Thursday, December 22, 2005
A few days ago I got an email from artist Andrew Gonzalez appreciating my websites, so I checked out his website at www.sublimatrix.com. Very nice paintings, he’s a friend of Alex Grey and in that tradition, with extra goddess energy for depicting angelic beings. Dakinis he calls them (do dakinis wear bikinis? I will ask). He’s very sympatico with my values, being into dreams in a big way. So I’m packing last night for San Antonio, skimming his bio, and it jumps out at me. He’s 8 days older than me and lives right near where I’m going for the holidays! Any other time of year would not have worked out like this. So with a quick email back and forth, it’s confirmed that my wife and I can look forward to meeting him and his partner right after Christmas.
This reminds me of the time when my wife and I were going to San Francisco a couple years ago. A few weeks before, it pops into my head for some reason to look up the independent mystical films of Antero Alli, a name I’d heard before. Yes, great stuff I see, and he lives near San Francisco. I send him an email and yes, he’ll be around to meet me. In fact, he rarely shows his films but he’ll be showing a great one, "Under a Shipwrecked Moon", in SF the week that we’ll be there. So we had a fine time visiting, and he’s been one of my personal heroes ever since, to encourage me in the filmmaking direction.
For years I facilitated a Mystical Experiences Discussion Group at the Cambridge Swedenborg Chapel. That discussion group is on hiatus now, likely to be revived, but it led to the ongoing Mystical Art and Talent Shows. Anyway, that group was very cool for being a crossroads of synchronicity introductions. For example, my now (always?) friend Marjie had a voice whisper in her ear one day at her computer, “type Swedenborg”. She did and found my website, so she went to the group and consequently helped me lead it with her improv meditations (where do you want to go today?).
Last night while driving home I was sorely tempted to call in to National Public Radio. “On Point” with Tom Ashbrook was discussing the week’s Philadelphia court decision that decisively branded intelligent design as creationism in false science drag, so keep it out of the classroom. A lot of people were gloating, and a few were making the intelligent observations that there’s no real reason why science and theism are at odds, just keep the definitions clear. I wanted to say look, why is everyone so quick to assume that studying God isn’t science, isn’t that how science started? Ok so hard science took the lead, and that’s probably right on, because people wanted to stay sheep in God and church so much that science had to put more power and responsibility into people’s gadget-hungry hands. Technology doesn’t make God obsolete; any good scientist should be able to combine their awe of nature with a scientist’s open mind and a human’s open heart to say yes, something like God is in our past and our future.
I applaud the (perhaps unintended) direction of intelligent design – to restore God to science for a new working relationship with the Divine – and I find the extreme atheist scientists who ridicule the extreme dogmatic Christians to be equally fundamentalist and non-representative of a moderate majority. The Philadelphia decision was soundly reasoned by a conservative judge who seemed to encourage everyone to just keep respecting and understanding the other side(s). That’s good bridge building in my book. So all you theists are on notice to study your science and catch up. Humanity needs real theories, with real testable hypotheses. Not this subjective inverse argument, well I think science doesn’t explain it all therefore by default my untestable beliefs do. No, we need something like, if God is omnipresent and metaphysical, we should be able to measure important connected effects that have no known physical causality.
And guess what, such experiments for a connecting metaphysical force are being done! Check out the Global Consciousness Project, in which statistically impossible deviations from the norm in worldwide random number generators are being measured around major world events, good and bad. Such demonstrations, if widely recognized, could push science to bring the quantum world up to a macro level at which people may be the co-creators with a God force, like mystics have always said they are. Of course, such a God science will probably be too occult/New Agey and non-denominational for the fundamentalists who want not just a God, but their God, wielding their rules, and with a big stick. Sorry. But the moderate majorities should be ready for such things.
