Half and Half
Yes this talk is about “Half and Half.” The discovery of “Half and Half” (half milk and half cream) poured over my cereal changed my view of breakfast. Now I am not sure that it is really half and half. Maybe there is more milk than cream. It is difficult to tell, because it is homogenized. It is not like raw milk, where the cream separates and rises to the surface. It does not separate. I want to share my view of Half and Half because it applies to my Spiritual Journey.
That is, when I say Half and Half I mean: Half Human and Half Devine. And just like the Dairy product, I am not sure if it is really equally divided. And it never seems to really separate. It can appear that way. That is, sometimes I like to believe that my Devine nature has risen to the surface. But then Ego reminds me that my Human nature is alive and well. Or as I once heard in meditation, “The Ego never sleeps.” In a number of ways, I have found Half and Half to be a useful concept.
It is important to pay attention to what is happening in my life because this is one way that Spirit speaks to me.
Pastor Bill Comfort’s talk last week reminded me that there is a relationship between what is in our lives and GOD. And that what is happening can be similar for many of us. Similar, but different. Pastor Comfort’s approach is that by sharing we can gain insight into a bigger picture. This is one reason that I come to this Church. To pay attention to my Spiritual Half, the part of me that is Devine.
Recently I heard an interview with a Spiritual Teacher. This was of interest to me because I am a Mystic and sometimes a Spiritual Teacher. This person had a certainly about their work that made me uncomfortable. They talked about some incredible things and some profound healings. But in an absolute way. Now I want to be clear that I appreciate people who have first hand knowledge and experience. People who are experts. But somehow there is a line between that and the way I heard this person. Perhaps like the line between feeling that someone is “helping me” or feeling that they are trying to “fix me.”
This experience continued to be in the back of my mind for several weeks. Not a surprise. An aversion to people who are absolutely certain, is something that has bothered me off and on for years. I also had a feeling that if I could figure it out, it would be a start on today’s talk.
Debra Clay gave a talk for our Church on Sunday, May 8. It was about Questions, Big Questions.
Debbie is a dear friend and I want to be sure that you don’t think that what I am going to say is somehow critical of her talk. Her talk was valuable for me. Debbie and I had a mutual friend, Rev. Richard Levy. Richard once said, “It’s not what I say that is important, it is what you hear.” And I would add, what you experience.
What I experienced was that Debbie’s talk was like a fireworks display. As I focused on the beauty or importance of one thing she said, another one would burst out, and then another. Each burst out so quickly that I forgot the previous one. Then suddenly I heard her say:
“The only certainty is that nothing is certain.”
That’s it! When I feel that someone is speaking from a sense of absolute certainty, that is what makes me uncomfortable. And then I realized, “Hey, it’s about me!” Debbie included this: What bothers us in others is what we don’t see in ourselves. So I need to be careful and Not be absolutely certain or judgmental of others. One way I do this is by using the phrase “Best Guess.” Often the direction or thought that I have is really my “Best Guess.”
Ah, that is the Devine or Spiritual Half! What about the other Half? I realized that when this person spoke about amazing healings, I felt a little envy. I find it really rewarding to be part of a healing. Since hearing about this gave rise to an emotion (envy or jealousy) it came from my Human side, from Ego. (Remember, emotions primarily come from Ego.)
For me, Debbie’s talk was esoteric. You may not know what esoteric means, and actually I am not sure I do either. But when writing of my work, I make the bold statement, “ (my) skill lies in taking complex esoteric information and making it simple and practical.” So I should be able to do that with Debbie’s talk:
Here are some concepts that help me and how I might apply them to Debbie’s talk:
1. The first concept is Half and Half. That is, we are both Human and Devine. We seem to be homogenized. So no matter how Spiritual I am feeling, no matter how much I remember that I am Devine, I am still here in a body. That means I am Human. Debbie listed a number of paradoxes. A paradox is something that seems to be contradictory, or I like to think of it, an either/or. A paradox is either this or that. when I remember Half and Half, I can understand how two opposing possibilities can both be true. For example, do we die or do we have eternal life? My Human half will certainly die. My Devine nature can be eternal.
