Who Says the Words?

“Who says words with my mouth?” This is probably the most profound question for introflective thought I’ve ever heard. It was posed to me through an ancient poem written by a 13th Century Persian poet, the Sufi philosopher Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī, more commonly referred to as just Rumi today.

I heard this question, and I thought to myself, ‘Ok! I’ll play your silly game. Who does say words with my mouth?’ I shut my eyes, and went looking. I quickly found the mechanism for saying the words, but not the director. My modest and humble knowledge of brain housing group function and physiology assisted me in finding where the words were stored, but I didn’t find who strung the words together. I looked deeper.

I found myself standing on the stage of my mind. ‘You big dummy!’ I said to myself standing on the stage of my mind, ‘You are the one who says words with your mouth.’ However, if I am standing on the stage of my own mind talking to myself, then to whom is the me standing on the stage of my talking? This started a descending spiral of antilogic which I quickly abandoned.

Who does say words with my mouth? Who does see things with my eyes? Who does taste things with my tongue, and who feels things with my fingers? The mechanism The – I – That – Is – Me occupies perceives them, interprets them, and stores them in memory. These are all superficial functions. Where is the observer? I never did find The – I – That – Is – Me.

My own speculation is that the Observer is Consciousness. I also speculate that Consciousness is one of the Basic Constructs of the Cosmos, the others being Time, Space, Matter, and Energy. We all know that Humans, like everything else we discern, are made up of Matter, propelled by Energy, occupying Space, in Time. Consciousness is a little harder on which to grasp as it is that which actually does the discerning.

Carl Sagan proposed that Mankind is a mechanism for the Cosmos to gaze back on its self. I, myself, adhere to that proposal … and I’m really glad my own, particular belief system lacks the dogmatic restrictions which would prevent me from exploring the minds of ancient Sufi poets, and modern Atheist scientists.

I’ve provided a nice, jazzy, multi – media, Modern English interpretation of the poem Who Says Words with My Mouth? by Rumi for your enjoyment, below. And, just remember, you are spectacular.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2y8YSw7fUWw]

The Bengali Princess

Once upon a time, in a land far away, there was a young Marine Corporal. He was not too tall, but barrel chested, and thin waisted. There was a slow, drawling, Southern charm to his speech. The Sun in the places he’d been had baked his skin to a dark mahogany red. His beakish nose had been sportingly broken several times and each break had healed. The breaks of the nose had left it healed slightly off center, adding to his youthfully handsome face the air of ruggedness. Having come from an infantry battalion, the air of ruggedness he possessed otherwise had some basis in fact. Additionally, this young Marine looked pretty good in a uniform, and was generally squared away. All in all, this young Corporal was the epitome of a United States Marine.

The time was the early 1980s. The place was Calcutta, India, a very large city situated out in the jungles of the Bengal Plane. The young Corporal was me. I’d gone from hapless poverty to working in an American Consulate in about three very short and eventful years. I tend to think now that I was very full of myself at that time in my life, though I didn’t think so then.

Incidentally, I did get promoted to Sergeant a relatively short time later and moved on to an Embassy … not that being stationed at a consulate is diminutive.

To raise funds for the annual United States Marine Corps Birthday Ball, each Marine Detachment farmed out to the Department of State holds weekly parties in their Marine House. Each Marine House has a bar, and the parties focus around this feature. The parties are like a cocktail party, one doesn’t just walk into the Marine House without knowing someone at least familiar to the Marines. However, it’s like a regular bar on the street wherein one has to purchase their drinks. The party is called a TGIF, thank God it’s Friday, and I’m sure you’re familiar with the concept.

Once in a while the Ambassador or the Consul General will pop in to show their support. However, in general, the TGIFs are a forum for the more junior members of the diplomatic community to network, and hone their diplomatic skills.

One Friday night during a TGIF, a fellow Marine and I were sitting at the bar. I noticed a girl. Her escort was introducing her around to those in attendance. The girl was ugly. She looked like someone had shaved a jungle monkey, wrapped it in a silk sari, and brought her to the Marine House as a guest. In fact, my ship mate and I were making jokes between ourselves about someone playing a practical joke by shaving a jungle monkey, wrapping it up in a silk sari, and bringing it to the Marine House. I’m sure we were not as discrete as we could have been, not that we should have been making fun of a guest anyhow.

When she moved on to greet another grouping of guests, I noticed this little jungle monkey wrapped in a silk sari floated with cultured grace across the room. Charming! Yet, the cloisterdly sophomoric giggles and wise cracks between my ship mate and I about the girl did not abate.

