Saturday, November 15, 2014

How to Train Your Dragon - Or the Natural Man

This week, my husband and I took our kids to the dollar movie theater and watched How to Train Your Dragon 2.  My aunt had treated us to the film when it first came out so this was our second time seeing it. I had also seen the first movie a few times as my kids loved it and we purchased it. Because of this, I was quite surprised it took me so long for the following symbolism to hit me, but it wasn't until walking out of the theater this last time that my eyes were opened to some pretty profound symbolism hiding in this little kids film.  I guess I should warn you this likening post assumes you've already seen the movie so if you haven't... I'll try to write in such a way that reading it will hopefully only enhance your experience when you watch the movie. 




How to Train Your Dragon, Option 1: 
Fight it!


If you remember the first movie, the citizen's of the Viking city of Berk were often running into trouble with the dragons that would often visit their land to feed on their sheep and in the process would destroy buildings and sometimes harm their people in their wild raids, using each of their many unique abilities in self-defense against those attacking them.  After seven generations of the Vikings trying this approach, no progress was made with this option - unless you count the often upgraded and rebuilt buildings replaced after old ones were burned or destroyed during the violent conflicts :-). 




How to Train Your Dragon, Option 2: 
Force it!




In the second movie, the conqueror, Drago Bludvist, is amassing a dragon army. His approach to dragons is to force them into submission through the force of his will, violence or pain. He doesn't love the dragons, but uses them to rule over others - not caring if the dragons or others suffer pain or die in the process. In the city of Berk, many years before Hiccup is born, Drago met in council with the leaders of the city and said in essence, "I can control the dragons that harm you, let me be your leader and you'll never have to worry about harm from dragons again." This seemed so absurd, the leaders of the city laughed in his face. Drago retaliated by sicking his dragons on the group, and burning them alive. Only Stoick the Vast, who would be chief of the Vikings, survived. 



How to Train Your Dragon, Option 3: 
Train it!


By the end of the first movie, Hiccup, the slight-of-build yet inventive and adventurous son of the massive Viking chief, Stoick, finds out by accident that dragons aren't inherently evil. Instead, he learns that when befriended and loved, the dragons can become fiercely loyal, protective, and loving friends. Together, Hiccup and Toothless (his dragon), bring peace to Berk in the first movie and teach the members of his city to learn the great benefits of training their dragons, not fighting them. 


In the second movie, where the world is now a much bigger place when able to fly upon the backs of dragons, Hiccup and Toothless, are more loyal and in tune with each other than ever. They experience great trials, but also great joy. They travel to lands they never would have reached alone (Toothless can't fly without Hiccup whose inventions are needed to compensate for injury to his tail). On these journeys, they both come to discover in deep ways who they are, the strength they have, and what their purpose and power is in building and leading in their kingdom. 


How to Train your... Natural Man

If you haven't guessed, the symbolism I saw the other day in this movie is in the three ways I see the world has tried to approach training what is often called in the scriptures the "natural man" or the natural woman. 

Option 1

The first approach to the natural man is the gut reaction to fight against it. We experience what the untrained and wild potential of the natural self can do and the destruction it can cause when untamed and we are enraged. Curiously, when using this option, there are few (though there are those) who fight against their self. More commonly, we distract ourselves from our own dragons' destruction by focusing on fighting against other people's untamed dragons. Then we blind our eyes and numb ourselves to the guilt we feel for the fires we've lit and the cities we've destroyed with things as simple as entertainment or as complicated as addictive substances - all the while dwelling in ruins and spending our time rebuilding instead of progressing.

Option 2

The second approach recorded over and over throughout history is to call that natural self inherently evil. To rely on other mortals ever-willing to tell us they will protect us from our natural tendencies because they have them under foot (like Drago symbolizes when he puts a dragon under his foot in the movie). In milder ways, this option presents itself in the belief that children would never want to learn unless forced, or that people would naturally want to hurt each other, steal, plunder etc. if not forced to be good. And I guess they have all the efforts of those trying option 1 to prove their point. 

Option 3

But, as I continue to find, it is the third alternative we need to seek. That is the alternative Hiccup finds in the movie. And it is the one that we can find when we come unto Christ with a prayer similar to this one uttered by the people of King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon:
And they had viewed themselves in their own carnal state... And they all cried aloud with one voice, saying: O have mercy, and apply the atoning blood of Christ that we may receive forgiveness of our sins, and our hearts may be purified; for we believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who created heaven and earth, and all things; who shall come down among the children of men. (Mosiah 4:2)

A wonderful description of what option 3 looks like is found in the Q&A on the companion DVD to the book, For Times of Trouble by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland:

Audience Question: It seems one of life's most difficult challenges is really becoming the kind of person who has the traits like patience and charity; someone who has overcome the natural man's tendencies toward anger etc. I'm just wondering what you think I can be doing daily to actively try to acquire these [character] traits and how I might begin to see my progress?  

Elder Holland: What a sweet question with all the right motive and all the right theology. You mention the natural man or the natural woman. I think my answer would come in how I define who a natural man or a natural woman is... We do not see people as born inherently evil, we do not see people as despicable, so for us, I think “natural man” doesn’t mean inherently evil and really troublesome and a bad [person]. For me, the “natural man” means something like: natural resources. It’s kind of like a river. And until we shape it and until we disciplined it; until we kind of maybe dam it a little bit where it needs to be [dammed], or encourage it a little bit there where it might be a little more free flowing—but it is working with a wonderful resource and a potentially powerful and beautiful and terrifically constructive thing—that, for me, is what it means to deal with the natural man or the natural woman. 
 
