Tag Archives: soul

You Get What You Give

You Get What You Give
(New Radicals)

One, two
One, two, three

Wake up kids,
We’ve got the dreamers’ disease
Age fourteen,
We got you down on your knees
So polite,
You’re busy still saying please

Who when you’re down ain’t your friend
Every night,
We smash their Mercedes-Benz
First we run,
And then we laugh ‘til we cry

But when the night is falling
You cannot find the light (light)
You feel your dreams are dying
Hold tight

You’ve got the music in you
Don’t let go
You’ve got the music in you
One dance left
This world is gonna pull through
Don’t give up
You’ve got a reason to live
Can’t forget
We only get what we give

I’m comin’ home baby
You’re tops,
Give it to me now

Four a.m.,
We ran a miracle mile
We’re flat broke,
But hey we do it in style
The bad rich,
God’s flying in for your trial

But when the night is falling
You cannot find a friend (friend)
You feel your tree is breaking
Just then

You’ve got the music in you
Don’t let go
You’ve got the music in you
One dance left
This world is gonna pull through
Don’t give up
You’ve got a reason to live
Can’t forget
We only get what we give

This whole damn world
Could fall apart
You’ll be ok,
Follow your heart
You’re in harm’s way,
I’m right behind
Now say you’re mine

You’ve got the music in you
Don’t let go
You’ve got the music in you
One dance left
This world is gonna pull through
Don’t give up
You’ve got a reason to live
Can’t forget
We only get what we give
Don’t let go
I feel the music in you
Don’t let go

Fly high
What’s real can’t die

You only get what you give
You’re gonna get what you give
Don’t give up
Just don’t be afraid to leave

Health insurance rip off lying
FDA big bankers buying
Fake computer crashes dining
Cloning while they’re multiplying
Fashion shoots with Beck and Hanson
Courtney Love, and Marilyn Manson
You’re all fakes
Run to your mansions
Come around
We’ll kick your asses

Don’t let go
One dance left
Don’t give up
Can’t forget

(© Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Spirit Music Group)

God I love this song, especially the lyrics. It is so insightful and hopeful.

My comments on the lyrics:

  • We’ve got the dreamers’ disease: Those of us who are idealists at heart have the “dreamers’ disease” and it competes with the “Matrix” worldview that says, “This material world is all there is to life.” But the essence of life cannot be found in the Matrix. We are what we believe.
  • Age fourteen, we got you down on your knees: A reference to organized religion which institutionalizes the worldview offered by the Matrix.
  • You’ve got the music in you: Your soul is alive! It is the essence of who you are.
  • This world is gonna pull through…This whole damn world could fall apart; you’ll be ok, follow your heart: “The planet is going to be fine,” as George Carlin used to say. It’s survived for billions of years and, anyway, is not our true home. It’s just stuff – death with pry it from our fingers. Follow instead the ways of your soul.
  • You’re in harm’s way, I’m right behind; now say you’re mine: You cannot possibly fall out of God’s “hand,” no matter what you do.
  • What’s real can’t die: The introduction to A Course in Miracles states, “Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God.” You are real!
  • You only get what you give; you’re gonna get what you give: Karma baby.
  • Don’t give up; just don’t be afraid to leave: “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the Kingdom of the Soul.” (Luke 9:62 [my translation])
  • Health insurance rip off lying…: This stanza describes the noise/static that is constantly coming from the Matrix. It has always produced this static and probably always will. Ignore it. You are not “of” the Matrix. You won’t be living in the Kingdom of the Soul if your happiness/self-worth are based on what comes out of the Matrix.

The Mystery of Awareness (or Jesus & The Matrix)

“You have to understand that most of these people are not ready to be unplugged and many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system that they will fight to protect it.”
(The character “Morpheus” from the film The Matrix)

In Jesus-speak, what Morpheus essentially meant is described in the parable about four different types of soil:

A farmer went out to sow seeds. As he was scattering the seeds some fell along a path but the birds came and ate them. Some fell on rocky places where there wasn’t much soil. These seeds sprouted quickly but, because the soil was so shallow, the plants were scorched by the sun and the sprouts withered because they had no roots. Other seeds fell among thorns which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seeds fell on deep, rich soil and produced fruit. Those with ears should listen.

And, what it means:

There are some who hear the word of the kingdom of the soul but fail to understand it. These are the seeds that fell on the path.

There are others who hear the word and welcome it at once with joy, but their roots are too shallow and do not last. When difficulties arise, they fall away. These are the seeds that fell on the rocky places.

