A song of Appreciation

Forest Bath

(written after another delightful walk through the old growth rain forest)
 
The rains are back.
After a long dry season the creeks that have all dried
Are running again and the salmon are returning
To sacrifice their bodies to bring new life.
 
The forest walk is soft and sweet
As my hiking shoes sing into
The moss that has turned green again,
Empowering the fallen firs with new life and purpose,
Adorning the mighty maples with green lips
That sings the song of life.
I hear the murmuring of the streams,
As they wend their way to the resurgent rivers,
Bringing a new song to the quiet of the forest.
 
The hot days of summer are over
And the memories stored and treasured.
And I am content to walk these paths once more
As the forest bath washes off the dust of summer.
I am ready for a new autumn
A new chapter in this wonderful book of adventure
That I am living.
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The Virtue of Living a Life of Joy

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)

 

“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.” [1]

The virtue of joy is wrapped up in the feeling of expansion. It is living a life each day where all basic and mental needs are essentially fulfilled and our full personal potential takes place. This includes being fully alive and finding our own personal true meaning in life. It is an emotion but it is more than an emotion; it is a feeling but it is more than a feeling; it is a state of being where we are constantly growing and expanding. Jack London in The Call of the Wild expresses this beautifully when Buck claims his true wild nature: “He was mastered by the sheer surging of life, the tidal wave of being, the perfect joy of each separate muscle, joint, and sinew in that it was everything that was not death, that it was aglow and rampant, expressing itself in movement, flying exultantly under the stars.” It is the ultimate sense of power, beauty and freedom we experience when we are who we were meant to be.

Like Buck, we have to escape the bonds of civilization to experience our true nature. Maslow in this hierarchy speaks about reaching our human potential in what he calls self-actualization. He associates this with using our gifts as in art or music, or perhaps rising to the top of our career choices, or perhaps excelling due to some major achievement. But all these things are merely an extension of our egos. It is striving for and reaching a goal set and achieved in the mind. It is an expansion of the mind which is a good thing but only part of true self-actualization. As Buck experienced his true animal nature, in order to achieve a state of joy, we have to experience our true human nature which means existing beyond the confines of the mind.

Our personal potential is much more than what we achieve or what we do. It is coming to terms with our true nature as powerful and beautiful human beings with body, mind, and soul. Like Buck, it is learning to be in and enjoy our bodies, the movements of our muscles, exploring the treasures to be experienced through our senses, experiencing the pure joy of each breath. It is using our minds as an extension of our bodies to plan and enjoy our achievements, to being in control of our life path, and using it to provide experiences where we are constantly expanding.  But it is still much more. It is living by the heart, choosing to love and connect with others for the pure joy of knowing them and experiencing their lives with all their joys and sorrows.

But it is till more than just mind and heart, it is spiritual, which means we sense the energy patterns that surround us and learn to flow with them, soaring and expanding on the lifts of pure clean energy. We experience our own energy as something that contains the threads of eternity that hold us and bind us to life itself. We then become aware of the energies of others and can feel and experience their vibrations, helping them when there is need and simply enjoying them when they, too, are full and whole.

The virtue of joy is bliss and ecstasy with and within ourselves. It is being at peace with ourselves and learning to just be ourselves without striving to be something else. It is the ability to be completely content with who we are and to enjoy the life we live. This is the purpose and meaning to life. It is expanding in vibrational energy, love energy, and body energy until the day we die. Our true purpose is just to live, expand, and enjoy. In the words of Percy Bysshe Shelly, it is being able to say when each day is done “I have drunken deep of joy,/And I will taste no other wine tonight.”
My five applications to Bisexuality:

  1. We simply enjoy our bodies and our sexual experiences as a true expression of ourselves. It is celebrating the animal in us.
  2. We explore the full circle of masculinity and femininity allowing ourselves to experience our full range of potential sensations and feelings.
  3. We seek sexual partners and life partners with whom we can experience the gifts of the mind, where we can share our life path and expand in knowledge and wisdom.
  4. We seek soul mates where we can share the gifts of the heart including love and compassion. We strive to continuously expand and grow our relationships.
  5. We seek kindred spirits where we can sense their love vibrations and life vibrations and the joy of combining their vibrations with ours to experience, expand, grow, and vibrate with pure joy.

