ATTITUDE DEFINES YOUR LATITUDE

Attitude is everything. A positive attitude will get you through the bleakest of times lift you up and carry you forward. A bad attitude will stop you in your tracks, destroy everything that it touches and will spoil the milk and poison the water. It serves no one accepts our shadow and ego. In an attempt to protect it divides and creates derision and division.

What is an attitude but a feeling which transforms into an emotion that solidifies into a mindset, frame of mind, a point of view and a filter or lens in which defines how we interact with the world? The exterior world and our inner landscape.

If you have an open mind have a positive attitude are open to change and approach problems or challenges creatively you will most likely be happier more productive make friends easier are more productive and odds are enjoyable to be around. You are an optimist always seeing the glass half full and has learned to embrace the suck and make the most of a bad situation and know that this too will pass and realize that everything is temporary and take responsibility when you make a mistake. You always are able to rise above the fray and wrap your mind around a situation can put yourself in an others shoes to walk a mile or so and empathy just comes naturally.

If however, you have a closed mind are judgemental and have a bad attitude you don’t like change are fixed in your thinking and feel things will never change you most likely struggle to navigate through your work day get sick often you are constantly in a war of words with friends or family or co-workers and are difficult to be around and have a conversation with. You are a pessimist always see the glass as half empty run from a challenge have a short fuse think that you have the worst luck think things always happen to you are stuck on the trivial issues and always looking to find fault and blame someone else for your mistakes. You probably enjoy wallowing in misery with or without company and takes refuge in indulging in name calling and cannot see an other’s point of view to save your life.

Now, you may be an admixture are some of this and some of that, or you may be clueless or mindless of the difference or turn a blind eye because you could careless or you are present and mindful and know sometimes you stumble and fall but pick yourself up without condemnation or quilt and just try harder the next time and live to fight another day. Perhaps you are just a wretched human being. If that is the case – it is never too late.

Start where you are because you are worth it. Open your mind and free it from the darkness of ignorance and to the light of curiosity and be interested in the world and people around you. Tomorrow is another day. Be grateful have a positive attitude and miracles will come and find you.  BECAUSE ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.

JEFF S TURNBULL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FLOWER OF THE FIRE

Birthed from chaos

Conceived to conspire

To destroy and disrupt

To drag down and mire

In the filth and the waste

Of human desire.

Found in the ashes

Fervent pulsing with power

Glistening in the sunlight

This star this radiant flower

Awake at the chasm

Could this be the hour?

That mankind awakens

And begins to correct

All the damage we’ve done

Can we become circumspect?

Or will we continue to shred

Our humanity as it dies of neglect?

Or will this flower

Grow and thrive

Or be bitter fruit?

As we struggle to survive

Or blossom new wisdom

To help keep us alive?

Days, eons, and epochs

Like seasons come and go

Boom and bust rain and rust

Seeds that die are sewn

Our eyes and hearts can see

But will our minds ever know?

That which we plant

We shall also sew

Will we ascend

Or continue to sleep?

Float to the surface

Or sink to the deep?

There will be a reckoning

We will destroy or create

If we do not seize the moment

Will it come too late?

The universe within us

Expands and extrapolates.

The impure and the righteous

And that which must be known

That which struggles towards the light

Digs in and searches for its home

The splendor of all there is

Is each of us to own

The flower of the fire

Is the sword in the stone.

JEFF S TURNBULL

 

 

MY WILL TO TRUTH

All week I have been vexed by a memory, from a past long forgotten. Two words appear on the marquee of the theater of my mind, words that defined my existence and shaped my formative years, yet I paid them no mind at the time. But subsequently haunted me like a daemon that was my genius; however, also my undoing. Two words that had I applied critical thinking could have changed the course and trajectory of my life. Two words if scrutinized could have been my salvation and the solution to the tenuous state of my mental health. Two words that I scoffed at when considered and disbelieved when I did, but two words until now were my undoing. These two words – Magical Thinking.