What would a future of God science look like? A scifi world of awesome mental control over body and matter, a kind of manifested cyberspace? That sounds scary, too anarchistic. I don’t actually believe as did Aleister Crowley “do what thou wilt is the whole of the law”, I believe more like “do the law of the whole or wilt”. Would good traditional spiritual ethics be prerequisite to wielding the powers of a God science? Hmmm, are they now? I am to this day most intrigued by a prediction that the channeled entity Lazaris made: one day science will prove that God exists, but it will never proves that God cares. In other words, love will always go beyond. Interesting, but if scientific evolution favors a species that has the nurturing to care for itself and its planet enough to survive, then maybe love will be built into the creators of science by the very rules of their dispassionate science, and the point will become moot. What survives, loves. The bigger the survival, the bigger the love, and God’s the biggest of them all.
One thing is for certain, the human race can look forward to increasing power. People want to create their own reality, even if they’re not ready to look at how maybe they already do. I don’t yet know how synchronicities work like the emailing of strangers just in time to meet and become new friends, but clearly this is a power that can and will benefit everyone in the ways of both love and science. Imagine a world where problems don’t have time to become problems before they are seen as invitations, and that knock at the door is the new friend bearing just the right solution that we were only just beginning to become aware of needing. No problems, only friends. Now that’s a power we all could learn to live with, and maybe even learn to study, understand, and scientifically expect.
Sunday, December 18, 2005
The Broken Robot Prayer
I had a dream that my boss -- whom i admire for what he gets done, what with founding a good little company and all -- I dreamt that my boss sent me to the robot factory to get a broken part replaced. I had to get off of a train at a nowhere stop and walk across a field. Some nice young people met me at the factory and told me I had to wait for the new part. In the meantime, they treated me to some tasty little ice cream scoops.
I'm having difficulty juggling my time and goals, I'd like to get more done. I get anxiously off track sometimes, in the middle of nowhere. I ate tasty little ice cream scoops last night as I stayed up too late trying to write after getting together with some friends. Staying up so late throws me off for the next day, in my quest to do my full day's schedule of goals (acronym: DEWCMARF)
Please God, replace the broken peace in my broken robot. I'm the boss, and I'm the broken robot. I'll be patient, I will wait. I'll seek to enjoy your creation, including friends, and the tasty little ice cream scoops.
-- Carl Schroeder 12/18/2005--
Saturday, December 17, 2005
Potential and Destiny
But will I stay on a good track today?
That's my life's story, feeling lots of potential, but fluctuating in focus and will. I exercise for the full 20 minutes of DEWCMARF (that's my daily goals acronym, see the first blog entry). Suddenly I'm spontaneously singing to the tune of "You make me so very happy" by Blood Sweat and Tears, only the words are different to be silly and slightly disguised: "You make miso, from soybeans, you make tofu, from soybeans too." See, it's easier for me to channel satire, I've still got that ego layer that wants some emotional distance from the message (for distancing is why dreams can be frustratingly disguised in so much symbolism, but as you mature in doing your potential you get clearer deams and even direct conversations with spirit guides). Plus humor helps the medicine go down. After singing the song and crediting my cleverness (I could sell jingles to whole food stores! no wait, I don't want to sell jingles to whole food stores) then I realize, ah that wasn't just me, that was my spirit singing, and the original words are about how I've made myself so happy and entered more into my life, just by doing my daily exercise goal!
So I'm hopeful to stay on a good track today.
Maybe it's because I'm 42. That's why I'm picking up in focus and experiencing more destiny. I know there's that Douglas Adams satire "Life the Universe and Everything" in which the answer to the meaning of life is 42. That's not what I mean, though Mr. Adams' frenetic imagination probably often tapped into deeper truths.
I mean 42 as in 6 times 7. I believe that life proceeds in cycles of seven years. I didn't say it first, but I've observed it to be true enough to work with. Life isn't meant to be stressful, it's supposed to be easily progressive. But people push each other to act older than they're ready, and then they react younger then they should, and that's why so many people never grow up and remain confused, non-present, and non-actualized. But to recap in my own words, I think a good life goes roughly like this:
0-7 years: dependency and first growth, not expected to be very responsible or even self-aware (childhood play and needs)
7-14 years: growing into an adult's body with a child's mind, imitation and group identification (high school, puberty)
14-21 years: learning about the world, preparing for life on your own (college and moving out, working)
21-28 years: experimentation and travel (variety in relationships and jobs)
28-35 years: discovering preferences and expressing identity (talents and hobbies, best relationships)
35-42 years: building your unique life (settling down, marriage, home)
42-49 years: applying your potentials (self-confidence, talents, second careers, midlife crises if off-track)
49-56 years: wisdom in action (not sure best way to say it yet... probably spiritual actualizations...)