The girl and her escort made their way round to my ship mate and I sitting at the bar. Of course, we suddenly became the most gentlemanly and friendly of those present. I know for a fact that the girl didn’t buy into it, but she was very nice anyhow.

Up close, the girls eyes were bright and inquisitive. Every move she made was graceful. When she spoke, she had the voice of an angle with an alluring Ragite accent. She was a Siren. Suddenly, in the place in my head where cartoons are born, I saw in my future a house full of little jungle monkeys causing mayhem, each spoiled rotten by their father, and each sporting mahogany red skin and a very large, beakish nose. I think I’d fallen a little bit farther than in lust for this ugly young woman, whose initial presentation did very little justice to the depth of her person.

The girl was very polite, overly polite, and did not linger long with my ship mate and I. Despite my best efforts to get this girls attention again, and attempt to develop a relationship, she would have little to nothing to do with it.

A lot of what I talk about is reflective, how the person can better deal with themselves internally. However, we should not ignore the external World, and all it has to offer. In particular, we should not ignore the needs and feelings and accomplishments and potentials of our fellow Humans. Who knows what that bum on the street, down on his luck at the moment, may have in store for the benefit of Mankind, and who knows whether or not that jungle monkey you’re making fun of at a party is actually a princess sent to make your life full and happy.

Treat other people as though they are going to give you the best that they can, you might just get it out of them.

You are spectacular.

The Vista

My older sister Alisa died very recently. She is, and always has been one of my most favorite of people. Her sudden and unexpected death left me very sad. Like most people, I’ve had a lot of sadness in my life. Unfortunately, I do not deal with sadness well. However, I have developed a technique for dealing with sadness. I let The Observer take the helm, while the I that is me goes below decks to be distraught and hapless.

A few days later I was driving home from work in the late afternoon. The Observer said to the I that is me, ‘Come on up here and look at this!’ So, the I that is me moped up and peered out the window of my eyes. The Observer said to the I that is me, ‘Now! That’s pretty, isn’t it.’ And, it was. Broadly, for miles and miles in front was the dark green Nebraska countryside capped by a pale blue sky which, its self, was layered with delicate formations of fluffy white clouds. ‘Yes it is.’ the I that is me responded, ”Lisa is seeing this.’

When I heard what the I that is me had said, it made me step back and think for a moment. The I that is me didn’t say, ”Lisa should see this.’ The I that is me said ”Lisa is seeing this.’ It actually gave me a great deal of comfort.

My belief system dictates that life is a union of the material with the corporeal; specifically, matter, energy, time, and space with consciousness. When the two are no longer able to sustain one another each member of the team returns to its respective domain, no longer encumbered by each other.

I can travel to Alisas grave site, and see where her body is buried. It may be that she can travel to me, and enjoy the material World through my eyes. She has now fully rejoined with what those like me would call The Observer, others The Source, others still might call God.

In any event, this is yet another reason we should choose to be happy, positive, and find the beauty in all things. You may have your own Alisa wanting to catch a glimpse at a broad and beautiful horizon. She may not be inclined to come to your house when you’re in a foul mood, when you are seeing things as dank and despicable.

You are spectacular.

Mind and Body

If the mind is a terrible thing to waste, what about the body? They are, after all, intricately connected. The body is a material construct to facilitate consciousness, which is ethereal. The mind is a byproduct of their union, material with ethereal.

When the body is not well maintained and stable, consciousness wanes. If the body destabilizes too much, consciousness will leave. Conversely, when the body is well maintained and is stable, consciousness flourishes. When the body is at, or close to homeostasis then consciousness is just about as happy as a horse in a field of oats.

Dr. Bruce Lipton points out that consciousness does not just act from the brain, which is a common misconception. The brain is just the command, control, and information storage center … it’s the home office. Each and every cell in your body has a consciousness, and all together, trillions of individual cells, form your mind.

What do you feel like when you’re breathing fresh air, and you’re fit as a fiddle, well rested and exercised, and you’re full of healthy nutrients? You feel good, and your spirit escalates. You, the whole you, are a fractal of the cells of your body. You feel great when you’re breathing fresh air, and you’re fit as a fiddle, well rested and exercised, and you’re full of healthy nutrients because that cell in your big toe is feeling the same way for the same reasons.

By all means, study, meditate, contemplate, and pray … I don’t recommend watching TV as a means to enhance your mental facilities. However, don’t forget to exercise, and eat right, and laugh, and play hard, and work hard, and look good, and feel good, because it makes you even more spectacular than you already are.

