In the past couple of months I have agreed to let someone help me with the newsletter and to also create memes based on my work. This has been an interesting journey for me. First, it is not easy for me, at all, to just let go of a task, even one I know that I do not have time to do properly anymore. The email newsletter had become a sporadic event based on when I could fit the time in to create it and email it out. So, the offer to do that was a good call. When the offer came with meme/graphic creation I was hesitant. Where were these quotes coming from?

They were from videos I forgot I had posted. They were of lectures and writings sometimes a decade old. I found that in reading some of the quotes, it felt off. It was not who I was anymore. And yet, these things were helping someone else. They were points that someone else saw and something resonated in themselves.

In that contemplation I remember when I discovered Ken Wilber about 10 years ago. I read his book Grace and Grit and was immediately hooked. I started reading and listing to everything I could. I ended up joining the Integral Institute online and have been following the conversation with many others now who are furthering work in working on an integral outlook and relationship with ourselves and the world. I am presently enrolled in Integral Ministry Certification. I was so excited about what I was learning in Ken Wilber’s Integral Philosophy that I expressed to a friend of mine what she should also read Ken Wilber. She said, what? Really? Why would you read him? In discussing all I was learning she said that didn’t sound like the books she had read of his at all. We discovered that the date of Grace and Grit and after are all books she had not read. She was familiar with the early work only.

There are other authors that have been working, researching and writing for a very long time. Their more present works building on the first works, always growing in experience and in wisdom. There are some that do not. There are some that rehash the same outlook, the same experience over and over. Look for the ones that have changed. Look for the experiences that have changed the outlook. Are the perceptions expanded? Is there a recognition that they understand things in a different way, even if it is slightly than before. Is there evidence of growth?

Is there evidence in growth in ourselves? I always thought there was really no way but growing up and out. What I have found, and studies done have confirmed (found on the Integral Life Web Site) that moving into higher and wider perspectives is not always the way. There are some of us that stagnate or even regress. The New York Times posted an article today (Aug 1, 2022) by Sheera Frenkel about the number of parents, who in their frustration over COVID mandates and seeing the reactions in their children and the change in their lives started to turn into one issue voters, all based around mask mandates. This issue has led many of them to read false information and believe it on the validity of just about any vaccine believing that masks and any vaccine at all is harmful to their children and to their livelihood. According to the work of Integral Life (based on the work by Ken Wilber) people regress instead of moving forward when they are so uncomfortable, when the way that they are living their life becomes so challenged that they cannot see a way through. It is easier to fall back into victimhood, blame, conspiracy than to move forward and learning resiliency in the new experience. The slip into no longer recognizing the science in the medical advancements of vaccines over the last 200 years is part of this regression. In the emotional need to feel supported in the pain and the hardship of dealing with children in the middle of a world wide pandemic, many of these parents looked for answers that pointed to how and why things really didn’t have to change. It is a way to blame others in a circumstance that is incredibly hard.

It is not an easy thing to continue to expand perspective and to integrate ones past with the present. It is not easy to keep learning, to keep healing, and to keep moving in the rapidly changing world. There is often a false understanding when we move into a recognition of More and of Oneness that in the recognition everything is happy and roses and rainbows with faery glitter. Knowing that we are part of the One is not enough. It is continually moving in understanding and expansion of that based on reason, and not only what makes us feel good in the moment. It is taking the time to listen to perspectives that are in the article I mentioned above. These people are not crazy, they are trying to find a way to understand, and to take care of their children. I know it was not easy to be fairly isolated with two middle school children during the shutdowns and lockdowns. I read a lot of science. I watched the understanding change through those articles (the more a topic is studied, the more it is understood, and the information changes). I read about different scientists around the world looking at different aspects of the virus and how to keep people from dying, or having issues later on in life. I watched my own father become one of the angry people refusing to believe the realities of a virus that can kill. I watched him die, trying to gasp for air because of that virus and because of his belief that it was somehow a political conspiracy hurting people and not a real virus.

The farther I am away from that moment, and in reading the article about the extremely frustrated parents who have now turned to a view of no vaccines at all I wonder about the future. How do we move past frustration and into greater understanding instead of moving into frustration and then regressing in our outlook? It is in being willing to say, what I thought before was not right. It is in being willing to actually read more than one source for our information. It is in the reflection of self and soul. Reflection into what we are really feeling and the emotional driving force to our decisions making. It is in recognizing and in embracing that in the One, yes, we have the free will of decision making. Yes, we need to follow our own truth. To do that honestly we need to be willing to keep exploring. We have to be willing to look beyond our own comfort level, our own challenges and what is happening on a broader and wider scale. In the Oneness anything we choose, anything we do affects that One. As hard as it is, are we willing to look not only through other’s eyes, but also how other may be seeing us. It doesn’t mean that we need to agree. It does mean in that compassion, a dialog may be opened and a change for growth and understanding for each and everyone is possible. It is in this place that it is safe to grow and expand.

Through Other’s Eyes