 

 

[1] ― Thich Nhat HanhPeace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life

The Virtue of Discernment and Human Sexuality – Revisited

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)Fear is the chief emotion that keeps us from reaching for self-actualization. It creates coping mechanisms that are subconscious in nature. These fears and mechanisms eventually become ingrained to form our belief systems. These are extensive neural pathways that subconsciously are activated by stress that impede our natural body and soul desires. To live with fear we create group and individual stories to make sense of our chaotic world. Once we understand our own story and how we use that story to survive, we can begin to understand how everyone else is living in their own illusions and fears. Thriving is this environment is not easy, but once we master the virtue of discernment, we can actually enjoy living in the chaos.

Animals are so lucky.  They mainly live in the moment through instinctual reactions to their senses.  They have some memory, particularly for smells, faces, and some rudimentary signs, but they simply respond according to their instincts. They do not have to evaluate and judge before making a decision. We humans, however, have a control mechanism in the frontal cortex that we can refer to as the administration center, the mind, or the ego. The mind directs the brain to create neural pathways in our amazing cerebral cortex, linking new sensory information with past memories to create a platform for interpretation of the information coming from the senses. Important new information that is needed for survival or excelling is then linked to emotions and stored in memory.  The accumulation of information leads to the forming of concepts which we link together to create beliefs, attitudes and values. In our own reality, every thought is grounded in a collection of experiences and memories that create a story and as such is more like a fantasy novel than a real life experience. This has been a good thing for surviving and avoiding saber-toothed tigers, but too much of a good think can become a bad thing, and perhaps even a curse.

In a sense, we are no better than the animals in that we automatically respond through our subconscious beliefs. Because we live in a complex society with complex relationships and feelings, the mind is forever on the alert, always judging and deciding the best route to avoid danger, and forging the best path to becoming alphas in our pack. Because of the immense anxieties related to our new roles, we have lost the ability to act and adapt. We are stuck in the circle of thought that is governed by our beliefs; we are living in an on-going fiction novel. We no longer have the ability to perceive reality naturally, let go of the mind, and just experience life through our senses. We now have to find ways to do this consciously while avoiding the saber-tooth tigers in our minds.

The hardest part about discernment is being able to discern between the truth and the fiction coming from our own minds.  The only way we can do this is through developing the powers of discernment. In order to live contented and peaceful lives we have to stop the insanity of the never ending story. To do this we simply stop the mind and open up all our senses without judgement or the need to react.  We just let ourselves relax into the moment. Only then do we begin to perceive reality.  Only then do we begin to see ourselves as beautiful creatures endowed with tremendous physical, mental, and spiritual power and beauty. Only then are we able to decipher between the chaos of the story and the order and peace of reality, and only then are we able to judge and make decisions based on this true reality.

The key then is to use the power of discernment to become aware of these negative feelings and vibrations coming from within, and from others, and take measures to understand and counter balance them with positive vibrations from our higher self. The rational mind cannot be trusted as it will inevitably channel its decisions through the emotions and through memory of past experiences.  We cannot trust our emotions. When we are branching out to new territory there will always be an element of uneasiness and even fear. At times like these, we have to rely on the tools of the higher self which are imagination and intuition or discernment. We can learn to trust our “gut feeling” by listening to our feelings.  Our feeling are always binary in nature. We will either have a positive or negative feeling about a situation. If it is negative we should examine it to be sure that it is not just the work of our mind and its emotions. We subdue our emotions then ask our higher self for clarity, empty our mind, and wait for a response. If it is still negative we stop or put the decision on hold. If it is positive we forge ahead with power and confidence thereby setting out with our whole being (body, mind, and spirit), towards the next challenge in our never-ending process towards self-actualization.

Discernment and Sex.

Once we have mastered control over our own story, we can begin to understand our sexuality and our sexual relationships. But before we do that, we have to realize that we are also a part of a group story.  Society is composed of group stories and fears resulting in a group mind-set designed to desperately hold onto the safety of the status quo. To maintain the status quo, society depends on control and power exercised through the institutions of family, church, education, the media, and the government. When our sexual desires threaten these basic structures of society, we can expect a negative reaction in the form of prejudice and discrimination. Fear will turn to shunning, marginalizing, or anger and hate for anyone that threatens that security.

