Check Your Assumptions

I read only one of Ayn Rand’s Books, Atlas Shrugged. I will always remember one quote from that book that made an impact on me……”If you question your results then check your assumptions.” This has influenced me particularly as I continue to pursue my insidious journey for Truth. I see assumptions as foundational structures of perspective. Perspective is attained through a lens of beliefs, conclusions, opinions, habits of thought, attitude, etc. These can all be and are assumptions. A perspective can be and ultimately is a result. My problem has always been a gap of consciousness between results and assumptions. In other words I really have never held a firm and convicted perspective and have seldom been integral, committed and had faith in my assumptions. This is probably due to my ultimate goal of avoiding responsibility and accountability for my outcomes. What a shame. Nevertheless, the universe continues to slowly and tenderly torture me by, ever so softly, putting in front of my niave and gullable mind the thoughts, insights and wisdom of the sages and prophets. Kabbalah talks of “Bread of Shame” as one of the causes of the birth of creation. Our souls wanted to “earn” their fullfillment. Our souls wanted it to be set up so that we were the cause of our own fullfillment.

In the beggining, before the moment of creation it was not set up this way. Rather, any desire our souls had was fullfilled immediately and completely. Bread of Shame is the feeling of guilt and emptiness one feels when one discovers that fullfillment was not earned or deserved. In order for this to occur….God, who is the primal source of all fullfillment, needed to withdraw himself from the picture, if only for a moment. This resulted in the Big Bang and our present reality. Krishmamurti said that …”The paradox of the paradox is the paradox.” The interplay between desire and fullfillment is a 3 person play. Enter stage left…….Desire, the first paradox. Where do these desires come from? Why are some stronger than others? Why do they so often conflict with each other? Enter Stage Right…..Fullfillment, the second paradox. What is fullfillment? Is it happiness? Is it success? Is it Love? Am I the cause of it or not? Enter Center Stage, The third paradox. An Assumption to be sure. It is koan while at the same time an action. It can be understood in comtemplation of a deep Kabbalistic insight….”Fullfillment is the seed of Desire.” In other words, Fullfillment came first. In fact, fullfillment created desire. The third paradox is the filament of the light bulb connecting the negative pole of the power source (DESIRE) with the positive pole of the power source (FULLFILLMENT). It is often characterized as resistance or restriction.

So The paradox of Desire is that Fullfillment is attained through Resistance to The Fullfillment of the Desire itself. Atleast that is the way it is down here. Spritual and religious pursuits begin to lead us to a deeper understanding of the Truth. Although, that is the way it is here….Fullfillment wants to fill the void of all desires immediately and completely. That is what it’s nature is. And Desire is designed to be fullfilled immediately and completely. Perhaps the process that is in place here is really a process of elimination. Elimination of Bread of Shame. And, although the way to “do it” seems to be through the act of resistance or restriction……..Perhaps, All we really have to do is check our assumptions.


What is faith? I am watching with concern at the chasm that is widening between those who believe in God and have faith in some kind of ultimate deliverance and those who don’t. With anything like this that has two opposing poles there is a vast middle ground. This ground is made up of those of us who perhaps have a little faith and hope that the an afterlife is possible and those who have decided that they just don’t know and have given up thinking about it. What is Faith? The best defenition I have heard is that it is “The substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.” We all have faith. I see faith as a faculty not a decision. When you get in a car you have faith that certain things will work. When you hand your money over to the guy selling you the car you have faith that he will hand you the key. But God and all the stuff associated with God has become a very contentious subject. There are a myriad of reasons for this. But the battle has been going on for most of human history, heated up at the beggining of the Renesaince and is getting really hot now as science makes its big play against religion and God. No one else can give you faith or develop your faith. Only you can do that.

Soul Garden

A year ago I went through a month long yoga teacher training program. It was an intense program with about 70 students. Toward the end of the month we were getting to know each other fairly well and the teachers put us through a process that was pretty amazing. I thought of it today and want to share the process and some of the insights.

I have been struggling lately with my mood. It has been going up and down kind a like my blood sugars. As usual, the persistent questions of why and what keep entering my mind. Why are we here? Why do I have to deal with this disease? Why do I feel so bad? What is my purpose? What should I do?

The Soul Garden process went like this. We all partnered up. One partner represented the soul and one was the heart. we all formed a big circle… To begin, the hearts (about 35 of us) went in the middle of the circle and got into a yoga pose or any pose and held it. After a few moments the souls were instructed to go into the middle and find a way to physically support the hearts’ poses. We stayed in this formation for a minute or so. Then, while the souls maintained their pose…the hearts were instructed to move out of the circle and then go back in to support the souls’ poses. We alternated this several times.

What we experienced was what it felt like to be supported, what it felt like to support. what it felt like to be unsupported, what it felt like to stretch to support and many other things. It was very emotional for many people. I was reminded at the time how fortunate I have been to have people around me who have supported me. My father, my mother, my brother, my sisters, friends and others. I was also reminded of how much capacity I have to support.

As a Type 1 diabetic there are certain things I have not been able to do. On a more subtle level, having diabetes has forced a defenition of who I am in a certain way. I know some of you may not understand this. I imagine it would be hard to understand if you have not experienced a major chronic illness. I am unable to be or do some things that I could otherwise be or do. On the flip side, it means I can be or do things that I otherwise could not do.

I am grateful and appreciative of all those who have supported me. I am constantly searching for ways to support you and others so that I can mantain and grow the Soul Garden.

Diabetes and Depression

As someone who has lived with type 1 diabetes for over 31 years now I can tell you that depression peaks its ugly head in every once and awhile. I have gone through a couple episodes of deep depression. It got so bad about 12 years ago that I decided to take antidepressants to get out of it. I got out. It took about 6 months. I stayed on the drugs for another year and then I got off of them. It took about 3 months to get off of them. You can’t just stop taking them. I firmly believe that, if at all possible, one should not be on antidepressants. If you need them then take them. When you get out of the rut then find a way to get off of them. I know this runs counter to the thinking of many medical professionals. I don’t care. I don’t have much faith or trust in what doctors have to say unless it is an emergency. My Endocronoligist is there to write my prescriptions, order my blood tests and to collect $50 from me every 4 months…that is it. Living with diabetes effectively means that you take responsibility for what is going on. Don’t give any of that responsibility to the docs. They will want some of it as most of them have major ego issues and think they are better then most others. But don’t give it to them. Don’t do it.

Mood swings are just part of the baggage that goes along with dealing with the disease. It is an insidious disease. There is no let up. It is 24/7 unless of course you choose to block it out. Therefore, it is understandable when you feel down, There are physiological reasons that you get down as well. I don’t feel good about things when my blood sugar has been high and I don’t feel good when I am rebounding from a low. The best prescription to ward off depression is to workout. It is all about the work out actually. Become an athlete. Walk hard, run hard, do yoga everyday. Attack the workout. Good Luck..

The Game

Is life a game?  Does it trivialize life to to compare it to a game?  Is life too serious to be considered a game?  Gee whiz, we certainly put a lot of money, time and resources into the games we play.  Every game has a primary objective.  It could be argued that winning the game is the ultimate objective.  Others say it is really how you play that matters.  And some of the best coaches I know have used the word  Love  in describing the most important aspect of playing;  “Play for the love of the game.”  Gaining Agreement on what is the primary objective is important, I believe.  Most games are straightforward and don’t have much ambiguity in figuring out the objective.  Is Life a game? What game are you playing? What is your objective? Are there any rules? What is your strategy? How do you train and get better? How do you measure your results?