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Stranger In A Strange Land

October 13, 2009

Sometimes I feel like a foreigner, an alien, a fish out of water. I live my life in this world and feel like I don’t fit in. I want for a community, a place to call home, and I have a hard time finding it. Especially when it comes to the spiritual realm. I’ve tried to go the Christian route…and was kicked out for not accepting Jesus as my personal savior (Salvation comes from within, from the I Am, not through Jesus. He did his work, showed us the way to become what we can become, and gave us a guide and example to realize that. Now we should let him be and quit wanting him to do the work for us). I have delved into other faith traditions and always come up against the divisiveness of “Our faith is better, truer, purer, righter than your faith”. I have even gone as far as to find what I thought was a spiritual home only to find it caught up in the muck, mire, and distaste of power plays, heirarchies, and politics, the dogma-free zone of their proclamations becoming the dogmatic structure of their “philosophy”. This is to say nothing of political, economic, and social groups. It seems like every group becomes the self-interest group and that just doesn’t sit right.

I have tried on so many coats, so many groups, so many ideologies that I would often wonder if I was just non-committal or afraid. But upon intensive scrutiny I can honestly say that it is not that (forgive me Father if I have sinned in saying that). It just seems to me that the ego, the self-interest, the greed, infiltrates everything…EVERYTHING and it gets frustrating. It makes me want to retreat to the cave and meditate the years away in blissful light. But that is not what I, or anyone is here for. That was the old me that would rather not deal with it, the old “It doesn’t bother me, forget the rest. If they want to get caught up in the politics, the bullshit, the distraction, good for them. I’m happy.” But I’m not happy with that, and I am fooling myself if I think I am.

I want to see change in this world, I want to see the old divisions obliterated and transcended, I want to live in a community where we recognize our beautiful diversity and celebrate our true unity, a way of living where we truly love our neighbors as ourselves. That is what I want.

I am a stranger in a strange land, a traveler that sometimes feels at home, and sometimes feels utterly lost. I am the pilgrim that embraces the unknown and the newbie that is afraid to leave his hostel for fear of what is out there. And so I will embrace the stranger and what I bring, realizing that I don’t need to fit into a coat that is uncomfortable, that I have the ultimate power and choice to be in this world but of something different than what the world currently offers.

That scares the hell out of me to be honest. But it is also incredibly empowering. To not know exactly what is going to happen, but faithful in the wisdom that I have been here before, and when I have surrendered to my truest self that magic and miracle has been the outcome.

I am not a follower of a faith, a party, an ideology, or a philosophy, I am follower of my path, one strand in the fabric of the whole of life. That strand contributes in its own right, and I can make that strand strong, courageous, contributing, colorful, and allow it to be one with the whole.

I can do my part, and nobody else’s. And in that I can take solace. I might feel like a stranger, but I’m not. I am not a perpetual foreigner, but part of new way, a new land, a land that is not yet know or embraced, but feels wholly familiar and pretty damn good, like a new pair of Ugg slippers.  Because as great as my old Ugg slippers might feel, my wife keeps reminding me that I need to get rid of them. And she’s right, they’ve done their part, played their role, and as good as they might feel, the old ones (that now smell, have holes, and little wool left) absolutely pale in comparison to what a new pair will feel like.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. clarkscottroger permalink
    October 14, 2009 3:28 am

    Part of what I use (each day) as ‘affirmations’ (affirmation without the expectation of change) goes, ‘the world is a feeling, I am responsible for how I feel’.

    (The first part is borrowed from Castenada, the second from a friend’s encounter with a psychiatrist.)

    While I am inclined to remain in the ‘heck with the world, not going to let them spoil my day’ camp, the above statement is part of the larger belief that I create the world each and every day. And because I do, what I find today or any other day is something for which I am responsible. Not responsible for in the sense of ‘to blame’ but responsible more in keeping with the root word: ‘response’. (Perhaps the word ‘respondable’ would be more useful to convey the meaning).

    The source of, or model for the kind of world that gets created each day is a different discussion; the fact of (my creating) the world today is of value when I realise I am a part of the process, not just a respondent to conditions that I may encounter during the course of a day. And while I will propose that the world at large will change as a direct result of a change (within myself), the fact is that, how I am/feel/act/react in the process of living life today is very much an element in my life, my reality.
    I am not going to say, ‘you can’t spoil my good mood today because you are killing millions or are manipulating a culture to secure a small profit’. Today, if I am sucessful I will act in an immediate emotional environment that will view the happenings of man and society as part of the (current) natural order, without the weight of the past or the future.