Wrestling the Muse

I took a writing course once. It wasn’t very expensive. It was a distance learning course, mostly conducted over the internet. One of the features of the course was periodic on-line chat sessions with the instructor. For all the course cost, the instructor had to have been dedicated to producing writers … she couldn’t have been earning much for her efforts.

During one of the chat sessions, the subject of writers block was breached.

“I keep getting writers block.” one of the students chatted, “What can I do about it.”

“When you get writers block,” the instructor advised, “sit down and start writing.”

That didn’t make a lot of sense. How can one write something when they’re writers blocked?

“Ya, but,” the student continued, “shouldn’t I go traipsing through the daisies, or something like that?”

“You can do that.” the instructor responded. “You do need to harvest experiences, relax, and find inspiration. However, when it’s time to write, put your fingers on the keyboard, and start writing.”

The young Bill Stewart was the line coach for my High School football team some 30 odd years ago. One hot, humid late August day we were out there in a pre season practice on the field along the banks of the beautiful Ohio River. We weren’t having a good practice, very apparently. At the end of the practice, Coach Stewart had the linemen form up in a school circle, and he gave us a pep talk.

“When you don’t feel like practicing,” Coach Stewart advised animatedly, “that’s when you need it most!”

If you’re going to write, you need to write, even if you don’t feel like it. If you’re going to paint, you need to paint, even if you don’t feel like it. If you’re going to play football, you need to play football, even if you don’t feel like it. If you’re going to study, you need to study, even if you don’t feel like it. If you’re going to chop wood, you need to chop wood, even if you don’t feel like it. Get in there, and do it anyhow.

Practice makes perfect, and sometimes you have to wrestle the muse. If you don’t, she might just wander off, forgetting about you and your dreams, and aspirations entirely.

Till next time, stay in there. Keep at it. Whatever it is you do, I need you doing it.

Goals

A year or so ago I read a book. It was a book on goal setting. Most of the books I’ve read on the subject, and the lectures I’ve attended, and the people I’ve talked to give up the nuts and bolts … go get a piece of paper, write down your goals, and tick them off as you accomplish them. Some even go so far as to say to fold up that piece of paper, put it in your pocket, carry it around with you, and refer to it often. Sage advice, but not very comprehensive.

This book, written by Brian Tracy, is comprehensive. This book digs deep into the whos, and whats, and whys, and hows of setting goals. The book is called, simply, Goals!, and is very good reading. Following are my chapter notes for the book, and I thought I’d share them with you.

1. Unlock Your Potential – Remember that your true potential is unlimited. Whatever you have accomplished in life up to now has only been a preparation for the amazing things you can accomplish in the future.

2. Take Charge of Your Life – You are completely responsible for everything you are today, for everything you think, say and do, and for everything you become from this moment forward. Refuse to make excuses or to blame others.

3. Create Your Own Future – Believe that you have no limitations on what you can do, be or have in the months and years ahead. Think about and plan your future as if you had all the resources you needed to create any life that you desire.

4. Clarify Your Values – Your innermost values and convictions define you as a person. Take the time to think through what you really believe in and care about in each area of your life. Refuse to deviate from what you feel is right for you.

 5. Determine Your True Goals – Decide for yourself what you really want to accomplish in every area of your life. Clarity is essential for happiness and high performance living.

6. Decide Upon Your Major Definite Purpose – You need a central purpose around which to build your life. There must be a single goal that will help you to achieve your other goals more than any other. Decide what it is for you and work on it all the time.

7. Analyze Your Beliefs – Your beliefs about your own abilities, and about the World around you, will have more of an impact on your feelings and actions than any other factor. Make sure that your beliefs are positive and consistent with achieving everything that is possible for you.

8. Start At The Beginning – Do a careful analysis of your starting point before you set off toward the achievement of your goal. Determine your exact situation today and be both honest and realistic about what you want to accomplish in the future.

9. Measure Your Progress – Set clear benchmarks, measures, metrics and scorecards for yourself on the road to your goals. These measures help you to assess how well you are doing and enable you to make necessary adjustments and corrections as you go along.

 10. Eliminate The Roadblocks – Success boils down to the ability to solve problems and remove obstacles on the path to your goal. Fortunately, problem solving is a skill you can master with practice, and thereby achieve your goals faster than you ever thought possible.

11. Become An Expert In Your Field – You have within you, right now, the ability to be one of the very best at what you do, to join the top 10% in your field. Set this as a goal, work on it every day, and never stop working at it until you get there.

12. Get Around The Right People – Your choices of people with whom to live, work and socialize will have more of an effect on your success than any other factor. Resolve today to associate only with people you like, respect and admire. Fly with the eagles if you want to be an eagle yourself.

