaican immigrants, excited about his first good job and
his upcoming date tonight with a 22 year old model and
they are all connected with
a wolf pack in Alaska, 3 males and 7 females, 3 cubs
there were 2 more males but they were killed by hunters
all connected with
dolphins playing off the coast of Florida, and
whales in the Aleutians, and
a crop of maize grown in the old way by
a group of Native Americans seeking to connect with their traditions
and the stars
and the dust in interstellar space
and creatures in far distant galaxies unknown and
unsuspected by the finest telescope
Winter is here. Here in Oregon it gets cold about a month earlier than California and lasts an extra month in the Spring. My playing season ended around Halloween. i don’t think i quite realized how involving my street gig was until it ended. I was playing 3x a week and practicing much of the off time, totally enthused. Haven’t played a whole lot in the last month, although i did write and rewrite this poem and a few songs.
Been drinking a lot of tea and doing a ton of inner work, as well as a lot of just plain hanging around. Winter is traditionally a time of hibernation for me so that’s sort of ok, although i could use some more money and gigs, but i’m not sure exactly where or how to go about that at the moment. We’ll just see what turns up.
I played on my favorite street corner Friday Saturday and Sunday nights. The weather was beautiful, the audiences were responsive, said really nice things and thanked me for being there, the acoustics were great, i had an awesome time playing whatever i felt like playing, i made not a ton but enough money to feel appreciated. One of those runs where you feel YES! this is why i came to this planet.
The spot where i play there are several businesses all in a row that have tables out front. Generally there are 20-50 people there. Really it’s like a restaurant gig, except strictly tips. Most nights i bring my 12 string acoustic, but sometimes, like this weekend, i bring my electric guitar and really small amp. Kept it mellow, still got loose, played a ton of blues, did a little tapping. Played a lot of Neil Young and Stones, some of my own songs, did John Barleycorn Must Die, even did an extended version of Marvin Gaye’s Sexual Healing with a lot of vocal riffing.
After 41 years i have some small idea of what i’m doing, people noticed. Usually i play 7-9:30 or 10. Saturday night i went til 10:30, Sunday night til 11. Just was having too good a time playing to quit. Made $117 for a total of ten hours, really not much in musician terms, but for the demographic and the amount of people out it was ok.
A lot of times my self talk is “i should get a real gig”, but nights like that, where so many people say it was so great having me there, it just feels right.
Just did a bunch of editing on various pages.
Did some actual writing on the Personal Growth 101 manual. Check it out! [click on link]
Watching video “Ballad of Ramblin’ Jack” (Elliot). Found it in a free box today. Must have been meant to watch it. Really changing my attitude towards success. Jack was so great as a musician, so authentic in living his own life, and so dis-organized. For all his talent and all the effect he had on others, he himself never had more than some success, mostly due to being his own worst enemy, yet his gift is incredible and leaps off the screen. To be who he was he had to be who he was (and is, still alive).
Watching Ramblin Jack again. It’s got me checking out all kinds of other folksingers on youtube. Played today on the street, could hear how all these new influences were adding some new wrinkles into my playing in a good way
At the risk of being repetitive, watching Ramblin Jack video again. Somehow this is speaking to my soul and helping me make peace with the fact that i’m 61 and still just playing on street corners, a busker, which Ramblin Jack says comes from the spanish word buscar, to search, seek, look for.
I went to Europe with a backpack and a guitar in 1990, got back 15 months later. From 91-now the longest i ever spent under one roof was 2 1/2 years in Monterey. I basically had a circuit in California of places i’d be for a few weeks or a few months.
Used to see my life in mythic terms: Robert Johnson and others used to travel around the Mississippi River Delta, for me California with occasional forays to other places, Seattle, Omaha, Santa Fe. They say we all pick myths to live by. Drifting seemed glamorous to me up until the past few years when i got really tired of it.
Harbin was the place i kept coming back to 92-7, Monterey area 98-06. Spent a bunch of time in Bay Area and San Diego all along. Maybe a year total in Big Sur, 6-9 months Mt. Shasta, various other places, SLO, Marin, Arcata, Santa Cruz, and others. Spent a lot of time in nature, especially Big Sur and Shasta campgrounds. Now i am blessed to have a garden outside my door. Yay Stan! (House owner upstairs).
And the truth is i always wanted to have a place and travel, just didn’t have the money, especially in California where you need the Do Re Mi.
So now i’ve got a pretty sweet little in law type place in Eugene, Oregon. Coming up on a year here. No desire to ramble (maybe a few short trips) because it is extremely clear to me the truth of the old saying “wherever you go, there you are”. Wouldn’t mind a nice large injection of funds, but otherwise feeling more at peace recently than i have in a long time.