The Map of Identity (Revision 3)

Map 3


September 29, 2015 5:05 PM

Here’s an updated version of the Map of Identity. While I find maps useful, I’m not a cartographer. I’m not into sitting in a dark room, gathering a lot of data from a lot of explorers and consolidating it into the perfect, most useful map ever. My maps are what I sketch out by actually going out into the world and exploring. Not 100% accurate, but they’ll show me that if I head north up the coast, I’ll find a nice protected bay with fresh water springs and hot women, and if I turn south down the coast, I’ll find these sweet islands where the natives are friendly and the daiquiris are cool and refreshing. In other words, my maps aren’t about abstract terrain features as much as they are about the lived experience. … Read more…

Clarifying “I, the Ego”

Yesterday's Communion Spot

Yesterday’s Communion Spot


September 28, 2015 11:07 AM

Jerry left a great comment on the various definitions of “ego” this morning and I replied with my own definition. Since my reply is in the comments and could be easily overlooked, I’ve added it below. This is really a key component to any “school” of spirituality, so I’m grateful for the opportunity to highlight my definition of ego (and if you follow any teacher, it’s probably a good idea to get them to pin down what they mean by “ego”).  … Read more…

Authenticity vs Authority (Explorer vs Expert)

Out My Windshield

Out My Windshield


September 27, 2015 8:32 AM

I’m back at one of my favorite camping spots—along the Columbia River just downstream of the John Day Dam in OR/WA. I’ll probably move up to Mt. Hood later today to visit with my Frog Master (if it isn’t too late in the year for him) so I may be offline for a bit.

The other day I came across this interview with Mike Row, the host of Somebody’s Got To Do It. Even though the interview is on LifeHacker and they’re all about gadgets and tech (I love the part where Mike gets all excited upon hearing about super sticky post-it notes), he soon turns the conversation to something I feel strongly about (particularly in spirituality): Authenticity versus Authority (the Explorer versus the Expert). … Read more…

What Is Left When There Is No You?

Snapseed Practice

Snapseed Practice


September 18, 2015 8:51 AM

As I sat in a little local coffeehouse contemplating a route through eastern Oregon, I downloaded and played with Snapseed, an iPhone/iPad app for editing photos (see my first attempt above). One of my fantasies is to wander around the country like Jack Reacher with nothing but the clothes on my back and an iPhone or iPad in my pocket, but I couldn’t figure out how to make good qualities photos… until now. Hmm… I can see the possibilities. … Read more…

This Morning’s Insights

Dream-worthy Clouds

Dream-worthy Clouds


September 7, 2015 9:02 AM

This morning, I awoke with the following insights:

  • Collapsing the ego barrier (enlightenment) isn’t the goal. Inner peace and Happiness are. Enlightenment is just an ego desire (we think enlightenment will bring us inner peace and happiness so our ego makes enlightenment a goal).
  • My overall advice to spiritual seekers is to re-distribute your identity dollars into the higher levels of the Map. This will make accessing those levels easier on a day-to-day basis, as well as pulling your identity “center” higher. Bonus Material: Spending more time in the higher levels will dramatically weaken the ego barrier.
  • Michelle is able to access the higher levels practically at will. Less so when overwhelmed. The same applies to me. The biggest practical difference between Michelle and I isn’t the collapse of the ego barrier, but that I get “overwhelmed” less often because my identity is more heavily invested in the higher levels (I don’t take the lower levels very seriously—they are less “me” than the higher levels are). But—I guess—I don’t take the lower levels very seriously because of the collapse of the ego barrier(?) (may be a circular argument but may also be a powerful, circular technique: Strengthening the higher, weakens the lower, which weakens the ego barrier, which strengthens the higher…).
  • A big thing that makes my outlook on life different from most is that I look at death like it is an upcoming vacation. I see death as kind of a respite from the daily grind (yeah, tough life I live). A temporary vacation, knowing full well that I’ll have to come back to work (re-incarnate) sometime after. (Readers: Don’t go freaking out on me now. I enjoy this life and feel I have a very clear purpose (work) to do. Because of that purpose, I want to get as much of this work done before the vacation.)

Being the Frog Master

The Home Office

The Home Office


September 3, 2015 11:18 AM

My (partial) response to an email from Jerry Freeman this morning:

Very cool though that we were both writing about the same thing at about the same time. This too was reflected in my student’s life (I was offline and didn’t know about her experience until after I had published that blog post). She had a friend visiting who had a psychotic break-down during her visit. Michelle, my student, was witnessing someone who’s Interior world was more real to her than her Exterior world was which, synchronistically, was a key part of my blog post (though unbeknownst to me at the time I was writing it), and was exactly what Michelle needed to hear:

> “To strengthen the Witness Level, one must learn to see (and therefore distance oneself) from their thoughts—one must learn to see the difference between the Interior world of the Mind and the Exterior world of Reality.”

I thought at the time of writing the above that it was a little clunky, that it was really only step 1 in strengthening the Witness (step 2 being one must see their Interior in the same way as they see their Exterior), but I heard Her (TaoGodHer’s) whisper and left it as is. As it turned out, confusing the Interior world with the Exterior world was what was being reflected in Michelle’s friend’s experience (though I didn’t know that at the time). Amazing how this stuff works.

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