Stay open today to others, even when they are irritating, insulting or offending you. Don’t be afraid to be hurt by them. You have learned to endure pain. When you was born, there was pain. When you took your first steps, there was pain. Yet you persisted, you rose to your feet and you kept going. Your presence is bigger than pain …
– Splinter of Wisdom
Accept today the pain, stress and frustrations. Don’t be overwhelmed by confusion and character flaws. Remember that it is not about the ‘quality’ of the material. Even out mud and dust you can shape the vibration of Life …
– Splinter of Wisdom
Thoughts are like birds. Which ones do you allow today to nestle in the tree of your trust?
– Splinter of Wisdom
There will be in July a daily quote at this site.
The remnants of big, old structures are very visible in the streets of Rome. Everywhere the history of the Roman Empire is still present. Amidst the old stones and exuberant monuments there are many tourists walking. Recognizable by the various flags of the guides which stick out head and shoulder. The walking humans seem to be in trance. Everyone is devout looking at his mobile phone like if it was a holy book. It is really a striking sight: Crowded streets, nearly no interaction between people and still everyone is doing the same thing: Holding like modern Moses the tablets in their hands.
Travelling by bus we got a first impression of the ‘strange’ city. What my wife and I did see was discomforting. We saw a lot of graffiti, overloaded garbage containters and homeless people sleeping at benches. Also many (illegal?) African immigrants were selling bottles with water or umbrellas to protect us against the scorching sun.
There was so much rubbish on the broken streets. And also the Romans were rude. When we were dining in the restaurants the waitresses were stressed and reacting curtly. And also the man behind the cash desk in the supermarket was not paying any attention. Another woman in a souvenir shop at the airport was taking 20 cents more than the price of the chocolate surprise eggs.
You can say ‘It is just 20 cents, so what is your problem?’, and you are right, but I felt for one moment robbed …
And how we sought to find really good restaurants, but we could not find any of these. And where we finally dined it was a disappointing experience. We had to pay high prices for the microwave warmed pasta. The salmon sauce did not contain parts of salmon and there were no vegetables at all. And to top it all: The appetizer – bread without butter – did arrive together with our meals. We expected a sophisticated cooking culture, but we felt embarrassed about what was happening before our eyes.
The Romans are struggling to survive
Looking at the faces of the Romans in the busses we sensed a lot of stress, sadness, frustration and pain. Very much pain. All this people had the appearance whether they were struggling to survive. It was for us a huge contrast: The lost glorly of an Empire, the hoarded treasures in the museums and the people themselves which are living amidst this wealth in great poverty and misery.
And in this ‘rotten’ city and amidst the broken people there is a super rich compound. Surrounded by big walls and decorated guards: Vatican City. At the throne there is sitting an old man in spotless white cloathes, accompanied by clergy who are walking in expensive clothes. And those well paid men are asking old women, widows and other Romans to pay their contributions to the Church of leading billionaires.
Those men who preach purity and generosity are themselves living in an environment filled with dark secrets and stinginess. Are those men aware of the daily struggles of their neighbours? Are they caring? Do they want to be concerned about what their fellow people are experiencing? Or are the walls of Vatican City too high? Too old? Is the life inside the ‘palace’ too much inviting to forget that there is a disturbing, screaming and shocking poverty outside?
Rome does not need a pope for moral issues. Not an unmarried male who is lacking empathy and who is condemning the use of condoms. The city needs desperately a powerful pope who is transferring money and masterminds to the slums. Cardinals who won’t anymore be leading church services, but who will take the lead to clean the city and to combat the poverty, the dirt, the corruption and the rooted criminality.
Why should the mafia be dominating the waste processing companies? Why is the Church not clothing and feeding the homeless people? Why are they not providing work for the African immigrants and why don’t they repair the asphalt of the streets? Someone or some organisation has to do it.
When the city authorities don’t have the money or the will to provide the welfare for the people there should be an opportunity for the Vatican to start the sharing of the hoarded wealth and to sell it and to give the output of it freely away.
Let clergy and homeless people eat together
When I am visualizing the possibilities for this city I do see big signs and billboards in Rome: ‘Work in progress’. And on it also smaller subtexts: ‘Thanks to our pope’. And of course there will be than a big photo of a smiling and approving father figure 🙂
I see long tables where clergy and homeless people are eating together, sharing their bread.
I see top quality restaurants starting their businesses in Rome and giving away the leftovers to this foodplaces.
I fantasize about big Dutch companies which will organize the process to collect the garbage from the streets, to empty the overloaded vessels and to remove the refuse to the incinerators.
I see big shovels and excavators restructuring the city. I see that broom wagons are sweeping the streets. That graffiti will be forcefully removed and that the roads will be asphalted. And that there will be created underground bins, like in my birth city of Rotterdam.
