What We Do to Ourselves - Patti Simpson

Moderator: PattiS

What We Do to Ourselves - Patti Simpson

Postby SDP on Sat Jun 13, 2009 8:40 am

I recently wrote about the mistake we make when we compare ourselves to others and come out wanting because we haven’t used the correct yardstick. One of my favorite teachers in the world today is the man known as Ram Dass. I was fortunate, years ago, to be able to attend several weekend workshops with Ram Dass, and the more I was around him, the more impressed I was. The former Dr. Richard Alpert was a Harvard Psychology Professor and fellow researcher with Dr. Timothy Leary on the properties of LSD. What began as a clinical research project evolved interestingly. Timothy Leary came to see LSD as a recreational drug and almost single-handedly popularized it for public consumption. He took over a hundred LSD trips and in some ways, he became a caricature of himself. From my training in addictions and my experience with hospitalized addicts, he seemed to be in a category we used to call "Crispy Critters." These are people who have taken so many drugs that they have fried their brains.

Richard Alpert, on the other hand, saw spiritual openings and possibilities in the research and he chose to follow that up by going to India and studying the spiritual life with a beloved guru. He came back from India as Ram Dass, and became a teacher of great wisdom, humor and love. A very tall man, he would show up on stage in his golf clothes, always holding his mala beads in his hand, and would do a comedy routine, wryly the butt of his own jokes, and in the resulting laughter he would toss small, beautiful gems of wisdom that fell upon his audience like lightly falling snow.

It was Ram Dass who deeply moved me when he said, "It is so easy to unordain yourself." I thought this was so important, I wrote it down and have it on the wall over my small bookcase altar. And seeing it there helps keep me safe from the thought forms of myself or others which would make me be less than who I am, if I were to buy into them.

What does it mean to unordain ourselves? If we have chosen a life of thought, growth, study, curiosity about the true meaning of things and we are being impeccable in our personal path, that is to say, we conduct ourselves with respect for others and are not working out of ego and a desire for power over them, we have ordained ourselves on life’s journey. This is our sacred trail and it’s our sacred duty to be true to it. But there are those: people, books, ideas, religions, teachers, clergy, educators, governments, etc., whose concepts differ from ours. It’s the way of the world for them to make us feel we are wrong, mistaken or just plain off-track. These folks have a lot invested in reigning in our free spirits and if we hold them in high respect, we can unwittingly unordain ourselves. And then comes bad self-talk, lowered self-esteem, a sense of not being up to the task. The bad news is, we have become unordained. The good news is, we did it to ourselves and we can correct it by creating a new, firm intention.

How do we know when this has happened? We feel as if we’re ringing like a cracked bell. The inner harmony that is a natural state when we’re ordained is missing. Someone, some thing has thrown us out of our belief in ourselves. I recommend that one write down Ram Dass’ words and keep them in a favorite place: "It is so easy to unordain yourself." Then reach down into one's own core and say to self, "I deserve respect." When we do that we are telling that to others and to ourselves. It is surprising how many things fall into line if we do that little bit of mental and spiritual health care every day.

On the other hand, if one never has the slightest doubt regarding his or her correctness about everything, one may need to check in at their inner pharmacy and order up some humility pills. LOL.
SDP
Site Admin
 
Posts: 100
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2008 11:50 am

Re: What We Do to Ourselves - Patti Simpson

Postby Vidyanet on Sat Jun 13, 2009 8:49 am

Patti,

A very nice article! I thought that was an excellent point. :)

Vidyanet
Vidyanet
 
Posts: 47
Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2008 3:55 pm
Location: Midwest U.S.A.

Re: What We Do to Ourselves - Patti Simpson

Postby Jo Leonard on Sat Jun 13, 2009 12:40 pm

Hello dear Patti,

Back in the 60"s, I was acting and stage managing a series of Off-Broadway shows.
On "dark" nights, nights when our current production was not on stage, the theatre
was rented out. One such night, there was a showing of psychdelic images and a
talk by none other than Timothy Leary. Our paths continued to cross from time to time
with many invitations to join him upstate at his farm. I was more interested in my
theatrical career than I was in LSD.