I turned 42 a little before Halloween this year, so I looked to that time for turning point (the pagan new year, when the spirit and material worlds are bridged). Not that I've been particularly off-track in life thus far, but you know how you can watch the years go by in the lackluster of someday-whens and if-onlys. I find the trick is to keep lists of goals and options that balance your life needs and talents (exercise, relationships including time with the self, job, finances, eat light, sleep well, dream well). Especially include the sore points, those things you've been putting off. And then chip away every day. You'll know you're on track if you experience initial frustrations and resistances, then increasing well-being and more rapid successes (or at least instructive failures).
Plus amazing dreams.
I've had certain recurring dream characters and locations for much of my life. But I've usually romanticized them and begged them to fix my life for me. There's the dark-haired woman and the light-haired woman. There's a blond guy like me. There's a chinese lady who may be the dark-haired woman. There's parents and family, there's high school, there's my hometown, there's grandma's place. What do they all mean? I try to map them together by personality more than appearance, because faces change more than function in dreams. But decades later and I'm still mostly dreaming I'm in my childhood town.
But in the past few weeks, and in parallel with how much I do or don't succeed in a well-rounded focus for the day, I've been having perfectly sequential dreams of meeting the old characters in the old places, now talking with them, finding out who they are, and when we're done, leaving the old places forever. One night I cried because I was moving out of my parents house forever. Another night I went with the dark-haired woman to her fantastic home planet, where she's a playwright like me. Another night, the light-haired woman and I attended an old souls seminar, where there were lectures on past lives and soul stages. I did my keep-on-truckin' glide there, which was fun - I usually can't fly in dreams, but I can lean back and glide without walking, so believably that I wake up and am surprised that I can't do it here in the physical.
Anyway, I say these things to share my taste of what it is like to track life and its meaning for the intention of increasingly focussing potential and destiny. Life just seems to be very participatory. I can't complain that it isn't there for me as long as I'm not there for it. When I committed to relationships years ago, I found good partners leading to my present soul-mate wife. When I committed to the day job, I found the best one to enjoy. And so on.
This month, I fully committed to writing a movie review every day for my movie reviews website - before that, I'd been on-again off-again. This week I get unprecedented feedback with not one but two directors emailing me about how much they appreciated the reviews: Carlos Atanes in direct response to my new post for his film "FAQ", and a few days later out of the blue, filmmaker Paul Yates, friend of the musician Moby, finds my older post for his short "Space Water Onion". Paul likens his works to messages in bottles tossed into the world, and he was so excited at how much I'd gotten this one that he sent me a new script to review. So technically I'm now a script consultant! This is an energy boost for my own story and screenwriting career, which is still on-again off-again, but when I fully commit I'm gonna soar (I've had a lot of dreams showing me this, along with reminders to write every day).
I'm glad I wrote this blog entry, to better sandwich the last one which was more moody and reactive (about politics). Such is life, rich with ups and downs, but if you ever again pick yourself back up then you will find your way. There is a way, there is a plan, for everyone, that much I do believe. In fact, when I committed myself to that belief years ago, things started to get way way better.
your friend with another message in a bottle,
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Coping with NPR and World News
This morning, the things that set me off were:
The trade imbalance = the high cost of low price! When are people going to learn that the highway to hell is paved with lowest bidders? Buy in your watershed!