13. Make a Plan Of Action – An ordinary person with a well thought-out plan will run circles around a genius without one. Your ability to plan and organize in advance will enable you to accomplish even the biggest and most complex goals.

14. Manage Your Time Well – Learn how to double and triple your productivity, performance and output by practicing practical and proven time management principles. Always set priorities before you begin, and then concentrate on the most valuable use of your time.

15. Review Your Goals Regularly – Take time every day, every week, every month to review and reevaluate your goals and objectives. Make sure that you are still on track and that you are still working toward things that are important to you. Be prepared to modify your goals and plans with new information.

16. Visualize Your Goals Continually – Direct the movies of your mind. Your imagination is your preview of your life’s coming attractions. Repeatedly “see” your goals as if they already existed. Your clear, exciting mental images activate all your mental powers and attract your goals into your life.

17. Activate Your Superconscious Mind – You have within you and around you an incredible power that will bring you everything and anything you want or need. Take the time regularly to tap into this amazing source of ideas and insights for goal attainment.

 18. Remain Flexible At All Times – Be clear about your goal but be flexible about the process of achieving it. Be constantly open to new, better, faster, cheaper ways to achieve the same result, and if something is not working, be willing to try a different approach.

19. Unlock Your Inborn Creativity – You have more creative ability to solve problems and come up with new and better ways for goal attainment than you have ever used. You are a potential genius. You can tap into your intelligence to overcome any obstacle and achieve any goal you can set for yourself.

20. Do Something Every Day – Use the “Momentum Principle of Success” by getting started toward your goal and then doing something every day that moves you closer to what you want to accomplish. Action orientation is essential to your success.

21. Persist Until You Succeed – In the final analysis, your ability to persist longer than anyone else is the one quality that will guarantee great success in life. Persistence is self-discipline in action, and is the true measure of your belief in yourself. Resolve in advance that you will never, never give up!

It is astonishing that most of us tend to plan trips to the grocery store more thoroughly than we plan our lives. Reverse that practice, and start living to your fullest Human potential. Remember, you are among the most spectacularly dynamic combinations of Time, Space, Matter, Energy, and Consciousness ever to grace the Cosmos. Be that way.

Thought Games and Conclusions

I have an active imagination. I also have an active sense of humor. Set me off in a pit somewhere by myself, and I would not want for entertainment.

Sometimes I’ll stage little plays in my head, which sometimes get written down as stories. Sometimes I’ll close my eyes and buzz around the Crab Nebula, or just placidly watch the Earth while sitting up next to Moon. If I want to explore some subject, or the other, I’ll attend a lecture. Other times, I’ll listen to a debate.

These thought games are actually very good problem solving techniques. They are also very good at helping one pin point their systems of belief. Granted, these thought exercises are wrought with subjectivity; we only know what we know. Therefore, when solving a problem, or finding the basis of ones belief system, the mind should be monitored by a mean, and grizzled, strict as a High – School – English – teacher Sergeant at Arms named Objectivity.

One of the debates I’ve attended … in my mind … was between two cells, my own cells. The subject of the debate was the existence of me, the Human. One cell was pro, while one cell was con. One cell advocated that cells all were independent entities, and the highest form of life existent. The other advocated that cells were individual functionaries within the framework of a much larger organism.

I don’t think I have to tell you who won the debate from my perspective. Here I am, the Human over which the debate was being argued. Despite the diligence of Sergeant Objectivity, the con cell didn’t stand a chance of convincing me, the audience, of my own non – existence.

My intentions for playing this particular thought game are probably very obvious. I wanted to pin point a specific segment of my own belief system, questioning not only the existence, but the function of God. From this, I determined I don’t believe in Godly God God, Zeus standing up on a cloud zapping sinners with lightning bolts. I believe in God, and that God is the Cosmos, all of Time, all of Space, all of Matter, all of Energy, and all of Consciousness. God, the Cosmos, does what it does because it does what it does. Whatever tools, whatever ways, and means it uses to accomplish whatever it needs to accomplish are the tools, and the ways, and the means it uses to accomplish whatever it needs to accomplish. For all I know, right now God is on the way to the store to pick up a loaf of bread.

We Humans, living creatures with the unlikely, and astonishing ability to contemplate such matters, are a fractal, a level of existence, and a functionary of the Cosmos. Like a single cell, we do not have the capacity to discern the direction, the purpose, nor meaning of It All. The Cosmos is just going to do what it does, and I’m just happy as an ant on a sugar cube that I’ve had the opportunity to be here for part of it.

If you think about it, you’re spectacular.