There are two views coming from society and neither is true or healthy.  Society’s views on sex, especially from the media is one of sexual freedom regardless of the effect on the soul. We are encouraged to explore sex just for the pleasure without seeking deeper levels of intimacy. Having multiple partners is not only accepted but held up as the natural standard of human behavior. This sexual freedom suggests that all forms of pleasure can be indulged in without thought of consequence. This includes pornography, prostitution and the wide range of fetishes. If we use our power of discernment and rely on our gut feeling, most of us would feel uneasy in indulging in some of these behaviors.

The second comes through family and religion and is based on the need to control sexual behavior for the good of the group. It is based on the concept that sexual freedom is dangerous and unhealthy. It relies on the church to establish guidelines that we can refer to as mores or morals. The key is to restrict sexuality which usually becomes the responsibility on women to control where and when sexual relationships are allowed. The idea is often conveyed that sexual behavior is somehow dirty and should be reserved for human procreation and preferably under the confines of family values. If we use the power of discernment, we realize that human sexual experiences are also the property of the mind and soul as well as the body. There is an element of pleasure for the body, happiness from the heart, and intimacy from the spirit. These forms of joy may be experienced in isolation or together. There are no restrictions from the body on the number of relationships or experiences; however, we only arrive at true bliss through a combination of all three.

Because society’s obsession with sexuality, members of the LGBQT still face discrimination and hate. Because hate has now been stifled by popular opinion, it has gone underground and resurfaced in inappropriate humor, indifference, or even pity, all of which contribute to our feelings of isolation and helplessness. We are even willing to accept the label of “queer” out of defiance and misplaced pride. The gay movement, however, has made huge inroads in the basic institutions, to the point where the external fight appears to be basically over. Most families have accepted their gay children, most of the churches have welcomed us back into their folds, the media is trying to exorcise its demons by giving us special treatment, and the laws have been changed. However, the suicide and depression rates are actually increasing.  We have won the right to marry but our divorce rates for lesbians (gay men seem to do better than heterosexuals but there is some controversy about the results) are twice that of the heterosexual population [1].  We are still suffering from extreme loneliness and many (and perhaps most) of us feel or have felt some degree of helplessness and hopelessness. Why?

I think it is probably because we are being tolerated and not really accepted by society. The fear often turns to indifference and even pity, both of which tend to make us feel isolated and misunderstood. This includes those we love the most.  Our loved ones tend to avoid the issue of our gay or lesbian side or they question us as if they are trying desperately and unsuccessfully to understand our behavior. The uneasiness, intricate voice tones, and the body language that we perceive subconsciously are wearing us down. In one article I read, our mental-emotional state is being compared to soldiers who are suffering from PTSD.  Subconsciously we are in a battle for survival. It is not one big trauma but a lifetime of small traumas that have worn us down. We are constantly receiving negative vibrations from our heterosexual friends and family, and even from our own tortured gay and lesbian companions. These vibrations wear on our nervous systems until we crash.

Here are my five steps on developing the power of discernment:

  1. We take time to build up our self-image and self-esteem before going to work, or church, or visiting members of our family. We take time to stay physically and emotionally healthy through diet, exercise, and scheduled quiet times. A healthy body and mind will make discernment and clarity mush more likely.
  2. We have to be 100% sure that we are indeed beautiful and wonderful spiritual human beings. This provides a constant flow of positive energy that can balance the negative energy coming our way throughout the day.
  3. If we have trouble changing the story, we persist. We use repetition until the new story replaces the old story. We need time to do this. After mediation I like to take time (while my mind is at rest and my spirit is active) to contemplate, challenge, and change, if necessary, my belief systems.  I like the mornings. I simply review my  experiences and beliefs of the previous day. I then set a new course for the new day.
  4. It is usually not a good idea to ask others about our beliefs as they will respond from their own mind set. It is better to trust our inner self which will respond to our own needs out of genuine self-concern and self-love.
  5. We seek knowledge. We become a student of life, especially our own life. If there is an area of concern, we find reliable information from books and other programs. We learn to discern where the authors are coming from with their own traits and biases. We try to integrate this information into our own new belief systems.

