Are We Looking for God

Are We Looking for God

I want to write in my blog because the last few weeks have been so packed with enjoying life that i have forgotten to write anything. I am not sure what that means yet, but I wanted to get it on paper that from my vantage point, at this moment and with the age that I have arrived at, being content with two to three swims a day in a massively turbulent ocean has been as helpful as running the clothes through an old wringer washing machine. I feel cleansed and squeezed dry of all aspirations and have found myself content with meditation, mindfulness & good food.
Tumbling around in a warm ocean while sitting in a tropical depression is not the kind of depression that I am use to dealing with. The depression associated with climate seems predictable and even fun, while the depression that enters the mind like a starving termite enters a piece of wood is entirely too profound to be considered when sitting in the sun. That’s an essay for another day.

Just to make sure that I drive the point home to my readers, I am trying to make you envious. I am wanting you to feel jealous of this respite in the salted, sun drenched stretch of beach known to the Treasure Coast as Surfer Beach. In addition to every one being 19 or 27 and gorgeous, the beach is nearly deserted for miles. The sand is a soft white sand that warmly pushes up through your toes as you drift down toward the turbulent sea, and the glistening beads of water that give everything an emerald and sapphire coloring, erupt from everywhere.

I took Maddie for a walk and a swim this morning and she went her own way and i did not see her again for 40 minutes or so. Eventually she found her way back to me, smelling like a wet dog, covered in beach sand with her tongue hanging out saying–water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink. We meandered back to the the house and she lapped at the water from the out door shower as I rinsed the encrusted sand from everywhere.

One last point in this short post. I want to emphasize that I deserve this contentment with life. First, I worked for it. But most important I not only worked at this, but I studied and researched this. I mean happiness does not come on a whim and it is not securely given like a plaque or a gold star. It is a success that must be cultivated all the time. This does not mean that the cultivation need to be hard dirty work, some might be, but for the most part, happiness comes from knowing how your mind operates and then putting into practice what needs to be done over and over again in order to achieve the richness and the crispness that gives life its colors. Mindfulness, the creating of an awareness that you are somewhere in there doing the experiencing is crucial to feeling a sense of well-being. I am much more than the sum total of my ego.

Mindfulness and well-being go hand in hand. And, weather you approach this from a psychoanalytic perspective, a Zen perspective or a spiritual perspective, each perspective leads to the same end. Enjoying the journey, remembering that the process is as important as the outcome, and above all recalling yourself time and time again to the knowledge of the sensation that is the moment–this is the way forward.

I re-read parts of zen bible while I was here enjoying life and what struck me most was that it was offering a formula and that it seemed to be saying follow this formula and you will be given the way. It sounds christian. Maybe it is. I mean I think that what ever it is that we find, at some level most of us want to call this God. It is difficult to say you believe in God while at the same time professing to be a scientist. But in the long run the two are not incompatible. The Great Spirit, The Universe, Consciousness, A Higher power, The Light Within–these all have in common that they are a substitute for the word God which had become so over used by religion than many of us had to abandon the word because it was just too confusing to reconcile a bearded man on a thrown with a staff in one hand and a globe in the other with what in the 21st century we have come to know as a source of energy. In a way happiness has more to do with physics than any other academic discipline.

The energy of a positive attitude, Norman Vincent Peale aside–is what we are looking for. We are looking for God. We want to find that place internally or externally that feeds us with a sense of peace and a sense of serenity and a believing and an allowing for the good in the world to flow through us. So, if we are in college, in school or in church or in a monastery; or if we are in a lab or an orphanage or a hospital, we are seeking comfort. God gives us that comfort even if how we understand this is that our internal awareness coaches us toward life giving, life affirming events. I can skip a great deal of angsts and simply say: Thank God, this has been a wonderful vacation.

‘Tis a gift to be simple. As I begin to pack and put myself back together to get myself back to the office and to what i do for a living, I do this mindful that I have been blessed with a very deliberate opportunity. My life’s work is searching. I search for myself and for those who i love. I search and help people to organize themselves in such a way that they they will come to understand exactly how their particular mind works. And in discovering they will begin a practice that will help them to discover the divine within, not just once but over and over agin many times a day. Reflection on the moment is the best defense against an ego hell bent on robbing us of joy. As i become mindful that the experience of now is the breath of life, I can let go of some of the aspirations that are overwhelming, and let myself flow gently down the stream of life, anticipating that my needs will be met if i am in touch with my instincts as well as with my ego.

It amounts to a belief that we can indeed trade in fear for joy and gratitude and that this is a fair trade for everyone involved.

Dr. A. L. Dussault,

http://mindfulnessinpsychoanalysis.wordpress.com/

http://freeassociations.wordpress.com/

http://technorati.com/people/aldussault/

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7 comments on “Are We Looking for God

  1. maggie says:

    I’m jealous of where you are physically but I am jealous of where you are spiritually…maggie

  2. maggie says:

    correction “I’m NOT jealous of where you are!

  3. Ruth T says:

    Dr D!

    I read your blog and looked at the beautiful photos. I am trying to figure out if a little Puritanism (curse of American life, horrible legacy of our founding) has crept in. I worked hard so I deserve happiness? I would argue that we mostly deserve or don’t deserve happiness in equal measure….but that finding our ability to be happy takes work, deserve be damned.

  4. Kim says:

    My Dear Dear Friend Al, My heart & spirit rejoice with your knowing & happiness…yes, it is a mindfullness that needs to be nurtured every moment…some moments flow more gracefully and others are part of the ebb and flow of life…today mine is courage not to fall into what others can not give me and the gift of that is knowing I can/higher self give myself all I need : )

    Oprah on OWN network is having a lifeclass every night at 8:00 EST> Right now it is about Ego, it would be great if you could get this writing to her in response to her shows this week. Check it out on Facebook.

    I love you, Kim XO

    Travel Safe!

  5. Paul D. Van Pelt says:

    God is not an issue if we are comfortable in our own skins; find solace in simple things; do the best we can with what we’ve got and realize that everything living must also certainly die. If we do not or will not subscribe to the above, then we are confounded by what Richard Dawkins has called The God Delusion. Dan Dennett wrote of it in his book: Breaking the Spell, and Christopher Hitchens critiqued religion in his book (god is Not Great…) by saying (and illustrating) that religion poisons everything. People need to read more. And I am not talking about fairy tales. All you Christians out there can take that any way you like. I think and act in terms of reality. And that, though often painful, works for my feeble mind. Fair enough.

  6. Paul D. Van Pelt says:

    Are we looking for God. Perhaps—some of us. I am reminded of the cliche concerning Jesus. One accolyte asks someone else: Have you found Jesus, brother? The respondent says something like: Well, no—I did not know he was lost. Seems to me the application is appropriate. God is not lost, nor are those who may be looking for God (you’ll notice I did not use a pronoun—neither him nor her.) Look, those who look for God will find only and exactly what they seek. In my estimation, that realization will mean zero when they are consigned to the big dirt nap. I have seen the billboards: If You Do Not Believe In God or Hell, You Had Better Hope You Are Right. I’ll flip that around, just for devil’s advocacy sake. Those who believe in God and Hell had better hope THEY are right. Richard Dawkins has written The Magic of Reality. Not his deepest book, nor his most scientific. But it is comfortable and compassionate—and the illustrations are nice. And, it makes sense.

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