The execution of Stanley Tucci Williams = if a former gang member, now children's story writing peace advocate, nominated 5 times for Nobel Peace Prize (Bush was nominated only once) doesn't qualify for a reformed life worth keeping, then who will? We're not even talking setting him free here, just let him live in prison and keep writing peace books. But he's black, he's a convict, and the governor who wouldn't stop the execution is a cool white guy who only played a terminator in the movies, so I guess the lines were clear enough to those in power?
Global Warming = the Canadian Prime minister practically begging the United States to sign on to help stop the destruction of our planet, but the Bush administration, helming the most polluting and fragile - needy and needed - consumer nation on the planet, still prefers to think that more not less business as usual will magically solve every problem. Tax cuts for the rich, welfare cuts for the poor! If he wants to help the economy, wouldn't tax cuts for the poor who need to buy things every day pump more money into the consumer economy faster than rich white guys already sitting on their piles of cash and long-term investments?
Stuff like that, pushes me over the edge... (remember this is an edgy blog, views from the edge and all that, you know)
Sometimes I just want to make a speech from the top of America (oops, sorry Canada and Mexico and others, I meant just the United States) and say to the rest of the world, HELP! WE STILL LOVE YOU! Please remember that we're such a good country of good people. We've simply been hijacked by the blind and the greedy, don't forget the revolution within!
But then I remember the scandals and crap that other countries also get into, and I realize oh yeah, it's the fear-driven trouble-makers in every nation and every era that have gotten us into these messes. Probably the same reincarnating bad apples over and over. Reminding us we all need to monitor the fear-driven behaviors in ourselves. Judge not lest ye be judged, I create my own reality, let the dead bury the dead, don't have a cow man. So I seek not to damn anyone, as would damn my damned damning fundamentalist isolationist compatriots... oops... did it again.... om shanti om...
Of course, I love it when NPR has good news, which isn't often enough, because they may be more intelligent but in their own way they aren't less sensational than any other news outlet. I loved one show I heard about Portland Oregon, how that progressive city, now Kyoto compliant, proved that economic gains can go hand in hand with global warming reductions. How? By better urban planning, more mass transport, more recycling, more alternative energy sources, more anti-pollution industries, more nature tourism, more support of people and quality of life... the list goes on. All good things come together. Of course that's true, how else would anything exist? Nature is a symphony of symbiosis, get with the program man!
Ok, here's my vision of the future. I'm not just a raving ______ after all (lunatic, liberal, curmudgeon, mystic, new age misanthrope, idealist, you fill in the blank). I'm pragmatic and spiritual, qualities which frankly go together after all. Everyone comprehends this sooner or later.
Someday soon, all the people who live by domination (that's the art of taking, bullying, neglecting, and non-cooperating) will hit a dead end. The world's problems will be too big, and their minds will be too small. Panic, paralysis, not the end of the world but the end of the world-enders. That's when the meek will inherit the earth. No, not with the return of Jesus on a spaceship, but by the return of a real humanity (which may yet be associated with Jesus in the spaceship). We've got billions of people on this planet who are not part of the dominating power elite (for want of a better term), and these billions are not just a burden of hungry mouths either. Hello, we're talking human beings, the jewels of planet Earth's creation here! Billions of humans with superior hearts and minds are going to step forward. Not super-humans, just superb humans, like you and me and everyone. People who already have been saving the planet, they just don't make the headlines, society hasn't reached that tipping point of recognition yet. But people - ordinary, spiritual, bridge-building, hope seeing people - do have the ability and willingness to solve all the problems in the world today. Think global, act local, grassroots, channeled solutions, great minds think alike, caring, loving, with a willingness, an insistence, to save the planet now and forever.
Yeah I know it's generalized and idealist, but it's just one blog entry for one day, you know? Give me a break.
Mark my words, the salvation of humanity by humanity has already happened countless times on smaller scales, and it's going to happen more obviously globally soon, and well before it's "too late", and certainly before Jesus has to return in His spaceship to judge all the sinners in the apocalyptic frustrated frightened fundamentalist imagination.
So stayed tuned to World Events, and keep integrating that which outrages you, until you touch the hope again.
