Peeling the Onion (and I don’t mean food!)

peelingOnionphoto credit to:k2adnausean.blogspot.com

I have spent most of my adult life studying human nature. There is a reason why we are the way we are. Why we react to life the way we do, and there is a reason why it’s so hard to react differently to something when we want to so much. When it’s too late. We realize too late and tell ourselves,

“I wish I had not said that, done that, reacted that way”
“I wish I had kept my mouth shut. Why do I always react like this?”
“Why does so -and-so always make me mad and I lose my temper?”

The next time a similar thing happens, we react the same way whether we want to or not. We can’t stop ourselves. It’s part of our nature.

So why do we do it? Why can’t we can’t change ourselves and change the way we do things just by thinking about it. You can’t change just by wanting to. It takes work. We can’t understand it intellectually. Goodness knows, I’ve tried and it doesn’t work.
There are things happening in my life I have”allowed” to hurt me over and over, thinking, why are they doing this “to” me. The range of pain it has caused me at times has taken over everything, because I KNOW I’m a good person. I don’t deserve it. I’m trying to help them understand I’m not the person they think I am. The more I try, the worse it gets. I’ve been told by 2 family members that I’m toxic – and all I said was, I wished our family could come together and find a way to be happy. ( My sister had open heart surgery 2 weeks ago. I couldn’t go to the hospital because it would have caused a scene and I’m sure that since I didn’t go they are now saying, since I didn’t go, it shows I don’t care about my sister. Wow, what a dilemma. Damned if I do. Damned if I don’t.

Everyone has problems in their lives they think can never be fixed because of . . . .

Bottom line – I do deserve it. Somewhere, somehow, I did something to make that cause. This is what it means by ” What goes around comes around”, or the Christian saying of “you reap what you sow”, or Buddhists say, “the law of cause and effect” It all means the same thing.

Also keep in mind that Christians also use this (excuse) quite heavily when things don’t work out the way they pray, saying God does this, or God wants that, God came into my heart and told me . . .or God has a plan for my life. If you pray for something and it doesn’t work than it was part of God’s plan and he doesn’t want you to . . . If there is success in what your pray for you think “God works in mysterious ways”

Good or bad you always have a reason that God wanted it this way. This is so engrained in the human psyche, from birth, that some people can’t possibly think what they were told all along, could possibly be wrong. What would people say? When my mother left her church to practice Buddhism 26 years ago after being heavily involved in church activities her entire life, it caused quite a crisis, but she knew, with no doubt it was the right thing. She was 55 when she finally decided to open her eyes and question what she had been told and quit following the followers and start thinking for herself.  But for most people, they never venture beyond their belief system and It becomes, simply – THE TRUTH. If they allow themselves to question it, then many things unravel in their lives. Their family. Their friendships. Their social life.

If you really don’t live your life using what the Bible teaches you ( and there are many good teachings in the Bible) and just say you believe in God, but it really doesn’t effect the way you live your life except maybe you go to Church for a wedding service, or maybe at Christmas, then none of this matters. But for many people, if you have nothing that teaches you the difference between right and wrong, you’re in trouble.

It also allows people to have an understanding that it is God who is doing something “to” their life and that is all the reason they need, because intellectually they can’t understand that it really is themselves who are doing things to their lives that causes the effect to happen. Many people believe things to happen “to” them. And to top it off – it is all because HE loves them. The power in the universe loves them? The need for love and comfort, to know that something “out there” loves them and cares about them. He doles out benefits and strikes down the people you don’t like.  You may not think that, but many people do. It allows them to judge other people they think aren’t living right, and they have the right to interfere in their lives because they don’t believe the way you do. That is so very very wrong.  And definitely not what Jesus would do.

If people spent more time working on their own failings they’d have less time to worry about the gay guys who moved in next door, who just got married and who are also adopting a baby. “They might turn the baby gay!”  Ignorance is rampant.  Many people use the excuse to hurt people by saying, “God hates fags!”, or some other hateful thing about any subject they don’t think is right.  Please believe me, I am not slamming Christians.  It is belief system, whether it’s right or wrong, that allows people to do and say these things. it has to be right for them – But the ones who really do learn from the teachings and become better humans, isn’t that the main thing? If your faith enables you to learn how to be a good human, then I can’t say it is wrong for them.