Here are my five suggestion for discernment and sexuality:

  1. We acknowledge that our sex drive is a good thing. It is healthy and natural. No ifs or buts. No blame or shame. If we do not have a healthy and enjoyable sex life it is probably because we do not have a good healthy story. We do not destroy the story; we simply rebuild it with checks and balances. In other words we control it; it does not control us.
  2. We seek those who are like-minded and like-souled for intimate relationships. It can be sexual or nonsexual, but it has to be within the higher self, beyond the urges of the body and the sorrows of the ego.
  3. We shut down the control center to step outside the story and just respond to the beauty and the energy of our sex drive. We set out to deliberately live an active and satisfying sex life.
  4. W realize that sex  is not just the sensuous pleasures of the body  but also includes the oxytocin bonding that forms the happiness feeling from the heart, and those wonderful spiritual feeling s of joy that we can feel as we lie in close contact with our lover after orgasm.
  5. And finally, we enjoy! The purpose of life is to enjoy, to be spontaneous.

 

Here are my five suggestion on discernment for the LGBQT community

  1. We are not just “queers”; we are  beautiful people. We are the ones who can see both sides of the equation. We are the ones with answers to some of life’s most difficult questions. We are the ones with the genes that need to be passed on to the next generation if this species is to survive.
  2. We have to see and understand the reality of our sexuality. It is a biological process of copulation and reproduction, and yes, if we take our cues from the animal kingdom, that includes same sex attraction. But we have made it part of our story. We have created theories of orientation and gender. We don’t need it and if we employ the powers of discernment we will come to the conclusion that we don’t want it. It robs us of our ability to be spontaneous and to enjoy the wonderful senses associated with sex and relationship.
  3. As members of LGBQT community, we have developed a very complex story in order to survive. We can stop the story. Whenever we hear the cues like, “I will never be good enough”, or, “it’s no use”, or, “it’s all my fault”, we stop the story immediately, recognize the belief or lie, and then state the true reality: “I am a magnificent human being”, “I am always good enough”, “I can do anything worth doing”, “there is no fault, there is only trial, error, and the accumulation of knowledge and wisdom”.
  4. Because our sex drives are different, the straight population will experience some degree of uneasiness when we are around them or their children.  We must understand that their uneasiness is based on fear and is subconsciously a threat to their beliefs and mindset, and therefore to their ego’s sense of survival. We must recognize their struggle and conflict of beliefs and emotions. We accept the uneasiness and try to eliminate the fears. We send our positive energy to them in the form of love to balance the negative energy of fear. We continue our relationships and perhaps even increase the time we spend with them. We use the time to naturally express our own feelings and encourage them to express and unconditionally accept theirs, while maintaining the positive flow of love energy from the higher self. Eventually the fears will break down allowing genuine bonds of love.
  5. If we are bisexual with a heterosexual partner, we have to understand they may be struggling to understand and accept us just the way we are. We have to be patient with their struggles and realize they are trying to settle some of their subconscious fears. We respond gently and lovingly. Sometimes we or they may break down because of the triggers that may reopen old wounds. We have to accept that these will happen and that they are an opportunity to heal and even to go deeper in the relationship.

Bisexuality and the Spirit of Adventure Virtue

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)As Joseph Conrad states in Heart of Darkness, “‘I went a little farther…then still a little farther—till I had gone so far that I don’t know how I’ll ever get back.” Life is learning not only to be comfortable with uncertainty but to welcome it as an opportunity to expand as a human being. It is not looking back, not wanting to go back, but to be pushing the envelope until the last day of our lives. It is dreaming and then making those dreams come true by the sheer power of our will.

The spirit of adventure is the desire and openness to experiencing something new. It is accepting uncertainty and welcoming it as an opportunity to explore, to expand our range of knowledge, and to bring new sets of sensations and feelings into our life portfolio. It is taking a holistic and creative approach to experiencing what each day has to offer. It is living in the now with passion and vitality.