Consider how much time we spend focused on our Human side; how much time we spend in the physical dimension reinforced by our five physical senses. How much time do we focus on our Devine side? For me it is very lopsided. That is why Half and Half is so important. I once spent weeks planning and arranging my first Vision Quest. The actual Vision Quest was five days, a number of them totally by myself. It was a significant event. And what did I hear? What did I learn? “I am fooled by the Physical.”
Think of the power of time, emotions, physical appearance, and of course Ego - the opinion that we have of ourselves. One way to reduce that power is to remember Half and Half.
I used to think of progress as transforming my human self into a spiritual being. Now I think of progress as remembering that I have a Devine nature. Remembering Half and Half.
Like me, you may often forget or, as Rev. Richard Levy would say, “My Human self stomped on my Devine self.” Remember what the Buddha said, “It is not how often we forget that is important, it is how quickly we remember.”
2. The second concept is Timing. When I took my first meditation class there were books for sale. I bought a book titled, Color Healing. When I tired to read this book, it did not make sense. It was gibberish. I kept the book on a shelf for decades. When I happened to notice it, I would look through it and it always was gibberish. Then one day when I picked it up, what I read was perfectly clear. It made perfect sense! The next day I told Kay that it made perfect sense and she was amazed. I picked the book off the shelf and proceeded to read a section to her. It was gibberish. This taught me that results can depend on me and Timing, not on what I am focused on.
Debbie mentioned a number of important concepts. But for me, it might not be the right timing. So I don’t need to understand or remember each one. Just pay attention to the ones that jump out at me.
3. The third concept is one that I learned doing Income Taxes. I was struggling to complete my Federal Income tax and was really unhappy. One of my engineering friends noticed this and said, “That may be because you have the wrong expectations. Start out believing that taxes are not logical, and not fair. Just learn the rules and follow them. I did this and found peace. Assume the same thing about the Human Half. Assume this about Life. That it is not logical, and that it is not fair. When I remember this, I can find peace.
Assume this about the concepts, the paradoxes that Debbie listed. They may not be logical and they may not be fair.
4. The fourth concept is that progress generally consists of two steps forward and one step back. When I am taking the two steps, I am happy and content. Then I am often surprised when I take a step backwards. When something goes wrong. If I focus on this, if it becomes my reality, I can get very discouraged. Remembering that a step backwards is part of progress can bring me back into balance.
We don’t need to understand or remember all of the concepts, all of the paradoxes Debbie mentioned to make Progress.
5. The fifth concept is that Music & Sound can be magical. For me, this is where the didgeridoo fits in. The sound of the didgeridoo can be unexpectedly magical.
It seems to me that the important part of Debbie’s talk was that by transcendence, that is moving beyond the physical, we can see how the either/or of a paradox can be both. And once we have achieved transcendence, the easier it is to return to it. When Debbie said that Mystics seek to transcend, that caught my attention. Hey, I’m a Mystic. So how do I Transcend? How do I move my awareness from my Human Half to my Devine Half?
The answer is by using the fifth concept: Music & Sound. One song that can do that for me is Amazing Grace. One sound is the didgeridoo. It can help me Transcend from the Human Half to the Devine Half.
Meditation: Tomorrow is Memorial Day. A time to honor and be grateful for those who are gone. I think that the empty spot at the family table is more real to us during this time of the Covid Pandemic. So may we be grateful and also forgive. Let us honor those who are gone as well as forgive and seek peace with a moment of silence.
I am going to play the Crystal Didge. For me, this didgeridoo tends to help me transcend time, which is the physical. The deep unchanging sound of a didgeridoo can also help me transcend the physical and become more aware of Spirit.
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