So, do that with yourself.  Don't be too hard on yourself. Don’t beat yourself up. Don't think you're worse than you are. Don't think you're evil. Don't think every day, every hour of your life you're falling short because you are not. You've got this natural capability and you're supposed to shape it the way we tame rivers and timbers and the other natural [elements of this world].  
... In this natural resource God has given you, it means something about your zest. It means something about your zeal. It means something about your desire to accomplish a lot, and do more and be more. So just don't be too hard on yourself and surely don't be hard on other people... but see it more positively.  If you can see it constructively, then I think the quest day in and day out—and it will be a quest, you’ll have to work on this, or these or other kinds of things like anger etc. all of our lives— but find the virtue that is lurking in there somewhere. Channel it, restrict and restrain the damaging part or the bad parts; the destructive parts that wouldn’t bless people, and then steer that natural gift into a wonderful and very attractive aspect of a Latter-day Saint's life.  
I think of people who are naturally happy.  Well, you could be obnoxious about that, or you could be offensive, so you guard against the excess of that and you guard against light-mindedness and you guard against silliness, But you surely don't criticize yourself or berate yourself for the good part of that: that when you're happy you can make a whole room happy. When you’re happy you can make a whole family happy, or a ward happy etc. if we do this right.  
So I am the eternal optimist. The glass isn’t just half-full with me, the glass is so full it is rolling down the hill and over and through the woods to grandmother's house. I would always encourage you even as you work on serious, truly challenging personality traits or natural inclinations you have, to see the good in yourself, see the potential good in the discipline of it. Work on the discipline part and then find that what was—like is recorded in the book of Ether (12:27)—what was a weakness and may have been given to us as a weakness, is there to be turned into a strength and will become a strength. The very thing you thought was a limitation lo and behold someday you’re wonderfully, constructively victorious in that category. I just would encourage you to be positive about it while you work on problems.


In other words, we will find the most purpose, power, and progress if we choose the option 3 Elder Holland describes. As I explored in my last post, there is a great and wise purpose for this natural world and natural self I am continually learning more about. 

As the doctrine of the LDS faith teaches (as I understand it), the atonement of Christ was our Savior going through the required process to be intimately aware and familiar with each of us. His atonement wasn't just to "pay for our sins." It was to make him our Savior for every aspect and consequence of this natural world - so that he can help us train our "dragon" and progress and become like our Father in Heaven. Because of Christ willingly submitting to that process, He knows how to succor us in times of trial and trouble. Because of his at-one-ment with us,  we can choose to come unto Christ and he has the power to heal us and help us.

If we choose him, he will "show unto [us our] weakness. [He] give[s] unto men weakness that they may be humble [the purpose of this natural world and the natural self is to teach us to depend on Christ]; and [his] grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before [him]; for if they humble themselves before [him], and have faith in [him], then will [he] make weak things become strong unto them" (Ether 12:27).

And let us not forget: part of that atonement was what he suffered on the cross, but he didn't just die for us. He rose again. And was given the knowledge and power to raise us all. In fact, the doctrine in the scriptures is that all those who chose to come to this mortal world - no matter if they choose faith in Christ while here or not - will be reunited with their natural man - their dragon - and gain immortality. Immortality being different than Eternal life (the kind of life God lives).

So. We are meant to keep our dragons - these mortal bodies and the natural self that comes with it. They will follow us, like it or not. What is ours to decide is:


How will we train our dragon? 


Monday, November 10, 2014

Words That Move Me: Julian of Norwich

Julian of Norwich
I am only half-way through the "Showings of Divine Love" by Julian of Norwich, but I can't hold back the floodgates of my gratitude any longer. They must spill on these pages. 

You simply (yet slowly and deeply) must feast upon her words to feel this yourself! To only read her words, and surely to never feast upon them, for me, would be like never having feasted upon the gospel of John or the book of Mosiah. One would be just as lacking in their understanding of Christ's love and power to redeem and purify without those books as without Julian's words. Yes, I just compared her words to scripture. I feel like being that bold. 

Sitting down to try and put my feelings into words I want so much that ability that God has - and that so many have witnessed they have experienced - where in a moment, volumes of thought and language are conveyed in a single word or moment and they are able to comprehend and understand deeply and broadly more than a computer can download on the most powerful internet connection we have available. Oh! The barrier of language is such a wall I long to have down! Until then, here is one likening I have nothing more than words and images as tools to relate, hoping it will assuage that bursting feeling.


The "Othello Principle"


When I married, my husband's family introduced me to a game called Othello. 

The materials are simple: A square game board filled with square indents and round game pieces that are black on one side and white on the other. 

The rules are simple: place one round piece on the board each turn with your color facing up in any open square that would surround the opposite color. Then turn over all the opposite colored circles that you have surrounded. The player with the most of their color at the end, wins.

I have always thought of this game as symbolic of a principle spoken of in many places in scripture:

Isaiah 51:3,

For the Lord shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.
Revelation 21:6

And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son [or daughter].

3 Nephi 9:17-22

And as many as have received me, to them have I given to become the sons [and daughters] of God; and even so will I to as many as shall believe on my name, for behold, by me redemption cometh... I am the light and the life of the world. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. And ye shall offer up unto me no more the shedding of blood; yea, your sacrifices and your burnt offerings shall be done away…and ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart [broken like a horse is broken-in, yielding, submissive to God's will and tutoring]…Behold I have come unto the world to bring redemption unto the world, to save the world from sin. 

I love the picture that is painted in these verses of black being turned to white through the power of Christ and his atonement [grace]. There is also this comforting feeling when reading those words about Christ as the Alpha and Omega - Christ having the first piece and the last piece in this game of life - that he has us surrounded. Like the symbolic cloak a benefactor in Old Testament times would drape around the one he means to protect. 

I feel the same principle when I read these words of Julian of Norwich:

For as the body is clad in the cloth, and the flesh in the skin, and the bones in the flesh, and the heart in the whole, so are we, soul and body, clad in the Goodness of God, and enclosed. Yea, and more homely: for all these may waste and wear away, but the Goodness of God is ever whole; and more near to us, without any likeness; for truly our Lover desireth that our soul cleave to Him with all its might, and that we be evermore cleaving to His Goodness. For of all things that heart may think, this pleaseth most God, and soonest speedeth [the soul]. For our soul is so specially loved of Him that is highest, that it overpasseth the knowing of all creatures: that is to say, there is no creature that is made that may [fully] know how much and how sweetly and how tenderly our Maker loveth us... For our natural Will is to have God, and the Good Will of God is to have us; and we may never cease from willing nor from longing till we have Him in fullness of joy: and then may we no more desire... And I, beholding all this by His grace, saw that the Love of Him was so strong which He hath to our soul that willingly He chose it with great desire, and mildly He suffered it with well-pleasing. For the soul that beholdeth it thus, when it is touched by grace, it shall verily see that the pains of Christ’s Passion pass all pains: [all pains] that is to say, which shall be turned into everlasting, o’erpassing joys by the virtue of Christ’s Passion. 