One of the key ways to grow our spirit is to find our place in this universe.  We explore nature realizing our humble place in the unity of all living thing, to the point where we stand in awe of life itself. We indulge ourselves in a forest bath, letting the gentleness of the forest path caress our bodies as we silently absorb its sights, smells, and sounds into our inner sanctuaries. It is taking a mindful ocean walk at low tide where we take off our shoes and feel the hard moist sand peeling off the dead skin from the souls of our feet and the dead thoughts out of the graveyards of our minds. We let nature’s negative ions collide with our positive ones, neutralizing them, and restoring our chemical balance and our spiritual energies.

We seek the truth, not in rational thought, but in the knowing of our higher self. We search for the answers to the question of our souls. We seek to know who we are, where we are going and how we will know when we get there. We understand that when we arrive at that place it will be just one more step in the never-ending journey to self-actualization. We see success and failure as “twin imposters”[1]. We know that success is just temporary and not an end it itself; it is the journey that counts not our worldly achievements. We know there is no such thing as failure, just opportunities for reassessment, clarity, and the selection of new paths.

We learn the most when we fall the hardest; we seize the opportunity to show ourselves what we are made of, not to define ourselves by the thoughts and actions of others. In the process,  we arrive at the  an understanding that all things are possible. There is no looking back. There is no past. There is only the present that is just waiting for us to open it up and enjoy.

We avoid and despise labels. We are beyond labels. We are free to be whatever we want to be and then to reverse and redefine ourselves day by day. We are not limited by what anyone else thinks. We choose to not only think, but to live, outside the box. We avoid the limitations of Religion. We do not live to reach heaven and avoid hell. We do not seek the escape offered by Nirvana but choose to experience life in the here and now with all its flaws and treasures. We never get old; we just get older and wiser. We never stop enjoying the pleasures of our bodies and the wonderment of our minds. We just bring them into harmony with the source of all life and power. We never let go of life. We live it.

My five applications to bisexuality:

  1. Our bisexuality is not a curse or a burden. It is a gift that allows us to experience life from both the feminine and masculine sides of life.
  2. We know who we are and who we want to be. We do not allow others to shape us. We are proud to be who we are.
  3. Even though we live life from our own personal perspective, we seek out a partner who is like-minded to share the journey with us. We do not try to shape them and we do not allow them to shape us. If our life paths separate, we are prepared to let them go.
  4. We dare to dream. We allow our inner self to speak its truth about who we are and where we want to go. We then build on that truth and set a course to greater self-actualization.
  5. We share who we are with others and engage in two way communication that includes the expressing and living of our deepest desires.

[1] Rudyard Kipling. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/spirit-adventure-7-ways-thrive-2017-linda-mccall/

 

Bisexuality and the Virtue of Thriving in Uncertainty

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)Uncertainty cannot be a virtue, but the way we deal with it sure can. The feeling associated with uncertainty is based on fear, especially fear of change. We like things the way they are, even when they are filled with fear and turmoil. We resist change and build up defense mechanisms including religion, acquiring material goods and wealth, seeking knowledge, delving into the arts, and seeking experiences with beauty. “In short, we try to make meaning and order of what might otherwise seem a chaotic existence”. [1]

Our greatest fears are death and living a life without meaning and purpose. We set up belief systems to explain the inexplicable and to provide a comfortable degree of certainty where there is no certainty. We develop stories employing the old spiritual standbys of faith and hope. In the case of religion, we strive for group stories filled with justice, including rewards and punishment. These stories are always on the far end of rational thought, just close enough that they make sense with the application of faith and hope. Don’t get me wrong; I also operate on faith, and, if we are honest with ourselves, we all do to some extent. The key is to know and understand that they are just stories that may be based on fiction rather than truth.

The opposite of faith is pessimism. We see the uncertainties of the world around, imagine a worst case scenario, and then learn to live with it. Frankly, I would rather live by faith than pessimism, but I believe there is a third and better way.

“In quantum mechanics, the observation effect states that the photon used to locate and measure a particle actually changes the particle’s position. The observer actually changes the state of the object perceived.” Our thoughts are in truth a release of creative energy from the electromagnetic and chemical activity of our neural pathways. We can create a story that is in fact real and ever changing with the electronic and quantum power of our thoughts and beliefs. Applied to our response to uncertainty, we can, in fact, affect not just the perception, but reality itself. Once set in motion, our thoughts have the power to change and alter reality, provided that they are consistent, passionately powerful, and loaded with creative energy.

