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There is a life-force within your soul, seek that life. There is a gem in the mountain of your body, seek that mine. O traveler, if you are in search of That Don't look outside, look inside yourself and seek That. Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi

My Beliefs

I believe ... your photo/ link/ video has been held for approval by a moderator Dear Sophia, Yesterday, Auntie Kim and I were working on wedding vows for Four Orchids. She was working on a religious ceremony and she began talking about her religious views. She asked me what I believe in and I gave my typical answer. I told her that I believe in energy, in the pure physics type of energy. I told her that I believe that we are all connected and that she and I are the same entity. I also said that I believe that everything is some form of energy. This is an answer that I tell people because it is truly what I believe and it is a simple explanation. I usually don’t discuss politics and religion with people. The reason is that most people already have their minds made up of what they believe and they aren’t really interested in having a discourse. They use the discussion as a platform to express and push their views. I have been fortunate to meet people who have engaged in open dialogue with me on the topics of religion. These people helped me to formulate and articulate my own beliefs (which are ever evolving). They listen and ask questions. I mean really listen. I hope this is a skill that you develop because it is an essential part of learning. Many people say they are listening, but they do not really hear. I will tell you more about the people that I have engaged in conversation with over time. They are very special people. They include your grandmother, your father and a few important people that I met growing up in New Jersey and while living in and travelling through Kenya, Thailand, Korea, India and Singapore. ****************************************************************************************************************************************************** Anyway, the reason I am writing this letter is because Auntie Kim inspired me. In the past, I would have let the conversation end there, but because you were (and still are) growing inside of me at the time of the conversation, I believe that you are aware of my answer. In time you will forget where you are right now and where you are coming from, but throughout your journey on Earth during this lifetime, I hope that you will strive to understand the deeper reason of your existence. Part of your journey will include conversations with me and I want to try and put to words what I have been “studying” for the past thirty five years. This will be the first time that I have ever attempted to minimize, categorize and describe something that cannot be easily expressed or understood in words alone... **************************************************************************************************************************************************** Hello again. You are already born and I have not finished this letter. You are 17 days old now. When I look into your eyes, I see that you come from a faraway place and at the same time, you’ve always been here. Your eyes are so deep and dark, yet they have a blue tint. Your eyes tell me a story of many lifetimes. I look into them and I get lost and almost immediately I see so clearly and so completely. You are part of me and also part of something greater. You come from the universe. You are a connection to and a link to everything. You are a ball of energy that mingles with, dances with and bounces around with the energy all around you – both animate and inanimate. Something has inspired me to continue writing this letter. We have been reading “Siddhartha” together after you finish feeding. You lie against my bare chest and our hearts beat together as I read to you. One particular passage explained everything in a way that I cannot. I have read this book over and over again throughout the years and finally, I have noticed what I’ve been trying to explain for a long time. ******************************************************************************************************************************************************* “Govinda said: …Siddhartha…Have you not discovered certain knowledge yourself that has helped you to live?... Siddhartha said: Yes, I have had thoughts and knowledge here and there. Sometimes, for an hour or a day, I have become aware of this knowledge, just as one feels life in one’s heart. I have had many thoughts, but it would be difficult for me to tell you about them. But this one thought that has impressed me, Govinda. Wisdom is not communicable. The wisdom which a wise man tries to communicate always sounds foolish” (115). ******************************************************************************************************************************************************* This is how I feel Sophia. Once I try to put my beliefs into words, they sound less important than they are. It is very difficult for me to place words and expressions around something so … so… so… complex and yet so simple. That is why I always resort to describing my beliefs as pure energy. You see, everything in the world (and beyond) is a form of energy. All entities are energy. That is what makes us connected to everything. I am a form of energy just as the wind is; therefore, I believe I am connected to the wind. Some might call this energy God. It doesn’t really matter what you call it because it is what it is. ****************************************************************************************************************************************************** Siddhartha goes on to say, “… a truth can only be expressed and enveloped in words if it is one-sided. Everything that is thought and expressed in words is one-sided, only half the truth; it all lacks totality, completeness, unity” (115). There are many sides to any situation. Nothing is right or wrong, black or white, up or down. There is always more. There are many degrees, shades and levels in-between. There is not just one way to solve a puzzle or a problem. And, there is not just one truth. Just as there are endless possibilities in solving a problem, so there are endless paths to understanding who you are, where you come from and where you are going. When you go out on your own path, listen carefully, but don’t follow. You can learn from everyone and everything. Everyone and everything has something to teach you. Take the lessons and decode them for yourself. Remember, there is not just one truth. There is not just one solution. There is not just one path. ******************************************************************************************************************************************************* If you learn to listen carefully, you will hear a lesson in everything that surrounds you. The rain will speak to you and tell you a story. Watching a subway rat will teach you a lesson. Delving into your inner mind will take you on a far away journey. Be open. Be thirsty. Never think that you know the truth in its completeness. You will never fully understand in just this lifetime. ****************************************************************************************************************************************************** When Siddhartha first started his quest he believed a stone was just a stone or an illusion of a stone. After a lifetime of his pursuit he came to the realization that a stone is a stone and, “…it is also animal, God and Buddha… because it was one thing and will become something else…has already long been everything and always is everything” (117). This is you. You are the stone. ******************************************************************************************************************************************************** I love you. I look forward to learning from you. ****************************************************************************************************************************************************** Your loving mother (November 2008)

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Published October 11, 2010

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