I do believe there is power in the universe. There is rhythm in the universe. A very precise rhythm. I believe the mind has tapped into only a small portion of what we’re capable of.  We can harness that rhythmn. But it is hard when our belief system is based on the faulty memories of stories being passed down for hundreds of years by people who had no ability to understand, so they tell their stories to the capacity of their understanding at that time, and ever since, politicians for centuries have used religion and the fear of hell to control the masses.  History tells us how, when and why “Christianity” came into being. How it was manipulated, yet people still swallow it hook line and sinker.  If it gives them peace, it is their choice. We have much more capacity to understand than we give ourselves credit for.

Many Christian teachings come from Buddhism, a thousand years earlier. Some of it word for word.  since their is no outside god in Buddhism, where did they learn it?  And where was Jesus between the ages of 12 and 32? He was traveling, learning about life.  He spent a great deal of time in India, learning from the teachers there.  It is in their teachings – but not in yours.  In your teachings, he just “disappeared” and came back into play at the age of 32 to teach what he had learned. No one talks about that.

But now,  in order to be a good Christian you have to believe that every word in the Bible came from God, or was “inspired” by God. Moses talked to God on the top of the mountain and he brought down the ten commandments – very good things to live by. But those ten commandments are a lot older than Moses – a story retold so many times, and with each telling it changed a little, just like gossip of today. It was all so miraculous to them, it had to come from “a” God!

This world has seen many gods who were believed strongly by many people, based on the capacity of their ability to understand.  Why is your God the right one and every other one wrong?  Because they were disproved?  Because we finally understood thunder and knew it wasn’t Thor throwing bowing balls in the heavens? Because that is what you were told and the power of suggestion is very real and strongly believed in.  It becomes real.  It gets embellished, and even though people know what gossip is, they still pass it along, and people believe it, change it a little, and pass it along again, just like the Bible and people say every single word in the Bible came from God.

The capacity of people’s understanding at that time was not what it is today. Noah’s flooding of the world was very real to them, because their understanding of the world was very small. Was there an Ark? Quite possibly. Did the world flood. Absolutely not. They had a flood, and to them the whole world flooded.  Yet this story is still passed on to children and the ignorance is passed along with Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.  Eventually you tell then Santa and the Tooth fairy aren’t real, because they aren’t, but another unbelievable story is passed on and through that power of suggestion, becomes real.  Who told you about God?  Think about it.  Who told you God was real and and how often did you hear it?  Hear something often enough and it becomes truth.  And we want it to be true.

Many people are Christians in name only, as it is with any faith. Some people thinking it better to believe just in case there really is a heaven or hell after they die. BTW, I do have many Christian friends. Because they are my friends I believe them to be good people. i wouldn’t have them as my friend otherwise.  Our friendship is not based on their religion or mine, but it does sometimes make for lively conversation! Everyone has the right to choose what makes sense to them. It’s their life. So please, my purpose is not to offend, but to educate.

Back to the title of my post, because I have gotten off topic – Peeling the onion. Life is like peeling an onion. When you try to change and correct your behavior, it’s like peeling the outside of an onion, it’s very easy. The more you peel, the harder it gets. The layers get thicker. It starts to break off in pieces. It’s painful. The onion even makes you makes you cry.

What are you peeling the onion for? It’s because something is not right in your life. Anyone who says their life is perfect and they have no struggles is only trying to hide them from you. Why peel down through the layers of your human nature when it’s so easy to say, “it’s not my fault!” ” This is God’s plan for my life.”

I’m peeling my onion because something so strong is making me unhappy. How about you?  Bad relationship? Unsuccessful business? A child goes off the deep end into drugs or crime? The person you love left you or is sleeping with someone else, you or someone close to gets very sick? The list goes on and on. In each case you can say,
“It’s not my fault”. It’s not my fault!” “It just happened. ‘I’m a victim!”
“I didn’t do anything to deserve this!”
“It’s just happening “to” me for no reason”

But it is happening ” to” you for a reason. There is something fundamental in your life you need to learn – and if you try to figure it out intellectually – you WILL NOT figure it out. and it will happen over and over until you get to the root cause, which is – it is your karma – the effect of something you caused – even if you don’t think you did – or it wouldn’t be happening in your life.
You are reaping what you sowed. You can’t pick and choose when that happens. Either you believe that statement or you don’t, but it is a fundamental truth in Christianity – and in Buddhism. Every effect in your life you have caused to happen. Every single one of them whether you want to believe it or not.

This is why, for 27 years, I have practiced Nichiren Buddhism. Not Zen. Not Tibetan. Not Shinto or the other sects. Buddhism, like Christianity has gone through many changes and has many sects.

