Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Round and Round We Go

I learned a lot during the past few days. Some of the thoughts were new, some were reminders of information gleaned throughout my life, some were old ideas presented in a new format, some were things I kind of knew, but just hadn't taken the time to recognize, or to ponder and formulate an opinion or belief about, some were eternal truths, repeated over and over again throughout the span of time.

So, what did I learn/hear/remember/recognize?

A lot. And it all tied back to humanity, to caring, to the golden rule, to basic principles of love - philia. And it was all connected to fundraising, since that is what the conference was about, and building relationships - creating an opportunity for someone to do what they want to, because they care and because they want to make a difference. Finding that inner belief that rings true to them and creates a passion for something that motivates the person to action.

After all, we're all very much alike. We are human beings. We are born, we live, we die. Sometimes we marry. Sometimes we procreate. But we are all individuals of worth and value and beauty.

So what did I learn? I learned about...

The concentric circles of our lives. Self, spouse, family, friends, associates. Experiences, education, beliefs, associations, knowledge, exposure.

These are the circles of life that overlap and shape who we are.
And I was reminded about about chakra, from the Upanishads (loved the Sacred Books of the World course at CWU), are circular energy centers aligned in an ascending column beginning at the base of the spinal column and moving upward to the top of the skull. They are visualized as lotuses/flowers with a different number of petals in every chakra. The chakras are thought to vitalize the physical body and to be associated with interactions of a physical, emotional and mental nature. The seven principal chakras are said by some to reflect how the unified consciousness of humanity (the immortal human being or the soul), is divided to manage different aspects of earthly life (body/instinct/vital energy/deeper emotions/communication/having an overview of life/contact to God.)
The conference was a mini-culmination for me, years and years of experience and training repackaged into a higher level of thinking/acting/feeling. The spirituality of philanthropy. The eternal truths that are the basis of caring for others, and helping others find their best way to care for others. Certainly not my last ah-ha moment, but a big one.

The Sufi belief that "Good people treat people in the same way they want to be treated. Generous people treat people better than they expect to be treated. And wise people treat people in the way they need to be treated."

A grand concept. A wise practice. A circular truth. Because if there is truth in the old saying, "What goes around comes around," everything we do will come back to us at some point in time, in some way.

The ability to choose. Your deeds or acts determine your life. Cause and effect. Supply and demand. Good begets good. Kindness begets kindness. You reap what you sow. By their fruits shall ye know them. Choices have consequences. Action and reaction.

These are all governing principles of life, eternal truths, unchangeable realities. Your action will cause a reaction which will cause yet another action. Your choice will have a consequence which will cause yet another choice. It's the process of living. Every thought, word, and action matters and will determine our next thought, word, and action.

Karma. In Hinduism, everything that we have ever thought, spoken, done or caused is Karma; as is also that which we think, speak or do this very moment. Karma is not punishment or retribution but simply an extended expression or consequence of natural acts. Karma is not fate, for humans act with free will creating their own destiny. The conquest of karma lies in intelligent action and dispassionate response. (Wikipedia)

Free agency. In Mormonism, "The privilege of choice which was introduced by God the Eternal Father to all of his spirit children in the premortal state"; mortal life is viewed as a test of faith, where our choices are central to the Plan of Salvation. The LDS faith teaches that we will be held accountable for our actions; we will be judged by God based on a combination of our faith and works. (Wikipedia)

Free will. Other Christian denominations differ on their doctrine relating to free will and choice and eternal life. Some believe in predestination, those who will be saved were chosen before they came to earth. Some believe in conversion, those who convert to their religion and live by their doctrine may be saved. Some don't know.

One thing is certain. Hope springs eternal. It's in every religion, in every individual. Hope that tomorrow will be a good day. Hope that life is of value and importance. Hope in the future for our children. Hope that there is more to life than approximately 75 years. Hope that there is a God, a higher being. Hope that truth will prevail.

Concentric circles. Chakra.

Birth to death to rebirth. Eternal life.

Mothers having babies who become mothers having babies who become....

Does it ever end? Not if it's spherical or cyclical in nature or shape.

And we celebrate the eternal capacity of life, the cycle of life, the interlacing and overlapping circles within it through symbolism.

Think of the Olympic logo.

And wedding rings. A continuous band, an eternal round.

Remember that history repeats itself.

And life is a merry-go-round.

On and on and on...round and round we determines tomorrow, yesterday determined today, tomorrow determines eternity and eternity determines every day.

No wonder I am dizzy....

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