Let me explain through a story, a true story. When my wife was giving birth to our son, the doctor arrived and examined her, told us the baby was turned the wrong way, and it would be hours before it would be born. Meanwhile, he was going to go home and get some sleep. After he left, I placed my hands on my wife’s abdomen and asked god (this occurred during a time when I had traditional Christian beliefs) to turn the baby. At that precise moment, I felt the baby turn in my hands and immediately start down the birth canal. He was born half an hour later. The doctor had just enough time to come back and cut the cord. So what happened? Was this a random coincidence? Perhaps. Did god turn the baby? Perhaps. Did my mental energy turn the baby? Perhaps. Or perhaps it was my higher self connecting with a higher power that transferred the higher energy from my hands to her body thus turning the baby? I choose to believe the latter, but the answer to that question will depend upon our belief systems. The fact remains: the baby did turn, and I believe I was an agent in the process because I felt the power pass through my thoughts and hands.

This brings us back to the question of life and death. What is life all about? Are we just a random occurrence in the universe? Logic would say that we are. Logic would also say that the typical after-death experience of walking towards a bright light is just a final burst of energy from our dying brain. What about reincarnation which is the favorite belief my intellectual friends and associates, who perhaps have developed a rational system that goes very easy on an enlightened ego.  And what about regression? Are they a real recall of a past life or just a creation of the imagination of people who want to believe? Is there a god? And if there is, is he a personal god like the Christians believe, the all-powerful patriarch of the Muslims and Jews, or that universal esoteric presence sought after by the Buddhists and new age intellectuals? The answer to these questions is that there is no answer, all is uncertainty.

It is only by recognizing that life is full of uncertainties that we can then walk the path to self-actualization with creative thought and spiritual confidence. We embrace the only certainty that we have: I am; I breathe; I think; I understand; therefore, I am. The key is to truly know and understand, and yes, believe that this is enough. We embrace the uncertainty. We live each moment as if it were the last. We seek the truth and the joy that life presents to us every moment of every day. If there is another life after this, we know that it will be good. If we search our inner self we will realize that there is no evil; there is no hell. There is nothing to fear, not even death itself. If this life is all there is and the bright light gradually fades and disappears, we will have lived a life full of the creative power of love energy that will continue to shine as long as there is human life on this beautiful planet.

Because we believe life is precarious, and because we strive to fill it with our love energy, we will naturally embrace and help each other.  We will build real stories around family and fellowship, and we will call it love. The natural consequences of our feelings and actions will be the development of a sense of compassion for ourselves and for everyone else who fears the unknown. When we open ourselves to the continually changing nature of your own being, we embrace the reality set before us.  We enjoy our capacity to live a life free of fear. We increase our capacity to be, to enjoy, and to love. We care for other people. We begin to really live a life with endless opportunities to create and enjoy a better world.

My five applications for bisexuality:

  1. We are now beyond gender issues. In the world of uncertainty even our sexual orientation is uncertain. Whether we are attracted to males or females makes no difference. We are one human being connecting with another through the passion and sensuality of our bodies.
  2. We embrace our uncertainties as opportunities to experience something new, something that will lead to greater knowledge and deeper levels of experiencing and feeling.
  3. We realize that our expectations are just our attempts at finding certainty and usually lead to disappointment or to the realization that out strongest desires cannot be fulfilled,  So we reduce our expectations, set goal only on  essential matters, and open ourselves up to the possibility and excitement of change.
  4. We have no expectations of others. We just accept them the way they are at that moment, knowing that they too are searching for their own sense of self-actualization.
  5. We realize that self-actualization is not an end in itself but a process. We continue to explore, build, and feel until the last breath of this uncertain life. We have no expectation of an afterlife but we are open to all possibilities. There is nothing to fear. It may be only the last peaceful breath or the possibility of endless possibilities.

[1] All quotes in this blog are from Greenfield, Susan Celia. The Last Lecture: the Virtue of Uncertainty. (https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/last-lecture-virtue-uncertainty/#!)

