Out of frustration, maybe even desperation... I let go of all the things I thought I 'knew' and I started to ask questions. I asked creation, the One, the creator of all that is... whatever was not my mind...
‘what is it that we human beings have in common’.
Instead of separating, according to the differences, I began to look for what we have in common. Whatever beats my heart is the same thing that’s beating yours and that same power breathes our breath.
no matter what name I gave or didn’t give to that power, it had no effect on it, it just did what it did. It was greater than any of my thoughts about it.
I asked ‘what is this power that works independent of our ‘thoughts?’ It was a mystery… the mystery of life. An idea popped in my head ‘you don’t have to understand it to cooperate with it.’ My next thought was ‘well that’s just common sense’. And of course, it is… Common Sense.
I woke up and realized that I, along with most folks, lived from my story instead of the mystery. I listened to the story my mind made up about everything instead of trusting my own ‘common sense’. I never questioned my logical mind. I didn’t know(or remember) that present within me was the very Presence of creation and that if I just asked, and cooperated, unlimited possibilities existed. All bets where off. I had no idea where this was going. I didn’t have to know. I just knew that the pieces were starting to fit.
Deep down in every man, woman, and child, is the fundamental idea of God. It may be covered over by pomp, deep layers of self-justification and deceit, but it is there. I call it our connection to source… Common Sense. We are born with it and we cannot lose it, it is, who we are… we just haven’t been using it.
I’m not trying to sell you anything. All I can do is be, to the best of my ability, the person I was created to be. Common sense tells me that there is a purpose to creation and creation operates to, thru, and as everything and everyone. As I learn to stop fighting creation and learn to cooperate with it, I come into harmony with others and life in general. We each must have our own experience. But you might find, just as I do, that when I look for the similarities and let the differences go, we all want the same things. We have the same basic needs.
I looked at the human senses and how each of us had the same five senses with which to experience life but even though the senses were the same, our experience of them was different. I don’t believe there are any two people that experience the senses exactly the same way. I saw that on their own the physical senses separate us. They make us self-centered trying to satisfy them. I needed common sense first. Right around this time I was asking questions like ‘how can I cooperate with others for maximum benefit’ ‘my creator, can you help me let go of my beliefs so I can have a new experience’. Things were changing. I could not and cannot get my hands on it but, it was happening. I still had my ‘issues’ that were going on but I wasn’t worried about them anymore, I somehow knew, there was ‘no problem’, and everything will work out.
I was about to sign up for another workshop or meditation series, but I didn’t. I wondered, as the facilitator pitched his workshop, “how come I make progress but then it seems to slip away and I’m left lacking again?’ That was a good question.
Don’t you just love it when inspiration hits? You aren’t really thinking about anything, it’s just there, like complete, in one lump. It started with something I had heard that the Buddha said; ‘there’s no enlightenment until everyone is enlightened’. So how do we go about getting everyone enlightened? Up till then I had thought well, I’ll get enlightened and then help you. I mean that’s the way it works, right?
Well, maybe not… with 7.5 billion of us here, just maybe, we aren’t supposed to be doing this alone. Maybe we’re supposed to be doing this together. Maybe, we’re all just pieces of the puzzle and every piece is necessary, not later on, but right from the get go. All hands on deck, so to speak. I looked around and saw all these great teachers, workshop leaders, and organizations that care and are making a difference in the world, but there’s nothing connecting them to each other in any meaningful way. There was no way to link them up except for an occasional workshop or event. Where was the day to day connection?
Here was the answer to the question, ‘why can’t I stay centered?’. We are still trying to change based on the old paradigm. Tuesday nights from 7 to 8, or Sunday morning 9 to noon. We are still trying to change the way of life from the old paradigm of segments, compartmentalizing ourselves into ‘time’ compartments. The new way of life is a living presence, re-presented from all these different perspectives, but in principle identifying the same truths.
What was needed was a symbol. An easily identified symbol, so that wherever you are in the world, you could see the symbol, in the middle of your day, and know; ‘here is a place to connect', get centered in your being, remember our common sense and connect with others based on principles, but talked about from many perspectives. Maybe the reason we weren’t staying centered was, we were never meant to do this alone. We need each other, but not because we are incomplete but because in order to grow as a community of human beings, we need to have all the pieces involved.