There are still others who hear the word but the worries of the world and the lure of riches choke the word and so the seeds produce nothing. These are the seeds that fell among thorns.

And finally, there are those who hear the word, understand it and produce fruit. These are the seeds that fell on deep, rich soil.

(Matt. 13:3-9 & 19-23 [my translation/paraphrase])

The farmer in the parable is God.

But when a person will begin to experience self-awareness in his/her life and what causes that awareness to emerge are mysteries.

What is Real?

NEO: This isn’t real?
MORPHEUS: What is real?  How do you define real?  If you’re talking about your senses, what you feel, taste, smell, or see, then all you’re talking about are electrical signals interpreted by your brain.
(From the film The Matrix)

This course can therefore be summed up very simply in this way:
Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God.
(From A Course in Miracles)

We are living in a virtual reality comparable to The Matrix. But it is not metaphorical.

We have no direct contact with the physical world around us. All sensory data we receive comes to us in the form of electricity, which is interpreted by the brain. Our mind controls the interpretation of the five dimensions of data it receives from our sensory receptors (i.e., the eyes, nose, ears, etc.). In other words, we perceive the “outside world” entirely in our minds. Our lives in the outside world are lived entirely in our heads. As the unchallenged interpreter of sensory input, the mind controls our perception of the physical world. Since we have only indirect contact with the physical world and there is no device available to calibrate our senses, we don’t know whether or not we are perceiving the “true reality” of the physical world at all. What do objects “really” look like “out there”? We don’t know.

It also follows that the mind can misperceive and can even create distortions; it can change the “scenery” – that is, our perception of physical objects – whenever it wants to. Examples: When we sleep, the mind shuts our senses down for the most part; the mind can “forget” sensory data during intense physical trauma, perhaps as a defense mechanism. And who hasn’t taken a sip of a drink — water for example — believing it to be something else, such as iced tea? Initially, the water will taste like iced tea until the mind catches up and adjusts.

In short, sensory perception presents us with a virtual reality that is extremely limited and unreliable.

The only certain knowledge we have comes from “inside” us – from the soul. And what the “voice of the soul” has to tell us is far more important than the virtual reality we are currently experiencing through the senses.

A Course in Miracles uses two terms to address this distinction: “perception” and “knowledge.”

Perception is inherently illusory because it is based upon the interpretation of sensory data by the ego, which is nothing more than a distorted set of beliefs that perceive the body as our ultimate reality and, therefore, limits our understanding of who we really are. Flowing from these distortions is our primary, erroneous belief that we are separate from God and from one another.

Knowledge, by contrast, is the reality that lies beyond The Matrix, beyond the world of sensory perception. But it can only be recognized by the soul, not by the virtual world of the senses. Knowledge reveals our true nature: we are one with God and with each other. “Sin is regarded as lack of love, or as a mistake calling for correction and love, rather than for guilt and punishment.”

Photographs Fracture the Soul

It’s eerie to me that so many people take so many photos of themselves with their phones and then post them and pin them, send them and exchange them with so many others in cyberspace. All of this “sharing” and yet the world is lonelier than ever.

And people covet their photos, keeping and editing the ones that highlight what they want highlighted and project what they want projected into the world.

Words, conversation are not apparently enough anymore; photos are better because a photo captures…

So I suppose words are outdated. Perhaps it’s because words worth uttering can sometimes take time to put together and there doesn’t seem to be much patience in the world anymore.

But all these photos, these images, fracture the soul. They leave thousands of tiny images of “us” scattered and stranded in the fiction of time. When we try to integrate this mosaic of images into “ourselves,” we see them for what they really are: nothing but images.

Photos of images made in the image of God, it’s true. But still just images. Not the original. There is no camera or copier that could possibly be constructed that could take an image of the human soul. Such an “image” would mean nothing to our eyes or to any of our other senses because there is nothing material to perceive.

Photos draw us away from our essence and back into the world of forms and images. Which is a place I’d rather be from.

Love is the Seed

My re-translation of the famous verses from 1 Corinthians 13 (the “Love Chapter”):

Love is patient and kind. It doesn’t envy or boast. Love is not self-seeking; it is not easily angered, keeps no record of past hurts and never delights in seeing others hurt. Love is the truth. It seeks always to trust and protect; it is always hopeful and inspirational. Love cannot fail or pass away unlike everything else in this world of forms. The more we love, the more it grows inside us eventually to perfection. We are taught – starting when we’re children – that love is modestly important in life, but as we grow in wisdom and love, we realize there is nothing more important. In the end, only love, and love’s fruit – trust and hope – remain. (1 Cor. 13:4-13 [my paraphrase]).

