Wednesday, February 03, 2010

70th Post In My 70th Year: Reviewing

In my 70th year I am now posting my 70th entry and this is a good time for review and reflection

It all started four years ago with my first post in which I shared a dream. In that dream there was the ocean which changed from just being out there to threatening to engulf me and overwhelm me. In rereading it, i see it as a "sea-change" dream in which my unconscious, if you are comfortable with that word, was wanting to get my attention and to do that by getting up close and personal in a rough and tumble way. There was no specific content in it (other than the buoy and the man next to me) and I take that to mean that it was a general statement of change and that "it's" not wanting to wait any longer.

That post then went on about the process of reclaiming my life and the simple guideline I used to go about doing that which was captured in the dictum: "I will rush no more!"

After that first posting I moved about through a number of different topics. Looking back on them now, I see a pattern or a flow to them which on reflection is speaking to my "journey." I'm pleased to discern this pattern because I didn't want this blog to just become a random process of chats to myself and others.

I talked about consumerism, damage to the planet, oil addiction, big changes 'acomin, what-if scenarios, doomerism, a dream or two, mindfulness, shiftings and purpose. That's the top layer that, to me, manages to outline part of my journey over the past four years. Those of you who have been following this blog, and my comments on other blogs, know that it is not just a recitation of events, of the ilk that I did this and then I did that, etc. Imbedded in many of the postings is material which speaks to my narrative. That narration speaks from my life more recently, essentially from the point of taking that vow, of "I will rush no more!"

Staying with that "simple" guideline has had powerful effects in my life. It helped to recognize the treadmill, the mindless maintenance of habit patterns, the "fitting in," and many other ways that the "system at large" maintains itself through conditioning and expectations, real and implied. With those insights, which were not new to me, but they were fresh and had more depth this time around, I was aware that insight without appropriate and helpful action is not really all that valuable. It would lead to a "thought envelope" which in its separation from the whole doesn't really plump up the experience of the journey.

And just briefly, I am again reminded that anyone who directly defies the maintenance of the dominant culture puts themselves in harms way eventually. That choice may be a worthwhile one, but it's best to choose it while being in a context of being awake, aware and alive.

The transitional strategy which has been helpful has been to discontinue purchasing daily tickets to maintenance of old patterns if unproductive. That opens a portal for moving attention and energy to more wholesome and meaningful activities. In doing that it creates a different energy which has a different resonance and, it is in that resonance field, that new pathways are laid down within and without.

Therein lies the initial challenge. Once you withdraw energy from the previous pattern, you have to find something else for that energy. There are endless distractions and enticements in the world which are clammoring to be fed from your energy. But everyone of them will continue to foster something which is counterfeit. What keeps coming back is the importance of the understanding of the "within," the more authentic by virtue of direct experience and verification.
If I may, one of the goals is to move within and connect with original beginnings, our own song, and universal themes and not get caught in the unfinished business of personal history. That involves a courageous taking of personal inventory of thoughts, words, and deeds for the purpose of removing the knots, the blockages, the injustices, etc., which all impede growth and openness. The 12 step traditions all speak of taking, at the appropriate time, a fearless and searching moral inventory. Great wisdom there for those on the journey.

Anything short of that will eventually fall flat on its face. There is so much here in this process but this was to be a short review.

To complete this for today, the last several postings have largely centered around mindfulness, and purpose and shiftings. The guideline of the personal choice "I will rush no more!" remains, but there is also a quickening.

Two other things that I have noticed in reviewing the past postings. First, the number of postings per year has dramatically shifted in quantity. Year 1 = 20; year 2 = 30; year 3 = 12; year 4 = 7, and so far in year 5 = this will be number 1. This progression has been noted by other bloggers with their blogs, and is not surprising. Second, and this relates to #1, is that I have clearly made a decision to talk more personally, but yes I sure do get abstract, and am ever more clear that I am not interested in a rant of how messed up the world is, or posting what I think others will like, etc., but rather talking about these issues of growth, purpose, expression, journey, and personal mythology.

This will all also dovetail into a website which is currently being designed over the past several weeks, (and incubating for several months) and which will be called "Being Into The Journey."

Much more to come.

Isn't it interesting, the more I leave, the more I find myself coming back.


MojoMan said...

Yes, a bit abstract, but I'm trying. I'm hoping you will get around to firming things up a bit with some examples from everyday life.

Another thought: I've been thinking lately how it's much easier to stop "maintenance of the dominant culture" later in life when the economic and family responsibilities are not so pressing. I keep hoping a mass of young people will surge forward to redefine the dominant culture. I'm not holding my breath.

Paul said...

Tim, once again you've packed much of value into a few words. On first reading two items stood out. As I read your words a second time other things came forward -- "reclaiming my life" -- "journey" -- "quickening" -- "within".

The first attention-getting item was "anyone who directly defies the maintenance of the dominant culture puts themselves in harms way eventually. That choice may be a worthwhile one, but it's best to choose it while being in a context of being awake, aware and alive." I wonder if we can be "awake, aware and alive" without defying the dominant culture.