Small groups, connecting for even a few minutes during lunch, at the coffee shop, or wherever, and the pieces start to fit. Our individual and collective centers get stronger. Anywhere in the world you find yourself, any time of day, someone puts out that symbol and it becomes an open invitation to connect with others in a meaningful way. Join in or just listen to others, sharing; what is it that unites us, what do we have in common, what works for you, how do you stay connected. Connecting on the internet is great, but there is nothing like face to face, to make it real. Real people connecting. Just carry the symbol, a piece of paper… you have a half hour between meetings… put it out at Starbucks or in the park. Others will see it and join you, meet new people that care and want the same thing, a loving, healthy world, living in harmony with each other. We need to make this conversation real, an everyday thing. Not that you need to do it every day but it should be available every day. Eventually, can you imagine, this becomes a common occurrence, everywhere you look the symbol is out, new ideas are coming to the surface, the sharing of all the great teachers out there available, accessible to everyone, and new ideas based on common sense.
Common sense is the sense we forgot to develop, it’s the one that we all share, the knowing of who we are individually and collectively, allowing others their own perspective, respecting each other and sharing what works.
Unfolding these ideas brought me to www.conversationcafe.org . I took their ‘agreements’ for a conversation and utilized them as a guide to a conversation about common sense. These agreements, I believe, will work for any conversation and I thank them very much for sharing their ideas. Again, there are many great organizations working for positive, sane dialog. Their idea is small groups with a particular time frame and set time. Common sense needs to be available all the time, as the lack of it has gotten us in all the trouble our world is in.
The new paradigm is life is going on NOW, now is the time I need to listen to life flowing through me. All I need to do is put out a symbol, so people can get familiar with it and just ask one person… what do you think common sense is? Invite someone else and the conversation starts… no agenda, no right or wrong, just ideas, and people sharing who they are… remembering their Common Sense!
Guidelines for a sane conversation (listed in the heart image also)
1. Open mind: listen and respect all points of view.
2. Accept: suspend all judgement as best as you can.
3. Be curious: seek to understand rather than persuade.
4. Discover: question your assumptions, look for new insights.
5. Be brief: go for depth, don't go on and on.
6. Sincerity: speak from your heart and personal experience.
The outer circle is our physical world represented by the senses. The guidelines for the conversation are listed around the heart. What we have in common is inside the heart... our Common Sense.
We were given everything we need for creation to express through us the kingdom of heaven on earth. We are all here to have that experience together. All equal parts of the whole. That knowing is … our common sense. It is our primary connection to each other and our creator. It’s our hearts desire... the longing for unity... to feel a part of... to be connected with... each other... our creator... and all of life. It is also... the knowing... we shouldn’t kill each other... people shouldn’t be suffering... dying of starvation... or hurting the environment, etc.
We don’t have to ‘think’ about these things, we already "know" them.
Our common sense tells us; ‘hey, you’re off the beam here’... we just stopped listening... pretending we don’t know what we know. We forgot who we are and why we're here. We’ve been living a lie, be lie ving we are... what we are not … separate... disconnected from each other. But no matter how hard we try to make the lie real… common sense never leaves us.
Life gets pretty painful when we don’t use our common sense.
So, how do we get back ‘on the beam’? How do we re-connect to our common sense? It seems plain enough that if we lived from that knowing, we’d have to act and live differently. But what are the guidelines and what do we base this new life on? We would actually have to live from our knowing... a little at a time. At the very least we'd have to take an honest look at how we live. We have taken our mind to be the power for our life and it is not. The mind is a tool Life uses to express itself as each of us. Life operates on truth... truths... that are always true. We're talking about principles... things that never fail, from our own experience when we cooperate with them. They aren’t that hard to find. Actually, they are obvious, just like it says in the constitution of the United States “we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal… “. Just because we don't live that way, doesn't mean it isn't true!
We can’t, however, ’make’ anyone connect to their common sense. It is our choice; it has to start with each of us individually. First we need to remember what a principle is, not by definition that’s just information. Information can be helpful, but we each need to see, first hand, in our own experience. We only really 'learn' from experience. Although we may cooperate to avoid pain, we don't really learn until we have our own experience which is then a "conscious" choice.
Let's use the metaphor of gravity:
It's consistent in our experience; if we drop something it falls, every time. At no time does it not work. The more we co-operate with gravity(or any other principle) and align ourselves with it, the more we become em(I am)powered to accomplish what we want in our life, but when we don’t co-operate... it hurts, we experience pain... in some form. As soon as we come back into alignment and co-operate, we are again empowered (that’s inwardly powered). Co-operation with any principle empowers, consistently... resistance creates the illusion of power called force but force, of itself has no power.
Once we remember what principles are how to re-cognize them, from our own experience, we can look for, and choose, to align with them... or not. We do this personally first, in our own life, and, we can do it collectively, as the one life together, reminding each other of these common principles. Doing this together, identifying and living from life's principles, creates the new ‘common unity’ based on cooperation, not conflict or competition. In this way we come into harmony with ourselves, each other, and all of life, one small community at a time, to so produce the experience we all came here to have.
How? We build on what we have in common and choose, a little at a time to live in harmony from our common sense.
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