The growth of love inside us is mysterious and comparable to a seed. As Jesus is said to have commented: “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.” (Mark 4:26–29.)

Is the Kingdom Jesus spoke of simply love? Could it be appropriately referred to today as the Kingdom of Love?

Could it really be so simple?

For a New Friend

In his book, The Four Agreements, the great Mexican sage don Miguel Ruiz advises:

“Don’t Take Anything Personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.”

Today, I experienced the meaning and the truth of the sage’s words.

I recently made a new friend. Since meeting him, I’ve discovered that he struggles with some modern cultural demons that are well-known to me and to many others in our culture. And they cause him to do some crazy stuff – just like they’ve caused me to do throughout my life.

His mind is all over the place. Phone, text, email, post to the Internet, take photos, review your photos, share your photos on Facebook and other apps and by text and email, look at photos shared by others on Facebook and other apps and by text and email. Pause to speak with a human; now back to the phone.

Frenetic. He’s constantly attempting to multitask and, as a result, is: relentlessly stressed, chronically and deeply fatigued, unable to complete any tasks as well as he is easily capable of because he’s spread himself so thinly, and unable to sleep much because his mind won’t shut the hell up and let him.

And his emotions are constantly bouncing all over the place like a tiny ball bearing locked inside a thick, bouncy rubber ball. He’s got lots of drama in his life. His intimate relationships with women are characterized by fear – more specifically, the fear of abandonment – and he tends to attract women who are controlled by the same fear. The result is an endless cycle of worry, suspicion and accusations usually followed by a dramatic event like a break up and then reconciliation. And the cycle has repeated itself several times. He keeps looking in the same place using the same methods, but never finds what he’s looking for.

At times, he can say things that might sound hurtful, perhaps even mean. And this is where I learned my lesson.

I have a choice.

While it’s obviously important to try to understand the emotions and the intentions (if you can) being expressed by a person’s words and body language, I don’t have to take it all in. I can choose how I will receive my friend’s words regardless of his actual intentions. I can interpret them as angry, friendly, nosy, insecure, clingy, hostile, sad, mean, fearful, melancholic, withdrawn, detached – any dang way I want to. True, I can’t control what my friend says, but I can control how I’ll receive it and how I’ll respond to it. The bottom line is this: I can take his words as being offensive or as being inoffensive – it’s my choice. I control the effect his words have on me and, therefore, my reaction is my responsibility alone, not my friend’s.

In short, I can refuse to take what my friend says personally.

I can realize – as the sage advises us – that nothing my friend is doing is because of me. He is simply projecting his own truth, his own worldview, out there into the world because it’s all he knows. He’s just running on automatic pilot responding to stimuli like the rest of us. I can choose to allow my friend’s expressions of his truth – flying through the air like a hatchet aimed at my head – to hit me or I can exercise a little of my discretionary soul power to stand my ground and duck.

I choose to take my friend’s words impersonally. I don’t want to get hit by any hatchets, so I duck and avoid them.

Why would I do this? Why would anyone do this? Instead of ducking and looking up again for another blow, why not run away – put some distance between yourself and the person throwing the hatchets? In other words, get rid of him/her.

That part is easy for me to answer.

Friendship. I want to be a friend to others.

It’s a sad commentary on our culture, but I don’t know more than a few people who aren’t in desperate need of a friend (yes, I mean, per Webster, “overwhelmed with urgency and anxiety, to the point of losing hope”).

I can choose to be a friend.

I know what this person’s going through. I’ve been there. Hell, I’ve lived “there” all my life. I know what it’s like to be in that position – to be jostled to and fro like a cork on the ocean. I need a friend because I’m still in that God damned position today. (Hey, it is damnable in the site of God.) I’m suffering from the same ailments as he is.

My friend needs more hope. He needs a friend. He may not know it yet, but he needs somebody to stay and dodge the hatchets he’s throwing or he will never heal. Once my friend realizes that his shots are all missing the mark, he’ll probably get tired and drop his arms (double meaning intended). After that, perhaps we’ll both realize that we’ve each found a good friend and that we need each other.

Maybe two people will have a better chance of finding friendship than just one. Ya think? It seems so simple, yet no one seems to know it.

I know it now. Thank you, don Miguel Ruiz and my new friend for pointing the way out to me.

A friend. That’s what we all want. It’s definitely what I want. As humans, our lives and our healing seem to be somehow mysteriously bound together. We are soulfully symbiotic.

Besides, since none of my friend’s blows will hit me unless I let them – and I’m not going to let them – what’s the harm?

So why not be a friend.