Daily living can be at such ‘higher’ levels of quality and comfort. But it requires a radical redistributing of the abundant (and antique) resources of the forefathers and -mothers 🙂
Let the money flow in big rivers to real alife humans of flesh and blood instead to the restoration of dead stones which are laying useless already for more than 2000 years !
When Walter phoned me, it was two days before his death. He sounded ‘strange’, although I could not put my finger on it. For sure I knew that he was not a drug user. When I thought later that evening about our conversation I got the impression of ‘Distance’. He sounded distant. Like that he was sitting on a cloud. High in the sky.
That image proved later to be true. When he phoned me, it was meant to be a farewell. Though I did not know it, he had already left me.
Some days later his belongings were found at the edge of the platform. When he jumped, both his kids were sleeping. Walter’s wife was sitting at home, vainly waiting for his return.
I was remembering this when I was observing the deep blue sky and the white clouds. Far away, very far away were some seemingly small birds flying. They looked lost in that big amount of space, but did also give me the impression that they were just on track. Flying towards their destinations, like the planes far above their wings.
I realised that it was long ago that I watched for so long the sky and clouds. Too many times I am just quick glancing. Looking up, but not really paying attention to what I am seeing.
I thought about us humans. Travelling towards distant places and even planets, but nearly never exploring with our eyes the big blue dome which is spanning every day and night above our heads.
Than I imagined what I would do with billions of money. Would I spent it as an investment in space travel? Like so many billionaires are doing today? I said ‘no’ as an answer to myself.
Digging a tunnel through the planet
What I really would like to do with that amount of money is to invest it in the very big operation of digging a tunnel through the surface of the earth and through all the layers towards the other side of the planet. From Spain to that other distant nation. Because I would like to prevent that the channel would finish somewhere in the big blue ocean.
What a challenge would it to overcome the impossibilities of travelling through the fire inside the earth. To be confronted with the very heavy and inhuman gravity. So much tons of pressure. And the very high temperature of nearly 6000 degrees and the journey of nearly 6000 kilometers to reach that heat.
What an expedition would it be! To the core and heart of the earth. It would be a journey into unexplored territory. Like diving to the bottom of the ocean floor. What a possibility would it give to the branches of science, like archeology, history science, earth sciences and engineering.
And yes, it will give us an opportunity to explore the possibilities to make materials that are really indestructible. Things that can’t be destroyed by the hottest fires and the heaviest pressures. It would also create new inventions to bring within our reach a space travel towards the fiercefully flaming sun.
My brain was reacting at what I was seeing
Finally, I felt that – due to my gazing at the blue sky and the white clouds – my brain was reacting at what I was seeing for so long. I felt sensations like that my brains were electrificating. Small waves were going in all directions through the network of the veins in my brains.
Like that my brains were floating in that big and deep amount of space and intense blue. Having the same shape and structure like the white clouds above my head.
I felt no stress, just relaxed afterwards. Like a meeting with my inner self, but than in the big space outside my own body …
And somewhere I got the impression that the big blue dome is challenging me to leave my flat and sometimes hollow and narrow patterns of thinking.
Intense blue means now for me: In essence there are no problems or impossibilities. There is and will be always a permanent roof above our heads that is expressing the unity of Everyone and Everything … In, under and above the earth … Bridging all the seemingly difficult contradictions of our minds and imaginations … 🙂
I never expected to see my father with his face and a sad story in the biggest newspaper of the Netherlands, ‘De Telegraaf’ (Click here).
Also I heard my father (67) being interviewed about the same topic on the national television. In the daily news show of ‘Hart van Nederland’ (Click here). And in the following days nearly all the national and regional newspapers were writing about it.
And amidst that ‘news storm’ I felt inside me a strange feeling of ‘honour’. Because I saw that my father was acting calm, upright and clear. Just like how I always want to be … 🙂
And so I learned these days that when ‘shit and shame’ is crossing your path – specially when it is not your own created drama – that you even than can make the best of the situation. That it is possible to react wise, mature and honest. And to demonstrate virtue, character and integrity.
And again, I discovered that my father is a ‘hatchet man’. Structuring the debris of others so that it can be cleaned up. Working very hard to limit the further spreading of the oil slick.
Trying to prevent more damage and to protect others.
After all, he is an experienced leader. His analytical and organizational capacities are well developed.
I felt dominated by my father
The relationship between my father and me was for years not well.
When growing up I felt dominated and not accepted by my strong opinionated and directive father. I saw myself like a little plant wrestling for space and oxygen in the shadow of a big, overwhelming tree.
I was otherwise thinking and feeling than him. Making choices which were worrying him.
For instance: He is for decades a faithful churchgoer and elder, while I am not anymore visiting church services at Sunday.