Years ago, during the dark times, I was sent to a vocational psychologist for a battery of tests. The outcome a confirmation of my diagnosis of being manic depressive, or more accurate Bi-Polar 1/depressive. In the Drs. report there was a comment regarding my magical thinking or superstitiousness. That term – magical thinking – has always stuck with me. Like a splinter in my mind, this term has at times caused me irritation and discomfort, especially in moments of doubt. Yes, I saw ghosts and heard voices, but I now know that this term can be applied to religiosity and the notion that a person is – Spiritual. For that is what I considered myself. I would never say the S word aloud. Just as I never spoke the word God aloud, not because I felt it was a sin or that I would rot in hell for all eternity, but because consciously I thought it was nonsensical, yet subconsciously I was a true believer.

The only truth is one that you can prove. The fact that I was suffering from delusions and was mentally unstable was a fact and irrefutable. It was an affectation of a diseased mind. The disease was the result of the faith virus.

Faith – the belief without evidence was my malady.

I lacked security and was afraid of my own shadow. It is no wonder I sought and found meaning where there was none. Because finding it in the world of matter and in the realm of nature was just too terrifying. To be able to see through the chimera that I created would have taken a great deal of courage and personal responsibility. That is hard for anyone, especially if that person is full of self-loathing and believes he deserves the hell he has created.

I had bought into the martyr complex, and why not, it was a sanctioned and pious form of belief. We are meant to suffer and die. Magical thinking was my reality, it was my excuse and my reason for being me, me I was destined and ordained to be.

I felt special. I communed with the dead. I could (I believed) see into the future and heal the sick. However, I was already dead. At least in my awareness of the material world, I sought redemption in all the wrong places and in all the wrong ways.

I believed in and studied archaic, esoteric literature and philosophies. I felt and thought that there was a divine mind, and a higher power. As reticent as I was to use the word god, god is what I believed in and searched for. I sought Gnosis, direct knowledge of and direct experience of and with the deity. I guess after some thought I was a Deist, perhaps a Pantheist, I thought everything was good and I wanted to be everything to and with God.

I believed that everything was a manifestation or expression of deity, a higher power, but I had no evidence, no empirical data, just my faith.. I believed that if I had faith and suspended believe in all other matters, that I would be lead to my higher purpose, my special purpose.

I had faith. I ardently studied seeking answers to all of life’s questions. Who am I? Why am I here? What am I meant to do? I ached and thirsted for answers, but all I discovered was more questions. I found bliss in the process, but hell in the outcome.

I studied esoterica, the occult, mythology, Abrahamic religion- old testament, new testament, Torah, Talmud, Midrash, Eastern Religion – Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Jainism, pseudo-science, magic, paganism, neo-paganism, Native American philosophy, Nag Hamadi, Dead Sea Scrolls, Gnostic Gospels, Alchemy, Numerology, Astrology, Alchemy, Hermeticism, Kabbalah, Theosophy, Anthroposophy, etc.. Contemplating the nature of the cosmos in ones’ belly button as I did was mind expanding and at times masturbatory. Looking back I realize what a colossal waste of time it all was. If anything I am well versed, know the language, and able to engage anyone in any faith or belief and debate them why this is all Delusion and mass psychosis. And, I will for I now know my calling or purpose. If there is a GOD- he has sent me here to dissuade his creations of his existence. Game on!

I fell down a rabbit hole, through a black hole, tumbled over rainbows and communed with shadows, yet I was empty. I was the void. I was the vacuum that nature abhorred. I had deluded myself that I was healed from mental illness and I felt special for that and empowered and ready to help my fellow man. But, in actuality, this cure was worse than the disease, worse than the crippling depression, worse than the glorious flights of mania because I felt sterile and impotent. If I was a godlike or divinely inspired, I could not create anything; not even chaos.

It is really grinding on me that all this time, after all these years, I have devoted so much to study and research trying desperately to manifest and create a better life for my daughter and myself by leading a moral life, sacrificing so much when in reality all of it was smoke and echoes. The entire time seeking guidance that never came from a deity that does not exist. What a fool I have been. All the mystical experiences that I thought or felt that I had that were transcendent and gifts showing me the way were delusions. I believed that by believing that perhaps I may be deserving of special favor from a super ghost in the sky. What a bunch of nonsense. I duped myself. I betrayed myself and now here I am..

The ironic thing is that I never felt comfortable using the word god and never accepted Jesus the Christ as my lord and personal savior, but believed in an even larger, broader and deeper meaning of a divine mind or Holy Spirit that encompassed everything. I guess I can take solace in the fact that even though I was delusional my belief system was kind, positive and inclusive.

