Monday, January 16, 2023

The Nearly Unforgivables

    It's hard not to be disgusted & angered by the brutality, criminality, war, hunger, poverty, disease, environmental devastation & suffering throughout the world. And even the most fortunate among us will see everyone & everything we love - ourselves included - change, age, get sick & die. To our usual, "normal" way of thinking these are incomprehensible & unacceptable.

    YET throughout the ages mystics, saints & other deeply spiritual people, and now, more & more ordinary people are awakening to a radically different reality:

      "All shall be well,
      and all shall be well,
      and all manner of things shall be well."
Julian of Norwich (1342–1416) English Christian mystic

    "We are one. And we are each perfect, exactly as we are.Natalie Sudman

     How can we have such dramatically opposing perspectives on the state of our world? Perhaps the most comprehensive, detailed research directly related to answering this question has been carried out by former Oxford professor of literature, now psychiatrist, researcher & author, Iain McGilchrist:
    Attempting to
briefly summarize several thousand pages of McGilchrist's 2 massive books, and many hours of lectures & interviews, is foolish, but here goes
usual way of thinking - what most of us consider common sense ("left-hemisphere perspective" LHP) - is highly goal-oriented towards controlling our external environment for our survival.
far broader & deeper intelligence ("right-hemisphere perspective" RHP) helps us understand, relate to & be appropriate in context of "the big picture," including the most meaningful aspects of what it means to be a human being: love, values, connection, collaboration, nurturing etc. It is best equipped to deal with complexity, context, metaphor, paradox, the arts, etc - all essential when confronting topics such as spirituality & existential angst.
our two major levels of intelligence are both essential, with very different perspectives & competencies: LHP is for linear problem-solving & running practical tasks & procedures to keep us alive; while RHP keeps everything in appropriate perspective of the big picture (our worldview / self-concept / long-term goals). Because LHP has a narrow, task-oriented focus, it can't see any need for RHP's broad perspective; while RHP appreciates many pros & cons of any given task, including LHP's "let's get'er done!" Clearly, both must work in harmony. When only one of these runs the show - eg as seen in major strokes involving either, but especially the right hemisphere - the afflicted person is severely compromised.

man-made ecological/climate disaster is finally forcing us to end this "hyper-rational" phase, where our heavy bias towards LHP was focused on one task: exponential growth in profits. Meanwhile, RHP was almost taboo, so context was completely ignored, devastating the quality of our air, water & soil, and with it the quality of human life, in fact posing an imminent threat to our very existence! It's as if the human race has suffered a devastating right-hemispheric stroke, and is now in the ICU.

    “Albert Einstein called the intuitive or metaphoric mind (RHP) a sacred gift. He added that the rational mind (LHP) was a faithful servant.
    It is paradoxical that in the context of modern life we have begun to worship the servant and defile the divine.” Bob Samples
    Every great and deep difficulty bears in itself its own solution. It forces us to change our thinking in order to find it.” Neils Bohr

    We "Make sense with stories. If you give people facts without a story, they will explain it within their existing belief system. The best way to promote a new or different belief is not with facts, but with a story." 
Dave Gray. “Liminal Thinking. Create the Change You Want by Changing the Way You Think.” Two Waves Books, 2016. 
The Bus Stop Conversation - by Sue Morter
Just imagine you’re going to the bus stop one day, to catch the bus to come to earth, and while you’re there, you strike up a conversation with others at the bus stop. You ask them, 'What are you going to experience when you go in?' And the other person does the same. Somebody else says, 'Well I don’t know, I’ve never been.' 
    And somebody else raises their hand and says, 'I’ve been there before, crazy place, super wild. The last time I left, I accidentally, like coincidentally did this thing that they call "forgiveness," and it felt so amazing, that all this energy just rushed through me, and I let go of all these things that I’d been carrying around forever, and boom, I just had this amazing revelation, and it was over, because I was on my way out. So I’m going back, and I’m going to do that again, but I’m going to do it sooner, and do it bigger. So I’m going back for a level-10 forgiveness, and I can’t wait, because what I felt was amazing, and it’s going to be ten-fold of that.' 
    So another person at the bus stop goes, 'Woah, sounds great! How are you going to do that?' 
    'Well,' the first person answers, 'I guess I’ll have to experience something that’s nearly unforgivable. And then I’m going to live with that, be angry about that & frustrated, compress it inside myself, get down the road & feel the physical effects of that, my health is going to decline, I’ll live this contracted & compressed life, and at some point, I’m going to get sick & tired of being that way. I’m going to reach inside myself and going to find some part of me I didn’t even know I had, some in-depth level of forgiveness, reach down and express it out there, and I’m going to have this huge experience of forgiveness, and get to know a part of myself I never would have known.' 
    So the other people at the bus stop are saying, 'Woah, sounds amazing. How can we help?' 
    And the person says, 'Well somebody’s going to have to do something that’s nearly unforgivable – you know, like drink too much at happy hour, get behind the wheel, cross the center line, hit my car, take my loved ones, cripple me – these kind of things that could have been avoided, it has to be completely wrong, the wrong of wrongs. And so who will help me?'
    And everybody’s, ‘Not me! I don’t want to be that guy! Who wants to be that guy?’ 
    And so the conversation goes on, and the guy says, 'Come on, I bought my bus ticket, here I am, here’s my chance, don’t leave me out.' 
    And so finally, somebody in the back raises their hand and says, 'OK, I can see how much this means to you, I’ll be the one, I’ll be the perpetrator, the one that does these nearly unforgivable things.' 

    So this story can be interpreted in many different ways, in many different peoples’ lives. Invariably when I share this, people are crying, recognizing, ‘Oh my God, the person who abused me’ or ‘The person who abandoned me, actually was the one who finally raised their hand and helped deliver this scenario for me that is going to allow me to reach inside and find maybe a level-10 self-love that I never would have found had I been up against the adverse circumstance, the friction that was created from that dynamic.'"

    Interviewer: “Which is not to say that an abuser can say, ‘I’m doing this for your own good.’

    Sue Morter: "No, so, it’s not that we ask for it in that way. And ultimately that abuser is going to have to take inventory on what they’ve come here to learn. So it might be self-forgiveness, it might be redemption, it might be something along those same lines, that they will have to come to terms with, whether it’s now or whether it’s a few lifetimes later, it does resolve, because that is the way the universe works. It does abhor a vacuum, it wants to fill it, it wants flow & unity, so these kinds of concentrated energies that are unresolved cannot maintain themselves. So we’re here to resolve them consciously on the spiritual path so that we don’t have to pay it out karmically in some kind of unconscious manner, we can resolve that right here with our own awareness and intentions. 
    So the Bus Stop Conversation is to allow this understanding on more of a personal note that there is purpose, that nothing is bigger than us, that we managed it, that we requested it so we could awaken ourselves in certain ways, that we are bigger than these individual circumstances that we are facing in this life.” EXCELLENT interview:

        "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
         Than are dreamt of in your philosophy." Hamlet, William Shakespeare

    The 2022 movie, "Father Stu" on Amazon Prime, is imho an excellent, powerfully-portrayed true story of a transformative NDE.

Actual example of a Bus Stop type of conversation:
"My Near Death Experience in Iraq - Natalie Sudman"


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