I want to peel my onion, tear off the layers of my life, the deluded parts of me that keep me from being absolutely happy. There are two kind of happiness. Relative – caused by fleeting moments in your life, and absolute happiness that is not shaken by anything that happens to you. Uncovering your true self isn’t easy, but that is what you find in the center of the onion.
___________________________________________
Mickey. I have embellished a lot more than what I wrote in that reply on a post. I’ve told you before, since everything happens for a reason – there is also a reason you found me and a reason I found you. This is a subject that is close to my heart.  I will tell you anything you want to know if you want to find out how to peel your own onion!

The only legacy we can ever really leave behind when we die is the effect we have had on other people. Hopefully that effect is good and is passed on to others. Peace in this world can’t be mandated.  Absence of war is not peace. It comes from one person passing it to another.  The change in one single human being can change the world.  We have to do it ourselves. If we continue to do what we’ve always done, we will continue to get what we’ve always got.  Take a look at the world today.  It looks like a mess to me, like we are trying the force the world to change.  It won’t work that way and it never has.

Thanks for reading. For any further understanding you can also go to http://sgi-usa.org

Habitual Offender Law Was not Meant For Emails and Voice Messages From People with Asperger Syndrome

If you’ve been to my other blog at http://mynameisjamie.net then you are aware of my stance against mass incarceration and the inhumane treatment of many inmates caught in our injustice system.

I helped to raise a step-son with Aspergers Syndrome. I am aware of the behaviors he describes about his son. Locking him up fir 45 years because of non violent behavior indicative of people with this brain disorder is absurd. It is important to become educated about it. Had the people involved in this situation needed to be aware it is hard for people with Aspergers to have empathy. Even when they were told, why did they not have any empathy?

I remember, when my stepson was fairly young, a neurologist explained to me that he could be taught behaviors and how to act, and what to say when around people but he would not be able to understand why. He couldn’t understand what people meant with body language or gestures. Things what are easy for me to understand, and even misunderstand. When he was young, he had to be instructed over and over, the importance of standing in a line at school for lunch. He didn’t understand why he had to stand there when he wanted to go to the front. It might seem very simple for you and me, but not for him. He acted out very emotionally when he didn’t understand. He’s 28 now. He has learned how to ‘act’ in society. He learned what was expected of him, but how much of that does he understand why.

This man, who got 45 years for sending emails trying to get his girlfriend back, who probably couldn’t deal with his quirks anymore, doesn’t deserve to lose his life to prison. Why our justice system fails to understand this is beyond me. Unless it all about needing to keep our prisons full by any means possible.

Whatever reason they have does not deserve ruining his, and his family’s life. Please share this with your social media and do your part in helping to change this. Thank you.

josephmjason

Dear Department of Justice

The United States Supreme Court stated: The purpose of a recidivist statute such as that involved here is not to simplify the task of prosecutors, judges, or juries. Its primary goals are to deter repeat offenders and, at some point in the life of one who repeatedly commits criminal offenses serious enough to be punished as felonies, to segregate that person from the rest of society for an extended period of time. This segregation and its duration are based not merely on that person’s most recent offense but also on the propensities he has demonstrated over a period of time during which he has been convicted of and sentenced for other crimes.

As an advocate involved with various organizations, I state that The Habitual Offender Law was not meant for offenders who send non-threatening emails and voice messages.  It was meant for violent thugs.

It was not meant for those with Asperger Syndrome who have organic brain disorders and who are…

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The Bear Went Over The Mountain

bear
You are so right on the mark. If we only got everything we wanted it would be a very boring life. That’s how I view heaven and why I would never want to go there. I relate life to the song, “The Bear Went Over the Mountain”, and what do you think he saw? If there were no more mountains to climb there would be no more lessons to learn. Our life is one big cause and effect. 100%. We can’t pick and choose what we want to be caused by us and not be responsible for the effect, anymore than we can choose not to be effected by gravity. We often, though, don’t understand the causes we made to get the effects in our life that we have, but that doesn’t mean the cause wasn’t there. We just don’t understand because the cause was too far back. I want to give you an example:

About a month ago someone paid me back some money I gave them when they were in a desperate situation with no one to turn to with promises of immediate payback. He was sending me a check through Fedex. He had even taken a picture of the check with his phone and sent the picture to me in a text so I could see there really was a check. He was on the phone with me when he said he was dropping it in the box. I was very grateful to get the money back because I live on disability. Promise, promise, promise. I waited and waited and waited and the check never came. I don’t think he was trying to scam me. He was just having trouble holding on to his promise because his life was a mess. In the meantime he was calling me, frantically asking if I got the check yet. He was upset that I hadn’t. He said he keeps his promises. I trusted him. I told him that. He then said he would call Fedex and have it tracked, but he lost the receipt. He not only lost it, but it was supposed left in a rental car that someone had rented for him. ( Remember this point.)