 

Bisexuality and the Virtue of Gentleness

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)“The finest qualities of our nature, like the bloom on fruits, can be preserved only by the most delicate handling. Yet we do not treat ourselves nor one another thus tenderly,” Henry David Thoreau.

 

This “delicate handling” is the result of developing the virtue of gentleness. Sensitivity leads to gentleness, first with ourselves and then with others. When we have developed the virtue of sensitivity, we become aware of our own feelings, motivations, and emotions, and then we become aware of the feelings of others. We realize that positive interactions are part of the flow of universal love and negative ones come from a person’s body of pain. We react to love with love and to pain and anger with gentleness.

Gentleness comes from the spirit, or the higher self, and is based on love of self.  If we ask our spirit for guidance it will always respond and show us the way to care for and be gentle with our bodies. When our bodies are in harmony with our spirit, we enter into a place free of anxiety. Our heart rate slows, our blood pressure drops, the sugar and salt levels return to the optimal levels. This allow the body to tap into its source of positive energy to  increase its immune system and repair damaged cells.

The first step is to know, sense, and feel the positive energy and movement of our spirit. It is always gentle. It always brings peace and inner joy. It always directs by bringing us the feeling that what we are doing feels right. If we learn to hear that gentle voice, it will empower us to eat the correct foods, exercise daily without harming our body tissues, and become aware of our abilities and limitations. It will reveal harmful practices like unsafe sex, use of legal and illegal drugs, and high risk activities. It will teach us to love and protect our bodies as a precious gift from the universal creative spirit of love.

The second step is to allow the spirit to spread its influence throughout our mind or ego. We tend to be hard on ourselves, expecting the impossible, and then berating ourselves for not attaining it.  The ego sets unrealistic goals and then employs the neural dopamine pathways to achieve those goals. It uses the power of the emotions attached to blame and self-criticism to keep us pushing on towards those goals even though it may not be in our best interest to do so. This creates a constant alert state fueled by anxiety and dangerous levels of adrenaline and epinephrine.

To be truly gentle we have to silence, or rather, redirect, the self-critical voice of the ego.  We do this by consciously inviting the spirit into our decision making process. It will work with the ego or the mind to reveal ways to understand and be gentle with ourselves. The ego is not the enemy of the spirit, but rather a partner and part of the soul. The spirit will always be gentle with our ego never chastising or blaming. It is always ready, when asked, to show a better way, and that way is always gentle in nature. It will never demand that it gives up pleasures or sources of joy. It will merely, gently, show how to bring those pleasures into harmony with the higher self.

Once we have achieved this harmony of body, ego, and spirit, we will then be able to extend it to others. We will be able to sense the feelings behind their actions. With love ones, we will always be able to see the other side where the ego is acting out of this nebula of pain and emotion. We will be able to respond to the desires behind the feeling rather than to the emotions of their wounded egos. We will be able to gently dissolve these emotions and redirect them to the issues causing the pain or, perhaps, just show a gentle understanding of where they are coming from and open the door to future positive interactions. Once we achieve true gentleness through “delicate handling” of ourselves and others, we can begin to enjoy the fruits of self-actualization.

 

Here are my five applications for bisexuals:

  1. As bisexuals, our life path often leads to pain and turmoil. Our natural tendency is to blame ourselves for the pain inflicted upon us. We have to be gentle with ourselves. We are not to blame for our actions brought on by our sexual orientation. There is no blame. Period. Not god, not our parents, and certainly not ourselves. The blame game only leads to more pain and suffering.
  2. We can be kind to our bodies. We can avoid self-destructive behavior like unsafe sex and S and M and humiliation fetishes. Inflicting and enduring pain in role play just deepens the wounds. It may provide a temporary release, but that feeling of self-abuse will just come back stronger than ever.
  3. Rather than abuse our body, we can love it. We can look at our naked body in the mirror and realize just how beautiful and wonderful it really is. And we don’t have to ignore the genitals which are a source of amazing enzymes and hormones connected with the passing on of life itself.
  4. We should avoid excessive use of masturbation. . It is seldom done gently and lovingly. There is always a connection with desperation and anxiety. There is nothing morally wrong with masturbation for the realization of unfulfilled needs and the release of anxieties, but we should always be aware that it can be harmful if it leads us away from genuine relationship.
  5. We can be gentle with those we love. When we see our partners strike out in anger or frustration, we can choose to look for the feelings, needs, and desires behind their words and actions. We can remind them that they are loved and that we are willing to help them meet those needs.