What has brought me out of the darkness of belief, faith, and delusion and into the pure and clear light of reason and rationality is discovering Stoic philosophy. I stumbled across the handbook of Epictetus at the library. Another time wandering around a bookstore with little money in my pocket I found a small volume which I could afford – Meditations – by Marcus Aurelius; the Stoic Roman emperor. After falling deep into the Stoic of well of wisdom I discovered the letters of Seneca. Stoicism and its basic tenet – Some things are within our control, and some things are not, was simple and to the point, but it was like a spark in an arid pine barren which lit a fire of insurrection in my mind that lead me out of the wilderness of delusion. Before I was a path that I had followed to a degree, that lay beneath all the lies and falsehoods, wanting to do my best to help myself and humanity. Stoicism cleared the way and pointed me to my next be discovery – Humanism.

Once again I discovered a book at the library by happenstance – Good without God, by Greg Epstein. Epstein is the Humanist Chaplin at Harvard. He has degrees and has studied theology, so he knows what he is talking when he writes about morality and ethics and the virtues of living a secular life. He referred to it numerous times throughout his book as a – life stance. He writing was eloquent and kind and always putting the welfare of people and humanity before beliefs and dogma. At the library, I also found a humanist bible entitled – The Good Book, by A.C. Grayling. The first section on nature was one of the most beautiful things I ever read. I wept as I realized the true power and majesty of the natural world.

I spent and committed so much time to search for answers in ancient literature that I never really looked up and around me to all that the material world had to offer. My quest to be the best spiritual warrior that I could be held sway and kept me ignorant to the possibility of what could be in the present. Gone was my wonder of science and nature and my curiosity of – What If? I had become complacent and a lazy skeptic. I know now, sure as shooting at the stars, I was deep in victim mode and I believed the lie that we are meant to suffer. This pilgrim was pinned down by inertia and I was not making any progress. My brother one day during a phone conversation told me that the reasons for my difficulties were due to my – unwillingness to change. I was fit to be tied. Before I hung up on him I had already structured my excuse and my argument why his statement was unfair and lacked credibility. “I was an Alchemist. I am all about transformation and transmutation”. On some level, I knew I was full of shit. I wanted to change, but I was working from a context and a worldview that was pure fantasy and held no relevance to the world of reality in which I needed to maneuver. The framework and foundation where I was trying to build a life for myself were all based on a lie. The lie – unless I submit to a higher power that governs my behavior, successes, and morality I am at risk. Pascal’s Wager posits the idea that even if you do not believe in god, you should behave and show observance as if you did; on the off chance that you are wrong. In essence hedge your bet, how pathetic.

I have read and studied every story of the Holy Grail. I have tried to find divinity in the bloodline of the characters of these tales, hoping against all odds, to discover clues that might shed some light onto why there is so much religious significance attached to them. Were Jesus and Mary Magdalene husband and wife? If so, is the story true that after he was crucified she sailed to France with a child in her womb? And, if this is the case, does the royal bloodline stem from her and her supposed daughter Sara as the story goes or is that just more fantasy? What is fact and what is fiction? The lines are blurred… Chivalry and the roving minstrels of that age, were they singing the praises of the sacred feminine of where they just entertainers spreading the news of the day? Reading the fiction of Dan Brown only confused me further and caused me a great degree of consternation.

I have immersed myself in ritual magic, Thelema, goddess worship, Paganism, Druidry, Wicca, Celtic Christianity, and exploring the possibility that I could intervene and control the laws of nature. Sadly, I could not.

I have delved into Anthroposophy – the philosophy of Rudolf Steiner and joined his Anthroposophical Society, as well as becoming familiar with his Waldorf educational method. I have read at length the books of Madame Blavatsky and her fellow contributors of Theosophy.