Best wishes for your journey in your 70th year!

SimplyTim said...


How about this for a specific from everyday life: I have gone in the direction of never going in the direction of trying to convince anyone of anything. It's specific guideline rather than a specific instance of when I was in this situation, I did this or that.

That shift in my life has had a good impact. It helps me to listen better and also it gives me "permission" (claimed by myself) to "speak my truth." If that's helpful that's fine. If it isn't, or if it hits a brick wall, so be it.

If there was a brick wall there already, any attempt to be forceful or to convince or actively sway will be met with more bricks and mortar. It's like getting into a political discussion with either a democrat or a republican and before you know it, neither of you are talking the same language, and neither is hearing anything fresh and based on that person's personal truth. Fugetit.

Re you comment about money and money issues and whether it may get easier the older you get... I think there's truth in that.

It's really an enormous topic. I think of Paul (see the comment under yours above for his blog) and his recent posting on propane and the company. He's been working towards realistic self reliance, i.e., as independent of the monthly services of big corporations which lead to a type of indenturedness across time and seems to be doing a fine job of it.

He offers through his actions a template which many could use: identify a goal, work towards it in continuing ways that all contribute towards attaining the goal, learn and exercise your skills as you are goinog along that journey, etc. But your point is well taken that it may be easier for those who are older.

On the other hand I think of stories of people who have gravitated towards areas where there seems to be a denser clustering of similarly minded people who are choosing a less materialistic way of life with better quality of life across the board. I think of parts of western Massachussets, Northeastern Vermont around Craftsbury Common, Bar Harbor, Maine, etc.

With others clustered around it has the added benefit of a community which supports a way of life which is not driven by pursuit of money for the purpose of...whatever. It can be particularly helpful for creating a network for the children so they do not feel like the "odd-ball family."

The other part of that is that there has to be a viable alternative and then a sustained motion towards entering that lifestyle.

You may also want to take a look at David Wann's book: Simple Prosperity, for a more extensive discussion of these topics.


SimplyTim said...

Hi Paul,

Thanks for your comments. On the money as usual.

When I look at my comment about the doninant culture, I realize that it's not just the dominant culture around us, but also the dominant culture in our minds and lifestyles.

To challenge that directly as in, for example, I'm changing my ways and I'm going to do that by shutting off the TV right now and throw it out, and I'm not eating out anymore, you put yourself in harms way for the great rebound effect.

Better to find something that is more worthwhile, ensconce yourself in that slowly but steadily and let that build it's own path. The transition is much slower but more powerful and it hardly stirs the pot; it's a strategy of easy goes it stealth.


SimplyTim said...


re the great mass of young people...

I came across this quote:

"Can we rely on it that a 'turning around' will be accomplished by enough people quickly enough to save the modern world? This questions is often asked, but whatever answer is given to it will mislead. The answer "yes" would lead to complacency; the answer "no" to despair. It's desirable to leave these perplexities behind us and get down to work."
-E.F. Schumacher


winnie said...

it's funny... after reading the book "three cups of tea" it made me think about which population is happier: the people from Afghanistan or the people from our society. we consider these people to be backwards in their ways. these people are mostly uneducated and are not considered successful in our world.i disagree with what we consider to be successful. the so called backwards people live together with their extended family in small villages and are close to their families, these people have built a strong foundation of family and community which can offer them the lifetime of support and love they have always known. they find their wealth from their communities and their families. they are unaware of the material things that do not get in their way from achieving happiness.
in our shallow western ways We are driven by money and the things that we can buy with our money. in our society, the person with the most and expensive things is the person who is the winner. is that person really the true winner? i am not so sure. in our western ways we teach our children to grow up quickly and make us proud by going to the best universities so that they can become successful in life. are they truly learning to live a fulfilled life? often,they are taught to leave their community when they choose a college and choose a job. families are often separated. Grandparents live in one state, parents live in another, and all the siblings live in different places from each other. we have lost the essence of family in the name of success and posterity. I'm not sure that we are richer then the poorest village in Asia, Africa, or the Caribbean. are we really able to compete with these people in our quest for happiness? i wonder how many of these so called backwards people are in therapy?

Ember said...

'Being into the journey' - I like that phrase!


Anonymous said...

Hey Mr. Hodgens,
just read some of your posts finally after jason told me you blogged a while ago. i see eckhart tolle is the author of one of your favorite books. ive actually watched him on youtube before.

SimplyTim said...

Hey Fritz,

Thanks for stopping by (my blog) and it was great to see you yesterday. I can see that you are flourishing in your new setting.

Matt and Andy had a great time seeing you also. Glad to see their teasing has decreased.

Eckhart Tolle has offered a great service to many. He is a bit dense at times, but if you stick with his explanations, the reward is there.

I also really liked The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.

Enjoy your time visiting with your family.

The Guy Next Door

Paul said...

Tim, Next Thursday will the the anniversary of your last post. I assume this means you have a birthday on or close to this date. Happy 71st year!