Human, All Too Human – June 14 2018

Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.
Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
We are spiritual beings having a human experience. The nature of having this human experience is that we will be drawn into behaviors, modes of thought, moods, that are less than we might expect of ourselves or want from ourselves. Maybe we have some physical issue troubling us. Maybe someone we love is ill. Maybe someone we love is having a hard time and they seem to be taking it out on us. Or maybe we’re just having an “off” day. But there are times when the inside of our head is like a bad parent or the old cartoon devil on the shoulder, talking smack about us or the people in the world around us.
As someone trying to live a “spiritual life” this can be disconcerting, even disappointing. It’s easy to think that nothing has changed, this practice of meditation and self-improvement just doesn’t work, or just doesn’t work for me. And then our next move might be to go ahead and eat the ice cream, have the drink, have the fight, give the dirty look, gossip. And now we’ve shown ourselves, indeed, we’re not the person we’re supposed to be.
In fact, the nature of the beast is just this: we will continue to behave humanly, because we are human. All too human. As we learn to accept our human-ness, we become able to see each of these episodes as simply one more opportunity to choose away from the idea and the experience of separation and toward the idea of oneness and universality. Away from judgment and toward love. We choose and we choose, again and again, and as we do so, we wear down the artificial barrier that seems to separate us from the truth of what we are until we more easily can choose, at least some of the time, this higher self and its behaviors.
We are not defined by the thoughts and impulses that may occur to us. We are defined by which of those thoughts and impulses we choose to feed and encourage. What we choose to be, what we choose to see, what we choose to express. And when I choose a different way of seeing myself and of seeing the world, I change the way I feel. I change the mood I’m in. I change the way I’m walking through the world, and I change the effect I’m having on all the people in my life. This is true power. Not by ignoring what’s going on inside of us and not by pretending to be more “evolved” than we’re actually feeling. But by taking ourselves on, without judgment, and choosing to move things in a different direction than they happen to be moving on their own.
This is true alchemy – transforming that which is of our lower nature into that which is of our higher nature. And as we transform ourselves, again and again, we transform our world. And the world of those around us.
Today I will choose to express love, I will choose to see love, I will choose to be love, even – and especially – at those times when it’s the last thing I want to do.
Capybara Skull, Paxton Gate, Valencia St., San Francisco, CA
All original material copyright © 2018 Jeff Kober