True? False? I told him to call the rental company because I was sure they would keep things for awhile. He gave me a long list of all the other stuff that was also left in the rental car. Hmmm. It started sounding fishy. When I asked why things would be left in a rental car I got all kinds of other excuses I won’t go into here. Then I got real reason. A person who paid him for electrical work he had done stopped payment on a check they gave him. The check to me had a stop payment on it.

I was livid, upset beyond rational thinking, pissed at myself for allowing him to affect my life in a negative way when all I wanted to do was to sincerely help him out of a jam. I hadn’t done anything to him to deserve this!! He knew it was part of my disability check! I was feeling stupid for trusting him. I thought of all the things I could have used that money for, even though at the time the money crucial for his survival. No matter how hard I tried to stop thinking about it I couldn’t. It was like a reel in my head playing it over and over and over. Angry, Angry, Angry. I couldn’t get it out of my head. How could he do this to me? I told myself to let it go. I needed to. The money was gone. Will he pay it back someday? Who knows. He’s avoiding my calls now, so the friend that I had enjoyed so many hours of wonderful conversations with won’t call me or answer my calls. Probably because he feels bad about it and doesn’t know what to say to me. What did I need to learn from this? Never trust or help anyone again because most people turn around and kick you in the teeth? No, that wasn’t it. I spent a lot of time thinking about this.

(Part 2 for some readers)

Fast forward to today. Honestly, about 2 hours ago ( 3 now lol) as I was chanting and focusing on my life and the things I needed learn and to change about myself that gets in the way of my being successful in certain areas, a thought popped into my head from out of nowhere. Stopped my chanting. 28 years ago, a friend helped me and my soon to be husband (now x) rent a car so we could drive to his family to tell them we wanted to get married. This marriage resulted in two kids ages 38 and 34 now and 7 grandchildren who are the legacy of my life. We didn’t have the money and he offered to put the car on his credit card and we wrote him a check we said he could cash the next week. We meant it. We weren’t scamming. We fully intended to pay him back. But financial circumstances got in the way and I stopped payment on the check and ended up never paying him back. Renting that car for three days in 1975 probably equals today the value of check that was stopped on me.

Why remember that now, after all these years? This was my lesson. I’m 60 now. It seems like yesterday. I can see it all in my head. My anger now is gone. I understand. I am no longer the victim that got taken advantage of. Here was the effect of my cause. My anguish and anxiety and being pissed off is gone. Keeping that anger inside me didn’t hurt the person who stopped payment on the check. It hurt me. Years ago I never thought what the loss of not being paid back might have done to that person, who at that time, I also called a friend.

Here’s one more (short) cause and effect from that time period. It was right then, through drugs, that I got Hep C from this boy I married. I didn’t know it for a long time. I just started to get sick and no one knew why. It was finally diagnosed in 1998. Treatment didn’t work. It turned to cirrhosis, ascites, liver cancer and finally a liver transplant 2 years ago. My doctor told me I came as close to death without dying. But I didn’t. I’m still alive, still kickin’ still learning from my causes and hopefully making better ones. The cause I made back then isn’t done with me. I may have a working liver, but the hep C has played havoc on my life. Why did I want to do drugs so easily? Where did the desire come from? My x has hep C, too. Youth feel invincible and think bad things don’t happen to them.

Whatever happens in your life, every single, solitary thing is the effect of something you thought, said or did at some point, even beyond your ability to recollect. Whether you learn from them is your responsibility. Nothing “out there” teaches you lessons or does things to you. We get exactly what we dish out. What goes around comes around, or you get back what you dish out or you reap what you sow. Whatever you want to call it. Every time you actually learn the lesson you change a bit of your karma, or your destiny, or God’s plan if you want to call that, too. If we don’t learn the lesson, we will repeat it. Plain and simple. Now the man who stopped payment on me has his own karma to deal with.

Some people want to put that responsibility onto a father figure that alternately loves us and hates us and needs adoration or he’ll reign hell fire on those of us he doesn’t like. Whew! Kinda scary I think. I’m glad it’s not my thinking. ( hoping not to offend you – these are my beliefs). I’m a Nichiren Buddhist – not Tibetan, not Zen or Shinto, but actual common sense Buddhism for daily life based in reality and not in the clouds
somewhere.  If you want to see for yourself and decide if I’m making sense,  even if it’s I just for the knowledge and the affirmation that you are in control of who you are, go to:  http://www.sgi-usa.org.

and then we can talk.