~ Julian of Norwich (2014-06-03). The Showings of Divine Love (Kindle Locations 139-148, 477-480). Wilder Publications, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
Yet, unlike the game of Othello, we are not game pieces. We have individual wills or agency. So does God. And with his agency, I find that He,

...chooses no power over
A man's agency.
His power is Love.
He
Is love,
The greatest power.
The Force stronger then gravity,
That chooses not to force.

(From, Beyond Walls)


 Julian speaks of what she learned about the dual aspects of our agency, feeling the pull of both when witnessing the extent of Christ's suffering,


I answered inwardly with all the might of my soul, and said: Nay; I may not: for Thou art my Heaven... Thus was I learned to choose Jesus to my Heaven, whom I saw only in pain at that time... And this hath ever been a comfort to me, that I chose Jesus to my Heaven, by His grace, in all this time of Passion and sorrow; and that hath been a learning to me that I should evermore do so: choose only Jesus to my Heaven in weal and woe...
And these be [of our] two parts: the one outward, the other inward. The outward part is our deadly flesh-hood, which is now in pain and woe, and shall be, in this life: whereof I felt much in this time...The inward part is an high, blissful life, which is all in peace and in love: and this was more inwardly felt; and this part is [that] in which mightily, wisely and with steadfast will I chose Jesus to my Heaven. And in this I saw verily that the inward part is master and sovereign to the outward, and doth not charge itself with, nor take heed to, the will of that: but all the intent and will is set to be oned unto our Lord Jesus.
~ Julian of Norwich (2014-06-03). The Showings of Divine Love (Kindle Locations 451-463). Wilder Publications, Inc.. Kindle Edition. 
A similar idea was described by Brigham Young in this way,
AnnieHenrie.com
In the first place the spirit is pure, and under the special control and influence of the Lord, but the body is of the earth, and is subject to the power of the Devil, and is under the mighty influence of that fallen nature that is of the earth. If the spirit yields to the body, the Devil then has power to overcome the body and spirit of that man, and he loses both...When you are tempted, buffeted, and step out of the way inadvertently... and wish to yield to it, then stop and let the spirit, which God has put into your tabernacles, take the lead. If you do that, I will promise that you will overcome all evil, and obtain eternal lives.  (Discourses of Brigham Young, Chapter VI)
I was recently asked what I would say to someone who doesn't believe in God anymore because they can't believe that an all-powerful God would not use his power to stop such suffering of innocent children and others. I don't remember exactly the words that came to mind, but the "Othello principle" was part of it. I wish I would have had these words to add to that part:

And here saw I verily that if He shewed now [to] us His Blissful Cheer, there is no pain in earth or in other place that should aggrieve us; but all things should be to us joy and bliss. But because He sheweth to us time of His Passion, as He bare it in this life, and His Cross, therefore we are in distress and travail, with Him, as our frailty asketh. And the cause why He suffereth [it to be so,] is for [that] He will of His goodness make us the higher with Him in His bliss; and for this little pain that we suffer here, we shall have an high endless knowing in God which we could never have without that. And the harder our pains have been with Him in His Cross, the more shall our worship be with Him in His Kingdom. 
~ Julian of Norwich (2014-06-03). The Showings of Divine Love (Kindle Locations 492-497). Wilder Publications, Inc.. Kindle Edition. 

But there is yet one more reason I have since learned from reading near-death accounts, of all things. 

I've often been curious to read such accounts after listening to a CD by Brent L. Top called, "What's on the Other Side." In this book he quotes Joseph Smith saying,  

AnnieHenrie.com
All men know that they must die. And it is important that we should understand the reasons and causes of our exposure to the vicissitudes of life and of death, and the designs and purposes of God in our coming into the world, our sufferings here, and our departure hence. . . . It is but reasonable to suppose that God would reveal something in reference to the matter, and it is a subject we ought to study more than any other. We ought to study it day and night, for the world is ignorant in reference to their true condition and relation. If we have any claim on our Heavenly Father for anything, it is for knowledge on this important -subject.
Brent L. Top (2012-09-14). What's on the  Other Side?: What the Gospel Teaches Us about the Spirit World (Kindle Locations 129-135). Deseret Book Company. Kindle Edition. 

In perusing different accounts over the years, there was always something I couldn't get to add up. First, I would read teachings like this: “It is my judgment that any man or woman can do more to conform to the laws of God in one year in this life than they could do in ten years when they are dead." (Melvin J. Ballard, “The Three Degrees of Glory,” 1922). 

Then I would read, 

“I believe we shall be freed, in the next world, in a great measure, from these narrow, contracted methods of thinking. Instead of thinking in one channel, and following up one certain course of reasoning to find a certain truth, knowledge will rush in from all quarters; it will come in like the light which flows from the sun, penetrating every part, informing the spirit, and giving understanding concerning ten thousand things at the same time; and the mind will be capable of receiving and retaining all.” (Orson Pratt, in Journal of Discourses, 2:246)

How can both be true I would often wonder. Maybe Orson Pratt was mistaken in his "belief." But then all the accounts I read testify of the truth of that statement. This one among them,

I perform what might be a variation of the life review that others have reported upon returning to the physical from near-death experiences. No deliberation is involved, meaning that I don’t settle in and say, “Ok, bring it on.” It’s more of a casual drift into reflection, the way we tend to drift into sleep with images smoothly flowing through. And whereas in a sense my life flashed before my eyes, it is not a flash so much as a deep and multi-layered, instantaneous yet leisurely wander through life. I simultaneously perceive layers of emotional, mental, and physical experience with underlying connections and patterns and progressions, as well as the links between all of those....The process of review is not analytical since it isn’t linear or evaluative in a way that we might understand from within a physical consciousness. The experiences are absorbed through all levels of comprehension and perception at once. The senses of perception feel as if they are expansions of the physical senses we use on earth though more closely connected to each other. If I hear a sound, it is much richer than anything imagined in physical experience. At the same time that I hear the sound, I am also able to taste that sound, to feel it, and to perceive it visually. So in some way, a single sense is all senses, each informing the other. The physical senses that we use could be likened to a thin and isolated strand within a thick cable while the expanded senses would each be as large as the whole cable with each braided into the other sensory cables so that any input immediately flows through all cables. 
Sudman, Natalie (2012-04-16). Application of Impossible Things - My Near Death Experience in Iraq (Kindle Locations 1148-1155). Ozark Mountain Publishing, Inc.. Kindle Edition. 