This has been Carl, broadcasting from the UFO with the Jesus Buddha*, over and out
(* it's symbolic, dude. The UFO is your Soul and God, Jesus is your human spirit. Reclaim your religious heritage, have fun with it, don't let the fundamentalists sour you to your own mythic mystic human full potential!)
Monday, December 12, 2005
The Mystical Carl Blog
It's about time I write a blog. There's all these people writing blogs just to talk about nothing, which of course becomes something if you talk about it in an interesting way. So you'd expect that someone like me, who does some interesting things and has some interesting opinions, would want to talk about nothing too, maybe even in an interesting way. That would be something, right?
So what am I, a legend in my own mind? Sure, why not. Isn't everyone? Personal mythologies, reinventing the self, it's the postmodern way to be.
The trick is to do your self-promotion in a healthy way. You want to be interesting, maybe even eccentric, or what they call intense. Positive is nice. But be edgy too. If you're on the edge, well then the blog is edgy. And edgy sells.
That's the appeal of blogs. Is this guy for real (yes I'm a guy), or is he going to reveal inappropriate dark secrets in his delusions of gradeur, exploding in some kind of reality TV confession breakdown? Oooh, what if. The tesion builds, the paparazzi swarm, the flashbulbs flash... or maybe that's just a migraine.
Who I am becomes revealed in the reading of the blog. Just jump into someone else's mind, mid-stream, sink or swim, that's the appeal of blogs, right? Kinda edgy reality journal stuff.
So I'm a 42 year old mystic, which means I seek direct experience of stuff like God, or dreams, or dreams of God. What's the difference anyway? See, I'm already asking the profounder questions. This is going to be one edgy blog, I'm telling you.
I do search engine software for a living, and for further living I write stories and essays and movie reviews and run spiritual art shows at a church founded in memory of an 18th century Swedish scientist and theologian (they don't have to be mutually exclusive you know) who talked to angels and devils. Swedenborgianism is a mystical Christian church that most people have never even heard of and fewer understand, which is just the kind of thing a mystic would find appealing. Or a misfit, poet, scientist, loony, and/or artist. Any one of whom might write an interesting blog, if they had the chance.
So here I have my chance to write a blog, and I'm taking it. Lucky me, lucky you.
Today is Monday and I wrestle with my DEWCMARF. What's a DEWCMARF? People laugh, which is fine, it's supposed to sound funny.
DEWCMARF is my latest acronym for a daily sequence of character building goals, the selection of which further reveal my personality.
Are you ready?
D is for dream journaling (no problemo, i remember my dreams every day)
E is for exercise/meditation (i close my eyes and pedal on an exercycle for 20 minutes max. hey, that's enough.)
W is for writing stories (weird stories)
C is for chores/work (weekdays that equals my day job)
M is for a movie review (there are thousands of weird movies that most people have never heard of, so i figured someone should review them)
A is for adoption steps (my wife and I are adopting a baby soon)
R is for relationships (hanging out, talking, making friends - these come easy for me, I'm a gregarious networker type)
F is for finances (and it all starts with paying the bills)
So now it's late at night. I don't know where writing a blog fits into DEWCMARF. But heck, I wanted to start the blog today, because it's been a pretty good day. Getting chilly here in the northern latitudes. Day job fine, home life fine. No paparazzi, please.
I particularly enjoyed writing a sassy movie review today for a neat short film called "My Chorus", about a guy whose inner voices manifest in four part harmony. I was also happy to get an email from Barcelona director Carlos Atanes saying how much he appreciated yesterday's review for his outstanding arty dystopia film "FAQ".
Daily movie reviews are posted on my website at www.MysticalMovieGuide.com which I started a few years ago around the time producer Stephen Simon wrote a book promoting Spiritual Cinema. For me, I've been doing Mystical this-and-that projects for years, and movie reviewing has been a great way to study contemporary story telling, which is cinema, and to work up the courage to make my own films. Films that are to be made after I write the stories for them, of course, which is happening. Weird stories that I call ConFi, or Consciousness Fiction. More on that later, or check out this link now if you must.
Welcome to my world world world world!