I have read and tried to understand the symbolic and allegorical stories of the Rosicrucian. Where they affiliated with the Knights Templar and later the Freemasons? As a young man, I packed a bag and was ready to head off to Nova Scotia to investigate a site that was believed to house the Templar treasures. I was sure that the Grail and other relics could be found there, and I was the one that would unearth them and at last get some answers. Magical Thinking comes in all guises and permeates many a domain. Thankfully, my father dissuaded me from going… I have been greatly influenced by the writings and theories of the New Thought movement. Which I found by reading Napoleon Hill’s – Think and Grow Rich; odd right? The power of the mind can overcome many an obstacle, but reading Sam Harris’ book “Free Will” has made it clear to me that our life is a series of thoughts, memories, and experiences and to create or achieve anything is built on these as a foundation, if you will, or steps to achieve anything or attain any goal. In the miscellaneous category, I have spent an inordinate amount of time, energy and resources on – books, retreats, seminars, symposiums, lectures, therapies, regressions, readings, consultations… you get the idea…

It has been a long exhausting, agonizing strange trip into the unknown, falling down rabbit holes within black holes and vortexes of pseudo-reality searching for the truth, when the Truth was right under my nose, as they say, the whole time, but that’s Okay. Lesson learned.

Now, I begin the journey back to sanity, back to reality and home to reason and rationality. Now, I am a Skeptic; where every shadow is home to doubt. Where everything will be questioned, observed, and researched. Hypotheses will be made. Experiments will be performed. I will share my ideas and conclusions with sensible people and ask for feedback. My writing will be peered reviewed. I have a new purpose in life. It is not to save souls, but to convert the true believers to doubters. I will help humanity by changing minds. Not to my way of thinking, but to think in its self. I will help people to see the world in a new light. A light where they are capable of changing their own minds. Evidence will not help the uninitiated. If I am able to dispel their belief in a higher power, in divinity, dare I say it – in god, they will still suffer from the belief virus that supernatural, or paranormal events, characters and the like are possible. Critical thinking must is applied to everything under, above, and beyond the sun and cosmos. I have come too far in my life and my journey not to use what I have learned, even the nonsense stuff, to help my fellow humans. The power that I have is that I have traveled the border land between rationality and nonsense and I now know the difference. Two hours ago, I dug a hole in the backyard and threw all of the books, statues, amulets, candles, incense, oils, pictures, icons, prayer mats, etc… All of it in and covered it with lime and refilled the hole. It was beneath a full moon at midnight. Before I would have seemed some significance and connection to it, but now, nothing. I just couldn’t sleep and I could not stand to look at it any longer.

I have now changed my belief system and now it is time to change my life. I have ceased to cherish my opinions. I question my beliefs. I have released my convictions, and now I am free. I have found freedom. It is being a Freethinker and secularist. The world at large is beyond my control, but my thoughts about all things, especially about and of the world are now within my control. And, the awareness and the knowledge and the difference between the two is the freedom that I have longed for all these years. If there ever was a heaven it is in this moment. From this moment forth, I am a devout nonbeliever. I am a skeptic and will demand nothing but the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me, Richard Dawkins.

There is no all-powerful, creator deity. If there ever was, he is now a dead astronaut. So it is written, so let it be told.

Jeff Turnbull

FEVER DREAMS & SILENT SCREAMS.

EVOLUTIONS GROWING PAINS.

Civility is the art and act of caring for others.

DEBORAH KING

 Why when we have so much, we decry we don’t have enough? When what should be a given has such an excessive cost? When I speak of cost – I mean our Soul, our dignity, and self-respect.

There is so much vitriol in our discourse. When I say a given – I mean our collective Humanity. I really struggle with all this negativity.

If we are ever going to reach our end point of evolution and maturity as a race, we really need to fall back and assess our priorities. If we don’t something as simple as a tweet or an off-handed comment meant to invigorate someone’s political base could end this human experiment.

When we cannot sleep at night and have nightmares and worry about our children’s future and we silently scream into our pillow or into the darkness, it is time to evaluate what it is we want from life. Do we want to be happy or right or safe or content, or grow and heal?

Seriously, it appears greed by the powerful faceless super wealthy, the donor class and shareholders take precedence over the well-being of everyone.

The wrecking ball of destruction meant to dissemble unions, fair trade, equitable pay rates and support for safe and faithful regulations have been accepted behavior by our so-called leaders.

The Animus toward the populace and the citizenry can not continue. The center will not hold. It is spinning out of control and wobbling in fits of centrifugal chaos for the last forty years, but we have been so concerned with the what have you done for me lately mentality that we slipped into a coma of our own making.