    (Or something like that.)

    I appreciate the opportunity to ‘exercise at your place’ here. While the time I spend reading and replying is a small part of the week, the workout does me good.

    ‘for a different sort of perspective’

    • October 15, 2009 1:51 pm

      What you say is very true and very powerful – we do create our day, our world, within the reality of the elements of our life. Your affirmation is a great one to reorient, remind, and remember the *key point here* RESPONSIBILITY we do have for the feelings we embrace and bring to the table of life.

      As I think you have garnered now from exercising at this place, I am very big on personal responsibility and accountability, big on the fact that, while we are part of a collective whole, it is about each one of us individually within the fabric of that whole. What we choose within that whole (as part of the current natural order), while affecting and changing it, ultimately affects our individual sphere of existence (in a certain fluid stability).

      Another point you hit on that is very critical and has me exercising in my own right is that of the word response as a root of responsibility. Fantastic stuff. When I do spiritual advisement with others, I often stress the importance of response vs. reaction (how the true self responds versus how the ego reacts). That this is tied into reponsibility…it has me here with the “of course, how simple” thoughts, and I am once again being struck by the simplicity that I often see underlying the whole natural order of things.

      I greatly appreciate you exercising here, the workouts you give do a great bit of good.

      And thanks for putting up your link. I’m gonna throw it on my blogroll as it definitely does offer a different perspective (though I am not yet sure if I am a Clark, Scott, or Roger…).

  2. Melanie Chase permalink
    October 14, 2009 9:35 am

    Hey friend,

    You have put in words what I have felt my whole life. I have been there, done that…even bought the Tee Shirt at times. Well Hell, we have been there together at times walking the so called path of personal spiritual enlightenment. We were enlightened to many things, some of it good and some of it bad.

    We are alike in many ways. We will search and seek our whole lives to try to figure things out. We will find answers and find more questions. I really wonder if we are capible of change in that regard and I don’t think we would want to. I think my mission in life is to experience what I can that fits closest to what I am. I also think I am what I call a wool gatherer. I pick up a little information (wool) from a lot of places. I then clean it up and spin it to knit it to make it mine, to make it fit me. I have seen you do the same many times.

    I am now experiencing another chapter in my life with my spiritual growth. Some more experiences in what is out there. I am gathering more wool, but I have noticed…I am being more picky in the quality of wool I gather. Maybe you need to pysically find more wool to gather. Find more questions, find more answers
    But, in my traveling around I did have a revelation. A knowing of what my next step is to be. It will be a spiritual center, not a church. A place where people can come and experience and share who and what they are. They can gather wool if they want. They can come once or once a week. But yes there will be certian rules to be followed. Basically common sense

    • October 15, 2009 2:07 pm

      Hey Mel,

      First of all, thank you for participating in this site. We have traveled a lot of spiritual roads together and I am glad they are converging once again.

      Second, its true about the wool, what I guess I have always referred to as separating the chaff from the wheat in a personal way. For me, it is moving through the experiences and taking the seeds that will grow through my own nurturing to fruition, realizing that there is chaff that will need to be separated for the fruition to take place. The chaff is a vital part of that growth, and when it has served its purpose it is separated out (not mourned over or yearned over, just allowed to be let go). For me, it is also be aware of the seeds I choose to plant, not wanting to try and grow them all (which I have done), or saying screw the seeds, the lot of them (which I have also done at times), but recognizing the seeds that speak to my true nature and cultivating those (recognizing that those chosen seeds might not be tasteful or understood by others or even me at the time).

      Ultimately, it is accepting the seeds God gives to us, and having the wisdom to recognize them as well as the courage to grow them, regardless of how it might look at the time (or maddeningly NOT look at the time).

      I feel that I am back in that wool gathering space, that seed gathering and seed bearing state, after what has seemed like a prolonged exile (period in the desert).

      Onward and upward I say.

  3. Melanie Chase permalink
    October 14, 2009 9:43 am

    ok, ouch, hit the submit button by accident! But in a nutshell… I think you are a searcher who will always seek. Not just spiritual awareness but people who are like you. People who you can relate to. You are not alone, you just haven’t meet everyone like you. We need to get together and just all 4 of us shoot the shit.

    Take care friend

    • October 15, 2009 2:10 pm

      Woops! I am very curious to hear about your vision of a spiritual center. Looking forward to shooting that shit.

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