But, I admit, in this time of church scandals and MeToo stories I felt uplifted seeing how my father was framing this ‘dirty’ story. For sure, I thought, this moment ‘the church’ did happily not appear to be ‘slow acting’, ‘ignorant’ and ‘foolish’.
Three long walks on the heath
It dured until my marriage – and thanks to my wife – that I finally found the courage to show my father my pain. After that revelation of my inner debris we made, at my initiative, three long walks on the heath.
I was surprised that my father was giving me full permission to ask him – without any limitations – every question. And he was patient listening and seriously answering.
And than, finally, I dared to ask him whether he loves me? I hesitated and hesitated and felt awkward, but happily I asked it. Not wanting to let this insecurity anymore exist inside me. And risking the possibility that I would never know, while he would suddenly be passed away.
And for the first time in my life he comfirmed that he loves me!
Finally, I am leveling with my father
And when my first child was born, I felt that I was at last leveling with my father. I had upgraded my life to the same essence of being a parent.
Seeing the smile on the face of my father and the light in his eyes – when he was visiting us in the hospital – I felt that we both were standing at common ground. For the first time in my life I felt the equal of my father.
And when we nowadays are disagreeing and colliding, having still a different mindset, we can reunite and regroup at a very small spot in the Universe. It is a thousands years old, fertile source. A powerplace, and, yes, I dare to say it, a ‘holy’ well. It is the ‘sacred’ commitment that we in the core of our being love to be a ‘good’ father for our kids and the next generations which will be uprising in the coming centuries.
This is ‘promising’ soil we both can’t oversee …
And both of us won’t be entering this far away ‘country’ in our aging form of flesh and blood … 🙂
During six months I have written about nearly twenty topics. About Essence, Enjoying Life, Wisdom, Power, Pain, Death, Differences, Robots and far more …
Today, just an overview:
My grandmother celebrated her birthday. She is now 96 years. And somewhere the light of that age is shining at me. Because when she can reach the top of that mountain, it should be also possible for me. And feeling joyful about that, I am ignoring the fact that many others are not reaching that amount of time.
Finally, I am reading the obituaries in the local newspapers. I remember that I was not paying attention to these for years. Deliberately I always scrolled further. Rapidly. Somewhere those messages did frighten me. For sure I did not like to be confronted with the mortuality of my ‘own’ existence.
Even today I can still feel that anxiety. Last time I read at a wall the question, written in graffiti: ‘Which things do you like to have done before you die?’
I felt a shiver, because I don’t like to think about this question when I am just walking in the plain sunlight at a crowded street. It is the same thing like that I am feeling a tremble when I see a human skeleton, skulls or bones.
But reading week after week the local newspapers, I am taking notice of the ages of the departed persons. And I am in silence counting the days and years that lay before me.
Somewhere I am fooling myself
Am I afraid of death? I think not. But somewhere I am fooling myself. Because I really desire to become very old. To discover whether it is possible to become ‘wise’ and ‘mature’. And to see that my kids are transforming in grown ups. And that they will get children themselves. Just to see that life is going further. That despite difficulties and impossibilities the new generations are arising.
And deep inside me the ‘kid’ is still believing that the ancient story about Jesus who raise from the death is true. That he was transformed above imagination and that he arose at the other side of the grave.
Somewhere I don’t accept that death will be the final destination. I desperately do love to believe that Life is the base and bottomline of everything, even death. That Life is the invincible force. That death is not the swallowing dark hole in our ‘universe’, but that Life is devouring death.
Even when no form is immanent or permanent, ‘something’ should be invariable. Be it Love. Or be it Life. And while everything (also everyone) changes through time, the energy in all these forms keeps to be present. It can’t be destroyed. Energy is really eternal and the essential flowing force.
I have prepared everything which is possible for me
In case that I would be earlier leaving the form of my body I have prepared everything which is in my control. I have written down my last will. And my wife and I have shared our wishes to our relatives, specially with regard to our children.
To know that I have done all that is in my possibilities, is giving me a feeling of rest and peace. That even when I am somewhere at some place surprised by death that I am somehow prepared for that moment. Knowing that after my departure there will be the necessary help and comfort for my wife and children.
And yes, at the otherhand I am looking forward with expectation to the last breath in this dimension of flesh and blood. I am so curious about what will happen to me. What will I feel? Will I experience that I am leaving my body? Will I be flying above my own entity?
I will try to be fully present and aware in that moment
Or is that not possible? Will the lamp of my awareness be switched off and won’t it anymore be turned on? Won’t I know anything at all, just after one flash of light? Like that it is for me still impossible to remember anything from before the time of my birth.
As far as possible I will embrace death. And I will try to be fully present and aware in that moment.