I won't say I didn't sample his wares. I already let that out in my book. But I will say
that I have always felt guided in this lifetime...always kept out of harm's way. His
path was not my path.

Ram Das, on the other hand, played a big role in my early spiritual adventures...particularly
his book entitled: Be Here Now. Still have a copy.

Your message is an important one. From time to time, we all come up against other souls
who seem to make it their mission to de-throne us (if we haven't already done it to ourselves:).
How do we protect ourselves from these debilitating attacks? I have a few things I do such
as returning to my core and practicing vairag.

But there is a bit more to this for me than mere self defense. It's the question: Is there a
pony in the doo-doo pile? Is there something precious for me to learn from these attacks
other than surviving them? One can, without unordaining oneself or setting one's ego
off in a screaming frenzy, uncover the divine message within the misguided doings of another.
Have others found this to be true?

Thanks for letting me share.
Love, Jo Leonard
Jo Leonard
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 12:22 am

Re: What We Do to Ourselves - Patti Simpson

Postby PattiS on Mon Jun 15, 2009 11:39 am

Hi Jo,
Good reply. One thing I know for sure, you are no Crispy Critter. Not too sure about that wonderful wacko guy you're married to. :-)
Love, Patti
PattiS
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 2:24 pm

Re: What We Do to Ourselves - Patti Simpson

Postby peterarev on Sun Jun 21, 2009 5:52 pm

Dear Patti,

Thanks for this piece on an important spiritual principle and supported by a historical retrospective that is meaningful to me. I came to know about Ram Dass' book Be Here Now soon after it came out in 1971. I was also fortunate enough to attend one of his talks a year or so later at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. At the time, I was a nervous wreck suffering both from congenital anxiety as well as being in my early 20s with little idea or confidence about where my life was going. A major problem I had was a lack of self worth (always comparing myself to others as "less than") and an attitude of powerlessness to manage in the world.

As we gathered in the lobby surrounded by a crowd of people in the student union, my anxiety was more intense than usual. Upon entering the lecture hall, I was confronted with white-robed devotees chanting repetitive songs, ringing finger cymbals and looking as though they were high on LSD. I'm not sure if I had tried LSD by then, but I was familiar with Richard Alpert's story with it. The transformation of my attitude by a simple talk by the Guru would come to characterize my spiritual path from then on. When the talk was over, we were again amid the throngs of people in the lobby, but this time I was very calm, even high, with hope as though I had found spiritual food when I had been starving before. And all this without any medicinal or physical substances!

I would later have a brief but memorable relationship with LSD, but fortunately it never became a chronic habit as pot and alcohol did (that's another story.). It had the effect of opening some important doors in my mind and allowed me to consider things that I had previously kept tightly locked up within me. This, in effect, helped me to recognize and honor who I am in my essence. Everything I found along the way after that found more fertile ground than it otherwise would have. Eventually, after a brief period of Siddha Yoga under Swami Muktananda, my travels took me to a collection of books on Eckankar. This, rather than being the end of my journey to find a substantial and personally suitable set of spiritual teachings as it felt like at the time, was the beginning of a continuing lifelong journey into myself and what lies beneath and beyond even that.

Eight years ago, I became an ordained minister with the Universal Life Church by filling out a simple form on the internet. This was another turning point for me as a formal cultural acknowledgment of my focus on divine matters. It took me two years from the time of official ordination to fully accept, realize and appreciate what it meant. This and my earlier experiences was a matter of self acceptance and self worth taking time to grow. It seems that almost if not everything depends on how we view ourselves. Are we victims of life? Are we power hungry? Are we apathetic, disinterested or even atheist? Or are we humble in the Face of the Mystery of how we got here at all? And are we willing to put in the continuing work to maintain that humility? I appreciate the reminder of the "unordaining" process. There is no final free lunch in life. If we stop moving forward we fall behind.