Wake up! Stand Up! Rise Up and Shine your true light of love and compassion. Put aside your petty grievances to banish the shadow within to banish and vanquish the shadow projected into our non-civil discourse, meet in the middle and join hands, and hearts and souls and let us move forward into and onto better days and better relationships with ourselves and each other

ONWARD, INWARDS, UPWARDS

Do you feel like a nobody?

BE SOMEBODY

“One of the greatest diseases is to be nobody to anybody.”

Mother Teresa

Do you feel like a nobody? Like not one-person cares if you live or die? Or, listens to you? Why is that? Do you love and value yourself?

The way we care for ourselves and treat ourselves sets the example how other people communicate and interact with us. I saw a pregnant woman smoking the other day; I was aghast that she was not only harming herself and her lungs but also the child she was carrying. No, judgment – just concern.

Our interior landscape has a way of being expressed to the outside environment. What we think is expressed in words and actions and what we feel at times can be conveyed by the look on our face. Remember our eyes are our windows to our soul and at times the mirror to others’. Our behavior will always give us away. It will tell the world – “I feel like crap today and I can’t stand myself please treat me accordingly.”

If you constantly demean yourself using self-deprecating humor, at some point I am going to start thinking you are just putting yourself down. Then my personal reaction would be to look for the good in you and try to reassure you that you have valuable attributes. But, others may not be so kind. They may just add fuel to the fire and make the situation worse. Then you will be a nobody to everyone, even to those who gave you life, call you friend and sibling.

If you smoke when you are pregnant or binge drink every day and have a terrible diet you may not be aware that your values and how you feel about yourself are on display to the world. But, more importantly, you are showing no concern for your sovereignty of Self.

If we do not love our self, we have a problem. If we do not care for our self, we will make the problem worse. If we do not value our self, it is because we do not understand our self. If that is the case, then we must go back to knowing our self to be able to accept our self so that we may love our self.

Before we can move onto healing our self and then onto sharing our self, WE must truly and unequivocally love our self.

So, Know, Accept, Love, Heal, and then Share thyself whilst being mindful and meditating on areas of concern while we forgive and offer gratitude for our blessings and struggles in kind.

Onwards, Inwards, Upwards.

THE MAJESTIC FIVEFOLD WAY

“There are only two mistakes one can make along the Road to Truth- Not going all the way, and not Starting” BUDDHA

There are five conducts, behaviors, or practices that we can introduce into our lives’ if we haven’t already: Know thyself, except thyself, love thyself, heal thyself, and to Share thyself. It is a process of Self-Actualization that I undertook that helped end my struggle with Depression, Anxiety, and self-loathing. It helped me to turn my life around and made me a productive person and helped me with my interactions with the world at large, and to heal and sustain the world within.

In addition to these five conducts I have also integrated the practice of morning gratitude expressions and evening forgiveness offerings (usually to myself) but with these five and two, there is also mindfulness and daily meditation which has been very helpful in my healing and well as my personal development and personal growth.

In the posts that follow I hope to distill and explain the Alchemy of my Transformation from depressed and lost soul to Enlivened Enlightened Spirit. It will not be easy, the work that lies ahead, but it will be worth it in the end.

JEFF TURNBULL

OUR SHADOW SELF HINDERS OUR HIGHER PURPOSE.

Our shadow stands in our way and will stop us from communicating effectively and when we see an unattractive quality we don’t like in someone else that we ourselves possess we will be offended and will project our darkness and distorted behavior unto them.

The more work we do on ourselves to reclaim what was left behind in the shadows and bring light to those deep recesses of our past pain, shame and hurt the lighter and less restrained we will be.

Shining a spotlight of truth, love, and compassion into the corners of our being will help to illuminate these fears, fractures and fragmented parts of yourself so that we can integrate these powerful energies into their counterbalanced positives to help us become the person we are destined to come.

We cannot heal apart from ourselves that we don’t know is ill. I am not advocating countless retellings of past events, but to be able to look at these apertures into our souls, these wounds, and reclaim the wholeness that was lost in those moments and to replace them with what is not there with acceptive forgiveness and understanding.

This shadow work is about going deep into ourselves and vanquishing our darkest aspects and mining the depths of our hidden and forgotten treasure. It is not for the weak of heart. That is why we need to be warriors and set our fear aside and be ever vigilant and conscious of what we may discover, uncover or realize as it comes to the surface and into the bright light of awareness.