So will I regret to leave this temporary life? Not totally. Yes, I am determined to stay alive to be present for my wife and kids. But also I won’t miss the troubles and pain (or illness) which are mainly caused due to the behaviours of other people and those of my self.
These behaviours and thought structures can be exhausting. And the tiredness about it can feel like the robbery of life energy, hope and the will to live.
Feeling withered, dry and barren it can be sometimes difficult to pursue and to push through. To live day after day, hoping that the night will give the possibility to rest and to relax. To receive new energy, new dreams and visions.
Every fixed form will be stripped
I am looking forward to discover whether it is possible to live without the form of my body (which I love and which I protect, nurture and care for).
So, yes, please, don’t mourn the loss of form …
That what is after time unnecessary or not fitting anymore will be burned down through the leveling ‘fire’ of death. Finally, in death are all people equal and free of Ego.
I believe that every (fixed or rigid) form will be stripped and that naked essence will remain. In that place we won’t anymore know the time framed meaning of ‘nudity’.
So via the ‘rite de passage’ of death we can be freed of that what is not real. So that what is of timeless value can shine without a veil.
And I believe that we will be transformed into this Transparancy.
A transparancy free of thoughts and words.
It is. Just it is. And yes it can be.
It can take every shape and it can be cloathed with uncountable ‘cloaks’ and ‘mantles’.
It is what it is. Or it is not what it is 🙂
Pure Essence and Authoritative Expressiveness.
At least, that’s what my hope is telling me 🙂
I screwed up. I felt so irritated about the behaviour of my daughter. I had already given her many warnings. And than I reacted very intense and fiercy at a small misstep of her. And, ouch, than my wife started to battle me.
I felt so stressed about the situation that I could not slow down and give attention to my little son. So, no, this evening I was not tickling him.
Afterwards I felt myself a ‘failing’ father. But happily I could console myself that I am ‘mostly’ friendly and peacefully towards others. Giving attention and being present in the moment.
I felt the determination to do it otherwise next evening. Just conform the common sleep ritual in our family of four.
It had grown in my imagination
But even after a night of sleep I felt ‘bad’ about what had happened. I tried to relativise it, because it was not such big as it had grown in the meantime in my imagination. Standing very early in the morning before the mirror in the shower room I decided to offer my family my apologies, just when we would sit down to eat our morning food.
And yes I did. I said sorry to my wife and to my kids. Just mentioning what I did wrong and how I like to behave otherwise. I felt that the words were coming from my heart. These words were upright and real.
And wow, before my eyes I saw the effects. Again I was impressed about the power of words ( see also my blog from 18 October 2018: Click here )
Before my eyes there did take place a softening. The atmosphere became more warmly during these first moments of our new day.
While my wife looked first a little grumpy, she started smiling at me. And I saw that my kids became more relaxt. There arose again the freedom to be yourself and there was felt far more space around our table.
Wow, this morning my flaws just transformed into flowers.
I was again very surprised about the possibility of saying sorry. The power of expressed regret which is felt from inside, from the place of our hearts.
For many years absent in my life
I even felt a little proud, because the power to say sorry was for many years absent in my life.
I did come from a background where I never heart that adults were saying sorry to each other. Even my father never said sorry to me about some of his behaviours. At least, I can’t remember it.
It was during my first job that a colleague explained to me the essence and usefulness of saying sorry to others. And when I just tried this in practice – even with confused feelings, feeling insecure and hesitating, but also determined – I felt that I was liberating myself. I escaped the prison of my Ego. The big walls of separation and self-justification – built during years – were crumbling in seconds.
It is good to expand the vulnerability of myself. Even when I am than feeling ‘weak’. And even when people are offending me, when they try to belittle me. Not knowing who I am and what my possibilities are to behave ‘ugly’ and ‘destructive’ towards them 🙂
Oh, what a challenge to forgive those who are misbehaving towards me. Oh, what an impossibility for my Ego, when I am feeling the rage and hate about what others are doing. Seeing very sharp their ‘unrighteous’ acts. And sensing the murderous thoughts which my mind is sending than about it. Happily, those are fading away when I am just observing these thoughts.
Oh, what an energy I am feeling than inside me. An energy which is wanting to burst out. To go outside my body. To explode and to be a Big creating Bang.
I am desiring that I can transform and shape this energy towards the powers of saying sorry and forgiving others. Because there are people around us that are ‘ignorant’ and ‘sleeping’. They are ‘unaware’ and not present, ‘blindly’ justifying what they are doing. Even when it asks them to jump, to lie and to make an unlogical connection between two contradicting thought structures.
So again I am saying: ‘Father, forgive them, because they are not knowing what they are doing’.
For a further read, see also my post on 18 December 2018: Click here