Peter A.
peterarev
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 11:13 am

Re: What We Do to Ourselves - Patti Simpson

Postby Larksong on Sun Jun 21, 2009 7:41 pm

Hi to Jo and Patti! Juicy stuff this! And, it is close to my heart. Yes, it is absolutely true for me that undoing the unordaining is more than defense. Jo, what you say about surviving or uncovering “…the divine message within the misguided doings of another”, is the difference between a life of trying to keep our heads above water or living it up in the waterfalls of love! One of the greatest uncoverings for me was to learn to dive right into a current mystery of the missteps, misalignments, misinterpretations, mischiefs and mistakings. What I found was there is incredible richness for awakening, and a heart centering joy of discovery!

So, what does this mean in my life here on earth? It means that for every unsettled moment, there lurks a portion of my inner awareness that is beckoning to be heard, to be considered. Each portion is a gateway to aliveness! And, when I am completely atuned to a particular portion, there is no screaming, no gasping to survive. There is only presence and then presence in the world. If the unsettled moment arises, it is met with love and assurance that Beingness or Soul that I am, is here now. As consciousness comes forth, there is an unhinging of all related unsettlements. It is sometimes magical how this works.

One of the reasons I can speak to this is I used to compare myself to others. It was torture and my own doing. I let others unordain me. As I became more powerful in love, I experienced more of my own fullness. Being able to, in a sense mentor the portions of myself who were asking for my attention and love, meant that I was larger in spirit than I experienced in my earlier years. So, the “pony in the doo-doo pile”, became the ballerina in the treasure-trove. This was part of my “inner pharmacy” as Patti said. And, the best thing was that there was no “mis-take”, but a perfectly ordained moment for inspiration! Thanks to you both for your insights! Falling into love again and again~Larksong
Larksong
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 2:32 pm

Re: What We Do to Ourselves - Patti Simpson

Postby Jo Leonard on Mon Jun 22, 2009 4:19 am

Larksong, How beautifully written...you give me goosebumps! Jo
Jo Leonard
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 12:22 am

Re: What We Do to Ourselves - Patti Simpson

Postby Larksong on Fri Jun 26, 2009 10:04 pm

HI Patti~your article inspired me. My comments are in brackets:

It was Ram Dass who deeply moved me when he said, "It is so easy to unordain yourself."

[It is easy isn’t it? I find that when I do that, I have forgotten that I am Beingness.]

What does it mean to unordain ourselves? ….It’s the way of the world for them to make us feel we are wrong, mistaken or just plain off-track. These folks have a lot invested in reigning in our free spirits and if we hold them in high respect, we can unwittingly unordain ourselves.

[I wonder if this true? You seem to be saying that certain people have investments to reign in our “free spirits”. From my perspective, “they” are acting out their programs and beliefs that have been triggered by someone/something. It was not necessarily intentional. Perhaps everyone was triggered. Neither party would get a charge if there weren’t some “soft spots” in awareness or unconsciousness someplace within. This is how I see the terrain from which we unordain ourselves. Instead of being a ballet of “Swine” Lake, we are in a tango dancing toward consciousness and love, helping each other along the way. Not easy sometimes! Whew!]

The bad news is, we have become unordained. The good news is, we did it to ourselves and we can correct it by creating a new, firm intention.

[Absolutely! Aren’t we powerful indeed! What would it be like, if we could completely take in our power to create what we don’t want, to give evidence that we can create what we do want! Though this seems contradictory somehow, I have begun to really get the feel and sense of my power by taking it all in!]

Then reach down into one's own core and say to self, "I deserve respect." When we do that we are telling that to others and to ourselves.