Bisexuality and the Virtue of Sensitivity

“Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears.” Edgar Allan Poe[1]

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)We cannot be too sensitive, but we can learn to direct our sensitivity so that it becomes a virtue rather than a source of confusion and pain. If we honor our sensitivity, we are on our way to self- actualization.

These next five blogs are about our becoming the best we can be. Maslow in his hierarchy of human values believed the ultimate goal was self-actualization which he associated with finding meaning and purpose in life. In his study, he looked at people he believed had special qualities that made them special people. I believe that being special is developing the five major virtues that allow us to live life the way it was intended to be according to some universal principles that are beyond the scope of meaning and purpose. It is about being rather than doing.

As human beings, we have a natural sensitivity that over time gets dulled and repressed due to harsh and sometimes painful life experiences. To reach self-actualization, we have to reawaken our natural sensitivity and develop and perfect it so that we can use our feelings for guidance and the pursuit of joy.

Our brains naturally are built to take in information from all our senses and to combine the information to form feelings that lead to the pursuit of happiness. The self-actualized person learns to select and enhance the positive feelings and to evaluate and process the negative ones. Physiologically that includes using the frontal cortex and the dopamine pathways to solve problems and then returning to the pleasure center and the serotonin pathways which are free of constructive or destructive anxieties. We are not built to linger in the anxiety that comes from the front of our brain; our main purpose is to pursue and enjoy pleasure in all its forms through our senses.

The greatest source of pleasure from our senses is rooted in love, including intimate love with a partner and the love of life. I go around my yard every morning thanking the flowers for sharing their beauty with me. I wait for my beloved to wake in the morning and greet her with a warm embrace and an “I love you.” I open my day in meditation where I sit on my front deck overlooking the Pacific Ocean and shut down my mind and concentrate on all the senses my beautiful body is providing, including the smell of vegetation, the feel of the sea air on my face, the sound of the birds, and the taste of a hot cup of coffee. I think about my children and grandchildren and my close friends and allow my feelings of love to build and flow out to them. I plan the day, things I have to do and things that I can ask the universal life force to do for me. I concentrate on completing my tasks and then return to enjoying my senses with a walk or a bike ride along the beach or reading a good book on a bench in my garden. I thank the universal love force for each day, and for each moment of each day. I pursue happiness through my senses and use my wonderful frontal cortex and dopamine neural pathways to plan ways to keep me in a state of bliss.

 

Five applications to bisexuality:

  1. Sex is a great source of pleasure. It includes all our senses. Learn to use them all, not just the sense of touch. We can open up our sense of smell to include scents and pheromones. Our sense of smell is directly linked to the old brain and the limbic system and the amygdala. We can enjoy taste, touch, and sight, and listen to the heavy breathing of our lover. We can make making love truly making love.
  2. We can love life and love our body. It is a gift. We can explore it and enjoy it, and not just the genitals. If we limit masturbation we can let our whole body enjoy loving touch. We can hug ourselves and touch all the parts of our body and thank these parts for doing their job and adding to our pleasure. We show our body that we love it.
  3. Seeking the sensations of sex with a new partner can be exciting but it is nothing like the joys of familiarity that comes from working on expanding the pleasure we can enjoy with a steady partner. We can seek to develop that one special relationship where we can share and explore together without the rush of an encounter with a stranger.
  4. Our bisexuality is more than just a sexual orientation. It is an ability to sense things at a deeper level. We can employ the full range of feminine and masculine characteristics. We have a wider view of life. The key is to follow our feelings and let them lead us to all aspects of pleasure.
  5. Expand our senses. Meditate but not in mindlessness. There is more out there to enjoy than just the sound of our own breathing. We can use this time to explore all the sights and sounds and smells around us and then thank the source of universal love and life for the privilege of just being alive.

[1] Virtue Science. https://www.virtuescience.com/sensitivity.html