Then why? Why would Elder Ballard possibly conclude that we can do more in one year in mortality than we can in ten years with those kinds of abilities!?!  It just didn't make sense. Then this week, understanding struck me: "do more" was the key. What was it we could do more of? I realized all the awesome abilities and increased capacities described in the spirit realm might be the very reason we need the handicaps of this life to progress. 

After all, how well would I be able to learn patience or submissiveness, in a spirit realm, if as many describe, and one woman in particular puts it:

...discussions proceeded among the various groups and within the whole of the Gathering. This may seem impossible considering there were thousands present, but it was not. No overlaps occurred, no interruptions took place, no misunderstandings formed, and disagreements were respectfully and thoughtfully engaged and resolved. All communication was accomplished through thought. 
Sudman, Natalie (2012-04-16). Application of Impossible Things - My Near Death Experience in Iraq (Kindle Locations 216-218). Ozark Mountain Publishing, Inc.. Kindle Edition. 

There wouldn't be many opportunities to learn patience with things working so smoothly. 

How hard would it be to learn, in the spirit realm, to forgive someone who truly had hurt me, if with such expanded abilities, we could undoubtedly understand easily their true intent - language not being a barrier there. In fact, there would be little to have to forgive each other for in such a place, knowing the great potential of each, feeling their love in every fiber as described when spirit's embrace etc. Many even speak of the common way we honor each person's use of agency in the spirit realm, even when that use of agency goes contrary to what we feel is in harmony with the Light of Christ. We aren't resentful. 

Greg Olsen, "Forgiven"
So, if a loving Heavenly Father wanted us to progress, wouldn't a world where we didn't always understand each other, where everything took so much effort to learn and comprehend, where cultural traditions put us all above or below each other, where the temptations of the flesh when allowed to control our actions caused so much pain and suffering to others (and ourselves) - wouldn't that be the perfect place to learn such divine qualities as patience, submissiveness, humility (dependence on the Lord), to be longsuffering in affliction, to be forgiving and every other divine attribute? Without this mortal world to learn such things, it would be like trying to teach a fish about water. What a wise Father. 

From another angle, spending our time to be the best mathematician, musician, engineer, entrepreneur, dancer, writer - whatever - is only going to serve the purpose of this mortal life if it serves the purpose of teaching us those divine character attributes or qualities in our interactions and relationships with each other. So, I ask myself, how am I doing? At those important things? Those things that we won't learn in an instant on the other side (because wow, I'm sure all that other stuff will take seconds to regain out of this world)? Forget the rat race. I have a whole new perspective on why we are here.

In this view, I would find it hard to believe in a God who took away all suffering. A God who is said to always have our best at heart, but then takes away all opportunities for us to learn those essential qualities - the reasons for this mortality. Put another way,

If God chooses to teach us the things we most need to learn because he loves us, and if he seeks to tame our souls and gentle us in the way we most need to be tamed and most need to be gentled, it follows that he will customize the challenges he gives us and individualize them so that we will be prepared for life in a better world by his refusal to take us out of this world, even though we are not of it. In the eternal ecology of things we must pray, therefore, not that things be taken from us, but that God's will be accomplished through us. What, therefore, may seem now to be mere unconnected pieces of tile will someday, when we look back, take form and pattern, and we will realize that God was making a mosaic. For there is in each of our lives this kind of divine design, this pattern, this purpose that is in the process of becoming, which is continually before the Lord but which for us, looking forward, is sometimes perplexing. 
~ Neal A. Maxwell, "But for a Small Moment," BYU Devotional, 1974.


That is the kind of design that speaks to me of divinity at the helm.

And we must not forget: the God who is willing to let innocent children suffer, is willing because he willingly agreed to take those pains upon himself - to enact that spiritual math where their joy and glory will not equal their suffering, but exceed it!

If we choose what he freely offers, we can know, too, the feeling that "the cause why He suffereth [it to be so,] is for [that] He will of His goodness make us the higher with Him in His bliss; and for this little pain that we suffer here, we shall have an high endless knowing in God which we could never have without that." 

It has been my experience that our Savior does not save all of that relief and joy for the next life. 

It begins its crescendo in this life as soon as we choose Christ and grows with each additional moment of "weal and woe" where we choose "Jesus to our heaven." 







Friday, October 24, 2014

Little Likening #2: Dyad and Doorways


In the last "Little Likening" I spoke of the Monad and the symbolism of the number one that I'd been reading about in a book called, A Beginner's Guide to Constructing the Universe, assigned as part of a study series I participate in that is aided by monthly introductory and discussion audios. This quote is a nice transition from that post to this,
"So many of us are kept from eventual consecration because we mistakenly think that, somehow, by letting our will be swallowed up in the will of God, we lose our individuality (see Mosiah 15:7). What we are really worried about, of course, is not giving up self, but selfish things—like our roles, our time, our preeminence, and our possessions. No wonder we are instructed by the Savior to lose ourselves (see Luke 9:24). He is only asking us to lose the old self in order to find the new self. It is not a question of one’s losing identity but of finding his true identity! Ironically, so many people already lose themselves anyway in their consuming hobbies and preoccupations but with far, far lesser things." 
~ Neal A. Maxwell, Oct 1995 General Conference


Vesica Piscis
For the Monad and the number 1, the geometric shape was a circle with a point centered in it. For the Dyad and number 2, it is the Vesica Piscis. I'm a little hesitant to write about the number two symbolism after a quick Goole search for images to use revealed that there are a lot of interesting theories and history related to these geometric shapes arranged as they are and what it symbolizes is not the same for everyone. As a side-note, the most fascinating curiosity was finding this picture of the Washington Monument:


Do you see it?

But for this post, let's pretend you are me - you've just seen this drawing of two circles for the first time and have no previous ideas attached to it. 

Reading this part first struck a chord with me:
Like a pebble tossed into a pond, a circle can only reproduce more circles in its own likeness. The ancient mathematical philosophers saw this in the metaphor of arithmetic. They noticed that no matter how many times unity is multiplied by itself, the result is the same: one (1 x 1 x 1 x … x 1 x 1 = 1). So how does unity, oneness, step beyond itself and become the many? How can the Monad generate the other principles, other shapes, other numbers? How does the "same" produce an "other" How does the primeval "I generate its "Thou"? 
~ A Beginners Guide, pg.22


Because of where my mind has been for a while, I immediately compared this thought to the account of the Garden of Eden. I also thought of so many in this world that want to achieve sameness, thinking that is the only kind of equality possible. We ignore the unique traits of both genders or we seek to be like the opposite gender. I quote again, "It is not a question of one’s losing identity but of finding his true identity!" 

But getting back to the book this little likening is centered in, we are introduced in the chapter on the symbolism of the number two to the vesica piscis. Two circles arranged as shown above. You can also draw a line between the two center points of the circles (or all kinds of shapes for that matter).
                          

These intersecting circles, linked across their centers to form a line, make an ancient and obvious symbol of twoness. The overlapping space between them is the vesica piscis…The straight lines we will draw in our constructions represent the tension and motion between the poles of every creating process…The principle of "twoness," or "otherness," was called the Dyad by the Greek philosophers of the five centuries before Christ…The paradox of the Dyad is that while it appears to separate from unity, its opposite poles remember their source and attract each other in an attempt to merge and return to that state of unity…we know we are under the sway of the Dyad when we are attracted or repelled by anything…Exactly two people of opposite gender, no more or less, can produce a child. When cool, dry air penetrates warm, wet air, rain precipitates. Woven cloth manifests itself at the intersection of warp and woof. Two poles of a battery, positive and negative, are needed to complete an electric circuit. Two fixed ends of a guitar string allow us to pluck it, creating vibration, sound, and music. One chopstick is motionless, the other moves, and together they can pick up food. There isn't anything composed of matter (or antimatter) that avoids polarity. Even the geometric compass operates by the interplay of two legs, one motionless and the other moving, the poles of center and circumference. The Dyad is the basis of every creative process…Human nature mirrors outer nature. All personal relationships have at their essence the archetypal tension between opposites…taking responsibility, or assigning blame, strength and tenderness; they are integral to political opposition parties, diplomacy, business partnerships and business rivalries…If there is something you don't like, you can assume that its opposite exists, which you will like. 
A Beginners Guide, pgs.23-26

The oldest story of the Garden of Eden addresses these ideas. As these passages remind us, there is need for "opposition in all things" (2 Nephi 2:11). Without opposition, nothing is created. Here I couldn't help but think of the part in the account recorded in the Pearl of Great Price, Moses 4:26 where "Adam called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living; for thus have I, the Lord God, called the first of all women, which are many." Interestingly, I have learned that the ancient Sumerian words for one and two are also those for man and woman. 

Today, we consider one and two as merely number quantities, not realizing they are symbols of basic facts of existence. Surprisingly, ancient mathematical philosophers did not consider one and two to be numbers themselves since their representations - point and line - are not actual. A point has no dimension and a line just one dimension. Nobody can hold a true point or line in his hand. Likewise, no one or two points, lines, or angles will create any actual form by themselves. But an ongoing interplay beginning with a point and line is all that's required to construct the world's geometric patterns. Thus the Monad and Dyad were considered by the ancients to be not numbers but the parents of numbers. Their mating, the fusion of the principles of one and two, point and line, unity and difference gives birth to all subsequent archetypal principles revealed as numbers, symbolized by numerals, and seen as shapes in nature. The Dyad, then is the doorway between the One and the Many.  
A Beginners Guide, pg.30-31 
Once again, in my mind echoes the phrase, "mother of all living." As many have noted (this AWESOME speech among them) this was said of Eve BEFORE she bore any children. Reading about the Dyad has helped me understand a deeper layer to why that is and what it means to be a woman. James E. Faust spoke of Eve this way,

We all owe a great debt of gratitude to Eve. In the Garden of Eden, she and Adam were instructed not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. However, they were also reminded, “Thou mayest choose for thyself.” The choice was really between a continuation of their comfortable existence in Eden, where they would never progress, or a momentous exit into mortality with its opposites: pain, trials,and physical death in contrast to joy, growth, and the potential for eternal life. In contemplating this choice, we are told, “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, … and a tree to be desired to make her wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and also gave unto her husband with her, and he did eat.” And thus began their earthly probation and parenthood. After the choice was made, Adam voiced this grateful expression: “Blessed be the name of God, for because of my transgression my eyes are opened, and in this life I shall have joy, and again in the flesh I shall see God.”  
Eve made an even greater statement of visionary wisdom after leaving the Garden of Eden: “Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient.” If it hadn’t been for Eve, none of us would be here. 
~LDS General Conference, October 1999
I find it fascinating to contemplate those accounts of the Garden of Eden which show Lucifer/the serpent/Satan spending much more effort in getting Eve to partake of the fruit than Adam. I think he knew she was the one whose role it was to be that doorway. Adam had other roles. I realize now that is one more wise reason (to add to the many I've discovered) that Eve is portrayed as being created second. Number two is important in symbolizing her role. I also find it fascinating that all of nature, geometric shapes and numerical expressions in the language of math all support and witness of the wisdom in that choice Eve made to open the door - or maybe more accurately to be a doorway through which opposition and "twoness" could enter. Theirs would have been a life of stagnation if Adam and Eve remained in the Garden, just as 1 x 1 x 1 x 1… will always =1.  

"Opposites appear when separateness begins." (pg. 36) Once again, we could not progress until we experienced a separation from God and were allowed to increase in our knowledge of opposites. But in that opposition and "twoness" we are meant to learn a new kind of unity that allows for endless progression. 
[Two] is the only case where the addition of a number to itself yields the same result as it does multiplying by itself. Two plus two  equals two times two. Two represents a balancing point between unity and all subsequent numbers, between one and the many.…Symbolically, "two" acts as an intermediary, a transition, a door or portal between the Monad and all the rest of the numbers. [Christ is our advocate with the Father comes to mind here] Twoness is the hole or lens through which unity becomes and balances with the Many. This is the geometric lesson of the two linked circles, symbol of the Dyad. The almond-shaped zone of interpenetration between the circles has attracted the attention of geometers, artists, architects, and mythmakers through history. This is the vesica piscis, in Christian cultures a reference to Christ as the "fish" in the Age of Pisces. It's called a mandorla ("almond") in India. It was known in the early civilizations of Mesopotamia, Africa, Asia, and elsewhere. 
~A Beginners Guide, pg.31

In looking at this geometric shape of the two circles united, I know I'm not the first one to have seen how beautifully the center space represents Eve and Christ. If Eve was a doorway to a world of opposition where we could progress and grow to become more like God, then Christ is the doorway back. He is the way, the truth and the life; our advocate or way back to unity with God. It is so beautiful how God has imbedded these truths into everything around us! 


One more reason why I love this interpretation of Christ in Gethsemane with a female angel comforting him. It sure feels most fitting for Eve to have been the one to provide comfort at such a time with this perspective. 


Do our children realize the symbolism math and geometry were dominantly used to express and discover? No. They just memorize rules, or fail at memorizing them. At least that's all I've been doing to my own children. Wow. Ouch. 
…perhaps instead of teaching science to youngsters in separate pigeonholes of biology, chemistry, physics, [math] and so on, science courses could investigate the principles that run through each of them, such as wholeness, polarity, balance, pattern, and harmony. ~ A Beginners Guide, pg. 28


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Little Likening #1: The Monad

I've decided life is just in a higher gear with older children, teaching, our business, and projects etc. so I'm not going to wait for it to calm down before I write! Hence, here is the first of what I'll call "Little Likenings." 

My mornings are devoted to projects, writing and scripture study, but I'm reading three books right now and a few ebooks and they all rotate taking turns coming with me to the gym to be read during those 2 minutes of slower exercise between the 30 second sprints my health coach has assigned. Each day when I ask: okay, who wants to come with me today? One will nudge to the surface of the pile. 

Lately, A Beginner's Guide to Constructing the Universe has called to me the most. I'm reading it along with two friends for a MIC series we participate in. It's filling up with wavy lines and notes scribbled while in motion. I have to try hard to remember I'm not alone at home for I burst out often with astonishment, surprise, or excitement at what this book is showing me and how its connecting to what I've been learning in my spiritual journey of the past years. 

First, some excerpts that I find fascinating and then the connections I'm starting to see. From the Introduction:



... the simple counting numbers from one to ten and the shapes that represent them, such as a circle, line, triangle, and square express a consistent, comprehensible language. The ten numbers are a complete archetypal sourcebook. They are the original ten patents for designs found all through the universe...Anything anyone can point to in nature is composed of small patterns and is a part of larger ones...Reading the Book of Nature first requires familiarity with its alphabet of geometric glyphs...open secret[s], fully in view but usually unnoticed...studying number properties and intellectually knowing the road map, the symbolism, is not the same as actually taking the journey. We take that journey by finding within ourselves the universal principles these properties represent and by applying the knowledge to our own growth. (Pages xx-xxiii)


 Thereafter, each chapter focuses on a single number from 1 to 10. This "Little Likening" will focus on the first chapter:



Wholly One


Called, the "Monad…ancient philosophers conceived that the Monad breathes in the void and creates all subsequent numbers (111111111 x 111111111 = 12345678987654321). [That is the coolest equation by the way, don't miss its symbolism!] Numbers only express different qualities of the Monad. The ancients didn't consider unity to be a 'number' but rather a parent of numbers…Nothing exists without a center around which it revolves, whether the nucleus of an atom, the heart of our body, hearth of the home, capital of a nation, sun in the solar system, or black hole at the core of a galaxy. When the center does not hold, the entire affair collapses. An idea or conversation is considered "pointless" not because it leads nowhere but because it has no center holding it together…dancers and gymnasts gracefully work with the Body's center of gravity to balance during motion…everyone has a psychological center of gravity, the thoughts, emotions, or desires with which we identify and from which we view the world at any given moment…our deeper self, the power that motivates the actions, emotions, thoughts and desires…the universal creating process begins with an expansion from a divine center, like the very first Biblical command, 'Let there be Light.' In Hindu mythology, the dimensionless Brahma speaks aloud the word aham, 'I Am,' a word made of the first, middle, and final letters of the Sanskrit alphabet, which represents the circle's three parts; the center, the radius, and the circumference, and our own spiritual center, psychological reaches, and outer material form." (Pages 2-10)


As I read these excerpts there are ideas in my head that gel together. First, I loved the idea of the number one symbolizing "the parent of numbers." (Wow, I can't wait to share the spiritual symbolism and aha's about the number two!! That will have to be the next "little likening"). 

Often, in that pursuit of a relationship with my creator, because I believe God to be an actual glorified being with a body, I've pictured him as far away from me. When I prayed or meditated, I focused outwardly, as if reaching for him (like I expressed here in this poem). Through various parts of my journey the last few years as I've yearned to strengthen my connection to and unity with my Heavenly Parents, I keep coming to this feeling that Paul meant something more when he spoke of us being of the "body of Christ." In my faith, we speak of the Light of Christ as being the power of Christ, 
"He that ascended up on high, as also he descended below all things, in that he comprehended all things, that he might be in all and through all things, the light of truth; which truth shineth. This is the light of Christ. As also he is in the sun, and the light of the sun, and the power thereof by which it was made… And the light which shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings; Which light proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space—The light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God who sitteth upon his throne, who is in the bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things." (D&C 88:6-7, 11-13)
 Therefore, we don't believe that God is in us (since we believe him to have a body), but we believe that the power of God is in all things and through all things so in that way, his power and influence is a part of us. We also believe the seeds of Godhood are within us just as everything in nature has the seeds to become what it's parent is. But because we are in a fallen world (wow, more on that with the symbolism of the number two!!) we believe we are fallen from this unity with God, but that Christ is our advocate - he is helping us regain that unity (and the symbolism of the number two shown in this book sure shows a purpose for that fall and for Christ to my mind - okay, yeah, I'm totally inspired by the number two now). 

The Light of Christ is the power behind all that Christ does. Importantly: "He…ascended up on high, as also he descended below all things…that he might be in all and through all things, the light of truth; which truth shineth. This is the light of Christ." In other words, Christ's atonement (descending below all things) is a large part of what qualified him to have this power. That's how I understand it, at least. 

So that's one piece - the Light of Christ being in all and through all things. As a side reference, an ebook I read a while ago related a woman's near death experience after getting blown up in Iraq and living to tell of it. In the following passage, It almost sounds like she's quoting the scripture reference I've just used to explain what those in my faith call the Light of Christ (what she calls, the All That Is), does it not?:

 In fact, my understanding of the various dimensions—or vibrations or worlds or focus levels… is that they are aspects of one encompassing reality. The one reality includes all beingness or consciousness. It is the endlessly unknowable infinity of creativity and an apparent paradox of infinite numbers of unique individuals that are simultaneously one. This encompassing connection is within and of, and creates, is created by, and moves through each unique being, and is part of all while also existing separately from what I’ll call “All That Is." This All That Is can be perceived simultaneously as a force and as an individual consciousness that exists within each consciousness and yet is separate from each consciousness or being. It’s what might be referred to as God, but the ideas of gods that we have [those Religions she has been exposed to, but most of what she describes is what I believe in my faith] are a pale and incomplete shadow of the All That Is that I perceive. Projecting an idea of a god or gods upon that infinite creative consciousness inevitably limits an understanding of the All That Is in ways that reflect the severely limited comprehension that we have of ourselves and the physical universe. (Application of Impossible Things by Natalie Sudman)

The other piece is the Monad and that idea of the number one expressing unity with the parent of the many (all numbers, or all souls?).  Right here, I REALLY want to go into the number two's significance, but to keep this a "little likening," my last thought that I ponder and will share is this:

We speak of "centering ourselves" or searching for "inner peace." I've never liked those phrases because it felt like it excluded that most essential part of the Savior's role I depend on and slowly feel I am being recreated by. For some, when they speak of centering in their self, it even excludes God - they become a God unto their self. 

But maybe it's the third alternative (as it almost always seems to be).  Maybe when praying or meditating, it is not meant to be a reaching outward or upward so much as a centering in that Light of Christ that connects us to everything in unity. That's the plug or outlet that connects us to the Real. And what I see in the symbolism of this Monad is not about losing our individuality into some blending of sameness (1 x any number = that number, not 1).  But of being more centered in our true self that is an essential and unique part in the tapestry of the whole just as every part of the body, or of nature is essential and unique. Just as there are infinite points along the circumference of a circle. 


"God makes himself known to the world; He fills up the whole circle of the universe, but makes his particular abode in the center, which is the soul of the just." Lucian (c. 240-312). 

Maybe the whole debate for thousands of years over whether Christ had a body or not wasn't an A (he does) or B (he doesn't) answer. The answer, I believe, is C. Through the Light of Christ, this quote that speaks of God making his particular abode in the center is true. But also, the principle of the unique individual and unity of the parts with the whole is true. God is an individual being also - the One, the parent of the many; one point centered among infinite points along the circumference of its circle (universe?). 

The Monad; Wholly One. 

Who says there's no use for math?!?!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Meet the Mormons

I'm always in motion these days and my most frequent thought is, "when will I ever get a chance to write!" Even waking up early it's hard to squeeze it in with so many other priorities and projects right now. But I had to quickly say:

Last night, my family and I went to Meet the Mormons. Wow.

I was blown away by this movie. So tender. So touching. The way these stories are woven together and the beauty of each of their souls that comes through just makes you love being alive - the challenge of life, the daily creation process, the beauty in loving and being loved, in helping others and being healed, the pain that can be turned into immense joy. The diversity of each life. It was inspiring. Just go no matter what you believe. You'll come away nourished.

Plus, all net proceeds go to the Red Cross.

Read more about it here. And get a free mp3 of the song, Glorious by David Archuleta here.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

This Is a Woman's Church

I don't often post just to share a link to something, but this deserves to be shared widely. I recommend watching the video so you can feel and see the energy, passion, and power of this speaker, but there is a transcription found at the link as well. The standing ovation at the end is telling. That's a first for this venue.

The speech is by Sharon Eubank given at a recent FAIR conference. Her background includes working as a legislative aide in the U.S. Senate for 4 years, owning a retail education store for 7 years, and since 1998 helping establish 17 international LDS employment offices in Africa and Europe. She also has directed the humanitarian wheelchair program that has 50,000 donations each year, and in 2008 she became regional director of the LDS Charities for the Middle East Africa North area and is currently the director of LDS Charities, the humanitarian organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

I was trying to think of a segment of her speech that  I'd share here that's my favorite, but there are too many. Maybe I'll just share this beginning portion to give you an idea of the tone and subjects she covers. (btw, the link at the end of this portion I share also leads you to a transcription that includes the Q&A at the end of her speech that you won't want to miss):

"... last night when I was getting ready, I thought, “Why did I even say ‘yes’ to this assignment?” I’m not a scholar, I’m not a FAIR contributor, I’m not a church spokesperson. There’s very little to recommend [me] and I’m not going to say anything very startling here today that you’re going to think, “Wow, that was new!” So I started to think, “Why did I say yes?” But the reason I said yes when they called was I want to go on record from my own experience. And my own experience has been incredibly empowering. The doctrine and the practice of the church, for me as a woman, has given me things that I care more deeply about than anything else in my life. So, I want to go on record...Because it will be my personal experience, but that’s the best testimonial that I have, and I feel passionately about it because it’s my own.
There has been some recent press that sort of alleged that the LDS church is sort of oppressive, or that it is stodgily conservative, or that it somehow might be a “toxic” environment for women to participate in. And I just think about that, with maybe a couple of colorful exceptions, my experience in the church as a woman has been incredibly empowering. Of course everything I’m going to talk about is my own experience. There are two sections of this talk. The first part I want to talk about is the doctrine and why the doctrine about women is important. And in the second piece I want to talk about practice and how we actually put our doctrine into practice, and some of the things that we might be able to do that could improve the way that we live up to our doctrine.
... At the end I’m going to try and answer this question (it may have been a poor title for this talk): Is this a woman’s church? But I’m going to tell you a story about that and then I’ll try and answer that question afterward.
The scope and the field that is open to me as a woman as revealed in LDS doctrine is more empowering than I can wrap my brain around. There is nothing else like it in any other faith tradition. There is nothing that I know about, that talks about our identity, and purpose and infinite artistry that’s available to us in this unique way.
I’m going to start out by talking about the doctrine of intelligences. This is, I think, unique to Mormonism. It talks about that we existed as intelligences and that it can’t be created and it can’t be made. We’ve always existed in this way. But, we chose to ally ourselves with God. We had personality and we had volition, and we chose to ally ourselves with a Heavenly Father and a Heavenly Mother who could put us on the road to exaltation..."

I HIGHLY recommend finding the audio or reading the rest of the transcription as found AT THIS LINK.  Enjoy!!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Walls

mending wall went up and a friend of mine said to me recently, 

"God is at the helm."

Good fences make good neighbors. I guess it may be true at times, but I've never been fond of such "mending walls." 


Something there is that doesn't love a wall, 

That wants it down.' I could say 'Elves' to him, 

But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather 
He said it for himself.

"God is at the helm."

It echoes in my ears.


The echo follows me this morning and I feel a nudge to open my old Dragonfly leather journal that Adam made for me years ago.  The evidence of God's guidance washes over me with a sweet peace.  

On one side of the journal's pages, I had recorded quotes from books, speeches and scriptures that influenced my life and resonated with me during the years I filled these pages. 

Every time I return to this journal, it feels like reading a manual of how God works in the life of his children. I feel not only the value of the quotes, but the wisdom behind the divine guidance. This is always confirmed by the memories, written between the lines, that come off the page. 

Flipping my journal around,  the other side of the pages is a record of "likenings" of scripture passages and experiences applying true principles to my life and their consequences. I never finished this side of the journal. It was more convenient to write most of those thoughts on a computer. Maybe someday I'll copy them in. Today, I reread those few that were written originally on the Dragonfly pages. When I get to the little poem, Beyond Walls I wrote last year, I am astonished. Here I was, a year ago, writing about a wall! Then again last month, I write about a wall. Now again, new layers of the wall reveal their self.

 Fascinating... how we think we understand the meaning of words - our own or others - only to find with new life experiences those words have deepened and changed. And what is it with me and walls? I must want them all down. Impatient: me. 

I'm reminded of the phrase, "mysteries of God." There are many scriptures that speak of the mysteries of God. I've heard many people describe how they are those things revealed by the Spirit. I've listened recently to speeches on the Gnostics and their take on those mysteries. 

I always thought those "mysteries" would be new ideas, new principles of how God works, or the works God has done that are hidden. That may still be true. But now it's more simple and more accessible: the mysteries of the kingdom are the deeper levels of understanding of the same simple words and principles we have heard maybe all our lives. Mysteries are hidden layers of something that's always been before us. Words like:



Faith

Unbelief

Veil

Grace

Light

Present Moment

Presence

Fullness

Eye of Faith

In this mortal world, we try to use these words and others to describe the indescribable. Those words become the visible or audible layer of a million-layered  communication. When we read or hear just the words, we miss the deeper meanings, implications, applications, emotions, power... the million other layers merely represented by the words chosen. 

 I'm beginning to understand now: The only way we'll begin to know the "mystery" of those missing layers is through learning and becoming familiar with that invisible language buried in our soul: the language of the Spirit of God. It is the only language that can convey those layers. There is no translation that's accurate and full. No short-cut. It's a language learned by obedience and faith more than study. Immersion, not memorization enhances our fluency. Music helps me learn that language, I find. 

But I'm slow. Sometimes a word takes years just to begin to understand. Like those walls.

I read a few days ago, "[It] is called “unbelief” in the scriptures. It is not necessarily an absence of faith, and can coexist with faith quite companionably. But, it is nevertheless an effective, and often long-lived, damnation of our faith."

Unbelief and faith can coexist. That is a deeper layer of my wall. Something isn't right with the last paragraph of this poem now... reaching is no longer the right action. It's now more like... what? I keep erasing what I type.  It is too much a mystery to describe with words. I'm left to ponder what I wrote last year, linking words to deeper layers...



BEYOND WALLS

 

Pull me outside my little self, Lord.
Grasp my reaching hands in thine,
Stretched out still.

Walls close in.
Only when minds do.
I know this.

The world is bigger then
Scientific methods and laboratories.
The sphere that envelopes the
One my natural eyes see -
It is that sphere that inspired
The methods,
The math,
The mechanics
Of this little sphere.

The crumb that falls to the ground
An ant may discover and be nourished by,
But it is only a portion, not
All there is.
Only all there is in his world.

Scarcity or abundance?
Seek no more for crumbs, but
For Sources.
No more for applications, but
For Truths.

If the walls of my little box are
Solid and shut - Open them!
This is the Present moment.
And the present thing to do:
Find that Presence within.
Again.
Every Present Moment.

But I am weak.
I can make but a crack;
A sliver of an opening in the
Wall of my natural world.
And when that crack
 Shrinks and closes! Oh! How the
 Darkness chills me.
It is by my own hand.
Pitiful woman.

Reach!
Stretch. . . pry,
Knock!
Yearn. . .

I see His hand stretched outward
As I peer through the sliver in the wall
Made by these actions of thought.

Smile,
Call a sister,
Listen,
Laugh,
Read,
Learn.

The sliver grows and swells,
Rays from the Son warm my brow.
Such Abiding Light is
Not sourced from my little sphere -
It is beyond my walls.
Reach!

Love,
Write,
Comfort,
Nourish,
Give...

Light is imparted. There is a
Window in my wall,
Enlightening; filling my soul with joy.
I can see the real again.
More or less than true is chased away.
I can breath. I am covered:
In love. In light.

If only I could burst these walls!
Turn this reaching into an embrace,
Into Fullness. Union with the Source.

But for now:
Enlightening Joy-
Leading actions that are good,
Illuminating paths to walk humbly,
Guiding ways to judge righteously.

Keep it Kate.
It is yours to choose,
There are not two ways!
There is One Way in
One Present Moment.

Or there is darkness.
Dwarves sitting in a circle of sarcasm -
Manna like manure to their lips.
The darkness is in their eyes,
Not in the world of beauty and light that
Surrounds them,
Covers them.

The Lion chooses no power over
A man's agency.
His power is Love.
He
Is love,
The greatest power.
The Force stronger then gravity,
That chooses not to force.


Dwarves don't choose the Real.
Don’t know Real Love.
It is beyond their walls and they
Will not reach.

Imagined Kings and Queens,
Choose,
Know,
Reach.

I choose.
I reach.
I will know The Real, and
The Real in me will
Recognize the false,
Circling in opposition.

One Day, walls will not
Keep me from that Embrace.
One day, by one day -
I knock and pry at these walls.
In this Present Moment,
I Reach.