[This is so true. It is a good place to start because it gives us a way to focus on what we want. The other thing that deserving does is that when we are able to be conscious with the parts who are keeping us from having respect, we can begin to create a way to feel respect for ourselves. That in itself sends a powerful message outwardly. Since we can be respectful inside, we know we deserve it from others! It is the magic of consciousness that spirits outward for us to watch how everything starts to change around us! Patti, have you found this to be true? I have been imagining how I might word Ram Dass’s statement for myself. Hmm. How about “In touch with the heart of my center, I happily ordain myself anew”? Thanks Patti for your insightful article. Larksong]
Larksong
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 2:32 pm

Re: What We Do to Ourselves - Patti Simpson

Postby Jo Leonard on Sat Jun 27, 2009 3:01 am

It’s the way of the world for them to make us feel we are wrong, mistaken or just plain off-track. These folks have a lot invested in reigning in our free spirits and if we hold them in high respect, we can unwittingly unordain ourselves.

[I wonder if this true? You seem to be saying that certain people have investments to reign in our “free spirits”. From my perspective, “they” are acting out their programs and beliefs that have been triggered by someone/something. It was not necessarily intentional. Perhaps everyone was triggered. Neither party would get a charge if there weren’t some “soft spots” in awareness or unconsciousness someplace within. This is how I see the terrain from which we unordain ourselves. Instead of being a ballet of “Swine” Lake, we are in a tango dancing toward consciousness and love, helping each other along the way. Not easy sometimes! Whew!]

Can both be true?
Love, Jo

P.S. In the past, I have been hesitant about participating in forums such as this because of overly long
dissertations that were little more than crabbing, crabbing, crabbing. Quite the contrary with this forum.
So far, i have experienced wonderful insights! Thank you. :D
Jo Leonard
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 12:22 am

Re: What We Do to Ourselves - Patti Simpson

Postby Lhardeenarrow on Sat Jun 27, 2009 12:40 pm

Hello Patti et al. Unordained? Not ordained. Not consecrated. Not blessed. Not sanctified. Not a spokesperson/intermediary/co-worker for/with GOD/SPIRIT.

One can imagine a "planet" somewhere, composed chiefly of rivulets, creeks, streams, rivers, grand causeways & one big honkin' OCEAN. Upon this planet there are innumerable Souls striving, hopefully, with the current, toward this vast, welcoming depth. Everyone, on some level, dreams of this warm, welcoming destination. But, first, must come the hidden snags, the precarious eddies, the gaping crocs & hippos & svelte anacondas. Too, along the way, the compasses, sextants, & ancient charts are washed overboard. The smooth blueness of a fortnight's....a lifetime's seeming "progress" runs aground,time and again, amid the bogs and fens of oh-so human over-confidence and alluring vanity.

The warm, comforting WATER, knowingly, waits.

*******************************************************************

I became aware of Dr. Leary via an article in Life magazine back in the 60's LSD = Spirituality was the message I "chose" to decipher. At some deep level I KNEW that I needed/craved something outside/inside of myself that church or school or literature etc. had yet to sate. I swallowed the sugar cubes & little pieces of paper. I thumbed across America....stood on my meditational head at sunset in a Nebraskan cornfield; strolled buck-naked through an Iowan rock-festival, a self-proclaimed representative of the Summer of Loving SF Bay Area; courted an East-Coast Doctoral Candidate awash in the mystical pretenses of Tristan & Isolde and Middle-English Lore.

I also, at some point during these travels (travails?), learned of Dr.Alpert's alternative insights as to the drug. I have never forgotten the catch phrase, " Remember, Be Here Now" Somehow I took to heart this mini-mantra. Wisdom Is!

Nowadays, due to six thousand, seven-hundred and eighty two bone-headed & self-inflicted missteps I find myself immersed in a Government-sponsored Mental & Emotional Recovery Program. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Mindfulness Meditation. Stress Management. Relapse Prevention....A wondrous smorgasbord of self-help tools and life-affirming truisms. A treasure map back to the land of the ordained. A sturdy vessel equipped with cutting edge keels, spars, sails, & sonar. The conscious, untinged freedom of self-indulgent metaphors gleefully rubbing shoulders with unbridled similes.

The delicate, eternal NOW of BEINGNESS.
Lhardeenarrow
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jun 27, 2009 11:28 am

Next

Return to What We Do to Ourselves

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron